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Date: 2006/09/11 23:44:39, Link
Author: Altabin
The real expert on Newton's alchemy is Bill Newman, at Indiana University. Together with Larry Principe (Johns Hopkins), he's recreated several of Newton's alchemical experiments - showing that Newton (as well as other alchemists) was not crazy when he wrote his alchemical notebooks. He was describing, in cryptic but intelligible language, what he saw in the laboratory.  When the key is broken, Newton's strange language turns out to be very accurately descriptive (the "net of Vulcan," as described on the website below; or the "virgin's milk" which I heard Bill discuss in a paper - it is a colloidal suspension).  Of course, he did not always interpret what he saw in the way that we would....

See his  website, complete with a photograph of what was often thought to be pure Newtonian fantasy - the "star regulus of antimony."

Date: 2006/09/15 03:22:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Dennis's rant about the woeful standards of secondary education is slightly undercut by her inability to spell:


I’m old-fashioned, so I believe students should earn the right to dissent from their teachers’ views. The principle way they should earn it is by being good students.

By the way, snarkiness aside, can you follow her rather surprising reasoning in the rest of this post?  She seems to be saying that, despite the fact that "Darwinism’s a dead duck" promoted by the Evil Atheist Conspiracy, students' parents should not be trying to introduce criticism of it into schools, lest it further undermine the respect the little punks have for their teachers.  Do I have that right?

Date: 2006/09/15 10:27:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Fortunately, I had recalibrated my trusty irony meter just before reading this post by Dennis:

To me, the really interesting aspect of this whole exchange is why it should matter so much to some people whether Hitler was a Darwinist, a creationist, or something else. After all, what if Pol Pot was a Darwinist and Idi Amin a creationist? Do we think the better or the worse of mass murderers on such an account?

There really is nothing to say to this.

By the way, I've been a long time lurker here.  Recently, however, I've been finding the level of disingenuity, stupidity and sheer wickedness at Uncommon Descent impossible to take without an opportunity to vent about it.  My wife has grown tired of hearing me, so I'm posting here now.  Putting it like that, it does make me wonder why I can't just stop visiting such a wretched intellectual train-wreck in the first place... ???

Date: 2006/09/18 07:10:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Dozens of Deceitful Deity-Detectors Drone Dopily

Date: 2006/09/19 12:08:21, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,11:24)
Quote (keiths @ Sep. 19 2006,04:32)
Screw IC, SC, and CSI.  Gil's got the answer:
What is your objective method of design detection, and can you show us how it works, by example, when applied to a living system?

Machinery. Machines are designed. Living systems are full of them.

Comment by GilDodgen — September 18, 2006 @ 11:49 pm


that's about the most pathetic thing I've ever read.

The most pathetic thing I've read is the "Statement of Design Theory" available on tote-bags and throw-pillows from the official UD Cafepress Store.  Below the standard, ID depiction of the E. coli flagellum (they don't seem to understand that a diagram is different from a photograph) is the caption: "If it looks designed, maybe it is."  At least it's honest; as Gil Dodgen's posts make clear, that pretty much sums up the totality of their "theory."

That image appeared in the UD sidebar, I think shortly after Dover.  (And, by the way, isn't that how all rejected scientific theories come to be accepted by the establishment?  Remember the story of Galileo and his heliocentric beer stein?  And who could ever forget the drama of Wegener and his continental drift hoodie?)  When I first saw it, I thought it was a brilliant piece of culture jamming - a devastating parody of ID hacked into the UD website.  But it stayed there, so I guess they were proud of it.  Anyway, it finally disappeared some time today, perhaps as part of the Google-scrubbing image clean-up they've been engaged in.

Date: 2006/09/21 00:19:16, Link
Author: Altabin
This  really upsets me.  However much fun it is to laugh at the 'tards over at UD, things like this remind us of what is at stake.

A middle-school video exploring the ID debate.  What do we learn:

1: These 8th graders have a science teacher who is in favor of ID, and is one of the "expert witnesses" who tells them that science is stalled, at a dead end, and needs ID to proceed any further.  (Granted, though, that they have another teacher who says ID belongs in church).  

2: The virus of "balance" is everywhere - picked up from our pathetic news media, and no doubt instilled into them by their journalism teacher: for every statement in favor of evolution, there has to be another in favor of ID, with no attempt to assess how much veracity to attach to the claims.  It's telling that, somewhere in the video, they ask whether "Evolution and Intelligent Design should both be taught at school, or neither?" - it would be unfair, clearly, to consider just the one that is science.

3: Indiana State Representative Peggy Welch is an evil 'tard.  All this cr#p about students needing to be "given all the information" so that they can make up their own minds.  Why do I think that she wouldn't be so keen on their being given all the information about, say, contraception.  And while we're letting them hear all sides of every story, let's give them a hefty dose of Voltaire, Hume and H. L. Mencken, to provide them with means to question what they're exposed to in church every Sunday and to make up their own minds on the God thing - surely she'd be in favor of that too?

4: The "Christian Minister" who is one of their witnesses for ID states that he is "more comfortable" with the conclusions ID reaches.  Because the universe cares about his comfort, I guess.

5: 50-something percent of 8th-graders believe in ID, 20-something in evolution.  That's the kind of statistic that gets UDers very excited - "look how we're making inroads into the schools, despite Darwino-fascist opposition!".  But all it shows is that sheer ignorance and lousy teaching (see point 1 above) is the natural matrix of ID.

The only hopeful thing here is the interview with the 8th-grader who made the piece.  She said that she and her collaborators are all Christians and went into the project convinced that ID should be taught in the schools.  Now that they've listened to all the arguments, they're no longer certain, and are at best neutral on the issue.  That's a start, at least....

The comment thread at UD is just packed with tarditude.  This is my favorite, from (who, I think, is not just one of the stupidest regulars, but also one of the plain nastiest - is there a category in the Awards for "Biggest ###hole at UD"?):

I think the primary argument that ID is non science, concerns whether intelligence present before intelligent beings have evolved is “natural”.

If ID is necessary to explain any form of life in our Universe, then intelligence creating life must be outside our “natural” Universe.

I would argue that ID uses only natural evidence and as such it is science.

Is relativity “natural”? It must be present at the birth of the universe. Is maths “natural”?

Date: 2006/09/23 04:02:10, Link
Author: Altabin
In this thread Carlos bears the burden of rational thought and the entire Enlightenment project.  It seems that the UD administration are beginning to tire of his commonsense naturalism, however:

Scott // Sep 22nd 2006 at 2:55 pm

Carlos: this is a warning: Either produce published, detailed papers to support your claims or do not bother to post here any more. Hand-waving just-so stories will not be tolerated.

to which Carlos replies:

Carlos // Sep 22nd 2006 at 3:10 pm


Ooh! Bold font! Now I’m worried!

Which specific claims would you like to see substantiated?

Somehow, I don't think he's long for UD (again).

Date: 2006/09/23 09:38:16, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 23 2006,09:05)
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 23 2006,10:02)
Carlos: this is a warning: Either produce published, detailed papers to support your claims or do not bother to post here any more. Hand-waving just-so stories will not be tolerated.

Hand-waving like "Living things were designed because they're like, full of machines, man."?

The funny thing is that he, along with Tom English, is not just tolerated but even admired by the inmates of UD.  Just the other day BarryA ejaculated that he had come to "love" Carlos.  And this is despite the fact that both Carlos and Tom consistently make the rest look like idiots, simply by being educated and able to carry an argument.  Clearly there is some dissent in the ranks, and Scott has discovered (or been taught by dt) how to use the bold tags.  Still, I think they're kept there because it makes most of the posters, and perhaps even Dembski himself, feel that they're getting some attention from grown-ups.

Date: 2006/09/27 10:43:18, Link
Author: Altabin
I tried to make my first ever post today to UD - it would have been the first post on the "Jonathon Wells uncovers the secret atheist conspiracy" thread.  It never appeared, nor did the polite request about its whereabouts I made an hour or so ago.  It was not nearly as scathing as Carl Sachs' recent posts - and not nearly as funny either, so it's no great loss - I just don't get their moderation policy at all.  Honestly, I think that the reason Carl's posts keep getting through is that they really can't understand the notion of irony. :)

Date: 2006/09/27 20:13:20, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (mcc @ Sep. 28 2006,00:14)
So was the mystery Google delisting of UD ever explained?

A good friend of mine - who, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous - has informed me that the ACLU did it.

Date: 2006/09/29 10:35:53, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 29 2006,14:51)
From Underwhelming Evidence (which btw is showing very little activity):
I'm a software engineer with specialties in artificial intelligence and GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) software. I work for an aerospace research and development firm. I used to be a Dawkins-style militant atheist and devout Darwinist, but then I began to think and critically analyze what I believed, and figured out that I was dead wrong about almost everything that ultimately matters.

The intelligent-design movement is very exciting, and it is going to rock the entrenched establishment, which has demonstrated its desperation by resorting to attempts to suppress dissent by any means available. Of course, this won't work in the long run, because reality always has a way of making itself evident in the end.

The reality is that the universe and living systems were designed, and the evidence for this is mounting almost daily within a wide variety of scientific disciplines.

Welcome to the most exciting scientific revolution of the last century!

An engineer with no scientific training sees a political movement composed of engineers, laymen, lawyers, philosophers, which is pretending to do science, has spent $20,000,000 over 15 years and hasn't a single hypothesis, experiment, theory, or peer-reviewed paper to show for it, and which nevertheless tried to insert itself into science classes, and has lost every legal battle that resulted, and gotten school boards thrown out by angry voters, and whose arguments have been ripped apart by dozens of actual, real scientists in the relevant fields, and what's this guy's response? I'm so exited! Victory will be ours!

This movement will never stop providing me with comedy.

You notice that "this guy" is, in fact, Gil Dodgen, of "to make a computer  simulation of an earthquake you need to shake the monitor a lot" fame.  God on a stick, I had no idea that he was actually a "software engineer."

Date: 2006/10/01 10:48:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Dennis the Dense, in her report from the cutting edge of ID, trying out a new meme (my emphasis):

For these people, Darwinism is a cult. They simply cannot understand objections to Darwinian evolution as actual objections. For example, the fact that very few instances of speciation are actually observed makes it very difficult to test Darwinian evolution against other kinds. This may be an accident, to be sure, but it is an accident with consequences. It means that the “overwhelming evidence” that supposedly exists for Darwin’s theory is really just overwhelming belief on the part of people like themselves.

But there they sit, placid with overwhelming belief, like pious grannies - and mistaking it for overwhelming evidence.

Does everyone get the message that there's, like, this other rilly cool new website where the kids hang out, with, like, overwhelming evidence you can, like, look at.  Or at least you will be able to see the, like, evidence soon - we seem to have misplaced it for the moment; but it will sure be, like, overwhelming.  Rilly :) :) !  Ciao!!??!! :)  :)

Date: 2006/10/01 19:34:00, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 01 2006,14:45)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Sep. 30 2006,19:39)
Interesting. In the "Overwhelming Evidence" forums, ( ) there seem to be more posts on "politics" than "science."  I wonder why?  ??? *snort*
I hereby dub thee the "Overweening Vanity" site.

"OverwhelminglyDense" and "OverwhelmingEvidence(AgainstUs)" have come to mind, but neither seems inspired. I encourage people to suggest alternate names, which might one day label a great new thread.

FYI: If you're interested in the brilliant and insightful "Ed Brayton is a fat loser" "Oh yeah well you don't know what 'solicitous means" discussion, you can find it at the Bathroom Wall.

How about OverwhelmingIckiness?

Date: 2006/10/11 04:29:25, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (bourgeois_rage @ Oct. 11 2006,07:12)

I guess that means that this is a team of crack ID researchers:

Which means, I guess, that Dembski is Zoot Horn Rollo, and O'Leary is the Mascara Snake (or vice versa). DaveScot? - Drumbo, of course.  No one is cool enough to be the Captain (who, by the way, is holding an UD patented CSI-detecting schnozzle).

Date: 2006/10/11 21:13:15, Link
Author: Altabin
This request from WAD to update the look and feel of UD is very odd - quite apart from the "I want to look as good as Richard Dawkins" hubristic schtik.

After all, they just finished overhauling the whole site.  And by "they," I mean DaveScot.  Doesn't this seem to be a deliberate insult to their resident computer genius?  Perhaps the revelation here that DaveScot is the real star of UD begins to needle a little...

Date: 2006/10/15 04:08:10, Link
Author: Altabin
From the same "groupthink" thread:

“…in general, I have found that most anti-evolution group members begin with the unshakeable position that no amount of empirical evidence can possibly make them change their beliefs.”

Speaking as a YEC myself, I would say that I’m open minded, but there is no evidence that would change my mind. That is, if presented with solid empirical evidence for evolution I would change my position, but such evidence does not exist. Certainly I’ve never seen any. (which is the basis of my belief that it does not exist)

Comment by StephenA — October 15, 2006 @ 7:11 am

Must. Stop. Reading. UD. It. Hurts.

Date: 2006/10/16 09:11:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 16 2006,10:41)
"Not that I actually, like, know any, but 'Naturalists' are all horribly angry, depressed nihilists who beat their wives and children, drink to excess, and engage in casual, meaningless sex. ..."

D#mn your eyes, if I do it's because the theists drove me to it!

Date: 2006/10/17 02:18:49, Link
Author: Altabin
From this thread by Sal Cordova:

Also, David Snoke a premier physicist and elder in my denomination wrote: A Biblical Case for an Old Earth. Within our denomination, the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), there has been a group known as the Westminster Presbytery that feels Snoke and myself are heretics for our friendliness toward Old Earth. I myself have come around to think the Earth could be young, but I’m not dogmatic about it. But my moderate view would be considered too compromising by the Westminster Presbytery who probably, if they had their way with the rest of the denomination, would put Snoke and church officers who share my views on church trial. See the exchange:

Westminster Presbytery Condemns most of PCA as Heretical

Potomac Presbytery Responds to Charge of Heresy

I am part of the Potomac Presbytery as well as several members and supporters of IDEA at GMU...

Compare with this joke:

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."

"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.

"Well, there's so much to live for!"

"Like what?"

"Are you religious?"

He said: "Yes."

I said: "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"


"Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"


"Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"


"Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

"Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"

He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."

I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off.

Cordova peddles this "I'm a freethinking, moderate kind of guy" cr#p, priding himself for being undogmatic about the age of the earth, when all around him people are pushing others off bridges.  He just doesn't seem to get it that the universe doesn't give a sh#t what he, the Westminster Presbytery or the Grand Mufti of Timbuctoo thinks about this subject.  There is a matter of fact at stake here, for which there are well-defined methods of investigation.

This whole "big tent" bullsh#t in this post - how can you be intellectually "friendly" towards and "applaud" those who hold positions irreconcilable with yours on the very issue under "investigation"?  It would be like a math department keeping some guy in the attic who strongly believes that 2+2=5, because, after all, we're all in this together, right, and who are we to judge?

As much fun as it can be, sometimes the sheer stupidity and cluelessness over there brings me to something very like despair.  It's not that I can't abide stupid people - some of my best friends are stupid, after all.  It's their smug ingratitude as they toss 400 years of scientific investigation and progress into the garbage can. :angry:

Date: 2006/10/17 05:16:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 17 2006,09:42)
On a lighter note, here's something fun -- check out the stuffed plushie microbes for sale here:  and especially the cute li'l ebola one here

Cute!  I've just ordered my wife Black Death and Syphilis for Christmas!  (er, she's a historian of medieval Europe, OK?).  Thanks for the link.  :)

Date: 2006/10/17 06:17:21, Link
Author: Altabin
Whoops, I had a feeling that might end up on the Bathroom Wall...

I hasten to add that I don't really want anyone to get cancer.  Not even Sal.  Though I would like him to be bitten by a snake.

My point was, of course, that the same people who reject hard-won human knowledge still wish to enjoy its fruits - whether in computers, or medicine.

Come to think of it, I guess that is why UD has been repeating a new meme recently - that no biological research has ever made use of the theory of evolution.  They can have their cake and p#ss on it too...

Date: 2006/10/17 08:27:57, Link
Author: Altabin
small, beleaguered band of scientists

One of the many things I've come to love about our tardly friends is their sheer chutzpah in redefining common words.  You take some retired engineers, lawyers, technical writers and second- or third-rate mathematicians, and by a wave of the magic wand they become "scientists."

I say we pay them back in the same kind.  How does this sound:

"Today, Christianity suffocates under a stifling orthodoxy, which insists that God exists.  However, many leading Christians, such as Richard Dawkins, have bravely asserted the contrary - that there is no God.  There is, in fact, a longstanding, though overlooked tradition within Christianity of atheism.  Other famously devout Christians in history like Epicurus, Bertrand Russell and H. L. Mencken (and, most recently, the presiding Lutheran bishop PZ Myers) have argued for the absence of a deity - yet still Christianity denies the voice within."


Date: 2006/10/17 10:57:49, Link
Author: Altabin
Sal, again

But the issue is not getting them [the fundie-nut churches] just to like the theory [Intelligent Design, that is], it is getting them ENTHUSIASTIC! It is getting them to invest time pushing and coordinating the dissemination of information. For example at McLean Bible, even though the have an $90 million church building, I don’t think they have budgeted to give ever high school kid in the congregation Unlocking the Mystery of Life and Privileged Planet.

Ah yes, the old problem of "pushing" the theory.  "Coordinating the dissemination of information."  How did Einstein manage it before the DVD player was invented?

But of course, Sal keeps reminding us that the super thing about ID is that it has no theological content!  It stands or fall on its own, scientific merits!!  And, I guess, he just wants those kids to be "pushed" to use their reason!!!  Whaddaguy!!!!

Date: 2006/10/17 21:05:00, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 18 2006,00:34)
One of the criteria Dembski uses, on his asinine post about whether IDers or biologists engage in groupthink, is this:

8. the emergence of self-appointed mindguards - members who protect the group from adverse information that might shatter their shared complacency about the effectiveness and morality of their decisions.

Is it just a cosmic coincidence that 'mindguard' rhymes with 'Davetard'?

And it surely cannot be a coincidence that Taner Edis - the editor of the book on the masthead above - is an anagram of "I seen tard".

Date: 2006/10/17 21:25:32, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (cogzoid @ Oct. 17 2006,21:03)
A while back, I remember seeing a review on Panda's Thumb for a book on how scientists measure time.  Apparently it discussed everything from day to day clocks to geologic timescales.  It was aimed at laymen.

I forgot the name, and tried to search for the book on PT, but "time" is a rather common word.  It's not on PZ Myers'  book list, either.

Anybody vaguely remember what I'm talking about?

I think you mean this book, Bones, Rocks and Stars by Chris Turney.  I haven't read it, but it's been on my reading list since PZM recommended it.

Date: 2006/10/20 05:27:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 20 2006,16:55)
Have you ever looked at fishfingers? I mean, really looked at them?

We've been through this before.  Fish don't have fingers.  Anything which looks like it might be a fish with, er, fingers is actually a "mosaic," not an transitional form.  Same with breadcrumbs.  Why do such things exist at all?  If I answered that, I would be commenting on the nature and intentions of the deit.., er, Intelligent Designer.  And that wouldn't be science.  See?

Date: 2006/10/20 06:28:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 20 2006,18:16)
I'm not a fig plucker
Nor a fig plucker's son
But I'll pluck figs
Till the fig plucker comes


The way I've always heard it is:

I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's son,
and I'll keep on plucking pheasants 'till the pheasant plucker comes.

(It's not just hard to say, it's almost impossible to type.)

I recall that there was some joky English folk-song with those words in the chorus.  Anyone remember that?

Where were we?

Date: 2006/10/20 10:10:53, Link
Author: Altabin
Oh, come on, hereoisreal is just one of you guys f#cking with us.  Really.  I'm onto my third glass of rare Sicilian blueberry amaro and this still doesn't make any f#cking sense.

Date: 2006/10/20 10:18:49, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (improvius @ Oct. 20 2006,22:15)
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 20 2006,16:10)
Oh, come on, hereoisreal is just one of you guys f#cking with us.  Really.  I'm onto my third glass of rare Sicilian blueberry amaro and this still doesn't make any f#cking sense.

No.  He's been doing this bit for at least over a year.  Maybe this is the first he's been on AtBC, but he's been around for a while.  If it's a spoof, it's an extremely long-running one.

Has Lou FCD ever been seen in the same room as him?

Date: 2006/10/22 21:22:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (argystokes @ Oct. 23 2006,04:24)
OE isn't completely dead yet. We get treated to part 5 of the worst ID theory in history:

I think we might be getting taken for a ride.  Mark Nutter doesn't exactly seem ID friendly, based on his blog.  Maybe a woo woo spiritualist or something.

Yeah, look at this.   There is something a bit "cosmic, man" about the whole thing, but he's thoroughly dismissive of supernaturalism -- and quite unmistakably on the sane side of things.  I suspect that something interesting may be about to happen:

I’ve signed up for an account. Let’s see if this “Overwhelming Evidence” is allowed to include all the evidence or not…

Date: 2006/10/22 21:26:35, Link
Author: Altabin
Oh, and then there's this bitch-slapping of Gil Dodgen that folks here may enjoy!

Date: 2006/10/23 11:52:17, Link
Author: Altabin
From their God is the only thing stopping me from raping my grandmother thread:


49. Mark Frank // Oct 23rd 2006 at 2:48 am
Wrong. Moral relativism is a truth claim about the nature of morality, which says that no truth claim about the nature of morality is valid.

Gil - I am struggling to understand this statement. I am not sure how a “truth claim” differs from an ordinary claim. Are they the same thing? Also I am not sure what you mean by “valid”. Do you mean true?

Assuming both these things we end up with:

Moral relativism is a claim about the nature of morality, which says that no claim about the nature of morality is true.

This is indeed a paradox! It highlights the need to distinguish between moral statements and statements about morality. As a software guy you must be aware of the distinction between languages and meta-languages. It is the same thing.

heh heh heh

Date: 2006/10/24 11:06:38, Link
Author: Altabin
From Sal the Wonder Dog's post on Richard Smalley, quoting Hugh Ross's eulogy.

Others had asked me about God’s purpose in creating the universe. Rick already had perceived that if God exists He must have more than one purpose in creating. So, we talked about God’s seven different purposes in creating the universe. In light of these seven purposes, Rick wanted to know exactly what we humans are supposed to do. He wanted to know why God would grant us free will. He had already concluded that no resolution of human free will and divine predetermination was possible within the dimensions of length, width, height, and time. He asked if the extra dimensions implied by string theory and general relativity provided possible resolutions. (By the way, they do.)

"By the way, they do."  Would it be at all churlish to ask for, like, some details?  Because that would be quite interesting.  After all, the problem of reconciling free will and divine foreknowledge has plagued Christian theology since, well, the beginning - and you claim to have some equations to resolve it for good.  You'll have theologians and physicists lined up around the block, Nobel prizes, cover of Time magazine - surely it's worth expanding on it a little more than "By the way, they do"!

Honestly, UD seems to have hit rock-bottom.  They hardly bother even pretending not to be creationists there any more.  One of the comments to this thread:

“The burden of proof, he said, is on those who don’t believe that “‘Genesis’ was right, and there was a creation, and that Creator is still involved.”


Because our science is an awesome science.

Date: 2006/10/25 23:57:48, Link
Author: Altabin
OK, so Dimbski posts a transcript from a book signing with Dawkins, which he purports to be shocked at.  Dawkins, in effect, says that, yes, in a sense if we follow through the logic of determinism, we would have to blame atoms for the the terrible things people do.  BUT, he acknowledges that we feel like we are free, that he doesn't have a philosophical solution to this problem, and it's a contradiction, a grey area, that he just has to live with.

Dimbo smirks when Dawkins says this has nothing to do with his views on religion - implying (WD, that is) that it has everything to do with religion, though in his mealy-mouthed way he won't commit to saying it on UD.

The UD footsoldiers, following their Dear Leader's cue, jump all over Dawkins - if only he believed in God, he wouldn't need to live with this contradiction any more!  Yet one more proof that materialism is wrong!!

At which point, JaredL jumps in with a few very astute posts, pointing out politely that theists seem to be no better off than materialists.  If God creates everything, he must also be responsible for Dawkins and the God Delusion; and arguing that there is free will gets you nowhere if you also believe God is omniscient.  The conclusion:  

The classical theist is also a determinist, unless he simply declares, by fiat, free will and infallible foreknowledge are logically compatible, and this despite the argument given in my post at #5.

The UnDead reply politely -- as they usually do to anyone with some intelligence who visits them -- but mostly cluelessly, simply repeating again and again that there is free will, or merely asserting that there is no contradiction, or observing that it sure feels like we have free will (which no one, even Dawkins, denies).  Some do attempt to make reasoned responses, however, and it's beginning actually to look like that rarest of things: an interesting discussion on UD which actually might produce some productive philosophical argument and change some minds.

Eventually, you guessed it, the WAD makes the only intellectual contribution he's ever made to any thread at UD:  

JaredL: You are herewith limited to two theological posts on any thread. Your confidence in your theological position is out of keeping with its pedigree. Augustine, the Cappadocian Fathers, and Thomas were not slouches and did not derive the reductio ad absurdum that you do. Let’s get this thread back on track, which is the connection between atheistic Darwinism, determinism, and the inability, as a matter of practical life, to live out the latter.

Pathetic.  I agree, it's time to leave them to their own irrelevance.

Date: 2006/10/28 20:47:50, Link
Author: Altabin
This is the second time in as many days that Dense-O has mentioned
her forthcoming contribution to neuroscience:

In the research for the neuroscience book for which I am Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard’s co-author (The Spiritual Brain, Harper, March 2007), I found that really inane and unsatisfactory explanations for various mental states were preferred if they supported the materialist paradigm, over against better explanations that didn’t particularly support it. Sometimes it was ludicrous. But always it was deadly serious.

We ought to start a sweepstake on just how much this book will suck.  I put my money on "as much as a Dyson DC07" (the vacuum that doesn't lose suction).

Date: 2006/10/29 11:47:33, Link
Author: Altabin
DT starts begging the grownups to come back to UD:
Speaking of Astrobiology Magazine I haven’t seen Allen MacNeil since I slapped him upside the head for failing to connect a broad definition of life made by a NASA panel with astrobiology. It’s like he never heard of astrobiology before. I hope he’s busy correcting that embarrassing situation so he can come back to the table better informed about OOL research.

Date: 2006/11/02 09:32:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Russell @ Nov. 02 2006,21:05)
More recycling of tired ID nonsense.

Unfair.  It's the same old ID nonsense, reformatted with Pagemaker.  It's really quite something - they make it look exactly like a textbook, without it actually containing anything worth knowing.

What really astonishes me is this.  They whine and whine that the nasty evolutionists miscategorize them as creationists.  They insist that they accept the data of modern science, but reject its "materialistic interpretation."  In particular, they claim (at least, when it suits them) to accept the fact (though not the means) of evolution and common descent.  It's just that they see the change through time as being an act of divine disembodied telic intervention.  In fact, at times they can get quite heated about this.  Quite apart from DaveTard's banning of anyone, a while back, who denied common descent, it would make very little sense to insist that you could detect moments of intervention if you didn't believe that the construction of form was an historical process.

And so, how do the leading lights of ID begin their shiny new textbook on their "theory"?  With a chapter rehashing boiler-plate creationist canards questioning common descent.

The same thing goes for Tiktaalik last year.  If I were a creationist intelligent design theorist, I would have been all over this.  Here we can detect the hand of the DTE in action!  RM cannot account for this change - our theory can now explain modern limb morphology, by examining the very moment in which the DTE made one of its rare, information-enriched interventions!  This is fantastic!  But is that what happened?  No, they simply parroted the blanket denials that AiG had concocted.

I could just about take them seriously if they were genuinely engaged with new scientific discoveries - even if their interpretation of those discoveries were wrong.  But it's their lack of excitement at the expansion of knowledge, their palpable fear of change that reveals their true, contemptible colors.

Date: 2006/11/02 12:31:16, Link
Author: Altabin
From their moronic, DaveTard initiated (natch) thread on how how global warming is a big hoax, cooked up by scientists greedy for grant money, todd writes:
Why also the concern over extinction? Especially from a darwinian perspective!? Extinctions are required for the ongoing march of evolution and have happened whether we are here or not. If ‘Nature’ produced us, then we are part of nature and anything we produce is also natural. We are all agents of chance, donchaknow, we should do all we can to prove darwin right and force a little environmental selection

Yep, there's that old "is" versus "ought" confusion.  You'd think it was simple enough, but they seem to miss it again and again.  Let's try one more time....

The fact that a law of nature exists (i.e, says that some state of affairs is the case in the universe) does not constrain me morally to act in any particular way (though there may, of course, be physical constraints upon me).  Newton tells me that babies will accelerate at 32 ft s^{-2} in the Earth's gravitational field, but that doesn't mean I am constrained, or motivated in any way to drop them off the Sears Tower.  To do so would be morally repugnant; but, at the same time, I can't deny that they will actually fall in just that way.

Date: 2006/11/05 09:23:44, Link
Author: Altabin
It's a frightening thought, but there's probably a whole lot of people out there who actually are impressed by UD - presumably most of the regular posters at least.  We look at UD and see a scene from the Marat-Sade; they look at it and think, "Gee, I wish I could get me a website that good; if only I could be as smart as William Dembski."  Seems that this guy is one of them.

Date: 2006/11/05 09:38:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 05 2006,20:16)
I believe that that the public is still quite enthusiastic about ID, or at least "balancing" evolution with some form of creationism. However (this is only my impression), enthusiasm at the UD site itself seems to have fallen off with the fanfare of bringing Denyse O'Leary aboard the Mother Ship. And Sal doesn't seem to be helping (especially since he tends to take two helpings).

It seems to me that there is still plenty of "play" left in ID - in that there seems to be no shortage of dimwitted Republicans to support it vocally or even get it into their state party's platform.  After Dover, though, it's mostly just empty rhetoric, to fluff the flagging base.

Quite separate from that is UD, which, as you say, is busy committing prolonged (and unbearably fascinating) suicide.  I doubt whether even one of the Republican supporters of ID has ever looked at it.  Nor do I remember any mention of it even in the Dover decision.

It would be a good idea, I think, to compile a "greatest hits" of UD over the last year or so: all the idiocy and cluelessness, all the venom and, above all else, all the naked religiosity.  Before it gets disappeared.  A pamphlet which presented the true face of ID would be a great weapon against "let's just teach the controversy," "There is nothing religious about ID; it is a scientific theory, supported by the scientific arguments of, er, scientists doing science" crap.

Date: 2006/11/05 20:19:45, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 06 2006,05:18)
So many strawmen it's like a scarecrow convention...

I especially like the way they're subtly rewriting the history of science.  For a long time, the IDers were advertising themselves as the next great paradigm change (and O'Tardly still is, in her recent channelling of Thomas Kuhn).  Now, however, we're in a post-revolutionary period, it seems, when (apart from a few holdouts) science has already gone through its paradigm change, and has embraced "Design Theory" (or "Disembodied Telic Entityism," or whatever it's called) as its working heuristic.  
Witness Gil Dodgen (in comment 18):

Since Copernicus, science seemed to be on a steady and irrevocable path that would ultimately demystify everything — that is, explain everything in purely materialistic terms.

Then came the latter half of the 20th century and everything took a strange 180-degree turn. Science was discovering intrinsic design everywhere it looked (should one be honest), and it took a huge amount of effort to explain it all away in purely materialistic terms.

Now that's good tard!

My favorite comment from the whole thread, though, is this little gem from the profoundly challenged Mats:

What this article seems to sugest is that, as “science” advances, religionists should make a run for it.

   Can religion stand up to the progress of science?

It depens on the religion, and depends on the definition of science. The religion of Darwinism surelly can’t stand up the light of science, whereas Christianity can stand up the light of science easily.

Excuse me, I have to go and sacrifice a goat to Dobzhansky.

Date: 2006/11/05 20:58:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 06 2006,05:49)
Aw, come on, rent the movie. It's a scream, but ultimately political. It's got a young Glenda Jackson.

Funny, I've always imagined that in ID: The Movie, the middle-aged Glenda Jackson would play William Dembski.

Date: 2006/11/06 00:30:03, Link
Author: Altabin
Before you read this, remind yourself just one more time that ID theory is itself supposed to be a scientific field:

I think science is against religion in the sense that it inflates the pride of man, resulting in an impression of self-sufficiency. It is written:

“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” - 1 Corinthians 8:1

I think it can be statistically shown that smarter people (smarter in terms of academic qualifications I mean) are more likely to be atheists or at least less religious.

Amen to that, brother :D .

Date: 2006/11/07 07:55:11, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 07 2006,13:46)
scordova // Nov 6th 2006 at 2:06 pm
I think it is possible, whales and dolphins and snakes may have once had something like legs. That does not mean however, they were once cows once upon a time as some have argued.

ID is science, and 'Ova has a firm scientific basis for his assertion:
Genesis 3:14 (New International Version)

So the LORD God said to the serpent,

"Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life."

See? Nothing here about being a cow, but Serp clearly had legs before he was cursed above all the livestock.

I think that's precisely what Sal has in mind, as this later comment states quite explicitly:

Besides, some of you out there who share my ideas about origins certainly believe snakes once had legs!

Date: 2006/11/10 04:51:16, Link
Author: Altabin
Hey, hey, hey, where did all the comments go?  Last time I looked, JAD was snapping at the Darwimps, and one  or two IDers themselves were beginning to think that it was a bit unseemly.  Then, *poof*.  Did something FUNNY happen?  Did anyone get it and write it down?

By the way, any theories why DT suddenly decided to post JAD's opera omnia - and has been all respectful and lovey recently to his former most-hated?  I seem to be seeing more and more use of "front-loading" among UT commentators, and referencing JAD's articles more than Behe or Dembski himself.  Perhaps they just think that this is real science...

Date: 2006/11/13 03:01:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 13 2006,03:38)
Ah, a christianist says that atheists like me can't really be moral, our lives are meaningless...

Wow.  That's extraordinarily bad.  Not just your average, stupid fundie bad, but smarmy and appallingly written, to boot.  The C- (at best) student who really thinks he's an A.  And if I had a student who began a paper with a pompous paragraph on "the purpose of this paper," I would break his fingers with a mallet (others may have different pedagogical approaches).  By the way, I'm beginning to think that Joel's blog actually consists of the essays he's submitting at school.

A couple of minor points. First, from the numbered points at the end of the "paper":
6) This shows that the absolute Creator of morality is personable and cares about us

7) The most likely answer for morality is the theistic position which dictates the creator as a personable God

I do not think the word "personable" means what you think it means...

Assume I am ugly and unintelligent and therefore cannot gain a mate.


Joel's argument is so transparently bad, it hardly needs fisking -- yet it's repeated every day not only by fundamentalists, but even by reasonable people who assume that belief in a deity is somehow necessary to morality.

So, briefly: Plato (or, perhaps, Socrates) did the job pretty thoroughly 2,300 years ago, in the Euthyphro.  Morality cannot be extracted from ancient, authoritative texts because those texts disagree with one another, and require interpretation and choice in order to construct a moral code from them.  The work of choosing and interpreting must itself be guided by an already established moral compass.

Moreover, even if it were possible to discern the will of the gods/God from a holy book, oracle, or any other source, this knowledge would have no bearing on the moral status of human action.  Murder (for instance) is not wrong because the gods forbid it; the gods forbid it because it is wrong.  And if the gods/God ordered us to eat babies (or to slaughter unbelievers), their statement would not make the action right.  In other words, whatever it is that makes actions good or bad is independent of the gods/God; they themselves look to it as much as we do.

To use an example that may be close to Joel's heart, Jesus (and many others before him) said that we should treat others as we would have them treat us.  Now, perhaps Joel sees this as something we have to do because God tells us to.  But this rule is a good moral guide not because Jesus said it; rather, Jesus said it because it is a good moral guide.  You don't need to be a Christian to see that it gets to an important human faculty -- empathy -- which is at the heart of most moral decision.

And it is the notion of empathy which is (tellingly) absent from Joel's "paper."  To take the overly-hysterical example he gives of the BTK killer.  He argues that an atheist would have no grounds for condemning a serial killer, because he has no (what?  holy book?  notion of an external judge?) to refer to.  But I would be very worried if any member of such a jury came to his verdict by reasoning: "This man has committed lots of murders.  God says murdering people is wrong.  I do what God says I should do.  Therefore I judge that this person has done wrong."  That, to me, itself seems coldly psychopathic.  Surely any healthy human being would have the sense of common humanity to be able to imagine how the victim felt, or even more to put him/herself in the victim's position and make a judgement accordingly.  Empathy allows one to recognize that this would be a terrible thing to happen to oneself, and hence is to be judged wrong.  (Reason, on the other hand, is applied to judge whether the evidence presented connects the defendant to the action which is agreed to be wrong).

This is why it seems to me that religion, far from instilling morality, can actually deaden it.  Why bother empathizing, if you believe that a perfect judge, outside of space and time, has already decided on the person's worth.  What need, for instance, to empathize with a gay teenager going through h3ll at school if you think there is an absolute matter of fact about that kid's human worth -- one that is independent of any human being recognizing it or sharing it with him.  And here I don't even presume that Christians will condemn the teenager.  Even a bland "God loves him!" short-circuits the human need to empathize and understand.

It's hardly even worth bothering with his "critique" of "evolutionary morality."  He claims that evolution says that rape, murder and theft are beneficial, so we should be doing it all the time.  But we don't, because (he concludes) we have special morality which transcends our physical existence.  He asks, "Why do we not see this [i.e., a moral sense] elsewhere in the animal kingdom?"  But if morality is identified as "the thing that stops us doing whatever evolution tells us", and if evolution tells us to rape, murder, and steal,  and if this morality is something only humans have, then it must be the case that animals rape, murder and steal all the time, every opportunity they get (a conclusion accessible to anyone who has passed Logic 101 -- but somehow missed by Joel).  Yet one doesn't need to know all the literature on animal behavior to realize that that is not the case.  As steve's original post implied, one only has to spend a little while with a cat (or a dog) to understand that.

Anyway, I hope Joel's research assistant gig with Dembski is going well.  He really couldn't have made a more appropriate hire.

Date: 2006/11/13 06:08:13, Link
Author: Altabin
Jesus on a stick, my irony-meter just went into orbit, from this post by DaveScot:

I suspect much of technology today still seems supernatural to evolutionary biologists. After all, you can beat them over the head with explanations of digital program controlled factory automation and how cellular machinery operate on the exact same principles and how these things can’t possibly poof themselves into existence without intelligence involved, and they still just don’t get it. They have no concept whatsoever how their cars and computers are made, they just barely know how to operate them.

Arthur C. Clarke famously said “Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic.”

“Abra cadabra! Your new Prius is ready for you sir. This week we’re giving away free laptop computers with all new cars. Let me get yours for you. Alakazam! Here is it sir. Enjoy it with our compliments. If anything goes wrong in the first year please return it and we’ll hocus pocus a replacement for you!”

That would be in contrast to bacterial flagella, which are most definitely not poofed into existence or touched in any way by the hocus-pocus...

Must get back to work, WAY too much time with the tards...

Date: 2006/11/13 07:26:43, Link
Author: Altabin
I find it endearing that so many of our friends over there cannot spell "atheist."  The most common creative spelling is "athiest," as this Google search shows (try not to read all the posts that show up, though - it gets pretty depressing).  I imagine a conversation that goes like this:

A: Y'know, I'm really quite athy.

B: But I think I'm athier.

C: No, I'm the athiest of all of you.

I like the word "athy" - it's like being an atheist without being too fussed about it.

Date: 2006/11/13 14:09:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 13 2006,20:06)

Two more than Dembski (who scores a "9")?

Date: 2006/11/15 09:29:39, Link
Author: Altabin
Davescot tries out that confusing, passive-aggressive "ID is not religion except you say it is so you must hate Jews" gambit:


An interesting scenario arises from discrimination in the hiring of ID advocates. If ID is religious then any discrimination is quite illegal in the United States and if proven could cost the employer dearly in a civil rights lawsuit. Someone ought to test the waters there citing the Dover decision as the basis for ID being a religious belief. Anyone who applies for a position, is turned down, and subsequently found out his views on ID were even mentioned by anyone involved in the hiring decision should have a case. I’d love to watch as the defense turns around and desperately tries to show that ID is not a religious belief but rather a scientific one and therefore not protected against discrimination. The hostile work environment defense would then play particularly badly. Imagine if it were a Jew instead of an ID advocate. If ID is religion in the eyes of the law then it’s essentially the same as saying in your defense “Your honor, hiring a Jew would create a hostile work environment because our staff frowns upon Jews.”

It's inconceivable to me that DT really puts forward this argument sincerely.  It's just to whip up the troops; look guys, this is all part of the "War on Krischuns," even though ID isn't really about JC at all.

Yes, a Jew would be equally unacceptable at a public school or university IF IF IF he/she started making authoritative statements in the classroom about science/archaeology/whatever that were in fact veiled apologetics for his/her religion.  There's a subtle distinction here -- too subtle, apparently -- between what people are and what they do.  No one wants to ban even the craziest God-botherer from the classroom - only those who tell anatomy students that Jesus made the little pancreas.  And yes, Dave, that's all ID is, in the end -- and somewhere, you know that's true.

Date: 2006/11/15 10:40:34, Link
Author: Altabin
It's sort of "ID isn't religion, but you're anti-Christian if you think it is."

I believe the precise argument is "ID isn't religion, but you're anti-Semitic if you think it isn't."

Date: 2006/11/20 08:37:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 08 2006,21:56)
One of my favorite moments at UD.

Fercrissake, you flirted with Sal Cordova.  Even just for pretend.  I think I have to lie down for a moment.

But honestly, UncommonDescent gets visited by a bubbly 17-year-old lesbian (um, undecided), sprinkling her trenchant criticism of ID with stories about holding hands with her (female) cheerleading coach.  WHY did it take so long for us to figure it out!!??

By the way, it seems that someone has been trying to janiebelle Pharyngula.  My money's on DT, out for revenge (oops, can he sue me for that?)

Date: 2006/11/20 09:19:14, Link
Author: Altabin
The Church Lady's latest essay can be summarized in one sentence: ID is losing ground because people are more interested in watching TV.

A direct quote:
One journalist I know was reduced from dozens of papers running his political column to only two who still dared. But through it all, the people who claimed to oppose abortion and gay marriage were at the mall or watching TV.

I had all kinds of incisive things to say about this post, but rereading it made my eyeballs hurt and I just cannot summon the energy.  It's possibly the stupidest thing I've read at UD.  I challenge anyone to find any article there more likely to have been written by a bag of rocks.  It clearly deserves some kind of ribbon or small medallion.

Almost the only people you can depend on to back you in a pinch are the homeschooler types, NOT because they are fundamentalists but because they have made a big anti-materialist commitment already.**

Oh yeah, and a handful of teachers, truckers, and journalists whose careers have been wrecked because they wouldn’t shut up, maybe - plus a few artists and philosophers and others who think that life is more than pampering the body.

I want to know more about the truckers.

One quick story to explain my case - and then I must run (I do not make a living following the ID controversy)

At least the tards are getting their money's worth.

Date: 2006/11/20 09:27:09, Link
Author: Altabin
By the way, congratulations to Richard on pissing DT off so much he frontpaged his comment from this thread over at UD.  That has to be a first!  Drinks all round!!  Make mine a double!!!

But isn't DT playing a dangerous game here, alerting all the UDers -- even the casual lurkers -- about this place dedicated to taking the piss out of them?

Date: 2006/11/20 10:01:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 20 2006,16:33)
Definitely someone ripping off Lou's ideas. Does anyone have a link to some of 'Victoria's' more blatant posts?

I've been away for a few days, so missed all the excitement.  The first posts were in the gigantic homeschooling thread; the ones that seem to have caused all the fuss were all (I think) in the very lame Mmmm, Richard Dawkins! thread.  The posts in the latter thread have all been disemvowelled by PZ.

Date: 2006/11/20 10:16:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 20 2006,16:29)
Poster Boy!

So, do you think Dave polishes his lovelamp in front of your poster, Richard?

Date: 2006/11/22 01:14:34, Link
Author: Altabin
More from freshman bio at Tard University:


I’ll see your definition of diploid from “” and raise you these:

This is just a small sampling of definitions of “diploid” which exclude the requirement that paired chromosomes are one copy from each parent.

I arranged a googlefight to resolve this situation.

I win handily. There are far more glossaries that contain the word diploid without the word parent (by 2:1 margin) than there are glossaries that contain both diploid and parent. Subtract the number on the left from the number on the right to get the number of glossaries without parent in it.

Remember the big f#ck-off google fight Kepler and Galileo set up between the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems?  And how could anyone forget the giant Einstein-Lorentz Google showdown?  Ahhh, paradigm shifts...

Not that this is actually about the theory or anything, just matters of fact.  I mean, WTF is this supposed to prove?  I guess that a rational person just might do this to show that they were reasonably mistaken about something.  But DT still seems to be trying to reargue the point.  (And yes, although the definitions he found (frantically searching the Web until 1:19 am) don't mention the word "parents," the meaning can be inferred pretty clearly from most of them).

As for the whole virgin birth thing which started this mess: DT (and now Dembski) seem, ironically, to be arguing that Jesus was just a random mutation event, of an extremely improbable kind.  How's that law of the conservation of information treatin' you?  The Messiah just doesn't need to have so much CSI?

Date: 2006/11/23 23:51:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Did anyone catch this little bit of hubris from Dembski:

P.S. If Dawkins is going to get the Templeton Prize, perhaps for once the Templeton organization should give the prize to two people. I would be happy to share it with Dawkins.

Date: 2006/11/24 14:06:02, Link
Author: Altabin
I'm feeling left out of the whole PZ/RSR/Ed Brayton thing.  Anyone else up for a pointless, self-destructive religious war?  Jesus' foreskin, what a mess.

Date: 2006/11/27 06:36:13, Link
Author: Altabin
I'm coming to this late, and find myself agreeing with many of the positions expressed here - at least the moderate ones, and particularly LouFCD's first post.  I think he expresses my own two-mindedness over the whole religion issue. As I drive through the  crappy mid-Western town where I've ended up teaching, I can't help thinking, as I see the ever-growing profusion of "non-denominational" Jesus temples, that this is a kind of growing cancer on the American intellect, selling snake-oil and sowing confusion and ignorance.  And yet, and yet - so often the position of someone like PZ seems to rid so much of the human experience of its beauty.  His levelling down of all religious belief to a single, false, categorical proposition is ultimately impoverishing. I'm in Rome at the moment (thank God, or at least the NEH); it seems impossible to entertain the idea that it would have been better for religion never to exist - or for it to pass away altogether now - even given the injustice and stupidity it has so often been responsible for.  It has also inspired some of the greatest human achievements - and yes, even scientific ones.

But what I really wanted everyone to read was this, Philip Larkin's beautiful poem "Churchgoing" - a poem by an atheist which articulates, for me at least, the discomfort I feel at the reduction of all religious sentiment by its critics to its basest form.

Date: 2006/11/28 03:07:37, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 28 2006,00:22)
We should chip in and buy Dembski a Dover anniversary present or something.  I'm good for $10 if anyone is taking a collection.

How 'bout 60 copies of Of Pandas and People?  But if anyone asks where the money came from, deny everything....

Date: 2006/11/29 02:58:03, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote of the day:
“You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” — Who said it and how does it apply to the ID-evolution controversy?

OOOH, a RIDDLE, I LOVE riddles!!

Let's see now, the quote is from Abbie Hoffman, and it's relevant because, ummm, let's see, oh, I know! because you all did a lot of acid in the 60s too.

What do I win?

Date: 2006/11/29 17:19:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Another day, another irony meter:
Joseph  // Nov 29th 2006 at 5:49 pm

“I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”- V

'specially for Zachriel...

Date: 2006/12/02 02:35:57, Link
Author: Altabin

You just destroyed some of my happiest memories of adolescent masturbation.

Thanks, man.  That's just wrong.

Date: 2006/12/03 13:45:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 03 2006,19:56)
But Demsbki admits to being a church-burner himself:
We are the arsonists. We started the fire. God wants to rescue us not only from the fire we started but also, and more importantly, from our disposition to start fires, that is, from our life of arson.


But, surely, we didn't start the fire.  It was always burning, since the world's been turning.  No.  We didn't light it.  But we tried to fight it.

Or am I thinking of something else?

Date: 2006/12/12 04:49:57, Link
Author: Altabin
So, Dave has a post with the "alternate title": "The Sound of the Tree of Life Exploding."  This is a companion piece, one supposes, to The Sound of Circular Reasoning Exploding and The Sound of a Nested Hierarchy Shattering.

A philosophical question: If a judge's gavel falls in a courtroom, and no creationist wishes to hear it, did it really make a sound?

Coming soon, The Sound of One Tard Crapping.

Date: 2006/12/13 10:31:23, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (jujuquisp @ Dec. 13 2006,17:03)
That Judge Jones flash animation on was truly a thing of hilarity!  It was brilliant and has convinced me that i'm on the wrong side of the evolution vs. ID debate.  DOCTOR Dembski is so rad and tubular!  You have to check it out!  I'm no adolescent, but I can ALWAYS appreciate brilliant adolescent humor!

But I bet it will fire up all the adolescents who hang out over there!  Like Troutmac and O'Leary and ...

Date: 2006/12/13 10:38:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Altabin @ Dec. 13 2006,17:31)
Quote (jujuquisp @ Dec. 13 2006,17:03)
That Judge Jones flash animation on was truly a thing of hilarity!  It was brilliant and has convinced me that i'm on the wrong side of the evolution vs. ID debate.  DOCTOR Dembski is so rad and tubular!  You have to check it out!  I'm no adolescent, but I can ALWAYS appreciate brilliant adolescent humor!

But I bet it will fire up all the adolescents who hang out over there!  Like Troutmac and O'Leary and ...

Actually, Troutmac HAS seen it!  And he [HEARTS] it!

I have every reason to suspect that the Judge took a payoff from the ACLU. What reason do I have to believe otherwise?

Hmmm, I dunno. Basic human decency, I guess.  Oh, and absence of evidence. That too.

Date: 2006/12/13 14:14:59, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 28 2006,00:22)
Anyhow, I'm looking forward to some Dover anniversary hooplah.

It's all fireworks  and fart-noises over at UD and OE.

Really, if I were one of them, I'd just kind of let the whole anniversary go past without mentioning it.  So why on earth are they doing everything they can to remind everyone about the gory details?  The DI puts out a press release which sets everyone to combing through and rereading the ruling.  Dumpster, with the assistance of his "lovely wife Jana," commissions a crappy video in which the most compelling and devastating passages in the ruling are read out.  In a silly voice, and framed in farts, but still...

I'm really beginning to believe that the DI is spending its millions on top-secret, brilliant research.  Because it sure as h#ll isn't spending them on PR.

Date: 2006/12/13 16:25:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Gee, thanks for sharing that:
An early Christmas Gift from a respected professor at a Baptist seminary. Warning: it uses flatulence to poke fun at a sitting judge. A judge who ruled against the defendants whom the Kerry-esque professor sided with before he sided against.

Sometimes I just want to cuddle Heddle.

Date: 2006/12/13 17:31:25, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 14 2006,00:16)
Fear and Loathing at the Biologic Institute:

That is the place suspected of carrying out the secret ID research.

This worries me.  Over at UD we have Dembski quoting an obvious troll at PT, who (says Dembski) is advocating ideological genocide.  Either Dembski doesn't realize that Steve B is a troll or, as one commenter has speculated, he put him up to the whole thing.

Well, predictably enough Dembski's commentators (now including Troutmac!  Hi, Trouty!! ) take it deadly seriously, even going as far as to write:
7. jwrennie  // Dec 13th 2006 at 5:06 pm

It would be amusing to watch them try and do this. Do they not realise that they exist only at the allowance of a much larger (and I would guess at least in the US significanlty better armed) religious majority that is not on board with their plans.

Comment by jwrennie — December 13, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

(scary bits emphasized by me).

Clearly the ID-researchers are making atheist-specific, biological weapons.  Well, I say, bring it on!  We've got the Ebola....

Date: 2006/12/14 09:18:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Louis - your new avatar just blew my mind!

Date: 2006/12/14 15:22:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Bill has added  an addendum to his "trolls want to kill us!" thread:
[Added 12.14.06 at 12:49CST:] Some commenters are upset that I have posted this because, they suggest, this is obviously the work of an ID-supporting troll creating mischief at PT. That may be. My interest is that PT allows such comments at all, regardless of whom they are from. PT does moderate its comments. So why do posts like this remain? Could it be that the moderators are sympathetic to what Steve B. is writing, hoping that it comes true, even if they are unwilling to say it themselves? I challenge you to find comparable statements about Darwinists in UD’s comments.

The addendum is in bold, so it's verry serrious.  Amusingly, some of the commenters have gone and answered Bill's challenge, finding DaveScot and regulars yucking it up about killing atheists.

I'm finding events over at UD and OE very perplexing recently, so I dug up a copy of the Wedge Document, and discovered this passage, which explains a lot:
Phase II. The primary purpose of Phase II is to prepare the popular reception of our ideas. The best and truest research can languish unread and unused unless it is properly publicized. For this reason we seek to cultivate and convince influential individuals in pnnt and broadcast media, as well as think tank leaders, scientists and academics, congressional staff, talk show hosts, college and seminary presidents and faculty, future talent and potential academic allies. Because of his long tenure in politics, journalism and public policy, Discovery President Bruce Chapman brings to the project rare knowledge and acquaintance of key op-ed writers, journalists, and political leaders. This combination of scientific and scholarly expertise and media and political connections makes the Wedge unique, and also prevents it from being "merely academic." Other activities include production of a PBS documentary on intelligent design and its implications, and popular op-ed publishing. We will start a blog and act like retards on crystal meth.  Alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Chnstians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence's that support the faith, as well as to "popularize" our ideas in the broader culture.

I hadn't noticed that passage before.

Date: 2006/12/15 05:49:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Faid @ Dec. 15 2006,11:07)
Quote (Altabin @ Dec. 14 2006,15:22)
Bill has added  an addendum to his "trolls want to kill us!" thread:
[Added 12.14.06 at 12:49CST:] Some commenters are upset that I have posted this because, they suggest, this is obviously the work of an ID-supporting troll creating mischief at PT. That may be. My interest is that PT allows such comments at all, regardless of whom they are from. PT does moderate its comments. So why do posts like this remain? Could it be that the moderators are sympathetic to what Steve B. is writing, hoping that it comes true, even if they are unwilling to say it themselves? I challenge you to find comparable statements about Darwinists in UD’s comments.

The addendum is in bold, so it's verry serrious.

That is almost unbelievable.

If Dembski is actually not trying to make some kind of lame joke here, then that does it. He finally hit the bottom.

You just can't get more pathetic than that.

It's a standard creationist trope, to make some appalling statement, then claim that there's some deeper reason behind it.

"Yes, your honor, I did shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, but I'm actually conducting a serious research project into what happens when you shout 'Fire' in a crowded theater."

Sal Cordova has done this many times, most recently in the PZ Myers thread; see this comment especially.  The argumentum ex ididntreallydoitandanywayijustwantedtoseewhatwouldhappen, to use the technical term.

It really is beneath the level of adult discourse.  I don't let my kindergarten-age kids get away with this ("Yes, I did hit my brother, but only because I wanted to see if he would cry").  Someone needs to put Dembski in time out.

(And "time out" isn't some atheist codeword for "a gas chamber" or "Abu Ghraib," just in case we have any visitors from over there reading this.  Don't want there to be any misunderstandings).

Date: 2006/12/15 06:25:58, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 15 2006,09:05)
Playing the Judge Jones animation at OE, I noticed that the cadences and Chicago vowels of the judge's chipmunk speech resembled those of a certain disreputable intelligent design proponent.  Suspicious, I sampled the audio, slowed it down, and lowered the pitch.  Sure enough, it's Dembski.

1. Here's the original.  Fart noises have been removed for your protection.
2. The slowed-down, pitch-adjusted version which confirms that Dembski is the voice of Judge Jones.
3. For comparison, a clip from Dembski's recent sermon at the West Southwest Bible and Taxidermy College.
4. I also discovered that if you slow down Dembski's voice and play it backward, you get a prophetic message regarding the future of the Intelligent Design Movement.

What a catch!  One helluva Design Inference! Give that man a cold glass of Ebola and fresh church to burn!!

Seriously, that's a coup.  Unmistakably Dembski.  I'm just surprised that the Research Professor (the only one! ) at Southern Redneck Bible College has the time on his hands to make this recording himself.

Christmas has indeed come early this year

Nice find on the backwards masking, too.  I discovered that if you start playing the whole animation on the very first chord of Dark Side of the Moon, it sounds like complete shit.

Date: 2006/12/15 17:00:04, Link
Author: Altabin
I recently crossposted a comment from Panda's Thumb, in which a certain "WillD" said he thought all copies of the Bible should be burned, just as Charles Darwin insisted in the Origin of Species.  Some commenters have expressed some dismay, noting that (1) WillD was an obvious pro-ID troll, (2) his IP address identified him as a faculty member of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and (3) his post, if read slowly, was written in a broad Chicago accent.  That may well be the case, but I do not intend to match this pathetic level of detail.  There is a more interesting question here.  The Panda's Thumb claims to be one of the leading forums for the discussion of evolution.  They also moderate their comments.  What does it say about their vaunted quality control if they let through posts that I could have written? - WmAD

Date: 2006/12/16 04:17:04, Link
Author: Altabin
Has DaveScot been caught plagiarizing?  It certainly looks that way!

The whole "Evolution as Ptolemaic Astronomy" is wrong on so many levels, but I just cannot be bothered fisking it.  One little point, though:  we all admire Kuhn and all, but perhaps they should think whether a book written 45 years ago, with a strong philosophical agenda, is likely to represent the most up-to-date understanding of historians of science?  Kuhn's "history" was recognized to be out-dated and highly selective even when the book was published.  DT's two principal charges against Ptolemaic astronomy - that it multiplied epicycles without end and that it lacked predictive power compared both to available observational evidence and, more particularly, to the new Copernican astronomy - are both crocks of sh#t.  Kuhn trumped up these charges because he needed to demonstrate an objective crisis, one that would have created a feeling of unease among contemporary practitioners, preparing the ground for the revolutionary moment.  But no such problems existed in the Ptolemaic system, and no widespread "crisis" existed in early sixteenth-century astronomy.  That is why modern scholars have had to turn to other factors (influence of Platonism, religious considerations, notions of theoretical beauty, reassessment of the low status of mathematics and astronomy, in comparison with natural philosophy, insistence within certain branches of Aristotelianism on universal physical, material causation - no angels pushing planets) to explain the gradual change to Copernicanism.

Anyway, their history of science sucks as much as their science.

Date: 2006/12/16 10:11:21, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 16 2006,16:40)
Things are hopping over at Overweening Arrogance:

snip minuscule activity

It makes me wish I were one of the cool guys, like Bill, Jonathan, and TRoutMac -- hangin' out with the kids, trashin' Dawkins, smokin' a little weed...

Don't feel so bad that you're not in the in-crowd, Keith; you're famous:
The voice in the Judge Jones School of Law
by William Dembski on December 16th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Over at there is a flash animation featuring Judge Jones spouting inanities (inanities that he actually did write or say). There’s been a design inference made that it’s my voice in the Jones animation. A disgruntled former UD commenter KeithS slowed it down and lowered the pitch. Well, it’s true, it actually is me. But that’s only temporary. We are inviting Judge Jones to do himself. Stay tuned.

No comment needed, or even possible.

Date: 2006/12/22 04:05:21, Link
Author: Altabin
Born UK (Bristol); childhood and adolescence in New Zealand; UK for grad school and real life for a decade or so; now in Indiana; on leave in Italy!

Date: 2006/12/22 14:04:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Class act:

4. Scott  // Dec 22nd 2006 at 2:28 pm

Forrest needs to sit down, shut-it and then get back in the kitchen and fix me a chicken pot-pie.

…did i say that out loud?

Comment by Scott — December 22, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

You people are completely f#cking contemptible.

Did I just say that out loud?

EDIT: Whoops - must read whole thread before hitting SUBMIT.  Sorry.

Date: 2006/12/23 17:03:05, Link
Author: Altabin
Merry Christmas to all: whether you're spreading good cheer or Ebola, attending church on Christmas morning or just burning one down.

Date: 2006/12/24 03:26:30, Link
Author: Altabin
My favorite DaveScot post from the whining, clueless losers thread:


Suck it up yourself, Opderbeck. If you were all that much you wouldn’t be spending your time arguing with a layman about the law. Why aren’t you arguing before like the Supreme Court or something? I think we both know why.

In other words, if you're so smart, why are you talking to me?  Or, more generally, by commenting on UD you are tacitly admitting that there is nowhere more respectable that would hear your arguments.  These seem to me to be sound observations.

Date: 2006/12/24 03:30:32, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mike PSS @ Dec. 24 2006,03:49)
Hey Altabin.
Another line to add to your sig.
Quote (William Dembski @ December 23rd, 2006)
When biological evidence fails to establish Darwinian evolution, go instead for digital evidence. Here at last digital proof positive for the Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum (if Kitzmiller v. Dover wasn’t enough to sink ID, this surely will):

Cheers, don't mind if I do...

Date: 2006/12/24 03:40:16, Link
Author: Altabin
What resolutions do you have for the New Year?

Me, I'm beginning to think that laughing at the UDers is getting old.  Now that they've crossed the line into self-parody, it's becoming uncomfortably close to teasing actual retards.

I pledge to use my spare internet time I would normally have wasted by reading UD for more constructive purposes.  There's a nice Nigerian chap who wants my help transferring some funds out of the country.  And then there's all that online porn I've never got around to looking at (well, not systematically, anyway).

I'm taking the high road here - who's with me?

Date: 2006/12/26 11:43:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 26 2006,17:53)
Quote (Altabin @ Dec. 15 2006,17:00)
I recently crossposted a comment from Panda's Thumb, in which a certain "WillD" said he thought all copies of the Bible should be burned, just as Charles Darwin insisted in the Origin of Species.  Some commenters have expressed some dismay, noting that (1) WillD was an obvious pro-ID troll, (2) his IP address identified him as a faculty member of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and (3) his post, if read slowly, was written in a broad Chicago accent.  That may well be the case, but I do not intend to match this pathetic level of detail.  There is a more interesting question here.  The Panda's Thumb claims to be one of the leading forums for the discussion of evolution.  They also moderate their comments.  What does it say about their vaunted quality control if they let through posts that I could have written? - WmAD

Is this true?

It's a "faux" post - so not true, but with reference to a number of genuine recent Dembski idiocies.

Date: 2006/12/26 16:06:37, Link
Author: Altabin
This has been a great year for ID.  Yes, yes, some moaning minnies think otherwise, but I don't have any time for Mr Negative!  Nor does Ms O'Leary, who helpfully reminds us of the explosion of recent work in ID.  Her post, (which is an extract from the complete year in review on one of her blogs - I lose track of them all! ) tells us that just a few years ago, you could have reeled off the seminal ID masterworks from memory; now, however, "you need a library shelving cart and a budget to match" just to keep up with the controversy!  It's a long post, and it certainly looks like an awful lot has been going on in ID's annus mirabilis, so let's look in some detail at her "Thoughts on recent books on the intelligent design controversy: Some ways to spend your holiday cash."

The first six paragraphs actually survey the ID research published in the past, both in books and, of course, in the much-less-old-materialist-media DVD format. Not quite on-topic, especially given the rapid rate of development in ID - who would want to spend their holiday cash on an ID book five or ten years old?  It just wouldn't be current!

But now I'm being picky.  Let's move on to the new stuff:
Mike Behe's publisher, Free Press, has put out a tenth anniversary edition of Darwin's Black Box, featuring an Afterword, in which Behe reflects on the uproar that followed the 1996 publication and addresses some of his critics:

   ... although the cultural dynamic is still playing itself out, a decade after the publication of Darwin's Black Box is stronger than ever. Despite the enormous progress of biochemistry in the intervening years, despite hundreds of probing commentaries in periodicals as diverse as The New York Times, Nature , Christianity Today , Philosophy of Science, and Chronicle of Higher Education, despite implacable opposition from some scientists at the highest levels, the book's argument for design stands.

For a book that was supposed to sink out of sight amd catcalls, DBB did pretty well for Free Press (a Simon and Schuster division). Apparently, Behe is publishing a new book with Free Press in 2007, answering his critics in more detail. So contrary to rumors I have heard, FP is still interested in ID titles. (And they'd be fools not to be.)

Weeell, that's a little sneaky.  Behe's book is actually unchanged from ten years ago - and the afterword doesn't even address any of the scientific arguments made against irreducible complexity.  So, I'm afraid this one can't count as a new ID publication.

Recently, I created something of a flap over at the American Scientific Affiliation public list (which provides a wonderful window into the views and character of scientists who are anti-ID and - for the most part - also profess some state of Christianity). A number of people with time on their hands have expressed annoyance that I said that their poster child, genome mapper Francis Collins, is an intellectual lightweight, at least to judge from his recent book, The Language of God. I had previously only hinted at that. Collins' anti-ID take on the ID controversy sounds shallow and derivative, but that is certainly not the reason I regard him as a lightweight. After all, the ID controversy is not germane to his book, the key subject of which is his personal conversion to Christianity. In any event, I have spoken well of scientists such as Alister McGrath and Simon Conway Morris who are anti-ID but whose books certainly do not come across as lightweight.

No, the reason I think you should give Collins only to people who need to be reassured that a scientist can indeed be a Christian - but are not expected to think too hard about what that might actually mean - are

(1) He should have said way less about ID and found much more space for some questions directly relevant to his position, like the problem of patenting and commercialization of human gene sequences, a problem which caused his atheist predecessor Watson to walk out on principle. There is room here for a detailed ethical approach, one that will take us into the next few decades.
(2) As I noted elsewhere, he seems not to grasp that finding testable gene sequences, as he did for cystic fibrosis, mainly results in the abortion of babies who end up in the Medical Waste bucket because they are personally rejected by their parents for not having the right genes. Obviously, Collins has the right to do the research, but if he is going to walk away from a detailed examination of that issue and sing folk songs about making CF "history" instead, I cannot advise taking him very seriously. In other words, he talks about all kinds of issues, including origin of life and the universe, but not much about the issues that are germane to his position as a Christian physician and genome mapper.
(3) Most damaging, he never properly addresses the "evolutionary psychology" challenge to his claims about religious experience and the nature of the human being, mainly because he seems not to have updated his knowledge base from when C.S. Lewis was writing in the mid-twentieth century. Those challenges can, of course, be addressed and refuted, but Collins does not seem to be the man to do it.

Now, this is fascinating!  Francis Collins must be a silly little man - after all, both O'Leary and PZ agree on that!  But still, I'm stretching to see what this has to do with ID.  So, I'm afraid it has to be nul points on that one too.

Skipping some more not-taking-Collins-seriously,
Earlier this year, I reviewed Norbert Smith's  Passive Fear: Alternative to Fight or Flight, detailing Smith's research into the way many animals such as alligators may choose to neither fight nor flee a threat; they may simply reduce their metabolic rate. Animal lovers will find Smith's work of considerable interest, as it shows that much may be learned from moving a little off the broad highway of conventional ideas about animals, like "fight or flight."

I confess I didn't know this book - but, from reviews I've just read, it does seem to be influenced by ID.  Someone more elitist than I might note that this book was self-published, and is not really peer-reviewed or anything - but that's hardly in the spirit of the season.  So, the score stands at 1.

"Annoy a godless liberal; buy this book!", says Ann Coulter of Jonathan Wells' new The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. The book is in many ways an update of Icons of Evolution (2000), but the furore was a story in itself. The cover is much more fun, and the book uses sidebars, of which I am a great fan.

I like sidebars too, Denyse!  They help you keep track of those difficult, you know, words.  And this is quite definitely a major ID publication, so you're on the board with 2 points!!  It puzzles me a little that you don't mention Ann's marvelous Godless - which was, after all, Bill Dembski's major publication this year.

In a recent book, Darwinian Conservatism, Larry Arnhart argues that American conservatives should embrace Darwinism as their salvation. John West, a Discovery Institute senior fellow, argues the contrary in Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest. It would be a great idea to read both books together. Personally, I think the answer depends on what you mean by "conservatism." Currently, there seem to be about four different conservative currents: family values conservatism, free market activism, libertarianism, and old-fashioned toryism. The latter three can probably at least support Darwinism, but the family values activists not only oppose it, they contribute heavily to the fray. So promoting faith in Darwinism would probably split a conservative movement and deprive it of most of its foot soldiers.

3.  You've got 3.
Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt, also Discovery Institute fellows, have written a book,  A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature , that set me thinking about my school days. I used to think I was so lucky, studying classical literature instead of stocking shelves in the family business (as one of my brightest classmates had to rush back home to do, after his father suddenly dropped dead). contrary to the self-serving memoirs of Sixties radicals, in the mid-60s, many of us assumed we were lucky  to be in school and that classical literature had something to teach us. Actually, it did and does, but you would never know that from current courses in chimp footprint art, creative profanity, or whatever. This book links ID ideas with art and literature, offering some interesting observations on Shakespeare.

That stings a bit, because I happen to have a degree in chimp footprint art, and now teach Creative Profanity at a Research I university.  I think that was a little uncalled for, Denyse.  But still, a point is a point, so you've got 4.
Lastly, in  Darwin Strikes Back, historian of science Thomas Woodward advances the thesis that the mid-decade is a crisis point and that the battle is shifting in favor of intelligent design. He is likely right about the crisis point. For one thing, ID is spreading to many countries worldwide. One difficulty for people attempting to assess the field and determine who is winning is that contemporary popular media are nearly useless as sources of information.

OK, that's 5 publications.  That would stretch many libraries' acquisition budgets, especially when they're also paying exorbitant prices for scientific journals (in evolutionary biology, for example).  And the librarians would certainly be grateful if they had a shelving cart on hand, once they all started flooding into the library!

So, all you sourpusses out there, let's just remember what a terrific year this has been -- and hope that our friends on the ID side can provide us with as much prestigious new research in the new year!

Date: 2007/01/09 14:33:25, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Bebbo @ Jan. 09 2007,21:19)
Millions of lines of code not written using structured programming techniques. Sounds like a maintenance programmers nightmare. As for $1000 per hour, does that sound realistic to any fellow programmers in the US? I've worked in IT for 18 years in the UK and have never heard of such exhorbitant rates, even for self-proclaimed fantastic programmers like Dave.

What you're forgetting, Bebbo, is that Dave was writing cribbage programs.  People are prepared to spend the big bucks on such mission-critical software.

PS: Just got back from 2-week family vacation, away from internets, phone and even newspapers.  Have had to spend the best part of a day catching up on all the tarditude - Jaysus, do you people never sleep?

PPS: What does it say about me that after two weeks without internets yadidyadiya, I spend my time reading this site before even checking, say, the New York Times to see if the world has gone to h#ll in my absence?

[EDIT] PPPS: Apparently the world has been going to ####, as ever.

Date: 2007/01/09 17:04:39, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 09 2007,23:23)




First thing here that has LITERALLY (as DT would say) made me wet myself...

Date: 2007/01/10 04:23:59, Link
Author: Altabin
Dave bites (or, at least, gums) Febble.

I just posted this comment (not sure if Dave will allow it to appear, so pasting it here):

Since Feddle has been denied the chance to respond, this is a rather hollow declaration of victory.

I'm surely not representative of the crowd here: a non-theist who is unconvinced of strong ID claims.  But I am also surely not alone in having found Feddle's posts informative and thought-provoking.  Whether you agree with it or not, her reading both of Dr Dembski's work and the theory of evolution was subtle and highly learned.  She was also unfailingly polite, and conscientious in responding to all criticisms of her posts, from all quarters.

How can ID hope to develop as a science if its best-informed and sympathetic critics are excluded from the discussion?  Again, I am sure I am not the only one asking that question.

[EDIT] s/Feddle/Febble.  D#MN!!

Date: 2007/01/10 04:38:02, Link
Author: Altabin
Post appeared, but edited down to the first sentence.  My reply:
Since Feddle has been denied the chance to respond, this is a rather hollow declaration of victory.

Umm…. would that be like me not being able to respond on virtually every pro-evolution site on the web? Spare me the hollow victory crap. -ds

I'd prefer it if you deleted my comment altogether, rather than shortening it by more than two-thirds and adding your own commentary (which I thought Dr Dembski had specifically disallowed some time back).

In the rest of the comment, I explained why I think this is hollow victory.  Answer that question (or allow others to address it); suppressing most of my post and adding a bolded non-sequitur is a playground level of discourse.

Date: 2007/01/10 06:51:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (lkeithlu @ Jan. 10 2007,13:29)
Banning people and bragging about your intelligence, that's WORK!

Dave's actions, ironically, confirm the very thing that he banned Febble for.

Think about this: Through Dave's constant bannings and outrageous behavior, all of the intelligent UD commenters have come over to this forum, leaving the lame behind in UD.  He has, in other words, imposed a pattern or design on these two blogs, sorting almost perfectly the commenters into "smart" and "stupid" classes.

Yet DaveScot is not an intelligent agent! QED.

Date: 2007/01/10 13:51:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 10 2007,18:19)
Frankly, I give Dembski, at least, more credit for intelligence than other people do and he should jump at this chance to converse with you--but he won’t, not because you’re wrong, but because he’s stubborn.

This was a thread started by Dembski, soliciting comment from UK readers.  Then, once a UK reader actually starts commenting and discussing Dembski's own work - in critical but unflappably polite terms - he gets DaveScot to boot her without even making a single reply himself.  Honestly, put yourself in Dembski's place. If someone criticized one of my own articles in such a way, I would be flattered, and would attempt to answer in the same manner.  I wouldn't get a judge to slap a restraining order on them, or alert the FBI, or whatever the analogy is to sending in DaveScot.

Dembski does this all the time: makes a post (often a cut and paste, without even daring to express his own opinion), then goes completely silent, letting his handlers do all the work.   He's a complete chickensh*t.

People have often speculated on DT's mental state.  I think the real headcase here is Dembski.   Dave just enables his appalling behavior.  I know from experience that those who enable borderline personality/paranoid types can be even more antisocial than the sufferers themselves.

Date: 2007/01/11 01:27:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 11 2007,06:46)
I thought he was a moron too until I did some research on him. As long as people underestimate him, he gets to play this little game and get away with it. Someone needs to penetrate the stealthy, I-believe in-an-old-earth-but-am-open-to-a-young-earth, I'm-not-opposed-to-evolution, I'm-fun-not-fundy force field.

I share your conviction that he's not a moron - that, at least, sets him apart from his sycophants at UD.  I'm sure he could have been a good scholar - but he decided to misuse his talents this way.  No doubt that is part of the reason for the silence.  He's smart enough to know that if you poke ID with a stick hard enough, it will all fall down - if he actually engaged his critics, that would become obvious (as it did with Behe).

No, I just think he is a poisonous individual.  I don't pretend to know what's going on inside of him, but his behavior is just so far off the charts of what is normal.  And it's not just the nutty Christianity (though that's a big part of it).  I find, for instance, David Heddle's views on some subjects to be equally foreign to me.  But, because of the manner in which Heddle comports himself and the language with which he expresses his views, I can think of him as if he were a colleague with whom I happen to disagree strongly.  I could never think of Dembski in the same way.

Date: 2007/01/11 02:31:19, Link
Author: Altabin
As long as we're speculating on what ails the ID proponents, psychologically speaking, RSR has a fun little post  on quote-mining as a species of aphasia.

Date: 2007/01/11 06:15:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (jujuquisp @ Jan. 10 2007,18:09)
I just wanted to say:



Date: 2007/01/11 06:59:14, Link
Author: Altabin

19. DaveScot // Jan 11th 2007 at 1:26 am

It’s a real shame. We were going to line up the Salk Institute for the venue and get Ann Coulter to hype it. We still can. All Barbie Doll has to do is say the word. My commish would have paid for a weekend for me & my old lady at our favorite La Jolla hotel - La Valencia. I haven’t stayed there since I lived 45 minutes north in Irvine 14 years ago. Or even better it’d pay for a suite and a couple lobsters every night for a week south of the border on Rosarita Beach. Even if they are only Pacific lobsters Barbie’s still a real party pooper.

Comment by DaveScot — January 11, 2007 @ 1:26 am

20. DaveScot // Jan 11th 2007 at 1:43 am

Speaking of Rosarita Beach and Jesus… there isn’t anything that gets you praying better than waking up naked on Rosarita Beach Sunday morning with a mouthful of sand, an empty bottle of tequila, and no idea which hotel is yours. The first thing you pray for is a fig leaf before you go looking for your car.

Comment by DaveScot — January 11, 2007 @ 1:43 am

My commish?  Ann Coulter?  Barbie Doll?  Me and my old lady?  Naked on Rosarita Beach?  Posted, you note, at 1:43 am.  Apparently on smack.

Date: 2007/01/11 08:15:25, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (carlsonjok @ Jan. 11 2007,14:08)
Quote (jujuquisp @ Jan. 11 2007,06:19)
The POPE speaks:
18. William Dembski  // Jan 11th 2007 at 1:06 am

apollo230: The point is not to spare Barbara or me stress, but to disabuse people that Barbara is misleading. Also, you might leave it between God and me just how much of the peace of Christ I am experiencing — I frankly don’t see you in a position to judge that. And finally, you might want to consider how the theme of warfare and conflict plays out in the Old and New Testaments — did Christ have the peace of God when he drove the money changers out of the temple? And doesn’t Jeremiah remonstrate with those “who say Peace, Peace, but there is no peace”?

Comment by William Dembski — January 11, 2007 @ 1:06 am

"Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter."

:D  :D

I imagine the Great Debate will go something like this:

Barbara: Hey Bill, did you wet the bed last night?
Bill: Hey Barbara, did you take a dump in your bed last night?
Barbara: I could kick your butt Bill so I'd shut up
Bill: Why don't you go tell your mom to shut up
Barbara: What'd you say?
Bill: Whatever I feel like I wanna say
Barbara: Did you say something about my mom?
Bill: Maybe I did and maybe I didn't
Barbara: Do you wanna die Bill?
Bill: Yeah right. Who's the only one here who knows the illegal ninja moves from the government?

Date: 2007/01/12 01:27:22, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (djmullen @ Jan. 12 2007,07:55)
From the "Truly Programmable Matter" thread:      
4. antg // Jan 11th 2007 at 4:32 am


In your hypothetical university, would you be happy for for the faculty to freely follow any research avenue they wish, including (naturalistic) evolution?

Comment by antg — January 11, 2007 @ 4:32 am
5. William Dembski // Jan 11th 2007 at 9:00 am

antg: Yes, provided the university doesn’t have to pay the bill for their research.

Comment by William Dembski — January 11, 2007 @ 9:00 am

Yeah, why pay people to do research that's just going to disprove Bill's cherished illusions?

But at least ID does seem to have come up with a research program:

20. William Dembski // Jan 10th 2007 at 5:13 pm

jb, bFast, GilDogden: Is there an ID prediction here — things in biology that at first seem stupid (to Darwinian eyes) will on closer inspection show themselves to be clever and necessary.

Comment by William Dembski — January 10, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

21. Atom // Jan 10th 2007 at 5:38 pm

@WmAD #20:

Why not, it happened with the inverted retina, right?

Comment by Atom — January 10, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

22. GilDodgen // Jan 10th 2007 at 6:09 pm

jb, bFast, GilDogden: Is there an ID prediction here — things in biology that at first seem stupid (to Darwinian eyes) will on closer inspection show themselves to be clever and necessary.


That’s precisely the prediction. Instead of looking at a biological system and saying, “Look what a silly thing Darwinian processes threw together,” perhaps we should be saying, “There’s undoubtedly a reason why this system is designed the way it is. Let’s try to figure out what aspect of the problem we are overlooking.”

My question is, Which approach is the real science stopper?

It was good enough to be repeated by a commenter in another thread:
12. a5b01zerobone  // Jan 11th 2007 at 12:22 pm

jb, bFast, GilDogden: Is there an ID prediction here — things in biology that at first seem stupid (to Darwinian eyes) will on closer inspection show themselves to be clever and necessary.

This is an interesting news flash about how Darwinists jump to conclusions.

Study: Hobbit Humans ‘Impossible’

Comment by a5b01zerobone — January 11, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

Got that?  Write it down!  This is the new paradigm of future research.  Scientists will from henceforth look at "stupid" things and try and see if they are, umm, "clever."  Precise, quantifiable definitions of both terms are forthcoming any day now...

But over at Pharyngula, in the thread on WAD's "kill all the biologists" fantasy, a real biological engineer weighs in:

I cannot tell you how difficult it is for us engineers to step back and say "we're wasting our time here, there is probably no good reason why this particular system evolved this way, it is just how it happened". It goes against the fundamental way engineers are taught to think. But it is a lesson we all have to learn, because unless you keep in mind that these systems were not designed with an end goal in mind you will beat your head against a wall trying to come up with some logical reason for some stupid biological feature when there simply isn't one. I have seen it many times before.

Well then, sir, you're just not looking at it with the eye of faith.  Somehow I don't think President Dembski will be keeping you around.

Date: 2007/01/12 14:14:18, Link
Author: Altabin
Hey, where's Church Lady?  Don't get me wrong, there's been some fine tard in the last few weeks 'n' all - but I need a drop of the hard stuff...

Date: 2007/01/12 16:00:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 12 2007,22:07)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 12 2007,14:56)
Quote (k.e @ Jan. 12 2007,03:45)
Wow. I just struck the motherload.

Top atheist quotes

Some of those (read most), I found funny. Especially the church steeple with the lightning conductor.

However the "dark ages" quote I found contrary. IIRC the "dark ages" in England are the years that churches got burned. This destroyed historical records. Hence those years became dark in a historical perspective. No records available to "shed light" etc.

Now I may very well be wrong on this as my "enlightenment" was via TV. But I think that in England the "dark ages" refer mainly to northern England as the Viking settlers destroyed churches (and all the records they held) leading to a dearth of knowledge of what actually occured in those years.

Meanwhile in southern England, Churches continued to maintain lists of birth/marriage/death etc.

EDIT: Very rough POV. Feel free to destroy it.
EDIT2: I really do not mind my POV being destroyed. Especially if I learn from it.

i think you're right about the dark ages. The loss of Church records and other codified knowledge not the fault of religion. That is not to say that anti-intellectualism doesn't run through religion *glares at UD*. It was also a crappy time for the unwashed massed as well, (Feudal system?) and so the term dark works on a couple levels.

As I understand it, the feudal system was a great improvement on the complete chaos of the "dark ages."  (I remember a colleague once saying that the 9th century was the single worst time to be alive in the entire history of Europe).  During this period, the church really did provide the only thing resembling order and civilization - though they were not yet the political force and secular power they became in the high middle ages and Renaissance.  Also, thanks to the compromises hammered out in late antiquity between Christianity and pagan learning, churchmen preserved, recopied and even read the classics of Latin literature and philosophy.  The notion that religion was responsible for the collapse of learning and science is very unfair - pretty much a product of nineteenth-century anticlericalism.

Date: 2007/01/15 02:24:05, Link
Author: Altabin
Warning!  Set irony meters to lowest possible sensitivity before reading this post by Gil Dodgen:
In this, Part 3 in a series of posts based on the Q&A section of the recently released DVD, The Case for a Creator, I offer Jonathan Wells’ comments in response to the question, How do you explain the Cambrian explosion of life?

How did it happen? We don’t have the foggiest idea how it happened. Assuming a jellyfish was the common ancestor — I don’t believe that — but how do you turn a jellyfish into a trilobite? How do you turn a jellyfish into a fish with a backbone? How do you do it? I don’t just mean taking a scalpel and rearranging the parts like you’re doing a collage in third-grade art class. We’re talking about a living animal here, that reproduces itself and makes more things like itself. How do you do it? We don’t have the foggiest idea.

To try to explain this away by saying Darwin’s theory accounts for it is a science-stopper. It’s the biggest science-stopper of modern history. It stops your inquiry right there. You have no more questions. Oh, all these animals just appeared. That’s not science.

"Oh, all these animals just appeared" - whereas ID prefers, as we know, to go into tedious detail about how it all happened.

On a related subject, in's "God is in the bold-faced words" post, the commenter apollo230 proposes a plausible research program for ID:

My instinct tells me that we have to go beyond asserting design to actually trying to find the designer, and catching them in the act of re-morphing a genome. Apprehending the specifics of a designer actually re-casting a fruit fly’s genes (or that of any other species) would clearly tell us more than a mere assertion of design would.

This is precisely what I've always thought: if ID really did have the ability to detect the injection of design into living things, it would be the most extraordinarily exciting discovery in the history of science.  Biologists would be meticulously examining these unambiguously "designed" objects to discover exactly how and when the designer works.  The fact that even the DI's Potemkin lab isn't pursuing this research speaks volumes.

In the quote above, Wells seems to dismiss the possibility of ever understanding - or even attempting to understand - the Cambrian "explosion."  And apollo230's reasonable suggestion is not met with much enthusiasm either:

11:25 pm
Apollo230, are you actually a troll, or do you only “give the appearance of being a troll”?

Date: 2007/01/15 03:40:34, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 15 2007,10:29)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Jan. 15 2007,03:02)
OK, own up, who's sockpuppeting citizenbob? Whoever you are, keep it up :)

Wow! That is funny stuff. I bet it will all dissapear soon.
Methinks you may have blown someones cover. Then again it could possibly be someone asking seriously.

Holy sh*t, I completely missed the citizenbob discussion which preceded this - that's the most insane thing I've ever read.

It's hard to pick out a favorite gem from such a trove of glittering tard - but one ended up in my sig.

I'm off to put stickers in some of my own books!!

Date: 2007/01/15 10:21:49, Link
Author: Altabin
With the citizenbob thread - sockpuppetry or not - we really have hit the motherlode of stupid.

I was just wondering... if naturalism is holding back biology, then what must it be doing for other sciences: Physics, astronomy, aviation, dentistry... you name it.


Date: 2007/01/15 12:18:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 15 2007,19:03)

Marvelous stuff. What are the odds that bob is a regular here?


(It's not me, I hasten to add.  And I'm not at all convinced it is a sockpuppet.   There are, after all, plenty of UD regulars who are quite retarded enough to be posting this.  Personally, I think citizenbob is Michael7's son.  Maybe his lovechild with O'Leary.  What do you think a child from that infernal coupling would be like?  Exactly.

Let's not close this down just yet).

Date: 2007/01/15 16:15:46, Link
Author: Altabin
OK, so Dembski posts from some humor site a picture of an empty cage, with a sign on it reading:
The Intelligent Design Zoo presents: The "Empty" Cage.  This cage is empty ... for now.  Since God created everything by just "placing" it on earth, we are welcoming him to create another creature by just magically "putting" it in this cage.  We look forward to seeing what He comes up with.

He poses the provocative question:
If the challenge below were met, would it be evidence for ID or for teleportation?

The comments are simply unbelievable (all quotes below from different comments).  A lot of the regulars get upset about the blasphemy of this situation:
Reminds me of the people gathered around the cross at the crucifiction demanding that Jesus call down angels to rescue himself “if he’s who he said he was…”. As if God would respond to this kind of mocking demand.

Hmm, well, it's just a crappy Photoshop.  That seems a little OTT.  It's not like there's a real cage or something.
I’m sure God feels very welcome here. He’s being invited to do a circus animal trick, on their terms and not on his. What kind of special treat will they give him if he does it? I’m sure they’re trying hard to think of some favor that would impress him, and he’s just waiting until they come up with it.

Suppose some yet unknown organism was discovered in the cage. Would Darwinists not attribute it’s appearance to known laws of physics and chemistry anyway?

What if a spider should be found crawling on one of the bars? I guess they’d have to accept that as proof of ID considering how they set up their experiment.


Finally Atom, who wins the AtBC prize this week for being the sharpest tool in a very dull box, puts them all out their misery:

I don’t know if you guys noticed, but the words seem photoshopped on an old picture…look closely at the sign…you can see where they “smudged” brown over the old text.

It isn’t a real experiment, just some joker who doesn’t understand ID displaying that fact to the world.

Sometimes I think Dembski should charge for access to UD.  This amount of comedy shouldn't come free.

Date: 2007/01/17 02:05:14, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 17 2007,05:36)
I still have no idea why he wasn't banned for one years worth of trolling by two different people, but I agree that that best way of dealing with him now is simply to ignore him.

I haven't followed the GoP threads at all.  But I've heard lots of references recently to his having admitted to trolling for the past year.  Which thread, and when did he admit this?

Date: 2007/01/17 07:25:58, Link
Author: Altabin
In the last couple of days, Dembski has posted two ID experiments to UD: the empty cage, and the green goo.

Do you think he's working on a science fair project?

If so, Bill, there are lots of other neat ideas here!

Some of my favorites:

14. Can salt water and fresh water fish live in the same water or not?

Guess that one has something to do with the Flood.
53. Were all the animals friendly to man before the Flood? Idea: raise several baby animals like snake and mouse together to see if they remain friends as they are older.

That one may not have such a happy ending.  Next time try it with a lion and a lamb.

65. What affects skin color? Is one color better than another? What was God's purpose in this?

Riiight. [backs away slowly]

22. Could a person function without thumbs? or What would it be like to not have thumbs?

8. How much voltage or current can a human take before he is killed? Could do experiments on a plant.

Or you could do them on the guy whose thumbs you just cut off.

49. How does friction work?

Remember, kids, always use plenty of lube...

Date: 2007/01/17 09:32:26, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Jan. 17 2007,15:56)
TroutMac comes clean about Creationism and ID
These folks are so bankrupt that they're playing games with the language so as to cover their tracks. They talk out of both sides of their mouth, twist definitions to suit their whim for that moment. They hope that the ignorant will fall for their charade just because they call themselves "scientists" and this, they think, gives them credibility enough to make any claim they want. The problem is, many people are ignorant enough to fall for it. They're not about explaining and clarifying evolution… anything but that. They want to confuse the issue - while appearing to have explained something - as much as possible. We just don't understand because we're not scientists like they are.

Well, change "evolution" for ID and it's accurate!
This guy is dumb dumb dumb

From the same thread:
If something is truly random, it has no meaning or purpose. If it has meaning or purpose, it ain't random. Meaning and purpose imply design or maybe a better word is intent. Only intelligence can produce "intent". How many people believe that a rock, for example, can "intend" for something to happen? If anything has a purpose, an intent behind it, then it is designed by an intelligence.

Trouty, dude, if you're going to be a teleologist at least be an educated one.  Aristotle dealt with the fallacy of ascribing intention to nature a good while back now.  Natural processes (he says) act to an end, but do so without forethought or deliberation.  If something has such and such an essence, then its internal principle of change (or its "nature") will drive its development so that it can best perform the functions appropriate to that essence.  As he lays it out, especially in Physics II and Parts of Animals I, nature is exactly as if it were designed, except that there is no designer - just as a spider produces a web which is as it were designed, yet the spider never engages in the kind of deliberation characteristic of a human designer.  The appearance - and reality - of design is brought about by individuals each developing (through the interaction of their internal principle with the environment) so as to perform the functions appropriate to their way of life as well as they can.  Aristotle's brilliant analysis shows that an external designer - such as the Demiurge of Plato's Timaeus - is an illusion.

You could also benefit, Fishboy, from thinking about what he has to say in the Physics about chance, coincidence and necessity.  (I'll leave it someone else to make the obvious point about rolling a die and never getting a seven.)

Sorry to go on about it, but it's still one of my great disappointments that ID (or UD) is so intellectually shallow.  As a historian of science with an interest in classical philosophy, I first looked at UD and ID literature with some hopes that it would at least be interesting, if still wrong: I expected to find a re-appreciation of pre-scientific teleological natural philosophy: Aristotelianism, Neoplatonist emanationism, Stoic materialism.  Instead, apart from DT's empty and aggressive bluster, all I could see was a thousand ways of saying "Goddidit."  They make assertions about "design," "intelligence," "chance" and "intention," yet never bother even to reflect on what they mean by these terms, still less take account of 2000-odd years of human conversation about these very issues (apart from the conversations of literalist theologians).

EDIT: typos

Date: 2007/01/17 09:36:31, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 17 2007,16:00)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 17 2007,02:05)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 17 2007,05:36)
I still have no idea why he wasn't banned for one years worth of trolling by two different people, but I agree that that best way of dealing with him now is simply to ignore him.

I haven't followed the GoP threads at all.  But I've heard lots of references recently to his having admitted to trolling for the past year.  Which thread, and when did he admit this?

The initial announcement was made in the LUCA thread, last October 13th:


Date: 2007/01/17 09:43:20, Link
Author: Altabin
Fishboy, again:
I've caught folks trying to tell me that DNA is a random assembly of nucleotide base pairs. Random. Think about it… if DNA were "random", I should have no reasonable expectation that my offspring would be human.

God's foreskin, these people are so f*cking stupid.

(BTW, creationists should never use the phrase "think about it."  It only reminds the reader that they haven't.)

Date: 2007/01/17 12:53:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 17 2007,19:43)
“Sal! Write something about how parabolas have two focii, and watch Boom Boom freak again.”

In the big tent, there's room for a range of opinions on the parabola focus controversy.  One.  Two.  None.  Seventeen.  They're all good.

Date: 2007/01/17 14:56:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Jan. 17 2007,21:43)
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 17 2007,14:00)
What, Scunthorpe Alloy Services?

Salvation Army Singers.

Are you pair of bastards calling me northern or a god squadder?

Could one of you explain to us Yanks where northerners rank in the British pecking order?

All you need to know is that Louis is a soft southern bastard.

(Actually, so am I, come to think of it).

Date: 2007/01/17 15:41:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (phonon @ Jan. 17 2007,22:25)
46. Where are teeth stored?
On a necklace. Duh.

Weeping.  LITERALLY weeping.

Date: 2007/01/17 16:16:34, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 17 2007,22:47)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 17 2007,15:41)
P.S. I'm joking. There is no real hierarchy. The stereotype is that all northerners are unemployed but "real men" and all southerners are rich but soft, shandy drinking wankers. Sadly the stereotype is....pretty accurate really!

In my experience, all Englishmen can agree to hate one thing: Liverpudlians.


For American readers who are confused about the whole North-South thing, here is a link to an actual documentary about Liverpudlians (or "scouse gits" as they are known affectionately in the South) which should go a long way to clarifying it.

Date: 2007/01/18 02:53:48, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (2ndclass @ Jan. 18 2007,01:50)
How come none of you mentioned this Kazmer Ujvarosy guy until recently?  I can't believe you would hold out on me like this.  The man is an absolute gem.  I'm still trying to decide whether he's another invention of Lou FCD.

Yeah, both Ujvarosky's magazine article (whoops!, sorry, "peer-reviewed paper") and quizzlestick's fawning puffery are completely beyond parody.

The elusive Higgs boson – so vital to the Standard Model of particle physics that it is dubbed “the God particle” – is identical with the genotype of the phenotype universe, and each human genome is its reproduction. Based on this identification we posit that mass-giving is life-giving because the elementary particles that come into contact with the cosmic seed's biofield or quantum vacuum receive their mass and property as a result of that interaction.

If Kazmer were still laboring under the shackles of materialism would any of this have been possible? Of course not – these are the kinds of discoveries that can only come about when we first reject the rigid dogma of the philosophy behind atheism and Darwinism's only life-support.

The 'shrooms must help, too.

Date: 2007/01/18 02:57:36, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 17 2007,22:20)
Guy Ritchie you talentless twat, Sort it awwwt, its a daaaarn saaaarf fing, innit geezer? You're about as London as Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins, you're a propper art-school tarquin you muppet.

More old British comedy

Oh, and this one's for k.e.

[Must. Get. Back. To. Work.]

Date: 2007/01/18 07:11:45, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 18 2007,13:31)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 17 2007,07:25)
53. Were all the animals friendly to man before the Flood? Idea: raise several baby animals like snake and mouse together to see if they remain friends as they are older.

That one may not have such a happy ending.  Next time try it with a lion and a lamb.

DaveScot claims you quoted the Bible. But I don't see any quotemarks.

Sweet!  And I didn't even know I had been banned!  Anyway, it's given me a new sig.
He misquoted the bible of course.

1: It wasn't a quote, it was an allusion.

2: You really want to make an issue of this, Dave?  Then take it up with Jesusart.  No, somehow I didn't think you would.

3: Cute pets (we can all be friends when it comes to ickle animals, can't we?  Even though, as a Darwinist, I regularly drown kittens just to improve my odds in the struggle for existence.  Those little f*ckers will take your food if you don't get them first).

Date: 2007/01/18 09:18:00, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 18 2007,16:08)
Awww, the kitty and the puppy get along!

Hold on... lower left of the picture... the red thing... is that a dog toy or a butt plug?

Date: 2007/01/18 09:48:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 18 2007,16:42)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 18 2007,10:18)
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 18 2007,16:08)
Awww, the kitty and the puppy get along!

Hold on... lower left of the picture... the red thing... is that a dog toy or what?? a butt plug?

A rhetorical comment leaves a little bit to the imagination.  It's also self-censored for fragile little minds.  The rest of us will probably get what's inferred anyway.

No, that would be way too subtle for me.  I would probably amend my comment to: "Hold on... lower left of the picture... the red thing... is that a dog toy or a butt plug?  And, if it is a butt plug, has it been up Dave's butt?  And now the dog is playing with it?  That's gross."  There, much clearer!  (Though you are right - sorry if I did gross anyone out).

More on-topic: that thread is puttering along nicely now.  Is it my imagination, or is it all YEC all the time at UD these days?  They can't talk about anything without bringing in the Flood.  Any pretence, even, that it's not about religion has fallen away.  (Yet, the next time someone in the media uses the term "creationist" to refer to ID,  you can bet everyone will be jumping up and down and asking where journalists get these ideas from).

Date: 2007/01/18 12:22:59, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Faid @ Jan. 18 2007,17:45)
OMG, is Dave defending the plausibility of the Pre-Fall world now?


Hey Dave, that "Radiometric dating method exploding" post is long overdue...


D#MN! Now I get it!  I really thought that he was just posting pictures of his pets -- kind of a Friday cat-blogging thing -- and then the YEC retards leapt all over it.  But it was (implicitly) YEC from the start -- and they just picked up on the coded cues.

Little slow on the uptake today.

Date: 2007/01/19 03:50:55, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Jan. 19 2007,10:03)

God, the cover-illustrations on these ID books.  Why not just put on a big f3cking sticker saying "Self-published"?

Date: 2007/01/19 14:55:18, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 19 2007,19:34)
Quote (TRoutMac @ 2007-01-19, 16:11)
Goldstein wrote:
"if ID is not relgious, why are you using an example from the Old Testament?"

If Darwinism is religiously neutral, then why shouldn't someone use an example from the Old Testament?

He, he. Gotcha. Darwinism won't allow for the possibility that the Bible might just be a legitimate historical document. It's not religiously neutral at all. This is why they seek to exclude it from discussion.

Here's another stumper for you: If ID is really a just religious view, then why would folks of many different religious persuasions, including those that would not hold the Bible as a religious authority, be interested in it?

Intelligent (Graphic) Designer

In the past, Steve has cautioned us that we should try to go beyond "WTF is wrong with these people" - but really, what the F*CK is wrong with these people.

Aquaman above is a special kind of scary stupid.  Other creationists have their minds warped with religious dogma, and only hear what they want to hear - but are still (to a small extent) aware that there is a distinction between scientific and religious discourse.  They can't just quote the Bible; they have to come up with something that looks like a scientific argument, even if it's completely vacuous.  The Man from Atlantis, on the other hand, seems absolutely incapable even of distinguishing between the types of thought.  With him, you really feel that 400 years of history just didn't happen.

And then there's his worrying hostility towards scientists, the violence of which Kristine has already expressed her concern about - and yes, in belated response to her post, it really bothers me too; what got me into creationist-watching was not so much the specific falsehoods they spew, but the deeper anti-intellectual and anti-cultural fascism that lies at its root of it all, one which is becoming part of the mainstream of American life in a way that was unthinkable a few years ago. This is why I can't be as sanguine as, say, Lenny has been in the past.  ID may have been squashed at Dover, but the deeper cancer hasn't been eradicated - not even close.

By the way, anyone know anything about Mario A. Lopez of "Ciencia alternativa," who seems to be a regular over there?  He does little more that parrot Dembski and Behe - at least in the couple of posts I've read from him (including the one in this same thread).

Date: 2007/01/19 16:26:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 19 2007,23:17)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 19 2007,16:12)
"evolution can't explain"
"just so stories"
Peppered Moths

Certainly we can take ID Bingo much further than this. I suggest adding:

"Chance worshipper"
"Explanatory filter"


can super code-monger Wesley create a page that randomly fills in a 5x5 matrix from a list?
Just put "ID" in the middle as a freebee, then we can play on threads!

Design     Telic     Atheist    Flagella   NDE

God         IC          CSI         behe      Just so Stories

Gaps       Darwinist   ID!      SloT       Evo can't explain

materialist  Jesus   Faith      h311       Peppered moth

Marines     Dell     Millionaire    Houseboat   Mushrooms

Summin like that?

You forgot "homo."

Date: 2007/01/20 02:09:39, Link
Author: Altabin
Hovind blogging just before the sentence:
Please pray for us and Judge Casey Rogers on Friday morning, January 19, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.  Judge Rogers can rule in any number of ways.  Pray specifically for an acquittal to be granted or that the Eleventh Circuit will grant our motion for release and turn the case over on appeal.  The acquittal would be best for all involved.

Pray specifically... wow.

Date: 2007/01/20 13:30:57, Link
Author: Altabin
Y'know, I thought you were, Richard.  I hope that no one from OE/UD reads your post, though.  It would be a shame if you were banned.

Date: 2007/01/20 13:54:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Faid @ Jan. 20 2007,20:44)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 20 2007,13:30)
Y'know, I thought you were, Richard.  I hope that no one from OE/UD reads your post, though.  It would be a shame if you were banned.


If Richard is Trout, who will be left  to ban him?


But Richard, as Troutmac, you were never given administrative powers over OE, were you (though it would have been cool if you had been)?  I'm sure that that's left to Patrick, SChen etc.

Anyway, we should probably all keep stumm about this.  Richard/Troutmac has provided a great deal of entertainment; I don't want it to end quite yet!

Date: 2007/01/20 14:32:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Well, here's how, as a Bible-believing Christian, I think humans are "better" than animals: Because God created humans to be a finite representation of Himself. He didn't create animals to represent Himself in the same way. We have a conscience… an innate concept of morality. Animals do not. It's amazing that a professor at a Christian university doesn't understand this.

This is too obvious trollery.  Remember, ID has nothing to do with religion.  Try to keep in character, Richard.  They'll be on to you.

I'll shut up now.   ;)

Date: 2007/01/21 09:26:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 20 2007,19:33)
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 19 2007,15:33)
Quote (jeannot @ Jan. 19 2007,15:59)
I saw this video before and I thought it was a fake.

Are you calling Richard Attenborough a fake? :O

Careful jeannot, or the cross-channel mud-slinging will commence.  ;)

I agree with the sentiment but don't you mean Sir David Attenborough?

Here he is again on crows. Fascinating stuff.

Man that dude has made some amazing TV. We are lucky to have him.

Poking around Google video, I find that the whole of Life on Earth has been uploaded there.  I haven't seen that since I was a kid - and it's all but impossible to get a (hard)copy of the video!  I plan a nostalgic viewing of the whole series over the next week.

Date: 2007/01/22 01:59:54, Link
Author: Altabin
I'm somewhere in the middle on the "ID is dead" argument.

I think they *are* making efforts to regroup and rethink and, eventually, start making political mischief again.

But they're led by people who are not only incompetent but, fatally, have no political instincts whatsoever.  Dembski - absolutely zero.  Keeping UD going is by itself evidence of political tone-deafness.

There are only so many iterations of anti-evolution that can be played out.  I do feel that, with ID, the most "sciencey" sounding of them, they've played their last card there.  It will be all but impossible to come up with another way of putting lipstick on that particular pig.

As far as intellectual direction goes (and I use the word "intellectual" loosely), I would put money on the tards giving up on evolution and shifting their attention to psychology.

First, there's the "argument from personal incredulity," which is stronger here than anywhere else.  Even I find it difficult really to believe that my personality and conciousness is an emergent property of material processes - a fortiori for even a moderately religious person.  There is also a respectable philosophical tradition of dualism, which still pokes its head above the parapet from time to time.  I expect them to evoke this tradition, and to be able to find plenty of respectable, contemporary philosophers to offer support - not just Plantinga this time.

Secondly, they have been making noises in that direction for some time.  (I've been googling for the following posts, but haven't been able to find them - maybe someone else recalls them?) Some time ago, Dembski actually replied to commenter in a thread he started.  The commenter said that for Dembski really to succeed in his anti-evolution campaign, he would have to undermine the material basis of consciousness.  Dembski replied, very tersely, that that was his long-term goal.  Then we had DT, quite recently, talking about "some research" which shows that brains do not do the thinking themselves, but act as radio receivers, picking up signals from an immaterial consciousness "outside."  Odds on that this is DI/super-secret-ID-mailing-list stuff.  Finally, Church Lady is about to come out with her godawful book on this very subject.

Lenny, it may be the case that the demographics of the US are changing, but so are the ethnic groups themselves.  In particular, in the Latino community fundevangelicalism is the single fastest growing religion - and it is growing faster in that group than anywhere else.  We fret about the midwestern white kids being sent off to Jesus camp - but we also need to worry about the enormous political and cultural shift happening in the Latino community.  I think this alone will ensure the survival both of the Republicans and the fundamentalist movement in the States.

Date: 2007/01/24 03:07:10, Link
Author: Altabin
DaveScot, military analyst (my bold below):

Well Jim [Webb], I was a Marine at the end of the Vietnam war. I didn’t go, it was mostly over by then, but one thing I noticed was that all the non-commissioned officers senior to me were real combat veterans. They knew how to survive guerilla warfare in an Asian backwater. Me and my generation of Marines, all we did was play at wargames 4 weeks a year in the Mojave desert. No one was trying to kill us, no foreign language was spoken by the natives, no guerillas in civilian clothes running around, none of that. After 30 years of that kind of experience our military was virtually without anyone in any rank who’d had actual combat experience. Here’s the deal Jim. In order to have an effective force in fighting guerilla and urban wars in Arab countries we need actual combat veterans seasoned in that type of warfare leading the unseasoned troops.

That's the most ass-backward justification I've ever heard for the Iraq war: we need the Iraq war to create seasoned veterans, in order to fight the Iraq war (and the other ones we set off in the Middle East).  Iraq is just like Vietnam, but in a good way.  And Bush has managed this war even better than Vietnam:
Now we have an effective force led by NCOs who know how to survive urban and guerilla wars in Arab countries. And Bush managed to build that force without losing 58,000 American lives as were sacrificed in Vietnam but rather limited the losses to 3,000.

A brilliant strategy.

Drop and give me 500 Webb, then issue an apology to the public you tried to deceive.

I think you meant to say, "Drop and give me 500, homo".  If you're going to be a self-parody, at least try to be accurate.

Date: 2007/01/24 04:41:11, Link
Author: Altabin

Littlejon, I realize of course that it's difficult for us to imagine living to 900 years of age. But just because it's difficult for us to imagine it doesn't mean that it didn't happen. And as for breaking the laws of physics, don't you think that, hypothetically speaking, if God had the power to create the laws of physics that He'd also have the power to suspend them at will? After all, a God that's bound by the laws of physics could not have created the laws of physics and, frankly, isn't really any different than you or I.

Think about it, Littlejon… do you think that the laws of physics are eternal?

Richard/"Troutmac", this is too tardly to be plausible. I mean, "just because it's difficult for us to imagine it doesn't mean that it didn't happen"??  You might as well say, "Just because it's difficult to imagine that the world emerged from the body of the ice-giant Ymir, it doesn't mean it didn't happen"; or "Just because it's difficult to imagine that Huitzilpochtli the humming-bird god has demanded the sacrifice of beating human hearts, it doesn't mean it didn't happen."

Or even, "just because it's difficult for us to imagine that all life descends from a common ancestor, through random variation and natural selection, it doesn't mean it didn't happen."

And stop using the phrase "think about it," when your sockpuppet obviously hasn't.

We don't want you to get yourself banned from OE, or anything.  ???

Date: 2007/01/24 07:35:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 24 2007,13:36)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 24 2007,04:41)
Richard/"Troutmac", this is too tardly to be plausible.

TRoutMac is a doughy-looking guy name Peter Chadwell who lives in Bend, Oregon.

On the basis of the dopey photo he uses at Overweening Ungulates  I would have sworn he was a lonely hebephile attempting to ingratiate himself with the teens.  Instead, he's got a pleasant-appearing wife, two small children and a new home in the suburbs. (Which doesn't mean...). He does a lot of fly fishing and looks like he could be a likable guy, so long as you confine the conversation to catching flies with a hook.  

Trout came up in his dad's print shop and trained at an art institute in Seattle. He appears to be unencumbered by science education or knowledge of evolutionary biology. These are perfect qualifications for the Discovery Institute, and he has at least two pro-ID essays that were originally published in the local newspaper reposted at the DI website.  

A Christmas wreath was stolen from his front door in December.  He literally called the police and thereby made it into the local police blotter. (Unless there is another guy named Peter Chadwell in Bend, in which case I hit the wrong address and should return the wreath).

OK, OK, just having a little fun here....

[Putting on tinfoil hat]

But all those so-called biographical details are just too tardaliciously perfect.  Could it be that Richard has cunningly laid a false trail for us, just as the Creator seeded the rocks with "old" fossils?  As Troutmac himself might say, "I have every reason to suspect that Richard T Hughes invented Troutmac. What reason do I have to believe otherwise?"  The avatar, for instance, is quite clearly DaveScot's little brother.  How Richard got hold of that, I don't know.

[Removing tinfoil hat]

Eccch, reality is just too boring.

Date: 2007/01/24 15:21:52, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 24 2007,22:03)
the TARD LIBERTATION FRONT might be thinking of a coup..




3:48 pm

I knew I should have limited comments to just those who’ve served in my beloved corps. Frankly, if you haven’t served in the military yourself I don’t think you deserve an opinion. Put that in your bunched up panties and sit on them.

Oh how I'll laugh when BLipey twats him.

First time I read that, I thought it said "just those who’ve served in my beloved corpse."  That wasn't a nice thought.

Comments have been closed and "disappeared."

Date: 2007/01/25 00:23:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Granddad, what did you do in the war against Darwinism:
Increasinginly I find that those with doctorates in the natural and engineering sciences are asking, “What can I do to help in the fight against Darwinism?” For some this will involve research bearing directly on Darwinian theory. But there is also another way to help. Many in the media and the public still do not know that there is scientific dissent from Darwinism. They have no idea that MANY scientists are skeptical of neo-Darwinian theory.

Well sure, you could do research if you really want.  But the exciting work is in blogging and issuing press releases!

In the comments, Sal reports proudly:
The DI list is about to over take the StevoMeter.

I don't think Sal gets the irony behind the Steve list.

Date: 2007/01/25 04:43:32, Link
Author: Altabin
I'm not going to address any of the scientific issues here - others are more qualified than I am to do that!  But what you have to say about your religious sentiments interests me.  I'm picking out two or three passages (not in their original order):

I believe that God is everything, absolutely everything. I came to this conclusion myself, but years later found out it is also Hindu. So I am a monist, but it was years before I heard the term.


There are a few things I identify with: Sufism, monism, panentheism, taoism.

I guess I do have a problem with the idea of unplanned or unguidedness, because I don't like to think there is no mind of God. However, I also don't believe in a personal God, and that is somewhat hard to reconcile, so that's an issue I struggle with.

There are a couple of reasons why this interests me.  First, when I do think about God, or the possibility of God, it's in the terms you describe in the first two quotes.  For me, God is either absolutely everything (and inseparable from everything), or nothing at all.  For many reasons (which I won't go into here - I'm sure you've been led to the same thoughts) the notion of a personal, "separable" God is absurd to me.  That is why I prefer to call myself a non-theist, rather than an atheist.  I'm not certain that the word "divine" has no reference, and I find Taoism, some Gnostic writings etc. to be very moving - to hit some truth which ordinary discourse doesn't reach. But I'm quite certain that there isn't a God after the Christian model.  I've found some food for thought in the past at the Scientific Pantheism website.

That is why I can understand the "struggle" you describe in the third quotation.  It is a real struggle, because the two ideas you are trying to hold in your head are incompatible.  Behe/Dembski type ID - which you seem to want to defend, irreducible complexity and all - absolutely requires an intelligence separate from the objects of design.  Yes, it might be a space alien, but it's still working as an intelligent agent utterly distinct from that which is being designed.

Whether you think of the Behe/Dembski designer as an alien or as something supernatural, all of the ID "theorists" are committed to dualism and division: something inert, lifeless, passive, being given form and life by something utterly different from it.  There is just no way to reconcile that with the monism that you've come to by other routes.   As I've said, I can empathize with your philosophical/religious position, and even share it to some extent.  It is an exhilirating view of the cosmos and the unity of all things.  Behe/Dembski ID, on the other hand, is a mean, unimaginative world-view.  They are the materialists, because they reduce God to a tinkerer in matter, fixing up bacteria much as a highly-skilled human engineer might do it; they simply cannot conceive that the divine may be bigger than any of their categories.

Date: 2007/01/25 05:18:08, Link
Author: Altabin
Dembski announces the McGrath-Dennett debate on the future of atheism.  And everyone's being really sweet about it!  First, up pops DaveScot:
I’m kind of surprised it’s still on. Dennett had aorta replacement surgery in October. That’s some major crack your chest open stop your heart surgery. February is only 4 months recovery.

That's quite thoughtful of you, Dave.  Then russ:

Yes, but any guy who resembles Santa comes into a debate about 10 points up, so he has the advantage if his doctors let him go. ;)

Hope Dennett has a speedy recovery.
Funny, Russ!  And that's very decent of you to wish him well.

Now IDist:

McGrath is a person who I hold great respect for, although (I think) he accepts Darwinism :D .

This is going to be interesting.

See, we can all get along so nicely, and respect our intellectual adversaries.  This party is just going so swell, everyone's being so ni...
GilDodgen 01/24/2007 8:57pm: The future of atheism is bleak, because humans are aware of their mortality, and are programmed with an ineluctable sense that their lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning — otherwise, life is absurd. Despite claims to the contrary, atheism peddles nihilism as its ultimate product, and most people intuitively recognize this.


Date: 2007/01/25 06:12:41, Link
Author: Altabin
You know that secret listserv you've been talking about on ATBC that Heddle got kicked off of? I'm on that list and write to it a couple times every day. ... I was added to it shortly after Heddle was removed.

Dave, once more:
I wrote either here or to a private listserv in the past...

Dave, again:
On a listserve which shall remain nameless...

Still Dave:
after several months of being a member on an underground ID listserv

Dave, are you, like, on a secret listserve or something?

Date: 2007/01/25 10:09:34, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (heddle @ Jan. 25 2007,16:18)

They [Behe and Dembski]are the materialists, because they reduce God to a tinkerer in matter, fixing up bacteria much as a highly-skilled human engineer might do it; they simply cannot conceive that the divine may be bigger than any of their categories.

Regardless of the truth of Behe/Dembski ID (and Dembski’s, based on faulty mathematics, is trivially false), you have not made any case that ID per se is incompatible with the “Christian” god.

Nothing at all precludes the “Christian” god, even with all his omni-attributes, from getting involved with minutiae, should he choose to do so. And describing God as personal and involved in the little details (such as one of my favorite stories, when Gideon is speaking with God and says “wait here while I get a present for you” and God replies “OK, I’ll wait.”) does not detract from those times when God acts in all his majesty.

I agree that ID is less compatible with new age Gnostic type ideas. But in the Christian model, we see time and time again that God is indeed a “tinkerer in matter.” So ID, in principle, does not belittle God.

On the other hand, the methods of the ID community and its leadership are absolutely incompatible with Christian living.

Well, my purpose wasn't to argue that Behe/Dembski ID was incompatible with Christian theism.  It would be kind of strange if it were incompatible, don't you think?

That said, it's hardly surprising that ID was "intelligently designed" to go hand-in-hand with American evangelical religion - the most thoroughly materialistic* version of Christianity.  Somehow, I don't see Meister Eckhart, or the Cappadocian Fathers, or Duns Scotus, or Gerard Manley Hopkins, or any number of other great Christian thinkers and writers falling for the bacterial flagellum.  Their vision was greater than that - a vision I can acknowledge and admire, even without sharing it.  And then there's the whole school of process theology which sees evolution as the only possible way for God - the Christian God - to have acted.  They're certainly not going to be beating a path to Dembski or Behe's doors either.

The question is not, or shouldn't be, whether theism or non-theistic spirituality is compatible with evolution.  The truth of evolution is not going to be altered one whit by how we wish God's relationship with the world to be.

Nor is the question whether we can form a conception of the divine that is simply compatible with experience.  That's like fitting spirituality into the cracks left in matter, and is just one step up from the "God of the gaps."

Rather, the question is whether we can grasp the divine in a way that embraces and celebrates our experience, while at the same time transcending and unifying it.

Or we can take the Dembski/Behe route: lie and obfuscate, deny empirical fact in order to prop up an impoverished notion of the divine, one which is a blend of fundamentalist pieties and their own self-image (God the biochemical engineer; God the probability-busting mathematician).

Or you can say "to #### with all of that" and just love the science - as most regulars here would say!  I'm not trying to preach here.

So many of the numbskulls at UD, and afdave, are quite simply unreachable.  They're already committed to their thoroughly limited conception of god, for which Behe/Dembski ID is a perfect apologetic.  No amount of explaining that, "no, God didn't make the flagellum, it's quite explicable by normal natural processes" is ever going to reach them.

In avocationist, on the other hand, we have someone who seems almost as blindly devoted to the Behe/Dembski flimflam as an other UDer, yet claims to have a worldview, a metaphysics which is entirely incompatible with ID.  That puzzles me, but also interests me.  I'd like to hear more from her about this: which part of her belief-system does she not follow through to the end?  Not being snarky - we're all imperfect, inconsistent animals - but genuinely interested.

*By "materialistic" here I mean vulgar, crass and self-serving.  Since I think that matter is all there is, and that it is quite marvelous, I don't usually use the term as an insult, or with this sense!

Date: 2007/01/25 13:02:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (avocationist @ Jan. 25 2007,19:43)
Okay, a lot of people, without perhaps realizing it, are going at this like lawyers in a courtroom - more focused on the game of battle than finding truth. Because of this, there have been reams of accusations and sneering remarks, which I just don't have time to decently answer.

Lady, you've walked into a room of curious, highly-opinionated people.  We're all taking time out of our schedules to ask you questions, give you things to read, argue with you.  We're so excited, we're all talking at once.  We've given you your own thread.

Just imagine, for a moment, whether the regulars at UD, in a comparable situation, would be anything like as interested in or ready to debate with someone from the "other side."    Actually, you don't need to imagine - most of us have already been banned from there, for simply wanting to raise the possibility that they might have gotten anything wrong.

This is what's called taking someone seriously - even if it can get a little rough around the edges.  So don't whine about "accusations" and "sneers."   Just be as honest and straightforward with everyone as they are all being with you.

Date: 2007/01/25 13:33:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (heddle @ Jan. 25 2007,17:31)

Any way, I thought you were arguing that a separable God involved in designing the flagellum was somehow a "small" god. My point was: it is not necessarily so.

OK, well it's difficult to know how to answer this.  First, as I've already made clear, I'm not a theist - so, clearly, I'm going to find a "separable," personal god to be lacking.  If I didn't, I would be some sort of theist.

My opinion, then, doesn't get to your question about whether a God visibly active in the world is a "small" God - and is compatible with Christian theism.  I've already said that there is an admirable current of Christian thought that does have a view of God more lofty than a supernatural cosmic tinkerer.  On the other hand, my opinion here counts for little since (1) I'm not a Christian, and quite vehemently reject the notion of the "supernatural" altogether and (2) millions upon millions of Christians (and other theists) are quite satisfied with that "version" of God.  On a purely empirical basis then, it seems indisputable that this kind of god is compatible with Christian theism.

But as to your specific statement: whether 'a separable God involved in designing the flagellum was somehow a "small" god.'  To this, I have to say that if there are Christians out there worshipping the God who made the flagellum, then yes, they are worshipping a very small God indeed.  Because - and it shouldn't need to be repeated - God didn't design the flagellum.  Or, at least, we have no compelling evidence that the flagellum is a special case, different from the countless other features of the natural world that the scientific method has explained.  The God of the flagellum is a chimaera; those who worship it are, as Francis Bacon put it, "seeking to gratify God with a lie."

I find it difficult to imagine quite how - or why - a separable God would fiddle with things.  There is the fact that no such "intervention" has ever been found - and every time one has been declared, closer investigation has uncovered natural causes.

But, for me, the problem is deeper than that.   This is probably a bit flippant, but I recall a conversation I had with some friends at the pub a few months ago.  None were "conventional theists," and they were discussing what might turn them into theists.  Someone suggested that if God sent down a plaque - or rearranged the stars - with a message along the lines of "This is God; I do exist; read the Bible - it's a more or less reliable guide to what I'm all about", then they would believe.  I couldn't disagree more.  In part, it's Hume's objection to miracles: I would find it less of a miracle to believe that I had gone insane, or that the human race was in the grip of a collective delusion, than to admit the much greater miracle of the suspension of the laws of nature.  But even more so, the whole scenario struck me as tacky.  Cheap.  Cheesy.  To be the ground of being of the universe, and yet so insecure as to wish to compel belief by violating your own laws of nature - that's a small god, and not one I want to know.  The bacterial flagellum - if it turned out to be proof positive of supernatural intervention - would be just such a calling card from a two-bit deity.

EDIT: Fixed quote problem.  And BWE, cheers! just saw your post.  and you should encourage your colleague to join us legitimately!  :D

Date: 2007/01/25 14:40:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Baghdad Sal:
The human genome project took 3 billion dollars and 13 years to complete. By comparison, Solexa might be able to do a comparable job for a few thousand dollars per person (ideally even less) and in a much shorter time frame. (See the UD sidebar on Solexa Genomics.) Solexa might be viewed as an unwitting research partner of the ID movement.

Oh Intelligent Design, why so many "unwitting" research partners?

Date: 2007/01/25 16:34:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Essentially I agree with you, yet I also think there is just way more going on to this puzzle, this pandora's box that Darwin et al opened, than anyone had a clue of, and probably still don't.

Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled pantheist.

(With apologies to Richard Dawkins).

Date: 2007/01/26 01:39:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (avocationist @ Jan. 26 2007,07:34)
Just imagine, for a moment, whether the regulars at UD, in a comparable situation, would be anything like as interested in or ready to debate with someone from our side
Sure, they would. You guys just keep disappearing.

You see, when a spirited conversation starts up at UD and then the person offering a dissenting view stops posting, that's because he/she's been banned.  Sometimes Dave or even Dembski makes some remark like "So-and-so is no longer with us."  That's what banning looks like.  (And that's to say nothing about any number of critical -- thoughtfully, politely critical -- posts are submitted to any given thread, but get weeded out before they even appear.  This fact is also often mentioned by the moderators - about comments being caught in the moderation queue, about the hard work they have sifting through all the comments).

It seems, avocationist, that you're not very good at paying attention to evidence, and this is just another example of your apparently willful blindness.

You "think" that ID is true, but cannot offer a single plausible reason for your conviction.  It seems that you want it to be true, because a universe with a disembodied mind hanging around in it is preferable to you than one without.  The problem is, the universe doesn't care what you want.

You "think" that space aliens visited the earth - but I'm willing to put down good money - or even a bottle of scotch! - that you have no better reason for thinking so than that you wish it were so.

You seem to rely entirely on the truthiness of propositions; yet insist on telling "Darwinists" that they are in a conspiracy to ignore the evidence.  BWE's mystery poster made a very good point: everyone here has looked at ID, checked out the evidence, discovered that there is nothing there and moved on.   You whine about the insults and accusations you've received, but take a moment to think about how profoundly you insult the intelligence and character of these people when you act this way.

Date: 2007/01/26 08:51:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (djmullen @ Jan. 26 2007,13:08)
Egads!  I found quizzlestick's picture here.  Is he a she?  What a pity if she is.  If she gets cancer, how will she cure herself?

It's not entirely clear from Kazmer's fascinating research - he probably needs to gather some more hard experimental data - but there's no reason she has to consume her own semen.

Yeehah!  Bathroom Wall, HERE WE COME!

Date: 2007/01/26 09:04:15, Link
Author: Altabin
You cynics should note that Krazy Kazmer has provided falsifiable claims for his version of ID - which, let us never forget, is erected (!) on the foundations of Behe and Dembski.  Let's take a look:

• If a man constitutes the cosmic system's seed or input, then man is the cosmic system's end product or output as well. Goldstein and others can falsify this prediction by presenting a being that exists beyond and above human beings. If they have such a superhuman being in their closet, we'd like to have it presented for our examination.

Anyone?  Look behind your sneakers.

• If a man constitutes the cosmic system’s input and output, then the universe is an open system, it is open to human life or intelligence. This prediction can be falsified by the demonstration that a closed system can exist in fact.

Nope.  Didn't catch that one.

• If Christ is the seed of the universe, then he is the universal common ancestor of all things created. This prediction can be falsified by demonstrating that universal common ancestry is not a fact.

But I thought common ancestry was a falsifiability criterion of evol ... oh, never mind.

• If a man is the genotype of the phenotype universe, then the parameters or determining characteristics of the universe are exquisitely fine-tuned for our production, just as the parameters of an apple tree are exquisitely fine-tuned for the production of apples. Indeed, in astrophysics we find that the universe is remarkably biofriendly and is fine-tuned for our production.

And we falsify this ... how?

• If we constitute the end-product of creation, then we are supernatural relative to the universe, and consequently immortal. This prediction can be falsified by demonstrating that it is possible to eliminate human life.

Ebola boys, you know what you have to do.

• Finally, if Christ created the universe to have children in the form of human beings, then he is both the creator and the observer of creation. Thus the creator in person can make it known to his children how he created the universe for the production of progeny in his own image. Moreover our creator is likely to make himself known to his children. So he’s going to come and live with us again.

I'd better clean out the spare room.

So the conclusion is that ID predicts that Jesus will take over our couch.  And ID is falsified if this never happens.

Enough bitching, guys.  We got science here.

PS: People, are we doing anything worthwhile here?  Because it's beginning to feel like critiquing an astrology magazine.

Date: 2007/01/26 09:57:25, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 26 2007,16:48)
Interesting comment. Especially the Q&A.

It is very frustrating when ID is peremptorily dismissed as apologetics. Neo-Darwinism has much more in common with mediaeval superstitions and revealed religions. By stretching chance far beyond rationally tenable limits, it waves away its credibility. ID, in contrast, sits well within the materialist empiricism demanded by science.

That this empirical discipline is accepted not just by atheists like me but also by Christians is a happy paradox. I think someone once referred to ID as a ‘Big Tent’, though I dislike that term because of its political antecedents. When I was young I sometimes watched a BBC program called ‘Dr Who’ in which the hero used a time machine (!) that, from the outside was just a phone box, but on the inside somehow accommodated a large laboratory with blinking lights and mysterious whirring devices. Similarly, the elegant principles of ID accommodate a very catholic range of worldviews, making the whatever-it’s-called a nice metaphor for the ID ‘movement’.

I’m getting old! Any science fiction fans out there remember what Dr Who’s time machine was called?



If I weren't banned there, I'd start asking a few more questions myself:

What's that word for an illegitimate child?  All I can remember is that it starts with BAS.  Can anyone finish it for me?

I've been working on repairing my driveway.  I bought some tar at the hardware store - let's call it Tar 'A' - but it was no good.  I had the same problem with Tar 'B', and Tar 'C' was frankly a disaster!  What do you think I should try next?

Date: 2007/01/26 11:28:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (bfish @ Jan. 26 2007,18:19)
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 26 2007,09:48)

More Gedanken UD posts.....

I stayed too long at my campus IDEA club meeting, so I was late to my Evolution 101 class. Isn't there a special word for being late to class? Can anyone help me out here?

I spent so much time at the IDEA club that I was _.

Hey, how about this one?  "I read so many of William Dembski's books that now I'm a complete re... what's the word?"

Date: 2007/01/27 02:52:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Jan. 27 2007,09:13)
Posted: January 27, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

One of my favorite early Steve Martin routines went something like this: "Would you like to make a million dollars and pay no taxes? OK. First, make a million dollars. Now, just don't pay any taxes; and if somebody from the IRS asks you about it, just say … 'I forgot!'"

Nonsense? Sure. But funny, especially as Steve delivered it? You bet.

But there's some absurd nonsense, not especially funny, being taught our school kids every day, in almost every school in America.

Darwin's theory of evolution.

"But it's science," you say. No, not really. Certainly, not yet, if it ever will be. It's a theory, an extremely farfetched, unproven theory and – at its base, its fundamental core – terribly unscientific!

To me (and I'll explain, so stay with me) this theory is exactly like Steve Martin's joke. It starts with a wish, a desire, proceeds through a ludicrous construction or process, and leads to a preposterous conclusion.

But this unfunny joke has been taken very seriously by a host of scientists, and now most educators, and it has been universally accepted as "fact" by most universities and school systems. And woe to the teacher, from grade school through college, who dares to question this improbable, unproven theory. If he or she dares to suggest or present the alternative theory of Intelligent Design – the vastly more plausible notion that this incredible universe and all living things point logically to a Creator with an intelligence far beyond our feeble comprehension (no matter how many Ph.D. degrees we might have among us) – lawsuits and intimidation will surely follow that teacher.

Read it here.

Creationists shouldn't make jokes about not paying taxes...  :D

Date: 2007/01/28 15:04:59, Link
Author: Altabin
Dammit, I'm trying to swear off UD/OE for a while - article due, reviews overdue, faith in humanity faltering - and then Mats has to go and post something like this:
This is the kind of thing that scares the Darwinists: free and open scientific debate about opposing theories in academic circles.

Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in again.

Date: 2007/01/29 03:14:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (avocationist @ Jan. 29 2007,08:24)

Very disappointing post. I thought we had established a bit of rapport, but apparently not. I'm sorry you didn't realize my remark about people disappearing was meant to be a joke. Probably you haven't read through the history of this thread, in which I made it clear I'm unhappy about the moderation over there.

Apologies - nuances can be lost in this medium, and ironic inflections are usually the first to go.  And, as you may have noticed, what gets people riled up here is not ignorance (in the sense of simply not knowing something) but dishonesty.  We can be hyper-sensitive to apparent dishonesty simply because we have seen so much of it.  If I falsely accused you of something, again I apologize.  I hope we can continue our conversation.

The alien thing comes from a genre of books about it.

Not sure I got that.

Date: 2007/01/29 04:16:10, Link
Author: Altabin
UD continues to use the creationist playbook (as if anyone cared anymore).  Commenters are all a-twitter with a "new" idea:
amadan: Would some ID-supportive body (e.g.the Discovery Institute?) be prepared to put up a substantial rewards ($250K, what the heck, $1m!) to anyone who can PROVE the Darwinian hypothesis?

shaner74: I love that idea! Can’t really expect DI (or anyone else) to do that, but it would be something to see the reaction to it, and would give ID more publicity than it could shake a stick at. In any event, it’s good to see some are willing to at least discuss ID, even if they don’t agree with it.

Quote I will happily “risk” thousands towards the reward money for that challenge! (I know it will never be called in)

(Gee, how so sure,
shaner74: We should start a collection to be put toward the “challenge”.

(Why the scare-quotes, shaner74?).  Prudence intervenes:
Jason Rennie: I think it would be important to carefully set out the criteria of such a challenge. Of course any challenge would immediately be called unreasonable by the naturalists and “biased”

Can they really be unaware that Kent "What Would Jesus Declare?" Hovind is rather famous for making just such an empty offer of, coincidentally, $250K?

Date: 2007/01/31 15:43:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Dave has a new post up entitled:
Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers

Well duh, Dave, we know all about it already from OE.  Me, I've been manufacturing the stuff by the gallon ever since I read Krazy Kazmer's peer-reviewed article.

Wait, that's not it?  Oh well, carry on then...

Date: 2007/02/01 08:09:26, Link
Author: Altabin
At OverpoweringIgnorance Quizzlestick replies to a post by Patrick on "Pragmatic Naturalism":
Quote (Patrick @ 2007-01-31,23:48)
You shouldn't jump to the conclusion that Pragmatic Naturalism is equivalent to saying “anything goes”. Pragmatic naturalists stress that genuine inquiry must be conducted in a consistently empirical manner.

Pragmatic naturalism is actually quite strict. Only when study after study has obviously produced the wrong answer (e.g. one which contradicts known and proven Biblical facts) are we forced to conclude that the purely materialist approach has failed, and that it may be time to consider spiritual solutuions to scientific problems.

(my bolding).

Either the densest IDer around (note that she lapped up (!) Kazmer kompletely unkritikally) or we got a very clever loki here.

Date: 2007/02/01 09:28:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 01 2007,16:07)
Quote (k.e @ Feb. 01 2007,08:36)
Quote (2ndclass @ Feb. 01 2007,16:31)
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 01 2007,07:23)
Darth asks a reasonable question, which has a reasonable answer. But this somehow leads to a ban.


[Secondclass wishes he had the photoshop skills of some of the other board members.]


Dave Turd zee mushroom soup Nazi.


Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 01 2007,07:23)
DaveScot's a parody, right? If he is, then the joke's on me. Heh, heh.  

Thanks for the straight answer. Heh, heh. For a while, I actually thought DaveScot was, like, being for real. Okay, DaveScot! You had me going there.

DaveScot is the loki-troll who out-trolls all other loki-trolls.

He's actually Richard Dawkins in deep, deep cover.


Date: 2007/02/02 02:49:28, Link
Author: Altabin
I worry that our casual use of the word "tard" might insult any actually retarded people that happen to read this forum.

Like Sal Cordova, for instance.  :D

Date: 2007/02/02 11:35:21, Link
Author: Altabin
I haven't read through all the posts here, but let me put my two cents' worth here - even if someone's made this point already.

I don't want to get into a discussion of "who stepped out of line when," and whether it's nice to be rude to creationists.  This thread makes it clear that we all have different opinions on this, and I don't think we're ever all going to agree on the acceptable level of snarkiness.

But I don't think this is all really about whether we should be nicer to avocationist - nor is everyone worked up because they feel bad for her.  I think people do feel bad for her - I do - but that's not why they're upset with each other here.

I think it has more to do with respecting each other's feelings.    Because of the nature of this forum, the conversations we start with other people are public - anyone can butt in if they want.  The question is: should people feel that they have the right to butt into any conversation on this board?  Or, if they do, should they observe a basic code of politeness - to each other, that is; at least to the extent of prefacing their remarks with "if I may add something here" or something like that.

To get back to the pub analogy, it's often as if you're having a quiet conversation in the corner - with a stranger whose opinions you find interesting, but wrong (let's call that person "A") - when along comes someone (let's just call him/her "L") yelling at A "you lying f#ck, you dickhead" etc.  It may be that L has a history going back some time with A; but, in real life, I think that L would not actually do this if A was busy talking to someone else.

Frankly, I was annoyed this time because I was having a conversation with Heddle - and enjoying it - and in swept L, as he always does, yelling abuse at Heddle.  I didn't appreciate it - and I thought it showed a fundamental lack of respect towards me as much as towards Heddle (who has probably come to expect this by now).

Anyway, we all come here, in part, because we are fairly like-minded and enjoy each others' company.  We should remember that before we do things that show basic disrespect for the people who are part of this community.

Date: 2007/09/06 10:48:02, Link
Author: Altabin
[Been away for a while, but nothing seems to have changed...]

DLH (who he?) is very excited about the media attention ID is getting.  Apparently, it's only a matter of time before ID ... um, does what exactly? Anyway, the Lebanon Daily News (that's Lebanon PA, just 50 miles from Dover, folks!) writes:
In the words of the brilliant investigative-journalist and four-time Gold Medallion winner, Lee Strobel,

?My road to atheism was paved by science ? but, ironically science became my later journey to God.?

The public needs enlightenment on the truth of intelligent design as increasing numbers of the world?s greatest scientists are yielding to the compelling and mounting evidence of this burgeoning movement. In recent years the erroneous teaching of Darwinism and life by random chance is becoming unraveled and exposing itself for what it really is: a bankrupt philosophy masquerading as a science with the aid of fake fossil mills loose in the world.

Golly, three cheers indeed for an editor with courage, as DLH says!

Couple of tiny points, though.  First, this isn't the editorial, but just some random nutjob writing to the editor.

And for all his admiration of editorial courage, it's funny that DLH didn't have the cajones himself to quote the rest of the piece:

I?m confident that in the not-to-distant future the information-revolution will sound the death knell for Darwinism. The hard evidence of technology will shake the pillars of evolutionary theory and toss them into the dustbin of history. When America restores true Bible science and accountability to our Creator God into our political and educational institutions, we?ll have taken a giant step toward healthier national character and the prevention of crime, life without purpose and the consequences of our condom culture.

One can only scratch the surface of the marvels of Intelligent Design:

? Our brain?s impulses firing at 10 billion times per second;

? The fine tuning and interconnected processes that orchestrate our universe;

? The consciousness of the mind, made in God?s image, fitted for laughing, loving and weeping;

? Our body?s 100 trillion cells and the incredible activity inside each one, including artificial languages, decoding systems, DNA and memory banks.

Hundreds of cases in point are limited by time and space. But as Psalm 139:14 states, ?Thou art fearfully and wonderfully made.? And in the words of Jesus, ?The very hairs of your head are numbered.? ? Matthew 10:30.

Nevertheless, true Bible Science ID has nothing to do with religion.

Edit: Dammit, beaten to the punch!

Date: 2007/09/06 10:52:32, Link
Author: Altabin
Away for a while - came back to find that AtBC is peppered with ?'s and Unicode cruft.  I see that this has been a problem for a while - any solutions?

Date: 2007/09/06 11:04:36, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 06 2007,17:56)
a bankrupt philosophy masquerading as a science with the aid of fake fossil mills loose in the world.

Do you think UD will tackle the controversial issue of all those 'fake fossil mills' we run? I sure hope so!

I want to know how it's going to deal with the "condom culture."

Date: 2007/09/06 12:41:34, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 06 2007,19:32)

apparently 3 UD posts, 1 Baptist Press post and 1 World Magazine post count as 'Media Coverage'

Leach the Controversy!!!

Give Dr Rev Dr Dembski a break.  At least he didn't begin his post with a self-referential:

September 6, 2007: "MEDIA COVERAGE: Baylor, Robert Marks, and the Evolutionary Informatics Lab."  The widely-read Uncommon Descent weblog surveys the recent coverage of this issue in the media.

Though that would have upped the media feeding frenzy to eight articles (only half of which were from his own blog).

Date: 2007/09/06 12:53:52, Link
Author: Altabin
The imaginary numbers thread truly is the gift that just keeps giving.  Charles Foljambe writes:
I understand that the science is complicated, but they are trying to tell us the structure of the universe. They need to find some way to translate it into language at least someone with some scientific literacy, but not their level of Expertese, can understand. If they cannot make analogies, if they cannot simplify it to its essence, then I propose that they themselves understand it little better than we do. For instance, in the double-slit experiment so famous in quantum physics, what exactly is going on? They fire an electron, but in what direction? Right between the slits? Is the whole environment, except the receiver, resistant to electrons? How do they detect it on the other side? How do they know it?s the same one? See, I?m of the belief, and I know it?s not a valid argument, that I?m under no obligation to believe something that sounds like BS until you can demonstrate that it?s true in terms I can understand. If there are no terms, no analogies even, to it, than I propose that if ANY simpler explanation could exist, Occam?s Razor at the very least demands it. This is rather pertinent here, given that ID basically says, ?Stuff looks designed. You say it wasn?t. Prove it.?

An argument of the order of: "I think I'm Napoleon.  You say I'm not.  Prove it."

Jack Krebs attempts to help him out:
Charles, I have read a number of accounts of the double slit experiments, and I believe they answer the questions you ask. I think you are being unrealistic to expect them to simultaneously give the details you want and also make it an easy layperson?s account. If you want to know the details, and not just take their word for it concerning the conclusions, you?re going dig in and do the work to understand the papers that describe the details.

But really, this Foljambe chap has characterized ID just perfectly.  No correction needed.

Date: 2007/09/06 12:59:31, Link
Author: Altabin
The DLH who is posting on the front page of UD is David L Hagen.  Is he new?

Date: 2007/09/06 20:33:58, Link
Author: Altabin
OK, so Rev Rev Dr Mr Dembski posts about how there has been much media interest in the Baylor affair - and more than half the articles hadn't been written by him.

Some of the regulars get distracted for a moment by discussing, you know, evolution and stuff.

Bill gets stern:
Keep the discusion on topic. I?m going to start removing comments that are irrelevant to this thread.

That's right, kIDs, just remember what this is all about:

Date: 2007/09/07 10:01:21, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 07 2007,15:36)
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.

I think Dembski is annoyed at the implication that he was denied tenure at Baylor.

It's interesting what this reveals.  In the post cited, he's not excusing Baylor; rather, he's saying that if Baylor's decision to pull the plug on the "lab" had anything to do with their past history with WAD, they would have played that card by now.

Now, it's true that he wasn't denied tenure at Baylor.  But he did leave under a huge shadow.  To me it's astonishing that anyone who had left under such circumstances would imagine that they could return even to use the cafeteria, let alone take up a post-doc in a broom closet.

But Dembski seems oblivious that there could be even any lingering ill-feeling towards him, or perhaps has convinced himself that past events were very different from what they actually were.  Elsewhere he surmises that the president of Baylor will be punished for dismissing him from campus, just like former president Sloan was. In fact the political situation at Baylor was complicated; if anything Sloan's appointment of Dembski added to his opponents' case against him -- but even then, only to a small degree.  There were much larger issues of governance and strategic planning that were at stake.  In Dembski's mind, however, he was the victim of Sloan, who was then punished by an irate faculty and board of regents -- the exact opposite of what really occurred.

Dembski, in other words, is not just living in a fantasy world, but is busy reconstructing his own past to conform with it.

Date: 2007/09/08 11:16:39, Link
Author: Altabin
Recall that Semiotic007 had already been chastised by Bill for suggesting that he had been denied tenure at Baylor.  So she writes back, all conciliatory:
Bad memory, not bad intelligence, was the problem. I wasn’t spinning, and I apologize for the error.

I was once expelled from a Baptist institution for opposing discrimination against women. A combination of factors, including student protest, heavy media coverage, and, ultimately, faculty protest, got me readmitted. Ever since, I have strongly advocated freedom of expression — especially for people I don’t agree with.

She goes on to say that, after  Baylor pulled the plug on EvIL, she wrote to Marks offering to be an unpaid research associate, on the condition that even if she finds results contrary to ID in her research, they will not be suppressed by the "Lab."

Dembski urges her not to sever her connection with the lab, and assures her that:
Bob and I are committed to doing good work and letting the results go where they will. Thus I cannot see him censoring any results you might come up with that undercut ID. In fact, that would very much interest us.

Semiotic007, you seem like a nice lady.  Run away.  Very far away.

(Let's not forget that, since Dembski started teaching there his own institution, the Southwestern Theological Seminary dismissed a woman for, er, being a woman.  He wasn't conspicuous in the ensuing protest and media coverage).

Date: 2007/09/10 14:28:25, Link
Author: Altabin
I'm bewildered by the new tactics on UD.

First, as someone's already noted, Dave admits:
In all fairness to nbogard (who is now being moderated) anyone who thinks a design inference is warranted is in some sense a creationist. The argument I think hinges on conflating “creationist” with biblical creationist. One can be the former without being the latter.

Then Patrick weighs in:

Even before I read what Dave wrote I was thinking the same thing. But I went to several dictionary websites and most conflate “creationist” with “biblical creationist”. Even this definition which doesn’t explicitly reference “God” or the “Bible”…

“the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.”

…would rule out someone like Behe.

In principle I don’t mind being labeled a creationist. The problem is that it causes confusion since it doesn’t recognize the significant distinctions.

But, but, I thought ID was not creationism.  In fact, I thought it was not creationism.  In my foolishness, I even persuaded myself that ID  was not creationism at all.  In fact, I even thought that Michael Behe and William Dembski had both said that "ID is not creationism."

Clearly I was mistaken.

(So what gives?  Are they embracing their secret creationist selves?)

Date: 2007/09/11 09:46:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Missed this before:

Russ:  I wonder how all of the history of this controversy will be written or (re-written) when ID finally manages to go mainstream? I’m pretty sure there will be no apologies or statements of regret about how it all was handled. Seems more likely there will be new rationalizations invented about why Baylor behaved this way.

WAD: Russ: No, if things continue as they are, Baylor will be remembered for bowing to pressure and lacking vision. Reputations are precious and easily lost.

Very true, very true [fart].

Date: 2007/09/12 19:28:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 12 2007,22:19)
For those of us, that are NOT working in the Secret ID Labs, and are NOT in on the secret ID handshake (and be sure to wash your hands after that ... I put together this hand-dandy cheat-sheet to help tell the main UD posters apart that might be useful:

Obtuse, obnoxious and petulant:  Dr. Dr. Dembski hisself

Obnoxious, smarmy, with computer jargon: DaveScot

Oblivious, non-sensical, with awful writing:  Denyse

You forgot:

Smooth 'n' fruity:

Date: 2007/09/16 20:11:16, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 16 2007,23:09)
I sought to capture the tone of WAD's previous notpologies - the tone of a petulant prick - in my little satire. I guess I succeeded. I worried that Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas were over the top (and, you know, I've got to look that stuff up to get the characters and their new testament roles straight), as well as some of the language, but it appears that WAD and UD self-satirize to the point that satire is indistinguishable from the real thing, and superfluous.  

You guys don't have faulty nixplanatory filters - rather, you are misapplying them. A nixplanatory filter employs complex circuitry (including quicktwitch nixtrafuge and low impact abusifier) to detect sensible, science-based commentary on UD, thereby permitting WAD and DaveTard to quickly detect such comments and ban the commenters. By definition, the filter permits the abject horseshit excreted by WAD, DT, Denyse, and ID friendly commenters of UD to reach the screen untouched. Satire of UD concentrates and distills that horseshit, rendering it even less likely to be detected by a properly functioning nixplanatory filter. Christian Notpologetics also pass unmolested (not sure why, but it clearly does). Hence your filters were silent today.

Content and tone indistinguishable from a real Dembski post, plus mad Photoshop skillz.  The only thing that tipped me off was that it seemed unlikely that Dembski could ever admit crossing any sort of line with his behavior - let along notpologize for it.  He's really missing any faculty of self-reflection.

Anyway, a tip o' my hat to you, RB!

Date: 2007/09/16 20:13:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 15 2007,05:07)

munch munch munch munch

I nearly peed myself.

As the Avett Brothers put it:

I once heard the worst thing
A man could do is draw a hungry crowd...

Bill's definitely in that place.

Date: 2007/09/17 09:04:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Sep. 17 2007,16:00)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 17 2007,09:08)
It is possible to write worse than Denyse, but you have to put some thinkin' into it.

And yet she achieves it by doing exactly the opposite.  It's a strange world, isn't it.

It does suggest that very complex things can be formed without the action of intelligence.

Date: 2007/09/17 09:51:31, Link
Author: Altabin
Calling Dennis to order:
[DO'L] I was travelling on a Toronto streetcar today with a fellow journalist who was musing about the sheer gullibility of Darwinists. Learned in history, he pointed out that Darwinists had originally attacked Mendel because Mendel cited statistics for genetics - instead of the vagueness the Darwinists so loved.

[Mark Frank] Do you have a reference for that? The most well known opposition to Mendel’s results came from biometricians such as Karl Pearson who were leading statisticians and made extensive use of statistics in their opposition.

Note that Densey doesn't need a citation for her assertion, despite Mark Frank's pedantic (and bannable) fussiness about this. She is employing the argumentum ex curru urbano, the "argument from the street-car" which, if I recall my Aristotle correctly, is completely irrefutable.

Date: 2007/09/17 10:09:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Bob O'H @ Sep. 17 2007,17:02)
She is employing the argumentum ex curru urbano, the "argument from the street-car" which, if I recall my Aristotle correctly, is completely irrefutable.

Unless one is aboard the Clapham omnibus.


Are you questioning the wisdom of the common man?  That's very elitist and sciency of you.

Date: 2007/09/18 13:57:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Over at UD, they (or rather, Densey) have just discovered Dawkins' infamous "long silence" in an interview that creationists made under false pretences.

The comments have really brought out the bottom-feeders, who seem to be the only regulars left at UD.   bornagain77 makes Troutmac (who's also there!) look like a genius:

I thought Dawkins was observing a moment of silence for the impending de^ath of Darwinism, at the hands of a empirically driven stake of information evidence right through the middle of its deceptive heart thus ending its corruptive influence on science and culture. May we all observe a moment of silence for the millions of those who were deemed unfit that were euthenized in Na^zi Germamy by the “more evolved” master race, then go out and celebrate its demise.

<In broad Australian accent> "I don't know about you, kids, but to me that just sounds stoooooopid."

Date: 2007/09/19 14:44:13, Link
Author: Altabin
They're all a-dither at UD about the Expelled crew visiting the Baylor campus.  One of the producers has written an op-ed claiming that the administration of Baylor has abandoned God.  (Hold  on a minute, I thought that ID had nothing to do with ... oh, never mind).

DaveScot comments:
It appears like Dover wasn’t the last word after all, eh Bill? :)

This strikes me as so inappropriate a comment that I can only thing DT is being sarcastic at WAD's expense.  Dover wasn't the last word, because WAD refused to appear there.  Nor was it the last word because Bill just got his ass handed to him by a roomful of students.

Rereading it, I guess he means that the evilutionists won at Dover and everywhere else -- but that they're getting the last word with this shitty little film.  Still, seems rather impolitic to remind WAD that he's a chickensh*t.

Date: 2007/09/21 14:42:10, Link
Author: Altabin
God, this thread is beginning to collapse under the weight of stupid.  "Jerry," though an IDist, is asking his fellows for that most unlikely of things: intellectual honesty.  Either dissociate themselves publicly from YECism, or admit that ID is a religious position (hence the outrage about the Baylor debacle) and stop whining about critics conflating ID and religion.

This has already provoked DT to speculate whether there just might be something to young-earth creationism, after all, as others have noted.  bornagain77 offers this trenchant philosophical analysis

There are two prevailing philosophies vying for the right to be called the truth in man’s perception of reality. These two prevailing philosophies are Theism and Materialism. Materialism is sometimes called philosophical or methodological naturalism. Materialism is the current hypothesis entrenched over science as the nt hypothesis guiding scientists. Materialism asserts that everything that exists arose from chance acting on an material basis which has always existed. Whereas, Theism asserts everything that exists arose from the purposeful will of the spirit of Almighty God who has always existed in a timeless eternity. A hypothesis in science is suppose to give proper guidance to scientists and make, somewhat, accurate predictions. In this primary endeavor, for a hypothesis, Materialism has failed miserably. Let’s take a look at a few of the predictions where Materialism has missed the mark and Theism has been remarkably accurate for a philosophy that is supposedly so unscientific.

Cut short, because this post goes up to 11,
to which s/he later adds:

Oh Yeah, one more i just thought of,

12. Materialism predicts animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Yet man himself is the last scientifically accepted fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record. Theism would of predicted that man himself was the last fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record.

I truly think the Theistic philosophy has been belittled for no good reason! In Fact, Materialism should rightly be belittled for misleading scientists down wrong paths for so long!!!!

I think so too!!!!111!!one!thegoldensection!!!

Janice, who identifies herself as a YEC, concludes a long and crazy post:
If you’re a Christian why are you worried about YECers and the possible bad rep they may give IDers? Do you not believe that God is able to work all things together for good? Settle back and faithfully do whatever He puts in front of you to do. Be open to learning whatever He wants to teach you. You aren’t required to change the world. Even Jesus didn’t change the world all at once.

If you aren’t a Christian why are you worried about YECers and the possible bad rep they may give IDers? Shouldn’t you be applauding?

If you parse that closely (which, I warn you, may make you stupider), it says that ID is identical to Christianity -- since non-Christians must applaud anything that is to the detriment of ID.

Maybe we are seeing some intellectual honesty after all. Even Patrick, after defending the "big-tent strategy" (what's a few billion years among friends?  This is nothing more than a "personal divide" that ID has been able to heal), admits:
The point is to focus on where we all agree: Darwinism has problems. Once the paradigm shift is over then I’m hoping that everyone will still continue to amiably work together to discover which of the competing ID-compatible hypotheses is correct.

That is, ID is nothing but the criticisms of "Darwinism" that creationists all agree on.  Nothing more to say.

Date: 2007/09/21 14:44:27, Link
Author: Altabin
PS: someone wake me when the paradigm shift is over...

Date: 2007/09/21 14:54:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Densey comments on Ironsgate (whoring her own blog's post in the comments).

She adds a snide little remark about Irons: "Irons, apparently, has a long history as an activist," linking to a profile of him.  What could there be in that document that might attract her attention?  Apart from bland professional details, the profile describes him as "an active civil rights and liberties lawyer," who was the "senior editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review" and has recently written a book entitled Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision.  It's kind of worrying that DO'L should offer that as red meat to the (non-existent) readers who visit her blog.

BTW, what does WmAD mean when he said that Irons is on the DI payroll.

And did anyone else get the impression that Dembski was hyperventilating the entire time he wrote that post?  Or possibly masturbating.  Maybe both.

Date: 2007/09/26 05:47:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (dochocson @ Sep. 26 2007,04:39)
I also like this gem:

"So a vast army rushes to aid Baylor’s quest to be the Protestant Notorious Dame, or whatever it wants to be (forgive me if I forget)."

So I assume she is no fan of Notre Dame.

Feh.  The Bears are 3-1 this season; the Irish are 0-4, without a win in sight.  No one's rushing to be Notre Dame.  (And Notre Dame just isn't rushing).

A mournful Domer.

Date: 2007/09/26 09:57:49, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (George @ Sep. 26 2007,15:02)
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 26 2007,05:47)
Quote (dochocson @ Sep. 26 2007,04:39)
I also like this gem:

"So a vast army rushes to aid Baylor’s quest to be the Protestant Notorious Dame, or whatever it wants to be (forgive me if I forget)."

So I assume she is no fan of Notre Dame.

Feh.  The Bears are 3-1 this season; the Irish are 0-4, without a win in sight.  No one's rushing to be Notre Dame.  (And Notre Dame just isn't rushing).

A mournful Domer.

She's probably annoyed they wouldn't let her near the door of the theology department.  Or the journalism school.  Or even the MBA programme.

George (class of '93)

You, Altabin?

Faculty (Domer by profession, not education!)

I attended the Mich. State game on Saturday.  It was the first game I've watched through to the end this season - I usually crawl out from behind the couch some time around the end of the 1st quarter, and turn the TV off.   It was excruciating to be compelled to watch the entire team fall apart, after a few plays in which they actually looked like they were playing football.

The band was good, though.  And I had a nice hotdog outside Bond Hall.

Densely would freak out if she could visit the new (and quite extraordinary)science building.  Each discipline in the Science Faculty designed a medallion for the atrium - one that would capture the essence of their discipline.  Biology has a stylized DNA molecule in the center, and around the outside: "Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution - Theodosius Dobzhansky."  (See here).

Just recently I showed a microbiologist from one of the Vatican universities around campus.  He was kind of religious, which I'm not, but I guess that's to be expected.  Absolutely scornful of ID, though, and clearly delighted and moved by the biology medallion.

Date: 2007/09/26 10:09:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Lee Bowman praises the winning essay on "scientific literacy" at Seed magazine:
In Thomas Martin’s winning essay, he tends to equate ‘scientific literacy’ with free inquiry, and going a step further, paints a disturbing picture of apparent  “evidence blindness”, albeit one that has been advanced by others, both in and out of the science community.

To quote, “As noted recently in Seed, leading disciplinary practitioners who feel threatened by unorthodox new findings will sometimes band together to suppress such information, with the explicit intention of blocking its appearance in the journals.”

Another disturbing observation by Thomas, and one that may well be fostered by departmental and funding policies that help to promote it. He states,” Over the past few decades, growing evidence from cognitive science has revealed significant limits on the ability of individuals to criticize their own viewpoints.” And, I might add, the conclusions of other research. In other words, blame the system. Play by the rules to guarantee continued funding. If you deviate, you’re dead.

Unaccountably, unaccountably, he fails to quote the next paragraph of Martin's essay:
Several current presidential candidates have insisted that they oppose the scientific account of earth's natural history as a matter of principle. In the present cultural climate, altering one's beliefs in response to anything (facts included) is considered a sign of weakness. Students must be convinced that changing one's mind in light of the evidence is not weakness: Changing one's mind is the essence of intellectual growth. By forcing students into evidence-based debates with one another, this mode of interaction, like any other, can become habitual. After being consistently challenged by their peers, most students eventually see that attempts to free themselves from facts are a hollow, and fundamentally precarious, form of "freedom."

I'm sure he'll rectify this omission, which rather alters the intent of the essay.

Date: 2007/09/27 06:25:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 27 2007,12:10)
A bit off-topic but knowing how Steve is interested in recent developments at PCID,

Have you seen this at ISCID:    
PCID Volume 2.3, Philosophy of Mind Issue
A forum for discussion of the papers in Volume 2.3 of PCID.

That whole forum had some excellent, thought-provoking posts on it.  If these are the standards of ID discourse, then count me in!

Date: 2007/09/27 06:31:54, Link
Author: Altabin

Hey there from sandygirl24!

I'm new and poking around here for all the good stuff. I like finding the latest
news videos about the hottest stars and found a pretty good and underused site -
neat little celeb news page

I'm going to school right now and can't wait to be done. All of this studying is
killing me for sure. My social life seems to be about half what it used to be before
I got so close to finishing. LOL! [Wink]

I think sandygirl24 is Denyse.  But I'm not sure if she's also involved with "Nice ass whore giving her head then have pussy licked."

OK, enough spam jokes.  There's just so little to say about UD.

Date: 2007/09/27 06:51:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Matthew Tan just has to be one of this crew in disguise:

Music is “one of the most powerful challenges to Darwinism”.

Right. Maybe someone can develop on this theme. You either have the capacity for the full range of “frequency”, rhythm, tempo, etc. for music, or you have a series of noises.

How does random mutations produce that?

It is music or noise. All or nothing.

That's right.  Music is irreducibly complex.  You either have St Matthew's Passion, or you have some random farting noises.  Clapping your hands, tapping your foot, whistling, humming - none of these counts.

No one can be this stupid.

I think heddle first drew our attention to "Matthew Tan."  I suspect some Calvinist culture-jamming here.

Date: 2007/09/27 07:53:50, Link
Author: Altabin
Friday is traditionally the day on which Dembski ramps the craziness up a notch at UD.  This is a good thing.  That long Tues-Thurs stretch, in which nothing much of anything happens at UD beyond a normal level of tard - it can feel long.  At least we can always count on something truly outrageous happening before the weekend.

So, let's start a sweepstake: what will Dembski do next?  Prize for the best answer: a dembski ( = a bottle of malt whiskey (not delivered)).

My entry this week: Dembski will publish photographs of the Baylor trustees' children, along with maps of their routes home from school.  "I urge everyone to approach these children respectfully, and politely but forcefully put the case for Robert Marks's academic freedom.  If they have been so indoctrinated by Darwinist propaganda that they try to run away from you, I suggest that you urge them to take a ride in your car with you, so that you can discuss Jesus your flagellum non-stochastic processes in nature with more privacy."

Date: 2007/09/28 08:32:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Post a story about an anti-ID resolution in Europe, and it isn't long before the "H" word appears.

The second comment, by bornagain77 (who else?):
I guess they missed that whole thing with Hitler trying to wipe out the inferior races since they were not as “evolved” as the “master” race.

Joseph is not far behind:

There is a reason why many people have left Europe to settle in other countries.

The real danger is with the people who could concoct such a resolution.

Next they will want everyone to “goose-step”. That is the only way to walk. To bend one’s knees is dangerous I tell you!

Duncan clearly doesn't have long to go at UD:
Darwinism is either true or it isn’t. To conclude it justifies or otherwise some extraneous objective is entirely divorced from the veracity of the theory. You’re doing down Darwinism because you don’t like (what you identify as) the implications, irrespective of whether it is true or not.

To which bornagain77 replies:
I disagree with Darwinism first and foremost because, after thoroughly examine the evidence in an impartial manner, I find it is blatantly false and the most ridiculous excuse for a scientific theory that exists in today’s society period…
As far as the ideology that has been generated by this “all prevailing” theory that explains everything and yet explains nothing, I think the eugenics movement, abortion on demand, and the holocaust tragedy speak for themselves in this matter…

OK, Nazis again, and Social Darwinism.  But how does abortion always slip into these discussions?  It's as though they think the twentieth century invented abortion.  I could show them recipes for abortifacients going back to antiquity.  St Albertus Magnus devoted an entire book to means of procuring abortions, way back in the 13th century (ostensibly for expelling dead foetuses - but they could also be used without sin before the moment of "quickening" - something I like to remind some of my more hyper-Catholic friends).  But it's hardly a secret that their critique of "Darwinism" is profoundly unhistorical....

Date: 2007/09/28 10:46:02, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 28 2007,17:29)
Well, it's 10:30am Texas time and still no signs of Bill's traditional Friday Freakout™. No photos of regents' children, no credit card numbers, no calls to take up arms and march on Baylor.

I fear he may disappoint us this week.  :(

As far as I can tell, the freakout occurs after he's refused lunch at the Baylor cafeteria.  We should see things developing from about 1 o'clock Texas time.

If not, I'm going to feel like one of those Adventist prophets, the day after the forecasted date for the apocalypse.  Maybe it's your fault.  Your faith wasn't great enough.

Date: 2007/09/28 21:49:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Paul –

I can see a day where in fact the main center of Academia is outside of the university, and in fact am hoping to work towards that over the next year.

Translation: I am flunking out of community college.

Date: 2007/09/28 21:50:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 29 2007,00:45)
Quote (JAM @ Sep. 28 2007,15:37)
So trying the best I could, in my own way, to cheer him up, I then started to sing, dance and clown around, trying to cheer my friend up. I was singing, dancing and clowning around to the children’s song “What makes that little old ant think he can move that rubber tree plant …. He’s got high hopes, He’s got high apple pie in the sky hopes….” “Well”, my friend said, after I was all done with my clowning around, “I still don’t feel any different”.

Damn, his friend must have been really depressed. Any normal person would feel very different after being subjected to that--and it probably was sandwiched between a couple of 2000-word sentences, too.

"I should cheer up.  There are lots of people less fortunate than me.  My housemate bornagain77, for example, is completely batshit."


Date: 2007/10/01 19:15:57, Link
Author: Altabin
This would be an auspicious moment to admit that there is indeed evil, satanic atheist Darwinist conspiracy, plotting to keep ID out of science.  I don't know about you chaps, but I was initiated shortly after I started graduate school.

Mmmmm, roast baby....

Date: 2007/10/01 21:02:39, Link
Author: Altabin
This, from DOL's eerily unpatronized blog, made me fnork:

The [Dalai] Lama rejects Darwinism as an explanation for the history of life on earth, as most Canadian Christians do

That's got to be the first time that Tibetan Buddhists and Canadian Christians have shared a sentence...

Date: 2007/10/02 10:39:55, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (dochocson @ Oct. 02 2007,17:24)
Check it out, guys, Dembski posted an apology! (Unless one of you guys hacked the site)

Part of the text:

"I’ve removed all three posts and herewith extend a public apology to the Baylor administration and Board of Regents for these actions on this blog. In offering this apology, however, I mean in no way to mitigate the gravity of Baylor’s wrong in censoring the research of Robert Marks and his Evolutionary Informatics Lab."

I'm unclear on the defining elements of a notpology. Does this qualify?

Wow, I don't think anyone predicted that...

Admittedly, it begins weaselly - by quoting this letter from an unnamed "colleague from England" about the intemperate language of Paul Gross, Dembski means us to understand that he hasn't done anything different from the Darwinists (which is not true - I don't remember Gross publishing home phone numbers of Biola College administration).

Nevertheless, his post contains some moments of real self-awareness:
Without moralizing, I want to suggest a lesson in all this. Stay on topic and don’t let things get personal. I hurt my family and lost about three weeks of productive work by being consumed with anger about the injustice against Robert Marks. It’s not worth it.

I never thought I'd see Dembski make such a statement, but I applaud him for it.  It takes real guts to say something like that in public.  (All the more embarrassing for him because he's saying it to the UD sycophants, whom he had whipped up into a righteous rage on his behalf.  This climb-down must have hurt).

Let's go easy on him...

Date: 2007/10/04 14:17:12, Link
Author: Altabin
OK, so Sal quotemines the recently deceased, writing:
In contrast to Darwinian evolution, an intellectual evolution is guided by an “intelligent mind,”….

and, as others have pointed out, he is boldly upbraided by larrycranston:

Mr. Cordova,

Did you mean to cut off the quote in the original post? I think the full text is

“In contrast to Darwinian evolution, an intellectual evolution is guided by an ‘intelligent mind,’ that is, by humans who analyze advantages and disadvantages of previous generation of solutions and use the developed understanding in creating next generation of solutions.”

It sounds like he is talking here about something other than the Designer in the broader context of ID. Can you clarify?

Sal's reply is one for the ages (emphasis added):


Did you mean to cut off the quote in the original post?

I certainly did because it highlighted the difference between mindless Darwinism and intelligent design. Human designs are also instances of intelligent design, or to use his phrase, intelligent evolutionary design…..

Michalski may or may not believe Darwinism in biology can create biological complexity. His writings express the assumed mainstream beliefs, but does he really believe the world is a product of mindless processes?

But even granting he might believe Darwinism to be true, the irony would be that he did he not try to get machines to emulate brainless Darwinian processes, but rather he tried to get machines to emulate an intelligent mind.

His actions speak louder than words….

Wow.  I mean, wow.  "You're right, there is nothing to suggest Michalski supported ID.  That's why I had to butcher the quote; otherwise, it wouldn't have made my point."

Date: 2007/10/05 20:38:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (N.Wells @ Oct. 05 2007,23:21)
Denyse's blog name "Mindful hack" works on several different levels, albeit most of them not complimentary.

Whenever my peripheral vision picks up her blogname (in one of her blog-whoring posts) it registers as "mindf*ck".

Kinda spooky, really.

Date: 2007/10/09 19:26:48, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 10 2007,00:28)
Should we have a pool for when the removal of essays from the "Evolutionary Informatics Lab" due to errors becomes a topic of conversation on UD?

Of course, "never" should not be an available time for betting.

You materialists don't seem to understand that those articles were posted so that they could be removed.

Date: 2007/10/09 19:39:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Billy's all excited about John West's book Darwin Day in America.

It's a book with a trailer, so you just know it has a solid argument that can stand on its own merits.

As I watched the slideshow of eugenics propaganda from the 20s and 30s, I thought to myself "It's a good thing that religious people from this period didn't have any appalling notions about race, or inflict injury on people different from themselves.  Because then black people would really have been f*cked."

My favorite quote from the book's blurb:
Based on extensive research with primary sources and archival materials, John G. West’s captivating Darwin Day in America tells the story of how American politics and culture have been corrupted by scientistic ideology.

Yeah, scientisticism.  It's responsible for all the mess we're in today.

Date: 2007/10/09 22:36:30, Link
Author: Altabin

bornagain77, re knock-out DNA and front-loading.

Firstly, though the experiment knocked out 1.5 million base-pairs, most of those base-pairs were not highly conserved. I forget how many were, but only a fraction — just being accurate, not that it affects the argument.

The possibilities that I can see for this phenomenon include:


4: There is some mechanism other than natural selection, whether that be divine protection or an unknown phenomenon within the organism, that is protecting this DNA.

Date: 2007/10/10 18:59:35, Link
Author: Altabin
The ever dependable bornagain77:
Rel. Prof. you stated in your criticism of O’Leary’s book.

It is the equivalent of saying “Nasty materialist scientists are claiming that water is nothing more than hydrogen and oxygen. But we’ve experienced that water has properties that are not the properties of hydrogen and oxygen. Therefore God must have inserted something miraculous and immaterial that accounts for its wetness.” The concept of emergent properties is, alas, ignored.

Funny you should mention water, for in water, evidence for Intelligent Design is found everywhere

I refute him thus.

Date: 2007/10/11 10:59:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Bob O'H @ Oct. 11 2007,17:25)
Remember that Jerry was telling us all how he was knowledgeable about biology?  Well, Prof. Myers may like to look away...

I have a remote related question to what paraklete just said,
Has any part of the body been identified with development. We all know that development operates quickly during gestation so it is guided some how but it also operates for several more years after that and maybe till death. If some part of the brain or part of the body is removed, does it affect development? I find this an interesting question because “how does it know?” Obviously this could be done with any experimental mammal such as mice to get the answer. Does anyone know if this has been done?

Luckily I'm not a developmental biologist, but reading this I feel pain on their behalf.


Bob, just remember that they laughed at Copernicus too.  Jerry is Copernicus.  This is what a scientific revolution looks like.

Date: 2007/10/11 11:56:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (CCP @ Oct. 11 2007,18:39)
Jerry Copernicus? I remember him...shortstop for the, the Phillies, back in the mid-60s?

No, remember that the guy is Polish.  Jerzy.  Jerzy Copernicus.

Date: 2007/10/12 07:32:31, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 12 2007,11:55)
I'll see your pens and raise you 2 black pens, a red pen, a permanent marker, masking tape, latex gloves, sample bags and measuring tape.

What, no wetsuit?

Date: 2007/10/12 10:02:37, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Oct. 12 2007,16:21)
My gosh.

I don't normally visit UD, but the ignorance on that thread simply crushes me.

I mean, they must know, really? They can't just keep on saying 'Darwinism sux!' forever without actually studying anything that didn't come from The Bumper Creationist Book of Truthness, can they? How long can people go on applying fallacies to their enemies before they eventually realise that perhaps, just maybe, those fallacies can equally apply to themselves?

Even more horrifying, two people who I thought to be trolls on PT I now find to be perfectly normal posters on UD. I want to cry now.

Yeah, Wesley should archive the whole thread somewhere; it really demonstrates the naked stupidity (or stupidity in wetsuits and dildos, whichever you prefer) of the UD gang, from Dembski on down.

It's important to keep your irony meter permanently disconnected when reading crap like this:

Beyond “survivors survive” and random mutation creates new features for natural selection to act on, what’s there to know?

Answer: *****hand-waiving******

Darwinists hand-wave all the time around hard problems. Philosophy drives scientific conclusions. Not observations. Not measurements. Not mathematical models.

Unlike "A 'higher power' made it, but we can't tell you when, how, where, why or who."  Or, more briefly "Godidit.  Shut up."

Date: 2007/10/16 07:48:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 16 2007,13:47)
This morning's hoot from UD.

On Grandma Tard's post about nothing in particular that leads off UD today, BA77, fresh from his smackdown at Amazon, posts one of his usual rambles. It is immediately followed by this acerbic comment, from someone named David Brennan.      

Okay, responding to an austere George Will column about academia with a scatterbrained post about near death experiences seems to be kind of a non-sequitur, but then I think that this entire entry digressed from I.D., anyhow, so I guess you’re off the hook.

As far as your claim that only “Judeo/Christians” (what the heck religion is that?) see the light, (1) how did you verify this, and (2) if Jews get to see the light too….doesn’t this mean that we don’t Christ to experience immortality? (If so….Woo Hoo! I’m off to Vegas and won’t be accepting any calls after midnight!)

Apparently this was insufficient to chastise BA77, because he immediately follows up with a post which may be his all-time record for length and inanity. On my laptop monitor it is 23 screens long, and a mother-lode of tard of the high quality that only BA77 can provide.



I assure you that I haven't read the whole thing.  I had to sort the condiments in the fridge by color and expiry date, and realphabetize my business card collection; so little time left to pore over batshit77's snappy posts. I only dipped in my tard-spoon, and came up with this (my emphasis):

The typical Tibetan NDEr emphasizes remorse, pain, fear, disappointment and disillusionment as does the Indian experiencer. Yet, the typical Judeo-Christian NDEr emphasizes overwhelming feelings of peace, forgiveness, comfort, painlessness and love. ... [lotsa dots] ... Needless to say, this is absolutely horrifying. Thank God for the grace we have in God/Christ/Supreme Being if these accounts of Tibetan NDEs turn out to be truly as horrific as these first studies are indicating. The majority of non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s that I have read about in PhD level papers and science magazines are, for the most part, deeply distressing no matter which foreign culture I have read about (Japanese, Tibetan, Indian, Chinese, African, Saudi Arabian and Melanesian). Of the few somewhat pleasant NDEs I have read about from profoundly different cultures they lack the stunning depth of beauty, awe inspiring descriptions of paradise and overwhelming feelings of love and forgiveness from “The Being of Light”, so commonly reported in Judeo-Christian NDEs. Except, of course, for the few children’s NDEs in those foreign cultures I have read about.

That is, if you're over the age of reason and not of European descent, God (sorry, the "Most High Omniscient Being of Bright Brilliant Pure Light") is going to f*ck you up.

Sometimes I think the Gnostics were right.   If this cosmos really is in the hands of a deity, he's not the good guy...

Date: 2007/10/16 08:24:24, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Oct. 15 2007,23:52)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 15 2007,16:06)
Uh oh. Darwinian idol facing its Waterloo.

Whoa. So THAT's what ARN does with its time!

How did this one get past them? This one argues /against/ Dembski.

Great find!  I like how it cuts out in mid-sentence, just as the speaker is about to explain how "irreducibly-complex" pathways can evolve by gene duplication etc.  It's as if the little man at ARN suddenly realized what was going on.  "Holy sh*t, close it down now!"

But still posted it to Youtube with a cheesy "ID, the final frontier" intro.

Date: 2007/10/16 09:49:46, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 16 2007,16:22)
As for myself, I'm hoping for dragons dinosaurs in heaven. :p

Fixed that for ya.

Date: 2007/10/16 18:00:39, Link
Author: Altabin

In his book Degenerate Moderns, E. Michael Jones shows how some of the leaders of these institutions and there cultural allies have rationalized their own immoral behavior and projected it onto a universal canvas. The main thesis of his book is that, in the intellectual life, there are only two ultimate alternatives: either the thinker conforms truth to desire or he conforms desire to truth.

The behavior at issue here is sexual behavior. In the last one hundred years, the western culture elite embarked on a project which entailed a reversal of the values of the intellectual life so that the truth would be subjected to desire as the final criterion of intellectual value.

For some reason, the theory of intelligent design, while not religious in nature, still manages to make people uncomfortable. Apparently materialist-Darwinists consider it as a kind of reproach directed at their behavior. Even the innovations of a POSSIBLE creator make them crazy.  In their troubled minds, any reference to the world of non-material realities reminds them of the natural moral law and threatens to place an unwelcome burden on their conscience.

Because, as we all know, the science nerds have always had the most active and varied sex lives.

Innovations of possible creator they make me crazy.  Intelligent design not religious in nature.  Bacterial flagellum reminds me of natural moral law.  Blecchh.

Date: 2007/10/17 21:49:37, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Hermagoras @ Oct. 18 2007,03:42)
Has anybody mentioned this from BA77?
If you mix red, yellow, and blue paint !(the three primary colors for a material object) you will get the black color.

Uh, no, you won't.  

Plus, so-called "black" people are not actually black, any more than so-called "white" people are white. White people are, as my five-year-old pointed out to me, pink.

braindead77 clarifies:
You are confusing black material with white light.

White light has the inherent ability (information) to produce all the colors of its own accord, when it is properly separated, whereas a black material object has the inherent ability (information) to reflect [shurely "absorb"? - ed.] all the colors of its own accord, when it is likewise properly separated .

That is why it is proper to say a black material object has more inherent information for color than any other color material object!

That is why I can draw a solid inference from the proven greater genetic diversity of Africans to their skin color also, both have been scientifically proven to have more information!

Is this clear enough for you now?

Oh yes.  But it seems to me that someone is using the word "information" a little loosely (to say nothing of "inherent," "ability," "its own accord," "solid inference" and "scientifically proven").

But this is what really puzzles me: if black people really did contain all of this "information," just because black "contains" the other colors - then that must mean that they would occasionally produce blue or red people, doesn't it?  Or am I missing something?

On a completely different subject: may I just say that I [heart] lotf, who is now my most-favored satanic creationist.  Just savor this comment from Patrick:
lotf, Seekandfind, Borne, and others,

It’d be best if this discussion does not turn into a Luciferian vs Christian religious debate.

That's money, that is.

EDIT: for clarity

Date: 2007/10/18 09:53:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 18 2007,16:36)




9:24 am
lotf is no longer with us

Boo! DaveTard just phoned that one in. Is your heart still in it, Dave? Will lotf end up here, or is he already here?

Banned for making bornagain77 look stupid!  But really for being a Satanist (or at least playing one).   Even after he had been assured that ID was religion neutral.  Lets just recall how this began:

I have to admit as a non christian (though a believer in a higher power) but supporter of ID I am seeeing more and more references to christianity here and it’s beginning to put me off. I assumed my religion would not be an issue in the science of ID but I am worried it might be.

To which gpuccio replies, reassuringly:

please, be sure that ID is pure science, and has nothing to do with religion. So, at least from my point of view, and I hope for the point of view of most people here, you are perfectly welcome, anything you may believe in.
Sometimes I am a little bit worried too when discussions here become too specifically religious. But after all, this is a blog, not a scientific congress, and I think that everyone is free to express what one feels important, provided that the general subject remains the scientific approach of ID.

And, although lotf wonders where all the references to Judaism, Islam and other religions are,  russ emphasizes that "there is no catechism for this blog."
This puts lotf's mind at rest:    
So any religious views are equal in ID? That is hopefully the case I guess it’s just maybe we see more Christian posters here as this is a US based forum.

This may be one of the few blogs a Luciferian like myself can converse with Christians without rancour.

I think lotf would be very welcome here (if he's not here already under another name...)

Date: 2007/10/18 12:39:12, Link
Author: Altabin
Botkin must be carefully distinguished from Botnik, I guess...

Date: 2007/10/19 05:41:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 19 2007,06:41)
By the way, what I do not F&$#ing understand about that photo of Davetard is that on first impression it seems to have been taken or cropped by someone who understood the rule of thirds. That's puzzling, because generally the ID people don't know anything about anything.

Perhaps it was an accident.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't done on purpose.  Near as I can see, it's a still from an ATM security camera.

Date: 2007/10/20 20:31:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Oct. 21 2007,03:23)
Rob Crowther vs. Reality

Rob Crowther:      
No Matter How You Slice It Intelligent Design is a Hot Topic

So, along with their October issue, Wired has published a Geekipedia supplement, 149 People, Places, Ideas & Trends You Need To Know, and nestled between innovation and internet radio is intelligent design...

Clearly, intelligent design as an idea isn't going away. If anything, it is gaining momentum and popularity among the public as they learn more about it.

Search volume for 'intelligent design' ('F' is the Dover decision):

Winner: Reality

And just for the h€ll of it, let's take a look at "evolution":

My theory just ate your "theory"

Date: 2007/10/20 21:41:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Oct. 21 2007,03:36)
It looks even better if you have evolution and ID on the same graph.


(Blue is ... well, you know which is which.  Note that in the bottom graph, the News Reference Volume of Intelligent Design is too small to register.)

Date: 2007/10/24 08:46:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 24 2007,14:31)
News from the Nanny Filter

Looking at Bornagain77's latest contribution over at UD (all 1217 words) provides some interesting insights by looking at which words have to be disguised to get through his filter. Therein you will find:


This is fun!  From another post:


Then there's de^ath, and (inevitably), ad^ult.

It's good to know that secure psychiatric units are keeping an eye on their patients' computer use.

Date: 2007/10/24 13:45:07, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 24 2007,20:32)
Took me a while to track down this manifesto of DT's spiritual beliefs:

That’s a really good reason for not closing the door on theistic belief. This however raises a further problem in which particular flavor of theism is the right one. Who am I to decide that a billion Buddhists or Hindus might not be the ones who have it right? In my personal life however I’m inclined to take up Pascal’s Wager. If atheists are right and you aren’t an atheist nothing much is lost. If theists are right and you’re an atheist there might be hell to pay. The smart money picks a theistic belief that’s suitable to his personal tastes and at least goes through the motions just in case. I chose non-denominational Protestantism. It makes a great working basis for civil and productive society, the overhead is minimal (ask to be saved and you are saved), I was saved as a child so there’s nothing more that needs doing (once saved always saved), it’s a common religion where I live so its easy to fit in, and so there’s really no downside unless some other religion is right but I don’t have enough evidence to make that determination. Pascal’s Wager to the letter.

Isn't "non-denominational Protestantism" all but identical with fundagelical?

Date: 2007/10/24 15:02:36, Link
Author: Altabin
Please, let us never forget the mushrooms:

Gene Induction in Fungi - Lamarckian?

As some of you may recall I wrote that I was experimenting with laboratory propagation of volvariella volvacea (Chinese Straw Mushrooms). Recently, among several other lines of R&D, I was experimenting with hydrogels as a nutrient media. So far I’ve been using them as an agar replacement with mixed results. ....

Date: 2007/10/26 08:55:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Oh, oh, oh:

Ever sat in class and had your professor straight up challenge your intelligence for suggesting even the possibility of an intelligent design in the universe?
Tired of being labeled merely for questioning aspects of the Darwinian theory of evolution?? Ever been scoffed at or ridiculed in front of your peers?
Well, here’s your opportunity to tell your story on our Website AND possibly be in the movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”! Tell the world some of the outrageous things your professors say about your questions.
You and your story just might be chosen by our producers to be in the film, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”! Let your voice be heard!

Sounds that they're a little desperate for content - four months away from the scheduled release date.

Date: 2007/10/26 15:45:07, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 26 2007,22:28)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 26 2007,15:12)
It sounds like "Penthouse Letters" for the fundamentalist set, an opportunity to write a bunch of paranoia porn.

Since the whole thing is a work of fiction, I think that they have opened the doors for contributions. I'm sure some of you can come up with better complex persecution tales for those with a well-developed persecution complex.

Of course, you probably can't post the actual submissions here, but you might drop a note here to say if you have an offering in submission.

I think I recall that there was a professor that actually has two doctorates, that was horribly abused by a graduate student recently for daring to speak about Intelligent Design.  And to make it worse, the abuser was a girl, even though the bible says women should stay at home and make babies.

Is this the kind of story that they want might want maybe?

Throw in a hot-tub and some Reddy-Wip and that's a winner!

Even better if you could fit Kristine into it as well...

Date: 2007/10/28 20:35:57, Link
Author: Altabin
Michaels7 has also read another paper on, which is now listed in the "Additional Descent" sidebar at UD:
OT note - Additional Descent: TopDown Causation by Informational Control…
I enjoyed the paper, right side as well from

As chance would have it, I actually met the lead author of this paper a few weeks ago.  He's very religious -- a scientist at the Gregorian University in Rome, and the director of a couple of high-powered Vatican scientific think-tanks.  I'm sure many here would find much to disagree with him.  But in our conversation he was quite unrestrained in his contempt for Intelligent Design, and got all rhapsodic about evolution and natural selection (which, unsurprisingly, he sees as God's way of working creation through secondary causes -- much as Coyne, the Vatican astronomer expressed it).  A theistic evolutionist, in other words -- for the ID gang, even worse than an atheist.

But give them time, and they'll be selling it as a "stealth ID classic."  Just like Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Date: 2007/10/29 09:38:53, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (franky172 @ Oct. 29 2007,16:14)
You remember Epi, don’t cha? His whole goal was to “get rid of the gods.” He and his other pre-Socratic “thinkers” like Lucretius and Democritus didn’t like all that duty and responsibility to higher powers and fellow mortals crap.

Epicurius was convinced that the myths of the Greeks involving the gods coming to earth and impregnating humans giving rise to super-humans was sheer folly.  I can see how his rejection of the myths of ancient Greece might be infuriating to Mr. Giles.  Or is Mr. Giles' point that Epicurius was right to reject the myths of his time?

Edit: <i> to quote, forgot I'm not on Fark.

Not to mention that, of all the ancient schools of philosophy, the Epicureans were renowned for living good, morally blameless lives, yet not being prigs about it.  Even their philosophical opponents who rejected their criterion for happiness (pleasure) -- especially the Stoics -- had to admit, ruefully, that the Epicureans couldn't be touched for the way they actually led their lives.

A hint: "pleasure" didn't mean shopping and f#cking.

Date: 2007/10/29 11:47:41, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Hermagoras @ Oct. 29 2007,18:32)
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 29 2007,09:38)
Quote (franky172 @ Oct. 29 2007,16:14)
You remember Epi, don’t cha? His whole goal was to “get rid of the gods.” He and his other pre-Socratic “thinkers” like Lucretius and Democritus didn’t like all that duty and responsibility to higher powers and fellow mortals crap.

Epicurius was convinced that the myths of the Greeks involving the gods coming to earth and impregnating humans giving rise to super-humans was sheer folly.  I can see how his rejection of the myths of ancient Greece might be infuriating to Mr. Giles.  Or is Mr. Giles' point that Epicurius was right to reject the myths of his time?

Edit: <i> to quote, forgot I'm not on Fark.

Not to mention that, of all the ancient schools of philosophy, the Epicureans were renowned for living good, morally blameless lives, yet not being prigs about it.  Even their philosophical opponents who rejected their criterion for happiness (pleasure) -- especially the Stoics -- had to admit, ruefully, that the Epicureans couldn't be touched for the way they actually led their lives.

A hint: "pleasure" didn't mean shopping and f#cking.

Also, neither Democritus nor Epicurus is "pre-Socratic."  What the hell, Lucretius, who was primarily a poet, was Roman and lived several hundred years after Socrates.  His De rerum natura is a great philosophical poem in the epic mode.

Missed that in the original.

Here's a few nice quotes from Epicurus's Principal Doctrines:

1)  A blessed and imperishable being neither has trouble itself nor does it cause trouble for anyone else; therefore, it does not experience feelings of anger or indebtedness, for such feelings signify weakness.

5)  It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking (when, for instance, one is not able to live wisely, though he lives honorably and justly) it is impossible for him to live a pleasant life.

12)  One cannot rid himself of his primal fears if he does not understand the nature of the universe but instead suspects the truth of some mythical story.  So without the study of nature, there can be no enjoyment of pure pleasure.

There's more wisdom and good advice there than in a stack of bibles.

Date: 2007/10/30 13:42:47, Link
Author: Altabin
My interest in UD is now pretty much limited to figuring out how batshit77's nanny filter works (consider it kind of design inference!).  His latest post adds the word "bodied" (and, I'm willing to venture, its cognates: "body" and "bodies").

A prize of one bottle of scotch whiskey for the first person who figures out, on the basis of the prohibited words, just which secure federal institution ba77 calls home.

Date: 2007/10/30 14:02:03, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 30 2007,20:51)
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 30 2007,13:42)
My interest in UD is now pretty much limited to figuring out how batshit77's nanny filter works (consider it kind of design inference!).  His latest post adds the word "bodied" (and, I'm willing to venture, its cognates: "body" and "bodies").

A prize of one bottle of scotch whiskey for the first person who figures out, on the basis of the prohibited words, just which secure federal institution ba77 calls home.

Do we have an annotated list of the words that BadApple77's filter can't handle?  Would that be a useful thread to start, just in case someone does have the time to work toward that bottle of scotch whiskey?

On the Behe blog, one word that was bowdlerized was  "do^min^ance".

Whatever secure federal facility is currently hosting Mr. Cunningham, I do hope that it is truly secure...


(Note that the whiskey will be issued under precisely the same conditions that Dembski sets).

Date: 2007/10/30 14:06:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Why does Batshit77 have to post through a nanny filter - and what are the (hospital?) authorities worried about?  A prize of a notbottle of notscotch for the first convincing answer!

So far, the words that bornagain77 cannot post without circum^venting the fil^ter are:


Please add new discoveries to this thread!

Date: 2007/10/30 16:33:49, Link
Author: Altabin
Jesus, everyone recalibrate their irony filters for Behe's latest (arguing that Miller adopts "Darwinism" for theological reasons, and is thus a stealth closet ID supporter):

My own view (which Miller spectacularly fails to grasp) is that, as a scientist, one is obliged to look at the evidence of nature dispassionately and nonjudgmentally. If the coherence and complexity of the malaria parasite point to its purposeful design by an intelligent agent, then that’s where the data point.  As a scientist, one is not allowed to pass judgment on the morality of nature. To reject the weight of evidence because it shows the universe to be something unpalatable is to betray science.

Let's not forget the endless bleating from UD and the DI that "Darwinism leads to Nazism," "ooh, look, Dawkins says that the universe is meaningless, which is a horrible thing to say, which means he doesn't love his children and likes fascism" and infinite other permutations of the is-ought fallacy...

But, predictably, they just love it at UD.

Date: 2007/11/01 06:08:53, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 01 2007,11:03)
For bacteria, Behe estimates that there have 1.E+40 cells in the history of the earth. He would define the edge of evolution for such organisms as the ability to generate two new protein-binding sites via RM+NS. (EoE, p. 143) Accordingly, if a bacterium needs to develop three new protein-protein interactions to resist a new drug, the likelihood of this occuring is extremely low.

So, all we've got to do is make a drug that bacteria can't fight unless they develop three new protein binding sites?

Stop the presses! Somebody better tell Glaxo Smith Kline!

You're not reading this carefully.  Sure, the likelihood of a bacterium developing three new binding sites is low, via RM+NS.

But Jesus could make them.  Just like that.  And if you're bad, he will.

Date: 2007/11/02 06:55:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Apparently the theory of relativity is non-materialistic.  At least, according to Batshit77:

Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we know it, comes to a complete stop at the speed speed of light. Yet, Theism has always said that God exists in a timeless eternity

(Does this mean that photons are angels?)

Note that in the Einsteinian quotemine-fest that makes up the rest of his comment, he draws extensively from that most reliable source, the Reader's Digest.

It's so exciting to be living in the middle of a paradigm shift!

Date: 2007/11/02 07:00:27, Link
Author: Altabin
BTW, where the h&ll is Bill?  

WmAD: Alright kids, your mother and I are going away just for a few days.  Uncle Dave will be looking after you.  I want you to be good for him.

BarryA: We will, Daddy.

Patrick: <opens liquor cabinet>.

He's not going to be happy when he gets back and finds the mess they've made of UD.

Date: 2007/11/02 10:39:05, Link
Author: Altabin



Date: 2007/11/04 20:54:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 05 2007,03:24)
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 04 2007,20:09)

Photoshop opportunity!

Perfect. Just perfect.

Let's not forget:

Can we get a whole Uncommon Descent Combo?

Date: 2007/11/05 14:45:07, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 05 2007,15:40)




9:29 am

I see you got around to asking the notorious question “Who designed the designer?” The answer is we don’t know and we have no empirical evidence from which to infer any answers. Confined to the question of origin of life on earth we have lots of empirical evidence - enough to warrant a design inference. I have yet to see anything about life on earth that requires a non-material designer but rather at a minimum a designer with some rather advanced (beyond current human technology) skills in biochemistry. This doesn’t rule out a designer with more than just highly developed biochemistry technology but by the same token it doesn’t require more than that either.

In another application of ID say we examine a piece of fling and determine it’s an arrowhead. What can we infer about the designer from that? We can infer a designer with some skill in knapping flint. We might be able to determine roughly when it was made from its context. But there is a lot we can’t infer about the designer. We can reasonably presume the designer was a human because they are known to have produced arrowheads provided the context supports human presence (i.e. we didn’t find the arrowhead on the planet Mars or embedded in billion year-old strata). Beyond that we simply have no empirical data to infer anything. We don’t know the age or gender of the designer, whether he/she had children or how many, what the designer died of, or really anything else at all. Biological origins are like that only we have even less to go on. We can infer it was designed and can infer a minimum skill set required to accomplish the design but, based on the evidence we have to work with today, we can infer no more. Trying to make further inferences is no more than an exercise of narrative invention (story telling).

Emphasis mine.

Poor Dave can't even play his own game. Knapping is a mechanism. If the flint was perfectly honed at a molecular level, that'd be a different designer with different capabilities. There a a few ways you can sharpen a flint;  by smashing  with another heavy object, by placing a flint in a fire and having it "explode" along lines of moisture in the flint or by Pressure Flaking if you're a bit more sophisticated. Each one will give you a different flint..

OK, here's my response to Dave - not too long-winded, I hope.

Look at this:

This is a plate from Athanasius Kircher's work On light and shadow, a seventeenth-century work on optics and, more broadly, any kind of radiation.  (Clipped from Paula Findlen's seminal article "Jokes of Nature and Jokes of Knowledge: The Playfulness of Scientific Discourse in Early Modern Europe").

Kircher reproduces here stones that have been shaped "by the effort of nature the painter" - so-called "figured stones" that, through the action of nature have taken on shapes that are meaningful to us.  Here Kircher depicts an entire alphabet of stones; in the upper left-hand corner you see an entire cityscape revealed upon splitting a rock (this sort of figured stone was very popular in Renaissance and early-modern museums, particularly if the picture happened to resemble the city in which the museum was located).

There is a huge, and rich modern literature out there about the place of these fortuitous patterns in medieval and early-modern science.  In general, though, our predecessors were all agreed that such things were not the work of intelligence.  They weren't crazy; they didn't imagine that Jesus, or some other disembodied telic entity was out there making little sculptures to amuse them.

They explained these objects in a variety of ways.  Some thought that they were simply accidents - but most people considered that a bit of a cop out.  Others argued that since the planets strongly influenced the development of minerals in the ground, they could also shape them in ways meaningful to humans.  After all, if a particular combination of planets could affect the destiny of Strasbourg, surely the same combination could make a stone look like Strasbourg.

Others, finally, thought that God had set up nature to be overflowing with creativity - a kind of exuberance that exhibited itself through visual pun and experiment (the topic of Paula F.'s paper).

Whatever the explanation, though, they were convinced that these were objects explicable within nature.  They had not been shaped by supernatural forces, still less by human hands.

Now take a look like this:

This is an ancient cameo, carved in the 3rd century BC.  It depicts the Hellenistic king Ptolemy II, and his sister and wife Arsinoe II.   It is one of the great masterpieces of ancient crafts.

When Albert the Great wrote his book On minerals in the 13th century, he described this very gem, then decorating a reliquary in Cologne (after passing through many owners, it is now in St Petersburg).

What is crucial, though, is that he explained the cameo as a natural object.  He went to considerable length to show how a combination of earthly "exhalations," flowing waters and planetary influence could have given rise to these patterns so similar to human figures.

It was the same sort of thing as the other figured stones he discussed -- a natural object, needing a natural explanation.  He did not seriously consider that it was made by a human being, since there was no known technology that could have produced such incredibly fine detailing on a tiny piece of stone.

Albert was not stupid - quite the opposite.  His false conclusion was an argument to the best explanation - because he knew of no human agent that could produce such a thing.

Thus all of Dave's talk about recognizing that flints are designed objects is simply nonsense.  The "designedness" of flints does not assert itself directly to us.  We only infer that they are designed because we know an awful lot about the designer -- us -- and what s/he is capable of doing.  If we believed that humans were incapable of making such things, we would conclude that some other agent or natural process was responsible for them.

To labor the point once again: unless we have a similar information about the designer, we cannot in principle infer biological design - at least not without falling into the same sort of error as poor old Albert.

Date: 2007/11/05 15:35:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 05 2007,22:32)
Didn't he write this totally insane post earlier?

The money quote - and fully Signature Worthy™:

"A rock is composed of three basic ingredients; energy, force and truth. "

From this post:

Jerry, one of his fellow tards, whao has admitted to teaching a Marketing Course in the past, and writes with the clarity of a Denyse O'Leary, will love the possibilities:

Rocks - Now with More Truth!

That's the third time I've seen the rant on rocks.  I believe that ba77 is running out of material.  Which is OK, since Darwinism is going to collapse any day now (or already has).

Date: 2007/11/06 11:25:50, Link
Author: Altabin
JoeG, from his "Putting the ID back into IDiot," or whatever it's called:
"What is intelligence?" My answer is that intelligence is that which can create counterflow. "Counterflow refers to things running contrary to what, in the relevant sense, would (or might) have resulted or occurred had nature operated freely."

Artifacts embody counterflow.

Now even with that clear and concise defintion along with that explanation, there are those who just refuse to understand. They are the same people beholden to sheer dumb luck all the while denying that reality.

Compare an early follower of Aristotle, in the Mechanical Problems:
Our wonder is excited, firstly, by phenomena which occur in accordance with nature but of which we do not know the cause, and secondly by those which are produced by art against nature for the benefit of mankind. Nature often operates contrary to human interest; for she always follows the same course without deviation, whereas human interest is always changing. When, therefore, we have to do something contrary to nature, the difficulty of it causes us perplexity and art has to be called to our aid. The kind of art which helps us in such perplexities we call Mechanical Skill.

("Art" = tekhne ~= what IDers would call intelligent action).

Aristotle was no slouch; neither were the natural philosophers of the early Lyceum.

But there was this thing called the "scientific revolution," one consequence of which was that the notions of "nature" and the "natural" used by Aristotle and his followers were rendered obsolete - in particular, their assertion that natural and artificial action were of utterly different kinds.

Our merry band at UD seems to have missed that bit.

As Blackadder put it, "The Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it, Baldrick?"

Date: 2007/11/06 13:11:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Hermagoras @ Nov. 06 2007,18:35)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 06 2007,11:25)
But there was this thing called the "scientific revolution," one consequence of which was that the notions of "nature" and the "natural" used by Aristotle and his followers were rendered obsolete - in particular, their assertion that natural and artificial action were of utterly different kinds.

Our merry band at UD seems to have missed that bit.

Missed it?  They want to turn back the clock!

What to do, then? Return to Aristotle? Certainly he should be read; his “Politics,” for example, is the best book on the subject ever written. But those who are contemplating a revival should consider the fundamental problem of teleology. Kant was not capable of solving the teleology riddle, but this riddle must be solved in some way order to reintroduce Aristotle and the synthetic method back into the public square.

Anyone feeling up to the challenge?


So, who in the room thinks he's smarter than Kant?  

(DaveScot, kairosfocus, Dembski, JoeG raise hands.)

Gahhhh! This kind of thing makes me crazy:
Aristotle (and Thomas) quite literally conceived of nature as the product of the divine intellect as it imposes its forms of value on matter. This notion of a ratio of intellect and matter enables the philosopher to write a book called “Ethics” in which he claims to have discerned the good as a middle term.

The Ethics thing is a complete non-sequitur.   But does Aristotle really think of "nature as the product of the divine intellect as it imposes its forms of value on matter"?  Not even a little.  Aristotle spanked Plato for that very notion.

As even my most hapless undergraduate knows, Aristotle's source of change, and of motion towards an end is internal to each natural thing.  Yes, there is a god in Aristotle's system.  But that god, eternally turned in upon itself in contemplation, is unaware that the universe exists.

Aristotle's teleology is a whole lot more subtle than Plato's, or (to say the least) that of the IDers.  On the one hand, his teleology was an important step to understanding how things are.  Particularly in biology, his observation that each and every part of an animal had to be for something was crucial - and many of his observations of functions were spot on.

On the other, he insisted that the search for teleology must be contained within the natural world itself.  A human being has certain ends (notably, to live a life of virtue in accordance with reason).  As such, s/he will need to have certain organs and abilities, directed towards the accomplishment of those ends.  But these features are not provided by "god" (who, we recall, doesn't know we exist).  As he writes in Parts of Animals:

The fittest mode, then, of treatment is to say, a man has such and such parts, because the essence of man is such and such, and because they are necessary conditions of his existence, or, if we cannot quite say this then the next thing to it, namely, that it is either quite impossible for a man to exist without them, or, at any rate, that it is good that they should be there. And this follows: because man is such and such the process of his development is necessarily such as it is; and therefore this part is formed first, that next; and after a like fashion should we explain the generation of all other works of nature.

Nature provides these parts.  In the development of each foetus, she in effect solves the problem of figuring out what would be best for the life appropriate to a human being.  Since the essence of a human requires us to exercise reason, and as subordinate ends to do things like wield tools and write with pens, nature provides us with a hand.  Without hands, it would perhaps be impossible for a man to exist qua man; or, at least, it is better that he has them.  But nature does this without deliberation or intelligence - just as (in Aristotle's opinion) a craftsman makes a boat without deliberating, or a spider a web.  And nature is not separable from the nature of a human being - they are identical.

It's not an altogether coherent notion of development and function (that's why we had a scientific revolution).  But it is a brilliant, and subtle one.  And a million miles from Jesusdidit.  Or, to be more charitable to them, a million miles from the notion that a disembodied telic entity injected "information" at some unspecified point of time.  (They should also be aware that Thomas Aquinas had a lot of hard work to do to make Aristotelianism compatible with Christianity. Aristotle's rather radical naturalism had gotten Aristotelian literalists ("Averroists") into some hot water earlier in the thirteenth century (some even found Thomas himself suspect, despite his efforts at reconciliation), and would cause more problems in the sixteenth century when it was revived in places like the University of Padua).

Creationists.  Ignorant about a lot more than just science!

I seem to be taking them all too seriously at the moment.  Let's get back to the fart jokes.

Date: 2007/11/06 20:24:30, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (CCP @ Nov. 07 2007,00:37)
Christ descending from primates carries tremendous problematic

um...presumably Mother Mary was, in fact, a primate, no? I can't remember Mark, Matthew, Luke or that other guy ever saying she was, say, a rodent of some kind.

When I was a kid, I constantly got BVM mixed up with BMV and BMW.  All three were completely entangled in my brain, to the extent that whenever I heard Our Lady's name, I involuntarily thought of a large shiny car.

I guess that's why religion never took with me.

Date: 2007/11/06 20:37:24, Link
Author: Altabin
Here's what I don't get.  The Discovery Institute is funded by mega-rich, scary homo-stoning theocrats.  They secretly put together a "Wedge Document" (MWA-HAH-HAH!!), planning to overthrow materialism through a carefully managed, semi-clandestine campaign of PR and intellectual corruption.  Creationism would be convincingly - really convincingly - repackaged as a branch of secular science, and no one would talk about religion.

Then they hand over the most public face of the whole movement - UD - to a bunch of Christ-bothering retards strung out on crystal meth (BA77, I'm looking at you).

When is Howard Ahmanson going to bang the big stick and demand WTF is going on with his investment.  If I were an evil, baby-eating theocrat like him, I would be making d@mn sure that everyone was the f*ck on-message every f*cking moment of the day.  And if they strayed one f*cking step off the "ID is an alternative science that is rapidly gaining ground in the scientific community" line, I would feed them to my f*cking dogs.

Sorry, started channeling him for a moment there.

But really - doesn't anyone care how their money is being spent?  Does Ahmanson call up Dembski and tell him he's doing a heckuva job?

Date: 2007/11/07 10:07:53, Link
Author: Altabin
A grrrrreat piece of tard from Joseph:
Can you outline a method for determining the moment of the insertion of the CSI?- JK

Why is that required? Can we tell when Stonehenge was built just by looking at it? If we date the stones would that tell us when it was built? No.

We already have processes that help us determine design from nature, operating freely. And not one of those processes relies on any timeframe.

The ID community has its hands full right now. Perhaps if society opened up a little bit IDists would have more resources and then your irrelevant question may be answered.

Briefer translation: We don't need to know the answer.  And we're too busy to find out the answer.  And the evil darwinists are stopping us from investigating the answer.  And we already know the answer, but the dog ate it.  (That last one wasn't strictly there, but it should have been).

Oh, oh, I almost missed this:
If we date the stones would that tell us when it was built? No.

Well, actually, kinda yes.

[Edit: On rereading, I can see that Joseph is trying to distinguish between the date that the stones were formed and the date that Stonehenge was built.  But it's still funny.  And what difference is a thousand extra years going to make, anyway?]

Date: 2007/11/07 10:23:35, Link
Author: Altabin
My banning was announced to me here, in a post devoted to little old me!

I'm at least runner-up.  What do I win?

BTW, there's some utterly classic stuff in the comment thread on your banning, Mr C.  Like this from Dembski himself:


Infamous: I just decided to do DaveScot a favor and boot you myself. The deal with this blog, since I’ve given it over to my friends, is to build community and “feel the love.” Unfortunately, that requires recalcitrant elements to be purged. That’s a price I’m willing to pay.

He really is a little prick, isn't he?

Date: 2007/11/07 10:40:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 07 2007,17:27)
Very impressive, but were you banned prior to that thread or actually bannished when it was written?

I believe banishment and publication were simultaneous.  I've tried to post things - innocuous and critical - a few times since then, but nothing has ever shown up.

But whether there is more than one "moment" in the action of bannination remains a mystery beyond human knowledge.  Just like how Dembski and Botnik can be the same, and yet not the same.  And how DaveScot was formed out of Cheesy Poof crumbs Dembski found in his sofa.  All great mysteries.

Date: 2007/11/07 10:55:47, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 07 2007,17:47)
I humbly step back into second place and allow you to rightfully take the first place spot.  



<weeps a little and adjusts crown> I'd like to thank my mother and father, and my third-grade teacher Mrs Wilson, who showed me that I was special.  But above all I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He saved me with his love and his precious blood, and he can save you too, Mr Christopher.

D@mn, did I just forfeit the prize?

Date: 2007/11/07 21:28:46, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 07 2007,23:40)
The anti-NOVA forces are hard at work and the  morphodyke is leading the UD charge

She quotes Behe saying,

When future intellectual historians list the books that toppled Darwin’s theory, Design of Life will be at the top.

Is Behe high?  Delusional?  That's crazy talk.  

These people have no grasp of reality do they?  William Dembksi, the Paris Hilton of Information Theory, and head Moonie Jonathan Wells are going to topple ToE?  That is crazy talk.  

Neither Dembski or Wells has a biological clue and according the Behe their little creationist handbook for the uninformed and uneducated is going to topple ToE?  They cannot even get published in any science journal and yet they are going to topple modern science with Of People and Pandas 3rd ed?

Holy crikey man my side is hurting.  This is too funny for words.

He said it, sent a copy to the Discovery Institute, and got a check by return mail.

I think it really is that simple.  Where else are the millions going?  Test-tubes and lab-coats?

Date: 2007/11/07 21:33:37, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richard Simons @ Nov. 08 2007,01:33)
I tried posting a couple of times but they never appeared. The third time I got the message that I was posting from a site that had been blocked. Now I've changed both my computer and address I'll have to try again and perhaps be a bit more subtle.

I have to bow out to those who have had their actual IP address banned, not just their username.  To say nothing of those commenters so dangerous that they are not even allowed to read UD from their IP address.  Those people are heroes, man, heroes.

With a tear, then, I cede my crown, out of admiration for all of you.

Plus there were those pictures on MySpace, but my lawyer says I'm not supposed to talk about them.

Date: 2007/11/08 06:27:50, Link
Author: Altabin
OT: Does someone recall posting something about Baylor recently, in which the president (?) stated that Baylor could not become another Wheaton, with a religious test imposed on faculty.

I've googled and cannot find it, but seem to recall it being posted here recently.  It would be useful for a discussion I'm having about my own institution (Notre Dame).

Date: 2007/11/08 07:14:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 08 2007,13:59)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 08 2007,12:07)
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 08 2007,04:34)
Frank Zappa: Sheik Yertardi, Tards en Regalia, Willie the Tard, Son of Mr Green Tard, It Must be a Tard, Bobby Tard (goes down), Dancin' Tard.....there are quite a few.

We're Only In It for the Tard... a wicked take down of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Tard's Club Band

Good one.

I was thinking Tard Wars, Joe's Tard, Tardish Princess...

There are so many Zappa songs that are appropriate. I don't mean just by substituting in the word "tard", I mean (like you with the quoted example) that the ideas and lyrics contain comments relevant to the comedy tard of UD or the culture wars etc.


Yeah, like "Why Does it Hurt When I Pee"?

Date: 2007/11/08 17:32:12, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 09 2007,00:08)
WAD, Wad, wad. What we gonna to do with you?

WAD in petulant prick mode:
I Liked the Old Atheists Better
William Dembski

Philosopher Antony Flew used to be the most prominent atheist in the English-speaking world. In the last decade, however, that has changed. Unlike Flew, who has always been civil and insightful, a new breed of atheists, who are crass and unruly, has supplanted him, notably, Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins...

WAD liked the old atheists better. Like Anthony Flew, who in his atheist days was ways "civil and insightful," always characterized by integrity.

His admiration for civility nothwithstanding, WAD's intention in this post is to express his displeasure with Oppenheimer's assement of Flew's conversion by slinging insults: Dawkins, Oppenheimer, and other contemporary athesists are "crass and uruly," "crude," "militant and amateurish," "vile," and their conduct "despicable." There is little other content.

As a bonus, WAD also manages to blame "Darwinian Materialists (like Dawkins)" for the shut down of the Michael Polanyi Center at Baylor in 2000 - when it was in this very mode as petulant prick that Dembski undid himself there, too.  

WAD, Wad, wad. What we gonna do with you?

Sweet Jesus, there's a whole lot of stupid in there.

Unlike Flew, who has always been civil and insightful, a new breed of atheists, who are crass and unruly, has supplanted him, notably, Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins.

"Crass and unruly"?  My goodness, what do they do?  Do they smash up hotel rooms? No?  Do they piss on you from a great height?  No?  What then?  They disagree with you vigorously?  Oh, my, that must be difficult to bear.

Look, if you don't agree with him, either ignore him or put up a better argument.  Don't whine.

And who are these legendary "civil" atheists, whom the new atheists supplanted.  Bertrand Russell?  Voltaire?  H. L. Mencken?  Frankly, there's not all that much that's new about the "new" atheists, and I get tired of people on both sides of the question acting like they've never heard anything like this before.

Instead of engaging the arguments of theists and admitting difficulties in their own position (for instance, atheism requires a materialistic origin of life, yet all indicators suggest that the information-rich structures of life require a designing intelligence), they issue blanket dismissals of religion.

Unless I'm entirely mistaken, one thing that does characterize the "new" atheists is their almost exclusive focus on the argument from design.  Dawkins has addressed this issue ad nauseam - did you really miss it, Bill?

In his November 4, 2007 article for the New York Times (“The Turning of an Atheist”), Mark Oppenheimer attributes Flew’s conversion to a combination of senility on Flew’s part and manipulation by Christian evangelicals. This is despicable.

At last we agree on something.  Oh wait, you mean...

[Edit: typos]

Date: 2007/11/09 20:09:29, Link
Author: Altabin
crap is allowed.  Which I guess is appropriate.

Date: 2007/11/10 07:17:50, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2007,13:24)
Holy Christ. UD has become a rusty bucket of stale piss.

DLH weedles a bit more into the bucket:
Pathalogical consequences of Darwinism vs ID

The global warming debate has striking parallels to the evolution/intelligent design debate...

Consider the parallels to the moral and philosophical consequences of Darwinism versus Intelligent Design. What if some randomly “fitter” Homo sapiens dominated others? What if they controlled resources resulting in millions dieing with little consequence. Compare intelligent beings having value as the product of Intelligent Design. In the 20th century, totalitarian regimes appealing to Darwinian evolution caused the deaths of 125 million people. They especially targeted those holding to Intelligent Design and opposing Darwinism. Advocates of both theories claim they are founded on scientific principles. Yet both theories have far reaching consequences and moral implications.

Will Darwinian policies again cause over 100 million deaths by diverting funds from the greatest needs of human suffering to ineffectual efforts to control climate change?

Ever encounter an animal carcass two days dead, roiling and heaving with maggoty decomposition? Remember the stink?

That's UD.

OK, yet another article about how Darwinism has killed hundreds of millions.

Yet even the nutjob article he cites at the beginning of the post is talking about Lysenko.  Doesn't he see the irony in that?

Date: 2007/11/11 09:26:11, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 11 2007,13:02)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 08 2007,19:32)
Shaken to the core, I must now rethink my materialist foundations, which I heretofore clung to because they granted me license to rape, pillage and plunder at will. Beauregard and O'Leary appeared on Dennis Prager's podcast today to discuss The Spatula Brain, and in so doing present a devastating, insurmountable argument. Listen to the podcast if you dare. Here I summarize their presentation:

Prager:  What is your theory?

Beauregard (with suave accent): The mind is not just electrical and chemical processes.

Prager: I know about materialism because I studied Marxism. What is the evidence for your theory?

Beauregard: The placebo effect.

Prager: Hmmm. What other evidence do you have for your theory?

Beauregard: Near death experiences (describes one).  

Prager: OK, we have the placebo effect, and near death experiences. What other evidence do you present?

O'Leary (in squeaky little voice): The placebo effect. This guy had arthritis, was given a placebo, and not only feels better, he is better. His mind must have told his his brain to tell his body to do something.  

Prager: Ah, Ha ha ha. Very interesting. I'm going to have to think about that. But isn't that just his psyche telling him he feels better?

O'Leary: That proves you have a psyche that can make your brain do things.

Prager: Ah, ha ha. I see. But how does this prove a soul?

O'Leary: When it is detachable, we call it a soul.

Prager: Very interesting. Do you have other arguments?

Beauregard: Near death experiences during standstill procedures. OK, these are anecdotal, but we are going to do some research. Near death experiences. The placebo effect.

O'Leary: Also, the placebo effect.  

Beauregard: And I can say placebo effect, too.  

O'Leary: And Near death experiences. I can say that. Placebo effect. Materialism. The placebo effect. Materialism. Near death experiences.

Listener: I understand the human desire for dualism, but the evidence you cite is purely uncontrolled and subjective. How can you call that science?

Beauregard: We are going to do some research. So it is science. Near death experiences. Placebo effect. See?

O'Leary: Plus there is the placebo effect. The soul tells the mind to tell the brain to tell the body to do something. Materialism. The placebo effect.  

Prager: Thank you very much.

Lest anyone think that RB is exaggerating, here is a portion of that magnificent tardalogue, verbatim:
Well, why couldn't the materialist argue -- and I believe in a soul, but I want to just be as fair as possible -- why couldn't the materialist -- and by the way, let me explain this to my listeners, as well -- this is something I'm very familiar with, and I know not everybody is: 'materialist' doesn't mean you like to spend money on material things --


That is the way people think of the term.  But 'materialist' in philosophy means "only matter is real."  That's what materialism means, and that is the basis of Marxism. That's how I know it, because that was my field of study.  Only matter is real, non-matter is not real.  So, this is what people are talking about here. But let me argue then, maybe if I take a placebo -- my brother believes that my vitamin C is a placebo -- he's a doctor, and they have a deep skepticism with regard to vitamins -- I claim to my brother "You know, it's amazing how little I get colds.  I take a lot of vitamins."  and he says "Dennis, God bless you, I want you to be healthy, but I think it's a placebo."  So maybe what is happening is, my psyche is in fact triggering material reactions --

Precisely!  But then that means you must in fact have a psyche --


-- that can act on your brain.

Ohhh.  Ohhh.


Which means your mind is not your brain.

Ohhh.  Ohhh.

Your mind is something that can cause an effect.

Ohhhhh. Oh oh oh.  That's a fascinating argument.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

And so, of course, again, let me explain this too:  Most of us believe we have a mind, not just a brain -- I mean, an ant has a brain, but an ant, we don't think, has a mind.  The mind is the part of us that battles the brain.  I'll give an example.  My brain wants cheesecake.  My mind says it's fattening.


All right?  Is that a fair distinction?

Yes. Yeah. Uh-huh.

Okay.  So, whereas a dog can never do that.  A dog will not look at food and think "You know, I've really overeaten today and I really want to live a long time."



Dogs have brains, but not minds, as we understand 'mind', in any event, where you could have a mind/brain difference.  So you argue, from a scientific standpoint, that we have minds, not only brains. Is that correct?

Absolutely.  Yes.

Holy crap, that's stupid beyond belief. I cannot bring myself to listen to the podcast; for one thing, I'm concerned it may damage my iPod.  The argument for dualism from cheesecake (argumentum pro dualitate ex torta casea) is beyond price.

There is something that continues to puzzle me.  Why on earth would they choose the placebo effect as an argument for dualism?  To me, it seems to be a perfect argument for materialism: "A mental conviction that a medicine is effective can bring about physical changes in the body.  The best explanation of this is that there is some continuity between the mind and the body; that mental states are in some sense physical states, which have wider physical effects."  That, it seems to me, would be the obvious conclusion from the placebo effect.  No doubt one could find a dualistic explanation for the phenomenon, but it would be hard work.  If anything, the placebo effect is a counter-example to dualism, which any philosophically respectable dualism will have to take into account.

Or am I missing something?  Are they really so stupid that they would claim a counter-argument to their position as the primary argument in favor of it?

Date: 2007/11/12 07:32:01, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 12 2007,09:45)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Nov. 12 2007,02:30)
I think I have to be fair here - I don't see any reason to doubt BA77's story, so I think you are being, well, somewhat unkind.

Fair enough, Bob.

But having been a part of that whole psycho fundy nutjob movement in my younger years, I can honestly say without hesitation that there is a certain hierarchy of reformation, if you will, within the movement.  I've seen the movement from the inside out, and Wes' example above is a mild case of a boy just getting warmed up.

The more horrible your story, the more Jesus did for you, and thus the more esteem you engender and the greater your share of bragging rights.  Keeping up with the Joneses produces a strong tendency to over-inflate the depths of iniquity from which you came.  Further, as I mentioned before, there is just so little connection to reality that something as utterly benign as a few beers with football and a little necking really does morph into "Weekly plumbing the depths of drunken debauchery and fornication".  The remainder of the comment in question speaks more eloquently than I ever could to his grasp on reality.

And really, is it any wonder?  The book around which all of this revolves tells us such things as eating pork and working on Saturday are abominations and not showing proper respect to your parents is a death penalty offense.  The thing is rife with hyperbole stretched beyond the limits of sanity.  It shouldn't be surprising that its adherents are as well.  

Add to that the track record of honesty and integrity of the Uncommon Descent denizens, and I have to respectfully disagree with you: BornBatty77 gives us plenty of reason to accept his story only with massive amounts of salt.  Could his story be both completely honest and 100% accurate?  Sure, but I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel on it.  BornBatty's story smells to me like the fundigelical equivalent of Vanilla Ice's 9mm gangsta roots in Suburbia.

But hey, I could be wrong.  That's happened occasionally.

It goes all the way back (at least) to St Augustine.  I've read the Confessions with some of my students, and (good Catholic kids they are) they all immediately empathize with his struggle against terrible sin.  But when we actually get down to cataloging what he did: "Well, he stole some pears.  And he went to a wacky Manichaean church.  And he had a stable, monogamous relationship with a woman for over decade."  And that's it; but out of those pretty meager sins, he spun one of the greatest tales of spiritual struggle ever written.

Fundagelical "witnessers" are just doing the same thing, but relying on just 1% of the intelligence and literary brilliance that Augustine could command.

Date: 2007/11/12 09:38:27, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Annyday @ Nov. 12 2007,15:13)
However, you have to remember: he practiced non-conceptual sex, for the most part, in his ten-year monogamous relationship. Scandalous stuff, the rhythm method.

Well, they did have a child, Adeodatus.

For me, the real sin in the Confessions is Augustine's dismissal of his "mistress" (wife in all but name) after his conversion.  She just drops out of the story, and he goes off with his son and his mother.

I'm with you on Augustine being the root of so much Christian guilt and (self-)hatred.  When he wanted to, though, he could write up a storm.  I still have a real affection for the guy.

Last year I saw the fresco cycle of Augustine's life in San Gimignano (by Benozzo Gozzoli).  I particularly loved the one below, which depicts Augustine in his first job as a teacher of rhetoric.  The bored-looking student in the foreground is holding a notebook in which he has written something along the lines of "Rhetoric is the art of speaking well."  This is day 1 of the semester, and he's not electrifying them yet.  As a teacher who's had his share of bad classes, I could empathize with this picture...  Plus I always like Gozzoli doggies.

We seem to have strayed off-topic...

[Edit: illiterate spelling errors]

Date: 2007/11/12 10:23:46, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 11 2007,03:33)

In latest news, steve s. is still in the crapper.

Date: 2007/11/12 10:33:54, Link
Author: Altabin

Date: 2007/11/13 22:46:57, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (franky172 @ Nov. 14 2007,04:52)
getawitness is mopping the floor with some people; I'm not sure his stance on the ID/crevo debate, but he writes clearly and makes concise points (See, KairosFocus, that's how you do that)

He's some sort of Christian, has a dry sense of humor, and uses big words like "quotidian" and "incommensurability."  I've suspected that he might be heddle.  But by this time heddle would have cracked and started blathering on about fine-tuning, so maybe not.

Date: 2007/11/14 00:32:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Nomad @ Nov. 14 2007,07:18)
I whooped with joy when the part came when Behe had all the books and papers on the immune system dumped on his desk.

"that's an old lawyer trick, of course he couldn't say he's read them all" says Phillip Johnson.

Although perhaps he might have read them before writing a book in which he dismissed them so confidently.

Date: 2007/11/14 11:44:03, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 14 2007,14:33)
Oh, and BA77 just keeps on giving the crazy
I assure you, scientists will NEVER find memories stored in the brain,

The brain diseases and injuries you refer to only indicate the brains ability to recover memory from the consciousness have been affected and does not in any way establish memories are stored in the brain.

You are looking at this problem through “materialistic lenses”. And cannot conceive that it is so!

So tantalizingly close to "I love it so!"!

Date: 2007/11/14 12:27:12, Link
Author: Altabin
I don’t watch a lot of television, but I must admit that I enjoy the History Channel


(Also waiting for the tardly reaction...)

Date: 2007/11/14 12:31:00, Link
Author: Altabin
Tardly lickspittle thy name is bornagain77:

To get back to the origin of Life and establishing a positive cas for ID (Instead of just saying GODDIDIT!) [yeah, good luck with that - me]

I think positive proof may be able to be established though such research as this;

The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, by Mario Beauregard , Denyse O’Leary

The direct positive evidence we need, is direct confirmation of intelligence actually manipulating matter. First and foremost detailed brain/behavior studies can solidly establish this! I think “The Spiritual Brain” makes a very important first step in establishing this crucial piece of evidence for the ID theory but does not go deep enough as far as establishing it to the molecular level!

Does anyone else see the importance of this research to ID?

Date: 2007/11/14 13:02:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Here’s a link to a article talking about ERV’s (”jumping genes” per Barbara McClintock) and the newly discoverd role they seem to have played in primate evolution. Here’s a quote from the link: “Now it appears that another level of evolution occurs that is not driven by point mutations. Instead, retroviruses insert DNA sequences and rearrange the genome, which leads to changes in gene regulation and expression.”

Excuse me if I’m wrong, but this, it seems to me, is the kind of thing that would be helpful to discuss here at UD.

I'm pretty sure you're wrong.


Date: 2007/11/15 06:27:22, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Annyday @ Nov. 14 2007,20:20)
I have to ask you guys, is overwhelming evidence satire?

Yes it is.  But no one can remember why it's funny any more.

[added in edit: Seriously, I think almost all but the UD regulars over there are deep-cover trolls.  quintilis, hblavatsky and quizzlestick, in particular, make comments that are beyond crazy and very, very funny, and no one ever notices.

Sadly, though, TroutMAC is for real.]

Date: 2007/11/15 09:23:45, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 15 2007,16:21)
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 15 2007,08:08)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 15 2007,07:40)

Heh heh.  That's funny as hell.

Sweet!  This opens up a whole new can of worms for the idiot that is BA77:


or, if you want to go anther direction:

dr^y dru^nk
pres^enile deme^ntia

Nu^rse Rat^ched

Date: 2007/11/15 10:20:51, Link
Author: Altabin
Stanton Rockwell is begging for a bannination:

Scubaredneck said,

   The notion that a person be required to have read every book or article on a particular view before they can challenge it is a bit absurd, actually. According to this standard, the scientists who received the Nobel for showing that ulcers are caused by bacteria and not stress should reasonably have been expected to have read each and every book and article asserting that stress causes ulcers before they could be confident that bacteria and not stress caused ulcers.

Before you can refute an idea, you have to be familiar with its adherents and their data. If you think that Miller et al were not familiar with the current literature on GI disease, or could have achieved what they did without understanding the content of the current literature, you’re simply wrong.

Being a Christian myself, I’m very sympathetic to ID theory, but I can’t understand for the life of me why Behe is so vigorously supported when it’s become clear that he is simply wrong, and continues to make a fool of himself in the face of such potent arguments. Behe admitted that he was not familiar with any of the current literature dealing with evolution of the immune system, but still waved it off as being inadequate. That alone should be enough to make us realize that we shouldn’t be hitching our wagon to his pathetic claims for IC.

Add to this the fact that both Minnich and Behe are on record as having proposed experiements that would falsify IC, but have chosen not to do them and you must realize that they are not really interested in doing science.

:p :)  :D

Date: 2007/11/15 10:23:28, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 15 2007,17:20)
Quote (Hermagoras @ Nov. 15 2007,07:33)
getawitness is shocked -- shocked!
Bugsy [160], I took your advice and Googled the paper (for those watching, it’s “Unacknowledged Information Costs in Evolutionary Computing: A Case Study on the Evolution of Nucleotide Binding Sites.”) Wow! What a story if true. As the story goes, Dr. Dembski put this refutation of Tom Schneider’s “ev” program on the evo-info website and crowed about how Schneider had not responded to it. Then when the paper was soundly refuted and shown to contain devastating errors, it was removed without comment from the site.

Now, if this story is true, it seems scandalous. Dr. Dembski has routinely decried the Darwinist rewriting of history that he observes. (He did so just weeks ago in the case of Homer Jacobson.) Is there any place where he either retracts the paper publicly, contests the refutation by Schneider and others, or offers another explanation for its disappearance? I would like to believe that the story is not as it seems.



Hmmm, well it's there now.

Date: 2007/11/15 10:35:26, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 15 2007,17:29)

You just don’t get it. ID predicts that AIDS will outrun our attempts to control it, all the while remaining a virus and not turning into a carrot or a labrador retriever. We are well justified in inferring that this is the design of the organisms, which matches exactly with the historical fact of G*D sending plagues on Egypt and bears to smite the rebellious children mocking prophets.

We've never observed the HIV virus turning into a dog or a root vegetable.  Therefore God did it, and he's an evil bastard.

Pssst, Er*sm*s *s * s*ck p*pp*t.

[Edit: Umm, at least I think he is.  Not so sure now, having read Erasmus FCD's post.  It's all getting a bit too confusing.]

Date: 2007/11/15 10:48:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 15 2007,17:44)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 15 2007,10:35)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 15 2007,17:29)

You just don’t get it. ID predicts that AIDS will outrun our attempts to control it, all the while remaining a virus and not turning into a carrot or a labrador retriever. We are well justified in inferring that this is the design of the organisms, which matches exactly with the historical fact of G*D sending plagues on Egypt and bears to smite the rebellious children mocking prophets.

We've never observed the HIV virus turning into a dog or a root vegetable.  Therefore God did it, and he's an evil bastard.

Pssst, Er*sm*s *s * s*ck p*pp*t.

[Edit: Umm, at least I think he is.  Not so sure now, having read Erasmus FCD's post.  It's all getting a bit too confusing.]

Maybe UD's Erasmus is the real one, and the Erasmus that posts here is the sock puppet?

That would make sense.  After all, for the last two years William Dembski has actually been played by Richard T Hughes.  Anything can happen.

Date: 2007/11/15 20:14:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 16 2007,01:29)



4:28 pm
bFast, this is good news. Michael’s radio show, coupled with the Expelled movie, and Denyse O’Leary’s print journalism will break the liberal stranglehold on science media. The Darwinists are losing the PR battle and their so-called science will crumble right behind it

Is poachy one of us?  Deep mole?

I think so:
Joseph writes:

All I can say about this fiasco is I cannot wait until I get elected to a school board.

Run, Joseph, run! Now that ID has won the battle with science, we need to get back into a courtroom in front of a good Republican judge.

tribune7 doesn't get the joke, though:


we need to get back into a courtroom in front of a good Republican judge.

Or just a judge whose background was not buying large quantities of liquor with other people’s money.

Date: 2007/11/15 22:03:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 16 2007,04:52)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 15 2007,10:48)
That would make sense.  After all, for the last two years William Dembski has actually been played by Richard T Hughes.  Anything can happen.

Unlucky Atheist materialist, Richard T Hughes has been played by William Dembski.

Deep cover fundy goodness.

In that case, William Dembski has been playing RTH, who in turn has been playing DaveScot (who has just been playing with himself).

That makes everything much clearer - thanks.

Date: 2007/11/16 12:04:10, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 16 2007,18:58)
Dembski Retraction:




12:55 pm
Is there any place where he either retracts the paper publicly, contests the refutation by Schneider and others, or offers another explanation for its disappearance?

Thanks to those who pointed to a bug in our software. This paper has been withdrawn.

For revised analysis, see HERE.

Not sure if Bill has publicly stated if they intend to revise and resubmit.

Suprise! the link is dead...

For me, the link to the "retraction" and to the Powerpoint revision  are both working now.

Date: 2007/11/17 07:59:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Annyday @ Nov. 17 2007,13:58)
O'Leary's latest post is too stupid for words.

In other news, fire is hot.

I tried reading it, but at some point I was actually unable to extract any meaning from her words:
646 p.m. EST: Anika Smith of Discovery Institute calls academic freedom at Baylor a sham and urges alumni to reconsider donations: “Every dollar you donate to Baylor helps to enable the continued persecution of Prof. Marks.”

Well yes but - here I am momentarily taken aback - Anika, I thought that was the kind of thing donors wanted. I mean, they can give money to a respectable Baptist university (which just tickles Aunt Marge, right?). And they NEVER need to worry that Baylor is going to kick them in the face by creating a genuine problem for the 78% of eminent evolutionists who are pure naturalists (no God) by showing - using the methods of science - that their big idea cannot work. And if that ever happens, why, Baylor faculty might be distinguishable from Dan Dennett and Sam Harris.

Either that wouldn’t be cool or cool would change.

Nothing. I get nothing from that.

Date: 2007/11/19 09:49:44, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 19 2007,16:15)
I dare you to keep a straight face..

One way I contrast liberals from conservatives is this: Liberals conform reality to their way of thinking; conservatives conform their way of thinking to reality.

Guess which part of this dichotomy the Darwinists belong to?

As to examples of liberals conforming reality to their way of thinking: (1) men and women are the same [one presumes that those who proclaim this “truth” have never seen naked photos of men and women;

Oooh, ooh, I have!  <blushes and sits back down>

But he's got a point; so I issue a challenge to the UDer: post a photo of Dembski and O'Leary in the style of John and Yoko in Two Virgins.

That won't actually prove the point.  But it will cure me of my UD addicition speedy quick.

Added in edit: Belatedly I realize that Photoshops will be shuddering into life all over the net.  <gag>

Date: 2007/11/19 16:59:34, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 19 2007,23:27)
OMG OMG!!!!11111


I admit I am by no means an expert in brain injuries...

Oh, too modest, too modest, my dear bornagain77...

Date: 2007/11/20 10:21:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 20 2007,16:37)

(I still think that someone should bribe a teacher in Dover to discuss ID in the classroom. That is how Scopes got into the fray. Then ID gets back into the courtroom, this time without any religiously motivated school board.)

This is just extraordinary, and should be exhibit A if there's ever an ID case again.  It not only shows what moral midgets we're dealing with here.  It also undermines their incessant claim that ID is not only science, it is good, exciting, paradigm-busting science.  The sort of science that teachers are desperate to teach, if only the ACLU would get out of their way.

So why the need for the envelope stuffed with used 20s?

Date: 2007/11/20 10:23:00, Link
Author: Altabin
Our favorite fundy has a nice take-down of Design of Life.

Date: 2007/11/21 11:07:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Nov. 21 2007,17:53)
He's banned.  just silently.  I keep waiting for the thread to be deleted, but comments have not gone through three times in a row.  I was hoping there would be more of a fuss.

Wait, you're Solon?!

If so, bravo!

Date: 2007/11/22 20:28:38, Link
Author: Altabin
Is mynym the most disgusting specimen UD has thrown up yet?  Just wondering.

Date: 2007/11/29 15:30:57, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 29 2007,20:38)
Oh, well played gentlemen!  Well Played!  That was, without a doubt, the most intriguing, scintillating game of Mornington Crescent that I, or anyone else here, has ever witnessed.

At first I thought that I had gotten a little lost, wandered over to Uncommon Descent and was witnessing the usual back and forth exchange of ideas expressed by BA77 and jehu.

However, I was quickly disabused of that notion, and realized I was in the presence of the often heard about, but rarely seen Game of The Mornington Masters.  From the well-played and dangerous Aldritch, to the crashing conclusion of the Mornington Move, I am sure that I speak for us all here, when I say that we were breathless.

Masters?  Not really.  Frankly, I was a little underwhelmed.  Lou and huwp missed the rather obvious Krostenko gambit they could have played in the second move (via Woodside Park and Victoria Coach Station, if I really need to spell it out).  Game over, right there.

In other news, Samantha tells me she has to nip off to a rare breeds farm where they still plough with huge beasts of burden. She's become friendly with a couple of farmhands who are going to show her their gigantic ox.

Date: 2007/11/29 18:51:21, Link
Author: Altabin
From today:
It was an Ac^ci^dent also?

That's the whole post.  I swear he's taking the piss out of himself.

Date: 2007/11/29 20:33:45, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 29 2007,23:24)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 29 2007,16:30)
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 29 2007,20:38)
Oh, well played gentlemen!  Well Played!  That was, without a doubt, the most intriguing, scintillating game of Mornington Crescent that I, or anyone else here, has ever witnessed.

At first I thought that I had gotten a little lost, wandered over to Uncommon Descent and was witnessing the usual back and forth exchange of ideas expressed by BA77 and jehu.

However, I was quickly disabused of that notion, and realized I was in the presence of the often heard about, but rarely seen Game of The Mornington Masters.  From the well-played and dangerous Aldritch, to the crashing conclusion of the Mornington Move, I am sure that I speak for us all here, when I say that we were breathless.

Masters?  Not really.  Frankly, I was a little underwhelmed.  Lou and huwp missed the rather obvious Krostenko gambit they could have played in the second move (via Woodside Park and Victoria Coach Station, if I really need to spell it out).  Game over, right there.

Well in all fairness to myself, I'm rather new to The Game, having only first encountered it two years ago, and then I was on my honeymoon and it was therefore not the foremost objective on my mind.

Rather, I was foolishly concentrating on the dual objectives of the various museums in London, and our hotel room.

Thank you J-Dog for your kind words.  I'm rather proud of how long I, an amateur Yank, lasted against two obviously superb opponents.

Quote (Tom Ames @ Nov. 29 2007,16:43)
Although that might not do you any good--the journal uses a rather obscure (though brilliant!) compression scheme that most archive utilities tend to choke on.

Indeed, that is exactly the issue I'm having with downloaded copies of the Tudor Rules.

I'm sorry if I was a little dismissive.  You've got to understand that I was a child MC prodigy.  While other kids were outside playing ball and sticking firecrackers up cats' butts, I was at home, a lonely child,  with only my copy of Wallingford's Revised Rules (Revised) for company, painfully learning the variations on the Shaftsbury Avenue Defense Declined.

At sixteen I made it to the world championships, the youngest competitor ever to proceed so far.  In the finals, I faced none other than Karlov Krostenko himself.  Still I can see him, even now, his monocle glinting in the dying embers of the day, as he savagely rifled through Petrovich's Unified International Rules with his mechanical hand.

It was in that final game that he developed the infamous Krostenko Gambit.  To my Epping Forest he played not the expected Brixton, nor even Mudchute Docklands Light Rail Station (which would have been unconventional, but still within the bounds of standard theory and good sportsmanship), but Dalston Kingsland, Cutty Sark (!) and, inevitably, Mornington Crescent.  Brutal.  On live Icelandic television, I ran weeping from the arena.  It was my last game, and the end of my career.

The way in which today's match developed (identically, in fact, if you take into account the reverse huffs) brought it all back, painfully.  It is a sport for the daring, too rich, I now know, for my blood.  Warriors, I salute you!

Date: 2007/11/30 05:15:40, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Tom Ames @ Nov. 30 2007,04:21)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 29 2007,18:33)
I'm sorry if I was a little dismissive.  You've got to understand that I was a child MC prodigy.  While other kids were outside playing ball and sticking firecrackers up cats' butts, I was at home, a lonely child,  with only my copy of Wallingford's Revised Rules (Revised) for company, painfully learning the variations on the Shaftsbury Avenue Defense Declined.

At sixteen I made it to the world championships, the youngest competitor ever to proceed so far.  In the finals, I faced none other than Karlov Krostenko himself.  Still I can see him, even now, his monocle glinting in the dying embers of the day, as he savagely rifled through Petrovich's Unified International Rules with his mechanical hand.

It was in that final game that he developed the infamous Krostenko Gambit.  To my Epping Forest he played not the expected Brixton, nor even Mudchute Docklands Light Rail Station (which would have been unconventional, but still within the bounds of standard theory and good sportsmanship), but Dalston Kingsland, Cutty Sark (!) and, inevitably, Mornington Crescent.  Brutal.  On live Icelandic television, I ran weeping from the arena.  It was my last game, and the end of my career.

The way in which today's match developed (identically, in fact, if you take into account the reverse huffs) brought it all back, painfully.  It is a sport for the daring, too rich, I now know, for my blood.  Warriors, I salute you!

Don't tell me we're in the august presence of the autistic-savant Alastair "Little Stinky" Bozeman!

I was a big follower of your MC exploits back before you had that legal trouble, and before the whole farm animal thing. Your Utopia Planitia was, of course, stunning to those of us who watched the Bulgarian Invitationals live. That was the play that made me realize that I didn't have anywhere near the single-minded dedication necessary to make a career of the game.

But it's really no wonder you decided to get out of the spotlight. Having those pictures splashed all over the talk shows must have been mortifying. I hated to see a brilliant career ruined, but, to be honest, I also was a little too disgusted by the end there to really consider myself a fan anymore.

But you seem to have recovered well! Learning to type is a huge accomplishment for someone with your special abilities. You sound just like a normal person!

(I'd suggest keeping your true identity hidden though. And don't ever go anywhere near my family, you pervert.)

It's easy to judge.  But the goat never had anything to complain about.  Quite the opposite.  If you'd known her you would have done the same.

Date: 2007/11/30 07:26:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 30 2007,14:25)
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 30 2007,11:15)
It's easy to judge.  But the goat never had anything to complain about.  Quite the opposite.  If you'd known her you would have done the same.


Spoken like a true welshman, Llwis.

Date: 2007/11/30 07:44:26, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 30 2007,14:19)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 30 2007,07:49)
The sun has been shining on the earth for billions of years. Yet things like books, cars, highways, and computers didn’t form from the energy of the sun alone.

Nor pianos. The sun was shining for either thousands or billions of years but there was nothing like concert grands or LPs or sheet music. Nor can you can download my recordings of the Romantic Piano just anywhere.

- Gil

I've been thinking about Davies' yak yak and the highly organized attempts of materialists gone mad to dominate the world by suppressing free thought and realized thereby that there is something inherently self-contradictory about Darwinoids organizing in response to thought because both organization and thought are both non-material conceptual extensions of intelligence, and could not have risen by random molecular collisions in a test tube and therefore such organized domination of thought is self-refuting, ideas Mario and I have developed in our lib The Spatula Brain available at stores everywhere appropriate for the Christmas giving season in Canada. Or you can get our highly original work here.

- Denyse

Hmm, that's kind of spooky.  A 2002 book by Barbara Bruce, entitled Our Spiritual Brain: Integrating Brain Research and Faith Development, and a 2007 book by Densely and Maroon called The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul.

Could it be a coincidence?  Is there any room for a design inference here?

Date: 2007/11/30 07:50:26, Link
Author: Altabin

I’ve always heard from evolutionists how the sun provides “more than enough energy” for abiogenesis. But it’s completely counter-intuitive, for what happens to any object left in the sun for an extended period of time is exactly what one would expect: deterioration.

Yep.  Like trees, for instance.

Date: 2007/11/30 10:22:52, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (huwp @ Nov. 30 2007,17:05)
I am extremely proud of being Welsh, although I always feel a bit uncomfortable that our American cousins have National Parks which are bigger than the Land of My Fathers.

I seem to recall Arden is a linguist (I may be completely wrong, of course) but I'm sure he must appreciate a language which has soft, nasal and aspirate mutations.

OK I'll shut up now and get back to Mornington Crescent for Dummies.

PS Louis - I agree; an MC thread would wither and die, which would be a shame.  Much better to have an occasional outbreak.

Quarter-welsh myself (my grandmother was from Abergavenny, where I spent some time as a very young child).  Spent much of my formative years in New Zealand - so a sheep-shagger via both nature and nurture, you might say.

Date: 2007/12/01 14:06:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 01 2007,17:59)
Let's see if some sockpuppet can get him to use the word "cheerleader".

Or "nubile coed hoo-hoos," or something.

Speaking of which, what's happened to Joel Barofsky?  Stoplyingtous now needs a user/pass to access.

Date: 2007/12/01 14:10:56, Link
Author: Altabin
Now that the original video has been found (see here, via ERV), and the narration is clearly audible, I find it a little disappointing, given the brouhaha that it has stirred up.  It sounds like a bland, basically factual, amateurish narrative.  Can anyone point out to me what is specifically creationist about the narrative or editing?

Not a biologist - maybe I missed it.

Date: 2007/12/01 22:42:50, Link
Author: Altabin
From Densely's latest stupid-dump:
Interesting. Strict intelligent design theory has never had - so far as I can determine - a problem in principle with natural selection (NS) as a conservative force that routinely eliminates non-functional life forms. Anyone can see that NS must function that way; otherwise, the planet would be overloaded with kludges.

Interesting.  Until Behe's latest lunacy, most IDers were willing to accept that NS could be responsible for "micro-evolutionary" changes like the development of antibiotics resistance.  Even YECists are OK with that.  But now even that's front-loaded.

The PROBLEM has always been with the idea that natural selection functions as a mechanism for creating information, as opposed to editing information. ID theorists have not been able to find any evidence that natural selection creates information at anything like the levels that Darwinists claim, and there is much evidence against it.

Ignoring, for the moment, that ID theorists cannot find their asses in the dark....  It would be crazy, wouldn't it, Denise, to imagine that tiny amounts of "information" could, over several thousand generations, add up to a lot of "information."

Which is, like, curtains, for Darwin’s theory.

STOP PRESS! DO'L is a sockpuppet!  She's being played by Shaggy!  RUH-ROH!

Date: 2007/12/02 22:50:16, Link
Author: Altabin
From DO'L's latest turgid, nonsense-stuffed ... oh, what's the point.  She wrote it, no more need be said.  Anyway, this phrase grabbed me:
This isn’t Muppet Laboratories, after all, where all the puppets go back into the box at the end of the show.

Oh yes it is.

PS (in edit): Yes, let's leave teh sexi Velma out of this.  Who would have guessed so many online geeks had the hots for the same Mystery Machine chick?

Darwinist: And we would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling UD kids!

Date: 2007/12/04 19:42:19, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 05 2007,02:36)
You're not an IDer, so we don't have to worry about that sort of behavior from you. We'll get you sorted out.

Why do I think dheddle will want to carefully qualify that statement?

Date: 2007/12/04 20:59:55, Link
Author: Altabin
D@mn, I missed this; MacT quoting Luskin's piece on the Gonzalez tenure case:

From the full article:
“Dr. Gonzalez is not teaching intelligent design in classes. The majority of his research is based on astronomy and cosmology. He has stellar reputation as cosmologist and astrologer. Why wouldn’t you want a great scientist like that on your staff?” Luskin said.

A “stellar reputation as” . . . an astrologer?

That's too funny.

Date: 2007/12/05 13:53:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Don Quixote.  Just finished the first part - one of the funniest things I've read.  Man, there are some nice parallels there with IDC.  But perhaps a little too obvious.  I just want to quote something that I thought would appeal to you here.  (Well, I thought it was funny, anyway).

It's from Cervantes' introduction to the second part of the book.  (The second part was issued some years after the first.  In the meantime, an anonymous author had published his own second part to the story.  Cervantes attacks him, telling his readers to take this message to him if they ever meet him):

In Sevilla there was a madman who had the strangest, most comical notion that any madman ever had.  What he did was to make a tube out of a reed that he sharpened at one end, and then he would catch a dog on the street, or somewhere else, hold down one of its hind legs with his foot, lift the other with his hand, fit the tube into the right place, and blow until he had made the animal as round as a ball, and then, holding it up, he would give the dog two little pats on the belly and let it go, saying to the onlookers, and there was were always a good number of them, "Now do your graces think it's an easy job to blow up a dog?"  Now does your grace think it's an easy job to write a book?

Added in edit: Added in edit

Date: 2007/12/05 18:27:55, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (J-Dog @ Dec. 05 2007,22:37)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 05 2007,15:34)
Joseph is an interesting guy

Also there isn’t one peer-reviewed paper that can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between allegedly closely related species, such as humans and chimps.

The premise that we share a common ancestor with chimps cannot even be tested.

see for yourself

With insight like his ToE doesn't stand a chance.  You biology, sciency guys better start looking for work.

Deep cover puppet?  Can anyone really be that stupid?

This is priceless:

I disagree with getawitness.

I would say it is in a young scholar’s best interest to publish popular science books.

That way he/ she can make their own money to fund their own research and therefore get out of the academic pap that resides at universities.

Right.  Good luck with that.

That whole thread is ... special. A special thread, for special commenters.

Added in edit: "Added in edit"

Date: 2007/12/05 18:40:29, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 06 2007,01:18)
Dude, John Kwok is seriously one of the funniest mo-fos I have ever met on the internet.  The emails he gets from Dembski... omg...

Go vote up his review, if youve bought something from Amazon :)

Dembski not pleased:

Essentially what’s happening is that the Darwinists aren’t even bothering to read the book. If they actually did, then there might be more actual reviews from them. But there just aren’t any. The one review from Kwok is from a man who gives no evidence of having read the book.

The kicker is this, however: The Darwinian sympathizers are simply logging in and voting up the 1-star review and voting down the 5-star reviews (in answer to the yes|no question “was this review helpful to you”). That of course takes much less effort than writing a review. What we are witnessing here is lazy Darwinists co-opting the system.

But the most awesome part are the tags Kwok and others have added to the book: "breathtaking inanity," "crank," "creationism," "worthless" and, my favorite, "mendacious intellectual porn."  Just to make it easier to search for, y'see.

Date: 2007/12/05 21:10:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (The Wayward Hammer @ Dec. 06 2007,03:57)
Or Wales.  I mean, isn't Louis Welsh?

Yes.  He is.  Very much so.

"Added in edit."™

Date: 2007/12/05 21:42:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 06 2007,04:04)
The tard is strong with this one.

As an ID supporter I predict that there will be extra genes in Baboon E Coli and extra genes in Human E Coli but that the origin of these functioning genes will be gene transfer. There should be some random neutral mutations in the other E Coli genes as there have been about 730X10^6 generations of separate development. Of special interest would be the flagellar genes.

What do you think of my predictions? Can ID make predictions? Is ID testable? Will anyone do this experiment?

That would, in fact ... be normal biology. There's nothing to do with intelligence or design in these predictions whatsoever. Also, there's basically no supporting argument for them, this is just a list of changes based upon dead guesswork. Guessing at random and hoping you're right != a scientific prediction.

Watch the cheerleaders over there go "ZOMG such genius, Darwinists are teh cowardly and merely not studying E coli enough to prove us right!"

WTF kind of a prediction is "Of special interest would be the flagellar genes"?  What would they look like if they weren't of special interest?

Edited because editing is teh sexi.

Date: 2007/12/05 22:22:41, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 06 2007,04:53)
Quote (Altabin @ Dec. 05 2007,21:42)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 06 2007,04:04)
The tard is strong with this one.

As an ID supporter I predict that there will be extra genes in Baboon E Coli and extra genes in Human E Coli but that the origin of these functioning genes will be gene transfer. There should be some random neutral mutations in the other E Coli genes as there have been about 730X10^6 generations of separate development. Of special interest would be the flagellar genes.

What do you think of my predictions? Can ID make predictions? Is ID testable? Will anyone do this experiment?

That would, in fact ... be normal biology. There's nothing to do with intelligence or design in these predictions whatsoever. Also, there's basically no supporting argument for them, this is just a list of changes based upon dead guesswork. Guessing at random and hoping you're right != a scientific prediction.

Watch the cheerleaders over there go "ZOMG such genius, Darwinists are teh cowardly and merely not studying E coli enough to prove us right!"

WTF kind of a prediction is "Of special interest would be the flagellar genes"?  What would they look like if they weren't of special interest?

Edited because editing is teh sexi.

Only the most important kind of prediction EVER.

The big prediction around which all of ID revolves- "Evolution can't do stuff." "Do stuff" this time means "evolve a flagellum" again, it's just being written badly.

And presumably ID predicts something very specific about its single most important "artefact," the flagellum.  Like its genes will contain some specific feature which evinces artificial manipulation, just as clearly as the chisel-marks on Mt Rushmore.  Surely that's the sort of thing a theory would do?

Date: 2007/12/07 11:47:20, Link
Author: Altabin
BA77 confirms, lest anyone forget it for a second, that he is indeed a tard:
I have my own “religiously” motivated way at looking at the weather, not to belittle man’s responsibility to be good stewards of the earth, but I feel, just like many other Theists, that God is ultimately in control of the weather. And I, for one, am extremely relieved that He is ultimately in control.

All meteorological science so far!  But I have to warn you not, under any circumstances, to read the rest of the post.  For Batshit77 has written a poem to express his feelings about the weather.  It has an effect very similar to Vogon poetry.  I have read it so that you do not have to.  I quote just the closing lines to give you the flavor:
The clouds open up, The rain pours down
But it is not really raining, the clouds are really crying
Crying for the world must face yet another day
Face yet another day of being one step short of paradise.


Date: 2007/12/07 16:51:14, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 07 2007,23:46)
Just to make y'all green with envy, I'm off to a physics department faculty Christmas (or whatever it is called) party. And everyone knows, we physicists know how to par-tay. Why, after a few rounds of eggnog, the things we'll try to quantize! It will be scandalous.

Pfff.  I'm going to a liberal-arts faculty party.  There won't be any alcohol, because the medievalists get all unnecessary after their second chardonnay.  And the theologians just throw up.  It will rock.

Date: 2007/12/10 19:59:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Hermagoras @ Dec. 11 2007,01:36)
You know what else bacteria can't resist, Gil?  The Romantic Piano.  Chopin, Lizst, Rachmaninoff.  They're seduced like a debutante at a drive-in.


Date: 2007/12/11 16:33:48, Link
Author: Altabin
On the poisonous Colorado thread:

I have to say how impressed I have been that this blog is emerging from a self-imposed “keep it to the science” straightjacket and unashamedly tackling the materialist/atheist position on more fronts.

We will make more progress by calling out the influence of Darwinism in a larger context, in a social and philosophical context and not just a scientific one. We need to continue to point out those connections between materialism/atheism and eugenics, nihilism, mass murders and general sociopathic and psychotic behaviour.

Yes, it has been a refreshing departure for UD.

Date: 2007/12/13 06:55:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Dec. 13 2007,06:49)
so far they have failed to catch four of them.  i think i must share an address with some of the other clowns or something.  but i'll keep it in mind, thanks

in other news i found some tard worth reeading.

it starts like this:  H'mmmmm.  Onlookers.  praxis.  ideologues secular sad.

then the jewel.  i nearly pooped on myself again.

...a gun man who tried to shoot a parishioner in front of the congregation. The gun malfunctioned and she beat him off with her Bible — literally. Unfortunately, he simply withdrew...

now THAT sounds like a fekkin good church service.  God Damn sign me up.

I fnorted over that too.

But, to give him some credit, kairosfocus for once said something intelligent:

... the madman distills his notions out of ideas available in his environment. ...

That means that those who comment in public or serve as educators — and that includes on the Internet, folks — have a duty to be tempered, objective, fair, accurate and balanced.

Otherwise, we help to sow the little winds of hate and feed the tornadoes of murderous violence that stem from that hate.

It is as simple as that, and as painfully and personally telling as that. It’s not just Dennett or Pullman or Dawkins, it is us.

Date: 2007/12/14 07:58:42, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 14 2007,14:51)
I happen to believe - I don't know if I could prove this - I happen to believe that during the original creation with the canopy of water overhead, increased air pressure and filtered sunlight, fermentation was not possible. I don't think Noah knew what he was doing when he got drunk. It was an accident. He was used to making the grape juice [...] so I'm going to give Noah the benefit of the doubt and assume his getting drunk was purely accidental ignorance.
Truth Radio 1 August 2006 (Tape 1)

The phrase "I don't know if I could prove this" elevates standard-issue tard to immortal comedy.

Date: 2007/12/14 08:05:18, Link
Author: Altabin
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (franky172 @ Dec. 14 2007,14:24)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 14 2007,00:59)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 13 2007,23:37)
Quote (franky172 @ Dec. 13 2007,21:13)
Quote (Touchstone @ Dec. 13 2007,20:16)
Quote (franky172 @ Dec. 13 2007,20:07)
Quote (Touchstone @ Dec. 13 2007,19:50)
Quote (Touchstone @ Dec. 13 2007,19:47)
Just for grins, I brewed up a set of spoof "inspirational posters" for the Intelligent Design d00dz as part of some good-natured jousting on an email loop I'm on.  Just thought I'd share a couple here.

More at my blog here.


Whoops, sorry 'bout that. Guess I have to link to the large-format pic.




I'm partial to Consilience.... what?


Sorry about the link bummage. Not sure what voodoo I'm missing on IMG tags here, but I can't edit, so folks can click over if they wanna have a look.


It looks like doesn't allow hot-linking - i.e. you can't direct link to pics from other sites.  For example, I can't link to your pics using <img src =""> also.

Try hosting them on any of the free image hosting sites like Flickr or photobucket...

I'll be honest, I just wanted to add another quote box into to the mix. I have nothing to say.

Oh dear, oh dear.  We all kjnow what's going to happen now.


Oh, I get it.

Date: 2007/12/14 11:06:58, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 14 2007,17:41)
This is interesting Janice and Dacook;

Princeton scientists break cholera’s lines of communication

Let's see what the discoverer, Bonnie Bassler, says. "Cell-to-cell communication in bacteria was likely one of the first steps in the evolution of higher organisms." But what would she know.

From Bassler's CV:

Dr. Bassler is the director of graduate studies in the Molecular Biology Department, and she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses.  She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Theobald Smith Society Waksman Award and the American Society for Microbiology’s Eli Lilly Investigator Award for fundamental contributions to microbiological research.

Clearly she has been brainwashed, quite literally, by all these Darwinist institutions.

Only a refrigerator serviceman or a homeless drunk in a public library can really tell what's going on.

Date: 2007/12/16 23:58:35, Link
Author: Altabin
junior high is allowed through unfiltered, but probably shouldn't be.

Date: 2007/12/20 06:50:15, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 20 2007,03:51)
But if you think that the information service that Bill Dembski has provided you here for years - out of his own resources - is worthwhile, go to Amazon and vote up the reviews that sound like the person has actually READ the book. Vote the others down.

Meh.   This is pretty typical in the early days of any scientific revolution or paradigm shift.  Who can forget Bohr's campaign to vote down Einstein's review of his Theory of Spectra and Atomic Constitution (the one in which Einstein famously wrote, "God does not play dice, beeeatch")?

Just the normal rough-and-tumble of high-level scientific discourse.

Date: 2007/12/20 08:32:54, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (George @ Dec. 20 2007,15:01)
Quote (Amadan @ Dec. 19 2007,08:45)
I Am the Very Model of a C-Design-Proponentsist

Any ID response to this work of art?

"Down With This Sort of Thing!" would be apt.

Careful, now!

Date: 2007/12/29 23:42:16, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2007,06:11)
Quote (J. O'Donnell @ Dec. 29 2007,23:09)
Quote (someotherguy @ Dec. 29 2007,22:51)
Waterloo called off on account of nobody showing up:  Design of Life is #28,829 in books at Amazon.

Weren't they skiting just a few days ago that it was at number 4,000 or something?

Is 'skiting' an Australianism?

And New Zealandism.  I remember using it to the incomprehension of our former colonial masters (having spent my childhood and teens there).

Edited for kicks.

Date: 2008/01/07 00:35:06, Link
Author: Altabin
Quote (Mister DNA @ Jan. 06 2008,23:00)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 06 2008,15:14)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 06 2008,09:18)
Ahhhh, but is the addition of information due to purposeless random culled accidents, or is it by design?*

*we need a sparkle-y font for D-E-S-I-G-N like PZ does comic for the creobots.

Try this thing, maybe?

I tried "All Science So Far" with that link, but no luck.

This one works, though.

Look for Arden to start posting glittery lolcats in 3... 2...

Me like!

Date: 2008/01/14 23:20:33, Link
Author: Altabin
Unlettered and Ordinary, from ID predictions thread:
One predictions I have for ID is that nature holds the keys to advanced technology for us humans to unlock. In every living thing at lease one technological advancement waiting to be discovered. Properly understood and utilized, all the organisms that make up our eco-systems will propel human intellect to places we cannot imagine.


Does that count as a prediction?


Taking ID broadly, it predicts signs of intelligence. After that, you can make a bunch of lower-level predictions. Front-loading, DNA, molecular machines, etc.

Umm, I thought that the existence of molecular machines was one of the pieces of so-called evidence for ID, not one of its predictions?

Date: 2008/01/16 08:48:16, Link
Author: Altabin
StephenB, from (where else?) the ID predictions thread:

As ID continues to prove itself researchers will become more sensitive to the notion that some things were designed for a purpose
and should not be tanpered with.
[1] Researchers will abandon their reckless battle cry, “anything we can do it ought to do,” and replace it with the assertion, “we are moral stewards of the earth.” They will stop trying to clone human beings and focus their efforts on using science to promote the common good.

[2} There will be a return to the “natural moral law” as the standard for jurisprudential wisdom.” When science finally confirms the wisdom of the ages and proves that all creatures are products of a thoughful design, society and culture will take the hint and think more seriously about objective morality.

{3} The unnatural perception that science and religion should be radically separated will give way to the common sense fact that two disciplines are distinct but related. This will foster a much more fruitful environment for scientiic inquiry.

In other words, ID will help promote the idea that science is less about using humanity and more about serving it.

Why not just predict that Jesus will return?