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Date: 2006/01/06 09:51:55, Link
Author: guthrie
I broadly agree with Flint about the non moral situation of markets.  Thats one of the reasons why I am some kind of leftie liberal, seeing as markets arent moral, yet we (humans) seem to like some kind of morals, and mine dictate that rampant capitalism is not a good thing.

An extreme example being drugs and child porn, there exist markets for both, but they are judged to be dangerous and harmful by most people, hence ultimately they are suppressed.  

And it also ties in with ideas of freedom and liberty etc. And lets not get into differentiating when you are acting because of a moral principle, or because it just suits you.

I only have some interest in economics, and a little of it from when I did some management modules at university, and I have also read a few popular books on teh subject, and history thereof.  I am currently reading some of Marx's writings, and have some Smith, von Mises and Keynes lined up.

Date: 2006/01/06 12:17:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Hey, thats kind of what I was trying to say anyway.  I know all that, making something illegal pushes up costs etc etc.  Thats really basic stuff.  I just disagree with exactly the way you word it:

"policy makers are trying to protect the delicate sensibilities of people by telling them what they're not allowed to like"

Whereas I think if you actually asked most people about child porn, they would certainly ban it.  Drugs, well, people do silly things and are somewhat shortsighted in their outlooks, so simply banning them is too simple.  But anyway, banning both of them could be justified because "god told me so" or "Taking drugs is bad for you and your community" or "Children are not capable of making the informed choices necessary and anyway they come to harm".  Which are moral rather than economic positions.  I dont see people arguing that drugs or child porn should be banned because they dont benefit anyone economically.

Date: 2006/01/21 09:43:27, Link
Author: guthrie
I was thinking of making some kind of pithy comment about uncommon dissent, but somehow couldnt work up the emotion.  

I like the way Dave Scot is turning into an expert on ID; I think it would be interesting if he could participate in the next court case related to ID, whenever that will be.

Date: 2006/01/21 09:49:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 21 2006,15:44)
I would dissagree on the BBC being influenced by the government of the day anymore.

About the article though. I doubt if Tony Blair had any idea whatsoever about what that school taught. I would hazard a guess that he just said any old crap to avoid appearing ignorant.

There is something wrong with the UK political system when a MP can't just say "I do not know, I will find out and report back to you".

I would dissagree on the BBC being influenced by the government of the day anymore.

HHmm, well, we shall have to agree to disagree.  

About the article though. I doubt if Tony Blair had any idea whatsoever about what that school taught. I would hazard a guess that he just said any old crap to avoid appearing ignorant.

I agree entirely.

There is something wrong with the UK political system when a MP can't just say "I do not know, I will find out and report back to you".

Absolutely.  My knowledge of parliamentary preocedure is miniscle, but I do know that they have plenty of researchers who could find things outquickly enough (A few days), but the problem then is that Blair might have to take a stand on the issue, something he is I think desperate to avoid doing.  Its hard to find issues on which he really truly takes a stand, rather than saying something wishy washy and content free.

Date: 2006/01/22 11:19:20, Link
Author: guthrie
[quote=Stephen Elliott,Jan. 22 2006,12:57][/quote]
While I think state education is a good thing in principle. It does not seem to be managed with excellence.

I think you can say that about every single human endeavour that you can think of.  Every single one.  No exceptions.  

I start more from broad observations that mandatory basic education is necessary to further peoples betterment and self fulfillment etc.  This has historically been state provided, and I cannot see how it can be provided any other way.  So, going from this, the question becomes how can we improve things as much as possible given certain constraints like money, time etc etc.  For example, smaller class sizes do help somehat to improve test scores.  Great, lets reduce class sizes from 30 to 20!  But then we need lots more teachers, and more money to spend on them.  

Then, managed excellently.  I have worked full time in 3 different private companies (I have a chemistry degree).  All of them exhibited definite lacks of management excellence.  From reading newspapers, I have gathered that some failing schools show a lack of excellence, but when you put a good headmaster/ mistress in place, change a couple of teachers, wait a year or two, then it improves.  This suggests to me that said excellence depends as much upon the individuals involved as anything to do with the structure of the organisation etc.  

As for benefiting teachers, I know a few teachers, seeing as my mother is a retired primary school teacher.  They would chew you out for suggesting that the main purpose of state education is to benefit the teachers, but then they are good teachers- the problem is the bad ones and the people who aid and abet them.  (And I have a story or two about that, but they can hardly be aried on a public forum.)  

I am too young to rember the grammar school, but the problem with the grammar school system that I recall reading about was that, well apart from being not "practical" enough in the modern sense, it also encouraged elitism.  

As for admission standards, the simple question remains- what do you do with the children who cannot get into any school?  Sure, some of them are obnoxious toe rags; others have a damaging and enervating home background which makes it almost impossible for them to get on in school.  

Universities- I actually agree about the 50% target.  I see it as some weird magic trick.  I can see no reason to have 50% university educated, because a REAL university education is not suitable for everyone.  Sure, i liked some of it, but I'm part intellectual.  I would rather we copied germany, which last i knew had trades colleges and suchlike for pupils whose abilities lay less in essay writing or geekery, and more in woodworking or plumbing or design or suchlike.  

Of course my occaisional rants about the british economy now being a service oriented one where just about any skill greater than paper shuffling or smooth talking salesmanship doesnt seem necessary is nothing more than my own biased opinion and is said somewhat tongue in cheek.  Yet I am sure you know that it sounds good to say that 50% of our youngsters are university educated, even if they never do anything with the degree, and its comparatively worthless compared to old degrees because the modern ones involve much more regurgitation of facts and less actual thinking.

edited to add:
I'll get back to you about the church schools.  Its not something I have really even come across, but your point deserves some consideration.

Date: 2006/01/23 11:20:44, Link
Author: guthrie
A good question.  I personally dont use ideas like "rights" very often.  The problem when talking about rights is one of balance as usual, and also as usual, any group of people who are not properly overseen with appropriate checks and balances frequently get it wrong.  

From my point of view, it is a combination of:

1) Nowhere else to put disruptive child.
2) Need to meet gvt targets, which whilst by themselves seem quite good, overall have a deleterious effect.
3) Their parents will possibly kick up a fuss, and you probably have a rought idea how many parents believe their little angels can do no wrong.  
4) Poor headteachering.

Date: 2006/01/25 07:23:20, Link
Author: guthrie
It seems that Dean is making a lot of my argumetns for me, and he seems to know a lot more about the jobs system than myself.  (Not too surprising, since its a couple of years since I last claimed benefits and I've never had anything else to do with it other than that.)

But anyway, I would like to suggest with regards to a curriculum- you can I think dictate from the centre the broad guidelines for what can be taught in a class.  This is what should be done with ID/ creationism, which are not sciences, therefore belong only in RE or sociology or suchlike, as has been pointed out above.  

Now, such an approach could easily still leave the local schools to teach within the guidelines how they wanted.  However, I believe that one of the problems with teaching these days can be the unhealthy interest the gvt takes in how things are done.  Instead of leaving councils etc to manage their local area, the gvt insists on lots of notices on how to do things, or in other words, they have a tendency to micromanage.  Remember also that the tendency for over 30 years now has been to centralise control.  Local councils arent worth much nowadays, indeed, I have a book written by David Blunkett when he was in Sheffield, about how the gvt of the day was taking away local freedom and responsibility.  Blair et al are just continuing this.  

Its a bit like the problem in the USA- if they leave everything up to the local school boards, many of them will mandate creationism/ ID.  If they take it out their hands, it gives central gvt one more thing to mess up, as well as leaving it open to charges of taking away said localness.  

Dean- with regards to programs to get the lon term unemployed back to work, have they done real cost benefit analyses between the money spent getting someone back to work, and the money saved by cutting the program?

And wouldnt it be great if we could get some more people doing science this way?

Oh yes, a more political point- my understanding of why the BBC is making more rubbish popular guff is because certain people wanted it to stop making quality stuff watched by less people.  Remember also the massive cuts and general hollowing out and privatisation of much of the Beeb, as well as the continuous attacks by Murdoch et al, and you can see there is only one way certain people want it to go- privatisation.  Which I personally would oppose.

Date: 2006/01/25 07:34:28, Link
Author: guthrie
I wandered in there, and found that Dave scot had put up an article from new scientist, presumably with the purpose of showing that you dont have to be a professional scientist with a degree to do good science.  Unfortunately, it kind of shows that you have to be working in the same universe as "real" scientists to actually do anything useful.  Heres the New scientist wbsite url:

The first amateur scientist, Forrest Mims, got papers into peer review and says:
"Sometimes there is resistance to publishing my papers, but most of them have been
published. Now I peer-review papers for scientific journals and I’ve peer-reviewed
two-dozen books for scientific publishers. On a number of occasions professional
scientists have taken me aside and asked me how to get published in Nature. Only once or
twice in my career has somebody been rude or resentful that I didn’t go through the
process they did."

Or in other words, certain people to my mind have  a persecution complex.

Date: 2006/01/26 03:37:46, Link
Author: guthrie
WEll, ID in the UK isnt a big thing, and they have been keeping their heads down.  I wouldnt be losing sleep over it, but it would be helpful to nip it in the bud.  

I understand there is a creationism museum in Portsmouth or nearby.  I cant remember quite where I read about it.  

As for writing to your MP, also emphasise the science of it, or lack of, and how religion and science are separate etc etc etc.  Then talk about the importance of evolution in biology and how the UK is bidding to be a biotech leader etc etc, so obviously ID would be a step backwards.  You could request that they make sure the national curriculum concentrates on the science, as decided by eminent scientists in their field, thus ID would be non science therefore should not be taught.  And direct him to talkorigins and basic evolutionary biology textbooks, because ultimately he might get interested enough to do his own digging.

Date: 2006/01/26 04:03:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Stephen, I can understand the BBC closing comments, since firstly, they have limited space to post them and time to deal with any problems, as well as each story having its own lifetime.  Furthermore, that is not a proper "forum" really.  SO, I have no problem with them closing it.  However I do agree that the BBC often takes too much of a "he said, she said"  "Equal time" approach to the story.  

As for journalists, I am not alone in thinking that very few of them do "real" work because it costs money, time etc etc and may annoy some people.  Plus its not what sells volumes of papers, the Sun is proof of that.  

If you want other forums in the UK, try the Guardians forum.
Also my local newspaper, "The Scotsman", has had 2 columnists scathingly mention ID, (And they were pretty well written columns as well actually, proper pieces of journalism) and one guest column from a biologist who also slated it.  So all is not lost.  But science articles in newspapers are notoriously iffy.  Some good, some bad, depending on whom they got to write them, and whether they are supposed to be educational or more issue of the moment grab the headline kind.

Date: 2006/01/26 04:11:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, Thordaddy is peddling his brand of ignorantism over at:

I've invited him to this thread, oddly enough he ignored it.  Rather rude of the chap.

Date: 2006/01/26 04:41:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Sorry, I cant find it on a quick scan of Pandas thumb front page.  I'll look later.  
Updated- now Ive found it in the thread about Hindu creationists.  INteresting.  So all of them should now be banned from Pandas thumb?  

But it would be fun if its true.  I'd love to have a quiet word in private with such people who waste our time.

Date: 2006/01/26 07:01:41, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, subtle clues from Larry, such as mentioning his dads AOL account, also suggest that Larry is a late teenager with nothing better to do.  Obsessive behaviour does also occur amongst teenagers.  

But yes, I was wondering about the pro from dover as well.
Do we perhaps have a really odd case of 3 people using the same library computer at different times?  It might explain why they dont seem to post at once.

Date: 2006/01/26 07:45:49, Link
Author: guthrie
It always helps to maintain your sense of humour.  

Recently I've started telling ID and anti-scientists that I believe there is a large pink spider sitting on their ceiling above their computer.  
So far, on one occaision, it has led to a useful debate about the nature of knowing and science.  On another, the person I was addressing left the thread, so never answered it.  Now I've tried it on thordaddy, and got an entertainingly vague answer about nothing in science saying there might not be a spider there.

Proposing such a ridiculous thing helps make some things about how we know what we know, and how do I know you know what you know, etc etc much more clear.

Date: 2006/01/26 21:16:30, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought it was too lightweight as well.  PLenty of mood shots, long pauses between the presenter saying anything, etc etc.  THey should have left out the CArdinal schoenberg bit and had more about the trial.  

I thought it entertaining that they interviewed Behe in an amusement park- isnt that what the ID'ers kind of do anyway, play about?

The problem is that I am not a vaguely interested but scientifically poorly educated layman, so I have trouble working out if it was pitched at them properly.

Date: 2006/01/30 00:39:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Why is that "400 scientists" list always wheeled out as "recently"?  

Anyone know what "Commentary" is for?  IS it a real journal of something?

At this stage I just want to say "Bring it on!  HIt us with your best science!  Come on!"

Date: 2006/01/30 11:08:36, Link
Author: guthrie
PR takes money?  How much money could we raise if every scientist in the USA gave a dollar, and companies employing scientists gave 10 dollars?

Date: 2006/01/31 01:30:55, Link
Author: guthrie
I suppose its all part of the simple fact that science is now completely integrated into scoeity, and societies attention has moved on.  I'm not that old, but looking back at the 20's through to 60's, there was a certain importance and awareness of science that to some extent seems to be lacking nowadays.  Old people, feel free to correct me if you like.  ;)

Date: 2006/02/01 04:41:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, I agree, a message hidden across the genome would destroy evolution, and also prove there was a creator of some sort.  Now, all we have to do is get them to agree on which language its written in...

Date: 2006/02/06 11:15:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Can you tell us what a purely material universe is?  

Can you tell us what a universe that is a mixture of material and non-material stuff is?

Date: 2006/02/07 08:30:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Theres 2 or 3 of them on a forum I go to, they've had multiple dozen page threads where they repeatedly fail to grasp the concept of relativity and lack of absolute measurement.  They dont however bother me too much, because they are not very rich and powerful, are not as far as I know trying to get into schools, and generally are unlikely to go and burn down a physics lab.  (Mind you, hate mail is bad enough)

I like the dismantling of the accusation that Einstein fudges his figures for Mercurys perhelion.  

I sometimes think that what we need is a cranks research university, with a grant attached, so that the cranks can argue amongst each other about what experiments can be done to prove their theory is correct.  That is certainly one of the similarities between them and ID'ers, that all they have to do is prove the old theory wrong, hardly ever do they have anything better to replace it with.

Date: 2006/02/07 10:42:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Fine questions. A purely material universe means the  universe as understood by the philosophy of materialism; in which matter is understood in its commonest sense as "just stuff" eternally existing and without any needed component of mind or consciousness or God.

But the problem here is partly one of philosophy.  It is possible to imagine things which have no physical existence, but in order to see if they do or not, you need to do science.  As for needing a component of God in matter, there are a few religions and philosophies that claim that, the problem comes in showing it to be the case.  


As to material and non-material I have wondered this same question. Although the spiritual has been traditionally spoken of as nonmaterial, I am unable to understand how something can exist and not be in any way material and how it can interact with matter. But I do not know physics and I don't even understand the expression "massless particle." Anyway, I strongly consider that what has been called non-material simply means an ultrafine level of materiality and the innermost dimensions. So it could be a smooth continuum. On the other hand, the Existence-Principle (God) must be fundamentally existent and therefore invulnerable, which matter by definition is vulnerable.

(Bolded text by me) With regards to the bolded section- that is precisely our point.  Nobody else can understand how something that has no material/ physical exitence can interact with matter.  

What makes you think that
1) God is the existence principle?
2) and invulnerable?

Quite a lot of ancient beliefs have vulnerable gods, the Greeks being the most obvious example.

Date: 2006/02/07 23:03:47, Link
Author: guthrie
So what does the robots.txt file do when it disallows caching?  I dont know enough about internet stuff to know.  (even though I've been online on and off for 10 years)

Date: 2006/02/07 23:57:15, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 07 2006,17:47)
I have no particular religion and find faith of little worth.
I'm thrilled to find out Newton was a free thinker. He failed at alchemy, of course, as most alchemists do. It takes some very, very unusual thinking to comprehend alchemy.

HHmm, two questions again.
I'm still confused about what you make of spirituality and religion.  Is it religion if it has a particular deity as a focus, or is it spirituality if there is no focus?  

Also, alchemy does take some very unusual thinking to comprehend.  But which bit of alchemy are you talking about?  Alchemy has clearly changed somewhat over the centuries, and the modern variety is nothing more than a magical movement.  (with all that that implies in terms of changing of outlook and reliance upon "spirituality")

Date: 2006/02/08 11:43:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,15:40)
Because there is nothing more fundamental than existence itself, and because the existence of anything at all is perplexing in the extreme. Because something which has the power or property of self-existence is needed in order for anything to exist. Invulnerable for the same reasons.

The Greek gods were so different from anything that I would consider a real conception of God that I suspect alien visitation to have caused the whole mythology.

So let me get this straight- you are trying to see if there is any scientific way to validate your idea that an omnipotent etc etc deity does exist?  Well, good luck looking for scientific evidence, but so far no one has found any.  The only vaguely scientific (and not actually scientific when you look at them closely) ideas that ID has had so far are irreducible complexity and those calculations of Dembskis, I think.  Both of which have been convincingly trounced by scientists.  

You could just say that "reality" is god and have done with it.  

As for your own opinion of Greek gods, what you are making is an argument from personal opinion.  I believe there is a large pink spider sitting on your ceiling above your computer.  It doesnt eat humans, only small insects, so you'll be alright.

Date: 2006/02/08 22:45:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, heres the stuff abouT Behe and "Darwins black box", i.e. why irreducible complexity is junk.

I'll find the Demsbki stuff later.

Oh yes, about the Copenhagen interpretation and the "observer" in quantum mechanics- why does the obersver have to be a machine or a human or something?  Is it not more than "an observation" is when the particle interacts with something else, since that is functionally the same as measuring it, so essentially wavefunctions are being collapsed all the time.

Date: 2006/02/08 22:58:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Here we are, one of the critiques of "no free lunch":

I think that covers it.  Now, I dont know all the stuff that well myself, but I would be interested in intelligent discussion.

Date: 2006/02/09 08:53:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Renier @ Feb. 09 2006,09:00)
Actually, the Copenhagen Interpretation (Bohr's old brain child) would say that a machine does not count as an observer. Bizarre, I know. The Machine (Geiger-Muller, for instance) doing the measurements would be in a "half" state until someone reads the digits on the machine, then only the wave collapses. So, until the measurements on the machine is observed, there is no measurement yet, even though the experiment could have been performed a year ago. Strange....

Well, I dont doubt that the Copenhagen interpretation is a way of looking at it, I just cant see if the idea that the measuring instrument and the thing is is measuring are all in one system, which can be figured as a wvefunction make sany sense unless you look at it figuratively.
Certainly not physically.  The geiger counter sits there whatever you do.  

If the experiment was done a year ago, the particles still interacted, and so on, its just you didnt know the result.  How about an experiment say (you are in the lab with the equipment, set it up, sit down and read a paper until 5pm and its time to go home) where the reading wil mean that your lab door is locked or not, depending on what result happens.  So you wont know what the result is until you get up to leave (we assume that the experiment will definitely be finished in the time before 5pm) and find the door locked, or not.  Does that mean that the entire laboratory is a wavefunction?  If so, can you not just say that everything is multiple, indeed myriad wavefunctions, that continually collapse every time the particles interact?  

Which I think argues nicely round to the many universes theory.

Date: 2006/02/09 12:20:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,15:40)

####, I did forget the link.  Thats what comes of posting at work where there are too many distractions...


I can see why you'd suppose that but it isn't so. I wouldn't care if neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory was true or not, although I consider it fundamentally impossible for there to be both a God and for everything about this universe to be "unplanned, unguided, accidental, and without purpose." This is why I say Ken Miller is a confused IDist.

Well, yes, with a God the entire universe would probably exhibit some kind of purpose etc etc.  The problem is how we, from our limited perspective, can say.  And the answer so far is that we cant.  I cant speak for Miller, but I understand there are many Christians and others who see no problem with evolution, because all it takes is the deity to set up the original starting criteria, and since that area of cosmology is still quite fuzzy, and we cant say what happened before the big bang, theres still some room for a deity.  


There appears to be more of a range here than I expected about evolution theory's compatibility with deism and theism. Since someone said I should define Darwinism, I use that term so as not to contaminate the word evolution, which most IDists believe in to a greater to lesser extent. Darwinism or neoDarwinism, (which is not actually dependent upon whether or not Darwin himself believed in God) is the idea that all processes were random, life is an accident, and no God is needed to explain anything anywhere.

Thats quite impressive misunderstanding here.  Darwinism does not exist, as such.  


Actually, Ken Miller seems utterly schizophrenic. The Catholic God, the one who has authorized the pope to give people 500 days off of purgatory at his discretion, was just hands off while things like flagella got themselves together. Except that he intervened on the quantum level sometimes. In fairness, I haven't read his book. How can a guy who believes that the pope is Christ's vicar use the same terminology to describe the unfolding of the universe that a staunch atheist like Gould uses? To state that life unnfolded without plan or purpose is an atheistic metaphysical position.
So again, I could perhaps be some sort of theistic evolutionist, although I don't see a big difference between that and ID.


To state that life unnfolded without plan or purpose is an atheistic metaphysical position.

Purpose is in the eye of the beholder.  Thats why it is not science.  Some people can indeed say that life unfolded according to evolution without a plan, others can also say that life unfolded by evolutionary means, and that was according to gods plan.  

But, here is the crux- how can you say that it happened by gods plan?  Where is the evidence for god?

Anyway, I guess I've had it up to here with your havering.  
If you wish to not be taken as a laughing stock, please explain why you still think that Behe et al are correct, i.e. explain how Miller etc were wrong in their critique of Behe.  Put up or shut up time.  

(If you cant understand it, go and ask them at uncommon dissent for help.  Or us.  We know lots about these things, perhaps we can help make it all clearer to you.  Indeed, feel free to take several days to read up on it to refresh your memory.  We arent going anywhere.)


But I defend ID because I think it is true.

So whats your evidence?  Give us some, or we shall consider you a glaikit numpty.

Date: 2006/02/09 12:32:55, Link
Author: guthrie

Guthrie and artist in training face each other across a room.  Each has a medieval longsword in hand.  
A bell rings, and they approach each other.

Guthrie strikes straight down towards AIT shoulder from a high guard.  AIT fails miserably to block, because they donat actually know how to use a sword.  With blood fountaning everywhere from severed blood vessels, they collapse to to the floor, saying "But you shouldnt be able to do that..."

You can tell I'm getting a little annoyed with blatant stupidity, cant you?

Date: 2006/02/09 23:27:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, I guess it shows what happens when you take things out of context.  
Meanwhile, over at the PT, in the Tara smith speaks thread, theres a homeopathy bloke holding forth, so far hes managed to avoid the usual cliches (it works on animals, modern medicinei is toxic, etc etc.)  If any of you have medical experience you might like to go over and tear him up, since hes quoting some rheumatology study that apparently shows homeopathy is good.

Date: 2006/02/11 07:04:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahhh, if phishy was JAD, that would explain why the stream of consciousness and rambling looks familiar.  It was bugging me all the way down this thread.

So, Phishy, are you JAD or not?  

And if you are, would you like to try and act like the scientist you once were, or would you like to carry on like the small child you now appear to be?

Date: 2006/02/13 01:08:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Ummm and?  My grandfather was on the beaches on D -Day.  He didnt talk about it.  

Perhaps you dont realise that your own canabilisation of someone elses experience makes you look like a small child.  Or someone who has no conception of friendship, morality, and anything else that helps you get by in the world.

Date: 2006/02/13 10:28:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Artist in trainig @ Feb. 13 2006,13:19)
Ok. A week of reading books (finished Pandas, read the God Gene, visiting my biologist-in-training relative and reading every post and comment at UD. I appear here now to offer my humble apologies to those I might have slighted, no matter how drunk.

I am and remain a christian, whether that suits you or not. My faith in God has never, to my knowledge, done me harm, and it has done me so much good.

*To you very good health sir!*

Date: 2006/02/14 04:45:53, Link
Author: guthrie
I believe DAvison retired in 2000, as an emeritus professor.  That seems good going for someone allegedly Sternberged in 1986.  Anyone want to ask him for evidence?

Date: 2006/02/14 05:20:01, Link
Author: guthrie
I understand that Sternberg was that journal editor who snuck an ID related paper into the journal just before he retired, and was then roundly condemned for it.  Or did he resign?  Anyway, details will be at the PT.  

This kind of statement is begging for evidence.   You know, like letters from faculty saying " Dear Dr Davison, please stop your research because it contradicts all we know about evolution.", followed by "Since you have not stopped your research, we are sacking you."

I sincerely doubt that any such evidence exists though.

Date: 2006/02/14 08:00:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Sure, I know DS is uummmmmm, the intellectual equivalent of a schemie, but lurkers and people who are new to this dont know that.  Thats why the whack-attack on creationist/ ID claims is so necessary.

Date: 2006/02/15 03:39:05, Link
Author: guthrie
I seem to see this front loading argument quite often, yet nobody suggests a way to test it.  It just seems to be assumed to be correct.

So JAD, how have you tested your hypothesis?

Date: 2006/02/15 07:01:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Turbo goalposts!  Very funny!

So are turbo goalposts a software application, or are they powered by a 2 litre turbo engine taken from a car?

Date: 2006/02/15 11:58:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (PuckSR @ Feb. 14 2006,23:57)
but many Americans are simply ignorant of the very plain and rational arguments against ID.

 The people who honestly believe in ID are few and far between.  Most people are either Fundamentalist Christians who have an agenda....or they just think that secular scientists are being mean.  We have no hope of changing the Fundamentalists minds...they are already firm in their beliefs.

I think its broadly similar over here in the UK.  

Of the letters in my local paper sympathetic to ID, the wonders of google have revealed that at least half the correpsondents are church ministers or heavily involved in evangelical stuff.  Several more of the pro Id people just werent of a high enough profile on the internet for me to be able to find out if they were coming at it from a religious perspective.  
I just had to tell one of them in a letter that Anthony Flew was converted to deism by an alleged lack of scientific evidence for early life forms evolution, rather than the overwhelming evidence for design in life that the pro-ID bloke (a church minister I believe) claimed.

Date: 2006/02/15 22:09:02, Link
Author: guthrie
I cant remember why I was looking round the web, but found my way to Pandas thumb in January last year.  Or was it Pharyngula first?  Anyway, having been adrguing online on and off since 1999, I have had arguments about science before, and at one point argued a YEC to a standstill.  (It helped he was going on about geology, which I did a couple of module on in university)

So I just side stepped into it from my general interest in science, and stayed because its interesting and fun, and seems like a good place to make a stand against complete bonkerism.

Date: 2006/02/16 11:46:58, Link
Author: guthrie
I must be a big player in the creationism/ evolution debate, I'm getting mail from JAD.  He's seen me ask how he tests his hypothesis, and seems to want to take issue with me.  

Now, although it will be quoted out of context, I would like to say that in other historical periods, I would have challenged JAD to a duel.  However, this being today, and what with him being old enough to be my grandfather, and me being a nice quiet peaceful chap, I shall not do that.
Furthermore, unlike the various sock puppets of JAD, and several anti-evolution people, this is my real name.  Blame my great grandmother.  

Instead, behold, we have his PEH.  So far, as far as I can understand, he is saying that no new information is created, rather it is "released" by changes in the genome.  What I dont understand is how then the higher animals evolved, since them doing so seems to involve increasing the size of their genome, does it not?  DAvison seems to agree that evolution happened in the past anyhow.  

Also, he has said before that evolution is finished.  How does he know that?  Have we completely exhausted the potential rearrangements in our genetic code?  That seems unlikely in the least.  Can he suggest the potential number of such re-arrangements?  I doubt it.

The problem also with his idea, is that he suggests no way in which to distinguish between rearrangments that might happen of their own accord, and re-arrangements that have been pre-programmed, or else where the "designer" might have interfered.  

Although it also looks like he is suggesting that it is all happening according to the laws of nature.  Which, ummm, is the whole point.  So maybe he is on our side after all?

Date: 2006/02/17 04:15:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (PicoFarad @ Feb. 17 2006,01:47)
 The first life on earth could have been what someone (somone who unfortunately seems to be a moderation victim and so I cannot ask directly) called a phylogenetic stem cell.  This just another way of saying life on earth began as a seed, if you will, designed to unfold in a more less planned manner much as a human egg is designed to unfold into a human.

If you ignore the question of where the first cell (or cell comes from) which I might remind you is what neodarwinian evolutionary theory does regarding abiogenesis then one can presume it was any size at all of any arbitrary complexity.   Ontogeny and phylogeny have many striking parallels.  Why refuse to consider that one more parallel is that both ontogeny and phylogeny start from a cell programmed to diversify in a defined sequence of events with the environment serving only as a trigger to initiate the next programmed stage?

Not loosely correlated?  you mean a single celled beastie has as much DNA as a human?  Well I never.  

Anyway, your hypothesis seems flawed because you cannot actually distingush what you are proposing from actual evolution, can you?

As for the first cell, I wouldnt presume anything about its size, except that since we have abiogenesis as an active research area, it seems extremely unlikely that the first cell was very large.  I would be interested to see your evidence for the cell not being quite small.  

Oh, I think your point about environmental triggers has already been covered, but anyway, you seem to be postulating an omniscient designer who can foresee all future environments.  You have evidence for this designer?

As for JAD being a moderation victim, that immediately reveals you as a rabid ID supporter.

Date: 2006/02/20 22:04:03, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought project Steve was only biologists, and if I am correct, they need to do some more research.

Date: 2006/02/22 05:06:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Stevestory, I posted on the PT thread that nobody leapt in to defend Dembski.  Maybe they arent all as stupid as we think they are?

Date: 2006/02/22 05:11:12, Link
Author: guthrie
I offer this possibly controversial idea about religion in the USA:

That, due to it being a heavily capitalist nation, people in the USA cling ever more tightly to helpful bedrocks such as church and community, to help buffer themselves against the winds of economic change.  Whereas in much of Europe, the gvt on behalf of the electorate has taken over a fair bit of this role and thus churches just arent as necessary.  

Its a viewpoint, anyway.

Date: 2006/02/22 11:54:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Young and ambitious?  Well, more like with lots of money to burn.  There are several reasons it costs that much to get a drug to amrket.  

For starters, you have to do basic research into the molecular actions, to make sure it works properly, and with all the simple stuff like Penicillin known about and used up, your left getting into complex stuff with unknown mechanisms.  Then you need to work out how to make it cheaply, which isnt easy, let me tell you.  Then you have to test it to make sure it has few side effects and actually works in the body, which means using animals at first, then, eventually humans.  In order to do this it takes time and money, and experienced, intelligent people, who seem to want to earn enough money to have a life.  

And it all has to be checked.  There may well be an unreasonably high level of expectation and risk avoidance placed upon new drugs these days, but on the other hand there might not.  You also have to do multiple placebo blinded trials to help prove your new drug works, and that also takes time and money.  Disclosing all the data from said trials doesnt do any harm either...

So, essentially, theres a heck of a lot of work go's into making sure new drugs are both effective and safe, which makes your comment about youth and ambition a little, uumm, small?  Sure, with youth abnd ambition you might invent a better way of testing some drugs, or streamline the process of approval.  But I doubt you could do much more.

Date: 2006/02/22 23:42:14, Link
Author: guthrie
WEll, it seems to me that you couldnt replicate the evolution of flagella etc using modern bacteria and claim that you have thereby shown that is how flagella evolved, given the likely and known differences between archeobacteria and modern ones.  

As a related question for the biologists, I assume nobody is saying that chromosome rearrangements dont occur, just that they are not that huge a mechanism in evolution, and that when they do occur, they are frequently fatal?  I just want to rid myself of the last remaining sympathy for what JAD might be trying to say with his front loading hypothesis.

Date: 2006/02/22 23:45:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Or in other words, ID is a religiously inspired, pre-determined search for evidence for a divinity?  Nice of them to confirm this.

Date: 2006/02/24 01:14:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (tacitus @ Feb. 23 2006,18:50)
I sometimes wonder if American respect for authority is also a contributing factor to the sway religion has over the public.  Pastors, especially those of fundamentalist churches, are immensly powerful (fighteningly so, in my opinion) and their pronouncements are seldom questioned or challenged by anyone within their congregation. Usually the only option available if you disagree with what you are hearing from the pulpit is to leave.

And that is why, in my humble opinion, (given that I am a chirch of scotland raised agnostic) the American fundamentalists we are on about display a total betrayal of the very values of the protestant revolution, even though you'll find quite a few of them who will hark back to the past, and also their Scottish ancestry.

Date: 2006/02/26 23:22:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Heres the guardian story, for those of us who cant be bothered going to UD:,,1714171,00.html

Date: 2006/02/27 21:29:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Umm, picofarad, what makes you think its ok to introduce creationism, ID and other religious garbage into the public education system?

Date: 2006/02/28 00:17:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quack Qauck!

Do you mind if I quote mine you?

"Nothing in the constitution says you can't teach bad science."

That will do nicely for starters.

Anyhoo, for the record, I never say that there never will be a scientific theory of ID, I just say that one has yet to be made.  Sure, theres scientific sounding ones, but they have been rebutted, as you know well.  So right now, there is no theory of ID to teach in schools.

Date: 2006/03/01 00:29:06, Link
Author: guthrie
How about a counter petition about teaching the controveries within evolutionary biology?

Date: 2006/03/03 02:29:30, Link
Author: guthrie
So, anyone else agree with me that it looks like picofarad has just admitted to multiple previous identities?  Or does the entity known as picofarad have a longer posting history that I do not know about because I've only been on here a month or two?

Date: 2006/03/04 11:37:56, Link
Author: guthrie
If this:
SPeech apparently by a VArdy school head of science
is true, and I have no particular reason to doubt it, they are already having their way in the UK.  The bloke whose speech it apaprently is should be sacked, because of his total lack of comprehension of any science later than Galileo.  The mangling of geology and chemistry is particularly vexing, given that they are subjects I know  something about.

Date: 2006/03/06 00:04:22, Link
Author: guthrie
DS first says:
Heat diffuses in a closed system until maximum entropy is reached where the heat is uniform (everything is the same temperature). Likewise a dye will diffuse through a glass of water until its distribution is uniform (everything is the same color).

Then says:
Dye and heat are not the same thing and you can heat or chill that uniformly colored glass of water all you want and it won’t undistribute the dye. That’s because heat entropy and dye entropy are not the same thing.

Except that the dye and heat distrbution look functionally similar to me.  You cant undistribute the heat from the water either.  

However, that’s not quite right because a sufficiently advanced intelligence can unbake a cake.

Can we?  Does he have any evidence of this intelligence?

Intelligence can accomplish things that nature cannot and that includes violating 2LoT in relation to information entropy.

Does this have anything at all to do with what he has said above?  I cant  see a relation.  

As Intelligent Design arguments become more organized, NeoDarwinian arguments must become less organized. The end result is that ID becomes a completely coherent explanation of the facts while the NeoDarwinian narrative decays into a vast state of disarray.

He is getting really desperate.  I note that he has no evidence wshowing that ID arguments are getting more organised.  In fact, I dont see that his point follows on logically from the rest of the post.  Are ID and Evolution in a binary system?  And what has that got to do with entropy?

Date: 2006/03/06 00:07:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Anyone want to tell me if DS's latest "Ah ha, your making it all up because I've found something where your wrong" screed has any validity at all?

(I'm at work right now, also I dont have up to date cell biology books at home, yet.)

Date: 2006/03/06 04:48:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Would they be clones of Steven J Gou'auou'uould?

Sworn to battle creationists wherever in the galaxy they are?

Date: 2006/03/07 09:31:32, Link
Author: guthrie
I am chuffed that I knew why DS was wrong, given that I havent been to uni for years, and have a bad memory.  Thanks to you all for reminding me about this stuff.

Date: 2006/03/07 22:58:48, Link
Author: guthrie
So what is your definition of science, thordaddy?  Throwing rocks?

Date: 2006/03/08 01:13:46, Link
Author: guthrie
So, basically thordaddy is saying that the definition of science right now is out of scientists hands, and presumably is in public hands or, even, judges!  OR teachers!

You'll excuse me if I wonder why you seem to think this is the case.  Sure, I know about the Dover ruling.  I understand that both parties deferred to certain broadly agreed standards of science (That had been thought up by scientists) early on in the trial.

Date: 2006/03/08 12:26:09, Link
Author: guthrie
Maybe we need an award for the poster who stays on UD asking sensible questions the longest.  What is the current record?  3 days?  A week?

Date: 2006/03/09 10:27:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Welcome, refugee from UD!  

Presumably there is nothing nefarious about the numerous documented uses of word press options to pre-screen posts?  That does explain why so many dont make it through.

Date: 2006/03/10 03:00:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 10 2006,01:06)
At best, scientists can claim no empirical evidence for an IDer.  Even this assertion is highly questionable as no scientist I am aware of is outfitted with all the known  and unknown empirical evidence and must chalk up the "faith" of several billion believers as some yet unidentified delusionary physical process.  

Which believers?  I know some people who think Odin is a great guy, and others who have some allegiance to strange Indian practises.  

The point being, there are all these competing religions with different ideas of how things started.  Which one is correct?  They cant all be.

Date: 2006/03/10 12:00:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 10 2006,17:17)
What does the "faith" of billions of people in an IDer represent?  If this "faith" is not an interpretation of the empirical evidence then what is it?  How does the scientist describe "faith" in terms of science?

Ummm, which definition of faith are you using?

"Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence."

All the deinitions I have come across say that faith doesnt usually involve empirical evidence.  Therefore, why should we pay any more attention to all these people, who, as you keep avoiding, all have apparently had different experiences of religion and the world in general?  

People used to think that the earth was orbited by the sun.  Then eventually they worked out it was not the case.

Date: 2006/03/11 10:17:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 10 2006,18:51)
If "faith" is not acquired via the empirical evidence then by what process is it acquired?

I dont exactly know.  It would appear to be something to do with the person deciding that they have faith in something.  I note youhavnt tackled the problem that all these millions of different people seem to have faith thanks to different empirical evidence.  That would lead to me to suspect that either there are many, many gods, or else, that faith is not aquired by empirical evidence.

Date: 2006/03/12 11:33:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 12 2006,16:29)

WEll, I note you havent actually denied that different people experience different realities, and thus, if your line of reasoning is correct, there are millions or billions of gods about.  Indeed, you cant even make much of the dictionary definition, which doesnt say much about empiricla evidence.

In short, you are a bloviating fool.  What evidence do you have for your position?  None.  Thats why you cant present it.

Date: 2006/03/13 03:55:34, Link
Author: guthrie
One of the things that does show that ID is not a science is the total inability of its supporters to agree on the story.  Even the most recalcitrant of people who think that the modern sythesis is incomplete, can pay out what they think is wrong and why.  These people cant even agree if its a religious position or not, let alone what the scientific theory of ID is.

Date: 2006/03/18 07:39:38, Link
Author: guthrie
To be fair, Arden, there are one or two scientists who believe in ID.  One of them is a thermodynamics lecturer in the UK, I think in Sheffield.  Although I dont know how good his actual scientific research is....

Date: 2006/03/22 00:55:25, Link
Author: guthrie
I seem to recall that some of the early psychology was very subjective.  Modern psychologists are well aware of this now, and try and avoid it or take account of it.  Thus, when they do so, they are being scientific.

Date: 2006/03/29 02:58:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahhh, but uncommon descent and the DI prove that there is a designer, because they continually break the 2nd LOT!!!

After all, how else can you get so much smoke from no fire?

Date: 2006/03/30 02:12:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Here you go renier:

I havnt checked in for a while, been too busy with other things.  

As for UD, that stands for "uncommon descent" does it not?  I have always wondered why they dont call it "Uncommon dissent", since that would be a nice play on the similarity between descent and dissent when pronounced badly, and also would suggest that this is a lone voice against the "Darwinian hegemony".  

Message to anyone reading this- feel free to steal the suggestion for your own blog, as long as you credit me with the idea.

Date: 2006/03/30 04:08:09, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Sanctum @ Mar. 30 2006,09:45)
Uncommon Dissent is the title of one of Dembski's books, but I think he said somewhere that when he started his blog the name was unavailable.

Thanks sanctum, I havnt actually read any of his books.  Just some of his online bloviating.  I wonder who has the url then?  

As for the UK, I have seen a fair number of letters to papers, with people asserting that ID is correct, without any back up.  I think they are just reading stuff from the USA without fully understanding it, and as long as they keep out of the schools, and get whacked down whenever they show their head, we'll be ok.

Date: 2006/03/30 04:31:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (GCT @ Mar. 30 2006,10:18)
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 30 2006,10:02)
LOL if i were an evolutionary biologist, I think I'd walk around wishing everyone Good Waterloo.

"Waterloo to you sir."
"And good Waterloo to you. How are you doing this fine Waterloo?"

That is a Waterlootastic idea.

But then everyone will think you are Abba fans...

Date: 2006/03/30 11:20:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Jay Ray @ Mar. 27 2006,09:16)
life is an axiom and unsolvable within science.

I think he's referring to Kurt Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.  If you're big on math or logic, this theorem probably has influenced you during your studies.  I've never studied the formal systems of either math or logic, so look this guy up if you want to be sure I'm not talking out of my dorsal meatus.

From what I understand of it, the incompleteness theorem says that in any formal, structured system of logic or rules or what have you, there are true things about that system that cannot be derived from the rules of the system itself.

Or to put it another way, the formal system must make some assumptions (axioms) going in that are unproved by the system itself.  It needs input from outside the system to get it going at all.   In this way, Godel formalized what most of us rubes refer to as "gaps in the theory".

So the originating quote extends the idea out from math and logic to biology.  It's making the claim that in the "formal system" of evolutionary biology, life itself is just such an axiom.

I'm not sure why Avo would use this quote if she didn't understand it.  But at least at first glance, it seems to support her recurring claim that, "You can't explain abiogenesis.  You can't explain the origin of the universe."  In so far as we can consider biological evolution or the big bang a "formal system", Godel's theorem seems to hold to the same degree.

A claim I agree with, on the whole, although I also say that we are working on figuring it out and expect we shall do so in a few generations.

The part I disagree with in this statement is that creationists of all stripes posit GOD, along with a whole host of this god's presumed qualities, as the answer to those gaps.  According to them, god needs no beginning axioms.

re Goedel- I used to think that too, then I read the wikipedia entry.  As far as I understand it, Goedels incompletenmess theorem only holds true withing certain narrow areas of mathematics, not in all formal systems of logic.  
Thus, if you want to use it about the universe, your going to have to demonstrate, logcally and mathematically, how the universe is like one of these partical areas of maths.  Given that we dont know nearly everything about the total universe, I can safely say that anyone appealing to Goedel to bolster their ignorance can be ignored.

Date: 2006/03/30 22:16:51, Link
Author: guthrie
With regards to DS making a fool of himself by using innapropriate language to describe an ID luminary, he has replied to some critiscism over here:

So you can all go and read his excuse.

Date: 2006/03/31 10:39:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 31 2006,11:44)

Re "[...] to describe an ID luminary,"

An ID what ? ;)


Ahhh, well from our point of view, the ID universe is the size of a shoe box, illuminated by some fleeting photons from the decay of some radioactive lump in the corner of it.

Date: 2006/04/02 21:38:48, Link
Author: guthrie
AFAIK, world population growth is flattening quite impressively, as birth control methods around the world turn out to be working very well.  The problem is more that everyone in the world aspires to "western" levels of consumption, which cannot be done with our present (or even next 20 years at least) levels of technology.  So we could either reduce our population drastically, to permit high levels of consumption, or we could reduce how much each of us consumes.  I'd prefer the latter.

Date: 2006/04/03 05:35:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Hey, my brain isnt symmetrical.  And I'm right handed!  
As for chaos, is the sun chaotic?  Are the orbits of the planets chaotic?

Date: 2006/04/03 21:09:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (cogzoid @ April 03 2006,13:52)
As for chaos, is the sun chaotic?  Are the orbits of the planets chaotic?
Actually they are.  The orbits of the planets cannot be predicted analytically (by using a simple formula) but rather have to be calculated numerically.  Numerical solutions always have errors, whereas analytical solutions are exact.  Read more here:

The sun's dynamics (sun spots, magnetic pole flips, etc.) are extremely chaotic.

The universe is a messy place.


Sure, messy, but yet sunspots and things like the Jupiter red spot are kind of like bits of order in chaos, arent they?  
(I'm obliquely referring to abiogenesis and the way that life seems to live on the edges of chaos, producing order out of disorder)

Date: 2006/04/03 21:13:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (hereoisreal @ April 03 2006,20:55)
cogzoid, of corse I believe in ID.

Did you ever see a symmetrical grain of sand?
Or two grains alike be they symmetrical or not?

Life comes from (usually) the joining of two opposits.

By chance, the middle of heaven is symmetrical, but
that is another topic.
Good night.


And what is the sound of one hand clapping?

(Taoist quotes will have to wait until I get home and can check my library)

Date: 2006/04/03 21:20:19, Link
Author: guthrie
So is DS a convert to post-humanism and uploading your brain to a simulation running on a supercomputer?  Looks like it to me with his talk about there being information on CD's in terms of atoms and spacing etc.  

Surely that makes him a flammable heretic though?

Date: 2006/04/04 04:12:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (hereoisreal @ April 04 2006,08:11)
guthrie wrote:

"And what is the sound of one hand clapping?"

And what part of my post were you addressing?

One hand waving is not a clap.

Also there is no sound if there is no ear with all
it's complex linkages to the mind.  One of your
six contacts with reality.

Correct.  Now that you have shown the ability to write comprehensible sentences in English, would you like to try and make a point related to the evidence that Evolutionary biology has piled up over the past 150 years?

Date: 2006/04/05 01:44:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,01:44)
 There is no scientific evidence for either a "gay gene" or a Designer.

Wait a minute, I thought you were on the side of ID?  
Which as we all know, says there is scientific evidence for a designer.

Date: 2006/04/05 01:50:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,01:29)
However, it has been pointed out that a small number of gay people in a group can enhance survival. People think it's all about having as many kids as you possibly can, but it isn't. It's about quality of life and raising the kids to adulthood. Hunter-gatherers and for that matter chimps, produce offspring about every 3-5 years. More than that is too much. If you look at a highly social animal  like wolves, you see that only one pair regularly produces offspring (the alpha male and female) while other relatives such as uncles and aunts help to care for and raise the pups.

I think this is weak rationlization.  You seem to be saying that evolution devised a congenital birth defect that causes men to be sexaully-attracted to other men men (same for women) and NOT reproduce SO AS TO regulate life's propensity to reproduce and overpopulate themselves into extinction?  This is the nature of homosexuality?  

No, hes saying that it seems likely that the complex of genetic variations and environmental pressures that mean you end up with homosexuals, has survived in the gene pool because in family groups in which one or two members do not  necessarily have their own children, but spend time helping rear the children of their relatives, more of the children survive to adulthood and breed.  

Furthermore, what can you tell us about why men are attracted to women, and women to men?  Is it their brain structure?  Hormones?  The voice of Cupid in their ear?

Date: 2006/04/05 04:48:24, Link
Author: guthrie
I'll try and dig out stuff on the effects of exposure to hormones in the womb out as well.  IIRC, the idea is that a fetus is exposed to different hormones in the womb, and exposure to the "wrong" amount of some of them at the "wrong" time will lead to the parts of the brain concerned with sexual attraction being altered to a different way.  I.E. if your a homosexual man, the part of your brain related to what you find sexually attractive has been feminised in the womb.  

Its a neat idea, and sidesteps a lot of the messy genetic wragling, by putting the causes back to the mother genetics and environmental circumstances.  Which is what people often overlook, the way these things are presented in the media or by some researchers amounts to genetic determinism, whereas in most cases the genese merely decide which football pitch you are playing on, rather than which side wins.

Date: 2006/04/05 05:14:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 31 2006,04:24)

So when I say that at the fundamental level religion and science are indentical and you agree they both share the same function (search for greater truth) then it assumes their structures to be the same at the fundamental level.

My pencil and my printer both perform the same function, namely that of marking paper with letters.   Does that mean their structures are fundamentally the same?  No, of course not.  


And how do you figure that "belief" isn't based on observation and experience?  If I believe my son will be athletic, is this not based on my observations and experiences with him in athletic situations?

The way you have phrased it makes no sense.  If you say "I believe my son will be athletic" when he is 2 months old, you may be wrong.  If you see him aged 16 being athletic, you would actually say "I believe my son is athletic".  Not "Will be", "IS".  Note the difference in tense.  One is predicated on observable future events, but is not definitely correct; judgement is actually suspended.  The other is about observed past events, and thus is correct.  

Anyway, as for belief, I believe there is a large pink spider sitting above your computer, on the ceiling.

Date: 2006/04/05 05:35:47, Link
Author: guthrie
See!  You believe me!
Now, in order to stop the spider eating your socks, you must send me a cheque for £100.  That will pay for me to contact a handy spider-whisperer, who will help keep it happy and contented.

Date: 2006/04/05 12:20:09, Link
Author: guthrie
I have once seen one person act somewhat sympathetic to Id because he thought that the people attacking ID were using "Science" as a club with which ot beat people, and a means of gathering power to themselves.  Needless to say, said person has exhibited many signs of being a non scientist who likes intellectual debate rather than scientific debate.  

(Yes, I know scientific debate can be kind of intellectual, but to clarify my definitions somewhat, I say scientific debate ultimately goes back to looking at evidence, whereas intellectual debate is more about simple logic and what if... arguing, which is ok if you are then going to go and do research to look at what if, but in the context of the internet, between interested amateurs, is just posing and nitwittery.)

Date: 2006/04/05 22:14:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,23:17)
Or, does evolution predict a collection of genes that will defy evolution?  Isn't this the nature of homosexuality?

*Fingers in ears*
"lalalllalaaaaa I cant hear you, speak louder, llaaaaaalllaalaa"

WE have already explained why your comment is utter bollocks.  Please try and understand.

Date: 2006/04/06 10:13:15, Link
Author: guthrie
A homsexual gene would only disprove ID if you thought that the designer didnt want homsexuality.  Of course, our resident ID'ers are unlikely to answer that questions.

Date: 2006/04/06 11:41:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Once again, TD jumps in with a logical but unocnnected with reality opinion.  The homosexuals I know would have loved to have been "Normal", since that would have saved the embarrasment and even physical danger of coming out of the closet, the strained relations with parents, the difficulties of finding other people like them, etc etc.  If it really was that much of a lifestyle choice, many of them would not have picked it in the first place.

Date: 2006/04/07 00:36:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (normdoering @ April 03 2006,10:43)
Quote (guthrie @ April 03 2006,02:38)
So we could either reduce our population drastically, to permit high levels of consumption, or we could reduce how much each of us consumes.  I'd prefer the latter.

How would you feel about a humane form of genocide?

For example, instead of using a bioweapon to kill people we create a bioweapon that attacks women's egg cells or the lining of the womb the egg cells must attach to so that most (but not all) women exposed become sterile?

Then you could unleash it in the mideast and vacinate selected parts of your own population against it.

HUmane form of genocide?  Thats very close to being an oxymoron.  So its ok to kill people/ take away their reproductive freedoms?  Not in my book.  I expect someone will consider it sometime, somewhere, but I wouldnt agree with it.

Date: 2006/04/07 09:21:52, Link
Author: guthrie
So, GoP would like to throw out modern science, statistics etc?  I suppose thats par for the course.  Why dont you go and pick on fluid dynamics?  Or physical chemistry?  Why the concentration on Evolutionary biology?

Heck, 20 years ago we didnt have the right equations and methods for showing how Bumble bees flew.  

GoP, if you want to argue about the geological column, I suggest you actually try and get some data on the table.  Otherwise your just handwaving.

Date: 2006/04/07 09:28:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ April 07 2006,07:55)

hmm, burning churches is different.  I'd guess low heat, high volume type of thing; probably propane, but I'm new to this church burning thing.  what would you recommend?
liquid oxygen! Let's get this show on the road!

Steve, your my kind of conspirator!

I could make some thermite without too much trouble.  Then theres the industrial recipe for gunpowder I have.  The funny thing is I could probably get arrested for being a terrorist these days, just by having it sitting on my shelf.

Date: 2006/04/07 11:41:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,14:49)
So, GoP would like to throw out modern science, statistics etc?

See, this is part of what I'm talking about. My purpose was not to bash statistics, least of all baseball statistics. I was discussing the way that people process disturbing information. Instead of saying, "Yeah, that's a crippling objection for now, hopefully we'll be able to address it with future research", they use two defense mechanisms:

1) The objection is not really important, at most it's a slight gap in our knowledge
2) A smooth rationalization pops up, which is assented to by all researchers in the field, and quietly dropped when a better explanation comes along. This process appears to be large instinctive, as no mention is ever made of the switch. Just like the speaker in 1984 (heh!;)) changing the enemy's identity in midsentence, except the crowd doesn't rip up the obsolete banners and placards. If anyone does object, they're labeled a crank, rube, and whatever other terms come to mind. This label has some merit, as it usually does take an outsider to probe beneath the surface.

 Personally, I appreciate the evolution of baseball stats, and support the new metrics. I just remember that we were supposed to be at war with Eurasia, that's all.
They looked for and ultimately found this fossil right where they thought it would be - in an area with lots of exposed Devonian rock.  I still have no idea what you think is not reconciled.

See? Unconscious.  :)


Sure, we're human here, (I think I am anyway.)  So scientists cheat, lie, indulge in wishful thinking, make up data, etc etc.  Yet somehow, things keep getting back on track, no matter what the field.  Even if it takes 30 years, new data that realigns the field is absorbed and used to make new decisions and experiments.  

I thought you were trying to show that evolution was a crock?  So far you havnt gotten anywhere.

Date: 2006/04/07 11:53:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ April 07 2006,15:31)
3. Why would we teach a behavior as "normal" if statistics show a high correlation (over-representation) between the behavior (homosexuality) and AIDS, STDs, drug abuse and domestic violence?

You mean, why is it considered normal to like a drink, even though alcohol is the number one factor in late evening violence, wife beating, liver cirhosis, etc etc?  You'd think that if alcohol was relly as bad as it was we would all hate the stuff.  

And just to drive the point home again- the difference between the alcohol and homosexuality is that you dont have brain structures and hormones pushing you to take a drink, at least not as far as I know.  There is more "free will" involved.  But with sexuality, all the available evidence says it is hard wired in.  Your pupils dilate and other bodily signs change when you see an attractive member of the opposite sex.  

Besides, I note you havnt actually produced any of these studies that show high correlations with anything, and of course you keep leaving lesbians out of it.  I wonder why?

Date: 2006/04/07 11:58:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ April 07 2006,14:34)
To make a real big impression we need Physicists not Chemists. Everyone knows Physics has the "Biggest Bang!"

Yeah, but like with ID, that was ages ago in the past...

When I was at uni, I seem to recall spending a few seconds discussing the potentiallity for a war between the physics and chemistry departments.  Chemistry would win outright, because in the few hours it would take physics to realign their lasers and wire them up to the power supply, we would have made nerve gas, 8 different kinds of explosives and have flattened them.  Mind you, it would also depend on whether your university physics dept had a pet nuclear reactor or not...

Oh yes, uncommon descent.  Maybe they have a new policy for avoiding us commenting on anything there.  IT involves not saying anything.

Or else maybe they could make you log in before you could read anything.  That would be interesting for them to try and control...

Date: 2006/04/09 10:00:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Faid @ April 09 2006,10:43)
It's so pathetically ridiculous, it's beyond any comment.
Is DS really who he says he is, or is he really some 14yo who just read his first A.Clarke novel?

Ugh.  You mentioned Rthur C Clarke in the same sentence as DS.  How dare you sully Clarke good name in this way, even if it was in service of a comparison which makes Dave look bad.

Date: 2006/04/10 04:34:58, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahhh, but do their stats include deleted posts?  If they do, then they are doign badly.  If they dont, then theres your problem!

The solution is obvious- delete Dave!

(Nice slogan, huh?)

Date: 2006/04/12 05:26:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Anyone want to help great_ape?

He (?) seems to be defending "Darwinism", but is getting chewed out by DS.  I wonder how long he will last?  Whats just as funny is that some poster repeats the same old canard about Dembski not having been refuted.  Which as far as I can see is bunk.

Date: 2006/04/14 09:06:35, Link
Author: guthrie
I dont recall any peer reviewed journal publication about Irreducible complexity.  

So their point is somewhat like saying "My team won the match because your team didnt turn up to beat them, even though my team doesnt exist at all."
Or in other words, total mince.

Date: 2006/04/18 10:37:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, they keep saying that Dembski et al are doing research like things the same way as SETI do.  But they dont.

And, a Catholic wrote in todays paper (The Scotsman) saying the cambrian is a great problem for evolutionary theory.  Yeah, right, you do know that its 35 million years deep?  Thats something like 6 times the depth from humans and other apes.  (AFAIK off the top of my head).

Date: 2006/04/18 22:19:56, Link
Author: guthrie
I feel that Afdave would be somewhat put out if we asked him to prove that he could fly a plane, without reference to any outside evidence, nor having the plane with him to demonstrate it, etc etc.

Date: 2006/04/19 01:53:06, Link
Author: guthrie
In return, perhaps AFdave can tell us what kind or level of scientific information it would take for him to change his mind about creationism being correct?

Date: 2006/04/19 02:00:49, Link
Author: guthrie
As a matter of interest, do you reckon it would be best to ignore it completely, so that it withers and dies, or rather, joins the back scratching set up that are the pro-Id blogs?

Or should scores of people join and put his no censorship proclamation to the test?

Date: 2006/04/19 22:37:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ April 19 2006,18:19)
I wonder if Davetard the Banninator has had his wings clipped. First of all, I haven't seen him say, "You're outta here" lately, and second, the posts at Certain 'N Dense usually average 8 comments, but the last few got 38, 14, 15, 17.

Just as likely that they have settled down to a crowd of regulars who all know the rules.

Date: 2006/04/25 03:49:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ April 25 2006,07:36)
Sorry guys ... all this imaginitive artwork just isn't very convincing to me ... especially considering the other lines of evidence pointing to an Intelligent Creator.

Ummm, what lines of evidence?  I have yet to see any.  Would you like to provide some?

Date: 2006/04/28 02:26:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thurdl01 @ April 28 2006,06:25)
You realize you've completely misread that post, don't you?  The good Rev Dr wasn't saying that for every one person converted to the side of reason three more get converted towards Creationism.  He's saying for every one who embraces reason, three more who are already on the side of Creationism show up to take that person's place.


Although I'm sure Lenny would have a laugh at being quoted as an infallible source.

Date: 2006/04/28 03:33:38, Link
Author: guthrie
You mean like seeing the same old picture attached to someones name day after day?

My sig on a different forum goes something like:
"Warning!  The above writing is only my opinion based upon my limited view of reality, and should not be used as an actual guide to reality."

A useful caveat I find.

Date: 2006/04/28 04:22:35, Link
Author: guthrie
I find pics and sigs annoying sometimes, but the animated ones that take ages to download really annoy me.  

HHmm, I wonder if the creationists will start making their own animated pics, say of white haired old men in vices, or strange, physically impossible events during the flood, or suchlike.

Date: 2006/04/30 23:48:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,00:02)
By success, I mean "people would actually WANT to live there because it's such a great country."  Which country would YOU rather live in?  Ancient Egypt or USA?

Are you trying to make a proepr comparison here?  A better one would be:
woudl you rather live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, or America?  
Asking if people would rather live in Ancient Egypt rather than modern USA is rather like asking if you would like to do without your glasses, modern dentistry etc.

Date: 2006/04/30 23:51:56, Link
Author: guthrie
No no, answer her.  I want to see afdave and carol have an argument.  It would be interesting...

Date: 2006/04/30 23:51:56, Link
Author: guthrie
No no, answer her.  I want to see afdave and carol have an argument.  It would be interesting...

Date: 2006/05/01 22:47:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Aye, only buy it second hand.  If I wrote as badly as Brown does, I would be chucked out of the writers group I am in.  The characterisation is shallow, consisting only of a few scenes designed to get you to empathise with the characters, although I suppose that is perfectly normal.  
Then I spotted the actual bad guy half way through it, because it was so bleeding obvious.  

What I found really funny was Brown claiming that much of it was based on real stuff- ie Leigh and Baigents opus, which was later exposed as lies because the people they'd based it on had made all their info up.  

Deception Point was also annoying, because not only did it have over the top conspiracy guff that was soooo wrong, it also mangled the science at least twice.  You average reader wouldnt have noticed, but I get annoyed by these things.  They just show how Brown likes to rip things off without actually understanding any of the history or background, which to me just makes him another ignorant fool, unworthy of all the praise.

Date: 2006/05/08 21:51:29, Link
Author: guthrie
I agree with the general thesis here.  

I am currently reading "Faucoults Pendulum" by Umberto Eco.  Its a laugh, although you should only read it if you are some kind of intellectual.  Anyway, it reminds me of ID'ists, in so far as, like the conspiracy theorists, they start with a predetermined idea and look for linkages, but conveniently forget about actual testable evidence.  

What I would be interested in is how much CoP et al are aware they are acting like this?  Do they realise how silly they look trying to out expertise the experts?

Date: 2006/05/09 04:54:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Plus the issue is hard to explore, because we all want people to not take what we say at absolute face value; but skepticism can be taken too far.  Moreover, as fallible humans, in our own areas of expertise we mostly do enjoy holding forth, and it can be annoying for us if someone comes along claiming that we are wrong, and actually putting up what looks like a good fight to outsiders, yet is based upon simplistic readings of fragmentary data that we know about because we are experts yet they dont because they just spent 20 mins mugging up on it.

Which leads into something that I think people have been neglecting for far too long- expertise and its place in society.  We need experts.  In the course of becoming an expert in something, you learn so much and see so many connections that joe average cannot see without going through the same learning processes, that you do appear to be arrogant when debating someone, even when you are not. (And like I said, we all can get rather uppity about being challenged)  And it seems to me that people generally are verging too much towards outright skepticism towards experts, instead of a kind of careful questioning and question asking.  They shouldn't be obsequois, but bear in mind that their grasp of the subject from an hour or twos reading is likely to be inadequate, since almost every subject has nuances that only experts actually grasp.  

A related example- a couple of years ago I had an argument about something in the Falklands war, with an inveterate arguer on a forum I frequent.  SAid arguer was mos tlikley a 16 year old Canadian nerd.  As such, their parents probably didnt even know each other when the Falklands war occured, and I was 5 years old at the time.  Yet he insisted on putting forwards some point of view, and backing it up with stuff from online.  But seeing as he only knew what he had read, linearly, recently, he was making quite a good, but as far as I could see erroneous argument, precisely because he didnt actually know all the background, the assumptions, and the whole era at all.  
Kind of Like goP and those fossils- he just hasnt got the near intuitive grasp of how it all fits together, he's still thinking linearly or something, working on what information he can pull together without a deeper understanding of the whole system.

Date: 2006/05/11 11:25:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Its a good question.  
I can think of several answers, like "Yes, of course designed creatures dont change" and then they would walk about kinds and other such non evidence based ideas that allow them to say that evolution of whatever kind isnt happening.

Date: 2006/05/11 11:39:24, Link
Author: guthrie
You must have seen that Father Ted episode where a film involving nudity etc arrives on the Island, after being banned in the rest of Ireland, and ted and Dougal have to to out and protest against it.

With placards saying "Careful now!"

Indeed, their protests are so successful that the film has a bumper run, since everyone on the island want to see what is getting them so worked up, and dont mind a bit of nudity.

Date: 2006/05/13 04:03:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Cue snarkiness-

Ohhh, read up to date journals!  But that would be bad, and mean that you would have to learn all this darwinist speech, so that you could read the words.  ACtually, you wouldnt, since they do just take the words and make things up about them.  

I think it just reflects their fundamentalist mind set, they cant go beyond the past 150 years, since so much has happened in them.  

end snark

Mind you, for your average, non science interested punter, can you really expect them to know about biophysicicsts?  Even I dont know what they do, and I'm interested in science and have a chemistry degree.  Theres just too much stuff to keep track of and learn about.  So when mr/ mrs uneducated pro-ID-er pops up, just remember that they dont knwo anything because they have been lied to and they simply do not have the time or the contacts to find out that such things as biophysicists actually exist.

Date: 2006/05/13 06:23:29, Link
Author: guthrie
What is conventional Darwinite wisdom?  Should I pop over there and ask them that?  I've never been banned from anywhere before.  

Does Dembski go drinking?  Is there any way we can get to him when ihes in his cups and ask him what hes doing?

Date: 2006/05/13 13:33:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 13 2006,13:48)
What is conventional Darwinite wisdom?  Should I pop over there and ask them that?  I've never been banned from anywhere before.

You'll never be taken seriously here until you change that.  If you want to gain our everlasting respect, you have to ask something totally innocuous and be banned.

Oh, and doesn't Darwinite wisdom have something to do with banana bending?  Or is that Queensland?


Oh no!  
I can feel the evil Darwinite peer pressure forcing me towards the precipice!  What can save me from getting falling into the gorge of uncommon dissent?

Date: 2006/05/13 13:49:44, Link
Author: guthrie
I second what Stephen Elliot has said.  If I hadnt gone to University myself and now have a job in a science related area, I would know maybe one person with whom I could talk about scientific stuff.  

The thing is, related to communication, the science over the past 100 years has gotten so complex and deep that it is rather hard for a layman to get to grips with it.  I have a chemsitry degree, and am generally interested in science.  Yet it has taken over a year of reading stuff on here, Pandas thumb and elsewhere, as well as the reading of a couple of popular science books, before I have a reasonable idea of evolutionary things.  I dont even know much biology.  In order to know much about anything I would have to go through first year university level courses on biology, evolution, information theory, etc etc.  Theres just so #### much to learn, that is is quicker and easier to leave it to other people.  We can win som ebattles with national efforts, but the war will have to be one one mind at a time.

Date: 2006/05/15 21:44:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Not that I have undertaken a large study of comedy methods, but one thing that Monty Python and Family guy have in common is that they have an "off the wall" kind of rewriting reality kind of humour.  Take an ordinary situation and people, then magnify some things beyond any sensible bounds, to the extent that it is  parody.  

I recall for example a FAmily guy episode where their local pub gets taken over as an English pub, and the brave americans try and get it back to their usual sports bar.  Or look at how you have a talking dog, something of an outsider yet people get on with him as if he's a real human.  

Its all about building up expectations in one direction, then fooling you, the watcher, with a quick switch.

Like the reference above, to "What is your favourite colour?"

TO set the scene- the knights of ARthur ar looking for teh HOly grail.  Several of them come to a gorge, with a bridge guarded by a horrible old man, who asks questions and you can only cross if you answer the question correctly.
The question that was asked was, "What is the unladen weight of an African Swallow".  
The Knight of whom it was asked ummmed, and ahhed, and said "I dont know" and was promptly catapulted to his doom.  
So, next person goes up, to brave near certain death in his search for the grail, and is asked "What is your favourite colour?"
Oddly enough, he gets this right.
This could be seen as a kind of redirection of our expectations, a release of tension.  

THen the 3rd one goes up, and is asked the question of the Swallow, whereupon he asks the questioner exactly which kind of African swallow.  The questioner said "I dont know" and was catapulted ot his doom.  

Again, a switch in expectations and outcome.

Date: 2006/05/16 01:24:40, Link
Author: guthrie
That'll be JBS Haldane, who came up with the word clone, and died in 1964.  Apprently he played a good part in producing the modern synthesis, but really, attacking the work of someone who's been dead for 42 years really isnt helping their cause.

Drum roll......

He was a marxist!

So I predict that will get brought up next.  (Especially if they read this thread)
And if it doesnt get brought up, obviously it proves that they do read this thread!

Date: 2006/05/16 04:30:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (ericmurphy @ May 15 2006,15:01)
Here's the difference between Liberals and Conservatives, Bill: liberals believe that everyone has obligations and responsibilities to the society of which they are a part.

Conservatives do not.

Excuse me for jumping in here- in the UK, what you have said, is, with some general exceptions, incorrect.  The conservatives here have mostly stood for everyone having obligations to scoiety, its just that they want to preserve the kind of society in which they are at the top of.  

I suspect also that GoP hasnt properly defined Liberal or conservative in this argument.

Date: 2006/05/16 09:03:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Or to look at it another way-

The scene with Arthur and the Black knight in the Holy grail.
Opens with the black knight and another knight fighting fast and dangerously, until the black knight finishes his opponent with a virtuoso sword thrust through the eye slit of his helmet.

Arthur has stood watching this appreciatively, and when the fight is over steps forwards congratulating the black knight for a fine fight and askign him if he would like to join the Knights of the Round table.  
THe Black knight replies "None shall pass", and blocks Arthurs way.
"None shall pass"
"Why not?"

And so on it goes.  By this point, the comic potential through miscommunication/ misunderstanding should be obvious.  Finally, Arthur has had enough, since even after pointing out that he is King of the Britons hes the man in charge here, the Black knight still stands in his way.
So they come to blows.  
Arthur chops off the knights arm.

"Had enough eh?"
THen has to rapidly block a blow from the mans sword.
"But I've wounded you."
The black knight says "Tis but a flesh wound"
"But I shopped yoru arm off."

The fight carries on.  See how things are exagerated and somewhat silly.  

Then Arthur chops off the black knights other arm.
Expecting him to give up, Arthur steps back, only to be kicked by the unarmed man.
"Leave me alone, I've chopped off both your arms."
"Garn.  I've had worse.  Are you chicken, fight me"
So Arthur gets annoyed and cuts off his leg.  Then the other leg, leaving the torso on the ground, trying in vain to bite him.

OK, its funnier to watch than it is to read, but hopefully it gives you an idea of the exaggeration and silliness.
I also predict that some people will use this episode as an example or simile.

Date: 2006/05/18 06:11:38, Link
Author: guthrie
I finished Foucoults Pendulum last week, still feeling the after effects.  Its the ideal antidote to Browns drivel.  I think I spotted some of the intellectual jokes, name dropping etc, but also distrubringly enough, I have heard of a lot of the groups and history mentioned in the story.

Date: 2006/05/19 08:45:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, its yet another area in which amateur and public understanding of Evolution lag behind the actual known science.  Many people would agree with DS, thats the problem, because they dont know how much things have moved on.

For example, severeal people at a foum I go to appear to have bought into "the free hydrogen to fuel your car"
and "Hyrdogen torch that can cut through anything" stuff thats going the rounds just now.  They are the same people who will listen to DS.

Date: 2006/05/19 08:57:57, Link
Author: guthrie
My reference book agrees with Rilkes Grandaughter.  Its "The Pimlico encycolpaedia of the Middle Ages", published in 1999.  

What it also says about the formation of Portugal is that the Northern part of what we now knwo as POrtugal was first reffered to by that name in the mid 800's, when it had its own governor.  In the eearly 1000's Ferdidnand the first of Castile and Leon took control, and then his Kingdom was divided amongst his children after his death.  So, in the early 1100's, feuding was going on, ldeaing to Alfonso seizing the throne from his mother in 1128.
Now, even if some Henry bloke was Alfonsos dad, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Daves claimed date of 1143, since by that time Alfonso was in charge, and that date was when Spain recognised Portugal as a country in its own right.

Date: 2006/05/19 09:07:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (ericmurphy @ May 19 2006,13:50)
[quote=afdave,May 19 2006,13:44]

If you're going to have an argument about linguistics, have an argument about linguistics, not about medieval European history.

I'm sure we'd like to, but so far Dave hasnt produced any arguments, just a bald statement.  

It seems that Henry of Burgundy was dead in 1112:

Now, what was Daves statement again?

AF Dave says that Spanish and Portuguese were essentially the same language until 1143 AD when Portugal broke away from Spanish control under a French nobleman by the name of Henry of Burgundy.

Date: 2006/05/19 12:23:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Whats a "yutz"?  It sounds faintly disturbing.

Date: 2006/05/21 12:38:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Faid @ May 18 2006,15:02)
Foucault's Pendulum has everything but the kitchen sink in: I think some priest even calls to Cthulhu at some point.  It's a religious conspiracy fan's Bible.

Baudolino, however, was like Foucault's Pendulum in the middle ages: Felt like yesterday's soup to me. Still well-written, though; I guess that's what makes a writer.

Yup, I saw the appeal to Cthulu as well.  But I understand the Illuminati trilogy by Robert Anton wilson is also a good read.  

Wow, he even appears to have his own website:

Date: 2006/05/22 21:53:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ May 23 2006,00:31)
Circular in the sense that ID trys to disprove evolution to no avail, and evolutionists try to disprove ID for no purpose, there is no threat and it justs wastes time that could be applied to real work.

We dont try and disprove ID, mostly we just point out where its supporters are wrong, since we cannot conclusively prove that there is no intelligent designer.

As for the threat, it is a threat to proper science education, since it is part of an anti-science mindset, and as such threatens a great deal of work and life in the USA.  Sure, if nobody though evolution was correct, a lot of science would still get done, but as the unifying principle behind much of biology, people would be unable to see the big picture.

Date: 2006/05/23 13:23:34, Link
Author: guthrie
The thing that I walways wonder about, is that last I saw, a lot of the negative things that occur when raising children actually happen most in porr families.  Does GoP agree that we should restrict peoples breeding or marriage rights according to how much money they have?

Date: 2006/05/23 22:33:32, Link
Author: guthrie
DAmmit, will you all stop jumping all over someone.  Even if they are a troll, you just need to pile on the links to talk origins etc, then sit back and watch their response.  If they go "wow, theres so much here, but [insert honset confusion here]" you can be nice to them.  If they come back saying "wow theres so much here, but [insert typical creationist boilerplate here]", then you know what you are dealing with.

REmember, there is always the chance that someone like sceptic could be a misinformed person who jusst hasnt been able to do some proper research on the topic.

Date: 2006/05/24 05:07:40, Link
Author: guthrie
For the hard of reading, what actually happens, is that ccontrary to Dr(?) andersons assertion, bacteria that have mutated to have anti-biotic resistance, although they are sometimes less fit in a normal environment than normal, unmutated bacteria, then proceed to mutate back up to the same level of fitness that they were before the original mutation.  Or in other words,

The real biological cost, though, is loss of pre-existing systems and activities.  Such losses are never compensated, unless resistance is lost, and cannot validly be offered as examples of true evolutionary change.

is wrong.

Is that right, fellow evolutionists?

Date: 2006/05/24 23:00:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ May 24 2006,21:44)
Lets try an exercise.

Imagine that this guy named Darwin proposes a theory that species derive existing species through random mutation and natural selection.  We know about genes, DNA, etc and as ambitious young grad students we want to make a name for ourselves and prove this theory.

How do we do it?  Where do we investigate and what experiment do we run?

I'm not a biologist, but I think we would proceed in several ways, such as:

1) We look at various species around the world, collecting DNA samples at various times, so as to see how much they change.

2) We try to breed a species, such as flies, to see what changes we can produce in their genome and how they are inherited and under what conditions they provide advantages.

3) We observe some species in minute detail in their natural habitat, watching how they interact with it, and how their genes and physical forms etc change over time.  

4) We breed peas and suchlike and observe the changes in their size and form.

5) We run genetic analyses on animals and plants, teasing out the differences and similarities, and how changes to genes affects the creature with the changes.

And so on.  All the above have been done at some point in the past 200 years.  

For example, the Galapagos Finches have been almsot exhaustively studied for I think nearly 40 years- every year some biologists go to the islands and tag, measure, and observe the birds in their natural habitat.  

So far, all the above have shown that the modern synthesis is a pretty close description of "reality".

Date: 2006/05/25 05:21:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ May 24 2006,11:31)

For the hard of reading, what actually happens, is that ccontrary to Dr(?) andersons assertion, bacteria that have mutated to have anti-biotic resistance, although they are sometimes less fit in a normal environment than normal, unmutated bacteria, then proceed to mutate back up to the same level of fitness that they were before the original mutation.
Yes.  Just go ahead and make a wild assertion to try to plug the new hole in HMS Darwin.  It's no use.  You're going down.

Hey!  I've been mindlessly dissed by AFDAve!  I feel almost motivated enogh to go and get myself banned from Dembskis place!

I shall just have to go and try and find where I read my wild assertion, or do any of you with literature access have something appropriate to hand?

Date: 2006/05/25 06:58:03, Link
Author: guthrie
That talkorigins article on the RAates stuff is the scientific equivalent of nuking someone.

If Skeptic is still reading this thread, heres a paper on Galapagos Finches:
Galapagos finches

Date: 2006/05/26 01:08:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Cant some of you engineers come up with fuses for ironymeters?

Date: 2006/05/26 03:25:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ May 26 2006,07:57)
After doing some research last night, I really don't see anything substantially novel here.  Neutral theory isn't exclusive of natural selection, at least not the way I read it.  The question that still haunts me is this apparent confusion between traits and genes.  Traits must almost assuredly be made up of many genes and the expression of each may or may not be dependant upon the other.  I'll look into this more today but I've an idea that I will expand on later.

Do you want to expand upon what you mean by "traits"?  You mean the physical differences that result from different genes being expressed, or what?  

And again, things are probably more and less complex than you make out.  I understand that a variety of research has been done about knocking out individual genes in, for example, mice, and that has had quite an effect upon the mouse in some way, whether body size, colour, etc.  So, for some genes it is as simple as one gene almost directly controlling things.  

Yet if you look up methylation (I think that is the word) where some parts of the genome are inactivated due to cellular changes brought on by environmentalchanges, eg as a response to a starvation diet.

Date: 2006/05/26 03:48:21, Link
Author: guthrie
I like the idea of gigadembskis.  We need a proper scientific chart, with proper rankings and explanatory notes like with the Richter scale, e.g.
"The amount of irony you would expect at a bad team meeting at work, but is indistinguishable from background levels for meters calibrated for UD"  
Or "This level of irony is known to have deleterious health effects, and should be avoided"

Date: 2006/05/26 12:19:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ May 26 2006,16:49)

Looking at traits that could have profound effects and offer organisms advantages for survival, we're looking at physical changes, more efficient metabolisms, certainly increased neurological capacity.  These aren't single gene mutations and thats difficult to develop a scenario in which this occurs randomly.

But why arent they single gene mutations?  Have you checked them all?  Also, mutations arent quite as random as people naievely think.  Some parts of the genome are conserved better than others, therefore some parts mutate much more than others.  Plus, looking for profound effects is not necessary.  All you need is a few percent improvement in something, and you can have noticeably incrased survival rates over several generations.  Then, go look up the mutation/s that mean that a large part of the worlds population can drink milk in adulthood.  Did that arise from one single change or several, and how well has it since spread through the population?  

Also, the knockout mice are typically single gene knockout that affect viability, reproduction, etc in a detremental in order to study impact or treatment options.  In my experience, I've participated in studies in which the knockouts were cancer-prone and the efficacy of anti-cancer agents were studied, but these mice didn't look or behave any different than ordinary mice, except for the fact that they're nude.

But then thats still single gene's having an effect.  Now, unless you have total knowledge of the rest of the genome and what all the genes do, you cannot say that such things do not happen elsewhere with different traits.  

Now, I only have a chemistry degree, so I dont have all the knowledge and links and stuff off the top of my head, but talkorigins archive is a good place to start.

Date: 2006/05/26 12:26:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Cells appear to be making some educated guesses as when and what is a good thing to change and what isn’t. How beneficial would it be to differential reproduction to be able pass acquired characters on to the next generation? Real important would be my guess and from what I’ve seen so far that cells are doing it doesn’t seem out of line to suppose they have some “expert software” running in them able to make informed decisions about adaptation.-ds

Armchair scientists!
I have had one on another forum claim to have a proper, working theory of gravity, although they cannot explain it well enough for me to understand it. Now we have Ds suggesting there is "expert software" operating in a cell.  So Dave, how will you detect this software?  Is it called the genome?  So what patters do you detect in the genome?

Date: 2006/05/26 12:29:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ May 26 2006,15:50)
Have you accounted for the fact that Sign Language is a mixture of 40% kayaking and 60% bungee-jumping?

And some handjiving thrown in for that extra bit of rhythm.

Date: 2006/05/27 09:12:37, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ May 27 2006,00:38)

Is it possible for someone not to believe in evolution and ID at the same time?

Yes.  Professor J A DAvison (Davidson), a well knwon opponent of "Darwinian" evolution manages it.  Goggle for his "prescribed evolutionary theory", he has his own website and blog and everything.

Date: 2006/05/27 11:35:37, Link
Author: guthrie
OK, I didnt phrase things correctly, Sir toejam has explained everything to suit.

Date: 2006/05/28 12:35:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on- Beervolcanoes argument looks very similar to that used by YEC'ers.  No insult intended.

Date: 2006/05/29 11:32:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, in that sense he is just using good military tactics.
And in that vein, would you ex servicemen or whatever you like to call yourselves, care to explain in plain english what you are talking about with regards to Daves flying time?

Date: 2006/05/29 22:57:41, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats a nice quote, it sums up the problem that ID proponents have, and how they have no room to manouvre.  If they get all metaphysical, they lose any hope of a wider appeal, and they cannot actually get more scientific, because it involves lots of work and may be impossible.

Date: 2006/05/30 02:00:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 25 2006,02:05)
I just saw the following phrase over in the Bad Science forum:

unhinged forum-monster


HHmm, now which badscience forum denizen are you then?

Date: 2006/06/01 08:01:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Just to make it more fun, the Crichton quote also seems to doom SETI forever as a non science endeavour, which as those of us who read the PT seem to broadly agree, it is.  They just dont use the Drake equation for anything.  Doesnt Crichton know anything about publicity and jumping to the wrong conclusions?

Date: 2006/06/02 11:19:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ June 02 2006,10:31)


Dammit, I wish you would explain these things in your post, it saves my brain.  So Salvatore doesnt read beyond the title of the article he links to- a classic ID error.  Then I read up the page, and found DS saying:
It’s true that the ocean environment does change but it is undeniably far more stable than land. It takes a very long time for the ocean to change while the air can change almost instantly.

Um, sure DAve, but its a lot more complex than that.

Date: 2006/06/06 21:58:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Funniest thread I've seen for a while.  A great way to start the day at work.

Date: 2006/06/06 23:34:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (thordaddy @ June 07 2006,03:33)
You see the conundrum you are in, no?

Nope.  I guess your going to have to explain it to me.

Date: 2006/06/09 04:14:11, Link
Author: guthrie

(Although I have a bit of Scots, a bit of french and some german.  Not enough to be worth mentioning)

Date: 2006/06/14 00:58:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Rilke's Granddaughter @ June 13 2006,23:40)
But did Dembski get into this whole thing strictly to make money?  In that case he's a dishonest, hypocritical git.  if he honestly believes in what he says, then he's a moron.

How do we parse this?  :D

I suggest getting him drunk some time and having a  nice, close to the heart chat with him.

Date: 2006/06/14 07:26:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ June 14 2006,12:14)

Saith AFDave:
To me, they are crusaders on a 'religious mission to sanitize schools of any mention of a Creator or an Intelligent Designer or a God.'  They apparently think that 'Separation of Church and State' is in the constitution and they think that 'no establishment of religion' means no mention of a Creator or God in public settings.

Now, I'm in the UK, and even I know that you cant even get your ranting right.  The NCSE et al are worried about religion in PUBLIC schools.  Let me repeat that.  PUBLIC schools.  That is, ONES FOR THE EDUCATION OF EVERYONE.

Now, pause for a second and consider why that might be a good idea.
Do you want your child to go to a school where people quote the Koran at them, and people say they will end up in (whatever the islamic equivalent of ####)?

THe ACLU has stood up for some people who were preaching in the public square, since they were exercising their rights to free speech in public.  What you dont seem to get is that all people are interested in is not establishing a state religion.  You can still get your children educated in your religion, if you home school or use a private school.  Many people do.  I suggest you look into it.

Date: 2006/06/15 01:49:51, Link
Author: guthrie
Judging by his recognition that he is in enemy territory, and outnumbered, perhaps he might like to nominate neutral territory somewhere?  

After all, we all want to know why his definition of science is so narrow as to exclude nearly as much science as a creationist.  
Indeed, I would like him to explain why all other religions have trouble producing scientific evidence to back up their claims, whereas evolutionary biology does not.

Date: 2006/06/15 01:57:17, Link
Author: guthrie
"Brave sir Robin..."

Date: 2006/06/15 02:01:24, Link
Author: guthrie
You might like to keep an eye open for an entity called "Randy Macgruber" (Or as I have christened him, Brave sir Robin), because I think it would be interesting to see if he does turn up.

Date: 2006/06/15 22:08:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Rilke's Granddaughter @ June 15 2006,16:53)

"Transporter Malfunctions: Speculative Correlation between Inclusion Body Formation and Dopamine Transporter Reversal"

See!!!  They've admitted its all speculation!!!

Date: 2006/06/16 12:46:38, Link
Author: guthrie
I wouldnt say its completely contrary to what a public discussion board is about.  Your idea is just about what I usually try and do myself- mask my batteries until the enemy is at point blank range.  That way I can also tell if they are genuinely interested or misinformed, or are raving lunatics.  Although, I admit that when it comes to evolutionary biology I am no 24 pounder.

Date: 2006/06/16 12:49:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Sorry, I should have added some congratulations.
So, happy PhD day, I hope you find some good work to do now.

Date: 2006/06/19 12:14:44, Link
Author: guthrie
I would like to lodge a slightly tongue in cheek protest at calling Dave Scott a Springer spaniel.  The Spaniels I have met have been many times nicer than Dave, eager to please, helpful, and generally worth their keep.  Dave is the exact opposite.  
Possibly you could compare him to some mis-bred UK pit bull with an owner with a room temperature IQ and a tendency to violence, but I suppose that isnt short and snappy enough.

Date: 2006/06/21 00:24:08, Link
Author: guthrie
The Panda’s Thumb, on the other hand, is entirely low-market; the men who contribute to the blog all have some vague technical background - computer sales, sound mixing, low-level programming, print-shops or copy centers; they are semi-literate; their posts convey that characteristic combination of pustules and gonorrhea that one would otherwise associate with high-school toughs.

I guess Berlinski has been practising his rhetoric.  Thats quite an impressive piece of nastiness, however things have moved on a bit since the 18th century, and rhetoric like that doesnt get you anywhere in thw wide world when your opponent is armed with scientific data.

Date: 2006/06/22 12:16:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Even worse, some people insist that the yellow in traffic ights, is actually amber!  They will stick to this pedantically no matter how hard you explain things to them.

Date: 2006/06/23 14:29:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (2ndclass @ June 23 2006,14:57)
Dembski's Evolution as Alchemy paper is another example of his appalling hypocrisy.

The point of the paper is that evolutionary theory doesn't have enough "causal specificity."  Okay, let's compare the level of detail that we find in the evolutionary causal story to that of the ID causal story.  Ah, but providing details isn't ID's task, says Dembski.  In fact, with ID, there are no mechanisms.

Who's the alchemist, Bill?

I know a little bit about alchemy, and would be willing to suggest that Dembski is talking bunk.  They were quite specific about what happened; the balance of the four elements in teh material would be changed, of the quintessence would enter into it and transmute it into a higher element; or suchlike.  Of course, like ID they had trouble defining exactly what these things were...

edited to add:
For scientists the problem with alchemy is that it fails to specify the processes by which transmutations are supposed to take place.

ITs this bit in his essay that I mean especially.

Help, I increased the visits to Dembskis page.  I shall have to visit PT immediately.

Date: 2006/06/28 12:32:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 28 2006,13:44)
Might wanna check out Michael7's impassioned defense of the Dark Ages on UD.

This part is especially Tardy:

The same goes for the Dark Ages. This myth that Creationism was the Dark Age view of life is a wornout lie and easily rebuked.
The Dark Ages were dark precisely due to power of a few corrupt Kings, Tyrants and Thieves. Most in fact abused religion for the purpose of keeping themselves in power. Just like some Tyrants and Kings we know today? Hmmmm? And yet, most on the left do not care if millions are oppressed today by the same tactics.

You cannot blame the words of Christ for the failures of men.

Again, nice to hear it's all about the science and has nothing to do with religion or rightwing politics.

But, ummm, it was the dark age view of the universes origins, at least amongst the Christian part of Europe.  The fact that this coincided with a time of exploitation of religion, rampant and blatant nastiness and all the rest of it, not to mention plagues, starvation and crop failures, was entirely beside the point...

Date: 2006/06/29 05:55:37, Link
Author: guthrie
What’s the matter [church burnin’ ebola] boys, cat got your tongues?  

Comment by DaveScot — June 28, 2006 @ 9:16 am
At least he got our names right...

Date: 2006/06/29 06:01:15, Link
Author: guthrie
I did like this comment:

Is it just me, or do the fights over at PT remind anyone else of the orcs in The Lord of the Rings? If they don’t have some overlord commanding them or an imminent enemy, they seem to start attacking each other.

Maybe someone should call Peter Jackson, it could be the basis of his next movie.

Comment by jhudson — June 28, 2006 @ 9:59 am

from the same thread as above

So presumably the multiple bannings, lost posts, religion wars of their own dont count?  Last I knew, lennys posts were sitll available, on the bathroom wall.

Date: 2006/06/30 02:35:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Chris Hyland @ June 30 2006,05:27)
A bolt that is too large, too small, or that has threads that are too fine or too coarse to match those of a nut, cannot be combined with the nut to make a fastener

The "engineers" (read mechanical maintenance) as well as normal shop floor workeres where I work can do all sorts of things like putting the wrong size of nut and bolt together, and have it work.  TH emaintenance team frequently have to resort to unsceintific bodges to get things to work.  People who talk about how things have to be exactly right seem to me to often be lacking in real life experience.  They forget that organisms only have to be a little bit better than other organisms, not perfect, and they also forget that designed artefacts like what us humans make, are made to be tremendously efficient at one job.  And one only.  So what is our job as humans?  

As far as I can see, we all manage to make new humans, build things, build up entire cultures etc etc.  We, and other animals, are not maximum efficiencey machines.  The comparison is not valid.

Date: 2006/07/01 12:27:01, Link
Author: guthrie
from staggering increases in the homicide and suicide rates among young people to a total disdain for human life.

If you'll excuse me from getting all political, all the actual academic studies and evidence that I have ever read about shows that increasing suicide rates are tied in with increasing isolation in society and a breakdown in social ties.  

you might find this interesting:

Then as for a total disdain for human life, my understanding is that it is quite common amongst religious fanatics, power hungry people, etc etc.  The ready acceptance of extreme violence on TV etc in the USA might have something to do with it as well.

Date: 2006/07/02 01:41:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Renier @ July 01 2006,17:40)
Sounds a lot like ID huh? In fact, ID and religion have so much in common, it is one and the same thing :)

ohhh, controversial!

Anyway, an Id'iot of a church minister is claiming in my local paper letters page that Newton and all th emembers of the Royal Society were creationists.  Classic appeal to authority, I'm away to compose a letter asking why tens of thousands of scientists across all the major religions and denominations agree that evolution is correct, and, what evidence did Newton have to creationism?  And how did he find Newtonian physics in the bible?

Date: 2006/07/02 01:47:35, Link
Author: guthrie
I think LIno D'ischia simply demonstrates that harldy anyone supporting ID etc has a grasp of the actual science, not even of the chemistry involved.  When you study chemistry, if you have any brains at all, you end up with a good idea of atoms, molecules, crystals, etc.  essentially you have a mental picture of strutures at the atomic level.  If you have that, you can comprehend a great deal, and wouldnt make such stupid statements as that Lino bloke did.  

Or at least I like to think you would'nt anyway...

Date: 2006/07/03 12:05:35, Link
Author: guthrie
OK, so we're agreed that DS should post first on Janies blog?  I can live with that.  It should be interesting.

Date: 2006/07/03 12:39:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ July 03 2006,17:20)
It's important, when you're communicating in these emotionally charged areas, to have a firm understanding of what you can and can't, and should and shouldn't, do, otherwise you end up wasting your time beating your head against a wall, or actually pushing people away from your position. Be MLK, don't be Louis Farakhan.

Indeed.  Meanwhile, we can all be free to be mean to DS et al over here.  I would be interested what she makes of that, because I think most of us are capable of being perfectly nice to her and many other people, but unpleasant to DS and his ilk.  Does that mean we are totally nasty?  Or that we are trying to brainwash her with honeyed words?  It shall be interesting to see.

Date: 2006/07/04 01:21:20, Link
Author: guthrie
I am not sure.  I would assume that it violates their right to the liberty not to have to know of or think about it, or perhaps their deity might smite them for not wiping it out.  Or its their right not to live near sinners, somehow.  
Religion wars, anyone?

I have never gotten my head round this kind of thinking.

Date: 2006/07/04 07:52:59, Link
Author: guthrie
Which God, Dave?

Date: 2006/07/04 21:42:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Occam just answered my question as to which god.


Date: 2006/07/05 03:03:38, Link
Author: guthrie
I note that Salvador says:

"Trevors and Abel are backed up by 150 years of empirical data after Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation. Abiogensis goes against everything we know empirically and theoretically."

PAsteurs experiment was an accurate reproduction of the conditions of Earth 3 billion years ago?  You mean it is true, we're the result of an alien experiment.  Or a giant snotter from some aliens nose.  

Then theres this paper:

cached from google

Which appears to be a pukka science paper, but I cannot see how it got past peer review.  With statements like:

Even if RNA or DNA were inserted into a lifeless world, they would not contain any genetic instructions unless each nucleotide selection in the sequence was programmed for function. Even then, a predetermined communication systemwould have had to be in place for any message to be understood at the destination.

in the abstract, I cannot quite see that it makes any sense.  Programmed for function?  Whose the prgrammer?  

Selection pressure cannot select nucleotides at the digital programming level where primary structures form

Pardon?  But ultimately, selection pressure operates on the atomic level.
Edited to clarify- I'm not a biologist, but it seems to me that since the behaviour of proteins, DNA, etc etc is dependent upon the atoms that make them up, and in turn the structures that these atoms can make up, then you can argue that selection operates right down to the atomic level.  Feel free to disagree.

Date: 2006/07/05 04:45:37, Link
Author: guthrie
I do wonder how all these sedimentary rocks hardened so quickly.  Perhaps Dave can explain the chemistry involved.

Date: 2006/07/05 05:39:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ July 05 2006,10:17)

At last!  One question I can answer:
1) Why should I believe your source about this being wind-borne sand?  He could be wrong about the sediment being wind borne.  Why could it not be water-borne sand?

Because areas of the planet today exhibit artefacts with certain structures of particle size.  These have been observed to form under windy conditions.  

Or in other words, we can see similar structures of sand etc forming right now, under windy conditions and they are different from the structures that are currently formed by waterborne sand.  Its to do with sorting of the particles, and ripples left behind etc etc.  You can find this sort of thing in geology textbooks, but its a few years since I last looked at mine.

Date: 2006/07/05 12:14:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (afdave @ July 05 2006,10:59)
Because areas of the planet today exhibit artefacts with certain structures of particle size.  These have been observed to form under windy conditions.  
Agreed.  But I think these can also be transported by water.  Why can they not?

You think they can?  have you observed them?  Certainly water carries sediment, it also sorts out rocks and sand etc etc, producing certain structures, which differ somewhat from those you see on land.  SO your challenge is to find pictures and diagrams of both kinds of structure, then compare them to those found in the grand canyon and elsewhere.

Date: 2006/07/05 21:35:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Denis Healey?  Wasn't he a minister in the Thatcher junta?  Doesnt strike me as being a likely candidate for running the world.

MCC, that stuff about the design filter made no sense to me either, my brain just couldnt cope with it.

Date: 2006/07/05 21:50:11, Link
Author: guthrie
I never really realised how advanced Creation science was.  It beats ID hands down.  That they have already identified areas like the Coconino sandstones and devoted time and effort to distorting them to fit their agenda shows some devotion.  I'm quite impressed.

Date: 2006/07/06 07:23:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (GCT @ July 06 2006,08:22)
 Next they'll be talking about how the triune god shows up in the "fact" that there are 3 states of matter.

I thought we were up to 5 or 6 states of matter.
Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, Bose-einstein condensate, and I think theres a new one that i cannot remember.  

So does that mean that Hinduism is the one true faith?

Date: 2006/07/06 07:45:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 06 2006,12:16)
Quote (guthrie @ July 06 2006,02:35)
Denis Healey?  Wasn't he a minister in the Thatcher junta?  Doesnt strike me as being a likely candidate for running the world.

No, Healey was on the other side.  Think big eyebrows.


ooops, your right.  ahh well.  My only excuse is that I was a child in the 80's.  

So in that case, how come he was trying to take over the world?

Date: 2006/07/11 01:30:32, Link
Author: guthrie
I had to explain at length to someone who claimed to be intelligent and also against ID, that scientists did not object to the teaching of ID in schools because teaching something that contradicted current scientific thought was immoral, but because lying is immoral.  It took some time.  

Theres a lot of confused thinking about this issue.  

Edited to put "laying" to "Lying".

Date: 2006/07/11 05:19:04, Link
Author: guthrie
I dont think that Lenny is/ has been in the UK, suffice to say that over here theres hardly any SCA, since we have the likes of Regia, The Vikings, for shield walls, and a bunch of other societies for medieval.  I have been away at the battle of Tewkesbury this weekend, a re-enactment of a 1471 battle.  I can second what is said about pole arms- the point being that pole arms are great in a battle field.  In more constricted circumstances, swords and daggers are better.  Moreover, in real life your hand and a half was entirely useable against a mass of pole arms because your armour would take care of their attacks.  

However, I do disagree with Lenny:
Alas, both of those require brawn to swing around and use effectively, and I am not a brawny guy.

THose would be modern reproductions suitable for re-enactment use?  A proper blunt reproduction for Historical fencing will weight something like 3 to 3.5 pounds, roughly speaking, and some are lighter still.  That is actually quite light, I understand that a lot of period rapiers were nearly that weight.  Hence you dont need to be particulalry muscly to use a longsword, at least not any more than you do a rapier.  And at least your knees stay in one piece better with a long sword.  

My understanding is that when it came to battles, peopel still used sabre/ single hand swor dlike weapons, often in the 17th century re-enacting called "hangers".  The problems with rapiers were adequately explained by George Silver in the 16th century; he preferred to knock the rapier aside then smash its users head in, using what we would think of now as a hanger, a basic cut and thrust sword.

One sure sign of an extemist ideologue is their attitude of "gee, the world would be a much better place if only everyone thought exactly the same way *I* do".

Indeed.  I worked that one out a few years ago myself, but then I have run into the problem of what kind of basic rules of the game do we need to have the most generally suitable society, where peoples happiness and opportunity etc are maximised.

Date: 2006/07/11 21:53:39, Link
Author: guthrie
DAve is actualy quite sickening.  I hav'nt seen anyone act the way he does for years.
From the

Dave, you actually seemed reasonable in this discussion. Bravo.

You must have actually understood it then. Bravo to you too. -ds

Comment by Jeffery Keown — July 11, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

And, am I correct in thinking that DS shows a certain lack of understanding of the fossil record and punctuated equilibrium etc etc, in this quote:
I think the contention that there are no gradual transitions in the living world is simply unsupportable. In fact, we see graduated transitions all over, even to the spectacular extent of ring species, in which we find a continuum of variation within a species that becomes effectively speciated from one end of the variation range to another. Species borders in general can be very fuzzy, especially in plants, which are given to hybridize at the drop of the hat, given the opportunity.

Further, I don’t think it’s at all true that there needs be something ‘awkward’ about living transitionals. Remember that transitionals are generally evaluated in the fossil record over geologic time. Evolutionary theory would posit that all individuals in an ancestral chain would have themselves been fit on their own terms, and not necessarily observably different from other conspecifics, even if the slightest changes were eventually amplified through successive mutations, population dividing events and extinction of intermediates.

I agree that a lack of comprehensive gradualism in living things would be a damning argument against evolutionary theory, but I just don’t think that’s what the evidence shows.

Eldredge and Gould disagree with you about what the evidence shows. They didn’t need to come up with Punctuated Equilibrium if there were lots of fossil evidence of gradualism. -ds

Comment by jonabbey — July 12, 2006 @ 1:40 am
transitional and chimera forms post

Date: 2006/07/12 00:06:06, Link
Author: guthrie
It seems to me that Daves thinking entirely violates any application of Occams razor.  He keeps dancing around the ideas, entertaining anything that will mean that evolution is wrong, but doesnt involve a deity.  

Yet at times the mask slips and he sounds exactly like a religious believer.  
Then at other times, like above, he says that its simpler to posit one input point, which it is, but then this implies taht the designer has been elsewhere for much of the past 4 billion years.  It will be interesting to see if anyone over there picks up on the implications.  

And, to really  minimise entities, all you need to do is posit a universe set up by a designer right from the start, with the correct universal laws to ensure that life will arise some time, somewhere.  This is I think how a lot of people view it; how come Dave cant get his head around it?

Date: 2006/07/12 02:34:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, that IQ thing is interesting- did it grow with education and life experience, evolve, or was it all there right from the begining of his life?  

Has Dave ever actually confronted the evidence for evolution that is laid out in the talkorigins archive?  Or does he want to see it himself, which is funny given he was a software engineer, and I dont consider that to be the same as actually getting out there and getting your hands dirty.  

Actually, maybe the software engineer thing explains it all.  He's spent so much time creating worlds with rules, that he thinks all such worlds and rules have to have a creator.  
So, Dave, what is your evidence for a creator?  The evidence that is independent of who produces it, like the fact that evolutionary biologists from all the major faiths agree with atheists and agnostics about evolutionary theory?

Message to Janie, who seems to read this- nice blog, the luminarium link is interesting and potentially useful.  But it would be nice if it was possible to post without getting a blogger identity.

Date: 2006/07/12 03:42:57, Link
Author: guthrie
So far, every time an ID'er quotes a biologist, (Except the pro-id ones) they seem to take it out of context.  Perhaps they can show an example where they dont quote out of context?

GCT- yes, I did mean to keep the possibility of a deity when talking about entities.

Haveing re-read it, I aught to make it all a bit clearer, viz:
The evidence that is independent of who produces it, like the fact that evolutionary biologists from all the major faiths agree with atheists and agnostics about evolutionary theory?

Should read more like:
What is the evidence you have for a creator, that is independent of the observer the same way that evolutionary biology is, and as evidence for that I point out about all these religious people who agree on it.

Date: 2006/07/12 03:56:48, Link
Author: guthrie
I wonder if Dave is reading that and here all the time?  

I admit I have spent a wee while at Janies place, its entertaining in a nice sort of way.  And interesting.  And this week, I'm not too busy at work.

Date: 2006/07/12 21:33:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Just about everyone in the UK used "lives steel".  There are less SCA groups, partly because a lot of people got into re-enacting in the 80's and some even earlier, with an entirely different ethos.  Here, perhaps because we have all the history on our doorstep, accuracy has been quite important (But its always a struggle) from the start, and most people never got into the calling each other odd names and taking on personas.  Our reenacting is different.  
There are few people who use Rattan, steel is much better- as long as you are wearing appropriate kit, they are both not very dangerous.  

Which period do you do?  I do medieval, around 1300 to 1500.

Date: 2006/07/12 21:36:53, Link
Author: guthrie
What a great idea by Sal!
It would keep them all busy for years trying to find and stimulate this software module, which would keep them out of our hair.

/ sarcasm

Date: 2006/07/13 00:01:31, Link
Author: guthrie
We call them blunts- and nobody does full strength blows.  So all that is really needed is some moderately thick padding, such as a jack, aqueton or similar.  Add that to restricted target zones, (though I have been hit lightly in the face) and you have combat that is fairly safe and applicable to large numbers of people.  
However, if you want to go the whole hog, you put on fencing masks, elbow pads and metal armour, then you can start thinking about full speed hardly slowed blows.  

But anyone telling you they do full strength full contact fighting is almost certainly lying- real full speed and strength and technique combat would be really rather brutal when you were hit.  (Thats my opinion anyway)
If you are interested in swords, I suggest you go here:

The fourum there is frequented by scores of western martial artists and historical fencers, you might be able to find some close to you.
Fighting with metal swords is different, they bounce and stick differently, and its hard to get ones the right weight and so on, but it can be done.  
Finally, I am a member of this group:

As a matter of interest, why do so many people seem to like Viking?  I mean you dont have much in the way of armour, shields make combat a bit more restricted, and they were just a small part of the diversity across Europe at that time.

Date: 2006/07/13 00:31:05, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought I saw a post on janiebelles blog saying she wasnt banned at UD.  I cant find it again though, but we shall see if she starts posting again.

Date: 2006/07/13 01:01:36, Link
Author: guthrie
I've never heard of tournament productions.  
As for grappling, yes, we do allow it, most historical fencing groups do, with the usual proviso that you dont just heave your opponent over your thigh and let them drop, partly because we dont have any crash mats.

Grapplings kind of fun, if you get it right, but its also important to learn the moves and skill, so that small or light people can throw heavy people, or at least prevent themselves being thrown.  

As for fencing masks- its a common misconception that they wont do.  If you use 1600N competition kind of masks, they last for years, again with the proviso that you dont use full power and strength on them, although I doubt that they would be punctured, but your neck might not take the force very well.  I've been fighting with fencing mask for nearly 3 years now, and have had no trouble at all, even against some fairly brutal opponents.

Date: 2006/07/13 01:28:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Aye, its always good to meet a fellow enthusiast, even if only electronically.

Date: 2006/07/13 01:36:10, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm afraid I got kind of stuck at this assertion:
Materialism fails to convince because it implies that mind is an illusion.

Really?  I'm just a common or garden agnostic, and cannot quite see where he gets this implication.  

Actually, I persevered during lunch break, and found an entertaining exposition.  I doubt it will win any "converts" for evolution, but its ok.

Date: 2006/07/13 03:40:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Faid @ July 13 2006,07:07)
[/quote]Aaaand of course, Zapatero will reply saying that Avida provides a succesful prediction of the patterns in the diversity of life, as observed around us and in the fossil record, and Davetard will say "wrong answer, pal. Go in peace but go".

Do you have to put up this whole charade, Dave? Just give in to your Power Complex and ban the guy. You know you want to.

Is that a prediction?  Can you explain the model you are using to make that prediction?
remember, weather forecasts are frequently wrong.

(And frequently right.  Since I think DS reads this thread, does that mean that he wont ban Zapatero just to show that your forecast is wrong?  What mind games we can play!;)

Date: 2006/07/13 04:34:46, Link
Author: guthrie
Vaguely on topic- I didnt realise there were 81 people posting here.  (Assuming no one was rigging the poll)

Thats quite a lot, for the interenet.

Date: 2006/07/13 04:58:37, Link
Author: guthrie
I love this comment by Mung in the thread by DS about how Darwinism is 150 year old lies etc etc:

I am not sure that I want ID to replace Darwinism. The problem with scietific theories is that they are always changing and eventually being replaced. What’s to prevent the same fate happening to ID? We’d need to change something about science itself. It would need to become about “absolute truth.”

So how to we separate ID as absolute truth from ID as science, and prevent ID as absolute truth from being affected by the vagaries of science?

Comment by Mung — July 13, 2006 @ 9:46 am

So, ID is correct, but yet would be replaced by something else?  
So we need to redefine science as absolute truth, effectively freezing scientific discourse at the level at which they are comfortable with?  
Hasnt that already been tried?  
Anyway, my brain hurts, I'm going to bow out for now.

Date: 2006/07/13 12:20:15, Link
Author: guthrie
OK, that sounds about right.  

Being in the UK, I dont know much about this Derbyshire bloke- I assume that as a Conservative, he is also religious, hence his point about minds and suchlike.

Nevertheless, the way he lays into ID is good.

Date: 2006/07/13 13:16:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 13 2006,15:50)
Uncommonly Dense 'comedy'

Please read the comments.. about as funny as a burning orphanage. If you can't witness an outbreak of rabies at the seeing-eye dogs institute this summer, try and catch the uncommon dysentery summer tour.

Guys you are hilarious, but it ways you can’t grasp. This is funny, but only in a ‘laughing at you’ type of way.

Actually, some of those comments are quite funny, or at least run of the mill.  Its the way thaat DS says the robber must be a liberal democrat that makes me wince.

Date: 2006/07/14 12:14:31, Link
Author: guthrie
But remember, Sal has his hypothesis about re-activating the old genetic information in cells.  I suggest we remind him about it every now and then.  

Surely they could afford to sponsor a graduate student?

Date: 2006/07/14 12:49:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Having just read this post:
about the cornell students

I suggest that Hannah MAxson is the best hope that Dembski et al have for someone to do proper ID research.  We should encourage her at every opportunity.  She seems to be committed, and intelligent.  
So, how about it, you ID'ers who read this?  Want to sponsor a student?  Try her, see how she gets on.  Think of this as a little challenge.

Date: 2006/07/14 12:55:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Oh yes, anyone want to rip apart Dembskis arrogant dismissal of evolution that is here:

The first four or five pages consist of name calling, and ignoring the beam in your own eye whilst complaining about the tiny splinter in the eye of the bloke who is trying to help you get out of the ditch that you fell into because you couldnt see where you were going due to the large beam in your eye.

Date: 2006/07/14 13:00:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ July 14 2006,17:51)
The main problem, though, is they don't have a research paradigm which can generate results.

Oh yes, I agree.  There is a little bit of sarcasm in my posts, I should probably have made it more obvious.  
Yet, they could at least try.  If they dont, its just another sign of their bankruptcy.

Date: 2006/07/15 00:56:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats interesting.  However I note that a geneticist says that it is an example of microevolution, so that must be a proper scientific word, and we're all lying about micro/ macro evolution!!!

Anyone got a spare island on which I can carry out my experiment into speciation?  I was thinking of marooning great danes and chihuahuas on the same island, ensuring that they have different food sources, and leaving them for 200 years, then seeing if they stand any chance of interbreeding.

Date: 2006/07/16 00:20:12, Link
Author: guthrie
Wow, just when you think its gone quiet, up pops Dembski, with another rehash of teleological thought:

thunder and lightning

(1) IC (irreducible complexity) presupposes a basic primary purpose/function of a system — what is the basic purpose/function here? (making loud noises, illuminating the earth, generating heat, …);

So Dr Dembski, what is the basic function of a flagella?  Or a human arm?  Indeed, upon what basis do you presuppose a primary purpose of a system?  

(2) the question confuses the necessary conditions for a system existing at all with its parts (the sun is no more “part” of lightning and thunder than water is “part” of the bacterial flagellum);

I dont quite get that- what part of "if there was no life on earth, there would be no flagellae" does he not get?
Water is a necessary part of the flagellum, because without the water, the flagellum is useless.  (At least in ID world, in the real world it might get used for something else, like microbial sadomasochism.)

(3) IC needs SC (specified complexity) to nail down design, which means that the parts coming together have to be highly improbable — ignoring the last point, what is the probability of the sun, the earth, the evaporation of water, etc.? Do they not, on materialist principles, follow by necessity from deeper physical-chemical processes and laws?

But on theistic principles, they come from the designer, right?  DEmbski seems terminally confused as to what game he is trying to play.  

(4) Where are the independently given patterns — specifications — that allow the explanatory filter to operate and thus, according to my theory, implicate design?

I wish you'd tell us, we don't know.  

Lightning serves a very useful purpose or function in the ecology of forests and plains. Certain plants depend on fire to release their seeds, which will not have suitable habitat to germinate unlesss the brush has been cleared off by the fire, as well. Without fire, typically provided by lightning in natural environments, these plants are not able to reproduce.

Gravity serves a very useful purpose too. Without it there wouldn’t be any air for those plants to breathe and they’d die. So what exactly was your point? -ds

Ahhh, lovely.  DS misses the point completely.  

The rest of the comments are typical.

Date: 2006/07/18 00:36:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Renier- the way you put it I'm amazed the enlightenment ever happened at all.

As for the Fox news water car stuff, it just makes me mad.  I spent quite a while sorting out unscientific weirdos and educating scientifically illiterate people when that came out.  It was kind of fun, but horrifying in how it showed up the lack of knowledge and gullibility in society.

Date: 2006/07/19 02:07:23, Link
Author: guthrie
I wouldnt be too bothered- we're fighting an attitude, rather than an individual, although personal involvement always gives a little frisson.  So there are plenty more out there where Dave came from.

Date: 2006/07/21 22:22:15, Link
Author: guthrie
DAve scot has already started trying to re-write history over at janiebelles blog.  Fortunately we have the evidence right here.

Date: 2006/07/21 22:34:25, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (wiwaxiathumb @ July 21 2006,13:29)
(<GoP spoiler follows>) But it is not necessary that being part of a livng organism makes a difference. Now, if among the C atoms some find their way (quite early in the history of life) into some specific structures (aka Living) , then those components would by necessity nudge that organism's immediate and evolutionary future toward carbon-favorable developments.

But its just the language that is the problem here.  
Once a structure started being self replicating, using carbon atoms, then of course it would nudge the erganisms evolutionary future towards carbon favourbale development, because theres no way it could stop using carbon and use silicon instead.  You know, its like once your born, theres no way to stop yourself growing up and getting older, it comes with the territory.  
(Well, no way as of yet, and I am aware of people with genetic or suchlike disorders who dont grow.)

It comes down the the language- its hard to not attribute some direction to things, some volition, even when that is not the case.

But as for the total thread idea, I thought there were some peopel out there who think that the entire universe is conscious.

Date: 2006/07/25 07:26:06, Link
Author: guthrie
IN response to Paleys quip about what cowards we have become:

The pensioner fought back, refused to let go of her bag and screamed for help. Members of the public grabbed Bews and held him until police arrived.

So, given CoP exhibits signs of being a creationist, do you reckon this one incident disproves his entire thesis?

Date: 2006/07/25 07:31:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Maybe everyone here knows, or maybe Dembski doesnt know, but TANSTAAFL usually means "There aint no such thing as a free lunch".  So nice naming by someone being ironic, even more so that they were banned afterwards.  

Date: 2006/07/25 12:15:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Given the article says she was 85 years old in the first paragraph, I think we can safely say that GoP is exhibiting all the signs of creationist selective reading.  Is there a fancy latin name for this?

Date: 2006/07/26 20:35:13, Link
Author: guthrie

(Thats a reply to the thread title)

Date: 2006/07/26 20:40:15, Link
Author: guthrie
If I were to be at all charitable to him, I might sugges tthat what we need (Sorry, you need- I'm British) is a nationwide campaign to ensure that all biology classes have up to date textbooks.  Perhaps someone should ask him to donate towards it?

Date: 2006/08/02 02:35:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Thanks to everyone for the training and example.  I've been pottering about at UDoJ, and managed to get this out of Dave Scot:

You're a troll making assinine points and this is my last response to you.

I had only asked him how he knew the universe didnt pop into existence a few thousand years ago, and also if biology obeyed the laws of physics.

Date: 2006/08/02 02:46:44, Link
Author: guthrie
DEmonstrating even more than ever his general cluelessness, Dave continues in a later post at UDoj:

This brings up another issue I've had with some mainstream thought on genome size and information content. As a design engineer I'm absolutely amazed that a construct as complex as a human being could be specified in a gigabyte of storage space (the approximate size of a 3 gigabase genome). To think that ANY of it could be wasted space (true junk) only compounds the mystery of how so much information can be packed in so little space. There's something we're missing and it's big. There are either additional information storage mechanisms like transcription editing in DNA we're clueless about (I've wondered in the past about DNA folding and information contained in the 3D structure of the folds) or, equally likely IMO, is a vast amount of epigenetic information storage in the structure of the cell surrounding the DNA molecule. Considering omne vivo ex ovum there's no reason to preclude vast storage capacity in cell structure that's heritable.

So why cant we find it, you dunderhead?  
And how likely is something you have no evidence for?
I mean how dense do you have to be?  
Can he not see that what he is missing is the laws of physics?

Date: 2006/08/03 05:20:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (jujuquisp @ Aug. 03 2006,09:40)
Dave's Digs---LOL.
Don't you guys think JanieBelle is hilarious?  She is playing the game like an absolute pro.  Dembski's lapdog has now moved on to becoming Janie's plaything.  This is great entertainment, folks!

Your not getting a cut from the site traffic are you?

I would just like to point out, for calibration and "how the mighty are fallen" laughter, that Dave is reduced to arguing with me, an obscure scot with no political clout and no biology qualifications, about how epigenetics means that Lamarck was right.  
Now, I know he's just being stupid, but its entertaining.

Date: 2006/08/05 08:54:12, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm glad my name isnt on the list.  It means that my internet strategy of being myself and keeping a moderately low profile is working.

And no, I dont want to be on the list and know no more about anything than anyone else.

Date: 2006/08/05 13:37:57, Link
Author: guthrie
That joel bloke is bad for another reason:

Besides the fact that this really isn’t that big of a shocker, it does beg the question about why so many “famous’ people are declaring they are homosexuals. The sad thing is, it is becoming so normalized that no one gives it a second guess.

THats SECOND THOUGHT, not guess.
honestly.  What do they teach them at home/ school these days?

Date: 2006/08/06 23:41:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (jujuquisp @ Aug. 06 2006,18:06)
Freddie Mercury was gay.  Elton John is gay, too.  There are too many to name here, but many entertainers and public figures are gay.  Did you know that?

Yes.  And?  Anyone got any statistics on the prevalence of homsoexuals in the entertainment industry?  And does it matter at all?  After all, there are many more who arent in said industry.  
And Freddy mercury was more like bi-sexual.

Date: 2006/08/09 03:31:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Someone should invite Timcol over here.  Of course, they may turn out a bit like sceptic; or they may turn out like the recovering ex-fundies we have here.  It would be nice to turn this place into a haven from UD for people banned from there.

Date: 2006/08/10 00:57:28, Link
Author: guthrie
Whilst we are interested in their thoughts for entertainment purposes, ultimately we couldnt care less about their thoughts.  Its their actions that matter to us, and so far ID'ist actions are, to put it bluntly, dishonest.

Date: 2006/08/12 00:04:45, Link
Author: guthrie
I am disgusted that that woman shares a name with my country.  

Date: 2006/08/12 00:11:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Icthyic, I do think your getting a bit argumentative these days, though I also think that Jason could do with adding his own commentary to these posts rather than just putting them up and leaving them.

Date: 2006/08/12 00:22:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Is this a continuation from elsewhere?  I wouldn't mind a link.

But I can already predict how his argument will go:
Arabs started off this muslim thing, what with their warring ways etc.
Militant islam comes for Arabia, see wahabiism etc.
THe countries you have mentioned all seem to have bought into said militant islamism.
therefore the middle east is being arabised.

ANyway, I disagree.

Date: 2006/08/12 11:22:25, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, yes Arden.  From what I know about these regions, what you say is spot on.  
It sounds from your presentation of his definition that half the planet has actually been anglicised.

Date: 2006/08/12 11:45:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 12 2006,13:29)
Mencken was extremely cool. There's a good overview here.

Tho they miss one of my favorite Mencken quotes: "the only way a journalist should look at a politician is DOWN."

Over here in the UK, most of us look down upon both politicians and journalists.  The two professions are amongst the least trusted.

Date: 2006/08/16 07:30:02, Link
Author: guthrie
I just found O'briens website.  What kind of person pops into a blog, insults the occupants and the host, then meets every reply with derision, then crows about it on his own blog?
Where everyone can see how childish he has been?

(Yes, I know, a troll)

Date: 2006/08/16 07:44:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Whilst we're on geology, I just want to mention Sir James Hall, (1761-1832) who carried out experiments on metamorphism in rock.  Yes, experiments.  (He was also a colleauge of James Hutton)

For example, he filled an iron cylinder with powdered chalk, sealed it, and had it heated in a blast furnace. What formed was marble.  He made igneous rocks by melting Feldspar and quartz together in the proportions found in nature.  His experiments helped disprove the ideas of the Neptunists who believed that all the rocks on earth were the result of a great flood.

Date: 2006/08/16 11:37:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Umm GoP, you mean "Do things our way or else" isnt the linchpin of American foreign policy?  

Not to mention that only by a typical misreading can you manage to get that policies are being dictated by terrorists out of that letter.  And the sub text is only clear if you have GoP glasses on.  I like your unsubtle reply as well, it shows exactly what we have come to expect form you.  Thanks for confirming our expectations.

Oh, and You'd love John Reid- he's Tony Blairs enforcer, basically an ex Stalinist bruiser.  They're now touting him as a runner for Blairs job, in order to try and put pressure on Brown, but Reid would be useless, since he's spent his entire life taking orders from people.

Oh, wait a minute, he could take orders from Bush.
Never mind...

Date: 2006/08/16 11:43:52, Link
Author: guthrie
If thats what I think it is, then all thats left of the infidels will be small strands like spaghetti!

Date: 2006/08/24 13:10:46, Link
Author: guthrie
This possibly isnt the best place to say it, but I thought that, as long as his summing up was accurate, Macneill has effectively given us a minor propaganda victory.  

Namely that even ID's proponents thought that the efforts to make it scientific so far had failed, and all that was left to them was posturing and a fall back on irrational beliefs.  
I do not recall the course purpose being to prove that ID was bunk, rather it was to discuss the whole situation of ID and evolutionary biology, and as such it seems to me (Who has popped over to the blog over at the course a couple of times) that the course has been a success.

Date: 2006/08/25 06:20:48, Link
Author: guthrie
I did have a nice erudite and intteligent post here, but when i tried to open the recent PT page about the Cornell stuff, internet explorer crashed.

Anyway, it seems to me that many people were expecting too much from this course.  The description says:
This seminar addresses, in historical perspective, controversies about the cultural, philosophical, and scientific implications of evolutionary biology. Discussions focus upon questions about gods, free will, foundations for ethics, meaning in life, and life after death. Readings range from Charles Darwin to the present (see reading list, below).

This is not the same as a course intended to showing the scientific vacuity of ID, rather the course looks like it is supposed to explore the issues and debates surrounding ID.

Therefore, much of the oprobium heaped upon McNeill by the more, umm, enthusiastic people at the Thumb is over the top.  At the same time, it has given us something of a tactical victory.  Assuming that MacNeills reporting of the outcome of the course is correct, this:
If not, then at least for the participants on the notorious Cornell evolution and design seminar, ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.

sounds similar to what most of us have ben saying all along.  This leaves ID'ers with only their faith to fall back upon, thus demonstrating ID's total lack of scientific traction.

Date: 2006/08/25 06:27:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Also, I keep suggesting that the ID movement take on Hannah Maxton as a biology researcher.  She seems intelligent and committed enough to do the job.

Date: 2006/08/27 22:25:41, Link
Author: guthrie
Good questions, but I cant think of any intelligent answers.  As far as I can see, the course had a reasonable aim, in that it was to examine critically part of the culture wars.  Obviously some people would rather the course had been designed to change the minds of ID followers, but that is not exactly a legitimate primary aim of any academic course.  

As for how to measure the outcome, thats a bit hard.  Didn't he put out questionaires about it all before and after?  Also, when you are effectively trying to mark essays, it can be hard to talk about "objectivity".  

As for class construction, it seemed fair enough, except that I am not convinced that opening it all up ontoa blog where PvM and Salvador could slug it out in front of everyone was really a good idea.  It let Salvador put out a lot of rubbish, and meant that anyone could drop by and prejudice the case for either side, without definite reference to the actual science.

Lastly, I cant quite decide whether MacNeil is a bit naieve, or very adventurous, to effectively jump straight into a furnace like he did.  

Anyone seen the ID crowd make anything out of this?

Date: 2006/08/27 22:29:13, Link
Author: guthrie
A- no, definitely not.
B- a little, in the appropriate class discussing religion, where it should be mentioned in its proper context, i.e. religion trying to masquerade as science.

Date: 2006/08/29 02:21:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (truth machine @ Aug. 29 2006,07:01)


Why do you assume that the description accurately describes the actual seminar?  It doesn't seem to fit MacNeill's description of what transpired.

BEcause, not being omnipotent, I have not read everything related to the course that is available.  Yet it seems to me that MacNeills original course aim and his description of what happened are broadly similar, given the lack of detail in the course description.  

I can't imagine why you think so; a grand total of two people in the seminar didn't accept evolution before it started, and afterwards one was still a YEC and the other was still an IDer.

I said tactical for a reason- it appears that they managed to make it clear that there is no science behind ID, and the only reasons that people still supported it were their personal religious ones.  


That has already been demonstrated many many times over.  The only thing this seminar did was induce one IDer and one YEC to tell MacNeill that their views had slightly shifted, and to give a number of intelligent Cornell students the impression that ID is intellectually respectable and worthy of scientific analysis.

Something doesnt have to be worthy in order to be scientifically analysed.  We reserve the right to analyse anything scientifically, and the fact that this has been done to something in no way confers scientific legitimacy upon it.  It would be interesting to talk to the other students on the course and see what they made of it all.

Date: 2006/09/01 02:28:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 31 2006,17:48)
Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 31 2006,17:33)
Is there some pill you guys take to keep you from losing brain cells when you read such tripe?

I recommend lots of vodka and rum. Get the ol neurons all tipsy and loosey-goosey, and then when the tard memes zoom past my eyeballs and kick the neurons right in the dendrites, they absorb the shock and bounce back.

I'd love to join in the mockery, but right now I have too much real life stuff going on, so UD just makes me wish I was some kind of "nuke em all" kind of guy, with some nukes.  
Needless to say, I dont like feeling like this, so i dont go there.  But this thread at least gives an idea of what is going on, so I can digest it in small lumps.

Date: 2006/09/02 09:42:07, Link
Author: guthrie
This afternoon I was thinking about this post, and the thought struck me that the case of bacteria developing resistance to anti-biotics (which, according to Darwinists, would probably be the ‘classic’ argument for NS) has a certain force to it.



But as I thought about it some more, I began to re-analyze it applying to this case the little I know about bacteria’s reaction to anti-biotics.

That'll be not a lot then.  


Bacteria respond to anti-biotics with what’s called the “SOS” response; the individual bacteria–in what appears to be a completely ‘pre-programmed’ reaction–repair their DNA strands by randomly adding nucleotides to the locations where the anti-biotics have caused their DNA to be spliced.

ANyone know any antibiotics that attack DNA?  How do they get in there to do it?


But, again, let’s first note that while randomness is a component of this repair mechanism, the mechanism itself appears to be completely pre-determined.

You mean it evolved beforehand?


Having noted the pre-determined nature of the repair mechanism, the question we’re left asking is, what role does NS play in this, if any at all?

How did the supposed mecahnism arise in the first place?

I could go on, but the stupidity is painful.

Date: 2006/09/03 22:15:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Hey, I was going to post that!

Date: 2006/09/04 03:30:41, Link
Author: guthrie
I would like to point out that DS says he doesnt play favourites on the thread regarding the blog poll.  Which is kind of funny considering that that is his approach to evolution and ID.

Date: 2006/09/04 07:08:51, Link
Author: guthrie
WEll, what do you expect?  He can't take a joke...

A simple sign of how deluded he is is that he called me a troll!

Date: 2006/09/04 10:28:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Did someone mention peak oil?

The oil drum - a website about peak oil

That should answer your questions.  Despite a certain amount of stupid people involved and hot air, I think there is a real issue here, and its coming up soon.

Date: 2006/09/06 02:25:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Chris Hyland @ Sep. 06 2006,07:09)
Behold the Panda-Dog!
Ha! That a dog and a bear have evolved exactly the same fur colour is perfect proof that mutations are not random!

But surely the dog was bred that way, thus showing that intelligence is needed to produce evolution.

Date: 2006/09/06 13:10:10, Link
Author: guthrie
As far as I can tell, from little knowledge of philosophy, this bloke is claiming that organisms have a drive to reproduction, and that this is some sort of essence of the organism.  (Dont ask me what an essence is)  And that therefore you have to look at what goes on with reproduction to know what is going on with adaptations of the organism.  
Which to me is close enough to evolutionary biology as to make no difference, BUT, I have filtered theparagraph quoted above through what i know of biology and therefore my interpretation is almost certainly much more different to that of the author.  
I'd love to ask him if he can hold the essence of a fish in his hand...

Date: 2006/09/10 11:05:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Interesting but not too surprising.  
Anyway, t'internet is a big place.

Perhaps you should write a instruction manual on how best to build a blog and sucker people in?

Date: 2006/09/11 11:03:31, Link
Author: guthrie
What we really want to know is who was the cute young woman with the piece of card slagging off Deadman?

Date: 2006/09/12 23:53:47, Link
Author: guthrie
How about "Most egregious banning"?

Date: 2006/09/13 00:02:43, Link
Author: guthrie
With regards to Blair, about the only good things he has done from many peoples view point is the minimum wage legislation and the EU human rights act.  
He's getting it from all political sides.  Over the past decade he has centralised even more, severely damaged the NHS, encouraged changes in the way things are done, such that billions of pounds of our money have been wasted on privatisation, got us involved in one stupid and pointless war, moved us further towards presidential gvt, encouraged lower and lower turn outs to vote, and so on.  Lets not forget the widening gap between rich and poor as well.

Brown will be no better.  If Brown carries on in the style of tony, in terms of governance, things will be bad.  Brown, as the financial wizard, has presided over the PFI/PPP, as well as other scams.  
Oh, and ID cards are a boondoggle as well.

Date: 2006/09/20 20:41:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Sep. 20 2006,18:04)
Hmmm... does Celtic solidarity factor in here at all?

Ahhh, the mythical Celtic solidarity.  Whereas in reality they spent as much time fighting each other as fighting other people.  History is always more complicated than people think.

Date: 2006/09/24 12:39:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Surely the question shoudl be:

Which particular flavour of Christianity?

After all, Catholicism today is somewhat different from what it was 600 years ago.  Then a lot of protestants helped advance the same science that their related descendants in the USA seem determined to malign.  Then theres the Gnostics, not to mention everything from Cathars to Wycliffites to Hussites.  

Think about it- in Medieval Europe, your average pleb didnt even get the wine and wafer at mass, and the area beyond the rood screen was out of bounds to them.

Date: 2006/09/25 03:53:15, Link
Author: guthrie
Whereas by contrast, in my little university town of St Andrews, population circa 16,000, plus 6,000 students and lecturers and suchlike, along with maybe a few thousand regular visitor for shopping, we had 2 second hand bookshops, 6 or 7 charity shops selling a mix of mills and boon and good quality 2nd hand and the occaisional gem.  
Not to mention the 30 plus pubs, and maybe 5 or 6 churches.  

Cathedral ceilings?  They need to visit a real cathedral, and be awed at what can be done.

Date: 2006/09/25 05:16:55, Link
Author: guthrie
I don't think Christianity per se has damaged things any more or less than other cultures and societies.  But nor am I convinced that there is something inherent in Christianity, despite its variety over the years, that has made "Western culture" something that people celebrate.

So, from GoP, I would be looking for some definitions and pointers, namely:

What is good about "The west"
What is inherent in Christianity that it has uniquely contributed to these good things about "The west".  

Perhaps some sort of points system would help?

On the other hand, the dark ages were not quite as dark as people used to think.  I certainly dont think the dark ages were due to christianity, instead invasions and plagues and the fragmentation of the Roman Empire.  To blame all this on Christianity is silly.

Date: 2006/09/25 11:19:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 25 2006,13:36)
Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,10:16)
What is good about "The west"

A bit out of context yes.

But have you ever lived in the East?

It is not very nice.

Just now, many parts of it are not nice.  But 600 years ago large parts of China and India were more advanced than much of Western Europe, and nicer places to live.  

Also, some of what makes "The east" a bad place to live right now are imports from "The west", whether its our strains of political dictatorship, or rampant industrialisation that is poisoning part of society.  

Besides, I really dont think you can involve the Greeks in this, insofar as they were not Christians, and IIRC correctly it was a Christian bishop who had the library of ALexandria burnt, which library contained many copies of important texts from the Greeks and ROmans.

Date: 2006/09/25 22:07:48, Link
Author: guthrie
By all means play with Paley, but if you have something more productive to do, like cat hoovering, go and do it.

Date: 2006/09/26 00:48:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Richardthughes- is it deliberate that "quotemined" in your sig is spelt wrongly, thus:

[badly qoutemined]

Date: 2006/09/26 11:30:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 26 2006,13:48)
I was thinking about Pakistan and Afghanistan present day.

As to China you are probably correct if you where male. Wasn't China binding womens feet at the time you quote? I don't think that I would like that to happen to me.

Right now I do not think that the Burkha is a western idea. Do you aprove of that?

I was thinking about the past 2,000 years.  A difference in scale makes a major difference.
Also, there is little in Christianity that even makes it clear one way or another about oppression of women or not.  
And foot binding was not exactly universal practise across China at any time.

Date: 2006/09/26 11:35:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,10:10)
Mi spelink iz impekable, Oakay?

I didnt know you were Russian...

Date: 2006/09/26 21:53:47, Link
Author: guthrie
Well thats ok then Stephen.  We have little to disagree about.  

(Though I'm sure we can find something if we try...)

Date: 2006/09/28 02:09:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Christ is indispensible to any scientific theory , even if its practitioners don’t have a clue about him. The pragmatics of a scientific theory can, to be sure, be pursued without recourse to Christ. But the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ. Christ, as the completion of our scientific theories, maintains the conceptual soundness of those theories even as real numbers maintain the conceptual soundness of the applied mathematician’s calcuations. Christ has assumed the fullness of our humanity and entered every aspect of our reality. He thereby renders all our studies the study of himself.

“Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology” pg. 210

Isnt that just a long winded way of saying that god is in everything, and around everything, was responsible for setting up the universe etc etc?
So once again it proves that ID supporters have a religious agenda.

Date: 2006/09/28 09:49:41, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm impressed- Heddle has finally gotten it.  Should we send him some flowers or a t-shirt or a test tube or something?

Date: 2006/09/29 11:04:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Can you submit papers anonymously?

Besides, what is wrong witha  it of martyrdom anyway?  It has good biblical precedents.

Or are you talking about them submitting them here?

Date: 2006/09/30 00:25:34, Link
Author: guthrie
That peter bros bloke is seriously delusional, yet thinks that all the rest of us are.
I'm so glad he hasnt got millions of pounds and millions of followers.

Date: 2006/10/03 03:05:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats interesting.  About the only reason I think none of you lot would be involved would be because it prevents the flow of entertainment.  
If you go direct to the front page, it mentiones some outfit called "shovelbums".

Date: 2006/10/04 12:46:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Ichthyic @ Oct. 04 2006,17:15)
Dembski is a groundbreaking theoretician?

uh, righttttttt...

I think its a typo- they actually mean "theologian".

Date: 2006/10/05 05:30:24, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

Date: 2006/10/06 08:37:59, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 05 2006,10:39)
Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 05 2006,10:30)
I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

Not trying to argue or defend Heddle, but why would you need to see the evidence?  I don't think Heddle is trying to peddle his ID notions to school boards and high school science classrooms.  Who cares what sort of evidence he uses to support/compliment his faith?

Sure he's come here and to PT to argue his case with notions that are fuzszy, but is he writing dishonest books to be used in high school curricula?  Is he pretending the designer could be a space alien (wink wink)?  

But most importantly is he tring to manipulate what is considered science in public school rooms?  If the answer is he's doing none of those Dembski/DI tactics than who cares what his evidence is.

Seriously.  From reading his blog he seems to be a devout Christian who thinks there is something to this ID stuff and enjoys talking about it and often argueing about it.  Where's the crime?

Yeah, I'd take a thousand Heddle's over one lying Dembski.


Well, thats a godo point Mr Christopher.  I guess I wasnt really thinking about the dangers of getting ID etc into the classroom, more expressing a general desire for such people to put up and shut up when they are preaching to us, rather than trying to bash him with regards to schools and ID.

Date: 2006/10/06 12:15:58, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 06 2006,15:54)
I wonder who was moderating the list before Dembski took over those duties....Who in the ID movement is authorized to publicly (well within a secret society) scold the IDiot Savant of Design Detection?

His mother?

Date: 2006/10/09 10:25:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Oh dear. With regards to Global warming, does DAve Scott want to be sued by irate Dutchmen who have seen their country disappear under water?

I find myself agreeing with JAD, does that mean the end of the world is nigh?

Date: 2006/10/10 11:04:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 10 2006,11:18)
guthrie, I really hope you're not as upset by the whole thing as you seemed to be with the instruction manual comment.

I'd hate to think I p'd you off.


I cant recall how pissed off I sounded.  I'm just a nice boring kind of person who uses his real name online, so am not totally comfortable with what you did, even when i see how much fun it can be.  
As for identities etc, I reproduce below what I pm'd to Deadman, since he had suggested that he had a clue as to what was going on:
Posted: July 25 2006,12:13      
Yeah, I can see where your coming from.  What 17 year old would know what an epee was, or have the chutzpah to add another circle to Dantes #### in quite the way she does.  My pet theory is that the prime mover in this is the entity known as corporal Kate, who may well be an ex marine.  ALternatively the youngster with the legs may be a sister, niece or gullible passer by.  We'll find out eventually.  thats one of the reasons I asked about the silver ring pledge, to prompt a reply that would get us more data points.

Nevertheless, it was a valiant attempt.  I have seen a couple of precocious 16/ 17 year olds online, and its great watching them kind of unfold as they explore things.

Date: 2006/10/10 11:57:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, those bits were rather well written.  And you did hinit rather a bit that "she" was going to Oxford, although I can never remember if they take 17 year olds these days or not.  They sometimes used to.

Date: 2006/10/12 11:31:48, Link
Author: guthrie
I got bathroom walled!  First time ever.  
My post was in reply to PBH, who seems to think we can calculate all the chemical reactions going on in biological situations.

Date: 2006/10/14 10:37:20, Link
Author: guthrie
The other question is what is your genuine political label?

Date: 2006/10/14 11:54:50, Link
Author: guthrie
From the other side of the Atlantic, on my experience of the past 10 years, its the creationists and rabid theocrat sorts that make connections between social programs and evolution.  I have yet to come across a "progressive" calling for a hike in the minimum wage because it will broaden the gene pool if more people can afford to have children.  

I did kind of think the race issue was closer to your heart, judging by your behaviour on that thread.

Date: 2006/10/18 04:33:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, theres this organisation called "truth in science", which is basically founded by the usual suspects, young earth creationists who came into a bit of money.  They are intent on lying to schoolchildren.  
So we, meaning various of us in the BCSE and Just science, would like to put a spanner in the works.  

Anyway, they have this website with lots of essays and rubbish on biology, and I thought I woudl bring up this horse one:

Now, I can see that baraminologists are creationists, and the essay carefully skirts around that issue, treating baraminology papers as real ones.  

That is just the beggining of their calumny, unfortunately I lack years of knowledge of biology and genetics sufficient to point out some holes.  Anyone got any recent references that are especially relevant to the evolution of horse like animals from their less horse like ancestors?

The talkorigins essay is definitely a good start, I'm just asking if there is more up to date information available.

Date: 2006/10/18 04:42:27, Link
Author: guthrie
[insert expletives here]
I've done some googling, and found that the essay i referred to above is basically an edited version that the numpty produced several years ago.  Contrast this:

The evidence of fossils, along with the study of horse embryos, indicates that the horse series is a genuine record of biological change over time. Evolutionary scientists point to this as evidence of Darwinian evolution. However, non-evolutionary scientists say that this simply records changes within the horse basic type and that there is little evidence to suggest that horses developed from a non-horse ancestor. Since the magnitude and type of change represented by the horse series can be accommodated by both evolutionary and non-evolutionary theories it cannot, therefore, distinguish between them. At best, in terms of the origins debate, the horse series is neutral data.

Palaeontological and embryological data indicate that the horse series is a genuine phylogeny, but it does not constitute an example of megaevolution since the morphological change documented is within the taxonomic rank of family. It is possible for creationists to interpret this morphological change as within-kind diversification after the Flood. Since the magnitude and type of change represented by the horse series can be accommodated by both evolutionist and creationist models it cannot, therefore, distinguish between them. At best, in terms of the origins debate, the horse series is neutral data.

All they've done is remove overt references to the flood etc.  Argh!  Lenny, you are so right.  
This will make writing a letter to the Times about errors in their website rather easy....

Date: 2006/10/18 12:51:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Stephen, theres lots of things that I consider to be problems, but, like most people, I recognise ones that I can deal with just now, and ones that will have to wait a bit longer.  Apparent cosmic fine tuning- well, sure, that could be a problem, but we dont have enough evidence relaly.  We've got plenty of belief, and a variety of hypotheses.  I'm quite happy for someone to say {deity of choice} did it, but as you have already said, that isnt exaclty scientific.  Plus, if we did find a note at the other end of the universe saying which {some other deity} did the creating, I think the believer might be in a bit of trouble.

Date: 2006/10/18 22:13:35, Link
Author: guthrie
OOps, I should have specified that we are talking about the UK here.  I was getting a little excited yesterday at their sheer brazeness and forgot to specify that.

Date: 2006/10/19 00:37:28, Link
Author: guthrie
It's more that since we cannot get a proper scientific grip on the possibilities an dexistences of other universes etc, the "problem" is generally put aside for now.  I can live quite happily not knowing whether there are an infinite number of other universes, or there are none.

Date: 2006/10/19 05:39:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Up to a point, yes skeptic, they are fairly harmless.  But the point is that they are trying to smuggle non science into schools, as part of the usual wedge strategy.  Sure, they are talking mince, as usual, but, like with the last few places in the USA that tried to get ID into the school curriculum, they have to be smacked down.  I recall that many of the school boards in question have been changed, by people voting out the ID'ists.  This is the kind of issue that really isnt that big to begin with but takes a fair bit of effort to make sure it doesnt grow and to reverse the attempts by the creationists.

Date: 2006/10/19 11:17:42, Link
Author: guthrie
That 2nd law stuff is soooo boring:
Evolutionists have always dismissed this argument by saying that the second law of thermodynamics only dictates that order cannot increase in an isolated (closed) system, and the Earth is not a closed system–in particular, it receives energy from the Sun. The second law allows order to increase locally, provided the local increase is offset by an equal or greater decrease in the rest of the universe. This always seems to be the end of the argument: order can increase (entropy can decrease) in an open system, therefore, ANYTHING can happen in an open system, even the rearrangement of atoms into computers, without violating the second law.

NO, not anything can happen in a open system- probability calculations come into play- it is so hideously unlikely that silicon will arrange itself into single crsytal wafers and then have circuits etched on it and filled with very rare elements, that it certainly doesnt happen every millenium in nature.  Plus there are always limits of energy in an area, its not like the surface of the earth gets great gobbets of solar energy all at once, it trickles in over the day.  
I though we had been exploring the relationship between entropy and probability for a century or so?  So how come this bozo seems not to know of it all?


It requires only a modicum of common sense to see that it is extremely improbable that atoms should rearrange themselves into mammalian brains, computers, cars, and airplanes, even if the Earth does receive energy from the Sun. We will see that the idea that anything can happen in an open system is based on a misunderstanding of the second law; that order can increase in an open system, not because the laws of probability are suspended when the door is open, but simply because order may walk in through the door.

I can just imagine the earth 2 billion years ago- all those brains rolling around in the mud.  Communicaiton must have been difficult though, and it obviously took them a long time to grow legs.  
And where did the order come from?

Date: 2006/10/19 21:56:53, Link
Author: guthrie
And the reason I called the thread what I did was to draw some attention to the way the Truthiness in science people are mostly YEC's, yet have adopted much of the language of ID people, such as Wells books, and also talk happily about the flagellum etc etc.  
Now, if I could find some leading light in the ID movement slagging them off for stealing their ideas to promote their own agenda, I guess I wouldnt be so bothered.  So far, I have yet to see that.

Date: 2006/10/20 00:05:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (mcc @ Oct. 19 2006,22:09)
The formation of galaxies and stars does not represent an increase in information.

Um... wow?

In my amateur capacity, I understand that that statement is indeed correct, insofar as a random stream of bits or on/ offs or whatever can be said to have more information because it takes a lot more to transcribe it, whereas a non random stream can be reduced to simple laws.  
Although I'm probably mangling it somewhere.

Perhaps a telling thing about the 2nd law of thermodynamics arguments are to do with Andy Macintosh, one of the creationists behind "truthiness in science" here in the UK.  A quick google finds no examples of him using the thermodynamics canard.  

Oddly enough, he's a professor of thermodynamics and stuff at Leeds University.  If he doesnt use the argument, doesnt that suggest that he knows its junk?

Date: 2006/10/20 00:51:42, Link
Author: guthrie
And they have a new/ old anti-evolutionist about whome I can find nothing on talk origins:
Felix Konotey-Ahulu, MD.
The evidence is here:

Mostly its just a rant about how Darwinism cant explain anything, and I suspect its been totally blown out the water by modern genetics, but it needs someone who actually knows something about sickle cell anemia to deal with it.

Date: 2006/10/20 01:17:55, Link
Author: guthrie
What!  You mean like most of the rest of the spin and half truths on Truthiness in science' website?  
I'm shocked!

I guess I'm still working on short snappy ways of bringing it home to the public how little in the way of substance there is behind their ramblings.

Date: 2006/10/20 05:00:49, Link
Author: guthrie
In this particular case, the DI has approved of "Truth in Science", and TiS use the example of the bacterial flagellum in one of their lesson plans.  The people behind it are mostly solid young earth creationists, which can be established easily enough by looking them up online.  
Moreover as I pointed out above, the essay on the evolution of the horse is a creationist essay with references to the flood removed.  

Now, of course not all ID and creationists will go along with each other; nevertheless, the fact remains that due to their lack of scientific theory, they can rub along ok because they do not make the kind of hard and fast distinctions necessary to have a workable hypothesis.

Date: 2006/10/20 10:50:40, Link
Author: guthrie
INdeed it does.  Of course, their only explanation about the similarity of cells and stuff across species is that the creator used different modules.  How exactly they did this, and how to tell the different modules apart, is not clear.

Then theres the fact that they are parasitic upon real scientists.  They dont go out and dig up fossils to find more families or kinds.

Date: 2006/10/20 10:58:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Their not even original jokes.  Go on, come up with something new and exciting, after all you are here to entertain us.

Date: 2006/10/24 03:10:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Why has nobody invented teleportation yet?

Date: 2006/10/25 02:05:32, Link
Author: guthrie,,1928111,00.html

White youths are more likely to believe they are superior to those from other races, and their attitudes are more of a barrier to integration than those of Muslims, a study for the government has found.

An interesting point, of course it is just one study....

Date: 2006/10/30 10:44:37, Link
Author: guthrie
Indeed.  Do you expect anything else from an unholy alliance of politicians, businesses, rich people, and worried parents?

Date: 2006/11/02 09:20:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (ScaryFacts @ Nov. 02 2006,14:39)
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 02 2006,14:26)

 It is my understanding that humans have hair designed for swimming while chimps do not (IIRC.)

I suggest replacing the word "designed" with the word "optimised".  That would help remove any doubt about design and designers from the statement.

Date: 2006/11/02 23:00:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Keiths, you are very funny, and possibly a bit evil.  Has anyone replied to your post on Hovinds blog?

Date: 2006/11/04 13:33:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 02 2006,17:45)
Quote (guthrie @ Nov. 02 2006,15:20)
Quote (ScaryFacts @ Nov. 02 2006,14:39)
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 02 2006,14:26)

 It is my understanding that humans have hair designed for swimming while chimps do not (IIRC.)

I suggest replacing the word "designed" with the word "optimised".  That would help remove any doubt about design and designers from the statement.

I really don't think that swimming was a selective factor in our lineage. I would imagine that our low pilosity is somewhat linked to our clothes, but it doesn't seem to fit with those who don't wear any (maybe their ancestors?).

There was that aquatic ape hypothesis floating around a few decades ago, though IIRC it has not gianed a large following even now.  Perhaps our body hair is better on land in the pattern it is in, in terms of shedding water or retaining heat.  So there would be no need to suggest a long period in the water to account for it.  

On the other hand, I would like to stress that using words like designed etc in this context is dangerous, as I am sure you are all aware.

Date: 2006/11/05 11:48:52, Link
Author: guthrie
So whats this MArat-Sade then?  Please enlighten me.

Date: 2006/11/05 13:30:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Ooooook, I could tell it was some kind of humanities cultural reference, but the only high culture I into is music- I was listening to some Rameau overtures this afternoon.  
I'm afraid it doesnt sound like anything I would want to watch, espcially since I dont know who Jean genet is either.

Date: 2006/11/06 00:52:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 05 2006,20:56)
About turning this into a book, it touches on something I've been thinking lately. The arts really haven't started using the internet much. They say a revolutionary medium doesn't assist and deepen the previous medium, they create fundamentally new events. For example, radio did not become a newspaper read aloud, it became something new and different. TV did not become radio plus pictures, it became its own thing. Taking something from the internet and turning it into a book is like a downgrade. A projection of a 3-D object onto a 2-D surface. Our artistic events are still mostly pre-internet things. Paintings. Concerts. Novels. What are the new internet arts? When will the internet creations start to muscle their way into the limelight?

All that media theory babble aside, you could actually turn the highlights of UD into a book, because it has a linear timeline structure.

Are you not heading towards the idea that Dembski is doing street theatres?  
The internet offers great potential for experiential art (I dont know, I'm just calling it that because I dont know any different, ok) by interaction.  The aim would be to broaden and entertain the participants whilst calling into doubt their world model.
Or something like that.
Think of UDoJ as an example.  

Then consider also the more recent books by Ken Macleod and Charles Stross.  They feature post-singularity societies in which art and culture and experience etc are more important, because of their post human cornucopian technologies meaning that you dont have to work for 8 hours a day filling in bits of paper or supervising a steelworkds.

Date: 2006/11/23 16:46:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Given the transnational reality of the readership of this website, how soon before someone calls in a real Slovak speaker to check if that wasnt just run through babelfish?

Date: 2006/11/24 15:35:34, Link
Author: guthrie
I've devoted a few seconds thought to Dave Scott myself.  I tangled with him on janiebeles blog, and managed to get called a troll, something I have never been called before in 7 years online interactions.  
Anyway, IIRC (I have some variety of flu like virus, so my brain isnt running at full speed) he ended up arguing with Blipey that it was a bad thing that the Federal gvt imposed science standards upon local school boards, and that the locals should be allowed to teach what they want.  
Now, leaving aside this particular values argument, it seems to me to be an odd kind of leap from promoting States rights to therefore trying to destroy the theory of evolution.  Why not just start up a campaign for better states rights?
After all, allegedly he has some money, and we all know how useful money is in politics.  But wasting time bashing your head off evolutionary Biology doesnt get you very far in your political goals, although I suppose there is a possibility of using it as a unifying cry for more states rights.  Yet if that was his goal, I'm sure we would see more such cries, instead of attacks on biology.  So, I see Dave as somewhat confused.

Date: 2006/11/25 05:22:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Reciprocating Bill, I cant quite see what this problem with "naturalization" is.  Perhaps I dont know enough philosophy   ;)

Date: 2006/11/26 07:09:02, Link
Author: guthrie
As an side, with regards to position statements, MCKitricks comment on them is funny, considering that if people like him didnt go around trying to trash the science behind global warming etc, there would be no need to issue position statements.  Same with Biology.  

That Wikipedia article is a  hoot- it is classic ID reasoning all in one go- arguing from lack of evidence

Dembski is not a theologian!
Yes he is, heres the quotes.
But he does science!
Really?  We cant seem to find anything about that, dont you have any evidwence for that?
But hes not a theologian!
Heres the evidence
But hes not a theologian!
Heres more evidence.
But hes not a theologian!
Havnt you got somehting better to do?
But hes not a theologian!
I'm getting bored, you've rehashed your argument twice now already, and theres still no evidence.
etc etc

Do we know which fool Augustinian was?

Date: 2006/11/26 15:46:25, Link
Author: guthrie
I cant come up with any particular sensible thing to say about this.
Maybe a short tale from my student days will help:

One saturday morning, I was sitting in the kitchen in our student flat, I think eating breakfast, when one of my flatmates came in with his girlfriend.  (SHe is now his wife, this was ummm 8 years ago)  They proceeded to disgree about something not too important, but they did raise their voices a bit.  Eventually, after I'd heard them go on like this for a while, I tried to point out that they were actually arguing straight past each other due to using different definitions for somehting related to whatever they were arguing about.
They stopped long enough to agree with me, then carried on, partly out of ritual I think, for another minute, then they stopped and left.  

HHMMmm, so maybe the two sides are really going to get married and live happily ever after?  
I doubt it.  But it seems to me that there is a similar amount of talking past each other going on here.  

If I had a week to spare, maybe I could write a dissertation on who started it and what the different strands are, but I dont have the time or the willpower.  
I think in MY ideal world, I would have teleported into the rooms that the people who are involved in this are in, and slugged them with some "perspective juice" to bring them down from their hobby horses.

Date: 2006/11/27 12:13:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Nov. 26 2006,16:35)
I am losing the plot here.

I am not really a fundy. Neither am I an Atheist. Just confused would be the best description of me.

MAybe you could join my club!
I'm in the "whats this religion stuff everyone gos on about?  oh I cant seem to BELEIVE in anything, so I'll just sit on the sidelines for now." club.  Or maybe the "Whats all the fuss about, they cant all be correct, and I cant choose between them" club.  
Or something.

Date: 2006/11/27 12:24:02, Link
Author: guthrie
LAst I heard of, at least something like 14 schools contacted by some other people ( I think Chris Hyland was one) and myself just chucked the pack straight in the bin.  We havnt found one using it yet.  Perhaps the Grauniad would like to share its journalistic secrets?

Date: 2006/11/27 12:30:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Oh right, now I've read the article, its truthiness in scienc epuffing themselves up again.  The number of secondary schools in England, wales and scotland is about 3,998.  So a grand total of 1.5% of schools think their dross is worth using enough to send off a card to say thanks?  HHmmmm, obviously its really useful then.

Date: 2006/11/29 12:23:26, Link
Author: guthrie
As far as I am aware, an engineer detects design by comparing things to a big book (Or website) full of previous designs.  "Ahh, this one is a 1956 Smith mark 2".

So, imagine Dave sitting there with his Bible, trying to find information on the appendix, or parts numbers for flagella.

Date: 2006/11/29 12:39:49, Link
Author: guthrie
I've seen a creationist use the word "syngameon" this week.  Has anyone seen this on Uncommon dissent, or will they steal it off the creationists in short order, in which case how long?

(I understand it refers to a group of animals that acn interbreed despite their external differences that might get them classified into different species.  It may be an attempt to replace toe word "kinds".)

Date: 2006/12/13 13:14:20, Link
Author: guthrie
We're not taking them seriously, we're laughing at them.  Its world nut daily.  The column is long on Daily Mail type attempts at correlation, whilst withholding any real information that might help the reader come to any conclusion other than "Soy makes you like a girl".

As for the relationship to homosexuality, the most likely explanation is hormonal changes in the mothers womb affecting brain development, such that certain bits of the fetuses brain are altered.  Leading to attraction to the same sex.

Date: 2006/12/16 06:19:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Nope, I wouldnt say your a luddite, especially if the bus your riding in is driven by flywheels or batteries.  

I really like that snippet of info.  I recall that it would take something like 40 mins to get th ebus into school in the morning when I was young.  At that time in the morning it would take you that long in a car, at least.  If not longer.  

I've just realised how weird things are getting.  We've only had widely available cars for 30 odd years, and now everyone assumes that they are an inviolable part of our culture and society, like the NHS.  Yet they arent, they're just another tool for us to use.

Date: 2006/12/18 12:35:44, Link
Author: guthrie
HHmm, lots of graduates?
No expansion of university research facilities?

I think we're onto a problem here.  Add that to the rather large number of companies that dont employ people here in the UK, and suddenly even organic chemistry seems a tricky topic.  

I thought, being more of a materials man myself, that organic chemists could go into industry, and earn 25,000 a year after getting a PhD.  One of my friends managed it, certainly.

Date: 2006/12/18 16:42:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Weeeeelll, you;d be suprised, maybe.  I have no idea about the actual figures, but starting with people I know who did degrees- many of them are no longer employed in the subject area of their degree, since eitehr there were no jobs, or else they had had enough of the subject by the time they had finished uni.  Same with PhD's, by the time you've spent 3 years trying to do something, you may well be fed up with that subject.

Then, the article you linked to is also USA'ian, and as such not representative of what we have in the UK.
Its interesting though.  I'll come back to it later, its just i'm a bit busy just now.

Date: 2006/12/22 11:47:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Scotland. Have spent a couple of years in Sheffield and one in Manchester, am now back in Scotland and dont want to leave except for holidays.

I am still amazed that some of you think Manchester or Wigan is the north of England.  No, the north is Cumbria or Newcastle.  Manchester is only 3 hours drive (When teh roads are clear) from London, but its still nearly 3 hours up to Carlisle.

Date: 2006/12/27 17:51:04, Link
Author: guthrie
What you mean you dont have to get drunk?
That kind of detail?

I'm 29.  CHemistry degree, several years crap temp jobs, currently working as a materials technologist at a place that makes furnace insulation.  Another year or two and I should know enough to make it worthwhile moving elsewhere and getting a better job.  
Surely I'm not the youngest on here?

Date: 2006/12/28 06:25:24, Link
Author: guthrie
It would make our lives slightly easier (Although possibly less entertaining) if ID people just folded back into Creationism at large, instead of trying to insist upon their own separate identity.  
Here in the UK< as I have mentioned before, our home grown creationists have stolen irreducible complexity amongst other things, in order to bolster their case for slipping creationism into the science classroom.  Its looking more like only a matter of time before ID becomes a small subset of creationism.

Date: 2006/12/28 06:29:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Last time anyone asked about hobbies, it turned out that a surprising number of us had been or were involved in re-enacting.  I also like to go hillwalking.  
And I have a livejournal detailing my exploration of medieval technology and alchemy.  Its great being a mad scientist.  Now if only I could find a girlfriend...

Date: 2006/12/28 06:34:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Oh yes, I don't want to give the impression it was anything but a seb set of creationism- its just that I think overall it did quite a good job, PR wise, of selling itself as the new washes whiter than white, with added science, form of anti-evolution stupidity.
Then when it burns out everyone sees it for what it is and what it has always been.

I agree that the comedy value will be lost though.  It would be fun watching DS get absorbed slowly into the creationist structure.  Or maybe he'll set out on his own like JAD.

Date: 2006/12/28 18:24:02, Link
Author: guthrie
HHmm, so Mike thinks that "Darwinism" isnt a science.  Hasn't he ever heard the one about dont bring a knife to a thermonuclear IBCM war?  

I predict that he has never made a science based post attacking "darwinism".

Date: 2007/01/02 10:02:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Best place for it, as long as the teachers dont abuse it, but then I expect that it will be abused since some teachers are lying scum.  
The tricky bit is that as some people have pointed out, it will allow ID'ers to rant on about the science behind theri view, yet in a religious setting without allowing real science to answer.  This could cause problems.  Actually, to me it smells of a typical uneducated compromise.

Date: 2007/01/03 17:16:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 02 2007,23:50)
*Shimmies, giggles, and snorts* And get a helmet!
Here's how it will probably play out. Yeah, evolution moves slowly, and aimlessly, and she ain't a spring Eocene chicken anymore (and no one knows why she's crossing the street), whereas Dembski drives a hawt convertible and is always one stop sign away from a church buffet (and as you know I take the bus, like a good evo-diva)--but wait, the old girl Evolution has still got surprises mutating up her mothballed sweater sleeve...!

I have this mental image of an evolutionary chicken crossing the road, with Dembski revving up a hummer or such, about to run it over.  Then it mutates into something that pecks the hummvee into the ground.  

Or maybe he got the distance wrong- what he thought was a 2 foot high hen is actually 200 feet high.

Date: 2007/01/05 10:39:37, Link
Author: guthrie
I think it was torn to shreds in the PAndas thumb in December, wasnt it?

Date: 2007/01/08 12:59:24, Link
Author: guthrie
I think that if PZ were an electrical engineer, cyborg cephalopods would be taking over the world.

Date: 2007/01/09 14:00:23, Link
Author: guthrie
I just want to chip in to say that I think you can find intellectually honest Christians.  
But you wont find any pushing ID/ Creationism.

Date: 2007/01/09 14:09:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats a great wee e-mail.  Do tell us what they reply.

I personally have noted the link between their essay on the evolution of the horse, and a functionally identical one penned by the same author and published by Creationists.  All TiS have have done is take all the references to the flood out.  

TiS are running a pretty good media campaign.  If you want more examples of Orwellian double think you should have a look at theirnews blog on their website.  IT looks at things in exactly the way that would suggest the people there are deranged.

I've had some fun on the Guardian thread anyway.  GlenDAvidson has joined in as well.

Louis- your letter is likely too long, fine though it is, so will not get published or will be cut to suit.

My forthcoming letter to the Guardian is shorter:

"I note that for a science, Mr Buggs and ID appear incapable of providing any experimental data in their support."

Date: 2007/01/09 16:01:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Tell me if you've seen this one before:

9. Mats // Jan 3rd 2007 at 5:53 am

In the Darwinian mind, criticizing Darwinism is presenting an alternative. Remember: “critical analysis” means “Creationism”.

Comment by Mats — January 3, 2007 @ 5:53 am

from truthiness in science get a mention

Mind you, someone then sets him right:
13. bFast // Jan 3rd 2007 at 9:24 am


In the Darwinian mind, criticizing Darwinism is presenting an alternative. Remember: “critical analysis” means “Creationism”.

If you read what our side writes, you will also have to conclude that in the IDers mind, criticism of Darwinism is presenting an alternative.

Any idea how long this guy will last?

18. trystero57 // Jan 3rd 2007 at 4:47 pm

Having taken Science GCSEs I admit I don’t remember evolution being a major part of my biology lessons in any case. As far as I recall biology was taught principally synchronically rather than historically.

I did, however, attend a (compulsory) lecture by a YEC lecturer that was so astoundingly bad that I think I would give it a fair bit of credit in forming my NDE-based atheism!

Generally speaking, however, and speaking as someone who attended a quite religious school, I think the chances are that kids are mainly too busy either swotting for exams or laughing at drawings of naked ladies in textbooks to care much one way or the other about these debates in biology classes.

Thanks goodness for old-fashioned British apathy!

Hey, Dave banned someone else:
66. DaveScot // Jan 9th 2007 at 3:17 am

febble is no longer with us - anyone who doesn’t understand how natural selection works to conserve (or not) genomic information yet insists on writing long winded anti-ID comments filled with errors due to lack of understanding of the basics is just not a constructive member - good luck on your next blog febble

Comment by DaveScot — January 9, 2007 @ 3:17 am

Yet they were a theist!  However, apart from daring to disagree with DS, it seems to me that they take rather a telic (is that the right viewpoint) view of it all, which is of course silly:
Natural selection +replication with modification doesn’t do that, of course. It cannot rehearse possible future courses of action, and choose the best. It’s gotta do what it’s gotta do. However, it does do a form of planning that we also do, and so do less intelligent animals, which is that it learns. While it may not plan novel strategies de novo or from observation, it learns from direct experience, as we do. If it makes a mistake, it doesn’t repeat the mistake. It makes sure that in the future it does what worked last time. So in that limited sense, yes, it “plans”. It “chooses” what worked, rather than what didn’t. And like us, sometimes it gets lucky by accident, and remembers that trick too.

Date: 2007/01/09 16:12:00, Link
Author: guthrie
The truth in science website has some quote mines.  Like this:
Evolution by natural selection...has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong.

Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe (New York: Basic Books, 2005)

Has anyone read this book, so can tell me what the elision is?

Any good resources for creationist quotemines?

Date: 2007/01/10 16:57:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Febble @ Jan. 09 2007,17:53)
Natural selection +replication with modification doesn’t do that, of course. It cannot rehearse possible future courses of action, and choose the best. It’s gotta do what it’s gotta do. However, it does do a form of planning that we also do, and so do less intelligent animals, which is that it learns. While it may not plan novel strategies de novo or from observation, it learns from direct experience, as we do. If it makes a mistake, it doesn’t repeat the mistake. It makes sure that in the future it does what worked last time. So in that limited sense, yes, it “plans”. It “chooses” what worked, rather than what didn’t. And like us, sometimes it gets lucky by accident, and remembers that trick too.

Well, read it in context with the other posts, and tell me if you still think it's silly.  I don't think it is.  Nor is it "telic" exactly.

And if it was you who invited me over from the Guardian, thanks!

Yes, it was me, I know of no other Guthries on the internet (Except my dad and he has better things to do with his time).  
I understand that some people here like to see new folks every now and then, and so I saw that you had been banned from UD, and then you appeared on the Guardian, I thought I would invite you over.  

As for your comment that I highlighted, I am afraid I didnt have time to read the entire exchange between you and Dave.  It was your language that I didnt quite get.  It seemed very close to anthropomorphic thinking.  Also, I am fairly sure that mutations re-occur, and that things anc changes to creatures re-occur.  
Your approach seems somewhat odd, but then I am agnostic.

Date: 2007/01/12 17:16:06, Link
Author: guthrie
For those of you still paying attention, Truthiness in science have another blog post up.
Its typical creationist mince.

From their website:

Yesterday’s issue of the journal Nature revealed a new twist in the controversy over the origin of animals. The “oldest known animal fossils” have been reidentified as fossilised giant bacteria.

So far so good.

The animal fossil record is a conundrum to Darwinists.

Not if you've actually read the Origin of the species and some of the other books on biology that have been written since then.

All of the main animal groups are found fossilised in Cambrian rocks, but there is little evidence for their ancestors in lower strata

THats pretty much a lie if talkorigins is to be believed.

As fossil expert Philip Donoghue put it in a commentary yesterday: “the degree to which animal evolutionary history extends beyong the Cambrian is a controversy rich in speculation but sparse in evidence.” If yesterday’s reidentification is correct, then the evidence has just become sparser.

In 1998 tiny fossils from southern China were identified as fossil animal embryos, providing evidence for the existence of animals before the Cambrian ‘explosion’. Now it seems that they might not be animals after all, but giant bacteria, similar to species still alive today in seafloor sediments along the Nambian coast. These giant bacteria species are able to control phosphate mineral precipitation and, correspondingly, the fossils are found preserved in calcium phosphate.

The reidentification is still controversial as some aspects of the fossils appear to be different to giant bacteria species today. If anything, the modern species might appear less complex than the fossils, with smaller sized clusters forming, and sometimes an absence of an enveloping membrane. Some of the fossils also seem to contain nuclei, which seems incompatible with them being bacteria.

Problems remain to be resolved, but “No matter” writes Dr Donoghue, “Such quibbles do not diminish the central message of the author’s report, which is that, like all other theories about Precambrian animals, the classification of these fossils is far from resolved, even at the kingdom level.”

As he wrote in the commentary's opening sentence, “The origin of the animals is almost as mysterious as the origin of life itself.”

Or in other words, TiS still do not have a theory of ID and evidence to back it up, so they resort to slagging off the uncertainties of evolutionary biology.  
Not to mention that the Nature article still talks about 600 million years ago, and unsurprisingly TiS do not acknowledge this in their article, possibly because they are all YEC's.  
(Except Steve fuller, who is debating Lewis Wolpert in a few weeks.  It should be a walkover for Wolpert, assuming proper debate rules are followed)

Date: 2007/01/13 15:44:53, Link
Author: guthrie
A quick check in the book "Wiking weapons and warfare", by J Kim Siddorn, (one of the founders of Regia Anglorum, probably the largest UK dark ages re-enactment society) says that the right to bear arms etc was held by free men in Viking society, and naturally jeaslously guarded.  No mention of Huscarls.

The books "The English warrior, from the earliest times to 1066" by Stephen Pollington, only mentions HUscarls once, talking about how Cnut had them, "household men".  this is the traditional view.  However, I quote:

"Sadly, the traditional view has proven to be greatly overstated, and there is little that was once accepted as fact about the huscarls that would now go unchallenged.  Much of the substance of the huscarl concept is derived from later Scandinavian accounts about another warrio-sciety from the Baltic, the Jomsvikingar, allegedly based around Wollin in Poland.  Much that was taken on trust about these Jomsvikings has since been shown to be both sspecious and spurious, and the source document jomsvikingarsaga is now largely discredited; with the fall of the jomsvikings from history into romance, the only real parallel to the huscarls is no longer of service.  Wherefore, while teh huscarls doubtless existed as the kings personal following, they were probably in fact 'stipendiary troops' (ie men paid a wage to fight), and so closer to our idea of 'professional sodlier' than anything else."

Plus, as far as I am aware, the term viking is actually an activity, meaning roughly to go off and wander about finding stuff.  But by the period of the Conquest, "Vikings" were actually organised into socieies and countries.  You can hardly say that Cnut, who at one time ruled much of England, Denmark and somewhere else (I dont know much about this period off the top of my head) had been going a Viking.  He had been carrying out deliberate imperialist expansion of his rule.  Hence I think you cant really say that the Vikings had Huscarls, but you can say that some parts of Germanic society had them.

Date: 2007/01/13 16:55:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on, are you defining professional as getting paid money, or as having nothing else to do except hang around waiting for a fight?

Date: 2007/01/14 12:17:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (phonon @ Jan. 13 2007,17:42) sure seems to think if something "signals" then it was designed. That would include:


Neutron Stars




El Nino

And on and on....

I'm sure its been said before, but if the entire universe was designed, then how exactly do you tell?  If the universe was designed, then everything will set off your "design detector 2001*" including pulsars etc.

* Available only from the Discovery Institute.  Requires one 9volt battery. (not supplied) No user serviceable parts.  Virtually indestructible in normal use.  Comes complete with certificate certifying the owner as an offical discovery institute design finder! (trademark, registered)

Date: 2007/01/15 07:47:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Personally, I think some level of civility is necessary to ensure that a debate gets off to a good start.  Once the Creationist has shown themselves to be a confused weirdo without good intent, then you can start being uncivil.  Occaisionally they do actually have reasonably good intent, but have wondered in waaayyyy over their depth.  But on these occaisions it is usually quite clear, so I keep on being civil.  
Whereas if they prevaricate and continually miss the point, i will get a bit sarcastic and ironic.  Blatant insults are no fun for me.

Date: 2007/01/15 08:37:28, Link
Author: guthrie
I suppose it depends on the venue.  I've been arguing with some creationists, (including one who claims not to be but does parrot their stuff) on a BBC blog.  Hence the debate has been lacking in f and c and h words, due to it being in a highly public place, and if we all started swearing at each other I'm sure the radio presenter whose blog it is might bring it up on the radio, which would be embarrasing.
On the other hand, places like Guardian univeral talk and some other venues have very high tolerance of swearing and nastiness.

Or you can just ban them.  
It is however helpful to be able to refer back to when the creationist is being stupid, so that newcomers who ask "Why are you being so nasty?" can have a reply thus:  "See posts 3, 18, 24, 25, 26, 39 etc"

Date: 2007/01/15 09:22:27, Link
Author: guthrie
How will you recognise each other?
A cuddly panda on the table?  A photo of Dembski in a vice?

Date: 2007/01/15 10:05:34, Link
Author: guthrie
h word?  Come on, did you not sleep last night?  What h word is censored here?

Actually, how come the swear words are getting through?

As for lying creationists, with regards to TiS, I like to inquire about how come the essay on horse evolution on their website is functionally equivalent to a creationist essay available on the web, only its had references to the flood etc removed.  If that isnt dishonest, I dont know what is.  So far the person I've asked this of has not replied.

Finally, given what we use them for, and often seem obsessed with using them, why are the generative organs so often used as insulting names?

Date: 2007/01/15 10:42:39, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought it was our "sex is sinful and your body should be flagellated at every opportunity" kind of protestantism that did it.  
Then the USA'ians took it over and mutated it into its modern forms.

Date: 2007/01/16 05:40:05, Link
Author: guthrie
There's probably a paedophilic atheist somewhere, hence all atheists are paedophiles.  
Or else that being an atheist makes you more likely to be a paedophile, or something.  Of course you all know the counter example to that one.

Date: 2007/01/16 07:30:31, Link
Author: guthrie
TiS update-
On their news blog, they have a wee blog roundup.  They mention on 6 different anti-TIS blog posts on 5 different blogs, (And who knows how many comments and readers) and can only report on David Anderson, the scurrilous author of the anti-BCSE website, and Denyse O'Leary, as being pro-TiS bloggers.  
I take it no one else is surprised at the complete lack of popular interest in TiS?  At least us "evolutionists" have a popular movement behind us, as evidenced by all these blogs, but TiS apparently only have only one supporter and a cheerleader.

I know of at least one other UK blog that is supportive of TiS, but I'll let them find it for themselves.

Date: 2007/01/18 14:33:50, Link
Author: guthrie

Bears too much relation to orgasm.  Oh dear.

Date: 2007/01/23 08:23:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Best place for it.  With appropriate material, they could have a good discussion on religion and atheism and also the importance of religious origins stories, which is what creationism is.  I'd like to know what truthiness in science make of it all, since they want it in science classes.

If your looking for some entertainment here in the UK, heres a couple of pro-ID blogs:

Some fun can be ghad with their denizens.  exilefrom groggs confuses philosophy with religion with science, but is otherwise a nice chap.

Date: 2007/01/23 17:04:17, Link
Author: guthrie
More entertaining than that, Milli.

We though it was strange as well, as we've made it very clear that we would like to see intelligent design in science classes, not RE.

THey are hacked off that their lies wont be recognised as actual science.

2nd entry down, "what the blogs are saying".  It is not the outcome they want at all.

even more entertaining, I know the person who runs the pagan prattle website they quote from.

Date: 2007/01/24 03:29:48, Link
Author: guthrie
An effective force led by NCO's?  Thats what the British have been using for decades.  

Besides, he has forgotten about the many thousands more injured, often amputees.  
Not to mention that its all very well building an urban combat experienced force, but if they are withdrawn ignominiously from a country that doesnt want them, rather than brought home with a cheer of mission complete, then the demoralisation will be very bad for them.
Of course, whats he going to do with all these trained troops anyway?  Given 10 or 20 years they will all have left, so they'll have to have another small war to keep them in training.
Unless of course, like many a culture warrior, he sees the USA as the next battleground, and imagines these troops will be used at home...

Date: 2007/01/24 16:54:52, Link
Author: guthrie
As far as I can see there is no popular demand for ID here in the UK.  truthiness in science, in using it as a smoke screen, manage not to engage with anyone outside their churches very well.  The only pro-ID blogs I can find are deathly quiet, or else overrun with pro-evolution people pointing out the religiously caused stupidities of the pro-ID people.  

What we have to watch here is the gvt, and we have to ensure that it is made clear that Id is non-scientific and should never be taught in the classroom.

Date: 2007/01/25 14:47:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Surely using one of daves insults is making too much of him?  
Cant we use someone else's, preferably someone more intelligent thand DAve, and thus make him jealous?

Date: 2007/01/25 16:04:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Glen, your website is interesting, except that the colours suggest that you might be colour blind or else want to burn out your visitors eyes.  Any chance you can tone them down a bit and make it more readable?

Date: 2007/01/26 15:20:51, Link
Author: guthrie
Ah ha!
A new toy!
Is this a plastic squeaky bone, or maybe a rope to play tug of war with, or perhaps it will fly like a frisbee?

(Sorry, walked my parents dog this afternoon.)

Date: 2007/01/26 16:12:02, Link
Author: guthrie
PLease gentlemen, form an orderly queue.  One question at a time, or our guest will be overwhelmed.  
Just pretend you are British for a day or two.
We have good beer in compensation.

Date: 2007/01/26 17:26:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Sorry Tracy, make that Ladies and Gentlemen.  

As for the question- I thought that they were all related in the first place, so the last common ancestor probablty had 5 fingers as well.  Not to mention that they inhabit similar habitats, so that physical laws ensure some convergence upon similar body shapes etc.  
That seems quite straightforwards.

Date: 2007/02/06 09:24:12, Link
Author: guthrie
Just to emphasise how small a world this is, I found Dave Scot talking about his dieting techniques here:

Its a blog run by "For the kids", a well known anti-evolution entity.
Also on the same thread is someone calling themselves "Sparky", who has been playing in a pro-ID blog in the UK, and making themselves look a bit foolish.

Date: 2007/02/07 09:32:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ Feb. 07 2007,06:40)
what should be done about it.

Is promoting algal blooms by seeding the sea with iron still a serious suggestion?

Not that I am aware of.  It would lead to disruptions in the ecosystem with the sudden fertilisation, as it would all get used up quickly then they would die off.  Not to mention the energy to produce the iron filings in the first place, and the energy to get them into the ocean.  It was never a good idea in the first place, except amongst the kind of idiots that think we can solve any problem.

Date: 2007/02/08 16:37:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats positively school age debating technique.  On the internet, most people learn to avoid it within the first few weeks, because they get beaten up every time.  But in his nice protecte dhaven, dembski can get away with it.

Reminds me of the plague of creationists pretending to be ID'ers here in the UK.  You only find the big shots proclaiming their rubbish in arenas in which replies are difficult, such as newspapers or radio talk shows.  So they can get away with repeatedly claiming that thermodynamics shows that evolution cannot create new information.  On the internet we'd hammer them flat within an hour, but by using old media they can restrict the backlash.

Date: 2007/02/18 17:47:36, Link
Author: guthrie
Dave's posting at Reaclimate!

Is there any subject he doesn't think himself an expert in?

(I've been reading about and around climate change for 2 years, and I still dont know very much.  Mind you its enough to defeat 99% of deniers I run into online.)

Date: 2007/03/07 02:35:31, Link
Author: guthrie
I was still minded to think this was a hoax, but I've just heard people on radio 4 talking about it.  The host was refereeing a short exchange between some idiot called Schlafly and someone from Wikipedia itself.  The idiot called Schlafly kept complaining that pro-american and pro-christian articles were being edited out on wikipedia.  

How can someone so stupid that they don't even read the instructions be allowed to appear on radio?
Wikipedia says specifically that they are aiming for a neutral point of view.  Pro-christian and pro-american articles are not neutral.
End of story.  

He should have been slapped down like a recalcitrant 5 year old, but they were nice to him.

Date: 2007/03/07 09:28:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahh yes, that's why the name is familiar.

What was also amusing was that he protested about some entity called "nearly headless nick" who had been reverting their alterations on Wikipedia.  Those of us who read will be aware that that is one of the ghosts at Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter books.  He didn't seem to have a clue what the name was from.

Date: 2007/03/09 07:48:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Or you can marry someone from there...

I have a coupe of USA'ian friends who might be interested in emigration, but its money that is the problem.  

I didn't think the UK demanded money off people to emigrate to it.  So you can all come here.

Date: 2007/03/16 18:34:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Just to add to the fun about CO2, I was reading soemthing written recently by a climatologist, and he said that the error on the 800 years fo CO2 increase after ice begins melting, was around 500 years either way.

Date: 2007/03/16 18:43:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Ok, Steve Fuller, the british prof who testified at Dover, is clearly intelligent, but also a bit stupid.  
I have run into a couple of people who dispute that he is in any way postmodernist, but its hard to work out why they think that.  
So, can anyone up to date with modern philosophy tell me which label suits Fuller?

To aid you, I have here a link to a recent debate between Fuller and Wolpert in the UK.  (Transricpt provided by the BCSE, whose website hosts it.)

Date: 2007/04/02 10:01:31, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 02 2007,09:47)



I read that and immediately thought of Al Gore.  
Whadya know, I was right.  

Is there a correlation between small mindedness and predictability of behaviour?

Date: 2007/04/05 09:46:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ April 05 2007,09:25)
One thing I'm reading about on the RD forums is the persistent myth about historical Jesus being based on historical Mithras and many other gods of the time. It seems like this persistent idea is actually wrong and we atheists (myself included) have been a tad naughty by spreading it.

Caveat: I know next to nothing about this stuff, so I am really not a good judge. What I AM going to do is read me some books! I'll get back to you in a few years.


P.S. Thread here.

You fool!
Spreading false beliefs!

Anyway, I thought everyone agreed there is a good chance there was a historical Jesus, but that all the accoutrements for the church were borrowed from MIthraism to increase Christianities popularity.

Date: 2007/04/16 17:39:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Capable of serious discussion?  There's loads of us hanging around, its just that we can't be bothered dealing with someone who censors posts on their own blog.
At least you seem to have some sense of humour.

Have you tried the Pandas thumb?  Thats a lot less free range than here.

Date: 2007/04/16 17:43:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ April 16 2007,15:30)
One reason is that evidence pours in at a dramatic rate these days. The rate of scientific discovery increases with time.

I wouldn't say that, exactly.  I recall a few years ago someone did some calculations and worked out that the rate of discovery of important breakthroughs and stuff had actually decreased over the past few decades.

What we have a great deal of is filling in the gaps, which makes a nice wide and high and very solid wall for Creationists to run their motorbike into at high speed.

Date: 2007/04/16 17:51:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Who's Oscar de la Hoya?

Date: 2007/04/17 07:52:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahh, that makes sense then.
I have been a champion googler since ohhh, 1999, but there are times when I can't be bothered to do it.

I have no idea how I found the Pandas thumb 2.5 years ago, but then i found this place from it, and hung around.  It's kind of fun, but the repetitive stupidity of Creationists and ID'ers gets boring after a while.

Date: 2007/04/17 13:53:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Well spotted, Tom.
Obviously my memory is really getting bad these days.

I'm pretty sure she has not been banned though.  Someone would have mentioned it, and you only get banned from the PT if you run around insulting people, which I do not believe she has been doing.
Willfully ignoring the evidence is another matter...

Date: 2007/04/17 13:58:04, Link
Author: guthrie
That PT thread is a textbook example of that type of Creationist behaviour.

Also, a quick scan suggests she has bravely banned herself from PT, in order to avoid tricky questions.

Date: 2007/04/17 14:06:08, Link
Author: guthrie
OK, I'm not a biologist, but that article makes me want to puke.

One, the title.  "MOre evolved" makes your ordinary person in the street thing "superior".  Therefore no sensible and intelligent journalist should use that phrase unless it is precisely defined and essential to the story.
remember New Scientist gets syndicated or ripped off by a bunch of newspapers.

The first sentence then compounds the error, by mixing up a greater number of changes in the genome with the idea of success and superiority.  I can just see this article confusing people and perpetuating the supposed link between evolution and racism and eugenics.  

Whoever wrote it should come on this board and defend their poor writing.

Date: 2007/04/17 16:57:25, Link
Author: guthrie
Surely Theology counts as humanities, and engineering as sciences, roughly.

Date: 2007/04/18 06:53:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ April 18 2007,06:47)
as well as discover the do's and don'ts of AtBC.

Make fun of clueless creationists

Randomly insult people and use pages of swear words.

Date: 2007/04/19 03:11:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 18 2007,16:40)
Quote (Ra-Úl @ April 18 2007,16:35)
I am now a court intepreter.





Hey, thats rentaghost, isn't it?  
How dare you besmirch a ghost promoting childrens TV program to push your evil atheistic ways!

Date: 2007/04/19 08:21:19, Link
Author: guthrie

Steve Fuller has a new book out soon.  
on amazon

The synopsis is interesting reading:
If you think Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) is merely the respectable face of Christian fundamentalism, and Evolution the only sensible scientific world-view, think again...IDT has driven science for 500 years. It was responsible for the 17th century's Scientific Revolution and helped build modern histories of physics, mathematics, genetics and social science. IDT's proponents take literally the Biblical idea that humans have been created in God's image. This confident, even arrogant, view of humanity enabled the West to triumph in the modern era. Evolution, on the other hand, derives from more ancient, even pagan, ideas about our rootedness in nature and the transience of all life forms. It has been always more popular outside the West, and until Darwin few evolutionists were scientists. What happened to reverse these two movements' fortunes? Steve Fuller's brilliant revisionist history is essential reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of science's most vociferous debate.

Now, apart from demonstrating that Fuller has no clue about science and how it is and has been practised, it shows that at least he agrees with Judge Jones on one issue- that ID is Creationism, with a religious presupposition.

Date: 2007/04/20 14:08:47, Link
Author: guthrie
Thanks Lenny.  That makes all the point that needs to be made.  Now I need to find Fuller and confront him with it.

Date: 2007/04/21 05:00:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Ian, I doubt you can call yourself a liberal commie in your sig- the two positions are mutually exclusive.

Date: 2007/04/21 07:22:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Now now lennie, I wouldnt say displace most of the worlds population.  Just enough, (Probably tens to huindreds of millions) to make life unpleasant for the rest of us.  In the next few decades its not the sea level rise we have to worry about, its the ocntinued ecosystem destruction and changes in rainfall across wide areas, and the lack of snow in some areas leading to lower river water levels.

Date: 2007/04/22 05:14:04, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm curious Robert, at which point do you think he flew off the rails?  I'm sure you appreciate that to most of us here he did so as soon as he started publishing on ID.

Date: 2007/04/24 08:22:04, Link
Author: guthrie
I really like the idea of setting up our own journal.  You could solicit contributions from well known comed.. sorry, scientists from all over the world.

Date: 2007/04/26 17:14:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, I have.  Get copper, make sure it's quite clean of grease and suchlike.  Stick it above a container of vinegar, seal up, and leave somewhere warm for a few days.  You'll get a nice layer of green stuff on the copper.  
(Bear in minds it's a little toxic, so wear gloves.)

Theophilus says:
“Now if you want to make Spanish green, take thinned out copper plates, scrape them carefully on both sides, moisten them with pure hot vinegar without honey or salt, and lay them together in a small wooden chest in the same was as above.  After two weeks inspect and scrape them, and continues doing this until you have enough pigment.”

The comment same as the above refers to a previous recipe for making “Salt green”.  This requires coating the copper with honey and salt and placing them in a wooden box with hot vinegar, in a dung heap for four weeks.  Needless to say, this is a bit complex for what I want to do.  
So, with 5% acid distilled vinegar, a clay pot and some copper pipe, I set out to make Spanish green.  First I boiled the vinegar up, with the copper pipes in it.  No colour change, they were instead cleaned nicely of what dirt was on them.  So, the clay pot is now sitting wrapped in clingfilm beside a radiator, which is the closest I can get to a dung heap.  Will this work over the next couple of weeks?  I’ll let you know.  

The above is a blog post.  I am currently trying to re-create some medieval science and technology, for medieval re-enacting.  I have a furnace that reaches over 1100 degrees, with just charcoal and bellows.  I've recently made Nitric acid, and coloured clear glass with iron to make it green.

Date: 2007/04/26 17:18:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 26 2007,17:04)
Quote (blipey @ April 26 2007,12:57)
I mispoke. I intended "Vicious Dodge, dog phallus and man-bra."

Now, that's funny.

Blipey, it just occurred to me, what if you go out to Dave's house and he really does kill you with a chainsaw? What should we do then?  :p

Ressurect him, obviously.
Using some handy Lightning.

Date: 2007/04/27 01:26:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ April 26 2007,17:54)
Quote (guthrie @ April 26 2007,17:14)
 I've recently made Nitric acid

You, um, probably don't want to say that too loudly near the Homeland Security folks . . . . .

What, you mean Nitric acid can be used to make terrorist materials?  I never knew that at all, thanks for that Lenny, I shall have to now go and make lots of it and test it in my back garden to terrify the neighbours, and then when they arrest me I shall have to blame it all on you for leading me astray....

Date: 2007/04/27 15:29:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Making nitroglycerin isnt very clever.  It reminds me of the infamous anarchists cookbook.  I saw part of it on the internet once, it included recipes for making mercury fulminate using mercury from thermometers, and other really stupid ideas.  As far as I am aware, trying out half the recipes may land you in hospital, or worse.
Indeed, someone in my dads year at school was trying to make something, but he mixed it up and agitated it in a test tube, held by his stomach, so it exploded and he died later in hospital.  

On the other hand, i have a 1960's chemistry textbook which mentions how to make industrial quantities of potassium nitrate, and a 16th century book with instructions on how to make flamethrowers using a wooden tube, sulphur, gunpowder and some other stuff.  I shall try it at some point.

Date: 2007/04/29 07:23:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Phonon- it is all actuall surprisingly easy to do, if you just have the time and a modicum of knowledge.  Also, there are a few good instruction books from the 12th and 16th centuries, translated with notes, not to mention old chemistry textbooks around that also have some useful information.  
The great thing about being an adult is that you can just go ahead and do all this.  However, were I to start making explosives or using large amounts of lead and suchlike, producing toxic fumes, my neighbours would get a bit worried and I might be liable in some way, possibly under the environmental regulations.  Come to think of it, I am operating in something of a grey area.  I shall have to look more into the legal side of things this year, because if I can get it working well enough over the next few months I could get some paying gigs that would pay for the insurance and help pay for my re-enacting hobby.  Not to mention selling castings that I do.  

My livejournal

Louis- I thought so.  Tha anarchists cookbook seemed rather short on information.  I am sure I have met someone who suggested it was an intelligence services plant, i.e. a way of drawing in people who were of such mind as to make explosives, and it would be easy to find them because they are in the casualty department missing a hand.  

As for ammonium triodide, thats what some supposed terrorists here  in the UK were going to use to make a bomb, allegedly IN MID AIR!  So they banned liquids on flights.  Talk about stupidity, making it in mid air during a flight would be impossible.

Date: 2007/04/29 17:16:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Didn't you just use your special Marine training to escape, Bob?

Date: 2007/04/30 03:05:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahh, thank you phonon.  
I do havea chemistry degree, but I do not recall them mentioning negative pH.  pH is the log of the H+ last I remember, so if there's no hydrogen in it...

The acid did dissolve some lime over the period of a few hours, but I'm trying to work out a more real time demonstration.  I don't really want to dissolve silver and then have to precipitate it and then calcine it, but I suppose I could easily enough.

Date: 2007/04/30 04:17:52, Link
Author: guthrie
I imagine a shaped charge on the cockpit door would do the job nicely.  remember Lockerbie was a few kilos of explosives.

Date: 2007/04/30 08:16:09, Link
Author: guthrie
I disagree, Lenny.  The Aum Shinrikyu attack in Tokyo only killed a handful of people because they fluffed making pure sarin.  
However, I still think it likely that most possible terrorist attacks will end up goign nowhere, but it will be possible to do some nasty stuff.  Look at the terrorists in Iraq- using Chlorine tankers as weapons.  

Louis- as far as I am aware, making a mercury amalgam requires some heat.  (Alchemists were quite keen on it)
Hence merely taking it into the aircraft wouldnt work.  
If you want to know more about taking down airliners, just go and look at Lockerbie.  
But modern ones have a huge amount of carbon fibre reinforcement, titanium struts and different aluminum alloy s from what htey used 20 or 30 years ago.

Date: 2007/04/30 08:19:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ April 30 2007,07:57)
Quote (stevestory @ April 29 2007,22:03)
The problem with the term Postmodern is like the problem with all superlative names. If you call something New Technology, what do you call its replacement, years hence? I think an example I saw was Supercollider. What do you call its successor? Ultracollider? What about the Ultracollider's successor? You run out of superlatives pretty quickly.

Your comment reminded me of E. E. "Doc" Smith!

The point being that Creationists are even less scientific!

Date: 2007/04/30 09:27:04, Link
Author: guthrie
A bloke in a pub explained to me how the IRA got its way partly because it was able to cause a billion pounds worth of damage by bombing the city of london, compared to a minimal cost to those who did the bombing.  So after a while the gvt worked out it was cheaper to start talking than keep up the security.

Date: 2007/04/30 12:05:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Of course, Stephen.  But, a cost ratio of 1 to 100,000 soon begins to bite.

Louis- I have omitted the name of the bloke in the pub, lest I be accused of name dropping.  I am after all no Creationist.

Date: 2007/04/30 12:26:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ April 30 2007,11:49)
Maybe he agrees GW is real, just that it's horribly wicked for the government to do anything about it.

Guess that's the subtle difference between a Republican and a Libertarian.

I haven't read much of Ed Brayton's blog, but the thread I linked to suggests Ed is taking the "Pascal's wager" approach. Sorry, but the Republican/Libertarian thing is lost on me. (Another example of two nations divided by a common language?)

Simple explanation:
A republican wants the gvt to take you rmoney and spend it on arms and corporate featherbedding.
A Libertarian doesn't want a gvt, taxes, or anything like that that can interfere with you spending your money how you like.

These definitions are not entirely hard and fast.  There is a lunatic out there who claims to be a Christian Libertarian.

Date: 2007/04/30 16:35:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (phonon @ April 30 2007,14:31)
Hmm, instead of silver, I'd use copper. It's still cheap even though the price is going up, but a small spool of copper wire is nothing.

And if you want to reduce metals from their salts (or some other form) and if you want to stick to the medieval metallurgy methods, you can smelt them. I think smelt is the right term. You heat them in the presence of carbon, usually charcoal or graphite. You can probably make your own charcoal with that furnace of yours.

D'oh!  Thanks, I should have thought of that myself.  I happen to have some small bits of copper lying about, from when they put my heating in.

I'll try charcoal eventually, but really I need to make a metal box.

Date: 2007/05/01 12:58:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Didn't someone suggest we could produce the next issue ourselves?  It sounded like a good idea at the time.*

*and I wasn't drunk or anything.

Date: 2007/05/05 04:38:34, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought there had been movements towards this sort of thing back in the early 20th century.  Indeed, after WW2, at least in Europe, the unions power was enough to be able to bargain directly with the owners.  Except that now, at least in the UK, with the unions crippled by legislation and economic changes that have destroyed their usual workplaces, there is no-one to perform tha function.
And, there is still too much external pressure to force the business's into profit maximisation than to allow much in the way of workplace democracy.  I am aware of various places actually empowering staff, I first read about it years ago.  But as for how widespread the actual uptake of it is, is another matter.  Moreover, here in the UK, there are many moves towards further alienation.  These include casualisation, short term contracts, threats of leaving, and maintenance if not extension of hierarchies.  

Maybe if you mention some of the countervailing problems as well, such as the management moving into the upper owners class through accumulation of wealth (Or plundering of the company if you like) and the proliferation of low paid service work.

Date: 2007/05/05 16:06:34, Link
Author: guthrie
And then do their best to maintain the myth that the proletariat require to be led/ inoculated with revolution.  

OK, got any good books on that period?  I have "Ten days that shook the world" around somewhere, but cannot remember any of it.

Date: 2007/05/05 16:12:35, Link
Author: guthrie
So in one sense, a welfare state is also a means of distributing goods amongst those who cannot afford them.  Which is undoubtedly related to their growth.  But also the increasing gvt expenditure seems to me to be partly a compensatory mechanism to keep people employed.  (as well as a means of empire building by bureacrats and others)

Date: 2007/05/05 16:17:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 05 2007,08:57)
GilDodgen points to a blog article about the decline and fall of the BCSE, wherein a guy tries to show that the BCSE people act worse than our friends at UD.  It includes this rant:

An archaelogist who lives in Cambridge. Why do you think they mentioned Cambridge? It all sounds rather prestigious, doesn't it? Do you think he's one of the university's own archaeologists? Perhaps he has a teaching post there?

Or perhaps he just lives there.


That's opposed to the actions of the ID institute, and Truthiness in Science, our own Creationist propaganda organisation.  They have so far had no success at anything, except at pissing off lots of people and organisations, from the Welcome trust to textbook publishers, to the Department of Education.  Way to go, boys!

Date: 2007/05/06 06:22:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 05 2007,17:10)
Marxism, Lenin repeatedly asserted, was a materialist outlook--material (economic) factors were the sole determinant of human actions. In an argument which broke out among socialists over the outlooks of the physicist Ernst Mach, Lenin asserted that material reality is objectively independent of human thought, that the "real world" exists "out there" and operates without regard to the position or viewpoint of the observer. Human thoughts themselves, Lenin asserted, were material things, since they were the result of the motion of molecules and chemicals in the human brain.

Since material reality was independent of consciousness, Lenin concluded, there exists some "objective truth" which corresponds to existing material reality. The process of human knowledge, as the Leninists came to see it, is "reflective"; ideas are merely the mental reflections of an objective material reality, and those ideas that could be shown through practice to correspond to material reality were objectively "true".

It is easy to see how Lenin's political outlooks developed from this philosophical base. If the world operates independently of humans according to objective laws, then it is possible for humans to discover those laws, and thus come to a "scientific understanding" of the operation of human society. The Marxist-Leninist party, being trained in the methods of "dialectical materialism", could understand these laws and interpret them to those who were less "conscious". Therefore, the task of interpreting the laws of history for the working class fell to the trained cadre of Leninists who would rule in their name.

The debate over Lenin's "objective reality" was more than an abstract intellectual debate--it had profound practical implications. Lenin, by arguing that reality existed independently of human consciousness, was led to embrace the strategy of "injecting" a radical consciousness into the working class, in accordance with the "laws" of economic determinism and dialectical materialism.

This of course, would quickly lead to a situation such as existed in the Soviet Union. Since only the party is wise enough to know what issues are worthy of public attention, the press would have to submit to its "guidance"; since only party members can decide what best serves the interests of the working class, officials and bureaucrats would have to submit to "party discipline". Above all, since only the party can master the subtleties of dialectical materialism and thus know what is in the "real" interests of the working class, it alone should be given the power to make political and economic decisions.

Hence, a dictatorship "of" the proletariat turns into a dictatorship "on behalf of" the proletariat, and thence to a dictatorship OVER the proletariat.

From what little I've read so far, I don't recall Marx being quote so dogmatic about economic factors being the sole determinant of human behaviour.  WHich they are not.

So far it looks like he was right about molecules etc in thinking, but where he was wrong was our ability to comprehend and use the "objective truth" of reality outside of ourselves.  

Then of course it ignores that people outside the party can work things out too.  Why should the party be the sole repository of knowledge about how things work?  

Not to mention that politics etc is bound up with values etc, in a way which makes promulgating !"objective" truths rather hard.

Date: 2007/05/06 06:45:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ May 05 2007,23:43)
Someone in the comments with the moniker somewaterytart (what a great name) has an idea here.

Thats a Monty Python reference, (When Arthur, King of the Britons, is arguing with some peasants) so there is a good chance they are a man.

Date: 2007/05/06 14:32:25, Link
Author: guthrie
Whereas if anyone reading this is in Scotland, say around Falkirk or Edinburgh, I would be more than happy to meet up with them, show them some of the sights, etc.

Date: 2007/05/11 03:36:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2007,21:48)
It's gotten a lot more democratic, though, eh?

Shhh, don't say that, he'll use it as evidence for what he is talking about.

Date: 2007/05/11 14:11:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Chris, it's because this best of all countries in the world needs a strong determined leadership which does what it thinks is right.
Rather than a consultative democratic setup which gives power to the people.

Is it my imagination or did Blairs goodby speech do away with the image of third way blairism that he tried to promulgate in the early years of his regime?

Date: 2007/05/12 04:14:59, Link
Author: guthrie
DO you mean a group blog devoted to science in general?  
Would this include history of science, or more strictly "stuff that people know now and how they learnt it"?

I assume it would also be open to much more than biology.  I have my own livejournal which I have mentioned before.  One or two of it's posts could be polished, increased in length and might suit a group blog on the general topic of science and its history.

(At the moment I am interested in the history of science and metallurgy in the past 1,000 years.  I find it fascinating how we have narrowed down the scientific method and what is expected of it over the past 400 years or so, not to mention the tricky area of how science can become socially normative.  Also the formation of science from the 1100's to 1500's, when there were two strands of thought on primitive science, the more philosophical one and the technological one practised by ordinary craftsmen, whose knowledge was then partially appropriated in the 17th century.)

Date: 2007/05/12 04:26:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Dr.GH @ May 11 2007,20:54)
Did any here ever read a group blog called Panda's Thumb?

It started out with the idea (which apparently I had) that with all these smart people hanging around planning to create a website (TalkDesign) we could start a blog.

PT did boom for a while, unfortunately at the cost of the TalkDesign project.  PT was arguably the better means to communicate the bogousity of IDC than another static website ala TalkOrigins which we had patterned the TalkDesign project on.  About the time I was going to suggest adding links and advertising, the Mirecki attack blew up, and there were several PT posters that were seduced by the $$ tit offered by Seed Magazine.  

What have we learned?

I still read it.  It's still pretty good, but after Dover things seem to have gotten a bit more boring.  

So what we have learnt is, don't stray too much onto politics.

Date: 2007/05/13 17:34:50, Link
Author: guthrie
I don't think Lennie suffers from manic-depressive illness.  Rather, a uni-polar dislike of nutters, but since thats not listed as a mental illness, there's nothing he needs to be on.

Date: 2007/05/14 16:59:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (BWE @ May 14 2007,14:09)
Quote (guthrie @ May 13 2007,17:34)
I don't think Lennie suffers from manic-depressive illness.  Rather, a uni-polar dislike of nutters, but since thats not listed as a mental illness, there's nothing he needs to be on.

Need - as in Maslow? Because,...

BEcause he needs beer I suppose.

Date: 2007/05/16 04:00:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 15 2007,13:49)
The penalty is often the automatic one that there is only a finite amount of time, and those who do community outreach are likely to be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those who do not.

Speaking as a non academic who went to university and has friends who are going down the academic route, I think that is entirely correct.  However, it is due to the larger issue of increased specialisation at work, high levels of competitiveness and a focus upon narrow goals.  (partly because narrow goals like number of papers published a year are easier to check up on.  It is much harder to measure how many people you successfully educated so that they went away knowing more than they did before and open to learn more.)

Date: 2007/05/16 04:50:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Also I get the impression that Ed and his ilk are of the "I don't care what you do as long as you don't force it on me" kind of outlook.  Therefore, a hearts and minds campaign would not be something they would want to engage in, since it involves crossing the gap between different people and their outlook, the gap which they prefer to keep.  

My observation of the UK is that simply put, our unification of church and state doesnt matter because the battle for hearts and minds was won in the 19th century, and so the dangers do not arise.  Whereas in the USA, they have a well organised popular movement, which would be capable of capturing legislatures.

Date: 2007/05/16 09:12:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Sounds OK to me, Wesley.  I'm also glad to see you agree with something I've been saying for a few years now- one of the reasons few people do science is because they do not know anyone employed in it.  Here in the UK, before things went wrong and Thatcher sent cremated the old boy rather than rejuvenated him, british industry ensured that you knew people who were scientists and engineers.  You would grow up with an uncle who worked in a lab, your neighbour was involved in R&D, and your schoolteacher had spent a few years making stuff in a factory.  

Now, that is no longer the case.

Date: 2007/05/19 10:50:22, Link
Author: guthrie
lkeithlu- the technical term is "belief tank".

Date: 2007/05/19 15:19:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 19 2007,13:41)
They'll target other fundy friendly countries, like Turkey, Pakistan, etc.


I can imagine it now.

"The 2015 Nobel peace prize goes to the Discovery Institute, for forging links between muslims and Christians with their shared outlook on evolution."

Date: 2007/05/19 17:48:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Wow.  Thats impressive skills of prophecy!

(Can you tell me what next weekends lottery numbers will be)

Date: 2007/05/22 04:42:49, Link
Author: guthrie
I still need to read more on this sort of thing, but it appears that during the Spanish revolution and the Paris commune, things were kept going pretty well, from refuse collection to newspapers to clothes manufacturing.  

What matters is an interested and fairly cohesive bunch of workers.  The great triumph of the right wing is to convince everyone that there is nobody but themselves and to look out for number one.  Whereas back in the 19th century, a great many working people knew that in unity lay strength, and also the ability to get things done.  

What would happen is that the revolution occurs, and everyone gos back to work as normal, but paid the same or whatever mechanism you want to introduce.  Jobs that are unnecessary, such as telesales and much marketing and so on, would decrease in number, and what would happen is that peopel would be pressured to find some sort of work.  Ideally, the working week would decrease due to all these extra people working away on useful jobs instead of pointless bureacratic jobs.

I'm not saying that is how it would happen.  It is how I can envisage it, IF you get enough motivated people together.  Heck, even Argentina can do it.  Back when they ahd the crisis a few years ago, a lot of bosses ran away to avoid paying their factory workers.  Who then occupied the factories and recomenced production, selling the goods they made and keeping themselves and their families.  Later on the bosses returned and tried to take the factories back.

Date: 2007/05/22 11:01:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (phonon @ May 22 2007,07:37)
I don't think you were speaking about libertarianism, but I think people allow themselves to be 'confused' about what libertarianism really means, even people who call themselves that. To say that that you need to look out for number one isn't an ideal, it's reality.

Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
 - Bertrand Russell

Usually, though, libertarians believe that in the absence of government social engineering, people would spontaneously organize to solve social problems. To some extent I agree with that, but there would be no guarantee, no safety net. But, I guess under the current system, people still fall through the cracks.  

And I think it's funny that the term "right wing" is used to describe libertarians since the term originated to describe those that supported the King of France, of all people.

OOps, there are times I forget about the cross Atlantic communications difficulties.  
Here in the UK, by using Right wing and referencing things like I have I was talking especially about Thatcher et al.  Their mantra was individualism, but what they practised was closer to state capitalism.  (The gvt actually grew under Thatcher, despite all the work she did in destroying public services)  

I should have been more specific about looking out for number one- of course you are the only person who knows what you want and you are in a position to have a better idea of what is good for you in many instances.  However most people (who stop to think about it anyway) also recognise that they are part of society, and therefore there is give and take about exactly they can/ want / would like to do.  What Thatcher et al drove towards was a kind of rampant individualism, in which no emphasis was put on the kind of enlightened self interest previously mentioned.

Do you call yourself a libertarian?  

The way you have put it sounds rather like anarchism.  Which is not a million miles away from Lennies thing.  But what myself and many of my friends would like is a more socialised set up in which people are not permitted to fall through the cracks.  (Unless they really want to of course).  You see, I can very easily imagine several scenarios involving countries which all somehow get into an anarchic setup, but because of the previous history of each country, will each take a different course in social provision etc.  Look at Europe and the USA.  Putatively similar, but due to different histories, have had interestingly divergent societies in the past 50 years.

I have no particular problem with nice libertarians- its just the idea seems to attract "I've got my guns and I'm keeping all this to myself and I don't care who falls through the cracks" kind of individualistic people.

Date: 2007/05/22 11:02:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (phonon @ May 22 2007,07:45)
Yes, we are just pack animals and will fight over material resources until everyone is satisfied (which never happens).

Not exactly.  We have negotiated settlements as well, which end up with enough for everyone.

Date: 2007/05/23 08:00:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 22 2007,17:52)
What they want, it sounds to me, is a return to pre-corporate days, where the economy consisted of individual Adam-Smithian small English shopkeepers.  Alas, those days are gone, gone, gone, and they will never return.

Yes, exactly.  The advances in technology and suchlike that enables them to try and live a more individualistic lifestyle at the same time require greater cooperation and concentration of power.

Date: 2007/05/23 08:13:40, Link
Author: guthrie
The economist has never been my favourite magazine, due to the way it mixes opinion with facts to promote specific views.

Date: 2007/05/24 10:09:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (phonon @ May 24 2007,09:51)
It's just that this society is composed of individuals with their own desires and drives and these desires should only be hindered by force if they interfere with others' rights.

I don't think libertarians want to return to any particular time in our history. I think they want something that has never really existed.

Hang on, I thought that was what anarchists were on about as well?  No restrictions on people unless they interfere with others rights?  

The one thing I think all "isms" have in common is a drive towards some sort of ideal.  That this ideal has never really existed in the first place is besides the point.  Before the NHS we never had free at point of use universal health care in the UK, it was an ideal to be striven for.  Furthermore all sorts of nasty things were said about it before it happened, as if it would be impossible or if implemented, would lead to the collapse of society.  Now we've had it for decades, everyone takes it for granted and would fight its destruction.

(Except is is being destroyed right now, by stealth)

Date: 2007/05/24 13:00:37, Link
Author: guthrie
Whoops, yes, no central gvt at all.  

Which reminds me of something I read in a chomsky book a few weeks ago.  An argument between Marx and (I htink) Bukhanin, and the difference came down to Marx thinking there could be a state for a while, having been taken over by the proletariat, and Bukhanin saying that a state was a really bad idea in any form you like.
The thing is, I can see how both are correct.

Date: 2007/05/28 15:00:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Unless its part of your job, having moslems trying to evangelise you daily, at work, is something that should be entirely dealt with by the internal disciplinary process, after you have already told them to politely get lost.  

As for calling you racist, they could only do that if you started reeling off the standard racist stuff about the prophet, (You know what i mean, if youve been on the internet long enough) and try and apply it to the person your talking to.

Date: 2007/05/30 18:33:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahh , power and money.  We could argue for ages about which came first, I prefer to think of it as co-evolution.  

We could, by sheer weight of numbers, pass laws making only, say, 5 levels of pay for people, depending on what jobs they do.  That would bring pay disparities right down, but would hack off a certain section of the population.  If they upped and left, it would be interesting to see what difference it would make.  I think very little, as long as those remaining were interested in keeping things going.  However if this were to be tried, I would expect external action which would try to restore the previous situation.

Date: 2007/05/31 11:41:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Now now, why stoop to their level?  I mean they only produced that game last year in which you could run around killing unbelievers.

Can any comic genius come up with a Princess Bride one?  I'm thinking the Sicilian saying something superficially intelligent.

Date: 2007/06/01 14:59:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (J-Dog @ June 01 2007,11:24)
They guy is TOTALLY loonie!  the biplanes are not made up and I attach proof for all you haters out there:

Plus, it's even in the bible!  Didn't the First IDer even say something about a rich man and a Camel in one of his whiney lectures?

I'll give you a Sopwith Camel of science versus ID's multi-winged monstrosity any day.  I'm thinking of that one which had about 8 wings and crashed when they tried to take off.

(I suppose I'm a geek as well.  I looked closely at the picture and identified it as a Camel long before I checked the url and found it was one.  My excuse is Biggles books, what's yours?)

Date: 2007/06/01 15:32:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahhh, clearly you were deprived as a child.  This particular species of camel got its name from its hump.
Which housed the twin machine guns.  

It could also be rather tricky to handle.

Date: 2007/06/01 17:05:12, Link
Author: guthrie
Your camel was not called Alice?
I thought all camels with many humps were called Alice.

Date: 2007/06/04 07:27:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Maybe.  But I guarantee there will, in the near future, be lots of WMD's built by god bothering engineers.

Date: 2007/06/04 08:37:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on a minute, have they actually put saddles on the dinosaurs?  

So why then did saddles not make a reappearance until, ummm, something like 1500 years ago.  (That date is provisional, i shall have to check it later)

Could it be that the knowledge was lost in the flood?  But then why are there no fossilised saddles alongside dinosaurs?

Date: 2007/06/04 09:56:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Ahh, but the question I have, is to what degree are either of them aware of their stupidity?

Date: 2007/06/04 12:34:37, Link
Author: guthrie
THen I think this LEgion fellow wins, due to Dave being so retarded thanks to his desperation to support one side, whereas this bloke just seems to be thick.

Date: 2007/06/09 05:41:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Oddly enough, that building looks like a bank in the ArsTechnica article.  I wonder why?

Thats an interesting dress Eve seems to be wearing.  Shouldn't she be nude in the era before sin?  Putting a dress on her is against the biblical tenet, surely?

Date: 2007/06/09 18:27:34, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (AdR @ June 08 2007,08:50)
This comments amazes me. What else could it be than a molecular machine in a mechanistic world view. My problem with mainstream evolutionary science is that they a) seems to agree that life is just mechanistics, i.e. an evolving, molecular machine, but b) do not seem willing to think in mechanistic terms, i.e. design terms.

Thats funny.  I keep seeing ID proponents such as Behe and Dembski talking about mechanical machines in our cells, little outboard motors, etc.  Not the real scientists.

Date: 2007/06/09 18:31:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Heads up!
Crank alert!;t=4921

Up in the ID bit of the forum- someone claiming all sorts of gibberish, and they've accused lenny of not knowing anything about design.   :D

Date: 2007/06/09 18:39:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Scott Beach @ June 05 2007,21:31)
 How does this definition sound to you...

[b]Intelligent design is the assertion that many billions of years ago an intelligent designer designed and created the universe, including the Earth and a form of life that has evolved, by natural selection, into the many different forms of life that exist today.

Better.  But its even better if you change it to:

Intelligent design is the assertion that last thursday or many billions of years ago an intelligent designer of some kind designed and created the universe, including the Earth and everything on it, by some means or another which we have no evidence for.

Date: 2007/06/10 03:56:34, Link
Author: guthrie
It's an old troll tactic, but not one that I have seen around the evolution stuff in the couple of years I have been watching, until now.  

She's probably reffering to Lennies Pizza guy, but I reckon that is someone else.

Obviously this can cause all sorts of ill feeling, so in a forum in which you don't have to log in, such as PT, they should be banned on sight.  

Mind you, on another forum I go to 2 or 3 people have multiple names which they use depending on how they feel.  This has worked so far partly because it is not a forum designed for arguing, and anyway their friends on the forum know who they are and things do not get out of control.

Date: 2007/06/10 05:43:41, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought biologists had found and surpassed the limits of Darwinism 80 years ago?
And then found and surpassed the limits of that theory?

Behe sure is behing the times, but we know that already from his limited reading list.

Date: 2007/06/10 17:06:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 10 2007,11:42)
I post with various pseudonyms at evolution/politics blogs, but I only use one pseudonym per blog. I only use my real name at linguistics blogs. It's just common sense.

What, you mean Arden Chatfield isnt your real name?  

The name I use is my real name however.  But it will take you a bit of digging to find the rest of it out, and I never manage to annoy anyone enough that they will do it.

Date: 2007/06/11 02:55:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Henry J @ June 10 2007,23:01)
Waterloo? Didn't England win there? Wasn't Darwin English? Am I confused?


It was the British army with the aid of the Prussians, I believe.  

But it is hard to decide between Napoleon and Wellington as the role model for these people.  One was a dictator and emperor, the other socially conservative to the extreme.

Date: 2007/06/11 06:18:17, Link
Author: guthrie
Hardly anyone says evolution disproves God, rather it puts God at one remove, as you say at the beggining.

Anyway, I can categorically state that my existence is extremely unlikely, so obviously the universe exists for my benefit.

Also, the earth is clearly not flat from my perspective.  But then I have lived in areas with good views where the curvature is obvious.

Date: 2007/06/11 06:19:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ June 10 2007,23:04)
It's very hard to get creationists to come by here anymore. We've got a reputation. When I invite them, they react as if I'm inviting them to inspect our new Troy-Bilt Chipper Shredder up close and personal.

We seem to be getting some cranks in the ID forum.  I'm seeing if I can have some fun.  
Lenny has already told one of them that ID is dead, and Arden is joining in the fun.

Date: 2007/06/11 07:04:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Exactly.  Unlikely is not the same as disproves.

Date: 2007/06/11 08:43:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Umm, and all this is new or different how?  This is standard theistic "how i reconcile my religion with modern science" stuff.  Congratulations for thinking it out yourself.

Date: 2007/06/13 17:38:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Chris Hyland @ June 13 2007,16:43)
Interesting, but my theory is still that Dembski, Behe and Wells will travell back in time and seed the first life so that they can sell books.

You dirty minded pervert.

Date: 2007/06/18 04:58:36, Link
Author: guthrie
I'll e-mail them and ask if they would like to consider how stupid it would make them to put ID into the science section.

I really should get round to e-mailing McIntosh and asking to see his calculations showing that evolution is impossible thermodynamically.

Date: 2007/06/18 10:24:07, Link
Author: guthrie
No no, the Klingons were desgned to be superior!

Date: 2007/06/18 10:26:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Or, maybe all the evolutionary niches available were filled?  

Hmmm, I see a closed mind.

Date: 2007/06/18 12:20:59, Link
Author: guthrie
Aye, your doing well Stephen.

Date: 2007/06/18 18:22:04, Link
Author: guthrie
I'll let you into a little secret- my formal education was a chemistry degree, with some modules in geology and management.  My main interests just now are history of science and technology, reneacting, historical fencing, trrying to write SF and F, and reading stuff.

So all my biology has been picked up from the same places you've been.  

Plus, for maybe 6 out of the past 8 years, I've been arguing with people online.  So I've developed a skillset to suit.

I used to post on the Sunday Herald forum in 2002/3, before it got shut down under thread of legal action from some chump called Lord Robertson, remember him, ex NATO head or something.

Date: 2007/06/20 15:33:48, Link
Author: guthrie
I got this reply from the SQA:

Thank you for your communication,

Science courses are currently under review, however SQA have absolutely no
plans to introduce Intelligent Design into these courses.

SQA Customer Contact Centre

Date: 2007/07/02 08:08:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Personally I prefer "Myrmidons".

(I first came across the word in a John Buchan book, the second in a trilogy, at the beggining of which one of the characters scores the winning try in a Scotland rugby match.  Now lets see how many people know their Buchan.  The same book also has the word Hamesucken, which is the act of assaulting someone in their own home.)

Date: 2007/07/02 14:06:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Stephen, thats the point.  Buchan, being a well educated man, moving in such circles, used words such as myrmidons in that way.  Wouldn't you rather be a myrmidon in the battle against creationism than a minion?

Date: 2007/07/02 16:25:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 02 2007,13:42)
Am I the only one at ATBC who doesn't really like Princess Bride?

[cringes under anticipated hail of bottles and rotten fruit] :O

No no, its alright.  I like some of the  jokes, but there is some kind of odd background to it that I don't like.  The sword fight is pretty as well.

Date: 2007/07/02 16:30:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Ugly according to whom?  For example, many men prefer slim women.  But a friend of mine, although he is only around 5 feet tall, likes large women that many men would dismiss as being too fat.

Date: 2007/07/04 10:34:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Umm, Stephen, I think you are conflating things here.  A wage rise for a group of people who were underpaid (as indeed my mother was as a teacher at the time) does not translate into good things going on at the level of the country.  

What Thatcher and her cronies did that was unforgiveable was throw several million onto the scrap heap and not give them a hand off it.  When I was in Sheffield a few years ago, they had as a news item the amazing idea that they could re-train ex colliery and steel workers as electricians and joiners and suchlike.  This should have been done decades ago.  

The only reason Thatcher could afford to do what she did was North sea oil.

Another point- the reasons why people are better off today have little to do with her and her friends- cheap foreign labour, increased division of labour and improved technology make a big difference.  On the macro scale, the UK economy grew more in the 30 years after WW2, as in % growth, than it did under her rule!

What perhaps you could say is that her inspired destructionism meant that the UK got a head start into the brave new world of services, and as such has been able to make more money quicker than some other countries.  Of course whether you regard such a brave new world, with the attendant good and bad things, as overall a good thing depends on your viewpoint.

Date: 2007/07/05 03:40:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Ok, how about this one- she used central gvt powers to make it impossible for Councils to oppose selling off council housing dead cheaply, whilst not making any provision to replace it.  Like all scams, this worked well for a while, until in the past few years councils have been unable to meet demand for affordable housing, leading to increased use of hotels, homelessness etc etc.

Date: 2007/07/11 09:46:42, Link
Author: guthrie
It reminds me of a certain Prof Fuller and his work.  

(Work which, the online examples I could find, suggested he was so caught up in his own special view of science, through the sociology lense, he forgot to check if it bore any relation to reality.)

I'd love to talk to fuller, in a public place where we can laugh at him.

Date: 2007/07/11 17:12:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ July 11 2007,10:43)
I have done this. Twice.

He's a very pleasant, very articulate and intelligent guy. To be blunt he's a good guy to have a beer with and an interesting conversationalist.

However (and you knew this was coming) some of his ideas are whackier than  Daffy Duck on acid, and I say this because I DO understand them, not because I don't. The problem I have is resolving the dilemma this causes: on one hand we have a very smart and accomplished bloke who I quite like, on the other hand we have a perpetrator of some of the most egregious antiscience drivel I have encountered.

Oh well


Hmm, we must meet up some time.  

One of the most annoying things about growing up is that I have to deal with people who are right on some things and utterly wrong on others, and cannot see how.  Or they are great conversationalists but get all drunk and violent, or else they are very helpful but are always late when you are trying to go somewhere.  

I wish there was an answer, but there isn't one.  However it clear that UD and its denizens have abandoned attempts at grey thinking, and gone for black and white instead.

As for Fullers ideas, he seems to be treating everything about science as a matter of choice and sociological construction, including the models that science builds of the world.  
Needless to say this is utteerly lunatic.  but we are all familiar with examples of highly intelligent people who get stuck up their own backsides.  Having multiple degrees is as often an indicator of a complete lack of common sense.  I know people with no qualifications at all but have more common sense than highly qualified egg heads.

Date: 2007/07/15 17:50:21, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm dipping into "The Ordinall of Alchemy" by thomas Norton.  I just can't seem to settle on any book these days, my attention abilities are broken.

Finally finished "The face of battle" by John Keegan, which looks at Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme, and consider the phsychological and social factors associated with fighting in each of these battles, the dangers people faced, how they coped with them, what kept them fighting rather than running away.  Very moving in places, also makes me glad I have grown up without particular fear of being involved in war.

Date: 2007/07/16 05:39:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ July 13 2007,14:05)
I see Sal has a new revolutionary ID blog,

Are you prepared for...

Knights of ID

That'll be "KiDs" then.  Sounds about right.

Date: 2007/07/17 06:08:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (BWE @ July 17 2007,04:03)
Question: Is "Stranger in a Strange Land" literature (in the stuffy, English sense of the word)?

On the grounds that it tells us little about the human condition that has not been said before, is not, as far as I can recall, particularly well written, and also ultimately doesn't go far enough in the implications of what capabilities people have.  

As an SF book of the time, it's good.  That is if you agree that one of the purposes of SF is to explore possibilities and alternatives, and hold a mirror up to the present.  But when I re-read it a few years ago, I found it a bit boring, because the shock value it had when it came out has been diluted as society has changed.  Mind you, I still think Heinlein had an Oedipal complex.

Date: 2007/07/17 07:20:28, Link
Author: guthrie
You should re-read it.  I read it when I was at school, about 17.  It seemed pretty good at the time.  Then I re-read it when I was 26 or so, and found it ok, but rather transparent and wish fulfilling, in the same way Starship troopers is.  Reding it again will give you an idea of how you and your tastes have changed over the years.

Just to clarify, in the previous comments, I meant capabilities of people in the book, not people in real life.

Date: 2007/07/19 09:56:06, Link
Author: guthrie
I'd like to second comments regarding how management theory and practise is not much different from what it used to be.  Plus, the loopier it us, the more a certain class of businessman laps it up.  

Then, there is this to consider:

Intelligent designers are not micromanagers, who short-circuit the freedom and creativity that organizations need to thrive. At the same time, intelligent designers do not encourage unbridled autonomy, which sets organizations adrift, causing them to lose focus and discipline. By striking a proper balance between guidance and autonomy, intelligent designers promote a synergy between organization and leadership that can actualize undreamt possibilities.

I do not recall that Adam had much say in his design, nor did he sign a release form regarding rib surgery.  And have you ever asked a peppered moth on which colour it wants to wear this month?

Date: 2007/07/24 17:08:27, Link
Author: guthrie
I just wasted five minutes trying to work out what the argument was about, and all I can see is that joe G doesn't make any sense.

Date: 2007/07/25 08:17:15, Link
Author: guthrie
A small plea to the locals- please let him answer one or two questions at once.  Piling in like this makes the thread messy and confusing, and also lessens the fun, whereas if you let him answer one or two questions at once, the fun can carry on for weeks.

Date: 2007/07/26 09:28:13, Link
Author: guthrie
The first major change Lenin made to Marxism was to abandon the idea of th eproletariat itself leading things on, and instead posit a vanguard who had the job of leading and cajoling the proletariat into the bright new future.  When I first read about this crucial difference I was amazed.

The fact that Lenin also spent a fair bit of time exterminating Marxists, anarchists and anyone else who disagreed with him also tends to pass people by.

Date: 2007/07/30 09:21:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on a minute- does DS have a special TARDIS for himself that allows him to go back and examine the DNA of giant wombats?  Or is the large wombat still around, and he has read a scientific paper on it?

Or, to sum it up- how does he know that it was just selection acting on natural variation?

Date: 2007/08/10 05:54:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Just to add to the fun, cosmologists are looking at possible causes of the big bang.  These include collisions of Branes, which are some kind of great big extra- this universe higher dimensional thingies.  The difficulty is in showing what is likely.  And of course it still leaves plenty of room for a deity somewhere.

Date: 2007/08/29 03:57:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 27 2007,22:48)
Weren't phlogiston theory (chemistry) and ether theory (physics) mistakes due to insufficient data, rather than hoaxes?



Date: 2007/08/30 02:53:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (tmtoulouse @ Aug. 30 2007,00:14)
enjoyed the frisking of Dembski

Isn't that Kristines job?

Date: 2007/09/10 16:32:08, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 09 2007,02:41)
That is worrying, Peter.

Your link to that blog had some interesting comments. Well done, Guthrie.

But it always amazes me how people try and warp science etc.  That was rather a long knock down and drag out fight, and I was annoyed throughout it.

Date: 2007/09/11 07:24:58, Link
Author: guthrie
IIRC, most of the claims on that thread were more into metaphysics and so on.  

Then another example is that "Exiled from Groggs" chap, who is linked to on various ID friendly websites.  Corkscrew did a good job on him, and a few of the rest of us chipped in.  Once he'd been worn down enough to admit that his problem with evolution was that he believed that science was not enough for anything like this, you needed religion, that was great.  He was admitting the limits of what he believed and knew, and it cleared the air somewhat.  Of course not all ID supporters are as honest.

Date: 2007/09/11 13:32:17, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 11 2007,12:14)
At least there is the US experience to learn from. Have any schools started to use the "Truth in Science" packs? Maybe there is mileage in a legal challenge, if so.

Oddly enough, Truthiness in science don't seem to want to identify the schools.

Date: 2007/09/11 13:54:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Obviously Joe G needs to be sent to Coventry.

Date: 2007/09/13 04:56:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Is this in the UK or USA?

I would be interested as well, for various reasons.  

Should you approach an agent first, or send bits of manuscript straight to the publisher?

I know some published authors, (SF and F) and it shouldn't be hassle to work out if your potential agent really wants to represent you or not.  If you are having that much hassle, go elsewhere, there's quite a few more agents out there.

Date: 2007/09/13 06:29:28, Link
Author: guthrie
And there I was, naievely hoping that that thread was nice and quiet because nobody had decided to respond to the troll.  Come on guys, you know better than to feed the troll.

Date: 2007/09/13 10:16:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Apparently Fuller is appearing on the Crawley radio show next week some time.  It will be mildly amusing to see what he says.

Date: 2007/09/13 14:35:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, that kind of makes sense, but it's way outside my area of experience.

Date: 2007/09/15 06:02:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Is Dembski that stupid?  Posting people's home addresses and phone numbers up tends to get you kicked off real forums and boards, and if you aren't careful will get you taken to court.  This is insane!  Demsbki is definitely the king of retardedness.
Maybe even the Emperor.

Oh, and I find myself agreeing with Heddle about education and a sense of restraint and caution.

Date: 2007/09/18 09:55:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Now now, one at a time.  A new toy lasts longer if you don't all grab it at the corners and start pulling.

Date: 2007/09/19 09:02:00, Link
Author: guthrie
If supersport is a troll, as seems the case, I think we can safely say that Creationists may be stupid, but not so stupid as to want to come here.  That leaves as an option a cruising posse of AtBc people, who would descend upon some place with a creationist or two, and demonstrate the errors of their ways, then leave again.

Date: 2007/09/21 06:12:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 21 2007,03:21)
Remember this?
Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears

Well not it's not going to be published!
Read More

Will DS comment? I doubt it.

That's todays challenge to DS and the UD crew.  

What shall we challenge them to do tommorrow?

Date: 2007/09/24 13:42:15, Link
Author: guthrie
POrtable goalposts?  How about not even in the football stadium?

You might as well argue that we're all living in a giant virtual reality sim whilst some computer really rule the world...

Date: 2007/09/27 12:37:46, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Doc Bill @ Sep. 27 2007,11:35)
Well, at least Dr. Dr. came clean on common descent:

William Dembski
9:08 am
For the record: I personally don’t believe in common descent though I think there are lines of evidence that suggest considerable evolutionary change. At the same time, there are lines of evidence that suggest considerable discontinuity among organisms. Check out chapter 5 of my forthcoming book with Jonathan Wells titled THE DESIGN OF LIFE (publication date keeps being delayed, but I think it’ll be out in November).

So he's saying "buy my book and all will be revealed!"

You'll all be thinking the same as me then.  
Damn, there are times I wish I had no morals too.

Date: 2007/09/27 12:43:00, Link
Author: guthrie

Date: 2007/09/27 17:18:18, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (VMartin @ Sep. 27 2007,13:17)
Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 27 2007,12:43)

Do you have any opinion on aposematism or mimicry? Are they caused by natural selection on your view?

Do you think that wasps are protected by their "warning coloration"?

Or do you just present your superioir manner having no idea about the problem?

Variation and natural selection, of course.  

I call you a troll because you continually fail to communicate your side of the argument, guaranteeing that well meaning people will waste time trying to work out what you are on about.  (or alternatively laughing at you)

So, want to try again to explain what you are talking about?

Date: 2007/09/28 15:19:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Altabin @ Sep. 28 2007,08:32)
St Albertus Magnus devoted an entire book to means of procuring abortions, way back in the 13th century (ostensibly for expelling dead foetuses - but they could also be used without sin before the moment of "quickening" - something I like to remind some of my more hyper-Catholic friends).  But it's hardly a secret that their critique of "Darwinism" is profoundly unhistorical....

Which particular book have you in mind?  I'm in the process of trying to find translations, for my alchemical researches, and I havn't come across one on abortion.  

P.S.  At least Alchemy involved some experimentation unlike ID.

Date: 2007/09/29 17:42:36, Link
Author: guthrie
I just had a thought- doesn't the way that UD and DS and ID etc keep repeating themselves demonstrate the truth of Nietzches eternal recurrence?

After all, they keep coming up with the same old rubbish, round, and round, and round again.

Date: 2007/10/04 12:27:43, Link
Author: guthrie
I didn't know Heddle was into General Semantics?


Date: 2007/10/08 17:15:51, Link
Author: guthrie
I got to 0.274 secs on the bullet game.  I am curious as to find how fast you got.  That was with sound off.

Date: 2007/10/11 09:06:13, Link
Author: guthrie
In my experience over the past year, there are three groups of drivers who drive badly:
Taxi drivers
OAP's who shouldn't be on the road
BMW drivers.

Range rovers are for rich people and rarely go offroad, my 12 year old cavalier has gone off road more often than most range rovers.  LAnd rovers however, especially the older ones, are made to go offroad.  

UK totalitarianism is nothing new, the USA started off partly because of it.  But in this case we are way ahead of you, with ex-home office minister David Blunkett shilling for an ID cards company, and the current prime minister being so anti-freedom.  Did anyone hear about the march on Parliament on monday?

Date: 2007/10/11 12:31:57, Link
Author: guthrie
What he forgot to add is that he has to drive it up and down his driveway, because last time he took it on the road the police nearly shot him.

Date: 2007/10/12 04:55:59, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ Oct. 12 2007,00:48)
(*adjust pens in lab coat*).  

I'll see your pens and raise you 2 black pens, a red pen, a permanent marker, masking tape, latex gloves, sample bags and measuring tape.*

Oh, and a nail for use as a scriber if I need to mark something on our product.

ID'ists, by contrast, seem to think that science only requires a word processor.  Or some green ink, pen and paper.

*I don't actually know if that is the correct phraseology for that kind of gambling.

Date: 2007/10/12 07:56:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Unfortunately a benzene draeger tube doesn't really count, not against deuterated Chloroform and secret compounds.  

Once I get my replica flamethrowers working I'll let you know.

Date: 2007/10/12 14:08:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 12 2007,10:59)
Good point well made.


Benzene: Carcinogenic Chemical or Yummy Snack?

Next week: HMPA* Perfume or Poison, take our sniff test!


*I should explain, HMPA is ridiculously carcinogenic, particularly to the sensitive tissues in the nose. It's a banned compound in many academic research labs and all industrial ones. It's nearly as bad as: open bottle-sniff-get cancer.

Deuterated Chloroform is not exactly my idea of safe either:

Hey, you remember the Di-hydrogen monoxide thing that some people did a few years ago?  How hard would it be to plant something similar in the ID community, related to biology?

Date: 2007/10/15 12:42:50, Link
Author: guthrie
The word "Emeritus" at the top of the piece gives it away.  IN case anyone hasn't noticed, Gray is retired.  He hasn't actually had anything published in climatology, and ignores all the evidence against his position, see here for more details:

Apparently DAve reads the Drudge report regularly:
I usually read the Drudge Report several times a day.

Can you USA'ians comment on this?

Date: 2007/10/24 13:58:23, Link
Author: guthrie
So what kind of trophy does he get?

Date: 2007/10/30 17:08:16, Link
Author: guthrie
So todays Nobel prize winning question is, what do most of these "^" words have to do with evolutionary biology?

Date: 2007/11/02 09:35:03, Link
Author: guthrie
I hope those aren't yours.

Date: 2007/11/13 10:10:46, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Annyday @ Nov. 13 2007,05:58)
The schoolmarm is parroting me;

getawitness: This is precisely wrong. The is/ought distinction was first raised seriously by David Hume, who seems to have been an atheist. It’s true that atheist “philosopher” Ayn Rand claimed to have “solved” the problem (or rather dismissed it) with her own vesion of materialism, but Rand was an idiot.

I've heard nothing but terrible things about Ayn Rand. Someone I know is fond of accusing her of being behind every great evil in the world. All I've read from her is a few excerpted rape scenes from her books, so I can't really judge definitively.

Normally I'd side with everyone I've ever known, but getawitness seems to agree with them, so I'm forced to question if Rand is really so terrible. The horror.

The impression I get (having read one of her shorter books and interacted with some people who think she is great, online) is that she was highly intelligent but tended not to be very good at self critiscism, and also took herself too seriously.  As a person, well it depends which values you take, but using my default petite bourgeois ones, she didn't seem to have been a very nice person, personally, but didn't go around killing people or anything.

Having said that, her followers, (Of which I have identified 3 kinds*) often use her writings as excuses for various kinds of selfish and ultimately anti-social behaviour.

*3 kinds- randroids, who parrot her writings without thought, and can be relied upon to get everything wrong.  Then there are the emotional sort, who found her writings inspirational, but don't seem to realise this has no bearing on whether or not what she said was correct.  Finally, the smallest number are in fact the intelligent people who have read her writings and pretty much understand them, and are capable of discussing them intelligently.  These people I usually find are very logical and also very self centred.

Date: 2007/11/14 08:37:28, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 14 2007,08:31)
BA77 is right. Similarly, despite appearances, walking is not accomplished with legs and feet, or nerves, muscles and bones. Scientists will never dissect a leg and find so much as a single step. Rather, our physical legs merely retrieve steps from one's walkingness, which is abstract and immaterial. Injuries and illnesses (say, a broken leg) merely impair our ability to retrieve steps from walkingness. Following death one's walkingness continues eternally (although where one walks after death reflects one's conduct and woxology while living).

Bloomin' Platonists.

Date: 2007/11/16 05:21:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Sorry, I'm away at new year.

Date: 2007/11/18 13:24:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 17 2007,12:09)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Nov. 14 2007,10:00)
On a related note, how long has she had this pic there?

How she can claim not to believe in a scientific conspiracy is beyond me. It's the most obvious case of doublethink I've ever seen.

I actually found that pic..

Isn't it ripped off some cartoon figure?  And thats a really poor sword.  No real sword is like that, at least none of the effective useful ones that I am familiar with.

Date: 2007/11/19 10:41:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, thats the interesting thing.  To us non-experts, he looks like a post modern lunatic.  To the supposed experts, well, I've yet to read anything by them on him.

It would be interesting if you would stay a while and argue your case for whatever label you feel is best attached to Fuller.  

And speaking as someone who's read a bit of Marx, I have trouble working out what he has to do with Fullers fantasies about evolution and ID.

Date: 2007/11/20 09:49:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 20 2007,09:02)
Fuller quacks.

I don't mind ducks quacking.  I havn't heard him speak, but what I have read of his writings make me think there has to be a better description than quacking.  

(Isn't it funny how we get a drive by defense of Fuller with no information or argument in it?)

Date: 2007/11/21 08:18:25, Link
Author: guthrie
"A pretty good queer"

That has to be someone taking the mickey.  Nobody uses the word queer that way these days that I have ever come across.  Maybe 80 years ago, but not now, not with the other connotations.  

Unless of course you worldly wise denizens of AtBC know otherwise?

Date: 2007/11/28 04:24:27, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Guts @ Nov. 27 2007,18:44)
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]<br/><br/>

No marty here. We're laughing at you, and not merely for your bad spelling of "martyrdom."

You're wrong. "Martyrdom" is the correct spelling.

These are trivial questions.

Hhahaha.  I'm afraid I find it funny that Guts didn't look closely enough at his spelling of martydom.

Date: 2007/12/07 06:01:37, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (nuytsia @ Dec. 07 2007,04:35)
an ex-shoegazing goth!  ;)

Whats one of them then?

As for Oasis, they were derivative yes, but were part of whatever you call thatpop movement in the 90's when I was at uni and not listening to it except when my flatmates played it loud.  I have heard people say that Blur etc were doing far more interesting unusual things, and I suppose that is correct, yet at the same time good music isn't all about doing new stuff.  So my general poinion is Oasis were ok for a couple of albums, but were never great, i.e. groundbreaking and important.

I reccomend "Within temptation" if you like kind og gothic rock stuff that sounds good.

Date: 2007/12/10 04:30:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Plus, last time I read about antibiotics, those evil evoutionary biologists back in the 1940's were predicting that they would become useless due to the evolution of the bacteria.

You all know what happened then.  

Of course this doesn't help convince them about evolution.

Date: 2007/12/13 08:36:28, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on Steve, in that case shouldn't you be going off the rails and posting all sorts of fertiliser sometime now?

Date: 2007/12/13 08:39:23, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 13 2007,08:13)
Do you think they'll ever figure out that the core activity of a scientific revolution is not blogging? It's using the new hypothesis to figure out more 'pathetic details' than the old one could explain.

They are running away from "reality".  Doing something like that means actually engaging with "reality".

Ok, many individuals will manage to learn better, but probably not many of those on UD.  We shall see.

Date: 2007/12/15 05:57:22, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 13 2007,13:43)
This sort of error prompted me to coin the phrase, "The map is not the territory."

(*shoves Korzybski behind a rock*)


If you actually go and check "Science and Sanity", you'll find it is "A map is not the territory".  Putting it the other way means  there is only one real distinct map because of the way "The" is used, and is therefore against the way/ tenets/ suggestions/ advice of General Semantics.  

(I read Science and sanity at uni.  It was quite helpful, although it could be boiled down into something maybe 50 pages long)

Date: 2007/12/15 18:43:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 15 2007,08:52)
You're referring to Korzybski's famous passage, which equivocates on the pronoun: "A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness. If the map could be ideally correct, it would include, in a reduced scale, the map of the map, the map of the map of the map, and so on, endlessly, a fact first noticed by Royce."

But I wasn't alluding to Korzybski. I was referring to my wholly original phrase, "The map is not the territory," which I originated and which as no relationship to Korzybski. The passage in which it appears, a passage your grandchildren will be repeating to their children:

"Nor are there walking trees. The world stands tall around us, first cold, then fast, then silent. Neither is the candy the sweet, nor the sweet the kiss, nor the kiss the wedding ceremony, nor is the pastor, or minister, or justice of the peace, or the priest, witch doctor, etc. depending upon the venue in which your doom is consecrated and upon who (or is it whom?) completes the documentation any sort of substitute for the marriage license. Yet with respect to the human heart (and here I am referring to the emotional ins and outs of a person or woman and not his/their blood pumping muscle) there is pointing to it and showing you around it a very detailed map, namely this sensitive and wise book, yet the map is not the territory which you will remember is the strictly metaphorical heart. And it is in my heart that I long for walking trees, but there aren't any, which I could see by looking at a map of the area (which is to say by reading this book)."

*wipes tears* I can't continue...

[edit] But in the LoTR their are walking trees.

You might claim it is wholly original with yourself, but I've seen people misquote it before.  Hence why I jumped in.  That yout quote it out of context is bad and evil, but you know, this isn't UD so nobody's going to ban you.

P.S.- I don't have any children.  Know any nice single women in their late 20's in Scotland?

P.P.S.- I wonder how advanced biotech will get before we make some walking trees.

Date: 2007/12/16 04:44:47, Link
Author: guthrie
I was suspicious of the gradndiose claims regarding that passage, but since I havn't read an appreciable fraction of the worlds books, I assumed it was some obscure publication, but it was irrelevant to what I was saying anyway.  Actually it's quite a nice paragraph.  Have you thought of writing a book?

Date: 2007/12/16 13:39:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ Dec. 16 2007,04:29)
PS: Have I missed any new developments in the science of ID?

Quick answer: No.
Long answer here:

Date: 2007/12/21 03:35:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 21 2007,01:19)
And if it doesn't happen I'm going to fly over to Texas, buy a gun, shoot a few lawyers and blame it all on Thomas Aquinas.


You do realise that the USA has the right to kidnap people from the UK for trial in the USA?

(I know your joking, but still....)

Date: 2007/12/22 12:57:09, Link
Author: guthrie
Who's Molly?  Is there something you aren't telling us?

Date: 2007/12/24 10:15:58, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (MrsPeng @ Dec. 19 2007,23:18)
So when do you guys who do the actual work of figuring things out, you know, the actual science, get to tell the cdesign proponentists to have a big warm glass of shut the hell up? How many more times do they get to be completely wrong before they have to depart a lot and let the real scientists get back to work?

At the current rate of progress, I estimate another 200 years.

Date: 2007/12/24 16:46:31, Link
Author: guthrie
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

Date: 2007/12/24 16:54:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,16:50)
Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 24 2007,16:46)
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

Its from "Dune"

I knew that.  I have read the entire sextet more times than I care to remember.  That is why anyone calling themselves beast rabban is a dolt, because the character is, apart from being  a minor one, basically a thug.  The entity whose blog we are discussing would appear to either like Dune, in which case it would be nice to see what they think of it, or else is being provocative.

If you use teh google, this turns up:

We are a group of students concerned with a variety of controversial philosophical, scientific, ethical, and religious issues. The title of our blog is meant to express a commitment to sober-minded, intellectually responsible discussion. We assume the classical principles of logic and we uphold the stylistic virtues of clarity and precision. Although the issues we treat are wide-ranging, an ongoing theme in this blog is the articulation and defense of philosophical theism. We reject the new militant (better: dogmatic) atheism, the “brights” movement, new age fluff, and moral and epistemological relativism.

So far, so good, but I'm afraid that anyone who goes on about evolutionism is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

Date: 2007/12/24 17:05:37, Link
Author: guthrie
And more ammo:

Unfortunately, this is the problem. Dawkins does write well, and this has impressed people despite the poverty of of his own ideas and the viciousness of the abuse he directs at those not sharing his own nasty reductionist views.

Does beast rabban realise that he is associating with people unable to argue coherently?
Now let’s turn the the Draft Proposal’s assumption that ID is a science stopper on its head. Actually, it can easily be considered that the real science stopper here is European-wide scientific diktats imposing a politically motivated scientific uniformity on the member states.

mmmm, smell the stupidity.  Beast Rabban appears very well informed about various aspects of history, religion, and politics, but poorly informed as to their relation to any form of "reality".

Date: 2007/12/24 17:09:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,17:04)
I'm pretty sure evolutionism is a religion. I cite the authorities of Midgeley, D' Souza and Coulter.

Of course they are unipeachable sources of logical ideas.  

To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

In the former case, you could suggest there is a religious element namely belief.  In the latter, I do not think so.

AS for evolutionism, it is something which doesn't exist except in the fevered minds of people who don't trouble themselves with actual science.  It is probably a social construct, kind of like racism.  Its existence, if it does exist, no more damages Evolutionary biology than the existence of HIV damages Behe's religious faith.

Date: 2007/12/24 17:18:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, I've read more.  BEast Rabban isn't that stupid.  They do seem wedded to a peculiar world view though.  It's interesting to see them post on ID websites, and their posts get completely ignored, presumably because they are too erudite.  So what is Beasts aim?

Date: 2007/12/24 17:33:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Finally, if you want someone else to invite here, how about this guy:

They describe themselves thus:
"I am an Australian Christian old-Earth creationist/IDist biologist who accepts universal common ancestry (but not evolution)."

But they seem altogether too normal.  Or do you prefer lunatics?

Date: 2007/12/24 17:36:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,17:35)

ahh, fair enough.  A sensible tactic.

Date: 2007/12/24 17:41:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (UnMark @ Dec. 24 2007,17:37)
 But I'm assuming true Dune fans haven't read Brian and Kevin's mediocre attempts to continue Frank's story.

You assume correctly.  I have House atreides and house harkonnen waiting for when I can be bothered.  The 7th Dune book is out soon or now, or something, and I might have a look at it later, but I would rather read Herberts notes than a book.

Date: 2007/12/25 04:31:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 24 2007,18:10)
To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

I thought that was the difference between agnostism and atheïsm. If your an agnostic, you're not saying anything about the existance of a deity because there isn't any evidence pointing towards both options. And if you're an atheïst, you beleive that deity's don't exist. I alwayse thought that was the difference.

That might be a better way of putting it.

What I see here with this beast rabban chap, is (with apoplogies to Wesley and others) a kind of logical structure that has been built over 1600 years.  It is a specific world view, with its own definitions, structure, foundations, butresses, windows, and roof.  That it is inadequate to the job these days is not something that its inhabitants like to admit, and they can function quite well without so admitting because of the richness of humanity today.

Date: 2007/12/26 18:02:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,12:02)
I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

You may or may not be refering to myself in passing.  I have some emotional investment in myself, and I'm afraid I was rather amazed when I read what rabban was trying to say, so my response was more of the venting than rational/ logical.

Date: 2008/01/04 11:33:37, Link
Author: guthrie
What I find the posting numbers give is an insight, however vague, into the humour of whomever set it all up.

Edited to add- How did I ever get up to 542 posts?  It's not like I know much biology, or have an overdeveloped and hyperactive sense of humour.

Date: 2008/01/08 14:24:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 08 2008,07:10)
On Granny Tard's thread from yesterday, DT scolds Q. He says that folks need to read Behe's latest discredited book, and then    
But here’s the crux of the matter. In far more replications than the total number of replications than all the animals in the lineage between reptiles and mammals essentially nothing phenotypically significant happened. This was an actual observation of a eukaryote.

It's good to see that he is no longer using the word "generation" when he means replication. But someone ought to point out to him that getting the word right means that his conclusion is wrong. If you are counting replications, which are happening all the time in all of us at a fair rate, and add up the replications in "all the animals in the lineage between reptiles and mammals", that would be a hellaciously large number. Lots more than the replications that have occurred in recent times in P. falciparum. DT would still like to use the word "generation", and that is, of course, what he really means to say here, but he can't do it.

Of course, whoever points this out to that blowhard will certainly get banned...

I'm amazed at how people on here can parse near sense out of gibberish.  When I read that quote, I couldn't make any sense out of it at all.

Date: 2008/01/12 16:08:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 12 2008,15:28)
Poor Dave, flipping and flopping like a homo liberal elitist.

Surely more like someone who has just tasered themselves?

Date: 2008/01/12 16:41:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (silverspoon @ Jan. 12 2008,16:27)
Seeing an IDiot eat another

Its a law of nature.

Date: 2008/01/14 14:09:26, Link
Author: guthrie
What a bunch of haters.  Any chance they might get mistaken for suicide bombers?

Date: 2008/01/14 14:17:31, Link
Author: guthrie
I meant some marines on guard duty might get a bit jumpy, and I don't think the US military is quite as bushified as it could be.

Anyway, looks like several thousand people will be lining up to throw things at them anyway.
Form a queue please.  

I don't have much time for marines or suchlike, but picketing their funerals is just sick.

Date: 2008/01/21 09:51:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Jan. 21 2008,09:28)
I argued via email with a chap from the Edinburgh Creation Group

Those guys are beginning to get up my nose, damaging the good reputation of my city.  (OK, I don't own it, but my family have lived in and around Edinburgh for a few generations and I went to school there)

I think I shall have to round up some people and visit one of their sessions, after carefully studying who shall be present so as to make sure we have the correct ammo.

Date: 2008/01/21 12:08:30, Link
Author: guthrie
The debate on Darwins deficiencies being modern evolutionary biology, I don't see what this guys problem is.

Date: 2008/01/27 14:50:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 26 2008,11:24)
Also, am I counting wrong or does Sal have three undergraduate degrees for some reason? Why do so many creationists have so many degrees?

Several answers:
They have so much spare time on their nice subsidised salary etc, that they like to learn.
The degrees help overawe the gullible.
They think that the more you sit there the more you learn.

Date: 2008/01/29 04:54:49, Link
Author: guthrie
There seems to be some confusion about whether Luskin is an attack mouse, gerbil, rat, or clockwork powered plush toy.  What do you think is the best description, along the lines of "The DI's fearsome attack gerbil".

Date: 2008/01/29 16:28:02, Link
Author: guthrie
My, Doesn't Keith seem obsessed with violent metaphors?

Date: 2008/01/29 16:51:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 29 2008,12:29)
The result is Casey Luskin - Part Attack Gerbil, Part Slug, All Stupid, all the time.

An attack slug!  Great, I'll go get the salt.

Date: 2008/01/31 15:04:31, Link
Author: guthrie
Has Dembski ever released his source code?

Date: 2008/01/31 15:13:09, Link
Author: guthrie
Oh, ok, thanks.  I meant it as much a joke as anything.  But I note from a quick scan that it seems he fouled that up pretty comprehensively anyway.  

I can make nothing out of the strings of letters in Musgraves challenge.

Date: 2008/02/02 04:34:06, Link
Author: guthrie
I can only assume that the UD'ers are masochists, for continually giving us sticks to beat them with.

Date: 2008/02/05 17:02:41, Link
Author: guthrie
I take it a "Journal of Creationism rebuttals" would be out of the question?

It would contain articles crushing things like the AiG bible comparison articles.

Edited to add- by "Bible comparison articles" I mean the "Peer reviewed science" whereby AiG compare actual science to the bible and dump what they think doesn't fit.  Then they publish it in their journal.

Date: 2008/02/12 08:20:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 09 2008,20:33)
So much for my plans to emigrate to Europe.  :(

It's alright, we're fighting them tooth and claw, and they are not really getting anywhere.  You'd be welcome here anytime.

Date: 2008/02/15 12:27:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 15 2008,09:43)
WAD's "ID Predictions confirmed by researchers":


William Dembski


6:36 pm
Here’s what I had FTE’s PR people pass on to Keith Olbermann’s producer:


Dear SNIP,

Please pass the following examples of ID’s predictive prowess on to [Keith Olbermann’s producer]:
Best wishes,
Bill Dembski

That is the sorriest shit I've ever read from someone who supposedly has 5 freaking degrees.  Isn't one of his degrees something like philosophy of science.  Do they not teach you what a freaking testable theory is in philosophy of science classes?  Do they not teach you what a freaking prediction is?

The real laff howler is the RE-tard cultists at UD don't even know Demsbki is blowing smoke up their asses on these predictions.

UD is nothing but a room full of dumb asses.  Well and a handful of covert operatives ;-)

Anyhow, kudos for finally getting William Dembski, PhD to publicly demonstrate intelligent design creationism has not a single prediction.  Maybe that's because before you can make an idc prediction you need an idc theory ;-)

What dunces.

I nominate Dembski for the award for lifetime achievement in acting like a Creationist in order to make them look stupid.

Date: 2008/02/21 15:08:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Pork chops tend to get grilled and then eaten.
Perhaps we should invite him/ her over here?

Date: 2008/02/22 14:56:52, Link
Author: guthrie
J-Dog invited Porkchop over here, because he's had enough of UD, so see if you can spot any last words by Dave slagging him off.

Date: 2008/02/24 16:55:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (1of63 @ Feb. 24 2008,10:31)
It's no good.  Being of Albionic extraction, the name 'Granville' conjures up an entirely different image.  Other Brits will know what I mean
Granville: I've got the blood of poets and lovers in my veins.
Arkwright: [as Granville leaves] Yes. And at least one electrician

Granville!  Go and tidy up the vegetables.

Date: 2008/02/25 09:15:31, Link
Author: guthrie
I think entry to the churches for religious ceremonies is free.  Its when you are tourists they start charging, after all it costs a lot of money to keep the buildings going, and the C of E isn't anywhere near as rich as it was even 20 years ago.

Date: 2008/02/26 10:01:41, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 26 2008,09:23)
It is not completely persuasive through argument and logic alone.

As far as I am aware, logic and evidence and stuff were not so important in the past.  Therefore, your critique of miracles would have carried no weight, given the different world views, philosophy etc held in the past.  

Nowadays, though, your critique is more to the point.

Date: 2008/02/28 11:19:29, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Feb. 28 2008,10:20)
Conservatives, particularly neo-cons or neo-libs like our own dear Milk Snatcher *spits* are self indulgent self centred bastards, confused idiots or reactionary prats. Oh look, I'm stepping on toes. Well at least I'm not stepping on the heads of those below me to get a holiday home in France. Words canot express how as a group, I loathe<b> New Labour</b>.

Fixed it for you.

Date: 2008/02/29 06:33:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Feb. 28 2008,11:35)
Nope, I merely strongly dislike New Labour. I would, at a pinch, vote for them. But I would only vote tory if it were a choice of that, NF, BNP or UKIP (add any other further right/neo-nazi party here).

I would, i fact, vote Green Party before voting either, but I must admit, Labour still has enough of it's proper socialists left (including Prescott, god love the fat fool (no FTK, I do not believe in god, that was a merely a convenient phrase)) to place them above the bloody Tories for me. Bastard tory party. I can count the number of them I like on one hand, and I wouldn't need to use all the fingers.

Ahh, I feel a good pub argument coming on, on the basis that New washes whiter than white labour have continued the Theatcherite policies with a few sops thrown to the crowd, and the presence of some token ex-socialists makes no difference to this.  This is one factor in the rise in inequality, continued decline in social mobility, poor environmental progress (Thatcher actually was involved in setting up the IPCC, and I think also took the Ozone hole etc seriously), and the fact that we are in hock to the tune of tens of billions of pounds to a bunch of useless wasters in the finance industry, which they have liberalised further than Thatcher did, thus contributing the the current economic problems.  

Oh yes, and two badly run wars, rather than one averagely run one.  

I have never voted new labour, voted conservative once because he was the local councillor and seemed to be doing a good job.  I have mostly voted lib dem on the grounds that they are the most left wing party available, and some of their policies are ok.  

To summarise- new labour deserve more derision and hatred because they claim to be sort of leftie, but use this to hide their real intentions, whereas at least the conservatives are honest about what they are for.  I like honesty and dislike lying and spin.

Date: 2008/03/12 20:07:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Wow, Salvador is still posting on that pandas thumb thread.  He really is dumb.  For years I've been practising not contaminating myself with stupidity, but he's manmaged to get past my defences with comments along the lines of "Stupid Darwin couldn't do algebra but I can, so obviously evolution is wrong."

Or indeed this one:

The ID movement has been phenomenally successful in arguing their case in the free market place of ideas. The true measure of their success will be 30 years from now when Darwinism will likely be believed only be the minority in the general population and perhaps a smaller majority amongst scientists. We will see.

Yes, so succesfull that their every textbook is blocked before it gets into schools, so successful that their journal doesn't get published because they have no papers for it, so successful that Darwinism isn't believed by anyone any more but that's because it has been superseded, and so successful that his own pet blog has no visitors except for sock puppets.

Date: 2008/03/16 05:40:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 14 2008,15:21)
She'll find the Welsh easier to understand, I think.

Edinburgh isn't proper Scotland, IMHO.

Thats because all these foreigners come to live here.

Just before you all let loose with the jokes, I was born and brought up in Edinburgh, went to school in the city centre, etc.  Unfortunately the city ahs changed somewhat over the years, only marginally for the better.

As for J-Dogs daughter, Edinburgh is a medium sized town, there is definitely rugby due to the penchant for yahs to come to Edinburgh university.  I would reccomend it over Swansea unless you like to live in Wales.  Of course it will be a bit colder and windier in Edinburgh.  It depends on what sort of amenities your daughter likes, eg bookshops, Edinburgh has lots.  Nightclubs, ditto.

Date: 2008/03/16 16:51:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Louis got it about right.

J-dog- surely you can find out in advance if there is a womans rugby team at Swansea or Edinburgh.  I'm sure there will be one at Edinburgh, we had a womans rugby team in St Andrews, and I'm sure they played Edinburgh.  

As for yahs, they say "yah" instead of "yes".  Just to give you an idea, I was back up at St Andrews last year, and thougth I'd drop by one of the university halls I had stayed at when I was there.  Since I was there they've actually knocked it down and rebuilt it (Nothing to do with me).  So I drive into the car park and realise there are lots of cars that are only 1 or 2 years old.  Or in other words, in the world of yahs, your parents will give you a new car when you go away to uni.  (Or your summer job at uncle johns merchant bank will pay enough to buy you a new car)

Date: 2008/03/17 10:14:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Zarquon @ Mar. 17 2008,05:41)
Scottish women rugby players? They're so butch the Scotsmen wear the skirts.

We're in touch with our feminine side...

Date: 2008/03/17 18:03:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Just to check, my limited understanding is that a bell shaped curve is what you would expect if it was random...

Have we worked out who Keith Eaton is yet?  I hope he doesn't live near anyone I know.

Date: 2008/03/17 18:08:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Whose he?

By the way, this is one of my hobbies:

Date: 2008/03/18 10:49:15, Link
Author: guthrie
Its my replica greek fire, I've been waiting to see if Arden can come up with a witty retort, but perhaps he is afraid of flames...

Date: 2008/03/18 11:42:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Edinburgh was of course the heroin capital of Europe in the 80's.

Date: 2008/03/18 16:36:27, Link
Author: guthrie
Put it another way- should you be able to afford to visit, would you rather visit her halfway through her time at Swansea or Edinburgh?

Date: 2008/03/19 04:44:28, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ Mar. 19 2008,02:37)
Swansea is not too far from the Gower, one of the most beautiful (and surfable) coastlines in the UK. Well worth a visit.

Edinburgh is relatively "close" (by comparison to say, London!) to Fort William and the mountain of Ben Nevis. Stunningly beautiful mountain and highland countryside, and great walks. Granted, Swansea is "close" to Snowdon, but IMO Snowdon is not a patch on Ben Nevis.

Remind me to make sure you never get a job with the tourist board.   ;)

There is much more to the Highlands than just Ben Nevis.  A long coastline, Skye, and on the other side of the country you have the Cairngorms, probably the largest lump of mountains in the country.  Then there is the rolling borders, the views from everywhere in the entire country, etc etc.

Date: 2008/03/19 18:28:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Hey, is that our Bob O'Hara?
And who is Al Kafir?

And irreducible complacency:
Patrick some of what Al Kafir the troll is saying is true. We will never have access to the same scientific resources that the materialists do. It is likely that this will never change, in other words we should be asking ourselves the question “What happens if tomorrow never comes?” If it is true (and I believe that thermodynamics and revelations both predict this) that things are going to get worse in the world then we must remember that the one true purpose for spreading the word of design to the unbelievers and atheist scientists is that they must be saved before they die. All else pales before that fact.

Hahahahaha.  So, if the 2nd law says things are going to get worse, how come they got better in the past few hundred years?  
What scientific resources does ID need?  None that I can think of....

(I'm feeling a little annoyed, because someone I know online who I thought was intelligent has turned out to think that Paleys Watchmaker is a really good argument.  Argh)

Date: 2008/03/19 18:34:32, Link
Author: guthrie
And from the same John the Scot thread, Gerry Rzeppa convinces us that it is all science:
SCheesman asks, “Are Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons excluded from the ID tent?”

They can certainly recognize design in universe, and are, in fact, without excuse if they don’t (Romans 1:20). But they mustn’t stop there, and it’s our job as Christians to do all we can to see that they don’t stop there, Acts 4:12. It’s not our job to merely get them facing the right hill; we’re commanded to take them all the way to the foot of the cross and beyond.

SCheesman says, “The danger of putting your own beliefs in God front and centre is that the debate on ID quickly becomes theological, not scientific, and yes, I understand the definition of theology that includes science. That distinction will be lost on those turning away once they encounter religious language.”

“Necessity is laid upon me”, SCheessman, “Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”, 1 Cor 9:16. I’m instructed to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine”, 2 Tim 4:2. If they “turn away once they encounter religious language” they’re not my problem. Someone else will have to scratch their ears, 2 Tim 4:3.

SCheesman says, “It’s not dishonest, and it’s not bait-and-switch. It’s an honest appraisal of what the evidence can tell us.”

It’s an honest appraisal of some of what the evidence can tell us — Romans 1:20 suggests there’s enough evidence there to lead one, without excuse, to “the eternal power and Godhead” Himself.

SCheesman says, “There is nothing, however, to indicate that only God could possibly create life.”

Don’t be silly. Who else is up to the job?

Date: 2008/03/20 05:55:00, Link
Author: guthrie
Wow, we seem to have been invaded by trolls and silly people.  Congratulations for Pim in moving them all here.

Date: 2008/03/20 18:08:01, Link
Author: guthrie
Secular Berlinski?  Since when has that mattered in science?  Behe really needs to retire properly.

And is Berlinski "secular"?  What on earth does it mean?

Date: 2008/03/21 07:32:21, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 21 2008,02:43)
It's like being punched in the face with tard.

I'm getting too old for this.

These days I just have a continual feeling of incoherent rage.

Date: 2008/03/21 09:29:50, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 20 2008,22:49)
The only reason that they didn't throw Dawkins out is that they were apparently too fucking stupid to recognize him! They didn't even recognize him when he sat through the film - not until he rose to speak, after being called on - by said producer, MARK MATHIS - at the Q&A. Holy shit, the blood drained from his face then! :angry:

Just for clarification purposes- Mathis didn't even seem to know Dawkins was there, so the blood drained from his face when Dawkins revealed himself?

Maybe someone needs to speak to the people checking the list of names, so as to clear up why "Richard Dawkins" was allowed in...

Date: 2008/03/21 10:16:43, Link
Author: guthrie
I read the Illuminatus! trilogy last week, for the first time.  It was fun.  

Now I'm going to re-read some Arthur C Clarke, because its maybe 7 years since I last read anything by him.

Date: 2008/03/24 16:45:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Wow, Dave Scott continues being an idiot.  In the thread on water power he seems to have swallowed the HHO rubbish.
Amazingly enough some of the posters actually get that it is rubbish...

Date: 2008/03/25 15:42:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Is there any sign of a real Nazi complaining about the misuse of the label by the Creationists?

Date: 2008/03/25 16:43:44, Link
Author: guthrie
There seems to have been an influx of trolls to Pandasthumb recently.  Am I too paranoid to suggest that it is related to "Expelled" and the other PR successes that the Creationists have produced?

And is there anything else going on right now that they would wish to divert attention from?

Date: 2008/03/26 05:27:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (didymos @ Mar. 26 2008,02:30)
Mr. Miller is a bit slippery, or memory-deficient.  In response to a post on the thread where he promised to answer questions he wrote:


Nestor: We didn't even have a finished rough cut of the film last October. And we didn't begin showing it to people until December. And we never showed it at an AMC in San Diego. Remember that thing I said about not trusting anything said by someone who won't even tell me his real name? I'm sorry, but you've just proven me right.
Posted by: Kevin Miller | March 25, 2008 at 11:42 PM

So, I responded with :


Kevin, I suggest you go here:

Please take note of the following:

CA San Diego AMC Mission Valley 20* October 11 7:00pm Done

What the hell? How hard was that?

Posted by: Thomas S. Howard | March 26, 2008 at 12:14 AM

I don't have any questions to offer, just the observation that they ought to be as airtight and evidence-buttressed as possible if this is the kind of crap he can be expected to pull.

This is Creationist standard operating procedure.  I see by your number of posts that you have not been here long.  The regulars here have been taking screenshots of Creationist  blogs and webpages for future reference for years, in order to counter exactly that kind of lies.  When debating on a Creationist blog, it is common to copy and paste your response to here, in order that you have a copy when the Creationist doesn't print your response.

Date: 2008/03/28 17:40:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 28 2008,13:42)
Simply telling people to avoid the troll never ever works. As long as a small fraction of viewers want to aggressively argue with trolls it'll drown out everything else. To fix the problem you have to make it easy for the others to avoid the troll-related material. Say, have a selection like View Trolls / Hide Trolls, and have a few regulars empowered to mark subthreads with a Troll identifier.

I rather like the sound of that.  Surely it is possible with all the modern technology available nowadays?

Date: 2008/03/29 10:04:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Mineral makeup has been around for millenia.  Various minerals were used in the preparation of Kohl for example.  

I'd like to be able to stop the adverts altogether.  One way would be legislation.  Another would be a mass ridicule campaign.  Or else educate the majority of the populace so that they are resistant to the stupid adverts.

Date: 2008/03/29 17:27:51, Link
Author: guthrie
Is someone slagging off chemistry pedants?

Hahaha, this is you.
(The stuff on the steel pipe)

Date: 2008/03/30 14:22:42, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, I think we killed this thread...

Date: 2008/03/30 14:27:48, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 30 2008,02:46)
It is kind of annyoing on PT that when a comment section goes ballistic, it is almost always as a result of a creationist saying really stupid things, and not as a result of smart discourse.

Yes.  This is why it is very hard to have a proper science forum, because few people have the knowledge to actually discuss some new and interesting science in an interesting way.  Hence a lack of replies, except to say "Cool", or "I never knew that".  
This is why all science related forums have a tendency towards pseudoscience, because vomiting it and cleaning up afterwards creates a huge amount of traffic and posts.

Date: 2008/03/31 15:59:05, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (factician @ Mar. 31 2008,10:48)
Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 31 2008,00:22)
... scientists who think they’re smarter than everyone else when in reality they’re just nerds with no street survival skills? Smart, on the urban streets, is having a 9mm Glock and knowing how to use it not having a biology degree and knowing how to use it.

The survival probability of a biology professor is far higher than that of a "street" punk with a glock, therefore the professor is more fit.

Not necessarily.  It all depends on how many kids the street punk fathers before he gets killed.  Survival to old age is not necessarily adaptive.  Survival until one reproduces is adaptive.  Professors (Behe being an exception to the rule) tend to have average or lower numbers of children.

I wonder what the fecundity of your average gun-toting street punk is?  My (dataless) guess is it would be higher than your average biology professor.

And on the streets, walking tall and acting big 'cos you have a gun will get you into trouble much faster than acting like a mild mannered biology prof on a low income.

Date: 2008/04/02 10:49:17, Link
Author: guthrie
OK, which jokers said they killed people for money?  They do realise that UD will think you are coming after them?  
(the people at UD imagine they are worth spending money on to get rubbed out)

I failed black belt at shotokan karate, did a couple of years of Aikido, and now do historical fencing and a bit of western martial arts.

Date: 2008/04/02 17:40:23, Link
Author: guthrie
I'm going to spam you with stuff I wrote for my livejournal a while ago:

On Violence

Violence is about hurting people.  There can be problems with this, apart from the obvious one that hurting people is illegal unless done in self defence.
Moreover, if you let your emotional desire to hurt them overtake your thinking, you’ll just end up rushing in and lamping them, with little skill and science, which might not be your intention, nor be very effective.  (Yet this seems to work well enough for lots of people)  

Better surely to learn how to hurt people properly first.  But the question is how exactly?  In martial arts lessons you learn control, and a great deal of practise goes into using this control.  Sparring training teaches you to do painful moves in a way that voids hurting your partner, but one criticism is that you can then become too used to holding back, not following through properly.

It’s why things such as full contact karate were invented.  (In my opinion it’s not that much better, since if you are doing the karate properly, they you’ll be hospitalizing your opponent every bout [or else you’re not doing karate, you’re mincing about waving at them], so obviously they are just holding back their blows, like everyone else.  Although training in actually being hit and not freezing is always good, it gets up my nose how at least one practitioner of “full contact” karate I am acquainted with will denigrate other forms of karate without acknowledging the inherent and to my mind gigantic limit in his own form)

The impression I get (From tv, books etc) is that what really counts in a fight in real life is intention.  If you have two people, one who really wants to fight and hurt someone (Assuming they aren’t totally mad or on drugs, and are reasonably aware) and another who doesn’t, the likely outcome is that the non-fighter will make some feeble and half hearted effort at defence when the offensive chap rushes in, and then will get decked.  Case closed, attack wins, bloke has the vor, initiative, and also the drive to carry it all out.  Vacillating person lost.  If you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, very few people will say “OK, I am stuck here, lets get it over and done with right now.”  Most people will hesitate, try and find a way out of the potential violence before it happens, even although in some cases this will not help.  

Now, before a certain section of my readership possibly gets up and says “But we’re violent, violence is commonplace, everyone should be prepared for it”, I would refer you to games theory, anthropology, actual British history not what you read in some places, and their own experience.  (And mine.  Only personal violence I have faced so far was at school) Violence is not that common, and ourselves and other animals have evolved complex ways of minimizing it whilst carrying on our lives, so it takes weeks of training in the army to get you ready to take someone else’s life.

Being prepared for violence takes time and effort, and many people have other things on their minds.  So being non-violent is good and valid.  Its what I am.  Honest!
(Ok, just because I’ve done various forms of martial arts for a few years, and have a hankering to learn advanced sabotage using household chemicals, doesn’t mean I’m violent.  I have attacked no one (since school, and I was provoked, and I think I didn’t really hurt them.))

So, I say, in order to win a fight, you have to want to hurt your opponent.  
This desire to hurt can be sheer rage, anger, emotional strength, however as pointed out above, this can limit your effectiveness.  Even better if you actually control your rage and funnel it into doing violence properly.  Mind you, it all depends on whether you actually want to kill them or not.  To judge by the murder cases that come up in court, many of them were not intended to be murders.  OK, the neds kicked him 15 times in the head, but if they had really wanted to kill him, one stomp on the neck would have been enough.  This sort of thing makes me wonder about the kind of idiot that does end up murdering people.  There seem to be some cold blooded assassins, but many others are on drink or drugs, and thus not in control of themselves in any real form, and therefore kill someone in the longest most inefficient way possible.  By contrast, the ideal sword duel should be over in a couple of seconds.  Same on the battlefield.  Kill one, step, kill another.  So here we have the idea of efficiency coming to the fore, rather than emotionally battering someone.  But of course in that sort of fighting you are doing it for emotional and egotistical reasons (“He didn’t show me any respect”).

So, regarding violence, we have various kinds applied in different situations, from a mugging to the battlefield.  This adds to the complexity.  

However, to me there are times it is amazing that more people don’t get hurt or killed.  When I was doing Aikido, they had a self defence lesson once, just for a change.  At one point I was partnered up with a newbie, and they told us to go over all the vulnerable places on someone.  I worried my partner by pointing out , well, I’ve lost count, but there are dozens of places you can hit or twist people to hurt or kill them.  Yet you don’t need to know all of that to actually hurt someone, just the desire to do so.  But knowledge of these places to hit and hurt people would make any violent attack you do much more effective.  Think how vulnerable your throat is.  Then there are teenagers with knives who just don’t know what they are doing so kill people without really trying, because the human body is actually rather vulnerable to sharp weapons.  

Which is where training comes in.  With appropriate training, you should be able to prevent someone from hurting you, even if they want to.  I’ve had a few years of Karate and Aikido, but never used them.  Being over 6 feet tall and sort of average broad shouldered and avoiding eyeing the wrong people up seems to have stood me in good stead.  That and avoiding dodgy places and people.  But that aside, all I can say is that it takes months of training to get you to be any good at something like this.  It is not something you can pick up in a few hours, you have to train your muscles and mind, and also get psychologically used to the idea of hurting someone.

So last year, for various reasons which most of you will know about, my anger got bigger and a bit less controlled.  Now I know that if I unleash it, and now I can, in the correct time, I will smack someone about.  No control to not hurt, just power straight through them.  Its kind of nice to have this feeling of rage hidden inside that you can access given a few seconds, but its not very helpful when your trying to spar painlessly with your friends.  Because in the haste to hit them first, its easy to slip the control by accident.  Fortunately no one was hurt, and I now have proper control over the urge to win and hurt.  

How to avoid problems with neds and other unsavoury characters
1) Be over 6ft tall, male, and maybe 6ft wide as well.
2) Move well, with certainty.
3) Don’t dress too oddly, otherwise they will be tempted to take the mick.
4) If you are dressed oddly, eg reenacting, make sure there’s lots of you and they know you all have a carload of weapons and know how to use them.  
5) Avoid areas of town with neds
6) Avoid times neds are likely to be around.  
7) Cultivate looking at people in the right way.

Now, option 1 is not open to everyone.  I’m 6ft 3.5 inches, although only 11 stone, but when wearing clothes that is not so obvious and probably helps me look a lot more intimidating.  I’ve had 2nd grade teenage nedlets go “Awright man” when I jog past them on the canal towpath, and despite walking through some unsavoury parts of Manchester, I never seemed to have any trouble.  In the book “Guards Guards”, Pratchet’s character Carrot walks to Ankh Morpork and has no trouble, due to bandits leaping out then apologizing for bothering him.  Seeing as he is described as carrot shaped, that does not seem surprising.  Now, this will not work all the time, especially not on nutters, but you simply have to learn to avoid them, or deal with them some other way.

Option 2- walk and move under control, so that you don’t look like you are drunk or anything.  Drunks are easy prey if you want some fun.  But if it’s a choice between a drunk and someone whose walking along easily, looking round them, then they’ll probably go for the drunk.  Confidence is also important.  If you walk confidently, they wont bother you, but if you try and make yourself small and inoffensive and look a bit scared, again you’ll be easy prey.

Option 3- If you do dress up, it helps if you carry a sharp wit and use it often.  Some of us are better endowed with this than others, unfortunately.  I tend to think up a good answer next week some time, and would rather just pull out a blaster and distribute a few megawatts of energy between them all.

Option 4- Even then it doesn’t always work, the hard core neds will try and steal the weapons.  But there are many stories of people in kit and carrying weapons looking scary enough that locals hold off from having a go.  Not to mention your neighbours, who after seeing what goes on at your place, decide never to annoy you in case they end up on a stake in the back garden.

Option 5- Easy to say, harder to do until you know a town.  Edinburgh for example, there are places that people congregate after pub chucking out time, so you should avoid them, yet these places are fine during the day.  Then at some times of day places are haunts of skateboarders and Goths and suchlike, both as far as I am aware fairly harmless.  (But then I am tall and walk like I mean it)  There area also places like graveyards that jaikies and drunks like to congregate, even during the day, so it is not necessarily advisable to go into them without a bit of care.

Option 6- Also takes a bit of learning.  Now, nutters can be found at all times of day, that’s one of the reasons they are nutters, but like neds, they are more common in the evening.  Although you might meet one at 7am because he never went to bed.  For example, when I was in Manchester, walking to Karate at 10 in the morning on a Saturday, there was no one on Oxford Road.  Early Saturday morning there really aren’t many around, and those there are will be dragging themselves back to their own bed.  Tea time and early evening you wont get too many either.  Afternoons they will be hanging around shops and suchlike, but then in the evening they will be around a favourite haunt outside a pub or in an open public place.  

Option 7 is quite hard to explain, and is by far the less obvious point to make.  People don’t really like being looked in the eyes too much, but they will check there for emotions and how much attention you are paying them.  So if you want to intimidate someone it is recommended to look them continually in the eyes.  This is often a sign that you are dealing with a nutter, and nutters should be run over with your car, or shot using a sawn off shotgun, in order to prevent them having an opportunity to actually do any damage.  So running or apologizing is probably a good idea if faced with a nutter.  (Running is usually a good idea in all cases anyway)

Anyway, most non nutters will glance at you, then look away elsewhere, for example see how people avoid each others gazes in crowded trains.  Except of course for neds or teenagers of all stripes out for a good time.  They will use their gaze to try and dominate the scene.  Now, if you can catch their eyes the wrong way, ie you look up, see them looking your way, and panickedly drop your eyes, they’ve won.  They may later single you out for special attention of some sort.  If however you can hold their gaze in a neutral fashion, and not be intimidated, they will back off.  (Unless they’re really after a fight, in which case, sorry, wrong option.  Remember this is all situation specific.  Street smarts take time to learn)  

Now, this neutral I’m not bothered gaze should also be used when dealing with unknown adults.  I’m thinking of the kind you meet in rougher parts of town, they are higher class than neds, probably have a job and a wife/ girlfriend, and at the upper age group will have grandkids etc.  They appreciate being taken somewhat seriously, so simply looking scared by the bloke in the leather jacket and shirt does not make a good impression.  They wont attack you for looking like a wimp, but in many circumstances, simply treating them as an equal (Assuming you are similar age/ money whatever) is always good, and you never know, one of them might be the local crime boss, and making a nice neutral, strong but not aggressive impression on him is definitely a good start.) is the best way to go.  I’m talking about a gaze which looks at them, holds the eyes for split second, then moves on, especially when you are looking round somewhere.  No aggression, no reaction from looking at them, you just note their presence and move on.  

This is kind of linked to character and presence.  Some people have it, and they will dominate a room or a situation.  A short middle aged woman who is not allowed to belt them can still control a class of schoolchildren with character and presence.  Essentially if your character is stronger than your opponent, you can force them to back down.  One way is to slag them off in a way that they cannot respond to.  

Feel free to add other suggestions.  It is also important to note that being a ned is as much a state of mind as a socioeconomic label.  The only murder I have heard of in Balerno’s history (Balerno being the middle class suburb I grew up in) involved nice middle class lads.  OK, they weren’t that nice, but it is important to remember that trouble can come from anyone, so you have to become more street smart.
It’s also fun telling people that I work in Bellshill.  Bellshill has a bad reputation, but its not that bad really.  Not everyone at work has a criminal record, just a few of them.

Date: 2008/04/03 05:24:33, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (stevestory @ April 03 2008,00:53)
People generally think the world is more dangerous than it really is.

This is the interesting bit.  I have noticed this myself a lot as well.  The newspapers like to keep it stoked up, and certain people swallow everything the newspapers say.  The gvt also benefits, as it introduces ID cards and compulsory DNA testing and compulsory love your leader classes in school, not to mention taking your house from you when you take part in protest marches, which after all are a crime.

Anyway, my own realisation came at uni, when I was taking part in one of those phsychiatric tests that students are inveigled into for some free biscuits and maybe a fiver . It asked a lot of questions, one of which was, roughly, "How afraid are you of crime?"

I was about to tick the "quite afraid" box in a kind of reflex, before I thought about it for a second, and ticked the not afraid box.  I realised that a great deal of work goes into making you feel afraid of crime, and physical assault and robbery and suchlike, and yet as long as you are lucky, middle class and take some care, you have nothing to fear.  Mind you the stories from some of the people at work are a bit scary, but then they live in dodgy areas, through no fault of their own.

Date: 2008/04/04 05:49:04, Link
Author: guthrie
The problem here in the West coast of Scotland, especially GLasgow and Lanarkshire etc, is that cultural change has occured.  In "The good old days", teenagers would fight with their fists, in a kind of socially sanctioned pecking order way.  Nowadays, they'll do that to some extent, but also go out and get drunk and get into fights whilst carrying a knife.  And then kill someone without meaning to.  
Plus people are less willing to take a beating in the first place.  Instead of having a fight, losing, and taking it, they'd rather use a knife first to ensure that they don't lose.
Net result is a very high murder rate amongst 16 to 25's from more deprived areas.

Date: 2008/04/04 09:41:28, Link
Author: guthrie
That statement you quoted, is it all one piece by the same person in the same post?
It seems a bit disconnected and rambling.  It also suggests that the author doesn't really agree with the ag and fish people, because they personally have seen more of the supposedly endangered fish species, so why should anyone be bothered about their rarity now since they seem to have recovered?

Also, I'd say they need to do some stock assessments on those other fish PDQ.

Ecology is something I need to learn more about, but the evolution argument keeps dragging me back for entertainment reasons, and the climate change battle is ongoing, with morons still saying "It hasn't warmed since 1998", and "Its cooler now than it has been for years".

Date: 2008/04/04 09:42:27, Link
Author: guthrie
Is there a USA'ian significance about the name "summer glau"?

Date: 2008/04/05 04:31:46, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (BWE @ April 04 2008,09:04)
1. Knives are different things than guns.

2. 30 year old robbers tend to be strung out.

3. I used a knife in severe conditions professionally for almost 10 years. They don't scare me so much as make me acutely aware of what they are doing. It would depend for me how the kid held it. I still might take it from him and pummel him on GP but I'd have to be prepared to get my forearm cut badly. And I'd have to have a coat.

I thought 30 year old robbers would be more professional, as in its a simple business transaction whereby you (or the bank) pay them to go away.  Whereas the teenager, being less experienced, is less predictable.  The 30 year old is more likely to know the consequences of whatever actions they takeso be less precipitate, but also will give you less chances to be a hero.  There are and were quite a few professional bank and post office robbing gangs here in the UK, generally made up of people who were older hardened criminals.  They generally didn't hurt people except of course scaring them greatly.

Date: 2008/04/05 04:41:31, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 04 2008,17:25)
Ah, complacency...


For four hundred years of intense international fishing, the Atlantic cod fishery was assumed to be inexhaustible. After the 1950s new trawler technology began vacuuming the sea. The term “collapse” is no exaggeration for what happened. By 1995, three years after cod fishing had been totally halted, the cod stock was one percent of what it had fallen to in 1990. Devastated in Canada alone: 100,000 jobs, 1,500 communities, $3.1 billion in production (replaced by $3.5 billion of government dole). To blame: Canadian and provincial governments, the fishermen, Spain, Portugal, France, Russia, and the U.S. and the short-term values they all operated by.

The $6.6 billion dollar swing in Canada's budget? That must be "hubristic crap".

The US had some part of that fishery. Anybody got a handle on how much red ink we're bleeding from that fishery alone?

I hadn't realised it was that bad.
Now I'm getting angry again.  Exactly the same thing is happening in the waters around the UK, and I'm thinking we'll have to do an Iceland.

I have a book from 1981 called "elements of marine ecology".  It sets out very clearly the signs of overfishing, and the reality of the north sea at that time.
And nobody is listening, even today.  The spanish come in and hoover up what they like, the Danes steal all the sand eels to feed their stupid overbred pigs, and the Scottish fisherman like idiots merely take a "they're stealing our fish" stand, whereas if they jumped onto the envirnoment bandwagon they would get allies across the EU and a much, much stronger case.

Date: 2008/04/05 12:43:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Which ones?  The sandeels get ground up and used to feed pigs and fish and suchlike.  (Guess what farmed salmon eat?  Other fish...)
Many of them get eaten by humans.

Then there is this:

Fish is the fastest growing source of food in developing countries.

It is the primary source of animal protein for roughly a sixth of the world's population. But new research shows that demand greatly exceeds supply and the problem is growing.

Fisheries have been overexploited

Average global fish consumption has almost doubled in less than 50 years, and catches would have to double again in the next 25 years to keep up with requirements.

However many fish stocks are already depleted, overfished, fully exploited or damaged by climate change.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that unless fishing is cut by almost a third worldwide, many remaining stocks will not survive.

Now, leaving aside any issues you might have with evolution, the simple fact, no get out clauses, no magic, just the reality, is that fish wise, we have to stop eating them in such numbers, or we will have none left.
Simple as that.
You cannot argue with it.

Date: 2008/04/08 09:02:45, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,03:29)
I'd agree to an extent. I find the drive to seperate teaching and research in academia to be a bloody stupid one. You don't understand an idea until you've had to explain it to an 18 year old undergrad who is not interested in the subject and highly interested in the girl/boy two feet away from him/her.

Some random thoughts, bearing in mind it is a few years since I left uni and I didn't know anything then.*

In theory, splitting teaching and research might be good, if you therefore had good, trained teachers effectively teaching students more of the basic stuff they need to know.  In reality, what it would mean is minimum wage knowledge regurgitation, because that is all the gvt is willing to pay for.  Then for research, in my opinion, too much university research these days is oriented towards commercial gain.  I say let the companies do their own damned research, that will give the graduates jobs to do after they finish uni.  

* This is another rant of mine- some bodies, especially regulatory ones, think it is perfectly sensible to recruit new graduates.  No, it isn't.  New graduates are innocent and know nothing, so will completely miss the stuff they are supposed to pick up on, eg the fact that a company is putting lots of phenol down the drain.

Date: 2008/04/08 10:55:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Its alright, it was about 2.9 tonnes diluted in 20,000 tonnes of water per year.
Somehow nobody worked out that a moulding process involving the use of phenol-formaldehyde resin in water would lead to significant amounts of phenol going down the drain.
Or, more likely, they were short staffed and we were low on their list, because we weren't killing off the sewage works.  Every drain on our site leads to the sewage works, fortunately, otherwise we would have been prosecuted for something by now.

Date: 2008/04/08 12:33:49, Link
Author: guthrie
The SCottish water sewage works serves probably a few hundred thousand people.  We are not about to kill it off, fortunately, otherwise they'd have fined us.  At the new site we have a water treatment plant to get rid of most of the Phenol.

Date: 2008/04/08 13:52:45, Link
Author: guthrie
I've only had one conversation about it, with a bloke in his 70's.  It was in a group of castle enthusiasts, in the evening, and I made the mistake of picking up teh paper and commenting that I'd been having letters printed in it against Creationist nutters who were trying to promote ID at the time.
(THis is in Scotland, UK)
This harmless and intelligent old bloke then piped up, saying something like "Of course the universe had to be created".  
I think I managed to point out that he didn't necessarily have any scientific evidence for that, but I cannot recall exactly.  Everyone else there was either indifferent or on the bash the creationist side.

Date: 2008/04/08 16:46:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:17)
Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

Since I do not recall actually meeting anyone with any Creationist leanings in real life before, I was momentarily a bit shocked that someone I'd regarded as intelligent was so confused.  But then I also realised that he was working off a different map from myself.  He didn't know about ID, was a believer, so of course God created the universe etc, but had no idea of the Creationist modus operandi of lying.  I think that if we had had time to talk for long enough, I coudl have gotten him to see that there is a difference between science and religion etc, and that creationists were people who misused science.  I have no problem with believers who say "I believe god created everything, including us".  I do have a problem with people who say "I believe god created us and everything and science agrees with the bible thus proving me right", or "I believe god created everything and us and you should all worship my god every day", which is effectively what the Cretinists and their ilk are saying.

Date: 2008/04/09 10:07:17, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Would you guys mind not commenting so much in a pretend post modernist  I'm-a-bigger-man-than-you fashion?  It is getting really boring.

Date: 2008/04/09 16:12:06, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Louis @ April 09 2008,10:27)
You do know neither Arden nor I (or Carlson or Erasmus or J Dog or RTH or any one of the myriad of AtBC Banterers) are serious don't you?

Yes yes, I'm not that naieve.  I might be a bit poor at communicating with people and so on, but I can tell when you are joking.

It's just that repeating the same joke over and over again is boring, plus liberal use of swear words and rude images gets silly as well.  I get more than enough of that at work.

Date: 2008/04/10 12:24:23, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Louis @ April 10 2008,02:46)
I find it exceptionally boring and annoying to be patronised about how I and others choose to express some aspect of our humour (silly, deliberately silly or otherwise). I find sanctimonious whining about the styles other people choose to use in jest to be a "Litmus test" of a po-faced, holier-than-thou, pseudointellectual prude. Also, anyone dull enough to complain about "rude" words and imagery is someone clearly incapable of seeing past their own prurient obsessions with what shocks them from their tiny little world and too bound up with the cultural whims and mores of a puritanical society to think clearly for themselves. Encountering such people, especially when they see fit to denounce how others choose to enjoy themselves, as if their petty preferences were some how superior, bores and offends me mightily.

What to do what to do?


Apology accepted.

Now, I wonder about your anger such that you percieve someone expressing their views on the matter to be "patronising".  Or, you're just being annoying again.  

Either way, the best thing you can do is stop playing quite so many games.  Or, if you do carry on, I hope your head implodes in an interesting manner.

Date: 2008/04/10 13:46:41, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Duhhh- my opinion is valid to me.  Is yours universally valid?  

A simile- Do you complain when people ask you to turn your stereo down because they can hear it through the walls?

Date: 2008/04/11 06:04:36, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ April 10 2008,18:22)
But seriously concern trolling is for Pharyngula.  We already have one FtK.

I'm concern trolling?  If I was concern trolling I would be asking you all to stop swearing at the poor creationists.  
This was more just a reques to turn the volume down.  You don't have to treat it like I just declared jihad against all unbelievers.  

And yes, Sceptic is right, Louis can clearly be an equal opportunities insulter.

Date: 2008/04/11 06:07:59, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Louis @ April 11 2008,03:35)
Quote (guthrie @ April 10 2008,19:46)
Duhhh- my opinion is valid to me.  Is yours universally valid?  

A simile- Do you complain when people ask you to turn your stereo down because they can hear it through the walls?

Your opinion isn't even valid to you. You're just whining about something you don't like, hardly a valid, reasoned position, just the annoying emotive drone of a petulent child.

And no my opinions are not universally valid, nor do I claim them to be.

The point you have and are so clearly missing is that, whether or not you like some expression of humour in your complaint you have ignored one key fact: that someone else might derive pleasure from it and be as equally annoyed by your complaint (or myriad other things left unmentioned) as you are with the original humour. You are basically saying "Regardless of your subjective opinion, my subjective opinion without support or evidence is that X is unpalatable and that therefore X should not happen because I find it unpalatable". The assumption is that somehow your subjective likes or dislikes take precedent, or even that somehow the members of this forum exist in some manner to please you is ignorant in the extreme. Consider what people don't like about what YOU (and others) post before you criticise others for something that you copuld easily skip over if it annoys you so greatly. Since when is your annoyance at something at least relatively unintrusive (i.e. you choose to read it and this forum or not) some form of binding behavioural contract on anyone else here?

Your whine is invalid because it fails to take into consideration any other perspective in a matter decided purely by perspective. You are trying to illogically assert the superiority of one subjective position over another. My preference for humour X and your dislike of humour X are (at this point at least) equally matched in this respect. Why does your preference take precedent over mine (when you haven't even bothered to consider things I and other might not like)?

Your stereo simile is, to be blunt, a stupid red herring. You can't tune out a blaring stereo being inflicted upon you (let's say for example you live in a flat and the chap upstairs holds thumping late night raves). It's a vastly more intrusive thing than the occasional flurry of posts between half a dozen posters on a message board. Like I said the choice you have to read them or not is yours. Exercise it. That distinction alone shoots your infantile simile out of the water. Next whiny attempt please.

Whether you (or Skeptic) like it or not, I suffer fools not at all. So I retract my earlier polite and humourous attempt at deflecting your puerile complaint and replace it with this:

Why the fuck should I care what you, some utter non-entity, think about anything I say or do? You don't like what I post, then don't read it. And that goes for anyone on this issue or any other subjective, style issue.

Now do you have something useful to contribute or say? Or is whining like a five year girl old with a skinned knee the only thing that exercises you?


My opinion isn't even valid for me?

Man, what have you been smoking.  I suggest you check into a phsychiatric hospital immediately, since you seem to have an ego the size of a planet.

And talking about whining about something I don't like, I don't see you not complaining about creationists.  

Finally, you seem to be such a Stalinist at heart.  Why else treat a simple request, it wasn't even an order or anything, as if I declared you were out of bounds and offending western society?

The rest of your rant would surely interest your phsycotherapist.  An extreme desire to insult and hurt is clear, along with major ego problems and an inability to consider that others have their own point of view.

Date: 2008/04/12 05:56:16, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Louis @ April 11 2008,07:04)
Blah blah blah

Well, looks like that last post had the desired effect.

By the way the rest of you, the Lolcats are rather funny.  I must need my brain checked out.

Date: 2008/04/13 15:55:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 13 2008,12:32)
I've been fighting a head cold for several days now.

No matter how much my nose runs, my head won't unclog.  The sneezing, hacking, watery eyes, etc. is really getting to me.

As soon as I figure out which one of you Ebola spreading bastards did this to me, I'm ringing your doorbell and kicking you right in the shin.

That is all.

Didn't you pick it up last time you were in the lab?  The new variants have a long dormancy period, so they can spread further.
I suggest hurrying back to the lab and asking for the super secret antidote.

Date: 2008/04/13 16:15:28, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,13:30)
If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  

Simple answer- 60 million years ago 6.5 billion humans weren't using something like 40% of the primary productivity of the Earths land surface, building refineries and nuclear stations beside the sea, relying upon crops which require specific growth conditions to flourish, and generally hoping things will carry on regardless.

Lets take one of my favourite examples- American wheat.

Look at the bottom of this page.  The wheat belt over the next 50 years will probably (assuming things continue roughly the same) move north into Canada.  This means that less wheat will be grown, because Canada has very little soil suitable for growing wheat.  In fact it has little soil suitable for farming at all, at least not compared to the USA.  So, you therefore have to invest in new plants and farming methods, and probably farming equipment, plus re-educate your farmers, assuming that enough rain does actually fall to continue farming something in America, even if it isn't wheat.  
Meanwhile wheat based bread becomes rather scarce.

Or read this:

It re-iterates the point, except all across the world.  For example, rice will not pollinate well when the temperature gets too high, and it is already being grown in many places at the top end of its ability to grow.

So, again, more restricted food supply and adaptation necessary.  In fact we will have to do some adapting for certain, but the question is, how much can we reduce the adaptation and anyway, we have to stop emitting so much CO2 for another reason, oceanic acidification.

Date: 2008/04/13 16:19:55, Link
Author: guthrie
We have plenty of solutions to energy problems- the issue seems to be ensuring that they get used.  Here in the UK, the cowardly government has avoided mandating higher housing efficiency standards, which would in the long run save large amounts of fossil fuels.

Date: 2008/04/13 17:28:39, Link
Author: guthrie
This is a topic I've been reading and following for a while.  I keep meaning to get more into ecology, but the evolution wars drag me back for entertainment.

The two things are related, insofar as both are science communication issues, and both have some implications.  The implications of Evolution are more religious than practical, to my mind.  But the implications of climate change are, well, huge, and directly important to everyone no matter what their religion.  

And the worst thing is, that if we screw it up, lots of people will get hurt.  And there is a possibility thatthings won't get quite as bad as they have been predicted.  BUt the technology exists right now to make major changes in our lives to reduce CO2 output, and the foreseeable technological changes in the next decade will really make it much easier.  
(I'm not making any predictions beyond the next decade)

Date: 2008/04/14 16:22:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 14 2008,12:57)
It means we have exactly the same chances of finding out VM's alternative to the Neodarwinismus now as we would have if he had never been banned.

So a bit like the opposite of Schroedingers cat?  No matter whether we open the box or not, we know it is dead?

Date: 2008/04/15 09:18:59, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (guthrie @ April 14 2008,16:22)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 14 2008,12:57)
It means we have exactly the same chances of finding out VM's alternative to the Neodarwinismus now as we would have if he had never been banned.

So a bit like the opposite of Schroedingers cat?  No matter whether we open the box or not, we know it is dead?

Hah, brilliant.  Cheers!

Date: 2008/04/17 05:06:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Even given that he is trying to poke large furry mammals, the question is pretty much a fair one.  

The issue of course comes down to who pays for what.  Some people don't think there will be any bad things happen from CO2.  Some people currently produce lots of CO2 as a by product of their industries, and don't want to pay for currently externalised costs.  Others are afraid of constraints upon the "free" (meaning currently biased in their favour) market.  
On the other side, we have a range of people, from emotionally extravagant people who looove all the animals, to people who see that global warming will impact most upon the poor, and are somewhat bothered by this, as well as those who see that it will have a number of negative effects, and believe that a free market, when given the correct signals, can help.  

I'm going to shamelessly steal a comment from Deltoid, by ecologist Jeff HArvey:
Tim Worstall,

Your comment that the economists are 'deeply divided' about the costs and benefits of 'adaptation' versus 'mitigation' is meaningless without more substance.

The economists that you talk about are also divided into two camps: the neoclassical economists (like Nordhaus) who think that humans are more-or-less exempt from the laws of nature, and downplay the effects of climate change because they argue that it will mostly affect 'unmanaged ecosystems', and the more ecologically minded economists like Dasgupta, Daly, Viedermann etc. The former group, of which the late Julian Simon was another, appear to believe that there are no constraints on material growth; once constraints are approached, then good old human ingenuity will step in and we will forever increase the planet's human carrying capacity.

This ignores the fact that the world's major and most productive ecosystems - coastal marine, freshwater and terrestrial - are all in terminal decline. Forget the impacts of the material economy in driving wetland loss and eutrophication, fraying food webs, the rapid depletion of soil quality, falling water tables, and mass extinction - many of the neoclassical economists believe that these things don't much matter anyway, because humans have evolved above and beyond any natural limitations. I recall Peter Huber, a conservative American economist, writing some years ago in his book, 'Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists' that 'Humanity can survive just fine in a planet covering crypt of concrete and computers'. What's alarming is that there are many people in positions of power who believe this nonsense.

The problem, as I see it as a population ecologist, is that the neoclassical economists are living in something of a fantasy land, where the effects of climate change (and other anthropogenic processes) on the functioning of our global ecological life support systems are excluded from their tidy little econometric models. This is because many of the neoclassical economists just don't seem to understand how important 'unmanaged' ecosystems are. So they perpetually push the 'adaptation' mantra, irrespective of the costs of human activities on natural systems and their potential longer term consequences for the material economy.

Part of the problem is simply that we cannot have hard in your face clear evidence that global warming will do lots of damage.  We have lots of projections, and expectations.  Quantifying the costs is very hard, and economists are not really up to the job, or rather, there are splits in the profession based upon what they actually value.  A large percentage of humanity only values themselves, and has difficulty seeing what else they need to survive.

Date: 2008/04/17 06:30:19, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, possibly I was too nice.  There are plenty of people who won't change their behaviour even when it is known to be bad for you.  

"Smoking won't kill me!"

"Why can't I drive whilst holding and speaking on my mobile phone, I'm perfectly safe whilst doing so."

Its just that a lot of the general public, after years of bad science reporting, as well as poor exposure to science, tend to ignore everything the professionals say.
Fortunately, it seems some governments are listening, whether at the local level or not.  It seems that in the American west, after watching the changes in local climate which are linked into global warming, the state governments out there are taking things very sriously.  Whether they are taking it seriously in time is another matter.  Certainly in the UK our gvt is not taking it seriously at all, and as for Alex Salmonds grandstanding...

Date: 2008/04/17 12:14:12, Link
Author: guthrie
On the topic of Bjorn Lomborg, he accepts the IPCC statement of the science.  
(This of course puts him at odds with people like Lovelock, but hey, Lovelock loves nuclear so must be ok...)

Just in case it was not clear, Lomborgs Copehnagen Consensus is a complete red herring designed only to boost his ego.  

The biggest reason why, is this, taken from the methodology of the last Copenhagen consensus talking shop in 2004:

The expert panel will present a ranking of the opportunities, based on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the various opportunities.  This ranking and estimation will be marginal, in essence giving a prioritised answer to the question:  If the world would come together and be willing to spend, say, $50 billion over the next five years on improving the world, which projects would yield the greatest net benefits?

Now, the first assumption is that benefits can be cost benefit analyses like economists do.
Secondly, why say, $50 billion?  Why not 400 billion?  Why pick an arbitrary number in the first place?  This artificially constrains the discussion.
Thirdly, it is only over 5 years!  Many of the things to be discussed are structural issues which require medium term, i.e. 5, 10, 15 year investment.  Such as education.  You can't just put a billion pounds into building schools, when you in fact need another hundred million every year for the next 20 years to keep them running.  
The given aim prioritises short term goals.  Now, this might sound controversial, but I am convinced that, whether he agrees or not, Lomborgs goal is to firstly gain kudos and work for himself, i.e. ego boosting.  Secondly, he wishes to demonte climate change to a small thing we can adapt to, and to this end has written 2 books which are well known for their Creationist like tactics and repudiation by scientists.  Thirdly, like many such number crunchers, he studiously ignores the real causes and effects of the current global system.  Yes, this is now a political statement.  But that is what politics is about- apportionment of material and cultural and even in some circumstances, spiritual goods.

And people like Lomborg do not add to the discussion, they take away from it.

Date: 2008/04/17 15:01:53, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (didymos @ April 16 2008,20:28)
What he should be saying:

Ow, Ow, son of a bitch, someone get this fucking Giant Redwood out of my eye!!! My Stein, my Stein, why hast thou forsaken me? Giveth me some Clear Eyes!!!

I'm sure Davetard is using an even bigger one.  No wonder he can't see straight.

Date: 2008/04/18 11:50:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (ERV @ April 18 2008,11:43)
Jesus Christ, Dave cant get anything right.

Arnie has slept with me for over a year.  He/We have never gotten fleas.

If you sleep with a dog, you get shoved to a little corner of the bed, kicked, and occasionally have your pillows confiscated, but never 'fleas'.  Ek.

Dave is never wrong, ergo there is something you aren't telling us about Arnie...

Does Dave resort to old platitudes whenever he feels under stress?

I used to wake up with our labrador on the bed, stretched out luxriously on her side with all legs straight, and I'd be trying not to fall out the bed.
Ahh, happy days.

Date: 2008/04/18 12:31:17, Link
Author: guthrie
I estimate at least 15 of these were real people, many of whom have posted on here and demonstrated that they are capable of coherent rational thought.

Date: 2008/04/19 04:22:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (didymos @ April 18 2008,20:08)
I should add that if they are going by the block of addresses within which my IPs appear, then I've inadvertently screwed UD out of many potential contributors.  There're a ridiculous number of churches in this area, and their parishioners are covered by that address pool, should they patronize the same ISP.  Given that it's ATT DSL, many of them are quite likely to be customers, and thus pre-banned.  I have trouble feeling bad about that.

If that was the case, one could imagine a campaign to get every large block of IP Adresses banned across the USA.  But would anyone notice the lack of newcomers?

Date: 2008/04/19 09:32:54, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 19 2008,07:54)
guthrie - why across the US?  Why not just around Waco?

I don't know.  I'm just tickled by the idea of DT desperately banning huge swathes of the american populace (You know, the free speech underdog loving targets of "expelled") from even getting to see his website.

Date: 2008/04/21 04:48:56, Link
Author: guthrie
From Wikipedia:

Grove City College is a Christian liberal arts college in Grove City, Pennsylvania, about sixty-five miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to college president Richard Jewell, "The two tenets that this school is most about are faith and freedom."[1]

The school emphasizes a humanities core curriculum, which endorses the Judeo-Christian Western tradition and the free market. While loosely associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the college is non-denominational and does not require students to sign a statement of faith, though they are required to attend sixteen chapel services per semester.

Sounds like he'll fit right in.  Absolutely everyone here expected him to get a new job at a Christian college, and as usual Robert slags off people he doesnt know and don't deserve it.

Date: 2008/04/21 06:30:03, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats what I was going to suggest.

Possible responses:
1) Oops, sorry, I'll take the website down.
2) Why should i believe you lying darwinist scum?
3) Thats a different Gonzalez.
4) No answer.

Date: 2008/04/21 06:32:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, I've just been over at the INtersection.  I shall unashamedly post what I put there, because I think Chris and Randy are getting their knickers in a twist unnecessarily.  

I came over here from randy Olsons, and find Chris quoting this:

"It's sad to watch evolutionists swinging in the dark...let's go ahead and be honest here -- concede that these guys scored a major victory -- then figure out how to realistically deal with this communications failure rather than try to deny it happened."

It made no sense to me over there, and it still makes no sense to me here. The Creationists throw millions of dollars at a propaganda movie, make many slips, lie to people, get panned by the critics. This is all exactly as would be expected. It is entirely to be expected that they would attract a number of people who are committed Creationists to watch it.

So, there is no way for "Evolutionaists" to win here. The expelled liars are preaching to the converted. Randy is dead wrong here, and so is Chris- this is not a victory for the Creationists, unless you somehow think that us omnipotent Evolutionists should have been able to crush the film in a countrywide propaganda battle or prevent it from ever being screened in the first place. Which is patently impossible.

Instead, you could try thinking of it as another church sermon. And on that metric, it hasn't even lived up to the claims of its backers.

Let me repeat this in a different way- there is no communications failure here, because the Creationists are living in a hermetically sealed bubble- there was no way in which you could rationally have expected to have any "victory" over this film in the short term, i.e. in terms of people going to see it. If anyone did expect any different, please let me know.

Date: 2008/04/21 10:59:20, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ April 21 2008,09:36)
I don't know what Randy or Chris expect.

As always, truth is multi-faceted. If you look at their goal of 2-3 million, then yes, Expelled is a success. Ditto for the "political documentary" category, a small niche of less than 100 films. Critically, and in real numbers, the film is a stinkeroo.

I don't think Stein is going to benefit from this project and I stand by my "box office poison" statement. This film is marred by too many scandals and headaches for the typical studio to want to employ Stein again.

But who knows? Creationism sells in America. Everyone knows that. So what do Chris and Randy want to do about that? I debated my father for years and nothing was going to change his mind. What do they suggest, then? All I read is criticisms from them.

Wintermute hit the nail on the head:  
If all publicity is good publicity, and PZ and Dawkins are only promoting Expelled, shouldn't we be thanking Ben Stein for doing so much to promote evolution? Shouldn't we be glad that they are spreading the word so far and wide?

I have this weird sense of relief that Expelled got made, especially with its attendant scandals and hypocrisy. The fight isn't over, but somebody sure ain't taking the high road.

Yes, exactly.  Other people made the same point as I, only better, and it seems Chris and randy are being both defeatist and rather silly.  
What would count as a win against "Expelled"?  
Even if the entire production team stood up and swore on the bible that they had set out to smear Evolution as much as they could for their own religious ends, and had lied to everyone in interviews deliberately to get the interviews, and the film makers were sued into extinction for copyright breaking, most of their intended audience would still applaud the film.

Date: 2008/04/22 03:04:58, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Annyday @ April 21 2008,22:23)
I've never liked Arthur C. Clarke's writing much, outside of his idioms. See, the joy of sci fi for me is, to a great degree, wondering what a technology would do or how you'd make it. Clarke breaks out that indistinguishable-from-magic stuff for all the important things, which I find a fantastic buzz-kill. When you have technology that's indistinguishable from magic and/or acts of God, why bother making it sci fi at all? The monolith could have been constructed by voodoo and not a lot would have been lost!


I have to defend Clarke here.  In terms of "magic technology" he was no different from any of his contemporaries.  But he did also write some decent hard SF, I recently re-read "A fall of moondust", and it was about as hard SF as you're going to get, certainly more so than anything I have seen on the shelves today.  Clarke couldnt go "nanotech!" every time he wanted to do something odd.

Date: 2008/04/26 13:41:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Corals, carbonate and temperature, see this post:

Now, we have already pushed the carbonate ion concentration towards the point at which coral species will not dominate.
What this means is that loss of coraline species dominance = loss of coral reefs= loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of resources, in fact ecosystem services of coral reefs are estimated at somewhere over 40 billion a year.

Corals would not cease to exist, but would be badly damaged.  Think of it this way.  You have a local woodland which is dominated by a specific tree species, whcih produces nice fruit.  Over a few decades it gets warmer, and the trees stop fruiting so much, and start dying out.  A small population survives because they are further up the hill on the north side where it is cooler.  300 years later things cool down, and the trees spread back down where they used to grow.

In the meantime, you lose the ability to harvest and eat this fruit.

The dangerous thing Skeptic is doing with regards to coral reefs, CO2 levels etc, is taking multi megayear studies, which do not necessarily have yearly or even century size discrimination, and have not been summarised in a way which is relevant to today.  This is a very common thing for someone who doesn't know the science, and can be seen in the evolution debate, as well as a whole bunch of other areas.

Date: 2008/04/29 10:45:35, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (carlsonjok @ April 29 2008,10:37)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 29 2008,10:29)
I can imagine Dembski and him sniggering over IM about how funny The Brites is. When you've got no science to fill your day...

Seriously, is there anything more pathetic than sitting around all day making jokes at the expense of your ideological enemies? Probably just one thing.  And that is doing so while affecting a hoity-toity British accent.

Some of us don't need to affect the accent.

Date: 2008/05/05 03:57:59, Link
Author: guthrie
I'd like to know who Wallace's icon is.

Date: 2008/05/05 06:01:14, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (didymos @ May 05 2008,04:30)
Quote (guthrie @ May 05 2008,01:57)
I'd like to know who Wallace's icon is.

It's John Locke, the non-Lost character/English Philosopher.

Thanks.  I don't watch lost.  
I do however find the use of the icon by Wallace is Ironic.  
But then I did point out on his blog that he was clearly taking the mickey, why else would he refer to Ann COulter as someone who knows about biology?

Date: 2008/05/05 12:20:51, Link
Author: guthrie
The only things i've seen people banned from PT for is making threats and having sock puppets.  
Other than that, by general agreement really annoying (read: stupid trolls) people can be limited to one or two small areas, i.e. the bathroom wall.  This way they can still post, and people who wish to show them the error of their way can still do so, but the rest of us don't have to wade through 300 posts that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Date: 2008/05/07 05:28:30, Link
Author: guthrie
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

I'd never heard of RPN until now.  All my calculators have = signs.

Date: 2008/05/10 17:33:13, Link
Author: guthrie
I have no idea.  I was just thinking that to me Behe probably looks marginally better than the Lamprey, although the Lamprey probably talks better science.

Date: 2008/05/12 04:48:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Hang on a minute, doesn't anyone know about the history of the CHurch of Scotland?

Date: 2008/05/12 07:55:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Well, I'm not exactly an expert, (although one of my friends is a Church of scotland minister in Glasgow) but essentially, the kirk is presbyterian, which means the congregation get a say in things.  There was the great secession which formed the Free church of Scotland in 1843 (Thanks wikipedia), in which something like a third of the members walked out.  One of the main sticking points was whether the landlonrd could choose the minister or the congregation.  For many many years, the whole point has been that prospective ministers get vetted by the elders of the kirk they are aplpying to, and approved by the congregation.  

Or in other words, I'm not entirely sure that the Times has written this up and selected bits in a way which ignores the history of the church.  The whole flippin' point of the kirk is that the congregation gets a say in things, and can argue with its ministers about the religious stuff.  

Maybe I should phone my friend and see what he says.

Date: 2008/05/15 04:30:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Their "Research" page says:

A few key ideas run through all of our work. One is the idea that information is as real and fundamental as physical quantities, like mass or energy. As a measurable substance with real-world effects subject to law-like constraints, information is undeniably the stuff of science. It is also the stuff of technology… which is the stuff of design. Interestingly, the only places in the universe where we see information stored, processed and transmitted in digital code are the complex systems of human design and the even more complex design-like systems of life.

Another key idea is that highly complex functional systems cannot be understood properly just by examining their elementary constituents. The behavior of whole systems might be explained in terms of the behavior of their constituents, but it won’t be understood that way. To grasp the whole picture you have to look at the whole picture.

Both of these ideas suggest a broader principle that we have adopted. As designers, we humans know something about design. So if we really want to know whether the design-like systems in biology were designed, we ought to draw on that knowledge. To take this principle seriously, we need to promote a serious exchange of ideas between biology and the engineering disciplines.

Wooohooo, more engineers being told to fantasise.  Thats how you do science for sure.
More interestingly, how exactly is information a substance?
And if you look at their list of selected publications down the bottom of the page, it seems that Gonzalez' entire output is there.

Date: 2008/05/15 14:42:27, Link
Author: guthrie
Did someone mention interstellar travel?

Its likely impossible, or so expensive hardly anyone will go anywhere by it.  
But we'll see.  
For the actual argument see this post by Charles Stross, award winning SF author and person who can talk enthusiastically about a variety of topics in the pub:

On the Fermi paradox:

Both of those, and the discussion, should help people get their heads around things.

Date: 2008/05/15 14:50:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Your suggested Hau drive reminds me of the matter transfer method in Piers Anthony's "Tyrant of Space" series.  It effectively worked by changing a spaceship into a beam of light and then changing it back into a space ship.  
Yes, of course it breaks all known physical laws.

So hows the story going?  care to tell us about it?

Date: 2008/05/15 14:57:41, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,14:05)
 The reception there was chilly,

Looked normal enough to me, given you were probably a newbie and they'll probably be more hard real science oriented.  There has been something of (another) split in SF over the past decade or two, I think.  As science develops, the more outlandish stuff gets jettisoned by the people attempting something like hard SF, leaving lots of soft SF people using wibbletech, and the hard SF people using nothing.
But then even Stross is using wormholes in some of his books, so they are respectable enough, especially for a story like you have been thinking of.

Adam Roberts, in his book called "Stone", has an FTL drive that is basically a variant on the old idea of qunantum tunneling, whereby every atom tunnels a really tiny distance, but you do it millions of times a second, so it adds up to FTL over the days you travel for.  But his version had severe limitations of size, maximum being about 2 or 3 metres across.
Whereas Gordon R Dickson had an FTL drive which relied upon the ship being treated like an electron, you know, how the probability of an electron being in a particular place is not quite zero over pretty much the entire universe.  So the spaceship is spread over the universe, and brought back together again at a different place.

Date: 2008/05/15 15:18:36, Link
Author: guthrie
I was talking about the Tyrant of space stuff breaking the laws of physics, not the light slowing stuff that Hau is doing.  I must read up on that again, it seems kind of screwy at first glance, but things have been getting weirder the more people explore the implications of quantum.

Date: 2008/05/15 15:50:51, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:39)
They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

*cough cough*
Umm, her method seems to require some matter to travel...

I vaguely recall at the time thinking that technically they ahvn't stopped or slower light, they've merely trapped it, or got it to elastically do quantum stuff, so avoided losing energy and therefore since photons are all identical* it looks exactly like you are slowing light down.  It is interesting nonetheless, I'm sure there will be definite uses for it somewhere.

*as far as we can tell

Date: 2008/05/15 16:24:30, Link
Author: guthrie
Its alright, I know how it feels.  I've had stories critted by SF authors, and they spent 10 minutes shredding the ideas I'd spent ages lovingly putting together.

Bascically, there is no way right now we can see us getting FTL.  Unless we get negativ energy and weird matter stuff, but that is not clear.  

So go ahead and include some sort of FTL anyway.  So many best selling SF authors still use wibbletech FTL that nobody will care.

Date: 2008/05/15 16:52:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,16:40)
From looking around though, the earliest references to it seem to date all the way back to 2000, and it seems to have just been re-circulated or something.  Each time someone talks about it, they talk about it having just been or about to be published in Nature, yet I can't find it there.

I'm beginning to think it might be an internet meme, though there may actually be a physics researcher by that name (everything at Nature is behind a frickin' pay wall - ya' can't even tell).  If it's an internet hoax, it's sucked in an awful lot of people though, including, the AP, and CNN.

No no, it looks real enough to me.  Her presence on the Harvard internet links up fine with the school she works in etc etc.
Remember academic stuff goes on for years, and it can take years to tease interesting things out using experiments.  It deosn't look like a hoax to me.

Date: 2008/05/18 17:40:06, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ May 18 2008,11:42)
Dave asserts          
CO2 induced warming should be greater the higher in the troposphere you go but the increases are greatest at the surface.

He'll be talking about the fact that models show the troposphere should be getting warmer a few kilometres (say 4-8) up in the troposphere than the bottom km or two, but the measurements don't seem to show much warming at all.  However this doesn't particularly bother the climatologists because the measurements are mostly by radiosonde which have a lot of innacuracy issues, and by satellite, which don't measure a thin enough slice of the troposphere.  Real climate did an article on it a while back showing that actually the Raobcore4 data was quite close to the models expectations.  

Only anti-science people expect perfect answers every time.

Date: 2008/05/18 18:01:24, Link
Author: guthrie
I checked, but couldn't tell if Poachy was joking or not.  The thing is, I expect Creationists to say such stupid things anyway, so, shall we put it to the vote?

But give me some time to make my mind up.

Date: 2008/05/18 18:06:39, Link
Author: guthrie
And so, the Oregon petition arises again.  Its a great zombie.
Given that something over several hundred thousand people in the USA have science degrees, getting a mere 31,000 of them to sign up to something like that is no more impressive than getting 400 "scientists" to sign up to something claiming evolution is bunk.
oh, wait...

Evidence of Daves stupidity/ ideology includes that the evidence the Oregon people use includes a measure of the Sargasso sea temperature.  Note to Dave- the Sargasso sea is not the world.  Using one datapoint to try and prove something which is not shown by using all data points is called cherry picking.  I'm sure you are very familiar with it.

Date: 2008/05/18 18:08:52, Link
Author: guthrie
Frost demonstrates the same open minded intelligence which characterises discussions of global warming in Creationist land:



8:00 pm
freemind said,

“Suppose I have a PhD in Geography. Should I be considered an authority on string theory?”

The answer is “sure”. The reason is that most so called climatologists just toe the party or popular line That is they just go with what they are reading in the New York Times and all the biased scientific journals. The reason why global warming got so much steam is because it creates careers. Politicians love it because it’s a campaign issue. Teachers, researchers, engineers, environmentalists, anti-capitalists, — etc love it because it is profitable.

So, knowing about geography means you know string theory?  And being against capitalism means you like to make a profit?  And teachers get more money the more they lie to their students?  

(Wait, that last one might be true, especially given the stuff that companies give to schools to use...)

My Webpage

Date: 2008/05/19 06:52:34, Link
Author: guthrie
You know, I'd be sure Poachy was a fake, except that I've seen WW argue similar things, only in a slightly more erudite fashion.  Ahh well.

Date: 2008/05/19 11:10:40, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 19 2008,09:54)
Quote (dogdidit @ May 19 2008,09:44)
Hey guthrie, DT is talking to ya! :p

Shouting over the fence from the safety to Tardonia...

Naw, thats alright, I tangled with him at "Janiebelles" a couple of years ago.  
Thanks to Zachriel for pointing out the answer.  The problem with all science is that correcting the nutters who spew out erroneous talking points every minute, is that it takes 10 minutes to educate them about where they are even wrong.

Date: 2008/05/19 11:48:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Just the usual denialist tactics- jump on the first thing you find using google to support your case.
Entirely normal.

I once had good fun pointing out to a climate change denialist that the paper he thought supported his position instead supported mine.  After I'd pointed it, and his continnued non-reply to my questions about it, out across 2 comments threads he dissappeared for a while.

Date: 2008/05/19 11:50:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 19 2008,10:21)
Forgive my inordinate happiness, this thread was beginning to make me feel like a perennially rejected teenager again.

I know an author or two, and I think it safe to say that many of them feel like that for years at a time.  One I know has taken a year or two to get over the fact that they have published his first book, and his second, and he's now at work on a third.

Date: 2008/05/19 13:37:10, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ May 19 2008,13:32)
To be serious for a moment, Dave states he has three kids and three grand-kids. Has he no concern for their future? Will somebody explain the downside of reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.

People who support middle eastern regimes and have shares in oil and gas might lose out?

Date: 2008/05/20 15:51:49, Link
Author: guthrie
Surely that entry you linked to can't be worse than "My loverly horse".

Date: 2008/05/20 15:53:37, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Kristine @ May 20 2008,15:49)
I COULD LOVE LONDON! (I want to go there in a major way, being that I was an English major and all.)

You could, yes, but I advise against living there.

Date: 2008/05/21 06:08:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Now now Didymos, you know as well as anyone else that having a degree makes you an expert on anything, unless its an evolutionary biology related degree in which case you know nothing.

Date: 2008/05/21 08:10:04, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (RupertG @ May 21 2008,06:06)
Quote (huwp @ May 21 2008,04:18)
Quote (Alan Fox @ May 21 2008,04:08)
Well, you should have taken advantage of the two-hour French lunch-break. Too gentlemanly by half!

But that wouldn't have been cricket!

And besides, we were operating under a mad king called George, who could barely speak English, ignored his advisors and kept getting involved in overseas wars with woeful lack of preparation and no sort of sensible exit strategy vowing "never to acknowledge the independence of the Americans, and to punish their contumacy by the indefinite prolongation of a war which promised to be eternal."

Thank God those days are past.


Yes, Blair has left office, but Brown isn't any better.

Date: 2008/05/21 11:35:38, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Alan Fox @ May 21 2008,08:27)
Yes, Blair has left office, but Brown isn't any better.

I thought the name George, and difficulty with language, suggested another national figure.

Hey, don't mind me, I'm just dragging politics into things.

Date: 2008/05/22 14:29:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 22 2008,12:27)
I'm currently at Chapel Hill, NC, where I've met Steve Story and Reed and Tiffany Cartwright as well as having some office time with my on-sabbatical boss, Rob Pennock. We're off to Richmond, VA later today and through the Memorial Day weekend. Then there will be a foray to New Jersey to buy a canine weasel substitute in the form of a mini-dachshund and then the subsequent dash back to Michigan through Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Are mini-dachsunds illegal in Pennsylvania and Ohio?

Date: 2008/05/22 19:27:46, Link
Author: guthrie
I thought "redneck" came from the pasty white Scots working all day in the hot southern sunshine and getting red necks from the sun burn?

Date: 2008/05/26 05:43:57, Link
Author: guthrie
Thats good news.  Lets hope it lasts as long as the last few missions.

Date: 2008/05/27 04:31:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Yes, the ID in the UK site is run by a stupid YEC.  I say  stupid because he cleaves to the standard YEC stuff, except that like our dear departed william wallace he uses lots of fancy language.  Oh, and he actually appears to try to and learn some biology before he posts.  Which then means people have to spend weeks explaining why he is wrong since he doesn't know enough to understand why.

Date: 2008/05/27 17:10:02, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (sparc @ May 26 2008,23:41)
Lots of 17 year old American males are convinced of their innate awesomeness and that with sufficient dedication and a bit of providence, they can be superhero ninja genius bad-asses
17? OK if he'd be 10 or 12. But 17? Completely retarded.

Naw, 17 is still young enough.  If he's like that at 20, then yes, something is wrong.

Date: 2008/05/28 13:21:20, Link
Author: guthrie
UD makes more sense if you think of it as a soap opera.  Then Daves appearances and disappearances fit right into the script, since they heighten drama.  
Then, like all soap operas, there is a higher attrition rate than in real life.

Date: 2008/05/28 16:51:56, Link
Author: guthrie
Making ethanol producing bacteria won't be that hard, but they'll also have to work out how to separate the ethanol from the bacteria and their nutrient solution...

And you'll still need lots of open space, pipes, etc to make any use of it.  Think like an oil refinery spread over square kilometres of desert.

Date: 2008/06/17 16:28:03, Link
Author: guthrie
I just want to know what he cut out of the sentence?  5 words?  3 sentences?  4 pages?

Date: 2008/06/20 15:00:44, Link
Author: guthrie
Finishing recovering from glandular fever, attend various medieval re-enactment events, write stories, and burn things in my back garden.

Date: 2008/08/19 03:24:57, Link
Author: guthrie
I just need to look on here to see which stereotypes of Edinburgh are still being bandied around.
Its changed a lot even in the last 10 years.  

And you know what, we mostly use kilograms for weights of things.

Date: 2008/08/20 06:02:17, Link
Author: guthrie
Bergman really is a moron.  Since when does posting a list of scientists who happen to have been Christians prove anything about the necessity or otherwise of God to science?  
Not to mention copying and pasting without attribution is dishonest.

Date: 2008/08/23 18:09:52, Link
Author: guthrie
On "Evolving thoughts", Wilkins blog, Physicalist says:

And Bill Dembski bans me for pointing out that Fuller's claim that Mendel's work was rejected is not supported by the quotation he offers:

... in 1865, the listeners did not understand that he addressed the research question that had arisen from the discussion between local breeders and naturalists thirty years ago.

By "civil, thoughtful comments" Dembski means those lacking all criticism: e.g. the sole remaining comment there, which fawningly reports having purchased the book (real "thoughtful"!). The intellectual cowardice never ceases to amaze me.

@ Vasco Figueira: Well, Fuller is an academic with a prominent soap box on (what I assume is) your side of the Atlantic. I for one am glad that someone is tearing apart his foolishness.

Anyway, its nice to see that Fuller has finally fulfilled one of our predictions, which is that all ID nuts eventually go to UD.  Its like the Elephants graveyard.  Or a black hole.

Date: 2008/08/24 11:09:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 23 2008,21:29)
In lieu of any demonstrably supported *science* , we get this charming little forlorn hope from Fuller:

"beliefs about divine agency SHOULD yield scientific benefits,  namely, in the form of testable hypotheses concerning hidden entities, variables and processes that capture the expression of supernatural power in empirically restricted settings" [my emph.]

Unless I am very much mistaken, isn't that the kind of approach that is specifically ruled out by everything from actual Theology through to the words and actions of Dembski and others?
Perhaps Fuller really is so stupid as to mistake propaganda for actual science?

Date: 2008/09/06 13:44:55, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (PTET @ Sep. 06 2008,10:16)
Unfortunately, Jack, your post will never get thru DaveScot's reality filters. To do that, you need only say "DaveScot as ever you are absolutely right". Not that he'll listen anyway, But hey.

Reality filters?  Don't you mean Ego filters?

Date: 2008/11/06 17:07:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 06 2008,10:57)
Quick update and comment -

Erin (my daughter) loves Edinburgh, is having fun, taking lots of great pictures, traveled to the Highlands already, going to classes - which she says are too easy -  playing rugby with the First XV, and the reason for the post is that she gets to go "Live With The Natives" this week.

BUT - For some unfathomable reason, the school is sending her to live with an English family, not a Scotish family, so instead of drinking a nice single-malt and eating hagis, or deep-fried candy bar, she has to "motor-coach" to Southport England, where the fun seems to be a Museum... and I kid you not...

Lawnmower World


Yes, but has she had her tea yet?

And what does she think of the weather?

(I've just driven home through a nice sort of fog on wet roads)

Date: 2008/11/09 06:11:32, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (J-Dog @ Nov. 06 2008,17:11)
and she really likes rain every day.*


** No, it really hasn't rained every day - she has taken some amazing photos, and they show some actual sunlight.

Thats the west coast it rains every day.  East coast is dryer, but its been wetter than usual for the past couple of years.  Its been a bit frosty as well, some nice sunsets.

See, if she can talk about the weather for ages then she'll fit right in.

Date: 2008/11/10 13:14:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Now thats an old photo.

Date: 2008/12/29 17:27:39, Link
Author: guthrie
Is Fuller secretly on our side?  If he does ignite an ID civil war, should we send him a bottle of something?

Although it did take him as long as 5 sentences to get round to selling his books, he needs to learn from the creationists, they generally manage it in the first one.

Bystander, regarding lecture slides, I was at uni 1995 to 2000, (In the UK) and during that period we went from OP slides and blackboard writing to photocpied handouts we could add our own notes to.  Both methods meant there were legibility issues, the latter in the copies, the former in our hastily scribbled notes.

Date: 2008/12/29 17:30:07, Link
Author: guthrie
Actually, reading his post on UD, Fuller just renders himself more irrelevant.
Point 1, regarding Darwinism- thats nothing to do with modern evoloutionary biology, therefore nothing to see here, move along.
Point 2- indeed, lets hear more about this designer.  

But this in turn means that ID will need to be more forthright in advancing scientific theories of God – what ‘theology’ ought to mean. In other words, a persuasive intelligent design theory should provide rational grounds for believing in the existence of God.

So remind me again what Fullers religion is again?

Edioted to add- so how long before yellowshark gets banned?

Date: 2009/01/02 09:43:26, Link
Author: guthrie
Thanks to Reciprocating Bill for the useful comments on Fuller, which helpfully lay out his vacuity.

There is also a comment by dave Scot:



10:18 am
Dear Steve,

Whoever invited you to participate as an author forgot to inform you about the “read more” button which should be used as a courtesy to other authors so that no one article takes up the entire home page.

I can only also assume that SteveFuller is barking mad, based upon the following quote:
Once we set aside matters of American legal repression, Darwinism currently surpasses ID not in the firmness of its evidence base but in its creative theoretical exploitation of that base. The project of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis forged over the past half-century has been about showing how evidence drawn from realms that historically have been irrelevant if not antagonistic to each other – e.g. fossils, ecological observations, laboratory experiments – somehow add up to an argument on behalf of the chosen theory.

Firstly, he conflates Darwinism and the Neo-Darwinian synthesis.  Has no one told him about labels, and how they can be problematic?  Secondly, it doesn't matter at all if fossils and ecology and lab experiments had been antagonistic to each other 150 years ago, because the simple answer is that these thigns are antagonistic only without a unifying theory, and we all know what that is, don't we children?
Thirdly, there is no evidence for it being "the chosen theory".  Fuller would know this if he had actually carried out an investigation of the science, but his continual lack of such investigation, well, you know, its pretty obvious he is intellectually bankrupt.

Date: 2009/01/02 14:04:44, Link
Author: guthrie
17th scientific revolution?  What were the other 16?

Date: 2009/01/10 13:38:37, Link
Author: guthrie
WTF?  Newton didn't need to include theology in his science writings because funnily enough, he didn't need tehology to do science...

WTF?  Newton 'inspired' the industrial evolution?  Ehhh?  Whats he smoking, I'd like some of that.  I am pretty sure that the idea that humans could and should learn about and describe nature has been around since the high medieval period; moreover the majority of the industrial evolution (Many economic historians don't call it the industrial revolution, since it actually took place over several generations) was carried forwards by artisans and scientists and businessmen without any reference to either theodicy or Newton and the idea that humans could become more like God.

Does anyone else get the impression this blog entry was written without any reference to the needs of clear communication, and it assumes a vast amount of pre-existing knowledge on the part of the reader of both history and theology?  Not to mention it makes a huge number of statements as if they are definitely correct, ignoring the nuances of the situation.

Edited to add- oldmanintheskydidntdoit has basically said all that needs to be said about the post.

Date: 2009/01/10 17:03:11, Link
Author: guthrie
Yup, and Newton also spent far too much time doing Alchemy, playing with antimony and lots of other fun substances.

Date: 2009/01/10 17:08:13, Link
Author: guthrie
Epic fail by Stephen Morris:

What strikes me as interesting in Prof. Fuller’s imagined exchange between theodicist and sceptic is that it is the sceptic, ultimately, who falls back on a theological rather than a scientifc argument. I’ve noticed this tendency in plenty of ‘real’ exchanges of this sort: the sceptical argument boils down to “the universe is not the way I would have designed it if I had been the designer; ergo, there is no designer”.

Presumably we read different words?

There is an event on at the national library of SCotland in February:

Panel debate: Should schools teach creationism?
Writers Christopher Brookmyre and Julian Baggini debate whether our schools should teach creationism alongside evolution. In recognition of Darwin Day – a global celebration of science and reason. Organised in association with the Institute of Ideas and Humanism Scotland.

Wednesday 11 February

Given the large number of Creationists at Edinburgh uni, I feel I should go along and see what happens.  Oddly enough, I can find no evidence that either of the two people on the panel support ID in any way.  So I assume the thing is a setup to bash ID'ers.

Date: 2009/01/13 16:48:40, Link
Author: guthrie
You know, with post number 3, I get the impression that Fuller is trying desperately to reach out to the ID'ists and get them to see that his way is the one true way to advance their cause.  "Poor ID'ers" thinks Fuller, "If only they saw how they needed to mix science and religion through theodicy, then they could really make some advances and stop being stuck in the mud, and modern science would face some real alternatives."

Shame the Creationists got there first.  And the ID'ers are too dishonest to do science.  In fact its a shame the universe is just not right for it, and Fullers attempts to bring ID into the 21st century will be forgotten.*

*Except by connoiseurs of fertiliser  

Well done Steve!!!
I signed up just to compliment this piece!

Also, irony defined: Davescot making Davescot-bannable comments LOL!

Date: 2009/04/06 12:24:01, Link
Author: guthrie
The second silliest letter I've seen today:

Debate on the thorny issue of evolution versus creationism rumbles on with neither camp taking one single and vital factor into consideration. At what point did "dead" chemicals suddenly become "alive"?

All parties studiously ignore the Miller-Urey experiments designed to show just how electricity in the form of lightning could have activated specific basic chemical and gasses into combining into nucleic acids. This a fact and it is repeatable so why ignore it?

They also choose to ignore very recent work indicating that we may well have been the product of non terrestrial "seeding" via a meteorite (your report, 13 March). This piece of practical research indicates that various proteins and chemicals etc could well have survived entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The likely reason for the lack of recognition is that traditional dogma on either side would be rendered useless and irrelevant.


At times like this I almost feel like losing all democratic ideals and forcing people to undergo tests before they can participate in society.  He obviously knows nothing about the brouhaha.

Date: 2010/10/21 11:40:50, Link
Author: guthrie
It's alright, we know about it.  Nice photos Kattarina, they emphasise how badly run this organisation is, being no more than a front for YEC's.  

The glasgow meeting is only £6 so I'd be tempted to go to that.  Anyone else want to?

Date: 2010/10/21 18:12:06, Link
Author: guthrie
That kin dof building will probably either have someone on a front desk who'll take the mail, or else pigeon holes for each company.  Thus, no problem at all.  Do we know whose name they are renting under?

I thought its usually spelt 'bawbag' or ba'bag.  Missing the ll's.

Date: 2011/07/21 18:19:24, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Trubble @ July 15 2011,14:26)
Thanks, Louis. My original question has been adequately answered, by several people including yourself. I think the "denier" label is sometimes applied to people who I don't think are denying the reality or seriousness of climate change, only going against the mainstream on some of the details or suggested solutions. I think that tactic is counter-productive. But no one here seems to support it, which is good.

My "sticking point" now is that I don't appreciate being accused of having some kind of dishonest agenda, or of being a "dumb sumbitch" too lazy or stupid to use Google. I said earlier I'd go back to lurking, because I don't enjoy this kind of exchange ("Jane, you ignorant slut..."), but I guess I've been sucked in now.

Anyway, my main interest is in exploring the disconnect between the scientific consensus and the public policy side. I think there are a lot of reasons why the general public is still skeptical, and some (not all) of those reasons relate to the way the scientific community overall is handling the issue. This is a teaching moment, and when a student isn't getting it, it's the teacher's responsibility to find a way to get through.

My profession is communications, so crafting messages so they'll resonate with a target audience is something I know a little about. Hence my orientation to this.

Here's a blog run by someone who is more of a policy person:

Although she seems to be spending less time discussing that sort of thing and more on idiocies of deniers.

Date: 2011/08/01 07:40:43, Link
Author: guthrie
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ July 29 2011,13:41)
Quote (Joe G @ July 29 2011,12:26)
Quote (OgreMkV @ July 28 2011,22:46)
JoeG is a global warming denier to.  His favorite player in that arena... Spencer.


Kevin, As usual you are lying. I do not deny the earth is warming and even posted that on your blog.

I do say it is a good thing and I also say that soot, not CO2, is responsible for melting glaciers and ice-packs.

Look it up- soot and global warming- or just continue to be a little lying faggot. Your choice...

What makes you think that soot warming means that increasing CO2 does not also cause warming?  It is particularly evident that warming occurs when the sun is not shining (that would be night time temperatures, when black carbon does not absorb light).

Also the cooling stratosphere, which wouldn't be happening if warming was from more soot.

Date: 2011/08/10 07:15:33, Link
Author: guthrie
What Louis said.
One of the dirty little secrets of the Blair and Brown years is that very little was done about the deprived areas of the UK.  At the same time, policing methods changed somewhat, and became more touchy feely.  They needed to, but not necessarily as much as they have done.  
(Protestors don't count, being political targets they are fair game for violence)

Note that most of them are teenagers - we have extremely high youth unemployment in this country, and over the last 20 years the old ways of turning annoying teenagers into upright adults have been shut down or lost.  One such way is through getting a job and working with adults who then beat you into line, but if you don't have a job...