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Date: 2006/05/25 10:17:12, Link
Author: PennyBright
Abuse and it's relationship to religiosity being a topic near to my heart, I had to finally join the forum in order to participate in this one.

   There is no question in my mind that extreme religiosity can lead to abusive behaviour, and I see no reason to think that 'educational'/indoctrination practices would be exempt.  

   I do think you will probably find that in those cases where the religious indoctrination is so extreme as to be abusive the abusive behaviour is not limited to the religious teaching aspects of the parent/child relationship.

   I think Louis' list is on the mark, though I would also add  

 4.  The opinion/worldview/practice is demonstrably harmful when adhered to.

   While I acknowledge the right of adults to choose to marytr themselves for their faith, forcing children to adhere to such practices is appalling.


Date: 2006/05/27 06:16:03, Link
Author: PennyBright
The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child is a good good thing.

Unfortunately the US refuses to ratify it.   Conservative opposition and our insistance on being allowed to sentence minors to death have gotten in the way.

Date: 2006/05/27 06:30:22, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Guest @ May 27 2006,00:48)
Since Lenny likes appealing to lurkers, let all lurkers consider, compare & contrast Lenny's stuff and my stuff.  I'm content with that comparison.  

I've been lurking for ages now.

Lenny's stuff wins.

Date: 2006/05/27 13:23:44, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (sir_toejam @ May 27 2006,16:32)
do you think the refusal of the US to ratify the document itself makes the arguments contained therein moot from a US legal standpoint?

I keep wondering if anyone in the US has tested the arguments in court somewhere.

IANAL,  but I do think that it makes the Convention moot under US law.   While the arguments themselves may have validity under our law, I do not know of any cases of them being tested.

As I understand it, until ratified by the US, the Convention is not relevant to US law --  one of arguments against ratification is that if we ratified it, we would then have to abide by it.   Here is a good run down of some the standard objections:

Date: 2006/05/27 13:47:09, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (nmatzke @ May 27 2006,17:55)
You might look up cases involving conflicts between government child welfare departments and various religious groups.  I think the best-known conflicts arise over medical issues -- vaccinations, refusing medical treatment, and the like.

E.g., should parents be prosecuted for murder/manslaughter/criminal neglect or whatever, if their religion says that they should pray rather than seek modern medicine when their child gets sick with something easily curable?  I would say clearly "yes", but my understanding is that state law and court cases go both ways on this.  Many states have exceptions written into the law specifically for these religious groups, I think.  And even if the law is clear, juries will sometimes refuse to convict if the parents appear holy enough.

If this is the situation with literal life-and-death issues, there is little chance that there is much of a legal case to be made with milder issues.

The poster child faith for abuse through medical neglect is Christian Science (The Church of Christ, Scientist).   Due largely to the lobbying of Christian Scientists in the 60's and 70s, 44 states currently have religious exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws.  

Court cases brought against CS parents have, as Nick points out, varied in result - it is un-common for CS parents to be convicted,  and in many cases where they are, those convictions are later over turned (often on the basis of religious exemption laws).

I agree with Nick that while such egregious abuses are permitted in the name of religion, there will be no censure for anything lesser.

For more information on this issue see:Death By Religious Exemption and Childrens Health Care is a Legal Duty

Date: 2006/05/27 13:52:39, Link
Author: PennyBright

  Excellent catch with the Pediatrics article --  Rita Swan is a former Christian Scientist, whose son died due to medical neglect.  She's one of the founders of the CHILD website I linked too.

 I think that her case provides a tragic example of how one can wake from religious fanaticism to find themselves deeply injured.

Date: 2006/05/29 07:10:13, Link
Author: PennyBright
Lou, I like it for a starting point.

I'll follow Joe's example and rate 'teaching a child there is a god'.

I'm assuming the teaching is just that - no specific particulars about religion or behaviour, just 'there is a god'.

I'd have to rate that a 28 or so -- at that level it seems the equivalant of teaching 'there is a santa claus'.

On the 'with-holding medical care due to religious belief'  I think that the general behaviour is a solid 75,  since it may or may not be fatal or injurious, depending on the circumstances.  There is no question that many specific instances of the behaviour hit 100.

Date: 2006/06/02 09:57:46, Link
Author: PennyBright
Anyone know anything about this?  It sounds very interesting.


Mysterious red cells might be aliens
By Jebediah Reed
Popular Science

Friday, June 2, 2006; Posted: 12:36 p.m. EDT (16:36 GMT)

As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis's laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens.

In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples -- water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis's home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001 -- contain microbes from outer space.

Date: 2006/06/07 15:41:59, Link
Author: PennyBright
Well.......   I'm agnostic....

But -   the deities I don't think I can know anything about are the Wiccan ones.

So I voted Wiccan.

Date: 2006/06/07 16:01:01, Link
Author: PennyBright
What I've found interesting is that while I can see no evidence at all that allowing gay folks to marry would muck up mixed gender marriages,   I do know concretely that the legal steps taken to *prevent* gay marriages  can muck up mixed gender relationships.

Ohio recently passed a law *edit - not a law, an amendment to the state constitution -*  prohibiting same sex marriage that has had the net effect of eliminating common-law marriage in the state, as well as eliminating domestic violence protections for un-married couples living together.

While it's anecdotal,  I also know of one case where a health insurance provider decided on the basis of the state constitution to stop providing insurance to the non-custodial children of unmarried employees.   My neighbors daughter lost her health insurance because her father's  insurance did this.  

And speaking personally, my own marriage was royally mucked over by it, since my husband and I had a religious ceremony, but are unable to get legally married to a legal f-ck-up involving my adoption.  We had been comfortable with having a common law marriage --  but now have to go to the expense and trouble of hiring lawyers in two states to try and untangle a mess from 25 years ago.

edited for correctness.

Date: 2006/06/07 16:55:40, Link
Author: PennyBright
I haven't heard of anyone trying to take it to court,  Spike.    I think due to the fact that what's causing the problem is an amendment to the state constitution -- I'm sure if it were just a law,  there probably would be.

With regards to the insurance case,  I'm not sure what my neighbors are doing - I know they were talking about trying to sue the ins.  provider,  but haven't heard anything about it since.  I'm not sure they would have grounds -- I just don't know the law that well.

Date: 2006/06/09 09:03:03, Link
Author: PennyBright
English only, I'm afraid.

Date: 2006/09/01 15:19:31, Link
Author: PennyBright
I think one of the best things that can be done when trying to get through to a fundamentalist is to be polite to them.

It's been a recurrent theme over the years in any number of the de-conversion stories that I have read - that the internal questioning was triggered by someone  politely but firmly disagreeing.  In my own personal experience I've seen it as well - civility is disarming, and helps avoid setting off the defensive attitudes that are so inhibitory to actual thought.

Michael Shermer covers a lot of this very well in 'Why People Believe Weird Things' - his discussions of how people think themselves into irrationality are invaluable, in my opinion.

And while deadman doesn't say it explicitly,  I agree that simple repetitive correction over extended periods is probably far more influential then we realize.   The seeds of doubt we plant may never bloom where we can see them, but that shouldn't discourage us from the sowing.

Date: 2006/09/08 16:50:51, Link
Author: PennyBright
What always astonishes me about conspiracy theorists (and particularly 'government conspiracy' theorists)  is how willing they are to assume an inhuman degree of competency on the part of massive groups.

That's really become one of my basic tests for the reasonability of any such theories that people try and sell to me.

Date: 2006/09/23 10:40:10, Link
Author: PennyBright
Right now we're running a couple of ideas around:

The Bee (our daughter) and her Da may go as an archer (the Bee) and a target, or as a cat and a dog.  They always do the trick or treat bit together, and so try to have matching costumes.  I'll probably do my mad eye doctor bit again if they go with one of those.   Greet the kids with the prop jar of extremely realistic rubber eyeballs, demanding to know if they are there to pick up the donation to the eye bank, then get all cranky when they don't have the cooler, and give them candy instead.

The other possibility includes me on door duty dressing up as Carmen Sandiego while the Bee and her Da dress as detectives and scour the community for me while collecting candy clues.

Date: 2006/11/26 18:47:11, Link
Author: PennyBright
I actually think that "Ignore the nasty atheists"  might be a #### fine tactic.  Emphasis on the "nasty" - most atheists aren't.   Y'all have your fair share of total jerks, just like every other group out there.

If someone I am trying to talk to or work with on anti-creationism/pro-science issues starts railing at me for being (dumb/stupid/irrational/whatever) solely because I'm religious,  I think ignoring them would work well --  there just aren't that many "nasty atheists"  out there.  Ignoring them - even if I ignored every single one -  won't damage me (or the pro-science movement as a whole) one #### bit.

Vocally abusive anti-religionists are, like religious extremists,  a minority.  Unless they, like the religious extremists,  start demanding that the government advocate their POV, ignoring them is perfectly safe.  I'd love to be able to ignore the religious fundies as well, but they just can't seem to be persuaded to keep their hands off the government, and I'm afraid they'll break it if left unsupervised.

Just to be clear - the great majority of atheists are *not*   "nasty atheists".  Even many vocal anti-religionists that I know are able to express their perspectives clearly and politely without resorting to personal attacks.  I enjoy and appreciate knowing such people and being able to talk with them about what they believe, don't believe and why.  

As for the nasties,  I say  ignore them.   If they can't play well with others, then lets not bother to include them at all.

Edit:  I just took a look at this post,  and I cannot begin to describe how deeply it amuses me to see the word d__mn being auto-censored by this thorougly secular site.

Date: 2006/12/23 10:21:43, Link
Author: PennyBright
Have a happy winter holiday of your choice!

My family being happily pagan, we've had our celebrations and are in Yule recovery mode right now.  It is *so nice* having all our stuff done, and not having to venture out into the end days madness of the week before Xmas around here.

Date: 2007/05/26 19:29:45, Link
Author: PennyBright
How do you talk to your neighbors about the EvC debate?     Should we be talking to our neighbors?

The quick background -- My daughter's best friends mother is asking me lots of questions about our homeschooling set-up.      Creationism keeps coming up because they're fundie-religious types, and it's part of why they want to homeschool.   My family - we're not fundy religious types.

SO far I've been gently saying things like "Well,  I really can't help you there - I disagree with your point of view."  and  " Here is (insert good resource name here -, etc) - they have a lot of good information about what you're asking about."

Is there anything more I can do  when this comes up?   How do other folks handle the topic when it arises in day to day life?

Date: 2007/05/26 20:05:22, Link
Author: PennyBright
I hear you on the "avoid arguing" front --  I quit following PT after Dover for pretty much exactly that reason.

I have been thinking that a position of "I'm sorry,  I really can't help you with that - try these sources."   is probably the best to take.   My hope is that she'll eventually realize I'm really not going to enable her, and she'll quit asking me.

My main concern is manage this without offending her - I like her and her husband well enough, and our kids are friends.

Date: 2007/05/26 20:44:15, Link
Author: PennyBright
Steve, Lenny, Bill - thanks for your input.  It sounds pretty much in line with what I was thinking.    In this specific situation it's probably going to best all around to just get the subject off the table....

Though I will keep providing good references to things when she specifically asks about them -- you might not be able to lead the horse to water or make it drink,  but I think I can at least make sure the water is available.

Date: 2007/05/31 19:40:14, Link
Author: PennyBright
*noting the thread is alive and kicking*

Louis - I love the feral smile and "How soon would you like this to happen?"  - I am so stealing that tactic.

Ichthyic (your nic sounds like something I'd be horrified to find in my aquarium) --  I appreciate your POV -- it's very much what I've been wondering myself - whether the issue is worth losing the friendship over,  whether the friendship is worth being quiet on the issue over.

The larger sticking point here is that this isn't my friendship - it's my daughters.   She and the daughter of these folks are best friends.   I like them well enough personally - I'd be happy to bbq across the backyards with them, or trade kids to take to the pool.   But that's not exactly the same as being friends with them myself.

  What I have decided to do is this -- talk normally about things when they arise,  and offer good resources if asked.   I won't bring the topic up, and I won't be rude or insulting about it if it does come up.   And I'm not going to censor myself -- if I'd make a comment about evolution in a conversation that comes up,  I'm still going to make it.  (This actually happened this evening - we got to talking about disease processes and historical diseases.  The kids were playing with a dead bird.)

  I do agree with Ich here, in general terms -- it's just as important to be carrying the message "science is good - it works"  across the backyard fences, as it is to be carrying it in the public fora.

Date: 2007/05/31 20:04:46, Link
Author: PennyBright

Two years of HS at a hoity toity private school.  Transferred to a not-so-great public school system,  put in three months of hell,  and "home schooled".  I'd use the word autodidact, but it's been tainted by tard.

Talked my way into an early admission to the local U, finished two years (no degree) and left school.  Anyone care to talk about the insane costs of education these days?

Depending on the rhetorical needs of a given argument I can have,   "dropped out of HS - so if I can get this concept, you with your college education shouldn't have any problem" ,  or "studied that a little bit in college,  but didn't really get into depth with it."

I answered the poll "High School".

Date: 2007/05/31 20:11:43, Link
Author: PennyBright
Thanks for the good wishes!

I love that the picture illustrating ich shows a white cloud minnow - I've got a shoal of em in my tank  *rofl*.

Date: 2007/06/04 10:26:37, Link
Author: PennyBright
Looks like fair use.

Sounds like drivel.

Date: 2007/06/04 13:34:53, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Louis @ June 04 2007,11:44)
Congratulations, and what do you think you're going to spend your big, fat cheque on?

Well.....  Normally I'd buy a round for the house.

But under the circumstances, I think I'll have to frame it and hang it on the wall.    ;)

Date: 2007/06/09 20:59:07, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ftk @ June 09 2007,18:36)
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 09 2007,18:23)

One of David's comments that I thought was important is this one (again):
What I would ask of those who interacted with Larry is that they try to find some understanding and charity in their hearts. And perhaps even look for ways that he can contribute (that would be hard).

That isn't the sound of someone trying to hurt his brother.  That is someone desperately trying to help their brother.

Why would he ask that of a hostile group of commentors?  I suppose perhaps he wasn't aware that Larry had been the brunt of their jokes?  I mean who would do that?  I could never do that to my sister or brother.  I can't imagine anyone from that blog was going to befriend Larry or try to find a way to help him.  Did you?  Did any of you?

For pity's sake.

If they hadn't been hostile, David *wouldn't have needed to ask them to be nicer*.

David was asking them to be nicer to his brother,  explaining why he felt they should be,   and scolding them gently for not having been so.

It is called compassion.

Date: 2007/06/10 10:52:09, Link
Author: PennyBright

Posted: April 02 2007,14:59
(That’s an interesting observation, Stephen.  But, I’ve sat in on many lectures, classes, and debates regarding these topics, and I’ve also read many peer-reviewed papers, and I can tell you that I have never seen words in them like the following:

pathetic, moron, ass-whopping, crotch, homos, stupid, IDiot, cunt, etc., etc., etc.

I wonder if this doesn't tell us something interesting about the way creationists "read" debates like this one.

FtK seems to have no concern at all for the content of the papers she has supposedly read -  only for the character of that writing vs the character of the discussion here.  IE, what her emotive response to it is.

Do you think maybe that's *really* the only difference she can tell between this kind of debate and a formal scientific paper?    That kind of serious category error would certainly explain why so many creationists fall for the dreck that they do.  

It would make sense -- that which feels good to read (makes the creationist feel smart, right, confirmed, etc)  would be acceptable, while that which feels bad (makes the creationist feel ill-educated, insulted, uncomfortable, etc) would be rejected.   And writings with little to no emotive power - such as most scientific papers -- would be glossed over,  as FtK is doing here.  Lacking content the creationist reader knows how to process,  they would simply be ignored.

Date: 2007/06/10 11:26:43, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (stevestory @ June 09 2007,22:52)
Davescot used my name to say awful things on a blog one time. Someone used FtK's name recently at PT. Someone's used Doc Bill at pharyngula recently to post stupid rantings.

Is this new? I've only become aware of it recently. Is this a new tactic by the trolls, or is there a history of this sort of thing?

It's nothing new to the internet -- the first time I got spoofed was in a chatroom back in 1997.  I haven't seen it often on EvC blogs/forums -- or any other serious topic forums really -- until very recently.

I've always found it to be sort of amusing/pathetic.   It rarely works -- the kind of mind that thinks "I'll pretend to be X and make them look bad"  is almost never capable of pretending to be X well enough to be believed.   Especially when acting out of character.    

The other primary motivation for it is to get user X banned -- and that works less and less well as the ability to follow and identify users by IP  has grown more sophisticated and accessible to less tech savvy forum owners/operators.

I'm all for consistent and/or realname nicks.    I use two nicks (one my real name
) because I have two very different internet "lives", so to speak.   But both of my nicks are consistent in the areas I use them,  and they have no overlap.  In any and all forums related to EvC, skepticism, atheism, religion, public health, etc  I am PennyBright.   In any and all forums related to knitting, writing, hiking, cooking, homemaking, cleaning funny spots with homemade  cleansers, etc,  I am  [redacted by author].

Sort of a school-life vs homelife kind of separation, as it were.

Date: 2007/06/10 11:39:21, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ June 10 2007,11:06)
Right now I am trying to read Roger Penrose"The Road to Reality". Damned if I can fathom it. Meant to be Pop-Science but I am scuppered.

Ouch.  Better you then me.  I've been banging my brain against Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos for about two years now, trying to make sense of it.

Louis - thanks!  I'm fond of Shakespeare,  even reputedly.  ;)

Date: 2007/06/10 13:12:08, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ftk @ June 10 2007,11:26)

Who the hell cares about a one liner where I stated that I had read some peer reviewed papers?

Because you are making claims like this.

 It's all written without any consideration that a lot of it is speculation.  

In order to make such a claim, you need to *understand the science*.   Which means you need to have read those papers, and be able to discuss intelligently what you think is wrong with them.

You need to be able to explain why you believe it's "speculation".

Date: 2007/06/10 14:52:09, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 10 2007,14:35)
Oh, puh-leeze.

FTK, why the hell should anyone, anyone at all whatsoever, give a damn what an uneducated housewife like YOU thinks about science?

Hey now!   Let's not go insulting uneducated housewives.

FtK's problem is not about being educated -- it's about being educable.

Date: 2007/06/10 15:44:05, Link
Author: PennyBright
Here's Gallup directly -- this poll, and past polls on EvC.

It is an odd result.  I wonder how the poll was designed, and how it was implemented.

Date: 2007/06/12 16:03:13, Link
Author: PennyBright
I can remember seeing sharks at the boston aquarium when I was a tiny girl - I couldn't have been more then 5 years old.   What struck me most - I can still see it in my minds eye - is how "not fish" they looked.   Very very different then anything else I've ever seen.

It wasn't frightening, exactly -- just an intense awareness of difference.  And size -- even through the distortion of the window (curving slightly along the ramp).

Hmm.... googling in another tab, I find that what I remember as the boston aquarium is now called (maybe always was) the New England Aquarium.   And they've got a webcam, on which I have just watched a shark swim past.  - the static cam I can use with my dinky dialup connection. - the static and streaming cams.

Date: 2007/06/13 09:33:15, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 12 2007,17:23)
Quote (JohnW @ June 12 2007,16:48)
Speaking as a lay person (and expecting a slapping from Ichthyic if I've got this wrong):  "Fish" is not a very helpful term in taxonomy, and while cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays and bony fish like most of the others share a common ancestor, they've been separate groups for an awfully long time.  You and I are more closely related to a mackerel than Ichthy's toothy friend is.  So it's not surprising that sharks look so different.

yes and no.

even ichthyologists still group both chondrichthians (cartiliginous) and osteichthians (bony fish) under the greater heading of "fish".

but, yes, they did indeed separate hundreds of millions of years ago, and while sharks really haven't changed tremendously since (and not much at all in say, the last 140 million years or so), bony fish have tremendous radiation; around 30 thousand species worth at last count.

morphologically, a typical shark and a typical bony fish do share quite a number of features still, but you indeed could make a good argument that even morphologically, a human would be far closer to a bony fish than a cartilaginous one.

This is why I hang out here.   Straightforward informative dialog about things that are interesting.  I think I've learned more about everything lurking around you EvC folks then I ever did in school.

Date: 2007/06/13 17:46:37, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 13 2007,13:10)
I think I've learned more about everything lurking around you EvC folks then I ever did in school.

scary thought.



Of course, that may speak more to my spotty school experiences (moving 20 some times between the ages of 6 and 16,  hopscotching from grade to grade and frequently flat out skipping parts of some years in the process)  then to the quality of public education.  

Out of curiousity - this isn't exactly a shark question - do the anoxic zones from phytoplankon overgrowth have any bearing (yet?) on shark populations.... I know that as an apex predator the effect would be indirect,  and I would guess limited to shark populations that stay pretty much in one region (coastal and estuarine sharks?).    I guess to be more precise, I'm asking if the dead zones are severe enough to be affecting shark populations -- if that's being studied at all.  And if this isn't one of those "so wrong it's not even wrong" kinda questions.

Date: 2007/06/13 18:13:14, Link
Author: PennyBright
Hrm.  I don't know enough about what I am asking about to know if it's a sensible question,  much less how to ask it more clearly.

I was reading this recently:

and you got to talking about sharks as apex predators,   and I was just wondering if the habit destruction that I was reading about was wide spread and/or serious enough to be affecting shark populations.    I wouldn't think that it is -- but I'm no expert.  I'm no anything, really,  other then a very curious avid reader.    So I thought I'd ask.

Date: 2007/06/19 20:15:53, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (stevestory @ June 19 2007,15:10)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 19 2007,15:10)
Something tells me that for every credulous Christianist who looks at Bill's site and says to himself "Golly! I want to support this man, because he's a good Christian!" there are about twenty others who take a good long look and say "ID can't do better than THIS? Shit, these guys are a bunch of losers!"

I wonder what the percentage of this is. People familiar with science from the inside can see that ID is BS in about 2 seconds. I wonder how it looks from the outside. How many people are fooled.

From the outside, I'm afraid it looks fairly convincing.   I have no background in the sciences, and am largely self educated - an education thus focused on my interests and quite deficient  in all other respects,  such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, and so forth.

It quite un-nerves me at times to look at sources like UD and Behe's writings,  and to realize that I cannot tell if this is valid science or not.  It certainly sounds valid - the authoritative tone I recall from school science texts mixed with doses of jargon, diagrams and maths which I don't really understand.

 In short, it sounds like what I recall the  'real science' I  was taught in school being like.   I can only imagine how many people - already biased in favour of a creationist solution by their faiths - are perfectly willing to accept such sources as 'real science'  from precisely such memories.  And I am quite certain that writers on ID are perfectly aware of how to write to this effect.

In all honesty,  when I first came to this debate (through the EvC chatroom on MSN, years ago)  the only real reason I advocated for evolution rather then creationism is that my grandfather once went on at voluble length to me about how bad creation-science was.   I trusted and respected my grandfather,  and what dilettantish interest I have in the sciences is due directly to his influence.

I think probably there are many other intelligent yet poorly educated people out there who have come down on the side of creationism in its various forms for precisely that reason -- that a person whom they hold to be trustworthy and respectable told them it was the right thing.   And who - like myself -- largely limit themselves to communities and studies that support their pre-existing beliefs because they see no need to try to really understand that nonsense they know is wrong.

If you would care to take a moment to turn down the irony meters....

I often look at the helpless sincerity of people such as FtK,   and find my self thinking "There but for the grace of God, go I."

Date: 2007/06/21 19:11:02, Link
Author: PennyBright
I'm still here - I've peeked on the thread from time to time over the past year,  but not had anything new to contribute.

I would like to see the discussion resume - the dangers of religiosity to children is a topic near to my heart.

Interesting comments on displacement, Ichthyic -- isn't that almost by definition what much of Christian dogma is supposed to encourage in believers -- the faith that the guilt for their sins as been assumed by Jesus, and they are redeemed through his sacrifice?

Date: 2007/06/21 20:10:35, Link
Author: PennyBright
Heya Lou  :)

  I saw PZ's thread - I generally take a look his headlines a few times a week,  but I tend to stay out of the comments - they get contentious.   I do hope that some of the commentors will wander over here.

  The particular case he discusses is a tricky one,  and I think depends alot on what a person thinks of religious upbringings in general -- those inclined to be anti-religious will,  I think,  be much more likely to see the situation as abusive.   Personally,  I don't know enough to comment as to the abusiveness of it -- but I find the abusive potential of the situation very worrying.  

  On the other hand -- some kids are capable of passionately embracing  something they want to do,  and will - if enabled - spend huge chunks of their life on it.   When my daughter took ballet and gymnastics we met kids who were fanatic about their sports --  if this kid has gotten a bee in his bonnet about street preaching,  is it any more abusive for his parents to enable him then it is for the parents of those sport obsessed kids to enable them?

Of course I'm begging the question as to what degree of 'kid enabling' is acceptable, and what point enabling becomes itself abusive.

Date: 2007/06/22 08:26:06, Link
Author: PennyBright
Ditto on the allow them all or ban them all.    

Personally, I come down on the side of allowing them all.   It's silly to ban a piece of jewelry because it has religious imagery.    

 This case is a little different - she attends a school with a uniform code,  and if you accept a uniform code (by choosing to attend said school, as this family did), you have to abide by it.

Date: 2007/06/22 13:56:47, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 22 2007,13:33)
well, related to the issue of religious paraphernalia in school is the issue of gang paraphernalia in school.

wearing symbols of certain gangs in many CA schools is a sure way to start a brawl, or worse.

hence, many schools have banned the wearing of certain items of clothing.

I recall getting in trouble at a HS I attended over the dress code.   There was a blurb banning "bandanas, scarves, or other gang related clothing",  which I failed to interpret as dis-allowing the hot-pink polka dotted scarf I wore tied into a big floppy bow in my hair.   The principle confiscated the scarf  (in lieu of detention, since it was an honest mistake).  Pissed me off to no end, since I never got the thing back,  and back then the 18 bucks of baby sitting money I had spent on it seemed like quite a chunk of change to me.


The problem with blanket bans on things is that they're often ineffective, and always end up with unintendedly broad consequences.

Date: 2007/06/22 16:24:32, Link
Author: PennyBright
Grr.  The whole giving, taking offense topic.

There are two faces to civil behaviour - first, to make a reasonable attempt not to give offense.  Second, to make a reasonable attempt not to be offended.

Our culture is too hung up on penalizing people who fail at the former, and doesn't bother to try and teach people the latter.  And don't even talk about trying to get people to understand the difference between offended and injured.

Date: 2007/06/27 13:48:11, Link
Author: PennyBright
I know that deliberately comedic films are supposed to be out -- but how but one that's supposed to be comedic, but is so bad it isn't?  Though I suppose a young Anjelica Huston in leather may make up for that.....

The Ice Pirates

Date: 2007/06/27 14:17:16, Link
Author: PennyBright

Non illegitimi carborundum.

Ichthyic, I hope you stay - your contributions are always interesting, informative and lucid,  and I would miss them greatly.

(I know, I know,  it's not not real Latin.)

Date: 2007/06/29 10:53:03, Link
Author: PennyBright
Nicely done, Wes.

FtK - time to put up or shut up.

Date: 2007/06/30 10:32:40, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (stevestory @ June 28 2007,21:05)
Quote (PennyBright @ June 27 2007,14:48)
I know that deliberately comedic films are supposed to be out -- but how but one that's supposed to be comedic, but is so bad it isn't?  Though I suppose a young Anjelica Huston in leather may make up for that.....

The Ice Pirates

I actually saw that in the theater. I was 8 years old.

I saw it on video,  back in the day when you could still rent a VCR if you didn't own one.   '86 maybe?   I was 11 - just old enough to know that Space Herpes should be funny,  but not quite get why.    

Here's one:   Knights

Blood drinking cyborgs roam the earth terrorizing the nomadic human population.   Stars Kris Kristofferson and a glaringly obvious stunt double as a rogue cyborg who agrees to teach a human girl, Nea (played by five time world champion kick-boxer Kathy Long, and no stunt double at all) how to kill cyborgs.   This film ends in the middle -- a more obvious and badly written sequel set-up I have never seen.

Date: 2007/06/30 11:01:22, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Ftk @ June 30 2007,09:04)
The thing is, that I'm not familiar with anything that Lenny has ever said that is so terribly enlightening.  I'm only familiar with him from this forum and comments I've seen on occassion at PT.  From the time I started posting here, he's offered absolutely nothing but snide remarks...virtually no science involved.  So, if he is some sort of science wiz master, I've never been subject to his words of wisdom.

Unless my grasp of the English language is utterly deficient, I am quite certain that Lenny has never intended to enlighten anyone.

What he does mean to do (as I read it)  is to make glaringly obvious in a succinct and un-ignorable way the specific objections to and/or flaws in a given statement.

And really,  given the attention spans and level of reading comprehension demonstrated by most creationists,  the one line per post thing is almost forgiveable.

Date: 2007/07/01 18:06:40, Link
Author: PennyBright

I think the sentencing difference is probably due to the difference in the actual crimes committed.   Jo Hovind was charged with and convicted of 44 counts of evading reporting requirements -- she was signatory to 44 cash transactions just under the 10,000USD minimum banks are required to report.

Kent Hovind on the other hand was convicted of 12 charges of failing to pay employee-related taxes (FICA and SS withdrawals and such, I imagine),  1 count of "corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws",   *and* 45 counts of evading reporting requirements.

I do think that the 13 other crimes of greater magnitude commited by Kent Hovind alone account for the difference in sentencing perfectly well.  

 Certainly, the woman should have gotten the hell out of dodge and spilled all she knew as soon as she realized what was going on --  but I am inclined to wonder how much she actually knew,  given the tendency of fundies to have extreme power imbalances in their marriages.

Date: 2007/07/05 14:50:01, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 05 2007,13:47)
Quote (Rev. BigDumbChimp @ July 05 2007,11:09)
Quote (stevestory @ June 30 2007,20:24)
I don't see anything at that ID Advisor to Chapman 08 link anymore, speaking of Magnusson. Wonder what happened?

That looks like classic abandoned blog syndrome. Spammers have taken over.

The internet equivalent of a piece of property being taken over by dandelions, spiders, and poison oak.

Except that dandelions, spiders and possibly even poison oak have some value.

quoth the woman, deleting the daily several hundred drug/porn/used car spams from her blog.  Akismet is seriously great.

Date: 2007/07/06 16:36:30, Link
Author: PennyBright
I call parody.   Triclavianism?   The role of Baby Jesus in the Trinity?  Hopsiah the Kanga-Jew?  Crypto-baraminology?   Secular consumerism?

Not to mention the MArch 28, '02 entry on the progress page of the Landover Baptist shut down section.

Edit:  hrmph.  Here I spend all this time meticulously combing through the site to make a judgement about it, and y'all just go and look it up.   :P

Date: 2007/07/06 18:37:10, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (stevestory @ July 06 2007,17:20)
2.  Why would it be "damn near impossible to be rid of poverty"?

Spend awhile around my extended family and you'll have an answer to that question. Some people love making really horrible decisions.

Not all poverty is the result of bad decision making. A lot of people go bankrupt from health problems and other things out of their control. But some of it is the result of bad decision making, and I don't know how you're going to eradicate that.

I agree with Steve.   There are always going to be people who just don't make the right choices.   We can - should - try to minimize that,  by doing the best we can to ensure that we're educating people about what the right kinds of choices to make are.

But you can't force a horse to drink.  

I don't know how useful income based definitions of poverty are.   For the purposes of social engineering through food, housing and education aid,  they're probably good enough.

Date: 2007/07/06 18:49:29, Link
Author: PennyBright
...less than half the average income (the official definition of poverty).

On another note -- and please forgive me if I am wrong here -- I don't know math well at all.

But wouldn't using this definition make it mathematically impossible to eliminate poverty in any sizeable country that had citizens of varying income levels?

Date: 2007/07/07 09:00:08, Link
Author: PennyBright
Here is a direct link to the full post which Dr.GH quotes above.

Dr.GH - please document and support these claims, or retract them.  

He is also a avid supporter of efforts to eliminate public education, unions, environmental protection and antipollution laws, and civil rights laws regarding equal access to jobs, and public facilities- schools, parks, and restrooms.

Date: 2007/07/09 14:23:30, Link
Author: PennyBright
'Bloodsucking Pharoah's from Pittsburgh' reminded me of this one:

Bubba Ho-Tep

Date: 2007/07/10 12:50:04, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 10 2007,12:01)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 10 2007,11:44)

East Jesus Bible and Polytechnic

Now, now... Will Rogers said that Dallas was where the East petered out, and Fort Worth was where the West began.

Dembski's primary job is in Fort Worth.

I would substitute "West Jesus Bible and Polytechnic" but for some reason that doesn't sound as funny.  :(


The repetition of the ee  sound in 'east' and 'Jesus' allows for more tonal play, making it a little rhythmic,  while the eh in 'west' just sort of sits there flatly.  

thus quoth Penny,
amateur linguistics nerd.

Date: 2007/07/10 12:52:03, Link
Author: PennyBright

And the dearly departed, Ichthyic.

Date: 2007/07/12 21:30:43, Link
Author: PennyBright
Busy must be going around.  FtK had a bad case of it.

Dr.GH,  please document and support these claims or retract them.
Quote (Dr.GH @ July 07 2007,02:40)
Ed Brayton is a close friend of Wesley's. I am sorry.  He is also a avid supporter of efforts to eliminate public education, unions, environmental protection and antipollution laws, and civil rights laws regarding equal access to jobs, and public facilities- schools, parks, and restrooms.

Date: 2007/07/12 22:11:26, Link
Author: PennyBright
Shakespeare and Wodehouse -- fascinating pair of likes there.  I'm not too familiar with Wodehouse's work - but his writing has a reputation for sparkling and creative word use which is certainly justified based on what little of it I am familiar with.  

Steve,  you might want to look up the works of Will Cuppy.  I think you'd appreciate his sensibility.

Shakespeare is something else.....   I love Shakespeare, particularly Midsummer, and the sonnets  (it's my pride in life that my daughter was quoting Shakespeare before she knew any commercial jingles),   but addressing why he's a good writer is difficult,  because he was such a seminal writer.

We're left with the quandary -- has our modern use of English been so deeply influence by Shakespeare because Shakespeare's writing was that good,  or do we consider Shakespeare's writing to be that good because it has so deeply influenced our use of English, and by extension our culture?

I've just finished 'The Seven Daughter's of Eve', by Bryan Sykes,  and am starting Sylvia Nasar's biography of John Nash, 'A Beautiful Mind'.

I very much enjoyed 'The Seven Daughters of Eve' -- it was lucidly written, and I found it easy (as a layperson) to follow the science being discussed.   There were several excellent examples of how scientific knowledge is tested and retested broadly, and either rejected or accepted on its merits, regardless of personal opinion.  I do think it could have done without the fictional biographies of mitochondrial clan mothers, however.

Date: 2007/07/12 22:29:56, Link
Author: PennyBright
Smoked albacore sounds delicious.

Referring me to books that are not written by Ed Brayton as evidence of his beliefs, however, is nonsense, unless you are going to offer evidence that he has read and agrees with these books.

Referring me to various special interest groups is also nonsense, unless are you going to offer evidence that Mr. Brayton is a member of these groups.

The groups and books you reference may qualify as evidence that there are people who believe and support the various positions you attribute to Mr. Brayton.

None of it, however,  is evidence that such positions are held by Mr. Brayton.   My original request stands.

Wesley,  would you prefer that this be moved to a different thread?

Date: 2007/07/14 18:46:42, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 13 2007,16:19)
She is clearly a world expert in anything and everything, at least in her own mind.

FtK perfectly embodies the democratic fallacy.  She believes that her opinions are just as good as anybody else's.  And she believes that everything is opinions.

Date: 2007/07/16 14:35:18, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 16 2007,13:55)

One Minute Each Night
In WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of
people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed
hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England,
its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in

If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern
Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific), stop
whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of
the United States, our troops, our citizens and for peace in the

Someone said if people really understood the full extent of
the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.

Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

My added Woo:


Oh, what nonsense.  

All educated people know that it was really the witches of England,  raising a cone of power on Lammas, 1940.

Note that the last is an excerpt from the US army's chaplains handbook.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, FtK.


Really, though - you do have to grant that as religious mythology goes,  the witches of England story is way cooler then 'a bunch of people prayed'.

Date: 2007/08/07 12:32:28, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 06 2007,07:37)
 I don't think a lot of Xtian home-schooling parents are going to spring for an expensive, slim, and non-Biblical specialty textbook on evolution alone. Maybe I'm wrong, and i certainly am not privy to the advertising in that market, but it seems unlikely to me.

You are exactly on mark here, Albatrossity - the Xtian homeschoolers won't touch it with a ten foot pole if it doesn't talk explicitly about God and the bible.   We're talking about people who refuse to participate in the Girl Scouts because it's not biblically based.    

I'm betting they're aiming for Xtian k-12 schools.

Date: 2008/02/06 12:05:38, Link
Author: PennyBright
Category error.

I think the question should be  'How should one live?'

Date: 2008/02/18 08:15:59, Link
Author: PennyBright
Grattis på födelsedagen!

Date: 2008/02/19 11:40:28, Link
Author: PennyBright
Hrm.    Mr. Sandefeur's main complaint seems to be that Shermer's book isn't   "A good science based defense of libertarianism...".

Not having read the book,  my question is,  is it supposed to be such a defense?  The Amazon description wouldn't lead me to expect such a politicized stance.

Date: 2008/03/07 16:22:53, Link
Author: PennyBright
Hrmphh.  I think CA is taking it too far to demand that homeschooling parents have the same teachers credentials as public school teachers -- teaching your own child/children is a different kind of pedagogy then teaching a large group of unrelated children from varied backgrounds.   I don't know what degree of state oversight existed before, though,  so it may or may not be an improvement on the earlier situation.

Personally,  I like the OH regulations fairly well though I think they wimp out on curriculum issues by allowing the exception

"...home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent..."

However,  OH homeschoolers are overseen by a certified teacher who assesses the childrens skill yearly and reports to the local superintendent of schools.   I'd like to see 'assessment' better defined then it is currently - right now it is *very* easy to get someone to rubber stamp assessment forms.   I wish they were a bit more rigorous.

I do wish to point out that the view of homeschoolers as wholly motivated by religion is a broad (and necessarily inaccurate) generalization.   It's just that we secular homeschoolers are a quiet minority in the homeschooling movement,  and spend most of our time on things like science museums, classical theatre and camping, rather then political activism.  I'd estimate that our local homeschooling community is about 85% religiously driven.

For a decent overview of the research on homeschooling, see the research bibliography at Nels Tomlinson's website:  It's been a few years since he's updated it,  but it's a fairly comprehensive collection of info about the research out there, and some relevant case law for those in the US.  Bias note - Nels is a homeschooler.   However I've seen no evidence to suggest that he's left out relevant research that may be negative to homeschoolers - if you know of any,  let me know,  and I'll be sure to include it in the future when I reference his site.

Date: 2008/03/08 12:01:17, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 08 2008,00:43)
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.

Richard,    this is a common concern,  and usually an unfounded one, in my experience.    Most of the other homeschooled kids we know are articulate, polite, friendly kids who get along well with each other and adults.   They also tend to be more confident in talking with adults,  because they aren't socialized to the (contextually reasonable) public school demands of "line up, stay quiet, do what you're told".

However - there is a significant subset of homeschoolers among the fanatically religious  that do (imho),  seriously deprive their children of normal social opportunities under the guise of "protection".   These families tend to be extremely controlling of pretty much everything - the kids are dressed differently, etc etc.   I suspect that these kids would end up messed up even if their families didn't homeschool.

Furthermore,   I can recall being a child raised in a religiously extreme home,  and attending public schools.   I was seriously messed up (hint - singing hymns to other schoolchildren does not get them to stop making fun of you), despite attending public schools.  

So, from my perspective,  it's not homeschooling that fails in socialization - it's the family culture of religious extremism that does it.

Date: 2008/03/08 13:17:56, Link
Author: PennyBright
Oy.   Just to demonstrate that homeschooling isn't wholly off-topic for an EvC list,    I just got a email on an homeschooling list promoting Expelled.

I replied with a brief warning about the dishonesty of the editing and the film-makers.

Date: 2008/03/08 15:18:41, Link
Author: PennyBright
My family would be categories 3 and 4.   Our local schools are sorta violent and pretty crummy.   We also have have an unusually educator heavy family (5 public school teachers, 2 university professors) who have given us their whole hearted support and plenty of help and guidance.

But our primary reason for deciding to homeschool is that our child is slow.    In the home setting,  we are able to just ignore the developmental delays that would be crippling to her socially and academically in a school setting.  We can work with her at her pace,  individualizing our instruction easily to her needs any given day or week,  and catering to her strengths and interests while we do the work necessary to improve on her weaknesses.

Arden,   I have to agree with your acquaintances that age segregation is pretty unnatural,  and add that we also would include adults as well as older children.   The degree to which our culture has removed children from adult society is unprecedented,  and I think we are starting to see the negative side of it coming out as more and more young people seem severely challenged by or downright incapable of making the transition to responsible adulthood.  And as more and more otherwise responsible adults object to the very presence of children in the communities in which they live.  (Note,  that can of worms may deserve a separate discussion if people wish to discuss it.)

Date: 2008/03/09 17:15:29, Link
Author: PennyBright
The links collection mentioned in that article is great - thank you for sharing it.

I agree with author of the article - the time to introduce evo education is when kids starting thinking about it - usually right around the same age they start wondering about babies and pregnancy.    

We introduced evo using flip books ---  talking about how tiny changes add up,  and making book after book of things 'evolving',  by making one tiny change to each picture.   I think the biggest one we made was 100+pages -- a straight line 'evolved' into a bubbly mass.   Extremely simplistic -- but an effective teaching tool for a non-reader.

Date: 2008/03/10 06:19:09, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (philbert @ Mar. 10 2008,05:19)
What about the freedom of the children? What happened to that? Suddenly the content of their education is entirely the result of the lottery of which set of parents they were born to? How affirming of their future freedom is that, exactly?

Make all the decisions you like about "what is best for [y]ourselves". Just don't pretend that your children are yourselves. They aren't your property. They're citizens, too.

Hrmph..... whole different can of worms here.   Historically, in the US,  children are treated legally much more like property then like citizens,  and that cultural attitude is still deeply engrained.  Children's rights are almost always subject and secondary to the parent's rights in culturally and legally.  I find it by and large appalling.

 However, I'm not sure I would agree with your contention that it's relevant issue with regards to the debate over home vs public schooling.

Just keep in mind that appeals along the lines of "but what about the children"  don't fly real well in the US -- and are generally associated with the religious rightists you disagree with.    Hell,  we're one of the two UN member countries that hasn't signed the UNCRC.  And we certainly don't abide by it,  regardless of international law.

Date: 2008/04/10 18:16:40, Link
Author: PennyBright
Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting.

I object to the comparison of knitting and religion.

Knitting is useful.  

On topic,  I'm really torn about this film.   It's planned to open at three theatres in my area (including our superduperultramegaplexmultiscreen),   and I know it will probably get a big first Sunday rush of churchgoers,   so I feel like I should check it out,   just for the sake of knowing my enemy.

On the other hand,  I don't care for Ben Stein,  or Nazis,   or feeling like I've wasted bucks on a bad movie.  

And now they've dragged knitting into it..... I'm not sure I'll be able to maintain my status as 'official local fiber whacko who knits in public'  if I don't go see it after that.

I'm not sure if I should blame PZ or Stein for this one.

edited: for spelling.  Not to flash my editiorial power, really.

Date: 2008/04/10 18:30:04, Link
Author: PennyBright
I suppose I could always pull out the FSM pattern,  or maybe a knit a random
cephalopod,  to go see it in proxy for PZ.

I still think I may bend my ethics though,   and figure out a way to not have to pay to see the thing.   Bother a buddy who works up there, maybe.

Date: 2008/04/10 18:31:30, Link
Author: PennyBright
I live in Ohio, Arden.   The Expelled website lists a theatre in Canton, and two in Akron -- all within an easy drive of me.

Date: 2008/04/18 22:18:20, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (godsilove @ April 18 2008,22:07)
Salvador and DaveScot of UD said their theatres had at least 60 people.

I'd be willing to bet that neither Sal nor Dave actually bothered to count the people in their theatres.    

And you be surprised how crowded a 150 seat theatre can look with only 20 or 30 people in it ---  I used to work  for a publicity company,  and part of my job was to visit first showings and count filled seats.    It's a slightly tricky business as people have this damnable habit of moving,  especially during the trailers.  A big part of that "looking crowded" effect is deliberate - aisle designs  and seat layouts planned to funnel people into your line of sight,  so that seats don't look "empty"  even when it's not crowded.

Of course,  giving them the 'honest over estimate' out  is probably overly civil of me,  given the track record of outright lying from such characters.

Date: 2008/04/19 16:01:35, Link
Author: PennyBright
I think they'll probably see a boost in the numbers on Sunday,   what with various after church socials and youth groups getting taken to it.

Date: 2008/04/20 17:04:17, Link
Author: PennyBright
Sounds like someone forgot to drug the koolaid.

DaveScot - well said,  and well considered.    Both of which it would be nice to hear more of.

Date: 2008/07/16 22:38:18, Link
Author: PennyBright
Quote (Lou FCD @ July 16 2008,18:19)
Quote (Dr.GH @ July 16 2008,18:47)
Who the hell is "sex-porn-lesbian" and why don't they post videos?

63 guests, 17 Public Members and 2 Anonymous Members   [ View Complete List ]
>Dr.GH >sex-porn-lesbian--->Ftk >Reed >raguel >Reciprocating Bill >simmi >dnmlthr >Albatrossity2 >Venus Mousetrap >Lou FCD >UnMark >Zachriel >dheddle >Lowell >ppb >creeky belly

Looks to me like the answer to your question is pretty obvious.

Editated to make it more obviouser.

Stuff and nonsense.

FTK can't be a lesbian.

She's too coy to be butch.

She's too down on women to be femme.

She's too dumb to be a brainy university lezzie. (my personal favorite - nothing like lovin' it up with a chick who can come onto you in French or Latin)

She's too hung up on flirting with the guys to be a old fashioned man-hating dyke.

So there's that - I repeat,  stuff and nonsense.

I can stomach all the insults about housewives that thrown her way --  a modern girl can't be too thin skinned about being a housewife cause we get it from all sides on that one.

But come on folks - you push FTK onto my team in the bedroom,  and I call foul.   We call it Pride for a reason,  and FTK isn't anything to be proud of.