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Date: 2006/10/09 11:22:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Time to delurk...

This weekend, I read Joan Bakewell's review of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion (here).  I was struck by this passage:
Believers wrongly accuse Dawkins of being himself a fundamentalist, a fundamentalist atheist. He argues the difference: that given proof he was wrong he would at once change his opinions, whereas the true fundamentalist clings to his faith whatever the challenge.

Is anyone else reminded of someone?  Someone, say, who's now been on the receiving end of almost 230 pages of "proof he was wrong"?  Without shifting his position by a nanometre?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you afdave: the fundy's fundy.

But let's give credit where it's due.  Thanks to True Fundamentalist Dave, I can now speak Portuguese.  
Mas cerveza, s'il vous plait.

Date: 2006/10/10 09:16:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Dave.  I missed it first time round:

Creationists have been making predictions for years and they have been right--a great example being their prediction of the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record.

Finally, a testable prediction.  And it's falsified (see here for starters).  So I guess we're done.

Date: 2006/10/10 11:29:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 10 2006,16:08)

i dont think it's trees, I think it's runes.
Daveys gone all mystick on us :)

Portuguese runes.

Date: 2006/10/11 06:38:50, Link
Author: JohnW
[quote=afdave,Oct. 11 2006,09:43][/quote]
2) Rapid diversification and speciation occurred after the Flood due to many factors: separated continents, foraging needs, massive climate change, to name a few.  Similar diversification and speciation may have occurred after the Fall and Curse recorded in Genesis 3, but this is not of immediate interest to us because so many of the original organisms were wiped out during the Flood.  It is much more relevant to our present situation today to consider what happened after the Flood.  I may adjust the points in my Hypothesis to reflect this.

And a couple of thousand years is long enough for this process?  If you are making this claim, why do you also claim that evolution needs millions of years?

4) Random mutation, as far as I can tell, does not create new features or functions such as eyes where ther were no eyes, legs where there were no legs, etc.  Random mutation has been well known for a long time, however, to be mostly HARMFUL to organisms.

Mostly harmful, Dave.  Mostly.  Not always.  Mostly.  Mostlymostlymostly.  But sometimes, we get mutations which convey a survival advantage.  And then what happens?

My chart on the right does both and also illustrates graphically that many organism have not "evolved" at all and that there should be a "transitional" nature in sequence data, just as Michael Denton has asserted there should be IF ToE were true.

Good grief.  It's the Great Chain of Being.  Dave, I know you have to quote-mine 40-year-old articles to lend support to your assertions, but you're going to struggle with this one - I think you'll need to start at about 140 years and work backwards.  Dave, all organisms have evolved and are continuing to evolve.  Fish didn't stop evolving after the first tetrapods hit the beach, amphibians didn't stop evolving after eggs started to be laid on land, and so on for every point on your right-hand graphic.  Do you really think there have been no new fish species since the Devonian?  Do you think any scientist would say this?

When did I ever say speciation doesn't occur?  Of course it occurs. "Above the species level" can mean "well above" or directly above.  No one can say for sure how to demarcate the original created kinds.  Just like with ToE, no one can really say what the LCA at each node might have looked like.  All we can say is that the evidence clearly indicates that there are inviolable boundaries and many of these are known.  But we may never know all of them because creationists, like evolutionists, cannot go back in time.

(My italics.)  Good.  Let's see this here evidence, then.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Dave.  I missed it first time round:

Creationists have been making predictions for years and they have been right--a great example being their prediction of the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record.

Finally, a testable prediction.  And it's falsified (see here for starters).  So I guess we're done.
You AND Talk Origins are proven wrong with the numerous quotes already given.  Talk Origins has proven to be a very unreliable source if you've been following this thread.  I actually now look forward to people trying to refute me by referring to T.O. because most of the time, their arguments or flawed..)

Yes, I've been following the thread.  Please show me where "Talk Origins has been proven to be a very unreliable source".

Now ... why don't YOU take up my challenge of showing me ONE truly transitional fossil and explaining why you think it's transitional (as opposed to just telling me over and over again about OTHERS who supposedly SAY there are transitional fossils.)

Dave, if my field was paleontology or comparative anatomy, I could do some original research and send you a summary.  As it's not, I could rewrite some of the existing material in my own words, but it would just be a paraphrase of the work of others.  I can do this if you like, but what would be the point?  

Anyway, although we can't definitively identify a particular fossil as the ancestor of a modern group, we can certainly identify fossils which are at the very least close relatives of those ancestors, based on features which are intermediate between earlier organisms and later ones.  Off the top of my head, two well-studied examples are Hyracotherium -> Equus and of course Australopithecus -> Homo erectus -> Homo sapiens.

Date: 2006/10/11 08:52:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Fish didn't stop evolving after the first tetrapods hit the beach, amphibians didn't stop evolving after eggs started to be laid on land, and so on for every point on your right-hand graphic.

Are you sure?

How do you know this?

The fossil record and DNA studies.
Can you supply me proof that these creatures did not stop evolving (in the "macro" sense)?

Using "proof" in the sense of "overwhelming evidence which creationists have failed to falsify", yes.  Let's take "fish" as an example.  Earliest fossils of a few teleost groups (from   Tree of Life):
Osteoglossomorpha: Late Jurassic
Ostariophysi: Early Cretaceous
Characiformes: Cretaceous
After the Devonian, yes?  So millions of years after the last common ancestor of tetrapods and telesosts, yes?  So teleost fish did not stop evolving.
Why did lungfish stop evolving?

They didn't.  Seen any Cretaceous fossils of modern lungfish?

They didn't.  Seen any Cretaceous fossils of modern cockroaches?

They didn't.  Seen any Cretaceous fossils of modern opossums?
Many others?

They didn't.  Seen any Cretaceous fossils of modern anything?

All we can say is that the evidence clearly indicates that there are inviolable boundaries and many of these are known.  But we may never know all of them because creationists, like evolutionists, cannot go back in time.

(My italics.)  Good.  Let's see this here evidence, then.
I gave some to you already.  Again, a great example is reproductively isolated species.  They cannot reproduce together.  This is an example of an inviolable boundary.

As no biologist thinks that evolution takes place through the interbreeding of separate species, how is that relevant?

Where's your evidence for "inviolable boundaries" to evolution, Dave?

Anyway, although we can't definitively identify a particular fossil as the ancestor of a modern group, we can certainly identify fossils which are at the very least close relatives of those ancestors, based on features which are intermediate between earlier organisms and later ones.  Off the top of my head, two well-studied examples are Hyracotherium -> Equus and of course Australopithecus -> Homo erectus -> Homo sapiens.
Speculation.  You really do not know those ancestral relationships.  You are simply finding some fossils that look similar, then applying massive quantities of wishful thinking.

The "You've never been to Portugal, so how do you know Portugal exists?" argument.

Date: 2006/10/11 10:30:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 11 2006,14:58)
Oh, Lookie Here!

A newly discovered species of bird.  One more to add to your list of critters to be squeezed into the ark, Davey.

Appropriately enough, it's a new kind of finch.


More evidence for Dave's "4.5 billion years isn't enough time for evolution, but 4.5 thousand years is plenty" hypothesis.  This finch evolved last Tuesday.

Date: 2006/10/16 09:45:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 16 2006,14:05)
Need more?  Here's Dawkins ... Aftershave and Eric assumed they knew why Diogenes accused me of a quote mine on this one and blindly ragged on me for my horrible crime!  Turns out that Diogenes had misunderstood what I was saying ... Ooops!  No quote mine ...the italicized portion is the part I originally quoted ...    
Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987).p. 229
"Before we come to the sort of sudden bursts that they had in mind, there are some conceivable meanings of 'sudden bursts' that they most definitely did not have in mind. These must be cleared out of the way because they have been the subject of serious misunderstandings. Eldredge and Gould certainly would agree that some very important gaps really are due to imperfections in the fossil record. Very big gaps, too. For example the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. Evolutionists of all stripes believe, however, that this really does represent a very large gap in the fossil record, a gap that is simply due to the fact, for some reason, very few fossils have lasted from periods before about 600 million years ago. One good reason might be that many of these animals had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize. If you are a creationist you may think that this is special pleading. My point here is that, when we are talking about gaps of this magnitude, there is no difference whatever in the interpretations of 'punctuationists' and 'gradualists'. Both schools of thought agree that the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animals types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and both would reject this alternative. "

I suppose Aftershave and Eric stopped reading after the "however" after the part I quoted, and gleefully assumed I quoted mined.  Better read closer, guys, if you really want the truth!

PS You do really want the truth, don't you?

What point are you trying to make here, Dave?  

Are you claiming Dawkins is a creationist?  (If so, I suggest you ask him if it's true.  I'd love to hear his reply.)  

Do you think that, because he's saying the early Cambrian fossils look "as though they were just planted there", that Dawkins thinks that's what actually happened?  Despite his explanation later in the paragraph?  Are you familiar with the word simile, Dave?

Or do you think that the obvious meaning of the entire paragraph (there are gaps in the fossil record, which mean we don't have a detailed understanding of Pre-Cambrian evolution) is support for your "hypothesis"?  Something like this?
1.  There are gaps in the fossil record, which mean we don't have a detailed understanding of Pre-Cambrian evolution.
2.  Therefore, the Earth is 6000 years old.
I see a wee gap in the argument here, Dave...

Date: 2006/10/16 12:12:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 16 2006,16:10)
What point are you trying to make here, Dave?  

Are you claiming Dawkins is a creationist?  (If so, I suggest you ask him if it's true.  I'd love to hear his reply.)  

Do you think that, because he's saying the early Cambrian fossils look "as though they were just planted there", that Dawkins thinks that's what actually happened?  Despite his explanation later in the paragraph?  Are you familiar with the word simile, Dave?

Or do you think that the obvious meaning of the entire paragraph (there are gaps in the fossil record, which mean we don't have a detailed understanding of Pre-Cambrian evolution) is support for your "hypothesis"?  Something like this?
1.  There are gaps in the fossil record, which mean we don't have a detailed understanding of Pre-Cambrian evolution.
2.  Therefore, the Earth is 6000 years old.
I see a wee gap in the argument here, Dave...
It staggers the imagination that someone could not understand what this quote does ...

No, I'm not contending Dawkins is a creationist.

It simply shows that the innumerable transitonal forms hoped for by Darwin ...


... to the delight of Creationists!

Dave, you're going to have to help me here.  I see nothing in the Dawkins quote to support your assertion that there are no transitional fossils.  You're saying it "staggers the imagination that someone could not understand what this quote does", so what I'm going to ask should be easy for you.  

Talk me through it, Dave.  Show me where and how Dawkins says this.

Date: 2006/10/16 12:22:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 16 2006,16:10)
What I also have begun to show you is that ...


Now Eric has gone bongo on his math and assumed that I need to go from 35,000 species to 10,000,000 for my theory to work ...

I will give Eric a small hint and see if he can do some more reasonable math ...

Think, Eric ... would kinds representing ALL those 10,000,000 modern species have to be represented on the ark?  Does the word "bacteria" mean anything to you?

We're making progress, Dave.  So there were more than 35,000 "kinds", but less than 10,000,000.  And it looks like the number of bacteria "kinds" was less than that.  How many "kinds", Dave?  Can we rule out 36,000?  How about 9,000,000?  And how many of these were bacteria?

Date: 2006/10/17 11:11:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (ericmurphy @ Oct. 17 2006,15:46)
Eric, you have no evidence whatsoever that fresh water fish could not have adapted to saltwater and vice versa.  I gave you a good example of one that does.  Why don't you try to refute me with evidence, not your speculation.

Dave, I gave you evidence. Take an aquarium full of freshwater fish, and replace a third of the water with seawater. Tell me what happens.

And besides, what planet are you from? I don't need to provide evidence that inundating freshwater fish with seawater (or vice versa) will kill them. This is your freaking "hypothesis," Dave. You need to provide me with evidence it won't kill them.

You've gone from proposing that organisms can evolve at freakishly-accelerated rates over a few decades to proposing that they can evolve in a matter of days, if not hours. You do realize, Dave, that evolution doesn't happen within a single organism's lifetime, don't you?

Fun with burden of proof, evidence, and speculation, afdave style...

Eric, you have no evidence whatsoever that fresh water fish could not have learned to breathe air, grown claws,  and clung to the gunwales of the Ark for a year.  Why don't you try to refute me with evidence, not your speculation.

Eric, you have no evidence whatsoever that fresh water fish could not have developed a civilisation, built little tanks with filters, and sheltered there during the flood.  Why don't you try to refute me with evidence, not your speculation.

Eric, you have no evidence whatsoever that fresh water fish could not have fallen through a wormhole in space, and happily passed the year of the flood in the freshwater oceans of the fourth planet of Epsilon Eridani.  Why don't you try to refute me with evidence, not your speculation.

Date: 2006/10/19 06:52:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (ScaryFacts @ Oct. 19 2006,11:32)
Someone correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems to me the fine tuning argument falls apart pretty quickly.

The only way we can observe this universe to be fine tuned to produce us is because if it was just slightly different we wouldn't be around to observe it.

i.e.: Any universe producing intelligent life would, by definition, be "fine tuned" to produce that particular life form.  If it were different either no life would be around to observe it or the life forms it produced would be different than we are.


Edit:  After reading this it didn't seem clear.  I am really asking why this argument is illogical--obviously brighter minds with lots of letters after their names see this as a huge issue.  I'm just not seeing the why.

Seems clear to me, Ms or Mr Facts, and I agree with you.  

If intelligent life exists in the universe, what's the probability that intelligent life is possible in the universe?

If intelligent life is impossible in the universe, what's the probability of intelligent life existing to observe the universe?

Date: 2006/10/20 08:46:55, Link
Author: JohnW
A couple of days ago when I perused this thread, I thought "That's it.  He's treed.  Dave has absolutely no way to turn and he's going to back down."  I was wrong.  I haven't decided whther this means I overestimated Dave, or underestimated him.

Anyway, Dave, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your ignorance of genetics isn't wilful.  it's no disgrace not to know this stuff - i didn't know much until a couple of years ago when I started working on some genetic-epidemiology issues.

So, let's join the throng of people trying to explain:

1.  Humans, and most other organisms, have two copies of each gene.  (Let's ignore the XY stuff for now).  So an individual can either have two copies of the same allele (homozygous) or two different alleles (heterozygous) at each locus.

2.  Therefore Adam and Eve were, at best, heterozygous at each locus, and had different alleles from each other.  So, at most, there were four alleles for each gene 6000 years ago.

3.  Regardless of what happened in the intervening 1500 years, Noah and crew were the only surviving humans.  At most, that's 16 alleles per locus, and that assumes Noah's sons were adopted and not biological descendants.  (Note also that for the non-human "kinds", the situation is even worse: no more than four alleles surviving at each locus).

4.  We see a much greater allelic diversity today: hundreds of alleles in some cases.

5.  To explain the observed diversity in the human genome, there must have been, at some point in the last 4500 years, an extremely high mutation rate: much, much higher that that which we observe today.  Not to mention the other "kinds", in which there's not just been an increase in intra-species diversity, but enough mutation to produce speciation on a massive scale.

Dave, which of the above five points do you disagree with, and/or not understand?

Date: 2006/10/20 18:35:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bing @ Oct. 20 2006,20:43)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 20 2006,13:46)
2.  Therefore Adam and Eve were, at best, heterozygous at each locus, and had different alleles from each other.

See, this is the part that I don't get.  

If Eve was made from Adam's rib (side?) then isn't she effectively a clone of Adam, with G*d using Adam's genetic material taken from muscle or bone to whip her up in His supernatural petrie dish?  Obviously He would have had to do some manipulation to eliminate that pesky 'Y' and double up on the 'X' to make things work for gender but wouldn't the DNA taken from mature somatic cells be pretty uniform?  No messy meiosis scrambling things up?

Yes, Bing, of course you're right.  I'm just giving Dave the maximum possible leeway, which is why I gave the Ark crew 16 alleles instead of a more likely maximum 10.

But really, what's the point?  We already have to invoke so many miracles (the Miracle of Accelerated Radioactive Decay, the Miracle of the >6000 Light-year Visible Objects, the Miracle of the Appearing and Disappearing Flood Waters, the Miracle of Paleosols in Flood Deposits, the Miracle of the Ordered Fossils...), so what's a few more?  Maybe Noah's family were megaploid.

Date: 2006/10/26 07:03:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Dave, let's try this "Churchill/white noise" stuff another way.  Nothing about mathematics, compressibility or Shannon.

Imagine you're sitting there listening to a Winston Churchill speech.  You're having no problems understanding it - there's information in the speech which you're able to process.  But then, while Churchill continues his speech, Franklin Roosevelt starts talking about something completely different.  Now there's twice as much information, but it's quite difficult to keep track of what they're both saying.

Then Charles de Gaulle joins in.  Even more information.  Even harder to understand.

One by one, other people start speaking.  Every time someone starts, they're adding more information to what you're hearing.  But it's now becoming impossible to make sense of anything - all you can hear is the babble of thousands of people talking at once.  You're overwhelmed with information.

Eventually, everyone in the world is talking - billions of people, all adding information to what you're hearing.  But what you're hearing sounds like... white noise!

Does that help?

Date: 2006/10/31 08:47:56, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 31 2006,11:32)
1) There IS NO absolute physical dating system available.  People who say there is (RM Dating) are either ignorant or lying, as I have shown quite thoroughly.  Download both threads and you will see ...
2) The best dating system we have for historical events is historical records with genealogical tables.  The Bible contains many of these.
3) Scientists and historians routinely rely on historical records to date events NOT mentioned in the Bible, but they have a strange, unwarranted predjudice against doing so with the Bible.  
4) So my approach to the Origins question is to take the historical record of Genesis and see if the evidence from scientific observation, archaeology and outside historical accounts is consistent with it.

Lo and behold, I find that it is!

1) Radiometric dating, varves, dendrochronology, ice cores... leave my "hypothesis" deader than Dead Deady McDead, the deadest man in Death Valley, on the Day of the Dead.  So let's just handwave them away.
2) If it's written down in "historical records", then it's true.
3) There's no qualitative difference between, say, a declaration of war in the US Congressional records, and a creation myth.  See point 2.
4) So my approach to the Origins question is to discard any scientific observation, archaeology or outside historical account which disagrees with Genesis, then find out if what's left agrees with it.  In the event of disagreement, discard the evidence.  Repeat as necessary.

Date: 2006/11/02 10:04:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Nov. 02 2006,07:10)
Speaking of them, I will be at AIG headquarters all day today ... do any of you have any congratulatory words you'd like me to pass on to any of them?  (ho ho)

Well, no.  But I'd love to know how much they spend each month on fire extinguishers and replacement pants.

Date: 2006/12/15 13:49:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Russell @ Dec. 15 2006,13:26)
Sorry, Dave, but as Russell says, this really is "too stupid for words."

So why do we continue to check in, even continue posting, on this thread? Isn't it more or less equivalent to laughing at cripples? Or looking for chess opponents in the Alzheimer's ward?

It's a question I've raised before, and admit I don't have any really rational reasons. But I suspect it has something to do, at least in my case, with my strong suspicions that DaveThink is what passes for mental function in the dubya-in-chief, and the not insubstantial Christian-Right lunacracy to which he owes his office. And that to just ignore it may be shirking one's civic responsibility, sort of like not reading a newspaper.

So, in that spirit, I offer you this link.

As a lurker and occasional poster, I think you have a point, Russell.  Part of why I continue to read this thread is the insight it gives me into the thought processes of the fundy foot-soldier.  Most of the usual creationist suspects manage to perform some self-censorship, and are able to package their message in a superficially sensible way.  Dave seems to lack the tact, political sense or mental agility to do so.

These people are the enemies of civilisation.  Having one to cross-examine can only help defend it.

Date: 2006/12/15 14:37:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 15 2006,14:14)
They are REAL factories.  (in cells)

There are REAL machines in those factories.  There are REAL shipping and receiving systems.  There are REAL communication systems.  There are REAL energy conversion systems.  There are REAL chemical factories.  There are REAL waste disposal systems.  There is REAL software.  There are REAL automated assembly lines.  And on and on.

They are not analogues of the real thing.

They ARE the real thing.


Do you deny this, Dr. Russell Durbin, professor of micro/molecular biology at Ohio State University?

If so ... why?  In detail, please.

They are REAL metaphors, Dave.

They are not REAL buildings.  They do not pay REAL utility bills.  They do not have REAL employees.  They do not have REAL managers.  They do not have REAL lunch breaks.  They do not tender REAL bids for the REAL contract in REAL Birmingham.  They do not outsource REAL jobs to REAL Malaysia.  And on and on.

As for why Dr. Durbin denies your claim, although I can't speak for him, I'm guessing it's because it's self-evident nonsense.

Date: 2006/12/18 14:47:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 18 2006,13:02)
OA ...  
DNA is NOT honest-to-goodness software Dave.  Software is a set of abstract symbols that are read and interpreted by another agency (the computer OS), then acted upon to produce a desired result.
I beg your pardon, Mr. Masters in EE Space Scientist.  Software is NOT abstract.  It is a PHYSICAL REALITY in memory chips, hard drives and other storage devices.  Each bit of data represents either a "1" or a "0" (which is the abstraction), but it is a physical reality ... either an electrical charge or a magnetic orientation.

Just like the biological software is also a physical (though different) reality.

You might need to ask for a refund on your EE degree.

Even by your exalted standards, Dave, this is simply magnificent.

I have some software on my hard disk.  If I burn it onto a CD and delete the hard-disk copy, is the software the same or is it different, Dave?

Date: 2006/12/21 15:28:09, Link
Author: JohnW
I don't think we'll be hearing from Dave for a while.  As we all know, Dave doesn't do metaphors.  Therefore this:
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 21 2006,13:04)
Oh ... my sides are splitting ... please keep going!!

must mean his sides really are splitting.  He'll be in no condition to type for a while.

Get better soon, Dave.

Date: 2006/12/22 13:18:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (lkeithlu @ Dec. 22 2006,10:23)
Ms O'Leary posted:

"Why I think Collins is an intellectual lightweight: Well, how about this: He composed a folk song about his worthy goal of making cystic fibrosis history, but what his research has most significantly led to is prenatal detection, which is a way of making CF children history.

I know, I know, other good may come of it and some people will be mad at me for even bringing this up.

But we live in a world where, when mommy whispers in your ear “I specially loved and wanted you!”, what she means is, you passed a battery of quality control tests, and if you hadn’t, you had a first class ticket to the Medical Waste bucket. Today’s glitzy mommies don’t love loser kids. To the extent that Collins’ research has contributed, I would have more respect for him if he openly acknowledged and dealt with that in his book."

A lightweight? As if Ms. O'Leary has contributed anything to  medical knowledge.

I wonder: where, on the intellectual-weight continuum, would DO'L put the Isaac Newton Of Poopy Noises?

Date: 2006/12/22 13:58:53, Link
Author: JohnW
First 18 years in Doncaster, last 13 in Seattle, with a few years in Durham, Birmingham and London in between.

Date: 2006/12/28 12:41:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 28 2006,11:31)
Not much time today ... but here's some snippets ...

There are other lists that refer to long-lived ante-Diluvian patriarchs besides the Book of Genesis ...

See here

What Steve and Eric said.  Plus (same Wikipedia article):

"After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kish."

First Dynasty of Kish
Jushur of Kish: 1200 years
Kullassina-bel of Kish: 960 years
Nangishlishma of Kish: 670 years
En-Tarah-Ana of Kish: 420 years
Babum of Kish: 300 years
Puannum of Kish: 840 years
Kalibum of Kish: 960 years
Kalumum of Kish: 840 years
Zuqaqip of Kish: 900 years
Atab of Kish: 600 years
Mashda of Kish: 840 years
Arwium of Kish: 720 years
Etana of Kish, the shepherd, who ascended to heaven and consolidated all the foreign countries: 1500 years
Balih of Kish: 400 years
En-Me-Nuna of Kish: 660 years
Melem-Kish of Kish: 900 years
Barsal-Nuna of Kish: 1200 years
Zamug of Kish: 140 years
Tizqar of Kish: 305 years
Ilku of Kish: 900 years
Iltasadum of Kish: 1200 years
En-Men-Barage-Si of Kish, who conquered Elam: 900 years (this is the earliest ruler in the list who is confirmed independently from epigraphical evidence)
Aga of Kish: 625 years
Then Kish was defeated and the kingship was taken to E-ana.

First Dynasty of Uruk
Mesh-ki-ang-gasher of E-ana, son of Utu: 324 years.
Mesh-ki-ang-gasher went into the Sea and disappeared.

Enmerkar, who built Unug: 420 years
Lugalbanda of Unug, the shepherd: 1200 years
Dumuzid of Unug, the fisherman: 100 years. Captured En-Me-Barage-Si of Kish.
Gilgamesh, whose father was a "phantom", lord of Kulaba: 126 years.
Ur-Nungal of Unug: 30 years
Udul-Kalama of Unug: 15 years
La-Ba'shum of Unug: 9 years
En-Nun-Tarah-Ana of Unug: 8 years
Mesh-He of Unug: 36 years
Melem-Ana of Unug: 6 years
Lugal-Kitun of Unug: 36 years
Then Uruk was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.

First dynasty of Ur
ca. 25th century BC

After the Flood, and before the 25th century BCE: 1200 + 960 + 670 + 420 + 300 + 840 + 960 + 840 + 900 + 600 + 840 + 720 + 1500 + 400 + 660 + 900 + 1200 + 140 + 305 + 900 + 1200 + 900 + 625 + 324 + 420 + 1200 + 100 + 126 + 30 + 15 + 9 + 8 + 36 + 6 + 36 = 20290 years

Plus, presumably, time for the population to expand post-Flood in order for there to be enough people in Sumeria to have a king.  Oh, and we need an ice age too.

So we can add another miracle to Dave's cosmology: Divine Number Theory.  20290<2500.

Date: 2006/12/28 12:53:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Dec. 27 2006,15:39)
We can't let those Brits beat us to the brew!

By dint of careful counting (no toes were injured during this process), I've got the Seattle contingent numbering at least six:

Da Pinhead.
creeky belly

Surely that's enough to hoist a few (or foist a hew)?

The Barking Dog?  The Hilltop Alehouse?  Weeknight?  Weekend?  Broad daylight?

Heck, we could give the DI a call and see if they would like to send a rep (but only if they promise to imbibe the Beano first...).

Oh: 56; lawyer defending civil cases...

I live in Seattle and I'm British, so that gets me two beers.  Either of the above would be fine - 74th Street Alehouse would be even better as it's only a short lurch from home.

And to continue the intro:
Jazz//free improv/blues listener, cyclist, and amateur astronomer who's eagerly awaiting Dave's explanation for why we can see all those galaxies.

Date: 2006/12/28 12:58:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Malum Regnat @ Dec. 28 2006,12:45)
If your belief in a young earth is based solely on your understanding of the Bible then go in peace, I have no problem with you as long as you don't try to claim it's sience and try to teach it as such to children in public schools.

MR has hit the nail firmly on the head.  As long as no-one else gets hurt, you are entitled to believe anything you like.  But if you're going to claim your beliefs are based on objective evidence, you'd better be able to produce it.  One side of this "debate" is able to do so.  Guess which one?

Date: 2006/12/28 15:28:06, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 28 2006,14:59)

P=[2c^(n-x+1) * c^x-1] / (c-1)

where ...

c number of girls and boys in a family (i.e. c=2 for 2 boys, 2 girls)
n number of generations
x lifespan in generations

Check my math, but I get over 2 million people with an average of 10 boys + 10 girls per family (less than half the traditional number for Adam's family), 6 generations, and a lifespan of only 5 generations (assume 30 years per generation, so 150 year lifespan).  

Remember, lifespans were much longer prior to the Flood by all accounts.  You may not buy 900+ years and I don't buy 25,000 (translation error in this case I think), but all accounts agree that lifespans were long.  150 years is not a stretch at all.

You may also think an average of 20 kids per family is crazy, but again, we are dealing with families which lived much closer to the original, perfectly created state of the human family.  Mutations had not had much time to accumulate, close marriages posed no genetic problems, and no doubt women were much more healthy and hearty than they are now, enabling them to bear children much more easily.

Also, there is no difficulty moving the Flood date back even a few hundred years.  Creationists have always acknowledged, and cannot completely rule out, the possibility of some missing genealogies in the Biblical text.

So could the Great Pyramid have been built in 2170 BC as the astronomy of the edifice indicates?

Yes, of course.

Time to play Count the Unsupported Assertions:

Quote average of 10 boys + 10 girls per family

This counts as two - the average family size, plus the assumption that all children survive and have twenty kids of their own.
...150 year lifespan

There's another one.
...all accounts agree that lifespans were long

Failure to provide any reliable accounts duly noted, but in fairness this is in "support" of the claim above, so I'm not adding to your score.
...families which lived much closer to the original, perfectly created state of the human family

But that counts.  Four so far.
Mutations had not had much time to accumulate, close marriages posed no genetic problems, and no doubt women were much more healthy and hearty than they are now, enabling them to bear children much more easily.

Whoosh!  Three more go zooming by!
Also, there is no difficulty moving the Flood date back even a few hundred years.

The Big One.  The barn-door-sized unsupported assertion of the Flood itself.

So that's eight unsupported assertions, plus of course the ever-popular All-Purpose Escape Clause:
Creationists have always acknowledged, and cannot completely rule out, the possibility of some missing genealogies in the Biblical text.

Would they be the genealogies which start with "And prokaryotes begat eukaryotes," Dave?

Date: 2006/12/29 10:32:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 29 2006,07:48)
Also, are you not aware of dog breeding history?  Check out this BBC story ...      
They conclude that intensive breeding by humans over the last 500 years - not different genetic origins - is responsible for the dramatic differences in appearance among modern dogs.
Hmmmm ... "dramatic differences in only 500 years!"  

How much dog speciation has occurred in the last 500 years, Dave?

Date: 2006/12/29 12:07:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 29 2006,11:59)
JohnW ...  
How much dog speciation has occurred in the last 500 years, Dave?
Who cares?  Why are you changing the subject?  I was pointing out that radical variation can take place in a very short time ... the BBC quote shows that very nicely, thanks.

Dave, YOU NEED RAPID POST-FLOOD SPECIATION FOR YOUR "HYPOTHESIS" TO WORK.  You need to get from a few hundred "kinds" to millions of species in a few hundred years, no?  And yet, even with artificial selection designed to enhance the differences between breeds, how many new dog species have been created?

Date: 2006/12/29 12:16:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 29 2006,11:59)
BTW....even if Genesis is a "history book"....
It doesnt explain the grand canyon.....
Unless Noah was in North America at the time....
Of course it does.  The Global Flood of Noah provides a perfect explanation for how the GC was formed.  We've been through that in detail.

Yes, we went through it in detail.  Your arguments were hunted down, shot, stuffed, mounted and put on display in the Museum of Really Wacky Ideas.

Unless you now have actual evidence for the Miracle Of Water Flowing Uphill, the Miracle Of Meanders Produced By Rapid Flow, and either the Miracle Of Huge Cliffs In Mud Not Collapsing or the Miracle Of Overnight Erosion Through Thousands Of Feet Of Rock...

Date: 2006/12/29 12:26:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 29 2006,12:13)
JohnW ...
You need to get from a few hundred "kinds" to millions of species in a few hundred years, no?
You got it right ... NO.  Very good.  Millions of species!  Pfft!  You really have not stopped to think about how few kinds really had to be on the ark, have you?  That's ok.  I'll be walking you through it now that we are moving on to Post Flood Ecology and such.

Yes, Dave, millions of species.  How many insects were on the Ark?  And the Flood would have wiped out either all freshwater species or all saltwater species (which, Dave?), so unless they were on the Ark too...

But please, don't be sidetracked onto these specific questions if you're about to regale us with post-Flood ecology.  This should be good.

Date: 2006/12/29 15:18:43, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (deadman_932 @ Dec. 29 2006,15:10)
question from John W ( not Russell, who is not on the user list, anyway)    
How much dog speciation has occurred in the last 500 years, Dave?

Russell didn't even mention this.

He "answered" this, sort of.  Mr. "We're talking about BEETLES, MACACQUES and DOGS" said I was "changing the subject."  From dogs to, um, dogs.

Date: 2006/12/29 15:49:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Dec. 29 2006,15:39)
Boy, you guys need a secretary ...

Here ... let me help.

I did not say Russell mentioned dogs.  I mentioned dogs.  JohnW changed the subject from "dog variation" to "dog speciation."  And Eric is stuck in an infinite loop of 500 alleles.  And then there is poor Deadman ...

There.  Now you are nice and straight again.

(As straight as one can be in a condition such as yours, that is)

Failure to answer any questions duly noted.

Date: 2007/01/02 13:43:01, Link
Author: JohnW
And while I'm here, Dave:  how much dog speciation in the last 500 years?

Date: 2007/01/03 11:41:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dgszweda @ Jan. 03 2007,08:29)
Yet we are suppose to believe in the Year 2007 that not a single overlap exists for any of the @1.6million species that exists today (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources )

No, we're not supposed to believe that.  It isn't true.

Date: 2007/01/03 11:51:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 03 2007,10:41)
Quote (dgszweda @ Jan. 03 2007,10:03)
The potential of the universe to cause itself into existence at the same instance that it is caused is impossible to believe and even more impossible to explain.  It cannot cause itself before it's existence.

The fact that it hasn't been explained yet does not mean it's impossible.

That would be why scientists have jobs.

What happened in the first 10^-43 seconds may actually be impossible to know, even in principle.  Quantum mechanics is a very well-tested theory at this point, and it's held up extraordinarily well.  This could be the last refuge of god-of-the-gaps-ists.

Date: 2007/01/03 12:37:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 03 2007,12:31)
How do you tell the difference between 10^-43 seconds and 10^-3 seconds? ? ?

If you train yourself to count really, really fast, in 10^-3 seconds, you can count up to 10^-40.  But in 10^-43 seconds, no matter how fast you count, you can never count more than 1.

Hope that helps.

Date: 2007/01/03 13:17:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 03 2007,13:05)
Are we really going to do this again for another 11,000 comments?

Just wonderin'.

I think this is looking bleak too.  As far as I can tell, Dgszweda's cosmology is entirely based on religious faith, impervious to evidence, and indistinguishable from last-Thursdayism.  So there's no ground on which to debate science.  And it looks like this may be the new place for afdave to shovel his, um, stuff...

Maybe we should sit back and watch the Daves throw pies at each other over speciation.

Date: 2007/01/03 13:34:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 03 2007,13:12)
Hope that helps.
ummm... not really.

Quite possibly it's the smartass answer my dumb question deserves. Or possibly you're trying to tell me that 10^-43 seconds is that quantized unit of time, the Planck moment, or interval, or whatever it's called. In which case, it's unfortunate that I picked that as an example. Because in the confusion of the earliest phases of the Big Bang - in comparison with which I imagine holiday shopping would seem orderly - I still don't get how time is measured without clocks, planets or cesium atoms, in the first few seconds. What are the "givens"? (e.g. "we can calculate from theory that it would take 10^-7 seconds for X to happen")

(Feel free to tell me to just add Weinberg's book to my queue, and hope I live long enough to get to it, if this question is too stupid or difficult to address in this format. Unlike some people around here, I don't expect every scientific concept to be comprehensively explained in a conveniently minable quote.)

Sorry, Russell.  Couldn't resist.

Trying to be more helpful... the Planck time, 10^-43 seconds (approximately) is the shortest time it's theoretically possible to measure, and indeed the shortest timescale at which the laws of physics can be applied (provisionally, in the all-science-is-provisional) sense.  Here is a Wikipedia article, which also links to this BBC story about the measurement of very short - 10^-16s - time intervals.

At times shorter than the Planck time, and distances shorter than the Planck length, things get very strange indeed.  But the effects are real and measurable.

Therefore God. :)

Date: 2007/01/03 15:46:01, Link
Author: JohnW
I think dgszweda's arguments provide enough comedy material.  No need to make fun of his name.

Date: 2007/01/04 11:12:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (snoeman @ Jan. 03 2007,23:21)
So, about two or three pages ago there was some noise made about Seattle-based AtBC lurkers/regulars actually making human contact, i.e., meeting to drink beer.

If there is actually any interest in doing this, may I propose the following:

74th Street Ale House
Saturday, January 20, 2007 @ 7:30pm

Or, make your own proposal for an alternative date, time and/or venue

Works for me.

Date: 2007/01/04 14:38:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 04 2007,12:39)
If you look VERY closely at that ship, you'll see the crew swilling grog, tequila and various other refreshing beverages in celebration of a voyage well-done. I'm the one falling overboard with a bottle of Bushmill's in my hand.

Over there on the right, you'll see afdave all alone in a lifeboat from the good ship UCGH.  Sunk without trace.

Date: 2007/01/04 15:07:52, Link
Author: JohnW
What deadman said, dgszweda.  This is the part that really made my blood boil:
Quote (dgszweda @ Jan. 04 2007,14:13)
Most of you haven't read much, you just like to criticize others :).

:) indeed, you hypocrite.

This from someone who has demonstrated his abysmal lack of knowledge of evolution in every post in which he's tried to educate us all on the subject.  Not to mention a pretty shaky knowledge of physics, in which you claim to be an expert.

Take the pig you rode in on and go back to the swamp.  Goodbye.

Date: 2007/01/04 15:39:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 04 2007,15:33)
I split my time between Ohio and New Jersey these days.

This is just what the fundies have been looking for.  Evidence that evolutionists end up in ####.

Date: 2007/01/04 17:31:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 04 2007,17:09)
I just want to ask Mr. BJU physicist one question.


Looking at an Rb-Sr Isochron plot of meteorites....

At what point was the radioactive decay "alterred" by Gawd to give apparrent rather than actual age?
Mike PSS

He's a lastthursdayist.  God created the meteorites with these isotopic ratios.

Date: 2007/01/12 16:55:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Jan. 12 2007,16:30)
Here's what I posted long ago ...    
Hydrodynamic Selectivity of Moving Water


Posts: 897
Joined: April 2006
 (Permalink)Posted: July 03 2006,09:32  

Q3) Fossil Order.  
A3) The fossil order we find is exactly what we would expect to find if they were deposited by a Global Flood.

Early Burial of Marine Creatures.  The Biblical Record says that the "fountains of the great deep were broken up."  If the record is correct, we would expect that marine organisms would be fossilized first and appear lowest in the geologic column.  This is exactly what we do find.

I missed the first time Dave posted it.  It seems Dave (or, more realistically, whoever originally wrote Dave's cut-and-paste) has actually come up with a testable hypothesis.

Is this your position, Dave?  Marine fossils will always precede terrestrial fossils in the geologic column?

Date: 2007/01/13 01:42:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Jan. 12 2007,22:14)
Is this your position, Dave?  Marine fossils will always precede terrestrial fossils in the geologic column?
In general, yes.  Statistically speaking.

So what about those Miocene marine fossil beds a few miles from my house, Dave?  How many terrestrial fossils precede the Miocene?  In general?  Statistically speaking?

Date: 2007/01/16 10:17:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Jan. 15 2007,21:11)
Just as a "professional" courtesy--not to mention payback for all that good tard that just keeps on coming--maybe we should extend an invite to the DI crowd.  

Nah, why ruin a perfectly good tipple by inviting a bunch of stiffs.

Could make for a good drinking game.  Every time a DI hack says something stupid...

On the other hand, I have to walk a couple of dozen blocks afterwards.  I'd never make it.

Date: 2007/01/19 16:00:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 19 2007,15:49)
Prior to his sentencing, a tearful Kent Hovind, also known as "Dr. Dino" asked for the court’s leniency.

“If it’s just money the IRS wants, there are thousands of people out there who will help pay the money they want so I can go back out there and preach,” Hovind said.

"If it's just money the IRS wants, I should have no problem separating it from a few thousand rubes."


Date: 2007/01/23 14:36:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 23 2007,14:26)
Quote (snoeman @ Jan. 22 2007,19:55)
With one exception, all of us had local ales.  Steviepinhead stuck with Dry Blackthorn Cider.

Is that the same as cider in the UK? Just that in the USA I found cider= non alcoholic apple juice. In the UK  Blackthorn is aprox 6% ABV IIRC and is quite nice on a summers day.

If Stevie likes that, he should definately consider a trip to Cornwall and Devon in the UK. Cider heaven (the real head-banging mad sruff).

"Cider" in the US usually means unfermented apple juice, unless it's "hard cider".  Steviepinhead was drinking the imported Taunton stuff.

I warned him about the "real' West Country stuff - it's not real cider if you're not picking bits out from between your teeth.

Date: 2007/01/23 15:49:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 23 2007,15:07)
Quote (JohnW @ Jan. 23 2007,14:36)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 23 2007,14:26)
Quote (snoeman @ Jan. 22 2007,19:55)
With one exception, all of us had local ales.  Steviepinhead stuck with Dry Blackthorn Cider.

Is that the same as cider in the UK? Just that in the USA I found cider= non alcoholic apple juice. In the UK  Blackthorn is aprox 6% ABV IIRC and is quite nice on a summers day.

If Stevie likes that, he should definately consider a trip to Cornwall and Devon in the UK. Cider heaven (the real head-banging mad sruff).

"Cider" in the US usually means unfermented apple juice, unless it's "hard cider".  Steviepinhead was drinking the imported Taunton stuff.

I warned him about the "real' West Country stuff - it's not real cider if you're not picking bits out from between your teeth.

No, no, no. That stuff with pickings in is Scrumpy. Avoid at all costs, it may just destroy the brain.

Cider alone punches above its ABV. As does our good "real ale" bitters. By Jove, I live in a land of alcohol that is beyond compare. That is not even including our stouts, milds, browns and IPAs.

Truly a land of plenty when it comes as beer choices.

But isn't scrumpy just a subset of cider?  Scrumpy is cider, but cider isn't necessarily scrumpy?

Date: 2007/01/23 15:52:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (2ndclass @ Jan. 23 2007,15:41)
Breaking news:  
Join New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel and leading scientists and philosophers as they explore the growing scientific evidence that life and the universe were intelligently designed at this two-day event on March 23-24 in Knoxville, Tenn.
So life and the universe were designed at a two day event in Knoxville.  Gotta love misplaced modifiers.

I don't know about you, but I'm canceling my vacation plans so I can see the "leading scientists and philosophers", namely Behe, Meyer, and Jay Richards.

Maybe they can invite Dembski to lead a farty noise workshop.

Date: 2007/01/24 11:11:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Avocationist, I'd like to thank you for reducing the ID position to its essence.  If we strip away the obfuscation, wishful thinking and wilful attempts to mislead used by the likes of Behe, Dembski et al, it's always been driven by appeals to personal incredulity.  "But it just doesn't make sense!  Isn't it obvious that this couldn't have arisen without supernatural assistance?"

The natural world doesn't care whether its behaviour makes sense to you, or to anybody else.  It just keeps on doing what it's doing, without even pausing to consider whether you like it or not.  What's more, we know that many of its workings are completely contrary to common sense (relativity and quantum mechanics, for example).

If you don't like the theory of evolution, no-one is going to be impressed with the nasty taste in your mouth.  What's your evidence for not liking it?

Date: 2007/01/25 11:25:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 24 2007,17:46)
Okay, I still haven't been able to keep off the hard tard.

This quote, originally from UD, just got referenced on FSTDT:

11:08 am
Muslims countries aren’t as interested in ID because they don’t need to deal with nearly as much atheist scum evolutionists with their evolving mind tricks. All our liberties are allowing the atheists here to destroy our society. George H.W. Bush was intelligent and thoughtful enough to say that atheists shouldn’t really be citizens. Maybe his son will have the intelligence to make a similar point, maybe in his next state of the union adress outlaw evolution. He wouldn’t need to say much, simply something like “every evolutionist is now an enemy of the Republic,” and then explain why. The muslim countries know how to deal with these people(one of the rare things they do right). Why can’t we follow their lead?

Interesting how Febble got banned at UD, but this kind of stuff won't get you banned there.

I think CharlesW* is right.  Shrub does have the intelligence needed to outlaw evolution.

*  No relation, I hope.

Date: 2007/02/02 14:48:47, Link
Author: JohnW
February 17, at the same ASS(watering)hole as last time would work for me.

Date: 2007/02/05 12:18:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (clamboy @ Feb. 05 2007,11:45)
This time, let's get kicked out for loutishness.

In which case, should we switch the venue to Reading Gaol?  I like the idea of being thrown out of gaol.

Date: 2007/02/05 12:21:54, Link
Author: JohnW
So ID implies creation of life by a load of poofs?  Can't wait to tell the British and Australian fundies about this.

Date: 2007/02/06 11:40:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Can we reschedule?  The Pacific Science Center is showing A Flock Of Dodos this week.  Can we meet somewhere nearby, before and/or after?  Maybe Saturday?

Fantastic that the science museum in the DI's home town is doing this.  I wonder if any IDiots are going to show up.

Date: 2007/02/06 14:15:45, Link
Author: JohnW
They've got Pat Boone.  We've got Pete Seeger.  We win.

Nowadays, Seeger doesn't play before large audiences, partly because he fears his voice is no longer strong enough. But he'll spend hours in the club, mischievously giving out bumper stickers reading "Gravity - it's just a theory" and encouraging people to send them to anyone in Kansas, heartland of the anti-Darwinism, creationist movement.

Date: 2007/02/08 10:39:52, Link
Author: JohnW
Excellent.  I've been looking forward to a book like this.  It must have been quite a challenge to distil all the science done in ID laboratories all over the world into a one-volume summary.  Now we have a concise explanation of all the ground-breaking basic research which underlies...

What?  Oh.

Date: 2007/02/13 15:30:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Feb. 13 2007,11:01)
Anyone really know what's going on at  The site seemed to work fine up to about 7 A.M. (PST) this morning, then BOOM!  Same pattern as yesterday.  Are they doing maintenance?  Deliberately being flooded with spam to slow the server?  Other?

It's up and running now, at least for me.  Sound like just run-of the-mill server problems:
Thu, 08 Feb 2007 18:41:58 -0800: has been receiving some heavy traffic recently, and we're working to upgrade the server again to deal with the site's increasing popularity. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this website such a success by submitting articles and spreading the word about it.


On the forum, the "Dave dives daily deeper into doo-doo" thread is up to 133 pages.

Date: 2007/02/14 13:23:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 14 2007,12:54)
Quote (afdave @ Feb. 14 2007,12:28)
Interesting. Back when AF Dave was posting his 20k posts of drivel here at AtBC, the site would slow to a crawl and be unreachable for long stretches of time. Now that he's posting his 20k posts of drivel to, that site has slowed to a crawl and is unreachable for long stretches of time.

It seems that Dave amounts to a one-man DoS attack on evolution websites.
The Evo-Servers see me coming and they cower in fear of the daily Truth Assault!   :-)

Was that a joke Dave? I hope so, as that was one funy statement.

I think I understand afdave's misunderstanding.  Whenever he speaks about evolution, he sees people roll around on the floor, legs in the air, gasping for breath as tears of mirth gush forth.  He thinks they're cowering in fear.

Date: 2007/02/14 17:46:44, Link
Author: JohnW
By the way, I take it as a compliment when an asshat like you calls me “Tard”. Thank you

DaveTard: most complimented man in the world.

Date: 2007/02/15 15:46:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Feb. 15 2007,15:41)
Steve, I apologize in advance for defiling your sacred Bathroom Wall several times in a single day, but Dawkins' server is having a problem right now evolving itself to a more robust, capable form so that it can withstand the onslaught of Daily Truth Attacks™ from guys like me ... rumor has it that they are going to opt for some Intelligent Input™ to the system any day now since leaving it to evolve on its own takes too long.

I thought the truth was withstanding the "onslaught" of your daily attacks rather well.

Date: 2007/02/17 22:16:52, Link
Author: JohnW
Looks like I'm not going to be able to get there tonight.  Can someone drink my IPA quota?

Date: 2007/02/28 10:35:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 27 2007,16:25)
Senator Finney (no relation to Col Sanders) has an online survey that I have been having fun with.  Help him assess his 07 priorities by completing it here.

Senator Finney's priority for 2007 should be:
[ ] Get a clue
[ ] Resignation
[ ] A nice rest in the Tennessee Home For The Bewidered
[ ] Boil head
[ ] All of the above

Date: 2007/03/05 11:23:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Great Moments in Creationist Thought Processes, Episode 957:
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 04 2007,22:06)
If you want to blame someone you'd better start looking at the 30+ million people who think this way.  I honestly have no idea how big this segment is...

Date: 2007/03/05 11:36:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (MidnightVoice @ Mar. 05 2007,07:41)
Do we need to develop a new field - culinary evolution?   :p

Primordial soup?

Date: 2007/03/07 11:39:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Compare and contrast:

Wikipedia on Conservapedia
Widely disseminated examples of Conservapedia articles that contradict the scientific consensus include the claims that all kangaroos descend from a single pair that were taken aboard Noah's Ark, that "Einstein's work had nothing to do with the development of the atomic bomb" and that gravity and evolution are theories that remain unproven.

Conservapedia on Wikipedia
The administrators who monitor and control the content on Wikipedia do not represent the views of the majority of Americans, and many are in fact not American.

Why do you want to learn about kangaroos, Einstein, gravity or evolution anyway?  They're not even American.

Date: 2007/03/07 11:45:17, Link
Author: JohnW
The tard just keeps on coming:

Our solar system is one of the few that has only one sun. Only one sun and only one moon: this uniqueness may reflect the existence of only one God.

And Long John Silver had only one leg.  So that settles it.

Date: 2007/03/07 13:56:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 07 2007,13:25)
Quote (JohnW @ Mar. 07 2007,11:45)
The tard just keeps on coming:

Our solar system is one of the few that has only one sun. Only one sun and only one moon: this uniqueness may reflect the existence of only one God.

And Long John Silver had only one leg.  So that settles it.

So Cyclops was God?

Hitler has only got one ball,
Goering has two but they're too small,
Himmler has something similar,
And poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.

Hitler was God.

Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02, 2006 18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.


Date: 2007/03/08 16:11:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 08 2007,15:30)
Dammit Kristine - Don't go all soft and fluffy on us!
Listen here, sugar – if I want to play Patsy Cline albums (well, I’m at work, so I can’t, but still), get all misty-eyed, think about world unity, and write down the monikers of those UDudes that I want to hug first (making a list, checking it twice, going for those more naughty than nice), then I will. IS THAT CLEAR??? :D

Don’t you ever read the BIBLE? There is a time to wig, and a time to dig, a time for exclamation points, and a time for (was I the only one who noticed this?) periods – and if Doug gets to have periods, :O  ferchrissake, so do I!

(Aren’t you glad I shared that?) :p

First come hugs, then darwinian marriage, then comes materialism in the baby carriage.

I nominate Kristine for AtBC Post of the Month.  And also for AtBC Post of the Time of the Month.

Date: 2007/03/09 10:52:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Let's not lose sight of the fact that most of the throw-out-the-non-fundies crowd aren't envisaging deportations involving airfare, a bag of cash and a nice house.  They're thinking trains of cattle wagons crossing the border on the way to the camps.

Date: 2007/03/29 14:21:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Glen Davidson @ Mar. 29 2007,11:46)
I didn't know where to put this, so picked this as a related forum.  Remember Helphinstine's firing at Sisters, Oregon, for teaching creationism.  His powerpoint presentation is here:

Not very subtle, and it is doubtful that many children learned critical thinking by it, as Helphinstine claimed was his goal.

Glen D

Helphinstine's argument is that "Darwinism" influenced the eugenics movement, and since eugenics is bad, "Darwinism" must also be bad.

Interesting.  Did anyone else notice Slide 9 of the great man's presentation?  Take a look at the bottom right.

And if it influenced the eugenics movement, and eugenics is bad, then...?

Date: 2007/04/03 15:57:10, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (steve_h @ April 03 2007,14:27)
Dembski writes
This book takes the level invective, namecalling, and sexual obsession (while abnegating intellectual content) among our Darwinist critics to a new low.

Of course ID proponents would never do that. Oops, no wait, the whole thing was just an excuse to add "and PZ is the lowest of the low".
But the important question here is, can they go still lower? I’d like to encourage P. Z. Myers to try his hand at a full-length book treatment of ID.

And who better to call for decorum and maturity than the Isaac Newton Of Farty Noises?

Date: 2007/04/04 17:42:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Hmm... no wonder there are so many engineers (and physicists, and mathematicians, and biologists, and economists, and...) who think ID is a load of bollocks.

Date: 2007/04/04 17:59:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 04 2007,17:50)
If Egnor is any indicator, MDs are not very intelligent.

Now that's below the belt.

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

Don't get me started on psychologists, though.

Date: 2007/04/05 10:27:19, Link
Author: JohnW
How can biology be difficult when everything we need to know about it is written in the book of Genesis?  Must be easy if just reading a few pages gives you the expertise to refute Dawkins, Gould, Mayr et al.

The same argument applies to the likes of astronomy, geology and history.  If we want a difficult subject, we need to come up with something not in the Bible.  Betting on the horses, smoking crack or eating cheesy poofs, for example.

Date: 2007/04/05 11:49:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 05 2007,11:15)
In thinking more about those data, it helps to remember that these are scores from the MCAT. Everybody who takes that test is, by definition, a pre-med, even if their major is biology, or engineering, or even English. And as we all know, even if most doctors are intelligent, lots of pre-meds are not. I have taught thousands of undergrads in my 26 years as a biology professor, and I have run across lots of pre-meds who I hope never get into medical school. If they do, I hope that neither I nor any member of my family ever have to be a patient in their care.

More broadly, we should remember that these are, at best, anecdata.  We don't know whether the people taking the test are representative (are economics majors who apply for med school typical of all economics graduates?), and we don't know the relationship between the skill-set being tested for and generic "smartness".  Even if we were satisfied that these were reliable samples being plausibly tested, we'd need to know more about the distributions of scores before we could decide whether the between-group differences were meaningful.

One of the joys of being a statistician is people asking me for help turning a scrap of paper like this into publication-quality results.  I usually hide under my desk or pretend to be French.

Date: 2007/04/06 12:55:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ April 06 2007,12:41)
Ty Harris gets just the help he was looking for, from UDer  kairosfocus:
Is it just an epiphenomenon of underlying neuronal networks firing away, having originated by chance and necessity, and having survived by being well adapted to the life ofan ape with too many neurons for his own good out on the plains of E Africa? So, why should we pay any more attention to it than to a chimp throwing a tantrum and launching lumps of faeces at anyone within range? And, if your consciousness is so delusional that it leads you to imagine that “moral outrage” at those who challenge “facts” and “science” is more than just an interesting fact of your neuronal networks, then why should we take such a delusional brain-emanation any more seriously than we take the ravings and screams of an angry chimp?]

We could go on and on, on the issue of originating the sort of functionally specified complex information that is more and more evidently a fundamental constituent of the cosmos. But first, are “you” there to debate with? (Or are we simply dealing with lucky noise that happened to burst through the internet — chance plus necessity can explain anything in a sufficiently large universe, especially a quasi-infinite one . . .

I hope Ty is appropriately thankful for the support.

Sadly, he probably is.

Date: 2007/04/09 16:30:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 09 2007,15:11)


Priceless.  Time to add another wing to the National Museum of Tard.

Now if only they could find some peers to review this, they'd be able to increase the number of peer-reviewed ID publications to, um, hang on while I check... 1.

Date: 2007/04/16 15:25:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Faid @ April 16 2007,09:48)
Oh my god.

Is-is Egnor REALLY a brain surgeon?

There are some fields of medicine in which you should never, ever practice on yourself.

Date: 2007/04/17 15:36:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 17 2007,14:48)
I use this handy-dandy table to check where I can and can't debate the merits of ID.

VENUE                          CAN I TALK ID?
Peer reviewed journals          No
Kids science class                Yes
Blogs                                  No
Church                                Yes
Labs                                   No
Op-eds                               Yes

It's easy to laminate and store in your wallet.

Richard, maybe you could print this table on the back, to help you spend your money wisely:

PURPOSE                            CAN I SPEND ID FUNDS?
Research                             No
Press releases                     Yes

Date: 2007/04/17 15:56:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 17 2007,15:49)
This would leave out most of UD's readership, since it omits "engineering degree", "theology degree", "I was in the military for a while" and "I don't much cotton to that fancy book larnin".

And of course "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it, and when I meet God I'm looking forward to explaining why I refuse to use the brain he gave me".

Date: 2007/04/18 11:19:16, Link
Author: JohnW
OK, who had "less than 48 hours" in the sweepstake?

Oh, right.  Everyone.

Date: 2007/04/18 12:09:37, Link
Author: JohnW
I've long been interested in what makes creationists tick, ever since I got to university in 1980 and was shocked to find out that some people still believed in Biblical literalism (hello, Mad Norman).  I discovered the forum while following the Dover DI Death March, lurked for a while, then joined the afdave pile-on.

Date: 2007/04/18 12:19:23, Link
Author: JohnW
I heard the story on the radio this morning.  It seems this behaviour is just seasonal - the bats go after songbirds during the birds' migration, when there are thousands of them flying at night.  During the rest of the year, it's back to insects.  It would be interesting to find out whether the breeding cycle synchronises with this change in feeding.

Date: 2007/04/18 13:36:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 18 2007,13:14)
The IDC "open dialogue" meme must be a recent invention. I registered to attend the 2002 IDC RAPID conference at Biola. I was in discussion with someone there about when I would present and about to mail off my registration fee when I got a call from the conference organizer. Dreadfully sorry, he said, but this is a closed conference, only ID advocates to attend. Perhaps I would be so good as to participate in some future, unspecified, ID and critics conference.

There was a second RAPID conference at Biola in May, 2006. The IDC folks learned something from the first: there was no pre-conference public statement that anything at all was happening at Biola. So this "open dialogue" thing is, at its oldest, less than a year of age.

Weblog post on the topic

Recent, but hardly surprising.  The Gish Gallop is a time-honoured creationist tactic: set up a "public forum", tip a bunch of assertions into the manure spreader, and stand well back.  Make fifty unsupported statements in your thirty minutes, watch your opponent spend her thirty minutes refuting two of them, and you win 48-2.

Of course ID is not the same as other branches of creationism, because it's science, not religion, as indicated by all those peer-reviewed publi... what?  Oh.

Date: 2007/04/18 14:15:59, Link
Author: JohnW
-oops - wrong thread

Date: 2007/04/18 14:24:41, Link
Author: JohnW
BSc in physics, MSc in statistics.  I'm a sort of para-biologist, having worked as a biostatistician for the last fourteen years.

Date: 2007/04/19 10:55:15, Link
Author: JohnW
Jerry explains how to deal with objections:
One of the things ID proponents should be trained to do when making presentations is to answer all the common objections as part of their presentation. It would undermine all the hecklers or sign waivers and marginalize their comments.

Which approach do you suppose he's recommending:
1.  ID makes the following testable predictions... and can be falsified by...
2.  Evilushionists are a bunch of atheist Nazi church-burning Ebola boys.  They eat babies too.

Date: 2007/04/20 12:42:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ April 20 2007,12:36)
...with masters classes in clown theatre...

On second thoughts, mentioning WAD, DaveTard or the DI here would be just too easy.

Date: 2007/04/20 14:44:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ April 20 2007,14:35)
A comment in the worm thread reads:

Evolutionist =“Such a complex arrangement could not have been invented twice throughout evolution, it must be the same system,”

Creationist = “Such a complex arrangement could not have been invented once throughout evolution, it must be the amazing,”

Hmm, I guess smidlee did not get the memo.

I don't think anyone over there cares any more.  Ever since Dover, the "But it's all about the science" corpse has been twitching more and more feebly.

Date: 2007/04/23 13:19:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ April 22 2007,08:47)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ April 22 2007,08:41)
Sadly Lenny, your guess was, I believe, wrong. A few Americans who didn't like the stace of the US at the time joined volunteer fighter corps, and flew in a number of mission defending British soil, along with Poles, Norwegians, French and many other nations who had been overrun.

Ah, yes.   There were indeed several Americans flying during the Battle of Britain.

More than several.

And before WWII, let us never forget the many brave Americans and others who fought fascism long before their governments got off the fence.

Date: 2007/04/23 13:32:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 20 2007,16:48)
Prof. Steve Steve couldn't raise anyone on a visit to the ISCID office, either.

That's a really small office they've got there.  I thought the Isaac Newton of Farty Noises would be taller than that.

Date: 2007/04/23 14:03:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ April 23 2007,13:36)
Quote (blipey @ April 23 2007,12:18)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ April 23 2007,11:40)
Quote (blipey @ April 22 2007,01:12)
Yeah.  I can't even challenge DaveTard's assertion that it is illegal to ship single malt scotch across state lines.  that would depend on the states involved and especially where you live.

Nor can I comment on his bad choice of scotch for pricing (or drinking, for that matter).

I am amazed. Never thought that I would defend DS. Surely you don't consider The Glenlivet
a bad choice, do you?

No.  The Glenlivet 18 yr is a fine, respectable whisky.  However (and I may be wrong), I assume that DaveTard meant the 12 yr when he merely typed Glenlivet.  The 12 yr is a bit rough in my opinion and really not in my top 25 or 30 scotches.

The 18 yr Glenlivet is not in my top 10 either, but I would certainly have a couple--neat--if you insist.

My absolute favorite is the 21 yr Balvenie, portwood aged.  The Macallan 25 yr is also very nice.  For a slightly cheaper nice drink I like both the Tamnavullin Stillman's Dram and Laphroaig 15 yr Islay.

WOW! Just blody wow!
You have one #### of an expensive taste in malts sir. The only one on your list of favourites that I have tried is the Laphroaig. "LeepFrog" is the only malt I would add something to (only a cube of ice though). The taste is just too strong for me (flavour rather than ABV [although the ABV is higher than most, it is still #### smooth]).
I bow to your incredible knowledge of the malts. Glenfiddich is good enough for me.
Mind you, I consider Jamesons good enough to drink straight.

Ice?  ICE?  In bloody Laphroaig?

I know this board is pretty casual about banning people, but surely this is going too far.

Date: 2007/04/23 16:42:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ April 23 2007,16:12)
Quote (JohnW @ April 23 2007,14:03)

Ice?  ICE?  In bloody Laphroaig?

I know this board is pretty casual about banning people, but surely this is going too far.

Sorry! But Laphroaig just overwhelms my tastebuts when drunk neat. What can I say in my defense? OK, nothing I guess.

Please forgive me, but I know not what I do, etc.

I like peaty malts, but laph.... leep frog tastes just too #### strong.

Try a splash of water.  Ice just numbs the tastebuds - you might as well save your money and drink the cheap stuff.

Date: 2007/04/24 11:25:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Back on topic...

Great article.  I grew up in a coal-mining village, and both my grandfathers were miners.  Fossils were, not surprisingly, pretty common underground, and one of the local mines had a 20-30 foot section of (if i remember correctly) tree-fern by the gate.  My first exposure to fossils was from looking at the things my granddad found at work.

I've known hundreds of miners and ex-miners.  Many of them were very religious.  Not a single one was a creationist.

Date: 2007/04/24 11:28:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ April 23 2007,20:13)
To any of the regular Dawkins guys reading this, tell Dave I said 'hi' and not to cream his jeans too much.

Rather unlikely if your hypothesis is correct, no?

Date: 2007/04/24 12:18:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ April 24 2007,11:53)
a) Simply because people disagree with you it doesn't follow that their difference is founded on an equally unsupported dogma to the one you subscribe to. The opposite of dogma is NOT another dogma. Presenting any of these clashes (as is your current want) as a clash of mutually exclusive dogmas is false and if continually done after it has been shown to you several times as false, dishonest at worst and stupid at best.

That's the way they always play it, Louis.  Two sides to the argument, both equally valid, therefore "teach the controversy" to provide "balance".  Never mind that one side has a ton of empirical evidence and the other has a questionable interpretation of an old book.  As long as your audience lacks the skills, time and/or motivation to assess the evidence, they get away with it.

As to whether FTK really believes that both positions are equally well-supported: I'm keeping an open mind.

Date: 2007/04/25 11:21:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ April 25 2007,04:26)
John W,

Yup it's a pernicious little bit of quite deliberate dishonesty on the part of the DI et al. The "Teach the Controversy" drivel falsely equates the two "sides" of the pseudo-controversy that is the evolutionary biology/creationism "debate" (I like to keep it right out front that, as I am sure you and everyone else knows, there is no scientific controversy or debate, the issues raised by the DI et al and the ideas they contain were refuted and cosigned to the intellectual trash can well over a century ago).

Sadly, it isn't just christian reconstructionists, right wing nutters, capital C conservatives and neo-con/neo facist ideologues who use this sort of "teach the controversy" falsity, it's a really standard practice for dishonest kooks all across the political and ideological spectrum. Look at the extreme end of post modernist relativism and social studies  (hardly a bastion of right wing or conservative thought!) or the twitterings of new agers and homeopaths, the anti-science claims of extremist animal rights loons, lunatic fringe Gaians (as opposed to those who stay closer to Lovelock's actually very sane and reliable works) and so on and so forth. "Teach the Controversy" is a legacy and facet of our current over exposure to lazy journalism and political demagoguery, the two opposed talking heads approach being a cheap and easy way to convince the gullible many that some in-depth investigation and discussion of the issues has been performed. Who'd have thought that right wing conservative anti-reason and left wing socialist anti-reason were so compatible? I believe Lenny Flank makes a few similar points!


Absolutely right, Louis.  The DI have been very clever in exploiting the "liberal" (in the US sense) attitude of "let's give both sides a hearing and see if we can reach a compromise".  Combine that with an abysmal lack of understanding - among both the public and the media - of how science is done, and you can fool an awful lot of people who ought to know better.

If you say 2+2=4 and I say 2+2=5, the correct answer isn't 4.5.  There are many out there who don't seem to understand this.

Date: 2007/04/25 11:55:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (SLP @ April 25 2007,09:48)
A classic FtK retort:

"I no longer waste my time on pointing out errors in logic and interpretation from KCFS forum members. It doesn't matter what I say, as I am a (gasp) Creationist, and as such am declared a pirahna to all scientific thought.

FTK, you're just a prawn in the game.

Date: 2007/04/25 16:40:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Of course they test and discard unworkable theories.  Where they differ is what they test them against:

Scientists: empirical evidence.
Creationists: literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis.

Date: 2007/04/25 17:17:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Creationism can play havoc with your vocabulary:

YEC requires radioisotope dating to be collaberated with another reliable dating method (carbon 14 dating is not at issue--perhaps you should actually try reading YEC literature instead of misrepresenting their positions).  Currently there is no other dating system that collaborates the dates that radioisotope dating provides, and items whose dates can be established through over means are given vastly inaccurate dates by all the radiometric dating techniques.  This has actually been approached scientifically and researched extensively, but since it throws out dates the evolutionists desperately need, the data from such experiments is branded "bad science".  The rest of your accusations are just more strawmen arguments and misrepresentations.

What a piranha.

Date: 2007/04/30 12:44:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ April 27 2007,21:31)
How can you simplify multivariate data down to three dimensions “without losing information”? Helloooo!

I think I finally understand what they're trying to do.

I've seen a lot of wacky arguments in support of a lot of wacky things, but nothing makes me spurt coffee out of my nose, bite the carpet and scream "Oh my God" more reliably than creation "science".  And obviously, twitching uncontrollably while saying "Oh my God" is an outbreak of religious ecstacy and the first step on the road to Jesus.

Maybe they're cleverer than we thought.  Probably not, but maybe.

Date: 2007/05/01 15:06:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2007,14:01)
Quote (guthrie @ May 01 2007,12:58)
Didn't someone suggest we could produce the next issue ourselves?  It sounded like a good idea at the time.*

*and I wasn't drunk or anything.

yes, they did indeed! On the UD thread I believe.
I found this gem:
So, did random explosions create all this, or did God? What can stop the outward travel of gasses after an explosion in space? For if gravity stopped this travel outward, would it not also pull these gasses back inward so that it would not longer be the beautiful designs that we see? So why has not NASA done a test on this to see how long it would take a gas to dissipate in space? Or maybe, they already know and wish not to reveal that information.

when trolling around the deadly earnest site. Urgh. I bet there is a paper or three right there for this new journal!

Given the ID community's interest in farting, this seems like a natural for ISCID.

Date: 2007/05/01 15:29:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Evolutionist's hall of shame:

No matter how evolutionists try and repackage their theory. It will always be a racist theory because the person who thought it up was a racist. And is also the reason why the people in Sudan are being exterminated, and no evolutionist even lifts a finger to help.

You evil, lying bastard.  I'm ashamed that you and I are the same species.

Before you and the pig you rode in on piss off back to the swamp, a quick question.  Who is carrying out the Darfur genocide?
[ ]  Religious fundamentalists
[ ]  Scientists

Date: 2007/05/01 16:33:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Being able to bare good fruit is God's sign of approval. Can a ministry bare fruit that is not approved by God?

Cover thy canteloupes, hussy!

Date: 2007/05/01 18:16:48, Link
Author: JohnW
Creationists in space! (linked to from here.

My God - it's full of bollocks...

Like the moving parts of a watch, our solar system moves in a precise way. Each planet orbits the sun in a certain amount of time. Each planet's orbit plays a key role in the workings of the solar system itself. And like the watch, remove a planet (or part of watch), and what you see will quit working.

No it won't.

Each one different than the other in both size and speed. But yet it all comes together to work like a finely tuned machined. And yet both are capable of keeping time. And yet one is designed, and the other just happened when something exploded (according to claims). But unlike the watch, our solar system contains something even more unique that the creation of either. And that is the creation of life, and a way to sustain it. Could life be sustained in a watch? Could the watch maker redesign the watch to do this? Of course not. But yet one took a designer, and the other, more complicated, just happened?

So maybe, just maybe, making an analogy between the solar system and a watch has its limitations.  Just a thought...

Could the watch maker add water and create a life sustaining Eco system? Could he add enough self sustaining heat in the absolute zero temps of space?

I suggest going out early tomorrow morning to look for a heat source in the solar system.  Maybe it will dawn on you.

So when you realize just how complicated our solar system is in it's design, even the watch comparison actually becomes some what of a mockery. It's like comparing a Yugo (a very cheap car), to the Space Shuttle. But the watch is the closest man can come to making something that compares even slightly to how complicated the workings are in our solar system. How it all just come together to work as one. So when someone tries to say that it just happens, and it all just works. You can really see the comment for what it really is. Which makes me wonder why science would even promote such comments because it reveals that they do not know as much as they would try and make you think they know. Which makes it more and more conceivable that all of this points to a divine Creator.

The motions of the bodies in the solar system are not that complex - the basic mechanics were figured out in the 17th century, and so well understood that Neptune was discovered mathematically in 1846.  What part of F=GMm/r^2 is so complicated that we have to invoke a deity?

And what is it with creationists and watches anyway?  Has nothing else been invented since Paley's day in Fundieland?

Date: 2007/05/04 11:41:18, Link
Author: JohnW
It's been a while.  Time to reconvene?

Date: 2007/05/07 12:37:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (MidnightVoice @ May 05 2007,15:06)
Side note to evolutionists who are offended by what is said here: Out of all the evolution sites, forums, and blogs I have read. I have yet to see one evolutionist condemn what I have put up on these pages from one of their own sites. Which means one of two things. 1) Either all evolutionists condone what is written on these websites. 2) They are to afraid to speak out about these sites because they know they will be rejected by their peers for doing so. And this is why you will see what you see here. You refuse to speak up about what was going on, on sites like this ( So now you will see it listed on a creationist site

Hee hee

Or 3 - the author of the site is a liar and scumbag.  :D

Oooh - I know!  I know!

It's 3, isn't it?

Date: 2007/05/07 12:42:36, Link
Author: JohnW
June 9 should work for me; so would any of snoeman's suggested venues.  Or maybe the Barking Dog or Reading Gaol?

Date: 2007/05/07 12:50:44, Link
Author: JohnW
From the Red State Rabble link given above:

"It won’t do any good for Darwinists to huff and puff about West’s linkage of Darwinism and the eugenics movement that sterilized scores of thousands of Americans deemed unfit in the early decades of the last century," writes Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute, "the concurrent rise of the abortion movement and the extermination of hundreds of thousands of supposed social undesirables by the Nazis in Germany."

The concurrent rise of the what?  So not only does evolution=Hitler but evolution=abortion (and presumably abortion=Hitler).

As many others have said, this is the end of the "ID=science" strategy.  They're down to a hard core of swivel-eyed wackos and they're circling the wagons.

Date: 2007/05/09 11:57:47, Link
Author: JohnW
The Hi-Life would be fine, but we might need a plan B - it's often packed to the gills on Saturdays.

Date: 2007/05/16 11:57:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (skeptic @ May 16 2007,08:09)
You can dismiss entire sections of the population if you wish, actually according to polls - the majority of the population, but you do so at your own expense.  You ignore what's really happening and what the actual attitudes of people are.

The majority of the population is fundie creationist?  Source, please.

Date: 2007/05/17 11:43:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (skeptic @ May 16 2007,20:14)
Louis, I'm not trying to make a biologic link but given the fact that the vast majority of Americans believe in God (JohnW) the influence on children is tremendous.  

I was wondering what that creaking noise was last night.  Turns out it was goalposts being moved.

I'll take this as an admission that your suggestion that the majority of the population is fundie creationist was either inadvertantly misleading, or deliberate bullshit.

Date: 2007/05/17 14:11:48, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (skeptic @ May 17 2007,12:59)
JohnW, no moving goalposts here.  What do you consider a fundie creationist? hmm?  Somebody who believes in God?  Surely the majority of the US population are not FCs and yet they believe in God.

This term, FC, is just too broad to work for these purposes unless you do think that the majority of the population is made up of moronic fundamentalist creationist (Lou).  If so then useful dialoge on this subject is at an end.

I'd say the term "fundie creationist" is pretty narrow, which is why you haven't been able to come up with a source for your (implied) assertion that they make up more than 50% of the population.

Only one person on this thread is equating belief in a god with creationism.  It's not Lou.

Date: 2007/05/17 14:19:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ May 16 2007,21:02)
The Exodus from Homosexuality
I was surfing around yesterday and fell upon some interesting blogs. One in particular, Randy Thomas, Everyday Thoughts Collected, stood out.

Randy is the Executive Vice President of Exodus International, which is an organization that addresses same sex struggles and evidently provides help for those who are looking to make an “exodus” from the lifestyle.

After following a few links, I came upon his testimony. It’s really worth the read.

posted by Forthekids @ 12:01 PM   0 comments

Two thoughts came to mind:
1.  Poor, pathetic, closeted bastard.
2.  I bet the men's crappers at Randy Thomas' local park see plenty of action.

Date: 2007/05/17 15:25:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ May 17 2007,12:59)
Can we expect one of the chemists that frequent this site to soon develop:

Tardalot -  Primarily composed of hot air.

Davescotazine -  a gasseous methane-like substance with no real properties, other than smell, and an old, moldy houseboat

FTKlite - oily, vapid substance, hard to pin down

As other substances occur to you, please post them here for our amusement.

Afdavium - densest, most impenetrable material known to science.

Date: 2007/05/17 15:28:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ May 17 2007,15:19)
Whew!  It's times like these that I really wish I still smoked.

"Do you smoke after sex?"
"I don't know.  I've never looked."

Date: 2007/05/17 16:32:12, Link
Author: JohnW
You're buying 48%?  Look here (evo/creo question is #12).  Note that according to the poll, 13% of agnostics and atheists are YECs, and another 27% are theistic evolutionists.  That to me says either "badly worded question" or "badly designed poll".

Note also that 48% are YECs, but only 39% think evolution is not well-supported by the evidence.

Date: 2007/05/17 18:04:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (silverspoon @ May 17 2007,17:58)
Of course Gonzalez could end all the speculations about why he was denied.  ISU’s policies require them to inform him in writing the reasons for his denial.

The negative publicity he’s receiving from all the whining the DI is doing must outweigh any prospects of future employment in his book.  Very strange, coming from such an intelligent fellow.

The publicity is all but guaranteeing him a tenured position in the Department of Apologetics at some fundie bible college.  Maybe he's taking advice from The Isaac Newton of Farty Noises.

Date: 2007/05/29 12:50:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (GCT @ May 27 2007,12:58)
If I lived in the area I'd probably do it, although the thought of giving $20 to AiG is quite a deterrent.  It's not so much spending $20 as it is giving it to AiG.

The Cretin Museum has a chapel.  So after your visit, just nip in there and help yourself to $20 when they pass the plate.

Date: 2007/05/30 12:39:35, Link
Author: JohnW
bornagain77 gives us the hard stuff: pure, triple-distilled, illegal-in-27-states hardcore tard:

The truth is that children have a much higher incidence of positive afterlife experiences than s do (+90% to -20%). So it would seem children are much closer to the truth than we are. Since after life experiences are indeed validated as authentic experiences by Van Lommel and a number of other studies, the question now becomes, Why do children have a much higher incidence of positive after-life experiences when temporarily deceased than s do? I think the answer is fairly straight forward. I believe that they have not been corrupted by many of the materialistic lies saying that this world is all there is. Another interesting fact is that other drastically different cultures,Hindu, Chinese,Japanese etc etc.. have a majority of afterlife experinces that are negative when compared to our Judeo-Christian society. This is truly a very facinating phenomena.
I’ve got a short study that I’ve done on this and will send it to anyone via request.

P.S. It is in Pdf. format

Pdf format = Pulled from arsehole, presumably.

Date: 2007/05/30 12:43:30, Link
Author: JohnW
And from the same thread: no undamaged irony meters within twenty miles of kdonk62:




12:09 pm
I would be willing to bet that developmental data also suggests that resistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with reality.

Date: 2007/05/30 17:26:32, Link
Author: JohnW
But it's cheap.

Date: 2007/06/01 14:26:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (GCT @ June 01 2007,11:26)
Quote (JohnW @ May 30 2007,13:39)
bornagain77 gives us the hard stuff: pure, triple-distilled, illegal-in-27-states hardcore tard:

The truth is that children have a much higher incidence of positive afterlife experiences than s do (+90% to -20%). So it would seem children are much closer to the truth than we are. Since after life experiences are indeed validated as authentic experiences by Van Lommel and a number of other studies, the question now becomes, Why do children have a much higher incidence of positive after-life experiences when temporarily deceased than s do? I think the answer is fairly straight forward. I believe that they have not been corrupted by many of the materialistic lies saying that this world is all there is. Another interesting fact is that other drastically different cultures,Hindu, Chinese,Japanese etc etc.. have a majority of afterlife experinces that are negative when compared to our Judeo-Christian society. This is truly a very facinating phenomena.
I’ve got a short study that I’ve done on this and will send it to anyone via request.

P.S. It is in Pdf. format

Pdf format = Pulled from arsehole, presumably.

[emphasis in bornagain's original quote mine, other emphasis by JohnW]

Well, I went ahead and asked for it and received it.  Is anyone interested in seeing it?  I haven't read it yet (haven't had the time and won't until later today or tomorrow).

That sounds like it's going to be way over the lethal dose of tard.  To prevent harm to others, I think you ought to quarantine yourself for a while.  You could ask us again in a couple of months, if your central nervous system is still functioning.

Date: 2007/06/07 18:19:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ June 07 2007,12:27)
Does it look like this?

It looks exactly like that, only less genteel.

Date: 2007/06/08 16:44:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 08 2007,15:49)
I actually don't wish Gonzalez ill, either. He's probably a perfectly fine person to live next to, he presumably pays his taxes and probably doesn't beat his kids. But I don't see him 'reforming' from his more daffy scientific views (that doesn't happen real often), and besides, the DI's exploitation of him has made him permanently radioactive from the perspective of the hiring committee of any real college. No repectable university is going to touch him with a 10-foot pole (a) with his bad track record of getting grants and (b) after the stink that was raised when his tenure vote came thru. So to be honest, his best shot at a comfortable career is if some jerkwater college like Bob Jones or Liberty picks him up -- which probably is what will happen, after the DI finishes milking him dry for PR purposes.  

Given that it's rare for people to reason their way out of deeply-held views they didn't reason their way into, I think you're right, Arden.  The chair in Astropologetics at Billy-Bob's Backwoods Bible School beckons...

Date: 2007/06/08 16:47:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Are we still on for tomorrow?

Date: 2007/06/11 16:41:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Dr.GH @ June 11 2007,16:04)
Do check the Amazon page for this opus (click on the cover).

I see Mr Saboe has reviewed his own book, and given it five stars.  Classy...

Date: 2007/06/11 18:41:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ June 11 2007,17:26)
I would recomend this book to anyone who can read!
 Jebus! :D

But not, apparently, to anyone who can spell.

Date: 2007/06/12 12:40:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Let's get our facts straight. When the "scientific" community proclaimed the earth to be flat, it was the Bible (Isaiah 40:22) that said otherwise: "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth. …"

And when did the "scientific" community proclaim the Earth to be flat, O Scare-quote-using One?

Also, all the geometry books I've ever seen say that circles are two-dimensional.  Of course, Euclid was a pagan, so what did he know?

Date: 2007/06/12 12:52:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ June 12 2007,12:48)
What the Falwell is a "non-living organism" anyway?

Well, Falwell, for one.

Date: 2007/06/12 13:04:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (VMartin @ June 12 2007,12:59)

Davison has been very banned. I am not privy to exactly why, and haven't asked, but I would guess the answer is something like "relentless insanity".

And I guess the problem is John Davison's concept of prescribed evolution you are so afraid of. An idea of directed evolution is something darwinists hate at most. They somehow feel deep inside that mystery of life can't be an outcome of random mutation&natural selection. To supress their conscience they only  bawl as if at a football match. Yet darwinists have no arguments - see this thread  or One blog a day where John is participating.

It is also weird that folks here mentioned insanity. It looks here like in a cage of fools. Many of darwinists are probably ventilating here their atheistic frustration from their senseless life.

Also the literary surrealistic woman dividing her time between oriental dancing and neodarwinism is a curious case.

So I would reccomend that John Davison should be let in, becasue his opinions are sound and his concept of evolution shed light on evolutionary process.

Thank you for explaining what I feel deep inside.  I had no idea I felt that.

Now run along, and come back when you've found a way to falsify "directed evolution".

Date: 2007/06/12 16:48:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (PennyBright @ June 12 2007,16:03)
I can remember seeing sharks at the boston aquarium when I was a tiny girl - I couldn't have been more then 5 years old.   What struck me most - I can still see it in my minds eye - is how "not fish" they looked.   Very very different then anything else I've ever seen.

Speaking as a lay person (and expecting a slapping from Ichthyic if I've got this wrong):  "Fish" is not a very helpful term in taxonomy, and while cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays and bony fish like most of the others share a common ancestor, they've been separate groups for an awfully long time.  You and I are more closely related to a mackerel than Ichthy's toothy friend is.  So it's not surprising that sharks look so different.

Date: 2007/06/12 16:52:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ June 12 2007,14:30)
Whilst with the British army in Belize, we was warned about something similar. Aparently they where capable of swiming up a stream of urine and getting inside of you. The answer was to keep stopping the flow of urine so that you "pissed" in an interupted stream.

Once I got used to doing that it became a habbit. So much so that I occaisionaly still "pinch" when urinating now (aprox. 20 years on).

I think we have a performer for the ATBC Church-Burnin' Cabaret.

Date: 2007/06/13 11:58:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 13 2007,11:51)
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 13 2007,11:26)
Quote (stevestory @ June 11 2007,21:48)
Quote (Louis @ June 11 2007,07:03)
P.S. SteveS/Wes, if I EVER say anything bad about your moderation again (and I was wrong before) I shall fly over to your houses, hand you a 2 by 4 and let you beat me stoutly around the head and neck with it. I shall also provide the beer. ;)

The trick is to bring lots of really high gravity beer so I get smashed and can't work the 2x4 well.

Quick, someone patent "Singularity beer"

"Stringest beer in the universe" - DT.

How about this for a marketing campaign?

High Gravity Beer - Strongest Beer in the Universe.  Way Stronger than Strong Nuclear Beer!!

Black Hole Beer: Get it down, and you'll never get it up.

Date: 2007/06/13 18:01:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ June 13 2007,17:07)
Cross-posting my Galapagos Diary.
...Jerry Falwell Deconverted on Deathbed with a special appearance by JAD at the end.

Takedown of the week.

I love it so!

Date: 2007/06/13 18:05:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ June 13 2007,17:37)
Quote (Henry J @ June 13 2007,17:29)
Yowza. Wouldn't wanna meet that guy in an alley... (Or anywhere else, for that matter.)

Yeah, that is if he really existed.  I'm all for Ftk telling me how this couldn't possibly be evidence that dinos are ancestors of birds.

Could be Cretaceous, could be Bronze Age.  I'm keeping an open mind.

Date: 2007/06/15 16:24:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (someotherguy @ June 15 2007,15:56)
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 15 2007,15:51)
You must know that evolutionists speak in churches and claim that TE is a religious position as well.

THAT i gotta see.

do show us an actual evolutionary biologist standing in front of a congretion, attempting to show how the ToE is a religious position.

I rather think you are completely delusional.

and yes, I'm being deliberately redundant in saying so.

My guess is that by TE ftk meant "theistic evolution," not "evolution, theory of."

That's the way I read it as well.  And if she did mean "Theistic Evolution", then it is a religious position*, and I think most theistic evolutionists would concur.  Why is speaking about this in churches so outrageous?

*Edit: the religious position being the "theistic" part, not the "evolution" part.

Date: 2007/06/15 16:29:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ June 15 2007,16:16)
Okay, I'm outa here until my party is over...

Your party's been over since Kitzmiller v. Dover, ftk.

Date: 2007/06/20 10:08:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (skeptic @ June 19 2007,16:41)
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."

Skeptic, sometimes it's time to shut the book.  All science is provisional, and the book can always be reopened if spectacular new evidence comes to light.  But if someone is flogging a long-discredited set of ideas, and they are doing so for theological reasons, with dodgy evidence and flat-out-wrong methodology, do we even have a scientific line of of inquiry?

Where should we draw the line, skeptic?  Geocentrism?  Phlogiston?

Date: 2007/06/28 16:35:50, Link
Author: JohnW
There's a running joke in my family about the "Two-Bucket Award".  My Dad once won a bet with a coworker who claimed he could lift himself off the ground by standing in two buckets.  ("You've got the left leg up. Now pull harder on the right.")

Critics often set up a straw man concerning Noah's Ark, saying that there's no way every species alive could have fit on it. But that wasn't necessary. Let's take dogs for an example. It's plausible that all of the worlds modern dogs, foxes, wolves, dingoes, hyenas, and jackals are descended from a single pair of dog-like creatures that survived on the ark. They would have had a very robust genome, with all of the information needed to produce each of the 'species' listed above. As population groups spread accross the globe, certain genetic information was lost over time in each group, leaving other genes to be expressed. That is a process that creationists call speciation, and it's NOT the same as evolution because it represents a LOSS of genetic information over time rather than a gain. Note that it's also testable, simply by breeding, say, jackals and wolves together, and seeing what happens.

Posted by: Charles at June 25, 2007 08:20 PM

Charles: Order of the Two Buckets.

Date: 2007/06/29 11:26:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 29 2007,11:14)
What do people do for fun in Aberystwyth?

This should be saved for posterity.  Two words you'll never, ever see in the same sentence again.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:21:07, Link
Author: JohnW
At last.  Time for the Isaac Newton of Farty Noises to settle this once and for all.  He should ask Dr Lerle whether Darwin caused him to become a Nazi sympathiser.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:22:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 29 2007,14:59)
With the UD mindset, if it's not in English, it doesn't exist.

Official documents in German therefore prove nothing.

After all, Jesus spoke English. Right?    Right?

Exactly.  And if it's good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for the Germans.

Date: 2007/07/03 11:07:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 03 2007,06:21)
(I'm not excusing Blair, who has done little to help matters, although I think his is the best premiership we've had in...well since before milk snatcher at any rate)

Best PM since Callaghan?  Now that's what I call damning with faint praise.

Date: 2007/07/03 12:10:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 03 2007,11:48)
Quote (JohnW @ July 03 2007,11:07)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 03 2007,06:21)
(I'm not excusing Blair, who has done little to help matters, although I think his is the best premiership we've had in...well since before milk snatcher at any rate)

Best PM since Callaghan?  Now that's what I call damning with faint praise.

What was wrong with Callaghan?

Well, he was nothing special, but my point was that "best PM since before Thatcher" means "better than Thatcher or Major".  I've seen unicellular pond life that would have been better than Thatcher or Major.

Date: 2007/07/03 15:21:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 03 2007,14:30)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 03 2007,14:08)
Not sure what to say. So a desk driving political employee is considered worth more than someone who actually does risk their life in service to country?

I don't think the comparison you are making is the correct one.  Libby isn't the show here and I have a hard time sharing everyone's indignation at the decision to commute his sentence.  To be sure, it is a crime that he lied to a grand jury and he was probably complicit in the underlying crime of outing Valerie Plame in the first place. But, it is my opinion that Libby is basically a useful idiot, a fall guy.  The real problem children in this whole sordid affair are Cheney and, most likely, Karl Rove.  So, it wasn't a matter of trading off Plame for Libby.  Rather, Plame "had" to be outed to shore up the edifice of the Administrations justification for going into Iraq.  Libby was a tool of the adminstrations policy and a sacrifice to the special prosecutor.

The commutation of his sentence was, as I have heard it described, the way to shield him from punishment, but keeping the conviction on the books so that, if hauled before Congress, he can still invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify against himself (and, by extension, his bosses.)  Sweet little deal.

I strongly suspect (but don't expect to ever see proof) that Libby knew this was the deal all along.  He takes the fall for his boss, his boss' boss makes sure he never sees any jail time, the slush fund takes care of the $250,000, Fourth-branch Dick continues to walk the earth a free man, everyone's happy.  I think this was all explained to him before Plame was ever outed.

It was wrong to let him off, but I can think of one or two others who should have been thrown into a deeper, darker hole for a lot longer.

Date: 2007/07/05 01:16:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 04 2007,22:47)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 04 2007,16:07)
Rioting in the streets was a nice game set up by Thatcher, lovely fires they made.

Here's a LOVELY statistic. I quote:

"Since Margaret Thatcher first came to power in 1979, the number of people living below the official poverty line in Britain increased from 6 million to 11.7 million by 1986. Employment in manufacturing industry has decreased by almost 2 million, while the number employed in the service sector has increased by 746,000"

An increase in over FIVE MILLION living below the poverty line. FIVE MILLION. Lets say it again FIVE MILLION.

While the rich got rich, the poor mostly got poorer. At least until Black Wednesday..... ridiculous boom and bust economics that sent our economy crashing, even the rich got poor that day.

Here's another choice quote:

"She had a preference for indirect taxation over taxes on income, and value added tax (VAT) was raised sharply to 15%, with a resultant actual short-term rise in inflation.[citation needed] These moves hit businesses -- especially the manufacturing sector -- and unemployment quickly passed two million, doubling the one million unemployed under the previous Labour government."

Privitisation, unemployement of (officially) 3.6 million or (estimated) 5 million. 5 million unemployment! This was a RISE from the previous labour figures.

What is the poverty line? Would you consider a person that has access to housing, heating, adequate food and clothing to be living in poverty?

Privitisation wasn't universally bad. At least 1 business going private was a good thing. The telecomms area was a major bonus to it's customers by going private. On the whole though I do agree with you on that point. Water, power and the railway should have stayed in public ownership.

Mass unemployment was very worrying. That was in the early years of her government though. Things did improve.

Manufacturing declined because we was uncompetitive. It was cheaper to buy imported goods rather than UK manufactured ones and so that is what most people did. It is sad that British manufacturing has dropped drastically but how would you have prevented that happening? I can only think of a few unaceptable ways.
1)Reduce British workers wages and working conditions to make UK products cheaper.
2)Ban imported goods.
3)Impose a huge tarrif onto imported goods that threatened UK ones (effectively the same as number 2).

VAT. Is that a tax that the UK has any authority on? I am not certain but thought VAT was a EU tax.

Good grief.  Are you too young to remember the Thatcher years, Stephen, or has a warm rose-tinted glow already settled over the '80s?

"Mass unemployment was very worrying" - not to the Thatcherites it wasn't.  It was created.  Deliberately.  How better to increase profitability and help the rich get richer than to make several million people desperate for a job, or terrified of losing the ones they had?

Still, never mind, eh?  Quite a few of them still had "access to housing, heating, adequate food and clothing", and the ones who didn't were probably "parasites".

Date: 2007/07/05 11:40:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 05 2007,10:37)
I don't think they got together and said "How many can we drive out today?" I think they just didn't CARE that they made so many unemployed. They felt what they did was the best for the country, and so they aimed for it. Thatchers use of the John Adams comment about people getting crushed in the wheels (paraphrasing, obviously) shows just how much they didn't care. If someone sees massive problems for a proposed action and DOES NOT CARE then they aim to do it, if only by collateral.

Ian, I think it was more sinister than that.  It wasn't just that they didn't care; mass unemployment was the means by which they shifted money and power in the direction of their supporters.  If people have lost their job, or are frightened of losing thier job, it's much easier to accept lower wages and poorer working conditions.  I'm sure many of them were decent enough to have preferred another way of achieving their aims, but they thought it was a price worth paying.  Which is an easy decision to make when it's not you paying the price.

Date: 2007/07/06 11:07:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Clasing poverty as earning less than half the average income is crazy. By that criteria it would be damn near impossible to be rid of poverty.


Date: 2007/07/06 11:16:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ July 05 2007,18:43)
I'm stepping through "Endless Forms Most Beautiful," probably last here to do so.

Not quite.  On my shelf, not read yet.  I'm about a third of the way through Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis".  I'll reserve judgment until I've finished it, except to say that it's a fantastic bus book.  For those who haven't seen it, the cover has "GOD" in huge letters, with smaller letters below reading "The Failed Hypothesis", then in tiny ones "How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist".  I've had several people sidle up to me with grins on their faces, get closer, then turn pale and back away slowly.

Which reminds me, I must get the shower fixed.

Date: 2007/07/06 11:26:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 06 2007,11:12)
Some of the articles on that SALVO site are pretty frightening. This one, by some theology major at Loyola/Chicago, has the heading "True tales of students caught in the academic crossfire".

What's her beef? Gasp, a guest lecturer in her 300-level Bioethics class was a "1989 doctoral graduate of Loyola, [and] a founding member of the abortion provider Jane, Inc., which “served” women seeking abortions during the decade prior to 1973." Seems like you'd want to have lots of viewpoints expressed in a Bioethics class, and inviting guest lecturers might be a good way to introduce a diversity of opinions. But no, this theology student, true to her kind, writes    
Ethics ought to be taught by those who are truly ethical, and I want my teachers to actually teach instead of just facilitating discussion; that is why I pay $30,000 a year to attend a private university!

Translation - Just tell me the ethics, don't make me think about it, and please don't make me discuss it with any of those other folks in the class!

"Ethics ought to be taught by those who are truly ethical."  Indeed.  And classes about organised crime should be taught by Mafiosi, ancient history should be taught by dead people, and religion should be taught by gods.

Biology, however, should be taught by lawyers and engineers.

Date: 2007/07/06 11:39:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 06 2007,10:44)
Quote (stevestory @ July 06 2007,10:31)

Conversation I overheard in North Florida on the playground about 20 years ago:

kid 1: about 20,000 years ago there were ten foot tall chickens right here that would eat you.
kid 2: musta been pretty sh*tty for the people living back then.

Actually, I dimly remember reading an article a couple years ago (can't remember where) about a gigantic flightless bird that's known from fossils in Florida. I don't remember how long ago it went extinct, but if it went extinct in the Pleistocene, that would mean it might have been hunted to death. So that kid might have been remembering an extremely mutated version of that story.

OTOH, if it went extinct say, 6 million years ago, then your playmates were just being tards.

Titanis.  Was thought to have gone extinct about 15,000 years ago, but this was more recently pushed back to the Pliocene (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

Date: 2007/07/06 12:30:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Don't think I can make it tonight - if my son finds out I'm going to anything pirate-related without him, I'll be in serious trouble.

Date: 2007/07/06 12:34:51, Link
Author: JohnW
After a few months of reading ftk, I've developed a magnificent set of eye-rolling muscles.

Date: 2007/07/06 15:44:02, Link
Author: JohnW
[quote=Stephen Elliott,July 06 2007,14:19]
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 06 2007,12:42)
Quote (JohnW Posted on July 06 2007 @ 11:07)

Clasing poverty as earning less than half the average income is crazy. By that criteria it would be damn near impossible to be rid of poverty.


Ask your question better and I will answer. Do you expect me to give an explanatory answer to the question "Why?" Be clearer. Your question could mean 2 things. If it was the first part I have already explained in the post that you queried.

1.  Given that I don't think there are an awful lot of economies with first-world living standards but average annual incomes of £300,000 or £120, why is classing poverty as earning less than half the average income "crazy"?
2.  Why would it be "damn near impossible to be rid of poverty"?

Date: 2007/07/06 15:51:19, Link
Author: JohnW
I can't find a reference, but I've seen discussions of that website before and I'm pretty sure it's a parody.  It's just so hard to tell with this stuff, though.

Either way up, it's magnificent:
That kangaroos are not mentioned in the Genesis account of the Flood, either by name or description, is unsurprising due to the great number of kinds of animals that were in the Ararat area at the time. What's a kangaroo or two among a great throng of pandas, mastodons, velociraptors, and giraffes?

Edited to add: just found this:

Hello, my name is Dr. Richard Paley. I am a Creation Scientist.

Dr. Paley?  Busted!

Date: 2007/07/09 11:22:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 09 2007,02:09)
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 08 2007,20:26)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 08 2007,09:13)
    Immediately after Bechtel bought the municipal water supply in Cochabamba, the American firm raised prices two hundred percent and cut off water access to the poor.

Those guys are all heart, aren't they . . . . .

HINT:  Any time you hear any corporado or politico declare that they have the best interests of the poor and downtrodden at heart, they're bullshitting.

Assuming that the term "corporado" refers to someone such as a board member of a corporation then I believe that you are correct. From what I understand the board of a corporation has to put the profits of shareholders as it's number 1 priority by law. So if corporations are to be made "nicer" I guess laws are needed to make it unprofitable to behave otherwise.

My emphasis.

Despite our disagreements about La Thatch, I think we're on the same page quite a lot of the time, Stephen.

Date: 2007/07/09 11:26:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 07 2007,20:43)
This is amusing.

As previously noted, I am reviewing a book entitled Evolution and Religious Creation Myths. I browsed over to the Amazon listing for this book, and found that it had been reviewed on June 12 by someone named "Booklady". She panned it.

The only problem with that is that the authors, in a response to this review, point out that the book was not available at that time; they hadn't even received their examination copies by that date... This review was written by someone who never read the book, only the title!

Given that the location for "booklady" is somewhere in California, I gotta wonder if this is yet another example of Larry Farfarman's fabulous abilities to review books without even reading them!

Possible, but built on pretty slender evidence.  This sort of thing happens all the time on Amazon.  Just look at the reviews of books by anyone controversial (Dawkins, Moore, Coulter, etc.) and it's pretty clear that few "reviewers", on either side, have read what they're critiquing.  They can't all be Larry.

Date: 2007/07/09 14:55:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 09 2007,12:46)
Any cosmologists on this board? Over at UD someone named sinclairjd, who gives as his home page URL the "Reasons to Believe" website of Hugh Ross et al., writes:    
The direction of quantum cosmology is to deconstruct the notion of time, causation, or both. Hence these cosmologists deny the basic concept of evolution (things change with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics). Given that biological macroevolution is a special case of capital-E Evolution, these cosmologists are essentially (but unknowingly) denying Darwinism.

I suggest pitting the cosmologists against the biologists. If the cosmologists blink (and they will), they will vindicate the cosmological argument (Kalam version).

What we learn here is that sinclairjd has a talking bum.

I've never heard of any cosmologist who denies that "things change with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics".  Quantum physics does show that causality gets a little weird at the Planck scale.  The only way that this can be extrapolated to mean what sinclairjd claims is through the application of several thick coats of tard.

Date: 2007/07/09 17:38:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ July 09 2007,17:00)
Edit:  It's fun to read her response.  She rewrites not only the history of her OP, but that of her time here at AtBC as well.

From the aforementioned response to blipey:

The reason I didn't talk about anything "important" at AtBC is because it was quite obvious that I was merely a big joke to them...the nutty Christian. What's the point in spending a lot of time trying to make my point? I tried several times and was lamblasted.

Interesting view of causality here.  As far as I am concerned, ftk was a joke because of her consistent avoidance of anything "important".

I like "lamblasted", though.  Nice mental image.  Bombs away!

Date: 2007/07/10 11:14:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (hooligans @ July 10 2007,10:05)
Here is another great question from his class about Intelligent Design. I'm wondering what counts as a correct answer, seeing that I can't think of a way to answer the question without running away. Oh wait, Dembski did run away from the Dover Trial. He must of not got any good material from his students to use in the trial. Here is the essaay prompt:
2. You are an expert witness in the Dover case. You’ve been asked to summarize why you think intelligent design is a fully scientific theory. Do so here. Sketch out ID’s method of design detection and then show how it applies (or could apply) to biological systems. Further, indicate how ID is testable: what evidence would confirm ID and what evidence would disconfirm ID?

I've heard of faculty people getting students to do all the legwork, but this is ridiculous.  In all these years, Dembski has failed to do any of these things.

Date: 2007/07/10 18:18:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (steve_h @ July 10 2007,17:50)
You are a slightly disreputable conveyor of pseudoscience to the religiously uninformed.  A foundation with more money than sense offers you a wad of cash to produce a book about theology, which is a hobby of yours. Unfortunately,  you wish to distance yourself from that for the sake of your book sales and notions of sciencyness.
Do you:
A) promise them a book on theology, and then write it,
B) offer to write them a book on your pet subject which has unfortunately has nothing to do with theology and hope they accept, or
C) offer to write a book on theology, but deliver a book on your pet subject and run away with $100,000?

Examples of non-credit answers:  A & B.

D) offer to write a book on theology, but deliver a book on your pet subject and run away with $100,000 while making farty noises?

Date: 2007/07/12 11:07:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ July 12 2007,06:42)
I read the Chopra review in Skeptic and shook my head.

A tree died for those pages,Chopra should be ashamed of himself.


Chopra has killed a lot of trees already, while assembling his magnificent collection of green pictures of dead presidents.  Spouting the same old crap in another forum is hardly going to shame him.

Date: 2007/07/12 14:39:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JAM @ July 12 2007,14:28)
IOW, why are there no pharma firms run on the "theory" of ID?
Why aren't there any creationist fossil hunters?
Why aren't there any pharma firms run by animal-rights wackos, in which all the cell culture is vegan (no bovine serum) and all the drug trials begin with human subjects?

Do we fail to exploit this? Is it effective for those in the Muddled Middle?

If you have a spare seven or eight days with nothing better to do, you might want to peruse the "afdave" threads from a few months ago.  He was repeatedly asked whether any corporations were using the young-earth/global flood premise to do geological work, e.g. oil exploration.

The silence was long and total.

Date: 2007/07/12 15:08:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JAM @ July 12 2007,14:58)
Yeah, but did it change his mind (whether he admitted it or not) or anyone else's?

Guess I'll have to break the news
That I got no mind to lose

- Ramones

Date: 2007/07/13 12:39:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 13 2007,10:52)
Anyone ever seen this before?

That's tard for the ages, Ian.  Like a fine malt, it should be savoured in small amounts, or you'll throw up, your eyes will hurt, and you'll get a splitting headache.

From here:
Geology shows that every mountain either has:
Sedimentary rock (rock deposited by water) on top of it;
Sea life fossils;
Or sea shells on top of them.

Yup.  Every mountain.

Date: 2007/07/17 10:41:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JohnW @ July 06 2007,11:16)
I'm about a third of the way through Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis".  I'll reserve judgment until I've finished it, except to say that it's a fantastic bus book.  For those who haven't seen it, the cover has "GOD" in huge letters, with smaller letters below reading "The Failed Hypothesis", then in tiny ones "How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist".  I've had several people sidle up to me with grins on their faces, get closer, then turn pale and back away slowly.

Finished it.  He makes some good points, and although I think he makes an unjustified leap from "no evidence of existence" to "therefore non-existence", I agree with his overall conclusion that the universe looks exactly the way we would expect it to look if there was no god.  It was nice to see such a concentration on the scientific evidence, rather than "religion is evil".

Now reading Owen Gingerich's The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Date: 2007/07/17 11:35:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ July 17 2007,11:03)
Quote (JohnW @ July 17 2007,16:41)
He makes some good points, and although I think he makes an unjustified leap from "no evidence of existence" to "therefore non-existence", I agree with his overall conclusion that the universe looks exactly the way we would expect it to look if there was no god.

While, philosophically speaking I agree with you, the question that always springs to my mind is "would we be so philosophically precise and indulgent if we were talking about unicorns, fairies at the bottom of the garden or celestial teapots?".

My guess is we'd say "yes", but the bulk of the time we'd act "no".

A person who claims that they ride a unicorn to work every day and is paid by pixies in special fairy money, which is worth double, and has a direct phone line to Batman doesn't get the same treatment as a person who claims that they have a direct mystical hotline to the creator of the universe and we can get one too if we just abandon the evidenciary approach on the matter.


I more or less agree with you, Louis.  I think the absence of evidence, given that it is total absence of evidence, is very, very strong evidence of absence, and it's why I am an atheist.  I Just think that Stenger stretches the point a little.

If we uncovered evidence that the universe had been created by a god (and I have no idea what that evidence might be) I would be very, very surprised, but I'm not prepared to rule it out totally, in the way we can totally rule out a 6,000-year-old Earth, or fairies at the bottom of my garden.  (The unicorns ate all the fairies).

And the fact is that most people do weigh the evidence on God in a different way to the evidence on unicorns.  It's for cultural reasons, and it's not a good thing, but I think we have to just learn to live with it.

"If only God would show me a sign.  Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank."
- Woody Allen

Date: 2007/07/17 11:53:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dhogaza @ July 17 2007,11:47)
Oh, God, Denyse is bringing the old claim that Stephen Jay Gould didn't really believe in evolution back to life.

Here on her blog.

Are you surprised?  This is going to do the rounds for decades, along with Darwin's deathbed confession, the second law of thermodynamics, the Paluxy footprints, no transitional fossils...

They never retract anything, no matter how silly.

Date: 2007/07/17 16:01:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ July 17 2007,15:30)
Just to help: a Class A Slut is one who does {terminology removed to protect the innocent} without being begged first. Sometimes she may use a kettle flex to {terminology removed to protect the innocent} then rub Vicks Vapo rub into the {terminology removed to protect the innocent} to increase {terminology removed to protect the innocent} and {terminology removed to protect the innocent}. On occasion, if asked very nicely she may {terminology removed to protect the innocent} using several white mice, a sterilsed garden fork, 2.67 litres (no more, no less) of properly prepared Cornish clotted cream from a small dairy in Mousehole and a ripe mango. The mango can be substituted for a kiwi fruit, but only by prior application to Her Majesty  and the acquisition of the appropriate {terminology removed to protect the innocent} license.



I think we can trust Louis' expertise here.  On the evidence of his name, he is either
a.  an English aristocrat
b.  French.

Either way, he ought to know.

Date: 2007/07/18 10:41:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 18 2007,01:38)
Isn't the tenderloin of an Alsatian traditional in Britain?

Arden, Arden, Arden...

We're evilushonists.  We eat babies.

Date: 2007/07/18 12:14:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ July 18 2007,11:23)
Sam Chen is making stuff up...
Others have said that if a president or presidential candidate lends an ear to ID, he or she should be impeached. What is everyone's opinion on this? Should political candidates be ousted for lending an ear to ID?


I suppose he's trying to beef up his resume with some good ole lying-for-jesus, so that he too may one day become a Discovery Institute Fellow. Good luck Sam.

Given the posting rate, and the average OE poster's degree of connection to reality, how long do you suppose it will take for someone to point out that you can't impeach a candidate?

Date: 2007/07/18 18:25:48, Link
Author: JohnW
I recognise Richardthughes, but who's that on the left?

Date: 2007/07/19 10:31:06, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 19 2007,07:23)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 19 2007,06:45)
There is a sense in which fundamentalism promotes a quasi-solipsistic worldview. The solipsist views reality as having only one real actor, himself. Fundamentalists often see only three real actors (or five, if they wish to be trinitarian in math): himself, God, and Satan. Others are either "prompted by God" if they have done something the fundamentalist views as "good", or "seduced by Satan" if they have done something the fundamentalist views as "evil". Everyone else is merely an automaton through which God or Satan acts, though somehow each automaton has "free will", and thus is accountable for every time Satan pulls their puppet strings.

Thus it seems to me that there is no point in interacting with that form of fundamentalist, at least not if you wish to be accorded credit or blame for what you do yourself. They simply don't see you at all. It's just them, God, and Satan having a big board game.

Note that Satan NEVER moves THEM, though.

They're too holy and good for that, ya know . . . .

Until they get caught.  I'm looking at you, Haggard.

Date: 2007/07/19 10:40:35, Link
Author: JohnW
The overarching theme of this conference is "the business leader as intelligent designer."

So we're supposed to worship the boss?

Date: 2007/07/19 10:47:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Let's review our favourite DI document:

Five Year Goals

  * To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
  * To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
  * To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Perhaps the business seminar is an admission that they've crapped out on goal #1, and it's time to try goal #2.

Date: 2007/07/25 16:19:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ July 25 2007,15:30)
Albatrossity I believe that belongs in the Top Tard Quotes thread.

what is the difference between 'Recent Special Creation' and 'Recent Ordinary Banal Run-of-the-mill Everyday Creation'?

It's like the difference between "Ordinary Banal Run-of-the-mill Everyday Education" and "Special Education".  Reading UD usually puts me in mind of the latter.

Date: 2007/07/25 17:34:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 25 2007,17:00)
G.P Jellison answers thusly (he seems sane!)
They are indeed "eclipsing" but why doubt that they are binaries? Their light curve varies as the stars eclipse each other, and spectroscopic observations reveal orbital Doppler shifts. They are used as "standard candles" to determine distances to the Magellanic Clouds and Andromeda galaxies (among others). That depends on the assumptions: (1) they are really binaries; and (2) their light curves are not subject to any sort of time dilation. If either of these assumptions were incorrect, how do we explain that they are used to derive distances that are consistent with each other, as well as with the results of other distance determination techniques?

Sal now has to go into full-on woo mode, buzzwords, catchphrases, the full on Salvador Cordova Experence. After all, the blog is about the young cosmos and can't get whipped pratically on opening week!
Dr. Jellison,

I do not want to minimize whatsover that you may be right. I was merely pointing out the possible (even if remote) chance CDK might be able to survive the problem you pointed out. The eclipsing binaries in Andromeda may have an alternative explanation, and the fact that 9% of spectroscopic binaires are eclipsing was suggested as an anomaly (perhaps a disconfirming anomaly) as well. We are afterall only getting pulses out of "eclipsing binaries". We do not in fact have their orbits in plain sight.

IF, and a big IF, we find the predicted time dilation with visual binaries, then from empirical considerations alone, we might have cause to revisit the interpretation of eclipsing binaries and spectrocipic binaries.

IF we do not find the predicted time dilation with visual binaries, much as I would be biased against the possibility, I would have to defer to the interpretation you gave and consider CDK in current form falsified.

My point is not to dismiss eclipsing binaries merely because it's inconvenient to CDK theory, but to not let it preculde the consideration of surveying visual binaries. For my own personal interest, I would not want to leave stones unturned. I suspect there is a chance we could see the visual binaries follow the time dilation Dr. Cheesman predicted.

And so on and so forth. It's amazing how many things Sal thinks he's expert in.

Might be time to register....

Jesus Christ on crutches.

I'll go through this slowly.  Probably not nearly slowly enough for Sal, but we live in hope.

1.  Because of Doppler shifts in the spectra, we can tell that they are indeed multiple stars.  (As the stars move, we'll see pairs of lines, with gaps which change as the star's velocity relative to Earth changes).

2.  From the spectra, we can determine the spectral type of each star.

3.  From (2), we can estimate the masses of each component.

4.  From the Doppler shifts of the spectral lines, we can estimate orbital velocities.

5.  From the periodicity of the eclipses, we can determine orbital durations.

6.  (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) are all mutually consistent.  If the orbital periods were being slowed down by a factor of 60, I have a sneaking suspicion that this might not be the case.

7.  And if that was not the case, I have another sneaking suspicion that one or two scientists (that's real scientists, Sal) might have noticed.

Date: 2007/07/26 11:54:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Funniest ID parody site on the Web.

What?  Oh.

Date: 2007/07/27 12:16:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ July 25 2007,23:19)
A link bar would be nice.  Links say to PT, talkorigins, various sciencebloggers, Science, Nature, UDoJ, Tangled Bank, NCSE, NASA, New Scientist, y'know, all the good stuff that would be nice to have handy.




Links to the usual antiscience suspects (UD, OE, FTK, Telic Thoughts, etc.), while not necessarily "nice", would be useful.  

Why not link to ISCID also, so we can keep up to date with all their publications.

Date: 2007/07/27 17:53:03, Link
Author: JohnW
In case anyone else is going through a severe bout of Friday afternoon, there's some Grade A woowoo going down here, starting with Brenda Tucker's comment #195576 about half way down.  Enjoy!

Date: 2007/07/30 16:25:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 30 2007,16:17)




4:05 pm
That sort of conduct is vandalism to a business. I hope the store decides to threaten prosecution.

OMG OMG I think I looked at a DVD and replaced it in the wrong isle at best buy the other day. Should I turn myself in?

I hope Best Buy doesn't entertain the thought of assessing the consideration of contemplating the action of pondering the consequences of deciding to threaten prosecution. Too late, Dembski has already called the FBI.


Same thread:


interested bystander


3:45 pm
I did have a little trouble buying the EOE at my local B&N store. After looking in the science section and not finding it, I asked a clerk who checked the computer inventory, it showed several copies were in the store, but no one could locate one for me. I left my phone number and asked them to call when they found one. No call, but I called them back the next day and yes, they found the book and would hold it for me. I made another trip out and got the book.

On the assumption that Barnes & Noble doesn't have a "Complete Bollocks" section, I assume it showed up in either "Religion" or "Business".

Date: 2007/07/31 10:57:27, Link
Author: JohnW
I started to look at the main site (  Sadly, I can't get past the second paragraph without falling off my chair:

Advanced Creation Science

Whoops!  On the floor again!  This is starting to hurt.  

Let's try it once more.  I'm going to hold on really tight this time.

Advanced Creation Science

Ow!  Ow!  Ow!

Date: 2007/07/31 16:34:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ July 31 2007,16:15)
Ftk couldn't care less about whether Brown is right or wrong, or even be able to follow the arguments pro or con.  

I disagree, blipey.

Ftk needs Brown to be right in order to justify her worldview.  Therefore, as far as she is concerned, he is right.  It's what distinguishes religious apologetics (start with the conclusions, then find a supporting spin on the evidence) from what the rest of us are trying to do.

And it's why I don't think Ftk is, in her own mind, lying when she says she's willing to learn.  She's willing to learn new excuses to bolster her unshakeable beiefs, and new ways to handwave away the evidence which falsifies them.

Date: 2007/07/31 16:38:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Rob @ July 31 2007,16:23)
Barry still doesn't get it.  He asks:    
I agree with you wholeheartedly. But the big question is this. What is it about those “chips and marks” on the flint that leads to a design inference?
Why is he asking a question that Hawkeye already answered?  Earlier, Hawkeye said that the chips and marks were "consistent with a human’s having sharpened the flint," which naturally leads us to believe that a human did it.

But Barry comes up with a completely different answer:    
Of course, the answer to that question is what the ID movement is all about. Those chips and marks are both complex and specific, the combination of which tends to rule out blind unguided forces as the cause. The complex specificity of the chips and marks leads to a very reasonable design inference.
Newsflash for Barry:  Dembski's "specified complexity" approach is purely eliminative  -- one concludes design only after all chance+law hypotheses have been eliminated.  That would be a really stupid way to detect design in arrowheads.  A much better way is to compare the capability and inclination of humans to chip rocks in the observed pattern with the capability and inclination of nature to do so.  That is the approach that normal people use, and it's the antithesis of Dembski's method.

IDers say we can only detect design, and can say nothing about the identity of the designer.  Therefore the hypothesis that God made the arrowheads, and left them lying around for the Native Americans to find, is just as valid.

Date: 2007/07/31 17:17:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Henry J @ July 31 2007,17:13)
Re "God was making a god-sized margarita and needed salt. "

In that case, the Mediterranean should be less salty, not more.  :p

Not if that's where he threw the dregs.

Of course, ID says nothing about the drinking habits of the Designer.

Date: 2007/08/01 11:43:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Aug. 01 2007,10:31)
Quote (djmullen @ Aug. 01 2007,05:18)
O'Leary backpeddles like crazy on Bonobos.

My Favorite:      
Hohmann’s oddest observation is about female bonobo “g-g rubbing,” genito-genital rubbing, “hoka-hoka,” or what Parker refers to as “frottage,” when one female rubs her swollen vulva against the vulva of another. Hohman and his team have observed this numerous times, as have many other primatologists. “But does it have anything to do with sex?” Hohman asks and then answers himself, “Probably not.”

Since when is rubbing engorged genitalia against your partner’s engorged genitalia, often while embracing, French-kissing and/or having what looks like an orgasm, not “sex”? Is Hohmann limiting his definition of “sex” only to intercourse? That is hardly appropriate for a creature that is known for engaging in sex for pleasure (including what we might call “bisexuality”) more than reproduction.

To Denyse's credit, I can't even imagine Dembski eating this much crow, unless he had a court order requiring it.

Naw, she's just stalling so she can look up all the words.

No way would the schoolmarm allow this kind of thing at her blog otherwise. :)    
Yes. It was said long ago that everyone finds in nature what he brings to it.
Whoa! Dennnnnyyyyyyssse! ;)

OK, who had "before hell freezes over" in the "when will Denyse say 'frottage'?" sweepstakes?  Anyone?

... crickets chirping...

Date: 2007/08/01 11:57:06, Link
Author: JohnW
Because I have a teeny suspicion that my comment on ftk's blog might not go through, here it is:

"BTW, AtBC, I don't NEED a worldwide flood in order to justify my worldview. A large scale localized flood would do the trick, IMO, and there is all the evidence necessary to very reasonably believe that that occurred."

Are you going to tell us about all this evidence, forthekids?

Date: 2007/08/01 16:06:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 01 2007,15:35)




11:52 am
Someone should keep a compilation of dirty darwinist tricks. It’ll be full time job needing frequent attention.

compiling your baninations is harder, Dave.

Typical Darwinist tricks include...

Using the scientific method
Having a theory
Doing experiments
Finding conforming evidence, or changing their theories
Actually being neo-darwinists.
Pretending to have morals
Not killing babies and grandma's like I think they should...

For perhaps the first time ever,  Dave's right.  Keeping up with all those evil Darwinists as they go about

 Using the scientific method
 Having a theory
 Doing experiments
 Finding conforming evidence, or changing their theories

as documented in all those peer-reviewed papers, is indeed a full-time job.  There's hardly enough time to stop and watch another layer of dust settle at ISCID.

Date: 2007/08/03 11:30:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 03 2007,10:54)
Directly or indirectly it lead to the closure of coalmining in the UK.

Well, that and the NCB's plan to close all those coal mines.  Which was why there was a strike in the first place.

Date: 2007/08/03 12:07:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 03 2007,11:52)
IMO. (and this is POV). The government wanted weaker unions because of the political power that unions had in the 1970s. Unions pre-Thatcher had brought governments down and was considered undemocratic by Thatcher's government. They (the government) wanted a confrontation and Scargill providied it.

The idea that "unions had brought governments down" is quite simply nonsense.  I was living in the UK in the '70s.  If there had been a revolution, I would have noticed.

What happened in reality was that Heath called an election in 1974, appealing to the electorate mainly on the issue of reducing union influence in general, and the NUM in particular.  He lost, narrowly.  The unions didn't bring him down.  The voters did.

You're right, though, about Thatcher wanting a fight and the NUM providing it.  They were already in a weak position, partly because of massive stockpiles of coal at power stations (meaning the power cuts of 1973-74 weren't going to happen).  It's hard to see what else the NUM could do though, after the mine-closure document was leaked.  Strike action was unlikely to succeed given the circumstances, but the alternative was certain massive loss of jobs.

Date: 2007/08/03 12:33:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 03 2007,12:17)
That site also links to this pretty funny, blinkered essay, which concludes from Genesis that mankind probably didn't originate in Africa, and the foolish scientists, who by the way don't understand that science is provisional, will one day be proven wrong.

It's magnificent.

Regarding the scientific evidence referenced by the article that conclusively proves man originated in Africa, such evidence is, in fact, not conclusive. There is an assumption made by the article’s author and the scientists, that must be brought to light. They seem to believe that all the scientific evidence we have cannot be refuted. They believe that nothing remains undiscovered that will point to a different conclusion. Basically, they believe that there is nothing new to be discovered.

Cows are insects.  Evidence that they are mammals is not conclusive, and is based on the assumption that nothing remains undiscovered that will point to a different conclusion.

Date: 2007/08/03 12:38:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 03 2007,12:27)
You keep using the word NUM. What is that all about? NUM=National Union of Miners (aprox). The NUM did not call for a strike, Arthur Scargill did. Arthur Scargill=/=NUM.

Wrong.  The NUM Executive Council called the strike.  Arthur Scargill did not have the authority to do so.

Date: 2007/08/03 14:44:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 03 2007,14:31)
Quote (JohnW @ Aug. 03 2007,12:38)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 03 2007,12:27)
You keep using the word NUM. What is that all about? NUM=National Union of Miners (aprox). The NUM did not call for a strike, Arthur Scargill did. Arthur Scargill=/=NUM.

Wrong.  The NUM Executive Council called the strike.  Arthur Scargill did not have the authority to do so.

You may well be correct there. I am not sure.Even so, I still stand by my claim. The NUM didn't call for a strike.

I am of the belief that the NUM consisted of all it's workers. A union council/leadership is not the union.

I must admit that I still have strong feelings about that strike. It was completely wrong (IMO) for the union leadership to call a strike without baloting it's members. People that I cared about lost an awfull lot without even the decency of having been consulted.

Not balloting was undoubtedly a mistake, but it wouldn't really have changed anything.  The NUM was not a dictatorship, the members were not mindless automata, and an overwhelming majority came out on strike.  I think a strike vote would have passed easily, although that may have been because I was dividing my time between Yorkshire and Durham at the time.  If I'd been in Notts, I might have thought differently.

Date: 2007/08/03 16:32:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 03 2007,16:19)
- a collection of pristine vinyl: Brahms clarinet sonatas, Bach Partitas,  Schubert's beautiful Sonata for Arpeggione (sort of a super cello) and piano, and so on.

That's asking for trouble.  Ever read A Clockwork Orange?  After this trauma, you might never be able to listen to them again without your lunch taking an encore.

I'd recommend stocking up on Pat Boone before the next shift at the shitmine.

Date: 2007/08/03 17:18:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 03 2007,17:15)





4:23 pm

Tard Alert!

BarryA: “If no life is posibble without these nano-machines, where did the nano-machines come from?”

Easy. Life as we know it might rely on the these biological machines, but that has not always been the case. As supply evolves, so does demand. Just as these biological machines were evolving to more accurately and efficiently do their jobs, the rest of the cell’s machinery was evolving to more efficiently utilize them.

Consider the automobile: without automobiles, American society as we know it would not be able to survive. But that doesn’t mean American society has always needed automobiles. Nor when the automobile was invented did we instantly plant a nationwide network of superhighways. Transportation technology has been evolving, as has our reliance upon said technology.

that makes way to much sense to go unmolested at UD. He might even get banned for that.

Maybe not.  I expect the UD regulars to fixate on the fact that automobliles are designed, and completely ignore Hawkeye's point.

Date: 2007/08/07 12:10:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 05 2007,11:32)
Thus endeth my look at "Explore Evolution".

Wow.  Outstanding sacrifice of time and neurons to the cause, Lenny.

So how long did you have to shower to get rid of the smell of old garbage?

Date: 2007/08/07 15:01:44, Link
Author: JohnW
At last I understand:
Like I said, let the Democrats clean up the mess. They seem to have all the answers. Hopefully they can turn the nation around. Although, from where I'm sitting, it seems that the political corruption is so deep on both sides of the fence that it'll take a large scale miracle to ever get someone decent into the position of President of the United States.

Listening to the political crap slung back and forth in the media makes me physically ill. It's at the point where I can hardly bear to keep informed of what is going on.

My italics.

So, we can conclude that the political crap slung back and forth became too much for ftk to bear round about the late 18th century, and she's been unable to keep herself informed ever since.  If only her stomach had been a little stronger, she might have got to Hutton, Lyell and Darwin.  Then she'd be able to give the occasional semblance of knowing what she was talking about.

In other ftk news, her latest whine about those nasty ATBCers ( seems to have gone on to a better place.  Ah, whine, we hardly knew ye...

Date: 2007/08/07 15:21:00, Link
Author: JohnW
bornagain77 has hit the jackpot.  I know the competition's pretty stiff, but this is the purest, most concentrated nugget of tard yet unearthed at UD.  A couple of highlights:

Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.

Sounds like a specific prediction of QM to me.  

Materialism predicted that complex life in this universe should be fairly common, Yet statistical analysis of the many required parameters that enable complex life to be possible on earth reveals that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support life in this universe.

Not just unique - even better than unique.  Extremely unique!  And I'm sure you've done a statistical analysis of the data, right, bornagain77?

Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man.

Bill Gates: evolutionary biologist.
Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.


But enough - I don't want to take all the tardliciousness for myself.  Happy tardfinding!

Date: 2007/08/07 15:33:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 07 2007,15:24)
He's been showing that list in every other post he does for about six months now. There was a thorough debunking over at PT IIRC. He's doesn't bother reading the rebuttals, he's too busy posting it in some other forum. Creobot lies never die, they just get re-posted somewhere else.

Well I certainly wasn't claiming any of it was original.  I just hadn't seen so much of it in a single post in a while.

Date: 2007/08/07 16:02:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 07 2007,15:57)
Dembski is cacking his pants... he wont touch a thread with a real mathematician there..

Agreed.  I think he's making the (entirely justified) assumption that almost none of the regulars have any clue what Olofsson's talking about.  After a while, he or one of his lackeys will declare victory, ban Olofsson, and close or delete the thread.

Date: 2007/08/07 19:06:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 07 2007,17:15)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 06 2007,07:37)
Perhaps they don't really have a coherent marketing strategy for this thing, but that would be surprising, since marketing is definitely their strong suit.

I'm still sticking with the hypothesis that this thing was designed (pardon the pun) to serve as their textbook for "teach the controversy", and was written BEFORE "teach the controversy" died a gruesome death in Kansas and Ohio and Georgia.

Now that they are stuck with a "textbook" that they can't teach, they're just trying to sell it to somebody, anybody, to recoup the losses.

After the way they left the Dover Dolts twisting in the wind, even the halfwits at Discovery Institute must realize that no sane school board will ever trust them again.

If I was more of a conspiracy theorist, I'd think that nothing causes contribution checks to be written faster than another court defeat at the hands of a pinko judge (like, ahem, Bush-appointee Jones).  And as the book was ready to roll anyway, and there's bound to be some school district somewhere which is dumb enough to use it...

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and this scenario assumes the IDiots and iDIots know what they're doing, but still...

Date: 2007/08/07 19:10:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Hermagoras @ Aug. 07 2007,19:06)
I promise this is true: I have heard a fundie preacher say that if the King James Bible was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for him.

I'm afraid I have to call bullshit on this one.  I've heard this from dozens of different people, who all heard from a friend of a friend that it was a Georgia/Alabama/Mississippi/Arkansas preacher/professor/state senator/school board member.  It's a good story, but I won't believe it until I see a primary source.

Date: 2007/08/08 17:48:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Kristine gets quotemined!

Anonymous said...

I also get a kick out of her remark about not taking certain remarks by scientists, "literally"!

What Kristine said was:

Beware of astronomers and language; they're like physicists. "Fluffy" planets is somewhat of a joke, like "charmed" quarks – don’t take it literally.

Date: 2007/08/09 10:58:46, Link
Author: JohnW
I submitted the following comment to ftk.  As I seem to be on the shit list, I don't expect it to appear.

A question for the "scientists think they have all the answers" people:

If scientists think they have all the answers, why are scientists still doing science?

I haven't heard of any journals, universities or research institutes closing down because they've run out of things to study.

Insert ISCID joke here...

Date: 2007/08/09 11:11:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,03:25)
Because I've spent a fair portion of my life in Wales?

My family, one half at least, are from there, and I spent at the very least about a month per year of the first 16 of my life their?

Because I live their most of the year, and have for the past 2?

Oh, you poor, poor man.

Date: 2007/08/09 11:41:48, Link
Author: JohnW
Creepy, but at the same time, strangely encouraging.  In order to pull off the "ID is science - it's not about religion" stunt, they have to shut up about Jesus.  But because few of them know any science, and their religious beliefs compel them not to shut up about Jesus, it's hard to maintain the self-discipline to stay on message and not start testifyin'.

This is going down in flames as soon as it reaches a courthouse.

Date: 2007/08/09 14:26:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 09 2007,11:52)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,17:17)
Precisely what is so bad about Wales?

You can't fool me, I've been there.

Me too.  I spent ten years there one summer.

Date: 2007/08/10 10:56:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 10 2007,07:08)
P.S. Oh no the Aussies have given us more than cheap wine. There's the rotary washing line, Steve Irwin (Crikey!), much good Ocker fun, Carlton Cold and much much more.

And Rolf Harris.  How could you forget Rolf Harris?

Date: 2007/08/10 12:18:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 10 2007,11:55)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 10 2007,10:49)
On the fossil comment thread, DaveScot has what could be described as "an FtK moment".        
Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens (sic) does not share ancestry with apes?

Some do and some don’t.

Dave is equivocating around the bush.  1 1/2 years ago he stated:
I will remind everyone again - please frame your arguments around science. If the ID movement doesn’t get the issue framed around science it’s going down and I do not like losing. The plain conclusion of scientific evidence supports descent with modification from a common ancestor...

Which obviously includes hominid descent. Not only does he no longer have the balls to state his conviction on such an important issue when idiotic posts the the contrary appear, the post itself has been vaporized, as searches on UD make clear.

I think this reflects the post-Dover shift of emphasis from "marketing ID as science to the outside world" to "marketing ID as science to creationists".

Date: 2007/08/13 16:54:15, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 13 2007,16:03)
...but legos isn't a word.

Nonsense.  Legos connect your hipos to your ankleos.

Date: 2007/08/14 11:23:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Aug. 14 2007,07:54)
Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 13 2007,22:18)
While I think black holes exist, your logic is incorrect.

Before Newtonian gravitation, nothing explained planetary motion as well as epicycles. However, the lack of an alternative explanation, at that time, did not confirm the existence of epicycles.

The best you can say is that the (indirect) evidence is so strong, that most physicists accept that black holes exist.

No, my logic was okay. Epicycles were based on math that seemed to work at the time, but which had no underlying theory to explain it. Black holes were predicted by a theory that was already verified by other evidence. That's a big difference.

Granted, the "confirmed" is of course subject being overturned by future discoveries. That's why I added the condition "unless there's something else that produces effects indistinguishable from those of black holes".


Epicycles was just curve-fitting, where the curves were circles.  :)

Bad analogy.  Kepler's model of the solar system (with elliptical orbits) predates Newton, and does a far, far better job than epicycles.

Date: 2007/08/14 11:30:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JohnW @ July 17 2007,10:41)
Now reading Owen Gingerich's The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Finally finished it.  Bloody hell, three weeks, and it's a short book.  The combination of biking to work and a very cranky four-year-old hasn't left me much reading time recently.

Anyway, it was utterly fascinating - filled in a whole lot of gaps in my knowledge of Renaissance astronomy.  For example, I had no idea Copernicus' model used epicycles.  And obviously I need to start scribbling notes in the margins of all my books, for the benefit of future generations.   :p

I'll start with the next one: The Real Frank Zappa Book.

Date: 2007/08/14 12:20:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 14 2007,12:12)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 14 2007,11:13)

Richard - And once again we have witnessed Macro-Evolution in process - and only the fittest survive.  

Where fittest = Most Likely To Agree With Tard.

Quote (DaveTard @ 08/14/2007,10:53 am)
Observing a “specimen” found in nature and figuring out the process that made it is the very heart of scientific investigation. We observe hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes and try to determine the processes that generate them. We observe the earth and try to determine the process that formed it.

We observe an organism and say "Stuff this trying-to-determine-the-processes business!  Goddidit!"

Date: 2007/08/14 15:01:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ Aug. 14 2007,14:46)
I really enjoy the show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" on The Food Network.  On a recent show, they actually featured a place I have eaten at, The Triple XXX Family Restaurant, just down the hill from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Seeing the Triple XXX (9 X's?) on TV gave me a craving for a Purvis Burger.  So, tonight for dinner, I am making one for dinner.  

What is a Purvis Burger, you might ask?  Well, it is described thusly:
The Duane Purvis All-American - A very special taste treat!
1/4 lb. of 100% ground sirloin served on a toasted sesame bun with melted cheese on top with lettuce, tomato, pickle, Spanish onion and French fries. Add thick creamy peanut butter on the lower deck and you're in for the touchdown!

That is right. Peanut butter on a hamburger.  I can hardly wait!

The aforementioned "touchdown" being your bum on the toilet seat, presumably.

Date: 2007/08/15 11:46:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 14 2007,21:00)
Quote (JohnW @ Aug. 14 2007,12:30)
I'll start with the next one: The Real Frank Zappa Book.

As part of your homework check out this.

I know.  Seattle in November.  Tickets not on sale yet.

Date: 2007/08/16 14:46:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 16 2007,05:30)
<chortle> Sal thinks he's going to redefine cosmology
If one thinks CDK is outrageous, consider the alternative. The Big Bang. Everything began from a region smaller than the point of pin. Further it requires Dark Matter to make it work.

This is what Dark Matter is Dark Matter: Hidden Mass Confounds Science, Inspires Revolutionary Theories.

And so there is the missing link question of how a star is formed of real matter and dark matter. If Dark matter is gravitational, why does it not accrete (attract to each other and coagulate)? One has to one wonder how stars and planets form in the presence of Dark matter. Something about this seems incredibly unwholsome. Dark matter can assemble galaxies and keep them intact, yet somehow it did not accrete into planets and stars. One could argue that Dark Matter is diffuse, to which I would say "Why?". Why would it coagulate enough to form galaxies, yet not coagulate to help form stars and planets.

So the missing link here is not just the population III star, but a formation mechanism involving Dark Matter.

yeah, whatever Sal, whatever.

Meanwhile, in the real world, actual science is getting done on the subject.

There are things we don't know about dark matter.  The only logical conclusion is that it's all a load of nonsense and everything's 6,000 years old.  Isn't that right, Sal?

Date: 2007/08/16 15:49:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Slugs also rely on tasting nasty.  Very few predators will touch them.

Date: 2007/08/17 10:54:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 16 2007,15:42)
Someone yesterday urged me to read Blood Meridian.

Tremendous stuff.  Blood Meridian was the first McCarthy I read, and I've since read most of the others. (Not The Road yet).  A truly great writer.

Date: 2007/08/17 10:59:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 16 2007,22:17)
Quote (JohnW @ Aug. 16 2007,15:49)
Slugs also rely on tasting nasty. ?Very few predators will touch them.

Oh, really? I would say it is only a darwinian bullshit for children in school how to explain reality not fitting into ?"natural selection" armchair preconcptions. ?


These results represent the only known case of a European slug proving to be toxic to potential predators, and is one of a very small number of reported instances of possible toxicity amongst terrestrial gastropods.


Slugs are known to be killed and consumed by a range of invertebrate and vertebrate predators in the field.

The quotation above is from Journal of Molluscan studies, Oxfordjournals. ?

And how does the range of slug predators compare with the range of snail predators?  I assume you've studied this in the process of coming up with your "better than darwinian bullshit" explanation.  After all, you do have an explanation, yes?

Date: 2007/08/17 16:17:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stephenWells @ Aug. 17 2007,14:08)
Quote (k.e @ Aug. 17 2007,01:03)
D@mn! There goes one of those freakin' neutrinos again its travelling so fast, time is eternal, from it's POV. So souls are neutrinos or something like it---- test that hypothesis physics man.

I once read a rather good French sci-fi novel (Les neutrinos vont-ils au Paradis?- Do neutrinos go to heaven) in which the protagonist's boss, a physics professor, not only (a) wastes his career on a flawed theory of the behaviour of neutrinos but also (b) apparently becomes a serial killer due to his conviction that the soul leaves the body in the form of neutrinos at the moment of death. All the lab's missing equipment turns up in the prof's bedroom.

When the UDers get bored with the "evil Darwinist conspiracy" excuse for not publishing any lab work, they can use this one.

Date: 2007/08/20 11:28:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 19 2007,15:54)
Behe got a good review from a freelance writer in the Philadelphia Inquirer:


The Edge of Evolution makes a serious, quantitative argument about the limits of Darwinian evolution. Evolutionary biology cannot honestly ignore it.

Actually, Behe's argument isn't serious because it is shallowly researched and tendentious. Behe uses numbers, but his argument is not, itself, quantitative in any substantive sense. It's the same old "evolution is too improbable" guff popular in antievolution ever since Paley.

Evolutionary science does not need to take note of reheated antievolution leftovers.

Certainly the antievolution advocates have ignored what swaths of biological knowledge in order to cast aspersions at whole little they do note. How honest was that?

But it all works wonderfully well for his target audience, i.e. believers who know little about science, but who might be swayed by a sciency-sounding justification for creationism. ?It's all about drawing fence-sitters into the creationist camp, not establishing ID as science.

Date: 2007/09/05 15:48:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 05 2007,13:24)
Thanks for being an expert on infinity, Jehu. This is based on...?

It's based on "Infinity - Therefore God."

In the great tradition of "Euler's Identity - Therefore God," "2+2=4 - Therefore God," and "Cheesy Poofs - Therefore God."

Date: 2007/09/06 14:26:44, Link
Author: JohnW
The more ftk I read, the more I understand why she relies on cut-and-paste so much. Left to her own devices, we get the likes of this:
This article will help the lay reader get a better understanding of what ID theorists mean when they use the term CSI (complex specified complexity).

Not just your plain old bog-standard complexity. We're talking complex complexity.

So complex, it begins with I.

Date: 2007/09/07 11:11:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 07 2007,08:48)
Setting aside the either/or aspects of her logical meltdown, I'd be very interested to hear why FtK thinks God the Intelligent Designer would stick noncoding DNA in an animal.

If we could understand Goddish, we'd be able to read the DNA software license agreement.

Date: 2007/09/07 11:45:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (silverspoon @ Sep. 06 2007,16:47)
What was it that the Explore Evolution debate page says again? Oh yeah, here it is:

One way scientists have advanced the frontiers of human knowledge is through spirited, yet civil, debate about the meaning of publicly accessible evidence. Scientists often debate how best to interpret the available evidence. Controversy in science is nothing new. It?s not a distraction; it?s normal.

But still they haven?t debated anyone. By their own standards they must not be normal.

Or not scientists.

Date: 2007/09/07 16:23:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 07 2007,14:07)
Quote (heddle @ Sep. 07 2007,15:50)

You are joking... right?

Wouldn't 2 black holes 1 parsec apart converge faster than 2 feathers?

Yes, but the feather and the second black hole would fall at the same rate relative to the first black hole.

I feel a little queasy getting all Newtonian when discussing black holes, but


Acceleration is independent of the second mass, i.e. heavy objects and light objects fall at the same rate.

Date: 2007/09/07 17:10:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 07 2007,14:50)
I don't know WHAT you guys are talking about. What I know is that everything wants to cuddle, which leads to that other business. Before the fall nobody really knew much about that but after the fall we ALL knew about it, because we woke up in a pile, even though I wasn't completely clear on your name and was feeling a bit hung over. I do recall the attraction, and heavy really is OK once you get past it. I looked around and said to myself, "This can't be an accident." So I get to see myself as both a scientific researcher and as a freedom fighter - a rare combination. *bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt* Huh? Is that tired light?

*bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt* "Bill? Bill Dembski?" *bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt* "Bill? Time to get up, dear. For your interview with that nice Mario. Bill? *bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt...*

This needs to be in the high school physics curriculum.  Teach the controversy!

Date: 2007/09/10 16:20:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 10 2007,13:56)
Quote (Rob @ Sep. 10 2007,15:45)
Quote (factician @ Sep. 10 2007,14:52)
Denyse quivered:

They wouldn’t care if he won a Nobel Prize. It would be a huge embarrassment.

Look, it’s this simple, guys: They don’t want Marks around if there is any chance that he can demonstrate that Darwin was wrong.

Yeah, universities hate it when their professors win Nobel Prizes for successfully overturning established theories.  After Einstein disproved aspects of classical physics, no university in the world wanted him, and he had to settle for that backwater diploma mill, Princeton.

Well, duh.  I mean Princeton is the one place in New Jersey with a worse reputation than Newark.  Look at the reprobates that hang out there:

William Dembski, Executive Director

66 Witherspoon Street, Suite 1800
Princeton, NJ 08542

I would have thought Dr Dr Dembski would drive a newer Jag than that.  Must be time for another Templeton grant.

Date: 2007/09/12 15:07:09, Link
Author: JohnW
This person has figured out how to get anything published, no matter how stupid or incoherent.  (As you're neither, you're way ahead.)  Why not drop her a line and ask her how she does it?

Date: 2007/09/13 12:02:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Sep. 13 2007,09:18)
AfDave, you're seriously comparing the bathroom wall to a gulag? What the hell is wrong with you?

A nasty combination of stupidity, wilful ignorance, narcissism and masochism.

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Sep. 13 2007,09:18)
Incidentally, to all those with science degrees, while you were studying, did you ever get really annoyed by the misuse of correct terms by people?

Yes, but maybe it's just me.  It's not just scientific terms - I develop a tic when I see things like "very unique", or "stadiums".

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Sep. 13 2007,09:18)
Like when someone abuses the term random, or when people talk of the missing link?

I'm a statistician.  Yes, with knobs on.

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Sep. 13 2007,09:18)
If yes, does this get worse when it enters the public forum in this incorrect way, again like missing link?

Yes again.  Don't get me started on "the law of averages".

Date: 2007/09/14 11:59:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Zachriel @ Sep. 14 2007,09:27)
This one is rather long, so read it for yourself. Gareth is doing an excellent job explaining why the Rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian would be a valid falsification of the Theory of Evolution. Johnnyb, and DaveScot chime in.

russ: A science buff/atheist coworker of mine offered this possible falsification of NDE: “A fossilized rabbit in precambrian rock.” This strikes me as a rigged example, but I’m unsure why that is.

Gareth: I don’t think the “rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian” idea is rigged - it’s very valid.

Bornagain77 pulls out all the stops--the full panoply of quote-mines.

Gareth, I salute you.  Superhuman levels of patience in dealing with the Legion of Tard.

Date: 2007/09/14 12:08:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (heddle @ Sep. 14 2007,09:52)
Here is an acid test: a falsification experiment for any major theory should be a shoe-in for funding.

Well, that would depend on the expected chances of success, the likely cost, and the budget of the funding agency.  

We could find out once and for all whether there's a black hole at the centre of the galaxy by going there and taking a look.  Would that proposal be a "shoe-in" (sic) for funding?

Date: 2007/09/14 12:30:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (heddle @ Sep. 14 2007,10:20)

Thanks for finding the typo, I fixed it.

You hit the nail on the head--there would be no expectation of success--there is no competing scientific theory that argues you would find a pre-Cambrian rabbit. So the point is, if this were the only falsification experiment for evolution, then evolution would be unfalsifiable.

It's all the less dramatic but realistic tests of evolution that are important. The pre-Cambrian rabbit is just a sort-of PR gimmick.

And no, nobody will travel to the center of the galaxy. But people did look at anomalies in Mercury's orbit, which is why we don't have to say "if Al Sharpton floats away, Newtonian gravitation is falsified."

I agree up to a point.  It's true that no competing scientific theory predicts Precambrian rabbit fossils, but young-Earth creationism does, and has to come up with hilariously contrived reasons for their non-appearance (100% efficient hydrodynamic sorting, anyone?)  Given the proclivities of many UD people, this makes it an excellent example to use in that context.  Yes, it's a bit of a gimmick, but I don't think anyone is planning to apply for a grant to go quarrying.

Date: 2007/09/17 01:07:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 15 2007,08:01)
Ian and Bill ... I have very good answers for your questions, but I don't think Wesley and Steve want me posting extensively here, so please post your questions to my blog or at or at IIDB where I post a lot.  Thx

Well, Dave,  I'm pretty confident that Wesley and Steve will allow you to respond to Ian and Bill's comments, but in case you are nervous about all that typing going to waste by getting deleted, I'll make it easy for you.  All you need to do is type two or three characters to give a straight answer to my question:

Do you accept the evidence for an asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous?  Yes or no?

Date: 2007/09/17 11:09:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (k.e @ Sep. 17 2007,08:20)
She is employing the argumentum ex curru urbano, the "argument from the street-car" which, if I recall my Aristotle correctly, is completely irrefutable.

What about argumentum sine apology ex blogopodium per dialing sychophant otherwise  known as screaming like a raving loony through an aardvarks arsehole

I suspect it's the much less complicated argumentum ad making shit up.

Date: 2007/09/17 18:35:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (N.Wells @ Sep. 17 2007,16:07)
4    SeekAndFind
09/11/2007     9:08 am

There seems to be a cognitive dissonance on the part of Baylor’s administrators ( and I am being kind here ).

I note that after Prof. Marks meeting with the administrators ( which ended amicably by what I read ), the meeting in fact ended in PRAYER. That’s right *PRAYER*.

Now here’s the question to ask — are they praying to God ? if so, then God, by definition is the creator of the universe. And if he is the creator, He necessarilly is the intelligent designer.

Yet, here we are — an administration that prays to the designer while simulataneously preventing any research that tries to discover the designer’s handiwork.

This is a case of cognitive dissonance. It would be more honest if we had a school that simply says — we don’t believe in intelligent design or any God who created the universe.

Here, we have a school whose administrators profess to believe in the designer while at the same time frowning on any research trying to understand the designer’s creation.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the whole point of ID that the Designer was not necessarily God?  Is Seek and Find a sockpuppet or an unusually honest IDist?  It's getting hard to tell any more.

Now that the mission has downshifted from "revolutionise science and culture" to "sell books to suckers", the "Designer ^= God" meme has outlived its usefulness.  I can't remember the last time a UDer was admonished for not staying on message.

Date: 2007/09/19 11:22:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 19 2007,08:12)
[The pretense for shutting down my thread is the old canard "Dave doesn't answer questions people ask of him" which of course a) isn't true, and b) wouldn't matter.

I'm glad it's not true, Dave.  So:

Quote (JohnW @ Sep. 16 2007,23:07)
Do you accept the evidence for an asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous?  Yes or no?

Date: 2007/09/19 12:16:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 19 2007,09:53)
I accept the evidence for an asteroid impact.  But there was never any such period in real history known as "The Cretaceous."  This is an artificial time demarcation created by those who believe the earth is very old.  And most evidence indicates that it is not very old.  So I guess that makes the answer 'yes' and 'no.'

I see.  So when you cite the K/T impact as evidence for creationism:
Then in 1980, mainstream science finally woke up and published Alvarez’s paper on the K/T Impact. (K/T means Cretacious/Tertiary and refers to the boundary … Picture credit: Wiki “K/T Extinction”). Nature had this to say about it this week …

"The science of the K/T impact (K is the customary abbreviation for Cretaceous) began in a more modest way, with attempts to get a sense of how quickly a thin layer of clays in the Italian Apennines had been deposited. No one foresaw that it would change how scientists and others see the world, and reintroduce catastrophism to the Earth sciences. Explanations that ignore the once-canonical principles of uniformitarianism — the gradualist paradigm in which the present is the key to the past — are now rife in studies of the history of Earth."

In other words, “Dear Mr. Lyell … Thanks, but no thanks! Have a nice day.” Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell will ultimately go down in history as men whose theories were wrong.

you're citing evidence you don't really accept?

Date: 2007/09/19 12:17:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 19 2007,10:11)
OK, so do you chalk up what geologists call the Cretaceous...

Nice, Wesley.

Date: 2007/09/19 14:47:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Sep. 17 2007,09:17)

You caught me at a good time--I'm thirsty!

I think it would be great to plan an autumn get-together sometime in the next couple of weeks...

Let's hope the other regulars weigh in, so I don't have to put up with this dry mouth for too long!

I'm in.  Most nights over the next few weeks should be OK.

Date: 2007/09/19 14:50:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 19 2007,12:44)
This strikes me as so inappropriate a comment that I can only thing DT is being sarcastic at WAD's expense.

I don't think we can rule out the alternative "thick as three short planks" hypothesis.

Date: 2007/09/21 12:11:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 21 2007,06:56)
I recently got Dr. Brown to agree to recorded phone interviews about his theory.  I'm looking for geologists and engineers to discuss his theory with him.  I've got 4 or 5 takers so far, but only one of them is an engineer or geologist.  Let me know if anyone here is interested.

My italics.

I'm looking for statisticians and dairy farmers to discuss Bayes' Theorem.  I've got 4 or 5 takers so far, but only one of them is a statistician or dairy farmer.

Date: 2007/09/21 12:48:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 21 2007,06:56)
and nobody noticed it.
An asteroid hitting the earth way off in the vicinity of the Yucatan (where nobody probably lived yet ... this asteroid probably hit pre-Babel) was probably not a newsworthy event to a people who had just survived a cataclysm the nature and scale of the Global Flood.  Big event, yes.  But not even close in comparison to the Flood event itself.

I know it's probably a waste of time poking holes in this (as far as I can see, it's all hole) but something else occurs to me.  If the asteroid hit after the flood, then all Tertiary rocks, everywhere, have been deposited post-flood, in the last 3,000 years or so.  Rock formation at this sort of speed isn't observed now, so we have a few more questions for afdave to run away from:

- How were all those rocks formed?  Don't forget that, now you've decided they are post-flood, you've got a lot of marine sediments on land to explain.
- When did the rock formation slow down and why?
- Why did no-one notice all this at the time?

Thanks in advance for running away, changing the subject, or claiming you've already answered these questions.

Date: 2007/09/21 14:03:48, Link
Author: JohnW
If ID was my back yard

There would be no signs of life at all - just a lot of decaying dead stuff and dog turds.

Hang on.  That is my back yard.  My back yard is in Seattle.  So is the DI.  I could be onto something here.

Date: 2007/09/21 16:18:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Pappy Jack @ Sep. 21 2007,14:13)
afdave said this:
An asteroid hitting the earth way off in the vicinity of the Yucatan (where nobody probably lived yet ... this asteroid probably hit pre-Babel) was probably not a newsworthy event to a people who had just survived a cataclysm the nature and scale of the Global Flood.

and then afdave said this:
Who said the asteroid hit AFTER the Flood?

Dave, I think folk have spotted this one. Is this a deliberate mistake, forgetfulness, cognitive dissonance, a joke, or what? I mean, if you're going to contradict yourself on the same page, even the dumbest of us is going to notice....

I predict a long disappearance, followed by a re-emergence with another, completely unrelated, "proof" of a young Earth.

Date: 2007/09/25 12:43:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Zachriel @ Sep. 25 2007,09:58)
DaveScot: In the last decade we have indeed observed a eukaryote (p.falciparum) at the nucleotide level for billions of trillions of generations and what we found was exactly what ID predicted.

The typical generation time of P. falciparum is about 2-3 days. A billion trillion generations is a few hundred million turns of the cosmic wheel (lifespan of the known universe).

The DI is now planning the renewal of science, culture and mathematics.


Date: 2007/09/25 14:41:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 25 2007,12:01)
IDnet gets all excited over some words that unwittingly (?) support some position or other that's ID positive. Somehow.

If you look at the last paragraph

It was not clear to me initially that the quoted text ended and then IDnet carried on. It almost seems as if he'd not mind if the reader presumed that the text in italics was in fact from the .pdf linked to.

From the actual PDF here is the last paragraph in full from the section IDnet quoted, what was left out by IDnet is in bold
One may wonder why the more primitive feathers seem to
appear later than complex ones in the fossil record. Well preserved
fossils, particularly those of the integument, are very
rare and the absence of such examples does not mean that
they did not exist. Furthermore, different levels of integument
complexity probably co-existed, reflecting inhabitance
of different niches. Such diversity still exists today.

If they spin it any harder it's head will fall off.

I don't want to sound like I think the poster isn't a complete tard, but this does speak to a common misperception about the evolutionary process.

They're only protofeathers in retrospect.

We see an evolutionary sequence (feathers, horse feet, lobefins, whatever), and identify the intermediate structures as developmental stages.  But the organism that owns those structures isn't limping along with half-formed appendages.  They must work perfectly well for each organism at each stage in the sequence - and the fact that we see something "better" in later organisms doesn't change that.  Because these "protofeathers" are advantageous (if not for flight, they might be useful for insulation, sexual display, camouflage, etc.), it's not surprising that they might survive for several million years, if not indefinitely, after one lineage develops them further.  We've done pretty well with protoflippers sprouting from our shoulder blades.

I know most ATBCers know this already, but people who get their science from the mass media and/or cretard sources often misunderstand this point.  (I'm not going to mention anyone by name.  Not even FTK).

Date: 2007/09/27 11:01:16, Link
Author: JohnW
It's early in the morning, but I predict this will be the funniest thing I'll see all day:
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 26 2007,20:28)
Walt's theory has been starting to receive much more attention from mainstream creationists lately.

Well, Dave, that's certainly convinced me.

Date: 2007/09/27 17:59:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 27 2007,15:57)
Quote (blipey @ Sep. 27 2007,17:21)
Larry FreeFromFeta already posts there.  Some of the best legal advice in the world at Reasonable Kansans.

Could Davison be lured in there?

If we're looking to fill the short bus, how about afdave?

Date: 2007/09/27 18:14:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Sep. 27 2007,15:27)
It's also been raised at the NI assembly by a NI Westminster MP, David Simpson:

The row was sparked after DUP MP David Simpson, who is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church, questioned Education Minister Caitriona Ruane on the availability of materials and resources for schools wishing to teach alternative scientific theories to evolution as part of the revised curriculum.

Mr Simpson also asked for an assurance that pupils who answer GCSE examination questions outlining creationist or intelligent design explanations for the development of life on Earth, will not be marked lower than pupils who give answers with an evolutionist explanation.

Lisburn council voted last night to write to all its grammar and secondary schools encouraging them to teach alternative theories like 'intelligent design'.

The proposal was made by DUP councillor Paul Givan, who is also a member of the Free Presbyterian Church.

More grim news from further down the same article:

In a statement the Department of Education said the teaching of alternative theories was a matter for schools.

A spokeswoman said: "The revised curriculum offers scope for schools to explore alternative theories to evolution, which could include creationism, if they so wish."

It sounds like schools will have to teach some science in science classes, but an "equal time for nonsense" approach would be considered OK.

I didn't see anything specifically addressing the question about GCSEs; I hope that means the answer is "no".  If wrong answers are acceptable in exams, what's the point of making kids take them?

Date: 2007/09/28 14:11:43, Link
Author: JohnW
I love ATBC.

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 28 2007,03:24)

ANY state of affairs in nature can be reconciled with the design hypothesis. Observe nested hierarchy? "Nested hierarchy is evidence of a single designer." DON'T observe nested hierarchy? "A designer is not constrained by common descent" etc. There is NO outcome in nature that cannot be reconciled post hoc with the design hypothesis, with one designer or multiple designers, with good designers or bad designers, and so on.  

Twenty-one minutes later:

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,03:45)
If that is correct, then that is completely in keeping with (and in fact would be a prediction of) common descent by design.

Date: 2007/09/28 15:03:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Sep. 28 2007,12:15)
But all the evidence I look at, which I interpret through my worldview lens, (All people do have a worldview lens of one sort or another.) is seen as confirming what I know to be true about origins...

My emphasis.

So you did not determine "the truth" about the origin of life by looking at the evidence, but by some other means?

If that's the case, can your opinion of "the truth" be changed by new evidence?  If so, what sort of evidence would do it?

Date: 2007/09/28 17:45:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JAM @ Sep. 28 2007,15:37)
So trying the best I could, in my own way, to cheer him up, I then started to sing, dance and clown around, trying to cheer my friend up. I was singing, dancing and clowning around to the children’s song “What makes that little old ant think he can move that rubber tree plant …. He’s got high hopes, He’s got high apple pie in the sky hopes….” “Well”, my friend said, after I was all done with my clowning around, “I still don’t feel any different”.

Damn, his friend must have been really depressed. Any normal person would feel very different after being subjected to that--and it probably was sandwiched between a couple of 2000-word sentences, too.

"I should cheer up.  There are lots of people less fortunate than me.  My housemate bornagain77, for example, is completely batshit."

Date: 2007/10/01 11:34:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Sep. 29 2007,10:23)
My friends from Belfast have organised for their son to attend Southampton University, as they are unhappy with the current state of higher education in Northern Ireland. Maybe more people voting with their feet will have an effect

ID proponent Caroline Crocker earned her Phd from that University Alan:

I've also been told by Roger Stanyard over at the BCSE forum that Hampshire is something of a YEC hotspot, particularly in churches around the Whinchester area.

Don't forget about the Genesis expo. in Portsmouth either, run by YEC Dr. David Rosevear.

Let's be careful about guilt by association.  Southampton is a grown-up university and I don't think they can be blamed for Crocker.  Remember who taught Kurt Wise.

Date: 2007/10/01 11:38:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (fusilier @ Oct. 01 2007,07:28)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 29 2007,19:36)
{snip} I've got a case of Budweiser in the fridge but I don't know if I'm going to get to it tonight.


I presume you mean the beer from Ceske Budejovice, not the {insert synonym for equine kidney ultrafiltrate} from  St. Louis?

fusilier, who's out of Maudite, and needs to drop by the local grog shop
James 2:24

After many years of lawsuits, the drinkable stuff is available in the US now, under the name Czechvar.  Which means it's impossible to buy it without straining the eye-rolling muscles.

Date: 2007/10/01 12:05:21, Link
Author: JohnW
I voted "In religion classes".  It seemed the best fit.

Science classes is obviously a non-starter.  Call me old-fashioned, but I think science classes are for the teaching of science.
I thought about philosophy of science, but I'm not sure ID teaches anything about this subject.  It's not so much a misguided attempt at science as a political/religious movement.  I wouldn't be averse to mentioning it in passing here, though.
As a separate study?  There's just not enough substance to justify this.
Outside of the school setting in churches, synagogues, etc.?  Well, we can hardly stop this happening, can we?
Wiped off the face of the earth?  Not rreally achievable.  Give it time and it will just fade away of it's own accord.  But given the number of long-discredited arguments still in use by the cretards, it will not go away entirely as long as there are creationists.

Which leaves religion classes.  ID is a fine example of political (mis)application of religious apologetics, and I think would have to be covered in any course about contemporary Christian fundamentalism.

Date: 2007/10/01 12:16:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 01 2007,09:22)
Park your beer on his back? 8-10? Aren't those mutually exclusive?

Not with 1970s American beer, no.

Date: 2007/10/01 12:41:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 01 2007,10:22)
We're not talking 3% in kansas. We're talking 5% henry's or Oly (independent oly that is, how many remember that!)

And remember, he said 8-10. I'm thinking you need to be in competitive condition.

Yes, but if we assume "8-10" is exaggerated in the same proportion as something else, for which a measurement of 8-10 is also claimed...

Date: 2007/10/01 14:13:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Oct. 01 2007,12:07)
Hey FTK, why did God create hermaphrodites?

Should they be allowed to marry?  Who should they be allowed to marry?

Having read the last few pages of this thread, washed my hands, and overcome the rush of nausea, I think a more pertinent question is: why did a loving God create evil, homophobic bigots?

Date: 2007/10/02 11:33:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 02 2007,08:13)
To improvius

Here is the full quote : "Resolving many evolutionary, biostratigraphic, and paleoecogic questions requires detailed stratigraphic sampling and assumes that the stratigraphic oder of fossils bears some relationship to their chronological order."

Note the critical word assumes.  By definition an assumption cannot be proven right or wrong, so how does one test it as we weren't there when they became fossils?

An assumption cannot be proven right or wrong?  Nonsense!  We all do this all the time.  This morning, I assumed there was milk in the fridge, I assumed my son's preschool would be open when I dropped him off, I assumed my bus would show up on time, I assumed John downstairs would know my coffee order without my having to say anything...

All assumptions, in the sense that I didn't carefully think through all the possibilities before making any decisions.  All informed by prior evidence.  All subject to revision in the light of new evidence.

Just like the fossil record.  The ages of fossils and/or their surrounding rocks can be dated radiometrically, and hence we have a pretty good idea of the age of any rocks that we find containing, say, Triassic fossils.  That means (our assumption) we don't have to date every single Triassic fossil we ever find.  Just like I don't have to check the date on the milk every single morning.

But our assumption can easily be tested.  We could date the rocks, but we could also falsify our assumption in other ways.  For example, if we found Triassic rocks with Oligocene strata below them and Cretaceous strata above them, or typical Oligocene, Cretaceous and Triassic fossils in the same rock (as the global-flood hypothesis would predict), we'd have a serious problem.

So how do you explain the stratigraphic order of fossils?

Date: 2007/10/02 12:34:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 02 2007,10:05)
John W

Then why did he say assumes if we know what the dates are automatically?  What is meant by assumes?

This seems to come up a lot in discussions with creationists - they use the "bible-study" mode of enquiry, where a quote (not the evidence itself) is removed from its context and closely examined, and the precise meaning of each word of the quote is considered.  It's not the way science works.

Regarding this specific example: I can't speak for Erwin.  If it's that important to you to pin down the precise reason why he used the word "assumes" in this passages, you'll have to ask him.  As far as I am concerned, and given that I haven't seen the passage in its original context, I have no problem with interpreting this as "given that we've established the age of the components of the stratigraphic sequence, we can assume, if we find Triassic fossils, that they were formed in the Triassic period, unless there are indications to the contrary."  Just like I "assumed" the 48 bus would be running this morning.

Date: 2007/10/02 15:11:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 02 2007,12:41)
Okay gang, let's try this one.

The problem we appear to be having is now centered on the word assume.  My physics colleague and I have read the posts and agree that we have two different definitions of the word assumption.

John W is using the word to mean hypothesis.  His going to the fridge to "test" that there is milk in it makes it a hypothesis (or an hypothesis for you upper crust types).

By definition, an assumption is not testable in any sense.  It is the foundation for our reality.  It is where we start, like the assumption that the physical reality is all there is ala Sagan.

I can't speak for the upper crust types on the board.  Perhaps Louis will chime in when he takes a break from oppressing the workers.

Please see my previous comments regarding the productiveness of quibbling over word-meanings in text.  Science does not progress through exegesis of sacred scriptures.

Bearing all that in mind, back to "assume".  You've defined it in a way which the rest of the English-speaking world doesn't accept.  (Hell's teeth!  Of course assumptions are testable!)  Here's the definition of "assume" from Merriam Webster.  The relevant part for this discussion:

5 : to take as granted or true : SUPPOSE <I assume he'll be there>

Nothing there about assumptions being "not testable in any sense."  I think if Erwin had meant "untestable philosophical underpinning of what we do," he might have said "axiom", rather than "assumption".  In any case, as I said earlier, if your argument hinges on what "is" is, why not contact Erwin and ask him?

I assume the Rovers are going to hand out a stuffing to Walsall tonight.  Doesn't mean I'm not going to test this assumption by checking the football scores in an hour or so.

Date: 2007/10/02 15:19:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 02 2007,13:13)
And, sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news, but these systems are extremely complex and as each day passes, due to the advancement of science and what we are learning about these systems, they are getting harder and harder to explain by evolutionary methodology than we ever imagined.  Evolution needs
more adequate mechanisms.

You must have read a lot of the literature in order to reach this conclusion.  Could you give us a few citations?

Date: 2007/10/03 10:54:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (slpage @ Oct. 03 2007,08:32)
So basically all one has to do is add the word "Family" to the name of a group and it will automatically be seen, by conservatives, as good and wholesome and 'traditional' and such.

So now we're the Church-Burnin' Ebola Family Boys.

Date: 2007/10/04 10:27:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 04 2007,04:16)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 04 2007,01:56)

The author packs a lot into a short paragraph:
Maybe it's because for so many years the logical alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution, which is grounded on such foundations as random selection and survival of the fittest, has been disregarded and ridiculed by the scientific community. And intelligent design, as it is called, presumes the existence of God, or at least an outside intelligence influencing life, according to a critic of the university.

Would that be Dr Dr Critic-of-the-university?

Date: 2007/10/04 10:50:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 04 2007,07:36)
We now are at about 20+ STDs and we used to have only two or three.

Source, please.

Date: 2007/10/04 11:11:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 04 2007,09:03)

I really like your response showing the science that explains how it naturally happened.

Oh for crying out loud.

Spiders which produce silk but don't make webs

Spiders which make messy webs

Spiders which make pretty webs

This took me about five minutes.  Would you like me to find you a ticket for the clue bus now?

Date: 2007/10/04 15:37:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 04 2007,13:02)
Tip of the hat to PZ - He catches Billy D writing about angels...

Says Dr. Dr. Dembski:  "Why is it important to know about angels? Why is it important to know about rocks and plants and animals? It's important because all of these are aspects of reality that impinge on us. The problem with the secular intelligentsia is that they deny those aspects of reality that are inconvenient to their world-picture. And since the intelligentsia are by definition intelligent (though rarely wise), they are able to rationalize away what they find inconvenient. This is what Bishop Sheen was getting at with the previous quote when he referred to the intelligentsia rationalizing evil, and this what Williams is so successful at unmasking in the intelligentsia's rejection of angels.

There exists an invisible world that is more real and weighty than our secular imaginations can fathom. I commend this book as a way of retraining our imaginations about that reality."

Crazy as a loon.... FTK - what doYOU say about angels?

I just changed my position on the "Dembski: cynical huckster or barking mad?" question.

Date: 2007/10/04 15:41:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 04 2007,13:35)
John W

I just e-mailed the NIH and they said a response will come in 7 to 10 days.  Our tax dollars at work!  Please be patient on the STD question.  Thanks!

I have no idea how this relates to my question (the source of your statement about the number of STDs).  Do you mean "The NIH was the source of my information, and I asked them to confirm," or "I pulled the statement out of nowhere and I then asked NIH if it was true," or something else entirely?

Date: 2007/10/04 15:56:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 04 2007,13:48)
And to JohnW,

I asked them to provide the current number and to provide a chronological history of STDs in general.  Gee Whiz in engaging in research, okay?

I see.  So when you said

We now are at about 20+ STDs and we used to have only two or three.

you had no idea whether it was true.

A hint for next time you engage in research - try doing the work before presenting your results.

Date: 2007/10/04 17:04:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 04 2007,14:55)
This is an amazing snapshot of where Bill's brain really is these days.

Not "these days"  - the book was published in 2002, according to PZ.  Pre-Waterloo*, pre-farty-noises, pre-stalking-of-Baylor-regents.  The good doctor doctor is in even closer orbit around Planet Loon "these days".

* No wonder he didn't testify in the Dover trial.  Can you imagine this coming up in cross-examination?

Date: 2007/10/05 14:33:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bebbo @ Oct. 05 2007,11:59)
Why is it Dense O'Leary always finishes her posts with links to off-topic things and something to do with her latest book:

D'Oh and the gang pontificating on quantum mechanics?  This is going to be good...

... and right on cue, along comes batshit77 with the first comment:
I believe in the Theistic interpretation for quantum mechanics, which states that the Infinite and Perfect Mind of God is ultimately in control of every quantum event in the universe, thus God retains His sovereignty and His omnipotence is retained

How very evidence-based.  I believe in the theistic interpretation of horse-racing myself.  

Later, jerry wonders if we have ever really looked at our hands:
Side question. Is there a number big enough to count the number of new universes formed every nano second? Remember since the big bank the number of universes have been expanding geometrically every nano second. So a whole lot of universes have been accumulating.

Interesting typo.  I thought "the big bank" was where Dr Dr Dembski puts the money he took from the punters.

And batshit77 returns with some exciting developments in mathematics:
10^150 minus 10^9 equals 10^141

This is one of the richest seams the tardmine has opened up in weeks.

Date: 2007/10/05 17:48:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (lkeithlu @ Oct. 05 2007,15:33)
It's Friday night, and I can stay up as late as I want!

It's this kind of Godless decadence which made me leave the country...

Date: 2007/10/05 18:00:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ Oct. 05 2007,15:56)
Quote (lkeithlu @ Oct. 05 2007,15:22)
I'm not sure I could do this, as it compromises my own principles. It is not science. Can a school ask that a teacher cover material that their professional organizations say is not appropriate? What if a student brings it up, then the teacher proceeds to tear it to shreds? What would the parents think then?

How irritating.

If you're in the US, it's illegal to teach creationism in science class. And that's the only explanation necessary to give to students, parents, or administrators (though I would personally give a more extensive explanation to the students).

I think lkeithlu is in the UK, where the situation is considerably muddier.  What's being proposed might be inappropriate, but it's probably not illegal.

Date: 2007/10/05 18:38:29, Link
Author: JohnW
If only jumping to conclusions was an Olympic event:




6:04 pm
off topic: has a story suggesting that the appendix does have an important use for the body.





6:35 pm
The appendix story isn’t being touted as an ID story by the mainstream media, but it should be. I’ll bet the authors are closet ID supporters. Can we get Mr. Scot to check that for us? (I don’t presume to boss anyone, but I just thought it might be a good idea?)

And it’s published in a peer-reviewed journal. Take that, Mr. Dawkin!


Date: 2007/10/09 10:58:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 08 2007,20:23)
They look at the same evidence that I do and come to different conclusions.

At the risk of sounding cynical: bullfeathers. There's just way too many things known that would take way longer than any 6000 years to form by any known process. (Plus many of those things would be damaged or even destroyed by the alleged flood.)


This comes up again and again as the creationist's last resort.  See the Christopher Gieschen thread for a recent example.  I find it interesting that unyielding fundamentalists are so willing to turn to postmodern relativism if it suits their purpose.

The whole premise is, of course, utter nonsense.  Simply claiming "I'm looking at the same evidence as you" does not mean your explanation fits the data as well as mine does.  All science is provisional, but that doesn't mean all explanations are equally valid - the data we have allow us to dismiss many hypotheses.  We don't know everything about chemistry, but phlogiston is never going to make a comeback.  We don't know everything about astronomy, nuclear physics, geology, chemistry, archaeology, paleontology... but we do now know that the Earth is very old.

Date: 2007/10/09 11:10:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 09 2007,08:49)
This is so totally amazing.  I am amazed that he thought of it, then I am amazed that he typed it, and amazed even more that he has access to a pc.  

It's even more amazing than we thought.  Not only does he have access to a pc, Dave's hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that his arms are exactly the right length to reach the keyboard.  Explain that, evilushonists!

Date: 2007/10/09 17:54:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 09 2007,15:48)
Also check out the new end of modern biology.

Read the paper.  Then ask Ftk if she did?  I did.  And did.  And don't expect any response.

I told her I must have missed the bit in the paper about the Earth being 6000 years old, and the part about special creation by a deity.  I asked her if she could point out these parts for me.  No sign of my comment yet.

Date: 2007/10/10 10:51:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 09 2007,16:08)
LOL...were you the one who wrote that??  Good grief..I thought that was Blipey.  I can't imagine why you would believe that I thought there was something in that article that suggested that Koonin would support a 6,000 yr. old earth or information about a "diety".

I'm guessing you were joking around, but it's hard to tell sometimes.  Some comments in which I believe the poster is just trolling for kicks turn out to be posters who are deadly serious! Go figure.

Hey, Bill, I started a response earlier today and got side tracked.  I'll be back home tonight around 9pm, so hopefully, I'll get my next post to you before you go to bed tonight!  


No, I wasn't joking.  The fact that it was linked on your blog, and on youngcosmos, did suggest to me that you thought it presented evidence for, well, a young cosmos.  As it does no such thing, I don't understand your reason for showing it to us.  

According to your more recent comment, your reason for posting the article was

That was not the point....the point is that I believe Darwinism, as currently presented, is going to change drastically, and I believe that ID will aid in this paradigm change.

So what's the connection between the Koonin paper and ID?

Date: 2007/10/10 10:59:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 08 2007,16:09)
P.S. Louis is French...he was named after one King in particular, and dresses like him frequently, as this recent photograph of Louis in full drag regalia CLEARLY shows:  

That's not Louis.

Louis is a supporter of the England rugby union team.  While the bloke above is certainly of the right social class, he's not an ERU follower.  I don't see a Range Rover, and I do see a chin.

Date: 2007/10/10 11:04:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 10 2007,05:13)
I thought I'd take a moment to rework a fraction of DS' latest masterwork
It isn’t quick or easy for God to go laying down foundations that span an entire planetary surface. God needed  to oxygenate the atmosphere. The time of great upheavals and catastrophy in a young solar system had to be waited out. God had to lay down Fossil fuel reserves to power an upcoming industrial species. My contention is that industry didn’t arise because a power source was available for it but rather God made a power source available so that industry could arise. God prepared the way in advance. God planned it  that way.

See DaveScot, how much better is that? Be honest with yourself man, at least have that much courage.

My emphasis.

So what about that "omnipotence" business?  Was that just PR?

Date: 2007/10/10 16:01:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 10 2007,13:58)
My Cephalopods were pretty damn cool and Marty just spit on them since they weren't, um,... bugs. Or more accurately I suppose I should call them by their latin name: ugbays.

The octopi actually mimic color, shape and behavior! And they choose which preditor to mimic based on the danger they find themselves in. Tell me they aren't mimicking.


But they don't mimic ants, do they?

Date: 2007/10/10 16:38:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 10 2007,14:12)
Perforce, his argument that we are compelled to consider ID is also refuted.

This statement, of course, we will have to agree to disagree.  I certainly would not agree that we must dismiss ID merely because scientists have come up with purposed scenarios that, in your words, “may be, but is not yet necessarily, correct”.  Perhaps that is how “science works” according to Darwinists, but it doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.  That's like giving up and conceding that we'll never know for sure if we're right...but, dang it, evolution IS THE STUFF NO MATTER WHAT!  

FTK, please explain what the problem is here.  Behe's argument is that evolution of the bacterial flagellum is impossible, yes?  So all we have to do is demonstrate that it is possible, and (as long as our demonstration is sufficiently rigorous), Behe goes down.  It doesn't matter if we can't determine the exact mechanism; we just have to show that there is at least one potential mechanism.

If I claim that there's no way the chicken could have crossed the road, and you show that there's hardly any traffic at night and the chicken could easily get across then, you've won.  Even if you don't have film of the chicken on the crosswalk.

Date: 2007/10/10 17:30:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 10 2007,15:21)
It doesn't matter if we can't determine the exact mechanism; we just have to show that there is at least one potential mechanism.

I had not realized that, according to science, "potential", "proposed", "hypothesized",  "possibilities" had the power to refute the inference of design.

No, I take that back.  Amost every article I read in regard to evolution is sprinkled with words like, "might", "could have", "may possibly", "it could be that", "we believe", "perhaps", etc., etc., etc..


Therefore it is "poor science". :)  :)  :)


Do you agree with the following statement?
"If something is possible then it's not impossible."

Yes or no?

Date: 2007/10/10 18:01:17, Link
Author: JohnW

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My italics.  No need for further comment.

Date: 2007/10/11 11:14:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Oct. 11 2007,08:57)
There are woefully deluded people who deny the germ theory of disease, and would indeed eschew the idea that chemical compounds can have a salutary effect on illness, and would believe research in that direction to be futile.

I still wonder why FtK trivializes science when it appears to encroach on her belief in holy ghosts, but accepts it uncritically when she becomes ill.  It seems the ultimate hypocrisy, and sure evidence of a small, deluded mind.  Maybe she'll get back to us on this.

Jim, I understand your argument, but you are assuming that FTK does accept the germ theory of disease, rather that, say, possession by evil spirits.  Is there any evidence to support this assumption?

Date: 2007/10/11 15:19:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 11 2007,12:12)
Oops - Sorry about forgeting to link.

To claim that the only way to account for spirituality and genuine personhood is to posit an immaterial soul is a non sequitur. It is like saying that, since neither hydrogen nor oxygen is wet, when God creates water he must add an immaterial "soul of wetness" to it.

I like this guy.

Date: 2007/10/11 16:26:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 11 2007,13:59) you suppose I've driven teh blipster right over the edge yet?  As a Christian, I'm really not suppose to do that type of thing...but it is just soooooo easy with blipes.


I'm taking this as an admission that your not here for a meaningful discussion, but merely to annoy.

Date: 2007/10/11 16:33:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (qetzal @ Oct. 10 2007,16:40)
There must be more to it than that. Why do so few species engage in recreational sex? (Are there any other examples beyond humans and bonobos?) Why are there species that pair-bond strongly in the complete absence of recreational sex?

I don't have a reference (and if you think I'm going to google "animal recreational sex" from my office computer...) but I think dolphins and porpoises are pretty enthusiastic in this field.

Date: 2007/10/12 14:49:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Oct. 12 2007,12:04)
I see that Dembski's workplace is doing its part to overshadow Al Gore's Nobel Prize:
Seminary President Paige Patterson and his wife, Dorothy -- who goes by Mrs. Paige Patterson -- [no kidding?] :D view the homemaking curriculum as a way to spread the Christian faith.

In their vision, graduates will create such gracious homes that strangers will take note. Their marriages will be so harmonious, other women will ask how they manage. By modeling traditional values, they will inspire friends and neighbors to read the Bible and then, perhaps, to follow the Lord.

...guest lecturer Ashley Smith, the wife of a theology professor, laid out the biblical basis for what she calls "the glorious inequalities of life."

Smith, 30, confided that she sometimes resents her husband for advancing his career "while I'm changing diapers and getting poop all over me."

Jesus H Christ on a motorbike.  Hang on a minute...

No, I've checked the calendar and it is 2007.

Date: 2007/10/12 15:31:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Oct. 12 2007,09:59)
Oh, my--get ready for a tard landslide--Al Gore, U.N. Climate Panel win Nobel Peace Prize

Indeed.  One tard landslide coming right up.

Date: 2007/10/12 16:04:12, Link
Author: JohnW
It doesn't happen often, but today a UDer gets it right:

President Bush has freed 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq from murderous thugs. Peace is breaking out across Iraq now neighborhood to neighborhood as Iraqis reject Al Qaeda and Insurgents. I realize Bush will never get the Nobel.

The first two sentences are a simply splendid example of argumentum ad making shit up.

Date: 2007/10/12 16:29:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 12 2007,14:23)
The Nobel committee doesn't award the Peace prize for attacking foreign countries without provocation? Well color me shocked.

Well, they gave one to Kissinger.

Date: 2007/10/12 17:13:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 12 2007,14:19)
I'm convinced there = is = something = horribly = wrong with the whole lot of you.

Thanks, FTK.  Whenever I feel a need to be diagnosed, I always turn to anonymous anti-science fundamentalists on internet discussion boards.

Do you do prescriptions too?

Date: 2007/10/16 11:08:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 15 2007,18:13)
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 15 2007,17:29)
Anyway TP, have a look at my blog linked below when you get a chance.  Interesting article there on Venus ... you knew that it's surface got a total makeover all at one shot right?  Just like Walt claims happened here on earth?

You knew that already right?

Thats a pretty big pronouncement considering how little we know about venetian geology.

Perhaps we can send Brown, afdave, and FTK there to study it in person? Take shorts and t-shirts, I hear it gets a bit warm.

We don't have as much data as we'd like so the usual caveats about science being provisional apply with great force here.  But the consensus is that Venus completely resurfaces itself in a cataclysmic event every few hundred million years*.  The surface of Venus is very different from Earth's** - it shows no ancient features and no evidence of plate tectonics.  Because there are no plates to move around, the only way heat can transfer out of the core is by boiling over every so often.  See here and here.

Let me spell this out for the scientifically challenged*** - the main reason we think that Venus undergoes cataclysmic resurfacing is that its surface looks very different from that of Earth, which doesn't.

* Problem #1 for afdave
** Problem #2
*** That would be you, Davey.

Date: 2007/10/16 14:03:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 16 2007,11:21)
i'm currently trying to nail a creo (preacher, no less) to the wall over exactly WHAT do you measure to flesh out the claim 'no new information ever arises, only degradation of information' with regards to evolution.  of course he is a YEC.

anyone got a top ten (or five) list of reasons why this claim is stupid?  i'm up to seven or eight but you know it is so easy to wave that away with a flourish of a well-manicured hand.

Here's my top one:

Suppose we have a point mutation (G -> A, say), then, in the next generation, another point mutation which reverses the first one (i.e. A -> G).  According to the cretards, mutations must degrade the "information" in the genome.  So here, the "information" has degraded, then degraded again, but has exactly the same "information" as it started with.  So how do two degradations result in zero net change?

Edit: - This avoids getting bogged down in definitions of "information" - however you want to define it, there's no net change.

Date: 2007/10/16 14:47:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 04 2007,08:50)
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 04 2007,07:36)
We now are at about 20+ STDs and we used to have only two or three.

Source, please.

I've helped you out here by emphasizing the part I didn't (and still don't) believe.

Date: 2007/10/16 16:06:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 16 2007,13:26)
John W

The spider part was yours, not blipey's.  My error.  I looked at the aricles and the "tree" is arranged by some appearrance/trait criterion with no relationship to their supposed evolutionary history.  All trees are man-made devices and do not prove anything except that we can arrange items in a series.

I will have to find another source.  But do you believe that we have always had AIDS or that it is a recent addition?  Can you prove to me that there were more STDs other than syph. and gon. in decades past?

...the "tree" is arranged by some appearrance/trait criterion with no relationship to their supposed evolutionary history


All trees are man-made devices and do not prove anything except that we can arrange items in a series.

Wrong.  Evolution from a common ancestor predicts that we can arrange items, not just in a series, but a nested hierarchy.  Creationism makes no such prediction.

But do you believe that we have always had AIDS or that it is a recent addition?

AIDS appears to be a fairly recent acquisition by humans.  But that wasn't your claim, was it?  You claimed there were once only two or three human STDs.  That's what I'm questioning.

Can you prove to me that there were more STDs other than syph. and gon. in decades past?

You made the claim (originally two or three human STDs) - it's your responsibility to back it up, and not shift the burden of proof.

Date: 2007/10/16 16:26:52, Link
Author: JohnW
Now that biking season is over and I have about an hour a day of reading time on the bus, I've started a little project.

I'm about 1.5 chapters into Volume 1 of Janet Browne's Darwin biography, which will be followed by Volume 2, and then From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books, which was a birthday present last year.  (I've read Origin, years ago, but not the other three).

I'll probably be interspersing these with lighter stuff, so this may take a few months.

Date: 2007/10/17 00:43:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 16 2007,17:47)
John W,

So let me get this straight, according to the tree of life, we are all just animals.  So if I terminate your life, it doesn't really matter, as it is no different from a spider eating the same species of spider.

How about this, Christopher.  I won't teach morals from evolutionary theory, and you don't teach science from the Bible.  Sound reasonable?

Date: 2007/10/17 00:55:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Oct. 16 2007,19:21)
You know, the three rock types: sedentary, ignorant (which yields oblivious rock and Pele's tears and stuff, as one finds in Hawaii), and metaphoric.

You forgot one: Punk.

Teenage Lobotomy goes through my head every time I read one of batshit77's posts.

Date: 2007/10/17 11:41:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Lotf attempts to have a rational discussion with batshit77:




11:23 am

I don’t follow a lot of what you’re saying so i’d like to ask a couple of questions which may help if you don’t mind.

it is east to see they have more information for skin color, (in material, black contains all the information of the other colors)

How does black contain all the information of the other colours? When I get a tan (and I go from a light brown colour to almost black) have I gained information?

we find that 60,000 total mutations are required per generation to even generate the 60 beneficial ones they are required to have for a successful evolutionary scenario.

Can you let me know where your figures are from to make this calculation? Thanks, this does seem an issue.

There's an Indian proverb: "Playing the flute to the water buffalo."

Date: 2007/10/17 11:53:43, Link
Author: JohnW

I don't think there's much point responding at length to your post.  It's clear to me that you believe what you believe despite the evidence, so further discussion of any evidence would be a waste of time.  (If I'm wrong, perhaps you could give an example of the sort of hypothetical evidence which might change your mind).

I'd like to reassure you about one thing though:

How about this...if I am wrong and you are right, then it does not matter a whit, or I may come back as a snail, or whatever.

If you're wrong and we're right, I can guarantee that you won't come back as a snail.

Date: 2007/10/19 16:26:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 19 2007,14:00)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 19 2007,14:59)
Me vs. fundie in drinking competition... hmmm.
Sorry, that would be unethical!

Hon, I could drink you under the table.

In an one-on-one drink-off, she may well be right.  In my experience, the best way to win is to invite two fundies.  Two fundies from the same church is even better.

Date: 2007/10/23 10:55:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 23 2007,08:31)
Fabulous! That means I am at least a minor deity  :D

Athene, presumably.

Date: 2007/10/23 12:03:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 23 2007,09:58)
One of your own is now claiming that blacks are less evolved that whites.

Are you arguing "one 'evolutionist' made a racist statement, therefore all 'evolutionists' are racists"?  Because if so, do you think we can't dig up a whole pile of racist statements from Christians?

Do you really want to go there?

Date: 2007/10/23 12:28:15, Link
Author: JohnW
I had a look at a few of your links.  They're hilarious.  

I looked through this one:
Quote (C Gieschen @ Oct. 23 2007,09:58)
Look here for numbers of people after the Flood :

and found this:
Evolutionists claim that mankind evolved from apes about a million years ago. If the population had grown at just 0.01% per year since then (doubling only every 7,000 years), there could be 10^43 people today—that’s a number with 43 zeros after it. This number is so big that not even the Texans have a word for it! To try to put this number of people in context, say each individual is given ‘standing room only’ of about one square metre per person. However, the land surface area of the whole Earth is ‘only’ 1.5 x 10^14 square metres. If every one of those square metres were made into a world just like this one, all these worlds put together would still ‘only’ have a surface area able to fit 10^28 people in this way. This is only a tiny fraction of 10^43 (10^29 is 10 times as much as 10^28, 10^30 is 100 times, and so on). Those who adhere to the evolutionary story argue that disease, famine and war kept the numbers almost constant for most of this period, which means that mankind was on the brink of extinction for most of this supposed history.10 This stretches credulity to the limits.

Do you really think this is a valid argument?  Honestly?  And you're not lying about being a science teacher?

Date: 2007/10/23 16:21:33, Link
Author: JohnW
This is your brain on ID:



4:00 pm
Yesterday, the Australian press pushed a global warming story. Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had announced that the situation is even more grave than previously thought. The CO2 levels for the period 2000-2007 were 35% higher that what they themselves had predicted.

This was given the spin by the press that we should try even harder to urgently reduce carbon emmissions.

It made me ask if they can’t predict with precision what will happen over a few years, can we trust their long term predictions?


Nurse: Doctor!  Do something!  The patient's losing blood faster than we expected!

ID Doctor Doctor:  Don't worry!  That means there's nothing wrong with her.

Date: 2007/10/23 23:02:06, Link
Author: JohnW
Now DaveTard joins the search for a clue (link):




10:44 pm
Dear Bill,

Could you ask your acquaintance why hypotheses about dark matter and dark energy are legitimate when the mechanism is totally unknown and the only evidence of it is remote galaxies that aren’t moving exactly as predicted by the law of gravity? And speaking of things without mechanisms what about gravity itself? Newton discovered it through its effects but we still don’t know the mechanism behind it. Intelligent design is recognized by its effect. It’s quite possible we’ll never discover the mechanism. All we can do is acknowledge the evidence we do have, keep gathering more, and hope there’s an answer waiting to be found.

A good analogy, marred only by the minor point that we have evidence for dark matter, dark energy and gravity.  All ID has is a couple of ignominious failures and a big steaming pile of personal incredulity.

Date: 2007/10/26 13:38:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (olegt @ Oct. 26 2007,09:02)
3rd Annual Discovery Society Insiders Briefing on Intelligent Design
August 10-11, 2007

Insiders?  Given the recent redesign of the DI masthead, the obvious question is "Inside what?"

Date: 2007/10/29 13:59:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 29 2007,11:14)
Slow-readers book review. The Tard even manages to sneak some climate change in!

Comments are equally as funny.

bFast provided the tard, I provided the emphasis:

DaveScot, thanks for the well-thought summary of these two texts. I fully agree with your conclusions. I have not found any evidence to reject common descent — assuming that some guy is twiddling with creatures that are making babies. I have found no reason to reject nautral selection as a powerful preservative agent. Every bone in my body says that the maximum mutations an organism can take and be protected by natural selection is 1 (mutations in true “junk dna” excepted.) I have found no scientific case whatsoever to support random mutation as a constructive agent. I find Behe’s “malaria” case to be compelling as a confirmation of this limitation.

Cool.  bFast's skeleton agrees with FTK's digestive tract.  Perhaps there will be a joint paper in the next issue of PCID.

Date: 2007/10/29 14:55:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 29 2007,12:27)
Every bone in my body says that the maximum mutations an organism can take and be protected by natural selection is 1

Do these idiots beset other fields? Are there websites where alternative astronomers demand that the moon is only 780 meters above the earth, or alternative aeronautical forums where people assert the DC-9 is primarily composed of Velveeta? Or is it just evolution?

Well, there's no shortage of alternative aerospace engineers who think the Moon landings were impossible.  As for alternative astronomers, there are plenty of people right there on UD who think we can't see further than 6,000 light years.

Date: 2007/10/30 12:17:57, Link
Author: JohnW
The meeting of minds continues on FTK's blog.

Larry Farfarman (comment #5 here):
Well, I wouldn't vote for Hillary until she stops dissing Confederate flags. The Civil War is by far the greatest legend of American folklore. Banning Confederate flags is cultural genocide. To me, the Confederate flag represents peace, tolerance, and national unity. I also see it as a kind of joke and a fun thing.

Blipey, perhaps FTK would let your comments go through if you disguised yourself with a white hood.

Date: 2007/10/30 12:56:15, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 30 2007,10:40)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 30 2007,12:17)
To me, the Confederate flag represents peace, tolerance, and national unity. I also see it as a kind of joke and a fun thing.


This is undoubtedly one of the biggest crocks of shit statements it has ever been my displeasure to run accross.  This statement also tells you all you need to know about the mental processes, or lack of them, of a Larry Farfarman.

Nice quoting, J-Dog. :angry:

Just to clarify:  I didn't say that.  Larry Farfromreality did.

Date: 2007/10/30 15:09:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 30 2007,11:33)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 30 2007,12:56)
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 30 2007,10:40)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 30 2007,12:17)
To me, the Confederate flag represents peace, tolerance, and national unity. I also see it as a kind of joke and a fun thing.


This is undoubtedly one of the biggest crocks of shit statements it has ever been my displeasure to run accross.  This statement also tells you all you need to know about the mental processes, or lack of them, of a Larry Farfarman.

Nice quoting, J-Dog. :angry:

Just to clarify:  I didn't say that.  Larry Farfromreality did.

Sorry! I see what you mean...  I wanted to highlight the "money-quote", and did reference Larry, but I guess I shouldn't have eliminated the extra set of quote marks.

This has to be one of the craziest utterings by anyone outside of the Manson Family though...

No offence taken, JD.  I understand what happened.

Date: 2007/10/30 17:44:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 30 2007,11:11)
IDiots say the darndest things, like Phillip Johnson saying

"We ought to see humans occasionally being born to chimps or perhaps chimps born into human families."

I spose I should admit that after having two children my wife and I discussed having a third.  But I nixed the idea since we know you run the risk of having a horse, or chimpanzee or finch every time you get pregnant.  Our house will not accomodate a horse so we decided to limit our family to 2 children.

And the IDiots call him the grandpappy of intelligent design creationism.  I call him dumber than a fence post.  Read the whole Nova interview here

This is championship-quality tard.  The chimp stuff is even sillier in its full context:

Q: How do you explain our genetic relatedness with chimpanzees?

Johnson: There is a relatedness. But what does it mean? Say we have almost 99 percent of our genes in common with chimpanzees. We also have at least 25 percent of our genes in common with bananas. There are these commonalities that exist throughout life. Do they point to a common evolutionary process or a common creator? That is the question for interpretation.

The genes are going to win when people ask me about that great degree of similarity between human genes and chimpanzee genes. I answer that genes must not be anywhere near as important as we have been led to believe. If there were that great a commonality between chimps and humans, it ought to be relatively easy to breed chimps and come up with a human being, or by genetic engineering to change a chimp into a human. We ought to see humans occasionally being born to chimps or perhaps chimps born into human families.

So the real question to me that needs to be explained is the enormous difference between chimps and human beings. That's what evolutionary science needs to explain and can't explain.

So not only should humans give birth to chimps, they should also give birth to bananas.  But about four times less often.

Date: 2007/10/31 15:35:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Today's steaming pile from FTK (my emphasis):

The oldest known fossil of a 500 million-year-old jellyfish was found in Utah. Wow...looks just like the modern jellyfish on the right. It's interesting that jellyfish have pretty much always looked like jellyfish, birds have pretty much always looked like birds, etc., etc.. Yet, we're also supposed to *imagine* that dinosaurs also evolved from birds. Crazy stuff.

Crazy stuff indeed.

Date: 2007/10/31 16:22:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 31 2007,14:02)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 31 2007,15:35)
Today's steaming pile from FTK (my emphasis):

The oldest known fossil of a 500 million-year-old jellyfish was found in Utah. Wow...looks just like the modern jellyfish on the right. It's interesting that jellyfish have pretty much always looked like jellyfish, birds have pretty much always looked like birds, etc., etc.. Yet, we're also supposed to *imagine* that dinosaurs also evolved from birds. Crazy stuff.

Crazy stuff indeed.

I like the way that she uses "jellyfish have been the same for 300 million years" to disprove ToE.

wait for it...

Even though she believes the world to be 6,000 years old.

That's great stuff.

I think what she may be getting at is that "jellyfish can't possibly have survived relatively unchanged for 500 million years, therefore the Earth is 6,000 years old."  Because we all know that would solve all outstanding problems in biology and geology, while generating no new ones.

Date: 2007/10/31 17:43:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 31 2007,15:07)
Does Ftk support the placing of Satanic Cult symbols in government halls?

I think the answer may be yes.

If this is true, I take back most of the thoughts I've had of her as a crazy person.  I will replace them with different thoughts of her being a crazy person.

I'm changing my opinion from "can't walk and chew gum at the same time" to "can't walk or chew gum at the same time."

No one is “establishing a particular religion” by allowing a Nativity scene to be placed at the City Hall in question. It’s been done around the country for centuries. People of the Jewish faith display Hanukah symbols, Christians put up their nativity scenes....big deal. If the secular society is ticked off about it, why don’t they just set up an easel, stick their Scarlet Letter on it, and top it off with a Santa Hat? I mean, come on, why all the melodrama...

Let's extract the relevant bits for those too thick to see the contradiction (yes, that would be you, FTK):

No one is “establishing a particular religion” by allowing a Nativity scene to be placed at the City Hall in question.

Christians put up their nativity scenes

Nope, no government endorsement of a particular religion there...

Date: 2007/11/01 15:05:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 01 2007,12:53)
My goodness, BFast has begun thinking!

I'm not going to believe that without evidence.  Any chance of a link?

Date: 2007/11/01 18:12:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 01 2007,15:52)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 01 2007,17:36)
Denyse attenpts to stir up some trouble
Code Sample
Have you got an Expelled story, for the movie about the current frantic attempt to suppress evidence of intelligent design in the universe?

And proceeds to print a few examples of oppression. More of which can be found here
Me teacher makes me feel stupid

This case of the brutal suppression of free speech should help fill out Ben's movie:

Not Smart
Added by: Ryan, on 2007-10-29 09:00:39

I'm only a teen, but everytime I talk about Creation Science my teacher makes me feel stupid


Woo-woo alert!

Quack by Design
Added by: David, on 2007-10-29 09:02:47
A true Unified Force Theory is shunned because the physics behind it sounds too much like creationism.

Please, please, please put David in your movie...

Working from empirical data and using the highly respected scientific tool of dimensional analysis, I have discovered fundamental errors in modern physics. Not only is the foundation of modern physics slightly wrong, but the resulting physics indicates the physical Universe has a non-material cause (God?).

They laughed at Galileo...

...this theory reveals that the origin of the physical Universe has a non-material cause and is labeled "metaphysical" by the mainstream...

(Actually, David, I suspect this would be labelled "a load of bollocks" by the mainstream)

But science is not about proving our belief, it is about discovering the truth. We should learn to embrace discovery, not shove it under the carpet when it disagrees with our preconceived ideas.

This space left blank for irony-meter jokes:

David Thomson
Quantum AetherDynamics Institute

You have an institute?  That's nice.  I keep the lawnmower, a couple of rakes and some old paint in my quantum aetherdynamics institute.

Date: 2007/11/05 15:30:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Nov. 05 2007,13:27)
I want to take a little time here to thank all the people who have contributed to the interesting discussion of literacy and the invention of written language.

And, while certainly not fitting into the above group, Ftk should be thanked for making the truly dumb-founding remark that started it all off.

Thanks Ftk.

So, FTK, what does your brain make of all this?  (I'm not interested in what your digestive tract thinks).

Date: 2007/11/05 16:14:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 05 2007,13:58)
I think the last time they added any sob stories was the 30th.

I keep hoping someone will submit some short sob videos we can watch too.

If word got out that someone was soliciting stories of "mistreatment" by the International Science Conspiracy, and offering to put said stories in a movie, every wack-job on the Web would have sent them something this weekend.  

Even among the 16 responses which got through before the Expelled inbox melted down, about a third are from the tinfoil-hat brigade.  The rest are variants of "Darwinists made me fale english" or "they were so mean to me when I tried to preach the word in biology class."

We're not seeing anything at all from advocates of Dembskian, dont-mention-god ID.

<edited - inadvertently submitted before finishing>

Date: 2007/11/05 16:48:14, Link
Author: JohnW
A ba77 post is composed of three basic ingredients: t, ar, and d.

Date: 2007/11/06 11:11:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 05 2007,17:48)
This thread is for letters to the editor and responses to them. The topics should be antievolution and evolution.

The Daily Lobo has an opinion letter claiming that ID advocates have no hidden agenda. Along the way, the author compared Behe and Dembski to Gould and Eldredge. That just plain annoyed me.

The editor of the Daily Lobo may agree with you.  Did you notice the headline?

Date: 2007/11/06 11:29:59, Link
Author: JohnW
They are trying to move science away from naturalistic explanations and towards magical ones.  In the particular case of AIDS, the creationists have been advocating a magical explanation (Jebus hates teh homos) for years, so perhaps they see any attempt to find a naturalistic explanation as blasphemy.

There's a lot of overlap between the HIV denialists and the all-AIDS-patients-are-homos crowd, which also suggests a religious motivation - they need to address the question of why, if god is omnipotent and wants to punish gay men, he can't come up with something with better sensitivity and specificity than AIDS.

Date: 2007/11/06 11:53:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Assassinator @ Nov. 06 2007,09:41)
HIV/AIDS/HIV-AIDS link denial isn't crea-only though. I've followed some discussions from people who were VERY anti-religion, but they definatly sad either AIDS is not caused by HIV, HIV has never been found or HIV simply doesn't exist. Hell, i've even seen someone deny that virusses cause disease! I'm still curious about the non-crea arguments, the crea arguments are too obvious and stupid anyway.

You're right, of course.  For some reason, this issue seems to attract woowoos and conspiracy theorists from all over the political/cultural map.

Date: 2007/11/06 12:11:59, Link
Author: JohnW
This is either a serious attempt to seek legal redress, or a publicity stunt designed to separate DI supporters from some more of their money.  Let's see if we can guess which.

Date: 2007/11/06 12:59:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (CCP @ Nov. 06 2007,10:24)
Ho. Ly. Fecal matter.
I just had a look at Berlinski's analysis of Kingsolver et al., linked by Joe G and referenced above by Zachriel.
It left me mouth agape. The combination of arrogant condesenscion and Bozoine wrongitude in that post is just stunning. This guy (Berlinski, I mean) has the chutzpah to pass himself off as a mathematician? I am a mere ecologist, certainly no statistician, but my reading of Berlinski's dismissal of Kingsolver et al.'s instant classic suggests strongly that Berlinski:
a) doesn't understand the difference between correlation and regression;
b) doesn't understand the difference between a regression coefficient (slope) and a determination coefficient (conventionally r^2); and
c) has no freaking idea what he's talking about so authoritatively.

He sez:
Kingsolver reported a median absolute value of 0.16 for linear selection...Thus an increase of one standard deviation in, say, beak finch length, could be expected to change fitness by only 16 percent in the case of linear selection... These figures are commonly understood to represent a very weak correlation. Thus if a change in the length of a beak’s finch by one standard deviation explains 16 percent of the change in the population’s fitness, 84 percent of the change is not explained by selection at all.

First (leaving aside the construction "beak finch length"), note that 0.16 is the median selection gradient for all of the 63 studies reviewed, many of which were straightforward in reporting that they detected no significant selection on the phenotypic trait measured, NOT the empirical selection gradient for finch beak size. But OK. Berlinski's initial interpretation of this number is correct: it represents the increase in relative fitness associated with a change in 1 standard deviation in the phenotypic trait. But:
1) this is a regression slope, a measure of the strength of selection, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the "weakness of the correlation."  You can get a low slope for a strong correlation or a high slope with a weak correlation; two entirely different concepts.
2) to claim that this means that "a change in the length of a beak’s finch by one standard deviation explains 16 percent of the change in the population’s fitness" is plain stupid. It's a percent change, not a percent of the change! Spot the difference?
3) the claim that "84 percent of the change is not explained by selection at all" is stupid squared. What a freakin dope.

As for this:
Natural selection disappears as a biological force and reappears as a statistical artifact. The change is not trivial. It is one thing to say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution; it is quite another thing to say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of various regression correlations between quantitative characteristics. It hardly appears obvious that if natural selection is simply a matter of correlations established between quantitative traits, that Darwin’s theory has any content beyond the phenomenological, and in the most obvious sense, is no theory at all. far as I can tell it makes no sense at all. The statistical correlation between phenotypic variation and reproductive success (in a given environment) IS the theory (actually half the theory; the other half is inheritance of the phenotypic variation). We can use statistical techniques to measure the evolutionary "force." This guy understands NOTHING about natural selection, but feels no shame about pompously holding forth on the subject.
He's an even bigger jackass than I thought previously...and I previously thought he was quite the jackass.
*phew*...glad to get that off my chest. Back to grading exams.

Absolutely correct, CCP, but oddly irrelevant.

We need to bear in mind that the IDiots have long since dropped the pretence that they're doing science.  The ID movement is now unabashedly a subset of the Christian apologetics industry, specialising in superficially "scientific" creationist explanations of natural phenomena, with lots of numbers and equations scattered around.  They're creating sciency-sounding babble, not real arguments.  And, based on what I read on UD, many members of their audience have trouble getting past ten without taking their socks off.

Do you think that, say, Denyse or batshit77 are going to care that Berlinski's unable to distinguish between a slope and a correlation coefficient?  As far as they're concerned, it doesn't matter.  They just want some clever-sounding stuff they can pass around at church.

Date: 2007/11/06 13:04:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 06 2007,10:28)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 06 2007,12:11)
This is either a serious attempt to seek legal redress, or a publicity stunt designed to separate DI supporters from some more of their money.  Let's see if we can guess which.

You're forgetting a highly plausible third option, which is that it's a stunt that obviously won't accomplish anything legally, yet which they hope will intimidate PBS into pulling the teaching packet. In other words, they know it's bullshit legally, but they're hoping that PBS will back down just to avoid the hassle.

If successful, this will be touted at UD as proof of the validity of ID.

Given the strength of their case, this would rest on the assumption that PBS has no balls at all*.  Given that they've made the show and the teacher's guide in the first place, I would be very surprised if they backed down over something as ludicrous as this.

*  Bad choice of phrase.  Hitler Has Only Got One Ball is going to be pinging through my skull for the next four or five hours now.

Date: 2007/11/06 13:19:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Nov. 06 2007,11:13)
Here's the hilarious the books section they offer 14 books supporting evolution, and 1 in regard to design.  

Fair point, FTK.  

What's the ratio of evolution to creationism among peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the last few years?  That would have formed a sound basis for the reading list weighting.

Date: 2007/11/06 14:18:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Nov. 06 2007,12:02)
PBS looks ridiculous when they only allow *one* book on ID.


Last time I checked, PBS weren't in the book-banning business, and bookshops didn't just stock publications on the approved list.  If people want to read more than one ID book, there's not much PBS can do to stop them.

Date: 2007/11/06 14:42:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Denyse is back, to tell us that a wildly-speculative 20-year-old Carl Sagan paragraph is twenty years old and wildly speculative, and therefore God did it.

Oh, and she'd like us to buy her book.

Date: 2007/11/06 15:30:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JonF @ Nov. 06 2007,13:23)
Quote (Ftk @ Nov. 05 2007,14:35)
btw, I wrote earlier:

Oh, btw, I’ve surfed the net several times in the past year in attempt to find a good breakdown of the various groups of  “successful organisms” (ie. transitional man) that include the number of fossil finds for each category.  I’ve seen endless lists of early man fossil categories, descriptions, etc., but I was wondering specifically how many fossil finds have been found in each grouping.  Any suggestions on where to find that information?

Does anyone have access to the number of fossils found for each group of transitional man? has the counts all on one page.

Trying to head FTK off at the pass:

The frequent use of

in the timeline means "there are quite a lot of details we don't know yet."  Not "therefore, God did it."

Date: 2007/11/07 11:26:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 07 2007,08:09)
Could you tell me who discovered the soul


Date: 2007/11/07 13:07:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Assassinator @ Nov. 07 2007,10:53)
I'de like to speak to God, and since he's God afterall it would be nice if he could place a post in this topic. Ya know just to varify things. Is communication that much to ask?

"If only God would show me a sign.  Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank."
- Woody Allen

Date: 2007/11/07 13:14:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 07 2007,10:49)
The ID community has its hands full right now.

This UD quote is beautiful in so many ways, I don't know where to begin.

Perhaps they're testing the hypothesis that no-one at UD could find their own arse with both hands and a map.

Date: 2007/11/07 16:53:13, Link
Author: JohnW
I don't make this claim lightly, but:

Stupidest.  Batshit77.  Post.  Ever.

I’d watch your step, evolution is debated on this site daily, when Ms. O’Leary makes her comments she does so with a thorough understanding of the intricacies of evolution to the molecular level!

<Edit: "lightly", not "likely".  What a pillock.>

Date: 2007/11/07 17:16:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Zachriel @ Nov. 07 2007,15:07)
Apparently temmenicki2 is disembodied because there are no posts by any temmenickis on the thread.

I should have saved his posts, because I could hear the beat of the banning drums as soon as I read them.  They were a couple of questions/comments about whether Denyse's "billions of people" really understood the theory of evolution, or misunderstood it.  The sort of reasonable question which would barely raise an eyebrow on a discussion board.  Which, of course, UD isn't.

Date: 2007/11/07 17:33:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 07 2007,15:25)
I can't figure out how the marginally intelligent (Dembski) can stand the company he keeps/attracts.

I can.  Who buys his books?

Date: 2007/11/07 18:14:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Woody Guthrie - This Tard is Your Tard
Charlie Parker - Klactoveesedstard
Skip James - I'm So Tard
Stravinsky - The Tard of Spring
Bob Dylan - The Tards They Are Unchangin'

Date: 2007/11/08 11:05:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 08 2007,01:06)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 07 2007,23:20)
Eschewing our company here, FtK has apparently posted her response at her blog

If this is what FTK really thinks about evolutionary biology and the studies detailing abiogenesis then she is demonstrating her ignorance of the relevant topics quite effectively.

Is this what you really think FTK?


This may shock you, but she didn't let my comment through.  (She said something earlier about thinking I was Blipey).  Jeremy has managed to slip through the fence, though.

Date: 2007/11/08 11:19:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Denyse has written a book.  Did anyone know about this?

I will also be on Radio Maria, November 8, on Culture Watch with Tony Gosgnach, from 6:05 to 7:05 p.m.

Cool.  A radio station for Sound of Music fans.

The hills are alive,
With the sound of taaaard

Date: 2007/11/08 11:26:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 08 2007,09:23)
No, we don't really need a new thread, but on the other hand it's an interesting point, (what books?), and I'd like FTK to answer it. If "she" can't think of 14 then "she" can retract that comment. Just an attempt to save this interesting point from being lost in the scrum.

What's getting lost in all this is that some poor intern at PBS had to go through a pile of ID publications and select the least stupid.  I hope PBS health insurance will cover decades of therapy.

Date: 2007/11/08 14:13:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 05 2007,16:11)
I pray to the intelligent designer that they start including the poor me victim stories again.  Several of them are howlers indeed.  Some of the ones I submitted will be very funny if they ever get published.

O frabjous day!  More sob stories!

And it looks like many of them aren't exactly what they had in mind:

Like any Raelian I recognize that the human race is the product of the Intelligent Designers who igners who we have been in contact with for decades. Everytime I tried to get the intelligent design promoters (William Dembski) and others at to at least consider the Intelligent Designer hwas discovered years ago I was ridiculed. They never once asked me for evidence or even considered the evidence. They ended up banning me and ALL my comments from their blog. Science is about discovery and evidence, no just towing the intelligent design party line.


Today I was expelled from the Uncommon Descent blog. All I was trying to do was talk about intelligent design in an intelligent way. I'm a Christian and a religion professor. Can you believe the sort of censorship this site is engaging in?

link - goodonyer, ReligionProf!

Plus a visitor  from an alternate reality, where wheels are square, trout are allowed to vote, and:
I was allowed only 30 seconds to speak (I saved a written copy of my speech), but was able to point out that the top scientists in the world have all but thrown out the current theory of evolution. Only lower-level professors still teach it, and they ridicule those who think otherwise.

Date: 2007/11/08 15:43:29, Link
Author: JohnW
The Informatics Lab was shut down in August by the Darwinists at Baylor when it was evident the scientific research would put certain Darwinist organizations around the country out of business and into disrepute.

Conspiracy and delusions of grandeur in a single sentence.  If this isn't Sal, it's a very gifted mimic.

Date: 2007/11/08 15:49:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Nov. 08 2007,13:28)
Ridiculed because of attacking Naturism

Quite apart from the vocabulary issues, this one is fall-off-your-chair funny.  Too ridiculous for the Bigfoot loonies...

Date: 2007/11/08 17:20:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 08 2007,14:05)
Wah Wah Atheists:

Dembski writes from his science theology blog.

I was on the committee to award Flew the Phillip Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth (which he received at Biola University in the spring of 2006).

I'd like to announce the First Annual JohnW Award for Non-Hypocrisy.  To be awarded for a documented Dembski description of any atheist as "civil and insightful" at a time when he or she is still an atheist.

The award ceremony will be at the 74th Street Alehouse, Seattle, whenever I next go there.  If the award is not presented, I'll drink it myself.

Date: 2007/11/09 11:29:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 09 2007,08:20)
Gotta say that Dr GH's comment is about the most accurate summary of the creationist movement there is.

Can anyone make a shorter summary of creationism, creationist tactics and the "evolution" of the creationist movement over the years?

Evolution of the creationist movement:

Creationism:  I'm a preacher.  God did it.
Intelligent design:  I'm a college professor.  God did it.

Best keep it on the Wall. It may well contain the word "fuck".

Oh, OK.
Creationism:  I'm a fucking preacher.  God fucking did it.
Intelligent design:  I'm a fucking college fucking professor.  Fucking God fucking did it.  Fuck.

Date: 2007/11/09 11:30:14, Link
Author: JohnW
deleted double post

Date: 2007/11/09 15:31:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 09 2007,13:14)
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 09 2007,15:08)




And you gotta love this next comment (my emphasis)  
I personally find atheism to be intellectually bankrupt and solely based on faith.

Is there a linkage in this guy's head between "intellectually bankrupt" and "solely based on faith"? Seems to be...

Next comment is better still, and oh so sciency:

This is not a blog like After The Bar Closes where they make fun of Dr. Dembski, or ERV, where they make fun of Dr. Behe.

You sir, I am sure, will be both prayed over and condemed to hell.

Where's the UD Complaints Department?  We make fun of Behe here too!

Date: 2007/11/09 17:47:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 09 2007,13:41)
BarryA knows no shame:
Darwin at Columbine

...One of O’Leary’s interlocutors more or less accused her of cherry picking her data to push her personal religious agenda.  Apparently this person believes this case is an aberation, and it is unfair to suggest a connection between Darwin’s theory and a school shooter’s self understanding as an instrument of natural selection.  Not so.

As the attorney for the families of six of the students killed at Columbine, I read through every single page of Eric Harris’ jounals; I listened to all of the audio tapes and watched the videotapes, including the infamous “basement tapes.”  There cannot be the slightest doubt that Harris was a worshiper of Darwin and saw himself as acting on Darwinian principles...

I am not suggesting that Auvinen’s and Harris’ actions are the inevitable consequences of believing in Darwinism.  It is, however, clear that at least some of Darwin’s followers understand “survival of the fittest” and the attendant amorality at the bottom of Darwinism as a license to kill those whom they consider “inferior.”  Nothing could be more obvious.

In the comments, specs and getawitness are to be commended for pointing out the ridiculousness of BarryA's argument.

BarryA, meanwhile, following his own logic, will be turning himself in to the police after reading this.

Date: 2007/11/13 13:25:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Nov. 13 2007,05:10)
Wow, what's with all this heavy technical stuff? I have no idea, nor do I really care about that, if it sounds good on whatever I play it on, then whatever I play it on is alright by me.

Indeed.  I used to know someone who demonstrated that vinyl sounds better than CD - I heard two versions of the same recording on his system, and the vinyl version was definitely superior.  His system cost more than most cars.  I have a decent but not spectacular set of gear (NAD CD player & amp, Snell speakers, Sennheiser headphones, iPod+Ultimate Ears on the road), giving me more money to spend on actual music.  I'm considering moving the shower and toilet onto the back steps to make more room for CDs.

Last five purchases: John Surman: The Spaces In Between; Fred Hersch: Night and the Music; Death Ambient (now there's a good band name): Synaesthesia; Groundtruther; Altitude; Paul Bley: Solo in Mondsee.

About two-thirds of what I own is jazz, more or less.  Lately I've been listening to a lot of jazz/electronic hybrid stuff - the Thirsty Ear and Tzadik labels have been putting out a lot of very interesting music lately.  The rest is all over the place - a fair amount of classical, reggae, blues, R&B.  Plus a lot of the stuff I grew up with: the likes of Joy Division, the Clash, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, XTC...

For what it's worth (this obviously reflects the artists' productivity as much as my tastes), the longest stretches of shelf space are devoted to Sun Ra, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.

Date: 2007/11/13 16:49:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Three more sob stories.  Including the notorious Forrest Mims - not hired to write a science column for, well, not accepting science.

The second tale of woe is more, um, interesting...
When I began fighting evolutionism as a public school teacher, a powerful former Board of Education member tried to stir up the community against me. She made false claims to a Jewish Professor whose daughter was in my class. She secretly went to my principal in an attempt to get me fired.

Darwinists=Jewish Conspiracy?  But weren't they Nazis last week?

Sob story #3: Darwinists made me fale skool:
I remember during my high school biology class, being made to answer questions that had no correct answer. Here's how the question would go: What is the age of the earth? A) 110 million years B) 21 million years C) 2.4 billion years D) 65 billion years

So what would I put for my answer? I would circle the answer they wanted and then write in the margin something like: You think it is this answer, but I do not agree with that. The correct answer is not displayed here.

She's right though - the correct answer is not displayed here.

Date: 2007/11/13 16:54:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 13 2007,14:48)

I'm not going to be able to watch Nova's Judgment Day live this evening, and instead will have to defer to later this evening or even tomorrow to watch a recording.

So, please, NO SPOILERS here, as I want to remain in suspense regarding how it turns out. Is ID vindicated by the Good 'ole republican boy Judge Jones, or is ID turned aside? I remember Dembski's odds on the various outcomes, and will be sitting on pins and needles throughout the broadcast.  He's been right on so many other issues.

OKAY? No spoilers. Thanks!

I have it on good authority that Jones, a Bush appointee, wouldn't be so irresponsible as to jeopardise his career by ruling against ID.  

This should be where Darwinism meets its Waterloo.

Date: 2007/11/13 17:00:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 13 2007,14:56)
Edit - d'oh.  I missed The Master's comment.

Oops, so did I.

Date: 2007/11/14 11:07:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mister DNA @ Nov. 14 2007,01:36)
I'm partial to the Roxy & Elsewhere and One Size Fits All period,

Yes.  If I could only take one Zappa album to the desert island, it would probably be One Size Fits All, or possibly You Can't Do That On Stage Any More vol. 2.

Quote (Mister DNA @ Nov. 14 2007,01:36)
followed by the Flo & Eddie era,

Not his best period, in my opinion.  I love 200 Motels, but I find most of the rest too concerned with "ooh, aren't we rude?" at the expense of the music.

Quote (Mister DNA @ Nov. 14 2007,01:36)
...the original Mothers of Invention lineup

Yes again.  Is Freak Out the best debut album ever?

Also, don't forget the phenomenal 1988 big band.  Make A Jazz Noise Here is another desert-island possibility, and The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life is not far behind.

Date: 2007/11/14 12:06:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 14 2007,10:00)
I'm getting impatient with the tardsters at UD.  I'm hurting for a tard fix and I'm waiting for something Nova related from UD and they seem to be hiding under a rock today...

Dembski, just because the ID humiliation was rehashed on Nova last night is no reason to climb under a rock and hide.  

UD Tardlettes, come out come out wherever you are....

Looks like they're all standing around in confusion, waiting to be given the party line.

Which may be a while in coming.  All the iDIots have managed so far is a whine from Casey Luskin, the DI's pet rock, who flails half-heartedly at a couple of minor points while saying nothing at all about the main ones.  I think they're still punch-drunk.

Date: 2007/11/14 16:56:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 14 2007,14:50)
My ID prediction:

WAD and Church Lady lead a frontal assault against Nova tomorrow.

Dr Dr Dembski's Friday meltdown could be good stuff this week.  I'm hoping for more farty noises.

Date: 2007/11/15 10:29:41, Link
Author: JohnW

You just don’t get it. ID predicts that AIDS will outrun our attempts to control it, all the while remaining a virus and not turning into a carrot or a labrador retriever. We are well justified in inferring that this is the design of the organisms, which matches exactly with the historical fact of G*D sending plagues on Egypt and bears to smite the rebellious children mocking prophets.

We've never observed the HIV virus turning into a dog or a root vegetable.  Therefore God did it, and he's an evil bastard.

Date: 2007/11/15 11:02:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Altabin @ Nov. 15 2007,08:35)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 15 2007,17:29)

You just don’t get it. ID predicts that AIDS will outrun our attempts to control it, all the while remaining a virus and not turning into a carrot or a labrador retriever. We are well justified in inferring that this is the design of the organisms, which matches exactly with the historical fact of G*D sending plagues on Egypt and bears to smite the rebellious children mocking prophets.

We've never observed the HIV virus turning into a dog or a root vegetable.  Therefore God did it, and he's an evil bastard.

Pssst, Er*sm*s *s * s*ck p*pp*t.

[Edit: Umm, at least I think he is.  Not so sure now, having read Erasmus FCD's post.  It's all getting a bit too confusing.]

I think you may well be right, but I've been caught out by Poe's Law before (a friend of a friend who I was sure was taking the piss, until I was told he was the real thing).  It's always dangerous to underestimate the Earth's supply of stupid, and I'm assuming guilty until proved innocent.

Date: 2007/11/16 11:31:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 15 2007,19:21)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 14 2007,12:07)
Quote (Mister DNA @ Nov. 14 2007,01:36)
I'm partial to the Roxy & Elsewhere and One Size Fits All period,

Yes.  If I could only take one Zappa album to the desert island, it would probably be One Size Fits All, or possibly You Can't Do That On Stage Any More vol. 2.

You should'a heard the Zappa Plays Zappa* live rendition of Andy. Absafuckinglutely awesome.

*Dweezil's band, currently touring and playing his father's music.

I hope to.  Monday night, Paramount, Seattle.

Date: 2007/11/19 10:09:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 18 2007,15:46)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2007,16:51)
What the hell?


I meant to add, I am not FTK. The above text is all direct quotes from the above message board. I just could not believe what I read there. I'm Anti creationism. I escaped.

Apologies for confusion.

Yeah, this is pretty bizarre. I'm quite disappointed, actually; I was looking forward to engaging her again in a forum where she can't always get the last word (that first reply to her alleged post was mine).

But I guess I should have known better; she learned here that she really doesn't do well in that sort of dialog.

At least we still have JoeG!

And, as she can't get the last word, I was looking forward to making a book on the time of the first flounce-out.

Date: 2007/11/20 11:24:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Nov. 19 2007,15:44)
I got this email from my republican, xian fundy relative
You'll probably want to set this as a "favorite" ~ [snip]

Global Incident Map  --updates every 800 sec, 24/7.
tracks terrorist acts, suspicious behavior, illegal alien incidents, amber alerts, outbreaks/bird flu, and school incidents.

Terrorist warning site scans the news 24 hrs a day.

Can't... Help..... laughing.... at.... stupid...


Suspicious behaviour?  

Did you notice that the map is linked to a "Mosque Map"?

I'm not laughing.  These people are evil.

Date: 2007/11/20 12:11:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 20 2007,10:01)
Second, what's the point? Who needs a real-time map of nearby mosques? I can't even think of a wingnut reason for that.

Well, if you think there are Muslim hordes pouring in by the thousand to commit "terrorist acts, suspicious behavior, illegal alien incidents, amber alerts, outbreaks/bird flu, and school incidents," you probably think there's a new mosque opening its doors every five minutes.

Date: 2007/11/20 13:20:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 20 2007,10:51)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 20 2007,12:11)
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 20 2007,10:01)
Second, what's the point? Who needs a real-time map of nearby mosques? I can't even think of a wingnut reason for that.

Well, if you think there are Muslim hordes pouring in by the thousand to commit "terrorist acts, suspicious behavior, illegal alien incidents, amber alerts, outbreaks/bird flu, and school incidents," you probably think there's a new mosque opening its doors every five minutes.

Speaking of Muslim hordes... or lack of them, did anyone else catch on Keith Olberman lat night a Fire Dept. official from New York City dissing Rudy G, and taking him to task for his mis-managemnt on 9/11?

Not me.  I had something much better to do.

Date: 2007/11/21 13:07:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Nov. 21 2007,10:41)
Ok, who the hell is bornagain77?  No one is this dumb:

I believe the “Designer” rapidly wipes the entire slate clean from time to time in the fossil record, only to, after an average of ten million years of sparsity, just as rapidly reintroduce a whole different spectrum of interdependent life

So god is like my two year old son playing with building blocks.  After creating a castle made of blocks he gleefully knocks the whole thing down and starts all over.  Just cuz it's fun.  Sure that fits in design theory too.  

bornagain77 has got to the the highest form of sock puppetry ever!

Give me that old-time catastrophism!  

This was a perfectly legitimate scientific viewpoint in, say, 1800.  Cuvier, for example, argued along similar lines.  But we've found, um, one or two pieces of falsifying evidence in the last 200 years.

I eagerly await batshit77's entry into the 19th century.

Date: 2007/11/29 11:05:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (snoeman @ Nov. 28 2007,21:21)
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 16 2007,16:26)
Now that biking season is over and I have about an hour a day of reading time on the bus, I've started a little project.

I'm about 1.5 chapters into Volume 1 of Janet Browne's Darwin biography, which will be followed by Volume 2, and then From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books, which was a birthday present last year.  (I've read Origin, years ago, but not the other three).

I'll probably be interspersing these with lighter stuff, so this may take a few months.

As long-time bike commuter (since July of, uh, this year) :), living in the same city as you, I have to ask: what do you mean, "biking season is over"?

Aren't there things you can buy to deal with the cold and dark?


I like biking when it's light and dry.
I don't like biking when it's dark and wet.  
No matter how much shopping I do, I still won't like it.

Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, biking season is over.


Anyway, I finished the first volume of Browne's Darwin biography a couple of weeks ago, took a few days off to read other things ( I highly recommend this.  What a bunch of arrogant, pig-headed morons) and am now starting on Volume 2.  It certainly deserves all the praise it received - an exhaustive piece of scholarship, but very readable, although, at about 600 large-format pages each, not very portable.

One thing in Volume 1 struck me.  Darwin studied geology at Edinburgh and Cambridge, and, as far as I could tell, every word he was taught was based on an old-Earth model.  I already knew, as most of us did, that the idea of deep time long predated Darwin, but this reinforced the fact that six-day creation and a young Earth had no scientific credibility by the early 19th century.

Date: 2007/11/29 14:29:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Nov. 29 2007,09:33)
Joe G, who rarely disappoints, outdoes himself in terms of bringin' teh stoopid, when he tries to defend GG's publication record:
Writing a paper takes research. Research takes time. Research in astronomy takes quite a bit of time due to the vast distances involved. (it takes time to detect movement in far-away bodies)


Welcome to ID World, where telescopes and spectroscopes do not exist and astronomical research is performed by taking a stroll outside and seeing whether anything has moved yet.

"Any sign of motion from NGC 869 yet?"
"No, Professor."
"Bugger!  We'll never get another grant at this rate."

This explains why the paradigm-shattering ID paper on the bacterial flagellum is so late in arriving.  You can squint and squint, but it's just so hard to see the little bastards.

Date: 2007/11/29 14:33:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 29 2007,11:52)
Not if I get to Luton High Street before you, you won't.

If you end up in Luton, you will already have suffered enough.  Execution would be superfluous.

Date: 2007/11/29 16:00:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Another handful of courageous ID researchers silenced by the establishment creationists asked to stop preaching in high school biology classes.

Perhaps we should contact Chris Comer.

Date: 2007/11/30 14:33:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mister DNA @ Nov. 30 2007,11:57)
They've locked Dembski in the attic at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab (which, btw, is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Baylor University) for the weekend.

Do broom cupboards have attics?

Date: 2007/11/30 14:37:52, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 30 2007,12:23)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Nov. 30 2007,13:19)
OK, the meltdown hasn't happened yet (can we sue Wes if it doesn't?), but we've always got Denyse keeping us abreast of the situation:
Reflections on key recent events: Eminent science journal advises meat puppets to get over “image of God” rubbish

Nothing in the intelligent design controversy is more instructive than a convinced Darwinist making his true position very, very clear.

etc. etc.

The key recent events are the publication of an editorial in Nature.  In June.

That is a recent event.  At least in comparison to her newest entry, that reports breathlessly on a scientific controversy that was resolved almost 130 years ago.

Oh, and also, buy her book.

Which one of you comedians is poachy?

Maybe it is time we started our own scientific journals in order to get the ground breaking ID research out into the world where the people can decide. We could even start with a blockbuster issue with all the ID papers that have been rejected by Big Science.

Date: 2007/12/03 13:36:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Anyone want to confess to being leo stotch?
I have to agree with DaveScot about letting the foxes guard the chickenhouse. We shouldn’t leave biology and biochemistry to the biologists and biochemists. There is too much money at stake for them to deal honestly with the reality.

Beautiful.  Let's take biology away from the biologists and give it to the theologians and retired code monkeys.  That should improve things.

On a related note, my back steps need to be repaired.  Can anyone recommend a good fishmonger?

Date: 2007/12/03 15:09:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Charles Darwin:
Once as a very little boy whilst at the day school, or before that time, I acted cruelly, for I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power; but the beating could not have been severe, for the puppy did not howl, of which I feel sure, as the spot was near the house. This act lay heavily on my conscience, as is shown by my remembering the exact spot where the crime was committed. It probably lay all the heavier from my love of dogs being then, and for a long time afterwards, a passion. Dogs seemed to know this, for I was an adept in robbing their love from their masters.

We get a lot of Herons here too. Last spring a pair of Mallards had some eggs on a small island the kids fish off of. We kept an eye on them and made sure the pair were well fed, but in the end a freaking heron had the eggs for lunch. Hubby was seriously pissed. Now, when the kids see herons on the pond, they go for their guns.

Oh, but the guys did shoot a bunch of ducks the last two weekends.  They were seriously yummy.

So, FTK, what is it about the Darwin story which shows that he was a Very Bad Man?  Can't be the animal cruelty, or the fact that he was a kid at the time - you're encouraging your kids to do much worse than Darwin did to that dog, and I'm sure you don't see yourself as a Very Bad Woman.

The only difference I can see is that Darwin was remorseful about the incident, whereas, as far as I can see, you don't give a shit.  Is that where Darwin went wrong?

Date: 2007/12/03 18:06:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 03 2007,15:55)
Ooh, ooh, see there!...Jasper is making fun of Jesus.


:p  :p  :p

I assume your comment refers to this paragraph:
Also, I'm curious—was Jesus a telepath? How does telepathy fit into your religious beliefs? How about astrology? UFOlogy? Where do you draw the line on metaphysical woo? Do you draw a line, or are you omni-credulous?

How is this making fun of Jesus?  Jupiter is making fun of you.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:41:43, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 04 2007,14:18)
Bat^shit reminds us its all about god:

Batshit77 is on a roll, or rolling something, today.

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

And I say God did it all while wearing green socks.  Prove me wrong.

What gives you the audacity to think that science is not allowed to investigate if and how God may have created this stunning complexity, especially in the face of Darwinism’s bankruptcy to produce ANY conclusive evidence.

Hypothesis: an omnipotent god did something, somewhere, by some means, for some reason.
Experiment: test the...  no, observe the...  Oh bugger.  Look, I'll have to get back to you on this.  Don't worry, I'll think of something.

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein

So prove us wrong and demonstrate evolution empirically and be done with us heretics!


Are you going to say we can’t investigate how God may have created life because it is considered supernatural? Well I guess scientists should just stop all research into quantum mechanics right now, because this supernatural stuff is just a bunch of bologna in your eyes.

Huh?  Wha?  Toss me some of that stuff you're using, batty-boy.

It was commonly presumed by the materialistic philosophy that scientists would find a solid object in the atom somewhere. What scientists actually uncovered is a lot stranger than they had imagined prior to investigation.

Scientists discovered something.  Therefore God.

These actions of one of the most foundational “material” building block of the atom, the electron, as well as the actions of all the other sub-atomic building blocks studied, should be very surprising to most everyone. What is very surprising about these characteristics is that they are defying our basic notion that there should be a solid, indestructible “material” building block in the atom, somewhere. Solid “material” objects simply do not disappear, then reappear; neither do they instantaneously move from one spot to another spot, not to mention instantaneous communication everywhere in the universe. Most people, from grade school forward, are aware that atoms are comprised mostly of empty space; yet, to find that there are no truly solid objects anywhere in the atom, obeying the three-dimensional constraints that we are subject to is a bit of an eye-opener, to say the least. Since only “material” objects which have their basis in a higher dimension can transcend boundaries imposed on objects of a lower dimension, This is obvious and compelling proof that the electron, as well as all other atomic “particles”, have their basis in a higher dimension; so they are able to seemingly “miraculously” transcend the three-dimensional constraints we are subject to.

Quantum mechanics is not classical mechanics.  Therefore God.

Thus, this hard scientific evidence offers very compelling and very logical proof that what we refer to as the spiritual realm (higher dimension) is, indeed, the ultimate source of our physical “material” reality.

Sounds compelling and very logical to me.

Date: 2007/12/04 16:48:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 04 2007,14:37)
Put me in the camp of those who think the sock puppets at UD are not amusing. I’d rather see you guys get on with a pseudonym and ask real questions (as long as possible) rather than do the parody shtick.

I think you're mostly right, dheddle.  I think we look much better getting banned (as we always do) for asking awkward questions than by pulling a Poe's Law.

But I have to salute digdug24 for this (my bolding):

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.

Date: 2007/12/05 13:20:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Dec. 05 2007,09:49)
He's openly hostile to the entire enterprise that he ostensibly applied to become a lifelong part of.

And that is why it's entirely reasonable for his views to be part of any discussion regarding tenure. In fact, that's probably not strong enough - it should be a necessary part of the discussion.  Not a deal-breaker, if he's able to compartmentalise his anti-science beliefs and do good work, but definitely something his reviewers ought to talk about.

Date: 2007/12/06 11:11:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 06 2007,08:10)
Well, I think that if you're going to listen to music that hasn't been fashionable for ages, don't do it in a halfassed way:

PS: Listening to the Pet Shop Boys makes you gay, even if you weren't before. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But that's not exactly what we're talking about here, is it.  Anyone who's embarrassed about liking the Hot Five/Seven should seek psychiatric help, pronto.

When I'm in charge, anyone who doesn't have this is going to be denied tenure.

Date: 2007/12/06 11:46:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 06 2007,05:17)
Quote (factician @ Dec. 06 2007,07:07)
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 06 2007,06:46)
Edited to add-- Amazon took down Johns 'Edge' review after UD trolls pooped their diapers over it, but Amazon put it back up.

Looks like it's still gone, to me...

I like this guy.

However, all that Michael Behe has demonstrated so well in his latest diatribe against "Darwinism" is the constricted, twisted limits of his own scientific thought via extensive illogical reasoning, an improper understanding of probability theory, and a profound ignorance of evolutionary biology. Indeed, in his latest book, Michael Behe has descended into the dark, deep abyss of reason; it's a senseless journey that any thoughtful potential reader of his book should refuse to undertake.

So the book's not very good, John?

Date: 2007/12/06 15:53:09, Link
Author: JohnW
We've hit rock bottom.  Batshit77 is regaling us (well, them) with his poetry.
The tear in the sky threatens to rip the sky asunder
The world roars applause with a loud sustained thunder

Edited:  because editing is fun.

Date: 2007/12/06 17:31:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 06 2007,15:22)
OMG...I can hardly believe that I'm seeing this in writing.  

This has to be a first here at AtBC.  I'm *stunned*.

I'm going to put this post in a special file...not sure what to title it just yet.

How about calling it "Things you won't see on a creationist board"?

Edited: entire post removed and replaced with something even further off-topic.  Just because I can.

Date: 2007/12/06 17:38:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 06 2007,14:55)
we should start a haiku the tards what REAL poets can do!

Naughty atheists!
But I won't give examples -
I'm a pirahna.

Date: 2007/12/07 11:09:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 07 2007,08:53)
Quote (ERV @ Dec. 07 2007,09:03)
If thats the 'best' youve got, Im going to continue not liking you.  Youre nitpicking on a completely irrelevant point and proclaiming its a damning argument.

Dave Heddle, overreact to a small flaw of ours? Trying to magnify it to be equivalent to the misbehaviors of the IDers? I can hardly imagine that. Whoever heard of the like?


(disclaimer: i haven't followed this particular argument at all. Dave may be in the right this time, I don't know. But ERV's not the first person to accuse Dave of this)

Actually, I think Dave Heddle is right this time.  The "completely irrelevant" point which Dave is "nitpicking" about is that Kwok is reviewing a book he hasn't read.  While it's true that the book in question is yet another repackaging of the same old bollocks, this behaviour doesn't look good.  I don't like tossing the iDIots a free PR point.  Especially when PR is all they've got.

Edited:  Not yet.  Maybe later.  Whenever I get the urge.

Date: 2007/12/07 11:18:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Regarding Comments
I consider this weblog an extension of my living room in cyberspace. If you enter a comment that I wouldn't find acceptable in my living room, I'm likely to boot both you and your comment. Fair warning, OK?

You have got to be the most hateful, foul mouthed, frothing bitch in the biosphere.

Date: 2007/12/07 12:11:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 07 2007,09:58)
Salvador Cordova:
bestiality is the logical consequence of Darwinism

FTK, agree/disagree with that sentiment?

See here.

Date: 2007/12/07 14:19:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Louis' teeth and face were once perfectly fine, and almost symmetrical in places.  Sadly he was exposed to rugby union at an impressionable age.  Now, in addition to being a G&T-swilling, Range Rover-driving Tory, he looks like the northern end of a northbound extremely ugly thing, after said ugly thing has been hit by a southbound bus.

Date: 2007/12/07 14:26:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 07 2007,12:23)
Now, in addition to being a G&T-swilling, Range Rover-driving Tory

Louis is a Tory?


English and likes rugby union.  Connect the dots.

Edited: nah, I'll have to do it later.  I need to buy some black pudding and walk the whippet before my Friends of Silly Stereotypes meeting, and I can't find my flat cap.

Date: 2007/12/07 14:37:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Meanwhile, back at Tard Central, lars doesn't get it:

This firing/resignation of Comer does seem murky. Forwarding a notice of an anti-ID talk doesn’t in itself break neutrality. Forwarding only notices of anti-ID talks would break neutrality, but should not by itself be grounds for dismissal. Was this part of an ongoing pattern of breaking neutrality guidelines (”insubordination”), about which Comer had already been warned?

The most potentially troubling part of this incident is the appearance (though we don’t know many details yet) that the reasons for Comer’s being pressured to resign (if she was) have not been made transparent. And therefore they may not have been in accordance with legal guidelines to which they should have been accountable. Just as with Gonzalez.

Actually, the most troubling part of this incident is that a body which oversees educational standards is neutral about whether to teach antiscience in science classes.  And that so many people think this is the right thing to do.

Date: 2007/12/10 12:59:09, Link
Author: JohnW
D.A.Newton: all science so far:
It appears that Mr. Irons is not only a smarmy lawyer, but a religious bigot to boot. I wonder whether he has made the trek to Virginia and danced on Falwell’s grave.

Excellent idea!  Can we add a side trip to the next ATBC church-burnin' tour?

I looked up the Alliance Defense Fund; it’s a family values law firm, which opposes homosexual marriage, and “gays in the military.” Presumably, gay bashing now means that one may not seek to preserve an institution that has served the human race well, albeit in a variety of forms, at least since Abraham was called out from Ur of the Chaldees, and when one is keeping an eye out for incoming lead, you have to cover your back also.

Nope, no gay-bashing there.  Everyone knows gay men can't fight.  Just ask the Spartans.

Date: 2007/12/10 14:13:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 10 2007,11:19)

... an institution that has served the human race well, albeit in a variety of forms, ....

By killing some of them?

I think Mr or Ms Newton meant that no-homos-allowed marriage "has served the human race well."  I look forward to seeing the data which led to this conclusion.

Date: 2007/12/11 13:20:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Thickness not to scale.

Date: 2007/12/11 13:27:13, Link
Author: JohnW
The beauty of "blame the atheists" is that any exposure to the unbelievers, at any time, under any circumstances, can be used as evidence.  Brother-in-law's neighbour's plumber once read an interview with Hitchens?  That'll do.

Here's an example.  Dawkins showed up at the New Life Church a couple of years ago.  Therefore it's his fault.

Date: 2007/12/11 15:24:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 11 2007,12:55)
Painted themselves into a corner, I would say. So there's the answer to specs' question:
Rather than blaming atheists should consider that perhaps the Christian community needs to figure out more effective ways to minister to the needs of mentally ill individuals?

Mental illness does not exist! There are only [the right kind of] Christians and everyone else.

Darwin invented mental illness.

Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 11 2007,12:55)

"Darwin's 'Evolution Revolution' and its Impact on Science, Sex Education, Crime/Punishment, Poverty, Business, and Life & Death Issues"

He also invented crime, poverty, and shagging.

Date: 2007/12/12 12:50:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Dec. 12 2007,10:09)
Do us a favor. Take a break in your garage. With the car running.


Uncalled for, C.J.

Remember that Dave is fundamentally harmless.  Anyone dense enough to be taken in by Dave's loony-on-the-bus rantings is already so far gone that they're beyond help.

Date: 2007/12/12 13:41:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 12 2007,11:05)
I'm just sad that we aren't hearing about Dave's theories of Portuguese and French anymore.  :(

Great times, Arden, great times.

Still, I'm looking forward to hearing more about Dave's new "prove the universe is 6,000 years old by finding a unicorn" research program.  I hope he posts the grant application.

Date: 2007/12/12 14:36:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 12 2007,12:24)
Quote (JohnW @ Dec. 12 2007,13:50)
Remember that Dave is fundamentally harmless.

I would take issue with that statement.  Hearken back to the "It's OK to kill people if God tells you to" conversation.

Linky forthcoming...

I don't think Dave is going to influence anyone else to believe that.  Some people may already agree with him, because they've already been fed the same crap.  But Dave's not going to make any converts.

Date: 2007/12/14 17:05:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 14 2007,14:15)
Dembski speaks to his 'base', hopes the heathens aren't listening. Never fails.

I think this one deserves its own thread.

It's been a while since the last Friday Meltdown.  But this is a fucking beauty.

Dembski just doesn't seem to get this whole intertubes business.  Shit, he doesn't get this whole printing press business.  If you publish one set of views (ID ^= Jesus) targeted at one audience, and another set of views (ID = Jesus) aimed at someone else, people are going to notice.  

Even if you've built your career out of flogging nonsense to the credulous, surely there's a limit to how long the shit can keep missing the fan.  It'll be interesting to see if any of the UD regulars call him on this.  And if they do, what excuses the too-far-gone will come up with to justify it.

Date: 2007/12/14 18:06:57, Link
Author: JohnW
5. How will your research affect the world of science?

It’s going to change the national conversation. I don’t see how you can read this book, if you’ve not been indoctrinated with Darwin’s theory, and go back to the evolutionary fold. The case against this materialistic, undirected evolution is overwhelming. This really goes to the worldview issues that are underlying this whole discussion: Are we the result of a blind, purposeless, material process, and is our intelligence then just this evolutionary byproduct of our need to survive and reproduce? Or are intelligence and purpose fundamental to our existence? Were we planned? Or are we an accidental happening? That’s really what is underlying this whole debate, and what this book, I think, addresses very effectively.We haven't done any research.

I fixed that for you, Bill.

Date: 2007/12/17 12:10:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Dec. 17 2007,09:48)
You are exactly right, Carlson, in your comparison of professionals and amateurs.  Of course, this makes Dembski's claim even funnier when you realize that WAD is like William Hung singing Nessun Dorma.

Dr Dr D is more like William Hung claiming he can sing Nessun Dorma, but he doesn't feel like it.

Date: 2007/12/17 12:59:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (factician @ Dec. 17 2007,10:52)
Quote (JohnW @ Dec. 17 2007,12:10)
Quote (blipey @ Dec. 17 2007,09:48)
You are exactly right, Carlson, in your comparison of professionals and amateurs.  Of course, this makes Dembski's claim even funnier when you realize that WAD is like William Hung singing Nessun Dorma.

Dr Dr D is more like William Hung claiming he can sing Nessun Dorma, but he doesn't feel like it.

And like Hung, Dr. Dr. Dembski makes a lot of money just from being a Tard.

But unlike Dembski, Hung has never claimed to be anything else.

Date: 2007/12/17 13:08:43, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BopDiddy @ Dec. 17 2007,11:00)
And, further nesting quotes (cuz I can! but I still can't edit..) did anyone else notice Dr Dr's link is to, a site that houses fun stuff like

"Do you smell that?"  

Indeed.  I didn't think his Baptist College and BBQ's firewall would allow links to those types of sites.

Au contraire.  Faculty members of Billy-Bobs Bodacious Backwoods Biblical Brain-Bakery don't just view, but create farty flash animations.

Date: 2007/12/18 10:57:17, Link
Author: JohnW
As far as I am concerned, the reason for IDers' confidence is straightforward.  They're not talking to scientists.  ID has always been primarily a social/cultural movement: one part Christian apologetics, one part far-right politics.  Since Dover, ID has been entirely a social/cultural movement.

They don't care what scientists think of them.  Looking at Dembski's recent Focus On The Family interview, they're not worried about even sounding like scientists.  They've abjectly failed to make any scientific headway, so they're concentrating on Plan B - sidestepping science completely and aiming straight at the hearts and minds of Christian fundamentalists and the people they elect.

If Huckabee's in charge of the NSF and NIH, who's going to be getting the grants?

Date: 2007/12/18 11:24:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 18 2007,09:16)
Classic from NoChange. Even if he is a sockpuppet it's funny stuff to see it on the "Premier" ID site without challenge.
Now take a pregnant woman, she’s turning the food she’s eating into a brand new human. That’s thermodynamically impossible (to go from disordered, to higher order). For this to be possible requires some kind of life force. I believe that God provides us with this life force, but clearly here at Uncommon Descent, we are supposed to respect all opinions, so I’ll try to be open-minded, and think that the aura readers at various new age events are also able to see the energy force that keeps us alive, and allows us to break the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Keep up the good work!

This might be an opportunity to introduce the IDiots to the concept of a thermodynamically closed system.  In such a system, conversion of food into a brand new human causes a local entropy decrease.  But this is counterbalanced by the massive entropy increase resulting from turning cheesy poofs into DaveTard.

Edit: The edit jokes have probably run their course.  But who cares?

Date: 2007/12/18 12:51:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 18 2007,10:24)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 18 2007,13:17)
So for different categories of IDers, there are different explanations. But if this analysis is correct, the key is the gurus. If they would stop peddling BS, the underlings would have no confidence at all. It is not likely that the gurus will stop, however. They need to make a living, feed their families, etc., and economics will continue to trump ethics for those guys. It can't be fun to face the mirror every morning, but they gotta do what they gotta do.

No, it's not likely the gurus will stop. After you've realized you're not cut out to be, or interested in being, a scientist, and discovered that some blinkered fundies will pay you thousands of dollars to give a 1-hour talk that you can largely shoplift from real schools like Harvard, what choice do you have?

Let's not underestimate the ego-boosting effects of drinking the ID Kool-Aid.  It makes it easier to look in the mirror if instead of being just another ho-hum academic with a modest publication record, you're a "leading scientist and mathematician" everywhere you go (see here, for example).  Everyone who embraces ID creationism, from Behe to Sternberg to Gonzales, is suddenly transformed into a titan of their field.

Date: 2007/12/19 11:13:37, Link
Author: JohnW
These are problems that evolutionists cannot explain, Robinson said.

"Evolution can explain the negatives around us like slavery and abortion, but how do you explain beauty or love?" he said. "Why would someone take the time to make anything beautiful?"

The idea that living things evolve through mutation is shot through with holes, Robinson said.

"Why don't we have more mutations?" he asked. "There are a miniscule amount that are helpful, and then still disappear. Why is that? We don't see mutations helping animals and people. We don't see mutations adding to anything. They're just taking away."

Hell's teeth.  This is middle-school stuff.  Twenty minutes at the library would answer these questions.  This guy is how old?

The result is "Logic's End," the story - which Robinson calls "apologetics fiction," and probably owes a lot to his days playing Dungeons and Dragons and reading "The Chronicles of Narnia" books...

Oh.  Fifteen.

Date: 2007/12/19 16:11:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Dec. 19 2007,14:03)
In sharp contrast to this, the leader of the fourth largest UK party is a YEC:

Ian Paisley buys Creation Books

Following his address to the Northern Ireland Assembly on his recent UK tour to help the UK team in their huge task of reaching so many churches, AiG speaker Dr Tas Walker was interested to see leading politician Ian Paisley buying AiG books. All the Assembly members, and other prominent community members, were invited to this address. Giving a presentation the next day at the Giant’s Causeway, Tas was surprised to find that a Paddy Murphy of Dublin had driven four hours to attend. Throughout the tour, many people expressed joy and thanks at having had questions answered and doubts resolved. In addition to the many scheduled talks, Tas also appeared on two BBC radio broadcasts. Around 2,350 adults and 290 children in total heard Creation presentations by Dr Walker. Praise God for the large amount of faith-strengthening materials now circulating in these communities.

My italics: I wouldn't like to go into a room full of Ulster fundies if my name was Paddy Murphy.  I wonder if he got out alive.

Date: 2007/12/20 02:14:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 19 2007,22:19)
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 19 2007,20:51)
But if you think that the information service that Bill Dembski has provided you here for years - out of his own resources - is worthwhile, go to Amazon and vote up the reviews that sound like the person has actually READ the book. Vote the others down.

Ironic that she wants people to sound like they've read the book.  Here's her review:

5.0 out of 5 stars At last - serious information about what the ID guys say!, December 13, 2007
By Denyse O'Leary "Denyse"
A growing pile of books dealing with intelligent design (ID) is published each year. Some argue for or against a given ID hypothesis, others try to interpret the controversy on behalf of an interest group. After we have set aside the works of conspiracy theorists and sectarian or atheist cranks, which of the new books legitimately demand our attention? Design of Life, by ID theorists William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, is certainly one. It offers the ID theorists' current analysis of key problems in the evolution of life on Earth. Origin of mind, origin of species, and origin of life are all covered in detail, as is irreducible and specified complexity in The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence In Biological Systems. Design of Life is particularly valuable as a supplement to textbooks that minimize the problems with current accounts of evolution. It is also a timely resource for those who are willing to consider the possibility that an accurate history of life includes an account of design, not only of chance and necessity. - Denyse O'Leary, author, journalist, and blogger, and co-author of The Spiritual Brain

A growingsteaming pile of books dealing with intelligent design (ID) is published each year.

I fixed that for you, Denyse.

Date: 2007/12/20 10:37:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Amadan @ Dec. 20 2007,02:05)

William Dembski


7:01 pm
ChristopherSaint: Give us more credit, please. My dad got his PhD in biology at the the University of Erlangen and my parents live in Germany. My uncle was a professor of ergnomics at the Technische Hochschule in at the time West Berlin. I know the scene in Germany and elsewhere in Europe . . . In any case, I’m fluent in German . . .

...which is why, when my first post on your blog referred to "Büstenhalter front-loading" you nodded sagely, and Scrotus complimented me on a "great post"!


Note to self: fasten seatbelt and put coffee down before reading any more Amadan posts.

Date: 2007/12/21 12:44:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Dec. 21 2007,09:33)
*He posts about a "secret life".  Not that it's wrong Dave.  Us Liberal Atheistic Darwinists will be very supportive, and Kristine wants to borrow that red dresss you have in your closet.

Any red dress belonging to Dave is going to fit several Kristines simultaneously.

Date: 2007/12/21 12:58:49, Link
Author: JohnW
At FTK's church they do that with pirahnas.

Date: 2007/12/21 16:38:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Dec. 21 2007,13:53)
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."

How about "The contents of this book resemble the substance EXPELLED from your throat after a night on the beer"?

I've got half a mind to enter.  I'd like to see who comes second.

Date: 2007/12/21 18:00:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (wonkuoynahtevoleromdeeni @ Dec. 21 2007,15:17)
I'm kinda just here to say how I feel. Ok, I'm a student of his and I have been for about 3 years now. Mr. Robinson has never tried to force his views on us. All we knew was he was writing a book. Of course, we knew what it was about cause we asked. But nothing else. Being a biotechnology student, I have to sit in whole class periods about evolution and other things I don't believe in. I mean, I have to sit through that crap for an hour and a half. However, I don't go around  bashing my teachers or Darwin for  wrting what they say.  I don't make a big fuss cause everyone believes what they wanna believe and I certainly don't want to try to stop that so I take it and move on. It doesn't phase me cause I know what I believe in. And what's more, I sure as hell do not go around talking about people when I know nothing about them. He's a great guy and a wicked awesome teacher. I can say that cause I know him. Now I know I'm only 16 and I'm probably way younger than anyone else but I have good perception and I'm intelligent. But what I can't see is why this has to be such a big deal. It's just a 276 page book. Get over it. Talk about something interesting like Iraq or the things we teach our children in schools.

Welcome to ATBC, Mr or Ms sdrawkcab.

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.

My concern about Mr Robinson stems from the likes of this (referenced here):
Keith Robinson has dedicated his life to teaching others about the evidence for creation and against evolution. He has presented his research findings to school district administrators, fellow teachers, students and church members.

"He has presented his research findings to... students".  This is worrying, given that he teaches in a public school, where religious proselytising is not allowed.  It's especially worrying since his opposition to the theory of evolution appears to be entirely based on religion: on the evidence of this, he's done no real research at all.  This, for example:
"Why don't we have more mutations?" he asked. "There are a miniscule amount that are helpful, and then still disappear. Why is that? We don't see mutations helping animals and people. We don't see mutations adding to anything. They're just taking away."

suggests little or no knowledge of biology, and this:
"Evolution can explain the negatives around us like slavery and abortion, but how do you explain beauty or love?" he said. "Why would someone take the time to make anything beautiful?"

is verging on being too silly to respond to.  (Evolution can explain slavery and abortion?  Huh?)

On a related note, I was intrigued by this sentence in your post:

Being a biotechnology student, I have to sit in whole class periods about evolution and other things I don't believe in.

Does your non-belief in evolution result from examining the evidence, or are your reasons purely religious?  If the former, would you be willing to talk about your objections?

Date: 2007/12/21 18:01:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 21 2007,15:50)
But what I can't see is why this has to be such a big deal. It's just a 276 page book. Get over it.

276 pages, huh? Anyone else suspicious that Wonk might not be exactly who he says he is?

the things we teach our children in schools.


Benefit of the doubt, Steve.  Innocent until proven tard.

Date: 2007/12/27 11:37:43, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 26 2007,20:39)
But I'll also reproduce the following, which I wrote to a close friend following the birth of my daughter 21 years ago. To protect her privacy, and to honor Darwin's suffering, I'll change her name in what follows to "Mary Eleanor":

"I have always felt, deep in me, that there is no a-priori meaning for events like Mary Eleanor's prenatal injury. This event has required of me deep grieving and new loving, though has not altered, or even challenged, my universe-view, Einstein not withstanding. When friends gather around and say things like "everything happens for a reason, so God must have something in mind" I accept the consolation intended, though feel clearly, intuitively, unequivocally that this is comforting human fantasy. It is denial, in the same way that "grandpa is in heaven now and we'll be with him one day" denies the frightful mystery of life and death. If one really wishes to live intimately with the reality of human existence, than one must relinquish this kind of fantasy and accept the essentially random byplay that is a partner in all reality. Randomness is real. Mary Eleanor is wonderful. Grandpa isn't in a heaven. I am not bitter."

A reminder that there are reasons, beyond throwing pies at creationists, for coming to this board.  Thanks, Bill.

Date: 2007/12/27 16:12:19, Link
Author: JohnW
For Christmas this year, I got the very finest, top-of-the-line, ultra-heavy-duty model from Acme Irony Meters.  This is the brand-new model - first to incorporate all the improvements they came up with after putting FTK and afdave in charge of testing.




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.

Bugger.  I wonder what their return policy is like?

Date: 2007/12/28 12:17:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Dec. 28 2007,09:36)
Quote (KARobinson @ Dec. 22 2007,14:40)
One of the four main issues I deal with in Logic’s End is the scientific observation that natural processes cannot produce a code system.  Therefore, how can evolution account for DNA, since it is the most advanced information storage system known to man?

Perhaps if I begin by addressing this bit from Keith we can get him involved in a discussion.

You say that "...natural processes cannot produce a code system" is a "scientific observation."  I'm sure you must be aware that there is a great deal of ongoing work in science in this area, and that no one except people with religious predispositions has given up on it yet.  The answer to the question, " can evolution account for DNA...?" would be better expressed as "How can scientific investigation account for DNA?" and the answer is that there is no firm answer. What you're proposing is a classic "God of the Gaps" argument--science can't presently explain it, therefore God.  I'm sure you must realize that this is fallacious reasoning, which makes the title of your book (and your premise for it) somewhat ironic.

Is it your position that we should abandon investigations for natural causes in cases where such causes aren't immediately in evidence?

I think we should give Keith a free pass this week - many people are otherwise occupied at the moment, and he may have other things to do besides engage us in discussion.

Keith, I'd like to expand a little on Jim's point.  You said "natural processes cannot produce a code system."  Are you basing this on the fact that a fully detailed explanation of the origin of DNA has not been found, or are you claiming that DNA, or any analogous way of storing and replicating data, cannot in principle be created by natural processes?  If the latter, I'd like to see your evidence.  DNA, while an extremely complex molecule, is built from less-complex, well-understood components, and we see nothing supernatural in its means of construction.

Finally, given that part of your opening post appeared to be aimed at my earlier comments, I apologise if they caused offence.  The newspaper article contained some apparently contradictory statements, but I should have allowed for the possibility that your views were being misrepresented.

Date: 2007/12/28 15:26:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 28 2007,12:57)
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?

We're seeing UD trickle-down at work here.  The MO of the UD Guru is "I'm a great mathematician.  You're not.  So just take my word for it."  And the chief acolyte/bouncer just applies the same approach in dealing with the riff-raff: "You have to understand probability and statistics.  I'm not going to be specific."

Of course this isn't how scientists behave.  But as we all know by now, this isn't about science, is it?  Long-term UDers (i.e. the people who get through the Banninatory Filter) don't want science.  They want sciency-sounding apologetics.  An appeal to authority fits the bill nicely.

Date: 2007/12/28 16:05:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 28 2007,13:50)
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?

Maybe he was reciting all the digits.

Date: 2008/01/02 18:09:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 02 2008,15:59)
Meanwhile, Sal is slipping from contemptible to just plain weird:
Winston Churchill on the battle against the Nazi Darwinists and Perverted Science

...There is a video which dramatizes the victory of Christian civilization against the Nazi Darwinists in the Battle of Brittain. You can get a copy of the The Battle of Britain starring Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, and Trevor Howard from Amazon.

Winston Churchill describes his voracious reading during his early 20s:

"From November to May I read for four or five hours every day history and philosophy. Plato's Republic - it appeared he was for all practical purposes the same as Socrates; the Politics of Aristotle, edited by Dr. Welldon himself; Schopenhauer on Pessimism; Malthus on Population; Darwin's Origin of Species: all interspersed with other books of lesser standing."

Winston Churchill, My Early Life: 1874-1904

Well, obviously:
1.  Hitler was a Darwinist.
2.  Churchill fought Hitler.
3.  Therefore Churchill was a creationist.

I'm looking forward to part 2:
4.  Stalin was a Darwinist.
5.  Hitler fought Stalin.
6.  Therefore Hitler was a creationist.

And part 3:
7.  Stalin was a Darwinist.
8.  Churchill was a creationist.
9.  Stalin and Churchill were on the same side.
10.  Therefore Sal is suing his brain for non-support.

Date: 2008/01/03 12:12:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,09:51)
On the other hand, do *I* endorse, condone or otherwise take as acceptable murder because I do not think there is an absolute morality. (I do not believe the universe has any opinion on murder, therefore it isn't wrong in an absolute sense, but due to human norms and certain cultural and evolutionary advantages it is (practically) universally considered immoral).

Those human norms in regard to murder also arose through evolution, otherwise absolutely nothing would have ever started to evolve in the first place.  Extremely simplistic example:  If all those early organisms ate each other because they were hungry, the earth would be unpopulated.  Morality is based on evolution for the atheist.  There is absolutely no way to get around that fact.  I have no clue why you people cannot acknowledge this.

It depends on what you mean by "based on evolution".

Animals are going to have to evolve to a certain level of sophistication before a society can emerge, and the evolution of those animals is through a "Darwinian" process.  Societies themselves will then evolve, but that process is not Darwinian.  Cultures do not develop in the same way as organisms - the modes of transmission and change of cultural phemomena do not follow a Mendelian pattern (it's more like Lamarckianism - there's no cultural equivalent of a genotype).  Also, societies do not form nested hierarchies - there is a tremendous amount of borrowing and overlap among social groups which developed separately.

So when we say that morals and taboos "evolved" we mean it in this cultural sense - there's a deeper genetic basis for things like not killing your parents or eating poo, but not for the panoply of moral codes which we see now.  Yes, they're "based on evolution", but not biological evolution.  Unless you're arguing that, because the members of the society evolved biologically, the society itself is based on biological evolution.  In a sense you would be right, but it's not very helpful.

Edit - fixed crappy spelling.

Date: 2008/01/03 12:46:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,10:34)
Unless you're arguing that, because the members of the society evolved biologically, the society itself is based on biological evolution.  In a sense you would be right, but it's not very helpful.

It may not be "helpful" to your argument, but it is precisely correct.  You're starting from the present and working yourself back in time while considering all the modes of thought we acknowledge today that have evolved in regard to morality.  I'm work from past to present and considering how morality evolved from that first living molecule.

Oh for crying out loud.

Please go back and read my entire post.  CULTURAL EVOLUTION DOES NOT WORK LIKE BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.  Yes, the organisms which have the culture went throgh a process of biological evolution, but the culture itself did not.  "Society is based on biological evolution" is not helpful because it tells us very little about that society.  We don't expect to see the precursors of culture in the first living cells.  

If you're going to be absurd, why not take it back to the atomic level, and claim that society is based on supernovae?

Date: 2008/01/03 13:30:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 03 2008,11:10)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,13:34)
Unless you're arguing that, because the members of the society evolved biologically, the society itself is based on biological evolution.  In a sense you would be right, but it's not very helpful.

It may not be "helpful" to your argument, but it is precisely correct.  You're starting from the present and working yourself back in time while considering all the modes of thought we acknowledge today that have evolved in regard to morality.  I'm work from past to present and considering how morality evolved from that first living molecule.

By this logic, baseball, chess, the sonata form in 18th century music, written language, the jitterbug, and all recipes for pound cake also arose by means of biological evolution.

Indeed.  I look forward to FTK's hypotheses regarding which combinations of alleles are responsible for the design of traffic signals, Elvin Jones' drum solo in A Love Supreme, or the FA thinking Steve McLaren was competent to manage England.  Perhaps she thinks this is what scientists do all day.

Date: 2008/01/03 13:39:03, Link
Author: JohnW
If anyone has unused irony-meter jokes in their desk drawers, Pirahna Lady lecturing us on linguistic precision is the best opportunity you'll have in weeks.

Date: 2008/01/03 17:00:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,14:29)
I also know that he discussed his hydroplate theory with Dr. Robert S. Dietz, one of the founders of the Plate Tectonic Theory many times.  They even became friends, so I can't imagine that he is the lying crank that you all believe him to be.  In that case, it was not a formal peer review, but I can think of no one better to discuss his theory with.  Granted, Dietz didn't agree with his theory, as he had his own.  But neither would he debate him, even after stating that he would and helping Brown form the debate agreement.

According to your link, Brown's interactions with Dietz were regarding the terms and conditions of a possible debate.  Dietz was not part of a peer-review process, even an informal one.  It's pretty clear, even from the creationist source you provided, that Dietz would have not been kind to Brown's work* if he had reviewed it.

*My contribution to International Understatement Week.

Date: 2008/01/03 17:23:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,15:07)
Quote (JohnW @ Jan. 03 2008,17:00)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 03 2008,14:29)
I also know that he discussed his hydroplate theory with Dr. Robert S. Dietz, one of the founders of the Plate Tectonic Theory many times.  They even became friends, so I can't imagine that he is the lying crank that you all believe him to be.  In that case, it was not a formal peer review, but I can think of no one better to discuss his theory with.  Granted, Dietz didn't agree with his theory, as he had his own.  But neither would he debate him, even after stating that he would and helping Brown form the debate agreement.

According to your link, Brown's interactions with Dietz were regarding the terms and conditions of a possible debate.  Dietz was not part of a peer-review process, even an informal one.  It's pretty clear, even from the creationist source you provided, that Dietz would have not been kind to Brown's work* if he had reviewed it.

*My contribution to International Understatement Week.

Hello?  I already stated that Dietz did not provide a formal review.  Are you not reading what I wrote?  I wrote exactly what I meant.  Don't put words in my mouth.

I'm not putting any words in your mouth.  Let's take a look at these words of yours:

In that case, it was not a formal peer review, but I can think of no one better to discuss his theory with.

I know you've had occasional struggles with the English language. so I'll explain.  Use of the word "formal" in the above sentence implies that there was an "informal" review.  There's no evidence that Dietz gave any sort of review whatsoever: formal, informal, casual, off-the-cuff... nothing in your link says anything about a review.

As you claim to have written exactly what you meant, how about showing us something to support your assertion that Dietz gave an informal peer-review of Brown's work?

Date: 2008/01/04 12:09:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,09:53)
Did you know I can type as fast as I talk?

Given the recent "peer review" train wreck, perhaps you should try typing only as fast as you think.

Date: 2008/01/04 13:26:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 04 2008,11:19)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,14:03)
I didn't say I didn't think you have class. I believe I inferred that I thought you did in an earlier post (unless you're holding back on us about your private life of porn/bestiality/cross-dressing).


That is fucking IT!!!   I CAN'T STAND ANOTHER WORD!!!

You didn't INFER it, you IMPLIED it!!

(God could've done more for the world with incribed internal OEDs than these silly ineffectual compasses).

ID predicted there would be a typo in this post.

Date: 2008/01/04 15:36:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 04 2008,13:09)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 04 2008,14:57)
Ftk is very scared,
Perhaps that's cuz her ass she's bared.

Geisel's rhymes are past her head,
There's smarter fish, (and yes, they're dead).

Creobots are people too,
Even if their brains are doo.

Be semi nice, don't be so hard,
She can't help that she's a tard.

No, Ftk won't read a book,
Unless it's by some stupid kook.

So she can't speak with knowledge no,
But she sure can call us all a ho.

Morals, none.  Just like Sal's,
Which is appropriate; they're pals.

Ftk, dear, you're a nut,
and please again, don't grab my butt.

It's weird you won't eat green eggs and ham,
Since your comments all read just like spam.

Damn!  I already nominated John W for Post Of The Week, now I got to fill out that damn change form, get it approved, and process it to nominate THIS Post as POTW.  Damn.  And i thought this would be a nice easy Friday too.

Thanks a lot Lou.

added in edit - This is Srsly Damn Good!

I concede.  In the face of this, I am not worthy.

Date: 2008/01/07 16:27:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Jan. 07 2008,14:06)
Maybe some of the reason FTK is like she is can be put down to a lack of curiosity.

For example, FTK writes (of Walt):
His theory suggests that comets, asteroids, and meteorites formed when jetting water and rock debris were forcefully launched from the subterranean chamber, escaped the earth’s gravitational pull and blasted into space to become part of our solar system.

So, logically all comets, asteroids, and meteorites would then have a makeup that can be traced back to earth. That's right huh FTK?

FTK, want to talk about that? Comets or asteroids or meteorites? All three?

It's much, much worse than that.  Walt Brown needs to come up with a plausible way of changing asteroid orbits from highly-eccentric ellipses to near-circular ones out beyond the orbit of Mars.  And I see nothing but a blur of rapidly-waving arms on this point.  This objection can be repeated, with knobs on, for the Kuiper Belt.

In the absence of a plausible mechanism, either (a) everything we think we know about classical orbital mechanics (the laws of which were first worked out by Kepler and Newton, and which are tested every time NASA launches something) is wrong, or (b) Walt Brown's hypothesis is a load of old cobblers.

FTK, I'm leaning towards (b) here.  Would you like to say anything about (a)?

Date: 2008/01/07 17:27:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 07 2008,14:31)
Pfffft. You forgot choice c - The miracle option; the laws of physics are different now. I'm sure Sal can give you the math that proves this.  :p

Also, for completeness, option (d): poof!

Date: 2008/01/07 18:05:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 07 2008,15:44)
BarryA: 2. Darwin’s theory is based upon a fundamental assumption:  chance and necessity are the only forces available to account for the diversity and complexity of life.

Chance and necessity are ambiguous terms, but presumably meant to exclude telic agency. As such, sexual selection and other aspects of intelligence would be counterexamples.

BarryA is incorrect at another level.  Even if we let the great oversimplification of "chance and necessity" slide, Mr A has reversed the causality.  Darwin showed that non-supernatural forces were the only ones required to account for the diversity and complexity of life.  It's not an assumption of the theory, it's a consequence of it.  

The theory of evolution says nothing about whether God exists, only that we don't need to invoke God to explain the history of life.

Date: 2008/01/07 18:08:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Henry J @ Jan. 05 2008,16:05)
(Although, I don't know what any of that has to do with cosomology. :p )

Creationists think cosmology is bollocks. :D

Date: 2008/01/08 13:02:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 08 2008,09:59)
Ftk, tit for tat: I think it would be instructive for you to attempt to simply imagine the following approximate time intervals:

- One thousand centuries and change: the run of Homo Sapiens

- Nineteen thousand centuries: the run of Homo Erectus.

- Sixty thousand centuries: time since the divergence of hominids and the other great apes.

- 630,000 centuries: the interval since the extinction of most dinosaurs.

(The above represents something like 1/10th the run of multicellular life upon this planet.)

- Five million, four hundred thousand centuries: the interval since the Cambrian explosion.

- 30+ million centuries (more than one thousand intervals of three million years duration laid end to end): the period during which single celled prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms (Ftk: those are what we call "blobs") characterized all life on earth prior to the emergence of multicellular forms.

- 45 million centuries: the approximate age of the earth.

Two centuries: time since young-Earth creationism ceased to be scientifically credible.

Date: 2008/01/08 16:37:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ Jan. 08 2008,14:33)
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 08 2008,14:04)
How Dumb Can You Get?  When you're Densyse O'Leary, the correct answer is "pretty damn dumb"!

In her latest post, she asks Can Animals Do Maths?

Well, they may not know how to count, but, if this article is to be believed, they have a fairly good grasp of micro-economics.
We, more evolved primates, may be tempted to take a cynical view of these findings, but the study's author suggests a more favorable interpretation: The macaques' exchange of services simply illustrates a nifty system of cooperation that allows for successful mating. The basic premise, says Gumert, is called biological market theory, which follows the elementary principles of supply versus demand.

But they can't sell silly books to the ignorant on creationist websites.  Therefore God did it.

Date: 2008/01/09 11:22:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Assassinator @ Jan. 09 2008,06:48)
Thanks Coyote and Henry J :)
But I still have some questions, next to rebutals of Behe's book, does anyone know what Behe says in his book? Does anyone also knows wich experiments the guy I'm discussing with is reffering to? I've asked, but he ignored it. Does anyone also new were the article in the 3th link in Coyote's link went? It seems like really interesting rebutal, but it's kinda gone.

Disclaimer - I haven't read Behe's book.  I'm 45 and there are a lot of great books I want to read before I die.  I'll get to Behe around the time I get to L Ron Hubbard and Kevin Trudeau.

Mark Chu-Carroll has a splendid review of the horrible mathematics at the core of Behe's argument:

The part of the book that is most annoying to me, and thus the part that I'll focus the rest of this review on, is chapter three, "The Mathematical Limits of Darwinism". This is, basically, the real heart of the book, and for obvious reasons, it seriously ticks me off. Behe's math is atrociously bad, pig-ignorant garbage - but he presents it seriously, as if it's a real argument, and as if he has the slightest clue what he's talking about.

The basic argument in this chapter is the good old "fitness landscape" argument. And Behe makes the classic mistakes. His entire argument really comes down to the following points:

1.  Evolution can be modeled in terms of a static, unchanging fitness landscape.
2.  The fitness landscape is a smooth, surface made up of hills and valleys, where a local minimum or maximum in any dimension is a local minimum or maximum in all dimensions.
The fitness function mapping from a genome to a point of the fitness landscape is monotonically increasing.
The fitness function is smoothly continuous, with infinitessimally small changes (single-point base chanages) mapping to infinitessimally small changes in position on the fitness landscape.

A "fitness landscape" can be thought of as a map (in many dimensions) of survival probabilities - as the size, shape, or behaviour of a species changes, the psoition on the "landscape" changes (get bigger and we move a bit this way, turn a darker colour and we move a bit that way, etc.) and hence the probability of survival changes.  Behe's claim is that species become "trapped" at a local maximum in the fitness landscape - if we move a bit in any direction, the probability of survival decreases.  This means that evolution is no longer possible.  

This claim is rubbish for many reasons, as outlined in Mark's demolition referenced above.  (Read the whole thing.  It's brutal).  Just as an example, this argument only has a chance if the fitness landscape never changes - which of course it does.  Climates get warmer or wetter.  Continents drift.  Mountains rise and fall.

Regarding the "experiments" your opponent is referring to - why don't you ask him for a reference?  Don't let him escape by saying "lots of them" - if they are, as he says, countless, then it should be easy for him to find them.  As there have in fact been no such experiments, if you press the guy on this, he's going to either cite something silly, or be forced to back down.

Date: 2008/01/09 11:24:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (George @ Jan. 09 2008,05:21)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 09 2008,06:34)
Quote (1of63 @ Jan. 09 2008,00:32)
If ID takes off in Florida, could give a whole new meaning to CSI: Miami.  Can't you just see the Complex Sweater Idiot snapping off the cool shades and talking sideways at people?

They'd have to change the soundtrack, though.

ID has nothing to say about The Who.

Anyone think of a less appropriate theme song for ID than Won't Get Fooled Again?

Teenage Lobotomy.

Date: 2008/01/09 12:29:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 09 2008,10:18)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 09 2008,12:13)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 09 2008,11:57)
DT contemplates the force of gravity again, and ends with this attempt to read the mind of God.        
Now let’s go a little farther to where I part company with the absolute material reductionists. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you’re a creator of universes and the physical laws therein. You’re omniscient and omnipotent. You set the wheels turning knowing the exact path of every particle. There would be no surprises at all. That’s kind of boring isn’t it? Like watching paint dry. I’d go crazy if there were absolutly nothing I didn’t know about the entire universe past, present, and future. So the creator figures out a way to end the boredom. He crafts the universe so it eventually produces intelligent agents with free will. Determinism ends where the free will of “rational” man begins. We’re the wild card that keeps the creator of the universe from going bonkers due to knowing too much. We’re the only thing that makes the universe interesting for an otherwise omniscient entity.

How’s that for a philosophy? It’s unique to me as far as I know but that’s probably only due to my ignorance of philosophy and religion. Someone else, perhaps many others, might have surmised that the free will of rational man is the only non-deterministic thing in the universe and that it was intentionally invented to keep an otherwise deterministic universe full of surprises for someone that knows absolutely everything else about it.

We're here because it would be boring for the Telic Entity otherwise...

Physics? Math? Philosophy? Mind-reading?  Dave covers it all!

This is dumb beyond words.  How did god (aka space lizard) fill his time during the first couple billion years prior to man showing up on the scene?  

That's an awful long time to watch the paint dry, especially with no football to watch on the weekends.

This is what's so cool about IDC, the more you talk about it, the more you contemplate it, the more you debate its merits, the dumber it looks.

edit because people who edit are cool:

Another thing, it looks like the UD tards are finally getting around to identifying ther traits of the intelligent designer (space lizard god):

He/she/it is omniscient
He/she/it is omnipotent
He/she/it is easily bored
He/she/it does not like watching the paint dry
He/she/it therefore creates things to entertain himself to relieve the boredom

You know, if I were the god/lizard I would have created myself a hot babe in a tight skirt and called it a day.  to hell with humanity, dinosaurs and cells, I want to kill my boredom with a hot chick for all eternity.

This raises some interesting, or possibly boring, philosophical questions:

Can an omnipotent god create something too boring for him to contemplate?

Can an omniscient god get so bored that an omnipotent god can do nothing to make him care?

Can an omnipotent god create paint so wet it won't dry?

Would an omniscient god know in advance that the universe was going to be boring at times, and create himself a TV, recliner, and case of beer to help relieve the tedium?

DaveTard, the floor is yours.

Date: 2008/01/16 10:40:52, Link
Author: JohnW
These are pseudonyms. The writers, who hold PhDs in fields related to the topics of their abstracts, are scientists at prominent research facilities in the eastern part of North America. They prefer to keep their creationist credentials hidden for the moment until they achieve more seniority.

How many institutions grant PhDs in Complete Tard?

Date: 2008/01/16 10:59:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Jan. 16 2008,06:45)
Here is an mildly amusing piece of tard (title: ALL WET) that I ripped out of a newspaper some time back, stuck in a book and promptly forgot.  I ran over it this morning and thought it belonged here.  I think my favorite tards are the ones who completely undercut their arguments by making the totally ignorant statements like "when the cold loses its energy, the snowflake will melt back to water"

The Tard in full:

All wet
EDITOR: The letter of Nov. 29 “It’s physics,” shows once again the circular logic of those trying to prove evolution, extrapolating life from non-life.

The example used of a snowflake formed from water vapor actually belongs to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the Conservation of Energy. This law states that matter and energy are not being created or destroyed, they only change from one form to another. Hence, the water molecule changes from gas to liquid to ice and back again, with the input of heat or cold. Yes, two systems have to work in conjunction to trade energy back and forth, but nothing new is being created.

… When the cold loses its energy, the snowflake will melt back to water. There’s no new life, no new form that wasn’t there before.

From where I sit, these two laws still blow your theory out of the water.

C-----a S-------h(name withheld to protect the guilty)


When the cold loses its energy


Date: 2008/01/16 12:56:18, Link
Author: JohnW
I know they're not to everyone's taste, but blaming The Fall for bacteria going bad is a bit of a stretch.

Date: 2008/01/17 11:31:17, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 17 2008,09:27)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 16 2008,22:24)
Can someone please tell me what in the holey feck this thread is all about?

I know gloppy is most likely WAD but parodying the parody of a parody is stupid, not funny.
The genus Agros Agoraphobias, for example, independently evolved in northeast Africa and on the Manchurian peninsula

Hey, Dumbass.  That is not a genus.  You sir are a god damned fool.  Pig ignorant of all that biology is and will be, and proud of it.  I wish I could flunk you from my class.

Not just biology-ignorant. Add grammar and grantsmanship.

And geography.  Manchuria isn't a peninsula.

Date: 2008/01/17 11:57:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Glen Davidson @ Jan. 17 2008,09:25)
Seems, too, that we've progressed from being Nazis to being Marxists:

I think there is this kind of Marxist establishment in this country that has been overthrown in other countries, but not overthrown here. There is a very powerful Marxist establishment within the intelligentsia that does not allow questioning of its premises.

So, while biological research in the US remains chained to outmoded Darwinian orthodoxy by a sinister cabal of Nazis Marxists, other countries are forging ahead with spectacular findings based on the cutting-edge new paradigm of ID.

Does anyone know where I can read about this research?  Or do the Nazis Marxists control the publishing houses, libraries and Internet?

Date: 2008/01/18 12:17:41, Link
Author: JohnW
I get the sense that she is at a higher level of comfort than the one in which I grew up.

We have a beautiful and fairly large home

Point proven.

Date: 2008/01/18 12:39:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 18 2008,10:31)
Oh whoopee it's the American equivalent of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch (If unfamiliar, Google it, it should be on YouTube)!

You pampered Yankee pussies know nothing. *I* had it tough.

There were 126 of us living in shoebox in t'middle o'motorway. I used to have to get up at 10:30 at night, half an hour before I went to bed, and lick the road clean with our tongues, eat a handful of cold poison, work 28 hours a day at mill AND pay the mill owner for permission to come to work, and when I got home, our dad used to murder us in cold blood and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah". And we were lucky!

If you told the young people of today that, they wouldn't believe you.


P.S. It was uphill on the way to work AND on the way back and it always rained cold, sleety rain right into the gap in my hand-me-down eighth generation clothes. Shoes? HAH! We'd eaten the shoes fourteen generations ago as the leather was like best chateubriand steak to us. You soft bastards don't even know you're born. We thought posh was getting out of the bath to pee, and I didn't see a banana until 1953. Etc. Blah drone waffle. When I say "bath" I mean a puddle of lukewarm tramp saliva gobbed at us by posh folk like lepers and that.

You were lucky.  We 'ad it tough.

Bloody southern jessies.

Date: 2008/01/18 12:58:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 18 2008,10:28)
Hey Bill!  It's Freaky Friday!  Where's the meltdown?

(Unless the fact that nobody answered your question correctly about what has ID predicted = meltdown?)

BTW - Does sobbing quietly in your broom-closet office with the lights out count as a melt-down?

Thanks for responding,

Your BFF


Perhaps Dr Dr D's list of answers is going to be the meltdown.  Maybe something like this:

Here's my list of confirmed ID predictions:

Astute UD readers, if I have any, will note that the list is blank.  That's because I've decided, after much prayer and discussion with my pastor, lawyer and accountant, that the jig is up.  It's time to accept that our attempt to theocratize science has failed, and that although there may still be money to be made, the trend is inexorably down and I can't keep milking this forever.

If any of you have any money left, feel free to drop by next time you're in the Bahamas.  Goodbye, and thanks for everything.

Date: 2008/01/18 15:05:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Jan. 18 2008,12:48)
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 18 2008,12:31)
Oh whoopee it's the American equivalent of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch (If unfamiliar, Google it, it should be on YouTube)!

You pampered Yankee pussies know nothing. *I* had it tough.

There were 126 of us living in shoebox in t'middle o'motorway. I used to have to get up at 10:30 at night, half an hour before I went to bed, and lick the road clean with our tongues, eat a handful of cold poison, work 28 hours a day at mill AND pay the mill owner for permission to come to work, and when I got home, our dad used to murder us in cold blood and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah". And we were lucky!

If you told the young people of today that, they wouldn't believe you.


P.S. It was uphill on the way to work AND on the way back and it always rained cold, sleety rain right into the gap in my hand-me-down eighth generation clothes. Shoes? HAH! We'd eaten the shoes fourteen generations ago as the leather was like best chateubriand steak to us. You soft bastards don't even know you're born. We thought posh was getting out of the bath to pee, and I didn't see a banana until 1953. Etc. Blah drone waffle. When I say "bath" I mean a puddle of lukewarm tramp saliva gobbed at us by posh folk like lepers and that.

Holllllllley Fuck that is hilarious.

Louis I nominate you for Yahweh.  Or at least Best. Post. Evvvvvvvarrrrrrr.

Jesus man don't disappear so long next time I thought maybe you had Ron Day Voooood with FtK and perhaps had either converted to her cult or you both perhaps had died in a bizarre fetishist electoschocking accident involving a walrus, a weedeater, two jars of peach preserves, eleven and a half styrofoam life preserver rings, alligator clips and 3 phase power box.

See?  Bloody southern ponces.

When I were a lad, we used to 'ave our bizarre fetishist electroshocking accidents wi' two bits of old stick, a shovelful of gravel and next door's Jack Russell.  Mind you, that's before times got tough and we 'ad to sell t'shovel.

Date: 2008/01/22 11:42:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 21 2008,04:59) wasn't the size of the wiener but the skill of its owner...


Date: 2008/01/23 13:14:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Jan. 23 2008,10:53)
Why Darwinism is So Dangerous

Ben Stein, host of a new film on Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism, gives an answer

ByKatherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jan. 23 2008 07:58 AM ET

For Ben Stein, host of an upcoming documentary on the dominance of Darwinism in academia, Darwinism is not just problematic but dangerous even.

In a media teleconference for the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Tuesday, Stein pointed out that Darwinian teaching on natural selection and random mutation "led in a straight line to the holocaust and Nazism."

Darwin said that there were certain species that were superior to other species and all were competing for scarce supplies of food or resources, Stein pointed out. But if there was a limited supply of basic resources, Darwinism taught that "you owe it to the superior race to kill the inferior race," he told reporters.

Darwinian evolutionary theory fueled Nazi idealism that felt gypsies, Eastern Europeans and others were competing with them for scarce basic resources, explained Stein.

"As a Jew, I am horrified that people thought Jews were so inferior they didn't deserve to live," he commented.

Read it here.

Contents [hide]
1 Forms

2 Etymology and usage
2.1 Definitions
2.2 Use as a pejorative

3 History
3.1 Ancient world
3.2 Accusations of deicide
3.3 Persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages
3.4 Medieval Accusations of Deicide
3.5 Seventeenth century
3.6 Eighteenth century

3.7 Nineteenth century
3.8 Twentieth century

I fixed this.  Darwin invented antisemitism.

Date: 2008/01/23 18:14:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 23 2008,07:34)
From my very favorite UD thread ID's Predictive Prowess:

196 congregate

So, almost 200 responses later, can anyone provide anything that satisfies Dr. Dembski’s original request for:

"any samples of things that intelligent design theory has predicted, which researchers have later determined to be true?"

There are many examples above of predictions, but I didn’t see any that have been confirmed by researchers.

196 comments and not one single confirmed/validated ID prediction.  Dembski claimed he had a list of them but never mentioned a single one.  If Dembski had such a list he would have advanced the ID cause as well as his cultists understanding of ID.  So it begs the questions:

1) Why did Dembski post this in the first place?  Encouraging his cultists to make up ID predictions only exposes them as the raving IDiots that they are does not serve the ID cause at all.  Making a laughing stock of one's followers is typically not done, at least not done on purpose.
2) Why has Dembski not provided a single confirmed prediction?  This is linked to the first question I suppose.  Why does Demsbki sit back and watch his followers wallow in stupidity when he could use this opportunity to educate them?

We all know Dembski lied to his cultists and has no list of ID predictions that have been confirmed by research, so again, why did he do it?   And why do the tards not care?  Could it be they too know Dembski has no list and could care less?

That thread is one of the weirdest and revealing ones I have ever seen at the tard mine.

The best UD thread ever has, sadly, dropped off the front page, at least until Dr Dr D regales us with his verified predictions.

If this is the end, it's a fitting one - utter tard:




5:01 pm

What about “junk-DNA”?

And, if something has already been confirmed, how could it then be a prediction?

I predict that the sun is hot.


any samples of things that intelligent design theory has predicted, which researchers have later determined to be true?

I predict that PaV does not good the English speak.

Date: 2008/01/24 15:51:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 23 2008,23:27)
Interesting that the three of us talking sports right now are aligned with the three most suffring US sports cities: Cleveland, Seattle, and Kansas City.

I've lived in Seattle for fifteen years, Argy, and this isn't suffering.  For most of that time, at least one or other Seattle team has been half-decent.

The lads are doing pretty well now (4th in whatever they're calling the third division this week), but to further your education, this here is what suffering looks like.

In 1997-98, Doncaster also set the record for losses in a season, suffering the humiliation of enduring a record 34 league defeats as they finished bottom of Division Three and went into the Football Conference. Just after this relegation, chairman Ken Richardson was sent to prison after he tried to set fire to the Belle Vue ground in hope of being able to pay off the club's debts with the insurance money.

Date: 2008/01/25 12:05:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Jan. 25 2008,09:41)
Anyone know what the fuck this moron is talking about?  I don't speak stupidese so good.

69.  BY ROGER 01.24.08 AT 7:39 PM
Steve — roger … are there actual examples of these contrarian data, or are you speaking hypothetically?

Roger — Yes, there are. Some are located in the Royal Society vaults and are kept under lock and key.

Didn't post the link.  The claim was made by this fool that 'contrarian data exist that prove young earth, boat load of animals', adam had no bellybutton, etc.  this was his response.

Pure tinfoilhattery.  There's a huge international conspiracy to impose evolution and suppress creationism, which will cause churches to burn, Ebola to spread, and the rule of the devil.  In addition to the Royal Society, this conspiracy no doubt involves the Freemasons, the Elders of Zion, the Knights Templar and the Jesuits.  Also Oprah Winfrey and George Steinbrenner.

Date: 2008/01/25 12:44:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 24 2008,14:51)
Quote (blipey @ Jan. 24 2008,14:41)
i think i like this 3 sport keeper concept.  are there rules for which sports can be involved in deals, or how many athletes of each sport you must keep?  while i probably shouldn't spend much time pursuing the 3 sport fantasy league, i'm  tempted...very tempted.

You can keep 10 baseball, 6 football, 6 basketball. Players, picks, players to be named later, etc are all eligible to be traded (no loaning players, though). It was started by a friend of mine with his college buddies; I joined when one of them couldn't properly pay attention to his team (meaning I inherited a bunch of crap). We run the league ourselves. I don't know if there are any public 3 sport leagues that one can join.

Does anyone remember who did the ID buzzword bingo card?  We could start an Uncommonly Dense Tard Fantasy League.
1 point per cliche (teach the controversy, no transitionals, bacterial flagellum, Darwin=Hitler/Stalin, etc.)
3 points per logical fallacy or going off message (ixnay on the odgay)
-5 for banninations (to discourage cheating via sock puppets).

I'll trade Denyse for JoeG plus batshit77...

Date: 2008/01/30 13:24:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Jan. 30 2008,11:10)
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Jan. 30 2008,12:49)
GilDee notices a problem:

This points to a serious problem for ID that perhaps deserves its own UD thread. ID is subject to sound-bite attack but is not amenable to sound-bite defense. We all know the standard one-line attacks that consistently appear in mainstream media and elsewhere: ID is really creationism in disguise. ID is religion, not science. And it’s also not science because it’s not testable and makes no predictions. It’s a science-stopper because it says goddidit. ID’s central claims (e.g., IC) have been refuted over and over again. ID is not represented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature – etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.

These attacks cannot be readily addressed in the sound-bite fashion in which they are delivered, which puts the ID proponent at a serious disadvantage.

The "ID is not represented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature" can be dealt with quickly - by citing what ID publications are in the peer reveiwed literature.  Oh, they don't exist!

Not only that, but if these papers existed, they would include the long extended arguments to deal with the other sound-bite attacks!

I think I can speak for the moderators in pointing out that Gil would be welcome her if he'd like to present his non-soundbite defence of these attacks.  I'm sure we'd all like to hear about ID's non-religious, peer-reviewed, published, tested, scientific predictions.

Go ahead, Gil, the floor is yours.  Use as many words as you like.

Dr Behe?  Dr Dr Dembski?  Anybody?

Date: 2008/01/30 14:57:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (PTET @ Jan. 30 2008,12:43)
1:55 pm

It’s clear to me that ID needs a major event, something so big that it will knock everybody’s socks off, scientists and laymen alike. Somehow, I don’t think that debates, arguments, movies and websites are going to cut it. I may sound like a pessimist but deep down, I’m an optimist. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ll win this fight when the time comes and we’ll win it hands down. When that happens, the enemy will be totally discredited and ridiculed. There is a mountain of crow waiting just for them.
Time to break out the Kool Aid, Billie D...

"Mountain of crow".  Mental image of the week.

Date: 2008/01/30 15:10:01, Link
Author: JohnW
Joseph makes a suggestion:




1:56 pm
It may be a good idea to post an ID PRATT (points refuted a thousand times) List that could be linked to when these arguments are regurgitated.

You're right, Joseph.  It's an excellent idea.  Here are a few points refuted a thousand times to get you started:

1.  ID is science.
2.  ID is not religion.
3.  ID is not creationism.
4.  Many scientists reject the theory of evolution.
5.  Many scientists are doing ID research.
6.  ID should be taught in schools.
7.  ID makes testable predictions.
8.  It's possible to have open discussions at UD.
9.  IDers in academia are victims of a vast conspiracy.
10. Most UD contributors know what they are talking about.

Is that enough to be going on with?  I have others.

Date: 2008/01/30 18:27:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (PTET @ Jan. 30 2008,15:57)
6:38 pm

The solution to unlocking the ironbox of unbelief in the mind of the population is via preaching Christ crucified. Not court cases, not school wars, not screaming blogs, not endless debates of who’s right or wrong. When people accept Christ (truly accept Christ, not give lipservice or play Church & Appearance of Goodness game) then and only then will the Holy Spirit lift the spiritual blindness and allow one to see the truth which is so plain to see to those who love God.


They're having quite a night over at UD...

More from the same comment:

Even if Darwin came back from the dead and told everyone God is “for real” he wouldn’t be believed, would be rationalized away because the iron lockbox of unbelief remains, a box only the Holy Spirit can open.

At last, an ID prediction!  To your desks, IDers!  Get busy with those grant applications!

Date: 2008/01/31 15:43:10, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (EoRaptor013 @ Jan. 31 2008,10:15)
As a counter-example to Expelled, there was an article in the NJ Star Ledger about Dr. Gerta Keller, a geologist and paleontologist at Princeton. According to the article, ..."for the last 20 years, this Princeton professor has been the leading critic of the established theory of dinosaur extinction."

I thought they ran out of coconuts.

Date: 2008/02/04 12:09:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Feb. 01 2008,21:41)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Jan. 27 2008,07:35)
Quote (blipey @ Jan. 27 2008,04:05)
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 26 2008,20:54)
By the way, does anyone else typically pronounce Sunday "Sun-day", but pronounce Sunday in the phrase 'ten ways to Sunday" as "Sun-dee"?

I do not.  But I also pronounce "aunt" to rhyme with "gaunt".  I'm also a Missourian who says "mi-ZUR-ee".  Perhaps I'm not the one to ask.

Isn't that how you're supposed to pronounce Missouri?

Yeah.  But not if you're from Missouri.  If you're a native, it's pronounced with the full complement of soft A sounds as in, "Muh-zur-uh".

It's the USA's revenge for Leicester, Gloucester and Keighley.

Date: 2008/02/04 15:18:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Mike Dunford on Luskin:

Anyone who wants to use the icon is welcome to. All you need to do is make sure that your post meets the guidelines for the project, register at the website, and follow the simple instructions that are provided. Casey did all but three of those things.

Date: 2008/02/06 11:48:29, Link
Author: JohnW
In the spirit of the historical era with which the DI is so enamoured and to which they'd love to return us, I suggest pier review:

1.  Throw the authors off a pier.
2.  They float?  Witch!  Witch!  Light a fire!
3.  They sink?  Pull 'em out, and publish their paper along with a glowing obituary.

Date: 2008/02/06 11:57:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Here it is.  A veritable hive of activity, judging from the parking lot.

Date: 2008/02/06 14:13:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 06 2008,11:22)
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 06 2008,10:57)
Here it is.  A veritable hive of activity, judging from the parking lot.

It's near Leary Way? Huh.

No, it's in Redmond.

Date: 2008/02/06 15:55:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ Feb. 06 2008,13:41)
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 06 2008,12:13)
Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 06 2008,11:22)
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 06 2008,10:57)
Here it is.  A veritable hive of activity, judging from the parking lot.

It's near Leary Way? Huh.

No, it's in Redmond.

Well, near Leary Way in Redmond. It's right in the Redmond Downtown area.

My bad.  I didn't know Redmond had a Leary Way.  I was thinking Ballard.

Date: 2008/02/08 14:27:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 08 2008,11:15)
"Religion" isn't even a proper major.

Oh, it is.  Just not at proper colleges.

Date: 2008/02/08 14:32:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 08 2008,11:15)
I didn't want to bump this, but I want to know what the hell this is.

More from the same source:

Despite my academic abilities and awards, I received virtually no interest when I initially attempted to procure a teaching position. I thought little of it at the time, since I was still considering attending Law School or returning to the DEA, but when I later obtained my personal file from the University, I learned that they had responded to inquiries from interested schools, that I was deficient both academically and intellectually. You must be dumb if you don't worship Darwin!

So, two options:
1.  The Great Intercontinental Darwinist Conspiracy runs whatever madrassa gave him his religion degree;
2.  Just possibly, he may actually be "deficient both academically and intellectually".

We report, you decide.

[edit: fixed run-on sentence of O'Learyan ugliness]

Date: 2008/02/08 15:23:56, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 08 2008,13:14)
Davetard on politics:

Whole thread is a tard laden train-wreck.





4:04 pm
Dear Mr. Dave Scott,

It looks like you are going out of your way to use Obama’s middle name. Any reason for that?

Drat! Foiled Again




4:09 pm

Of course there’s a reason. I’m using his full name because he’s black. I see using Hillary’s middle name too didn’t fool you any.

By the way, tard spelled backward isn’t fooling me any either. Hasta la vista, baby!




4:10 pm
Isn’t Rodham a maiden name, not a middle name?

What are the odds of Atom being next?

Date: 2008/02/08 16:24:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J. O'Donnell @ Feb. 08 2008,14:14)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 08 2008,16:07)
Get ready...





5:03 pm
C’Mon, Dave. The cool thing about Barrack Obama is that his middle name is Hussein. The name Hussein has taken a bad rap lately in light of a certain Sadam Hussein — the second greatest villan in American recent history. Further, the name Hussein implies a connection to the Muslim world.

This is very smart subliminal propoganda on your part — but hardly an analysis of the character, abilities, or political persuasion of the man. Like Mr. Obama or not, it is prejudicing, plain and simple.

Oh wow. I never thought that I'd see something like that from the denizens of UC, but he's really sticking it to Davetard there. Massive respect to bFast!

What Richard and J O'D said.  

Although, unless one has the sense and sensitivity of a fencepost, it's hardly "subliminal" propaganda.

I doubt Dave will ban bFast, but I expect this whole thread will go to the Great Website in the Sky shortly.

Date: 2008/02/08 16:31:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 08 2008,14:21)
You mean you don’t remember all that “She’s First Lady but not acting like a lady,” yawping from the Right during Billy’s first term?

I’ve known a number of stay-at-home dads. They’re nothing to be frightened of – no more than those male penguins in March of the Penguins guarding the egg which, as I recall, some ID folks took as evidence of “design.” ;)

That said, there is the type of woman who overcompensates and is too aggressive, and thatt comes out in Hellary’s voice. “I do not have good relations” with that type, and I don’t want to spend the next 4 or 8 years listening to her (please no). Yes, some women who sport “Hillary” stickers conform to a certain stereotype and I confess I snicker about it. But she’s irritating for the same reason that it’s irritating in a man – loud, searing voice that reminds me of a table saw. (Rev. Barky mutes the radio when she comes on and does a good imitation of her.)

I beg to differ, Kristine.  I was a stay-at-home dad for a while, and I'm pretty frightening*.  

On the subject of Clinton: she lost my respect with her "you're just picking on me because I'm a girl" stunt in one of the early debates.  If that's what she thought, she should have kicked them in the goolies.

*  If my wife says it's OK.

Date: 2008/02/08 17:56:56, Link
Author: JohnW
leo stotch stares down the bannination barrel:

What I am saying is that anyone stupid enough to think that Americans are capitulating because of our president’s middle name isn’t smart enough to dress themselves, no less pull off an attack. It is a nonsensical reason to justify not voting for someone. Surely, you can come up with a better reason for not voting for Obama.

Dembski seems to have lent Dave the Friday Meltdown Hat.

Date: 2008/02/11 14:12:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 11 2008,09:13)
Quote (Chayanov @ Feb. 11 2008,09:07)
The DI has made this a culture war, recruiting unwitting and ignorant folks in a crusade for the renewal of science and culture. The fact is that the religious aspects of this struggle are almost exclusively due to the efforts of a band of fundamentalist American Christians, AND that most Christians on the planet do not think that acknowledgment of scientific facts is a threat to their deity.

Among other classes, I also teach Religions of the World, and just last week in discussion I was reminded that there are people out there who do think that science and religion are the same thing (but fortunately some of them are willing to listen to the reasons why they aren't the same). The old "we should bring prayer back into the schools" canard came up, and when I asked them if they really wanted their kids getting religious instruction from their biology teacher, a few of them did stop to think about the implications.

The creationists have made this a war, but fortunately it's not going entirely in their favor.

Yeah, because it's like other people have other religions, or something.

This stupid fight started simply because some conspiratorial, stealth loons decided they weren’t happy with the science standards in Kansas despite knowing little or nothing about science. Twice now those standards were rewritten, the first time to exclude evolution in the name of academic freedom, the last time to possibly encompass surpernatural explanations, and twice now after dividing the community over nothing, the activists school boards were voted out. This didn’t happen “naturally,” and all it did was polarize the community, all for nothing.

This stupid fight exists merely because some so-called Christians (not Hindus nor Buddhists, and to the most extent not Jews) were unable to reconcile physical facts with their religious beliefs (because their beliefs are rigid, authoritarian, and rule-based), decided to pull some ridiculous theories out of their ass to confuse the public about both God and science. “Scientific creation” in 6 literal days is a new concept, first advocated in the 1920s and popularized in the 1960s with Gish and Morris, and it represents the recent Assemblies of God/Baptist/Fundamentalist/conservative Presbyterian/Pentecostal wings of Christianity. (Pentecostalism originated in Topeka BTW.) Even before Darwin wrote Origin of Species some theories of evolution were bouncing around. Even as a theist Darwin didn’t believe in a 6-day literal creation, Asa Gray didn’t, and neither did Darwin’s detractors. All accepted an ancient age of the earth and the natural processes of nature being what they are, not this “Grand Canyon formed in a few years” nonsense. Adam and Eve riding dinosaurs. Give me a break! It’s not about anything but obstinace in the face of facts.

But credulous and gullible people buy it – I saw that growing up – while people like me have the burden while young of 1) discerning which is true and where there is any kind of future for me, and 2) rejecting, the face of incredible (and well meaning) pressure the teachings that uneducated people who work hard cling to as a kind of life preserver, when it’s not, when it just holds them back.

It wasn’t scientists who came up with “intelligent design” - we know the history of ID - or the idea that one had to be an atheist to accept evolution. That idea was born in the revivalist tents amongst the anti-intellectual movement in this country. It wasn’t atheists who started the fight about intelligent design in schools in Minnesota. That was Cherie Yecke (who now denies involvement with intelligent design), who couldn’t leave the facts alone (though now she wants them left alone because she’s embarrassed by that fiasco now).

Moreover it wasn’t the atheist community here that threw a fit when the Dalai Lama came to speak in Minnesota. Holy crap, the Dalai Lama, and there were the Christians railing on the House and Senate floor about the anti-Christ “devil” coming to our state. It made the national news, and it was a national embarrassment, and so was Cherie Yecke. And don't forget this whole shameful affair about global climate change with Senator Inhofe disgracing himself and a obstructionist Bush Administration acting as if physical facts are market-driven, and Michael Crichton a climate expert.

So when anyone asks me to remember that “sins can have a ripple effect that can visit our childen and our chidren’s children” I ask them to just remember that creationism is the chicken that comes home to roost. This fight stops the minute they call it off. I'll stop calling people stupid when they stop deserving it, and as for morality, future generations will not look kindly on those who saw no morality in looking at the facts and teaching them.

I know it's only Monday, but: POTW.

Date: 2008/02/13 11:42:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 12 2008,20:24)
Grandma Tard has a post on teh harder mathematicalics.  

Brace yourselves.

This week's Denyse-o-gram, shorter version:
Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

Last week's Denyse-o-gram, shorter version:
Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

Next week's Denyse-o-gram, shorter version:
Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

Date: 2008/02/13 11:50:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 12 2008,09:59)
Found the original.

Ok, it was taken in 1927, and the wikipedia page they took it from says it's in the public domain because it's over 70 years old.


A. Piccard, E. Henriot, P. Ehrenfest, Ed. Herzen, Th. De Donder, E. Schrödinger, J.E. Verschaffelt, W. Pauli, W. Heisenberg, R.H. Fowler, L. Brillouin,

P. Debye, M. Knudsen, W.L. Bragg, H.A. Kramers, P.A.M. Dirac, A.H. Compton, L. de Broglie, M. Born, N. Bohr,

I. Langmuir, M. Planck, Mme. Curie, H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, P. Langevin, Ch. E. Guye, C.T.R. Wilson, O.W. Richardson

Fifth conference participants, 1927. Institut International de Physique Solvay.

Rigorous use of the explanatory filter enables us to determine what would have happened if Dembski et al had jumped in a time machine and actually showed up at the Solvay Conference:

Introductory statements:  "Get away from me, you loonies" in English, German, French, Danish and Polish.  Session adjourned.

Lunch and restraining orders are served.

Everyone gets back to work.

Date: 2008/02/13 15:02:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Moved to FTK thread.  Because I like to edit.

Date: 2008/02/13 15:08:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Hermagoras @ Feb. 13 2008,12:47)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 13 2008,14:40)
PTET - Perhaps you could update your blog post with Davescot's above comments on Denyse?

I put links in a comment, but I think they should be front and center in an updated post.  Everybody who surfs from UD should see them immediately.

Hello Bob!


Bob O'H


2:12 pm
I must admit, I have seen worse written about Ms. O’Leary, but I’m too much of a gentleman to repeat it.


Date: 2008/02/13 15:11:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 13 2008,10:06)
I've only been subject to this crap for a little over three years, and I've had it.

[puts on war fatigues and heads for Sal's bunker]

Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 13 2008,12:16)
You don't even mention that the emphasis you have added is your own.

Yes, I did, you idiot.  Blind?  It's right there in the quote:

[my emphasis]

And, don't for a second say that I just now added that, BECAUSE IT WAS THERE FROM THE START.


130 minutes.  Has FTK broken her record for shortest flounce-out?

Date: 2008/02/13 18:43:07, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 08 2008,15:56)
Dembski seems to have lent Dave the Friday Meltdown Hat.

It's Wednesday, Dave.  Give him his hat back.

Date: 2008/02/14 14:37:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 14 2008,11:41)


William Dembski


2:27 pm
Nick, I was always more skeptical of Jones. In any case, hindsight is 20-20. Did you offer any predictions about Jones’s likely decision in the Dover case?

Tyke, Of course I wouldn’t turn down a $3.5 million cash advance. Nor do I begrudge Dawkins that advance. He’s a good writer, has a huge following, and is striking at the right moment.

So why did I post my post: (1) To indicate that there is great interest in our issue and that the same New York trade press is willing to publish both sides of the issue. (2) To offer some titles that I find amusing and that seem to capture more accurately what Dawkins’s book is likely to be about. (3) To work in, albeit awkwardly I admit, that crazy ad about Dean Sachs looking to Mammon as a spiritual provider.

Tyke, you need to loosen up.

Yes, Bill, Tyke needs to lighten up. Now stop crying into your cornflakes.

My emphasis.

So Dawkins' $3.5 million advance = Victory for ID.

Take that, Darwinists!

Date: 2008/02/14 17:22:58, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 14 2008,15:14)
Good catch Mister DNA.

That comment is not long for this world.

Yes, it looks like another thread is heading for an early exit.  And so, I expect, is Semprini.



6:13 pm
Dr Dembski’s ID predictions? Yes, we’re all keen to hear those. After all, one key thing that a scientific theory - like ID so totally is - does is to make testable predictions.

Date: 2008/02/15 13:12:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 15 2008,10:31)
A question for the group: Has this not been one of THE best UD weeks, ever?

If not THE best, it's gotta be in the top 5 all-time greatest moments in Tard. And the best thing about it is...

... they'll eventually do something to make this week pale in comparison.

Agreed.  Just like the Biologic Institute, I've got no work done this week.

Date: 2008/02/19 16:33:22, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 19 2008,13:11)
There is some awesome Tard in that thread.

There certainly is.  UD hasn't hit the peaks of last week yet, but it's only Tuesday.

I’m with bFast. I like the tent as it is: Muslims, YECs, Agnostics, Deists, and whoever else can help with research into design in the universe.

Atom mistakenly posted his first draft.  This should, of course, read
I’m with bFast. I like the tent as it is: Muslimsfundies, YECsfundies, Agnosticsfundies, Deistsfundies, and whoever else can help with research into design in the universe political fellow-travellers, and the insane.  Oh, and a busload of trolls and sockpuppets.

Date: 2008/02/20 11:36:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Feb. 20 2008,08:25)
To my little pea brain, these are some pretty big issues about evolution, the origins of life, and genetics that Darwinism cannot answer. Now, to be fair, does anyone else have verifiable answers either? Not as far as I know.

from Florida’s Darwinian Standards evolve to “a scientific theory” by DLH

I deleted my brilliant commentary on this quote because it stands as an artistic whole. Flaubert would be proud.

This is simply magnificent.  Tard for the ages.  Take it away, Ben:

In a Special Report on the American Spectator Ben Stein writes::

Florida’s Darwinian Interlude
Published 2/20/2008 12:08:44 AM

Just a few tiny, insignificant little questions.

* How did the universe start?

* Where did matter come from?

* Where did energy come from?

* Where did the laws of motion, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, come from?

* Where did gravity come from?

* How did inorganic matter, that is, lifeless matter such as dirt and rocks, become living beings?

* Has anyone ever observed beyond doubt the evolution of a new mammalian or aviary species, as opposed to changes within a species?

These teeny weeny little questions are just some of the issues as to which Darwin and Darwinism have absolutely no verifiable answers.

Other questions for which Darwinism has no answer:

* Why can't you be out LBW if the ball pitches on the on side?

* Where are my car keys?

* Why can't you get black pudding in Seattle?

* Who put the bomp in the bomp ba bomp ba bomp?  

* Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?


Date: 2008/02/20 11:38:29, Link
Author: JohnW
* Has anyone ever observed beyond doubt the evolution of a new mammalian or aviary species, as opposed to changes within a species?

Oh, and another thing:  Aviary species?

I love it when they try to sound all sciency.

Date: 2008/02/20 13:28:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 20 2008,11:07)
FTK, I saw this
"Evolution is just another one of Satan's lies to get people to believe there is no God," Laura Lopez, a mother of three from West Palm Beach

And thought of you
I look forward to reading about your "take" on this news.

Don't hold your breath.  This is a typical FTK "take" on the news.  I think there's an implied "Darwinists - aren't they silly?" here, but good luck getting her to commit even to that.  Perhaps taking a stand and defending it is against her religion.

Date: 2008/02/20 17:43:48, Link
Author: JohnW
I was hoping it wouldn't come to this.  Denyse O'Leary is giving writing lessons (link):




4:40 pm
Often, on this blog, I have tried to affirm, withour any possible compromise, that the darwinian attempt to mess with the categories, and to pass the theory evolution as a fact, even on so called “peer reviewed” journals, is one of the greatest sins of our fellow enemies, a shame for rational thought and a complete degradation of scientific debate.

Our fellow enemies?

Date: 2008/02/22 15:38:56, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 22 2008,12:27)
Florida House Speaker Mario Rubio Makes a List

It's my list of invidious comparisons, but , hey, that's something.


“Of course, I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro,” he quickly added, while noting that undermining the family and the church were key means the Communist Party used to gain control in Cuba equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.

Makes a change from Hitler and Stalin, I suppose.

Date: 2008/02/25 11:01:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (EoRaptor013 @ Feb. 25 2008,08:31)
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 25 2008,08:16)

I hope you're taking donations or banning him from visiting UD during those hours. No irony meter built can withstand that level of blissfully unaware ironic dumbfuckery. This policy could cost you.

I went to UD once, ONCE DAMMIT, and my irony meter was vapourised.

This was an Iron-O-matic 10000 series Z, cooled in superfluid liquid helium in a sixteen metre thick osmium/lead/depleted uranium alloy irony proof bunker aboard a purpose built irony deflecting space station in geosynchronous orbit. The irony meter itself was entangled, as a pair of Bose-Einstein condensates, with another irony meter here on earth in an identical bunker, also cooled, 2.5 kilometres beneath the earth's surface in a secret location at one of the most geologically stable points on the earth. This pair of irony meters was capable of detecting miniscule ripples in the irony field and yet (miraculously for an instrument of such sensitivity) also capable of withstanding irony of over 2.74 petaCooks (Geddit!?). My PC was linked to the irony meters via a remote satellite link up through no less than three parallel processing failsafe systems each behind an irony proof firewall. The links between the failsafes were made with silver fuse wire, just in case, and I accessed the site from my Lear Jet above the Pacific wearing loose clothing and dark glasses whilst recieving a gentle head massage from a pair of 120 year old, twin Chinese ChiGung Masters.

I looked at that photo where Dembski put himself amongst the greatest physicists of the early 20th century and *POOF* the whole lot went to plasma in an instant. The Chi Gung Masters were fused into one conjoined twin which ran off with the stewardess to start a brothel. The plane crashed into Easter Island causing a diplomatic incident, the failsafes and indeed the entire paradise island of Atlantis on which they were situated have vanished from the spacetime continuum only vague memories and conspiracy theories remain. The space station is gone, blasted into the nether regions of the solar system travelling at sufficient speeds that it has already passed the heliopause, and, well, you'll have seen the news reports about that surprise supervolcano appearing somewhere in Asia.

I am unable to play the piano any longer, and am scarred down the left side with thin white wounds that appear to be the entire lyrics of "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisette. I also have developed a strange yet addictive dislike of celery and an intense fondness for close harmony singing. Lloyds of London won't return my phone calls and a picture of me is being used at ESA and NASA as a dartboard. Her Majesty has stripped me of my Knighthood, my wife has left me, I've been sacked, the cat has shat on the mat, and even my faithful budgie is giving me a disapproving eye. No club in London will allow me to darken its doors, my hat has been punched through and I am barred from civilised society. My valet quit on the spot, burning my ties as he left. AND that's 6 trillion quid I'm not going to see in a hurry.

Beware all ye who attempt to measure the irony contained at UD, that way only madness lies.


Umm, you DO know you aren't supposed to use a Clap-On/Clap-Off for the power supply, yes?

I believe Louis is acquainted with all aspects of the clap.

Date: 2008/02/29 14:27:49, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (sparc @ Feb. 29 2008,12:00)
I don't know why but I assiciate DO'L with dead fish rather than with a cross.

I associate her with baby Jesus crying.  Because that's what happens every time she writes something.

Date: 2008/03/04 13:34:07, Link
Author: JohnW
I'm highly impressed that you had the forbearance to put yourself through that, RB.

If the mind and brain really were separate, your brain would have been granted a cease-and-desist order against your mind by now.

Date: 2008/03/05 11:38:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 04 2008,18:40)
I was surprised (again) at the egotism of Dembski.  Two of his books, which are not all that different, but no Behe, Wells or Johnson.  I wouldn't teach a course on IDC without all of them.

On the pro-science I would use WIDF, Forrest and Gross, and the Dover Decision by Jones.  Lighter reading would be "40 days and 40 nights"

Behe accepts common descent and an old Earth.  I don't have a link, but I remember the good doctor doctor hinting that he accepts neither.  Plus, given the venue, his audience is going to consist of YECs.  So leaving out Behe, at least, doesn't surprise me at all.

Edited to add:  I just noticed the epigraph on Dembski's page:
What you believe to be true will control you whether it's true or not.
- Jeremy La Borde

There's a nasty smell and a cloud of greenish vapour where my irony meter used to be.

Date: 2008/03/06 11:16:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 05 2008,18:31)
Tom Ames - Great Catch dude!

It also looks like he's gettting ready to do a little St. Paddy's Day shopping for a certain litltle Canadian "writer" he knows:

Developing Proofreading and Editing Skills  
by Sue C Camp (Author)
Avg customer review:   (1)
15 used & new from $7.34
added September 18, 2003

Copyediting: A Practical Guide  
by Karen Judd (Author)
Avg customer review:   (9)
Price: $24.95
added September 18, 2003

Words into Type (3rd Edition)  
by Marjorie E. Skillin (Author), Robert Malcolm Gay

Check out the dates of his wish list books.  Pretty sad.
If he weren't such a dick I would feel sorry for him.

I think these might be a little over Do'L's head.  I'd recommend starting out with English As She Is Spoke.

As a statistician, I was drawn to the first item on Dr Dr D's list.  Magnificent stuff: not just sciency but mathematicsy too!  If you assume God exists, Bayes' Theorem states that you'll think God exists.  Hold the front page!

Date: 2008/03/06 16:12:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ Mar. 06 2008,13:45)
Miss Cleo, for instance, is not a scientist by any definition I know.

You're not familiar with Behe's definition, then?

Edit: Feh!  Lou beat me to it!

Date: 2008/03/07 11:40:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,08:31)
Count me out of the glee over this one. This is simply a case, it seems to me, that you are delighted because something bad has happened to someone you don't like--the homeschooling families who tend to be religious. But this is just one more instance of the intervention of the omniscienct nanny state. And I suspect people who jump for joy when the state intervenes into the personal lives of citizens in "a good way" will be equally outraged if the state intervenes in a way that violates what they believe is a fundamental right.

I see this as the court recognising the right of all children, regardless of who their parents are, to get an education.  The court is simply ruling that those who home-school their children need to know what they're doing, and be able to show that they know what they're doing.  If we changed a few words:

Parents who lack surgery credentials cannot remove their children's spleens at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California's home surgery families.

would it still be an "intervention of the omniscient nanny state"?

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,08:31)
I sent both my boys to public schools, but being devoutly religious I know probaby 50 or so families that homeschool their children. On average, in my experience, the home-scooled children are more prepared for college than the public school students, including in math and science. It is not unusual for a homeschooled kid to be doing calculus in about the ninth-grade age group. Yes, some (a surprising minority) will do the YEC/Bob-Jones science, but most use decent text books. (True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

Clamping down on bad homeschooling is good because those students will (or at least should) now receive a better education.

Date: 2008/03/07 14:17:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 07 2008,11:53)
[quote=Lou FCD,Mar. 06 2008,16:13] It sucks to be a idiot, too:

WeWantScientificTruth wrote:
sorry Clabber, faulty logic yet again. The SAME people (calling themselves "scientists") who already espoused their erroneous religious belief that the Grand Canyon is (a) OLD, and (b) CARVED OUT BY A RIVER, have simply changed their lying numbers. Look, they call themselves scientists so I know it hurts their feelings to call them stupid (although they really sound stupid when they talk about this mysterious "millions of years") but they are not arguing with logical nor scientific methods. Their dating techniques have been consistently shown to be completely inaccurate. Also ask yourself: how did the trickling Colorado River "carve" a huge canyon out of hard rock when massive surging rivers like Missouri, Mississipi, Nile, Amazon etc cannot carve even a tiny canyon out of much softer material.


This story goes to prove that Creation and the Hydroplate Theory are more correct than ever - they have been around for over 4000 years and don't have to make massive changes to their theory like these "scientists" do every few months.

Clabber, do you even know what the Hydroplate Theory is?

The Mississippi in a 5000-foot-deep canyon at Memphis, then flowing uphill to New Orleans.   I like it.

Date: 2008/03/10 12:50:10, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 10 2008,10:30)
Bob O'H:


Have you read Dembski's Jesus Tomb "paper"

Ugh. I couldn't finish reading. I hate any application of Bayes's theorem that is not perfectly straightforward. Otherwise you get into the lesser known WoodyHayes's theorem, which is that with care taken to be sufficiently pedantic, wordy, and vague in one’s assumptions, one can use Bayes's theorem to construct a passably sophisticated argument (about either or even both sides of a debate) that is impenetrable enough to convince the already convinced and to bore everyone else to death or submission. (*yawn*)

Exactly.  Bayes' theorem works beautifully if the prior probabilities are properly measured, or otherwise quantifiable.  Once you start making assumptions about unmeasured values, it can easily be misused, especially when (as Dembski is here) you're sure of the conclusion you're trying to demonstrate.  

I will qualify this by saying I haven't read it all (my brain went into emergency shutdown), but the "paper" seems to be simply apologetics - throwing a lot of probababble around to justify what the intended audience already thinks is true.  The technical term is argumentum ad making shit up.

Date: 2008/03/10 15:16:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 10 2008,12:06)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 10 2008,15:39)
I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.


Ian's question, expanded version:  is "government telling me what my kid should or should not learn" qualitatively different from "government telling me whether my kid should or should not beat up old ladies"?  If so, why?

Date: 2008/03/10 18:12:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (kelton @ Mar. 10 2008,15:49)
Do any of you folks slandering the homeschoolers have any studies, research or any evidence at all to back up your claims that homeschoolers neglect their children. Or are you clairvoyant and can see things that no one else can. Or do you espouse that if you tell a lie enough time it can be made true. Or are you a tinge bigoted toward folks who have a belief other than your own.
Home schooled children score higher on standardized tests, their families are more involved in their communities and their social skills are no more or less than their public school counterparts. Below are 2 studies that back my point.

I was so busy spluttering about someone on this board citing a study by Lies-R-Us that Arden beat me to it.  But I'll add: who's claiming that "homeschoolers neglect their children"?

Date: 2008/03/11 13:19:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Chayanov @ Mar. 11 2008,10:49)
It's so obvious that the producers don't care how the film does, just so long as it has the strongest opening weekend ever. They can't hide the movie forever -- it has to be released eventually. And as soon as the film hits the screen, an outporing of negative reviews will ensue, but by then they'll have had their opening numbers to crow over. As has been constantly noted, if they really believed they had an important message to deliver, wouldn't they want to ensure the sustainability of that message? Why is it so important for them to say, "Expelled opened at #3 in the box office, even though it dropped off the charts the following week"?

It's better than that.  After the fundies see it on opening day*, the negative reviews will come out, no-one else shows up, and they'll start showing it in church basements.  The marketing will then be "Expelled was #7 on opening weekend, before the Evil Darwinist/Atheist/Nazi/Stalinist Conspiracy produced all those scathing reviews and got it thrown out of commercial cinemas.  See the film THEY don't want you to see."  Ka-ching! Thank you very much!

* I'm not convinced this will be enough people to give it more than a half-decent opening weekend.  "The strongest opening weekend ever" is going to be well out of reach.

[edit - fixed a couple of sloppy word choices.  Either too much coffee this morning, or not enough.]

Date: 2008/03/11 14:45:56, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 11 2008,11:56)
[quote=oldmanintheskydidntdoit,Mar. 11 2008,08:36]O'Leary continues
That, by the way, is the reason that the campaign against The Design of Life failed. The ...

AH HA!  I have decoded Denyse!  

Under her NEW contract, she gets paid by the number of times she can use the word "campaign" in a single paragraph!

My evidence - from your link:  

"That, by the way, is the reason that the campaign against The Design of Life failed. The campaigners assumed that the whole world agrees with them and with their campaign. That doesn’t happen to be true. And it shouldn’t be."

Paid by whom?  The International Bad Prose Conspiracy?

Date: 2008/03/11 14:49:02, Link
Author: JohnW
How much does the hole in your wallet improve the taste of wine?

Improve the taste of your wine.  Buy my book.

Date: 2008/03/12 10:58:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 12 2008,04:53)
For daring to have a lecture series for children Dakwins is going to fry!
That Dude is going to fry...srly. I've never said that about anyone before because no one can read another person's heart or know God's plan for them, but Dawkins seems to me to be assured a seat at the right hand of his fellow hater of the Divine...

Yet when FTK sits her children down and teaches them the lies of Gish as truth that's somehow OK by Jesus?

When FTK teaches her children that Dino and Man shared a planet at the same time it's somehow fine? Does lying make you a "hater of the Divine" also FTK? If so, get those asbestos pants at the ready!

FTK you have some serious problems!


FTK - Ready, Fire, Aim:

I fail to see how his lectures for children are any different than a Christian or Muslim teaching their child about origins.

That Dude is going to fry...srly.

So if Dawkins is "going to fry...srly*" for teaching children about origins, and this is the same as a Christian or Muslim teaching children about origins, then Dawkins is going to have some company, isn't he?

Maybe you'll take the opportunity to learn a bit of biology when you join him, FTK.  Maybe some of it will sink in eventually - you could be there a long, long time.

* Surely?  Seriously?  Surly?  Do they ration vowels in Kansas?

Date: 2008/03/13 11:17:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (blipey @ Mar. 13 2008,06:10)
Ftk comes out against sex, wasteful luxury belongings still good with god!

It's not the principle; it's the sex.

Srsly?  Buying a 1.8 million dollar yacht is okay with you?  In light of people starving in Africa?  Srsly?  Owning a home worth 25.3 million dollars is okay with you?  In light of people starving in Africa?  You don't think maybe you could buy a 12.8 million dollar house and donate some of the rest to charity?

You are a mess.

My response which will not be appearing.

Interesting comment on that thread:

Mellow Middle Aged Man said...
Hey, I heard a good Spitzer joke; my girlfriend heard it from a lawyer at work.

"Like a typical tax and spend democrat, Spitzer spend five times what he needed to for a quality serVICE!"

(Now its just a little joke, so nobody get mad.)

So MMAM is only paying $1100 for it.

Date: 2008/03/13 14:12:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 13 2008,10:09)


Experts out there, is this a realistic number?  My sim thinks in terms of two alleles per locus.  So my sim should be about correct if it uses 13,800 (4,600 * 6 / 2 ).  Is this about right?

Ask any statistician whether you can shuffle numbers like that and still have the same variance.

Hint:  No.

Date: 2008/03/13 15:04:54, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 13 2008,12:43)
Dave Tard gives and gives

I’m not sure I buy your story about plants hybridizing so easily. Pollen travels quite a ways both airborne and via insects and I don’t know of much in the way of hybrids from different species emerging from it. Flowering plants might simply be more promiscuous as they passively get exposed to pollen from many other different species (which doesn’t result in hybrids) while at the same time they get exposed to many close variants of their own species which does result in hybrids

Biology from Your Ass!!!!


They're too long to quote, so just go and check out Allen MacNeill's comments (#31-37) in that thread.  A model of patience and clarity.  Read them while they last.

Date: 2008/03/13 16:39:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Wesley has dealt with the genetics.  Now for the statistics: you're assuming that you can model the behaviour of N loci with many alleles by using a higher number of loci with fewer alleles.  This is incorrect; the distributions are going to be dramatically different.  I think doing is more helpful than telling, so I suggest you try this yourself: it's very easy to put together an Excel spreadsheet (or whatever) comparing, say, a uniform random variable with range 0-6 with the sum of six random binary numbers.  Do this a few hundred times and look at the distributions.  The means will be the same, but not the frequency histograms.

If your simulation won't accommodate more than two alleles, you're going to have to write a better one.

Date: 2008/03/13 16:43:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 13 2008,14:10)
It's funny how quiet that thread is. Nothing clears out a UD thread faster than someone well informed patiently showing the ignorance of the locals. If only he'd started chanting DAWKINS BAD! LIBERALS BAD! MUSLIMS BAD! USA! USA! USA!, there'd be a hundred posts there by now.

There's an Indian saying: "playing the flute to the water buffalo."

Date: 2008/03/14 15:08:15, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 14 2008,12:50)
My daughter has qualified for a Study Abroad program for next year, and narrowed down her choices to Swansea, Wales, or Edinbourough Scotland.

She is a Chemical Engineering Major

She Plays Rugby

She is very quiet and shy

Where do you think she should go and why?

I've never heard of Edinbourough.  There is a town called Edinburgh, which, despite not being in Yorkshire, is a nice place*.  Interesting old buildings (World Heritage Site), lots of history, good pubs, and art and culture out the wazoo.  The main downside is it's going to be quite expensive to live there.

Swansea, unfortunately, is in Wales.

* My brother's girlfriend is from Glasgow.  If she asks, I never said that.

Date: 2008/03/14 15:26:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 14 2008,13:21)
She'll find the Welsh easier to understand, I think.

True.  But is that a good thing?

Date: 2008/03/17 11:56:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Guest @ Mar. 17 2008,09:41)
a standard bell-shaped distribution hardly implies complete randomness.

in fact, just the opposite.

Sometimes I say to myself, "Fuck it.  I'm not getting out of bed today.  There's just too much stupid out there."

Date: 2008/03/17 17:55:55, Link
Author: JohnW
If the guy who said this:
a standard bell-shaped distribution hardly implies complete randomness.

in fact, just the opposite.

is telling the truth here:
b) member of the original AH56A fire control system team predecessor to the Apache, linear propagation of variance via monte carlo simulation ,to demonstrate hit probabilities, etc. for DOD.

it would explain why the invasion of Iraq was such a stunning success.

Date: 2008/03/18 11:32:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Mar. 18 2008,01:22)
Where are people like this found in real life?

Fundie churches, talk radio, or the White House.

Date: 2008/03/19 10:49:11, Link
Author: JohnW
Denyse O'Leary:
Language matters.

I couldn't agree more, Denyse.  Have you considered learning one?

Date: 2008/03/19 11:03:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (BWE @ Mar. 18 2008,22:57)
Quote (JohnW @ Mar. 18 2008,11:32)
Quote (BWE @ Mar. 18 2008,01:22)
Where are people like this found in real life?

Fundie churches, talk radio, or the White House.

Right. I meant real life without the scare quotes. You know, real places where a normal person would interact with them? Do they stay in the churches and communicate via talk radio?

Just in case you miss it: Nomad met a whole bunch of them last night.

Date: 2008/03/19 11:18:23, Link
Author: JohnW
Many thanks, Nomad - outstanding report.  I hope most of your neurons survived.

I think the silly "security" and air of paranoia you experienced is part of a deliberate marketing campaign.  We all know this movie will be disappearing from real cinemas and heading for the DVD-in-church-basement circuit after a week - if they can blame this on the nefarious doings of the Church-Burnin' Ebola Boys, so much the better.  A large chunk of their target audience already thinks the Great Atheist Conspiracy is responsible for, well, everything.  "See the movie THEY tried to stop" is going to work like a charm.

Date: 2008/03/19 11:42:43, Link
Author: JohnW
One of the giants.  I read pretty much everything he wrote when I was  teenager, and re-read his short stories a couple of years ago when the collected edition was published.  Most of them have held up incredibly well - like all the best SF, they survived being overtaken by technological events.

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Mar. 19 2008,09:30)
I've often wondered why the ID community has never latched onto it: I can't think of a more explicit depiction of the "ET" variety of ID than "2001."

I expect they'll do it now that he's safely dead, and can't answer back.  If they'd tried it earlier, I think he'd have given them both barrels:

From 1984: Spring:
I would defend the liberty of concenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent.

From the 1998 essay Presidents, Experts, and Asteroids:
I have encountered a few creationists and because they were usually nice, intelligent people, I have been unable to decide whether they were really mad, or only pretending to be mad. If I was a religious person, I would consider creationism nothing less than blasphemy. Do its adherents imagine that God is a cosmic hoaxer who has created that whole vast fossil record for the sole purpose of misleading mankind?

Quoted on Pharyngula.

Date: 2008/03/19 18:44:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ Mar. 19 2008,16:26)
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.

I'm not sure.  I don't know what's normal practice at pre-release screenings, but I suspect some sort of non-disclosure agreement may be standard.  The sort of police-state shenanigans described by Nomad sound well beyond the pale, although I'm willing to be proved wrong if anyone knows more about the industry.

Remember, they're selling a film with a paranoid premise to an audience which likes paranoia.  Again, this is speculation, but I suspect most of the audience didn't mind being watched with night-vision goggles.  "They're not looking for us, they're looking for them!  Church-Burnin' Ebola Boys!  They're everywhere!"

Date: 2008/03/21 12:36:10, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Amadan @ Mar. 21 2008,10:28)
The Ballad of PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins
(To the tune of ‘The Mountains of Mourne’)

They say that Expelled is a wonderful flick
With its tales of shenanigans academic.
It shows evolution is really the cause
Of Hitler and Stalin and no Santa Claus.
It tells of the virtues of freedom of speech -
Professors should feel free to preach when they teach;
But the best bit occurs just before it begins
When PZ gets chucked out but Dawkins gets in.

Ben Stein is the picture’s amazing compère
He interviews Dawkins without being there!
He’d never go mining for quotes or mislead -
They have a scriptwriter who’s paid for that deed!
As a Nixon appointee, you’d think that Ben Stein
Would know that the cover-up’s worse than the crime.
But it seems that hypocrisy isn’t a sin,
So PZ got chucked out though Dawkins got in.

On the Last Day a trumpet will waken the dead
We’ll account then for all that we did and we said.
And the Lord will say “Ev’ryone who saw Expelled,
For supporting that rubbish, in Hell will be held!
But the rest of you people, untouched by its slime
Can join me in Heaven and have a great time.
Our movie tonight is Inherit the Wind:
So for Dawkins, damnation, but PZ, come in!”

POTW.  Also next week, and the week after that.

Date: 2008/03/21 14:56:47, Link
Author: JohnW
FTK opines on last night's Minnesota entertainment.  I'd comment on her blog, but there's some weird bug which prevents my comments ever showing up there.
Evidently PZ was given the boot before he even got to see the documentary, but his family and his buddy Dawkins, along with some other MN atheists, got in and stirred up a big pot of craziness during the Q&A after the showing. Word has it that Dawkins pretty much made himself look foolish, and from what I hear, the crowd had a good chuckle at his expense. Goodness sakes...maybe the whole undercover operation wasn't such a hot idea after all?

My italics.  That would be the undercover operation in which PZ Myers tried to sneak in by registering under the cunning pseudonym "PZ Myers".  Oh, those naughty atheists!

PZ's groupies seem to find it quite humorous that he was "expelled" from the screening, yet Dawkins was allowed in. But, honestly, I can't think of a better way to get publicity and interest in this movie than to allow more Darwinists into these screenings, and it was probably a stroke of genius to give PZ the boot (if that's how it really went down) because it only adds to the drama.

Suuuure.  They really meant to let Dawkins in all along.  They're geniuses, right, FTK?  In fact, some of them have two PhDs.

Man, what I would have paid to see the whole saga go down...and, that's not very Christian like at all. But, I guess after you've been sent to PZ Myers "dungeon" and been called every name in the book by his groupies at PZ's blog, Pharyngula, it's a bit difficult not to enjoy a good giggle over the whole episode. Yes, I kept a running tab of the names I was called because it was so horrifically over the top. Bear in mind that all that name calling was piled on me in *one* day.

Was that *one* day before or after you and your slimy buddy accused PZ's daughter of fucking pigs, FTK?

Dawkins admitted in the film that there could very well be an intelligent source responsible for our existence. That admission seems to, in a sense, make him an advocate for ID, no?

In a sense?  well, if the definition of the word "sense" is expanded enough to make it a quality possessed by FTK and the people responsible for this grubby, mendacious little movie, then perhaps.

No doubt, the fact that he made that admission in an interview that will have such a huge audience has the poor guy worked up beyond belief.

My italics.  PZ's original post on Phayngula was the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.  But fair play to you for this, FTK - it was pretty good too.  Fortunately, I was only drinking water, so there'll be no cleaning bills.

Date: 2008/03/21 15:03:12, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 21 2008,12:52)

The cop was wearing a uniform, not a sweater.  And there's no evidence that, after threatening PZM with arrest, he said "By the way, I have two PhDs."  So no.

Date: 2008/03/25 19:06:48, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Mar. 25 2008,16:18)
I suggest you heed what my mother taught me: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Err… come to think of it that wasn’t my mom. It was my immediate superior in the Marine Corps 30 years ago who said that. He moonlighted as a bartender and, like all great bartenders, had short bits of good advice handy for any situation.

Actually, Dave, that WAS your mother.

My bold.  That would be Latrine Digger, First Class.

Date: 2008/03/26 11:46:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 26 2008,01:27)
Quote (Annyday @ Mar. 24 2008,19:17)
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.

It's just so out of touch with reality you don't know where to begin.  It's like saying I'm doing severe damage to my car by not setting it on fire. You hear something like that and you don't know where to begin trying to straighten her out.

I, and most other ATBCers, have long since given up on trying to straighten her out.  She's unstraightenoutable.  You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.

I'm not proud of it, but I confess that I use FTK's blog the same way eighteenth-century Londoners used Bethlem Royal Hospital.  I go there to laugh at the mad people.

Date: 2008/03/26 12:03:58, Link
Author: JohnW
If I wanted to use a false name in order to blend in and not attract attention in a room full of swivel-eyed fundies, I'd definitely go with "Clinton".

Date: 2008/03/27 11:24:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Nerull @ Mar. 27 2008,08:45)
I'm curious, and since I can't think of any, has FTK ever gotten any scientific concept right?

I'm not even talking about biology, or cosmology. Any area of science at all.

It seems to me she is completely incapable of learning any science at all, not just what her holy book disagrees with.

I know she can't grasp basic physics, for example.

FTK laid it on the line in a comment this morning (can't link to the individual comment; it's the fourth one down):

If case you haven't noticed, atheists fight for science as hard as any religious person would for their God.

So, given that F The Kids thinks science=atheism, I think the answer to your question is "No - as a point of principle".

Date: 2008/03/28 14:15:17, Link
Author: JohnW
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.

Date: 2008/03/28 14:17:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 28 2008,11:42)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 25 2008,21:53)
They need one of these signs over at the Thumb:

Please, don't feed the troll, by capitrueno @ Flickr

Simply telling people to avoid the troll never ever works. As long as a small fraction of viewers want to aggressively argue with trolls it'll drown out everything else. To fix the problem you have to make it easy for the others to avoid the troll-related material. Say, have a selection like View Trolls / Hide Trolls, and have a few regulars empowered to mark subthreads with a Troll identifier.

How about combining this approach with a standing threat that repeated troll-responders will themselves be put on the shit list?

Date: 2008/04/01 11:54:39, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 01 2008,08:30)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ April 01 2008,09:37)
For those who say Dr Dr Dr Dembski no longer does science I've got news for you
In line with DLH’s request, I’d be happy to do a cluster analysis (a multivariate statistical procedure) to see if those who were recommended for tenure and then denied it by the administration differ significantly along any relevant criteria (number of publications, quality of publications, research funds, etc.) from those who were granted tenure by the administration. Having been on the faculty at Baylor for a number of years, I have my own sources, and the picture that emerges is not nearly as optimistic as you make out.

Hey Dr Dembski, perhaps you'd be better off using your skills to put ID on a solid experimental footing.

Cluster analysis?  Hahahahahahaha.

Sorry, that's just dumb.  Logistic regression, discriminant analysis, CART (or whatever variant is appropriate) would be OK, but using a cluster analysis is just wrong.

Beat me to it, Bob.  I see this all the time in study proposals from non-statisticians - they suggest a technique they think they can do, rather than one that will work.  I spend a lot of time telling people about logistic regression, and why it's better than ANOVA.

Another thing:

Having been on the faculty at Baylor for a number of years, I have my own sources, and the picture that emerges is not nearly as optimistic as you make out.

Translated:  The available data don't support my claim.  So I'm going to make shit up.

Date: 2008/04/01 12:56:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 01 2008,10:50)
JohnW - I had wanted to say that I only sort that sort of statistical suggestion from biologists, but then I realised this might not be the best place for that observation.

If you think biologists are bad, I should send you a few of the MDs I work with.  And don't get me started about psychologists...

Date: 2008/04/01 13:08:45, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ April 01 2008,11:04)
Speaking as a scientist who is not a statistician, I find it very good practise to listen to statisticians when they tell you a) what technique to use and b) whether such and such a result is statistically meaningful.

The tittering after the inevitable calamity if you don't listen is just unbearable.


It's bastards like you who take all the fun out of the job.

Date: 2008/04/01 13:10:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 01 2008,10:50)
The whole comments thread is excellent.  Denyse gets slapped down by an anonymous Baylor insider ("The Fork").  She complains that the insider is anonymous, so Francis Beckwith backs The Fork up.

My guess is that The Fork is someone who has crossed Dembski in the past, and who has decided to hide from him in the canteen.

I think the original post is UD's April Fool story.  While there are a few clunky passages and the usual strange O'Learyisms:
Well, knock me unconscious with the feather duster and then call 911 for an ambulance, okay?

it's not completely incoherent, and I understood what the point of the article was.  It's bollocks, but in the sense of "bad argument", not the usual DO'L sense of "drunken word salad badly translated from the original Martian".

I wonder who wrote it?

Date: 2008/04/01 14:57:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (dnmlthr @ April 01 2008,12:47)
Dinesh D´Souza has few friends over at UD it seems


What an incredible comparison. D’Souza here gives no evidence of knowing even the rudiments of the debate over ID — he merely repeats the worst propaganda against ID. I encourage anyone who has personal contact with him to provide him with better information. A point of leverage is that D’Souza presumably wants Christians, many of whom support ID, to buy his book.

Or in other words: Fly, fly my minons!

Good grief.  ID is even stupider than I thought.  It's too stupid for Dinesh D'Souza.

Prime tard from toc in the comments:
From what I have been able to ascertain from Dr.s Dembski, Behe, Wells, and The Discovery Institute fellows, is that ID is a propositionally scientific question, not an apologetic method.

Have you tried asking anyone else whether ID is a propositionally scientific question or an apologetic method, toc?

Date: 2008/04/03 11:43:45, Link
Author: JohnW
I'm English.  If I get into trouble, I say "Unhand me, foreign ruffian.  I am a subject of Her Majesty."  

On the rare occasions when this doesn't work, I threaten to cook something.

Date: 2008/04/03 16:26:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 03 2008,14:12)
Brace for "Darwinism can't explain....'

Heavily seasoned with personal incredulity, with a steaming mound of straw man on the side.

Date: 2008/04/04 15:39:33, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (olegt @ April 04 2008,13:05)
garygagliardi points out, quite reasonably, that Dembski's explanatory filter may fail simply because we don't know all the laws of Nature.  How do you rule out an unknown natural explanation?  UDers scramble to come up with answers.  Here's a sampling from gpuccio:

3) No known law can explain CSI (biological information) on a basis of necessity, and probably no law will ever can [sic]. If and when somebody tries to do that, we will evaluate his results.

This is silly on several levels.  First, no one knows what CSI is.  Dembski hasn't provided any recipe for measuring CSI experimentally in any biological system.  Second, this is an extrapolation (no law now, hence no law ever).  Third, in the same breath he admits that one day a natural explanation may arise and they will have to reevaluate the evidence.  That exposes the explanatory filter for what it is: god of the gaps.

Summary:  Something we don't yet know about may one day explain something we can't define.  Until then, the best explanation is something for which we have no evidence.

All science so far!

Date: 2008/04/07 11:54:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 07 2008,09:21)
A geocentric, geostatic model coupled with the restriction that nothing goes faster than the speed of light yields the observation that the universe is a sphere of about 27.5 astronomical units radius, maximum.

That is, if I managed not to shift any decimal places on the back of my envelope here.

That's what I got, Wesley.  I look forward to Kevin's explication of other worldviews, with different, equally valid interpretations of the speed of light, the length of a day, and the circumference of a circle.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:06:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,10:49)
Because what I've observed over the past two years is complete polarization. The various camps sit in their respective corners cackling about how stupid the other guys are, but they rarely talk to each other—except to hurl insults. Very few people engaged in this debate seem open to an honest pursuit of the truth. Most are more interested in scoring debating points, looking clever, and promoting their own agenda.

So what I’m trying to do both here and on my blog is engage.

How does associating the theory of evolution with Naziism further "an honest pursuit if the truth," Kevin?  To me, that looks a lot more like "scoring debating points, looking clever, and promoting (your) own agenda."

Date: 2008/04/07 13:22:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,11:15)
JohnW: Like it or not, Hitler was influenced by Darwinian science and philosophy. So it's not about scoring points, looking clever or promoting an agenda. It's about setting the record straight. Whether Hitler hijacked Darwinian science for his own purposes or merely followed it to its logical ethical conclusions is a matter of debate. As I've said elsewhere, Expelled didn't invent these arguments. So if you want to quibble over them, I direct you to the people who make them in our film.

Hitler was influenced by a lot of things.  If you're claiming that Darwinian science and philosophy was the primary, or even a major, influence on his ideas, I'd like to see some evidence.

And on a related note, what are the "logical ethical conclusions" of Darwinian science?  Are they different from the logical ethical conclusions of the atomic theory of matter, Bayes' Theorem, or any other branch of science?  If so, why?

Date: 2008/04/07 13:43:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,11:28)
JohnW said, "If you're claiming that Darwinian science and philosophy was the primary, or even a major, influence on his ideas, I'd like to see some evidence."

I'd highly recommend you read Richard Weikart's book, "From Darwin to Hitler." In it, Weikart presents loads of evidence that Darwinian science had a significant influence on Hitler.

"And on a related note, what are the "logical ethical conclusions" of Darwinian science?"

Essentially, that humans are not qualitatively different from any other animal, that ethics and morals only exist in the human mind, that they are merely evolutionary adaptations as opposed to universal truths, etc. Weikart goes into full detail on this in his book as well.

Explain why it would be worth my while, Kevin.  Tell me about the loads of evidence.  Given that Weikard is a DI fellow, and the Discovery Institute's record of integrity and accuracy is something less than stellar, I'm not going to devote time and/or money to this without a good reason to do so.

Date: 2008/04/07 14:29:04, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,11:54)
Carlsonjok said, "Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to explain why the integration of overtly Christian language into Hitler's speeches and writings should be held to a different standard to the far more scattered and oblique references to evolution.  For bonus points, explain away the influence of the virulently anti-semitic Martin Luther."

I'm not saying they should be held to a different standard. I'm saying exactly the opposite. Just as Christians can't gloss over the fact that Hitler used elements of Christianity to justify his actions, neither can proponents of Darwinian evolution gloss over the fact that Hitler did the same with this theory. As for Luther's influence on Hitler's anti-semitism, there's no need to explain it away. It's patently clear. No one is saying Darwinian science inspired Hitler's anti-semitism, he just used it to provide a scientific justification for what he believed.

But you are holding them to a different standard.

You are saying (as, I gather, is Weikard) that Hitler mentions evolution, therefore evolution is an indispensible part of Hitler's worldview, and therefore the Holocaust is Darwin's fault.  Hitler's much more extensive use of Christian language and ideas, however, is not held to the same standard - it does not mean that it's also Jesus' fault*.

* In case it's not clear, I don't think it's Jesus' fault either.  Christianity, like the theory of evolution, has been cited as justification for everything from fascism to laissez-faire capitalism to communism to anarchism.  What that says to me is that both Christianity and evolution say nothing at all about politics.  People take out of them exactly what they brought in.

Date: 2008/04/09 11:28:25, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (caerbannog @ April 08 2008,21:33)
"the movie that Big Scienceyour brain doesn't want you to see".

I fixed that for you.

Date: 2008/04/09 11:37:28, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 09 2008,09:22)
One to keep in the archives from Denyse  

leo stotch, the work of addressing the strengths and weaknesses of specific arguments for Darwin’s theory in the academy is the job of qualified experts, working in an atmosphere of scholarly respect and academic freedom.

I'm guessing the "qualified experts" aren't biologists.

That whole comment is tard in highly condensed form.  Next paragraph:
I remember, from a 2004 conference, a most interesting exchange between Nick Matzke and an ID guy whose name now escapes me. I couldn’t follow the discussion but they appeared, from their body language, to be evenly matched.

Nick Matzke was shouting "Praise the Lord!" with his hands in the air?

Date: 2008/04/09 12:17:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 09 2008,10:11)
Quote (Cheezits @ April 09 2008,12:08)
"Big Science", it's like "Big Business" and "Big Medicine" and all those other Big Meanies.  :D

And it implies that Creationism is 'Little Science'.

Or "Big Religion".

Date: 2008/04/09 15:28:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ April 09 2008,13:05)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 09 2008,15:55)
Quote (Kristine @ April 09 2008,12:29)
The religious anti-gay movement is dying, after all. A new generation of evangelicals is coming up who are less concerned with that crap.

Really? I thought those anti-gay Bible camps (for gay boys and girls to "transform" them into straight people, I can just wonder about the problems those kids will have in the future, my society-teacher in high-school commited suicide from supressing it) were relatively new, or would just be the last twitches?

Yeah, there's still that, but the new generation is so less anti-gay it's remarkable, because a critical number of openly gay people was reached. While the older generation thinks of gays as abstract sodomites, the new generation thinks of gays as their friend Bob or whoever. I've lived in 3 college towns in the last decade, and it's just amazing the difference. Even lots of conservative republican kids simply don't give a crap if someone's gay. It's not 100%, but there's been a sea-change. The war against gays is over, but news hasn't reached some of the troops yet.

I think you're right, Steve.  That's why there's been such an intense push to get states, and the US as a whole, to constitutionally amend against gay marriage.  They know that their strongest supporters on this issue are dropping dead, and the longer they wait, the more trouble they're going to have.

In a generation, finding people who openly oppose gay marriage is going to be as rare as finding open pro-segregationists now.

Date: 2008/04/10 16:05:09, Link
Author: JohnW
I agree with Albatrossity.  Rowan Atkinson plays Denyse.  Also:

Dembski (in the courtroom scene): Claude Rains.
Howard Ahmanson: Donald Pleasance
DaveTard: Chris Barrie (aka Arnold Rimmer)

Date: 2008/04/10 17:04:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (steve_h @ April 10 2008,14:36)
WorldNutDaily 2007-04-10    
Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford who wrote the book "The God Delusion," gained entry only by foregoing his evolved surname for the formal, Clinton.

I would have thought by now, after it's been pointed out several times by several people, that  everyone would have figured that Clinton is not his surname.

And once they'd figured that out, everyone would go on to ask "what's a formal surname?"

Date: 2008/04/10 18:23:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (PennyBright @ April 10 2008,16:16)
On topic,  I'm really torn about this film.   It's planned to open at three theatres in my area (including our superduperultramegaplexmultiscreen),   and I know it will probably get a big first Sunday rush of churchgoers,   so I feel like I should check it out,   just for the sake of knowing my enemy.

On the other hand,  I don't care for Ben Stein,  or Nazis,   or feeling like I've wasted bucks on a bad movie.  

And now they've dragged knitting into it..... I'm not sure I'll be able to maintain my status as 'official local fiber whacko who knits in public'  if I don't go see it after that.

I'm not sure if I should blame PZ or Stein for this one.

edited: for spelling.  Not to flash my editiorial power, really.

Don't forget that the proceeds will, in all likelihood, be going to XVIVO, and hence you'll be helping finance more cell-biology films for the next generation of cretards to steal copy be inspired by.

Date: 2008/04/15 14:04:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Some perspective.  A history of creationism in schools:
1.  Teach biblical literalism only, not science.
2.  Science and biblical literalism get equal time.
3.  Repackage biblical literalism as "creation science." Try to get equal time for creation science and real science.
4.  Repackage creation science (aka repackaged biblical literalism) as intelligent design.  Try to get a brief mention alongside real science.

We mustn't be complacent, and we need to be ready for the inevitable setbacks and outbreaks of tard along the way.  But there's a long-term trend here.

Date: 2008/04/15 16:59:27, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 15 2008,14:52)
Quote (khan @ April 15 2008,16:19)
Is anyone else irritated by 'try and' when it should be 'try to'?

What's more important is that a preposition is a really bad word to end a sentence with.

Those are things I can try and put up with.  At least no-ones misusing apostophe's.

Date: 2008/04/15 17:06:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 15 2008,15:00)
Granny Tard takes up the insult stick after FtK dropped it. In her most recent philippic about Expelled, she asserts    
If you are a materialist, you will think that any level of harassment, persecution, or unjust dealings against non-materialists or Darwin doubters is justified. Or else you will simply refuse to see it when it is before your face. After all, you know that Darwin was right, there is no free will and no hereafter, and all that matters is winning now.

If you are a non-materialist, you think that the line between good and evil passes through the human heart and that there really is free will and truth, and you keep hoping that evidence will one day finally matter.

Per usual, she has it exactly backward, just like DT's shaven dog.

No, Denyse. I'm not in favor of harrassment, persecution, or unjust dealings. I think the firing of Chris Comer was unjust. Why do you "refuse to see it' that way? I'm pretty sure that Darwin was wrong about a lot of things; you might try reading up on the last 150 years of scientific progress to learn about that as well.

And I'm very sure that "evidence will one day finally matter". if you have any evidence, we've yet to hear about it. If I was able to comment at UD, I'd be happy to tell you this to your face. But somehow I can't do that.  I wonder why that doesn't strike you as "unjust" either.

Denyse, same source:
Prediction: The ability to communicate skillfully with the public - over against legacy media story distorters - will be critical.

In which case, we win.  "Over against legacy media story distorters?"

Date: 2008/04/18 11:00:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Expelled gets a prestigious no stars in the Seattle Times (via a news service - they had better things to do themselves).

Pop quiz: What is the real source of evil in the modern world? Greed? Intolerance?

Well, according to "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," it's Darwinism

It looks like they've shot themselves in the foot with the "evolutionary biologists = Nazis" angle.  A lot of what I'm reading is commenting on the ridiculousness of this claim - not surprisingly as its sheer silliness requires absolutely no knowledge of science to understand.  Concentrating on ID, rather than slandering science and scientists, might have had more impact on a general audience.  If only they'd devoted more time to outlining the theory of intelligent des - what?  Oh.

Date: 2008/04/18 14:28:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Expelled down to 7% now.  Going down faster than Louis in the men's bogs at Twickenham.

Another kicking, from E! Online.  The reviewer has taken the claim of scientists being fired for questioning evolution at face value, but still:
Despite insisting "intelligent design" isn't pro-God propaganda, Stein argues we're waging a religious war (cut to cannon fire) with Darwinists smiting the faithful with—gasp!—atheistic ideas. Most outrageously, he plays the overused Nazi card—he tours an old concentration camp and notes Hitler himself was influenced by Darwin. Yes, kids, studying evolution leads to this (cut to dead prisoners).

Date: 2008/04/18 14:42:57, Link
Author: JohnW
I clicked on the Rotten Tomatoes solitary decent review.  There's some good stuff in there too:
The subject of intelligent design is one that has sparked a lot of controversy and hopefully, this review won't bring out the loonies on either side of the debate, because personally, I don't feel like religion and faith is something that can or should be argued or debated on the internet, or anywhere else for that matter.

(my emphasis)

All Science So Far!

Date: 2008/04/22 10:56:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 22 2008,06:50)
This thread's going to be a classic:

Indeed it is.
It is true that many southern ‘evangelicals’ shared views that demanded racial separation (Bob Jones Sr., etc.) but all recanted of them later in life.

It is important to realize that the source of such thinking — that there is a clear line of demarcation between the races — is due to evolutionary thinking.
Huxley and Darwin both believed that the races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Australoid) were separate species who (miraculously) could inter-breed. Strangely, all but the Caucasoid had direct ancestry to apes, orangs, or other lower life forms.

Many churches of the time (as they do today) acquiesced to the social science of their day – much to their detriment. Biblically, there is NO demarcation between the races. All are direct descendants of Adam (or Noah), and all are of one blood.

Now that's what I call scholarship.  Racist preachers were racist because they were evilutionists.  Presumably the Scopes trial was some sort of deep-cover stunt.  But not to worry, they all - every last one of them - rejected racism when they got older.

And Darwin thought that human races were separate species, and whites did not have ape ancestors.  Who knew?

I know the competition is tough, but this must be in the running for the Most Ridiculous UD Post Ever Award*.

* non-batshit77 division.

Date: 2008/04/22 12:03:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 22 2008,09:54)
Would Jesus sign it?

There's no evidence that Jesus could read English, and if the statement was translated into Aramaic, I doubt the phrases "random mutation" and "natural selection" meant much to anyone at the time.  I don't think he would have put his name to anything he didn't understand, so: No.

As to whether he would have signed a more explicit statement of the subtext ("I believe Daddidit"), who knows?

Date: 2008/04/24 15:14:55, Link
Author: JohnW
This is how it works.The amount of tard available on the internet is increasing at an exponential rate and we need people to document it, comment on it, mock it, love it, compassionately embrace it and use it for nefarious or noble purposes. It’s too big of a job for just one guy. I’m actively seeking recruits to help me root out tard wherever it may pop up. Not just root it out but follow it around, study it, analyze it and encourage friends neighbors and those above the legal tard viewing ages to comment on it.

Can't we do all that by reading FTK's blog?

Date: 2008/04/25 13:55:14, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ April 25 2008,10:28)
I don't care for Vegas. It's obnoxious. Meeting at Waterloo, Belgium would be appropriate, but too expensive. Meeting at Dover, Pennsylvania would be appropriate too, except that it's in rural Pennsylvania and who wants to go there?

The staff cafeteria at Baylor?

Date: 2008/04/25 14:52:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Hermagoras @ April 25 2008,12:45)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 25 2008,14:09)
All science so far*

*If tinfoil-hat crackpot wooery qualifies. If it doesn't, we'll redefine science.

Is anybody else surprised kairosfocus hasn't come out of retirement for this?  I would think he could smell the tard wafting over the Caribbean.

Paging batshit77... paging batshit77...

Date: 2008/04/29 11:56:46, Link
Author: JohnW
Tard on NPR this morning.

The bill passed by a wide margin in Florida's House on Monday. It requires teachers to provide their students with "a thorough presentation and scientific critical analysis" of the theory of evolution.

What that analysis would be isn't clear. But proponents say it would have to be scientific, not religious.

NPR dropped the ball on this one, unfortunately.  A bland "give both sides equal time" approach, which (partly because they didn't talk to any actual scientists) gave the impression that both sides had a valid point.

Still, vintage tard here:
Representative Hays said, he believed the man behind the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, would not object to allowing teachers and their students to critically analyze his ideas.

Because the study of evolutionary biology begins and ends with Darwin.  No-one's done anything since then.

Date: 2008/04/30 12:44:29, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Kristine @ April 30 2008,10:05)
Quote (BWE @ April 30 2008,03:07)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 29 2008,23:16)
Quote (Jkrebs @ April 29 2008,22:46)
bfast offers this here:

If there is a genetic twiddler that, using foresight, has guided the development of life from amoeba to man, even if the twiddler periodically injected huge chunks of data, if the twiddler twiddled with an existing species to get the new one, rather than creating ex-nihlo, then we have UCD.

This is exactly why many Christians who have taken the time to learn about ID reject it as bad theology (as well as bad science) - because it reduces God to a "genetic twiddler."  Thanks to bfast for both the candor and the nicely descriptive term.

Not very omnipotent / omniscient if you have to twiddle..

But if capable of twiddling, certainly not impotent or insentient.

Can't one go blind from that? :)

Twiddling with different species can give you a nasty dose of the (ahem) "flu".  Just ask Louis.

Date: 2008/05/01 14:46:03, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ May 01 2008,11:51)

Further, if the light intensity to distance ratio obeys an inverse-quartic law, it would lend confirmation to the YEC cosmology which I currently subscribe to. If this test fails, I think I’ll owe Dr. Cheesman a beer. If it succeeds, he can by me a beer [I don’t drink beer, but I would for that occasion.]

So there you have it. I’ve laid it on the line what would seal the deal…

Now Sal, where is my beer?  Beside the bottle of single malt Scotch?

I would like my beer to be a Dark Lord from the Three Floyds, please.  :)

*Edited to make numbers correct, and because I can.

How to do science, by Sal:

1.  Decide on your conclusion.
2.  Disregard any evidence which disproves it.
3.  Sit around and wait.  Some day, someone somewhere might find something which will show you were right all along.

Date: 2008/05/01 14:54:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Dr. Dr. D throws his toys out of the pram:

William Dembski


10:57 am
This is probably the best we can hope for from the Ian Ramsey Center at this time. In fact, I’m surprised that they are going as far as they are in being willing to put design on the table for discussion. It suggests that “design is in the air” and that it’s no longer possible to stifle discussion about it. At the same time, the conference strikes me as something of a disappointment: the vanguard of the ID movement who might allow design to put its strongest foot forward are nowhere to be found and were not invited.

So no invite for Bill, then.  Waaaah!  Expelled!

Date: 2008/05/01 16:18:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Uthan, we hardly knew ye:

William Dembski


4:07 pm
I’m afraid Uthan won’t be here to comment again.

The offending comment is gone, so I've no idea what he did.  But this is quite an honour.  Bannination by the witch, not just the flying monkey.

Date: 2008/05/05 12:08:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ May 04 2008,13:55)
Starwind, FtK, and most of the creationists would be a lot better off if they'd close their mouths and open their ears. Or even read a single college textbook on biology.

What for?  The problem isn't input/output, it's data processing.

Date: 2008/05/05 14:49:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ May 05 2008,12:24)
It's a combination of stupidity and ignorance. If the great majority of creationists at least learned a single semester of biology I think a fraction of them would be on the path to understanding. Of the ones who seem hopeless, like FtK and the commenters at UD, at the very least they might appear slightly less stupid if they learned enough to avoid some of the more basic errors they make.

But the ignorance isn't, in many cases, the unfortunate result of poor education or other circumstances.  It's wilful.  They're choosing to either discount all the works of "Darwinists" sight unseen (FTK, for example) or use said works only as a source of out-of-context quotemines (like Sal).  Until and unless they're prepared to abandon this behaviour, it doesn't matter how much evidence we throw at them; the result will always be either incoherent screaming ("Atheist!  ATHEIST!  AAAATHEEEEIIIIST!!!!" - FTK) or pseudoscientific non-sequiturs ("F=ma.  Therefore God did it" - Sal).

You can lead a horse to water...

Date: 2008/05/05 15:25:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (argystokes @ May 05 2008,13:11)
Sal Proclaims!
The phrase “Natural Selection” is like saying someone who is homeosexual dying miserably from AIDS is “gay”. That person in anything but “gay” in the traditional sense. Darwin was a rhetorician skilled in double speak.

What is a homeosexual? Someone whose sexuality has been serially diluted a hundred times?

Someone who has sex at home?

Date: 2008/05/06 17:06:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ra-Úl @ May 06 2008,14:30)
In the spirit of that quote, I think we ought to have a decent beer law that would allow someone like AB to brew their abominable swill if and only if the drinkers were made to wear burkhas and bunny ears in public.
Rice. Geeeez. Aux barricades!

Yes, drinking that weasel wee-wee is a crime.  But it's also a punishment.

Date: 2008/05/07 13:36:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 07 2008,10:59)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 07 2008,13:45)
Joel Borofsky is also back...

Welcome back, Deadman...

Maybe Demski is calling in the reserves to fight off the attack of reason currently plaguing Dave.

Might Joel be auditioning for a replacement job?

Cross posted over at “The Christian Watershed.

All Science So Far!

It's going to be interesting to watch how the ongoing UD tardquake develops.  On the one hand, a minority are still taking the "ID=Science" approach, and DaveScot at least seems to really believe this.  And outside UD, the DI is still selling variants of "teach the controversy" (it's "academic freedom" now) to assorted legislative bodies, for which they must maintain the claim that it's all about science.

However, Expelled seems to have emboldened the hard-core anti-science wing of the creationist movement, and it looks like the "ID=Science" advocates are being outnumbered and outflanked by the "Scientists=Nazis" people on UD.  Dave's years-long ongoing purge of questioners is biting him in the bum at the moment - there's almost no-one left but the wackos.

So what's Dembski going to do?  If he tries to keep up the "this is science" story, he's going to risk alienating a big chunk of his base.  If he doesn't, he's going to make life more difficult for the DI, just at the point when they're making a new push to get ID into science classes.

Date: 2008/05/07 15:52:20, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (midwifetoad @ May 07 2008,11:49)
So what's Dembski going to do?  If he tries to keep up the "this is science" story, he's going to risk alienating a big chunk of his base.  If he doesn't, he's going to make life more difficult for the DI, just at the point when they're making a new push to get ID into science classes.

The author of Mere Creation is not in a very good position to expel creationists. Bill is on record saying 6000 is just as valid a number as 4.5 billion when it comes to dating the earth.

Agreed.  There's always been tension within the ID big tent, but Dembski's managed to hold everything together up until now.  Since Expelled, though, the cracks have been multiplying and widening.  I've never seen so much open, unpunished squabbling among the UD inmates as there's been over the last week or so.  At some point, Dr Dr D may need to show one side the door.  Given that, for almost all UDers except Dave, this is a religious movement, and that Dembski doesn't want to lose his base, I think the Floating Command Centre is heading for a sinking.

Date: 2008/05/07 17:16:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (carlsonjok @ May 07 2008,15:02)
Quote (dheddle @ May 07 2008,16:58)
This is not quite as entertaining as a NASCAR race

Actually, it is exactly like a NASCAR race.  We are all sitting around watching a good ole boy turning to the left.

Well, it's like a NASCAR race in that they're going round and round without making any progress, but unlike one in that I'm still awake.

Editation: Richard's wrong.  F1=NASCAR.  If I want to watch traffic, I'll look out the window.

Date: 2008/05/08 13:22:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ May 08 2008,08:23)
I've never burned a church or spread ebola.

That's OK, Louis.  We'll still let you post here - you get a rugby union players' exemption.  Just show us that you can walk and chew gum at the same time.  Failing that, show us that you can walk or chew gum at the same time.

Date: 2008/05/08 15:06:19, Link
Author: JohnW

I like the label on the x-axis, second "graph" down:
Determinate; 0%
Chance -- GOD

It also appears he's misunderstood the conventional wisdom that if you want to increase site traffic, add beaver pictures.

Date: 2008/05/09 16:08:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 09 2008,13:36)
Reading IDiots claim that god has the right to murder little innocent babies is both tragic and hilarious.  

Watching Davetard try and reason with a bunch of religious turnips is too funny.

Speaking of davetard, I had no idea he had any brain cells at all.  Judging by that thread he seems to have at least 6 or 7.

It's more tragic than hilarious, in my opinion.  This is just one step (the step of deciding that god wants you to help him kill babies) from suicide bombings.

Date: 2008/05/09 16:13:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Because it's Friday afternoon, I had another look.  Interesting...
Ponicare criticized Hilbert's program on, enabling a thoroughgoing pasigraphy beyond Woodger answering Poincare against Russell.

Pony care?  Busted!  I think you should confess now, carlsonjok.

Date: 2008/05/12 11:57:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2008,13:44)
We don't seem to have a general Mike Behe thread per se, so I'm putting this here.

I was reading the new Panda's Thumb story about Behe's ridiculous immune system claims, and it makes me idly wonder, has any idea ever been eviscerated as thoroughly as Irreducible Complexity?

Well, phlogiston, lead-into-gold, and geocentrism come to mind.  But if we restrict it to recent hypotheses, proposed when the evidence was already running against them, and maintained by their proponents as evidence continued to mount, the only parallel I can think of is steady-state cosmology.  Of course, steady-state was always a scientific theory, not religious apologetics, so I'm not sure it's that good a parallel.

Date: 2008/05/13 14:27:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 13 2008,11:31)
Quote (Benny H @ May 13 2008,11:18)
If you want to see "Expelled" you better see it quick. According to the nearest theater to my zip code showing the movie today is 16 miles away. Starting Friday it will be 386 miles away, in another state.

I can top that.

According to Boxofficemojo, after this coming weekend the nearest theaters to the SF Bay Area that are showing Expelled are in Kirksville, MO and Cochranton, PA -- 1,594 and 2,235 miles from my zip code, respectively.

Son Of Narnia Rides Again hits the screens this week.  So that should be the end of Expelled's share of the church outing / fundie youth group market.  And as that was pretty much their only market...

Date: 2008/05/13 17:49:26, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ May 13 2008,15:34)
"See: Boring".

See Boring right here.

Date: 2008/05/14 12:08:41, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (didymos @ May 13 2008,17:24)
...which is just an excuse for me to mention this:

When it comes to citing examples of purposeful design, nearly every author likes to point out the hen's egg. It's really quite remarkable. Despite having a shell that is a mere 0.35 mm think, they don't break when a parent sits on them. According to Dr. Knut Schmidt-Nielsen,

   A bird egg is a mechanical structure strong enough to hold a chick securely during development, yet weak enough to break out of. The shell must let oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, yet be sufficiently impermeable to water to keep the contents from drying out.

Under microscopy, one can see the shell is a foamlike structure that resists cracking. Gases and water pass through 10,000 pores that average 17 micrometers in diameter. Ultimately, 6 liters of oxygen will have been taken in and 4.5 liters of carbon dioxide given off. The yolk is its food. All life support systems are self-contained, like a space shuttle.

All hen's eggs are ready to hatch on the twenty-first day. Every day is precisely preprogrammed. The heart starts beating on the sixth day. On the nineteenth day the embryo uses its egg tooth to puncture the air sac (beneath the flat end) and then takes two days to crack through the shell.

That's it.  That's the whole thing:  Just look at it, man!  It's like, totally designed, yah?  I mean, dude.  Duuuuude.  DUDE.  The chicken, it like: Sits. On. The. Egg.  Sits on it!  And it DOESN'T BREAK!  What is up with that shit?  I mean, C'MON!   Dude, you know what sounds awesome right now?  Scrambled Eggs.  And Tabasco sauce.  Can you drive?

I saw that quote, and thought "Almost-perfect example of the standard-issue ID argument - lots of detail, but essentially just personal incredulity.  But it's missing the usual tag-line of 'buy my book'."

So I went to the source.  It begins with:
Note: This is one of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can't Explain.

and ends with
Taken from: Billions of Missing Links (Harvest House Publishers, 2007)

Evolution in action!  We started with an existing pattern:
Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

Now we've had a mutation, causing a duplication of some of the material:
Buy my book.

Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

This mutation is neutral - it adds no information, while making the post no worse.  (I read it with and without the first paragraph.  It's bollocks either way.)  But now, there's the possibility of a  beneficial mutation, which adds information to the message (although it's highly likely to still be bollocks).  I'll be on the lookout in future for something along the lines of
God did it.

Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

or perhaps
Buy my book.

Personal incredulity.

Scientists are Nazis.

Exciting times indeed for ID!

Date: 2008/05/14 15:02:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Quidam @ May 14 2008,12:39)
Surely that would only be justified if the truck tried to mount one in front...

If that happens, let's hope it's a truck made in the same country.  Otherwise they'll be done for miscegenation.

Date: 2008/05/14 17:28:08, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 14 2008,15:20)
Man you have to go to their website.  They are out of their minds crazy and not one bit of it makes any sense.

And they are "teaming up" with Dembski to better understand biology.  Why not team up with davescot who clearly has a better understanding of biology than Dembski.  Retarded yes, but he's smarter than Dembski.

But it sounds really sciency.  For their target audience, that's all that matters.

Date: 2008/05/19 12:57:24, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,07:28)
I thought this was pretty good:

Attention: Public School Teachers

Are you looking for ways to fulfill governmental educational mandates concerning controversial topics in the biology classroom?  The Biola Symposium will help you.  Educational standards in both the US and the UK, for example, clearly state that the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of views that exist and why such topics may generate controversy.

A US Supreme Court decision allows teachers to teach biology in a way that incorporates “a variety of scientific theories…with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.”  The new supplemental textbook Explore Evolution, when coordinated with other materials, empowers teachers and students to better fulfill these public educational goals.

This is great news for the ID community.  All they need now is a scientific theory.

Date: 2008/05/19 14:24:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (stevestory @ May 19 2008,11:45)
Nothing from her at her blog in more than two weeks. I might have to write a second fill-in post for her. Probably something about how Obama's a muslim! Sheesh!

Here, I discussed the format of the typical ID blog post:
Personal incredulity.

Buy my book.

Here's the FTK version:
Link to someone else's personal incredulity.

Buy their book.

Date: 2008/05/19 15:05:38, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 19 2008,12:47)

This book is a must read for young students who are still learning the basics of science...

The "head 'em off at the pass" strategy.  Because once they've actually learned the basics of science, it's too late.

Date: 2008/05/20 11:58:42, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Glenn Branch @ May 19 2008,22:59)
My review of the book in question, for what it's worth.

From Glenn's review:

Before its publication, WDGDWI was heralded in various sectarian publications under several different names: Darwin Ate My Homework (DeHaan and Wiester 1999: 65); Darwinism for Skeptics ([Anonymous] 1999). I think that Intelligent Design for Dummies would have been better (with due apologies to IDG Books Worldwide, the publisher of the "For Dummies" books).

I think that Dumbness for IDers would have been better still.

Date: 2008/05/20 12:23:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 20 2008,08:35)
It's the same as when they attack evolution by slandering Darwin. In religious apologetics, casting doubts on the character of the founder of a religion (or its followers) is one of the primary ways of 'disproving' a religion. So since they view Darwinism as a direct competitor for Jeebus's market share, they don't see why this wouldn't work to 'defeat materialism'.

Another effect of the "apologetics" approach taken by many creationists is their extensive use of quotes (and of course, quote mining).  They're used to debates proceeding by exegesis of sacred texts - that's how it's done in bible study.  And because they don't understand science, they don't understand that science has no sacred texts, so looking for "gotcha" passages in Darwin or Haldane or Gould is a waste of time.

It also explains the continued popularity of the "Darwin deathbed confession" meme.  Even if it were true, it would make no difference to whether life evolved.  But if you see this as a battle between followers of Jesus and followers of anti-Jesus, the deathbed confession sounds like a devastating argument.

We don't accept modern evolutionary theory because the Prophet Darwin told us to.  We accept it because it's the best explanation of the evidence.  Many creationists still don't understand this.

Date: 2008/05/20 14:29:47, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (RupertG @ May 20 2008,11:48)
I'd say that they argue this way because it's what they're most used to, but don't forget that even if they did understand science, they'd never be able to win their case using real scientific argumentation. It's kind of all they've got. But again, people who understand science aren't really their target audience.

And in arguing this way against science, they've lost the argument. If Expelled's thesis really was that science  is rejecting scientists for unscientific reasons, then it has to have a strong grounding in what science actually is. The moment Stein said that evolution can't explain gravity, that thesis crumbled to dust.

But since that wasn't the real message of the movie - or of ID - this doesn't matter to them or their audience. The real purpose of Expelled - and of ID - isn't science or theology, it's politics, in the sense of persuading people that if they support certain leaders then they'll have their heart's desire. And conversely, that those who disagree with those leaders are directly attacking the deepest beliefs of those people.

Counteracting poisonous politics is one area where science is woefully hopeless, and why whenever one head is lopped off the creationist hydra another pops up in its place. Until that is addressed, this will never change.


They've lost the argument against scientists.  But I don't think they care about that any more.  Since Dover, the ID movement has shifted its focus.

It's all about the hearts and minds of average church-going conservatives - and average church-going conservatives, like most of the non-scientist population, are not very scientifically literate.  Religious apologetics is something their target audience understands pretty well, and they're already predisposed to see this debate in religious terms, not scientific ones.

Date: 2008/05/20 14:35:21, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (RupertG @ May 20 2008,12:19)
London calling here too... work near Tate Modern, live in the Rose and Crown... er, White Hart, no, that's not right, er, King's Arms... tshca.... oh, yes, I remember.

Just off the Holloway Road. Within RPG range of the Emirates Stadium. And don't think I haven't had that dream. Not when there's a match on, of course: I'm only mildly in favour of the death penalty for committing or aiding football, and then only after due process.


I'm a neighbour (geographically but not temporally) - I lived in Muswell Hill in the early '90s.  One of several way stations in a long path from Doncaster to Seattle.

Date: 2008/05/20 16:08:32, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (guthrie @ May 20 2008,13:53)
Quote (Kristine @ May 20 2008,15:49)
I COULD LOVE LONDON! (I want to go there in a major way, being that I was an English major and all.)

You could, yes, but I advise against living there.

Listen to what guthrie said.

It's a fine place to visit*, but, if you're trying to hold down (and travel to and from) a job, the art-and-culture aspects take a very distant second place to the toxic-hellhole-with-collapsing-infrastructure aspects.

* I recommend King's Cross or St. Pancras stations.  That's where the trains to Yorkshire are.

Date: 2008/05/21 12:09:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 21 2008,07:55)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 20 2008,16:52)
>Richardthughes >JonF >Arden Chatfield >argystokes >Leonides >JohnW >dnmlthr >Reed >Connatic >nuytsia >sex-porn-lesbian >Ptaylor >Raevmo >LawnBoy >Quack >didymos >Ra-Úl

honey, PM me!

She's back!

gettaoutamyway, Olegt!

70 guests, 12 Public Members and 0 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Richardthughes >olegt >sex-porn-lesbian >Albatrossity2 >Lowell >Arden Chatfield >dheddle >RotEstigo >Occam's Aftershave >EyeNoU >fafkayamy >Ra-Úl
1 member is celebrating his/her birthday today   [ View Calendar ]
>Hermagoras (44)  

I see the birthday present for Hermagoras has arrived.

Date: 2008/05/21 15:36:30, Link
Author: JohnW
More from DO'L:
Also: Theories about CSI are not needed to dismiss the Darwinist superstition. The Darwinist superstition is that natural selection is a creative force. It isn’t, and it obviously isn’t.

Anyone can see this by looking at the difference between animals subjected to natural selection and animals protected by humans and artificially bred. Natural selection produces sameness; breeding (intelligent selection) produces creative differences.

So we do not know the source of the huge level of information in naturally occurring life forms, and it is probably too much to begin a project like this with.

Shorter version:
Evidence-free personal incredulity.



Editation: linky

Date: 2008/05/21 15:48:29, Link
Author: JohnW
The current hot topic in ID research appears to be "Things which look like other things.  Therefore goddidit."  We've had trees which look like chairs, and (about two-thirds down here) proteins which look like writing.  Not to mention batshit77's Holy Protein of Jesus.

It's just a matter of time before they start trawling the archives of That's Life for vegetables which look like genitals.

Date: 2008/05/21 16:07:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Annyday @ May 21 2008,13:59)
Hide the children, O'Leary's opening a new blog. May The Designer help us all.

In other news: Every single Canadian physicist applies for asylum:
Why?: Because I hope to write a book with a Canadian physicist about “God vs. the multiverse”: Is our universe fine-tuned for life or are there zillions of flopped universes out there, so that our universe is an accidentally tolerable place?

Date: 2008/05/22 13:43:40, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 22 2008,11:18)
Quote (olegt @ May 22 2008,10:58)
CJYman smokes some good stuff:

Now on to gravitational theory. Do we even have a gravitational theory? There’s quantum field theory and then there’s string theory and do we yet know if gravity is a field or a boson … very controversial stuff here.

I vaguely recall the names of Newton and Einstein, but who am I to object?

Yes, and Isaac Newton was Christian, therefore Intelligent Design is true.

Yes, but he wore a wig and high heels, and was a (cough) confirmed bachelor.  Therefore gravitation is false.

Date: 2008/05/23 15:16:28, Link
Author: JohnW
What a great thread.  

UD + physics + probability + philosophy = The Argument Regarding Design.  Gold-plated, diamond-encrusted and with knobs on.

Suppose the probability trump cards that evolutionists play (such as the notion that the way atoms are arranged in the universe is highly improbable, or the possibility of a multiverse) are true, doesn’t that make the likelihood of a supernatural all-governing entity even more likely?

The odds of all the grains of sand in the Sahara being in exactly those positions are just... like... wow.  Therefore God.

The universe does appear to be “rigged” (as my brother — a very bright physicist, engineer, mathematician, computer programmer, and no friend of ID — has noted).

I like the word rigged.

One can accept the the prima facie evidence that the universe is rigged, or one can postulate that an infinitude of in-principle undetectable universes exists to explain away the obvious.

Gil, meet false dichotomy.  False dichotomy, meet Gil.

It depends on what you mean by the terms observable and applicable.

That sort of like saying that “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”  

You cannot observe the multiverse. You cannot measurably apply it to anything. You don’t know that it exist.

We can observe design. We make hundreds, if not thousands, if not tens of thousands, of decisions every hour based on these observations.

We know design exist.

But I grant that if the multiverse exist and we find that they are places we have been calling Heaven and Hell, then they will certainly be applicable to our existence.

Does anyone else want to see tribune7 making tens of thousands of decisions an hour based on observing design?  Video, please, tribby.

And finally, I’m glad to see Denyse’s coverage expanding into physics. It’s interesting to read up on from a design perspective.

I'm glad too.  It's nice to see there's something else she's clueless about.

Date: 2008/05/23 16:17:18, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 23 2008,14:08)
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ May 23 2008,16:00)
Is it me, or is UD trying really, really, really hard to sound all sciency after all that Hitler-Darwin-Old Testament-banning Jonathan Sarfati-riot?

They are. Bit they're not doing any math, and are now using the EF as a conceptual too. I guess that makes Mike Gene the Vanguard of ID.

I expected Dr Dr D to step into the "no-one can really calculate CSI, but it sure looks designed to me" fiasco by the end of the week.  

I was expecting "I can so too calculate CSI.  Because I'm clever and you're not."
I was hoping for "Well, the jig's up.  You caught me bang to rights."
We're getting "Someone farted in church.  Create a few mild distractions, and everyone will forget it ever happened."

Date: 2008/05/27 12:36:36, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 25 2008,14:07)


History of creationism in public education:

1.  Teach creationism only.  Win case against John Scopes.  Lose PR battle.
2.  Creationism-only ruled unconstitutional.
3.  Rebrand biblical creationism as "creation science".  Try to get equal time in schools.  Fail.
4.  Rebrand rebranded biblical creationism as "intelligent design".  Try to get "textbooks" into schools.  Fail.
5.  Rebrand rebranded rebranded biblical creationism as "teach the controversy".  Try to get a mention in schools.  Fail.
6.  Rebrand rebranded rebranded rebranded biblical creationism as "academic freedom".  Make a film.  Only fundies see it.  Try to get something - anything - through state or local legislatures.  Fail.

Does anyone else see a trend here?

Date: 2008/05/27 17:27:59, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 27 2008,14:58)
Ok, am I reading this correctly?  Has davetard been banned from UD?  Or is he just no longer an admin there?  Or neither?


There's a super-secret, invitation-only group where the UD inner circle get to discuss all the research that the International Atheist Conspiracy stops them from publishing in their own journal.  Or whatever.  That's what Dave's been expelled from.

Date: 2008/05/29 11:22:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Richard Simons @ May 29 2008,05:58)
I followed EyeNoU's suggestion and took a look at (The Revolution Against Evolution). One item that interested me was the 'kangaroo ica stones' found in a museum in Peru. One shows a 3/4 view of a kangaroo with a joey looking out of the pouch. I do not know much about art history, but are there any other examples of 3/4 views of objects from this area and period? It seems to me it's a bit like finding a typed Dead Sea scroll.

Manufacture of the Ica stones began in the 1960s.  So yes, there are quite a few other examples of 3/4 views of objects from this area and period.

Date: 2008/06/11 12:00:57, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Nerull @ June 11 2008,09:54)
What this means for Walt Brown is that the asteroid belt was not created by rocks blasted off of Earth - it couldn't have happened.

Any rocks that are blasted from Earth will be in Earth crossing orbits. What this means for our recovering civilization after the Flood is a K/T size mass extinction level impact every few years. There wouldn't be much left on Earth aside from a few bacteria.

After all the energy required to accelerate the asteroids to escape velocity, I think we're already down to a few bacteria.

Date: 2008/06/11 18:36:31, Link
Author: JohnW
In a spectacular triumph of hope over experience, FTK, I'm going to assume that you'd like to actually discuss something while you're here.

So: something I've often wondered about.  Walt Brown: What's the appeal?

I mean, you must know by now that the hydroplate theory is not only contradicted by many pieces of evidence, it's contradicted by several fundamental and very well-tested physical laws (see recent posts on orbital mecanics and the energy required to launch half the crust, for example).  For his scenario to work, either what we know about basic physical processes must be very, very wrong (and Brown presents no evidence that this is so), or several divine interventions must have taken place to suspend said processes.

So what do you get out of it?  It all boils down to "God did it" anyway, so what's the point of all the handwaving about fountains of the deep, giant chunks of the Earth zooming off to other parts of the solar system, and continents hurtling around with gay abandon?  Why is all this more intellectually or emotionally satisfying than a simple "poof"?

I know there are probably just a few more days before your next flounce-out, but if you'd like to say something other than "you're all big meanies!" while you're here...

Date: 2008/06/12 13:57:53, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (JohnW @ June 11 2008,16:36)
In a spectacular triumph of hope over experience, FTK, I'm going to assume that you'd like to actually discuss something while you're here.

That noise you can hear is experience giving hope a good kicking.

Date: 2008/06/13 17:07:51, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (jeannot @ June 13 2008,14:41)
Can "hydroplate theory" and YECism explain this?

Don't think so.

Yes, of course.  Goddidit.

Date: 2008/06/17 14:47:13, Link
Author: JohnW
Thanks, guys, I appreciate the thought, but I was hoping for this:

Quote (Kristine @ June 16 2008,13:23)

In your honor I will:
eat some low fat pretzels
eat some toasted almonds
bide my time until I can leave work
eat dinner
do my jump-rope routine*
drink a beer*

*Hopefully in that order. :)

Performed simultaneously, not sequentially.

Date: 2008/06/19 12:02:19, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Maya @ June 19 2008,05:17)
I CAN prove that the genetic code is structured almost exactly like Morse code. There is nothing in the natural world except for DNA that is like Morse code. Why? Because both were designed by intelligent agents. Only intelligent agents create abstraction layers (symbols or tokens which represent something else).

Only semi-intelligent agents create circular arguments.  (And I'd love to see the proof that DNA is isomorphic to Morse code.)

-..  .-  ...-  .  ...  -.-.  ---  -    ..  ...    .-    .-.  .-  ...-  ..  -.  --.    ..-.  ..-  -.-.  -.-  .--  ..  -

Date: 2008/06/23 11:49:55, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 22 2008,03:45)
That thread gets off with a bang:

Quote (Savedgirl @ Oct 13th 2006, 03:02 AM)
Please help! My children attend public school, and they are being inundated with dinosaur "stuff". I've always avoided all things dinosaur (pajamas, room decor etc.), but my 7 year-old seems almost obsessed with dinosaurs lately.

Today, my 7 year-old's class went on a museum field trip to study dinosaur bones. I made the decision to not let him go because I was not able to attend (due to not enough room), and I didn't want him getting into the dinosaur thing to that level without me knowing what's being discussed etc.

Yesterday, this same 7 year-old came home and told me that he learned birds came from a certain dinosaur. I asked him: "Didn't God create birds?" He stammered a bit and then finally said, "Yes, I think". Needless to say, we went on to discuss God's Word etc.

Is there any way to support dinosaurs from a biblical perspective? I'm at a complete loss as to what to do from here. Thanks so much for any input/help/information! God bless!!

Help!  I send my kid to school and they try to teach him stuff!  How do I stop them?  He almost learned something today.  (Fortunately, I nipped that in the bud.)  THOSE BASTARDS SHOWED HIM EVIDENCE!!!!ONEONE!!

Next time someone tells me there's no such thing as a stupid question, I'll hit them with this:
Is there any way to support dinosaurs from a biblical perspective?

Date: 2008/06/23 12:08:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Louis @ June 23 2008,00:55)
I haved this fanatastic book called "Scorn" which is an idiosyncratic litany of abuse through the ages. It records many of the best classical bits from the UK parliament, one of my favourites being*:

MP: "Pompous sod!**"
Speaker: "The member will retract that unparliamentary comment."
MP: "All right, but only the pompous."

Well done Jupiter on such a retraction! ;-)


* Sadly I don't have the book to hand so I can't give the full attribution and reference.

** As in "sodomite". This was not as mild a comment as it might appear.

That was the mighty Dennis Skinner.
"When I called the right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) a pompous sod, Mr. Speaker said to me, 'You had better withdraw that'. I said I would withdraw 'pompous', but said, Mr. Speaker 'That's not the word I'm looking for.' There was laughter in the House and everyone thought that I had hit the nail on the head. I thought that that was a real parliamentary triumph, but Mr. Speaker thought differently. He said, 'Off you go,' and I did not get a chance to reply."

Date: 2008/06/23 18:03:00, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 23 2008,11:54)
We could take up a collection to send someone to the ICC 08 and report on it. The conference hotel group rate is $70 per night, and depending on how late the events on the last day go, would mean 4 or 5 nights for the hotel. Call that $350. Registration for the full conference is $130. Proceedings in print and on CD are $80. Then there is travel to and from Pittsburgh. So the base cost without travel and per diem meals is $560. If we raised about $1000, we'd be in the right ballpark to put someone on the scene.

No beer money?

Date: 2008/06/24 14:18:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Guest @ June 24 2008,09:42)
If I were riding in the same bus with that band of blasphemers and godless pagans I would be on my knees frequently.

I thought your god didn't like teh homos, keith.

Date: 2008/06/25 13:36:05, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (tmtoulouse @ June 25 2008,11:26)
To those who might try and make an account at CP, they have been inundated with pranks, vandals and parodist for a long time now. The "administration" of the site has become super paranoid and they have adopted a "block first ask questions later" approach. Anything at all questionable early on will merit a block.

The most likely accounts to survive are those that consist of a first name followed by a letter like MaryA, JohnD, or whatever. Edit a few non-controversial articles to start with, don't edit too much too quick, and avoid talk pages at first.

That should get you into the clear and you can start doing what you want with out risking an immediate ban.


Excuse me while I rub my hands together and cackle maniacally.

Date: 2008/06/26 14:09:10, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ June 26 2008,12:03)
Now, regardless of how a person might compose themselves when necessary, their true colors usually shine through when they're shooting the shit in a place like this.

I couldn't agree more, FTK.

Date: 2008/06/26 15:16:35, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ June 26 2008,13:00)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 26 2008,14:47)
Quote (Ftk @ June 26 2008,14:31)
News flash, Dave...all the education in the world is not going to provide evidence that we evolved from primordial sludge.

Then please provide evidence for your version of events.

Or suck my balls.

As you prefer.

Or suck my balls.

You must be a science professor too.

I can't provide any more evidence for my version of the events than you can.  But, your version is the only one that gets shoved down our students throats.  [your version on origins, not your balls you disgusting creep.]

Inability to provide evidence duly noted.

Date: 2008/06/26 15:36:30, Link
Author: JohnW
Going back a few pages...

I know we're dealing with vanishingly small probabilities here, FTK, but just in case you want to talk about science, here's a chance for you to back up your claim that biology is the same, regardless of whether we assume common design or common descent.

Take a look at this.  Yes, I know it's by the king of the meanies, but I've read it and it doesn't mention Jesus once.  It does, however, discuss some interesting research on the amphioxus genome.  It's not very technical - should be a piece of cake for someone with a B in biology.

So, FTK, what does this research tell us about the relationship between Amphioxus, sea-squirts, and vertebrates if we assume common design?

Have at it, FTK.  This is your chance to prove your point.

Date: 2008/06/26 16:20:34, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 26 2008,13:57)
Somewhere in the middle of a 15 minute run-on sentence about the fish and the aquarium and the tunnel and the huge stingray and the penguins and...  was this isolated reference:


It cracked me up.

Tell her not to accept any more drinks from FTK.

Date: 2008/06/26 17:04:37, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ June 26 2008,14:59)
News flash!!!  If you guys just let my thread sink to the bottom, you'll be done with me.  JUST. LET. IT. GO!

Posts: 1480
Joined: Mar. 2007

Do the math, FTK.  Assume either common descent or common design.  I'm not bothered.

Date: 2008/06/26 17:56:09, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Ftk @ June 26 2008,15:51)
Tootle doo kiddos....

OK, who had June 26 in the flounce-out pool?

Date: 2008/06/30 13:31:02, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Chayanov @ June 30 2008,09:59)
Add a banana to yout milk for a perfectly designed shake.

Isn't it amazing how the glass is perfectly designed to hold the shake? Therefore, God!

And the banana is perfectly designed to fit up your... never mind.

Date: 2008/06/30 16:26:16, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (Chayanov @ June 30 2008,13:03)
Quote (Kristine @ June 30 2008,14:46)
Geez, stick a fork in intelligent design. It's done. :)

I hear Ben's working on another crockumentary. *yawn*

"Ignored: Why Nobody Takes Me Seriously"

I thought a better title would be

Shite: No Redeeming Features Allowed

Then I remembered that Ben just did that one.

Date: 2008/06/30 16:49:50, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (lcd @ June 30 2008,14:37)
Somethings don't go together.  NASCAR and Ballay, Real Science and Evolution.

lcd and the English language.

Date: 2008/07/01 13:34:31, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (lcd @ July 01 2008,11:08)
There are millions of people who THINK they are Christian.

I have a suggestion, lcd.  As you appear to have nothing we haven't seen before, and your cartoonish misunderstandings of evolution can better be dealt with elsewhere (talkorigins, for example), why not find a site where some of these "millions of people who THINK they are Christian" hang out, and show them the error of their ways?  I'm sure there will be great excitement when they find the one true arbiter of real Christianity in their midst.  They'll be lining up to thank you.

Date: 2008/07/01 14:01:44, Link
Author: JohnW
Quote (lcd @ July 01 2008,11:51)