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Date: 2006/01/25 00:31:18, Link
Author: Louis
By Her Majesty's Sainted Bloomers,

Are we allowing colonials here Mr Morrison? I'm shocked and appalled. Appalled and shocked. I shall write to my Member of Parliament, you see if I don't.

It will be the convicts next, and then all #### will break loose. The women will probably even be given the vote or some such tommyrot.

Up the Empire, what!

Sir Percival Ignatius Biggott-Smythe

Date: 2006/01/25 07:37:15, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

Since a major part of all our online (and possibly even offline) existences is spent engaging in debate with various types of people. I was curious about a few things.

1) What actually motivates us to do this?

2) How do we cope with the inevitable  ennui that develops when one has bashed one's head against the brick wall of frothing ignorance demonstrated by some people?

We encounter the well meaning but currently ignorant (I was/am one myself, this is not a perjorative term), the deluded, the deliberately dishonest, the kooks, cranks and loons, and also the agenda ridden proselytisers. We have perfectly polite, curious people come to places like PT and discuss aspects of science and culture etc. We also get (and I am sorry to name names) people like "Ghost of Paley" who is clearly intelligent enough to google a few articles and string some words together but who is either a parody or so deliberately self deluding as to be beyond professional help.

I think this goes FAR beyond mere religion. We see this depth of "belief" and "faith" based extremism in many spheres, politics, spirituality, even mangement! So my third question is:

3) What is the basis for the extremes of what I can only call "kookery" that we encounter?

Lastly, I am currently experiencing a large amount of anger, and general boredom with the whole creationist/ID nitwittery. I simply haven't seen anything new in a decade from them (a stark contrast with my life as a research scientist where it's almost a struggle to keep up with what's new!;)). Again using "Ghost of Paley" as an example (something I am sure to regret, the guy is unhinged), the guy (or the guy playing him) is clearly not stupid, but the depths of dishonesty and delusion being displayed are staggering. The patience he is being dealt with borders on the saintly! How people like Cogzoid and EricMurphy etc can repeatedly deal with him so dispassionately is a talent I don't possess. I read the entire thread and I am annoyed! This annoyance has spilt over into a kind of apathy with the whole issue, it's a feeling I've had before when encountering utter lunatics. So the last question is:

4) How do you deal with the annoyance that these extreme loons cause, and the ensuing apathy towards an important scientific topic and social wrangle?

I am particularly interested in comments from people like Lenny, Wesley, Nick Matzke, PvM, etc i.e. people who have been involved in this "debate" for a long time, and/or who have been professionally involved.



P.S. See you Brits on Darwin Day, I've booked a day off btw, so if anyone wants to do the Natural History Museum it might be an option.

Date: 2006/01/25 07:48:06, Link
Author: Louis
Splendid Mr Morrison, sir, splendid.

Now where did I leave my blunderbus?

I have noticed that we are significantly Bowdlerised here annot type things like #### or #### or #### or even ######## or #####.

Such shocking censorship! I propose that we take the path of the gentlemen of Viz magazine and invent new swearwords with the specific purpose of annoying the newsagent WHSmith. Words like "fitbin". Frankly it would ####### well amuse the #### out of any #### with a ####### sense of humour. They obviously need a good kick in the fitbin, whatever that might be!

Blinkety flip, that's what I say.

(Note to moderators, this is humour, honest!Not GOOD humour, but nonetheless humour)

Date: 2006/01/25 11:58:19, Link
Author: Louis
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to imply I was ONLY interested in the opinions of those named. I am interested in ALL replies from you guys, and thanks for making them. I agree with much of what's been said thus far. Cheers!


Date: 2006/01/25 22:01:25, Link
Author: Louis
Ah dear sweet Mr Mellie. Yes you could safely say I am a fan of his illustrious Profanisaurus.

It's the only thing worth paying £2 for Viz for.

I would agree with your assessment of that spectre, and further I would guess that he is a soap dodging palm pilot who does little else but muck about on the filth box downloading OAP+dwarf grumble.

Give my regards to the Major.

Date: 2006/01/26 11:20:50, Link
Author: Louis
Well I'm not as sanguine about it as you are, I thought it verged on the bloody awful.

They gave VASTLY too much time to the IDCist nonsense and presented it as plausible. Dawkins and the Kitzmiller decisions were almost inserted as afterthoughts, Miller came off well however.

What really annoyed me was the pish poor journalism. This was presented as a dramatic clash between faith and science. ID was built up as a reasonable scienctific project as opposed to the vile religious calumny it is. The tiny bright light is that they never showed ID as being anything other than religious.

Poxy BBC and their religious agenda! I'm writing in, later on when I am less incandescent and more coherent.


Date: 2006/02/01 02:15:05, Link
Author: Louis
How to wind up Kangaroo Botherers and Septic Tanks 101:

1) Ask an Aussie (or even a Seppo, they never know the difference) if they are from Queensland. Whatever the answer reply "Listen mate, it's all the Queen's land."

2) When encountering either of the aforementioned colonials say "Welcome back.". If dealing with an Aussie you can add "Returning to the scene of the crime eh?".

Failing these suggestions one could always try something witty. ;)


Date: 2006/02/01 06:01:22, Link
Author: Louis
People like JAD make me wonder about a few things. Look for example at Ghost of Paley. The guy is quite clearly intelligent and quite clearly unhinged. The other option of course is that he is a parody, deliberately designed to rile the scientists.

GOP is clearly someone who knows how to find the literature he wants (it appears he can't read it for comprehension however) on biological subjects. He appears to know enough general science to be able to quote at least vaguely relevant things (his predictions leave a lot to be desired by modern standards however).

Is GOP JAD or someone much like him?

Date: 2006/03/01 23:26:47, Link
Author: Louis
This isn't a "gosh those people are smart therefore they must be right" leading question. It's more of a "gosh these people are smart how can they be so dumb about this, and how can such obviously flawed ideas hold so much power over them?" question.

Behe is a biochemistry academic at a reasonable university, Dembski has several degrees and a couple of PhDs (not easy things to get I can tell you) and there are many well educated, successful, well credentialed people who are IDC advocates. At least in my field of organic chemistry academics are pretty intelligent! I've worked with and met biochemists and they all seem to be pretty clued up, and I can barely understand the mathematicians I've met! SO...

How does obvious and errant nonsense like IDC fool smart folks like this?

Them simply wanting something to be the case doesn't cut it in my book. There must be a more profound explanation why these people eschew the evidence and reason (the bread and butter of the subjects they qualified in) that refutes these ideas so effectively.

Think psychology! I'd be particularly (but by no means exclusively) interested in responses from former IDCists/creationists or current believers. I'd also be interested in the opposite persepctive as it were, from the life long IDC/YEC etc debunker.

Date: 2006/03/02 05:00:30, Link
Author: Louis

Not too much to disagree with there from my perspective, I'd question the age limit idea simply because of adult conversions, but I wasn't really asking about "belief in sky daddies" per se, although I would agree this a component of the phenomenon.

What I was trying to get at was the cognitive dissonance with respect to the "scientific" {cough cough} aspects of IDC. I understand how and why people have faith in a god/some gods/Bob the Builder etc. What I don't get is how the ideas contained in ID which are supposed to be science, are promoted as science, and ostensibly fool certain people into thinking they are science fail to pass through the "science circuits" of the IDCist brain.

The double jointedness that Russell referred to is a great example. Idea X passes through the IDCist brain and is accepted rationally on the basis of evidence. Idea Y passes into the IDCist brain, stops, is examined for "philosophical naturalist assumptions" {cough splutter} and is discarded despite the evidence. Rational one minute, bonkers the next! It's this process and experience I am trying to understand. How does it feel? Why do it?


Date: 2006/03/02 22:40:22, Link
Author: Louis
Test? What test? There's a test? I didn't study! Oh no now I'm going to fail my Internet Message Board 101. Oh woe is me etc.

Date: 2006/03/05 20:44:05, Link
Author: Louis
Colour me a huge fan of all things Wodehousian. Went to school with a granddaughter/grandniece of Plum, can't remember which. (Not sure if he had direct descendants, might have been a step grand whatsit).

Joy in the Morning is sublime. I also love Aunt's aren't Gentlemen. The Totleigh Towers/Cow creamer sagas can get a touch repetative, but (perhaps ironically) they contain some of the greatest witicisms ever penned by mortal man. The great man once said of his works that some people write serious novels about terrible topics, but that he writes a sort of musical comedy. Best viewed in that light.

It may help our less culturally fortunate friends (that would be you Americans and other sundry foreigners*) to note that the "gentleman" was a genuine class of chap in the late 19th early 20th century, particularly the period inter bellum. They sadly seem to have lived and died with spats. As proper foot attire arose, so did the gentleman, and with it he perished. The gentleman was typically the second or third son, or perhaps even nephew, of a monied aristocrat or tycoon. Not quite up to the elder brother's standards and at a bit of a loose end these lesser siblings were handed an allowance and left to their own devices, rarely having to justify their existance with something as vulgar as actual work.

Britannia in all her glory is now sadly denuded of the rakishly attired young gentleman. We've replaced them with football hooligans, chavs, and the ghastly "celebrity". Yuck. Mind you, that is progress!


* Was it Kipling who said "Thank God, for you have won the great lottery of life by being born an Englishman!"?**

** I am actually joking about this little piece of jingoistic nonsense. I don't think the British (particularly the English) are better than you lovely ex-colonials and personages of alternative nationality. This is what we over here call "humour". Just thought I'd make it clear ;-) in case we had some sensitive souls reading.

Date: 2006/03/06 01:46:26, Link
Author: Louis
I wouldn't say I prefered the works of T. Sharpe Esq., but I enjoy them equally for different reasons.


Date: 2006/03/07 20:25:56, Link
Author: Louis
Campaign to rename DaveScott Hardly worth the bother. Like John McCoy over in T.O. his actions have been sufficiently dishonest to unname him totally. Is DaveScott the new nameless?

Either way it's not exactly important, it's clear the guy is a wanker. It's just a pity his father wasn't. I hope his earholes turn to ar5eholes and he sh1ts all over his shirt, t use a good West Country curse!

Ah gratuitous abuse, there's nothing like it to start the day!

Date: 2006/03/14 12:21:33, Link
Author: Louis
Shi, as Jeannot said:


Really, look them up. Then realise that ALL species are ring species, some rings (sadly most of them) are discontinuous at the present time because of "breaks" in the ring. The breaks are not caused by saltations, but by extinctions etc.

Fascinating topic ring species.

Date: 2006/04/07 04:58:32, Link
Author: Louis
{Raises Hand}

I'm a synthetic chemist. I can make you all the explosives and illegal narcotic drugs you want.

When do we start burning churches?

Oh yeah, and my wife's a biochemist, so she can culture Ebola for us.


*Hard of thinking disclaimer: While I am a synthetic chemist and can make explosives and drugs, and indeed am fully capable of burning down a church, I am not actually advocating these practices. Nor indeed will I actually participate in church burning. If you guys want to worship fictional invisble sky pixies you are more than welcome to do so. In fact I defend your right to do so fervently. So please creato-fundie-IDiot-phuckups learn the difference between a joke (or in this case parody) and real life. Oh and learn some fricking science too.*

Date: 2006/05/05 02:50:02, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

Ok, I am getting bored. TrollDiddley is simply repeating himself in ever increasing bouts of frothing lunatic bigotry. Endless strawmen and irrelevancies are thrown left and right by this bumbling bumpkin.

So, in the interest of inculcating in this clueless imbecile some modicum of sanity I will finally, once and for all reveal the details of the "Liberal Gay Agenda" ™ and exactly why it is that us horrible stupid little liberals are so in favour of allowing evil homosexual deviants to share the same marital and societal rights as us godly and perfect heterosexuals.

I am sorry to give away one of the most cherished secrets of the Illuminati of the Liberal Conspiracy ™ (Slogan: "We're after your god and your anal virginity") but nothing else will shut TripeDumbie up.

Brace yourselves.

Thordaddy (You Carbunkle on the Brown Eye of Intellectual Discourse and Sadistic Flagellator of Deceased Equines)

The reason we heterosexual liberals support equal marital and social rights for homosexual people is as follows:

We heterosexuals are discriminated against because homosexual people can frotter and fondle and fornicate away without having to be legally bound to a Mother-in-law.

That's it. Pure envy. If I have be subjected to a mother-in-law as a consequence of me wanting to get my jollies with my lovely wife until death do us part, then chum, so do them gays. The lucky persons of illegitimate birth have escaped this punishment for too long. It simply ain't right. Dash their dangerously talented interior decorating capabilities directly to heck.

Date: 2006/05/09 00:13:06, Link
Author: Louis
Oh phuck it! Go on then GoP I'll bite, even though this is the attention gathering exercise of someone who is deeply deluded.

I vote for geocentrism. Please conclusively (or as conclusively as is possible) demonstrate that the sun moves around the earth.


(P.S. Everyone else please place your bets on "anywhere can be the centre" and "relativity means that defining a specific reference frame is arbitrary" now. I'll give 4 to 7 on appeal to uncertainty/limits of observation and a cool 10:3 on the number of bible quotes going above 10.)

Date: 2006/05/17 00:56:14, Link
Author: Louis

1. You ain't taking over. Wishful thinking on your part is not evidence.

2. A measly baptist seminary? Oh please. Get serious.

3. Reality cannot be bargained with or wished away. The evidence is in, has been for some time, and will simply never go away. Just because you don't know about it, or don't like it, it doesn't mean that evolution never happened.

4. The majority of people who identify as christian world wide disagree with you. Perhaps you should ask why. Evolutionary biology and science are not your enemies. You have been led astray. Acquire a more modern and mature faith.


Date: 2006/05/24 11:05:17, Link
Author: Louis
Yes, extreme religious indoctrination (and AFDave's antics) are child abuse. Yes, they are a more obvious and pernicious form of abuse than "normal" parenting (quotes absolutely intended).

The problem isn't what is child abuse, the problem is what isn't? As Phillip Larkin said in "This Be The Verse":

"They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
 They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
 And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
 By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
 And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
 It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
 And don't have any kids yourself."

Now don't take me the wrong way (heaven forfend!;) I am not defending cultism/fundy bullsh1t of the AFDave variety, but I see a problem with the conveniently easy stereotyping of a extremely religious upbringing as child abuse. It has parallels with the vehement atheist's occasional sweeping generalisation of religious belief as a mental illness. (I am an atheist, and vehement, but I don't like to make catagory errors of the "all X is Y" type)

Part (and only PART) of the definition and diagnosis of child abuse (as indeed certain mental illnesses such as delusion) rests on what is perceived by the child to be "normal". (By the way, if Thordiddly reads this, this is precisely why we need to legalise gay marriage, let gay people adopt, and treat different people as equally as possible). A child raised to be a devout baptist in a community of devout baptists will feel and appear "normal" in that social group. To all intents and purposes.

Obviously this is all WAY more complex than can be given in this glib and inexpert treatment I am attempting, my only intention is to raise this one caveat: be careful how we define these things as child abuse.

As I said at the start, yes I consider these things to be child abuse. Certainly from any rational perspective, or any perspective in which one views the child as being capable of functioning in a more diverse social environment, religious indoctrination of this child deliberately stunts their ability to think and interact.

The caveat I raise is that, to a greater or lesser extent, ALL education does this. My background and education has forever (barring brain injury) prevented me from becoming a fundamentalist religious person. I am sure AFDave (or someome very much like him) considers that a legacy of my horrid abusive upbringing removed from the light of his personal sky pixie. The one saving grace I have, which saves me from slipping headlong into ridiculous cultural relativism, is that my ideas can be tested independantly of me, and found to be applicable in the natural world. My ideas are not contrary to observed reality.

So in summation, yes I think we can say that by any modern norm or rational perspective, that the indoctrination of children in extremist religion is at least tantamount to child abuse. However, we should bear social context in mind, and hope that the state is sufficiently well run (ha!;) to provide a state education system which challenges these extreme religions by exposing children to more diverse ideas.


Date: 2006/05/24 22:39:28, Link
Author: Louis
Hi Sir TJ,

Perhaps I didn't communicate what I wanted correctly. If so, my bad.

I absolutely agree with everything in your original posts, and I certainly agree that an extreme fundy upbringing is at least tanatmount to child abuse.

The caveat I was raising was that (as you mentioned with Dawkins' comments on religion as a mental illness etc) is that there is some degree of environment to be considered. Like you say, that degree, and the degree of abuse, is difficult to determine. Legally we must draw a line somewhere, scientifically it is nigh on impossible to do so.

Beervolcano brings up a good point, coercion. So here's my tentative proposal, see what you think of it, should the following aspects be present I reckon it's abuse:

1. The parental opinion/worldview is being forced onto the child in a strongly coercive manner (threats of #### or similar etc). There are adverse consequences for not adhering, or appearing to adhere to, the "party line".
2. The opinion/worldview is demonstrably at odds with observed reality.
3. Dogmatically holding to this recieved opinion/worldview could hinder social or professional progress in more diverse social and professional environments. (think Fred Phelps type homophobia in a modern multinational corporation etc).

How does that grab you?

I reckon that an extreme fundy upbringing fills those criteria nicely.



Date: 2006/05/28 00:51:04, Link
Author: Louis
Oh phlying phasmatoids of phuckwhittery is ThudBumchum still going with his standard garden fertiliser produced by male ruminents?

You guys have patience I can only dream of. I couldn't deal with 42 pages of "no, supporting gay marriage does not mean we hate heterosexual marriage and think that people should be able to marry their twin underage piglets. Buy a clue."

Oh and just to stir the pot some more, ThickDimwit, I think that polyamourous marriages should be allowed. I also think that ANY marriage that two or more human adults able to give rational and reasoned consent to and can imagine, should be legally available, supported and tolerated.

If two homosexual brothers want to marry and have no chance of producing offspring, let 'em do it.

If my wife and I want to add a mutual female friend with large gazungas and a casual attitude to nudity and bisexual exploits to our already wonderful marriage, let us do it. (Oh PLEASE let us do it. OUCH! Sorry dear!;)

If a commune of 30 mixed race homosexual men want to marry in a satanic ritual and nail each other's penises to planks of wood whilst chanting "I hate straight people!" for the rest of their lives, let 'em do it.

Get it? ANY sexual/marital/whatever relationship that two or more human adults who are capable of giving reasoned consent to should be legally allowable.

There are a few caveats:

1. No children (too young, deemed unfit to give reasoned consent)
2. No people with severe mental handicaps being allowed to enter legal, marital relationships without strenuous checking (making sure that the individual can and does give consent, a function of this person's healthcare supervision. This intends to prevent abuse)
3. No animals (deemed unfit to give reasoned consent)
4. No incestuous heterosexual marriages that have the possibility of producing biological offspring should be allowed. As is the case now, first cousins can marry, but with medical screening.

So TwatBigot, for me the issue is one of consent. No matter how "icky" or repusive I find the acts alluded to above, let 'em get on with it. If the human adult in question is capable to give reasoned consent, let 'em do it. Why should my sexual kinks and desires be legally preferred to George Michael's, given the above caveats?

Oh and I speak only for myself on this one. Not evolutionary biologists, or liberals, or even English people. Just me.

Date: 2006/06/08 04:51:33, Link
Author: Louis
Yes I agree. Torqemada and his pals were a real bunch of evolutionists....mmmm.....uh huh....oh yeah....gimme more of that old time horseshyte GOP.....mmmm it sure tastes good don't it?

Oh wait, are they not TRUE christians? Can I here Hamish galloping up the drive?

Make with the geocentrism and stop the sideline bollocks please. I am chuckling away watching you abuse Mathematica (and I'm not even a mathematician) and pretend that vague references to quantised red shift imply that we are at the centre of concentric circles of expansion. Oh please. Two words:





P.S. Has anyone else seen Animal House? "Your Delta Tau Chi name is......Flounder!;), if that ain't appropriate in every way for GOP, I'll be a monkey's uncle!

Date: 2006/06/19 07:26:24, Link
Author: Louis
Hi F2 Rilke,

First: Congratulations. I know exactly how hard it is, I still twitch when I remember my own!

Biochem PhD? Cell transport and possibly signalling? I'm not a biochemist (I'm a synthetic organic chemist) but the title of your thesis reminds me of my wife's PhD a little, which was on cell signalling and transport related to glucose transporters (specifically GLUT4).

Second: You don't feel like partying after your viva voce (a defense over here in the UK), you feel like sleeping. A few days after mine it had finally sunk it that it was over. The thesis written, the DR in front of the name, maybe a few corrections to do if you were unlucky, but essentially that's it.

I didn't want to party until about two weeks later when I had nothing (well nothing OFFICIAL!;) to do at the weekends and nights and I could just kick back like I did before Phd. The like Ichthyic mentioned, the weight being removed from your shoulders takes a while to sink in (to mix my metaphors horribly). I found it was a MASSIVE let down.

I had expected this big relief, an urge to take vast quantities of drugs, drink far too much alcohol and have sex with anything that moves or doesn't, you know basically the things you deny yourself whilst you have to be in lab at 3am on a Sunday. But strangely, those desires were there like normal! No excessive hedonism ensued at all. So when I got out of gaol....

But seriously, it's such a disappointing change in your life, you expect it to be so big and it just isn't.

Still, I recommend that you force yourself to go to wild all night parties and behave abominably. You'll get the hang of it after a while.

Trust me, I'm a doctor! ;-)

Date: 2006/06/19 07:37:12, Link
Author: Louis
I have been dealing with another similar chap to Dave on a different forum.

The level of doublethink is outstanding, the intellectual dishonesty is staggering.

What I really love is the persecution complex and paranoia however. These guys already feel persecuted before anyone dares to correct their asinine nonsense. It's a weird combination, they assume their faith and specific claims make them superior to everyone and yet at the same time they feel persecuted by everyone.

And the L word (liar) really upsets them. If they tell umpteen lies and ANYONE has the gosh darned temerity to actually call them on just one of them, they whine like a cut cat in a barrell of brine. They play every card they can "I've been insulted" "All you guys can do is insult" etc. It's just another red herring to distract from the incredibly observable fact that they have not even the beginnings of the ability to refute or rebut just one of the points made against their claims.

The psychopathology is all too clear. The minute these guys start trying to base their extremely dubious faith based claims on "evidence" by effectively ignoring anything they don't like, you can read their minds. They doubt their specific faith, they know that it's nonsense and they sure as heck aren't going to let go of the thing so they shout louder and lie more.


Date: 2006/06/19 08:03:30, Link
Author: Louis
I LOVE the bit about hybrid orbitals. A subject close to my heart as it were.

Now Ghost, please tell us how the quantised planetary orbits in your model combine to form hybrid orbitals and why they do this?

Do you know how and why atomic orbitals hybridise? I ask because it certainly isn't contained in your maths earlier in this thread. I'm no mathematician and I can tell that much (Hint: pick up a copy of Linus Pauling's book on the matter and read it).

Do you even know why the atomic orbitals have the "shapes" they do? After all it's a really poor idea to refer to them as orbitals in the same sense as planetary orbitals because the electron doesn't "orbit" the nucleus in anything like an analogous way. Do you know what an electronic orbital actually describes Ghost? (Hint: it's not the motion of an electron about a nucleus).

Also hybrid orbitals are not intermediate energy levels on some "route" between the energy levels of s, p d or f orbitals, they are atomic orbitals in their own right. There is a reason certain atoms have hybrid orbitals Ghost, do you know what that is?

I'll help you along the way, here's a hint or three: Pauli, VSEPRT and LCAO for bonding. If your planetary orbits are analogous to electronic orbits about atoms in their quantisation, then please explain why we don't see an interplanetary bonding between different solar systems in an analogous manner to molecular orbitals.

Also what force keeps electrons close to the nucleus and what is the strength of that force relative to the force that keeps planets orbiting stars (or vice versa in the case of your "model" [for "model" in this case read half assed googletrawled bullshit done by somebody with clearly no understanding of the subjects they are mucking with])

On a seperate note Ghost I do wonder about you. You have an apparent familiarity with the information in certain scientific fields (either that or you are the best google scholar I have ever encountered). You appear intelligent, and yet you spout utter nonsense. Are you a college drop out? Did you in fact graduate with a science degree? Are you a very fucked up student at a university somewhere whipping out terms and ideas as you encounter them in your education. I'm curious.

Date: 2006/06/20 02:19:43, Link
Author: Louis

As I suspected. Thanks very much. I'll leave the other gents and ladies to comment on your astronomy etc, I'll comment on the hideous misunderstanding and misuse of basic chemistry.

Ghost of Paley said:

Picture a solar system within concentric crystalline spheres of differential thickness. The earth resides in the geometric center of the smallest shell, which surrounds the entire solar system. Space, instead of being a rough approximation of a vacuum, exists as a crystalline aether which "holds" the different planets within subshells. As the planets and sun move about each other and the Earth, hybrid orbitals are formed that describe the probability density of the planets's locations. Since the hybrid orbitals are linear combinations of each planet's orbit, the density curve smears out, creating tunnels that link objects together, similar to chemical bonding.

First among many glaring problems is you are trying to use aspects of chemical bonding (molecular orbitals, i.e. electrons "shared between" atoms) to describe the properties of elctrons "in" an atom, i.e. hybridisation of atomic orbitals. It's exceedingly clear to anyone with a 1st year undergrad (in the UK as least) understanding of atomic structure and bonding. LCAO refers (in the specific case of bonding you mentioned) to MOLECULAR orbitals, NOT atomic orbitals. Also you didn't answer my question about the "shape" of your orbitals. For example, if the orbits of your "electron-planet-suns" are in a plane about the earth (or any nucleus), how does this tally with VSEPRT? How do the occasional alignments of the planets as viewed from earth,work? After all, if their orbits are analogous to the quantum behaviour of electrons around an atom, they should repel, not just due to their "charge" but due to their quantum mechanical state. Pauli exlcusion principle.

Also if you are talking about these "hybrid orbits" of yours being related to chemical bonding (which as I said is bullshit, hybrid orbitals are atomic orbitals, bonds are molecular orbitals) where are the corresponding antibonding orbitals? Using you bonding analogy if a large object (comet/planetoid etc)  enters the corresponding analogue of an antibonding orbit the corresponding  "bonding" "tunnel" orbit you claim that link objects together would break. You do know that population of an antibonding molecular orbital with an electron weakens the corresponding bonding molecular orbital right? No, didn't think so. I guess you also "forgot" that if you combine two orbitals you get two orbitals, so hybriding 1 s orbital and 1 p orbital gets you 2 sp orbitals of the same "shape" (i.e. electron density). Please show how your hybrid orbitals have multiple identical "shapes", i.e. "planet/sun densities", because your model explicitly relies on such great perturbations of the paths/orbits of extraterrestrial objects that no two of them are even remotely alike.

Another problem is the scales you are talking about. Atomic orbitals are not the same "size" as molecular orbitals, for your bonding analogy to be even remotely correct you are talking about forming chemical bonds WITHIN an atom, not BETWEEN atoms. That should make you sit up and think "oh wait, I am talking out of my arse!". The scales are very different, the orbital "shapes" are very different, and the strength of the forces involved are very different. By the way, as an aside, how close is the nearest extrasolar solar system? Both in your model and in the real world? I can make you an exceedingly large bet it is NOTHING like the same proportional distance as a chemical bond or atomic orbital is from the nuclei/nucleus. Also the strength of gravity is nothing like the electroweak force, and you DO know that the properties of the AOs/MOs are in part related to that strength right? Hmm thought not. Like I said before, where are the bonds between atoms (i.e. other solar systems in your model)?

Another claim that I want to deal with is related to the "solar system as atom" claim. First, the orbitals of the sun and planets are, you claim, arranged in concentric circles about the earth, making earth the analogue of the nucleus and the orbiting bodies electrons. As you quite correctly googled from somewhere (because you clearly don't understand it) an electronic orbit is a solution of the wavefunction of an electron that predicts to ~95% probability where the electron "is" in relation to the atom. In bonding and spectroscopic terms it is better to consider the electron as being smeared across this ~95% probability volume. The electrons around a nucleus are anything but concentric spheres, unless you are dealing with simple s orbitals, and since you are talking about hybrids, s orbitals they ain't. They are centred on the nucleus, but they sure as #### don't resemble anything like the shape of say the orbit of Venus as viewed from the earth which is ANYTHING but centred on the earth.

The behaviour of the planets orbiting in fixed concentric shells around the earth doesn't in any way look like any atomic hybrid orbital. Also if these are orbitals like atomic orbitals how come we don't observe things like electron capture? Handwaving about "information energy" and "macro neutrinos" is pulling fancy words out of your arse when you clearly don't understand even these basic concepts.

You claim "the density curve smears out" for these electronlike stellar objects, which let's be blunt is total bullshit. Firstly, why only one orbiting object per orbital? Are we in the singlet or triplet state? Is the solar system paramagnetic? If the solar system is an atom then it's very like fluorine (9 electrons etc), fluorine's pretty reactive precisely because of the quantum mechanics underlying it's electronic structure, are we perhaps bonded to a different solar system elsewhere? Like I  asked, if solar systems are analogous to atoms, then where are the molecular orbitals, the chemical bonds? Bonds BETWEEN objects orbiting the earth in the same solar system don't work, and you'll have to demonstrate evidence for bonds between solar systems because they are wildly different in their behaviour and their size.

Another property of atomic orbitals, especially in the case you are claiming with your "hybrids" is the unique spectroscopy. What we see when we  observe extraterrestrial objects is VERY different from what we observe when we look at atoms/molecules. This is directly due to their quantum properties. As Eric has been trying to tell you, the wavefunction for a planet is vastly narrower than that of an electron. Your "model" (read half-assed obfuscatory bullshit) fails to deal with decoherence. Hybrid orbitals are a distinctly quantum phenomenon, as with any orbital it is more accurate to consider the electron as being smeared out over the orbital as opposed to buzzing about within it. This is directly contradictory to what we observe with macroscopic bodies. You seem to think the orbit is a seperate entity to the electron, this is not the case the orbit is a description of a solution of the wavefunction for the electron at a specific energy. By the way, we also don't observe quantised orbits for extraterrestrial objects. A comet hitting Venus doesn't promote Venus from the 1s to the 2s orbital (or anything like it) nor does a spaceship leaving the moon demote it from 2s to 1s etc. You could try to claim that there was a change in the vibrational/rotational/translational energy of the orbit in an analogous manner to spectroscopic analysis of atoms/molecules but again, we don't observe these to be quantised in the extraterrestrial enviroment, we do in atoms/molecules. And again the properties are very distinct. The calculable (and detectedbale) wavefunctions of these quantum states are precisely what we observe on the atomic scale, and precisely what we do not observe on the macroscopic scale.

Also another problem is tunneling. Take an ammonia molecule, 3 hydrogens around a nitrogen. (we should see these bonds of yours remember, you are the one making analogies with bonds and atoms). You are proposing that one solar system quantum mechanically tunnels through another solar system, that, say, a solar system in Andromeda should suddenly appear on the opposite side of the sky without appearing to pass through the intervening space. Again we don't observe this. The invertion about a nitrogen atom in ammonia is so fast it is'nt observable on the NMR timescale, but larger groups on the nitrogen slow that inversion down sufficiently that we can see it on the NMR timescale (~milli-microseconds, even seconds in some cases). Again, when we look away from earth we don't see the heavier solar systems (other atoms in your model) flipping from one side of us to the other on the millisecond timescale (or any time scale up to petasecond and down to femtosecond, remember we have the light from huge distances away to tell us about huge timescales and the spectroscopic analyses of that light to tell us the tiny timescales). Your model fails to account for these apparent distances and times.

OK I'm bored now. Tearing a hole in your total lack of understanding of simple chemistry and your misuse of it in astrophysics was fun, but I'm done for the moment. Dare I say more later?


Date: 2006/06/20 03:26:55, Link
Author: Louis
I just wanna know one thing from YEC Davey.

If this here world is only ~6000 years old, and that there flood were only about ~4000 years ago, and we know roughly how many of each "kind" were on the boat (from that there Baaahble), how fast did each "kind" have to evolve to give us all the different species we have now?

I mean let's take "dog kind", are hyenas dogs? What about jackals? What about Tasmanian devils or thylacines? Foxes? Wolves? I mean some of these beasties is quite different Davey my boy, just how fast did they evolve from "dog kind" momma and poppa?

What about bears too? Is a panda part of the chain o'kiddies from "bear kind" momma and poppa? What about grizzlies, koalas and polars?

Just how many dang animals were on that arky arky Dave? How many different species today make up a "kind" Davey? And heck, just what IS a "kind" anyway?



Date: 2006/06/20 08:20:02, Link
Author: Louis

First, an apology, the Pauli exclusion principle bit was part of another sentence I never finished, note full stop. My bad, should have self edited, obviously didn't. Glaring cock up on my part.

Second, you are right I should have bulleted it, but I typed it off the cuff at work in a few minutes of my lucnch break, just like I'm typing this now while something is bubbling away in my fume hood. Some of us have to do real science as opposed to making shit up (based on things we clearly don't understand) to support the inane witterings of bronze age shepards as being weally weally twue because we can't deal with a literal reading of our favourite bedtime fairy tale book being bullshit. A Powerpoint presentation this won't be!

Apart from that:

Absolutely. Hybrid orbitals, sigma and pi bonds, and bonding and antibonding orbitals all comprise subcategories of molecular bonds. Molecular bonds form between atoms, so why use these terms for bonds within atoms?
Two reasons.
First, visual aids help the learner navigate the cold waters of mathematical abstraction. Planetary interactions may differ from chemical bonds, but they inhabit a fundamentally quantum world, so it's best to use the language of quantum mechanics, even if the correspondence is imperfect.

No, hybrid orbitals are explicitly NOT molecular orbitals, they are combinations of atomic orbitals. Sigma and pi orbitals are molecular orbitals, an sp3 orbital (for example) is an atomic orbital. Again you are clearly repeating concepts you are reading from Google/a book, that you don't understand. You were pretty clear about your choice of hybrid orbitals and "bonding orbitals in "atoms"" as descriptions of the behaviour of extraterrestrial orbits. I call shennanigans!

Also antibonding orbitals are molecular orbitals, this is true, but they are absolutely NOT a subcatagory of molecular bonds. Shennanigans again. This is entirely the problem with you trying to use quantised orbitals as extraterrestrial orbits. In forming a molecular bond you combine two (or more) atomic orbitals to give the corresponding molecular orbitals. You don't lose orbitals, you form a bonding/antibonding orbital pair with the higher energy orbital being the antibonding orbital (another facet of the underlying quantum mechanics).

Population of the antibonding orbital by an electron weakens the chemical bond. The analogy with your interplanetary orbitals being quantised is problematic for this and many other reasons. If you are trying to say your orbits in space are quantised, and you expressedly are, then you have to deal with the quantum mechanical behaviour of such objects. Your analogy was with atomic/molecular orbitals. Although you clearly pulled this analogy out of your arse, it has consequences. In addition, simply having the orbits quantised has consequences. If you are saying that your planetary orbits are quantised gravity and that the reason things orbit the earth is because of a quantum mechanical bond between them analogous to the chemical bond, this problem still exists. Where are the corresponding anti-interplanetary-bonding orbitals, and what happens when they are populated by one of your dreamt up macroscopic quantum objects? Are there non bonding orbitals too, and if so, what do they contain?

You are also missing the point. You are claiming quantum behaviour for macroscopic objects, waaaaaaay beyond the decoherence limit, and you have not in any way demonstrated that this happens. The "solar system as atom" is an AWFUL visual aid because it bears no resemblence to what is observed. Even the Bohr atom fails to match up.

Again, look at distances, sizes and the behaviour of the atom and the subatomic particles. Look again at the quantum mechanical consequences of the relative strength of the forces. The reason atoms behave like atoms is in part due to the strength of the forces holding them together (I noticed you ignored this earlier). It's also due to the nature of the force involved, after all is gravity repulsive at short distances? No it's not. You REALLY want to think why that is. The properties of the atom that you desire to shoe horn into your model are in part direct consequences of the short distance repulsive nature of the electromagnetic force.

You are, by the way quite correct that in certain metal complexes there is trigonal pyramidal bonding (or octahedral, or square planar etc) but you are forgetting a really key point. WHY are there bonding orbitals around the "equator" of the molecule? In the case of a square planar molecule it's because there are non bonding pairs of electons along the vertical axis of the molecule that repel the bonding pairs. The same for octahedral/trigonal pyramidal but in those cases it's other bonding orbitals.

However, your little aside totally missed the point, and is either yet another mistake on your part or an attempt at misdirection. If all the orbiting objects align in a concentric plane around the earth they cannot be in orbits that are in any way analogous to atomic/molecular orbitals. The bonding and non bonding orbitals around a centrally bonded atom don't do this because they repel. You missed the point of my mentioning VSEPRT and why it demolished your "atom as solar system" analogy.

Also if you want to use things like trigonal pyramidal bonding/octahedral bonding, then you fuck up again. These are molecular bonds, using molecular otbitals NOT atomic orbitals. Also the atoms don't wander about all over the shop in the molecule they remain in their bonded positions (unless there is some kinetic vs thermodynamic issue and the molecules rearranges to give the most favourable steric/electronic arrangement). The planets orbiting earth in your model are moving, they don't retain fixed positions, and they certainly don't smear in anything like the same way an electron does in an orbital. Like Eric and I have tried to get you to do, understand WHY macroscopic objects have narrower wave functions than microscopic objects.

Oh and while we're at it, if you think for one second that your "solar system as atom" model works with trigonal pyramidal/octahedral type molecular bonding (leaving aside the molecular bonds within an atom bullshit, which I note you airily handwave away) please explain why we don't see a cosmic Jahn-Teller effect, and why interstellar objects move in a way that atoms in molecules don't (even from earth's perspective), and atoms in molecules move in a way that interstellar objects don't.

The simple point is you are trying to claim specific quantum properties of electrons/atoms/molecules to make an analogy with your quantum astronomy claims. They don't work for several reasons as I have mentioned, but a REAL biggie is the simple fact that, as you said, gravity is an important force on this scale. Bingorooni my Ghostly chum. You are dealing with garvity NOT electromagnetism. The properties of the atoms you need, even the type of hybridisation you need, are precisely due to the nature of the electromagnetic force. Gravity don't work that way or we'd have had quantum gravity worked out in the 60's.

You are trying to claim that huge objects are quantised in an analogous manner to an electron when there is no evidence they are (they don't fulfil the criteria for a Bose-Einstein condensate or a neutron star, the only "huge" macroscopic quantum objects I can think of off the top of my head). You are also trying to claim that gravity is quantised in such a way that orbitals form betwen massive extraterrestrial objects and earth ("gravity bonds" if you will) when again there is not evidence of this, and even worse the forces of electromagnetism and gravity are so different in their macroscopic and microscopic behaviour that the "solar system as atom" analogy is worthless and the behaviour of your "gravity orbits" would be wildly different from what you need to be the case.

You also seem to be missing the point that the electron doesn't sit in an orbit and whizz about, the orbit IS the electron in a very real sense. The electron is not some classical nugget that you might find in a certain region, the orbit is a description of the nature of the wavefunction for that electron at that energy. This doesn't work for planets, calculate the wavefunction of Jupiter or the sun (good luck), and you'll find out why. A fact I note you have ignored. Also, if your model is atom-like, why are the orbits of most extraterrestrial objects clearly not centred on "the nucleus" i.e. earth.

Oh yes, and if the force pulling these things about the earth is not gravity (related to mass, so it can't be) or electromagnetism (related to charge, so it can't be) and the strong and weak forces are out of the question (scale) what is it? Why hasn't it been observed at all, and why does it appear not to exist (i.e, the mostions of planets and electrons can be explained perfectly in other ways)?

So Ghost, "solar system as atom" gets an F- for success, but an A++ for obfuscatory erroneous bullshit. Even with your happy handwaving.

I am beginning to get a hunch about you Ghosty my lad. It runs roughly thus, you do a minmum of reading to hand wave a "model" up, piss about with Mathematica and whip a few equations out of a book that look a bit flash (but suspiciously aren't). You then wait for the critiques to pour in, try to handwave the objections away whilst frenetically googling your arse off about the topics you have just heard about for the first time. You then try to nit pick what others have posted (usually failing I note) hand wave some more, make some comment about stupid evos or liberals, and promise more later. The reason you don't have a model is twofold, a) what you are trying to achieve is impossible, and b) we haven't written it for you yet.


Date: 2006/06/20 09:44:40, Link
Author: Louis
No, no, no and thirty seven times no!

An antibonding orbital is explicitly NOT like a wavelike interference pattern in the sense you are trying to use it. Also the wittering nonsense about it being unlikely for planets to operate "antibonding orbitals" reveals yet again your utter lack of understanding.

How do you think chemical bonds break? If, for example, I am performing an  SN2 reaction (oversimplifed for the sake of ease) the reason the sigma bond between the electrophilic atom and the leaving group breaks is because the pair of electrons of the incoming nucleophile increases the electron density in the corresponding sigma antibonding orbital. The electrons in the sigma bond don't vanish.

It's all about relative orbital energies (as an example look up the concept of hard/soft acids and bases and Huckel MO theory for starters. We'll let you leave frontier MO theory and perturbative QM alone for a bit, you're lost at high school level). This is why it's a problem for your model. You are proposing quantised orbitals for your planets, which means your planets are quantised objects which don't occupy a pinpoint, finite space in a theoretical orbital, but for which a solution of the wavefunction IS the orbital. This is the basic problem with you Ghost, you CLEARLY don't understand the first fucking thing about QM and yet you are wittering on about it and flailing about wildly.

For your Earth-Planet bond to exist in the manner you describe you must have combined your Earth orbital (i.e. wavefunction) with your Planet orbital (i.e. wavefunction) to form an "interplanetary molecular bond". You have combined two orbitals, you must leave with two orbitals for you to even be using quantum mechanics at all! That means there is an Earth-Planet bonding orbital and an Earth-Planet antibonding orbital. The anti bonding orbital does not follow the bond between the two objects, it sticks out behind each object.

To make that clearer, in a chemical bond, the electron density is between the two nuclei being bonded. The as yet unoccupied antibonding orbital sticks out behind the nuclei (the geometry depends on what atomic orbitals went into the molecular orbitals). Putting electron density from ANOTHER atom into that antibonding orbital weakens the bonding orbital. The question you need to ask yourself is WHY.

Let's just say for the same of example that your model is based on gravity (it doesn't have to be, the nature of the force in this case is irrelevant). You are proposing a gravitational bond between earth and a planet that exists as a fucntion of the planet's and earth's wavefunctions BETWEEN the two objects (chemical/molecular bond). Say the planet is 1000000 km away (for the sake of argument) this means that you have an antibonding orbital sticking out of the back fo the planet and of earth each of which extends roughly 500000 km away. ANY massive object entering this 500000 km orbital effectively populates it with mass (you know that stuff gravity works on) which thus breaks the earth-planet bond in the process of forming a new bond between massive object and earth.

There is nothing in the antibonding orbital to prevent this by repulsion etc. It's not like in VSEPRT where occupied orbitals repel each other to give certain molecular shapes, there is nothing to prevent a suitably energetic (in this case massive) object from  entering that antibonding orbital. What you are proposing is effectively that the bond between earth and saturn is broken when venus passes behind earth. Which let's face it, we might have noticed since it happens a few times a year!

And pissing about with "suitably energetic" won't help you either. In any sufficiently large molecule (and that really ain't too large, let's just say your solar system would more than fit the bill) some of the antibonding orbitals are lower in energy than some of the bonding orbitals of different bonds (see how knowing MO theory would help you yet? It would help you to stop talking out of your arse). That means that whtever energy limit you piss about with will mean that there is a sufficiently energetic object nearby to populate an antibonding orbital and break a bond. Again, this is NOT observed in practgice and in theory utterly impossible in a gravitational system. You also seem blissfully unaware that the closer in energy the atomic orbitals that go to form a molecular orbital are, the less the difference between the antibonding and bonding orbitals.  You seem to STILL be failing to understand that the orbital is a solution of the wavefunction for an electron at a specific energy.

So chemcial bonding analogies within the solar system, or between solar systems are flawed utterly. Next if you are playing STILL with the "solar system as atom" rather than "as molecule" then like I said, why don't we see the quantum effects we would see? Why don't we see inter solar system bonding? You seem to have ignored all my questions regarding orbital degeneracy in the "solar system as atom" as well. I wonder why. Like I asked, why do we only see one planet per orbit, why do the rbits appear utterly unquantised, what is the wavefunction of jupiter to 95%, and why don't we see tunneling of jupiter thorugh earth? All of these are a consequence of quantised orbits in an ATOM, not even a molecule.

Your wittering about eigenstates is frankly comical, since you don't actually know what eigenstates are (as demonstrated by the fact you can't use them right, see above). And don't whip out a dictionary definition, I am aware of your ability to google. There is a far greater variety of orbital shapes in planetary motion than in electronic orbitals. ALso please explain why we don't see orbitals of shapes like the dz2 (dee zed squared) orbital in space? Again you are misusing terms you don't understand. To rererererereiterate, the orbital of an electron is a representation of a solution of it's wavefunction, NOT a nice big room where a pointlike electron might eb found. This is VERY different from a planetary orbit. Even staying within the solar system doesn;t save you, and it should be obvious from the above why that is.

Also, what the hairy gibbering donkey fuck has the weakness of gravity got to do with atheism. Wipe the rabid foam from your mouth Ghost and see your professional brain care speciallist for more happy pills, you have wittered yourself off so far up your own backside on this one I am surpirised you can't see daylight out of your own mouth (how's THAT for a multidimensional Calabi Yau shape?). The weakness of gravity is totally no problem for atheists any more than it is for care salesmen. Here's some money, buy a clue.

And now to your comments on subshells and shells. I nearly pissed myself laughing when I read that. First Ghost, I am not confusing any shells with any subshells (please learn some chemistry above GCSE level!;). Shells/subshells are a legacy term from 19th century spectroscopy. The following paragraph has to be one of the most baroque pieces of asinie bullshit I have EVER encountered:

Why are you confusing shells with subshells? I realise the mathematical "shape" of the s subshell is a sphere, the p is a dumbell, etc. But the crystalline spheres are energy levels. So the "rings" (notice the quotation marks) correspond to the principal quantum numbers, not the Azimuthal numbers. And since the quantum shifts are not in integer multiples, the classical equations don't apply, and the Planck scale is therefore irrelevant. Oh, that, and the fact that the Planck constant is derived from the different momenta in the molecular world. If you change the mass, you change the momentum. Change the momentum, and the constant changes. And there goes your Planck length, which, by the way, is also sensitive to the speed of light. But you knew this already.

I reproduce it because I am AGHAST at the levels of sheer nonsense it shows. Basically I can tell what you have done, you have gone to wikipedia/google and read something you think is a problem, but ain't. I'll try to disentangle your bullshit.

You are claiming your concentric spheres are represented by the principle quantum number. The paragraph of mine you quote is dealing with your claims about hybridisation, NOT energy levels. It ain't me that's confused. The shape of your orbitals is described by the azimuthal number, and it's the shape of those orbitals that we were discussing. What is the shape of your earth-planet orbital? If it's analogous to an s orbital (s being the azimuthal number describing orbital shape) and is spherical and centered on earth then why, for example does the orbit of venus NOT appear a) centred on earth, b) spherical. After all you are referring to them as "crystalline spheres". It doesn't yet matter that sphere 1 is principle QN 1 (or whatever) because you haven't gotten past orbital SYMMETRY yet, leave energy alone, you're making enough of an arse of yourself with topology.

This ALL refers back to you confusing solar system as atom and solar system as molecule. If planets/suns whizzing about an earthy nucleus as analogues of electrons why don't they appear to have orbitals which centre on earth? (and that's only the beginnings of the problems as I demonstrated above). How are the planets/suns held in their orbits around earth?

If they are like chemical bonds, then we've got the problems I have already mentioned several times (to watch you ignore or hand wave them). If they are like electrons within an atoms then what keeps them there? If you claim it's your crystalline ether which you also claim are energy levels (which I laughed good and hard at) in your solar system atom then why don;t we see venus getting promoted to jupiter on absorbing a quantum of Ghosty's Patented Mystical Quantum Force. Why don;t we see inter solar system bonding where saturn races off to form a "saturn-extrasolar object" bond with the appropriate "saturn/extrasolar" density between the earth and whatever nucleus (oops can't have OTHER nuclei now can we Paley, warning GLARING hole alert) the extrasolar object was whizzing about.

If your solar system as atom is really universe as atom, then energy levels aren't your problem yet, orbital geometry is. Why do we see comets and meteors Paley? What is a small comet if a large planet is an "electron"? What happens when chunks of rock fall from the sky? And don't say electron capture because you should know that that analogy doesn't work. Handwaves about macro neutrinos and information energy don't cut it. Why? Let's play with info energy, how is the info energy defined, why does a meteor have as much as the moon?

As for your Plank stuff, it is cobbled together concepts that you have obviously pulled out of the ever productive Paley arse yet again. Man that's a versatile orifice you possess! Not only do you talk through it, you fit in it, and you pull any magic beans you like out of it.

Oh fuck it, I'm bored demolishing dreamt up bullshit from the terminally deluded.


Date: 2006/06/20 22:38:40, Link
Author: Louis
Well lads, I'm enjoying the fact that as a chemist I actually have something to contribute over and above the average level I could contribute on other matters that are handled before I can get to them.

Now if we start talking about abiogenesis, self replicating molecules and the origins of chirality I might have to nip off and change my pants due to the excitement!




Date: 2006/06/20 23:21:08, Link
Author: Louis
(Apologies for minor derailment)


It REALLY isn't about bashing, or "we are in possession of the TRUTH", or anything remotely like it.

If 50% of the population of the USA believe that evolutionary biology is a crock then on the issue of the veracity of evolutionary biology yes indeed 50% of the population of the USA are wrong. So what? Is everybody in the USA suddenly a research scientist? Why should people understand something they are continually lied to about and in an education system where teachers hand are tied behind ther backs? It isn't US patronising people, it's YOU. We don't EXPECT everyone to be right about everything all the time. We don't EXPECT everyone to be interested in or to understand the details of complex science. We wouldn't dare patronise people like that. However we DO expect people who wish to comment on science to have the barest modicum of intellectual honesty and ability and to actually know what they are talking about. No too much to ask is it?

Last time I looked, reality wasn't democratic. If it were why don't we repeal the law of gravity? How about the laws of thermodynamics? That would make my job as a synthetic organic chemist easier, after all I wouldn't have to worry about kinetic vs thermodynamic effects in my reactions, I could just get everyone in the lab to vote on the outcome of the reaction being what I want it to be. I could go home early!

But seriously, we are all only human. To be confronted day in day out by people who very aggressively and arrogantly claim all modern science is bullshit, without actually having any basis for knowing whether or not it is in fact bullshit, occasionally gets a bit wearing. Many of the people on this forum are, or have been, academics and/or teachers. One of their jobs (out of the many) is to teach and train the next generation of scientists. We positively WANT to impart information and methodology to hungry students. That's not only part of our jobs, but entirely analogously to parents bringing up kids, a real pleasure when one of our students goes off and discovers something valuable for themselves.

Perhaps what you don't understand about science is that no one really cares WHAT the answer is, they just care HOW you got the answer and that the answer is reliable and reproducible.

You bring up bashing members of religions. Science can be repeated and learnt by ANYONE, in that sense it is 100% egalitarian and democratic. Science and the findings of science are the same for a Hindu as they are for a Muslim, a man or a woman, a paralympian or an olympian, a homosexual or a heterosexual. The inanities of YEC or IDC or homeopathy or any cargo cult/pseudoscientific bunkum are only "reproducible" (and aren't even that to be blunt) to people with a prior commitement, a belief, in these things. How do I know? Because I can demonstrate this is the case unambiguously.

You are sketpical about evolutionary biology? Great! We ALL should be skeptical about everything. What we SHOULDN'T be is skeptical because of some preconcieved notion or belief. We should also be very humble and realise that our personal disbelief is not a sufficient basis for the claim "X is untrue", whatever X might be. We need rational skepticism, not irrational kneejerk gainsaying skepticism.

I have read your thread, and a few other things you have posted and I am sorry to say you were dealt with very nicely to start with. The point that people are making is that on an internet forum things cannot all be done for you, you are going to have to put yourself in the way of the evidence by your own efforts. People can summarise that evidence for you, point you towards it (and they have) but they can't MAKE you read/examine/think about it. YOU have to do that.

What frustrates people is that it is very, very clear you have not and are not doing that. This is frustrating for a number of reasons, not the least because you are clearly an intelligent guy. We hate to see a good mind go to waste! Repetition of the same worn out nonsense is another frustration. Claims that people are adhering to some sort of dogma when they DEMONSTRABLY aren't is extremely irritating because you are effectively questioning people's integrity with no basis in fact for doing so. By the way, the reason so many of us question the integrity of certain YECs/IDCs is precisely because it can be DEMONSTRATED that they have been dishonest/lacking in intellectual intergrity etc. It's what you can demonstrate that counts, not what you believe.

So take the suggestions of people like Wes, who really do know what they are talking about on this issue, and read around the subject more than you clearly have. You might even be pleasantly surprised.



Date: 2006/06/21 01:56:22, Link
Author: Louis
....Made up by atheist scientists so they don't have to feel guilty after they've gone to a nudie show and felt up the strippers.

Funny you should mention that, but just a couple of weekends ago I was on a stag weekend (buck's party in the US and Oz?) in London with my friends (I'm the best man, I had to organise it AND turn up. Of course against my wishes. Honest).

After the usual alcoholic libations, go-karting, embarassing the groom to be etc we all went into a very high class nudie bar which had some nudie shows, one of which involved two ladies who appeared to be very confused. I think they had lost something and were looking for it in each other's naughty wee wee regions. I couldn't be certain. Anyway, my friend said he'd explain it to me with the aid of some educational videos and documentaries he had at home. Which was nice of him.

As an atheist scientist* I didn't feel guilty at all, not just because I didn't touch the strippers (they don't let you, and have several very large gentleman nearby to make sure you don't even look at them funny. Perfectly reasonable) but because:

a) My wife had given me permission (very useful).

b) I felt exceedingly happy to be exploited by these charming ladies, some of whom were apparently paying their way through university by taking donations from the gentlemen present to give lessons in comparative anatomy (strictly visual only).

c) I also discovered by talking to these charming ladies, in a polite and earnest fashion, that they make in the region of £2000-£3000 net per week, which as a fully qualified PhD scientist with nearly 7 years industrial experience I make net per month (here in the UK at least, why else do you think I want to emigrate to the US? More churches?). And while I work 50 to 80 hour weeks for the world's premier pharma company doing research that saves them tens of millions of pounds and saves people's lives across the world, these lovely young ladies get to waggle their mammary glands in some chap's face and get £20 for the priviledge.**

But luckily I'm not bitter!***


* I also kick puppies, shoot babies and rape nuns, but I don't like to brag.

** I do wish I was a good looking woman on these occasions, but the feeling passes after I have been for a good lie down.

*** I'm actually not, so of those girls looked uncomfortably cold. They should have put a vest on I reckon. Oh yes, and they don't get to play with multimillion pound chemistry sets!

Do I need to point out which sections of this are humourous? I realise we have creationists, and worse, Americans in the readership! ;)

Date: 2006/06/21 06:40:08, Link
Author: Louis

1) I was making a joke intended for people capable of rational thought and with a sense of humour. You have demonstrated that you do not belong to this group of people.

2) I actually have/had no overwhelming desire to actually touch the ladies at Tottenham Court Road's Spearmint Rhino (Hi Carina!;)). This was also part of the joke.

3) Before you give an irrelevant, erroneous and utterly worthless lecture on morals to anyone, cease and desist from being an intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt, lying hypocrite with reasoning capabilities that would be shown up by a house plant and then people might pay attention

4) Do fuck off, there's a good chap.

Any part of that unclear? I can spell the longer words for you if you require it.


Date: 2006/06/21 06:52:29, Link
Author: Louis

I also want ask Dave about Ducks and Fish. Are Ducks and Fish evil, Dave?

After all if the purpose of the flood was to eradicate evil etc blah blah waffle rhubarb, then surely ducks and fish were kind of exempt from the problems caused by, well what amounts to nothing other than a large amount of water.

I mean if the whole planet was flooded wouldn't some of the surface debris, ya know, kind of float up and form "log jam" type floating islands where ducks could rest after a hard day's evil. And the fish would barely have noticed (apart from that whole salinity problem you've yet to address. Look out! Exploding fish! But we won't worry about that Davey, after all the facts don't bother you now do they? Water off a duck's back so to speak, eh?).

I reckon ducks are evil and fish are in cahoots with them. It's a duck/fish/satan/atheisticerised liberal scientista conspiracy isn't it Dave. That's why crispy duck tastes so good and medics always tell you that fish is good for you. They're trying to get you to be a little bit more satanic by eating fish and duck. It's all so clear, I don't know why I didn't see it before!

And water, what about water? After all we knew that you shouldn't drink water because fish fuck in it, but this could be part of the evil conspiracy. I mean, it's scientists (read evil baby kicking atheists) who developed all that water treatment chemistry, they MUST by lying so we drink water with fish semen in it, which makes as even more satanic. Oh woe is me!

That's why Sir ToeJam has chosen marine biology, he is eviiiillll! And his knew logo is a fish type mythical thingy, PROOF!

Wow Dave, it's an exciting world you live in.


Date: 2006/06/21 07:23:12, Link
Author: Louis
IAP statement (BBC website)

I know the rest of us realise that there is something outside Kentucky but there are some who don't appear to. (Dave, GOP, I'm looking at you).


Oh and yes, I know all about argumentum ad populum, I'm not making that argument. All I am saying is that it's possible that you creationist bods are wrong. After all that's one #### of an extensive and diverse conspiracy. I bet some of them aren't even atheists!


P.S. The title refers to an old British TV add for "Whiskas" cat food: "8 out of 10 owners said their cats preferred it". Just to clarify.

Date: 2006/06/21 07:29:20, Link
Author: Louis
No Davey,

My thinking is unclouded, I am mocking you. Please learn the difference.


Date: 2006/06/21 08:39:01, Link
Author: Louis

For now, allow me to respond to your complaint about my treatment of antibonding orbitals. You object to my description of curled-up antibonding orbitals, saying that they nust exist distinct from bonding orbitals, and the antibonding orbitals exert a repulsive force on the bond.

Ern nope. Populating antibonding orbitals does not exert a repulsive force on the bonding orbitals. I said nothing of the kind. Yet again your lack of comprehension springs to the fore. And yet again with your Kondo effect nonsense as with previous nonsense, I call shennignans, which I'll get to in a minute.

To try to make this abundantly clear, take my example of the SN2 reaction again. The sigma bond between the leaving group and the electrophilic atom is comprised of two atomic orbitals, since you have combined two orbitals (remembering that an orbital is merely a solution of the electron's wavefunction, something you have continually failed to notice) you must end up with two orbitals. Remember we are dealing with bonding orbitals in molecules here (which is what you claimed was analogous to your solar system), not the bulk properties of metals which is a very different beast.

You have a bonding orbital (sigma in this case) between the two nuclei of the atoms bonded, pointing away from the bond you have the sigma antibonding orbital, which since the electrons have gone into the bond is empty. In an SN2 reaction a nucleophile approachs the electrophilic atom from the opposite side of the leaving group. For the sake of simplicity in this case the nucleophile has two electrons in an anion or in a lone pair, which one doesn't matter. The nucleophile is thus providing BOTH electrons required for the bond. The lone pair orbital (or anion orbital) overlaps with the corresponding sigma antibonding orbital of the electrophilic atom-leaving group sigma bond, populating that antibonding orbital and forming a new sigma bonding orbital (i.e. betwen the lone pair of the incoming nucleophile, and the electrophilic atom). This means the leaving group- electrophilic atom is broken, the leaving group departs with the pair of electrons from that bond (again as a lone pair or as an anion, depending on the specifics of the chemistry).

You could consider that the atomic orbital on the electrophilic atom that went into the atom-leaving group sigma bond, is now the sigma antibonding orbital (empty) of the new atom-nucleophile bond. You started with two possible states, you end with two possible states. Do you understand this yet?

Why is this relevant? Because you are mixing metaphors you clearly don't understand to propose the solar system as either an atom or a molecule, and you switch properties depending on what bullshit you think you need to dream up. You STILL haven't answered all the questions about why there are only single occupants of each solar/terrestrial orbit, and that's just ONE question.

You STILL haven't dealt with why planets and stars should be treated as analogous quantum objects to electrons etc. You STILL haven't dealt with inter solar system bonds (if solar system is atom) or the nature of the intra solar system bonds (if solar system is molecule). You are trying to confuse the issue.

Oh and yes I read your LUCA thread, no this wasn't in there and the post stays as awfully formatted as it is. If I have to wade through thelf-assed nonsense that you google up, then you can cope with my quickly bashing out a refutation and getting pissed off with you for being a dishonest prick. I don't like liars, sue me!

Kondo effect. Nice choice. Doesn't help you at all. Go to gaol, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred pounds.

The Kondo effect is due to the macroscopic properties of (most particularly) certain heavy metals. One atom, or even a few million atoms, of ooooh let's say cerium, doesn't exhibit the Kondo effect. Moles of cerium do. Also you are working at extremely low temperatures in extremely specific materials, and guess what? You're dealing with higly specialised material states like Bose-Einstein condensates and superconductors. You're also not dealing with orbital collapse in the sense of orbitals disappearing utterly from simple bonds between atoms, you are dealing with orbital collapse in the sense that in a conducting material of ~10 to the 23 atoms and more, the energu levels are so close together that it's almost meaningless to consider one specific atomic orbital as being seperate from the others.

Nice try at googling up a problem. Sorry, but no dice. Thanks for the papers though, I had to think about quantum chem that I hadn't thought about in years. Ahhh conducting bands.

Which reminds me, are there phonons  in your crystalline ether? You do know crystals exhibit unusual emergent phenomena. The Kondo effect being one of them.


Date: 2006/06/21 08:46:35, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Note that the Kondo effect is due to hybridisation, not absence, disappearance or curling up of orbitals. Forgot to mention that

Also, and I'd LOVE to see this, please explain how an antibonding orbital curls up and the bonding orbital doesn't. You STILL don't appear to understand that molecular orbitals are products of the atomic orbitals that go into making them, especially in the bonding sense you were trying to use them.

You do realise Ghosty, that whilst it's obvious you don't know what you are talking about, other people DO know what you are talking about. Graphs, equations and long words don't scare or intimidate us, we deal with them every day. Mind you, that said, I might wander down the corridor and see a friend of mine, an ex-condensed matter physicist and current materials scientist and mention your buggering of the Kondo effect to him. He likes a good laugh.

Date: 2006/06/21 08:59:07, Link
Author: Louis
P.P.S. Why is it I remember things as I click "post"?

Kondo effect, phonons, emergent phenomena in materials, Bose liquids, Bose-Einstein condensates, even just molecules imply other centres of orbit, Ghost.

For you to claim a geocentric solar system and subsequently universe, the earth must be the central point about which all orbits. If you are forming analogous bonds to molecular bonds in this solar system (solar system as molecule [hereafter SSaM]) then by your very definition and choice of analogy other solar systems must be different molecules and thus have different centres of orbit. If you are claiming the solar system as atom (hereafter SSaA) then other solar systems bust be other atoms, and again have other centres of orbit (i.e. nuclei).

This sounds like you have objects orbiting distant suns/planets and these orbital systems are in turn orbiting earth. Which means that somethings are not directly orbiting earth, they are orbiting things that are themselves orbiting earth. Sounds a lot like the situation we have now except you have shoe horned the earth into the centre, and are failing to see the ramifications of your twisted (read broken) analogies.

Date: 2006/06/21 20:43:15, Link
Author: Louis

Some bullets for you:

1. It wasn't me that made the analogy of solar system as atom/molecule, it was you. I'm telling you why that analogy doesn't work.

2. You are mixing you metaphors and borrowing concepts that you clearly don't understand. One minute your orbitals are like atomic the next like molecular the next like the combined bands in a conducting solid. These are VERY different things at VERY different scales. This is the problem I am having with your model, you pick and choose phenomena that you have googled on the basis of a few key phrases that you think are a problem for me and others when they are not. Loose paraphrases are NOT accurate rebuttals/comments. I believe some people refer to them as strawmen.

3. Read back over the posts I have made. I have been telling you for two days that population of the antibonding MO weakens the corresponding bonding MO. NOT ALL MO's JUST ITS "PARTNER". Your quote about the whole molecule being destabilised is very poorly phrased, I am curious as to where you got it from because I might write and correct them. I know what they mean because I know the relevant science. It is clear you are rabidly googling to support your "claims". Like I have explained to you several times at length, when two atomic orbitals combine to form two molecular orbitals (one bonding, one antibonding) both electrons from the atomic orbitals go into the lower energy bonding orbital. Electrons coming in from another molecule (REALLY look at that SN2 example I have given you, it's a simple illustration of what goes on on a simple atomic--->molecular level) which overlap with the antibonding orbital (i.e. populate the antibonding orbital with electron density) are used to form a new bonding molecular orbital. The formation of this bond means that the other bond has to break, each individual atom only has so many electrons to go around. This is also why your Kondo collapse example is irrelevant. Kondo collapse occurs as a consequence of the bulk properties of certain materials, like I said tiny sample of Ce don't exhibit the Kondo effect, larger samples do. It actually helps if they are impure as well but I digress.

4. Googling for concepts you clearly don't understand is not helping you Ghost. Like that article you cited (and clearly didn't read) about orbital collapse, you DO know what they are doing don't you? They are explicitly doing something very "unusual" (in terms of the atom's normal state) to the atoms they are dealing with, by sticking them "in" a certain type of "potential doube well". These are highly "unnatural" and excited atomic states that simply don't apply to ground state atoms in molecules etc. Oh and by the way, orbital collapse is yet another hybridisation. It's not the disappearence or curling up of orbitals. (Oh you haven't explained this curling up of antibonding orbitals when the corresponding bonding orbital hangs around yet, just to remind you) It's nice to see you floundering around for concepts you don't understand, but it's becoming tiring Ghost, stop it. Even an extremely intelligent person with google and Mathematica isn't going to overturn centuries of well understood science in a week (or even several months), and boy, you CLEARLY ain't extremely intelligent!

5. Just to double emphasise this mixed metaphor issue. You want the solar system to be atom-like when it suits you, molecule-like when atoms don't suit, exhibiting emergent bulk properties of some heavy conducting materials-like when atoms and molecules don't suit, and highly excited atoms in very specific and carefully controlled potential energy environments when none of the others suit. It's extremely dishonest. I am not forcing a model onto you (so please don't accuse me of that again, it's just another lie) you are making claims for your model solar system/universe that it's like an atom no wait a molecule no wait a bulk lanthanide no wait a high mass alkali earth atom in an excited state. It can't be all of them at the same time Ghosty because the properties of each are exeedingly different and based on specific phenomena that don't apply to every one of them. You make the claims, I am pointing out the consequences. You can't have it all ways. Rabidly googling for phenomena to try to handwave away objections to your extremely flawed analogies won't work, and it's a tad obvious.

6. The only context I mentioned lone pairs of electrons was in the specific example of an SN2 reaction as an explanation for breaking/making MOs and linear combinations of AOs. Nothing else. Please stop trying to misrepresent what I have said.

7. Please don't label all with the same brush, your maths was very interesting, but even I could see that it was totally inapplicable to the phenomena you were describing. And I am no mathematician by comparison to many of the people here, who also spotted (a lot faster than I did) that you were masturbating with Mathematica, and coming only air. When you produce some full on, all the team swimming in the right direction, no two headed lads, mathematical spunk/jitler/jizz/baby gravy (whatever you want to call it, and to continue an already vile metaphor), then people will sit up and take notice (briefly I predict). What you are doing now is desperately trying to unify concepts that don't belong in the same basket with irrelevant mathematical wanking and a large amount of hand waving and "more later".

7. Like I said, what you are doing is obvious. You don't have a model yet because we haven't written it for you. You plummed for "solar system as atom" because you though you wouldn't get called. When you were called on it, you hand waved about molecules. When you were called on that you hand waved about the bulk properties of certain metals, when called on that you hand waved about certain higly excited atoms. Wipe the rabid foam from your lips Ghost and try again. I'm enjoying your tour through undergrad physical chemistry that I haven't  looked at in years. It's bringing back some joyful memories. I'm one of those organic chemists that LIKES physical and inorganic chem, in fact I nearly went into physical organometallic chem (best of all worlds!;) so this is a real trip down memory lane.


Date: 2006/06/21 20:47:02, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. I've GOT to stop posting early in the morning at work and late in the evening at work, I'm repeating myself.

Which is ok as long as I don't start repeating myself.

Or repeating myself.

Date: 2006/06/21 21:16:14, Link
Author: Louis
....which we will do tomorrow.

In the Melpomenian muse (or possibly the Thalian):

{Enter MacBiologist, stage left}

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps promise all their works for the next day,
To the last detail which will destroy science;
And all our yesterdays have been spent on  
Refuting fools like them. Out, out, brief nutter!
Life's too short to educate you, but a kook
Who struts and frets his hours upon the 'net
And then is doomed to fail: we have seen your
Kind before, deluded crank, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

{Exit MacBiologist, Stage Right}

Plaudiunt Omnes.


Date: 2006/06/21 21:27:03, Link
Author: Louis
Ok apologies for the double post. The darned thing didn't show up first time.


Date: 2006/06/22 06:03:50, Link
Author: Louis
Dear Occam's Various Toiletries and Grooming Appliances,

As a slight deviation from thread relevance, I'd like to point out that what you are discussing is PRECISELY what YECs etc do.

They claim all of modern science is wrong, while (ironincally) trying to shore up their biblical babble with science. The really amusing thing is they think they can play "pick the explanation" as if that solves their problems. Look at what GoP is up to at the moment. He is playing an eternal shell game with concepts he doesn't understand but thinks support his claims (and they don't). It follows a simple pattern: 1) make bullshit claim, 2) google like crazy to find even vague, superficial support for said claim, 3) when claim is refuted, google like crazy for anything that might help you, 4) repeat something you don't understand but you think helps you.

This can go on almost indefinitely.


Date: 2006/06/22 07:52:42, Link
Author: Louis

Yeah, I'm wondering about that too. I have made vague allusions to it, but they were too subtle for Ghosty. After all, I only asked him directly about it several times.

I want to know why there is only one extraterrestrial object per orbital in Ghosty's quantum atom/molecule/f -block element conducting band/single alkali earth atom in a double well potential solar system/universe/whatever the sam heck he wants it to be at the time. After all, these are spinning quantum objects right? What about spin pairing, good stabilising energy that, your spin pairing is. Does you the power of good. What about paramagnetism, after all these extraterrestrial objects are just like electrons around a nucleus, I mean that's what Ghosty told us (and is now desperately back peddling away from so far he looks red). Lot's of single "electrons" about make your atom paramagnetic, not one of them bulk properties like ferromagnetism or the Kondo effect (not THAT made me laugh).

I predict at least level 6 weaselling, level 9 denial, and level 7 obfuscatory bullshit and argument ignoring from Ghosty sometime very soon.


P.S. Who had page 82 on the "AFDave conversion explosion all comers sweepstake"? I was too optimisitc I though it would be page 12. Remember boys and girls, Jesus loves you, which is why he wants you to sew your eyes shut, ignore the evidence he supposedly created all around you in one of his other guises, and why he wants to send you to he11 if you touch another man's pee pee. As Bill Hicks put it "Believe or Die. Thank you lord ofr all those options!".

Date: 2006/06/23 00:56:43, Link
Author: Louis

1) The comments you replied to were about GoP, not you. If you possessed the reading and mental capacities of fruit, you would know this.

2) Learn to read.

3) If 2) is too tough for you, and I suspect it is, simply learn.

4) My eyesight is fine thank you for asking.


Date: 2006/06/23 02:39:34, Link
Author: Louis


Here is the point:

Here you are:

Note that the two are not in close proximity.

I am expressedly not insulting you, I am commenting on the obvious nature of your behaviour. If I was trying to scare or intimidate you I'd show you a photo of my mother in law. As for civility, well perhaps I am being uncivil, this is true, but then civility is not just using nice language, civility (esp in a debate/discussion) is actually bothering to be honest and know something about which you are discussing. You are accomplishing neither task. I consider YOUR manifestly patronising and arrogant attitude with regards to the members and findings the entire scientific community of the last few centuries to be extremely rude. Lecture about my lack of respect etc all you like, make wonderful analogies to yourself as Ali all you like, it is simply a distraction from the basic fact that you are pulling this stuff out of your arse. I'll happily be civil when you stop posting bullshit.

As for your claim that I am anto some authorised dogma. I think you should simply fuck yourself with a rubber hose, in the words of Frank Zappa. If you presented something new and exciting that couldn't be explained I'd be overjoyed. What you are doing is posting things you THINK are problems based on a) your manifest dishonesty, b) your total lack of understanding of the subject matter, and c) the fact that you cannot read for comprehenion and are fighting strawmen made of your own misunderstandings.

Like I have said MANY times, you clearly don't understand the ramifications of your claims, which is precisely why I have questioned you. You also clearly don't understand that because something happens in one set of circumstances it doesn't necessarily happen in another very different set of circumstances.

Anyway enough soap opera, on to the fun bit.

Atoms encapsulated in fullerenes are exciting things with, indeed some less than perfectly understood attributes. First your solar system is like an atom, then it's like a molecule, then it's like a conducting band in an f-block metal, then it's like an atom in a carefully engineered excited state, then it's like an atom encapsulated in C60 (the same/similar excited state as it happens, but I digress).

I hate to say this but it couldn't be more obvious that you have googled for "orbital collapse" and totally missed the point of the paper in which the phrase is used. The 4d orbital they are discussing, doesn't collapse and disappear, it reduces in "size". Not entirely unexpected seeing as they are confining the atom in a potential well (C60). What they are doing is exciting electrons to non-ground state level and seeing what the behaviour of the orbitals is under certain circumstances.

What they mean by orbital collapse/compression is roughly "how close to the nucleus is the bulk of the electron density in that orbital". The phenomenon they describe is that in encapsulated calcium the order and size of the orbitals changes. They note the 3d changes, as does the 4s and the 5d, in it's size and energy. The surprising thing is that the 4d orbitals change MORE than would be normally expected. It's not the fact that they change at all that's at issue, it's the fact that a specific orbital changes more than it's neighbours, and does so "out of sequence". I.e the 4d orbital is affected more than expected!

This doesn't mean that the orbital has collapsed totally or gone away, it means that in certain special confined states the order in which the atomic orbitals would be filled is different, the size of those orbitals (i.e. distance from the nucleus where the bulk of the electron density is) reduces, and you guessed it, the energy of those orbitals is different. They are STILL THERE. This is important Ghosty, because you are mindfarting on this one in a laughable manner.

The problem you have Ghosty is you think this means the orbitals have curled up, gone away or disappeared, and that this solves your problems with the antiboinding molecular orbitals. You also seem to think that I have somewhere said that atomic orbitals in specially confined states don't alter. Never did Ghosty. Naughty Ghosty. What I DID say was that you couldn't magic away problems like antibonding molecular orbitals by referring to the compression of atomic orbitals in excited and confined atoms, and that if you start with two atomic orbitals when you make a bond, you end with two molecular orbitals. Read back ghosty, I've said nothing different.

A list for you:

1) the 4d orbitals in Ca are NOT molecular orbitals, they are atomic orbitals. These are very different things Ghosty.

2) Antibonding/bonding orbitals are (simply put) the result of a combination of two atomic orbitals. You can't wave away one of them because you don't like them.

3) If you put a molecule in a similar (it would have to be large) encapuslated enviroment you would see the bonding MOs AND antibonding MOs compress (i.e. bond length gets shorter). Very different Ghosty, from disappear or curl up. Also you wouldn't see the antibonding MO compress and the bonding MO not compress because they are part of the same quantum mechanical system in a way that atomic orbitals are not. They are also subject to similar compressions in a way that the atoms in your examples are not.

4) If you confine an atom its ionic and convalent radii decrease. This is what happens here, the ionic and convalent radii being directly related to the electronic structure of that atom. No big news there. The big news  is that one of the excited state orbitals changes more than would be predicted, and does so "out of sequence". (They give some reasons for this, and my guess would also be that if you confined Ca in a different way (e.g. a different fullerene) you would get a different effect, perhaps on a different orbital, or you would see no special effect. I am guessing that the specific effect observed in this case is dependant on the size of the confinement. I could be wrong, like I say it's a guess, based on the size of the confinement and the "normal" size of the orbital in question. Hmm I'll have to have a chat with someone. Shit you might actually have a use as something other than a draft excluder or ugly hat stand. I may have had an idea.....To the Bat-Literature, Robin!;)

5) The point I am making is expressedly NOT that atomic/molecular orbitals are uncompressable, but that you are mixing your analogies with no basis for doing so, and you are trying to apply concepts to things that don't work. For example, that certain atomic orbitals change size and energy when in certain specific conditions is uncontroversial. Novel and exciting, and not 100% understood, but not controversial. Understand that. You are trying to use this phenomenon in a situation to which it does not apply. An antibonding molecular orbital in a normal molecule is NOT an atomic orbital in an excited atom. You are saying "I am in a car at a speed of 100mph therefore multi storey car park buildings are at a speed of 100 mph. You are not comparing like with like. Also note AGAIN that the orbital changes radius and energy, it does not go away or curl up like you were trying to handwave away with antibonding orbitals. Also note that what you do to one orbital you do to all. The interesting thing in this case was that one orbital was done to (as it were) unequally to the others, not ENORMOUSLY so, but detectably so. Key point there Sparky.

Do you see why you are wrong? Do you see why this paper (or any of the other googled stuff you come out with) doesn't show what you think it does?

By the way, feel free to claim you have blown my claims out of the water. Anyone reading this can see you haven't, that you are tilting at strawmen of your own making, and that you clearly don't understand the first thing about which you are posting. Frankly you're beginning to smell a little pathetic. Still, it's your game, but it's just a bit embarassing you're so awful at it.

I'll give you an F--. Try much harder.


Date: 2006/06/23 02:54:15, Link
Author: Louis

(Psst, Are you watching closely, you might need to learn how to do what I am about to do.)

Oops, my bad, I assumed (quite wrongly) that you were talking about the specifics of my discussion with GoP, not the general points about YECs that I was making. This was entirely my mistake, I fucked up, I screwed the pooch, I made the booboo. I was reading with my brain in a different gear to what I was reading. Don't know how I managed it, what a maroon etc. Bad idea this posting when annoyed about an entirely different matter lark. I take it all back, you CAN read on occasion. I apologise without reservation.

(There now, not that hard to accomplish when one is wrong is it Davey?)


P.S. Sorry, but the general points about YECs in general, and especially as they apply to you in particular remain and are accurate. Brain was in correct gear when I posted that.

Date: 2006/06/25 08:36:09, Link
Author: Louis

Right, since I am a) not misreading your arguments at all, b) getting exceedingly bored with going over the same ground again and again, and c) certainly not going to dance to your tune, I am going to ask you to do a few things, otherwise I am going to cease wasting my time on your delusions. Empathy does not extend to sharing in your nonsense.

1) Demonstrate that an antibonding molecular orbital and its corresponding bonding molecular orbital contract differentially. I can imagine how it might happen, but I'm calling, your cards please,I'm fed up with being bluffed.

2) You should be aware you expressedly haven't done is shown that ANY orbitals simply curl up to a negiligible size and/or disappear, which is precisely what you claimed. If you have evidence that states that orbitals curl up or disappear please show it. Contraction doesn't count because this was not your initial claim, which was "curling up" or "disappearing". And this doesn't include your misunderstandings of the papers you have mentioned this far, which REALLY don't show what you think they do.

3) Be very clear about which analogy you are using. Is the solar system an atom, a molecule, an atom in a very specific excited state, a combination, or something else entirely? Of course you have to jusify why this analogy is applicable. I'm also fed up with chasing you down your little verbal rabbit trails.

4) Justify your use of quantum mechanics for planets. Are extraterrestrial objects "like" electrons or a different particle? Why don't we observe bog standard quantum phenomena on a planet scale?

5) Please leave off the "liberal this, liberal that, civility this civility that" bullshit, it's a total, and obvious distraction, you don't even know if I am a liberal (by your no doubt twisted definition). I'll be civil the minute you stop mucking about and get serious. Believe me, what you have been waffling about for the last week or so (at the vey least) has been laughably poor, at least on the chemistry front.

So let's go back to where I came in:

GoP on 16Jun2006

To prepare for my theory, you'd be better off reading a chemistry than an astronomy textbook

GoP on 16Jun2006

Anyhoo, I think of planetary orbits as homologous to electrons whizzing about the atomic nucleus. The crystalline shells correspond to the First Quantum number (i.e. a row on the periodic table), while the orbits themselves correspond to subenergy levels. My subs won't be the S,P,D,F shapes necessarily, but those collections of orbitals will give you a rough idea. Think of my kleinbottle as a belt that converts information energy into translational motion.

GoP on 16Jun2006

Yes, it's true that the crude quantisation you describe would have to occur between the crystalline spheres, but within the spheres other actions can take place. An analogous situation would be the complicated hybrid orbitals that often form between energy levels:….

….To be sure, the promotion of a pure orbital to a hybrid one involves discrete jumps to a certain extent, but the hybrid orbital also involves continuous blending as seen above. Most of this phenomena are too complicated to model accurately, which, in fact, leads to a rejection of the simple dichotomy.

GoP on 19Jun2006

Think of the universe as a large atom, with the earth as the nucleus. More details to come tonight....

So based on this we see that the UNIVERSE is like an atom, not the solare system. Are you sure about this?

It would therefore appear that you need to discuss the interactions of the electrons and the nucleus to explain gravitation/quantisation of planets etc. It would also seem that if the universe is like an atom, that you have to show that all extraterrestrial objects orbit around the earth, which they demonstrably don't. Also WHAT is hybridising? Also HOW and WHY? We know how why and what hybridises in the electronic orbitals of atomic bound electrons.

So in summation:

What is your universe? If it's an atom as you appear to be saying then you never need worry about antibonding molecular orbitals unless you are bonding this universe to another one. If it's an atom though, there are many problems I pointed out several times above.


Date: 2006/06/25 09:02:38, Link
Author: Louis

Ok Part 2:

I have been paying attention to what you have said, but since most of it doesn't gel together it doesn't actually make much sense, which has been my point.

I note you are an expert at misdirection however. I don't expect your model to have 1 to 1 mapping with atoms/molecules etc. Stop obfuscating, you are fooling no one.

Let's look at what you've said again:

Ghost of Paley said:

Picture a solar system within concentric crystalline spheres of differential thickness. The earth resides in the geometric center of the smallest shell, which surrounds the entire solar system. Space, instead of being a rough approximation of a vacuum, exists as a crystalline aether which "holds" the different planets within subshells. As the planets and sun move about each other and the Earth, hybrid orbitals are formed that describe the probability density of the planets's locations. Since the hybrid orbitals are linear combinations of each planet's orbit, the density curve smears out, creating tunnels that link objects together, similar to chemical bonding.

Emphasis mine.

We've been over and over this. Is the universe like a large atom OR  is the solar system like a large atom OR is the universe like a molecule and the solar systems/galaxies are atoms OR are solar systems molecules OR are they atoms in the excited state etc etc etc? It can't be like all of the at the same time because the phenomena that underly the attributes you desire from one of these things are don't underly the attributes you desire from another.

So make it clear WHAT you are saying, because trust me, I really do understand the chemistry behind atoms and molecules, and I am sorry to say again that you demonstrably don't. Clarify your analogy and stop picking and choosing the problems you deal with, if you read back you'll find vastly more objections to your analogies than those in this post.

And you want me to answer this question:

"Can molecular orbitals differentially shrink, or does quantum mathematics rule this out?"

It rather depends what you mean by molecular orbitals, forgive me if I see a twisting of words ahead from you. I'll give two answers:

1) As far as I am aware nothing in QM rules out the contraction of two seperate bonding or antibonding molecular orbitals, i.e. orbitals in the same moleule but not part of the same bond (i.e. the bonding orbital and antibonding orbital are not the orbitals for the same bond). In fact I know this happens all the time.

2) As far as I am aware shrinkage of the antibonding orbital to nothing  or curling up to negligibility(which was your claim), leaving the correspondong bonding orbital untouched (relatively) would be unallowed by the nature of the chemical bond, the nature of bonding between atoms and hence underlying QM.

Does that satisfy you?


Date: 2006/06/25 23:24:33, Link
Author: Louis
Occam's Toothbrush and Eric,

While I am not sure if GoP believes his schtick, I am certain he has no model at all. Like I said before what he is doing is quite clear, he's doing an AFDave but more subtly.

AFDave came in asking us to "prove evolution to him" and posting various creationist screeds. It has since emerged that what he is doing is trying to "refine" (laughable as that word is in this context) his YEC "arguments" (ditto) so he can inflict them on kids. He's trying to bolster his very doubtful faith with evidence so he doesn't feel so bad.

GoP is doing roughly the same thing. The reason we get "more on Tuesday" type stuff is because we haven't written his model for him yet. He comes in with some half assed notion, we tear it to shreds and he nips off and rejigs it and brings it back. He is using us to try to develop a coherent model. At least it's that or he's the best damned Loki troll I have ever seen. I get the feeling this "model" has been through other hands before ours.

My guess is that AFD is just your run of the mill creationist. Effectively, when it comes to science at least, a clueless bozo whom evidence will not and cannot reach. This is regardless of the fact that he is probably not COMPLETELY clueless in other spheres of his life.

GoP I think is a different type of duck. Sure he quacks like a duck and looks like a duck but he doesn't entirely waddle like a duck. Yes we've got the selctive quoting, yes we've got the manifest dishonesty and doublespeak and yes we've got the almost total imperviousness to evidence and the adherence to a preconceived notion. I wouldn't put it past GoP to not believe a damned word of what he is saying and to be some bored grad/undergrad. I might be wrong, after all he is a google scholar in the first and most perjorative sense of the word. The amusing thing is, like most creationists I have encountered his modus operandum is to post a claim and then run about desperately googling for any phrase in anything vaguely suitable that seems to say the same thing. Which is why his stuff about the excited/encapsulated Ca and Ce atoms was so funny, because it absolutely didn't say anything like what he thought it did.

Ah well, I look forward to being wrong! ;)


Date: 2006/06/26 00:21:20, Link
Author: Louis
Oh and P.S. Ghost, I am not a badass or whatever, this isn't a playground game of who has the biggest wang, Ghosty. Nor am I trying to portray myself as anything other than I am (i.e. a short-tempered, sacarstic Brit who knows more about chemistry than you do, which is sufficiently accurate!;).

This is an internet discussion group in which we discuss various things, you have made certain claims, we are demonstrating those claims bear no resemblance to reality and you are desperately shellacing your tumbling house of cards in order to maintain some semblance of reason. The reason we deviate into psychology occasionally is because we are aghast at the doublethink/cognitive dissonance and dowright (on occasion) dishonesty you and others demonstrate. That meta-discussion has little if any relevence to the topics at hand.

Date: 2006/06/27 21:23:44, Link
Author: Louis

Interplanetary "chemical bonds"?

Antibonding molecular orbitals "curling up" or disappearing when the corresponding bonding orbital is relatively untouched?

Quantum effects at the planet scale?

Is the solar system/universe an atom or a molecule or an atom in an excited state or an atom in a conducting band of an f-block metal, or an atom contained in a special cage of other atoms called a fullerene?

Who, what, where, when, how and why is hybridising?



Date: 2006/06/27 23:56:02, Link
Author: Louis
Hi Lenny,

I for one echo at least part of what CJ is saying. I am glad you're here, I've always found you an entertaining and educational poster, you've certainly led me to some info I didn't have before. I also understand a large part of your complaints re the occasional religion wars that crop up. I also agree with much of it, but obviously not all.

If indeed you are being censored at PT as a whole then I am totally shocked and appalled. You certainly don't deserve that. If PZ is removing your comments from his thread, well that's his right, but I'm still disappointed. After all, it's pretty obvious you were deliberately winding him up for whatever reason, so I can understand his desire to remove your posts if they contain the piss taking they did earlier (unless you're contributing substance, which you often do). I don't agree with him, I just understand. As you would say {shrug}.

Good to have you on board.


Date: 2006/06/28 00:25:57, Link
Author: Louis

I joined MENSA as a 16 year old and left when I was 18 for pretty much the same reasons, lots of socially inept high IQ people wittering on about how bright they were wasn't my scene. The rest of them were fine, but some of it was dull as ditchwater.

The major reason was that I realised that any group of people I was paying to tell me I was smart was a lot smarter than I was.


Date: 2006/06/28 06:09:14, Link
Author: Louis
And just WHERE in this scriptural diversion are my curling up antibonding orbitals that leave the corresponding bonding orbitals untouched?

Don't make me whip out the "Brave Sir Robin Award for Running Away" Ghosty. You would be severely disappointing me if I come to the conclusion you deserve that.

Less distraction. Less obfuscation. Less being oh so sweet and nice by switching to randomn ephemera and making convenient topics for poor people who I am sure really can't start one themselves mmmm hmmmm. More still, round earth geocentrism please. And I voted for it, despite not getting 18 voters, don't I deserve the model as a "loyal fan"? {cough splutter}


Date: 2006/06/28 07:32:45, Link
Author: Louis

I'll stick this here and elsewhere. I must confess I missed your part about the hydrogen atom, I must have skipped over in in my excitement.

An antibonding MOLECULAR orbital in a hydrogen ATOM? Hello? Hello? McFly? Is there anyone in there McFly?

Look Ghosty, atom OR molecule, not both, they are different see.


Date: 2006/06/28 08:09:35, Link
Author: Louis

I'll stick this here and elsewhere. I must confess I missed your part about the hydrogen atom, I must have skipped over in in my excitement.

An antibonding MOLECULAR orbital in a hydrogen ATOM? Hello? Hello? McFly? Is there anyone in there McFly?

Look Ghosty, atom OR molecule, not both, they are different see.

Elongated version:

Now think of a Hydrogen atom, with its antibonding orbital existing at a higher energy. This antibonding orbital does not get tranferred to real space due to its node, so only the bonding orbital makes it across the divide.  

That's the relevant bit. As is this:

My actual model isn't too hard; think of the universe as a large atom divided into concentric "spheres" (energy levels) surrounding a central Earth

So we have neatly avoided/ignored all my objections and problems with claiming universe as atom. Good good. Also you do realise that the first quote is pure, unrefined, 100% bullshit right?




Please TRY to get this into your head.

No antibonding orbital in atom because atom has not got molecular orbitals becase no bonds in atom. Antibonding molecular orbital results from combination of atomic orbitals, wasn't in atom to start with.

Forgive me if you think I am being uncivil, but either you are extremely stupid (which I don't believe is the case), you are extremely deluded (possibly) or you are extremely dishonest (possibly).

The hydrogen atom does not HAVE an antibonding orbital in it. Is it STILL possible after the number of times I have explained this that you don't get it? The hydrogen MOLECULE does have a (sigma) antibonding orbital in it, but it has 2 nuclei. If the Universe is a hydrogen MOLECULE, where's that other nucleus? Where's the centre of mass in a molecule Ghosty?

Please clarify your "model" it appear to have lots of fancy lace that the other lads are picking at, but the core is rotten.


Date: 2006/06/28 08:18:36, Link
Author: Louis

Get this through your skull again. You have to SHOW that this works, because it reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy doesn't.

Yes, but the hydrogen atom metaphor -> universe, while gravitational attraction between planetary/ informational entities -> molecular bonding. An incoherent metaphor, perhaps, but it can work physically if we keep information space in mind....

HOW? You are a) mixing you metaphors wrongly, b) you haven't demonstrated that any antibonding orbitals curl up or fail to cross any klein bottle loops/nodes or loop de loops, you are simply pulling concepts out of your arse in the hope that someone won't be familiar with them. No dice Ghosty.

Again, if gravitational attraction is LIKE molecular (interatomic) bonding then there will be molecular antibonding orbitals. 1 orbital plus 1 orbital equals two orbitals. Simple. It could be LIKE some other sort of bonding (not involving electrons) but then your analogy would have to change.

This "it can still work physically if we keep information space in mind" poppycock solves nothing. You are making claims you cannot and have not supported. In addition you are making very basic errors in the science you are purloining to shoehorn into your god shape.

Stop pissing about and admit you were wrong.


Date: 2006/06/28 09:19:02, Link
Author: Louis

BUT BUT BUT cuts no ice with me. Like I said, you are pulling concepts you don't understand directly from your pert little posterior, which your priest loves so very much.

Also, PLEASE stop referring to s-orbitals as "subshells" it's so 1930's. I know that it appears in more modern publications, but it's confusing you.

Now you have planets as atoms, which makes moons as electrons. (oh dear here we go again)

You claim you are forming informational bonds between earth and, well everything, but this doesn't float. You have not demonstrated the existence of this information energy you claim exists for one. And "in the beginning the word..." does not count sunshine as well you should know.

If planets are like atoms bonded in molecules, you still have antibonding orbitals as you note. You claim these higher energy orbitals don't exit "information space" and hide behind your puckering little Klein bottle node. Lovely, this is prime quality bullshit, I never expected it to get this amusing.

First Ghosty my boy, an antibonding orbital is just like any other molecular orbital, the principal difference is its energy and the fact that it has a node. (don't get excited about nodes, we'll get to them in a minute). The enrgy of the bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals is related to the energy of the atomic orbitals that go into forming them. The gap between them is obviously related to the energy gap between the initial atomic orbitals. Thus if your two atomic orbitals were close in energy the antibonding orbital for that bond would lie close in energy to the bonding orbital's energy. This means that some atomic orbitals that go to forming bonds in a complex molecule (and your proposed universe is certainly that!;) which have a greater initial energy difference go into making molecular orbitals the energy of which is very different from that of other molecular orbitals comprising other bonds. In fact you can have a bonding orbital for one bond in a molecule that is higher in energy than the antibonding orbital for another bond. So the high energy get out clause doesn't work for you Ghosty. Strike one.

Nodes. So you donb't try again to weasel through the nodes trick, realise that many orbitals have nodes in their wavefunctions, i.e. places where the electron density is 0. A p atomic orbital has 1 node for example. Molecular orbitals are no different. In chemical reactions it is important to consider the nature of the orbitals that are interacting, the frontier orbitals. Depending on how many electrons a molecule has in the reacting part of the molecule, we can consider the highest occupied molecular orbital or the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital. This also depends on the electronic nature of the molecule, and forgive me because I am VASTLY oversimplifying here. It is perfectly possible for the this frontier orbital of a particular molecule to be a bonding orbital (or more accurately part of a bonding system), it is also possible for it to have nodes in it. So nodes cannot be a problem for getting through your tight little Kleinhole, because if they were molecular bonds wouldn't exist. Strike two.

So energy can't be a problem in your analogy, and nodes can't be a problem in your analogy. Two strikes already. Let's just save some time and let you know that the single occupancy of orbitals in your model means that your model CANNOT be thought of in any way as an atom, or a molecule. Strike 3.....YEEERRRRRRROUT! It might be something else, that I can't say, but those analogies, those metaphors are entirely incorrect and inappropriate. Back to the drawing board, Ghosty.


Date: 2006/06/28 09:59:23, Link
Author: Louis

I AM listening but you aren't making sense to anyone, even yourself I suspect.

You haven't shown WHY the bonding orbital "emerges" from information space and the antibonding orbital doesn't. Like I said they really are very similar things, so if a bonding orbital emerges then so can a antibonding orbital. Like I said, energy differences and nodes won't help you. Also, for any bonded object to break that bond, the antibonding orbital needs to be populated in some fashion, if your antibonding is effectively in a different phase space to your bonding orbital then how does this happen? And QM doesn't help you here btw, energy/frequency space etc are simply different ways of dealing with the same problems.

Once again you are using concepts which you simply don't understand.


Date: 2006/06/28 10:07:40, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All (Except Ghosty),

I am beginning to get the feeling that Ghosty's comedy antics have jumped the shark. He's just flannelling about for concepts he prays none of us have heard of and pulling randomn nonsense from his Encyclopedia Fictitiousa to fob us off until the ever present "later".

His QM claims are waaaay off.
His chemical analogies are extremely waaaaaay off.
His basic physics is waaaaaay off.
His astrophysics is waaaaaaay off.

Basically, from femtoseconds to exaseconds he's demonstrably wrong, from attometres to zactometres he's wrong. I am getting bored, but since I've started to reply I can't give him too much free rein to post uncorrected bullshit.

Oh well.


Date: 2006/06/28 12:47:55, Link
Author: Louis

Right. It's 11:30pm, my reaction's finished, the next step is on, I've been at work for 16 straight hours and I have a 2 hour commute home. Oh and I have to be back at 7 am to get the damned thing off. So if I am lucky I'll get 3 hours kip.

As for you GoP. Shark. Jumped. Yes of course I was curious as to why your Kleinbottle schtick was in there this time around, not THAT curious, but you are digging a well the wrong way. You say that you have this perfectly working uber-geocentric model, which you clearly don't, you then produce reams of semiunderstood QM sounding blarney, and you don't seem to be able to tell the difference between an antibonding molecular orbital and an atomic orbital. Alarm bells are ringing Ghosty.

As for all this information stuff, well sorry to say Ghosty, but even I could invent a geocentric model like yours by tomorrow morning. I could present a large amount of handwaving claims about extra forces and the falsity of certain clear observations, but to what end? Like your model it would get torn to shreds in moments.

As for the patience of "evos". Have you read "Peter and the Wolf"? You've cried "wolf" far too many times for anyone to take you seriously unless you really do produce a pretty special rabbit from your hat. If you manage that I will cheerfully apologise for my uncivil skepticism and hail you as the greatest mind that has ever lived (bar the obvious one of course ;)). However, forgive me, as someone who actually knows a small amount about a few of the subjects which you are talking about, if I remain skeptical, and until the quality of your "evidence" improves drastically, decidedly uncivil, in fact precisely as uncivil as I consider you are being.

Good evening all.


Date: 2006/06/29 02:27:51, Link
Author: Louis

First I am NOT quibbling about your terminology, I am saying that the terminology you are using is in part what is misleading you. Read for comprehension please. Also, find out WHY that terminology is misleading in your specific case.

Yes, but can is not must. For the simple case, see the H2 and HF molecules. For a case with hybridisation, see the weak interaction between carbon atoms that fuels the band gap between valence and conduction bands (methane's a good example), at least in the highest energy level. The sp3 hybrids fill the bonding orbitals only (for the valence electrons).

You do realise that this is purest bullshit don't you? I hope so. You are taking concepts you DON'T understand (luckily I do and thus can translate your gibber) and melding them into a poor imitation of a Frankenstein's monster of an idea that simply disn't sit up and go "Uuuuuurgh" when the lightning strikes.

First, H2 and HF are simple two atom molecules. Your solar system or universe is by no means a two atom molecule, as I mentioned above. This doesn't count. Due to the nature of large polyatomic molecules it is inevitable that there is some overlap, simply because of the energy gaps between the antibonding/bonding molecular orbitals being relatively large compared to the gaps between the valence atomic orbitals.

And don't get me started on carbon atoms (plural!!!!!;) in methane. There is no weak interaction between carbon ATOMS (plural) in methane. Methane contains ONE carbon atom. You appear to be confusing Van der Waals bonding between molecules with covalent bonding within molecules now.

As for the electrons in the valence sp3 orbitals of carbon (and the electron in the 1s orbital of hydrogen) combining to form the sigma molecular orbital (i.e. the sigma BOND) between hydrogen and carbon, and that they don't fill the corresponding antibonding orbital there's a reason for that. {Deeeeeeep BREATH}


Ever get the feeling you're annoying me with your inanity?

The original question I asked was this: IF your universe comprises "orbitals" that are like the "orbitals" that comprise the chemical bond, then where are the corresponding antibonding "orbitals" and what happens when they are populated with whatever your analogue of electron density is? I know you didn't understand that question because I know you don't understand the science. You have tried to hand wave this problem away and you've tried to be simply bloody dishonest about it, but you STILL clearly don't understand it at all.

Like I said, the antibonding "orbitals" in you "model", if they are like the molecular orbitals we know and love, would be pointing away from the bond that you claim is formed between extraterrestrial objects and earth. This means that should another extraterrestrial object enter the bit of space in which the antibonding orbital of another bonded system exists, it will break that bond. (Read: if the "planet density" wavefunction of one "bond" is nonzero at the locus of another "planet density" wavefunction's antibonding orbital, the latter "bond" will break and the former "bond" will be formed).

What I have been trying to tell you all along is a) the Bohr atom is vastly oversimplified and not an accurate representation of the modern understanding of atomic structure. b) You are incorrectly mixing your metaphors. c) You clearly don't understand the science you are purloining. d) your "model" is incoherent bafflegab designed specifically to obfuscate.


Date: 2006/06/29 02:36:49, Link
Author: Louis

Oh fuckety do dah! Yes I did! Thanks very much.

Oh dear, neeeeeed more sleep! I got home at 1:30 last night (I may have mildly broken some trivial laws about speed), and I was back in lab today at 6:45am. What can I say, I'm a workaholic. Luckily I can occasionally fit paperwork (and skiving on the internet {cough cough}) into the sections of my day when all the reactions are on the boil (so to speak), yesterday's reactions are worked up and purified, and the samples are in various spectrometers getting me some lovely data. MMMMMMMMM daaaaaataaaaaa (droooool).

Luckily the presentation I gave today was ok. My boss told me I was "unusually succinct"! Mainly because I am "unusually knackered" was my reply!



Date: 2006/06/29 02:50:57, Link
Author: Louis
Since we're discussing inane witterings of madmen, my overtired mind has come up with a philosophical conundrum for you all.

If a man speaks in a wood, and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?


Date: 2006/07/02 01:19:12, Link
Author: Louis

Ok let's be blunt. You're pissing about. First of all I know all about conducting and valence bands in semiconductors etc. Second, How do they apply to you model?

No wait, don't answer that. Like I have said before:

1) You are cherry picking concepts from a variety of sources and areas of science.

2) These cherry picked concepts are inapplicable to the systems you are using them for (because you haven't demonstrated their applicability).

3) These cherry picked concepts don't mesh (e.g. the universe cannot be both an atom and a molecule at the same time). You seem to be incapable of understanding that simply stealing similar sounding concepts from a variety of sources does not mean that your claims are justified. This is what I am have been trying to get through to you. Your universe is like an atom, then HOW is it like an atom. If you pick property A of atoms to use in your model then realise that property A and property B are linked, with A you get B. Explaining B away by appeals to QQQ when QQQ is not linked to A, in fact QQQ doesn't apply in the systems that display property A, is misdirection. You're being mistaken at best and dishonest at worst. Given the way you post, I plum for the latter.

4) It doesn't matter if your model is perfect or not. You are cherry picking concepts you think deal with objections/problems with you model. Firstly they don't due to the inapplicability issue, secondly it's your job to show HOW the model is imperfect with regards to these concepts, not just to make vague allusions at areas of science you clearly know fuck all about, and when challenged google up yet more concepts for which you have no justification in using.

5) "More later" is a dead giveaway. Why are you wasting your time and ours? You and I both know you have no justification for your claims other than your belief in the inerrancy of one interpretation of one translation of several disparate ancient texts captured into one volume. Why not simply leave it there? The evidence of millenia of observations haven't convinced you differently, in fact you are doing your level best to bullshit your way into believing that your inerrancy beliefs are justified, they're not. Evidence in, game over. Why not try honesty?

Since there is clearly no need to keep playing your silly game, I don't think I'll bother too much. Read back over the posts I have made and you'll find lots of gaping holes in this much touted "model" of yours. Most that you have ignored. Any intelligent lurker/reader will note, as have I, that you have not even demonstrated ONE point in your model that has any support other than your say so, and your cherry picked concepts that you have yet to show HOW they apply, let alone that they DO apply.


Date: 2006/07/04 01:33:35, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

Ah this old chestnut!

"Star Wars (or pick a movie) ushered in a slide into cinematic depravity, it was the pebble that started the landslide. We know this is true because many movies today are shite.

Therefore by analogy:

Evolutionary biology (or pick a science) ushered in a slide into social depravity, it was the pebble that started the landslide. We know this is true because many facets of society today are shite."

I think I know what Ghosty's up to here, it's a game, it's "spot the ridiculous logical fallacies".

So I'll give it a go. In Ghosty's "argument" (not merely my shortened version of the key bit) I can find the following fallacies:

1. affirmation of the consequent
2. amphiboly
3. appeals to anecdotal evidence
4. argumentum ad nauseum
5. argumentum ad populum
6. audiatur et altera pars
7. bifurcation
8. converse accident
9. extended analogy in absence of factual basis
10. ignoratio elenchi
11. non causa pro causa (specifically in this case a combination of both the cum hoc ergo propter hoc and the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies)
12. non sequitur
13. petitio principii
14. slippery slope

Wow! 14 fallacies in ONE "argument" (more accurately an attempt at an insult combined with a red herring).

Can anyone spot any more fallacies in Ghosty's argument?


(watch Ghosty run to google to regurgitate a mass of semi-relevant spurious nonsense to "support" his claim, I predict distraction and bullshit from our ephemeral companion, anyone care to make a wager to the contrary? Anyone? [sound of crickets chirruping] Didn't think so.)

Date: 2006/07/05 04:54:05, Link
Author: Louis

1) No

2) No

What I was doing was noting your commentary was a bunch of notably fallacious nonsense. Correlation =/= causation after all. What I am saying is that your very obvious argument is total crap, whether Star Wars had a massive impact on cinema, or whether benign things produce negative consequences on occasion are totally irrelevant to the fact that your "argument" is logically falacious, and even if all your assumptions were true, still would not establish that which you intend it to. Star Wars having an effect does not mean that that effect was negative (while you and I might agree that some effects were negative, I doubt we would agree that they all are etc). Basically you are using poor logic and weasel words to #### by association and insinuation and you are fooling nobody. You don't HAVE an argument, you have half assed cognitive dissonant nonsense that you use to try to shore up your beliefs and prejudices. Nothing more.

Let's get to the meat, there is, as far as I am aware, simply no evidence that evolutionary biology being taught in schools has any causative link with any aspect of societal decline (I don't even accept that society is declining because it rather hinges on what one means by decline).

Even if it were demonstrably the case that teaching evolutionary biology in schools was a causatively socially damaging in some manner (and again, there is no evidence it is AFAIK) that would have NOTHING to do with it's validity or accuracy as science.

Also one would have to question WHY it was socially damaging, i.e. why a relatively simple and (scientifically) uncontroversial scientific theory and series of data were somehow being singled out as a cause of societal problems. We return to the oft asked question, what makes evolutionary biology so terrible as opposed to meteorology or chemistry for example (both of which I might add refute clearly a number of creationist claims).

Basically, we can see through your nonsense, we're not impressed. Go troll something else, or better actually present this geocentric nonsense (oops sorry "model") you claim to have and stop pissing about with your social engineering muppetry.


Date: 2006/07/05 22:12:01, Link
Author: Louis

1) I am not brilliant or intimidating, although I am gratified you find me so, after all you keep bringing it up.

2) What were global societies like prior to 1859? Were there still thugs and ruffians and all round naughty persons? Did naughty persons use any justification they could for their naughtiness?

Like I said, regardless of whether you consider me to be the equal of a Talmudic debator, this latest nonsense of yours is logically fallacious bullshit and nothing more. A convenient distraction from your distinct lack of a geocentric "model".


P.S. As for the footy, well I am glad the Portugese are out of it, after all they were doing so much diving in the last three matches I imagine they are currently in a decompression chamber preparing for life on the surface. That Renaldo needs someone to have a quiet word with him. As for match fixing, highly unlikely.

Date: 2006/07/05 23:18:05, Link
Author: Louis

Personally I loved the book, and also Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World", which is an equally wonderful advocacy of rational understanding of the world (not necessarily atheism I hasten to add).

As for atheism being "depressing", I can imagine nothing further from the truth. I find my atheism (i.e. my lack of belief in a deity or deities) to be incredibly life affirming. After all I am determined to enjoy and succeed in THIS life, the only one I know for a fact (solipsism/nihilism aside! ;) ) I have.

The simple fact that I am alive (when myriad alternative possibilities were [almost] equally likely) is a joyous thing. At least as far as I am concerned, others may feel differently! I get to wake up every day and go and find a little more out about the universe. It's pretty exciting.

I almost can't imagine how, for example, someone like GoP or AFDave get through the day knowing that all they do is ultimately worthless NOW, and just some of their actions will be looked upon favourably enough by their fictional deity to get them passed through the pearly gates by the celestial bouncers. Sounds hellish to me. Especially as there are thousands of contradictory religions to their own, all of which think it is AFDave/GoP who are going to spend eternity in the lake of fire, not the other way around. I await the usual rushed out assertions that my summary is inaccurate, however, boil their claims down and what you get is the above. The cognitive dissonance and sheer Orwellian doublethink they demonstrate is preposterous. Ah well.


Date: 2006/07/06 00:49:27, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

Creationists are not unintelligent.

Yes I know, shock horror etc.

Much pontificating has been done on why creationists do what they do with regards to science/knowledge. As I am much concerned about education I was thinking about an idea I'd like some input on. I'll elaborate:

The creationist "big tent" contains some very highly educated people. Dembski, for all his flaws has genuine qualifications in several subjects at post-highschool level. The same goes for the Behes, Morrises, Gishs, Meyers of this world, and many other creationists besides. We have had much discussion of how adherence to certain pre-existing religious ideologies affects creationists, we've had discussions of their apparently aberrant psychology and the excellent "Morton's Demon", we've discussed their political ideologies and commitments and a wide variety of other topics.

In short we've found many social phenomena to "blame" (and I use the word loosely) for the current crop of creationists.

I have another area to "blame": education. Since I have been exposed to the UK, US and French post school education systems, I have obviously formed some opinions about each. Whether these opinions are correct or not I leave to you guys to discuss.

My observation, particularly in the UK and US, is that the education system, particularly in schools but increasingly at universities, views education as a measurable "product". The increased use of league tables based on exam results has produced the (perhaps unwanted) effect of schools teaching kids to pass exams and not to think too deeply. In the news today here in the UK is a story about a child studying for their GCSE exams (at 16) who has been told to dumb their excellent answers down and to include certain key phrases/terms because the exam system doesn't reward original thought, it only rewards "correct" answers according to a mark scheme.

Obviously I find this abhorrent, and it is a well established trend in UK schools, it is also creeping into our universities. I also noticed the same thing to some degree in the US system, where the focus in many courses (right up to junior/senior college course I took) was in the accurate regurgitation of the assigned textbook/course notes in an exam. Obviously there are local variations in style etc, but it was the general pattern I observed particularly in these two nations.

Another outcome of this that I have observed is since we appear to be teaching kids to pass exams and not to think, is that we have a frighteningly ignorant populace bulding up. A populace that thinks there is a "right" answer to all questions, and the liberal arts/humanities style "essay question" response to a problem is the way to do things.

(Be assured I am not blaming teachers, schools, or the humanities for this phenomenon, merely the system in which these things are taught studied and the way this system has changed of late.)

What I mean by the "essay question" response is the over simplistic high school type answer in which the student demonstrates they can find references to support an argument or interpretation, and if the spelling, grammar and punctuation is ok, and the argument has some supporting references, then an A is awarded. "Smith et al [1994] say that Shakespere was written by Bacon" kind of thing. The conclusions are irrelevant  (it would appear) and the validity of the references is also apparently irrelevant. This is also reinforced by the timid politically correct culture of schools in which no student can do wrong or "fail" at anything for fear of damaging them or litigation.

I think this education method has been creeping in over the last few decades and is directly contributing to the creationist resurgence we are having. I think the evidence in part lies in the relatively widespread acceptance of creationism in the US in particular (an "answer" with no room for doubts, supported by quote mines etc), and in the style and manner in which the GoPs and AFDs of this world "support" their claims.

Obviously I think this is one contributory factor, not THE contributory factor.

I'd be grateful for tales of other people's educational experiences, thoughts on this matter, and a general discussion on what could be done in education and also what scientists/interested parties outside education can do.



Date: 2006/07/06 03:17:16, Link
Author: Louis
Hi Mark,

Yes, I agree with much of what you say, I perhaps should have made myself a little clearer. With regards to the US and creationism, it's a serious downfall of my idea that creationism in the US has existed prior to much of the "modernisation" of education.

BTW I know what you mean about the Cambridge system, I was educated in a very similar way for part of my higher ed. It suited me, but it's by no means a good method for most people, and given secondary school education today, it's downright disasterous. I would also agree that modern secondary ed is not awful, just that the way we are doing it is missing the point of education. Mind you perhaps what I think the point is and what other people think the point is differ!

I think the purpose of an education is manifold. In no particular order:
1) to produce useful and independant members of society as far as is possible.
2) to allow citizens to understand the world and systems around them, both in terms of science and the humanities.
3) to teach people how to think, not just what to think. Of course some of the "what" has to happen, we aren't going to reinvent the wheel with every kid, but I would argue the emphasis has shifted from "how" too much towards "what".
4) to encourage learning appropriate to the student doing it (W. Sanderson's "I will never admit there is such a thing as a dull boy".)

And probably a dozen things I have forgotten!

The link I am making with creationism is not necessarily causative, i.e. I am not saying that this education system makes creationists. What I am saying (I think!;) is that this reliance on the "right" answer type education and the generally "woolly" approach to scholarship/intellectual honesty most people encounter prior to 16 and 18 actually aids this type of thinking.

Obviously, as you mention, there are vastly more important causative factors, but to use a medical analogy, we are more efficiently mixing our population and thus the ideas contained in that population. We are not effectively innoculating people against certain virulent and harmful ideas. This is education as a vaccine as it were. I am not suggesting we fight off dogmatic religious bunkum by inculcating a dogma of our own. I AM suggesting that by encouraging "rote" learning and "league table" approaches to educational success we are failing to prevent dogmatic ideas proliferating.

Is that clearer? I apologise if I'm a bit waffly, this is an idea I idly had at lunchtime whilst reading the BBC site, it's isn't exactly coherently sorted out yet! (Obviously!;) What I'm looking for is someone to tell me (as you kindly have) I'm talking bollocks, or at least partially bollocks, and then hopefully engender a more profitable discussion.



P.S. Good luck with the OU degree. I'm going to do one "for a laugh" (i.e. I don't need to do it, I just want to) in my spare time in the next few years I think, depends on a few things. I don't think learning stops when you leave your grad school.

Date: 2006/07/10 00:54:58, Link
Author: Louis

Gop said:

 I bet that Eric gets the cutest ladies. Here's why:  

and then proceeds to list your qualities.

Not that I am denying the analysis of your posting habits and character by our ephemeral chum, but I think he's got a crush on you.

Isn't that just ADORABLE!?


Date: 2006/07/10 01:10:25, Link
Author: Louis

I sincerely think that the fundies have the same right as anyone else does to think whatever they want to.

What they DON'T have the right to do, though, is use the coercive power of the state to force everyone ELSE to think it, too.

That, of course, is precisely what they want.  And that, of course, is precisely why I fight them.

And if the evangelical atheists gained political power and used it to push their ideological agenda onto others like the fundies are, I'd fight them just as vehemently.  And for the very same reasons.

Gotta say I agree with you wholeheartedly there. That is 100% how I think about the issue too.

I haven't met many atheists that would want to push all religious people into thinking exactly like them (the one's I have met were obvious lunatics).

I often see the expressed desire for a secular state with freedom of/from religion for all and no religious preference made into a hastily contructed strawman which would appear to desire a "mandatory atheist state" or some such, however.



Date: 2006/07/10 06:39:48, Link
Author: Louis

He's either taking the chronic micky (Americans read: fucking with us) or he is a creationist double think fruitcake of the first water.

I agree with Steve, I can't decide which. I reckon it's Loki trolling humour, but I could be wrong.



Date: 2006/07/10 21:42:12, Link
Author: Louis
The more Ghosty posts, the more I think he's joking.


Date: 2006/07/10 21:53:05, Link
Author: Louis

Who said anything about gay sex or homosexuality? Honestly, the places your "christian" mind goes to!

A crush doesn't have to be sexual, what of platonic love? What of simply admiring and loving someone? Who said anything about you wanting to have sex with Eric? Tsk tsk Ghosty. With your pictures of nice muscley wrestler men and your rapid denial of homosexual desires (despite no such accusation) methinks thou doth protext too much.

As for primary school antics, remind me, who was it that made a silly post about which "Panda's Bum" regular gets the most girls? Who posts comments like "I'll destroy it on wednesday or thursday" and has yet to make ONE SINGLE SOLITARY cogent point or argument?

Not me buster, nor any of the regular posters.

Seems like it's just you Ghosty, out there in the desert of your stupidity.

Like I have said several times, either you are a very effective Loki troll, or a total gibbering moron. The way and things you post allow for no other options. Either way, you are definitely not to be taken seriously, you've yet to say anything actually worth considering beyond "Huh? What the galloping fuck is this moron mangling now? Oh lordy lordy Mary-Lou! It's utter mindfarted google scraped nonsense!".

Have a nice day, do let us know when you have something more meaningful to contribute other than your role of second best online punchbag after Delusional Dave the Flying Fuckwit.


Date: 2006/07/11 08:02:10, Link
Author: Louis

I LOVE your new strategy, it's just SO much fun! I am apparently a homophobe because I made a joke about YOU having a crush on Eric. You are killing me, surely laughing this much is not good for me!

To even begin to be a homophobe I would have to have said something derogatory about homosexuals, or at least implied it. Look back at what I have actually said Ghosty, you'll find no such thing there. Guess why you'll not find it? Because I don't think it. Looks like my liberal gay loving card is still fully marked! #### Ghosty, when ARE you going to try reading for comprehension?

Secondly, I said you had a crush on Eric, I did not say you want to have sex with Eric. See the difference? Forgive me if I doubt it. Of course feel free to make your silly slurs and misquotes as usual, like I have said, you are fooling no one but yourself.

As for your analogy with Jews, ummmmm nope sorry, that dog don't hunt son. Where did I say anything remotely like "Hey Paley, gay are ya? You seem gay, d'ya like ass Paley? Do ya? Huh? Just a sweet little piece of man ass? Nothing wrong with liking ass Paley." Precisely nowhere. Nice try, F- at best.

What I did say was:

a) that you singled Eric out for special praise, and I jokingly mentioned that this was because you have a crush on him. I also explained that crush=/=sexual desire.

b) That you protest far too much at my little joke. Did I hit a nerve Ghosty? Do you really have a crush on Eric? Is he your godless liberal of choice? Note I am NOT saying that you want to have sex with Eric. After all you can love him for his posting talents and wonderous manners in a purely asexual manner, but love it still is. Can you not love another man without it being sexual, Ghosty? I love my father and my brother and some of my male friends, but I don't want to have sex with any of them. Geeeez Ghosty, little girls have crushes on pop stars before their first pube sprouts and they even know what sex is! Trust me, I'm not coy, if I wanted to say you wanted to have sex with Eric, I would have said it!

Mind you that being said, your opposition to homosexual marriage, your biblical pronouncements (do you support Levitican law Ghosty?), your over reaction to and misunderstanding of an innocent comment, your rushed denial of homosexual desires and your regular posting of photos of nice muscley wrestler chaps does rather suggest some psychological traits. Of course it's far from conclusive, but it could be seen to be the symptoms of a flaming closet case. Do try to understand the conditional tense in that sentence Paley. There's a good boy. After all we all know that being homosexual is fine and dandy, it's YOU that thinks it's bad or insulting.


Date: 2006/07/11 08:22:42, Link
Author: Louis
Oh and P.S. Please please please please get the following through your thick skull:

1) Not everyone on this board is American or lives in America. We realise it is the centre of the universe to some of you Yanks, but do try to work out that other places exist. Other places that contain about 5.75 billion people who aren't American, and despite what you might think, aren't ruled by America. Guess how I know this? I am British, and we used to think just like you do about Britain, we were wrong then, and the problems of being wrong still linger. We've been there and done it, and most of us have enough sense to be proud of most of it, but not proud of the stupid, jingoistic bits.

2) "Liberal" is not an insult. Nor is American liberalism the sum total of liberal thought. Go East Ghosty, come to Europe, we've had liberalism for centuries (vaguely!;). ####, some of us (me included) even LIKE Americans, that's how tolerant we are!

3) Learn the difference between fiscal conservatism and social conservatism. I am getting tired of the "left vs right" falsely dichotomous bullshit of American political discussion, there are other political axes to move along. We know you're in the top right hand corner next to Hitler, but the diametric opposite of you is NOT in the top left hand corner with Mao. Nor does liberalism equate to socialism or communism. You can be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. You can be liberal and expect people to demonstrate certain responsibilities AND try to get the state to provide a safety net for when things go awry. It really isn't either or Ghosty. Try to think in ways other than "Them and us", it makes life lots nicer.

4) Eric was right, please please please learn that evolutionary biology is not the Source of All Evil (TM patent pending). It's just a description of how the world works in certain circumstances. Please learn that your babble, sorry bible, can be metaphorical and that 21st century theology (####, 17th century theology) doesn't insist on blinked literalism and geocentric bullshit.

5) Stop wasting time with the fucking Nazis and KKK and get on with your geocetric "model". Sinusitis aside, you have been bleating about your forthcoming destruction of evil atheist science and your replacement of it with good and holy god centred Jescience for months on end. Enough already, shit or get off the pot will you?


Date: 2006/07/12 22:02:18, Link
Author: Louis

A measely quote mine? The best you can do to slander me is a measely quote mine? Taking a quote out of context and deliberately distorting the manner and detail it was posted in is the pinnacle of your reply?

Shit, you're pathetic!

Stop wasting your time with this Hitler/Nazi nonsense, not only are you having your arse handed to you here by others more educated in political and social history than I, but you are obviously and deliberately avoiding the geocentrism thread because you are having your arse handed to you finely minced there.

Oh I know you don't think you are, but you are. You seem to think googling up phrases that appear to say what you want them to say proves a thing. We all know it doesn't, because every claim you have made that relies on these phrases is tissue thin. Even cursory analysis shows them to be total crap.

Call me a homophobe all you like Ghosty old fruit, it doesn't make it true, as anyone capable of reading what I have written for even the barest comprehension can tell.

Nice try though. I am always amused by your lack of intellectual honesty, rigour and abilities. Your religion must be a truly frightening thing to destroy your ability to reason so totally. You have my pity.


Date: 2006/07/12 23:07:04, Link
Author: Louis

Rough, yes.

Explanation, no.

Observations, no.


Date: 2006/07/17 01:54:57, Link
Author: Louis
Hi All,

I (fairly) regularly go to Skeptics in the Pub, a London based skeptic event and drinkathon (two of my favourite activities combined). I noticed that this month's speaker (this coming thursday) is none other than Dover ID "defender" Prof Steve Fuller.

See details:

1) Any Londoners are not only extremely welcome to come along, but they are actively encouraged to do so. It's a good laugh and the beer in reasonable.

2) Has anyone got any hints and tips for arguments with this chappie? Has anyone encountered him before? I have the Dover testimony etc and several of his papers. I also have the standard refutations of his extreme cultural relativism/pomo schtick. Anything additional is appreaciated.



Date: 2006/07/17 04:39:25, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for that. Nice link, though luckily I have it ;) .

I am reading Sokal's "Intellectual Impostures" at the moment (can't think why).

I am a little perturbed by Fuller because he is a very highly ranked academic. Not that I have no experience of highly ranked academics or that they scare me (more than necessary, I still wake up after nightmares about my PhD supervisor! Scary, scary man), but that he has got somewhere so it's probably foolish to underestimate him. Even if he is a sociology bod in roughly the Derrida mold.

I think your approach is a good idea, so thanks for that excellentadvice. Pin him down and don't let him wriggle too much. Focus on the simple problems with ID and PoMo (incredulity, lack of evidence, directly opposed to what is observed etc.).



Date: 2006/07/18 00:01:52, Link
Author: Louis
You have a different imagery from me.

I see teddies be chucked from prams, and the Tardster holding his breath until Daddy Dembski gives him back his rattle to play with.


P.S. DT amuses the heck out of me. When did being female become insulting (girly...)? When did being effeminate/homosexual become insulting (girly man)? I know loads of girls, I like 'em. Is the Tardi di tutti Tardi a rampant closet case? GoP should take note!

Date: 2006/07/18 03:05:57, Link
Author: Louis
Now now k.e.,

Be careful what you say or that GoPster will come sprinting in and accuse us all of being homophobes. I framed my comment as a question for a reason. ;) GoP has enough trouble with reading for comprehnsion as it is, let's not make things harder for him.

Both GoP and the Tardmeister are fond of making references to overtly masculine situations (large, sweaty wrestlers and cartoon characters laying the smack down on us poor "libruls" or using girl/homo etc as insults). They both seem to be under the impression that effeminate or less masculine tendancies   to be somehow inferior, insulting or reprehensible. This COULD be a sign of a classic self loathing psychosis. It would of course have to be ratified by further study and evidence.

That said, the possibility exists that the UberTard and Ghastly Pissant are both closted, self-hating, homosexual homphobes. I neither know nor wish to know if this is the case, but whatever their respective fixations with the primacy of certain masculine attributes, I wish they'd get over it. They should embrace this possible sexuality of theirs, there's nothing wrong with being homosexual, they should learn to love themselves and the beautiful gay world they can inhabit.

After all, if PapaTard and Git of Puerility wish to be savagely rammed in the tradesman's entrance by large bewanged gentlemen of the lavendar persuasion, then I say go to it lads. Ride that deviant liberal spam javelin! Because of course you know that if they are homosexual, their decrying of all that is not macho means that they want to be the "bottom" not the "top", and their decrying of all things progressive and liberal means they want nice liberal homosexual chaps to give it to them.

Quod erat demonstratum I reckon.


P.S. I wonder if they realise that it is possible to taunt someone with something THEY find offensive that the taunter considers inoffensive, i.e. making mockery of the bigotry of the tauntee by emulating it and indulging it?

Date: 2006/07/19 06:12:33, Link
Author: Louis
Awwwww that's sweet!

Ghosty's posting piccies of hot girlies now to distract from his former postings of muscley men and his self confessed adoration of Eric.

You work that denial Ghosty! Every post is a data point.


P.S. I would have a serious point to make, apart from mocking the assorted kookery, but let's be honest, both Dave and GoP have descended so far into farcical drivel and chocolate starfish gazing (like navel gazing but lower, requires contortion abilities) that mockery is the only possible gambit. Oh I'm well aware they will decide that resorting to mockery=persecution=them being right, but we know better. Ahhhhh long may Dave and GoP live, I wish them nothing but health and happiness. After all, after a frustrating day spent in the lab and scouring the lit, what better way to relax than with a beverage of choice and a fresh kook to laugh at.

Date: 2006/07/20 01:47:38, Link
Author: Louis

Bang on.

I am more and more convinced that GoP is a Loki troll. Hitler is a liberal odinist? Onanist possibly! Liberal? Oh please!

This is YET MORE distraction from the utter lack of a geocentric "model" (read half assed unsupportable bollocks). I think GoP, like a general, needs to fight a war on less fronts. Also, he needs to get some weapons because at the moment he is having his arse kicked on every front (whether he admits it or not). Mind you, as a Loki, this is probably his aim.

Dave the Rave is a different species. He's just run of the mill dumb as a barrel of pigshit.

Ah well at least tonight I get to interrogate Prof Steve Fuller no less. I imagine he'll obfuscate my arse around the room, but it'll be fun to try.


Date: 2006/07/20 23:37:10, Link
Author: Louis
Awwww come on Ghosty, why don't you just say "I hate niggers!" and be done with it?

You know you're a racist scumbag trying to thinly disguise his bigotry with hastily googled misquotes and fallacious drivel. We know you're a racist scumbag trying to thinly disguise his bigotry with hastily googled misquotes and fallacious drivel.

Why beat about the Bush? (pun intended)

Why not just stick on your white sheet and hood and chant about how Jesus was white and will lead the Aryan race to dominance? Come on Ghosty, just be honest.

Let's face it, you're either a Loki trolling attention whore playing silly buggers on this board, or you're simply the most deluded mental patient material creationist facist scumbag I have ever encountered.

Shit or get off the pot Paley, stop pissing about with your wild ass social theories and mindbuggeringly stupid attempts at rational discourse and support your geocentric model. Stop trying to distract from the fact that you cannot adequaltely support one of your asinine claims by wandering into ambiguous philosophical and sociological territory. Get on with your geocentrism, you did PROMISE after all!


Date: 2006/07/22 01:56:44, Link
Author: Louis

First, the pun was not regarding Bush being racist (as far as I am aware he isn't), the pun was regarding religious uber "KKKonservative" facists like yourself usually worship W because he panders to your fundamentalist nonsense. I'm surprised to find you claiming not to fawn at his feet.

Second, I never said being gay was anything to be insulted by. Again, keep wittering Ghosty, you'll find no homophobic insult in what I said. What I DID say that you could be insulted by is that you are quite possibly a fucked up closet case, and thus your attempts at presenting yourself as a hyper-masculine women's wet dream and all round tough guy (Snake? Oh please! You're such a hoot) are quite clearly attempts at assuaging your own self loathing. And of course it's us "libruls" that are the "girly-men" who can't get the dates, bwaaaah ha haaaa. Yeah ok Ghosty, whatever you need to believe to get through the day. Project your own inadequacies onto others much?

Be away with you, you're becoming boring. Are you going to prove that geocentrist "model" of yours anytime soon? No? Didn't think so. Stop flannelling little Ghosty, and try to do some real work. You are STILL fooling no one. Shit or get off the pot Ghosty, either present your watertight geocentrist model (cough splutter, shyeah right! And aerially acrobatic winged simians might emerge from my anus) of just admit you can't and are either a rampaging Loki troll or a total fundamentalist asylum resident.


Date: 2006/07/22 05:39:25, Link
Author: Louis

I can't remember what the details of the US mental health system are but here in the UK we had/have a programme called "Care in the Community". Yes it's as good as it sounds.

For the people with "minor" mental illnesses it was a blessing, for the people who were totally incapable of caring for themselves and were a danger to themselves and others it was business as usual. For those intermediate/borderline patients it was a nightmare. In London in particular there was a upsurge in injuries and deaths of these "intermediate" patients. This was rather cynically known as "Care on the Northern Line", the Northern Line being a major line on te London Underground subway train system.

Care on the Northern Line did once provide me with an amusing incident. A crowded commuter train stopped at the platform I was on, my friend and I noticed that there was a space in one of the carriages as it passed and so raced for it. We elbowed our way into the centre of the carriage to get into the space and get a seat. As we burst through the crowd into that valuable and rare free space, we noticed a semi clad, clearly homeless and mentally disturbed "gentleman of the road" sat in the middle of the carriage masturbating furiously and noisily. As is standard practice in London, nobody was making eye contact with anyone else and everyone was very deliberately reading their Evening Standard. Which of course being British, is precisely what my friend and I immediately did. The gentleman of the road finished his round of hand to gland combat and got up, walked to the end of the carriage and got off at the next stop. Needless to say, no one sat down anywhere near his now empty seat.

Why do I bring this up? Well firstly, it's kind of funny in an unfortunate way. Secondly, it's an excellent analogy for GoP's behaviour. He is polluting our otherwise pleasant pubic space with his emissions. He is disturbing the flow of what could be otherwise pleasant conversations. The content of his emissions might be of some use to somebody, but I can't imagine who that might be. And finally, he is only pleasing himself at the expense of disgusting those around him.

Good day!


Date: 2006/07/22 21:55:51, Link
Author: Louis

Ahhh but it's easy to fish you in. Keep playing, you never know you might score a hit. Until then it is amusing to make you dance like a monkey. Dance monkey, dance!


P.S. Wimps? Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha. You're killing me, Ghosty.

Date: 2006/07/22 22:39:27, Link
Author: Louis
Like it. What do people think of the lyrics?

I'm no music major, but I reckon they might be being slightly satirical about our IDCist chums.


Date: 2006/07/23 23:10:41, Link
Author: Louis
Ahhh Ghosty,

You do make I larf! Keep dancing monkey, I shall poke you some more. Dance, monkey! Dance! Don't make me electrify the floor, monkey, you are my dancing monkey bitch!

Oooh you back up your tough talk do you? Oh I'm shivering all over! Most conservatives are real men like you are they? Doubtful, I'm sure of two things: 1) some conservatives are "real men", 2) you are certainly not a "real man" by any stretch of those words. After all you are bragging about your physical prowess and manly nature on an internet bulletin board. Who is it that posts piccies of big tough men? Who is it that posts lots of piccies of pretty girls when accused of being an angry little closet case? Who is it that witters on about their butch manliness and fighting nature? Is it me? Nope. Is it any of the other "libruls" here? Nope. It's just you.

Oh dear, you make me laugh. Your pathetic psychology couldn't be more obivous. You really think that making macho claims over the internets will impress anyone or intimidate anyone? Bwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahhahahahahahahaha! You truly are a pathetic little maggot Ghosty.

Listen dumbass, I have heard every threat, claim and piece of macho bullshit from dozens of losers like you. If you COULD do something physical Ghosty, you wouldn't need to brag about it or make silly faux macho comments on an internet. What I love about this is you are playing to so many comedy stereotypes. The conservative bigot, uninformed by the evidence. The deluded creationist, uninformed by the evidence. The closet homosexual, desperately trying to "re-masculinise" himself due to rampant self loathing. The racist, trying to veneer his bigotry with "evidence" of the shoddiest kind. And now, most amusingly, the Intarnets Tuff-Hombre.

Oh and for the record Ghosty, I don't beat up mentally ill homeless people. Like Steve said, had it been a young oik, well aware of his actions, that would be a different matter. Actions appropriate to situation. Anyway, that story was meant to illustrate the inadequacies of our mental health system, and also the amusingly shy behaviour of London commuters. It's a cliche how involved in their Evening Standards tube commuters get when anything happens. And one NEVER talks on the tube, that just idenitifies one as a lunatic. DOn't you know anything? ;) You can call people wimps all you like Ghosty, doesn't make it so, after all you don't know the whole story, just the brief sketch I presented. How do you know no one had tried to stop him previously? How do you know there wasn't blood trickling from his nose where one gent had already battered him?

Anyway, the details of that day aren't the point. The point is that with your postings of macho men followed by rapid denials and pics of pretty girls, your regular "girly-man" denouncements of "libruls" and your apportioning all blame for all things evil in the world to "libruls" (even going so far as to claim that Hitler was a liberal of all things), your arrogant dismissal of, erm well, ALL science, and your current penchant for faux macho bullshit, your psychology is painfully clear.

Like I said before Ghosty, I'm no badass, never claimed to be, but I can make you dance to any tune I want to play.

Any chance of your geocentric model yet Ghosty? Or are we just going to get more details of your crush on Eric, your love of big wrestler boys, and your oh so macho intimidation of people with mocile phones?

No please, keep that closet door shut. The FSM only knows how camp you'd go if you ever came out. Shit, I think you'd make Peewee Herman look like Mike Tyson.

Have you deluded little inadequate.


Date: 2006/07/24 06:02:42, Link
Author: Louis

Uh huh. Mmmm smell that bullshit. You try so hard to be superior, but let's be honest, you're intellectually deficient pond life.

Nice try though.


P.S. How do you know I am neither a woman or gay? I might be both!

Date: 2006/07/24 22:31:31, Link
Author: Louis

Internet bluster? Moi? I don't think so.

Was it I who advocated the beating of the mentally ill if engaged in offensive acts? Nope. Was it I who repeatedly posted pics of muscley men and cartoon characters about smashing "evos" and "libruls"? Nope. I could go on.

Please Ghosty, don't pretend to take the "high ground" with focussing on the "arguments". Let's get this straight, not only have you no arguments to focus on for more than the brief second it takes to realise you have no clue what you're talking about, but you are seriously deluded if you think that you have not done everything you can to slander those you oppose by association with Nazis or just outright insult them.

You can keep being a dishonest shit Ghosty, but don't expect to fool anyone.


Date: 2006/07/25 22:26:11, Link
Author: Louis
Whassamatter Ghosty?

Tired of being a demonstrably deluded little inadequate? Why are you wasting your/our time with your nonsensical and paranoid fantasies about racial bias and "librul" conspiracies? Is it because you lack the intellectual honesty or ability to produce your much touted geocentric bullshit...oops sorry....model? Is it because you have no evidence for this at all? Is it because your mouth makes claims neither your body or mind can support?

Why yes it is!

You're just a teensy bit pathetic aren't you Ghosty. Pity poor Ghosty for he is weak and stupid and he is a self loathing closet case. Pity poor Ghosty because he obviously lost in love to a "librul", i.e. his hand rejected him. Sorry Ghosty, you're just a wanker, it's only a pity your father wasn't. May your earholes turn to arseholes so you shit all over your shirt, as they say!

Now do the geocentrism or I shall taunt you some more.


Date: 2006/07/26 23:35:45, Link
Author: Louis

Guess what? I think that story is abysmal too. There's a lot in the article I agree with, people in positions of authority have a duty to respect the diverse nature of their employees, the woman's comment was crass and potentially offensive, but merits no more than a quite comment from anyone so offended. I also agree with some aspects of the EU racial integration policies, although I will agree these are sometimes enacted foolishly.

What the offended party should have done is.......pretty much nothing. I am sick of "I'm offended" being the standard by which free speech and social discourse are governed. If this offended party had any sense, the most she should have done is quietly take the offender aside at a suitably opportune and discrete moment and quietly mention that she overheard the comment, clearly not intended for her ears, and would welcome any opportunity to discuss it, and would greatly appreciate if such sentiments were not expressed in her presence again. And that is the limit of what is needed. Personally, I would have ignored it if it were an isolated incident.

Mind you, if there was a racist culture in that branch, in which this person was the victim of daily abuse and discrimination (and reading the case I don't think she was) then she has every right and duty to go to a tribunal and sort the racist scumbag out.

Less sensitivity and more sense on the part of the offendee, more empathy and sense on the part of the offender. Simple, sensible manners and professionalism get you though the day every time.

Were I to have views like that of the offender (and I don't) I would certainly not express them in the workplace and certainly not in earshot of colleagues who might be mortally offended and feel persecuted. It's the give and take of the professional world.


Date: 2006/08/01 00:18:14, Link
Author: Louis

"Nice" article....totally irrelevant. You're fighting a strawman of your own imagining. Perhaps I am a "liberal", but I think we have two very different meanings of that word in mind when we use it.

I don't think people of different "races" (it's not a term I think valid) or nationalities cannot be racist. Shit, I KNOW they can be. Talk to my mother-in-law to find out, she's worse than your average KKK member!

I am also worried about racism in policy and the workplace whoever it comes from, black, white or polka dotted green and mango. The colour of the racist, or the origin of the racist doesn't bother me, it's the racism that counts. Do we live in a perfect society? Nope. Do some of the "affirmative action" type programmes and "reverse discrimination" policies just make things worse and demonstrate a reverse racism in their own right? Yes, of course they do. What these policies are trying to do, no matter how badly in terms of their intent, is redress the balance, or if not redress it, at least try to make it fairer. Personally I am strongly against giving someone a job because they fulfill a racial quota or such like. I think it is highly patronising. What I think we should do is educate people to realise that perfect equality is a long hard road, and it's not something you get given, it's something you earn. Equality comes in after "educational" experiences like mixed schools, promoting diversity (not enforcing it), educating people about the commonalities we share not the differences alone. It really can and does work. I think "affirmative action" programmes can sometimes help, but more often they create suspicion and resentment. I think they are racist and counter productive in the main, although I am happy to be wrong about that.

I also agree with you aside about certain groups that have earnt their place in society by hard work, of course it is impossible to generalise but in British society at least I can think of several groups who have historically come in and worked their way up, not least the branch of one group that eventually (2 generations later) gave rise to me!

Anyway, we all know what you're doing Ghosty, googling about to support your own racist and anti-immigration views. Ask yourself one question Ghosty, how did you come to be born in the USA? Are you a native American? Or are you the child of immigrants? Is it possible that some of the immigrant community you are possibly from are less wonderful than yourself?


Date: 2006/08/01 05:40:13, Link
Author: Louis

My or my mother in law's ethnicity are not of any relevance. My mother in law is an immigrant to the UK as was my grandfather, it makes no difference if either of us are black, white, African, European, Asian, pink, or lilac. All that needs to be the case is if we are identifiable in some way (skin colour, accent, surname, religion etc etc) as being from an ethnic or national minority.

BTW she isn't as extreme as a KKK member, I was indulging in a bit of "my mother in law is so...." humourous hyperbole. She is however much more racist than the average Brit I encounter and also places far more significance on race.

As for what I would do if my approach to educating all people and allowing "nature" to take it's course with regards to equal representation in the workplace (for example) failed to work, difficult question. For example, (in my experience, I'd have to look this up to back it with anything more concrete) British people of my age/generation are, on average, more tolerant of those of a different race/nationality to themselves than people of my parent's age/generation. Laws about race discrimination came in well after I was born, however the social aspects of my education almost always centred on tolerance of diversity when it came to race.

Lastly, if for just one second you think that the major reason that Brits (and other Europeans) conquered America because the Native Americans were too trusting then you are out of your tiny mind....which granted we already knew. Factor in social factors, availability of technology etc etc and you'll get closer. Simple fact is that some cultures weren't so trusting when the Brits came to play. Didn't do 'em any good of course, we had guns and other such good stuff.


Date: 2006/08/01 05:54:56, Link
Author: Louis
Ah whorin' for Jeezus eh Davey? Nice.

What was that Suicidal Tendancies song?

Ah yes: "Send me your money"

Now what was that line?

Hmmm was it "..he ain't no prophet, he ain't no healer, he's just a god #### two bit money stealer..."?

Why yes it was. Shakespeare it isn't, but accurate it is. Mmm oh yes, accurate it is. (Sorry, went all Yoda there).


Date: 2006/08/01 22:05:32, Link
Author: Louis

Oops, you didn't "get me" at all. Like I said, what "race" my mother in law or I are (and they are different "races") is of no consequence. All that matters is that we can both be assumed to be foreign/immigrants based on easily obtainable "first impression" type information (e.g. accent, appearance, surname, skin colour, dress etc etc). The point was not that either of us are white or not, the point was that there are many means used to identify someone's "race", and that they are more varied than a decent tan! As it happens you certainly wouldn't class my mother in law as "white", and I got called a "Paki" regularly at school despite the fact that my origin (at least THAT side of my origins) are very far from the Indian subcontinent. The point is that we can identify someone's "race" in myriad ways, skin colour being only one of them.

After all would you expect a candidate for a job interview you were giving to be white or black if his/her name was Kofi Mbege? What if the name was C. Freeman? Or Magnus Thorson? Or Didier Poitier? What about Leslie Smith? Do you see my point yet? (Oh and it isn't that white immigrants succeed in white countries dumbass. Look at the trouble the Irish had in England and the US over a century ago).

Next, I wasn't getting my information from "Guns, Germs and Steel", I haven't read it (yes I know I should). People do have a wider reading list than you Ghosty, try it sometime. I also have no interest in how poor/good Diamond's work on testicle size was, nor your undoubtedly distorted view of things.

You seem to be constantly beating up strawmen of your own imagining Ghosty. Are there genetic and phenotypic differences between human "races"? Why yes there are, shock horror, roll around in amazement. And this means what precisely?

Tell me Ghosty, on average, is the genetic difference between two human "races" bigger or smaller than the genetic difference within those two same human "races"? Since I already know the answer to this Ghosty, I'll let you in on it. The difference within two human "races" is normally significantly bigger than between the same two human "races". What does that tell you?

Keep trawling aorund trying to justify your bigotry and bullshit Ghosty, and we'll just keep trying to honestly figure out the universe and use that knowledge to the betterment of as much as we can, as best we can.

Date: 2006/08/01 22:49:23, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Actually, I've had another thought regarding this. Ghosty, my bad, since you're clearly on the wind up, and nothing more than an inconsequential troll and/or moron (I am beginning to revise my charitable interpretation of piss-taking troll, to piss-taking, moronic troll), we'll leave it here thanks.

Take your racist ideologies and stuff them in the other thread (Paley Goes to the Movies) as that seems to be the best place for them. Rather than keep responding to you here, lets take it over there where other people can play with your ridiculous ideological nonsense more amusingly. Don't ever get the impression you are taken seriously Ghosty, because you're obviously a clueless fuckwit.


Date: 2006/08/02 07:17:36, Link
Author: Louis

Google trawled bullshit from a conservative movie reviewer well known for deliberate confusing of genetics and racial issues to make a racist point? Oh Ghosty surely you can do better than that? Honestly, he doesn't even complete the quote. It's so obviously taken out of context that it is laughable.

Page 93, first sentence of section 2.5 (titled: Comparison with Archeological Data)

"The most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans, correcting earlier conclusions. This suggests that the split between Africans and non-Africans was earliest in human evolutionary history, a suggestion subject to validation of the hypothesis that rates of evolution are constant. "

The chap in question is clearly talking about genetic differences that support various hypotheses about human evolution and migration (i.e. multiregional, out of Africa etc etc). Read the book fucknuts. Stevie's quote out of context and misuse of that quote is as dishonest as your use of it. And as erroneous. Nice try Ghosty. Do try again. What a laughable little goon you are.

Oh and by the way, I'm not debating with you here, you're not worth debating with. I'm merely poking you with a pointy stick to see what further bullshit you'll come out with.

As for my and my mother in law's ethnicity, the reason I'm being coy is because I don't give out too many personal details to fruitcakes on the internet (that would be you). However, if it helps you, I can confirm that neither my mother in law or I have any "racial" background from outside of Asia or Europe in the last 5 generations or so (as far as I am aware!;). You misunderstand the use of my anecdote. By the way Ghosty, I know full well that anecdotal evidecne is insufficient to establish anything, all I was doing was providing a counter example to your anecdotal claims. See?

And no I am not African and neither is my mother in law. Are you restricting your claims to African/black people then Ghosty? Oh dear, you are in for a rough ride.

Also stop attacking strawmen. I am not denying that humans have differences and that black people and white people (for instance) have genetic and phenotypic differences that can be broadly catagorised based on geographical population distribution. Find a different line of bullshit to tote. I love it when puerile little insignificances like yourself claim victory with no foundation. It amuses me.

Oh and as for bringing more than insults to the table, you do remember the orbital discussion don't you Ghosty? You do remember that your google trawling didn't serve you there either? Forgive me if I doubt you possess the wit or lack the cognitive dissonance to do so.


P.S. Race is a very loose and imprecise term in either sociology or anthropology/human biology. You're going to have your work cut out for you if you want to try to establish what you are clearly trying to establish. Remember Ghosty, I don't care WHAT the answer is, I just care HOW the answer is arrived at. I am perfectly open to the idea that black people are better than white people or vice versa, but the idea has to be supported by the evidence. It isn't. Except in limited senses where we prick about with the word "better", which to be honest I am not interested in bothering to do because it is futile nonsense. Like I said Ghosty, it's not the WHAT that matters, it's the HOW. If you could conclusively prove that white people were genetically superior in every way it STILL wouldn't make any difference. Ever hear of the "Is-Ought" fallacy?

Date: 2006/08/02 22:34:07, Link
Author: Louis

Once again, the point is over here... are a speck in the distance.

Like I said above I would have no problem with the concept of race as you wish to use it IF it were valid as you wish to use it. I couldn't care less if whites are genetically "superior" to blacks or whatever, it's a total irrelevance. You might as well say Daschund are genetically "superior" to Great Danes. Sure in a stand up fight the Great Dane will most likely win, but try getting one down a rabbit hole. Again, like I said above, the "superior" one upmanship game you are trying to play rests on what you are considering to be "superior" NOT on the organism. Are gibbons superior to humans? How about sharks? So you see the point? Forgive me if I doubt it.

The full quote from the book, and the context it's in, CLEARLY (to anyone with the reading comprehension of a five year old) makes the point that the author is talking about molecular confirmation of migratory and evolutionary models supported by fossil evidence, NOT racial superiority. More significant genetic difference does not mean that one is "superior" to the other, unless one defines the environment in which that "superiority" is expressed very rigourously. Also, the size of that difference (i.e. its overall significance) has to be addressed, which I notice you conveniently ignore.

You can quote mine and blather all you like, but your claims don't stack up. Your strawmen aside NOBODY is denying that genetic profiling based on geographical distribution is a useful tool. NOBODY is denying that the genetic differences between human groups (or races if you like, here it has some validity at least) have demonstrable effects (epidemiology etc etc). These racial genetic differences are useful because there hasn't been complete mixing of the human genome. And this STILL misses the KEY POINT of the limitation of these uses that the genetic differences WITHIN any two races you choose are greater than the genetic differences between those same two races. That is part of the limitation of the usefulness of these differences. The other being, of course, that most of the usefulness of these differences is due to certain key markers (e.g. the marker for Tay-Sachs disease or sickle cell anemia in certain racial populations).

Thalassemia is a good example of this. If you found the genetic marker for thalassemia in a blood sample of a criminal what does it tell you? Well, we know that the approximate prevalence is 16% in people from Cyprus, 3-14 % in Thailand, and 3-8 % in populations from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China. A lower prevalence has been reported from black people in Africa (0.9%) and northern Europe (0.1%). So immediately you have a good chance that your criminal is Cypriot or Thai. You would have to use OTHER evidence as well to narrow it down, because this racial profile based on one locus doesn't tell you if the suspect is Mediterranean, Thai, Oriental, Indian, Black or White!

Herein lies the point again, since you seem to be hard of thinking: the fact that there are greater genetic differences when we consider the genome as a whole WITHIN two races than BETWEEN those same two races, negates the blanket usefulness of the genetic determination of "race". The definition is useful in specific circumstances and cases, but NOT in the borad sweeping manner you wish it to be and are using it. You are trying to use a forklift truck to do formula 1 racing. The tool you are using is inappropriate for the job you are trying to put it to. That doesn't mean it is 100% useless in every situation.


P.S. Is anyone else tiring of Ghosty's dishonesty? AFDave jumped the shark a while ago, Ghosty definitely has leap cleanly over the Selachimorphan from day two, the only participant we have left that isn't revving his motorcycle is Skeptic (don't you agree?) although he is looking wistfully towards his hog!

Date: 2006/08/02 23:37:34, Link
Author: Louis

Don't forget false chemistry claims. ;-)


Date: 2006/08/03 04:22:21, Link
Author: Louis

I am glad to find you suitably averse to shark jumpage!


Date: 2006/08/04 00:22:47, Link
Author: Louis

Then surely what better way to avoid those big scary suckers than by jumping a tankful on a large motorbike? Or at least jumping a fake one used as a sign (if I remember my Happy Days correctly) on a large motorbike whilst wearing a newly resized leather jacket and some sun glasses and saying "Eyyyyyyyyyyyy".

The girls would love it. You jump that shark Skeptic!


Date: 2006/08/06 08:11:30, Link
Author: Louis

Ghosty's not EVEN a fraud. A fraud would be more entertaining, and would have fooled someone. The only fooling Ghosty is accomplishing is posting such errant bullshit that some of us are compelled to respond. Hey I'm working on it ok! ;)


Date: 2006/08/09 06:18:06, Link
Author: Louis

Hey Ghosty,

Two words for you:

Geo and Centrism

Remember them?

Look, we all know you've moved to ephemera like politics, race and such unutterable wittering gibberish because you can blather and hand wave endlessly and get to the REAL things you care about. I.e. hating homosexuals, black people, "libruls" and other such evil people. How about you get back to the "science" {cough, splutter} you were promoting before? Weren't you due a Fields medal and a couple of Nobels for your "work"? Or are you sick of demonstrating that google trawling for scientific concepts WAAAAAAAAY beyond your ability to comprehend is a flawed way to show your "obvious superiority" over us "evolutionist libruls"?

Perhaps you've moved to the shadowy, prejudice filled, and much less definite world of politics because you think an easy bamboozle is on the cards. That would be my guess.

Now, are you finished trolling your bullshit canoe, or are we going to have to wait foreverfor your Uber-Laureate self to back up some of the claims made by your foul little mouth? Geocentrism? Guts to gametes? Any time soon?

Or are you simply admitting that you can't do it and are wrong, and that you were lying when you said you could?


Date: 2006/08/10 00:17:24, Link
Author: Louis

Whipped on the race thing? Bwaaahahahaha. Only in your head.

a) There was no debate going on, all I was doing at least was pointing out the way you were using "race" was not consistent with the evidence.

b) Related to a), your strawman of what other people are saying and what they are really saying are not the same thing. Please learn this.

Oh and I am not saying there is (or isn't) a link between race, homosexuality, politics and economics. All I am doing is telling you that you are focussing on the things that really matter to you. We know you don't care about science really, you just hate "libruls", blacks and homos, and you'll google trawl anything you can to "support" that prejudice. We have your number Ghosty, we're not impressed.

As for focussing on geocentrism, well Ghosty, you made some MASSIVE claims. I didn't make them, nor did anyone else here, nor did anyone make you make them. YOU did it all Ghosty. Nice try on the appeal to persecution by the way, I give it a C+.

No Ghosty, the geocentrism is entirely your problem and no one esle's. The reason you believe in geocentrism is because you have as precommitment to the bible, not because the scientific evidence shows this to be the case. You assume (projection much?) that it is everyone else's "worldview" that colours their thinking, just as your "worldview" colours yours. Speaking only for myself, all I care about is the data. If the data shows that black people are better in some specific circumstance than white people (or vice versa) it's all good. If the data shows that women make terrible scientists and it really is a man's game (a controversial discussion in science at the mo, and certainly not one I am informed enough to have a useful opinion on, although I have my suspicions) it's all good. However personally difficult, uncomfortable, or unpalatable I find the data, my feelings or worldview don't come into it. What's there is there. Simply put, I don't care WHAT the answer is to any particular question.

I do, however, care very much about HOW that answer is arrived at.

This is what you simply don't grasp. HOW is more important than WHAT, because whatever I want the WHAT to be is irrelevant to what the WHAT is. HOW I determine WHAT is, is a vitally important and relevant thing because it lets me know roughly how reliable that WHAT is, i.e. how well I know it.

This is why your laughable google trawling and spouting about evos, liberals, worldviews and the like is so manifestly dishonest, irrelevant, nonsensical and downright pointless. This is why no one here takes you remotely seriously. The only reason people respond is not because you are spouting the TRUTH to unresponsive ears, but because you are vomitting prejudice, bigotry, well refuted bullshit and blatant non sequiturs. The "lurkers" deserve some indication that bilious bafflegab like yours can and has been countered. You are a very naked emperor Ghosty.

Claims of whipping the evos, posting piccies of big muscley men and macho characters, whittering on about how your model deserves a Fields medal or multi-Nobels, tying well understood, well supported science that doesn't fit into YOUR worldview to a variety of "social ills" etc etc are all things you have done and are doing. Sorry Ghosty, but you're basically a know-nothing bozo from Ignorantwankersville, Podunk, Nowhere, USA. You can try to fool people, but dude, just like a ghost, you are transparent.


Date: 2006/08/10 12:35:08, Link
Author: Louis
Oh Ghosty, Ghosty, Ghosty,

a) I have no problem with the male form or male homosexuality. I am mocking YOU because you keep posting said images. The extrapolation I am making is not that they offend or threaten me, but that the regular posting of said images coupled with your decrial of homosexuality (remember the thordaddy threads and your support for him?) is a classic bit of closetted psychology. Do you see the difference? No one else is making posts of such images, yet you continue to do so. Is it possible you don't understand that one can mock the actions of another for reasons other than fear, offense or threat? Projection AGAIN Ghosty? Oh and jokes about anal sex? Granted my memory might be flawed, so with that caveat, I don't remember making jokes about you and anal sex (other than butch vs bitch jokes), show me where I did this.

b) These "liberals" of who you speak, I didn't realise I was responsible for them. Guess what Ghosty, like I said above, there is no dogma on my part, no party line for me to adhere to. Projection AGAIN Ghosty?

c) Race. Like I said on the other thread, race is indeed useful as a generalisation in certain limited circumstances. The trick is Ghosty, outside of those circumstances it is not so useful. No one denies the utility of race (your strawman again) in those circumstances, but we do deny (on the basis of evidence not dogma) that these catagories of race are extrapolatable to circumstances other than those in which they are relevant. Things like the IQ debate are tricky,mainly because we are dealing with highly controversial and hard to define qualities, not because the word race is involved. Anyway, liberal dogma, lack of coherence? Projection AGAIN Ghosty? It'snot that you are using the concept of race, it's that you are MISusing the concept of race to fit your agenda. THAT'S what I am taking isssue with. I don't have to make ridiculous claims like "race doesn't exist" (your strawman, which I never claimed) to oppose you. Dumbass. Like I have said repeatedly, you are fooling no one.

d) Thread migration. Ghosty, you wander about, I am merely reminding you that we can all see you're alying sack of shit, that you are fooling no one, and that you are bashing your agenda for all it's worth. It's fun to poke you Ghosty. It amuses me, especially when you reply as you do. It shows up your cognitive dissonance very sharply. Nice work. I keep poking, and you dance to my merry tune.

e) Follow the data where it leads Ghosty, I applaud such efforts. Sadly, you don'tdo this. You quote merely what you think supports you. The amusing part is that often what you think supports you, doesn't. As has been shown by many participants, not just me. Like I said, cognitive dissonace Ghosty.

f) Again, your projection is amusing. I never said there was anything wrong with being a know nothing fuckwit from Podunk USA. What I said was you are a know nothing fuckwit from Podunk USA who thinks he can successfully PRETEND to be a serious "science buff/know-it-all". Which, as has been ably demonstrated, you can't. Try to get this through your thick skull dumbass, it's not the know nothing fuckwittedness from Podunk that's the problem, it's the fact that you are PRETENDING to be something else in order to fool people (which you are failing to do). Get it? The same applies to the piccies and homosexuality. The point is not that I have a problem with homosexuality etc (I don't, and not because I am liberal or PC, but just because I don't), the problemis that YOU have an expressed problem with these things and keep posting homoerotica etc. That's why it's funny. It's not you yourself that's funny or the topics themselves, it's the fact that yu desperately pretend to be something you are not. The snobbery, "elitism" and prejudice is in your own head (projection again Ghosty) not mine or anyone else's, the amusement is derived from the pretense. It's like you claim to be a world class poker player, but you lose every hand and have a tell that stands out from amile away. Get it? Forgive me if I doubt it, this is at least the third time I have explained this to you.

g) Read for comprehension. I never said you CLAIMED persecution, I said you APPEALED to persecuation. Ironically in your whine about it you so appeal again! And I quote:

Let's be honest here -- the only reasons people want me too focus on my geocentrism is so that:

1) They can ridicule my religious beliefs;

2) They won't have to deal with any tough issues that make 'em rethink their worldview.

No Ghosty we don't want you to focus on geocentrism so we can ridicule your religious beliefs (the appeal to persecution), we want you to back up the claims your mouth has made, and I admit, I enjoy pointing out the fact that you clearly cannot do so. As I amsure do many people here. You'd be amazed how much religion I can tolerate. What I CANNOT tolerate is a pompous liar like you who arrogantly struts about claiming he is vastly more accomplished than the majority of the most brilliant men and women of any generation, and that his googletrawled handwaving and bullshit somehow refutes all the accumulated data of millions of people's work and centuries of investigation.

A fool I can stand. A pompous fool I cannot. I don't get annoyed with you because you are stupid. Stupid is no problem,shit I'm stupid all the #### time! What I do get annoyed with is that you are misusing what intellect you do have to fool yourself and others. Only one half of which you are being successful at, and it isn't the latter.

h) The flaws in your arguments have been pointed out many times by me and others. Granted not every argument by every poster (i.e. not every person has repsonded individually to every point), but the total is ATBC: all, Ghosty: zero. So far, and likely to remain so. Of course, feel free to claim differently, the evidence says otherwise.

i) By the way, you are learning, well done. The "blithering" comment is pure Lenny. Bravo. Sadly, those tricks don't work with me (or others of sound mind), but nice try.

j) Elitism. I love this charge. Is it elitsim to say that Johnny Wilkinson is a vastly better rugby player than I ever was or ever will be? No. Is it elitism to say that Linford Christie is a vastly better athlete than I ever was or will be? No. Is it elitism to say that Gary Kasparov is a better chess player than I ever was or will be? No. Is it elitism to say that R B Woodward was a better synthetic organic chemist that I am or ever will be? No. It is simply a recognition of the talents of those men (btw I can pick women, people of a variety of ethnicities and sexualities if you require the diversity aware approach) and my own limitation. Am I a better synthetic chemist than Linford Christie, Kasparov and Wilkinson? #### yeah! Am I a better rugby player than Kasparov and Woodward? Of course I fucking am! And? The answer is so fucking what!

Guess what Ghosty,the majority of posters here DO know more about the science/politics/history/philosophy than you do. Big whoop, it's their job to! I am guessing you know more about playing the banjo and fucking your sister than we do. Hey I could be wrong, but it's a joke that amuses me nonetheless. I am a flawed human being, forgive me, Christian! You might think you are scoring palpable hits, but dude, it's only your ignorance that allows you to think that, because you aren't.

And THAT I find nearly as amusing as your dishonesty and hypocrisy. Keep playing though Ghosty,it's been a while since I've had my own creationist bitch.


Date: 2006/08/10 21:07:43, Link
Author: Louis

I noticed that too! ;)

You know you're right about a lot of things, particularly that the creationists are our best allies in the fight against.......the creationists!

Ghosty is demonstrating the power of cognitive dissonance and downright dishonesty brilliantly. I get to give him a poke with a sharp stick on occasion and just watch him go. It's great catharsis. "Hard day in the lab? Poke a creationist and have a relaxing evening!".



Date: 2006/08/12 05:20:01, Link
Author: Louis

Ghosty is either a moron or a loki troll. End of story, nothing more to see here etc. He is deserving of ridicule and little else. If you note what I have actually written, you'll note that the abuse is point by point accurate with regards to Ghosty's actions and previous comments. Mind you, I am beginning to suspect you aren't interested in reading what has actually been written.

I have (in many other threads) responded to the "substance" of Ghosty's nonsense, such as it is, but sadly to little avail. Ghosty simply google trawls for concepts he clearly doesn't understand in an endless game of misdirection and quote mining. When you engage Ghosty you discover very quickly that there is no substance there to engage with. Ghosty is simply trying to gainsay a strawman "librul" he pictures in his mind, and is not interested in reality unless it supports his prejudices. This runs from his "science" claims to his politics claims.

Frankly his political stuff bores the pants off of me (I'm not American, forgive me if my interest in the vaguaries of other people's ignorant opinions about American politics is small to nil), so I don't bother with it except to mock Ghosty. I also honestly admit to not having at my fingertips the information necessary to discuss much of it accurately anyway. As you'll note other people are doing a better job of that, so I leave them to it. When Ghosty starts wittering about atoms and orbitals I perk up, more my thing.

You'll also note that Ghosty has made big claims and is very fond of decrying "evos" and "libruls" as being dumb/ignorant etc as suits him. And never with any evidenciary or substantive basis. Fools I can stand. Pompous, dishonest fools I can't. I have flaws, sue me, my patience is finite.

I'm sick to death of the mealy-mouthed appeasement of morons. Their "views" are not logical, rational, factual or reasonable by the objective definition of those words. If they aren't playing with reality, and are openly dishonest about how they deal with data, they deserve nothing but contempt. Ghosty and his odious ilk have demonstrated several times that they are unwilling to deal with the evidence, the data, unless it can be used to shore up their pre-existing bigotry and fear. That is  extremely dishonest, and, in a forum where honest and frank intellectual discussion are the order of the day, extremely rude. We all play by the rules, now somehow Ghosty gets a free pass because he has had the great fortune to find a topic on which you agree with him? Suddenly because YOU agree with something Ghosty is saying, what he is saying is worthwhile and substantive? How staggeringly arrogant of you!

I simply don't care that Ghosty and I disagree, or that you and he disagree often or what have you. My, or anyone else's, disagreement is totally irrelevant. Ghosty lies to support his prejudices and wrongly ridicules others simply because of his own ignorance. Is this somehow deserving of respect? Did someone pass a law whilst I wasn't looking?

The current retreat of Ghosty to politics and race etc is because he cannot do the science he claims he can. It is a distraction, a red herring, designed to distract from the fact that he cannot back up his claims. Don't believe the hype. He knows full well that retreating to the things he really cares about (i.e. nicely vague topics like politics, where subjectivity is more important) which are controversial, legitimises his schtick to some degree. Even experts in politics and current affairs cannot predict the perfect way to deal with, for example, immigration and racial issues. He knows he can stir up a smoke cloud of arguments to hide behind, neatly avoiding the stuff he CANNOT handwave away as opinion.

Whether or not you like my method of doing this, I see no reason to let Ghosty go unreminded of his claims and his duty to support them.


Date: 2006/08/13 23:48:14, Link
Author: Louis

Three things:

1) You're misreading me. I didn't say I had made a point by point rebuttal/refutation of your economic/political claims. I haven't. What I did say was that I wasn't SIMPLY being abusive and that what I had done is describe point by point your behaviour. I thought that was, well, manifestly clear from the quote of me you used. Reading what you WANT to be there not what IS there, again? Projection Ghosty, you do it a lot.

2) As for excluded middle, if I were assuming that you are either a moron or a loki straight away, the minute you made your first post, I would agree with you. I am not doing that however. Based on what you have said, how you have said it, and your general posting habits so far those are the conclusions I have reached. Of course it is entirely your right to correct those conclusions. However, anyone who ignores the evidence to the degree that you do (geocentrism, dude, really) is either a) making such claims to get a reaction (troll), b) faking it to get a reaction (Loki troll), or c) is sufficiently deluded/dishonest/ignorant/stupid (delete as applicable) not to realise how little the utterly asinine bullshit they repeatedly claim represents reality. By the way, I'll say right away that there is nothing wrong with being deluded, ignorant or stupid. Every one of us is all three to some extent. Dishonest, on the other hand, is almost unforgivable. Again Ghosty, your ability to read for comprehension, let alone think, appears grossly sub par.

3) "Yer kind". How amusing, especially when you make some comment about irony meters. What are my kind? Am I a liberal? European? Brit? Scientist? You don't even know what I am! You seem to think that the good old US of A has somehow done "us" a favour by pointing out some problem or other. Wonderful. Amazingly, despite my great admiration and love for the USA, and my recognition of its help during a variety of tricky situations, I am curious as to which problems you refer. Crime here in Europe, esp violent gun crime, is VASTLY lower than the USA, surveys repeatedly show that we Europeans are happier, have a more fulfilling work/life balance, and generally are better off. Like I have repeatedly said Ghosty, you are fighting a strawman of your own invention. You're also projecting your own rage, dogmatism and delusions onto others with no basis in fact.

Some of us Ghosty are SOLVING the problems we see in the best way we can. You do know that's what scientists are doing don't you? At least in my case, not only am I working (damned hard I might add) to provide us all with a better understanding of the world around us, but some of the technologies/drugs I make will go forward to actually helping millions of people globally. Hypothetical example: something as simple as a cost reduction exercise on a synthetic route to an anti-HIV drug can allow a big pharma to give the drug away to the third world, saving millions of lives. Don't get me wrong, I am not deluded enough to think that I personally will make a hugely significant contribution to world events and human happiness, but I can claim with good evidence I am doing my part.

Actually this is relevant to why people like yourself must be opposed. You refuse to deal with the universe as it is, you only want it to conform to your prejudices. This you have amply demonstrated. By the way, not all "conservatives" in any sense of that word are like this, UK conservatism being wildly different from your US brand in many respects. You, personally, seem terrified of change, hence your reliance on absolutist nonsense. You'd be amazed at precisely how much of my "rage" is directed at the "thugs who wreck Western society" as well as those who complain about it. You also know nothing of my desires to appease said thugs or otherwise. You're just bloviating against a bogeyman that you think exists, and represents all "liberals". That's yet another reason why I certainly don't take you seriously. You're just another loud mouthed google trawling nutter with an agenda. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Date: 2006/08/14 01:17:41, Link
Author: Louis
I don't frequent T.O. as much as I used to (which wasn't much by comparison!;) but I remember Jason Spaceman from there. He is, like Lenny says, a guy who provides a news service. As far as I remember he is an anti-IDCist and anti-creationist. These posts aren't intended to be drivebys, simply snippets of interesting news, perhaps with the intent of generating discussion.

As for you Ghosty. Oh dear. You've plunged of the thin edge of sanity again haven't you? Since when is correcting someone's wrong impression of someone else engaging in thought policing? If you think that correcting someone's "errors" is telling them how to think then why do YOU post your geocentrist claptrap here? Surely by the logic of your own argument you are trying to correct what you dimly percieve in that mashed potato you call a brain as our "errors", thus you must be trying to engage in controlling our thoughts and making think "the right way". Fucking #### Ghosty, I knew you were a nutjob but I never thought that you were a facist mind control freak! Don't you oppress me you Orwellian thought policeman!


P.S. Ahhhhh humour. For the hard of thinking (Ghosty, I'm looking at you) the above is a logical extension of Ghosty's comment designed purely for humour purposes. I don't think that Ghosty is controlling or can control anyone's thoughts, not even his own. This was a joke. After all, how ridiculous is it for someone over here in the UK to have their thoughts controlled by a pigshit thick American loony fundamentalist on the other side of the Atlantic.......

......wait a minute! Tony Blair! Oh shit.....

Date: 2006/08/16 21:53:54, Link
Author: Louis
And again I say testing who? Who is this topic meant to test? On what subject? Was there homework? No one said there was going to be a test! I haven't studied! Oh no I'm going to fail and end up like AFD or GoP! Oh the humanity! Won't someone think of the children etc


Date: 2006/08/17 22:06:16, Link
Author: Louis

Seems like we had similar "undergrad diminished responsibility syndrome" (Udders for short)!

Tragic stuff Udders. Ruined the careers of many fine drinkers. Luckily for me I overcame my Udders with help from above. Yes, Brothers and Sisters, I saw the light. I was helped by those on high, praise and glory be!

One night, terrible Udders sufferer that I was, I passed out on the floor of the student union bar, and lo, from a beam of light shining upon me came a booming voice:

"Louis!" it said.

"Louis! Get up you useless bastard! You haven't finished your pint."

And verily I did heed the voice of the club captain and I finished my pint. I took full responsibility for my drinking career and never left a half finished pint again. I could walk into lectures with my head held high, sometimes as early as 4pm in the morning! I played rugby better, my hair was glossier and my nose wet and cold. I was in fine fettle.

Let this be a warning to you all. Never leave a pint unfinished. Drinking your full pint and standing the glass on your head whilst singing about women's genetalia in an increasingly inaccurate and unlikely manner is the responsibility of every rugby player. That responsibility must be undertaken seriously, and with no giggling or falling over. Remember, a pint is not just for Friday night, if carefully topped up with two parts gin and one part bitter on a regular basis it can last your through at least two liver transplants.

The liver is evil. It must be punished.


Date: 2006/08/18 07:04:48, Link
Author: Louis
No BR, it's not from a movie (as far as I remember! ). It's from my exceedingly naughty undergrad days. Thanks though!


Date: 2006/08/18 07:37:41, Link
Author: Louis
Dear all,

This is your brain:

This is fundaMENTAList christinanity:

This is your brain on fundaMENTAList christinanity.

End of story.

Kids, don't do fundaMENTAList christinanity.


Date: 2006/08/18 08:19:35, Link
Author: Louis

Dave you dumb fuck, the Inquisition was (and indeed is) christian. Oh I know you protestant fundies don't like the catholic fundies, but from the outside your bullshit smells the same. You just kneel on a different side and don't wear a dress. Fundies is fundies.

I also know that you will whip out the no true scotsman fallacy (waaah but they're not REAL christians. Shit Davey, they say the same about you and on exactly the same basis!;)

Oh and the guy in the fire is a "heretic", not a fundamentalist (necessarily). Persecuting people who don't share their religious bullshit.....hmmmm sound familiar.


Date: 2006/08/18 09:38:28, Link
Author: Louis
Awwww poooor wickle persecuted Davey.

1) Evolution isn't a religion. I know you think it is, but Davey, as has been pointed out to you before, your ignorance is not evidence.

2) Was there lies and distortions and ignorance from you before the name calling or after? Don't lie now Davey, we have memories and records. Fair play though, we SHOULD be nicer to you. We are all, however, mere mortal humans and not perfect. Tell you what though Davey, as you're such a wonderful christian, forgive us! LOLOL Oh I'm killing me!

3) Remember who came where Davey. You came here, to us. Not the other way around. You came here telling us that you believe in 95% of all science and yet strangely you actually don't and think it's all a massive antichristian conspiracy (as if anyone cares that much about your fictional little faith. Oh do dry up).

4) If you were remotely honest, and demonstrated intellectual gifts superior to those of a house plant, then perhaps people would have some respect for you. As it is, you aren't, you haven't, and noone does. Try facing up to the facts Davey....and not the ones you make up/get from AIG/twist/misinterpret to suit your own ends. Trust me on one thing Davey, I've met people in your situation before and I actually feel sorry for you. Sadly, the way you are acting, I suspect it's a personal conflict you will never resolve to your satisfaction.Talk to ex-fundies Davey (sadly for you I never believed your brand of bunkum), they might help you through your cognitive dissonace and denial. Seek help.


Date: 2006/08/18 11:13:01, Link
Author: Louis
Davey, Davey, Davey,

You're turning into Ghosty with that projection of yours.

I don't hate you Davey, I don't even know you. Pity, yes. Contempt, yes. Hate, not my bag baby.

Whether or not you trust me is totally inconsequential. Like I and others have said many times, your ignorance is not evidence. That applies to your ignorance of science as well as your ignorance of me and others.

As for rude names Davey, I'll put it to you this way. You're a liar and a fraud. You know it, we know it. You have demonstrated it beyond reasonable doubt. If it were a matter for any jury in the world, partisan or impartial, you would be convicted in a heartbeat. In a forum where we have limited means of communication (i.e. it is difficult for us to take you the relevant museum, laboratory or library and show you the hard data, we can only show it to you one step removed) and we are using type and funny pictures you choose to obfuscate,lie , and distort. Whether or not you think so, I consider it the height of rudeness. So if I mention that you are demonstrably behaving like an intellectually subnormal week old dog turd which has been substituted for the frontal cortex of a semi conscious wardrobe, I do so merely out of amazement and exasperation at your staggering arrogance, rudeness, stupidity and dishonesty.


Date: 2006/08/18 19:54:52, Link
Author: Louis

Oh I'm certain it's not my own personal original comment! I just remember it being regularly used in my checkered past.

Which union bar did the damage to you? Mine was the Redfern.


Date: 2006/08/19 23:20:01, Link
Author: Louis
Shhhhhh Deadman, don't bring up Ghosty's homoerotic fixations, he'll start accusing us of Mutt and Jeffery(whatever that is) and homophobia. He knows he likes boys, we know he likes boys. The only problem is that we have no problem with his boy loving, he is however conflicted as fuck! Mind you his confliction is amusing.

I'd love to meet Ghosty and Davey in real life. I think it would be a hoot. My guess is that they wouldn't be as bonkers as they present themselves here. He11 I'd even stand 'em a beer or two. That should make things amusing. After all, Davey's meds prevent him from drinking too much and he'd go bananas, and Ghosty's clearly an unhealthily underweight 14 year old with a muscley Russian fixation so two beers in he'd  be on the floor vomiting his guts up. I guess I better make them stick to water so we can actually have a conversation. (oh I can't wait for the macho response from the boys!;)

It's one thing to spout bronze age bullshit as fact over tha intarwebz, it's another thing to do it in person. I've often found that the creationists I encounter here in the UK are far less fundamentalist in person and fact than their almost anonymous writings on the compuglobalmeganet indicate. They do have to function in society after all, and being blitheringly oblivious to evidence and reason doesn't serve you well.

Mind you that being said, you Americans do have some splendidly bonkers creationist fruitcakes. Maybe they'd be as frothing as they are here.


Date: 2006/08/19 23:31:23, Link
Author: Louis
Id be happy to mail over some pictures of the Queen's head to you guys for giving me so much enjoyment.


P.S. Yes,let us know what you need and dammit we'll get spending!

Date: 2006/08/20 00:53:52, Link
Author: Louis

Oh he11s yeah! Hovind is crazier than a bucket full of freshly poked monkeys. But most of the creationist boys and girls are just social creationists. They don't know any better and are maintaining themselves as part of a social in-group. It's no crime, dammit, it's not even a bad thing at all, we all do similar stuff it's just that some of us know we do similar stuff and try to correct it.

Sure the planet would be better off without the Hovinds of this world, but it wouldn't be as amusing.

As for Randi decking someone, sweet! I can imagine Randi being a feisty fucker.

When Davey and Ghosty cometo the UK, I reckon my standing them a pint or two of Cripplecock cider willdo them the power of good.

Of course were any of you guys on the side of, ya know, the evidence, reason and dare I say it truth (small t, truth is provisional only, may be subject to change without prior notice), well THEN I'd stand you more than the odd pint of Cripplecock. I'd take you down to Dorset, go into the Porterhouse, beer you to the eyeballs with Ringwood 49er and pig snacks, and then we'd enjoy an evening of decent conversation and banter. Mind you, since I do all this regularly anyway, excepting the Dorset part at the moment, you guys are always welcome to join in.



Date: 2006/08/20 02:53:02, Link
Author: Louis

Good lad. Except for two things:

1) You don'tdrink because you're afraid of deadening brain cells? Dude, seriously, that ship sailed a looooong time ago. You can drink free in the knowledge that brain damage due to alcohol is the least of your worries. Creationism beat the booze to it. ;)

2) Now, we've all had lots of fun with your diversions about dating and floods and buffs and the like. It's nice to see you are interested in science even if you misrepresent it, lie about it and don't understand it. But, we seem to have gotten off the topic by a long way. As MANY people have said to you MANY times, your negative claims about evolutionary biology and similar topics are wrong. Very wrong. Even if they were 100% right though, all they would prove AT BEST is that there is a problem with the field of science you were examining. They don't support your other claims in a positive sense.

What we need from you is the POSITIVE evidence of your creator god hypothesis. Saying something you find personally compelling doesn't do it (because anyone can counter it with equally compelling stuff for them). Appealing to scripture doesn't do it because other people can also appeal to scripture with equally justified differing interpretations. The can even appeal to OTHER religious texts with equal validity. Making things up about global floods and saying look isn't my bible correct doesn't do it. Even if your flood claims were true (and they ain't) all it would show is correlation AT BEST. Even if there were a global flood, you'd pretty much expect that people noticed and wrote about it, it doesn't follow that global flood=proof of your god.

What I am trying to get at is that it isn't that we don't accept your "evidence" it's just that your "evidence" doesn't actually support your claims, even if you were 100% correct and we were 100% incorrect. Which isn't the case as it happens! Your conclusions do not follow from either your premises or your "evidence".

Now it is entirely possible (note key word) that what you are claiming is the case, however, wouldn't you want that to be iron clad? Shown to be the case by the best available reasoning and data. At the moment it isn't, what YOU need to do (because no one can do it for you) is come up with something substantial that works. And this doesn't mean something that works in your head only.


Date: 2006/08/21 04:39:07, Link
Author: Louis
Oh this IS fun!


I'll quote you shall I?

What started the conversation about verbal insults was Louis portraying fundamentalist Christians like me as the "heretic burners" ... this is precisely backwards and I will correct this when I hear it.  It was actually the fundamentalist Christians and other suspected non-Papists who were being burned at the stake during the Inquisition.

So the people doing the burning were not christians? Forgive my obviously gaping ignorance Davey, but since when are Roman Catholics not christians?

Let me see now, oh look here's a Wikipedia thingy on it:

Seems like them that chatolics is christians too:

Also seems like they're the biggest bunch of christians and the holders of the original church of St Peter and all that (I knew all this already btw, I'm just amused by your nonsense).

The Inquisition was one group of christians burning other groups of christians (and others). Bear in mind Davey that's persecution of one lot of christians by another lot. And don't (liek I said above) get all "No True Scotsman" on me, it won't wash.

Another series of exiting examples:

And just to give you something to whine about:

Note the section on persecution of christians by christians. Also note that there's some nasty shit in there from lots of diverse groups. I guess humans are just mean to each other eh?

But of course Davey no christain has EVER burnt anyone at the stake or even wanted to, right?

How about:

Now obviously I certainly don't agree with the positions and views of everything in all those links, but the point is made. Religious fruitcakes of all stripes persecute others, it's the nature of the beast. Look at doctrines and dogmatic societies like those of communist Russia. No "religion", but a fanatical adherence to a tyrannical party line and dogma that brooked no dissent, leading to persecution and horrendous crimes against humanity. What you seem unable to grasp Davey is it's not the "christian" bit any of us have a problem with, it's the "fundamentalist" bit. You can be a fundamentalist christian, jew, muslim, sikh, buddhist, or banana toffee eater it makes not fucking difference. It's the fundamentalist fanaticism that makes people like you deny reality and desire to convert all dissenters by the sword or the stake if necessary.

Now don't tell me that you don't want your lies taught as fact Davey, because we know you do. You, GoP, and other like you want it your way or no way at all. No pluralism, no dissent, just believe as we do or die. Nice philosophy you have there buddy.

One nation under god, right? Whose? Which one? The minute you answer "Jesus" or "the one true one" etc you are immediately excluding others of differing faiths or lack of them. Oh they can practice their heathen faith, but they can't have it recognised by the state liek you want yours to be, and they better do it quietly if not eslewhere entirely right?



Date: 2006/08/21 06:12:11, Link
Author: Louis
Oh girls, stop all this fussing and feuding! Can't we all just get along?

Davey and GoP, regardless of anyone's interpretation of Deadman's words, he did not make any explicit physical threat. Any court of law would chuck the case out. As for lawsuits over what anyone says on an internet message board....whoa, you Yanks sure are funny! Since Deadman and GoP both use net-handles and (although I could be wrong about this) aren't readily identifiable, how could anyone prove material loss or damage due to libel? Case in the bin again.

What I LOVE about internet fora is how moody everyone gets. Insulting someone for being a lying sack of shite is one thing, after all it's all we actually can do. After a while some people aren't worth much more than the abuse they deserve. You lie you get called on it. You act dumb you get called on it. End of story. We don't know if GoP and Davey or anyone else are kiddy fiddling nun rapists (I strongly suspect not), what we DO know is that they both tell whoppers and demonstrate the intellectual honesty of something particularly lacking said quality, ON THIS FORUM. Maybe it's Dembskian "street theatre", maybe they are Loki trolls out for kicks. Who knows?

The point is that we can only "abuse" and "insult" anyone for what they do here. Personally, if someone lies, I really don't think it is insulting to call them a liar. Maybe that's because I am an un-PC European.


P.S. GoP, you're an Atlantan? Sweet, I love Atlanta, nice city. I remember this huge underground mall I went to when I visited about 16 years ago. It was a little weird (from an English perspective), but the city was great fun and I liked Atlantans. Very friendly bunch I found.

P.P.S. Davey and GoP, never mistake frustration on my/our part for persecution or hatred of you or yours. Personally I don't hate a living person (or even any dead ones). I do get frustrated with people like yourselves who are blinded to the data by an agenda, but hey, that's the way of the world.

Date: 2006/08/21 06:46:33, Link
Author: Louis

*I* know that's what you were doing. *You* know that's what you were doing. *Most of us* know that's what you were doing.

However, Dave the Rave and GoP the FloP demonstrate conclusively that there are those out there who demonstrably don't know that's what you were doing. I apologise profusely for not making it abundantly clear in my post that it was directed at the Raves and FloPs of this world, as opposed to you! My bad.



Date: 2006/08/21 08:37:39, Link
Author: Louis

Oh I *dislike* what I see of Dave and GoP here, I just don't *hate* them. I am fairly sure that in meatspace they're probably not as bad as they appear here, but I have little time for liars and people who deny the evidence (whatever it is and wherever it might lead) just because they don't like it.

Dislike is a massively different object from hate, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Hate implies a more active dislike, and possibly an automatic bias. I don;t believe, for example, that just because a creationist says something that it's automatically bullshit. I'm sure you don't either. If I hated creationists, wouldn't I be vehemently predisposed to instantly denying any claim they made regardless of the evidence? Wouldn't I in fact be doing precisely what I dislike them for doing?

Ah philosophy of an evening!


P.S. Pilsner and Bushmills in the post!

Date: 2006/08/22 00:58:22, Link
Author: Louis
Hey Ghosty,

Since it's you that's spouting what can only be termed arrant nonsense (e.g. geocentrism, oh please! Hostel is an "evolution" related movie, do take your head out of your colon! BTW crap movie I'd grant you), you'll hear from most of us again. Arrant nonsense does have be shown to be arrant nonsense after all. Freedom of speech and all that, I have no problem with you believeing as you do and expressing it openly. Go to it with my blessing (as if you need it), just don't expect that your views automatically get to be facts or laws without, ya know, actual evidenciary support (Something you have lacked so far I note). And don't expect your nauseatingly nonsensical bullshit to go unopposed.

Apart from all that have a good day, and enjoy some large Russian sweaty men or whatever it is you do to "relax". ;)


P.S. The point of this is that YOU have come here to convert us "evilushunist church burning ebola boys". You are the one with the big old claims which suspiciously lack support, if anyone is going to go away and shut up (as you insinuate above) then it really should be you.

Date: 2006/08/22 01:39:45, Link
Author: Louis

Funny how? Like, like a clown funny? You think I'm funny? I'll give you something to laugh at you fuck!

{sound of baseball bat emerging}

No one likes a joke more than me. Except perhaps my wife. And some of her friends. Ok so everyone likes a joke more than me.

Ok so I'm not original, sue me!


P.S. Are you a one line cdesignproponentist?  Like the advert: "Take two points into the forum? Not me, I just like to troll and go"?

Date: 2006/08/22 02:15:42, Link
Author: Louis

Hmmm interesting misreading on your part. I think I made it quite clear that something a creationist says is not made bullshit by the mere fact that a creationist says it. I'll clarify further, it's not automatically bullshit if it even refers to creationism. What makes what a creationist says bullshit (or indeed anyone) is whether or not it matches up to the evidence (i.e. whether or not it is in fact bullshit). Creationism is bullshit because it doesn't match the data, not because it is said by creationists, christians, or conservatives. End of story.

The reason I use creationists in this example is because, well, you and Davey are creationists. Simple really.

I also don't agree that stupid or ignorant people are inherently untrustworthy. Dishonest people are less trustworthy this is true, but I judge each case on its merits. A raving kleptomaniac might be an honest person in every other sense, whilst a compulsive liar might be trusted with my collection of Ferraris and my daughter (not that I actually have either! ). I've even been known to be nice agents (realtors to you Yanks). Eurgh I feel dirty just saying it.

As for your politics, the reason I reject them (at least the bits I have rejected) is again, nothing to do with where those politics are coming from. It's everything to do with the fact that more often than not they aren't anything more than superficially "evidence" based (and often dishonestly so, quote mines etc), they usually contain at least one non sequitur or glaring logical fallacy, they at least appear to be based on obvious prejudice, and seem to link nicely with various comments you have made (i.e. you are picking the politics you think supports your pre-existing dislikes of various groups/things).

I couldn't give a shit if you are a creationist or a biological scientist, a liberal or a conservative, a christian or an atheist, white or black, male or female, young or old, or any possible dichotomous baloney. It's WHAT you say and do that matters, and WHAT it is based on, not which "team" you belong to.

Oh and by the way a creationist position in 2006 IS prima facie evidence of stupidity, misguidedness, ignorance or dishonesty, at least regarding the relevant science. The bit I disagree with is your non sequitur that all of these traits make someone untrustworthy. Nice try though Gopsteriser. I'd give it a D+ must try harder.

Like I said above, one of them DOES make someone untrustworthy in some limited sense, possibly even in a broader sense. The others are perfectly correctable, and extremely common. I'm ignorant or misguided about LOADS of stuff. #### I'm probably even stupid too. And? The trick is I recognise it and try to correct it all as best I can. I am fallible and I don't have the same "team" identity problems you appear to have.

What I do care about is "just the facts, ma'am". I care about that last group, the dishonest ones. Those I'll fight to my last breath, and dammit boy if you ain't a shining example! Like I have said many times before, you're either a Loki troll or you are severely mentally ill. The possibility that you are ignorant of the science went out the window when you showed you could find the science. You might be stupid, but that's not my place to say because you don't appear to be stupid, so I'll give you a by there. I'm also pretty certain you aren't misguided, as you appear to know what you are doing with regards to shoehorning reality to fit your biblical beliefs, so I'm left with dishonest. Sorry, it's the least excusable, and least flattering of all four options.

I see the same in Davey if it helps sooth your nerves, except Davey ain't as (apparently) bright as you are. The level of cognitive dissonance that you two exhibit is simply staggering. But I guess you'll have to find that out for yourself.

As it stands, please stop trying to impose the views of your fictional bogeyman arbitrary groups onto people like me who don't share them.


Date: 2006/08/22 13:12:05, Link
Author: Louis

Nice try.No dice. Reason, evidence all that good stuff has been tried with you. Thus far it's failed. Mockery is all you're worth. Of course you are entirely free to demonstrate differently.

Many people, my humble self included, have pointed you to the evidence a gazillion times on a googleplex of topics (ok forgive the hyperbole). It's gone unnoticed by you, it's bounced of your shield of ignorance. Hence troll or moron. Note again, you didn't start out getting called a troll or a moron, it evolved over time when people engaged you and found you to be a troll or a moron.

Why is it you nutters always whinge when called on your bullshit? Persecution complexes aside Ghosty, your claim that muslims integrate less well than say jews is supported by what evidence? You have the nerve to accuse me of cherry picking (which I'm not btw, a point I made abundantly clear before) data to suit my cause (whatever it might be) and being unable to face uncomfortable "truths". As I said before Ghosty I don't care WHAT the answer is, just HOW one gets there.

I've also done a little more than let you know your political claims are (almost all, memory fails) based on your obvious prejudices. Prejudices I might add you have done nothing to hide at all. Don't start whinging that people don't use evidence a) when you have never managed a coherent point in your life, and b) they do.

Again Ghosty, you are trying to dishonestly portray what I and others say as a knee jerk hostility to you personally because of some group identity schtick. Since nothing could be further from the demonstrable truth, this is more than a tad laughable. Like I said before Ghosty, D+ must try harder.

Oh and Ghosty, you've yet to make a point that flew high enough to reach my knee caps, let alone go over my pointy little head. Your attempts to #### by association are all too clear. Piss off and take your meds, there's a good monkey.


Date: 2006/08/23 02:06:23, Link
Author: Louis
Oh no! Whatever am I to do? I've been challenged by the mighty mind that is Ghosty!

You present me with some dilemmas Ghosty.

Firstly, this is another one of your rather obvious distractions as I have manifestly made none of the claims you attribute to me, read back and in context. The dilemma is do I accept the challenge knowing that it is a convenient distraction for you to avoid, ya know, actually supporting any previous claim you made, political or otherwise. I'm specifically looking at geocentrism and guts to gametes etc etc. Your mouth has written a number of cheques it would appear that cannot cash, esp on the science front.

Secondly, as I have very openly admitted I am no political expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I suppose I opened my big gob and told you that you were a transparently obvious bigot, so I guess I am to blame. The dilemma here is that, as with all of us, just how much time am I willing to dedicate to playing!

Thirdly, I think you are a dishonest moron or a troll, as I have made abundantly clear. I have wasted time with you before Ghosty, which disinclines me to do so again. However, as I have said, crapola of your favourite flavour needs open opposition, so I am hoist by my own principled petard on that one. The dilemma being do I step into the street and wrestle the shit-covered madman who will only pull a "Black Knight" on me (see Grail, The Holy, Python, M. et al.) if I dare to get anything right, or do I avoid the challenge and appear the coward. Hmm toughie.

Lastly, we are likely to be discussing something suitably vague so you can weasel out of anything. This relates to the above dilemma. So I have three dilemmae, one of aiding your self distraction or not, one of can I be arsed to bother with you, and one based on previous experience with your dishonest self and others like you as to whether the exercise is pointless or not.


Anyway, I am intrigued by your 4 options Ghosty, they amuse me greatly.

1) Someone has refuted you someone on politics, Louis must do searchy searchy.

I agree, 'tis only fair after all. I'll try to do searchy searchy and find something. My lack of god 'twill be dull though. I am fairly sure Ghosty (fallibility of my memory openly admitted) that this has been done, whether you would agree or not is a different matter. Although, I have an offer of my own for you later that might make this unnecessary.

2) Ghosty bad on science therefore Ghosty bad on other stuff.

Well it's hard to see how you get this as an option seeing as I have bent over backwards to make it clear that I don't think this, but hey, this is your delusion (as with the intimidation, oh how I laugh at that, see the P.S.).

3) Ghosty's bullshit is trivial. Louis to dazzle.

Not sure about this one. Mostly your political stuff reinforces my opinion of you as a moron, but what do I know. I don't know that this means what you say is trivial though. After all, a large number of people think like you, and whilst they might be wrong, I wouldn't say that their opinion was trivial.

4) Ghosty's politics are incoherent, thus how does Louis know they are wrong.

An interesting one. This resembles nothing I have said, just like the other three also don't bear even the slightest relationship to my views as expressed. This is more projection from you Ghosty. Perhaps you don't get that what is in your....well....whatever it is you have that passes for a mind, is not what's in anyone else's.

Ah well, I guess there's no alternative.

I have a better idea. How about you defend one of your propositions as you have stated it, and I rebutt? That way there's no thread baggage from previous nonsenses. Sound fair? We could even have a special thread for it if you wish. I'm also going to do you a favour and pick a topic I admittedly know little about. I think this is a far better demonstration of your political acumen than rehashing old threads, even though it is a past claim of yours. It also ups the stakes nicely.

Here's the claim I want you to defend:

For example, I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties. Is this bigotry or simply stating an unpleasant truth? You obviously think the former, but if you're right you should point to evidence (not isolated examples) that Muslims do in fact assimilate, or that we are more free to speak our minds than previously.

The bit in bold is the relevant bit. You are proposing that Muslims as a whole religion integrate worse than other as yet undefined groups into Western civilisations/cultures, and that their cultural contribution to those Western civilisations/cultures directly results in the civil liberties of those civilisations/cultures being "damaged".

This interests me for several reasons. Firstly because I don't think it's the case and secondly because I don't KNOW that it's not the case. My "liberal bias" as you would call it would grant the Muslims the benefit of the doubt until the evidence was in. You're saying it is in and that it shows Muslims to be less integrating and more damaging to Western civilisations/cultures.

Is that fair?

So my proposal is that we have a new and fresh debate on this claim of yours. Of course you as proposer get to go first and provide a clear definition of you proposal and claim, and some of the evidence supporting it. Obviously I then have to rebutt on the basis of the evidence. I reckon a proper debate will sort the men from the boys nicely don't you?


P.S. Intimidation was mentioned a while back. This is in your mind only Ghosty. Just because you feel intimidated it doesn't follow that I (or anyone) is trying to intimidate you. Your projection and deviant psychology is abundant and obvious in all you post Ghosty. That's what makes poking you with a pointed stick so much fun.

Date: 2006/08/23 03:41:17, Link
Author: Louis
Shhhhh Faid, don't let the cat out of the bag. I was keeping Zombie Hilter the Pinko Darwinist in case of emergencies.


Date: 2006/08/23 11:24:12, Link
Author: Louis

I don't agree with the new thread title because it's a vastly broader topic than the one you originally claimed. Also the burden of proof does rest with you, you have made the positive claim. I didn't come out and say "muslims integrate equally well" or anything like it UNTIL you had already started on your "muslims don't integrate equally well" schtick. The burden of proof is yours.

As for you making progress on geocentrism, Ghosty, you are seriously deluded. You are so far away as to be ludicrous and ignoring the key problems (e.g. macroscale quantum effects). This:

You demonstrated that I have to account for antiboding orbitals when using QM; I still think gravity is analogous to a blown-up bonding orbital for an "s" type subenergy level. I realise that I can't think of it in terms of a more complicated molecular bond since that would eliminate the higher-energy bonding orbitals along with the antibonding orbitals.

is just arrant bullshit, yet again demonstrating you don't understand the concepts you are google trawling. Like I have said umpteen times molecular orbital=/= atomic orbital. An s orbital is a specific type of atomic orbital, any kind of bonding orbital is a molecular orbital. Any bonding interaction = molecular orbitals (or Van der Waals forces etc, which are a different beast again). If your model is based on an s orbital then there is no bonding interaction. If it is bonding orbital then there are other problems as discussed previously.

This is why I am massively disinclined to bother with you beyond comedy and mockery. You arrogantly assert that you can overturn centuries of science and data based on your biblical worldview, and yet you cannot get the basics right. Basics I would expect the least able undergrad I have ever met to be able to grasp instantly. You don't need hidden variables, information space, Klein bottles or macroscale quantum effects. These are flashy concepts you obviously don't understand that you are using in the equally obvious and desperate hope that you hit on an area of science that someone here doesn't know about. (Good luck btw)

Like I have said another umpteen times, your motivation, psychology and dishonesty are obvious Ghosty. You can play the wounded innocent and the honest scholar all you like but it doesn't wash. The evidence that you have provided is against you. You claim that Flint and myriad lurkers support you against my unjust criticism of you, and yet Flint never responded to my brief defense, repudiated you for your obvious errors and these lurkers seem silent. Even if they weren't and Flint supported every word that fell from your lips, so what? It's nothing to do with how many people agree with you Ghosty, it's the data that counts, and you don't have the data. All mouth and no trousers.

Anyway, that diatribe aside, I'll set up a thread, but we are restricting the claim you are defending to the one I bolded above. Your claim, your words, no weaseling or making it more vague after the fact.


Date: 2006/08/23 11:48:06, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

Ghosty made the following claim:

For example, I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties. Is this bigotry or simply stating an unpleasant truth? You obviously think the former, but if you're right you should point to evidence (not isolated examples) that Muslims do in fact assimilate, or that we are more free to speak our minds than previously.

Bold mine.

Since Ghosty is convinced that nobody has refuted any of his political views, and since Ghosty is keen for me deal with his politics as I have stated that they are based on his obvious prejudices, this debate has been arranged as a means to accomplish this.

There are several reasons I have picked this political claim over many others.

1) To be fair to Ghosty,I think there is a chance of him defending this one. Zombie Pinko Hitler is a different beast!

2) It's not something I have any special knowledge of, but I am inclined to grant anyone, including muslims and even Ghosty, the benefit of the doubt until I see evidence to the contrary. I am happy to be persuaded by Ghosty that the positive claim is the case, and I hope he is equally happy to be persuaded by me that it isn't, should that be the position I take. It is possible that Ghosty will present such compelling evidence that I agree with the original claim, and thus with him.

3) This claim at least is relativey specific. Many of the other claims,including the attempt by Ghosty to widen this claim, are more vague. Vague claims make for poor debates.

So the key claim is that muslims do not integrate as well as other groups. I expect Ghosty to present evidence for this claim and to clearly compare and contrast the integration into Western society of several groups. I also expect Ghosty to define what he means by "muslims" and "integrate", just for starters.

Take it away Ghosty.


Date: 2006/08/23 21:19:41, Link
Author: Louis

I am not complaining about loose language by experts (although I have done before), I am complaining about you using concepts that, by the way you describe them and the manner in which you are trying to use them, you clearly don't understand.

Believe me I am not picking any nits when I pick you up for talking about the bonding nature of an s orbital. Sigma bond is appropriate for a molecular orbital, but it appears you don't realise that the 1s orbitals (the atomic orbitals) of the hydrogen atoms in an H2 molecule don't exist in the molecule. They have combined to make the sigma molecular orbitals (bonding and antibonding). It's bugger all to do with jargon Ghosty, it's everything to do with you demonstrably not understanding the concepts you are trying to use.

As for "beatings", juvenalia already Ghosty? Like I've said I have no opinion either way on the issue, other than, like anyone, I am willing to grant the muslims the benefit of the doubt until I see compelling evidence to the contrary. I hope you will provide it. Unlike you Ghosty, I don't think this is a dick waving contest, I am after all happy to be conviced by the evidence. Don't you ever read anything I post? It's not WHAT is true that matters, but HOW you discover that it is true.


Date: 2006/08/23 21:44:56, Link
Author: Louis

I can live with those rules, they seem pretty fair.

Nice first post. And whilst this is by no means a reply to the interesting points you raise about multiculturalism, I have a few initial thoughts before I go away and read up on the topic so I can better discuss it.

What does it have to do with muslims? I thought we were discussing why muslims integrate less well than other groups onto western society. Multiculturalism, whilst a relevant overarching topic isn't dealing with the specifics of your claim. Your claim was black and white: muslims integrate less well than other groups. This isn't a debate about the virtues (or lack of) of multiculturalism.

Shouldn't you compare and contrast the historical integration of muslims with the historical integration of other groups?

Shouldn't you also be defining just what you mean by "muslims" in terms of a group identity. Are there differences between Pakistani muslims and Iraqi muslims in their ability to integrate? What about Bangladeshi?

Precisely what do you mean by "integrate" anyway? For example does a muslim have to renounce his/her faith and adopt the local majority faith in order to "integrate"? Do they have to dress similarly? Do they have to speak the host nation's language? Do they have to forgo halal food etc etc etc?

What I am trying to do is not present you with problems, but to understand precisely what we are discussing. Multiculturalism is a much broader issue than muslim integration for example, there are more groups than muslims and westerners (obviously otherwise you wouldn't be contrasting them! Duh Louis, that's a clever comment! ).

I think before we get into the to and fro we should define clearly what we are discussing.



Date: 2006/08/24 22:52:02, Link
Author: Louis

Well copied and pasted. I have no doubt about your abilities to google trawl scientific sounding documents.

Sadly you're STILL missing the point. pi bonds can indeed be described as being derived from the pz or px etc etc, no worries, but that doesn't imply that the px (or whatever) orbitals used to form that bond still exist, because they don't.

Also when you are talking about bonding orbitals you are also talking about antibonding orbitals, the two are inextricably linked. Take hydrogen for example, two hydrogen atoms combine to make one molecule of H2. Since the one electron in a hydrogen atom is in the 1s orbital in the ground state. Remembering that "in the 1s orbital" shorthand way to describe the wavefunction of the electron. The two spherical 1s orbitals overlap two produce the sigma bond, but two orbitals in, two orbitals out. The concomittant lowering of orbital energy in forming the sigma bonding orbital raises the energy of the antibonding orbital.

Perhaps a better way to express this: you are combining orbitals. The wavefunctions of the two electrons interact in such a way that the energy of the next available (i.e. empty) energy level to them alters by just as much as the energy level of the electrons themselves alters. You cannot make a bonding orbital without making the concomittant antibonding orbital. As we "discussed" several times before with your "disappearing antibonding orbital" schtick.

My advice Ghosty is stick to ephemeral politics, science ain't your thing.


Date: 2006/08/25 02:49:16, Link
Author: Louis

Great, I'll await your evidence then.

BTW, in the interest of helping you out, you might want to rephrase this:

My hypothesis, however, is that all Sunni and Shiite Muslims, as a group, are incompatible with Western societies regardless of nationality. In order to become compatible, they must discard their religion, and nothing less will do. I don't care about fashion and culinary preferences so long as they are not motivated by religious belief.

Bolding mine.

Because all I have to do is find one Shi'ite or Sunni muslim who operates well within Western societies and yet still practices his/her faith and co-exists amicably, compatibly and productively. I think I know what you are going to get at here btw, I just think in the interest of nitpickery that rephrasing this will benefit you.



Date: 2006/08/25 03:54:31, Link
Author: Louis

Not yet.


Date: 2006/08/28 23:58:22, Link
Author: Louis

Sorry, and call me stupid if you like, but I STILL don't see the direct relevence of all this.

So the qu'ran and hadith and some muslim scholars and individuals have interpreatations/literal verses that are hostile to integration. Big whoop. Not every self identifying muslim adheres to every literal verse nor to every interpretation. If your arguing that muslim fundamentalists make bad intergrators then you and I agree. But then so do christian fundamentalists and jewish fundamentalists and sikh fundamentalists etc etc etc. In addition, not all muslims are fundamentalists. Hardly a shock I'm sure!

I'm also sure you realise I can cherry pick the torah or the bible or the guru granth sahib for similar references. I'm especially sure you know this about the bible!  ;)

I can also understand some of the relevance here in terms of "oooh look, if them muslims do all this stuff then they as a group are going to be total pants at integrating into western societies", and on that I would agree, but the direction you're going in does not reflect the plurality of muslim thought or self identifying muslims.

I was hoping for a more fact based statistical type discussion of the actual evidence collected, rather than suppositions based on the horrific sections of millenium old witterings of illiterate sheep herders in the post iron age Middle East.



Date: 2006/08/29 00:11:25, Link
Author: Louis

And as I have said umpteen times before if the antibonding orbital is trapped in "information space"* by virtue of its higher energy then when you come to polyatomic molecules (and the universe/solar system is very polyatomic if analogous to a molecule) there is considerable overlap. Some bonding orbitals being higher in energy than antibonding orbitals of different bonds. So why aren't these bonding orbitals of higher energy trapped in {cough bullshit} "information space"*?

Like I have also said umpteen times it's not that your analogies don't work a bit, they fail to work even at a cursory glance. They are useless bullshit dreamt up by the terminally scientifically incompetant to somehow talk up their religious prejudices to a scientifically ignorant audience. Your church buddies might buy this crap Ghosty, but be assured no one with a little more education than a G.E.D. (and perhaps a little less G.O.D.?) i buying this crap for a minute.


*This bullshit handwaving bollocks is fooling no one Ghosty. Before you invent nice new universes you have to justify their use and "reality". Along with macro scale quantum mechanics, parallax....etc etc etc etc

Date: 2006/08/29 01:27:26, Link
Author: Louis
If by "teaching ID" you mean presenting it favourably as if it were true or just and equally valid alternative then option C.

If by "teaching ID" you mean presenting it as it really is, i.e. a religiously inspired political movement designed to shoehorn creationist mumbo jumbo into science class,  and the long refuted ideas of those who appealled to ignorance rather than evidence, then option B.


Date: 2006/08/29 05:10:22, Link
Author: Louis

1) I did mention the relevance thing early on. Read back. Don't worry about it, it's not a big deal, I'm just trying to focus on the key issues.

2) You're missing my brief point, read the quote that Chris has just made. I'll emphasise the bits you need:


Nothing to do with orthodoxy, everything to do with fanaticism. Oh and christian fundies are killing abortion doctors and blowing up clinics. It's also fairly trivial to show that literalist adherence to some biblical passages at the expense of others (i.e. just what you are doing with the qu'ran) is directly at odds with modern western society, again as I am sure you are aware. Jewish fundies (or zionists if you like) are bombing merry #### out of Palestinians (rightly or wrongly) and have a foreign policy and a policy on mixed ethnicity that is directly at odds with modern western values.

Oh and look up "Behzti" (sp?) a play that was picketted by Sikhs here in the UK, and the protests turned violent. The intimidation was sufficient to have the play stopped. I believe journos were also targetted, but I might be worng about that. What about "christian voice" an organisation here in the UK dedicated to intimidation camapaigns?

My point is simple, it's the fundamentalism that's the problem. The specific religion is pretty much incidental. In many cases social deprivation or poverty or anger at (foreign) policy is as important in many (if not all) cases of terrorism/rioting etc. The thing you have to do is demonstrate why muslims are special. Since not all muslims adhere to your choice of surahs and interpretations, you have to show why these more "moderate" muslims are worse at integrating than equally moderate sikhs (for example).


Date: 2006/08/29 05:14:19, Link
Author: Louis

If you concede that Islam, if followed literally, is incompatible with the West, I'll immediately move on to the stats

I explicitly do not concede, nor think, this. If you want to pick on literal islam, sort your own house out first and demonstrate how literal christianity is compatible with the west.


Date: 2006/08/29 06:17:28, Link
Author: Louis

Sorry my bad, I should have made the comparison more clear. What I mean is that if we are cherry picking actions by groups and cherry picking scriptures we had better be on the same page about which bits we are cherry picking. I can find a slew of western values that find Israel's actions to be abhorrent (and a slew more that don't). Oh and by the way that's what (rightly or wrongly) was in there for.

If you're going to cherry pick the worst excesses of current terrorists who happen to be muslims, then why can't I cherry pick the worst excesses of the IRA? Or of ostensibly christian organisations and governments? Or even, dare I say it, of communists (who were ostensibly atheists doncherknow).

The broad point I am making is that this is a very complex topic, and reducing it to "muslim or not muslim" is a very narrow definition. Robert Mugabe: not muslim, nasty fucker, wouldn't want him or his administration trying to muscle their way in over here. Polish/Russian mafia trafficking girls for prostitution and running opium to the UK, less headlines, more damage caused and expense incurred than 10 9/11s or 100 7/7s. etc etc ad nauseum.

Oh and also by the way, the cartoon furore was deliberate. The clerics who toured the middle east did so with a few additional cartoons of their own devising to rouse the lads some more. Heavens! People with an agenda using made up inflammatory propaganda to incite a population to riot? Never been done by a christian! Hmmmmm Wait a minute......

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the evils of islamic terrorists, but the brush you are painting with is far too broad. You're giving it the old "men rape women therfore all man are (potential) rapists" schtick. Muslims do commit acts of terror, true. Muslims therefore are all potential terrorists, not true. You are not admitting to the VAST majority of muslims in the west (and elsewhere) who don't support, condone, or act out these atrocities.


Date: 2006/08/30 01:52:26, Link
Author: Louis
Ghosty (and everyone to an extent),

We are getting WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY off the topic of this thread.

This thread is set up for GoP to establish his claim that all muslims integrate less well into western society than all other groups.

We are not concerned about who is being mean to who or when they were mean to each other, or even who has been the meanest recently. Nobody should be interested in defending the indefensible (7/7, 9/11, invading Iraq for oil.....oops freedom, yeah freedom) or other such tangents, nor should we (Ghosty, I'm looking at you) be pulling the selective quotation game with respects to holy books of various religious people.

Ghosty, if all you're interested in is "Ooohh look at them foreign darkies with their heathen ways and their funny lingo and their evil heathen religion" then a) you are not going to be able to establish your case, and b) I'm not interested. Nobody is interested in you trying to shore up your prejudices with favourable quote mines. What we ARE interested in is you defending the original claim. Everything we have had so far is at best very slightly relevant to the underlying causes of integration trouble (or lack of). At worst, it's irrelevant to the point of being nothing more than a staging ground for your political screed. Like I said, not interested.

Perhaps you should think about what you mean by "integration" and what groups you are going to select to contrast. Like I said before.

For example, take an hasidic jew and a sunni muslim, the hasidic jew doesn't socialise with the wider community but the sunni muslim does. Which one is integrating better? I pick these examples at randomn and only for illustrative purposes. This is what I mean by defining your criteria for deciding the extent of "integration".

That certain muslims are hostile to the west is undeniable, it doesn't follow therefore that ALL muslims (your claim, see above) are worse at integration than everyone else.


Date: 2006/08/30 02:22:22, Link
Author: Louis

Which is why your analogy doesn't work for the solar system or the universe (amongst many other reasons).

Thank you for playing.


Date: 2006/08/30 23:17:50, Link
Author: Louis

I'm not accusing anyone of quote mining per se, what's that saying "the devil can quote scripture to suit his needs"?

What I'm saying is that you are tarring "muslims" with the brush of literal adherence to the qu'ran, especially the naughty bits. Quoting the qu'ran (or the bible for that matter "thou shalt not suffer an unbeliever to live" remember that one) isn't sufficient to demonstrate "all muslims integrate worse than anyone else" because not all muslims have the same interpretations of the qu'ran, and I'm also saying that we should all be careful with this sort of thing (not just you).

I'm also saying it's irrelevant for good reasons. It doesn't matter what the qu'ran says, all you have to demonstrate is the original claim you made, i.e. that muslims integrate (that has yet to be defined) into western societies worse than all other groups. Wittering on about how evil the qu'ran is or how nasty and intemperate "muslims" are (when it's starkly clear that ALL "muslims" are not so nasty and intemperate, SOME are) doesn't do it.

Your "denials" 1, 2 and 3 are nonsense. No one is denying 1 and 2, mainly beacsue they're irrelevant to the discussion, and 3 is what you're trying to establish!

I haven't answered your "cultural and historical evidence" because you've yet to really bring any up, all we've had so far is appeals to high profile media cases and the nastier bits of iron age nonsense books.

This thread could be about 4 posts long. My original post, your response, my agreement, and a series of statistics showing that for your given definitions of "muslim" and "integration" that muslims do less well than say sikhs. Ok, there'd be a fifth post, me agreeing that you have proved your case.

The "look how nasty their naughty books are, and aren't some of them radical and terrorist material" is pointless, this applies to SOME of everybody. What you have to demonstrate is not that you THINK the make poor integration subjects, but that they HAVE made poor integration subjects, and demonstrably poorer than all other groups.

Ghosty, I am merely trying to get you to defend the claim you made, nothing more. When you defend that claim, and stop appealling to prejudice based on how mean and nasty some things that some muslims have done and said are, I'll post a proper reply. Until then I'm reduced to pointing out how irrelevant most of this is. Your argument thus far could be applied to pretty much any group at any point in history, it amounts to nothing more than your personal belief that the particular nastiness of some islamic people/works/deeds is compelling evidence that ALL muslims are poor integrators into western society. It's the equivalent of "ooooh isn't he black, wouldn't want him and his heathen ways living next to me.", granted with better references! Shorn of it's pseudoscholastic veneer it's nothing more than a rather wordy appeal to prejudice.

And before you go off on one, that's not necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't establish the claim you are making. It's irrelevant. Is any of this getting through?

Oh and how can we measure this? Define what you mean by integration for a start. Then we could go anywhere: crime statistics, proportion of income returned to home state, stats about the f1 and f2 generations, stats on up take of host language, stats on
"ghettoisation", stats on mixed marriages etc etc etc.

This is why I am trying to get you to define integration in terms of how you mean it. Give us some hard and fast criteria to clearly demonstrate what you are saying is true. This is childishly simple to do and I wonder why you are avoiding it. Skip all this regurgiposting half the internet because it isn't supporting your claim. Start by defining what you mean by integration, and as you have gone some way to defining what you mean by muslim, we may well have a starting point for actual proof.


Date: 2006/08/30 23:27:17, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Oh yeah, and that interesting "fact" about "many" moderate muslims flipping when they get over here needs a touch of.......evidence, that's the word! Proportionally how many? Where? When?


Date: 2006/08/31 05:37:32, Link
Author: Louis

This is getting pointless.

Whilst I'm grateful for the efforts you have put in, I REALLY think we need to return to the basics. Define what you mean by integration, or at least your criteria for "being integrated" or not. Draw the line you are trying to claim people are crossing or otherwise.

You're skipping over "conversations with black leaders" and "conversations with sikh leaders" etc, all of which occur with unfailing regularity (at least here), and make little headline news because of the current lack of terrorism on the part of some of the members of those groups.

Get to what you mean by integration first, establish a level playing field unambiguously. Otherwise it's obvious what you're trying to do is NOT provide a rational case for your claim.



P.S. I am not accusing you of anything, or being hostile, it's just that you made a very specific claim which is open to proof/disproof very simply. Which is why I asked you to defend it. This way we can have an unambiguous conclusion that satisfies everyone, rather than the long drawn out pointless wrangle that this is turning out to be. Make with the stats that unambiguously prove your claim or admit that you cannot do so without bloviating on the verbal nastiness of the qu'ran and the ridiculous wankery of deluded imams (both of which were well understood by all concrened before you posted them).

Date: 2006/08/31 23:55:44, Link
Author: Louis

You've drifted into that wonderful world of hostility and bullshit you like so much. I'm not taking a contrary position to you, as I stated right at the start. It's a topic I know too little about to do that. What I DID say was that until I see good evidence to the contrary I am willing to grant everybody, muslims and you included, the benfit of the doubt. Regardless of what others are saying, I'm not hostile to your claim, it could very well be the case, this whole thread started because you said that no one had ever refuted one of your political claims, after a certain amount of to and fro we settled on the idea that you would defend one of your claims, and for the reasons stated previously, I offered this claim of yours for defense, and you took up it's defense freely. Thus far we have four pages of only tangential relevance. Like I said before, this thread could be 5 or 6 messages long, with me completely agreeing with you at the end. Or it could be 7 or 8 messages long with you saying "oh wait my stats we're wrong" or something similar. Get it yet?

BTW, I'm not asking you to provide data for sikhs, blacks etc being poor integrators, calm down son! You're seeing arguments where there are none! My point was very simple, many cultures/races have had these "conversations" because of their taking "offense" to something or other, thus the fact that "conversations" have happened and some twat on a radio has said that we must censor free speech is vastly less significant that is being made out. This is the tangential stuff, thankfully you get to the actual claim later on. Congratulations.

I'm glad that you have defined what you mean by integration, that way we can  deal with what is actually going on rather than the endless series of pointless quotations and bigotry from all quarters.

The reason I want you to define what you mean by integration clearly is so that we have something concrete to deal with as opposed to quoting nasty people/books and saying "see how unWestern they are???!!!111one11111!!!".

By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.

The claim you are proving is this:

I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties.

And you have defined what you consider to be "muslims". I've included some broader descriptive quotes from which I'll attempt to make a summary description of your idea of what or who a muslim is.

I will focus on the Sunnis and Shi'ites (hereafter Shiites) because these two sects comprise 95 - 96% of the world's Muslim population. I

My hypothesis, however, is that all Sunni and Shiite Muslims, as a group, are incompatible with Western societies regardless of nationality. In order to become compatible, they must discard their religion, and nothing less will do.

For whatever reason, they don't fit in, and that's what matters in immigration policy

Here's what most Muslims countries want:

1) Death to Israel if not Israelis;

2) Dhimmitude for the rest of the Infidels;

3) Whatever else comes to mind, especially when they discover that 1) and 2) don't close the economic gap.

First of all, I don't hate Muslims; if it were up to me I'd leave Muslims alone to practice their religion to their heart's content. Problem is, they won't leave us alone. Do you really think that Muslim countries were a model of peace until THE NATION THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME was thrown into their midst?

So here is my precis of the "GoP majority muslim" (GMM hereafter), please feel free to correct any errors I make:

1) GMMs are of the sunni or shi'ite sects.
2) GMMs regardless of nationality are incompatible with western society (another phrase that needs definition) unless they abandon islam as described at length in many previous posts (GoPislam or GI hereafter).
3) GMMs desire Israel to be removed utterly, and possibly for Israelis themselves to be killed.
4) GMMs will "relegate" all other faiths they approve to some extent of to second class, i.e making the adherents of these faiths subject to dhimma.
5) GMMs are envious of the material success of the west and will alter their demands in order to garner the material items they desire.
6) GMMs will not leave the west alone, they will keep bombing, attacking etc until such time as they dominate.

Is that fair representation of the GMM?

So the claim has been defined by you Ghosty as the following:

GMMs do not integrate into western societies in such a way that they are no more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole, do not call for affirmative action, have a roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations without relying on affirmative action, score well on standardised scholastic tests, and have a culture that tolerates Western norms. In fact GMMs are worse on all these integration criteria than any other group that has emigrated into western society.

Do you consider this to be accurate regarding your claim?

Well I can certainly agree that a GMM might not fit that last criterion well (i.e. tolerate western norms), but we've yet to see the evidence for the crime, affirmative action, professional and scholastic criteria.



Date: 2006/09/02 12:50:42, Link
Author: Louis

Erm, sorry where did I call you names in this thread? I checked and I'm not sure I did. In fact I've bent over backwards to be conciliatory. Ah well.


Date: 2006/09/03 21:44:05, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for the wealth of stats and information.

I'm off to Cyprus for a cousin's wedding on Wendesday. I'll be away until at least the 16th, and I am excruciatingly busy until the 30th. So forgive me if I don't respond as fully as I might like. Dare I say "more later"?


P.S. I'm sure in my absence the gentlemen and ladies of ATBC can keep you amused.

Date: 2006/09/25 06:02:48, Link
Author: Louis
Just enough time for a quick comedy post:

As young adults every New Year's Eve my friends and I used to go to a little seaside town up the coast from our home. Every year the idea was that everybody turned up in fancy dress and had a street party (yes, on Dec 31st! Cold but FUN). The pubs were always rammed full and the streets heaving.

We set ourselves the task of bettering our fancy dress every year, and this continued for about 4 years. The penultimate year we all turned up as fridges. We cut the innards and heat exchangers out of old fridges, cut holes to get our bodies and arms through, and wore these old fridges as fancy dress. My friend even wired a car battery up to his fridge so that the light came on when you opened the door. We were very well recieved by the public, specifically the ladies, that evening.

The year after we wanted to all go as a car, so we bought an old wreck and proceeded to strip it clear of any superfluous parts. However, we went to France the night before New Year to get some cheap booze and ended up missing the ferry due to excessive drunkenness. Unfortunately we made it back to town too late to finish the car and get to the street party. So just went in normal clothes and got very drunk.

Ah memories!


Date: 2006/09/30 00:29:27, Link
Author: Louis
Mike PSS,

Where's Janiebell and her green pen.

(leans back to open door behind and yells)


It must be another Louis to whom you refer. Janiebell is not/was not/will never be anything to do with me. I wish it were not the case, but I have neither time nor inclination to conduct such a hoax, if indeed hoax it was.



Date: 2006/09/30 00:32:47, Link
Author: Louis
I take this claim has been abandoned in light of GoP's new venue for touting racist bullshit?

Anyway, since I am still excruciatingly busy, you'll STILL have to wait. Although I did discover a variety of useful stats from the ONS, I'll post them when I have time.



Date: 2006/09/30 00:45:08, Link
Author: Louis
Excellent and extremely interesting question. My answer:

Kingdom: Belief
Phylum: Unsubstantiated Belief
Order: Dogmatic Unsubstantiated Belief Based on Unsupported Assumptions and Prejudices
Genus: Bullshit-Lies-Evasions-Dishonesty
Species: Pseudoscience
Sub Species: Creationism

My problem is with things at the Phylum level, possibly even the Kingdom level, although I have yet to decide that fully.

Creationism is merely one sub species/variant (a vicious and vile species to be sure) of the species Pseudoscience, which is just one species in the very large genus of Bullshit-Lies-Evasions-Dishonesty.

Why did I choose Pseudoscience as the species? Because different pseudosciences can interbreed and produce new sub species of pseudoscience (see New Age and Natural and All Chemicals are Evil as examples). I don't single out creationism, it just appears to be one of the most pestilential varieties extant at the moment.


Date: 2006/09/30 05:37:34, Link
Author: Louis

No has refuted anything? Not from where, um, everyone else is looking! Anyway that aside, you STILL haven't demonstrated the original claim this thread was designed for you to defend. You've used it for your ever twisted views on race etc. You've then gone to the other thread and started the same schtick there.

I've gone away because of work, and I don't know where Faid has gone. I have read the thread today so that I was up to speed on what had and hadn't been said. You really haven't demonstrated this claim you know. You've wanked on about avenues of escape and silly comments about bashing and liberals as usual, but you haven't defended the one claim you have actually said you would. Like I've said a gazillion times,the vast majority of this thread is totally irrelevant (or at best tangentially relevant). We've had a definition (sort of) we've had a few attempts at some stats, but they don't really cut the mustard. Especially as (in some cases) you've tried to be honest and show stats that don't support your point.

The state of you demonstrating your claim is in that wonderful area we all knew it would go: yes there are some things a bit naughty about some muslims at the moment, and this is hidden by the standard GoP bullshit about liberals and race.

Oh and stop trying to be igenuous. Your race comments on the other thread are not restricted to Diamond.


Date: 2006/09/30 07:10:39, Link
Author: Louis

Hold on. Where did I say you've posted no stats?

That's right, nowhere. What I DID say is that (as usual) your stats don't show what you think they show.

Now then Ghosty, let's learn to fucking read shall we? I didn't say racist comments I said "race comments" and I was refering to the fact that these comment weren't restricted to Diamond. Shit Ghosty, try harder.

You can cast aspertions on my having to work bloody hard all you like Ghosty. Forgive me if I note the irony and utter inappropriateness of your comment due to the fact that you have written a large number of cheques you cannot pay.

Anyway, stop this fucking about, I don't have the stats I downloaded the other day on this PC, so you'll have to wait. And yes, I'm still fucking busy. Tough.


Date: 2006/10/02 01:10:31, Link
Author: Louis
Obnoxious or Odious Excresence?

Olfactory Effluvia?

'Orrible Excrement?

Oral Excitements? (Hmmmm perhaps not!;)

Obloquy Evident?

Oblique Excretia?

Obfuscatory Effuvia?

Out-of-place Exegesis?

Or any combination thereof. Oh I have so many more! Benefits of a classical education and all that. :-)


Date: 2006/10/02 02:40:19, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Forgot one:

Overweening Egotism

Date: 2006/10/02 22:06:34, Link
Author: Louis
I am always bemused by these "racial IQ differences" and "sexual IQ differences" debates for several reasons.

1) They usually miss the point and are linked to crazy arse politics (see this thread!;) from various poles of the political spectra (and I do mean "spectra" plural).

2) Why is a difference a) unexpected, and b) a problem? (Biologically speaking, NOT politically speaking)

3) So fucking what?

Well point 1) is an obvious gripe about the bog standard conflation of nonsenses and politics into a (at least hypothetically) scientifically answerable question.

Point 2) isn't amazingly hard either. One potential explanation for the rapid (evolutionary) increase in human brain size and intelligence is a sexual selection based "arms race between the sexes". Women "preferred" "smart" men, these couples had "smart" kids on average driving both female and male "smartness" upwards (men had to be "smart" to get laid, women had to be "smart" to tell which blokes were "smart" and which weren't). Yes this is a hideously brief synopsis of a vastlymore complex idea.

In fact if men had greater extremes of "smartness" (i.e. both dumb and brilliant) and women tended to cluster closer to the average, isn't this what a sexual selection based arms race would predict? Answers to that question from real evolutionary biologists etc. AFDave and GoP need not apply.

Finally 3). So what. My brother is a smart lad, but dare I say I'm smarter (of course!;). Does that mean I get to treat my brother like a second class citizen or make him do menial shit? Does it mean I get to poke him with a sharp stick? No. I know several female colleagues VASTLY smarter than I, should they get to poke me with a sharp stick? Ooooooh, I also have one female, black, gay colleague who is really clever. Surely she gets a bigger stick to poke us mortals with, being so "disadvantaged" (cough choke) as she is?

Should I go around the streets pointing at disabled people and laughing? Scorning them for their inferior physical attributes? Perhaps I should be advocating treating them like second class citizens because of their lack of abilities. Hmmmmm. What about athletes? Do they get to piss on people because they can run faster? Can athletes shoot disabled people for fun? After all they are so much "better". Should we have one law for men, one law for women, one law for black people? Ooooh what  about black men and black women? If we subdivide our laws on these groupings, what's the hierarchy? Are white males more or less legally priviledged than black males? White females more/less than black females? What if our subject is a black female christian? Does the adherence to a faith bump them up a catagory? How do we decide? What indeed, is the POLITICAL point of all this? Factually it's interesting and exciting to study, but what is the point of its use in politics?

Why have I deviated onto this remarkably amusing red herring? Because I smell the Is/Ought fallacy wafting about. Even if black people, women, gays and liberals are on average smarter/dumber/bigger/smaller/faster/slower/hung like a dinosaur/hung like a mouse (take your pick) [women hung? Pass over it Louis, that's a different story for a different day!] I have one thing to say (well two!;):


a) People are a diverse bunch anyway, we should use the skills/abilities we have as individuals rather than worry about ephemeral supposed group traits that are contentious and ill defined anyway (eg IQ).

b) As has been demonstrated time and again, the overlap between these groups is vastly greater than the discrepancy. The commonality more significant (statistically, biologically, factually) than the difference.

It's an annoying red herring.


Date: 2006/10/04 03:05:17, Link
Author: Louis

Y'ever notice that assertions of racial superiority are so often made by the least superior representatives of the race?



Date: 2006/10/04 03:39:10, Link
Author: Louis

Louis, don't you realise that affirmative action policies, speech codes, discrimination suits, and antiwhite/antimale propaganda are based partly on the assumption of group equivalencies in mental ability and temperament? So this issue matters for that reason alone.

Well firstly, you've misunderstood where I am coming from. I don't think that studying these things is a bad idea at all. I think studying them is a GREAT idea in fact.

We've been studying race issues for years and guess what? The overlap has been found to be larger than the differences. This simple fact alone shows that making decisions on claimed group temperaments ALONE is very flawed. You keep ignoring this despite the fact that all the stas you provide, all the data everyone else provides show this. You keep pointing at differences and failing to notice the vastly greater quantity of similarities.

People should be judged on an individual basis. Of course if Person A is from Afganistan then the statistical likelihood is that that they will have characteristics A, and if Person B is from American then the statistical likelihood is that they will have characteristics B. But that's it. In the absence of other information about them you effectively know nothing other than what is possibly the case. Racist and exclusionist politics and policies fundamentally fail to acknowledge this. Oh and by the way, I think affirmative action is a racist policy.

Secondly, what makes you think I agree with affirmative action and antiwhite/antimale propaganda etc? For the record I don't think that affirmative action is the best way to correct the social flaws it sets out to correct. I must confess I think it's a great way to address the problem initially (i.e. shoehorn  a few "minorities" in to positions they've been unfairly denies) but in the longer term it does more harm than good, and is fundamentally racist and patronising. Stop arguing against strawmen that people here aren't promoting.

Thirdly, you're missing the point re: discrimination and political correctness etc.  If you saw a black person in a wheel chair do you think it's appropriate to shout "Hey, Nigger Cripple, I'm superior to you fucko!"? Do you think it's appropriate for a black person to do it? For a crippled black person to do it? I think the answer to all of these is "no". It doesn't matter what is said, to whom, by whom, it matters with what intent it is said. Of course intent is trickier to prove than what's actually been said. And equally obviously, some words have such perjorative connotations that they are almost certainly discriminatory. However, judge each case on it's merits.

I'm also a big fan of banning "offense". If some whining shit says that something is "offensive" and thus we shouldn't watch/say/read etc it, they can fuck directly off. The corollary to that question is never asked by the offendee of the offender: "What offends YOU?". So if a black person is offended by the word "nigger" when they overhear it directed elsewhere, tough titty (although, like I do, they should go and defend the target of the abuse). If the same black person is denied a job because, in the words of the bigot interviewing them, "we don't employ niggers here. You coons are all lazier than ####" (something very similar to racist abuse I have personally suffered from in the past) then the racist scum interviewer should lose at least one testicle.

See the difference?

We should treat people as we wish ourselves to be treated. The golden rule, remember it? Most religions, including your fictional little fairy tale for fuck ups, have managed to hit on it. Black or white, gay or straight, male or female. The playing ground should be level. Why? Because whatever metric you choose to discriminate against another group with, the overwhelming likelihood is that someone within your own grouping has a similar "score" on that specific metric. Stop trying to justify your bigotry GoP.


P.S. Oh GoP, I've already told you those stats are on another PC, and I am certainly not collating them again. Sorry sonny, too busy for that at the mo. Your pathetic (and hypocritical) insinuation that I owe you some "homework" when your mouth constantly writes cheques you have no hope of cashing (geocentrism, guts to gametes, all blacks/muslims are inferior to all whites/christians, the west is the best ever and christianity is the ONLY reason the west is the best etc etc etc) is totally laughable. Why not back up just one of your claims properly instead of patronising your betters (and I REALLY mean this), lying and google trawling so you can "beat them libruls at tha' internetz", you shit ignorant, functionally illiterate, racist barrel of inadequacy and monkey piss? The only reason unintellectual troll scum like you get away with anything on the internet is because it places you out of danger from a very well deserved smack in the mouth. You haven't the balls to play this game in real life.

Date: 2006/10/04 10:55:10, Link
Author: Louis

No shit for brains, small differences in the middle making big differences at the end doesn't deal with the fact that the two curves overlap enormously in this case. THAT'S the point. Trying to use outliers and extremes as measures of the whole is dishonest.

Oh and this:

This doesn't sound like the talk of a man who's confident in his POV.

Is wide of the mark. Perhaps it's a man who is extremely annoyed at bandying words with a moron racist who is flapping around trying to justify factual and political claims that he has no chance of doing, outside of what we've seen so far: google trawling and obfuscation. Don't superimpose and project your fears and inadequacy onto others.

After all GoP, it isn't me who is supremely confident that the sun goes round the fucking earth. Moron. Don't mistake annoyance for insecurity. Unlike you GoP I don't care what the answer IS, I haven't got a worldview tied up in it. I care that the answer is demonstable and reliable as far as can be acheieved. You STILL haven't got this despite near endless repetition.

I mean for fuck's sake the whole point of this latest bullshit thread of yours is to demonstrate that christianity has been the single overriding difference that has made western society what it is. The best you've come up with is pointing at people of achievement who were christian and saying there you go. Guess what GoP, they were European too, which means that Europeans are superiorr to Americans (by your "logic") and thus you should fuck off. But correlation not being causation (and causation you've yet to demonstrate) all you've got is handwaving and obfuscation.


Date: 2006/10/04 17:57:01, Link
Author: Louis
GiP (GoP no longer),

Genetic determinism? You are STILL ascribing positions to me I simply don't occupy. Like I have said a GAZILLION times now, I don't care if black people are smarter/dumber than white people or if any one group is smarter or dumber. I'm not worried about if this is genetically determined or otherwise. It's a red herring politically.

Scientifically it's a fascinating question and should be studied to the hilt. Get this yet Sparky?

Why are you a a moronic racist?  Because you have played this tape before here. We are all well aware of where you are going,what you are trying to support, and what your agenda is. You've made no bones about the fact that you consider certain races/religions inferior to your own and that you favour less racial mixing and greater segregation. These are explicitly racist, just like affirmative action is explicitly racist. Fucking #### Gipper, it's impossible for you to be any MORE obvious about your agenda.

You want evidence? Read your own posts. Only a moron would claim the sun orbits a stationary earth etc. Why a moron?  Because the evidence is concrete for the precise opposite. Only a moron would fail to realise that correlation and causation are not the same things, especially after this has been pointed out to said moron more times that the stupid slob has had BigMacs (which I'm guessing is a lot in your case). Don't think for one second that your google trawling, obfuscatory, hand waving bullshit and weasel words are fooling anyone. They ain't. Oh and yes I read the essay. Just because some twat has written something you google trawled and that partially agrees with you means fuck all Gippy. Get used to the fact that you are as transparent as you are stupid. Which makes you see through baby.

You are commiting so many fallacies with this crap it borders on the dribbling.

There are mean IQ differences between group A and group B does not equate to "Group A and groupe B should not be mixed, group A has a right to govern group B" etc. The fact does not endorse your use of it. Is does not equal ought. Just because I know how to make semtex, and I can do it does not mean I SHOULD do so. That is a different set of decisions based only partially on this specific fact.

What you are STILL denying is that the area  of overlap of these curves is in reality vastly greater than the area of no overlap. This is very important Gippster. There may well (and indeed are) differences at the extremes, and it's certain that SOME of that difference is due to genetics (really not a controversial thing to say) but the vast bulk of  people don't fall into those extremes. The vast bulk of people fall into the overlap. That's not hypothesis, that's what the investigation you think so vital (and indeed is vital, but not for the reasons you think it is)  shows to be the case.

As for genetic factors as opposed to cultural factors meaning that we have a totalitarian society which fritters cash away and demonises smart folks,fuck me deftly Gippy, you've given the game away again. Not only is this grade A bullshit, but it's a non sequitur of the first water. I wonder if you think the same about 100m sprinting? Tell me o wise one of mixing effects and genetic diversity. Is it always bad to be a mongrel? Or is genetic diversity the fodder of natural selection (within certain obvious speciation limits of course)? What are the IQ stats for mixed race people? Perhaps that would be an interesting study.

However, just like most racist scum, you deliberately pick on things like IQ because they are ill defined and contentious. The grey areas allow you to hand wave and spout prejudicial crap thinly veiled as google trawled baloney.


Date: 2006/10/05 15:21:53, Link
Author: Louis

You simply cannot read for comprehension nor follow a simple argument can you? Is=/=ought. Correlation=/=causation. Read the posts again fuck nut. I don't need to provide you with a slew of stats because regardless of how accurate or inaccurate your stats are, your "logic" is flawed. Your argument is goes A-B-C-QQQZ It's the steps between C and QQQZ that are the problem. Simply saying "A is true, therefore my argument must be right" is simply more logically fallacious bullshit from you.

You ARE denying the vastness of the overlap to overemphasise the extremes, just like I said ages back. So no that's not a lie. By the way it's nice to see you trying to copy how people here treat you when you are found lying. Unfortunately I have no need to lie unlike you, sun goes round the earth, LOL remember that fucknugget?

Also accepting the simple fact that there are limited differences between any two groups of people (racial or otherwise) is not racist. Claiming that narrow differences in one metric demonstrate a superiority in general IS racist, which is what you are doing. Get it thicko? And I don't accuse libertarian cultural determinists of racism, I accuse YOU personally of racism.

Is it STILL possible you don't understand this? The fact (or otherwise) of measurable scientific differences between groups does not mean that a difference in political access, rights etc for those groups should exist. Is=/=ought. Get it? It isn't racist to accept the facts as they are, it's racist to treat a group of people based as if they all represented a certain stereotype, average or series of attributes simply because of their race.

This is why bigots like you LOVE IQ, it's ephemeral, hard to pin down and you can wiggle your invidious vileness into it. 100m sprinting (while not a basis for laws etc, nor did I suggest it was, idiot) is less contentious for a slew  of reasons.  On average it would appear that people from certain African origins (but interestingly not certain other African origins) are faster than the majority of other groups on. Even clearer is long distance running in which people from a certain Kenyan (I think) village seem to be enormously better on average at marathons than any other group. You keep whining on about people not admitting differences between racial groups. Which is amusingly a strawman. The problem is NOT that differences exist and are measurable. The problem is with how people like you think those differences mean that they can adopt certain discriminatory practices.

Also I didn't say that you mocked mongrels shit for brains, I asked a question. YOU are advocating racial segregation and highly restricted immigration etc, not me. The question is about genetic diversity. IF there is a genetic component to intellect (and there is, do try to realise that this is not genetic determinism, there are many other factors), and IF those genetic components are distributed unevenly throught the human population (and they are) and IF some of that uneven distribution clusters in certain racial groups (contentious, but plausible) then isn't it in our best interests as a whole to attempt to reduce those differences by racial mixing? After all it will only move the average upwards rather than the top downwards. Oops this verges on becoming a biological argument! Clearly one that WAAAAAAAAAY over your head because you missed it the first time.

You posted a wikipedia article a while ago (or someone did) that had a graph in it that caught my eye.

See the big bit in the middle Gippy? See how the area of that is much larger than the bits at the extremes? How statistically significant is that? This is entirely the point. I'm saying "Look at the whole data set, look how much overlap there is. That overlap out weighs the statistical significance of the extreme numerically. This means that making policy on the statistically insignificant differences is a no no".

You're saying "Look at the extremes, hot #### now I gets to have me some nigger slaves and live in a whites only compund!". The difference is not in the facts, it's in the pre-exisiting political bias you already have. As I have said UMPTEEN times is=/=ought, and you don't even have is.

E.O. Wilson said it best:

"The moment has come to stress that there is a dangerous trap in sociobiology, one which can be avoided only by constant vigilance. The trap is the naturalistic fallacy of ethics which uncritically concludes that what is, should be. The ‘what is’ in human nature is to a large extent the heritage of a Pleistocene hunter-gatherer existence. When any genetic bias is demonstrated, it cannot be used to justify a continuing practice in present and future societies."
Retrieved from ""

Not ONCE have I denied that a significant change in the extreme ends of distribution can be brought about by small changes in the mean. I knew it before you did. What I DO deny is that in the case of racial distribution of intellectual ability these mean differences are sufficient to make significant changes in the extreme. I also deny utterly the validity of argument based on the one extreme alone.

Some more comments from that Wikipedia article:

For example, in response to The Bell Curve Ashley Montagu, who famously stated the ideology of race is "man's most dangerous myth," wrote:

It is generally held that anyone who cries "Fire" in a crowded theatre should be held responsible for the consequences of his conduct. The same rule should apply to anyone who, motivated by racism, publishes inflammatory falsehoods concerning others, whether they be individuals, groups, or populations; they should by law be held responsible for their conduct. More than 200 years of racism, libel and slander, are enough, and so it is with use of IQ tests, which in a very real sense represent demeaning falsehoods, whether they maliciously intended or not.[140]

I disagree that studying these matters is a problem (see below). I do agree that they are specifically misused to make political cases by all wings of politics.

Some scientists, including W. D. Hamilton,[141] considered to be one of the greatest evolutionary theorists of the 20th century,[142] argue that suppressing race and intelligence research is actually more harmful than dealing with it honestly. Linda Gottfredson, a prominent professor whose work has been influential in U.S. workplace policy and who's also a Pioneer fund grantee argues:

Lying about race differences in achievement is harmful because it foments mutual recrimination. Because the untruth insists that differences cannot be natural, they must be artificial, manmade, manufactured. Someone must be at fault. Someone must be refusing to do the right thing. It therefore sustains unwarranted, divisive, and ever-escalating mutual accusations of moral culpability, such as Whites are racist and Blacks are lazy.[143]

This I agree with whole heartedly, I'm for MORE study not less.

Steven Pinker argues that opposition to racism is based on moral, not scientific assumptions, and is not vulnerable to being disproved by bioscientific advances. "The case against bigotry is not a factual claim that humans are biologically indistinguishable. It is a moral stance that condemns judging an individual according to the average traits of certain groups...".[144] Pinker suggests that intellectual life may not at present be prepared to deal with this area of inquiry.[145]

Bingo! Pinker has it right. Denial of the fact of difference is not what determines the moral argument against racism.

My comments interspersed in italics.

This is why I KEEP saying you are arguing against a strawman Gippy AND why I keep saying you ascribe positions to others that they don't hold. The FACTS of differences between groups are irrelevant to the politics.


P.S. Crybaby? Crying about what Gippy? I don't give two shits about having been on the recieving end of racist abuse as a kid. Personally it's water off a duck's back to me. However, I don't think it's justified as an employment criterion, just like I don't think affirmative action is justified. I believe in a meritocracy, best person for the job gets it. We should of course do our level best to create opportunities for all people, regardless of irrelevancies like race. Best person for the job Gippy, and lets face it, a racist in not going to work well in a multicultural team environment. Your days are numbered. Oh and my point long ago wasn't that I appear Pakistani, it was that ignorant racist bigots with single digit IQs assumed I was Pakistani because I was the only browner person than them for miles around. Gods your a dumbass Gipper.

Date: 2006/10/05 16:42:14, Link
Author: Louis
While I was editing that post Gippy posted:

Indeed I can. That's why I'm your worst can't outargue me, you can't guilt me, you can't bully me -- you can't even get the mods to shut me up. Poor you.

Can't out argue you??? In who's fucking universe Gippy? Not one that anyone other than you occupies! You've had your arse handed to you on a silver platter on every topic you've posted on Gippy. By me and many others.

Let's take a straw poll shall we? Who thinks GoP has out argued anyone about anything on this board?


Date: 2006/10/05 16:48:53, Link
Author: Louis

Never trust white male christians with guns.


P.S. No doubt Gippy you will be as dismayed and annoyed by the assessment (fake) I jocularly made above. But you aren't demonstrating your claim on this thread and you know it. Posting snippets of news don't cut the mustard and you know this. You'll get your stats in a few days.

Date: 2006/10/05 16:52:17, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Oh and I'm foulmouthed towards you because you disgust me. Nothing more than that you loathsome cretin.

Date: 2006/10/07 11:57:29, Link
Author: Louis
I'll help you out Gipster.

1) Not my graph, but posted by someone referring to the wikipedia article on IQ and race. Hmmmnow who was that someone?

2) Tick!

3) Tick!

4) Tick!

5) Why it's caucasians and asians! Wow I never noticed that before, gosh! (Or perhaps I did!;) And? Oh that's right no intellectual progress gets made under an IQ of 120. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

6) Undereducated? Nope, sorry.

Handwaving? I haven't handwaved anything, all I have pointed out is that the overlappy bit is bigger than the non-overlappy bit.

Foul mouthed? Tick, most definitely when it comes to functionally subhuman bigots and scum like you Gipster. Do you want me to pull punches because you is pwecious? Awwwwww. Quick Gippy post a picture of a nice sweaty muscled boxer or wrestler. That'll make you happy.

Find where I have denied differences between any groups Gippy. I haven't. What I HAVE said is that they are less significant than the whole picture. If we're talking about making laws and social decisions you have to deal with everyone.

Now this contention of yours that intellectual progress is only made by people with an IQ  over 120. Interesting. Bollocks as far as I can tell (despite my being over that 120 mark, phew, GoP will think I'm valuable now! I'm so pleased). What about people with an IQ of 119? Are they forever damned in the GoP "Model"? What about people with IQ 100 who have made astounding contributions, are they not sufficiently IQ'ed enough to have made a "REAL" contribution (can I hear my good friend Angus approaching?)? And what of these measurements of IQ, what factors could affect them? Could there be social factors (as opposed to genetic or cultural factors alone) involved, like poverty and access to resources? If this is the case doesn't this also bear scrutiny and study? If then found to be true shouldn't we do our level best to reduce those social effects? I can't remember the name of this fallacy you are making, but it is this: you are assuming that "is now" means "ever thus".

As I said ages ago you making an argument of extremes only. Not only is it fallacious (as shown above, the conclusions do not follow from the premises nor the data), but you HAVE to ignore the commonality because it doesn't fit with your dogma.

No doubt you'll say that I am ignoring the differences, but I'm not, nor do I need to. My point has been and is very simple: if you are proposing that we set some dicriminatory laws in place to curb this or that, or to seperate this or that (whatever they are doesn't actually matter) you have to show that a black person of IQ 80 is different from a white person of IQ 80. Both exist in that large overlap you are keen to ignore. The differences on the other hand are useful. We can study why those differences exist and try to reduce them in a positive fashion (bring the bottom up rather than the top down).

Also the "we did it" attitude vis whites/christians/whatever is ignorant of history AND logic. If "it" has been done then SOMEONE had to do it first. That involves a whole concatenation of circumstances genetic, social, cultural etc. Were we able to clearly postdict the causes of high contribution or genius, we would be exploiting them now. We aren't because at the moment we can't. You're drawing an arbitrary line in the sand that puts you on the good side and others on the naughty side to make yourself feel good.

Furthermore correlation =/= causation. I'm going to keep pointing this out to you until it is carved on your forehead. 10 top mathematians were christians does not prove that their christianity was instrumental to their mathematical abilities. Who know it might be the case (it demonstably isn't), but simple correlation and special pleading (which is all you have) doesn't cut the mustard.

Tough tits bigot.


Date: 2006/10/07 12:25:57, Link
Author: Louis

LOL So you've found the website of the ONS! Good, that's where my stats come from. You'd be amazed what an hoonest treatment of them shows, because it ain't what you think. I'll just have to ask you to wait until I'm on the other PC and I can get that sodding doc I left there.



Some muslims aren't integrating? Certainly none of the ones I've met. How did the Africans, Carribeans, Sikhs, Hindus, Europeans and various other immigrants integrate early on? Did they all have the same grievances against the "West", whether or not those grievances are valid or not.

What amuses me about this is I am defending muslims, who's religion (like christianity) I find utterly abhorrent. I firmly believe that a tolerance of moderate religion promotes fundamentalism and prevents it from scrutiny.

News stories are all GoP seems to have (although he has selectively quoted the ONS, as I will show), what about the myriad unwritten news stories? "Muslim goes to work, comes home, has tea. No bombings. film at 11". Personally I don't believe the hype. What I DO believe is that, yes the muslim community (particularly Iqbal Sacranie et al) are very reluctant to criticise the vileness of extremist islam, however it is ever thus. Are we Brits less hypocritical? What of OUR attrocities? Massacres in colonial India, near genocide in the South seas, constant interference and aggression against the Middle East, the list goes on. We are far from whiter than white.

Breaking news: when two different groups mix, there are inevitable tensions and conflicts. Don't believe me? Go to a family wedding! The groups don't need to be as big and diverse as a race or religion. Overemotive nonsense which abrogates the REAL target of blame is pointless. Religion in all its forms is where we have to look, and what we have to eradicate. Obviously in practice this is unobtainable outside of totalitarian horror, and so isn't desirable in the least. However, what we CAN, and should do, is remove the societal protection religious beliefs have. If anyone cries "that offends my religion" our reply shouldn't be "sorry" or "fuck you" but "so what? What the hecky thump does your religion have to do with anything? Sorry chum, your religion is your business alone".

How best to illustrate this? Hmmmm. Well there is a school of islamic thought (particualrly Wahhabist) that states if a muslim on the other side of the world is cut, then I (were I a muslim) bleed. This is yet another "them and us" in group/out group identity issue. Gippy is trying to prove that white male christians are the bees knees because he is a white (presumably) male(possibly) christian (unfortunately). He's trying to reinforce his in group identity. How is this obvious? because he is trying desperately to focus on the differences he sees as significant when let's be honest they ain't.

I'm sure you remember better than I the 70s and 80s when the NI troubles were rife. Irish catholics, and Irish people in general were under the same suspicion that muslims are now. Unfortunately for muslims in Britain now, world events involve their brethren and the tabloids are having a field day tarring all with the same brush.

Unfortunately Gippy's argument amounts to no more than "'Ere they come over 'ere, with their heathen lingo and clothes and steal our jobs. And their food tastes funny!" Different cultures clash? Fuck me, really? Guess what, demonising people, patronising them, giving in to them and pulling out hair and crying "oh WHY aren't they integrating" doesn't cut it. Unfortunately that's what our government is doing. What people need to see is that British society has a place for them, and that's fucking hard to acheive and I'm certainly not wise enough to know the answer to it. I have a couple of ideas, but I can't be sure they're any good.

Anyway,enough of this crap. Gippy's actually done something serious ish and quoted good stats. Time for me to get that sodding document from work.


Date: 2006/10/08 07:47:22, Link
Author: Louis

I agree with you about, well, everything there! I'm dead curious about the topic too, which is why I picked this claim of Gippy's. I don't know enough about it to have a properly informed opinion initially, so I am granting everyone concerned the benefit of the doubt, and learning on the fly.

So don't STFU in any way at all! The cultural clashes between immigrants and host nation are nothing new, as I'm sure you know. This one will fade in time as fashions change. Like you said, many of your/my muslim chums are as English as they can be. There is some "anglicisation" process that happens, so change does happen on the immigrant side. If there is a great deal of alienation then we might just have to change a little ourselves. Secularising education and law would be a blinding good start. No faith schools because it turns into "me too" segregation. Bin all religious holidays and just up the amount of holiday people can take so that they can celebrate whatever holy days they wish. Stand firm on freedom of speech, make sure everyone realises it cuts both ways (i.e. if you don't like muslim hate speech or the BNP then listen to neither, or better still refute, rebutt and counter these people intellectually). If people wnat to build a mosque, go right ahead, but make sure you don't fall foul of the noise pollution laws etc.

We don't have to lose our British identity to accomodate immigrants, but we do have to demonstrate a coherent policy which doesn'tbias things in our favour. That might go a long way to helping. Of course, just my opinion little more.

There's one thing that sort of worries me. Where was this British self analysis during the IRA's most active periods? My guess is that the little I remember being there was due to the fact that we all knew why the IRA were doing what they are doing. Our part in the conflict was well understood. I think the propaganda and bullshit we are subjected to now hinders a rational persepctive on the current issue. I shall have to think on it more.



Date: 2006/10/13 15:30:46, Link
Author: Louis
Lord love a duck I was right, Gippy is a fucking Loki troll.



Date: 2006/10/13 15:56:11, Link
Author: Louis
Gippy the Wonder Cunt,


a) your recent confession to trolling (an odious practice at the best of times). (Note I predicted this as one of two very plausible alternatives a LONG while back, as did others)

b) the fact that it's 2:37am here, I'm still working and therefore fucking busy in general (despite breaks such as this for light relief).

c) I'm still remote from the PC with the relevant file on it.

d) You've already found the UK govt stats site where I have taken all the info from, an HONEST quoting of the stats on that site refutes your "position" utterly as you undoubtably know.

I'm disinclined to bother. However, your particular brand of pointless scum will no doubt crow, and so I'll post the list when I get the chance.

Frankly given that you are a self confessed troll my opinion of you (singular or plural) has been revised downwards rather than upwards. It isn't about teams, I couldn't care less that you "believe in evolution" (something that's been obvious for a while btw) and thus are "on our side", I care that you've posted/behaved like an obnoxious twat. An opinion reinforced by your self confessed trolling. Dembskiesque "street theatre" one wonders?

From what I can gather from your posting habits as "CreoGippy" you (singular or plural) are (a) conceited egomaniac(s)  obsessed with your own self importance, and with FAR too much time on your hands (indicating no ACTUAL importance). Why should anyone expect "ReasonableDeistGippy" (with ALL NEW AVATAR!!!!;) to be any different? How are we to know this isn't the latest shell in an endless shell game.

Like I recently said, you're obviously a deluded little inadequate who behaves this way online because in real life the much deserved smack in the mouth you would undoubtably receive for such behaviour scares you pissless.

If you haven't got this extremely simple point yet Gippy I'll spell it out: creationism/religion/bigotry/pseudoscience are not things that I counter simply because they are different or opposed to my own views, but because they have no foundation in evidence, and thus espousing them is either: ignorant, stupid, dishonest or wicked. I'm not worried too much about the first two classes. The second I can't do much about. The first seems omnipresent regardless of the struggle against it (yet that struggle must go on). The third and fourth categories are what energise my opposition, especially the third.  In a forum limited by it's medium of communication we de facto have to be as honest as possible to have as productive a discussion as possible. By being dishonest (a la AFDave) the discussion is made unproductive. By being dishonest (a la Gippy) the discussion is rendered fucking pointless.

So it's about dishonesty Gippy, and by confessing to trollery you openly confessed to dishonesty. What a total waste of time and effort on everyone's part, most especially yours. Amusingly, you didn't even have the talent to do it successfully enough to fool people! How sad.


Date: 2006/10/13 16:00:22, Link
Author: Louis

Well Gippy has managed one amazing thing. He/she/they has/have managed to revise my opinion of him/them downward.

An idiot I can cope with. A pompous self important delusional idiot is just in desperate need of a thorough kicking.


P.S. And as I also said before: Gippy's a wanker, it's just a pity his father wasn't. What a total waste of a perfectly useful ejaculation. It seems he snuck into the shallow end of the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn't looking. There clearly is no beginning to his talents.

P.P.S. London Howlerfest this weekedn, any beers you need drinking for you?

P.P.P.S. I am sorely tempted to appeal to Wes to IP ban GoP's operator(s). At the end of the day sock puppetry, extensive Loki trolling and the egomanical bullshit of GoP is counterproductive to any discussion. What point does playing GoP actually serve other than annoyance?

Date: 2006/10/14 05:25:34, Link
Author: Louis
My two cents is get rid of the twat.

A) He/they hasn't/haven't contributed anything useful or of substance to any discussion (not unusual for a creationist, real or pretend). This isn't alone enough to merit a ban.

B) He/they is/are (a) self confessed troll(s). Since when did deliberately trolling for flames, Loki points and general disruptive bollocks become a tolerable and honest mode of interaction? Perhaps not enough to merit a ban on it's own.

C) Demonstrate(s) rampant egomania. Again not enough on it's own to merit a ban.

It's the combination of the three that are the problem. Coupled to the fact that I'm not sure I believe this two person tag team shit. I reckon it's just one fucked up bipolar egotist on his meds and off them.

Either way, my vote is for removal of GoP.


Date: 2006/10/14 09:08:59, Link
Author: Louis

I'll go along with that to a limited extent. A GOOD Loki is a worthwhile thing, as indeed is holding up mirrors and views being questioned etc. A GOOD loki isn't simply an attention whore or an annoyance, which sadly GoP is and was.  GOOD lokiing is inherently short term otherwise the value of the Loki is lost. Also there must be contrast for the joke  to work. I'll use an analogy: if you went to your annual job review and you and your boss agreed that you'd had 11 crappy months and 1 high performance month which would you consider the aberration? The good month or the 11 crappy ones? GoP did not and does not have the credibility or the high performance parts to make the Loki work. He can googleup a storm,but to be frank so can a sexually frustrated 13 year old. Shouldn't we be aiming slightly higher than rudimentary typing and a propensity for matching phrases with what other people have said?

I'd also disagree that things like the geocentrism thread took an enormously high level to counter. For example th chemistry/orbitals stuff was A-level to first year undergrad stuff. Ok so geocentrism was big doodoo a few centuries ago, but if GoP's claim to deliberate intellectual stimulation by Loki is to be believed then why use things that are no longer problems? Why not REALLY go for major controversies in science, as opposed to vocal political sounding points?

The political threads irritated me for their rank dishonesty more than anything else. I don't see any value in lying to get a rise out of people, and it's that that irritates me.  Like I have said several times now Loki behaviour like GoP's is an outlet for silliness that GoP is too shit scared to perform in public, and for good reason.

Granted a quality Loki does make a good canvas, and the tradition of the "devil's advocate" is long used in debate. The question is "was GoP a quality Loki?", the answer in my opinion is no.


Date: 2006/10/14 21:40:12, Link
Author: Louis
Two things:


I applaud the effort. I also feel disgruntled to have had my chain yanked some but it is an interesting experiment.

I'm not worried about my chain being yanked, that's what it's there for. My annoyance stems from the fact that nI dislike dishonesty and this experiment has been done to death several times before, we know the answer, and it has been done well and productively.


One question I've always had was, "Can people detach arguments from the person making them?" This was an attempt to answer that question. After looking at the evidence, I'm not optimistic, although there have been some exceptions of course.

Ah patronising! I'd buy this if it weren't for all the ridiculous insults about evos and libruls and piccies of wrestlers etc. I'd also buy this if it were for the HUGE dishonesty you demonstrated in your mode of argumentation. Your "arguments" WERE detached from the person making them all the time. The argument you had in rebut was not "GoP is an X therefore his arguments are wrong" you had "GoP says X, X is wrong because of Y".

Admittedly these were followed by frustration and annoyance at your rudeness and dishonesty by "GoP is simply trolling, his arguments have been refuted and yet he plays the endless shell game. Therefore GoP=wanker etc". YOUR tendancy to reduce the debate to it's lowest level (personal remarks, stereotyping, dishonesty) totally blows this patronising little claim of yours out of the water.

My guess, this switch is yet another part of the attention whoring shell game you are playing. You're trying to see how friendly people are to you once you're "on their team". Well Gippy, as long as you're dishonest, you're NEVER on my team, no matter what else we might or might not agree upon.

Stephen Elliot:

I think I articulated why I am annoyed in the "muslims" thread. It's dishonesty I don't like. I was hostile to GoP BEFORE his latest revelation because of his dishonesty. I am still hostile AFTER his latest revelation because of his dishonesty. Nothing has changed.

I don't buy it. I didn't buy it when I thought GoP was an obvious Loki months ago. I will continue not to buy it, and my purchase is not dependant on GoP's "allegiances". This is the latest round of the game that GoP is playing. It's not a good game, it's not being well played, and it ultimately finds out nothing that anyone was not already well aware of.


Date: 2006/10/16 05:21:18, Link
Author: Louis

As I said, an honest quoting of the stats from the UK govt website will show you that you claim is false. Since I am now back at the PC with the doc on it, and since I can spare a few minutes here we go:

Prison Population

Pages 121 onwards are relevant. Note for example (one of many) that the "south asian" category has increased at roughly the same rate as the "white" category. Or that in violent and sexual crimes the "south asian category" is the smallest. Or that the "south asian" category is less (or in some cases equally at worst) represented than the "black" category in prison pop.

Or page 127 onwards might grab your eye. Muslims make up only 8% of the total prison population yet are the largest single religious group after christians in the general populace. Or that buddhists, even though a tiny minority, have tripled in the prison population as have people with no religion where muslims have merely doubled.

Enough of that. How about:

The majority of muslims self identify as British nationals

Or this little stat

Some more stats about the make up of the groupings

and these

Or that Muslims make up only 2.8% of the whole population

How about Muslims are the second largest religious group to be self employed (such revenue generation!;)

How about this too?

How about the situation for Pakistanis (almost all of whom are muslims)?

Highest chance of being a victim of racial crimeHighest chance of being a victim of racial crime

Or that they have the worst health

Or that they are the youngest (and have the largest male:female ratio)

Or that they are the least qualified

Or the poorest

My point is NOT "oh poor muslims". My point is that there is a stronger correlation between poverty, age of population, history of immigration, access to education. general social depravation and criminality, integration etc than there is with "race". That doesn't mean there are no correlations to be made, just that these correlations are less valid than others that could be made. The picture is VASTLY more complex than "Muslim=foreign=won't integrate".

Also the stat about national identity is an interesting one, the majority of even foreign born muslim immigrants self identify as British. More so than hindus for example. Isn't that just a little interesting? Again, the point is not that muslims are  "black or white/good or bad" in a bipolar sense, but that they are not worse than all other groups across the board, nor do they represent the least integrated category of immigrant (in fact nor does any one group).

So we have the original claim:

For example, I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties. Is this bigotry or simply stating an unpleasant truth? You obviously think the former, but if you're right you should point to evidence (not isolated examples) that Muslims do in fact assimilate, or that we are more free to speak our minds than previously.

By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.

Groups that satisfy all the above conditions:

Jews, N.E. Asians, S.E. Asians (I think), Indians.

Notice that it's OK if an immigrant group beats the native population in these areas -- I'm not afraid of hypercompetitive groups. Please notice the word "tolerates" in point 4).

So what have we got? Equally educated? Nope, but then is that more strongly correlated with educational opportunity, poverty, age and migratory history than race/religion? Yes. Is their relative "newness", youth and poverty more important in their professional lives than their religion? Yes. (Oh by the way, if you look at those stats, you'll find muslims were the most ethinically diverse group of immigrants, which alone blows your claim out of the water)

They are vastly less likely to commit violent crime. Wonderful!

Cries for affirmative action? Can this really be blamed on muslims? There was no affirmative action before muslims emigrated to Britain? What if muslims are in some cases suffering genuine discrimination and injustice in this country? Are they meant to say nothing when there are social channels open to them to aid their integration? By the way, as stated before I don't support affirmative action, nor do I support the attempts by SOME muslim (or in fact any religious) groups to censor language and demand special priviledge, my point here is that this is not restricted to muslims. Every immigrant or minority group has cried out against discrimination, perceived or real. Are muslims any "worse" than black people are/were in this respect? Where is the muslim million man march? Where is Martin Luther Khan? Personally I think the question is irrelevant and stupid, as I have mentioned before, but the point is the level of self employment and self identification as British amongst muslim immigrants demonstrates a tendancy to "get on with it" and not complain amongst the majority of muslims. Guess what, this has been habitually true of most immigrants!

A culture that tolerates western norms? What are western norms? How about tolerance of homosexuality? Does your average muslim tolerate homosexuality any less or more than say your average southern baptist or sikh or hindu? Does your average muslim tolerate other faiths any less or more than say Stephen Green of "christian voice"? My point here is again that the majority of immigrant muslims self identify as British which strongly implies that they DO tolerate western norms, as does the fact that there are many muslims in the country who simply melt into the background, the few bad apples spoiling things for the majority.

Again the comparison stands: Is the average muslim immigrant more or less tolerant of western norms than immigrants of other faiths? Given the level of self identity as British, it would appear that in the UK at least (a western country last time I looked) muslim immigrants are better than many other immigrant faith groups, even those more established in Britain like Asian hindus, Indian Sikhs and Afro-Carribean christians.

Are there cultural differences? Of course. Are those cultural differences by and large ironed out over time as they have been in the majority of other immigrants? Yes. Are those cultural differences more pronounced than those of Indian immigrants and Afro-Carribean immigrants of previous waves of migration? No. Are those cultural differences more violently expressed than those of the white, Irish Catholic community of the 1970s and 1980s, or the National Front and British National Party skinheads (supposedly of the same culture as myself)? No. Is it possible that race or foreign-ness are not the engines of these conflicts? Yes. Is it possible that discrimination, poverty and social exclusion are? Yes. IS it possibly even a mix of both? Yes.

What's the point of all this? The point is not that muslims or any immigrant is whiter than white and a perfect little victim of horrible natives. Nor is the point to deny there are problems caused by immigration that would be absent with no immigration. The point is that a) we have been here before with every immigrant population in every nation across the world (claims of cultural incompatibility, cries for fair and equal treatment, cries for societal change that would be unfair and unequal), b) that in many if not most categories muslims are no worse that extant and former immigrant populations (at least in the UK), c) many of those categories in which muslims fall down are more strognly correlated to the social circumstances of muslims (history of immigration, poverty etc) than they are to the faith of muslims or racial background (see for example the fact that non-muslim Afro-Carribean immigrants are more represented in the prison population relatively than are Asians or Pakistanis).

My point is essentially that the absolutist claim "muslims=bad immigrants" is false and that the contention that muslims are significantly worse than other racial/faith/ethnic groups at integrating into western societies is false.


Date: 2006/10/16 05:44:28, Link
Author: Louis

The reason I reply with profanity laden abuse is because you deserve no more.

My vote to ban you is because you are a dishonest troll and you take more away than you contribute. Also, I didn't call for you to be smacked in the mouth, what I said was that you behave as you do online because no one can give you a smack in the mouth which, were you behave in this manner in meatspace, you would richly deserve.

As for ignorance being the opposite of love, well Gippy, I don't hate you, nor do I even dislike you, I don't even know you. What I DO do is hold you in profound contempt. If I abuse you, it's because I enjoy insulting mindless, dishonest bigots like yourself, and because I don't buy your latest pose of vague reasonableness. Remember Gippy who it is who has long history of posting piccies of semi naked sweaty men crushing "evos and libruls" and myriad comments of this nature. Hmmm? YOU started this mindless nonsense, you shouldn't attempt to hide behind a cloud of ink when someone calls you on it and responds in kind. You aren't subtle, you aren't clever, and let's be honest I feel perfectly justified in my utter contempt for you and shall demonstrate it at every turn.

Look at the muslim thread Gippy. The other stats I provide from the same source demonstrate your selective quotation of them.

As I have maintained from the start, you are either a self deluding moron or a dishonest, attention whoring troll with no intellectual gifts. The only part I got wrong was the "either" for you are demonstrably both.


Date: 2006/10/16 22:33:10, Link
Author: Louis

I think I made the point that although muslims make up more of the prison population than their representation in the general public would acount for, other groups do so to a greater extent.

Nice dishonest quoting of ME let alone the stats.

The point about you dishonestly quoting the stats is very simple. You have picked things which you think support your case and omitted things that don't. Since I have no case (as I stated right at the outset of this thread) it doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I am free to quote everything. As I said at the start it might turn out that muslims are worse than all other immigrant groups, but that I seriously doubt it.

My major point is (and has always been) nothing more controversial than your blanket treatment of muslims (or any group) is erroneous, which let's be honest it blatantly is from even a cursory reading of the above stats. I don't need to deny problems with immigrant populations because I know they are there, the agenda is YOURS (i.e. muslim=unintegrable) not mine. Your agenda relies on media scare stories and hyperbole and ignores the vast majority of people immigrant or otherwise.

My minor point is that you can only ever support such a view by distorting the facts, selective reporting and hyperbolic rhetorical nonsense. Posting articles about how debates rage over veils, or how in Windsor nasty things happen doesn't butter any parsnips. Yes there are problems it's ridiculous to deny there are problems, but these are problems from a wide variety of sources and any remote understanding of history (very recent in some cases) shows that immigrant populations before  muslims had similar if not exactly the same problems. The point is that you have done nothing to support your original claim which was that muslims are worse than other groups. The stats show that by and large they are not worse than other groups. This is not the same thing as there being no conflicts at all.

With the prison population thing you are deliberately and dishonestly ignoring the point I am making very clearly which is simply that if we go by proportion of general population vs proportion of general population south asians (of which the majority of British muslims are a subset, look at the other stats) are better off that Afro-Carribeans (for example). If we go by religious leanings then muslims are better off than people with no religion. However, the minute you correlate those data with poverty, education etc you find that the correlation between these factors is more significant that religion. Look at that big old document that frightens you so much, you'll find social groupings in there too.

Nice try, pity you failed.


Date: 2006/10/16 23:40:46, Link
Author: Louis

As stated before. the reason I treat you with contempt is because it is all you deserve. Ignoring you only grants you the freedom to post drivel at will. Banning you hopefully demonstrates a hard line on pointless ego massaging trolling which is all you have done. This latest pose, like your others fools no one, least of all me.

Personally I find your sort of troll immensely amusing, a kind of chew toy that can be chewed and beaten as a catharsis after a long day. The simple fact that you don't get the subtle distinctions in what I or anyone else types despite extensive clarification demonstrates your intellectual failings very clearly. How, for example, can someone like Shirley Knott, Deadman, Ved etc "get" what I am saying in plain English without blowing a single neuron whereas you destroy a lobe over every post?

Also, what is it with your memory? In the past you have been answered fairly and politely by all concerned, even naughty old me. In this same past you have demonstrated that google trawling for concepts you clearly don't understand, lying and outright doublethink are your only methods of counter. I hate to break it to you Gippy, but your grandiose claims of "putting oneself in the creationist mindset to improve one's counercreationism" is patently false, if not utterly absurd. Empathy is all well and good, and understanding the other person's argument is vital,, but guess what Gippy: every damned one of us here myself included has done this. Guess what else: we didn't need to do ego stroking trolling to acheive it. Like I have been saying for quite some time Gippy, you fool no one.

BTW I love the way you keep trying to turn this around onto me and everyone else, it's highly amusing. This is why I don't for a second buy this new "tag team" Gippy bullshit. You are playing silly buggers pure and simple. THIS is another reason why were it up to me I would ban you. You contribute nothing positive, you are demonstrably dishonest in every aspect of your conduct and argumentation, ignoring you won't work for the simple reason that you will attention whore until you get the desired response, and you are merely masturbating with your own ridiculously deluded ego. Getting rid of you is the best option. Mind you, I expect claims of being a "l33t h4x0r" to arise shortly before or after any ban, should one be forthcoming.


Date: 2006/10/17 01:58:23, Link
Author: Louis
Not only that but all these "fine tuning" arguments are ass backwards. As Douglas Adams said it's like a puddle claiming that the hole it occupies was specifically designed to fit it. The reason we observe the universe the way it is is simply because if the universe were different that we wouldn't be here to observe it.

Yes of course perhaps there are different stable universes based on different values of various constants, and this is one of the things that science is currently exploring (although how in some cases is beyond me I must confess). The argument from personal incredulity "it's all so narrow the window of variation, look look how narrow it is" is nothing more than special pleading.


Date: 2006/10/19 03:17:36, Link
Author: Louis

I am making no case other than your original claim is erroneous. Stop trying to dodge.

Your claim was "muslims worse than everyone" I didn't buy it, and have shown that it's false. Your claim has been summarily refuted. Quod erat demonstratum.

If you wish to debate about the benefits and problems of immigration then that's fine, but it's a different topic. You made a specific claim, that specific claim has been comprehensively shown to be false. Is it beyond you to admit that?



P.S. Does anyone want to independantly adjudicate this issue? GoP made a specific claim. I assert that that that specific claim has been shown to be false and erroneous, no more no less. Any takers?

Date: 2006/10/19 03:29:27, Link
Author: Louis
"Web rage" pah, tish, piffle and codswallop.

It's perfectly justifiable. The lad who got a soupcon of batterage clearly deserved it. He was possibly looking at the other lad's virtual e-bird, or he spilt his inter-pint. It's possible he even ate the batterer's online ordered doublar burger.


P.S. Tongue in cheek? Me? Never!

Date: 2006/10/19 07:32:53, Link
Author: Louis

Oh Deary Me! Why am I lumbered explaining reasoning to someone with the IQ of room temperature yoghurt?

1) Here is the original claim YOU made:

For example, I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties. Is this bigotry or simply stating an unpleasant truth? You obviously think the former, but if you're right you should point to evidence (not isolated examples) that Muslims do in fact assimilate, or that we are more free to speak our minds than previously.

Bolding mine.

2) Here is where it came from:

Link to the Movie thread

A salient quote therein

Then prove it. Show me a single political claim I've made that runs contrary to the facts, and I'll happily revise it. Until then, I'll assume you're bluffing

Re-reading the section of the thread, we've been here before.

So basically, here's the challenge. Point to the political belief you think is silly and refute it, or show exactly where it's incoherent. If you do anything other than this, then I will interpret it as an inability to refute my position. No excuses accepted.

Or you can just admit you can't do it. Cause I know you can't, Panda's Thumbers know you can't, and many of the lurkers know you can't. Why not just be honest?

So there's Gippy's challenge. After some to and fro we got some definition of what Gippy was claiming:

I will focus on the Sunnis and Shi'ites (hereafter Shiites) because these two sects comprise 95 - 96% of the world's Muslim population.

and this on "integration":

By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.

Groups that satisfy all the above conditions:

Jews, N.E. Asians, S.E. Asians (I think), Indians.

Notice that it's OK if an immigrant group beats the native population in these areas -- I'm not afraid of hypercompetitive groups. Please notice the word "tolerates" in point 4).

3) Reading the stats from my previous post we see that muslims are more represented in the prison population than in the general population. As I explained before this isn't a problem for me bevause I'm not claiming differently. However it is a problem for Gippy IF another group is even more represented in the prison population than muslims when it relates back to the presence in the general population. Non religious people are more represented by far in the prison population than are muslims, and vastly more than present in the general population. So if Gippy wishes to claim that muslims are "worse" than everyone then why aren't they "worse" than non-religious people on this criterion?

If Gippy wishes to switch tracks and claim that these stats will be hidden in studies on ethnic composition then the fact that Afro Carribean people are vastly more over-represented in the prison population compared to Asians, which is the ethnic background of most British muslims (see other links in that post).

The point is not that "muslims= great" but that Gippy's claim of "muslims = worse than every other group" is false. Get it Gippy?

As for violent crime, look at how under-represented asians/muslims are in violent crimes, much less than the white/christian majority even taking into account proportion of general population.

Do I really have to keep spelling this out for you Gippy?  You made a very specific claim. I asked you if it was a claim you would wish to defend. You said yes. I asked you to define the terms of the claim. You did. I bent over backwards to let you present the "evidence" and all I got, bar two meagre quote mined attempts at stats, was anecdotal crap and news articles about meany muslims.

But still I let you continue. I went to the UK govt stats site, after freely confessing that I knew little to nothing about this topic several times, and found the stats I posted. They by no means show a perfect picture of muslims in the UK, but then the bits that aren't perfect in almost all cases correlate more strongly with social deprivation, age, migrational history, poverty and other factors rather than religion.

The point is Gippy you made a big claim which you had every chance to redefine, take back, or modify and yet you ploughed ahead regardless. You have been hoist by your own bigotry, so eager are you to promote your pre-existing racist fantasies. This is why I keep telling you Gippy, you're fucking transparent sonny. Not only is the claim AS STATED AND DEFINED BY YOU false, but you are now resorting to equivocation to back away from it. I said right at the outset this was not a thread about the benefits/flaws of immigration,it was merely a thread about you demonstrating your claim to be true. You have not done that with all your news stories, bigotry and obfuscation because one simple set of stats show that you claim is false.

Keep whining dumbass. As I have said many many times, you fool no one. What a laughable, contemptable little clown you are.


Date: 2006/10/19 07:52:02, Link
Author: Louis

Awww come ON! GoP's latest pleas of "Ha ha,I was just pretending!" is obvious bullshit. His schtick hasn't changed one bit. He just took a larger dose of his meds than normal and had a moment of near rationality.Only near though. He's still wearing his mother's wedding dress whilst being sat in the dimly lit root cellar he calls home and masturbating to pictures of sweaty wrestlers and Ann Coulter whilst sat in a pileof his own effluvia.

But just for a second he could smell his own stink and came up with "I was making the pretendy game!".  Pity poor GoP for he is stupid like a turd.


Date: 2006/10/19 22:07:18, Link
Author: Louis
Lord love a duck Gippy! I'M not making any claim. YOU are making the claim. You claimed muslims don't integrate as well as other groups. It would appear that they do. Your claim is false. End of story. The argument about the bigger picture is not the issue, as I have said.

The abuse is because I am frustrated by dealing with a goal post moving dishonest git like you Gippy. Get it yet?


Date: 2006/10/21 04:29:26, Link
Author: Louis
Keep deluding yourself GoP, it's all you have.

Anyone else agree with Gippy's assessment?


Date: 2006/10/22 00:57:13, Link
Author: Louis
By the way does anyone buy GoP's recent goalpost shift and dishonesty in this thread?


Date: 2006/10/22 11:00:18, Link
Author: Louis

Ah now muslim fundamentaliam scares me shiteless also. I TOTALLY agree about the horrors of ideological fundamentalism, religious or otherwise. Look at the "excesses" under communist/stalinist regimes for non religious examples.

Beer. Interesting concept. I've heard of it of course, good idea! How about Skeptics in the Pub in London Bridge (google Skeptics in the Pub uk, it should be the first link that comes up) on thursday? There's always a good crowd and it's worth the visit. I can't remember how local you are (or aren't) so I don't know if this is convenient.

Anyway, this conversation wasn't about muslim fundamentalism, immigration or any of these things. It was about Gippy claiming that no one had ever refuted one of his political claims (which was crap when he claimed that, and is still crap now). Not that I think for 2 seconds that Gippy will admit it, but hey ho, 'tis the way the cookie crumbles. They do say that denial is not just a river in Africa, and we already know about Gippy's  projection, denial, narcissism, cognitive dissonance,  obsessive fixation with homoerotica, masculinity issues, insecurity, pretensions and delusions of significance. This is just another data point.


P.S. (added in edit) Lenny, don't you find Gippy's partisan witterings highly amusing? His wanton paranoia about lefties borders on the McCartyist. Hmmm I wonder how relevant that might be. After all it's possible Gippy's ISN'T a pointless 14 year old with Google as his homepage. He might be a sad little septagenarian, wizened and bitter, long abandoned by his compatriots who died from bile or atherosclerosis. Whichever, he's still wearing mom's wedding dress and failing to take his meds. Ahhhh 'tis good to mock the moronic. It makes a day of frustrating chemistry melt into the background!

Date: 2006/10/22 12:50:53, Link
Author: Louis
Oh for fuck's sake Gippy, do try to get this through your intensely thick skull:


You made a claim that no one had ever rebutted one of your political claims.

You also made a claim about muslims being worse at integrating into western societies than any other group.

It is clearly not the case that muslims as a group are worse at integrating into western societies than any other group on every criterion YOU gave for integration.

Ergo, your claim is false. Quod erat demonstratum.

This says NOTHING about whether there are social problems associated with immigration, multiculturalism, the mixing of cultures, religious moderation fostering religious extremism etc etc etc. All this thread has been to do with is YOUR defense of a claim YOU made and YOU defined. There are other threads in which the wider issues at play are under discussion. You claimed 2+2=5, it doesn't, 2+2=4, but that has little if anything to do with whether the battle of Hastings occured in 1066 or the atomic weight of carbon is 12.0107 or whether there is a pink elephant in my shorts. The veracity of other claims are not affected by the total lack of veracity of the specific claim you have made. You made a claim, well two claims actually (you've never been wrong on politics and muslims are worse integrators than everyone), and you were wrong. Get over it.


Date: 2006/10/22 23:35:18, Link
Author: Louis
I have a better direction for this thread to deviate in. "Better" as defined as a "more productive, interesting and useful". As I said before the fine tuning argument is puddle-tastic in the Adamsian sense.

Speaking of puddles, Google scholarship, shoehorning the data to fit preconceived notions, and standard creationist gambits: Gippy's all wet. As usual. Surely mockery and abuse is the only possible way to deal with such a buffoon?



(Founding Member of the Dept of Belittling and Abusing Nugatory Ghostly Attention Whoring Pseudocreationists who Self Tout and Admittedly Troll, BANGAWPSTAT for short. Applications for membership are currently being considered, respond in this thread)

Date: 2006/10/23 04:41:43, Link
Author: Louis

Yet again Gippy this isn't a debate, it's you defending your claims and me rebutting as appropriate (see the tag line). I said right from the outset that IF your evidence proved this case I'd happily agree. Sadly for you it doesn't support your claim.

Your claim IN YOUR OWN WORDS was:

I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties.

Muslims as a group don't integrate as well as other groups, not some other groups, not some other groups which I shall now specify, but simply other groups.

You went on to give examples of groups you think are good integrators later on, post defining integration:

By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.

Groups that satisfy all the above conditions:

Jews, N.E. Asians, S.E. Asians (I think), Indians.

Notice that it's OK if an immigrant group beats the native population in these areas -- I'm not afraid of hypercompetitive groups. Please notice the word "tolerates" in point 4).

So this:

I clearly held that the immigrants must satisfy all criteria, not any of the criteria

Is interestingly twisted.

Gippy is it STILL possible you don't understand that the refutation of your claim is NOT "Muslims integrate well on all criteria" but "muslims integrate better  than another group and thus are not "worse integrators" than another group for a given criterion X).

Your specific examples listed above are:

1) Less violent crime than general pop. Well at least in the UK (a western nation) this is the case, muslims are on average much less likely to commit violent crime (see those stats Gippy). Their presence in the general prison pop is interesting, but a corollary point to this. So this Gippy integration test is passed by muslims in the UK.

2) No cries for affirmative action. Hardly dealt with yet by me.

3) Proportional representation in the professions and education. Sadly UK muslims are behind here, BUT this correlates much more strongly with social deprivation, poverty, age, migrational history and educational opportunties than it does with their religion (again, see the stats Gippy), so this is more a "wait and see, it's too early to tell properly" than a pass or fail.

4) A culture that tolerates western norms. Since the vast majority of muslims self identify as British, more than almost any other Asian group btw, this is a pretty good start. The high level of self employment in the muslim group is also a good indicator of cultural tolerance, i.e. they can work at least well enough to follow the relevant laws, and to interact in a business sense with other UK citizens.

Also, despite the high prison population (a negative factor, at least potentially, persecution does happen, but I'd argue it's almost not present in the UK) those crimes are small relative to the general prison population (i.e. more likely to be in for less than 12 months than over 4 years etc, yet again, see the stats). This AGAIN correlates strongly with poverty and social deprivation and weakly with religion. Really read those stats Gippy, I did. You'll find that "petty crimes" warranting small sentences are more often commited by those in a certain group of social classes (the lower ones) and that this correlation is stronger than the religious one. If muslims make up more of the poor in the UK and the poor are more likely to commit petty crime, then you'd expect to see a larger proportion of muslims in prison for petty crimes. Which is what you do see. The same happens to be true of Afro-Carribean populations in the UK, but I digress.

The SIMPLE point you keep evading Gippy is that you claimed that muslims were the worst integrating group of immigrants. The simple fact that they are not the worst integrators in the categories YOU gave (or at least are no worse than another group) disproves your claim. Again QED. Muslims do not integrate worse than other groups into at least one western society on all (or perhaps any except cries for affirmative action) of your criteria.

Lastly, appeal to lurkers, nice. Come forward oh ye lurkers (not just your Sock Puppets Gippy). Come forward all ye who disagree that Gippy's claim has been refuted. I've asked several times.

Anyway, I've said this all before, your reading for comprehension is as shocking as always Gippy, as is you "logic".


Date: 2006/10/23 04:47:49, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. Oh yeah. Gippy, my guess is that your current "I'm a deist" pose is to get out of your woeful geocentrist bullshit. You know it's all a front, we know you're really a frothing creationist loon. Have fun fuckwit!

Date: 2006/10/24 04:06:17, Link
Author: Louis
{sigh} I did this all before and you still didn't read it. Fuck me deftly Gippy you are a dishonest bastard. You move the goalposts every time you are shown to be in error.

Crime. How many times do I have to repeat myself? I agree that muslims are overrepresented in the prison population, it's pretty hard to disagree with reality (although you seem to have no problem). The point is that if you read those stats you'll see the stronger correlation with poverty etc than with religion. I may have made this point ooooohhhh about 3 or 4 times now only to have you ignore it and shrilly repeat "but there's more of them in prison!!!!111one!!111!".

Look at the table you think is a problem on page 138 of that first large document. Dealing with just male prisoners (to be fair to you because female prisoners really don't help you)

In order:

Page 93:

Crime and Age Stats, Male prisoners, 2002:

26.4% of all crime was commited by 21-24 year olds.
25.0% of all crime was commited by 25-29 year olds.
33.2% of all crime was commited by 30-39 year olds.
11.0% of all crime was commited by 40-49 year olds.
3.4% of all crime was commited by 50-59 year olds.
0.1% of all crime was commited by 60+ year olds.

14.0% of all crime was violent.
25.0% of violent crime was commited by 21-24 year olds.
22.4% of violent crime was commited by 25-29 year olds.
35.0% of violent crime was commited by 30-39 year olds.
13.2% of violent crime was commited by 40-49 year olds.
3.7% of violent crime was commited by 50-59 year olds.
0.1% of violent crime was commited by 60+ year olds.

3.0% of all crime was sexual.
12.3% of sex crime was commited by 21-24 year olds.
11.6% of sex crime was commited by 25-29 year olds.
28.8% of sex crime was commited by 30-39 year olds.
22.7% of sex crime was commited by 40-49 year olds.
17.7% of sex crime was commited by 50-59 year olds.
12.0% of sex crime was commited by 60+ year olds.

8.6% of all crime was drug related.
22.6% of drug  crime was commited by 21-24 year olds.
24.2% of drug crime was commited by 25-29 year olds.
35.4% of drug crime was commited by 30-39 year olds.
13.3% of drug crime was commited by 40-49 year olds.
3.8% of drug crime was commited by 50-59 year olds.
0.1% of drug crime was commited by 60+ year olds.

Compare this to page 136:

Age and religion stats of prison pop, males, 2002:

3.7% of all prisoners were 15-17 year olds.
11.7% of all prisoners were 18-20 year olds.
18.5% of all prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
34.0% of all prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
28.5% of all prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
11.7% of all prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
4.7% of all prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
2.2% of all prisoners were 60+ year olds.

68.3% of all prisoners were religious.
2.4% of religious prisoners were 15-17 year olds.
9.1% of religious prisoners were 18-20 year olds.
16.4% of religious prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
18.8% of religious prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
31.2% of religious prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
13.7% of religious prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
5.8% of religious prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
2.7% of religious prisoners were 60+ year olds.

8.0% of all prisoners were muslims.
2.8% of muslim prisoners were 15-17 year olds.
11.1% of muslim prisoners were 18-20 year olds.
20.9% of muslim prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
21.9% of muslim prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
28.6% of muslim prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
11.0% of muslim prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
2.2% of muslim prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
1.1% of muslim prisoners were 60+ year olds.

Take home message:

The vast majority of violent, sex or drug related crime is commited by people between 21 and 39 years old. In every age group below 30 years old muslim males are over represented, and in every age group above 30 years old they are greatly under represented (or in one case equal) compared to all prisoners and all religious prisoners. Combine this with previous data shown on the age of the muslim population. Muslims (specifically South Asian [i.e.Pakistani and Bangladeshi] muslims who make up more than 73% of all muslims in the UK, see page 127) are by far the youngest group of ethnic minorities in the UK. A stark illustration of this point is shown by the fact that for all male prisoners the proportion over 30 is 47.1%, for all religious prisoners it's 53.4% and for muslim prisoners it's 42.9%.

Also on page 120 see the data about young and adult offenders. The percentages of young offenders sentenced to > or = 12 months were 74% white, 86% black, 86% South Asian, 80% chinese/other. South Asians (remembering that these are at least 73% muslim) are "equally bad" in this sense and black prisoners. The percentages of adult offenders sentenced to >4 years were 51% white, 66% black, 58% South Asian, and 60% Chinese/other. South Asians are much "better" than blacks, and slightly better than Chinese/other here. They are certainly well within the 15% points you define within your definition of integration.

Also, on page 118 note that for violent/sex crimes white have the highest percentage at 34%, followed by South Asians at 33%, Chinese/other at 29% and blacks at 24%. Not good! But note above the strong correlation between age and violent crime and the age of the Asian population in the UK.

In terms of sentencing, see pages 137/138:

17.6% of all prisoners got < or = 12 months.
42.4% of all prisoners got < or = 4 years and > 12 months.
33.7% of all prisoners got < or = 10 years and > 4 years.
14.1% of all prisoners got < 10 years to life.

69% of prisoners were religious.
14.3% of religious prisoners got < or = 12 months.
39.3% of religious prisoners got < or = 4 years and > 12 months.
30.5% of religious prisoners got < or = 10 years and > 4 years.
16.0% of religious prisoners got < 10 years to life.

31% of prisoners were non religious.
21.4% of non religious prisoners got < or = 12 months.
45.8% of non religious prisoners got < or = 4 years and > 12 months.
22.9% of non religious prisoners got < or = 10 years and > 4 years.
9.8% of non religious prisoners got < 10 years to life.

8% of prisoners were muslim.
10.9% of muslim prisoners got < or = 12 months.
36.2% of muslim prisoners got < or = 4 years and > 12 months.
35.0% of muslim prisoners got < or = 10 years and > 4 years.
18.0% of muslim prisoners got < 10 years to life.

1% of prisoners were buddhist.
3.3% of buddhist prisoners got < or = 12 months.
19.0% of buddhist prisoners got < or = 4 years and > 12 months.
40.0% of buddhist prisoners got < or = 10 years and > 4 years.
37.4% of buddhist prisoners got < 10 years to life.

SCARY BUDDHISTS!!! ARGH!! 77% got over 4 years compared to a mere 53% for muslims. However, seriously, it's not a good picture for the muslims. Note again though the strong correlation with age. "Young" groups (21-39) tend to commit more crime, esp violent and drug crime, and muslims in the UK are the youngest religious group (and Pakistanis/Bangladeshis are the youngest ethnic group, no surprises there!;).

But what are these serious sentences for? What crimes? See above for a clue! Drugs were a big problem. Your criterion was violent crime was it not?

Breaking that down further (p125):

For all nationalities of male prisoner, 2002,

Violent crime:

81.8% white, 11.8% black, 3.2% South Asian, 3.1% Chinese/other.

Sex crime:

81.5% white, 12.2% black, 2.7% South Asian, 3.5% Chinese/other.

Drug crime:

61.1% white, 28.0% black, 4.7% South Asian, 6.1% Chinese/other.

Note that the violent/sex crime stats are much more closely in line with the %population of South Asians (4% total, of which 45% are Pakistani/Bangladeshi i.e. 1.8% of total pop). Mind you, those black and Chinese/other lads are overacheivers eh? Considering they make up 2% and 0.8% of the population respectively (in 2001).

See here for details

What about the ethnicity of those muslim prisoners? Are they all South Asians?

See page 135:

All prisoners:

White 77.6%, Black 14.9%, South Asian 3.2%, Chinese/Other 4.1%

Religious Prisoners:

White 74.5%, Black 15.8%, South Asian 4.6%, Chinese/Other 5.0%

Muslim Prisoners:

White 12.3%, Black 32.9%, South Asian 35.0%, Chinese/Other 25.5%

Note the ethnic diversity of the muslim prisoners versus the general prison and general religious prison pop. So is it a problem with islam or perhaps something else? This I'll get to in a minute.

Last two things on crime: change over time and recidivism.

Page 132: 1993 Prison pop:

All christian: 74.6%
buddhist: 0.4%
hindu: 0.4%
jewish: 0.5%
muslim: 5.0%
sikh: 0.8%
other: 0.3%
non recognised: 0.3%
no religion: 17.6%

2002 Prison pop:

All christian: 58.0%
buddhist: 0.9%
hindu: 0.4%
jewish: 0.3%
muslim: 7.7%
sikh: 0.6%
other: 0.2%
non recognised: 0.3%
no religion: 31.5%

It's pretty clear that muslims are not the most increased group. Buddhists and non-religious are. I'm not saying it's good for the muslims, just that it's worse for others.

Oh and by the way, see page 131. "[male] Muslims were the largest group amongst non-criminal prisoners, accounting for 33%". Hmmm, makes one think.

And now recidivism, sadly we have to go back to ethnicity, all the while remembering that 73% of South Asians are muslims.

British Nationals:

All ethnicities: All crime 60%, violent crime 48%, sex crime 16%, drug crime 42%.

White: All crime 61%, violent crime 48%, sex crime 16%, drug crime 42%.

Black: All crime 57%, violent crime 49%, sex crime 32%, drug crime 40%.

South Asian: All crime 46%, violent crime 40%, sex crime 20%, drug crime 40%.

Chinese/other: All crime 52%, violent crime 45%, sex crime 20%, drug crime 37%.

It would appear that South Asians, who are mostly muslims remember, have a much lower rate of recidivism. Except for that sex thing, sodding perverts!

What's the point of all this?

Well Gippy, because you are being so dishonest and a) misrepresenting what I am saying (strawman), assuming your conclusions (as usual), and moving the goalposts, I wanted to present a clear picture. And it's pretty grim. Too many muslims in prison, too many South Asians there too. By the way, look back and find ONE instance where I have denied this is the case. You won't find it because it isn't there.

My point throughout has been that, yes there are problems, but that these problems more strongly correlate to age, income and social deprivation than religion or ethnicity. I've noticed you keep avoiding this point and deliberately evading dealing with it.

So what other factors strongly correlate with muslims (and South Asians, and Pakistanis/Bangladeshis and blacks etc) in the UK. See the stuff below:

Another report

ethnicity trends

Poverty and ethnicity spreadsheet

More ethnicity data

There's a nice long report on ethnicity and society in that lot. Page 43 for example, explains the reasons behind Pakistanis/Bangladeshis (almost exclusively muslim btw) being more likely to have no qualifications than anyone else (immigration of adults with no qualifications to the UK). It also shows on page 41  educational trends. For example that Pakistanis/Bangladeshis have, since 1992, been the most improved group in terms of acheiving A* to C grades in GCSEs (i.e. good grades) despite being the second from bottom groupin terms of actually getting good grades.

Another point you completely overlook every time I make it is the self identity as British of muslims and South Asians in Britian. This is depsite the fact that Pakistanis/Bangladeshis as an ethnic group and muslims as a religious group are by far and away the most likely victims of racially motivated crime, as indeed I showed before.

Look also at the strong correlation between ethnicity and poverty, or ethnicity and overcrowded accomodation (Pakistanis/Banglasdeshis are more likely than anyone else to have several families in one house, they also report the most health problems, and have the least professional representation. These are the classic hallmarks of social deprivation). 60% of Pakistani/Bangladeshi (the majority of British muslims) households are on very low incomes. If we take into account housing costs this rises to 68%, their nearest companions (African black people) are 19% behind them on 49%. Compare this with white people of whom only 21% are in this category after housing costs.

Again my point here is NOT "all is well, muslims are great" or "oh poor muslims" my point is this:

If you are going to make such a big deal over the correlation between crime and islamic belief, why not also make a big deal over the much stronger correlation between crime and poverty, education, age and social deprivation?

The whole basis of your claim is that because there is a correlation between several factors and islamic belief, that the islamic belief is the cause of those factors. My point is NOT that this correlation does not exist, but that there are stronger correlations with other factors that you are deliberately ignoring to make your preconceived prejudiced case. A fact I have MORE than demonstrated about 5 times now.

You can whine on about me abusing you all you like Gippy, I do so because you are dishonest. I don't need to be dishonest because as I have said from the very beginning I am more than happy for you to be correct in this instance. The problem is you are not.

In every one of the criteria for integration YOU outline not only are muslims not the worst integrators, but there are demonstrably greater correlations with age, poverty, education and social deprivation than there are with religion or ethnicity. Simply put: young, poor, uneducated, socially deprived people commit more crime than old, rich, educated, socially enriched people. More muslims or South Asians are young, poor, uneducated and socially deprived than any other group in the UK. The weak correlation between islamic belief or Asian ethnicity and crime is swamped by the much stronger correlations between the other factors.

Like I said Gippy, your claim is erroneous. False. Bunkum. Bullshit. The fact that I have to continually spell this out to you and have you ignore it is a little annoying.


P.S. Oh and in the previous post I got my wires crossed. Petty crime IS more associated with poverty. I fucked up when I equated it with muslims in the UK. My bad. Brain fart. As it goes though the point is more strongly and correctly made in this post.

Date: 2006/10/24 05:21:20, Link
Author: Louis

The whole purpose of this thread was for Gippy to defend a specific claim he made. That claim, and the relevant definitions by Gippy, have been posted several times. This thread is expressedly NOT a thread about wider immigration/cultural issues, Gippy's racist fantasies or anything else. Gippy made a very specific claim and has to defend it. Despite his floundering all over the place and attempts to move the goal posts to avoid the consequences of his claim, this thread is simply for that reason alone.

The crime stats form part of the data relating to one aspect of his definition of integration. He keeps avoiding the strong correlations in favour of the weaker one that he thinks demonstrates his case. It doesn't.


P.S. Steve, no, no one is forcing me to argue with him. The whole point of this is Gippy claimed he had never had a political claim disproven (despite the evidence to the contrary). I picked a political claim he made and asked if he'd like to defend it (after he challenged me to do so). I picked, he agreed, after lots of waffle he defined his criteria, the data doesn't support his claim. End of story. All the rest is Gippy avoiding the fact that he is wrong and me getting annoyed about it.

Date: 2006/10/24 06:08:22, Link
Author: Louis

My argument hasn't changed since I posted those stats.

It would appear that you don't understand it still however. My argument is NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with discrimination or the tautology you assume. Nor do I make the value judgement that poverty is an excuse for being a violent thug. I have made no case that muslims are poor and therefore are discriminated against or that they are discriminated against and therefore poor. In fact how you get this is beyond me. I explicitly have not and never would make that argument.

What I have said is that the correlations you are drawing attention to between your integration criteria and islamic belief are weaker than the correlations between your integration criteria and a wealth of toher factors (poverty, social exclusion, age, education etc etc). If you are being honest (which you are not) then you would admit that these stronger correlations are a refutation of your emphasis on the weaker correlation. No discrimination, no tautology, no cries of "oh woe are the muslims". Stop beating up a strawman that doesn't exist.


P.S. (added in edit) Just had a thought. Social exclusion/social deprivation is NOT about discrimination, it's about access to resources/opportunities. One possible reason for exclusion is discrimination, BUT it is one amongst many causes, and in this case I would argue a minor one. A far greater cause is the vicious circle of poverty and lack of education. Some people don't know how to improve their lot, don't care to learn, are afraid to learn, don't want to improve their lot etc. One part of the "don't want to" factor in immigrant populations is the percieved standard of living and the ability to send cash home. If one can survive and meet one's obligations in terms of sending money to the motherland, then one has no need to improve one's lot. Not MY attitude, nor that of my family or friends, but AN attitude prevalent in immigrant communities (and similarly in indigenous ones as it happens). Also the simple fact of being poor can hinder people improving their lot. Not everyone is an entrepreneur. They are concerned with jam today, not more jam tomorrow, mouths to feed and all that. Sure there is discrimination too, and language barriers and simple dumbness, but these are less important than the real problems of poverty/lack of education etc.

Date: 2006/10/24 07:51:02, Link
Author: Louis

So? How is this in any way relevant to this thread? Your delusions about the evils of immigration are not relevant to you supporting your claim. This thread is not about you espousing your prejudicial drivellings about race/immigration etc, but about you defending a specific claim. How about you try to deal with that mmmkay? Start another thread about your immigration issues if you must.

Oh and the Daily Mail? Way to go for the "truth", you do know that paper supported Hitler well into WWII (I win the Godwin sweepstake!;), right? Not that that's  relevant but let's just say that the paper isn't reknowned for its balanced, fact based approach to matters.

Does it help you to know that when I lived in the USA (over a decade ago admittedly) I could have legally bought a gun after being in the country for 28 days with no training or substantial screening? (I actually tried and succeeded in doing this at my local KMart, only changing my mind at the cash register when the cashier asked for the money. I had no need for a gun at that time, it was just fun to see if I could do it. Perversely buying alcohol was a fucking nightmare. You Yanks have it all the wrong way around!;) Or that I could drive immediately, and having passed a very brief state driving theory test got my own NY state driving licence?

Keep bleating bigot.


Date: 2006/10/24 11:01:33, Link
Author: Louis
WOW! You ARE a deluded individual aren't you?

Nowhere have I mentioned or indeed insinuated censorship or denial of freedom of speech. Are you bipolar? Schizophrenic? You are certainly not sane whatever you suffer from.

Your recent Daily Mail story is not relevant to the topic of this thread. Period. The topic is that thing at the top of the thread. You are defending a specific claim in this thread, not wittering about the evils of immigration. Like I said, stick that in a different thread and I'll happily play along, but don't pretend it's relevant in this one. It ain't. My issue isn't with shutting you up, it's with trying to keep you honest and relevant for thirty seconds to deal with reality as it actually is, not as you wish it to be.

As for my position, like I said at the start, on this issue I don't actually have one. I am willing to grant people the benefit of the doubt. Beginning and end of story. It is YOU that is defending the claim, not me. You aren't putting my views to any scrutiny because you don't know what they are other than I don't like bigots and liars. This latest shell game of yours fools no one.

Face it, you've been comprehensively shown to be talking rubbish on every single occasion and on every single topic. This one included. Parody or not, you are a failure, naught more than a troll with nothing better to do than bait people on an internet forum for kicks.

The simple fact that you still think that I am appealing to some politically correct "gee aren't we all just skippy" nonsense is ludicrous. It shows that you are neither honest nor capable of reading for comprehension. I care only about the evidence and its reliability. I'm happy to note that the concept of human races is useful in certain limited circumstances, based on the evidence. I'm happy to note that there are broad differences between human races. I'm also happy to note that there is more variation within human races than between human races. I'm even happy to acknoledge the problems that cultural mixing and immigration can and do cause. The difference is Gippy I know for a fact that these things are like the pain of pulling a rotten tooth. Temporary. Just like dealing with bigots like you Paley. The painful interlude before the relief.

You do realise that your insistance on dealing with immigrants by ethnic and faith group reveals you to be a bigot and gives the lie to your claim to deal with people as individuals? Nope didn't think so. Not big on the self realisation are we Gippy? Actually just make that not big on realisation.

In one limited sense you fascinate me. What would drive a presumably adult human being to behave in the manner you are? Why troll an internet forum for a year, or more accurately, falsely claim this is what you are doing? Are you so insecure and starved of attention that this is what you need?

I have a few educated guesses about you Gippy. You were unpopular at school. Not very good at sports and ridiculed for your lack of "machismo" and manly athletic prowess. Reviled, you turned to intellectal pursuits but unfortunately weren't bright enough to achieve what you felt you deserve, after all Gippy you are the GREAT GHOST OF PALEY right? Your bile and bitterness ate away at you and so you sought hard to find those you could patronise and condescend to.

I would guess that you are an underweight, physically unattractive white or perhaps pale mixed (depsite your claim I don't belive a word you say) race male. I would guess that if you have reached adulthood, you have done so as a virgin. Oh perhaps not quite a virgin, but almost certainly your sexual encounters have been fumbled, brief and unsatisfactory if they have happened at all. Possibly they have been paid for with earnings fromyour no doubt unfulfilling blue collar job. I would also guess you are tortured by self loathing due to your homosexual fantasies.

Scorned by what could laughably called your peers (let's face it, you haven't risen to the height of having a peer yet) you decided to drink deep from the well of bigotry. So proud are you to be an "American", so convinced of your own fictional superiority you pour forth venom on the "lesser" races and nations, i.e. anyone different from you. Oh sure, you just about tolerate those that keep quiet and don't act too foreign, but heaven forfend that anyone should have the temerity to be browner or happier than you and a bit different. Look at your scorn for "liberals", "us vs them" again Gippy. You have no actual achievements or talent and you are afraid, so you clothe yourself in a group to protect yourself. You identify with the group you think makes you powerful, desirous of the power you lack. You fear the values of the Enlightenment and the "liberals" who espouse them.

Perhaps this is why you revile science, reason and actual freedom and tolerance. You have no intellectual gifts or acheivements, let's face it all you do is Google trawl to support prejudices you have or wish you had for the sake of popularity you will never attain. Your use of macho images, the language of dominion and conquest, your desperate need for attention and approval all speak volumes about you Gippy. Tell me, what is the difference between Gippy now and Gippy the "parody"? Nothing. You have the same views, the same lies, and the same total lack of abilities.

You have both my contempt and such pity as I can be bothered to spare you.


Date: 2006/10/24 12:14:44, Link
Author: Louis
Too close to the bone was I Gippy?


P.S. What have I evaded or mangled? Evidence Gimpy. You know that invonvenient stuff that you hate so much.

Date: 2006/10/24 23:06:58, Link
Author: Louis
Lord love a duck!


1) Pay attention.

2) Read for comprehension.

3) I said that IF (note conditional) there were a vote (which there is not) I would vote for you to be banned. I stand by that. In fact I will say it clearer for you: Yes I would like you banned from ATBC.

The reasons, as I have stated, are not because you have bothered me, but because you are a self confessedly, demonstrably dishonest troll. I would desire the same if anyone trolled like you, whether or not they agreed with me on anything. See the difference?

Your dishonesty causes me to desire your removal. I'm more than happy for you to troll anywhere you like since it isn't up to me where you do that. I'm also more than happy to express my desire that here isn't one of the places you do this. JAD and DaveTard were banned from here for incessant trolling and dishonesty. Why make an exception for you? Disagreement isn't even the issue, the fact that you contribute nothing of substance and do so with unfailing regularity and frequency is. Get it? I doubt it, but what I don't doubt is that you will lie about it and try to twist things to fit your purposes.

Note that if I had tried to get you banned I would have emailed Steve and Wesley etc. I haven't and I seriously doubt I will. I have expressed a desire for, not attempted to arrange, your removal. I know this is a tricky concept for you to grasp but do try.

4) The invective and abuse is because I hold you in deep contempt. Demonstrate you are worthy of anything other than abuse and you'll get other than abuse. I'm also rather enjoying destroying your arguments and watching you squirm about. It's also really funny that you are trying to turn everything I mention back onto me. As Lenny said when a "tactic" really bothers a creationist loon like yourself it always shows because they try (unsuccessfully) to use it.

5) The crime stats. Sorry Gimpy but I presented them as they were in the document. As I have said ooooohhh a dozen or so times now, I am not promoting and cause, ideology or case other than the specific claim YOU made is incorrect. Ignore the under 20 year old stats for muslims if you wish. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. The correlation STILL exists. Read the data, read the links. The lurkers that you worry about so are more than capable. I also note a deafening silence from said lurkers regarding your pleas. Amusing. Age is more stringly correlated with criminality than religion, and muslims are the youngest religious group in the UK. Simple. The stats from that document have the same categories (20-24, 25-29 etc) focus on those if you wish, I also believe that I pointed out later in the document the stats regarding young offenders, and made it pretty clear that I was only comparing adult males. Ah well, you do get points for trying. Did you spell your name correctly at the top of the sheet? Or did you copy the child's next to you by accident?

The only argument I have is that, based on the evidence, your contention that muslims integrate into western societies worse than other groups is false. End of story. I'm not advocating open borders, hugging muslims or kissing Africans. I'm not denying that differences exist, nor that there are problems caused by immigration. What you seem incapable of understanding is that it is possible to face reality and still hold what you would term "liberal lefty" views. Yes there are some racial and cultural differences, but they are less statistically significant that the similarities. Yes there are problems, but they are deomstrably less significant than the problems caused by isolationist regimes. See the consistency now? Forgive me if yet again I doubt it. Anyway it's irrelevant to this thread which is about the veracity of YOUR claim.

As for the Chinese/Other category, it's all in the document Gimpy. Read it for yourself. Why should I do your homeowrk for you? All I'm saying is that the data does not match your claim. I'm not advancing a claim of my own. Understand this yet? Nope, didn't think so.

6) I'm not following you around anywhere, especially since I was posting in ATBC before you AFAIK***, and that this thread was designed for you to defend a claim you made. You don't seem to be doing that btw, you seem to be off on another of your interminable frothings regarding immigration and "liberals". You also seem to be flailing desperately around to ignore the fact that your claim has been comprehensively demolished. A fact which the lurkers about whom you are so concerned are probably in no doubt about.

BTW I find this particualrly amusing: people like Dawkins don't debate creationists because to do so gives the artificial and false impression that the creationists, and their ideas,  are worth debating. Are you saying that because Lenny and I and others repsond to you, you are somehow validated and your views are somehow worthy of serious debate? Trust me sunshine they aren't worthy of serious debate, hence abuse. Get it yet? No, didn't think for a second you would!

7) Research chemists can't post on the net now? When did that rule come in. Just because you flip burgers for a living and have the time management skills of a recently deceased tapeworm (cheers Lenny)  doesn't mean the rest of us do. In yesterday's 18 hour working day (including work at home) I managed to get quite a bit done cheers, including posting to you in a break. Like I've said Gimpy, your problems are yours, try not to project them onto others, there's a good chap.

8) Just to reiterate, because you seem to have trouble with this: this thread is for YOU to defend YOUR claim. Get it? I don't have to advance a contrary or alternative argument to demonstrate that YOUR argument is inconsistent or fallacious (which btw I've done).

9) No let's not go to 9. I wouldn't want to make you count past the fingers on one of your "hands".


*** Added in edit. Oooopsie Louis made a booboo. Louis needs to engage brain methinks. Louis should look at those nice little dates near to the poster's name and notice that Gimpy has been shitting in this sandbox longer than Louis has been raking the sand. Louis bad. Louis feels sad now. Still, Louis is still happily enjoying Gimpy's projection, paranoia and aberrant psychology. Gimpy's very funny. But Louis feels shame for it is not nice to mock the afflicted.

Date: 2006/10/24 23:15:10, Link
Author: Louis
P.S. I always think if a specific song when I tire ofn the presence of any individual, in meat or cyber space:

Motley Crue's "Girl Don't Go Away Mad (Girl Just Go Away)".

Just go away Gimpy, your trolling is merely vacuous, dishonest and annoying, not interesting or useful.

Date: 2006/10/25 02:15:48, Link
Author: Louis

Hmmm, I see part of your point, Davey is more likely a sub species of H. sapiens at this point, in which case I'll insist we go with H sapiens simplex.

Not a subspecies, a different species H. ludens. To keep this comment relevant to the broad topic of this board and thread, I am not proposing a new species concept, I am proposing that Dave and ilk are providing us with an example of speciation occuring as we watch.

No one but another member of H. ludens will reproduce with him or indeed any other member of H. ludens. Granted I'm sure creationists can physically reproduce with H. sapiens should the situation arise, but due to perhaps non genetic factors and/or sexual selection it rarely, if ever,  does.

Is this evidence for sympatric speciation? Discuss!


Date: 2006/10/25 12:49:00, Link
Author: Louis

It's great fun to watch you seize on what you percieve to be a problem and ride that horse to death no matter how wrong you are. The argument is more developed than the difference between those first two groups of data. It's also interesting to see you dishonestly compare different data and ignore the actual comparison. Very amusing.

Try correcting the stats for the other groups quoted from the same table, the differences stand out more.

"Corrected data" for Gimpy from page 136

Age and religion stats of prison pop, males, 2002:

21.8% of all prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
22.5% of all prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
33.7% of all prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
13.8% of all prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
5.6% of all prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
2.6% of all prisoners were 60+ year olds.

18.5% of religious prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
21.2% of religious prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
35.3% of religious prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
15.4% of religious prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
6.5% of religious prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
3.1% of religious prisoners were 60+ year olds.

24.3% of muslim prisoners were 21-24 year olds.
25.9% of muslim prisoners were 25-29 year olds.
33.2% of muslim prisoners were 30-39 year olds.
12.7% of muslim prisoners were 40-49 year olds.
2.6% of muslim prisoners were 50-59 year olds.
1.3% of muslim prisoners were 60+ year olds.

I LOVE the fact that you keep misrepresenting things to hold onto your claim, it's really fun to watch. You STILL don't get this do you? I am not ignoring ANY of the correlations, I don't have to. I am asking why YOU are focussing on the correlation between religion and X when there are other factors more strongly correlated to X. It's YOUR claim that is under scrutiny and YOU that has to support it. Stop trying to shift the burden of proof.

The table on page 93 is about receptions into prison on sentence, the table on 136 is about prison pop. This is why I presented the relevant data from BOTH tables, otherwise it's  not comparing like with like. Geez Gimpy, I did expect that you could read just a little.

One point of all this data is that younger people commit more crime than older ones. In the UK the youngest religious group are muslims (see later in the original post and the long subsequent one, I have repeated this for you a few times), and that the muslim prison population is younger than the religious prison pop and the total prison pop.I notice you've ignored the rest of the data, and the points IT (not I remember the only point I have on this topic is that the data does not support your claim) makes.

I DO expect you to follow the links, not because I am trying to do anything dishonest, but because I am not particularly inclined to retype 200+ page documents for you. Especially because it seems I have to explain the simplest things to you. I know you are afraid of the evidence so you don't spoil that wonderful bigotry of yours, but please Gimpy, try at least to behave like an honest adult with some degree of reading for comprehension and intellectual gifts.

So here we go with somemore links (btw Gimpy, unlike you I read my links rather than googling for a phrase I like, these are all from the uk govt stat site):

Religious populations including tabulated age and sex data

Age stats, see page 22 onwards, Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations notably biased towards youth than other groups

UK age distribution 1

UK age distribution 2

Age distribution by ethnicity

Breakdon of figures for age distribution by ethnicity

Rather irritatingly for me I couldn't find a breakdown of the UK population by religion for age distribution more accurate (i.e. that overlapped with the age categories of the prison document exactly). However annoying that is, because it would be really clear and you woudn't whine about it (which you will indubitably do about it's absence) the point still stands and is demonstrated by these stats: age is more strongly correlated with criminality than is religion.

Also, I'm not at all reluctant to provide you with a definition of "other" in the Chinese/other category. Here's a nice long document that explains it:


Unfortunately it appears to be more precise than the prison document. Doubtless you willwhine about THAT disparity in precision too, despite it's irrelevance.

Also this made an interesting read:

Social Inequality

Some points of note: The terrifying correlations between social class and educational attainment on page 12 and ethnicity and educational acheivement on page 11. The lower incomes and lower social participation of ethnic minorites on pages 37/38/45/50, which really do bear READING!

Oh I could go on, but what's the point? You'll only dishonestly hand wave things away.

My points still are:

1) The data does not support that muslims integrate less well than other groups on the criteria you gave (see for example buddhists and non-religious people on crime etc). (i.e. Your original claim that you are desperate to avoid).

2) Criminality is more strongly correlated with age than religion, poverty than religion, social deprivation/class than religion, gender than religion, and education than religion. You are ignoring these correlations in favour of your prejudiced assumption. I.e. religious belief and crime are correlated BUT that there are other correlations which you are deliberately ignoring. (Not that I am implying correlation = causation by any means. AllI am saying here is that you have picked only examples that suit your prejudices and are not representing the wider picture).

That's it Gimpy. I am expressedly not advancing an alternative to your claim, I am merely showing you that it isn't supported by the data. You can wank on about lefties and liberals all you like, doesn't make it either true or relevant.

Lastly the burden of proof. Your claim Gimpy, your burden. Look at the title of the thread,it isn't "Louis defends his claims about Gimpy's racist claims" is it?

Get on with it, and do some reading, I'm not going to reproduce huge documents in a post for you.


P.S. Oh the irony.The whole point of including the Buddhist data is to show that your religious correlation is bunkum! Way to lower the bar Gimpy. Your claim rests on your assumption that someone's religion is more significant to their criminality than other factors. If this is the case, and you wish us to assume that someone's islamic faith is causative to their criminality, you have to explain why someone's buddhism (or more importantly someone's lack of religion, I notice you avoided that) is equally causative. Granted buddhists are a really minor minority (did I try to disguise this? Nope) why is their religion not causative to criminality when more stringly correlated to criminality than islamic faith which you are claiming is causative to criminality. It's the staggering dishonesty of your claim and conduct that amazes me.

Date: 2006/10/25 12:59:19, Link
Author: Louis
P.P.S. And Gimpy, THIS is the hasty generalisation fallacy, not your twisted version.

The irony being that this is precisely what you are arguing, and the total antithesis of my rebuttal of your claim! Wow, can you get more dishonest?

Date: 2006/10/25 23:10:22, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for the support. It's not necessary because Gimpy's simply floundering about wantonly. Actually the point of the wanking tramp story was manifold.

1) That on the Tube people wouldn't notice someone if they were on fire and that this not noticing is entirely deliberate.

2) Wanking tramps are funny, to be honest everyone was trying to stifle laughter behind their Standards. Especially because the guy was making very amusing noises. Embarassment is also part of the funny.

3) People tend to ignore what is right in front of them if it doesn't fit into their world view. That's a hint for Gimpy et al.

4) There has been a breakdown in care for the mentally ill in the UK which has lead to "Care on the Northern Line". That poor sod wasn't the first or last nutter I've encountered on the Tube. Smacking the crap out of him would serve no purpose other than to harm him when he really wasn't harming anyone else.

5) Other things I can't remember!



Date: 2006/10/25 23:34:48, Link
Author: Louis

1) Still being dishonest? I think I dealt with the smallness of the buddhist sample in the last post. Still ignoring the non-religious grouping I note. The point of including the buddhist data was, as I said, to a) illustrate the small sample problem and the fact that you are treating a small percentage of a group as representative of a whole group, and b) that if the criminality of muslims was relevant to their religion due to the over-representation of muslims in prison, then the same follows (a fortiori) for buddhists and more strongly for non-religious people.

The whole point is to demonstrate that you are picking and choosing your stats to suit your prejudices, not to advance an alternative claim. I keep repeating this and you keep bashing away at the strawman in your head and ignoring it.

2) Read the axes of the graphs on pages 23 and 24 of the document you misquote and you will see that a greater percentage of the graph for the Pakistani/Bangladeshi is in the range 20-39 than for any other group except black Africans and Carribeans (another high crime group you ignore for convenience).

Also I made the point about the inadequacy of the data you refer to, the population graphs (pages 23/24) are more usueful but I have extracted the numbers from them. They are nice piccies Gimpy, you should be able to see the differences.

3) Get this through your skull, I am not making any claims other than the data does not fit your claim and that other factors are correlated more strongly with your integration criteria than religion or race and that you are ignoring these. Yet again my point is that you have to look at the WHOLE picture, not just the bits you like. As I've said MANY times now there are many correlations, religion is one, but to focus on it to the exclusion of others is dishonest, irrational and ridiculous. Especially when it is'nt the strongest correlation. You focus on the increase in muslim criminality, which is significant for the muslim population (although not the UK pop as a whole) I am asking why you don't focus on the bigger increase in buddhist criminality and non-religious criminality which are more significant for the buddhist community and non-religious community respectively (but only in the latter case for the UK pop).

Do you see where you have gone wrong? You're accusing me of comparing the tiny sample of criminal buddhists to the UK pop when I am not, I'm comparing it to the buddhist pop, just like you are comparing the criminal muslim pop to the muslim pop. Since both are small samples of the whole UK pop, they either both fall foul of the problems you claim exist or both don't. You are STILL ignoring the increases in the statistically far more significant non-religious pop.

Lastly, it's really amusing to see you keep misrepresenting my argument, it demonstrates my point that the only way you can maintain your claim is by lying. Thanks for your help.


Date: 2006/10/26 04:05:22, Link
Author: Louis

Argh, the limitations of text and my (lack of)communication skills! I didn't mean that I didn't need your support (i.e. I am not ungrateful or ingracious) I meant that Gimpy's just wallowing around looking for any branch he can grab and that's his current choice. Gimpy's dishonest, film at 11! He'll lie and distort anything to "win at that Interwebz" which is one of his two primary goals, the other being attention whoring/trolling. I'm always grateful for any support.



Date: 2006/10/26 04:36:29, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for that! Yeah that's (at least partly) my point.

As I said at the start, and several times since, I too thought it was a plausible claim, which is precisely why I asked Gimpy to defend it. It seemed open to evidenciary support, unambiguous, and possible. Again as I said at the start, it's not a topic I knew/know anything significant about, another reason I thought it a good one for Gimpy to defend (unlike say, geocentrism). He does seem to have made a total balls of his "defence" though.

I've got to admit that the most amusing part of this for me is that either way I don't care!

If "yay", I'm perfectly happy to have religion play an enormous part in criminality (for example). After all I'm an atheist who would rather see it disappear from the public arena. If the correlation between criminality and islamic faith is too strong to ignore (which it isn't) then I have a really good argument against allowing faith schools/religious policy making and a myriad of insidious religious influences on public life. All of which I decry strongly.

If "nay", I'm perfectly happy for faith to have no influence on criminality (for example) because I can use that to argue against the same policies/public influences "informed" by religious faith. Get rid of tax supported prison chaplains for example.

As far as I am concerned it's win-win for me!

The thing I really don't like is Gimpy's slippery bait and switch with regards to immigration. As every "wave" of immigrants has appeared in every nation the world over there have been problems. Guess what, human's ain't perfect. From immigrant cries of discrimination to natives repeating the same cries they did for the previous wave. It has ever been thus. Guess what, I'll take Achmed/Kofi/Ferentz/Ramachandran/Manfred the mugger and all his chums in exchange for one Salman Rushdie/Benjamin Zephaniah/Abdus Salam/Freddie Mercury/CLR James/Andrew Adonis/G Constantinesceu/Paul Dirac/Harry Kroto/Roslaind Franklin/my grandparents/my wife's parents all of who were immigrants or descended from immigrants. Immigration demonstrably adds more to a nation that it takes away, and Gimp's arguments amount to no more than "ooooh aren't they different".

What Gimpy doesn't get is that he isn't arguing with the "StrawLiberal" in his head.



Date: 2006/10/28 06:07:44, Link
Author: Louis


Purely from a strategic point of view, would it be better for local school districts to "teach the problems" within Evolutionary biology if they wish, and let the market sort things out?

No. This unfairly biases the incredibly minor scientific "problems" with evolutionary biology, if indeed there are "problems" in the scientific sense at all (I would argue there aren't in the same sense that there aren't any scientific "problems" with the theory of gravity There are things we don't yet know, but that certainly isn't a problem, it's a job opportunity!;).

The "problems" that people have with evolutionary biology are entirely due to their religious faith, the problems lie entirely on that side of the fence as it were and need to be countered there. The "Chamberlain" approach to evolutionary biology, or any scientific topic, i.e. placating the unwarranted, erroneous and irrelevant, "problems" people have with science (or just evolutionary biology), is fundamentally dishonest. It erroneously elevates relativist antireason.

How controversial a subject is politically is nothing to do with how controversial it is scientifically. the misequation of these two types of controversy will only serve to undermine science.


Or is there another way?


And this is a good question. Us scientists coming out of our Ivory Towers and actually engaging in the political controversy. Changing science education to a situation with no compromise with political controversy and at the same time moving it away from the cultural idea that "science is too hard for me to do".

Everyone is FASCINATED by the world around them, be they a scientist or a creationist or a homoepath or vaguely spiritual on sundays. We all want to work with the world around us. No one buys a second hand car on faith alone, we kick tires and look at service history. We use reason, rational enquiry and the products of these processes every day in our everyday lives. Couple this to the pre-exisiting fascination people have wiith the natural world and we have a "resource" which we are seriously underusing.

One way in which we are really under using this "resource" is in the apparent negativity of scientific explanations and interactions. People have ideas that encounter the data and those ideas don't match too well. I can't remember the Flanders comment from the Simpsons, but it ws something to do with "Big mouth science spoiling all the fun". We must as scientists (and as skeptics, rationalists and atheists) do more to advocate the POSITIVE world view that the use of reason brings. How much more enlightening, beautiful, elegant and awe inspiring a scientific understanding of the world is than an ugly, over simplistic faith.

This is why I 100% agree with one of Dawkins' comments about religious people: the majority are effectively atheists or at most deists, for when their beliefs are actually examined the supernatural,personal god element is a really minor component, and it is the love, respect , awe and wonder they feel for the universe around them that is the wellspring of their faith. What we need to show is that science doesn't take away from that wellspring. It endlessly renews itand makes its water ever sweeter and more refreshing.

How many comments of "unweaving the rainbow" or " there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy" do scientists, skeptics, rationalists and atheists get levelled at them in varying scenarios?

BTW I am not trying to equate all members of that list on all levels, I am merely saying that each of them get accused of bursting certain bubbles, and by so bursting, detracting from some beauty or wonder.


Or is the current strategy the best one?


And this is also a good question. Too much lip service and faux "equality"/"equal time" is being paid to this topic. It's like the quantum mechanics of a decohered, two state system: you are either in state A or state B (the superposition has decohered). The minute you start admitting the irrelevant objections of special interest groups into science class you undo the very work you are trying to acheive. Unfortunately this is what we are doing in pretty much every education system the world over, and this is at least partly why we have the "problem" we do. Less tolerance of obvious idiocy, political controveries masquerading as science and more focus on beauty in science, positive rationalism/skepticism, and the method of science.

I once asked a biological question of one of my teachers at school, I was 7. My teacher (a bloody astounding biologist who gave up school teaching after nearly 30  years (to the detriment of future youth no doubt) to go back and take up a research post at a university) answered that not only didn't he know the answer, but that at this particular time, no one knew the answer. He emphasised that not only were people around the world working on getting the answer to that question, but that I (and all my classmates) could one day in the not massively distant future (a mere 14 or so years!;) be those very people who were also trying to answer this question. He emphasised the method, the curiosity, the hard work needed. He emphasised that es there were facts to learn and tests to pass but that these were secondary to actually doing the stuff you need to do to find something out. We had a great fun designing experiments (almost no matter how dangerous, something that sadly would't  happen now) and actually performing them. Guess what I wanted to be when I grew up after that class?


Date: 2006/10/28 07:20:34, Link
Author: Louis
Steve E,

It's much less a problem here than in the USA, but we still have our nutters and those people who don't really know about evolutionary biology and are afraid of controversy.

My worry is the general decline is science education and students taking science subjects.


Steve S,

Yup Health and Safety spend more time telling what we can't do than finding ways to do what we need to do safely.

I had one safety officer at a company I formerly worked at say to me "Do you have to use chemicals in your research?". This was a fine chemicals company.

To be fair to him, he wasnt a scientist and what he meant was "dangerous chemicals", but the interesting assumption he made was chemicals=bad, molecules=good. Although he couldn't tell the difference. Nice guy. Misguided, but nice.


Date: 2006/10/28 07:24:50, Link
Author: Louis
Oh my lack of god you put firecrackers up cat's butts?

Sicko! That's what marrows are for.  Firecrackers go up pigeon's butts ater you've fed them baking soda.Double bang.


P.S. Message recieved and understood. (Can I say fucking now?)

Date: 2006/10/28 22:34:04, Link
Author: Louis
I all seriousness, there is something about the language censor/filter that intrigues me.

He77 and D4mn get blocked out whereas the "stronger" swear words tend to make it straight through unaltered. Not that I am complaining, it's just an interesting filter setting. I cannot d4mn someone to he77 (although I can darn them to heck, which is enormously funnier), but I can tell them to **** themselves with a rubber hose (Thanks Frank Zappa) right in the **** until it really ******* hurts.

Yes, I censored myself on those ones. I'm sure the imaginations of the assembled members of ATBC are more than sufficient to fill in the blanks.


Date: 2006/10/28 23:57:13, Link
Author: Louis

Yup, my thoughts exactly. One can abbreviate "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" but anything stronger than darning someone to heck and you're a naughty poster!


Date: 2006/10/29 12:29:31, Link
Author: Louis
Catching pigeons? Easy.

1) Take one trusty 12 bore shotgun, one anti tank mortar and one plain .22 air rifle. Also bring a large net and sundry supplies.

2) Set up a hide at 11am on a Saturday in Trafalgar Square, London.

3) Make sure you use the correct armament for the correct job: 12-bore for poor people, proles and hoi polloi, anti tank mortar for if the Filth turn up and ruin the caper, .22 for the first pigeon you see.

4) Shoot pigeon after purging square of paupers and ruffians.

5) Wait.

6) Other pigeons should come and feast at their dead comrade's corpse. Use the net on them.

7) Retire to hide, put the tea on and let off a couple of extra mortars to put the wind up the rozzers.

8) Carefully chloroform several pigeons and insert crackers into their fundaments.

9) Place pigeons on a pile of bread coated with baking soda, wait for them to wake and feed then light the fuse and retire to safe distance.

10) Go to gaol for falling foul of the terroism act and other minor laws.

Hope this helps.


Date: 2006/10/29 19:43:32, Link
Author: Louis

Yes, I can see how my modus operandum is a touch involved.  Happy I can confirm (due to extensive research) that trip wires and pigeons are a successful combination.

Lacking your innovative modification, I merely wired my trip wire to the mains electricity (of course stolen from a local street light). This has the added benefit of cooking the pigeons it kills and stunning the ones it doesn't. Even better is what it does to cats, children and (with sufficiently strong wire) cars.

Yours in small animal torture and other serial killer tendancy indicators,


Date: 2006/10/29 19:59:43, Link
Author: Louis

Ok one new laptop please. My morning coffee is currently adorning my pc.

Oh and everyone, I don't buy this "intelligently designed brick" lie of the anti-evolutionists. I can personally supply anyone with a wide variety of naturally occuring intermediate forms between brick and its last common ancestor with humans, clay.*

Not only that but the common household brick (Brickus brickus) is an excellent example of observable evolution and speciation, with clay turning into brick taking mere hours, a more wonderous transformation than dog to lizard, the creationist's favourite example of evolution. It also shows a gain in function and fitness (how many houses are made from clay as opposed to brick?).

Habeat brickum, habeat mundi.


*How can the biblical literalists disagree with this?

Date: 2006/10/29 23:08:34, Link
Author: Louis
Dear Concerned Homeowner,

Daschunds, Wiener Dogs, in fact any dog under 75 cm tall are frankly rats with good PR (or for those with proper pets: lunch). If your relatives loved you, they would leave their vermin in the sewer they undoubtably spawned them. This of course goes for their dogs too. Disown them forthwith, if not fifthwith. An armed response is possibly the only polite response. When Granny is flaming on the driveway under a puddle of molten lead surrounded by the corpses of her baby doggies, it's possible even the mother in law will get the message.

Of course should you possess some lingering fondness for these relatives, this is possibly a touch over the top. Should you have your own dogs, however, make sure you cut their tails off so that when the relatives + menagerie arrive there are no obvious signs of welcome.

Far be it from me to disagree with the emminent Wienerdogologist Professor Sir W Elsberry on the matter, but I have a suggestion that differs mildly and wastes less condiments. Surely one of best pieces of evidence of Almighty GOD's (Who is White and English I'll have you know. He also doesn't like colonials as can be deduced from George Bush) design in nature is the similarity in size of wienerdogs and rugby balls.

Invite several large gentleman of a rugbying persuasion for Thanksgiving (although it should be taxgiving as you owe Her Imperial Majesty, Gawdblessah). When said dogs arrive, immediately organise a ruck and give the vermin a d@mned good rucking. That'll fix 'em, begod!

A final alternative is to laminate the dogs.

Failing that, comments to the effect that your family must be poor because they are buying their dog in installments should put them in their place.

Yours in loathing of anything small that yaps (including Peewee Herman)

Auntie Louis

Date: 2006/10/30 01:47:11, Link
Author: Louis
No no, you see what happened was that bricks co-evolved alongside us as part of the final clinching proof for the non existance of god. After all it's totally impossible that something so fantastically useful as a brick would evolve purely by chance. So that proves god exists, proof destroys faith, and without faith god is nothing.

Cogito ergo sum

Quod erat demonstradum

Alea jacta est

Redde Caesari quae sunt Caesaris

Veni vidi vici

Vidi vici veni

Cornelia et Flavia sub arborum sunt

Timeo Danaos et dona ferrentes*


P.S. Apologies to Douglas Adams. Ohhh look is that a zebra crossing?

*This comes from my all time favourite Latin verb** ferro: I bring, bear or carry. It's so irregular it might as well be an English word! Ferro Ferre Tuli Latus sum, I bring, to bring, I will bring, I have brought. Ahhhhh Latin.

** I suppose I have now outed myself as someone who has a favourite Latin verb. Since it's an irregular one I suppose this also says far too much about my aberrant psychology. The only depth I could plumb that's deeper than this is to have devised my own Latin motto as a child.***

*** Semper in stercum solus profundus variat. Always in the shit except the depth varies.

Date: 2006/10/30 02:22:33, Link
Author: Louis
Ahhhh Tom Lehrer. A Genius.


Date: 2006/10/30 02:30:33, Link
Author: Louis
Perhaps veni vidi membrum virilis?


Date: 2006/10/30 03:46:09, Link
Author: Louis

Well you said vidi vici venis I saw, I conquered, I guess it's a penis!;)

I was merely putting your alter ego's desires into better Latin: I came, I saw a man's dangly parts.

I saw, I conquered, she came (vidi, vici, venit) is the way to go.


Date: 2006/10/30 05:46:16, Link
Author: Louis
I guess it wasn't an original motto ;)

Carpe scrotum

Carpe spiritum fortem

Usque ad mortem bibendum

I can't remember who said it, but "A gentleman need not know Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it.".


Date: 2006/10/30 08:39:47, Link
Author: Louis

D@mn d@mn d@mn d@mn d@mn.

That story was excellent. Now I like wienerdogs. A lifelong principle overturned by something as footling as actual evidence.

I'm off for a thorough sulk!


P.S. I am glad you allowed me the boon of all other minidogs sucking mightily. This way at least my honour has been sufficiently spared and I no longer have to commit seppuku.

Date: 2006/10/30 19:24:59, Link
Author: Louis
GoP's Checklist:

Trolling habit                              ATBC Response

Geocentrism +                                Total refutation
fundamentalist nonsense

Guts to Gametes                             Claim never
                                                   available material

Political claims                                Racist ideologies
                                                    revealed. Claims

Claims of "deism",                           No evidence yet of
deliberate trolling,                          claimed difference
tag team posting

Appeals to incredulity                       Demonstrably
and fine tuning                                incoherent, again.

This just in: Sexism                          Oh lordy, what
and behaving like an                         next?
elderly, wise old gent

"Girl don't go away mad, girl, just go away"


Date: 2006/10/30 19:40:17, Link
Author: Louis
Dear Icthyic,

Should you believe everything you read? Yes, unquestioningly and utterly.

Except when it's been written by anyone I don't approve of.

By the way, if everybody fails to send me all their money right now to the address below, the world will end in a pool of fiery marshmallowy goodness.

Auntie Louis

Address for cash....erm sorry....charitable donations

666-777 Falwell Avenue

{exit to Suicidal Tendancies playing "Send me your money"}

Date: 2006/10/31 08:58:06, Link
Author: Louis
Bustin' makes me feel good.


Date: 2006/10/31 10:26:00, Link
Author: Louis
{sniff} {sniff}

What's that smell?


Ah yes, it has a familiar ring.


Hmmmm I think I've got it! Yes, it's the very familiar smell of a pointless troll trying to justify his bigotry (if such bigotry is real, who knows with a pointless troll). Let me guess, we could take the thread in which GoP failed to justify his bigotry about a swathe of non-white races and (predominantly) non-white religious groups and substitute various terms for "women" and have the same conversation.

Why do I smell the exact same bullshit attempts to justify the "white, heterosexual, western, christian, male" at the top of the pile? Now I rarely ask questions like this, but just what are the conservatives that try to justify this stuff conserving? I mainly don't ask them because the extremely bullshit faux bipolarisation of politics (esp in the USA) annoys the living bejeezus out of me.

I would ask the question "why is GoP shifting from racist screeds to sexist screeds?", but I already know the answer as does everyone else.

What is it that you cannot understand GoP? Yes there are genetic differences between races/sexes (duh!;). Yes these differences are predicted by evolutionary biology. Yes these differences can have general consequences. So what?  People are not groups. All the varied and complex social phenomena that you enjoy picking on are a wealth of interactions. You're pulling one thread from a beautiful and complex multicoloured Persian rug and claiming that it is responsible for the whole pattern. Intelligence, social dominance, criminality, tendancy for psychosis, etc etc etc are phenomena born of complex interactions. No one denies, nor needs to deny for the sake of some fictional politics, the biological causative factors in these phenomena. But to claim they are the major/only/principle causative agent behind a specificcomplex phenomenon is both ludicrous, and in this case, deliberately dishonest.


Date: 2006/10/31 10:32:33, Link
Author: Louis
I reckon the WMD are easier to find than the ID labs. WMDs at least had the possibility of existing, after all we have the reciepts from the 80s when we sold them to Saddam.

ID labs on the other hand have never existed. Outside of the fevered masturbatory fantasies of Dembski that is.


Date: 2006/10/31 10:58:36, Link
Author: Louis

Sadly, I agree completely with PZ.

Why sadly? Because this isn't a fight we are ever going going to stop fighting. There are always going to be religious people who wish to take their religious faith as a superior model of reality than the actual evidence (i.e. actual reality).

One point I have been thinking about a lot recently is the "making your own institutions" that PZ mentioned. Religious identity is so intimately tied to cultural and personal identity that for many people these three are inseperable. Take the person out of the gigachurch (although I think the next factor up, the terachurch, is more appropriate. Terror indeed) and show them the problems with this heightened religiosity and it's like you are telling them they are not a citizen of their country or a proper person or even themselves.

I'm buggered if I know what the answer is. But the idea of setting up our own institutions is a good one. Show people that their social and personal and cultural identity isn't dependant on adherence to a specific dogma, faith or religious belief.


Date: 2006/10/31 20:45:03, Link
Author: Louis
I've always found this an interesting topic: what makes humans different fromother animals.

The answer as far as I can tell is not much. I can't think of one attribute that humans have that is QUALITATIVELY different from an identical or analogous trait found in animals. Obviously many of our attributes are QUANTITATIVELY different.

There are several problems that this topic always brings up. Firstly, I'm not expecting animals to demonstrate "humanlike" traits, they are different species. If, for example, jokes are different between different cultures, shouldn't we expect that chimp humour is different from human humour. Maybe we're telling chimps the wrong jokes!

Secondly, it seems that people are desperate to draw arbitrary lines (analogous to racism, sexism etc) to maintain some falsely dichotomous group identity. A "them and us" mentality. Obviously such groupings and dichotomies have uses, but we often forget how arbitrary they are. A great example of this behaviour is the abortion debate: a human foetus becomes human on this date etc.

Another problem is the whole issue of stigmatisation. Someone who behaves like an animal is lesser, worse than human. Obviously this plays into the drawing of arbitrary lines, but it also clouds the issue in other ways. Despots the world over have tried to define their enemies as sub-human, as if this very animality permits the atrocities that follow.

I am not a biologist, nor do I play one on television, but I do have a biological slant to my work and interests. I'd love to hear from more experienced biological scientists on this. To the best of my knowledge no QUALITATIVE difference has been found between humans and other animals. Skinner box experiments show animals can be superstitious. Research on apes have shown that they can recognise themselves (as can elephants. Woooohooo), use tools and language, etc etc etc.



Date: 2006/11/01 00:05:46, Link
Author: Louis
What a wonderful website. I don't think it got even one thing right. A stopped clock is right twice a day and this chappie can't even manage that. Hilarious!

I love the fact that ID is NOT creationism, the site clearly shows this.

{giggle, snicker, guffaw}


Date: 2006/11/01 02:38:23, Link
Author: Louis

Oh yes I agree that arbitrary lines have to be drawn somewhere. The difference is not in where one draws the line, but how one draws the line.

These arbitrary lines should be pencilled in, pending further data (on pretty much any subject) rather than concreted in and surrounded by guards, dogs, gun turrets and barbed wire.

Like the abortion example, yes there has to be a line for legal purposes, and yes that line should be open to revision on the basis of the data. It may be there is a hard developmental line beyond which abortion is the only option as the foetus won't survive no matter what we do, but I doubt it. What amuses me about the abortion issue is that it's "debated" on entirely the wrong facet. Abortions happen. End of story. They happened when they were illegal, they happen now they are legal. The only issue is whether you want them happening in as safe and controlled a manner as possible, or in a back street "clinic" where no government control is possible. The rights of the woman vs the rights of the foetus is specious bullshit argued over by the religious wing. They've shifted the debate into an obscure area to try to cloud the issue and acheive their results by the back door.

This ties into the same thing we are talking about on the ID is dead thread. PZ is right when he idenitifies the megachurch phenomenon and surrounding social aspects as the underlying mycelium of the fungus that is antiscience. The toadstools that pop up: ID, "scientific creationism", the abortion issue, even party politics are easily picked, but it's going to take one #### of a fungicide to  hit the thing from whence these toadstools spring.

Obviously this is the same thing that infects the comparison of humans and other animals. Some people wish to draw hard lines, not pencil lines, for whatever reason. Perhaps you're right, perhaps we've moved so far along the information transfer route that it's like a "speciation" event, but I honestly doubt it. Granted we are apparently at one end of a broad spectrum, but it's still a spectrum. We don't have many near neighbours in terms of the volume of data transferred, but are we really so different in out individual ability to transfer information? After all, we do stand on the shoulders of giants to see as far as we currently do, individual humans can't transfer vastly more information than individual chimps, what we HAVE evolved is systems that remain longer than one human life. These systems survive and are tools adopted and adapted by other humans.

Anyway, just a thought.


Date: 2006/11/01 06:25:58, Link
Author: Louis

It's just you.

GoP has recently "confessed" to purposefully trolling for the last year. This "I'm a fine tuning deist" schtick is the latest ploy in a swathe of wankery. Same old GoP, same old shite. We've moved from the inferiority of muslims and black people to the subjugation of women, but essentially the same nonsense is being repeated with slight variations for topic relevance. On the plus side, we still get nice rants about liberals.


Date: 2006/11/02 08:43:15, Link
Author: Louis
...and that's why conservatives like me have to be more vocal in defense of science...

You seriously have to be shitting me. You're not a defender of science, you're a message board troll.

"Fine tuning"?
Guts to gametes?

Science these things are not. Nobody's buying this latest act GoP.


Date: 2006/11/03 01:15:59, Link
Author: Louis
Hey Gimpy,

Most amusing. Tell me is this you?


(edited to remove and EXTREMELY offensive link I thought might be a good idea but on reflection decided against)

Date: 2006/11/03 08:20:38, Link
Author: Louis

GoP 3.0:

Gay muslim? Naaaah
Opus Dei? Naaaah
Scientologist? Naaaah

My money's on a scat loving, male to female transexual, BDSM bottom who begs at the door of local gyms for muscley men to defecate on "him" and call him Gaia the Earth Goddess. I also predict a major campaign from GoP on the legalisation of  bestiality sometime after christmas too.


Date: 2006/11/07 02:10:43, Link
Author: Louis


I for one can not be convinced of either empathy or altruism in animals so.....

Is why discussion with you is pointless, at least on this issue. As Icthyic has pointed out, when presented with a wide range of evidence (or at least the means to access the evidence) you airily hand wave it away.

As I said right at the start, herein lies a problem. You are merely one victim of a common disease. People want to seperate humans out of the animal kingdom. Just like in centuries gone past everything we English hated/thought deviant was almost always ascribed as a habit of the French. We more modern humans wish to ascribe all the ills of our nature to animals. The bad are animal traits, the good are human traits.

I could go on and explain how and what we know about empathy and altruism in animals, but let's  both be honest Skeptic, you're not interested and I'd be wasting what little spare time I have.


Date: 2006/11/07 04:26:40, Link
Author: Louis

Why whatever is that?


Date: 2006/11/07 13:26:50, Link
Author: Louis
Oh dear. I should have put a sarcastic smiley in there for you. I'm aware of scientism, Gimpy. I'm also aware that it is the last plaintive cry of the denial suffering humanities graduate/student. It's the strawman di tutti strawmen.

I love the "other ways of knowing" schtick. It's a personal favourite. So Ghosty tell us some of these other ways of knowing, and tell us of their results.


Date: 2006/11/08 02:03:07, Link
Author: Louis

Oh double dear! Ok in some vague order:

1) Smarting from what? Side? Ummmm no sorry Gimpy. Are you channelling AFD, declaring victories when having your arse kicked? The thread was killed because a) the topic was pretty irrelevant to start with (not that that really matters, but eh), and b) you were continually dishonestly ignoring the fact that your claim was not supported by the data. Your constant dishonesty and obfuscation was rendering any debate pointless. Deal with it. Amusingly, it would appear that it is YOU that has the problem since you immediately personal messaged me after the thread was locked and it appears you still can't let go. Projection much Gimpy? Are you upset because the Democrats are whipping the Republicans in both houses of congress? Hush now little Gimpy, retreat to your white supremacist compound and play with your Jesus dolls and AK. Fuckwit.

2) Science's domain doesn't cover the entirety of human knowledge? Really? Science (the method) is reason applied to observations Gimpy. A sonnet,concerto, poem etc are stimuli made by humans with the expressly reasoned purpose of causing a specific series of neurological, hormonal and psychological responses. End of story. Does that unweave the rainbow? Does that mean that love and beauty are meaningless? No of course not. These things aren't Platonic abstracts, existant only in a fictional aether, they are real measurable effects. Quantifying them is troublesome, but that doesn't mean they aren't physical.

Pure logic, maths, philosophy, can demonstrate propositions are "true", but all that "true" means is that they are internally coherent and consistent. They cannot (without reference to observation) demonstrate a proposition is representative of reality without it. Incidentally, this has been one of the prime criticisms of M-theories (superstrings etc), that although it does propose experiments (observations) to test its predictions, they are incredibly difficult. Remember that science doesn't deal with absolute proof, it deals with provisional proof. Something is provisionally externaly "true" when demonstrated by science, not simply absolutely internally true as when demonstrated by logic.

This is a key difference. The very second you refer to any observation external to oneself (and if we are being honest, almost any internal observation) you are in the realm of science, like it or not. I can't show that the purple object you see is the same purple object I see, but I can show that the photoreceptors and neurons of your nervous system respond the same way to the same wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. In addition, I can show that we treat the purple object in the same way.

3) And these other ways of knowing are.........? I notice you are too cowardly to advance them, merely relying on common prejudice.

Merely emoting and not examining that emotion is not another way of knowing. The only ways you can possibly be refering to will ultimately come down to faith or revelation. Let's be blunt, neither of these can garner any knowledge of anything external to your own mind, and barely even that. If they can do so, then please tell me why a hindu's faith and revelations  are accurate and a muslim's aren't (for example, the specific faiths are irrelevant, all that matters is that the faith/revelatory propositions are different and mutually exclusive). Ultimately the only way anyone knows anything is via reason, and like it or not that involves the scientific method, whether we give it that fancy schmancy name or not.

This doesn't mean that beliefs, faiths, revelations etc are meaningless and without use. Far from it. They have vast personal meaning (like a poem etc) and great use (group cohesion, emotional crutches, explanation, inherent beauty, inspiration etc etc), but none of this personal meaning, emotional use, or social value (or lack of value in some cases) has anything to do with their validity.

4) You are assuming that there are things that don't "overlap" with the physical universe. Some proof please.

{crickets chirruping}

Thought as much.

5) Concertos etc too Western? Doubtlessly because I don't hate people of different races and religions like you do Gimpy, you assume I hate the west. Ooopsie! Mistake. One can appreciate the beauty in a Carravagio and a Picasso, prefer the Picasso and still realise that the beauty of the Carravagio might inspire someone else to prefer that to the Picasso. Group identity is a real issue for you eh Gimpy? Yet more evidence of your aberrant psychology and trollishness.

6) Other ways of knowing are coming to a country near me? Where Gimpy? Nice news articles about the evils of immigrants do not cultural overthrow make. Amazingly Gimpy, the UK and Europe have survived influx and religious nonsense before, we more than have the ability to do it again.


11/11/06 editted to correct error of omission. Aren't platonic abstracts, not are platonic abstracts.

Date: 2006/11/09 01:39:58, Link
Author: Louis
Every time I assume that Gimpy knows what he's talking about I'm proven wrong. Yet more googletrawled bullshit and general wankery.

1) I was protected? From what Gimpy? I know you have reading for comprehension issues and are a dishonest fuckwit, but come on son, cognitive dissonance like that which you are displaying moves beyond mere personality quirks and right into pathology. Read the thread again. You made claim. Claim was not supported by evidence. You obfuscated wildly. Trying the "I was muzzled therefore I'm right" bullshit isn't fooling anyone. Take a straw poll Gimpy. Who thinks you supported your claim?

I can't comment on why specific moderation decisions were made one way or another, simply because I don't know why they were made. Were I moderating you'd have been gone right after your "confession" of trolling. Regardless of your views. Neither Dave or TrollDaddy would have lasted  as long as they did/have  either. Not because I fear dissent or being wrong, but just becauuse I think there are really excellent issues and controversies that can be discussed reasonably and honestly. You do neither. You get your fair share of abuse Gimpy, but let's be blunt, you doled it out long before you got it.

2) Post my PMs. You have my express permission to post the full contents of anything I sent to you by private message. I stand by and will defend everything I said in them. Of course should you do this I shall take it as implicit that your PMs be posted in full alongside them.

3) I notice you avoid the whole issue raised in my post. Amusing. The whole things about non sequiturs like "Danielle Steele is better than Shakespeare" is that they are undecidable by rational means unless you closely define what "better" means. You raise the claim god exists but is deliberately unobservable, this is a great illustration of you not understanding the simplest thing about this issue. This is not an observation, it is a fantasy, an article of faith, or revelation. There is no way this can be verified. The high level physics you google up in support of this can in principle be verified. You STILL don't appear to understand that science doesn't in fact know anything absolutely. If we arrive at the TOE, we have mathematical desciptions of every phenomenon in the universe we have nothing more than a first model. It could all be galloping pixies doing the work, but if the pixies are unobservable then how d we know it's pixies and not fairies? So again I ask the key question you are avoiding: if you claim that "god" exists an is unobservable how do you distinguish between your claim and the claim of another person who says it's "gods" or a specific "god" or "cheezwhizz"? You can't. Rhetoric establishes nothing. Logic and reason won't avail you. The claim is indistinguishable from mere fantasy.

This is crucial Gimpy. Like my comment about purple things previously. Yes there could be underlying unobservable mechanisms behind, but if they are unobservable then how do we find out if they are any more real than the next guy's unobservable mechanism? They're not. Oh sure we can wax lyrical, but once again, the second we use reason, logic, observations to justify our previously claimed unobservable and we are slap bang right in the middle of science's sandbox.

................ Oh bugger I'm playing with muppets again. Hey Gimpy, try working out you are not debating the strawliberal in your head. Take a dollar and buy a clue.


Date: 2006/11/09 07:30:39, Link
Author: Louis

I've read it. Interesting book. Unsurprisingly there are bits I don't agree with. I'm not devaluing the arts or human emotional experiences etc, all I'm saying is that simply because we feel X doesn't mean X is supernatural/irrational/unreasoned. There are perfectly reasoned and natural processes underlying human thought and emotion.

My point is, whether people like to admit it or not, knowledge about the universe falls into two categories: that distinguishable from fantasy (at least to a high degree of approximation by relation to observation), and that indistinguishable from fantasy. I'm not denying the artistic influence or the muse, all I'm saying with regards to those is that they fall within the realm of examination by reason. Like the "is Mozart better than the Beastie Boys" type question, it hinges on how you define better. At worst the question is simply stupid in any sense other than the trivially subjective (i.e. do you prefer Mozart to the Beastie Boys, or vice versa), at best it's a technical question (i.e. Are the rhythmic devices employed by Mozart more technically complex and emotionally evocative in a larger group of people than those of the Beastie Boys).

Personally I prefer Mozart's music and the Beastie Boys' lyrics. Unfortunately whenever I try to marry the two it never comes out quite right.*


*This is a joke. You may laugh.

Date: 2006/11/09 14:04:43, Link
Author: Louis
{slaps forehead}

Whoops again Ghosty. I have thought about this topic, whether or not that counts as deeply is, well just part of another veiled insult from you again. Let's be blunt, #### I'm rarely anything else, you're just being a wanker as usual Gimp boy. Try dealing with people's arguments as they are not as they are mangled by your strawliberal. Ban bait? Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ban me for telling you you are a pointless screw up with the intellectual gifts of a pile of foestering camel dung? Please go right ahead and get me banned. Anything I have said I can back up with clear examples and definitions should I be so required. Politeness takes many forms Gimpy. Honesty and reason in discussion are two of them. Along of course with not pointing out you're a fuckwit. So I mess one up! Hey I'm human and fallible.  To ban anyone after your behaviour for vastly lesser "offences" than yours would be an act of the rankest hypocrisy. And as far as I am aware none of the moderators here are either rank or hypocrites!

You're hiding behind several things, as usual all of them dishonest. Read my post again, and the post I made to Skeptic, I gave an example of how you could define "better". The point again (because you've missed it 3 times now) is that simply because a question can be phrased does not mean it is a useful, reasoned, rational or productive question. Unless one carefully defines in what sense one uses the word "better" the question is meaningless. And yes, regardless of the nigh on endless witterings of generations of humanities grads, one can demonstrate on perfectly measurable grounds that Shakespeare is "better" than Byron as long as one carefully defines in what sense Shakespere is "better". In fact I think you'll find that a rather large portion of humanities grads' witterings make this point excellently.

Now Gimpy are you going to deal with the points made or just continue your desire for flaming? Let's be honest yet again, as in so many ways I am vastly your superior in coming up with vaguely exciting abuse.


Date: 2006/11/09 15:59:31, Link
Author: Louis
Lord love a duck Gimpy.

Point here.

You here.

If you're going to try to patronise people at least have the ability to read for comprehension. You haven't addressed my point at all. See the following:

1) Ben Johnson is a better athlete than I am because he can run faster than I can.

I am a better athlete than Ben Johnson because I have never taken performance enhacing drugs, and therefore cheated.

The word "better" means different things in different contexts. It's referring to different senses of the word better. In these examples it's referring to a measurable metric, the athlete's speed or history of drug taking. Both statements are demonstrably true as written for the given meanings of the word "better".

2) Raymond E Feist is a better writer than Shakespeare because I find his stories more engaging.

Shakespeare is a better writer than Raymond E Feist because my friend finds his stories more engaging.

Here the word "better" is being used in the same manner in both cases, but it is referring to a purely subjective preference. We can't tell if Feist or Shakespeare is the better writer based on the information in this example, what we CAN tell is which writer I or my friend prefer. The word "better" in this example is referring to a qualitatively measurable metric (the amount of individual engagement), but quantitative measurement would be over egging the pudding somewhat (except in certain limited research circumstances, and then only arbitrary units could be used). This is a far more ephemeral use of the word better, and one open to far more abuse.

You can show that Mozart is better than the Beastie Boys and indeed vice versa. But what you MUST do to achieve this is clearly define in what sense (i.e. with regards to what metric) you are using the word better.

Another common mistake people make is that better in one sense means better in all. It don't. Example 1 is a good example of how ridiculous this mistake is. Both statements are demonstrably true but it doesn't follow that I am an all round better athlete in every possible sense of the word better than Ben Johnson. The one use of "better" simply doesn't follow from the other use.

If you wish to decide upon WHICH metric is more important than another, then you have to be careful again. This can reduce to personal preference in the case of artistically inspired emotion, but it can also be reduced to cold hard measurables, as is being done by music businesses and TV companies the world over. There are patterns to human taste and preference, and these are open to exploitation by anyone willing to work out those patterns. No one claims they are 100% applicable, and they don't need to be, all they need to do is produce a measurable effect. It would appear that historical science isn't the only field you have a problem with, statistical science has escaped you too. So your trivial irrelevancies like "is simplicty better than complexity" are explained already. It depends on the situation, context and specific use of the word better.

As for your claim that the point about reason etc was circular, please do pull your head from your arse. Not only is it not circular, but it's one of the most bog standard pieces of epistemology there is. Common Gimpy, you can google better than this surely?


P.S. I am compelled to point out yet again that the irony of you of all people pointing out hat abuse detracts from an argument is overwhelming. Gimpy you have spent a year trolling this message board with abuse, stupidity and silly piccies. Whilst I am not convinced by this latest act in your pointless personal shell game, you have made the claim. Let's be blunt, when you start being honest and actually, ya know, making a halfway rational point as oppsed to googletrawling to support your prejudices, then I'll happily take you seriously. Until then, business as usual.

Date: 2006/11/10 02:04:35, Link
Author: Louis

First of all, that first paragraph is an excellent piece of abuse, at least for you. You're really pulled the stops out, well done. Were I wearing headgear I would doff it to you for that. Granted, I'd expect better from a retarded echidna, but you're improving, you've a long way to go before you reach those lofty heights.

Second, it's really funny to see you mangle the argument I'm making. I'm not trying to shoehorn everything I don't like into the non-science bucket, far from it. I also didn't say that the Shakespeare/Byron question was a scientific question, I said it was a question open to reasoned understanding rather than the appeal to mystery. Reason is the foundation of the scientific process. Although it is extremely amusing to see you keep flogging the same strawman.

As for the rest, colour me highly amused. You've run off in your own little misinterpretation designed to obfuscate the fact that you have no argument.


Date: 2006/11/10 14:47:58, Link
Author: Louis

Just learn to read for comprehension please. I dealt with your strawman posts ago.


Date: 2006/11/11 02:49:52, Link
Author: Louis

It certainly isn't me. I've already explained why your strawman is nothing to do with what I've said. So all this "puttie or shuttie" nonsense is simply yet more evidence tha you're off your tiny nut.

I know you have reading for comprehension problems, it appears you also have thinking problems (like we didn't already know). You do realise I'm not responsible for your strawman Gimpy? You tried to shift the burden of proof and goalposts in the "muslims=bad" thread when the going got tough for you, and you're trying to do it here. Actually read what I've written, not what you think I've written. It'll make so much more sense.


Date: 2006/11/11 14:24:41, Link
Author: Louis
Gimpy, Gimpy, Gimpy,

I've laid this out for you as briefly and clearly as is possible when dealing with a troll such as yourself. Read what I have written, not just snippets or bits you think resemble your strawliberal's arguments.

Your reference to emotion and literary criticism wrongly assumes, as I mentioned before, that these are not examples of the application of reason and observation. They are, and thus they are understandable by the scientific method, which ultimately it is after all the application of reason and observation. I'll give you an example I think even you can understand. Throw a ball into the air and catch it. Your brain has just performed an actof extrordinary differential calculus resulting in your arm moving and your hand grasping the ball. The simple fact that in the intervening seconds between you releasing the ball and catching it you didn't consciously sit down and scribble out the equation of motion for the trajectory of that ball and work out a point on this trajectory where your hand could intersect the path of the ball and catch it doesn't mean that your brain didn't do precisely this calculation "behind the scenes" as it were. It did. Preferences, subjectivity, emotions are all results of the "behind the scenes" processing of your brain. Granted they aren't as simple to elucidate or reason out as the maths of a moving ball in a gravitational field, but they are still there.

Your mind is easily fooled, just like everyone else's. Sleight of hand and prestidigitation can make you believe things have appeared from the very air. External electromagnetic stimulation of the brain can produce trance like states and even visions, revelations and "religious" experiences indistinguishable from "authentic" ones. Psychoactive chemicals can produce a huge range of physiological and psychological reactions. All of these are material causes which operate on material systems and produce material effects. Effects that are the product of the operation of the universe and can be unpicked by a rational, reasoned, observation based understanding of that operation.

Simply because we don't have a complete picture of every mechanistic step does not mean that the steps do or don't exist. So far however, every single system investigated across the whole universe, every phenomenon observed, every puzzle solved has had a natural, reasoned, rational mechanism behind it. We have yet to observe one that does not.

In literary criticism, one critiques the subject matter by observing it, dissecting elements of it, comparing and contrasting various modes and methods of writing and metaphor etc. There is a huge amount of science in linguistics, and a huge amount of scientific methodology in the understanding of prose and literature. The same goes for art. Look at the vanishing points of Leonardo, or the tesselations of Escher. Both of these (and a whole shed load more things I could mention) are due to the application of reason to artistic creation. The emotions these works may inspire are affected by their rational creation, regardless of whether that was the conscious intent of their creator.

Those emotions in turn are responses to certain stimuli. Those responses in turn are derived from a hugely complex series of interacting historical, social and biological factors. Frankly it's a fascinating area of study.

All theses things rely on the application of reason, logic and observation. The fact that they may or may not be consciously reasoned is irrelevant. The difficulty of elucidating precise mechanisms for them is irrelevant, after all one can examine an emergent phenomenon in it's own right without necessarily understaniding the underlying mechanisms that generate it.

This is why I am curious to know what your "other ways of knowing are". Because if you are decrying the scientific method as "only one way of knowing" then you are decrying the very methods that we use to generate art and criticise art and even emote. That something is subjective doesn't mean it is unreasoned. That something is subjective doesn;t mean it is valid or invalid. By trying to make the postmodernist claim that science is merely one way of knowing amongst many you are denying the fact that reason and observation are not simply one way of knowing, but the only way of knowing anything at all. Faith, revelation, fantasy are all moot without recourse to reason, for any man's fantasy is as valid as any other until it is matched against what we do observe.

This fine tuning bullshit is a great example. Your claim that we are looking at the same phenomenon and interppreting it different is purest drivel. If the universe were different in certain key parametres we wouldn't be here to observe it. That is not proof of design. Take a trivial example. Douglas Adams' puddle story is a good one.

" . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. "

Douglas was making several points,but the one I am focussing on is the illustration of the illogic and fallacious reasoning behind fine tuning. Smolin, Hawking et al want to understand this narrowness to our universe's mechanisms because they can conceive of other ways it could have evolved. The question they are asking is very interesting, it's about what mechanisms could constrain the evolution of physical systems. I have several uneducated guesses about this that I'm not going to get into in any depth other than to say that certain ideas about gradients and thermodynamics play a part, some universes are more stable than others. These may be things we can never know, but maybe one day, if some of the hunches about near future accelerator experiments are right, we might be able to test even the wackiest of them.

On the subject of knowledge one last thing. JBS Haldane's comment:

"Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose"

Is possible, but I'm open minded on the issue! If I were to have anything I believed in on faith alone it is that the universe's mechanisms are comprehensible by the human mind. Happily, since I have no faith, even in this, I am happy to conclude that it is possible, likely even, but not certain.


Date: 2006/11/11 20:47:49, Link
Author: Louis

Cheers matey. I did wonder if anyone would notice. I've just got back from a minor night out commiserating England's dire performance in the rugby today.....well yesterday now. I may be mildly under the affluence of incohol.

32 eh? Fuck it, I'm in denial, I'm not a day over 18. I've just had 14 years of practice.  So eat, drink and be merry all, for tomorrow I shall have a hangover.

I predict that the beer monkey will savage me. The beer monkey is an evil simian who, when you are in the presence of beer, shits in your mouth, punches you in the face, steals all your money and deposits you in (or near) your bed fully dressed smelling like a dead dog and in the possession of an uneaten souvenir kebab.

#### you beer monkey!

{shakes fist}

Louis (or at least most of me)

P.S. Just because your drink is on fire, it doesn't mean it is good. Words to live by.

P.P.S. Why are some drinks a better idea when your drunk? Trust me on this, never try to drink a cocktail called a "Dog's Nose". Fans of the works of Tom Sharpe and ex-rugby players of recent years will know why.

Date: 2006/11/13 07:50:58, Link
Author: Louis

1) I'm not making a strawman of your argument. Tu quoque much? You've inserted the word "objective" into my argument and are running with your strawman. As usual.

2) My argument is that reason, logically coherent rational though and honest reference to observation are the the only ways of knowing anything about anything. Science is a field in which this process is most closely applied. Read back, I've made this, oooooh perhaps slightly clear to anyone with a reading age of over 5.

You've chosen a weird strawman version of science which involves (to quote you) "...rigid definitions and formulas...". Rigid, no. As well defined as possible, yes. These two things are different. As I have said about ooooooh a triple gazillion times now. But eh, you're not about to start being honest now are you Gimpy?  You're just out to bash "liberalatheistpinkocommiebastardswhoarewreckingtheworld". As an aside, pick just one example where I have bashed "conservatives". Like I've said so many times, your aberrant psychology is fascinatingly absurd. Especially when you try to hand wave it away as Freudian! Even a dumb old chemist like me knows that psychiatry,  psychology, neurology etc have move on just slightly since Siggy, who, let's be blunt,was demonstrably wrong about a key number of things.

Ooops digression.

3) I'll try to put a point I've mentioned before, but you've skipped, a different way for you. What does the subjective reasoning involved in literary criticism tell anyone? What knowledge does it garner? It tells you lots about the person expressing it, it can tell you lots of things about the social environment of the person making and perhaps also the subject of said criticism. And so on and so forth. This is reasoning and observation, this is making models and predictions about the universe (which after all includes humans) and hopefully, testing them. Postmodernist lit crit, or rather the extreme end of it, is really nothing more than fantastical mental masturbation. Look for example at the hilarious Sokal hoax, one example in a series which demonstrates very clearly that a lot of this stuff is academic window dressing, lots of arrogant people saying a great deal about nothing,.

We should expect this sort of froth on the surface of academic enquiry, in the borderlands of useful enquiry there will always be sections that fall over the edge into useless enquiry, be they individual researchers or almost whole fields. Don't get me wrong, some of these guys, even the loonier end, have produced some amazingly useful pieces of work, I'm absolutely not dismissing them or their field (just the woo woo element, which is present in all fields to a greater or lesser extent). I am a supporter of out there research for the simple reason that no one knows where the next major advance or discovery will come from. What I DON'T support, and very vigorously don't support, is constant reexamination of areas and methods that don't produce results, don't  acquire knowledge, and that have been shown not to work in any sense other than the fanatsies of the believer/researcher etc.

You yourself realise that you can't predict emergent phenomena from the underlying complex interaction of more deterministic phenomena. Emotions and subjectivity are not emergent phenomena in and of themselves, they are products or "symptoms" of an emergent phenomenon: consciousness. These phenomena are understandable as rational, "equation following" (to use your phraseology) processes. Granted to a lesser degree than say an electronic circuit,but then these are more complex systems. The fact that we refer to the emotional or subjective aspects of a piece of art does not in anyway detract from the fact that that art, that emotion, that subjectivity is produced by processes understandable by more objective study, and that they themselves can be understood in a more objective fashion. By denying this by the way, you are making a big mistake. It's like your trying to seperate the phonon from the crystal, the superconductivity from the material etc.

I'll put it yet another way. You could read "Dick and Jane Play Ball" as a story about Dick and Jane. You could read it as a study of intergender relationships and socialisation in western society. Neither analysis is more valid than the other as far as they go. They are treatments of the same subject at different levels of complexity. However, the same rational processes underly both analyses. One is more refined than the other, but the same things are occuring in both cases. In one case the "sword of reason" is being wielded by an amateur, in the other the "sword of reason" is being wielded by a master.

Simply because one can treat a subject on a series of different levels, doesn't mean that one of those levels is more valid than the other. It's important to realise that this is explicitly not a postmodernist argument. It's merely a recognition of the ability of individuals to deal with topics as they are able. For example, I'm not a professional mathematician, the maths you mentioned aboout Calabi Yau shapes in a different postare far beyond me. I understand something about them, but I am far from being expert enough to generate such an idea and develop that mathematical system. My appreciation of Calabi Yau mathematics does not negate the accuracy of more profound appreciations. Merely refering to my lack of ability to appreciate them profoundly, or to my subjective feeling that I don't particularly enjoy that sort of maths says nothing about the maths, nor the processes of thought behind them, nor the processes of thought behind my appreciation of them.

You can look at a picture and like it, and I can see the same picture and not like it. We can give reasons and evidence which supports our individual decisions, but what knowlege is being acquired? Is any knowledge being gained about the painting? Or is the major part of the knowledge we are acquiring (probably all if I'm honest about it) about your and my socialisation, preferences, and appreciation of art? Again we return to the simple point I made ages ago, simply because we are only referring to something at the emotional level of reasoning this doesn't negate the more "clinical" levels.

4) Another repeated point. I'm not advocating science (as in physics, chemistry, biology etc) per se, I am advocating reason. Again, a point I've made abundantly clear to all but the deliberately dishonest.

Scientific study is one manifestation of the application of reason and observation to the acquisition of knowledge about the universe. It is the most rigorous and thorough application of reason and observation not by virtue of some inherent superiority, but by virtue of the systems dealt with. The same thought processes and methods of acquiring knowledge about the universe apply to all fields of human enquiry. The details may be different (I don't breed fish like PZ Myers, he doesn't use an accelerator like the CERN guys, neither of us make case studies and statistical surveys of people's behaviour) but the method is the same. That method is also how we can make any distinction or any criticism of anything. The same process is not limited to the development of deterministic, rigid equations and laws. As you should know since you flannel about it as often as possible, quantum mechanics shows the non deterministic, non intuitive nature of the universe. Dame nature is a coy bitch, but she's not malicious. If you want to look under her skirts and discover her secrets, you have to be very careful and precise.

In one sense, the difference between the accuracy of a physical theory and a psychological theory is the number of decimal places it can be and has been confirmed to, and the width of the error bars.

These are points on a continuum of complexity. By complexity I mean number of interacting entities. Understanding the behaviour of one electron is fantasically difficult because it is vastly counterintuitive, highly constrained in some senses, and difficult to carefully observe. Understanding the behaviour (emotions, preferences etc etc) of one human is fantastically difficult because of the sheer number of interacting phenomena, the relatively large degrees of freedom for the phenomena under study, and careful observation isn't difficult for the same reasons as the electron, but it's difficult because of the huge numbner of other possible causative agents. We might apply the tools we have in different ways (particle accelerators and cyclotrons are not good tools for psychologists, linguists, sociologists or artists [well possibly artists! funfunfun]) but that doesn't mean they are different tools. A phillips head screwdriver, a flat head screwdriver, a hex bolt screwdriver etc all do the same job (unscrewing and screwing threaded objects) but they aren't different classes of tools. They are applications of the same principles to the same types of problems. The flathead might not work well in a hex bolt etc, but that isn't the best tools for the job. What you're saying is that the hex bolt driver is a saw. Literary criticism and emotional understanding are surface uses of the same tool, reason and observation. Like I said before, simply because one can leave them there at that level doesn't negate a more profound treatment.

5)  I found this comment of yours in another thread telling:

Auster's attempt at Reductio ad absurdum isn't the best example out there, but his main point is pretty solid: science, being predicated on methodological naturalism, is often used to support metaphysical naturalism, and this is even more true for branches of science that deal with the origin and evolution of life. This conflation harms people because it delegitimises the intangible cultural and moral values holding society together. I don't believe all of this, but many people do assume that because science is the best strategy in its domain it should be the null strategy in all domains, including the realm of moral guidance. People then  replace one religion with another while rejecting the accumulated wisdom of societal selection. That’s why utopian ideas almost always fail –- they haven’t “proven” themselves over time like most traditional ideas have. The Law of Unintended Consequences ensues.

Bolding mine.

You are, as I have said many many times before, an enemy of reason. Your whole motivation is clearly not to "reclaim science for conservatives" or some such rot, but to destroy reason, the products of reason you don't like, and to assert your underlying subjective, unsupported claims as fact. Evolutionary biology does not in any way undermine or delegitimise any social, ethical or moral philosophy or system. You've made these sort of stupid comments before. Is does not equal ought. By the way, morals, ethics, social systems are products of reason and systems open to explanation and understanding by the process of reason and observation. If you deny this then how come people who have similar moral, ethical and social values based on different philosophical underpinings. How come the work of people like Fisher and Haldane show the "game theory" of altruism in biology. One can arrive at moral systems by reason alone based on an honest understanding of the systems which they apply to.

Again, the strawman you raise is that science, or reason if you prefer, is simply inductive. It isn't. Nor is it dogmatic in the sense of "replacing one religion with another" that you mention. All knowledge is provisional. As I have said many times before, if one day we have a 100% accurate scientific explanation for every phenomenon in the universe we don't have "THE ANSWER", we have a first approxiamtion. A model. We can never have more for the same reason that I mentioned before: the limits of observation.

So if you crave certainty, don't look to reason. There is always going to be an element of doubt. Productive and useful doubt to be sure, but doubt nonetheless. This is why, when confronted with the "you believe in evolution like I believe in god" cry of dumb creationists I reply with the key distinction "No. I accept that evolutionary biology is the best explanation, the best model, we currently have for the relevant phenomena we observe". That's a MASSIVE distinction. One appeal is possibly open to disproof and examination, the other isn't.

6) The above is partly why I am curious to know what these "other ways of knowing" you mention are, and when, why and from where they are "coming to a country near me" like you claim. Another reason is that I am amused by your aberrant psychology, faux confidence and delusions in the face of overwhelming contraray data. But my peccadillos aside. It's fun to see that you STILL can't read for comprehension, and STILL reply to the strawliberal in your head rather than what is actually being argued.


Date: 2006/11/13 20:13:26, Link
Author: Louis

You seem to be reasoning in a circle, because you say that all useful knowledge is acquired by a reasoning process, and then proceed to define useful knowledge as that which is uncovered by reasoning!

No I am not doing this. I am not in any way doing the second part! I'm not even making the "useful" distinction you are claiming I am.

But I contend that discussing our aesthetic tastes and applying them to a work of art does lead to useful information outside of the clinical information gleaned about our subjective states. We have gained a deeper appreciation of the work itself, an appreciation that is shaped by our subjective experiences as much as by the painting's background data. You can't just take the emotive responses and hand-wave it away as mere trivia, because this trivia influences our relationship to the artwork just as much (more?) as the objective stuff. In fact, this emotional reasoning is the core experience of studying art!

But I'm not handwaving it away at all, as you would know if you'd bothered to read the post rather than doing exactly what I described and predicted you would do: i.e. pick out a tiny piece you think represents the strawliberal in your head and respond only to that. Appreciating the emotional response to art is one perfectly valid level of understanding and dealing with art. It's not the only one, and it doesn't negate or invalidate other examinations of art. As I said before.

Not only that, you are assuming that the emotional response is not a reasoned one. Again, as I explained the emotional response is derived from reason and observation. You are interacting with an object of art and examining the responses that interaction causes in your psychological state. Artistic preferences are partly learnt from one's social context, these preferences are open to change based on experience. This is classic "stimulus/response", classic reasoned thought. Simply because one does not go through each step of the reasoning consciously is irrelevant, just as in the throwing ball example I mentioned. Conscious reasoning, i.e. a process of reasoned thought of which you are aware, is not the only kind of thought the brain processes. Simply because that partially conscious or unconscious thought process is not analysed by many people does not negate or invalidate the fact that it can be reasoned. It can even be trained. Again,I've already dealt with this, as I said the are different levels of interaction and appreciation, they differ only by their degree of conscious thought applied to the reasoning process, not the nature of the method of acquiring knowledge.

This applies to empirical phenomena as well. Mathematical modeling + observation is a wonderful way to investigate the universe, but it is predicated on the limitations of our senses, intellect, and computational ability. We can do a lot with what we have, and what we have just might be enough, but there is a good reason to assume that we're just simplifying (and thereby distorting) certain aspects of reality that our brains can't comprehend and that our senses can't investigate. I realise you admitted that this is a real problem, but recognising and incorporating a problem into a worldview are two different things. You clearly believe that reason is enough, or that it will be someday. I'm sorry, but your assurances are not enough to overturn my skepticism about the limits of human inquiry. Heck, most scientists admit up front that science cannot handle questions about God's existence. The response seems to be, "well, it must be an unimportant question then, or a fantasy." This reasoning is circular. Science is like the drunk who searches for his keys under the lamppost because the light is better there.

No, an understanding of the universe is not predicated on our senses. We can devise objects that interact with aspects of th universe in ways so beyond our senses that they are entirely alien. We have no organ that interacts with gravity or the weak force or the strong force in the manner our eyes interact with the electromagnetic force or our ears interact with longitundinal waves of compression in matter. We can devise objects to do all of this. Even in the areas of the universe that we do interact with our sense we are interacting with such a narrow piece that we are almost indistinguisable from being able to interact with none of it. We are far beyond being limited by our senses. Look at the counterintuitive nature of quantum mechanics for example. You may be able to google up complex sounding science Gimpy, but yet again it's abundantly clear you don't understand the first thing about it.

...there is a good reason to assume that we're just simplifying (and thereby distorting) certain aspects of reality that our brains can't comprehend and that our senses can't investigate....

Really? What is that reason Gimpy, other than the limits of observation? As for your comments about "incorporating an idea into a worldview" yet again you do me a disservice because you're dealing with a strawliberal in your head rather than my actual comments. I'll get to this in a moment.

No, I don't prefer the dark place, but I'm willing to acknowledge that the keys may be located there. After all, if you search the well-lit area and don't find the keys, there's a good chance they're somewhere else. Louis prefers to circle around in the spotlight while cursing those who grope around. And really, Ved, do you think it's likely that the universe is fully comprehensible to us apes? What are the odds of that coincidence occuring?

No Gimpy, I am openly and honestly NOT cursing those who grope around, nor am I circling only in the lit area. In fact my whole job is to extend that lit area and for that I have to venture into the dark and grope about like everyone else.

This relates to this comment of yours:

Heck, most scientists admit up front that science cannot handle questions about God's existence. The response seems to be, "well, it must be an unimportant question then, or a fantasy." This reasoning is circular.

No Gimpy, this is where you are really off base. It all depends on what you claim this "god" is. If this god or supernatural element or spirit or whatever you want to call it exists AND interacts with the material aspects of the universe (that you so airily dismiss as the mundane, simply because you know fuck all about it) then there is a route, an interaction, a mechanism by which it does this. This is (obviously) an interaction with the material universe that has material consequences. This is precisely within the purview and remit of science. Should such an interaction exist it is open to rational, reasoned scrutiny and explanation.

However, should you (esp as a nicely reinvented deist, {cough} bullshit) claim that this spirit/god/supernatural element NOT interact with the material universe, then how is it different from being non-existant? How is it different from a myriad of similar claims? Why YOUR god/supernatural/spiritual claim? Why not mine or a muslim's or a hindu's etc etc etc.

As you recognised in a previous post, the very second you use reason and observation to defend this second specific case, you immediately admit that the question is open to reasoned falsification. By the way this is precisely why theists and deists etc special plead and obfuscate and appeal to mystery. They know this is the case.

What you fail to realise is that the faith (i.e. belief in something in the absence of evidence or incontradiction to the available evidence) these people have is not something I object to in any way, as long as it is honestly recognised for what it is. Why should your love of Constable be more important than my love of Escher? Why should your faith claim be more important than mine? As Lenny often says: What makes your religious opinion more important than his,mine, the bloke down the road's or his ever present and very important Pizza Deliviery Operative?  The answer, which you don't like (demonstrated by a myriad of posts and cclaims you have made) is "nothing". Until you can put your faith claims on a rational basis (which immediately removes them from the realm of faith btw) they are as valid as any other faith claim.

This doesn't mean they lack "value" or "utility" in the psychological and sociological senses, it just means they have no greater claim to being the "TRUTH" than any similarly rationally unsupported claim. This doesn't mean they should be banned or ridiculed or loathed. This doesn't invalidate them nor does it make them worthless. It merely recognises them for what they are. Are you going to fight a war over our different unsupported opinions on Carravagio? If not, then why fight a war over our different unsupported opinions over a deity?

As for it being an unimportant question, again no. If the first sort of deity is the one that exists (an interacting deity) this is a VASTLY important question. Surely you can see that there is a vast difference between a universe with such an entity and a universe without such an entity. However, we need to carefully define what we are looking for. Something I notice reluctance to do on many people's part. Rational, reasoned, honest enquiry into the universe may not have demonstrated that ALL possible and conceivable gods are very unlikely to exist, but it has demonstrated to a very high level of accuracy that all gods popularly espoused thus far in human history are vastly unlikely to exist. This is because their proponents have fallen afoul of defining their attributes in such a way that they were open to examination and falsification.

So I am absolutely NOT dismissing the question as unimportant or a fantasy. Nor am I denying or invalidating people's fantasies. I am merely saying that we recognise fantasies for what they are, and realise that if we decide to choose between them on the basis of which of them is "true", then we open them to falsification. Thus far, all such claims that have been advanced have been falisified. This does not mean that in the future all WILL, just that all HAVE.

Add into this parsimony. Adding a complex, intelligent supernatural entity into the origins of the universe multiplies entities beyond reason! You are explaining a complex phenomenon by invoking a more complex phenomenon with no supporting evidence! Not good.  Certainly not scientific, reasoned or rational.  Absolutely not parsimonious.

So what are these other ways of knowing about this supernatural entity Gimpy? I've clearly demonstrated that your claims about art and emotion aren't different ways of knowing, but different applications of certain tools and different levels of appreciation and application(whether you admit it or not btw. Your denial is not evidence).

As I said before, IF I did accept anything on faith, it would be that the universe is comprehensible. As I said I don't except this on faith at all, but were I a betting man (and oh I am!;) I would bet that this were the case, although I am happy to lose my shirt on the proposition, and happy to admit that we don't know if this is the case or not yet, despite the vast success we have had thus far. My stance is based on probability and demonstrable experience, not on bias or dedication to a "worldview".

As for whether we mere apes can understand the cosmos, and what the probability of this is, what's the probability that we won't be able to? You do realise what a dumb question that is don't you? Thus far every phenomenon we have encountered has yielded to our understanding, there are no failures yet. There are things we do not yet understand, things we don't have all the answers for, but why should we expect to have them. We've only just started out on the road, I'm interested to see where it goes because I don't know the destination. I'm not going to claim I do,but what I can claim is that I know where I've been and I have some idea of where the road is going for a certain distance ahead of me. Beyond that I have yet to see. However, the road has not deviated one inch in the entirety of human journeying upon it, it has pursued a straight course. Sure there have been hills to climb, rivers to bridge and valleys to descend along the way, but the road is straight as an arrow thus far. My guess, my bet is that it will remain so, but I'm happy to be wrong as I've said before.

What you don't appreciate Gimpy is that your unreason and special pleading is not sufficient to establish anything. Claiming that because we don't  know everything means we know nothing is stupid. Also understand that you conflate a myriad of issues in one place. Enriching life is not the same thing as knowledge of the universe.

We've yet to hear about these "other ways of knowing" and why, whence and how they are coming to a country near me. Are you really saying that literary criticism is coming to a country near me soon? If so, colour me shocked, I thought we already had lit crit and art. I'm pretty sure we vile EuroCommieLiberalYankHaters have had art for a while, I'm pretty sure we've looked at it too. Just what could you be talking about Gimpy? Nothing to do with immigrants I hope. Sorry, should that be pronounced "immahgunts"?


Date: 2006/11/13 20:54:34, Link
Author: Louis

Far be it for me to speak for Lenny, but I would imagine he is referring to the fact that you are demonstrated and self confessed troll. Why should the opinions of an openly dishonest and disruptive person recieve anything more than ridicule? You're lucky to be posting here and you know it. Just like AFDave is lucky. Objection and dissent are welcome, heck even encouraged. Dishonesty, silly games, and trolling are not. Of course that's merely my opinion, the opinion of the management may, and probably does, differ.

You do realise that whilst I'm still here I'll always remember your trolling, dishonesty, ridiculous claims and bullshit and always remind you and everyone else of them don't you? You don't get to play reasonable and "nice nice" because you are demonstrably capable of neither. You do know that your pretence(s) fool(s) no one right? You're not taken seriously because you are obviously what you appear to be: a google trawling, dishonest, unintelligent troll.

If you had any smarts at all, you should be doing your level best to demonstrate your ability to be honest and reason. That or simply go away. Thus far, since your little "confession" (read latest play in your bullshit shell game), you've demonstrated yourself to be identical to your "troll persona". No one's trying to censor you or oppress you (your comments to Lenny about persecution of  "wrong thinking white people" and simmilar comments to me are HILARIOUS), but people are well aware that discussing pretty much anything with is an excercise in futility (other than the utility of openly countering your more obnoxious and/or fallacious claims). You have failed. No one is convinced by your bullshit, you are wasting your time and everyone else's, which is a shame because it's possible you could make a well reasoned and honest point that would get ignored because of your bullshit. That's why you whining about censorship or other people being protected is hilariously off base. You don't contribute reason so why should anyone think you are capable of it? Going away, sorting your head out and coming back under a different guise and arguing honestly in a reasoned fashion might help you. Posting silly wrestler pics, silly tirades about liberals, wantonly false victory and victimisation claims acheive nothing other than making you the group chew toy. Which is what you are, and my guess is soon your flavour will turn even more sour. 'Tis the fate of trolls.

You do realise that the freedom of speech and expression I wholeheartedly support rests on the foundation that ideas and people I despise have as free a voice as I wish for myself right? I would never remove or try to remove your right to express yourself. Neither would anyone here I imagine. What I do do is openly ridicule the ridiculous nature of your claims and conduct. The fact that you don't like and twist, lie and obfuscate to avoid the comments and refutations of me and many other posters doesn't count as evidence to the contrary. Get used to the fact that you aren't any more special than anyone else. Except in the "special school" window licking short bus riding sense of course.


Date: 2006/11/13 23:20:21, Link
Author: Louis

You're right, Gimpy isn't a funny troll any more, he's a chew toy. Just like AirFarceDavetheRave, he's something to bite and knock about until a real debate shows up. We barely even get one sweaty wrestler piccy a week now. The game is up, the fun is over, now all that's left is dealing with his endless loathing of women, foreigners, liberals and Europeans, and all sundry bullshit about fine tuning. At least geocentrism had the value of being hilarious and guts to gametes was wonderful. An entirely new creationist claim! [Paging Mark Isaak]

He did manage some quite entertaining abuse a page or so ago, I was bordering on impressed. Still, since his aberrant psychology is obvious to all, it doesn't work well. There's no wonder in have shit thrown by a monkey that is oblivious to the fact that he's drowning in a barrel of shit of his own making.


P.S. I hate insomnia. Very annoying, I have work to do today and I have not slept in 36 hours. Probably explains the typos!

Date: 2006/11/14 10:40:24, Link
Author: Louis
Debate? As Lenny says there is no debate. At least there's no scientific debate, the political wrangling is a different matter. I have to agree with Arden as well, John West whining about intolerance and claiming he knows what is healthy for science is so hilarious it's galling.

My irony meter just melted and it was an ACME Special Irony-o-tastic 3000 with fully integrated Sarcasm-o-tron Destabiliser, triple silver plated cowling (for better irony conduction) and osmium lined nano-irony probes for sensitivity and strength. It can measure irony levels down to 200 picosocrates and as high as 3 terasocrates (the socrates being the SI unit of irony).

To put things in context one microsocrates is the amount of ironic flux in the Alanis Morrisette song "Ironic" which contains no irony (the whole point of calling it "ironic" methinks). The entire output of Monty Python contained only 2.5 megasocrates. Oscar Wilde gained the, still unbeaten, world record personal ironic flux for a single comment at a massive 478.6 microsocrates. Mind you dear Oscar was something of an over acheiver, he has also got the world record for individual biting sarcasm at 301 kilosnarks, and the SI unit of wit is named after him. His lifetime out output of irony was in excess of one megasocrates.

My irony meter was sheilded to take over 5 terasocrates, accurate up to 3 as I said before. It is currently a smoking puddle of expensive metals and ceramics on my floor. The ceramics are STILL glowing! I estimate that it was exposed to an ironic flux of 5.7 terasocrates, more ironic flux than Ghost of Paley claiming to be a rational human being.



Date: 2006/11/14 18:15:16, Link
Author: Louis

What universe are you living in? Oh yeah, right, now I remember.

Please point out where I have been inconsistent in my use of "reason" or moved any goalposts. Just saying it doesn't make it so you know.


Date: 2006/11/15 02:45:57, Link
Author: Louis
{deep breath}


1) First my argument never was that lit crit is based on science, but that it is based on reason and observation. So your strawman (pointed out pages ago by the way) is still irrelevant! What I HAVE said (very very clearly btw) is that both science and lit crit etc are based on the application of reason, and that reason and observation are used with varying degrees of ability and accuracy. Nice of you to ignore that Gimpy!

2) The extreme ends of postmodern lit crit are DEMONSTRATED mental masturbation. I'm not talking about subjectivity (already dealt with, sorry sweetheart), I'm talking about the puff pieces of people like Derrida, pieces in which they say nothing but cover it is obfuscatory verbiage. Like I said, these are the things exposed by the Sokal hoax. This is NOT simple subjectivity by the way, it's the extreme cultural relativism that claims that the scientific claim that the moon is made of rock is equally valid (i.e. representative of reality) to the claim that it is made of green cheese. This is essentially the claim that all mechanisms of acquiring knowledge about the universe are equally successful without ever being allowed to examine their products.

Nice try troll. You demonstrate your lack of ability to follow an argument, read for comprehension and do anything other than google trawl.....yet again.


Date: 2006/11/15 02:53:42, Link
Author: Louis
I imagine the brackets after my comment regarding Ms Morissette's song explain my positions on its ironicaliness (oh yeah, that's a word, it is so a word).


P.S. HATE the prefix meta. It is the work of the devil, and not the good kind! But you're magnificent bastard!

Date: 2006/11/15 03:15:28, Link
Author: Louis
Forgot my post script.

Is anyone else extremely amused by Gimpy's Black Knight act? "'Tis but a flesh wound", "Come back, I'll bite your kneecaps off".


Date: 2006/11/15 06:21:58, Link
Author: Louis
How about the shorter:

Campaign for the
Insertion of
Obfuscation and

It has the unfortunate acronym CLITORIS*, but it's relatively accurate.


* With thanks and apologies to Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, creators of Red Dwarf, from whence this was shamelessly plagorised and paraodied.

Date: 2006/11/15 13:31:33, Link
Author: Louis
Thread spirals out of control?

Bah relevance! I was relevant once, 1976 I think it was, or was it during the Crimea? Whenever it was I was definitely in possession of a banana, a stuffed Basset hound, and a large wardrobe. Purple is the new black by the way.

To drag us kicking and screaming back to some vague semblence of relevance:

Does West demonstrate almost Rimmerian unawareness of his lack of comprehension of the subject?


Date: 2006/11/16 03:31:22, Link
Author: Louis

I HAVE made a coherent argument about precisely the "complaints" you make. Try reading for comprehension once in a while. Your monsterous lack of understanding and honesty is yet again horribly obvious.

I'm getting a sense of deja vu here: you get your argument demolished and just keep repeating your claims ad nauseum and claiming them unrefuted. No Gimpy, subjective and emotional reasoning in the arts is not qualitatively different from reason. You also haven't suppied any support for your claims, you just keep reasserting your original claim.

Look Gimpy, the reason you attract mockery and abuse is because you are thoroughly dishonest. You haven't successfully made one argument since you've been here as far as I (and indeed anyone else) is aware, at least partially because of this. This is a classic example. You keep referring back to your strawman version of my argument  being "objectivity and science underpin the arts", which it isn't. My point is that reason and observation underlie the arts and emotions, and that, whilst there are differences in the accuracy and conscious use of these tools, they are the same tools as those used in science. You've done nothing to demonstrate this is false except continually reassert your original claim.

It's amusing to see your level of cognitive dissonance go up a notch, so desperate are you to attempt to justify your existing prejudices (you do know what that word means right?). Also amusing to see it starkly delineated in your conversation with Ogee. Le Spectre de Paley, nil points.


Date: 2006/11/16 11:07:21, Link
Author: Louis
Oooh oohh while I remember.

What are these "other ways of knowing", from where, when and how are they coming to "a country near me"? If you think that lit crit/art appreciation/emotion are "other ways of knowing" please explain how these things are not already in "a country near me" and where they are coming from.

YOU propose "other ways of knowing" Gimpy, the burden of proof rests on YOU to demonstrate them. As well as the fact that you have yet to address one single point of my argument, except of course to repeat your original unsupported claims and make up silly strawmen to bash about.

Are you going to get honest any time soon or are you content with trolling and making yourself look like a total moron?


Date: 2006/11/17 05:27:16, Link
Author: Louis

Is a theological argument based on reason and observation?

You want a yes or no answer I see, fallacy time! False dilemma much Gimpy?

As far as it goes the answer is mostly yes, it's possible to have a reasoned, logical discussion of a hypothetical, unobserved object. But that's not the point of a theological argument is it? Theology is a field which is based on a logical fallacy (at least one) and is based about establishing something as fact for which there is no evidence. And by the way if you think that evolution relies on circumstantial evidence in the manner you describe (your strawvolution!;) you are very sadly mistaken.

You're conflating several things, deliberately dishonestly in my view. Theology is by no means scientific, it lacks some of the key elements, reliance on physical observation and honesty for a start. However it is as reasoned as literary criticism for the very reasons I mention above. If one treats theology as a branch of lit crit and philosophy (which to an independant observer, i.e. one outside of the specific religion that theology is dealing with, it is) then it is no less reason based than those fields. The arguments about interpretations of texts are reasoned, logical models based on observation of those texts, no problems there.

The problem theology as a field has is when it strays into things llike theodicy and "proofs of god" etc, all of which have been demonstrated to be based on logical fallacies or are contrary to observation or both. No doubt these are reasoned arguments based in part on observation, but they are neither accurate nor honest nor without fallacy. So they are based in part on reason, in part on faith in the proposition they are trying to prove is true (affirmation of the consequent is a big problem in theology) and totally devoid of any physical accuracy or observation. Thus they are not science or scientific, but they are at least in part due to reason.

A good analogy here would be a mathematical model/system with no corroborating observations from the real world to back it up. The model/system can be logically coherent, entirely reasoned and based on reason, and fallacy free. This doesn't mean that it's representative of reality (or not) because no reference to reality has been, or can be made. Numerous theories in maths and theoretical physics have been through, or are in this phase of development. This distinction I want to draw here with theology I hope illuminates something for you. Note that the same can be said of any similarly structured philosophical or theological idea. However, and here's the crunch, while these things can be the product of reason, they are missing the key elements needed to go that step further and be scientific. They are missing an honest evalutation of the observed universe and phenomena they seek to describe. So nice fantasies, even possibly coherent fantasies, but indistinguishable from fantasies of any other type.

Why is this most commonly the case for theology? Typically theological arguments work from a starting point of unstated and unquestionable axioms based on faith alone. Not all of them do, just most. Theologians are more than capable and intelligent enough to create logically coherent, reasoned models based on entirely specious bases. The problem with theology is not so much the arguments, although in many cases even these are fallacious, it's the axioms. This is why the answer to your question is both yes and no depending on which aspects of theology you are asking about. Is theology based on reason and observation, yes in as much as lit crit is, no in the manner that science is.

The key point is that the tools are the same, or very similar (reason, observation, logic) but they are being applied to an unreasoned, unobserved, illogical series of axioms. As I said right at the very start, the only other "ways of knowing" we'll come across will reduce to faith or revelation, or in fact simply be these things. The problem of theology is starkly obvious: it starts from a premise based on faith and revelation and tries to use reason to form arguments to corroborate it and shield it from scrutiny. This simply doesn't work.

What you don't understand is that I am not casting my net wide at all, in fact since day one you clearly haven't understood the argument I'm making at all. Theology is actually a good example, it uses the tools of reason and observation but it also uses other tools, the tools I mentioned at the start of faith and revelation. Theological debates are fun and all, but they aren't garnering any knowlege of anything other than that of the protagonist's ideas and sociology. Just like in subjective debates about who's better Shakespeare or J K Rowling. The reason for this is that in theology the debates is usually based on unfounded axioms, and the simplest "who's better Shakespeare or Rowling" debate is at best poor understanding and misuse of the word "better" , i.e. a shallow treatment of a poorly defined and possibly irrelevant false dichotomy, and at worst a total non sequitur.

Simply because someone uses reason in an argument it doesn't make them right, look at you for example. You slither this way and that trying to prove the "evos and libruls" wrong, but you've yet to make one palpable hit on any argument at all. The fact that you are using top quality tools to fix you car does not make you a competant mechanic. Same applies to theologians and everyone else, they can use the right tools but make mistakes. This does not say anything about the nature of the tools, but only about the ability of the individual to apply them.

Lastly, your strawvolution example. No Gimpy, that's a bad Gimpy. As usual you have it all backwards. We don't infer the evolution of whales from artiodactyls by interpreting the results in light of the idea that whales evolved from artiodactyls, which is how your claim is structured. We observe certain similarities between artiodactyls and whales and have developed a parsimonious explanation for the phenomenon we currently observe (for all knowledge is provisional, you keep "forgetting" this, read dishonestly ignoring in order to attempt ludicrous point scoring. And failing as usual I might add). That explanation is perfectly capable of being wrong, new data might well refute it. However, therein lies the crux of the differences between science and other fields: honest and unbiased (in terms of developing a coherent explanation) appraisal and acquisition of the data. As usual Gimpy your missing the key point that nobody cares what IS the case, they just care HOW we claim to have some knowledge of what is the case. Evidence could come in tomorrow which overturns the entire state of evolutionary biology as we understand it today. In fact right now thousands of scientists are working their respective gonads off to do just this. Not out of prior commitment to any worldview, ideology or interpretation, but out of the sheer desire to find out what actually IS there, and to test every hypothesis, theory and model to destruction if at all possible.

I'll enjoy watching you distort this section of the argument as you have every other.


Date: 2006/11/17 05:46:42, Link
Author: Louis
Time for some repetition. Gimpy,you are clearly a dishonest fruticake with an agenda. Not only are your arguments demonstrably erroneous and fallacious, but your motivations are clear. I'd cheerfully accept a change of one of these from you. Either make your arguments good, or change your ludicrously obvious motivations. Granted your arguments' falsity is in no way related to your motivations, but the reasons why you make such poor arguments are. Forgive me if, as usual, I seriously doubt your ability to understand the distinction.

It does seem rather wasteful, doesn't it? I have no explanation other than to note that nature (and Nature's God?) is smarter than we are.

It only seems wasteful if one assumes as axiomic that life is some form of objective for the universe. The assumption that an anthropomorphised nature is smarter than we are as an actual argument (as opposed to a metaphor for the difficulty of research for examples) is yet another example of how backwards your thinking on the fine tuning issue is. Think of the puddle Gimpy, think always of the puddle.

Some things I've said before that you seem very keen to run away from:

I found this comment of yours in another thread telling:

Auster's attempt at Reductio ad absurdum isn't the best example out there, but his main point is pretty solid: science, being predicated on methodological naturalism, is often used to support metaphysical naturalism, and this is even more true for branches of science that deal with the origin and evolution of life. This conflation harms people because it delegitimises the intangible cultural and moral values holding society together. I don't believe all of this, but many people do assume that because science is the best strategy in its domain it should be the null strategy in all domains, including the realm of moral guidance. People then  replace one religion with another while rejecting the accumulated wisdom of societal selection. That’s why utopian ideas almost always fail –- they haven’t “proven” themselves over time like most traditional ideas have. The Law of Unintended Consequences ensues.

Bolding mine.

You are, as I have said many many times before, an enemy of reason. Your whole motivation is clearly not to "reclaim science for conservatives" or some such rot, but to destroy reason, the products of reason you don't like, and to assert your underlying subjective, unsupported claims as fact. Evolutionary biology does not in any way undermine or delegitimise any social, ethical or moral philosophy or system. You've made these sort of stupid comments before. Is does not equal ought. By the way, morals, ethics, social systems are products of reason and systems open to explanation and understanding by the process of reason and observation

And another repetition, just to remind everyone and your loathesome self of just how dishonest you are:

Oooh oohh while I remember.

What are these "other ways of knowing", from where, when and how are they coming to "a country near me"? If you think that lit crit/art appreciation/emotion are "other ways of knowing" please explain how these things are not already in "a country near me" and where they are coming from.

YOU propose "other ways of knowing" Gimpy, the burden of proof rests on YOU to demonstrate them. As well as the fact that you have yet to address one single point of my argument, except of course to repeat your original unsupported claims and make up silly strawmen to bash about.

Are you going to get honest any time soon or are you content with trolling and making yourself look like a total moron?

As with Ogee, and #### pretty much every "debate" you've got into here, when confronted with something you don't like you obfuscate, shift the goalposts, shift the burden of proof away from your claims, and lie. THIS is why you recieve mockery and abuse, and until this changes THIS is why mockery and abuse is going to be what you deservedly recieve. Like AirFarceDumbass and Trolldiddly and similar frothing loons you lack of comprehension, lack of ability to debate rationally and honestly and motivation for engaging in the proposals and claims you make are manifestly clear. You can blow clouds of ink as much as you like, you can try to turn the tables as much as you like, you can play your silly pretend make believe games as much as you like, but you are indistinguishable from the bigotted, creationist, geocentrist lunatic you falsely claim to have been parodying as a troll for the last year or so. Why should anyone take you seriously?


Date: 2006/11/17 08:21:51, Link
Author: Louis
Welcome RevTragic,

I hope you find this board interesting, entertaining and occasionally enlightening. Dare I also hope that your contributions will match that.

Interesting net handle by the way, what made you come up with the moniker "Rev Tragic"? Are you a reverend? Are you tragic? Inquiring minds want to know.

Lastly, don't worry about Ghost of Paley and his games, he is a self confessed troll who claims to have posed under a different guise merely for attention-whoring and self aggrandising purposes. He has a distinct inability to follow an argument, read for comprehension or develop a coherent point. His obvious and express purpose here is to fight "evos" and "liberals" whoever they are, and play silly childish games. He doesn't like the fact that people repeatedly point these things out to him with considerable bluntness. In essence, who ever he/she/it is they are a total moron and worthy of naught but scorn, contempt and ridicule. But don't take my word for it by any means, read back over a multitude of threads and see for yourself.  


P.S. How can anyone who disparages Devastating Dave the turntable slave be anything but awful? Devastating Dave is clearly a musical genius.

Date: 2006/11/21 03:25:57, Link
Author: Louis
Awwwww sweaty wrestlers for me? You shouldn't have.

Gimpy, try getting things through your head, nothing that happens on here is because anyone doesn't like you. You get reemed because you lie, post crap and generally behave like a wanker. Dislike of behaviour does not equate to dislike of person. I'm sure in real life you're sweetness and light (with a sweaty wrestler shirt on. Mmmmm  Hmmm, gotta stay in that closet!;). I assure you that were you to behave in meatspace how you behave here and I were present, you'd get vastly more unpleasant treatment. I tend to be extremely blunt to liars and trolls, be they online or in the real world. Amazingly I meet very few people who would behave like you do online, offline.


Date: 2006/11/22 19:51:23, Link
Author: Louis
Oh this just cannot be let by:

Many lefties have admitted to me in private that they favour current policies because they want to see whites become a minority in every country. A couple of people on this board have conceded that whites need to be punished/bred out, and that immigration is a splendid way to accomplish this.


In a word.

As per usual Gimpy you are talking through your readily wrestler rammed puckered browneye. Take a dollar and buy a fucking clue.

What is it with you white supremacist racist bozos? No sane human being on the planet wants to punish or breed out "whites" whoever they are. We haven't even had a descriprion of what "white" is, and since based on previous "conversation" it seems to include various Asians, people from the Mediterranean and the Mid-East as well as all of Europe then "white" is about as "white" as my arse. Which is still pretty well tanned at the moment ta muchly, sue to a fantastic Cypriot holiday mere months ago, i.e. about as "white" as MLK. Even if we all manged to interbreed and screw each other to some sort of coffee colour the bog standard factors of genetics would mean that some were more cappuchino than espresso. Wave that racial red herring Gimpy.

Isn't it time this pointless fucking troll with his asinine racism and arbitrary contrariness was gone? Those who even entertain the "two Paley parody" claims need their heads read. Get rid of this troll, he's taking everyone for a ride and is nothing more than a one trick moron.


P.S. We STILL haven't seen any support for his "other ways of knowing coming to a country near you" claim yet (amongst many many many others). I wonder why? Is it because, as usual, it's just more thinly veiled racist ideology that he's been warned off?

P.P.S. Pay attention Gimpy, I'll try to put this in terms even you can understand: You are not blunt. Your previous "persona" was not blunt. You are a moron who google trawls up any sparkly looking article which even appears at a cursory glance to shore up your prejudices. From the start you have fooled no one. Many people are blunt, implying a degree of bluff honesty. You are merely rude and shit ignorant, and certainly never honest.

Date: 2006/11/22 20:23:00, Link
Author: Louis
But but but but but.....

Ok I just mind farted.

1) DaveScot "supporting" the "virgin birth" with extremely poorly understood and utterly mangled genetics.

2) DaveScot claiming to be an agnostic.

Wuh wuh wuh.


Another irony meter goes the way of Mt St Helens.


Date: 2006/11/22 21:39:51, Link
Author: Louis
What about us intelligent, nerdy, raging extroverts?

Aren't we needed too? Why does no one love us?*


*Tongue, meet cheek.

Date: 2006/11/22 22:28:06, Link
Author: Louis
Ah magnificent as always. I should clarify:

My tongue.

Halle Berry's cheek.*

Any cheek.


* The Mrs** isn't watching as I type this, she has the sense to be asleep. I shall deny everything. Mind if she were watching, depending on whether it were thought or deed she were watching, it could make for an interesting 15 seconds.

** So I was in the pub the other day and a friend of mine said that he and his wife were having a "debate" and that his Mrs is so stupid that she said that even if she had no feet or legs, she'd still buy shoes. I replied that this was nothing. My wife has just been on holiday to Ibiza for a week and I saw her pack 10 boxes of condoms into her case and she hasn't even got a cock!***

*** This is all entirely fictional and intended purely for humourous purposes. I couldn't resist getting rid of that joke, it was burdening me. None of my friends have idiot wives, and my beloved Mrs, who is not in any way standing behind me with a cricket bat adorned with 6 inch roofing nails, is very very far from thick. But we must laugh.

Just a note to the more irrational feminist readers, the joke, as poor as it is, is on men. Just thought I'd explain that, some of you girls do get a mite het up now don't you. Probably hormones. Now who's going to make me a cup of tea?****

**** This is also humour.

Date: 2006/11/22 22:36:50, Link
Author: Louis

Sorry I'm confused. Why should the Ashes returning to England worry me at all?


P.S. Athough last time I looked it was 180 for 2. We going down!

Date: 2006/11/23 05:04:35, Link
Author: Louis
Ok I took that survey and the police turned up at my house with a new jacket for me. Is that bad?


Antipodeans? I'll have you know sirrah that you languishing convicts are the antipodeans, we happen to be fully podean up here you know. And stop enjoying yourself down there, it's meant to be a punishment!

Honestly, you Aussies are so full of it. You get shipped off to some island, with golden surfing beaches, great sunny weather and entertaining wildlife and somehow you think you have it better than we English who remain in the world's best nation with mediocre surf, perma-rain and overprotected foxes................

Wait a minute. Did we make a booboo?



P.S. I've mentioned this before "Test Matches" in cricket and rugby are not a test of the sporting prowess of England's opponents. They are a test of manners and ability to play these sports properly. Should England's opponents have the temerity to win, then they are obviously not playing the game properly and are being extremely rude. Foreigners and colonials, know your place!

Ok that's the sheep shagging, kangaroo buggering, Abo shooting bunch dealt with, onto the septic tanks (serve some purpose, best kept out of sight and invariably full of shit). Now Americans let's talk about you cheating during your little revolution by fighting at teatime and weekends and being helped by the French. There is also the matter of roughly 250 years of back taxes owed to Her Majesty. Also, the languge is English, please learn it. Things are not neat, rarely great and I will not have a nice day. Be careful, we might set up Prince Phillip as your regent. Mind you, he can't possibly do worse than this current bunch of muppets you have. Did you really have to go and elect that silly man? And don't blame me for Bliar, I voted Monster Raving Loony (the only sensible choice in a mad world).

Hmmmm do I need to point out I'm not serious about this?

Date: 2006/11/24 05:52:47, Link
Author: Louis
Colonials (For 'tis beneath me to address property like K.E. and Deadman by name or net handle),

I shall deal with your tiresome, yet charmingly naive, colonial comments in a thoroughly intellectual and rigorous manner.

In fact I shall deliver a critique, refutation, repudiation and rebuttal of your asinine accusations so devastating and beyond your degenerate ken, that you shall need to find the nearest Englishman to explain them to you. Possibly with pictures.

Here goes. Brace yourselves:

I am analogous to rubber, you are likewise analogous to glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and indeed without exception sticks to you.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Thank you. Tip your waitress.


P.S. As Kipling once said:

"Thank God, for you have won the great lottery of life by being born an Englishman."

Since I'm an atheist, I imagine you can work out my opinion of the accuracy of that statement ;-)

P.P.S. Hey K.E. stop your boys cheating in the ashes, they keep winning by playing better than we are. NOT FAIR!!! Oh and the All Blacks, blood brilliant. The way they play rugby makes me wish I was a Kiwi.....well nearly!

Date: 2006/11/25 06:18:21, Link
Author: Louis

Very good Ved! I have a series of topics I am similarly done with:

1) The dishonesty of religious lunatics.
2) The dishonesty of bigots.
3) The closet homosexuality of pretenders to 19th century spectral vicar status.

Lenny, oh come now, surely you realise that in life's great biscuit barrel we are mere crumbs and Gimpy is a chocolate chip (i.e. thick and greasy)? We mere mortals must bask in the glow of his enormous talents. After all, hasn't he decimated every evil evolibrulleftycommieatheistamericahating point made with his devastating combination of google trawling, knowing fuck all and claiming victory in the absence of any actual evidence. Surely you can see that in Gimpy's world his cognitive dissonance, lack of ability to read for anything approaching comprehension, dishonesty and arrogance constitute evidence that he is correct?

Now, let us pray: Oh Gimpy, thou art wse and we art foolish. Cometh down from on high and deliver us from evil by telling us that niggers, wogs and dune coons are sub human scum in league with liberals and commies to destroy GOD'S CHOSEN WHITE RACE (hallelujahgobble). Lead us from our temptation to treat people with respect regardless of their creed or colour and instead to wank furiously over pictures of sweaty wrestlers. For thine is the dumbness and dishonesty, the closet homosexuality and denial. Forever and ever, Ah-design-and-geocentrism-are-obvious-but-what-I-really-like-are-men.


Date: 2006/11/26 10:21:12, Link
Author: Louis
Dear All,

I (as someone who would probably be described by Ed Brayton, Nick Matzke et al. as an "evangelical atheist") am continually amazed by the bitterness and, let me be blunt, downright exuberant tardacity shown by many participants in the debate from both "sides".

To get my love of naughty jokes out of the way first I'll give you an analogy. The late, great Bill Hicks once said something along the lines of:

"Gee, this abortion debate is so heated. Even my friends can't agree on it. Some of my friends think these pro-lifers are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think they're evil fucks. Brothers, sisters, I beseech you! Can't we come together and agree that they are annoying evil idiot fucks?".

I have very, very rarely ever seen an atheist, secularist or rationalist advocate the banning, utter destruction or total removal of religion from human society. Yet accusations of precisely this advocacy are constantly thrust at Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers (or is that spelt Ngmaellaahsch?) and a whole host of openly atheist, stridently secularist people. People with attitudes very much like my own, who I have certainly never seen advocate such nonsense.

I understand the quotemines are rich with Dawkins quotes etc that people choose to take from the warm bosom of their context and use to mean that dear old Prof D wants the Archbishop of Canterbury to be summarily rogered by wild boars and rent asunder by packs of frothing paperazzi, but any even fleeting reading of anything the man has written shows this strawman version of Richard Dawkins' arguments to be false. The phenomenon is so pernicious and prevalent I have coined my own (patent pending you theiving muthafukkas!;) term for it. There are two people in the rationalist camp with similar names: Richard Dawkins and Richard Strawkins. The first I have met, read all he has written and find him a congenial and intelligent man frustrated at a world gang aft agly. The second I have yet to meet. By the way, this is not a defense of Dawkins as some sort of  atheist saint, incapable of mistake or wrong. It is sheer amazement that my co-espousers of reason and rationalism stoop to precisely the same prurient rhetoric and underhanded dishonesty that the very people we are "fighting" do when it comes to atheists, RD especially. It also amazes me when the so called "evangelical atheist" bunch do similar nonsense. Whither reason?

With that in mind, I want to start that religious war currently flaming its merry way across PT, Pharyngula and elsewhere right here at ATBC. Personally I think the after-bar boozy nightclub atmosphere of ATBC, where the pint glasses can fly and let's be honest, we've all had too much booze.

1) Here is one of the kick of points for this latest round: Larry Moran says that creationist kids coming to university biology courses should be auto-flunked in favour of kids with a better appreciation of biology. Guess what, to an extent, I agree. I don't think that they should be auto-flunked, I think they should be given an opportunity (i.e. their creationist ideology is not a sufficient condition for their flunking) to demonstrate their ability or lack thereof. I also think that  they shouldn't be given remedial biology classes. The reasons I think this have little, if anything to do with religion/creationism and everything to do with educational standards. Which I suspect is also Larry's reasoning (but I don't know for certain). University attendance isn't a right, it's a priviledge you earn by your efforts and abilities. If these kids, regardless of their religious ideologies, class, wealth or myriad red herring aspects of their upbringing and character cannot meet those minimum requirements (whatever they might be). If a kid is exposed to a year or so of university level biology and STILL holds to the misinterpretations and outright lies of creationist ideologies, then flunk away. It shouldn't be beyond the ability of academics to design exams that test this aspect of a student's understanding of biology.

Now I know some of the members of the IDCist/YECist/Chamberlains/whatever crowds (for different and diverse they are) will cry "indoctrination" "fear of dissent" and perhaps "Lysenkoism", but they are wrong. Let us not mince our words here: If a student after exposure to biology at the university level are either a) demonstrably incapable of understanding the errors and falsity of IDC/YEC/etc, or b) demonstrably incapable of correcting their cherished ideas in the face of overwhelming evidence then they lack either a) the intellectual ability, or b) the intellectual honesty required of a qualified scientist.

A science degree isn't something nice for the mantlepiece, it is the rigourous, demanding and expensive training for a career scientist. Whether or not all students go on to become scientists is irrelevant, we need to get away from the intellectual snobbery here. The purpose of a science degree is to begin the training of a scientist, that these skills are useful elsewhere is lovely, and good luck to those people who use them, but we cannot expect that the university system makes every course suitable for every purpose. Individual courses should be tailored to a specific set of purposes. We need to serve our kids better, give them a better idea of what is expected of them in certain careers and what requirements will be made of them to commence those careers. Perhaps even to delay university start, or make our school education system more rigourous. I favour the delay strategy because people mature at different rates and blossom at different periods in their lives. Oops I've digressed.

The issue with exclusion of creationist students is simple. We are not dealing with a Hegelian vs a Kantian philosophical perspective, nor a Smithian vs Vandenburgian economic perspective. We are not even dealing with a physicist who supports M-theory vs "non string" supersymmetric physics. We are dealing with a student who so profoundly lacks the intellectual gifts or honesty that they don't understand one of the singley best supported ideas in science. That is a flunking requirement. We are not debating geocentrist astronomers or flat earth geographers. The only reason this idea gets its credence is because of the undue feraful respect religious ideas recieve in every part of the globe.

2) I respect religious people and religious ideas.

I'll say that again in case some people missed it or didn't understand it.

I respect religious people and religious ideas.

100%, totally and utterly. I devote the same automatic, unswerving and unthinking respect to relgious people and religious ideas I give to all people and all ideas. This means that I expect religious people to be able to demonstrate the coherence and validity of their ideas, and for those ideas to be absed on some form of evidence, to be coherent, to be demonstrable. And before I get the strawmen, yes I can demonstrate my feelings for my wife, yes they are based on reason and observation (whether conscious or not) and yes my passions and emotions are entirely based on interaction with the universe as it is. These aspects of my humanity do not arrive from some supernatural arena, they are natural, reality based aspects of an evolved organism. The conscious processing or otherwise is nothing to do with their rational nature.

I firmly believe (yes believe) that religious people and ideas DESERVE (yes deserve) to be held to the same standards that ALL people and ideas are held. I respect them so much I don't think they should be made exempt from critique or examination like the fantasies of silly fragile children. I respect them as adults capable of reason and adult ideas espoused by adults capable of reasonably supporting them. I think the Chamberlain school are missing the point and patronising religious people and ideas. I think this fearful protectionism is condescending and in error. In the arena of gladatorial combat ALL ideas get to stand up and fight. Realise that not all ideas will win, and some of them will be cherished losers.

Does this contradict my previous point about excluding creationist biology undergrads? No, not at all. University is one gladatorial arena of ideas. It is a training camp for the top flight scientific global arena. It is an abrogation of the responsibility of the university gladiator trainers to let their proteges move up to the global arena unarmed. The IDCist/YECist ideas are old tricks. Tricks we in the arena know well. At one point in our history they were potent weapons, potent tricks. But we learnt their secrets, we learnt where they fell down, why they failed and why they weren't any good in a scrap. These are not new, nor successful, tricks! We aren't equipping young gladiators for combat in the 1300s, but the 21st century. We've learnt since then. This also doesn't mean a bad scientist is a bad historian or plumber or athlete or politician, although I would argue that someone who is bad at reason and rational thought is going to have difficulties everywhere. Science is one area that practises reasoned rational thought, perhaps the area in which it is best and most closely practised, but it's not the only one.

Let battle commence!


Date: 2006/11/26 10:50:00, Link
Author: Louis
Seems like TYPO the gawd of clerical errors has smitten me left and right both in title and post. Forgive me oh TYPO I meant not to sin and use the evil correction fluid of the desolate one.


Date: 2006/11/26 12:07:16, Link
Author: Louis
You've hit on the crux of the matter Lou.

I agree with both the Ed Brayton "side" and the PZ Myers "side" about pretty much everything too. I don't understand all the talking past each other, but I DO understand the reasons why people are so sensitive about appearing to be anti-religious or at least hostile to religion (or however it is to be semanticised! I hope people understand what I'm driving at there).


P.S. Liked the Lenny quote, sums up my feelings. I couldn't give several rats' bottoms about what people believe as long as they don't think they can have it automatically declared as legally applying to everyone else, declared to be demonstrably true when it isn't, and declared to be absolutely the "ONE TRUE WAY" to the "ONE TRUE GOD" (TM, Patent Pending,  the one true way has been brought to you by GodCorp, a division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy, please use faith responsibly). Some fundamentalists of various stripes seem to disagree with me on this one. There are two problems we face: unselfcritical belief and dogmatism. That might crop up in Stalin or in Torquemada. The god bit is the frippery, the window dressing. it's the inability to honestly examine oneself (NOT IN THAT WAY!!!! ), one's own ideas and dogmatic adherence to said ideas that's the kicker. Lenny (that disgusting and despicable believer [cough hack ptooie]) and I seem to agree mightily on a number of key topics, not least the loveliness of reptiles.

Date: 2006/11/26 15:45:42, Link
Author: Louis

Is there a major difference between the thought police of religions and the thought police of Atheists?

No there isn't. That's the point. It's the thought police element that the problem not the window dressing.

The only difference between having a dogmatic religion/ideology and not having a dogmatic religion/ideology when it comes to the thought police type antics is that the former encourages such nonsense, the latter doesn't.

The extremes of religious nuttery are one example of unselfcritical dogmatic faith, there are many others. Look at Stalinist Russia or Lysenko. No god needed, they had ideology enough for ten Osama Bin Ladens! The problem with ideologies like this, and with the big monotheistic religions is that they make a virtue out of uncritical faith. It is GOOD to believe in the absence of evidence, or even contrary to it. Adherence to the party line regardless of anything is a virtue. We don't just see this behaviour in religion, we see it in all walks of life from the "letter of the law" bureaucratic jobsworth to the worst excesses of a racist, seperatist nutter.

The only problem is that religions in general just tend to be the areas of human endeavour where the most extreme examples occur. That's a general tendancy, not an absolutist decrial of all religion. The problem the so called "Chamberlain" bunch are having is that there is a huge social cache attached to religion, we are actively discouraged from criticising it. The idea that there is a funny man in the sky who watches you masturbate doesn't recieve the ridicule it should.

Ah I can here the cries of OUTRAGED THEISTS as I type! "But no one seriously believes the funny man in the sky nonsense, our faith is so much more sophicsticated!". Ok then, I'm more than willing to concede that this is the case. But then, in what is your faith placed, my outraged chum? The wonderful unifying force that pervades the universe? The beauty of nature? Pretty indistinguishable from my atheism (apart from the anthropomorphism). The idea that to have faith is a unifying and joyful thing? Sounds like  faith in faith to me. In fact I've yet to encounter a coherent, novel god concept. And believe me I've looked. A lot!

As for the "do you know how things really are?" stuff. No I don't know, but I have a series of ideas that seem to have some ability to be good models of the universe I and other people see around us. Those models and ideas might be wrong, or need a tweak here or there. Shit probably most of them actually do, and that's my job!

This is Kristine's point, we don't know everything but we do know something and we do know how to find things out to a pretty shocking degree of reliability. Some of our religious chums claim to know it all, some of our religious chums not only claim to know it all but that those who don't know what they claim to should be forcibly made to know it. In America you can be as gay as a treeful of monkies on laughing gas, as black as the ace of spades, shit you can even be female of all things and find little opposition to you holding public office. (This part is humourously phrased). But be an open atheist and you stand little to no chance. And we don't have to go to the US of A to find this sort of bigotry. Look at the shit being thrown at PZ, Dawkins and others all because they have the temerity to call it as it actually is, to point out that the Emperor has no clothes and try to find a suitable tailoring policy.

It's not that atheists like me don't understand religious faith and religious ideas. Not at all. It's that we understand them far too well, we realise that they are a series of ideas in the great human pool of ideas, and not spectacularly good ones. Certainly not deserving of the almost European Common Market style protectionism they receive.



P.S. I love the idea of atheist thought police. I picture the scene very much like Monty Python's Life of Brian:

"Do you lack belief in god or gods?"
"Oh yeah? How many?"
"All of them!"
"And how much do you lack belief in god or gods?"
"A LOT!".
"Good. You're in!".

Date: 2006/11/26 15:52:45, Link
Author: Louis

I think if you knew the first thing about Dawkins or his writings and opinions you'd know full well he isn't about converting anyone, and neither am I. That Strawkins bloke's a bugger though. When I give half a shit about the opinion of someone, like you, who can neither read for comprehension nor reason their way out of a wet paper bag, I'll let you know. Until then, hush now child. Grown ups are talking.


P.S. Oh yeah, logic and reason prove god doesn't exist? When the gibbering fuck has anyone claimed that? You can't prove a negative for starters. Add to that the simple fact that as a theist (i.e. proponent of a specifc positive claim) the burden of proof rests on your shoulder, and we see yet again another dishonest theistic attempt to shift the burden of proof away from where it belongs. Wake up and smell your unselfcritical cognitive dissonance.

Date: 2006/11/26 16:04:10, Link
Author: Louis

Your sort of saying what I am. Two things though:

But horrible crimes have been done in the name of Atheism also.

Name one.

I've got to be honest, I've seen atrocities a plenty done by people who lack a faith in a god, and thus are atheists, but I know of not one single example of an atrocity done specifically in the "name of atheism" (whatever that is). And don't raise Zombie Stalin from his grave, I've already explained (as have many others) that he was acting in the grip of a dogmatic ideology. The fact that it wasn't a religious ideology is like saying murder done with a sword is worse than murder done with a gun. It's irrelevant window dressing, the murder's the naughty bit.

Atheism isn't a belief system than can have anything done in it's name like, say christianity or communism or national supremacy.

2) Read back over what I said above. It's not the belief in a deity that's necessarily the problem. The problem is that certain ideologies actively discourage critical thought and religions are commonly amongst the worst offenders. That doesn't mean they're the only ones, they're not, see Stalinism, Lysenkoism, Pol Pot etc etc etc. Strong, dogmatic ideologies in which dissent and criticism was verboten.


Date: 2006/11/26 16:45:03, Link
Author: Louis
Hi Lenny,

I was eagerly anticipating your arrival. Good to have you.

This fight is indeed pointless, and indeed is yet again the standard fratricide of the progressive bunch. Hey we're argumentative fuckers, when our chew toy is bust we get all nasty until a new one shows up.

However, THE fight isn't over outside of the US. Granted the US fundies have taken a whopping great beating but things like ID appeal to (for example) the vague deistic agnosticism of the UK, it needs combatting wherever it raises it's silly head.

Another however is this:

Do we welcome their help, or do we refuse to associate with people whose religious opinions we don't like.

I welcome their help and am happy to fight alongside them against our mutual enemy.

Others simply can't tolerate having a theist of any sort anywhere within smelling distance.

I couldn't disagree more strongly with this mischaracterisation of the PZ stance. PZ and I and many others are more than happy to admit that the enemy of my enemy is a potential friend. I agree that admitting that one can be a scientist and a religious person is no problem, and I agree that there are a LOT more religious people than atheists and that our fight against fundies needs these allies.

Take all of that as a given. What I and PZ and many others take massive issue with is the sweeping under the carpet of the simple fact that these people's religious ideas have no evidenciary basis, and thus as you are fond of saying are no more right and true than my religious ideas, yours, or your pizza boy's.

Reason is anathema to faith. Period. End of story. Does that mean that people cannot use both? No. Does that mean that people with faith are not reasonable, cannot use reason or are dumb? No. What it does mean is that the process of reason directly contradicts ideas based on faith alone. Is this a problem? No, not really, and at the same time, yes. It depends how we act (and this is where the other aspect of this pointless scrap comes in).

I think a great example of this was mentioned by the Dalai Lama. When asked if some aspect of science demonstrated the falsity of some aspect of Tibetan Buddhism would Tibetan Buddhism change, he answered yes. When asked if it were a really critical tenet of the faith like reincarnation The Dalai Lama replied, yes even then. But with a twinkle in his eye he said that it's going to be hard to disprove reincarnation! The Dalai Lama and I (and PZ I'm certain) have no reason for conflict on this issue.

The only problem with an alliance with moderate religious people is in how we do it. If we do it in a "on many things we disagree, but on this we agree" manner, then you won't hear a peep of disagreement from me or anyone else. I am more than capable of agreeing on one issue with someone and disagreeing with them on another.

If we do it in the false way "come in come in, science and reason are no threat to your faith, ignore those nasty atheists" then I have a problem. Faith that the world is flat (a nice noncontroversial example) will never, ever be a scientifically supported idea again, nor one based on any form of reason at all. If you believe that the earth is flat, science is not going to be your buddy. Therein lies the problem, unless we are open and honest about this aspect of our alliance we are storing up problems for the future. It's sweet fuck all to do with not being able to tolerate even the smell of a theist near by. It's about intellectual honesty.

I have no problems with anyone believing as they will, but claiming it to be true without basis, and attempting to make everyone else believe it is a different issue as I know you agree. If every religious person shared your tolerant attitude to differing faith opinions this conversation wouldn't be happening. I mentioned earlier that in the US and elsewhere being openly atheist is tantamount to electoral suicide. This is not being accomplished by a vocal minority, but by a substantial and misguided majority. It's THIS that garners the Chamberlain epithet, not the working with theists.

Only a total idiot thinks that not working hand in hand on an issue about which so many people agree regardless of other disagreements is a bad idea. I don't think I've seen PZ, Dawkins or anyone advocate such asinine nonsense. Nor have I seen any of the Chamberlain group advocate rolling over and letting the theists rub our bellies whilst we purr. The thing that frustrates me is the talking past each other and the pointless hostility.

A little exercise I did a while ago was to replace the word "atheist" with the word "black" in some of the arguments (and all the appropriate terms with their appropriate counterparts) it was pretty conclusive.

I suggest you, and everyone else, do this exercise. Because I see vast tracts of agreement between both camps, I really don't understand for example why you and PZ have such a massive issue, because you both appear to be mostly making excellent and accurate points that aren't mutually contradictory in any way.

Hey, but what do I know. I just want this fratricide to stop, which was the purpose of setting up this thread, so I could see if I could help in some way. I probably won't be able to, but I'd like to try.


Date: 2006/11/26 17:03:14, Link
Author: Louis

And as I predicted not one of my current "critics" has read what I have actually written! Stop trying to talk past me and deal with what I have written, not the strawman version. You are missing just how much we agree.


All religious people are stupid? I have not said that, I will never say that, I don't think that. Read what is written not your strawman version of it in your head. There has been no expression of superiority at all, mainly because I don't claim it, don't think it, and in no way believe it. Try to read for comprehenision.

Lenny and Skeptic:

Read the fucking book! Read it, honestly I have and NONE of the distortions you are making exist. I have seen the Collins argument also, and got an entirely different point from it. Dawkins really isn't the monster people pretend he is. Strawkins on the other hand is a total bastard.

When RD published the Selfish Gene he got a whole slew of criticism and argumentation about the fact that genes aren't selfish. The title is not the whole book. Deal with the arguments he actually makes, not your strawmen versions of them.

Oh and Lenny, I know you are not a theist. That was the joke. There really is no hostility to believers on my part, none at all as indeed anyone who knows me (or can read! Oh that's a cheap joke, sorry! ) will tell you. I have no hate in me at all, it seems like such a waste of effort! I don't hate theists, not even a little bit. My comment was a caricature of a brush I am being wrongly tarred with. You don't need to remind me of your lack of belief in a deity because it is identical to my own. You have some spiritual and religious beliefs I lack, but so what? It's the VAST areas of common ground I wish to focus on, not these undemonstrable areas on which we really don't have anything to talk about other than to take a polite interest.


Be it RD, PZ, me, whoever not one of us claims that atheism has science on its side. It doesn't. Atheism is a lack of belief in god or gods, nothing more. Science has yet to discover any evidence of any gods proposed by humanity throughout history. So what? Science didn't have any evidence of black holes until relatively recently, does that mean they didn't exist until we got some data? Nope.

What we can say (which is a very important distinction) is that there is no scientific basis for the god hypothesis. There isn't. So what?  If anyone wants to believe it that's really up to them. If they want to claim there is a scientific basis that's a different bag.

The same goes for reason and rational thought. These are very specific philosophical terms. Rational doesn't mean JUST what it colloquially means, nor does irrational. Faith is irrational in philosophical terms, it could be perfectly rational in colloquial terms. Religious people are no more or less irrational in the colloquial sense than are other people. But the very process of faith and belief and revelation are, epistemologically speaking, irrational. I.e. not based on reason. This distinction is not made enough and is the cause of much conflict.



Date: 2006/11/26 17:24:01, Link
Author: Louis
What's the point to picking fights with your allies, over issues that have nothing to do with what we are fighting together against?

Sure, I have every right -- legal, moral, ethical -- to criticize capitalists right there in front of the whole entire Greenpeace meeting, just as PZ and the others have every right  -- moral, ethical and legal -- to stand up in front of the anti-ID meeting and yell "RELIGION IS STUPID !!!!" at all the theists sitting there.

But why on earth would I *want* to do something so stupid and counterproductive?  How on earth does it help us beat whomever it is that we're fighting?

Ah Lenny! This is the whole point. PZ and others are NOT saying "RELIGION IS STUPID", expressedly not. Nor are they advocating the harranguing of every theist in the vicinity. Nor am I! This is the strawman of which I spoke.

The Chamberlain people ARE saying "Ignore the scary atheists, they aren't important". That is the issue PZ and others have. Possibly we need to be less scary and atheist about it, but I don't think you cure racism by painting black people white. It isn't the atheist minority having such a hard time accepting the religious majority, it is very very much the other way around.

All PZ and I and many other are saying is that IF you are going to have to lie about the consequences and implications of scientific thought, reason etc on certain types of ideas in order to encourage participation against the worst excesses of certain groups, then we are shooting ourselves in the feet. We are encouraging those extreme groups my failing to deal with what made them extreme in the first place. By the way, before I am misunderstood AGAIN, this isn't religion, it's dogmatism and unselfcritical examination. If you teach people that all their ideas will be supported always then don't be shocked when some of them have nasty ideas. You don't discourage racism by showing the racists the friendly slightly differently coloured people and pushing the really differently coloured people behind a curtain. Atheists are just as much part of the fight against creationism as are theists and we don't like being abused and patronised any more than anyone else.

Personally I'd add that were I a religious person, I'd be pretty insulted that all these patronising appeasers were trying to hide the consequences of reason from me. But that's a different story.


P.S. Skeptic. Wow you really do exhibit a whole world of dumb don't you? Reason has nothing to say about god does it? Ok then, which god? If I claim that my god is a pink elephant named Cyril sat in my lap and has attributes A, B and C and no such attributes are detected, what does that say about Cyril? Does it say he doesn't exist? Nope. Does it say he is highly unlikely to exist based on the given definition of him? Yup. See the distinction? I doubt it. Icthyic is right, you ARE an obliviot. ONE single god concept has not been proposed. Humanity has come up with myriad god concepts with myriad attributes. To date not a single solitary one of those claims has EVER stood up to scrutiny. This says nothing about the existance of all possible gods, but it says something about the existance of those specific gods. If you wish to believe in an as yet untested (or perhaps untestable) god concept then go right ahead with my blessing. Just don't claim it's based on reason because it isn't and have the humility to appreciate that your belief is as valid as anyone else's lack of belief or different, equally unsupported/unsupportable belief. Also I note you have not refuted, rebutted or dealt in any way with ONE single point I have made. You've merely been resorting to abuse. So fragile your petty little faith is. You have both my contempt and my pity.

P.P.S. Stephen, didn't I already mention Pol Pot, Stalin and chums.

Lordy Lordy people, I love you all like the virtual electronic brothers I never had, but do me the fucking courtesy of reading what I actually write and responding to it based on some modicum of actual comprehension!

And with that I'm off to bed, worky poos in the morning!

P.P.P.S. Oh bugger! Lenny, I actually agree to an extent. The problem being that it wasn't me who brought the "atheist activism" issue up.It was our good friends the Chamberlain group. They are the ones telling us to ignore the nasty atheists, they are the ones bringing it into anticreationism. I and others are perfectly content with the "On THIS we agree, regardless of other disagreements" aspect of our interaction. In fact I see it as the only possible productive way to operate. Oh and by the way, I agree entirely with your comments about Marxists in the USA. There really is nothing an atheist can teach you guys about persecution and I wouldn't try to do so. Imagine for a second if in the anticreationist debate there were a section of people who, when faced with the "evolution leads to communism" claim (which we both have seen) said "oh yes there are communist evolutionists like Gould, but don't worry about them, come in and ignore the nasty commies.". I think you'd be pretty pissed off at the irrelevance of such an appeasement and the fact that some thought it necessary. I'd be stood right by you, shoulder to shoulder, fighting it too.

P.P.P.P.S. Skeptic. Talking out of both sides of my mouth? How so, do prove me doing this, rather than, ya know making unsupported assertions and insults and not following arguments or reading for comprehension. I'd be glad of the change.

Date: 2006/11/26 17:36:03, Link
Author: Louis
No Gimpy, I don't have a problem with closeted homosexuality, nor with unclosted homosexuality. YOU do, which is why I keep making fun of it.

Remember YOU are the one who keeps posting these things. YOU are the one who gets all insulted whenever anyone makes a joke about it. YOU are the one who is making a value judegment. That's why it's funny to continually bait you. Notice you don't get bent out of shape about the dishonesty etc, just your little problem with manlove. Come out of the closet Gimpy, rush to a wrestling meet and make your botty available to a sweaty man.  You'll be amazed how happy it makes you. I think that being in the closet is terrible because there's nothing wrong with being gay. Stop living in denial Gimpy. Be all you can be!

Please seriously grow a fucking clue.

Oh and I LOVE your misuse of Lenny's comment (I seem to remember that the original stringing up comments originated elsewhere than Lenny) AND your attempt to quote mine me. By the way, advocating a lack of barriers to interracial breeding IF a certain unproven hypothesis were true is not the same thing as trying to eradicate the white race or being hostile to it as you claim above.

I also love the fact that you refer, yet again to your claim about muslim integration. A thread in which you had your arse summarily handed to you on a plate and yet you KEEP shifting the goalposts. Very funny.


P.S. The wanking tramp was a danger to nothing but the cleanliness of the seats. Or are all the tramps in the USA huge, muscley and well fed and you think the same thing happens here? The point of the story was, yet again, that people as a group will pretty much see what they want to and ignore those things that they don't like. (You're a fucking excellent example of this by the way. You've yet to score a palpable hit in any argument with anyone because you flail at strawmen and lack the intellectual gifts of a houseplant.) I LOVE the fact you keep returning to this as if beating up an elderly mentally ill person is somehow a good idea when what he was doing was, whilst unpleasant and shocking, utterly harmless.

Date: 2006/11/26 18:07:41, Link
Author: Louis

This shows just how much you simply don't get anything I've said:

at the completion of an examination of biology students should convert to atheism or fail? That is what you are saying whether you know it or not

No no no no no no no no no no no. The opposite of creationism is not atheism. Creationism is a specific set of claims based on a specific religious belief (not all religious people are creationists, all creationists are religious). They are real world claims about the mechanisms and operation of the universe. They are claims that are open to falsification on the basis of evidence. They have also already been falsified. The world, for example, is not 6000 years old, based on the available evidence. If a student's understanding of biology is so poor at the end of X amount of time's study that they consider the creationist claims as valid as those advanced and supported by scientific evidence then they are not doing science at all. Therefore they have failed any scientific undertaking based in that field. They may be excellent engineers, physicists mathematicians or whatever, but they are not excellent biologists, they are failed biologists. They can believe in as many and as varied a series of gods as they like, but to hold to specific creationist ideas in the face of the overwhelming evidence is NOT SCIENCE. Get it? Again I doubt it.

As for Moses, Muhammed, and Jesus' antics, no, as far as can be told they never happened, nor is there any good or rational reason to expect they did. They are stories in an old book and the only reason people choose to beleive them to be true is that they are tied in with a whole swathe of other beliefs.

As for your gross misunderstanding of my point (AGAIN) no I am not saying that god doesn't exist because I can't measure it. I am saying that when anyone has proposed a god it has in some fashion been measurable. When such things have been measured they have been found to be non existant. I notice you skipped over Cyril. Naughty naughty. If someone proposes a god that is utterly unmeasurable in any sense, then how is that a) different from total fantasy and on what basis, and b) any more real than any other unmeasurable proposition.

Forgive me if I tire rapidly of trying to educate you in the very basics of epistemology.


Date: 2006/11/26 18:26:29, Link
Author: Louis

Some excellent points.

In all my years on PT and various other anti-ID sites, I have never, ever, not even once, ever see any science-supporting theist criticize or reject anyone at all whatsoever for their atheism.  Never.  If anyone can cite an instance of such, I'd very much like to see it.

But I long ago lost count of how many of the rabid atheist ideologues felt it their divine duty to harangue the science-supporting theists because of their "irrational theism".

I agree almost entirely. Too many dumb atheists giving us all a bad name, I've met 'em myself.

The bit that does concern me is the standard "evolution = atheism" boilerplate we get. Shit Skeptic has just rehashed it for us on this very page. Evolution =/= atheism is a point that's been made a bunch of times quite correctly. Science =/= atheism also good. Claims that god(s) exist(s) are supported by reason and that science reinforces and proves the existance of god(s) are a different bag. Unless of course someone has found peskily elusive rational, evidence based proof of god whilst I wasn't looking!

The rational, reasoned, scientific evidence simply doesn't show the existance of god or gods. End of story. It might do so tomorrow, but it doesn't today. This DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD(S) DO NOT EXIST. (I'm saying this out loud for Skeptic's benefit, I know you already know this). This simply means that there is no rational (technical meaning, NOT colloquial meaning), reasoned (technical meaning, NOT colloquial meaning) scientific basis for accepting the veracity of the god hypothesis.

One can accept the veracity of the god hypothesis on a number of other bases, just not a scientific or rational (TECHNICAL!!!! ) one. The Chamberlain camp want to hide the fact that, if one follows the available scientific evidence, then there is no scientific reason to accept the god hypothesis, because they think this scares off the fragile little theists. Personally I think this is wrong, I think the theists are made of sterner stuff, and I think that the whole point of religious faith is that it isn't based on a rational (technical!!!! Have I made this point clearly enough yet?) assessment of the available evidence.

And if that is NOT the message that the evangelical atheists want everyone to carry away, then perhaps they should consider for a moment why everyone DOES carry that message away. Either (1) the evangelical atheists are kidding themselves about what their motives are, or (2) they are doing a piss-poor job of expressing and explaining those motives to everyone else.

In either case, rather than weeping and whining about how "everyone misunderstands us  boo hoo hoo", they should take a look or ten at what they are saying and how they are saying it, and make a few attitude adjustments as necessary.

I agree, and dare I say a similarly self critical mirror should be held up to the "misunderstanders" too? Perhaps they are reading into the "evangelical atheist's"  words what they want to be there on occasion. Just as on occasion the "evangelical atheists" commit the PR fuck up of the century.

[QUOTE]The Chamberlain people ARE saying "Ignore the scary atheists, they aren't important".

No one is telling anyone to "ignore the scary atheists".[?QUOTE]

Wrong. Read Collins, Brayton, Matzke et all. All guys with whom I agree hugely on many many things. All guys I have a huge amount of respect for. On this I disagree however.

What we're telling everyone is "We're here to fight ID.  If you're here to fight something else (like, say, theism), then go fight it elsewhere. This ain't the place for it."

Were I to start haranguing all the capitalists, they'd tell me the very same thing.

And they'd be entirely correct to do so.

And as I said before, I agree entirely.


Date: 2006/11/27 01:44:05, Link
Author: Louis
Fuck it. You all can think me as nasty as you like, but the sheer level of dumb being exhibited by Skeptic and others borders of the amazing.

Find me ONE example of where I have claimed all religious people are stupid.

Find me ONE example of where I have said religious people are not entitled to believe as they will.

Find me ONE example of where I have said that no god at all exists, absolutely, certainly in every sense of the word.

Find me ONE example of where I have said we should cast out the evil religionists from our midst and have nothing to do with them in the fight against fundies.

I could go on. In each case you will not find a single example. People, STOP now. STOP claiming the arguments I am making are somehow the same as the strawmen in your heads. They are not.


For Skeptic (or more properly Spastic, you've moved from the mildly annoying camp into the GoP camp of shrill dishonesty and total lack of comprehension). Why should anyone expect the parting of the Red Sea to be a real event. On what basis does one claim this to even possibly be a real event? Is there any evidence for it at all of any kind? If THIS event is claimed to be real (or possibly real) then why is the story surrounding the Trojan horse any less or more real, or Odysseus meeting Cassandra? The point here is simple. Claims like the parting of the Red Sea ONLY recieve any credence at all because they are claims made by current religions.

A deist god who set the universe up and takes no part in it after that point is, at this time at least, totally undetectable by science or any rational means. That doesn't bother me in the slightest, it in no way offends me (very little does except wanton stupidity). In fact I have a very good friend who believes just this and as far as I am concerned he is just as correct in his belief in such a deity as I am in my lack of belief. The one question I (and indeed he) ask is this: why is this idea, the idea of a creator, non-interventionist god given any credence greater than that of say the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Oh and Spastic, my example was Cyril the Elephant, not Cyril the monkey. If it is different from a god concept please explain how (it really isn't by the way), rather than just shrilly asserting it and calling me names. Rather ironically you haven't understood one single point I've made and yet you claim they're stupid. Try harder dumbass!

In the very loosest sense, yes all theists are creationists, but is that what the anti-creationist group here at ATBC are combatting? No. Is that what I am combatting? No. The creationists of which we speak are the OECs, the YECs, the IDCists. These are a minority amongst religious people, just as fundamentalists and extremists are a minority amongst theists. These creationists are making a fundamentally scientific series of claims. A 6000 year old earth is fucking different from a 4.6 billion year old earth.One (or neither) of these claims is true, they cannot both be true, they are mutually exclusive.

It doesn't matter if we use the young earth claim, or we use one of a million other dumb claims (flagella didn't evolve, the clotting sequence can't evolve, the flood happened, yadda yadda yadda). Don't focus on the window dressing, focus on the phenomenon behind the claims. Creationists are making claims about the nature of reality. End of story. Those claims are open to falsification on the basis of the available evidence. End of story. To date, every single one of them has been falsified on the basis of the evidence. End of story. They COULD have been supported by the evidence, no on knew until they went and researched it, but they weren't. End of story. Next claim please.

The relevant point of people like PZ and myself to this issue is that it isn't only the extreme  fringe of religion that makes testable claims. The deist god concept might not be testable (and therefore on a scientific basis is indistinguishable from fantasy. We simply can't use science to probe it's accuracy) but there are a whole swathe of god concepts that ARE scientifically testable. All we are saying is that to lie to people about the fact that science has and will falsify some or all of these testable god concepts does us all a disservice. It's patronising and dishonest to the theists and it doesn't serve the ends of the anticreationist movement because it fails to deal with the actual problem.

Lenny says it best: why should anyone take my religious ideas more seriously than yours, his, the bloke down the street's ideas, or your hot food delivery merchant of choice? I absolutely do not claim to have the answer to the existance of god or gods. What I do claim is that it is possble to formulate god concepts that are open to rational disproof and millions people have done this millions of times. This is a clear indication that one person's religious claims that are not open to rational enquiry should be taken no more seriously than another person's untestable claims. Lenny's religious views are just as valid on a rational basis as mine are. I am more than happy to admit that, as is he.

The problem with creationism is that it usually rears its ugly head as part of an unquestioning, unselfcritical dogma. Look at how creationists tie their religious interpretation of certain texts to their religious identity. I've had many creationists say that if their literal reading of Genesis is wrong then their whole faith in god is wrong. Firstly this simply isn't true, secondly this is a consequence of a culture and an ideology which fears rational enquiry and actively seeks to prevent it. It's not only religious ideologies that do this, look at Stalinism or Lysenkoism for examples (as I think I've said about 20 times now. It's nice to have your actual arguments ignored isn't it?). The problem is NOT religion but unquestioning adherence to dogma and ideology. The unfortunate thing is that this appears to occur in religions far more than in other areas of human endeavour. There are obvious reasons for this, religions on average tend to be ideological systems based on the faith in certain prospects, there are typically tenets that are beyond question, and there are typically aspects of that ideology that have no supporting evidence. There are exceptions, and there are non-religious ideologies that share these traits. The point is not that we atheists get our hackles up whenever someone mentions the word god, we don't (although I'm sure some do, but I don't) but that we see no reason to grant an automatic free pass to certain ideas, that are as flawed as other ideas, simply because they are religious.

To close: please I beg you all, humbly and earnestly, and with no small degree of passion and frustration deal with my arguments as they are, not as you think they are.


P.S. Added in edit:

I AM a nasty fucker, both on and off line. I suffer fools not at all and have won the international all comers intolerant bastard award every year for the last ten years. Life's far too short to be nice to total dishonest morons. What utter fuckwits like Spastic Colon, AmazinglyFoolishDimwit, and Gimp of Putresence fail to understand is that disagreement has nothing to do with it. I disagree with Lenny about loads of things, Nick Matzke too, and many people about many things. Guess what, as long as they're honest (and these guys are as honest as the day is long) I couldn't give a shit. I certainly don't claim to be right about everything, or even anything. I've learnt more from Lenny and Nick and PZ and Larry and Wesley and...... the list goes on than I'll ever be able to repay them in beers (beers they undoubtably deserve) precisely because of our disagreements. Listening to Lenny about religion and Marxism (doubtful any of them remember me from T.O. I haven't posted in ages) taught me a lot for example, and I'm not a Marxist or religious and disagree about some aspects of both. Disagreement is good. Dishonesty and subintellectual blather isn't. None of the people I disagree with do anything like it, excpet for the obvious muppets.

Date: 2006/11/27 01:53:56, Link
Author: Louis

You made a comment that really interests me. Just what do you think the similarities between christianity and evolutionary biology are?



Date: 2006/11/27 10:14:10, Link
Author: Louis

Yet again no no no no no no no no. I AM and HAVE BEEN talking about creationists with regards to dismissal from biology courses. What the fuck has belief in god got to do with biology?  Belief in the fixedness of species for example is a different ball game. Yet again, not all religious people are creationists, all creationists are religious people.

Since you manifestly a) don't understand anything I've written (you are taking dumb and dishonest to almost GoPlike levels, bravo a new low) and b) you don't understand what the whole debate is about in the first place, allow me one last attempt at cramming some scintilla of a clue into the sorry spongey object between your ears.

The internecine "war" going on at PT, Pharyngula and many places elsewhere is a staggering example of nonsensical fratricide. Otherwise intelligent and erudite people are simply talking past each other and accusding each other of wildly inaccurate evils.

On the one "side" (for as far as I can tell everyone really agrees on the vast majority of this issue, it's just a futile war of misunderstandings) we have what has been termed the "Chamberlain Group" (this was a name that was used prior to Dawkins' recent book, but is apt of the strawman). On the other "side" we have what have been called the "Evangelical Atheists" (of which I am probably one, regardless of the fact that I certainly don't agree with the asinine caricature of my ideas).

The Chamberlain Group are mischaracterised as wanting to appease ALL religious people by diluting science education in some fashion in order to prevent the small subsection of religious people loosely called creationists debasing science education.

The Evangelical Atheists are mischaracterised as wanting to beat the shit out of any religious person who has the temerity to claim to be on the side of science.

Neither strawman is accurate, although as with any group there are extremists at both ends who make the strawman description appear true. On the "EA side" neither Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, me or any number of people represent that extreme. On the "CG side" neither Nick Matzke, Francis Collins, Ed Brayton or numerous others represent the relevant extreme. Yet somehow the majority keep talking past eah other and getting increasingly heated.

Both groups have no problem with engaging with religious opponents of creationism or non-religious opponents of creationism (depending on personal religious stance). Both groups are stridently anticreationist. Both groups agree that the utter destruction of science education that the creationists seek is false, vile, unconstitutional (in the USA), and a total abandonment of the responsibility of educators should it be allowed. In most cases, both groups totally agree on the tactics and strategy.

Then comes the bone of contention:  every time the religious canard of "science/evolution leads to atheism" is brought up, a certain subsection of one group hand wave away the correct aspects of this statement (for it's not entirely correct but the religious is approximating something that is correct) and appear to tell the incoming religionist not to worry about the atheists growling in the corner, it's really nothing to do with them. I don't agree by the way that this is what this subset of the CG are doing, but it could be seen to APPEAR that way (which is the problem).

This understandably pisses off (not matter how misinterpreted this appearance is) a subset of the EAs. Now, way back in dim and distant history (or perhaps the present) there will have been heated conversations in which some subset of the EAs will have said something unsupportably derogatory about religious people. Not the sort of puerile misunderstandings you are wanking on about, but outright bone fide hateful abuse. It's an unfortunate fact that there exists a minority of atheists who are bitterly recovering from their previous religious beliefs and are vicious about it (I escape this, I'm not bitter and I never had any religious faith). Sometimes these people do and say totally undefensible things.

Straight away everyone leaps for their respective high horses. The CG guys accuse all the EA guys of being a bunch of religion hating bozos who are shooting themselves and everyone else in the feet. The EA guys accuse all the CG guys of being hypocrites who are accelerating the demise of science at the hands of fundies by appeasing their weaker demands, and by pretending that rational thought, reason and observation (and even science) are silent on the subject of the existance of god or gods.

Reason is anathema to faith. They are diametrically opposite ways of interrogating the universe. This expressedly refers to the strict philosophical uses of the words. It does not mean, nor seek to imply, that religious people are incapable of reason, or that in religious thought reason is never employed. Please, before you witter off on your strawman ludicrousness, try to crack this through your skull. Just like the title of Dawkins' books The Selfish Gene and the God Delusion don't mean what you think they mean (you'd have to actually read the books to find that out, which you clearly haven't), try to appreciate the simple fact that a word can be used in different contexts and have different meanings.

I'll give you an example:

Religious belief is irrational (True in the philosophical, technical sense, not necessarily true in the colloquial sense). This is a really key distinction. When Dawkins is talking about the God Delusion he is using those words in a very specific sense, a point he makes extremely clear early on. One way to commit th strawman fallacy is to deal with the weakest possible interpretation of someone's argument despite the fact that this has been made abundantly clear that it is not this interpretation being used.

The whole kerfuffle has arisen because of misunderstandings just like the ones you are making. Although to be honest, you are making a whole slew of others as well.


Date: 2006/11/27 10:29:35, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for that. I was curious as to what you meant. I see no similarity between christianity and any scientific field, bar the sort of superficial similarities or literary concordance you mention.



Date: 2006/11/27 12:21:12, Link
Author: Louis
No Gimpy, that's a bad Gimpy.

"Gimpy" refers to your sexual problems, i.e. you are a gimp. Nothing to do with handicapped people or anythign like it. I'm not responsible for the spins you want to put on things, those are your problem, and vastly more revealing about you than me.

As for the closet thing, you keep missing the point. Why am I not surprised? It's nothing to do with homosexuality, it's everything to do with being a closet case. Honestly Gimpy, you can't even work your way through a good insult, let alone an argument, what hope is there for you?

You could be a closet ........ (fill in blank). The blank isn't the important bit because it doesn't inform or cause your obviously deviant psychology. The closet part DOES. Get it yet? Honestly I have to explain everything to you morons! You could post up pictures of interracial porn and I'd make jokes about you choking for big black cock. The big black cock part is irrelevant, the fact that you deny what is plain based on your posting behaviour isn't. Get it yet? Nope I doubt it.

Remember Gimpy, YOU post the sweaty wrestlers and make ridiculously macho claims of whupping libruls, no one else. Your memory really needs some work Gimpy. You got your tiny nosey in a sling when you first posted them and many people coughed {closet case}, loudly claiming you weren't a homosexual and having a snit. Yet again Gimpy, you are the one in denial, not anyone else. We're all perfectly comfy with our sexualities ta very much, gay, straight or other. The question remains unanswered why THOSE photos? Why THOSE images? No one makes you post them, quite the reverse, most people bothered to comment mock you for them. The fact that this still bothers you is highly amusing. Nowhere have I or anyone else made any value judgement, we've merely offered highly tongue in cheek comments on your possible motivations. No one else but you has made the link gay=bad. THAT is the telling part.

I'm not accusing you of being gay for supporting gay rights, so your analogy (entirely fictional as it obviously is. You? Minority rights? Please, that's less believable than your geocentrism claims) is flawed. If you were being persecuted/abused for supporting gay riights then you'd have a point. Since I and as far as I can tell every other poster on this site is a supporter of gay rights your claim wafts airily into the wind. You are being mocked for your posting habits and subsequent denials. Of course you don't understand this distinction, but that's because, well you're just a bit thick really.

Who gives a shit if you're gay, closeted or otherwise? No one Gimpy, because no one gives a shit about you. Like I've said many times, you're a rather paultry chew toy. Fun to bat around a bit, but no substance at all. You love to make grandiose claims but lack both the wit and wisdom to support them, or even make, understand, or follow anything approaching a coherent point. To be blunt, you're a bit pathetic. However, it's still fun to mock you. You're attempts at outrage are hilarious, as are you attempts to turn tables.

Tell me Gimpy have you ever actually made a coherent and supported point about anything anywhere? Many months ago I paraphrased the Bard in describing you:

"GoP's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a role
Played by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

You have only reinforced that opinion.


Date: 2006/11/27 12:42:52, Link
Author: Louis

Have you outed yourself as an Evangelical Atheist? Naaaaah, not in my opinion at least. But then I'm exactly the same sort of Evangelical Atheist you are. Perhaps if you littered your posts with comments about how stupid religious people are like I have (hmmmm, where are those then?) then you too could also earn the attention of the loathesomely stupid Spastic {Colon} (painful, annoying, squirts out shit).

Why is it we are lumbered with idiots whose objections could removed by them simply reading the first few posts for some modicum of comprehension? Sigh.


Date: 2006/11/28 08:07:10, Link
Author: Louis
Spastic Colon,

I think you'll find that I've answered your questions re students at least twice in previous posts (before you even asked the questions).

Should you at any time desire to start reading what people write for a modicum of comprehension before going off half cocked, let me know. Until then.....


Date: 2006/12/04 16:09:53, Link
Author: Louis
Brief 'cos I'm feckin busy:

One on the current thread of America worship/bashing/occasional reason:

Independent 04/12/06 Comment

And one on the actual views of Richard Dawkins (although I STRONGLY suggest wider reading. Otherwise gentle readers, some amongst you might get confused with that notorious bounder and fount of all evil Richard Strawkins)

Independent 04/12/06 You Ask the Questions

Here's some further clarification of what I was saying much earlier that I squeezed in earlier today in a break between meetings (yuck) and lab work (yay).



Date: 2006/12/04 19:11:25, Link
Author: Louis
Since I have discovered a moment or two...

1) Gimpy do you know what a strawman is? You use them left and right so you should. If someone is openly and statedly using a word in ONE of its defined contexts it does not follow that it is to be taken in ALL of its defined contexts. That would be equivalent to asserting that a comment that "I'm in the black" in a conversation about bank balances means that I am currently in side a specific person of African heritage. Nice try. Score for Gimpy: Nil points.

2) Why not tease you about being part non-white? Because I don't know if you are or not. Get this straight Gimpy, you are a proven and self confessed liar. End of story, no equivocation. I don't belive your claim. If you said the sun was going to rise tomorrow, I'd fucking check it. Twice. With expensive kit.

You CLAIM to have been perpetrating a parody but I sure as #### can't  tell the difference between "new and improved Gimpy" and "old and dumb as a bag of rocks Gimpy", and I am FAR from the only one. The arguments are equally poor, the total lack of familiarity with simple things like intellectual honesty and evidence are the same, and even the CLAIMS are the same. You've just skipped the really bonkers stuff about geocentrism etc. My guess on that little evasion of yours is because you have a total inability to admit when you are wrong, which you were and are. Want evidence? Just one piece for you, of many: the entirety of the "muslim integration thread". You made a VERY specific claim which you were held to. Your claim was very clearly demonstrated to be false, so you moved the goalposts to wider immigration related issues. THAT, incidentally, is at least partially why you have been told to shut your yap on that topic. The other reasons being that a) your bigotry shines through, b) you are and were being openly dishonest, c) if you're going to do a and b, at least do it vaguely on topic. As I've said many times Gimpy, were it up to me you'd be gone. You add nothing but annoyance and dishonesty, neither conducive to any form of discourse.

3) Abuse and homosexuality. You recieve my unending contempt and abuse because you lie. I'm a big enough boy to change my mind on the basis of evidence, give me the evidence and I'll change my mind. Pretending to play nice nice as if the past never happened, or as if your posts are not a matter of easily recovered record is not evidence. How about an apology Gimpy? For trolling and lying and being a dishonest fucker? You want to whine about being abused and insulted? Stop being such a fuckwit, stop lying, start having a reasoned honest debate, stop obfuscating, stop posting silly witterings about "evos and lefties and liberals", stop attributing views that people don't hold to people simply because they disagree with you.

As for being a closet case, Gimpy you total fucking imbecile I don't know if you are or not, and I really couldn't care less. If you are GOOD, if you're not GOOD. The WHOLE and total point of that abuse (actually mocking humour rather than abuse, I don't expect you to see the difference) is because you post silly pictures of sweaty men and make silly macho comments. Nobody else does this. The purpose of mocking this behaviour that you (and no one else) exhibit is to highlight how ridiculous it is, and because based on your previous posting habits and comments, I and others assume that being accused of closet homosexuality is something that would annoy you. It seems that I and others scored a hit since you keep wanking on about it, keep deliberately dishonestly attributing attitudes to it that statedly don't exist, and fail to get the point of it (i.e. that it's the CLOSET element that makes you behave like a total arsehole, not the homosexual element). I know you don't understand this. I know you will yet again try to spin this into bigotry, the problem you have is that the only way you can do this is to lie, since no evidence for said bigotry exists (because there isn't any bigotry to start with) and you are dishonestly trying to obfuscate the fact that you cannot support a single claim you've made and this is a convenient distraction.

4) You've made a couple of good points on economics? Wow (colour me doubtful in any case). You've posted in excess of 1400 posts, the vast majority of them either part of some trolling campaign/claimed parody (bullshit), dishonest, attention whoring, thinly veiled bigotry, asinine antiscience or sweaty wrestler based and you think that the fact that one or two competant comments have accidentally crept in turns you into a human being as opposed to the witless excrescence you demonstrably are (or wish to appear to be, 'tis the net after all)? Fucking #### Gimpy, that's the best delusion you've managed yet. Even less evidence than geocentrism. Some say a stopped clock is right twice a day, you've yet to acheive those lofty heights. The simile I would use is that the sun shines on every dog's arse some day. Shit my standards aren't high Gimpy, but I was expecting better than the intellectual equivalent of amoebic dysentery and a whine from a spoilt child.

5) Smacking you in the mouth. Sorry where have I advocated this? What I HAVE said is that if you behaved in real life like you do here, you would recieve a well deserved smack in the mouth from an unspecified, but probably irritated, listener. Are you somehow above an arse kicking Gimpy? Shit I know I'm not! If I behaved offline like you do online I'd employ a secretary to organise all the extremely well deserved smacks in the mouth I would undoubtably have people queueing down the road to administer.  Your rather pathetic paranoia and out of context use of Lenny's comments speak volumes, especially added to the fact that you think beating harmless, elderly homeless people is a good idea, and you continually post wrestler pics and make comments of beating/crushing etc evos/liberals/lefties etc. Like I've said about ooooooooh a gazillion times now (no exaggeration) these things speak VOLUMES about your psychology. No one makes you do them. No one else here does them. Just you. THAT FACT ALONE SHOULD MAKE YOU PAUSE FOR THOUGHT.


You claim that theology is as reasoned as literary criticism, but since it's lacking observation, it can't be scientific. On the other hand, literary criticism is based on observation, so there's no qualititative difference between lit crit and science -- it's all a matter of degree:

This is not precisely what I said and you know it. Theology, lit crit of fiction are identical in many respects.  They are based, as I said pages ago, on the observation of the texts, and reasoned arguments derived from those points. The fact that they deal with fictional topics isn't the issue at all, again as explained pages back (and I didn;t say that theology is at a lower level than lit crit, nice lie Gimpy, gotcha again). The point is that the tools being used in these fields are not qualitatively different from those being used in science. Their mode of application and subject matter are different, and that is what accounts for the superficial differences of field and method we see, but the underlying mechanism of elucidating knowledge about their respective targets (reason and observation) are the same. The DIFFERENCE with things like theology and fiction is that they deal sometimes with items that are not only unobserved but unobservable. The difference between theology and some fictional literature is that in theology certain faith based axioms are assumed to be absolutely true and unquestionable and are, I'm sad to say, defended by dishonesty and obfuscation at worst, and poor reasoning at best. Again as I said before.

Also as I said before, but you STILL are dishonestly evading, is not all knowledge=product of science, but all knowledge=product of reason etc.

So with that in mind again, let's deal with your asinine questions based on your dishonest deliberate ignorance yet again (for if you could read for a modicum of comprehension, you'd already have your answers).

1) How do you know that the disparate way the tools of reason and observation are applied in lit crit and science are quantitative, rather than qualitative? And if these disciplines are different in kind as well as degree, then why couldn't you classify the literary approach as "another way of knowing"?

My first thought is that since you made the claim that they are not the same originally, the burden of proof remains upon your shoulders. All we've had from you that far is stamping of your feet and crying "IS IS IS IS IS", no actual argument.

My second thought is read my fucking posts, I've answered this.

My third thought is what is lit crit etc telling you about? Precisely what are you gaining knowledge about? I've already been over this posts ago (again, sigh will you ever learn to read?). What knowledge are you getting fromlit crit? Are you getting any knowledge about the universe around you? The answer is perhaps. If one is examining the use of effective literary hooks in stories then one is learning important things about human psychology and sociology. If one is examining a painting one can learn about vanishing points, optics, the limitations of human visual systems etc. The whole point is that the valuable information one garners from examination of art is in some fashion reproducible and evidence based. Granted, not in exactly the same manner as a chemical reaction or a physical system, but then that's to be expected, we're dealing with less well defined phenomena.

Doubt this? Look at fields like etymology and linguistics, or (a personal favourite) abstract art and WHY it is abstract (subverting the tradition lines of art by distorting vanishing points and perspectives).

Yet again, as said in previous posts, the superficial or emotional responses to art are reasoned responses to observed stimuli no matter how unconscious they are.

2) You claim that theology lacks observation. What about circumstantial evidence like the anthropic coincidences, or science's failure to explain certain phenomena? In fact, some scientists believe that we will never have a complete theory of say, abiogenesis. Why can't theologists use negative evidence in addition to (or even the exclusion of) positive evidence? "Just you wait -- I'm sure we'll figure it out someday" isn't based on anything more than an inductive inference, which is either tentative or fallacious no matter how you look at it. Why treat hopes as guesses as facts? Because there sure ain't much else when it comes to life's origin.

Firstly no I don't claim theology lacks observation, all I said was that the subject matter of theology are based on unobserved, axiomic faith based articles of unquestionable dogma. The lit crit aspects of theology, or the downstream logical justification of these axioms is just as reasooned an observation based as any other philosophical field. Stop lying Gimpy.

The anthropic coincidences you claim are fictional, products of your own asinine argument from personal incredulity. This has been pointed out to you several times before, yet you ignore it and prefer to obfuscate with maths you clearly don't grasp. The coincidences you claim are not coincidences, you're forgetting Adams' puddle Gimpy, I told you not to.

Why can't theologians use negative evidence instead of evidence? I can't believe you asked something that fucking stupid. Considering my already abyssal opinion of your intellectual abilities, that's quite something. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This is why for example I do not claim there absolutely is no god, or no teapot orbiting Titan, or no FSM.  What I DO claim, and on the basis of some excellent data, is that these things are vanishingly unlikely based on the definitions of them given to date. Of course in one o those three cases dishonest fuckers like you move the goalposts continually to avoid the obvious.

Have you seen my garage? In my garage I have a dragon, come and have a look. Can't see it? That's because it's an invisible dragon. Can't feel it? That's because it's an invisible, intangible dragon. Put flour on the floor to detect it's footprints? Well obviously it's a flying invisible, intangible dragon with no mass. Try to feel the heat from it's dragon flame? Obviously it's flame is magical and can't burn you, how silly of you to even think it would, you're so literal! (With apologies to Carl Sagan).

Do you believe I have a dragon in my garage Gimpy? Give reasons. Obviously it's POSSIBLE that I have such a dragon in my garage, but based on the evidence it is AT LEAST equally possible (even probable) that I am either mistaken, stupid, misled, dishonest or wicked when I am advocating my dragon's existance. Is absence of evidence for my dragon proof of its non-existance? No, because (as we know from Bacon) if you don't see a black swan and all you see are white swans, it doesn't conclusively prove that black swans don't exist. What it DOES prove is that thus far we have only seen white swans. If you are claiming that black swans exist then you'd better have some evidence to back that claim up.

In the case of my dragon I can provide no such evidence because each time my dragon's existance is probed I move the goalposts. However this also renders the question of said dragon's existance moot: how is an utterly undetectable dragon different from a non existant one? Both COULD exist, but surely you need more than my unsupported say so to claim that one does. Simply because a claim can be made, it doesn;t follow that this claim is equally well supported by the evidence as other claims are.

Science's failure to explain certain phenomena? Since when has anyone claimed to have all the answers right now? It's called an ongoing process Gimpy, and we ain't at the end. I've made this point about a half dozen times in this thread alone. Do I really have to reiterate it because you're too stupid and dishonest to read? All knowledge is provisional, but we can have some idea of how reliable it is. Read back, this element is answered.

The "Just wait, we'll figure it out" answer is NOT an answer to the question, it is an admission of current ignorance (and some optimism!;). Current ignorance doesn't equal non existant. However, the caveat is that simply because all things are POSSIBLE, not all things are EQUALLY possible, no even PROBABLE. Very very very very key distinction Gimpy, forgive me if I doubt you'll get it, based on the evidence you have provided so far nof course.

As for abiogenesis, we're in better shape than you know. Do we have mechanisms that we know can create complex self replicating molecules? Yes. Have we seen these things in the lab? Yes. Is it likely that we will be able to reproduce the exact path that life on earth followed?  No, verging on perhaps. Could we perhaps develop analogous systems? Yes. The current lack of a concrete idea of precisely how abiogenesis proceeded on earth is NOT evidence for any alternative claim you dream up. We currently know all about every mechanism required to produce self replicating molecules from common chemicals found in space/on earth etc. What we don't know is the precise details of which of several possible routes it took. Think of it like a painting: we can see the artist's rough sketches in charcoal, not all of them, but enough to know the layout of the painting and that it is a portrait of a face. The colours, details and precisely who's face it is we cannot yet tell, but we also know a thing or two about painting.

All though this, your painfully obvious quest for certainty is clear. There is none. There is no absolute certainty for you.  We are on shifting sands, some more solid than the rest, but all shiting to various degrees.

3) You apparently claim that an individual can only "know" something by applying reason or observation. But then you admit that theology is based on reason alone. Wouldn't this qualify as another "way"? And what about people who rely on dreams as a source of inspiration, or even "delusions" about past lives? Some of these may have been hoaxes or due to humdrum mental phenomena, but nobody really knows what happened in some of these cases.

No Gimpy you stupid, lying fuck that is NOT what I said about theology. Read it again.

Dreams and revelations are exactly what I was referring to as other ways of knowing. See right back at the start, thanks for catching up at least on one tiny point. But what do they tell us? Nothing whatsoever by themselves. My revelation that we were shat out of the arse of a gigantic space trucker is no more or less valid than your revelation that we were produced by the vaginal discharge of a mutant star kangaroo. That is until we look up into the night sky and see a huge marsupial clopper staring back at us. The only way we can verify any revelatory experience or faith based claim is by reference to observation. The only way we can know if that observation is reliable at all is to be honest and rigourous in our making of it. The only way we can know anything is by reasoned, rational observation of the universe around us.

If you claim your deist god exists and has certain attributes and I claim my different deist gods exist and have different and mutually contradictory attributes how do we know if either claim is representative of reality in any way? We resort to reason and observation. Faith and revelation alone can tell us nothing about the universe. Oh they MIGHT be correct, but only by coincidence. Back to my dragon again.

4) What if some things exist, but are unobservable by human minds? How can we decide if this situation applies? Especially since we're using the same tool we're allegedly testing?

Like for example alpha radiation. Can you see alpha radiation? Can your human mind sense it? Mine can't and I doubt yours can either. What we CAN do is design a series of experiments that render alpha particles, or rather their down stream effects on certain physical processes like fluoresence, detectable to our human minds.

If something is totally beyond observation in any manner at all, if it in no way interacts or intersects with the material universe then how is it different from not existing at all? The second it interacts, it falls into the domain of reasoned enquiry and observation. I ask again, does my garage dragon exist?

5) What about the limitations of certain branches of mathematical logic as elucidated by Gödel's incompleteness theorems? What, if any, connections can be made to human intelligence?

Ah zombie Gödel, the last refuge of the scoundrel. I have yet to see ANYONE arguing as you have invoke Gödel's theorems correctly. You might as well as wittered on about quantum uncertainty...oh wait you have elsewhere. Gödel's theorems refer only to specific first order logical systems with stated axioms.

What you are drving at here is are there things we don't know? The answer is yes. Is it possible that {insert claim here}is the case? Yes. Is it therefore the case that {insert claim here} is equally valid as the current state of rationally obtained knowledge? No. Possible =/= probable.

The connections of Gödel's theorems to human intellect...... probably yet another tiresome irrelevance of yours. The only possible connection I can see is to do withh Turing machines and the halting problem, but then my understanding of this is admittedly very sketchy so it's probably best left to better mathematicians than I.

7) You're accusing ME of being dishonest with regards to your comments about evolutionary biology? YOU ACCUSE ME OF DISHONESTY? I am actually genuinely outraged. Firstly, not only did I not in any way misrepresent your claim, I don't need to Gimpy, but you have lied continually and shifted the goalposts here yet again. Amusingly in your attempt to claim I am a liar you have to lie to accomplish it! Irony much? Not only have you NOT proven your claim, but you proven (yet again) my contention that you are a dishonest prick who'll stoop to any level to "win at that intarnetzzz". Your pathetic motivations are as usual clear.

What game is a foot? Gimpy I don't need to play games with you, you're too dumb to read plain text, games are beyond your meagre ken. Yet again, as usual, you try dishonestly to move those goalposts. The comments you were making were to do with the similarity of processes of inference in science and theology. My point is that in the example you gave the inferences being made are not of the same type, nor being made in the same way, nor on the same basis. You're strawman of how science works is what I was taking issue with.

Take your comments in context Gimpy. You were arguing that because in science some things are indirectly observed and based on inference that similar indirectly observed inferences from fields like theology could be considered to be similarly valid. My point is they cannot for several key reasons (reasons I note you admit, gods you are dishonest cunt aren't you?). We don't claim that whales absolutely definitely evolved from artiodactyls because of certain DIRECT observations of fossils and genes etc. What we DO say is that the most parsimonious model we can build for whale evolution based on current evidence is that artiodactyls are in the ancestral line (direct or indirect) of modern whales. That is LIGHT YEARS different from what you said. The nature of the inference being made is wildly different. THAT is why your false equivalence is wrong, and no doubt in your case deliberately dishonest.

The "wild tirade" as you call it is no such thing. It is a refutation of the claim you were making about the equivalence of data from disparate fields. What observations about the universe support a theological claim? None! Not one. Not even a sausage. Why? Because as you've had pointed out to you about a billion times now personal incredulity does not constitute evidence. Also good to remember is the plural of anecdote is not data. Theology uses observation and logic in reference to works based on it's own dogmatic, unquestionable axioms. As has been explained to you several times. This does not mean that the claims of theology are on equal footing with those of science. What it means is that in some areas of theology the tools that underpin science are used. The problem with theology is that it uses faith and revelation also, and they fuck the whole picture up, as explained above.

The false comparison you are making is that because we didn't see whales evolve from artiodactyls that the evidence is circumstantial thus circumstantial evidence from theology is as valid. First of all the relationship proposed between whales and artiodactyls is not as simple as your strawman (as pointed out). Second of all the evidence is not at all circumstantial but direct. You don't understand what is being discovered in the whale/artiodactyl example. The point is NOT that whales evolved from artiodactyls, but that similarities between two groups of organisms have been directly observed. That's it. One possible secondary implication of this is that the two populations could be related, but this is a probablistic argument based on the construction of parsimonious clades, not a concrete or tentative claim based on circumstantial evidence.

8) Me, one of the board's heavy hitters? Bwaaaahahahahaha. Hardly. Thanks for the flattery Gimpy, sadly for you, it's just another piece of taawdry bullshit from a practicallt sub-human piece of bigotted scum. Now do us all a favour and fuck off. There's a good troll.


Date: 2006/12/05 06:54:38, Link
Author: Louis

1) Hmmm did I misrepresent your comments about wanking tramps? Gosh! Unpleasant and dishonest isn't it? Dare I suggest that you possibly get it now? Although let's be blunt I didn't misrepresent what you originally said did I?

Here's the thread.

Here's the actual comment from Gimpy:

So a whole trainload of "men" just averted their eyes while a guy masturbated right in front of them, their women, and their children. Wimps.

[edit: Well, on a commuter train there probably weren't too many families. I stand behind my opinion. Wimps.]


By the way, Louis, if you're wondering if I back up my tough talk, the answer is yes. In fact, on separate occasions I've had thugs (one of them about 6'5'' or so) attempt to target me for racial violence. Nothing came from it when they saw I was ready to fight. In addition, I have to tell people to take their cell phones outside from time to time when I'm posting from this library. Then, there was the incident when....well, ya'll get the point. Accept it or reject it, the truth is there are still real men in the world, and almost all of them are conservative. I've seen too many video clips of strangers standing by while someone gets assaulted or even murdered. In fact, I once saw a clip where a young man was stabbing an elderly fellow on a bus. People were just quickly deboarding as if nothing serious was happening. One young gentleman just stood there, watching the assault. What cowards we've become!

Bolding mine.

A clear advocacy of violence against the mentally ill? Hmmm. Who'd have thunk it. Surely Gimpy if it's ok for you to spin Lenny's comments into a personal threat, when they're not, then isn't your comment about backing up your tough talk and fighting big 6'5'' muscley men (that must have excited you) an equally vile advocation of violence against the mentally ill? Tsk tsk Gimpy. You seem unaware that people have a) memories and b) the ability to Google at least as well as you.

2) Please go right ahead and summarise my arguments, anyone, please do. There's no shell games, no bait and switch, I've been saying the same darned things since the start. As of course Gimpy you would know if you could read for a modicum of comprehension.

Cribbed from the Skeptical Inquirer? LMFAO, naaaaah. It's called "having a memory" and "actually knowing what you're talking about" Gimpy. Two concepts I realise you are unfamiliar with.. This argument has been hashed out and won decades ago. Sorry but your ignorance and lack of familiarity with the basics of the claims you make will-he nill-he doesn't constitute either an argument or originality.

As for the rest of your schtick, you simply cannot follow an argument, despite having it explained to you at length several times in several different ways. With examples! Your stupidity does not constitute a contrary point.

3) As for Lenny's comments shall we see them in context?

(Oh and not everyone here is an atheist btw. I am, some others are, but many aren't. I would also argue that, despite my love of profanity and great annoyance at sub-human lying scum like you Gimpy, my ethics and morals are so far out of reach of someone like yourself that we border on being different species. After all, I at least can manage to be honest on an internet message board, make coherent arguments, admit where and when I am wrong or uncertain. All things that elude you Gimpy. I remember (vaguely) the school vicar at my prep school saying something (a quote I think) about one's moral character not being tested when someone is watching, but when no one is watching. Something along that line. Let's see, do you self confessedly troll message boards? Check. Do you dishonestly make straw versions of people's arguments? Check. Do you hide behind the distance and anonymity of the internet to talk trash, lie and obfuscate? Check, checkety check. Looks like nil points to you AGAIN Gimpy. Want me to go on? I have your whole posting history at ATBC to use as evidence. You on the other hand have naught but lies and deliberate distortions. Sucks to be you eh Gimpy?)

See it all here.


As the population of the US recently passes 300 million, it occurs to me that, in the US, good white aryans like Paley will very soon be . . . well . .  a minority.

One wonders how well Paley himself will then integrate into the, um, majority culture.

Or will Paley then advocate his own good white aryan version of "ethnic cleansing" . . . . ?

How about it, Paley?  Would you want your daughter to marry one of "those people" . . . . . . ?

Gimpy's reply:

As the population of the US recently passes 300 million, it occurs to me that, in the US, good white aryans like Paley will very soon be . . . well . .  a minority.

One wonders how well Paley himself will then integrate into the, um, majority culture.

This fact distresses more whites than you think. As for me, I don't care so long as the minority-majority culture doesn't find Western values evil white abstractions. If so, you'll be swinging next to me. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Or will Paley then advocate his own good white aryan version of "ethnic cleansing" . . . . ?

If ethnic cleansing ever happens (doubtful), it will be based on Mugabe's, not Hitler's, model. What's more likely is a heightened level of strife, with SWAT teams being a fixture in many high schools, not just California's. Hope it doesn't come to pass, but the preliminary evidence doesn't look so hot (heh).

How about it, Paley?  Would you want your daughter to marry one of "those people" . . . . . . ?

Since my future daughter will be mixed, she'll probably marry another mixed individual. But whomever she marries, (s)he has my support so long as (s)he's not someone like you. You know, an angry person who writes deceptive, poorly researched essays. If that ever happens, then you bet I'll be pissed.

Lenny's reply:

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 21 2006,14:56)

[This fact distresses more whites than you think.]

I live in Florida, Paley.  I'm quite aware how "distressed" "whites" are by it.

And I laugh at them and their "distress".

[As for me, I don't care so long as the minority-majority culture]

Wow, you can't even bring yourself to SAY it, can you, Paley . . . even when they are "the majority", you will STILL continue to view them (and speak of them) as "minorities", and will STILL see yourself as their superiors. . . .

They will be "the majority", Paley.  YOU will be the "minority".  Get used to it, and pray they will be more merciful towards you than your ilk have been towards them.  Me, I think turnabout is fair play.  And you might even learn a lesson or two from it.

I think you and your fellow aryans are in for some awfully rough times in the next few decades, Paley. . . . .

[doesn't find Western values evil white abstractions.]

I see, so it's OK for YOU to think THEIR values are evil, but it's *not* OK if THEY think YOUR values are evil.  They have to integrate into YOUR culture, but YOU don't have to integrate into THEIRS.  I guess you're too good for that or something, huh.

And, uh, what again did you and your fellow aryans plan on doing if the majority DO decide to make you integrate into their majority culture (ya know, Paley -- like the way you want the Muslims to integrate into yours, and then bitch and complain when they don't do it to your satisfaction . . .?)

I do not think you are going to enjoy the next few decades, Paley. . . .

[If so, you'll be swinging next to me.]

No, Paley --- I'll be helping them string you up. I don't like aryan supremacists very much. And I take great pleasure in their "distress".

Stephen Elliot then said:

Just woke up so maybe I am not comprehnding this corectly.

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Oct. 21 2006,16:57)
They will be "the majority", Paley.  YOU will be the "minority".  Get used to it, and pray they will be more merciful towards you than your ilk have been towards them.  Me, I think turnabout is fair play.  And you might even learn a lesson or two from it.

Are you saying that it is ok to discriminate on race, providing it is done against whites?

To which Lenny replied:

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 21 2006,22:52)
Just woke up so maybe I am not comprehnding this corectly.

 Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Oct. 21 2006,16:57)
They will be "the majority", Paley.  YOU will be the "minority".  Get used to it, and pray they will be more merciful towards you than your ilk have been towards them.  Me, I think turnabout is fair play.  And you might even learn a lesson or two from it.

Are you saying that it is ok to discriminate on race, providing it is done against whites?

Go back to sleep.  

I am saying that the good white aryans are not going to like what happens when they are the minority.  And it might teach them a lesson or two.

And I will laugh at them the entire time.  I think turnabout is fair play.

What I think is OK or not, matters not a whit. No one is going to ask my permission beforehand.

This has morphed into your new sig:

A lefty confesses:

"I do not think you are going to enjoy the next few decades, Paley. . . ."
[If so, you'll be swinging next to me.]
"No, Paley --- I'll be helping them string you up. I don't like aryan supremacists very much. And I take great pleasure in their 'distress'."

Any questions?

First and foremost, as can be seen from the linked thread and the in-order reposts and quotes above, the [If so, you'll be swinging next to me] comment was made by Gimpy BEFORE Lenny's "decades" comment.  Also the topic of this subsection of the thread was about the  "white, aryan supremacist" subset of "white" people, not the whole "white" people group. A fact clarified several times, not least in the reply Lenny made to Stephen Elliot above.

Remember Gimpy brought up the hanging imagery when referring to a shift in the racial makeup of American society.

You are quoting Lenny's words out of context in order to perpetuate a fictional, universal anti-white discrimination you believe exists on the basis on no evidence whatsoever.

While I don't agree with stringing anyone up, even racist bigots like you Gimpy, Lenny's comments were in context, based on an extension of a metaphor you used. Taking them deliberately out of context is dishonest. Gee what a surprise.

4) In my re-reading of certain threads, I came across a piece of profound and humbling wisdom from Shirley Knott:

Louis, and others, I share your frustration with Paley's Ghast, and have been wrestling with appropriate responses.
When someone so egregiously abuses the hospitality and good will of so many for so long, it seems that exclusion of the abuser is the only remedy with any hope of preserving the sociality of the gathering.  Banning would give him far more attention than the miserable little twunt deservers.
Therefore, I can only suggest that the only legitimate response is emphatic shunning.
GoP should be ignored, no responses to his lies and drivel should be posted -- aside from at most a note to 'see previous behavior patterns for a full explanation of why this wanker is being ignored'.  He is not a member of the community, he is not a welcome participant, he is not even so respectable as that complete loser afDave.  So, ignore him utterly and completely.

no hugs for thugs,
Shirley Knott

I hate to cede the "last word" (or in Gimpy's case, last lie) to a dishonest bigot, but there really is no point discussing anything with you. You are a proven self confessed lair and troll. It is a waste of my time to deal with you. Shirley is right. Good bye.


P.S. It always pays to remember that if one anally fists a donkey one comes away with only two things: a shitty fist and a pleased donkey. I'm tired of pleasing the donkey and getting shit on my fist.

P.P.S. "I might be paranoid, but that doesn't mean I'm without enemies." You grant yourself vastly more significance than you deserve. The fact that you are a demonstrated narcissist as well as bigot and liar has been mentioned before. Get help. I mean that both sincerely and seriously.

P.P.P.S. I've long thought that you are another datapoint in the nutter camp of "my views must be important because you're debating them". Looks like I was right. Again.

Date: 2006/12/05 07:53:36, Link
Author: Louis
Ok. Brace yourselves. I am going to say what I consider to be the first, genuinely controversial thing I have ever said at ATBC.

Are you sitting comfortably? Do you have a beer handy? Have you got tissues ready for the spit take and rage that will undoubtedly ensue?

Good, then I'll begin (Don't ya just LOVE "Listen with Mother"? Ach who says I can't take the piss out of myself):

I think that ALL the restrictions being placed on personal freedoms mentioned here (surveillance, tracking by phone, the EXCESSIVE airport security [minor stuff like X rays and bag searches not included] etc) especially those done in the name of "safety" and "protection from terrorism" are totally and completely unwarranted and the epitome of thoughtless evil and state control.

My grandparents all did their part in WWII, as I am sure the grandparents/parents/people of that age here did too. They were willing to die, to sacrifice the only life they had for the greater good. They were willing to die to prevent the loss of the freedoms we now enjoy and so easily throw away.

So am I.

I am more than happy to take the risk of being killed in a terrorist explosion (and I've been "narrowly" missed by 2! I was in London a street away from the London Bus bomb oon 7/7 and heading that way, and the IRA blew up my favourite bookshop in Bournemouth [I used to live there] as I was parking nearby to go to it. Personally speaking, these aren't "narrow" at all, they're insignificant coincidences. The point I'm making is that I am not unaware of how immediate such a threat can be).

If to retain my, scratch that, OUR civil liberties, the price is that I, my family, or my loved ones might be killed by terrorists, then that is a (tiny)  price I am more than willing to pay. My grandfathers both faced near certain death in order to preserve these very freedoms. Should I run away from an almost insignificant fraction of said mortal peril to "feel" safe?

"He who would trade his liberty for safety, deserves neither."

Who said that and why?

We (esp in the UK) are legislating ourselves right into an Orwellian nightmare. Just like the Germans of the 1920s I am certain that the atrocities commited by the German government and Volk a decade or two later are not going to happen here. BUT! Everywhere such atrocities HAVE happened on such a scale the reduction of civil liberties, the instigation of state interference in people's personal and private lives, and the Goering-esque rhetoric has preceeded it. It does not follow that this will always be the case, we may yet escape it, but it is a matter of undeniable historical fact that in every case such vileness has arisen, these things were vital supporting facets of it. We MUST learn from history. We MUST reinstate the vital freedoms we so carelessly give away and we MUST realise what the risks actually are.

Yes there are slavering hordes of UK/USA hating lunatics. Yes some of them have guns, bombs and the cash and will to use them. This can never and will never change. Even if we do impose a global or national, totalitarian, culturally homogenous, racially homogenous, politcal system this will still be the same. Nutters are here to stay, they ain't going anywhere.

The disaffected, disillusioned, poor, deprived, disgruntled and downright fucking batshit insane are always going to be with us. We cannot legislate to eradicate these facts of society. What we CAN do is minimise them and their ability to impact society as a whole. We ain't going to do this by invading their countries, killing their populaces and taking their material goods. Sorry but Imperialism don't work. Shit I'm part English, part Greek! We tried it and we tried it gooooood. It STILL didn't work. Doubt me? Look at the seperatist movements in Scotland and Wales. If you're really keen go to NI. These are people of ostensibly the same race, religion and culture who are still wittering on about what your 250 year's ago ancestor did to their 250 year's ago ancestor (with notable exceptions, most the English actions in NI being paramount amongst them. We really screwed the pooch on THAT one).

We also ain't gonna do this by crippling the rich and destroying the free market. The competative element that allows for obscenely rich people is vital to the success of any economic system. There are always going to be super-competitors. What we need to do is raise the bottom, not lower the top. Sure we need to place a higher tax burden onto those who can afford it, but since the majority of people above lower end of the middle national per capita income average can afford it, that shouldn't be a problem. We need to have a more transparent tax system, less stealth taxation. We need to take the concerns of the environment seriously, now not later, and we need to be brave enough to make real change and think for the long term rather than the short.

Nice soundbite eh? But it's still true. Which annoys me. We have at our disposal unprecedented human inventions and resources and we are still acting like frightened cave men. Hiding from the threats, failing to deal with them rationally and playing out our neolithic desires on a global stage. We have to learn or we inevitably hasten our own end.

By denying reality, by preferring fantasy and dogma to a reasoned understanding of the world around us we hasten the last days of our Rome. Our current comfort is a very recent and very very hard won luxury, that facets of it are unsustainable is undeniable, but that really doesn't mean too much. We're an inventive bunch. The fact is that we don't have the luxury of entertaining creationist propaganda in science class, or faith based programmes or selective faith schooling. We don't have the luxury of zionist foreign policies, abolishment of double jeapordy, abolishment of right to a free trial, the open use and support of torture, the derogation of dissent, the state control of an otherwise "free" press (no matter how vile or low brow). These are luxuries we don't have because they are incredibly hard won. They have been bought on the backs of generations, bought in blood.

Ah well. What the fuck do I know?


Date: 2006/12/06 13:00:38, Link
Author: Louis

Gaaa. In other words, no matter what Kristine would study there (just hypothetically, people) she would in all likelihood be tutored at no extra charge in The Female Hate Stare 101. Because all I have to do is walk into some situations where there are a lot of women (especially a church) to rub other women the wrong way. Don’t know how I do it. I get along much better with men; always have. (And that means men of all stripes; I’m a conservative magnet. I dated more conservatives in college than liberals.) Why? Beats me.


Are you confident and pretty with big tits? That usually does it my experience.*




*If so call this number.... {SMACK}....Sorry dear! Ah humour.

Date: 2006/12/06 14:50:14, Link
Author: Louis


Ok I need a new laptop. I just did a spit take with Bateman's Hop Bine Bitter (A lovely tipple from a great brewery, not computer friendly though).

Of COURSE I want to know about the third. I've always wondered if you were pretty.

Crank call away.



You are a graduate of Bob Jones? Well I'll be double dipped in dogshit, and there was I thinking you were human! You seem to have survived the experience all right though. Bravo. ;-)


Date: 2006/12/07 04:50:19, Link
Author: Louis

Bad hair day? I can see your issues with the serpents of this plane(t). There's something you can help me with, as a gorgeous gorgon that is. You know the hair on your head is actually snakes, well is that a {cough} erm "universal" problem? If so does it make getting a brazillian something the late great Steve Irwin would have to do as opposed to one's beautician? What brand of under arm deodorant do you use? Does a roll-on get gobbled up? Inquiring minds STILL want to know.


You got booted from BJU after one semester for thinking? Shortly after which you engaged in the game of horizontal table tennis?


Oh dear, I think I've just pissed a kidney laughing! That HAS to be the funniest thing I've read since what Kristine said a post or two ago. You guys cracketh me up.


Date: 2006/12/07 06:54:52, Link
Author: Louis
Let me be the first to say:


I'll be exceedingly glad when these IDCists and their ilk wake up and smell the 21st century.


Date: 2006/12/07 08:49:02, Link
Author: Louis

1) I am unwilling to be drawn into a troll distraction and dishonesty game, which this surely is. Since this is my field I will make this one comment.

If anyone else wants to start a seperate thread on possible abiogenesis mechanisms in which the troll is not permitted to comment then I'm more than willing to join in. I'm not playing with mindless trolls any more. I am totally unwilling to provide the education in basic chemistry that the troll lacks, not least because I cannot be bothered with endless quote mining and google trawling from someone who has neither the knowledge or ability to understand the subject. Honest enquiry is a good thing, dishonest trolling, baiting and attention whoring isn't.

2) The creationist second law of thermodynamics claims are the usual baseless creationist red herrings, bullshit and baloney. Don't believe the hype! One factor that creationists always ignore when invoking the second law of thermodynamics in chemical systems is that they are dealing with open systems. Bond forming processes normally involve the release of energy, usually (although by no means exclusively) as electromagnetic radiation in the IR region of the spectrum. In the creationist canard, as the entropy of the system decreases by bonding (which is bullshit anyway, polymers have vastly greater degrees of freedom than their component monomers for example) they omit the comensurate increase of entropy of the overall system.  There is no thermodynamic barrier to abiogenesis in general any more than there is a thermodynamic barrier to chemical bonding in general. The problem isn't that we don't know how abiogenesis COULD happen, but that we don't know how it DID happen.

The book cited by the troll has no merit and never had merit or any sting to retain. Thraxton and buddies were talking out of their arses in the 70s and still are. The objection is basically: "because we don't know the exact path taken, it's impossible", all the bloviating about polymerisation not being possible on crystal surfaces etc was bollocks disproven by decades of surface science research before the book was even written. There's little point "rebutting" lies and distortions.

3) Yes we have well known mechanisms for all possible stages of abiogenesis, what we don't know is which of a massive variety of possible routes to self replicating systems (the key intermediate needed for an evolutionary scenario) were taken. We also don't know for certain what the Ur-replicator was. It certainly wasn't anything as "advanced" as DNA, or possibly RNA, although this latter is a possible candidate for a variety of reasons. Key mechanisms for abiogenesis involve polymerisation,  encapsulation, auto-catalysis, mutually coupled replicating systems, self replicating systems and a whole host of other properties exhibited by naturally occuring molecules both on earth and even in some cases in space.

4) There are a huge variety of astrochemicals of varying degrees of complexity. Some of the most vital molecules, such as simple sugars, simple amino acids and aromatic hydrocarbons, all key monomers for known chemical systems in living systems, are found in space. There are even some dipeptides etc found in interstellar ices etc. As for the origins of homochirality, one need look no further than autocatalysis and perhaps circular dichroism. The Soai reaction, for example, whilst not even suggested as a point on the abiogenetic pathway, is a good example of a simple system in which chiral products are produced from achiral strating materials and in which the products autocatalyse not only their own formation but also which enantiomer of product is produced. This is a fascinating reaction to explore btw. The understanding of chelation, mixing effects and a whole host of chemical processes involved is not for the faint hearted. Or indeed anyone wiithout a serious amount of undergraduate and postgraduate organic chemistry in their heads I'm sad to say. Which is annoying because it's a great little reaction!

5) Some groups/work I can think of off the top of my head that those with a chemical bent might want to check out are the Rebek group at Scripps (although his work in self replication is a few years old now), Nigel Mason's group at the Open University UK, John Brown's group at Oxford, obviously Leslie Orgel's work, Donna Blackmond at Imperial (I think she's still there, amazing lady, every time I see her lecture I am in awe of how dedicated and bloody smart she is). A great but relatively obscure journal "The Origins of Life and the Evolution of Biospheres" is also an interesting read, mainly because it's surprisingly philosophical and non-technical in places.

Argh huge field, too much to even begin to encompass in anything approaching the detail required.


Date: 2006/12/07 16:37:46, Link
Author: Louis
Does anyone have anything to offer than one of the above?

Yes. But those of us who do are tired of casting pearls before swine


Date: 2006/12/08 09:48:11, Link
Author: Louis

I've been debating whether to comment or not for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that I'm fecking busy and cannot be arsed with (as I said) casting pearls before swine like the troll. The whole reason that pursuing this thread with the troll is worthless is because it is, yet again, an attempt to play silly buggers. Even when pretending to be reasonable the troll shows his true colours and thus fails.

What's the reason we've been given by the troll for taking the comments of Thraxton and chums seriously? Because they have PhDs in chemistry? So what? I have a PhD in chemistry and you'll note the troll's lack of keenness to accept my (or indeed any non creationist's) work or word in any fashion, especially in anything remotely like the way they accept the faux critique of people who agree with them. You'll note btw they often project this illogic onto others, as if the whole world thinks like they do. It's fascinating psychologically.

The whole argument from the creationists and the troll is the usual non sequitur: "I personally find something significant/insiginificant (dependant on the situation) and thus any comments that may reinforce my pre-existing conclusions are worth consideration". Look at the poncing about with regards to fine tuning as a great example. The argument amounts to no more than "LOOOK LOOOOOK!!!! It's SO significant!" covered up with phoney probability calculations and obfuscatory use of jargon they rarely understand. The Thraxton book is a joke, was a joke when it was published, and will remain a joke. Amusingly in complaining that scientists use techinical terms and owe them explanations the trolls and creobots of this world demonstrate a laudible skepticism. Unfortunately this skepticism seems only directed against those with whom they are precommitted to disagree, which is laess laudible. This of course is projected as well. Ah sweet irony.

Further evidence that this is yet another pointless gambit in the troll's game of being an annoying tit is the responses we're getting. When any reluctance to discuss any topic is expressed, based on the demonstrated and well recorded trolling behaviour exhibited, we get fake umbrage and insinuation (I'm shocked no one wants to  discuss this,implying that there must be some hidden problem), ridiculous bravado (you are incapable of answering the comments of creationists), and the usual obfuscation (this is about your dislike for creationists).

Another point to note is that it is assumed by the troll that the creationists have some genuine criticisms which need answering when they don't (as any tiny quantity of knowledge of the subjects in hand demonstrates). Also of note is the fact that, despite calling the troll's behaviour as it is (which is a distraction from any scientific topic other than aberrant psychology), there have been examples of key mechanisms and pointers to the lit and groups working in the area from both myself  and Dr GH and these have been ignored. Yet another data point in evidence that this is another troll bullshit saga.

Oh and whilst I think of it, if anyone has access (I do but no point posting a link because it requires payment of about $170 for non subscribers) there's a recent special issue of Phil Trans R Soc B on OOL research. There's also a technical conference in Florence next year (I think might be 2008, I've signed up but don't have the details to hand) for those interested. Check the ISSOL website ( for details.

This is why I've said that the best forum to discuss this interesting topic in is one troll free, which means the troll that started this thread is not able to join in. The troll seems ignorant of the fact that, as you pinted out, it isn't the creationists that have valid questions and critiques regarding any scientific field let alone this one, it's the people working in it.

For example, one criticism of OOL research I have is there's too many biologists! The OOL is a chemical problem, as indeed is the origin and operation of the cell. But I'm not greedy I'll let the bacteria bashers have a go! Ok so that's slightly tongue in cheek, but there is a serious point. We have all the mechanisms necessary for self replicating, replicator/effector and cellular chemical systems to evolve very well understood. That's not the problem. The problem is, in a sense a synthetic chemistry problem. We know reactions that have worked on similar chemical substrates to give products like those desired but we haven't done the synthesis on the system we really want, only on these models. We even know that some of the substrates we want are available to us in nature. With abiogenesis we have this slightly backwards, we still know all the reactions and where the substrates are, but we don't yet know what we're trying to make. To a synthetic chemist this is a bit of an interesting one because the one thing we usually do know is what we're trying to make! But I digress.

When discussing PNA world vs RNA world etc what's the point when people don't know the structures or chemistry of the molecules? Or how common the monomeric elements are in space/nature? Or even what the structural aspects mean? The problem is that this type of chemistry doesn't easily lend itself to colloquial discussion at a non technical level. At a technical level it's great. The answers to the troll's original questions are, as I've already said, "excellent", "yes", and "of course they are. That question is a non sequitur and exposes both the ignorance of the questioner and the dishonesty of those who try to obfuscate the issue". As mentioned before the entropy angle is a standard creationist red herring. Just like the "information" challenge. It's the sort of question which annoys rather than interests or informs because it's based either on ignorance or dishonesty. Of course when this is mentioned we get the revealing comments from the troll/creobot. Ignorance is not a problem, in fact of anyone had a problem with ignorance we'd be shooting undergrads at the start of term. Willful ignorance is a different bag.

Lenny, you ask an excellent question. On what basis does the troll think that the comments of creationists like Thraxton have any merit at all? Why does the troll think that scientists owe him an answer or Thraxton's nonsense anything other than the annoyed contempt it deserves? Why do creationist lies seem to get a "by" when it comes to these discussions with the troll?

I imagine the answers, or indeed the evasion of them I expect, will be illuminating.


Date: 2006/12/08 16:44:55, Link
Author: Louis

I was joking about the too many biologists in field part. I married a biologist you can never have too many of them in my book. My point was that the problem of abiogenesis is essentially a chemical one. I'm all for interdisciplinary collaboration. The trips are better! And, more importantly, as one progresses from the physics end of the scientific spectrum towards the biological end of the scientific spectrum you get more and better looking women. Whilst TAing an undergrad lab many moons ago we had three groups in: one from BSc chemistry with biochem, one from straight unadulterated BSc chemistry, and one from BSc chemistry with material science and solid state physics. It was remarked upon that human female pulchritude varied considerably between the groups. It was noted that those students of a more biological bent were generally capable of having a shower, looking halfway decent, and were generally quite sexy. However those of a more physical persuasion looked like a day out from the serious youth sex offenders institute. {shrug} Eh, go figure!

Anyway back to the tawdry reality of discussing anything near the troll. The troll is playing his game of duelling authorities again, and has avoided the question (surprise surprise). Why should we expect Thraxton et al to have raised a valid problem? The fact that Thraxton has a PhD seems to have been the only reason given thus far, except of course that the troll find certain things "personally compelling".

My answers to the troll's original questions were not precisely as you stated btw.

The answers to the troll's original questions are, as I've already said, "excellent", "yes", and "of course they are. That question is a non sequitur and exposes both the ignorance of the questioner and the dishonesty of those who try to obfuscate the issue". As mentioned before the entropy angle is a standard creationist red herring. Just like the "information" challenge. It's the sort of question which annoys rather than interests or informs because it's based either on ignorance or dishonesty.

We find naturally occuring polymers in non-biological sources, we know that life is not in anyway a necessary condition for polymerisation. We know that naturally occuring amphiphilic molecules form bilayers, or even at certain critical concentrations "cell like" micelles. We know that near racemic autocatalytic systems can "run away" to produce highly enantiopure products. We know about microscopic reversibility and Hammet's postulate and a wide variety of kinetic and thermodynamic properties that influence the course of reactions. NONE of these things, not a single one, provides one tiny problem for the perfectly natural origins of self replicating or cellular chemical systems. As for configurational entropy hurdles, these indeed exist....perhaps not in that configuration of words (or as Thraxton and buddies use it), but entropy does provide  a hinderance in certain circumstances. Simply put if you are trying to perform a cyclisation reaction there is an entropic factor involved in the competing cyclisation and  polymerisation processes. This becomes very important when one is trying to make large (i.e. macro) cyclic molecules. The long floppy molecule has so many degrees of freedom that it is entropically unfavourable for the two ends to meet, so the competing polymerisation reaction gets alook in. Concentration plays a big part in this, in more dilute reactions two molecules are less likely to come together so the macrocyclisation process becomes more favoured. Ah the joys of chemistry!

Anyway, all this is meaningless fun because the troll hasn't justified why anyone should take his non sequitur questions or the blindingly dull lies of Thraxton and chums seriously at all. This justification interests me for a key reason: why should we expect the comments of creationists with abominable track records and openly admitted agendae to be of any relevance at all?

After all abiogenesis research is fascinating and technical, why should we waste our time explaining the fringes of chemical research to someone with a demonstrated inability to comprehend school science, basic logic or even show evidence of the most basic amoount of intellectual honesty? My answer would be that we shouldn't, especially as the troll has yet again demonstrated on this thread that he can't think for shit and isn't interested in the information, just point scoring and all round wankery.

The point is not about demonstrating the incorrectness of the calculations, the point is that the calculations are irrelevant. Pointless window dressing designed purely to obfuscate and hide the fact that these guys have no actual argument. Same shit, different day.


Date: 2006/12/08 17:25:16, Link
Author: Louis
Ogee Part 2:

Is there then, some differentiation of substrates at this point?

Not a relevant one I can think of.

Is there research that is creating some form of peptide based replicating compound? I mean, you don't know which compounds you are shooting for, wouldn't it make a difference?

I'm sure I read some recently, I'll see what I can dig out next week when I'm back in work and have access to the online lit. I seem to remember (possibly incorrectly) that the Rebek group's work used peptides.

Are you looking at non enzymatic ligation systems and guessing at interesting ways to produce covalent bonds?

Not me personally at the moment, but the answer to this is definitely yes. The "chemzyme", organocatalyst and organometallic filed are filled with this stuff. It's enoough material for a degree in chemistry, we might need to narrow ot down somewhat! For example, iron sulfide nodules catalyse certain chemistries, as do zeolites (clays etc). They do this via a huge number of different mechanisms. Some involve adsorption (a classic eg is Pd/C catalysed hydrogenation), some involve acid or base promotion of reaction in both a Lewis and Bronsted sense, some involve a templation, some just bring reagents into close proximity and some involve a reduction of the degrees of freedom a reagent has by encapsulating it.

That seems kind of random. How do you know which ones you want? Are you modeling these using software then I assume?

Believe me it's not being done randomnly at all! We know what sorts of systems to look at from all fields. Seriously the PNA/RNA stuff is fascinating, but it's the "higher" end kind of system. I would be very very very surprised if anything as "high tech" as polymeric RNA were the Ur-replicator. I wouldn't be at all surprised if simple nucleic acids were involved (they aren't exactly complex molecules from a chem standpoint) early on, and simple peptides and dipeptides also occur without biological intervention. Things like glycine are found in space for example. These again are exceedingly simple multifunctional molecules by comparison to anything large and biological.

I understand we are talking about the chemistry but you are assuming that you are going to try to create what? full-on RNA? A cell? Something that has been described biologically already?

Synthesising DNA/RNA etc is a simple matter and a really common research field today esp in antisense/antigene therapeutics, or trying to change DNA structure by putting in "unnatural" segments  for example. Again MASSIVE field, difficult to condense to a paragraph. Same goes for peptide chem, these things are relatively easy to make (Barry Sharpless, a recent org chem Novel laureate has started this field call "click chemistry" which involves using highly enthalpically favoured reactions like peptide bond formations using molcules predisposed to form these bonds (sprung loaded molecules) to rapidly build molecular complexity and probe structure/biological activity relationships. Ok so there's more to it than that, but that's the basics.

I think I am missing your point. Are you talking about engineering from a schematic which you can't read or needing to engineer one small part for a larger machine and you have no schematic for that part?

In terms of developing systems which do the things we want to explore like self replication, that's standard chemistry type research. Pinpointing the specific path taken from molecules to man as it were, apart from being nigh in impossible, is precisely trying to engineer without a schematic, or indeed any idea of which things happened in which order. But hey, it keeps me in a job!

Maybe more specifically, what are biologists doing that you would critisize as hindering or obfuscating?

Nothing at all, I was being humourous and unintentionally a complete arse apparently! OOL research is massively multidisciplinary. AT the moment it's gone beyond the "three blind men describing the elephant" stage, we're all on the same page talking about the same thing. We just don't know if it's a pygmy, Indian, African, Mamoth, or pink floating hangover elephant yet though! The bio guys tend to look top down, which is really useful, sort of like reverse engineering the problem from the advanced systems like DNA we have now. Tough bunnies. Mainly because the "fossil" chemical systems the preceded it are very good food for millions of microbes the planet over. These are fossils we aren't going to "dig up" with any ease!

Also, what is the current state of the art for PNA ligation? (I have never studied this in depth, although one of the labs we use does more normal DNA cloning and I am familiar with the methodology)

No clue! Not a field I've done any research in and sonly something I know the basics about. I can also try to dig something out next week. Remind me! Don't let me forget because I've finished the report with the patent boys that has kept me chained to a PC (YUCK BLECH) for weeks and I can now be back in lab playing with carcinogens and chemical weapons (one of the precursors in some chemistry I was doing a few months back was something used by the Germans in WW1 to gas punters. It's actually really innocuous compared to the other stuff I use, but it's always amusing to have to explain to your boss why you are ordering a chemical weapon: "Erm well, my neighbours have this fucking dog....")

Hope some of that helps.


Date: 2006/12/09 05:05:26, Link
Author: Louis


My most sincere and humble apologies. Ayee, what a maroon I am! Brain was clearly not engaged, gob opened first. My bad. Lordy, I seem to have unwittingly tapped into a personal source of inner tard! Never a good thing. I shall rush off after this post and beat myself with a copy of Stryer (ok it's biochem, gimme a break) forthwith, if not fifthwith.

For the record, I absolutely categorically have no problem with biologists/biology in any way shape or form. In fact I am seriously considering changing field and becoming a biologist (I've made enquiries with an evolutionary biologist mate of mine, what will come of it is a different matter). Anyone who says biology is stamp collecting or naming stuff or secretarial work a) has never done any biology, b) is a seriously deluded wanker without clue or ability to find clue, c) if a scientist of any stripe, is probably a physicist who has never had sex with a girl, for the reasons mentioned in previous post. After all some of those chem/physics duel majors I TAd had acne you could hear!

Personally I don't find the Ancient Greek demarkation between fields of study to be useful in any intellectual sense, merely a conversational one. I've always said I'm a scientist who happens to be focussed on chemistry rather than a chemist who is interested in broader science. I have to admit I've never understood those of my colleagues for whom this is just a job. I'm an intolerant bastard, sue me!

There was an article in Nature (I think) by George Whitesides and others a while ago about "what chemists want" and of all the "big questions" that chemists needed to answer the one that everyone would really recognise is the origin of life. It's such a massively multidisciplinary area that one narrow group of punters aren't going to be enough. Geochemists and astrochemists need to discover relevant chemicals in the universe (and have done) even discovering processes that initial organic polymerisation and other reactions(and they have done) and pick out the  well hidden fossil traces of early life (and they have done).  Astrobiologists and evolutionary biologists and cell biologists and microbiologists and biochemists need to figure out which pathways and chemistry is essential to modern life (and they have done). Synthetic chemists need to look for the clues in the chemistry and biochemistry of secondary metabolites (not really being done yet, this is my idea, shhhhhh keep it under your hat! ) and need to develop reactions that can mimic key biological processes (definitely done, A LOT. #### we can improve on some processes) and need to actually try to recreate prebiotic chemistry at every level (done in every area, but we still don't know what did happen, just what could). Oh dear I've come over all girly and excited again...

As for the TNA that Lenny and Skeptic mention, ypu fascinating area of enquiry. Still comparitively high tech to some self replicating systems, and given the preponderance of simple amino acids in prebiotic chemistry their certainly a possible candidate. Unlike Skeptic I'd guess that proteins are still far too high tech to be the Ur-replicator.

My guess would be for something far simpler. For example, look at the systems of Rebek and coworkers (sorry there's no point linking the articles they're proper lit for subscribers anyway. I might, if I get a chance, draw a few things up on chemdraw next week and post the pics.). The point is that we don't need to go as high tech as known biopolymers or their analogues to find self replicating molecules. Yet again my old favourite of the Soai reaction is a  good example of one of the necessary processes for self replication: autocatalysis (the product catalyses it's own formation. The story is a little more complicated as you can read in Donna Blackmond's paper below). A couple of PNAS articles on the Soai Reaction:

Here and here.

I just did a quick google for Rebek's work (I only know him from the lit. I forget google when it comes to real science, which can a bit of a sin. When you have Scifinder and Beilstein you forget that Google is your friend). Below are some links that people might be able to get access. This is all really off the cuff so for the real deal wait until I'm back at work next week.

Abstract 1, Abstract 2, Broad article about self replication, Wikipedia on Rebek.

Hope these whet people's appetites.


P.S. Being accused of "literature bluffing" (what the fuck is that??) by the troll nearly made me fall of my chair laughing. What a totally pointless wanker that troll is. Only turds like the troll need to bluff, some of us know what we're talking about. As has been demonstrated on every thread and every topic dammit! Aieee why is my life cluttered with wazzarks, trolls and fundamentalists?

P.P.S. Lenny I presume you meant TNA rather than T 'n' A? ;-)

Date: 2006/12/09 05:34:20, Link
Author: Louis

My main sticking point is still, outside of the limited catalytic properties of RNA, the nucleic acids are still largely acted upon by enzymes.  This still makes the proteins a better candidate for the initial self-replicator, in my mind.

Stick no further, no one has ever proposed that "modern, high tech" nucleic acids found in biological systems are anything like the Ur-replicator. RNA is only a possible mid candidate because it requires less effector molecules. Your lack of ability to imagine intermediates, or the lack of current exact systems does not constitute evidence, nor does it make skepticism about abiogenesis reasoned or reasonable.

Louis, I love seeing you in your element.  Here's something I ran across today that raises (I think) more questions than it answers.  Personally I love that!

RNA-Heredity Molecule?

By the way, I'd personally like to thank GoP for the thread.  I'd sortof forgotten about PNAs and after he brought it up I went back and did some reading last night.  Fascinating stuff.  I have some reservations but they actually apply to both RNA and PNA, as I've stated before I'm an advocate of "the protein world" but it's still great stuff.

And what does that article have to do with anything other than RNA can carry heritable information (which we already knew btw). More questions than it answers is great, but this is almost supremely irrelevant to prebiotic chemistry.  RNA world, PNA world, TNA world, Protein world are possible high tech intermediates en route. The chemistry doesn't need to be even remotely that complex, and the substrates don't need to be anywhere near that complex for self replicating systems, autocatalytic systems, or polymeric systems to develop without "biology".


P.S. Don't thank the troll. Mind you I'm not surprised you do. Birds of an irrational feather.... He's playing silly buggers, never think for a second that the troll is being honest. He isn't. The troll hasn't managed honesty once yet, why should anyone expect that the troll is even capable of such a feat? The troll started this thread because he knew I lack anything remotely resembling the self control not to comment. I still think the troll needs to go. Good trolls are useful. Bad trolls are annoying. Your pose as a "scientific" skeptic regarding evolution etc is an excellent case in point. When I discuss quantum physics or evolutionary biology, subjects I don't work in but have some experience and interest in, guess what? I don't bother to discuss them with "skeptics" like you and the troll. What's the point? I discuss them with people who actually know something about them, and who actually work in them. Then and only then do I start looking for problems, new ideas, areas to explore etc. I'm rarely disappointed. Usually all the holes I can think of have been plugged before I got there, occasionally not, and those are the bits that get/got me/a friend funding! That's science baby, not pricking about with the asinine witterings of trolls, the fundamentally ignorant, or the deliberately dishonest and deluded.


Date: 2006/12/09 05:59:47, Link
Author: Louis

As I think of it, the issue that really bugs me whenever this topic comes up, is what do those with a "problem" (read religious predisposition to bullshit and obfuscate and piss about) with abiogenesis. What do these people think "life" is? Are viruses "alive"? Prions? What does being "alive" mean? Why do people see the need to inject this red herring of a demarkation between a rock and a pig? Both are chemical systems, one is more complex than another, but chop them both up and you won't find one atom of "life".

Ok so I am being slightly facecious about this. "Life" is a degree of organised complexity and complex adaptivity that is destroyed by such chopping up. Why insert supernatural souls and claim an elan vitale when no such thing exists (demonstrably). Wohler did away with this crap before Darwin came along. Why do people insist on these antique vitalist notions?

This is why abiogenesis is a "sticking point" (blech) for so many, because people have decided before encountering the evidence that life is a special super dooper extra banana non naturalistic god given pressie from the great super fairy in the sky that watches you masturbate. Couple that with the "ghost in the machine" illusions we pretty much all have (me included) and the hugely culturally enshrined aspects of the belief that there is a homunculus behind your eyes working the controls, and you have a huge burden of bullshit to shift.


Date: 2006/12/10 09:47:03, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for that, fascinating and relevant paper. I think people (me included!! ) often forget how favourable (energetically) certain protein folding conformations are. The similarities between, for example, some elements of solution and solid state protein structures can be quite striking in some respects.

A lot of the creationist crap I see has the standard "deck of cards" problems wuth this kind of thing, i.e. they whine on about how improbable certain configurations are whilst ignoring that from the standpoint of their calculations all configurations are equally improbable. The next "unfortunate" thing for the creationists is they almost exclusively ignore the underlying physics. Not all conformations are energetically equivalent, and evolution doesn't only apply to biological systems. More stable conformations, or in the case of abiogenesis, more fecund/accurate/efficient self replicators (something that can be influence by conformation for example, e.g. Soai reaction...again! ) are going to be more favoured (i.e. hang around longer, produce more "offspring" etc etc). We have exactly the things we need for an evolutionary scenario: a gradient along which certain qualities can locate, a huge range of accessible possible locations which have different consequences (e.g. biological activity related to structure), a huge stock of raw materials, and wodges of time compared to the speed of processes involved. Fun fun fun.


Date: 2006/12/11 08:04:58, Link
Author: Louis

His intellectual laziness extends to the use of any fallacy, any lie, any rhetorical gambit that will keep others cutting up, chewing and digesting data for him, so that he doesn't have to do that actual work for himself.

And this is exactly what the other trolls do. The motivations are different but the actions are the same. For the other troll it's more:

His intellectual laziness extends to the use of any fallacy, any lie, any rhetorical gambit that will allow him to convince himself that he is "winning at teh intarnetz" or espouse his latest prejudiced tirade against foreigners, people of different religions or none, and "libruls".

My modifications. Again with this quote

This whole "creator god hypothesis" itself is merely a ploy to get information spoon-fed to him in childlike terms, so he can then turn around and try to pervert the minds of children -- some of the most vulnerable members of any society.

The other troll line is more:

This whole "insert any topic here" itself is merely a ploy to get information spoon-fed to him in childlike terms, so he can then turn around and try to justify his predecided faith position by claiming that the irrelevant claims of creationists are somehow "unrefuted". He's trying to intellectualise his dying faith and bigotry, and failing monumentally.

Note ALL we ever get with these trolls/loons is arguments from personal incredulity gussied up in fancy words that, usually, we provide them with. The really sad thing is that it extends from the Berlinskis and Dembskis of this world (who are by no means stupid in any normal or valid sense of the word) right to the Pope and multitudes of archbishops and down to the likes of AFDave and the Tardmeister. I am rapidly becoming convinced of the fact that all these message board trolls are doing is creating false conflicts in order to convince themselves that their asinine views are somehow legitmised by being engaged. It's a classic fallacy.


Date: 2006/12/13 06:35:20, Link
Author: Louis

Ok I'll bite ;)

 Global warming is a hoax, invented in 1988, that combines old myths including limits to growth, sustainability, the population growth time bomb, the depletion of resources, pollution, anti-Americanism and anti-corporate sentiment and, of all things, fear of an ice age. Those that espoused and supported the old myths have joined forced into a new group called “Environmentalists.”

Most environmentalists have no technical or scientific credentials whatsoever. What they have are major news outlets ready and willing to publicize their every utterance regardless of whether or not they are backed up by scientific proof. Atmospheric science requires highly technical knowledge and skills, not possessed by the vast majority of the so-called environmentalists, who yet feel qualified to demand that human activity subjugate itself to the whims of their new deity, Mother Nature.

Environmentalists claim that the Earth’s atmosphere is getting hotter. They claim that the polar icecaps and glaciers will melt and sea levels will rise over two hundred feet, flooding most coastal cities. They claim that many areas of the Earth will turn into deserts. They make all these claims but cannot substantiate them with real scientific evidence. Parts of the polar icecap and glaciers are melting but other areas of the polar icecaps and glaciers are thickening. The environmentalists base their “proof” of the existence of global warming on the melting areas but are strangely silent, even militant to the point of violence, if anyone mentions the areas that are thickening, and those thickening areas are many.

You know, as someone who is exceptionally concerned about environmental issues and the demonstrableand rapid changes human activities are having on the planet, I'd agree with almost all of that quote. Except the bits in bold and with the one caveat that the word "some" is inserted before every instance of "environmentalist". Ok so it changes the entire sense of the piece and means I agree with none of it. Big whoop!

Hey there are nutters in the environmentalist movement, film at 11!

Yes of course some loony lefties and weirdy beardy Dame Nature luvvin' anti-Yank anti-McGovernment fruitcakes have leapt onto the coat tailsof real scientists studying the environment. And so what?  Are all christians young earth creationists now? Are all pastors gay hooker loving methamphetamine freaks? Are all republicans Hitler (do I win the Godwin award?)?

Answers to above questions: Shock horror. No. No. No.

What annoys me about (presumably) the people who write crap like this first is they use the fringe beardy weirdy element who couldn't find a clue with both hands, a map and a sherpa to #### the rest by association. Kinda like the fact that I get annoyed by the "all religious people are fundamentalists" band of atheists (who are thankfully much much rarer than certain people emulating the antics of interbellum British Prime Ministers would have us believe).

I think the plutocratic, grind the poor and hungry under my boot heel, Gott Mit Uns corporatistas (see I can play "loony fringes represent the majority" fallacies too! ) should wake up and smell the coffee:

1) Climate change is happening, always has, always will
2) There is an anthropogenic element to climate change which is exacerbating and accelerating certain elements of said change.
3) Climate change, anthropogenic or otherwise, has consequences for human civilisation (and those footling millions of unimportant "lesser species" who weren't elevated by, ya know, the great sky fairy who watches you masturbate and knows if you've been naughty or nice).
4) Some of those changes will be nice. Some of those changes will be nasty. Some of those changes will be things we humans and the biosphere can easily adapt to/overcome with future ingenuity. Some will be less tractable.
5) Some of the changes that are affected by anthopogenic activities will fall into all the categories outlined in 4) above.
6) We need to fully understand (and luckily in some cases we do) the consequences of those changes due to anthropogenic activities. Some of them are relatively innocuous, some ain't. We need to ask ourselves if the less than innocuous consequences are ones we can live with.

The environmental issue is horribly muddied by the wankery and party politicising. In some cases we have really really clear evidence that anthropogenic sources of environmental change are leading to really unpalatable consequences. In some cases we don't. It really is that simple. Global warming data, ozone depletion data, localised polution data, data regarding sustainability and use of resources are really really good. We know how much of an effect driving to work has on the environment to a high degree of predictability. We know there are aspects of our habits we need to change.

Whenever I engage in the environmental debate I always get the "ahhh but what about the future technologies we don't yet have?" from the antienvironmentalists. I agree wholeheartedly with them and say "what about the alternative technoologies we DO have?". For example, if all homes could recycle waste and rainwater (depending on locale etc) and be mostly powered by personal wind turbines (again depending on locale), despite initial set up costs, wouldn't that be a massic ECONOMIC benefit right NOW? Ok so we hug a few trees into the bargain as a bonus. Our utility prices drop, we have more power/cash available energy for pizza ovens, washing machines and a whole host of nicely priced consumer durables. We could move to less oil powered industry/homes/vehicles (perhaps using electric motors, perhaps some other technologies) this makes the reliance of Europe and the USA on OPEC nations and foreign naughty persons less significant (who knows, world peace might ensue? Naaaaaaah. Killing foreigners is just too much fun! ) which in turn benefits our economies NOW. Oh and apparently pollution goes down too, as well as those anthropogenic of know global warmers etc.

Ok so I am being slightly overly simplistic and flippant. Fucking sue me. My incredibly simple point is this; there are economic and social benefits available NOW for changing certain habits that also appear to have environmental benefits associated with them. You may prefer we do them for the environmental reasons, and so would I, but some may not. Like all political conflicts, this one will be won by pointing out the material costs and benefits. "Swampy" in his hand carved tree hut over the latest motorway route to be built doesn't care about the science, neither does Mr McBillionaireplanetrapingplutocrat. They're both pushing agendas. However, the latter might just be convinced that his portfolio will suffer if he doesn't act, the former has fundy issues.

Just like the attacks on evolutionary biology however, environmental science is under attack by a bunch of people with vested interests (and also is being misused by similarly vested people) and not a care in the world for the facts. Just like the war against creationists, this won't simply be won by pointing out the facts to them, they don't  care about the facts. The facts were in a looooooong while ago and they didn't give a toss about them then. They don't give a toss about them now either. One of the smartest things I  have ever heard anyone say was by Lenny Flank: in a contest between god and mammon, mammon always wins. It might not be original or even his, I don't know. What I do know is that you can win the plutocrats over by pointing to probable profit losses. You can partially win some quasi-creationists over by similar appeals. Sure the Hams and Hovinds aren't worried about the cash (did I just say that???? ) in the sense that they'll be won over by claims of science based business in the USA failing (that's pretty much what they think they want in some senses), but "Average Joe Know Nothing About The Issue But Have Strong Sense of Cultural Identity About Creationism" will listen harder when his mortgage rates might fly up and his kids can't get jobs. Same goes for the einvironment. Point out that changing some habits has real economic benefits right now, people will liisten more acutely. Heck, they might even start to look at the evidence and realise it's a good idea environmentally too, but I won't hold my breath.


Date: 2006/12/13 07:07:20, Link
Author: Louis
As for drugs:

Easy. Prohibition hasn't worked, it can't work. Legalise and tax drug use. Addicts are (usually) victims first not criminals first. Get the illegal drugs market under govt control (should piss off a few criminals), give addicts what they need (they get it already, just by stealing my VCR...bastards), and gradually ween them off their junk if possible. Same goes for hookers too. Legalise it, control it, try not to make it the option of last resort for anyone. Zero tolerance just makes the hole in the net too wide, people fall through, lots and lots of them.


P.S. Any other problems you need sorting, I have a free morning. Oh ok I'm joking. Were it really that simple

Date: 2006/12/13 07:50:37, Link
Author: Louis
"Daddy, if there were nuts on my wall, would they be walnuts?"

"Sure son."

"Daddy, if there were nuts on my chest, would they be chestnuts?"

"Sure son."

"Daddy, if there were nuts on my chin, would they be chinnuts?"

"No son. You'd have a dick in your mouth."

Which reminds me, I'm not gay, but my boyfriend's a flaming homo.

Thank you, please tip your waitress.

{taps mic}

Is this thing on? Am I too hip for the room?


P.S. Soy makes you gay? Dude, nigh on 2 billion Chinese can't be wrong, they have to have laws to curb all the fucking in China! Soy makes you gay, my arse! Next you'll be telling me that lovely, stubbly man George Michael is gay. He is? But all the girls love him!

Date: 2006/12/13 11:32:05, Link
Author: Louis
Fuck off troll. Not only have your tawdry little claims been demonstrated to be false umpteen times (despite your manifest delusions to the contrary), but you are simply making a total joke of yourself. You've had everything explained to you several times very clearly. You're inability to read for comprehension, follow an argument for comprehension, or indeed operate intellectually above the level of deceased houseplant is a) noted YET again, and b) not evidence of anything other than your stupidity.

How about you dredge up a few more medicinal chemistry papers by google trawling and pretending they are relevant to abiogenesis? Fuckwit.


Date: 2006/12/14 04:52:55, Link
Author: Louis
Cheers Lou.

I found it as someone else's avatar somewhere else (Can't remember where).

Pretty much sums up my attitude to trolls. I thought it would be an amusing addition.


Date: 2006/12/14 05:41:14, Link
Author: Louis
In no particular order:

That's it. No data needed. No studies needed. Shut up the people who are ruining the party.

I am fascinated by the instant responses by laymen to science papers that make news. What makes them so vitriolic? They feel threatened I suppose.

This is along the lines of what I think richard dawkins means when he points out how difficult it is to believe you are napoleon because so few people will go along with you but it is easy to believe in environmentalist scare tactics or the sky daddy or the evils of drugs or whatever when you have a group of people helping you create your unreality.

So how come we bite when these stupid challenges are issued? I think because we implicitly get the implications for letting people be misled in this specific kind of way.


Love the edit, I agreed with your implied point before, and I agree with your expanded point even more!

I am also curious about why people with absolutely no clue about a subject feel that they have the right to spout off about it AND be correct AND listened to. The "AND"s are important. Anyone is free to pontificate on any topic. Anyone is free to express any opinion they like. What anyone is NOT free to do is be correct simply because they think they are. Facts and evidence do matter, shock horror.

I think a great example of this is the latest scurrillous efforts by the troll on the abiogenesis thread. To anyone with a clue about chemistry he's googletrawling concepts he manifestly doesn't understand and misapplying them based purely on one thing. That one thing is his personal predisposition to accept creationist comments and arguments wholecloth, and then attempt to shift the burden of proof to people in the relevant field who actually do the work and understand why the comments of creationists aren't relevant or accurate. It doesn't matter how many times or how clearly this is explained, the same irrelevancies are rehashed. It's a bit tiresome to be frank.

What I really have no idea about is how to effectively combat it. In the really hard wired cases, no amount of evidence has an effect. This I think is one of the key elements of the "Evangelical Atheists vs Chamberlain Group" shennanigans. One of the strawmen I see being chucked around there is the "you're not going to win people over by simply pointing them to the evidence and telling them they were wrong" strawman. The same goes, as I aluded to above, for the drugs/environment etc issues. There are a huge quantity of unstated assumptions and fears that these people are operating from that simply never see the light of day. That's at least one good reason to pursue a strategy that appeals to these hidden assumptions and fears. Like my example above, most of the environmental science deniers I encounter base it on the undoubted financial upheaval some of the required measures would cause. Appealing to the financial advantages that some of the required measures do have might sneak past the wall of unstated fears and assumptions and actually allow a trickle of evidence to get through.

Eh, I'm an optimist!


Date: 2006/12/14 08:08:50, Link
Author: Louis

I'm not sure I'd remove private owned transport utterly, our economy is too heavily based on the ability of people to move greater distances than before, almost at will. I'd also argue that there would be unpleasant social consequences. That aside I WOULD change the fuel used, or rather whatever it is we use to power transport. Move away from fossil fuels and to....hydrogen cells etc etc etc etc etc. There are myriad technological solutions, or possible technological solutions. Obviously there's going to be a transitionary period between old and new. What we have to hope is that our current emissions, and the emissions during the transitionary period are nto sufficient to cause environmental runaway. There are things we can do to minimise that: carbon sequestration, planting forests of quick growing trees, building old fashioned paper libraries (good store of carbon your average book! ), and myriad more serious suggestions!

As for legalising drugs and prostitution. Absolutely. Stick 'em under govt control. Standardise pricing, manufacturing standards etc. Treat victims as people who are ill not as criminals (unless they are criminals) etc.

Mind you there is huge comedy potential here. How do you standardise prostitution? You surely can't standardise pricing, after all who would pay the same for a right old trout as a total stunner? How the heck are you going to develop a ranking system for varied pricing?  Yikes! "I'm sorry Miss Smith, but you are only a grade 2 listed hooker. You need to get at least some reconstructive surgery on your face and a breast upgrade to 34 DD to make grade 3.". Or perhaps "I'm sorry Mr Jones but your small penis is limiting you to a Grade 1 He-Whore, surgery is always an option, but perhaps you would be better focussing on your cunnilingus which is apparently awful. Remember your pay rise and end of year bonus depends on you meeting sales targets and customer satisfaction standards as laid out in the European Directive no. 17652383 part b "He-Whores, Man-Hos and Boy-Bitches: a guide to performance related pay and career development in public sector prostitution". Have you considered a sex change? With your bone structure I'm sure we could have you upgrade to a grade 2 Tranny-Fanny in no time."

Hmmm perhaps not.


P.S. The phrase "government registered prostitute" conjures up large Russian wrestling lady images for me. I'm not sure why. "You vill lie down and recieve your government standard oral sex now Mr Smith.". Double yikes.

Date: 2006/12/14 08:33:50, Link
Author: Louis
Ahhhhhh! I get it now.

{smacks forehead}

Apologies for being so dense. Because I used the word "zionist" I am an anti semite like Mel Gibson right?

Ooops no. Wrong. As Jon Ronson found with David Ike, sometimes an alien space lizard running the world is just an alien space lizard, not a euphanism for Jewish people.  

The "zionist" foreign policy I refered to previously is the apocolyptic, armageddon hurrying desire of lunatics for the rapture, which sadly some prominent American politicians and commentators think is a good idea. Nuclear war is good because it's part of the bible etc. Not a series of ideas I subsribe to btw. The blinkered support of Israel good or bad by the USA and the UK and others is doing no one any favours. That's not antisemetic, that's anti-some-aspects-of-Israeli-policy-ist. See the difference? I doubt it.

As for you troll, well sorry chum, but making jokes about you being a closet case does not make me a homophobe. Sorry, you lose. Being anti certain aspects of USA, UK and Israeli foreign and domestic policy does not make me an anti semite. Sorry, you lose again.

Of course feel free to repeat your lies and distortions. They are after all amusingly pathetic. There's no need to explain this to you again, it's been done very effectively before. Nice try though. Cover your own obvious bigotry by trying to claim someone else is a bigot. You'll have to do better than that troll. Simply mentioning something vaguely related to a similar topic does not a bigot make. Mocking a troll for posting sweaty wrestler piccies does not a bigot make.

As for Tracey Hamilton knowing more than me, since I barely know the person in question, I'm happy to concede they probably know vastly more about everything than I do, unless of course they obviously don't. As for the abiogenesis thing, I'm not paying attention to your schtick troll. Not only are you a dishonest wanker trolling as hard as you can, but there's a fascinating discussion to be had about a fascinating topic and your presence is like a dog turd in a martini. Entirely superfluous, really rather repellant, and spoiling something pleasant. Googletrawl for concepts you manifestly don't understand all you want, don't expect anyone to pay any attention to them. If Tracey Hamilton wishes to engage you, then Tracey Hamilton has my full support.

As I said before, I'm not bothering. Your comments lack understanding and substance and you are nothing more than an inconsequential idiot. My time is better spent dealing with people who might just begin to be able to understand the topics they discuss, and engaging in humourous banter with people possessing intellectual gifts in excess of those of a wrinkled prune.


Date: 2006/12/14 10:35:54, Link
Author: Louis
My second paper......

And here we have yet another issue. How is this paper in any way "yours"? Rampant ego YET again from the troll I note.

Not only is it manifestly irrelevant, just like the creationist ramblings of Thraxton et al., it's the same google trawled irrelevance as before. Just because they use similar words does not mean they have similar meanings.

Again, for the hard of thinking (troll, I'm looking at you), the whole "target" metaphor is horribly misleading.

No, their argument is that useful configurations are much rarer (and consequently harder to find in a blind search in configuration space) than useless ones

Define "useful". Useful in what context, in what system, under what conditions? This is the whole tawdry and mistaken point. There was no "useful", no "purpose", no "target". I know you creationists don't get this, but life is a possible consequence of the way this universe works, perhaps even a probable one. "Useful" is a pretty meaningless term in the sense you are using it. Pissing about with callculations is merely mental masturbation when the whole reason you are doing those calculations is irrelevant or erroneous. May as well calculate the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

There wasn't a little picture of a bloke carved into the first atom that coalesced out of the big bang, the future of said atom was neither determined nor deterministic. The papers you cite refer to a human "reverse engineering" activity of exploring conformation space and protein thermodynamics to better understand why:

a) certain molecules are biologically active and how we can better design molecules that are biologically active.

b) why proteins take the confirmations they do and are as stable as they are.

c). The review by Doig and Sternberg is to do with incorporating data to do with amino acid side chain conformations into the understanding of how and why proteins adopt certain conformations. Not only are they dealing with modern, complex, highly evolved proteins that are derived from modern biological systems, but the topic is barely relevant to abiogenesis at all in any sense other than thermodynamics is relevant to all chemistry. It's talking about how, when proteins fold, the conformations of the amino acid side chains are restricted and how this restriction plays a part in the overall stability of the folded protein.

d) The paper by Sullivan and Kuntz is a different thing again. What these guys are doing is trying to show how calculating the "information content" of a macromolecule can run into certain issues and what those issues are. Again, this is massively irrelevant to abiogenesis in all but the most trivial "thermodynamics has something to do with it" way. Please don't start reproducing the standard creationist "information" errors that even I can see as someone very unfamiliar with information theory.

You're wasting your time and ours by pissing about with concepts you don't understand. Stop it and you might actually learn something useful. We know YOU think these things are relevant. Shit, you even think that the vomittings of Thraxton are vaguely relevant. The fact that they are not seems to have passed you by. Your personal opinion that something is important, fascinating or relevant to a specific topic is not evidence. Turn your pigshit ignorant, arrogant, fundamentalist, bigotted ego to off for a second and maybe, just maybe you'll have the remotest chance of understanding that. The fact that you don't know the first thing about the topic you are discussing is massively obvious. Attempting to baffle with bullshit and blind with science will not serve you one jot. You are attempting to discuss a topic about which you clearly know nothing. If you genuinely have an interest in this topic (which I severely doubt) then abandon your current course of irrelevancy and take up a new tack. I doubt you will do this for a variety of reasons, not least of which: a) you are clearly trolling, why else start from a creationist irrelevance?, b) still playing your silly game of "win at tah intanetz", and c) in my (and everyone else's) evidence based opinion a deluded fruitcake with the intellectual gifts of dry wall and far too much time attached to google.


Date: 2006/12/14 12:02:33, Link
Author: Louis

Apologies. Please check yourself into the nearest mind clinic and have your head gasket replaced.

Oh dear, blown, head gasket. There truly is no depth of awful humour or punnery I will not plumb. Forgive me.



For the rest of us, we might want to have bloody as possible.  Now that's manly food.

I have questions:

If we get the steak and rub it on the soy protein does that make us bisexual? Does having two school bags make me bisatchel? Or if a reigning monarch has two advisors does that make them bisenechal?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Date: 2006/12/14 14:39:16, Link
Author: Louis

Quotemining and silly piccies. Is that really the best you can do?

Looks like I was both right and wrong. Right that you couldn't understand why the creationist calculations and googletrawling  are irrelevant. Wrong for even thinking there was a vague possibility you were doing anything other than trolling. Again.

Go back to sleep troll. You've had your arse handed to you yet again and you're manifestly too dumb to notice.


P.S. Gaybashing? Sorry but point out just one instance of me bashing gays and I'll happily confess. Oh and mocking you for posting sweaty wrestler pics isn't gay bashing you do know that don't you you dumb fuck?

The requirements for a biologically functional protein molecule are: (1) all L-amino acids, (2) all alpha-links, and (3) a specified sequence. This being so, the calculation of the configurational entropy of the protein molecule using equation 8-8 is unchanged except that the number of ways the system can be arranged, (cr), is increased from 1.28 x 10115 to 1.0 x 10175 as shown in equations 9-3 and 9-4. We may use the relationships of equations 8-7 and 8-8 but with the number of permutations modified as shown here to find a total configurational entropy work. When we do, we get a total configurational entropy work of 195 kcal/mole, of which 159 kcal/mole is for sequencing and 36 kcal/mole to attain all L-amino acids and all alpha-links.

WRONG. This is a very narrow requirement for a very modern, highly evolved protein. As I said waaaaay back at the start, this is supremely irrelevant because nobody is proposing (apart from creationist loons) that modern proteins or modern nucleic acids are necessarily anything like those things that got going way back at the start of abiogenesis. Lordy troll you are a moron. Not only is the quote wrong in terms of what it applies to, it isn't even right in what it is claiming. Just a for instance all L-amino acids are not a requirement for biological activity, nor indeed is alpha linkage. Of course I suppose bacteria don't count. Bwaaahahahahaha Oh deary me troll, you have surpassed even my incredibly low expectations of you this time.

Date: 2006/12/14 15:17:52, Link
Author: Louis

Oh I know what you (and indeed I) meant, for 'twas the same thing. I was merely extending the metaphor for my own sick and twisted amusement. A govt standard blow job. The very idea makes me chortle.

I agree that in the highly populated South East, major towns and cities we could almost completely do away with private transport. Sadly, the whole country (world) ain't the south east. The realities of mass transit are that they will never be capable of delivering the flexibility of access to private transport. The access to both works better than the access to just one. Change the energy source and many of the problems disappear. Again we have a transition time though. public transport has to present a viable alternative before one abandons private transport to any degree. In almost all parts of the world/country public transport simply doesn't even come close. In central London a car is a burden, in Bournemouth, Buffalo, Boca Raton, Bolivia and Budapest it's almost essential. Ok maybe not IN Budapest, but try getting out of Budapest (or London, or....) without a car. Oh it's possible, but it's much more difficult than it should be. When that changes, my car keys will disappear. Until then, they stay.


With you on prefering the Dawkins route. As I have said though, that Richard Strawkins bloke's a right bastard. Glad he doesn't exist beyond the fevered imaginations of certain personages of note. I don't see the "not offending" strategy as mutually exclusive to the "Dawkins" strategy. I think the correct approach is a mixture of both, the proportions dependant on the situation. I also think that both "sides" of the debate (for they really don't disagree on much at all AFAICT) agree with that, and DO exactly that.

There will always be the unreachables and unteachables (AFDave, the troll etc), but who cares? They are a minority, a fruitcake mix dying due to dumb. The KKK of the future (present?). However, the only reason they appear not to be a minority is because they've been allowed to do all the shouting. Just like 18th century racists and sexists (by todays standards) they have been given free rein to behave badly. They need to be swatted over the nose by the Dawkinsian rolled up newpaper. Ok so we can give them a verbal warning first, and make nice nice in a reasonable fashion, but this won't always work, just like the newspaper won't always work.

The Prince Phillip School of Diplomacy ("The trouble with you lot is you're all foreign") is fun but rarely effective. But then no one is advocating we follow in Dennis Thatcher's or HRH Phil the Greek's footsteps. Not even that evil Evangelical Atheist bunch of whom I'm undoubtedly a member, would suggest that Philly's approach is the right one. But equally that doesn't mean that shying away from the facts is a good idea. However we CAN market them effectively, which really is all the Chamberlains are saying. What annoys me is this is exactly what the Evangelical Atheists are saying too. Two groups, seperated by a common language.


Date: 2006/12/14 16:04:09, Link
Author: Louis
LOL Oh you are too funny! An AFDavesque declaration of victory in both absence and contradiction of the evidence.

Go on then troll, let's take a survey, take a vote.  Who thinks you have "beaten this cur" or that I have "been caught with my pants down". Come ye lurkers, come ye regulars. I'm MORE than happy to stand by their comments/opinions.

Come one come all let's put this to the test.


P.S. Oh and this

As far as trolling is concerned, I only do it for those who deserve it. I am respectful towards those who behave in a civilised manner.

Is so distant from reality to be bordering on the insane. This from the same person who has confessed to trolling this board for over a year. Bwaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha. Sorry troll, you truly are pathetic.

P.P.S. Added in edit: Troll I haven't said that you are defending the creationist drivel, I've said it's irrelevant and more than a little telling that it's your starting point for discussion. Not only that the papers you post are STILL irrelevant to the whole topic of abiogenesis in anything beyond a trivial sense (i.e. thermodynamics is relevant) and they go little or no way to refuting the calculations of Thraxton et al. because the calculations need no refutation because they are based on misconceptions and nonsense. Incidentally the fact that you deny supporting such irrelevant misconceptions and nonsense whilst at the same time treating it as if it were relevant and accurate is hilarious. I want that dollar I sent you to buy a clue back. You clearly spent it on glue, not a clue.

Date: 2006/12/15 05:39:50, Link
Author: Louis

You're quite right. I tried to swim away from the bait but took a nibble and now I seem to have this hook in my jaw.

Luckily I have my hook removing tool handy. When we're dealing with a troll so dishonest that it doesn't understand simple phrases like "irrelevant except in the most trivial sense (i.e. thermodynamics is relevant to chemistry)" and is only interested in playing silly buggers and declaring cartoonish WICTORY in the face of evidence, it's an easy hook to remove.


Note to self, added in edit:

Date: 2006/12/15 11:33:50, Link
Author: Louis

Dear All,

Abiogenesis is a fascinating and hugely varied topic. There are valid contributions possible from almost all fields of science.

From the outset I imagine that, since this is intended to be a technical and drama free thread it won't make huge numbers, which is fine. What I want to gather together is the ideas, data and opinions of the relevant experts and people on this board. We have a huge variety of experienced scientists including physicists, mathematicians, biologists and a chemist or two. I have every expectation that a rational conversation can ensue.

To that end I politely request that this is a troll free thread. The board currently has 2.5 trolls as far as I can tell: AFDave, Ghost of Paley, and Skeptic on his bad days. I am asking that these people do not post on this thread. Troll away in the rest of the board by all means, but just for once realise that your "contributions" such as they are, are neither desired nor required.

The nasty bits over with, I'll kick things off:

For life as we know it now on earth to have arisen, in general terms, abiogenesis has several hurdles to overcome. In no specific order:

1) A self replicating molecule or self replicating series of molecules or a series of interacting molecules that template the synthesis of other molecules.

2) Some form of cellular encapsulation, which at least must incoporate a semi permeable membrane or barrier.

3) A series of effector molecules/physical scaffolding/chemoselective processes which allow for a relatively high level of "copying fidelity".

Since this is a conversation not a monologue I'll leave it there. There are more hurdles and more specific examples of them, but I'd rather people contributed.

So the first question I'd like to pose is, based on the evidence what order do people think that the key events in abiogenesis happened? What form did they take? Why?

Encapsulation before self replication? Inorganic templating of reactions before self replication? Systems of effector molecules before high fidelity replication?


P.S. Some references people might be interested in.Most require subscription. To the Bat Library!

Selected papers by Leslie Orgel:

Record 1 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Geothermal synthesis and metabolism
Source: ASTROBIOLOGY, 6 (2): 297-298 APR 2006

Record 2 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: The, origin of the RNA world
Source: FASEB JOURNAL, 20 (4): A36-A36 Part 1 MAR 6 2006

Record 3 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, L
Title: Genesis: The scientific quest for life's origins
Source: NATURE, 439 (7079): 915-915 FEB 23 2006

Record 4 of 128
Author(s): Leman, LJ; Orgel, LE; Ghadiri, MR
Title: Amino acid dependent formation of phosphate anhydrides in water mediated by carbonyl sulfide

Record 5 of 128
Author(s): Leman, L; Orgel, L; Ghadiri, MR
Title: Amino acid condensation mediated by carbonyl sulfide.

Record 6 of 128
Author(s): Leman, L; Orgel, L; Ghadiri, MR
Title: Carbonyl sulfide-mediated prebiotic formation of peptides
Source: SCIENCE, 306 (5694): 283-286 OCT 8 2004

Record 7 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Prebiotic chemistry and the origin of the RNA world

Record 8 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Prebiotic adenine revisited: Eutectics and photochemistry

Record 9 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Some consequences of the RNA world hypothesis

Record 10 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Is cyanoacetylene prebiotic?

Record 11 of 128
Author(s): Hill, A; Orgel, LE
Title: Synthesis of adenine from HCN tetramer and ammonium formate

Record 12 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Restaging the origins
Source: BIOFUTUR, (219): 32-36 FEB 2002

Record 13 of 128
Author(s): Wen, K; Orgel, LE
Title: The specificity of peptide chain extension by N-carboxyanhydrides

Record 14 of 128
Author(s): Kozlov, IA; Orgel, LE; Nielsen, PE
Title: Remote enantioselection transmitted by an achiral peptide nucleic acid backbone

Record 15 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, L
Title: Origin of life - A simpler nucleic acid
Source: SCIENCE, 290 (5495): 1306-1307 NOV 17 2000

Record 16 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Self-organizing biochemical cycles

Record 17 of 128
Author(s): Arrhenius, G; Bada, JL; Joyce, GF; Lazcano, A; Miller, S; Orgel, LE
Title: Origin and ancestor: Separate environments
Source: SCIENCE, 283 (5403): 792-792 FEB 5 1999

Record 18 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: The origin of life - a review of facts and speculations
Source: TRENDS IN BIOCHEMICAL SCIENCES, 23 (12): 491-495 DEC 1998

Record 19 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Polymerization on the rocks: Theoretical introduction

Record 20 of 128
Author(s): Hill, AR; Bohler, C; Orgel, LE
Title: Polymerization on the rocks: Negatively-charged alpha-amino acids

Record 21 of 128
Author(s): Liu, R; Orgel, LE
Title: Polymerization on the rocks: beta-amino acids and arginine

Record 22 of 128
Author(s): Liu, RH; Orgel, LE
Title: Polymerization of beta-amino acids in aqueous solution

Record 23 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: The origin of life - How long did it take?

Record 24 of 128
Author(s): Joyce, GF; Orgel, LE
Title: The origins of life - A status report
Source: AMERICAN BIOLOGY TEACHER, 60 (1): 10-12 JAN 1998

Record 25 of 128
Author(s): Liu, RH; Orgel, LE
Title: Oxidative acylation using thioacids
Source: NATURE, 389 (6646): 52-54 SEP 4 1997

Record 26 of 128
Author(s): Liu, RH; Orgel, LE
Title: Efficient oligomerization of negatively-charged beta-amino acids at -20 degrees C
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 119 (20): 4791-4792 MAY 21 1997

Record 27 of 128
Author(s): Orgel, LE
Title: Prion replication and secondary nucleation
Source: CHEMISTRY & BIOLOGY, 3 (6): 413-414 JUN 1996

Record 28 of 128
Author(s): Ferris, JP; Hill, AR; Liu, RH; Orgel, LE
Title: Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces
Source: NATURE, 381 (6577): 59-61 MAY 2 1996

Record 29 of 128
Author(s): Bohler, C; Hill, AR; Orgel, LE
Title: Catalysis of the oligomerization of O-phospho-serine, aspartic acid, or glutamic acid by cationic micelles

Record 30 of 128
Author(s): Kolb, V; Orgel, LE
Title: Phosphorylation of glyceric acid in aqueous solution using trimetaphosphate

Record 31 of 128
Source: NATURE, 376 (6541): 578-581 AUG 17 1995

Record 32 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, 28 (3): 109-118 MAR 1995

Record 33 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, 271 (4): 77-83 OCT 1994

Record 34 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 35 of 128
Author(s): HILL, AR; ORGEL, LE; WU, TF

Record 36 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: GENE, 135 (1-2): 27-27 DEC 15 1993

Record 37 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 363 (6430): 577-577 JUN 17 1993

Record 38 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE; CRICK, FHC
Source: FASEB JOURNAL, 7 (1): 238-239 JAN 1993

Record 39 of 128
Author(s): WU, T; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 114 (21): 7963-7969 OCT 7 1992

Record 40 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 358 (6383): 203-209 JUL 16 1992

Record 41 of 128
Author(s): HILL, AR; ORGEL, LE
Source: BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY, 2 (6): 431-434 NOV-DEC 1991

Record 42 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 32 (6): 447-453 JUN 1991

Record 43 of 128
Author(s): WU, TF; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 32 (4): 274-277 APR 1991

Record 44 of 128
Author(s): TOHIDI, M; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 30 (2): 97-103 1990

Record 45 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 343 (6253): 18-20 JAN 4 1990

Record 46 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 47 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, 123 (2): 127-149 NOV 21 1986

Record 48 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 49 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 324 (6094): 219-219 NOV 20 1986

Record 50 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 51 of 128

Record 52 of 128
Author(s): HAERTLE, T; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 23 (2): 108-112 1986

Record 53 of 128
Source: NATURE, 321 (6072): 790-792 JUN 19 1986

Record 54 of 128
Author(s): HAERTLE, T; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 188 (1): 77-80 MAR 5 1986

Record 55 of 128Author(s): ZIELINSKI, WS; ORGEL, LE
Source: BIOCHEMISTRY, 24 (13): 3376-3376 1985

Record 56 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 21 (3): 299-300 1985

Record 57 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 228 (4699): 585-587 1985

Record 58 of 128
Author(s): CHU, BCF; ORGEL, LE

Record 59 of 128
Author(s): CHEN, CB; INOUE, T; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 181 (2): 271-279 1985

Record 60 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 21 (1): 81-83 1984

Record 61 of 128
Source: NATURE, 310 (5978): 602-604 1984

Record 62 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 176 (2): 279-306 1984

Record 63 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: CHEMICA SCRIPTA, 21 (1-5): 85-85 1983

Record 64 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: FOLIA BIOLOGICA, 29 (1): 65-77 1983

Record 65 of 128
Author(s): INOUE, T; ORGEL, LE
Source: SCIENCE, 219 (4586): 859-862 1983

Record 66 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, L
Source: NEW SCIENTIST, 94 (1301): 149-151 1982

Record 67 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 17 (5): 295-302 1981

Record 68 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 144 (4): 567-577 1980

Record 69 of 128
Source: NATURE, 288 (5792): 645-646 1980

Record 70 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 71 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 208 (4451): 1464-1465 1980

Record 72 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE; CRICK, FHC
Source: NATURE, 284 (5757): 604-607 1980

Record 73 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 14 (4): 243-250 1979

Record 74 of 128
Author(s): WEBER, AL; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 13 (3): 185-191 1979

Record 75 of 128
Author(s): WEBER, AL; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 13 (3): 193-202 1979

Record 76 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 13 (3): 203-214 1979

Record 77 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE

Record 78 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 11 (2): 87-93 1978

Record 79 of 128
Author(s): WEBER, AL; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 11 (1): 9-16 1978

Record 80 of 128
Source: TETRAHEDRON, 34 (7): 853-855 1978

Record 81 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, 67 (4): 773-773 1977

Record 82 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 113 (1): 193-198 1977

Record 83 of 128
Source: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA, 491 (1): 253-264 1977

Record 84 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 194 (4260): 72-76 1976

Record 85 of 128
Author(s): GIBBS, DE; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 8 (1): 55-58 1976

Record 86 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 7 (4): 253-267 1976

Record 87 of 128
Source: NATURE, 261 (5558): 342-344 1976

Record 88 of 128
Author(s): GREEN, D; ORGEL, L

Record 89 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: ISRAEL JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, 14: 11-16 1975

Record 90 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 5 (1): 57-73 1975

Record 91 of 128
Author(s): SAWAI, H; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 97 (12): 3532-3533 1975

Record 92 of 128
Source: ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, 7 (11): 368-377 1974

Record 93 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 3 (2): 115-120 1974

Record 94 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 3 (2): 141-150 1974

Record 95 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: ICARUS, 21 (4): 518-518 1974

Record 96 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 2 (4): 251-262 1973

Record 97 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 2 (4): 303-316 1973

Record 98 of 128
Source: NATURE, 244 (5416): 418-420 1973

Record 99 of 128
Author(s): CRICK, FHC; ORGEL, LE
Source: ICARUS, 19 (3): 341-346 1973

Record 100 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 2 (2-3): 231-234 1973

Record 101 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION, 1 (3): 249-& 1972

Record 102 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: ISRAEL JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, 10 (2): 287-& 1972

Record 103 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 67 (1): 25-& 1972

Record 104 of 128
Source: NATURE, 237 (5351): 162-& 1972

Record 105 of 128
Source: ICARUS, 16 (1): 111-& 1972

Record 106 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 171 (3970): 490-& 1971

Record 107 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 169 (3952): 1320-& 1970

Record 108 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 40 (2): 227-& 1969

Record 109 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 37 (1): 151-& 1968

Record 110 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 162 (3855): 809-& 1968

Record 111 of 128

Record 112 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 161 (3839): 387-& 1968

Record 113 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 161 (3836): 64-& 1968

Record 114 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 33 (3): 693-& 1968

Record 115 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 38 (1): 121-& 1968

Record 116 of 128
Author(s): ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 38 (3): 381-& 1968

Record 117 of 128
Source: NATURE, 216 (5118): 936-& 1967

Record 118 of 128
Author(s): REID, C; ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 216 (5114): 455-& 1967

Record 119 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 157 (3791): 952-& 1967

Record 120 of 128
Source: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 30 (2): 223-& 1967

Record 121 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 154 (3750): 784-& 1966

Record 122 of 128
Author(s): FERRIS, JP; ORGEL, LE

Record 123 of 128
Source: SCIENCE, 153 (3731): 72-& 1966

Record 124 of 128
Author(s): FERRIS, JP; ORGEL, LE

Record 125 of 128
Author(s): BECK, A; ORGEL, LE
Source: NATURE, 208 (5014): 1000-& 1965

Record 126 of 128
Author(s): FERRIS, JP; ORGEL, LE

Record 127 of 128
Author(s): BECK, A; ORGEL, LE

Record 128 of 128
Author(s): FERRIS, JP; ORGEL, LE
Source: JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 30 (7): 2365-& 1965

Selected papers by Julius Rebek

Record 1 of 24
Author(s): Rebek, J
Title: Some got away, but others didn't...
Source: JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 69 (8): 2651-2660 APR 16 2004

Record 2 of 24
Author(s): Hof, F; Craig, SL; Nuckolls, C; Rebek, J
Title: Molecular encapsulation

Record 3 of 24
Author(s): Chen, J; Korner, S; Craig, SL; Lin, S; Rudkevich, DM; Rebek, J
Title: Chemical amplification with encapsulated reagents

Record 4 of 24
Author(s): Tokunaga, Y; Rudkevich, DM; Santamaria, J; Hilmersson, G; Rebek, J
Title: Solvent controls synthesis and properties of supramolecular structures
Source: CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL, 4 (8): 1449-1457 AUG 1998

Record 5 of 24
Author(s): Wintner, EA; Rebek, J
Title: Autocatalysis and the generation of self-replicating systems
Source: ACTA CHEMICA SCANDINAVICA, 50 (6): 469-485 JUN 1996

Record 6 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 60 (24): 7997-8001 DEC 1 1995

Record 7 of 24
Author(s): CONN, MM; REBEK, J

Record 8 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 116 (20): 8877-8884 OCT 5 1994

Record 9 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 116 (19): 8823-8824 SEP 21 1994

Record 10 of 24

Record 11 of 24
Source: TETRAHEDRON LETTERS, 35 (36): 6635-6638 SEP 5 1994

Record 12 of 24
Author(s): REBEK, J
Source: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, 271 (1): 48-& JUL 1994

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Record 15 of 24
Author(s): PARK, TK; FENG, Q; REBEK, J
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 114 (12): 4529-4532 JUN 3 1992

Record 16 of 24
Author(s): FENG, Q; PARK, TK; REBEK, J
Source: SCIENCE, 256 (5060): 1179-1180 MAY 22 1992

Record 17 of 24
Source: ACTA CHEMICA SCANDINAVICA, 46 (4): 315-324 APR 1992

Record 18 of 24
Source: SCIENCE, 255 (5046): 848-850 FEB 14 1992

Record 19 of 24
Author(s): REBEK, J
Source: EXPERIENTIA, 47 (11-12): 1096-1104 DEC 1 1991

Record 20 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 113 (24): 9422-9423 NOV 20 1991

Record 21 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 113 (23): 8831-8839 NOV 6 1991

Record 22 of 24
Author(s): REBEK, J
Source: CIBA FOUNDATION SYMPOSIA, 158: 98-114 1991

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Record 24 of 24
Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 112 (3): 1249-1250 JAN 31 1990

Selected pubmed urls

For some reason my computer was being funny about me linking things from WoS, so you'll have to look up the first 152 or so by hand, apologies. At least they have titles. There may also be some unintended duplicates.

Date: 2006/12/15 11:50:04, Link
Author: Louis
AH THOSE benefits! Yup, all in favour of those.

However those could be accomplished by reduction in necessity for private transport as opposed to abolishment. As I said, public transport need to be sufficient before we tear down beautiful multistory carparks and evocative traffic jams.

So how do we do it?


Date: 2006/12/15 12:22:42, Link
Author: Louis

Date: 2006/12/15 18:19:35, Link
Author: Louis

I know I'm possibly being naively optimistic but is there any remote hope of a serious conversation about a fascinating area of science, preferably troll free?

Sometimes you appear to be someone genuinely interested in a discussion and open to evidence, reason etc. Other times you appear to be the obliviot that Icthyic describes you as. If you can remain on topic and rational (unlike for example the recent religion thread) then by all means post away. There's probably some hope that you can do this. I've got no illusions that the troll or the creationist lies to kids merchant are capable of anything resembling reason, so if they post on thsi thread I'll ask for their posts to be ported to the bathroom wall. Whether that'll happen or not I don't know, but one can ask.

Any chance that after >20 views anyone has something to say about the science? The long list of refs I posted should be as good a basic overview of/introduction to the subject as I can muster at short notice.  There's some truly fascinating articles in there. I haven't read all the pub med ones at the end yet, but the Rebek and Orgel stuff I have read. They are part of the basis of a (hopefully successful) research proposal I am writing.


Date: 2006/12/15 18:35:22, Link
Author: Louis

My thoughts exactly. I think I'm going to sit back and watch the troll work himself into ever greater heights of delusion and bullshit. Good bait though, I like dogs.

Mind you, THAT dog would make a suitable lunch for the pet I used to have. A pet you share an interest in no doubt. Do you still keep reptiles? My wife and I are currently moving house (still! ARGH) so I am not going to get a new snake until we are settled. I certainly will be the moment we're stationary! I've always wanted to keep a green tree python from juvenile. However I understand that they are a relatively difficult terrarium species, and I am a relative neophyte in the herpetological universe. I've kept pythons before, but only Royal pythons and a light Indian python that I kept for a just over a year as a favour for a friend at a serpentarium. The poor sod simply didn't have room after this snake and two others were rescued, fully grown, from some cruel idiot's house. He thought keeping snakes was cool and funky, but didn't provide them with proper housing or facilities. The other two snakes died, luckily the one I kept for a while was the strongest and sanest of the three, and is happily ensconced at the serpentarium now doing very well. She's also a mummy python (one, two three: aaaahhhhhhh). Any tips from an old hand greatly appreciated.


Date: 2006/12/15 18:59:53, Link
Author: Louis
Hey build me a fully functioning lab in/by/under my house and I'll never leave. As it is my HUGE commute is a necessity (but not for long he he he! ).

Private transport is a necessity of the economic system the world is in. I agree wholeheartedly that public transport can compensate for most of it, and should do so. The simple fact is that it doesn't compensate for much of it at the moment. In decently organised urban areas a car is a luxury, almost totally unnecessary with even a modicum of imagination and effort. I lived for years without a car. Sadly not everyone has the personal circumstances I had at the time, and those that Stephen appears to have. The utopian ideal of no private transport is wonderful is great in principle, but let's not pretend it's representative of reality. The private vehicle is here to stay, so what we have to do is make it less necessary and less damaging. Both of which are highly acheivable in the short to near medium term.


Date: 2006/12/16 11:31:28, Link
Author: Louis

1) My apologies, my comment wasn't as piqued as it sounds to me now. The curse of time and type. I merely meant that I thought there was a degree of keenness to discuss abiogenesis, and that (IMNSHO) it's better done troll free given the current circumstances. Sorry if I came across snarky, that wasn't my intent. Nor do I expect everyone to read all those references! I haven't read them all yet myself as I said. I am familiar with Orgel's and Rebek's work, but some of the others I linked are new to me. I think a fun thing to do would be to see if we could build (between all the people of disperate disciplines and expertise) an sort of consensus view. A drunken, soon to be hungover, ATBC abiogenetic scenario if you will.

I only bunged those references up for those people who had expressed some genuine interest in the current state of abiogenesis research. If people really want to get a splendid idea of what's going on, they really need look no further than Orgel's work, he really is one of the (if not THE) big fish in OOL research and has been for decades. I can only apologise for not knowing of any more accessible works on the subject. It's not a topic (unlike evolutionary biology for example) I have approached from a popular science position, mainly because it's so chemistry related I had all the journals available to me. EB I had to learn something about from scratch as it were, and so it's much easier to reference easy access online resources. Like I said elsewhere, if I get a chance over Giftmas (the coincidentally situated atheist holiday which celebrates presents) I'll write something up and post it, rather than violate a series of copyright laws by stealing the pdfs and plonking them on my website for all to grab.

2) [Victorian Brit]

Yes it is indeed Mr Penn Jillette. I believe the gentleman in question is expressing a dislike for funk music, by asking that we shut the funk up.  Unless of course I am very much mistaken. It's an excerpt I found on a different website taken from the television programme Mr Jillette and Mr Teller present about farming matters (or so I assume, the title of the show indicates a fascination with fertiliser). I believe Messrs Jillette and Teller to be manifestly unimpressed by a certain type of gentleperson obsessed with matters unproven and pseudoscientific. Although I must confess that despite watching the programme several times I have yet to make the connection between funk music, fertiliser and said irrational persons. I am sure 'twill come to me in time.

[/Victorian Brit]

Should my avatar be causing offense, it can of course be removed. All anyone has to do is ask. Even I can be eminently reasonable.....On occasion.......Well, sometimes.......Rarely. Ok I am a rude, unreasonable and intolerant bastard. Vastly too much time spent on the rugby pitch!


Date: 2006/12/16 11:43:16, Link
Author: Louis

I totally agree about the bus comment. 'Twas the same down south when I were a lad. My parents moved into the house they still live in about 19 years ago. The bus to town took about half the time it does now,  and went at least 3 times more frequently. However that being said, in Nottingham (the place I lived before my recent move) the bus from outside my house to the city centre goes every 15 to 20 mins, from just after 5 am to just after midnight 7 days a week. In central London the same is true, a bus or tube is available at any time to almost anywhere in the city. It's a case of where you are I think, but the general picture is, I agree, grim. Bus companies going out of business, train stations being closed etc. For over 20 years in the UK our public transport network has been expanding in the cities and dying thoughout the suburbs and countryside.

I'm not a fan of nationalisation per se, but I think that the govt should control the basic infrastructure of the nation, i.e. transport, healthcare, education, taxation, defense etc. ("What did the Romans ever do for us?"). I also very very strongly think that that is where it should stop. The government should butt out of people's private lives. Sorry Big Brother fans but nasty stuff is here to stay. All the CCTV cameras in the world won't prevent it (as recent events in Ipswich show clearly). As an aside I read an intersting piece in the Independent yesterday about the link between the govt's zero tolerance attitude to the victims of the sex trade (the prostitutes) and the ease of crimes such as those of recent days. I'm not sure I agree with all of it, but what I DO agree with is that our society (me included) do these people a terrible disservice by treating sex workers as prostitutes and criminals first and human beings second.


Date: 2006/12/17 09:42:07, Link
Author: Louis

No need for sighs on my part, that's an excellent question. Also my own understanding has yet to acheive Homer Simpson's lofty heights, so no worries there. I hope I don't come across as being so arrogant that an honest enquiry is somehow beneath me. I'm not, it ain't. I just have no time for trolls. You ain't a troll, ergo no problem. The only reason I know anything about evolutionary biology or counter creationism (for example) is because a handful of very knowledgable folk like PZ, Wes, Lenny, Larry etc explained things to me and others on T.O. with nigh on inhuman patience and clarity. We're not born knowing everything.....well women are but that's a different story.

As for how high the hurdle is, the honest answer is I don't know to any quantifiable degree. I think, based on how you phrased your question a little diversion into why this hurdle even exists is appropriate.

You say something that interests me, and strikes to the heart of your question:

Since we are talking about repeating chemical processes occuring in (I assume) a basically stable environment, what is it that stands in the way of "copying fidelity"?


There's several fascinating things here.  The cartoon of a chemical reaction is something like:

Reactant A + Reactant B -------> Product C (perhaps + by product D)

The general assumption is that if you mix A and B in the same way in the same ratios, POP out comes C. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth. Well I say sadly, but it's what keeps me employed! I am not saying this is your assumption, obviously you appreciate that reality is more of a slag than this, just that this is a common assumption.*

A slightly less simplified understanding of a chemical reaction is shown in this diagram:

This again is a cartoon of a chemical reaction profile. Higher energy reactants on the left go to lower energy products on the right.  Incidentally, in this type of reaction,  the difference in energy between reactant and products ("less stable" reactants going to "more stable" products) is (at least partly) the driving force for the reaction. It's also one of the key reasons that the "entropy challenges" of the creationists are so vapid. The whole system's entropy rises as the difference between the energy or the reactants and products is emitted as EM radiation (or whatever). The enthalpy change is what compensates and drives the entropy change in this case. But I digress, and obviously things are a little more complicated than that.

Key features of that diagram to note: There appear to be two different "routes" from reactants to product, the large humped blue one (with a large Activation Energy [Ea]) and the double humped red one with two smaller activation energies. This is probably way beyond the intended use of that diagram, but this is a genuine possibility in a chemical reaction. The "repeating chemical processes" you refer to really aren't serial iterations if the same thing like a factory assembly line. I'll get to why in a second.

Here are a couple of Wikipedia links to relevant discussions of this stuff that you can read to go into slightly more depth than I'll go into here:

Reaction Kinetics

The Curtin-Hammett Principle (Sadly not the Kirk Hammett Principle, which involves better music)

Stub on microscopic reversibility

Activation Energy

Transition state

Hammond's Postulate (or Hammond Leffler Postulate)


Potential Energy Surface

Personally I prefer this online source however:

A brief summary of features: At the peak of each activation energy hump (imagine this as the resistance or inertia that one needs to overcome to get a reaction going, i.e. to get all the reactants into a reactive conformation) is what's called the "transition state" (or t/s for short). A transition state is a very short lived entity on the route from reactants to products, it's high in energy (at top o EA peak) and whether it's product-like or reactant-like affects both the kinetics and thermodynamics of the reaction. In the trough between two EA peaks (between two t/s's) we have a longer lived entity, a reaction intermediate (or simply intermediate). These can even be alternative products (for reasons I'll get to in a moment).

The take home message of this part is that a chemical reaction can be thought of (very simpistically, and not without some reservations) as a route from reactant to product. There are hills to climb (Activation energy), short lived views from the peaks (transition states) and relatively calm and stable troughs (intermediates) to the lower energy product.

The extended analogy is of a whole mountain range, rather than a transverse slice through it. This is a "potential energy surface" and to anyone who has done any physics or read any pop physics about gravity (rolling balls across rubber sheets and Mexican hats etc) this should be familiar.

I've tried to find some suitable pics on the web and not come up with anything perfect, so forgive me if these don't do it justice:

Ignore the x and z axes on the second diagram. Although they deal with a similar situation to the one under discussion, they're not 100% relevant and will only confuse the situation (read: make me type out a whole bunch of new shit! ).

The purpose of these pics is to give a mental picture of a 3D version of the 2D reaction cartoon above.

Imagine now that in the second diagram we have on the North West of the "diamond" side our reactants, and on the South West side our products, the y axis remains as energy, the pics of ball and stick molecules and the x and z axes can be ignored. You can see that progress from the NW side to the SE side could take a variety of routes, some with peaks that are more NW and some with peaks that are more SE. Peaks that are more "reactant like" and more "product like" respectively.

The mountain range analogy I am going to use is far from perfect, but I hope it will illustrate certain points. Imagine a team of 100 mountain climbers all in a race to get from base camp on the NW side of a range of mountains to the base camp on the SE side of the range of mountains. Our 100 climbers are at different levels of ability, fitness and bravery etc. A Boltzmann distribution of talent if you like, the majority are at the mean values of these various talents for the group, but there are outliers. As the starting whistle blows our climbers set off, some racing for nearby peaks, some racing across the relatively flat plains to distant peaks, some weaving through the valleys. As fortune would have it disaster strikes, a huge and raging storm hits the entire mountain range forcing our  climbers to  head for the nearest shelter. Those who have gone for the NWern peaks can either head back to the NW base camp, or if they have got over the peak or are near to the top take refuge in the most sheltered available valleys. These aren't perhaps as sheltered as the most SEern base camp, but are possibly more sheltered than the NWern base camp. Those who have either raced through valleys or over flats to more SEern peaks can seek refuge in the appropriate nearest valley, or if they have moved quickly or chosen a really quick route to the SE end, then they can settle in for brandy and relaxtion in the safety of the SE base camp. It's possible that some exceptionally quick and fit individuals might have found a route across a NWern peak that has a simple downward slope all the way to the SE base camp, and these superb specimins can join their chums.

This is a far more accurate image of how a reaction is than either of the previous cartoons, and I hope (combined with the more detailed wikipedia articles) goes some way to demonstrate why a chemical reaction isn't  simply an easily repeatable assembly line type process.

What relevance does this have for copying fidelity?

Well, first of all not all reactants are at the same energy level, in any population of molecules there is a Boltzmann distribution of energy states, only a proportion of which have sufficient energy to overcome the activation energy barrier, acheive a reactive conformation (a transition state for a specific reaction) and react to form a specific product. So if we are only considering ONE specific route through our mountain, only some of our climbers are capable of making it over the specific hurdles (EA) to get to the desired products.

Couple that to phenomena like microscopic reversibility (where the forward path through the mountains and the reverse path through the mountains are similarly difficult) and the Curtin-Hammett postulate (where two different routes through the mountains which end in two different endpoints are of similar difficulty) etc and you have a whole swathe of reasons why a chemical reaction is not a simple A + B---> C situation. And that's even before one considers that starting conditions, reaction conditions, issues of mixing and scale etc are going to be at least slightly different each time the reaction proceeds.

A good example of this is, again, the Soai reaction. The Soai reaction is an autocatalytic process with some fascinating kinetics. It's of particular interest to abiogenesis research, not because it is a presumed precursor, but because it illustrates how well understood, complex kinetic effects can lead to astounding consequences. We can also look at this reaction to illustrate a mixing effect.

The details of the Soai reaction aren't important for the purposes of this discussion, what is important is that the product (P) of the reaction can combine with the reagents to form (temporarily) a catalyst © which aids the formation of that product (P). I.e. it catalyses its own formation. Better than all of this is that the Soai reaction at first glance should produce a racemic mixture of products (an equal mixture of left handed and right handed products, i.e. an equal mixture of enantiomers). First an idea of scale. If we were running a reaction on the scale of one mole of reactants that means that in our reaction vessel there are about 6 x 10exp23 indidual molecules of each reactant (assuming equimolar amounts for the sake of simplicity). That's one fuck of a lot of molecules!

Just as in a coin toss game, if you tossed a coin 6 x 10exp23 times you'd expect to get roughly equal amounts of heads and tails, but exactly 50:50 is only one of a number of very probable mixtures of nearly 50:50 head:tails you could get. In reality, with such huge numbers, exactly, spot on, not one coin toss either way 50:50 perfect mixtures of heads and tails are very very rare. Same with chemical reactions. There is very rarely such a thing as a perfect 50:50 racemic mixture. One of the fascinating things about the Soai reaction is that we DON'T get racemic mixtures at all, we get scalemic mixtures (mixtures of enantiomers that are not 50:50). If we re-run the reaction on the same substrates several times we get enantiopure products. Not only is the Soai reaction autocatalytic but it is enantioselectively autocatalytic. That means that if we see a slight bias of one enantiomer, then subjecting that product mixture to the reaction conditions again will produce more of that enantiomer and not the other one. All this comes from a totally randomn effect: which product enantiomer gains a slight majority in the product mixture first, as the reaction proceeds.

So what this means is if we are flipping coins and the first coin we flip is a head then the system in which we are flipping coins amplfies that first chance coin toss, and we will get heads thereafter. If tails, then tails thereafter. Each coin toss in the Soai reaction is dependant on the first coin toss.

Now the sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted a problem. Why then don't we get complete enantioselection immediately? Why do we have to take the product mixture and resubmit it to the conditions to get complete enantioselection.  Back to our mountains! Instead of 100 climbers we now have 6 x 10exp23. As we send them through the mountains a huge number of them will reach the other side of the range by the same route at roughly the same time. In the reaction, we have each molecule of sufficient energy following the same reaction path to the products. Some will end up elsewhere in the mountain range, but a whole host of our reactants are turned into products. A whole lot of coins are being tossed at the same time.

Our copying fidelity issue is like this. There are many routes through our reaction mountain range, not all are molecular climbers will follow the same path, nor do all our molecular climbers have the same energy. Some reactions will have low peaks and hugely easy to follow valleys to follow that means most of our climbers will swarm down those routes. Other reactions will have labyrinthian potential energy surfaces where significant numbers of our molecular climbers can get lost. In the case of the Soai reaction, in which the reagents are relatively simple molecules, the number of hidden valleys and alternative routes are far less that in the case of a long complex polymer. Well, to be truthful,  for the sake of simplicity in this case they are, there are subtleties that complicate things later on.

The take home message from all this is that even if all the chemical conditions are stable and similar each time you run the reaction, you can get different results due to the underlying kinetics and thermodynamics of the process. Of course these differences may be minor in some cases and major in others.

The next factor is the obvious one: things rarely ARE the same every time. Our broiling pot of abiogenetic froth might be a 30 Celsius one morning and 20 the next. A 10C difference in temperature equates to a roughly twofold difference in reaction rate (as a rule of thumb). Not only that but that 10 degree difference shifts our mean energy value in our Boltzmann distribution of energy values meaning that more or less (depending on if it gets hotter or colder) of our climbers have the energy to climb specific EA peaks. More than that, the higher energy we go (i.e. hotter) previously unaccessable peaks become possible opening up new avenues across our potential energy mountain range. And EVEN more than that changes in temperature may actually alter the mountain range itself, causing previously insignificant valleys and hidey holes to take on greater significance as more climber pour into them.

Changes in pH, temperature, pressure, mixing, chemical composition etc etc etc really do have a huge part to play in determining the course of a reaction.


Why is copying fidelity important?

Imagine our original type of cartoon system:

A + B -----> C

Now if we are looking at an autocatalytic system, it could run like this:

1) A + Reagents ------>  [A+catalyst complex]  -------> 2 A + byproducts

In this scenario A plus some reagents which are consumed in the reaction forms a catalytic complex which degrades to give the original A, plus another A plus the discarded, chewed up remains of the reagents. (Sounds like an ex-girlfriend of mine, but it's ok because I'M NOT  BITTER!!!! Ok only kidding, purely for humour folks. All my exes died mysteriously in freak boating accidents. Still kidding. It was food poisoning. Want some pie sweetheart?).

Imagine a different system:

2) A + Reagents ------>  [A+catalyst complex]  ------->  A + A' + byproducts

A' is very similar to A but not exactly the same. Now think about the following systems:

3) A' + Reagents ------>  [A+catalyst complex]  -------> 3 A' + byproducts


4) A' + Reagents ------>  B

In system 3) A' is a better catalyst of it's own formation than A, in system 4) it reacts to form B, something that is a dead end, i.e. not an autocatalytic system.

For the sake of this example we are assuming that the type and amounts of reagents consumed in the reaction, and the type and amounts of byproducts formed in reaction are the same or A and A'. If there is a limited quantity of reagents then this really is an evolutionary scenario. It's easy to see that if systems 2) and 3) are the case then in our broth of products A will a minor component of the broth and A' will be the major. So if the copying fidelity (i.e. autocatalytic ability of A to catalyse it's own formation and not the formation of other things) of A is like that in system 2) then A has problems!

The same applies if systems 2) and 4) are the case. System 1) is a nice one for A. But what if we have two similar systems:

1) A + Reagents ------FAST----> [A+catalyst complex]  -------> 2 A + byproducts

5) B + Reagents ------SLOW----> [B+catalyst complex]  -------> 2 B + byproducts

Both these reactions have similar profiles, similar fidelities, but A is quick and B is slow. Again we have competition for identical reagents. A will form a greater part of the product broth this time.

So the more fecund, fast and high fidelity systems will tend to form the majority of the products. If we are in a myre of hugely varied and complex webs of myriad reacting systems then those pathways through the myre which more efficiently catalyse themselves (or are more effectively catalysed by something else, or have more suitable kinetics/thermodynamics as described above) will tend to be those that use up all the available reagents.

So apologies for enormity, but I hope I have answered your questions to some degree. If I haven't, or if I've misunderstood them, please let me know. Now this gubbins is over with, the next answers will be much shorter I hope.



*(Randomn aside whilst I think of it: whilst pop sci books abound for physics and biology and are really excellent, pop sci chem books are few and far between, and rarely do the subject justice. This interests me for several reasons, not the least of which is that what people consider chemistry affects all our lives vastly more intimately, immediately and significantly than does the most exciting reaches of popular physics or biology. Another reason is possible cash! )

Date: 2006/12/17 09:50:52, Link
Author: Louis

I think you are right, but that you have put it backwards. Abiogenesis has sweet fuck all to do with politics and religion.

Some people's religious dogma and political use of said dogma is so impoverished, narrow minded and destined to contradict observed and observable reality that they have manufactured a political controversy surrounding some aspects of science. It ain't science's fault. Just like it isn't a beaten wife's fault that her husband is a cruel bastard who gets his kicks beating women. That some people have wrongly conflated their religion and politics to a field of science does not mean that "she was asking for it".


Date: 2006/12/17 10:28:50, Link
Author: Louis

I've heard/read of some attempts to make no DNA based life/synthetic viruses. Indeed any attempt to make a non nucleic acid based replicating system could be seen to be the first forays into non-DNA based life. I think the reason that people work on synthetic DNA based life is because we can mimic what we already know. In that sense we are at the start of the process of actually making synthetic life. There is no reason it needs to be this way, we could start from the bottom up and make our own life. This is, however, vastly more difficult than trying to reverse engineer exisiting life back to it's simplest units. The idea is that the two approaches will meet in the middle.

Again, I really have to apologise for the non free nature of most (if not all) of the cited articles. I've come top down to abiogenesis as opposed to the normal way I approach topics. In other words the only things I know about it come from journals and the primary scientific literature. I was already working as a synthetic organic chemist before I got interested in abiogenesis, so I could sit at work and scour the lit as I would in my own field.  I'll try to find some more accessible things.


Date: 2006/12/17 17:08:41, Link
Author: Louis
Mike PSS,

Has there been any agreement from the researchers involved about the environmental conditions at the time of abiogenesis?


If not, shouldn't finding this out be condition 0) for your tract.

I honestly don't know if there has been "agreement", depending on what one means by agreement. Are there a variety of plausible evidence based scenarios, one of which has yet to be 100% settled on by all relevant experts everywhere? Yes. So as for agreement the answer is yes and no!

Should this be condition 0) for my "tract"?

[Outraged John Cleese voice]

Well the first thought is "tract"? I'm fucking Jack Chick now am I? Tract? Kiss my heavily polished not particularly black arse! Tract. Fuck off.

[/Outraged John Cleese voice]

Ok so I'm kidding about, don't take the above to heart or in any way seriously.

What I think the question is is this:

"Is a complete description of the environmental conditions for the early earth, when we think abiogenesis occured, available?"

As far as I am aware, the answer is no a complete and perfect description isn't available for the early environmental conditions of earth. There are several descriptions which may be correct, but work is ongoing.

As for whether this is a necessary condition for understanding abiogenesis, the answer is no. We can work out likely scenarios, probable routes etc based on what we do know now. As for one hard and fast definitive answer to end all answers, sorry but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that science doesn't work like that. We have degrees of uncertainty ranging from the "pretty uncertain" to the "so certain it's extremely unlikely to be vastly different from this". Certain aspects of abiogenesis are at the latter end, certain aspects at the former.

We need to know the exact conditions of early earth to get an exact pathway. Something we may never be able to get, although I remain cheerfully optimistic. We don't need to know the exact conditions to be able to come up with a huge number or plausible pathways, which is the situation we are now in. In an analogous manner to that of clades and trees of relationships in evolutionary biology we cannot say to any degree of certainty that very archaic individual A was the direct ancestor of modern individual B. What we CAN say is that A and B share such traits that it is likely that A is representative of an organism ancestral to organism B. If A is slightly less archaic and we have DNA data then maybe we can come up with something more concrete. Otherwise we are left to making trees of parsimonious relationships and teasing out the actual paths by finding mutually independant lines of corrobotating evidence.

The same is true with abiogenesis. I can go into the lab and makeyou a self replicating molecular system. I can also go and make you an encapsulated system seperated from the rest of the universe by a semi permeable membrane. I can template these reactions on inorganic materials, and I can make effector/replicator systems and a whole swathe of autocatalytic systems. What I cannot do is claim with any basis in fact that any of these are DEFINITELY replicas of the precise route taken during abiogenesis, or even representative of the route taken. We don't have the "fossil" chemical evidence to say one way or another. What we DO have is some fascinating clues from geology and astrochemistry. I have some notes of this I might be able to dig out from the other house when and if I am next there.



Date: 2006/12/17 17:16:23, Link
Author: Louis

Colour me extremely confused and/or shocked.

Are you saying that the witterings of the IDCists are valid when applied to abiogenesis due to your/their personal incredulity?

If you're not, please forgive me for even beginning to insinuate that you were! I shall say 10 "Hail Dawkins" and beat myself with a copy of "The Origin of Species" for a month.

If you are.......wuh wuh wuh wuh....gibber. Please explain.



Date: 2006/12/17 17:30:29, Link
Author: Louis

You understood my post? Shit, I'm glad one of us did! ;-)

Also glad to be of service.

As for probability estimates, I love them to bits. What I don't love is where creationists start from which is "it's weeeeeeeeealllllly unlikely thefore goddit". My probability estimate of abiogenesis by purely natural means based on the sum total of evidence we have now is: 1. We sure as shit don't have any evidence for any of the other oft touted hypotheses. ;-)


Date: 2006/12/17 18:00:05, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks very much.

I missed a question of yours earlier:

But I guess I might add to your list of hurdles that have to be overcome: how was the link between particular nucleotides and particular amino acids forged? Perhaps that's more of a fine point compared with your 3 hurdles, but from my perch it looms pretty large.

This is one of the really interesting "modern, high tech" questions. I must confess I know vastly less about it than other areas of abiogenesis research, but I do know it's broadly part of the "RNA world" hypotheses, so looking in those refs of Orgel's that refer to that might help.

I think it's important to bear in mind just how high tech the DNA/protein/ribosome system is. I have a series of guesses about it, all of varying degrees of totally dumb. As far as I remember such a system must have had some sort of scaffolding to get going, and we don't know what that scaffolding is. I could be wrong about that.I need to read up. My guess based on what I remember is that we're looking in the wrong place by focussing on the genome and the proteome. I think the glycome, which is vastly more varied and contains hugely more "information" than either is the smoking gun. I also think that if we go back to the dead ends of primary metabolites in archea (i.e. secondary metabolites, natural products) we may also find some smoking guns there. I stress these are only midly informed guesses, and this whole section is a long way of saying "I don't know yet!".

The paper you cite about surfactants is a good example of a possible scaffold. Certainly simple bipolar molecules exist in space etc, and we know that at certain concentrations some molecules can aggregate to form micelles. They really are a good candidante in many ways. Also some of them are carbohydrate like (which is part of my reason to probe the glycome ;-) ).

My background is chemistry. My first taste of research was physical organometallic chemistry (My undergrad self despised organic chemists as being horribly limited and narrow, a bit stupid and dull. Oh how wrong I was! ). My second taste was synthetic organic chemistry both in industry and academia. I then realised how totally daft my undergrad opinion was as the universe literally opened out before me. Organic chemistry is far from limited. Basically I think I grew up! I then left industry to go back and do a PhD in natural product synthesis and I've never looked back. Since then I ahve yet again done a bit of academic work and most recently a bit of industry work. I haven't settled yet (hey I'm only a bairn at 32! ) Unfortunately getting into academic jobs as an organic chemist is frighteningly difficult compared to many if not most fields of study. I really don't know why this should be the case, or if it is the consequence of the market. Organic chem isn't somehow special or more advanced than say biology or particle physics, it just seems to be oversubscribed by people who want to be academics perhaps. What I do know is that I don't want to take the management track that some many of my friends have so that I can stay close to the research. It isn't the most lucrative or glorious career choice (despite the assurances of the entire pharma industry) but it is the most fun. Day job is in process chem at a big pharma atm, but not for much longer, I'm moving on. What's your background and day job?

I've yet to meet Orgel properly, although I have seen him talk and chatted anonymously as part of a crowd. He's someone I'd love to work for/with but I get the impression that would be a really hard position to acheive.


Date: 2006/12/17 18:07:04, Link
Author: Louis

You thought I was GoP? Ow that hurts. Any serious contributions or are you simply befouling the thread because you've been asked not to? A bit childish no? Smarmy faux compliments irritate me anyway.

I'm guessing a simple email request can have your contributions to the thread ported, so please either say something worthwhile or keep it to yourself. Just allow the rational folks here their tiny bit of space and troll the rest of the board please. Is it really so much to ask?


Date: 2006/12/17 18:14:24, Link
Author: Louis
Why do I get the impression, when I read what VMartin has written, that any moment now I and others are going to be asked how we like some species of fruit? Quite probably apples.


Date: 2006/12/17 18:36:28, Link
Author: Louis
Tut tut tut.

Now come ON guys and gals. In your haste to mock dear sweet Dr Dembski and his chums you have forgotten many vital scientific and historical facts. Shame on you.

Are you conveniently forgetting that other major advances in scientific knowledge have been heralded in just such a way?

When the 1919 solar eclipse was observed Einstein celebrated by posting a flash animation of Newton getting raped by an apple tree on his blog in which poor Isaac cried "perihelion my ass" with each thrust.

And when Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA didn't they demonstrate their superior scientific skills by making  a claymation version of the Marquis de Sade with Linus Pauling as the sex slave?

Any moment now Dr Dembski and his colleagues will stop saying "loooook loooook it's WELL complex that is!" and show us the huge quantity of evidence they have amassed to support their rigiourously researched scientific idea. After all they ahve been beavering away in lab and field for a decade or so now right? They have their own journals and everything. So this data should be with us any moment now.

Any moment.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnyyyyyy moment now.

It's just round the corner.

No don't go, it's almost here.

Any moment.

Any moment now.

Now you know it's going to be here any second.

Any moment.

Come on, where's your patience, your intellectual curiosity? You'll be kicking youself when you miss it.

Any moment now.


Date: 2006/12/17 18:44:51, Link
Author: Louis
Bien sur. C'est vraiment le monde de nos temps. Malheureusement.

Lenny, I don't often say thanks for the education I recieved on T.O. and you were an instrumental part, esp on counter creationism and Viking Piss. Whilst I am totally bemused by the current Evangelical Atheist vs Chamberlain Group bunfight at the PT corral (mainly because we all agree on so very very much), I always want to recognise those that made the issues clearer rather than more obscure. Your political analogies and commentaries have been instrumental to my growing understanding, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Should I ever be on the same continent as you and the others again, beers will be forthcoming. It is the least I can do. I think an international Howlerfest is in order, along with my renewal of T.O. activity.


Date: 2006/12/18 03:30:42, Link
Author: Louis

I know what you meant re GoP. I was being humourous. Mi apologias for not being clear enough

Not censorship by any stretch of the imagination. Asking for some irrelevant posts to be moved to the bathroom wall isn't censorship, it's porting irrelevant garbage to the relevant place. Make your last post your finalno science poston this thread please. And I have no power or authority here, I can only ask Steve or Wes to do this. They can, and quite probably will, say no.

I just have a fervent hope that on one thread we can focus on, ya know, the science rather than the trolling. Any chance? Any at all? Please. I have asked very nicely several times. By the very virtue of having this conversation we're doing exactly what I hoped we wouldn't.


Date: 2006/12/18 03:51:13, Link
Author: Louis
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.


Never a truer word spoken.


P.S. Added in edit: La Dembski reckons the fart destroyed atheistmaterialisthegemonic science eh? The shit heard round the world?

Date: 2006/12/18 04:57:53, Link
Author: Louis
Awwwww DaveTard complains about people who have sensibilities too refined to appreciate ribald humour. I say not so!

There are many of us who appreciate Baudelaire AND Andrew Dice Clay. A dick joke is a dick joke dammit. There's a difference between a decent dick joke and the juvenalia of Dembski's latest flash effort. One is ribald humour, the other is displaying one's rather obvious mental illnesses in public. Oh the flash animation is funny alright, just not in the way Dembski et al think it is.


Date: 2006/12/18 06:02:38, Link
Author: Louis

{thwack} Our Dawkins Who Art Mostly in Oxford, Richard be thy name...{thwack}

Ok enough funny.

I'd agree that in certain senses abiogenesis is a tougher nut to crack than evolutionary biology. But not in all senses.The senses in which I think this is the case are due to things like time taken for certain evolutionary processes etc. We can synthesise self replicating molecules quicker than nature can evolve them for example, these are things accomplishable in a human lifespan. So in some senses abiogenesis is an easier nut to crack.

However, as I allude to above unlike evolutionary biology in abiogenesis research we simply don't have the fossils in the same sense. We have a different problem, instead of lacking fossil chemicals in their entirety, we are drowned by huge amounts of chemical noise from which a signal is almost impossible to distinguish. We also have a really unique situation in that we have a really good idea of what sorts of chemicals were available on early earth and in space, and we have a really good idea of what is available now. We have a comparitively poor idea about which paths were taken between the two points! We do however have many great ideas about which paths COULD have been taken.

If you consider how complex a topic we're dealing with that's a pretty advanced state of knowledge. Granted it isn't a step by step process of what definitely, but are you sure you're not asking for something that you cannot get in order to avail yourself of the "poof goddidit" loophole? After all, we don't have a step by step process of the relationship between humans and out last common ancestor with chimps. Does this provide a "goddidit" loophole? Of course not! We don't actually need the step by step "photograph" of each link, the relatonship is demonstrated by different evidence. The DNA, fingerprints, footprints, fibre traces etc left by a burglar demonstrate his or her presence in the burgled domicile as well (in fact vastly better) than a CCTV picture. The emotional appeal of a CCTV picture is a different beast, but it is of lesser evidenciary significance.

I'm curious as to why you seem to need to single out abiogenesis as more friendly to the Beheian mousetrap ideas. More friendly in your personal estimation perhaps, but very far from being actually more friendly.



Date: 2006/12/18 06:06:21, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks very much indeed for all of that. Not least the pdf reader alternative!


Date: 2006/12/19 03:43:56, Link
Author: Louis

Thnaks for your comments on green tree pythons. Pretty much as I had read elsewhere. I agree that it's a pity that these things are so tricky as terrarium pets for all the reasons mentioned.

I love royal pythons, I had a royal as my first snake and even though he was wild caught (which I didn't know when I bought him, live and learn) and a bit troublesome at first, he was a great pet. So I guess it's back to them! Also the trade in captive bred royals is much better now, obviously meaning I can get a healthier, less stressed snake, better for all concerned.

One piece of info I have heard (and sort of found to be true....ish! ) about royals that I would love to confirm is that they get stressed if given too much space in a terrarium. It sounds like baloney to me, but my royal was happier in a medium sized terrarium than a large one. And when I say happier you know what I mean, less using Louis as a pincushion, more eating mice! Have you ever heard anything like this?


Date: 2006/12/19 12:57:45, Link
Author: Louis
Guys, this thread has gone haywire again.

I am of course referring to the bug that means that recent posts aren't viewable until they reach a "critical page mass" and cause a new page to be made (or until one leaves a comment).

I don't mean that it has gone haywire in any other sense other than it involves AirFarceDave. Which is simply haywire from day one. Although I have to admire your patience. One day, when I grow up, I want to be patient too. Until then I'll just continue being an intolerant bastard! ;-)


Date: 2006/12/19 13:21:49, Link
Author: Louis

Awww come on, give Dave some credit. He's come up with more ways than I thought possible of stamping his foot and screaming "IT'S COMPLEX BECAUSE I SAID SO" like a mentally deficient and heavily spoilt 4 year old.


Date: 2006/12/19 15:06:16, Link
Author: Louis

Thanks for that, I didn't know that.

One thing about your unit though, I think, based on the experience of this and other threads, the unit of vacuity should be taken back a few orders of magnitude. On this recent thread alone AFDavey has made more than 3 billion  non sequiturs and fallacious arguments. I've been counting. I think we are setting the benchmark arbitrarily too high. Vacuity of the magnitude exhibited by AFDavey is far in excess of the average level of vacuity. I'd say your average person is capable of a few nanoAFDs, whereas in this thread alone AFDavey has topped a whopping 3 AFDs, more than the vacuity output of AiG for a whole day!


Date: 2006/12/20 06:44:40, Link
Author: Louis

I think AFDave should be declared non impediti ratione congitatonis*, non compos mentis** and pia fraus

And always remember quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur****


* Unencumbered by the thought process/rational thought.

** Not in control of his mind

*** A pious fraud

**** That which has been said in Latin appears to be profound

Date: 2006/12/20 11:38:02, Link
Author: Louis
Oh now that's just not fair! Dembski gets to mock any decision that goes against him with puerile poopy animations. And we're not allowed to have one little speculative conversation about certain acts best left to members of the pornographic movie industry and which prominent evangelists and IDCists might enjoy them.

Infamy, infamy! They've all got it infamy. Can I go off on an entertainily troll-esque rant about censorship and discrimination and all that good stuff?*


*Oh btw, I really am kidding, The bathroom wall is the best place for those comments. You were quite right to port them. Apologies, the muse Erato smote me an I was carried away by imagination i'faith.

Date: 2006/12/20 17:04:02, Link
Author: Louis
Ah Heddle,

Congratulations on your promotion to the one true god's one true spokesman.

Of course there appear to be myriad religious people who disagree with your interpretation that there are no magic words which d4mn one directly to h3ll.

However, I am completely on your side on this one. I totally agree that there are no magic words or magic actions which cause one's immortal soul to be placed firmly on the one way train to the firey depths. Of course this is because I am an atheist, so I imagine our reasons are very different.

My reasons are simple, there is no reliable, reproducible evidence of any kind that demonstrates the existance of h3ll or indeed a seperate, ephemeral soul. There's also a good swathe of evidence which demonstrates that thus far, despite the insistance of certain people, magic words are simply empty noises in the air. Why should I give such shoddily supported notions any greater credence than fairies at the bottom of my garden or the FSM? The answer is that I don't, and thus have not and will not play the "blasphemy game" because it gives undeserved significance to infantile fantasies that seem to be resurgant at the moment.

Your reasons, as we've been treated to many times over the years, are also simple. You believe that your personal beliefs are corr