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Date: 2006/05/12 12:46:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Whether spreading centers originate with convection cells in the mantle is in a little bit of controversy.  It's arguable that the subducting plates, pulled down by their cold, heavy, vater-infiltrated weight, are instead tugging open the spreading centers, which are then filled by unroofed mantle, which creates a void which then draws further mantle up from lower, higher-pressure areas, rather than the upwelling mantle "pushing" the spreading centers open.
Folks may wish to google Don Anderson, G. Foulger, top-down tectonics, and terms like that, or just go to, if they want to learn more about a REAL scientific controversy...  Doesn't mean the "top-downers" are RIGHT, of course, but it's an interesting example of what could be a paradigm-transition.
But generally I appreciated the answers to afdave about the geology of the San Andreas Fault, etc.

Date: 2006/06/28 15:53:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If I EVER--and I mean EVER--again read a single word that af<unutterablemoron>dave has written...
no, let's make that a single letter that afdave has written...
any of the rest of you have immediate permission to shoot me and put me out of my misery.
Ninety-five pages of this steaming pile of, um, non-noodly appendages!!!
Y'all have got to be kidding me.  Excuse me while I lose every shred of my last three meals.

Date: 2006/08/19 13:34:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I realize that Wesley et al. are volunteers of the best kind, that newer-bigger-better servers cost money, etc., etc.

And I realize that Wesley is hoping to work on the issues.

But, grrr, this does get quite frustrating.  Not knowing whether your comment has posted, not posted, multiply posted, wasting time hitting "preview" and "post" over and over again, getting the "can't find page" page, going back, starting over.

I've written admin with no response and no improvement.  It took me four tries to get THIS page to open.

We've had multiple complaints in the PT threads themselves: me, Flint (I think), Popper's Ghost...

Help!  How are we gonna have any chance of snagging that Science and Tech award again when our own "internal" tech is so kludgy.

There, I've vented.  I feel temporarily better...

Date: 2006/08/23 13:08:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just sent in my donation-for-new-server.  Pretty painless and relieved a scootch or two of my increasing frustration.

Now for a Scotch or two...

Date: 2006/09/21 15:15:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
C'mon, guys, there's no problem with Sal being both a maroon and a mouthpiece-for-hire.

Heck, just through the screen, one can watch him drool and mangle the possessive apostrophe, all within the span of a few keystrokes...

The guy's a regular multi-tasker!

Date: 2006/09/21 15:23:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Wee Davey hasn't popped his head out of his hidey=hole at all on this page.

Like one of those blowup punching dolls slowly running out of gas, it's taking roundheeled Dave longer and longer to roll back into the upright position.

Only to immediately be smacked down again.

Dave: it's been ugly for quite a while; now it's just pitiful.

Time to stay down for the count, "Rock"-y.

Date: 2006/10/13 14:35:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I really find Paley's behavior shocking.  Sure, anyone can be anyone else on the internet, but one hopes that ethics would constrain the more egregious instances of that sort of behavior to porn and mate-matching chat rooms.

Panda's Thumb, TO, and their various affiliates are evidence-oriented sites.  You may preserve your personal privacy (and safety) behind a screen persona and an avatar, but everyone from home-schooled kids to fence-sitting lurkers to Dawkins (for goodness sakes, who apparently reads "Pharyngula") rely on us to put forward our best-evidenced propositions.

I mean what's next:  Lenny is really his own Pizza Guy?  Pizza Guy is really Pizza Woman?  Pizza Woman is really Nurse Bettinke?  I'm really Popper's Ghost!  Gads, people, let's have a little transactional honesty, even here, especially here!  

I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't be shocked by this sock-puppetry, but I am.

Date: 2006/10/15 13:37:15, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave is a maroon, and the more he ought to have learned from the many correct and interesting things he has been shown here, the maroonier he forces himself to become.   There is zero point in reading anything further that he says, unless--as to my discredit I sometimes am--you are one of those odd people who finds maroonity entertaining.

However, much of the rest of what is said here in opposition to (and in indifference to) Dave is interesting in and of itself.

I couldn't care less what people call Dave.  Dave is simply the  null point around which this thread revolves.

Date: 2006/10/23 08:25:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Now what's wrong with Degas?

Monday morning, 10/23, there appear to have been no new posts on PT since Friday evening.  Refreshing does zippo, whether on a given thread or on the main site.  Posting--er, attempting to post, er, make that, even attempting to preview--a comment results in "409 Forbidden."


This really does get old.  If money is needed, one of the member-posters needs to go on the main site, start a post, and ask for the money.  What is so hard about getting a bigger server, better interface software, whatever.

Were we so bowled over with getting the SciAm award last year that we're determined to retreat into obscurity?

Date: 2006/10/23 09:19:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just dropping by to see whether Dave is keeping his record for consecutive more-moronicism-with-each-successive-post record intact.


Useful information consistently offered by Dave's instructors.


Dave, seriously, dude, it's a good thing that, in real life, you live in a community of people at least as stupid and uneducable as yourself and that the internet affords you the grace of anonymity.  Otherwise, you'd have to walk around with your face hidden behind your jacket, like a politician being dragged off to the Happy Haven for Child Molesters.

Otherwise, you'd be the laughing stock of the world.  Such a hopeless maroon.  

Dave, name a single contributor to this thread who agrees that you "won" the PM trouncing--heck, go out and flag down non-aligned people on the street, invite them to come to this thread, demonstrate that they've read just the Portugueses moment" comments, and then see if any of them will agree that you "won."  It simply isn't happening, you hapless maroon.

You lost.

You've lost every single dispute that you've had with every single contributor to this topic about every single thing that you've ever claimed (a very few minor matters aside, like the honestly-admitted overlooking of one outdated and feeble "citation" that occurred on this page--too bad you never seem to appreciate how it looks for you when your opponents do freely admit their occasional honest errors, while you are reduced to endlessly recycling your pitiable false claims of having "won" dispute after dispute in which your positions have been reduced to smoking carnage).

That's how it looks to anyone not trapped inside Dave-world, you maroon.

Date: 2006/10/23 16:08:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks, Wesley.  Not only was that easy to do, but it worked!  I 've never had a similar situation develop with any other internet site, even ones on which I am a more frequent visitor than here (even one that I partially moderate).  But I'm far from an expert, so I'll reserve judgment on why PT and my one-and-only cache-overload "appear" to be correlated.

Thanks for the prompt response and the effective assistance..

Date: 2006/10/24 08:43:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Henry: possibly not and, again, I don't have the tech knowledge to defend any claim that PT's infrastructure isn't performing comparably to a "comparable" site or forum.

But problems continue to occur with accessing the site, slow loading of the site, accessing the comments, slow loading of the comments, previewing and posting the comments, unintentional duplication of comments, accessing AtBC, etc., that I either NEVER have anywhere else or have very rarely.

I realize that we are in some sort of a server changeover, so I'm not going to jump up and down any further until that's been given a fair chance to shake out.

But, ultimately, if problems continue to occur, it would seem that at least one of several hypotheses becomes increasingly reasonable: we simply need more horsepower--let's make a concerted effort to fund and purchase it; we need better interface software (degas: ugh!)--let's investigate the options and obtain something that does a better job.  Etc.

I'm fully aware that when I say "we," I actually mean hard-working souls like Wesley and Reed, who have a lot on their own I'm being patient.

Being patient.

Being patient...

Date: 2006/10/24 09:44:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The correct question may not be, in what species or subspecies of Homo to place Dave and fellow tards (comtards?).

First, it appears possible that Dave forms a unique outlier, even more tarded than all "comparable" Creotards.

Second, even if Dave does indeed have company in his tarditude, and even if Homo remains arguable as the proper genus--based on descent, if nothing else (possibly Dave's parents were well within the range of sapien[t]-ness, and he is simply a "hopeless monster," a "perfect storm" of deleterious mutations)--then I would suggest that  H. tardus or (my favorite of the moment) H. refluxus come closer to capturing the essence of the new species than H. simplex.

I have to agree, though, that "carnage" may be an overly-stiff term to describe the "ruins" of dave's "positions."  In fact, all these terms are overly-substantial for claims transiently molded in jello.  Perhaps, "reduced to their essential slime"?

Date: 2006/10/24 11:02:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hmm.  The usual scientific nomenclatural rule of first-in-time is first-in-right momentarily eluded my pinhead.

I agree that H. simplex was first in time, and will gladly defer.

...though d'man's H. cretinus does have a certain ring about it.

Maybe we need to wait for the DNA results to properly map this new sprig onto the Homo clade...

Date: 2006/10/24 15:17:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Something remains screwy.  The site continues to "freeze" at various points in time, particularly refusing to update to show more recent comments.

One sincerely hopes that "Clear cache" hasn't been substituted for "Refresh."

Date: 2006/10/24 15:23:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Earth to afdave: hello, you're utterly wrong on the information thing.  So totally, utterly, basically, fundamentally wrong that everyone here is rolling around on the floor, in between bouts of banging their heads against the nearest convenient hard surface to try to think of yet another way to drive the simplest point through your impenatrable cranium.

It's astonishing what a maroon you are.  Ever consider marketing yourself as a kind of Girl Scout cookie?

Date: 2006/10/25 09:17:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Same thing again today, 10/25: opened PT and was still looking at "Recent Comments" which has frozen with one of Lenny's on the Poynter Institute from early yesterday.  "Refresh" did nothing.  Cleared the cache again (sigh) and got to see the new posts (Obama, Miller, etc.) and new comments.

This ain't right, folks.  I'm using XP and IE, hardly the best but certainly the most whitebread operating system and browser out there.  They're giving me zero trouble with any other site.

What is up, really?

Date: 2006/10/25 09:40:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The only thing degenerating around here--despite every appearance that it's already degraded to the max--is dave's ability to assemble evidence with non-fallacious logic to reach a tenable conclusion.

On this page alone, dave started out his first few paragraphs of his first post sounding--refreshingly--as if he was at least being "intelligently" (potentially remediably) wrong.

But it's been all downhill from there.

dave, based on the outward indicia, you are in serious need of confession, because you are evidently being afflicted by your deity for an immense pile of offenses.

Help is available, guy, but first (barring involuntary commitment--which may not be too far off) you've got to ask for it.

Date: 2006/10/27 13:02:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh, when I saw Shirley's name on the "home" page, I thought to myself, "Dave, dude, take the hugs!  'Cause that's all you'll ever be getting out of this thread...!"

But Shirley was too tough to even offer a consolation prize.

Dave, you are really not doing very well here.  But I'm sure that's not really, um, new information to you.

During that twenty seconds or so a day of self-honesty.

Date: 2006/11/08 20:00:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Every few pages I stop by to check whether afdave is still the same old loonytune maroon as he was a few pages back, only more so.

For going on several hundred pages, the answer remains, "Yep!"

Hats off to the hardworking davesmackers!  Ya rock!

Date: 2006/11/09 17:01:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This morning, 11/9/06, the main PT site wouldn't open at all.  

This afternoon, in a miracle that almost equals that of the recent election, the site seems to be working fine.  Not only does it open, but the comments open, new comments post without problems, and everything refreshes in real-time, without need for cache-clearing.

Now, if only that kind of performance could be sustained.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Date: 2006/11/09 19:12:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
For those interested in a well-written popular science treatment of the coastal migration theory of peopling the Americas, you might try:

Lost World: Rewriting Prehistory---How New Science Is Tracing America's Ice Age Mariners by Tom Koppel  (Atria 2003).  The softback came out last year...

Much more interesting than anything aflunaticslivedave has to say.

Date: 2006/11/10 16:06:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I sent in $50 too!

Which is why I feel entitled to whine...!

Sorry about all the pizza boxes though.  I do bus mine, when I'm not too drunk to forget.

(Hmmm.  There's a good country song in this thread somewhere:
"The servers never pick up the pizza cartons...
The stupid servers don't seem to do much at all!
Guess I'll just chug down another coupla bottles,
Then kick old a-f-dave on down the hall!"

Date: 2006/11/13 21:31:30, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Like many public "control freaks," I would suggest Dave is a private masochist.

Except, here he is, dah-dah-doing it in the road!

Ah, that's it, secretly all these fundy wing-nuts yearn for their sinful weaknesses to be exposed for all to see, so that they can then thesp through their forgiveness schtick.

But that means that, uh, Dave is just using us to out himself...

Suddenly, I feel so dirty.

Date: 2006/11/14 13:46:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This is indeed turning into an even worse than usual day for Dave in this entirely one-sided "debate."

Only on the Internet or in cartoonland, of course, can one imagine that Wiley E. Coyote could survive repeated explosions, fatal falls, flattenings by semi-trucks, etc., only to rise again, dust off, and looking only a trifle worse for wear, imperturbably flip to yet another page in his Acme Explosives & Supplies, Inc. catalogue.

Only on the Internet or in cartoonland, of course, could Dave continue to extend his string of humiliating smackdowns, like a dauntlessly braindead dude hoping to dance his way across a wide river (De Nile?) by using the snouts of snapping crocodiles as stepping stones.

In anything like a real life, with real-world consequences, Dave would have been reduced to minced Croc-O-Meal, slithering down the Croc-O-Gullet of Croc # 1, sometime early the first day he showed up here...

Even if we grant Dave the magical cartoon powers that he evidently ascribes to his Sky Daddy, however, this is a day when only very small bits of Dave will be left over to dribble along to the snout of the next croc.

Don't touch that 'dile...

Date: 2006/11/14 14:22:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'll repost my plug for:

Lost World : Rewriting Prehistory---How New Science Is Tracing America's Ice Age Mariners by Tom Koppel (Atria 2003), now out in paperback and available used for less than a buck on

It's a useful pop-sci survey of the "coastal route" scenario.  If you google terms like "coastal route," "America" and "migration," you'll come up with the usual mix of articles.  Wikipedia has this:

Anton, what do the degrees of diversity in the Na-Dene language family suggest in terms of time-depth?  Any opinion on the Greenberg-Ruhlen claim of a link to one of the Siberian native languages?  Googling doesn't seem to show much acceptance of that by linguists and blood-group samplers either, I gather...

Date: 2006/11/14 16:16:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sorry for the name confusion, Arden!  Overfast scrolling, or something!

And, yes, we did have the Haida-Na Dene discussion over on PT a while back (can it have been a year...?  Yikes!;).  Prompted somehow by one of the transitional fish discoveries...

Much has been made of the rough correlations between the blood-group/proteins/dental work and the language proto-families speculations.  Maybe Greenberg pulled his dates from that, although somewhere in the 6K-9K range seems roughly correct in terms of coastal archaeology, as well.  I'll doublecheck that and then I'll have to try to dig up the Siberian language that Ruhlen had hypothesized about, although it's a bit tangential to the overall thread here.

Date: 2006/11/14 18:30:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It's Ket.  Which is the same Central Siberian/yeniesian language that is apparently supported as connected with Na-Dene by the linguistics expert (if we're both thinking of the same guy, Edward Vajda?).

I'll come back to this with some links and abstracts when I get a chance.

I do find it of some interest that in two cases now, the Greenberg-Ruhlen hypotheses in this Na-Dene area--the Haida - Na Dene relationship and the Na-Dene - Yeniesian (Ket) relationship--have been supported by the linguists "on the ground."  Of course, it's easy to throw out guesses, and harder to come up with solid evidence (and the Haida hypothesis was hardly original with Greenberg, as I recall, though Ruhlen appears to have been first in print with the Ket-Na Dene hypothesis).

Not that any of this will necessarily prove extensible to the larger, earlier group of AmerIndian languages.

Date: 2006/11/14 19:22:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But, uh, flailed Davy, it's the massive die-off due to Da Flud that sequestered all that extra carbon in the sediments--well, except for the carbon tied up in the surviving scavengers that preferentially ate all the modern pre-Flood animules and plants that failed to fossilize in all those sediments--

--the scavengers I haven't identified yet, because I haven't got a clue how they survived the flood--

--but, uh, anyway, those scavengers must've then croaked from, uh, overindulging, after first passing all that carbon that otherwise would've produced fossils of the modern sort, but first their, um, feces must've added to the mojo carbon-sedimentation, uh, somehow, so really, see, all the modern animals are sequestered, but you'll never find them 'cause they passed thru the scavengers intestines first--

--uh, and, uh, the scavengers themselves didn't fossilized because, uh, they got eaten by all the modern animals that they (the scavengers) didn't eat--y'know, the fast ones, who wouldn't lay still for scavenging, 'cause they (the fast moderns) were all fleeing as fast as they could to their mountaintop refugia (however high the mountains were or weren't, in cubits, or squared cubes, or something), which--after descending post-Flud and eating the scavengers, the modern "fast" animals, all decided that they really like it up on the high (or not so high) mountains, so they all went back there, where they died (the fast, scavenger of the scavenger, modern animals) up there and, uh, of course we all know that it's the mountain tops (however high or low they were) that are the most exposed to the elements, so they would've been subject to the most rapid erosion, so they (the eroded mountaintops) would've completely disintegrated the fossils of the modern fast critters as they tumbled down the streams of, like, the Grand Canyon and what-not--

--uh, and as to where all the carbon came from, heck, it just came out of the b-b-bioshplere (dat'sh easy for me to say, after slugging down some gin after corrupting the minds of all those annoying rug-rats...), where it existed in the form of, uh, all those HUGE pre-Flud plants 'n' animules 'n' dragonflies--

--and don't even try to confuse me about the CYCLIN' of carbon through the bioshp--uh, the bio-thingy!--'cause only you arrogant science pussies would ride them wimpy li'l bikes anyway, instead of exercising like a MAN by pulling triggers and kickin' butts, ya bunch of pansies!--

--and, uh, having all this extra carbon (heck, it probably comes from the same deep sources as THE WATERS, and that's probably where it is today, too, ya weenies)--maybe 100 times extra, maybe a 1000 times extra, what's a zero among zeros, huh?--is just what proves that carbon dating is wrong, uh, I'm not fer sure HOW it proves that, since this whole isotope ratio thing is another pussy side-controversy that I already WON somewhere in the deep sources of my imagination, anyway, and, well, OLD carbon must just be a different ratio from NEW carbon, because, well, it just stands to reason that older stuff would be, uh, heavier or ratio-er or something, than younger stuff, because, well, look, we know that there "were giants in those days," right, and not just 'cause the Bible sez so, but because, c'mon, guys, keep up with me here, willya, 'cause all the animules and plants and dragonflies were heavier so, OF COURSE, the carbon that went into them was heavier, too!

Pretty much covers it all, right?

Won another one, heh heh, just like the whole Portuguese and Inca thing (or Portuguese and Lingua Franca, or was it Portuguese and Ingua-Lingua?)!

Weenies!  Couldn't tell Portuguese from Linguini if it can up and knocked ya in the noodles!

Date: 2006/11/14 21:32:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Such a schoo!

It takes a really open mind to let absolutely every hard piece of evidence fall through it...

Date: 2006/11/15 13:46:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I basically agree--or don't have a reliable basis for disagreeing--with your assessment of the Greenberg-Ruhlen "Amerind" hypothesis (which, with the exception of Ruhlen's "stick to the wall" Ket-Na Dene speculative stab, is really the only "original" claim they've made in the field of "origins of American languages/peoples--since the grouping of the Na-Dene and Inuit-Aleut languages was, as you say, much older, and even the Na-Dene/Haida connection had been hypothesized much earlier--by Sapir? or one of those cats).

Not being a linguist, I do find the work of the proto-language family "lumpers" interesting, and it seems not entirely un-, anti-, or psuedo-scientific to me.  Though obviously the farther back you try to reconstruct, the sketchier and more controversial things will get...

In this regard, though, did Greenberg use an entirely different procedure to generate the similarities and connections which assertedly support his Amerind hypothesis than he did in mega-grouping the sub-Saharan African languages, which--if I understand correctly-- eventually was accepted?

And the work of the Russian linguistic reconstructivists may bear watching.  The interplay of the "genetic" and linguistic hypotheses may eventually lend some added support--or ultimately falsify--this entire enterprise.

My understanding here, again, is that the Amerind-Asian "split" may well be much older than the Na Dene-Yeniesian "split."  Which would make the reconstruction and connecting up of proto-Amerind (supposing, of course, that there even is such a thing) with some proto-whatever Asian language family even more difficult to recover and reconstruct, I presume...

In that regard, your point about the relative distance of Haida and Yeniesian (Ket) from Na-Dene is interesting in and of itself.  In "cladistic" terms, one might envision a tree ("unrooted" at the moment, though I guess G'n'R and others might group the whole shebang with ?Caucasian? or some such proto-family--?Norstratic?)--I don't have the tools to draw this, much less link it to this blog, sorry, so the reader will have to bear with me--in which the Yeniesian group of languages (with Ket as the exemplar) and Haida are deeply split, but connected on one branch, and at the base of that branch is an even deeper split, the other arm of which runs off to the Na-Dene languages, which then splits again (to generate the Tlingit-Ayak-Athapaskan group of languages--with the Athapaskan subgroup being familiar to most readers through Navajo and Apache, though the family seems to "center" geographically in NW Canada, with outliers in Oregon and other places along the way to the U.S. Southwest).

Or do you visualize a different tree, Arden?  Between Yeniesian-Na Dene, and then a very early split between Haida and the rest of Na-Dene?  Or is it simply too early to try to parse these older divergences?

This little side discussion that Arden and I are having does connect up with the overall topic of the "peopling of the Americas," I promise!

I will offer some links later that may help some of the rest of you follow all this (should you care to) in addition to those Arden has put up...

I would love to get a copy of Vajda's Yeniesian-Na Dene talk, Arden.  Maybe we could work that out somehow (is it the one he gave at the 2000 SSILA meeting?)...

Folks should carefully note that Arden is the linguist in this discussion, and I am the non-linguist tyro (but with a bit more than the "average" lay knowledge in stuff relating to NW native groups--though I'm NOT a NW native either...!;), and weight their tracking of this sub-exchange accordingly.

Date: 2006/11/15 14:01:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
In looking that over, I didn't mean to suggest that Na-Dene and Aleut-Inuit are grouped together, just that those are two of the three groupings--and "waves" of settlement of the Americas--that have been hypothesized.  In other words, one set of languages (and language-speaking cultures) is grouped into Na Dene (uh, colloquially, a cluster of NW and scattered western North American "Indian" languages, though hardly the only language family found in that region), and another set is grouped into Aleut-Inuit (uh, very roughly what we used to call "Eskimo," spread across the top of the continent from the Aleutians, across Alaska and Canada, to Greenland).  

Greenberg and Ruhlen, and their cohorts in the dental and blood-protein-genetic bunch of investigators, claim that the Amerind-speaking wave arrived first, somehow, quickly spreading and diversifying from south of the retreating glaciers (whether they came via a land-bridge and a glacial corridor, or via the coast) all the way to the tip of South America.

Then the Na-Dene group (Ruhlen is pretty clear that he thinks this was a maritime occupation, first of Haida Gwaii--the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of northern BC, which were never glaciated--and then, via river valleys and passes across the mountains as the glaciers retreated further, of the continental NW of Canada and SW Alaska).

Then, and most recently, the Aleut-Inuit group, spreading via kayak and specializations for extreme cold, etc., across the upper tier of the North American continent and its island outliers.

Hope I got that roughly "right," now, assuming some or all of it turns out to be right, that is!

Date: 2006/11/15 14:57:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Notice Dave just totally whiffed--struck out swinging--on the scavenger question.  A perfectly fair question that arose from his hand-waving attempt ("scavengers") to dodge the perfectly fair question of why none of the remains of the ka-zillions of modern humans and animals and plants and one-celled critters who perished in the flood fossilized (which would, of course, lead to the question of "what the heck were Adam and Eve and all their wicked descendants eating?  Not to mention the question of what made up all of that carbon-bearing pre-Flood biomass, if there weren't ka-zillions of...  Etc.  Etc.  Davey is, of course, in so much endless trouble here that only his tiny mind could avoid wrapping around enough of the picture to realize the kind of trouble he's in...).

By the way, dave, I didn't mean to call you a "schoo" on the last page.  Sorry.

I meant to call you a "schmoo."

(We do try to keep it accurate around here, even if you feel no corresponding obligation.)

And somewhere in the world, there are probably ancient Greek-myth apologists busily trying to Cobble together the phony calculations that would make Icarus's wax-and-feathers flight possible... Busily hypothesizing roc feathers and the pre-chemical "Mt. Oly super glue" and pre-pharmaceutical "Mt. Vesuvius ultra 'roids" that would lend some semblance of plausibility to this bunch of competing myths.

Hey, dave, the whole thing about dipping Achilles by his heel to make him (almost) invulnerable is written down in an old book, too.  Was that part true history also?

And the "thermonuclear sun" thing really is pretty revealing, though davey seems not to have caught on quite yet: let's get this straight, afd, you believe in the H-Bomb, right (light element fusion, thermonuclear-powered sun ...)?

But you DON'T believe in the A-Bomb (heavy element  fission, radio-dating of, well, everything that rules out davey's entire Creatoidal mindset...)?

Have I got that correct, O Mighty Mo-Ron?

And if not, why not?


Date: 2006/11/15 16:49:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ah, yes, we're never too old to learn cool new stuff.


Well, OK, then there's afd, but then there's at least one exception to every rule.

Date: 2006/11/16 16:10:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks, guys!  All efforts to better the situation are appreciated.

Hope the transition this weekend goes as smoothly as such things ever do, heh heh, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that things actually improve.

Dang!  Almost forgot to take that pizza box with me.  Again...

Date: 2006/11/16 17:06:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
How do I go about getting a message to you, Arden?  I haven't really looked to see if there are accessible "profiles" here, etc...

I can be reached at drawndreams AT hope it goes without saying--Arden!;)

Yeah, I didn't word the "grouping" thing very well about Inuit/Na Dene, as I tried to point out in a followup comment.

And, yeah, I also agree that the genetic, etc., info can't be conclusive, by any means, and has to be correlated with a lot of other things.  If I ever get time to get my links up, I'll have more to say about the converse situation--languages could well be related with very little "blood" relationship left to confirm it, in the "right" set of circumstances.  One only has to think of the exogamous marriage practices on the northern Northwest Coast, the trading/warring/slaving networks, etc., to realize that a language and culture could persist for a long time while the genetic/protein/whatever markers borne by the speakers/culture-bearers could dilute/intermingle fairly rapidly...

Not to mention founder effects, and probably other things that I haven't even considered.

The thoughts about the differences between the Afro-groupings and the Amerind groupings are appreciated.  At the same time, I have heard people (much more expert than I--as wouldn't be hard!--in the linguistics of this or that group) talk confidently about "isolates," and even "separate" origins of human language, in ways that don't make much sense to me.

Certainly there are isolates that we may never, at this remove, be able to hook back up with other extant languages and, sure, conceivably some isolated groups may even, if you go back far enough, have separately "invented" language (it's not utterly impossible) but, to my mind, that doesn't seem like a position of which one could be any more logically certain than any number of other possibilities, in the absence of lots of info we don't yet have.

And the only real motivation I could discern for taking some of these far-out stances seemed to be rather elitist, turf-guarding ones.

IOW, it's one thing to say that too much time has gone by to make well-evidenced connections between long-diversifies languages.  Likewise, to say that a proposed connection just doesn't square with what is so far known.  But to claim,  as some of these folks honestly did, with smirking-level confidence, that their very own unique, prize-baby language was just too cool to be connectible, even in theory, struck me as an odd attitude to take...

So, in the meantime, I'm all interested attention, trying to maintain a watching interest, neither rushing to embrace the lumpers nor refusing to budge with the splitters.

I'm in the same case as to the archaeology and the Pre-Clovis or not issue.  I don't have anything beyond an attentive layperson's knowledge as to the dating, disturbance, contamination, etc. controversies.  But--as Arden has pointed out--it does seem remarkable that the language diversity in the Americas is even greater than it is in much longer-settled Africa.  And the well-accepted archaeological dates already seem to indicate nigh-immediate settlement, going back so closely to the very earliest possible dates that the retreating ice would have allowed, that that in itself seems to pose some issues...

But it's all much more fun than reading afdave's drivel, so thanks to Crabby for starting up a cool thread.

Date: 2006/11/16 17:36:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ah, I get it.  There's a private message system.  Shows you how much looking around I (haven't) done at AtBC...

Now if there was just a private massage system.

Date: 2006/11/16 19:24:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, dave, dave.  

You are SUCH a schmoo!

If you weren't such a liar at one and the same time, you might make a truly adorable brainless little Sunday funnies blob-critter.

Unfortunately for you, though, I think there's a morals test involved in gaining admission to the Sunday funnies.

Date: 2006/11/16 20:45:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, y'all, as much fun as Arden and I are having--feel free to take your thread back at any time!

Yeah, I didn't mean to get all uppity about elitism and turf-guarding (almost sounded like a fundy there, railing against the elite intellectual segment of the population!)--these were good enough folks, talking over a few beers too many, as tends to happen.

One mechanism that's been postulated, I guess, is that of a really whiz-bang cultural tool-kit spreading itself--and it's associated language--far and wide over the landscape, without regard to the "underlying" genetic makeup of the populations across whom the spreading occurs.

Maybe what happened with the Bantus and the cattle-herding culture.  And the Indo-Europeans and the domesticated animal/agricultural tool-kit.

Spreading memes and spreading genes don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, for sure.  Maybe it has to be just the right combination of culture, marriage patterns, land use...

I was vaguely turning the cultural bag of tricks thing over in my pointy little head the other day: the NW Coast people had a perfectly good combination of technology and resources for cutting and shaping both planks and structural members out of wood.  And their planking technology included steaming and bending.  Not to mention that they were riverine and marine-exploiting specialists.  Thus they had all the elements of plank-built, large-scale boatbuilding technology--yet they were still paddling hollowed-log canoes around when the Europeans showed up in their capacious plank-built galleons and such.

As best I can figure, the plank-making/steam-bending technology just never needed to be applied to the construction of large-scale vessels, because the logs available for hollowing were humongous red cedars, which made perfectly good 100-passenger, ocean-going canoes as it was.

Who knows what might've occured to some industrious canoe-maker in another 50 or 100 years of course.

And then, who knows where the Na Dene language group might've transplanted itself.

Or what lost "fossil" languages have been supplanted in the course of such tool-kit spreading, with all the resulting complications to our efforts at language reconstuction!

Date: 2006/11/18 18:39:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
...Sigh.  Not just a schmoo, but a schmoron, a schmaroon!

Davey, no one was talking about the "financial performance" (thieving from the ignorant) of your particular little batch of nutters.

It's the dog meme on the whole that's in retreat, ever since the Renaissance.

Arf, arf.  :p

Date: 2006/11/20 14:29:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Things were working slick for a while on the PT site.

But now we're back to "Can't be found."  Sigh.  Still seems better overall, time-averaged, than a week ago...

Date: 2006/11/20 14:49:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm still waiting for the answer (or, hah! "explanation") of why Dave believes in light-element fusion (H-bomb, processes within Sol), but apparently does not believe in heavy-element fission (A-bomb, radioisotope dating techniques).

Given Davey's goofy theory about Poruguese--and given his conviction that the Spanish must have interbred with various South American native groups, futzing up the allelle determinations--I'm waiting to hear how all South American Indian languages are intermediates between--c'mon, Dave, help us out here--Incan and Spanish?

And what about Mexican, Dave?  Is that a mix of Aztec and Spanish?

And what about Arizonian, Davey?  Is that a mix of Navajo and Spanish?

And what about Southron English, Dave?  Is that a mixture of English and, uh, Senegalese?

Anyway, Davey, getting back to the fission/fusion thingey...since I don't really think holding my breath would be healthful, should I start the timer?

Date: 2006/11/20 16:54:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Vmartin, you need to read a book by evo-devo biologist Sean Carroll re evolution of butterfly wing markings, etc.:
Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom, W.W. Norton (2005).

It doesn't take a whole bunch of mutations to have a major impact on phenotypic patterns--it takes relatively small changes to signalling genes.

Do your research and then come back and talk about your questions.

On some relevant thread, which--as you will have gathered--this is not.

Date: 2006/11/21 13:54:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Davey. this is beyond moronic, even for you:
In fission bombs we are forcibly initiating the splitting of atoms.

You are not just scraping the bottom of the barrel, you're spitting up dirt from the antipodes of where the barrel is situated.
What a complete no-nothing, ugh!

Date: 2006/11/21 14:24:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, the new memory is apparently just a band-aid.  Both PT and AtBC remain hard to access, but at least once you get on them, commenting isn't nearly the pain it was getting to be (not saying it's smooth as silk, either, but comments can generally be previewed and posted...).

Once you can get the site to load in the first place, which seems to be running about 60%.

On a good day.

Date: 2006/11/21 14:58:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hold the presses!  Wait just one dad-burned minute!
However microcephalic he may be, us pinheads resemble this remark:
only to see if Dave's pointed, eggshell-like empty skull needs more crushing.

Please get the subspecies correct: whatever else he may be, Davey Dumb-Dumbs is not a member of the pinhead clade!
Arrgghh...   :angry:

Date: 2006/11/21 15:07:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I would speculate--which is all you can do when it comes to attempting to analyze Dave's alleged "mental processes"--that Dave Marbles In His Head "visualizes" nuclear fission as something kind of like playing marbles.  You take your shooter marble and plink it into the pile of marbles in the circle, like making the break shot in a game of Eight-Ball pool.  If you just physically smack the target marbles/pool balls hard enough, you can "force" the initiation of a nuclear chain reaction.

Now, this is kinda-sorta the way that an accelerator works--you can smack the target particle hard enough with the "cue" particle to get it to break down into its constituents.

But it's not the way that an A-bomb works, as has been explained above.  Nor is it even the way that a "controlled" nuclear reaction works.

Ever notice, Davey, that not too many accelerators, uh, have exploded?

Crikey, this mutt is off the charts, and not in a good direction.

No wonder he's so concerned about deleterious mutations.  He certainly seems to have inherited more than his share...

Date: 2006/11/21 16:28:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yo, Vmartin, I gave you the book cite for the info you're going to need to even begin to discuss this mimicry issue intelligently.

And, take a hint, discussing it intelligently is not something that you are currently doing.

Get back to us when you know something.  Anything!  Until then, weg gehen, bitte sehr!

Date: 2006/11/21 17:16:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The arguments are in the book, V.

When you are able to express that you understand them, I'll be happy to talk further with you.

Until then, ta ta.

Date: 2006/11/21 18:21:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And then Dembski weighs in with a long CnP from some fellow who's apparently proposing that JHC actually was a parthogenetic XX male.  Thus, that the Virgin Birth could have been an extremely long-odds natural event.  Or something.
Are these guys in favor of a miraculous Virgin Birth, or not?
Are they against extremely long-odds events occurring in nature, or not?
Is Dave really in favor of a less-than-fully-"masculine" JHC, or not?
Are these guys intentionally obscuring whatever it is that they are proposing, or have they now become so mentally fatigued by all the dodging and weaving they have to do that they couldn't articulate a clear proposition if their lives depended on it?
Or not?

Date: 2006/11/21 18:52:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But, seriously, has anyone ever seen apples give birth to horses?

Date: 2006/11/21 19:45:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Not to mention, that Dave doesn't really "know" anything that he hasn't read here, on AIG, or in his Fat Book.

And most of what he sees here, he fails to internalize.

Oh, excuse me, I almost forgot davey's vaunted, koff koff, "common sense."

Worth every penny he paid for it.

Date: 2006/11/21 20:15:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
you guys just move way too fast for me.

Heh!  Just think how davey feels!  His head is spinning so hard between posts that he's probably popping anti-nausea pills like a landlubber on a cruise boat.

No wonder most of what he says, he spews.

Date: 2006/11/22 14:02:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, if you don't understand how nuclear fission works in the first place, you can't possibly concoct an intelligent critique of radio-dating techniques.

You apparently continue to believe that the physical force transmitted in the triggering explosion of an A-Bomb is what initiates the fission--a/k/a Dave's "pool-break" model of nuclear physics."

In the most simplistic sense, sure, if you don't bring enough fissile material into a small enough area in a quick enough time, you don't get a sustained nuclear reaction.

But it's bringing a sufficient amount of naturally-unstable higher-element material together that initiates the reaction.  Other than that, the physical force with which the material is brought together (more like an implosion than an explosion, but let's not strain your neurons any more than necessary...) is irrelevant to the actual splitting of the atoms.

They're not split due to the application of a physical force (transfer of kinetic energy, however you prefer to "think" about it)--they split because they're unstable and they have predictable, well-understood half-lives.  Those same predictable, well-understood half-lives are why radio-dating works.

That we need to bring enough of an inherently-unstable element into close time-space proximity to initiate a sustained reaction does not change the underlying physics (the objectively-measurable and predictable decay rates of the unstable elements) at all.  That you would claim that human manipulation "explains" why A-Bombs work, but radio-dating doesn't, just leaves me speechless at your own mental instability.

Not for the first or last time, I'm sure.

It could not be more clear that you are utterly unqualified to discuss any physics-related issue at all.  Thus, you are wholly incapable of understanding--much less meaningfully refuting--scientific dating techniques.  This means, of course, that your entire "hypothesis" fails before you can even drag it to the starting line.

Shoot it in the head, Dave; put it out of its misery.

Oh, and repeated, pitiful efforts to co-opt my self-chosen monicker to attempt to "make a funny" is, uh, not exactly clever beyond measure...  It only makes it even more apparent that your neurons are not optimally wired, even by comparison with an acknowledged pinhead.*  Stupidity isn't funny, Dave, it's pitiful.

Pinhead Motto: it's not the number of neurons you've got, it's how well you use them!

Date: 2006/11/22 15:59:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Again, Vmartin, until you have established that you have some vague idea of what you are talking about--which repeatedly claiming supra-laymanesque levels of knowledge by comparing yourself to, koff koff, JAD hardly does--you've done nothing to warrant a response.

Particularly not on this thread.

Beyond that, you claim to have identified one case in which mimicry has not yet been reduced to natural selection.  Isolating one "problem" for such a strongly-supported theory hardly overturns it.  Nor is natural selection the only mechanism by which evolution proceeds.

But do drop me a line when the Martin-Davison collaboration is singled out by the Nobel prize committee...  I won't, however, be holding my breath until that ever-receding date arrives.

Date: 2006/11/28 16:11:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"data dancer" ==> hypothesis hula? ah! hypothesis hustle!

Date: 2006/11/28 19:45:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

You're not willing to simply take Lenny's word for the veracity of the document?

Faithless heretic!


Date: 2006/11/29 21:12:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave has now descended beneath moron.


What will be below that?


How LOW can he go, in his onward and downward limbo?

That's it, Dave, shake that thing!  Do the hypothesis hustle!

The only information around here that's degenerating is whatever whacked-out code specifies Dave-ness.

Date: 2006/11/30 17:18:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Dave, you are not proving that you are stupid (unable to think and learn, though you are probably proving that you have distinct relative limitations in those regards).  After all, you can read and write English, and operate a computer terminal--though thedegree of your comprehension and articulation are apparently compromised, see parenthetical statement above.

What you are proving here is that you are mule-stubborn ignorant: though you exhibit some limited capacity for learning, you simply refuse to educate yourself, and instead mire yourself in denial and dishonesty.

But as long as you've returned to the topic of the Inca and Guarani, Dave, and your sad claims of Spanish "admixtures" to the alleles...  Does Guarani = Inca + Spanish?  Or does Inca = Guarani + Spanish?

Looking forward to understanding your "Spanish influence" theory of the differentiation of South Amercan native languages.

Sincerely, Your Favorite Pinhead

Date: 2006/11/30 19:32:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, you are  such a moronic ignoramus.  

While we're waiting for a more complete explication of Dave's Spinca language theory (or maybe it's the Guaranish theory...), let's get real basic with Dave's "no beneficial mutations" aka "no new information" aka "the genome was degenerating even as biodiversity was proliferating" hypothesis hustle.

Dave apparently thinks that almost every genetic copying "error" aka mutation is deleterious or slightly so (we assume this is what he means by continually repeating his "nearly neutral" mantra, though he's too much of a woosy to actually take a firm position).  Who cares, Davey--any mutation that is significantly deleterious, that is harmful to the critter's chances of survival when exposed against the background of its immediate environment (let's call that impact-in-the-immediate "exposure" for short), will eliminate that particular critter from the gene pool.  Bad mutation=low odds of reproducing before dying=elimination of that mutation from the population.

So--barring that poor mutant individual--cares about "bad" mutations?  Only comprehension-stunted Davey.

(Of course, even immediately-bad mutations aren't necessarily immediately "exposed," because of the whole dominant/recessive alleles thingy that Dave has such trouble wrapping his head around: one of a mutation may confer an immediate benefit that outweighs the potential harm that results when that mutation doubles up. but why get complicated when Dave has enough difficulty with the fundamentals.)

That leaves "neutral" mutations--let's say they are the overwhelming majority after "exposure" deletes any immediately-harmful mutations.

Notice these value-laden terms (good, bad, neutral) aren't absolutes.  They mean nothing outside the context provided by the environment in which the critter has to develop and survive.  Today's "neutral" mutation can become tomorrow's "good" or "bad" mutation, depending on changes in the environment.

And any mutation that isn't immediately "exposed" is the equivalent of "neutral," right, Davey, because if the phenotype that's carrying it doesn't express that mutation, then the phenotype can't be hurt or harmed--yet--by carrying it (I know, Davey, this gets back into the alleles thingy that's such heavy sledding for you, so just skip this section if it makes your brain sweat).

So, we can disregard the bad mutations, which get eliminated, and the bad mutations which aren't "exposed" to the current environment (they'll either get eliminated when they are exposed or, if the environment changes enough in the meantime, maybe they'll turn out to be neutral or good by then).

Likewise, we can disregard the neutral mutations (they have no current survival impact and can't be selected for or against: that's what "neutral" means...).  If the environment changes enough so that "neutral" turns out to mean "bad," then see above.  If the environment changes enough so that "neutral" turns out to mean "good," then see below.

Note, Davey, that it doesn't matter how overwhelmingly numerous the bad and neutral mutations may be relative to how non-numerous any occasional (or even "vanishingly rare," teaspoon-in-the-ocean) good mutation may be.  The bad ones get eliminated, the neutral ones don't matter either way [/I]for the present[I], so the however-rare-you-wanna-believe-them-to-be good mutations are the only ones that get "counted" by this utterly-unintelligent sieve-system.

Good mutations, however rare, simply can't get "overwhelmed," Davey.  

And remember, in addition to any good-out-of-the-box mutations, you've also gotta count the good-eventually ones that started out as bad (but didn't get expressed because they were recessive) or neutral...

So there's more than you think, in any event.

This is all agonizingly simple stuff, Davey, which is why it's so funny to see you twist in the wind trying to pretend that's it's too hard to comprehend.

Well, okay, for you, maybe it is.

Date: 2006/11/30 20:52:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But, Lenny!

How can we miss you if you won't go away?

Just kidding.

Welcome back.  Or welcome-didn't-leave-in-the-first-place.

By the way, now that you're still here, I have a few questions for you...

Just kidding!

Date: 2006/12/01 14:11:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This comment will land  pages from the one that prompted it, so I should probably figure out how to quote here.  Hmmm:

Naw, that doesn't work when you're trying to go back to another page...

Anyway, I'll just point out that--in case Dave forgot to--that, while the Republic survived Teddy R's non-use of a Bible at his swearing-in, Teddy did not!

Dave, I sure hope you didn't overlook this obvious comeback, which surely illustrates the wrath of dog in action--or at least the continuing degeneration of the genome since the Fall...

Date: 2006/12/01 15:28:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
On the one hand, it's really not appropriate for us to make fun of you simply because English is not your native language.  Assuming you aren't Old Horseapples and that you really are a non-native speaker trying to conduct a debate about evolutionary science on an English-speaking forum, then we can say:

1. You certainly write better English than I do Slavonian (or German, or whatever your native language may be).

2. Despite your commendable confidence in your ability, however, your written English is simply not good enough to conduct this debate in a fashion understandable to native English, non-Slavonian speakers.

Here's a recent quote from you, followed by my best attempt to render it into "good enough" written English:

Your problem probably consist in fact that you do not understand other language as english. You seems to have problem therefore to distinguish between analytical (e.g. german, english) and syntetical languages (as Latin, Greek and Slavonic languages).

Order of words in a sentence seems to be unsurmountable barrier for your underestanding. No wonder that only theory you are capable to comprehend is outdate darwinism from mid-19 century.

That many of folks here do not underestand any Slavonic language and not even written German is probably a fact. One of you used babelfish translator to translate Nietzsche german text with this curios outcome.

Your problem probably consists in the fact that you do not understand other languages as well as you do English. You seems to be having problems, therefore, in distinguishing between analytical (e.g., German or English) and syntetical (as Latin, Greek and Slavonic languages) languages.

The order of words in a sentence seems to be an insurmountable barrier for your underestanding. No wonder that [b/the[/b] only theory you are capable of comprehending is outdated Darwinism from the Mid-19th Century.

That many of the folks here do not underestand any Slavonic language and do not even understand written German is probably a fact. One of you used the
abelfish translator to translate Nietzsche's German text with this curious outcome:

What we see, therefore, is that "word order" is not really your problem.  Your problems are multiple, but include your failure to use necessary articles and connectives, your failure to appropriately capitalize and punctuate, your uncertain grasp of word endings, your misspellings, your mishandling of the possessive, your failure to use parallel construction, and your numerous other minor-but-cumulative errors.

I could have similarly "corrected" your attempt to "improve" on Babelfish's translation of Nietzsche, which was notably unsuccessful.

Nobody here claimed to understand written German or whatever Slavonic language you are operating from.

You apparently believe, however, that your slightly-broken English--which might well be adequate for picking up girls in a bar--is sufficient for a technical-scientific debate of this kind.

I'm sorry to inform you that it's simply not, although with further practice--which I encourage you to obtain in some less-demanding forum--it may well become adequate before very much longer.

You inability to efffectively deploy logic and evidence in scientific debate, however, is not so easily addressed, but I wish you luck with that as well.

Sincerely, Stevie

Date: 2006/12/01 15:37:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Gosh, Dave.  Now that I've caught up to the last several pages, I'm astonished to see that you committed completely unnecessary hari-kari (get up out of nice safe trench and walk slowly into machine gun crossfire stupid) on all these other points--

--while completely missing the opportunity to make the nice, safe Teddy R-got-HIS-comeuppance point.

Needless to say, that point would've been debatable and utterly irrelevant, but at least it wasn't deliberate suicide.

Dude, how many times did you get dropped on your head as a baby?

And from how high?

We won't report your "caretakers" for child abuse, Dave, honest.  Heck, the statute's probably run, so they're in no danger whatsoever (well, except from sue-happy "tort reform" types like yourself...).

Date: 2006/12/01 16:08:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Actually, davey, it was, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

Which, lucy-girl, you certainly do.

So quit garbling old TV quotes and redirect your nose to the grindstone.

It's getting a little long, Pinocchio-wise.

Let me give you a little help: whether perfectly-neutral mutations are many or few, if not-quite-neutral mutations (whether slightly deleterious or slightly beneficial) are indeed exposed to selection--as you seem to have conceded--then they either spread within the gene pool (beneficial) or get eliminated (deleterious).  The only difference between "slightly" and "whole lot" in this regard is how many generations it takes.

The good 'uns still get spread and the bad ones still get shed.  And the neutral ones still just sit there.

That you can still be dancing around the far outskirts of this achingly simple process, rather than just coming into the fire and warming up, must get very hard on the shoe leather.

But that's your look-out, and none of my own.

Date: 2006/12/01 18:17:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It's almost too easy to point out that there are now two discernible 'kinds" of hominids:

The "dave" kind--

--and the "rest of us" kind.

Date: 2006/12/02 20:24:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
When Dave can't even get the simple, verifiable things right, you wonder why he'd ever have the temerity to venture into things that might actually require the application of logic to evidence.  Today's lesson:

Stevie-- You need to go back to school on A-Bombs and "I Love Lucy."  :-)
  (from Dave's post of Dec. 02 2006,09:05, on p. 109).

Here's the reference, Davey:
And here's the actual quote:
"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do."

You got the Ricky Ricardo quote wrong:
Just 'splain me this (as Ricky used to say) ...
(from Dave's post of Dec. 01 2006,15:43, on p. 108);

And I got it right:
Actually, davey, it was, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"
(from Stevie's post of Dec. 01 2006,16:08, further down the same page).

I'll take you to school on the A-Bomb, too (actually, my service of you on that topic stands unrefuted...), but I think this example of your lack of knowledge on something this easy to check and get correct, combined with your overweening confidence--despite all evidence--that your knowledge is correct anyway, is probably sufficient for today's lesson in Dave-dumbitude.

Date: 2006/12/02 20:40:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Eh, blithering or not, I detect the glimmerings of a sense of humor.

Which, even if it leaves Davisonsout of the equation,  still brings Vmartin no closer to an understanding of how scientific explanations work.

Date: 2006/12/02 21:37:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Davey, you wad'o'slime, you're so insecure you can't admit you're wrong even when you get totally nailed in public--it's always gotta be a "misunderstanding."

But you couldn't have misunderstood my initial correction as Lucy being the speaker, because (a) I never claimed that Lucy rather than Ricky was the speaker, (b) my quote clearly contained different wording from your garbled version, and © Lucy" was named inside the quotation as the subject of the remark, not outside the quotation as the speaker.  It's right there in black and white, Davey:
Actually, davey, it was, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

Either you're a moronically inept reader--well, come to think of it, you've basically admitted that too, although we all know that you won't admit having admitted it--or you're a totally insecure jackass.

Or, parsimony suggests, both.

Didn't you just see the example in the thread above of someone's graciously admitting they were in error (about the dates of Justinian's reign), rather than ineptly trying to blame it on a "misunderstanding"?

But water off a duck's back, huh?

You got served on the A-Bomb, you got served on Lucy, and you've been getting served every moment of every minute, day, and month of your time here.

You could've had many cool learning moments here, Davey, if you'd opened your mental blinds one tiny crack.  Instead, you choose to insecurely cling to your fantasy of *never being wrong,* while all the while you're serving as a national--nay, global--example of just how ineducable one stubbornly irrational person can be.

Date: 2006/12/04 14:30:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
(Sigh.)  I was waiting for the inevitable Nabakov quote from the moment our butterfly mimicry troll first surfaced.

Why are these people so utterly predictable?

I retract my remark that this guy showed a glimmer of a sense of humor.

Not all that glisters is gold...

How do you like them turnip-greens!

Date: 2006/12/04 14:34:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heck, he didn't even spell your name right!

If you're going to be all skeptical in the Land'O'Steves, ya gotta get the little things down...


Date: 2006/12/04 15:24:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Re avatars--stevie is a pinhead and doesn't know where to go get them (or is too lazy to google "avatar" and see what happens...).

But if the smarty darwinistic people stoop to helping pinheaded atavistic stevie, then...who knows, maybe pictures start popping out like horseapples after snowmelt!

Or oxford-english speaking darwin-loving redneck babes in Slovakian bars!


Date: 2006/12/04 16:11:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Uh, we need to start much simpler for stevie.  If I go to Wikipedia and search "avatar," I don't get a selection of samples, I get an article about avatars...!

Even if I find a sample image, where does it get hosted, how do I link it, etc., etc....

Remember the third and fourth syllables in the screenname!


Date: 2006/12/04 17:44:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oookay, let's see what happens...

Ah, now we're talking!   :p

Date: 2006/12/04 18:25:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
All right, afdave.  You've had a few jokes at the expense of my pinheadedness.

I hope now that you can see for yourself what this terrible affliction really looks like, that you'll manage to be a little bit more civil!

But don't you dare appropriate my affliction as just one more factoid in your unrelenting effort to prove that all those mutations are deleterious--after all, as we can tell from your family photos, you have a propellor on your head, but you seem to have reproduced just fine (although your family seems to be quite, ahem, spaced out--who is that older fellow hugging the kids?).

I would be interested to know, though, how you seem to type so well with those outstretched rectanguloid airfoil-thingies where your upper extremeties should be?  

Thanks to Mike PSS and Arden Chatfield for encouraging me in my, er, "debut."

Date: 2006/12/04 19:17:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
All nations should have complete and total jusidiction over it's citizens.

And what about "certain inalienable rights"?  Wouldn't you agree that some basic human rights should, in theory, apply trans-nationally, that is in spite or instead of national sovereignty?

Date: 2006/12/06 15:01:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
While I'm not entirely unsympathetic, PT's main topic isn't really the science itself, but--as Lenny effectively reminds us from time to time--the political, religious, and sociological controversies that swirl around the science.

Very little of this controversy is truly about the science.  While most of us here hope the science will rise above the controversy--and often the scientific evidence is dramatic and exciting enough to do just that, to our mutual delight and wonderment!--the science cannot all on its own "resolve" the non-scientific, a-scientific, and psuedoscientific controversies.

Which is why we have little choice, at times, but to take on some of the surrounding issues on their own terms.

Date: 2006/12/06 15:16:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Santa Claus, as a contemporaneous figure, has access to modern deodorants and cleansing products.

Jesus, as a figure out of the past, was deprived in these regards.

When it comes to odor, therefore, Jesus likely had the greater offensive capability.

Of course, there are other measures of "power," and this discussion could become an extended one.  I'm only addressing one limited aspect.

Date: 2006/12/06 17:18:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Maybe dave can help?

And maybe that guy'll show up on my doorstep with the million-dollar check...

Date: 2006/12/06 19:14:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
As long as we seem to just be treading water for the moment--

Has anybody seen my cervical vertebrae?

I'm sure I just had them on me.  There were about seven of them, as best I recall...

Date: 2006/12/06 20:15:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Trying to steer things back toward track, if only to set things up for new departures, here's's "editorial review" of 1491, complete with timeline"
1491 is not so much the story of a year, as of what that year stands for: the long-debated (and often-dismissed) question of what human civilization in the Americas was like before the Europeans crashed the party. The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused territory, sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans. For decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists, paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann brings together in 1491, different stories have been emerging. Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come over the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the Americas were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians, rather than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered the landscape across the continents, to the point that even "timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be seen as products of human intervention.
Mann is well aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of pot-shard interpretation and precise scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But the most compelling of his eye-opening revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European contact. To many of those who were there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination. And those who came later and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered not the natural and unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was likely the greatest epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a population without immunity, which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for their discovery a land that held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. --Tom Nissley

A 1491 Timeline

Europe and Asia Dates The Americas

25000-35000 B.C. Time of paleo-Indian migration to Americas from Siberia, according to genetic evidence. Groups likely traveled across the Pacific in boats.

Wheat and barley grown from wild ancestors in Sumer. 6000  

5000 In what many scientists regard as humankind's first and greatest feat of genetic engineering, Indians in southern Mexico systematically breed maize (corn) from dissimilar ancestor species.

First cities established in Sumer. 4000  

3000 The Americas' first urban complex, in coastal Peru, of at least 30 closely packed cities, each centered around large pyramid-like structures

Great Pyramid at Giza 2650  

32 First clear evidence of Olmec use of zero--an invention, widely described as the most important mathematical discovery ever made, which did not occur in Eurasia until about 600 A.D., in India (zero was not introduced to Europe until the 1200s and not widely used until the 1700s)

800-840 A.D. Sudden collapse of most central Maya cities in the face of severe drought and lengthy war

Vikings briefly establish first European settlements in North America. 1000  
Reconstruction of Cahokia, c. 1250 A.D.*  
Abrupt rise of Cahokia, near modern St. Louis, the largest city north of the Rio Grande. Population estimates vary from at least 15,000 to 100,000.

Black Death devastates Europe. 1347-1351  

1398 Birth of Tlacaélel, the brilliant Mexican strategist behind the Triple Alliance (also known as the Aztec empire), which within decades controls central Mexico, then the most densely settled place on Earth.

The Encounter: Columbus sails from Europe to the Caribbean. 1492 The Encounter: Columbus sails from Europe to the Caribbean.

Syphilis apparently brought to Europe by Columbus's returning crew. 1493  

Ferdinand Magellan departs from Spain on around-the-world voyage. 1519  
Sixteenth-century Mexica drawing of the effects of smallpox**  
Cortes driven from Tenochtitlán, capital of the Triple Alliance, and then gains victory as smallpox, a European disease never before seen in the Americas, kills at least one of three in the empire.

1525-1533 The smallpox epidemic sweeps into Peru, killing as much as half the population of the Inka empire and opening the door to conquest by Spanish forces led by Pizarro.

1617 Huge areas of New England nearly depopulated by epidemic brought by shipwrecked French sailors.

English Pilgrims arrive at Patuxet, an Indian village emptied by disease, and survive on stored Indian food, renaming the village Plymouth.

Date: 2006/12/06 20:47:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Let's watch it with the cracks about "slopeheads," by the way...


Date: 2006/12/07 18:46:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Using Vmartin's "clue" that the information contains its own front-loaded key to decoding the true message, we take "Vmartin" as our initial text.

The "V" is in the "exposed" initial position and is further marked out by its uppercase nature.  The "t" also sticks up out of the crowd of more compact letters.  These clues seem to be telling us that overly-tall elements are exposed to danger and damage, like weeds sprouting above the grass-tips in a lawn about to be mowed.

Deleting these vertically-"exposed" letters yields "_mar_in."

Since we started with the consonants, let us inspect the remaining "m," "r," and "n," applying our hypothesized vertical-shearing force as a "selective pressure."  Note that each of the surviving consonants has a smoothly-arching horizontal feature, which we may analogize to a protective "roof."  In the case of the "m" and "n," this barrel-vault is carried all the way down to the "ground," providing the "roof" with maximum support and the internal space or "territory" occupied or bounded by the letter's margin with a maximum of protection from the harsh vertical forces of the environment.

The roof of the "r" furnishes less than ideal support and protection, but is not overly-cantilevered.  In short, while less than ideal, this appears to be a survivable variant of the "roof" design.

Let's now turn our attention to the vowels.  Clearly, vowels are needed to form a viable word; we cannot simply eliminate them all, however undesirable.  Likewise, while we have dispensed with certain undesirable consonants, doing so has not altered the essential structure ('kind") of the word, which still possesses two syllables, and still begins and ends in consonants.  To eliminate the remaining vowels entirely, however, would threaten this core structure or "bau-plan," generating an entirely non-viable "sport" or monster.

Yet the remaining vowels are far from ideal in a vertically-challenging environment.  While not projecting as boldly above the protection of its fellows as the "V" or "t," the "i" does still project into the slipstream.  

And the "a," while superficially appearing to, er, mimic the arching roof of the surviving consonants, carries this roof over and down, not to the ground, but to a weirdly-truncated--heck, let's just come right out and call it deformed--stub.  This stub, like a floating rib in a boxing match, is clearly vulnerable to being "plucked up" by wayward vertical forces.  Once sprung open, this deformed roof would stand revealed as yet another flagpole-like vertical projection.  While not immediately lethal, we are certainly warranted in viewing the "a" as a latent or sub-lethal variant of the fatal vertical mutation.

Since we do not have the luxury of entirely dispensing with the vowel forms, we are forced to substitute from the remaining vowels of "e," "o," and "u."  Of these three, "o" obviously exhibits the ideal compact and protective form--it is "all-roof"!

"U," on the other hand, affords no vertical protection whatsoever--its internal territory is entirely open to the ravages of the vertical forces.

The "e," like the previously-examined and rejected "a," superficially seems to exhibit the smoothly-arching "roof" feature.  However, rather than terminating smoothly after achieving horizontal "coverage," or continuing on down to the safety and support of the ground, the roof of the "e" tucks back under in an awkward and ungainly fashion, leaving "exposed" territory below the roof projection.  Unlike the "a," even, this territory is not enclosed.  And, unlike the "r," the exposed structure of the "e" is not firmly rooted, but exhibits an unstable "rocking" base formation.  While the "e" might arguably be a survivable variant, clearly it cannot compete alongside the "o."

Whether we imagine our procedure proceeding directly from the current noncompetitive vowel forms to the "o" in one step, or proceeding instead via the temporary "way-station" of the "e," obviously the "o" will be the ultimate destination in our transformational series.

Thus, employing an entirely consistent procedure, all aspects of which, upon careful inspection and consideration, arose naturally out of the initial state of the information "specified" and "front-loaded" in the message transmitted by the code's designer, we have gone in an entirely-legitimate--indeed, compelling and inevitable!--step-by-step manner from "Vmartin" to "_mor_on."  Eliminating the spacer or placeholder symbols ("_"), which temporarily represented the most-vulnerable and inessential "projecting" letters in the original message, which have since been deleted by the harsh forces of our microcosmos, our decoding yields as its eminently-satisfying and inexorably-logical final product "Vmartin ==> moron."

Indeed, we love it so!

Date: 2006/12/08 15:02:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, honestly, do you have a diagnosed learning disability?  Why do simple things have to be repeated for you, time after time?

The chess-playing computers "learn" the same way that "evolution" learns.  Randomly-generated moves that are either illegal or that lead to losses (checkmate, heavy loss of material, sacrifice of key board positions, the details don't matter to our analogy, though fine-tuning and weighting these things probably matters to the success of the particular program...) in a given board position are discarded.  Moves that, by happenstance, lead to victory, gains in material, or better board position, are retained and "developed" or extended by further random moves on the next turn.  Most of those will turn out to be losers, too.

In the "universe" of possible moves from a given position--and with a given finite number of squares and pieces, and sufficient processing power, a random search will eventually generate all the possible moves, which however large, will not be infinite--they can't ALL be losers, Davey.  I mean, duh, how obvious can we get here: of the available moves, some will be better than others.  Of the available moves, a sufficiently-intense random search will eventually explore them all.

The massively-parallel chess players "explore" each line of play radiating out from each position.  They "play" the opposition's moves as well--by the simple expedient of crunching through every possible responsive move, rinse, repeat, until it becomes clear that a given line of play leads to a loss or other negative results.  Those lines are discarded; the crunching power is concentrated on the "surviving" lines of play.  Etc.  Eventually the "most competitive" next move is determined.  The real "intelligent" opponent--flipping rapidly through his own memorized lines of play and his own set of "weighted" factors--evaluates the computer's move and comes up with an actual real-world response.

The computer starts with the new board position, explores all the possible lines, responses, counter-response, etc., and <rinse and repeat>...

What exactly is it about this complex-appearing but ultimately brutally-simple process that you can't wrap your neurons around, Davey?

In a given finite environment, over a given finite period of time, with a given finite number of genes, and a sufficiently large number of phenotypes espressing those genes into real-world critters, random variation "explores" the available fitness space.  Unlike in the computer-human chess game, the massively-parallel search algorithm expends real critters.  The ones who drew a randomly-"winning" genome, which produced a surviving-reproducing "fit" phenotype, do just that--they survive and reproduce!  Their "line" survives to play for one more generation.

The few, many--it doesn't frickin' matter, davey, except in very small, threatened populations!--critters that "drew" losing variants of randonly-altered genotypes/phenotypes don't survive to reproduce with the same efficiency.

Rinse and repeat.

Davey, there's no "intelligence" involved (except for the irrelevant fact that the programmers of the computer were smart or lucky enough to eventually come up with a powerful-enough machine, and a program that mimicked evolution's shuffle-and-discard procedures sufficiently, that it was finally able to beat "master" human players, who themselves only attained their "mastery," ultimately, via evolution)--in both cases, the winning "line of play" results from the same algorithm of generating lots of variation and then testing the fitness against the existing environment/opponent.

In both cases, the APPARENT "learning" is the result of variation and selection, Davey, nothing more and nothing less.

Or, at some point along the line, did you come to believe that the day of true AI has already dawned, and our chess-playing computers are "intelligent" and "think"?

Doesn't it suggest anything to you, Davey, that--to develop successful chess-playing computers--the designers had to resort to essentially the same process as the ToE ascribes to the planet's biome?

Like, uh, evolution is a powerful and proven procedure.

Date: 2006/12/08 15:32:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Uh, Vmartin, I applied your "key is in the text" malarkey using your screen-name as the text, remember.

Like, yesterday.

Remember what we came up with, way back on yesterday?

Vmartin ==> moron.

Dude, you're a sockpuppet.  Nobody who was for "real" would call themselves a moron!!

That's be like somebody coming right out and calling themselves a pinhead!!

How stupid do you think we are, huh?

Date: 2006/12/08 15:55:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I agree, deadman.  My conjecture wasn't intended as an insult (this time, I've certainly intended to insult davey on other occasions...).  I just really have to wonder.

It's one things for davey's claims to stand or fall on the basis of their evidence and logic--or *lack thereof*--but it's another for him to need point after simple point pounded tediously and excruciatingly into his head.

And to still repeat his same mantras, as if none of the points had ever been made, over and over again.

And, of course, there are healthy and less healthy ways to compensate or work around one's limitations.  Which admittedly we all have.

But re-enacting the ritual of returning to square one, again and again, like a tiger (or a ligon) retracing the same route in a cage...even when the door's been left wide open!  Never admitting your wrong, even about minor and irrelevant (and clearly demonstrated) matters.  The grandiosity and convictions.

Eh.  Sad, really, on some level.

Date: 2006/12/08 17:56:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I agree the topic is interesting--in the extreme!--and I certainly wouldn't mind if Louis and others wanted to elucidate the latest efforts by actual scientists.

But I have zero interest in proceeding from a basis of the "hurdles" alleged by a couple of flaccid CreaIDiots.

Or of listening to Paley drone on and on.

Date: 2006/12/09 16:53:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Pinheaded Stevie:
The chess-playing computers "learn" the same way that "evolution" learns.

Dim Davey:
No, they don't.  One has intelligence.  One doesn't.  Do you remember which is which?

Davey once again makes his astoundingly ___* claim that the day of "true machine intelligence" has arrived.
    (*Words just fail me...)
Davey, one more time for the hard-of-learning: the chess-playing computers do not beat human master chess players because the computers are "intelligent".  They beat them because they are massively-parallel number-crunching devices.

And what is evolution when it throws out into the environment--to perish or proliferate--tens of thousands of variants of any given phenotype generated by any given genotype, Davey?  A massively-parallel critter-crunching device.

Whatever genotypic-variants are expressed by a given phenotype (critter in its developmental arc from conception through reproduction--arguably, the arc may continue through reproduction by its offspring, if any, but that's a quibble in this discussion) are the equivalent of a randomly-determined move.  The environment selects the "moves" that just happened to be "fit" ones (survived to reproduce).  Only (the offspring of) those fit critters go on to make a later "move."  The bad moves don't survive.

Likewise, no lengthy, massively-unlikely, pre-determined "line" of good moves is needed by the chess-playing computer.  It doesn't just make one move--it makes tens or hundreds of virtual moves, allows the internal-virtual "environment" (rules of chess, weightings re material and board position--the selective pressures of the chess environment) to inform it which moves were immediately "fatal" (illegal or checkmated) or highly deleterious (loss of material or favorable board position), and virtually "discards" those selected-against moves.  Move-variants not immediately selected against are used as the starting points for another series of random moves.

Rinse and repeat!  Rinse and repeat!  Rinse and repeat!  (This power of this repetitive algorithm is just one of the many aspects of selection of any kind which you simply fail, over and over, to grok, Davey.)  When all of the potential lines of play are "tested" for some given number of moves out into the virtual "future," the "best" (as evaluated in this completely-unintelligent, whichever-move-survives manner) is ultimately executed in real-time.  The human master then responds (almost certainly--due to the sheer power of the machine [trans.: profligacy of nature] and the finite nature of the system--with one of the randomly-generated countermoves that was previously "evaluated"--via unintelligent selection-like simulation--by the machine).  The machine goes virtual again, starting with this "new" position, crunches massively, serves itself up another yet another "generation" of multiple random moves, applies to each of them its internal-environmental weightings, discards some, generates numerous random counter-moves, applies its selection criteria, etc., etc., etc.

The only (meaningful for this discussion) difference is that the computer plays out its tens of thousands of lines in virtual reality.  Nature throws out her tens of thousands of phenotypes in real-time, in a real environment.  But, via either procedure, a relatively-best-fit move/critter is selected, and we advance "play" by one round/generation.

Once again, that you can't wrap your neurons around this incredibly simple principle just boggles the mind (of those here that actually possess functioning minds...).

Neither evolution nor chess-playing computers (we're not, on this side of the board, interested in how human masters do what they do, davey) require intelligence to do what they do, Davey.  Or, if you must persist in describing what-they-do as "intelligence," then they both possess that quality.

That's what's remarkable and newsworthy-- and why it's worth the the time and money to come up with the chess-playing, evolution-mimicking hardware and software in the first place, davey: it's not that "intelligent" computers were finally developed, and that's how the human master players were overcome; it's that sufficiently-powerful but utterly unintelligent evolution-like algorithms managed to overpower the human masters.

Duh frickin' duh, dude!

Date: 2006/12/11 14:59:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Over the last few days, Dave has spiraled into ever-increasing silliness--this may sound funny (except his attempts at humor are so wretched), but we are talking about the intellectual equivalent of a plane locked into a death spiral, about to crater.

(Well, truth be told, the "landscape" spread across these pages is a veritable map of Dave-craters...)

Let's see if we can follow just a few links in his latest rash of tail-chasing "logic": either computer chess-playing programs or natural selection is intelligent, which is it, huh huh?  Well, davey, clearly it's not chess-playing programs--the day of AI has not yet arrived, in case you haven't a clue.  So that leaves natural selection, right?  Davey clearly doesn't want to go there--in fact, Davey pretty much has to close his eyes and plug his ears every time natural selection is brought up lately, he's having so much trouble with the topic--because the last thing he wants to admit is that NS could act with anything like "intelligence."

For most creationists, artificial selection (animal husbandry, etc.) can't possibly work anything like NS, because there is (alleged) "intelligence" behind artificial intelligence (the dog, cow, horse, corn, etc., domesticators and breeders--though we've noted the point that dogs may have "domesticated" themselves in order to obtain the security of a steady supply of scraps, warmth near the fire, whatever...).  But it's not clear that dubious Davey even "believes" in artificial selection, given his unevidenced conviction that no mutation can generate "new" "information" (not that Dave knows what either of these terms means....).

So Davey definitely can't admit that NS acts with "intelligence."  So which is it that's intelligent, child-like mind, chess-playing programs or NS?

Dave's abject response: "Huh, wait, I never said that...!"  (Dave, you woulda thought by now that you'd realize that your previous idiotic claims and statements are all stored here.  You can lie to yourself, but you can't get away with lying to us.

Then there's this sterling "logic"-string, already pointed out by numerous others, and which again requires Davey to bury his head in the sand every time NS appears: modern medicine may (arguably, I'm not at all so sure) trump NS in the very small group of all the organisms that have ever lived on the planet (elites in a few modern human societies, and their pets) who have had recent access to it.  (I would suggest that modern medicine and technology have just changed the selection pressures of the environment, rather than eliminated them, but that's an argument for another day.)

Somehow, though, Dave extends this teensy exemption from the operation of NS to all the organisms that have ever lived on the planet, without giving the slightest rationale for doing so--what Davey, all the organisms that have ever lived on the planet have had access to the benefits modern medicine and technology for the entire history of life (whether that be long, as every field of human science attests, or short, as only Davey and his fellow hold-outs from reason insist)?

But because the NS that necessarily prevailed before modern medicine and technology for any of this to make any sense whatsoever is Davey's big boogey-man, he simply has to hand-wave it away, so we get: mutations may be accumulating in a few strata of a few modern human societies ==> mutations must be accumulating in the genomes of all the organisms that have ever lived on the planet ==> ToE couldn't possibly work ==> Davey "wins" (despite utterly failing at any point in his entire time here with the efficacy of NS + utterly failing at any point in his entire time here to plausibly advance any element of his "hypothesis" as any sort of viable *koff koff* "replacement" for the ToE).

Crater on, dude.  Just be glad, though, that you're only flying your keyboard.

Date: 2006/12/11 15:46:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote from article:
Almost all Dutch people and 99 percent of Swedes are lactose-tolerant, but the mutation becomes progressively less common in Europeans who live at increasing distance from the ancient Funnel Beaker region.

Geneticists wondered if the lactose tolerance mutation in Europeans, first identified in 2002, had arisen among pastoral peoples elsewhere. But it seemed to be largely absent from Africa, even though pastoral peoples there generally have some degree of tolerance.

A research team led by Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Maryland has now resolved much of the puzzle. After testing for lactose tolerance and genetic makeup among 43 ethnic groups of East Africa, she and her colleagues have found three new mutations, all independent of each other and of the European mutation, which keep the lactase gene permanently switched on.

Are they tying the mutations of the dutch and swedes to these groups and if so how does that affect the current migration theory, if at all?  Or is this a case of convergent evolution in not only the European and African groups but also among the Eastern African groups or is there any way to tell at this time?

Skeptic, unless I'm misunderstanding your question, all the answers are in the NYT article.  Follow the link.  Read.  

Three new mutations, independent of each other and of the European one (Dutch, Swedes).  So, yes, they're "convergent," in the sense that different mutations have arisen in at least four populations to take advantage of the availability of milk from domesticated animals throughout life.

Since all these domestication events have occurred within the last few thousand years--and since the mutations are independent = not the same mutation, then this research has no impact on theories regarding migrations of modern humans out of Africa (if that's what you're talking about).  None of the mutations is a result of one population migrating to somewhere else (because they're different, independent mutations) and, in any event, all the domestication events were more recent than the posited out-migration and, obviously, all the mutations were even more recent.

Date: 2006/12/11 19:30:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Man, I wish I got the kind of colds that came with that kind of medication.

 :p  :p  :p

Date: 2006/12/12 13:22:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This is kind of a heartwarming story, as well as an example of what those professional linguists--like Arden, though he was not the one Hollywood called upon here!-- can do when someone with a budget turns them loose:


Dead Indian language brought back to life
Relic of Va. past re-created for film, shared with descendants of speakers

Date: 2006/12/12 14:36:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yo, you complete self-annointed moron (since, leave us not forget, that's what rigorous application of Vmartin's "key-within-the-text" as applied to the text of Vmartin's self-selected screen-name led us to), Nabakov qualifies at most as a distinquished lay "expert" in butterfly--a high-level hobbyist.

His true expertise was literature.  As a butterfly hobbyist, he may have been superb at identification and collection.  As an evolutionary biologist, he has no credentials whatsoever.

Natural selection coordinates the environment with the creature and natural selection coordinates one creature with another.  End of that story.

There is nothing "happenstance" about natural selection.  Go step off a precipice and then come back to report whether there was anything "happenstance" about your demise and your failure to contribute further to the gene pool.  

The remarkably productive field of evo-devo spells doom for arguments as repetitively moronic as your own.  Further "contributions" from you, or from your proxies, Nabokov and Davison, should simply be ignored.  They afford no learning opportunities, even for fence-sitting lurkers, because they lack any utile coherence whatsoever.

Date: 2006/12/12 16:14:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If Vmartin's moronicity is any example of the level of "discussion" we would be inviting via JAD's return, then on the underlying question, my vote is NAY.

How do you like chomping on THOSE horseapples?

Date: 2006/12/12 17:46:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
One hesitates to venture into a whole 'nother layer of Dave's misconceptions, since doing so is unlikely to lead to any actual change in his position, even if there was any remote hope of actually educating him on the topic.

But, with those misgivings expressed, it appears to me that part of Davey's adherence to the bad-mutations-swamping-good mantra is his failure to understand the differing levels at which variability is conserved and expressed and selected for.  

There is of course the entirety of the variability available within the population of a species, including all alleles at every locus, the rate of new mutations (or other sources of variability, however labelled).  While Dave occasionally mumbles phrases like "genome" and "richness" and "load," which vaguely suggest some acquaintance with population dynamics, he continually demonstrates that he has no clue as to how any of this actually works, conceptually or mathematically.

Then there's breeding subpopulations, a nuance that Dave strenuously resists, since it leads swiftly to matters such as sexual selection, ring species, and outright speciation, which to Dave is the anti-grail (right along with an animal ancestry for humans).

Then there's breeding groups--packs, pairs, and so forth.  Dave, of course, starts out with the subconscious prejudice that all animals come in "pairs," just as he inherently is committed to immutable (but flabbergastingly diverse) "kinds."  So he has difficulties with packs, rookeries, harems, anything beyond mr. and mrs. critter.

Then there's the individual animal.  This is really about as complex a phenomenom as Dave is comfortable conceptualizing about, hence his huge difficulty in seeing the problem with bottlenecks, population diversity, etc.

When Dave "thinks" about the accumulating "load" of bad mutations, he's really not thinking in terms of populations, breeding groups, any of that.  He's thinking in terms of genome = species = one individual animal.  

He pays lip service to the notion that selection acts on the phenotype (while getting this utterly confused with mutations acting on the genotype or nucleotide "level"), but this translates in dave-thunk into his mentally compressing every animal that ever lived over time in a species into one critter, which in davey's mind carries and expresses the entire load of evil mutations all at the same time, while being benefitted--"if at all" (he can't make up his "mind")--by a miniscule number of good mutations, only an even more miniscule number of which can possibly confer any actual benefit, and only then if this one emblematic critter happens to have wandered into a very odd environment which very temporarily allows what's really just another garden-variety deleterious mutation to pose as a beneficial one.

So, in dave-world, of course the poor dumb critter must be overwhelmed with a zillion bad mutations and its none-one-few good mutations will confer upon it no survival benefit whatsoever.

Dave's "thinking" in this area is so out of touch with the reality of the distribution and expression of variation in the population that one doesn't even know where to begin to straighten "him" (a hypothetical person with dave's current level of ignorance but without his current avoidance of logic, evidence, and learning) out.

Date: 2006/12/12 17:51:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, everybody knows this old chestnut:

"You can watch the butterflies, but you can't butterfly the watches!"

If you really want to converse on that level, have I ever got some knock-knock jokes for you!

Date: 2006/12/12 21:15:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
While I understand the utility of rebutting (annihilating, demolishing) dave on the stronger (for him) basis that deleterious mutations are accumulating in the "modern" human genome, this again confuses the phenotypic and population "effects" of modern medicine and technology.

Certainly I, and likely many of you, may have survived into adulthood with weak eyes or other problems, for our particular phenotypes, that would likely have disadvantaged us were we forced to try to survive without eyeglasses in the environment with which some hypothetical hunting-gathering ancestor had to deal.  

Likewise as to various other surgically-correctible problems (heart valves), serious injuries, childhood diseases, and perhaps some correctible birth defects which might arguably result from a deleterious variant of a gene.  Of course, in a medically/technologically-supported environment, many of these things aren't a problem and won't be for our offspring.

And in some quasi-"stone-age" environment to which we might hypothetically return should our resource and environmentally-intensive way of life collapse, most of those variants would again promptly be selected out.

But I question how many uncorrectible but currently-survivable genetic problems (at the moment, Down's syndrome children, etc.) are really "burdening" the gene pool.  What differential reproductive advantages do (any but very mildly-afflicted) Downs kids enjoy?  Or severely autistic children?  Etc.  

I guess arguably you have too-big babies being born, you have too-narrow birth canal moms surviving, lots of hypotheticals.  But for as many of these examples as one can throw out, most would quickly be eliminated again in a harsher environment--they are not "very slightly deleterious mutations."  

And this whole line of argument ignores the enormous size of the current human population and the relatively modest proportion of it which lives a "first world" lifestyle.  For much of this huge population, the exposure to disease, problems of childbirth, problems of birth defects, etc., etc., is not greatly different than for our stone-age ancestors.  Indeed, bar some aspects of hygiene and vaccination, maybe optics, modern medicine and technology have an arguably minimal impact on survival in much of the second and third world.  And for the first world, the impact of "modern" medicine should probably be limited to the last 75-100 years (for hygiene, maybe 125, for vaccination for some diseases, a couple of hundred, for optics, a few hundred).

And look at the bell curve.  There may be people at one extreme "protected" by modern medicine and technology.  But there are folks at the other end of the curve--and probably there are more such folks alive right now than the earth supported during any one generation of the stone age--who have better overall natural immunity (being descended from folks who survived cities and crowding and population-density enhanced matters like plagues), greater strength, height, sight, etc., than any but the very rarest folks from the stone age.

Think about professional and amateur sports, which represents a little artificially-maintained stone or bronze age competitive environment.  Think about the progression of sports "records."  While some of that progression is due to nutrition and training, much of it's due to a huge population throwing up more and more "specimens" from the thin wedge of a bell curve that covers an enormous world-wide pool of human variability.

What dave's worried about could conceivably be a problem for a fantasy future, where a first-world way of life is extended for generation after generation to most of the world's billions (yet where we never manage to figure out how to address genetic defects at the genetic level?).  I very much doubt it's a problem now.

And I strongly suspect that if you "reverted" the world to the stone age--either via a combination of environmental and political catastrophes over the next several generations, or some one horrendous plague, war, whatever--you'd find that the inevitable pool of survivors from such a civilization-wide holocaust would, a few generations down the line, easily outmatdh--inch for inch, pound for pound, immune system for immune system, diopter for diopter, social empathy for social empathy--any hypothetical Cro Magnon stone age "dream team."

So play with DimDavey as you like, as a cat plays with a mouse, but I don't think careful consideration or the available evidence at present supports any sort of "accumulating deleterious mutation" model in the first place.

Date: 2006/12/19 16:30:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
As long as we're just hanging around, waiting for dave to say the next stupid thing (stupider, more stupid, yet more stupid, etc.), and parsing the meanings of words, I'm having trouble with the use of "equivical" and "equivicate."

First, unless those are hypertechnical terms in formal logic, not likely to appear in a general dictionary, the spelling would seemingly be "equivocal" and "equivocate."  Note that the second part of the word thus become "vocal."  Thus the meaning of "equivocal" is something like ambiguous--vouching for two statements to about the same degree, without being able to make up one's mind between them.

Here, the intended usage seems to be more along the lines of "equivalent" (having the same value or force) and "equivalence."

Again, my apologies if I'm unaware of a specialized spelling and meaning for these terms.  Pinheads aren't known for their extensive vocabularies, but we do like to try to keep up...!

Date: 2006/12/19 20:57:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If you two keep talking this way, and flexing all manly like, pretty soon we're going to be dealing with--

--da Ghost so Paley!!!

{Edit to delete tasteless remark]

Date: 2006/12/20 18:08:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
:(    :(    :(    :(

Here's another very simple lesson for you to not learn, Dave:

 Saying it doesn't make it so.

Repeat one million times or until it sinks in, whichever takes longer.

I hope you and your family have a great Christmas anyway, in between repetitions of your latest lesson.

And shoveling all that new snow!

Date: 2006/12/20 18:17:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I suppose we can now expect the occasional comment from "Lenny's Deli Counter Gal"...

Hmm, come to think of it, if she's anything like "Pizza Woman" or even "JanieBelle," maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

And it would beat the heck out of Vmoron.

Date: 2006/12/20 19:15:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Dec. 20 2006,18:31)

The so-called "flying geckos" don't actually fly -- they use their flaps of skin for camouflage.

Dang!  And just when I was starting to think that that old "What good is half a wing?" argument really had something going for it...

Date: 2006/12/20 19:21:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We've already got a mental teenager to kick around on the "Hypotenuse" thread (or something like that; those long words are hard for pinheads).

So what do we need an actual teenager for?

Pizza delivery?

Date: 2006/12/21 16:39:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The pinhead branch of this colloquium is located in Seattle (though the various branches of that family eventually trace back to the SE US--hillbilly "gap" country and Georgia).

Date: 2006/12/21 19:05:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Worse still, Arden, my mom was born and raised in Corcoran, CA (it was her parents that were from Georgia), my cousins are from Modesto and Livermore, my sisters live in Stockton and Berkeley, and... well, you get the idea.  There's definitely a Central Valley thing resonating here too.  *koff koff*  OK, enough with the heat, dust, and pesticides, already!

Date: 2006/12/22 15:27:31, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
You guys have been working on this for a whole week now, and you still have no definitive result...?

And yet you Darwinists are arrogant enough to call yourselves "scientists"!

The only thing this little exercise demonstrates is that life must be complexly specified if abiogenesis can't be solved through such massive application of brainpower over such an enormous length of time...


Date: 2006/12/22 15:39:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If I hadn't already been rolling around on the floor trying to find my cervical vertebrae, this would not only have dropped me to the rug, but would have reduced me to tears of hilarity (though I draw the line at splitting my sides, after seeing what that's done to afdave):
So Dembski thought the ID case was an obvious loser, yet Judge Jones is a hippy activist slimeball for...calling it an obvious loser.

Rhetorical question: are even the UD monkeys too dumb to notice that contradiction?

There's no dodging the truth when SteveStory's waiting to whap you upside the head with it!

Date: 2006/12/22 16:51:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, dude, seriously--did you just fall out of a timewarp or something?

You are--supposedly--going to get around, one of these days, to producing some evidence and logic for your *cough! hack! dang hairballs!*--"hypothesis" that there was a worldwide flood a few thousand years back, meaning, one guesses, that da Bibbel was right about that, so, one guesses, it musta been right about every single thing it says, including what it says about the great and mighty Gazoo...

Right?  (Notice that even if there were a humongous flood a few thousand years ago, it doesn't necessarily lead to any of these other conclusions, but let's not get ahead of yourself too far...)

So why are you wasting your time with the stupid flagellum argument?  I mean, that's so yesterday, already!  It's Behe's argument, the one that got minced through the vegematic in a federal courtroom last year and deservedly and definitively pronounced as vacuous.  None of these ID wimps can even define--much less quantify, as your service here surely shows!--what "design" means, how to distinguish it from non-designed things, what "complexity" is, what "specified" is, it's all just word games...

(Ignoring the whole problem with the flagellum having a plausible evolutionary history, which sinks the whole flotilla regardless of whether the postulated history turns out to be the actual one...)  

We thought you were made of sterner stuff.  We thought you were an unapologetic, unregenerate, unreconstructed veriable Young Earth Creationist,  a real man.  We didn't think you were just another one of those whiney poncy preening ID/OEC poofsters!  We were sure that you were in this for the long haul (well, OK, the short haul actually, in light of the whole 6K years thing...), the whole nine yards, the real magillah!

Don't tell us that, after all these hundreds of pages, all this talk about floods and kinds and Jesus and America, you're back-peddling, selling out, bailing, caving--that you were just another one of those milquetoast, compromising, Jesus-denying, ivory-tower, crybaby IDiots!  Say it ain't so, davey!  Stand up for your beliefs, not this weak-kneed, lily-livered, nervous nelly, a-religious pussulanimatin' pretend "creationism" of the far-left academic wing of the far-right fundy party!

Dave, I thought that you at least thought that you were made of the Right Stuff!  The "Real Thing"!

Don't tell us that you were pulling the wool over our eyes all these many long months!

Don't tell us that, after stepping pridefully up to the Big Plate in the Big Game bearing the Big Wood on your Big Steroid-Inflated Shoulders, you're going to do a pirouette and reveal, emblazoned across the rear of your pinstripes, that mincey, mousey little we-really-believe-in-common-descent, we-really-believe-in-billions-of-years, we-really-don't-"necessarily"-believe-the-Designer-is-supernatural ID logo!?!

Don't tell us that, after all this time, all you've got is the same old weaselly lame-ass "argument from design"!?!

Do you wear perfume too, dave?  Bliss by Behe?  Eau de Dembski?  Ooh, that's such a heavenly scent you're wearing tonight, darling!

Please, davey, say it ain't so!

Date: 2006/12/22 17:00:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yes, that's the spirit!

From all us shiny, elite, intellectual evolutionists up here on high, to all you slimey, benighted, credulous cretenists down below--

--Have a Happy Year 4,500,000,001!!!

(And don't blow all those gift certificates on AIG subscriptions...)

Date: 2006/12/22 17:05:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Let's stay on topic, please.

No more talk about where we, ugh, "work" (whatever that means...).

After all, this is a respectable family forum.

Most of the time. :p

Date: 2006/12/22 18:11:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
When you think about it, heddle, your opinions about places you've actually lived might well be entitled to more authority than the opinions of folks who've never been within miles of those places, much less lived there.

Prolonged residence affords opportunity for observation, experience, comparing, testing, weighing, hypothesizing and discarding hypotheses...  Forming educated opinions.  Y'know--real world stuff like that.

All stuff that mere belief in imaginary beings does NOT afford the opportunity for.  And why one person's opinion on such ineffable things is not worth more than any other person's.

Epiphany?  Eh, I thought not...

You may "he11" from Pittsburgh, but you're still, um,  farfar more at home in LaLaLand.

Date: 2006/12/22 18:16:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The pinhead lineage may--or may not, I really can't remember back that far!--be rooted in Peru, among the oxygen starved tubers, but I'm quite adequately addled in Seattle.

And, with that, I must skedaddle...


Date: 2006/12/22 18:30:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Now, now, just because I was a tad uncharitable to heddle--and practically on Christmas Eve!--is no need for us to stoop to insults all around!

I'm sure they still get a lot of use out of that old horse in Huntington: there's glue, mattress stuffing, something to stick over the mantle in lieu of a moosehead...

Not to mention that playing horseshoes is a lot safer than playing with hand grenades!

Date: 2006/12/26 15:23:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sounds like we may have enough Seattleites to take the "virtual" pub real some night...

Maybe when it quits raining cats and dogs (and dogs giving birth to cats...).

Date: 2006/12/27 15:39:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We can't let those Brits beat us to the brew!

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

Da Pinhead.
creeky belly

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

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

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

Oh: 56; lawyer defending civil cases...

Date: 2006/12/27 17:24:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Stephen Elliott:
Too late colonial. We have already done it. A few of us met up and got drunk in London.

Fortunately for us, we're not required to meet your pathetic level of detail...

Date: 2006/12/27 18:47:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
How far away is your other neuron, Dave?

Date: 2006/12/28 13:36:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
BWE, try this--
The first picture, labelled "Lake Kelcema," shows a cliff above a talus field.
If that's the one, it's not thousands of feet high, but it looks like a respectable short climb: high-level scramble or lower fifth-class technical shot!

I'm a limited kind of "re-enactor": I draw/paint and sometimes carve/fashion traditional Northwest Coast native-style designs/objects (not for sale, just for "learning by doing" and sharing with the similarly obsessed).  I read just about everything I can get my hands on that relates to NW Coast art and culture (and am more broadly interested in Indian art and culture, but the NWC is my, ahem, "specialty").

I also draw/paint generally, whatever that means; hike, climb, ski, and snowshoe (I'm a mountaineering instructor for a volunteer organization); play guitar with some composition/improvisation; in the past, I have jumped horses, ridden motorcycles, fenced, run track and cross-country, and blah blah (in my mind, if I've ever done it, I might still do it again, but this gets further from reality as I grow older...).

I enjoy Neil Young, Jimi, Allison Krause, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou, the Dandy Warhols, the
Everlys, Steve Earle, rockabilly, bluegrass, folk violin, dobro, Hawaiian, pretty eclectic (I'd like to think).

And ridiculing IDiots, of course.

Date: 2006/12/28 14:08:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
To take just one of this guy's (heck if I'm gonna learn how to type a name that doesn't scan...) f'rinstances:

Dude, we know that certain dinosaurs hunted in packs and attacked from the side because there are fossilized tracks of them doing so--theropod dinos loping alongside of sauropod dinos...
And the fossilized theropod claws fit into the fossilized tracks...
There's a company that makes it's living helping curious people find the answers to questions like yours>

It's called (yeah I know it's kinda funny too, but at least it's shorter and sorta sounds like a word): Google.

Of course, even Google wouldn't be able to track down the answers if hard-working curious scientists hadn't spent all that time and energy digging and doing.

Maybe if you haven't done much of that you should oughta go do some--really, you can volunteer to help dig up fossils in the badlands of the West!--before you wax too fruitlessly here.

Just a thought.

Why do you worry about cynodont diaphragms in the first place if those bones were just emplaced there by the guy you believe did it to fool you?  There weren't *really* any cynodonts running around, right, just like there wasn't *really* a Permian.  So don't sweat it.  But don't pretend your idle ruminations about things you don't believe ever existed are of any interest to the rest of us who are busy, um, existing, OK?

Hope that was polite enuf and all.

Date: 2006/12/28 14:17:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, no problem!

I didn't take a real close look, and I don't think I've actually been there.  But if we assume boulder-sized talus and 100-foot trees, then the cliff could easily be several hundred feet.  And I wouldn't argue that climbing it unroped as a youngster might very well have been a defining moment, especially if it leans out to 90 degrees in spots!  Nice climbing!

But, uh, aw shucks (to quote Jimi), all I did was google "lake kelcema photo" and open the first four or five hits.  (And pinheads aren't even especially good at googling, tho' we gurgle and gargle exceptionally well.)

Date: 2006/12/28 15:37:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yea, I have faith, but even I cannot believe that Dave FarFarFromNeuron brought up AIG's poor li'l mutant dogs again.

I mean, sheesh, Dave, the mutant dogs are yet another one of your Portuguese moments!

How do you keep doing this to yourself and still manage not to choke on your breakfast every morning?  (Not that, heaven forfend, I would wish to be interpreted as desiring or advocating any such breakfast-disrespecting...)!

Date: 2006/12/28 16:09:50, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
How can M. Nei, in 1975...cite people who published a decade or more later? Is he a time-traveler?

For Dave, post-flood time is effectively infinite--between any two points of post-flood time, there's an infinite amount of it, enough to accomodate extreme growths in population, the burying of forest after forest, humongous amounts of variability, and frenziedly-racing continents, all while genomes are simulaneously deteriorating and "sin" eats away at everything like hyperRust.

Time before the flood, of course, worked differently, well, just because.  There was less of it, for one thing, and very little happened: dinosaurs didn't bite, elephants didn't defecate, and parasites didn't cite, much less plagiarize.

This funny behavior of time is all tied into SLoT somehow, which Dave will get around to explaining to us, someday.

When he finds the time.

Date: 2006/12/28 16:38:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
but he lacks AFDave's scintillating wit.

(My bold on wit, singular.)

Aha, another subscriber to the Missing Neuron Theory.

Date: 2006/12/28 18:44:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
C'mon, guys.  He's a friend of a friend of Dave's.

Let's not expect too much in the way of verifiable detail.

(No, no, it's the "baboon dogs", again, ah ha ha ha ha ha...!;)

[Edit: added in the omitted word "much" in my middle sentence.]

Date: 2006/12/28 20:54:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It sure is a pretty gee-tar.

But they're out of 'em at that price, and probably at any price.  It was a mfg's close-out.   And they do be closed out!

Dang, 'cause it sure was a pretty gee-tar...

Date: 2006/12/29 16:34:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, deadman, don't get me wrong--I appreciated the tip on the Garrison guitars, they get great reviews and the price was right.  At the moment, I am strung out between a cheap but halfway decent chinese-built plywood box and my gf's older and nicer acoustic.  The box has the advantages of being tote-around and knock- about-able, since it would be no great loss, but doesn't sound nearly as sweet, while the gf's older gee-tar sounds sweeter and fits the hand nicer, but is definitely the shy, stay-at-home, no-getting-drunk-at-the-hootenanny model.

So I pursued the cutaway all the way to credit card order, only to learn that the whole thing is--at this point (maybe not at some earlier point)--a likely chimera.  The key words are "closeout" (meaning they ain't making anymore at the factory) and the link labeled "Expect in 2-3 weeks."  I thought, as you may well have, that this was just a friendly hint as to expected delivery time, but no, if you click it, it actually says:

An order may be placed for this item although it is not currently available for shipment from our warehouse. Generally, we expect to be able to ship this item within 2 to 3 weeks upon receipt of your order. This date is estimated by the manufacturer and is subject to change.

This may be a fair enough warning--if it ever occurred to you to click on it--if the retailer were temporarily out of stock, and could just ring up the mfg.--here, Garrison--for more.  In combination with the "closeout" info, though, when the hypothetical order for more goes back to Garrison, what's Garrison gonna do?  Start the closed assembly line back up?
All of which explains the excellent price: get 'em while the gettin's good, 'cause there ain't gonna be no more.
Unfortunately (apparently; I suppose it's not impossible that Garrison has a few more unshipped ones sitting around...), in this case, I'm not gonna hold my breath expecting to hear from the retailer in two or three weeks that my order is actually being processed.
(First time through with my credit card, I bought a couple of accessories to go with the guitar, a strap and such.  When my order was processed, only the accessories showed up!  I called a number and cancelled the order and the customer service rep said the whole thing was a "mistake" and the page ought not to be there.  I said, well, I'm looking right at it--this is like "bait and switch"!  Anyways, I went through the whole process again and ordered only the guitar, but the last "purchase confirmation" page never appears, no email confirmation was sent, etc.  So, I think they're all out and don't realistically expect to get more.  Should a purchase confirmation miraculously show up in three weeks, though, I won't boot it out of bed...!;)
In the meantime, these straight-acoustics are available for under $250:
Exempting you from all liability should I be dissatisfied, heh heh, whaddaya think of that model and price?
Thanks, Stevie

Date: 2006/12/29 17:46:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, I'm not worried about internet purchases in general, of which I've made lots, though mainly of used books on NWC art (but also of the occasional bigger-ticket item--"occasional" because I be not the rich ambulance-chaser lawyer, but the poor anti-ambulance-chaser lawyer).

Here, I'm satisfied that my card won't be charged unless and until they locate a guitar that fulfills my order.  At the moment (see above), I doubt they'll be able to do that (unfortunately).  If they do, worst case scenario, I wind up with a good but inexpensive guitar.  If they don't, I'm out a guitar, but I'm not out any money.

My only problem is--having taken a "flyer" on "ordering" the cutaway--I don't want to conclude a separate transaction for the acoustic and risk winding up with two new guitars.  Even though they would both be nice, and nice to have (in an ideal world), in this world, I don't have that much spare cash under the mattress.

So I have to hope the deal on the AG 300 will remain up for the few weeks I'll give the AG 300 CE folks to come up with the cutaway.  Or I have to formally revoke my offer for the latter, and plump for the former (which means giving up any remote hope for the latter)...


Anyway it works, it's not really a case that substantiates jitters re internet commerce.  Though the ad is mildly deceptive, in that it leads one to wastes one's time trying to purchase something that in all likelihood can't be delivered, it isn't really fraudulent, since it doesn't generate a charge until the product can be found and shipped...

The good news is that, if I do wind up with one guitar or another, I'll at least be able to post an image of what it looks like!

Date: 2006/12/29 18:56:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
How the frick did we manage to turn this thread into the Guitar Channel?

Anyway, the folks behind curtain #1 (cutaway Garrison) were kind enough to email me that they definitively will not be able to provide that guitar, so I'm probably gonna go with curtain #2 (regular acoustic Garrison) for <$250.  

Unless one of you other kind pluckers can convince me (liability waiver in effect) that there's another brand new decent sounding acoustic out there for same-same price.

For example, the truly lovely Blueridge BR160 recommended just above is running at $699-$799, with one "new" one available at $519 at some store on eBay.  Probably a perfectly reasonable price for a fine instrument, but out of my cheapskate range...

Let the bidding commence.

And, yeah, of course those Nationals be fine, fine, fine.  But tasty-licious as they are (and one can always dream) they seem to be running in the $1800-$2200 range, prime vintage reconditined.  So, uh... flaps drool off tongue, but reluctantly passes...

Date: 2006/12/29 19:47:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And, davey, while I kinda hate giving you by-the-numbers instruction, let's keep these few simple points in mind:

1. Nobody's saying that a species cannot survive a genetic bottleneck.  It's just a riskier proposition, since all that whole Ayala-reservoir of variability has been pared down to whatever alleles happen to exist for each gene among the few founding members (as few as one fertilized female...) in the new niche (or devastated old niche).

2. Nobody's saying that a founding population cannot eventually recover variability after a bottleneck event.  (This, apparently, is the intent of your repitition-loop about the macaques.  But what you aren't getting--because you're willfully refusing to, as usual--is that the macaques, while they appear to be in the course of founding a new population, will have decreased genetic variety for quite some period of time.  Building up a new reservoir of variation--assuming their currently-limited (and perhaps "unrepresentative") variation does not reduce their chances of surviving some environmental challenge in the meantime--Will Take Time, because the reservoir has been pared down, and only the accumulation of new mutations will restore it.)

3.  The "flood" represents a bottleneck event.  Whatever wonderful and immense variation existed in the human, dog, macaque, beetle--whatever "kind" you think made it onto the "ark"--genome before the flood was pared away because the whole population didn't get the ride; only two (or seven) individuals got the ride.  (And, no, davey, the two--or seven--don't get to zip and store all the variation available across the entire pre-existing along with them in a fanny-pack.  The variation is reduced because only two--or a few--individuals won the ride-the-ark lotto, and those two only have two alleles each, max, at each gene locus.  You don't get to keep sneaking the "pre-existing variation" past the bottleneck.  Like your too-large can of shaving cream, you've got to chuck it before you go through security: you can't go back and stuff it into the bags you already checked and you're just gonna have to deal with shaving with your sister's hand-soap at the other end of the flight until you've had enough time to make it down to the Wal-Mart--er, that is, until the entire ecosystem has recovered from the "Grand-Canyon"ing-of-Everything for long enough for the Wal-Mart (and all its supporting infrastructure) to recover.)

4. Unless and until you begin to indicate some slightest understanding of the problems caused by the genetic bottleneck caused by the arkification of all earth's biosphere, nobody's going to give your "hypothesis" the courtesy of a snicker.

5. To wit (singular of wit used advisedly), you not only need to recover the variability of each and every species in an incredibly short time (no time for the mutations to replenish the reservoir, which you deny anyway because all these "fallen" genomes would be deteriorating ever since the "flood" with little to no (whatever it is this week) new information resulting from the mutational copying "errors") for that species, you need time and more time for the much-more explosive growth of variability that would be required for each kind to speciate (davetalk: develop distint breeds within the ark-cestral "kind") into hundreds or thousands of daughter species (sub-kinds, whatever...).  (Meanwhile, back in daveworld, you don't even believe that the breeder-driven variation among dogs has generated even one new species of canid over the exact same time period...  Whether or not you see the problem this contradiction creates for you, please be assured that everyone else does.)

6.  This is really a deal-breaker, davey.  This one little problem with your "Hypothesis."  It encapsulates your ignorance (no clue what alleles were when you formulated your crap in the first place), your lack of simple logic, your deep depths of denial, your lack of ethics, your inability to face facts, your inability to juggle the inherent contradictions that multiply everytime you tap your keyboard, your quote-mining and other dishonest tactics, your cowardly refusal to deal with weaknesses and refutations of your "points," and your dishonesty, all in one well-wrapped tortilla.

Sorry, dude, but on this one of all the objections that have been raised to your steaming pile of baloney, You Are Outta Here.

Which isn't to say that we won't continue to countenance your ongoing expostulations, simply for the entertainment value, but any potential relevance any of your utterances might ever have is not just in shreds at this point (the shredding occurred somewhere toward the bottom of page 1 of Part I), but in sub-atomic smithereens.

Trainwreck, meet the end of the line.

Date: 2006/12/29 19:58:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I should add that one advantage of curtain #2 is that the <$250 Garrison acoustic is available at American Music, which is located in my part of Seattle (Fremont), thus I get to avoid the hassles and risks and wait of shipment, I get to get my hands on the article before purchase, I get to check the set-up, etc., etc.

But that doesn't mean that there still isn't time to save Stevie from himself and either steer him away from the Garrison (if you know any bad stuff) or steer me toward an even sweeter gee-tar (at approx. same price).

Think of the raw power you wield!

But, if you're shy, and don't want to Duel with the Deadman, you can always PM me...

And none of this means we aren't still working on a Seattle Chapter of AtBC drinkfest: so far we've got night, not Fridays, at the Hilltop or the 74th.  Any other takers?  Any other restrictions or proposals on time or place?

Date: 2006/12/31 16:18:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I went in on Saturday to American Music and had fun plucking the Garrison in their quiet room.  Looks gorgeous, sounds good, set up quite adequately right out of the box.

But then they sneakily have about 18 ~$2k Gibsons and Martins hanging all around the same room.  

I'm still thinking about the Garrison.  They seem to be dropping the price still further, to <$230.  If they keep that up, less thinking will be required...!

Date: 2006/12/31 17:46:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, I've dropped by to say, "Good-bye."  You have unintentionally provided me with many laughing-so-hard-I-was-crying moments during your one-wingnut-stand here.

Just to be clear, though, you lost both of your last two "debated" points.  Just because something "looks" designed to your *koff koff* "common sense" proves nothing.  Such a fancied resemblance might be the starting point of a scientific investigation.  With enough contextual information, such an investigation might proceed very quickly.  But just claiming a resemblance advances no point, in and of itself.  Your inability to even define any of the necessary parameters of your gibberish responses ("hi-tech," etc.) left you mired in the starting blocks as the rest of the field raced away from you.

And the attempt to piggy-back on the laughable Behe's laughable bac-flag claims was particularly revealing (but not of any intelligence or sense of strategy on your part).

But that was a "minor" loss for you (not that it wasn't a loss, just that it fades into the backdrop of your page after page of other, similarly-momentous losses...).

The killer was a direct body-slam to your flood "hypothesis."  The flood would have incontestably represented a genetic bottleneck for every species that allegedly rode out the waves (were they salt or were they sweet?  Dave remained blithely clueless...).  All pre-existing variation--read: accumulated over LOTS of prior time through inherited variation (including what Dave wants to constrain "mutation" to and including what everybody else understands, which is any event which wreaks an inherited change, including recombination events, in the genes--would have been reduced to two alleles at each genetic locus.

Given enough time, and good fortune, and mutation/variation events, variation could eventually be recovered, though the species would be relatively vulnerable throughout that recovery period (just as cheetahs are today, and they've had 10,000 years to recover from an event clearly comparable, to all but one of us post-kindergartners, with the genetic catastrophe of "the flood").

(By the way, the fact that we can even tell that cheetahs and the recent founder population of island macaques have been through a recent bottleneck in the first place, compared with most other animals and plants--which we can tell have not been (like, oh, dogs/wolves, humans, beetles, most populations of macaques, etc.)--is itself a body-blow to your hypothesis...but never mind the subtle points.)

Without that long-accumulating pre-existing variation, there is no pre-existing variation to be drawn upon by dog-breeders, much less by nature, in attempting to develop dog breeds, much less for the replenishment of all the existing diversity of the biosphere.

And that's that, davey.  End of story.

Every "kind" would remain as or more genetically-depleted as the cheetahis now.  None of the kinds would have multiplied into variants as different as the felids, bovids, the canids, the cacti-lids (or whatever they would be called), the orchids, the bromeliads, the beetle-ids, and on and on, nigh endlessly.

You lost that one, big boy, and your endless attempts to sneak pre-existing variation (whatever you think gives rise to it) past the incontestable bottleneck of the flood has fooled exactly no one, probably not even yourself.

The bottleneck dooms the flood hypothesis.  All by itself.  You haven't remotely "refuted" this, on any point or level, in the least degree.

You're dead in the water, dude.

Were I you, I wouldn't bother treading water, waiting for rescue from an ark, either.

Bye, davey.

Date: 2007/01/01 17:11:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
A sweeping and deep tip of my very long and narrow hat to Eric!  

More tips to Everybody Else, but especially you Main Posters, most of whom have already been mentioned several times.

Dave can repeat DOGS, DOGS, DOGS all he likes, but we know who the DOGGED really were!

Way to go, all y'all.

Date: 2007/01/02 14:48:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh heh heh.

Nice, Eric.  

Even on its last gasps, this thread retains its own inimitable brand of humor.

Humor in which poor davey has ever been the straight man (no assertion regarding your sexual preferences intended, davey, not to worry...), but humor nonetheless.

Eric's latest is a wonderful example of (voice slows W A Y down and gets V E R Y deep) the "how simple do we have to make it for this doofus" brand of humor.

No need to duck, davey.  I guarantee it'll go right over your head.

Date: 2007/01/02 15:00:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Measles, maybe?

Date: 2007/01/02 16:11:30, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Again, on the off chance this is a serious inquiry, cancers are driven by some of the very factors that drive multicellular "lifestyles."  It's very hard to be a multicellular animal--with lineages of generalized cell-types that divide and divide and specialize and specialize, requiring controls on what aspect of each cell's "total" genetic instructions to deploy, and when to deploy them--and then to turn around and turn off the division and say, "Okay, boys, that's enough now.  Just sit there on idle, doing nothing but what you've been told--or, better yet, just die!--until you hear different!"

Cancers "take advantage" (by means of mutation and other errors) of the machinery of multicellularity that allows cells to live in concert, multiplying, specializing, mutually signalling and communicating, exporting and importing products of cellular metabolism, etc.  

Because multicellularity is the result of an evolutionary process (that is, not designed with an eventual goal in mind, but a product of adaptation, exaptation, jury-rigging, trade-offs, and compromise among competing propulations of cells and cellular control mechanisms), it doesn't always work perfectly.  Some of the balances between growth and termination of growth, supplying nutrition to "healthy" cells and denying nutrition to "unhealthy" cells, etc., can gang aft aglay.  Usually it takes several different mutations or insults to derail the cellular maintenance "machinery," and then further mutations within the population of "unhealthy" cells (growing where and when they're not supposed to) to avoid the body's anti-cancer responses.

Just as the mother and embryo can be usefully looked at as in a state of evolutionary competition (at the same time as, and as well as, they should be looked at as cooperating) for scarce resources, healthy cells and cancer cells are also wrapped up in an evolutionary "arm's race."  Those cancer cells that escape the body's control mechanisms--refusing to die, shut off, or express themselves in whatever limited fashion they are "supposed" to--no longer have the "interests" of the overall animal in mind.  As the group of cancer cells grows and divides and further mutations within the cancerous lineage of cells generates still more variation--the cancer itself can evolve to evade the body's various defensive techniques.

If a population of unwanted rabbits (in Australia, let's say, where they are pests without adequate natural controls on their growth) is exposed to an effective poison, there will almost always be a few rabbits who happen to be somewhat or entirely resistant to the effects of the poison.  Widespread application of the poison will initially reduce the rabbit population dramatically but--unless the poison is utterly effective--the population is all too likely to rebound.  And the rabbits within the rebounding population, being descended from resistant or immune survivors, will be less affected by the next round of poison application.

So it goes for antibiotic resistance.

And so it goes for lines of cancerous cells.  The body's controls work well, most of the time, to ward off cancers until the animal or human is mature enough to reproduce.  Most--not all, but most--cancers are diseases of advanced age: because any given animal's ancestors have survived long enough to reproduce and support their offspring toward maturity (but have not necessarily survived much longer), cancers are fairly rare in the young.  (Another way of phrasing this is, that the young who do contract cancer, and fail to fend it off, mostly do not survive to reproduce.)  Because cancers that attack the body late in life do not face the same selection pressures (that is, the failure of an animal to survive a late-developing cancer will have little impact on the relative survival of that animal's offspring, which may already be grown and having its own offspring), many late-developing cancers have eluded the pruning shears of natural selection.

Remember, there is no "goal" of evolution where only the nice, disease-free, cute, warn'n'fluffy animals get to survive.  Predators survive too, if they gobble enough prey.  Bacteria and viruses survive too, if they are successful enough at colonizing and infecting their hosts.

And cancers survive too, because--if the "right" sequence of mutations and other propitious (for them) events occur, they can successfully out-compete the cells of their host body.

While cancerous cell lineages mostly do not survive the death of their "host," and so do not propogate in the usual evolutionary manner past that cut-off (though, up until that time, their growth and reproduction within the body can be analyzed from an evolutionary perspective), the body's anticancer mechanisms cannot be "perfect" (nothing in nature is perfect--everything comes with a metabolic "cost" or trade-off; absolute perfection of those mechanisms might well, for example, seriously inhibit the very processes that enable multicellularity; bodies tend to do a reasonably-good job defeating cancers of youth, but cannot, for the reasons previously suggested, easily "inherit" the ability to stave off cancers of later life), the same general types of mutations, break-downs, and failures tend to arise again and again in each new generation of animals, allowing a new cycle of cancers to get growing.

There are, of course, as one would expect from an evolutionary perspective, a few cancers which can "jump" or be transmitted from host to host--see a couple of interesting posts on Carl Zimmer's blog "The Loom," in this regard.

The last issue or so of "Scientific American" also has a good round-up article on the general topic of "Why we get cancer."  That might be a good place to go next...

That should make for a start.  Beyond that, others may be able to share some specifics, or you could take those suggestions and run with them (i.e., independent study--something that the internet enables with incredible facility).

Date: 2007/01/02 17:21:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If SteveStory is really going to let this run to a nice round 5000 comments, then we've got a few to go.

Plenty of time to apply the finishing nails to the davey-coffin (speaking metaphorically, dave, not to worry...) and wring a few more laughs out of his osteopatedness.

Every additional key he tickles on the topic of bottlenecks, kinds, variability, TIME (fer gosh sake), and biodiversity just piles up the mirth.

Date: 2007/01/02 20:06:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Delete the final "[Code" from that last fossil-whale link and it works better...!

Date: 2007/01/03 15:02:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ved (from the previous page):
I didn't think creatures had to *jump* to new species, I thought they drifted... or at most, they moseyed or sauntered...

Wouldn't that be species dependent?
I mean, if we're talking slug transitions, then maybe "slimed" would be appropriate.
But if we're talking, er, the kangaroo "kind," furzample, then certainly "jump" might be an appropriate termitage, no?

Date: 2007/01/03 15:11:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
dog'sweeds (or whatever--no disrespect intended but I'm just not going to learn to spell that):
The New Testament Cannon

Well, there you have it.
If the New Testament Cannon wouldn't make a Big Bang, then nothing would...

Date: 2007/01/03 15:40:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Before we waste too much time on Mr. D. Weeds, maybe we could get a coherent statement of what he's hoping to accomplish.

Y'know, so we don't do the DaveyDance, where he promised to support his hypnosis-thingey, but all he did for page after page was recycle misinformation and disinformation "challenging" "Darwinism," as if that got him any closer to supporting the hypno-dealey...

So Mr. Wheeze admits that everything looks billions of years old, but claims to disbelieve his own eyes based on scripture--whoever canonized it whenever, as if any of that proves it was dictated by Dog.  So why'ze he here, exactly?

On top of his faith, does he have what he imagines to be "scientific" proof of a Young Earth, of a Six-Day Creation, of an Ark Story?  If so, baby, sling that hash out there so we can sample the tard.

But don't just keep pointing at scripture--that's not "scientific" proof (except in DaveWorld and other backwater corners of Tardmania [thought to be an island off of Awe's Trailer, y'all]).

Or--since Gee Whiz already conceded that, from the "sciencey" point-a-view, things sure do appear old--is he here only to advance his personal incredulity about "Darwinism."  Which, so far, he has done only by invoking the theoretical limits on observing matters within the Planck scale or the first weeny-seconds of the Big Bang, by displaying his cluelessness about speciation and species "jumps," and such other trifles and foolieries.

Thus far, the only thing worse than DaveTard might well be EarnestDaveTard.

So how'z about it, Mr. Wheezer?  What are your goals here?  Support Creationism with "science"?  Attack evolutionary biology with "science"?  In which case, no, you don't get to keep retreating into scripture.

Or just to apologetically apologize for the scriptural account on the basis of, well, nothing but the scriptural account?  In which case, atheists or mere consensual-reality-ists, we're probably not really going to be interested.

Give it a thunk or two and then Planck it down so we's kin take a gander at The Plan.

Date: 2007/01/03 15:58:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm not "making fun" of his name (well, okay, I could've picked somewhat more sober sound-alikes...).

But, in a medium where one gets to choose one's screen-name, ones's insistence on choosing an unpronouceable and unspellable one is just that--a unilateral choice.  It does not compel my assent to use said unpronounceable, unspellable screen-name.  

If he wants to re-name himself DaveyDoodles or Arden Horseapples or Ghost of Memory or DaveyShortBrow, or something with a little pizzazz to it, then we can talk.

Until then, I'll just stick with, um, Mr. D, I reckon.

Date: 2007/01/03 16:31:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
You know how I hate to use my cranial "challenge" as a crutch.

But, frankly, cutting and pasting has given me fits going all the way back to pre-school.

Uh, so there!  Mr. D it will be, forever and always, amen!  Or at least for the few posts for which I remember what I just said...

Date: 2007/01/03 16:47:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, at least the ever-exciting LUCA and Mystery of Life threads are still open:
"Hey, GoP, what's up, you more-than-clever dude?"
"Nothing much, GoP, although it was very more-than-clever of you to note how more-than-clever I am."
Hmmm.  Maybe there's something to this notion of closing stale threads.
Eh?  Did I just hear a ghostly squeak?  I must get this desk chair's little wheels oiled...

Date: 2007/01/03 17:26:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I enjoy this comic strip about a harried office worker who loves to make himself huge sandwiches.  No negative connotations for me, whatsoever.

I'm willing to compromise on "Dagwood."  Or even Mr. Right Hon. Dagwood...

Just to get to the real, er, meat of the matter.

Date: 2007/01/03 17:59:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Nah, the naked apes what fight the wars and produce the serial killers and psychopaths and door-belling god-babblers are clearly the fallen tribe of the hominid "kind."  And this is true regardless of any evilutionary-conspiracy mind-worm maundering.  Listen, my children, and you shall see:

I mean, first of all, just use you intuition: don't many people grow bald as they age and their bodies physically degenerate?  And this head-baldness happens in only one lifetime!

Well, then, just use your common sense: why should the worst, most sinful members of our "kind" not also expect, over many generations, that their body-fur should also "fall out" (so to speak) as a result of their moral Fall?

It's a sign, I tell ya, of Dog'sbane!  Or God's Wrath (or something like that...).

Clearly the chimps, gorillas (there were giants in those days...), and orangs are the original model of the garden-dwelling hominid body plan.  And, check this factoid, O Unbelievers, that's where they still dwell today, plucking the fruit off the vine and the termite from the tunnel.

And would continue to dwell, peacefully (more or less, unless you believe that science-y Goodall person), were it not for our sinful incursions upon their habitat.

And check this other factoid: our unfallen brethren don't even get AIDS.  (Oh, sure, those "scientists" prate about "SIV," but we know that's hokum, and hardly causes them a sniffle, anyways...)  As we all ought to know by now, getting AIDS is the surest sign of the most-fallen among us.


Date: 2007/01/03 18:06:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I guess it all boils down to this, dave:

Not only were Adam and Eve holier than thou, they were hairier than thou, too!

It's just commonsense.  Use your intuition.

(And you realize what follows, don't you, dave?  Yep, the Big Guy himself: major case of back-hair.  And hobbit-feet...)

Date: 2007/01/03 19:28:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Uh, Lou, do you happen to know where the girls are right now?

I'm pretty sure they've invaded one of the threads at PT (not that the place couldn't use some livening up).

But the "shemale" thing is admittedly puzzling...

Date: 2007/01/03 19:44:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Kansas Difficult Dialogs something-er-other (that PT could use a thread-name editor...):
They've been very polite, whoever they are (and whatever gender they aren't...).

Date: 2007/01/03 20:00:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh, I certainly hope that your shrinkage was all in the vertical dimension.

Date: 2007/01/04 15:02:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Talk about a pinhead!

I managed to read all of Dr GH's mountain lion post--probably twice through--and still overlook the "mountain" in mountain lion both times ("ya can bring the lion to the mountain, but ya can't...).

I definitely worked out that it was an amusing post about the precocity of the lion-dog pups-in-training, but I spent a fair amount (of what passes in pinheads for) mental effort trying to figure out if there was some major sprawling big-game park in Orange County that I had managed to never hear about...


Date: 2007/01/04 15:14:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It's on my calendar, too.  It'll be the night before (elective, "surgery center"-type, but non-cosmetic) eye surgery for me, so I have certain restrictions on what I'm supposed to imbibe and when, but I think those mostly kick in around midnight, so I should be good to go.  

(And, should surgery go wrong, what a way to go!;)

I'm pondering whether to be offended by the implication that I'm but a "noise"maker (rabblerouser has ever so much more cachet, dahling), but, ah...

Date: 2007/01/04 15:19:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Boy, this must be a bad day for my pinheadedness.

Uh, no, I'm not having surgery on a Sunday.  The 20th will be just fine!  I was looking at the wrong page of the wrong calendar, or just relying on my memory of the layout of my month, or some dumb thing--no surgery till several days later and, no, we don't need to talk about my frickin' eye all night...

(Brain fart!;)

Date: 2007/01/04 16:16:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I just finished Hazen's Genesis.  It's charming, anecdotal, does provide a very sketchy and spotty overview of the history and breadth of the subject, and spends--in general--way too much time trying to tie Hazen, his colleagues and pals, and his lab to every important ongoing inquiry in the field.

He gives a decent sense of the major positions and disputes in the field, of what we can already feel pretty confident of (much more than what the typical creationists frothing about "abiological" issues would ever admit), and of the many areas that remain to be pursued and pinned down.

Nothing really wrong with any of that--the bit about walking on the tideflats and estimating sand-grain size and coverage, and correlating it all with emergent patterns of sand-ripples is accessible amateur science at its best, and several of the descriptions of "how exactly (read: once over lightly) we went about performing that particular experiment" are entertaining and interesting, you-are-there, accounts.

But.  There's just way too little nitty-gritty chemistry.  Too many photos of people and not enough good illos/diagrams of the concepts.  Science is people and personality-driven, to some large degree, and we all have some level of People-magazine fascination with that aspect of things, but this book had way too much of the rubbing-elbows-with-the-stars and not enough length, detail, and meat.

I wasn't left with a whole lot more "take-home" info than I picked up out of a couple of deDuve's books a decade ago, plus just half-assedly following the topic in pop-science books and mags and news articles since then.

(Hint: You'd do as well, really, to go to the most recent Tangled Web and read the first entry.)

I'm like deadman, I think.  I'm probably not going to be able to follow/keep up with a detailed chemical analysis (and certainly won't have the fonts, etc., to contribute to one, even if I had some of the other background).  But, dammit, I want to SEE it anyway.  And give it a shot.  And pretend to myself I can kinda-sorta follow what's being said.  And ask questions.  And go to the links and the cites if I'm really motivated.

One of the key things that some of the discussions on AtBC and Pharyngula and TO and other such places teaches is that--if you're not a complete pinhead or utterly unteachable/unlearnable (like DaveyDoodles)-- "you"--the broadly-educated, curious layperson--are not incapable of reaching and following the primary literature of science and scholarship, when necessary.

Finding that this was true in a general sense (some earlier, unintegrated experiences from earlier well-done "how to" manuals had intimated the prospect)--which happened to me about ten-twelve years ago, back in the bricks-and-mortar library era--was a personal revelation for me!  One that I attempted to pass onto my then-junior high/high school aged kids while it might still do them some real good, and have attempted--in appropriate social situations--to pass onto other friends, relatives, acquaintances: while we obviously are all, in our specialized world, highly dependent on experts for any number of services and guidance, and while we should not make the mistake that, simply because we can kinda-sorta "follow" what these people are saying, we are instantly no-sweat-involved "one of them," you don't "just" have to take everybody's word for it: if it's important enough to you, you can access and, to some extent, weigh the evidence yourself.

Or at least track an articulate, evidence-weighing discussion/debate among the real scientists well enough to come away with some sense of who's bs-ing you and themselves and who's not.

(This process is, of course, for many reasons we seem unable to get across to the likes of davey, light-years away from going to some single marginalized source of "expert" info and privileging it over every other source in the world.)

Anyway, bring on the nitty-gritty, you real scientists.  Please.  And thanks!

Date: 2007/01/04 16:58:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That's what I get for caving and trying to be more polite.

Dagwood, indeed!  Not hardly--this guy was all mayo and no meat, all sizzle and no steak, all hot air and no "spirit."


Date: 2007/01/04 19:25:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

My dear sir.  I can't be entirely sure, but I suspect a typo--didn't you mean "psychofarts"?

Date: 2007/01/04 20:38:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
As I occasionally have reason to state, I'm quite aware it's not my job to "harmonize" among the commenters on this (or any other) thread.

And I ain't the thread manager.  That's SteveStory's job, and he does it fine, when it really needs doing.

And, as much as I love Lenny (sob, hug, "I love ya, man"--"Get offa me, I ain't GoP!"), I think part of the problem here is his cut'n'paste approach, so effective with the wingnuts, isn't really, um, cut out for the job of helping us try to take a reasonable attack for purposes of this specific thread.

Lemme give an example, where Lenny winds up talking past the rest of us: Scary (or somebody) defined the god in whose belief they want to talk about--the good God of the non-literal, "reasonably" interpreted Christian Bible: omniscient, etc., etc.

Lenny cut'n'pasted one of his excellent-in-other-contexts rants about how most Christians ain't fundies, most Christians ain't literalists, most Christians ain't this and that and have no probs with Evil'o'Evo, etc.  Not to mention all the other non-Christian reasonable religions of the world.

But that's not responding to the concerns of this specific thread, where the kinda god the thread-starters want to discuss is already (in the process of being) defined.  And, while it's certainly not congruent with a literalist-fundy God, it's not necessarily congruent with Lenny's let's-all-be-reasonable "god" either.

Or (sorry, Lenny) for another example, Lenny went into his vanilla-blondes-beauty certainly-good-in-some-contexts rant.  But there's been a reply/objection to that rant, by stephenWells, and Lenny's posted several times further, but hasn't responded to that objection, though Scary--if I'm remembering correctly--hasn't ignored it, and appears willing to consider that in the ongoing discussion.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Lenny should be guided by any of the above.  He's gonna do what he's gonna do, which ain't gonna tweak me none.  But, on this one thread, I'd simply appreciate it if he would kindly recognize that there's no wingnuts here, just us regular joe AtBCers.  While there may well be points for which some of the Lenny canned rants may be perfectly appopriate, it's already seeming to me like there are others for which the appearance of the real-time Lenny might be welcomed.

I don't really have a dog in this hunt, or whatever the expression is.  I disagree with Lenny that PZ and Dawkins are the equivalent of the religious totalitarians of the world, but (a) he already knows that and (b) knowing that hasn't changed his mind, and (3)--we all know what happens if you try to type "©"--not changing his mind hasn't caused me to kick Lenny out of my herpetarium (or whatever they're called).  Like Lenny, I don't necessarily believe in any particular god, but I don't necessarily disbelieve in any but the obviously-stupid etc. ones.  I don't think "spiritual experiences" get us very far in manipulating the world beyond our skins--though they obviously can be successful in manipulating our fellows, for good or ill--but I don't think "spiritual experiences" (or "internal spiritual states," or whatever) are thus rendered unreal or meaningless or valueless.

Usually I can't be bothered to argue to much about it, except for my occasional irk at (coming to the opinion that) one side is misunderstanding/misrepresenting the other.

Frick--this is the thread of long posts.

Anyway, I may have more to say about the vanilla blond beauty thing, because that's an area where I'm only in partial agree/disagreement with Lenny--suggesting to me that I may well have things I could learn--but mainly I'm just hoping to sit back and watch while we actually respectfully talk to each other on this vexed topic, for once.

But that will require responding to what we're actually saying, and not to what the wingnuts usually have to say.

Bleh.  Enuf of this pinhead for a while!

Date: 2007/01/04 20:46:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And, meanwhile, over on the afdavey thread, we're down to ~24 comments remaining, which apparently everybody is holding off consuming, hoping davey will be unable to resist using to overtop himself with still more effusive stupidities...

Date: 2007/01/04 22:08:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yeah, but...

I didn't think we were discussing--though, heck, we can if you want--the benefits to the believers of a given belief-system, or--

--the "fitness"/survival/longevity of the belief system, but

whether or not the belief system is, on some basis--perhaps not clearly defined as yet--"compatible with" or "at odds with" science/logic/evidence, something along those lines.

Clearly, as I think Ichthy is trying to say, a set of beliefs may last a long time, be of benefit (in some personal identity stabilizing or social utility sense) to its believers, and still--with regard to the validity of its postulates--be "wrong."  Maybe not without value or social benefit, as Christianity arguably has been and still is, but proposes reality-incongruent notions, as let's-say-f'rinstance davey's literalist worldwide-flud-6k year old-natural selection don't work-ism does...

I know you ain't davey (thanks again, Lenny!;) and I may well not find your brand of belief objectionable by any measure--though I'll reserve my right to disagree as the discussion plays out--but if this is the measure we're applying, then--among the world's major religions, which distinctly conflict on all sorts of detail, not to mention more major matters--they can't all be "correct," regardless of how many people have believed them, for how long, and how "good" most of those people have behaved toward each other.

How does being a good social support system help us, er, skeptics differentiate one religion or sect from another, no matter how long they may've functioned well as a good social support system?

(To the extent that certain basic code-of-behavior "principles" are shared between the major religions--golden rule, don't lie, steal, murder, etc.--they may not "conflict," though that's far from all they postulate, and you don't walk away from the overlap very far before you leave one or the other irrevocably behind you, and in any case pure secularists of all ages have "believed" and acted in accord with these "core" principles, as well, so query rather they're truly "religious," or just kindergarten-level social good manners, found in most social animules?)

So far, I'm with Ichthy on this one...

Date: 2007/01/04 22:35:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yeah, but Scary, with all respect, is "validity" the proper word for distinguishing FSMism from major-world-religion of your choice?  I'll give you that FSMism hasn't got the track record to put its benefits (or detriments, but let's not go there, quite yet) up against Christianity's.  But that's not in issue, is it?

You seem to be still looking for "value" or "benefit," but that's not "validity" in my dictionary...

If the question of the thread so far (and, again, I'm fine with adding questions) is compatability of religion with science, and science would question the validity of (some exemplar) religion's beliefs or postulates, then how does social or personal value help Christianity out?

Isn't a vague enough, absent enough, "all-powerful" but do-nothing-much-that-can-be-demonstrated (or differentiated from people acting from other good or charitable motives) god about the same, from science's standpoint, as an undemonstrable, undifferentiatable FSM?

Or, if one starts claiming that one's God does do things--outside one's own head and heart--in the real world, doesn't one quickly--or at least eventually--risk running up against science?

Date: 2007/01/05 19:55:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I've appreciated Lenny's non-"canned" posts (and even a couple of the canned ones).  Thanks!

I think everybody on this thread, though, realizes that Scarey (and whichever of our other mild-mannered Christians show up) is NOT a fundy.  We realize he's not banging on our doors, condemning us to he11, trying to legislate our lifestyles or gender preferences, turn our land of the free into a "Christian Nation," claiming to know more about the mind of God than your pizza guy, etc., etc.

He's trying to use us as a sounding board.  (Maybe not the brightest idea anybody ever had, given our generally rowdy nature and insouciant outlook, but what the hey...!;)

He has some pretty specific things he wants to kick around.

So, while entertainingly and trenchantly phrased as always, I'm still not sure we need to keep hearing the hyper-atheist vs. fundy lectures.

We're not about to go all hyper-atheist upside Scary's head, all right?

Personally, I've got no "large," sociopolitical problem with anyone holding whatever "faith" beliefs they want or need, as long as they don't shove it down my throat (and, likewise, I don't shove on them) or try to subvert the institutions I'm forced to deal with in an effort to accomplish the same thing.

That doesn't mean I haven't thought about some of this stuff: in most cases, I'm not convinced by any evidence--or any internal revelations or "logic"--that there's a soul, an afterlife, a supreme being (other than, ya know, the amazingness of it all...), or any of that stuff.

But weird sh*t happens.  And I've certainly had my share of spooky and or spiritual moments.  And plenty of things in life aren't factual, evidentiary, rational, logical, or well-laid in any respect I've ever been able to figure out.  I'm well along in what may well be the only life I'll ever have, and I'm still working on all this kind of stuff and whatever the significance of it all is.

(In college, while sitting in a bamboo grove in an arboretum, looking up at the stars, heavily under the influence of a certain heavy-duty synthetic substance, we concluded that, "Nothing really matters.  But it doesn't really matter that it doesn't really matter."  This, of course, seemed like a far more momentous conclusion before the affect wore off, but I'm not sure I've gotten much further with it than that.)

So, I'm happy to kick all this around with Scary--so long as you larger-brained types do most of the heavy lifting--and I'm not about to go commando-atheist on him (which I wouldn't anyway, because that's not how I categorize myself [or Dawkins either, but we can disagree over that some other time and place]).

I particularly appreciate that Scary's personal version of Christianity is just that, not a commitment to a mega-church or some grandiose wealth/power entity in which too many become enmeshed.

I really think that's one of the bases of Dawkins' concerns about the "moderately" faithful.  That they, too much of the time, turn too much of their thought and decision-making over to others in a hierarchy, about the true motives of which they give too little thought.

Unlike Scary with his honest questions, too many U.S. "moderates" (for my money) give too little thought to why they believe, what they believe, and who that belief system is actually benefiting--and potentially harming--in the here and now.

But I'm open for debate on how accurately (or not) I'm characterizing the "moderates."  And, again, because that ain't Scary, that's a rant for another day.

Date: 2007/01/05 20:04:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Deamer comes off well in Hazen's book.

Again, I enjoyed the book, as far as it went.  It just wasn't the toothsome, incisive chomp at the latest data that I was hoping it would be.

Date: 2007/01/05 20:19:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
While I certainly pity some of the folks who get run through the BJU grinders, my impression of Mr. Dagwood is that he was very much a willing victim...

Date: 2007/01/06 16:59:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I guess we're still unclear whether the questioner was a one-time drive-by, or a sincerely interested person who's just away thinking or researching.

Sticking with the charitable interpretation, however, I'll add this tidbit from PZ Myers' roundup of one of the sessions at the Phoenix conferece he's been attending.  As you'll see, there's a tie-in with cancer/multicellular animals (the bolding is mine):
N.W. Blackstone: Foods-eye view of the transition from basal metazoans to bilaterians. This was another weird talk that came from a completely different perspective and made me think. It might actually be a little too weird, but it's still provocative and interesting. Blackstone is looking at everything from the perspective of metabolic signaling—he's clearly one of those crazy people coming out of the bacterial tradition. Cells communicate with one another with the byproducts of metabolism, where the redox state of membrane proteins are read as indicators of the internal state of the cells (he later calls this "honest signaling", because there aren't any intermediates between the cell and the expression of its metabolic state). The big innovation in the eukaryotes was to escape volume constraints by folding their chemiosmotic membranes into the interior of the organism, and the major animal innovation was the evolution of the mouth, which allowed specialized acquisition and processing of food patches. Subsequent evolution was to allow the animal to sense and seek out and exploit food patches in an environment where they were dispersed in a non-uniform manner. Another interesting tangent was the question of cancer: long-lived sponges and cnidarians don't get cancer. His explanation was that it was because their cells use that "honest" metabolic signaling, so that rogue cells don't have a way to trick the organism into allowing them to use more resources than they actually need; the only way to signal is to exhibit genuine metabolic distress, and cells with metabolic problems will die. Our cells have these indirect, multi-layered signaling mechanisms that allow cancer cells to "lie" to the organism as a whole.

More, uh, food for thought...

Date: 2007/01/06 18:03:00, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yep, Lenny!

You certainly called that one in advance.

Dave's incapable of comprehending what a tribal outlook he has on the world.  

Worse still is that, while being trapped within that outlook, he entirely lacks the context or gestalt of tribal culture and knowledge which might ground that outlook, in some small sense, in wisdom and experience.

It's little wonder he's so desperate to plug his umbilical into the most convenient wall socket.

Date: 2007/01/06 18:17:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I hope you're just as stunned by the lack of expertise some of us have.

After all, in DaveWorld, the spread from lack of expertise to expertise isn't from bottom to top on the x axis, it's from side to side on the y, where the knowledge, detail, and sophisticated analysis of the expert are balanced--nay, trumped!--by the intuition, common sense, and simplicitas of the dunce.

Date: 2007/01/09 15:09:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
ke, this
my witterings don't hold a candle to your torrents of surreal and mordant satire

from Louis may now need to go into your signature along with the tribal creativity bit...
I mean, it's not just everyday that one scores torrents.
Not to be scorned.

Date: 2007/01/09 20:44:28, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Paley's been lonely on "his" own threads.

So now he's following the lads about, hoping for the occasional bone to be discarded in his direction.

And hoping he'll be faster than all the evo-cats, since he's nearly toothless if it comes to an actual scrap.

Date: 2007/01/10 16:15:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Still more info on the topic of evolution and cancer, this time from Carl Zimmer's science blog, "The Loom."  Provocatively titled, um, "Cancer: An Evolutionary Disease."  Lots o' links and other info:

But is our drive-by poster ever gonna return?

Will Nick survive another week of marriage to Nora?

Stay tuned!

Date: 2007/01/10 17:12:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead


(Various other throat-clearing noises.)

Each thing/concept/construct having an "opposite" is, I think ("think" here signalling personal opinion, and not something I'm going to be immediately able to link "evidence" to support) a human cultural attempt to shoehorn Reality into our limited sensorium/consciousness.

I think dualities--and the somewhat more progressive thesis-antithesis-synthesis, allowing for mediation between the opposites, and the formulation of a "new" thesis--can be analytically useful.  Apparently that's one fundamental "mode" (using this almost in the musical sense) of our thought/percerption.

But they tend to be most useful for analyzing human cultural systems: the Greeks and logic/philosophy; Marx and economics/class; Levi-Strauss and mythology.

Thus, opposed dualities like light/dark, good/evil, up/down do not necessarily reflect Reality, except in a limited--and at times highly useful--reductionist sense.

Are there good or bad animals (ahem, other than, from within our own moral framework, us)--Carol Clouser's infamous zebras and hyenas come to mind as the *bzzz* "wrong" answer (scare quotes around wrong because it's caught up in another one of those useful but ultimately untrustworthy dualities)?

Good and bad rocks?  Rainstorms?  Good and bad galaxies?  Good and bad electrons?

Light and dark galaxies...?

To go cliche, but to tie this in at least a little bit with our "eastern" leit-motif, the "western" obsession with oppositions and dueling dualities is nicely trumped by the yin-yang symbol, where each on-first-glance "opposed" shape and color "tails" off into its "opposite," and then crops up again "inside" its "opposite."

Returning to Skeptic's example--and trying to harmonize his perplexity at its rejection with what I'm attempting to get at, and what I, ahem, "think" some of the rest of you are trying to *show* (definitely not "tell") him--I would suggest that, however seemingly logical and exhaustive his two (or three) opposites or alternatives (of amazing/miraculous "caused" existence vs. rejected uncaused oblivion, or of existence-oblivion-eternity...), there is really--outside of human logical imperatives--no evidence of any such a "thing" as "oblivion" (nothingness/never-ness, utter non-existence).

Well, lemme retract that.  I'll not "suggest" anything (which will only invite Lenny's "authority" twitch).

I'll simply ask, is there any "evidence" (observational basis in reality) forthis "logical" opposite to existence?  We--well, most of us not counting Carol Clouser--know that even a vacuum isn't "perfect," that it's a-foam and a-boil with creative potential.

An "empty set" may, again, be useful mathematically, but in the "real" world of forces, particles, people, and passions, does it "exist"?

Likewise, despite the gaps in our own consciousness (and I'll add pre- and post-death---though these could as well be treated as non-real, non-evidenced states, like "oblivion"--to the more obvious asleep, stoned, injured and faulty memory states), we know that Reality apparently soldiers on, even when "we" are not attending to it.

In short, however logical it might seem to construct an "oblivion," a never-was, to contrast with Reality and Existence, I'm asking Skeptic if we really have any warrant for positing such a non-state.  Can there be anything or anybody "home," hiding inside this cipher to which we have loaned the "reality" of the name or symbol of "oblivion," "non-existence," "nothingness"?

The world-universe-sensorium we inhabit simply seems to lack this perfectly empty ultimate lack-ness.

Why presume, therefore, that there ever was such a non-thing from which our present something sprang, or was "caused" or "created"?

I agree that it is hard to conjure up any way--and for me, that would extent even to the hypothetical use of magic, omnipotence, or other such immaterial (but highly potent and "existent") forces--to escape such an oblivion.  My query though is: what basis do we have for conceiving or granting the "existence" of such an unevidenced and unimaginable non-state in the "first" place?

None of this is to suggest that our "current" universe was "always" "here."  Indeed, the evidence suggests to the contrary.  But whatever there was (or wasn't) "before" there was a here and now, if such before-time, outside-everything questions have any meaning, the last thing that we have any reason or evidence to propose would be no-thing/never.



Date: 2007/01/10 17:46:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But Dr. Seuss would ask, what's on "beyond" absolute zero?

Colder than coldest?

Slower than stopped?

One can conceive of these things, but--as the old Fleetwood Mac song suggests--

Now you know it's a meaningless question

To ask if those stories are right

'Cause what matters most

Is the feeling you get

When you're hypnotized...

Date: 2007/01/11 20:13:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Ichthyic @ Jan. 11 2007,19:09)

Dave, I know you won't get a clue, because your clue-currency long ago ran out (if ever you had two clue-coins to rub together), but for the rest of the world, here's the whole sad saga:;t=3131

Date: 2007/01/11 20:28:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Occam to davey:

Just follow the links provided in the recently-preceding posts and all will be revealed.

Well, except to davey...

Date: 2007/01/15 20:22:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
There's really no comparison between regular tard and Anti-Evo tard.

That A-E tard is just the rib-splittingest...!

When will those stupid scientist's discover that big source of energy in the day sky, anyway...?  I mean, wouldn't you think they'd at least have spotted their shadows by now?

Nobody could make this stuff up: fresh A-E tard, hot off the griddle.

<Insert row of davetard smilies.>

Date: 2007/01/15 20:31:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
<Steviepinhead, looking through an old box for possible stuffed panda:>

The blindfold, plush-lined cuffs, and nipple clips go flyin'.  "Hmm, I thought my ex got rid of those long ago..."

Ah, getting warm--little stuffed hippo.

Warmer still, a round plastic penguin in a tux.

Cooler--old beat-up pinata.

Cooler still--chewed-up old dog toy, fortunately the old slime has all dried...

Dust balls and a couple of moth chrysalae.

Nope, no stuffed panda.

Maybe a table sign would be best after all.  Just expecting y'all to look for the old balding guy with grey in his beard wouldn't get us very far in Greenwood, where every third guy meets that description...

Or maybe we could wear some kind of pin-on tag, y'know, like "AFDave gives good tard..."

Nah, on second thought.

Date: 2007/01/15 21:11:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just as a "professional" courtesy--not to mention payback for all that good tard that just keeps on coming--maybe we should extend an invite to the DI crowd.  

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

Date: 2007/01/16 19:02:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I second that yawn.

Date: 2007/01/16 19:09:44, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

My bad!  That word "second," was on the long side.

It did have more than one

Date: 2007/01/16 20:20:50, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm far from one of the more prolific posters here, not being a biologist, archaeologist, linguist, etc.

Just a pinhead.  Discount what follows appropriately.

It follows from the above that I don't have much in the way of "history" with either Louis or GoP, though the former cracks me up and the latter I have disagreed with on the few times we have crossed paths, going back to one of the fossil discovery threads over on PT.

I appreciate the depth of Louis' feelings.

But I'm very much against banning, unless...well, the situation with afdave doesn't bother me, because he was given every opportunity to say something meaningful and proved simply incapable of it.

My vote would be to simply ignore GoP, starve him for attention outside of his "LUCA" ghetto and whatever other threads he has gotten going for himself.  If someone wants to lower themselves to engaging him on whatever latest drivel he's spouted, have at it.  GoP's moronic sociopolitical maunderings interest me even less than his evo posturings...

Otherwise, treat him as a pariah, but don't outright ban him.

Were I Louis, I'd probably feel differently.

If push came to shove, I'd miss Louis (though I'll try to avoid going completely squishy).  I wouldn't miss GoP for a nanosecond.

Date: 2007/01/17 15:00:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I pay as little attention to the GoPster--as long as he stays in his ghetto threads--as I can restrain myself to.

Every once in a while, I'm overcome with the urge to point out to him what a poseur he is.  (Or, as better put by someone, "preening attention whore.")

FWIW, I don't pretend to have any idea what the lout "really" thinks--that was the whole point of his sock-puppetry, allegedly.  I paid little attention till after his "confession."  My impression since is that his claims of reform--"you'll now be getting the 'real' pro-Evo me"--and renunciations of any previously-announced radioactive positions--"I'm against Jim Crow and government-enforced discrimination"--have been immediately undercut by the next forty sentences he slags out.

Despite all Louis' helpful links, I'm not about to go back and wade through all the cess I did my determined best to avoid in the first place.

Thus, I have no clue whether the guy is a racist in reality, and frankly couldn't care less.  Bleh!  I resolve to pay even less attention to the bloke in future.

More to the point, though, is that--while I may have avoided reaching a similar conclusion to Louis', mainly by dint of nose-holding and eye-squinching--the conclusions that Louis has reached seem well within the range of reasonable.  

Even more to the point, they seem to be the very conclusions that GoPpy was hoping someone like Louis would reach.  For no better motives on GoP's part than pure flame-fomenting giggles.

In my view, therefore, Louis' personal honor remains unimpugned.  And GoP is the very last person who would be justified in complaining about the views he has troll-baited Louis into adopting.

I'll leave it to the moderator(s) to determine whether any of this past troll-foolery justifies a ban or some further imposition of Coventry.  

But if this is our little version of Kesey's bus, and if this indeed came down to a "on the bus" or "off the bus" showdown, and if I had a vote (which, will Louis or will he not, I doubt I do) then it would clearly be Louis who would stick around to pass the hookah, and GoP who'd get the hook.

I'll not comment on this thread again, no matter how massive the provocation.

Date: 2007/01/17 17:17:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Richard T.--ta for the link to Mark CC's math blog.  That was so entertaining I lost (another) hour of work.

Sal-tard at its nadir-est!  Everybody and her brother coming out of the woodwork to nail him on his usual derail-and-bail schtick...amateurs and professional scientists of about eight different disciplines piling on...priceless hilarity: Sal giving a desperate imression of the wicked witch trying to shimmy between raindrops during Katrina.

JAD gets banned again, despite Mark's turning himself into a backwards pretzel attempting to elicit some factual argument on it.

Edit: Inaccurate (not to mention humor-tarded) footnote deleted.

Date: 2007/01/18 20:35:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, I said I'd never be back, but this is O/T, so there.

And I can't just ban anyone who has engaged in any sockpuppetry, or I'd have to ban LouFCD, and Lou's a good guy.

Not to mention whatever nattering nabob is behind that silly gaggle of "Lenny" characters, the pizza kid, the pizza lady, and the deli delight...!

Date: 2007/01/18 20:42:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
No wonder I couldn't find him in the box with the hippo and the penguin and, er, the other stuff...

Man, that little dude sure jets around!

Date: 2007/01/18 20:51:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Because my interest was almost analytically dispassionate

Yeah.  Mine was strictly a scientific endeavor, too.

Although more toward the recklessly hedonistic than the analytically dispassionate end of the, um, spectrum.

(Yo, Stevie!  What's with the past tense up there, eh?)

Date: 2007/01/20 17:49:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'll try to be there right on time, or a little before.

I'll be wearing a light grey Michigan State "Fencing" shirt under a brown pile jacket.

I'm in working on a Saturday, so I'll be in desperate need of "a" drink ( the singular includes the plural, as the statute writers say...).

Ah, Taunton's Blackthorn cider: I love it so!

Date: 2007/01/20 18:03:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Deleted post that didn't work.

I can't seem to get the image links to work.  I find a nice image somewhere online, hit properties just like for the avatar, copy the image link thingy, starting with "http" and ending with "jpg," stick the same in between square-bracketed "i" and slash-"i" and hit the post button.

And all I see is the code, not the image.  WTF?  Any advice...  Is there a maximum length for the image tag?

Further edit: in case it helps with the diagnosis, here's the code that, even though properly "i"-bracketed, wouldn't post as an image:

Thanks, Stevie

Date: 2007/01/20 20:12:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Let's see if it works for me!  Ah, yes!  Thanks, Henry, I didn't want it for an avatar, just as a cool "old" animal!  These Mississippian shell pieces are something I'm drenching myself in at the moment (it's all Crabby's fault...), though this particular gorget is thought to be more Hopewell or Adena.

Maybe I should add that this design comes from an Indian gorget dug up in the American midwest.  IOW, around 1,000 years ago, there were jaguars (or ocelots) roaming the Mississippi bottomlands.  Which I thought was kinda cool.

Date: 2007/01/21 18:30:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Don't know about the gender breakdown, generally.

If there are any female AtBC'ers in the Seattle area, they are, of course, certainly welcome to join us.  Aside from a good deal of snickering at AFDave and the like, we were pretty restrained, overall.

Clayman arrived a little late, as he had helped a friend move for most of the day.  I stayed a little late, as I was in the process of pigging down a pitcher and a pint of cider.  After the others left, clayman and I talked about trying to arrange some scrambly hikes in the Teanaway River area, in the Cascade range to the east of the crest (over Snoqualmie Pass via I-90) and north of the little burg of Cle Elum.  This is several hours closer, but has some of the same amenities as his favorite hiking area, the Pasayten, in the NE part of the Cascades up near the border.

Argystokes intelligently refused to allow me--the well-inebriated cider hog that I was--to drive him anywhere--he had bussed and walked quite a ways to get to the 74th.

I managed to get myself home without incident and had to pound the guitar for a while to burn off some of the excess alcohol.  Good thing it was a non-week night, and I could sleep off the rest of the excess this morning!

That was fun!  We'll definitely have to do it again.

Edit: I would be remiss not to thank snoeman for his willingness to serve as "secretary" for our gathering, and for his detailed report of the proceedings, above.

Date: 2007/01/27 16:01:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yes, but is it possible to enjoy beer and sex (or, okay, cider and sex) in the rain and still be intellectually honest?

Date: 2007/01/27 16:12:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Crabby Appleton @ Jan. 22 2007,23:44)

Quote (Steviepinhead @ Jan. 20 2007,20:12)

Let's see if it works for me!  Ah, yes!  Thanks, Henry, I didn't want it for an avatar, just as a cool "old" animal!  These Mississippian shell pieces are something I'm drenching myself in at the moment (it's all Crabby's fault...), though this particular gorget is thought to be more Hopewell or Adena.

Maybe I should add that this design comes from an Indian gorget dug up in the American midwest.  IOW, around 1,000 years ago, there were jaguars (or ocelots) roaming the Mississippi bottomlands.  Which I thought was kinda cool.

My fault?

Oh, OK. You're welcome Mr. Pinhead.

I like this one better but it's MIA.

Ah, yes, a Spiro mound--or closely related--"Chunkey player" gorget.  The player--who has both human and bird attributes, so may be some kind of visualization of a cosmic personage or rmyth character--is wearing all kinds of cool ceremonial regalia, including the fringey thing hanging down from his waist-sash, which current scholarship suggests is a decorated scalp...!

I meant "fault" in a good way (hey, I'm a lawyer: where would I be without "fault"?)!  Actually, I meant your "1491" thread--to which I must someday return--was at least partially responsible for sending me down a road of reading and, ahem, research that has led me in the direction of these shell gorget and cup designs (generally manifestations of the "Southeastern Ceremonial Complex" associated with the Mississippian "Moundbuilder" societies, though the jaguar gorget is earlier...).

Anyway, thanks for the link to another swell gorget!

Date: 2007/01/27 16:37:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Crabby, I saw that a collection of pottery was "missing in action," but that collection did not seem to include this gorget.

What's your "MIA" reference mean?

Date: 2007/01/30 13:43:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That's 'cause the ones that live awound yew-uh apawtment awen't the wight wuns!

Yew wanna twy to wub the wuns that wivv awound they-uh!

Date: 2007/01/30 14:17:30, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Mike PSS:
First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.

Corny Hunter:
No, it need not be carried by all mammals.

Dood!  Try to keep up here: pendactyly need not be carried by all mammals, if their limbs were "designed" to optimize their current functionality, but it is. Why?  As we are reasonably entitled to conclude from looking around at current mammals, from reviewing the evidence from fossil mammals and the geologic contexts in which they are found, and from the genetic molecular and developmental evidence, the pendactyly we observe among all extant and extinct mammals is the result of common descent.  This is a prediction of evolution that's contra "intelligent design" (or, as we respectfully and civilly call it around here: sheer IDiocy...).

If some lineages of mammals are around long enough, and the adaptive pressures are powerful and persistent enough, maybe the outward phenotypic indicia of pendactyl ancestry would eventually disappear (the tippy-toes of horses, the back ends of whales, a strain of eight-toed cats or--more far-fetched, six-fingered psychic humans...).

The developmental and genetic indicia of ancestral pandyctyly would linger on for many ages but, after the passage of sufficient time, perhaps even those signs would be covered over by the palimpsest of later changes.

Arguably, however, it would take a very long time indeed for all traces of common mammal heritage to disappear, just as mammalian inner ear-bones may still be traced back to earlier quadruped jawbones, pandyctyly itself can be traced back to a "frozen accident" or early set of selections among the variant digit patterns seen in the earliest transitional tetrapods, and vertebrate body plans can be traced back to duplications of the urbilaterian Hox tool-kit.

If you have some kind of point here, not obscured beneath your verbal vagaries and determination to avoid the obvious implications of the evidence, it has so far failed to surface.

Either get on with it.

Or admit there is no actual "it" wherever you are at.

Date: 2007/01/30 14:36:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh-wuh, in the immo-wuh-tal wuh-oods of Scawlett O'Heh-wuh,
"Ah'll woo-wee abow-ut they-ut, tomowwuh...!"

Was is Mark Twain who said "Nothing is as overrated as mediocre fornication or as underrated as a good defication"?

Not sure I agree.

If I've evuh, er, ever heard this one of Clements' gems, it's long ago escaped my memory.

Just for clarification, though--was that "defication" meant to be "defecation" or "deification"...?

Date: 2007/01/30 14:42:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Of course our, er, one's, er--all right, dang it!--my end is nigh...

It's attached to the front of me!

(And, despite the onslaught of the years, it's not all that far behind the rest of moi...)

Date: 2007/01/30 19:12:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sal never feels up to it, as all long-term nose-holding Sal-watchers know all too well.

If there was ever a guy who could use a DIagra presecription, Sal would be that guy.

Date: 2007/01/30 19:15:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Date: 2007/01/31 19:14:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Crabby, bummer about the gorget.  I'm against capital punishment, except for littering and this kind of thing...

But sledding is cool...!

Date: 2007/02/01 11:56:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Among us, we seem to have sliced, diced, shredded, and decimated this guy's "claims."  To the point of duplication, in some instances (but that's okay--duplication's a covert metaphor for how "bigger" changes can occur, not to mention that--on the level of discourse--making much the same point from different angles or with different words or examples may benefit someone out there...).

Odd though that Corny is just sitting back, allowing the shredding to proceed without even token opposition.

'Fraid?  "Busy"?  

Lurkers should note this common IDiot behavior pattern: they seem to have plenty of time to waltz onto the stage making bold claims, and to hang in there for one or two rounds of shredding, but then they can't seem to find the time to "stay the course" when the going gets tough, or to respond with evidence, specific answers to pointed questions, little things like that...

Time is of course a precious commodity.  If only these chaps would give some thought to that rather obvious fact of life before they first opened their yaps.

Date: 2007/02/01 14:35:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Stephen Elliott:
Should a creationist actually bother to try to answer Lenny's boilerplate questions I might give them some credit.
 * * * * * *
Ever wonder why most (creationists) just run away?  

All that good pizza confers zingier electrons, too hot for those creos to handle...much less sling back?

All that snake-handling confers slitherier electrons, too wiggly for those creos to read...much less rebut?

Date: 2007/02/01 16:10:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
OK, guys (and shimmiers)--the last 382 pages have been highly amusing and educational, but...

...we now have a new "civility" policy.

So, for starters, so that davetard's feelings--such as they may be--won't be hurt and his freedom of expression won't be stifled, we're going to need a new apellation for his davetardness that doesn't include the 'tard part.

All civil suggestions are, hereby, most civilly solicited.

And, no, I don't think that daveturd is going to cut the, er, mustard.

Date: 2007/02/01 18:05:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Getting back to the bureaucratic procedural type stuff--

Do we want to schedule another meeting between now and blipey's visit?

Or do we want to kick back, enjoy the frost on our windshields, and wait for blipey to instigate another round of drinking and IDiot-plonking?

Any distaff Seattle AtBC'ers out there are, of course, more than welcome to shimmy on down.

My only requirement, needless to say, being that the said establishment serves the said cider!  But that's actually a fair few places now, including such spots as the Reading Gaol, the Hilltop, Bick's, ... not to mention the aforesaid 74th St.

Heck, even the Barking Dog has Asphall's, or something o' that ilk, though it's awful flippin' expensive...!

Date: 2007/02/01 18:37:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Boy Howdy!  Are Eric, Improvious, deadman, VoxRat, et al. ever shredding afdave on Dawkins' blog...!

If you thought davey was laughable here, he's mostly been reduced to pitiful repetition over there (well, here too, but at least he cycled through various repetitions here, whereas as, over there, the needle is at full stop).

...Er, for those who remember what kind of needle I'm talking about...

Date: 2007/02/01 20:21:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hah!  We've now got a complete page on davey's daffy  Dawkins' thread, page 71, with nary a whisper from dave, despite the gauntlet flung down in the second comment on the page that VoxRat (via a comment on p. 70) flat-out "owns" davey's tarded little heiney.

And most of p. 72.  Still no dave.  This all immediately following upon his crow served up near the top of this here page.

Whatsamatter, davey?  Those bloody brits being a little too harsh upon thy delicate wittle selfey-welfey?

Date: 2007/02/01 20:29:17, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh, GoP, you're so right, ahem, pun intended.  We have indeed been so wrong, so uncivil, so blindly ... lefty!

Well, dammit then, the only onnabull thing to do is step right up and say something, er, ah, civil, doncha know!

Here goes: say, Ghosty, I been meaning to tellya, that that highlight on the right side of your forehead is ever so fetchin', ol' bean.  However does your avatarial batman manage that effect?  By all means, do have your batman get in touch with my batman, so that they may bat the matter 'round...

Feel all better now, chief?

Date: 2007/02/01 20:56:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But, uh, if they actually were capable of coming here to debate something of substance, then they wouldn't be tards in the first place...

I'm not entirely clear why we can't say a tard's a tard.

Woah!  I get it!  If we let them portray their own selves as tards, rather than us falling all over ourselves to point it out, it just makes them look all the tardlier in the long run...!  Kinduva rope:hang thang...!

Boy howdy, stevestory, that is some kinda twisted wicked "civility" you be "requiring"!

This could work out to be pretty dang entertaining.

It's worth a trial run, anyway.

Date: 2007/02/01 21:02:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Nah, GoPster, I'm not a miner or a concrete drilling specialist, so my work rarely involves boring.

...oh, and while I've got your scintillating attention, I've also been meaning to compliment your ava-tailor on the distinctive drapery of your left upper extremity.

Tres chic, babe.

Edit: misspelling corrected.

Date: 2007/02/01 21:15:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
On PT, I think Lenny is only "banned" from PZ-initiated posts.

I can't remember what the deal is on Pharyngula, but then that's truly PZ's very own personal blog, where he can do what he wants.  I don't consider that either Lenny (or me) really have any vested interest there, so PZ can rule that roost as he wishes.  Though I'm generally a PZ fan, I'm a tad more concerned when PZ's actions on PT give the impression of "watering down" PT's no-cencorship policy.

Date: 2007/02/01 21:31:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
My sense is that stevestory was more concerned about how we were beginning to behave among ourselves (Louis vs. GoP*; Louis vs. demallien--sorry, Louis, I love ya babe, but you do keep winding up in these imbroglios), than he was about how we treated the incoming tards.

I'm certainly willing to try to tone it down a db or two.  It don't mean we can't have fun, we just have to go about it by slightly more subtle and devious means.

I'm gonna try to treat it as a challenge, instead of a constraint.

*Concededly, GoP is only very provisionally one of "us"...

Date: 2007/02/02 13:46:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
GoP, if there was any reasonable hope that this guy was going to come back and get specific, then I might have joined your appeal to CH that he not precipitately "abandon" (horrors!) our little board...

But, despite your heavy hint--and the explicit requests from several others--that he come back and tell us in plain English what characters he's talking about and how he thinks these non-nested homologies do or don't challenge the powerfully-compelling nested hierarchies of common descent, Mr. Hunter instead took several days to mull things over but still came back with nothing the predictable handwaving vagaries and vapors.

Leaving any number of very pointed and trenchant questions unanswered.  The guy gives every indication of being a rather run-of-the-mill sort of maroon, and not even a very interesting or entertaining one.

At this point, I could care less whether he shows up again or not.

Date: 2007/02/02 14:19:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm thinking that the "Aha" moment could devour its own entire thread easily.  (Even if we confined it to such moments that led to science careers which I'm not in a position to do--though I've had dozens of other such life-redirecting moments...)

Heh.  Until now, I hadn't fully appreciated snoeman's clever acronym for our little group: Atbc Society of Seattle!  Cooler yet, it's grandfathered in, pre-civility: A.S.S. we are and A.S.S. we shall remain!

(My favorite acronym along those lines was spotted on the wall of a bar in Whitefish, Montana: Appaloosa Stud Service.)

Anyway, the question on the table is: do we hold our next official meeting at the 74th Street Alehouse on Saturday, Feb. 17 (I'm assuming 7:30 again...)?

The only drawback for me is that's the three-day weekend and I'm leaving for a trip right afterwards, so there's some chance that trying to get pre-caught up on work and pack and such could interfere with my attendance.  Though I'm hardly crucial, would try hard to make it regardless, and my potential absence should not in any event preclude A.S.S. II from proceeding...

Date: 2007/02/02 16:01:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just so it doesn't get lost in the midst of all the civility noodling, didn't Lenny just say he's got a book coming out!?!

I know I saw it somewhere here today, but I can't find it anymore.  It may not be exclusively about Dover, but still...

Links, please!

Date: 2007/02/05 17:52:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I expect those of us in this evo-IDioto discussion first think of K-12, or at least of high school, when we hear "public school."  Of course, there are private K-12/secondary institutions, and home schooling, and there are publicly-funded post-secondary institutions.

Are you saying, Heddle, that you first "heard of" string theory whilst you were a student in high school?

Or are you saying that you first heard of string theory whilst on the grounds of a college or university or graduate or professional school, however funded?

Date: 2007/02/05 17:59:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Three Michael Jackson heads, one facing forward wearing wig, two facing away, sans wigs.

Why is that "wrong"?

At least you don't have to look at the features on two of 'em.

(There's a "headwig" joke in there somewhere, but it's late in the day...)

Date: 2007/02/06 08:56:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Fractatious @ Feb. 05 2007,23:18)

- but you have to admit, that could be AFDave's twin!

Yep!  All both of him...

Date: 2007/02/06 16:40:30, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And here I was, sure that was TardSpell for "prophet."

Just shows to go you...!

Date: 2007/02/06 16:59:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
[quote=stevestory,Feb. 06 2007,12:30][/quote]
I love these guys

As do we!  As do whee!  

As do we-e-

And, by the way, you heterosexual would-be parents: no controversial science-assisted reproductive technologies allowed!

Date: 2007/02/06 18:18:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The 74th Street Alehouse is at:
7401 Greenwood Avenue North
NW corner of Greenwood and 74th, north of the zoo, west of Greenlake, east of Ballard, top of Phinney Ridge, etc., etc.

Greenwood and Phinney are the same arterial, basically, though not literally the same streets.  They had to do a jog around the Red Mill burger place which, of course, could not be displaced.

The Reading Gaol is on the north side of NW 65th St. a couple of blocks west of the intersection of 65th and Third Ave. NW (or "Highway 3," as we call it around here).

Now I'm unsure to which joint we plan to repair.  (I'll have to be more careful with these royal "we's"--dipsy dave has gotten himself in a wee bit of a crack over an unearned use of "we" over at  I'll default to the 74th if it remains unclear, because the car is programmed to get me home from there, no matter what state the driver is in.

Date: 2007/02/06 21:16:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

And I kinda liked Henry.

Particularly that "J" he always seemed to have about his persona.

Puff!  Er, sorry, DaveTard, sir!  I meant, "Poof!"  Honest, I did!

Date: 2007/02/07 20:33:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
What the heck, Lenny I ain't, but I undertook, in my humble pinheaded way, to at least remind Sal--or, more importantly, that "vast" ocean of lurkers--that Sal has left a few pretty basic questions unanswered:

Steviepinhead on the Evo Sunday thread on PT:
Hey, Sal, as long as you’ve reappeared here, however incoherently–

Aren’t we still waiting for your answers to Lenny’s simple, easy, little list of questions?

You know, like what the heck IS the “theory” of Intelligent Design in the first frickin’ place?

And, while we’re at it, where oh where, anywhere in the world, are there any ID-espousing scientists who are actually working in labs or the field to “test” any of ID’s hypotheses, whatever they are?

Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath for you to trip all over yourself being honest, articulate, and forthcoming with, ahem, answers to any of these obvious and seemingly easy-to-answer-if-only-ID-were-science questions.

...Could possibly prove entertaining.

Date: 2007/02/08 14:24:31, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh!  Thanks for sharing, Stephen!

Maybe there's something about pickin' a gee-tar that provides a little insulation against IDiocy...?

With a tip of the busker's hat to deadman...

Date: 2007/02/12 17:26:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
From the woo to you...

Date: 2007/02/12 18:36:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But it's not just dave's thread or the forum in which it resides--it appears to be the whole that's unavailable...

Date: 2007/02/12 18:58:31, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I have referred to Casey Luskin as a "baby attorney" on more than one occasion.  I intended only to address his education, experience, and expertise.

Now that I've seen the video, I realize that Casey Luskin actually, physically is still a baby--well, okay, maybe a toddler.  He's about two feet tall, and clearly wearing a toupee intended to lend him the air of being in junior high.

Maybe from now on I'll have to refer to him as as "embryonic" attorney...


Date: 2007/02/13 19:26:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
At least some of what you're cogitating about above was also mulled by Dawkins in The Extended Phenotype, or at least so it seems to my increasingly dim memory.

Date: 2007/02/14 20:37:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
With the same caveats as before (somewhere up thread, packing and trying to get work out of the way for a trip...), yes!

I've seen a couple of other PTers from Seattle environs show up on the thread on the Thumb about Flock of Dodos.

If you other folks are interested, you're certainly welcome to join us...

Date: 2007/02/17 16:50:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Seems to me that PZ has a bio/evo booklist somewhere in his archives, which includes a section of younger readers.

I'd go look for a link, but I'm late for a movie!

Date: 2007/02/19 14:11:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Three of us made it:

Steviepinhead (after all, which means I still have some packing to do tonight...!)
and Jedidiah P. from Panda's Thumb.

I limited myself to two ciders this time (two pints, that is)!  Snoeman drank his usual Mac'n'Jacks, and Jed had red wine (forget the vintage, sorry).  

Beyond that, I won't make any attempt at the official "proceedings" which snoeman may well post, except that a good time was had by all (and the time between 7:30 and 10 went by with astonishing speed).

If blipey will let us know when he'll be in town, we'd love to try to schedule a meeting that will mesh up!

Date: 2007/02/20 01:57:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dude, seriously.

Eh, never mind.

More fishing.  Less thinking.  Couldn't hurt.

Date: 2007/02/26 16:37:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

So, in theory at least (subject cooperation could admittedly be an issue...), we could find out exactly how hard Dr. Hunter is chomping on his foot while he types the tard he posts here?

Date: 2007/02/26 17:16:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
So I just got back from a ski trip to Colorado.

One of the other participants (a college classmate) managed to work both fly-fishing and break-dancing into this same ski vacation (I only managed to work in museum-going and margarita-disappearing...).

On the first day that he went fishing, he caught one fish.  On the second day he went fishing, he caught ten fish.

Now, think about it: he just happened (according to those numerology-denying materialists) to jump one whole power of fish-catchery while going from one day to the next...

On top of which, in two days, he caught a total of eleven fish!  The cool part is that two (the number of days spent productively fishing in a row) is the sum of 1 + 1, while eleven (the total fish catch) consists of two ones ordered sequentially (a one in the ones column and a one in the tens column)...!

I mean, give me a break!  How "probable" is it that this would result from sheer randomness?

And, of course, since Colorado is a catch-and-release state, the actual throughput of all this fish production was zero, which rhymes with the nickname of the veriest founder of this veriest numerological thread...!

Furthermore, the subject of all this catch-and-releasery was the fish--the veriest symbol of the apple of hero's numerological eye.

(You know the guy I'm talking about: the fisher of men!)

And one of said fish-guy's most majorest miracles was the loaves and fishes!

That's right, kiddies!

And how do you go about turning a finite amount of fish into an infinite source of abundance?

Why, catch and release, of course!  The modern ecological equivalent of that mythical miracle...

And what's the symbol for infinity: why that little sideways eight symbol.  And if we subtract the one fish caught on day one plus the two ones used in counting the number of fish caught on day two from the total number of fish caught, you get--that's right!--eight!  The number which, turned sideways, symbolizes infinity, which stands (in this, our little parable) for both the boundless generosity of the biosystem and the boundless generosity of zero's worship-object.

And another way of looking at that infinity symbol is as two zeroes, side by side.  Which brings us back around--as if in an endless loop--to our numero-rhythmic thread-hero.

And to the net number of fish remaining after each day's catch-and-release operation...  (And one uses a net, of course, to catch what, good people?)

Finally, notice the nom-de-screen of the last (that is, the one before this one) commentator above: Ichthyic...!  And the topic of the last two comments: fishing...!

I could keep going, but I've scared myself enough for one foray*...

* One could also represent "foray" by means of the soundalike "4A."  Of course, A is the first letter in the alphabet, for which we could substitute the first number, or one.  Four consists of two twos, and each of those twos consists of two ones...!

Aaaiiieee!  Help me, fish-guy, for mine eyes (which we could represent as two zeroes, side-by-side) have seen the light...!

Speaking of which, I just had a cataract-removal operation, such that, on this very same skiing-fishing trip, I really did see more light!  And the only vowel in "skiing" or "fishing" is an "i".  Which we pronounce as if it were spelled--say it with me now, people!--"eye."  And, in the Roman numbering system, "i" equals one.

***I better quit while I'm behind***

Date: 2007/02/28 16:39:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Some people are irony proof.

Whether that "means" anything, numerologically speaking, I neither know nor care.

How cool is that?

Date: 2007/02/28 16:45:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
All right, the Seattle chapter of the After the Bar Closes Chowder & Drinking Society may just be forced to take up a collection to fly Henry J and J-Dog to our next drinkathon, er, get-together.  Tres funny!

What is it about these guys with the "J" in their names, anyway.

Maybe I need to ask Heroisreal about the numerological significance of the tenth letter in the alphabet...

Date: 2007/03/01 15:57:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Bowing down, as we must, to Science, we ask, as we must, in the spirit of Holy Quantification--

--Just how hawt are they?

Y'know, within a reasonable error-of-measurement range...

Date: 2007/03/01 18:02:28, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Walleyed (as in Wallied).

You pikers!

Date: 2007/03/01 18:14:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Now that was spooky!

No sooner did I post my comment about walleyes, than posts a science news article about eyewalls:

Yikes!  Maybe I better re-read some of hero-zero's posts...

Date: 2007/03/01 20:10:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh, I know little about fishing for real, but I'm sure I'd be able to adequately fake any needed expertise at drinking beer and "supervising" while I waded around in the water!

Fer shure, lemme know if you head up to steelhead and sockey country, er, waters...

Date: 2007/03/06 13:40:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The carnivorous dinosaurs were specialized on marsupial prey.

But the were too heavy for the vegetal rafts, so they couldn't follow the mar-soups to Oz-trail-yer.

And starved.  Sometimes Creators have to make tough choices, just like Oh Carol Clouser is lobbying for her God to do now between the cruel hyenas and the cute zebras...

Not sure how the dearth of plant-eating dinosaurs is explained, but I'm sure the "brains" at AiG are working furiously even as we speak...

Date: 2007/03/06 21:07:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Now that was funny, Lenny!  

Not that I ever thought you weren't...

Date: 2007/03/08 17:42:18, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh yeah, the "Christian values" of Oxnard High, where this moron's father was a Board member for 19 years...!

I wonder if that included 1960, the year that OHS was selected as one of the 10 worst high schools in the country (teachers regularly hung by their heels off the second story balcony, etc.).

By the time I went there, in the mid-Sixties, it was possible to get a decent education there.  As long as you managed to make it into the "top" track of college-prep courses, where we had generally excellent and dedicated teachers.

But even then, there was the "shooting gallery" bathroom that was off limits to teachers and administrators.  A significant number of the varsity football team died of overdoses within a few years of leaving school, etc...

Ah, yes.  Let's return to those good old all-American values of yesteryear.

Not only is this guy the usual error-regurgitating CreaIDiot butt-wipe, but he's the usual hypocritical-religious butt-wipe as well.  Check?  Check!

Date: 2007/03/08 18:59:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The Fundamentalist Fund for Expatriating Ex-Patriots.

FFEEP, pronounced to rhyme with "weep."

As in, "I weep for you, (now that you're in) Argentina."

Date: 2007/03/08 20:40:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Uh, let's see, Wells, or some other ID tard goes to Japan and lectures to one group of philosophers and another group of shinto students.  The reception is termed "polite."  A sympatheic cartoon is published in a newspaper.

From that, Rob Crowther apparently concludes that Japanese "scientists" are growing more interested in ID.

Hmmm, so far I count Wells, philosophers, shinto students, and a cartoonist.  Arguably, you might be able to hide Waldo in this crowd, but where the heck did Crowther find the "scientists"?

I'm happy for the IDiots that they got a clever cartoon out of this TardTour, but anybody halfway honest would've contented themselves with that, without feeling the urge to Lie For ID.  Of course, "halfway honest" is Ethical Superstardom in IDiotardological terms.

Date: 2007/03/09 14:25:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Stephen, N-G-O also appears in a cute children's song: B-I-N-G-O...

It wouldn't be beyond Ichthyic to cross-culturally reference in a multivocal meta-linguistic manner intended to locate his meaning at a locus of hyperdimensional sociopolitical realities.

If ya know whaddum sayeen...?

Date: 2007/03/09 17:45:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Skeptic has rationalized speech that he agrees is inaccurate and hateful as just more commercial puffery which he and other consumers may simply ignore if they choose not to ingest it.

I agree that's a rational stance as to purely commercial speech.

I don't agree that that's a rational stance as to speech which is designed not (or not only) to push a product but to incite irrational hate and rage.

Are you truly comfortable with your rationalization, skeptic?  Or, upon reflection, are you able to see a moral dimension here that you're ignoring?

Date: 2007/03/13 20:06:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ah, despite the odor, a place like the bathroom wall does have its fugitive pleasures.

As ke has once again inimitably shown.

Thank you, sir.  That was worth paying a couple of kopeks to the toothless old hag at the door.

Date: 2007/03/14 20:41:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The "debate"?

Oh, you mean the side debate people would rather have with almost anyone--even Heddle!--rather than talk about your topic...?

Now I got ya...

Date: 2007/03/15 14:42:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The downside is, it's ridiculously hard to find and they don't even make it every year.

Not to worry, Arden.  I'm righteously haute, but even I don't make it every year!

Date: 2007/03/15 17:17:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But what percent alcohol are you?

Looks to be right around six percent...

Date: 2007/03/19 18:15:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The last thing anybody wanting to educate themselves about whether German Christianity "set the plate" for the Nazi extermination campaign should do is get their information from Paley, of all trolls.

Those seriously interested may wish to start with Daniel J. Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners" and then (of course) move on to the various critiques and reanalyses of that work.

Attending to Paley is not just a waste of time.  It's an actual misdirection of valuable resources.  Which is, of course, Paley's principal motivation.

Date: 2007/03/22 16:17:17, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Kristine shimmied thusly:
However, I am particularly dangerous today (if anyone checks the calendar...)

Eh?  Do you have a communicable case of spring fever?

Date: 2007/03/26 14:31:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm late too, Kristine.
(Away from the computer for the last several days for reasons the alcohol has erased, but which are assumed to have been good ones...)
Anyway, hope you had a great day and shimmied the night away!

Date: 2007/03/27 14:44:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Congrats, Richard.  That comment was succinctly vicious and teh funny--kinda like tickling your victim with your poignard before delicately slipping it between his ribs.

And, in case I've failed to mention it before--and in full knowledge of the risks of labelling I run!--let me just say that:

I love Zachriel!

His astute observations form the backbone of this thread, rendering it simultaneously one of the savviest and one of the funniest on the Net.

I'm just glad he doesn't charge a subscription...

Date: 2007/03/28 16:57:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Here's what I originally had to say:
Just want to say that, every time I open this page, k.e.'s opening blow-off of Heddle cracks me up all over again.

Let's keep our graffiti (graffitums?) short, so this page long may, uh, wave.
Unfortunately, my little comment was the straw that broke the page's back.  So I'm forced to quote k.e.'s little gem all over again (warning, not kid-safe...!):
Hey Heddle what's the matter....the price of blow jobs gone up again?

Date: 2007/03/30 17:22:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Skeptic is probably a nice person.

GOP is probably not.

However, I sure as heck wish Skeptic would learn to spell "argument."

Maybe that would lead to his learning how to make one.

Date: 2007/04/02 17:19:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Obviously, I can come here and read all of your comments about me as you join in with others who are prone to inappropriate ridicule.

Not all ridicule is inappropriate.

You have been asked several times to provide some scientific content for ID.  You have been asked whether you actually have any science training or whether you have invested the necessary time and preparation to be able to intelligently digest the primary biology literature.

You have ignored all these relevant and non-ridiculous questions in your own attempt to sling criticism with Teh Big Boyz.

Hint: don't give up your day-job, which obviously is neither comedy nor science.

Rephrased: you have long shown yourself to be an entirely appropriate object of ridicule.  If you would like to shed that particular skin, do the requisite work and demonstrate that you have earned the respect--rather than the ridicule--of those that actually have done the work.

Or keep on as you have started out.

As much as we would enjoy it, on one level, if you wised up, we'll still enjoy it, on an entirely different level, should you choose not too.

Date: 2007/04/02 18:20:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Biology certainly isn't rocket science, and it doesn't take a genius to understand it.

Then you're certainly running low on tenable excuses.

Date: 2007/04/04 23:06:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh.  A couple of those were even funny.  A little.

Since you don't know enough to talk science and you're not really funny enough to sustain the comedy schtick, you could just be SOL.

But, hey, if you own a guitar, you could always take a digipic of your ax and post it on the muso thread.

You don't actually have to be able to play it any better than you can talk science or make funny.  You just have to be able to point and click.

There must be something you're good for, when you're not whining.

Maybe Lenny will take a hit for the team and let us know...

Date: 2007/04/05 15:16:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I started to see myself in Arden's "amateur" linguists comment.

Hope I don't really come across as quite that clueless/deluded when I venture into an area that interests me but about which I know much too little...

Date: 2007/04/06 19:51:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And here I always thought that "abs' tracks" were those grooves in between my six-pack muscles...


Date: 2007/04/10 17:48:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hi, ftk!

I was just wondering why you think it is that scientists and medical researchers and cancer investigators are coming around to the view that canines may be better research animals for modeling human cancers than mice are?

Evolutionary biologists are able to explain this puzzling fact, in part, based upon the more recent common ancestor shared by canines and humans, and the more distant one shared by mice.

I'm wondering what your explanation might be.  "Common design"?  If so, what rationale might the designer have had for designing dogs such that they are more susceptible to human-like cancers than mice?

Did the designer just like mice better?

Wouldn't it have been more convenient if mice had been designed so as to be the more useful cancer model?  After all, in other respects, their swifter generations, smaller size, greater fecundity, etc., make them much more tractable--and somewhat less soulful-eyed--research subjects.

Please feel free to share any religious or philosophical implications you feel may bear on the mice-dog-human cancer triangle.

But I'd sure appreciate it if you started with the scientific evidence, given how much you like to read original research papers.

Or, hey, if you don't like that one: how old is the earth?  How do you know?  If radiometric dating isn't reliable, why hasn't the earth cooled internally long ago?  Why hasn't the sun gone out?  

If radiometric dating isn't reliable, how can such fundamental constants as the weak force inform us about "fine tuning"?  I mean, if those extremely well-measured constants are reliable as indicators of "fine tuning" and cosmic design, why aren't they reliable when they cause atoms to decay in a finely-designed and scientifically-predicatable manner?

Just, y'know, wondering.

If none of those questions set your tall, blonde self to pitter-patting, just let me know what the problem is, and I'll try to come up with some issues that your tall, blonde, scientifically-astute self will warm to...!

All the best, Stevie P.

Date: 2007/04/10 19:53:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
skeptic, you make some good points.  Rather than sound, um, dogmatic on the topic of canines as model cancer animals, I should simply have provided my source:

December 2006 Scientific American
"Cancer Clues from Pet Dogs"
Studies of pet dogs with cancer can offer unique help in the fight against human malignancies while also improving care for man's best friend
By David J. Waters and Kathleen Wildasin

Your thoughts would, of course, be appreciated.

Date: 2007/04/17 19:43:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I squished myself into Ph.D. humanities, which may have been a bit presumptuous:
It's actually a four-year anthropology degree, plus a three-year law degree (juris doctor, doncha know...).  
This seemed a bit more than an MA, but I'm quite sure it's a good deal less sweat than what goes into an anthro Ph.D., for example.  Or literature, sociology, art history, whatever.  (Though some of those folks would probably prefer the several extra years of school and fieldwork to the Socratic method...)
So my apologies to hard-grinding doctoral students everywhere for elbowing onto your turf.
And I do read a whole lot of Scientific American, Discover, The Loom, Pharyngula, etc., not to mention popular science books (and the occasional physics, bio, evo-devo college text).
Nothing wrong with that, of course.
But note the distinction, davetards of the world, between subscribing to Scientific american and reading for content.
And I'm still going to get around to reading the cool linguistics paper that Arden sent me a week or two ago.
As soon as I get my taxes done.

Date: 2007/04/18 16:46:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
All apologies, Arden (or is that, all apologetics?).

My last-minute tax woes are but the last of many trite excuses why I haven't managed to curl up around the (truly fascinating) article you passed along.  Don't give up on me, though!

And last night's driving Seattle rainstorm did wonders to clear out the competition at the post office...!

Speaking of liquid, april, and seattle--aren't the Seattle AtBCers overdue for their "monthly" meeting whereat we laugh, imbibe, lampoon creationists, imbibe, shimmy, and imbibe...?

Date: 2007/04/18 17:13:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That's right, just stretch out on the couch and get comfortable.

Now, can you tell me how you feel when you say that it's not, ahem, pretentious to use these "phrases"...

Date: 2007/04/18 18:21:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I think I first arrived here from PT by way of the Bathroom Wall.  I was curious where the "bounced" posts went to and why.

Stuck around because you didn't have to toe the lines of "civility" and "objectivity" nearly to the same degree.  The links and images and personalities were much more vivid and beguiling.

Got hooked, mainlining davetard, of both varieties.

It's been downhill ever since, like a degenerating genome.

Date: 2007/04/18 19:34:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This is "news."

Everybody should've been aware of this fairly obvious fact ever since Charlie "Fire Away" Heston climbed out of his capsule.

Just because the "wilder" chimps have mugged their way to entirely-evanescent short-term "success" over the "tamer" chimps, doesn't mean that our retiring forest-bound brothers will not triumph in the end.

It's destiny, I tell ya!

And you don't have to believe me, ask that time-traveling astronaut, Mr. Heston.

Date: 2007/04/21 17:35:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Paley say something...?

Lemme be the first to ya-a-a-awn.

Date: 2007/04/24 15:29:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The Ghostess With The Leastest:
Which I take as a supreme compliment.

Well, you did spell "compliment" correctly for this context.

Of course, you had a 50/50 chance...

How you coming on that "test," Paley?

Date: 2007/04/24 15:34:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Actually, that sounded pretty polite.

But maybe my standards have been eroded after too much time spent in pounding on the head of DaffyAFfyDavey...

Date: 2007/04/24 20:12:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Looking at Paley's avatar, you'd expect that--just every once in a long while--he might be able to, you know, actually deliver the occasional hard shot to the jaw.

But, no.

My jaw is indeed aching, but it's from yet another rib-cracking, mandible-stretching ya-a-a-aw-n.

Snappy patter, Paley.  Really.  Do--ouch! dang!--keep it up.

As best you can.

Date: 2007/04/25 19:28:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just don't ask him about the carbon footprint attributable to that endless queu of hot'n'tasty pizzas.

Well, at least his pizza guy uses a bike (when he's not using a leaky rowboat...).

Date: 2007/04/25 19:35:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Children of Men was okay. Not bad, but tolerable.  And Michael Caine was priceless.

Now, you wanna watch a better-than-decent movie, check out Black Book, Verhoeven's latest.  

And you wanna watch a movie that's actually good, catch the second half, the Tarantino half, of Grindhouse.

Not only is it hilarious, with awesome non-CGI special effects, but it's actually empowering, according to the members of that other gender who oughta know...

Date: 2007/04/26 19:20:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
At least the pale guy is admitting that "he" has curves now.

That ought to settle that.

Date: 2007/04/27 17:14:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"Wood" atoms!  

Ha ha.  As if we're going to buy that old saw.

We have way too much intellectual fiber to fall for that kind of tree-cle.  Just leaf us alone.  Don't expect us to root for concepts like that!  Orthodoxy may have its problems, but don't expect us to branch out into the fringe zone.  Just stop needling us.  We cedar problems with your contentions, which will be left high and dry on the beech, to pine away, oak-A?

Date: 2007/04/27 17:24:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Don't worry, Louis--er, i meant, "Bob"--when your secret trial is conducted, I'll appear as a character witness.

Well, if they allow you to communicate the date and place, which might present a problem.

I guess I could always just post my letter of recommendation to Guantanamo and hope it gets forwarded to the correct secret proceeding.

Or the Star Chamber, maybe?  Do they still have that?

In any event, not only would I be prepared to testify that you are indeed quite a character, but that we are similarly dedicated to civility as the highest moral rule.  Finally, I would point to your superior spelling, as exemplified in "verdigris."  While correct spelling is probably not quite so high on the politically-correct list as civility, it does assist with google searches.

Date: 2007/04/27 18:13:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'll just have to a peel to a higher cork.

Date: 2007/05/01 19:03:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Can I sue for the wear and tear on my jaw joints from all this Paley-induced humongous YAWNING?

Well, whatever.  (Yawn!)  I'm just not the suing kind.

Bore on, dude.

Date: 2007/05/01 19:07:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I suggest going out early tomorrow morning to look for a heat source in the solar system.  Maybe it will dawn on you.

I caught you rosy-fingered making off with that pun.

Date: 2007/05/03 19:08:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I wouldn't have a big problem with allowing Larry F a single "ghetto" thread here like GoP and zeroheroisreal (or whatever his number is) have.

People could then choose to interact with him or not.

Allowing LF back at PT would be pointless.  (Indeed, I'm surprised that "realpc" has been tolerated this long.  It's probably just the dearth of any other amusingly knuckleheaded crea-YEC-IDiots...)

Not that my opinion's likely to count for much one way or t'other.

Date: 2007/05/03 19:13:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ May 03 2007,16:42)
I get it from those who, uh, count. And that's plenty.

Heh, heh.  Like me, I can't resist "giving" GoP my gaping *yawn* from time to time.

Even though the wear and tear on my jaw is tremendous.

And even though I swiped the whole *yawn* thing from Lenny.

Date: 2007/05/04 18:58:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh!  BWE is kickin' butt and namin' names.  He's also made a couple of solid rebuttal points lately.

But the mods are a bunch of certifiable namby-pambies.  It's a thankless job, as well stevestory knows, but the dawkins-net crowd seem even more dedicated to enforcing phony "civility" instead of "ethical" behavior than several of the pc police at PT.

Date: 2007/05/04 19:10:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
C'mon, Lenny.  "Everyone here" would include GoP himself.

And I'm pretty sure that only one of "him" thinks "he"'s a dipshit.

Date: 2007/05/04 19:14:23, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'd be up for it (d'oh, since I can't remember the last time I turned down a drink, which might also explain the poor memory, come to think of it...).

My Saturday evenings are pretty much spoken for in May, though some of my engagements are daytime affairs, and I'd certainly be willing to consider any given proposal.

Mid-June on looks more open, but that does seem quite a long wait for a wet.

Date: 2007/05/05 15:46:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
For someone who claims to be "banned," dave, you sure post a lot of whines.

Why don't you hie thyself back over to dawkins-net and answer just a few of your the many unanswered factual rebuttals that have been made to your claims.

Heck, just answer one.  Your pick.

Whine less, think more.

Date: 2007/05/07 13:26:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm not in a position to commit to June 9 yet, since I've got some other things I need to squeeze into the next several weekends.  But I'm not ruling it out either.

Any venue is fine with me, but the Hilltop would work great because they do carry the best cider (with nods to our English brethren) that can be found on tap around here.

I would say that if June 9 looks like it will work for most of the interested parties, go for it, and I will try to make it if I possibly can.


Date: 2007/05/08 13:07:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
As shucks, clamboy!

Anyway, I'm glad that the last post on this important and engrossing topic wasn't by someone who might not be able to attend.

I know, that sounds like an "oops" moment (also known around here as a "Portuguese" moment, for reasons lost in the mists of dave), but I'm actually here wearing my "summarizer" hat, not my, er, "pinhead" hat (though haberdashiery for pinheads does run to custom-made and expensive).

So: we appear to have a date and time for "our" next meeting:
Saturday, June 9, 2007, at 7:30 p.m.

And snoeman has suggested one of three venues:
--Hales, 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA, (206) 706-1544;
--Hi-Life, 5425 Russell Ave NW, Seattle, WA, (206) 784-7272; and
--Hilltop, 2224 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, (206) 282-1332.

Hales and the Hi-Life are both in Ballard, though the Hi-Life much more centrally so.  The Hilltop is atop Queen Anne.  Which is it to be, O SeaAtBCers?

Date: 2007/05/09 14:52:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
...and, from my admittedly-warped perspective, the Reading Gaol has cider!

Even if only in the small bottles...

Date: 2007/05/09 17:26:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh heh.

Yet more from the flea complaining about that 900-pound gorilla the flea claims is hiding amongst its setae...

Date: 2007/05/09 17:36:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Okay.  MILF was pretty much out there.

But no spilling the beans on what SMURF, er, stands for.

Date: 2007/05/09 20:23:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And, as long as we're talking about princess afdave, how can I resist posting this lovely graphic, which accurately reflects all the available data on a subject dear to our hearts:

This excellent scientific illustration is courtesy of the creative genius of the poster immediately above, the redoubtable and real BWE.

Date: 2007/05/13 18:38:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, my only "science" degree is a 35 year old one in anthropology, though it did include a "concentration" in the cultural behavior of non-human primates, which does bear on evo/devo/creo matters to some limited extent.

And my only "advanced" degree is, ahem, law.  But that's an area that also gets drug in by the cat (if only to be roundly abused by the likes of Larry Farfaroutman...).

And I have no idea how many posts I have, since I've been wasting more of my time recently laughing at afdave over at

But, sure, what the hell.  Blogging beats working, any day...!

Date: 2007/05/13 18:40:17, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That I didn't make the cut-off doesn't change my mind.

But probably does spare the potential readership the bother of having to filter any "scientific" posts by moi.

Heh, heh!  Only 208 comments to go...

Hmmm, and I did finally buy a new gee-tar.  Now what was that thread called...?

edit to amend innumeracy...

Date: 2007/05/13 18:59:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ultimately stimulated by deadman's posting up of a Garrison electric acoustic, some test-playing of a cheaper Garrison at American Music here in Seattle, some further discussion with my guitar-playing and instrument-building second cousin in the Atlanta area (a big Richard Thompson fan), and some further research--

--and resisting the temptation to go out and blow my entire tax refund on a vintage Martin, which would be way more guitar than my abilities warrant, though darn frickin' tempting!--

I today plunked my hard-earned cash down for this little baby, fresh from the Garrison works in O Canada:

I considered a more expensive model with rosewood, but I found I liked the sound, action, and look of this one better.

Here's the specs on my Garrison G20 acoustic:

body style: dreadnaught
top: solid western red cedar - satin finish
back & sides: solid canadian birch - satin finish
neck: solid mahogany
fingerboard: solid rosewood
bridge: solid rosewood
nut & saddle: TUSQ
rosette: herringbone pattern wood inlay
inlays: mother of pearl dots
tuners: Garrison individual chrome-plated
strings: D'Addario lights, extended play  
warranty: Limited Lifetime - 5 year transferable
intonation: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
nut width: 1.7 inches
scale length: 25.4 inches

I love it so!

Date: 2007/05/14 14:06:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But you have to read that article first.  

Heh!  Still keep meaning to do so and, in the meantime, my guilt waxeth daily.

Dail-ith?  Dail-ig?  Dail-esque?  Not sure of the correct ending to jibe with "waxeth."

Or maybe I'm thinking, somewhat surrealistically, of Daliesque...

Date: 2007/05/15 19:17:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Benjamin.  Peter Benjamin Parker.


I can no longer remember from my Merry Marvel Marching Society Days, and I didn't read down far enough to be sure, but I'm assuming there's a connection with Petey's beloved, deceased Uncle Ben.

Date: 2007/05/15 19:33:44, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Uh, Mr. O'Brien, you total maroon, you are aware that there are some, well, issues with using the term "buckwheat" in the derogatory mode, aren't you?

Let's run down the possibilities:
1.  You realize that the term carries connotations of racism, and you used it anyway because you actually are racist and you're proud of it.
2.  You didn't realize how the term made you look, and you have no idea why you chose to use it, because you are both linguistically inept and utterly out of tune with social reality.
3.  You didn't realize there were any issues with the term because you grew up in an environment where the use of the term was completely acceptable and you've never run across any reason to question that upbringing.
4.  I'm sure there must be benign reasons why you would unthinkingly use the term, but frankly I'm having difficulty thinking of any reasons that don't paint you as either an ass or a maroon.

Got any good Amos'n'Andy jokes to share while you're at it, Robert?

Date: 2007/05/18 14:17:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Henry J @ May 18 2007,10:57)
Why those dam beavers! They might as well be rodents or something.


No wonder they're rodents, the way all those trees in the water put a dent in the rowing.

Date: 2007/05/24 13:09:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

No photos after all would be just fine with some of us!  Thanks!

Date: 2007/05/30 18:23:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
As, perhaps, an arguable offshoot of our occasional SeAtBC get-togethers, I had the distinct pleasure of buying two or three drinks for the inimitable ericmurphy on a recent Memorial Day jaunt down to the Bay Area.

Sunday night at the Fog City Diner on the Embarcadero, various relatives, college roommates, classmates, and other persons with a vague connection to myself were quietly (well, we were quiet for the first drink or so) and eating, when in walks eric, of all people...!

Well, okay, in walked eric by prearrangement and sat down with the other 14 people at this little party and we then had to explain to everyone else that eric and I were, in effect, having an "internet date."  Because, altho eric and I of course knew each other, from various endless afdave threads here and on, we had never met live and in person.

Anyway, it was great fun to meet eric and introduce one of our dauntless anti-YEC warriors to my friends and family.

I would reveal more details but, frankly, much of the rest of the event is now lost in the fog of alcohol.

Hmmm.  And I had thought that that "Fog City Diner" name had something to do with the Bay Area weather...

Date: 2007/06/01 19:00:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hi, Jeddediah!  I guess that means you get to write up the minutes for the next pub meet...!

But, dang!  Definitely can't do the June 9 SeatBC "meeting."  I'll be in Victoria, BC, to see a northwest coast exhibit at the Royal BC Museum.

With my gf.

Whose name is not eric...  (Though I'm working on getting eric up here; we owe him for his, um, manly demolitionizing of afdave over many, many months.)

So I'll leave you guys to figure out exactly where you're gonna be drinking, which still doesn't seem to be nailed down.  If the venue's selections permit, however, please quaff a cider whilst sparing a second or two to think of me.

Date: 2007/06/01 19:40:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ahm gettin moor eddicated all teh tiem.

Spellins a reel strawng pint.

Date: 2007/06/04 20:01:44, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
If for "human" in Lenny's question, we substitute somebody specific--like, um, FTK herself, for instance--the answer quickly gets easier.

Date: 2007/06/05 18:49:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
(But kissing is pretty common in Ecuador.)

No doubt.  Whence Ecuadorians in the first place.

Though I'm sure that any loyal Ecuadorian would say that their kisses are far beyond the merely "common."

I suppose this could also explain why the Ecuadorians have now become so populous as to require coastal guarding...

Date: 2007/06/05 20:44:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sorry, RoB, I'm not available.

But that pizza delivery kid is pretty funny.

--and he could probably use the money, given Lenny's paltry tips.

Date: 2007/06/07 15:54:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
How could I pass this up?

I'll definitely buy you a drink, BWE.  No strippers on hand, right at the moment, but after enough libations, maybe we won't care.

I will PM you and we can take it from there.

Which is not to say some of the other regulars couldn't get in on the act!

Date: 2007/06/13 14:13:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Black Hole Beer: Get it down, and you'll never get it up.

Once you go Black, you ain't comin' back...

Hey, spags!  Hope we'll be seeing you again in a week or two over at!

I must say that your adieu post--er, you know, the one that "invited" your ban--was articulation at its most pointed!  The Dawkins' mods should've been requesting permission to use your verbiage as an example of creative insult...!

Date: 2007/06/13 19:59:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Another cool thing about sharks is how well they've adapted to pool halls.

Date: 2007/06/14 15:46:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Oof, shakes head blearily, gets up, looks around warily.

"Ah, this is that famous AtBC thread to which AFDave has been 'effectively banned.'

"For someone who's been 'banned,' he sure seems to have a lot of company."

Tilts copter-beany back into position, squinches eyes in just that certain way, and leaps back into the sky!

Date: 2007/06/14 17:15:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I need some more reliable mode of transport these days.

Well, okay, if truth be told, the squinching of the eyes is more to add a touch of dramatic flair.  The key thing is finding a working beanie-copter in the first place.

And, as I'm sure you know, they only ran off a few demo models before the lawyers at Skikorsky-Bell-Boeing got all worried about FAA regs and product liability and...

But, if you haunt eBay, once in a great while one does still turn up.

I would loan you mine, but I tend to need it pretty often--saves me from having to drive home drunk on the public arterials.

Date: 2007/06/14 18:15:00, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I just heard that certain rude jerks are making in-shimmy-nations about Kristine's Galapagos trip with Richard Dawkins.

The nerve of some people...!

Date: 2007/06/15 15:43:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just finished Valentine's "On the Origin of Phyla."

Awesome.  Even if you don't want to read about the fine structural and developmental details of, oh, priapulids, Valentine is such a smooth writer that you keep on plugging away as if you were gonna learn whodunit just around the next paragraph (hint: not Teh Designist).

And VAlentine's an especially good writer when he's not writing about inividual phyla or fossils or traces or embryos.  When he's writing about the "combinatorial" construction kit of the genome, or overviews about almost anything, he's just awesome.  In fact, the further he drifts away from his academic and career specialties, and the more he has to explain things that are at least somewhat novel even to him, the more clarity and muscularity he brings to his writing.  

Great illos and diagrams as well.

And that's almost without presenting any form of critter that's newer than the ordovician.  No cute and cuddlies: 97% invertebrates.  And no "higher" cephalapods like octos, either.  But what cool-ass vermiform little invertebrates!

I can't reccommend this more highly for digging into the meat of the Cambrian "explosion" and the origin of metazoan phyla.

Date: 2007/06/15 19:49:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, we could always get into fiction.

But then, Behe's latest has already garnered a fair bit of mention on PT, Pharyngula, and elsewhere...

Date: 2007/06/21 14:50:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sorry about the brain-freeze, BWE.  It was all deadman's fault...!

I'm speculating (it's difficult to do comparative studies when there are so few pinheads--and so many margaritas) that the deformed cranium phenomenon to which I am subject may confer a protective advantage re brain-freeze...

Anyway, BWE was a charming and multi-talented fellow: not only did we consume moderately-prodigious quantities of alcohol, but we chatted about afdavey, bungling bureaucracies, the education of the young concerning the inevitable dangers posed by high school ("just say sometimes"), and any number of other things, now dissolved beyond recall.

We also played gee-tar on BWE's lightly-strung and sweet-sounding cutaway acoustic-electric Seagull.  Um-um-um...!  BWE is not only an accomplished player, but an enjoyable songwriter.  We sat around playing love-gone-wrong songs for an hour or two, including one of BWE's own composition about Mary Magadalen and the Noachian Flood--of all things!

A true scholar, artist, and deep-thinker, not to mention a boon drinking companion.  I hope BWE can give us enough notice, next time he's coming to town, that he can join the rest of the Seattle AtBC'ers!

Date: 2007/06/22 13:51:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Not that we can expect him to compare to BWE, but another quasar in the creo-squelching, sci-promoting cosmos is coming:

PZ Myers is gonna be visiting Seattle:

Surely the Seattle AtBCers can rise to the occasion.

In an appropriate fountain of suds...

Date: 2007/06/22 13:52:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, magaptera, I LIKE the idea of protesting outside the DI's sanctum.

Did any of you guys talk about that back on June 9th?

Date: 2007/06/22 14:23:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oops!  Sorry, sorry.

I thought the topic said "broad" mechanics and my gf has been saying I could use some eddication in that area.

Guess the visual hallucination is just more evidence of my desperation.

Date: 2007/06/23 17:41:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
There you go again!

Expecting me to actually read your report, partway up the previous page, instead of asking a perfectly good question and making you do all the work...

Uh, oops!  I did read your report at some earlier point, snoeman, but the memory of us pinheads is not the best.  Not to mention our diligence.  

Anyway, I would think the picketing could be fun, particularly if we came up with some good succinct anti-ID slogans.  That were also teh funny!

Maybe this is just the hotbed of humorists to tackle such sloganeering?

Date: 2007/06/25 19:23:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Yes, Wesley: very well said indeed.

Perhaps FtK does serve some sort of useful purpose, beyond her status as an object of humor and edification of the lurksters...

Date: 2007/06/26 18:08:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just as a side-note, our very own Ichthyic just scooped up the monthly "Molly" award on PZ's Pharyngula blog.

Reasons given for former winners include: being a good dancer (our very own shimmy-lady), having access to more than one brain at a time (Torbjorn, also a PT regular), being just hella smart, having good hair, and things of that ilk.

Well, obviously having PT/AtBC affiliations doesn't hurt, but since Ichthyic clearly didn't win for his dance moves, his good hair, his excess of brains (just kidding, ichthy!), we're left with, what else ... his PT/AtBC affiliations?

Anyway, congrats, shark-guy!

C'mon up to Seattle during the short interval before the following promise escapes my pinhead-sized memory, and you'll enjoy one evening of free libations on me (well, maybe I can get the other Sea-AtBC-ers, fine finny fellows all, to help out).

Date: 2007/06/26 19:25:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, just so you know that you'll land with a splash in the drinkie...

Date: 2007/06/26 19:32:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Now there's a question to which there must be an excellent answer.

If only I knew it what it was...

Date: 2007/06/28 12:26:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Adios, Ichthy!

Hope a brief breather refreshes your jets and brings you back soon but, if not, don't forget that invite for drinks in the wild and wet Northwest.

An announcement of a visit here, or a PM, or a message passed through BWE, or whatever, and we'll set something up.

And gosh, FtK, did it ever occur to your "live and let live" self that, sometimes, saying nothing at all beats the urge to vent...  Next time, do as you say, not as you do.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:23:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Delete untimely post--see the thread where her sentence was actually handed down.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:33:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oops, didn't see this thread yet when I added my comment to the "sentence pending" thread.

I'll go swipe that one.

Anyway.  Clearly Mr. H. was the prime instigator and lack of brains in that family.  A lesser sentence for Ms. H. was probably fair.  

But some sentence of this sort was also fair.  Well before things got to federal charges, she had the opportunity to clue in and bail out.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:36:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Now if you'd asked for an FtK-baiting minion, they'd be beating a freeway to your door.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:39:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Blipey, shamelessly quote-mined:
she doesn't know how to do it.

Hmm.  Must not be completely ignorant.  Doesn't she claim to have kids?

Date: 2007/06/29 15:45:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
My extended family is from Kentucky.

I hope I kin git away with this, seein's how my "roots" trace back to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Joe-Jah.

But isn't "redneck extended family" an oxymoron?

Incest is best, and all thet they're.

Date: 2007/06/29 15:51:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Not to mention that, if you get too drunk, you're all too likely to paint the, uh, walt brown...?


Hey, Ftk won't be even deciding what evidence to ignore and what questions not to answer until the weekend, which does leave us with a little time to kill.  Whaddaya want us to do instead, let the thread drop off the front page?  How responsh-- how wespons-- dang it, maybe avoiding strong drink does have its smeritts

Date: 2007/06/29 15:55:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I've never seen a hint that VMartin even has one herency, much less a pair of them.

And he's quite a bit further from a full house.

Now clemency, that might be in order.

Date: 2007/06/29 18:53:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, but that's okay.

Having seen her picture, you're definitely cuter.

And I haven't even seen your picture (but I do know that small scaly animals love you and pizza boys can stand to make deliveries to your door...).

Whereas, how many snakes or pizza boys are willing to go to FtK's door.

There's a reason why these people have to get 'em when they're young.

Date: 2007/07/02 14:59:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I could sure use a couple of kitchen drudges.

Also, yardwork lackeys.

Date: 2007/07/03 13:25:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just a reminder that PZ Myers of Pharyngula will be in town tonight.  According to a post on today's edition of his blog, PZ will be holding forth--

at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally, at the Montlake Ale House tonight at 8:00. Last chance [to hang out with PZ] until Friday [the 6th, when he's making another "public" appearance somewhere, which I'll try to find and post in advance]!

I've got a prior engagement--we're having friends over for salmon dinner--but maybe some of our other intrepid imbibers can make it over to the Montlake (hey, Argie, it's quite close to the U Dist!).

Here's a link to a map for the Montake Ale House:

Date: 2007/07/06 12:25:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
PZ watch, continued:

PZ and (at least some of) his family members--including the always delightful Skatje--will be dining tonight (Friday, July 6, 2007) at the Jolly Roger Taproom in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle: the Jolly Roger is at

1514 NW Leary Way
Seattle, WA 98127
(206) 782-6181

Which is on the north side of the block, a few doors west of where Leary passes under the north abutments of the Ballard Bridge/15th Ave. NW.

Since I could pretty much walk there from my place, I think I'm out of excuses.  Unless some work crisis delays me, I'm going to make an all-out effort to be there.  Besides, it'll save me from having to cook!

I realize it's going to be a gorgeous Friday night, but it would be great if we could turn out a couple of SeaAtBC bodies drinkers, er, folks...  That is, it would be delightful to see a few of you rapscallions again after I've missed the last event or two.

Date: 2007/07/06 12:29:11, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
To be followed, no doubt, by FtK's own exercise tome: "How to Turn Your Backside on Science Without Really Trying Very Hard to Understand It," or Buns of Steel...

Date: 2007/07/07 12:45:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, no one missed much.  That is, those who weren't able to attend didn't miss PZ and daughter Skatje, since Skatje wasn't allowed to even set foot in the Jolly Roger due to her age.

Which left us to wonder what had transpired...  My (slightly older) son and I did have a good meal and a few wee drinkies (Flagship Red in my case), and twisted a little fun out of the situation by trying to guess which of the very non-PZ and Skatje-looking guests were actually them in disguise.

Lots of very large, muscular, and tattooed people on tap, as it were--all of them fortunately friendly!--but we simply couldn't convince ourselves that Skatje would go to all the trouble of acquiring large blue tattoos simply to pass as a piratical-type personage for one night.

Date: 2007/07/17 19:17:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
the best they can do now is retire from the field and make their living selling religious tracts to the rubes.

But I thought that making their living selling religious tracts to rubes was their field.

They do something else first?

Date: 2007/07/18 18:15:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But not to worry, Paul.

No doubt "Our Pal" Slimey Sal will be dropping by soon enough to pull your bacon off the frying pan.

And trip, stumble, oops!, pitch it in the fire blast furnace.

Date: 2007/07/19 17:45:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Gosh, Lenny, that revelation of yours was such a shock that I needed CPR.

...Fortunately, I live in Seattle.

Unfortunately, the DI's resident lackwits reside here as well.

Well, not every Seattleite knows how to correctly administer CPR.  Maybe Casey Luskin will get "lucky," in the Eastwoodian sense of that word.

Just kiddin', "Case."

Date: 2007/07/20 14:53:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sheesh, Paul.  The size of the pages of paper whereupon books are printed is, um, finite.  Do I need to define this term, finite, or are you still with me so far?

Some glorious day--or perhaps not, if you're a fan of actually holding, fondling, and stroking books--maybe all textbooks and the like will be on screens or on wearable computer textiles, or some such.  Then we can simply click on each illustration to see it enlarged, or zoomed, or whatever.

In the meantime, back in finite-page world (let me know if connecting up those two terms in a novel manner gives you comprehension problems), pictures of early mammal jaw structure would be very, very small alongside pictures of therapsid or early-reptile jaw stuctures, which would be very, very large by comparison.

To show the relevant features--you know, the ones of actual interest--it just makes sense to show them all at a scale which is at once visible to the reader without, at the same time, requiring the (ahem) designer of the book to try to fit enlarged photos of early mammals on the same (ahem) finite page with super-enlarged photos of therapsids.

If you respond at all, which I doubt, please be specific regarding which of the above points and terms you find hard to follow or with which you disagree (and, in the latter case, please state why you do so).

IOW, please try very hard not to reply with your usual dodges, circumlocutions, and Gish gallops.

Thanks ever so.

No mugs for jugs.

Date: 2007/07/20 15:06:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just when I'm getting whiplash of the brain trying to wrap it around having BWE and ke both posting interdigitally on the same thread (maybe I just have initialexia?), along comes Vmartin to pinch what's left of my nerves.

Surely there is no consistency to his fractured english.  Surely he is simply a poseur conning poor jad (arrgh! ouch!) along...

Or maybe Vmartin is an initialization, too: very muddled anti rational twisted inept nerdling.

Dang!  I thought that was going to spell "sycophant."  Though I've yet to see an ant which could sigh and cough at the same time.

Date: 2007/07/20 16:04:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Paul, stop repeating yourself.

What exactly is problematic (misleading? deceptive? misrepresentational? what?) about not explicitly moving the scale issue to the forefront in the context of this particular example?

If it were relevant, that is, capable of being misinterpreted, etc., that would be one thing.  But you've admitted that it's not relevant.

One is having a difficult time avoiding the conclusion that you are zeroing in on this particular non-issue to dodge dealing with the many more significant problems with your work that have been raised by the others here.

Enough with the nit-picking.  Deal with the substance.

No slugs on rugs.

Date: 2007/07/20 16:49:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Paul, these questions are really beginning to pile up.  I've compiled some of them--I don't pretend to have caught them all, and I haven't included repeats and more extended criticisms-not-in-the-form-of-a-question, nor have I surveyed other blogs or websites reviewing/criticizing, just this thread--here, just for your convenience.

Like any accumulated workload, it's going to be hard to bite off all at once, so feel free to just start in somewhere.  But IF you don't get started (that is, if you continue to dance around the least relevant of the bunch as a way to avoid dealing with the rest), you certainly won't be getting anywhere fast.

(Though, unfortunately, that does seem to be the rap on your criticism-of-common-descent article.)

Anyway, here they be:

I also have a brief question for Paul Nelson, if he does show up. Do you honestly believe that this is a college-level textbook, appropriate for use at the University of Washington, for example?

stevestory (paraphrasing):
When, ten years on, can we expect your much ballyhooed work criticizing common descent to finally appear?

Why are they quoting the Science Framework for California Schools from 1990 in EE?

Why don't you just debate it [the issues arising from EE] HERE?

Paul, is Exploring Evolution going to contain a single new argument we haven't seen in previous creationist 'textbooks'?

Paul, since creationism is already illegal to teach in public schools, what utility do you see for your, uh, "science textbook" . . . ?

Wesley R. Elsberry:
Let's ask the Wikipedia question: is Moneymaker's status as an author of science curricula verifiable?

Lenny (I’m gonna assume the link leads to some questions):
A reminder for you, Paul:

Any time you're ready . . . . . .

(sound of crickets chirping)

On the EE website, one of the sample pages discusses something called the "artifact hypothesis".  Is this a term used by actual evolutionary biologists?  Most of the Google hits for this term seem to be to creationist websites.

Doc Bill:
When has Paul Nelson ever given a straight answer or a truthful answer to any question posed?

Paul, are you here to actually answer questions?  Or just BS everyone again.

Hey Paul, does this magnificent, uh, "science textbook" tell us how old the earth is?

Why not?

(snicker)  (giggle)

Hey Mr. Paul Nelson,

I am a science teacher in the state of Washington and would love a review copy of EE. How can I get one?

Why not explain why _Diarthrognathus_ has two jaw joints -- one mammalian, one reptilian.

And why not explain why all this "therapsids" crapola is lifted nearly intact from Gish's writings at ICR from twenty-five years ago?  Since, ya know, "teach the controversy" doesn't have anything -- anything at all whatsoever -- to do with either creation "science" or intelligent design "theory".

(snicker)  (giggle)

Paul, ever wonder why everyone thinks creationists/IDers are dishonest evasive deceptive deliberate liars?

Think maybe books like this one have something to do with that?

My dad is taller than me, Paul.

Does that mean, in your opinion, that he's not my dad?

Just curious.

After all, we can't tell if he's my dad through a DNA paternity test, since we all KNOW that genetic similarity doesn't indicate descent either.  Right?  (snicker)  (giggle)

Lenny (the indefatigable):
Tell you what, Paul, since you're such an eager betting man and all, I'll even offer you a wager.  I'll give you one hundred dollars ($100) for every scientific argument against evolution presented in your magnum opus that has appeared in any peer-reviewed science journal anywhere in the world in the past 50 years, and you will give me one hundred dollars ($100) for every one that has appeared in some creationist/ID tracts published by ICR, AiG, or one of DI's minions.


No drugs for bugs.

Date: 2007/07/21 15:57:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That was funny, C.J.

And it wasn't just funny standing "on its own"--or simply in the context of Paul's attempt to divert all discussion to this triviality--but in the entire context of the page, contrasting the top-down authoritarian approach of the ID-YECists with the bottom-up evidence driven approach of science and scientists.

A brilliant and bust-out-laughin' summation of a whole series of relevant comments and questions.

Date: 2007/07/21 16:26:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Revealing my utter mundanity, I just received my copy of "Deathly Hallows," the final Harry Potter book.

I'm also reading the fourth book, "Summer Night," in the light Chicago-set wizard-noir series about Harry Dresden, by Jim Butcher.

But, on the science side of the ledger, I'm also reading (BWE's suggestion of) "The botany of Desire."  It's going slowly (for me), not because it's either dense or turgid, but because each sentence is a clear-sparkling gem, that requires contemplation.

I'm also reading a couple of summaries of (primarily) archaeological study about Southeastern/Mississipian precontact cultures, one more general, susan c. Power's "Early Art of the Southeastern Indians: Feathered Serpents & Winged Beings," and one more specific and site-focused, Timothy Pauketat's "Ancient Cahokia and the Mississippians."

I'm still working through the text of J.J. Brody's "Mimbres Painted Pottery," which is both an archaeological/anthropological work and, in effect, an art history (I've repeatedly devoured the splendid graphics),
whilst I'm also nibbling away at de Laguna's multi-volume tome on the northernmost Tlingit group, "Under Mount Saint Elias: The history and culture of the Yakutat Tlingit."

Oh, yeah, and trying to pick up a couple of tunes from the tabs'n'chords book, "Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Guitar Anthology Series."

Okay, back to Harry...

Date: 2007/07/23 17:34:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Mr. Nelson first suggest that he is traveling deep into the (parts of the) Third World (that have been endowed with the least infrastructure):
I'll have only infrequent net access for the next two weeks.

Then he tells us he'll be checking in from *gasp* Rome.


Date: 2007/07/23 18:30:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,15:48)
Paul didn't say that other people around him weren't going to have net access...

Well, I think you're either being sardonic or charitable.

I smell yet another dodge.

Date: 2007/07/24 16:19:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
My apologies--I think! Okay, it's not always easy for me to tell, maybe I need to lay on the table and get my neurons poked--to ke for mixing my perhaps-not-so-funny, but mildly-intended poke at posters bearing initials

Just when I'm getting whiplash of the brain trying to wrap it around having BWE and ke both posting interdigitally on the same thread (maybe I just have initialexia?)

in with my perhaps-also-less-than-amusing, but most definitely-non-mild jab at Vmartin:
along comes Vmartin to pinch what's left of my nerves.

Surely there is no consistency to his fractured english.  Surely he is simply a poseur conning poor jad (arrgh! ouch!) along...

Or maybe Vmartin is an initialization, too: very muddled anti rational twisted inept nerdling.

Dang!  I thought that was going to spell "sycophant."  Though I've yet to see an ant which could sigh and cough at the same time.

Never in life would I ever confuse the irridescent ke with a sycophant...

And never in life or after would I have intended anyone to confuse ke and, ugh, Vmartin.

There's something to be said for posting separately when trying to make separate points.  I'll try to remember that in future.

Hoping that's clearer.

Your pinhead (and occasionally your idiot), Stevie

Date: 2007/07/24 17:39:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Maybe Paul would get back to us on all these points quicker if we posted up addresses for Internet cafes in Roma, Italia.

Poor guy.  Stuck out there in the sticks with "limited" access.

Date: 2007/07/24 18:41:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But, but, Lenny, us pinheads actually care deeply what people think of them.

Not wanting to offend--anyone, ever (ok, ke, at least today)--is our deepest desire.

You, of course, are made of sterner stuff, off which misunderstandings richochet.

Ring-mail?  Kevlar'n'ceramic body armor?  Slithery scales?

Date: 2007/07/25 20:27:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Of course, as Lenny well knows, real martins don't yammer.

The male song is is a low-pitched liquid gurgling, the female’s a mix of chortle calls and downslurred whistles. Martins have a variety of calls, with the most common being a descending cherr.

Since Vmartin does insist on yammering, however, it's clear he's not real.

And can be as readily ignored as any other annoying, but transient, phantasm.

Date: 2007/07/28 19:11:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But the good news for Joe, should he ever choose that option, is that from the sub-basement, he does have plenty of overhead into which to rise.

Actually, in terms of bang for the buck, Joe is perfectly positioned to dramatically multiply his intellectual achievements.

He may never catch up, but he's certainly capable of leaving his current self buried deep in the dust.

Unfortunately, the chance that he'll ever make the modest self-investment necessary to reap these spectacular gains is negligible.

Date: 2007/07/31 15:02:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And, my attempted funnies about Rome and internet access aside, I have received several emails from a professor friend who happens to be conferencing in Rome this past couple of weeks (emails re planning for an upcoming backpack in the Three Sisters Wilderness).

There's really no practical reason whatsoever that an "academic" like PN, traveling to Rome for whatever reason, couldn't find the means to continue our discussion here.  Particularly as it involves criticism of his most recent publication, square in the middle of his life's work (as opposed to something relatively peripheral, like my friend's backpacking emails).

Of course, communicating does take some minimal effort.  And motivation.

Both of which Nelson clearly lacks, despite his efforts to pretend to the contrary.

Date: 2007/07/31 15:40:49, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We may be talking two different bogus-science Browns here, but one of the AIG, flud-really-happened kinda sorta showed up on one of the afdave threads having to do with C14 dating on

Mike PSS pretty much blew Brown's and davey's arguments apart--even granting them the "validity" of their starting assumptions--just on the math and calculation errors alone.

Not that I would expect FtK to be able to follow any of the logic (heck, afdave, despite his claims to a "science" degree, was barely able to stay afloat, with dozens of posters helping him along...), but it might be fun to link her to the highlights of that discussion:

If they're indeed the same guy.

Which, my bad, they're not.  

The hydroplate guy is Walt Brown, while the radiocarbon guy is Robert Brown.

The radiodating thread is still a great example of a focused, step-by-step cornering and take-down of creationist logic, though.

The hydroplate theory violates several physical laws, of course, which could also be fairly easily explicated, at least to anyone with even slightly more reading skills and science knowledge than FtK...

Date: 2007/08/13 15:36:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I don't know why, but I hadn't pictured Nigeria as having Legos.

Entirely provincial on my part, I'm sure.

Date: 2007/08/14 15:14:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Brave, brave Sir Paul!

Still doing as the Roamins, do I guess: roam on, dude!

Date: 2007/08/16 18:57:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I have it on reasonable authority from Lenny's friend Pizza Guy that, however hot and tasty his pizzas may be, they are not guaranteed to divert marijuana-dazed bullets from penetrating their original targets.

Whatever Bob Marley's experience may have been.

It's true that a few dazed bullets have fluttered into the pizza shop, but at least some of them were slathered with wet red stuff.

...Before they got to the tomato sauce.

This may, thus, be another instance of "Don't try this at home."

Date: 2007/08/23 16:07:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"They seek him here, they seek him there,
They do not find him anywhere.
Is he in heaven? Is he in hell?* ?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel!"

*In the movie of The Scarlet Pimpernel (one of several film and TV versions), from which I draw this ditty, the word "hell" was apparently deemed too racy to actually utter: the actor paused and pointed downward instead. ?Kind of like the IDists' reluctance to actually identify their designer.

Date: 2007/08/29 17:36:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank:
(yawn)  Is Dave weeping again . . . ?


Date: 2007/08/31 12:30:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Grooming behavior?


Really bad hip-hop turned up way too loud?

Date: 2007/08/31 12:34:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, Arden...!

Is Vol. 17 of the North American Indians series--the one about Languages--something that Teh Layperson could make heads or tails of...?

Five stars?  Four, 3, 2...?

Date: 2007/08/31 12:41:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
There you go, porn spammers.  Two pages of proof that, when it comes to degeneracy, the mind of any average BarCloser is far more potent than your trashiest video.

My money's on "palm" for the origin of the Aussie slang.  Need I go into detail?

Date: 2007/08/31 16:37:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks, Arden.

I enjoyed Collapse (well, maybe "enjoy" isn't the correct verb for reading about the dire consequences of society after society over-drawing their resources...) and would definitely recommend it.

I haven't tucked it back into (what passes for) the Pinhead stacks because it contains a section at the end for constructive actions that one might take.  To prevent this kind of collapse from overtaking US.  Keep meaning to dig into that part.  Keep putting it off.  Moral melt-down is only a couple of steps away, I'm sure...

Date: 2007/09/06 16:24:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
no new mammalian Order has aroused since Eocene.

That'll surprise the heck out of my girlfriend...

Or maybe Vmartin would rather be Eocene and not heard.

Date: 2007/09/06 16:25:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
With Vmartin's Anglo-linguistic facility, he'll probably finally be forced to admit, felicitously, that "Common decency is, indeed, correct."

Date: 2007/09/06 16:30:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ooh!  Ooh!

Only 34 more pages until 666!  Talk about your imaginary numbers!  Or, er, invidious numbers...  Or something!

Anywy, just keep that fresh steaming tard a'coming...

Date: 2007/09/07 16:16:17, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
EFF looks like a conservative activist organization in Washington State.  Get the unions off the teachers backs, etc.

Corey Burres is their staff "multimedia specialist."

It wouldn't overwhelmingly surprise me if the outfit were in favor of teaching "critiques" of the ToE, or something along those lines, but I can't say that a brief tour of their site supports that notion.

Date: 2007/09/11 18:10:31, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Masters Orals, or whatever the Slovakian equivalent is

Ah, that would be the Blovius Juris, often translated from the Slovlatinskien as "verbose legalese," but which might more accurately be rendered as "orally fixated."  

This critical step in the Slovlatinskien educational system is abbreviated B.J., though that would not be a good reason to conflate Veemeron with a downtrodden worker of the red*-light district.

*Realizing that Vm has difficulty parsing color descriptors, let's just say that this is the color of the substance most often inserted into lipstick tubes.  At least, outside of Lower Slovlatinskia...

Date: 2007/09/12 15:07:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."  But, fortunately, even a broken pocket watch dropped on a moor is right twice a day.

Date: 2007/09/12 15:12:25, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I don't think the half-life of Retardium has been reliably measured yet.

Maybe Vroomie could be enticed to volunteer a sample?

Date: 2007/09/13 15:16:23, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Vmareenie, you poor wiitle thing.

Have you been "pursued" by the bad old "selectionists" (which side of the Civil War were they on, anyway?)?

Gosh, and here I don't even recall getting up out of my chair (well, except for potty breaks).

To feel "pursued" by such as me, you must not be very swift.

Ah, but then, we knew that already.

Date: 2007/09/13 15:34:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
the pocketwatch on the moor alerts no one at its two correct moments.

Knowing BWE, there's probably a deeper meaning that I'm missing, but actually the broken watch does "alert" observers as to its two correct moments (we're hearkening back to Paley, so we're talking an old-fashioned analog watch with numbers up to twelve and hands): whatever time the poor watch broke at, and is displayed in "frozen" form on its face for all to see, will be the "correct" time at that self-same displayed time both morning and evening (p.m. and a.m., unless the watch stopped right at twelve, in which case, noon and midnight).

Of course, you'd only know when those times came around if you had another, unbroken chronometer.  Which maybe is what BWE meant...?  Hmmm.

Anyway, it's those two times which would then be the best of times (because the watch is then, transitorily, correct) and the worst of times (because the watch is still broken, and serves no practical purpose as a chronometer, though it might still make an excellent paperweight, keepsake, reflecting device, or pellet for a slingshot...

In short, even poorly-adapted items, viewed from one context, may be pre- or -ex-apted (or even well-adapted, as for example the watch crystal might be for use as a pince-nez...) for some other context.

Date: 2007/09/13 15:45:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I've never tried to get a book published or sell a short story or article (though my son is a freelance journalist, that's a bit of a different animal from book publishing, I gather).

If I'm reading this right, it sounds like BWE thought he had a deal and an agent last spring, but "problems surfaced" and, whilst he was re-thinking, the friend's mom (or somebody "published," at any rate) recommended the name of a new agent, who BWE now perceives to be less-than-fully on-board.

But the new agent's only been involved recently, and the three-day weekend has stretched out the flow of communications.  

I'm thinking a wee bit more patience with the new agent may be in order, or at least an attempt to not carry over the impatience resulting from last spring's snafu over to the new agent.

Maybe it's time to "clarify" (as they say at all those "communications" seminars): Dear new agent, do you really want to be/are you interested in acting as MY agent?  If you just got involved in this as a favor to friend's mom (or whoever) and aren't really motivated to move forward with my project, please let me know...   If you are motivated, what's our next step?

Something like that.

If it turns out that the new agent isn't all that motivated, just take her semi-favorable response as more positive feedback, milk her for any references to agents working in more appropriate markets, and move on.

But what the hell do I know (see first sentence and don't read the rest this time through...)?

Date: 2007/09/13 15:47:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I like to think I'm fully-cocked

Ah!  No wonder you found my little "shortcomings" snippet so non-threatening.

Date: 2007/09/13 16:38:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I pinheadedly stumbled across that thought about halfway through my reflections above.

A gotcha moment.  

But nice of you not to rub it in.  I've done enough marinating already!

Date: 2007/09/13 16:41:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
With the "Go" part of that, certainly all of us would agree...

Sort of along the same lines, what did ana ever do to get everybody to ban her, anyway?

Hint: maybe it was her vivid, neon coloration, which certainly could never have been selected...

Date: 2007/09/13 16:44:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Arden, you're about to find yourself extremely unpopular with the 12-year-olds-with-big-vocabulary crowd.

Date: 2007/09/17 11:17:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

You caught me at a good time--I'm thirsty!

I think it would be great to plan an autumn get-together sometime in the next couple of weeks...

Let's hope the other regulars weigh in, so I don't have to put up with this dry mouth for too long!

Date: 2007/09/18 19:48:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
deadman is an archaeologist, last I heard.

Date: 2007/09/18 19:53:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
FtK (via Blipey's link):
I've really got some reading to do before I get you on the couch.

Crikey, blipey, we were just kidding around with Lenny.  I hope FtK understands that!

Date: 2007/09/19 15:33:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Me most nights too, though not this Thursday (tomorrow the 20th, which would be too soon anyway) and not most Saturday or Sunday evenings.

Though that certainly doesn't rule out every Saturday evening (he quickly adds, seeming to recall that that night works best for somebody...).

I guess three's enough for fun, but it's be good to hear from Snoeman and Argy and ...

Date: 2007/09/19 15:40:03, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
A worm, for example, could never change into a centipede because a centipede is not a worm with legs.

Well, uh, actually--I hate to be the first to break this to you, if I am--but a centipede is basically a worm with legs and an exoskeleton.  Yeah, it gets more complicated than that, for sure, but at a certain level of reduction, it's still true.

Even more do I hate to break this to you, but YOU are, on some sufficiently-essential level, just a large, highly-cephalized worm with limbs and some internal mineralized structural supports...

It's like those worms are always sayin': "If worms, centipedes, and humans all arose from a common ancestor, then why are there still centipedes and humans?"

Date: 2007/09/19 16:12:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Maybe a Friday would work then, though that tends to be movie night around the Pinhead mansi--, er, hovel.

Date: 2007/09/19 16:15:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Arden, have I got a maroon moraine for you!

Date: 2007/09/20 13:31:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dark skin (lots of melanin) folks, prior to the last few several hundred years of exploration, colonialism, trade, and technology, lived in low latitudes with lots of sunlight, where protection from skin cancer would have been the primary selection pressure.

Lighter-skinned folk, prior to etc., lived in higher latitudes, with less incident insolation, where dark skin would not only not confer an advantage, but would tend to inhibit the formation of Vitamin D.

(I'm hoping you know what Vitamin D is, and why its absence might be a problem.)

Folks with medium tones (Mediterraneans, Asians, Native Americans) tended to live in intermediate latitudes.

The Inuit (and some people pursuing similar lifestyles in far north Asia) lived so far north that they were exposed to sunlight reflected off snow and ice for much of the year.  (You may never have spent a sunny, or even cloudy, day on a glacier absent eye and skin sun protection, given that you apparently live in some basement in Lower Trogdylvania.  If so, I wouldn't recommend the experiment: sunburned tongues, inner nostrils, roofs of mouths, and eyeballs isn't too healthy.  Eh, on the other hand, go ahead, give it a whirl, Mr. aposematics--it's no skin off my nose.) They were, again, somewhat darker-toned.

Are you beginning to see a fairly simple relationship between latitude, sun exposure, and degree of melanin in the skin, Vmaroon?

Eh, probably not.  Anyone else could've googled up a latitude/skin tone chart in about 30 seconds, before so blatantly exposing their ignorance.

And, humor-deafness.

Date: 2007/09/20 21:11:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Vmushroom, I shouldn't really be interdicting Arden's efforts to get you to answer one simple question honestly and directly--though arguably the longer you take and the more you dance around, the more of a dishonest buffoon you look--but here's another real softball for you to swing at:

Why are some animals big and some animals small.

Pick some otherwise similar animals, just to make it easy on yourself (no admissions of common descent required): like puddy tats and lions (about 1:10) or river dolphins and killer whales or velociraptors and T-Rexes.

Just pick one and wade into it.  No neurons required.

Date: 2007/09/20 21:17:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I am at a loss

Got that right!  

Date: 2007/09/24 14:48:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dave, as we all know, the only good reason you have for terming Eric or Occam's "disruptive" is that they call you on your bullshit each and every time.

Occam even keeps a list of all your unanswered questions, much as Silent Dave has also done more recently on IIDB.

Get over yourself, dave.  The world's out there waiting for you.

Merely posting and throwing out unevidenced assertions is neither "debating," dave, nor "answering" objections.  Believe to the contrary as much as you like.  Nobody else does.

But, please, post away...!   You are at times hilariously amusing, and at all times a poster child for the obtuseness, deceit, and vacuity of "creationism."

Date: 2007/09/26 16:58:31, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Nobody claims--and certainly no one with even a smattering of knowledge about biology and the ToE--that any organism is "perfectly" adapted.

Maroon.  Explain that coloration, Vmaroonie.  Start by looking in a mirror.

Date: 2007/10/02 16:57:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh, there are "hundreds of studies"? You have presented only one of them yet - which was mildly speaking utterly childish. Feel free to put here second one of them. As you can see I have no problem tu put here "studies" or experiments or facts that refute your "studies" very clearly. There is unbelievable mess in those studies.  We can go through each one of those "hundreds of studies" one by one.

And, when we does so, are you going to have a more acute criticism--oh, you know, something involving critiquing the evidence, data, observation, experimental design?--as opposed to evidence-free assertions like "utterly childish"?

Didn't think so.

In the meantime, Vmaroonie, got any answers to Teh Questiones?

Didn't think so.

Date: 2007/10/02 17:02:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Do you spend a lot of time standing in the vicinity of old Dodge Caravans, Vmaroonie?

And are you shy?

Otherwise, I'm having a hard time coming up with an evolutionary explanation of that maroon tint you bear...

Shall we mark that one down as an example of the PEH?  Or as a yet-unresolved mystery of the TeH?

What's your take, sweetie?

Date: 2007/10/03 13:08:45, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Erasmus, FCD:
Now listen up, troll.

You say natural selection plays no role whatsoever in mimicry.  WHAT DOES???

Arden Chatfield:
"natural selection play no role in evolution of "warning coloration" - aposematism and NS play no role in mimicry."

Then what does 'play a role', Marty?

These are pretty clear questions, weenie.  Heck, I'll even give you a hint: they are the same question.

Either answer it or, by failing to answer it, admit that you can't and that you're the clueless maroon we've all recognized as such since you first slithered in under out swinging bar doors, clinging to the coattails of JAD, who at least stumbled in on his own two hindlimbs, albeit swaying perilously.

Date: 2007/10/05 16:30:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I'm somewhat reluctant to invoke the spirit of Hollywood horse opera stars, living and dead.  Maybe they've never shown John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movies in the the dim smokey movie halls of Northeast Lower Bratislava.

But, seriously dude, I think even Marlene Dietrich would agree: you need to cowboy up!

Choice (a): Explain to us in your best poor English, if natural selection didn't drive the evolution of the mimics, what else did.

Choice (b): Admit you haven't a frickin' clue what gave rise to mimics, wouldn't recognize said clue if it was ten miles wide and fell on you from space 65 mya while you were vacationing in Cancun, and that, as a consequence, you are just a peculiarly-obsessed poseur.

Choice ©: Continue to neither explain or admit, in which case everybody else commenting here, and everybody else who might ever come to read this thread, will realize that you can't do (a) because you're (b).

Date: 2007/10/09 18:34:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This is the V-one's "answer" to the question of mimicry--there's Shitloads'O'Beetles, so a few are bound to look like ants by pure chance?

Man, that is so pitiful.  I'm tempted to dredge up one of the better written IDist's "Teh Oddz R 2 Long" canards to refute him with.

"Of all the ant tunnels, in all the ant hills, in all the world, she walks into mine."   She being a beetle what looks just like an ant that belongs in this here gin joint, er, ant tunnel...

Date: 2007/10/18 14:16:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

In murriken ynglush, does "cavernous" mean "cave-dwelling," as opposed to its usual meaning of "big and empty and dark like a cave" (the movie theater seemed cavernous and spooky with so few people inside it)?

I know you won't answer, because your translation program hasn't worked its way back from zed to A yet, but I thought I'd ask, just to preserve my place in the Unanswered Questions queu...

Date: 2007/10/22 15:45:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It sounds unbelievable!

(I took out the extra space--I know you're spacey, but I'm going to assume this one was a typo...)

Gosh, another great scientificalistic reason why Vmaroon doesn't believe in the efficacy of natural selection.

What's next: "It doesn't smell good"?  "It doesn't me arouse"?  "My mind isn't cavernous enough to encompass the very idea"?  "Not enough Latin roots"?

Let us know when you have an alternative to propose to "Darwinistic" ("I don't like beards on men") "selectionism" (and don't forget to register with your draft board today!).

...Or, uh, when you've probed around in your cavern long enough to actually locate a scientific objection that you can actually explain, using Latin roots or not.

Date: 2007/10/25 17:31:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I don't have anything to add to the discussion.

I'm just following Shirley around today (cue Pigpen singing "Good morning, li'l schoolgirl")...

Don't worry, Shirley.  It's only for today.  And just 'cause I'm in need of hugs.

Tomorrow's Friday.  I'll feel better (aka "The TGIF Effect").

And I'll follow afdave around instead...

Date: 2007/10/30 18:58:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Those who enjoyed Grosse Point Blank may enjoy The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Professional.

The inimitable Samuel L has a great scene in TLKG in which he's singing the refrain to Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" and then giving a version of the backbeat: ba dun da dun DUM.  Great stuff.

The heroine is played by Geena Davis, who is also great in a light comedy, Earth Girls Are Easy.

(And I'll second or third Pulp Fiction, speaking of Samuel L...  An indisputable modern classic.)

Gotta agree on Kilmer as Doc Holliday: "my little blueberry..."  A classic performance (though apparently he's about the worst guy ever to have on a movie set).

Kurosawa: one of his last movies, Dersu Uzala, is little known but great...

One of the all-time greats: Lawrence of Arabia.  I also retain a fond spot for Dr. Zhivago...

Has somebody mentioned Dr. Stranglelove?

A great, but dated, comedy is The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming...

The Tarentino half of the recent "Grindhouse," called Death Proof, is a kick in the pants--great dialogue for all the ladies, and great action.

I'll also second Silverado.

I'll go away and think of some more.

Date: 2007/10/31 16:33:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh, the excitement as I open the AtBC main page, only to see that Vmaroon has again deigned to grace the discussion of coloration and mimicry he started, and on which his only point seems to be that evolution, natural selection, and the other natural mechanisms accepted by the world's scientists can't possibly be responsible for the colors and similarities we see in nature.

Once again, my anticipation rises!  Arouses...!  Er, whatever!

Once again, I turn to Vmaroon's latest post to see what it is instead of selection and other natural mechanisms he posits to explain the mysterious phenomena of the natural world...

When to my surprise what do I see, but yet another empty post, devoid of any semblance of an alternative mechanism--no hypothesis, no model, no theory, no arousal...

Just more blithering evasiveness.

Crestfallen, I creep away to my cavern, where I live with my aunt, er, ant, er, beetle, er, spider--

Once again my ravine, er, ravenous, er, raffish curiosity is destined to be rebuffed, soiled, and rejected.

When, O when, will Vmaroon stop putzing and futzing and swishing around, and gratify us with some actual instance of his brilliance and glory?   When, O when, will my arousal find surcease?

Not today, I reckon.

Date: 2007/10/31 19:15:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I think the hero just made more sense in his one post that you have in all your posts to date, Vmaroon.

But at least you did admit you're clueless.  

That's a place to start, at least.

It's not a place from which to condescend, to dismiss, or deride.

But it is a place to start...

Date: 2007/11/10 17:49:29, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
"We"--well, mostly Arden, but that's not such bad company--keep repeating the same question to Vmaroon because through long association with a long line of creationist maroons of his ilk, "we" have learned that--unless you focus very narrowly and repeat yourself incessantly--you will never get a straightforward answer to a question.

Without getting an answer to Q. A, it is very difficult to move, in any kind of rigorous manner, on to Point B.

Creationists are past masters--though this is about all of which they are masters--of the Gish Gallop, of the evasive "response" which sounds vaguely like an answer, but which is not, immediately after which the subject is changed to some other stupidity, the problems with which will take much longer to elucidate than it did for the stupidity to be posed, and so on, and so on.

So please feel free to discuss wide-ranging matters with Vmaroon all you will.  But, in doing so, please understand why others here take a more tedious, but ultimately more satisfying, approach: while they may never get anything like an actual answer, the maroon's inability or unwillingness to answer becomes undeniably documented.

Date: 2007/11/26 19:38:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Either I'm not Vmaroon, in which case it would be improper and presumptious of me to answer a question, however simple and straightforward, directed to him.

Or I am Vmaroon.  In which case, apparently, it would also be improper and presumptious of me to answer a question, however simple and straightforward, directed to him.

Nifty, huh.

Date: 2007/11/28 20:18:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Also, as a pure aside while we're thumb-twiddling, waiting for Vroom to arouse his great intellect, does anybody know whether "Darwinismus" takes der, die, or das?


Date: 2007/12/01 18:49:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
But we all know one thing that is fun to do in the dark and wet, right.

No, no, not that!    :p

I was trying to resurrect the Seattle drinking thread...!

Date: 2007/12/01 18:51:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey!  How comes teh smilies ain't workin'?

Didn't they hear the Broadway strike was over?

:angry:    :angry:

Date: 2007/12/05 14:30:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This paragraph of BWE's tickled my funny bone (while also lighting up the "fond reminiscence" region of my gray matter), and then I got to thinking about it:
Sitting or meditating peels away the layers and tripping wraps you up in them. I have experienced both sensations and I like them both although at my age I've started a program trying to conserve my remaining brain cells so I am rusty with the latter experience. I don't think they are really the same thing. You might have moments of similarity though. I don't know.

What happens if you sit/meditate while tripping?  I seem to remember doing that...  Needless to say, I'm a little rusty with the latter experience as well (hell, I'm rusty with the ladder experience, which is really inexcusable...), but I sense an experiment lurking in the weeds.

If the CIA didn't already run it.  Maybe a FOIA request?

Date: 2007/12/21 18:21:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 01 2007,17:49)
I started to read the Bruce Catton books about the Civil War, but it was too high-level. They'd make great books after you already know the basics of what happened, but I got waaaaay too lost in the details only a few dozen pages in.

Heh!  Here's the "basics" of the Civil War in a four-minute video (tip of the hat to PZ Myers):

Now you can return to Catton!

Date: 2007/12/21 18:24:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

And the previous one that the star, Ellen Page, was in, Candy Girl, or something like that.

Ellen Page may be smaller than Uma, but they're both, er, up there.

Date: 2007/12/28 14:57:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
There are major sectors of skinhead culture that are exceptionally Anti-racist. Just a small point.

The pinheaded among us will treat that final remark as a segue...
Let's do remember that we all have skin on our heads.  
And (wah!) that some of us have no choice whether to present as skinheads, due to a malicious (and probably evil Darwinian-promoted) genetic defect, known as male pattern baldness.
So there!
Ftk, there's really not a lot to say about Sal's remark.  It wasn't just ignorant, it was stupid and intentionally misleading because--dumb though he is!--even he knows better.
Let's hope in your copious composing, you realized that, and decide to come back with a terse, "You know, guys, on this one you're right.  I may disagree with what biologists have to say about common ancestry, but what they actually say doesn't remotely justify Sal's stupidity.  I pray for the guy to elevate his future criticisms...!"

Date: 2008/01/03 18:03:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Ain't gonna do it.

I leave to you thread-bearers the deep secret of how in the heck you managed to alight upon this topic.

Oh, wait, did a certain Vsomeone finally confess to the reason he can't find his?

Sometimes you just have to wait for maturity to be thrust upon you, V...

Date: 2008/01/03 19:44:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 03 2008,14:26)
I only count six eyes.  Is that accurate?

Nah, Lou.

She's just winkin' at yeh, she is...

Date: 2008/01/07 18:01:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Plus, it let's the boys have more room for food on the inside, which let's them get bigger than the girls.

Except when they put what's externally stored into the girls, in which case the girls get bigger.  Despite which, they have even less room for food, just when they need it most.

Boy, was that ever intelligently designed!

Date: 2008/01/09 15:53:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
VoxRat at IIDB (Internet Infidels) and others did a long waltz with a creationist calling him (or her?) self Lee_Merrill about the specifics of some of Behe's claims that there were limits to evolution.

Please note that VoxRat is a molecular biologist.  Febble, who also appears, is a virologist, I think (easy enough to check the various profiles).

Here's the thread (it's long; VoxRat makes his first appearance on p. 3...):

A spinoff thread is good right from the get-go:

This link also leads to good stuff:

Date: 2008/01/16 13:40:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Erasmus FCD:
Har Har this is you Martin...

I resemble that remark.   Though the coneheads are only distant cousins of the pinheads, I can double-darn guarantee you that MaroonV is NOT a member of either lineage.

Such loose usage may be understandable, even excusable, but will not be encouraged.

--Sincerely, Stevie

Date: 2008/06/25 20:10:44, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Aren't they finding genetic difference even between true, er, identical twins now?

Like copy number differences -- don't think that's quite it, but I rely on AC to correct my Angle-ich! -- or sumpin like that...

And those can affect the level of proteins getting made.

--and if those were, like, hormones during development that were getting made at different levels, then, um...

Well, one could see how one could sketch out an argument here that took in the identical twin thing.  If one knew a little bit more about all this than, er, some pinheads.

Date: 2008/06/25 20:18:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just finished "Will in the World" by Stephen Greenblatt.

Very interesting juxtaposition of the actual documentary trail that Shakespeare left (mostly real estate purchases, leases, and the like) with his writing with his milieu (the most interesting, but speculative, parts).

I may do a book review for the interwebs somewhere, sometime, mainly because I was struck by the different way in which evidence is handled in literary (or biographical) criticism/history than in science or law...

But enjoyable and well-written.  Four stars, I think.

Date: 2008/06/25 20:26:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I did a couple of summer things early--Grand Canyon backpack in mid-April (ya don'ts want to do it in mid-summer, too frickin' HOT!) and a visit down to SoCal during which I got to introduce my second cousin (who I hadn't seen in 47 years, not that I'm even that old...) to my college roommate.  A few drinkies and lots of good stories.

The Grand Canyon thing has been fodder for lots of fun with good ol' AF Dave Hawkins over at TalkRational.

Interestingly, eric murphy also went to the GC a few weeks later with his parents (even older than me, so they weren't actually backpacking down in the GC). which of course led to more good fodder, etc. ...

Given the gas situation, I don't know if I'll do any long trips this summer, but that still leaves lots of mountains to climb and lots of books to read and lots of yardwork to do, right here in the Pacific NW.

Not to mention the drinking.

Date: 2008/06/26 14:05:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I heard a BBC interview with one of the supporters of the Spanish legislation on NPR last night.

While she did rely (on what sounded like an inaccurate, or at least outdated) percentage of genetic similarity between the other great apes and ourselves -- and I would agree that establishing some sort of a percentage test or cut-off for the extension of "human" rights has various practical and philosophical problems -- she did make a different point: the legislation does not, she claims, confer legal "humanity" on great apes.  Instead, it confers a limited sort of legal "person"-hood.

Lest you now shake your head -- or expectorate, or however your cultural subset of apes expresses dubiety -- and cluck about "those darn lawyers," please first consider that there is some support for making the "human being"/"legal person" distinction: corporations, for example, are legal "persons" (they can sue and be sued; own, sell, and lease, etc., real and personal property...), but are clearly not human beings.

The nice lady gave an example of the kind of conundrum in which apes currently find themselves.  An aging chimp (let's say -- I forget the actual species) has been humanely cared for by an organization in Austria for many years.  Now the organization has gone bankrupt and its assets -- including the chimp -- are being sold off, with at least the possibility that the chimp will wind up in the hands of less-than-ethical medical researchers (let's sidestep, for the moment, the question of whether it's ever justifiable to utilize great apes in medical testing by positing that there are such things as humane and ethical and well-regulated/ inspected medical research facilities...) or will simply fall out of adequate care altogether and wind up being a victim of (what we all might agree would be) abuse, neglect, or ...

Apparently there are donors willing to provide for the further care of this ape.  But they can't give the money to his current owner -- the bankrupt facility -- because that money would then fall into the hands of the creditors.  And they can't give the money to the ape itself, in part because the ape isn't a legal person -- not even a "person" with tightly-delimited rights (such as a mentally-challenged or senile or comatose person, who might well be the ward in a guardianship situation, lacking his or her own right to manage money, vote, own -- ahem! -- handguns, drive, etc. ...).

Now, one can of course imagine ingenious ways around the Austrian situation (though one doesn't know enough about Austrian bankruptcy and non-profit law to know if they would actually work...): perhaps the donors' funds could go to organize a non-profit with the purpose of purchasing and caring for the poor critter.  This might have the advantage of not leaving the (otherwise-innocent, so far as we know) creditors of the old facility out in the cold -- the new facility would simply purchase the ape from the creditors of the old.

But the lady's point -- to the extent that this pinhead grasped it -- is that there are always going to be situations without convenient legal workarounds, where the most direct and effective way to protect arguably-sentient (if still non-"human") creatures like these is to allow for them a limited sort of legal personhood, but not fully "human" legal status...

Below all this lies the moral argument, of course.  Even though we all might agree that the other great apes are not, in all respects, entitled to the full panoply of rights that us "human" great apes may be entitled to, may they not they share enough of key "human" qualities -- empathy, self-consciousness, family feeling, awareness of pain and loss, intelligence, capacity to communicate, etc. -- to be deserving of some more limited form of rights and protections?

Needless to say, we quickly come to the 'slippery slope' concern: where's it all gonna end.   Well, that's a better argument for a situation where there's an indivisible slope or spectrum -- one where there's no point on the gradient which can, in any sort of principled fashion, be distinguished from any other.  We might face such a situation if all of our pre-hominid brethren (or at least a representative and overlapping sampling), going right back to the common ancestor with chimps, were still alive and kicking...

But they're not.  (And some of you may not be persuaded there is any such ancestral kinship, but note that that doesn't necessarily resolve the other questions raised by our increasing grasp of the intellectual and emotional sophistication of some of our fellow travelers on the planet, even if they're not our close kin.)  So we've got humans.  And we've got some definable set of characteristics upon which to base a separate category of animals to whom we might accord a limited quasi-personhood.  And then we've got other animals who lack one or more of whatever that definable set of characteristics might turn out to be -- who we continue to assign to the traditional "feral" or "property" categories, about whom we might erect various overarching protections -- hunting laws; protections from certain kinds of abuse; ecological protections; import/export and trafficking laws; and so forth and so on.

Of course, once we start listing the characteristics for this intermediate status of not-human, but not mere-property kind of animal, we do risk a limited "slippery slope" problem: who else gets "in" to the charmed circle?

Some of the cetaceans?  The lesser apes?  Some of the "higher" non-ape primates?  Elephants?  Those raucous and annoying, but oh-so-clever corvids (ravens, crows, jays, magpies)?

Are we actually "evolved" enough to start concerning ourselves morally with "every crow that falls"?

And, as with every extension of "rights," how meaningful is it if it simply becomes another "unfunded mandate"?  A "right" that goes, all too often, unremedied?  A set of rights which we can't even meaningfully enforce or guarantee over wide swaths of the planet for our (arguably) even more-deserving fellow humans?  The old, why-should-we-spend-money-on-a-space-program-when ... problem, dressed up in King Kong habiliments.

No reason not to have some fun with this notion, but I don't find it an entirely silly one.

Date: 2008/06/26 15:51:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dr. GH:
Dept. Head, John Mason.

Huh!  I was wondering who they named the "Mason jar" after.

The things ya learn on Teh Interwebs...!

Date: 2008/06/26 15:54:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
And then there's our current president.

Where's he gonna be once executive privilege expires, without rights for great apes...

Well, he may need a waiver to even make the cut, but still.

Date: 2008/07/02 17:06:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I've always wondered where you learned to speak such excellent far-cee.

And here I was thinking that you had to have been a CIA liason to the Shah...

Date: 2008/07/28 18:49:19, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We neither take exception to your review of Thunderstruck, or to your enjoyment of your lazy summer afternoons...

We do, however, object to your limitation of the latter to a "few."

--Society for More Lazy Summer Afternoons

Date: 2008/07/29 20:37:42, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Odd.  Steviepinhead is quuite thick, but contains no pages at all.

He's more of a sci-fi/fantasy fan, though, and has mo' than enough of that genre laid by to loll away many mo' lazy summer afternoons.

In between bouts with The Evolution of the Insects.

Date: 2008/08/07 20:25:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Way to go, albatrossity!

The nice long set-up, and then -- neh! -- the hook bites deep.

No, no, FtK, don't take off!  It's only get hurt worse in the long run...!

Date: 2008/11/13 15:21:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm reading Anathem, the new opus from Neal Stephenson, the author of Cryptonomicon and the "System of the World" books.  It's amazing how many issues that are au currant in our little science-creationist skirmishes that NS manages to render into lively fiction...

Anyway, it's good so far, but massive, so I'm only about a fifth of the way in.

I'm also reading an interesting book on Haida ethnography: The Curtain Within: Haida Social and Mythical Discourse by Marianne Boelscher.  

Also fortunate enough to be sharing a couple of chapters from BWE's secret project...

Date: 2008/11/21 14:02:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hope you had a happy day, Ichthyic!

Yeah, yeah, you too, Heddle.

Date: 2008/12/05 16:32:21, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Over at TalkRational, we've started a Christmas Reading Wish List for our dear old friend, douty AF Dave Hawkins.  Here's teh linky.  (Funny, the hot-link worked just fine in the preview...)

And here were my initial contributions:

1. Grand Canyon Geology, by Beus and Morales.  Dave has been looking for a professional geologist to waste his time spoon-feeding Dave with the the “conventional”explanation!  The customer reviews at suggest that this book could use better pictures, but apparently the text is quite authoritative.  Perhaps others will suggest more “coffee table”-worthy numbers.

2. Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History, by Wang and Tedford.  Dave has recently asserted that he can tell that dogs and wolves are part of the same "kind."  We think he's overlooked, oh, just a few members of that baramin!

3. Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution , by Rudwick.  A badly-needed corrective for Dave’s woeful misconstructions of how and by whom the earth’s early history was reconstructed.

4. The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia, by Fedonkin and several co-authors.  Both the text and illustrations are reputedly excellent.

5. On the Origin of Phyla, by Valentine.  A personal favorite, and a steal at $22.22 used in pb on (i'm out of practice with the hot-links here, but hope I'm giving enough info that the interested can locate these online)!  I’m not sure Dave yet realizes how many of the phyla that “explosively” originated in and around Cambrian times are “just” one or another variety of soft-bodied worm.  Or how very few of the animals that Dave would recognize from our modern world were around then.

6. Annals of the Former World, by McPhee.  A highly-readable introduction to plate tectonics.

And, of course:

7. The Portuguese Language: History and Structure of Language, by Camara, Jr.  ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, feel free to stop on by.  Many old comrades are gathered there, roasting Dave's chestnuts round the fire.

Date: 2008/12/08 14:24:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Belated congrats on your 40th, Snowy Guy!


Date: 2008/12/16 20:14:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Er, no...  It's a big long book, slow going for pinheadz.

Actually, I have been enjoying it to date, but I tend to read several things at one time, especially when one of the things has the heft of this tome.

Just to spare my scrawny neck and shoulder muscles, if for no other reason.  

But I will report back.

Also, for Seattle-ites, or other fans or either paleoanthropology or Northwest Coast native art, we've got two great exhibits going on in town at the moment: Lucy Walks (well, actually, her bones flew over here from Ethiopia) at the Pacific Science Center and S'abadeb, The Gifts, an exhibit of Salish native art, old and new.  There is a good book/exhibit catalog associated with the latter, by the same title, edited by the curator, Barbara Brotherton.

I have been making (very desultory and behind-the-times) reports on the lecture series -- sponsored by the Burke Museum, our local natural history/ethnology museum -- associated with the Lucy Exhibit, over at TalkRational.  Charmingly, the lectures are titled "Lucy Talks."

Date: 2008/12/31 14:56:05, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Doc Bill:
Our uni-browed, pinheaded friend, Luskin, has found his ecological niche.


If he's never been recognized or adopted by the clan mothers, he simply ain't a Pinhead, sorry.

A moron, a lowlife, a scumsucker, sure.

All those things that (probable distant relation and "honorary" pinhead) Steverino called him, no doubt.

But a Pinhead, no...

The clan's lawyer's are calling the doc's lawyers, even as we weep!

Date: 2008/12/31 15:03:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We saw a trio* of young male red-breasted sapsuckers pecking away at a sappy streak on a Dougfir in snowbound Western Washington the week before Chrismas.

Not to be confused with Casey Luskin, the yellow-bellied sapsucker...

*The collective noun for multiple sapsuckers is apparently "slum," which would've been a pretty good set-up for my Luskin joke, if only I'd have thought of it in time...

Date: 2009/01/05 15:49:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Bipedalsim -- "Lucy" Bones -- Lecture.

If any of our Seattle-area members would be interested in attending a lecture associated with* the current "Lucy's Legacy" exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, I haz TWO FREE TICKETS (a twelve dollar value!) for this Thursday evening, Jan. 8, at 7 pm.  My gf and I can't go because of another commitment (I've gone to the other lectures in the series and they've all been interesting).  

The lecture is roughly an hour long, is presented by the Burke Museum in association with the science center, and takes place in the Eames Auditorium in the Pacific Science Center complex, basically the same place you go to watch IMAX films.

Here's what Teh Lecture is about:
Jan 8, 2009, 7 p.m. - Eames Theater, Pacific Science Center
Dr. Patricia Kramer - "Lucy Walks: functional morphology and the evolution of bipedalism" - Dr. Kramer will discuss how anthropologists decipher clues from fossils to discover how and why our earliest hominid ancestors walked upright.

Dr. Kramer is a Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, and Adjunct Curator of Archaeology, Burke Museum.

If interested, please PM me!  We can hack out the ticket hand-off off-line (I live in Fremont, range as far north as Edmonds and as far south as downtown on a daily basis, and will be attending another lecture at the Seattle Art Museum the same night at the same time, so could probably swing by any location downtown north of the SAM on my way there -- for example, a location just outside the Pacific Science Center!)

Note that I will not be treating you to the exhibit itself, but only to the lecture.

Date: 2009/01/06 18:04:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
What?!?  Nobody wants to learn how Lucy's bones bespeak her bipedalism?
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Jan. 05 2009,13:49)
Bipedalsim -- "Lucy" Bones -- Lecture.

If any of our Seattle-area members would be interested in attending a lecture associated with* the current "Lucy's Legacy" exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, I haz TWO FREE TICKETS (a twelve dollar value!) for this Thursday evening, Jan. 8, at 7 pm.  My gf and I can't go because of another commitment (I've gone to the other lectures in the series and they've all been interesting).  

The lecture is roughly an hour long, is presented by the Burke Museum in association with the science center, and takes place in the Eames Auditorium in the Pacific Science Center complex, basically the same place you go to watch IMAX films.

Here's what Teh Lecture is about:
Jan 8, 2009, 7 p.m. - Eames Theater, Pacific Science Center
Dr. Patricia Kramer - "Lucy Walks: functional morphology and the evolution of bipedalism" - Dr. Kramer will discuss how anthropologists decipher clues from fossils to discover how and why our earliest hominid ancestors walked upright.

Dr. Kramer is a Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, and Adjunct Curator of Archaeology, Burke Museum.

If interested, please PM me!  We can hack out the ticket hand-off off-line (I live in Fremont, range as far north as Edmonds and as far south as downtown on a daily basis, and will be attending another lecture at the Seattle Art Museum the same night at the same time, so could probably swing by any location downtown north of the SAM on my way there -- for example, a location just outside the Pacific Science Center!)

Note that I will not be treating you to the exhibit itself, but only to the lecture.

Just bumping this again -- Free tickets to the above Seattle lecture are available!

Date: 2009/01/07 18:55:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
You know, if I thought there was one chance in a bazillion that anyone at the DIsco Institute for the Terminally Simple would get anything out of this lecture, I would offer.  

But the odds of that being considerably less than the odds of abiogenesis ...  And even Vegas wouldn't give me odds on Luskin understanding his own zip code, much less bipedalism (which brings to mind a joke about bicycles...).

Also sorry, but I can't spring for the airline tix.  Plus, it's been very windy around here lately.  Perhaps not the time to try to land at SeaTac airport.  Though the seats in the Eames are reasonably comfy, once you get there.
Going once, going twice...!

Date: 2009/01/27 19:05:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Dosages are tricky.

Maybe they need to start with unosages and work up...?

Date: 2009/02/02 18:43:30, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 02 2009,10:53)
Quote (Doc Bill @ Jan. 31 2009,14:24)
Egnor:  Tell me the truth, now, does this opinion make my head look fat?

No, it doesn't.  It makes your head look very, very slim.  Pin-like.

Now, now...   :D

Date: 2009/02/17 16:04:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Dec. 12 2008,14:09)
I'm reading Anathem, the new opus from Neal Stephenson, the author of Cryptonomicon and the "System of the World" books.  It's amazing how many issues that are au currant in our little science-creationist skirmishes that NS manages to render into lively fiction...

Yes, good stuff. I've been reading it, too... almost done.

What did you think, Stevie? (I'm assuming you've finished it by now)

I finally finished Anathem, the latest from Neal Stephenson.

That makes it sound like it was a hard slog, which is far from the case.  As always, reading a Stephenson book is quite enjoyable and inevitably thought-provoking.  Finishing a Stephenson book can be less so, however.  I have been less than enthralled with the endings of Cryptonomicon and the "Baroque Cycle" trilogy, for example.  After all kinds of fascinating and intricate build-up, the grand climaxes have, for me, fallen a little flat.

Such "realistic" endings may be more modern, less contrived, or whatever.  But, while I don't mind realistic damage, loss, cost, consequence -- however it might be worded -- in my fiction, and don't require the author to contort the incident, characters, and motivations simply to arrive at a predicatable "happy ending," I also don't necessarily look to find humdrum, everyday, back-to-earth, life-doesn't-always-work-out finales, either...

In short, Anathem had a more emotionally-satisfying ending than some of Stephenson's previous extravaganzas.  <Possible Spoiler Alert!>  Of course, to achieve this, Stephenson had to carefully weave his principal players through a batch of polycosmic timelines.  In any number of those "other" cosmic timelines, the fate of his principal players was, undoubtably, less satisfying to the captivated reader...

I certainly enjoyed Stephenson's play with words in his two invented languages of Orth and Fluccish, as well.  Not quite as challenging as Tolkien's thoroughly-worked out imaginary languages, but fun to grapple with over the course of the volume.

Just because this book was big and fat, I laid it down about two-thirds of the way through to concentrate on several other reading projects, including -- most recently -- Orr and Coyne's Speciation and Janet Browne's exemplary life of Darwin, Voyaging.

I'm only partway through each of these, but am enjoying both quite a lot:

Date: 2009/02/17 16:25:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
One of the local rags, the Seattle Times, did a write-up on stickleback fish research for the Sunday paper that came out closest in time to the 200th anno of Darwin's birthday...

Not bad, and a nice call-out for the researchers involved.

Date: 2009/02/19 14:45:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy Birthday, eric!

I'll owe you a beer.  You can owe me a nice bike ride in the Bay Area (some summer day when the fog is in abeyance, please!)...

Date: 2009/02/19 14:48:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Ah, Catch-22, good memories!

Well, I'm not sure Yossarian's memories were all that good, but mine of the book and the times and the ambience are all good.

Date: 2009/03/05 16:08:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
No, no, no!  Say it isn't so--
Yet another BWE's birfday,
Has up and come and go...!

Er, gone.

Will have gone, as of tomorrow....

Dratted tenses!

But don't be tense, irate, or dense,
Just take a deep bref,
And exhale so immense,
That none of your candles,
Will be left alight,
Clap your heels, touch your nose,
And disappear into the night!

("But, mom, who was that masked BWE, anyway?"
"Hi Ho, Silver!  Away!")

Cue William Tell Overture.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, dude!

Date: 2009/03/23 15:06:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, Kristine!

I didn't chance to look "in" upon AtBC over the weekend -- worse yet, I don't even have an alcohol-related excuse this time around: I was (waah!) doing yardwork (but at least it wasn't the kind of yard where they make you wear the horizontal pinstripes...).

Let the nation be swept by shimmy-a-thon fever!  


Date: 2009/04/13 18:06:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy (belated) birthday from me, also, k.e.!

I just know I had a real good excuse for being late, but -- being older than you -- I've already forgotten what it was.

Whatever we're talking about, that is.  

Date: 2009/04/16 15:09:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Surely SOMEONE hear must've heard some good music or acquired a scintillating and irresistable new ax since August of last year...right?

Despite the ongoing, er, global contraction (breathe, honey, breathe!).

If so, let us know.   ;)

Date: 2009/04/17 13:07:46, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (khan @ April 17 2009,08:13)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 17 2009,10:22)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 17 2009,01:06)
Susan Boyle stunned me. Amazing!

Incidently, my new album comes out in Japan on Wednesday 21st, in Europe on April 29th and 30th, and in the US on May 19th.

Some guy already put the whole promo album on youtube, if anyone wants to take a listen...

Just search "score to a new beginning". There's even a playlist...


What he said.

Yah!  See, now that was definitely worth a thread bump...!

Susan Boyle, fun story.

And congrats on the new ax, dnmlthr!

Even if it is out on loan -- an ax being played beats the heck out of an ax sitting in a store window like an unwanted puppy...

Date: 2009/05/08 15:07:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Just so Afar clearly understands that induction into the Pinhead clan requires a second full round of juvenile hazing...

With that caveat, then, sure!   :p

Date: 2009/05/08 15:11:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thaying hith own name mutht prove challenging:

Cathey Luthkin?

Hmm, maybe I'll have to get started on a version of the Casey Jones train song just for Cathey...

Date: 2010/02/24 01:45:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
A Happy Birthday wish, from one "uneducated lout" to another.

Eric -- he never met a creaIDiot argument he couldn't demolish with offhand ease and dogged persistence.

Date: 2010/03/25 17:23:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

I'm late again, Kristine, big sorry (mucho dolores, as they might have said in the Galapagos).

Anyway, I hope you had a great one.

And don't worry about the number: eventually you'll look back on this birthday as deep in your departed youth, so treasure it for what it is!

Date: 2010/03/25 17:27:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
The other day, I went out for my mail and ran into a small pod of anatomically modern humans.  Unfortunately, I don't usually camera up to go for the mail, so I was unable to document this unusual sighting.

I haven't been outside again since, so I can't say whether this was a migratory group or whether they may have elected to take up residence...

I did note an unusual amount of vocalization.  It's conceivable this represents a crude attempt at intraspecific communication.

But, of course, it could also be mating-related, or any number of other things.

I hope to be in a position to make additonal observations soon, since I am expecting a package.

Date: 2010/04/11 13:38:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Even if I do say so myself!   :p

Date: 2010/04/11 13:40:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hope you had a wonderful birthday, k.e.!

Date: 2010/04/12 14:04:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 12 2010,07:00)
"Spot a pin and pick it up, and all day long your prick is up"

Well, at least that's how I remember the saying...

Joyeux anniversaire!!!

Thanks all, particularly Wolfie for the PM and thread, and Schrodinger for reminding me of a virtue of pin-spotting that had not previously been, er, pointed out to me.  Friends in the local area did attend to food and drinks, and getting me plastered.  Thanks to them (they know who they are...).

Warmest felicitations and I'll try to be a little more timely in my birthday greetings to others in the future!

Date: 2010/04/20 11:45:55, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (ppb @ Mar. 03 2010,17:34)
Quote (fnxtr @ Mar. 03 2010,19:22)
Quote (snoeman @ April 18 2007,06:27)

I ask because I've always liked the German version of "vacuum cleaner," i.e., "Staubsauger" or "Dust Sucker."  Equally descriptive, and more pithy, in my opinion.

Or "glove": "Handschuh".  Heh heh.

I've always had a fondness for the word Auspuff, meaning auto exhaust.

I've always enjoyed the German for horse, "Pferd."  To get the full effect, you have to understand that the G. word for "pepper" is "pfeffer."  In other words, that "pf" sound is a little on the onomatopoeiac side, mimicking the sound of the plosion of air you get when you sneeze pepper, or when a horse does that knickering, lip-fluttering thing.

For me, Pferd really expresses an essense of horsiness, if not, y'know, THE essence of horsiness.

Or maybe I'm just hoarse from too much pf-, pf-, pfeffer...

Date: 2010/04/21 01:43:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead

Can I deliver a straight line, or what?

Date: 2010/06/03 13:46:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Henry J @ June 03 2010,10:34)
Without a P.O. Box, would they become the Disgruntled Institute?

Mmm.  If the 'x' mutated to the 'y,' then they'd at least have a PO Boy sandwich, which ought to give them something to chew on in their disgruntlement...

Date: 2010/06/22 13:09:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Coming up tomorrow, June 23...

Or so I'm told by one who should know!

Happy birth daze, deadie!

<Twangs a few bars of a certain song>

Date: 2010/06/22 13:12:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Belated happy birthday, John!

(I have a 'scuse for missing this one, my computer was dead on the date in question...)

Date: 2010/06/23 13:55:35, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It is kind of puzzling what a "birthday" means for a dead person, exactly.

But there is a precedent, since it is often noted that such and such a day would have been Elvis's 70th birthday, or Hitler's 100th, or Lennon's 60th...

Or Darwin's 151st...heh!

So I wish deadie the very happiest DAY, whether it actually represents an additional year of life, or something less easy to understand...

Date: 2010/07/03 13:01:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy Birthday, Rich!

Date: 2010/07/18 11:01:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday to both of you!

I hope you found the conjunction more than additive, and that you got up to well over twice the trouble that either of you would have birthdaying alone.

Date: 2010/07/20 11:32:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Well, a pinhead is hardly the sharpest blade in the cutlery drawer, but I liked "Origin of Phyla" quite a lot, once I got going.

There is a certain amount of basic laying-out of terminology and methodology that has to be gotten out of the way early on, and if -- like me -- very little of that is familiar except in the broadest strokes, the plow does tend to stick in the soil.

But I learned a lot from the book, which combines fossil info, evo-devo, cladistics, mol-gen phylogenetics, and a massive literature review to repeatedly stun and enlighten.

The evo-devo stuff on how mollusks generate one foot or many was fascinating.

This was also one of my first rigorous introductions to "cladistic thinking," and that has given a tremendous boost to my efforts to wrap my little pinhead around current evolutionary research.


Date: 2010/07/21 10:51:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, fusillier!

It sounds like your celebration consisted of life's fundamentals, food, alcohol, and the kindly attention of a female of the species!

Well done, and may you enjoy these essentials many more times around...!

Date: 2010/07/26 14:41:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Have a very happy birthday, afar, afar away, on some tropic beach where the palms do sway...

At least go there in your mind,
even if you can't find the time,
or spare the dime...!

Date: 2010/07/30 13:16:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
All right, let's see if the collective power of the AtBC ax-trust can help out here.

Here's an old favorite song of mine, but it's also old and obscure enough that I haven't been able to locate guitar chords on the InterTubes.

It's "Don't Cry, My Lady Love," written and sung by Dino Valente (the songwriter, under a psuedonym, of "Get Together," the Youngbloods' hit) when he was a member of one of the later line-ups of Quicksilver Messenger Service.

It's a spritely piano waltz, with a little twang in the vocals, but I'm looking for guitar chords, naturally.  I doubt they are very complicated, but I'm still not very good at trying to pick them out myself...

Here's links to two YouTube "videos" (the video stream is just a still band photo or album cover shot):

I've got lyrics, if that might help in listening to the thing multiple times!

If anyone wants the lyrics, or can whip off the chording in an idle moment, let me know here, and we can do a PM thing.

Thanks so much, fellow six-string wranglers!

Date: 2010/08/02 14:07:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Glad to help keep this thread going, but -- wah! -- wuddabout my chords?

Really, it's a pretty little lilting broken-hearted love song.  Give it a listen and if you don't like, certainly I wouldn't expect anyone to labor over the chords...  But if someone DUZ LIKE, then I'd be exceptionally, eternally, nay, virtually grateful if they'd figger out the chord changes and pass them along.

Thanks in advance!

Date: 2010/08/03 08:39:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
First, thanks a bunch!  I REALLY appreciate it!

Second, it's impossible to condescend to a pinhead.

I do want to play it in the "original" register, and -- despite my utter helplessness at this point in my, heh, "career" at figuring it out for myself -- none of the chords will be a problem to play.

Well, none any more than any other, that is!

If you or anyone else stumbles across refinements, though, please let me know...

I just knew that AtBC was the place to come for this!  Coolness!

Date: 2010/08/05 11:30:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Blipey, being a guy and all, is likely to have issues with coming right out and saying that he loves Wolfie back.

But that's what friends are for (Blipey may not have previously known I was such a good friend but, hey, who can have too many friends -- well, except on Facebook...), so I'll say it for him:

"Aw, shucks...!  Blipey, hm, hr, l- lo-, koff, Blipey loves Wolfhound TOO!"

Date: 2010/08/12 11:53:15, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Sounds effin' beautiful...!

Date: 2010/08/24 11:50:51, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm a day late, but not a dollar short (my height easily exceeds that of a how much we'll not quibble!).

I hope you had a happy birthday, Blipey, and that your recovery is going smoothly!

Date: 2010/08/27 09:59:06, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Why do people even have birthdays, when all they do is make me feel inadequate?

I mean, I do check in here pretty much every day, I do look at the new threads, I do like to hand out birthday wishes as much as the next bloke--

So why am I always late by a day?

Are the birthday posters secretly waiting until AFTER my daily visit to post these threads?  But, then, how do they know when I'm going to stop by (given that I carefully vary my routine, mwah ha ha...!)?

It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

Meanwhile (sigh), happy belated birthday, Ogre!

Date: 2010/09/01 08:54:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
It feels kinda weird to wish somebody happy birthday ON their actual birthday, for a change (I see afarensis is so averse to the practice that he post-dated his message...but I'm not prepared to follow blindly in his Laetolian footsteps).

Any rate, Happy Birthday, Khan!

Date: 2010/09/02 13:23:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Richard, tell me that you're so NOT asking for details here...!

Oh, and, um, happy burfdaze, you two guys!

Date: 2010/09/02 13:24:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I get what grandpa's doing with the lap dancer, but I'm a little mystified what the baby twinsies are attempting to do to that poor little bear...

Date: 2010/09/22 11:28:01, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Gunthernacus @ June 17 2009,03:10)
I have been having some fun with this site:

There are some ads for the free accounts, one or two an hour about 15 sec each, but you can really tailor your listen.

Good tip, thanks!

Date: 2010/10/28 12:52:15, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, Teach!

Date: 2010/11/02 12:30:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy (belated, yikes, once again) BD, from one Steve to another...!

Date: 2010/11/04 13:44:39, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh, Henry!

That's just what I'm always hearing from my gf...

Date: 2010/11/11 12:30:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
One more orbit for a planet.
One more birthday for a Louis.
Have a happy one...!

Date: 2010/11/11 12:33:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Have yourself an excellent day, birthday veteran!

Date: 2010/11/16 18:04:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Made her cosmic debut at around 3:30 pm Pacific time.

Steviepinhead's first grandchild.  Woohoo!

Leading contenders to replace "Baby Girl" in her screen-name: Sophia and Katrina.

But feel free to submit your nominations to these pages in the coming days...

Date: 2010/11/16 20:27:41, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks all.  "Sophia Ellen" seems to have taken the lead in the minds of the parents (but, then, what do they know).  A very healthy, wriggling, wide-eyed, fist-and-finger munching, hungry, tiny-squeak emitting little munchkin.

Note the "i" in Sophia, at least!

Date: 2010/11/16 23:07:56, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks for the additional good wishes!

The pinhead cranium is mostly a function of head-binding, under the supervision of the clan mothers.  That's a process that won't start immediately and tends to vary from generation to generation.

At the moment, she's far too beautiful for cultural modification!

Date: 2010/11/17 12:44:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Again, thanks for all the kind words!

Changing the odd nappy won't bother me all that much (though, to be sure, I'm glad not to have the frontline duty).  After raising three boys, I'll just be glad not to be fountained with pee during the changing...!

And I don't think Sophia is all that far from Sewfie, at all, at all...

Though I realize she won't be able to go skiing or climbing or frisbee-throwing with me for a few years, still, Sophia's impendency has challenged me to get back into shape over the summer and early fall.  Still, just "having" my first grandchild at 60 will be a lasting challenge to stay sharp physically, mentally (always a chore for Teh Pinhead), and technologically.

I'll be looking for you younger AtBCers to keep me on my toes!

Date: 2010/11/17 15:45:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Heh.  Give her a day or three.

I haven't yet had a chance to work in typing instruction between feeding intervals (and other necessary maintenance)...

Date: 2010/11/18 13:14:15, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks again to the AtBC community!

Now to figure out how to do a screen capture -- the day will come when Sophia will get a kick out of the congrats and funny comments that accompanied her advent...!

Date: 2010/11/22 23:11:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Only the truly obsessed will wish to access this video of a baby pinhead with hiccoughs.

Also starring my son, Robin Pinhead:

Date: 2010/11/23 13:23:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Oh noes!  Has Henry been following the aqua-follies over at the Talk Rational forum (aquatic ape wingnut Algis Kuliukas vs. a rabid band of aqua-skeptics)?

In any event, Sophia definitely does enjoy playing with her food.  Which is based upon water, but with natural nutrient additives...

Date: 2010/11/24 14:58:57, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (khan @ Nov. 23 2010,13:53)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 23 2010,16:50)
Miracle of birth...

Basic biology needed here.

Although FTK's comment is quite sweet, and I now feel ashamed for taking a cheap shot at her.

Sorry, my bad.

ps: the video is über-sweet too.

Something that occurs billions of times a year is a 'miracle'?

While I wish happiness to all the pinheads, there is no miracle involved.

Well, I appreciate ftk's sentiment too.

But I agree that no miracles need be invoked.  Based on the date, my bet is an exuberant Valentine's celebration...

Date: 2010/11/24 15:05:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 23 2010,11:38)
Aquatic ape? Wasn't that a proposed hypothesis that turned out to not hold up after it was compared to the evidence?

Yeah.  Algis Kuliukas is a failed Ph.D. candidate/wingnut who is one of the ten or so most fanatic proponents.  Having first followed Dave Hawkins to the Dawkins forum and various other venues, many of us from the old endless flood/young earth threads here settled in at Talk Rational (so, in part at least, it's a spinoff of here!).  We encountered Algis at the Dawkins' forum, and he is the same kind of persistent, knuckle-headed fount of endless tard and lulz that Davey was in his heyday.

And also a catalyst of a little nucleus of skeptics who poke fun at the poor fella, learn a little genetics, evolution, anatomy, paleontology, anthro, cladistics, and so forth on the side, mostly to have darts to hurl at our whackamole.

There's a couple of other mildly-amusing trolls there, too, including the latest incarnation of that guy from here (Paley's Ghost?) who claimed to be two guys, and another whacko who is quite confident that birds are descended from pterosaurs, whales from mosasaurs, and the like.

Not to mention Davey himself, who is still flailing away, tardistically.

Good times.

Date: 2010/12/10 13:13:53, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, both!

Particularly Steverino, as us Steves must birth together.

Wait!  That didn't come out quite right...

Date: 2010/12/10 13:18:32, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Great shots, all up and down.

This is a cool thread, like getting to be a metazoan voyeur, er sumpin...

Date: 2010/12/13 19:28:08, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, Wolf-ma'am!

Date: 2011/01/24 15:56:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday (belatedly, sorry) both of you guys!

Each of you does a lot to make this site the site that it is, and that is it!

Date: 2011/01/25 13:10:22, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Quote (Texas Teach @ Jan. 24 2011,15:24)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 24 2011,07:10)
Quote (fnxtr @ Jan. 23 2011,22:22)
Quote (Wolfhound @ Jan. 23 2011,08:43)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 23 2011,11:36)
Thanks, folks! I'm still in the grip of some virus or other picked up when I visited Vegas earlier this month. It's just me and Beka, the mini-dachshund, here for what festivities we might get up. Fortunately, I do have a bottle of sangria for me, and there's various dog treats around to help make Beka happy. If a mini-dachshund can get happier than having six acres of Florida bush to sniff around in.

Dachshund?  DACHSHUND?!

Huzzah! Someone who actually knows what "dachshund" means!

Anyone who pronounces it like the surname in "Sense and Sensibility" gets a tongue-lashing. And not in a nice way.

Beka is a mini-dachshund from rabbit-hunting lines. The critical morphological limit is chest circumference, which defines the smallest hole she can get down. Beka has a 31cm circumference, which puts her just a centimeter too large to be classed as a Kaninchenteckel. She doesn't seem to have become discouraged by this, and chases rabbits anyway.

My wife and I had a cocker spaniel years ago that spotted a "bunny" and took off after it.  When he finally caught it, the "bunny" turned out to be a jack rabbit that kicked him hard enough to sprain the dog's back and dislocate one elbow.  His enthusiasm for chasing bunnies dropped off noticeably after that.

I always wondered where the terms "car-jacking" and "hijacking" originated.

Bunnies with attitude, clearly.

Date: 2011/02/21 21:06:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, Bob!

(Sorry to be late, but I haz X-cuze: I was marooned on an island without internet access...)

Date: 2011/02/24 15:28:14, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Top of your birthday to ye!

Date: 2011/03/10 12:35:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I guess now we know why you're mad: you're getting older...!

Date: 2011/03/22 18:49:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I hope you're not too dizzy from your orbital spin to enjoy your birthday, Kristine!

Have a great one!

Date: 2011/03/29 12:50:10, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Hey, I'm only one day late this time, but I haz good excuze.

Er, if I could only remember what it is: something about a badger eating my note from the teacher...?

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Badger!

Date: 2011/04/04 11:45:26, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Okay, I'm massively late again, but I hope you managed to have a happy one without me...

The rest of you need to stop having birthdays in and around weekends, when I am out of computer contact!

Date: 2011/04/12 11:28:13, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks, all!

I share a virtual alcoholic cider with each and every one of you!  (Quaff, quaff, ah...!)

Date: 2011/04/12 11:29:34, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
A belated happy orbital revolution!

Date: 2011/04/20 14:53:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Fortunately, your memory is not clouded by hairspray!

Date: 2011/04/27 10:45:59, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I just wanted to mention (probably not for the first time, sorry) that several of us occasionally get together for drinks at the 74th St. Alehouse in Seattle (N. 74th St., d'oh, and Greenwood Ave. N, in the Greenwood, d'oh, - Green Lake neighborhood).

Some of us on this board (JohnW and others) used to do the same thing, several years back.

Any Seattle-area AtBCers are ALWAYS welcome to join us in our current version of this floating drink-fest.

When I have sufficient notice ahead of time, I'll try to post an invite in this column (or whatever drinking-related thread is closest to the top of the heap).

It's usually me, RAFH (Robot Architect From Hell, who used to post in the Davey Hawkins' fludde threads, if memory serves -- which it probably doesn't), our young friend ericv00 from the now-defunct Dawkins forum and Talk Rational forum, and maybe Wolfhound (though she hasn't actually made it to the 74th yet, but to our alternate venue down in Kent...).

Anyway, I'll try to let y'all know!

Date: 2011/04/27 10:48:02, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
While running my eye down the thread titles, looking (I'm SO predictable) for one of the "drinks"-related threads, I happened to see Kristine's name.

Which of course made me think of shimmies.

Which of course brought a smile to my face and immediately brightened my day.

Thanks, K...!

Date: 2011/05/10 18:46:52, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Late on more birthday greetings!

Sorry, guys, but I hope you had excellent celebratory occasions nonetheless!

Date: 2011/05/25 11:02:38, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I don't know what I can add to all that has gone before, especially in my patented always-late manner, so I'll just add to all that has come after:

Happy early birthday in 2012, Hermagoras!

Date: 2011/05/30 20:13:12, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'll quack along with the rest of the dux of hazard:
Happy birthday, Quack...!

Date: 2011/06/26 00:09:24, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I've never figured out exactly how dead men age, but they must, because Wolfhead wouldn't lie, right?

Er, right...?

Anyway, Happy Birthday, whether you're actually any older or just more, er, decomposed!

Date: 2011/07/05 13:22:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, ptaylor!

Date: 2011/08/01 01:41:16, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
That's okay...

'Cause I'm even later!

Happy birthday, Afarensis!

Date: 2011/09/05 12:36:37, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy happy!

Birthday birthday!

Date: 2012/02/24 12:30:47, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Late again, late again, jiggety jig!

Anyway, I hope you had a good one, Bob!

Date: 2012/02/24 12:31:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, even if belatedly!

Date: 2012/02/28 23:11:58, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, y'all!

Date: 2012/03/10 21:23:40, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Late as ever, but haffy birfday, Lizzie!

(I was on time over at TR: that's my story and I'm sticking to it, or maybe it's sticking to me, or ...)

Date: 2012/03/21 14:04:43, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
May your shimmies never simmer down!

Date: 2012/03/31 16:03:50, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Nah, John Carter of Mars, six hands down!

Date: 2012/04/03 23:28:27, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I appreciate the early burfday (it's not usually celebrated till 4/11, but my mom is vague on dates, it's true...)!

I'm gonna be eligible for Social Security, woo hoo!

I'm mostly happy because I'm actually gonna collect some, unlike all you young whippersnappers!

(Also, in case I forgot to mention it, Get Offa My Lawn!)

Date: 2012/04/11 14:58:04, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy birthday, k.e.!

This is actually MY birthday, too (or maybe my Birthday II?), so we can assist each other with our celebrations!

Date: 2012/04/16 12:30:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Tough room.

Date: 2012/04/18 13:36:54, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
This grousing about birthday greetings on non-birth days has just got to stop!

Date: 2012/05/11 19:32:20, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Still more belated happy birthdays to Sledge and Lou!

Date: 2012/06/10 10:46:09, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy additional orbit!

Date: 2012/06/15 13:33:07, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
There being such a rumor floating about Teh InterWebz, I duz hereby move that BWE be wushed a happy burfday, whether he likez it or not!

Date: 2012/07/04 10:50:33, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
We can't even open new burfday freds?  We haz so little internet oomphs we haz to juz recycle OLD freds!

Happy Higgs-day, Richard!  Plus whatever I said on the prior occasions...

Date: 2012/08/27 22:15:36, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Happy 2012 birthday!

Oh, you're NOT 2,012 years old...?

Date: 2013/04/11 21:55:00, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
On behalf of myself and my neglected evil twin, thanks so very much!

May we all enjoy many more of these annual drunken bashes!


Date: 2014/04/11 00:04:15, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
I'm getting an early jump on my birthday!

Woot, Stevie.

Big news over the last year or so is my second granddaughter, the lovely Ms. Vivian Pinhead.

And my successful climb of Mt. Rainier last year, when I was considerably younger.

I trust all here are keeping well!

Date: 2014/04/11 17:11:48, Link
Author: Steviepinhead
Thanks, everybody!

Don't forget to drop me a pm if any of you ever find yourselves heading Seattle way.

At minimum, we can hoist a brew.

At maximum, walk up a mountain!