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Date: 2007/11/10 06:48:47, Link
Author: Annyday
My irony meter just imploded from reading that whole post.

Also, hi. Been following this thread for a while now.

Date: 2007/11/10 07:18:16, Link
Author: Annyday
I doubt anyone cares, but DaveScot's claims about his IQ were so stupid they actually gave me nightmares. At the time I wrote some groggy junk on that topic, which anyone masochistic enough can read below.

[Quote="DaveScot"]I’m an autodidact with a certified IQ north of 150 (MGCT and SAT tests).[/quote]

[QUOTE="Moi"]The SAT is not an IQ test. The SAT is 'aptitude' test, with many things you have to be taught in it, as opposed to factors of general intelligence. The SAT can be correlated roughly with IQ, but not very well. Anyone with an IQ over 150 should know this.

The second one is that MGCT isn't even a test I am aware of or can find. The closest I could come on google for "MGCT" was "Minnesota Council for the Gift and Talented", which might administer an IQ test, maybe. It is still not the acronym for a test, however. There is an MCAT test, which is another aptitude (not IQ) test. However, it is a test for students attempting to get into medical school. It's both improbable that Dave took it (and aced it) given that he's not a doctor, and even more improbable he'd mistake it for an IQ test somehow.[/QUOTE]

MGCT is also a test for some bizarre disease I'd never heard of, and someone with a one-in-a-thousand IQ should be too smart to make these retarded comments, even barring his UD involvement counting against him. Well, okay. Maybe someone with a one-in-a-thousand IQ who was permanently blind drunk could act like DaveScot.

I wrote a bunch of other junk about his use of "autodidact" being blindingly stupid, his bizarre obsession with New Scientist, and the low odds of his being a half-competent computer engineer, but it's a little trite in retrospect. Actually, very trite in retrospect. I blame sleeplessness.

Date: 2007/11/10 07:20:28, Link
Author: Annyday
Honestly, I'm bewildered that anyone in ID can possibly mention Lysenko without thinking "Hey, it seems everyone who hates Darwinism is a bit of a hack ... wait a second ..."

Date: 2007/11/10 12:48:42, Link
Author: Annyday
One Flew Over The Tard's Nest.

Date: 2007/11/10 13:07:25, Link
Author: Annyday
Technically, "My God sanctified me, his son, over you, the heathen dog", crusades-style killing is a sort of negative consequence of "ID", and has killed more people than atheistic dictators.

And if we're to keep being fair in assigning causation, the Nazis both believed in social Darwinism and God's sanctification of the people placing them above all others. By the assumption that the existence of a belief means it caused all atrocities, we can count Nazi atrocities in favor of both the body count of evolution AND intelligent design. Both are 100% completely to blame.

Date: 2007/11/10 23:28:30, Link
Author: Annyday
Carl Sachs is cruising for a banning.

Nevertheless: if one is a theist, or if one accepts that logic is independent of subjective belief, then one must think that Stalin’s beliefs about what follows or doesn’t follow from Darwinism are irrelevant to assessing Darwinism.

If Stalin thought that Newtonian mechanics warranted mass murder, we wouldn’t say, “this shows the pernicious social consequences of Newtonian mechanics.” Instead we would — rightly — say, “this gives us one more good reason for thinking that Stalin was a bloodthirsty nutcase.”

And besides which, what about all the atheists who don’t become bloodthirsty nutcases?

Ha! I should have said “what about all the Darwinists who don’t become bloodthirsty nutcases?”!

Who wants to take odds that he'll be banned for this and his other offenses against orthodoxy? How about Bugsy (same thread)? I mean, they're demanding logical consistency and regard for the facts of history, and "Bugsy" is an awfully mobster name.

Date: 2007/11/11 02:51:11, Link
Author: Annyday
I made a snarky comment about nazism in relation to Christian attitudes towards atheists in government and I'm pretty sure FTK ate it.

Dear FTK: Why? It was perfectly appropriate.

Date: 2007/11/11 05:06:56, Link
Author: Annyday
I knew a 4chan denizen who could carry on any conversation exclusively using lolcats. Sometimes, when linking a lolcat was inconvenient, she'd merely quote a lolcat, and then post the link once she'd found it.

Lolcats are, in fact, exhaustive, or very nearly so.

Date: 2007/11/11 09:40:52, Link
Author: Annyday
Look, they're hick Canadians, speaking an ungodly terrible dialect that offends the ears of all, who are making a completely unfounded argument for duality. Do you expect intelligence?

Stripped away from the sentimentality of the idea of a "soul", the argument is basically the same as this would be if we didn't know how the digestive tract worked:

When I eat, my stomach does things, and later I shit. I'm pretty sure it's the same food I ate earlier due to the corn bits, but it has changed a good deal! Moreover, sometimes I can vomit when I haven't eaten, which doesn't seem to support the food-in-food-out hypothesis.

Since I do not know intimately everything that has occured in the transition of food to shit, my bowels must send my food through a metaphysical vortex which somehow makes them into unpleasant brown sludge. My bowels, in fact, must be in contact with a mystical gut-at-large, which is the universe as a whole, which is busy processing matter, just as my gut does.

I pray to the intestine-at-large god daily, and strongly suspect it created all life. Hail to the cosmic intestine! Contemplate its mysteries solemnly.

Now, completely offtopic, has anyone read Minsky's latest book? It's pretty good.

Date: 2007/11/11 10:49:40, Link
Author: Annyday
Minsky, The Emotional Machine. Anyone? It's a little odd- computer scientists looking at brains often turn out that way- but interesting nonetheless, I think.

Date: 2007/11/11 19:49:41, Link
Author: Annyday
I think the inmates want at least mild logical consistency. Not too much. Just enough so that it seems that ID is right.

Meanwhile, the people in charge have all been pretending to do science for so long, with so much evidence to ignore, that they've got hardwired bad-logic circuits.

Date: 2007/11/11 20:58:13, Link
Author: Annyday
No. Sex addicts anon isn't a particularly sex-filled place. The sex addicts, supposedly, go to alcoholics anon. The rumor is that coming down from a years-long binge leaves you pleasure-starved and horny.

Date: 2007/11/11 21:52:00, Link
Author: Annyday
Addiction in general is badly-defined. It basically means "there is something I do which I view as negative which I am ambivalent about or unable to terminate".

... which is why they're trying to classify video games as an addiction.  :p

Date: 2007/11/12 04:02:08, Link
Author: Annyday
People keep disagreeing without getting banned.

Are Daveyboy and WAD on vacation?

Date: 2007/11/12 07:34:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Before I got saved, I was Hitler.

True story.

Date: 2007/11/12 08:13:41, Link
Author: Annyday
I've always entertained the hypothesis that Augustine only converted because the Catholic church offered political power, and his glib, poetic approach to conversion was a stayover from his Gnostic days. The doctrine of original sin reeks of Manichaeism, too.

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.

Anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about should read this junk.

Christianity as it exists today owes so much to Manichaeism it's not even funny.

Actually it is funny.

But ... you know.

Date: 2007/11/12 09:14:11, Link
Author: Annyday
Could he honestly think he's fooling anyone at all?

Date: 2007/11/12 10:03:26, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm restraining myself from writing an essay about old Augustine. I hope everyone who doesn't like verbose essays appreciates it.

Back on topic: DaveScot, you're embarrassing yourself, your family, your state, and the Intelligent Design movement. You can't even own up to simple, well-cataloged mistakes of yours. The only conceivable reason for you to keep going is because there's no way to damn yourself further. Even the cronies on UD are spotting your errors.

While we're on the Simpsons, this is Dave.

Date: 2007/11/12 10:44:14, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm tickled that they're trying to bad-mouth PBS and Nova. The most inoffensive network and the best-known science show ever? Fuck those guys! Liars, all.

See, if a real scientist had their theory attacked viciously by Nova- which hasn't happened, to my knowledge- they'd write a paper about why the attack was in error to attempt to rationally convince people of their position.

Date: 2007/11/12 11:05:31, Link
Author: Annyday
Didn't someone make a "perfect" checkers program months ago?

Date: 2007/11/12 11:23:59, Link
Author: Annyday
I googled it, and there is in fact a perfect checkers program.

Oh man. Contributing programs that are years and years behind the cutting edge. Terrifying, these feats of ID.

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna get my ass kicked by a computer now.

Date: 2007/11/12 11:49:14, Link
Author: Annyday
I dunno. If you take good courses, Panda's Thumb is well within what you're exposed to during undergraduate years.

Date: 2007/11/12 11:56:14, Link
Author: Annyday
My blog comes back "genius".

If it were supposed to be anything but a brain-dump and notepad to get things going, I'd be horrified that I was writing such obscure crap. Honestly, what the hell kind of writing comes back as requiring genius to understand it?

Terrible writing, that's what. Ugh.

Date: 2007/11/12 12:16:26, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm young and naive and have been listening to Sneaker Pimps albums for about three days now. I've got a terrible migraine and my ears hurt.

Date: 2007/11/12 12:18:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Remixed by who, and where can I find it?

Date: 2007/11/12 12:25:12, Link
Author: Annyday

From left field, has anyone heard Wumpscut?

Date: 2007/11/12 18:44:46, Link
Author: Annyday
Hahahahah I like how he shoots himself in the foot by quoting her without any refutation.

Abbie, by the way, you're a Mean Girl and need to be stopped. Aging biochemists are horrified at your antics.

Date: 2007/11/12 20:26:58, Link
Author: Annyday
If always assumed that, if there is a God, he's probably pretty okay about not believing in him. With all the smiting and gratuitous evil, he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor.

Now, he might cast you into the lake of fire, but it'd probably be because he thinks it's funny.

Date: 2007/11/13 01:44:28, Link
Author: Annyday
BarryA: Indeed, it is difficult for them to account for moral progress at all because if materialism is correct, the “is” in a society defines the “ought.”

Here, I thought that was exactly opposite of what skeptics and atheists have been saying for centuries.

In fact, the person who first said (in those terms, anyway) that you cannot derive an ought from an is was Hume, who was mostly an atheist. He allowed some deism due to an inability to account for cosmology and biology without the supernatural, but mocked all existing religions.

I swear Barry is a deep-cover troll, precisely and meticulously inverting facts and history to support his points, only to later reveal it was Sokal-style satire.

Any minute now ...

Date: 2007/11/13 05:58:30, Link
Author: Annyday
The schoolmarm is parroting me;

getawitness: This is precisely wrong. The is/ought distinction was first raised seriously by David Hume, who seems to have been an atheist. It’s true that atheist “philosopher” Ayn Rand claimed to have “solved” the problem (or rather dismissed it) with her own vesion of materialism, but Rand was an idiot.

I've heard nothing but terrible things about Ayn Rand. Someone I know is fond of accusing her of being behind every great evil in the world. All I've read from her is a few excerpted rape scenes from her books, so I can't really judge definitively.

Normally I'd side with everyone I've ever known, but getawitness seems to agree with them, so I'm forced to question if Rand is really so terrible. The horror.

Date: 2007/11/13 10:28:56, Link
Author: Annyday
Ahahahahah. That's so great I have to keep flogging the parallels until it's not funny any more.

"Grissom, all the doors were locked from the inside and all the blood evidence indicates he fell on the knife. It's improbable but possible, and the only thing that matches both the evidence and the laws of physics."

"That can't be right, it's just too weird for me to believe. Let's rewrite the evidence and laws of physics."

"... you can't do that. Judge Jones will kick your ass."

"We'll see about that."

Date: 2007/11/13 11:09:09, Link
Author: Annyday
... I wonder if I could convince someone to animate praying mantises (mantii?) having that conversation.

Date: 2007/11/13 23:28:30, Link
Author: Annyday
Hahah, I think I got banned from UD. Whoops.

Date: 2007/11/13 23:29:03, Link
Author: Annyday

Date: 2007/11/13 23:32:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Was a glitch, nevermind. Apologies for the false start.

Date: 2007/11/14 00:59:24, Link
Author: Annyday
It might be pure lawyer theater to dump a ton of material on top of a witness and say it contradicts him.

However, the honest thing to do presented with material you haven't read is to say you're quite sure you haven't read all of it, but you would have to review it to definitively state that it doesn't contradict your position.

... but, hey, you know, whatever. Behe was coaxed into shooting himself in the foot by saying he knew more than he did, and then he complained that it wasn't fair to count it against him.

Date: 2007/11/14 03:47:05, Link
Author: Annyday
The fictionalized scene shows Dr. Minnich saying that he had not performed the experiment. But this scene is highly misleading because Dr. Minnich did testify about his own genetic knockout experiments that showed the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex, and could not evolve in a Darwinian fashion.

It's funny how he, or Behe at least, admitted this was a flawed test, but this doesn't make it into the DI blog. It was only a two hour documentary, covering the meaningless tests they DID run instead of the ones they should have run but didn't would have taken up time needlessly.

Also, have the Nova folks seen this one? He might be right about one or two points, like which DVD the DI sent to one of those on their side. Since Nova actually has integrity, they might want to revise such errors, if true.

Date: 2007/11/14 06:45:17, Link
Author: Annyday
He's copying PZ and company in format.

Let's just admit it; everyone on UD wishes they were Dawkins or PZ. Lacking talent, they try to ride ideology instead! Yeah!

Date: 2007/11/14 08:03:10, Link
Author: Annyday
It's simple. Stolen straight from O'Leary.

1) X does Y.
2) We only kinda-sorta know how X does Y.
3) Therefore, Y is done by magic/the soul/god, and X is merely in contact with it.

Mostly it's done with brains, but I suggest replacing "brain" with "bowels" when I read it.

Like so:

I assure you, scientists will NEVER find shit stored in the colon,

The bowel diseases and injuries you refer to only indicate the bowel's ability to recover shit from the spirit have been affected and does not in any way establish shit is stored in the colon.

You are looking at this problem through “materialistic lenses”. And cannot conceive that it is so!

Yet I maintain that Materialism is not even a valid theory as far as revealed science is concerned!

Date: 2007/11/14 09:36:23, Link
Author: Annyday
... I don't think they ever said "inexplicably". They said "standard journalistic practices", directly.

Date: 2007/11/14 10:47:01, Link
Author: Annyday
Being depicted on NOVA was a specific part of the Wedge document. I think they just specified that crap because they knew it wouldn't be accepted and wanted to be able to act indignant about not being included.

Date: 2007/11/14 11:29:04, Link
Author: Annyday

Date: 2007/11/14 13:20:16, Link
Author: Annyday
I have to ask you guys, is overwhelming evidence satire?

Seriously. I have to ask. Because it's ...

Date: 2007/11/14 14:52:01, Link
Author: Annyday
You mean the DI tripe that was linked all over the rest of the internet hours ago?

Date: 2007/11/14 16:05:50, Link
Author: Annyday
Every time a creationist invokes Gould, God kills a transitional creature.

Date: 2007/11/15 01:48:35, Link
Author: Annyday
Gil's latest post in the latest thread is blue.

Can they just do that, or did he have his posting privileges suspended? The rest of the mod squad shows up in white, no?

Date: 2007/11/15 02:22:39, Link
Author: Annyday
Okay, enough, which one of you is nochange?

Yep, the Darwinistas fill libraries full of papers and books. Doesn’t mean we have to read it to know that it’s all atheist, materialistic crap.

The good Dr. Behe is a better man than I. I would have smacked any lawyer that suggested that a bunch of books knew more about evolution than Dr. Behe does.

"Darwinistas" is a Colbert Report term. If that's not satire I'll eat my ipod with A1.

AND THE OTHER UDERS DO NOT NOTICE. God. Yes. The moles outnumber the non-moles right now, for sure.

But why aren't they being banned? Does even mockery make UD look more vigorous, thus boosting Dembski's ego?

Is he harnessing ire?

Date: 2007/11/15 03:12:56, Link
Author: Annyday
I love postmodernism, and Sokal.

Sokal's hoax was probably the most postmodern thing that could happen to a postmodern journal. It's a severe discredit that the Social Text editors didn't all immediately bubble with joy at how cool and thought-provoking it was.

There's a fundamental difference between interesting postmodernism, in which people using too-big words and French to try to sort out complicated things, and dogmatic academia showing off how postmodern it can be. When the antiestablishment, question-everything people start hating being seriously questioned you have problems.

Then again, there seems to be a narrow minority who agree there's a difference, either among postmodernists or otherwise.

Date: 2007/11/15 08:20:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Honestly, could you even make a satirical sock-puppet on Pharyngula or similar, parodying "evolutionists"? Everyone else would pounce on your unsupported assertions and/or batshit insane ravings if you said anything remotely similar to what's said on UD. In fact, they'd enjoy doing it, 'cause they like debating.

On UD, only Erasmus gets noticed, because all their actual "science" is crazy and pulled from thin air, too.

Date: 2007/11/15 10:28:48, Link
Author: Annyday
By the way, if you really do like numerology you should try Crowley and kabbala. It's just more fun.

Date: 2007/11/15 15:15:46, Link
Author: Annyday
I didn't read UD, but it slowly grew on me. Honestly, I suspect it's just my morbid interest in abnormal psych that makes it quite so fascinating.

Also, I don't think Collin is a troll. The "as soon as I have a job" caveat to donating is surprisingly common in internet activism of all stripes, it lends an appearance of fidelity.

Date: 2007/11/15 15:31:37, Link
Author: Annyday
You know he'd only be murdered by an amnesiac.

Date: 2007/11/15 18:51:03, Link
Author: Annyday
They're fabricating stories about evolutionary algorithms causing dangerous shit, now. Evolutionary algorithm != biology, and presenting fabricated stories as if they were true is a little low. Since the fake Baylor letter I shouldn't be shocked, but ...

Date: 2007/11/16 06:42:00, Link
Author: Annyday
You try supporting nine fucking kids as a professor, without any talent. Twenty grand for your credibility, which you were never going to use again anyway? Well worth it.

Date: 2007/11/16 09:29:32, Link
Author: Annyday
People are lazy with two-word results, which could account for Medved.

For instance, check "Richard Dawkins" versus "Dawkins". Due to the correlation in spikes I'm inclined to think most "Dawkins" is about Richard, but people are lazy and hit "Dawkins" because the name is uncommon enough and he's famous enough that he comes up as a high hit.

Date: 2007/11/16 10:14:02, Link
Author: Annyday
ID out-traffics aquatic ape theory.

Also, see this. "Darwin" gets FAR more hits than "Charles Darwin". Seriously.

Date: 2007/11/16 10:29:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 16 2007,08:29)
Conservative Christian Biologist Slams ID

I, for one, have religiously ignored the topic before now. I have done this partly out of a sort of professional courtesy to its supporters, with whom I share most other beliefs (and in many cases a personal affection), partly out of a belief that the idea was too obscure to argue over, and partly because the idea is so patently ridiculous to me that I felt that pointing this out would be somewhat akin to telling a friend that they have really, really bad breath.

Read the comments, read the comments, read the comments. Hahahahah. They're busy soundly disproving his assertion that ID is fringe among conservatives. :D

"Mac, I enjoy most of your columns, but this one reads like it was written by an uninformed 8th grader trying to impress his atheist dad."

"The only burden placed on ID, as I understand it, is that it show rationality of belief in God. You believe in God. Actually, you say you are "sure" God exists. All ID asks is this: Does this existent God leave any "footprints" that point to His being here? Why do you think that question so ludicrous? Why is it an insult to faith to see evidence (or to look for evidence) of God in the natural world? The great marvel would be that a creative God could exist and yet leave behind no evidence of Himself "at the scene of the crime", so to speak."

And so on.

Date: 2007/11/16 10:56:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Make your own, they're easy easy easy. They're watching IPs, don't make more'n one.

Date: 2007/11/16 11:01:33, Link
Author: Annyday
I meant not to make more than one account to a single IP, but if you want to use more IPs there's several dozen free anonymous routing sites. Problem is, it will usually stamp you as "someone connecting through X anonymous site" for anyone doing a lookup...

Date: 2007/11/16 11:16:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Jehu is actually me.

Date: 2007/11/16 13:17:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 16 2007,12:41)
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 16 2007,13:23)
Vote early - Vote often -

Baylor U campus paper running survey regarding ID -

I voted "encourage", cuz y'know, I'd love to see some actual ID research.

Either that or another monumental embarrassment, whichever.

You're the kind of sick person who doesn't believe in mercy killings, aren't you?

Date: 2007/11/16 15:14:22, Link
Author: Annyday
I hate you.

Date: 2007/11/16 16:37:01, Link
Author: Annyday
I think they count, but it should be noted that it's our fault.

Date: 2007/11/16 17:13:47, Link
Author: Annyday
It's your fault for being over there and not being a grade A tard.

... but it's also reflective of the fact that anyone who isn't a grade A tard gets banned.

Therefore, i think it's nix-worthy.

Date: 2007/11/16 17:14:37, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Hermagoras @ Nov. 16 2007,17:13)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 16 2007,15:50)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 16 2007,14:01)
I have a purely rhetorical hypothetical question.

Do you think the mods at UDumb can tell if you are popping in over there from this site, or if you exit their site to come here?

Might be useful information for you trolls out there.

I assume this is a purely theoretical question with no real-world relevance? Just idly wondering?

Answer: anybody who uses Statcounter for their site can tell where you're coming from.

I've always wondered how this works. If I go from goatse to someone's site, for instance, does it pick that up?

If so, I have to block images from goatse and bookmark it.

Date: 2007/11/16 17:38:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Factician: S'what I thought. Which is disappointing. I mean, leaving tracks leading back to goatse would be pretty funny.

Date: 2007/11/16 22:23:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Human clothing taboo is pretty nearly universal, even if only in a minimal fashion, like a string that pins the cock to the stomach by the foreskin.

My theory is that we have "clothing" that denotes whether we're supposed to be having sex right then or not. If not, we're damn well dressed in whatever social convention dictates.

Of course, the creationist side of this argument is that "god did it", so coming out with the semi-nuanced ev psych is probably a waste of time ...

Date: 2007/11/17 06:58:58, Link
Author: Annyday
O'Leary's latest post is too stupid for words.

In other news, fire is hot.

Date: 2007/11/17 08:38:16, Link
Author: Annyday
Batshit77s rants have gotten so bad I don't think I can read UD any more...

Date: 2007/11/17 16:34:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Poe's Law in action:

Bob I am not impressed with all those big tough words.

The stupid, it burns!

Date: 2007/11/17 18:13:57, Link
Author: Annyday
Let's just admit it: Dembski is a mediocre theologian, trying and failing to do both math and biology on the side.

Date: 2007/11/17 19:22:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Oh, so it's you.

Date: 2007/11/17 20:38:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Good theology is that which is minimally blatantly illogical, and is thus inspiring. Ideally, it's also good at citing the right authorities.

The thing is, some of the medieval ones actually knew what they were doing. Occam, for instance. Because the only way to be ANY kind of philosopher involved being a monk, so all the philosophers were theologians, and ...

Offtrack. Nevermind.

Date: 2007/11/18 09:27:38, Link
Author: Annyday
BA77 is just a hair's breadth away from proposing to Solon.

Date: 2007/11/18 20:55:36, Link
Author: Annyday
I vote we all reveal ourselves in a single thread and get banned circa ... ASAP.

We're ruining our own good tard, and being banned is good tard.

Date: 2007/11/18 21:08:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Fine, fine, but I'M bailing. ;)

Date: 2007/11/24 10:06:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Checking in even though I've abandoned UD in terror ...

And I'd like to tell you all that you're lightweights at drinking.

If it's not flammable, it's not really drinking. Everclear, Bacardi? Smirnoff, at least! Jesus.

Date: 2007/11/25 08:33:52, Link
Author: Annyday
It also made the front page of reddit.

No sign of it as of yet on Digg, but they're usually a couple of days behind now. Give 'em time.

Date: 2007/11/27 23:58:50, Link
Author: Annyday
If you're an effects-spotting nerd like me, you may notice you can actually see the out-of-place pixels surrounding the "moon". It looks like fuzz radiating outwards, you might have to lean close to the screen to notice.

Yes: I am the guy who watches movies and tries to spot all the effects and how they were done.

I made a lolcat of the image with "Im in ur pictures / lyin 2 u" (top left, bottom right), but the cheezburger site is giving me trouble. Anyone who wants to recreate it should feel free. :P

Date: 2007/11/28 00:04:45, Link
Author: Annyday
An addition, for dear old FTK:

Comparing "Darwinism" to the red pill of the Matrix probably undermines your argument. You realize the red pill represented enlightenment, truth, and freedom, while the blue pill represented perpetual ignorance and comforting lies?

Let me guess, you meant to do that, too?

Date: 2007/11/28 01:04:47, Link
Author: Annyday
I ordinarily don't read Luskin directly, and now I'm remembering why.

Genetic similarity between humans and apes isn't evidence of common ancestry? Is he retarded?

Date: 2007/11/28 09:47:24, Link
Author: Annyday
I think the fuzz is still there. Imperfect-photoshop fuzz gets worse when jpeg compressed, maybe. The place I think-I-see-it is just above the bottom of the moon's crest.

Also, I can see long-ass lines in the sky now. Concentric circles radiating outwards from the theoretical "top" of the sky. That's some clumsy work, thar. Maybe someone made it for a CG art class?

Date: 2007/11/28 16:37:57, Link
Author: Annyday
If the infamous Judge Jones animation is any indication, Dembski prefers taking his own voice and then distorting it a bit when making media presentations.

Anyone have digital forensics tools (or even normal professional audio tools) handy? XVIVO should have something along those lines. I don't have anything like that, but if I did I'd first go about trying to figure out how the voice was distorted, if at all. I'd also check for common techniques (the kind you can do in garageband, etc) first. Alternatively, maybe Dembski just spoke in a very low voice- if you can't tell by ear, a more professional look at the waveform (or whatever else) might show it.

Distortion or Dembski (or someone else) intentionally speaking in a low voice to disguise himself would explain why the narrator sounds so utterly, unforgivably gay. I'm not even going to speculate about how to un-distort it, because I wouldn't know. My knowledge of audio technology is pretty superficial.

Listening to it again (at great pain) the cadence of the speech does sound very Dembski to me, but that could be confirmation bias. Anyone up to chasing the thing properly?

Date: 2007/11/28 16:44:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Addendum: Further listening has convinced me that a simple pitch adjust would make the video's voice into Dembski's normal speaking voice. Someone do that.

Date: 2007/11/28 20:33:05, Link
Author: Annyday
I went back and counted: nine "uh" noises in three minutes of video narration- not counting Dembski's introduction. I could have missed one or four, the narrator did some mumbling that may or may not have contained "uh"-ing. If anyone wants a more precise count, they can get it their own damn self.

Pure Dembski. Even with recording equipment, he doesn't retake it until he stops saying "uh". The difference from his normal voice could even be due to the microphone, or speaking softly, or the recording, or ... you get the idea. If that's the case, a simple pitch-raise might not quite fix it to how he normally sounds, but it really seems like him.

Date: 2007/11/28 20:53:16, Link
Author: Annyday
It could be a very gay guy who just happens to "uh" just like Dembski, and who I erroneously perceive the same halting word frequency and speaking speed from.

Date: 2007/11/28 22:18:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Gay-sounding is not necessarily pejorative, but it's a pretty hilarious and often obnoxious (hilariously so) stereotype. Most gay stereotypes are, they're ... gay stereotypes.

I basically agree with the rest, except that I'm not sure stupidity suffices and my ear just disagrees with yours about if it sounds like Dembski. Confirmation bias, maybe, it's true.

Date: 2007/11/28 22:53:47, Link
Author: Annyday
I remain an unconvinced heathen. Does anyone have the modified version of the video, instead of the video of the video that's on ERV's blog? I think UD had it up, previously, even though it's down now. I want to look at it.

I'm really quite surprised at how easily available good audio software seems to be compared to the last time I looked two years ago or so.  :D

... and I'll give it a rest if that doesn't work. I have limits to the distance I'll chase a weird theory.

Date: 2007/11/30 03:48:12, Link
Author: Annyday
I live in perpetual terror that Gil and company will discover nonliving matter, and thus realize that living creatures don't exist in thermodynamic isolation. If such a radical occurence were to take place, UD might then discover DNA, the sun, and biology. Having thus advanced well into the 1950s in their understanding, intelligent design's proponents could become a truly terrifying force.

We must pray- pray- that this does not happen.

Date: 2007/11/30 16:26:10, Link
Author: Annyday
Whoah whoah, back up. Sternberg is moonlighting as an editor for an openly creationist society? He changes his mind about whether or not he knows who the designer is depending upon which journal he's a part of?

Let me just say: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh God, I hope he's at his best in Expelled, it could be wonderful.

Date: 2007/12/02 04:22:22, Link
Author: Annyday
I know a little. In being entirely concrete, I think the absolute-certainty version regarding the concussion is that concussions (and brains) are weird and do weird things sometimes. We don't really, y'know, understand them. We understand them a little bit better than we used to, but not a whole lot.

Into the land of speculation, the mechanism that writes into long-term memory probably took a nap when you hit the pavement, before those five minutes could be written more permanently. The data from your memory gap, thus, vanished, like an unsaved word document during a power surge. On a mostly peripheral note, there is some data indicating that anything you're thinking of is temporarily brought into short-term memory before being re-stored in long-term memory. Anything you're thinking about could, hypothetically, be messed up by a disruption to the mechanism of storage.

I'm sure an enterprising enough soul could better pinpoint the areas, chemicals, and possibly neuron firing patterns identified as involved in memory. I am not that person, although I do recall it's an awful lot of your brain.

On the other: I'm sort of an expert in the subjective experience of defective neurology and long-familiar with migraines. Migraines ... do weird shit sometimes, and are sometimes disconnected with the actual headaches. For me, the "weird shit" is manifested in strange visual phenomenon, which I put up to my brain inadequately filtering out "noise" stimulus coming through the optic nerve. This gets worse for me when I have actual headaches, so it actually does seem to fit the migraine pattern.

Thing is, I don't know any particular reason that attacks of aphasia would be put up to migraine-type phenomenon if there's no other sign of migraine. The best reason I could think of would be if there's little else known to cause acute aphasia without other signs as well, so aphasia by itself is probably migraine. It could also just be that any weird neurological thing with no evident cause or eminent danger is called a migraine. I am not, however, a doctor.

Regarding the partitioning of language: yes, different parts of the brain are generally thought to do different things with language, even if no one's sure what. It's very complicated and boring. My eyes glaze over when I read and hear about it. I am a terrible, terrible student of neuroanatomy. A majority of the really fruitful study in this respect is the use of fMRI to examine the brain when performing different language tasks, and the study of people with brain damage to specific parts of their brains who lose one or another facet of language.

It is, I stress, very, very boring. However, I happen to have a bookmarked page that I am planning to read (in the far, distant future, when I cease to be so easily bored) about Broca's aphasia, Broca's area, and data in language processing in general, which you might find interesting. If you don't recognize yourself in there, a little google-fu might be able to turn up definitions of all the varying and fascinating varieties of aphasia now known to modern medicine, and hints of the many debates about whether and why they're different.

Hope this helps.

Date: 2007/12/02 13:46:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 02 2007,06:09)
Apparently, anesthesiologists these days have amnesiac agents to deploy. I know that for my second major surgery, I was told that since intubation had been "challenging" for the first surgery, when they had put me out before doing it, that they would be doing a waking intubation with my sedated assistance. I don't remember any of that actually happening, and I think it is just as well.

I've always wondered if anesthesiologists actually put you out, or just paralyze and memory-block you successfully. When having an endoscopy I hear I fought quite a lot against being intubated while more or less unconscious and had to be hit with a higher-than-usual dose of sedative, which I found very disturbing to hear about. On the plus side, they used so much sedative I couldn't stand by myself for 9-10 hours, and remained sky high for over thirty hours.

The thing is, though; what if the memories of events like that aren't written out of memory, but are retained in the background, like a dream? I've always found the prospect very creepy, myself. Screw endoscopies, what about people who have real, invasive surgery?

Date: 2007/12/02 20:34:17, Link
Author: Annyday
You censored a total of one of my comments and it was aggravating. Frankly, once I've been censored once because I was too "nasty" when it's untrue (or in response to uncensored like), I'm not going to bother posting again. It's not worth the trouble. Call it a chilling effect.

If you want to moderate for "nasty" stuff and actually promote debate (which you don't, but let's say you do), you have to come up with some form of concrete system and justify yourself when you apply it. As is, the standard seems distinctly slanted towards censoring only nasty pro-evolution, and not nasty anti-evolution. Just saying.

Date: 2007/12/02 22:20:43, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm actually here because I'm interested in humans and other living things- and, recursively, what other humans think about humans and other living things, and why they think it, and what other humans think about what other humans think about humans and other living things, and why they think they think it, and why THEY think it, and so on.

Following the evidence really does tend to lead one away from the Discovery Institute. It's sad, but reality has a well-documented liberal bias. It doesn't require a conspiracy to think that neo-Darwiniam has the dominant position, empirically. I mean, even PZ doesn't follow the PZ agenda you lay out properly.

(also, wreak.)

Date: 2007/12/02 22:44:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 02 2007,22:41)
For some reason, I can't edit my posts to correct typos.  There is just a little question mark where the edit tab should be.

Same problem here. Very annoying.

Date: 2007/12/02 23:07:43, Link
Author: Annyday
I have a question mark where my edit button should be. This is annoying. RT has the same problem, I do believe.

Date: 2007/12/03 13:00:48, Link
Author: Annyday
As someone who has trouble keeping up with 'net wars, I have a fair amount of sympathy for the person trying to argue with four to five people at once. It's fucking hard, and responding to the sheer bulk of AtBCers' objections would be very near impossible.

... that said, most of this stuff is still objectively false. ID has its own space to publish results, and they haven't published anything in their own journal for years now. There's no conspiracy, there's just a fuckton of scientists who think ID isn't science. They don't let ID leech off of their universities, which is their right, and ID responds by- instead of publishing vigorous science in even their own journals- publishing a popular book once every ten years or so. Einstein was dogged by fucking Nazis for his physics work (and for being Jewish) and he had a greater personal output of papers per year than the entire ID movement has in its own journal.

And Dembski still violated copyright by showing someone else's video without credit during his paid presentations. Even with unpaid teaching presentations, I've never heard any professor or speaker fail to credit the source of their material before. It's ridiculous to try to defend him just because he's an IDer. The thing about scientists is that they're not looking to win, they're looking to be correct. If you fuck up and it's clear you fucked up, you can expect all your friends to tell you that you fucked up. They won't protest that you're factually correct for a second.

ID is looking to win. You'll defend Dembski when he fucks up, or Sal, or DaveScot, or anyone else, because they're on the right side.

Date: 2007/12/03 14:39:00, Link
Author: Annyday
... everything a scientist does scientifically is a part of tenure review. It's not "popularity contest" or anything, it's a scientific review for a scientific seat.

Luskin's word about what's in the emails says nothing. He'd claim it was evidence of discrimination if ID was mentioned at all, when mentioning the science a scientist does is the only way to legitimately review for a scientific seat.

The only way to say they did something wrong- and that something would be lying- would be if those who denied him tenure did it primarily due to ID, in spite of having said otherwise.

Seriously, though. It shouldn't have been an issue at all? The science IDers do shouldn't be an issue relating to their credibility for scientific posts?

Why NOT? Please explain.

Date: 2007/12/03 15:11:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Louis @ Dec. 03 2007,13:21)
I suggest, as you're a newer poster here, and possibly not the all encompassing meanie that some of us are (myself included) that you give it a go. Ask FTK to have a one on one discussion with you in a dedicted thread to which none of us meanies can comment. I'm almost certain she'll not do it, every similar offer before has been refused or ignored. Nice or nasty.

Give it a go.


I was reluctant to try Louis' suggestion at first, but the speed and the quantity of thread-clutter are rapidly convincing me it's the only easy way to have a semblance of a discussion.

So, FTK, how about it? Dedicated thread to discuss tenure denial and intelligent design openly and cleanly, without the spam and hurry and interruptions? I promise not to curse at all even though that's how I speak, and to keep it down to one response per post at a mellow speed. If anything I say crosses the line you can tell me and I'll refrain from continued comment in that vein. It'll be the model of civil discourse.

Date: 2007/12/03 16:24:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Louis @ Dec. 03 2007,15:30)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 03 2007,21:11)
Quote (Louis @ Dec. 03 2007,13:21)
I suggest, as you're a newer poster here, and possibly not the all encompassing meanie that some of us are (myself included) that you give it a go. Ask FTK to have a one on one discussion with you in a dedicted thread to which none of us meanies can comment. I'm almost certain she'll not do it, every similar offer before has been refused or ignored. Nice or nasty.

Give it a go.


I was reluctant to try Louis' suggestion at first, but the speed and the quantity of thread-clutter are rapidly convincing me it's the only easy way to have a semblance of a discussion.

So, FTK, how about it? Dedicated thread to discuss tenure denial and intelligent design openly and cleanly, without the spam and hurry and interruptions? I promise not to curse at all even though that's how I speak, and to keep it down to one response per post at a mellow speed. If anything I say crosses the line you can tell me and I'll refrain from continued comment in that vein. It'll be the model of civil discourse.

Good luck.

My prediction: You'll be ignored or obfuscated at. Whatever happens a civil, reasoned discourse will not come forth.

I hope I'm wrong.


FTK! Over here!

Louis made a prediction. Prove him wrong? Pretty please?

Date: 2007/12/03 16:43:17, Link
Author: Annyday
I read bonobo too.

FTK: Alright. I feel fairly confident a threadjacking could be avoided, or PMs could be used. I'm not gonna bother if it's going to be troublesome for me as blog posts would be, though.

Date: 2007/12/03 22:04:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (J-Dog @ Dec. 03 2007,19:24)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 03 2007,18:53)

You dirty old man!

I love the International flavor of this board.

We got Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas Corn, The King's English, Cockney slang , Welsh Llll's and NZ goard aficianados.

I personally speak Hahvard Anglish.

Date: 2007/12/03 22:39:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Denyse makes me want to beat up puppies, she's so stupid.

Are they gonna release the full emails? ARE THEY? That would be interesting to me, I'm a raw data kind of guy. Right now all the people on the ID side are just parroting and exaggerating each other's press releases.

Hell, are they even going to file suit, or are they just quote mining and making a fuss for the publicity?

And do they realize that intolerance to a scientific view is a contradiction of terms?


Date: 2007/12/04 15:45:20, Link
Author: Annyday
That might go over the collective heads of those at UD. It's already gone over one...

Date: 2007/12/04 16:15:45, Link
Author: Annyday
I should be eating more, not less.

Louis, on the other hand, would most likely benefit from participation.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:24:01, Link
Author: Annyday
If I laugh any harder, I may vomit.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:40:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Asking real questions gets boring. It's like talking to a chatbot, only less satisfying.

Parody, on the other hand, is a neverending font of joy. The only consequence is that it taints the tard commons.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:44:43, Link
Author: Annyday
The nixplanatory filter has been deployed.


The evidence released yesterday shows undeniable evidence that Dr. Gonzalez faced a hostile work environment and was denied academic freedom becuase he supports intelligent design. Regardless of whether you agree with ID, open minded people should be abhorred at what took place at ISU.

Bugsy and Digdug24 provide us with excellent examples of how Darwinists cope with evidence of their academic intolerance towards ID: they change the subject and make comments about angels and cryptozoology, etc. To see a discussion of the issue of ID and the identity of the designer, see

Bugsy and Digdug are toast. I've got all their posts in a seperate window, I'll drop them into the nix thread.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:53:48, Link
Author: Annyday


12/04/20073:46 pm
I agree wholeheartedly.

Not only should atheists be disallowed for teaching any subject related to the bible, non-Nazis should be disallowed from teaching about Nazism, and capitalists should be disallowed from teaching about Communism.

Only true believers get to talk about given beliefs. It’s the only way to give everyone a fair shake.




3:47 pm

Indeed. All the so-called ’scientists’ who discredit the evidence for Bigfoot should not be allowed to teach a cryptozoology class. Someone like the new DI fellow Michael Medved would be infinitely better at such instruction because he believes it. Anyone else will just show their preconceived biases.




4:02 pm

The literal existence of angels and of psi haven’t been given fair shakes in mainstream academia, either. We need to put more enthusiastic people in the chairs currently occupied by materialist scientists, to make sure that our experiments turn out the right way.

Here, BA77 strikes back.




5:10 pm

“What gives you the audacity to say that God definitely did not have a hand in creating such stunning complexity we see in life?”

I’ve said no such thing. In fact, you seem to be toeing the materialist line by denying the existence of angels and psi. I’d think someone interested in quantum mechanics and ID would know better than to lump entire fields into the rubbish bin because they don’t comply with orthodoxy, but that’s exactly what you’ve done.

I ask you to reevaluate your incorrect, materialistic premises before you go over what I’ve written. Only then can it become apparent that what I mean is not at all what you think it is, and that I’m asserting a legitimate place for ID while decrying the canning of a distinguished astrophysicist.




5:12 pm

Hear hear bugsy.

Born^Again, why are you discrediting the work of honest scholars in the field of cryptozoology? There are lots of these folks out there and academia pooh-poohs their hard evidence and says it is not ’scientific’. i see lots of interesting parallels between cryptozoology and ID. As far as angels go, I think we can make a design inference about their existence. Dembski certainly agrees. A question I have often considered is ‘how much CSI would an angel have?’ Certainly it must be much more than a human being. This would give us a first order approximation at how much has been lost since the Fall.

I for one am glad that you are standing up for God and the argument regarding design. ID stands to gain immeasurably from not being wishywashy about the identity of the designer. This is a problem around here, for sure.




5:22 pm

To deny angels and psi is to deny the bible and the holy spirit.

Nullasalus disagrees ...




5:37 pm

I don’t think you belong here at all.

And then Luskin intervenes, deleting all posts by both Bugsy and Digdug.


Casey Luskin


5:38 pm

The evidence released yesterday shows undeniable evidence that Dr. Gonzalez faced a hostile work environment and was denied academic freedom becuase he supports intelligent design. Regardless of whether you agree with ID, open minded people should be abhorred at what took place at ISU.

Bugsy and Digdug24 provide us with excellent examples of how Darwinists cope with evidence of their academic intolerance towards ID: they change the subject and make comments about angels and cryptozoology, etc. To see a discussion of the issue of ID and the identity of the designer, see [URL=

Date: 2007/12/04 17:04:25, Link
Author: Annyday
True, but for every ban message like Luskin's about Darwinists behaving badly (which isn't even true, as satire and reductio ad absurdum are legitimate tactics in real debates), there's at least one person who's been told they'll be banned if they keep disagreeing politely, as those questioning the Gonzalez story got from Denyse a day or two ago.

If you're there and you do anything but disagree to the point that they'd call it making trouble, you're lending legitimacy to them. If they don't feel you are, you'll be snapped into line so you are. The only way to "win", if actually "causing trouble" really does give them a victory (which I doubt), is to not play.

Date: 2007/12/04 22:37:46, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (huwp @ Dec. 04 2007,18:09)
Wakey waky Louis, the damn colonials are getting out of line; they'll be dumping tea in Boston harbour next.

Nos da pawb!


We not only already dumped the tea out, we already killed the other redcoats. Louis is only alive because we mistook him for a wounded cow.

Date: 2007/12/04 23:04:50, Link
Author: Annyday
Turncoat, did you read ERVs description of Dembski having a meltdown when confronted with information that contradicted him during a presentation? I thought then (and think now) that he flat out couldn't accept being wrong. Like, it just wouldn't integrate into his version of reality. He followed it up by accusing the person speaking to him of being a "poster boy for Richard Dawkins for bringing down ID". That's some good cognitive dissonance, there.

... man, I really want to hear the recording of Dembski's meltdown. The description alone was so good.

ERV? Pretty please? Want to hear Dembski freaking out.

Date: 2007/12/05 00:28:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Hey, all you people who've actually voted on tenure?

Does alluding to a potential tenure case before it comes up actually open a review board to lawsuits? If so, what's the justification behind the legal precedent in question? It seems like it'd be a bizarre prohibition to me, but if there is such a prohibition it's the only part of the entire case that isn't founded on bad logic from the very beginning.

Date: 2007/12/05 03:05:38, Link
Author: Annyday
At least one of aardpig's posts in that thread is missing; someone else refers to "venomous comments" from him/her/it in "post 18", but 18 is not an aardpig post. Silhouette in negative space, so to speak... and aardpig has a one-last-jab-at-censorship post that has mysteriously not vanished following Denyse's ramble.

Unless aardpig miraculously rises from the dead within the next 24 hours or so to resume posting, I think we can safely call it a nixplanation via the iron will of Denyse.

... as is mandatory for such cases, all of UD has turned out to show how soundly they can beat a non-responding aardpig.

Date: 2007/12/05 15:12:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 05 2007,09:37)
So let me see if I have this straight... Gonzalez should have the academic freedom to call most of the scientists in the world whackjobs for believing in "Darwinism", but his fellow faculty members have no academic freedom to discuss amongst themselves IDC as an antiscience position that doesn't do credit to their institution?

That seems to be about where the DI is playing this.


Intelligent Design is science and a scientific issue when promoting it to nonscientists in church basements. However, when in the presence of other scientists Intelligent Design is a private, personal issue, and thus ridiculing it is persecution and intolerance. Doublethink is fun!

I think most observers pick up immediately on the "veiled" meanings of "persecution" and "intolerance"- it means it's religious. Nobody ever speaks about being intolerant to a scientific view, but it wouldn't sell as a public appeal to the conservative Christian crowd if they weren't using all the trappings of religion.

Date: 2007/12/05 15:34:36, Link
Author: Annyday
... I'm continually awed by the idea that it's "discrimination" to judge a scientist by their scientific views.

Date: 2007/12/05 15:42:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Ah, ah. This from Denyse;

In other words, when Carl Sagan said that Earth is a pale blue dot lost somewhere in the cosmos, he was simply incorrect. But he reprsents "science", right?

Gonzalez is correct - but he represents "religion", supposedly.

So an incorrect account of Earth's position is science and a correct account is religion?

Oh, but wait a minute - the next move will be the claim that whatever Gonzalez demonstrated doesn't prove anything after all, and even talking about it is "religion", which is not allowed - so bye bye career.

We may reach the point in my own lifetime when one really must turn to religion ("religion?") in order to get a correct account of basic facts about our planet and to science ("science"?) for propaganda and witch hunts.

actually explains everything. Gonzalez was RIGHT, and that's why everyone who thinks he's not right about everything is screwing up.

The argument from "I'm right about everything" sure is interesting... actually, technically this is just really unsubtle begging of the question, by inserting Gonzalez being right about everything into the premises needed to conclude that everyone who is against him is wrong.

Date: 2007/12/05 18:36:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Dec. 05 2007,14:30)
This paragraph of BWE's tickled my funny bone (while also lighting up the "fond reminiscence" region of my gray matter), and then I got to thinking about it:
Sitting or meditating peels away the layers and tripping wraps you up in them. I have experienced both sensations and I like them both although at my age I've started a program trying to conserve my remaining brain cells so I am rusty with the latter experience. I don't think they are really the same thing. You might have moments of similarity though. I don't know.

What happens if you sit/meditate while tripping?  I seem to remember doing that...  Needless to say, I'm a little rusty with the latter experience as well (hell, I'm rusty with the ladder experience, which is really inexcusable...), but I sense an experiment lurking in the weeds.

If the CIA didn't already run it.  Maybe a FOIA request?

I've done it a few times. Meditating makes you trip harder. My personal explanation is that pruning out external stimuli through meditation frees up resources with which to exercise the mind, whether it's being fueled by conscious contemplation or hallucinogens. Isolation tanks supposedly do similar things.

I'm, uh, not reading the parts of this thread that aren't about hallucinogens. I surmise, sort of, that it's a form of argument about the validity of experience, faith, qualia and suchlike and is probably very dull.

Date: 2007/12/05 18:59:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Man, that site is warped. The first picture I got was a girl who was clearly rather normal-looking, but photographed well in soft-focus black and white wearing good clothes.

And she has a 9.4? That's not fair, she's probably a six or seven at best without a camera and time to pose. God, people have no taste!

Date: 2007/12/05 21:04:10, Link
Author: Annyday
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!"

Date: 2007/12/05 21:53:47, Link
Author: Annyday
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.

Date: 2007/12/05 22:45:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (jeffox @ Dec. 05 2007,22:39)
Altabin wrote:      
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?

Theories, according to the tard-worthy™ "over there", predict things; or at least that's what seems to be important to them.  Theories predict things like who's gonna win the Superbowl, how much Davetard flatulates while violating the 2lot, how many books Granny Porcupine will sell, and (in general) biological Darwinism's Waterloo.  In other words, theories and wishes are the same.  My 2c.

*Edited in theory.

Only materialist theories need to meet the pathetic level of detail met by evolution. Intelligent Design is allowed to simply point out things evolutionary theory supposedly cannot yet explain, call this observation a "design inference" (or a prediction, depending upon the situation), and declare victory.

Clearly, this is a type of scientific inquiry deserving of our support and respect.

Edit x2: Holy shit. I just looked at the post again, and it turns out the paper he's citing is from NINETEEN EIGHTY FIVE. It's a twenty two year old paper. Why is he making predictions based upon a 22-year-old paper that's been followed up by real scientists already?

Date: 2007/12/05 23:36:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Even the UD crowd is confused by the sheer badness of that post. They're correcting the date of human/baboon divergence, asking what premises and hypothesis (hint: none!) he's basing his predictions upon, and so on.

Date: 2007/12/06 14:07:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 06 2007,10:17)
Joseph: Thank you Maya for demonstrating, by your silence on this, that the anti-ID materialistic position is isolated from predictive power and therefore also isolated from testability.

Maya, you've been "isolated".

Hahahahahah, I never get tired of this. They first ban someone, and then take their silence as proving them right. I guess they have to keep morale up somehow.

Also: The P. Falciparum rants don't have any real meaning that I can discern. It's a lot of (misused) scientific terms wrapped around some guesswork with no evidence or argument behind them. There's virtually no way to damage ID scientifically, because it's not really science. Trying to get them to behave like real science, even, is a banning offense.

Real predictions? No, not from us!

Hahahahahah, check Patrick out. "Behe is right, she was questioning Behe, therefore she was wrong and needed a banning."

... this bit by Joseph is good, too.


And who says that IDists can’t make predictions!

I made 2:

1- Maya, nor any other anti-IDist, would put forth a prediction based on their anti-ID materialistic position

2- Maya would claim victory even when it is obvious she is clue-less.

everybody join in:

Nahnahnah nah, nahnahnah nah, heyheyhey good bye…

c-ya wouldn’t want to b-ya

I haven't spoken like that since I was ... eight. Is he eight?

Date: 2007/12/06 15:27:01, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Dec. 06 2007,15:10)
Which one of you guys is Sally_T?

But you will not recognize that this is the way that biology works, instead demanding a reductionist account of how atoms become men. Clearly the theoretical accounts of atoms and living things are not translatable into the other. Until this is so, you will not be satisfied hence the argument regarding design.

my bolding, biotches.

Joe G says, after Sally_T tells him to go learn some biology
Been there, done that.

Perhaps YOU should learn what is being debated.

The diversification of life surely requires agency.

You are clueless. This is about EXTERNAL agency- not the organisms themselves- duh.

Honestly, I thought Sally was you.

Date: 2007/12/06 17:10:37, Link
Author: Annyday
It's called "specified complexity"
so that when under question we
are certain to sound sciencey,
not wrapped up in mythology.

It's a very useful sign
like "front-loading" and "design"
awaiting those who dare malign
our dishonest party line.

Though it signifies nothing,
it justifies complaining,
so we're resigned to whining
about unknowable design.

(Edited to fix one line,
though any unforgiven swine
who doesn't warm to my half-rhyme
is guilty of a thought crime.)

Date: 2007/12/06 18:14:48, Link
Author: Annyday
Checked, different review. The Design of Life review is still down. Also, the neurons(?) on the Design of Life cover look wrong to me, even if you ignore the fact that they have annoying sparkles in the way of them. Anyone agree/dissent?

Date: 2007/12/06 18:34:25, Link
Author: Annyday
You kids might want to read up here, here, and here if you're gonna be arguing the biology of really tiny, boring critters. Somewhere between all that data on flagella, some poor soul in a lab might or might not have a real explanation.

I'm sure there's some history of this particular argument between you (FTK and Blipey) on the point so it matters in context here, but I personally don't think it matters in the grand scheme or even in any argument. Irreducible complexity is a "god of the gaps" argument, and can't be proven as a stumper implying design except by sheer exhaustion of all genetic possibilities. Our study of biology hasn't yet begun to approach the point of exhaustion, so unexplained phenomenon are a bad argument. More importantly, new, smaller gaps can be proposed so long as scientists remain non-omniscient, rendering ID non-disprovable, again, barring exhaustion.

This is all a caveat for the really important part: "biological" ID isn't a scientific theory. It's a hypothesis that fits all gaps of biological knowledge equally. Even Behe doesn't bother to try to support his hypothesis by doing even simple research on the development of flagella, he'd rather write books and live on DI money and royalties. He more or less admitted this at Dover when he said he'd not bothered to try to develop a flagellum in a lab.

The only real argument left to ID (whether FTK wants to admit it or not) is whether or not it's being given a "fair shake". The answer is yes. Research institutions hate it, but it's their job to revile bad science. Asking them not to judge science is ridiculous. If they're wrong, and research institutions have been wrong before, then IDers can form their own labs and publish their own research.

They don't, not even in their own journal.

Date: 2007/12/06 19:23:48, Link
Author: Annyday
I envy Joseph. It's been years since I had a good percocet buzz.

Date: 2007/12/07 02:17:37, Link
Author: Annyday
Candide is one hell of a book. I mean, the Catholic Church banned it. You can't get any higher pedigree than that, but BA77 might want to be warned of the fact.

My personal favorite passage is the footnote about how kind the author is in attributing the paternity of the old woman to a fictitious, instead of real, pope.

Date: 2007/12/07 13:42:13, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm offended on behalf of those with eerily generic, artificially perfectly white smiles everywhere. Americans are people too! Even when we look exactly the same!

Date: 2007/12/07 15:14:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Oh noes! Gould was a Darwinist!

The horror! Darwinist paleontology!

... honestly, I just don't know why the fuck so many creationists think Gould's work supports their position. Gould seems to have been similarly completely confused by their enthusiasm for punctuated equilibria. Do they just like it because he comes off as rebellious, witty and anti-orthodoxy?

And as usual, Dembski's approach to information theory is retarded. The idea that you "can't gain information" is just a repackaging of the second law of thermodynamics, and suffers from the same stupid problems.


... ahem. Excuse me! I like how he's still flogging the eye, however.

Edited because I can.

Date: 2007/12/07 15:26:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 07 2007,13:46)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 07 2007,19:42)
I'm offended on behalf of those with eerily generic, artificially perfectly white smiles everywhere. Americans are people too! Even when we look exactly the same!

Look at your leader, freak boy!

[image snipped]

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It might be too true to be funny. I mean, I even own a pair of sunglasses just like that.

... nah, I'll laugh.

Date: 2007/12/07 15:34:36, Link
Author: Annyday
I love it when that happens. Almost any institution that goes back more than 30-40 years has, somewhere in its history, done some things that are either extremely backwards or extremely shortsighted in hindsight.

Is Dave aware that Hitler was considered a conservative good-old-boy prior to WW2 when that award was given, and that Stalin was considered a vanguard of the free world against Nazism during WW2 by people on both sides of the political spectrum, or that "person of the year" is supposed to be for total impact? If he is, he has a funny way of showing it.

... but you know he'd be talking about how prestigious Time was instead, if one of the IDers had gotten into it somehow.

Date: 2007/12/07 16:01:42, Link
Author: Annyday
I'd like to just say, the phrase "one strange motorscooter" is among the most hilarious things I've ever read.

Also, RT, no beer?

Date: 2007/12/07 16:53:25, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal's ramble about the Pinyan case is so old it's fossilized, in Internet terms. There was already a movie at Sundance about it... and a virally circulated shock-video of the decedent's amorous activities prior to the incident that killed him. Those unfortunate enough to be in the know (me) can probably find it within a few minutes.

Trying to pin the death on "Darwinism" is pretty funny, however. If you want a political angle to Pinyan's death, there is one. "Conservative engineer working for Boeing has mid-life crisis heavily informed by post-9/11 political climate, questions everything, experiments with horse sex, dies because he's too afraid of losing his security clearance to go to the hospital in time."

That could even have a moral in favor of whatever political side you wanted to take, sort of. Either conservatism or liberalism (or conformity, or nonconformity, or war, or pacifism) can be to blame if you really want them to. Evolutionary theory doesn't make an appearance, though.

.. hi, I'm a pretentious bastard who knows about films that were only ever released in Sundance and actually bothers to take Sal's deranged rants as if they deserve a detailed response.

Date: 2007/12/07 20:28:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Holy crap, stop the presses!

This guy has figured out the origins of antibiotic resistance using ID! Gasp!

I differ with you on the value of NDE to medicine. Antibiotic resistance was attributed to NDE. It kept research at bay for a long time because most resistance is actually due to plasmid gene transfer not NDE. Antibiotic resistance is still the champion of many texts when they look for “evidence” of NDE.

Gosh, and to think, all the doctors and pharmacologists I know haven't got a clue that antibiotic resistance didn't evolve, and does not continue to evolve. Many of them even misguidedly think they've watched antibiotic resistance evolve in their labs! Oh, the folly! I better clue them in before it's too late! If only idnet had specified his reasoning, then we could explain it to ERV and all the other people researching germs to further their understanding, and thus their research programs!

... any minute now!

Date: 2007/12/08 01:04:12, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 07 2007,22:44)
I could help you by administering communion in his church on Sunday.

I even have experience.  He should be OK with that, I think.

How 'bout it, Dr. Dr.?

I was a decent altar boy, back in the day. This was before I'd started really reading.

I'm sure that stuff won't even be an obstacle. I bet I could read Nietzsche aloud in church, right?

Date: 2007/12/08 15:51:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Very interesting. I can't help but wish the pdf was more complete, but the interdepartmental politics make a lot more sense now.

It's also kind of funny how a number of evidently sympathetic faculty, seeing the oncoming train that was the inevitable Gonzalez lawsuit, voiced worries about lawsuits that are being taken as justification for those lawsuits.

Date: 2007/12/08 20:01:24, Link
Author: Annyday
"The research at the lab would have overturned the false and misleading computer simulations used by Darwinists to win a major court case against ID proponents (Dover)."


Excuse my ignorance, but what computer simulations is he speaking of and how would he propose to overturn them? Also, what research was he doing that's so special he can't do it on DI money, if it was going to change the world? I'd expect the DI to cough up a cool million at least if a few years on MATLAB were enough to assure their victory.

Further: Why am I so stupid that I continually think it's worth subjecting this crap to logical scrutiny?

Date: 2007/12/09 02:07:17, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (k.e.. @ Dec. 08 2007,23:46)
I hope to get into the local customs including betel nut, clove cigarettes and the viscious religious wars between the two competing major imports Xanity and Sufism ...oh strike that last one......when in Rome never act like an American.[/quote]

I envy you. Tell us about the betel nuts when you get back.

Date: 2007/12/09 16:23:33, Link
Author: Annyday
... hahahahahah. Proof positive that Dembski's arguments only seem plausible to those who don't understand what the hell he's saying, but think they do.

Date: 2007/12/09 23:27:00, Link
Author: Annyday

Maybe Dawkins should tell a blind person how easy eyesight is to stumble upon. If an eye was so simple to build we would have no problem building one. These guys have willingly abandoned science in favor of atheistic storytelling - and the stories are pretty bad. I just hope history chastises them accordingly.

Nobody could be this stupid. NOBODY. "Blind people disprove the hyposized fast evolution of the eye"? Dembski's original post, if entirely stolen from a paleontologist's hypothesis about an old visual system, is at least logically coherent.

Date: 2007/12/10 14:23:32, Link
Author: Annyday

Larry Fafarman
Can you enlighten me as to how “punctuated equilibrium” is not just an evolutionary gloss on an ID event - by those who recognize the evidence, but do not have the guts of Abraham to declare its true cause?

Hahahahahah. Now I know why they're so obsessed with punctuated equilibrium! Now I know!

And the answer is ... stupid! These "ID events" last millions and millions of years. Does the designer take ten million years to do his business? Seriously?

Date: 2007/12/10 22:46:46, Link
Author: Annyday
I lol'd.

Yesterday I think I figured it out and this verifies it - If ID’ers and Creationists are said to be superstitious, darwinist are certainly deficient in some type of medication as having a type of ADHD - My diagnosis: HYPERACTIVE IMAGINATION SYNDROME. Perhaps Dawkins only real problem is needing a drug to help him pay attention to relieve him of his ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVE DISORDER. Maybe he just didn’t evolve the needed chemical pathway for rationality.
thank you all very much…

The one below that post is pretty hilarious, too.

Date: 2007/12/11 07:10:22, Link
Author: Annyday
It's the "oink" that gets me. Heheheheh, oink ... how could someone whose equations include "oink" be wrong? Here's some math for you: oink = correct!

Honestly, I think he's an engineer who only just now figured out that Fourier transforms exist outside of his little engineering niche ... and is so enthused, he's now seeing an embodiment of his new favorite equations everywhere. It's kind of cute, in a blind-piglet way. It's also kind of sad that you can get a bachelor's in engineering while ignorant of the underlying mathematical bases for your tools, even for an extra-special student like Sal.

Date: 2007/12/11 15:20:41, Link
Author: Annyday
Many homeschooling families (much less deeply religious ones) foster very strange social dynamics. That's what popped right out at me, personally. Also ... you don't need to read Hitchens to become angry at Christians. Being a member of Ted Haggard's church with Bush as president after Christians kick you out of Christian school could easily do that. Just saying.

Also: The Columbine kids were more interested in Nazis, Charles Manson, and Natural Born Killers than any actual evolutionary theory afaik. The "natural selection" tripe always seemed like a carryover from the interest in Nazism. It's kind of silly to even mention it, but there wasn't actually any evolutionary reasoning behind the mass murder and suicide thing.

Date: 2007/12/11 20:00:06, Link
Author: Annyday
CNN are being indirect, try this if you want to read all of it. Pretty sure it's legit. It's kind of funny for me because it's so familiar. My mother's crazy, too, and I even had a Cradle of Filth phase.

Date: 2007/12/11 21:14:43, Link
Author: Annyday
Let me just say, this is all some really damn unoriginal writing. Thirty percent quotation? More? I'm still tracking posts down, but it's getting to be like an emo BA77.

Date: 2007/12/11 22:09:01, Link
Author: Annyday
Not what I meant, Steve. I was referencing the Colorado shooter whose name escapes me.   :p

Date: 2007/12/12 07:36:28, Link
Author: Annyday
This "math = merit" rant is coming from the guy who's shocked- SHOCKED- to learn that Fourier transforms aren't the sole property of his discipline?

Also Schroedinger wasn't anti-evolution, and Darwin's arguments don't require that much math. Should people in every field liberally pepper their results with useless math, soas to impress their colleagues? Evidently this matters more than scholarship and argumentation, in which case I have a paper that I think Sal would love.

... actually, god. Are we sure Sal isn't a sockpuppet? The similarity between him and the above-linked is really quite shocking, come to think of it. Look at it. The spastic ideologue style, the non sequiturs in his arguments, the half-random name-dropping mentions of mathematics without explanation. The only difference is that Sokal's a better writer.

Date: 2007/12/12 15:47:05, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 12 2007,11:08)
I think Sal is reading our love letters.

(He fixed "Abstact," thinking he'll appear somewhat less dimwitted. He won't.)

Hi Sal! How's that false witness working out for you and your salvation?

Also: Are you trying to sound like someone pulling a Sokal? I am honestly curious.  ???

Date: 2007/12/12 17:38:39, Link
Author: Annyday
"I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing." - Socrates

Socrates disapproves of your blunders, Sal. Darwin knew his limits vis-a-vis mathematics, and so, cleverly, he came up with a revolutionary theory that didn't hinge upon mathematics. By contrast, you don't seem to know what you're doing at all, but you're doing it with a great flex of your mathematical muscles.

I'm happy for guys who can do algebra in their sleep. I really am. But if you literally don't know what you're doing or why you're doing it, as seems to be the case, this makes you high-powered, malfunctioning, glorified calculators. Someone asks you a question, and you spew a stream of weird, useless, unrelated data.

By the by, if you want to attack mathematical evolutionary theory, you might try the statistical and game theoretical work. Unless there's actually a point to your Fourier fetish, I don't think it will go anywhere helpful.

Date: 2007/12/12 20:20:41, Link
Author: Annyday
What the hell is this?

Are we condemned to Darwinian shackles of scarcity in a fight for survival in the modern jungle?

Or if there is evidence for Intelligent Design, could there actually be sufficient or even abundant energy to support such population growth?

Intelligent design says something about whether or not the world should be convenient for X, Y and Z technologies to propagate? How precisely does a supposedly biological, or even cosmological form of design presuppose that the world will be just how you like it in one way instead of another? This is pure Panglossian wishful thinking. It's a giftwrapped version of "the Lord will provide". It belongs in church. It has even less relation to science than ID usually does.

Step 1) Benevolent design!
Step 2) Whatever I want to be true must be true, for this is truly the best of all possible worlds!
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Profit!

This quote annoys me so much I'm sigging it. It's ... everything that's wrong with ID in a few easy sentences. Right up there with Dave saying that the designer knew that we'd need oil for the rising industrial species.

Date: 2007/12/13 17:54:35, Link
Author: Annyday
Are there any current threads at IAP on ID, or is "specification and design" it? I'm thinking of casting in my two bits, either way.

Date: 2007/12/13 19:37:27, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Hermagoras @ Dec. 13 2007,18:52)
tribune7 is a tard  

forthekdis — reading the links it looks like Barry was right to a degree. Murray certainly got some ideas from death metal music.

Dennett and Dawkins are fans of death metal?

He was also evidently into Marilyn Manson, and Korn, and Slipknot, and Linkin Park and Black Sabbath. They're, uh, not black metal. Linkin Park is on the extremely mild side of this spectrum, being an emo boy band with electric guitars.

Amusingly, Murray probably liked them in part precisely because they were branded evil by his church, and he resented his church. His church will now take his liking death metal because his church thought it was evil as evidence that death metal is evil.

Positive feedback loop, yeah!

... also one of the Manson songs he quotes is a song about the media frenzy surrounding the Columbine kids, and how Manson was blamed for Columbine. So he went out and pulled a Columbine after quoting a Manson song about Manson being blamed for the original Columbine, which is netting Manson some of the blame.

He was also, judging by his comments, among the many kids (included Auvinen and Cho) who idolized the Columbine shooters. It's a weird, self-perpetuating phenomenon- so long as one of the spooky Columbine-loving kids goes postal every few years, the publicity lasts forever, and as long as the publicity lasts more kids will become fascinated by Columbine and other shootings, a certain small percentage of which will likely be inspired to repeat it for their slice of the glory.

Pardon the ramble, I'm sure one or more people are less interested in this phenomenon than I am.

Date: 2007/12/13 23:37:56, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

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.

Date: 2007/12/14 08:09:12, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 14 2007,07:38)
Geez, UD is really failing in its job of keeping us adequately entertained lately.

C'mon WAD!  You're due for your weekly meltdown today anyway!

No kidding. I've been reading Orwell to meet my daily quota of doublespeak.

Where's my doublespeak, Dembski? Where is it? You're holding out on us.

Date: 2007/12/14 10:04:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Salvador has a new post!

And- get this- he has mathematically proven the existence of God. And he quote mines someone who wrote a book with Dennett.

Also he does some physics that looks shitty to me. This isn't just because he's only actually defined two terms, which is troublesome enough by itself from a basic algebra point of view. It's also 'cause they don't mesh with even my rudimentary understanding of quantum mechanics. Rudimentary as in I don't even know quantum mechanics and this is bizarre. Evidently the O in his Oink is for Observation, and observation is fundamental to all of quantum existence (so God- sorry, "someone" must be doing the observing from the future). Now, if I recall my quantum mechanics I don't even know correctly, particles by default behave as if not being observed ... so God probably isn't observing them from the future.

Man. I never thought I'd type that sentence.

Okay, so everything past the definition of O, and even the placement of O in this equation, is spurious even to someone who knows almost no physics. The real question though: what is the "ink" for, and what is the O doing to it? Right now the ink just looks to be inelegantly smashed against the O, which doesn't make any kind of sense.

I'm toying with whether or not this counts as quantum woo.  I guess so few people understand quantum mechanics at all that you can pretty much put "quantum" onto anything and it'll sell?

Date: 2007/12/14 10:36:39, Link
Author: Annyday
Wait- it gets BETTER.

This, right here is from the fellow whom Sal is so approvingly ripping off. This is aside from the fact that he's a former publisher in the ID journal (and ISCID fellow, evidently).

Man ... man, this is pseudoscience. This is really, truly bad pseudoscience. This is what would happen if you gave a voodoo priest or dark-ages cabalist some quantum theory to munch on.

I heartily approve. God ... god this is so funny.

Edited to add awesome quote:

For reasons I describe at length in my book, I identify the singularity of spacetime with God. I shall show in this paper that this singularity actually has a Trinitarian structure, and that this structure is innate to the mathematics of the OPT, but I did not realize this in 1993 when I completed the manuscript to my book. I shall argue below that the central miracles of Christianity--the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Virgin Birth--are completely consistent with known physical law. Furthermore, once we see how the Son (who is required by physics to be the Second Person of the Trinity) did these miracles, we will see that indeed He came into the world to save it. I shall outline how to test experimentally whether these miracles in fact occurred; I shall, in other words, show how to confirm Christianity experimentally.

Date: 2007/12/14 11:26:22, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 14 2007,11:20)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 14 2007,11:14)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 14 2007,11:56)
[snipped img due to high risk of vomiting]

I really could have gone my entire life rather happily without having seen that image.

There were worse ones. There is loads of fan sites out there on "the hoff". Too many.

Hoff pictures have become a traditional thread-killing troll on a goodly number of sites I've been to. A Hoff picture is an undisputed ender, a way of saying "this thread is THIS stupid".

If the picture doesn't actually decrease the average intellectual content of the thread, it basically forces everyone to recognize they're doing something pointless and stupid and give up. It's wonderful.

Date: 2007/12/14 19:28:49, Link
Author: Annyday
I was wondering why his CV was so bloated. Personally, I think one or perhaps three advanced degrees is enough, but I'm happy for people who want to keep getting degrees forever and/or lying about some of them.

Date: 2007/12/14 23:06:59, Link
Author: Annyday
I just want to say, the JoeG post that FTK is responding to in that second one bothers me in a way that I'm finding difficult to properly put into words.

Let's just say it reminds me of several statements by the current government of China, and employs special pleading and begging of the question liberally.

Date: 2007/12/15 03:42:24, Link
Author: Annyday
I love Kairosfocus.

Particularly this:

10] So phil is inherently a part of the issue, and so also, the worldviews which phil sets out to analyse. In that broader context, Dr Dembski is perfectly in order to state his considered, empirically anchored wordview level, theistic opinion and conclusion.

11] That is not a matter of motivation-level bait and switch tactics, but instead it is a mature reflection on the wider issues implicated in scientific research programmes — which as Lakatos reminds us, have a belt of theories and the like surrounding a worldview level core.

This is some really beautiful doublethink. Intelligent Design causes "empirically anchored" conclusions about whether or not the designer is Jesus. This seems to be a scientific conclusion/hypothesis, but it is not amenable to scientific analysis and in no way makes the scientific component of ID religious.

And- at the SAME time- the theory does not impose this upon others, and is not theology. Dembski can believe this, and I can believe something totally different about the designer, much like physicists are free to change Newton's laws to whimsy and continue to function in their fields.

Have they given up pretending after all this time?

Date: 2007/12/15 09:25:42, Link
Author: Annyday
If you're not in California or New England, you're in a barbarous haven of knaves, thieves, and suchlike.

Date: 2007/12/15 11:25:37, Link
Author: Annyday
Well, this is just baffling.

I’ve also written elsewhere that the Christian God might use teleological organizing principles to implement his designs (e.g., that God does not need to specifically toggle the bacterial flagellum).

... so if God doesn't come in and "toggle the flagellum", design event style, would this not imply that the flagellum ... evolves? In fact, would this not imply that it evolves via processes indiscernible from naturalistic ones? Putting "teleological" or "telic" next to "organizing principles", although it does lend a certain air of magic, does not generate a radical new "paradigm". It makes a complementary, somewhat inelegant, minor hypothesis for a single case of evolution. We discover new things about evolution a lot. This is not too big a deal.

Props are deserved for trying to do real science by actually looking into mechanisms, but there's another issue at hand. Supposing I want to postulate that X does Y to Z, I should do my best to come up with as much information about X, Y, and Z as is possible.

ID used to only postulate Z; the end result. This is, sadly, not a real argument since it doesn't explain Z at all, it just points to it. Now things are looking up- ID is trying to postulate Y, what is actually done- how design is accomplished-, as well! Progress! We might actually begin to explain Z by doing this!

However ... for a real theory, you need to at least try to postulate an X. As in, the X that Dembski thinks is the Judeo-Christian God? It needs a place in this theory. Without an X, this theory is like saying that "a large amount of kinetic energy was discharged into the planet during a single event, which implies a fast-moving object, but we refuse to speculate about the nature of the object". You are not allowed to do this. You have to find out all you can about the cause of what you're claiming has occurred. Science is a question-asking process. Refusing to ask such a question about your subject matter is unscientific.

Problem is, this violates the central tenet of ID, which is that this one question should never be asked for any reasons. Without reevaluating this premise, it's impossible to really be scientific.

C'mon, at least one or two UDers has to be reading this. Aaanyone?

EDITED FOR CHRISTOPHER: Dembski seems to have reverted to his default behavior of saying that God's hand is only an opinion, and not a part of the science of ID. He is not, however, asserting that the interview is a misquote, which would imply that he is contradicting himself.

Date: 2007/12/15 20:11:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (EXEVOLUTIONIST @ Dec. 15 2007,14:36)
Hmm- If the evolutionists believe they have such an airtight case for thier religious belief in evolution, it would seem that they would welcome a side by side comparison of evolution vs. either Creation or ID. But it appears that there is much fear and trepidation about doing that. If you have not done that comparison, perhaps you should. It changed my mind completely! And perhaps that is the underlying reason why evolutionists seem so frightened of the thought of another explanation.

All else equal I'd actually prefer design to evolution, because reasoning out the intentions of even an utterly alien designer would probably be easier than real biology. Humans have a fair chunk of cognitive resources devoted to social reasoning which generally go wasted or even work against us when we're trying to figure out how something evolved. In ease of use, design is clearly the superior hypothesis.

Sadly, just because it would be easier doesn't necessarily make it so. Side by side comparisons are precisely why most of us reject ID outright.

Are you just driving by, or will you start your own thread? That'd be fun.

Date: 2007/12/16 03:20:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Ostiches run good, therefore design.

I was seduced by O'Leary's latest links and had to figure out how deep the rabbit hole went. This isn't the most vacuous bit, but I thought it was the funniest.

Date: 2007/12/16 05:43:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 16 2007,03:20)
I was seduced by O'Leary ... and had to figure out how deep the rabbit hole went.

Even more sig worthy.

Date: 2007/12/16 12:15:17, Link
Author: Annyday
This synopsis seems to leave out inclusive fitness and reciprocal altruism. Genes are selfish, people aren't necessarily so.

That said, welcome, Keith Robinson, when and if you should show up.

Date: 2007/12/16 14:14:26, Link
Author: Annyday
FTK speaks!

FTK: The multiverse theory is a hypothesis (IIRC, Copenhagen interpretation is considered equally valid and contradicts it). Common descent is essentially a fact- why you would put it on a list of "unconfirmed science" is beyond me. ERVs, transitional fossils, genetic similarities, similar body, brain, and bone structure aren't enough? Why, pray tell, not?

Dawkins doesn't advocate for a multiverse interpretation of quantum phenomenon that I know of ... and his meme idea isn't regarded as a rigorously tested theory, it's just an idea (and a damned interesting one, at times). We're not sheep, ideas really are just ideas to us.

See, the problem is you say a bunch of stuff ("you should treat scientific statements critically!") that's so obvious and correct it doesn't even need saying, and then right next to it ask us to take seriously a compromise regarding common descent, which is so well supported it would be treachery against all evidence and any future students of biology to "compromise" on it because it offends you.

Selecting scientific theories isn't like deciding what car to buy and compromising based upon everyone's taste. It's like trying to figure out which plane will fly. It either works, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, you're completely out of luck no matter how much you like it.

Denial of common descent just does not fly, okay? That's sad. I'm sad for you. But that's how it is.

Date: 2007/12/17 08:16:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Hey, Larry. The IDers are trying to argue with you. You might have a go at arguing back, provided you're not banned now.

DLHs post is the funniest, as the answer to his question is precisely what you already posted. Also, I'm fairly sure his math is wrong. Mutations are skewed towards the negative, but not THAT skewed, and he left out neutral mutations completely. (here)

The other one, by Sewell, is a simple god of the gaps argument tied to a whine about how pointing out he's using a god of the gaps argument is mean and unfair.

This basically sums up the entire ID movement. On the one hand, you have the people making timid arguments about tiny gaps in our knowledge, like the flagellum, into which they want to put their hypothesis. It's bad logic, but it's not too crazy. On the other hand, you've got whacked-out pseudoscientists doing bad math to try and prove the existence of God and disprove population genetics as a whole. And, what's more, they never criticize each other! It seems to be quite chummy in the big tent.

EDITED TO ADD: Gil got in on it too- and made his own post for it. That's dedication! (here!)

I'm kind of disappointed, though. The real answer to the post's title is "because they have not studied biology".

Date: 2007/12/17 10:00:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 17 2007,08:44)
EDIT: Oh, check out the comments on Larry's blog - BA77 has posted his list! I guess if he posts it many more times it'll defeat darwinism on it's own!

Jesus H Christ that's a monster of a bunch of blog comments.

Natural selection and random mutations have *never* been seen creating genetic codes, biological machines,etc.

... yes they have. Yes. They. Have. Yes they have, yes they have, yes they have. God, how do you pick just one example? Antibiotic resistance is a favorite, let's go with that. I have staph. If it's resistant (given my system this is likely), that's new code/machinery, if it's not resistant we can culture it til it becomes resistant and that will be new code/machinery. Rejoice, we've discovered the elusive proof of evolution! It was hiding in the skin over my tricep.

And ... and this is followed by someone who evidently thinks proteins are supposed to occur by themselves without genetic code.

Dear sweet Jesus. It's like freebasing madness.

Date: 2007/12/17 12:06:23, Link
Author: Annyday
I've become convinced that FTK isn't going to respond here, so I just wanted to add ....

Complaining about us and/or Albatrossity over on heavy-censored UD, safe from criticism, is a lot like talking on the phone about what a jerk the person next to you is. It's ... bad form, immature, and not conductive of rational discourse. If anything, doing it that way instead of saying it directly in a free venue only impedes an end to the "tennis match" you claim to dislike by preventing a real dialogue. That is, not only is it like talking on the phone about what jerks we are, it's like talking on the phone about what jerks we are since we won't talk rationally to you, while making an effort to drown us out since we're trying to talk to you.

I just want to make sure you knew.  :)  :)  :)

Date: 2007/12/17 15:20:35, Link
Author: Annyday
If Dembski were a reality TV contestant, he'd be one of the entries Simon Cowell ruthlessly mocks and sends packing for being an idiot, on national TV. Except that already happened, and it was Judge Jones instead of Simon Cowell.

Sometimes, you just suck. It's part of life.

Date: 2007/12/17 16:11:35, Link
Author: Annyday
I have to be honest, I don't like Sam Harris' fMRI study at all. For looking at brain regions for yes/no questions it's probably okay, but it has "uncertainty" right there in the title and on those grounds I think it's doomed to fail 'cause of how it was run. See, any statements the subjects didn't like immediately after the fMRI, they got to toss out from analysis- which basically assures you've removed everything interesting from results. This would be less of a problem if some of his analysis wasn't based upon nigh-imperceptible response time differences, which are almost certainly invalidated by the omission of all the most interesting data.

Hunted down the paper for the quote, which is:

After scanning, subjects reviewed their recorded responses to all statements to ensure that they reflected their actual beliefs. Erroneous responses, or those statements that, on debriefing, could not be clearly evaluated by subjects were excluded from subsequent data analysis.

I mean what the shit is that? You're not studying uncertainty at all if you let the subjects exclude some of your data based upon if they feel uncertain about it! You're wasting everyone's time by gathering useless data.

Also he used a small sample, but I'm being kind and not even bringing that up.


Date: 2007/12/18 01:55:49, Link
Author: Annyday
If PZ is teaching it, and he's teaching that it's wrong, he's still teaching the controversy.

So basically, "teach the controversy" means "teach the controversy, but don't take sides or criticize, even though it's within your field." This is fundamentally dishonest and against the spirit of teaching.

Real science can survive being taught by critical professors. See, the professors give you access to the material, add some of their commentary (they're professors, this is their job), and then ask you to comment on the material, too.

If people want to be taught ID, free from criticism, offstage in church ... they can do that. They're going to die miserable dog's deaths in the trenches of the creation/evolution wars if uncritical wallowing is all they've learned, however, just like the Creationists of yesteryear.

Date: 2007/12/18 06:39:10, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 18 2007,06:08)
As long as the books keep selling ID will be with us.

Hold up!

"Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology by William A. Dembski"

Whoah. I did not know he'd written that. No wonder he ran from Dover. He'd have gotten plowed even worse than Behe with a book titled that.

Imagine having to explain that title on the stand.

Date: 2007/12/18 13:50:13, Link
Author: Annyday
If the puddle's small enough, everbody can be a big fish.

Date: 2007/12/18 14:51:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 18 2007,14:04)
See my previous post. The problem is that front and hind-legs evolves independently during their ontogenetical development. They are created from different parts of germinal tissue (I suppose). Evolution has had 40 millions years to get rid of that bones. We need to compare existing useless bones with those of front limbs and with those of terrestrial mammals to make any assesment if your or JAM arguments have any explanatory value.


To my best (but still very bad) recollection, most genes to do with skeletal/muscular structure are rather pleitropic. You have multiple such structures in your body, and they all evolved in the presence of one another. It would seem weird for them to be completely independent, even if it's technically possible. I realize I'm largely echoing JAM on this one.

However, the most intuitive and evolutionarily economical way to add extra pairs of limbs to a creature is to duplicate the limb structure of an existing segment onto a different segment of the developing organism. I'm not saying this is definitely how it happens in all cases, but if you've got all the genetic material for a pair of limbs right there it'd seem stupid to use completely different material in making a new set. Evolution does not, generally speaking, result in stupid arrangements, so I'm going to make a slight guess in saying that hind and forelegs probably utilize the same machinery. As this is an actual line of (tentative) reasoning, I think it deserves at least some reasoning if you want to refute it.

Also, vestigial does not equal functionless. The bones don't do what leg bones are supposed to do, but the rest of the whale's bone and muscular structure could be dependent upon their presence for certain things at this point. Evolution is messy like that, sometimes weird and rather inefficient things happen because of evolutionary quirks. A favorite old-time example is that humans have blind spots due to the way the optic nerve is set up. It would be nice if we could evolve an optic nerve that isn't positioned like machinery put in by a drunk mechanic, but now that the nerve is there it's not evolutionarily feasible to move it.

In the same way, whales have big, floating leg bones and it's entirely likely it's just not possible to get rid of them at this point. Poor things are just gonna have to live with them. Yes, this is an ad hoc explanation from whale species to whale species- because evolution is an ad hoc process. It works with whatever's there, in weird and idiosyncratic ways.

Not to be too far in line with the chorus, but if weird, idiosyncratic ad hoc phenomenon are evidence of design, how exactly are we to infer this? I might be strange, but when I personally design things I aim for elegance, and vestigial organs are nothing if not inelegant. In fact, they're not just inelegant, they're weird as a freak show. This is, more or less, in line with what you'd expect if undirected mutations were a dominant driving force, no?

Date: 2007/12/18 16:52:28, Link
Author: Annyday
Denyse's take on Copernican cosmology in particular is ... special.

For more than three centuries scientists, historians, and popularizers of science have been repeating the claim that Copernicus "dethroned" earth from its "privileged" central position in the universe. However, a survey of pre-Copernican natural philosophy (which viewed the earth as located in a cosmic sump) and of Copernicans' own account of the axiological meaning of the new heliocentric astronomy (which exalted earth to the dance of the stars) demonstrates that the cliche about earth's "demotion" is unwarranted and fit to be discarded.

I'm not sure I can add anything, except to say that she's so wrong it hurts my eyes. Aquinas? Aristotle? Dante? None of them considered earth's position and all the heavens directly surrounding it an exalted reflection of divine will? It's kind of a stupid straw man to make a big literal point out of whether being in the "center" is "good" or "bad" in and of itself- geocentrism came packed with a whole lot of other conceits about divine will which were pretty inspiring. Then, bang, rather than following the laws of theology bent upon the assumption of man into heaven from an earth created for him, the heavens and the earth followed laws of physics. Has to hurt, that one.

Also, how many blogs does this make for Denyse? Six? Seven?

Date: 2007/12/18 17:08:45, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 18 2007,16:35)
Do you really suppose some evolutionary constraits that take effect on that bones but not on smaller ones?

Does really epistatic interaction or gene pleiotropy account for existence of tibia but not for metatarsus in whales?

This could easily be the case. They're fairly well known mechanisms for similar phenomenon.

Is it really necessary to repeat what I've just postulated in the form of a negative question? You could probably get more comedy out of it while communicating the same information if you posted an "o rly" owl instead.

Like this:

Then, instead of this post, I could post this:

And, again: if something is weird, how does this support design over evolution? With evolution you expect weird mutations and vestiges to be all over the place. If an intelligent designer was actually intelligent, however, it seems unlikely he'd permit that sort of thing.

I don't actually know much about whales, but none of this seems to challenge underlying evolutionary theory at all.

Date: 2007/12/19 02:00:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Your argument from personal incredulity does not impress me.

I never said human optic nerves were vestigial. I did say that they can't be moved, in spite of the utility of doing so, due to the constraints of gradual evolution. Vestigial bones in whales could easily be subject to the same types of constraints.

The rest of your "argument" is an "o rly" owl. You're sitting around and demanding to be impressed with detailed marine biology, instead of broad-strokes theory, without presenting any evidence for your position.

Date: 2007/12/19 08:02:19, Link
Author: Annyday
You can't really do any kind of ethology without "deep time", prehistoric evolution, either. I'm trying to think of non-evolutionary explanations for insect and fish mating patterns, for instance, and it just doesn't work at all. All I can manage is "someone thought it would be cool to make them do that". Go, salmon, go!

I'm also bewildered by the cling to the "edge of evolution" rambles. It's like someone pointing at a canyon in a desert and saying "this cannot be directly transversed, so everything on the other side must have flown over it", and then fervently denying the possibility of going around even when they've watched it done.

Also, who is nochange?

Yes!!! Which feeds into what I’ve been saying… Let’s cure cancer. Let’s use our superior understanding of biology and cure some diseases. The materialists will have a hard time disagreeing with us after we have the only treatments that will cure cancer.

That's a reductio ad absurdum if I've ever seen one, but I'm on the fence about if it's meant to be one or if nochange is just ... special.

Date: 2007/12/19 10:33:11, Link
Author: Annyday
The conclusion Robinson came to does not square with life as we know it on our planet. In "Logic's End," the mutations that drive evolution leave creatures asymmetrical. There is little or no consideration for the well-being of future generations. There is no art, and nothing is made or done with any aesthetic considerations.

Oh my god.

I don't even know where to start.

Date: 2007/12/19 11:17:53, Link
Author: Annyday
They have a brief guide to the slang use of "breeder" which I found funny.

... But that day is coming, you can be sure, as evidenced in part by the increasing frequency with which the word appears online. For example, Urban Dictionary defines “breeders” as “people who feel it is their need to pop out as many children as they can, even if they don’t have the money to do so. . . . Needless to say, they are not very bright.” And Encyclopedia Dramatica has this to say on the subject: “It is through mental superiority that the homosexual realized a core difference between gays and straights: the ‘breeder’ emits crotch droppings.”

Shocked? Horrified? You shouldn’t be. In a world where selfishness is a virtue, with individuals seeking to perpetuate their adolescence as long as possible through contraception and abortion, and as so-called alternative lifestyles—grounded by definition in the ideology of sex for pleasure’s sake alone—become more and more ensconced in mainstream society, is it any wonder that the production of offspring would be so viciously maligned? Indeed, considering the appalling state of contemporary culture, the only thing that should surprise you about the “breeder” slur is that it took this long to find its way into our vernacular.

Urban dictionary and encyclopedia dramatica? What awesome sources! Encyclopedia Dramatica is a joke mediawiki extension of 4chan, and Urban Dictionary is a catalog of what random people feel like saying on a given day!

Such credibility! (upcoming links will contain vulgar jokes. consider yourself forewarned.)

The urbandictionary definition is semi-accurate, and can be found here.

The Encyclopedia Dramatica entry is so obviously a joke I'm not sure how anyone could read it without realizing this. It even says it's a joke term, albeit using 4chan-speak.

As a side note, don't follow links on encyclopedia dramatica unless you've got a strong stomach. This is a fair warning.

Date: 2007/12/19 13:55:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 19 2007,11:52)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 19 2007,11:17)
As a side note, don't follow links on encyclopedia dramatica unless you've got a strong stomach. This is a fair warning.

Well. That's 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back. :angry:

Did you see their forty-page entry of gory and disgusting pictures? If you haven't run into that yet, you've barely scraped the surface of the encyclopedia.

Date: 2007/12/19 14:05:00, Link
Author: Annyday
When we don't give genetic details, we're telling just-so stories.

When you don't give genetic details, you're doing work comparable to Fisher and don't need them.

If details are relevant, you've failed to provide any. If they're irrelevant, your incredulity hasn't got any facts behind it to be seen.

Date: 2007/12/19 14:38:43, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 19 2007,14:33)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 19 2007,13:55)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 19 2007,11:52)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 19 2007,11:17)
As a side note, don't follow links on encyclopedia dramatica unless you've got a strong stomach. This is a fair warning.

Well. That's 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back. :angry:

Did you see their forty-page entry of gory and disgusting pictures? If you haven't run into that yet, you've barely scraped the surface of the encyclopedia.

Don't you dare give me the link to that, you bastard.  :angry: :angry:  :angry:

Seriously, you don't want to see it. It has no redeeming value and it makes all other internet shock sites seem mild.

Date: 2007/12/19 20:28:56, Link
Author: Annyday
I like how he says "scientific research", too. Normal people either just say research, or they say what they're actually researching into, but Dembski wants to emphasize that his research is scientific above considerations such as what it actually is.

Date: 2007/12/20 05:21:40, Link
Author: Annyday
Denyse seems to be arguing against (or accusing us of?) a very crude version of cognitive elimitavism which makes it into some kind of screwy cult. She's also using the exact same type of language people use while accusing others of worshiping dark heathen gods.

Compare what she actually wrote to this, with some nouns changed:

The infidel’s duty is not to see or hear or know, but merely to stupidly protest.

That makes sense. In the final assault of idolatry against mind-based civilization, the infidels are revealing that they do not think that they have souls. Their selfish gods have brought them to the point where they mindlessly yay-hoo against books they have never read and never intend to read, as well as films they have never seen and never intend to see.

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Date: 2007/12/20 08:56:24, Link
Author: Annyday
American xenophobia is a Cold War relic that won't die.

Actually, on further thought, I think it predates the Cold War. The earliest reference to American paranoia/patriotism in what seemed something like its modern form that I remember reading was in response to the Anarchists and propaganda of the deed. The whole mess was considered Europe's fault, and the xenophobia was ripe and huge. Subversives, terrorists, communists, and anarchists lurked around every corner, with poisoned knives, lit bombs, and French accents.

The specifics have changed since, but the spirit seems very much the same, doesn't it?

Date: 2007/12/20 10:26:06, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Does A come with a happy ending?

Date: 2007/12/20 10:33:39, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 20 2007,10:29)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 20 2007,10:26)
Does A come with a happy ending?

Anny, are you a girlie? This effects the answer I give.

Well, I would dress up as one if it'd net me a favorable answer. I'm not sure the Adam's apple would take, though.

Date: 2007/12/20 12:00:16, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

I question the heterosexuality of any man who wouldn't dress like a woman for sex.

Date: 2007/12/20 12:18:05, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Let's compromise and say it's true both ways.

ETA: Hey, Rudy Giuliani crossdresses, and he's having affairs with no fewer than two women at once by my best guess. Clearly, it's good a way to get women.

Date: 2007/12/20 12:38:03, Link
Author: Annyday
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Come on, can't we all settle this over some nice, manly scones and tea?

Date: 2007/12/20 12:55:38, Link
Author: Annyday
I think this is the first time I've been shunted to the bathroom wall.

I'd like to thank Richard, Arden, and especially Rudy Giuliani for helping me to accomplish this.

Date: 2007/12/20 14:45:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Poachy has to be a troll. Nobody is that stupid ...

Date: 2007/12/20 15:38:31, Link
Author: Annyday
This is dated today, has anyone else seen it yet?

Intelligent Design at Baylor University: The Rise and Fall of Baylor University’s Michael Polanyi Center

Man. I have to read this all the way through. :D

Date: 2007/12/20 15:51:25, Link
Author: Annyday
She always looks like that, actually.

There's almost nothing to say about Coulter any more, ever since that one guy wrote that piece of erotic fan fiction about her.

Date: 2007/12/20 16:14:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Design Inference, Dembski's "academic papers" site. It claims to have some new material somewhere in there, which it might. I hadn't seen any of it, though.

I'm finding it really really funny, too. Dembski thinks that by assailing naturalism he can restore meaning and faith to the sciences in such a way as to differentiate atheistic science from non-atheistic science. Yet ID says nothing about meaning or faith, and is therefore science, supposedly. It's very good doublethink.

It's also kind of funny that he thinks naturalistic means something other than "concerning only things which we can measure and quantify". Well, funny to see it drawn out at length.

Date: 2007/12/20 16:45:14, Link
Author: Annyday
If publicity and sales are the only upsides you see to being paid attention, even overwhelmingly scornful and negative attention, you just might not be doing real science.

Date: 2007/12/20 17:59:10, Link
Author: Annyday
We can behave, now that we've been justly served. Well, there might be some toe-tapping bathroom antics from the brits, but other than that we can behave.

Epic comics. C'mon.

ETA: Pulling pigtails is mean. It shouldn't be done.

Date: 2007/12/20 21:04:11, Link
Author: Annyday
I think, between AtBCers mocking his every step and UD commenters straying off-message with no regard for appearance, that Daveyboy just couldn't keep the faith in the old and blusteringly superior ID. He still believes in some kind of divine creation, but the explanatory filter, like a broken condom, has stopped fulfilling its function and is only ruining the experience for him at this point.


He's not even trying any more 'cause he's advocating raw ignorance. Oh yeah!

Date: 2007/12/21 06:28:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Dave's back! Dave's back and he's recovered from the humiliation of mistaking replications for generations! We have our DaveScot back!

I suspect he's playing mad libs with a speech or two from someone else, but I don't care. That's the Daveyboy we know and love.

... also, his "extant genomes" line is basically an admittance that "we have no evidence for this, we're just guessing and hoping to find out we were right in the future". It's a half-baked hypothesis at best.

Date: 2007/12/21 09:29:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Brian Clevinger's books had about five times as many sales, going by his sales rank. I say this because he's only an internet (semi?)-celebrity anyway, and because he's the only other person whose Amazon sales rank I know of.

2000 is not THAT good a sales rank ... you might manage a second edition if you stay there a good long while, maybe.

Date: 2007/12/21 09:46:58, Link
Author: Annyday
VMartin ... I was looking for unrelated data about spinal evolution (don't ask), and I stumbled across something about fish hindlimb reduction. They're no marine mammals, but it's kind of similar.

Here and, if you happen to be interested in fish scales too, here.

Short version: hindlimb genes in stickleback fish are subject to such great pleitropy that knocking them out by themselves in a lab generally kills the fish. When they looked at the genomes of wild fish with evolutionarily reduced hindlimbs (a recent adaptation, too, I believe), they found a very tricky regulatory gene that manages to toggle off hindlimb growth alone. And these are just spines, they're not multijointed, multiboned legs, and there's been no structural opportunity for muscle or other structures to become anchored to and dependent upon them.

This research is kind of oldish now, though. I haven't the foggiest idea how it's progressed since, 'cause it's not my damn field. It does seem to support a complicated and tricky mechanism for whale hindlimb reduction, no?

Date: 2007/12/21 12:27:18, Link
Author: Annyday
VMartin: Read this. If you still think symmetry is a problem, read the links in the article. PZ even has boring explanations of specific genes.

I know PZ is a mean bastard about it, but you need to learn this. The evolution of symmetry is so basic it's sad that anyone with an interest in biology, even an interest in destroying it, doesn't know about it.

As a rule of thumb, if you want to critique a science, you should have an understanding on par with a cursorily interested undergraduate.

Date: 2007/12/21 13:15:56, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm just trying to figure out how Darwinian evolution is either Cartesian or Newtonian in any way, shape or form.

If anything, Cartesian and Newtonian conceptions of the cosmos are most exemplified in modern intelligent design and creationism. Denyse O'Leary's "spiritual brain" is a prominent example.

Date: 2007/12/21 13:43:39, Link
Author: Annyday
That's not even wrong.

Neo-Darwinism has never been primarily concerned with whether or not the systems it studies are, at their most fundamental, fully deterministic or not. Whether or not the fundamental building blocks of the relatively large-scale organisms under study are deterministic or truly random changes our understanding of their nature no more or less than it changes our understanding of rocks. In spite of quantum mechanics, rocks are still rocks, molecules are still molecules, and organisms are still organisms.

There is some interest in precisely how recombinations of DNA, mutations, and other small-scale phenomenon function in biology, but whether they're truly nondeterministic or are deterministic in ways yet unknown doesn't represent a challenge to biology as a whole.

Date: 2007/12/21 14:50:44, Link
Author: Annyday
Apart from the fact that I don't see any of the mystical influence you do in modern physics or mathematics, your argument still fails to make a case that evolution is deterministic or antiquated in any way.

Modern physics is based upon trying to solve irreconcilable paradoxes within existing knowledge. Evolution doesn't have any such massive contradictions, and it works quite well as is, so there's no evidence of a need for any kind of new model.

Date: 2007/12/21 16:41:16, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 21 2007,15:22)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 21 2007,15:02)
VMartin doesn't have an issue with Darwin alone; he apparently thinks that the Enlightenment should be repealed.

I agree with you in a peculiar way. I was surprised that professor Zdenek Neubauer appreciates great contribution of  Darwin's concept for underestanding of the problem of evolution - historicity and singularity of evolution of each species. What he criticises is neodarwinism. He considers neodarwinism (especially Dawkin's famous selfish gene concept) as inevitable outcome of the old newtonian thinking in biology which is according his opinion outdated considering the movements in modern physics.


He doesn't know what he's talking about at all. He's comparing apples and passionfruits. Molecular biology is effected somewhat by quantum physics. Gene-centered evolution really isn't effected much at all. If a biologist says something stupid about the strength of genetic determinism*, as does sometimes occur, it's not because they don't know their quantum mechanics. It's because they don't know their biology.

Genetic determinism isn't much related to determinism in quantum physics. The only way I can imagine this making sense is if you're fundamentally ignorant about one or both of them.

*In fairness, I doubt we could get any significant number of biologists to agree upon precisely how much genetic determinism is too much, but this is not the point.

Date: 2007/12/21 16:52:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 21 2007,16:34)
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Dec. 21 2007,15:53)
Here's a chance to win 100 $, from Dembski himself:

"I like it, but frankly I think we can do better. I’m therefore offering a $100 prize to anyone who can come up with a better sticker (receipt of payment for the prize cedes copyright to me). The sticker needs to be posted online as a jpeg with a link in the comments to this thread. For now, the sticker should only publicize EXPELLED (explicit connection with DoL as a companion volume can be done later). The contest extends through February 12th, 2008 — Darwin’s birthday and the official release date of EXPELLED."

The comments suggest no one is paying attention to dimpski's offer.  they're all making jokes.

That's because we they are all sock puppets.

Date: 2007/12/21 17:19:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Issues of determinism in quantum physics are primarily about the lack of it, actually. I am not ignorant of this fact.

This is beside the point; all of this has almost nothing to do with biology. The word "determinism" is all that connects anything to do with quantum physics or biology, and you are in fact the one who brought it into this.

You seem to be intentionally not grasping what I'm trying to say. No matter how enthusiastic you are about quantum mechanics, they don't say anything about the fundamentals of evolution. Nothing. Not one thing. The most they could do is change the details.

Date: 2007/12/21 17:28:32, Link
Author: Annyday
This forum is kind of about evolution, and anti-evolution. It'd be rather silly to not discuss a novel asserting an anti-evolution viewpoint, even in passing.

We could be nicer about it, but that's mostly an issue of style, honestly, not malice. We've probably said more vicious things about each other than anyone else in the time I've been here. It's largely not a very serious place.

Date: 2007/12/21 17:54:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Damnit, Steve, we'll never convince him to stay if we make our utter incredulity evident!

... more evident than it already is!

Date: 2007/12/21 18:06:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (JohnW @ Dec. 21 2007,18:00)
As Annyday pointed out, we are focused on discussing evolution and the (mis)deeds of its deniers - this doesn't mean many of us don't find other things interesting, but it does mean that those things are not why we're here.

Many? Not all? There are some of us who ... don't have any interests besides creationists?

Hot damn. Poor bastards. It does explain some things, however.

Date: 2007/12/21 18:39:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 21 2007,18:34)
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 21 2007,16:39)
Last line of defense from DaveScot:
The laughable part is that the whale’s ancient ancestor is still in dispute. Prehistoric evolution is nothing but guesswork and the guesses change as often as women’s fashion.

What’s wrong with the paper is that it’s useless. What practical difference does it make what creatures whales descended from?

Earth to Dave: ever heard of the difference between basic and applied research?  General relativity was useless at the beginning of 20th century.  Nowadays GPS employs Einstein's equations.  

Got it?  Write that down.

Davetard is so clueless that he once said we should only do science that's going to turn out to have important applications.

We need some version of Godwin's law that prohibits people, and especially me, from making comparisons to Soviet communism.

However, as this does not yet exist, I'd like to say that I'm reminded of the Soviet (and Marxist in general) groups that thought science was an evil instrument of bourgeois reactionary oppression, but "technology", which did useful things in service of the Revolution, was good. Ideology before knowledge, doncha know!

Date: 2007/12/21 19:37:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Another question is, why, if Davey and company were talking about how all prehistoric biology is a stupid waste of time a day (or two?) ago, they feel the need to rant about saltation events and ancient phylogenic trees today.

Like a degaussed compass needle...

Date: 2007/12/21 19:52:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Compare DaveScot two days ago:

The salient question is what CAN’T you do in practical biology without resort to mechanistic theories of prehistoric evolution. The answer appears to be there is nothing you can’t do. ... One has no need at all to subscribe to any theory that supposes the same organisms had substantially different ancestors millions of years ago. There is no practical application for the theory that chance and necessity turned mud to man over billions of years. Whether true or not the supposed RM+NS mechanism over deep time works too slowly to have any practical consequence measured over the course of hundreds of years except at the fringes where one or several random nucleotide changes effect medically important consequences without otherwise notable phenotype change.

And BarryA:

Corey, I disagree. Neither Bioinformatics nor Molecular biology must resort to prehistoric evolution at all, much less theories about the mechanisms of prehistoric evolution.

Phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relatedness, and by definition resorts to mechanistic theories of prehistoric evolution. But it is not “practical biology” to which DaveScott was referring.

with DaveScot today:

Sure. The genetic code of modern whales existed in a repressed form in the cell line leading to whales. An environmental trigger in the distant past caused a chromosome reorganization to occur which in turn led to a saltation. This is in complete accord with the indisputable testimony of the fossil record which of course is a record of abrupt emergence of radically new phenotypes followed by long periods of stability in the new phenotype and in the vast majority of cases extinction of the new phenotype after an average of 10 million years with all but a small fraction of these leaving no successor species.


This is the front-loaded ID hypothesis. Phylogenesis mirrors ontogenesis in that both are a series of derepressions of existing genomic information. Both occur according to a set plan where chance plays little if any role and the environment supplies cues (triggers) for proceeding (or not) from one phase of the plan to the next. Both are self-terminating when the preprogrammed path of diversification has completed.

Nothing in the fossil record makes sense except in the light of front-loading.

Studying prehistoric evolution is stupid ... except when I do it! When I do it it's super-smart and important! We must seek new and better ways to explain the fossil record, such as unverifiable front-loading!

Just not mechanistic theories, and theories that aren't mine. Those ones are completely pointless! Only morons care about that!

Date: 2007/12/21 19:58:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Whoah, I missed one.

What’s wrong with the paper is that it’s useless. What practical difference does it make what creatures whales descended from?

DaveScot ... today. Man, can you just make up your mind? It's important and worth talking about, and you wait eagerly for the revolution in genetics that will help you look into it, when we're talking about YOUR theory.

When we're talking about actual biologists' theories, it's useless? You can hold both of these thoughts in mind at once without imploding?

God, I love doublethink so much it might be unhealthy. :)

Date: 2007/12/21 21:43:28, Link
Author: Annyday
I have to ask, did everyone else try actually making points before giving up and deciding to do mockery full-time, or am I special in having bothered at all? Begh.

Date: 2007/12/21 23:08:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Nixon was unfairly railroaded by a vindictive and vicious liberal media!

How dare you imply otherwise?

Date: 2007/12/21 23:29:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (jupiter @ Dec. 21 2007,23:20)
Isn't it supposed to be spray-paint? Like '70s graffiti! transgressive*!

I'm wondering, what's with the rest of the lettering? There's shading, as if to suggest a 3-D, Pirates of Wherever theme of arrayed long-bones, with the associated connotation of rebellion**. Yet the rectilinear forms of the letters reject any such organicity, and declare their true nature, as strips of smudgy masking tape. Meaning... what????

*Transgression expires with the Ford administration.

**Commercialized, commodified, deracinated, dessicated, and otherwise rendered meaningless.

You fool, can't you see?

It's postmodern!

Date: 2007/12/22 02:49:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 21 2007,21:23)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 16 2007,11:15)
This synopsis seems to leave out inclusive fitness and reciprocal altruism. Genes are selfish, people aren't necessarily so.

That said, welcome, Keith Robinson, when and if you should show up.

Pseudo-scientific certitude makes bad art - precious dialogue, stilted plot, long-winded solilquies clumsily advancing said plot ("You mean you don't believe in Darwinism?" "As an engineer who has written a self-playing chess program, before I met my wife and single-handedly revived the space program, I can say with certainty that--") I suspect his novel needs a rewrite. (What say, Lou?) ;)
Keith Robinson has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master Degree. Keith is from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Ohhhhh, my. Keith Robinson is also taking correspondence courses in creative writing, I'd wager. :p

Well, since we're being mean, nasty, and otherwise wicked now, it's probably noteworthy that the previewable pages feature their fair share of oddness. For the record: "radioplasmic" isn't a word, exceeding c isn't easy, and "with an air of mystery, said" should never be written by anyone ever in any language. It's just not natural.

Now that that's off my chest, I can resume my hobbies: burning churches and building ebola bombs.

P.S.: Have you ever seen Un chien andalou, Kristine?

Date: 2007/12/22 08:14:19, Link
Author: Annyday
You wouldn't!

Date: 2007/12/22 08:30:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Lou's taunted me about my severe aversion to written cliches, so I'm going to be honest.

This is the worst book ever written, and I love it. One chapter is randomly generated via word-mash software, and the rest is all written by authors with no knowledge of what the other authors are doing under instructions to write as badly as possible with almost no direction. Every single virtue of a good story has been eviscerated and placed on display. It's a book so terrible it actually becomes a bizarre, dadaist form of commentary on bad fiction and writing in general.

It's also kind of funny.

Date: 2007/12/22 17:36:50, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthuges @ Dec. 22 2007,15:02)
Welcome, Keith

Yes. Welcome. I'd encourage you to tell us if anything we do is unnecessarily off-putting due to tone or content, we generally don't mean to do anything that'd harm a dialogue unduly. Except for Arden. Arden's just evil.

Quote (bystander @ Dec. 22 2007,15:54)
My question is that appears that you version of evolution in the book is a simplisitic kill or be killed version. There has been a lot of work over the last 20 years around altruism and co-operation. This is seen now as an important part of evolution and is in many popular science magazines and book. Why didn't you include this in your book?

That's the tip of the iceberg.

Genetic success isn't about you, it's about your family. It's about your siblings and your cousins and your nieces and nephews, and most importantly, it's about your children.

The children are our genetic future. Won't someone please think of the children?

This alone is a pretty good explanation for the problem of compassion and planning for future generations. Failing to plan and care for your eventual progeny isn't Darwinian, it's the exact opposite.

Beauty, also, can have a function. Spiders are probably not intelligent enough to have complex feelings, in my own humble opinion. Their nervous system is just too primitive for it. However, they make complicated and beautiful spider webs, have discerning taste in webs, and go to great lengths to maintain their webs. That's because function follows form- beautiful things are useful. Interesting and aesthetically pleasing webs are also the most useful for survival.

So are interesting and aesthetically pleasing mates, for that matter. Even insects are picky about their mates, because they're after good genes. They probably can't be said to experience anything as complicated as falling in love, but the function is very similar.

These are the things that interest me the most, which is why the arguments about them made me grimace.

On the origins of DNA, though, let's suppose the theoretical barriers to the synthesis of early RNA and DNA can't be overcome within any known model of an early Earth. The very most this does is raise the necessity of some mechanisms for early reactions that we are totally ignorant of. You could hypothesize whatever you want about mechanism X, but from there descent with modification seems to be the rule. Basically, problems with the origins of early DNA alter our understanding little, if at all, of more recent organisms anyway.

Date: 2007/12/22 18:55:05, Link
Author: Annyday
Amazon sales ranks can fluctuate wildly from hour to hour, much less day to day or week to week. Honestly, I think it's mostly unprincipled evilutionists buying copies for their own amusement with no thought to the wider consequences (such as inadvertently encouraging Dr. Dr. Billy). Pharyngula linking to it probably caused a rush of interest from the godless, who all bought their copies within two days of each other and spiked the ranking. I predict a swift taper in sales once that effect wears off.

Date: 2007/12/22 19:56:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 22 2007,19:49)
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 22 2007,20:46)
google trends on Dembski, Dawkins:


You need to adjust for the Philadelphia Eagles' Free Safety Brian Dawkins, but lol anyway.

ETA:  Wait.  Did I just ruin your joke, or did I make an entirely different one about how Brian Dawkins is more googled than Little Billy D.?

i r cornfuzed miself.  not hard.

Easily done!

Date: 2007/12/23 07:25:20, Link
Author: Annyday
• Can a baby get drunk off of nonalcoholic beer?

Yes. There is often (I might even say usually) a trace of alcohol in 'nonalcoholic' beer. Certain factors - such as being under twenty pounds, or having a semi-developed liver- are likely to dispose certain individuals - such as babies - to being effected by it.

• In Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity, he says that Jason Bourne can pack with great economy of space, allowing him to pack much more in a small bag than it would seem. How would one do this, and is it even a real thing?

This is how. You could in fact learn to pack with greater-than-normal economy of space.

• Would it be possible to "shoot" someone with "lightning"? Like, a Taser with no electrodes.

This was in the works for a while, but I'm not sure if it's still being developed. Instead of using electrodes they wanted to ionize the air. You do in fact need some way to conduct electricity, however.

• What infections do viruses and microorganisms suffer from? My guess is none. They only suffer from random mutations and suffering caused (mostly by humans) by chemicals.

They suffer from each other. Humans aren't the biggest toxic chemical manufacturers around- that honor goes to microbes in general, and many of the chemicals are designed to help them wage war on each other. This isn't really what you'd call an "infection". However, viruses definitely infect bacteria - and everything else with cells - all the time.

• If mountains are measured from sea level, then the 12,000-foot peaks in Colorado are only about 7,000 feet above Denver since they lie on a 5,000-foot-high plain. That being so, a one-foot rock lying on the ground becomes a 5,001-foot-high mountain. Do we need to address this differently, if it really matters at all?

Well, it almost certainly matters to geologists and to mountain climbers, to name two groups of people. I know some climbers at least who talk about height from base to summit, compared with height above sea level. Then there's a (separate) height of the climb, which is the distance you actually have to travel to get from base to summit.

Also some of these questions are just pointless. Like, "why do people sometimes destroy things when they're angry"? Because they're ANGRY. If you want a more comprehensive answer, you have to start into a psychological, philosophical, or neurological explanation of what anger is. I guess you could do that, but it seems like a clumsy and crappy launching point.

Date: 2007/12/23 10:42:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Art @ Dec. 23 2007,10:03)
Wouldn't it be neat if DaveScot and Telic Thinker joy got together and whipped up a quantum caulk theory of everything?

Can it even be considered caulk or even caulk-like when it's so small it's been dubbed "quantum"?

Date: 2007/12/23 16:58:08, Link
Author: Annyday
The placebo response she describes is basically classic Pavlovian conditioning, except instead of saliva it releases endorphins, no? Does this imply that every single creature capable of responding to conditioning has a "spiritual brain", or just the ones capable of being conditioned to simulate a hit of a drug?

If the former, sea slugs have souls, and if the latter, mice have souls*. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that. Also, it's not remotely theologically tenable. Saying either species is "spiritual" seems to do some very extreme violence to the word.

Denyse's take on brain plasticity is wrong too, but that's neither here nor there.

*Sea slugs might respond to placebo too, I don't know.

Date: 2007/12/23 19:14:01, Link
Author: Annyday
I Like how idnet's version of The Origin of Species has many Arbitrarily capitalized Words. It certainly helps to Emphasize the primarily Religious nature of Darwin's teachings, and makes him Sound like a latter-day William Blake, full of Heresy and Madness.

Date: 2007/12/24 13:18:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Why does he have twenty-five citations, mostly from the same book? What's the point of that?

I wrote a short blurb examining the fallacious logic, but I think I'll wordpress it over there instead. Suffice to say, I should never have been allowed to learn formal logic, as I am mean with it.

Date: 2007/12/24 13:43:51, Link
Author: Annyday
What the hell, I'll post it here while it awaits moderation.

Your logical fallacies are showing.

All objects of type A are both B and C.

Some objects of type D are B.

Therefore, all objects of type D are also C.

Therefore, all objects of type D are A, or

D = A.

The bulk of your “argument” is essentially emphasizing, in detail, how much “some objects of type D are B”, and nearly completely ignoring the question of whether B is a defining feature of either D or A.

I’ll give you an example:

All atheists do not believe in God, and do not believe in a divinely guided morality.

Some Christians doubt the existence of God.

Therefore, no Christians believe in a divinely guided morality either.

Therefore, Christianity is atheism.


“Up” is a direction along an axis.

“Down” is the opposite of “up”.


“Down” is also a direction along an axis.

Therefore, “down” is the same as “up”.

Therefore, “down” is the opposite of itself.

I could go on to “prove” that all Christians are secretly Confucians, all Hindus are Muslim, that hot is cold, and so on. I could quote long passages of crisis-of-faith, why-have-you-forsaken-me Christian poetry “proving” that Christianity is atheism. If I went on for a really long time about this, it might have the sheen of professional philosophy and good rhetoric that you display.

The logic would still be crap, however.

Date: 2007/12/24 16:28:29, Link
Author: Annyday
It's not about being "convincing", it's an emotional appeal that follows only the internal logic of a certain religious bent. When you see the entire world through lenses of good and evil and religious faith, casual atheism or even the existence of facts unrelated to faith are basically incomprehensible.

So instead of taking "atheist" to mean "well-confirmed agnostic", which is basically what it means, they ramble about Marxism and positivism and "evolutionism" as if they're rival cults. It's better to have a heathen enemy, with false idols and the whole nine yards, than to be dismissed.

Date: 2007/12/24 18:47:11, Link
Author: Annyday
There are rather few "atheists" in the sense of people believing they have positive evidence against God. I don't really know of any at all, actually. "Agnostic" is just a word that Thomas Huxley used to dodge the pejorative and generally evil connotations of atheism, while meaning basically the same thing.

For serious.

Date: 2007/12/24 19:25:38, Link
Author: Annyday
Ilion accused you of denying your own existence, man.

You've been pwned pretty hard. Do you want to sit down?

Date: 2007/12/25 12:12:57, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 25 2007,09:12)
A thing of beauty:

"It is an awful and disgusting lie.  It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation." - Will Smith after being quotemined in the tabloids.

Should come in handy in this thread, I think.

Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.

"Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today'," said Will. "I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.

"I wake up every day full of hope, positive that every day is going to be better than yesterday. And I'm looking to infect people with my positivity. I think I can start an epidemic."

You can clearly tell the man loves his Hitler.

Date: 2007/12/25 13:05:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Man, I don't wanna read all of this. At least half of it is chaff and the rest is boring.

I'll be sure to mention in caveat that you're banned and extend an invite when/if I get through all of this and respond, Rich.

ETA: Rabban's proof of God begs the question. It's beside the point and I'm not even going to address it, but I'm just sayin'.

Date: 2007/12/25 13:49:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 25 2007,12:16)
Note that I did not need one ounce of Darwinism to make the derivation. That’s because Darwinism isn’t science.

I expect better logic from people who've just smoked weed.

You rang, m'lord?

Date: 2007/12/25 14:07:57, Link
Author: Annyday
I just finished a bag of Doritos, actually. I'll have to save those for a rainy day.

Merry Christmas.

Date: 2007/12/25 22:05:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 25 2007,20:14)

Quote Sales Rank: #6,887 in Books

Waterloo is off, folks. :angry:

I've been watching it, it's been fluctuating between 5000 and 7000 depending upon the time of day and/or night these past few days. I still don't think its sales figures will outlast the attention of Pharyngula's readers, I'm just not sure how long that'll be.

Date: 2007/12/25 22:44:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Two different guys, Bill. Their arguments don't seem to complement each other very well, it's true.

Date: 2007/12/26 09:10:54, Link
Author: Annyday
That's true. There's definitely an ideological component in a lot of non-'religious' things, but it just doesn't seem to work to call atheism a religion or even an ideology. If anything the predominant ideological component underpinning the lot of the "new atheists" in a positive sense is a brand of humanism. Atheism's just a statement of what they're opposed to, in theory, but then some of them have also got a seemingly cannibalistic ideological urge to assimilate all atheists into their mass.

... I'd like it noted for the record that I'm coming to really hate the fuzziness around the edges of the word "atheism", especially as concerns an approach to humanism. The part of me that's married to crisp, clear, logical distinctions is especially pissed off. That is all. :p

Date: 2007/12/26 11:11:57, Link
Author: Annyday
When you read this, Dave, I want you to know that I wish you a merry, merry Christmas. Thank you for the presents, slightly late though they are. :)

Date: 2007/12/26 12:39:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky.

I figured at least one person here would appreciate this ...

Date: 2007/12/26 12:43:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Man, this is all semantics. Fuzzy semantics.

Date: 2007/12/27 15:24:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Until you put forth and defend an actual idea in at least minimal detail, nobody is going to take anything you say seriously, VMartin. Every position you take seems engineered so you don't have to actually make any claims. It makes responding to anything you say a lost cause.

For instance, many evolutionary mechanisms about both testicles and sex organs in general are fairly well demonstrated. If someone were actually trying to present a case for anything about testicles they might explain known cases in detail as a jumping-off point. It's simply not worth doing with you.

However, if you want to keep people from seriously sitting down to explain anything to you, you've done a good job! Congratulations.

Date: 2007/12/27 20:27:12, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 27 2007,15:55)
By the way, your Gould quote continues:

We believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism.

Note that Gould’s punctuated equilibrium still requires tens to hundreds of thousands of years to take place. He never suggested that new species appeared de novo.




4:54 pm

If you dispute the evidence in the fossil record as one of abrupt emergence of fully defined species followed by long periods of stasis and then extinction without any change in form then we have nothing further to discuss. You reject the best evidence we have of the history of life because it doesn’t agree with your preconceptions.

Dear Dave,

Gould's theory is about 'punctuation' in reference to the fossil record. The fossil record is several logs higher in scale than any amount of time you have experience with, and 'punctuation' in the fossil record does not remotely resemble de novo appearance. Gould would have a really huge fit, like the hero of a Greek or Shakespearian tragedy, if he could read half the crap you say about his pet theory.

Date: 2007/12/27 22:05:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Whois @ Dec. 27 2007,21:38)
Hello all,

Can an atheism be a religion? It is quite an interesting question. It could easily be turned into the following question; Is any belief of any subject a religion?

Is any marriage a marriage? does every breath support life? If one takes this attitude than there are no defining borders of the meaning of the words that can be applied to any condition. This goes against the fact, that we need duality in order to experience any condition. The law of duality is quite simple. Without the presence of the opposite, that which is, is not. Without the presence of The Creator there would be no creation and without the presence of religion atheism would not exist.
So, if two primates are married by whosoever things they have the right to perform such a union, Would or should this marriage be enforced or recognized?

Religion deals with entities which are recognized to have superior power and unerstanding, as well as, intelligence. Atheist has no such beliefs, hence cannot be considered to be religious in any way.

To address evolution, undeniably evolution exists. In the words of The Most Magnificent All There Is, the only thing that is constant in the universe is change it self. By definition, evolution is all about change. Also by definition, evolution cannot be creative. "Nothing," cannot be affected by evolution, there is nothing that can change. There is a lot more that can be written about this subject not based on the religion but on pure physics of the change.


I don't even know if I disagreee with you or not.

Date: 2007/12/27 22:43:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 27 2007,21:46)
Is Salvador really so stupid that he confuses what is with what should be?

Yes. Almost all creationists are.

For that matter, this particular fallacy seems to be, well, one of the most natural ways of thinking. "Is" and "ought" often do not seem to be intuitively separate.

ETA: Further, Sal's version of God would probably like Hitler more than Jesus. Jesus was, at the end of the day, a religious leader who got executed. Hitler staged a human drama of vast and amazing scope, so great that his name has become synonymous with evil. It's not hard to choose which one God, being a novelist with a flair of the dramatic and macabre, would rather let into heaven.

Date: 2007/12/27 23:47:46, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 27 2007,23:16)

Dear FTK,

"Darwinism" is not a source of morals for anyone ever. There is no such thing as a "Darwinian" moral point of view; it is something that basically does not exist. Defending Sal's rants about being how all "Darwinists" should be alright with being fucked to death by horses only shows how far you'll bend to stay on the right side.

If I start talking about how you're an evil bitch whose views naturally lead to an acceptance of violation with a spiked crucifix to share in Jesus' suffering, the reasonable and neutral response would not be to say that I "have a point about FTKs religious attitude" even if you "disagree with my delivery". The proper response would be to say that I was being a repulsive human being unable to maintain a modicum of decency. Defending the argument from "fucked to death by horses" at all is a form of twisted endorsement of it. The fact that there's a related point you'd like to make should not be your first concern.

Man. This post is probably going to go to the bathroom wall so fast, but that example was all I could think of to properly illustrate what I meant. There's also some form of recursion going on in my formulating my own repulsive argument to make a point about defending repulsive arguments, but I'm too annoyed to care right now.

Date: 2007/12/28 00:10:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 27 2007,23:58)
I understand your point, but the thing is that I deal with you folks everyday, so watching Sal try to make a point by using this particular example just doesn't seem terribly insulting to me.  

I've grown quite immune to the *over the top* way in which both sides at times strive to make a point.

And, the truth is that he has a point, albeit minus any tact.

I have yet to see the atheist rant that can equal the argument-from-horsefucking, and if I did it would still be repulsive and stupid to defend it.

Seriously. I could channel the spirit of The Exorcist at length, and I don't think anyone would apologize on my behalf. I'd just be being an asshole. The same should go for Sal, but for some reason it doesn't. Instead, you want to talk about the 'point' he was expressing. This is a problem.

Date: 2007/12/28 00:18:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 28 2007,00:10)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 28 2007,00:47)
Dear FTK,

"Darwinism" is not a source of morals for anyone ever. There is no such thing as a "Darwinian" moral point of view; it is something that basically does not exist.

The relationship between 'is' and 'ought' is complicated. Sometimes ought does seem to follow from is. The fact that you is a human with a conscience means you ought not to torture people if you want to be happy in the future. There are other situations where ought doesn't follow is at all. Few sensible people would say the the baby who was eaten by the dingo ought to have been eaten by the dingo just because it was.

But in some religious systems everything that happens happens exactly as it should, in accordance with god's desires. To someone who believes in that kind of...thing, is always equals ought. Perhaps that's why some religious people read Darwin saying the strong tend to eat the weak, they think Darwin means the strong ought to eat the weak. It's confusing to us that anyone could think that, because we don't link is to ought as a matter of course, and we know that Darwin and pals did not mean the strong ought to eat the weak.

I agree. The problem is that nobody actually follows evolution as a moral dogma, but some people continue to insist that they do or should even when corrected repeatedly on it. 'Moral' Darwinism doesn't exist except in theory. Seeing people display willful ignorance when presented with this fact gets old very fast.

Date: 2007/12/28 01:11:25, Link
Author: Annyday
It's funny because I seem to remember that this form of "moral" Darwinism is actually racist Christian 'morality' with occasional touches of Mendelian inheritance.

One example in that list is Roosevelt's imperialism. Check out Roosevelt's uber-Darwinian morality:

1. "The settler and pioneer have at bottom had justice on their side; this great continent could not have been kept as nothing but a game preserve for squalid savages".
  2. "The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages".
  3. "American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori, — in each case the victor, horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people".
  4. " is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races".
  5. "The world would have halted had it not been for the Teutonic conquests in alien lands; but the victories of Moslem over Christian have always proved a curse in the end. Nothing but sheer evil has come from the victories of Turk and Tartar".

Darwinian? Not really, no. Racist, yes. Christian, also.

See, the problem is that "Darwinian" morality doesn't presuppose any kind of goodness to begin with. In order to actually be what's called a Social Darwinist, you need to have some master race in mind to begin- the Nordic race was popular. You need to believe that race is blessed with either divine will or something like it, and many Social Darwinists did. And then you need to apply principles of inheritance to a breeding project designed to purity your ideal race.

This is Mendelian, not Darwinian. It has everything to do with the understanding of inheritance, and little to do with the understanding of the human species' place in relation to, for instance, apes. The doctrine that everything is allowed because we're all merely animals is directly opposed to Social Darwinism.

This idea of "Darwinian morality" rooted in the fact that humans are animals has no relation to anything that has occurred. It's almost entirely a straw man. If you want to say that Darwinism, and more so Mendelian inheritance, increased our understanding of biology and so helped racist societies better formulate genocidal programs you might have a case. If you want to say Darwinism was the basis of a morality that undermined their moral fiber, you'll find it's not remotely true.

Since the claim that common descent undermines morality is the one you're making, you'll find me totally unsympathetic. Equating it with eugenics, the belief in purifying the gene pool of defectives tainting a good Christian nation, does nothing to make it a real thing.

Date: 2007/12/28 09:26:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 28 2007,08:28)
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 28 2007,08:25)
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 28 2007,09:22)
And, I *am* sickened by the negativity from both sides, that’s why I stepped in the middle and tried to focus on the real issues.   But, I knew it would make no difference.  Dammed if I do, damned if I don’t.

Do you have a good view, up there on your cross?

Like I said...Dammed if I do, damned if I don’t.

I'm so sad you're getting flak for going on Sal's blog and defending him and saying he has a point.

I knew a guy who kept apologizing on behalf of his white supremacist friends, but said that they had a point about how our right of freedom of association is implicitly violated by modern anti-racism laws and attitudes.

Shockingly, he, too, was unappreciated for his acts of kindness! For some reason all anyone saw was a moron willing to bend over backwards to defend skinheads. I can only wonder at how far humanity has sunk, that defending repulsive people actually associates you with them. :(

Date: 2007/12/28 10:35:19, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 28 2007,10:02)

Although I would like to point out skinhead does not equal "white supremacist" or any form of racist really. There are major sectors of skinhead culture that are exceptionally Anti-racist. Just a small point.

It might be a British thing, 'cause in my experience skinhead has almost always meant neo-Nazi. We not only import your slang, we also narrow its definition down beyond all reason.

Date: 2007/12/28 15:50:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 28 2007,14:57)
That guy is a dead man walking.  Brilliant but dave tard will throw him out on his rear sooner than later.

To a man, the scientists I have encountered are eager to explain their work. In excruciating detail. But here, requests for a more detailed explanation are treated as an affront. Very odd.

This is very true.  I once road in a car from LA to Phoenix with an acquaintance who is/was a scientist/math guy.  I made the mistake of asking "what is an irrational number" somewhere west of Barstow.  Several hours later I asked if we could change the subject.  The details were excruciating and I feared he'd never stop :-)

edit because god told me to and who am i to question god?

Why on earth would you ask him to stop? Are you mad?

Date: 2007/12/28 18:25:53, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 28 2007,17:47)
Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 28 2007,17:29)
As for the rest of your immediate post as well as Dave's, I have more to respond to, but don't have time now.

I'll be looking forward to that Ftk.


To rip it apart???

I'd *very much* like to reply to a couple comments here, and I'd certainly like to address Bill's issues with Sal's post, but I believe I'm only making matters worse with every word I write.   Sal and other ID advocates have warned me that I am completely wasting my time carrying on dialogue in places like this.

So, tell me...

It posting here a complete waste of time?  Is there anything...anything at all that I could say that would make any difference in regard to the issues in this debate whatsoever?

I wrote a long and badly-structured explanation on this topic, but I can state it very shortly without losing anything important.

1) You can't further ID as a science.
2) You could hypothetically further ID as a somewhat respectable, even if wrong, movement.
3) You cannot accomplish the second one so long as you're shoulder to shoulder with petulant bastards.
4) Refusing to take a stance on, for instance, the age of the earth doesn't help you either. It's better to be deluded and  wrong than cagey and dishonest, in my humble opinion.

Of course, this is predicated upon the assumption that ID is already doomed as as science. Hypothetically, voiding respectability in favor of trying to bolster those who are advancing ID science might be worthwhile, but this only applies if it's actually advancing as a science.

Date: 2007/12/28 18:28:53, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 28 2007,18:20)
But, molecule to man is absurd.  Period.  I've been listening daily for 4 years to the "evidence" for the inference, and I still find it absolutely ridiculous.

What reason is there for believing it is absurd? This is your reason I'm interested in, not someone else's. I've been reading your writing for a fair while now, and I have honestly no idea what you think. For all I can tell you only think in Luskin press releases.

Date: 2007/12/28 20:27:26, Link
Author: Annyday
An atheist is just an agnostic who's relatively sure they'll never be convinced of God's existence. An interventionist God tends to seem particularly unlikely.

Or to put it another way: "agnostic" is a word for atheists who want to be inoffensive or who are considering becoming theists.

The difference, and most of this debate, is semantics and rhetoric. Seriously.

Date: 2007/12/29 08:46:23, Link
Author: Annyday
FTK, it took me exactly two minutes to find a long rant on that site about how DNA is too complicated, has too much information, to have any natural or random origin.

From the beginning of this book we have emphasized the enormous information content of even the simplest living systems. The information cannot in our view be generated by what are often called ‘natural’ processes, as for instance through meteorological and chemical processes occurring at the surface of a lifeless planet. As well as a suitable physical and chemical environment, a large initial store of information was also needed. We have argued that the requisite information came from an ‘intelligence’, the beckoning spectre.

Figure 4: Microevolution vs. Macroevolution. Notice that macroevolution would require an upward change in the complexity of certain traits and organs. Microevolution involves only horizontal (or even downward) changes—no increasing complexity.

That happens to be, you know, IDs leading principle, and the creationists did it before them too IIRC. You can't gain complexity or information from random mutations! Hisss!

If you gave me another two minutes, I bet I can find a crude version of the argument from irreducibly complex organs.

Whoop, no, I lose that one. I  only found them talking about the limits of evolution, which is pure Behe, but isn't irreducible complexity. I am so sad. :(

A logical consequence of Mendel’s laws is that there are limits to such variation.

Took another two minutes, and I found the irreducibly complex organs! Huzzah!

There is no reason to believe that mutations or any natural process could ever produce any new organs—especially those as complex as the eye,b the ear, or the brain.c For example, an adult human brain contains over 1014 (a hundred thousand billion) electrical connections,d more than all the electrical connections in all the electrical appliances in the world. The human heart, a ten-ounce pump that will operate without maintenance or lubrication for about 75 years, is another engineering marvel.

All species appear fully developed, not partially developed. They show design.a There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes,b skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs. Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs and some body parts. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing.

I'm not even going to keep going.

You get the point.

The arguments vis-a-vis biology are exactly the same.

Date: 2007/12/29 09:07:20, Link
Author: Annyday
If you mean "besides the issues regarding biology and the writer's belief in god", then yes. I fully acknowledge that they support their arguments differently. The creation scientists, for instance, go off to ramble about hydroplates instead of stopping at biology. Their mastery of scientific lingo is several orders of magnitude below that of Dembski and Behe, as well.

It's still the exact same argument. When we're concerned with how they treat biology, as I think Wesley would be and I am, we're only going to look at the nature of their claims about biology. That ID stops, while some but not all 'Creation Science' goes on to say "and then God did this", does not make them fundamentally different things to someone who doesn't care about the hydroplane theory.

If I went into two books on biology and found two statements about natural selection, they'd be functionally the same. That's the nature of scientific claims- if you make the same claim, it's the same. If I make the same claim as Einstein about something, I'm using Einstein's hypothesis. It doesn't matter how you say it, because it's the same hypothesis and mechanism. It's the same scientific fact.

The scientific claims against biology are exactly the same between ID and 'creation science', especially for old earth creationists. I frankly don't want to bother making a rhetorical point by using "IDC". You're the one who asked to "please explain to me how all the work that has gone into the theories relayed in that book resemble ID other than the fact that evolution is questioned". I know you were asking Wesley, but it's still your own fault when I point out that the arguments about biology are exactly the same.

Date: 2007/12/29 10:28:35, Link
Author: Annyday

I'll take issue with that.

The Creation "Scientists" are somewhat more honest about the Creator/Designer, which could be interpreted as "fundamentally different".

I'll agree. I guess my interpretation of honestly alone not being a fundamental difference shows where my priorities are.


The point is, Dave, that *every* *single* *one* of us here are obviously interested in Darwinian evolution due not only to our interest in science, but also our interest or disgust with philosophical and religious aspects surrounding the theory.  

You act as if we differ in this respect, but our interest in this debate is quite similiar.  You just haven't been able to admit that fact yet.

Just because you're coming in with a metric ton of ideological baggage doesn't mean everyone else is. Have you at least considered the possibility of actually trying to weigh facts against each other, or the fact that others might be doing so? I can't speak for everyone, but evolution doesn't have any kind of philosophical meaning for me.

Your endorsement of the young-earth hydroplate theory is particularly annoying in this respect. You refuse to discuss it- because everyone else is too closed-minded to accept a young earth, against all observations, as a premise for the argument? Okay, then.

Date: 2007/12/29 10:47:38, Link
Author: Annyday
A fair debate is one where I email in an application to have a once-monthly live debate with someone I'd never heard of before, whilst being disallowed from mentioning religion in any way shape or form?

What's an unfair debate like? One where people who already know each other just go out and argue about what they think and why because the mood takes them, or where people just write about their ideas? Can't have that! It needs more rules, more formality, more red tape. We must funnel all questions and discussion into a sensationalistic, recorded, rapidfire context! None of this writing junk.

Let me think ... no. This isn't a reasonable request.

Date: 2007/12/29 12:17:08, Link
Author: Annyday
"Do what I say, which is play your part in creationism's publicity machine, or you're a coward!"

By the way, you should read this. All the young earth fun relies upon either casting out reliable physics and paleontology about the age of the earth/universe without due argument, or insisting that God somehow tried to make it seem that old to trick us.

Date: 2007/12/29 14:21:41, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (argystokes @ Dec. 29 2007,14:17)

Do you really think that Brown will agree to a formal written debate online? Because I think I know of someone who will take him up on it, and has read his book.

He's serious. The offer is here.

However, his idea of a 'written debate' is to write a book with him. I think it'll be a cold day in hell before anyone who meets his rigor of "qualifications" agrees to publish a book with him. It's really just a shot at publicity, legitimacy and royalties as far as I can tell, it's not about the science.

Lose/lose. The only way not to do what he wants is to criticize him outside of his chosen venue, because his chosen venue sucks.

Date: 2007/12/29 14:25:45, Link
Author: Annyday
If he wants to argue the science, he can have a debate without rules, publicity campaigns, and book deals involved. That's how science actually gets done.

Date: 2007/12/29 14:41:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Then why does he need to publish a BOOK with anyone who criticizes him? Why can't he have a normal scientific dispute with minimal fanfare except from scientifically interested parties? Why does the 'debate' require a publisher watching over?

It reeks of showmanship.

Date: 2007/12/29 14:46:32, Link
Author: Annyday
That's why scientists write and sometimes publish letters to each other! So that they can have indepth, slow, methodical debates. No publishers need apply.

Anyone who won't publish a book with your favorite creationist is a coward? Anyone who won't do what you say, instead of just criticizing you when they want to, is a coward?

Are you nuts?

Date: 2007/12/29 15:40:49, Link
Author: Annyday
That's not a scientific debate. None of these "offers" are.

It's theater.

Date: 2007/12/29 16:07:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Or we could act like real scientists do when they debate, and actually try to figure things out!

My hypothetical real scientists would say what they thought, either in publication or private communicae, and then leave it on record forever even if they later admitted an error.

You end up looking stupid when you're wrong, but on the plus side, you actually learn what evidence there is for what. It's very invigorating!

Date: 2007/12/29 16:56:03, Link
Author: Annyday
I think she's just upset that Bill some of us don't take her views on scientific issues seriously, so she's having a fit, calling people cowards, and trying to bludgeon us with Dr. Brown.

Date: 2007/12/29 18:42:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,18:34)
Then maybe you can tell me why almost every regular poster at this forum is an atheist or a strong agnostic.

... first off, those mean almost the same thing. Second, I don't think it's true. Third, if it is true, it doesn't necessarily imply anything in particular about our motivations.

If it were not for the philosophical and religious issues in this debate, none of you would be so hell bent on protecting Darwinism to the bitter end.

And it definitely doesn't imply this.

Your motivations are no different than my own....the only difference is that I'm honest about it.  We are all interesting in the scientific aspect as well as the religious implications.

Nope. Some people could, you know, care about science education, the science itself, or the politics surrounding ID without being hardcore Darwin-obsessed atheist preachers.

This is religious for you. The assumption that it's religious for everyone else is a little weak.

Date: 2007/12/29 18:58:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 29 2007,18:57)
Argument by credentials/authority. Another box ticked. Doing well tonight on creationist bingo.

Is there actually a creationist bingo sheet? If not, I am going to make one.

Date: 2007/12/29 19:09:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Did you know that the ancient Egyptians thought that before the beginning of the world, all was watery chaos? Their creator god, according to some versions, sucked forth semen from his penis and spat forth the beginnings of the world's forebears. It was considered good fortune for the harvest for pharoahs to recapitulate this act into the watery Nile.

That's getting off topic; there's also numerous myths about savoirs, demigods, and noble heroes of varying sorts being abandoned down waterways or springing from them wholesale, to be later reared by foster parents and/or wild animals to later seek their rightful place. Check Aphrodite, Romulus and Remus, Moses, and a dozen others that escape me right now. One of them was a very poignant Aztec story.

The point of all this is that being widespread doesn't make a myth true. If you want to evaluate the factual existence of Atlantis (in a buncha myths), a global flood, or a minotaur you have to actually check the evidence for it. Even the most myth-crazed anthropologists know this.

Date: 2007/12/29 19:13:44, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 29 2007,19:11)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 29 2007,18:58)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 29 2007,18:57)
Argument by credentials/authority. Another box ticked. Doing well tonight on creationist bingo.

Is there actually a creationist bingo sheet? If not, I am going to make one.

i did dun this before.

link plz

Date: 2007/12/29 19:19:26, Link
Author: Annyday
If it were an actual debate, everyone would be glad.

We're going on circles now.

Date: 2007/12/29 19:50:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (carlsonjok @ Dec. 29 2007,19:21)
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 29 2007,19:19)
If it were an actual debate, everyone would be glad.

We're going on circles now.

Perhaps we should compile a reasonable set of terms and conditions for the debate that any reasonable person would not object to. Then FtK can take the offer to old Walt and see if he is game.

It'd typically go something like this.

1) Someone with the time and inclination would write a scholarly review on Dr. Brown's book and either publish it or send it to him.
2) If Dr. Brown thought it was worth the trouble, he'd respond likewise in writing. If not, the debate is over.
3) If the erstwhile reviewer thought it was worth the trouble, they'd respond in writing. If not, the debate is over.
4) Goto 2.

That tends to be how people manage written scientific discussions in my limited experience. Individuals in varying branches of the sciences have been known to wage arguments spanning many years, publications, and experiments in this way. I could probably dig up some old Gould v Dawkins bouts along these lines with minimal effort, for an AtBC-friendly example. They're fairly amusing, and effective.

It's not subject to the mob tactics FTK seems terrified will become an issue, and it's also not a book deal. It's how real debates work. If someone wants to throw down the proverbial gauntlet all they have to do is write a book review and send a copy to Dr. Brown, but I have a feeling he won't actually respond to anyone.

If someone (hi, FTK) wanted to send Dr. Brown a lead-in request for response to make sure it's a debate beforehand, it might up the chances, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Date: 2007/12/30 00:41:47, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 30 2007,00:02)
Getting slaughtered in a written internet debate would definitely be counterproductive to his ends.

I think you're confused as to the debate process which is outlined in his book.  He would never agree to an internet debate at IIDB.  That certainly would be  couterproductive as he'd be dealing with bunch of hard core atheists who would declare victory regardless of what was written.

No, he's looking for a professional venue.  A place where things may not eventually disappear from the blogosphere.  A thorough well organized written debate, not a horse and pony show at an atheist outlet.

He's a big boy, he can have an email debate with someone informed and willing, and then they can both publish it online or wherever is available to those concerned with the science.

Nothing byzantine. It's very simple and easy to get a 'professional' scientific venue, all you need is a professional correspondent.

All of this "find a publisher", "proposed alterations" junk is completely unnecessary. If it's really about a legitimate scientific debate, it is probably the most bizarre debate I've ever heard of. Why should all of that be necessary, precisely?

Date: 2007/12/30 10:27:53, Link
Author: Annyday
There's so much wrong with it you'd have to write something twice as long to respond to all of the crap in it. Seriously.

I'll take a starter: it is impossible to survive even half of the events he describes.

Date: 2007/12/30 23:18:24, Link
Author: Annyday
I would post my thoughts on the evolution of morality, but I don't want to cast pearls before swine.

See what I did there?

Instead, I will link you to some Haidt. He won't shut up about this stuff.

Date: 2007/12/31 11:58:27, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 31 2007,00:25)
A revealing excerpt from a CBC interview with Granny's Spatula Brain co-author Mario Beauregard:
You decided that you wanted to study these [spiritual] experiences.  Why?

Well, because I started myself to have these experiences when I was very young, at around 8 years.  

What happened to you?

Well, I was living in countryside.  My father was a farmer, so we had a lot of space, and we were isolated, so I didn't have many friends around and I had a lot of time to spend, you know, in the forests and the fields. It became like a certainty that what we call the brain and the mind and the soul were totally different things. For me, it became obvious, and I decided at 8 years old that I would become later on a scientist to investigate these questions.  And after that I've had series of spiritual experiences spontaneously, all related to a disease.  I've been very sick when I was a young adult and I've had a series of experiences during that time and one of these experiences was related to a state of cosmic consciousness.  In that state, I totally lost my sense of self and I became united for a certain period of time with the whole cosmos and with God (if I can use this word).

And that's what's driving your work now.

Now, yes.  I've been very much influenced, of course, by these experiences.

Sort of explains why he's constitutionally incapable of evaluating the merits of the materialist position.  After all, he's known since he was 8 that the mind and the brain are separate entities.  It's just a question of coming up with the pathetic level of detail needed to convince the scientific community of this obvious truth.

I've always found the way people react to mystical experiences a little peculiar. I've had a few of my own, some of them during fevers like what, I think, Bureaugard describes.

Once the fever's gone, however, I spend a couple of days sifting memories and trying to figure out what actually makes sense. It has never seemed particularly credible, in retrospect, that a fever would put me into contact with a fundamental but inexplicable force of the universe. (Nor that there are animals in my walls, but this is beside the point).

Yet there are many people who come to exactly the opposite conclusion after the same sorts of experiences, in a fever or otherwise. Where I would go back and say "that could just be a feeling", a lot of people don't seem to. Apart from those I've known, there are all kinds of stories about conversions and spiritual beliefs picked up from just this kind of experience.

What this really reminds me of is what Feynman wrote about a particular isolation tank experience. Isolation tanks are more or less what they sound like, and people go into them with an eye towards achieving altered states of consciousness. To abbreviate the story, Feynman spent a week wondering about how memories are organized in the brain, and then had a tank experience where he learned it was organized by location.

And evidently, it took something like forty, fifty minutes out of the tank before he realized he'd hallucinated that, and it wasn't necessarily an objective fact. This seems to go into a general trend where experiences that begin from novel neurological conditions bypass the normal filters in the mind. People relatively rarely think to evaluate them critically, and then it's usually a good deal after the fact.

Date: 2007/12/31 17:06:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Okay, I'm not even going to address the moral/biblical part because I think that's immune to logical scrutiny, but some of this is just wrong.

Here's what I believe.  I believe it horrifically unscientific to believe that the breath of life evolved from mere matter.

What if it looks like life evolved from matter? "Science" is, loosely, "studying things by looking at them". How can it be unscientific to draw a conclusion based upon how things appear to be? Evolution is scientific whether you like it or not. The worst it can be is wrong, and nobody I know of has presented a convincing account of where this is so.

I also believe it to be impossible for evolution to account for our thoughts, information or the laws we find embedded in our universe.  It can't be explained by the scientific method we use.

First off, we don't even know what thoughts are, except very vaguely. It takes quite a leap to say that that it's impossible to ever understand them. It takes an even bigger leap to act as if this contradicts what we do know about evolution. Supposing thought really is a magical, dualistic process with no physical basis- it still appears the bodies that bring thought into contact with the rest of the world (ours) were evolved.

Second, information comes freely from the laws of the universe. DNA will bind one way but not another way, synthesize proteins one way but not another way, create a fast cheetah one way or a slow cheetah another, survive on this particular planet in one configuration and not another, and so forth. Saying evolution can't account for information is incorrect, because the information is embedded in how physics and chemistry work.

Third, no scientist claims to know with any certainty about the origins of the laws of the universe. None of 'em. Even Dawkins doesn't, to cite your boogeyman. If you want to say God created the universe to create us through its laws, that's great, but that's a very distant fine-tuning or theistic evolution argument, not actually an antievolution argument. It has very little to do directly with evolution's workings at all.

There is no way that something can come from nothing without a source of intellect.  Believe otherwise, but you'll never sell it to the majority of people in the universe.

Physical laws have information in them. They can be your "intellect", for all intents and purposes. This doesn't contradict "molecule to man", to cite your catchphrase, as you think it does.

Date: 2007/12/31 17:18:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,17:06)
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 31 2007,12:50)
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,10:48)
Scary.  Eliminate the "bible" from the equation and it's every bit as scary.  PZ is a scary, scary man due to the way he *promotes* hate, intolerance and disrepect.  

I just can't believe some of the comments in that thread.

What's new about ripping a page out of the bible? It's been done. (And done, and done, and done.) It's his bible.

Whereas book burnings and book bannings happen all the time.

I have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the mistreatment of any book, but I wish I had a dime for every time some yahoo in my hometown referred to a book as a "piece of crap." I'd be rich.

So, Kristine, I presume that this would be justified as well under freedom of speech.

Sal, in the same situation, gets up and says:

In the Darwinist world, animals and humans are the same, and thus it is logical they should copulate with each other, and if you don't believe that it's only because your "stupid little minds can't comprehend that".

I don't think anyone's said Sal's bile doesn't fall under free speech. Though I despise almost every word Sal says, I believe most of us think he's within his rights in saying it. He's simply scum for exercising the right in the ways he does.

It's not about whether it's justified, it's whether it's protected. And it is, in both cases. The kid is still a prat, and Sal's still scum. 'kay?

Date: 2007/12/31 17:45:16, Link
Author: Annyday
What if it looks like life evolved from matter? "Science" is, loosely, "studying things by looking at them". How can it be unscientific to draw a conclusion based upon how things appear to be?

Because things don't "appear to be that way".

I ... disagree, I guess. As do almost all working biologists. The worst everyone can be is wrong, because it really does look like evolution has occurred from where we're standing. The label "unscientific" is just incorrect.

We have NEVER seen life appear from non-life, we've never seen macroevolution occur (except in minute circumstances that are stretched beyond belief).

We've got fossils and gene sequencing and the study of similarities in extant animal physiology. By looking at those, we can infer macroevolution very strongly. Science doesn't always require you to look directly at something as it happens to know it happened, sometimes you can look at the aftereffects. A popular metaphor for this is watching the shadows that something casts without looking directly at it. If you find milk spilled on the floor next to a glass, the glass probably tipped over and spilled the milk. You don't have to watch it happening to infer this.

We don't even use half of the brain capability that we have.  How in the world did it evolve without being used in some manner?

This is an urban myth. We use our brains. All of them. We might not use all of them at once, because sometimes we don't need all of them, but if you scoop out bits, bad shit happens.

And, sexual reproduction! - how in the world did that evolve?... thousands of different animals evolving separate but compatible and highly complex male and female reproductive systems at the same time in order to procreate.

Okay, first off, we don't have to have evolved sexual reproduction more than once or even a few times. Common descent is handy like that. It doesn't have to happen "thousands of times".

Second, we don't know how it happened. Though a lot of people would like to know, and it would enrich our knowledge of evolution, our not knowing doesn't damage what we do understand. Not knowing what, precisely, someone was stabbed with does not negate the observation that they have a big stab wound and were probably stabbed.

This is beyond the miraculous.  It is far more miraculous than contemplating Noah's survival of a worldwide flood.

Except for the fact that there's minimal evidence Noah even existed. The Noah story is so similar to so many other myths it seems like he was just a character the Hebrews made for their version of the myth.

OM, I could write stories about natural selection and the evolution of molecule to man that would put your Noah bashing to shame.

You can try. I kind of doubt you could make a caricature of biologists that wouldn't have errors in it, given the extent of your knowledge of biology.

Date: 2007/12/31 18:08:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 31 2007,09:59)
(1) It is actual a category error. What is the meaning of Rocks? What is the colour of wednesday

(2) meaning is subjective and co-produced by the observing entity. Therefore one size does not fit all.

(3) We have an inherent 'emptiness'. It drives us to look... blah blah reproductive advantage!

Well, all three are kinda-sorta true.

First off, logically, it's a category error. Go logic.

Second and third are basically the same thing to me and both true for adaptive and personal values of true, which is like truth except not really.

Date: 2007/12/31 21:13:17, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,20:18)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 31 2007,19:44)


We don't even use half of the brain capability that we have.

Speak for yourself.

Anyway, the trope is a well-known urban legend.

How do we know that is an urban legend?  How do we know we use every part of our brain?  How do people who, when half of their brain is removed, find that the remaining half gradually takes over most functions of the removed half?

This is a lot like asking if we really need sight, since blind and one-eyed people learn to partially compensate with other senses. Just because you can, hypothetically, do without it doesn't mean you weren't using it. We're using both sides and every part of our brains, and there's a metric ton of neurology that testifies to it. If you really want detailed accounts of what happens when you get brain damage on only one side or one spot I could dig them up.

And, wouldn't the evolution of the brain vastly exceed the need of prehistoric man?

Being smart is a big advantage no matter where or when you are. The more intelligent prehistoric man learns to sharpens his sticks and cook his food, for instance. Smarter breeds of monkey and ape are less likely to die in stupid ways and better able to do crafty things in search of food, like using tools. Intelligence increases fitness a lot.

Or, did the brain we have today not even remotedly resemble the brain of prehistoric man?

It's pretty similar. The same thing with some extra brain matter added on over a few million years, with an especially big spike these past fifty thousand years or so.

If we need and use every part of it in order for the human body to function, how is it that prehistoric humans had not learned how to use what was available to them?

This one just baffles me. Prehistoric humans DID use what was available to them. Where is it at all indicated that they didn't use what was available to them in terms of brain mass?

Quote (carlsonjok @ Dec. 31 2007,20:34)
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,20:22)
Okay, first off, we don't have to have evolved sexual reproduction more than once or even a few times. Common descent is handy like that. It doesn't have to happen "thousands of times".

That simply makes no sense to me.

Seriously?  Holy crap. You're serious?

There are many, many branches in that evolutionary tree.  All those branches need to slowly aquire their own ways of producing sexually.

No, they don't.
That is a lot of parts evolving and matching up just right.   Please explain to me how on earth this is even remotely possible.

Common descent off all sexually reproducing species from common ancestor.
Good golly, FtK, I'm astounded that someone who opines so loudly and so frequently about evolutionary theory doesn't have the first clue about it.  Seriously. I'm a freaking brain-dead MBA and I understand that.

Yeah. Uh. If carlsonjak's explanation doesn't do it, someone is going to need to explain - in detail, and without being too obnoxious - how common descent features in the development and retention of complex features down the tree of life.

If that someone ends up being me, I'm going to need time to figure out where to begin.

Date: 2007/12/31 21:36:31, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 31 2007,19:53)
Quote (someotherguy @ Dec. 31 2007,18:05)
Has he given any indication at either his blog or UD as to what he researches?

No.  He agreed with me that he is not a physicist.  The following mind-boggling passage makes it clear that Prof. Smith is not a biologist, either:
One of the less credible evolutionary stories is the supposed transition from dinosaurs to birds.  Darwinists tell us that dinosaurs didn’t die out, they simply evolved into birds with feathers and flight.  This, of course, is highly controversial and hotly debated, and rightfully so, since the evidence of this transition is highly suspect and very thin.

He/she is also not a chemist as chemists don't capitalize the names of chemical compounds:

From thread Common Design and DNA (Part III).

The language of DNA - Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine ( C) - can be thought of as the ones and zeros that make your computer run, just in base 4 instead of binary and using letters instead of numbers.

And, oh, that "letters instead of numbers" gem is a good indication he/she is not a computer scientist.

Or a mathematician. All mathematicians understand what it means to be in base 2 vs base 4, and would commit seppuku before they'd say anything that imprecise, computer scientist or no.

Date: 2007/12/31 23:13:53, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm not arguing with a drunk ftk.

By the way, you're a remarkably restrained drunk.

Date: 2008/01/01 03:36:55, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Bob O'H @ Jan. 01 2008,03:06)
What was that about Galapagos Finch's sense of humor?


Galapagos Finch


8:24 pm

Look at this man’s picture! Quick! Someone give him a laxative!


I should admit that I found the "grater as children's slide" post amusing, but I freely admit to having a sense of humour so tasteless it's happy with English cuisine.

Happy new year folks!  May the tard flow bountifully, and may you enjoy regular meltdowns every Friday!


I'm pretty sure he stole the slide picture from somethingawful. Or maybe I imagined that, I don't know.

Date: 2008/01/01 11:48:24, Link
Author: Annyday
Anything that doesn't have sex and reproduce successfully is taken out of the gene pool. That's what natural selection means. If there's a mutation that makes an animal fail to reproduce for one reason or another, that mutation is never going to spread. On the other side, if there's a mutation that gets its bearer laid a whole lot, there's a pretty good chance that it'll spread because there'll be oodles of kids.

Date: 2008/01/01 14:12:00, Link
Author: Annyday
It's so impossible and funny it must be true.

Also, they're defying the laws of physics. Even Behe knows that physics tells us the earth is old. Give me a tenable young earth perspective on, for instance, microwave background radiation and maybe we can talk about geysers to the moon.

In fact, I'm gonna pop over to YC and see if I can ask Sal this one. It's astrophysics. He loves physics, right?

ETA: Holy crap, they beat me to it. They have all kinds of talk about variations in c so smooth and perfect they make the universe look old, which basically amounts to God tricking us. Awesome.

Date: 2008/01/01 14:40:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 01 2008,14:17)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 01 2008,15:12)
Even Behe knows that physics tells us the earth is old.

Even Salvador admitted that the young earth contradicted the known laws of physics.

It gets even better. Sal's thinking about aether theory, or, as he calls it, "Ritzian relativity", as a solution to the problems raised by modern physics.

I can't even think about reviving aether theory without giggling like an idiot. It may be, in part, because of this:

Sal also has this list of varying things in modern physics which will need to be rewritten if a young earth is to be established. It's quite a mountain. Maxwell's Equations are among the culprits.

... and he's incessantly citing Frank Tipler, who is more magician than scientist. "And then- PRESTO- Jesus turned into neutrons and rose from the dead!"

Maxwell's equations deal with the properites of light. If you have been following the debates here on CDK you can hopefully get a sense of the challenges involved, and they are serious. CDK implies a re-formulation and correction to Maxwell's equations and the implication of those equations, this is a non-trivial task. It will probably necessitate overturning Einstein as well. Unlike Darwinism, Maxwell and Einstein's work have brought the modern world of high-technology to us. There ideas work. What must be explained then is:

1. why they were wrong
2. and if they are wrong, why did their ideas still work in technology?

I ... I find crazy physics funnier than I should. This is hysterical to me in ways I can't begin to justify. It must be some form of schadenfreude. Another thread discusses a theory that ... well, read it.

My understanding is that Humphreys explains the visibility of distant objects in space by imagining the universe is spatially bounded with the earth at the center. This defines a gravitational potential that increases away from the earth, causing a time dilation effect at distant points in space. Billions of years pass in the distant universe, while the earth is only thousands of years old.

Okay, I'm done. No more, I promise.

Date: 2008/01/01 15:15:53, Link
Author: Annyday
I've gotta say, I've seen far more convincing blood. That muck is just too ochre to pass the test. Blood browns as it dries, but it doesn't shift orange. Plus, the spatters are all wrong for something smashed by a soccer ball.

I mean, that picture might be graphic if the blood looked even a little real, maybe.

Date: 2008/01/01 21:54:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 01 2008,21:48)
Let's start a thread in a month once we've all seen it.

It's online, actually. We can start a thread tomorrow, or perhaps the day after.

Part 1 of Jesus Camp

... it's probably online illegally, but don't tell YouTube and I won't either. I think there's a copy or two on Google Video as well.

Date: 2008/01/01 22:03:30, Link
Author: Annyday
This copy of Jesus Camp is on google video, and I believe it superior because it's in one part, not nine.

Date: 2008/01/01 22:06:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Link here for anyone who doesn't already know.

Date: 2008/01/01 22:17:50, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 01 2008,22:11)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 01 2008,23:09)
oops - I didn't check. Work your admin magic if so*

*By using your mullet of righteous thread combining.

I don't know for sure. Maybe we don't. Before I post a new thread I like to look a few pages back to see if I'm duplicating threads, but it's not the end of the world if it's a duplicate.

Google and a 12-page check seem to think we're in the clear.

... just to make sure Google didn't have a problem with this site I entered "tard" as a test word and got 143 results, by the by. 143 pages on this site alone. I mean, God.

Date: 2008/01/01 22:28:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Ducks' sex organs look designed to you. So God came down from Heaven to make sure ducks had scientifically interesting sex organs? When we see that ducks' sex organs are twisted in a fashion that's evolutionarily useful, we're see His Divine Hand at work, twisting sex organs around to be reproductively useful?

God seems pretty warped in this scenario. I mean, you don't even need "macroevolution" to stretch ducks' reproductive equipment around, that's a relatively small change. It's vaguely similar to how penis size or shape in humans would be a microevolutionary change. Would an increase in penis size in humans be God's work, too? I mean, they would appear to be designed for pleasure in that case. There's that "design" word.

Date: 2008/01/01 22:47:19, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 01 2008,22:40)
plural doesn't need an apostrophe, Annyday.

Amusingly, I caught that on one of my spellings of duck's and moved it to ducks' instead on a quick proof, but totally forgot I'd used a plural possessive of duck more than once. Fixed now.

Date: 2008/01/01 23:03:45, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 01 2008,22:58)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 01 2008,22:28)
Ducks' sex organs look designed to you. So God came down from Heaven to make sure ducks had scientifically interesting sex organs? When we see that ducks' sex organs are twisted in a fashion that's evolutionarily useful, we're see His Divine Hand at work, twisting sex organs around to be reproductively useful?

God seems pretty warped in this scenario. I mean, you don't even need "macroevolution" to stretch ducks' reproductive equipment around, that's a relatively small change. It's vaguely similar to how penis size or shape in humans would be a microevolutionary change. Would an increase in penis size in humans be God's work, too? I mean, they would appear to be designed for pleasure in that case. There's that "design" word.

Love, you're thinking microevolution.  That's where your mind is stuck in a rut.

Now, start at the beginning of time and go through the video in slow mo.  Really think about everything evolving from a *blob* and natural selection.

Except, see, you didn't just argue about the beginning of sexual reproduction, which might be valid. You said that, among other things, duck genitalia seemed designed. Once you can concede points- like that the specifics of duck genitalia are, to all appearances, not the immediate work of a benevolent God- then maybe we can work up to sexual reproduction as a whole.

Date: 2008/01/02 00:48:42, Link
Author: Annyday
I decided to check the ERV refutation too. Someone seems kind of obsessed with "predictions". Has it occurred to him that sometimes we find data we weren't expecting and it strongly indicates we were right about something? You don't actually have to predict something for it to count in your favor. If I don't predict I'll find a given person's fingerprints on a knife, it does not undermine the importance of finding them. It's called following the evidence.

Presumably, the alleged prediction and fulfillment are:


     If universal common ancestry is true, then the same endogenous retrovirus (ERV) will exist in the same chromosomal location in two or more species.

     The same ERV exists in the same chromosomal location in two or more species.

Since this is the concept of “shared errors” applied to endogenous retroviruses (and since retroviruses are a type of transposon), much of the two preceding responses is applicable.  It is not a prediction of the hypothesis of universal common ancestry or the more specific hypothesis of Neo-Darwinism that the same ERVs will exist in the same chromosomal location in two or more species.  Evolution does not even predict the existence of ERVs, much less that they will be found at the same location in two or more species.  After all, evolutionary theory was considered robust prior to the discovery of ERVs.  This is but another example of taking an observation, claiming it as a prediction of evolution, and then using the fact the observation fits the prediction as evidence for the truth of evolution.

1) Bob says "Dave shot my father."
2) Dave is arrested immediately, and Dave's gun is found warm, smoking, and with one shot expended.
3) Dave claims Bob did not specifically predict they'd find his gun with one shot expended, and it therefore does not actually indicate he had been shooting or had shot Bob's father.
4) Dave refuses to give any account for why his gun is warm and smoking, or why he has a witness against him.
5) Dave is hanged for murder and stupidity.

I also like this:

Again, it is an unprovable theological assertion that God would not place the same nonfunctional sequences at the same locus in separate species.  He may have a purpose for doing so that is beyond our present understanding. The objection that placing nonfunctional sequences at the same locus in separate species would make God guilty of deception is ill founded.  God cannot be charged fairly with deception when we choose to draw conclusions from data that contradict what he has revealed in Scripture (see Gibson’s comments in the discussion of Prediction 19).

It appears that God is tricking us by making ERVs in DNA look exactly as they would if life had evolved over millions of years. However, God is not actually tricking us, because any wrong conclusions are our own fault for doing science with our eyes instead of the bible.

Why even bother with refutations? Why bother with the long, circular logic when you can just straight-up say that the science is wrong for contradicting the bible? (These questions aren't rhetorical. Seriously, why?)

Date: 2008/01/02 11:35:27, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal wants to try and disprove Maxwell's equations. Does that make them wrong? Having a wing nut with a bone to pick does not a controversy make.

Date: 2008/01/02 12:12:39, Link
Author: Annyday
I'll take Missing The Point for five hundred, Alex.

Date: 2008/01/02 12:19:47, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 02 2008,12:15)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 02 2008,12:12)
I'll take Missing The Point for five hundred, Alex.

Then *you* explain the point I'm missing.

I'm a little busy and you'll probably ignore any explanation too detailed to caricature anyway.

ETA: Also if I wait five minutes Albatrossity will do it.

Date: 2008/01/02 13:19:33, Link
Author: Annyday
So, all of the following are true:

1) You don't condone Sal's actions.
2) You will defend Sal and argue points on his behalf.
3) You don't think anyone can criticize Sal fairly 'cause Erasmus is a jerk and nobody criticized him.

Is this correct? Because you've posted all of this.

Date: 2008/01/02 16:16:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Congratulations to FtK and Sal on managing to finally get a reasonably extended discussion of just how icky horse sex is. I'm just going to assume you enjoy it, due to the sheer willfulness with which you've pushed to center your position on ranting about sex with animals, incest, orgies, homosexuality, marriage and pedophilia.

Your logical connection with "Darwinism" is nonexistant, delusional, and already easily refuted. The rest of this is unrelated bad logic and appeal to emotion. By "emotion" I mean "fear, disgust and hate", which I guess some people are into. I won't touch that, and since you won't properly support any other argument - for instance, a scientific one - at all, that leaves nothing worth saying.

Have fun.

Date: 2008/01/02 20:02:04, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm a little perplexed that someone who's just had trouble with the definition of the word "condone" would continue using it in the exact same context in a different place.

Date: 2008/01/02 22:51:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Exactly...why condemn it?  That's the point.  Sex in any fashion is okay just as long as the other person, animal, brother, sister, child, or adult is okay with it.  In fact, there is really no need for marriage either.  Kids don't need the influence of both a father and a mother.  We already know they get along fine with 2 mother's or 2 father's or a single of each.  

So, let's set up a huge orgy tonight and have a ball!!  I can't imagine it would hurt any of us (unless Rich gets out the whips).


Skatje wrote that post the first of October, and I've never mentioned it until everyone thought Sal was some kind of demented villian for suggesting that bestiality might be considered acceptable from an evolutionary standpoint.  Of course it is...we are part of the animal world and there is no reason why a person shouldn't engage in that type of behavior *if they want to*.

PZ is absolutely wrong.  I’m not insinuating that “Darwinists” are immoral.  I couldn’t possibly insinuate that because I know many, and they are certainly not immoral. What I am saying is that from an philosophical naturalist’s point of view, there is absolutely no reason why one shouldn’t engage in bestiality and incest if they *want to*.

From an atheist's stance, evolution certainly does affect morality and how we "fuck".  We evolved from the animal world and morals and "fucking" evolved along with it.

How dense can you be?  There are all kinds of books written in regard to how morals and religious thought supposedly "evolved".

Emphasis mine.

I'm having trouble reconciling these posts with one another. Apart from contradicting each other, the third one actually seems to contradict itself within the space of a few sentences.


LOL, whatever.  I just pray that my children *never*, ever run across a professor like PZ during their college experience.

They will. It's part of being exposed to educated people, there are a good chunk of open atheists.

Date: 2008/01/03 00:25:49, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 02 2008,23:55)
Oh, and as for this [QUOTE][quote] (Skatje paragraph on people's relationships with their pets
That sure sounds like advocating the experience to me.

Well, let's go right to the horse's mouth  :p  
Here's the fact: people tend to read "condone" as the strong opposite of "condemn." Yeah, you can find a definition in the dictionary like "accept," but people (and I'm guilty of this as well) tend to read condone as "support" or "encourage." I do not support bestiality.
(Emphasis in original)

I'm gonna tell PZ you called his daughter a horse.

Date: 2008/01/03 12:15:31, Link
Author: Annyday
Expelled is being advertised at the Darwin Awards. At least right now. Maybe google ads will shuffle it out.

Hilarious, though.

Date: 2008/01/03 17:22:11, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 03 2008,16:21)
Please.  If y'all want to carry on an actual conversation about this, fine.

But no more ridiculous Ftk threads.

They make my head hurt.

Lou states the obvious.

C'mon, this isn't remotely unique among material from the past week or so. It doesn't deserve its own thread.

Date: 2008/01/03 18:59:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 03 2008,16:33)
I can't find a link to full text that I can share; I can only get this through my student login. I don't know much about psychology.

Here's a quick, cynical semi-inside look at the history of psychology for you, which might towards the end sort of begin to reflect my impressions of those papers. As a forewarning, I've got a severe American bias (some of this is only true here), and I'm a disillusioned bastard.

There was a guy named Sigmund Freud who thought our minds (and everything) were reflected in our noses and that cocaine was a miracle cure for everything, even and especially addiction. After the friend who gave him the nose idea botched a therapeutic nose surgery terribly and skipped town, Freud became disillusioned and changed the focus of his theory to the penis and - the revolutionary part- ideas about it, rather than just the organ itself. (He also repudiated cocaine after a properly controlled trial indicated it was not a miracle cure.)

Freud went on to study a number of patients, displayed extremely severe confirmation bias (and, some argue, fabricated patients entirely), threw in some observations about child development and how the mind actually seems to work, and founded the science of psychology. Almost from the start the discipline had internal problems, and within decades his former pupils were bringing up rival theories. Carl Jung argued that a mystical merging of the feminine and masculine aspects of the subconscious was at the heart of all mental phenomenon, Otto Rank argued the intense trauma and separation from the mother at birth was central, dozens of different theories about the stages of childhood development came to rival Freud's, and so on. What Freud called the "sexual hypothesis" was threatened, and then everything went to the dogs.

Pavlov's dogs, in particular. Ivan Pavlov trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by causing them to associate it with food, thus demonstrating the process of conditioning. Within a few decades, psychologists got the idea that you could measure human response this way too, and thus learn all the mysteries of human nature. Forward a few decades, a bulk of psychologists realized that human response is a good deal more complex than salivation in dogs. Those psychologists interested in how the brain works begin to devise increasingly scientific experiments into specific mental faculties and traits. You can still find these intrepid cognitive psychologists today, desperately clawing their way towards being an honest-to-God hard science.

Those still interested in personality rather than brain functioning, however, began a quest for the Holy Grail of Psychology, the One True Test. Basically, these psychologists seem convinced that if they could just come up with a personality test that measures the real fundamental traits of human personality, they could finally begin to crack the code and figure out how we work. Since Freud, Jung, Rank, Adler, and everyone else hadn't figured out everything yet, they were clearly just using the wrong theories and not enough tests. The data this kind of test generates can be interesting, but you have to sift through the jargon, poor interpretation and outright speculation their presentation is laced with to actually learn anything, which is annoying as hell.

... the latter two links certainly fall into that category, IMO, and I don't want to try to translate them from personality test jargon into useful concepts even for my own benefit. It's too painful and it's probably not worth it, since the "dimensions" they're trying to study the "relations" of are usually trendy semi-ephemeral constructs of the tests used to measure them.

The way I hate on personality tests, you'd think I'd been orphaned by one or something. Regardless, the first link seems to have a sane methodology attached to it, so I'm gonna finish reading that, wait for the cynicism to wear off, and maybe make a constructive contribution.

Date: 2008/01/03 19:54:17, Link
Author: Annyday
Heheh. I did a check. Keirsey-Bates is a variant on the Myers-Briggs test, which was developed in the forties based upon ideas from the twenties and hasn't really changed since except for some cosmetic changes and marketing.

Thing is, even among personality tests that's not really a fair target. Myers-Briggs variants for businesses are to personality tests what homeopathy is to pharmacology. Whatever errors the academics who do personality tests at large might be guilty of, comparing them to the guys who peddle them to businesses is just mean.

Date: 2008/01/04 13:14:40, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,09:54)
Quote (someotherguy @ Jan. 04 2008,09:27)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,09:23)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 04 2008,09:15)
I'm kinda likin' Huckabee.  He can play a mean guitar...

In fact, I *heart* Huckabee.

 You would.  he pardons rapist and murders and all sorts of scumbags for all sorts of things.  your kind of company.

FtK, can you invite Huckabee here?  He might not have all that much time for teh webz what with being all campaign-y and stuff, but who knows?  Surely y'all know each other...

I didn't say I'm voting for him.  I said I *heart* him.

I'm undecided as to who I've vote for at this point...rather favor Obama, Giuliani and McCain at the *moment*.

If you vote for Obama, we'll be voting for the same candidate!  



I rather like the guy, and it's really the Democrat's turn to have the white house.  But, if he picks Hillary as a running mate, he's done for.  That woman has too much baggage.

I suspect he'd sooner run with a clown as VP than Hillary.

You probably don't follow the politics among filthy leftists too closely ( :) ), but Hillary's often reviled as a warmongering Republican sellout pretending to be a Democrat. (It doesn't help that she campaigned for Richard Nixon.)

So, although she benefits from expensive ad campaigns and extensive name recognition, she suffers from a serious problem when it comes to not being hated by her fellow Democrats, candidates and activists alike. The fact that she often says completely contradictory things minutes from each other doesn't help much, either. It makes her seem a wee bit dishonest, maybe. :p

Date: 2008/01/04 13:24:48, Link
Author: Annyday
Okay, what have you guys done to the bathroom wall? I go to sleep one night and I come back to find this.

Date: 2008/01/04 14:27:10, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 03 2008,23:03)
I'm in total agreement about Freud. (He thought coke was the real thing because he wanted to get rich.) Thing is, we had to take that Meyers-Briggs thingie (again) for my management class this past semester. Yes, hello, the proper answers are situational. Am I an introvert? Mostly, but I belly dance - am I an extrovert, then? I must be either-or! Right? :)

Ugh. But I found the three personality styles (informative, normative, and diffuse/avoidant) to make intuitive sense. Really though, I haven't studied psychology since my freshman year of college a million years ago.

I find education theory and child development interesting, particularly Piaget and Vigotsky, but really, I'm out of my league here. Skinner was torture to read, too, but I must say, behaviorist methods help if you have OCD (as I do).

I think psychology without biology is a bunch of thrown darts at a target.

The interesting and intuitive parts of the Myers-Briggs test are pure Carl Jung. The problem is that it hasn't advanced scientifically since the twenties, and Jung's original writings from that time are more like literary theory (or possibly mysticism) than anything else. Since the Myers-Briggs people want to be Real Scientists, they kind of sweep Jung under the rug, even though everything they've added is nothing but baggage and salesmanship on top of Jung's initial thoughts, IMO.

Skinner and the behaviorists (that would make a great band name) advanced research methodology a lot, but a lot of what they thought more broadly about thought was painfully stupid. There's many mountains of criticism for behaviorism going back to the fifties or thereabouts. On the off chance you have the will and time to slog through it, I think this review of Skinner by Chomsky is right about where it begins. In any event, the Chomskian approach seems to have won. :p


Date: 2008/01/04 14:34:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 04 2008,13:53)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,14:48)
16 oz.  -  3 can't be good for you...seriously.

I've cut down to one a day, but Fridays are an exception.


I wonder if WAD takes the same approach.

That would explain a lot.

I wrote a term paper with more caffeine than that in my system, once. The night before it was due.

Let me tell you, it was a PERFECT paper. I twitched and obsessed over the bastard all night long, and got an A. And then I passed out in class.

You'll be fine, by the way. It normally takes at least two or three times that much caffeine to make someone seriously ill. The taurine in the drink probably won't help any, but what the hell, you only live once.

I'm kind of distressed that I know this.

Date: 2008/01/04 17:29:41, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (MrsPeng @ Jan. 04 2008,15:38)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 04 2008,14:27)
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 03 2008,23:03)
I'm in total agreement about Freud. (He thought coke was the real thing because he wanted to get rich.) Thing is, we had to take that Meyers-Briggs thingie (again) for my management class this past semester. Yes, hello, the proper answers are situational. Am I an introvert? Mostly, but I belly dance - am I an extrovert, then? I must be either-or! Right? :)

Ugh. But I found the three personality styles (informative, normative, and diffuse/avoidant) to make intuitive sense. Really though, I haven't studied psychology since my freshman year of college a million years ago.

I find education theory and child development interesting, particularly Piaget and Vigotsky, but really, I'm out of my league here. Skinner was torture to read, too, but I must say, behaviorist methods help if you have OCD (as I do).

I think psychology without biology is a bunch of thrown darts at a target.

The interesting and intuitive parts of the Myers-Briggs test are pure Carl Jung. The problem is that it hasn't advanced scientifically since the twenties, and Jung's original writings from that time are more like literary theory (or possibly mysticism) than anything else. Since the Myers-Briggs people want to be Real Scientists, they kind of sweep Jung under the rug, even though everything they've added is nothing but baggage and salesmanship on top of Jung's initial thoughts, IMO.

Skinner and the behaviorists (that would make a great band name) advanced research methodology a lot, but a lot of what they thought more broadly about thought was painfully stupid. There's many mountains of criticism for behaviorism going back to the fifties or thereabouts. On the off chance you have the will and time to slog through it, I think this review of Skinner by Chomsky is right about where it begins. In any event, the Chomskian approach seems to have won. :p


When I was in grad school I had to do a critique of Chomsky's critique of Skinner's Verbal Behavior. (I will have to look for it.) It may have gone unchallenged in the broader psychological community, but it is something that people studying applied and theoretical behavior analysis have to cut their teeth on.
The elegance of selection by consequences is "misunderestimated" by all sorts of psychologists. I've been out of the loop for too long to provide all the cites and links etc that I should, but that Chomsky review is like a red cape to a bull for me.
I sort of kind of think that selection by consequences is the great unifying driver of life on earth. It works at every level of life from the chemical to the social, from genes to neurons to individual behavior to cultural memes. It drives everything.
So it is a shame to me that because Skinner may have over-reached with some of his broader "painfully stupid" observations, that much of his work, and that of those who have followed, is discarded as too mechanistic. Well, Madison Avenue LOVES operant conditioning.

I tend to think Chomsky's "nativist" approach to language in general and poverty of the stimulus in particular are based upon ill-supported arguments regarding the relatively unknown quantities of brain functioning and language use. That's what's always bugged me the most, and overcorrecting against behaviorism is, on reflection, kind of a part of that since extreme nativism relies upon minimizing conditional learning beyond reasonable inference. If I'm going to border on ad hominem, I suspect language and emotion in general are so often argued as being uniquely near-unapproachable precisely because linguists and psychologists love them to death. Simple and elegant mechanisms impugn the exalted brain's high dignity.

That may be the most incomprehensibly jargon-ridden paragraph I've written since spring. Regardless, I'd be interested in your critique of the critique.

Re: Rank, The Myth of the Hero was pretty good, except for Rank's heavier neo-Freudian theorizing. If you can ignore most of that, it's a fairly interesting work of comparative mythology in a vaguely structuralist vein. If you can't, I probably wouldn't bother. The Interpretation of Dreams wouldn't happen to be Freud's, would it? Rank would have had a contribution, I think. If that's the one, I found it to be hopelessly muddled when I read it, but that was some years ago. The weird thing is, much of what was "psychology" back then would be considered anthropology, comparative mythology, or lit crit nowadays. As actual scientists Rank, Freud et al haven't kept very well, but when in other capacities some of their stuff still holds up.

Date: 2008/01/04 18:03:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 04 2008,17:37)
I hate to spoil the party, but the above summaries of the history of psychology are inaccurate, ill-informed, grossly misleading, irresponsible and unbecoming of this board.

Not to put too fine a point on it, they read like Denyse O'Leary writing on evolutionary biology.

If precision were a goal, I would've taken at least a hundred times longer, would've explained entire theories instead of cliff notes versions, wouldn't have hopskipped across decades, and wouldn't have had to call attention to my rather extreme bias at the start. All generalizations are misleading to some degree, but they're not useless.

Date: 2008/01/04 19:46:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Well, yes. As a serious discussion of psychology my original post is quite thin, it's more of a snide rant about the tendency that bothers me in personality tests to pretend at precision and knowledge where there isn't any. I tend to see a sort of thread going from Freud's initial confirmation bias about his cherished nasal (have to include that!) and later sexual hypotheses up to there, and in that particular story the real accomplishments of serious cognitive science are little more than a footnote. Skinner (and everyone else) overreaching himself, on the other hand, needed a mention.

Re: Chomsky, I've always found it odd that he'll assert that we don't fully understand language, but we clearly know it is of such a nature that it can't have evolved by known mechanisms from preexisting systems. He'll be extremely logically exacting elsewhere, but when it comes to asserting the ineffability of language he cheats a little. Compared with the problems in some other approaches, I think it's rather near harmless. It practically begs people to disagree with him and try to make a case for the evolution of language in more detail, which is actually a good thing.

On a semi-related note touched off by the mention of Pinker, I think evolutionary psychology suffers from a problem very similar to behaviorism in overreaching itself. There are a number of rather unparsimonious assumptions entailed in the degree/type of modularity that for instance Pinker will assert. Different types of information processing can be modular, but the products of that processing needn't represent any kind of specific adaptation. Speculating about the evolutionary specifics of why people murder their ex-lovers, for instance, seems entirely far too narrow and specific.

Date: 2008/01/05 01:29:57, Link
Author: Annyday
I did not know that the Planck Institute had a site up.

Aaanyway, I made a notable jump between Freud and Skinner, but I think that one's warranted. If I recall it all correctly, Freud was convinced he'd discovered the fundamental mechanisms of human nature and that neurology would confirm their exact mechanisms. Basically, he wanted an elegant hypothesis he could hold as a total explanation of a human mind, it's just that it was also wrong.

Skinner's version of behaviorism couldn't be much more radically different from Freud in the content of his hypotheses, but it's got the same general flaw. He wanted, when it came to humans, to put his experience to use making an elegantly simple explanation of what it means to be human. Freud studied dreams, so naturally his perfect explanation of what it meant to be human was about dreams and dream states. Skinner studied conditioning, so he came up with a conditioning theory of human functioning. Along the same lines, Chomsky's a linguist, so when he set out to quantify the essence of humanity his formula was a grammatical structure.

Basically, they all managed to commit something of the same fallacy with different tools. They did it to some degree in the same tradition because the fallacy itself was embedded in the kind of questions and answers they were producing. Their specific theories aren't particularly continuous, but the approach and ultimate problems are.

I'm making another sort-of jump and taking a considerable bias in putting personality test work into the same continuum, but I think it fits snugly. Exempting the fact that there are fairly extensive arguments for more or fewer factors, the Big Five are basically five clumps of related words. This is an interesting oddity, and when you add in that peoples' descriptions according to them are relatively constant and indicative of their actions and lives you have the beginnings of something sort of interesting.

The thing is, when all you've got handy is statistical analysis, evidently people start thinking they've got something more fundamental. There's very little in the way of all-encompassing theories in this regard, but there's a lot of useless applications of personality testing. The papers I was being such an asshole about to start are a good example of this; rather than measuring certain descriptors, the authors seem inclined to think they're actually measuring personality directly. Instead of starting with any one of a thousand confabulating variables in correlation between a test for social descriptors and religiosity such as what a religious group's language use and prescribed behavior are like, they rush straight to highly abstract explanations about personality affinities for X, Y and Z.

Treating personality tests as if they have that kind of precision is probably never going to stop annoying me. It's reasonably common, and it's demonstrative of the same problem you find everywhere else; when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Date: 2008/01/05 23:43:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Off topic: does anyone know about migraines? The problem I have can be stated in syllogism:

1) I keep getting migraines.
2) I don't like having migraines.
3) Therefore, I need to figure out a way to nix the migraines.

This is a stupid and desperate question since I've already tried everything I know of short of opiates, but I have a migraine and I'm willing to dredge.

ETA: I also have not tried alcohol. I lump it very near opiates in desperation.

Date: 2008/01/05 23:46:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 05 2008,23:10)
More generally, psychology and cognitive science have failed to resemble "the hard sciences" not because the researchers and theoreticians haven't been bright people or have been disinterested in scientific methodology; psychology fails to much resemble physics because the problems it confronts are far more complex and the phenomena it addresses vastly more interconnected, contingent and overdetermined.

I agree with you, but the crucial point is that a large number of cognitive scientists don't seem to know this, with the problem getting worse the further back you go. It's not too big an issue when advances in research methodology are a focus, but for those with a greater focus on higher functioning it's grating as all hell.

On another note, I think this whole line of rambles about psychologists is approaching the point wherein it needs to be put down.

Date: 2008/01/06 15:14:26, Link
Author: Annyday
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?

Date: 2008/01/08 00:37:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Guest @ Jan. 08 2008,00:23)
PvM,  let me ask you this.    Blogs are increasingly being authoritatively cited in the courts (opinions,  briefs,  etc.),  scholarly journal articles,  the official newsmedia,  etc..   Panda's Thumb has already been cited in a law journal article by anti-ID legal scholar Jay Wexler.     What if,  in some future monkey trial,  an attorney tries to cite this comment thread to argue against charges that the Dover opinion's ID-as-science section was ghostwritten by the ACLU,   but the judge won't accept the citation because of all the obvious arbitrary censorship that has gone on here?

I don't know if you'll read this and I know you won't understand it if you do, but has it occurred to you that censoring trolls would be expected? In fact, even having an open "comments" section undermines the austere professional quality ordinarily expected in academic publishing. People can publish responses without even going through an editorial staff, it's quite bizarre.

So in sum: No. No judge in the world would care. You're delusional.

Date: 2008/01/08 01:17:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 07 2008,22:59)
Numbers have continued changing, not just in New Hampshire now, but nationwide. Obama now has a ten point lead in NH (primary tomorrow) and a thirteen point lead in South Carolina (next, on Jan 26). Barring something like he calls a kid 'macaca', Obama's almost certainly going to be the nominee.

Interestingly, in the last few weeks McCain has come from nowhere to become nearly the frontrunner on the GOP side. I haven't thought much about why yet. I mean, Romney's an obvious fake and the christianists don't like him, Giuliani's an amoral narcissist with authoritarian tendencies, and the educated, secular Republican elite view Huckabee as a bible-thumping creationist idiot, but even so, McCain's surge has been surprising.

McCain's the moderate, sane one for his party. Moderate enough to have a chance of beating a democratic candidate in a country sick to death of Bush. The Republican voters know this, and that's what makes him attractive.

He's also a war hero and doesn't come off as unspeakably bloodthirsty, which are pluses. Even the Republicans are sick of Bush.

Date: 2008/01/08 17:34:42, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm effectively conceding all points to beastrabban due to verbosity; viz, I am not going to read any more of his long-long-long posts unless paid to. Oh noes, the culture war is going badly!

Date: 2008/01/08 22:43:55, Link
Author: Annyday
I lol'd. Evolution is a theory about the origin of the universe.

I think we can safely say that they have no idea what they're talking about. They don't misunderstand or misrepresent evolution, they just don't know what it is, even in the broadest sense.

Date: 2008/01/10 02:15:24, Link
Author: Annyday
FtK's half-veiled biblical literalism and evasions/lies regarding it are funny in the same way Michael Jackson's surgeon-crafted appearance and lies regarding it are funny. Some people find it less funny as time goes on, but for others, the sheer blind persistence only makes it more amusing.

Date: 2008/01/10 18:04:30, Link
Author: Annyday
Mutations appear functionally random to all known methods of analysis. What magic method have you devised that can tell that what looks random isn't actually random?

Or, in other words: unless you have evidence for guidance of mutation, this makes you a theistic evolutionist who thinks that God's hand is visible in seemingly-random mutations. This would be logically viable, if unparsimonious, but not remotely incompatible with evolution.

Date: 2008/01/11 04:47:01, Link
Author: Annyday
While we're back to bashing FtK, I particularly enjoyed how she bolded "from a Darwinian perspective" in Dawkins' ramble about how sexual jealousy is a bad thing without, evidently, noticing that he was explicitly arguing against the trait which could be explained from a Darwinian perspective. It's as if his moral arguments are completely different from, and quite contradictory to, evolutionary concerns of fitness.

Date: 2008/01/11 04:54:50, Link
Author: Annyday
I love anti-AI arguments. Like so:

1) Classic AI tests, like the Turing test, would not sufficiently demonstrate that a Turing machine could "think" as we understand it.
2) Therefore, no Turing machine can think.
3) Therefore, no physical object can think.
4) Therefore, the human mind is not physical, and humans think with something nonphysical.

Searle's Chinese room demonstrates the first point fairly persuasively, and suggests the second point a little more shakily. The extra steps- 3 and 4- are amusing add-ons that don't follow in the least, but heaven forbid that should keep anyone from asserting them.

Date: 2008/01/11 19:35:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Jan. 11 2008,13:34)
Searle's Chinese room demonstrates the first point fairly persuasively

It does no such thing. It uses rhetorical sleight-of-hand to misdirect one's attention from what is at issue.

The question is does the system as a whole, the Turing machine, understand Chinese?

It is stipulated in the thought experiment that any utterance in Chinese can be the input and that the system makes coherent replies in Chinese.

What other operational definition for "understands Chinese" is there?

Well, first off "persuasive" does not necessarily mean "correct". If common folk and philosophical ideas about "understanding" and "thought" are totally and completely wrong, then it's possible simple input/output could simulate "understanding" meaningfully.

However, as is it remains persuasive to say that there's something definite (but infamously difficult to precisely quantify) to human consciousness and understanding that can't be replicated by a large rulebook or a system of hydraulic pipes set up to pass a Turing test. It might seem conscious to an outside observer, but it doesn't possess what is ordinarily meant by the word "understanding".

The wider problem is that as-is "consciousness", "understanding", "concepts" and "thought" are mostly philosophical questions. We don't have good, solid, mechanistic definitions for them, so they're not scientific questions with restrictive, definitive answers. Appeals to intuition and half-grounded assumptions are standard fare and fair game from all sides, whether they're correct or not. Until such a time as someone figures out what precisely these things are, if anything, most arguments and statements depend upon which premises you prefer to work from.

Date: 2008/01/11 23:42:37, Link
Author: Annyday
I dropped a comment linking to Wikipedia and explaining the Westermarck effect on FTKs
post about a popular-press story for the same. I also included a note about how it only makes any kind of sense in light of evolution, which is among the reasons we use evolution.

Let's see if it gets approved!

Date: 2008/01/12 00:56:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 12 2008,00:35)
Again folks, why do you waste you time. No good faith efforts will be able to touch her. Its a modern tragedy, but she's just an anachronism from an age of ignorance, which is part of who we were when we were taking our first steps.

The Westermarck effect is among my favorite pet topics. I wasn't gonna argue with her again, but Westermarck's effect dragged me into it.

Date: 2008/01/12 17:25:39, Link
Author: Annyday
FtK evidently doesn't want to hear about gene sequencing or about how her opinion of science is compromised due to thinking Noah's Ark and a young earth are feasible ideas. Woe is me, bounced from FtKs blog so that she can have the last word. :(

Date: 2008/01/13 19:06:12, Link
Author: Annyday
I followed the page FtK linked to while whining about NAS and nearly went blind.

This is a philosophical position that evolutionists hold--there is no scientific evidence that could make evolutionist's think twice about their commitment to naturalism. Like the creationist who mandates a particular interpretation of scripture and interprets scientific evidence accordingly, the evolutionist also mandates a particular interpretation of the scientific evidence. All explanations must be thoroughly and completely naturalistic, no matter how contorted those explanations become.

We could find a code buried in our cells but for evolutionists, only naturalistic causes can be considered.

Looking at evidence IS methodological naturalism. That is, essentially, what it means. Corrected, this reads:

This is a philosophical position that evolutionists hold--there is no scientific evidence that could make evolutionists think twice about their commitment to scientific evidence. Like the creationist who mandates a particular interpretation of scripture and interprets scientific evidence accordingly, the evolutionist also mandates a particular interpretation of the scientific evidence. All explanations must be thoroughly and completely based upon the scientific evidence, no matter how contorted those explanations become.

We could find a code buried in our cells but for evolutionists, only evidence-based causes can be considered.

It isn't even true- because if the world suddenly stopped having any continuity and nothing whatsoever made sense or displayed any form of pattern, that would be evidence that we should stop worrying about evidence, aka "naturalism".** We wouldn't be able to really know anything, and we likely wouldn't be able to survive since we depend upon consistent laws of physics for life, but it would put an end to "naturalism".

He keeps claiming that the evidence asserts that we should abandon looking at evidence with no evident awareness of the fact that he is doing so. How do you write things like this without having seizures?

In other words, unlike most scientific theories, evolution is assumed true until proven false. And while it may sound generous of Darwin that his theory would "absolutely break down," the burden of proof he places on the skeptic is actually quite high. It would be virtually impossible to prove rigorously that the bat's sonar absolutely could not have evolved, no matter how unlikely it is. The result is that Darwin's theory was granted a true-until-proven-false status not typical in science.

Gravity. We treat gravity exactly the same way. We don't fully understand gravity, either, but we have some pretty damn good evidence that it exists, so we assume it exists while working on the details. Are physicists supposed to assume gravity doesn't exist since they haven't got all the details? Once a unified theory is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, assuming it's even possible, we can finally admit that gravity exists?

The hard constraint within evolution, as Darwin once pointed out, is that all explanations be completely naturalistic. Beyond that anything goes. So science is constrained to naturalism, all the scientific evidence uncannily fits this constraint, and evolution remains true even when scientific challenges do arise.

Correcting "naturalism" to "based upon evidence" again yields ...

The hard constraint within evolution, as Darwin once pointed out, is that all explanations be completely based upon evidence. Beyond that anything goes. So science is constrained to evidence, all the scientific evidence uncannily fits this constraint, and evolution remains true even when scientific challenges do arise.

No shit, sherlock. Evidence, when constrained to explanations and observations based upon evidence, uncannily fits itself! So long as everything is based upon evidence, anything goes! Sweet Jesus, call the press!

The booklet surveys what the authors view as positive evidence for evolution, but the evidence is interpreted according to evolution rather than from a theory-neutral perspective, unfortunately leaving the casual reader with the message that this constitutes strong positive evidence.

Are you expected to take a theory-neutral perspective to gravity? "Well, everything appears to move downwards, all else being equal." "Yes, but I think it's kind of a stretch to say things move downwards consistently every time because of some force that moves them that way, especially since we're not sure what such a force would be."

While this certainly is true, scientists also need to evaluate theories according to what is known.

Doing so.

We can always hope our favorite theories will be saved by future findings, but this is no substitute for accurate evaluation according to the known data. It is simply misleading and irresponsible to state that it is a scientific fact that life evolved from non living chemicals.

Which is funny, because the quote immediately preceding this includes a number of acknowledgments that abiogenesis a "hard question", which means that they don't know. Not knowing about abiogenesis doesn't mean much about evolution, but I guess conflating abiogenesis with evolution as a whole is standard fare.

ETA: ** It also might be evidence that someone put acid in the punch, and that we should sleep it off.

Date: 2008/01/14 17:55:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Sweet. Answers on that thread already.

1) Origin of life: Intelligent design can predict that science will never be able to explain how this complex life arose (homochirality). This prediction has been confirmed every year for decades.

You can't just guess that someone else's research program is going nowhere. That's not a real "prediction" because there's no good how or why to it, it's simply incredulity.

2) History of life: Life is shown too complex to develop slowly over time. Life will appear rapidly and remain in stasis. This has been confirmed countless times, i.e. the big bangs of life.

Paleontology and genetics disagree with you. Also, "slowly" and "rapidly" depend upon the timescale you're using.

3) Irreducibly complex living forms exist.

Not that we know of. There are some forms we don't know about, but saying they're conclusively irreducibly complex is premature.

4) Molecular machines.

Empty rhetorical trick.

5) Evolutionary convergence.

Evolutionarily pretty simple. Same world, same laws of physics, similar forms will be favored.

The origin of life canard is very tired. Do you think they'd stop if someone managed to come up with viable self-replicating RNA and/or DNA via abiogenesis from chemicals akin to an early earth, or would creationists just fudge it some more?

Date: 2008/01/19 07:23:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Genes are a weapon of the bourgeoisie oppressors! Death to the reactionary reductionist atomists! We must establish an anti-Malthusian, anti-Brownian dictatorship of the proletariat so that freedom of inquiry can reign!

Date: 2008/01/20 20:46:35, Link
Author: Annyday
I think they read "predictions" and immediately thought of psychics, while not considering the word might have a more precise meaning concerning scientific theories.

Also: Those are some hugefish. Jesus.

Date: 2008/01/21 11:16:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 21 2008,09:52)
I've emailed this thread to Mr. Campo's assisant and invited him here.

What have you done? He's a sociologist, even if he shows up he'll either handwave or bury us in silly and irrelevant statistics.

A point of interest on the actual topic: Darwin's views are totally irrelevant. Even if he were a serial killer, which is expressly contradictory to the historical facts, it would have no bearing on whether or not he was right about evolution, which is expressly supported by scientific facts.

The logical problem is right here, at the end:

Regardless of how we got here, we should recognize that there is an infinite qualitative difference between the most highly developed ape and each and every human being. Darwin never recognized this disjuncture. And that is why his theories are dangerous.

The bold bits are false, and the italic bit, even if its predecessor were true, does not follow from it. That a theory even can be dangerous isn't demonstrated, and that evolutionary theory is such a case isn't demonstrated either. Rattling off Lorenz's Nazi connections is the closest the article gets to a real demonstration, but it doesn't do it. Almost everyone and every profession in Germany was either Nazi-affiliated or being actively suppressed at the time. You could easily make a hefty argument that philosophy, physics, chemistry, rocket science, anthropology, economics, comparative mythology, history, psychology, advertising, theology, music theory, or business were each wholly responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany by the same faulty logic.

On a tangential note, I can only find a few highly indirect references to an "Office for Race Policy" even existing, and it never seems to be mentioned except in reference to Lorenz being a member of it. The rarity of the office's name could be a quirk of translation, in fairness. I assumed Lorenz was a brief but fervent Nazi at the time solely on the basis of his own statements to the effect that he'd been gullible, but I never heard he'd been an active part of the Nazi state apparatus. Anyone know where I can find a reliable source on his ties?

Date: 2008/01/21 20:16:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 20 2008,22:03)
there are literally hundreds of leading experts in a multitude of scientific disciplines who are "skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life."

More like 700 hundred crackpots.

In fairness, almost none of them are biologists and the petition is phrased so weakly that, technically, it's largely true even of real biologists. I mean really, this is how it's phrased:

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

That's all. That's the petition. Hey, I'm skeptical too. I'm skeptical of everything, and I think most scientists are too. I think everything should be examined carefully, too!

Even Dawkins probably qualifies for signatory status, if you actually pay attention to what it says and not the fact that it's a rhetorical tool for creationists.

Date: 2008/01/23 06:23:37, Link
Author: Annyday
johnnyb: Oh great. That’s just what we need - Darwinism to be the official rule book for analyzing the genome.


Oh man. He's ... what, at least fifty years late? Evolution has been the "official rule book", that is, the underlying hypothesis, of molecular biology from the start. Hell, evolution was the "official rule book" for analyzing the genome while we were trying to figure out what DNA even was. Evolution, unsurprisingly, has helped us a whole hell of a lot in genetics!

But no- just now, right now, evolution is unjustly invading molecular biology! Worse- it's stifling research by suggesting to some researchers that we should narrow our focus! Oh, the humanity! This virgin biological science is being invaded by Darwinism!

In the same thread:

DLH: Design Principles: An Intelligent Designer will likely combine robust design with efficient design.

What? Seriously? That's their principle? "Robust" and "efficient" design, as measured by nothing in particular?

There's also real predictions attached to it, even if they're not grounded in any sane way! These five thousand orphan genes I've never heard of must be good for something! As one contributor puts it:

Mapou: Interesting. ID science is turning out to be as exciting as any other. A treasure hunt it is! There’s designer gold in them thar hills.

I have a beautiful visualization of a man panning for gold while rambling that since the hills were "designed", there should "obviously" be gold in these particular ones, because he's detected specified complexity in them. Mapou, if you're one of us church-burners, I salute you.

Too bad they'll never actually test it. All those Biologic Institute scientists, just sitting around doing nothing.

It gets even better:

johnnyb: ... I think we’ll find that the cause for an ORFan is not necessarily special consideration, but rather that the genome itself is smart enough to produce and deploy proteins as it needs them. In addition, we’ll find a modular area in the genome for deploying these newly-manufactured genes, so they can hook up with the appropriate development pathway.

What I think we’ll find, eventually, is that many of these ORFans were cooked up rapidly, and by our own genomes. This completely invalidates Darwinism (natural selection is nowhere to be found in this creative process), but it must be used carefully by ID’ers to point out that both a smart genome (built by a smart designer previously) and a smart designer are capable of producing unique sequences in different lineages.

He thinks smart genes invalidate natural selection. Your genes are, through some totally unknown mechanism, actually intelligent, and they are scheming to do the Lord's work. You may think they're only sophisticated protein-coding chemicals, but they're actually profound thinkers- sitting there, down in your cells, scheming for the future of the species. This is the kind of hypothesis that you're either a crank or a genius for advancing, and geniuses provide evidence when they do this kind of thing.

Even better, it appears some of the "scienca alternativa" people have posting privileges, if the white text boxes in that thread are any indication.

Date: 2008/01/25 01:57:31, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal's posting again! He linked a fellow who argues for a variable speed of light without justification or argument, for one. He's also making the same claims, but he's using arguments. Arguments which are fallacious, and include hopeful musings to the effect that he'll have some real evidence behind him any day now. Like this:

There may be some empirical support to this already, but we need better instrumentation.

However, in Chewbacca Defense Value (CDV), these are some fairly good arguments. He hasn't taken to ranting about wookies yet, but he's definitely lining up nonsequitor after nonsequitor about things that "do not make sense" as evidence that his position deserves to be considered.

His non-sciency posts are funny, too, but in a different way.

Date: 2008/01/25 23:46:27, Link
Author: Annyday
I like how he keeps asking rhetorical questions to which the answer is "yes". For instance:

I feel like I want to puke when I hear Darwinists compare their theory to the creationist Newton’s theory of Universal Gravitation. How laughable and at the same time disgusting. We have numerous experiments in the past and in the present confirming the major postulates of the creationist Newton’s theory of gravitation. Can the world of Darwin offer anything comparable?

Yes. If you want to confirm the major principles of natural selection and Mendelian inheritance, all you have to do is play with microbes (or any other organism) in a lab for a few generations under selection pressure. Thousands of people have done it. It's easy.

I also like how he says he could run circles, using population genetics, around "Darwinists". See, there's no actual population genetics on his site. If he had found some kind of mathematical error in, say, Haldane's equations, wouldn't he be parading it? If he were that great at mathematics, wouldn't he be able to spot the obvious errors in the work of Dembski & Sanford?

Date: 2008/01/26 11:24:37, Link
Author: Annyday
I suggest a sort of middle ground, in that Sal wishes he were slightly more of a grade-A fucking moron and is trying to assert his moronicism as strongly as possible. When reality seems to be attacking your faith, idiocy is piety.

Bonus questions: Who is Peter Singer, and why are we supposed to care? So far as I know, he's totally irrelevant to everything. Also, am I counting wrong or does Sal have three undergraduate degrees for some reason? Why do so many creationists have so many degrees?

Date: 2008/01/27 15:13:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 27 2008,14:42)
Sal the Consistent believes Christianity has yielded some mean, nasty, deluded Darwinists, like Dawkins, Meyers, Brayton, and Avalos.

Wouldn't want to be mean and nasty.

Also, he believes that the Christian Michael Dowd, who has traveled the country arguing that Christianity can be reconciled with Darwinism, should castrate himself.

That there is some weird shit, Sal.

Sal also gets Kimura, genetic drift, and by extension all of population genetics, completely back-asswards wrong. I'm not sure if I should be surprised that Sal clearly doesn't understand basic population genetics, but for some reason I am.

Really, what is he trying to pull with this?

For the record, I’m a pragmatist. To quote my favorite Darwinist (former evangelical) Michael Shermer, “What it is, is what it is.” I’m willing to revise my beliefs if I’m wrong. Being an engineer and going through school in the sciences, one gets confronted with one’s fallibility every day — heck, every hour!

But certain things we realize cannot possibly be true, and then we move on. I realize Darwinism cannot possibly be true in it’s most major claims. The Darwinists can’t make their math work. Kimura showed Darwinism is not the driving force in molecular evolution, and it’s apparent if molecular evolution is not governed by Darwinism, we should not expect much else in biology to be. Like Berlinski, one does not need to be a creationist to know Darwinism is drek.

The math works so far as I can tell, right about as well as Sal's beloved Maxwell equations. If the math doesn't work, why does it so routinely make correct predictions in, to begin, rudimentary genomics and laboratoy adaptation? Sal's position relies upon completely ignoring these very obvious things, and they demonstrate quite clearly that he's utterly wrong. Kimura, for instance, doesn't think his work contradicts natural selection at all. Neither does Dawkins, if we really want to get into it. Sal seems to have decided that natural selection doesn't do anything by fiat without argumentation, which is dishonest and a misrepresentation of the neutral theory.

I'll await eagerly Sal's retraction of, at least, his mischaracterization of Kimura's work. He is, after all, an upstanding kind of guy who admits he's wrong when he's wrong, right?

Date: 2008/01/28 03:07:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal follows up his previous post proving God's existence and greatness. He, ah, makes all the same arguments all over again.

Badly-argued theodicy built on top of bad physics does not impress me. Repeating it does not make it better.

Date: 2008/01/28 07:52:24, Link
Author: Annyday
Blipey, you cut-pasted an oldish copy of the list. I know at least one of the objects on the current list has been crossed off due to the submitter (can't remember who) deciding that FtK clearly believes a biblical flood is a valid scientific hypothesis.

Further: Is it too late to add new questions? I'd love to know, rhetorically, if FtK thinks gravity is "just a theory" since we don't understand all the moving parts, by analogue with her total skepticism regarding any effect of evolution without a molecule-by-molecule account. I'd also like to know why not, in the event the answer is "no".

Date: 2008/01/28 09:03:57, Link
Author: Annyday

There is a point to be made about inundation, but the medium we're in should somewhat mitigate that, I think. Press-ganging someone with thirty-plus questions at once isn't productive, but when they have the option of addressing them at leisure over a fair period of time it's a little different.

Date: 2008/01/28 15:30:16, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm not sure I can think of a scientist who would dismiss a complex display from an animal as irrelevant. I mean, any display is basically a means of conveying data. Scientists, even "hard" scientists (whatever precisely this means), love data and its representations.

.. well, except sometimes when they're annoyingly opaque, but that's not because they're illusions. It's because they're hard to figure out.

There's an entirely different point to be made about whether representations of data (ie language) are arbitrary or not, but that's not the point magnan is making. Or if it is, it's a very confused point.

Date: 2008/01/28 15:45:33, Link
Author: Annyday
If someone can translate Paul Nelson's latest into English, I'd appreciate it. Assuming that such is even possible.

The version I've got is: One of the many analytical tools in molecular evolution is contentious and really hard to use, and this makes Paul Nelson angry. Am I right, or did I miss something?

Also: So what? Lots of scientific fields are annoying to be in. Possibly all of them. If the data is new, it's going to give you headaches. If it made complete sense, it would not be research, it would be undergraduate textbook material.

Date: 2008/01/28 17:44:48, Link
Author: Annyday
Rich? FtK is demanding you buy and read The Irrational Atheist, 'cause you haven't got an informed opinion of the neo-Atheist writers as is.

I have to say, in spite of the blog FtK linked that rambles about the book being a point by point refutation of the New Atheist writers without getting into specifics of how, I am skeptical. Specifically, the version of theodicy Rasmussen mentions in his review, which is basically an argument regarding free will, is both tired and badly stated. Also, it parses the definition of "omniscent" stupidly- essentially saying that an omniscient being can choose to not know things, which is a contradiction of terms. As soon as you decide not to know something, you have ceased to be omniscient. You become, instead, potentially omniscient, but not actually so. It's very simple.

Since that particular bit of argumentation evidently passes for fresh and new among those pimping the book, I don't have high hopes. Further, Rasmussen's annoyingly whiny and wrong in and of himself, but I shouldn't nitpick.

Date: 2008/01/28 18:14:37, Link
Author: Annyday
BONUS: On going to recheck, I find Vox Day has been trolling the comments at the review I mentioned. He's being what I might charitably call a pedantic douchebag. I remain low on hope that his arguments are any good.

Don't take my word for it, though. Check it out.

Date: 2008/01/29 00:21:27, Link
Author: Annyday
O'Leary is mega rotten at, like, clarity of understanding and communication and sheezy, fo real. Not that you'd know for all her huffing and puffing and slang-talkin'. Frankly, it reminds me of being ten. I'm a language freak, so maybe I stopped speaking like a retard early, but Jesus Christ the woman writes badly.

What the hell, I'll dissect the thing in the name of science.

People who can force the taxpayer to fund their activities are generally mega rotten at understanding the point of view of people who make a living offering goods and services to a public that actually has a choice in the matter. But that is a story for another day.

Mega rotten?

That aside, I agree with her statement, except for the part where it does not correspond with any reality to do with the sciences. People pay taxes. Governments fund research and education. Useful research and education. Biologists are not doing any kind of "forcing", but she can think it if she likes.

Anyway, predictions, predictions. What does Darwinian evolution predict?

It depends on what the term actually means, since "Darwinian evolution" can refer to Darwin's originals, the modern synthesis, or - if you happen to not know what you're talking about - nothing that is known to actually exist.

Strictly speaking, nothing. By definition, it is the one form of evolution that banished purpose (teleology) from nature. That was supposed to be its big advantage, right? So by definition, it makes no predictions. Not that you’d know, from Darwinist huffing.

"Nothing that is known to actually exist" it is, then. I like how removing creationist teleology from evolutionary processes supposedly removes predictive power. Shockingly, our current theory of gravity does not directly involve any form of "purpose", and yet we continue to predict the ways in which things fall with fair precision. By definition, this should be impossible, since it is a theory without teleogy.

(Edit: Credit to Bob for the much more pithy and timely reference to intelligent falling.)

That doesn’t mean no one can predict anything. Here are some more of of my predictions:

If Darwinian evolution predicts anything at all, other than grants for its promoters and persecution for its doubters, it should predict that such an event as the beefalo does not happen, yet it does.

The woman who pimps her books on no fewer than four blogs at once is calling scientists greedy for wanting grant money to do research.

I'm just gonna let the irony sink in.

... and then goes on to claim without any argument Darwinian evolution predicts something, when she's already said she doesn't think it can, and that this prediction has been falsified. As a side note, the prediction is retarded and does not follow in the least from any version of evolution I know of. If anything, bizarre hybrids seem a perfect example of evolution's consequences, but that shows what I know.

And lots of other similar events happen too, some of which we will unfold in due course at The Design of Life blog.

Blog number three, isn't it?

However, at this point, I think Darwinian evolution mainly predicts:

   Lo, I saw a great grant machine, and behold, it was funded by the taxpayer, and – what marvel yet again! – it is administered by a small class of people who are ideological atheists and have learned how to turn that into an excellent financial proposition.

I think she called all biologists greedy, manipulative atheists again. Because clearly, if you're smart enough to become a scientist, you did it because you knew teaching and research are where all the big money and easy jobs are, right?

And a couple of further predictions (since I am here anyway),

Doubters who dare to offer facts in support of their views are hounded in a thoroughly unprofessional way.

Allegedly Christian institutions abet the persecution because they need to suck up to elite atheists in order to think well of themselves (I confess I do not know why. It is inconceivable to me how anyone could take those people’s opinions seriously, given that the entire twentieth century has been a vast disconfirmation of same.)

Might it be because there is no persecution? It is hypothetically possible that a group of loud underachievers have decided that there is a conspiracy aligned against them soas to lay responsibility for their failings and problems at the malice, rather than the indifference, of potential benefactors.

It is also hypothetically possible that the emperor has clothes, and the loud underachievers just don't like them.

The idea that the universe shows evidence of intelligent design is treated as a threat to human rights.

It's not the idea we fear. Ideas are all but harmless. At worst, they're wrong. The political agenda holding this particular idea aloft, however, is trouble.

Oops, all this has already HAPPENED! A day late and a dollar short.

Okay, so let me make three predictions that - to the best of my knowledge - haven’t already happened:

Note in advance: these are not scientific predictions. They're guesswork on par with Tarot. Not that I don't enjoy Tarot, it's just not a very good predictor, statistically.

1. Academic institutions will force students to sign statements saying that they renounce the idea that the universe could be intelligently designed. So students from most normal human traditions will be forced to sign a statement saying that their tradition is actually lies, garbage, and drivel. Even though the evidence of the fine tuning of the universe actually supports their traditions’ most basic elements. And if they appeal to the judiciary, the judgebots will demand that they sign, if they want an education.

Never going to happen. "Academic institutions", or higher ones, at least, don't care to control students' private opinions this much except in Denyse's head. Professors aren't thought police, they're students who grew roots in the academy and decided they couldn't stand to leave.

2. Many religion profs, divinity profs, chaplains, alleged Christians in science, etc., will urge the students to sign the statement, because - whether they know it or not - they are totally in the materialist camp. They hope that they can get a salary while they sell out their tradition. It is unclear why these profbots and revbots should not be booted, given that the evidence from science actually supports rather than undermines traditional beliefs about the basic nature of the universe. But lots of people get a salary to pretend otherwise, and they will go on doing so.

Nope. Not everyone with an advanced degree is out to get you. That is insane. If an Orwellian declaration like the first postulate brings up were to exist, everyone would hate it, from the biologists to the most creationist of theologians.

As a side note, it's kind of uncharitable to paint all scientists, professors and theologians, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist alike as atheist conspiracy sellouts. Also, paranoid.

3. Social workers will come out from under the floorboards from every direction to urge the young people to be “nice” and sign.

See above.

Some of these young people will face a very difficult challenge. They will begin slowly to realize that some of their elders are a disgrace. All the worse for them, as they are traditionalists and think that they should be polite to elders. It is best to deal with family disgrace discreetly, so I assume they will. After all, the sellout of the “theistic evolutionists” is a disgrace in the eyes of the whole world and of history, so we need our best resources to address it decently and minimize the damage it has caused.

"Theistic evolutionists" are sellouts, and disgraces in the eyes of the whole world and history. Everyone who believes in evolution is a sellout. Everyone who dislikes Dembski is part of the conspiracy, though you can't say why a Baptist college would be part of an atheist conspiracy because it's a stupid idea.

Also, this story of "perfect young idealistic family-values traditionalists against the atheist conspiracy" is only getting crazier the longer it drags out. I hadn't heard anyone declare either a living or future person to be a disgrace to the eyes of History since I last spoke to my rabid Marxist friend last spring. The man is padded-cell crazy, and a mean drunk. Regardless, I am coming to suspect that Denyse is crazier.

Please write to me if these predictions have already happened.

I wonder if she'll get any responses. I strongly suspect that, if so, they will be complete lies.

Sure, I’d like to be a prophet, but I am really just a journalist.

Okay, in order.

1) Scientific "predictions" have little to no relation to prophecy. Playing prophet is not a form of "prediction" in the scientific sense.

2) Denyse's predictions are insane. If she's a prophet, the whole world will have to lose fifty IQ points and go viciously, cruelly mad to accommodate. She seems to hope for this.

I don’t need to be ahead of the news, just not too far behind it.

Over a hundred and fifty years behind it and counting. If she starts reading real biology now, she might get to the present day by 2010.

New at The Design of Life and The Mindful Hack

Why did you say goodbye just like that? What do we know about extinction?

A lot. Also, it doesn't contradict the Darwinismus, sadly for Denyse and against what she seems to think. It just throws a few wrenches into the gear. The Darwinismus is robust, it can survive such things, it just gets bent a little out of shape by them.

How do unconscious people know when to wake up? They shouldn’t, but they do, and so …

They don't "know". It's a simple physiological process on a biological clock. How do unconscious people know to breathe with suitable regularity?

To make sense, any theory of mind needs to address the data from physics. Notice, I said data from physics, not from Materialism 101.

A theory of mind that is based in physics is naturalistic. Physics deals with natural phenomenon. Assuming this is roughly what she means when she says "materialism", she doesn't seem to understand that using physical data for a dualistic philosophy is illogical and trite (after all, you don't think it can actually tell you anything, right?)

This reviewer of The Spiritual Brain thinks that the God Helmet is as funny as I did.

I have no idea what this is. Denyse might try writing for people other than the half-dozen people who can stand to follow her closely enough to get her weird in-jokes.

(Look, why don’t atheists get out more? They could try going to church, for example, if they want to attack religion effectively. You can learn way more about the down side of religion at church than in some atheist think tank.)

They do. Also, this seems to be a complete nonsequitor, but maybe I'm missing something since the first part of this paragraph- the part not in parentheses- made no sense.

Is human consciousness a trick to ensure survival? Well, let’s start with the question of whether it even helps much to ensure survival. Do animals commit suicide? Start wars over ideology? Consciousness creates numerous risks to life that would not otherwise exist.

Her argument: The Golden Bough, Frazer's awesomely written and extremely long account of many widespread religious practices, describes some destructively and wastefully weird shit. This weird shit would probably not happen if we were not conscious. Therefore, although consciousness appears to be good for us now, it must have been bad for us in the past, so it can't have evolved.

It's like a very badly argued just-so story, only worse. Like a badly argued just-so story being told by someone who refuses to study evolution in any depth on religious grounds.

I'm starting to feel bad for picking on her. She's a grandmother. A demented old lady, even. It's like nagging an ancient Alzheimer's patient for losing his keys. He can't help it! It's not his fault! He got old, he cannot hack it anymore, and that's it. Poor old bastard ought to be left alone to die in peace.

I mean, she literally can't seem to write a single paragraph without saying something ridiculous. That's just not fair.

Date: 2008/01/29 00:46:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 28 2008,21:02)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 28 2008,18:44)
Rich? FtK is demanding you buy and read The Irrational Atheist, 'cause you haven't got an informed opinion of the neo-Atheist writers as is.

I have to say, in spite of the blog FtK linked that rambles about the book being a point by point refutation of the New Atheist writers without getting into specifics of how, I am skeptical. Specifically, the version of theodicy Rasmussen mentions in his review, which is basically an argument regarding free will, is both tired and badly stated. Also, it parses the definition of "omniscent" stupidly- essentially saying that an omniscient being can choose to not know things, which is a contradiction of terms. As soon as you decide not to know something, you have ceased to be omniscient. You become, instead, potentially omniscient, but not actually so. It's very simple.

Since that particular bit of argumentation evidently passes for fresh and new among those pimping the book, I don't have high hopes. Further, Rasmussen's annoyingly whiny and wrong in and of himself, but I shouldn't nitpick.

Wouldn't an omniscient being that is choosing not to know things have to know those things in order to know not to know them?

He'd have to first know them, since he was once omniscient, and then willfully un-know them, at which point (I know, this assumes time, but hey) he ceases to be omniscient.

If you twist the logic enough, it might absolve him of responsibility for the world. Much like closing your eyes before you pull a trigger, or just shooting blind, could be said to do the same. I mean, if he was once even a little omniscient, he knew exactly - as in, precisely, to the atom - the damage he would do upon suspending his omniscience. It would be kind of like a theological version of Memento, if you think about it.

Look, it makes more sense than "God knows everything but also doesn't, because knowing everything is boring". Technically you can also have a logically consistent God who isn't truly omniscient at any point ("definitely didn't see that coming"), or a God who's omniscient but not omnipotent ("I did my best!"), or a God who's a bit of a jerk by our standards, usually for entirely 'mysterious' reasons or for our own good (my personal favorite). It's just that Vox's version tortures the word "omniscient" too much. That's the real problem here. Please, think of the word.

Date: 2008/01/29 02:06:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Oh, I figured out how Vox netted the positive blog review from an atheist.

He used his WorldNetDaily libertarian/conservative clout. That also explains why the reviewer had a long, whiny preamble about being a bunch of things, including his political affiliation, before an atheist. I guess he showed the jerks who had the audacity to be politically atheistic, whoever the hell they were.

Vox has also got an interview up on WND that's too bad to be funny right now. I think the part about Dawkins wanting to be a scientist-king gave away Vox's Coulteresque strategy of ignoring reality completely. You can say a lot of negative things legitimately about Dawkins. His writing style gives me killer headaches, his understanding of psychology is shallow, and his philosophical points are muddled, for starters. Scientist-kings, though, by analogue of Plato's uberfascist philosopher-kings? No. Come on.

Date: 2008/01/29 04:52:26, Link
Author: Annyday
Normally it takes weeks or months to get free ebooks, and it's mildly difficult and illegal. I think Vox deserves a hat tip for saving everyone who thinks his book is worth perusing but not buying some trouble.

I still think it'll suck, though. In fairness, I believe he's smart enough and a good enough writer to cannibalize the internecine fights of the past few years in atheism for material. It might be a decent compendium, in that respect. I just doubt he'll have any originality, if indications do not lie.

Date: 2008/01/29 12:47:28, Link
Author: Annyday
... uh, yeah. The Church of Reality is a joke, ftk. Check this out.

This religion isn't about reality is it? It's all about Marc Perkel - the founder of the Church of Reality. That's why he is the First One. Perhaps reality is just a ploy to suck everyone in. After all, how can you not believe in reality? But is it really about reality or is Marc Perkel just trying to create the ultimate cult where he rules the world and enslaves the world forcing everyone to believe the way he does. Perhaps Perkel secretly thinks that he is God and that if enough people believe in him, that he will become God.

Or perhaps his goals are more modest. He's just trying to build a financial empire like the rest of the TV preachers living in a 35 million dollar mansion with a $15,000 air conditioned dog house. A life of drugs and debauchery with hundreds of women in his harem known as the Sacred Sluts. Perkel always has to be right and he thinks he's the smartest man in the entire universe. He secretly laughs at Realists and believes reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle drugs. It's all about fame, power, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, tossing virgins into volcanoes, and rolling around naked in the church money room. All in a futile attempt to convince himself that he's not really the pathetic loser that everyone knows he is. Besides, he has to do something because he doesn't have a college education and can't hold a real job.

Joke. Joke? Joke. Nobody worships Darwin, and if they do they're insane.

Date: 2008/01/29 13:03:32, Link
Author: Annyday
It's from "Our Hidden Agenda". It's the first thing I clicked, of course. I mean, they just out and tell you what their hidden agenda is. It's awfully sporting of them.

Your understanding of atheism is highly bizarre, by the way.

Date: 2008/01/29 13:15:24, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,13:01)
Oh, I beg to differ.  Dawkins literally worships Darwin/NS.  To listen to him talk about natural selection is *truly* a spiritual experience.

If you want to do a lot of violence to the words "literal" and "worship", you can say Dawkins "literally worships" Darwin. If that's the case, though, I literally worship both Quentin Tarantino and T. S. Eliot. This version of "literal worship" is kind of meaningless, unless you can think of some good reason why I don't "literally worship" my favorite shirt.

For the record- I love that shirt. And Pulp Fiction. And The Waste Land. I really do. I just don't think you could say I worship them in the same way you worship Jesus.

Date: 2008/01/29 14:48:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Thank you, FtK. Nobody had condescendingly called me a liar and then told me what to do in a long time. Frankly, I needed it.

Date: 2008/01/29 14:55:56, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 29 2008,14:49)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 29 2008,14:48)
Thank you, FtK. Nobody had condescendingly called me a liar and told me what to do in a long time. Frankly, I needed it.



I have to say, "Tranny Gay" is really growing on me. It may be the best phrase I've heard since ...


Date: 2008/01/30 02:36:25, Link
Author: Annyday
Skipping Sal's obsession with Lou's cock, his iteration of the "neutral theory" is amusing by itself. Someone else pointed out that he's wrong about everything, and Sal has said "nuh-uh".

“The theory does not deny the role of natural selection in determining the course of adaptive evolution” (Kimura, 1986)

On what theoretical basis did Kimura make that claim? Did he back the claim up with the same mathematics he did for neutral theory?

Yes. They've the same thing, actually. The "neutral theory" is a means of coming about genetic material for natural selection to act on. By working on the neutral theory, he was by default working on the mathematics of natural selection and adaptive evolution.


Sal's version of reality must be a fun place. I suspect he gets there by not reading the things he critiques.

It was an obligatory salute to that pea-brain named Charles Darwin who couldn’t do high school algebra,

And Cordova can't understand university level math on genetics. I wonder why he's so obsessed with Darwin's algebra grades?

much less the differential equations which Kimura used to exorcise Darwinism from molecular evolution.

This is Earth. Calling Sal. Calling Sal. Come in Sal.

If Darwin could have done the math, Darwin might not have put forward his theory (that is presuming Darwin would have had the integrity, which is doubtful).

If he'd had gene sequencing technology, this might have mattered.

Lots of garbage unworth addressing, then:

Mr. Bad-Ideas presumed I didn’t understand the relevant literature. His bad, not mine.

Unsure he's shown his ability to quote the literature without understanding it enough, Sal goes on to say that

junk-DNA is not junk, so neutral thoery is wrong about that count, but it’s not wrong about the fact evolution must have proceeded principally through non-Darwinian means. I don’t have to buy into neutral theory in order to use its devastating critique of Darwinism.

There is no devastating critique of Darwinism in Kimura's work. Dawkins loves the hell out of the neutral theory, for one example. Thanks for making my point for me, Sal!

Date: 2008/01/30 11:22:34, Link
Author: Annyday
I think you need to be clear about what point you are trying to make; Is it that darwinists predict that species can never hybridize (if so you should show references) or that the fact that species can hybridize means that the darwinists have an incorrect notion of what constitutes a species.

heheheheh. Creationists using references. That's a good one.

Date: 2008/01/30 15:35:51, Link
Author: Annyday
I swear you’d think that global warming, evolution and stem cell research were all that is ****ever**** considered in the realm of science. The freaking world is not going to end if we don’t swallow the story that nature evolved from a slimy blob in a pool of sludge.

Hahahahah. This comes, without irony, from someone complaining about how the media caricatures them.

Date: 2008/01/31 04:51:34, Link
Author: Annyday
"People who boast about their IQ are losers."
-Steven Hawking

On a related note, vos Savant's claimed uber-high IQ is from a bizarre test that was normed badly and used a ratio IQ instead of a far saner standard deviation. Even among IQ tests, it's a bullshit score. "Smart" people get awfully dumb when you start telling them good things about themselves.

Date: 2008/01/31 08:33:32, Link
Author: Annyday
I think Mensa's cutoff is at the top 2%, which is sometimes only a bit north of 130 IQ but moves around depending upon the specific test.

IQ tests aren't really useless, but they've got a really high margin of error that only gets worse the more specialized they are. This wouldn't be a problem if many people didn't think "IQ" always signified something specific.

Date: 2008/01/31 14:11:37, Link
Author: Annyday
I approve.

Would a proof of perfect secrecy also earn the prize? I realize it's not a cryptosystem per se, but the same approach applies and I strongly suspect it's the case.

Date: 2008/01/31 18:57:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Man, these comments are richly dumb.

The amusing thing is, the best that Ian Musgrave can hope to prove is that nature may fundamentally be designed, yet we may not be aware of it. Somehow, I don’t think that’s quite the point he wishes to make.

How does it make that point, precisely? By pointing out that you can't detect "design"? That would make ID the science of "we think it happened, but the evidence has all been randomized". Oooh, that's not much of a science at all, is it? It sounds kind of like guessing.

Hmph…my immediate reaction is that only 480 informational bits are required to encode each of those sequences. Oops?

I'm pretty sure Ian already knows this. Hell, I noticed it too. If you can't detect design in so much as a 480-bit sequence, how could you be expected to detect it in general?

I'm gonna reiterate that I'm pretty sure you could positively demonstrate the impossibility of detecting design in these sequences, except possibly by brute-force comparison to known sequences (and wouldn't that be a bitch). This is a subversion of the initial intent, but it does answer the implicit question regarding design detection. :p

Date: 2008/02/01 03:23:31, Link
Author: Annyday
I can give him the method ahead of time. We’d compare the suspect gene to a full genome sequence of the closest relatives we could find in the genome database. We’d then take the closest matching gene, apply the principles Mike Behe described in “The Edge of Evolution”, and from the sequence deviations find if the suspect gene goes beyond the edge of evolution or not.

DaveScot's basically saying he'd brute force it compared to known genomes, right? I mean, that might work here, but it won't work as a general "design detection tool".

I'll be interested to read about what gives these sequences away, at any rate.

Date: 2008/02/01 03:29:09, Link
Author: Annyday
Patrick already did it, nevermind. Brute force is the way to go, it seems. He seems to have dodged the fundamental point of the exercise, but hey.

Date: 2008/02/02 06:09:19, Link
Author: Annyday
Oh man. I'm reading Vox's book.

I am considering doing a shot every time he says "churlish", "snake-oil salesman" or similar for nothing but rhetorical effect. If current trends continue, I'd be fucked in half within fifteen pages.

Date: 2008/02/02 09:40:18, Link
Author: Annyday
I have to ask, has FtK read any neo-atheism? Seeing as the entirety of The Irrational Atheist seems to be an often point-for-point commentary on a small cluster of books, I have to wonder if it makes any sense to someone who hasn't read them. For instance, I haven't read Harris and am unlikely ever to, and the segments on Harris are unmitigatedly irrelevant, bordering on indecipherable, to me.

Basically, it reads like a pedantic copy editor wrote all of this in a bad mood while referring directly to a few cutouts from "new atheist" books. I find myself repeatedly wondering what, precisely, Vox is getting at. "Scattershot" might be a good adjective for it. "Chewbacca defense" is another.

Date: 2008/02/02 14:32:29, Link
Author: Annyday
I got about a hundred pages in, skimmed ahead, read the part about human sacrifice, and then gave up reading altogether, for the record.

It's not a complete assessment, but I think I got a fairly representative sample. I particularly enjoyed reading about how Aztec human sacrifices were not actually a religious affair. A+++ funny argument, would read again.

Date: 2008/02/02 19:25:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 02 2008,18:50)
Care to hear it??


Date: 2008/02/02 20:32:46, Link
Author: Annyday
See, this is your problem, right here.

Neither evolution nor ID are ever going to negate the’s simply not going to happen.

This is stupid. I'm flat-out saying it, because any softening of the fact would be an effective lie. It is stupid and unscientific to say that two mutually contradictory theories are never going to negate each other. They can't both be right, since ID is wrapped up in "irreducible complexity" and similar evolution-negating arguments. It's like saying "gravity exists" and "gravity does not exist" are two statements that might both deserve consideration forever.

Saying they won't "ever negate each other" is, however, perfectly in line with the actual practice of ID, because ID is a political agenda. This is your problem. Any scientist, on any side of any debate, wants one side or the other to be negated. Once something is negated, you know which side is right. This is a good thing for scientific progress. Scientists negate their own hypotheses with fair regularity, and get much credit for doing so.

You, on the other hand, would rather sit back and say you simply don't believe X, Y and Z, and that science teachers should waste time espousing disbelief on your behalf because you can't do enough of it by yourself. You don't want the theories to "negate each other", because it was never about having an empirically correct theory in the first place. It's about good, fuzzy, godly theories that make you feel warm, like hydroplates and privileged planets and designers-who-might-be-aliens, wink wink, nudge nudge.

End rant. Note to FtK: In future, please do not say things about contradictory theories not negating each other. I already know you're utterly anti-science, but you won't trigger rants if you don't say things like this with such regularity.

Date: 2008/02/02 20:58:38, Link
Author: Annyday
This made me think of this argument. Possibly because I was browsing and found it just now. But also because it applies, I think.

Date: 2008/02/02 21:15:11, Link
Author: Annyday
You're wrong. Fractally so.

I've already said, about four times in three paragraphs, why you're wrong about non-negation of scientific theories. You've now both reiterated what was wrong in the first place, and gotten entirely new things, things I hadn't even mentioned, wrong in your response. I'm not sure if it's remotely possible to address the sheer amount of wrong you can compress into a single paragraph.

Date: 2008/02/02 23:46:47, Link
Author: Annyday
An extensive commentary on The Irrational Atheist would probably be longer than the book itself. Also, unworth writing. Going to great lengths so that you can be well-informed enough to write a commentary on how bad a commentary on some other books are for the benefit of someone who might deign to show it to the initial commentary writer does not seem quite worthwhile to me.

Also, Bill: You forgot to mention getting pissed off 'cause I'm a glib, dismissive bastard about most of psychology. You did that, too! It was very disagreement-like. It had, at the least, the trappings of a disagreement. I distinctly remember being compared to O'Leary and thinking "... fuck, it does read a lot like O'Leary", it was so close to a disagreement.

Date: 2008/02/03 12:10:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 03 2008,10:18)
[snip]Perhaps someone who has read Dawkins can look at Day's remarks and comment.

The first mode of argumentation, which occupies much of the chapter, is a series of putative refutations of arguments previously offered by Dawkins, e.g., whether great art can arise from scientific rather than religious inspiration, whether soldiers fight more or less mindlessly given their metaphysics, whether atheists are likely destroy great architectural and sacred works (e.g. cathedrals and religious artifacts), whether atheists are more or less moral or murderous than religious persons, whether more great evils such as inter-communal conflicts and wars are more likely authored by the religious or the atheistic, whether Catholicism is more damaging than child abuse (my recollection is that for many people these are a package), and so on.

Here I am flying a bit blind, because I don't know whether Day has fairly represented Dawkins' positions, or passed over stronger arguments while reproducing weaker or peripheral assertions offered by Dawkins. Day's frequently ad hominem tone suggests that he can't be trusted to fairly represent Dawkins' position. That said, many of the above are empirical questions, and much of Day's argumentation here is his recitation of facts he claims refute Dawkins assertions on each score, usually accompanied by a tone of derision (e.g., Day notes that atheists Stalin and Mao destroyed countless great church edifices, refuting Dawkins assertion that no atheist would do such a thing). I have no idea who has it right and who is wrong in each instance.

In my opinion, none of this matters anyway. The original promise of this chapter (said Ftk) was that Day's best general arguments against atheism were presented herein. But in my opinion none of the above squabbles over art, war, ethics, or poetry have the slightest bearing upon whether atheism is a rational or advisable stance. This is because, 1) none of these assertions are really empirically decidable, for the simple reason that human behaviors such as making war, writing great poetry and behaving murderously are vastly overdetermined and historically embedded, and it is impossible to isolate the causal contribution of particular doxologies apart from those historical contexts, and 2) even were they decidable - say, were we able to determine that religious peoples are clearly kinder and better behaved because they are religious - those facts would nevertheless have no bearing whatsoever upon the accuracy of the main assertions of atheism or theism. It is perfectly possible that there is no God, yet belief in God results in desirable conduct and community harmony; it is also perfectly possible that there is a God, but we'd all be better off if we ignored her. One cannot determine the accuracy of these assertions vis atheism (in either direction) by means of argument from consequences.[snip]

I read much of The God Delusion, but only because David Sloan Wilson complained about the evolutionary arguments in it and I wanted get to those. I don't really "get" contemporary atheist books. As the new-atheist authors themselves are aware, all of their arguments are at least as old as Hume. Old arguments just don't do it for me.

Structurally, The God Delusion is more or less an encyclopedia of arguments regarding theism and atheism. I think that's part of what Day's responding to with the earlier, scattershot part of the Dawkins chapter. The problem is that ... well, The God Delusion is a 450-page pseudo-encyclopedia of atheism. Trying to go point-by-point in under 30 pages is, not to mince words, dumb.

Worse, Dawkins actually does mention opposing arguments to almost everything he says in his book. In fact, Day seems to have actually read The God Delusion, composed a list of a few potential counter-arguments that Dawkins brings up, and then intentionally ignored Dawkins' objections to them and made them into his chapter on Dawkins. This doesn't make for a "serious refutation". I'm not saying a serious refutation is not possible, since some of Dawkins' logic is shaky, but Vox doesn't provide it. Serious arguments are aimed at their targets, not caricatures of them.

For example: There's a full chapter (maybe more) in The God Delusion about Stalinism and Nazism. A full chapter I did not read, because I do not care about arguments from consequences. However, if I wanted to argue that Dawkins is wrong about X, Y, or Z because of Stalin, I would feel compelled to mention it in passing, if not actually read it. Vox does argue from Stalin, and evidently didn't feel the need to mention that Dawkins has already mentioned this and presumably tried to refute it. Whoopsie-daisy.**

Basically, I shouldn't have bothered to go back and read the chapter. And, no, Vox doesn't do Dawkins' (pedantic, wordy) arguments any justice. First off, because responding to a four hundred page semi-encyclopedia and some past works besides in thirty pages is an exercise in futility. Second, because Vox evidently didn't care to make a serious case.

**EDITED: Ctrl+F shows me that I was wrong, and that Vox does mention the chapter (correction: section) and counterarguments in question. Much later. After arguing from communism on and off for half of the book, he stops to justify his premises for doing so. Unfortunately, he doesn't actually address Dawkins' argument, whatever it is. He addresses the conclusion, and he tells us that it is wrong, and then he shows us some statistics about numbers of dead people.

Date: 2008/02/03 17:38:47, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 03 2008,15:03)
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 03 2008,00:46)
Also, Bill: You forgot to mention getting pissed off 'cause I'm a glib, dismissive bastard about most of psychology. You did that, too! It was very disagreement-like. It had, at the least, the trappings of a disagreement. I distinctly remember being compared to O'Leary and thinking "... fuck, it does read a lot like O'Leary", it was so close to a disagreement.

Whoa. Annyday. I said O'Leary? THAT was harsh. I musta been in a bad mood. Sorry about that.

S'fine. Along the same lines, I remember Sal gloatingly quoted Brayton calling PZ an asshole as part of some larger argument, a while ago.

Basically, we don't all agree on everything. Not even close. It's ridiculous to assert it.

FtK/Vox: I'm not going to find a copy of TGD to make an indepth argument about it. Really, I'm not. It's not worth it.

I did, however, read Vox's argument, after I realized that he'd finally stated his point about Stalin more explicitly after having already used it chapter after chapter. Mea culpa. I'm afraid I was only responding to the fact that I'd read the argument a half-dozen times without comprehensively checking for a more coherent version of it, at first. I am, regrettably, used to premises preceding conclusions. Alternative formats throw me off.

Anyway, here's Dawkins' "two sentences":

What matters is not whether Hitler and Stalin were atheists, but whether atheism systematically influences people to do bad things. There is not the smallest evidence that it does.

It's worth noting that the section is actually nine pages (shorter than I thought, but hey) long, according to the table of contents. I sincerely doubt these "two sentences" are all Dawkins has to say that pertains to Stalin in nine pages dedicated to Hitler and Stalin, but it's all Vox responds to.

Vox goes on to argue against the idea that atheism is only incidental to genocide by citing a bunch of dramatic and violent historical events and the number of people communist states have killed, which doesn't seem to address the point - about atheism being incidental - at all. It's not as amusingly bad as arguing that Aztec human sacrifice was not greatly religiously motivated, but it's still a bad argument. Well-written and rhetorically effective, maybe, but so what?

A separate argument runs, roughly: "Dawkins says nice things about Sam Harris, and as I have already shown, Sam Harris is a douchebag." Oh, no. That's clearly a point up-and-coming intellectuals the world over will feel damages Dawkins' case deeply. If I have to care passionately about about the integrity and dignity of any or all of the five (maybe more?) authors criticized to find the book's content important, as is evidently the case, I'm going to come up short.

I also have no personal investment in if atheism makes people into genocidal psychopaths or what motivated the Aztecs. I don't, ordinarily, have to worry about genocide or Aztecs, so it doesn't effect me. Vox's arguments are merely bad. That's the problem, here. Invoking God and saying atheists are going to Hell doesn't sell me.

Date: 2008/02/03 18:30:21, Link
Author: Annyday
Why even have a meeting? I think the evidence is pretty damning.

DaveScot doesn't want to ban him. QED. Start with the shunning.

Date: 2008/02/04 19:33:21, Link
Author: Annyday
Speaking of quoting people, I've decided to do a little research of my own on Duane Gish & the Designed Dinos. I'm reading one hell of a nerdy paper about the "darwinism" of scientific paper citations (girly-girl that I am) and what gives certain papers the "teeth and claws" to continue to be cited, and whereas others become "sleeping beauties" slipping out of favor, then being "awakened" and cited again.

Neat. What paper is it? I should dig it up...

Date: 2008/02/04 23:03:43, Link
Author: Annyday
According to the model, when a scientist writes a manuscript, he picks up several random papers, cites them, and also copies a fraction of their references. The model was stimulated by the recursive literature search model (Vazquez, 2001) and justified by the fact that a majority of scientific citations are copied from the lists of references used in other papers (Simkin & Roychowdhury, 2003, 2005b).

This is actually a pretty accurate model for (some of) how it's actually done, in my limited experience. I suspect those who haven't picked up citations based solely on their names and dates to pad papers up to "expected" cite-number are in the minority.

Also: I wonder about the citations on that paper. Personally, I suspect they chose their citations by the method they describe. If not, they're ruining a perfectly good opportunity for self-reference, and should be ashamed.

Date: 2008/02/04 23:22:07, Link
Author: Annyday
In fact, they'll know more about evolution than the average science student because they'll have a background in ID and creationist theories as well.

Way to refute the expectation that your kids won't be able to do competent biology!

The point is, Oleg, that it's none of your damn business what they believe or don't believe. If they understand your paradigm and play by your rules, they can research their own ideas on their own time...until they are able to shove some of your fairy tales down your throat. The age of the earth is certainly NOT the only controversial topic in this debate...and it isn't even touched upon in regard to ID.

Your philosophical/scientific dogma is not going to stop my children from choosing a career.

Uhhhh. I can't address this, except to say that, Oleg, you might want to give up trying to appeal to empiricism. FtK is clearly a culture warrior, not ... whatever else she may be mistaken for. "Paradigms" are a matter of personal preference that can exist forever, side by side, in FtK-land.

On further reflection, I think she considers them to be like rival religious sects. She's already said atheism is a "religion" centered on Darwin and she's calling Oleg a "naturalist" as if naturalism has a relevant meaning.

Date: 2008/02/05 18:08:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Denyse is really very good at taking complex academic disputes and completely failing to understand anything about them.

Date: 2008/02/06 06:58:34, Link
Author: Annyday
This is the bathroom wall, so let me ask:

What is this shit, and what is it supposed to mean? The only message I can decipher, at present, is "FtK overdosed on caffeine last night".

Date: 2008/02/06 08:47:50, Link
Author: Annyday
FtK bounced my response to middle-aged-guy complaining about creationists being called ignorant.

See, creationists are ignorant, by the OED-definition of the word, in that they don't know about the topics that they speak on. Evidently, this is not an allowable comment in FtK-land.

Date: 2008/02/06 12:55:50, Link
Author: Annyday
If I recall correctly, the DI pulls in over a million a year in donations. It's interesting to imagine that there's not enough money to finance experiments in there.

Date: 2008/02/06 15:34:18, Link
Author: Annyday
I don't care what you say, Berlinski is hilarious. For instance, criticizing Dennett, a philosopher, as a "regnant priest" of a science is hysterical. Asserting that biology hasn't done anything since the 1800s with regard to evolution? Also hysterical!

Date: 2008/02/07 07:35:26, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (olegt @ Feb. 07 2008,07:21)
DaveT on how science ought to work:  
A scientist who discredits the work of another is not winning friends in the process. Ruining the work of another takes away jobs while not creating any new ones. I was recently involved in a discussion of this in another forum with hundreds of scientists. Nearly all agreed that science needs what I termed “official falsifiers” whose sole task is finding flaws in the work of others. Jokes ensued that the holders of that job would need tenure, an armored Humvee, bodyguards, a windowless office, martial arts training, a hotline to the FBI witness protection program, no family, and not be concerned about being hated and scorned by everyone like he was the grim reaper. Jokes aside, it’s a real problem.

Welcome to the real world, Dave.  There already is such a process.  It's called anonymous peer review.

... how does he NOT KNOW THIS? How?!

I could imagine other people not knowing this, but this is someone who's been in arguments surrounding "peer review" and who claims to have gotten this idea from discussions with scientists. You'd think he'd have looked up "peer review" or had someone mention it to him already while arguing about official falsifiers and such, since peer review is at least very similar to this.

Now, Dave, if you're reading this: This moment is what Wilson calls "consilience!" You've been hearing about creationists and IDers getting a hard time about not passing peer review, right? And you've just now realized that science needs official falsifiers, right? That's what peer review is. Now you know what the hubbub's about! Your pet theorists can't get past the bullshit detectors of the scientific establishment.

Do you still think "official falsifiers" are a good thing?

Date: 2008/02/07 11:57:03, Link
Author: Annyday
I can change pictures into abstract pictures, therefore random mutation can't make information!

Anyone care to guess what exactly he's applied to the picture? I'm curious, and it looks damn cool, but it doesn't fit neatly into anything I know of.

Date: 2008/02/07 20:18:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (silverspoon @ Feb. 07 2008,19:57)
All kinds of plants grow under 100’s of feet of sediment. Fertile soil and plant growth are often found there. That’s how plants survived being buried by Da Fluud !

DaveTard made a similar statement about oil being designed millions of years ago for future use.

I don’t suppose Dave and Joe realize they’re dabbling into the designers intentions.  That’s a real No No.

It depends on the audience. It's a no-no in front of church burning ebola boys, but in church it's basically mandatory.

Date: 2008/02/08 13:15:37, Link
Author: Annyday
I didn't want to bump this, but I want to know what the hell this is.

When I took my graduate work at the state university, I took the opportunity to investigate the theory of evolution by taking some science classes. I was a member of the MENSA society (SUPER MENSA qualified) and eagerly anticipated the intellectual repartee I was to enjoy in these classes.

What a disappointment! After sitting and listening for the first week or so, I had to start challenging the many assumptions that were being presented as fact. In short order, the professors quit acknowledging my upraised hand. If I tried to interject a thought, I was asked not to interrupt until given permission to speak. I don't take that kind of attitude from anybody.

I confronted each of these three professors in turn in the classroom as to why they were denying me an opportunity to ask questions and receive clarification from them. Each of them told me the same thing, "You are confusing the class"!

Pretentious grad student screws up foundational undergrad classes, wonders why professors are annoyed!

This is apart from his degrees;

I earned Master Degrees in American History and Political Science. I have Bachelor Degrees in Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion. I also took Pre-Law and was offered a full-ride scholarship to Harvard Law School, on the basis of LSAT score.

I turned the scholarship down after the Dean of the school advised me that my personal moral beliefs would be a hindrance in a legal career and employment would be difficult, at best. I spent 13 years as a Special Agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration and I am now attempting to build a creation ministry.

I'm half-convinced that this is a spoof. Four bachelor's degrees in overlapping fields. "Religion" isn't even a proper major. Prelaw, DEA agent, creationist, MENSA member. It's like someone sat down and asked, "if the most annoying person alive were posting on the Expelled web site, what would they write about themselves?"

I kid. It could be worse. He could have said "Deleuzian" somewhere in there. That might, possibly, be more annoying. But ... really, this is very close.

Date: 2008/02/08 15:46:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Ftk is a bit of a misogynist. Who knew?

Quoted in entirety, because every single line is equally terrible and deserves to be saved forever.

I watched the premier of "Lipstick Jungle" last night. It looks like another one of those flicks where the power hungry liberated women do anything necessary to decimate their male counterparts. Shoot, the men these days might as well sit back and let the women take over...heck, we'll probably even elect a woman President come November.

Here's a Salvo aricle on the media's attack on masculinity.

I don't know...maybe the average man just doesn't care about wearing the pants in the family anymore...perhaps strong women turn them on, and they don't have a problem living with a dominant woman. Maybe in a couple decades or so, we'll have a bunch of stay home Dads, or worse yet, maybe men will just evolve themselves out of existence!

Oh, shit! Non-servile women! Call the press!

Actually, it's something weird. I generally think the US of A (slash world) right now is more sexist than it is racist, but a majority chunk of the anti-Hillary sexism (and if FtK's post isn't that, I don't know what is) I've seen this election cycle is actually from deeply religious women. I'm running on a small sample (ie personal experience), but I think it's a genuine effect. However, what it actually represents, I suspect, is that women feel they have more of a free social pass to be cunts about other women, whereas men are more likely to actually be challenged. For instance, the sentence preceding this one would have been slightly less offensive if I were female.

... I also happen to hate Hillary as a politician and the feminist movement's current fawning over her, but that's a separate issue. I should stick to commenting on one Hillary-related phenomenon at a time.

Date: 2008/02/08 18:31:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Ironically, the word "literally" is now used mostly in a figurative way.

Date: 2008/02/08 18:51:12, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Feb. 08 2008,18:32)
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 08 2008,19:18)
It's not a notpology. I apologize, I retract, whatever it takes.

I haven't even read the thread and it's obvious this is an utterly bogus apology.  A real apology acknowledges the wrong done, it doesn't just say "sorry for whatever, can we forget about it".

Not that anything FtK says ever means anything even slightly substantial anyway.

1) Ftk is a woman.
2) Women are endemically unsuitable to be presidents, have authority, or "wear pants" in a family.
2a) Because FtK said so.
3) Any group of people too deficient to ever be trusted with authority probably isn't worth talking to.
Therefore, 4) We should all snub FtK and ignore everything she says.

All in favor?

Date: 2008/02/08 21:57:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Now I'm all pissed off. DaveScot's not just being a dick, he's historically ignorant.

Stopping Saddam who had, through no democratic process, seized brutal control of a nation with trillions of dollars in mineral wealth is far more strategic than stopping the brutality in say, Sudan, where the petty dictators don’t have trillions of dollars to expand their reign of terror very far. That’s why Afghanistan was no real focal point. It’s dirt poor. Whoever owns it doesn’t own much. Whoever owns Iraq or Iran has the potential to go global.

We'd been embargoing him for YEARS. People were, and are, starving in Iraq. Saddam did not have "trillions of dollars" to expand his reign of terror. He had little besides rusty tanks, gauche palaces, and a ragtag army. When Saddam did the worst of his "reign of terror", back before Kuwait? He was using United States munitions and money. Look this up if you like, it's not hard to find out. Iran-Iraq war, the gassing of the Kurds, all of the nerve gas in general? We gave it to him. It was our damn nerve gas. Turning around to invade his destitute country and steal his things is not stopping him from "going global", it's greed, as it all was from the start.

Am I allowed to say I really hate ignorant conservatives, and doubt there's another type? Because, goddamn.

Date: 2008/02/08 22:42:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Myeah. Some extra reflection reminds me that I know quite a few people who'd be called conservative on a fair number of issues, but are still quite thoroughly sane. I lean libertarian enough to be considered conservative by the right metric if you don't think too hard about it. Funny thing is, that's not actually what "conservative" seems to mean lately.

Date: 2008/02/09 21:15:48, Link
Author: Annyday
That's not Europe, that's Britain.

Date: 2008/02/09 21:50:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Some new guy is suggesting a hermetic branch of ID based on Wallace's writings.

Hahahahahahahah. They want to revive occultism! Genuine occultism! It's been years since I've heard about Hermetic anything outside of an Umberto Eco book. Quickly, to the batcave! I've got some old copies of the Goetia and similar ilk, we can all do some chanting to invoke a few spirits of wisdom and victory for the great cause of Darwin. I mean, they're invoking the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus! We must act soon to defend ourselves from this eminent supernatural attack!

Though ... I'm glad the IDers have decided to formally admit that they're the modern descendants of all the world's old magicians and exorcists, and to fight fairly and cleanly by using disembodied spirits. Good, clean sorcery is definitely the way to go. We'll get some chickens and cut their heads off, and hang people off of pendulums, and stuff, rather than grisly ad campaigns and things of that nature. Ad campaigns are clearly a piece of post-enlightenment culture, and going back to the prior way is much better in total.

Date: 2008/02/09 23:07:03, Link
Author: Annyday
All of the comments to Denyse's post on strong AI are hilarious.

Christian AI. Dualistic AI. In Mapou's opinion, Christians are better at making AI than non-Christians. Because ... they're Christians, and they understand dualism. Nevermind that, if you understand it, it is almost by necessity not dualistic.

Hrun questions it, and gets:


I already answered your questions. You are replying in bad faith, in my opinion. I no longer wish to discuss this subject with you. I feel no desire to persuade you or anybody in particular of my views. I was speaking only to Christians and others who believe in the existence of a human spirit. You are obviously not part of my audience. We’re wasting each other’s time. See you around.

Asking about what the hell "dualistic AI" means is evidently off-limits. Vhoopsie.

Date: 2008/02/10 09:42:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal's posting again.

Short version: Darwin was an evil atheist who couldn't do math, God is great, Sal still doesn't understand population genetics or Kimura and proof of creationism and/or God's existence is on its way any day now.

These parts of this post were particularly good.

Darwin was a dolt when it came to math. He couldn’t even do high school algebra. This fact seems not to mean much to Mark Chu-Carrol of the Darwinist weblog “Good math, bad math”. That’s because Chu is a Darwinophile, and he let’s his Darwinism blind him from the truth. Where is Chu’s criticism of Darwin’s math? Non-existent. This is evidence of Chu’s bias and willingness to distort the truth in order to defend Darwin.

Darwin was bad at math, and his theory is full of math contradictions.


Kimura’s differential equations blew Darwinism out of water in molecular evolution. Darwin couldn’t solve differential equations because that requires calculus, and Darwin couldn’t even do high school algebra, much less do calculus, much less differential equations…..

[Even I can do high school algebra, and so can Bill Dembski and so can Jonathan Wells :-) ]


Darwinism is no where near physics as a science, heck, it’s not even as good as high school algebra.

The subtlety of Sal's argument truly places him among history's great writers.

Date: 2008/02/10 17:22:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 10 2008,14:10)
Um. Anyone seen this imitation?
If you don't like the religious justification against homosexuality, how about this.
A lesson in basic plumbing explains it for me. The human body has "in" holes and "out" holes. When it comes to traditional love making, men do not have an "in" hole. Women do! Two men together or two women together have to break the laws of basic plumbing to attempt to make love. Using "out" holes as "in" holes is not a good idea. Seems simple to me.

How about from natures perspective. Natures goal [nope - try again] for animals(including humans) is to promote survival and create offspring. man + man = no offspring... woman + woman = no offspring. Again... seems pretty simple!

— ForTheKIDS

You know, he's got a point. I mean, nothing ever comes out of a vagina, ever! Only in. A special trap door must open when it's time for babies or "that time of the month."

I hope that's a troll acting like her, because I'm bleeding from my eyes.

On the contrary, I'd be somewhat depressed if anyone besides our own FtK could manage that level and type of ... of ... whatever it is. I believe the term "fractal wrongness" is about correct. The idea that there might be two such individuals is outright terrifying.

Date: 2008/02/10 20:29:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (The Wayward Hammer @ Feb. 10 2008,17:39)
The sad part about our decreasing engineering graduation numbers is that we are paying engineers very well due to that shortage.  My company offers bonuses to get an engineer to sign on.  

So, what's going on?  Why the shortage?

I don't know the why of it, but I can tell you that many undergrads do know about it. Jokes along the lines of "I've decided that I like money, and am switching to engineering" are not uncommon. From time to time, they're even said seriously.

I have heard a couple of professors comment that they've got trouble getting anything out of students in the sciences, because kids coming out of high school are shit-awful* at math. That may have something to do with it, though I'm not sure if it's new or not. I'm fairly sure the part about getting past high school with minimal mathematical knowledge is true, however.

*Actual professors use nicer terms than this.

Date: 2008/02/10 22:32:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 10 2008,22:23)
Anyone who thinks that religion is "unfortunate for humanity" has to be living outside of reality.  All you people focus on is what you believe is the root of all war.  From what I've read, you don't have a leg to stand on in regard to your declaration that religion causes more wars than secular regimes.  

Have you ever stepped foot in a healthy church environment?  Good grief, if you came to my church and left with the impression that what is going on there is "unfortunate for humanity", you'd have to be a complete loon.

Man, I wish I knew what was *wrong* with you people.  All I can figure out is that you must have had some *horrific* experiences with religious folks in the past to believe that religion is as bad as you seem to believe.

I'm not even involved in this argument and I feel like you're putting words in my mouth.

Date: 2008/02/11 14:24:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal's gloating about God killin' atheists and proof of God's existence again.

Also: everyone Sal mentions seems to have three PhDs. Heheheh.

Date: 2008/02/11 23:02:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 11 2008,18:28)
THAT post is psychotic.

I don't know, more than the rest of it? Sal's been arguing in favor of the sheer maggoty worthlessness of mankind and God's divine and good right to slaughter us in gruesome ways for no reason for a while now. It didn't previously involve circular saws and decomposing bodies on national TV at dinner time, but it's a definite spiritual analogue.

Date: 2008/02/12 16:08:11, Link
Author: Annyday
I doubt it. Sal's the kind who gladly calls for a lynching and would take pictures if there were one, but could never bring himself to come closer than ten meters. So long as he remains a fringe nut, he's pretty harmless. Just crazy.

Date: 2008/02/12 23:23:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 12 2008,22:24)
Grandma Tard has a post on teh harder mathematicalics.  

Brace yourselves.

Oh my god. It's as if Barbie aged fifty years, converted to fundangelical, and got a blog*. "Math is hard!" has evolved into "Math is hard, and this disproves evolution, which is also hard. Too hard for me to learn."

*ETA: I actually mean "six blogs".

Date: 2008/02/13 12:02:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 13 2008,11:46)
Remember sweetie, mockery is not always intended seriously.

Do you mean to imply that the British understand not just language, but also humor? This is evolutionarily impossible. Humor is irreducibly complex, and God hates the British, so you all sit around drinking tea and shitty beer all day instead of talking. QED.

Date: 2008/02/13 13:35:35, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm done with the lot of you.

Stay gone, kindly.

Date: 2008/02/13 19:26:28, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 13 2008,18:48)
This has been the best UD afternoon in months.  Seriously.  So many people chipped in.  PTET of course, DaveScot with his response, commenters here and at PTET, sockpuppets unknown at UD itself.  It's a thing of beauty.  

{{{Group Hug}}}

I'm just now reading the last fifty odd comments, and oh man, it's good. It's really beautiful. Everyone deserves a round of applause ... especially Dave.

Date: 2008/02/13 19:39:45, Link
Author: Annyday
I’m crude, rude, and socially unacceptable. Probably because I say what I think and I ain’t got no religion. I’m here to tell you, you don’t want to live in a world where people like me are the rule instead of the kinder, gentler Christians who are a majority in the good old US of A.

Quoth the nondenominational Pascalian protestant agnostic. Followed by ... hahahah, now he's evangelizing about how he's an agnostic former Darwinist converted by learning the truth etc.

I love Dave. He's like a rabid, but toothless animal. Gumming frantically away...

Date: 2008/02/13 22:52:48, Link
Author: Annyday
The Activities Association said it is considering whether to take action against the private religious school. St. Mary's Academy, about 25 miles northwest of Topeka, is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X, which follows older Roman Catholic laws. The society's world leader, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in the late 1980s.

This is part of why everyone loved John Paul. For a Roman Catholic pope (I know, I know), he was pretty progressive. Or, at least, he kept the traditionalists at arm's length, which is something.

Date: 2008/02/14 18:57:08, Link
Author: Annyday

1) Stuff will work. ("Can't evolution predict that?" "No, it can't!")
2) Cells will work especially good.
3) Darwinism sucks. We've got disproof, but you can't see it. Also I'm a real mathematician, and I'm important, and I'm well-established in the engineering literature.

Seriously, is Olbermann interviewing him? Olbermann can be kind of a jerk. If Dembski cries on national TV, it might hurt the movement.

Date: 2008/02/14 19:57:04, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 14 2008,19:18)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 14 2008,18:57)
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 14 2008,17:44)
OMG you guys the  Prediction List is In!  Call the paparazzi!  Dembksi's getting out of the car!  He's going to give a beaver shot!  Zooming in!  It's . . .

Oh, never mind.


That's IT??

Condensed version: ID predicts the phenomena it was devised to explain. Like circular logic.

Hey, he also predicts no useless DNA ever. That's something. Sort of. Except that it's not true ... but hey, it's something.

Date: 2008/02/14 21:02:36, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (steve_h @ Feb. 14 2008,20:44)
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 15 2008,01:57)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 14 2008,19:18)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 14 2008,18:57)
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 14 2008,17:44)
OMG you guys the  Prediction List is In!  Call the paparazzi!  Dembksi's getting out of the car!  He's going to give a beaver shot!  Zooming in!  It's . . .

Oh, never mind.


That's IT??

Condensed version: ID predicts the phenomena it was devised to explain. Like circular logic.

Hey, he also predicts no useless DNA ever. That's something. Sort of. Except that it's not true ... but hey, it's something.

I don't see how that's a prediction of ID.

ID can produce things which happen to have mostly  junk in them or they can produce pure non-junk.
[snip for space]

You're quite right. However, the only criteria I'm applying for it to be an ID prediction is that it have some slight relation to reality, and that Dembski have said it was an ID prediction. Just because ID could easily predict the opposite doesn't count against it ... well okay it does, but not in the same way as it does when Dembski doesn't make any predictions at all. He gets kudos in my book for making a prediction that is completely at odds with reality and logically unsupported besides. If it's at odds with reality, it at least has some relation to it, and that's something!

Date: 2008/02/15 11:35:25, Link
Author: Annyday
His analogy would work a lot better if computers could reproduce, or if they at least flipped bits at random with greater frequency than Dave censors things. Bonus points for imagining a pair of computer towers having sex.

Date: 2008/02/15 17:31:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 15 2008,17:02)
The question really is, have Ftk and the Lurkers broken up, or will they put out one more album? That I can dance to, at least?

That is the scariest thing I've seen in months.

Date: 2008/02/15 21:50:15, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 15 2008,20:07)
The Devil does not play dice! He plays Scrabble.

I oughta know! :)

Nuhuh. Roulette.

Date: 2008/02/16 10:31:54, Link
Author: Annyday
No, no. It's not goo. It's nothingness. Then water. And then dust. And then a rib. Much less miraculous.

Date: 2008/02/16 10:36:51, Link
Author: Annyday
The scientists are okay with it because it doesn't actually change the meaning, and scientists are concerned mostly with what something actually means. The creationists are okay with it because it backs up their "just a theory!!" talking point. The real question is if any school boards or teachers will actually seize upon the word "theory" as evidence that they can ignore the standards.

Any odds?

Date: 2008/02/16 23:12:14, Link
Author: Annyday
The "argument from frequency":

I've always been a tad skeptical about near death experiences, but it seems to me that there has to be something to the phenomena. There are just too many cases to write them off as hallucinations.

I have yet to encounter or hear of anyone who has taken LSD and not hallucinated. Clearly, then, the universe is actually composed of funky swirling patterns. There are just too many cases to write them off as hallucinations.

DMT supposedly makes people see things called "aliens", "machine elves", "fractal elves", or a few other bizarre names. I also heard an interesting story about a tripper being enclosed in a nine-dimensional cube by robots. Does this imply that this is all real? Of course! There are just too many cases to write them off as hallucinations.

(repeat for every drug imaginable)


I could be off my rocker here, but wouldn't near death experiences lend some support to mind function after the brain is dead?

No. The brain is still there and could still function, it's just being messed up because the body that it relies upon is almost-dying. When we hear about people thinking when their brains are not there, I'll be impressed. Also, did you know you can sometimes induce something very like near-death experiences with ketamine? People float around over their bodies and have mystical experiences, anyway.

Some scientists write these experiences off by saying that NDEs are just hallucinations from a brain under tremendous stress from injury and trauma. But what they are helpless to explain is how these people who experiences a NDE can re-call and describe in vivid details what they saw and heard while laying dead in the hospital. They shock the doctors with exact details of what the monitoring machines displayed while connected to their body! Many people who have had NDEs are able to accurately describe what family members were wearing and talking about even though they were not allowed in the room where the body was being given electrical shock to try and restart the heart and breathing.

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

There are endless examples of these experiences...must be something to it.

FtK doesn't know anything about how to evaluate the reality of a claim, and it depresses me. "Many people have had this sort of experience while undergoing severe brain trauma" evidently constitutes strong evidence in FtK-land.

Date: 2008/02/17 22:57:52, Link
Author: Annyday
Whose sock puppet is this?

The godless argue that “imagination” is no guide, since you supposedly can’t tell if an intelligent cause is either god, invisible monkeys or just some natural process which is as yet unknown.

They are so wrong.

Almost everyone alive believes in some form of higher power.

There are some who might argue, although I am not necessarily one of them, that unbelief in a higher power is evidence of a personality disorder or worse, brain disfunction.

I have a friend who believes, essentially, that god placed the unbelievers amongst us to test our faith. By this, argument the unbelievers were ever-destined to rot in hell. If so, I hope there is a special place for the mockers and trolls.

I myself do not believe our “designer” is so deterministic. I do believe there is a special place in heaven for sinners who properly repent their sins and truly come to love god.

But I do believe that since so many of us experience the joy of our relationship with what we know is a higher power every day, that it is reasonably to infer that this higher power must be empirically detectable.

A special place in hell for trolls? Come on now.

Date: 2008/02/19 13:51:32, Link
Author: Annyday
That, and our instruments have become considerably more precise. Strangely, the speed of light stabilizes at almost exactly the same time as our measurements become really reliable, and the earlier measurements appear to place the actual speed of light within their margin of error. Oopsie-daisy.

And for why the measurements appear to mostly err to one side rather than the other, we have a pretty good explanation - concerning a different set of measurements - by Feynman.

We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It's a little bit off because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It's interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of an electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bit bigger than Millikan's, and the next one's a little bit bigger than that, and the next one's a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

Why didn't they discover the new number was higher right away? It's a thing that scientists are ashamed of -- this history -- because it's apparent that people did things like this: when they got a number that was too high above Millikan's, they thought something must be wrong -- and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number close to Millikan's value they didn't look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that. We've learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don't have that kind of a disease.

At the very least, it would be a hell of a vicious coincidence if the speed of light stopped changing as soon as we were able to measure it accurately. Sal and Walt's version of cosmology is also a little weird to my limited understanding, in that it seems to rely upon fudging around what the evidence for and against their position might actually be. There's lots of wiggling around the current gaps and edges of scientific knowledge, and no attempt to explain the well-known things that conventional physics encompasses. In other words, it's still a chewbacca defense.

Date: 2008/02/19 16:50:24, Link
Author: Annyday
I like how atheists aren't in that grouping.

Date: 2008/02/21 11:54:38, Link
Author: Annyday
I violate the upper probability bound whenever I play poker! Oh noes!

Date: 2008/02/21 14:52:27, Link
Author: Annyday
I like him. He's doomed.

Date: 2008/02/23 13:32:36, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm getting deja vu. Didn't Sewell do this already?

Date: 2008/02/24 21:06:40, Link
Author: Annyday
No no, the Great Author in the sky did it because He prefers to watch us suffer and do bad things, for the extra drama. Life on Earth is basically one long, gruesome, tragicomic soap opera for Him, you see. Or maybe one of the better episodes of CSI. But I repeat myself.

NOTE TO ALL: If you should find yourself in a cosmic episode of CSI, do not panic! You may die in a terrible fashion, but the audience will eat it up. Or not. Your death may instead be an occasion of little more than dark humor. Either way, you will go to greater reward than you can know! Rejoice!

Date: 2008/02/25 15:01:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Who was Dembskian, and are you banned yet? :D

Date: 2008/02/25 20:33:53, Link
Author: Annyday
If you want to know why so many people are hitting that picture, google for "Kate Beckinsale" and see what pops up.

Date: 2008/02/26 01:41:05, Link
Author: Annyday
A few things briefly, because I'm lazy.

Kevin, sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but consciousness is material.

This is not technically true. We don't know what consciousness is, or if it exists, in any meaningful empirical way. People just have a "sense" that they're conscious, and the way people act is something we understand in terms of consciousness. Empirically, the best we can say is that human consciousness, if it can be said to exist, is ordinarily attached to a physical object (a brain) about which a moderate amount is known. Since brains follow physical rules and consciousness (if it can be said to exist) seems, to all evidence, to be attached to the brain's physical state, it follows that consciousness seems to be material. But we can't empirically say that consciousness is material because we don't know what or if it is!

Of course, the outside effects of consciousness are different. The things people say and do, in spite of the fact that we can't really quantify their people-ness (or "consciousness"), are really really extensively studied by almost every field we'd call the humanities or social sciences. So they're potentially inside the field of scientific investigation.

I'm not talking about supernatural causation--as in magic. Just non-material causation, such as human consciousness. Right now, I see many branches of science--particularly evolutionary biology--as highly rationalistic. Theory-driven rather than evidence driven. ID seems to be an attempt to call science back to a more empirical approach--at least according to the rhetoric I've heard from ID advocates.

This is wrong because it relies upon tinkering with the definition of "material". "Material causes", in the sense of being the subject for science, means that it effects or originates in something we can observe. Any effect we can observe is "material", more or less, whether it's quantum, human, or magical. Non-material causation is by definition outside of scientific investigation, even more so than magic would be. If magic could be shown to do something, we'd call its effects "material" for purposes of measurement. The material effect could be quantity of lead turned to gold, estimated amount of psychokinetic force exerted, statistical accuracy of psychic predictions, or whatever else. So trying to introduce "non-material causes" is essentially meaningless, since if it's an observed cause at all, it's considered "material" enough to be a part of scientific investigation anyway. There's also plenty of heavy hints that "non-material causes" is a codeword for God, but you knew I was going to say that.

On a related note, evolutionary biology's not really that theoretical. It's anchored, heavily, in empirical findings from field studies and molecular biology. There are many theorists - Hamilton and Dawkins are my personal favorites - who largely work out abstract or mathematical theories, but their theories stand or fall based upon their ability to predict and account for empirical results.  If an empirical finding comes back that flatly contradicts a specific hypothesis in Dawkins' latest paper, Dawkins is screwed and his next paper will likely be about why and how he thinks his model's predictions diverged from reality. For this reason, even the most highly "theoretical" biologists are obsessively focused on empirical facts. There's also some molecular biologists or biochemists who aren't very interested in overarching theories, and they're even more outrageously hardcore empiricists.

Basically what I'm saying is that this isn't empiricism vs rationalism. Or, if it is, evolutionary biology appears to be on the empiricist side. "Follow the evidence wherever it leads" is a good catchphrase, because nobody disagrees with it. Since the evidence doesn't appear to actually lead to ID, though, it's nothing more than a catchphrase.

Date: 2008/02/26 11:47:03, Link
Author: Annyday
I've actually got a pet theory about the evolution of cognition, but everyone and their dog has one. It's one of the neatest open questions in ... I guess every field that impinges on human evolution. Lewontin is saying what he's saying specifically to piss off a bunch of linguists, psychologists, and anthropologists (to name a few). Funny thing is, they're fairly well-informed about the limited extend of our knowledge about human brain evolution, so this won't surprise them too much. And besides, Lewontin has always been like this.

Date: 2008/02/26 14:08:16, Link
Author: Annyday
How wonderfully smug.

I'm sorry that you're too good to actually address what anyone thinks, Kevin. Since you won't actually explain why, we'll just have to take your word that we're all wrong, dogmatic, and animally unreasoning. I can only imagine that knowing why this was true would enrich all of our lives, but I guess I'm wrong and you'd only be casting pearls before swine.

The other part that deserves a tap is the "dogpile" crack. Are only two or three people allowed to disagree with you at once? You can answer at your leisure, it's not like you're getting rushed.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:14:57, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 26 2008,14:30)
You guys are merely proving my point. The only thing you seem to be interested in is attacking me personally. Any attempt at discussion is immediately turned into an opportunity to tell me what a stupid, smug, ignorant propagandist I am. I'm not whining about that. It's just not my idea of a good time. If anyone wants to approach me with a formal interview request for an established publication or web site, I'm all for it. But I'm not going to be the bloody chicken in the henhouse just so you have a few hours of entertainment.

Look, I wrote a rather long post about why what you've written here (whoever's original words they were) is wrong, on two specific points. Wesley's made specific points curtly, too. Everyone else has been more blunt, but they raised plenty of points, too. Instead of answering peoples' arguments, you respond with this:

You know guys, you are about as predictable as an animal driven soley by hunger and instinct. Sort of like a crocodile. What never ceases to amaze me is how completely binary your thinking is.


You bear all the marks of the religious fundamentalists you despise: A complete inability to countenance two seemingly contradictory ideas in your brain and a fervent need to squash and destroy anyone who diagrees with you.

And then, when you're called a smug propagandist for it, you run away because we're "clearly" not interested in a real debate. If you'd actually defend your position, you'd have the high ground from which to tell people to stop being sarcastic bastards. Instead, you condescendingly insist that by disagreeing (sorry: disagreeing rudely) everyone's a complete fundamentalist out to squash and destroy you.

I'm not unhappy you're leaving, but the hypocritical indignity is obnoxious.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:46:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Annyday: I'm sorry I neglected to respond to your points. If you want to make a list of questions you'd like me to answer, I'll do my best.

"Non-material causes" is a meaningless buzzword. Anything we can observe- any "cause"- is considered "material" enough to be a part of science. Human agency, quantum mechanics, and the like are included in this definition. So what does ID actually want to change about the philosophy of science?

That's the only real question. The other thing is that biologists are slaves to empirical results. Even most theorists can still wax eloquent for ages on the minutia of their most-studied organism's traits and behaviors. It's actually kind of terrifying. So, it's really not empiricism vs rationalism.

I'd rather disentagle the scientific questions from the religious questions so that the real question becomes, can ID produce compelling evidence and arguments to back up their theories? I think the jury is still out on that.

... and, when the jury's still out on whether a large group of people can produce any evidence for their case after twenty years and some millions of dollars, it bodes very poorly.

Date: 2008/02/26 16:14:24, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (jeannot @ Feb. 26 2008,16:03)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 26 2008,15:13)
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 26 2008,15:08)
I won't shy away from explaining how social Darwinism and the science of eugenics--which was founded by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton as an attempt to apply Darwin's theory on a social level--were contributing factors to Hitler's views on race.

My goodness.

(1) did he travel back in time to Sparta, as they culled the weak?
(2) Is it natural selection, *cough* "Darwinism" or artificial selection that mankind has known about through for example animal husbandry, for thousands of years?
(3) Is there any long debunked creationist canard you think we haven't heard?

And more to the point, Kevin: science tells us how the world works, not how it ought to work.
Had Hitler worshipped Darwin's name in his book, that wouldn't falsify the theory of natural selection.

Is it so hard to understand?

He didn't say that, he was answering a question. Just because it's a classic ID/creationist line doesn't mean any specific person agrees with it, mkay?

Date: 2008/02/26 21:09:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 26 2008,17:01)


Wesley's made specific points curtly, too.

Curt, but no "personal attacks". Everything I've said or asked Kevin M. was directed at his claims, not his person.

Yes. Being a fan of brevity, I forgot that "curt" has negative connotations.

Also: Hello, Pharyngulites.

Edited for ugly sentence structure.

Date: 2008/03/02 00:52:45, Link
Author: Annyday
That entire thread is gold. I don't think anyone got the "for public understanding" memo, given that they're proposing people not known for popular science or explanations, seemingly on the basis of their religious beliefs. That's leaving aside Ann Coulter and the ISCID/DI fellows, and the "boo, Dawkins!" asides.

My personal nomination is Richard Feynman. All we have to do is raise him from the dead, first.

Date: 2008/03/03 17:34:00, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 03 2008,07:39)
DS leaves the tent open for creationists
Consider that the true age of the universe could be anywhere from 6000 years to an infinite number of years.


DS, do you honestly think the universe might turn out to be 6000 years old?

Dear sweet God. My inner physicist is weeping. Not only might the universe be no more than six thousand years old, there's no real difference between five billion and fourteen billion, and the second law of entropy secretly dictates that no system of any kind can arise ever. It's not like life forms, fusion reactions, or anything else could consume energy.

Date: 2008/03/03 19:22:34, Link
Author: Annyday
This is the bathroom wall, so why not.

1.)  Should there be a separate USA 2008 Presidential Election Thread, or just post on the Hate Huckabee Thread?

Rundown: Republicans are anti-science, democrats are pro. Neither side will make it a big issue because they're politicians. Who needs a thread?

2.)  Do we get bombarded enough with political crap throughout the day via other media?

I sure don't, but I avoid most of it.

3.) WWDD?  What Would Dembski Do?  (And why would he do that?!)

Nothing notable for no notable reasons. This is in itself notable; simply, I don't think he's a dedicated enough antievolutionist to see all politicians in terms of their evolution stances (or lack of them), so his politics are probably unremarkable, if Baptist-leaning.

4.)  Obama

Least evil viable candidate.

5.) Clinton

Slightly more evil. Also, annoying.

6.) Other

McCain is trying to please his fundie base. He's done some vaguely antievolution things, hasn't he? He may continue. Besides Obama, Clinton, and McCain nobody's really worth mentioning at this point, so "other" is kind of moot.

7.) Squirrel Boy

Squirrel Boy is not as cool as Plesiosaur Boy. Not even close. He should just give up trying.

8.) Lying sack of human excrement aka John McBush

Already mentioned him. In fairness, he probably couldn't be dumber than Bush when it comes to foreign policy, so that's something.

Date: 2008/03/03 19:27:48, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (khan @ Mar. 03 2008,19:15)
I live in Ohio.  I have received calls from Obama, Clinton, and Paul (as well as some locals).  McCain and Huckabee have not called.

S'cause McCain is considered to have the Republican nomination already clinched, I think. McCain's people think he would be wasting energy, Huck's people think it's a lost cause, and Paul's people don't pay any attention to whether they have any chance and never have.

Date: 2008/03/03 21:23:05, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 03 2008,20:23)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 03 2008,19:52)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Feb. 29 2008,09:59)
and we certainly don't overlook Rich-tard's obsession with smelling his fingers.  

I'm not smelling my *fingers*. I'm smelling your mom.

You know, they call 'em fingers, but I've never seen 'em fing.

That's only because your mother shuts the blinds when Rich comes over.

Date: 2008/03/04 13:52:33, Link
Author: Annyday
I love Sal.

he Darwinists have framed the ID debate as being about what should and should not be taught in the public school science classroom. I speculate that the debate over the public school classroom is another example of Bulverism.

Because clearly, it's those nasty Darwinists who maliciously insert their agenda into classrooms without doing any real research!!!!!

As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed. If so, most every other question pales in comparison. And also lost in the Darwinist Bulverism is whether individuals in universities will have the chance to answer the question of design for themselves, and whether these individuals will have the freedom to tell others what they discover.

Uhhhhh. First, Sal says the debate should be about whether life really is designed (the actual scientific question). It is clearly the Darwinist's fault that anyone would focus on any other aspect of ID. Then, Sal starts complaining about universities not funding the people he likes best. How do you contradict yourself that quickly and not notice?

The real culture war is not over what should or should not be taught in the science classroom. The real culture war is whether individuals will be allowed to pursue their inalienable rights which were endowed to them by their Creator. Individuals have the right to investigate who the Creator is, they have the right to tell others who they think the Creator is. They have the right to acquire Bachelors, Masters Degrees, and PhDs in biology in order to help them achieve those ends.

Darwinists have no right to impede the acquisition of diplomas merely on the grounds that the biology student might use his scientific learning to further the spread of his personal faith and convictions. Whether an individual believes the Creator is a Deity or the Flying Spaghetti monster, that individual has the right to follow his convictions and not be punished academically for having such convictions….I expect the fight over students civil rights may only be beginning.

Uh yeah. You can also roll cigarettes with your degree, use it to line your cat carrier, or get rid of it altogether. I don't think anybody minds too much. They might not be thrilled they wasted their time on you, but they can't preempt you. If your thesis is on the art of rolling cigarettes with advanced degrees, however, you can expect to be failed, because that's (probably) not what you're supposed to be studying. If you teach undergraduates that your field is entirely about earning degrees and rolling cigarettes with them, you're going to be fired because that's (probably) not what you're supposed to be teaching. If you apply for grants to study the art of rolling cigarettes with advanced degrees, you're not gonna get them, because it's (probably) not something anyone wants to study. That's not persecution, and that's all anyone seems to come up with.

Date: 2008/03/06 15:45:48, Link
Author: Annyday

Dembski, I hope the next time there is a court cause that you go and spell out your universal probability bound and explain to the judge that mathematical logic is how all scientific reasoning is done and hence the design inference is by necessity scientific.

And if you guys manage to win the next court case please send a letter to Dawkins from all of us here at UD thanking him for his accidental true statements.

I sense a very bright future for ID and I want to thank you Bill for your work- especially your two books NFL and DI- their contributions have proven to be priceless and perhaps in the not to distant future you will have accomplished what only a very select few “greats” have managed to accomplish- to swing the paradigm of science away from materialistic narcissism and back towards due respect for the divine designer of all things.

The movie Expelled is a sign that you (and us) are on the right track despite what the media says. Cant wait to see the movie.

Has to be a joke. It uses the word "priceless" to describe Dembski's works, quite correctly. It smarmily rubs Dembski's Dover retreat in his face. If this post isn't an intentional troll, it's pure madness.

Also on that thread: Does Dembski not see the difference between something being a scientific question in principle, and whether the current research on a topic is scientific? For instance, whether or not people can psychically bend spoons, read minds, and predict the future is strictly a scientific question. This does not make anything and everything said or done regarding spoon-bending, mind-reading, and prediction "scientific". Miss Cleo, for instance, is not a scientist by any definition I know.

Date: 2008/03/06 20:22:25, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Maya @ Mar. 06 2008,15:42)
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Mar. 06 2008,14:53)
Sal: “Peter was admonishing believing wives that the best way to convert an unbelieving husband was to keep quiet and refrain from their natural tendency to preach and lecture others on how to run their lives.”

Rzeppa: "Of course he was. Because it’s not the wife’s job to “lecture her husband on how to run his life”. The place of a wife in the God-given hierarchy of human relations in helpful submission to her husband."

No comment necessary.

If and when I marry, I'll be glad to help my husband learn submission.  And to think I considered all those nice ID boys to be misogynists....

I can get a ring and some chaps and we can go to Vegas. You game?

Related to UD: Check this out. What's Turkish like, as a language? I see the umlaut, and the "creationimus", and the "Doktor", and it just feels Germanic. Or like a VMartin parody. Then again, I'm not a linguist.

Date: 2008/03/07 16:38:28, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Mar. 06 2008,14:16)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 06 2008,14:06)
I was kind of partial to this design (heh):

But it never caught on.

Atheists with bosoms. I like it.

I read that as bosons. However, I spent no more than a minute wondering how the symbol could be construed as a particle physics equation, so I'm probably safe.

Date: 2008/03/09 14:54:23, Link
Author: Annyday
I am not in the least bit a programmer, but if you're actually getting funky results from a simulation, bFast, I'd like to see the simulator and the results. Mathematical modeling of changing populations is a mainstay of evolutionary theory, so funky results in simulations are pretty interesting.

Date: 2008/03/11 02:04:38, Link
Author: Annyday
I think atheist activism is silly and a waste of time. If it has a name besides or attached to "atheist", it's demanding more attention than atheism deserves for me.

I realize this is possibly like telling someone asking about a midterm assignment to drop out, but really. I can almost understand the need for books and other such fun in protest of "atheists are the antichrist!" garbage, but beyond that I just don't get it at all.

On a separate note and in partial response to the CBEB post, I think suggesting atheist groups are sometimes like a religious institution is misleading. First, it never seems to get the intended point across to the targets. Atheists are nothing if not pedantic, and they'll never hesitate to focus on why they think the label of "religion" is technically inappropriate for what they're doing. Normally this has something to do with a lack of supernaturalism. So, it might be cleaner to call atheist activism a "weird social club" or "unthinking identity community" or something like that to convey distaste. "Screwy cult" would be useful under extreme circumstances, because amusingly "cult" doesn't connote supernaturalism quite like "religion" does.

Date: 2008/03/13 00:14:23, Link
Author: Annyday
IIRC, there's also a DaveScot quote out there where he says ID's research program is sixty years old. Talk about not staying on-message.

Date: 2008/03/15 21:27:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 15 2008,08:24)
you can rearrange all of the information in "Horton hears a who" to get all of the information in "War and Peace".  DaveScot is a frikkin genius.

But why would you want to? Seuss is clearly superior.

Date: 2008/03/16 02:09:59, Link
Author: Annyday
Intelligence is like pornography; it can't be defined, but they know it when they see it.

Date: 2008/03/18 03:39:07, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm a little surprised. "Complex specified information" seems to be a fancy way of saying "brute-force search sucks way too much to have done this". No, really? This is Dembski's grand insight? Without incremental mutation and variation, most biological stuff is really really unlikely! Gosh, I never would have thought of that! Thank God for Dembski!

I have to ask; does Dave know about the hypotheses and evidence surrounding mitochondria? Mitochondria having their own verifiable DNA and bizarre phylogeny and everything? Does that sound like something a designer would do? "Oh, hey, I know! Let's make an organelle out of a bacterium- that would be hilarious!" It wouldn't be my first choice if I wanted to challenge someone with how fantastically designed our cells were, but that is perhaps an oddity of mine.

Date: 2008/03/19 02:28:12, Link
Author: Annyday
I live in a Columbia Missouri, which is a college town. There's a local preacher named Brother Jed who's famous for standing around on campus yelling at passers-by about eternal damnation. He has and/or had a fan club, and they used to stand around with signs and sandwich ads in support of said damnation. I believe part of his fan club has its own little home-thing nearby campus where some of the students live.* He's also got his own web site, and there are several videos of him ranting on YouTube (just search for "brother Jed".)

So, I can confirm that they do exist in real life. I think they just either act normal or preach hellfire on street corners when in public, with little to no in-between. It creates what I think is an illusion of separation between the nuts and real society.

*Technically, the kids with their own house are a completely independent self-motivated student group, they just agree with him. It's hard for me to think of them as anything but part of Brother Jed's fan club since that's how I learned they exist.

Date: 2008/03/19 16:21:55, Link
Author: Annyday
Wow. I guess he's not just a crazy local street preacher with his own fan club. He's a crazy nation-spanning street preacher who lives here so he can have students to yell at when he's not traveling. That's pretty ... special.

Date: 2008/03/19 18:26:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 19 2008,10:08)

but I doubt anyone would bother to lie

There are instances where movies are offered as torrents where you not only get some other movie given a bunch of different titles, but are told to install a special codec to decrypt the movie. The codec is very likely to be spyware at the least and may be malware.

There's plenty of lying in the peer-to-peer networking world.

I found a supposed Expelled torrent with a related problem. Could be the one oldman saw. They want me to sign up for some site to get a password and further instructions, which has never lead good places in my experience. This wasn't displayed directly but was "hidden" in a readme in the original torrent, which I grabbed in advance because I felt like checking if it was real before I downloaded the huge video file. Between that and the rarity of real pre-release torrent leaks, I don't think it's the genuine article.

Re: Paranoia, I don't think it's part of the marketing. People "stealing" the movie is a production company's sort of fear, not a persecuted scientist's fear. If they were doing it solely for the audience's benefit, I think they'd have gone for a malicious, censorious enemy without instead of aiming their night-visioned paranoia at their guests.

Date: 2008/03/20 21:03:04, Link
Author: Annyday

Date: 2008/03/21 00:49:39, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Badidea @ Mar. 21 2008,00:04)
I do feel that we're still not hitting our stride in rebutting this stuff.  For all the things WE think are big goofs and obvious on their side, very little of that is really making an impression on people outside the scienceblog circle.  They are very tightly controlling their message, and it is a savvy one: hard to rebut as quickly and as clearly as it can be spun.  Free expression and free inquiry is a compelling rallying cry.  The problem is simply that freedom of inquiry does not overrule the unavoidable need to make judgments of scientific merit in academia, and the stalwart refusal of the ID camp to accept, even hypothetically, the possibility that their ideas have no merit, just as countless unsung scientists have seen happen to their ideas, only without a tremendous PR campaign to keep the idea alive regardless.

But see, even that took too long to blather on about...

I'll say. I read two sentences into that paragraph, then decided to skip it. Mark Twain was right, and a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Therefore, one should probably go shoeless. Mention directly and bluntly that the other guy is lying. You can say that academic freedom is technically an admirable goal and you agree with it, but the Discovery Institute isn't really appealing to academic freedom. It won't catch on, is the problem. I think you should instead say the other guy is lying, you've kicked nobody out and censored no one, and you have a right to your opinion and to freedom of association because this is a free country.

Scientists don't like doing this kind of thing, though. Generally speaking, the art of rhetoric is lost on them, and rolling out buzzwords like "free country" is a kind of horrific crime. They'd rather explain how stuff works and why X or Y is true, which is why they're good as scientists and teachers but kind of crappy at PR.

Date: 2008/03/21 03:28:38, Link
Author: Annyday
IIRC, it's been mentioned that they had information regarding the supposed "crossroads" film at for the benefit of those they were interviewing. It's gone now, at any rate. This doesn't do much to mitigate the oddness of registering expelledthemovie in advance, but hey.

Date: 2008/03/21 03:43:42, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 21 2008,02:43)


18 March 2008
Pat Robertson interviews Ben Stein about EXPELLED
William Dembski

Check out this CBN segment that features Ben Stein, David Berlinski and yours truly: GO HERE.
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.

It's like being punched in the face with tard.

I'm getting too old for this.


Ben Stein thinks there's not going to be a depression ... because the Federal Reserve will flood the country with money. Because that never does anything bad, and will certainly save us all. Two minutes later, he complains about the falling value of the dollar. He appears to see no contradiction between those two things.

And then he moves on to ID ...

Date: 2008/03/22 02:54:16, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Mar. 22 2008,02:02)
Writer of Expelled repents!! Read about it here:

You earn many kudos in my book for the ability to admit mistakes. If you'll just repent your heresies against the One True Church and renounce heliocentrism, we might not even have to burn you! Mutterings of "eppur si muove" need not apply.


So if PZ followed the correct procedures, why was he still kicked out? I'll let the producers of Expelled speak to that--which they will do shortly. And trust me, it's not because they were afraid of him.

I don't buy this at all, and I'll believe it when I see it. They might be telling you they've got a good reason and will soon reveal it, but they've failed to do so thus far and have made what looks a lot like lame excuses. I mean, if they did have a good reason, why lie about him "sneaking in without a ticket"?

Date: 2008/03/22 04:43:57, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (dnmlthr @ Mar. 22 2008,04:20)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 22 2008,00:46)
UD finally gets a communique from Tardquarters:

I'm fairly new to this game, but are DI "press releases" always this filled with hyperbole, downright lies and sweet sweet tard?

Always. If the tard seems particularly thick in this instance, it's because it's enriched by the hilarious context.

Further tard from Frosty on that UD thread:

Meyers just wanted to see the movie cause hes a left wing atheist ego-trip. He wanted to find out as much as he could so he could go to work trashing the movie. For people like him its all about thier absurd poltical idiology. We ID advocates never ask that evolution not be taught- but his side does everything in their power to squash free speach- and that’s sad.

He's in the movie, man. Wanting to see a movie that you're in is not evidence of vast, censorious evil.

Frosty has to be a sock puppet. Right?

Date: 2008/03/22 16:22:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 12 2007,07:40)

Wake me for the second reel.

Why didn't they go the whole propaganda hog and ressurect Leni Riefenstahl for the director's chair? After all wasn't she merely a misunderstood and misused propagandist film maker? Shouldn't birds of a misunderstood feather flock together?

Do I win an award for such an early Godwin?


Undead Leni Riefenstahl had too many standards.

Date: 2008/03/23 04:58:48, Link
Author: Annyday
This one time I heard about a guy who perfected cold fusion. Sinister energy conglomerates shut him down, and his research has thus never seen the light of day! Prototypes remain on the internet, and nothing more. Truly, such a tragic loss to mankind cannot be overestimated.

Date: 2008/03/23 06:31:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Mmmkay, I've gone over the XVIVO video and the second-long cut in Pat's program. I suspect I've been doing too much studying and too little sleeping or my brain is just at capacity for today, because I don't seem to be absorbing any scientific data any more. However, I believe that;

1) It's different. There's a passing resemblance between what, in the XVIVO animation, appears to be mRNA and the bit seen in the 700 club clip, but they're definitely different animations. Specifically, the XVIVO animation is pretty and the 700 club animation is not. Conceptually, however, they look very similar, as if someone went to an animation firm and said "we want you to remake that to get around copyright law". (This is shortly after 4:30 in Inner Life of a Cell here, should you want to see for yourself.)

2) They're also both framed against what looks like either the folds of mitochondria (can't remember the name of them?) or a Golgi apparatus in the background. My money's on a Golgi apparatus, since the next scene in the XVIVO animation features one in action and I don't think you could see the inside of mitochondria from a ribosome producing intercellular signaling molecules. This would be kind of like foreshadowing, except not since it's not a story. It could also be some random organelle unknown to me or a generic "biological-looking background".

3) Integrin reminds me of the Four Giants in Majora's Mask. These weird huge semi-anthropomorphic figures with no real heads raising their "arms" upwards to catch a large sphere, you know? Maybe it's just me.

4) Someone in some blog post somewhere I vaguely remember (or possibly it was Dawkins, I don't know) described Expelled having a shot of myosin V "walking" along an actin filament, which is kind of the iconic moment of the XVIVO video. Even if it is an original animation, this would fairly obviously be a conceptual ripoff to play on that same image. Conceptual ripoffs aren't really illegal, just really really lame.

5) Analyzing the Robertson bit might be totally meaningless, since they might have had those few seconds pulled from God-knows-where for no good reason instead of ripped straight off Expelled. I don't know why I bothered doing this.

To see what I meant regarding the integrin, though, you can click this. Is the resemblance not obvious?!

Edited for typos.

Date: 2008/03/23 08:42:36, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 23 2008,08:35)
PZ Myers says they used the Harvard/XVIVO animation. Somebody else says, no, it's definitely the Illustra animation ("Unlocking the Mystery of Life"). And then there is the claim from, IIRC, Kevin Miller that they commissioned their own animation.

I think that it will require a careful side-by-side analysis of the actual animations to determine which of these is right. I haven't seen anybody do that yet.

I saw the film when it was shown in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago, and got a copy of the "Leader's DVD." After carefully comparing the "Inner Life of a Cell" clip from the DVD (and from Expelled the Movie) to the Harvard/XVIVO footage, I also came to the conclusion that it is NOT the actual Harvard Video, but rather a COPY/ re-rendering of the video - a re-animated "Frankenstein" as it were.

Mathis introduced the film in 'Burque also, along with the local Calvary Chapel preacher. They made it quite clear that their goal was to get the 'leaders' to exhort the troops in their home pews to fill Expelled seats during opening weekend - one church per showing.

The "Leader's DVD" has three "Outreach Ideas" pages. #1 says to use the DVD at a church event or youth group. #2 says "For a small group - host a 'Dinner with Darwin' for your small group, using the Discussion Guide, DVD and the film as an opportunity to educate yourselves about the 'good science' in support of our faith. ..."

This gives away the whole farm, right there. I didn't add the quote marks around "good science," they (Expelled producers) did. But, most importantly, this isn't about "faith," it is about "OUR FAITH". They can whine all they want to that ID is "science," but they let us see their real cards here.


P.S. BTW, I signed up thru the web site, and received my e-mail confirmation. My name was on the sign-up sheet, and I was allowed to enter. I signed up under my real name, and as a member of the "DST" - that's "Darwinist Swat Team," a name the ID guys started using on us when we whupped 'em in Rio Rancho, NM.

Posted by: Dave Thomas | March 22, 2008 4:58 AM

Here, post 104.

ETA: Personally, I'd prefer seeing the animation in question myself. Having only contradictory second-hand reports about if it is or isn't the same animation is annoying, but you can't say nobody else has tried it.

Date: 2008/03/23 14:49:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 23 2008,14:18)
Okay, so let's pull "Journalistic" out of it. At a basic level, why does she have to have it and you don't?

Nice sidestep of all the other points, BTW.

Because he's the underdog, and Michael Moore did it first.

If I'm wrong, Kevin, please tell me why. It's basically what Mathis has been saying for a while now.

Date: 2008/03/24 15:29:35, Link
Author: Annyday
I checked google trends and the word "expelled" has never been more-googled-for. Ever. Correlation with "expelled movie" is there to demonstrate causation, since "expelled" by itself can refer to stuff other than the movie.

Contrary to a certain saying, I think there is such a thing as bad publicity, and this is it. Generic "controversy" may attract people to raw entertainment on an opening weekend, but real success for Expelled is measured in apparent legitimacy for creationism rather than by ratings. Further, controversy only gets people in for a couple of days- word of mouth will quickly shred any entertainment that is not, you know, entertaining thereafter. Logically incoherent propaganda can be made entertaining, but if Expelled fails at doing this half as badly as is reported I think it's pretty doomed.

Re: Pulled showings, I'm starting to consider that they really aren't going to release it at all. As in, they plan to say they've been persecuted and show the film in church basements, as has been speculated for a long time. They don't seem to be acting like people expecting to open to a national audience in a few short weeks. They're acting like they're terrified of publicity. Say what you want about Michael Moore, he transitioned fairly smoothly from semi-obscure filmmaker to a maniacal public figure and screen presence. He's not terrified of publicity. Trying to be a conservative Michael Moore without embracing publicity is five kinds of retarded, and Mathis can't be that dumb, right?

Date: 2008/03/24 18:17:08, Link
Author: Annyday
I think PZ, Dawkins, Genie, and many others are ultimately going to do severe damage to science by rejecting ID.

I lol'd. It's not as funny as Jesus shooting a beam of neutrinos from his feet, but it's pretty funny.

Date: 2008/03/24 19:22:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Earth To Sane Scientists Everywhere:


Because Dawkins, who is retiring, and PZ, who is a tenured professor with a blog some people don't like, are clearly not staying on-message. Since staying on-message is all anyone cares about, this clearly disqualifies them from using the club house. The Big Science Consortium ought to punish them severely for their incorrect opinions! They should ... expel them, or something. Retirement and tenure be damned.

Dawkins puts his foot in his mouth continuously, and then blames "creationists" for making the same observations that he has in the past...

Dawkins says that a society that runs according to Darwinian laws would be a Fascist state. I don't think this is really accurate myself; a society running according to Darwinian laws would be the same as a society running according to Newtonian laws, which is to say logically incoherent.

However, saying that a society that runs on Darwinian laws would be a Fascist state is different from saying that Fascist states really are run according to Darwinian laws. "X would be Y" does not imply that "all Ys are X". In fact, it doesn't even necessitate that X exists. Dawkins, for one, argues that it does not.

In Kansas, however, such distinctions are evidently irrelevant.

Date: 2008/03/28 16:25:56, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (JohnW @ Mar. 28 2008,14:15)
What annoys me are the silly "surveys" and related data abuse: "8 out of 10 cats prefer our cat food".  Prefer it to what?  Celery?

93.2% of statisticians agree with me.

There's a Mountain Dew ad that cites the 4:1 ratio of men to women who get struck by lightning, and shows women playing with ham radios and doing other risky stuff in a storm right next to a guy who gets zapped instead.

IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. Men get shocked four times as often because WE'RE the ones who do stupid shit outdoors during storms! It isn't because we attract electricity via some form of magic. But oh, no, the statistic sounds funny, let's make an ad showing guys being struck by lightning.

I think people are just inherently bad at statistics.

Date: 2008/03/28 18:11:04, Link
Author: Annyday
I wonder if that's legally considered phreaking or not. I mean, if someone dials in a minute early and you just outright say the number he goes on to dial ...

Date: 2008/03/28 19:40:10, Link
Author: Annyday
How wonderfully vapid.

FtK accuses the multitudes of people criticizing Expelled, PZ especially, of "not addressing the main point", without actually clarifying what that point is supposed to be. So far as anyone can tell the film's main thesis IS about Nazism. Stein wanted to call it "from Darwin to Hitler". Arguments regarding "expelling" scientists, though not the main thing, appear to have been addressed as well. If you want to accuse someone of dodging the question and not responding to the important issues, you have to state what those issues are. Accusing someone of dodging the "real issues" without saying what they are is functionally meaningless. It's like a sentence without an object. He's dodging what, what is he dodging?

FtK: PLEASE PRESENT AN ACTUAL ARGUMENT. As much fun as I'm sure you're having talking about PZs snide snarkiness as if he were a slaveringly wrathful crack-addled killer, it's very hard to mock your posts when they're functionally meaningless.

Date: 2008/03/28 20:24:53, Link
Author: Annyday
Expelled advertising? I submit that it's too funny to be creationist-made. No farting noises and so over-the-top it doesn't even seem pro-expelled. Really, a giant robot? It's nuanced enough that it's not preachy, even. Outside work, maybe?

Date: 2008/03/29 16:55:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Checking on the expelled site, I note that fifty of their current theaters are in Florida. I believe this means Florida is getting something like 20-25% of the Expelled theaters in the country, as of now. I am certain this is merely a coincidence and has nothing to do with the antievolution legislation currently in play in Florida.

Date: 2008/03/29 19:00:09, Link
Author: Annyday
I was taught to write primarily by women, and I still write like a guy according to the gender genie. There's some really intricate commentary on the ways people use language in this, but I'm not gonna make it. Mostly, I think Granny Spice just confuses the genie because her writing is very, very far outside of the sample the genie was calibrated for.

Date: 2008/04/01 21:53:40, Link
Author: Annyday
It becomes not exactly like questioning e=mc^2 but sometimes close.
If the two types of knowledge are roughly equivalent then when has the theory of natural selection been encoded in the language of mathematics and repeatedly verified empirically?

The thirties. This was ... seventy years ago. It's been refined just a little bit since.

What trajectory of adaptation has been predicted based on Darwinian theory and repeatedly verified empirically?

There is no one "trajectory" for evolution. Many, many, many relatively small adaptations have been predicted and verified.

Jesus H Christ, do they HAVE to say things they don't know anything about?

Date: 2008/04/01 21:53:49, Link
Author: Annyday
Honestly, Behe's one of the sanest IDers so far as I know. Instead of outright, fact-blind rambles a la Dembski, he makes bad arguments from personal incredulity and complains about things we do not yet know. Common descent? Sure. Old Earth? You got it. Between that and his having tenure, he doesn't make a very good Expelled story.

Date: 2008/04/01 23:03:12, Link
Author: Annyday
I used to carry a cheapo pocket knife but it got worn out. I haven't really felt the need to replace it, as it's usually perfectly simple to go get a screwdriver or real knife or something.

Date: 2008/04/03 15:26:31, Link
Author: Annyday
I suspect he has it backwards, but very precisely so. That is; play is a way of getting your brain to work properly. The more advanced the faculty you're developing, the more tweaking it needs before it will work properly. Human language takes more years of babble to calibrate than birdsong because it's more complex, as is most of the rest of our social and other baggage. However, the same sorts of things can be used for social purposes. If someone's going to be fooling around to calibrate their bulky nervous system, it makes perfect sense to use the fooling around as a chance for social interaction. Being funny lets you mess around with ideas and language and the like, yes, but it's also known for getting people laid.

I'm not touching the cognitive psychology here because it is very long.

Date: 2008/04/03 17:41:05, Link
Author: Annyday
I need a drink, but I have class tonight. May I drink in class?

Yes, always. Depending on the class, you may have to pass booze off as water or coffee or something. I know this because ... because ... I've never ever done any drinking in class.

Date: 2008/04/03 23:21:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Blipey, she's calling you a troll again. You must be so happy.

Date: 2008/04/04 19:49:19, Link
Author: Annyday
Sal is headache-inducingly bad at math. And logic.

Date: 2008/04/04 20:03:01, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 04 2008,16:20)
The value of pi is not socially constructed. People with all sorts of "worldviews" agree on pi, just as they agree on the findings of evolutionary biology. How can that happen if the social solipsism of dilettante post-modernists were true?

My favorite version of this is that even the most post of postmodernists rely happily upon gravity. True social constructivists ought to fear that gravity will give out at any moment. If you abide by and coexist with gravity, for whatever reason, you ought to accept at least a modicum of shared reality.

Date: 2008/04/09 23:31:17, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (J-Dog @ April 09 2008,21:48)
Quote (ERV @ April 09 2008,21:44)

<--ERV, biggest bitch in the biosphere, 1st runner up biggest bitch in the solar system

Yay!  Abbie For President Empress Of The World!

If FTK hates you, you KNOW you're doing something right.

Other things resurrecting FtK proves:

1) There is no God.
2) This is not the best of all possible worlds.
3) Abbie is trying to kill us all.
4) Oil and water don't mix.
5) Time+chance DOES NOT (re)CREATE INFORMATION!1!!! ERV clearly had to use intelligence to bait out the tard, which is irreducibly complex.

Date: 2008/04/11 19:41:49, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 11 2008,16:50)
Quote (Hermagoras @ April 11 2008,16:30)
Quote (PTET @ April 11 2008,16:24)
Quote (dheddle @ April 11 2008,16:17)
He forgot to add "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Bad Larry, bad!

It somehow escaped me that Larry Fafarman is I'm from Missouri. It take back the "idiot" line. The guy is simply insane. Here's a picture from one of his recent posts...

Do you know who else was creeped out by Jews? Anyone?

Dig a little deeper on his blog.  Larry Fafarman is a Holocaust denier with an obsession with identifying Jews.  Check out this post:
Even Jews have difficulty deciding who is really Jewish

I have argued that a "systematic" Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. A news article now says that even Jews have difficulty deciding who is Jewish:


Yes, Larry Fafarman's position basically boils down to this: Hitler couldn't possibly have killed all those Jews, but if he had, it would be all Darwin's fault.

So therefore Darwinism is bad.

What in Hell did I just read? That can't be remotely accurate. You're screwing with me.

Date: 2008/04/12 23:06:18, Link
Author: Annyday
FtK's claims about being outraged by atheist blogs from professors are a little weird. She took college biology years ago, but she is only now in retrospect learning that universities are atheist indoctrination centers? This seems a little bit backwards to me, much like realizing you were at a Nazi rally after the fact from Goebbels' journals would be. If her claims are true, it should be logically impossible that she didn't notice it at the time.

Date: 2008/04/13 12:04:40, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 13 2008,09:58)
The Risible Kansan, same thread:
Interestingly, in an email conversation with Ken, I learned some rather interesting things about him and his faith walk. Though that will remain private.

Now THAT is creepy.

"I've done a bit of research and learned some rather interesting things about Ftk and her level of patriotism. Though that will remain private."


"I've done a bit of research and learned some rather interesting things about Louis and his sexual proclivities. Though that will remain private."

Date: 2008/04/13 12:12:22, Link
Author: Annyday
My university library has Behe, too. Funny how that works.

Also, is there anyone who can explain how the following is supposed to be funny? I guess I don't get it, because it leaves me feeling bewildered.


Back At Special Agent ERV’s Blog…

DMS, with an as yet undetermined appendage writes:

   Might I suggest that “someone” (perhaps a group effort) work up a brief flyer to hand out to people going to see Expelled. It should be non-snarky, non-confrontational, with some simple points and web addresses to go to for more information

Great idea! I think they should shave their heads, wear togas, and chant ziiiiiiii-enzzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz ziiiiii-enzzzzz. People will wonder if the Hare Krishnas are making a comeback and be naturally curious.

Now boys and girls at Ms. ERV’s website please, no applause for this awesome marketing strategy. Just send me money to show your appreciation. Y’all have paypal, right? Of course you do.

Date: 2008/04/13 12:13:38, Link
Author: Annyday
Also this thread is approaching one million views. I just want everyone to know that they're deranged tard junkies for letting it get this far.

Date: 2008/04/15 22:30:29, Link
Author: Annyday
In the short term in the US, it's definitely an uphill battle. In the long term, though, say a hundred years from now? It seems ... unlikely that creationism will maintain a strong presence over time.

Date: 2008/04/16 01:31:47, Link
Author: Annyday
Larry fafafafafafa pisses me off.
The big controversy now over the Darwin-to-Hitler theme in the movie "Expelled" has caused me to do some more thinking about this issue.

We have known ever since the demise of the dodo that there is such a thing as "survival of the fittest" or natural (or sometimes artificial) selection. The idea that Darwin introduced is that the action of this natural selection upon random mutations produced higher and higher forms of life, and I think that is the idea that inspired eugenics.

Technically he said it could produce them. Eugenics is based upon the idea that natural selection can be a degenerate force and humans need to take over. Artificial selection is the real issue, but it's true that a greater understanding of biology changed ideas about selection in general so Fafafa is almost correct.
Also, Nazi anti-semitism targeted the fit as well as the unfit and so was not a traditional eugenics program. I think that Nazi eugenics was extended to include the idea that society could be improved by getting rid of those believed to be of low moral character, e.g., Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies.

They thought all Jews were "unfit" (and conniving Christkilling traitors with Cain's blood in their veins) due to not being good strong virtuous Aryans and Christians and all that. Saying they "targeted the fit as well as the unfit" when trying to divine Nazi motivations is ... dumb, because that's not really how they thought of it.
Another consideration is that the Jewish holocaust was probably exaggerated.

This is where I start wanting to shoot Larry.
A "systematic" holocaust of Jews was virtually impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews.

It's not like they were ethnically or socially distinct, or had their own communities and religious instituions, or had a habit of cutting off their foreskins, or anything like that.
It would be like, say, trying to systematically exterminate all of the Presbyterians, or all of the Methodists, or all of the atheists in the USA.

Atheists aren't organized enough. Methodists and Presbyterians, though? You could fumigate communities with high proportions of Methodists and Presbyterians, burn their churches, and hunt people down using informants and bureaucratic documentation. That would be roughly equivalent to the Nazi holocaust. In fact, precisely that sort of thing DID happen, for hundreds of years, all over Europe. It was mostly Catholics versus Protestants, though, nothing so denomination-specific as Presbyterians or Methodists.
It couldn't be done. So it is highly questionable that the Nazis ever had a plan for a "systematic" holocaust.

Except for the ovens and the trains, the witness accounts from victims and perpetrators, and the miles-wide paper trail, yes. Highly suspect. Conveniently, Fafa left that stuff out in favor of highly general, badly-constructed arguments.
I am still waiting for the Anti-Defamation League to comment on the Darwin-to-Hitler theme of the movie "Expelled." It is becoming apparent that the ADL's Abraham Foxman's attack on the Coral Ridge Ministries' Darwin-to-Hitler "Darwin's Deadly Legacy" TV program was motivated more by anti-Christianity than by opposition to the Darwin-to-Hitler idea (Ben Stein says that he is Jewish and one of the ID supporters in the movie wears a yarmulke, the mark of an orthodox Jew).

Jews are anti-Christian, you obsess over who is and is not Jewish, and you've got a bee in your bonnet over the ADL! Also the Holocaust probably never happened, but Darwin inspired it. Nothin' wrong with that, right?

Of course, FtK is cool with all of this. I mean, he's not disagreeing with her or anything, he can keep posting.

Date: 2008/04/16 01:58:12, Link
Author: Annyday
Um. I dunno about everyone else, but I'm in the habit of identifying professors and researchers by their names, positions, and publication records, not their faces. Bleaching your hair is about as effective as ... yeah, groucho glasses.

Date: 2008/04/16 14:55:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 16 2008,14:10)
Quote (J-Dog @ April 16 2008,10:28)
Quote (REC @ April 16 2008,12:18)
Just for fun:

Quiz: Hitler, Luther, Or Pat Robertson?

Betty Bowers

I'll give you a hint on #1....its not Luther....
"We were convinced that the people need and require this [Christian] faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: [to] stamp it out."

I got an 8, that damn Robertson sounded too much like Hitler and screwed up my score.

Damn you Robertson!  Damn you all to hell!

It was so hard to seperate Adolf from Pat. I scored a 7.

I got a seven too, and I'm a long-time fan of all three fellows and recognized several quotes just from memory. Barring the stuff I knew from memory, I don't think I'd have done much better than chance.

Date: 2008/04/17 07:55:53, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (didymos @ April 17 2008,06:32)
I only see one problem with the idea, and that is that to a lot of Christians "Secular Humanism" is basically identical to "Satanism".  I think for some, it'd actually be better to be an honest-to-God Satanist than a Secular Humanist.

Say what you will about the tenets of devil worship, at least it's an ethos!

Date: 2008/04/17 10:30:31, Link
Author: Annyday
"If it's crappy enough, maybe they'll feel too sorry for us to sue."

Date: 2008/04/19 06:54:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Wow. Does even Sal have limits?

Date: 2008/04/19 16:53:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 19 2008,16:01)
About 160,857 people across the land are now slightly more ignorant than they were on Thursday.

The real question is how many people altered their opinions in favor of ID based upon it.

Date: 2008/04/19 18:02:47, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 19 2008,17:17)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 19 2008,18:08)
Quote (themadlolscientist @ April 19 2008,15:03)
Quote (don_quixote @ April 19 2008,04:55)
From the DI:

This film is going to be a classic and there is nothing the fulminating opposition can do about it.

I always wondered where former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (Comical Ali/Baghdad Bob) ended up working.

ROFL =gasp= MAO I can't =wheeze= stand it! =gasp= Gimme some =gasp= oxygen! =turns blue, falls over=

"This film is going to be a classic and there is nothing the fulminating opposition can do about it."

A classic what? Drunken frat-party flick? All-time record downloaded torrent?

A 'classic' in the same sense as Reefer Madness, Red Dawn, or Triumph of the Will.

But I doubt it'll make as much money as any of those.

Hey now, I liked Red Dawn when it came out.

'course I was a fundy then...

Triumph of the Will is one of the most influential films ever made. I mean, it's batshit, but that's not the point! Riefenstahl was good at being lying propagandist.

Date: 2008/04/20 06:37:51, Link
Author: Annyday
Old people are evil.

Date: 2008/04/20 08:58:56, Link
Author: Annyday
Conservapedia's talk page on Expelled is a riot.
I took my family to see Expelled last night, and I was surprised at how liberal and obscene it was. They don't mention anything about how Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and they include secular music from "The Killers" (how could you allow a band with that name to be included in a Christian movie?) and John Lennon. I thought I would not have to cover my kids eyes and ears for once in a movie theater, but I was proved wrong with this one. I guess the next time a documentary comes out exposing the evil of evolution, I will stay home with my family and watch Passion of the Christ instead. At least that movie has a strong Christian message. -Nathan

   Odd reaction, Nathan. I haven't heard that reaction from any Christians I know. Do you shield your kids' eyes and ears when they are in public school also, or when they watch television??? Consider me skeptical about your comment.--Aschlafly 12:29, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

       Aschlafly, my kids attend a private Christian school, and I only allow them to watch Christian shows and movies on television (and only Godtube and Conservapedia online). Consider me skeptical of your true faith in Christianity for thinking that a movie full of secular music and absent of the Lord's message is good. Actually, you stated that you haven't even seen the movie yet, but you're still on here causing controversy; it clearly states at the top that this forum is for people who have seen the movie. It is not for people who want to debate something that they haven't even seen. -Nathan --john1989 19:00, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

           Unfortunately, there is no news of a theatre release in the UK. I may have to buy it on DVD in order to see it. A disappointment, because watching a significant event in the company of others is more uplifting than watching it on ones own. :( BrianCo 12:22, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Obvious troll is obvious. The first guy can't be real ... can he?

I added a comment that, from a Christian point of view, ID is as a false as evolution. Mr Rayment has just told me - in answer to a question about why the Gap theory is not given "equal time" here Quote:

but really, the YEC view is the only one that actually fits what the Bible says, so this encyclopedia is not going to treat other views as though they have equal validity.

Why, then, was my comment about ID being as false as evolution removed? It is obvious that ID has no validity, why not say so?Tolerance 11:22, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

   What part of ID is false (from a Christian point of view)? Surely not the part which says life is to complex to have come into being by natural forces and physical laws alone? If there's a Christian (or any other kind of Creationist) who disagreed, you would have named him. So your comment is not constructive - and is in fact unrelated to discussion about how to improve this article. --Ed Poor Talk 21:07, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

Just for giggles!

Date: 2008/04/20 16:03:44, Link
Author: Annyday
Congratulations to Dave on actually disagreeing with someone based upon what they say regardless of who they are. When you get banned you can come here and argue with us, it'd be fun.

Here's a start: Hundreds of people haven't lost their jobs, to my knowledge. The Expelled stories are basically just scams, 'kay?

Date: 2008/04/20 19:54:16, Link
Author: Annyday
You mean you're not Borat?

Date: 2008/04/20 20:12:08, Link
Author: Annyday
I can definitely imagine Borat doing that. It'd sound like: "Tran-eee gaei! Hawm-oh!"

Do another one!

Date: 2008/04/21 22:10:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Hey, at least she got a good gift.

Date: 2008/04/21 22:23:37, Link
Author: Annyday
I've never liked Arthur C. Clarke's writing much, outside of his idioms. See, the joy of sci fi for me is, to a great degree, wondering what a technology would do or how you'd make it. Clarke breaks out that indistinguishable-from-magic stuff for all the important things, which I find a fantastic buzz-kill. When you have technology that's indistinguishable from magic and/or acts of God, why bother making it sci fi at all? The monolith could have been constructed by voodoo and not a lot would have been lost!

Then again, if it weren't for Clarke I wouldn't be able to propose Dembski's Three Laws:

1. When Dembski states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the evolvable is to evolve something a little way past them into the unevolvable.
3. Intelligent Design is indistinguishable from magic.

Date: 2008/04/21 22:31:39, Link
Author: Annyday
Make sure to hit the linked article on "liberal logic". It's awesome. You might also look for "professor values"...

Date: 2008/04/22 08:55:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (guthrie @ April 22 2008,03:04)
Quote (Annyday @ April 21 2008,22:23)
I've never liked Arthur C. Clarke's writing much, outside of his idioms. See, the joy of sci fi for me is, to a great degree, wondering what a technology would do or how you'd make it. Clarke breaks out that indistinguishable-from-magic stuff for all the important things, which I find a fantastic buzz-kill. When you have technology that's indistinguishable from magic and/or acts of God, why bother making it sci fi at all? The monolith could have been constructed by voodoo and not a lot would have been lost!


I have to defend Clarke here.  In terms of "magic technology" he was no different from any of his contemporaries.  But he did also write some decent hard SF, I recently re-read "A fall of moondust", and it was about as hard SF as you're going to get, certainly more so than anything I have seen on the shelves today.  Clarke couldnt go "nanotech!" every time he wanted to do something odd.

You're probably right. Actually, even when his stories fill up with psychics and alien-gods there's some great, down-to-earth sci-fi going on during the lead-in.

Date: 2008/04/22 19:02:03, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (khan @ April 22 2008,18:50)
Quote (stevestory @ April 22 2008,17:21)
In making his case, Gilbert walks us through a series of fascinating--and in some ways troubling--facts about the way our minds work. In particular, Gilbert is interested in delineating the shortcomings of imagination. We're far too accepting of the conclusions of our imaginations. Our imaginations aren't particularly imaginative.

(from here, , also linked from PP)

Isn't it a shame Behe didn't understand this. He could have saved himself the embarrassment of the last decade. 'Course, he would have missed out on a lot of cold hard cash, so maybe he's better off.

A working hypothesis: When someone says "we all know that...", whatever follows is likely to be ugly and a lie.

Have you ever read Foucault's Pendulum? Right before someone says something completely batshit insane in that book, they always say "As everybody knows..." or equivalent. Strikingly, I have yet to hear such a phrase used in any other context.

Date: 2008/04/25 11:02:33, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 25 2008,08:56)
Quote (stevestory @ April 25 2008,02:20)
Quote (didymos @ April 25 2008,03:00)
UD:  Bastion of Free Speech for all and sundry:



10:08 pm

Arrrrg! My comments on my own post are going into moderation. When will it end?

Hopefully never. What would we do if the Uncommonly Dense Comedy Train ever came to an end?

It would be like the end of Ocean's 11. We'd all meet in Vegas, celebrate and then poignantly go our separate ways..

You do remember that Ocean's 11 had two sequels, right?

Date: 2008/04/25 15:24:35, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ April 25 2008,14:37)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 25 2008,14:30)
Quote (ERV @ April 25 2008,14:23)
Just read the complaint against Premise by Yoko.

Its beautiful.

Did you all know EMI is in on the suit too?

I didnt know that.

*wipes away tears of joy*

Has your blog been delisted from Google?

I noticed that too. I search for ERV on Google because it's easier than typing in the url, but it's gone again.

I do all my browsing that way, and yes, it does appear ERVs blog has been delisted again.

Date: 2008/04/26 23:24:30, Link
Author: Annyday
FtKs latest set of links to where other people have stated her opinions for her is fantastic beyond belief. Check out this nugget:

Do you know of even one human being who ever had as many descendants as he or she could have had? And yet Darwinism says that every single one of us does. For there can clearly be no question of Darwinism making an exception of man, without openly contradicting itself. "Every single organic being", or "each organic being": this means you.

Those whose ideas about evolution are derived from Internet-debates or reading books by Richard Dawkins will quickly dismiss Stove's claims as a strawman. The problem is that this is Darwinism. It is the heart of the theory, which is why so few recognize it--and why and even smaller number of critically thinking people believe it to be true.

I ask; could any of you Poe up a funnier attack upon evolution? I submit that you could not.

Hey, FtK? Can I ask a question? Do you actually think that the above quote-within-a-quote is what "Darwinism" asserts- that everyone should always have as many kids as is physically possible no matter what? If so, please allow someone to correct you. If not, why did you link to someone who thinks this?

Also, what is "Darwinism", and how is it different from "evolutionary theory"? You don't seem to have told anyone this, and I'm aching to know. You can even PM me or something if you want to avoid a drubbing from the gang!

P.S.: Don't censor my post on your blog, please. Doing so would ruin my mood for upwards of five seconds.

Date: 2008/04/27 13:37:50, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (k.e.. @ April 27 2008,13:12)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 27 2008,19:11)
#3 is incoherent whining.  What the hell is "science of the gaps"?

Apparently, that would be: "Science doesn't have an explanation for X right now, but we expect the X will be explained by science at some point in the future."

Which of course is ftk's corollary to "god of the gaps".

Most of this stuff seems to be of that nature. I know what you are but what am I, rubber and glue, etc etc. For example:

"That's a straw man argument. Any biologist arguing we all reproduce as much as is possible would be laughed into obscurity. You can't possibly understand evolution if you think that's an ordinary evolutionary prediction."

"Oh yeah... well ... no ... YOU'RE making a straw man argument! And you don't understand INTELLIGENT DESIGN! And ... you say we use god of the gaps arguments? You use SCIENCE OF THE GAPS ARGUMENTS! See, because sometimes you don't know things!"

"... yes, but I know that I don't know. I don't argue I'm right because of lack of knowledge. You're happy to assert that it's unknowable and that God explains it all."

"No ... no I'm not! That's actually what you do, except with science. You're happy to sit around saying natural selection explains it all!"

And on and on. Perhaps the Evil Darwinoid Conspiracy should get together and determine some new argument to use against ID, then track the time it takes it to mutate into a Creationist version. :)

Date: 2008/04/28 00:11:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 27 2008,22:14)
My wife, Diane, got her master's in biomedical engineering. She came along with me and Troy Britain in 2003 to a debate between Duane Gish of the ICR and Edward Max. Troy and I knew what to expect. But Diane was unprepared for the level and volume of mendacity spewing from Gish in full gallop, and at one point stood up and shouted, "You're lying!"

Yes, Gish was lying. But when one doesn't have the facts on one's side, that is unfortunately where one ends up.

But, anyway, not all biomedical engineers are clueless concerning evolutionary biology.

The fellow who is quoted by the person who FTK is quoting isn't clueless either, I don't think. I did a lazy/fast literature search and some of his stuff seems to show a background awareness of comparative biology. Peripherally, I might note that I think biomedical engineers are crazy for taking such a hard degree. Impressive, sure, but very hard!

Jeffox: I've already got a post on the stove over thar panning old Fafafa for his crack about the memorial garden. I didn't even get into Ono's donation. We'll see if the post gets through FtK, though.

Date: 2008/04/28 19:38:02, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (didymos @ April 28 2008,19:13)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 28 2008,15:31)
- Richard Dawkins declined to debate D'Souza.

Of course, it should be noted that Dawkins isn't afraid of opposing arguments either, but just seems to dislike the debate format, especially when it's with a creationist.

He wrote a longwinded argument a while ago about how debating creationists just gives them fuel. Might be a part of it.

Date: 2008/04/29 16:35:18, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ April 29 2008,11:45)
Jesus who the fuck is Dave Tard?  This exchange is hilarious.  I much prefer this mode to the loudspeaker in the ceiling.  If only he wasn't afraid of clowns.

P.S.  Gerry is one stupid projecting bastard.


Gerry Rzeppa
7:59 pm
DaveScot asks, “Darwin wrote in the Descent of Man that human sympathy was the noblest part of his nature. What part of that don’t you understand?”

The part about “noble”. I don’t know how one objectively defines that term without reference the Noble One who is nobility itself: God. All other definitions are arbitrary.

I made this point in another thread. I’m sure that many a German prison guard thought himself significantly more “noble” than the Jews he was persecuting: stronger, healthier, more likely to survive, better dressed, a member of the master race, genetically pure, etc.

Followed by this gem from Dave scot.


Your ignorance of history is appalling. Rather than continue to correct you I’m going to ignore you.


Well, let me join you in not understanding things. I don’t understand why an omnipotent creator of universes had to recruit men to write down his thoughts for him.

Darwin is easy to understand. He was British. Born to rule and sacrifice. The Brits thought (still think) they’re superior to everyone else.

Oooooooooh take that Louis.  Dave says you're gay.

ps my boldings bitches, bringing back big tard

I thought Louis was Welsh.

Date: 2008/04/30 12:32:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (factician @ April 29 2008,12:48)
Quote (caerbannog @ April 29 2008,12:39)

Stein criticized educational systems, but put the blame largely on students for not having the kind of "mental discipline" necessary to perform well on testing.

He also joked about the lack of educational standards, "What do you get after driving around the UCLA campus in a red BMW for four years?" Stein said, "a degree."

When I was at UCLA, my primary vehicle was a Continental.  A *Schwinn* Continental.  And I'll bet I studied a lot harder during my time at UCLA than Stein did when he was in college.

Yep, my first car was purchased towards the end of graduate school.  I spent $1800 on it.

7 years later, and nearing the end of my post-doctoral work, I'm still driving that car.

Ben Stein's impression of education is quite different than mine.

Spendthrift. Almost everyone I know walks.

Date: 2008/04/30 23:46:13, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ April 30 2008,20:30)
Ben Stein comes clean (and I don't mean by fighting a blind girl in the shower). :)

Vandal. It's going to take days to clean up my mind.

Date: 2008/05/02 20:09:29, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 02 2008,18:30)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 02 2008,19:05)

Which one of you Church Burners hacked Sal's account?

A classic case of education vs creationism. Honestly, looking at that thread, I'm impressed with Sal for being open to investigation at all, regardless of how bad he seems at it. The "revealed morality always trumps science" gang make him look positively cuddly.

Date: 2008/05/04 10:01:06, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 04 2008,08:44)
Sal concludes,

Some people still claim to be able to influence dice so as to create non-random outcomes in a legal way. However, even skilled crap shooters need principles of risk management and precautions against gambler’s ruin to succeed.

Sal and Denyse should get together on this, as Sal is a mathematical genius and Denyse is down with psychokinesis (see The Spatula Brain, p. 171).

Together they'll play havoc on mathematical genetics, as organisms psychokinetically influence the occurrence of beneficial mutations in themselves and and detrimental mutations in their competitors.

Actually that would be awesome. There might be something (mathematically) like it with microorganisms secreting and resisting varying mutagens already.

Date: 2008/05/05 16:21:01, Link
Author: Annyday
Has Sal lost his mind? His posts on the "Gambler's Ruin" thread are bordering on incoherent.

Date: 2008/05/06 12:32:02, Link
Author: Annyday
But deleterious mutations can be fixed as well and at a higher rate than beneficial mutations.

I'm kind of shocked. This is completely untrue. Sal just up and says "no, Darwinism doesn't work" even when shown the math, from the source he himself cited. This is not quite as bold as saying two plus two is five, but it's still a little bit jarring to see.

Date: 2008/05/06 19:41:05, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 06 2008,13:36)
And, there are plenty of shitty, overrated departments in the Northeast and the West Coast.

I shortened your post. Now I'm pretty sure it applies to everyone's field.

Date: 2008/05/06 19:59:26, Link
Author: Annyday
Barry spelled the Friedrich in Friedrich Nietzsche wrong. Also, he's guilty of some kind of reverse No True Scotsman fallacy. Instead of saying people on his side aren't really on his side when they behave deplorably, he says people are only really "Darwinists" or "materialists" if they're bombastic nihilists or eugenicists or similar. If you're well-adjusted, you're not really a materialist, or you don't profoundly and courageously confront the implications of Darwinism, or something.

Date: 2008/05/07 00:24:35, Link
Author: Annyday
I'm kind of shocked that Dave is showing susceptibility to evidence. I'm ordinarily a tremendous cynic about people getting better about anything.

If you're reading this, Dave, just ... I don't know, do an Amazon search for Dembski's books. Read the titles, here. "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology." "Mere Creationism; Science, Faith, and Intelligent Design." "Moral Darwinism." Remember the sound bites about Intelligent Design being the Logos of the Gospel of John restated in the idiom of information theory? Or everything ever said by Sal, or Sanford's sworn testimony that we're a special creation by God, or Dembski's endorsement of his work? It's dumb, dishonest, and legally a losing strategy par excellence.

Date: 2008/05/07 17:49:27, Link
Author: Annyday

I hadn’t thought about it that way but you’re right. The FSM is composed of unborn wheat plants dried, crushed, formed, and cooked. Pro-wheaters can’t care for that one little bit.

That's awesome, actually. I want to be a pro-wheater. We can call ourselves the Pro-Wheat Association of America, or PWAA. Our founding goals can state that Pastafarianism is offensive to wheat. Dave's post deserves it.

Date: 2008/05/08 02:06:43, Link
Author: Annyday
I like how Barry says that anyone who thinks that it's possible to think that infanticide is moral is lying. That's quite a way to insulate oneself from criticism. "I am self-evidently right; anyone who disagrees must be lying." Counterexamples of people who clearly thought infanticide was a good thing under certain circumstances, such as when the kid was unlucky enough to be in Hiroshima or born to Jewish or bourgeois or Tutsi parents? Well, I'm self-evidently right, so they must have known they were in the wrong even if they gave every indication that they did not. Infanticide via exposure or willful starvation been a common and accepted custom in many parts of the world? Self-evident. Trust me.

Edited for grammar, because grammar is next to godliness.

Date: 2008/05/08 19:02:16, Link
Author: Annyday
PaV is joining Sal in grossly misusing the neutral theory. I think he's trying to show via painful notation that a certain lizard population I've never heard of should be dead according to Kimura's equations, therefore Darwinism is false. He's also saying that Kimura's neutral theory is an alternative to Darwinism, in spite of a supposed disproof of Kimura (it predicts dead lizards, the lizards are not dead!1!!) also being a disproof of Darwinism.

So ... his premises and conclusion are both bad, which is no surprise. Does anyone have the willpower and talent to try to decipher his actual equations and their potential relation to Kimura? It's at least a weak possibility that I would be able to, but frankly I'd rather set myself on fire.

Date: 2008/05/08 23:58:03, Link
Author: Annyday
I demagnetized mine.

What's the difference between a Ferrari and a pile of dead babies?

I don't have a Ferrari in my garage.

Date: 2008/05/09 00:28:16, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 09 2008,00:01)
what's purple and can't turn 'round in corridors?

A dead baby with a spear in its head.

What's black and white and red all over and has trouble getting through revolving doors?

Date: 2008/05/09 01:43:34, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (didymos @ May 09 2008,00:56)
Quote (Annyday @ May 08 2008,22:28)
What's black and white and red all over and has trouble getting through revolving doors?

A dead baby made of newspapers with a spear through its head?

No, a nun with the same.

Okay okay ... we should stop. Right. Got it.

Date: 2008/05/09 15:52:54, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Kristine @ May 09 2008,15:45)
Quote (J-Dog @ May 09 2008,14:22)
Quote (Kristine @ May 09 2008,15:15)
Now it's Friday and I'm bored stiff.  :angry: :p

psst!  Kristine!  I think "bored stiff" is a guy thing....

You may be right.

30 Years of Man's Life Disappear In Mysterious 'Kansas Rectangle' ;)

Okay, so I'm flailing.

Read this. It's not boring. Hard to decipher, yes, but not boring.

Date: 2008/05/11 01:45:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Making fun of post-breakup stupid is a low blow. He may yet recover from it.

Date: 2008/05/13 17:14:38, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ May 13 2008,16:01)
Has there ever been a website which Expelled more people than Dembski's clownatorium?


Date: 2008/05/13 19:16:07, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ May 13 2008,17:21)
Quote (Annyday @ May 13 2008,18:14)
Quote (stevestory @ May 13 2008,16:01)
Has there ever been a website which Expelled more people than Dembski's clownatorium?



Damn you. Also there's no registration, it's 4chan.

Date: 2008/05/15 22:43:20, Link
Author: Annyday
Was our mention of the Cali decision a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Good News for the boys at “After The Bar Closes”

California’s top court legalizes gay marriage

Hat Tip to Wesley Elsberry’s message board for homozygous church burnin’ ebola boys After the Bar Closes.

The homozygous agenda is powerful. Since we homozygotes have no mutations of our own, we must recruit those of your children. We long for a day when our homozygocity breaks down all mutational values, leading the way to perpetual stasis and the inevitable end of the species.

Christ's Warriors are all that stands between us and this lofty goal. Still, with the help of the Anti-Christian Lawyer's Union, our victory is inevitable.

Date: 2008/05/16 04:33:11, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (didymos @ May 16 2008,00:47)
William, would you say most civil engineers, for example,  use the Lambda-CDM model when designing a bridge?  Probably not.  Must be bullshit then.

I'll do one better and say that many engineers and even physicists treat gravity as negligible for the majority of their work, since they're dealing with unrelated* phenomena. Clearly, this means gravity is a useless and outmoded concept with no utility ...

*Superficially, anyway.

Date: 2008/05/16 09:23:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 16 2008,09:18)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 16 2008,05:40)
Quote (didymos @ May 16 2008,01:47)
Looks like Dave nuked Wallace's nasty little TARD.

Good on you, Dave.  It takes an especially low kind of bottom feeder to go after a kid because you don't like the parent.

If Dave was 'in charge' of ID I think he might actually start asking for some research. I don't know if he's worked out that (1- everything but design) = design is actually impossible without perfect information, though.

You presume that we do not have perfect information! I myself know the exact limits of all always-linked evo-mat processes, both discovered AND undiscovered. Even between the two, flagella and gravity eyes and thermodynamics and immune systems and abiogenesis and blood clotting systems and the big bang could never come to be! Not even if you randomly mutated the simulating source code- because I tried that already!!!1!!1 Evolution is an untestable dogma for materialistic nazi atheiscientists!!!

Date: 2008/05/16 10:02:48, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 16 2008,09:34)
Very good, Tranny Gay! Your first tardologue?

I think so. I'm thinkin' I should allcaps it next time. For some reason the "visual yelling" effect of the caps just ... works, somehow. It comes off too sane without.

Date: 2008/05/17 10:14:27, Link
Author: Annyday
GASP! God's a Chinaman! We've been wrong about it being Jesus all along.

Date: 2008/05/19 03:46:35, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (keiths @ May 19 2008,03:11)
Could someone please explain to me what the frack Denyse is trying to say here?
Twins who literally share a body have different selves, personalities

Do we have individual selves, or is individuality just an illusion? Consider the case of two girls who share one body, Abigail and Brittany Hensel - conjoined twins who, at 18 years of age, are clearly different people even though from the neck down they have only one body.

Granted, this is a clever refutation of the millions of materialists who insist that the pelvis is the seat of the personality -- except that there are no such materialists, outside of Granny's failing mind.

What is her point, exactly?

If you're not thinking with your pelvis, you've gone wrong.

Date: 2008/05/19 03:48:10, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 19 2008,01:18)
Oh. has evolved!

Yellow is an evil freak color and should not exist. This site proves it, and my eyes will never be the same again.

Date: 2008/05/20 15:02:23, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 20 2008,14:51)
Try disemvoweling it or something.  Maybe run it through Babelfish.  It might make sense in Moon Language.

Russian and back, Chinese and back. Somewhere along the line it lost the paragraphing ...

The third straw, before I stop the attention: Larry' s Basher ID card Arnhart disguises to read the somewhat unlucky importance to enter the fact in movie that Michael Behe which extrudes not to have. I am interested, if ID card bashers they hope that the fact reader will not carry out Behe not to extrude. It still had professor who its laboratory and its work take the biochemistry to there was in ID card bashers deficient Lehigh (you have not been possible to be definite). the behe book first, flight recorder Darwin, was outside the alien enters in 1996 (the freedom of the press). At that time, portrayed it to know that Darwin wrinkles the clay watering can's scientific worker Darwin crowd is safe - and in fact is willing to prepare to acknowledge it - it is possibly attacked as the tenure in office handle, then it is neglected. Later, when the bad news are high when the capacity, they knew that is better. They must start to extrude even the skeptic to attract attention. Finally movie.

Date: 2008/05/21 09:22:53, Link
Author: Annyday
Uh. I'm fine with whoever at TT sneering at AtBC, as the British feel no compunction about playing Mornington Crescent here and are clearly deserving of ridicule. Besides, people are entitled to their opinions. But this part ...

But then, I do have other things to do with my time, and science has already brushed the mud of these dinosaurs off its collective bio-sneakers. Which is just what I predicted long ago would happen when it became inescapable that their restrictive paradigm was flat wrong. Have a happy life, and don't forget to laugh occasionally - it really is absurd!"

Whuh-what? Is this a communication from an alternative universe? Is she delusional? Has she redefined every word in that paragraph to mean something entirely new so that her statement is correct? I dunno, but it's a little weird.

Date: 2008/05/21 15:17:18, Link
Author: Annyday
This is great. Barry says that IDs models are roughly as imprecise as those of economics. Economics is, ah, not much of a science.* It's sad that the Isaac Newton of information theory and paradigm-shifter for molecular biology can't surpass the social sciences in precision. Given the fairly high mathematical standards of biologists, I foresee a long, dark road ahead of those taking such a soft approach.

Also, "utility" as usually used is a very nebulous approximate model. You could, in principle, explain "utility" down to the minutia of human behavior and the desirability of resources it produces. The problem is that economy (and human behavior) is too complicated to model precisely by currently feasible methods, much like the electron paths in complex molecules. However, nobody rests their argument regarding an electron path on the things about it that they can't compute, nor do even economists** rest their arguments upon things that they can't detect. Could you imagine it?

"This part of the electron's path, which I cannot compute or verify and am essentially running on instinct for, clearly proves my theory."

"There is no evidence whatsoever that the markets display this effect, because it is so subtle. In fact, even if the effect existed, it would not be possible for me to quantify it. However, the existence of this effect clearly proves my theory."

I mean ... yeah.

*Translation: I would like to have a fistfight with some economists.

**Translation: Did I say fistfight? I meant gunfight.

ETA: Hey, and on top of that, didn't Dembski already produce equations for calculating CSI? That would mean that Barry is contradicting him.

Date: 2008/05/21 15:34:44, Link
Author: Annyday
Ooooh man.

But why would we need to quantify something in order to identify it. I can pick my wife out of a crowd without quantifying her.

So you don't look at her? There's no data coming in through the hundreds of millions of light receptors in your eyes. The billions of neurons in the visual processing areas of your brain do not respond to the visual stimuli, either. You just know, by MAGIC! HALLELUJAH!

Date: 2008/05/21 15:54:38, Link
Author: Annyday
Every single post on that thread has something I want to respond to, so I'll restrain myself. Let me just say that pi, e, and the square root of two are all deeply offended at being associated with O'Dreary. Irrational-Americans are people too, you know. They have feelings.

But god she cannot do math. UD truly is the land of the blind, and the one-eyed are kings. Extremely sad kings who can do high school algebra easy (unlike Darwin!).

Date: 2008/05/21 15:59:08, Link
Author: Annyday
Hide the children, O'Leary's opening a new blog. May The Designer help us all.

Date: 2008/05/21 16:25:22, Link
Author: Annyday
O’Leary asks: “Barry, are you saying that ratios might be more achievable than absolute numbers?”

No, a ratio is achieved by putting one absolute number in the numerator and another absolute number in the denominator.

Barry proves that he has one eye. Congrats, Barry.

Date: 2008/05/22 08:01:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 21 2008,21:49)
Quote (Annyday @ May 21 2008,13:17)
It's sad that the Isaac Newton of information theory and paradigm-shifter for molecular biology can't surpass the social sciences in precision. Given the fairly high mathematical standards of biologists, I foresee a long, dark road ahead of those taking such a soft approach.

Biology has been all a twitter the last 5 or so years about "networks."  Network analysis was begun by an anthropologist, Jay Barns in the 1950s.  The application of graph theory to network analysis was pioneered by social scientists in the 1970s. I still occasionally get requests for a copy of one of my 1983 conference   papers "An Application of Graph Centrality to Psychiatric Diagnosis." The numerical taxonomy of the early '70s was using programs developed by psychologists (See Sneath and Sokal).  The idea that biologists have greater math skills than the social scientists is bullshit.

I agree.

Date: 2008/05/22 12:48:33, Link
Author: Annyday




11:02 am


I’m shocked. Rightous anger when the inaccuracy (or shall I say outright lie) of a post is pointed out! From you! Instead of noting that it was wrong, you continue to genuflect.

The fact is, when one wants to be taken seriously, one has to act seriously.

[Leo: I’m afraid you don’t have the right sense of humor for this forum. Goodbye. –WmAD]

Poor Leo.

Date: 2008/05/25 07:46:00, Link
Author: Annyday
Even Dave "I violate the second law of thermodynamics every time I type something" Springer is embarrassed by BA77.

Date: 2008/05/25 17:02:34, Link
Author: Annyday
... I wrote some stuff regarding the many-words/multiverse thing, but it occurs to me that I should learn more before I say anything about quantum physics in a forum frequented by actual physicists.

So instead: Hahah, that guy invoked Tipler, and Tipler's physics-based proofs of God's existence! God, I love Tipler.

Date: 2008/05/26 16:30:54, Link
Author: Annyday
If I understand it correctly, the entire idea of a multiverse with different cosmological makeup hinges upon the idea that the physical constants we've discovered are essentially arbitrary and can be jimmied around with. That is, that you can easily play with c, or the masses and fields of fundamental particles, or the number of dimensions. Given that we don't really understand why those things are as they are (the horror of being "experimentally determined"), it seems a completely left-field guess to think that they could be tampered with or that we'd have any idea what things would look like if they were. We could be in a position like Newton would be if he were dreaming about the effects of tampering with the force of gravity or time separately without any awareness of relativity.

Date: 2008/05/28 16:44:37, Link
Author: Annyday
Not quite the same. Having to use existing sugars is a wee bit less convenient than assembling your hydrocarbons from raw hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. I'm kind of pessimistic about anyone managing the latter with existing (or near-future) technology. Even Venter. If someone does pull it off without any too-large hitches, though, they'll be filthy rich.

Date: 2008/05/28 22:46:14, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (BWE @ May 28 2008,18:55)
Now that the Tard is starting to face its shortsightedness, I decided to honor it with my official IQ score at one of those absolutely accurate free iq sites. That's my new avatar.

I took one of those once, and it insulted me for not knowing the capitol of Nigeria.

Date: 2008/05/30 20:03:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ May 30 2008,19:06)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 30 2008,18:50)
Denyse burbled:
Of course, someone may well come along and kickstart ISCID again, but my sense is that people are tired of just talking and are more into doing things now.

Indeed. And we all know you don't need some fancy-pants journal to call Darwinists Nazis.

What I'm most amused by is Denyse's earnest efforts to spin IDers' not publishing research as a good thing.

What I get from her and FtK is that they have so little understanding of science, that they don't understand the relationship between (as Kuhn would term them) revolutionary and normal science, viz., that a scientific revolution is valuable insofar as it leads to new research and the solution to previously intractable problems. Their concept of science is unintelligible to people who know something about the topic. That's kind of what makes them fascinating.

Bonus question: Why evolution? Why not thermodynamics or airplane engineering or something?

Date: 2008/06/01 08:31:38, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 01 2008,07:25)
Uncommonly Denyse writes a sentence:
The reality is that right now, scientists seem to be trying to dump Darwin’s theory as a theory of everything in biology, yet the secular chants of praise for Darwin have increased in volume in the popular media - competing with a flood tide of nonsense from evolutionary psychologists, flogging to journals material that, if only it were well written and a little more plausible, might have morphed into saleable “Clan of the Cave Bear” fiction.

"If only it were well written."

Dear God, that really is one sentence. Maybe Denyse is actually a telepathic parrot.

Date: 2008/06/02 00:52:37, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Quidam @ June 01 2008,20:48)
Yeah, I had a post pointing out that the programme was not an examination of Sheldrake's claims, which is why his evidence was not of interest.  I also mentioned the JREF $1M which is an anathema to the paranormalists.

The post was 'waiting for moderation' for about two hours, then just disappeared.

I haven't had a post get through moderation for ages except curiously for posts complaining that my other posts didn't get through.  The stock excuse is the 'spam filter'.  Considering the spork that does get posted you have to wonder.

The idea of having two scientists debate science in a public context without getting into evidence is pretty warped from where I'm standing. Dawkins makes some compromises for the sake of drama that I don't like, and if this is true it's a pretty severe example. Taking as a given that Sheldrake is genuinely insane (LOOK AT MY PRETTY NAKED BODY), why even show up if you're not at least going to show him up on genuine empirical grounds? I'd give props for not pretending to want a debate about evidence and then cutting that part out, Expelled-style, but it's still not very noble.

Of course, Sheldrake appears to be nuts, and unless I missed something we're going on his account for this one, so that could be why Dawkins appears like less pedantically obsessed with minutia than he does almost everywhere else. In which case ... I still think he makes too many compromises for the sake of drama, but they're much less severe than refusing to tell Sheldrake off for running bad experiments and being crazy.


Most people say they have experienced telepathy, especially in connection with telephone calls. In that sense, telepathy is ordinary. The claim that most people are deluded about their own experience is extraordinary. Where is the extraordinary evidence for that?

Well, for one, they seem to think they're telepathic. That's pretty extraordinary evidence they're deluded. Then there's most of the field of psychology. The placebo and Clever Hans effects are especially relevant.

Date: 2008/06/02 00:58:39, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (k.e.. @ June 01 2008,22:36)
[blah blah blah blah...] dt

stop that. whenever I see "dt" I look for the dx and the rest of the equation.

Date: 2008/06/02 11:49:10, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 02 2008,11:37)
Quote (EyeNoU @ June 02 2008,11:32)
Incest, polygamy, slavery, et cetera........

Ah, but Slavery was condoned (and therefore presumably considered moral) by Churches in the south, was it not?

So presumably one of the things that'll happen when the Wedge gets a Christian, er, back in power*, is the repeal of the anti-slavery laws?

*Hang on, that's not right. I know Bush talks to god but....

Abraham knocked up his wife's slave-girl and took her as a wife. Slavery and polygamy in one go! Also rape, by any reasonable metric, given that she was a slave and all.

Date: 2008/06/03 19:29:43, Link
Author: Annyday
... how can you have an "opinion" that something is final when it's preliminary and open to appeal? That's like having an "opinion" that gravity pulls things upwards.

Date: 2008/06/06 12:34:41, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 06 2008,07:50)
Gpuccio has found a way to easily disprove Darwinian evolution
I have alway thought that any serious GA should look for evolution of function from random noise in a context which can have all the restraints we want, but which must not incorporate in any way the knowledge of the function which will evolve. But obviously, such a GA would easily falsify darwinian evolution, so I don’t think it will be easily created, or accepted, by the official academy.

Does anybody know who this "official academy" is and how they could stop such a GA being created?

It's me! I've implanted sinister Darwinoid prostheses into your brains to prevent you from writing a GA with any kind with any geniunely random input. (Those who appear to do so are actually working for me. Way to go, minions of The Official Academy!)

Date: 2008/06/06 12:42:58, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (CeilingCat @ June 06 2008,00:25)
Never read O'Leary while eating or drinking:
No, evolution today means that apes should have human rights but humans shouldn’t.

Anybody know how to get a fishstick out of your sinus cavity?

Run saline through it. Yes, it does feel like water torture - you may prefer to leave the fish inside of your face.

Date: 2008/06/06 20:43:35, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ June 06 2008,20:28)

Call me slow, but I have no idea what you're trying to say.  

Are you suggesting that I should link to AtBC?  If so, I've already had you guys linked from my blog for a while now.

But, under real science??  Phfffft...hardly.  This place is just a gobbledy gook of craziness with a few semi-normal people talking about scientific issues scattered amongst you.

Hey, now. If you don't find yourself arguing science here, it might not be our fault. I tried to figure out what your actual position is and what arguments you think favor it, 'cause I wanted to know. You refused to clarify if you actually think "someone" who might be God tweaked the details of the reproductive systems of waterfowl. You just pointed out the appearance of design, then failed to say whether or why you thought that was, specifically, something designed. It was very sad.

And saying "oh, wow, taken as a whole everything is just way too amazing" is, although a reason, not a scientific one.

Date: 2008/06/09 13:39:32, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2008,13:32)

blipe and om, why not address my question from a while ago.  Why would one need to adhere to the macro/common descent analogy to master any profession out there?  Common descent...common design....either ideology will suffice for anyone considering a career in any field of science.  

Oh, and btw blipes, I believe I asked you a few questions some time ago that you never answered but stated that you were "working on them".  

Stop spamming the boards with your "lists".  I won't be taking the bait.

When you make a skyscraper, do you build it from the bottom up or the top down? Do our architects, engineers and the like really need to know about this if they're going to work with them all the time? Either ideology would suffice, certainly. ;)

Date: 2008/06/09 14:02:36, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2008,13:50)
Quote (Annyday @ June 09 2008,13:39)
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2008,13:32)

blipe and om, why not address my question from a while ago.  Why would one need to adhere to the macro/common descent analogy to master any profession out there?  Common descent...common design....either ideology will suffice for anyone considering a career in any field of science.  

Oh, and btw blipes, I believe I asked you a few questions some time ago that you never answered but stated that you were "working on them".  

Stop spamming the boards with your "lists".  I won't be taking the bait.

When you make a skyscraper, do you build it from the bottom up or the top down? Do our architects, engineers and the like really need to know about this if they're going to work with them all the time? Either ideology would suffice, certainly. ;)

Surely you can come up with something better than this, no?

That's the thing I've been thinking about lately.  This debate is completely ridiculous and has no real affect on science either way.  Dave's's all about religion *from both sides* of the argument.

How something comes to exist is fundamental to the type of thing it is. The difference between evolution and design is as fundamental, if not more so, as whether skyscrapers are built from top to bottom or bottom to top. "Common design" is not well-supported and unable to make useful predictions. Asserting that they should be the SAME is as ridiculous as asserting that top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top built skyscrapers would be totally indiscernible and unuseful to discern between.

And no, I can't come up with anything better than that. That's it. If you want to insist that it's a religious conviction that species have evolved, or that skyscrapers are not built from the top down, or that the universe is not six thousand years old, you can go right ahead. If you just wanted a few concrete examples of how evolution could be useful, I suspect the past few years would already have sated you. The fact is that you're reasoning from a conclusion, that conclusion is wrong, and you appear to be completely incapable of altering it to fit evidence - or even seeing certain types of evidence.

Date: 2008/06/09 20:59:27, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2008,14:19)
And no, I can't come up with anything better than that. That's it.

WOW..  That's what I thought.  It's purely meaningless except in regard to seeking ultimate truth.  

It has no impact on a scientist's daily routine other than if he starts up a conversation about his thoughts in regard to truth and the meaning of life.


That is the exact opposite of what my post said.

Date: 2008/06/16 22:00:43, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 16 2008,21:07)
Correct regarding 2001.

Biblical allegory (2010)


But at least they kill the monoliths at the end. Oops. Spoiler Alert. Above.


Date: 2008/06/17 09:22:21, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (slpage @ June 17 2008,07:51)
Quote (Doc Bill @ June 16 2008,17:12)
When I was a wee lad, brand spanking new to the forums at KCFS, I was seduced by the fetching FtK who had posed a question I could answer.

I know that, I said!

And I held forth and offered FtK a chapter and verse from my favorite undergraduate comparative vertebrate anatomy book.  FtK thanked me profusely and told me she had taken that course, but used a different book.

I asked FtK if she wanted a copy and she said, no.  I asked, are you sure?  And she said, no, on my honor.

So, she offered her honor, and I honored her offer.

Then for weeks afterwards is was honor, offer, honor, offer...

Finally, I realized that I was being used and she had no intention of accepting the answer to her question or learning the reasons why.  After that I switched from mentor to mocker.

And, I haven't had a drink since.

I learned FtK's truse nature very quickly and treated her in the appropriate manner and was vilified for it by some on our own side - some who now are 'meaner' to her than I ever was.  

It's funny - I often seem to be ahead of the curve on these types of things and I often get kicked around for it, only to see those doing the kicking doing the same things I was kicked for later on.  My most famous example - about 13-14 years ago, on the first incarnation of the Internet Infidels forum, PZ Myers chided me for being so vocal a YEC-basher.  The times they change, eh?

Seriously? That's fantastic! Do you have a copy of the chiding?

Date: 2008/06/24 12:45:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Schlafly is proudly promoting the third letter on Conservapedia's front page with a line complaining about tax dollars funding rude people. I suspect he honestly has no sense of shame at all. When someone calls you ignorant you ought to, I don't know, not celebrate?

Date: 2008/06/24 15:46:33, Link
Author: Annyday
So if they're mutating and evolving, why don't they kill us? Our bodies obviously have defenses that protect us from the E. coli in our guts, but with all this evolving supposedly going on, you'd think they'd have evolved into something that could overcome those defenses and kill us so they could feast on our corpses. Jinxmchue 15:29, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

   Or you'd think that our bodies have evolved ways to deal with that. Or you'd think that there would be no advantage for e.coli to evolve a trait that would kill off its host environment. Or you'd think that humans would have evolved wings and third arms and eyes in the back of their heads in order to better adapt to their environments. Where exactly is it written in evolutionary science that all organism will eveolve the traits that you happen to think would improve their chances? AliceBG 15:40, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
   Not to mention that evolution doesn't have a "goal." Yeesh, the ignorance here is astounding.JPohl 15:41, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

       Shows what you know! The goal of evolution is obviously to "evolve" in whatever manner it takes to destroy all of humanity. Who's ignorant now? Bobdobbs 15:47, 24 June 2008 (EDT)


Date: 2008/06/25 20:02:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (stevestory @ June 25 2008,16:29)
on another thread was said:

Honestly, I don't think a third letter is necessary.  Schlafly's epic fail has incented the big intellectual guns to join the fray.  And the biggest of them all, Davescot, has managed to eviscerate Lenski only three (3!!!) sentences into the  abstract.
I started reading Lenski’s full paper myself to see what raw data was provided and I got no farther than the first paragraph beyond the abstract when I encountered a bias error that a chance worshipper would never notice. My emphasis:      
At its core, evolution involves a profound tension between random and deterministic processes. Natural selection works systematically to adapt populations to their prevailing environments. However, selection requires heritable variation generated by random mutation, and even beneficial mutations may be lost by random drift. Moreover, random and deterministic processes become intertwined over time such that future alternatives may be contingent on the prior history of an evolving population.

The bold portion is patently wrong. Selection operates on any heritable variation whether random or not. That the authors would use the language they did (random variation) and the peer reviewers didn’t notice it is testimony to the chance worshipper bias that pervades evolution


I believe the peanut gallery, in their latest fashion in phraseology, would summarize this as:

Lenski FAIL.

But they won’t because they’re living in denial of their own failings.

If Davetard thinks an oversimplified sentence in Lenksi's paper invalidates the results, then he's even dumber than we thought, and we thought he was pretty damn dumb already.

It's in the abstract, even. Someone says something they think is random is random in an abstract without adding ten paragraphs of justification and literature review on the topic and they're a chance worshiper.

Also: Citing Gould with regards to this pisses me off. Kimura's the clear candidate for credit regarding neutral potentiating mutations. And Gould's phrasing sounds like it is or could be about the ultimate determinism of things, which this isn't.

Date: 2008/06/30 09:30:22, Link
Author: Annyday
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 30 2008,07:17)
Quote (Bob O'H @ June 30 2008,01:37)


11:57 pm

Tard Alert!

Russ, I also have been toying with the same thought line. Have you ever considered milk? The stuff separates into milk and cream very easily. Yet I don’t know of this phenomenon being used in nature. The cream, once shaken, turns into cottage cheese, butter and butter milk. With a little common bacteria, you get cheese. Yogurt is just about as easy to make. Does this give you the feeling that these varieties were waiting to be discovered — like hidden treasure? It’s just all too easy to find such wonderful, yet unimplemented properties in nature.
Perhaps bfast should google "lactose tolerance" and its evolutionary history/explanation.

How can you state that a little common bacteria can make cheese and then turn around and say that nature has not implemented something wonderful? Cheese is made by bacteria, here. We digest cheese and milk alike in our intestines, with the help of ... bacteria, again. We also digest different sugars and fats with different enzymes, which is its own bag of fun. There's so much evolution in this story it's horrifying.