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Date: 2006/02/07 19:34:16, Link
Author: bfish
First ever post, and I don't now how to format it so it looks nice.

You may have missed this exchange, as it was up for no more than an hour. Here is DaveScot responding to Xavier (who can't be long for Uncommon Descent):

14 All mitochondria come from mitochondria

Then why are mitochondria found in all eukaryotes so similar to each other, especially in having some of their own DNA? Chloroplasts also show remarkable similarity across the green plant kingdom. There is convincing evidence for symbiogenesis. Does intelligent design rule out the possibility that mitochondria may have once been free-living bacteria?

Comment by Xavier — February 7, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

Unless I’m mistaken mtDNA is a circular molecule (like bacterial DNA) while nuclear DNA is a double helix. It seems the most likely explanation would be that a cell with a nucleus containing double helix DNA incorporated a separate cell with circular DNA. Symbiotic relationships abound. This is just one more example.

Comment by DaveScot — February 7, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

Obviously someone quickly clued in DaveScot that circular DNA also takes the form of a double helix, and he removed this evidence of his deep ignorance of biology.

I don't bring this up to mock DaveScot. We're all ignorant about many things. But to be so ignorant while ridiculing people who devote their lives to studying the field.........


Note added 2/9: I was in error about the censorship of the above comments. I checked back into the wrong thread. Doh! This is from the Behe thread. The comments are still there, and DaveScot later admits he was wrong, albeit in a save-face kind of way.

Date: 2006/03/19 04:32:20, Link
Author: bfish
Managed to see Dembski talk Friday and Saturday night at UC Berkeley. Here is my favorite random quote. If Dembski wants to put this on a T-shirt, I'm a buyer:

"The cow is ALWAYS there, staring at us."

OK, maybe it's just me.....

Date: 2006/05/26 16:59:32, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afdave @ May 26 2006,21:19)
I've never met a geocentrist before and this topic would seem appropriate on a different thread, since it has nothing to do with any of my points.

Hee, hee, hee.....

Um......Paley, I'm here to show that the Earth is only 5,000 years old. But this business about the sun going around the Earth? That's crazy talk.

Date: 2006/06/18 20:43:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 18 2006,17:42)
Uh-oh, smells kinda Mormony to me.  "Angel Moroni" and all that jizz.

That reminds me....

Can I just put in a complete non-sequiter here and ask that the New England Patriot's first round draft pick be henceforth referred to as Laurence "The Angel" Maroney?

And if that works out, maybe we could go back in time and call the former New Hampshire Governor, "Jean Jean The Dancing Shaheen."

Sigh. It's late.

Date: 2006/09/03 21:02:05, Link
Author: bfish
Ichthyic, you're breaking my heart. I used to love watching Croc Hunter, back when it was on Animal Planet every 45 minutes or so. His little boy is just about the same age as my daughter. This is terribly sad.
There might be more about this in the coming days in the Sydney Morning Herald (and no doubt in Queensland papers, but is where I go for my Aussie news).

My condolences to his friends and family.

Date: 2006/09/04 05:40:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 04 2006,06:42)
8) You were shown with fruit flies, bacteria and other organisms how macroevolution simply does not occur and has never been observed.

Again with the fruit flies. I don't recall you ever talking about them at length, but three or four times you mentioned them, in driveby style, as a "great failure." What are you on about there? What have you read that makes you think Drosophila research has been a failure?

Date: 2006/09/04 17:05:26, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afdave @ Sep. 04 2006,12:08)
Bfish ... "Accelerated evolution" of fruit flies has produced

1) Dead fruit flies
2) Mangled fruit flies
3) Mutant fruit flies

No SUPER-fruit flies.
No bigger, better fruit flies.

In a word.  FAILURE.

OK, that rings a bell as what you said before. So that is the alpha and omega of your comments about Drosophila research. A bare assertion with no supporting arguments.

Unfortunately, what you have written is not enough for anyone to evaluate your argument. What experiment, or set of experiments, are you talking about here? What were the experimental objectives? What were the results. What lab or labs did the experiments?


Date: 2006/10/04 20:38:02, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=afdave,Oct. 02 2006,12:31][/quote]
Dave on October 2:
To answer Argy's question, I would guess that there is VERY LITTLE sequence difference among modern bacterial DNA.

Dave on October 4:
I am not familiar with the C' and the C-556 sequences.  I would like to learn more about bacteria and see some sequence comparisons of Cytochrome C among bacteria.  Anyone have free access to an online atlas? (like the Dayhoff one referred to already).  My guess is that there is much greater variation than we find between, say, dogs and mice.  Why?  

Um, because many people corrected you after your October 2 stab in the dark?

Since the subject of sequence similarity versus morphological similarity came up, I thought some of you might be interested in a Nature paper from last week:
Nature 443, 401-402(28 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/443401a; Published online 27 September 2006
Evolution: Different paths to the same end

"Genetic dissection of a yeast gene-regulatory pathway shows that the logical output of such a pathway can remain the same even though the molecular mechanisms underlying the output have diverged remarkably.

From penguins to mushrooms and baobabs, the world around us harbours a bewildering diversity of life forms. Much of the evolution of this diversity is due to changes in the under-lying genetic regulatory architecture1. But what happens to such architecture when organisms that diverged long ago retain the same traits (or 'phenotypes';)? Can this regulatory architecture diverge while the overlying phenotypes remain similar? On page 415 of this issue, Tsong et al.2 examine the gene-regulatory circuit that governs mating type in several yeast species, and they identify a remarkable example of divergence at the genotypic level (the DNA sequence) despite conservation at the phenotypic level."

Date: 2006/11/22 01:08:41, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afdave @ Nov. 21 2006,12:33)
But seriously, dave. I'm curious. What are your sources of information  for what evolutionary science is really all about? Have you read Darwin? Have you read Mayr, Dawkins, Gould, Ridley... any of the excellent modern explainers of evolution?
Yes.  All, except Ridley.


Apes don't read philosophy.

Yes, they do, Otto.
They just don't understand it.

Date: 2006/12/07 10:24:18, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 07 2006,06:41)
Meanwhile, Joseph is still evading the simple question, does a paternal family tree constitute a nested hierarchy?

  Have you ever figured out what Joseph's confusion is regarding nested heirachies? I followed your link to his web site once (once was enough), and saw him claim that not only is a nested heirarchy NOT a prediction of ToE and Common Descent, but that it is proof AGAINST ToE and Common Descent. [Head spins around three times.]   WTF?
  I tried to parse his reasoning, and all I can possibly come up with is that he is getting confused by the existence of homoplasy. Have you been able to twist your mind enough to figure out what he's thinking? I admire your efforts to set him straight.

Date: 2006/12/07 23:48:11, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 07 2006,20:43)
About half an hour ago, I deleted all the files on the TalkOrigins Archive.

Sheesh, when I first read that I thought it was a "Harold and Maude" moment:

"I took the pills an hour ago."
Whaaaattt??? [Rushes Wes to the ER]

Looking at TalkOrigins, I see that Wes has not lost his mind, but is instead responding to the hack attempts. Sucks to have to do that. Have to say, though, I quite like the TO description of the evil perpetrator as "a cracker." I prefer to read that with it's American slang meaning, as Dave Chappelle might use it. Somehow that gives me the giggles.

Date: 2006/12/22 00:37:39, Link
Author: bfish
I, too, am a California boy. Born and raised in Pasadena (Deadman, I know of which parrots you speak), spent four years north of Chicago, got to live in Toronto for a year, and for the last several years have lived near San Francisco, whose sparkling lights I see shimmering across the bay from my office window.

Ne'er so much as stepped foot in Florida.

Date: 2007/01/04 15:55:42, Link
Author: bfish
Boy, when I got back from Christmas vacation I faced 25+ pages of Uncommonly Dense and 25+ pages of AFDave. It was no contest which to read: I caught myself up on the goings on at Uncommonly Dense. I figured I wouldn't return to the AFDave thread. Nothing left to see. Then a comment on another thread said that Mayberry AFD was being closed down, so I figured I'd make a final comment.

When I was learning how to ski, I was terribly afraid that an expert skier would come zooming past me at 100 mph and cause me to crash. I remember wishing that beginning skiers were given special jackets, so the good skiers would be able to spot the rookies on the mountain and give them a wide berth. Then I got to be a better skier, and I realized that beginners don't NEED to wear bright orange vests. Good skiers can spot the beginners from a mile away.

Dave, you are a dilettante. You understand this a little bit, but you have NO IDEA how much a dilettante you are, and how easily the experts can find you out. They can spot you a mile away. My personal favorite might be your Adventures with Punnett Squares. Not much you can do with a Punnet Square for a single locus. Two alleles on the top and two alleles on the side. Four possible progeny outcomes. Doesn't look very impressive. So the spin-doctors at AIG gave you a Punnet Square with two loci (and another with three? I can't be bothered to look it up). This gave 16 possible progeny outcomes and looked MUCH more impressive. You talked about getting a genotype in one of the middle squares, as if that had any meaning whatsoever beyond what order the alleles were written on the top of the Square. And then, when someone pointed out to you that the Square represented TWO loci, you said, "Good catch." Good catch? Good grief. You had on your orange vest and were snowplowing down the bunny hill.

There's nothing wrong with not being an expert on something. We are all amateurs and dilettantes on far more things than we are expert on. But most of us have some degree of self-awareness of what we don't know. We don't walk up to a neurosurgeon and tell her she knows nothing about the brain, but we learned all about it on Wikipedia.

Dave, you have spent hundreds of hours researching various scientific fields during the last 8 months. That is to your credit. But during that same period, real scientists, like Incorygible and Russell, have spent much more time than that doing research. It's their job! It's what they do. Ask Argystokes how much time he spends working on and thinking about biology as a first year grad student. My guess is 60 hours a week. Six years from now he might have his PhD. Then he'll work 60 hour weeks as a Post-Doc for another three or four years. That's about 30,000 hours of focused work to be able to call himself an Assistant Professor. You don't catch up to that by doing a few google searches.

Dave, I've been reading this thread since Day 1, because you remind me of my brother. I suspect that he believes most of the same things you do. I say "suspect," because I don't know for sure. We can't talk about these things. Fundamentalist religion, that is to say a belief in one book's literal, word-for-word truth and the One True Interpretation of that literalness, is a profound barrier between folks who don't share that belief. My brother and I don't talk about much that is of any real import. I've been reading this thread to get an idea of what my brother believes and how he thinks. I hope I'm wrong that he thinks as you do. It's too depressing.

Dave, I'm sorry that science conflicts with your religious beliefs. But the science is the science. It's not evaluated by whether or not we like it.

As my last words on this thread, I'd like to thank the many folks who patiently tried to explain to AFDave why he was wrong, even after it was demonstrated that he was incapable of learning, that he actively chooses not to learn. Thank you Incorygible, JonF, Deadman, Eric Murphy, Russell, and everyone else. Wish I could take your class, Incorygible. I bet it's great.


Date: 2007/01/12 17:12:46, Link
Author: bfish
Holy Franks and Beans! UD has a new face. And they are showing us their real faces! Anyone wonder what Davescot looks like? Well, wonder no more......

Uncommonly Dense: About

Now I feel even WORSE about once having been on that beach in Rosarito. (Of course, I did have the best fish taco I've ever had, just a few blocks away).

What did you think I was eating on that beach? Homo!

Date: 2007/01/13 18:11:44, Link
Author: bfish
Post deleted in case miscontrued.

Date: 2007/01/22 00:43:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Let me know when you get to the Pasadena store

Does Vromans still exist? I haven't been home in a while. Back in the day, it kind of sucked when Borders and Barnes & Noble moved into town. (Of course, back in the day, Old Town was nothing but thrift shops and adult book stores). Anyway, if Vromans is still there, that'd be a good venue, too. You could do a Pasedena twofer.

Date: 2007/01/26 00:08:50, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 25 2007,13:24)
In 1972, a crack design detection unit was sent to prison by a liberal homo court for a crime they didn't commit.

OK, there are a lot of pretty durned funny posts on this thread, but this one grabbed my funny bone. What a great TV show that would make.

Somehow reminds me of an old Billy Crystal bit on SNL, wherein he describes the new (fake) TV shows coming out, including:
"Pope and Chimp." One's the Pope. The other's a chimp.
They're detectives.

Date: 2007/01/26 11:19:22, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 26 2007,09:48)

More Gedanken UD posts.....

I stayed too long at my campus IDEA club meeting, so I was late to my Evolution 101 class. Isn't there a special word for being late to class? Can anyone help me out here?

I spent so much time at the IDEA club that I was _.

Date: 2007/02/11 00:39:07, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Faid @ Feb. 10 2007,21:34)
I have "Family Tree" by House of Freaks playing on my drive right now.

Rock on, Faid!

"Tantilla" is one of my favorite albums.

Date: 2007/02/11 01:55:59, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (phonon @ Feb. 10 2007,12:27)
Oh Lord.
The Sound of Mendelian Genetics Exploding

Didn't they already cover this?

I don't know if UD covered this or not, but it was certainly on Panda's Thumb. In March, 2005, as a matter of fact. That would be when the paper came out. It was also covered by the New York Times and other similarly obscure publications.

It is, in fact, a cool paper, and an exciting finding if it holds up. Whether or not it turns out to be true is still up for debate, however. Panda contributor Reed Cartwright has a publication suggesting an alternative hypothesis for the data. And in September, 2006 Nature published another alternative hypothesis, the rather unsexy possibility that hth mutant arabidopsis outcross far more readily than wild-type arabidopsis. (I suppose that technically that is VERY sexy). The authors of the original paper reply that they tried to account for this and don't think it is causing what they observe.

At any rate, it will take a while to suss this out. I, personally, hope it is true, just because it's way cool.

By the way, shouldn't DT's series of "The Sound of X Exploding," be accompanied by actual SOUND? I feel cheated. Really they should be titled, "The Picture of X exploding." Or maybe "The Visual Representation of." Me, I'm waiting for DT to post "The Sound of Music Exploding," because that would be most excellent on many levels.

Date: 2007/02/16 21:40:12, Link
Author: bfish
Has DT posted yet today? I'm worried......

Man Fights For Life After Eating Bad Nachos

Date: 2007/02/21 23:08:18, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afdave @ Feb. 21 2007,22:14)
Ditto for watches and butterflies. They are more dissimilar than the two pitchers, yet they are very similar to each other in some very important ways.

Ooh, ooh, I get it! Let's see.....

Both exist....
Both are made of atoms.....
Both can be described by English words, which are in turn made up of letters from the English alphabet.....
Both can be kept in a pocket, or tied to a wrist with a leather strap.
Both have a head, a thorax, and an abdomen......
Both have a four stage life-cycle of egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

And most important of all:
One reproduces, while the other undergoes a different DEGREE of reproducing known as "not reproducing."

(Sheesh, I was so proud of myself for not following this train wreck to Dawkins' site, and now it comes here......)

Date: 2007/03/01 00:54:20, Link
Author: bfish



12:59 pm

If you were a member of a gay union and seeking equal tax treatment as a married couple the field of sexual orientation law would not seem absurd in the least.



10:30 pm

And if you were a member of a married couple busting your butt raising kids with at least one partner sacrficing significant income you’d wonder why a couple who aren’t capable of making the same sacrifices as you should get the the same privileges all the while INCREASING your tax burden along with the tax burden of everybody else in the community.

Sing it, brother! Those darned homosextors and their tax breaks! Designer only knows we'd ALL like to get jiggy with our fellow gendermates, and score some cool deductions for ourselves while DOIN' it, but he11, SOMEONE'S gotta raise the children.

Um, seriously, what in the world is Tribune talking about? How are gay people increasing his tax burden? What sacrifices can he and his spouse make that gay people can't? I'll have to tell my lesbian friends who fostered a little boy and then adopted him that they don't know the meaning of the word "sacrifice."

Tribune7 just went from "goofy" to "odious" in my book.

Trib, if you're reading this, good for you on raising a kid. My wife and I are doing the same. Folks who want the same rights you and I have are not the enemy.

[climbs down from high horse]

Hey, on a totally different note, I just made an AFDave-inspired avatar, but I can't load the durned thing. How do y'all do it?

Date: 2007/03/01 01:30:28, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 28 2007,23:01)
in that screen, go towards the bottom and enter the web address where you store the image for your avatar

And that's where I hit the wall. I don't have a web address where I store my image. I have a jpeg file.

Date: 2007/07/20 21:42:19, Link
Author: bfish
Woo Hoo! A half a million views! I think that was me at 500,000.

Unless it was someone else.

Date: 2007/08/26 09:16:44, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Aug. 26 2007,05:33)

Isn't this the picture from the time those kittens wanted to pray for victory in Iraq, but the ACLU wouldn't allow it?

Date: 2007/08/26 12:15:58, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Aug. 26 2007,07:23)
I think these're the cats you're thinking of.


No, no, no. That's the picture of the marines that this little old lady had at her house.

Date: 2007/09/07 23:39:12, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (djmullen @ Sep. 06 2007,23:27)
Has anybody ever heard WAD speak? ?How was his intonation and prosody (rhythm, emphasis and similar aspects of speech)? ?Did he trip on anything?

Yes, I saw Dembski speak on consecutive nights at UC Berkeley 18 months ago. I don't recall anything unusual about his intonation or prosody. Nor did he trip over anything. He comes across as a smart guy, and presents well enough that people who don't know any better and who are inclined toward his point of view probably walk out thinking they've got a decent champion on their side.
On the other hand, if you DO know better, he's as convincing as you might imagine.

I agree, though, that he does have an amazing tin ear for how he comes across through the internet. It's getting difficult to watch.

Date: 2007/09/08 00:08:40, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (ERV @ Sep. 07 2007,15:41)
Billy will be at my Uni Sep. 17.

Just so you all know.


Howdy, Erv,

As I just mentioned, I saw Dr Dr D. give back to back lectures in Berkeley in 2006. He was brought to these here parts as one of the inaugural events sponsored by what was then the new branch of the UC Berkeley IDEA club. A quick glance at their website shows how active the club has been since those early halcyon days.
I would guess that he'll be giving essentially the same two talks in Oklahoma. I took several pages of notes during the sessions and would be happy to FAX them to you if you wanted a head's up.
He is very careful not to say anything quite specific enough to get him into real trouble. For instance, he leads you through the supposed probabilities of a lengthy protein forming from scratch out of a random pool of amino acids. The example has absolutely no biological relevance, and he never actually claims that it does, but he is only too happy to let the audience believe it.
I made feeble attempts to get some actual experts to attend the seminars, including a mathematician who works in computational bio and a biologist whose work has been specifically mentioned at UD. Neither could get worked up enough to attend, because, as you know, his work has no impact on a working scientist.
Oh, and the grainy, abstract picture that he shows? It's a cow.

Date: 2007/10/05 01:38:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 04 2007,21:08)
The flood has been documented by virtually every ancient most certainly does not have to be approached from a religious or biblical standpoint.

Oh, no she di'n't!


FTK, do you really believe there was a world wide flood survived by Noah and his family, and that this is a scientifically tenable idea?


Date: 2007/10/05 16:13:09, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 05 2007,14:00)
FYI, I am currently in the lovely Bay Area (Redwood City Sofitel, to be precise), working on writing a test for my intro biology class and checking in on the happenings at AtBC. Tomorrow it's meetings all day, so this is my "free time".

Does the hotel rent kayaks? You aren't far from Bair Island. See a lot of birds in the slough.
If you could get up Ralston Avenue a few miles, you could see the
reservoirs (think lakes) that sit right atop the San Andreas Fault, carefully nestled between the mountain ridges. Really pretty up there. I used to be able to ride my bike in that area all the time, and I miss it. There is a trail you can walk on, the Sawyer Camp Trail. Maybe the Concierge knows about it.

Edited to add this link and this one.

Date: 2007/10/24 21:02:39, Link
Author: bfish
Here's my favorite. Unfortunately, I have to quote my quote of it, as you'll see in a bit.

Here's what I attributed to DT:
Unless I’m mistaken mtDNA is a circular molecule (like bacterial DNA) while nuclear DNA is a double helix. It seems the most likely explanation would be that a cell with a nucleus containing double helix DNA incorporated a separate cell with circular DNA. Symbiotic relationships abound. This is just one more example.

Comment by DaveScot — February 7, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

And here is what the link says now:





2:59 pm

Unless I’m mistaken mtDNA is a circular molecule (like bacterial DNA) while nuclear DNA is open ended. It seems the most likely explanation would be that a cell with a nucleus containing open ended DNA incorporated a separate cell with circular DNA. Symbiotic relationships abound. This is just one more example.

I guess it's an open-ended discussion.

Date: 2007/10/29 19:04:51, Link
Author: bfish
Apologies if this has already been pointed out, but I haven't seen it, and I can't let it pass unremarked:

[quote=steve_h,Oct. 29 2007,09:12][/quote]
Thanks for showing us all the 5 D’s of Darwinism, by the way. Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge!   -ds

Are you sure  that's FIVE D's, DT?

Davescot must save paper with the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Reduce.

[edited for formatting]

Date: 2007/11/15 00:56:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Annyday @ Nov. 14 2007,14:05)
Every time a creationist invokes Gould, God kills a transitional creature.

hee, hee, hee.

Thanks for that one.


Date: 2007/11/19 15:56:33, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 19 2007,13:22)
ID heads to the final confrontation at Waterloo!!1!!1!1!11!!

Brother, can you spare a few bucks for a bus ticket?

And quite the press release it is, too......

My favorite quote:
The distance it will travel is the direct result of the explosive force of the fuel that propels it.

They just can't get away from the Judge Jones animation, can they?

And then there's the unseemly bragging:
we have a highly polished weapon.

Date: 2007/11/21 00:01:17, Link
Author: bfish
[from FTK-discovered news item,Nov. 20 2007,05:09]  
Others believe its origins go far deeper. According to researchers at St Andrews University, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.
The bolded section is an example of science writing shorthand that I think leads to considerable confusion about how evolution works.

As written, you picture a couple of women sitting around the fire, complaining about not getting enough attention from the men of the tribe and deciding to evolve blonde hair and blue eyes.

(can I give them Monty Python voices?)

Woman #1: Hello, Mrs Brownhair!
Woman #2: Hello, Mrs Blackhair!
Woman #1: I haven't gotten any for weeks!
Woman #2: No, no.....neither have I.
Woman #1: Let's evolve blonde hair!
Woman #2: Yes! And blue eyes!
Woman #1: That'll slit them up a treat.

No wonder evolution sounds preposterous to people whose only exposure to science is what they read in the paper.

I think if science writers were more careful about the wording they choose it would help prevent a lot of confusion. Something like, "According to researchers at St Andrews University, blonde hair and blue eyes evolved at the end of the ice age because women with those traits gained a selective advantage in the fierce competition for scarce males."

FTK would still roll her eyes, but I do think more people would have a better understanding of how evolution works if we could avoid the "so-and-so evolved X in order to do Y" sentence construction.

Note: Edited to make it clear that the quoted sentence was not written by Reciprocating Bill

Date: 2007/11/21 10:36:25, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (blipey @ Nov. 21 2007,06:24)
While I agree about the poor nature of sentence construction, I am not willing to let people like Ftk off the hook.
The real problem is not one of poor sentence construction, but of poor education on the audience side of things.

My point wasn't to excuse FTK, it was to poke a finger at a very common way of writing about evolution, especially in the popular press - though it even sneaks into scientific writing. It is an easy shorthand to invoke, but I think it does serve to promote misconceptions. Not everyone has their eyes closed and hands over their ears like FTK.

Date: 2007/12/02 02:17:01, Link
Author: bfish
I've had three adventures with neurology over the past two months. The latest was just a few days ago, and I'm still thinking about what happened and what it means. I don't know if there are any neuroscientists plying these waters, but surely there are folks who know more about this stuff than I do, and maybe there are people who have had similar experiences.

My experiences fall into two categories: concussion and "aura of migraine." Each raises different issues about the mechanics of brain function. It is an odd thing to be on the inside of a brain that is not working properly, and to know that it is not working properly.

The concussion: A few weeks ago I crashed my bike riding down a mountain road. It was perhaps a 5% grade, and my guess is that I was going 20-25 mph. I am told that a motorcycle crashed in front of me, and in seeking to avoid a collision, I slammed on my brakes, flew off my bike, and impacted on the right side of my face/temple. I have to accept that explanation because I have no memory of the event. My memory stops five minutes prior to the crash, and my first post-crash memory is roughly 25 minutes post-crash. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I had been unconscious only a short while, and in fact had conversed with both police and ambulance crew. I have no memory of any of that.
Clearly my brain was not writing my experiences to long term memory. The crash even wiped out five minutes of brain flight recorder data, which apparently was also not written into long term memory. Can anyone explain to me how that works? I was a actually a neurobiology major, but that was a long time ago, and I believe a lot has been teased out about short term versus long term memory since then.

The aura of migraine: Seven years ago I had a suite of neurological symptoms which were ultimately diagnosed as an "aura of migraine." This despite the fact that I did not have a headache, and in fact have never had a migraine headache. Two months ago I repeated this experience, with a new symptom - aphasia. Or more specifically, paraphasia, i.e. "speech disturbance in which words are jumbled and sentences meaningless." At least that's my interpretation of this e-mail, which I was composing to several work colleagues: "This then seem the seems some come again." Those eight words were the product of several minutes diligent effort on my part. I was in the hospital for three days and was again diagnosed with an aura of migraine without headache.
   A few days ago I had another episode. There were initial symptoms which I did not recognize at the time, until I was engaged in conversation and found that I could not speak three coherent words in succession. While this was happening, I understood everything that was said to me, and (this is what intrigues me most), I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but could not find the words. The block was not with my mouth or vocal cords. I could not find the words inside my brain. They were floating around in there but I had no access to them.
   This period of acute aphasia lasted perhaps two minutes. Gradually, I could come up with the words I needed (with significant effort). I was pretty well normal within a half hour, but didn't feel fully normal until perhaps five hours later.
   So now I am wondering what it means to "know what I want to say," but have no words with which to say it. Did I REALLY know what I wanted to say, or was my thought like a dream, a projection on fog that dissipates the more intently you examine it? If I did know what I wanted to say (and I believe I did), in what language did I know it? Is it possible that I both understood the English that was spoken to me and could think in English, but could not transfer the words I was thinking to the part of the brain that speaks?
    Does anyone here know anything about the intersections of speech, language, thought, brain anatomy and function?

Date: 2007/12/02 11:51:34, Link
Author: bfish
Just a brief response until I have more time....

Yes, I did contact my neurologist as soon as my acute aphasia had diminished. Interestingly, when I talked to him (roughly one hour after the worst, due to the realities of doctor scheduling) I could not come up with the term "TIA," even though I've used that term A LOT in the past two months.

When I was hospitalized after the first aphasia incident, I underwent an extensive battery of tests to determine if I had experienced a TIA and to see if my body showed any signs of making blood clots. So far all signs point to aura of migraine. The possibility that it was a TIA can not be eliminated, unfortunately, but there is no particular reason to suspect it was.

I did some googling last night to see what I could find out about aphasia and migraines. It seems to be a fairly common symptom, the third or fourth most common type of aura. There is even an official migraine description by a headache organization that fits me pretty well. I pulled up several recent papers on the subject, but, unfortunately, although my institution has a lot of subscriptions to genetics and molecular biology journals, they don't get much in the way of neuroscience journals. For the most part I could read only abstracts.

Anyway, my health seems to be OK. I should have mentiond in the original post that I didn't have much fallout from the bike crash either. Just a few small scars and a root canal.

Thanks for the responses. I'll read them in more detail later.

Date: 2007/12/05 02:53:08, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=keiths,Dec. 02 2007,09:47]
Quote (bfish @ Dec. 02 2007,02:17)

Your question assumes that we think in language, but there is abundant evidence that we do not.
It is tempting to regard the fact that we can "hear" ourselves think as evidence that the thinking itself is being carried out using words, but the evidence suggests that this is really a "translation" from thought to language that happens after the fact.

I did and do assume that thinking requires some sort of language, but I didn't necessarily mean a spoken language. (Is that the best term?) In one of my college application essays I speculated on whether humans had a "machine language" that was faster and more efficient than spoken languages.

You give good examples. I have a little girl, and, yes, it was clear that she could think like nobody's business long before she knew any outward language.

And upon further reflection, I can say that without question I had many quite specific thoughts during the acute phase of my aphasia. It must be noted that some of this is not what you are supposed to be thinking during a potential medical emergency (do as I say, not as I do), but an honest inventory of my thoughts would look something like this:

"Jeeesus Christ, I can't believe this is happening again! It's not supposed to happen for another seven years! I do not want to spend the night in the ER again. Hmmm..... Ann took me to the ER last time. She must have noticed that I can't fucking talk all of a sudden. Maybe I can fool her. If I can just say a little bit of what I was going to say...
[tries to speak intelligently, says something like, ""]
Brilliant. She doesn't suspect a thing now! She's following me into my office. Why's she looking at me so expectantly? You know, it's not really like last time. It's not that bad. Let's try again:
["" Smiles and sits down in chair, giving up.]

In another half a minute or minute I was able to acknowledge in English that I was having a problem, and that I should call my wife.

Anyway, I wonder if I had those thoughts in English or in brain machine language. If this happens again, I'm really going to pay attention to that. It's a kind of a gift to be cast into an Oliver Sacks book, however briefly, and I'd like to try to explore the situation should it come again.

I should also say that I'm a little more skeptical of the machine language idea than when I was 18. At that time, I wondered if representational language (is that a better term than "spoken"?) was actually a hindrance to clear, efficient thinking. Since then I've experienced too many instances when I've been quite sure of my understanding of something, only to find that when I had to put it into words, I actually didn't understand at all. Maybe representational language is actually a tool that allows us to leverage our thinking.

Date: 2007/12/05 03:07:55, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 02 2007,07:57)
The interval of retrograde amnesia tends to correlate with the severity of the injury - you lost just the five minutes preceding your accident; more severe injuries can result in the loss of days, months, and even years.

And here I was thinking that the five minutes lost told something about the length of time that elapsed before memories were consolidated. But it's more a function of how hard my head was hit, eh? I'm certainly grateful that I didn't lose years of memory. Can you imagine not remembering one's own daughter?

Various components take varying degrees of time to come back online following injury, accounting for the anterograde amnesia. (Did I mention that it varies?)

I find it interesting that I have no visual memory of the ambulance. I remember talking to the EMTs, but everything is black. Maybe it is as simple as my having my eyes shut, but I don't think that's it. It must have taken about ten minutes to get to the hospital. I have visual memories soon after my arrival there.

Date: 2007/12/05 03:22:23, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 02 2007,02:22)
I happen to have a bookmarked page that I am planning to read (in the far, distant future, when I cease to be so easily bored) about Broca's aphasia, Broca's area, and data in language processing in general, which you might find interesting.

Thanks for the comment and for this reference. It is pretty dense, but it looks interesting. I'll see if I can wrestle my way through it.

Date: 2007/12/05 18:46:09, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Dec. 05 2007,16:01)
I am  not sure what is most interesting about Dembski's latest post about the reviews for "The Design of Life."

Maybe it is that at least 3 of the 9 positive reviews are by direct Dembski associates (Michael Polanyi Center cohort Bruce L. Gordon,  Discovery Institute chum Casey Luskin, and UD contributor

And let's not forget that a fourth reviewer, Ralph Seelke was one of the witnesses at the Kansas ID hearings.

Date: 2007/12/07 13:51:26, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Dec. 07 2007,11:39)
Contrast that with America where decent teeth are only available in California and New York and the entire rest of the nation is a bunch of sister-fucking hill billy creationist bozos who think they are regularly abducted by aliens and sodomised.

I would object most strenuously to this calumny.....
were it not for the fact that I'm from California.

Carry on.

Date: 2008/01/06 00:08:44, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 05 2008,21:43)
Off topic: does anyone know about migraines? The problem I have can be stated in syllogism:

1) I keep getting migraines.
2) I don't like having migraines.
3) Therefore, I need to figure out a way to nix the migraines.

This is a stupid and desperate question since I've already tried everything I know of short of opiates, but I have a migraine and I'm willing to dredge.

I seem to get the kind unaccompanied by actual headache. Sure, you speak only gibberish for a few minutes, but I highly recommend the lack of pain!

Date: 2008/01/06 22:59:22, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (blipey @ Jan. 06 2008,10:00)
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 05 2008,17:51)
Okay, this conversation is over, at least from my side.

I've got some things to do, and then I'll be back next week to try to answer other questions unrelated to this episode.


like these, hopefully:

1.  Is it okay for ID proponents to post personal information of the internet?

2.  Do you think that Wes and/or steve would not remove your personal information from the board if someone posted it?

3.  Do you think that the Baylor curators and other officials post their home addresses and phone numbers to the internet?

4.  Why re you back posting here at AtBC?

5.  How does Behe know what is in a group of books without ever having read the books?


32. Do you believe that the FLOOD is a scientifically tenable idea?

#32 was my question, and I'd have to say that ftk answered it with the entire thread between Christmas and New Year's.

Yes, she does believe the FLOOD is scientifically tenable.

Date: 2008/01/07 16:20:28, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Jan. 07 2008,14:06)
beliefs such as the notion that comments helped deliver water to planet earth.

All the more reason not to disable them on one's blog.

Date: 2008/01/10 00:34:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Mister DNA @ Jan. 09 2008,20:57)
Okay, which one of you registered, net & org? is taken too, so I had to settle for

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or CBEB's,
I ain't got time for that now

Date: 2008/01/23 23:46:53, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Nomad @ Jan. 22 2008,19:15)
I just wanted a palm tree that exploded and seeded the surrounding area with shrapnel seeds.  It could be named the fragmentation palm.

You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have palm trees with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

Date: 2008/01/25 00:51:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Jan. 24 2008,13:19)
We had a flock of 17 turkeys that year.  This past summer we only ended up seeing 1 young turkey and even that was rare.

The place I work has a flock or two or three of wild turkeys. I'm still not sure if they are natives or not here in Northern California. A few weeks ago I counted 43 turkeys in one flock on a hillside. I don't know if you can tell from Carlsonjok's picture, but they are actually quite beautiful birds. Not in body shape, but in color. Their feathers are gorgeous, shimmering bronze in the sunlight. They have a wide range of vocalizations, too. It ain't just gobble gobble. A lot of trills and twitters. I've been meaning to try to make a recording. Better act quickly, though - the higher ups have announced that they're going to hire "turkey wranglers" to rid the hill of the wattled menace.

I'm lucky, in that I get to look out my lab window and see wildlife 20 or 30 feet away. Usually deer. Helps to relaxify you.

Edited to add: We also have a lot of red-tailed hawks. One day last summer I was riding my bike up the hill/mountain towards work. The hills were in the clouds, with the wind blowing in hard off the bay, and you could visualize the flow of the wind over the steep slope by watching the clouds approach the road and then rise above it. I spotted a hawk, only about ten feet above my head and another ten feet over the edge of the cliff. He looked like he was hovering in one spot, so much so that I stopped my bike to see if it was an optical illusion. No illusion. His position did not move, like he was stuck with a tack. Just a little turn of a feather now and again to keep him from drifting. It was amazing.

Date: 2008/02/10 01:41:19, Link
Author: bfish
Hey JDog, that you posting over at John Sickel's site, or is that some other JDog?

Date: 2008/03/04 09:59:26, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (olegt @ Mar. 04 2008,06:08)
Sal informs us that Caroline Crocker is selling a new product, intellectual honesty.  $5,000 if made from scratch, $1,000 for gently used.  Details are available from her agent at intellectual

Her Agent, Mr. Frits Evenbly, to be specific.

I've been racking my just-woke-up brain trying to understand this joke. Mr. Frits Evenbly. I thought it was on the order of "Mr I. P. Frequently." Something like that. Lesse......Frit, that's not it.......Fritsev Enbly, no..... Hell, I give up.

And now I come to find it's the genuine name?!

Get me some caffeine. Stat!

Edited to try to improve formatting.
Edited again to add: Didn't work. Too frickin' early in the morning.

Date: 2008/03/04 10:04:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 04 2008,07:50)
SAT Word of the Day: ostensibly
by Adam on Mon 11 Feb 2008 12:44 PM PST
ostensibly (adv.)

And THAT is impossibly amusing, by the way. Nice use of the Design Inference.

Date: 2008/03/08 01:18:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 07 2008,12:45)
Donald Prothero just re-published the Romanes 1910 figure, based on Haeckel, although he attributes the material to von Baer; he also supports the validity of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny.  So use of the drawings persists.

As it happens, I have a copy of Prothero's book. Does he really "support the validity of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny?"

Let's see here.......(flips through book)
Starting at the bottom of page 109, after explaining what the phrase means; i.e. embryonic development repeats evolutionary history:
"To the limited extent that von Baer had shown 40 years earlier, this is true. But embryos also have many unique features (yolk sac, allantois, amniotic membranes, umbilical cords) that have nothing to do with the evolutionary past and are adaptations to their developing environment. Thus it is dangerous to overextend the evolutionary implications of the stages in an embryo, but they are useful guides nonetheless."

Sounds bang on to me.

then on page 110, bringing up matters near and dear to us all:
"Creationists, such as Jonathan Wells (2000), in their eternal effort to mislead the uninitiated and miss the forest for the trees, will crow about how the biogenetic law has been discredited. But Haeckel's overenthusiasm does not negate the careful embryological work of von Baer that shows that many features of our past evolutionary stages are preserved in our embryos. Wells, in particular, nags about how some of Haeckel's original diagrams had errors and oversimplifications, but this does not change the overall fact that the sequence of all vertebrate embryos show the same patterns in the early stages, and all of them go through a 'fish-like' stage with pharyngeal pouches (which become the gill slits in fishes and amphibians) and a long fish-like tail, then some develop into fishes and amphibians and others lose these features and develop into reptiles, birds, and mammals. Wells' deceptive approach is nicely debunked by Gishlick (
  If you had any doubts that you once had ancestors with fish-like gills and a tail, Figure 4-11 shows what you looked like five weeks after fertilization. Why did you have pharyngeal pouches (predecessors of gills) and a tail if you had not descended from ancestors with those features?"

And then Prothero shows a picture - no doubt PhotoShopped - of an actual human embryo showing just those features described.

Sounds to me like Prothero carefully put everything into context.

Note: Any errors/typos be the fault of my own self.

Date: 2008/03/14 13:15:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 14 2008,04:56)
As the logo is obviously blurred on the UD version I can only conclude they were fully aware they were stealing somebody else's work. Or will Dembski have yet another excuse why it's OK to steal...

Is this a design inference?

Yes, and an unwitting commenter on UD noticed it in comment 2.





7:48 am

DLH just like the darwinist fantasy!

I have a friend that is admittedly a bit crazy, believes in evolution and sees orbs in every photo (says they are spirits or ghosts or something, has a huge collection).

He just told me that he sees an orb in this picture just over the hood of the DarwinMobile. Was wondering if anyone else sees it? It is not spherical like many are and my friend claims this means something.

I'll say it means something! It means the Designer of that post has interesting ideas about using other people's stuff. Explain this to me from his perspective, please: what is gained by not showing the original link - which itself doesn't seem to know who crafted the image?

Edited to add: Oops. Just looked at the various time stamps. Maybe not so unwitting after all. Shhh.

Date: 2008/03/14 13:19:33, Link
Author: bfish
Oh, and Carlsonjok, how in the heck did you find the link? Did you do a cyrillic google? Google images? I'm impressed. You can haz design, anytime.

Date: 2008/03/20 19:25:06, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=J-Dog,Mar. 20 2008,08:34]

In case Nomad is still recovering his recently assaulted brain cells, here is a link so that you can book your screening:

Dammit. There is a northern California one I could go to but it is already "full."

Nomad, do you think someone would succeed in getting in if they didn't have a pre-arranged "visa," or security check, or whatever it is they do? Are there scalpers at these showings? Scalpers for Jesus?

I should probably be preparing for my rotiserrie auction anyway.

Date: 2008/03/25 17:42:02, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Mar. 25 2008,13:50)
Is this turd playing in your neighborhood?  Click here and find out.

Ooh. Why yes, it IS playing in my fair city. Will be interesting to see if that actually comes to be.

And Occam, that was a nice prediction there.

Date: 2008/03/27 21:20:25, Link
Author: bfish
And KF has rare moments of illumination.





5:15 am

A little fact-checking is in order I am afraid; after all, this is UD!

Date: 2008/04/06 03:05:35, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 06 2008,00:26)
All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why?

Um.....Level of education? Level of understanding? Familiarity with the data? I'm just shooting in the dark here.

"Ignatius,  what's all this trash on the floor?"

"That is my worldview that you see. It still must be incorporated into a whole, so be careful where you step."

Hey, Kevin - seriously - where did the animation come from? Little jokes aside, we'd all like to hear about that.

Date: 2008/04/09 15:54:48, Link
Author: bfish
One that I remember....

A beach scene from a '50s movie. This guy kisses a girl and then leans back against a rocky cliff. "There he is, stuck between a rock and a hard place," the robot quipped.

Date: 2008/04/10 01:26:52, Link
Author: bfish

Is it just me, or has the DT post with the Youtube videos from Expelled been expelled? I no see it on the web page. Was it before or after Gil's Ode to Berlinksi? 'Cause that's what's at the top of the page right now.

Edited to add: It was just me and my durned computer. The post is still there, and I think never left. There are 20 more comments than were there last night. My bad.

Date: 2008/04/16 16:37:30, Link
Author: bfish
Yesterday I listened to the Mark Mathis roundtable discussion on the SciAm site. All I can say is.....ugh.

Anyway, April 18 is getting awfully close now, isn't it? My local movie house even has their show times up. Sure enough, "Expelled" is opening on Friday, and even has matinee showings. Interestingly, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is opening at the same theater, with almost identical showtimes. Hmmm....

* strokes beard thoughtfully*

Date: 2008/04/16 17:39:03, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (ERV @ April 16 2008,14:56)
There is no reason to go to EXPELLED now, at least for me.  I was planning on going to check out the animation, but they removed XVIOVs stuff, so I dont care anymore.

Well, I was talking about seeing "Sarah Marshall." Except - I'm not sure there are enough Nazis in it to satisfy my taste.

Actually, I am curious to see Expelled fairly early in it's run. I'm interested in mingling with the folks who might show up on the first day...hear what they have to say about it. I can't really talk to my fundamentalist brother about these things, so the audience can be a sort of proxy for what he might be thinking. Or maybe his family will see it too, and then we can talk about that.

More likely I'll be at the microscope all day, but who knows.

Date: 2008/04/20 11:35:12, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (blipey @ April 20 2008,07:06)
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 20 2008,07:14)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ April 20 2008,07:57)
Dog_of_War runs some numbers

You figure about 4 people per showing (just a number I pulled out of the air, but it seems reasonable), 1,050 theaters with 2 showings per theater, that’s 8,400 people per day.

At 7 dollars per ticket, that’s $58,800 a day. Not a big number as movie grosses go, but it adds up. Over a reasonable run, that could easily add up to over a million dollars.

He forgot to subtract the cuts to Yoko Ono and XVIVO, and the legal fees associated with that.


I can't find anything in his math that would be off by 2 orders of magnitude, so it must be in his assumptions?

I'm guessing that they don't think he overestimated the ticket jumpers (.04 per screen).  So, it must be that they think that 400 people are sneaking into each screening of Expelled.

That would work out to a box office shift of 5.88 million dollars a day.  That seems improbable some how.

ETA: I guess they also may think that $700 tickets or 200 showings per day per theatre are reasonable numbers....

Actually, the movie is playing in ONE MILLION THEATERS....

Date: 2008/05/01 19:52:37, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2008,12:29)
Quote (Benny H @ May 01 2008,14:24)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2008,11:58)
I wonder what the number of screens, currently at 1,041, will drop to after the initial 2 week commitments are up?

655, according to

Hey Benny, welcome!

Cheers for the info, most amusing.

I wonder if it'll half again next week :)

My own local theater finally put up the listings for tomorrow, and Expelled has expired. Never did manage to walk down there.

Date: 2008/05/12 15:41:25, Link
Author: bfish
Looks like the estimate for box office for the Mother's Day weekend (C'mon, Mom! It's got Nazis in it. You'll love it) were   roughly 1/10th the box office of opening weekend.
Maybe that is typical. At any rate, even Zeno's paradox says it can't hang around much longer, can it?

Date: 2008/05/13 19:03:39, Link
Author: bfish
I just listened to the May 7 Scientific American podcast  (it's OK - I had my wife subscribe to it for me), titled, "Evolution Enclaves: Darwin the botanist and Origins of Life research." It's got a couple of interesting interviews, and then an unexpected bonus at the end.

The SciAm podcasts always close with a feature called, "Totally Bogus," in which they discuss four recent science stories: three real ones and another that they just made up. You have to pick out the fake story. This week's choices:
Story #1) Belly fat is associated with increased diabetes risk, but fat in other body parts may lessen the risk.
Story #2) the number of fat cells in your body remains constant after childhood.
Story #3) some bats are capable of producing sounds 100 times louder than a rock concert.

(I know that #1 and #2 are true, so, at this point I'm thinking #3 must be bogus. Then came story #4....)

Story #4) Ben Stein, the star of the anti-evolution movie Expelled, is a big supporter of most other science in general.

Damn, I couldn't stop laughing.

Sure enough, the host explained that story #4 was "Totally Bogus." "Apparently Ben Stein hates all science, not just evolution," he said, using as evidence Stein's appearance on Trinity, in which he linked listening to scientists to the Nazi gas chambers.

Very satisfying.

Date: 2008/05/21 00:34:46, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (nuytsia @ May 20 2008,08:09)
[quote=nuytsia,May 20 2008,01:13]
It could be worse, you could be living in Tasmania.

Think I might be the most isolated lurker here.
I wait to be proven wrong. ;)

Hey, I've been to Tasmania. In fact, twas there that my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our now 4 year old. We were staying at a B&B on the Freycinet Peninsula at the time. Beautiful place. In a mere three days on the island we saw an echidna, a platypus, and two black tiger snakes in the wild, plus a very large number of quolls and such, as they roamed the highway at night looking for roadkill, and often becoming it.

As for me, I am another who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, though I am originally from southern California.

Date: 2008/07/18 02:58:03, Link
Author: bfish
Maybe I'm just a traditionalist, but I'd like to see the word "Official" in the title of this new thread. Can't have a bunch of unauthorized UD threads popping up hither and yon.

And can we get a show of hands....... how many people have read damn near every word of part I of the Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread? I would be one. I'm sure I haven't missed more than 20 or 30 pages - and possibly none. Rather daunting, really, in retrospect.

Anyhow, thanks to all for the many giggles and LOLs over the past two and a half years.


Date: 2008/07/19 11:42:55, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (J-Dog @ July 19 2008,07:00)
No, No, NO!  Dr. Dr. got NO degree from Northwestern.  He was a post-doc in maths at NU - before they figured out that something about the young Doc just didn't add up.  Northwestern is WAY too cool for Dr. Dr.

Didn't he teach a freshman seminar or something there?

When I attended NU, the football team was really, really bad. But getting better! When Michigan, or Purdue, or really anybody, was pounding us 50-0 or some such, the crowd would cheer:

That's all right.
That's OK.
You will work for us someday!

But I always thought I heard one thin voice yelling, "I'll blog on ID some day." Odd.

Date: 2008/07/21 20:47:15, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (silverspoon @ July 21 2008,16:53)
Ftk will remain unconvinced until a fossilized spleen from Tiktaalik is found.

Oh, c'mon.

Lots of modern fish have a spleen just LIKE that!

Date: 2008/08/10 11:07:17, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=deadman_932,Aug. 10 2008,07:51]
Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 09 2008,19:26)

I think I was distracted by trying to figure out who the hell he reminded me of....

But I think THIS guy would play him in the movie....

Date: 2008/08/27 01:34:27, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Aug. 25 2008,23:03, from a UD quote of DaveScot)
But Dave has authority on his side:        
In Dembski’s latest book are references to nuclear transfer experiments showing that when an enucleated egg of one species receives a nucleus from a different species development (until it spontaneously aborts - none live to adulthood in interspecies nuclear transfer) proceeds along the path of the species of the egg, not the nucleus. So by what we know right now what makes a horse a horse instead of something else resides outside the nucleus.

Isn't Dave the world's biggest Craig Venter groupie?

Seems Venter might have tried this last year.....Genome Transplantation in Bacteria: Changing One Species To Another

Of course, it's STILL just a bacteria.

Date: 2008/09/14 02:18:32, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 13 2008,20:44)

Thanks for the tip, FTK. SNL is on two hours later out here (or three? In the olden days it was on at 10:30 in the Midwest) so I was able to check it out after I read your post. Very funny, with not a little emotional truth, I suspect.

Date: 2008/09/14 10:08:58, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 13 2008,20:44)

And here is the skit itself.

Date: 2008/10/10 23:30:26, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lowell @ Oct. 09 2008,10:58)
I love this comment from the talk page:
I think someone should add the following line to your page: "The odds against Aschlafly's claim to be named 'Andrew Schlafly' being truthful are less than 1 billion to one, as fewer than 6 people in the world are named Andrew Schlafly."

That is some serious funny. Hee, hee, hee!

Date: 2008/10/15 17:20:39, Link
Author: bfish
Well, it could have been Major Major Major Major.....

Unto us is born a daughter, which is Sarah McCain Palin Ciptak

Ciptak broke the news to his wife Monday after he was contacted by the Times-News. The newspaper learned of the baby’s name through a routine birth announcement area hospitals give to the media.

“To be sure, she was not quite fond of me or of what I had done, but we’ve had some time to talk it over, and she has been really supportive through it all. With so much going on, she told me that made it a little easier to absorb,” said Ciptak.

Ciptak said Monday he picked the name as a way to support the John McCain/Sarah Palin presidential ticket.

Date: 2008/10/17 15:56:25, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 17 2008,10:53)

I’m filing this under education and intelligent design because it points out that a certain segment of the public veers radically from everyone else and it’s the same segment that radically opposes intelligent design.

From Gallup 10/16/08 presidential tracking poll:

Education: Obama%/McCain%

High School or less: 42/48
Some College: 41/52
College graduate: 46/49
Post graduate: 55/40


I don't think that D'Tard has those numbers correct. There just aren't that many post graduates to make the marginals work.

Mystery solved, with the assistance of jerry at the UD site.

Seems DT cherry-picked the numbers for non-hispanic whites.

Here are  the numbers for the entire population. Obama leads in all groups.

Date: 2008/10/21 00:19:19, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Oct. 20 2008,18:37)
what sort of reaction does one have to a bear?

First I wet my pants, and then I runs like hell!

Date: 2008/10/21 09:41:22, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 20 2008,13:03)
Dave, we understand that there are no ID scientists, and the ID "scientific journal" is defunct, and a republican boy scout Bush-appointee judge couldn't stomach your attempt to sneak your culture war into schools, and nobody answers the phone at the "International Society" for Complexity, Information, and Design, and the Discovery Institute hasn't updated their publications page all year, and Paul Nelson's new book doesn't even mention the phrase Intelligent Design, and in short ID is a humongous loser failure of a movement, but please, try to find something ID to talk about. We're bored. Think of the peanut gallery! Make up a new acronym and claim it re-destroys Darwinism! Give us something!


C'mon. Get those cranky wheels a'turning. Surely there must be something assploding somewhere. Your job is to find it.

You might need to use both hands.

Date: 2008/10/24 21:30:36, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (khan @ Oct. 24 2008,18:15)
My house and car and IRAs are not worth $150,000.

Mine used to be.


Edited to fix double "and" which Khan would fix if Khan can haz edit button.

Date: 2008/10/25 20:28:15, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 25 2008,13:15)
Have I mentioned that we just began breeding melanogasters in my Bio 111 lab?

Red eye/white eye inheritance experiment.

Oooh!  Ooooh!

I know that one! I know what's gonna happen!!

Date: 2008/10/25 20:36:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 25 2008,14:00)
I listened to her speech again and I concede, there is no way to put a positive spin on it.

Agreed. And it is rather disturbing that, coming after an administration that fought science as much as it could, the McCain/Palin team keeps trotting out science projects as examples of  silly and egregious spending. First grizzly bears, then the planetarium projector, and now they traipse in where my bread is buttered - fruit fly research.

There are certainly arguments to be made against the earmark process, but the examples they toss out don't have anything to do with those arguments. There is nothing there as sophisticated as Heddle's peer review argument for the funding of science. Instead they speak of an "overhead projector," " a paternity test for grizzly bears," and generic "fruit fly research in Paris, France." It's meant simply to mock. It's a direct appeal to people who think scientists are pointy-headed elitists living off the public dole. Unpatriotic, pointy-headed elitists.

Date: 2008/10/27 17:03:32, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Oct. 27 2008,13:02)
Quote (bfish @ Oct. 25 2008,20:28)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 25 2008,13:15)
Have I mentioned that we just began breeding melanogasters in my Bio 111 lab?

Red eye/white eye inheritance experiment.

Oooh!  Ooooh!

I know that one! I know what's gonna happen!!

Palin will say that they are still fruit flies?

Hee, hee, hee.

[edited to try to add smiley-face thingy]

Date: 2008/10/29 17:17:11, Link
Author: bfish
And in non-Daniel-Smith-related bathroom wall news (why are three weeks and 13 pages of Daniel Smith on the BW rather than his own thread?), AFDave got a mention during a school/creationism court case!

via the Panda's Thumb

Zach testified that Freshwater brought up religion in class in several ways. First, he used a video, “The Watchmaker,” that likens life to a watch (Paley, anyone?). Millstone showed the video in the hearing room. It’s pure Paley, and was produced by Truth4kids is run by an engineer named Dave Hawkins, known on multiple web forums as “afdave.” Dave also blogs at Truthmatters, and he is a young-earth creationist.

Yikes! He made that thing during his something-or-other "hypothesis" thread, right here on this very network.

Edited to Add: OK, Wes and Steve beat me to this by a mere 15 hours. In my defense, it's hard to find the nuggets in the big pile of Daniel-Smith-related posts.

Date: 2008/11/04 20:33:31, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 04 2008,04:47)

They say on the FTE site
and last week we all but eliminated an 11-year staff member.

All but eliminated?

Well, it was coughing up blood last night!

Date: 2008/11/04 23:02:06, Link
Author: bfish
8:55 pm Pacific Time, listening to Fox News, and......

two consecutive ads bashing Obama. "Who is Barack Obama?" etc, etc.... "I'm John McCain and I approved this message."

When did the election get called, an hour ago? McCain conceded graciously, what, 15 minutes ago?

But they're still planning that comeback!

Date: 2008/11/07 13:16:19, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Jkrebs @ Nov. 07 2008,04:49)
Denyse writes,

Changes at Uncommon Descent
We are retooling the blog to serve you, our community, better, and will let you know of key developments as they come on stream.

Date: 2008/11/10 19:05:18, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 10 2008,11:43)
So I got the results of my Biology exam back this morning.

anyway, I got a 97.

Hey, congratulations!

Are you still doing your drosophila lab, or is that over with? I haven't kept track if that was one generation ago or two. When it's finished, I'd be curious to hear what the experiment was.

Date: 2008/11/10 21:55:22, Link
Author: bfish
Thanks for the detailed description of the task and of your thought process, which I'm impressed with. I'm always curious what gets taught and how.

Those flies are pretty cool, eh?


Ok, so we know then that the gene for eye color in fruit flies is coded for in the X chromosome.

Just a minor quibble: It's not the case that THE gene for eye color in Drosophila is on the X, but rather that A gene for eye color is on the X. There are other genes involved in making pigment that are on different chromosomes. Your white eyes were the result of a single gene being knocked out, but you can also get white eyes by knocking out two or more genes in combination that, when knocked out singly, give a different eye color, neither red nor white.

As a historical aside, the mutant gene you got to play with was the very first Drosophila mutant ever found.

Your numbers sound OK to me. I'm surprised you got so few progeny from five females, though. Either the food is not so nutritious (I know the blue food of which you speak), or y'all are counting the flies before they've all come out. That could help explain the unbalanced numbers. (Although I think chance explains it just fine, being, of course, a chance worshipper). How many days after you set up the F1 crosses did you score the progeny, and what temperature were they grown in?

Date: 2008/11/10 23:08:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 10 2008,19:48)
because that is JUST what Karl would do.  WWKD?  make his own damn army.  from the UNDEAD.


I want my bumper sticker.

Date: 2008/11/10 23:16:39, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 10 2008,20:09)
Room temperature, by the way, whatever that happened to be. There were certainly still a ton of maggots in the blue stuff when we removed the adults, so maybe you're right on that. We went from Monday to Monday to Monday on the lab, so it was seven days to adult removal, and another seven until we counted adults in the next generation.

I see. Let's say room temperature is about 21 degrees C. Those flies wouldn't start emerging at all until Day 12 or 13 at that temperature, so yeah, if you were counting after 14 days, the flies were only just coming out. This can skew results for some genotypes, in that flies carrying different mutant backgrounds can tend to emerge at different rates. That's not particularly the case with white, but having a bigger n probably would have helped make your results match up a little closer to theory.

Date: 2008/11/12 11:33:24, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,04:37)
Dave Webster:
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

For Dave, it's always about teh gayz.

Note: Too blue?

Date: 2008/11/12 14:23:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Nov. 12 2008,12:09)
If you really want to know about God, he'll reveal himself to you - I guarantee it.  It's 100% dependent upon your openness to it though.

So if he doesn't reveal himself to you, you weren't open enough. Your fault!

And if your house gets hit by a tornado, you didn't pray hard enough. Or your faith wasn't strong enough. Or maybe it was just God in his mysterious ways. At any rate......Your fault!

Date: 2008/11/16 00:34:15, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 14 2008,22:53)
Such joyous optimism will last all weekend if England manage to beat Australia in the rugby.

Well, the weekend's almost over anyway, in'it?


Edited to add: bugger of a link. Can't get it to format properly. Too long?

Date: 2008/11/17 11:35:09, Link
Author: bfish
Barry decides to change the tone of his post:

17 November 2008
DaveScot Has Resigned
Barry Arrington

DaveScot has resigned his position as UD’s primary moderator. We wish him well in his endeavors.

Update: The previous title to this post ("I Booted DaveScot's Cheezy-Poof-Eating Ass") raised questions about whether I booted DaveScot. That is not the case. DaveScot resigned as moderator, but he remains a friend to the site.

ETA: OK, I tweaked the former title of the post just a little bit.

Date: 2008/11/17 11:43:37, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 17 2008,08:04)
god kairosfocus is such a tard...

after ruining several seat covers and a pair of dirty socks with the copious flood of brain spooge that completely make any onlooker forget that this is the Davetard eulogy thread, this:
PS: GP could you kindly contact me through my email which is accessible through my always linked page? Thanks — I have a possible collaborative project in mind. GEM of TKI

And the best part of that post?

After 1100+ words about whatever the hell they are about - I'm sure not wading through that tangled moras^s - he parts with this:

I trust that I have been helpful.

Exactly as helpful as ever, KF.

ETA: better froamtting for quote and a slightly better tag line.

Date: 2008/11/17 17:43:34, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 17 2008,15:37)
99% of Texas Science Professors Discredit Intelligent Design

Will UD mention this? ;)

Oh, C'mon - that's easy. I've seen Dick Morris on Fox.

Of the 1,019 faculty members to whom the surveys were sent, 464 responded -- and fewer than 1 percent checked off the box marked, “Modern evolutionary biology is mostly wrong. Life arose through multiple creation events by an intelligent designer, although evolution by natural selection played a limited role.”

The 555 faculty who did not respond were clearly all afeared of being Expelled. The undecideds will all go to Intelligent Design, leaving ID the winner 556 to 464.

Date: 2008/11/17 20:08:07, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=stevestory,Nov. 17 2008,17:38]  
Quote (khan @ Nov. 17 2008,20:21)
But tobacco, here's the thing. I like nicotine. I'm not psychologically attached to the process of smoking, I just like the nicotine.

Define it however you want; you are addicted.  Please stop.

I wasn't trying to protest that I was addicted to tobacco. I probably do have some mild addiction, having smoked 2-3 cigarettes a day for the last 15 years or so. That statement was just about how smoking addiction supposedly has several parts, the physiological addiction to nicotine and the psychological addiction to the procedure of smoking. My point was just that lacking the latter, I wouldn't mind having a different method of ingestion.

Lessee.....smoking causes lung cancer, chewing tobacco causes oral cancer.... I would guess that drinking tobacco would cause stomach or esophageal cancer.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you don't want to see something you regularly ingest featured in a journal called Mutagenesis.
Exposure level to cigarette tar or nicotine is associated with leukocyte DNA damage in male Japanese smokers.

In case you can't read that, from the abstract:
"The results showed that the baseline value of peripheral leukocyte DNA strand breaks was significantly associated with LECT (P < 0.05), LECN (P < 0.05), years of smoking or cigarette pack-years (P < 0.05) but not with the number of cigarettes smoked per day."

LECN is level of daily exposure to nicotine.

DNA strand breaks = not good.

Nicotine is a mutagen, dude. You're a smart guy. Pick a habit that won't kill you in disgusting, miserable, agonizing fashion. Bite your finger nails or something.

Edited to add title of paper.

Date: 2008/11/17 20:23:45, Link
Author: bfish
Here's a fun one with the added bonus of flies:
Smoke gets in your flies

From that brief:
You can take the fruit fly out of North Carolina, but you can't take the North Carolina out of the fruit fly. Drosophila from North Carolina, where tobacco is traditionally grown, are more resistant to nicotine than Drosophila from California.

Turns out that all the flies died after they fed them nicotine, but the flies from North Carolina lived longer. So that's something.

OK, end of preaching. Peace out.

Date: 2008/11/18 16:58:40, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (khan @ Nov. 18 2008,14:28)
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,17:13)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 18 2008,12:18)
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 18 2008,07:01)
Wow, this really is the bathroom wall! (Started smoking in 1943, quit smoking in 1964.)

1943? Had they even invented tobacco by then?

A war was going on outside and tobacco was heavily rationed but in mysterious ways some trickled down to us from the Germans, I still remember reading from the cigarette boxes - this was in the days when flat cigarettes still were in vogue:

Warum ist Juno rund? Aus gutem grund ist Juno rund.

Besides, there were always the option of collecting German cigarette butts in cafe's.

When we could not get our favourite, a pack of Brinchman Stolz and roll our own...

Still kicking... Upgraded from Win2k to XP the other day, maybe Vista soon too. Or maybe Ubuntu.

Miscellaneous memories:

My father was born in March 1927.

He was on his way to Europe in May 1945 when the war in Europe ended.

He was part of the occupation forces.

He got 2? packs of cigarettes in his rations; he didn't smoke.

He got into black market operations. He wasn't supposed to send more than his pay ($30/mo?) back to the states, but found he could bribe various people with cigarettes.

My father-in-law was also in the occupation forces. When he had time off, instead of doing whatever other soldiers did for a good time, he attended the trials at Nuremberg. Sat feet away from many of the principles. It affected the course of his entire life, especially the GI bill, which allowed him to attend college.
Anyway, if Quack or Khan's father have any interest in comparing stories with another veteran, my father-in-law is always interested in such correspondence.

Date: 2008/11/19 10:20:22, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 19 2008,08:09)
Within a few weeks, there should be overwhelming evidence that we're all Denyse O'Leary.

Watch your step with that, before the weasel vomits on the curtains your shadow is reflecting badly upon.

Date: 2008/11/20 13:12:43, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 20 2008,09:21)
We need another one of these...Disco Demolition Night

It is Steve Dahl's Birthday!  Maybe he could invite Rob, and Casey to a new "disco celebration"?

Yikes! I spent all too much of my freshman year in college listening to Steve Dahl and Garry Meyers. Might explain my grades. And everything that's happened subsequently. I can haz time machine?

Date: 2008/11/21 16:43:04, Link
Author: bfish
Bob Jones University talks about its racist past.....

Date: 2008/11/22 10:06:19, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 22 2008,07:16)
The TRUE NFL Theory,
Why There Is No God

Two words that prove my point - Detroit Lions.
No god would force us to watch an 0-11 team play on the most High Holy Days of NFL watching.

No god would contrive a situation where we might actually have to have a dialogue with relatives, rather than becoming engrossed in a sportacular football game instead.

Party on dudes and dudettes.

As it happens, I was in Michigan for two weeks during the NFL exhibition season. The Detroit sportswriters were talking playoffs, I kid you not. In Paris, France! OK, I made up the France part, but the general feeling was that Calvin Johnson was a star as of immediately and that the Lions might do as well as 10-6 if things fell the right way.

I did some quick googling to find an article to back my memory, but the only article I found was 404ed. Et tu, Detroit Free Press? I did one search on the Freep page for "Detroit Lions Playoffs." The search came up with nothing and asked, "did you mean Detroit Lions Payoffs?" That tickled my funny bone on this Saturday morning.

Date: 2008/11/24 17:32:06, Link
Author: bfish

Any idea who Baylor Bear is? New poster? Marks? Dembski?

I kind of like the cartoon. It looks like one they would try to caption for one of Trader Joe's Fearless Flyers (should you be so lucky as to live near a TJs). I even like the first line of the caption, in a non-sequitur kind of way. And the last line is hysterically funny in showing that the three girls have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the Theory of Evolution. I assume that's why it got posted at UD, right? So everyone can have a laugh at those poor, ignorant, murderous girls.

(Sorry I don't know how to show the actual image here).

Date: 2008/11/25 11:58:02, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 25 2008,09:20)
Quote (hereoisreal @ Nov. 25 2008,10:43)
On “ causal history” which came first: light, transparency, the eye, the optic nerve, or the brain?


The bishop?

Date: 2008/11/25 12:03:06, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 24 2008,12:20)
Work: I has it.

Have I missed anything good?


stevestory has a chemistry question for you. 2nd post, page 311.

Date: 2008/11/25 18:04:49, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bystander @ Nov. 25 2008,12:26)
I don't think that it was coincidental that DrDr D left UD just after the election. It wouldn't surprise me if somebody with a modicum of sense said that the only way to move forward in an Obama administration is to start to look sciency again and nix the culture war stuff.

So who was the person with a modicum of sense who tipped off Dembski that he should move on?

Date: 2008/11/26 21:03:17, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bystander @ Nov. 26 2008,18:44)
If JackInHofe* is here. If they don't give you traffic for UD, you can get detailed stats for the post-darwinist

* I just got the joke name. Gee I am thick sometimes.

*Bartender cups hand over telephone, calls out to crowded bar room*

Is anyone here Jack InHofe? Anyone?

Note: I didn't get it either, until you pointed it out. Apparently I am Uncommonly Dense.

Date: 2008/11/26 21:06:32, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 26 2008,18:57)
Quote (khan @ Nov. 26 2008,20:29)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 26 2008,21:24)

Also, they're probably pissed they aren't getting a cut.

Or cut that they aren't getting... never mind.

Roseanne Roseannadanna: "Never mind."

Emily Litella, I believe.

"And I, Roseanne Roseannadanna, said, "Hey! Military Guy taking a drug test! Put that Whizzinator thing back in your pants please. You're grossing me out!"

Date: 2008/12/01 13:41:21, Link
Author: bfish
Very interesting. Professor Olofsson is wading into UD
to try to set the inhabitants straight.




1:02 pm

I’d like to respond to the criticism offered by gpuccio and others but first I need to make sure that I can post. If this comment is posted, I’ll go ahead.


ETA: I can't wait until DT tells Olofsson that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Date: 2008/12/03 13:00:21, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (dogdidit @ Dec. 03 2008,10:34)



Clearly that tunnel was designed.

It gets you from one side to the other.

Date: 2008/12/03 16:20:05, Link
Author: bfish
That Olofsson thread continues to entertain. DT has stayed out of it, but not PaV:

PaV: You don’t seem to know what you’re saying.

You’re on the verge of being dishonest.

To which PO responds:
You just don’t have enough background knowledge to follow my arguments.

   "You’re on the verge of being dishonest."

Nowhere near it! Besides, you should know by now that you can’t make me upset byt trying to insult me! :)

StephenB has trouble getting the joke:

Professor Olaffson: Also, you have yet to explain your comment to gpuccio @146: (Perhaps, I confused the issue by referring to you as PO)

gpuccio wrote, “humans can very easily generate CSI through design, and nothing else can…”

To that your responded (tongue in cheek, I gather?) “Conclusion: we have designed ourselves!”

I assumed that it was a typo, but since you have not responded, I gather that you actually did mean something by it. So, now I must ask you to explain how your conclusion follows from gpuccio’s comment.

And finally, Ribczynski pokes a finger in UD's eye:
Dembski makes a disconcerting number of errors in his books. It makes you wonder who his reviewers were.

Date: 2008/12/04 00:12:17, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 03 2008,21:41)
Wow, did people see this?

Hi Kristine. Yes, this was seen and discussed here awhile back. I'm not sure which thread - probably this one. It is indeed very sad.

Date: 2008/12/04 09:38:46, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (khan @ Dec. 04 2008,06:34)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 04 2008,01:02)
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 03 2008,19:01)
The cat should be fine. BTW have you guys heard about the lolcat found from 1905?



Yes, but they were black and white.

Date: 2008/12/04 09:45:36, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Dec. 04 2008,02:59)
DaveTard, one post later:      
Yeah, I recognized that problem for the EF in biology at first glance which is why I never liked talking about it with the flagellum.

The flagellum: "I was DESIGNED, Goddittit! Use the Explanatory Filter. It proves it!

Davescot: "Shut your piehole!"

Flagellum: *grumble*

Davescot: "And pass the goddamned Cheezypoofs."

Date: 2008/12/04 17:50:45, Link
Author: bfish
Anyone here have a clue about how Parliamentary governments work?

The Canadian Prime Minister suspended parliament today so that he wouldn't lose a no-confidence vote. Or something like that.

He had to ask the Governor-General's permission to do this. (WTF? F'reals?)

Is this a big deal? Just an ordinary Parliamentary happening? It sounds a bit........ Putinish to me.

Edited to remove gratuitous snark.

Date: 2008/12/04 19:21:12, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 04 2008,17:12)
To anyone not in your insulated bubble, God is obvious.

You know what's not obvious? How the Canadian Prime Minister can suspend Parliament just before they vote him out.

Can you educate me on that at all? I really want to understand what's going on there.

Date: 2008/12/04 21:44:34, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (khan @ Dec. 04 2008,18:48)
Quote (Richard Simons @ Dec. 04 2008,21:29)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 04 2008,20:20)
Quote (Richard Simons @ Dec. 04 2008,20:55)


I think that about covers the basics, but I did not check all of this and I'm quite willing to be corrected by someone who knows better.

Well that would be a first.

Is this directed at me or just a general comment? If at me, I don't know what I've done to deserve it.

Are you really that oblivious, or is your appearance here some sort of performance art?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that maybe Khan is confusing Richard Simons with Daniel Smith?

Date: 2008/12/05 16:08:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 05 2008,12:16)
Prof_P.Olofsson: .... I think it’s a little over the top to claim that you don’t have to understand it, don’t want to understand it, but can still claim that I am wrong. [/quote]

But isn't that the whole raison d'etre for UD? Shouldn't it be inscribed across their banner?

Date: 2008/12/05 19:05:38, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 05 2008,16:28)
Patrick finally says something of substance
Now Darwinists always start with the assumption of simplicity giving rise to higher complexity. Some ID proponents present this alternate scenario: What if ALL of the original squirrels could glide?

And what if all the original squirrels could glide AND they had frikkin laser beams on top of their heads?

Patrick, it's good to think outside the box, but this would turn primitive and derived traits upside down when folks are doing phylogenies. I daresay they might have even noticed if a pattern of descent emerged which suggested that all the original squirrels could glide.

Date: 2008/12/05 20:33:49, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (hereoisreal @ Dec. 05 2008,17:56)

Does anyone know if male marsupials have pouches?


Boy, that sounds like the set-up to a punchline.

But just in case it isn't....

Q: Do male kangaroos have pouches?
A: No. There is no male marsupial of any species that has a pouch1. The pouch is part of the female reproductive anatomy.
1 This is not strictly true. There are two marsupial species where the male is known to have a pouch (the extinct Tasmanian tiger and the South American water opossum), but these are scrotal pouches designed to hold the scrotum.

Sounds kinda like nature's briefs, and the tigers were probably damned glad to have that pouch when they ran full speed.

The more scholarly things I found indicate that this is an interesting area of difference between the two groups. The scrotalish tissues seem not to be homologous between placentals and marsupials. Could the dangly bits be convergent evolution? Where's that Cornelius Hunter dude? Maybe he has some copied and reversed drawings.

Turns out that Pharyngula was all over this four years ago.

OK, now I want to hear the punchline of the joke.

Date: 2008/12/05 21:44:19, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 05 2008,19:34)
Quote (afarensis @ Dec. 05 2008,21:13)
Say, has anybody mentioned that Dembski has given up on the explanatory filter to the folks at UD? It might almost be worth creating a sock puppet just to see their heads explode...

dembski's comment that the EF isn't exactly correct was made in a comment thread at UD.

And so far as I can tell, no one there has said a word on this admission, save for DT in the comment immediately following.

Date: 2008/12/08 02:18:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Guest @ Dec. 07 2008,17:05)
From Vindication:
Paley said, essentially, that how life forms originated is <i>inherently</i> forever beyond our understanding, that no possible explanation can be remotely as plausible as magic, and that we are best off worshiping rather than trying to understand it.
At best, we can devise some apparently natural mechanism that might fit what little we're capable of observing, and we can kid ourselves that we're onto something.

My guess is that Flint hasn't read one word of Daniel Smith, and yet, he seems to be very familiar with his arguments.

Ze permalink, as bounced from Panda's Thumb to page 330 of Bathroom Wall-E.

Date: 2008/12/08 19:00:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (k.e.. @ Dec. 08 2008,16:56)
It's like trying to discuss cubism with a slug.

Or sluggishness with a cube.

OK, I'll get back to work then.

Date: 2008/12/11 12:32:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 11 2008,09:07)
Obama just appointed this man to be the head of the Department of Energy.

He appears not to be an oil company lobbyist, from what I can tell. Maybe just maybe the Republican War on Science will be on hold for at least 4-8 years?

I have met Stephen Chu and heard him speak. He is a passionate advocate for using science and technology to address global warming's causes and effects. He has worked tirelessly to jump start alternative energy programs at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He is a terrific choice for this post, and the idea that he will have the ear of the President of this nation is thrilling, satisfying, and reassuring. No longer will we have college drop-outs telling NASA senior scientists what they can publish.

Elections really do matter.

By the way, check out this comment on the New York Times' first tiny mention of this news last night:

If Obama is truly serious about being bipartisan, why doesn’t he choose Sarah Palin as energy czar? Everyone agrees she’s an energy expert. I’m sure she knows more than Chu or Browner, and she certainly has more experience than Chu.

Yikes! Actually, she almost surely does have more experience with, say, petroleum markets than does Chu, but she ain't no energy expert, and her vision is not where we need to go.

Date: 2008/12/11 22:06:35, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Marion Delgado @ Dec. 11 2008,18:33)
Someone clue me in on how UD pissed off heddle?

Science denialism - check.

Dishonest and brain-dead Christianity - check

A relentlessly and comically partisan outlook - check

Is it a personality quarrel?

Is it Catholics vs. Calvinists?

No, Heddle is not a science denier.

I also think he is rather honest.

Brain-dead Christianity - well, that's in the eye of the beholder, in'it?

Partisan outlook? I don't know. He did buy into Palin, a fairly wide-spread phenomena which ever will elude me.

I think the issue is that Heddle clearly sees that the UD leaders are dishonest, bullying charlatans. He has been upfront about that for some time.

Date: 2008/12/12 14:48:56, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 12 2008,12:18)
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 12 2008,11:49)
So, either GilDodgen didn't read the replies to his comment, or forgot already.

There is a third possibility...

Gil, I am your father.....


Date: 2008/12/15 17:36:45, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Dec. 15 2008,14:51)
i would have liked to see them get at fisticuff or pistols at dawn or roshambeaux to the death or something but i wasn't consulted for some damn reason.  

that would be some youtube footage to get excited about

Canadian Prime Minister vs protester a few years back:

That's PM Jean Chretien on the right.

Date: 2009/01/26 01:10:14, Link
Author: bfish
This probably belongs on the Bathroom Wall, but that's too polluted with the Daniel Smith goings on, so will use this thread to spread the Good News:

(Scroll to the bottom)
This is William Kristol’s last column.

Damn! This just keeps getting better and better!

Date: 2009/02/03 02:24:34, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (khan @ Feb. 02 2009,18:24)
the hard tard can cause damage.

Khan: What will that do to them? What is it ?

Stevestory: Well, I'm using tard against them, beyond the ne plus ultra.
It will stun them and allow us time to leave.
We'll go in one of their shuttlecraft.

Khan: Tard that dense doesn't stun, it destroys.
I remember when we read in the text that it--

Stevestory: I've gone beyond those texts, Khan.
It's correct for you to be concerned, but be assured also.

Louis: We are in orbit over DaveScot's house, Brother Steve.
It does destroy.

Sheesh, that's the kind of thing that bounces around my head when I get home from work after midnight and read ATBC. Good thing it doesn't date me.

Date: 2009/02/05 12:18:26, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 05 2009,01:45)
We males are the eternal straight men to women. They get all the best gags, it's best we just shut up and let them get on with it and take the occasional pie in the face.

I took my little girl to the zoo the other day. After checking out the lions, elephants, giraffes, and zebras, we came to the hyenas. We read the little blurb, which said that females were bigger and were the dominant gender in hyena society.
"What does 'dominant' mean?" my daughter asked.
" 'Dominant' means they are the strongest. It means they are the ones in charge," I said.
"Like Mama?" she asked.

Hey, congratulations on the new Welshman to be! Being a Dad really is the greatest thing going, except for the times when it sucks.

My advice is to enjoy especially the very beginning, an amazing, dreamy span of a few days in which time does not exist - it's just you, your wife, and your baby. And those meddling in-laws! And those damn kids!
Also - swaddling is an amazing invention, baby sign language lets you see the wheels turning in the baby's head far earlier than waiting for them to speak, and (second hand experience, of course!) nursing is actually a bit difficult and takes much effort and determination on Mom and baby's part. So don't give up on it, if that's the way you choose to go.

Also, Einini and Si Hei Lwli are terrific lullabies, although I have absolutely no idea what the words mean. My daughter didn't either and didn't much care.

Date: 2009/02/05 13:09:38, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 05 2009,11:00)
Thanks! The only problem is I'm not Welsh.*

That's OK. Those lullabies aren't either. I think they are Celtic. Maybe.

Oh another thing. Very important. Take lots of pictures of the new kid and e-mail them to your friends every single day, without fail. They really want to see that stuff, and to hear about how many diapers got pooped in, etc. Helps them feel in the loop. They will resent it if you don't do this.

Date: 2009/02/05 13:26:05, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 05 2009,11:00)
I'll try the "lullabies" though, it's only fair to confuse the crap out of the poor kid!

A quick check with teh Google indicates that Einini is an Irish tune, but Si Hei Lwli is perhaps a bona fide Welsh jingle.
The link can take you to a CD called "Do it the Welsh Way." I imagine that's what got you into this mess in the first place.

Date: 2009/02/20 23:45:29, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 20 2009,19:56)
Highlights from My Night with the Discovery Institute

1. John West Says it isn't about Religion, except for those Damn Dirty Atheists

2. Carlsonjok Takes on a DI Fellow and ducks into the punch

3. ATBC Becomes the Poster Child for Academic Freedom

4. Abbie Smith Flips off Casey Luskin, MS JD Esq.

5. And in a heartwarming conclusion sure to touch the depths of your cold, black Darwinist heart, Casey rises above it all and forgives everyone, especially Wesley Elsberry.

Naturally we'd love details about all.

#2 had to have been West, eh? Hard to imagine Luskin packing much of a wallup. Be a good story to tell the kids someday, though.

Date: 2009/02/21 01:52:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 20 2009,21:58)
Oh, and I forgot that the absolute #1 highlight of the night was Casey Luskin saying "tits."  That alone was worth the price of admission.



He didn't even start with


This wouldn't be related to  

4. Abbie Smith Flips off Casey Luskin, MS JD Esq.

in any way, would it? It seems that she has, as they say, a pair.

Date: 2009/02/21 23:28:21, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 21 2009,11:27)
1) It's not Mr Louis.

Um..... am I really the only one who found this sig-worthy?

Date: 2009/02/23 00:06:27, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (olegt @ Feb. 22 2009,19:43)
Meanwhile, UD remains a good source.  Gil provides a killer argument regarding design:
Type or copy e^(i*pi)+1 = 0 into Google, and click on the first link.

This is Euler’s famous identity. e is an irrational number generated by (1/0! + 1/1! + 1/2! + 1/3!…) and is the famous Euler number that appears everywhere in mathematics. i is the square root of -1 (the imaginary number). pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is also an irrational number. This identity combines all of the most essential numbers in mathematics into a beautiful identity.

What do i, pi, e, 1 and 0 have to do with each other? i is a totally abstract concept, pi has to do with geometry, e is the basis of the natural logarithm, and e^x is its own derivative. 1 and 0 represent the basis of Boolean logic.

Those who deny that there is intelligence and design behind all of this do so at their own peril, in my opinion, and without excuse.

I [heart] Euler's formula as much as the next guy, but the last paragraph is a complete non sequitur.

A different take on Euler's formula.

Date: 2009/02/23 13:41:42, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 22 2009,20:01)
The real me.

Really? That's you? Somehow I had pictured a more cartoonish-looking fellow, with a blue cap. And wearing glasses.

The internet is a confusing place.

Date: 2009/03/01 18:01:45, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Dr.GH @ Feb. 27 2009,22:14)
My dog, who has never killed anything very much bigger than himself, "treed" two raccoons about his size just the other night. I was reminded of about 15 years ago when I was working on a mountain lion project. We had two puppies that were being trained as lion dogs. They kept on the trail even after the "experienced" dogs had quit. And they treed the lion.

That's me on the right. (A much younger me).

One of the most amazing experiences I've ever had was helping to track mountain lions on the Utah/Idaho border. We caught several over the course of ten days, including two kittens - although we never caught Subcommander Marcos, as you seem to have done.

Amazing how strong these animals are. Their shoulder muscles are iron. I got to stand about 15 feet away from one, me standing on a rise holding the leash to one of the dogs, he breathing hard at the top of a small tree that put us at the same height. After perhaps a minute of staring at each other, he bolted out of the tree, the dog jerked itself free of my hands, and the chase was joined again.

Ah, memories.

Date: 2009/03/17 11:45:02, Link
Author: bfish
Any of y'all who live in the San Francisco region may want to know that Neil Shubin, the Tiktaalik guy, is speaking at the International House in Berkeley Wednesday and Thursday. I'll try to go if I can duck away from the lab.

Date: 2009/03/18 02:48:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 07 2009,23:55)
There was once a 14-yro-kid named Kyle Williams a few years ago who had a column for WorldnetDaily.
Like most WorldnetDaily columns this kid attacked communism, celebrated Glorious Reagan, criticised Al Gore, Praised tax cuts, the flag, apple pie, you name it. The WorldnetDaily people were astonished and considered the kid a brilliant, precocious thinker. He actually got a book deal.

And that kids name...... was Albert Einstein.

OK, I know I'm about ten days late with that one. I was out of town for awhile and I'm busy trying to catch up to where DT got the boot.

Date: 2009/03/19 15:35:30, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 19 2009,13:31)
We're not running out of Tard any time soon...

Some Chicken Littles claim that Peak Tard has already occurred.

Date: 2009/03/22 03:30:02, Link
Author: bfish
Wow, I did it. You guys finally eased up on the posting enough that I could catch up from 30 pages down -  and what a 30 pages it has turned out to be. The banning of DT, the many myriad misunderstandings of weasel, and the tire-kicking of UD's new, yet strangely unchanged, moderation policy. Many, many very fine comments in there. (Amadan's bus sign was a particular favorite, but 5 star comments were legion). Thanks to all.

There was quite a streak of poetry writing for a few pages, yet one simple song got short shrift, which I'd like to make up for at this time.
Let's all sing it together ... with feeling:

You can get anything you want, at Baylor Bear's restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Baylor Bear's restaurant
Walk right in, there's The Mindful Hack
If you bring Dr Dr try to sneak in the back
You can get anything you want, at Baylor Bear's restaurant.

Now some of you UD posters have expressed dissatisfaction with your experiences on that board. You know, if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's log in from wherever you are, just log in and say "Clive, You can get anything you want, at Baylor Bear's restaurant."  And log out.  You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they'll ban him.  And if two people, two people do it - in harmony - they may think they're both homos and they'll ban both of them. And if three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people logging in to UD, singing a bar of Baylor Bear's Restaurant and logging out. They may think it's an organization.  And can you, can you imagine fifty sock puppets a day, I said fifty sock puppets a day logging in, singing a bar of Baylor Bear's Restaurant and logging out.  And friends they may thinks it's a movement.
And that's what it is, the Baylor Bear's Restaurant Anti-Evolution Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time you log in to UD.

Date: 2009/04/03 00:06:18, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (keiths @ April 02 2009,20:59)
Gil talks about his father:
My father, who earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in his early 20’s, while working on the Manhattan A-Bomb Project during WWII, and who is the most brilliant mathematician, physicist, and chemist I have ever encountered...

Hermagoras, realizing that if Gil's dad rejected evolution, we almost certainly would have heard (and heard, and heard) about it by now, [URL=

-deflect-challenges-or-mickey-mouse-pretends-to-be-a-scientist/#comment-311158]puts Gil on the hot seat[/URL]:
Gil, a while ago I asked a question that you may have missed. It was about your father, who is certainly a brilliant guy. Does he have views about these issues? More than once you have claimed that standard theories of evolution are easily understood and just as easily seen to be hogwash. They are, you suggest, trivially untrue.

I’m curious, since you’ve mentioned your father a couple of times as an exemplary intellect, if he dismisses evolution too.


Is GilDodgen a YEC? I did a quickie google and didn't find anything to suggest he is. Given that his Dad was a physicist (who, incidentally, very likely knew my stepfather's father), I assume he knows that YEC is crazy talk.

edited to add: this just in light of his recent post that alluded to the Big Bang being correct science.

Date: 2009/04/09 18:41:43, Link
Author: bfish
Is there, or should there be, a thread dedicated to announcements of talks being given by various luminaries? I just noticed that Richard Lenski will be speaking at UC Berkeley on April 30. It's a departmental talk - i.e not geared for general audiences - but that doesn't mean interested community members could not attend. I'm thinking that Andrew Schlafly will not come up,yet it should be a very interesting talk nonetheless, and people who read this board and live nearby may wish to come hear it.

Date: 2009/04/10 17:09:36, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 10 2009,06:32)
I caught up with one of the first students from Coastal to get this internship a few years ago, and asked about what all it entailed. I expected to be just washing test tubes and the like, but she told me that they put her right in with the grad students doing real sciency stuff (including washing test tubes, but also learning what the grad students were doing).

It's funny, I was just talking about that with a coworker yesterday. We were trying to decide if we should take an intern this summer or not. We have some boring work that needs to be done, and we both felt guilty at the idea of foisting it off on some poor intern. Which is maybe a strange attitude, because we do boring things all the time.
I don't know what the intern program is like at UNCW, but it's probably similar to the one where I work. I've had several interns over the last few summers - high school students, undergrads, and teachers. It's hard to get a lot out of your interns, since our program is so short (6-8 weeks), and you have to train them before they can be of much help. Still, as much as possible, we give them a few interesting tasks. A little bit of shit work, too, but we all do that as part of our jobs anyway.
   We use the analogy of a cooking show. There is almost never time to do a full experiment from beginning to end, so we have them do one part of the greater experiment, and then, hey, look in the oven, here are some things that are ready for the next part of the experiment! I was very pleased last summer that we worked it out such that my high school interns were able to generate actual data and present it at the talk they had to give. They were collecting data the day before the talk, so it was a tight fit!
   Anyway, good luck. Hope you get in.

Date: 2009/04/10 17:28:57, Link
Author: bfish
This is 20 days hence, but those in the San Francisco Bay Area may be interested in hearing Richard Lenski at the Cal campus at 4:00 pm on April 30.
This is the guy who has been raising separate populations of e coli for 20 years.
It's a departmental talk - i.e not geared for general audiences - but that doesn't mean interested community members could not attend. I'm thinking that Andrew Schlafly will not come up, yet it should be entertaining nonetheless.


Date: 2009/04/16 23:50:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 16 2009,20:58)

Methinks it looks.......

a little too much like KF's conception of hellfire for him to acknowledge what the data indicates.

Date: 2009/04/16 23:56:17, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 16 2009,19:36)
Quote (hereoisreal @ April 16 2009,20:58)


You can't help but smile and be a happy for her, eh?

I wondered when that video would get referenced here. I've watched it several times over the last couple of days. I just find it very moving.

Date: 2009/04/17 00:05:55, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 16 2009,14:02)
Quote (American Saddlebred @ April 16 2009,15:46)
This guy is amazing.  Just an amazing singer.

Big black guy trapped in a small white guy's body

When I read that comment, I thought, "Oh yeah, well you should see Rick Astley!" And then, doh, I clicked on the link.

People who don't sing like they look: Rick Astley, Jim Nabors,
Susan Boyle.

Date: 2009/04/17 11:17:10, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=CeilingCat,April 16 2009,22:41]
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 16 2009,12:29)

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 16 2009,20:58)

Methinks it looks.......

a little too much like KF's conception of hellfire for him to acknowledge what the data indicates.

Ceiling cat:
edited to add: Oh bother, just saw bfish's post.

But really, isn't that graphic the perfect metaphor for the IDC movement? The data is clear, but the data reminds them that Hell awaits for non-believers, and so the data must be disputed or ignored.

Date: 2009/04/19 00:28:43, Link
Author: bfish
Done and done.

Date: 2009/04/22 11:11:36, Link
Author: bfish
Well, this should be interesting. I just saw a flyer for a talk at my institution on Friday by a speaker who will assert that 30% - 70% of the earth's observed temperature increase since 1900 can be attributed to the sun. I work at a place that has myriad scientists working to document, understand, and hopefully ameliorate human-caused climate change, so I am very intrigued to go to this talk and hear the Q & A. It's a bad day for me to take an hour off, but I can not resist. If it's interesting, I'll report back here.

Date: 2009/05/01 14:05:01, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bfish @ April 22 2009,09:11)
Well, this should be interesting. I just saw a flyer for a talk at my institution on Friday by a speaker who will assert that 30% - 70% of the earth's observed temperature increase since 1900 can be attributed to the sun. I work at a place that has myriad scientists working to document, understand, and hopefully ameliorate human-caused climate change, so I am very intrigued to go to this talk and hear the Q & A. It's a bad day for me to take an hour off, but I can not resist. If it's interesting, I'll report back here.

Tried to go to this today, and found an empty lecture hall. I went back to the flier and saw a big, red, "canceled" stenciled across it.

This is the guy who had been scheduled to speak:

Apologies if those links require subscriptions. I can't tell from here. They are the "Physics Today" website:

Date: 2009/05/01 14:09:53, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bfish @ April 10 2009,15:28)
This is 20 days hence, but those in the San Francisco Bay Area may be interested in hearing Richard Lenski at the Cal campus at 4:00 pm on April 30.
This is the guy who has been raising separate populations of e coli for 20 years.
It's a departmental talk - i.e not geared for general audiences - but that doesn't mean interested community members could not attend. I'm thinking that Andrew Schlafly will not come up, yet it should be entertaining nonetheless.


This was a terrific talk yesterday. A full house, about 200 people. Standing room only in the back. Lenski is not only an excellent scientist, he is also very skilled at presenting his science. The two skills don't always go together. He said that his training was in ecology and evolutionary biology, and that he had gotten into the microbiology game because he was looking for a system he could really control.
I caught up to him in the buffet line afterwards and complemented him on the talk and at how he handled himself during the conservapedia kerfluffle. He said that he looked on that as a teaching opportunity.

Date: 2009/05/01 14:21:01, Link
Author: bfish

A girl in my daughter's kindergarten class today wore a T-Shirt with a picture of a dinosaur on it and the words, "Designed, not Evolved." Or something to that effect. Might have used a different word for "evolved."

It's from this place. Note that Michael Egnor gets around.

Now that I know where the shirt is from, I might ask her if she went to the museum and what she saw there.

Coincidentally, another girl picked out a book about the human body for me to read to her. We flipped through it together (bones, muscles, circulatory system, etc) and came upon a page which showed a series of primate forms from ape-like to modern human. It showed side-by-side skulls of australopithecus, erecta, and sapiens. So we got  to talk about evolution just a little bit.

Weird that the subject came up twice within 5 minutes. It certainly has not come up before.

Date: 2009/05/15 14:45:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (sparc @ May 15 2009,11:23)
Seems like PaulN has been caught with his knickers down:      
Oh, you can actually dismiss that question, I must have inadvertently skipped over Kairos’ post before I posted.

A likely story, indeed!
KF posted his comment at 7.02 am, Paul added his first comment at 8.50 am and the one cited above at 9.02 am. Thus, 2 hours after KF's original comment.

I believe you have indeed caught him red-handed with those time stamps. He posted 1 hour and 48 minutes after KF? As though anyone could wade through that thicket in twice the time!

Date: 2009/06/01 00:44:09, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afarensis @ May 31 2009,16:28)
Quote (Louis @ May 31 2009,15:29)
Right, is it just me that doesn't speak Swedish?


I don't speak Swedish either. I think you have to know the difference between Alpine and Nordic skiing before they allow you to learn Swedish. I could be wrong though...

Well, I don't speak Swedish, but I do have a translator app on my iPod Touch. I typed this into the window:

Quote (FreeSpeachFan @ May 31 2009,13:31)
När jag ser hur många svar jag genererade på så pass kort tid undrar jag om jag inte borde fortsatt…

It's about masterbation.

Note: OK, not really.

This is what the app kicked out:

"When I see how many answers I embarassed on that short time, I wonder if I should not be continued."

Which is pretty good translation, if you ask me. (Me, a unilinguist). Syntaxy stuff just a bit off, but I think I get a glimmer of the jist of the whole thing. I now have a little bit of trust in this app.

Date: 2009/06/03 20:28:27, Link
Author: bfish
[quote=keiths,June 03 2009,17:41]
Barry’s policy doesn’t mention people who are blacklisted. It also doesn’t mention Methodists, women and amputees.

By your faulty logic, you should conclude that Methodists, women and amputees aren’t welcome at UD.

Now do you see your mistake?


No, I don’t see a mistake because there is no mistake. Being an amputee, Methodist, or a woman is not what got ol’ Bob O’H blacklisted[/quote

And I suppose the fact that Bob O'H IS a Methodist, amputee, woman is just a coincidence, eh? Nice try, Clive!

What? This isn't Misidentify People's Gender Day? Oh.

Never mind.

Date: 2009/06/05 13:20:32, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (olegt @ June 04 2009,21:31)
Take a look at this web page: Biola Science and Religion Faculty.  The list also includes Discovery Fellows DrDrD, Paul Nelson, William Lane Craig, and J. M. Reynolds, who is listed as a research fellow at the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

Hey, only 15 of the 15 faculty listed are white males!

Well, there is one guy named Fazale. Maybe he's ethnic.

Date: 2009/06/12 13:50:05, Link
Author: bfish
It's a recent paper, out of Oregon State University.

Here is the link. I don't know if it is requires a subscription to view.

Here is the title and abstract:

Cardio-pulmonary anatomy in theropod dinosaurs: Implications from extant archosaurs
Devon E. Quick, John A. Ruben
Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

theropod heart • theropod lung • bird lung

Although crocodilian lung and cardiovascular organs are markedly less specialized than the avian heart and lung air-sac system, all living archosaurs possess four-chambered hearts and heterogeneously vascularized, faveolar lungs. In birds, normal lung function requires extensive, dorsally situated nonvascularized abdominal air-sacs ventilated by an expansive sternum and specially hinged costal ribs. The thin walled and voluminous abdominal air-sacs are supported laterally and caudally to prevent inward (paradoxical) collapse during generation of negative (inhalatory) pressure: the synsacrum, posteriorly directed, laterally open pubes and specialized femoral-thigh complex provide requisite support and largely prevent inhalatory collapse. In comparison, theropod dinosaurs probably lacked similarly enlarged abdominal air-sacs, and skeleto-muscular modifications consistent with their ventilation. In the absence of enlarged, functional abdominal air-sacs, theropods were unlikely to have possessed a specialized bird-like, air-sac lung. The likely absence of bird-like pulmonary function in theropods is inconsistent with suggestions of cardiovascular anatomy more sophisticated than that of modern crocodilians. J. Morphol. 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Received: 8 September 2008; Revised: 16 February 2009; Accepted: 21 February 2009

And here is a Science Daily report about it.

I am not a paleontologist or bird expert, so I won't comment on the paper.

Date: 2009/06/18 12:22:33, Link
Author: bfish

This picture is from last year, but it IS in my backyard. We had a mama and three babies wandering around for a couple of days. I was afraid my cat would go at them, but, though he watched with curiosity, he stayed well away.

I show the picture now, because of something that happened two nights ago. I was walking home from work at about 10:00 pm, listening to "Selected Shorts" on my iPod. I was coming up fast on a slower-moving pedestrian, and, not wanting to pass on the narrow sidewalk, I decided that if he went straight at the the end of the block, I would turn right, but if he turned right, I would go straight. He went straight. I turned right, around a tall fence, and was instantly in the midst of a group of small animals. Were they dogs? I peered at them in the darkness, and realized they were skunks. I had jumped into a crescendo of skunks (or whatever it is you call a group of skunks). They were all around me, and very close. I counted six. My appearance among them was rather sudden (imagine walking to the end of a block and suddenly someone whips around the corner), so I was most grateful and impressed that they were not trigger-happy. They let me pass through them without incident, and then went about their business.

ETA: a group of skunks is actually called "a surfeit of skunks." Ah, Google.

Date: 2009/06/29 14:55:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (didymos @ June 29 2009,05:17)
Later I found out it was more like "Take that, Chronicles Of Narnia...especially The Last Battle!" which is appropriate because the final Narnia book suffered from the same lack of subtlety and "author lecture" syndrome that the earlier books had kept much more in check (but still lapsed into now and then).

I recently read all seven of the Narnia books to my kindergartener. She was really into it. Had to be, because we're talking 750 pages, read aloud. Took us a couple of months. Lewis mostly spins a good yarn and writes well. Besides the apologetics, his other biases do slip in - like being universally disparaging of the boarding school with modern ideas he refers to as "Experiment House." I mean, it even is run by a woman! Eh - easy to think of him as being my grandpa, with the various biases he grew up with.
Anyway, yes, "The Last Battle" is a bit much, but I suppose it is pretty good apologetics, for those looking for apologetics. For my little one and I - we were just looking for a page turner.

Date: 2009/06/29 18:01:07, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (didymos @ June 29 2009,14:14)
Yeah, Lewis was definitely into tradition.  To be fair, he wrote the third one in 1950, so it's not that surprising.  I can't help but wonder  how those books would have changed had he written them after his marriage.

Really? The White Witch? Jadis, Destroyer of Charn? Lady of the Green Kirtle?

I assumed he DID write it after he got married.

Ba Da Boom, etc etc.

Date: 2009/07/16 00:30:05, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 15 2009,20:53)
I just had to share:

Posted by:CTS DRIVER

Boy, when Heddle's had a bit to drink, he can really spout off, can't he?

Date: 2009/07/16 00:34:08, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bfish @ July 15 2009,22:30)

(Just picked Heddle because of the NASCAR thing)

I have been wondering, though, what he thinks of Sarah Palin's July 3 announcement. Nothing on his blog last I checked. One of the bigger ATBC mysteries for me has been how a guy as smart as Heddle could find Palin an outstanding political figure.

Date: 2009/07/16 17:41:26, Link
Author: bfish
I was just looking at Netflix and, influenced by the latest Ben Stein sighting, I looked up Expelled. Under the poster for the movie, I was told how Netflix users liked the film:

Average of raters like you: 1.7 stars
Average of 166,095 ratings: 3.6 stars

Looks like Netflix has me pegged.

The movie is available for instant viewing over the internet. Does anyone know if the filmmakers get any money for such downloads? What about getting the DVD in the mail?

Date: 2009/07/19 10:43:23, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Maya @ July 19 2009,07:13)
Perhaps Denyse's next post will cover this observed speciation event.  No doubt she'll add the observation that they're still just birds....

For me, they will always be glorious birds.

Date: 2009/08/24 22:05:27, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Aug. 24 2009,05:31)
that is a fantastically concise summation of why gordon e mullings et al are simply wrong.  

why they refuse to acknowledge this fact is not so concise yet remains fantastic.

And it's in rather striking contrast to this comment from the previous page of this very thread, to wit:


Posts: 172
Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 23 2009,12:11  
Quote (Bob O'H @ Aug. 23 2009,12:00)
Dave Wisker, *ahem*

The authors found the overall probability of this kind of association for the eight AA’s being due to chance was 5.4 X 10-11

We leap on Dembski for making the same error, so I don't see why I should leave you out of the fun.

That probability is the probability of getting a value of the statistic that extreme if the data were random.  Your mistake is known as the prosecutor's fallacy.

:::scuffs feet:::  shucks


In other words..... what is the psychology of this KCdgw fellow that he so readily admits his errors? What's up with that?

Date: 2009/08/26 21:48:38, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Aug. 26 2009,19:39)
fuck steve that is the post of the year.


Indeed, that is a keeper!!

And how the heck did you FIND that old code, anyway?

Date: 2009/08/28 18:28:59, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 28 2009,11:07)
Well, that McWhorter-Behe thread is still producing the TARD.

Did anyone else watch that blogging heads? I listened to it last night. I had never heard of McWhorter, and that interview is surely not his finest hour. You can tell he is an intelligent guy, but you can also tell he is not a biologist. He brought up a few semi-tough issues, but accepts Behe's answers unchallenged. Lots of "Yes! yes!" with vigorous nodding in agreement. To his credit, he is self aware enough to acknowledge several times that he is not a biologist.

I'm in agreement with the statement he issued:
"John McWhorter feels, with regret, that this interview represents neither himself, Professor Behe, nor Bloggingheads usefully, takes full responsibility for same...."


Edited to add quotation marks, and to say that Behe surely feels he was represented usefully.

Date: 2009/08/29 02:55:06, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (sledgehammer @ Aug. 28 2009,10:12)
Evidence of recent evolution in Deer Mice
Deer mice of the Sand hills in Nebraska have recently (in the last 4000 years) evolved a new, lighter color coat, that better matches their environment.

Dude, were you there?

The color change is a manifestation of a brand new gene, Agouti, that developed in around 8000 generations.  From the article:          
"The light gene wasn't in existence, so the mice had to "wait" until a particular mutation occurred and then selection had to act on that new mutation," says team member Professor Hopi Hoekstra, also of Harvard University.

"It's a two part process. First the mutation has to occur and second, selection has to increase its frequency."

I think this isn't quite correct. I don't have access to the article from home, but agouti is a pretty well-known gene. I think she's using sloppy "popular science" speak, whereby what she means to say is that the light mutation of the already existing Agouti gene wasn't present in the population.

I'm curious to know the nature of the mutation. It would be deliciously ironic if it were a mutation in Agouti regulation rather than in coding sequence (see this for explanation). I'll bet it's a coding mutation, though. Damn cool stuff, too.

Anyone who has access to the article, please let me know if I'm wrong about any of this.

ETA: my lameness in not being able to make the block quotes work.

Date: 2009/08/30 01:42:38, Link
Author: bfish
I've been trying to follow this fire via the web, as it is in my old haunts. I guess I could not ride my bike up Angeles Crest Highway right now, eh?
The online maps kind of look like it is encroaching on JPL. Is that true? is it moving towards Pasadena?

Date: 2009/08/30 02:25:07, Link
Author: bfish
OK, I've seen the paper now.

They begin with the observation that the mice who live in the Sand Hills have lighter-colored coats than nearby mice of the same species who live on darker soils, and the knowledge that the Sand Hills are geologically young (apparently can't be older than the date of the last glacial retreat). This leads to the inference that the lighter coat has evolved relatively recently (i.e. no more than two times the age of the universe, according to Ken Ham).
They want to know the genetic cause of the color difference. Sequencing is getting cheaper and faster, but it's still neither cheap enough nor fast enough that you could sequence the entire genomes of the several population groups that they want to sample. So they need to zero in on a target for their search. They looked at the agouti gene specifically because it is known to be involved in hair color phenotype in mice. This allowed them to sequence only the region near agouti. They found several sequence differences between light and dark mice, and concluded that one of them, an amino acid deletion (Dang. I was hoping for regulatory sequence) is probably responsible for the coat color phenotype.
They then calculated the selection coefficent and used population genetics to estimate that the light coat color allele should achieve fixation (all mice in the Sand Hills would carry the allele) in roughly half the life span of the Sand Hills. Since not all the mice do, they infer (with the support of several other observations) that the mutation causing the amino acid deletion did not exist in the initial mice population.

All good stuff.

It is important to note, though, that their beak sizes did not change at all.

If I have represented any of this wrongly, please correct me here.
Also, if any mice people see this, could they use homologous recombination to replace the amino acid deletion with the pre-mutation sequence, in order to prove that the deletion is sufficient to cause the light coat color? (i.e. returning the gene to it's prior state should cause the coat color to darken).

Date: 2009/08/31 14:19:40, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 30 2009,12:36)
JPL should be fine, I can't imagine the kind of firestorm that would have to hit to put that site in real danger.

From JPL website:

JPL Update
August 30, 2009 5 p.m.

Fire conditions around JPL have continued to improve throughout the day, and the Lab is no longer threatened by the Station Fire.  However, there has been heavy smoke in the area.  To ensure acceptable air quality for employee safety, JPL will be closed Monday except for mission-critical personnel.

Also, it looks like the fire is creeping east above Sierra Madre, by favorite little burgh.

Date: 2009/08/31 21:54:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Aug. 31 2009,14:26)
the last battle i thought made it clear that Tash was Allah and Aslan the christian god.

in this analysis then what of Tash?


there are biblical precedents for those ideas in Lewis.  i'm not sure how to think about these things under the scheme above.

ETA  on second thought its all just another jack tell bull shite and the green knights and the pips.  if it aint revelations there i don't know what.  

i really did think that there were a bunch of turks and moors and scimitars in that last narnarnia book thar.  and they bowed on rugs and what-all, with camels and stuff.  or not, i don't  but i always thought it was antichristophoric histrionics told from the perspective of great mums wet nurse.  the mistress's son of the first imperial whoremongler

Your memory is correct about Tash. My daughter and I read all seven books aloud this past year. They are pretty good stories, but the depictions of the darker skinned, clearly Arab people is embarrassing. This is mostly in "A Horse and His Boy" and "The Last Battle." One of the things you want to skip through as you read the series. I don't feel like digging through the books to find some tasty examples, but I know there were sentences I skipped over due to the racism.

Date: 2009/09/02 14:47:38, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (bfish @ Aug. 31 2009,12:19)
Also, it looks like the fire is creeping east above Sierra Madre, by favorite little burgh.


The lead headline at the moment in today's

Station wildfire marches east toward Sierra Madre

Sounds like it is well into the mountains there rather than threatening neighborhoods, but yikes! It's burning places I have hiked through. I might have to visit later this month, when the fire is hopefully long gone, and see what things look like.

Date: 2009/09/04 15:48:49, Link
Author: bfish

Andrew Sibley
12:18 pm

yakky d – design is a probabilistic inference to the best explanation, as are evolutionary explanations. The problem for biology is to determine which is the best explanation, sometimes the answer is clear, sometimes it isn’t. For those who like to think that science gives absolute answers such probabilistic solutions are not very satisfactory.

Anyone here think science gives absolute answers? Anybody?

From the Dawkins-new-book thread

Date: 2009/09/04 15:59:24, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Barrett Brown @ Sep. 04 2009,02:09)
My latest screed against Uncommon Descent, this time in reference to Cornelius Hunter's bizarre post on "Evolution's Legacy of Shame," may be found at this link:



I've tried for several minutes to hyperlink this but have given up.

You managed to stir up a couple of commenters over there. Some of them are really odious.

This in response to Barrett Brown's post-greeting comment about Alan Turing:


IRQ Conflict
12:13 pm


Are you saying we should just keep our heads in the sand and not learn from the past?

And I will let you in on a little secret. The homosexual lifestyle is a blight on society. And teaching such things to children, I have no words for those depraved idiots.

But hey! At least we aren’t in their bedrooms. Right? Why are they in ours?

There is NO shame in prosecuting someone who breaks the law. As it’s been said, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!

I edited out a link he included at the end of his comment, because I don't want to propagate whatever it is.

Date: 2009/09/04 20:01:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (afarensis @ Sep. 04 2009,16:53)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Sep. 04 2009,15:46)
I'm curious to know the nature of the mutation. It would be deliciously ironic if it were a mutation in Agouti regulation rather than in coding sequence (see this for explanation). I'll bet it's a coding mutation, though. Damn cool stuff, too.

She has found mutations in regulatory sequences that affected coat colour in the past.

There is some interesting stuff on her publication page.

Yes, and #16 on the list

# *Hoekstra, H.E. and J.A. Coyne. 2007. The locus of evolution: evo devo and the genetics of adaptation.  Evolution. 61(5):995-1016.

is what I was alluding to when I said it would be ironic if the adaptive coat color change was caused by regulatory sequence. In that paper they list 35 examples of adaptations caused by changes in protein coding sequence while maintaining that there are (or were in 2007) zero proven examples of adaptations caused by changes in regulatory sequence. They argue that one must meet the standard of showing what the specific mutation is AND demonstrating it's adaptive value.

In the new paper they show a specific mutation AND they measure the adaptive value of a phenotype they believe is caused by that mutation. So it would have been fun if it had been a regulatory mutation. I wonder, though, if they met there own standard in this paper, because I'm not sure they PROVE that the mutation they focus on causes the phenotype. That's why I asked if it would be possible for them to take mice from the native population and replace, in their progeny, the new version of the gene with a version of the gene that repairs the amino acid deletion. Then you could see if the dark phenotype was rescued, which would be very convincing evidence that the deletion caused the light color phenotype. I'm not a mouse person, so I don't know if that is technically feasible.

Date: 2009/09/11 21:00:11, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Sep. 11 2009,18:32)
GEM of Riki-Tiki lives in Jamaica

I thought KF was from Montserrat.

Date: 2009/09/15 14:46:30, Link
Author: bfish
Do these have more FCSI, or more CSI?

Either way, I wants one.

Date: 2009/09/16 14:42:58, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Louis @ Sep. 16 2009,11:38)
Not "American Football"* or "Baseball"**

** Badly played cricket for people who can't manage a full test match length sport.

OK, I have a question. A sincere question, born of ignorance.

Is there a role for defense in cricket? Not pitching (er, bowling, or whatever it's properly called), but defense AFTER a "ball" or "sphere" or "whozit" has been struck by that wooden flat thingy. Do there exist players who excel at defense, and are they useful?

Edited to add: and if there are, could you link to some YouTubes of great cricket defense? I want to see it.

Date: 2009/09/17 00:29:24, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 16 2009,14:47)
Is there a role for defense in cricket? Not pitching (er, bowling, or whatever it's properly called), but defense AFTER a "ball" or "sphere" or "whozit" has been struck by that wooden flat thingy. Do there exist players who excel at defense, and are they useful?

Edited to add: and if there are, could you link to some YouTubes of great cricket defense? I want to see it.

Try here.

Edited to add: Any good?[/quote]

Yes, those are just what I was looking for. Thank you very much! I enjoyed watching that.

For American baseball, the fielders wear leather gloves. A century ago the gloves were very small, but they grew larger over the years. This enables some catches that could not be made with bare hands (or so I would have thought, anyway, until watching a couple of those cricket catches!)

Baseball defense involves not only catching balls in the air, but also catching ground balls, and throwing, neither of which I saw on the cricket highlight video. Perhaps they are part of cricket as well.

Major League Baseball, the organization, seems to have clamped down pretty hard on baseball-related video in the public domain, but here are a couple of famous baseball defensive plays:

Look on this page for "The Flip." The runner is trying to score, and the outfielder's throw is off-target, but the Yankee shortstop runs across the field to intercept the throw, and flips it underhanded to the catcher just in time to tag the runner out. The replay may show better what happened, especially if you aren't used to watching baseball.

Here is 1954's "The Catch," by one of the greatest baseball players, Willie Mays. The catch was made with his back to the hitter, approximately 420 feet away (130 meters). Wikipedia has a still shot.
And here is the video. After making the catch, he whirled and threw the ball 300 feet back to the infield, preventing a runner from scoring. (You are allowed to run after a ball has been caught).

Finally, here is a catch I had never seen before tonight, by the greatest ballgirl who ever lived.

Wish I could dig up some video of Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith, but no such luck. Anyway, thanks for the cricket videos.

And all of this, of course, proves that evolution is true. QED.

Date: 2009/09/17 11:34:56, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 17 2009,08:12)
bfish -

Sadly, this is NOT true...

Finally, here is a catch I had never seen before tonight, by the greatest ballgirl who ever lived.

It is a Gatorade ad that was never released.

Snopes - Fake Ballgirl Catch

I knew this because I checked it out last year, and it IS one hell of a catch.

I am crushed.

So sad. What a beautiful video it was. Sigh.

Hey, I saw a play last week, called "Peter Pan," and - get this - the actors in the play could actually FLY!!!

Yes, that's about how gullible I was. Next I'll be posting about great catches by praying marines.

Date: 2009/09/17 12:03:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (jswilkins @ Sep. 17 2009,03:31)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 17 2009,19:25)
OK, I got the following pics in email and a request for identification. Any international herpetologists in the house? These were taken in Lagos, Nigeria.

I think it's a Varanus niloticus or Varanus exanthematicus; a monitor lizard. Probably the latter:[/quote]

Definitely a monitor species.

I'm no expert, but Wilkins seems to have nailed it with his first try, Varanus niloticus.

The google images for that species look awfully like that feller, and the
wiki page on it says the Nile Monitor is happy in the water. Gets to be awfully big, as well.

ETA: In thinking Nile Monitor, I'm looking at the stripes made up of little ovals. Seems like they might be diagnostic.

ETA II: not sure why I'm having such formatting issues lately when quoting.

Date: 2009/09/19 02:50:40, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 17 2009,02:42)
Quote (bfish @ Sep. 17 2009,00:29)
...Baseball defense involves not only catching balls in the air, but also catching ground balls, and throwing, neither of which I saw on the cricket highlight video. Perhaps they are part of cricket as well...

They are a part but not called catches. In cricket a "catch" is specifically preventing the ball from hitting the ground after the batsman has hit it. This puts the batter out. That is Caught out.

Catching the ball on the ground can be referred to as a scoop. If this is followed by a throw which eventually hits the wicket, knocking the bails off while the batsman is outside the crease, the batsman is out. That is run/ran out.

A batsman can also be bowled out. If the bowler hits the batsman's wicket with the ball, knocking the bails off, the batsman is out. If the batsman's leg gets hit by the bowled ball and the umpire thinks that the ball would have hit the wicket if the batsman's leg had not got in the way, the batsman is out. These are bowled out. The former is clean bowled, the latter is bowled out leg before wicket (or LBW).

Thanks for the instruction. You'd think I'd remember some of that, given that I have played a little cricket myself, six years ago, in a strange and wondrous land called New South Wales. We had half a dozen Americans, half a dozen Brits, and half a dozen Aussies. The star player of the bunch turned out to be my wife, much to her surprise. She once bowled out three batsman in succession, and also casually plucked a lined smash out of the air one-handed, as coolly as if she was pulling a book off a shelf in the library.

There is even documented footage of one of these international test matches:

I'm one of the gents in the picture. I'm wearing shorts.

This battle took place near Washpool National Park. You might see some little mounds scattered about the field. Those would be the cow patties. The area had been used to hold cattle a bit before our visit. As you can see, we had only rudimentary equipment for this round. We later purchased a junior cricket set - which I still have in my closet - at a roadside shop. The bat is only half the standard length, but the Brits assured us that that is as big as they get in Australia.

Oh, and, um....... therefore evolution is compatible with cricket.

Edited a few times to get the image right, and correct my writing.

Date: 2009/09/19 03:31:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Quack @ Sep. 19 2009,01:26)
Oh, and, um....... therefore evolution is compatible with cricket.

Contingent on resolution of the issue of Irreducible Complexity.

Take out the cow patties, and the system still works.

Date: 2009/09/24 01:38:20, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 21 2009,19:47)
Diane was walking by the lake and saw the water churn, and headed away. She had to go uphill to get away, but slipped and fell down. The alligator came up and bit her on the back of the calf. She ended up convincing it to let go, and got herself to an emergency room.

Jesus Christ!! That's very scary. Hope she is healing nicely.

I spent a couple of days in Kakadu National Park during the wet season, and the idea of crocodiles never left the front of my mind if I was within twenty feet of water. When we entered the Park (this less than a month after a German tourist was killed in a billabong), the ranger told me, "Around here, you don't dangle it over the water to take a pee, mate."

This is my favorite crocodile picture. It's a little 'un - less than three meters.

Date: 2009/09/24 18:18:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Texas Teach @ Sep. 24 2009,15:07)
I had a student pose this question to me today:

"If we're evolving, how come we still drive cars?"

And how long did you sit there with a stupefied look on your face before you thought of something to say?

Date: 2009/09/27 19:33:07, Link
Author: bfish
Diane is now officially famous.

Date: 2009/09/28 00:10:04, Link
Author: bfish
Not sure if there is an ATBC movie thread to put this under, but I just watched "Harvard Beats Yale 29-29." Very enjoyable, interesting movie. Non-sports fans might well enjoy it, and perhaps even fans of cricket, rugby, "no-hands football", etc. Why, it's got Tommy Lee Jones in it, and references to Gary Trudeau and Doonesbury, Meryl Streep, and Al Gore.

Date: 2009/09/28 18:50:27, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (J-Dog @ Sep. 28 2009,15:30)
News you can use to amaze your friends...

LOLCats Creator Is NU Alum

Thanks, J-Dog, that is very useful. A former intern is thinking of applying to Northwestern, and now I can send her this link.

Date: 2009/10/05 16:30:20, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 05 2009,13:32)
is this really joe?  i don't read Telic Tards enough to notice if idguy has threatened to whup anybody or told them how they don't know shit.

Got to be.

We'll know for sure when he gets condescending and says, "Ya see, Zachriel"....

Date: 2009/10/05 17:24:33, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Raevmo @ Oct. 05 2009,14:41)
IDguy did the "Ya see" many times already on TT. There is no doubt (p<1/10^150) he is Joe G, despite his silly lies that he is "Jim". Sorry, I'm too lazy to dig up a link to a "ya see" moment.

Behold the power of the Design Inference.

Does that mean that Joe has CSI? Maybe FCSI?

Date: 2009/10/05 17:27:31, Link
Author: bfish
And I see that you've been riding that train for months. Good on ya.

Date: 2009/10/12 01:41:22, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (RDK @ Oct. 11 2009,16:59)
My sock is dead, so one of the survivors of the Great Bannination please ask Brentfag over there

Is that name really necessary?

Date: 2009/10/14 11:46:10, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 14 2009,06:23)
WAD's perfect apologetics:
My approach, in a nutshell, is to argue that just as the salvation in Christ at the Cross saves backward in time as well as forward (the OT saints were saved in virtue of the Cross), so the effects of the Fall can be retroactive. This, it seems to me, preserves the most important thing that young-earth creationism has attempted to preserve, namely, that the sin of Adam brought ruin on the human race and on the physical world.

That is lunatic talk.

As if it's not fucked up enough that you can be eternally punished for something your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather did eons before you were even born, NOW you can be eternally punished for something your great-great-great-great grandson did ages after you were dead.

As Kyle would say, "That's fucked up, right there."

ETA: Guess I'm not used to thinking through my YEC logistics. I was thinking Flood, but Dembski's talking about the Fall, so the retroactive effects were not on humans, but on the beasts and, um, rocks and stuff.

Date: 2009/10/23 14:36:35, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 20 2009,17:02)
I was wondering where Louis had been...

He's holding at 4999 posts. He must be saving #5000 for something epic.

On a related note: has KF posted at UD in the past month or so? Is he holding at 999,999,999 words?

EDIT: Ah, I see it's been already covered today on the more appropriate UD thread.

Date: 2009/10/26 23:38:34, Link
Author: bfish
Heard of these photos via Andrew Sullivan.

They are really, really good.

I didn't know spiders don't have compound eyes.

Date: 2009/10/28 23:15:37, Link
Author: bfish
Well..... um....... it's not squirrels or horses, but......


*runs away*

Date: 2009/10/28 23:19:25, Link
Author: bfish
Oh no they di'n't!

I can't believe they put a music soundtrack with the video. I can't believe they HAD a video.

Date: 2009/11/04 00:09:47, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Nov. 03 2009,21:55)
Bad news for Behe.
The Unevolvable evolves!          
ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2006) — Using new techniques for resurrecting ancient genes, scientists have for the first time reconstructed the Darwinian evolution of an apparently "irreducibly complex" molecular system.
The scientists used state-of-the-art statistical and molecular methods to unravel the evolution of an elegant example of molecular complexity -- the specific partnership of the hormone aldosterone, which regulates behavior and kidney function, along with the receptor protein that allows the body's cells to respond to the hormone. They resurrected the ancestral receptor gene -- which existed more than 450 million years ago, before the first animals with bones appeared on Earth -- and characterized its molecular functions. The experiments showed that the receptor had the capacity to be activated by aldosterone long before the hormone actually evolved.

Thornton's group then showed that the ancestral receptor also responded to a far more ancient hormone with a similar structure; this made it "preadapated" to be recruited into a new functional partnership when aldosterone later evolved. By recapitulating the evolution of the receptor's DNA sequence, the scientists showed that only two mutations were required to evolve the receptor's present-day functions in humans.

I'm sure Dr. Behe will humbly admit his error and forswear ID forever.  Dr. Dr. Dembski will quit his job at the Southwestern Baptist Tard Factory and seek honest employment at a BBQ joint in a small town in Texas.  Denyse will drown her sorrows in COFFEE!! and will be arrested in Toronto, vainly trying to sell her body for a cup of mocha.  "Can I at least lick your spoon then?"  Batshit77 will post links to seventeen YouTube videos showing how any scientist who owns even the crudest time machine could have gone back in time and Intelligently Designed that receptor gene and inserted it into an ancient genome, therefore God.  Gordon will come out of retirement/hiding and write a fifteen and a half thousand word panegyric on something or other, but nobody will read it after the first two attempts result in suicide.

Then all the UD regulars will join hands and sing "Waterloo", by ABBA.

Yes, it's really cool work, but check the date. It was three and a half years ago. Thornton and Behe have had at it even more recently.

Date: 2009/11/04 00:29:12, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Nov. 03 2009,22:25)
Weird!  That popped up as new in my email today.

What is time to Ceiling Cat?

Date: 2009/11/10 22:17:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (sparc @ Nov. 10 2009,19:40)
Is this his personal bible in his hands? If so it is one of those editions that lack the interesting parts.

I don't know, but he's clearly about to whip it at someone in the front row. I think it's DiEb.

Date: 2009/11/10 22:41:05, Link
Author: bfish
Oh, oh. I think you might have just lost the thread with that one!

Date: 2009/11/11 13:00:23, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Bob O'H @ Nov. 11 2009,06:49)
Worrying news: afarensis is in hospital.
This is Afarensis’ youngest daughter.
My dad got sick last week and kept getting worse and worse until finally my mom took him to the ER.
Unfortunately he has Pneumonia and possibly Swine Flu so he won’t be home until Friday.

Wishing you a full recovery, Afarensis.

Date: 2009/11/18 19:08:04, Link
Author: bfish
Hot Dingleberries, I just got my copy of the Ray Comfort "Origin of Species." I wasn't able to get down to campus myself, but some co-workers grabbed one for me. Hallelulah!

Date: 2009/11/19 18:39:44, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Cubist @ Nov. 19 2009,00:00)
Quote (bfish @ Nov. 18 2009,19:08)
Hot Dingleberries, I just got my copy of the Ray Comfort "Origin of Species." I wasn't able to get down to campus myself, but some co-workers grabbed one for me. Hallelulah!

Good (if that's the word...) for you! Do you think you could compare the Comfort'ed Origin to the real thing, and work up a report on what unholy modifications Comfort may have inflicted on the poor thing, over and above the chapters he omitted?

I believe the claim is that it is unedited. When Ray and Genie Scott did their write-ups for US News, there was concern that some chapters had been omitted, but that is apparently not the case. I'm sure that others are busy checking that for truthiness.

As for what edition of the Origin is in this volume, it does not say. Perhaps I can check it against the web site that recently color-coded all the different editions. Does anyone have that URL?

I can tell you a few quick observations:

1) There are no page numbers in the table of contents. Nor do the top of the pages reveal which chapter you are in. Thus, it is a little bit tough to navigate within the book. I don't remember if that is typically true of this work.

2) Comfort's Intro is in about size 14 font. Darwin's bit is maybe size 9 font.

3) Mein Kampf is listed in Comfort's Endnotes at least four times.

Date: 2009/11/22 10:00:00, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 22 2009,00:04)
Quote (sparc @ Nov. 21 2009,21:27)
7:32 pm

My father is the most brilliant scientist I have ever had the privilege to know. He is also the most ethical and compassionate man I have ever known, although he is an atheist. In many ways, he modeled Christ for me.

He didn't mention his father's responsibility in an earlier statement:  
I was an atheist, brainwashed by the establishment, into my 40s. I got a triple dose of indoctrination: from the public schools, from the secular environment in which I grew up (a small college town, surrounded by intellectual university types), and from the university itself. There was no doubt in my mind that God was a human fabrication and that we were the product of purposeless Darwinian mechanisms. In retrospect, however, I realize that I accepted these conclusions completely uncritically, which is ironic, because educated intellectual types supposedly take pride in critical thinking.

I remember that once, after his usual spiel about how Darwinists are idiots, someone asked Gil if his father was a Darwinist.  There was no reply.

I believe that was Hermagoras who asked the question. He never got an answer at UD, but may have received personal correspondence.

Date: 2010/01/04 23:52:15, Link
Author: bfish
I haven't peeked at UD for awhile. I had to manually enter the URL into my browser, and I inadvertently typed
Which one of y'all is behind this? I imagine it has been discussed before.

Date: 2010/01/10 01:01:33, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 09 2010,05:06)
I'd love to read the paper, if anyone has access.

PDF winging it's way to your gmail address.

Date: 2010/01/11 12:08:46, Link
Author: bfish
comment rendered irrelevant by post in different thread.

Date: 2010/01/17 10:41:14, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Jan. 16 2010,07:13)
anyone who says that marsupial and placental skeletons are EAXCTLY THE SAME MINNUS A FEW DETAILS ain't really interested in anything except ball scratching

Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Date: 2010/01/20 20:39:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ptaylor @ Jan. 20 2010,15:35)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 21 2010,12:28)
If you're really Jerry, say something about No Free Lunch in your next comment over there.

Well I'll be...

I think this just shows that Jerry reads ATBC very closely. He's trying to get Rich in trouble at UD.

Clive, don't ban Rich just because Jerry wants you to think that he's him.

Clever bastard, that Jerry.

Date: 2010/01/21 00:21:22, Link
Author: bfish
I just finished conducting one of my specialties - the half-assed Google search.

It produced this fossil record of a rather infamous UD post. Dig through the sedimentary layers to Comment #3.
ETA: The lil link does not contain spam, and it is safe to click through. Tiny URL also had trouble with the link. Is it because it contains the words, "Uncommon Descent?"

Note that the page as currently exists on the UD site no longer contains jerry's attempt to be helpful.

Now, I'm not saying this was jerry's first comment. In fact, I'd bet money that it isn't. It IS, however, the oldest example my half-assed Google-Fu could uncover.

Odd that jerry has never tried to pester Rich before now, after almost four years.

Date: 2010/01/21 15:01:08, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 21 2010,09:28)
Shannon must not have understood Shannon Information.

He didn't even realize he was doing ID research, the poor bastid.

Date: 2010/01/21 18:15:19, Link
Author: bfish
Anyone going to see PZ Myers tomorrow in Berkeley? I will try to be there.

Date: 2010/01/24 12:40:14, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (jswilkins @ Jan. 24 2010,01:10)
Science is the doing of investigation. The way we teach science in the western world is so item-based we may as well just get them to memorise the facts. Wait, that's what we do.

If you want to fix science education, IMO, remove the constraints on good science teachers, and ensure that only good science teachers teach science, from around year 3 on. If that means third graders need a dedicated science teacher, so be it. Kids will get more interested in science by blowing things up (in a small and controlled manner) than from reading the textbooks. Make science hands on and dirty for the first 9 years; and then get data driven.

That seems to be where things are heading, at least in California.

The place I work hosts local 5th grade students for a tour which includes some fun hands-on physics experiments. I've signed up to run a station for six of these tours this year. Volunteers like myself are instructed not to just give out answers, but to try to ask questions that guide the kids to answer their own questions. It has taken me some practice, but I'm getting better at letting them figure things out for themselves.

In addition, the Lawrence Hall of Science has put together hands-on science kits for kids from preschool to high school. They are working through the local libraries to let people  borrow the kits and take them into schools. There are many more kits than our listed on this page, so perhaps they are rolling them out slowly. I worked with the 4th grade electricity kit and it was a lot of fun. It's all about plugging in little light bulbs with batteries, inventing switches, seeing what happens when you connect them in series or parallel. It's all hands-on: play around with it and see what happens.

Date: 2010/01/28 00:05:31, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 27 2010,20:57)
From a comment on a facebook page, you guess the author:

I thought McDonnell made better sense than Jindal did (And Jindal is a fellow alum of mine and Ken Miller's Ivy League undergraduate alma mater.). Might quibble with McDonnell's assertion that ours is the best healthcare system in the world, but otherwise, thought he hit the right notes, especially with his comments as to why limited government works best.... and even a former statesman from his home state, Thomas Jefferson, also recognized this.

Yet another reason I'm glad I don't have a Facebook account.

On the other hand, I can still see the front page.
Amongst the products he is a fan of: Leica cameras

Goddamn, that's funny.

Date: 2010/01/28 01:16:46, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Robert Byers @ Jan. 27 2010,22:14)
I saw on another forum that there is this fantastic moving picture video of the marsupial wolf. Youtube. I don't know how to get it but every poster interested or confident enough should see it. its just a few minutes long.
One should watch it several times. It is of one of the last marsupial dogs that ever existed.
Watch with a open mind.
Watch how it walks and lays down and sits upright and scratches and chews something. Remember they say it howled at night.
I say that this creature is a doggie.
I would be interested in what the serious posters here, who have been commenting on this, think and see when watching this marsupial pooch.

Pictures can say better then words sometimes.

Here, try The Thylacine Museum. Click on the film section and you'll be able to see several very short clips of this animal.

I dunno, Robert. Watching the videos with an open mind, at times it looks sorta like a dog to me, and at other times sorta like a cat. Really, to me, it looks like it's own thing. An interesting animal, and a shame that humans hunted it to extinction. (I admit, I'm hoping that there might be a small population of them hiding out in the wilds of Tasmania - which can be pretty darned wild).

I'm curious, though - what is the placental kangaroo? The placental devil? The placental quoll? The placental bandicoot? Obviously the placental koala is a bear, and the placental platypus is a beaver. (Well, a beaver-duck, anyway. That one's kind of a bastard). But what of the placental numbat and the placental bilby? There must be a placental possum, too. Hell, I have the marsupial version in my backyard - there must be a placental version laying about too, eh?

Date: 2010/01/29 14:38:48, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (midwifetoad @ Jan. 29 2010,12:33)
You guys fail to see the multi-layered irony embedded in the phrase, "Taliban-style collapse."

Yeah, I was wondering what the heck that was supposed to mean. They're going to kick all the women out of the baptist college laboratory? They're going to allow the IDers to occupy their cities while they regroup in the countryside?

Date: 2010/01/29 14:43:16, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 29 2010,08:08)

Evolving robots!

Wait for the ID spin..

They're still robots...

Date: 2010/02/02 01:45:06, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Robert Byers @ Feb. 01 2010,01:51)
A cat?!! What cats are in your neighborhood ?!

Cool cats, of course.

Look, Robert, you asked people to look at the video with an open mind. I did. Then I told you what I saw. Now you're telling me that I saw wrong, because I didn't see what you saw. You say potato, I say potahto. I've got an idea, though. Let's take these subjective viewpoints out of the picture. Let's instead objectively list as many characteristics of the animal as we can find, and then compare those characteristics to other animals, and see which animals have the most characteristics in common. Maybe we can even trace those characteristics back in time to sketch up a proposed family tree.

But you already know what happens when you do that, don't you? You've had this explained to you on this forum, and on Theology Web, and on Thor knows how many other sites. You aren't interested in any of that evidence, as we all know. Your mind is hardly open.

Anyway, do you know the other name for a thylacine? It's called a Tasmanian Tiger. That's right. Tiger. A cat. Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying that they call it a Tasmanian Tiger just because it has stripes. Well, I say the stripes are exactly what shows that it was a member of the Tiger kind. All this other stuff is just adaptation that don't mean anything. Does it have tiger stripes? Well, by crackey, it's a goddamned tiger in my book.

Date: 2010/02/02 22:04:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Texas Teach @ Feb. 02 2010,18:15)
Quote (JohnW @ Feb. 02 2010,19:05)

Hypothesis: Denyse O'Leary writes the worst sentences in the world.

Hence the notion that an ape and a man can both swing a golf club sharing man of the same genes and complexity from the physical standpoint- but only the man has a chance of making a hole in one- say every 50 thousand shots while the ape may never make one.


That hardly seems fair.  StephenB gets that lucky shot, but Denyse has been writing the world's worst sentences (and paragraphs) for years.  StephenB hit a grand slam, but O'Leary is Babe Ruth.

Now, hold on there. Credit where credit is due. That ain't StevenB's work. Frosty worked hard on that sentence, and he deserves all the recognition he has coming to him.

Date: 2010/02/03 11:18:48, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 03 2010,04:09)
Quote (Robert Byers @ Feb. 03 2010,03:54)
If its cat-like it could be like a gannet or fossa or any other type of these creatures.




Yep, they sure look the same to me. The scales have been lifted from my eyes!

Nice try, Albatrossity!

The quoll is covered in spots. The gannett has speckly black on white and the fossa has just one solid color. Obviously they are not related.

Date: 2010/02/03 11:21:02, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Robert Byers @ Feb. 03 2010,02:35)
Quote (bfish @ Feb. 02 2010,01:45)

Anyway, do you know the other name for a thylacine? It's called a Tasmanian Tiger. That's right. Tiger. A cat. Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying that they call it a Tasmanian Tiger just because it has stripes. Well, I say the stripes are exactly what shows that it was a member of the Tiger kind. All this other stuff is just adaptation that don't mean anything. Does it have tiger stripes? Well, by crackey, it's a goddamned tiger in my book.

Its not a tiger. Look at the video again. Pictures do talk.
I always have stress with evolutionists how evolution is the one with a very precise conclusion on why a mar/wolf looks like a regular wolf.
its from generations of mutation/selection in niches that produced the likeness of form.
Powerful biological forces are invoked by evolution to explain the list of marsupials that are dead on lookalikes to placentals.
Its not about stripes on the fur/skin.
This is a common thing.

Convergent evolution is false but it does force evolution fans to accept real biological principals on how alike creatures are in this case.

Trying to say marsupial wolves are cats or zebras is poor criticism.
If I mat say so.

I'm saying that all animals with stripes are related. Or spots. You're telling me I'm wrong because subjectively, to you, the stripes don't seem very important. They're common, you say. Well, I say they are all-important. I mean, how would you even go about making a stripe? So it's your subjective belief against mine.

If only we had some objective way to measure these things. Something that didn't depend just on what you believed and what I believed. You even said that a thylacine is 95% a canis lupus, whereas a dolphin is just 5% of a fish, so clearly you think there must be some objective way to score sameness and relatedness.

If only someone had ever done such a comparison.

[Edited to remove cheap shot against someone who doesn't have an edit button].

Date: 2010/02/04 20:27:22, Link
Author: bfish
Hey, Wes, how's your wife doing with the alligator bites? All healed? No infections resulted?

Date: 2010/02/10 00:26:54, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 09 2010,16:37)
Stephen Barr disses IDC

And he does it in First Things, the religious magazine that featured Dembski's triumphalist "Science and Design" article back in 1998.


It is time to take stock: What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists. If we are to look for ID achievements, then, it must be in the realm of natural theology. And there, I think, the movement must be judged not only a failure, but a debacle.

Yes, Stephen. Various critics were saying about the same thing back in 1997. But I'm happy that First Things got around to noting that, even if a dozen years late to the party.

Dr Dr has seen the piece and has written a lengthy response. One line jumped out at me:
[Barr] writes, “I have addressed many audiences myself using arguments similar to theirs [i.e., those of Ken Miller, Francis Collins, etc.] and have had scientists whom I know to be of firm atheist convictions tell me that they came away with more respect for the religious position.”
More respect? How much more exactly? Respect is fine and well, but I take it from this quote that these atheists are still atheists. In my own experience, I find that I’ve lost the respect of many in the scientific community, but I also receive an email now and again from someone who was an atheist and found God because ID shook them out of their dogmatic slumber.

That really is what it is all about for those guys, right? Bringing in the lost sheep.

Date: 2010/02/11 00:24:05, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Feb. 10 2010,22:05)
Jason Rosenhouse discusses Stephen Barr's article at EVOLUTIONBLOG - and has a lot of criticisms of it.  And I think he makes some good points.

Yes, but try as he might, Jason can't pull a fast one on Clive.

His entire thesis is that ID is creationism, religion repackaged, so he uses religion, when it suits him, as making a valid argument, but only insofar as it argues against the validity of religion. If religion is valid then it is valid, if it is invalid it cannot be a valid argument. He would have to assume it as valid in order to assume it as invalid. But if it is invalid, it is invalid in an argument.

Ah, but if he knows that you know that he knows it is invalid.....

Date: 2010/02/12 23:17:38, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (CeilingCat @ Feb. 12 2010,04:35)
That First Things thread is golden.  Search for Nick M and watch him take Francis Beckwith apart at 2.11.2010 | 12:11am.

ID's Last Gasp

Of possible interest to Reciprocating Bill:

A certain StephenB has left a comment on the First Things thread, at 8:30 on 2/12. He discusses "methodological naturalism", "natural causes," tornadoes, and burglars.

And he can't ban people from the thread.

Edited to remove "white courtesy phone" reference upon noticing that Carlsonjok had opened this page with that very same gag.

*shakes fist at Oklahoma*

Date: 2010/02/17 11:11:01, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (dheddle @ Feb. 17 2010,08:29)
Unlike we Calvinists, who enjoy free will out the wazoo.

Young man, you put that free will back in your wazoo right now, before I go and get your father.

Date: 2010/02/19 15:32:49, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Alan Fox @ Feb. 19 2010,03:04)
Allen MacNeill offers a course on free will!

[snip]Most philosophers disagree, asserting that free will is the principle difference between humans and non-human animals.

That sounds sort of species-ist  to me.

I have a video that I show to various groups of students and teachers that tour the lab I work in. It shows a pair of male Drosophila Melanogaster that have been selected for aggression over many generations. They are fighting over a spot of yeast which is apparently not big enough for the both of them. (In a perfect world, I would link the video to this song). They chase each other around, collide a few times, harass each other, and occasionally rear up on their hind legs and rassle. But the thing is, flies don't really have any means to actually hurt each other. The joust could go on forever. But eventually one fly chooses to fight another day. He runs off. The other chases him a small distance, then returns to his hard-earned yeast.

Now, you could argue, and reasonably so, that that fly's brain is just churning through algorithms until finally the output suggested "time to stop." But maybe he just decided, "screw it, I'll find some more yeast somewhere else." At any rate, I'm not sure why we would draw a free will dividing line between our behaviors and fly behaviors. And flies hardly have the most complicated behaviors in the non-human animal kingdom.

Here's a video that clearly was made in the same lab that made the video I show.

Date: 2010/02/22 00:57:15, Link
Author: bfish
Well, Gil is back with kind of a minor post.

Absolutist contributes his own two cents:

I would argue here that moral absolutes clearly point to a moral law giver, which points to a personal God.

I see. Well, the question of what those moral absolutes might be has been bandied about as recently as this very ATBC page. I wonder what Absolutist considers his best example of such a moral absolute? Thou shalt not kill (See JLT, top of this page)? Thou shalt not steal? Let's check, shall we? OK, Absolutist - hit us with your best shot:

I mean no one leans over their baby’s crib and wish their child to grow up and be a lesbian for example.

Goddam, it's always about teh gay with those dudes.

Date: 2010/02/22 01:07:58, Link
Author: bfish
No one has commented yet on Sal's comments in the Dahmer thread:

My best answer is :

What is moral is what and when God decides something is moral.

There is a time for some behaviors and another time for others. There is a time for everything under the sun.

There was a time when the children of Israel were commanded to kill children and then there was a time mercy was the law.

God decides. We try our best to understand what He expects of us.

I know this has been discussed many times here, but son of a bitch - it's OK to kill children if God gives the go ahead, because he is God?

The basic point is, without some reference point, it’s hard to come up with what is moral.

Yeah, that thing about killing children. Kinda morally tricky, eh?

But then I actually appreciated this comment a few minutes later:

   So, the objective moral code is always objective, but not necessarily always the same?

Don’t know.

In case the block quotes don't make it clear, the "Don't know" was from Sal. Has anyone else on UD ever admitted they "don't know" something? Baby steps, Sal. Baby steps.

Date: 2010/02/22 14:53:52, Link
Author: bfish
I think this is a great idea for a topic. Much better to ask questions or make comments without pretending to be something you are not.

Date: 2010/02/23 17:03:01, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (OgreMkV @ Feb. 23 2010,13:48)
No, 'A' is the non-random string.  It is a series of useful numbers to me (library ID, old school IDs, birthdays, etc) with '1' alternately added or subtracted from the number.  That is why the preponderance of '0'.

'B' is a random number generated from using atmospheric noise.

apropos of nothing, but, um....

which part was your social security number again?

Date: 2010/02/24 17:02:51, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 24 2010,13:43)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 24 2010,15:37)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 24 2010,14:30)

Not be critical of otherwise fine work, but shouldn't you have included "accumulation of genetic accidents?"

Yes.  :(

I think you need a panel for "ya see"

Also, I'm afraid you transposed the M and N in baraminology.

But maybe that was on purpose.

Date: 2010/02/26 15:05:39, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (didymos @ Feb. 26 2010,11:07)
ETA: You know, I really hate his little fucking catchphrase. So much pretension and self-righteous ignorance.  Sorry, got nothing all that funny: that thing just really pisses me off, for some reason.

Didymos hates Cornelius Hunter's catchphrase, and it matters.


Date: 2010/02/26 18:49:15, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (fnxtr @ Feb. 26 2010,16:44)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 25 2010,15:07)
Another human vanity squashed:

Gil will no doubt find the performance "mechanical".

“All the computer is is just an extension of me,” Cope says. “They’re nothing but wonderfully organized shovels. I wouldn’t give credit to the shovel for digging the hole. Would you?”

Waters said a similar thing in "Live at Pompeii".

Is he saying he's smuggling in design?

Date: 2010/03/03 20:33:34, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 03 2010,03:00)
Well, you can take away hope because Don McElroy has lost the Republican primary to represent District 9 on the State Board of Education.

It's about time District 9 had decent representation.

Date: 2010/03/05 11:12:09, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 04 2010,22:54)
Genetics are not a trail but a result of like parts equals like dna.
No evolution here by selection on mutation and so. So it also teaches that creatures did change suddenly from innate abilities to adapt to the earth.

This would explain much about fossil and living diversity.

With all due respect, it wouldn't explain crap.

The genetics is irrelevant? What do you propose happens? The animal changes shape, grows a pouch, and then the DNA changes in response?

All your research team needs to do is explain this mechanism, and you're all set!

Date: 2010/03/11 17:16:30, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Alan Fox @ Mar. 11 2010,08:15)
I think the EF is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

I must dispute this claim.

A chocolate teapot is WAY more useful than the Explanatory Filter. I can eat the chocolate teapot.


Date: 2010/03/13 09:25:55, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Hermagoras @ Mar. 13 2010,07:05)
Can I say (honestly) how much I like Joe G's "Captain America" avatar?

Is that what it is?

I thought it was his Ass Hat.

Date: 2010/03/25 16:40:49, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (FrankH @ Mar. 24 2010,16:27)
 As someone who is smarter than I stated, "If you are looking for 'Mr. Brown' and you see two men walking, if the first guy is not 'Mr. Brown', it doesn't mean the second guy is 'Mr. Brown' either."

No it wouldn't.

But it MIGHT just mean that he is a yellow banana.

Date: 2010/03/26 11:01:14, Link
Author: bfish
deleted per duplication

Date: 2010/03/26 11:01:55, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (dvunkannon @ Mar. 26 2010,08:50)
OK, maybe Nakashima isn't dead after all.

Well, 'e was coughin' up blood last night!

Date: 2010/04/02 00:15:12, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Zachriel @ April 01 2010,18:14)
Zachriel: Nor do we have to have knowledge of molecular genetics to know about inheritance or show that certain traits are heritable.

ID guy: You can't show something is heritable without that knowledge.

So much for Mendelian Inheritance.

Hmmm. How about we ask a guy who won the Nobel Prize for his genetics research.

Here is the first paragraph of Ed Lewis' 1995 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. He is discussing the work that set the stage for his own, work that was performed prior to 1933, a full 20 years before Watson and Crick published their paper describing the structure of DNA.

Genetics is a discipline that has successfully used abstractions to attack many of the most important problems of biology, including the study of evolution and how animals and plants develop. The power of genetics to benefit mankind was first recognized by the award of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1933 to T. H. Morgan. In the 23 years that had intervened between the time Morgan introduced Drosophila as a new organism for the study of genetics and the award of the Prize, he and his students, especially, A. H. Sturtevant, C. B. Bridges and H. J. Muller, had vastly extended the laws of Mendel as the result of a host of discoveries, to mention only a few: that the genes (Mendel’s factors) are arranged in a linear order and can be placed on genetic maps, that they mutate in forward and reverse directions, that they can exist in many forms, or alleles, and that their functioning can depend upon their position. Purely on the basis of breeding experiments, these early workers were able to deduce the existence of inversions and duplications, for example, before it became possible to demonstrate them cytologically. The list of their achievements is a long one and one that has been put into historical perspective by Sturtevant in A History of Genetics (1).

IOW, Joe ID Guy, well before molecular genetics existed, extremely smart people had figured out far more than just that some traits are inherited.

By the way, happy centennial for all you fly researchers out there.

Date: 2010/05/07 01:58:42, Link
Author: bfish
I had missed this before, although it came out at least several months ago: John Freshwater, the science teacher who allegedly burned crosses into the skin of his students, showed his class the "Watchmaker" video that good ole AFDave was so proud of.

Do a search for "Watchmaker."


Date: 2010/05/07 20:43:09, Link
Author: bfish
Uh oh. Give Australian youth the chance to take an ethics class instead of religious instruction and  quite a few choose ethics.

Date: 2010/05/22 23:41:57, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 22 2010,17:41)
Some shots from my son:

You just can't keep that guy out of a dress, can you?

Hey, Lou, that is really terrific. Good on ya, and Congratulations!

Date: 2010/06/15 01:36:58, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 13 2010,11:54)
So, just yesterday, I upgraded to the Canon EOS Rebel T2i camera which has video capability.  The files are in MOV format, but they are huge.  I took a 1:30 video of my horses in 1080 HD format and it was a half a gig in size. I'd like to convert movies and burn them to a DVD.  Does anyone have recommendations for a good video software package to do the job.  The freer, the better although I am not adverse to dropping a little money.

That's the very camera I have been eyeing. Sadly, the missus says no. What lens(es) did you get?

Date: 2010/07/15 02:19:19, Link
Author: bfish
That reminds me. I just saw Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" with my kid, and, um......

Date: 2010/07/22 20:45:15, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (ppb @ July 22 2010,13:19)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 22 2010,16:01)
Quote (Henry J @ July 22 2010,14:10)

... ..--..   .-- .... .- -   .. ...   - .... .- -   .- -.   .- -... -... .-. . ...- .. .- - .. --- -.   --- ..-. ..--..

.-.. --- .-..

.--. --- - .-- ..--.

... . -.-. --- -. -.. . -..

(--. --- --- --. .-.. . / .-. --- -.-. -.- ...)

Date: 2010/08/06 20:10:17, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Quack @ Aug. 06 2010,04:44)
WTF, evolution in Canada? Canada?

RDH Barrett a.o.: Rapid evolution of cold tolerance in stickleback,  The Proceedings of the Royal Society B  (Aug. 4. 2010)

Yeah, but they're still cold.

Date: 2010/08/10 00:49:59, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (keiths @ Aug. 09 2010,21:51)
Jesus H. Christ. From Denyse:
In any event, I discovered for myself that there is an enormous difference between words and concepts, a difference large enough to sink materialist theories of the mind. How?

Recently, I was helping rehab a very elderly person, and discovered that he always more or less knew things, even though – because his short term memory was damaged due to various health problems – he did not know the words for them. Family members visited him, and helped him re-establish key short term memories.

My major concern now is the people who may be dumped off, unvisited, in the Old Folks. How many of their problems are due to unalleviable brain disorders, as opposed to simple neglect?

If you leave a person alone, except for indifferent paid staff, with no interesting experiences or activities, many restrictions, and confusing floor plans – even a genius might suffer a loss of cognition.

Could someone do a tardanalysis of that and tell me HTF Denyse thinks this "sinks" materialism?

I'll bet it's got something to do with the placebo effect.

OK, really, I have no idea. She must think that the mind of a dementia patient is undamaged, and merely needs to be coaxed back into proper communication with the brain. No, it doesn't make any sense.

Her referencing the difference between a word and the idea it represents reminds me of my "material brain" thread. I've had no recent episodes of aphasia - which might be what I need to understand her post.

Date: 2010/11/20 23:35:02, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Bob O'H @ Nov. 18 2010,07:10)
The debate will be archived, apparently, on

Hitch is a baldy now.

The archived debate is now up.

They are claiming 2 hours and 16 minutes broken up into three pieces, so hopefully it is complete. I can't say one way or another, because none of the videos will load for me so far.

[Edited to fix silly math error]

Date: 2010/11/29 23:46:03, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Ptaylor @ Nov. 29 2010,17:48)
My, they've decided a lot of things about how atheists think in the comments on vj's Survival of the Godliest thread. Some samples:

Gil -    

Aw, man! I thought this meant that Gil had actually posted the two characters "E1" as a comment. How cool would that have been? Not to mention a great time saver.

Date: 2010/12/11 01:16:39, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 10 2010,20:37)
I’d just like to clear up one point, first of all. I would deny marriage to a straight couple that has no interest in having children and has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Just who the fuck do these busybodies think they are?

Fuck all you preening, self-righteous pricks. Go fuck yourself with a splintered broom handle and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.


Just reading the nuggets you all have dragged to the surface today leaves me muttering to myself. Those are some fucked up dudes over there.

Date: 2010/12/11 01:22:41, Link
Author: bfish
Just skimming along over there, seeing what I can see, I came across this from VJT:

The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) strongly suggests that Jesus Christ intended to do away with the death penalty for sexual sins.

Before his untimely demise, one presumes. Gee, if only he hadn't set that whole crucifiction thing in motion, he coulda let people know what he REALLY meant.

Date: 2010/12/13 00:21:43, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Raevmo @ Dec. 12 2010,14:33)
VJ has a few "closing remarks" (5387 words, 11 A4 pages in Word) on The Gay Thread.

Still showing no reluctance to be judgmental of others, VJT notes:
And the right procreative act is an act of love which generates new human life. Artificially generating a new human life in a Petri dish in a laboratory is an ugly, mechanical, inhuman act, which divorces the act of love from the procreation of new life. That’s no way to make a baby.

For some, that is the only way to make a baby. For my wife and I, it resulted in two pregnancies and two relatively early miscarriages. (We later did have a baby the old-fashioned way. Must have been the right procreative act just that one time). Several of our friends (whom we met while negotiating the hills and valleys of this difficult process) have actual, living children today because of this "ugly, mechanical, inhuman act." I can assure Dr VJT that these children are well-loved.

I'm quite sure he has no idea what a judgmental ass he has shown himself to be on that thread.

Date: 2010/12/13 14:28:19, Link
Author: bfish
uh, oh.

QuiteID raises the subject of Kairos' writing style.

A general observation: When you take offense, as you often do, to somebody else’s characterization, your writing can be hard to follow. It tends to draw many threads of thought into a single whole, and I for one, who consider myself a careful reader, find myself somewhat at sea.


I am sure you have the best of intentions, kairosfocus, but your writing is so bristling with cross-references that it’s hard to read. Your “explicit” repudiation of the criminalization of homosexuality has to be dug out of your writing. The fact is that when you feel offended, as you often do, your writing becomes even more cross-referential than usual. I’m saying this as someone who is sympathetic to your perspective (though who has a different view vis-a-vis the state and its proper role in moral correction).

Although KF is frothing at the mouth about San Antonio Rose, he, surprisingly, doesn't blow a gasket in response to Quite ID's gentle observations:

As for writing style, I admit to sometimes being convoluted, and will endeavour to try to reduce the incidence. Good day. GEM of TKI

Lately he is starting every comment with "F/N." What does that mean? I hope it's not "Final Note," because he's thrown in about a dozen. I'm secretly hoping he will switch to starting every post with "FFS."

Date: 2010/12/14 12:55:13, Link
Author: bfish
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 13 2010,19:40)
Just got my copy of <i>Nature</i> 9 December 2010 today... it features a version of Haeckel's embryo drawings on the cover and an article supporting a phylotypic developmental stage with molecular evidence. It turns out that the lowest divergence in gene expression and the oldest genes are the ones associated with the phylotypic stage, as tested across six Drosophila spp.

How long until the DI hissy-fit?

Hey, I know one of those dudes. He didn't tell me they were getting the cover.

ETA: The guy I know is the corresponding author, and it turns out he has already contacted Panda's Thumb.

Date: 2010/12/17 00:40:44, Link
Author: bfish
FFS, the Manhattan thread is still going on. I thought Torley had ended it.

It seems that San Antonio Rose has recently been put into moderation.
San Antonio Rose
6:00 am
Perhaps you could prevail upon whomever is controlling the release of comments from moderation to release them a little more quickly. I have posted 2 comments in the last 24 hours, which have not included any comments that could be percieved as slanderous, which are still waiting for approval.

KF is unsympathetic.
1:00 am
PS: SAR, As one who has no control on the actions of UD’s moderators, your complaints to me about delayed release of comments from the mod pile are misdirected; I suggest you communicate with the blog owner. (In that context your speaking of “perceived” slander in a context where you have falsely accused other participants in the thread of support for mass murder [and a host of lesser but still offensive things], does not help your case. Kindly note that involvement with UD is voluntary and unpaid, so moderators –Hi Patrick, Hi Clive — may have other work or life engagements that will take priority, especially at this busy season.)