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Date: 2011/01/25 10:03:45, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (OgreMkV @ Jan. 25 2011,10:00)
And don't forget 'clast that information =/= meaning.  It has been explained to you many times... that ship has sailed.  Don't do it again.

Pfft.  There's no slowing down OCD.

Date: 2011/01/25 10:18:28, Link
Author: mrg
Do ya'll get a bit annoyed when you hear the term "information" being bandied around these days?  It's been so thoroughly used to generate bafflegab that it immediately suggests somebody's up to no good.  These days I find that "functionality" works better for evosci discussions.

Pity, it used to be a perfectly good word.  Alas, much the same could be said for "complexity".

Date: 2011/01/25 10:25:53, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (OgreMkV @ Jan. 25 2011,10:23)
I bet myself a chocolate milkshake that 'clast never shows.

I dunno.  The guy just can't shut up.

Date: 2011/01/25 12:35:10, Link
Author: mrg
Say, how does one get permission to start threads on this board?  It would be nice to set up threads for various nuisances that show up on PT.  At the very least, it makes trolls antsy to be referred to ATBC ... if they refuse, they find it hard to deny they're trolling.

Date: 2011/01/25 17:01:37, Link
Author: mrg
The problem with spinning ad-hoc "information theories" is that it's only too easy to spin them to prove any point desired, including points that contradict each other.

Date: 2011/01/25 17:19:48, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Steverino @ Jan. 25 2011,17:03)
Quit while you're......oh, wait.....yeah,...your not.... Oh, never mind.

First rule of trolling:  "It doesn't matter if you cannot score.  If you don't concede defeat, you don't lose."

Date: 2011/01/25 17:37:36, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Shebardigan @ Jan. 25 2011,17:17)
He never claimed to be proving any points, other than the general rule "In any exam situation, the correct answer is the one the Instructor wants".

I was thinking in general of arguments based on "information".  They are not always wrong or useless, but alas the playing field has been tainted with disrepute by abuse -- inviting suspicion of all the players.

Date: 2011/01/25 18:50:57, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (prong_hunter @ Jan. 25 2011,18:28)
Did you read the rejection letter Atheistoclast received from Evolutionary Biology on Panda's Thumb?

Yeah.  I really felt for the editors.  I mean, the guy was calling them up and leaving irate messages on their voicemail.  
Being stalked by an unbalanced individual who might be capable of almost anything would be a bit ... unsettling.

Date: 2011/03/02 17:06:58, Link
Author: mrg
Sorry for badgering people about responding to IBIG on PT, but it astounds me that anybody wouldn't recognize he's just yanking the big chain to see how much noise it makes.

He doesn't like being sent to the ATBC though.  No fun spraying graffiti in a place where the walls are normally decorated with it.

Date: 2011/03/02 19:15:08, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (dvunkannon @ Mar. 02 2011,18:42)
Taken together, and remember, Abraham loses that argument in story 2, it would seem that the Bibble position on morality is that it is whatever God says it is. And if you don't like it, tough.

Actually, old-timey gods never had any ambiguities over questions of the true nature of good -- they just told you to do something, and you did it, or else.  

I noticed heddle was using the Aquinas ploy on the nature of good:  "Well, God tells us what is good, but God is perfectly good and so will only tell us to do what is good."

I'm actually fairly tolerant of religions, but I do get exercised on theological arguments:  "You're dodging the question:  is GOOD just whatever the Big G says it is?  Then the Big G can tell us to do whatever He likes and we just have to deal with it.  If the Big G CAN'T arbitrarily tell us to do whatever He likes, then there's some abstract standard of GOOD that even HE has to acknowledge."

Now ... the question being effectively irrelevant, I don't really care which it is -- but PLEASE, don't try to give me both answers at the same time and think I'm going to buy it.

Date: 2011/03/02 20:37:46, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (dmviolator @ Mar. 02 2011,20:28)
Don't make me mad...

"Too late!"

Date: 2011/03/02 21:16:32, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (dmviolator @ Mar. 02 2011,20:55)
you little f*ckers really need to worry about your own sanity...

"Worry"?  I enjoy every minute of being crazy, and absolutely nobody's going to take it away from me.

Date: 2011/03/03 14:58:57, Link
Author: mrg
OG5, you get points for that one.  "It's not ID's job to determine who the Designer is."

"Well, OK, then evolution could be the Designer -- we'll just say it is and then we'll all be happy."

I was also thinking along similar lines about the SLOT arguments on PT:  "Evolution is impossible because it implies the development of organization in violation of the SLOT."

"Well, by that reasoning, then cars, planes, and computers are impossible, too."

"No, they're intelligently designed by humans."

"What difference does that make?  If development of organization is a violation of the SLOT, we couldn't actually build anything since we can't violate the SLOT, either."

Alas, this is futile.  Creationists only want to confuse matters and have no problem using any bogus argument to do it.  Spinning back the same arguments in a totally bogus fashion doesn't faze them, and in fact they just use such to confuse matters further.

Date: 2011/03/03 17:50:56, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Mar. 03 2011,17:40)
IBIG, please define "information"...

Oh, he'll do that all day if you like.  

It's really just a Paley argument:   The genome looks like a computer program and a computer program implies a programmer [organisms look like watches and a watch implies a watchmaker].

In this context, what is meant by "information" is that the genome and the program both have "instructions" that have to be arranged in a purposeful and organized fashion.  Just as the gears in a watch have to be arranged in a purposeful and organized fashion -- and actually, if you get into complicated clockwork automatons, the comparison is extremely close.

Of course, this is strictly reasoning by analogy:  the genome looks like a computer program, the eye looks like a camera, a pig looks like a piggy bank.  Or in other words, since humans imitate nature, nature must be imitating humans.

Date: 2011/03/03 18:56:21, Link
Author: mrg
"INTELLIGENT DESIGN:  Combining all the worst features of creationism and computer science."

Date: 2011/03/04 11:13:36, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Wolfhound @ Mar. 04 2011,10:51)
So, like you, I would demolish each thing, piece by piece, with supporting links and such.  After a while, she stopped sending me nonsense.  :)

She had to be a lightweight.  What self-respecting troll would even pay attention to rebuttals?

Date: 2011/03/04 11:59:56, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (fnxtr @ Mar. 04 2011,09:10)
Couer d'Alene, huh. Wow, that guy's really makin' it. What's the next stop on the tour, Cle Elum?

Naw, he just goes north up the road to Athol.   Yeth, Athol is quite the plaith.

Date: 2011/03/04 12:35:12, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 04 2011,12:02)
Self-respecting troll? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Aw c'mon.  Ever meet a troll who DIDN'T think he walked on water?

Date: 2011/03/04 14:33:10, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (midwifetoad @ Mar. 04 2011,14:09)
There is a difference between self respect and self aggrandizement.

Sort of like the difference between a helium balloon and a hot-air balloon, right?

Date: 2011/03/04 14:50:45, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (midwifetoad @ Mar. 04 2011,14:44)
Or between lightening an a bug.

I like that.  Didn't hear it before ... a little poking around traces it to Mark Twain, who else?

Date: 2011/03/05 15:00:25, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (jeannot @ Mar. 05 2011,14:17)
I'm still trying to figure out why an increase of "information" has any relevance to the validity of the evolutionary theory.  ???

That's the purpose of the exercise.  Saying "evolution cannot create new information" is really just saying "I don't believe evolution is possible" -- but saying it in a way that makes it sound, sort of, like a law of physics.  

I have long grown tired of asking creationists how one is supposed to calculate "information".  Occasionally they're clueless enough to try to answer, but usually they just use the question as an occasion to produce more red herrings.

Date: 2011/03/05 15:06:18, Link
Author: mrg
Somebody may have mentioned this before in this extended thread, but Dawkins, having tired of the gibes at his Weasel Program, played up simulations of the evolution of spiderwebs.

Spiderwebs are surprisingly diverse.  The simulation program started with a sticky thread, and then evolved through random variations in numbers of threads, interconnections of threads, orientations of threads, and so on.  The only "target" was "catch more flies", which is the same evolutionary "target" as real spiderwebs.  

The simulations did a good job of coming up with real-world spiderwebs.  It would interesting to know if they came up with some variations that didn't exist in the real world.

Date: 2011/03/05 16:46:43, Link
Author: mrg
I have gone back and forth with creationist information theory (CIT) stuff -- I even did a writeup on it:

-- but the CIT argument is such obvious bafflegab that I have a hard time keeping a straight face these days.  I'm hoping to find a wittier rejoinder one of these days.

I did come up with one that I really like for the (closely related) creationist SLOT argument:  "Evolution is impossible, because it implies an increase in complexity, and that violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics."

"But that would rule out cars, planes, and personal computers, too.   After all, it's not like we can violate the SLOT, either."

"That's silly."

"You started it."

Date: 2011/03/06 14:06:20, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (OgreMkV @ Mar. 06 2011,13:20)
BTW: Joe, I don't think the word 'intelligence' means what you think it means.

Why, it means (just like "information") whatever he wants it to mean at the moment.

Date: 2011/03/06 14:17:52, Link
Author: mrg
I think "creationist information theory" is sort of a "one size fits all" creationist ploy, sufficiently vague to be applied in a wide range of ways:  "It slices!  It dices!  It takes out the garbage!  It walks the dog!  Step right up!"

But ... batteries DEFINITELY not included.

Date: 2011/03/06 17:43:21, Link
Author: mrg
And of course organisms replicate themselves, which makes them even MORE Intelligently Designed ...

... then to show how REALLY Intelligently Designed they are, they can spontaneously adapt and evolve WITHOUT intervention by a Designer!   No need for all this tiresome tweaky fiddling about -- which is doubly good, because we've never seen any of it happening.

Date: 2011/03/06 21:09:06, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (OgreMkV @ Mar. 06 2011,20:10)
So if point mutations can be design, then evolution is the designer and what's he complaining about anyway?

I recall using this argument on one ID/C, and he took the bull by the horns:  he simply agreed with it.  Then he went right on making the same arguments as before.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with baloney."

Date: 2011/03/07 06:33:28, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (noncarborundum @ Mar. 06 2011,23:49)
C.S. Lewis suggested that the effect of religion on personality and behavior should be judged not by how awful people are, but by how much more awful you can imagine they might have been without their religion.  Or something like that.

That is kind of a scary idea:  "Think of how much worse I'd be if I HADN'T Got Religion."

I doubt that it makes much difference.  I've known enough crazy secular people to wonder if ideologies make people crazy, or if crazy people are simply attracted to crazy ideologies ... and if they don't pick one, they'll just find another.

Date: 2011/03/07 11:05:30, Link
Author: mrg
JOE G:  Creationism's answer to Charlie Sheen.

Date: 2011/03/07 13:10:00, Link
Author: mrg
I wasn't saying they were in the same league.  But they have a similar sense of style and care in thinking things out.

I got 70% in the test.  The conclusion the test gave me made the point:  "One man's rave is another man's ... very similar rave."

Date: 2011/03/07 14:34:33, Link
Author: mrg
Whenever they say:  "I used to be an EVOLUTIONIST ... " -- you know they're lying, because if they had they wouldn't use that silly word.

Date: 2011/03/07 18:16:10, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (JohnW @ Mar. 07 2011,18:09)
Yup, an Onion article.

I <i>think</i> she recognized it was a joke -- she just didn't realize the joke was on her.

Date: 2011/03/07 18:49:38, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Louis @ Mar. 07 2011,18:39)
Any preferences? Remember, I have tiger blood. And I'm probably a ninja.

Oh, I didn't think you were serious.  But if you believe that your warlock powers are any match for my alien symbiote ... bring it on.

Date: 2011/03/07 21:13:06, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (OgreMkV @ Mar. 07 2011,20:08)
Oh and I've got five bucks on the alien symbiont.

I'm not quite sure what to make of it sometimes.  I'll go to bed some nights, and when I wake up in the morning I find all sorts of weird stuff it went out and bought in the middle of the night.

Aliens ... can't symbiotically live with them, can't symbiotically live without them.

Date: 2011/03/08 14:32:18, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 08 2011,14:05)
"Design is a mechanism for conceptualisation, not fabrication"

I'd smack him with that.

The smack would not be so much for saying it ... as for thinking it sounds clever.

Date: 2011/03/08 15:05:56, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 08 2011,15:03)
Hey that's mine! You disgaree?  :angry:

I would have no objection to smacking him for no particular reason at all.  :amused:

Date: 2011/03/08 16:41:09, Link
Author: mrg
Biggie's back to trolling on Panda's Thumb again.  Sigh, is it something we said?

Date: 2011/03/08 18:18:21, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 08 2011,18:03)
The ones that did completely ignore the biological material in the sandwich.

Not to mention the agritech needed to raise the peanuts, the industrial processes needed to produce it (and the jars it came in), the distribution and sale of the peanut butter ... ditto for the bread and butter ...

I am glad that thoughts can't kill, because any time a creationist started talking "information" at me, he'd be history.

Date: 2011/03/09 08:35:48, Link
Author: mrg
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 09 2011,08:27)
I love that he's painted himself into a corner.

Pshaw!  He was in a corner from the start, and doesn't care.

"And with a bound, Dick was free!"