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Date: 2006/04/21 00:01:09, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
The whole Larry banning issue is a little complicated because he uses AOL.  At least one other banned user used AOL to bypass his ban, causing us to block some AOL IP ranges in February.  This was after Larry had begun to post under different identities, like "Andy H".

When looking at the banning of the other user mentioned above, I noticed the Larry/Andy H/etc. thing as an infraction of our comment rules.  This led to his IPs being placed in our ban list.  This didn't work because he was using AOL.  Not only was he still able to comment under multiple identities but other users were suffering collateral damage.

In mid March, I tried a different technique and banned a couple of his aliases.  Larry responded by coming up with new identities to avoid the ban.

At no point did Larry email the admins about his inability to post.  Had Larry done so, some of this could have been cleared up.  Now its gone too far, and I doubt we'll change our decision.

Date: 2006/04/21 02:23:41, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
People from banned IPs receive a message similar to this:  "You are not allowed to post comments."

If the username has been placed in our spam filter, they will receive a message that their comments are in the moderation queue.

Date: 2007/01/18 15:40:37, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Too bad that this is on the same weekend as the science blogging conference or Prof. Steve Steve may have been able to attend.

Date: 2007/04/01 14:31:26, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Many of the people at Scienceblogs were in on it.  I'm not sure yet if there is anyone who has blogged the "confession" as real and who wasn't in on it.

Date: 2007/04/01 18:04:10, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Yeah, stevestory, it worked better (or maybe worse) than we hoped.

Date: 2007/07/28 13:28:23, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Someone shoot me an email when the meetup is decided.  I may be able to convince Prof. Steve Steve to meet y'all in Chicago.

Date: 2007/07/31 09:24:54, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Now that it is set, someone PM me a mailing address and I'll make sure Prof. Steve Steve shows up at your place in time for the trip.

Date: 2007/08/05 21:26:41, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
If anyone took pictures shoot me an email and we can work something out about putting them on PT and Steve Steve's gallery.

Date: 2007/08/09 19:05:56, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
If you have pictures of the event, register at and I can give you permission to upload pictures to Prof. Steve Steve's gallery

Date: 2007/08/11 14:58:01, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
I'd like to do a Prof. Steve Steve post based on the chicago trip, but I'm going to need y'all to write one up.  Just send it to me as a text file with HTML formatting and I'll edit it from there.  When you want images placed in the text just make a not of which ones to use from the gallery and I'll handle resizing them and uploading them to PT's server.

Also I haven't decided what we're going to to with PSS after the Chicago trip.  One possibility is that he could go visit several of the more active members on this forum.

What do people think?

Date: 2007/08/14 11:03:03, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright

Go ahead and send him to Wesley.  We can get him to England again in a few months.

Date: 2007/08/22 17:45:08, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Quote (steve_h @ Aug. 19 2007,15:01)
There seem to be question marks where UD has changed normal quotation marks to special left and right curly quotation marks (66 and 99) which have codes higher than 127.

On page one of this thread, multiple spaces (in a code block) in my comments, have been replaced by a character which looks like an A with a caret (^) symbol over it. ?

Testing some german chars: ??????

Those should have been aou and AOU with umlauts. So I guess anything outside of 0x01-0x7F is potentially a problem.

I recompiled/upgraded the database software a week or so ago.  The new one has apparently compiled with different options, making causing some character issues with old text.  It's easy enough to fix once we determine which parts of the database are affected.

I fixed PT a couple days ago.

As far as getting PT 2.0 out, I'm still working on it, testing a lot of stuff out on my own machine.  I'm working with SixApart to make sure that our licensing of the blog software is in order before I upgrade.

Date: 2007/09/07 10:14:07, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 06 2007,10:52)
Away for a while - came back to find that AtBC is peppered with ?'s and Unicode cruft.  I see that this has been a problem for a while - any solutions?

The solution is to go in and edit the database to make it UTF-8 compatible.  I did this for PT a while ago.  Send me some examples and I will look at it.

Date: 2007/09/07 10:16:22, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 06 2007,11:21)
Not as yet.

There is a place in the board options to set a default character set, but I haven't tried out anything. I don't know why this has suddenly become an issue here, after several years of no character set trouble at all.

Because the MySQL database is now compiled with the UTF-8 flag enabled.  (This is because we will be porting to Postgresql which assumes utf-8 strings.)

Try setting the default characterset to utf-8.

Date: 2007/09/11 12:44:53, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 07 2007,22:40)
I'm not sure, but I think that stuff entered before the explicit character set switch is permanently hosed.

Not necessarily, most hosed characters are in a limited ranged misused by Microsoft.  If I get sent examples, I can work to modify the database and fix the characters.

I did it for PT already.

Date: 2007/09/11 13:01:18, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
As far as I can tell, those <?> symbols near the 'quote' and 'edit' buttons are being caused by some weird whitespace character in the templates.  They can be safely deleted from the templates.

A trick in trying to figure out what the wrong character is supposed to be is to change the encoding in your browser from utf-8 to 'Western' or 'ascii'.  It's under view:character encoding in firefox.

Date: 2007/09/12 14:29:59, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
I've fixed the <?> characters showing up.  The templates contained an Extend Ascii "non-breaking space" character \xA0.  So I just replaced all instances of that character with the html friendly &nbsp;.

Date: 2007/10/04 15:22:07, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Could someone provide links to the earlier discussion?  I am out of the loop.

Date: 2007/10/11 15:51:27, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
"A young female approached a male, who was eating sugarcane. They copulated in short order, whereupon she took one of the two canes held by him and left."

Probably because he fell asleep.  I surprised that she only took half.

Date: 2008/02/19 11:17:28, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Since we are getting complaints about Tim's post and because he doesn't like comments, I've started this thread so that people can discuss his review.

I expect that this thread will involve more comments about Tim's economic philosophy than the actual post.

Date: 2008/02/27 16:33:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:20)
Certain versions of Panspermia don't require an external intelligence, but others do. Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.

Aside from apparent confusion about what theory and hypothesis mean in science, you are making a couple of other fundamental errors.

1) Specific variants of the panspermia (or perhaps more properly exogenesis) hypothesis could be confirmed or disproven to a high degree of certainty. If we find life off Earth, there's a very good chance we could that figure out how it is related, if it all, to Earth life. Progress in understanding abiogenisis could also make the concept more or less attractive.

IOW, these hypotheses make testable predictions, and as such, are firmly in the realm of science. We don't have the data now, but as we explore the universe, we could find evidence. Until that time, panspermia/exogenesis will remain a speculative footnote. It's worth noting that no one is campaigning for the "panspermia controversy" to be taught in k-12 schools, and if there were, it the only proper reaction would be to reject it, since there is currently not enough data to warrant more than a passing mention if anything at all.

2) The panspermia hypothesis doesn't make any claim to explain abiogenesis,  the ultimate origin of life. To say that it can "never be more than a hypothesis" because of this is just nonsensical. Creationists like to make the same complaint against the "Theory of Evolution" but it similarly makes no such claim*. Neither explains gravity or star formation either, yet seems to care about how this might affect their credibility ;)

*One would expect chemical abiogenesis to have some very evolutionary qualities, but classical evolution doesn't depend on this about this.

/first post from a long time lurker

Date: 2008/02/27 17:57:48, Link
Author: Reed
A few questions I'd like to ask Kevin, related to the apparent belief there is a significant connection between Nazism/Stalinism and evolutionary theory:
1) Do you believe this perceived association affects the value or credibility of evolution as a scientific theory ?
2) Do you believe that other ideas used to justify these and similar atrocities should be rejected ?
2b) If yes to 2), should this rejection depend on the objective verifiability or usefulness of those ideas ?
3) Do you believe that if true, evolutionary theory provides an actual justification for the atrocities of the Nazis and Stalinists ?

I see a couple typos slipped into my earlier post, with no edit button in sight.
yet seems to should be yet no one seems to
and the final
about this is extraneous.

Date: 2008/02/28 22:18:37, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 28 2008,21:16)
As I said - it's sad, and it's disgusting. But Stein should have known better. What does he think of the idiots who are praising his film for "leading people to Jesus"?

Especially since most of the backing for ID comes from evangelical protestants. Think for a moment about what the founder of that movement had to say about jews, and which group of genocidal nutjobs was so fond of quoting him. Yet somehow "Darwinism" is hopelessly tainted by Darwins imperialist upbringing, while a religious sect created by someone who outright advocated discrimination, abuse, and ethnic cleansing (if not outright genocide) is A-OK ?

If "Darwinism" is evil because it was used (however vaguely and illogically) by madmen to justify mass murder, wouldn't that also apply to someone who's writings, read literally by the same madmen, were explicitly used to justify the same acts ?

While we are on the subject of rejecting ideas which were used (or abused) rationalize atrocities, would Mr. Stein care to discuss the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem witch trials ? Once we're done with those, maybe we could have a look through the old testament and see if there's any ideas guilty by association there ?

Are you sure you want to throw that particular rock next to your lovely glass house there Mr. Stein ? Anyone ? Bueller ?

This, BTW, was the point of my earlier questions for Kevin, which he has so far, to my great surprise, declined to answer.

Date: 2008/03/12 02:11:58, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (JohnW @ Mar. 11 2008,12:45)

Paid by whom?  The International Bad Prose Conspiracy?

Otherwise known as the Illiterati conspiracy :p

Date: 2008/03/13 21:36:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 12 2008,21:20)
no God doesn't tell Job that I'm bigger than you, he says I can't tell you because you just wouldn't understand.  it is beyond human capacity.  As is apparent by your oversimplification.  Who are you to say what is and isn't God's plan when you see such a tiny part of it?

If Gods plan is incomprehensible, how is that different (for us) from a universe that is just incomprehensible without God ? If anything at all can happen and still be part of Gods plan, what would make you believe there is a God, never mind one with the specific attributes given in a particular book* ?

If he is really incomprehensible, why would you believe the bible was really his word ? Maybe it's a test to sort out the gullible from those capable of rational observation ?

What objective criteria allows you to decide God is the God of the bible and not the daemon sultan Azathoth Or Zeus ? Or Loki ? Or Shiva or FSM ?

Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 13 2008,14:42)
this is like listening to a child reason, in fact I think I heard my six year old say nearly the same thing when I told him not to touch the hot stove.

Except that if your son touched the stove, he would have burned himself, and learned something about the accuracy of your advice. OTOH, following or not following alleged word of God has, by and large, no significant observable relationship to getting burned or not.

* Which by objective observation appears to be collected myths of some middle eastern tribesmen as heard through a multi-millennia game of telephone, and has about the accuracy and information content you'd expect to result from this exercise.

Date: 2008/03/14 18:45:03, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 14 2008,05:53)
Reed, I read the Bible in exactly the same way.  IMO, it's a blueprint for a suggested life to lead.  In many ways if you detour from this blueprint you will get burned in the real sense and not just the spiritual sense.

Funny that you "agree" but completely ignore the content of the post, and fail to answer any of the interesting questions:
1) If Gods plan is incomprehensible, how is that different (for us) from a universe that is just incomprehensible without God ? How do you distinguish between these two options ?

2) If he is really incomprehensible, why would you believe the bible was really his word ?

3) What objective criteria allows you to decide God is the God of the bible and not the daemon sultan Azathoth ?

And since the bible is apparently a "blueprint for a suggested life to lead" here's a bonus question:
4) Must adulterers, homosexuals and witches be put to death ? If you don't agree with this, how is the bible a blueprint for a suggested life to lead ?  If only some parts are a blueprint, what are the other parts ? How do you decide which parts are the blueprint, and which aren't ?

Date: 2008/03/15 20:20:14, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (afarensis @ Mar. 15 2008,17:41)

I'm not sure if they were trying to make a joke that went badly astray or if they really think their audience is stupid enough to think that bones were actually passed along. Either way WTF? :O

Remember the target audience believes that woman was created (err, designed) from mans rib. So this is an important clarification: Bones inherited from animals are ludicrous and borderline disgusting, woman from ribs is not!

Date: 2008/03/16 04:19:05, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 15 2008,23:15)
Global Cooling

Climate Panel hotseat

The first link shows a breathtaking misunderstanding of science worthy of cdesign proponentis.

The second is a litany of well refuted, yet still oft-repeated denailist canards. This is the familiar habitat of the cdesign proponentis.

Finally, I notice you never did answer any of my questions.

Date: 2008/03/16 17:13:26, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 16 2008,07:29)
Sorry, Reed, there's so much on here to respond to at the moment your's might have just gotten lost in the shuffle.  Repeat them please and I'll try to get to them.

They are still here, no need to repeat them.

Also, in regards to the oft-refuted article, I find it funny that it was published again just 3 days ago.

This is a standard denialist tactic. Repeat the same lies frequently to maintain the illusion that there is a real debate. Teach the non-existent controversy!

4)  Realize that you can not simultaneously hate and blame God for the state of the world and deny his existence.

You have utterly failed to understand the objection, or are deliberately distorting it. Pointing out the apparent contradictions in your view doesn't require us to accept the assumptions it is based on.

As an apparent believer in God, you have to deal with the whole question of whether God is a giant asshole, and how that squares with the claim that he is also good and loving. Atheism, and indeed other religions such Hinduism and the Greek and Norse mythologies do not, since these views do not depend on an all-powerful benevolent creator.

Date: 2008/03/16 22:44:16, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 16 2008,17:31)

No, Reed, I don't have to deal with that because I don't accept the premise.  That's your rationalization not mine.  Your intellectual conflict does not necessitate one for me.

It's not my intellectual conflict. I find the existence of God to be unsupported by any evidence. Given that, it's only of minor interest that most definitions of God (including yours, to the extent that you have presented it) also appear contradictory.

If you'd read the rest of the post, you'd realize that my complaint was about your completely nonsensical response:
4)  Realize that you can not simultaneously hate and blame God for the state of the world and deny his existence.

In any event, your response to my restatement of the question is remarkably content free. Which premise do you not accept ?

But who am I kidding, it's clear you aren't interested in a coherent discussion. Before Lou FCD gives this the lock, could you at least clarify whether killing homosexuals and witches is part of the bibles blueprint for a better life ?

I'm always looking for ways to improve my life.
{eyes Louis and Kristine}

Date: 2008/03/20 05:52:09, Link
Author: Reed
Thanks for the report.
Quote (Nomad @ Mar. 19 2008,23:18)
Regarding their usage of the Pink Floyd song.. I think they got permission somehow or another.  It wasn't the original Pink Floyd performance, it was played solely on string instruments.

Ben Stein has been around the industry long enough that I would expect him (or his people) to know how to do such things by the book.

I'm not entirely certain if the point of this movie is to make money.  When you look at some of the details, like the plans to pay schools to force their students to go see it, it starts sounding fishy.  I start wondering if the whole thing is meant more as a promotional stunt than a means to rake in the money.

I'd guess there's a True Believer camp and an in it for the money camp. The latter need not make their money in the box office, as many of the former are very wealthy and think this is Gods Work.

The money for schools to see it appears to come from outside organizations, not out of Ben Steins Money ;)

See for example. The ticket stub deal is only $10,000 to the group that collects the most.

They also have a pretty good guaranteed audience among fundie groups, and a large grass roots promotional network who will not only think work for free, but think it is their moral duty to do so.
Perhaps his recent financial advice screwups were the result of him phoning in his last days as a financial guru before he moves on to Liars for Jesus inc?  Is a Fox News guest commenter relationship on the horizon?

It has been suggested he wants to set himself up as the Michael Moore of the right.

Prediction: The next film will be about global warming.

Date: 2008/03/20 16:02:39, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 20 2008,11:04)
The designer has been found!
Text is from Slashdot. So, ID fans, does this mean the designer is ET? If not, who designed those "impossible to form on their own" organic molecules?

A bit OT, but the headline on that story really bugs me. Seeing the spectra of an exo-planet is very exciting, and bodes well for being able to detect life, but calling methane the "Molecular Basis of Life" is very misleading. Yeah, carbon compounds are "the basis of life", and methane might have played an important role in the early earth, but this particular discovery almost certainly has nothing to do with life. We know carbon is on of the common elements in the universe, and expect to find it just about everywhere.

Now when we see the spectra of high concentrations of O2 in an exoplanet atmosphere, that will give the IDiots something to chew on.

Date: 2008/03/20 21:43:57, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 20 2008,18:09)
PZ Myers expelled from line to see "Expelled"

They let PZ's family and guest in to see it, though.

Go read PZ's blog post now for the name of the guest.

Wow. Not letting someone who is featured in the movie into a screening ?

That's low, even by IDiot standards. On the plus side, there's even more comedy gold to come when they try to spin this one. Especially given who they did let in ;)

Date: 2008/03/21 03:42:40, Link
Author: Reed
[quote=Mister DNA,Mar. 21 2008,00:49]
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Mar. 21 2008,01:05)
Dawkins Crashes 'Expelled' Party

Too bad the comments are moderated at CT's blog. It looks like Mark Moring is going to wake up tomorrow and find a buttload of comments with links to Pharyngula.

As I noted over on pharyngula, the CT post has mutated been intelligently modified to link to PZs account, even though no comments have appeared, and the text doesn't mention any updates.

Date: 2008/03/21 18:59:12, Link
Author: Reed
Our buddy Kevin comes produces some choice tard:

The interesting thing about this debate, Peter, is that the Darwinists are the ones who are desperately trying to link religion to ID, not the IDers. The ID folks are merely saying that ID is friendly to religion in a way that classical Darwinism (a blind, mechanical, purposeless process driven by random mutations and natural selection) is not. Just witness how many Darwinists are writing books about religion while IDers are writing books about science.

my bold.

Date: 2008/03/21 19:49:57, Link
Author: Reed
Pleasantly surprised by Kevin:

I also realize my tard quote above was quite old. Well aged, you might say. Apologies for the typo as well.

Date: 2008/03/22 03:30:25, Link
Author: Reed
Preserved for posterity:

Should put to rest the idea that PZ and Dawkins hacked the RSVP site or "crashed" the event.  :p

Date: 2008/03/22 03:50:45, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Reed @ Mar. 22 2008,01:30)

Whoops. Actually, that pictured page just leads "tour" events, and the tour is over.

Date: 2008/03/22 18:57:32, Link
Author: Reed
Hypocrisy, thy name is Kevin Miller. The rant about objectivity and balance would be a bit more credible if your own "documentary" exhibited either of those principles.

Date: 2008/03/22 22:37:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 22 2008,18:58)
Copyright protects performances. But even so, even if the animation is done by the "Expelled" folks, it could still be an infringement of the Harvard/XVIVO animation if it is found to be a derivative work. If it can be mistaken by knowledgeable people for the original, they are running a significant risk in this respect, though it must be said that IANAL.

From my (IANAL) understanding, they would have to be very similar indeed to get into any trouble if they haven't actually copied any of the original. Not just "gee it looks really similar" but "I can't tell these scenes apart even playing them side by side."

People have tried to extend copyright to "look and feel" but fortunately have failed for the most part.

If they actually made it themselves, they are probably safe.

@glen yeah, I noticed that after the fact (see my next post after that one), but I still can't edit, so there it is ;)

Date: 2008/03/23 04:59:32, Link
Author: Reed
My God Designer, these are the intellectual giants who are going to re-write biology ?

Then again, DaveScot violates the second law just by typing, so the first law should be easy by comparison. Maybe wiggling his little finger ?

Date: 2008/03/23 14:18:25, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Mar. 23 2008,12:17)
The "real" issue, or at least the one were talking about at the time, was journalistic integrity. But you know, maybe I'm being too hard on Ms. Dean. Perhaps objectivity is like certainty--unattainable.

You still haven't explained how she failed to be objective.

What specific part of that article would you change ?

It's simple question.

Date: 2008/03/23 20:09:29, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Mar. 23 2008,15:56)
Reed: Have answered your question on my blog. Added 2 my original post.

You say:

Note how she creates the illusion of balance by quoting both sides. But what she is actually doing is setting up the Expelled folks as targets and then using PZ, Dawkins, and Eugenie to knock them down.

Yes, Cornelia Dean quotes them as saying bad things about your movie, and gives them the last word. However it's clear that she's quoting, and you haven't identified any part of the "knocking down" done that is factually incorrect. Or actually any of the story that you claim is factually incorrect.

The story certainly makes the Expelled group look bad, but the main reason is their own actions. Turning someone who is featured and credited in a film away from a screening makes you look bad, regardless of what excuse you come up with. It makes you look especially bad when you are found to be lying about about the reasons and circumstances.

The "We are all having a good laugh" bits certainly favor the PZ/Dawkins side, but the fact is the situation is funny, and the participants are laughing about it.

It's clear she isn't sympathetic to your side, but it seems to me she got the basics facts right, and treated the core of the story honestly. That's pretty good by the standards of journalism today, and far from the blatant spin job you claimed.

But this whole issue is minor compared to the complaints about the film itself. You could start with BadIdeas.

Date: 2008/03/23 23:28:35, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bystander @ Mar. 23 2008,19:23)
No doubt many of you would have read  Dawkins' review of the movie. I wonder if Kevin will include this and enlighten us where it was unfair? I think that it might have been too facty for him.

No, he has this cunning riposte.

...If it's so "poorly constructed and utterly devoid of any style, wit or subtlety," why doesn't he just take a cue from Eugenie Scott and ignore it? Methinks you protest way too much, Sir Richard.

Let me guess, Kevin, if he had ignored it, you'd say "See Richard Dawkins didn't have any criticism of it!"

More seriously, while I wouldn't deign to speak for Dawkins, I can think of a few reasons off the top of my head.

  • Genuinely interested in promoting public understanding of science.
  • Personally opposed to attempts to pass religiously motivated bullshit off as science.
  • Offended by attempts to associate his profession with Nazism.
  • Offended by attempts to associate his personal philosophy with Nazism.
  • Offended by being tricked into participating in the film.
  • Offended by the producers treatment of his colleague.
  • Is a militant atheist, and sees easy opportunity show religious wackos for idiots and assholes they are with minimum effort.
  • Is pissed he let PZ carry the AK this time.

Or who knows Kevin, maybe he really really loved it but doesn't know how to express himself well ?

Date: 2008/03/24 00:04:13, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Mar. 23 2008,21:55)
One shouldn't mistake the silence so far of people in the second group for any sort of complacency concerning the movie.

Indeed, that part of Kevins comment is as clueless as the rest considering the the NCSE (of which Eugenie Scott is listed as executive director) has a web sited dedicated to the movie.

You are correct.

Date: 2008/03/25 04:09:33, Link
Author: Reed

My take on Ben.

Date: 2008/03/25 21:22:29, Link
Author: Reed
A game we can play!
According to:

Some arguing ensued concerning the scientific merits of ID, and someone asked, "Where's the evidence? Where are the peer reviewed papers?" to which Mathis proudly proclaimed, "Actually, there are ten peer reviewed papers."

Leaving aside just how pathetic* that is, it would be quite interesting to get a list of those papers. This leads to the game:

Guess how many papers will be left after you remove those that
- Don't actually exist. Startlingly, some evidence suggests that Mathis might occasionally engage in fibbing.
- Were published by some Sternbergian subterfuge.
- Were not published in recognized, credible scientific journals, but rather in the likes of IDs own PCID, AiGs Answers Research Journal, or popular press.
- Have been retracted like the infamous Warda/Han paper.
- Are written by people who do not accept ID and do not believe their work supports ID. The ID movement has a long history of claiming as their own papers for the simple fact they contain the word "design" in the abstract.

I'll open with a guess of 1

* We might consider how many scientists named Steve have individually published more papers on evolution than the ten claimed by Mathis as the total output of ID.

Date: 2008/03/30 04:03:59, Link
Author: Reed
Wow that's some mighty strong stupid. But there's more:

 AFA: Despite the angry responses, what is going to keep you going on this campaign?
 Stein: I think I’m going to keep going on with this because we’re missing something extremely basic in our understanding of the world and how God created it, and I’d like us to return to that, and I think by returning to those bigger subjects of how the world got created and what our place in the world is, we will find a new moral fence which is very much lacking

All Science So Far!

Oh the Sternberg caption is great too:

[Sternberg] explains to Ben Steinhow he lost his job with the Smithsonian Institute over the issue of Intelligent design. Sternberg hand been managing editor of a scientific journal and OK'd the publication of an article supporting the theory.

Date: 2008/04/16 07:15:04, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (CeilingCat @ April 15 2008,23:11)

... snip description of "chinese wall" reverse engineering...
The odds that Premise media used the above procedure exceed the Universal Probability Bound.

IANAL, but from what I understand that wouldn't necessarily help them. What applies to something functional like  software doesn't apply directly to other kinds of works.

Re-creating a software interface this way is OK because the interface itself isn't protected, only the code that implements it. You can reverse engineer someone else's code to understand the interface, as long as you don't copy the code. The chinese wall is just a way of ensuring, in a well documented manner, that the code isn't copied. This obviously doesn't apply to something purely creative like a song or novel. No matter what gymnastics you go through, if your novel is an obvious copy of someone else's, you are in trouble, because there is no underlying non-protected structure.

The animation in question is somewhere in between. It ultimately represents a physical process, but there's a whole lot in common that is defined by artistic choices, not inherent features of the process.

Given their demonstrated ignorance of biology, it would be completely in form for the expelled producers not to realize just how much artistic license / creative work went into the Harvard animation. Watching them discover this in court should be quite entertaining :)

Date: 2008/04/18 23:05:04, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 18 2008,20:53)
Watchtower is by Dylan, although Hendrix's version is the definitive one.

Anyone want to lay odds they legitimately acquired the rights to this and the "Another brick in the wall" ?

A bottle of single malt scotch perhaps ? Anyone ? B....

Date: 2008/04/19 01:46:37, Link
Author: Reed
Just so you know not all the reviews are negative: How to Share Your Faith Using Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Baptist press calls it A must see.

All Science so far!

Date: 2008/04/19 19:38:07, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Peter Henderson @ April 19 2008,15:20)

Could you not say the same about any scientist who believes that a human being rose from the dead or that a female virgin gave birth, since neither of these are scientifically possible either

Absolutely. To accept any of those as literal fact on the basis of some stories handed down in a 2000+ year game of telephone is not rational.

Is Dawkins really saying that all scientists who are Christians are "not very bright" or is he just being facetious ?

No, Dawkins makes it abundantly clear he isn't talking about all Christians. That's what started the whole exchange! The "not very bright" applies to those who insist the bible is literal truth, which is a subset of people who consider themselves Christian.

It seems obvious to me there was some humor involved. Clearly he thinks that accepting the idea of a talking snake is not very bright, but I doubt he'd claim that holding it prevents someone from being brilliant in other respects.

Date: 2008/04/22 18:26:37, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 22 2008,11:44)
Okay, let's assume there is an omnipotent creator.

Given that we've getting somewhat sophisticated as a species and now understand an array of things fairly well, is it safe to assume that the creator doesn't want to be found? I can think of umpteen places he could have put 'made by god'.. but we're just not seeing it. Does this mean he doesn't want proof? Will he punish people for looking?

You mean like this ?

Skeptic seems to argue that we don't "now understand an array of things fairly well" but it is undeniable we understand a lot of things better than we did, say, in the time of Christ.

Furthermore, this understanding has gone from assuming something was supernatural (disease as influence of demons) to natural (germ theory). The reverse case is notable by it's absence. ID claims to have such a case, but they have a mountain of evidence against and none for.

This reminds me of an argument against UFOs as alien visitors which sums up the idea nicely (Sadly, I neglected to record who posted it. Someone on* a number of years ago):

I think the best place to look for those pesky aliens is anywhere cameras are produced.

Obviously, they must have spies at Kodak, Magnavox, Phillips, etc, since they stay on top of our camera technology enough to always know the exact distance where they will be captured on film as blurry spots!

Our recording and observing capability, not to mention sheer numbers, have increased astoundingly, yet the evidence of UFOs remains the same blurry pictures and hearsay it did in the 50s. You can of course replace "UFO" with just about any other supernatural and miraculous phenomena and get the same conclusion.

Date: 2008/04/25 00:41:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Falk Macara @ April 24 2008,19:29)
The generation of massive financial profits at the expense of the environment, the very systems we require for our ongoing existance, is not driven by evil companes, evil CEO's or evil board members.  It's driven by the people who consume -- and demand to consume more of -- the output of these firms, and hang the costs of the externalities generated.

This is absolutely true. However it doesn't mean nothing can be done. We cannot escape some impact at this point, but we can potentially affect how severe it is.

People cried bloody murder about limiting CFCs (unsurprisingly, many of the same people now say it's to expensive to do anything about AGW) but we did, and we are almost certainly better off for it, despite the costs. The cost of having no ozone layer would ultimately have been much greater.

This brings me to my big beef with the "all regulation is bad, let the market handle it" crowd (which overlaps very strongly with GW denial and it's lesser forms of "oh it's too expensive to do anything" and "oh maybe GW is a good thing".) Markets are inherently short sighted in this kind of situation. If you can make a product for $1 by polluting a lot, or $2 without polluting much, someone is going to go for the $1 method. Even if others want to do it clean (and there's plenty of decent, honest people in industry) they will have trouble competing. Never mind that it will eventually cost society as a whole $3 per item to clean up the resulting mess.

Date: 2008/04/26 02:07:52, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (digitus impudicus @ April 25 2008,20:46)
Could someone for amusements' sake, provide me a link to the lair that William Wallace calls home?  

I am sure it is a dank and lonely place, but I feel I must visit it for the extreme TARD that UD cannot provide.

Xie Xie is what is linked from his profile in comments on ERV. It certainly seems packed with tardy nuggets, so it's probably the right one.

Date: 2008/04/26 04:04:21, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ April 26 2008,00:21)
Mark Mathis has a guest column in today's TC Palm:

Wherein he repeats some old familiar lies:

Professor Caroline Crocker simply mentions Intelligent Design in her cell biology class and she is expelled from George Mason University. Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez — author of 68 peer-reviewed papers and whose work has been used to discover planets — is denied tenure at Iowa State for writing a book on his own time that suggests the universe may be intelligently designed. Richard Sternberg lost his job at the Smithsonian Institution for allowing a paper on ID to be peer reviewed and published. The list goes on and on.

Also amusing:

Mathis is a former TV news journalist and president of Mathis Media, LLC, a media-consulting firm.

No mention of his recent box office hit.

Date: 2008/05/01 21:07:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (don_quixote @ May 01 2008,16:18)
It would be Sokal on a grand scale.

Sokal is rightly recognized for his pioneering work in the field, but one shouldn't neglect recent advances in automation.

SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator should require only minor adjustment produce Answers Research Journal level output.

Date: 2008/05/02 17:25:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (midwifetoad @ May 02 2008,05:45)
Interesting number. 168,000 happens to be the speed of light in miles per second.

Only if you are dylsexic ;)

The speed of light = 186,282.397 miles per second.

Date: 2008/05/04 18:53:10, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 04 2008,15:50)
Rough quote to the best of my memory:
Quote (Dr. Phil Plait @ about an hour ago)
If you think the universe is 6000 years old, you shouldn't be teaching science.

I agree with the sentiment, but...
Did Gonzales actually ever express support for YEC views ? My impression was that he was into some kind of cosmological fine tuning flavor of id. While that might not be defensible as science, it's a heck of a lot less batshit crazy than YEC. I'd have serious concern about a YEC actually being able to teach science, but I don't think holding  some vague "god set it all up just right" view would be a problem.


No appreciable funding in the form of grants.
Little in the way of publications.
No grads.

Is plenty. No need to bring his religious views into it.

Date: 2008/05/04 23:11:04, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 04 2008,18:08)

Is it a religious view, per se, to be part of an advocacy campaign to encourage other people to inject their religious views into public school science classrooms? I think that promoting unconstitutional behavior inimical to the common weal deserves consideration in any professional evaluation.

Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that Gonzales ID views and activities shouldn't have been considered, only that even if you ignore them completely his rejection appears justified.

IMO, there is large a muddy line between discrimination based on a persons views (and extracurricular activities), and legitimate judgment of how those reflect their suitability for a position.

I admit that I don't know enough about Gonzales activities prior to the tenure to dispute to have an opinion of where he fell on that line.

Date: 2008/05/16 00:09:56, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert O'Brien @ May 15 2008,16:24)
I now live in fear that I will be compelled to gay marry Arden.

If by "compelled" you mean "forced", you can rest easy. Non-voluntary marriages are typically found in highly traditional societies, frequently in conjunction with religious extremism.

Excellent observation. Funny that todays "materialists" and their liberal allies overwhelmingly support gay rights, while the "materialist" nazis were decidedly against them. It's almost as if the nazis got the idea somewhere else. Naw, couldn't be, because the Bible is the source of all that is good and compassionate. Right ?

Date: 2008/06/07 18:37:35, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 07 2008,05:53)
The discussions you are suggesting here (a genuine exploration of punctuationism; the role of natural selection versus other mechanisms in propelling evolution; a presentation of the history of these powerful scientific ideas) are long-standing features of discourse within evolutionary biology, are already part of good pedagogy and need no legislative protection.

Exactly. Biology teachers aren't campaigning for these bills so that can talk about this. If these ideas aren't discussed in high school level classes, it is likely due to time constraints, or the fact that evolution as a whole is frequently marginalized.

Why is evolution frequently glossed over at this level ? One hypothesis is that it has to do with the influence of creationists... the very same people campaigning for this "academic freedom". Hmmm. If people are hypocrites, why are there still hippopotamus ? Goddidit! QED!

Date: 2008/06/10 22:04:13, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,18:29)
On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.

You were asked provide evidence that this alleged bias exists. Instead, you have produced a great deal of irrelevant verbiage.

How about one concrete example of how current public school biology courses are biased* ?

For bonus points, explain why this alleged bias needs an explicit legislative action is required to allow this bias to be remedied.

* "bias" against religious gobbledygook posing as science doesn't count, since we are talking about a science course.

Date: 2008/06/10 22:06:19, Link
Author: Reed
Ugh, clearly my editing leaves something to be desired.


For bonus points, explain why this alleged bias needs an explicit legislative action to be remedied.

Date: 2008/06/10 23:06:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,20:32)
please pay attention, there is no need for the legislation and bias is in the eye of the beholder.  Both sides see bias on the other.  The idea is not to address the bias but eliminate the ability to claim it exists.

So when you said:

On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.

You meant exactly like it's taught today ? Excellent.

The creos will continue to claim bias as long as anything that doesn't conform to their beliefs is taught. So you clearly aren't going to win that and still teach science.

Date: 2008/06/11 21:01:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (GCT @ June 11 2008,16:46)
"The "edge" of evolution is only an edge until we find another edge further out, but it's still the limit of Darwinism even though they've shown another limit because Behe has to be right that goddidit."

OK, I think I did get it.

The goal post is always at the edge of the field.

Just sayin'  ;)

Date: 2008/06/22 23:48:09, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 22 2008,18:35)
The project sort of bombed due to a combination of misanthropy, shyness, and lack of charisma or any kind of coherent ideology.

L Ron Hubbard (probably the most successful modern example of the cult-for-money concept) showed that you don't actually need that last one ;)

Date: 2008/07/03 22:27:06, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (lcd @ July 03 2008,14:55)
Okay, I need to deliver up a "Theory of Information".

So I say that there is Information in DNA.  I am also saying that this Information can be destroyed but idea that useful info can come about over random processes is not possible.

How about starting by defining what you mean by "information" ?

Wait. Before you do that, read the link stevestory provided.

All assuming you are actually interested in having a coherent discussion, and not just yanking chains... Poe can be a real SOB sometimes.

Date: 2008/07/05 17:56:52, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 05 2008,09:47)
Can sockpuppets enter the competition?

Not that I'm suggesting anything, you know.

A golden pendulum award for the best Poe ?

Date: 2008/07/06 16:54:03, Link
Author: Reed
Wow ... Guts, page 6:

I would be more than happy to debate anywhere you'd like, even on non-neutral venues.

... 17 pages of spewing insults and failure to engage in any substantiative discussion ...

Do you think you are fooling anyone ? Heck, just linking to a post that outlines your position would be sufficient to get things rolling, if you were interested in honest discourse.

Even as trolling, it's pretty third rate. Too much repetition, not enough content to draw people in.

Date: 2008/07/06 16:54:03, Link
Author: Reed
Wow ... Guts, page 6:

I would be more than happy to debate anywhere you'd like, even on non-neutral venues.

... 17 pages of spewing insults and failure to engage in any substantiative discussion ...

Do you think you are fooling anyone ? Heck, just linking to a post that outlines your position would be sufficient to get things rolling, if you were interested in honest discourse.

Even as trolling, it's pretty third rate. Too much repetition, not enough content to draw people in.

Date: 2008/07/07 15:46:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ July 07 2008,13:37)
design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

Oh, so then their method requires knowing the purpose of the presumed intelligence, and then looking for patterns that would be apt to satisfy that purpose?

(Or am I reading into it something what ain't there? :) )

But don't forget, the designer moves in mysterious ways, which mere mortals such as ourselves cannot possibly comprehend!  ;)  (see typical ID response to the "bad design" argument)

Date: 2008/07/08 01:19:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (lcd @ July 07 2008,08:28)
But hey, who was it that took 20 years in their last lab experiment?

Perhaps you are referring to Richard Lenski's E. coli experiment ?

FWIW, it isn't a single, 20 year long experiment. Rather, it's an ongoing study, which has produced many interesting results over that period. The most recent results were reported widely, including right here on PT.

These results (full text for many papers can be found on Lenski's site) may be directly relevant to your current attempt to state an ID hypothesis. In particular, you might want to consider how they relate to your ideas about information. He also has an interesting page of suggested reading on the history and philosophy of science, mostly focused on evolution and related conflicts.

If nothing else, the contrast between the output of a real evolutionary scientist and that of ID "researchers" may be instructive.

Date: 2008/07/09 02:06:30, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ July 08 2008,22:56)
If the evidence is there...answer the questions.  Thanks.

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution. You're welcome.

Macroevolution must produce greater complexity which requires large increases in information.

Common creationist claim CI010

New vital organs and irreducible complexity would be examples of greater complexity.

Common creationist claim CI102, CB200

Where is the empirical evidence that this has actually occurred?

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, again.
Can you show me any natural process that produces large, nontrivial amounts of information?

CI010 again.

Natural processes tend to destroy information. All living things contain gigantic amounts of information!

All of the above, combined with unproven assertions and circular reasoning.

Here’s a question for the scientists out date, what are some of the most beneficial mutations to organisms in their natural environments that scientists have observed through the years?

Here are some.
People might be more interested in discussing these things with you if you weren't just repeating the same old stuff.

Date: 2008/07/09 22:28:53, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,19:35)
My assertion was that science would not have been hindered if the simliarities we observe in nature today had been considered part of the design paradigm rather than due to common descent.

You failed to understand nested hierarchies (among other things). You need to go back and actually understand those 29+ evidences you skimmed over and dismissed as pathetic.

It's also typical that you dismissed those links without addressing any of the actual arguments. This further re-enforces the conclusion that you either didn't read it, or didn't understand it.

Why are all scientific papers based on common descent?  Because it was deemed "fact" early on, and everyone based their evolutionary scenarios on that ideology.

Completely, utterly wrong. Common descent makes specific predictions, which are not required for "common design". Not to mention that you have the history wrong too.

Of course if the designer in your "common design" is supernatural, "common design" makes no predictions whatsoever because the designer can, by definition do whatever it damn well pleases. You may as well go the whole hog and accept last Tuesdayism, because it's exactly equivalent. (but don't touch last Thursdayism, that's heresy!)

If you assume your designer is limited by the laws of nature that we observe, you get yourself a mountain of trouble explaining when and how they acted, while at the same time not predicting the same tree of life that we see.

Date: 2008/07/10 19:23:10, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 10 2008,14:01)
So one other person making a comment about the 6th commandment signals your very stern disapproval.

Well, at least she should have time to address the various errors pointed out in this post. Talking about science and all, right ?

Oh btw, a couple more pathetic transitional fossil, found by those dogmatic evolutionists. Why did the designer design fish with one eye moved part across their skull, and then later design them with both eyes all the way over on the same side ? Whoever the designer might be, it looks more like he was floundering around with trial and error than omniscient.

What did ID predict in this scenario ?
1) Real scientists will do some research.
2) They'll find something.
3) Two new gaps!
4) Therefor design!
am i duin it rite ?

Date: 2008/07/10 23:28:43, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Nerull @ July 10 2008,19:57)
Creationist Walt Brown claims that the asteroid belt was created by rocks blasted off of earth when the "Fountains of the Deep" erupted during the biblical flood.

Wow. Now that's loonie.
The idea is you try to get an asteroid into an orbit fully within the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Walt Brown claims this happened. Orbital mechanics says it can't. Now you can try it.

Actually, with enough encounters and second order effects, I bet you can make it happen eventually. You'll start in an elliptical earth crossing orbit (obviously, since your single major impulse starts from earth), but enough interactions with Earth, Mars and Jupiter should be able to get you into a main belt orbit. For bonus point's, you can take advantage of light pressure and the Yarkovsky effect ;)

Actually finding such a trajectory will be a royal pain, but I don't see offhand that it would be impossible.

You sure as heck aren't going to populate the whole belt that way (and anyway, we KNOW the isotope ratios don't support that). Of course, we do know that large amounts of the earth did get blasted into space... by other stuff running into us. Some of them probably escaped.

I tried to run your sim, but got an application configuration incorrect error, which AFAIK usually related to msvcrt versions.

In the meantime, maybe FTK can tell us what ID predicts about flounders ?

Date: 2008/07/11 02:18:07, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Nerull @ July 10 2008,19:57)
Errors about "incorrect configuration" mean you need the MSVC9 runtime, at

Oh wow, I fail at reading  :(

Works now. It's nifty, but even getting a Jupiter encounter took me a bunch of tries. No chance of planning a delicate multi-encounter trajectory :p

Date: 2008/07/11 16:58:06, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Nerull @ July 11 2008,06:09)
Also, a response to someone else: While complex slingshot trajectories are possible, since we are talking about thousands of asteroids blasted off in mostly random directions all ending up in roughly the same circular orbit in the asteroid belt - I don't really consider that in the scope of the simulation.

Another thing to keep in mind is my planets are most defiantly not rendered to scale. If they were they would be far smaller than a pixel. You think its hard to just lob a rock off and get near a planet in my sim - try it in reality.

Yes, I understand this. I actually wrote my own 3d, to-scale spaceflight sim some years ago.

My point was that orbital mechanics doesn't actually make it impossible, and your sim doesn't give you the precision to show how it could happen.  This is a nitpick for the sake of accuracy, not a real criticism. Your sim does give a good general feel for how orbits work, and makes the point that you can't simply fling an asteroid from earth to the belt.

Even with your sim, I was able to boost my asteriods perihelion outside the orbit of mars using multiple Jupiter encounters:

of course, it's hard to say how much of this is real, and how much is error due to big time steps.

In any case, Brown doesn't claim either multiple encounters or direct injection. What he does say is truly batshit:

Drag forces caused by water vapor and thrust forces produced by the radiometer effect concentrated asteroids in what is now the asteroid belt.

He even claims to have a simulation that demonstrates this!

Date: 2008/07/11 18:44:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ July 11 2008,15:33)
That's pretty much what I figured.  Selective reading.


What you aren't getting, is that for anyone with any knowledge in the fields Walt Brown is commenting on can see that his theory makes about as much sense as the babbling of schizophrenic. Oh, the grammar and spelling is OK, and there's all kinds of big sciency sounding words and nice looking footnotes, but it's basically word salad. It's really that bad. You appear to have confused presentation with content.

The fact is the part Nerull quotes says all asteroids and comets originate from the earth. If Walt Brown says some originate some other way later on, he's contradicting himself, which doesn't help his case. If he doesn't, no amount of footnotes and verbiage will save him from the facts:
1) Long period comets have orbits longer than 5000 years
2) A long period comet approaching aphelion must, according to Walts crazy theory, have completed nearly a full orbit.
A quick search of shows more than 10 comets with a period > 1 million years.

Hydroplate theory, destroyed.

This is why people call you a lying creobot FTK. Because you never ever actually address any real arguments. I'll be happy to point out a few errors in detail if you promise to actually respond to them.

Assasinator: lucky for you, the book is online!. Warning: Do not expose irony or tard measuring devices to this link.

Date: 2008/07/11 20:22:42, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ July 11 2008,17:59)
If you say you read all of it, then I'll just have to take your word for it I guess.  But, simple 10th grade geometry wouldn't be a problem for Walt...try reading his credentials again.

He alleged credentials don't affect the fact that what he produces is nonsense. Having degrees doesn't prevent a person from being nuts or lying.

It's also interesting that you completely ignore the credentials of thousands of real working scientists geologists, astronomers and biologists, yet somehow feel that Walt Browns engineering degrees make him more qualified than people who've spent their entire careers in those fields.

Double standard much FTK ?

Date: 2008/07/12 19:04:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (csadams @ July 11 2008,16:54)



3 years later and FTK is still repeating the same tired crap. Still pedaling Walt Browns bullshit, still using the same excuses, still resorting to the OH POOR ME and OH TEH DARWINISTS SO MEAN and YOU HAVE TO READ THE WHOLE THING all the other same tired excuses. Still utterly blind to the fact that Brown is a total, obvious  fraud. Still ignorant of the fact Browns "science" is an incoherent string of straw men, quote mines and sheer lunacy.

I knew she had a pretty long history here and other evolution related blogs, but damn that's creotard extraordinaire.

Date: 2008/07/13 18:25:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Assassinator @ July 13 2008,16:14)
1: That the designer didn't 'reinvent the wheel' every time and used parts over and over again, sometimes with minor adjustments.

Except all those times he did ;)

Of course, ID proponents tend to believe that the designer "moves in mysterious ways" which mere mortals such as ourselves cannot comprehend. In this way, anything that contradicts their predictions also confirms their predictions.


Date: 2008/07/14 20:40:31, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Doc Bill @ July 14 2008,16:51)
Well, let's cut to the chase.

FtK doesn't have a copy of Shubin's book, which is a great read, by the way.

FTK claimed to have read it, and wasn't impressed:

Hon, he postulates how hernias, hiccups, and snores evolved from freaking fish.  Come on.  As far as the tiktaalik find, sure, nice theory based on historical inference and bone fragments.  Interesting, but that book is certainly steaming from the piles of speculation found within it.  

Then again, she claims to have read Walt Browns effluent, and found it very convincing (and presumably, not a steaming pile of anything... because Walt has an engineering degree while Shubin uh... never mind.)

All I can say is Voltaire's prayer really works against creationists!

Date: 2008/07/15 02:51:59, Link
Author: Reed
We’re talking jaw and fish bone fragments, for Christ’s sake.  But, we’re supposed to believe they represent the proof that we evolved from fish and apes.

Yeah, but gigatons of rocks getting launched at over escape velocity by the flood is totally plausible. Have you ever watched a Shuttle launch FTK ? See how much energy goes into putting a measly 100 tons into low earth orbit ? How we burn almost 2000 tons of the most energetic fuels we can make to get there ?

Now the asteroid belt is estimated to mass at least 3x10^21 kg (3,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons if I counted right). Think about how much energy you need to get that all going, oh, twice as fast as the Shuttle. If you turned all the oceans to rocket fuel, you'd still be short by a couple orders of magnitude.

Your buddy Walt claims water squirting out of holes in the ground did this.

It should be obvious that this is complete and utter horseshit. It's batshit crazy, not "compelling" or "interesting" except as a psychological curiosity.

Honestly, I'm not the one who keeps bringing up his theory.

Seems you thought pretty highly of him. In any case, that's beside the point.

You were repeatedly shown the obvious fact that he's a fraud. The fact that you were unable to recognize that speaks volumes as to your ability to distinguish real science from bullshit. The fact that you used his credentials to deny his obvious nuttiness, while dismissing those of real scientists is hypocritical.

This is what The Kids call Epic Fail.

Date: 2008/07/15 17:56:50, Link
Author: Reed
Not sure where to put this, and I can't start new topics yet, so I'll stick it here. Maybe FTK can take a stab at explaining what ID theory can contribute to this.

John Hawks (one of my all time favorite bloggers) has an extensive post that describes real world design detection in archeology.

Pigment use and symbolic behavior in the Neandertals
Some points of note:
  • The proposed designer is explicitly identified.
  • Ascribing design to the artifacts is done by identifying, analyzing and reproducing the methods the designers might have used, along with demonstrating that naturally modified items of the same composition do not share the same characteristics.
  • Multiple independent lines of evidence support the assertion that the artifacts are designed. Not only are the modifications identified as non-natural, uses are proposed and identified.
  • Abstract concepts like CSI or the "information content" of designed artifacts are not used.

ID proponents like to use archeology as an example of design detection, but why doesn't real world design detection look anything like ID theory ? Why can't these archeologists just calculate the CSI of those pigment blocks and run it through the 'nixplanatory filter ?

Date: 2008/07/15 19:53:17, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (afarensis @ July 15 2008,17:27)
The choice of where to dig is predicated on evolutionary theory and on previous finds.

One might compare that to where ID predicts you will find particular fossils.

Uh... someone help me out here...  :p

Date: 2008/07/16 00:05:03, Link
Author: Reed
Oh, I don't expect FTK to respond (not coherently anyway...) I only posted the original in FTKs thread and addressed it to her because I can't yet start new ones, and it seemed like a good thing to bash her about the head with.

It's bugged me for a long time that ID proponents claim scientists do use "design inference"  (along with their stupid "what if aliens found Mount Rushmore" line), completely ignoring the fact that such inferences are based very specific evidence, not some vague handwaving about information theory. This seemed like a clear, accessible illustration of the difference.

To push the point a bit further, one could speculate how these blocks of manganese dioxide would be interpreted if found somewhere not associated with human activity. Would we "detect design" at all, or would we just go "hmm, that's strange" and file it away ? ID seems to claim that design is detectable regardless of context, where real science depends a great deal on it.

But perhaps one of our other resident ID enthusiasts (LCD, R o' B ?) would like explain why I've got it all wrong. I suggest not looking at Reciprocating Bills post, as it contains spoilers ;)

Date: 2008/07/17 18:49:19, Link
Author: Reed
ID predicted this :p

Date: 2008/07/19 21:03:33, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (olegt @ July 19 2008,16:07)
Again, it appears quite likely that Luskin misunderstood what Mazur was saying.

Nice catch

Casey, you're overworked.  Slow down, dude.

Hey now. The tard must flow, whatever the cost ;)

Date: 2008/09/27 02:47:30, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 26 2008,20:26)
IMHO, similar designs will have similar points of failure, just like cars with similar designs have similar problems.  I don’t think you need to assume common descent here.

There's an important difference between similar designs in cars, and similarities in the biological world.

Cars have true chimeras. Your Ford might have a motor developed by Mazda, completely unrelated to the long line of true Ford motors. In fact, different variants of the same model might have one or the other. With "common design", this makes perfect sense: You'd expect an intelligent designer to mix and match the best available parts. This doesn't happen in nature. If you can prove it does, your name will go down in history next to Darwin and Einstein.

Evolution can't reach into the parts bin and pick the best thing for the job. In general, it can only modify what an individual got from it's ancestors (there are exceptions but they don't change the basic picture). What we see in both fossils and genetics fits this picture extremely well. What we see in designed objects like cars does not.

Perhaps you can explain why the designer chose not to mix and match, but instead stuck to the same nested hierarchies that common descent would produce ?

You might also want to be a bit more careful checking into the sites you quote. Some of the ones you quoted on animal testing are of dubious reliability, and definitely not impartial (one even belongs to an organization which has been labeled as domestic terrorists by the DHS, for whatever that is worth.)

Date: 2008/10/04 18:39:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 04 2008,06:32)
Biden avoids questions, falls back on his talking poinst, and outright lies about McCain's positions all the time.  He's a plagerist, but you never hear much about that.  If Sarah had done something like that, she'd be crucified.

Err what ? They both ignored questions and spouted talking points instead, and both distorted their opponents positions. My feeling is that Biden did it a little bit less (not surprising since he is undeniably more familiar with the issues), but I found it pretty disgusting on both sides.

Not sure where you get the plagerist part from.

See Afarenis post here for an example

Date: 2008/10/04 21:25:45, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 04 2008,17:11)

I wasn't aware of the Biden plagiarism incidents, so as much as it pains me, thanks for that FTK. Certainly doesn't improve my opinion of Biden.

However... you've conveniently ignored my main objection: Palin clearly spent at least as much time ignoring the questions and spouting standard talking points as Biden.

Date: 2008/10/06 14:39:59, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 06 2008,11:07)
I've gotta be honest, but I reckon FTK is throwing a tantrum over Blipey's (most likely innocuous) comments at her blerug to disguise the fact that she a) will not answer any of the science/basic philosophy questions that have been asked very politely, b) she cannot answer any of the aforementioned questions.

Louis can haz cookie.

If you look upthread, the last thing here was that she made a long post about "science" that was packed full of glaring errors and falsehoods. This was pointed out by several people, with reasonable politeness and considerable detail.

What happens next ?
1) she comments a bunch over on the "politics and antievolution" thread, but doesn't post any significant response here because she "doesn't have time"
2) after some time has passed, comes back here and throws a few pages of tantrum about blipey.
3) Excuse that Tom Ames hasn't responded. Never mind that other people have provided clear, civil responses. Never mind Toms last post here was a question directed at her, which as far as I can tell, she never answered, despite making an (error filled) response to his earlier post here

No doubt excuse #3b) is that his post got lost because of all the noise... much of which which she created, and completely ignoring the fact that simply clicking on a users name would give her their posts in chronological order.

Design inference: Excuse #4 will be OMG DARWINST SO MEAN followed by flounce.

Date: 2008/10/06 14:54:07, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 06 2008,12:42)
So, since I was polite and have been patiently waiting for Tom's response, I'm avoiding everyone else.  Whatever.  I'll get back to it, and when I do, I'D LIKE TO USE RED LETTER IN SOME PARTS OF IT INSTEAD OF BLACK.


Right, when it is pointed out that you have made fundamental, glaring errors, the "polite" thing to do is ignore that, unless a specific person points them out.

For example, after reading would you still consider to your statements about "darwinsts" and "junk DNA" to be correct ? If so, what are the specific errors in the above linked post ? If not, do you agree that your previous statements on the topic were false and ill informed ?

You also haven't answered Toms question here:

Given our earlier exchange, I'm curious: do you accept that humans and other great apes share (or could conceivably share) a common ancestor?

Because if you don't, all that explaining I did about segmental duplication would have made zero sense to you. The technical details I tried (unsuccessfully, I fear) to convey really have no meaning outside of the context of a phylogenetic tree.

If you're still working on digesting the details, I'd suggest in that case that it might not be worth pursuing.

ETA: The question is a sincere one, and not meant to put you on the spot.

Note that instead of answering this, you started a tangent about the worlds religions supporting "design"

You don't need fancy formatting. You need to make coherent, logical points based of facts.

Date: 2008/10/06 19:29:51, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 06 2008,13:05)
No, I did answer that somewhere.  I said I don't know yet if I accept common design.

The question was about common descent, not design. If you really mean common design, then I think you find wide agreement here that it is almost certainly a crock.

But assuming that is just a slip of the finger, you haven't really answered the question. Humans and other great apes could (and indeed, almost certainly do) share a common ancestor even if common descent wasn't universal.

Date: 2008/10/06 20:13:50, Link
Author: Reed
BTW, here is a reasonable approximation of a phylogenetic tree web of a family of entities that are actually related by descent with modification and common design. The methodology isn't particularly rigorous (the author has probably forced it to be more tree-like than it should be, and has left out a lot of minor cross-breeding), but IMO it is good enough to be representative.

If you set out to organize these systems by common characteristics (whether in source code, functionality, interface compatibility, organization) you won't get a nice nested hierarchy like this

No matter what how you tweak your criteria (if you do it honestly) it just won't work.

Why not ?

and yes, I would edit to add that to the previous post, if I could ;)

Erasmus: Whatever it is, won't someone please think of the children!

Date: 2008/10/06 22:29:42, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 06 2008,19:00)
Jeez....yet it's just those dratted creationists who are such unfair moderators.

Your concern is touching, but it the reason for the current policy is quite clear. On the plus side, it encourages me to slow down and think about what I write. Restricting the ability to edit existing posts isn't remotely comparable banning people from UD for making clear, logical, well argued points that happen to be damaging to the ID position. The latter is censorship, while the former is not.

Now how explaining why we see clear nested hierarchies in the natural world, but not in things that are known products of common design ?

Do you disagree that cars or operating systems are examples of common design ? Can you convincingly arrange them into nested hierarchies by comparing their traits ?

Can you show that the science of Phylogenetic systematics is flawed such that the nested hierarchies we detect natural world aren't real* ?

If not, how do you defend your position that common design explains the data just as well as common descent ?

* If you can, then you will put a bigger dent in "darwinism" than the entire ID/creationist movement has to date. Dr Dr Dembski is a mathematician, so this should be right up his alley.

Date: 2008/10/07 17:54:42, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 07 2008,15:31)
Is that with any particular radioisotope, or particular decay modes, or what? Is it proportional to Earth-sun distance? (If so, the variation wouldn't matter much to age of Earth, since Earth can't have gotten much closer or further from the sun without drastic climate change.)


Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance

While the mechanism responsible for this phenomenon is unknown, theories involving variations in fundamental constants could give rise to such effects. These results are also consistent with the correlation between nuclear decay rates and solar activity suggested by Jenkins and Fischbach [18] if the latter effect is interpreted as possibly arising from a change in the solar neutrino flux. These conclusions can be tested in a number of ways. In addition to repeating long-term decay measurements on Earth, measurements on radioactive samples carried aboard spacecraft to other planets would be very useful since the sample-Sun distance would then vary over a much wider range. The neutrino flux hypothesis might also be tested using samples placed in the neutrino flux produced by nuclear reactors.

I guess they didn't mention GODDIDIT because they didn't want to state the obvious.

There has subsequently been an attempt to determine if this is effect can be detected in RTG outputs of deep space craft, but no evidence was found. On the other hand, an RTG that you can only monitor by telemetry over millions of km is a fairly blunt instrument. On the third hand, these spacecraft change their distance from the sun by vastly greater amounts than the earth does.

See also this blog post:

So yes, an interesting bit of science. Evidence for creationism ? Not so much. Assuming the effect is real and the mechanism is discovered, it could cause problems for existing models (ages based on decay rates), but DaveScot makes the classic creo mistake of assuming problems with current theory would be support for his.

Date: 2008/10/07 18:04:36, Link
Author: Reed
I posted this in the UD thread, but it here might be a better place for it.

Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance

Searching for modifications to the exponential radioactive decay law with the Cassini spacecraft

Weird stuff.

Date: 2008/10/07 22:41:50, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 22 2008,11:58)
The objection to modern physics is out there. I knew a guy in Raleigh who thought quantum mechanics was communist nonsense. He was a Randroid.

Why do the words Jüdische Physik come to mind ?

Date: 2008/10/08 12:54:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Oct. 07 2008,16:01)
Hey folks, I'm sure you've missed me these past few months. I've definitely missed you. Just wanted to remind you to mark Oct. 21 on your calendar, because that's the day you'll be able to pick up your very own copy of "Expelled" on DVD.

So Kevin, has the DVD version been updated to correct the more blatant errors ?

Like the obviously false claim that Sternberg was "fired" ?

Or the fact that Crocker was actively teaching creationist nonsense in a science class, rather than just mentioning id ?

Lemme guess...
1) We should all buy the DVD to find out.
2) If we do, we will find the answer is a big fat NO.

Date: 2008/10/08 21:36:45, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 08 2008,16:24)
As I've said endless times before, I have absolutely no intention of discussing specific YE arguments in this particular venue.  It would turn into a three ring circus.

You keep saying you don't want to discuss YEC theory, but you hold Walt Brown up as an example of a legitimate creationist researcher.

There is a problem with this. Walt's "theories" are obviously batshit crazy. Anyone with any knowledge in the fields he talks about can immediately see that he is either delusional, a fraud or both. The fact that you fail to recognize this, despite having many blatant examples pointed out to you by actual experts, doesn't speak well for either your eduction or your interest in learning.

Of course, you may say I'm just some random person on the internet (true!) and I don't understand Walts theory (also true, to the extent that the ravings of a lunatic can't really be understood.) Fine. Go to your local community college or university, pick biology, geology, astronomy or physics instructors (or even TAs) at random, and ask what they think of a the parts of Walts book that relate to their field. My prediction is that more than 50% will laugh out loud.

Date: 2008/10/10 15:44:46, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 10 2008,10:27)
My prediction is based on a God of infinite knowledge.

And hence, your "prediction" is not actually a prediction at all.

In your theory, what kind of universe couldn't be created by God ?

Date: 2008/10/11 19:17:46, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 11 2008,15:23)
One in which origins were easily explainable by humans.

Just to be clear, you are not stating that God is merely unnecessary for such universes, but rather he actually couldn't create them ?

My question referred to the kinds of universes that could not be created by God, not those which could only be created by God.

Date: 2008/10/11 19:34:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (dnmlthr @ Oct. 11 2008,16:02)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 11 2008,23:54)
Okay, which one of you assholes is Terry Fillups?

I predict a swift bannination with a side dish of loudspeaker + ensuing post-ban discussion among the UD regulars.

I see your bannination and raise you an obliviation.

Date: 2008/10/12 17:39:37, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 12 2008,13:51)
is still wrong. Palin didn't "have a hand in" firing Monegan, as the governor, she had hiring/firing responsibilities and she fired him herself. No other hands were involved.

Palin also claims to have not fired Monegan at all, but merely re-assigned him to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Due to differences of opinion about budgets and stuff... oh and insubordination.

But I can understand why FTK likes Palin, they have a lot in common:

In a Saturday conference call with Alaska journalists, Palin said she was "pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing ... any hint of any kind of unethical activity there." She denounced the investigation, calling it "a partisan circus."

Right, so the partisan circus cleared you of wrong doing ? ??? And this pleases you ? If that isn't FTK "logic", I don't know what is.

Say, has anyone actualy seen FTK and Palin in the same room ? I know FTK is *supposed* to be from Kansas, but... the similarities are striking ;)

Date: 2008/10/12 17:56:36, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 12 2008,12:02)
God is not "forced" to limit himself to our level of understanding, but it is highly unlikely that he would do so.  For example, what is the likelihood that all of man's inventions would be so simplistic that monkeys could figure them out?  It's so highly unlikely it's almost impossible.  Even the stuff we're doing now is beyond a monkey's level of comprehension.  And all we're doing is being ourselves.

If god is beyond our level of understanding, how can you make any rational statement about the likelihood of his actions ? You are claiming that god is unfathomable, while at the same time making predictions based on the alleged characteristics of god.

Your "argument from impossibility" appears to be a simple re-hash of the old argument from personal incredulity. Like most logical fallacies, it's a long time creationist favorite.

Date: 2008/10/15 01:00:44, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 14 2008,12:03)
What I want is an undisputed (by the experts), verifiable (all chemical steps worked out), possible pathway from non-life to life, or (if you read my blog) from some plausible precursor to the present E. coli amino acid synthesis system for lysine, threonine, isoleucine, and methionine.  There must be sufficient detail and the scientific community must reach a consensus that, 'yes, we've figured it out'.

Suppose you asked "the experts" in 1850 to give an equivalent description of any of the thousands of chemical process that we understand today.

Would their inability to do so constitute evidence for a designed universe ? Should Mendeleev have just said "obviously the work of an incomprehensible designer!" and moved on to something sensible, like prayer and flagellation ?

Science, unlike dogma, freely admits to not having complete answers. Of course we can't be certain that answers will be found, but so far it has done a hell of a lot better than explanations rooted in ancient myths.

Not a record I'd bet against.

Date: 2008/10/15 20:34:36, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 15 2008,14:26)
I've read through all your comments and I must say that none of you have tried to answer my question save Louis,

If you read them more carefully, you might have figured out why your question is irrelevant to your so called prediction.

The beauty of my prediction is that it doesn't depend on my knowledge of science, it depends on yours - all of you.  I'm predicting, not only that you don't know how any of life's systems came about, but that you never will!

The ugly side of your "prediction" is that it is purely negative and pulled out of thin air without any particular rational basis. Despite your protestations, it still boils down to the argument from ignorance. Acknowledging that you don't have any actual expertise in the relevant field, and without reading the literature Louis suggested, you don't think science will ever figure it out. We should care because ... ?

How is it different from any other unknown in science ? Better yet, how is it different from things that were completely mysterious at one time, but now are well understood ?

Compared to many of these, we actually have a pretty good idea of what is required for abiogenesis. Do we have the whole picture ? Hell no. We do however have a large set of puzzle pieces dumped out on the table, and putting it together looks like it's going to be a lot more fun that just saying "goddidit" and giving up.
Quote (Louis @ bathroom,wall)

Wow you read all those books and papers and the associated references in one night? Impressive. Truly amazing research Danny.

Now now, he clearly stated that he didn't need to read them to know what they would or wouldn't say ;) Truly Astonishing Reasoning Display!

Date: 2008/10/16 02:15:41, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 16 2008,08:53)
Science is about as atheistic as plumbing, or auto mechanics. Thomas Huxley coined the word "agnostic" to reflect the fact that science can neither confirm, nor refute the existance of a diety.

OTOH, science can show you that that ancient myths of supernatural entities are unreliable, which suggests that neither the myths nor theological ideas based on them merit special status.

IMHO, it's no coincidence that the scientific age has brought about a bigger rise in atheism than the preceding thousand years of theological study and debate. Science may not prove or disprove a deity, but it certainly supports a worldview that doesn't need one. In a world that appears to be governed by reason, what use is the concept of a deity whose characteristics (including existence) cannot be objectively determined ? How do you choose between the innumerable variants ?

On the original topic:
I'm sad to say, I haven't found the debate to be very entertaining so far. IMO AIG already lost the moment they said "The Biblical Account is Self-Authenticating and Self-Attesting"

If your argument is "My book says so, and it's true because it says so." ...  um ... U FAIL AT LOGICS GAME OVER K THX BYE. The fact it needs more of a response than LOLmockery is quite depressing.

Date: 2008/10/18 16:00:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 18 2008,10:37)
In other news, the not-burdened-with-overrated-intelligence Sarah Palin said God has blessed the US by giving it oil.

Interesting theory, lets examine it in more detail. The Islamic countries of the Middle east have far more proven reserves than the US, despite covering much less area. The most devout (Iran and Saudi) are particularly favored.

I'd say Mrs. Palins hypothesis looks promising*, but getting the maximal blessing from God may require some adjustments. How do you feel about wearing veils and giving up pork Mrs Palin ?

* although there are some unresolved questions regarding communist and ex-communist states.

Date: 2008/10/18 20:31:51, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Oct. 18 2008,17:28)
Bits and pieces don't cut it because when you try to connect them together there's always some big roadblock that pops up.

The history of science so far says otherwise. You have yet to offer any coherent explanation as to why this trend should suddenly stop.

As has been pointed out many times, your entire argument appears to rest on your own personal incredulity.

I am amazed at how easily you all accept that there must be some natural undirected origin for all of life.

Methodological naturalism has a pretty good track record so far... far better than the ancient superstitions you appear to prefer as an alternative.

Date: 2008/10/23 00:15:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Jkrebs @ Oct. 22 2008,14:34)
Yeah, Palin for President will really turn the campaign around.  Her campaign slogan could be "Four more years of Tina Fey!"

That would be compelling, but Fey herself appears to have already anticipated that move: Save Tina Fey.

Also, LOL at WW thinking Palins adoring fans are the silent majority. Of all thing things I could call anti-intellectual right wing loons, silent isn't the first that comes to mind.

Date: 2008/11/01 18:59:44, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 01 2008,09:46)
A) Lots of scientific research has been carried out by people who believe as I do in the last 4000 years.  Some of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time have been the result of the work of believers in a creative God.

But you are missing the critical point, as usual.

Those people figured stuff out in spite of being steeped in irrational dogma not based on the content of that dogma. Many great scientists have been religious, but I challenge you to point out any whose great discoveries were arrived at based on the content of their religious beliefs.

Newton didn't get his calculus or laws of motion from the ancient legends, he figured it out, using logic and evidence. The fact that he accepted some other loony beliefs isn't relevant to the validity of calculus, because calculus isn't based on those beliefs.

Date: 2008/11/05 00:21:21, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 03 2008,04:56)
What is everyone's Libation / Libation & Food Creation Of Choice to properly celebrate Tuesday Night?

Win or lose, the importance of properly marking your ballot cannot be overemphasized.

Date: 2008/11/13 02:43:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bystander @ Nov. 12 2008,22:11)
A bit of a dilemma for Dave. He has been pwned but can he actually banninate somebody from Nature.

I predict:

OTOH, silent bannination followed by declaring victory would also fit past observation.

Date: 2008/11/19 19:03:57, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 19 2008,12:30)
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 19 2008,12:24)

Al-Zawahri says in an audio message, which appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X. He calls Obama a "house negro."

I'm confused. Isn't Obama supposed to be a Muslim terrorist?

You aren't the only one.


Date: 2008/11/19 20:01:43, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 19 2008,17:37)
The scientific paradigm, at the time Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection, was, (what I would call), the "God paradigm" - it was widely held that a creator God had made the universe and everything in it and that all of creation was a reflection of God's character.


A) The God theory can be the basis of empirical science and can provide a framework for research (it has done so in the past).

You keep making this very fundamental mistake over and over.

The fact that belief in God was widespread does not imply that the belief provided any kind of foundation for the science of the day.

The scientific advances of the Enlightenment came in spite of prevailing dogma, not because of it. F=ma whether or not you accept Alchemy.

While many past scientists (and more than few present ones) have held the opinion that the study of science is a way of honoring the Creator, the validity of their results is based on logic and observation, and is completely independent from this belief.

There are many more errors in your post, but perhaps you could address this first ?

Date: 2008/11/22 00:00:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 21 2008,17:38)
You mean like the existence of an information carrying code at the heart of every cell?   Would that more logically follow from the premise that life was engineered or from the premise that life was the result of natural accidents?    

It's pretty crap engineering. Why put the whole genome in every cell ? Why not keep a handful of redundant copies with some fancy error correction, and then build each cell with only the bits it actually needs ? If that's proof of design, it's also proof the designer was a moron.

Oh right, God the designer moves in mysterious ways. Plus cancer and all the other shitty side effects of his crap designs give him a raging hardon*.

If you actually studied a little biology, you'd realize just how Rube Goldberg we are. Those nice diagrams that make cells look like machines... they are a simplification made by humans to help us understand particular process.

* Suffering after all is a sign of Gods love, right ?

Date: 2008/11/22 21:09:00, Link
Author: Reed
It should be noted that the Pythons are striking back at the rampant piracy of their work on youtube :D

Apropos the Codex Sinaiticus story.

Date: 2008/11/23 02:06:21, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Richard Simons @ Nov. 22 2008,22:33)
If front-loading were the case, it should be possible to look at a genome and say what traits are hidden but have not yet been expressed, to predict the evolution of an organism (unless, of course, you believe that perfection has now been reached and there will be no future change). Daniel - what progress has been made in this direction? Who, indeed, is even working on it?

Even in the latter case, we have an increasing number of ancient genomes available. If we sequence the ancestors of existing species, it should be possible to find the "front loaded" sequences for subsequently evolved traits.

On the subject of horizontal transfer, Carl Zimmer has a pair of fascinating posts on the emerald green sea slug. Those close minded darwinists have their explanation, can your front loading hypothesis offers something better Daniel ?

BTW Daniel, you never did explain why your designer makes such crap designs. Isn't your so-called prediction based on him being, like super smart and stuff ?

edited for speeelink

Date: 2008/11/23 19:39:32, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 23 2008,17:16)
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 22 2008,19:23)

Life is sometimes messy, yes. Matching heirarchies are expected when inter-species DNA transfer is not significant. If life was engineered they wouldn't be expected at all.

If life was engineered to evolve from a universal genome, such would indeed be expected.

So your claim is basically that there was one genome at the start, which was programmed to become all the diverse life we see ?

Do you claim that the mechanism by which this happens is subject to rational inquiry ? That is, if we examined the original, would we be able to see the complete plan for every past and present animal, or does it rely on God zapping various creatures gametes with apparently random phenomena like cosmic rays ?


Can you name one trait for which you can say that science has a good handle on how evolution formed it?

If you are going to claim an entire science is wrong, you should make some tiny effort to educate yourself. There are literally thousands of papers on this very subject.


Date: 2008/11/23 22:24:06, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 23 2008,17:16)
Do you realize how easily all multicellular life could have been wiped out by either rapid environmental changes or imbalance in nature?

Life is adaptable. This is a well observed fact. To wipe out everything, you have to change every environment on the planet, beyond the range that ALL of it's inhabitants can reproduce in, more rapidly than they can adapt to. There are relatively few phenomena that can do that to something the size of an entire planet, but we've come pretty close a number of times.

 Why hasn't one type of organisms taken over the world?

Wow. That's astonishingly dumb, even for you.

Please stop and think about that for a second. You should be able to see why it is utterly, mindbogglingly clueless. Here are some hints:
- Is the global environment uniform ?
- Is it static ?
- Are the species that make up certain ecosystems isolated from other similar ecosystems ?
- How frequently are mutations observed to occur ?
- Does the fitness of an organism in an ecosystem depend on the other organisms present ?
- Is an adaptation that is beneficial in one environment potentially disadvantageous in others ?

 Why haven't we ended up back at square one - ever?  The fact that life always seem to have just the right combination to flourish and maintain balance on this planet is evidence of planning.

More than 99% of species that ever existed are extinct. How is that "just the right combination" ? How about 60+% of living species dying off in a single event ? That's flourishing and maintaining balance ?

How about radical changes in the chemistry of the envronment ? How is that maintaining balance ?

Date: 2008/11/24 23:54:56, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 24 2008,13:08)
Don't play dumb.  If you see a neatly stacked, perfectly square pile of bricks, do you not immediately know that it is beyond the capabilities of nature to stack them in such a way?


edit: fix link

Date: 2008/11/25 21:19:26, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 25 2008,05:04)
I think these objections somewhat miss an opportunity.

It is certainly possible to find natural objects that appear to be artifacts.

Despite making such an objection, I agree. In fact, I had a long aside after the "oops", but figured short and sweet was better suited for Daniel... or at least better entertainment, since Daniel appears completely immune to reason.

There are obviously circumstances where we would conclude an artifact was made by non-human intelligence. Stonehenge on Mars might be subject to debate for a while (until we got a real good look at it) but if we found something like a MER rover, there wouldn't be any doubt. No one would say "gee... maybe that was assembled by a dust devil in a rock heap" :)

But as you say, this doesn't validate IDs "design detection" in biology. We, machine building humans, would have no trouble recognizing a MER-like artifact as designed. A 15th century craftsman would likely come to the same conclusion if he kept his superstitions in check, but an equally intelligent human from a stone age culture would have little to go on.

I once asked why real design detection looks nothing like id. No IDiots offered an answer.

Date: 2008/11/28 20:46:02, Link
Author: Reed

28 November 2008
Children are born with a belief in God
Andrew Sibley

Researchers from Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind have found evidence that children are predisposed to believe in God or a supreme being.

I guess that's a boost for the "scary monster under the bed"-ism and "if I close my eyes you can't see me"-ism too.

Teach the controversy!

Date: 2008/11/30 06:18:25, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 29 2008,17:53)
In all your bluster, in all of Bill's musings, and in all of Wesley's pontificating, there is one thing you're all forgetting:  Only a designer can organize complex materials for specific function.

We're not forgetting it Daniel... we've heard it from you and the rest of The Argument Regarding Design club a thousand times. We still don't fucking buy it, because it's just a bald assertion that isn't based on evidence.

Date: 2008/12/01 23:10:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 01 2008,19:05)

Having a scientific revolution is a process of convincing the scientific community that your hypothesis is more useful in some way. When evolutionists are producing tons of research using their idea, and your 'theorists' are producing jack, Ur Doin it Rong.

And that really is the crux of the matter isn't it ? If ID actually produced something that was useful, people would use it, and push the boundaries of it's usefulness as far as they could... regardless of the philosophical implications.

If ID theory helped you create pharmaceuticals faster, the pharma industry would be all over it. If YEC theory predicted where you could find oil, you know Chevron and Shell would hire YEC geologists, and YEC geology would be taught in every university. The oil companies have no stake in the biblical account being false. If astrology worked, the countries with the best astrologers would dominate the world. If prayer worked better than penicillin, your HMO would demand prayer.

But here's the rub Daniel... Observation shows that to a very good approximation, we don't live in that universe. Natural explanations displace supernatural ones, not because of some materialist agenda, but because the supernatural ones don't fucking work. If you are going to claim that yours is different, you'd better be prepared to show it.

All you have to do to defeat materialism is come up with magic that works better than materialist science. With the infinite power of God on your side, that should be pretty easy, right ?

Date: 2008/12/02 22:44:26, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 02 2008,17:07)
I don't see what the big difference would be.

Well yes, that is one of your problems.

 What difference does the current theory make in regard to pharmaceuticals or oil exploration?

Evolution informs a great deal of modern medicine. Random recent example:

Figuring out where the different Ebola strains came from, and how they relate to each other is a useful thing. Evolutionary theory contributes to this by making predictions. Tying together history, geography, host organisms, and the relationship between the various filoviruses could help contain outbreaks of the disease.

What does ID theory say about the relationship between Marburg, Ebola Zaire and Ebola Sudan ? Not a single fucking thing. The designer made them all, and presumably their differences only depend on whether he wanted 30% of or 60% of infected people to die a horrible death in specific areas. What a pal!


 The fossils will all still be in the same places whether evolution was front-loaded or accidental

Only if front loading was arbitrarily designed to mimic evolution (yo, nested hierarchies, when can't a single fucking IDiot understand them ?),

and drug research will still depend on molecular interactions and the specifics of whatever disease we're talking about.  None of that will change.

Because antibiotic resistance doesn't exist ? Because the mutation and adaption of harmful organisms and cancer cells is insignificant ? Because understanding the history of pathogens cannot possibly inform attempts to combat them ?

In a supernatural world, all of the above could be true. In the one we live in, they are completely false.

Date: 2008/12/04 18:57:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 04 2008,16:18)
What I find most interesting however is that when the author needed to actually produce some functional integration ...

What I find interesting vaguely entertaining is that the parts of the article that address your objections are the same ones you failed to quote.

Can haz design inference ?

Date: 2008/12/05 21:05:58, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Nerull @ Dec. 05 2008,09:08)
How about this? Every time throughout history someone has tried to explains something not fully understood with "Goddidit", they've been wrong. What makes you special?

"special" is another name for The Argument Regarding Design ;)

Date: 2008/12/09 00:08:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 08 2008,12:57)
Hey guys,

Guess what I found on my front doorstep this morning??!

The latest edition of Walt's book....*smiles*.

Most of us don't need more than a couple paragraphs of Walt's babble to determine conclusively that he is a liar, lunatic, or (my favored hypothesis) both.

Your inability to understand this represents an alarming failure to think critically, especially in light of the number of obvious examples that have been pointed out to you.

As an alternative to reading Walts tome, I'd highly recommend taking the lowest level science and critical thinking classes you can find at your local junior college. Learning to tell the difference between science and gobbledygook posing as science has the potential to benefit you greatly, regardless of your views on religion or evolution. It could even save your life. Or your kids lives.

Date: 2008/12/09 00:29:12, Link
Author: Reed
Barry Arrington: For example, in a recent post I used the example of Mt. Rushmore to illustrate a known instance of intelligent design.  I asked my readers to consider an investigator who knows nothing about the origin of the faces on the mountain other than their bare existence (perhaps an investigator from the far distant future after an apocalypse has erased all other records of human activity).  The investigator might conclude that the faces on the mountain were the product of chance and necessity, i.e., wind and rain and other environmental factors against all odds combined to form the exact replicas of the faces of four men.  Or the investigator could conclude from the obvious CSI exhibited by the carvings that they are the product of the purposeful efforts of an intelligent agent.  

So if you found, for example, a humaniod face on mars you would infer design. Right ?

Or maybe you could do mathematical analysis of neighboring land forms to prove that it was artificial. Sounds  lot like CSI, right ?

Date: 2008/12/09 23:16:41, Link
Author: Reed
Neanderthal genome half sequenced

John Hawks has some commentary

Date: 2008/12/11 18:53:52, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 11 2008,16:19)
If I say, "No one can come up with a detailed explanation for the origin of the E. coli amino acid synthesis system", that is also an assertion that can be tested and falsified.  If anyone can come up with a detailed explanation, my assertion has been disproven.

That presumes that you'd would accept some explanation as sufficiently detailed. Past results don't guarantee future performance, but the data so far suggests that no matter what evidence was offered, you just dismiss it based on your personal incredulity.

Serious question for a moment:
Do you honestly believe you've made a convincing argument for your position here ?  Do you really believe that if professional biologists looked at your "theories" without prejudice, they would find insights which would improve the human understanding of the biological world ?

Date: 2008/12/13 22:33:13, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 13 2008,17:08)

IOW, evolution by pre-existing but unexpressed coding.

Quote (Helen Pickersgill @ ,)

beyond a role in natural selection, phenotypic capacitors may also support the evolution of cancer cells, which are notoriously resilient to many environmental stresses and exhibit widespread genetic instability.

Your designer sure is a swell guy, front loading us with all the intricately designed mechanisms for cancer to evade treatment.

Date: 2008/12/14 16:12:13, Link
Author: Reed
I subscribe to the Tom Waits theory myself
Quote (Tom Waits @ Heartattack And Vine,)
Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk

From the looks of it, He hits the bottle a lot. Maybe an intervention is in order ?

Date: 2008/12/14 19:00:23, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Dec. 14 2008,14:13)
These IDiots can't go a single day without posting some sort of lies and deception.  Baby Jesus is gonna bawl his eyes out tonight.

This is just another example of how materialism is undermining the moral fabric of society. If it weren't for those damn Darwinists, decent Christians totally scientific cdesign proponentists wouldn't have to lie all the time.

Date: 2008/12/15 23:10:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 15 2008,09:12)
I'm not asking for an explanation that I will accept.  I'm asking for an explanation that will be accepted as "settled" by the experts.

If that's what you are waiting for, job done, go have a beer with your inner ape. You can have full confidence that at least 99.99% of biologists accept common descent and evolution through natural selection as extremely well tested and thoroughly confirmed. You can be equally assured that they agree your "front loading" hypothesis is completely at odds with the evidence, not to mention bat shit crazy.

Oh wait...

The problem with all the "answers" provided here so far is that none of them are even close to settling the question.

You disregard the overwhelming consensus of people who actually know what the fuck they are talking about, because you don't find it convincing. Guess that beer will have to wait until we come up with something that you personally find acceptable after all.

It would restore some of my faith in humanity to know Daniel was just a troll having a laugh... if I hadn't met people who were actually that stupid in real life. Not that our interaction with him will have any effect in either case ;)

Date: 2008/12/16 23:49:53, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 16 2008,09:07)
Cancer and other degenerative diseases are often the result of intricately ordered systems that quit working correctly.

Have you ever looked at cancer dude ? I mean really looked at cancer ?


God made viruses, bacteria and weeds, he also allowed for degeneration of physical systems.

So when cancer evolves* into a transmissible disease, is the hand of God involved ?

* Yup it does. This is a clue to the previous question.

Date: 2008/12/18 19:58:27, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 18 2008,16:11)
It should be easy - right Bill??  I mean you believe it's already been done.  Maybe if you try closing your eyes and visualizing it, a solution will pop into your head and you'll be able to show me these "many complex systems" for which the explanation already exists!

You seem to think that your failure to do your homework is somehow an argument in support of your position.

The problem is that we know perfectly well there are thousands of papers out there detailing various aspects of evolution in mind numbing detail. The fact that you appear unwilling to acknowledge the existence of this body of knowledge suggests strongly that you aren't in any position to claim it is wrong. This is further demonstrated to by your continued failure to grasp the most basic principles of science and logic.

BTW, I asked you earlier:

Serious question for a moment:
Do you honestly believe you've made a convincing argument for your position here ?  Do you really believe that if professional biologists looked at your "theories" without prejudice, they would find insights which would improve the human understanding of the biological world ?

Well, how about it. If the "darwinsts" suddenly opened their eyes to "design", would the state of biological knowledge advance ?

Date: 2008/12/20 06:27:28, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Missing Shade of Blue @ Dec. 19 2008,23:25)

"Granted that nature is uniform, what does that mean?"

As far as science is concerned, it doesn't mean anything. It's just a phenomena which is consistently observed. If we didn't live in such a universe, there would be no such thing as science.

"deeper" meaning is irrelevant, unless it provides some testable prediction. If it makes you happy, say God created it this way just for us.

What happened was that hominid color biases were fixed millions of years ago, and then they continued to be successful.

Human (never mind all hominid) color perception isn't fixed. The frequency of red/green color blindness suggests large variations aren't an overwhelming disadvantage. So does the success of species with different levels of color vision. Color vision undoubtedly provided an advantage to some of our ancestors, but contingency probably played a big role too. One can certainly imagine a color blind species coming out roughly the same way we did.

What I am asking is how evolution knew which biases to pick (out of the infinite number of choices) all those years ago.

Bad assumptions. There aren't an infinite number of choices that work in our universe, and evolution can only build on what came before. It doesn't know anything. The lineages that went in directions which turned out wrong (and they outnumber successful lineages by orders of magnitude) aren't around to speculate about it.

Date: 2008/12/20 19:33:07, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Missing Shade of Blue @ Dec. 20 2008,13:02)

2) Our inductive biases are not particularly successful, and in so far as they are, it's just a lucky accident. Think of all the other species that went extinct due to bad inductive biases (the dodo, for instance). I don't find this satisfactory either. While evolution has no doubt sampled a large number of different sorts of inductive biases, and many have proved unsuccessful, it is also true that the number of biases sampled is an infinitesimally small proportion of the total number of possible biases. And yet it managed to hit on ones that have allowed a number of species to survive for millions of years after the respective biases evolved. This seems too improbable to be explicable as a lucky accident. So we should expect that the sampling wasn't random. There was some kind of search mechanism that looked for biases that more or less match the natural structure of the world. What I have been arguing is that this search mechanism could not have been natural selection, because when you lack information beyond a certain point in time, it radically underdetermines your judgments about which predicates are natural.

This seems to boil down to an argument from personal incredulity. You find it unsatisfying or extremely unlikely, but can you back that dissatisfaction up with a specific, real world example of where evolution is insufficient ? The grue/bleen example definitely fails the real world criteria, at multiple levels.

We appear to live in a universe that is consistent enough for induction to be useful. If you accept that, then evolution producing creatures which successfully use induction should be completely unsurprising. Successfully approximating the future can help you reproduce, and biochemical processes can produce such approximations. If the inductive biases of our early hominid ancestors gave them an advantage, it was because those biases in some way reflected the real world. In a relatively consistent universe, it follows that their successful descendants would tend to inherent biases that reflected the real world they lived in.

Your argument that evolution needs to predict certain things (picking the "right" biases millions of years in advance) looks like it can be rephrased as a statement that the pace of change of our environment has been sufficiently low to avoid complete extinction. Looking at the actual characteristics of our planet and biology, this does not seem especially remarkable. If you are going to claim that it is beyond the reach of observed mechanism, you'd better come up with some specific data.

Date: 2008/12/20 22:29:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Missing Shade of Blue @ Dec. 20 2008,18:20)
Picture yourself in the role of evolution. You are presented with a particular phenotype, you look at it, look at the environment in which it lives and decide how fit it's going to be.

This is a terrible way of thinking about it. Evolution doesn't think, doesn't plan, doesn't care how many species go extinct. It's not striving toward some specific goal. It just tinkers and kills. Your burden, if you are going to claim that this is insufficient, is to come up with a specific case where it is demonstrably insufficient. Not a contrived example with no connection to the real world.

To belabor the point:
Now I agree with you that this would work if we assumed that the pace of change in the environment would be slow, and maybe evolution had some reason for making that assumption (apologies again for the anthropomorphization).

Don't apologize, just don't do it. Evolution doesn't make assumptions. We observe that the pace of change is slow enough that life has been able to adapt to it so far. Based on this observation, evolution appears to be a sufficient explanation. If you want to claim this is not so, come up with some specifics.

The whole grue/bleen analogy doesn't cut it. I thought you already acknowledged this, but it appears not.

1) Vision (like most traits of living creatures) is sloppy. A good fraction of humans are dichromats, a few are monochromats, and some may even be tetrachromats. Trichromats appear to be favored, but one can easily imagine a slightly different history where we ended up dichromat, like many other successful species. Evolution didn't pick some single right answer in advance, it just rolled the dice and we adapted to the result. If the dice landed differently, we would have adapted differently, or gone extinct.

2) The hypothetical case of the world suddenly strongly favoring grue/bleen is fantasy. Evolution doesn't account for it, which is fine, because it hasn't happened.

3) If it did happen, the sloppiness in 1) suggests that it wouldn't necessarily be fatal. If were fatal... so what ? The vast majority of species that have existed are extinct, precisely because they faced contingencies that evolution didn't "plan" for. The same could happen to us at any moment. We are, in essence, the descendants of a long line of lottery winners. That sounds unlikely (or maybe a sign of outside interference, as the ID camp would like to claim), until you realize that everyone with a losing ticket has been shot, and the winners have had enough children to replace them.

edot for tipoes!

Date: 2008/12/28 04:34:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 28 2008,00:57)
This looks like it could have come straight from a Chick tract, but no, it's from a PowerPoint presentation called What Does Calculus Have to Do With Christianity? on Galapagos Finch's website. Besides falling for Pascal's Wager, it looks like Gloppy doesn't know the difference between a Venn diagram and a payoff matrix:

I've taken the liberty of fixing it up for him

but not as fast as lou :(

Date: 2008/12/29 20:35:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (tards @ short,bus)

Then he added something profound: he said he knows that in the end, science, not politics will settle this dispute.

so, it's not settled... but they totally now which way it's going to come out!!!

Date: 2009/01/04 16:50:10, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (keiths @ Jan. 04 2009,13:59)
Quote (KCdgw @ Jan. 04 2009,13:31)
From Joy:
Unicycles have no "function," they exist purely for entertainment/stunt purposes - though they do qualify as machines. They are NOT useful in any other application, including the primary function of all other wheeled vehicles (such as a bicycle), which is getting a person/load from point A to point B with a minimum of effort. A ball has no "function," though humans use them as toys, for exercise, to juggle (entertainment), for sports and games.



Just imagine what it's like to be Joy.

Without even getting into entertainment being a function, I'm gonna take a wild guess Joy's never done this

Date: 2009/01/10 19:56:58, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 10 2009,10:31)
 The aspect of front-loading that might seem miraculous to us (and the part that I'm agreeing to) is the necessity for foreknowledge of world environmental conditions.

So you are saying that Quetzalcoatl el diseńador knows exactly what is going to happen, right down to which individuals are going to reproduce and which radioactive decay products are going to zap which nucleotides in those individuals gametes. All billions of years in advance... but this isn't supernatural!

What imaginable universe is not "explained" by this hypothesis ? How does your hypothesis provide more useful predictions than theistic evolution or last Tuesdayism ?

The alternative is to claim that the front loading doesn't depend on these random events coming out a particular way, that the actual designs for every living thing existed in some identifiable form in earlier organisms, and some identifiable mechanism existed to maintain it.

Unfortunately, this has a problem too. I won't spoil the surprise, but it starts with an E.

Date: 2009/01/12 23:05:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 12 2009,17:17)
Front-loading requires omniscience in the same way that successful DNA encoding does.

That's your conclusion, which you are assuming.
Also, (to use your argument), front-loading happened billions of years ago - so how can we know that all the genetic "spit-swapping" that went on back then didn't produce a super-genome from which all others descended?

We have a fair idea of the causes of mutations, and what rate they happen at. Based on that alone, "front loading" fails without massive, unjustifiable special pleading.
I don't care if my argument is scientific or not, I don't care if it contributes anything to the empirical research of methodological naturalists, I especially don't care if those who embrace methodological naturalism reject it, I only care if it's true.

How would such "truth" be more relevant than last Tuesdayism ?
I guess he feels he's winning our imaginary debate.

Some of us enjoy highlighting choice bits of The Argument Regarding Design in your posts. Your non-response when the obvious absurdity of your position is pointed out is certainly noted, but does not detract from the enterprise! I would be shocked if anyone here (except you) believes you've made rational argument, never mind a compelling one. The "debate" is an attempt corner you into realizing how astoundingly bad your arguments are, or in the alternative, to have a laugh.

Date: 2009/01/15 00:05:26, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 14 2009,16:20)
1) There are already protections in place aimed at preventing mutations.  Who's to say they haven't always been there?

Gee, maybe if you actually studied the subject, you could figure out whether the evidence supports this idea!

One of the most entertaining things about you is how you think whatever random bullshit happens to pop into your head is just as likely to be valid as real science that has thousands of person years of careful study behind it.

The BIG problem for a naturalist (of any kind) comes when they try to explain exactly how something of sufficiently complex organization was constructed by unguided forces.

Example of you just Making Shit UP.

Date: 2009/01/15 02:01:41, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (dochocson @ Jan. 14 2009,22:53)
Ah, but in the UD/IDiot world, authors of scientific papers don't understand what those papers really say.

Either that or they are secret ID researchers, who go through the motions of Darwinism to avoid being Expelled! Posting a comment like that on PZs blog is just deep cover. :D

Date: 2009/01/15 22:56:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 15 2009,16:33)
What world do you live in?

Just because some great scientists are Christian, does not imply that their Christian philosophy contributed to their scientific discoveries. If you read the list, you might notice that quite the opposite is true: Their great contributions were frequently due to preferring empiricism over dogma, despite living societies steeped in dogma.

This is the kind of error that would get you an F in high school logic class. Even more embarrassing, you've had this error pointed out to you several times before. Not good for a guy who's claiming the last 200 years of biology is all wrong.

Repeating clueless garbage like this is one of the reasons people here don't take you seriously.

Clarity and speeelink, not that it will help.

Date: 2009/01/16 00:27:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Badger3k @ Jan. 15 2009,21:34)
Or is Daniel one of those post-modern Christians who believe that everyone's ideas are true at the same time?

No, he may apply post-modernist standards to theories that accord with his own world view, but he is very sure that evolution could not possibly be true!

Date: 2009/01/16 00:49:37, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Jan. 15 2009,19:34)
As for me being a troll, you've devoted an entire thread to tearing apart Expelled and assasinating the character of everyone involved.

Hahaha. Let's see, your little propaganda movie
- Equated science with nazism.
- Implied that the scientific community was engaged in an active conspiracy to suppress the advancement of human knowledge.
- Accused various people and institutions unjustly "expelling" various people, by grossly misrepresenting the circumstances involved.

...but you think the name calling here is character assassination ?

Ah well, at least you got a glowing review from Roger Ebert.

Date: 2009/01/16 19:09:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 16 2009,16:06)
You've defeated a position I never researched, never pursued, and never disputed.  (I did, however, express my indifference to the subject.)

Once again, you miss the point. Your "indifference" to the flood shows that you are utterly clueless. Moreover, your "indifference" wasn't that indifferent. You claimed that you had never researched the subject, but you hadn't seen any evidence against it.

You don't have to research: Simple geometry should tell you that a global flood is nonsense. Volume of water to reach > 8 km over current sea level, where did it come from, where did it go ?

This may not be relevant to your argument, but it certainly highlights your failure to think critically. Much like the error I pointed out in my previous post. If you can't recognize elementary problems like this, it's no surprise you haven't been able to see the problems with your argument, despite having them pointed out to you many times.

But do feel free to declare victory ;)

Date: 2009/01/17 17:25:42, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Jan. 17 2009,09:07)
But wouldn't it be simpler to admit that your Germany/Nazi analogy was inaccurate and that anonymous character assassination is your forte?

Don't you see even a tiny bit of hypocrisy here, given the content of your movie ?

You get such a strong reaction here (and from reality based folks everywhere) because your film was obviously a deliberately dishonest on reason, science and scientists everywhere, all with the transparently obvious goal of promoting a particular religious agenda.

Your continued insistence that it was something else just makes you look like a dishonest hack.

Have you ever noticed that pretty much the only people who said anything good about your movie were fundamentalists ? That almost all the promoters of ID have a fundamentalist Christian agenda ? That ID has produced no credible science ? Are you so deluded by your own agenda that you honestly think this is just a coincidence ?

Something that really irked me during the time I worked on Expelled was the fact that people who occupied the various sides of this debate were more interested in hunkering down in their chosen corner and talking ABOUT the people who disagreed with them rather than actually trying to engage the other side(s).

ID is an obvious front for a religious agenda. It has no evidence to support it, and clearly has no place in science. As long as ID supporters insisting that their bullshit should be considered science, rather than actually doing science, there is nothing for rational people to engage.

Date: 2009/01/17 18:23:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 17 2009,09:33)
Also, I've given you free reign to pick the system for which a pathway can be shown.  That means that - if you don't want to explain how nature produced my "extremely complicated" pathway (which is extremely simple compared to a ribosome, or a cell, or an eye, or a brain), then you can pick the system for which a natural pathway can be shown.

Our unwillingness to do your homework for you does not constitute an argument for your position. There is a vast body of literature on the evolution of various biological systems. Your claiming victory on the basis that we refuse to spoon feed it to you just makes you look stupid.

Your repeated failures at basic logic (see here and here and here for just a few examples) make it clear that spoon feeding you highly technical arguments about molecular biology would be pointless. So does your inability to distinguish between the droolings of a kook like Davison and actual science.

If you can actually pick a random paper on evolutionary biology and prove that it has glaring flaws, have at it. I'm sure we will all be suitable embarrassed when your letters are published in Nature, and even more embarrassed when every previously published paper on evolutionary biology is retracted. Ah well, science marches on!

Date: 2009/02/12 03:15:39, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (RFJE @ Feb. 11 2009,18:18)
Have you ever seen a man who couldn't walk get up after African pastors prayed for him in the name of Jesus?

Even if this anecdote had evidence to back it up, it's not terribly compelling in the grand scheme of things.

Consider smallpox: It seems reasonable to assume any believer in prayer would pray for a cure if affected by it. Yet for the last few thousand years, about 1 in 3 of those infected died, without regard to who they prayed to.

Unlike prayer, variolation brought the fatality rate down significantly. In other words... snorting smallpox scabs is a demonstrably more effective than praying. A lot more effective.

Humans, with a bit of science and a lot of hard work accomplished what the preceding millennia of prayer could not: the complete eradication of the disease.

Or how about rabies. Without modern treatment, it is essentially 100% fatal. God cures your sisters lactose intolerance, but ignores every single rabies victim until Pasteur comes along ? Nice!

Date: 2009/02/13 17:59:05, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (RFJE @ Feb. 12 2009,20:03)

In any case, I don't think she saw it as putting God to the test.  She had a relationship with God and that was between her God.  In any case, she has been drinking milk for years with never a problem.

Have you ever wondered why your God would cure your sisters milk allergy, yet not cure a single* rabies victim after the onset of neurological symptoms ? Of all the thousands of people who die horrible deaths every year, are none more deserving of help than allowing your sister to drink milk ?

As for the case in Africa, you have to understand that they are a more spiritually based culture.  The idea that there is no spirit world to them to mock, just like atheists here mock Christians.  And I am talking about predominantly the village culture, (which is where I worked mainly) not urban upper class.

If you accept these anecdotal claims of prayer based miracles, why would you not also accept the same peoples claims of witchcraft ? For example, do you believe that wizards can steal ones penis by magic ? How about the evil eye ?

Have you ever noticed that frequency of supernatural events has a direct correlation to the anecdotal nature of the evidence and the prevalence of superstition in the population ?

* In the interest of accuracy, there are a handful of reports of people surviving clinical rabies, e.g. However, in comparison to the millions of victims in human history, it is very a small number indeed.

Date: 2009/02/14 00:01:04, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (RFJE @ Feb. 13 2009,20:23)
And wouldn't some of you have been right there.  Well when you said  those things about Him directly you were---under His cross, saying just like the Pharisees, "If he is the son of God, let him come down from the cross and save himself."  ---If he is the son of God let him grow limbs on amputees.

You are the one who offered supposedly miraculous cures as an argument for belief in god. We just attempted to point out the implications of this claim.

I'm not asking your god to show his power. I'm asking you how you reconcile your assertion that god cured your sisters allergy to milk with the apparent fact that he never cures rabies victims.

As for me, I defer to the gospel of Waits:
Quote (Tom Waits @ heartattack, vine)
don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk

Date: 2009/02/15 05:32:42, Link
Author: Reed
A nice bit from Susan Jacoby in the washing post:

I particularly liked this

I should emphasize that I am not referring to the minority of biblical literalists who believe in the truth of every word in the creation story in Genesis. If your faith tells you that Adam and Eve were real people, specifically created by God as the culmination of a six-day process that began with "let there be light," there is nothing to talk about--and I don't know why you would want to spend one more second reading or arguing about evolution.

Date: 2009/02/19 19:51:57, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (raguel @ Feb. 19 2009,17:27)
Yeah, this is a problem. If only there was a field of study in which we could determine experimentally why molecules react the way they do. That way we could predict what products would form, based on initial conditions. I propose we name this new field "chemistry".

Or what if we could look out into the universe around us, and see other solar systems in various stages of formation ? We could call it "astronomy"!

Date: 2009/02/21 16:09:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (RFJE @ Feb. 21 2009,13:27)
You are not guilty of the same thing?  Has your big bang model or geologic time scale changed much?  Everything that doesn't fit into it is rejected as insanity.  

This is just flat wrong. Not only are you shockingly ignorant of basic chemistry, you appear to be completely ignorant of the history of science as well.

Wikipedia has a decent synopsis on the age of the earth. The consensus has changed repeatedly based on new evidence. The fact that the ~4 billion years estimate has stood the last 70 years or so is based on a confluence of good evidence, not dogmatism.

Both a billion+ year old earth and the big bang* were greeted with skepticism and even ridicule until enough evidence was gathered to make the conclusions inescapable. This is something you could get from a basic popular history of science, a childrens encyclopedia, or even teh intertoobs!

* recall that the term itself was originally coined to ridicule the idea.

Date: 2009/03/06 19:29:41, Link
Author: Reed
Carl Zimmer has a nice post about viroids.

Date: 2009/03/14 00:54:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Mar. 12 2009,17:07)
Do you really want to know?

If you really want to know if God exists, he'll reveal himself to you.  But (and this is the one that usually kills the deal) it has to be on his terms - not yours (he IS God after all).

Did God reveal himself to this guy ? If not, how do you distinguish your experience of God from his ? It's not like the God of Abraham hasn't told people to kill on occasion.

OK, I'm being snarky, but it's a serious question. If you don't rely on reason, how do you distinguish your experience of God from mental illness, brain injury or the effects of certain chemicals ? All of these produce what the subjects believe to be genuine religious experiences. What's special about yours ?

Date: 2009/03/18 00:07:23, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Badger3k @ Mar. 17 2009,20:53)
"Look around you" is not evidence.

No, but it was a highly educational show ;)

Date: 2009/03/26 00:07:12, Link
Author: Reed
My god designer.

Joseph: Not even fractally wrong. Or would that be Joseph: Fractally not even wrong ?

Date: 2009/04/12 19:23:34, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ April 12 2009,16:37)
I thought dark matter was hypothesized to explain the orbital velocities of stars within galaxies? It seems like that issue would be there regardless of where the galaxy came from in the first place.


That's my understanding as well. Furthermore, the effects have of dark matter been observed pretty directly:

The history of dark matter also touches on the claim (in the statement Peter Henderson quoted) that dissent isn't tolerated. From what I recall taking intro astronomy in the late 90s, there was still quite a bit of resistance to the idea. Observation showed that something wasn't right, but there was still hope that it could be resolved in some way that didn't require inventing a whole new weird class of matter. Dark matter survived because it fit the evidence better than the alternatives, not because it's gospel of the big-bangist conspiracy.


Date: 2009/05/02 23:43:33, Link
Author: Reed
Interesting bit on the evolution design of capsaicin in chili peppers

Date: 2009/05/04 22:02:28, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (sTARTERkIT @ May 04 2009,18:00)
Modern science can do nothing  about this. For every solution found, new maladies crop up.

Date: 2009/05/09 15:34:56, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Daniel Smith @ May 09 2009,10:10)
I did not come here to debate the flood.  

Yes, but your comments on the flood directly reflect your ability to evaluate evidence. The fact that you appear to believe that a global flood is both plausible and perhaps supported by the evidence strongly suggests that you aren't equipped to take on high school level geometry, never mind nitty gritty the details of molecular biology.

I came here to point out the fact that the atheists here do not know how life came to be, do not know how life evolved, and ignore its obvious design.

Note the dishonest implication that it's only atheists who accept the current scientific consensus. I suppose the millions of Christians who spent their academic lives in evolutionary biology weren't True Christians.

Date: 2009/05/14 23:29:50, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 14 2009,07:42)
There is a recent article on the prebiotic formation of an RNA.

The Nature abstract ->

Carl Zimmer has a nice post about this

Date: 2009/05/23 21:50:46, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (dvunkannon @ May 23 2009,18:04)
Obviously, the NT writers were attempting to align J's life with as many proof texts as possible. You can make Obama the Messiah using that strategy. Heck, you can probably make Osama the Messiah that way.

I think you'll find many of StephenB's fellow travelers do take seriously the possibility that Obama is the subject of biblical prophesies. However, through an objective analysis of the relevant facts, they generally conclude that he is batting for the other team.  

Was this UD thread supposed to be about sciencyness or truthiness?

StephenB's latest foray into apologetics certainly warrants a hearty All Science So Far!

Date: 2009/06/08 22:53:33, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,June 08 2009,18:39)
my god sometimes i wonder if i am going mad...  perhaps I somehow am jerry...  glimmers and fumbling recollections...  pictures reflecting from a trembling teardrop, the smell of should-have lingering in the air the way it was remembered...

A Scanner Tardly. Too much substance T, man.

Date: 2009/06/19 22:19:26, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Doc Bill @ June 19 2009,18:56)

So my challenge to Luskin and the DI is to come here and do your best.  Show us that we're wrong and demonstrate why.

Somehow I think it's going to be summer crickets at night time.

Casey did grace us with his presence once, in this very thread

As should be plain to any reasonable person, this is simply not the right venue* but he does very generously forgive us all.

* For unspecified reasons which undoubtedly have absolutely nothing to do with the fact there is no ID friendly censorship here!

Date: 2009/06/26 22:18:18, Link
Author: Reed
Dear Clive Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Right ?

Date: 2009/06/29 01:36:34, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (sparc @ June 28 2009,19:53)

This creationwiki article exhibits Jerry's position on common descent vs.  common ancestry as 100% YEC:                    
... That tigers, panthers, and cheetahs share a common ancestor is a view accepted by most young earth creationists.

Despite this conclusion readers are redirected to the common descent page when they click the common ancestor link embedded therein. I guess this is the vicious circle Jerry's argument is based on.

I hope I'm not the only one amused that their choice of felids are estimated to have diverged earlier than humans and chimps.

If they accept that cheetahs and tigers (never mind the several species that "panther" might refer to) are of the same "kind", why not humans and chimps ?

BTW sparc, expelling Wes to the frigid south has it's own thread.

Date: 2009/07/01 19:29:39, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ July 01 2009,08:15)
Shuttle Endeavour is preparing to launch tonight, 739 PM Eastern.

Launch window opens July 11. There was a tanking test today.

Unrelated but cool and sciencey

Date: 2009/07/09 21:48:49, Link
Author: Reed
HT to John Hawks who blogged this briefly.

Pew's summary of the survey conclusions

Some interesting tidbits.
The consensus among scientists on evolution and global warming is almost equal:
... 87% of scientists say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection. Just 32% of the public accepts this as true.
84% of scientists say the earth is getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, just 49% of the public agrees.

Manufactuversy, it works!:
Despite the overwhelming agreement among scientists about evolution and climate change, substantial minorities of Americans think there is no scientific consensus on these issues. While a 60% majority of the public says that scientists generally agree that humans have evolved over time, nearly three-in-ten (28%) say that scientists do not generally agree.

A comparable majority (56%) says that scientists generally agree that the earth is warming because of human activity. However, more than a third (35%) says that scientists do not generally agree.

In both cases, people’s perceptions of a scientific consensus are strongly correlated with their own views on the issue. Fully 79% of those who say life has evolved due to natural selection say there is a scientific consensus on this issue. Fewer than half (43%) of those who say life was created in its current form see such a consensus.

This pattern is even more pronounced when it comes to views about whether there is a scientific consensus over climate change. About three-quarters of people (76%) who say human activity is driving global warming think that most scientists agree on this point. Fewer than half (41%) of those who say warming is mostly due to atmospheric changes think there is a scientific consensus on the issue. Among the small share of the public (11%) that says there is no solid evidence of global warming, just 22% say there is scientific agreement that human activity is causing global warming, while 68% think there is no agreement among scientists on the issue.

Possibly related:
About three-quarters (76%) of scientists say it is a major problem for science that news reports do not effectively distinguish between well-founded scientific findings and those that are less well-founded.

Science: liberal/jew/atheist conspiracy ?
Slightly more than half of scientists (52%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 14% who describe themselves as very liberal. Among the general public, 20% describe themselves as liberal, with just 5% calling themselves very liberal.

Most scientists identify as Democrats (55%), while 32% identify as independents and just 6% say they are Republicans. When the leanings of independents are considered, fully 81% identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, compared with 12% who either identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP.
The ratio of Protestant to Catholic identification is similar among scientists, though far fewer scientists are affiliated with either (20% Protestant, 10% Catholic). Nearly one-in-ten scientists (8%) are Jewish. By comparison, only about 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish. Among the large group of religiously unaffiliated scientists, about equal numbers describe themselves as “nothing in particular” (20% of all scientists) and as atheists (17%); 11% say they are agnostic.

Possibly related:
About three-quarters of scientists (77%) believe the claims about the Bush administration [that they did not allow government scientists to report findings that contradicted administration policy] are true, while just 6% say they are false. And virtually all of the scientists who say these claims are true – 71% of scientists overall – believe that these practices occurred more often during the Bush administration than during previous administrations.

Date: 2009/07/22 21:33:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (dogdidit @ July 22 2009,06:25)
But seriously, and no offense intended, you need some professional help, dude.

Heh heh.

It is not my habit to venture into the tard mines. Being cowardly and fearing for my sanity, I am content to feed on those morsels brought to the surface here. However, upon seeing the above, I inferred that a particularly choice nugget must be lurking nearby. Against my better judgment, I was drawn to seek it out. Holding my breath against the foul vapors therein, I descended into those loathsome pits, and lo, what did I behold ? A diabolical gem of tard:
Quote (denial @ tard,pit)
The forces are already beginning the strategic alignments of disparate God-hating groups. One key element will be conservative Muslims aligned with extreme left-wing radicals and atheists. Such alignments make no sense in the physical world, but they make perfect sense in the spiritual world.

That's right, God-hating groups like conservative Muslims. Makes sense in the spiritual world Daniels psychotic delusion. Seriously dude, get help.

Date: 2009/07/25 00:23:52, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (midwifetoad @ July 24 2009,21:56)
I feel a bit guilty foisting this website on innocents, but it's the weekend, so what the hey.

As well you should!

Someone recently pointed me to Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians (Yeah, I'm probably behind the times.) Anyway, despite some doubts about whether his results merit the significance he attaches to them... his profile of the kind of people attracted to the religious right should be eerily familiar to anyone who has spent any time watching UD or attempting discussion with likes of FTK, Daniel Smith etc.

Date: 2009/07/28 22:26:34, Link
Author: Reed A. Cartwright
Mr. Mystery = Pres. Jimmy  Carter

Date: 2009/07/29 03:02:50, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (didymos @ July 28 2009,23:24)
There's been another foot shooting over at UD:

Mysteries of Cosmology & Space
Monday May 26, 2008
Theoretical physicist Dr. Richard Hammond discussed his new book The Unknown Universe, which explores mysterious aspects of cosmology and space. Cosmic acceleration, he explained, is the accepted concept that the universe is in a constant state…
Host: George Noory
Guest(s): Richard Hammond, Richard C. Hoagland

I’m sure you have a point in there somewhere Diffaxial?

Hahahaha. One of the few people in the world whose batshit crazy can compete with the UDiots.

Date: 2009/08/09 18:09:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (afarensis @ Aug. 09 2009,15:57)
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 09 2009,17:47)
Please tell me this is referring to a Poe. Please tell me those are not real course requirements for a real course at a real seminary. Please tell me Dembski is not this vapid. Please, please, please!


I do believe that was discussed up thread, but I wouldn't swear to it...

Way back on page 436

Date: 2009/08/09 20:53:45, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (SoonerintheBluegrass @ Aug. 09 2009,18:35)
I'm going with this as the culprit:

lots of farting.

Or maybe the tone.  But that seems to be called for given the obtuse nature of Bowman's posts.

I'd take a wild guess that lots of links triggers some kind of spam filter. Even if it isn't automatically blocked, it may be waiting approval mixed in with real spam.

tinyurl may also play a role, since it's a fairly popular way of disguising undesirable links. It may also fall foul of their comment policy

Q: If you don't allow any HTML, how can I include a link in my comment?
A: If you include a URL in your comment, it will be converted to a link. Please note, comments containing links to personal blogs and other inappropriate sites will be deleted. ONLY links to relevant news stories or sites are acceptable.

Emphasis added. I'll leave it to you to figure out the logic of a blog that doesn't allow links to blogs in comments... when the subject of the original post is a blog ;)

Date: 2009/08/11 20:09:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (damitall @ Aug. 11 2009,12:27)

Is there any IDer left over there who is even slightly sane?

I have a theory* on this subject. Those individuals who are slightly sane, moderately sensible or vaguely rational are unsuited to long term survival as IDers.

At any given time, through random variations, individuals not capable of swallowing immense loads of bullshit might appear in the population, but they are quickly eliminated by their limited tolerance for this product. Those with the greatest tolerance (not coincidentally, also the greatest producers) remain in the population indefinitely. In summary the character of the population is the result of a blind arithmetic sorting process... what one might term a kind of natural selection.

* which is mine, this theory that it is.

Date: 2009/08/29 20:19:09, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Zachriel @ Aug. 29 2009,06:59)
Someone else who doesn't grasp the distinction between the model and the implementation. Yes, computerist. You have to take your computer out in the rain to simulate the weather. Simulating volcanic eruptions can be rather tricky too.

It's shocking that the DOE wastes billions developing and operating some of the largest compute clusters in the world. They think this allows them to simulate atomic weapons without actually doing live testing, but if they would just pay attention to ID science, they'd know that the simulation isn't accurate without a real nuke going off in the middle of the data center.

Date: 2009/09/11 20:45:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 11 2009,12:41)
It might be interesting to see what stupid stuff you could get your congregation to believe.

There has been some pretty in depth research performed in this area already. You'd be hard pressed to examine the subject more thoroughly than the late L. Ron Hubbard.

And yes JohnW, books were sold ;)

Date: 2009/09/14 17:24:58, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (deadman_932 @ Sep. 14 2009,12:58)
FL stated that "Evolution is incompatible with Christianity." Period. No qualifiers.

Given that Behe and Dembski both accept that differing degrees of evolutionary change have already occurred, that would seem to indicate that both are also not Christians.

Yet they would (and do) say otherwise.

Interesting point, or as interesting as it gets in this dismal little exercise.

Even most of the loony YECs admit to "microevolution". In fact many (Ken Ham for example) have evolution from the original "kinds" on the ark to present diversity happening unrealistically fast. If you can go from original "canid kind" to dogs, wolves, coyotes and foxes (!) in 4000 years, it's hard to see what the objection would be to an original hominid "kind" diverging into chimps and humans over a period more than a thousand times longer.

If FL were actually interested dialog (yeah right), he'd do well to define what he means by evolution and christian up front.

Date: 2009/09/14 20:20:37, Link
Author: Reed
FloydLee, you have attributed various effects "evolution" but you have not specified what you mean by the term. Evolution is commonly defined as (ref)
... any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.

If you are actually talking about something else, such as universal common descent, abiogenesis or speciation you should say so.

Date: 2009/09/16 23:27:05, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Keelyn @ Sep. 16 2009,20:58)
In the meantime, I have a couple of issues I hope FL will address. First, assuming for the moment that your argument has merit, it seems to me, Floyd, that if you are going to apply your “Incompatibility …theory? hypothesis? idea? opinion?” to biology (specifically evolutionary biology), then you must equally apply it to geology, cosmology, chemistry, and quite possibly a good piece of physics. Yes or no?

I agree. Despite quoting some definitions for evolution, his arguments do not relate specifically to them. His actual beef appears to be with methodological naturalism.

Date: 2009/09/17 15:33:19, Link
Author: Reed
I know others have already addressed this, but I feel the need to pile on.
Quote (FloydLee @ Sep. 17 2009,08:07)
The big difference is that if you will go to a meteorology textbook, or a physics textbook, or a chemistry science journal article, you will see that they are SILENT on the issue of teleology.  

Any theory invoking supernatural explanations in any of these fields would be immediately be rejected as unscientific. If you are in a meteorology class, and on your quiz is a question that asks "Describe how thunderstorms form" answering "the wrath of Thor" will get you an F. So will "an unspecified, intelligent and possibly supernatural entity causes them."

IMO, you have completely misunderstood (to be charitable) the point of the comments you've quoted excluding teleology in evolution. They are not about creationism or id. Supernatural causes are already excluded from all science. The point of these statements is to explicitly rule out common misconceptions of how evolution works. Evolution is frequently perceived in the popular consciousness as having direction and foresight. People think of evolution as progressing along some path from "lower" organisms to "higher" ones, generally with humans at the peak. They also tend to think of specific features having evolved due to some kind of foresight (i.e. "whales evolved flippers so they could swim", rather than "the proto whales with the less flipper like appendages were less likely to reproduce"), or a sort of Lamarckism where the need for a particular feature in the ancestors causes it to appear in the descendants.

These are serious misconceptions which need to be addressed for students properly understand how evolution actually works, but they are not specifically related to the supernatural.

Date: 2009/09/18 15:56:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Sep. 18 2009,12:37)
You've been presented with a total of five self-testimonies in which a former Christian has clearly suffered "bad consequences" to their Christian faith (erosion, corrosion, even to the point of dropping their Christian faith and/or continuing in that decision) as a self-confessed partial or indirect result of their belief in evolution.  

So what ? You can find people who will testify that to many different things eroded their faith. A few examples
- Careful reading of the bible.
- Witnessing suffering and loss of life.
- Witnessing hypocrisy in their church.
- Noticing contradiction between various doctrines and the real world.

Are all these things "incompatible" with Christianity ?

Yes, some people have found evolution to be incompatible with their particular brand of christian faith. This does not provide evidence that evolution is inherently incompatible with any form of Christianity.

You already know what compatible/incompatible means, because some of you are tryin' real hard not to accept that evolution is incompatible with Christianity.

No, we don't know what you mean by incompatible. It's clear that you aren't using the definition most of us would expect (outlined by dan in; st=30#entry153334 ), because if you were, the simple existence of Christians who accept evolution would disprove your point. Since you say this is not so, we can only assume you are using some different definition.

So go ahead, tell us exactly what you mean by "incompatible"

Date: 2009/09/18 18:55:31, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Sep. 18 2009,15:56)

How about you, Nmgirl?  I think you said that you were a Christian.   Would you be willing to share your personal theology so we can examine and see if there's "no discernable dissonance" between evolution and Christianity within your chosen theology?  

So apparently "compatible" means "beliefs that can be held with no discernible dissonance"
Quote (FloydLee @ 4004,BC)
(I do believe in the Bible's account of a literal 6-day creation and a global Noahic Flood, however.)

LOL, game over.

Date: 2009/09/22 19:47:32, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (ppb @ Sep. 22 2009,06:12)
Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 21 2009,23:18)
It seems likely that most of the molecules in our bodies were present in dust in the past, so "made from dust" doesn't necessarily conflict with evolved from ancestral species.


I always liked how Carl Sagan put it.  We're made of "star stuff".


* Technically not you, but I have it on good authority this is what Arden and Louis' mum looked like 4.5 billion years ago.**

** did I do that right ?

Date: 2009/09/24 19:14:01, Link
Author: Reed
Creationist spotted in Sweden ?

Date: 2009/09/25 03:27:23, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (SoonerintheBluegrass @ Sep. 24 2009,21:37)
Okay, six thousand years or so (give or take a few orders of magnitude) there are only two people on the whole planet , and YHWH can't find them.  Now, he can count every single hair on all the billions of heads that have ever lived?


(Sorry for the interruption.  Carry on.)

He's sobered up.

Date: 2009/10/01 23:42:41, Link
Author: Reed
From another thread...
Quote (afarensis @ Oct. 01 2009,20:14)
Ardipithecus! you can download them all for free if you register. It's paleoanthropological heaven! I am sooo excited! OMG!OMG! Did I mention how excited I was? OMG!ZOMG!OMG! It is very cool! And did I mention how excited I am, stoked, or I would even say chuffed! Wooooohoooooooooooo!

That's all very exciting, but I'm still waiting for C. B. Ebola et. al. to published their definitive work on T. Ardipithecus.

Date: 2009/10/05 01:38:34, Link
Author: Reed
SMBC theater does creationists

Date: 2009/10/06 16:30:21, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (ppb @ Oct. 06 2009,09:03)
I would recommend a good digital SLR.  My first digital camera was a point and shoot Nikon Coolpix.  It can take some very nice pictures, but the delay time between pushing the button and the actual picture taking makes it very frustrating to use.  

In my experience, recent (in the last few years) point and shoots don't suffer from nearly as much as the older ones did.

A DSLR definitely has the potential to take much better pictures. Aside from the nut behind the viewfinder, sensor and lens quality are the ultimate limiting factors, and DSLRs win this hands down. But that said, a P&S can still take quite nice photographs, especially if you aren't planning to make large prints.

Another thing to consider is portability. If the camera is a hassle to carry around, you won't have it with you nearly as often as one that fits in your pocket. You may also be more likely to take it interesting places if you are risking a few hundred dollars investment rather than a few thousand. There's a lot to be a said for a camera you can have with you all the time. This leads to the ultimate conclusion that you need several expensive toys instead of one :p is a good source of in depth camera reviews.

I am personally fond of Canon P&S cameras because of the extra flexibility available with CHDK, but that's probably only applicable to geeks.

Date: 2009/10/07 03:36:24, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (doleary @ tard,farm)
To the best of my knowledge, neither Newton nor Einstein wrote a long racist tract, as Darwin Martin Luther did (the Descent of Man Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen).

I’d like to know if, at any point, Darwinists Protestants have ever simply disowned the racism, instead of covering it up or misrepresenting it as not really Darwin’s Martin Luther's views, to protect their prophet.

OK, I guess Doleary is/was nominally a Catholic, but she sure seem to hang around with the protestant kind, and I'm too lazy to come up a Catholic equivalent.

Date: 2009/10/07 17:05:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 07 2009,14:35)
So, it's now established that some evolutionists have opinions about theology and teleology. So what?

FL seems to be under the strange delusion that statements from individual scientists form some kind scripture that all "evolutionists" must subscribe to.

Even more amusing to me however, is the fact that FL goes on and on about his "Big 5" which are basically theological quibbles based on a particular interpretation of the bible, and his "incompatibility" appears to mean "requires some dissonance to hold these views". All this while his own preferred interpretation (which he appears to believe is the only reasonable/correct interpretation) seems to require:
- All current animals (including humans) and all those in the fossil record living at the same time.
- A time when none of these animals were carnivores.
- A time when these animals existed, but there was no death.
- A global flood in historic times.

Incompatibility with evolution is the least of the problems with this FL. It's incompatible with reality. You don't just have to throw out evolution, you have to throw out basically all of geology, paleontology, cosmology,  and a large parts of biology, archeology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and even written history. For all these things to be wrong, you pretty much have to give up on the idea that rational evaluation of evidence is a valid way of learning about the universe. At that point, there is really no reason to argue against any specific scientific theory... you've thrown out entire concept of science. One might wonder how you square that with the spectacular success of the scientific method, but you've already given up on reason so I guess anything goes.

Date: 2009/10/08 22:00:47, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Dan @ Oct. 08 2009,19:02)
FL's three "objections" are really just diversions, to try to divert attention away from the fact -- proven above -- that evolution is compatible with Christianity.

My impression is that FLs definition of "incompatible" means "requires dissonance". IMO, that by itself falls within one of several reasonable interpretations of the phrase.

However, FL refused to define what he meant way back on page 5, and ignored my suggestion that he clarify, which doesn't say much for his interest in engaging in an honest discussion. Huge surprise  :p

Date: 2009/10/09 05:12:03, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 08 2009,22:13)
Since you want to bring up the deluge Stanton, there was tectonic, and volcanic activity involved with the water "the fountains of the deep were broken up."  Therefore there could have been all kinds of different geologic events.  Landslides, mudslides, outburst floods, rock movement, and possibly tsunamis, depending on the extent of tectonic activity.

Oh right, so in your explanation, pretty much anything could have happened... but  for some reason you are sure whatever it was happened really quickly in a singular "deluge".

Note that you completely ignored the meat of Stantons post with your little tirade
Quote (stanton @ ,)
Among other things,it was pointed out that there were three reefs, composed of very different organisms, stacked within the stratum of the Grand Canyon, with no species from one reef found within any of the others, nor fossils of any modern day reef-dwelling organism found within any of them.

Even your "some unspecified random geologic shit happened" will have to do a great deal of special pleading to make that work.

You are bullshitting, and the problem is with bullshitting is that if the people you are trying to bullshit know something about the subject, they can tell. Right away. Don't be surprised when they point and laugh and call you dishonest.

Date: 2009/10/09 17:49:12, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 09 2009,15:06)
Another reason is that "Science is about what is testable, not necesarily what is naturalistic."  (Chemist Dr. John Millam.)  

Even if you accept that, it should be clear the supernatural meddling of omnipotent entities is not testable by definition. Omnipotent means they can do anything, so there is no test that can distinguish between an infinite number of supernatural hypotheses.

Nothing in what you quoted from Meyers blather addresses this problem. Instead he constructs the straw man that "naturalism" excludes the possibility that life on earth was created or influenced by an intelligent agent. This is simply not true. There is currently no good evidence for such an influence, but if we started finding bits of biochem labs and space ships in pre-Cambrian strata, science would have no problem with that. No serious scientists are working on this kind of thing, not because it isn't allowed, but because 1) The current theory appears sufficient. 2) There is no evidence for such intervention.

Supernatural intervention is discarded only the purely pragmatic grounds that it can't be tested. If you want to claim otherwise, you need to come up with a method of making testable predictions about supernatural actions (which is probably impossible without redefining supernatural, but hey, that's your problem not ours)

Date: 2009/10/09 19:33:36, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (afarensis @ Oct. 09 2009,17:05)
And, more importantly as this bears directly on Grand Canyon carving, once the planet was completely covered in water, how did it drain?

Snowball earth? :p

Nah, I'm sure some aquatic ape pulled the drain plug. I haz a book that sez so!

Quote (Doc Bill @ Oct. 09 2009,12:13)
Ohhhhhh, Flood Geology AND bullshit!

My two favorite topics.

Hmm, are you sure that is two topics ?

Date: 2009/10/10 14:54:38, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (JLT @ Oct. 10 2009,05:14)
Stuart Harris
We can see a similar result caused by Western nations’ welfare states. Women become dependant on the state, essentially marrying the government to provide them with material sustenance and security. Men in the welfare culture live outside a culture that needs marriage, and become superfluous loners with a vastly greater likelihood of committing crimes and joining gangs as a substitute for family.

The welfare state destroys marriage therefore men become criminals?

Ah, yes. Just stop giving out welfare cheques and crime rates will drop. That'll work.

Ooh someone on UD makes a testable hypothesis! So Mr Harris, how about you compare the rates of gang crime in the Nordic countries to those in the US.

Oh right, ID doesn't get into pathetic details like actually testing hypotheses. Never mind.

Date: 2009/10/12 21:09:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 12 2009,16:42)

Yes.  Something that is said to be "not required" (i.e. God as creator or designer), is considered excludable.   You can drop God out of the biological origins situation altogether if you want to, and that's that.
But when you say something "could not exclude a role for God", then suddenly God becomes required for that particular something.  You don't get to drop Him.

Add the two positions together and you get an incompatibility.  The First Incompatibility, to be exact.

What a bizarre display of logic fail.

An omnipotent god cannot be excluded from anything by definition. You can discount the whole god hypothesis as not amenable to rational investigation and thus irrelevant, but even that doesn't exclude gods possible influence.

Evolution is a naturalistic theory which is sufficient to explain the available evidence. That does not, and by definition cannot, exclude the possibility of supernatural meddling. No amount of quotes from "evolutionists" can get around this. Either they are making an basic logical error, or (much more likely) you are misinterpreting them.

Date: 2009/10/13 16:21:43, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 13 2009,06:38)
First, evolution does not admit conscious anticipation of the future (and before you respond, consider the fact that nobody has offered an evolutionist refutation for THAT one in all 39 pages of this debate), and with the God of Genesis you definitely get 100 percent conscious anticipation of the future.  

Wrong. It has been pointed out many times that this objection is based on your failure to understand the how science works. The supernatural isn't addressed in science, so you wouldn't expect definitions of scientific theories to refer to supernatural. Adding "except for any possible supernatural meddling" to the definition of any scientific theory would be extraneous. If such an addendum was required for evolution, it would be required for all other scientific theories, e.g.
E=mc2 *
* except in the event of supernatural meddling

Second, you would automatically eliminate the claim that supernatural processes cannot be the subject of science,

Uh no, that does not follow at all. The fact that science cannot address the supernatural clearly means that the supernatural doesn't belong in science class. In any case the establishment clause clearly prevents favoring any one supernatural explanation.

I notice you ignored my post here which previously addressed most of this:

So please is explain, if god is ominipotent how can he be excluded from anything ? Doesn't the definition of omnipotent meant that he could change anything, anywhere, any time ? Or is your god not omnipotent ?

Date: 2009/10/14 15:52:11, Link
Author: Reed
Americas finest news source nails it again

Date: 2009/10/14 16:21:24, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 14 2009,13:49)
Uhhh, Dan, they DON'T get around them.  In fact, the Pope re-affirms the first three of them (you saw his quotations yourself) and is silent on the final two.  Agreed?

No, you have shown no such thing. All I've seen you show is a failure to understand the basic principles of science and logic, combined with a taste for tortured, illogical interpretations of quotes from various sources.

The fact is that god, as commonly defined, can do anything. This includes guiding evolution in such a way that it appears perfectly mechanistic. No tortured parsing of descriptions of evolution will change this.

Date: 2009/10/14 18:05:30, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 14 2009,15:29)

So you have God "guiding evolution" but at the same time, making it look like evolution is "a completely mindless process" (EB3), therefore making the situation look as if he's trying to deceive us humans.

Not necessarily. Maybe he only wants the ones who are smart enough to figure it out. It's not like he doesn't have a history of "testing" people. Or maybe the whole thing is a divinely inspired metaphor. Or maybe god is just a sick fuck who gets off on killing and lying.

And since God's "guiding evolution", he must NECESSARILY also be guiding those cruel and sadistic aspects of evolution also---a gazillion years of "Nature Red in Tooth and Claw".  All that evolutionary bloodsport just to evolve the first humans.

It's hard to see how that's different from all the other stuff he supposedly did in your interpretation. Millions of years of death is incompatible with Christianity, but killing all but two (or seven or whatever) of everything on earth, just because humans were screwing up isn't ?

Or punishing all every living creature due to Adam and Eve fucking up ?


But that is all beside the point. The fossil record shows that those millions of years of slaughter did happen, before humans existed, regardless of whether evolution is the source of the diversity of life on earth.  The only way to get around this is to claim that god is deliberately deceiving us in a last-tuesdayish fashion. Yet you apparently deny a deceptive god. Once again, your problem isn't evolution, it's reality. Your particular interpretation of the bible isn't compatible with reality. Compared to this, the theological quibbles of reconciling some interpretation of the bible with evolution are minor.

Finally, notice that you didn't actually address the objection I raised. You claimed that various quotes from "evolutionists" showed that god is excluded from evolution, yet you didn't actually deny that the definition of god makes this a logical contradiction.

Date: 2009/10/14 18:46:30, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (ppb @ Oct. 14 2009,11:43)
Another gap is filled.  Darwinopterus modularis is another of those transitional forms that creationists prefer to remain ignorant about.  It fits nicely between between earlier non-pterodactyloids and later pterodactyloids.

What will the creationists say this time ?

Date: 2009/10/14 22:42:56, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 14 2009,19:20)
Also, it was asked where did the water come from and where did it go.  There are different theories.  Not to escape the issue but isn't that like asking where did hydrogen come from? Yes I know--after the big bang it just formed--

No, it isn't remotely comparable. You can reasonably say that the big bang "just happened", and that the particular physical laws and fundamental constants we ended up with may well be arbitrary. If it makes you feel better, you can even stuff your own personal god in there, although he doesn't add any explanatory value.

From that first few milliseconds onward, things appear to follow those laws in a coherent manner. As best as we can tell, millions of cubic miles of water don't just poof out of nowhere, and poof back to nowhere later. If you are going to insert "supernatural shit happened" anywhere your theory seems to contradict what we understand about the universe, why bother trying to match it up to evidence at all ?

Date: 2009/10/15 17:03:53, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Constant Mews @ Oct. 15 2009,14:29)
To pretend - as does Floyd - that such baggage does not exist is singularly foolish.

I'm always shocked that people can actually believe there is a single, objectively valid, "literal" interpretation of something with such a long and convoluted history as the bible. Less shocked that the various people who believe this disagree on what that interpretation is ;)

Date: 2009/10/15 22:14:48, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 15 2009,19:01)
Third, in reference to other comments--no one here can do any math without variables--and no one has them--because it is in the past.

Earlier in this thread, you made arguments concerning alleged evidence for the flood. Now you are basically saying that evidence is irrelevant, because you just can't know what happened in the past.

Brilliant :D

Date: 2009/10/15 23:30:32, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 15 2009,21:07)
Again as I said no one knows the height of any mountains 4000 years ago.

Yes, you did say it. It was extraordinarily stupid the first time, and repetition didn't make it any less so.

If we can't figure out something basic like that from observable evidence, how do you come to the conclusion the flood is real ? If there is no way to come to reasonable conclusions based on evidence, why have you spent so much time arguing about evidence ?

Date: 2009/10/16 05:09:37, Link
Author: Reed
SMBC teaches the controversy. Don't forget to press the red button.

Date: 2009/10/16 17:10:55, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 16 2009,14:44)
Already done, floyd. He made his claim up.

FL is also giving a demonstration of how "literalists" have to pick and choose particular interpretations. Why they choose interpretations so obviously in conflict with reality is a great mystery.

Date: 2009/10/17 17:09:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 17 2009,08:51)
But I'd prefer to not go there, if it's all the same to you.  I'd rather readers just take a couple seconds to think about the post--and Lou's painting.  

I took a few seconds to think about your post Floyd. I came to the conclusion that it is the typical irrational, inane, reality-free sort of drivel that religious zealots such as yourself routinely produce. Nothing in it resembles a reasoned discussion. It's just a bunch of fact free statements, very loosely based on a twisted interpretation of a collection of ancient myths. You could find any number of equivalent screeds from a number of other religions. What a waste of time. If you think this kind of thing will convince anyone who isn't already predisposed to your particular brand of bullshit, you are surely mistaken.

The painting is a human product. It may evoke an emotional response, but it isn't close representing the kind of suffering that happens every day in the real world.

I don't particularly fault you for breaking the rules (ATBC is by it's nature a bit of a free-for-all), but your dishonesty was readily apparent already. If lying is a sin, then no doubt you are sinner, so Lou's post did have a point.

Date: 2009/10/17 17:26:39, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 17 2009,10:14)
There is no doubt of water covering the earth--even mountains (e.g. shells on Everest as mentioned earlier)--but you guys choose to interpret it as tectonic uplift or receding oceans. How you betray your arguments by not allowing the same latitude for the flood.

You are bullshitting again. Doesn't your religion tell you something about lying ? We don't just arbitrarily choose a particular explanation. We follow the evidence.

You previously said
Third, in reference to other comments--no one here can do any math without variables--and no one has them--because it is in the past.

Yet now, you are claiming the evidence supports your theory again. Why is it, that when you think evidence supports your theory, that's all good, but when some well supported evidence contradicts your theory, you retreat to "well anything could have happened, we just don't know!!!!111".

If you want to discard the utility of evidence, that's OK. There's nothing left to discuss, because you have abandoned reason as a valid path to understanding. Have fun in fantasy land, but please don't try to argue that your fantasy is supported by evidence!

If on the other hand you do accept the utility of evidence, you have a big problem. We have many, many lines of evidence that absolutely contradict a global flood in the last few hundred million years. For example, we have ice core records that have annual layers going back many thousands of years. There are lakes with sedimentary records going back tens of thousands of years. Heck, there are living trees that are older than your flood. Have a look at

Date: 2009/10/17 20:56:25, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Scienthuse @ Oct. 17 2009,18:26)
I thought you guys were going to let me know why this happened. No matter how "crazy" I am you still have rocks with modern artifacts in them.  This would have profound implications on your teaching about lithification.

No, the only thing it implies that you are either a troll, or profoundly gullible and ignorant. I lean toward the former, but as a great man once said* "Sufficiently advanced idiocy is indistinguishable from trolling"

On the off chance you are actually serious, you had an opportunity here to have an honest, serious discussion with people who know a lot about geology, paleontology and related topics. By ignoring or failing to comprehend their responses, and instead just pasting obvious creationist bullshit, you've lost that chance. Your loss.

* paraphrased loosely.

Date: 2009/10/18 03:58:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 17 2009,22:02)
pH.D.s do not grant one infallibility... of course neither does being a Christian.

Nor do these grant honesty, which may be more relevant here.

Scienthuse: Since the very amusing link posted Occam's Aftershave suggests that you think your position actually has some merit, I'll offer you an honest suggestion.

If you want to have a serious discussion, pick a specific piece of evidence you believe supports your position. Lay out your evidence, and why you believe it is compelling. If someone posts a counter argument, address that argument directly.

Your past behavior of copy/pasting a bunch of crap on a different subject, or saying "well it's in the past so we just can't know!" do not constitute actual debate. You should not be surprised that the response to this tactic is insults and mockery, as you have made it clear that serious responses will be ignored in any case.

I also suggest checking talkorigins index of common creationist claims before you post. If your claim is listed, be sure you are prepared to address the objections found there.

Date: 2009/10/18 17:55:51, Link
Author: Reed
Remember folks, "why" is outside the domain of science ;)

Date: 2009/10/19 17:48:19, Link
Author: Reed
Ho hum 32 more exoplanets. This proves we are the special creation of god unspecified telic entity, right ?

Date: 2009/10/20 16:38:19, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 20 2009,13:42)
Evolution by natural selection, you see, is an awful process. It is bloody, sadistic, and cruel.

That's the fifth incompatibility.

If "bloody sadistic and cruel" is incompatible with Christianity, then your god is incompatible. The bible is full of instances of god meting out bloody punishments on people who weren't responsible for the offense they were being punished for. This has already been pointed out.  If killing animals in a bloody, pointless fashion is wrong, how do you justify the flood ? Why didn't god just send a plague that killed of the sinful humans and leave the animals alone ?

But, as I said ealier, this is all irrelevant. Compatible or not, those hundreds of millions of years of death and suffering did happen, whether or not evolution is true. Unless you want to deny the ability of evidence to tell us anything about the past, that how it was. Once again, this isn't specifically about evolution Floyd, this is about reality.

Date: 2009/10/21 16:02:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 21 2009,08:04)

I don't think you or Reed (or the other posters who tried this approach already) have any inkling how utterly and totally unconvincing this argument would be for Christians.

You've missed the point of course. This is dealing with your claim that apparent cruelty creates an incompatibility.

It's objectively true that the god of the bible does things that appear incomprehensibly cruel by normal standards (i.e. punishing people for things that happened before they were born, exterminating animals and infants for the sins of humans, condoning the slaughter of infants in warfare, condoning genocide, rape and slavery) If those things are compatible (and reconciling them is your problem, not mine), then you have no grounds to say that some other instance of apparent cruelty necessarily create incompatibility.

Apologists go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to justify the things I mentioned. That's fine, it's their fantasy, they can reconcile it however they want... but one could easily apply similar levels of rationalization to make evolution fit too. See Dembskis bizarre hypothesis that the fall acted backwards in time! (edit: ref)

Of course, you once again ignored the main point of post, which is that it doesn't matter if you think the millions of years of suffering is incompatible or not, because they are real regardless of whether evolution is true. Your interpretation is incompatible with reality. If compatibility matters to you, you have a big problem, and it's not specifically evolution.

Date: 2009/10/21 17:30:35, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 21 2009,15:20)
You know, Floyd, most people by now would have said something like "I got carried away in my ranting.  That was an unfortunate choice of words and I apologise".

Hrm, to be fair to FL my reading of that was that he was saying "evolutionists" would regard the holocaust as "pest control". That doesn't necessarily require him to believe the victims were actually pests. It's just the standard "if there is no god there's no such thing as morality" bullshit, in particularly offensive terms.

Still stupid, but not quite as offensively stupid as suggested. Or maybe the whole thing is a parody of FLs quote mining, in which case, carry on!

Date: 2009/10/26 16:35:12, Link
Author: Reed might be of interest.

ETA, as I said in that post, I'm not entirely convinced by Altemeyer's arguments, but it's interesting study of the people involved in these movements.

Date: 2009/10/26 16:43:34, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 26 2009,12:01)
There exist Christians who hold that evolution occurred.

Evolutionist Rosenhouse answered this one. Does there exist a sound basis for them holding that opinion?  If not, simply saying "they hold that opinion" won't work.

That's funny. You actually believe there is a logically "sound basis" for believing the earth is NOT billions of years old, and was created in a literal 6 days ?

If it turns out there is not, would that be sufficient to convince you Christianity is wrong ? If presented with sufficient evidence, would you abandon your faith based on that ? Or do you believe that not only does such evidence not exist, but that it is impossible that it could exist ?

Date: 2009/10/28 15:07:09, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (FloydLee @ Oct. 28 2009,11:13)
All available evidence is that Genesis doesn't represent a literal, historical account

Specifics, Deadman?  Care to examine the textual and contextual evidences, yes?

Two simple questions:
Do you believe that it is possible to determine the course of past events using reason and evidience ?

Do you believe that the veracity (or otherwise) of the biblical account may be determined by these means ?

Date: 2009/10/28 15:24:01, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 27 2009,13:56)
When democracy is full of people like this, then the decisions of democratic leaders will not be optimal... for anyone.  The power really is in the people, just in the wrong people.

As Winston Churchill put it:  
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Also attributed to him  
The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.

Date: 2009/11/11 04:58:31, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Nov. 11 2009,01:49)
Creationists would insist its not done, indeed impossible mostly, to test past and gone actions to justify conclusions of what did happen. Its not happening today.

So, let's say we find someone who has been shot. We find the gun they were shot with. We find fingerprints on the gun. We find tracks at the scene. We find the person the fingerprints belong to, and find that their shoes match the tracks, they have powder residue and traces of the victims blood on their clothes, and they were seen in the area near the time of the murder.

But the murder is a "past and gone action" right ? So according to you, we simply cannot justify any conclusion of what happened, right ?

Date: 2009/11/12 04:24:43, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Nov. 12 2009,01:36)
 Yes you can as you did. yet this is simple accumulation of data. its not science. its not hypothesis where testing must take place to give it credibility as a theory.

There are many problems with this statement. However, lets start with the good bit: You agree that "accumulation of evidence" can result in valid conclusions concerning the most probable course of past events. Great. If you actually understood the evidence for an old earth, common descent and evolution, we'd be done, because there is a truly monumental accumulation. Far more than there is for my little murder mystery above!

Of course, the "obvious" conclusion from my story above is not simply based on an "accumulation of evidence". The conclusion is reached by starting with certain assumptions about the nature of the universe, and using them, combined with reason and evidence to confirm or deny certain hypotheses about past events. In other words, exactly the same things geology and paleontology do.

The assumptions are far to numerous to list, but one I would like to point out is that it completely disregards the possibility of supernatural intervention. If "a miracle happened, because my book says so" is a valid argument, then that should be sufficient to get our defendant off the hook, right ?

Date: 2009/11/15 20:49:18, Link
Author: Reed
Wow that's some serious USDA* Grade AAA stupid.

Let me see if I got this. Robert Believes:
placental -> marsupial = micro-evolution (can happen in the 4000 or so years since Teh Flud, I suppose)
great ape -> human = nuh uh, no way no how, I ain't no kin to no dang nab monkey!!!!!!1111

* Uncommonly Stupid Design Argument

Date: 2009/11/17 00:56:44, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (deadman_932 @ Nov. 16 2009,19:06)
Something that's bound to be used by YECs, soon:

Oregon State University (2009, November 15). Ancient penguin DNA raises doubts about accuracy of genetic dating techniques.

John Hawks has some comments on this. Looks like the Darwinist suppression machine is already shifting into gear ;)

Date: 2009/11/19 17:30:47, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 19 2009,03:17)
Robert, what about dogs? The dog was domesticated from wolves about ten thousand years ago. From that we have been able to breed very may different dogs and according to your methodology they cannot all be dogs. So Grand Danois and Chihuahua are different species, created by man? How could that be possible?

Heck, if marsupialism is just a product of the environment, how come no one has managed to breed a marsupial dog ?

Date: 2009/11/25 23:00:24, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Nov. 25 2009,19:21)
Human understanding of genetics or the body in general is rudimentary.

Your understanding is rudimentary, no question there. The generalization to other humans appears premature.

I'm saying there are innate abilities of bodies to change within a generation as needed. The body changes and so the dna. hand in glove.

If you want to be taken seriously, you have to do more than say it. You have to demonstrate it. Good luck.

Date: 2009/11/26 04:05:24, Link
Author: Reed
Mars meteorite ALH84001: It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack (PDF paper)

I have no idea how sound this conclusion is, but I'm sure it's evidence of design either way ;)

Date: 2009/12/10 05:16:10, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Dec. 09 2009,22:15)

The marsupial body is only different in reproductive details and a few things in the skull.

Wow. Just the reproductive system and the skull eh ? So no one could tell the difference between a thylacine and a wolf from, say, just the a couple of bones ? Or a single internal organ ? Or heck, a fragment of a hair ?

Do you have any idea what a monumental level of ignorance you've demonstrated in that simple statement ? And to what end ? Do you really think that parading your ignorance is going to further your cause ? Really ? "Oh some guy on the internet who obviously doesn't have a high school level understanding of biology says they look the same, better throw out the last two hundred years of hard won science!"

(yes, I know talking to Robert is pointless, but sometimes, the stupid is just so mind blowing I can't resist)

Date: 2009/12/11 15:52:31, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Dec. 11 2009,00:44)
Well its on the merits of the case and not your judgement of my abilities.

Your "case" consists entirely of saying "I think they look the same and I think this is important". This is a level of argument that would warrant an F in a high school science assignment, never mind overturning the last 200+ years of actual science.

Date: 2009/12/15 05:27:30, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Dec. 15 2009,01:36)

I propose my ideas on marsupials etc being placentals based on living and fossil evidence.

You again confuse assertion with evidence. You haven't presented a your "theory" sufficient specificity to define what evidence would support it, never mind actually presenting such evidence. Your "theory" remains the bald assertions that
1) They look the same
2) This alleged sameness is more important than other quantifiable, highly successful means of determining relatedness.

Note that #1 is simply wrong unless you are extremely selective about which traits you look at, yet you have provided no justification for this selectivity.
I don't need to provide mechanism, except a few thoughts, to make a solid assertion.

You're problem isn't just the absence of a mechanism, it's the absence of any room for a plausible mechanism that doesn't contradict a mountain of well established data. It would be one thing if we had absolutely no idea about things like genetics and mutation rates and developmental biology and so on. 150 years ago, Darwin didn't have a mechanism for traits being passed to the next generation, but he had pretty good evidence that it happened. Today, we know those mechanisms in exquisite detail, and they don't leave any room for your bullshit "theory".

Date: 2009/12/15 15:56:54, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ Dec. 15 2009,13:41)
I do not see how marsupial reproduction would ever be an adaptation to an environment by previously placental species.

It's also worth noting that some imported placentals have been extremely successful in Australia, at the expense of the natives. There is good evidence that dingos have been there for what is, according to Robert, almost the age of the earth. Certainly since Teh Flud. Yet strangely they show no signs of becoming marsupial!

Later introduced species like rabbits also do quite well.

Roberts "theory" isn't not just fractally wrong, it's fractally stupid. No matter what direction or scale you look at it, you find more stupid.

Date: 2009/12/17 03:56:27, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Dec. 16 2009,23:07)
I don't confuse The evidence is as i present it.

You mean non-existent ? Because all you have presented is vague hand waving and assertions.

I notice you didn't bother to explain dingos didn't become marsupial ?

Its not the water or air but a innate impulse to quickly refill the earth.

How does this "innate impulse" translate into changes in phenotype and genotype ? That is one of the many mechanisms you failed to produce.

The funniest thing to me about Roberts "but they look the same" argument is that even superficially, they really don't look that much alike. If I saw a thylacine out in the woods, I wouldn't say "look, a wolf!" I would say "WTF is that ?" Looking through the pictures at yes, it looks strangely doggy from some angles, but man that's weird looking critter. The films (1 2 3 4 5) don't really give much of a feel to how it would move out in the open, but it doesn't seem particularly dog like.

Date: 2009/12/29 01:34:35, Link
Author: Reed
Mars madness! A special issue of  Icarus is dedicated to MROs HiRISE camera, with full text available online.

Date: 2010/01/02 05:07:39, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 01 2010,23:45)

Quote (Johnw @ ,)

"My crowd" (whatever that is) says Australia had no desert 4,000 years ago?  Source, please.
Its always said by researchers that Australia was covered by flora and only later did it dry out in the middle. Its a common point they bring up.

Real scientists (and other vaguely educated people) know Australia is just a bit older than 4000 years.

If you don't take their word for something obvious like that, it's hard to see why you'd accept anything else they say!
Marsupial wolves share thousands of points with our wolves. They share a few points with "marsupials"

If you wanted to actually make a case for this, you'd have to come up with some quantifiable method of comparing these "points", and demonstrate that this gave better results than existing phylogenetic methods.

edit: typooos!

Date: 2010/01/04 22:46:25, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 04 2010,02:26)
The thousands of points are the twists and turns of bone after bone that brings about to the human eye such sameness of form that a whole concept of convergence must be invoked to explain it.

Again, you completely fail to provide any useful definition of your system. You've just repeated the same assertions. Nothing you've said would allow anyone to objectively compare your "method" (pretending for the moment that you actually have one) with other methods. Your vague philosophical objection to convergent evolution is irrelevant to providing a definition to your alternative.

It's not enough to say that the vaguely specified similarity important. You have to clearly define which similarities you are talking about, provide an objective way of identifying which ones are important, provide a logically consistent way of measuring and comparing them, and then demonstrate that you get better* results than current methods produce.

You have done none of these things. You've just repeated "I'm right because I say so!". This is a level argument one might expect from a 5 year old, but it's down right embarrassing from an adult.

* better in some well defined way, not "it fits my twisted interpretation of some ancient myth"

Date: 2010/01/07 14:33:55, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Bjarne @ Jan. 07 2010,06:48)
This would be nothing, but convergent evolution. You are just trying to disprove, in the loosest sense of the word, convergent evolution with convergent evolution.

Better yet, his version requires evolution to happen thousands or millions of times faster than it actually did. If you can go from canid to marsupial in a few thousand years (or less, since the claim is that it helped them spread quickly from the ark ) then going from something like a ape to a human in a few million years should be no problem at all.

No matter how many times they do it (and they do it a lot for being so dead set against evolution! ), YECs appealing to impossibly fast evolution to argue against evolution always makes me snicker.

Quote (fnxtr @ ,)
Good excersize, though... I guess.

Hardly, he just repeats his "OMG it's true 'cause I say so" over and over. But hey, it's cheap entertainment :)

Date: 2010/01/08 23:03:11, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 08 2010,14:56)
From Josh at SciBlogs - Bill Dembski Friday Meltdown!

Dembski Kisses Jesus Out Loud

Oh that is gold. So is this bit from the review:
That Patterson has tolerated [Dembskis] views while terminating the employment of another prof who believed in “speaking in tongues” is the source of my puzzlement.

Hold on, that might explain a thing or two about UD... Are we sure Dr Dr D isn't speaking in tongues ? I don't doubt O'Leary writes in them!

Date: 2010/01/09 23:44:46, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Maya @ Jan. 09 2010,20:02)
Any suggestion that he values, or even understands, science is immediately refuted.

What if the flood happened retroactively, 3.9 billion years ago ? That would be science, right ?!? Waterloo!

Date: 2010/01/12 00:16:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 11 2010,19:32)

Its not convergent evolution by way of mutation/selection.
Just quick draw innate triggered adaptation.
I know its new but the evidence forces this conclusion. Evolution doesn't have the evidence or just interpretation of common data.
Of coarse I also have a witness and boundaries from Genesis.

Date: 2010/01/16 18:04:08, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 16 2010,02:25)

The bodies of marsupial lion, wolves, bears, moles do look exactly like placentals.

Again, just a "they looks teh same 'cuz I sez so", without any specific details on what traits are important or how you make the comparison, or why a comparison of some features is more important than others.
All the marsupial tails, teeth etc should be easiuly as varied as the rest of their bodies from each other!

Note that not only is this a testable hypothesis, it has been tested and found wrong. Which you would know, if you weren't completely ignorant of basic biology (edit: or heck, the last few centuries of domestic animal breeding)
I suspect these tails were needed to allow the varied creatures to look over high vegatation. A unique problem in original Australia.

As Badger3k points out, this is mindbogglingly stupid even by your usual standards.

Date: 2010/01/29 04:23:43, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 27 2010,22:14)
I saw on another forum that there is this fantastic moving picture video of the marsupial wolf. Youtube. I don't know how to get it but every poster interested or confident enough should see it.

Hey if you actually read the replies here, you could have watched the five I linked way back on page 28. Not really  interested in learning or testing your "theory" are you ?

Date: 2010/03/06 17:15:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Maya @ Mar. 06 2010,06:59)
For my 500th post I was going to do a full fisking of one of Corny Hunter's bits of nonsense, or maybe do some research into the reasons why the typical UDiot seems incapable of abstract thought, but I got distracted by this from Joey G's object of desire:
Now, what I’d be interested to know is, the ETs never phone, they never write. Why do we assume they exist?

Gee, Denyse, are there any other objects of belief to which we could apply that criteria?

I see hypocrites.  They don't know they're hypocrites.

Not just that but, we* don't assume ETs exist. At best we say "gee, there's a few hundred billion stars in our galaxy, a few hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe, and it's all made out of pretty much the same stuff, so there's probably other life out there"

That isn't the end of Denyse' ignorance either... "where are they" is a longstanding puzzle which has been the subject of significant scholarly discussion.

* scientists, SETI researchers, vaguely educated folks, and pretty much everyone else aside from UFO nuts.

Date: 2010/03/09 02:12:17, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 08 2010,22:12)
 Well genetics was not my agenda when I began. I just ran into the claims of genetics to draw relationship between marsupials when in fact they are unrelated to each other save from like influences.
Dna is in fact just representing a parts department in life. Its only a special case that having such intimate like parts allows me to be connected to my father.

Therefore it must be there is a innate ability of life to react to influences in order to thrive. This atomic code means that when a change has taken place then ones dna will have changed too.
Dna is hand in glove with the living creature. Change the creature change the dna. The dna of coarse must be a part of the change.
Anyways dna is a primitive entry subject.
The relationships between creatures must be and is by anatomical principals.

Your theory (to use the term loosely) of genetics is trivially wrong*. Your posts demonstrate that you are completely ignorant of the subject, and anyone who is not similarly ignorant can plainly see you are just bullshitting.

Some advice from a fellow believer:
Quote (Thomas Aquinas @ a long smeggin time ago)
The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.

* Here's some hints: ERVs, observed mutation rates, neutral mutations.

Date: 2010/03/11 02:34:17, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 10 2010,23:22)
I do think creatures could be changed by man by fiddleing with the Dna. if mans knowledge was that great. No  there yet by far.

Wrong. It has already been done many times.

I see physical change in nature as having innate triggers.

You may "see" this but without evidence, it's just a pointless statement.

The example could be breeds of dogs.
They show how diverse one get from a few original types.
Yet i don't see this as showing mere selection on random traits but rather the tip of the ice berg.
The diversity of traits is so much a part of nature and dogs that it easily just slips over the side allowing artificial selection to bring about the breeds.

This is wrong, and has been proven wrong many times over by experiment. We have in many cases identified the exact mutations responsible for things like specific traits of dog breeds. We understand the mechanisms behind the mutations, we have observed these mechanisms in nature and reproduced them in the lab. We know they are essentially random in nature, and have abundant evidence the same mechanisms were present in the past. We know how frequently mutations happen today, and understanding the mechanisms, we can make reasonable assumptions about their rates in the past. This leads to predictions which are broadly confirmed by many independent lines of evidence.

Isn't it time to admit (to yourself at least) that you have absolutely no idea what the last 50 years of molecular biology has accomplished ? That, lacking such knowledge, you are in no position to pass judgment on whether it's conclusions are correct ?

Date: 2010/03/11 04:11:18, Link
Author: Reed
SMBC nails it again.

Date: 2010/03/12 02:17:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 11 2010,23:32)

As i said I think its been a classic error to see mutations as a real thing in nature.

One problem with this. Mutations are a "real thing". We have observed them. We understand the mechanisms, and have confirmed this understanding by experiment.

Dna is still  a very primitive field still. Conclusions are being made with no substantial evidence.

Right. We just have no idea how this DNA stuff works.

Date: 2010/03/16 02:39:57, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bjray @ Mar. 15 2010,23:12)
1) Why is there such an irrational disgust for scientific data or theories that might combat evolutionary theory?

Your premise is incorrect. Science accepts new data all the time, and scientific data that challenged current theories of evolution would have no problem. There are plenty of acrimonious disputes in real science, but eventually the most useful models prevail. If ID produced a more useful model than evolution, it (or whatever part made it useful) would eventually be accepted... unfortunately for ID proponents, ID currently doesn't produce any useful model of anything. Dressing "goddidit" up in some sciencey sounding jargon doesn't provide any useful insight.
A gentleman phoned in and suggested that evolution be the only theory taught (period). When the broadcaster questioned, why not teach theistic evolution, creationism, intelligent design, and evolution?

Here we get to the stuff that does trigger disgust, but this is not an irrational reaction. Creationism, whether in the ID flavor or otherwise, is not supported by any coherent scientific theory (if you believe there is a scientific theory of ID, please feel free to present it!) For those of us who value the scientific process, the attempt to pass off nonsense as science is directly contrary to our interests. The reaction you get when you try to get creationism into the science class is the same reaction you get from a doctor who sees a quack passing off some ineffective treatment off as a cure for cancer. Real science cures diseases. "Goddidit" does not.

Theistic evolution generally doesn't fall into this category, because it's proponents* don't try to pass it off as science. It doesn't belong in science class, because it's a theological or philosophical argument, but unlike ID, it's not an attack on the whole enterprise of rational inquiry.

* Ken Miller is a good example of this. Oh, and unlike Dembski, he showed up at Dover. His testimony is worth reading, as is the whole transcript. You can find it at Seriously, if you want to understand why most of the scientific world views ID as creationism in a cheap tux, it's a good place to start.

Finally, you will find a lot of snark and crude jokes on this forum. It's a place where people come to unwind, frequently by mocking creationists who have shown themselves to be immune to reason. If you wish to engage in a serious discussion, you are free to ignore responses which do not pertain to it. There are many here who will engage in serious discussion, as long as you do likewise. OTOH, if you show that you aren't capable of engaging in rational discussion (e.g. Robert Byers), then eventually all the responses you get will be mockery. If you want an excuse not to address serious questions, "OMG TEH MEANIE EVILUTIONISTS SAID NASTY THINGS" is ready made for you.

Date: 2010/03/24 17:52:59, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (cdanner @ Mar. 24 2010,14:55)
You disparage his beliefs (and mine) simply because you disagree with Christianity in general.

If you had actually read the posts in this thread, you would know this statement is false. It's a straw man.

Many of those who have raised serious objections to Dembski's work (and ID in general) profess to be Christians. That includes some of the people dragging Dembski over the coals in this very thread.

Certainly there are some here who consider religion  to be an irrational, misguided pursuit, but this is not the basis of specific objections to ID. The objection is based on the fact that IDs proponents claim ID is science, when it in fact does not meet the accepted definitions of science, and appears to be a rather transparent attempt to pass off a particular interpretation of a particular religious dogma as science and impose it on the educational system.

Yes, there is a lot of snark and mockery in this thread. Do you know why ? It's because creationists generally do exactly what you've done in the above post. Namely, you fail to address the actual arguments.

If you believe your old earth creationist view is justified by evidence, we can certainly start a thread to discuss this (or better yet, you should publish your arguments in the appropriate scientific journals!) OTOH, if you just take it on faith, that is your right, but please don't expect those who do not share your particular faith to take it seriously, and do expect us to object loudly if you attempt to pass those beliefs off as science.

Date: 2010/03/26 20:25:13, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Louis @ Mar. 26 2010,16:31)
But thus far they've done absolutely nothing. I cannot believe even such as Dembski would give them any credit at all.


I dunno, judging by Dembski's academic output, I'd expect "making noise without producing anything of substance" to be an A in his course. Or an A+++++ if you manage to whine about how the Darwinist conspiracy is suppressing you.

Date: 2010/03/27 19:54:49, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Ptaylor @ Mar. 27 2010,17:04)
Unfortunately the citation link leads to a 404 page.
He's displayed gullibility in other areas as well. There was that incident with that faith healer a couple of years back. Oh - and he's an evolution denier too!

This was noted on PT at the time

The internet archive preserves Dembskis review here:

Maybe a good one for the Philo 4483 students ;)

Date: 2010/03/28 01:04:22, Link
Author: Reed
Think Dembski's bible code review might have been taken down due to embarrassment ? Think again. Looks like it was just a site rework that broke the link.

Date: 2010/04/03 23:33:09, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (MichaelJ @ April 03 2010,19:20)
I've just read "The Greatest Show on Earth", Joe should start with that.

I dunno, Larry Gonicks excellent Cartoon history of the universe and Cartoon guide to genetics might be closer to Joe's level.

Date: 2010/04/16 02:06:56, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bjray @ April 15 2010,22:57)

Well, unfortunately, I can offer you no good advice on how to calculate such readings of an object using his CSI theory (if you will). Thing is, I have not in my spare time (the little there is), nor as a part of class, actually read his work on CSI.

If it turned out that there was no objectively defensible "CSI theory", would that affect your opinion of Dembski and the ID movement ?

Well, I think that ID'ers, evolutionists, old earth, young earth, all have some interesting points worth taking into consideration.

Taking into consideration for what ?

If you mean as a way of furthering our understanding of the real world, the creationist theories (including ID) would have to offer testable predictions.

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.

Evolution has no trouble producing such structures. If you'd taken the suggestion of reading the Dover transcript, you'd know how.

Date: 2010/04/23 00:46:16, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bjray @ April 22 2010,21:41)
But you, yourself, said that "science is based on evidence that stands up to everything." Are you telling me that evolution has passed this test?

Thus far, yes. Next question ?
One cannot provide evidence for some "big bang"

Big bang is cosmology, not evolution. It's also the best fit to the available evidence by far. (Astronomers and cosmologists do talk about "stellar evolution" and such, but this is not related to Theory Of Evolution in biology.)

or "primordial soup" or whatever the new story is this time around.

Abiogenesis is closely related, but it's not evolution. The distinction is important because evolution works regardless of how the first reproducing organisms appeared. There's good reason to believe that chemical abiogenesis is possible, but common descent would be well support even if life appeared through some other means.

So I submit to you that evolution also fails in many areas.

I submit, based on the glaring errors above, that you don't have any idea what evolution is. I'd also submit that evolution is as well supported as pretty much any other widely accepted science, while creationism is not.

Is it simply that because Creationists attribute what might be a scientifically explainable event to an Intelligent Designer the primary issue? Or, is it t because Creationists do not use evolution to help explain their work?

Nope. Do you even read the replies to your posts ? This has been explained to you several times.

Or, is it that Creationists use a "get out of jail free" by attributing God to various things that science can explain?

Now you are getting closer. You can insert "god did it" anywhere, but it doesn't actually explain anything, precisely because you can insert it anywhere. God, by most popular definitions, can do anything. So there is no possible observation that is more compatible with "god did it" than any other, and "god did it" provides no predictions about what else you should observe.

Even you could say "god did it" was true in some abstract philosophical sense, it would be useless as an explanation.

Date: 2010/04/24 18:07:21, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bjray @ April 24 2010,14:24)

I am informed about the difference between evolution, abiogenesis and big bang. While maybe all can be considered different “scientific enterprises”, they all have at least one thing in common: Evolutionary theory sprinkled about them.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat ? I have no idea what you mean by "evolutionary theory" here, but it doesn't appear to mean what you think it means 1. The theories in question are naturalistic theories, but there's nothing "evolutionary" about that.

You are not doing a good job demonstrating that you are "informed of the differences". If your complaint is with methodological naturalism, come out and say it.

Ironically, some early resistance to the big bang was precisely because it smacked of creationism. This sort of vague philosophical objection was overcome by... evidence, and now most cosmologists accept that it is a compelling model, regardless of theological persuasion.

Furthermore, the notion that the big bang best fits current scientific evidence does not necessitate it being factual.

What other criteria would you propose ? Accordance with one particular twisted interpretation of one specific set of bronze age myths ?

All science is provisional. If a scientific theory is accepted as "factual", it's only a short hand for being consistent and well supported by evidence. Is Newtons theory of gravity "factual" ? Einsteins relativity ? The standard model of particle physics ? None of these are likely to be the final explanation, but unlike creationism, they provide us with tools to understand the world we live in.
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.

You are mostly repeating the same tired canards that creationists have been using for the last hundred years. Coincidence ?

Date: 2010/04/25 16:54:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Doc Bill @ April 25 2010,12:41)
Step 2:  Polite responses and welcome.  This one from the very nice Reed who wouldn't say "shit" if he had a mouthful.

Heh. I also made a prediction in that post (way back on page 2)
There are many here who will engage in serious discussion, as long as you do likewise. OTOH, if you show that you aren't capable of engaging in rational discussion (e.g. Robert Byers), then eventually all the responses you get will be mockery. If you want an excuse not to address serious questions, "OMG TEH MEANIE EVILUTIONISTS SAID NASTY THINGS" is ready made for you.

I'm sure bjray believes he is engaging in rational discussion (on his side at least!), but sadly, Gish galloping from one vague unfounded assertion to the next, while failing to acknowledge errors or respond to simple questions doesn't really cut it. Neither does "I don't really know anything about <some topic> but <insert standard creationist claim about topic>".

We've seen this a thousand times before bjray. We could replace you with a simple script that pulled from talk origins index of common creationist claims and there would be no qualitative difference in the conversation.

You can still change this. All you have to do is make an effort to learn about the topics you are trying to discuss, and actually address questions and errors, rather than jumping to the next vague claim. Given the wide range of topics involved, you'd be advised to pick a specific one (e.g. "is an evolutionary basis of morality plausible", or "has speciation been observed" or "is IC evidence for design")

Or, you can keep doing what you are doing. It's boring, but we are used to that, and it does give us an excuse to post lolcats

Date: 2010/04/26 00:45:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (bjray @ April 25 2010,22:12)
Is it not apparent to some of you that what you accuse me of doing you also have done exactly the same thing? ie: You could replace me with any other creationists and still get the same conversation. There are many on your side of the argument and you all say similar things too.

The difference is we aren't trying to pass of handwaving bullshit as challenges to real science. There is a vast body of real science behind our position, which you could learn if only you put your mind to it. The problem is, whenever you've been confronted on any substantive point, you just go "oh I don't know the details" or jump to some new topic.

You have received some replies here that you might get from any semi-educated person (so yes, you could replace some of us with typical anti-creationists), but you've also been presented with detailed, specific responses to your claims by people who actually work in the fields in question. You've done nothing to reciprocate.

To summarize many of your posts: I'm ignorant,

Clearly demonstrated by your posts. Yes, you are ignorant of evolutionary theory, cosmology and paleontology at a minimum.

Note, there's nothing wrong with being ignorant. Everyone is ignorant of many things, and it's a curable condition. That brings us to the next point.

I need to read further before I make some outlandish claim.

Yup. It would be a good idea, if you don't wish to appear ignorant.

I'm a typical creationists.

Clearly demonstrated by your repetition of common, long refuted creationist nonsense (e.g. IC is a problem for evolution, speciation has never been observed, evolution can't explain morality) as well as your unwillingness to understand the topics you are making claims about.

I whine (which I never did, but nobody owned up to the fact that that was a false claim).

Maybe you have a different definition of whining. *shrug*

Date: 2010/04/26 02:11:20, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 25 2010,23:31)
It's the complete lack of drive to examine any element of his/her own position. E.g., promoting irreducible complexity as an issue without having examined IC or CSI in any detail.

Agreed. And perhaps worse, after being confronted with the various shortcomings of IC/CSI arguments (my bold):
Quote (bjray @ April 22 2010,21:41)

Btw, I will comment that I did read that the Dover case "proved" along with some other work that IC has already been proved that it COULD happen through natural causes. (ok, interesting stuff, I'll look more into that. Thanks.) This is not something earth-shattering to me. Matter a fact, I already knew that evolutionary proponents had written material attempting to explain their side. It's interesting stuff.

Then why did you bring IC up in the first place, bjray ? Are we expected to believe that you thoroughly analyzed these arguments and found them wanting ? Well no, you already admitted you didn't understand the ID side of the argument in depth, never mind the counter arguments.

Sigh. Creationists.

(side note, I brought up the Dover case, not because it "proved" this, but because the transcript provides a clear, easily accessible explanation of the point)

I agree there is something to the "silver bullet" theory. I've seen much the same behavior from 9/11 "truthers" and similar.

Date: 2010/04/26 02:54:10, Link
Author: Reed
SMBC points out something that has never, ever happened here.

Date: 2010/04/28 21:14:03, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Badger3k @ April 28 2010,18:40)
I forgot - I think Talk Origins was mentioned, but did anyone link to the Index to Creationist Claims site?  It might help if BJray (and others) check there first before spouting the same old tired "arguments".  If they are not there, then post.  If they are, read and learn, please.

Yes. No positive results were noted, but additional trials may be warranted.

Date: 2010/05/03 02:43:45, Link
Author: Reed
Another mammoth challenge to the Darwinist paradigm.

Date: 2010/05/06 19:13:00, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (midwifetoad @ May 06 2010,13:24)

A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome

As usual, John Hawks has some interesting commentary.

Date: 2010/05/21 12:22:14, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (dogdidit @ May 21 2010,06:48)
Quote (SomaRover @ May 20 2010,11:15)
JoeG: Except it isn't deep by any measure and only people living in Antarctica live near the bottom of it.

JoeG could be right.

The Earth bulges at the equator due to its rotation, so the poles are slightly deeper in the gravity well.

That's why the Ariane rockets are moved to French Guiana for launch: the equatorial regions are higher up in the gravity well. *snigger* Talk about being accidentally right...

More the rotation than the bulge. Altitude doesn't get you much, but ~1000 mph for free is nothing to sneeze at. So Joe is still wrong :)
Quote (ppb @ ,)
Equatorial launches are also an easier path to geosynchronous orbit where most communications satellites end up.

You can reach any orbit from an equatorial launch site for near minimal propellant cost (except retrograde but very few significantly retrograde orbits are used), where higher latitudes require a very expensive plane change if you want a lower inclination than your latitude. ISS is in a 51 degree orbit so that the Russian can reach it from Baikonur. Before the Russians were brought on, Space Station Freedom was planned for a 28 degree orbit to maximize payload from Florida.

Anyway, a good excuse to link this

Date: 2010/05/22 15:51:29, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ May 21 2010,23:18)
It appears to me that calling a genome a "signal" is a misleading analogy.

When a deliberately sent signal is vital to some goal, then degrading of that signal is harmful.

But a genome isn't a deliberate signal, and there isn't a goal that depends on 100% accuracy of its transmission, especially not to all of a large number of descendants.


Agreed, the whole analogy is bogus. It seems to me it's largely based on a failure to understand how messy and plastic biology is, in contrast to things that are actually designed. A bit ironic coming from people who claim to be experts in "design detection".

ID proponents like to go on about how genomes are "code", but unlike real, designed computer code, we observe that flipping a few bits frequently has no noticeable effect, and when it does have an effect, the resulting function is frequently similar to the original. Signals that are actually designed don't work like that, because they had designers who had specific goals and were concerned about maximizing efficiency.

It's worth emphasizing that this is an observation, not a hypothetical argument. Blast a colony of bacteria with radiation, and if they don't all die, you'll get a lot of mutations, most neutral. Blast a computer with radiation, and eventually some bits will flip and the program will stop doing what it was designed to do.

(aside, voyager 2 just experienced a radiation induced bit flip: )

Date: 2010/07/10 21:20:00, Link
Author: Reed
A new endosymbiotic relationship appears in fruit flies ?

I'm sure ID predicted this.

Date: 2010/07/12 02:00:55, Link
Author: Reed
The Earth is younger than previously thought!

Is the Darwinist tent is big enough to include the Young Earth Darwinists (4.467 billion) and the Old Earth Darwinsts (4.537 billion) ?

Date: 2010/07/17 16:36:16, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 17 2010,01:45)
Also worth noting that most muslim countries around the mediterranean already have a ban on niqabs and burqas in public places, such as administrations, schools, universities...

Most of these countries don't have exemplary histories of defending their citizens rights to free expression. Many of them do have trouble with radical Islamic movements, and it's not clearly whether this kind of restriction strengthens them or weakens them.

And honnestly, what bothers most of the French is not the religious aspect of these garments, but rather the passive-aggressive proselytism, the pseudo-appartheid it creates in everyday-life

"pseudo apartheid" because people dress a certain way ? Isn't this just another way of saying you find "those people" offensive or threatening ? Are men in drag engaging in "passive aggressive proselytism" for transexuality ? Goths proselytizing for vampirism ?

and not to forget the security issues.

Actualy, that last point alone should be enough for the ban to be justified. Anyone can hide under a niqab. I consider it the minimum to be able to identify someone in public places.

In this age of pervasive, undetectable surveillance, do we really want to accept the idea that you are legally required to be identifiable in public ? The old  "You have nothing to fear if you aren't a criminal" .... ?

Even if we do accept that this is desirable, banning particular forms of dress is a rotten way to go about it.  Would a burqa be acceptable if each one had a unique barcode ? Would hoodies and dark sunglasses also be banned ? Fursuits ?

If the goal is to have all persons in public places identifiable, then that's what the law should say. There may be some difficulty in cold winters, but hey, a little frost bite is a small price to pay for safety, right ? Perhaps we could require an ID card be visible at all times ? Or cut to the chase and get everyone an RFID chip ?

If the last two are ridiculous and offensive (and I hope they are) how do you justify what amounts to pursuing the same goal in a halfassed, ineffective way ?

I have no doubt that the burqa is largely a tool of oppression, and I agree that breaking down oppressive traditions is worthy goal. What I don't see is any way law can distinguish between a person who is being oppressed by this and one who is engaging in free expression. Banning particular forms of expression because some segment of the society dislikes it is a very dangerous road to go down.

Date: 2010/07/17 22:01:04, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 17 2010,15:38)

I am sure Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt will be very happy to know that...

Repressive measures definitely fed extremism in Egypt and other north African countries. Of course, compared to arbitrary arrest and torture, dress code must be a minor factor.

I don't claim to know how big the negative effect will be but, it should be clear it exists. It's perfect propaganda for the extremists who claim the west is out to destroy Islam. People who are devout but not currently opposed to the state will believe they are being discriminated against. Or consider a Muslim girl who
a) Goes to a normal school in traditional dress. She is exposed to secular eduction, meets people of various religious views, and learns about her rights in that country.
b) Is sent to a private Islamic school (or is sent back to the home country and gets no education at all) because of the restrictions.

Which is more likely to escape the repressive traditions ? Of course you can come up with an opposite case, but my point is these negatives exist.

Turkey should be an informative example, but the actual outcome is so muddy I have no idea what it tells us :)

How are we to know? How is the bank-cashier to know? How is the social-security agent to know?

Requiring people to identify themselves to conduct business or receive government benefits is very different from requiring they must be identifiable whenever they are in public.

How about Project Chanology and their V masks ?
And also, you have to realise the kind of message the burqa cross dressing sends to "infidels" good Christians:  we are not worthy of putting our eyes upon a salafist woman this sinful perverted lifestyle must be accepted as normal. I find it quite offensive.

Many things are offensive to many people. That is not (IMO) a good reason to outlaw them.

Just FYI, as close as february 2010, there's been at least 2 roberies by men dressed in niqab in France alone.

and how many were committed with ski masks, dark glasses, wigs, fake beards, clown makeup ... ?

Date: 2010/07/18 15:19:55, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 18 2010,09:33)
So you are saying you are ok with people walking the streets masked without knowing what their intentions are?

Yes. You've never seen a women cover her face with a scarf (not a hajib etc, a regular old scarf wrapped around her face), sunglasses and hat on a cold winter day ? Are the police going to harass or fine her ? Of course not.

There are plenty of legal activities that might harm your relationship with an employer, family etc., and I don't believe it's any of the states business to say you can't obscure your identity to other citizens in public places.
Especialy with the actual situation in France

It's been many years since I was there, but I don't think means I can't form an opinion on the fundamental issues.

See, in good ol' Europe, for exemple, we consider nazi symbolism to be offensive.

The question is, where do you draw the line ? Clearly the fact that some people find something offensive isn't always grounds to ban it.
Now, please consider the countries where burqas and niqabs are sported: public flogging, hanging or lapidation are common place for women who are suspected of adultery.

Right, and I said earlier that the burqa is mostly a tool of oppression, and breaking down that oppressive system is a worthwhile goal. The question is whether criminalizing it is really an effective way to do it, and to what extent restricting what people wear is a defensible restraint on free expression.

Would you accept nazi symbols, uniforms...etc just for the sake of freedom?

In the US, we do. AFAIK, we have less problems with neo-nazis than many European countries. I'm not claiming this is a direct result of our different approaches to the issue: there's far too many variables make that connection. These symbols are offensive, but it's not clear that criminalizing the symbols is an effective way of reducing the influence of the organizations that identify with them. It is again a difficult problem with (IMO) no clear answer.

And yes, the US is generally prudish about nudity, but IMO that's largely a based on our own religious extremist roots.
With the burqa and niqab, great taboos because "religious" it is totaly impossible, under threats of riots, outrage, and general condamnation by cultural associations.

Is banning the entire thing really going to be less subject to any of this ? Given a choice between a law requiring them to show their face on legitimate demand, or banning it outright, which would they choose ?

(although I've already pointed out before that this is not the case at all)

That doesn't seem like a convincing argument. As far as I can tell, religion is defined entirely by it's adherents belief, and it's pretty clear that the some sects believe that full body covering is required or at least highly encouraged.

Date: 2010/07/18 15:58:22, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 18 2010,11:34)
It is hardly a form of expression though, is it? It is the very opposite. The whole thing is designed to make somebody anonymous.

But that in it self is still an expression of their adherence to a particular belief system, just as much as a Sikhs turban or a Christian cross.

You may believe it is simply a result of indoctrination into an oppressive system (I agree) but that doesn't mean the adherents don't see it as an important part of who they are.

However oppressive and wrong the system is (very and very, TYVM), it's a mistake to assume that many of it's adherents don't genuinely believe it's an important part of who they are or, that they will go to hell if they don't follow it's rules. Making them choose between breaking the law and breaking these rules is not necessarily an effective way to extract them from this system. Maybe in the long run it will help the next generation get out.

Date: 2010/07/18 16:04:51, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 18 2010,13:52)
The actual French law, I believe, bans "the concealment of the face in public" rather than singling out any particular garment so it looks as if big sunglasses are under threat, too! Maybe it will prove unworkable.

Chances are, if white skin is visible and the garment doesn't look "Islamic", you don't have anything to worry about.

Date: 2010/07/18 16:13:15, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 18 2010,14:08)
Yes, you definitely don't know how France works these days.

You really believe that such a law will be enforced uniformly ?

Date: 2010/07/18 16:27:23, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 18 2010,14:06)

Not really a good argument at all. Please see my previous posts, I've adressed this already.

Not convincingly. You've claimed it isn't religious, by citing some religious authorities who claim it isn't required. There is abundant evidence that others do believe it is required, or at least highly encouraged, and since we're talking religion here, there's no objective way to choose between them.

Unless you believe that no najib wearer thinks it's encouraged by their religion, the "it's not religious" argument really doesn't hold water.

You have brought up the issue concealing identity, but that should be completely separate from whether wearing particular clothing is a form of expression.

Well, I will go to hell if I don't rape and kill 4 babies a day. Should we nullifiy the laws about rape, murder and paedophilia just so I can live by my beliefs?*

The obvious different being that your beliefs involve directly harming other peoples, while someone wearing particular clothes generally does not.

Forcing someone to wear particular clothing is a different story.

Date: 2010/07/18 17:23:19, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ July 18 2010,14:23)
who spend their time fighting religious zealots trying to force their view on children and education, everyday life... would defend the exact same behaviors from another community just because they seem to be the "underdog" at the moment.

Really, think about it for a moment...

I have never supported denying our religious extremists the right to express themselves or practice any beliefs that don't directly harm or infringe on the rights of others.

I don't believe that wearing particular clothing in public, by itself, meets these standards, regardless of what motivated wearing them.

I do believe that state interference in individual beliefs and expression is extremely dangerous, especially when it is likely to be applied in a discriminatory manner. This is in fact one of the main reasons I oppose extremists here, because they attempt to subvert the state to do these exact things.

That  a non-muslim can't rightfuly sue a muslim under pain of being ostrasized by these so-called anti-racism associations? Associations that have succesfuly denied the right to use anti-white, anti-french, anti-non muslim racism in courts?

The veil ban addresses these issues how ... ?

I don't deny there are problems. I don't deny that radical Islamists need to be opposed. They certainly shouldn't be allowed to subvert the rule of law.

Date: 2010/07/21 00:14:12, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 20 2010,11:38)
Quote (JohnW @ July 20 2010,13:19)

Do you think the French law is going to be enforced in a neutral manner?  Really?

Yes I do actually. France is not an oppressive regime.

That does not follow. The actual neutrality of enforcement depends on the police and courts, and they generally reflect the same biases as the population they are drawn from. See also DWB.

Date: 2010/09/29 22:57:31, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Badger3k @ Sep. 29 2010,07:43)
It has to be a personal reason - you hate God, you have father issues - something, even if you aren't aware of it.  So, you must also have Lake Monster issues, hate Bigfoot, and I'm not sure about the UFOs - maybe anal probes are too much?

I suppose it's also personal issues that prevent FTK from believing in Zeus, Shiva, Loki, and Tezcatlipoca.

Date: 2010/10/03 21:37:02, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 03 2010,10:12)
What's that got to do with anything? As a side question, are sweat glands unique to humans, or even just rare among mammals?

Eve must have fed the core of the apple to a horse ;)

Date: 2010/10/05 22:26:10, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Zachriel @ Oct. 05 2010,06:47)
Windows is a cross. Microsoft took Apple's concept and integrated it with their operating system. There's also substantial sharing between the depicted lineages, as is typical of human design. Contrariwise, the 'designer' of the bat never saw a bird.

See also

Date: 2010/10/08 23:02:32, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Maya @ Oct. 08 2010,16:30)

I know it's too much to expect the typical intelligent design creationist (hi Clive, you bitch!) to check the original papers of the quote mines they're fed or to check that bibliographic references actually support the nonsense in "research" from the DI and AIG, but is it really so hard to Google "sequoia evolution"?

Or hey, they could go for a walk in the woods and see if
Quote (IDiot @ ,)

Also, the wood does not decay due to the high tannin levels; bugs and fungus can’t digest it. So unless it burns up, a fallen sequoia remains where it fell indefinitely.

is actually accurate. Oh, right, pathetic level of detail and all that. Never mind.

Date: 2010/11/20 20:23:40, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 20 2010,07:37)
Actually a good question.

Hey Joe, what's the specified complexity or CSI, or CSU-Miami or whatever of "ice" compared with "water" and "hail" and "snow"?

hmmm.... it appears water has more BFG than ice, which actually makes sense since a liquid is more random than a solid.

Incontrovertible proof of IDID*

Indecipherable Decision from Intelligent Doofus.

And what does it mean that the situation is reversed in French ? Proof God teh duhsigner is an Anglo ?

Date: 2011/09/04 16:09:06, Link
Author: Reed
An interesting proposal from John Hawks:
I am pleased to announce a new open science initiative, focused on a discovery that is unique in paleoanthropology. Together we are going to find out if the Malapa site has preserved evidence of soft tissue from an ancient hominin species.

Maybe our ID friends can calculate the probability that these specimens were actually deposited in a flood four thousand years ago!

Date: 2011/09/05 19:20:23, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 05 2011,16:58)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Sep. 05 2011,01:10)
Well, Central Texas has started to burn.

What will Rick Perry do, while Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Burnett, and Hays counties burn down around his ears?

Fiddle, prolly.

Pretty sure this covers it...,21242

Date: 2011/11/19 23:56:34, Link
Author: Reed
Quote (forastero @ Nov. 19 2011,14:44)
Quote (noncarborundum @ Nov. 19 2011,16:14)
Also, RE: Math
  Exactly how much larger is the growth rate in the formula P(N) = 8 × (1.005)^N when compared with P(n) = 8(1 + .005)^N?  Show your work.

It looked like  another of his vague but sneaky illusions

I was about to criticize y'alls choice of chew toy, on account of it being incoherent, repetitive and boring... then out pops this nugget of solid gold! Well done, carry on.