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Date: 2006/01/19 02:34:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hey all,
I think I can get Carol to show up on this thread.  Let's see how successful I am.

Date: 2006/01/22 02:48:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Ok, fellow Carol trollers, I have Carol's, I mean, Landa's book.  Let's see how much mischief we do to her, I mean, his thesis?  Any questions?
Now please remember I can't keep my eyes glued to my monitor 24/7, so I can't reply quickly.

Date: 2006/01/22 03:11:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
The Ages of the Patriarchs :0
Since this seems to be popular.  On page 123 Landa, I mean, Carol writes:
So we arrive at the conclusion that the individuals from Adam to Noah who lived such extraordinarily long life spans, did so miraculously.

THAT'S IT MEN!  There's no inconsistency with science HERE.
Does Carol, I mean, Landa not understand assuming the consequent?

Date: 2006/01/23 04:35:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
On your blog there are, so far, only three posts addressing the scientific innerrancy assertians.  The Third Yom, Value of Pi, and the Bats are Birds.  Are those the only ones so far?  How deep into the archives should I dig to find anymore?  

Date: 2006/01/26 07:18:30, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
For people who don't like the (oh so lenient) moderation of PT please remember that the discussion board allows the general public to open threads of their own.  And this on someone else's dime.  Carol you are only as welcome here as you allow yourself to be.

Date: 2006/02/03 10:38:22, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
This is just a really cool site for anyone who may not have found one like it.

Date: 2006/02/10 14:10:57, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (BWE @ Jan. 31 2006,13:11)
Maybe a sort of a good cop/bad cop routine. One side ridicules them and the other side says "don't let them ridicule you, show 'em your science and shut those loudmouths up. Let's go get 'em!  That was my basic point at Uncommon descent until they banned me for it.

Maybe we create two distinct organizations, one to ridicule (maybe: Scientists Concerned About Theology) and one to defend the torch of creationism, er, maverick scientists, (maybe: Scientists To Understand Prehistoric Intelligent Design). The 1st one offers up some damning ridicule and the second one answers the challenge by baiting dembskiites into putting their name on ridiculous statements like all the ones they make. Get the papers to print them and the ridicule will have done its job.

I volunteer to join the ridicule organization.  It's more fun anyway :D

Date: 2006/02/13 09:49:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 13 2006,13:49)
speaking of him, I'd almost pay money to watch him teach algebra.

Steve that link just reads item not located.  What was it?

Date: 2006/02/13 12:01:41, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Just hoping Carol will show up.

Date: 2006/02/13 12:13:01, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Would it be possible to set it up for Russell's 'How is the Bible consistent with science?' thread so that when Carol derails PvM's threads her comments can be thrown to Russell's thread instead of the Bathroom wall?  That might be magnetic enough to draw her there.  Maybe.  Just hoping. :)

Date: 2006/02/18 13:01:20, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Morons buy stupid books and I think that is Demsbki's objective.

The demonstration of this being that in a review of another author's book bumbski just has to plug one of his own.

Date: 2006/02/21 16:42:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (sir_toejam @ Feb. 20 2006,22:54)
no, he's saying that blood type variability arose before H. sapiens evolved.

Wouldn't that argue against there being a single adam (I've seen the y chromosome proves adam spiel) and/or a single eve (the seven daughters of eve) since there could only have been a max of two blood types in an original adam/eve pairing?  That question is only half serious as I know it is seriously oversimplified.

Date: 2006/02/21 16:59:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (sir_toejam @ Feb. 21 2006,00:32)
Or, would there perhaps be no such distinction between humans and their predecessors that marked the emergence of the first human because evolution is so gradual?

this is closer to being a correct interpretation.  

your first deduction would have to envision the emergence of H. sapiens from a single point mutation.  hardly likely, when you think about it, is it?  not supported by the fossil evidence garnered so far either.

currently, all the evidence points to hominids evolving in similar fashion to everything else studied.

since the characteristics that distinguish this species from its predecessors didn't all appear at once, it's also likely that blood types were carried along as well as the species diverged.

Sir ToeJam--when we speak of it here, we mean a population of related, but distinct (and extinct) species that H. sapiens evolved from.

OK, nevermind.

Date: 2006/02/21 17:43:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I saw a commercial on CNN today from drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.  I can only remember the last line of the commercial but the gist of it was about all the work that has to go into making new drugs.  One line exemplified this by saying something like "We examine one million new chemicals a year and only find one that works."  It was the last line that got me.  What word is missing?
Because bacteria develop resistance and new viruses appear all the time.

Granted GSK is a British owned company but I'm pretty certain that an American ad agency probably prepared this commercial, as it was for an American audience.  Did they consciously choose to use the words 'develop' and 'appear' instead of 'evolve'?  Semantically there is no difference and some ad writer probably couldn't care less, so I may be seeing something that is really nothing.  But politically there is a difference and 'evolve' may have deliberately avoided.
I am just curious, does anyone know of corporate America making statements or otherwise doing anything else to combat the anti-science movement.  I have seen any number of news reports over the last few years of businesses lamenting the poor quality of new hires (even college graduates who can't put a coherent thought on paper), and subsequently need remedial training, but what are they doing besides lamenting and retraining their own hires?

Does the corporate world support good science openly or not?

Date: 2006/02/25 22:36:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
February 26, 2006

Date: 2006/03/19 06:06:40, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
The other night at work, when I was in a foul mood and needed something to laugh at, my boss handed me a new book that had just come in.  Publishers Weekly describes it as 'mild' and that is apt, but it is still funny as #### sometimes.  Hope you enjoy it.
A Field Guide to Evangelicals

In preview I discovered that they bleeped ####.  I can't f#ck$ng believe that they bleeped ####.  I mean, #### you can't even have a hellfire and damnation sermon without saying #### so #### must be ok by sermonizers.

Double P.S.
In second preview I discover that f%ck&ing and hellfire are ok but #### is not.  LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.  Wesley that is the best laugh I have had this morning.  Ok, I went ahead and edited the one that got by the filter myself.

cheerio and all that rot

Date: 2006/03/19 07:02:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I think you guys have missed my point.(As an aside, yes it takes many millions of dollars to develop drugs but I have also read that since the advertising ban was dropped in the nineties drug companies now spend more on advertising than they do on research.)

Chris Hyland wrote: Feb. 22 2006,05:13  
I dont know if this statement has much to do with evolution, drug discovery is a pretty inefficient process, so most of the failures wont have anything to do with the evolution of pathogens......I dont think it has yet got to the point where it is worth the companies spending the money fighting the anti-science movement, although i wouldnt rule it out in the future.

Agreed, most failures don't have anything to do with evolution, but the immense scope of the task of developing new drugs is partly justified in the commercial by the evolution of new pathogens.  My gripe is with the fact that the commercial chose not to use the word 'evolve' in the place of the words 'develop' and 'appear'. It would not have taken any extra money to have used that word and it would have been a small support of good science to have done so.  Even so small a support would have been a good thing.  The whole 'republican war on science' thing is, in part, at the behest of corporate america.  Can they be counted upon to support good science if they can't even make small, no cost, concessions in the language they choose to use, for, perhaps, the purpose of avoiding entry into any rhetorical controversy?

Date: 2006/05/07 13:43:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Russell @ May 06 2006,21:51)
I can’t locate it right now, but yesterday some reasonable commenter commented on the fact that we seem to let the creationists call the shots here. They start new threads, we react. They insist we “vote” on which full-or-crap argument they’re going to deign to defend, or we’re “cowardly” (however that logic works).

Forgive me for not addressing your main point but I had this wistfull thought when I read the first paragraph:  That is the price you pay for an intellectually honest forum.  You've seen all the alternatives on the creationist side; they don't have any honest discourse with the extreme Orwellian control they exert over posting/editing/deleting.


Date: 2006/05/07 14:08:29, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
"Almost all Jews recognize that America's Christian heritage is the main reason our country is not infected with the scourge of anti-Semitism seen in post-Christian Europe," Lapin said. "

I liked this little book, although I didn't agree with the author's conclusion, because of its thumbnail history of America's flirtations with anti-semitism, anti-catholicism, anti-quakerism, and just about any other anti-nonmainline protestantism.  Yes, America is not infected with anti-semitism like Europe, but it has less to do with a christian heritage than with Founding Father wisdom at getting church and state out of each others' business and the two hundred+ year fight to get that wisdom enforced.

Date: 2006/05/08 02:21:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I vote Ghost of Paley shove a neutrona wand up his ectoplasmic @$$ and set the proton pack on 'overload'.

Date: 2006/05/08 04:46:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Carol Clouser @ May 07 2006,20:42)
And let us not overlook that pope, whatever his name was, who stood by the holocaust with nary a syllable uttered in protest.

Silly Carol, you must know by now that the rightwing conservative christofascistian movement has an answer for EVERYTHING.  Nothing that Pope Pius XII did was his fault.  As an aside, that book was published by Regnery, a company that never met a conservative talking point they didn't like and who have supported so much of the neo-con and anti-evolution bullhockeyliterature that besets this country.

Seriously though, I don't necessarily blame Pius XII for the choices he had to make in a morally ambiguous situation, which the situation really was after WWII began (he had only been pope for about half a year when the war began), and especially after the capitulation of Italy in the fall of '43 when Italy essentially became an occupied country.  The true test of a man's character is what he does to avoid the morally ambiguous situation when he still has the chance to prevent it from coming about.  That chance occurred during the 30's from the time the anti-semite laws were passed in '33 until the organized (and secretly government backed) violence began in the fall of '38.  But the pope then was Pius XI, not Pius XII, though Pacelli, Pius XII before he was pope, was an extremely important and very influential (Secretary of State of the Vatican) Cardinal.  Pius XI was no friend of the Nazis, nor overtly anti-semitic, but his actions were simply too late.  Hitler was very careful to go down the slippery slope very slowly.  Pacelli's actions during this time are, of course, much debated for their importance, or lack therof, in restraining the gradual buildup of Nazi audacity and finally, atrocity.  Of course, the ones who support his high-minded righteousness are the same who pander the teach-the-controversy crap I alluded to above.


Date: 2006/05/08 05:14:51, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Dave, this is not germaine to your post but I have to ask a creationist who takes himself seriously.  Creationists bandy about all the time about there being gaps in evolutionary theory.  They could be referring to places where our understanding is lacking or we have insufficient ideas to test but, of course, what they are really refering to are the gaps in the fossil evidence.  What I wanted to ask you was what are we suppose to make of the non-gaps(I don't know what else to call a non-gap, maybe evidence woudl be a good name, but if anyone has an idea please do tell) in the fossil evidence?  You know, the places that make all those gaps the creationists complain about possible.  All that evidence has to mean something.  Especially since the evidence between the gaps shows such flow(again a bad word but the only one I could think of) between features and anytime a new piece of evidence is found it fits into the flow just as we would expect it to.  Focusing only on the gaps gives the lopsided picture that the gaps are all that is important, but as I said above without the evidence there would be no gaps; or, rephrased, all of prehistory would would be one giant gap.  And if creationism was true(especially YEC) that is all we would expect.  One giant gap.  Why can't creationists get that?

Date: 2006/05/08 07:07:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
(5) Was not Adolf Hitler affected by current evolutionary thinking when he came up with his "Aryan Master Race" theory?  I believe he was, and why shouldn't he have been?  Isn't it logical to assume that some races might be 'less evolved' than others if human evolution is true?  How about slavery?  Did not many whites view themselves as 'more evolved' than blacks, thus justifying their ownership and ill treatment of slaves?  And if human evolution is true, why would Hitler and slave owners be wrong in their actions?  After all, we 'enslave' chimps in zoos and we do medical experiments resulting in the death of lab rats.  Why should we not do the same with 'less evolved' humans?

What does this have to do with the biologically history of the planet Earth?  The fact that some people can corrupt knowledge to their own perverted ends does not mean the knowledge is factually incorrect.  It only means that some people can corrupt knowledge to their own perverted ends.  What I hear from you here is that since some people can corrupt knowledge that knowledge should never have been learned in the first place and should be abandonded(to be politic, banned to be impolitic).  What is it with christians and their obsession with forbidding knowledge.  Oh yeah, that's right, the garden.  Never mind.

Let's try it this way.
Do apes organize themselves into 'governments' and seek to conquer  other ape groups?

I don't know about 'governments' but chimpanzee tribes have been documented to practice organized warfare on other tribes for no better apparent reason than that they wanted to.  This ought to tell you that the latent human capacity to violence and cruelty is not unique to us (and conversely, an additional instance of how close chimps are to us).  But we also have compassion, as evident in, say, a mother's tenderness toward her child.  We DO have the ability to make our own ethical and moral rules for living with our fellow humanity and we DO have the ability to get a consensus with our fellow humanity on what those rules should be.  We don't have to have an imaginary sky daddy to provide us with that.  Just because there are Hitlers in our past(who, incidentally, relied on the religious beliefs of his fellow Germans in that same sky daddy to justify and support his crimes) does not invalidate humanity's ability to create and arrive at a consensus on ethical and moral codes.  Hitler was wrong because we have decided he was wrong.  More importantly Hitler was wrong because millions of people in dozens of countries around the world did decide he was wrong and did something about it.  And yes, some of them used that sky daddy's moral code to help them decide that he was wrong.  So I will ask you the reverse question:
(5) Was not Adolf Hitler affected by current religious thinking when he came up with his "Aryan Master Race" theory?  I believe he was, and why shouldn't he have been?  Isn't it logical to assume that some races might be 'less divine' than others if there is only one true religion?  How about slavery?  Did not many whites view themselves as 'more divine' than blacks, thus justifying their ownership and ill treatment of slaves?  And if there is only one true religion, why would Hitler and slave owners be wrong in their actions?
What good is religion if it can be worked both ways?

Why am I justified in asking these questions?  Because evolution theory absolutely does not support the assertian that any race is 'higher' or 'lower' than any other race.  Please tell me how Hitler used evolution theory to tell the difference between a lutheran, a jew, a catholic, an atheist, a gypsy, a moslem.  What physical differences separate these categories?  The only differences are religious(or lack thereof).  How can evolution theory tell them apart?  Hitler may very well have uttered the word evolution in a racist context(I can't say otherwise) but the source of the racism was religious, not biological.

Is there any evidence of any 'technology' developed by apes?  Even primitive technology?

Try Googling "chimpanzee warfare" and "chimpanzee tool use".  You might be surprised.


Date: 2006/05/08 07:42:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Dave asks:
Is there any indication of abstract thinking among the apes?

Dave supplies an example of what he thinks abstract thinking is:
I have firsthand experience with one such tribe, the Wai-Wai indians of Southern Guyana/Northern Brazil... ...and we have observed no evidence of anything 'primitive' about their human characteristics.  To be sure, their civilization and technology was quite primitive (they were basically hunter/gatherers), but their language is every bit as complex as English or Spanish or many other languages.  Their behaviour is in no way 'primitive' for the purpose of determining if they are 'less evolved.'  They laugh, cry,

make jokes,

tell stories, get mad at one another, read, write, learn foreign languages, play guitars and keyboards, have political battles, and in short do everything that any human society also does.

To which Ved replied:
More on Koko:
Koko has a great sense of humour. When asked the colour of her white towel over and over again, she eventually got bored and signed the word ‘red’. When asked again, she replied ‘red’ twice more! Then she carefully picked a piece of red thread off the towel and laughed, saying ‘red’ again.

The problem is not that chimps, and the animal kingdom in general, is so far behind.  It is that you are so completely unknowing of just how capable chimps really are and that you are full of species superiority about how far advanced humans really are.

Date: 2006/05/08 08:20:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 08 2006,11:53)
I will cover this on my other thread.  Keep checking back.  Thanks for the question.

Which thread?  You have several.

Date: 2006/05/08 09:44:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 08 2006,13:36)
[b]Why are we standing up in science classes and teaching kids that Ape to Human Evolution is a FACT?

Because it's science, Dave.  The purpose of sitting in science class it to learn science.  If you don't like that don't sit in a science class.  If you want to learn religion go to church, no pesky science there.  But the purpose of sitting in science class is not to learn Shakespeare, basket weaving, cake baking, typing, grammar, or religion.  It is to learn science, and science was created by humanity to provide us with the best explanation we can get of how the world works and why.  It is a crying shame the conclusions of science don't agree with your religion, but maybe the religio-politico leaders of 7th century b.c. Jeruselum should have waited 2700 years before putting a plagiarised creation myth on papyrus.

Date: 2006/05/08 09:53:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 08 2006,14:06)
Let me just put to rest all the talk about "More Evolved=More Abilities, etc." ...

When comparing Apes and Humans (which is the topic of this thread), I am simply saying this ... Humans Have More Abilities than Apes

I don't know.  Last time I checked I couldn't swing through trees 100 feet up in the air. :)

Date: 2006/05/08 10:08:40, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 08 2006,14<!--emo&:0)
Also, this type of thing from Aftershave ...
Let's use AFDave "logic", shall we?

Those evil Nazis used their knowledge of chemistry to produce high explosives and poisonous gas, so therefore the Atomic Theory of Chemistry must be scientifically wrong!

Worse than that, those evil Nazis used their knowledge of physics and gravity to aim and drop their bombs, so therefore Newtonian physics and the Theory of Gravity must be scientifically wrong!

How can we teach such blasphemy as chemistry and physics to our children???

Let's say someone drops AFDave into the middle of the Pacific with no raft, into a pack of sharks, to see which is "more evolved".  Any bets?

is a sure indicator that this person has nothing left to say that is substantive ...

this does not help the image of evolution promoters ...

And by saying this you have completely missed his two points.  You suggested that because Hitler allegedly based his racism on Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection that we must, at the very least, regard it with suspicion, or perhaps, ultimately reject it entirely out of hand.  This is so fallacious it's infantile.
And if you were dropped into the habitat of a great white shark without any of the fancy technology bequethed to you by the fancy brains of your ancestors would you regard yourself as 'more' evolved or 'less' evolved.  Evolution is about fitting envionmental niches.  Science uses its own definitions.  It is not required to use the ones AFDave wants to fob off on it.

Date: 2006/05/08 10:32:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (BWE @ May 07 2006,10:50)
Anyone please correct me if I am wrong in these next several points:
1 -The world at large is not now, nor has it ever been, "fair".
2 -Fairness is like "truthiness" -subjective but at least nominally desirable.
3 -Gay mariage is essentially an issue of fairness. On one side and the other.
4 -Poligamy and most other things people want to do but can't because it is illegal are also issues of fairness.
5 -legally, the only thing that a law can rest on if it is in violation of fairness is public health, safety and welfare.
6 -Christian wingnuts could concievably go into anaphylactic shock over the gay marriage issue, as well as legalizing drugs and prostitution, man-goat love, polygamy, etc.
7 -therefore all kinds of things that really shouldn't make much difference to anyone are in fact a very bad idea because it endangers the public health, safety and welfare by exposing fear-driven folks who accidentally put their christianity on backwards to strange siezure related illnesses.
8 -Thordaddy is an idiot.

Someone over at Uncommonly Dense once said something along the lines of:
"not being able to force other people to live by my standards is violation of my freedom"

The only thing I could think was 'it tough having to live in a free country, but i hear China is looking for a few good dictators' :0

Date: 2006/05/08 11:33:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Russell @ May 08 2006,15:57)
followed by the founding of the United States squarely upon the Bible also
absolutely not.

Add American history to the list of subjects AFDave knows less about than he thinks.

Yes Russell, but you are not going by rightwingnut approved pre-1950's history.  All that history you learned is 'liberal' history.  Can't trust that, oh no. ;)

Date: 2006/05/09 15:26:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (jeannot @ May 09 2006,14:23)
Quote (Henry J @ May 09 2006,14:17)
Re " OMG! We're going toward our Waterloo ? (gasp!"

Darwin was English. ;)

So I'm going toward my Waterloo, and you'll meet your Pearl Harbour soon.
I don't know any famous British defeat.


Date: 2006/05/18 16:41:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ April 29 2006,22:02)
Thanks.  I'll check it out.

Here's a question for people with er ... more of an Evolutionary mindset ...

How many cultures around the world practice a 7 day week and why?  

I honestly have not studied this, but would like to know ... Of course I know why Western Society does, but I'm curious about other cultures ...

Dave would it surprise you to know that the seven day week occurs because there are seven planets visible to the naked eye.  The ancients associated a planet with each day of the week.  If you spoke any romance language (French, Spanish, Italien) this would be much more obvious to you.  The seven day week predated the abrahamic tradition which borrowed the concept from pagan babylon.
Google:  days of the week named after planets

Edit:  Ok so I didn't read far enough before posting.  Aardvark and Faid already hit this.

PS Dave, the key to a good google search is using more relevant words than just one or two.

Date: 2006/05/20 04:43:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Carol Clouser wrote @ May 14 2006,22:21)

You need to face up to the reality of the fact that historians just have no reliable information/data to go by prior to three thousand years ago. These so called "scholars" with careers to justify, find some decaying document or crumbling tablet that they don't even know which way to hold to read correctly, nor do they know a thing about the motivations and agends of the writers of these artifacts nor about all the documents that were destroyed by rulers with their own interests to protect, then proceed to conjure up pie-in-the-sky theories about what they think might have occured. And this drivel appeals to you so long as it discredits the Bible which you think is your great Satan in the religion-science wars. Would you consider such evidence in scientific issues?

<sarcastic smirking>
No doubt the fact that many of these so-called 'suspect' scholars are Jews who live and work in Israel is absolutely worthless.</sarcastic smirking>

Edited to show Carol Clouser was the author of the original post.

Date: 2006/05/21 04:03:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stephenWells @ May 20 2006,11:38)
Factual error AND logical fallacy: your claim that if most 19th century Europeans hadn't met Africans they therefore didn't have an opinion about them. Trivially incorrect; it's really, really easy to have an opinion about people you haven't met, and the literary and historical record is FULL of viciously racist opinions.

Heck, if Hunter's claim about 19th century Europeans was true then it would be triply true about 16th century Europeans; yet some English playwright dude knew enough to write an entire play about an African.  Now, what WAS his name?

Date: 2006/05/21 16:42:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Isaac Asimov wrote it.  It is one of what he called his short-shorts.  It's probably been twenty years since I read it but give me a minute.
Ah now.  Here it is in full.  Isaac has been my absolute favorite author for almost thirty years.  The first book I ever read by him was given to me when I was in second grade.  It was Asimov on Astronomy and was a F&SF magazine essay collection.  Not to derail this thread, but anyone care to expound on their favorite authors and the books that got them started?

HOW IT HAPPENED by Isaac Asimov

My brother began to dictate in his best oratorical style, the one which has the tribes hanging on his words.

“In the beginning,” he said, “exactly fifteen point two billion years ago, there was a big bang and the Universe–”

But I had stopped writing. “Fifteen billion years ago?” I said incredulously.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m inspired.”

“I don’t question your inspiration,” I said. (I had better not. He’s three years younger than I am, but I don’t try questioning his inspiration. Neither does anyone else or there’s #### to pay.) “But are you going to tell the story of Creation over a period of fifteen billion years?”

“I have to,” said my brother. “That’s how long it took. I have it all here,” he tapped his forehead, “and it’s on the very highest authority.”

By now I had put down my stylus. “Do you know the price of papyrus?” I said.
“What?” (He may be inspired but I frequently noticed that the inspiration didn’t include such sordid matters as the price of papyrus.

I said, “Suppose you describe one million years of events to each roll of papyrus. That means you’ll have to fill fifteen thousand rolls.

You’ll have to talk long enough to fill them and you know that you begin to stammer after a while. I’ll have to write enough to fill them and my fingers will fall off. And even if we can afford all that papyrus and you have the voice and I have the strength, who’s going to copy it? We’ve got to have a guarantee of a hundred copies before we can publish and without that where will we get the royalties from?”

My brother thought a while. He said, “You think I ought to cut it down?”

“Way down,” I said, “if you expect to reach the public.”

“How about a hundred years?” he said.

“How about six days?” I said.

He said, horrified, “You can’t squeeze Creation into six days.”

I said, “This is all the papyrus I have. What do YOU think?”

“Oh well,” he said, and began to dictate again, “In the beginning — does it have to be six days, Aaron?”

I said, firmly, “Six days, Moses.”

Date: 2006/05/21 17:01:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ May 21 2006,08:15)

So presumably, a million years from now, there might be only bacteria ... no mammals, right?

My question is ... why didn't the bacteria win before mammals appeared?  Weren't they evolving just as rapidly early in earth history as they are now?
Dave, the comic book you learned evolution from--was it even in English?

[snark]That comic probably had Chick somewhere in the title.  Doh![/snark]

Date: 2006/05/21 17:05:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Bing @ May 21 2006,11:21)
Quote (stevestory @ May 21 2006,08:15)
Dave, the comic book you learned evolution from--was it even in English?

Chick tracts are written in English, so the answer is presumably 'yes'.

D@mn, I really must learn to read all the way to the end of a thread before posting.

Date: 2006/05/21 22:15:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Air Farce Dave,
When you were in the Air Force did anyone ever send you on the typical newby search for slip stream, pneumatic fluid, flight line, or prop wash?  More to the point how long did you spend looking for said items.  Honestly, you must have been a gold mine for old salts, not that Air Force personnel could ever get salty. :p

Date: 2006/05/22 01:13:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Faid @ May 22 2006,05:31)
On a (kinda) related note: Does anyone know where I can find an awesome short story by Connie Willis I once read, Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday?

It's about- well, about just that, I guess, and it deals with like issues, only about the end of the world rather than it's beginning.

Asimov’s Science Fiction [v18 # 1, No.211, January 1994] ed. Gardner R. Dozois (Dell Magazines, $2.95, 176pp+, digest, cover by Gary Freeman)
page 52 • Why the World Didn’t End Last Tuesday • Connie Willis • ss

I can't determine if it was ever placed in a short story collection.

Date: 2006/05/22 01:50:45, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Well, Air Farce Dave, it's been over almost two weeks.  Any response yet?

Date: 2006/05/22 02:31:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Serious question Dave,
Did you actually retire from the Air Force or did you resign your commission sooner than that?

Date: 2006/05/22 13:19:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 22 2006,13:50)
DT's rationalization of this is presumably that this is the kind of thing the ACLU would have done if they'd thought of it, so that 'makes the story true'. You know, the same evidence he has that we all burn churches and spread Ebola.

I had to sit through a FAUX News broadcast in a restaurant yesterday.  Seems there are 1,300 church fires a year in this country.  20% are attributed to arson.  That means 80% are not intentional and are therefore acts of god. :O Doh!

Date: 2006/05/24 12:41:56, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 24 2006,13:11)
Soon the lightbulb will come on for a majority of scientists regarding Intelligent Design and us 'amateur scientists' will go back to our churches and be quiet.  This kind of thing has happened over and over again through the centuries and it will happen here as well.

Could you produce an example please.

Oh, could you also point me in the direction of your blog.  I think Ved linked to a picture from it, but I haven't been able to find it.  Googling has found some interesting things but not specifically your blog.

Thanks in advance,

Date: 2006/05/24 12:49:56, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 24 2006,13:11)
... ...we don't attack the cancer researchers or doctors or geologists searching for oil, and many, many other good people... ...

P.S. Dave,
For an avowed YEC I should think that Geology would be a far more damaging science to your position than Biology.  Why doesn't it give you heartburn?

Date: 2006/05/24 13:01:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ May 23 2006,00:07)
I bet Dave isn't showing this site to his wife and kids anymore.

I find this curious - I just looked at AFDave's blog and he has removed his AFDave's Creator God Hypothesis entry along with all the associated critical comments.  That's one way to hide the embarrassment I guess.  Do we have another Dave Springer-Spaniel the mad deleter on our hands?

Thankyou Occam!!!
I've been looking for that.

Date: 2006/05/24 17:06:41, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 24 2006,17:19)
Quote (sir_toejam @ May 24 2006,17:13)
No it doesn't, because the Bible is not true. It's wrong on the age of the earth by six orders of magnitude.

Clouser, Clouser..., Clouser!

(sung to the tune of Beetlegeuse)

SHHHHHHHH!!!! She'll HEAR you!

I keep wondering if, perhaps, Carol Clouser might not be the best person to have a go with 'ol AFDave.  Having read the stuff Dave has written elsewhere it's obvious that he is 1111% YEC and seeing as how Clouser's/Landa's purpose is to address YEC'ers specifically, he seems tailor made for her.  My own creationist friends aren't really so cerebral that Landa's book had much of an impact, but she might be able to get through to Dave.  As Flint has said, the problem is not the science Dave doesn't know.  It is the bible he thinks he knows.  So I'm game.

Clouser... Clouser... Clouser!

What do you say Carol.  Here is a perfect chance to you to demonstrate that you can help creationists. Have a go at it.

Date: 2006/05/26 13:07:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Fractatious @ May 26 2006,10:34)
Awbrey then wrote a reply.

“I think we should be humble and avoid claiming absolute knowledge of things that could well be beyond our intellectual or moral abilities to comprehend,” Awbrey wrote, signing the letter with his communications director title.

Warning overload..., Warning overload..., Warning overload...,
BLAMMMMM! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Noooooo, that was my very first irony meter.
Who could possibly be less humble about claiming absolute knowledge than the fundies in this country?
And what lack of moral ability is it exactly that prevents us from doing and learning science?

Date: 2006/05/26 15:06:59, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (ericmurphy @ May 26 2006,13:57)
Quote (stevestory @ May 26 2006,13:47)
J. We hypothesize a supernatural intervention by God at the Tower of Babel which instantly and miraculously created several new languages (we think on the order of 12 or so), whereas prior to this event, there was only one language.

Just out of curiosity, Dave: what's your null hypothesis here? Also, what data would you accept as having falsified your hypothesis about languages?

If you can't think of a way for your hypothesis to be falsified, then how will you ever know if it's wrong?

I keep wanting to ask AirFarceDave to explain to me how his hypothesis is constrained, but I am quite certain he wouldn't even know what that meant and therefore don't see the point.  (And no fair anybody explaining it to him!;))  I'll also admit that I can't be certain that I am myself using the word properly.  Is a question of constraint the same as or similar to your questions?

Date: 2006/05/26 15:23:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ May 26 2006,14:35)
Washout Dave says
Aftershave-- Lighten up man ... or you're going to have to go see a shrink ... have some fun!

Actually Dave, I'm having great fun! :) :) :)  It's been a while since we've seen any Fundy fanatic with his head stuck up his ass as far as you have managed.  You have your pinhead shoved in so deep you need a glass belly button as a porthole to see out. :p

Oh, and besides cowardly ignoring my questions again, you also forgot to answer Joe the Ordinary Guy's question:

Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

I think that everyone who posts to Dave's threads should add this quote:

Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

to the end of the post just to continually highlight that AirFarceDave has no evidence.  Lurkers can't help but realize the totally farcical nature of his (should I even deign to call them) "arguments".

Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

Date: 2006/05/26 15:32:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ May 26 2006,15:27)

This is totally wrong. After the Tower of Babel, there were no more or less than forty-seven languages created. Exactly that number.

Forty six and a half. AFDave informs me that Polish is simply a mixture of Creole and Japanese.

Hey, its only 46.  I have Polish friends that I love to listen to speaking (I think it is a prettier language than French) and they have informed me that you forgot to include the Inuit Influence of 1387 when a seal hunting fleet was blown off course and landed at Gdansk.

Hey AFDave:

Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

Date: 2006/05/26 15:35:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 26 2006,17:11)
That's because the sun really does rise and set just like the Bible says. for all their talk of "empiricism," evolutionistic presuppositions just take men on flights of fantasy. It is Biblical presuppositions that really help us explain how the world really is. The earth sits at the center and all other heavenly bodies revolve around it. (The powerful model convincing to anybody save the most stubborn evolutionist will be posted in another thread shortly

Okay, now either someone has taken over Paley's brain, or he's just fucking with us. Objectively, there's no way to distinguish between the two.

* Hey Paley, how about starting your own thread?  You seem like a celebrity around here ... I'm sure people would like to argue with you.

But, um, I thought Paley had started his own thread here! Like, three or four of them!?

Paley is feeling neglected because AirFarce is getting all the attention.

Date: 2006/05/26 15:41:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (sir_toejam @ May 26 2006,20:34)
I think that everyone who posts to Dave's threads should add this quote:

shortest trend in history?

Sorry STJ, I have several response windows open at the same time and lose track.

Date: 2006/05/27 02:19:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 27 2006,04:28)
Quote (skeptic @ May 26 2006,22:29)
This is not the same abundance of forms that was predicted

Really? Let's see some justification for that claim.

Here is my rebuttal of that general claim.

Wes, all four of the links at the bottom of the page you linked to are broken.

Date: 2006/05/27 03:10:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Here is an interesting perspective on the idea that ridicule has value as a weapon of discourse:

Larry, Curly and Osama: Ridiculing terrorists as a weapon of war

By J. Michael Waller

OSAMA BIN LADEN says he doesn't fear dying. He says he fears being humiliated.

So let's give it to him.

Bin Laden and others have thrived on the almost obsessive American focus on them as personal rivals. We give them the coveted "Enemy of the Great Satan" brand whenever our national leaders single them out by name.

What would happen if we ridiculed the terrorists instead?

Would young people still flock to become "fighters" and suicide bombers? Would they still leave on their doomed missions with tearful support from their mothers, fathers, grandparents and the pretty girls at home, blessed by a cleric who justifies murder as a noble sacrifice in Allah's name?

Terrorism is psychological warfare: to accomplish much with little by manipulating people's perceptions, emotions and actions. That's why the terrorists like soft targets — innocent civilians in a skyscraper or mosque — that have little if any military value. The killings serve to terrorize civilized society, Muslim and otherwise. Ridicule strips the terrorist of his power. If we stop being afraid, we turn the icons of fear into objects of contempt.

The U.S. military may be developing its war-fighting skills to do just that. Recently it shattered the seemingly invincible persona of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, whose beheadings and bombings have terrorized Iraq and the world, by pairing his latest video release with captured raw outtakes.

The outtakes showed Zarqawi not as a fearsome fighter but as a confused, bumbling fat boy in American sneakers and a black ninja costume who couldn't figure out how to operate a simple machine gun. (And even if it wasn't simple, there was no way to know that from the outtakes.) For the first time ever, the world saw Zarqawi's weak side: a pudgy, vulnerable, even contemptible creature who can't fight like a real warrior.

To most Americans, ridiculing terrorists might seem trivial, even sophomoric, as a weapon of war. But dictators and terrorists, being unable to function in the free market of ideas, need propagandists to control (not merely spin) their public images. They require obedience or acquiescence — a fear factor that cannot long coexist with put-downs and snickering. (That's why, six months after taking power in 1959, Fidel Castro had signs placed in official buildings that read "Counterrevolutionary jokes forbidden here." One of the first publications he shutdown was Zig Zag, a humor magazine.)

Pride, honor and shame are profound in much of Arab Muslim culture. The Zarqawi video was devastating. That's why Iraqi television and other moderate Arab media gave it plenty of play.

The ancients of the Middle East understood the mortal power of ridicule. In the Talmud, the basis of Jewish law, the Hebrews proclaimed, "All mockery (leitzanut) is prohibited except for mockery of idol worship."

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, weaponized ridicule. From the third to fifth years of his annunciation as a prophet, Muhammad deployed warrior poets ahead of his invading armies to soften the targets through mockery and derision.

Back in simpler times, Americans reflexively ridiculed their enemies. In a 1940 episode of "The Three Stooges," Moe did a ridiculous impression of Hitler while Larry heiled as propaganda minister, and Curly dressed as Goering with his belly and buttocks festooned with medals.

When the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, the Army turned film studios into wartime propaganda mills. Humor about sacrifices at home and ridicule of the enemy were staples in Disney and Warner Bros. productions that starred Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny. (In fact, "Donald Duck in Nutziland" won an Academy Award in 1942.) To home audiences, the parody brought comfort and reassurance that, mighty as the enemy was, we could still defeat it.

In a January 2006 recorded message, Bin Laden signed off by saying: "I swear not to die but a free man even if I taste the bitterness of death. I fear to be humiliated or betrayed."

If he's not afraid to die, let's pour on the humiliation.

As long as the terrorists can make themselves look like fearsome winners — and as long as we inadvertently help them — they will always recruit followers. But nobody likes to follow a loser.

The link for that article.

The Bio of the author.

Date: 2006/05/27 03:49:08, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Crabby Appleton @ May 27 2006,00:43)
Hey! He wasn't a flight school washout. He has seat time in both the T-38 and the UH-1, both of which are Phase 3 aircraft. He just couldn't finish his B-2 Training.

Maybe it was because he was doing too much 30,000/Mach 1 Geology while flying over the Grand Canyon? (What a Grand thing that Flood must have been! )

I always limited myself to Geology of the 50/50 type in the interest of safety of course.

Welcome Crabby,
I'm not Air Farce, my patriotic service was done on salt water, but I grew up in a mixed Army/AirForce household and am familiar enough with both to have suspicions about Dave's accomplishments.  But I don't know what you mean by "phase 3".  This would be something new to me; would you care to explain what it means?


Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

Date: 2006/05/27 04:56:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ May 27 2006,09:21)

Dave, you are not finished yet.
Now you have to show how this evidence supports the hypothesis, and only this hypothesis.  You have to show how this hypothesis explains the evidence and does so better than the alternative hypothesis.  You have to show us your testing of the hypothesis.

Date: 2006/05/27 05:03:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
AFDave would you please explain how your creator god hypothesis is constrained.  No I won't explain what that means and how it applies to scientific hypotheses.  It would probably be good for you to figure it out yourself.  And Wikipedia won't be as helpful as you might hope.  Yes, I figured out it means what I thought it meant and I got it from a real science book (written by a real scientist).  You do have some of those, don't you Dave?

Oh, and by the way,


Just a quick question:
Why AREN'T you presenting your YEC evidence?

OK.  I'll change it now.

Just a quick question:
Do you have any evidence that isn't standard creationist boilerplate, decades old, and was wrong even when new?

Date: 2006/05/27 05:05:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Edit-duplicate post deleted

Date: 2006/05/27 05:07:25, Link
Author: Paul Flocken

Date: 2006/05/28 11:09:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ May 28 2006,15:07)
sometimes the After the Bar Closes page mentions a new post, but upon clicking the thread, you don't get the new post. I've had the delay last as long as 15 minutes. Anybody else get this or know what's going on? Manually refreshing doesn't fix it.

update: a little more data on the problem. I was seeing    
Pages: (29) < ... 25 26 27 28 [29] >
, and seeing 29 pages, and after 30 minutes, when it finally showed me the new comments, they were on a new page, page 30. So apparently page 30 existed for a while, but didn't immediately show up either on the front board or when you hit ">".

I'll corroborate this.  Yesterday I had two duplicate posts because of this bug.  It turned out the first post was at the top of the next page and Steve's query here shows me there really was some problem.

Steve after several minutes of closing windows, resetting cookies, and logging in/out, I eventually restarted my computer and that seemed to let me into the next page.  Although by that point other posters had dropped comments and I don't know that it wasn't those that kicked the system into letting me onto the next page rather than my restart.

Date: 2006/05/28 11:36:08, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Crabby Appleton @ May 28 2006,00:37)
Sounds like he'd reached his level of Irreducible Complexity.


<shakes self><cough,cough>Ehem,

Brilliant Crabby, brilliant.

That is precisely what I thought, though I wasn't acquainted with exact terminology, and you did say it so much better.

When I was little the pilots down at Pope and Simmons were gods to me and they were certainly not shy about basking in the adulation they were buried under.  Yet AirFarceDave does not seem to want to bragg about the operational aircraft he flew.  Why wouldn't he also bragg about his basic and primary aircraft if that T-38 was so important to him.  (I don't know, does the Air Force still use Tweetybirds?)  And why would the Air Force waste time getting someone qualified in advanced jet trainers only to stick them in UH-1's?

Thanks Crabby, you made my day.

Date: 2006/05/28 12:06:29, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 28 2006,16:42)
However, I have big misgivings about this statement:

ericmurphy said on May 28 2006,16:26

For the first 180,000 or so of those years, those humans were hunter-gatherers who had no use whatsoever for written language, and not much use for spoken language either (how many different words do you suppose your average human needed 150,000 years ago, Dave?)

'Not much use for spoken language'? ? ?

I hope the implication here isn't that hunter-gatherers don't need many words or have simple languages, because that unquestionably is not true. Linguists know quite a lot about the languages of stone-age hunter gatherers (many such languages are still spoken, or were spoken til recently), and they have huge vocabularies, just as big as those of preliterary agricultural societies. On the order of tens of thousands of words.

Not to step on your toes Arden, I have learned a lot from you, I would like to add that I have read about hypotheses concerning the selection pressure that language exerted on human brains.  Once the larynx dropped, and we started talking, the advantage it conferred was so powerful that language development would have been rapid.  Pressure on brain development would have been equally potent and the feedback cycle was on.  Languages would have become very complex, very quickly.  Sorry I don't have any links, I can't remember where I read this and I don't have time to google.  I'm playing hooky from chores as it is.

Date: 2006/05/28 12:12:08, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (k.e @ May 28 2006,08:10)
D/2 do you apply the term  "non-Christian" to refer to mainline and liberal Christian groups as well as Muslims, Hindus, followers of Aboriginal and Neo-Pagan religions etc ?
If so why?

AirFarceDave doesn't accept catholics as much more than aboriginal neo-pagans.  I'll try to find the link later, but I have to go for now.  See you guys later.

Date: 2006/05/29 17:39:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
To answer you,
If you had flown the big, fast jetfighters of the airforce(say like the ones the Thunderbirds* fly or the Blue Angels fly for the Navy) would you bragg about the training aircraft you started out in?  The airforce also doesn't spend the money training a pilot for the big, fast jets and then waste it (pilots are not cheap), by assigning him to a helo squadron, without some cause.  Crabby's snide suggestion was that Dave was doing something in the air he shouldn't have been, ("Maybe it was because he was doing too much 30,000/Mach 1 Geology while flying over the Grand Canyon?), but that was more humor than serious speculation.  Conversely, DaveTard might have started out in helo's instead, but that doesn't make sense to me either.  People join the airforce because they want to fly jets.  People who want to fly helo's (hard to believe, but yes, they do exist) join the Army or the Marine Corps.  DaveTard is certainly a pilot, we're not suggesting that he is not, but I think that for some reason he was less than desirable for the airforce at the original role he started out in.  Crabby's final suggestion, that he was cashiered, is a bit more than I would suggest but who knows absent any real information from DaveTard.  Strangely, despite the mild aspersians we have cast on his career, he hasn't deigned to respond.  Is it possible we struck the right nerve with the right nail?  He served on active duty for ten years.  Long time with no operational aircraft sticktime for a pilot.  I know he's reading this thread because he actually answered Crabby, but he did it in another thread.  I presume to avoid getting caught in this thread.

Crabby's post:
Crabby Appleton @ May 27 2006,00:43
Hey! He wasn't a flight school washout. He has seat time in both the T-38 and the UH-1, both of which are Phase 3 aircraft. He just couldn't finish his B-2 Training.

AirFarceDaveTard's reply on page 27 of AF Dave's UPDATED Creator God Hypothesis
afdave @ May 27 2006,09:21
Good work Appleton ... just curious ... where did you find the info?  Oh ... and I didn't apply to the B-2 program.  Had no interest in being a bomber guy ... too boring.  I asked for the B-2 Sim Instructor position as a comfy "getting out" job.

Scroll down to the bottom of post #26(or fifth post up from the bottom if that is easier).

Oh yeah, bombers are too boring for manly AFDave, who apparently didn't fly anything more exciting than trainers or the most stolidly boring helicopter in the entire inventory.  (T-38's though, nonetheless, are sweet little aircraft.  I wouldn't turn my nose up at one.)  Come on Dave tell us a little more about your flying for the airforce.  It can't be as bad as I have disparaged.

*Incidentally the T-38 was actually used by the Thunderbirds in the late seventies and early eighties.  They were replaced by the F-16 in 1983.  Their use had more to do with economy than anything else because of the various oil crises(sp?) of the seventies.  The Thunderbirds actually lost part of a show year because of fuel costs.

Date: 2006/05/30 01:48:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
After sleeping on it I decided I wanted to add:
This is not all to suggest anything malign on the part of AFDave.  There could be several reasons why he lacks operational experience.  He may simply not have been able to develop the abilities to pilot the fast jets.  Helo skills are somewhat different.  Perhaps his eyesight may have deteriorated rapidly.  IIRC the Army allows its helo pilots to use corrective eyewear.  I know the AirForce does not do this for fixed wing aircraft but perhaps they do for helo's, though I don't know for certain.  In any event the AirForce offered Dave an alternative and he chose helo's.  Suggesting that there was some negative reason for the change is too over the top.  I'm certain Dave had a wonderfully honorable career.  The point Crabby and I noticed was that there is probably more to the story than simply "Hi, I'm Dave.  I was an AirForce jetfighter pilot."  Especially since it was important enough to him that he made sure we all knew it even without having to visit his blog.

Date: 2006/05/31 10:36:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ May 31 2006,14:49)
More later.

Later, always later.*  It's always later with you people.
Always later.

*Ten points for anyone who can guess the reference.

Date: 2006/05/31 10:46:48, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hey, I actually think that AFDave has proven the existence of God to me.

More Later! ! ! ! ! ! !

Date: 2006/05/31 11:03:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Thanks Occam.
I should probably start reading ALL the threads before I start shooting my mouth off.  I'm sorry I stepped on your toes by practically restating exactly what you had already written.  I'll go read what you wrote when I get back from work tonight.  I do think it's interesting that three different laymen*, Doh! :O , all noted the same thing.  He thinks so highly of layman, after all, and so little of experts.  Makes it that much harder for AirFarceDaveTard/2 to juke and jink around looking like an imbecile.
Again, thanks Occam.
See you guys later.

*Laymen as regards to the AirForce, Dave being a real expert since he did actually serve in that branch.

Date: 2006/07/06 07:57:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hey all,
I have a real day off after a couple of months of #### and wanted to catch up on what seems like several thousand new posts.  I hadn't intended to write anything but I read a column a couple of days ago that just fell right in with this thread.  At the time I specifically thought of Morton's Demon and AFDave.

Morton's Demon is real.  As in the Demon has a true physical analogue in brain neurology/neurochemistry.  The doctor who has done the work on this has spoken about it before on NPR.

As fascinating as it is, it really is not surprising.


P.S.  Does Paley have a model yet?

Date: 2006/07/12 16:25:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ July 12 2006,10:58)
Quote (djmullen @ July 12 2006,05:50)
"Correct me if I’m wrong here but wasn’t Avida and all the software & hardware it runs on the result of intelligent agency?

This might be the stupidest fucking thing ever posted to Uncommonly Dense.

Buuttt Steeeeve, it's those information cooties.  They're everywhere.  Humans are chronic carriers of them.  They infect EVERYTHING WE TOUCH

Date: 2006/07/13 16:28:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (dhogaza @ July 13 2006,20:32)
I think it's time for Dave Scott to stick up for Kent Hovind again, like he did when Kent got in trouble over his building permits.

You know, Kent's only being harassed because he's a Christian, etc etc.

C'mon Dave, we know you read this thread when you're not too busy violating the 2nd Law by posting at UD ...

No, no, no, you've got it all backwards. UD and the UDomites are the greatest source of entropy in the known universe.  They have knocked a billion years off the life expectancy of the whole galaxy all by themselves.  If they keep it up we will be facing heat death of the cosmos sometime in the year 2525. :O

Date: 2006/08/10 12:46:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 09 2006,17:27)
Over on Ed's blog, the comments reveal that Dembski got an autograph pretty much identical to those that Barbara has given to others who bought her book, and that the "thanks" is for exactly that, buying the book.

I've seen it any number of times used by the authors my bookstore invites for book signings.  It's a very common form of address that many authors use for signing books.

Date: 2006/08/11 15:35:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Dante @ Aug. 11 2006,19:26)
Prediction for next post on UD: "I got in an argument with my rice crispies this morning..."

The downward spiral continues.

:D  :D  :D
:D  :D  :D
Best laugh I had all day!

Date: 2006/08/12 02:06:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 11 2006,22:27)
Are we not men?

We are Evo!

No! We are EVOO!


Date: 2006/08/13 08:44:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 12 2006,19:27)
I'm incredibly interested in how the Kaibab was formed in your model, Dave. Tell me how limestone was preferentially deposited in that layer. How is it that calcium carbonate was deposited in a flood, with the turbidity of a flood? Especially since it was deposited several times in the overall stratigraphy of the grand staircase? mixed in with eolian sandstones and evaporites?

These are the kinds of questions you have to answer...but you order to make your hypothesis stand.

Does AFDave even know what an evaporite is?

Date: 2006/08/13 09:09:45, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (keiths @ Aug. 13 2006,10:46)
Salvador's "international TV" appearance is now available for viewing.

He must be crushed -- after hyping his appearance all over the blogosphere, he ended up with less than a minute of screen time.

The interesting part of the segment is when they show Caroline Crocker lying for Jesus.  She states, "I did one lecture where I gave them the evidence for and against evolution, just the scientific evidence.  I was so careful when I wrote that lecture not to be partial in any way."

Then they start flashing slides from her lecture on the screen.  I paused the video to get a look.  The first slide shows a picture of a monkey with a banana, a picture of a slovenly man in his underwear, and an arrow with a question mark over it connecting the monkey to the man.  In her second slide she manages to mention that Darwin "failed at medical school (could not dissect)" and "was a rich kid who enjoyed partying, drinking, and gambling".  Her third slide mentions Archaeopteryx and Eohippus as "Presumed Transitional Forms", stating that "Archaeopteryx has been questioned as a fraud" and that "Eohippus is same as modern-day hyrax", apparently confusing the genus Hyracotherium, to which Eohippus belongs, with the family Hyracoidea, which contains the hyrax.  Judge for yourselves -- same or different?


Her fourth slide, titled "Scientists are Confused", says that "scientists have differing opinions on this issue; intelligent design is gaining ground".  She then quote-mines Gould and Eldredge <b>before finishing with a quote of Wernher von Braun (whom she specifically cites as a "rocket scientist")<b> saying "It is unscientific to teach evolution only."

Utterly shameful that the Darwinian fascists would have a problem with such a fair-minded, impartial defender of the truth as Caroline.

She is absolutely not a liar.  The bolded part is the truth and therefore Crocker is the most honest person in the entire world.  Pay no attention to the rest of the stuff she said, she only had to say one true thing for your whole assertian to be false./sarcasm

Date: 2006/08/13 13:48:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hey GoP,
To bring this thread back to its original tangential but relevant to the off-topic topic I found a critic who agrees with your 'dumbing down of American cinema with FX and action' claim.
Richard Schickel reviews PotC2 for Time
This was his second of two articles for Time in a two week period.  I'm sure you'll be able to find the other one.

Date: 2006/08/13 13:55:37, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
What gives with the edit function telling me I am not allowed to use this board, but I can still post and the system recognizes that I am logged in?

Date: 2006/08/14 02:43:58, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 07 2006,20:28)
Even the muppet show got boring after several years.

Sacrilege :angry:

Date: 2006/08/14 03:37:41, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
It's funny, at the end of the referenced article Mr. Chuck Colson absolutely insists that:  
The war over evolution teaching is not about pitting religion against science, as the Darwinist lobby claims;
ID is not about religion.

Yet in the article by Mrs. Bonnie Alba, that Jason Spaceman also referenced, she concludes that:  
Though the universe appears silent, God speaks: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." — Psalms 19:1-3.

When are they ever going to synchronize their stories?

Date: 2006/08/14 03:55:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (evolicious @ Aug. 14 2006,02:01)
Wasn't that the worst article ever?  I mean, "Ann Coulter says. . ."  Gimme a break!  Talk about trying waaaaaaaaay too hard to be the best little Republican ever (she also writes about how illegal aliens and muslims are bad).  I saw that that article was run on Alan Keys' website.  Laaaaaaaaaaame!
"John Doe stood up at a meeting of evolutionists and asked them if they knew anything about evolution and the room was silent."  I was at the Evolution meetings this summer at Stony Brook.  OMG!  I would have given ALL my drink tickets to see someone do that!

Okay, she's a total religious loon, but she is at least not a total neo-con loon.  Reading the other things she wrote reveals her more libertarian tendencies and that I can respect.  She is abysmally ignorant of science, but there are certainly worse things to be. (Not that I can think of any right now :))

Date: 2006/08/14 11:43:51, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (ericmurphy @ Aug. 14 2006,15:34)
D. Early man was created perfectly, i.e. no deleterious genetic mutations.  It is proposed that early man was vigorous, healthy and possibly taller than modern humans.  Early families were very large--on the order of 30 to 50 kids per couple and lives were long, many over 900 years.  Sons routinely married their sisters in the ante-diluvian world with no worries of genetic defects.  The first laws prohibiting close marriages did not occur until the time of Moses by which time we assume that accumulated harmful genetic mutations would have been a significant consideration.

Need I point out that Dave hasn't even begun to provide any evidence for this wild-ass guess? Somehow he seems to have skipped right past this point "D" on his way to whatever he's talking about now, which seems to be "H."

Presumably this part applies to the post-Garden of Eden crowd.  I have a simple question for AFDave.  How long can a persons teeth last?  Teeth wear as time passes.  I am guessing there was no such thing as dental care.  At least the bible doesn't say anything about dental care.  Did YHVH operate a clinic?  Anyway, one method to age-date a prehistoric skeleton is to look at tooth wear.  There are others related to the skeleton but I will let other posters bring them up.  So how about it Mr. Hawkins?  Teeth wear down over time.  Did Methuselah chew his food with his original teeth or did he eat soup for the last 500 hundred years of his life?

Date: 2006/08/14 12:44:51, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Schafly wrote:

The issue in the Kansas controversy was not intelligent design and certainly not creationism. The current Kansas standards state: "To promote good science, good pedagogy and a curriculum that is secular, neutral and non-ideological, school districts are urged to follow the advice provided by the House and Senate Conferees in enacting the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001."

This "advice," which the Kansas standards quote, is: "The Conferees recognize that quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society."

This is actually a very good subject of discussion, but not one that could even begin to be covered properly in a single-subject specific class like bio or chem or phy.  They simply don't have time.  It deserves a whole class of its own.  Something like: Society and Science: A History of Their Interaction From the Greek Philosophers to the Present Day.  Of course it would be cold day in h3ll before any republicans would fund such a course.  And equally of course I wouldn't let a total-loon-rightwing-ideological-hack within 1000 light years of the textbook writing and selection process.
The newly elected school board members immediately pledged to work swiftly to restore a science curriculum that does not subject evolution to criticism. They don't want students to learn "the full range of scientific views" or that there is a "controversy" about evolution.

Liberals see the political value to teaching evolution in school, as it makes teachers and children think they are no more special than animals. Childhood joy and ambition can turn into depression as children learn to reject that they were created in the image of God.

So the controversy really is a religious one?  But I thought,
The issue in the Kansas controversy was not intelligent design and certainly not creationism.

Can't she even keep her story straight inside the same piece of commentary?
Intelligent judges are beginning to reject the intolerant demands of evolutionists. In May, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision by a Clinton-appointed trial judge to prohibit the Cobb County, Ga., school board from placing this sticker on textbooks: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."

Yeah, don't let anyone forget he was a Clinton appointee.  Now who was it exactly that nominated that activist judge in Pennsylvannia who shot down the Dover school board?  Oh yeah, Judge Jones was put there by none other than that object-of-total-loon-rightwing-idol-worship George W. Bush.

Date: 2006/08/15 15:36:41, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (afdave @ Aug. 15 2006,09:09)
(Paul Flocken ... this was a joke ... I know you think I am too dumb to know what an evaporite is and you probably think I'm so dumb that I think EB really believes God created the earth ... so put your mind at ease ... I'm not that dumb)

Okay then Dave, Please explain to us how they form.  You have learned that much atleast, haven't you?  What is the process that makes evaporites?  This is not a hard task, and you don't have to spend two vertical feet of page space filler.  A few sentences is all.  I want to know how you think evaporites are formed.

Date: 2006/08/16 16:28:06, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Flank, get over yourself.  I thought what O'brien wrote about DT was spot on to the idea in the previous post and good enough to laugh at.  Don't be a knee jerk hater just because you disagree with O'brien's wingnuttery elsewhere.

Date: 2006/09/10 10:11:19, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I tried to start this as a new topic but apparently you guys don't like me anymore and I can't start topics.  [angry pout]  Fortunately Jason had already done this topic.  So here, whether you like it or not :p
I listened to this around 5:30am this morning (EDT) so this is may be old news by now.

Bringing up the subject PZ blogged about some time back the BBC World Service Sunday morning show Reporting Religion interviewed an Evangelical Bishop of Kenya, Boniface Adoyo(pardon spelling) and a former General Director of the National Museum of Kenya, Dr. George Ubungo(sp?).

The piece starts about eight minutes in.  I think the show's host, Dan Damon, asked a pretty bone headed question at the start, but made up for it as it progressed with his 'plaster of paris' comment.  It is nine minutes long and features the standard "don't present evolution as a fact when it is a theory" boilerplate by the bishop.

The link for the show.

The BBC changes the program every week so you only have until next Sunday to listen.  If anyone knows how to grab ahold of streaming media let me know.  I would like to keep this but don't have that knowledge.


Date: 2007/03/28 17:58:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Richard Dawkins is being interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air right now for anyone who can tune into your local public radio and wants to listen.  If not my station is here.
They have an online streaming broadcast.


edit:The NPR link is:

second edit:I forgot to include that Francis Collins is being interviewed tonight (Mar30) as a followup to the Dawkins interview.

Date: 2007/03/28 19:06:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
In October, we wrote about the intelligent design conference sponsored in Tampa by PSSI, (Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity), which was attended by nearly 4,000 at the Univ. of South Florida Sun Dome Sports Arena.

A lot of churches were missing their bus that day.


Date: 2007/03/31 10:56:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 30 2007,21:23)
Yeah. Lots o'ways we could jazz up their simple-posings, folks.  :p

Changed that oh so slightly.  Hope you don't mind.


Date: 2007/03/31 12:48:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 30 2007,15:58)
Re "Can God create a rock so heavy he can't lift it?"

Probably not, given that there is an upper limit on how large a rock can be and still be a rock, rather than say, a black hole. :)

I tried to argue with someone once that there were two possibilties.  The omnipotence of god representing infinite energy and all he therefore had to be trapped as a singularity in a black hole.  The other possibility was that he was totally impotent to act despite all his power, precisely because he had infinite energy he would have to use all his power to resist and prevent the gravitational collapse caused by that infinite energy thus leaving nothing remaining.  The infinity-infinity=zero thingy was not exactly accurate transfinite mathematics but what the h3ll did the creobot know about transfinite mathematics anyway.


Date: 2007/04/27 03:05:28, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hey Steve,  In an effort to return the thread topic back to its original subject you may get something from this.

Date: 2007/05/12 19:23:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Kristine @ May 04 2007,23:27)
Pour some syrup on the guy, he's waffling (again).  :p

Nah. Just pour some gasoline over the hole bunch and touch off a match.  The CO2 generated by the bonfire would be alot less damaging to the biosphere than all the hot air we are going to be subjected to by this group and their counterpart democrats over the next eighteen months. :p

Note to the FBI:  I'm just joking.  See the smiley?

edit:  why are the smileys not working?

second edit: Thanx Arden.  I never saw smileys not work, so I never had to click that.

Date: 2007/05/12 19:38:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken

Date: 2007/05/14 07:36:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ May 12 2007,19:52)
bump? What are you, doing meth?

sshhhh steve, are you trying to get me busted?  if you need a fix that badly just email me.  you know how hard it is to keep the smell from the neighbors without you blabbing all over the internet. ;)

Date: 2007/05/14 07:51:08, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 14 2007,00:33)
Quote (stevestory @ May 13 2007,19:18)
Why do slightly burned pork chops taste better than moderately cooked pork chops?

ever heard  the cooking terms:




It might be regional but blackened refers, to me, to the spices coating the fish.  I really like the blackened fish that my fave restaurant serves.

Date: 2007/05/14 07:54:54, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ May 14 2007,04:48)
Oh and whilst I think of it a simple acidic marinade (vinegarette/lemon juice based etc, immerse scored/chopped meat for about 30 mins to 1 hour) drastically reduces those nice carcinogenic nitrogen containing polycyclic molecules that can form in significant quantities during the Mailliard reaction phase of the cooking and also especially at the "burny" bit of the cooking. Barbeques are REALLY good at adding tasty carcinogens to your food, especially if you use lighter fluid or firelighters to get them going. And I really am serious that those minute quantities of carcinogens really do add great flavours to food.


P.S. Bon appetite.

Carolina pork barbecue is chock full of vinegar and red pepper.  Does that make it healthy?

Date: 2007/05/14 08:57:30, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ May 14 2007,08:21)

Anyway, that aside what's this !@#$%^& prejudice about colourful !@#$%^& adjectives? Swearing is GOOD. Never forget that ;-){heavily redacted :D }


The heartburn that Dr. Elsberry has* over swearing is that he would like to think that PT and the related sites are good places for children to read about evolution.  Atleast I think I can remember him writing something such.  I suppose additionally, though I don't know how they work and therefore can't justify it, that nanny software will exclude a site that has such swearing.

Sincerely, Paul

*Not to overlook that Dr. Elsberry is also a good a proper Christian.

edit: that last was said without sarcasm though on second look it appeared to

Date: 2007/05/14 11:05:51, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 14 2007,10:19)


Granted, I completely agree that the TE of Miller et al as a set of ideas does not pose the antiscience threat that IDC does, but it is in essence the same kind of god of the gaps reasoning that is profoundly unscientific at its core.

What gap did Miller put God into? I seem not to recall that.

Ditto on too much time since reading FDG but I well remember my impression of Miller studiously not placing god into any gap.  He repeatedly said (I can only paraphrase) in different ways that nothing rules god out of the processes of history and that god could have done anything that was necessary to arrive at us as products but he never indicated anything specific that god was supposed to have done(if my paraphrasing is inaccurate I apologise and promise penance by rereading FDG).  This was frustrating to me as a reader and I saw it as ever so slightly dishonest.  Yet I also view that as being a necessary kind of dishonesty because of the pigeonhole Miller chose to place himself into.  If he made any kind of specific claim for god then the atheist-religion bashers like me would call him on it, but his whole purpose in writing the book was to allow TE leaning christians to have peace of mind over the issue.  I don't think he could take any other kind of position.


edited for spelling and an added phrase.

Date: 2007/05/14 11:15:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Does that make it healthy?

Bejeebies.  I spend so much time being sarcastic I lose track of when it is time to not be.  On second reading of that it looks sarcastic to me and it was not meant to be.  My attempt was to ask if whether or not the vinegar and red pepper in my favorite barbeque helped to ameliorate the carcinogens in the manner you indicated.

Thankyou in advance Louis,


Date: 2007/05/25 12:46:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quantum just doesn't get into the spirit of Shi's post.  I'd call it PRIMETARD since it is completely indivisible.  Has anyone come up with a theory of tardness that shows how different tards can be summed from the prime tards?  Does it take only three prime tards to sum to a composite tard?  Does Riemann's hypothesis apply?  Are there zeros of tardness?  Did the Greeks have tardness geometry?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Date: 2007/05/25 12:49:24, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Science in action from the BBC World Service.
Will only last a week and as best I can tell there are no archives, so get it quick.

Date: 2007/05/25 14:36:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Henry J @ May 25 2007,14:27)
In the beginning was the null set.

OMFSM Henry,
There is a tardness candidate I read a few years ago who wrote just that.  Give me a minute and I will try to find him.

PS By the way 'pointless' was just so Dot On.  ;)

Date: 2007/05/25 19:52:22, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Here is a Tard who has worked out the complete physics for all the universe all the way back to the beginning.
I am EBTEX, hear me Tard!

Enjoy, Paul

Date: 2007/05/25 21:00:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 25 2007,16:44)
Now, Steve, that's hardly fair... where can I get a picture of you?

That's easy Wesley.

Date: 2007/05/25 21:02:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
And while I was looking about for that pic of Steve I came across a fantastic set of solar images.


edit:Unfortunately I can only figure out how to get one image to come up.  Sun Pic

second edit:Ah, my own tardness comes to the fore.  The images are here.

Date: 2007/06/05 08:33:25, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Here is another bone for Arden:
Science in Action BBC World Service
Story about tonal and atonal languages and the genes who love them.
The science behind the story.


Date: 2007/06/05 08:39:50, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 25 2007,14:37)
Wow, great link Paul.  Stills, video, the paper, the works.

Thanks for that.

Your welcome Lou,

I have to be up very early,~2:30-3:30am, and I find the BBCWS and Morning Edition far more valuable than any commercially available news.  Btw, do you get your NPR on 91.3?


Date: 2007/06/05 08:55:34, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
This really should go over to the uncommon pissant thread, but I'm lazy.

Dumbski's new lab.

Date: 2007/06/05 11:09:12, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I don't have the same creativity that all of you have, so please go easy on me.

Date: 2007/06/05 13:38:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
In a world created without death this should speak for itself.

Date: 2007/06/11 18:43:08, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ June 07 2007,21:57)
I'm waiting for my PT comment to make it over here. I'm not trying to troll, but there's something deeply ugly about the De Rerum Natura layout. Maybe a graphic designer will explain what it is, I can't put my finger on it.


Date: 2007/06/15 17:59:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I don't know who this guy is, or if I do I don't remember, so if I have committed some kind of secular sacrilege I apologize in advance.  Having said that I made a very subtle change.

Date: 2007/06/15 18:17:48, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I tried several fingers from both hands on each hand and while the left hand came out almost perfect, the right hand just did not work very well.

Thanx Louis, by best memories are of Basil Fawlty.  I don't even know if British comedy is available anymore on pbs.  I can still get Dr Who on SciFi, at least.


Date: 2007/06/15 18:32:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Thankyou Sir Ichy, but for that to work I would need to own a TV.  I catch SciFi on Fridays at the local pizza place with some friends.  With the death of SG1, though, and no BSG for another year the reason for that is evaporating.

Catch you later,

added in edit: I really don't want a tv as 99.99% of it is brainrot.

Date: 2007/06/25 09:27:29, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Remember though FtK, I'm being polite, I may take slight jabs at you, but this is the same kind of barbed remark I get from you, and you did it first, so no calling foul. I would like to propose a deal, I will read whatever stuff you send me IF and only if you can give me an explanation, or at least send me to somewhere that can (and I don't just mean "read this book, it's in there somewhere) explain how the Egyptians, Assyrians and all the other civilisations apparently contemporary with the flood were not drowned, and also managed to avoid being noticed by the all seeing god.

Over at PT I asked a variation of this of Mark Hausam.  But the comment had five links and was caught by the spam filter.  I was also extremely snide, sarcastic, and rude and so I think Nick was disinclined to remove it from the filter.  I would like to ask FtK this question too.

What was the name of the Pharoah whose reign and life ended when he drowned in and his realm was destroyed by the flood.  If you feel you need a better question I will type out the long version complete with links and pic's and clarifying information and clarifying questions.  But this is the essential question.  It just requires a single one word answer.  Can you answer it?


Date: 2007/06/25 09:45:20, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Well then I might just have to register at IIDB to ask it, but that can't happen 'til this evening.  However, for AirFarceDave I will have to make it the long version.  It has lots of assumptions and he likes assumptions.

added in edit:  You got a deal OldMan.  I just glanced at that thread and would love to ask afd that question.

Date: 2007/06/25 15:16:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 25 2007,14:49)
Maybe.  But who is this Darles Charwin they are on about?

He is one of those SCIENTICIANS that they mention in the S paragraph.

Date: 2007/06/28 11:51:43, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ June 27 2007,15:29)

I guess I'm having an Icky moment.  Read the last few pages (or the whole thread for that matter) and let me know if you would respond in an environment like this if the tables were turned and this venue were a hostile ID forum.

There's really no point in dialogue on these topics because it does nothing other than stoke the fires.  Answer one question, up pops another...there's no end to it (from both sides).  We're never going to see eye to eye.

This just isn't productive, and I'd be better off spending more time with my family than wasting my time here.

But, if Richard sticks around, I'm might be compelled to chime in from time to time... ;)  I really have no idea why I am so attracted to that cute little tard hat.

That is not exactly a symmetric comparison.  Rationalists like to troll the fundatic websites too.  But they tend not to be seen because they don't get through the censorship as easily as creo's do here.  And that is at websites that allow commenting at all.  Many do not.  Very revealing, don't you think?

Date: 2007/06/28 12:03:20, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Ftk wrote: That's simply your opinion, and you're welcome to it.

She is simply going to bury herself in relativism.  Well atleast she seems to have more of a live and let live attitude then phelps and his ilk.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:08:37, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 27 2007,18:17)

Archaeology:  Erm?

Name that Pharoah!
List of Pharoahs

Date: 2007/06/28 12:23:06, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ June 27 2007,21:59)
If you want an itemized list, it might be a while.  This site is typical of every other evo site out there.  Answer one question, 20 new ones are thrown back at you.  If I have time to answer one of those, the other 19 cry foul.  If I answer the other 19, 50 additional new questions pop up.  Sigh...

You just might be on the cusp of realizing that all that questioning is because the world is a great deal more complicated than can be accommodated in a few pages of a single book so old that man could not write when it was being dreamed up and orally handed down and was barely able melt copper and tin when it was written.  You don't have far to jump.  And I think some here have tried hard because they think you just might be able to jump that far.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:45:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (blipey @ June 28 2007,12:09)
As regards Phelps, yep.  But he truly is one of the more despicable human beings to have ever walked around.  Comparisons to him are not warranted in many (if any) cases.

I will accept that, but only in part.  I am personally familiar enough with fundatics (my sister married into a family of them) that I don't accept phelps as so far from the mean as people might think.  In line with Godwin, though, I will not make that comparison again.
The relativism angle is one that has always fascinated me.  Fundies (and to a greater extent, Conservatives in general) use up a lot of oxygen bemoaning the relativism of liberals and anyone else they don't like.  However, when it comes to defending their pet theories, it's relative away.


I noticed that weirdness myself, too.

added in edit:  Yes, an invidious comparison was a poor thing for me to do.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:53:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
That third one is astoundingly excellent.  I can't get the second one tho.

Date: 2007/06/28 12:56:59, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Steve, I don't know whether to pity you or applaud.  I just know that Wesley is glad you're here to do it.

Date: 2007/06/28 14:56:15, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Are chihuahuas a new species of dog?

I don't know.  Ask a Great Dane.

Date: 2007/06/28 15:38:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Only .97posts/day?  Well Blipey did have to make that trip to Texas to stare down DaveTard.  That must have been what slowed him down.

Date: 2007/06/28 16:02:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (VMartin @ June 27 2007,13:34)
What are you babbling about ######? What thread? Is it forbidden here to make fun of Meyers and Christine but it is reccomended to denigrate "Javison" in every post however you like? Calm down and go observe your colorful fish-ancestors in aquarium.

At my day job one of my duties is to feed the fish in the lounge(appropriately name The Aquarium Lounge).  Consequently I get to watch fish for a fairly substantial amount of time.  One of the cool things is watching them 'walk' around.  Now I know they are ray finned and not lobe finned fish(Sir Ichy I may need you to confirm this) but I watch them use their pectoral fins to move across the sandy/pebbly bottom.  Watching this leaves me in no doubt that limbs originated in something similar among the ancestors of these fish.


Date: 2007/06/28 16:12:30, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ June 28 2007,12:05)
Visibility to what?  Slugs?  Bees?  Bats?  

Internal organs of animals are not colored?  I challenge you to cut your liver out and show me that this is true.  I'm blinded by the tard.

Beefsteak fungus looks just like an ox-tongue, down to the marbling.  Tastes better though.  Not sure where you think this is all going.

Could it be assumed that any color is inherent to the material of the internal organ.  External coloration strikes me as being due to pigments that exist for the purpose of changing the otherwise 'natural' color, something missing for internal organs.

Just asking.

Date: 2007/06/28 16:34:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ June 28 2007,15:52)
I think of that little dog. The bitch could have snapped him in two with one bite, and tried a couple of times, but he kept on trying. Watching a dog launch himself knob first at something that has been trying to eat him for his impertinence pretty much sums up existence! He got there in the end, a real triumph of perseverance in the face of near overwhelming adversity.

I guess he should feel lucky he is not a spider :)

Date: 2007/06/28 17:57:00, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
He should probably refrain from giving his debating opponents hammers.

Date: 2007/06/29 08:46:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 29 2007,08:17)
You do realize that impersonation is also not a talent you actually possess, right?

But her point is well made.

Lenny did say

I'll just sit here and quietly giggle to myself.

Have at it.

It didn't last long, did it?

Date: 2007/06/29 09:30:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 29 2007,08:52)
I guess I was going more for the "hey look, here's something cool" with an added thumbing of the nose at the IDiots across the way, than a profound scientific statement of my own on the current state of evolutionary biology.

Try to think of it...

as Street Theatre.

Lou, I think those scienticians are just too high up there in their ivory towers to understand sometimes.

Date: 2007/06/29 10:10:41, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 29 2007,09:35)
Oh, they understand all too well that this is their Waterloo.  This supports the ascendancy of ID and is the final nail in the coffin of Darwinism.

I rest my case.

(carlson I was making a joke on the fact that wesley and jean did not understand Lou's intent.  of course you did not understand my intent either.  sometimes it is possible to be too serious. although your joke is good too.)


Date: 2007/07/05 14:27:48, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 05 2007,11:42)
That's true enough. I don't think the milk snatcher cared one jot about anyone but herself.

i should go back and reread the whole thread thoroughly, but i think it is fascinating that the UK had a virtually identical analog to reagan's 'ketchup is a vegetable' schtick of the 80's.


PS  When, just for fun, I googled 'ketchup is a vegetable' I only got as far as 'ketchup is a...' and google finished the rest.  the first hit is here.

Date: 2007/07/05 20:42:51, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 05 2007,17:31)
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 05 2007,11:52)
Chelsea Clinton, on the other hand, seems to be an ideal young woman.  

I actually got arrested with her once (well, along with a hundred or so other people), at a rally in front of the South African Embassy during the apartheid days.

She struck me as a very nice, down to earth person.

I am going to call BS on that.  Citation please.

Date: 2007/07/05 20:56:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
With a little googling I have not been able to determine that Chelsea Clinton was ever arrested for protesting.  When apartheid ended she was only 13-14.  I doubt an arrest would be warranted for that age or earlier.  I have discovered that Amy Carter, daughter of Jimmy Carter, was arrested three times for protests.  I am dimly aware of those.  Perhaps Lenny is mixing up his presidential daughters.  I still want to see a citation.

Date: 2007/07/05 21:09:55, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Wesley, perhaps you will be able to perform a service for the both of you.  Good Luck.


Date: 2007/08/01 09:20:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
This is probably old news for all of y'all but when I read it I immediately thought of Steve S. and company and L&C.  So:

Just for you Steve.

Date: 2007/08/01 10:09:48, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
scordova Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:04 pm
Dr. Jellison,
I do not want to minimize whatsover that you may be right. I was merely pointing out the possible (even if remote) chance CDK might be able to survive the problem you pointed out. The eclipsing binaries in Andromeda may have an alternative explanation, and the fact that 9% of spectroscopic binaires are eclipsing was suggested as an anomaly (perhaps a disconfirming anomaly) as well. We are afterall only getting pulses out of "eclipsing binaries".

We do not in fact have their orbits in plain sight.

I read this and heard the distinct sound in my mind of:


Date: 2007/08/02 11:36:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (k.e @ Aug. 02 2007,09:47)
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 02 2007,17:30)
That's textbook bad reasoning.

Oh no it's not, it's textbook YEC reasoning. If the world is old the Bible is false and god don't exist.

Well,  The world IS old, the bible IS false, and god DON'T exist, so this is all valid reasoning.  :D

Date: 2007/08/02 12:27:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Let's engage in a little hyper-literalism.    
Quote (RedDot @ July 24 2007,22:25)
Unfortunately, creating proteins, RNA, or DNA is absolutely impossible from amino acids

As far as I know, and I am not a chemist so please correct me if I am wrong here, RNA and DNA are not made out of amino acids.

Date: 2007/08/02 12:30:50, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (lkeithlu @ July 25 2007,10:15)
Ozone is heavier than nitrogen and oxygen. So, what the *** is it doing up there in the ozone layer?

Isn't it made up there by the action of UV light?  This is what I think I remember but I may be remembering incorrectly.

edit: Ok, RedDot answered that.

Date: 2007/08/02 13:36:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 01 2007,21:35)
Of the 129 places I can find the mention of the earth in Scripture, none actually mention the shape of the Earth.  Please quote the source of your claim that Scripture states the Earth is flat.

Isaiah 40:22
"It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth..."

The last time I checked, a circle was a two dimensional object, not a three dimensional one.

Proverbs 8:27
"When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth."

A compass is used to draw circles, not spheres.  That was the King James verse.  Let's read the Revised Standard Version instead.

Proverbs 8:27
"When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep."

Now that is pretty plain, isn't it?

Date: 2007/08/02 15:24:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 02 2007,08:10)
Huh. Baylor doesn't seem to know about the "Evolutionary Informatics" group anymore.


Page Unavailable

This web page was either not found or unavailable. If you feel you have reached this page in error please contact [][/EMAIL]

I seem to recall that someone had reported Dembski as saying something to the effect of, "genetics algorithms are Turing equivalent, nyah nyah nyah". Anybody remember that specifically? And especially, does anyone have a working link?

Really?  That's wonderful.  The janitor will be so happy he can have his closet back.

Date: 2007/08/02 15:36:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 02 2007,07:06)
A question for RedDot, regarding "increase in genetic information through mutation":


According...Lenny's standard speil...Explain, please . . . . . ?

Not to disparage you in the least Lenny, but what has always been my favorite challenge of yours is also one of the shortest.

"Which one of the Noah's Ark survivors had the clap?"

or something to that effect.


Date: 2007/08/02 16:44:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Aug. 02 2007,13:36)
Proverbs 8:27
"When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep."

There is even a really cool painting about the event.  I am sure you have seen it. It is by William Blake.

edit: something that has always struck me about that painting; does it look like god has a tail?

Date: 2007/08/03 21:49:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 03 2007,21:29)
Well, I just heard something on the news today about Obama stating that he would not use nuclear weapons in the "war on terror" --- and Hillary replying that nuclear weapons should never be ruled out, or somesuch. . .

It's nice to know that, when it comes to the needs of Empire, Hillary and the Republicrats just ain't all that different.

And yet Obama was boneheaded enough to state that he had no problem violating a nation's sovereignty.  I hope he gets past these little mistakes although, considering the American public, they may not actually be mistakes.

Date: 2007/08/03 21:55:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 03 2007,19:26)
If you are a government agent trying to impose your religion on the public square, you have no worse enemy.

Or, additionally:  If you are a private citizen trying to get the government to impose your religion on the public square, you have no worse enemy.

Date: 2007/08/05 04:07:01, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Could we remember that this thread is for RedDot to explain to us how the earth is only 6000 years old or has everyone already assumed that he ran away with his tail tucked between his legs, never to return?

BTW, just so skeptic can believe that all we atheists are wild eyed, foaming at the mouth, god killer wanna-bes who only want to see stereotypes so we can attack them:

You're a fundy,
You're a fundy,
You're a fundy,
You're a fundy,
You're a fundy,
You're a fundy.

There, feel better skeptic.


PS I know you are not an atheist Lenny, I was not conflating you, just answering skeptic's drivel.

Date: 2007/08/05 07:20:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 05 2007,06:23)
On that latest from FtK, I decided to reply with:

I wonder, FtK, how long you would allow them to try to change things, once they get in?

Whether you would criticize them for staying in Iraq, since they now have to by international law, I believe, and moral obligation, so many believe?

I wonder whether you would give them half a chance by voting for a "liberal" (I so loathe using that word improperly, but this is typical American usage) rather than just a democrat. The democrat party itself isn't much different to the Republicans, since in the US it is personal politics, not party politics that determines things.

Ian, a small quibble, you may not have even realized you did it.  The party is named the democratIC party.  Bush and his pals started dropping the i and c in order to call them a name without really using bad words and suggest that the democrats are not really democratic. Just an FYI.


Date: 2007/08/05 18:01:29, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
[tongue in cheek] It was a bitter divorce Ian.  You have my sympathies.  :(
I pray the FSM makes your suffering short. :) [/tongue in cheek]

Date: 2007/08/07 17:09:34, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 07 2007,10:08)
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 07 2007,10:05)
It would be cute to photoshop (mspaint) a vial of ebola into Professor Steve Steve's paw, but vicious adolescent William Dembski would start calling federal agencies on us.

please, get your copy of mspaint and burn it and then download this

instead. Far far better then mspaint and is more like photoshop then anything else (without all the bits you never use anyway!)

Not that some people can't can't do some pretty remarkable things with MSPaint.

Date: 2007/08/07 18:19:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I decided to go back to the beginning and start over.

Quote (RedDot @ July 24 2007,22:59)
Another thought:

Emperical science cannot comment upon anything except that which can be observed under controlled conditions - repeatedly.  Singular events are out of bounds.  The "soft" sciences of anthropology, paleontology, and such, try to make conclusions based largely upon singular, unrepeatable events - a daunting task, and one which is bound to make massive mistakes.

Evolution, on the other hand, has taken a partially observed event (the change in beak size of the Galapagos Finches) and extrapolated a conclusion, out of thin air, about an unobservable event (animals, through mutations and selection pressures, change into other animals).  This is not only out-of-bounds, it is playing a different game.

First a nit:  Did your 'scientific' training teach you how to spell the word empirical?  Apparently not.

Anyway.  About the 'soft' science of paleontology and making mistakes.  Do you know anything about Tiktaalik Roseae?  The story of its discovery bears absolutely no resemblance to the crappy picture you have drawn above about how evolutionary science works.

Date: 2007/08/07 19:02:55, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 07 2007,18:45)
Since FtK actuall put my comment up and then replied to it, I decided to reply to her with:

"I wish Colin Powell was still involved in the war efforts. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders."

I have to say, I do agree with this. I rather thought he was the only one of the Bush cabinet with any sense. Then they got him out and the circus really began...

I have to say though, political differences aside, many many people, particularly when they say things like "They know how to fix it? LET THEM!" and similar expect whichever party to wave a magic wand and fix the problems. Unfortunately, the main problem with the US is the population, vis a vis, the fact a large chunk of it are uneducated hicks.

sorry about the length of that, but it's a nice link to a study in 2005 where 1 in 5 adult americans believe the sun revolves around the earth.

Ian, Yesterday I listened to a radio report that a large part of the American population does not even know that New Mexico is a state of the union. I'll try to find it.

Almost makes one want to cry.


Date: 2007/08/07 19:42:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 07 2007,19:14)
Jesus H christ on a motorbike, that's not scary, thats just sad.

I bet few Americans could answer corretly to "Which 4 countries make up the UK?" I've heard answers that included Ireland, and even Europe.

What?, You mean Europe is NOT a country.  Let me get my atlas.  We'll just see about that!

Date: 2007/08/07 19:49:37, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
How exactly could they refuse to consider any Bush nominees?  Bush is the only person who can nominate.  I personally would not mind Judge Jones btw.  He is clearly not simply a republican parrot.

Date: 2007/08/07 19:56:45, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Now I am curious.  Does the recess appointment law apply to SCotUS?  Google time.

Date: 2007/08/07 20:07:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Wow, I somehow missed all that news about Schumer over the last two weeks.  Yeah, I can see that now.  At least shrub can't do anymore damage through that venue.

Date: 2007/08/07 20:14:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 02 2007,02:31)
Hi Reddot,

On page one I asked these two questions:

RedDot: Hello and welcome to AtBC, I hope you find your time here productive, informative and fun. I have a question for you, or rather a couple of related questions for you: 1) What if you are wrong about some of the claims and assertions about science etc you have made above, could this (perhaps would this) change your mind about some of the conclusions you have drawn? And 2) Can you be wrong, even about "big" things?

There's a reason I ask these questions. I have discussed things with creationists before and found the conversations to be by and large unsatisfactory due to a gross inability on their part to admit to error and change their minds in the face of evidence. This is by no means always the case, but sadly it has happened. I know it's cheating, but I want to discover which sort of creationist you are before I potentially waste my time actually discussing science with you.

However, that said, as I mentioned up thread, I hope my initial pessimism is unfounded.



I would like to see Louis' questions answered too.  They are the ones that cut right to the core of the issue, instead of arguing the details of any given theory or discipline.  If you are clearly unable to give up the inclination to accept the bible as a textbook then you are not competent comment on the science which disagrees with your position.


Date: 2007/08/07 20:36:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 03 2007,11:34)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Another thought on Evolution as a Religion

Another thought:

While I do advocate keeping religion and science essentially seperate, the worldview (or belief system, if you like) of a scientist will have a dramatic impact on his theories, presumptions, and conclusions. It is unfortunately impossible to completly divorce science from the effects of a worldview. Evolution is part of a worldview which has no place for God.

Kinda weird that thousands of scientists who are christians and who understand and accept evolution failed to notice this.

(RedDot said) the worldview (or belief system, if you like) of a scientist will have a dramatic impact on his theories, presumptions, and conclusions. It is unfortunately impossible to completly divorce science from the effects of a worldview.

Do you suppose the red state, christian, republicans who say things like this know they're repeating the words of French postmodernist philosophers, and feminist philosophers like Sandra Harding? I know their leader Philip Johnson knows, but do you suppose the rank and file do?

This statement by you is precisely why I claim you are not competent you argue the science.  Since you are already wedded to a position by virtue of your worldview it will have a dramatic impact on your ability to recognize reality much less your theories, presumptions, and conclusions.

Date: 2007/08/07 22:18:53, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 03 2007,18:18)

If we look just at the text here, the idea that Christians believe the ACLU is attempting to remove God from the public  square is not only mainstream but probably undeniably true.

Nope, it is undeniably false as long as any Christian doesn't see it that way. So it is undeniably false.

Ok it is undeniably false.  But does that prevent it from being mainstream?  I will rephrase it.

Many christians hold the idea that the ACLU is trying to remove their religion from the public square.

What percentage of christians?  I don't know.  I am sure Gallop could find out.  Your hyper-literalism forces the rephrasement but does not alter the reality behind skeptic's intent.


PS  Skeptic.  Accuracy in your statements is a scientific virtue.  It will help to prevent the derailment of your points to such hyper-literalism when you make them.

added in edit:
Carlsonjok wrote:
Not that I care to get into an in-depth discussion, as that never went anywhere with AFDave, but it has been my experience that this type of statement is generally only advanced by:

a) Demagogues attempting to rile up the rabble by deliberately obfuscating the ACLUs position on Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause

b) the uninformed masses that buy the demagoguery lock, stock, and barrel.


Date: 2007/08/07 22:36:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (skeptic @ Aug. 04 2007,07:02)
But back to the point, as an objective measure, I could visit church websites and attempting to collect statements just like these to see how "mainstream" they actually are.  I have my guess but I don't have the time.  A quicker analysis would be to look at rhe ACLU's cases involving religion and there I have no guess but I know what perception is.  Maybe the anti-ACLU marketing campaign has just been that effective.

If you don't have the time then you don't have a point.  'Anecdotally' is not an argument worth a d@mn when the possibility to collect data is available.

Date: 2007/08/08 19:22:25, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Aug. 08 2007,14:31)
The two questions can't be entirely untangled.

Can the concept of leprechauns be approaced scientifically?

Not really, because (in part) nobody believes in leprechauns.

How does one exactly approach scientifically a human construct that has had millennia to evolve to avoid capture.  The people of 5000 years ago were just as smart as we are and were no doubt just as argumentative.  Religion as a meme was too valuable to the perpetrators to permit it to be lost and too important to the peace of mind of its victims.  The two were probably inextricable linked.  Its importance to its victims is what made it valuable to its perpetrators.  I haven't had enough sleep today, so I will stop babbling now.

Date: 2007/08/08 20:00:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 08 2007,12:38)

One, two, three, many. Well, sure. Robertson, Falwell, Colson, Kennedy, Sekulow... that'll do.

For sure, there is a broad swath of the Bible Belt that includes a large number of people who have bought the hysterical codswallop about the ACLU.

I have many within my own family.  They are completely immune to evidence.
That doesn't change the fact that Skeptic's point was painted with a brush that was far, far broader than was justified.

I just hope that we can focus less on the size of the brush and more on the point and, simultaneously, that skeptic can exercise greater care in the choice of the size of his brushes.
I think you are going a bit overboard with the claim that objecting to his statement constitutes "hyperliteralism".

Then I will exercise greater care when I utilize the word.

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 08 2007,19:12)
Skeptic's going to lengths to show that ridiculous anti-ACLU beliefs are held by a sizeable fraction of the public. I don't think many of us would dispute that. I certainly wouldn't.


Date: 2008/01/16 08:45:50, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Here is an mildly amusing piece of tard (title: ALL WET) that I ripped out of a newspaper some time back, stuck in a book and promptly forgot.  I ran over it this morning and thought it belonged here.  I think my favorite tards are the ones who completely undercut their arguments by making the totally ignorant statements like "when the cold loses its energy, the snowflake will melt back to water"

The Tard in full:

All wet
EDITOR: The letter of Nov. 29 “It’s physics,” shows once again the circular logic of those trying to prove evolution, extrapolating life from non-life.

The example used of a snowflake formed from water vapor actually belongs to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the Conservation of Energy. This law states that matter and energy are not being created or destroyed, they only change from one form to another. Hence, the water molecule changes from gas to liquid to ice and back again, with the input of heat or cold. Yes, two systems have to work in conjunction to trade energy back and forth, but nothing new is being created.

… When the cold loses its energy, the snowflake will melt back to water. There’s no new life, no new form that wasn’t there before.

From where I sit, these two laws still blow your theory out of the water.

C-----a S-------h(name withheld to protect the guilty)


Date: 2008/01/16 10:32:02, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 14 2008,11:45)
The truth is, these people are bored - because they're boring. I don't go to fundie blogs and tell people to become an atheist, although I would love for everyone to have a grasp of science - but they come to mine, and I think they're secretly wanting more excitement in their lives, even a little rebellion. Atheist is the new "street cred," and who knows, they probably think belly dancing is stripping. Lots of people do.

These people gravitate to others who have some joie de vivre, even some "danger." FTK doesn't see your academic legitimacy; she sees dangerous Darwinists. People like her are drawn to their polar opposite, tiptoe to the edge of blasphemy, then get scared and try to convert everyone, and when they're unsuccessful with that, withdraw back into the safety spot. It happens in all kinds of relationships - love-hate of the thing that attracts and scares you. This has nothing to do with science - she wanted to talk to a real live belly dancer! And a real live scientist! A real Darwinist! And guess what! They got bored with talking to her.

I personally think it is more malign than your description.  They want to eliminate the 'joy' that they don't have.  There is that quote about "never attributing to malice...." but that doesn't prevent malice from being a present and legitimate reason for the animosity demonstrated by the people you describe.

Date: 2008/01/16 11:32:15, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Jan. 16 2008,10:32)
They want to eliminate the 'joy' that they don't have.

Although in FtK's case the 'please flog me' martyr complex is probably the stronger drive.  Posting for the purpose of being attacked is an interesting form of self-flagellation.

Date: 2008/02/06 12:13:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
ASaltyDog: “Sorry, no neutral nor common ground here either. I don’t believe there are any natural laws governing tree growth. I do believe God makes trees grow. How do you know there are natural laws governing tree growth?”

What would he say if you told him he was a pantheist?

Date: 2008/02/07 07:16:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I tried to get through it, but about a third of the way I realized I had something a great deal more interesting to take care of (my cat had used his box and I needed to clean it).  I doubt recreating the entire thread here would make it anymore palatable an entree.

Date: 2008/02/07 18:37:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 07 2008,12:36)
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 07 2008,06:48)
Berceuse: You know, I’d believe the “humans are animals” thing if someone pointed out a single species that does everything we do, even something as simple as laughing.

You're in luck! Turns out that non-human animals laugh. However, the vocalization is quite different.

Humans are animals.

Gerry shows us how to move the goal posts.

Gerry Rzeppa: It’s utterly ridiculous to liken the “panting” of chimps and the “chirping” of rats to the appreciation of irony and the recognition of conceptual incongruity involved in the human sense of humor.

When asked for laughter, and then provided laughter, he then says we need to demonstrate an appreciation for irony. Yet chimpanzees do know about pretense and how to tease. They also seem to enjoy slapstick.

Gerry then demonstrates the unique subtleties and richness of human humor.

Gerry Rzeppa: Ask your cat why the chicken crossed the road.

Ha! Ha!

AFDave tried to use this tack and got smacked too.

Date: 2008/02/08 06:16:54, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (CeilingCat @ Feb. 08 2008,03:00)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 07 2008,16:13)
Go to Evolution News N Views baby! and read Geoffrey Simmons response to the debate with PZ.

It is hilarious.  In short, "PZ and his kind are not nice and PZ did not admit he's wrong about everything!"

It's both childish and ignorant to be sure.

That article contains a lot of deep tard.  I think the good doctor sums it up well in his first line: "Against Stupidity, God Himself Is Helpless".  I'll add that stupidity combined with ignorance pretty well cleans God's clock.

Professor Myers comments on Doc Simmons.

I prefer the Schiller version.
Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly's uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.

I suppose it's better to make the religious attribution then to make one to an enlightenment poet.

Date: 2008/02/11 09:44:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 09 2008,23:40)
If "George W. Bush" is his proper title, then why isn't "Barack H. Obama" Barack's proper title?

Because Obama is BLACK!
4:09 pm

Of course there’s a reason. I’m using his full name because he’s black. I see using Hillary’s middle name too didn’t fool you any.

By the way, tard spelled backward isn’t fooling me any either. Hasta la vista, baby!

Of course he fails to explain why Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, George Foreman, Desmond Tutu, and Kofi Annan are not known with their middle names.  Martin Luther King Jr. and George Washington Carver weren't the only notable blacks in American history.  From a strictly muslim naming convention even Muhammed Ali did not choose a middle name that I can say I am aware of.  Then neither did Saddam Hussein, the source of the Obama bashing.  I fail to see how someone can think such transparent racism is not going to be called to the floor.

Date: 2008/02/11 15:33:34, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 11 2008,14:30)
Quote (sparc @ Feb. 11 2008,14:04)
I was surprised that DO'L at UD missed it but luckily, one can always count on Sal Cordova. He celebrated the notorius Warda and Han paper on February 8th:  
Creationist paper passes peer-review, Darwinist Endosymbiotic theory trashed
Obviously this is not enough, later he writes:  
I foresaw this event.

Yeah, well, he had probably read the originals.


Read?  He proofed them.

Date: 2008/02/12 21:12:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Not strictly idc'ism:

I just googled for the phrase 'oil is fungible'.  As I started typing, the toolbar returned the first possible completed phrase--'oil is not a fossil fuel'.  This piqued my curiosity enough to click on it and lo I found some marvelous tard I had not encountered previously.  I am not a wingnut connoisseur, so I don't know how long this @$$hattery has been going on but they put this out only last week.

The marvelous tard in particular?  The great discovery that hydrocarbons are not ORGANIC!!!

The abiotic theory of the origin of oil directly challenges the conventional scientific theory that hydrocarbons are organic in nature,

Date: 2008/02/14 11:35:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Dr.GH @ Feb. 14 2008,10:41)
I only called DoL (AKA Emma La Douche) a creationist pustule, and she bitched and bitched ...

The most imaginative pejoratory never has to involve traditional vile language.  No doubt her b!tch!n was driven by jealousy.  Well done!

Date: 2008/02/19 18:08:55, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Bart Erhman is on NPR's Fresh Air this evening, if anyone cares to listen.  He is the author of "Misquoting Jesus".
He is talking about his newest book.

Date: 2008/02/21 20:08:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken



1:45 pm
Biology is explained by chemistry. Chemistry is explained by physics. Physics is explained by law and statistical mechanics. If a physicist tells a biologist that something doesn’t make sense in the light of physical law and statistical mechanics you’d better pay attention to it rather than ignorantly accuse the physicist of speaking outside his field of expertise.

Isn't the point of an emergent system that you can't predict the properties of the system from the properties of the underlying components that make up the system?  The example that comes to mind is the smoke that rises from a cigarette is a turbulent system that is unpredictable, even in principle, from the physical properties of the molecules the smoke is made from.  Is this correct?  Am I using the wrong words here?

Date: 2008/02/26 07:27:37, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 20 2008,20:18)
I can't watch the History Channel now - pretty soon I'll just throw the TV from here to eternity out the window. (History Channel's full of Search for Noah's Ark/Bigfoot anyway.)

I find the history channel useful for those odd moments when I can't remember who won world war two. :)

eta: Although it has been several years since I last watched the world war two channel with any frequency so I don't know how much of the that has been replaced by the woowoo channel.

Date: 2008/02/26 20:07:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 26 2008,17:37)
From a positive review of Expelled

In the movie there are somber moments, as when Stein visits World War II death camps and traces the Nazi philosophy back to the godless Darwinian world in which fitness must prevail and everything is permitted

Documentary or propaganda?  YOU decide!

Plagiarizing Bronowski won't earn any points for his tripe from people who know better.  I didn't think I could have been anymore disgusted by stein than I already was from what little I knew about him.  I was wrong.

Date: 2008/02/27 06:41:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Hope it's a great one Erasmus! :D

Date: 2008/02/27 09:48:56, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 27 2008,09:07)
DaveScot has apparently been learning about the SLOT
The second law and chance doesn’t prevent ordered systems from developing, it makes them more and more improbable as the order increases. The improbabilities in any specific case above the quantum scale is found through the use of statistical mechanics. For instance law and chance can form lots of regularly shaped stone blocks but the probabilities become prohibitive in the stone blocks getting stacked into pyramids such as those in Egypt. Law and chance can concentrate and melt gold into lots of shapes but the chances become prohibitive in chance melting gold into interchangeable machined parts like gears. The chances become even more prohibitive that interchangeable machined parts would be assembled together into a larger mechanism.

However, introduce an intelligent agent into the picture who can form abstract thoughts of improbable arrangements of matter and then manipulate matter to instantiate the abstract into physical reality and then the most improbable things become routine.

The contour lines of stability you suggest are indeed process structuralism and it does indeed require the discovery of laws which describe those lines. We know the laws that describe the contour lines of stability that form snowflakes and precipitates and planets and stars but we don’t know of laws which describe contour lines of stability for the formation polymeric amino and nucleic acids into precisely machined interchangeable parts that further assemble by law and chance into larger hideously complex nanometer scale self-modifying, self-replicating factories. The supposition that there are contours of stability imposed by law that make these things not improbable in statistical mechanics is indeed process structuralism. Statistical mechanics will accomodate any laws which change the probability of any kind of order emerging by law and chance. Find those laws, or principles, or tendencies, or whatever you want to call them, describe them either empirically or mathematically, and then we can talk further. Merely supposing that these undercurrents of structural contours exist is no more than wool gathering. Statistical mechanics underpins all analysis of order in nature, all prediction of how matter behaves by law and chance in non-quantum domains, and is extremely successful in its predictive capacity.

It strikes me that DaveScot could prove his point via mathematics rather then verbiage.

Is this the right question to ask?:

What does statistical mechanics have to do with how atoms chemically bond and chemically interact?

I found a relevant(I think) line at wikipedia:

The study of long chain polymers has been a source of problems within the realms of statistical mechanics since about the 1950's. One of the reasons however that scientists were interested in their study is that the equations governing the behaviour of a polymer chain were independent of the chain chemistry.(bolding added)

Does that mean the motions of atoms and molecules in space(to be sure, a very oversimplified definition of statistical mechanics) is not relevant to the organic chemistry of living things?  Or, at least, minimally relevant?  Louis?

Date: 2008/02/27 09:56:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
When marketers want to publicize movies they want the public to go see, don't they usually, well, invite critics?  When I hear that a movie was not screened it always means they have a dud on their hands and they dont want people to know it.  I wonder how many non-disclosure agreements Lucas forced people to sign before watching the original StarWars?

Date: 2008/02/27 11:13:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,10:56)
I see no comparison between the Resurrection and supposed images on tortillas.  It is also impossible to evaluate the other listed "miracles" objectively.  What is more important is to understand what they mean rather than trying to prove whether or not they really happened.

skeptic, you miss the point that the virgin mary only appears where catholicism/protestantism are dominant religions.  I seriously doubt anyone in Kansas is ever going to see the image of the buddha in a water stain under a bridge abutment.  Likewise, no Hindu is ever going to see jesus in a piece of burnt toast.  Why does the god of the hebrew literature not reveal himself through miracles for anyone not descended from the hebrew tradition?

Date: 2008/02/27 11:23:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:08)
Erasmus: You can't be serious in saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the origin of life. Have you ever read "The Blind Watchmaker?" "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"?

Science has a great deal to say about the origin of life, and in particular that branch of Chemistry/Organic Chemistry known as Abiogenesis has a very great deal to say.  If chemists coopt the word evolution to refer to the chemical interactions that led to life ("chemical evolution"), that still does not mean that biological evolution has anything to say about abiogenesis.  It just means that the word evolution has an explanatory utility outside of biology.

Date: 2008/02/27 18:42:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,16:47)
Actually I understand his stance on ID.  You have to remember he's not a scientist and theism is the driving force in his mind.  It's a very easy catchall.

As far as liberals refining their stances, I was unaware that that had happened.  IMO, the liberal or progressive agenda has been in steady decline since Bobby.  I see it now as nothing more than pandering to vastly different and often opposing special interests.  But you'll have to forgive me, I'm very cynical these days when it comes to politics.  Too much idealism, or ideology as the current phrase goes.

And this is different from the conservative agenda how?

Date: 2008/02/27 19:28:15, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 27 2008,19:11)
The conservative agenda does nothing but pander to special interests, but they're special interests that Skeptic approves of. Totally different thing.

Oh Totally, totally.

Date: 2008/02/27 19:34:31, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I would like to know what FtK would think of the Banach-Tarski Proof, certainly one of the most counter-intuitive pieces of knowledge(scientific OR mathematical) ever discovered by man.

HT to abb3w for bringing it to mind.

eta: Assuming of course she actually gets past the title and subtitle and really reads the article.

Date: 2008/02/27 20:25:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
The stuff from Dave is so confused I don't really know where to begin!

Thankyou, Louis, for trying anyway.  You did actually tell me what I needed to know.

I think I can follow on.  DT is reducing all of chemistry to statistical mechanics, a radical and unjustified oversimplification, as exemplified by his statement here
Obviously you have no understanding of the hierarchy in science. Biology is explained by chemistry. Chemistry is explained by physics. Physics is explained by law and statistical mechanics.

Atoms don't just combine in completely random ways.  If they did chemistry would probably not be possible.  Chemistry is more than the random tumbling of atoms; atoms bond only in definite(though many and varied) ways.  Though statistical mechanics may determine when atoms have the chance to get together (and the thermo of the situation the energy available before the reactions) once together they follow laws that are far more dominant than the stat/mech that brought them together.  Of course if DT gives up that stat/mech is dominant then he will have to give up that complex molecule are impossible.
When I read this piece of Dave's my first thought is that Dave knows nothing about the physics or chemistry he pontificates upon.

After almost nine hundred pages you didn't know this yet? :p
The Wikipedia article you quote is bang on in one sense.

I wouldn't read to much into that line from wiki.  It was dangerously close to a quote mine.  I really happened on it by chance.  I only wanted to refresh myself on the stat/mech as I only thought of it as the science that subsumed the kinetic theory of gases.  Unlike DT I know what I don't know. I ran over that line and it almost seemed too perfect a statement in isolation.  Especially since DT seems to be fond of the words "'polymeric amino and nucleic acids".  Your explanation on cyclisation placed it in context far better than the wiki article did.

Tracy P. Hamilton,
Is this a request for a stat thermo lecture?

Umm, no.  But I am all ears if you are game.  I knew DT was using stat/mech in an illegitimate manner, but did not know how to state it well.  I may still not be doing so, but I thank the two of you for your effort.
Pierre deGennes got the nobel prize for that work.

REAL SCIENCE!  Amazing what real science looks like when contrasted to the tard.

Date: 2008/02/27 20:48:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
very cool sarcasm rain.

otherwise known as dripping sarcasm

I was prepared to defend your use of sarcasm when you used it here to note how friendly AtBC is and everyone deliberately refused to recognize you were being sarcastic.  Now I am not even certain you know what sarcasm is if you can't recognize a reference to dripping sarcasm.  You must suck at Pictionary.

Date: 2008/02/27 20:53:02, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Where is Lenny?

Not that I am complaining.  I am one of those who thought there was just a little too much Lenny at times, but zero Lenny is not much better.

Date: 2008/02/28 07:42:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
Actually, I would say that the special interests that conservatism panders for are more compatible with each other because they're all still based upon underlying principle.

People who call themselves economic conservatives think that liberty is a priority; in this specific case economic liberty, but liberty nonetheless.  People who call themselves social conservatives don't believe in liberty at all, as enactment of their agenda would curtail privacy and freedom to live by ones own choices to an unprecedented degree.  This is the most basic incompatibility between principles I can think of.  Econonomic conservatives are very willing to accept a class based (based on financial status) society.  Religiously based social conservatives* are showing glimmerings that such is society is quite contrary to the teachings of Jesus.  That would be a second incompatibility between basic principles.  I wonder how many more can be drummed up.
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
I admit I'm biased but that's the way I see it.  In contrast, there's not a underlying set of principles that guide liberalism but a composite set of individual ideas.

I don't necessarily disagree.  But this is also not necessarily a problem with the party.  In my view.
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
Take abortion and capital punishment as an example, both examples of the exercise of individual liberty but with exactly opposite outcomes.

The same is exactly true for conservatives.  How can they hold that all life is sacred with one statement and then turn out around and support judicially sanctioned revenge murder.(Disclaimer, I happen to support capital punishment, but I still think "judicially sanctioned revenge murder" is the appropriate description of what is going on.)
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
I know we're not going to agree about this at all and that's ok, even desirable as that very fact actually widens the solution pool to an problem or challenge.  I'm just letting you know how it looks from the conservative side.  One other thing, try not to get conservatism mixed up with the Republican party; they're two very different things.

And yet in your original post you did not refer to the Democratic Party pandering but of Liberals or Progressives pandering:
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,16:47)
As far as liberals refining their stances, I was unaware that that had happened.  IMO, the liberal or progressive agenda has been in steady decline since Bobby.  I see it now as nothing more than pandering to vastly different and often opposing special interests.

You don't like Conservatives and Republicans to be confused with each other but you will do the same?
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
Actually I would say that both the Republican and Democrat parties are the two single biggest obstacles and threats to both the conservative and liberal agendas.

OK, I am almost willing to accept that as a correction.  I also tend to agree.
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 27 2008,20:01)
And just to let you know there is some objectivity left in me I fully intend to vote for Obama in both the state primary and the general election.  How's that for craziness?

I was registered as a Libertarian until North Carolina decertified the Libertarians as a party.  I have been unaffiliated ever since.  I realized last week that Billary plans on tearing up the party for the sake of her ego so I plan to vote Obama in the primary as well.  I wish the Democrats could take a page from Reagan and Romney and think that the party is more important than the egos of the candidates.  Unfortunately since the Republican nomination process is essentially over and North Carolina has an open primary system I can imagine that many republicans will be voting Billary on the Democratic ballot come May 6.  That she may actually be counting on republican votes is indicative of her integrity.
Quote (Paul Flocken @ Feb. 27 2008,20:48)
I was prepared to defend your use of sarcasm when you used it here to note how friendly AtBC is and everyone deliberately refused to recognize you were being sarcastic.  Now I am not even certain you know what sarcasm is if you can't recognize a reference to dripping sarcasm.  You must suck at Pictionary.

I am willing to retract that as the statement you made could have been ironic rather than sarcastic (even though irony works well in the service of sarcasm).  You'll still have to prove you don't suck a Pictionary.

*I am willing to accept that not all social conservatives are religiously motivated, but the percentage must be miniscule.

Date: 2008/02/28 07:58:34, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Forgive me Lou, but I think I can see a possible answer for Louis and all men are equal.

Skeptic, In the eyes of the god of hebrew literature are not all men created equal?  (Not to say that they stay equal, only that they are created equal.)

eta: I promise not to digress again.  :)

Date: 2008/02/28 09:51:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
It might be in TNG font but it would be a lot cooler in BladeRunner font and would make more sense too.  An a lot more people would be clueless about the in joke.  TNG was so pansy there would be no in joke.

Date: 2008/02/28 10:16:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken

Date: 2008/02/28 13:03:53, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
dacook thinks he knows how to intelligently design animals

She has a housecat, (felis-catus) named Chester of whom she is very fond. He seemed a good starting point. We designed several adaptations to Chester to enable him to thrive in the arctic tundra. First, and most obviously, we made him all white to blend into the snow.

Duh.  They thought of that all by themselves.

Then we regressed his legs to vestigial stumps

Cats are carnivores and therefore predators.  There are already animals in the arctic that are missing their original quadrupedal legs.  They are called seals.  And from the point of view of arctic predators they have another name.  Prey.  Any animal that can't outrun predators is toast.  Some predator this cat will be.

and flattened him out dramatically so he could hug the ground and better avoid being picked off by predators,

There is a well known relationship between internal volume, surface area, and heat loss.  Making your vol/s.a. ratio as large as possible is a good thing as it conserves heat.  Making your cat broad and flat lowers the ratio and increases heat loss.  Making him flat to the ground with a large contact patch also increases heat loss as air is a better insulator than the ground the cat would be in contact with.  Not mentioned is if the cat has belly fur, but never mind as fur is a better insulator if it is fluffy and full of air instead of flat between the cat and the ground with all the air crushed out of it.

as well as stay low out of the wind. His species is therefore felis-flatus. (That’s “flatus” as in flat to the ground, rhymes with “catus” not the other meaning which my son already had fun with.)

Polar bears and arctic foxes don't seem to mind the wind much.  Must not be that much of a problem.  Of course they really are adapted to the cold.

For locomotion we gave his edges the ability to undulate, like a Manta ray’s. So he gets around by flapping along the ground.

This sounds like suspiciously like flying.  Lots of energy expended to heave oneself into the air only to fall by to the ground.  Well maybe not flying.  I think Mr Cook is remembering something else:  Barbarella's skiing manta ray.

This action also helps him clear snow from the burrows of his prey. He doesn’t have to be fast as he can’t outrun predators anyway, and his own prey is small rodents that live in the ground.

Funny, arctic foxes dig with their claws.

To extract them he positions himself over their burrows and runs his very long (heavily modified) tongue down the hole, wraps it around their little necks, and pulls them into his mouth.

Has anybody yet found an aardvark in the arctic?

When it’s very cold he can roll up into a tube to conserve heat, with his soft belly deep inside a cocoon of fluffy insulating fur.

Ah, so that is how he stays warm.  Of course, he won't be doing much hunting when he is rolled into a crepe.  And how does he stay warm when he is hunting?

My daughter thought he should be able to fight back if attacked, rather than just huddle up, and so added spikes to his tail, so he can whip it up and clobber anything that steps on him or tries to bite him.

Arctic animals either have a minimal tail to conserve heat or a large fluffy, bushy tail to serve as a blanket.  This tail would be a source of heat loss(spikes of horn, bone, or keratin), and would also serve to entangle the cat in any vegetation he tried to pass through.  Why is vegetation important?  Because anyplace where small animals burrow(this cat's intended prey) will by necessity not be in permafrost or ice covered areas(no burrows possible) and vegetation would be a norm.  Arctic vegetation that comes to mind is normally low to the ground, perfect for snagging spikes.  Spikes would also be limited in size so something as small as a cat flapping on the ground could move them.  Polar bears would probably think of them as appetizers.

Now granted this was a school exercise by a child, no doubt intended to foster creativity and imagination as opposed to critical thought about whether the adaptations make sense.  But if the entirety of the biosphere is allegedly created by intelligence then why do we not see these adaptations already?  Why is this nothing more than a proud father showing off his lack of critical thought?

A cool school exercise I ran over where there is an actual experiment, not simply thought exercises about what must be(the essence of IDC).

Date: 2008/02/28 13:15:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I'm confused, why would you move your own post?  :)

I remember a story at austringer some time back about ritka being heat stroked, I am glad she is still around to frolick with you.

Date: 2008/02/28 17:17:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 28 2008,13:21)
It was a fun post,...

It was indeed a fun post, but I want to know how a child's school exercise somehow supports the intelligent design in the universe assertion.  Where's the beef?

Date: 2008/02/28 17:46:00, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I would never have thought George Bush would be so clueless as to repeat a mistake of his father and be clueless about what us commoners have to deal with.  Or even to give the appearance of it, assuming he is not as clueless as that.

Q What's your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing --

THE PRESIDENT: Wait, what did you just say? You're predicting $4 a gallon gasoline?

Q A number of analysts are predicting --


Q -- $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate.

THE PRESIDENT: That's interesting. I hadn't heard that.

Q Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I know it's high now.

Live, it sounded even worse than it reads.

Date: 2008/02/28 18:03:06, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
BarryA comes so close.

The important evidence does not appear to be in conflict. The issue is not whether it is warmer or cooler in any particular place (such as your back yard). The issue is whether on average across the globe temps are dropping. As to this issue, there is no conflict. On average across the globe temps are dropping.

It isn't just averages across geographical space but also across time.  As Turncoat said in another thread:  one data point does not a trend make.

Date: 2008/02/28 18:50:57, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I can't remember where you guys hide your Paul Nelson sightings; anyway here:

Date: 2008/02/28 18:57:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 28 2008,13:19)
It wasn't topical where I got the quote...

Thanks for the note about Ritka. She is really a sweet dog.

Humor is ALWAYS topical.  :D

If you send your dog out on the attack then I will just have to get my attack cat to...hey, hey get out from under th...come back he...I will just have to get my attack cat to hide us both.  :)

Date: 2008/02/29 21:01:25, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 29 2008,09:47)
The Pharyngula Effect,

Wonder if they've found a treatment for that yet? :p

Take two cephalopods and call me in the morning. ;)

Date: 2008/03/01 17:10:57, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Mar. 01 2008,10:12)
I'm working on a book that illustrates the operation of "experimenter bias" in the domain of research into racial differences. My working title: The Mismeasure of Man (catchy, eh?). Nothing will be the same when Gil and I are done with this. In the not-distant future, discourse in science that betrays ignorance of "experimenter bias" and the empirical demonstration of same will become, rightfully, the object of merciless ridicule.

Isn't experimenter bias already a known phenomenon and hence the reason why double blind experiments were devised?  Peer review also exists to curb bias by having results analyzed by outsiders without vested interests.

(I'm assuming that you were 100% serious throughout the whole of your comment.  You did say sarcasm was not appropriate so no facetiousness allowed.)

So the non-science world may finally be learning that bias is present in all people and must be vigorously rooted out.  'Bout time.

Date: 2008/03/01 18:09:06, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
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Date: 2008/04/15 23:21:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,April 15 2008,22:56)
didymos also known as 'we don't have a fucking clue about criteria for model selection'. If these douchebags were actually given the keys to the bus they would drive it in the ditch before everyone got their seat belt fastened.

The trainwreck that is ID.

eta:Just in case trains are not your thing.

Date: 2008/04/17 21:43:10, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ April 16 2008,02:09)
an ex of mine who went to UNC had an error analysis textbook with that on the cover.

yea, I suppose it's an excellent pic to grab attention for that purpose.

I wasn't happy with the pic's original caption.  It seemed to lack the correct punch for this topic.  So I went through several iterations starting with "OH TARD!".  Then "UH-OH, TARD!".  Then "UH-OH TARD ALERT!".  Then simply "TARD ALERT!".  I finally settled on...dunh-du-du-duuh(drum roll please)..."TARD WRECK!!", and changed the NTR to the correct lolcat impact font.

Compliments and congratulations are being actively trolled for, although contributions will be accepted in lieu of.  Any resemblance to Uncommonly Dense posters and commentators, past, present, or future, is purely intentional.

eta: Petty criticisms need not apply, unless they have a superior caption for me to use.  Credit will not be given in accordance with the Premise Media School of Law.

Date: 2008/04/17 21:49:48, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Can anyone direct me to the full size pic of DaveTard where he is in front of his truck with his mutts and sandal tanned feet?  I have another photoshop in mind.

Date: 2008/04/23 06:18:23, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ April 23 2008,00:05)

If you'll be so kind, would you mind pointing out exactly where Dembski states that ID is an "alternative to evolutionary theory"?

[Please note, again dear, that there is a *world of difference* between "evolutionary theory" and "Darwinism".  That is what I was trying point out to Rob when he worded his comment the way he did.]

And who exactly are you to judge?!?!?  (Not that anyone studies Darwinism anyway, or ever did.)  You and your DI buddies don't get to define the terms.  When you have more years working as a biologist than, to pick just one example, Dr. Elsberry, then you can start defining things.  And even then only small stuff.

Total Retard!  And yeah, I don't mind using the whole word to describe you.  Why don't you grow some christian humility, (your imaginary) lord knows you need it.

Date: 2008/04/23 06:20:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ April 23 2008,02:17)
Quote (Ftk @ April 22 2008,23:05)

If you'll be so kind, would you mind pointing out exactly where Dembski states that ID is an "alternative to evolutionary theory"?

[Please note, again dear, that there is a *world of difference* between "evolutionary theory" and "Darwinism". That is what I was trying point out to Rob when he worded his comment the way he did.]

Would you care to point out some of the larger differences ftk? Just a few.

I also think that there are differences but want to hear what you consider them to be.

The difference is that evolution is what biologists study, Darwinism is what evil creotards want the American public to think biologists study.  Not that ready-for-the-loony-bin FtK would ever tell you that.

Date: 2008/04/23 06:23:53, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
And I would really like to hurl a few choice vulgarities at FtK too, but the decorum of the board is hurt badly enough by her mere presence!

Date: 2008/06/10 07:49:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Woowoo, I got sent to the bathroom wall!, albeit only by the reflected tard of another.

And yes, khan, that is indeed some serious tard.

Date: 2008/06/10 07:52:11, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
omitting overt biblical references

That's exactly what they can't do.  Not just won't but can't.  They are mentally incapable of leaving the bible out of it. (Or for that matter anything?)

Date: 2008/06/27 08:42:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ June 27 2008,05:48)
It's similar evolutionarily. Nature gives people a range of strengths. Maximizing raw strength isn't ever the best. There are compromises. You want strength, but you also want efficiency, and flexibility, and other things. A mutant cheetah can have really doubly strong legs but if they get tired in 50 feet he starves to death. Gotta have a good balance of qualities.

If you wonder why we don't all have fantastic IQs, like we don't all have fantastic strength, well, Erdos, Sidis, Godel, and Isaac Newton left behind a combined zero children....

Race horses are suffering for it.

Euler made up for all of them.  Of course the kids survival rate was pretty poor.

Date: 2008/07/03 09:09:37, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Thankyou Lou. Forgive the tardy response.  I really must turn my home internet back on and stop wasting time at work.  I miss too much catching AtBC and the Thumb in snatches.

Happy Birthday to all AtBC'ers.  June and July seem to be highly clustered.

Date: 2008/07/03 15:03:45, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Belated HBD Steve,
I still owe you a burrito, so if you make it down to Wilmington, make it two now. :D

Date: 2008/09/03 08:57:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (bystander @ Aug. 28 2008,21:46)
Leave us hanging!! I wants to know the answer  :angry:

You left out disembodied telic entity pushing the termites around using wormholes in the space time continum.

Which is the correct answer no matter what your mere evidence shows. Teach the controversy !1!!one!!

I think the zero energy photons have more to do with it than the wormholes.  :p

Date: 2008/09/03 09:11:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 02 2008,07:21)
Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 02 2008,03:08)
Now stop trying to screw up my head with your materialist trans-Argon nonsense!

Name a non-materialistic element! :p


Narativium? Terry Pratchett's element of fiction.

Randomium? An element very useful for "explaining" why some reaction has or hasn't worked.

Crossfingersandhopelikehellium? An element in the same group as Randomium. Principle component of dusty crap that desperate students leave/place in flasks of reactions that repeatedly fail in the vain hope that some hitherto unheard of catalytic effect occurs. Not to be confused with molecular sieves or solid state catalysis.

Technecium? Well, it was made (up).


Tardium-The most essential element for the synthesis of tard in creationist brains.  The most common source of tardium is family bibles.

Date: 2008/09/09 09:03:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 09 2008,09:16)

I'm not a nihilist, you're just full of shit.

That isn' really necessary, Ras.

I think positions are neither being adequately explained nor understood, a sin I was guilty of some months back, in a back and forth I had with Wes.

I think Clausewitz is more important than anyone else mentioned so far.  All life is a power struggle.  The struggle can be violent or rhetorical.  Politics is where the rhetorical struggle takes place.  Voting is how we settle the rhetorical struggle.  It is indeed a terrible evil setup (as the old saw goes, it is still better than the alternatives) but not playing is not an option.  Not playing = dying.

Date: 2008/09/15 08:23:58, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,08:57)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 15 2008,06:37)
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,00:12)
Oh, and the rape thing?  If I was raped and became pregnant, I'd have the baby.  I wouldn't think twice about it.  I'm sure my husband wouldn't have trouble raising it either.  It's certainly not the baby's fault that his birth father had issues.

Ftk, your personal reflections, your husband's willingness, and your moral reasoning about the baby are relevant only in the context of a pro-choice position.

The point of the extreme anti-abortion position is that, had you become pregnant as a result of a rape, your personal thoughts, convictions and moral reasoning on the matter are to be disregarded. You are to be compelled to bring the pregnancy to term regardless.

How the hell did you come up with this understanding of the pro-life position?

Man, you people go to extremes to convince yourselves that your position is the only one worth considering.

I have an uncle whose views I'd consider extremely anti-abortion (though he *certainly* wouldn't bomb abortion centers or anything remotely close).  But, I assure you, his personal thoughts, convictions and moral reasoning come to play (he talks about the issues a lot so I know), and he would *never* suggest that they be disregarded.

That whole statement you made is utter bullshit.

Is there an anti-choice position that considers rape a legitimate reason for an abortion?

Date: 2008/09/15 10:19:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,10:53)
My thoughts are that a baby's life begins at conception, but there are those who do not.

Does that mean that the sperm and the egg are dead when fusion occurs?

Date: 2008/09/15 10:23:50, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,10:53)
HOLD ON A COTTON PICKIN' SECOND.  That is not what *I'm* advocating*.  I never said a word about what my position is.

Ja, that makes it so much the easier to weasel out of untenable positions when you refuse to take any.

Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,10:53)
I said that anti-abortion supporters certainly consider individual thoughts, convictions and moral reasoning when reflecting upon their stance on abortion.

And yet those same anti-abortion supporters would refuse to allow other people the priviledge of having their own individual thoughts, convictions, moral reasonings, and reflections.

Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,10:53)
I believe that people have to the right to make their own choices about their own moral positions without being forced to take a certain path.

Then don't support  politicians who would deny that right by law.

edited for tags and spelling

Date: 2008/09/15 13:13:59, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 15 2008,14:03)
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 15 2008,12:15)
Hmmm....I thought I already did.  A life is a life whether it's in the womb or outside of it.  I've seen many, many pictures of infants in the womb...including two of my own.  It's a human life we're talking about, plain and simple.  I have no idea how you can get around that fact.  We don't murder people....we instinctively know that is wrong.  You can call it a God given instinct or merely a Darwinian fluke that we have a conscience and a sense of what is right and wrong...but, we all have it, and we can choose to follow it or ignore it.  

Either way, our conscience knows there is something morally wrong with taking a life.

Presumably you are a vegetarian?

Presumably she doesn't eat at all.  Plants are life too, no less for being just plants.

Date: 2008/09/18 07:51:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Brunswick is the southernmost coastal county in North Carolina.  I am neither a resident of nor have children in the Brunswick school system, so I don't have any standing, but I will make time to attend the Oct 21 meeting.

Date: 2008/09/21 15:20:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 18 2008,09:29)
You have to love this sentence from the second article that Paul linked.

The Brunswick County school system offers a Bible as Literature course in high school, but it’s not being taught this year because no students signed up for it, according to administrators.

Ja, that's gotta sting the nutjobs who want nothing more than more babble in the schools.  I think the reporter definitely showed she has a good sense of the absurd when she wrote that.

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 18 2008,12:04)
The state was pretty quick on the kibosh.

Notice on the Austringer.

I don't think this was any kind of official policy pronouncement.  The school board meeting was Tuesday and the article was in the Wednesday paper.  The reporter or the editor, or both, may have thought they had a live one by the hair and she spent Wednesday calling the relevant agencies and people, the second article on Thursday being the fruits of that effort.  But it would be good if the school board takes the hint.

By the way, how did you have this barely an hour after the article was posted to the web.

Brunswick school board to consider creationism teaching
By Ana Ribeiro Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 10:40 p.m.

Austringer 16 Sep 2008 11:44 pm
Another School Board Poised to Make a Mistake

I missed the first article because they buried it by placing it in the B section and I don't have the leisure to read whole papers during the week.  The second article was given front page (below the fold, but still) status.  The editor knew he had a hot one.  I thought I was doing good to get the thread up only a few hours after I saw the second article.

My hopes and dreams of being one of Wesley's Minions dashed.

Still intend to be at that next meeting, but the calender for the BCSB does not list the meeting as the 21st of October but rather the 7th.  Does not bode well.  I'll drive down there both days.

Date: 2008/09/21 19:16:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (khan @ Sep. 21 2008,10:12)
Some pictures (all taken within 50 feet of my front door):

Go here:

From the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Panama/Columbia border, we wish you a hearty "Welcome to our world".  I remember needing 8 hours to chainsaw a four foot diameter oak that blocked my drive after Fran in '96. There were three more on the property that, thankfully, fell in harmless areas.  Hundred years to grow and gone in a night.  

Now, can you send down some blizzards?  I was a toddler and small child in Columbus and I miss me some snow sumpin turrible.  :D

Date: 2008/09/22 13:16:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
A quick question for FtK, and then I have to stop lollygagging at work.  How many atheists were there in 1700 with political power or intellectual control over the western scientific agenda?  1750?  1800?  1850?  1900?  1950?  If atheists are so dominating the country and the world today, when exactly did they take over and who was it that did?  Granted this is a better question for DO'L, but I am quite sure the answer would give me a nasty pain behind my eyes.

Date: 2008/10/03 08:14:45, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 03 2008,01:30)
just like some kinda proto-nookular pomo pauli principle, and stuff.

Palin couldn't pronounce it anymore than the current occupant of the White House can.  Is there something in the platform of the Republican Party that says mispronouncing nuclear is a requirement for membership?

Date: 2008/10/03 08:52:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 03 2008,09:25)
Get real...everyone knows CBS & CNN are supported by left wingdingers..big time.

WOW!, I never knew Glenn Blech was a left wingdinger.  Thankyou for correcting me FtK.

Date: 2008/10/03 15:08:00, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 03 2008,11:04)
What terrifies me is that even otherwise intelligent people are falling into this idiotic game of identity politics. It terrifies me when it's done abroad, and it terrifies me even more when it's done here in the UK.

The shallowness of thought around the political issues of the day reminds me of the shallowness of thought around religious issues. Why people let themselves be fooled is beyond me. Admitting to compromise isn't the same thing as willing blinkered gullibility (and that's where 'Ras and I really differ ;-) ).


In your favor Louis is that science has discovered that evolution tends to construct things more robustly, more durably than intelligent design.  I think of the British government as having evolved over a thousand years and the American government as having been intelligently designed over two months of a single summer.  Certainly I am oversimplifying in both statements above, but I take hope that perhaps your government won't be co-opted so easily as the American form has been.

Date: 2008/10/04 13:28:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 03 2008,19:29)
Reports suggest that McCain is shifting his advertising to 100% negative ads against Obama. We'll see if the fear-mongering and division tactics of Rove can pull it off. My guess is no.

I say no as well, but I fear that they will come close enough that the loss will not repudiate the tactics.  Only a blow out, of say a 60% win by popular vote, by Obama and a clean sweep of the electoral college (ok a 75% take of the EC, I can still dream) will show the American public can see past negative identity politics.

Date: 2008/10/10 11:06:30, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (RupertG @ Oct. 09 2008,20:15)
"What would it take to change your mind?" is such a good thing to ask (often of yourself).

I think someone asked that would just respond with a ridiculously exaggerated answer, like "I want to see a cat birth a raccoon."

Date: 2008/10/10 14:01:17, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 10 2008,12:13)
Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 10 2008,17:10)

No, I distinctly remember is was the Bolivians then the Swedes.  

I find it helps the memory to file things alphabetically, so if you remember that the "B" comes before the "S", you'll always have it right.

ps:  Do you remember what the hell I did with that Gold Medal they gave me?

And who says we take these threads off topic with our nonsense? It's only a few posts in and we're already taking about B S, i.e. something close to FTK's heart.


She doesn't mind polluting other peoples threads, so just let her complain about us polluting hers.

Date: 2008/10/20 11:36:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Oct. 20 2008,10:16)
I had an interesting conversation about this over the weekend.  My father would self-identify with both factions of the conservative right and does not share my perception (which to me seems to be widely held in the interwebz) that the GOP is splintering along the christian coalition lines fused in the 80s and 90s.  He is not happy with McCain but does not agree with me that it is necessary (or even important) that Palin have a realistic view of the age of the earth, among other things.  We didn't get a chance to get into this further, but I was left with many unanswered questions.  Of course, my father is a bit torn between the biblical version of history and the fact based version of history, for religious reasons.  I am not surprised that he does not consider this to be a valid metric for choosing a representative.

The one saving grace of the extant representative system is that it encourages gridlock and high inertia.  I fear that this stasis will dissolve with a democratic hegemony.  Given that all of these cunts favor clean coal among many other stupid ideas, that does not bode well for conservation interests, despite the seeming willingness of the Dems to pay lip service to conservationist and sometimes preservationist ideals.

The only good thing about unified government is that the fanatics will be unstoppable and fanatics never know when to stop.  It doesn't matter if the fanatics are Dems or Reps or any other flavor of the decade(or nation) you care to name.  The backlash will just bring the next permanent Republican majority to power, the pendulum continues its swings, and history repeats itself, ad nauseum.

Date: 2008/11/05 11:57:11, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
When Obama gave his acceptance speech I thought the closing statement including a paraphrase of the original national motto was very nice.  I could almost make myself believe he was winking at secularists everywhere when he wrote it.

Date: 2008/11/08 07:46:03, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
racism in the uk

edited to add the general page:

and correct my abysmal spelling

Date: 2008/11/10 18:17:56, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 10 2008,16:27)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 10 2008,16:11)
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 10 2008,14:45)

(from Corpus Callosum)

I'm calling Poe on that one--and I sure hope I'm right.

Their page on W states:

George Walker Bush (born New Haven, Connecticut 1946) is the greatest President in the history of America. He was the Governor of Texas (1996-2001) and has served as the Republican President of the United States of America since 2001. Campaigning on the notion that the United States should not be in the business of nation-building (a stance that would later be modified after 9/11 changed everything), he won the office by a narrow margin in the decisive State of Florida. Legal challenges to the certified vote count went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. Democratic contender Al Gore initially conceded defeat on the night of the election, but then contested the outcome for weeks until the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, in which Jesus Christ influenced the Supreme Court to vote in favor of Bush. It was the greatest moment in American history.

Nobody who is that much of a fundy writes that well.

And their featured article:

The Roman Catholic Church, often referred to simply as the "Catholic Church", is the largest criminal organization in the world, with about one billion adherents. It comprises one of the three great divisions of false Christianity, together with non-Baptist Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Church consists of those who are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, who is generally called the Pope, currently ex-Nazi Pope Benedict XVI. The Church falsely teaches that the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, whom Catholics regard as the original leader of Christ's apostles and as the first Bishop of Rome.

Now really...

I hope it's fake. I think it's impossible to guess. A lot of that material seems to be lifted from Conservapedia, which isn't fake.

It is a Poe. Further down the W page it is claimed he is a member of Landover Baptist.  Definitely a Poe.

Date: 2008/11/14 08:19:43, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 12 2008,23:25)
I was just thinking about Pandas and People yestidy. You have a creationism textbook, and at some point the ID people take it and change all the words "Creationism" to "Intelligent Design", and "Creationist" to "Intelligent Design Theorist", and yet there are still people so dumb and willfully blinkered that they can know that, and still insist ID is not creationism. It just boggles the mind.

They have to insist or their souls are in jeopardy.  Sad really.

Date: 2008/12/12 07:41:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 11 2008,16:50)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 11 2008,13:43)
Steve Chu's name can be found in familiar places.

:O  He's a Steve Steve's Steve!

*shimmy!* *shimmy!* *shimmy!*  :) Is it true? Is it really, really, true that we have an intelligent and hawt Prez?

Evangelicals shocked by Bush comments.
George W. Bush's recent statement that he believes the Bible is "probably not" literally true has apparently left many Christian conservatives reeling in shock.

David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network told CNN"s John Roberts on Thursday, "I think a lot of social conservative evangelicals were surprised -- probably grabbing the smelling salts as we speak."

Bush made the controversial statement during a Monday interview on ABC's Nightline. When asked whether he thinks the Bible is literally true, he replied, "Probably not. No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it."

One blogger at the conservative Washington Times, commented the next morning, "I already have an e-mail from a former Bush administration official who writes, 'This just completely alienated his evangelical supporters.'"

Bush further stated in the interview, "I think that God created the Earth ... and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."...

Some evangelicals, however, claim they were not surprised by Bush's remarks. A blog titled "The Moral Collapse Of America" pointed out after the interview that "George W. Bush's religious beliefs are not compatible with evangelical Christianity," because "Bush has openly said many times that Christians, Muslims and all other religions pray to the same God."

Ding-a-lings. They'd better keep those smelling salts close by.

Since he no longer even needs to appear like he is scratching at the feet of the rel. right maybe he wants the rest of us to not think so ill of his intelligence.
Yea, right, like that's ever going to happen.

Date: 2008/12/16 08:59:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Need a physics question answered.  I am trying to contribute to a game that I play and am making my scienc-y background text for it.

Since matter warps space into positive curvature, creating gravity, is it correct to say that the cosmological constant unwarps space negatively, and that the 'natural' state of rest for space is flat?  Or am I not even wrong?

Thanks in advance.

Date: 2009/01/23 09:40:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I'll throw my squeak on top of the pile. HBD Wes!!!

(eta: or bottom as the case may be)

Date: 2009/02/24 09:40:39, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Michael Behe is speaking in town Thursday* and I get to be in the heckle crowd.  I was hoping for some advice.  Should I go with the meat and dairy group and take the rotten eggs or should I skip the protein and stick with the classic rotten lettuce and tomatos?


Date: 2009/02/25 08:32:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 23 2009,18:16)

I just got word of this:

Michael Behe to Speak on Intelligent Design
2/20/2009 11:04:20 AM
Print E-Mail

Lehigh University biochemistry professor and author Michael Behe will present "Answering Objections to the Argument for Intelligent Design in Biology" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the Cultural Arts Building Beckwith Recital Hall.

Behe is known for developing the concept of irreducible complexity. His provocative book, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, was a major catalyst in the emergence of the intelligent design movement. His theory of irreducible complexity is defined as "a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Behe graduated from Drexel University in 1974 with a B.S. in chemistry and then earned his Ph. D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. Since then, he has published more than 35 articles in biochemical journals, as well as written editorial features in the Boston Review, American Spectator and the New York Times. His book, Darwin's Black Box, was recently named by the National Review and World magazine as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century. This event is free and no tickets are required. For more information, contact event host Donald Furst, professor of art, at x23440.

UNC Wilmington is about an hour from here. It's where Doc got his master's, and where I'm going after Coastal.

Guess who's going to see your boyfriend?

Yup, bo'fus. I'll of course be reporting here.

(It's awful funny that he was invited by the art department, though, ain't it? How come the Biology department didn't invite him, I wonder? I'll ask him.)

Yep, yep,

I have been waiting a month for this, ever since I missed Eugenie Scott's visit in Jan(frakkin work).  If I can't be a Eugenie groupie then I can be a Hehe heckler :)


ps you have a pm

Date: 2009/02/26 07:49:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 24 2009,15:59)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 24 2009,14:41)
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 24 2009,12:25)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 24 2009,19:04)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 24 2009,10:38)

My favorite bit would have to be the pufferfish inexplicably hanging from the ceiling.

That's my favourite bit too.

No, no, no. It's my favorite bit. Not my favourite.

Colour me unimpressed with this colonial language masher. We reserve the right to retract your licence for the English language. There is a rumour you'll then have to speak French. You can honour the cheese eating surrender monkeys - the flavour and smell of garlic will be your armour if we invade again.

Its obviously information being destroyed, per ID theory. All mutations are harmful, yada yada SHARON'S ENTROMPY and SLOT VIOLATIONS.

You mean it's your perogative?


Date: 2009/02/27 08:26:19, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
A belated one to you Erasmus, hope you get many more  :)

Date: 2009/02/27 08:31:12, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 26 2009,23:28)
...the man they had just applauded moments (seemingly hours) before.

Behe definitely made the hours seem like days.  I'll put something together later too.  And if Lou does not object I'll riff off of his notes too.

Date: 2009/02/27 12:18:16, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (csadams @ Feb. 27 2009,07:21)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 26 2009,22:49)
Sitting with Doc and Paul Flocken and JP

200ish in attendance, Doc spots no Bio dept faculty.

Why no Bio dept faculty?

I wouldn't know any of the bio faculty but I saw the one creobot representative from the physics dept that I am familiar with.  He routinely defends creationism in the LTTE page of the paper.  Since he is a physicist I sincerely hope that he is atleast an OEC, but I never did ask when the opportunity was available.

Date: 2009/02/27 12:26:33, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 27 2009,09:59)
Amanda Greene at the Star News seems to have a less unfavorable opinion of Behe's talk last night.

Edited to correct the spelling of Ms. Greene's surname.

Its good to read the print edition tho.  Eugenie Scott got front page(below the fold) the day after her lecture.  Behe was stricken to the B-section(front page, below the fold).

Date: 2009/02/27 12:52:38, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 27 2009,10:30)
He's got nine or ten kids. That's a big job no matter what else is going on in your life.

I was struck by the saintly old grandfather look immediately when he entered stage right.  It couldn't possibly have hurt him with his intended audience.

Date: 2009/03/01 12:24:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 28 2009,08:58)
kairosfocus: Kindly, read this, from Ch 6 in Darwin’s 1871 Descent of Man [which has been raised in recent threads here]... So, that comes right home to me: the Irish potato famine, and the famine in Jamaica that triggered the indifference in response to petition for relief that triggered the Morant Bay uprising, due to Governor Eyre’s utter want of humanity.

The Irish potato famine was from about 1845 to 1852 while the Morant Bay uprising was in 1865. Kairosfocus blames a book written in 1871. He then quotes H.G. Wells:

And before we judge of {the Martians} too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

Kairosfocus misses the irony intended by Wells. Humans say they are merciful, yet exterminate one another incessantly. Martians have great minds, but lack compassion.

It's important to remind ourselves who struck the winning blow in the War of the Worlds. It wasn't the Martians. Or the humans.

It was Godthe Intelligent Designer, because those bacteria have flagella, and Godthe Intelligent Designer, in his wisdom, put those flagella on those bacteria.

Date: 2009/03/01 13:55:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Sorry this took all weekend.  I had to type it from handwritten notes in breaks from work.

Whenever I focused my attention behind me I could hear the near machine gun staccato tapping from Lou's keyboard, so I didn't try to keep an encyclopedic record.  It is also a little more conversational than Lou's record.


The local christian bookstore is hawking Behe's books in the lobby.(Is this universal?)

WHO(!) in the world thinks that Behe's book belongs on a list of the 100 most significant books of the 20th century?  I want to see this list.  What number is 'My Pet Goat'?

Behe shows disclaimer: the following presentation is my opinion, not that of Lehigh.(I wonder why Behe must DISCLAIMER his presentation?  Is it because his university and his colleagues regard him as a leper?  He did not say.)

He went over the five points of his presentation on ID and IC:
 ID/IC is revealed in the physical structure of the system, definition:a purposeful arrangement of parts(what happened to the original definition of IC?  This new one seems awfully vague.  Why exactly did he have to change it?);
 everyone agrees on the appearance of design(could everyone stop doing this please, life gives the appearance of having evolved not of design); lots and lots of quotes from Dawkins(but I'm sure Dawkins is used to it by now);
 there are structural obstacles to evolution(that's a crying shame since it happens anyway);
 evos have an undisciplined imagination(this struck me as the most defamatory thing he said all evening)
 design is quantitative(YIPPEE, that means he is going to show us some real calculations*,  Did. Not. Happen.)

Lots more bad quotes by evos.  (Question for the AtBC peanut gallery, if you eliminated all other possible tactics by creo's, would their presentations get any shorter?)

Shows Farside cartoon of Livingston caught in a jungle trap.  "Obviously, this was designed"(If you saw Livingston caught in a mansized Venus Flytrap would it still be obvious?)

Shows series of mountain images.  Mount Rushmore is obviously designed.(Only to the people who have the record of the process.  If Martians landed on earth in front of Mount Rushmore after man goes extinct how would they know to it was designed?)

Darwin insisted on gradualness.(Why is Darwin the absolute authority?)

(Absoluting nothing new here, yawn)

Behe goes on and on about cellular machines.(Can we not grant that the language we use was invented before evolution was discovered and does not have good phraseology available for us to use in describing evolution?)

(Can some one tell Franklin Harold that Behe is quotemining him.
'The Way of the Cell' page 205;  evolutionary science is wild, imaginative, claims, speculations)

(Behe is doing Gish proud, galloping away as fast as he can.  If ID truly had a course to offer for study at uni then this would make for a good first day class introduction but there is virtually no detail.)

Bad joke about In-Duck-Tive reasoning with a picture of a duck.  Science claims to use inductive reasoning, Behe claims that that is all ID is doing.

Time to pick on Judge Jones now.  Jones said the weight of evidence is on the side of evolution.(What about the weight of the textbooks in your lap?)

Behe implies that Jones was dishonest about writing his opinion but then claims Jones is not really dishonest.(If the defense had won the case and Jones had used the defense's findings wouldn't you be singing about the sage perspicacity of Jones, rather than bemoaning that he copied your briefs?)

Since Jones plagiarised his opinion he doesn't really know that evolution is correct.  He just picked a side.  Why?(He must have flipped a coin.)

Behe puts up a quote from the Jones opinion where Rothschild characterizes ID as an argument by analogy.  OH NO! I never used the word analogy.  I have been quote-mined.

New quote from Wexler.  Jones should not have ruled on ID is not science.(Pick a quote from a person who opposes ID so you dont have to admit that the defense asked for the ruling to be made.)

(Okay I get it.  The purpose of the presentation is to put on a show for the rubes.  He is completely unconcerned with whether there is even one jot or tittle of consistency to it.)

Time to mischaracterize John Mcdonald now.  Bait and switch.  My new and improved definition of IC(but of course Behe is not telling the audience it is new and improved) is completely proof against the McDonald precursor mousetraps(the original five step ones not the 20-odd step ones)  McDonald says he is not trying to simulate evolution, then why is he making the argument.

Behe grants that common descent is real.  But trivial.(Sounds like a concession, creos have fought CD for 150 years)
Behe grants that natural selection is real.  But trivial.(Sounds like a concession, rinse repeat)
(Granting concessions is like backing up to a cliff when the pride is stalking you.  Eventually you have to fall off the cliff to avoid getting eaten)

(This is when I decide that Behe is not well practiced at his public speaking.  He loses himself too easily even though this is his presentation and his slides, but this may be uncharitable as this is the only time I have seen him.)

Behe lies by omission about the difference between theory and data and how scientists use them.

Getting rid of/breaking genes does not explain where they come from.(I am going to call this the argument by only going half way.  Another lie by omission.  Offer up a preposterous situation and be silent about how science explains it.)

Question time: First question wants a mechanism:  Behe says he doesn't have one, but that's OKAY.  It is okay for ID to say IDK.  Newton lacked a mech so Behe doesn't need one either.  (More dishonesty here.  When science includes caveats and IDK's in its explanations the creo's crow about how science doesn't really know anything but somehow it is okay for the creos to say IDK.)

Behe answers the mechanism question but then keeps talking. And talking.  And talking.  And then talks some more.(He spent more time on this one question than any other.)

In one of then answers to a question Behe claims that the TTSS==>>Flagellum evolutionary pathway hypothesized is actually backward; the the flagellum evolved first and then the TTSS evolved from it.  His explanation is vague and rambling but has something to do with a precursor to the TTSS injecting poisons into other bacteria or something and the fact that the actual propeller part of a flagellum is extruded(though he didn't use the word extruded, I am).(I can't say I remember reading this anywhere is this new?)

The next to last question is from a lady with a son who has what initially sounded like, to me, a dreadful condition.  He was born without a corpus collosum.  She lacks a well formed question but keeps using the phrase 'you are starting with the endpoint' and wants it known that her son is otherwise completely normal.  Behe took her to mean that IC means that parts can't be knocked out and tries to explain that that is not what IC means at all.  He is not claiming the human body is IC.  It would be possible to remove the pancreas, for example, of a person and that person could continue to function.(Of course Behe neglects to mention that is exactly what IC was originally defined to mean.  I think the lady was on the right track to a good question because if you start with the endpoint you are missing all of the evolutionary dead ends that lead to the product being claimed as IC and intelligently designed.)


Potential questions I had written down:

Dr Behe, you seem old enough to remember a Gene Barry movie from the fifties called War of the Worlds.  If the Martians had landed on an earth devoid of all men and their artifacts but for and right in front of Mt Rushmore how would they know it was designed?

Would you be complaining about Judge Jones plagiarising the defense briefs(and his apparent consequent lack of truly understanding ID) if you had won the case?

You claimed that design is quantitative.  Can you show us some calculations?

In a previous answer to a question you suggested that god could be acting through the boundary conditions of the universe from its creation in the big bang.  This eliminates the special creation of man apart from the rest of creation.  How can you/we find this satisfying when the bible shows man's creation as a personal intervention on the part of god rather than an impersonal action through the forces of the universe?(I like this question because it is vague about who is asking it, a creo or an evo.)

You granted concessions on common descent and natural selection even though creationists have been fighting these concepts for many decades since publication of Darwin's 'Species'.  It seems like everytime creationists draw a line and say no further, science just plows right by.  How many times can creationists backstep and backpedal before they fall off the cliff?  Science will continue to advance and continue to explain things.  Will you ever admit that no more lines can be drawn?(And even then will they even admit they fell off of the cliff?)

I also wanted to asked about ignoring evoluntionary dead ends and only using the endpoint as a source of ID but I did not have a well formed question in mind yet.

*This really did get me excited.  I so wanted to see some real calculations.

Date: 2009/03/01 13:58:05, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I had another question in mind, that I hadn't written down, about his misrepresenting John MacDonalds point with the mousetrap 'precursors'.  I still don't know which question I would have asked if I hadn't been cut off.

Date: 2009/03/02 16:17:09, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (khan @ Mar. 02 2009,10:37)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 02 2009,00:12)
Okay, now your Tard is $5 a click:

You won't make any money if I OD.

Are you aware of the life insurance policy he has on you?

Date: 2009/03/02 16:29:55, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
this whole page (211) was very instructive.  thankyou ladies and germs


Date: 2009/03/02 16:35:34, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 01 2009,18:13)
Quote (Doc Bill @ Mar. 01 2009,17:25)
Judge Jones plagiarizing

If Behe actually used the word plagiarizing then he is not only stupid but stupidly wrong.

Plagiarizing is taking someone's idea and presenting it as your own without citation.

In Jones' ruling he cites the plaintiff's brief, trial transcripts and other sources in nearly every sentence and, in many sentences, multiple times.

Jones drew heavily from the plaintiff's brief and not so much (or at all) from the defense because the plaintiffs were right and the defense was wrong.

Simple as that.

Behe is, once again, engaging in intellectual slander to imply that Judge Jones failed to understand the basis of the case when his brilliantly written opinion clearly demonstrates that he did.

No, Behe first implied that Judge Jones plagiarized the decision, and after the well was thoroughly poisoned after five minutes of scurrilous accusation by implication then said that it wasn't plagiarism but that it was "not considered wrong in the legal profession" (pretty close to a direct quote). ETA: added something like 'it's not like plagiarizing in your high school class'.

Then he went on about how Jones "showed no independent thought" (a direct quote), and how he "didn't know what was going on" (also a direct quote).

exactly as Lou explained,

sorry I was unclear; plagiarizing was my shorthand for Behe's total spiel.  Poisoning the well is precisely right.

Date: 2009/03/02 16:40:28, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (AmandaHuginKiss @ Mar. 02 2009,05:17)
Quote (Doc Bill @ Mar. 02 2009,12:44)
Lou, your inconvenient FACTS are getting in the way of my opinion-driven venom for Behe.

OK, I'm over it.

So, really, when pinned by someone who knows Jones' ruling, Behe is screwed.  He relies on the ignorance of others, yet bases his entire thesis on that ignorance.

Personally, I couldn't do it.  No matter my convictions.  I'd cave.

I can only imagine that Behe just doesn't care.  And, why should he?  He's not going to get fired or suffer one whit from his scientific slander.  

Too bad.

I'm not surprised the Behe and co keep reliving Dover. This was the day that ID died. I remember that before Dover, there was a lot of buzz about ID and Behe. It was an intriguing Idea. Imagine somebody proving that evolution could not have brought about diversity of life. I thought it was interesting idea until I looked closer. Almost every mention of ID was at least neutral.

Now the only invites he gets are from organisations that have the words "Church" in them and the only media that is sympathetic is wingnut (even LGF is anti-ID).

And ART professors, don't forget ART professors.

Date: 2009/03/22 13:10:54, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
throw one back for me. hb

Date: 2009/03/22 13:14:12, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
i just invited an a$$hat using the name 'billdaduck' that invaded my gaming group to come and let you make a fool of him.  he is shilling 'pandas and people'.  i know you will not dissappoint.

Date: 2009/05/01 10:15:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
a good birfday to you; if you don't mind driving fifty miles, dinner is on me.  :D

Date: 2009/06/06 23:26:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Can someone explain to me why cats have not evolved a way to digest their own hair instead of spitting it up all over my floor?

Date: 2009/06/07 18:47:15, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Henry J @ June 07 2009,19:28)
I would guess that messing up the floor isn't detrimental to the cat, so there's no evolutionary "pressure" in that direction. ;)


Only if you dont consider having tuna flavored mineral oil forced down your throat with a syringe detrimental. :p

Date: 2009/06/13 14:57:49, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I wish i had some pics but all I had was my cell phone cam which is worthless beyond 10 meters.  Yesterday evening I happened by a flock(1-2 dz) of White Ibis foraging in the drainage ditch that follows the old trolley line behind my house.  There are a lot of owls around but have only seen them at night and on a rapid wing, so no way to catch identifying marks.  The only other really cool critters I have are the Golden Silk Orb Weavers; Nephila Clavipes aka Banana Spiders who build their webs under my back stairs.  To encourage them to stick around I throw light bulb stricken moths into the web whenever I can.  It is amazing how much effort a previously moribund and dying moth can produce when it is suddenly stuck in a  spider's web.<evil grin>  I have no pics right now but will post them as soon as I can.

Date: 2009/08/01 06:55:46, Link
Author: Paul Flocken

I did not know if i was going to put this on the bathroom wall or make new topic but this topic seemed ideal(thank you Dr GH).

NPR news had a story by Julie Rovner about the health insurance bill this morning.  The compromise on the bill that was just worked out between the so-called 'blue dog' democrats and the more liberal democrats included extending patent rights to pharmaceutical companies "for expensive biotech drugs made from molecules rather than chemicals."*  Who would have ever guessed they were different?

*Yes I know it would have been too complicated to explain precisely what was meant by that phrase but the fact that too many Americans would not have been able to understand it anyway is why and that is sort of the point.

(The story is the second one in the program stream @~50 sec)

Date: 2010/03/09 20:35:35, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (sledgehammer @ Mar. 01 2010,00:39)
Morals is how others tell you to behave.
Ethics is how you behave when nobody's watching?

Not attempting to disagree with Sledge, simply chose his comment for the reply button.

I think ethics is an academic discipline that attempts to make a code of conduct that is internally consistent.  Morals are tools that one group of people try to use to justify the rules they wish to impose on a second group of people.

Date: 2010/04/03 12:07:04, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 20 2010,04:16)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Mar. 19 2010,22:10)
BTW: Has anyone mentioned that right here on this very forum... science has done what Dembski et al cannot?

That is using their preferred method, determine which of strings is random and which is designed.

Several science types here did it and scored about an 80% success rate.  No IDer even bothered to try.

I should clarify that the methods applied to successfully distinguish random from non-random strings here were not anything like Dembski's "design inference". Louis used Benford's Law, that the distribution of results yielding numbers tends to be biased towards strings beginning with smaller numbers. I used "Specified Anti-Information" (SAI), which applies non-probabilistic algorithmic information theory, which is a great contrast to Dembski's method with its unrealistic intrinsic probability estimation as a necessary component of the process. And each of the applied successful methods may have a "success rate" that is not necessarily 80%; that was just about the distribution of people who entered an opinion on which string was which, and not everyone used the same method. I mention this because I've used SAI before on similar tasks, and so far it has given me accurate results.

The search function has always been clunky for me.  Can someone point me to this thread?

Date: 2010/04/03 16:06:40, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Thought Provoker @ April 03 2010,15:38)

TP, you forgot the most important part.  Any Dembski acolytes need to SHOW THEIR WORK.  With only two options, even guessing gives them half a chance more than they deserve.

Date: 2010/04/16 12:16:55, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
What I'm interested in is going back to Darwin and his thought of evolution.
Darwin is no longer anymore necessary for the theory of evolution to stand on its own than William Harvey is for modern surgical theory to stand on its own.
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
For instance, what was his purpose in thinking up his theory of evolution
I smell a fallacy coming...
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
(and survival of the fittest)? I think he was trying to make sense of the world (in essence a "theological" framework).
...ok, no fallacy.

This is roughly apt but too broad.  Darwin was trying to come up with an explanation for the observations about species diversity and location that he had made over his, and his predecessors*, years of observations.  All science is in a sense trying to make sense of the world, Darwin was just working in that corner called BIOLOGY.
A theological framework is necessarily a god framework, since the root of the word is theos.  Darwin was, at a minimum, a deist and most likely a full blown theist so to Darwin this would have seemed a fair assessment.
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
Maybe I have not read as much as I should, but it appears that he did not have much to say about things like how the earth was created using his theory of evolution, etc.
Quite correct, Darwin had nothing to say about how the earth was created.  And this is a problem because?
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
Rather, it seems to me that he was instead, trying to put the pieces of science together based on his findings of fossils, etc spread around the globe.
Not quite wrong, but not right either.  Again Darwin was working in his piece of science.  I don't know what other pieces you are referring to.  I told you above what his goal was.  The fossils he had were just one part of his evidence.  If you have a rudimentary understanding of Darwin's efforts what is the problem?
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
What I am getting at/what I am working out in my head is how can evolutionary proponents praise the man for starting something that he (Charles Darwin) never intended for his "theory" to do? Now, I obviously cannot tell his intentions, but it he was not even so sure about everything he said!
What I am hearing you say is that every scientist must develop his own theories, wholly and completely, from scratch.  When they become obsolete they must be abandoned.  This is hardly true.  One of Darwin's geniuses was in doing something that could work as a firm foundation for the further development of the theory of evolution.  Newton referred to it as standing on the shoulders of giants.  That Darwin didn't know the directions his theory would take after he passed it on to the future is hardly a strike against the theory.
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
For example (and back to Behe and his irreducible complexity), we know (today) that the cell has plenty of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Such that without one of the pieces, it would fail to operate as it was designed. It's just what has been discovered, that's all.
Irreducible complexity is real.  Again, this is a problem for evolution because?
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
My opinion on it is that ID'ers are not merely trying to provide answers to question like

someone, somewhere, did something...

but are also attempting to show the stepping stones of how to get to those answers.

These are the same thing, finding one is the same as finding the other and since ID'ists are pointedly refusing to say anything about the first they are, ipso facto, not saying anything about the second.
Quote (bjray @ April 16 2010,01:57)
For example: the thought that maybe intelligent design is a feasible option with supporting evidence. (you may say, what supporting evidence...but I would submit that they have provided it, people just don't accept it as "good" evidence, or what they think is "evidence.")
You left out a possibility.  Demonstrated-to-be-wrong-evidence.  ID'ists are completely welcome to bring up any evidence they like.  Once.  When that evidence is shown to be wrong, but they keep bringing it up anyway, they exit the institution of science.  And that is what creationists of all stripes, ID'ists included, keep doing with new marks like you.  They just don't bother to let you know they have left the road of science for the road of charlantry.  You are also being misled as to what evidence is.  99.99% of what ID'ists have are arguments not evidence.  But again, their arguments have been shown to be wrong as well.

*This is important.  Species diversity and spread was a hot topic of the first half of the 19th century.  Darwin was not the only scientist working on it and even he was nearly scooped.  Evolution(Change over geologic time) HAD BEEN discovered.  Prior to 1859 it would not have been regarded as anything but an indisputable fact.  The only thing needed was the theory that explained it.

Date: 2010/04/22 10:16:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Harkening back to your distate for William Safire, have you encountered and is Bill Bryson's book worth the paper it is printed on?

The Mother Tongue, English and How It Got That Way

Date: 2010/04/24 15:31:32, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,15:44)
2) Carbon dating. Accurate only to a few thousand years, as scientists have calculated. So, when said dinosaur bones were carbon dated and not linked to the millions of years evolutionists preconceived, eh, throw out the carbon dating; doesn't fit our theory.

Do you really wish to claim that Carbon14 is the only form of radiometric dating available to scientists.
I won't be the only person to point out to you that ID allegedly does not have a problem with radiometric dating.  Only Young-Earth Creationists do.  Are you willing to be painted as such?

This is the level of distortion (the politest word I want to use) they commit themselves to in order to discredit science in the minds of laypeople.

Date: 2010/04/24 16:41:14, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Hawks @ April 24 2010,16:19)
Evolution argues for common descent. What has been discovered by scientists is that various animals have similar traits—observable fact. This is exactly what common descent would expect. So, if A (animals have common descent), then B (they have similar traits), therefore A (common descent must be true). The fallacy has been committed (we have B, then A). There can be the possibility of other A’s. Ie: common descent (evolution is one), creationism (a designer is another).

There is no fallacy commited, apart from the straw man you just presented. In science, there is ALWAYS more than one hypothesis (there are actually an infinite number of them) that can account for a set of observations.

The following better describes how things are:
Under evolution, one can reasonably predict that, given that creatures share common ancestors, said creatures will probably share similar traits. This is something that creationism finds harder to predict. Therefore, evolution is more likely to be a correct explanation than creationism is.

BJ Ray,
With Hawk's permission I would like to expand upon what he said, with the caveat that my philosophy of science is only second rate and others may be able to say it better.

The distinction that we want you to take away is that a good theory in science constrains itself.  Science tries to find and make "must" statements, not "could" statements.  That is part of the art of falsification*.  The hypothesis of common-descent-with-modification-controlled-by-natural-selection doesn't just suggest that "various animals have similar traits"**, it DEMANDS it.  If evolution is true then "similar traits" MUST be true.  The design assertion cannot make the same kind of statement.  If common design then POSSIBLY "similar traits" but not MUST "similar traits".  A designer is not constrained to having "similar traits" between his designs.  It is the lack of any "musts" from ID that doom it to being "Not Even Wrong", to use Wolfgang Pauli's phrase, to not being science at all.

When you have two theories to choose from and one is constrained and the other one is not, the constrained theory is the better one.

ID'ists not only haven't made any "must" statements about ID, they pointedly refuse to and run away from any attempt to get them to make those statements.  This is why accusations of intellectual dishonesty are so easily cast upon them.

*I used the word ART with the word falsification.  That is because making theories is not necessarily the hardest part of science.  Designing the experiments that can demonstrate their constraints can be just as hard and is very much an art and the scientists who have this knack are among the most valuable to science.

**A very unrigorous statement btw, I only continue to use your wording for the sake of the argument, not because I hold it to be a useful formulation.  If you were willing to learn the legitimate "musts" of ToE it would help you immensely.

Edited to add:
An explanation of "Not Even Wrong"
and to correct a little punctuation.
Edited a second time to add the phrase:  "A designer is not constrained to having "similar traits" between his designs."

Date: 2010/04/24 18:12:19, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,16:39)
For some reason, I feel like you had all of that pre-typed sitting in a "dusty" word document, waiting to pull it out and post in a forum discussion. Am I right? :)
Perhaps you should take that as a clue that there is literally nothing new in the creationist quiver.

Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,17:23)
While maybe all can be considered different “scientific enterprises”, they all have at least one thing in common: Evolutionary theory sprinkled about them.
As a single word encapsulation of the phrase "change over time", 'Evolution' has utility.  That is the only connection.  If you keep harping on it then you only hurt your attempt to find people willing to listen to you.

Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,17:23)
Furthermore, the notion that the big bang best fits current scientific evidence does not necessitate it being factual. (Here is another goal of mine; namely, to put back on your table the possibility of creation by a designer. You’re right, mentioning creation does imply a designer. That’s my point. I believe this world did not just materialize on its own, but was in fact created. This fits the best evidence I have. (Go ahead, get caught up on “what evidence”.) I’m trying not to explain the nth degree of everything, because (as I have said before) I cannot. Thus, I won’t try to explain nth degree details. Some explanation yes, but nitty gritty is not in my ability (or any one for that matter). Evolutionary explanations for such things: ie: big bang, commit a logical fallacy. Let me explain the best I know how.
The fallacious logic is as such: If you have A and B is a result of A, then anytime you have A, B must take place. In other words, if B, then we know A. However, what happens if there are multiple A’s. If A, or Aa, or Ab, or Ac….then B happens. If B happens, then we know one of the A’s had to have happened. However, without evidence of which A caused B, then how can we know which one of the A’s did something? I submit to you that you can’t. I didn’t make this up. It’s how logic works: philosophy class.
So how does this coincide with what I’m saying? Let’s put the pieces together. Evolutionists are trying, like other scientists (including creationists) to understand how the people/animals have come about in this world. Evolution argues for common descent. What has been discovered by scientists is that various animals have similar traits—observable fact. This is exactly what common descent would expect. So, if A (animals have common descent), then B (they have similar traits), therefore A (common descent must be true). The fallacy has been committed (we have B, then A). There can be the possibility of other A’s. Ie: common descent (evolution is one), creationism (a designer is another). See (

Cubists, your digression on why “real” scientists reject Creationism is troubling at best. Again, you continue to assert that that evolutionary thinking is the end all, explain all. I am open to understanding evolutionary process and thinking. I’ve been reading what you and others post. (Sorry I was looking for multiple answers to the questions I pose, which is why I repeated myself.)

Lastly, my logical expression was not mis-guided or fallacious. The cop story you gave does not represent the argument well at all. Primarily because my point was not evidence. My point was the unwillingness to accept an alternative "A". Evidence is crucial, I'm not downplaying that. The debate between evolution and creationism/intelligent design is not over, even in a long shot. Don't get upset with me for continuing it.
Rather than try to parse that all bit by bit, I'll summate this way:  You, and by extension all the anti-science creationists, want to force onto science the idea that there is no good way to distinguish between competing ideas, assertions, propositions, conjectures, hypotheses, theories, what have you.  On this you are wrong.  Science has spent hundreds of years learning how to do just that.  To distinguish between a good idea and a bad one.  Perhaps instead of ToE you should be concentrating more on the philosophy of science.  I have given you one method(falsification/constraint and JLT gave you some examples above) and there are more, though I will let my superiors elaborate on them.  It is wrong to suggest that science is somehow crippled by an inability to pick and choose.

Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,17:23)
BTW, your morality citations do not prove anything but that scientists have written on the matter. What's the foundation for? I propose it's non-material. IE: YOU WON"T FIND IT in some gene somewhere.
LOL, some scientists have written on it means that we are actively investigating the subject.  What are anti-science zealots doing?  Their efforts seem to limited to criticizing science for not having found answers yet.  Oh and saying "GodDidIt".  How useful.  Someday we will have answers and perhaps even a gene will be involved, and where will your arguments be then?  You will probably still be critizing science for not having found whatever the next investigation is working on.  Oh and still saying "GodDidIt".  How useless.

Date: 2010/04/24 18:22:25, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 24 2010,16:19)
Getting toward the end of the morel season here in NE Kansas, but there are still some big ones out there.

I love mushrooms of all types, assuming they won't poison me, but I have never had the chance to try morels.  You have my undying envy. :(

Date: 2010/04/24 18:49:24, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Hawks @ April 24 2010,18:27)
Paul Flocken:
The distinction that we want you to take away is that a good theory in science constrains itself.  Science tries to find and make "must" statements, not "could" statements.  That is part of the art of falsification*.  The hypothesis of common-descent-with-modification-controlled-by-natural-selection doesn't just suggest that "various animals have similar traits"**, it DEMANDS  it.  If evolution is true then "similar traits" MUST be true.  The design assertion cannot make the same kind of statement.  If common design then POSSIBLY "similar traits" but not MUST "similar traits".  A designer is not constrained to having "similar traits" between his designs.  It is the lack of any "musts" from ID that doom it to being "Not Even Wrong", to use Wolfgang Pauli's phrase, to not being science at all.

I think that the words "must"and "demands" are too strong. Science is quite happy to deal with probability statements that, by their very nature, are not falsifiable (at least not in the sense Popper originally had in mind). For example, the traits of a bacterium will probably be extremely similar to that of it's parent - unless there was some horizontal gene transfer involved somewhere.

Of course, ID can say nothing at all here. ID would be quite happy with an ordinary stray cat giving birth to a klingon whose genetic material is silicon-based.

In bayesian terms, this gives evolution a higher likelihood than it does ID.

I readily grant that those two words were too strong.  I attrribute that somewhat to the extremely poor example from bjRay I was working with.  As a proper example, is it to strong to say that ToE demands a nested heirarchy?

Additionally, as you reiterated, ID is a very low bar to hurdle.  Virtually any words would be too strong.

I hope that my overall point remains unchanged.  ToE is a constrained theory and ID is not.  This makes picking between them simpler than creobots want to suggest.

Date: 2010/04/26 08:34:00, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Not that you may not have already looked, but this seemed promising.

Turkey Nesting Behavior

Date: 2010/04/26 11:12:15, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
What is a species is good, but I would like him to explain in his own words why C14 dating is useless for dating dinosaurs.

Date: 2010/04/27 13:58:13, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I stumbled over this and wondered if it is a new claim or something old.
Creation biologists have developed a statistical model to compare the physical traits of various creatures to help determine whether they belonged to the same original “created kind.”

Found here
in the second blue highlighted section about half way down the page.

Date: 2010/04/27 13:59:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Broken thread.  Edited out of existence by author because he was dumb. :D

Date: 2010/04/30 08:21:27, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
I have to get my science from the popular media, so this may be old hat to all of you, but it is really cool to me.
Horizontal Gene Transfer in Pea Aphids

Date: 2010/04/30 08:21:42, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Henry J @ April 25 2010,01:33)
As a proper example, is it to strong to say that ToE demands a nested heirarchy?

In the absence of significant horizontal transfer of DNA, or hybridization, it's my understanding that the theory definitely implies a nested hierarchy.

Of course, those exceptions do have to be accounted for. Also loss of features in a side branch can complicate things.

And, as if from the heavens, Horizontal gene transfer in Pea Aphids.
Cross posted to the science break thread cuz this is really cool.

Date: 2010/04/30 08:36:44, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Only an expectation?  With all the experience gained from internet creationism I would have thought you knew the site was nothing but BS even before clicking.  :D
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 27 2010,15:02)
The author:
Mike Matthews earned a BA in English and an MEd in English education from Bob Jones University. Mike was the content manager for the Creation Museum and now is the editor-in-chief for Answers magazine.

I bow to his expertise. But I expected a BS.

Quote (ppb @ April 27 2010,15:28)
Quote (Paul Flocken @ April 27 2010,14:58)
I stumbled over this and wondered if it is a new claim or something old.
Creation biologists have developed a statistical model to compare the physical traits of various creatures to help determine whether they belonged to the same original “created kind.”

Found here
in the second blue highlighted section about half way down the page.

Sounds like Baraminology to me.
I don't think it's particularly new.

I know the overall effort is baraminology.  I was curious if the claim to some kind of mathematical rigor was new.

Date: 2011/08/15 20:13:47, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Quack @ Aug. 11 2011,05:10)
But what we see not only in the UK but all over the world is, I believe, simply what we get in return for the gross mismanagement of the world. Anyone know the amount spent on war machinery and warfare since 1945?

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children....This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

Dwight Eisenhower

Date: 2012/01/09 17:16:59, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Nearly two weeks of no PT and the shakes are setting in.  Is there any news about when the migration will take place?

Date: 2012/02/18 00:33:58, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Happy Birthday Bob.

Date: 2012/02/18 12:10:06, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (keiths @ Feb. 16 2012,14:08)
Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 16 2012,08:05)
That's the basis for comment to Eric: it's a tautology in the same way as e=mc^2.

Which is to say, not a tautology at all.  "Survival of the fittest" would be a tautology only if biologists defined the "fittest" as "those who survive".  E=mc2 would be a tautology only if m were defined as E/c2.  Physicists don't define m in that way, and so E=mc2 is not a tautology.
It's a production, and equivalence for sure, but it's based on reality-grounded, empirical principles (and both are falsifiable).

Right.  It just seems odd to me that you would call it a tautology when it's falsifiable. "A falsifiable tautology" is an oxymoron. To use the classic example, we don't need to examine a single actual bachelor in order to determine that "all bachelors are unmarried" is a tautology.  It's true by definition.

Not addressing you specifically KeithS, just that your comment was the one that I hit the Quote button on.

Just remembered this and thought I'd share.

Date: 2012/02/19 22:43:22, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (BWE @ Feb. 19 2012,18:30)
That is an equal opportunity blind spot isnt it? :)

I am still amazed at pz myers and his crew's response to criticism of his position regarding gelatoguy and the gelatocaust.

Link?, I never saw that and you have me curious to read it.  Thankyou in advance.

Date: 2012/04/07 21:35:18, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Wesley Elsberry,
John Wilkins EvolvingThoughts blog is down for me.  Do you know if he is ok?

Date: 2012/08/14 19:29:12, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Aug. 14 2012,19:18)
Over at the Tard farm Barry Arrogant scores another own goal on the concept of CSI

Barry Arrington:  Let me now coin a new term – the “beaut-L.”  Like the economists’ util, a beaut-L is a unit of beauty.

Now that we have a unit by which we may quantify beauty, can anyone tell me precisely how much more beautiful the São Paulo Cathedral is than the dilapidated shack?  Does the cathedral have beaut-Ls while the shack has only 20 (or negative 20) beaut-Ls?

The answer, of course, is that the question is meaningless.  Any attempt to assign precise mathematical quantities to beauty is facile.  Nevertheless, beauty exists and some objects are more beautiful than other objects.

We can conclude from these examples that our Darwinist friends’ are wrong when they insist that a concept must always be precisely mathematically quantifiable in order for it to be meaningful.  And I further conclude that my inability to assign a quantity of CSI* to Mount Rushmore does not mean that the sculpture does not nevertheless exhibit CSI.


I bet to a poor peasant who could live in the shack but not in the cathedral, the shack would be way more beautiful.

Seems like Barry has admitted the amount of CSI, like the quantity of beauty, is a completely subjective determination and therefore not useful for any objective scientific judgments.

Thank goodness we have idiots for enemies.

Barry is just not aware of what some people will find beautiful.

Date: 2013/08/19 11:33:07, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 17 2013,01:10)
Shouldn't she be seeking legal action?

Late to the thread and haven't finished reading it yet so maybe this is already said.

Richard, the principals have claimed to have checked and the state in question has a process that requires a report be filed in order to "activate" the statute of limitations on rape.  The SoL* for rape in that state is unlimited but the report must be filed within four years and that deadline has passed.  Legal action is no longer a possibility.

Additionally, there is also supposed to be a pair of emails in existence where Shermer has apologized for his behavior to the anonymous claimant.

Don't ask me for links; I read this several days ago and don't feel like digging back through all the hack-n-slash in order to find them.

*an unfortunate acronym

Date: 2013/08/19 12:30:21, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Aug. 18 2013,17:37)
I have seen people's careers destroyed because of claims like this.


That was a very interesting link Peter Henderson because that webpage had a link on it that led to another news story that encapsulated rape-culture perfectly.

Date: 2013/08/29 15:18:30, Link
Author: Paul Flocken
Quote (Driver @ Aug. 28 2013,15:47)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Aug. 28 2013,19:56)
There's a fundamental difference between telling someone "You know, I've heard some unpleasant rumors about that guy.  Just so you're aware of those and are OK.  Let me know if you need any help."


"X is a rapist" stated on the internet to a readership of tens of thousands of people who will promote and attack on command.

PZ Myers doesn't say Shermer is a rapist.

So what if Myers isn't using the exact words. As far as he is concerned non-consensual sex is rape.  He passed on an allegation of non-consensual sex.  Therefore he passed on an allegation of rape.  Don't be a weasel with the words.  Myers certainly isn't.