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Date: 2005/05/29 17:49:38, Link
Author: tacitus
It must be the month for Creation Museums. Answers in Genesis recently posted this little gem about theirs in Kentucky.

If dinosaurs could talk … Such remarkable scientific insights as:
Quote
Animated young T. rexes in the lobby: “Of course we lived at the same time as humans! God made dinosaurs on the same day as Adam. And later we drank from the same waters as Adam’s children.”

and
Quote
An adult T. rex let loose in Corruption Valley: “Look, don’t blame God for my ferocious appetite. God originally made us to eat plants (Gen. 1:30), but Adam’s sin brought a curse upon the whole world.”

from the "script writer" for the museum will greet the visitors.

Date: 2005/10/15 14:30:10, Link
Author: tacitus
Seems Answers-in-Genesis have finally gotten around to writing a column about their own Creation Conference held in Lynchburg, VA a few weeks ago. Naturally they are quite humble about it...

Quote
As long-time participants in the increasingly strategic creation/evolution controversy, we believe the big conference will be seen by future historians as a major turning point in the grassroots movement to reclaim America for biblical truths.


Bright, Shining Lights

Obviously they are deluded in more ways than one.

Date: 2005/12/01 12:08:23, Link
Author: tacitus
Nice.  More of the government's revenue diverted to the cause of junk science. ???

Quote
Important information for AiG donors about the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA)
November 7, 2005

Important Message: Your Cash Gifts Could Be Deductible up to 100% of 2005 Income!

read on...

On September 23rd of this year, President Bush signed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA). This new law allows for special tax treatment to encourage charitable giving.

Cash donations to a qualifying [501©(3)] nonprofit organization between August 28 and December 31 of this year are 100% deductible against 2005 income. Except for certain corporate gifts, donations do not have to relate to hurricane relief. The provision also extends to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations, and covers cash donations from either taxable income or retirement plans.

Date: 2005/12/03 08:24:14, Link
Author: tacitus
Seth Shostak debunks the IDist argument that detecting extraterristrial signals is about complexity:

Quote
And yet we still advertise that, were we to find such a signal, we could reasonably conclude that there was intelligence behind it. It sounds as if this strengthens the argument made by the ID proponents. Our sought-after signal is hardly complex, and yet we’re still going to say that we’ve found extraterrestrials. If we can get away with that, why can’t they?

Well, it’s because the credibility of the evidence is not predicated on its complexity. If SETI were to announce that we’re not alone because it had detected a signal, it would be on the basis of artificiality. An endless, sinusoidal signal – a dead simple tone – is not complex; it’s artificial. Such a tone just doesn’t seem to be generated by natural astrophysical processes. In addition, and unlike other radio emissions produced by the cosmos, such a signal is devoid of the appendages and inefficiencies nature always seems to add – for example, DNA’s junk and redundancy.

Link to the full article: SETI and Intelligent Design

Date: 2005/12/04 09:12:05, Link
Author: tacitus
Nice to see some conservative Christians being honest about the prospects of ID becoming acceptable science.

The future of ID is bleak indeed if they can't even get their own supporters to invest the time and money into the research that any respectable scientific endeavour requires.

It's not as though they lack the resources. Even forgetting the millions of dollars the Discovery Institute throws away on publicity and politics, the religious community is awash with the sort of cash needed to start up an ID research program.

If you add up the annual incomes of the top dozen or so fundamentalist organizations that have supported the cause of ID in words (run by people like D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson) you'll find the total comes to something north of $500 million dollars. That's half-a-billion dollars... PER YEAR!

And yet, there has not been one single attempt to seed an Intelligent Design research program in any of the many sympathetic religious colleges around the country.

Pat Robertson himself has managed to create a post-graduate law school which has been apparantly been (all too) effective in churning out conservative religious lawyers who now fight for his causes all the way up to the Supreme Court. It can be done.

So what about intelligent design? How much would it cost to start an intelligent design research program? A couple of million per year? A fraction of one percent of their resources to "change the face of science as we know it, and to crush the evils of materialism, for ever?" Why not? Sounds like a bargain to me.

But there's not a peep, not a red cent being thrown that way... from anyone. And that's all I need to know that ID is thoroughly bankrupt.

Date: 2005/12/04 09:17:43, Link
Author: tacitus
Jason beat you to it :)

See... http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....14;t=91

Date: 2005/12/17 18:27:39, Link
Author: tacitus
Yeah, it's news to me too. Very odd. I didn't think political leanings seemed to matter much at PT.

Ah well, it's a free country, at least it is for now!;).

Date: 2006/01/06 06:28:19, Link
Author: tacitus
Bill Demski's self-imposed blog exile lasted all of, oh, nine days. Yes, Uncommon Descent has returned, new and... er... well, whatever.

The difference, he's sent his band of sycophants into a frenzy of orgasmic delight by awarding their years of bootlicking with full posting privileges.

Quake and tremble in fear Panda's Thumb, for you're nemesis has been resurrected anew.... or not.

Date: 2006/01/07 19:44:06, Link
Author: tacitus
You're right, you can't let it get to you, but it's difficult sometimes. I yelled at the radio just this morning when some  local nut on a religious channel, for the millionth time, waffled on about "no transitional forms" and "faked fossils".

I just have to remind myself that I'm living in Texas of my own free will (I'm English) so I have to take the rough with the smooth. (And there's a little island of (relative) sanity I can still retreat to if things get too bad over here!;).

And one last thing to remember. If the creationists ever achieve total victory in this battle, you're almost certainly going to have many more important things to worry about.

Date: 2006/01/31 17:55:52, Link
Author: tacitus
Heh - Bill Dembski just stepped in and slapped DaveScot back down. Methinks Billy boy didn't like the way things were going.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/747

Date: 2006/02/01 09:20:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 01 2006,13:09)
[quote=PuckSR,Feb. 01 2006,12:54]

Quote
thus decode lifes hidden messages,


So deep down I think Sal is hoping this 'code' would validate all the things he wants to believe.

He'd better be careful... what if the code is in Sanskrit and says "Praise Krishna! The Universe is 3 Trillion Years Old!"

Or, what if it's in Esperanto, and it says:

Earthlings! You have displeased your extraterrestrial overlords! We shall leave Alpha Centauri immediately, and when we arrive, we shall exterminate your puny planet!

Sal better be careful what can of worms he opens here...
:p

I've actually written a short story were the human race makes it to the stars only to find themselves alone, until they come across a 4byr old ruin containing a hall of statues, each with an inscription below it.  The final statue they uncover is of an alien holding a DNA strand, and when they run a pattern match on the alien inscription below they find the only match is in a strand of "junk" DNA found in all life on Earth - i.e. the signature of their "maker".

Not terribly original, and the ending needs a lot of work, so I haven't bothered to try to get it published. Needless to say, I'm also not too thrilled at the idea of publishing a story that, even in small way, validates ID!

Date: 2006/02/01 10:51:01, Link
Author: tacitus
And now Dembski asks why biologists are still coming across "complete surprises" as if that somehow invalidates all we know about evolutionary biology.

Hmm, let me think for, oh, all of ten seconds....

Ah yes, the complete surprises of "hot Jupiters" and finding that the expansion of our Universe is speeding up must completely invalidate all we know about astronomy and cosmology.

Really, the man is a fool to advance this type of argument.

Date: 2006/02/03 04:48:43, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 03 2006,10:15)
LOL. Now they're framing themselves as Galileo to Judge Jones's Inquisitor.


Quote

February 3, 2006
Judge John E. Jones III as Inquisitor

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/775

Since I'm not going to all the effort of going over there just to get banned, I'll ask this here... If IDers deny that religion has anything to do with is, how is it they came that ID is morally superior to evolution?  I mean, in the referenced post it is claimed that:
Quote
Darwinian metaphysics is doing real moral and political mischief in our society

Supposedly ID doesn't identify a designer, so can they claim moral superiority when they can't know the motivations of an unknown designer?

(Yes, I know, the answer is that with every post Demski further demonstrates that ID for him is all about acknowledging his Judeo-Christian God.)

Date: 2006/02/03 17:14:30, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 03 2006,21:58)
This is actually a good question. I guess the answer is that the design inference is just that and nothing more. People have a real hard time getting that.

I understand that is what IDist would have us believe. I was simply questioning why Bill Dembski persist in quoting friends, people and articles that specifically undermine this assertion?

Perhaps you should have a quiet word with Bill, eh?

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 03 2006,21:58)
So a lot of ID people are motivated morally, philosophically, religously, just as are atheists.

I assume you meant to say "evolutionists" and not "atheists" since they are hardly synonymous.

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 03 2006,21:58)
For example, you guys think if ID gets a foothold, we'll be having stonings of adulteresses just like they did in Afghanistan. But those opinions about what is good for society (no religion) isn't part of evolutionary theory, is it?

No, of course I don't believe that belief in ID leads to stoning adulterers.

However... I do believe that if ID ever becomes the primary theory taught in our schools, the most likely reason is that the Reconstructionalists or the Dominionists will have somehow managed to take over the government.  In that case the teaching of ID will be the least of our troubles. Fornicators and incorrigible children beware!

Date: 2006/02/03 17:25:03, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 03 2006,21:58)
This is the only possible place we will end up if:
1) There is a God
2) Our knowledge continues to increase

This seems irrefutable but I'm sure you will surprise me.

This is easily refutable. Again, you are making too many assumptions about the designer (or God, if you will).  

What if the designer/God doesn't want us to "know" him/her?  If God does exist then this is entirely possible and, indeed, is a widespread belief within Christian circles.  Many Christians claim that being able to prove God exists would only devalue their faith.

Date: 2006/02/04 17:06:41, Link
Author: tacitus
avocationist, I'm not sure it's going to be useful to continue our discussion since we appear to be completely incompatible  worldviews. When I read your comments about ID, evolution, faith, and even Christianity, I can only even begin to find them consistent if I look at them from your highly specific system of beliefs.

Anyway, you misunderstand what I'm saying about Dembski. He, and others, had long argued that ID, in itself, is scientific (i.e. has no bais in religion). Fine. My comment was that Dembski himself keeps undermining that argument by republishing quotes from collegues, friends, and others which directly contradicts that argument.

As for you argument that theistic evolutionists are simply confused IDists, well, that can only be true *if* your own personal idea of what God is, is true. In the broader sense, since evolution does not address "life from non-life" there is plenty of leeway for a Christian to believe in a God who kicked everything off according to a plan and let evolution happen. Who are you to define someone else's faith?

My comment about Dominionists was simple a roundabout way of saying that the only way ID will ever become the norm is through political mandate because it will never be proved through science (and frankly, nobody seems to be wanting to try).

Date: 2006/02/04 19:53:31, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
Perhaps, but if there is a God, that God is the source of all existence. One might suppose that God, being the source of all existence, is some guy who sat separately and did nothing, and that the evolution of life was no more likely to happen than not. Perhaps he was bemused or surprised. But essentially, this is nonsense. The existence of God, as different from just particles and chemicals, changes everything. One simply cannot speak of life or the universe being an accident. I mean, look, Ken Miller is Catholic. He believes, presumably, in a God who has interefered in this accidental place and even plans to judge people and send most of them to ####. How can a God who took no part in an accidentally evolving humanity judge them as deserving punishment or reward? The notion seems absurd.


Actually, I agree with you there, but then I find religious concepts in general to be pretty much unbelievable--I am an unbeliever. I am willing to admit that I do not know why we are here (over and above blind chance and the unguided processes of evolution) but I find the concept of personal God as defined in the Bible (or any other religious text I've come across) to be deeply unsatisfying.

However, the important point is that it doesn't matter what you and I believe. Ken Miller and millions of other Christians quite happily reconcile their faith with evolution.

By the way, you haven't offended me. I was merely suggesting that there was little profit in continuing our discussion since we appear to be so diametrically opposed.

Date: 2006/02/06 05:20:13, Link
Author: tacitus
Uhoh - DS just upset JAD again - and JAD implies that he's quitting:

Quote
I love that “case closed” DaveScot. That is a beauty. I’ll give it my careful consideration. I would of course consider an apology. That is the kind of a remark that has no place anywhere in a forum presumably concerned with a phenomenon that has never been observed. Have a nice forum.


(However I would be shocked if JAD really has left for good).

Date: 2006/02/06 10:40:27, Link
Author: tacitus
But you've got to admit it's a great whine  :D

Date: 2006/02/07 12:35:13, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail. It's all about Reality with a capital R and reality is all about detail.  What's more, I see no possibility of a universe without God. None at all.


This has got to be a joke. Do you know how many papers have been published on evolutionary biology in the past hundred years? Even if you ignored all of those, I doubt you would be able to keep up with the new ones being published every week.

As for ID "details". Well, I guess if you sit around and wait for a few months you might get lucky and find a couple of populist ID books have been published for you to read.

You obviously do not even begin to comprehend the overwhelming advantage evolution has over ID when it comes to "details". Perhaps if you imagine a tiny ID ant standing next to the evolutionary elephant you will begin to understand the difference in scale.

Simply because the ID ant has managed to acquire a DI megaphone and stir things up a bit doesn't even begin to overcome the true disparity.

Why do you think the DI invests 99% of it's considerable income in politics and publicity? They can't even find anybody who will do any ID research (whatever that is). Just ask the Templeton Foundation.

Date: 2006/02/08 14:01:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (argystokes @ Feb. 08 2006,15:20)
A hilarious "Oh Sh!t" moment from JAD:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/782#comments

Check out comments 18 and 19 in particular.

I love it so!

Ironic since Davison himself has quit the board (at least for now) after becoming fed up of DaveScott's unruly commenting style.

OK, scratch that last comment - he's back already. Guess it got lonely on his own blog nobody ever vists

Date: 2006/02/09 05:08:25, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
What I find interesting is that Dembski is offering money to any teacher who gets fired by teaching ID in Wisconsin after the bill passes into law, and starts a lawsuit over it. Umm, isn't paying someone to break the law illegal in itself?

Whether or not its breaking the law, who in their right mind would be encouraged to lose their livelihood over a measley $1000?

In any case, this is simply another empty Kent Hovind publicity stunt. Dembski knows he's unlikely to have to pay out considering the lengthy sequence of events he's stipulating. This is a cowardly act. If he really had the balls, he'd start submitting scientific papers and run the gauntlet of peer review, not hide behind the skirt (or trousers) of some hapless Wisconsin high school teacher.

Date: 2006/02/10 20:52:21, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 09 2006,12:0)
So while it is true that evolution (and plain common sense for that matter) conflicts with the Judeo-Christian creation myth but how does this promote the idea that no God exists at all?

And old fashioned common sense conflicts with many Bibical myths such as no human being is going to survive 3 days and 3 nights inside the belly of a whale.  Common sense and a marginal understanding of human biology indicates no human being is going to live for 300 or 700 years.  And the world is not 6,000 years old.   Is common sense the enemy of faith as well?

Is believing in the literal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian creation myth neccessary for belief in God?

It's not evolution's clash with the Judeo-Christian creation myth that's the key problem, that is simply the result of the real issue which is, as they would put it, "believing the Bible".

Christian fundamentalists have been taught their whole lives that the Bible is "true", and not just true, but "literally true". So while they can usually explain away the odd inconvenient paragraph which talks about things like "four corners of the earth" etc, the creation myth is too big, too central to what happens in the rest of the Bible to be anything other than "real history".

Evolution will always be butting heads against this problem unless and until this central tenet of fundamentalist belief is overturned (or at least falls out of favour, like in most of Western Europe these days).

It's so hard to fathom sometimes. I know of any number of otherwise rational, logical, skeptical human beings who suddenly start spouting the most inane idiocies when the subject turns to anything remotely OT biblical. They just don't want to hear anything else.

I once talked to a fundamentalist co-worker (a really nice guy) about the potential for major natural disasters--caldera volcanos, huge underwater landslides, meteors, etc--only for him to start telling me how that all reminded him what happened at the time of Noah's Ark and the Global Flood. I mean, what are you supposed to say to something like that??

To these fundamentalists, if you prove to them that evolution (over millions of years) happened, you are disproving the Garden of Eden, the Fall of Man, Original Sin, the need for Salvation and ultimately, the necessity of Jesus's sacrifice on the Cross. It's as if these things are dominos standing on end next to each other. You push the first one over and the rest all come tumbling down after it.  This is what creationists believe is at stake for them - the very foundation of all their religious beliefs.

Fundamentalists think that theistic evolutionists are sell-outs. They simply cannot understand how you can be a fulfilled Christian if you believe that Genesis didn't actually happen the way the Bible says it did. (As an atheist, I have a certain sympathy for that viewpoint but obviously for different reasons!<!--emo&;). Many of these same people also believe that if  they woke up tomorrow morning having lost their belief in God, they would all be raping and pillaging by lunchtime.

The reason I'm talking about all this is, whether the IDist like it or not, the only reason ID is even getting a sniff of publicity is because of the over 50% of the population in the USA who are creationists. Without the fundamentalist Christians, ID is still lurking in the outer fringes of Art Bell's talk show and other kooky pseudoscience web sites. Many of the ardent IDists themselves may honestly believe that they are doing it for the good of science. That's fine. I can accept that. But they are fooling themselves if they don't understand that they are being used and manipulated by the Phillip Johnsons of this world whose motives are overwhelmingly religious.

So, while most activist IDists will agree that you can believe in God without being a "Bible believing" literalist, the vast majority of those who support them or would vote with them do not believe it is possible. To them, ID is simply a tool for defeating evolution, soon to be discarded for the "truth" of the Genesis Chapter One.

Date: 2006/02/11 06:25:35, Link
Author: tacitus
Ah yes, Ken Ham passing off a religious pep rally as science. It's tough to counter such nonsense since scientists cannot allow themselves to stoop this low. Sadly, it's not a level playing field when it comes to educating our kids.

Date: 2006/02/11 12:20:04, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (PuckSR @ Feb. 11 2006,13:56)
I beg to differ.  I believe ID is getting publicity because of a very simple confusion.  ID(science) sounds a lot like ID(philosophy).  Many very intelligent Theists believe in ID(philosophy).  People who have not followed ID(science) in the news believe that they are the same thing.  They get really offended because they believe ID(philosophy) is a perfectly rational and intelligent view.  I have spoken to many, many, many people who originally supported ID(science), but once I explained the difference between ID(science) and ID(philosophy) they quickly changed their mind about the whole topic.

I understand your point, but I'm reasonably certain that ID would never have caused the damage and confusion it has without fundamentalists like Philip Johnson appealing to like-minded people.  The defeat of creationism in the courts left people like Johnson looking around for other strategies to defeat the "evils of Darwinism". He found ID. Without this unholy alliance (pun intended) ID would never gained the traction is has amongst the American public.

Ironically, since Dover, now that ID is having to backtrack from it's more strident positions, it seems to be losing support from the fundamentalists who are too impatient to wait while ID's new, less threatening stances, work slowly to undermine science education. They want God's word taught to children now, not sometime in the future.

Quote (PuckSR @ Feb. 11 2006,13:56)
For a great example of this...notice how many times ID/creationists get offended/freaked out when the Catholic church comes out in support of Theistic Evolution.  It drives them insane.  It is a complete shock to them that the biggest denomination of Christianity does not share their worldview.

Well, we all know that Catholics aren't real Christians.  :D

Date: 2006/02/12 07:58:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (sir_toejam @ Feb. 12 2006,01:00)
yeah, he better go tell Bill he ain't no xian before bill teaches his next seminary class.

god forbid we wouldn't want no heathens teachin' no bible class!

Well Bill does seem to be proud to call Hugh Hefner a good friend--not exactly sure how that goes down with his Southern Baptist employers.  But then Bill gotten away with a lot of other unchristian behaviour, so why would anyone expect him to be called to task on anything?

Date: 2006/02/12 08:23:06, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Chris Hyland @ Feb. 12 2006,10:31)
I think a creationist once said, "If there is no creation story then there is no origional sin, therefore no need for christ to come to earth". I dont claim to be an expert on the bible, but this seems fairly sensible to me. Evolution says that their was no adam and eve (see above), and that man is not created in the image of god, and was unplanned. This seems pretty incompatible with christianity, if im wrong could someone explain it to me.

Fundamentalists will claim that to be true. I can see why Biblical literalism is so appealing. You can end all sorts of awkward debates and arguments simply by saying "It's not my opinion--that's what the Bible says" (probably the third most infuriating comment a fundamentalist can say after "all atheists should be rapists" (i.e. no moral imperative) and "all atheists hate God").

It's a very simplistic belief and that's why it's so popular. The down side is that if you remove that one single belief, the complete foundation of their belief system comes crashing down. Evolution and other sciences directly challenge the Genesis account, that's why they fight so hard against it.

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Feb. 12 2006,10:31)
Having said that i used to work with someone who did a degree in phylogenetics and was a creationist. She didnt belive in evolution in any form, but it formed the entire basis of her work, and didnt affect how well she worked at all. I think perhaps that is easier for scientists, especially biologists to reconcile evolution with faith, as it is easier to ignore philosophical and theological implications, and therefore seperate the two.

That may be true, but perhaps there's a simpler explanation. Despite all the fundamentalist rhetoric and pronouncements on moral values, survey after survey shows that fundamentalists lead lives that are very little different than the rest of us. They cheat, steal, have affairs, watch pornography, divorce, donate to charity, etc. etc. at about the same rate as the general population. They may like the idea of moral absolutes believe that God gives them a better way, but in practice, it doesn't make a darn bit of difference in their daily lives.

Date: 2006/02/15 05:41:33, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 15 2006,11:07)
Re "Also, it appears that Methuselah lived through the flood. How?"
According to the year spans in my copy of those stories, he died the same year the flood started. Though I've no clue how specific BCE dates can get attached since the later books stopped giving all those year spans between begats.

Henry

Oh, it's easy. Since the Bible is always true, you pick the one non-Biblical data point which seems to fit the Bible's account (say, the archaeological estimate of when a certain king began his reign) and ignore everything else.

Date: 2006/02/15 07:42:51, Link
Author: tacitus
You have a point, BWE. It's kind of like two little girls trying to work out whose invisible unicorn is a brighter shade of pink.

If ever there is a way to confirm, once and for all, the veracity of the Genesis account (you know, a time machine, or secret alien recordings, etc.) I would be willing to bet every last cent of my meagre fortune that Adam, Eve, Noah, and Methusaleh (and most if not all the rest) are complete and utter inventions. Local flood, global flood, it doesn't matter. While it is possible that certain events described in Genesis (post Noah) may have some basis in fact (many myths do) it's inconceivable that the individual characters I listed above ever existed, let alone lived hundreds of years.

By the way, Carol, the reason no one believes the people who claim to have lived 150 years is simply because it is not biologically possible. Even given perfect health the human body simply wears out. 120 years is just about the limit, with only a tiny number eking out a few more months.

We may be able to defeat that limit in the near future through medical research, but in the meantime the oldest people in the world remain between 110-120.

Date: 2006/02/15 08:54:23, Link
Author: tacitus
Warnings noted :)

Date: 2006/02/20 20:56:54, Link
Author: tacitus
Funny how DaveScot excoriates the "Steve List" as being an argument ad populum (or whatever it is) and less than 48 hours later old Sal pops up trumpeting the 500 Evolution Denier List for his side.

Yet not a whimper from DaveScot. Afraid to attack his own side for using the same (supposed) tactics of the opposition? Of course he his. I would not have expected anything less more.

Date: 2006/02/21 10:53:02, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 21 2006,09:35)
yeah, I mean, it's essentially this:

creationists: We've got a list!
evolutionists: We've got a Much bigger list!
creationist: Lists are flawed!

I mean how stupid do you have to be?

Actually it's more like:

creationists: We've got a list!
evolutionists: Lists are dumb. To prove it here's a much bigger list!
creationists: Your list is dumb. Ours is great.
the rest of the world: Whatever.

Date: 2006/02/21 11:24:43, Link
Author: tacitus
Welcome to the board Janf!
Quote
1. Why is religion such a large part of many American's lives.

Good question. I'm English and have lived in Texas for the past ten years, so I've seen both sides of the fence. As far as I can tell the religious nature of America is due to who founded the country (i.e. many religious people escaping persecution or simply wanting more freedom than they had in the Old World) combined with a written constitution that, for the most part, has allowed religion to flourish without government interference.

In many parts of Europe, and certainly in the UK, religion has been controlled by the mainstream establishment for so long that religious thought has struggled to survive, especially in the past half-century or so.  American Christianity has had a much more independent streak and their leaders fiercely defend their beliefs and rights.
Ironically, many of those leaders (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Albert Mohler, etc) are now trying to claim that there is no such thing as "the separation of church and state" in the Constitution forgetting that it's this separation which has helped keep their churches full and healthy despite the decline in other western nations.

The bottom line, I think, is that they feel (incorrectly) they have to continue to fight for their rights and it's that fight that is the driving force of their success. There is no such battle in places like the UK and Denmark and Christianity is in a slow decline.
Quote
2. Why is it so sacrosanct that a fantasy such as ID needs to be thought out, and defended so vigorously.

Well, for the religious leaders it's popular with their followers, so even if they lose the legal battle, they win (perhaps even more so than if they did win the legal battle).  Again, it's the fight that keeps the money coming in and the leaders in the public eye. They thrive on the controversy.
Quote
3. How can it be that the mightiest nation on Earth is led by a man who apparently prays for guidance, whenever he has to make an important decision, and how can that be a reason to choose him in the first place.

Because religious people love to see it. They think the president is humble and trustworthy if he prays to God for guidance and they are willing to overlook a multitude of sins so long as he is "faithful".  In the case of Bush, Karl Rove has been a master at using the religious right to get Bush elected two times. They think that Bush is one of them, but in reality I believe he is much less conservative religiously than he lets on.  As it was with Bill Clinton, much of the religious attitude is just for show.

I don't know the numbers, but I believe that there are many more openly gay elected officials in the USA today than there are elected atheists who are open about their lack of belief in a God.  The most an atheist running for office can say (if they have a hope of winning) is that his religious beliefs are private and personal.

Date: 2006/02/21 12:31:24, Link
Author: tacitus
I think many of those who are agnostic about religion (a) regard themselves as "spiritual" and (b) don't like the idea of fundamentalism or atheism, and may actually fear both of them. Being spiritual allows them the comforts of religious beliefs without the commitment, and avoids awkward questions about the meaning of life that thoughts of atheism tends to bring up.

With evolution agnosticism tends to allow people to fall into the trap of the "teach both sides" strategy. This is particularly effective with liberals who like to see people "play fair" in politics and religion. (Conservatives like it too, but only because in this case it gives them what they want).

Date: 2006/02/21 20:48:42, Link
Author: tacitus
Hey Russell, you bring up some good points. It's amazing really how the religious right can claim that religion is in great danger of being subsumed by secularism when in reality America is now one of the most religious countries on the planet. And without religion, you have very little chance of making it in politics today unless you are prepared to lie about it (seemingly not hard for most polititians, sadly). Out of all the presidents since the 1980, the only one who strikes me as genuine about his faith is Jimmy Carter (and, ironically, the most liberal!;). Reagan, Clinton, Bush II and, to a lesser extent, Bush I all, to one degree or another, turned on the religious charm when it suited them.

What strikes me (and you touched on this in your comment) is how narrow and superficial all this religiousity can be.  To me people like Karl Rove and Tom Delay are the slickest and most devious political operatives around today and have almost certainly done many very unchristian things in their rise to power (or in Rove's case, by proxy, Bush's rise to power). But all is forgiven by the religious right so long as they pander to and occasionally deliver on the narrow moral issues they are concerned about--anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and anti-evolution.  I just gag when I hear Christians say things like "Tom Delay is a deeply moral man". I just want to yell at the screen saying how can you be so stupid!

(Anyway, enough ranting).

One thing I omitted in my first note was to point out that one of the effects of having established churches in the UK (i.e. the Church of England and the Church of Scotland) is that schools regularly have classes like Religious Instruction and have religious school assemblies on a daily or weekly basis, with the odd trip to the local church thrown in. You would think that all this exposure to Christianity as children would increase the amount of religious people, but in truth the exposure is so watered down, so rote, that the effect has been the opposite. Church attendance has been in decline for decades.

So if the Religious Right in the US wins and gets their way, and things like school prayer, religious education, etc. are introduced into the public schools, they may find that in the long run it will be bad for them. If they become the establishment (more completely than they are today) then they will have nothing to rail against, And with no battles to keep the troops engaged in, they will probably drift off and lose interest.

Date: 2006/02/21 21:08:43, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (PicoFarad @ Feb. 22 2006,00:30)
He's written on Dembski's site that he was on the patent committee at Dell, a select group of a dozen top engineers, and reviewed something like 1000 patent abstracts submitted by employees for worthiness.  I bet he was a real sweetheart to deal with.  He seems to have made a career out of being a jerk but in all fairness he's been on the right side of every fight and how many of us have managed to get rich before we got gray hair working as engineers or scientists?

Oh, that is so funny. I work for a major computer firm and know most of the people on the patent review board in my part of the company.  Dave Springer would fit right in! Explains a lot. And you don't have to be in the top dozen of anything to sit on a patent review board in a company like Dell (except maybe in the very early days when there were only a few engineers to start with). In the company I work for, the guys are bright, sure, but the elite engineers are usually far too busy to have time to sit on these boards and filter through patent submissions. It's important work, but it's not that difficult.

And reviewing 1000 patent submissions is not all that impressive. There are a lot of ideas floating around, but many of them tend to be repeats or are easily knocked down with a cursory glance at the details and/or patent database.

"The right side of every fight" seems a bit strong considering his current involvement with ID. And how many other fights that he doesn't brag about (i.e. the ones he lost) were there?

But for all I know DS may be the world's greatest engineer, but even if that is the case it doesn't make him any less wrong about intelligent design.

BTW: A total of four patents in the computer industry is nothing to brag about. Most of my collegues who have any sort of interest in filing patents have many times more than that.

Date: 2006/02/23 12:50:02, Link
Author: tacitus
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.

I never felt that way growing up in England and Scotland. Perhaps the Catholic church was a little more authoritarian but the Protestant ministers I met in the UK were much more open to debating the issues than they seem to be over here. (I understand that there are probably many reasonable church leaders here in the USA, but the influential ones, those with the power and who wield it, are a very scary bunch).

I think it all still boils down to the Biblical fundamentalism.  The fundie pastors wield this belief as a weapon. "It's in the Bible so it must be true--and because I say so."  So if you go up against the pastor, you are questioning the Bible and, hence, the will of God. Not an easy thing to do unless you are a strong willed person.

Date: 2006/02/23 16:39:48, Link
Author: tacitus
I guess I probably shouldn't have lumped the mainstream churches in with the fundamentalist churches.  Since I no longer go to church, most of the exposure I get to the religious community is on TV and radio where the fundies tend to dominate.  But having seen some of the local broadcasts on the religious public access channel here in Austin, TX, there does seem to be an awful lot of them.

Date: 2006/02/24 08:46:26, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 24 2006,13:40)
I've just checked Cordova's post about the equation that proves the existence of God.  And what does the equation say?  

"Oink".

Bob

Heh - I noticed that too.  Must have been that pig flying past the window.

Date: 2006/02/24 08:54:05, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (incorygible @ Feb. 24 2006,11:47)
Quote
Someday someone will stand up for the reproduction rights of men.

IOW somewhere a woman will get pregnant and want an abortion. But the man will not.


The latest comment on this highly entertaing thread.  Just...wow.  Nevermind that I'm pretty sure, someone(s), somewhere(s) has tried that (several times).  What I want to know is this...

Exactly where does "design detection" (purely scientific, absent any designer, etc.) support the "reproductive rights of men"?  I know the ancient texts tentatively linked to one reported designer have often been used to justify this, but we're not talking about him, are we?  I must have missed the fancy Dembski math showing that bacterial flagellum = irreducible complexity = intelligent design = right-wing culture war = abortion is bad.

Well, you do know that every sperm is sacred...

But you have it backwards--for Dembski the equation is:

"abortion is bad = right-wing culture war = intelligent design = irreducible complexity = bacterial flagellum"

Now throw in a bit of maths to make it all seem fancy and intellectual-like to the unwashed masses, and there you have it.

Date: 2006/02/25 07:38:19, Link
Author: tacitus
Alan, JAD is banned from this board, and for good reason.  Reposting his tedious diatribes here in full is playing just allows him to circumvent that ban and is simply playing into his hands. (No doubt he will now express delight at getting the above post on his board). Please don't clutter up this board with his crap.

Date: 2006/02/26 10:40:53, Link
Author: tacitus
Guys, why are you even bothering with PF/DS?  If any of you tries to "debate" him on his board you get unceremoniously dumped in a nanosecond. This guy doesn't deserve the right to participate on this board--he has no interest in the debate, all he wants to do is fire off cheap shots at anyone within range

Time to bring an end to his interloping, then perhaps we can get on with something a little more enlightening.

Date: 2006/02/26 12:53:05, Link
Author: tacitus
Regarding the Guardian story - I was just on the phone to my parents (they live in the UK) and they told me about it and expressed concern that such a thing would be happening.  But I tend to think the concern is overblown.  In the States creationism (incl. ID) has the support of over 50% of the population and so is a tough battle, but the UK has no such constituency.  Sure, there are Muslim and Christian fundamentalists who are willing followers, but they are still very much in the minority (<5% of the population).

Some of the policies of Tony Blair, who is a Christian (probably moreso that Bush, ironically) are not helping--he's in support of providing more public funding to faith-based schools, for example, but I don't think the UK is in danger of becoming a creationist ghetto any time soon.

Date: 2006/02/26 16:08:31, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Chris Hyland @ Feb. 26 2006,19:40)
Quote
5. An error-correcting mechanism in cells which is different from the one currently known to be operating, and sufficient to protect unexpressed genetic material for billions of years.
I would actually have some respect for the frontloaders if their theory was that we were all just some big experiment (some, not much). But of course they reveal their true colours when they claim (as they all do) that man is a specific end goal of this process (how else could we be created in gods image?). So once theyve explained number 5, they also have to explain how they anticipated every single environmental change on earth over billions of years, so they knew what environment their creations would have to survive in.

Yeah, perhaps it all went wrong and we should all have really been immortal, never lacking for anything, vegetarians, living in harmony with nature in a beautiful garden somewhere on a fertile plain in the Middle East...

Oh.... er....

Date: 2006/03/01 07:25:52, Link
Author: tacitus
Will you quit doing this -- Davison is banned from this forum. All you're doing is circumventing this ban and no matter how well meaning your motivations may be, you're simply doing this man's bidding.

People are tired of this man's ravings, just let him continue to wallow over in his own miserable blog.

Date: 2006/03/02 11:04:09, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 01 2006,17:04)
Of course, if you are going to enable JAD to post here by proxy, this is the way to do it, on a dedicated thread, where people can easily avoid it if they want.

The reason why I believe that reposting JAD's diatribes here is a mistake is because its exactly what he wants us to do.  It doesn't matter to him if his stuff is posted here simply to make fun of it, he believes that just getting it posted here is furthering his cause in some way.

I say, ignore him completely. Let him fume and stew in is own juices.  If you really want to annoy and frustrate him, ignoring him is the only way to go.

Date: 2006/03/04 08:45:03, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Jay Ray @ Mar. 04 2006,13:44)
Given the recent failures and general disarray of the ID movement, I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't collapsed.  But I'm not surprised.  As a PR movement, its still got lots of legs.  

Anyone know if Howard Ahmanson is still funding the DI?  Lenny Flank and I have a sort of gentlemen's bet.  Lenny predicted Ahmanson was going to dump the DI shortly after the Dover decision.  "Good money after bad," and all that.  I think Ahmanson never cared about the money or "science" in the first place, and was more interested in the DI as a ministry, and as a tool to further his reconstructionist machinations.  At these latter goals, the DI is a successful gaggle, failures included.

The Disco institute is in no danger of collapse.  Despite its repeated failures, there are simply too many "true believers" out there with deep pockets for it to fold any time soon.

Heck, if a completely openly creationist organization like Answers in Genesis can keep the millions rolling in, then the DI should have no trouble in that regard.

If there is any danger of their folding, it stems from their tactics of watering down their challenge to evolution (to sneak it past the courts) which may end up alienating their more millitant religious support base.

Date: 2006/03/04 11:00:42, Link
Author: tacitus
I believe a lot of this is already being done.  And I don't think they want too much education for the masses.  The more you tell them, the greater the chance that they will be exposed to counterarguments.  Better to keep them dumb and happy (i.e. preach a few fire and brimstone sermons involving original sin and the Garden of Eden).

Date: 2006/03/04 11:08:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Actually there is one major initiative many right-wing creationists would love to see... ditching public education.  Private schools would avoid any first amendment issues with teaching creationism. The wet dream of all nutjobs on the right everywhere is to abolish that "nest of moral turpitude", the Department of Education.

Needless to say, if they ever get their way, it would be a disaster for this country.

Date: 2006/03/04 11:32:24, Link
Author: tacitus
Losing public education would simply make it even harder for the poor and disenfranchised to get a leg up in society.

Date: 2006/03/08 20:17:10, Link
Author: tacitus
There is one possible scenario I would be happy to see where we never get to a post-ID world.  That would be the one where an advanced alien race landed on Earth saying "Mea culpa, we accidentally contaminated your planet with some biological goop which escaped from our lab. Sorry about that."

A smug DaveSnot would be a small price to pay for the utter defeat of all those creationist (and vast majority of IDists) who are absolutely convinced that we are here by supernatural design.

(Yeah, they could argue that God created the aliens first, but I'm sure the aliens would have their own ideas as to how they came about... :) )

Date: 2006/03/11 07:26:43, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 11 2006,13:20)
Is this idiot saying that the liquid water on Enceladus implies intelligent design?

Nah - he's just implying that geysers on Enceladus is another "if the solar system is billions of years old then why are there still comets?" argument for young-earth creationism.

Date: 2006/03/13 20:18:30, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 14 2006,00:14)
WOW, check this out from Davison's blog. I think we're getting to him:

Quote
This is for Arden Chatfield, number one moron at the Bunker. Dave Springer and I have been insulting one another for years. It is a way of life for us. Bright people are like that you stupid turd. You are nothing but an ignorant would be troublemaker. Grow up. If you think I have insulted Springer you ought to see some of the things he has said about me. White Texas trash is nothing. It was just my way of telling him what I thought about banning me from Dilliam Wembski's Fundie Palace. I wouldn't return to that dump if I was paid. My papers are right there anyway . What the #### else would I be needed for?

Where will I find your evolutionary schlock you illiterate goon? You are pathetic.
Touch yourself until you stain yourself. Got that? Write that down.

God but I'm good.


'God but I'm good'? Good WHAT?

The man's senility has gone further than I thought.

He even tries to bait me for the mugshot I have as my avatar! (Which precisely one person here seems to have recognized):

Quote
This is for Arden Chatfield over at Der Fuhrer Herr Doktor Professor Welsberry's (pronounced Felsberry) crumbling Bunker. I love the full front and profile portraits that accompany each of your sterling comments. On what charge were you booked or would you rather not say?


Anyway, he mentions me like nine times. I seem to be really upsetting him! He even called me 'number one moron'. Do I now have sufficient street cred to join the secret club of wicked secular evilutionists now?  :p
Show John some respect. That man's a genius who's suffered a huge amount of persecution from the liberal academic establishment. You're toast.-dt

Actually, I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for JAD.  I took a look at his blog earlier too, and it appears he's been reduced to begging people to bump the "JAD" thread so that it doesn't disappear from the front page.  (Well, that and the usual name calling and quoting General Patton.)

There comes a point when making fun of someone is simply piling on... it's not enjoyable any more. I'm not saying that he should be unbanned (far from it), and I know he brings it on himself, but it all seems to be getting a little pathetic. I just hope the rest of his life is a little less sad than his current online predicament.

That's it for you.  Nobody can reference people I've banned except me... outta here!  -dt

Date: 2006/03/19 16:30:05, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Alan Fox @ Mar. 19 2006,17:56)
Sanctum

You are DaveScot and I claim my five pounds.

(This allusion may be wasted on non-British posters under the age of 60)

Well, I'm 42 and British and vaguely got it, so I asked my parents who are visiting from the UK and my Dad remembered the name " Lobby Lud" .  So I guess you are correct about having to be over 60   :D

Date: 2006/03/20 17:29:38, Link
Author: tacitus
Wow - this thread has degenerated into something as confusing as if JAD was allow to participate!

Date: 2006/03/21 11:49:46, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Alan Fox @ Mar. 21 2006,16:22)
<Pic. of 3-mile island plaque>

OK so it wasn't catastrophic...

On balance, many people do appear to get overwrought by the peceived dangers of nuclear power.  In reality, even if you include projected long term deaths from cancer after Chernobyl (in the low thousands), fatality rates are no worse than for coal, oil, or hydro-electric sources of power over a similar period of years. (And there's no way of knowing how much oil and coal-fired power stations have contributed to deaths through pollution of the environment.)

Of course, it's easy to see why nuclear power is so unpopular.    Nuclear weapons are the most likely means of our destruction (should it ever happen) and nuclear power is inextricably linked to that.  It's the fear factor, and fear is usually anything but rational.  And the truth is that no amount of re-education is going to make nuclear power acceptable to the American public unless and until the rise in price of other sources of energy bite deep into people's wallets.

Date: 2006/03/22 09:08:17, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
Although some other creatures, notably chimpanzees and crows, use primitive tools, no animal except us has ever joined separate components to make a tool — as in the haft and blade of an axe — and only humans have learnt to use containers such as pots and bags.

This is just so wrong it’s hard to know where to begin. Beavers select and cut down trees, trim them, haul them to the worksite, and cement them together with mud and clay to build artificial ponds and living quarters. Birds use all kinds of ingenuity to build nests. Bees construct containers of wax to store food and the ability of the food and the container to resist spoilage is enviable even by modern standards. Spiders bag their meals in handcrafted silk sachets. Dogs dig holes to store food.

It’s hard to believe the ignorant crap that finds its way into print. Did all the editors at the Times up and quit or something?

Comment by DaveScot — March 22, 2006 @ 6am

I love it when DaveScot begins with a sentence that describes the rest of his post to perfection!  Looks like another scathing post that is wrong in every way imaginable.

Wolpert states that no animal has ever built a tool from two separate components and DS goes on to give examples of tools um.. constructs built by animals using, wait for it, no tools at all.  Doh!

Oh, and spiders don't stick their prey in a pre-constructed bag, and since when was a hole in the ground the same as a bag?

Phew!  Close call there.  Looks like The Times editors are all alive and well after all.

Not if my superhuman powers of logic have anything to do with it  -ds

Date: 2006/03/23 06:21:47, Link
Author: tacitus
D. James Kennedy is on one of his regular anti-evolution tirades this week. As usual he has plenty of stuff to sell you too (I love it when they say you can get a DVD for "a donation" of $25 or more -- what exactly does that mean? If I send them $21 for it will they keep the money and refuse to send me the DVD??)

Anyway, today's show (Thursday 23rd) has Ken Ham as guest speaker. It's a wonder to behold, a more anti-science talk you are unlikely to hear. Interestingly, after "proving" that kangaroos used to live in the Middle East, (how else did they get on the Ark?) he spends a lot of the time going after old-Earth creationists who he believes are about as dangerous as evolutionists.

There's no doubting that, to the "faithful", he is a compelling and convincing speaker.  Distortions and outright lies simply roll off his toungue.

Link: Genesis: All or Nothing At All (Part 1)

No doubt part 2 will be up there tomorrow.

Date: 2006/03/24 12:15:34, Link
Author: tacitus
I think everyone would admit that Ken is a bit of a ham during his speeches..... is that good enough?

Date: 2006/03/25 19:57:52, Link
Author: tacitus
I was brought up in the UK in a liberal Christian home.  Went (was dragged) to church as a kid but, for my family, religion was pretty much just a Sunday morning thing.

I still went to church as a young adult, but began to feel there was something missing--that "something missing" I've heard  fundamentalists complain about when they go to more liberal services.  There had to be something more, well, experiential to worshipping God.  Well, I found that "something more" when I came to the States, but there was a catch--it came with a lot of unbelievable anti-intellectual baggage: creationism, Biblical inerrancy, original sin, the Word-Faith movement, and on and on. And so over a couple of years began to explore the rationale behind the Christian religion, and found it to be full of holes.

For example, if Christians really believed in the age of accountability (i.e. all dead babies go to Heaven) then why do they oppose abortion when, if allowed to come to term and grow up to be adults, those fetuses stand a very good chance of going to ####?

Why do we only have an infinitessimal amount to time (compared with eternity) to make a decision which, if we get wrong, condemns us to an unending #### of pain, anguish and torture?  Because some ancient book tells us we deserve it???

Why do I have to shut down my brain and stop relying on logic to analyse the world around me if I'm to become a "real Christian", not just one of those wishy-washy liberal types?

And so on.

It took me longer than a year, but eventually I decided I had become an atheist... thank you America.   :D

Date: 2006/03/26 09:54:36, Link
Author: tacitus
Russell, I guess it's quite likely I would have become an atheist if I'd have stayed in the UK, but it probably would have taken a lot longer.

I get the sense that the more confrontational, in-your-face aspects of American Christianity does force more people to decide one way or the other and not just remain on the fence.  Certainly you see it translated in to the bitter debates over gay marriage and abortion, and is probably responsible for the continued health of the Christian church in the USA especially when compared with what's happening in other western nations.

"Word-Faith" is sometimes called "name it, claim it" theology and represents some of the worst excesses of American Christianity.  Essentially they use certain Bible passage to claim that if you have enough faith, you can claim something you want to be yours--usually health or wealth.

It's a very selfish philosophy and crooks like Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, and Pat Robertson all use it to play on people's greed to get them to send in money to their "ministries".  Viewers are bombarded by video clips of people who were "faithful" enough to send them money (sometimes their last few dollars) on the promise that God will reward them 10-fold or even 100-fold with anything they ask him for--a healing or money.  

It's a bold faced scam which people should be able to see through in a nanosecond.  Why would TV ministries have to beg viewers for funds if all they had to do was give a small amount to another good cause and request that they be rewarded 100-fold?  A 10,000% return on your investment should be enough for any business!

Date: 2006/04/22 06:46:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Arden, you've missed out one important aspect of David Heddle's strategy for reconciling the Bible with science.  As you said, he believes the Bible to be inerrant, but that's not to say he believe's Noah's flood was a global event or that Earth is only thousands of years old.

He believes that if you study the original Hebrew text long and hard enough with a mountain of Hebrew linguist text books at your side, you can see how "day" in Genesis could mean "age" and "global" could mean "regional" and so on.  In other words, the Old Testament doesn't always mean what the plain reading appears to mean, (i.e. you can make the Bible say just about anything if only you would work hard enough).

The irony of this brand of inerrancy is that supporters earn scorn from both flanks--from those who reject Biblical inerrancy are still unimpressed, and from those who, quite reasonably, think the Bible should mean what it plainly says, i.e. the young-earthers.

Date: 2006/05/01 06:23:16, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,08:53)
Faid--  It's only unsupported HERE in this post.  I can't take the time or space right now to support it all.  But as I said, if you stick with me, I think you will see that alot of it IS supported very well.

That's cute -- one of Kem Ham's favourite attacks on evidence from deep time (fossils, geological record, etc) is the idiotic "Were you there?  No, but God was."  Sees to me that since you're such a fan of Ken Ham's work, you'd realise that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  You have no earthly way of proving that the human race has appreciably more harmful genetic mutations today than 6,000 years ago. Were you there?

Claiming that harmful genetic mutations have increased to the point of reducing our lifespan to 10% of what it used to be 6,000 years ago is about as sensible as claiming the speed of light is a fraction of what it used to be (in an attempt to get over the embarrassing fact that we can see galaxies which are billions of light years away).

Scientists have catalogued many genetic mutations in the human genome.  None of them has come close to being responsible for a dramatic reduction in lifespan (without being accompanied by some form of gross mental or physical abnormality).  Embarassingly enough for you, though, is that we *do* share many of the same genetic mutations as our cousins the chimps and gorillas, and in such a way that all-but proves we share a common ancestry with our fellow great apes.

If you don't believe me, have a look at this post on endogenous retroviruses.

Date: 2006/05/01 06:23:16, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,08:53)
Faid--  It's only unsupported HERE in this post.  I can't take the time or space right now to support it all.  But as I said, if you stick with me, I think you will see that alot of it IS supported very well.

That's cute -- one of Kem Ham's favourite attacks on evidence from deep time (fossils, geological record, etc) is the idiotic "Were you there?  No, but God was."  Sees to me that since you're such a fan of Ken Ham's work, you'd realise that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  You have no earthly way of proving that the human race has appreciably more harmful genetic mutations today than 6,000 years ago. Were you there?

Claiming that harmful genetic mutations have increased to the point of reducing our lifespan to 10% of what it used to be 6,000 years ago is about as sensible as claiming the speed of light is a fraction of what it used to be (in an attempt to get over the embarrassing fact that we can see galaxies which are billions of light years away).

Scientists have catalogued many genetic mutations in the human genome.  None of them has come close to being responsible for a dramatic reduction in lifespan (without being accompanied by some form of gross mental or physical abnormality).  Embarassingly enough for you, though, is that we *do* share many of the same genetic mutations as our cousins the chimps and gorillas, and in such a way that all-but proves we share a common ancestry with our fellow great apes.

If you don't believe me, have a look at this post on endogenous retroviruses.

Date: 2006/05/01 06:48:12, Link
Author: tacitus
:02-->
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,11:02)
Quote
How far do you think you're going to get with the people on this website, many of whom are professional scientists?

I may not get very far with closed minded professional scientists, which I hope you are not, but I hope to put some truth out there in an area where I currently see a lot of error.

Close-minded?  Are you serious?  This from someone who, in a single post, has proved that he has closed his mind to virtually every single bit of scientific evidence concerning the age of the Earth and its long and convoluted history?

Do you even realize how close-minded you are?  Do you understand the sheer tsunami of evidence scientists (many of them Christians) have  built up over the past 200 years compared to the muddy sidewalk puddle you young-earthers have been wallowing in?

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you are really preaching to the wrong crowd here.

Your hypothesis--statement of faith--reads like something from a bad pseudoscience web site "proving" that aliens abducted his grandmother.  Doesn't Ken Ham have a message board you can hone your rhetoric on, or are you, like others suspect, posting here in the vain hope you will manage to "convert" some of us to your faith?  And if you are, I hope you understand how insulting that is to those of us who are already Christians.

Date: 2006/05/01 06:59:25, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
E. Mankind chose NOT to do God's will very early on (just as all young children choose not to do parents' will), thus prompting God to institute a system for persuading humans to admit their folly and begin doing His will, for "redeeming" humans who choose this path, and for reminding humans that the present physical world is only a "proving ground" or "training camp" for the next world which will be created at a definite point in the future.  These events are commonly called the Fall and the Curse by Christian Theologians.

Kind of odd behaviour for an entity who is supposed to be omipotent.  Are we expected to believe that God (as defined by most Christians anyway) needed a "Plan B"?  (Actually, if you assume the flood actually happened, he had to use a Plan C as well).

Date: 2006/05/01 07:27:49, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,10:23)
Here's my logic ...
1) We hypothesize a Super-Intelligent Creator ... we can only imagine Him somewhat like a human mind because that is what we are familiar with, but much more intelligent ... this is my "B"
2) We observe a Surprising Fact that all over the world, people claim to have received messages--written and oral from some 'god' character.  It's a surprising fact because quite frankly it's WEIRD ... this is my "A"
3) LOGIC:  If B were true, then A would follow naturally based on our own experience with Intelligent Agents (i.e. they communicate verbally and in writing)
4)  CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that B is true (not proof, obviously, but reason)

Now how is this "junk" logic?
Again, I am saying that I am not using Deductive Reasoning ... I am using Abductive Reasoning and drawing an Inference to the Best Explanation.

Your problem is that we have plenty of evidence from extant primitive cultures that your "A" is simply an attempt by those societies to explain what they can't understand.  

Why do you insist on a double standard?  One for the ancient Jews, and another for the rest of humanity?  After all, you surely don't infer (abduce or whatever) that the Norse God Thor exists since the Vikings found him to best way to explain the phenomenon of lightning?

It's also a fact that the human brain works overtime to make sense of out of the confusing and incomprehensible, including dreams.  We know that people with temporal lobe epilepsy have utterly convincing visions that lead them to believe they have a direct line to God (or even that they are God themselves).  Why do you ignore this good, basic, scientific evidence that could help explain these "contacts with God" and simply argue that it's "WEIRD".

Of course it's weird, but that's no excuse to make the unsupported leap and decide that there must be a creator God.

It's funny, 100 years ago, people used to believe in fairies,  elves, and succubi since they "explained" many the weird things that happened to them.  Today... not so much.  What happened?  UFOs happened. Now it's all ETs and little green men.  Does the fact that thousands of people all around the world claim similar experiences mean that alien abductions are really happening? And why is your case for a creator God any more compelling than that nonsense?

Date: 2006/05/01 07:48:06, Link
Author: tacitus
:06-->
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,12:06)
This is exactly what I see in this one critical area of science today, i.e. the area of Origins and the Nature of Mankind and the issue of God.  Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not. Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.  Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ... you get the idea.  So if science is going to behave irresponsibly, then who else but non-scientists are going to have to jump in and "blow the whistle" ??

This is exactly what you see going on right now on multiple fronts and it is exactly the reason we hear so much about "concerned scientists."

Now we laymen are reasonable people and we will forgive scientists if they admit their errors and fix them, but if all we ever get is stonewalling and "you're not even fit to make an argument" and "you're just a religious nut", you can be sure that the people will do everything in their power to rise up and fix it themselves.

And believe me, we laymen can do a lot.  I may not get professional scientists to listen to me, but as you and I both know, all we need is a political majority and we win.  Not to say that I'm just about politics.  I am about Truth and Fairness, but I am also about winning and using every political tool in my toolbox to make sure we have Truth and Fairness in the science establishment in this country.

A lot hinges on this, too.  What people think about origins and the nature of mankind is VITALLY important to law and society.  This is why you see me being so passionate about this issue.

Now the mask is coming off:

Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.

I will be charitable and assume you really believe this.  If that's the case, you are sadly, sadly mistaken and have been taken in by the lies of your fellow creationists.

"Science" doesn't and cannot claim to have disproved the existence of God.  That would be impossible. Once again, many good, honest and hard working scientists are committed Christians and would be insulted to hear such nonsense.

Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.

What the heck is a "glorified animal"? Either way, this is nonsense.  Forget evolution.  Try basic anatomy.  What, apart from a bigger brain, do we have that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom?  Nothing.  Even if you believe in some sort of supernatual soul, we are still mammals and primates.  Like it or lump it.

Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ...

Again, this is an utter lie.  You should know better.  There are a few scientists, like Richard Dawkins (no doubt your favourite devil), who are outspoken on this issue, but even he would not claim what you say he does.  Again, science cannot do this.  Some scientists do, but that is not the same thing. Any reasonable person should understand this. There are thousands of Christian biologists and geologists who accept evolution.  Are you trying to insult each and every one of them?

With posts like this I suspect you are beginning to wear out your welcome here.  Why should we even bother to listen to you when even your motivations are based on such an obvious falsehood?

Date: 2006/05/01 08:09:15, Link
Author: tacitus
Nicely put Eric.  Dave is no different from people like Richard Hoagland who condemns that whole of NASA and the rest of the space industry simply because they won't admit the Face on Mars is an artificial construct.  It's funny how he expects us to listen to him while he ignores every inconvenient little fact we bring up.

He has the nerve to bring up "Truth and Fairness" when even the premise of his argument (science is anti-religious) is a blatent lie?  I constantly find it astouding how people who are obviously quite intelligent, smart, and capable people (if we are to assume his background information is true) can be so wildly off base and so wilfully ignore the truth even when it's staring them in the face.  Whether or not God exists is not the issue here.  No one can prove that either way.  It's the dishonesty with which they even approach the subject of origins that frustrates and infuriates me.  I mean, it's one thing to believe what you are being told by your fundamentalist preacher and favourite creationist web site, it's another to continue believing it unquestioningly when you are presented with solid evidence that you are wrong.

Is faith in God so precarious that the odd bit of scientific evidence brings is all tumbling down?  Why do they want to prove God exists anyway?  With proof, faith is nothing if not diminished, and Christianity has a long history of priding faith over all other things.

Dave appears to be a prime example of what Steven Colbert would deem to be "truthiness".  The facts don't matter, it's what you feel in your gut that really counts!

Date: 2006/05/01 08:15:29, Link
Author: tacitus
Never read it, but every single member of my family who has, has thought it to be poorly written drivel (and they weren't objecting to the religious content either).  As a wannabe author struggling through the second draft or his first novel, maybe there's hope for me to make millions yet!

Maybe the movie will make a silk purse out of it, but wait for the reviews first.

Date: 2006/05/01 08:26:47, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,12:38)
hehe-- Your question has only become a question in modern times with the advent of vasectomies, but I would have to guess that God's opinion would be that your scenario would be OK with Him from one angle (absolute moral code), but not OK from another.  I would guess that He would say not to do it because you would no doubt get into failed vasectomies, etc. with the resulting deformities.

Incest derived offspring can be perfectly normal. There have been cases in the past where family inbreeding took place over several generations without any serious problems.  Sure, there is a much higher risk of abnormalities but it's not a certainty.  With the right genetic screening, it will one day be possible to reduce the risks to a minimum. Does that make incest right?

Anyway, the whole discussion is pointless.  If God said it was okay then and not now, then what other explanation do you need?  After all, God said it was okay for Joshua to commit genocide a number of times while conquering Israel, not to mention condoning the murder of thousands of babies, children, mothers and fathers, and the rape of their surviving virgin daughters.

Date: 2006/05/01 08:26:47, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,12:38)
hehe-- Your question has only become a question in modern times with the advent of vasectomies, but I would have to guess that God's opinion would be that your scenario would be OK with Him from one angle (absolute moral code), but not OK from another.  I would guess that He would say not to do it because you would no doubt get into failed vasectomies, etc. with the resulting deformities.

Incest derived offspring can be perfectly normal. There have been cases in the past where family inbreeding took place over several generations without any serious problems.  Sure, there is a much higher risk of abnormalities but it's not a certainty.  With the right genetic screening, it will one day be possible to reduce the risks to a minimum. Does that make incest right?

Anyway, the whole discussion is pointless.  If God said it was okay then and not now, then what other explanation do you need?  After all, God said it was okay for Joshua to commit genocide a number of times while conquering Israel, not to mention condoning the murder of thousands of babies, children, mothers and fathers, and the rape of their surviving virgin daughters.

Date: 2006/05/01 08:57:14, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
I recently saw this on Wikipedia, where some fundie started yelling at them to rename the 'dinosaur' entry 'dragon'. When some people started laughing at him in the discussion, he got very hostile.

It makes my hair turn gray to realize how STOOPID millions of Americans are.

I looked up the Wikipedia discussion and found the argument about dragons was proposed by a contributor named "Truthteller".  The funny thing is, if you click to his profile page he signs off his statement of faith with:
Quote
Sincerely in Christ, Randy Berg

P.S. I lack basic scientific knowledge to form valid ideas.

Link

LOL: did he really type that himself, or did someone else sabotage his page?  Either way, it's very funny.

Date: 2006/05/01 09:15:12, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 01 2006,14:00)
I didn't think it was that good, but then again I had already read the book that most of the mythology in TDC was lifted from so it ruined a lot of the surprises for me. I will go and see the film but I swear if it has a disclaimer at the start saying any of the stuff is true Im leaving.

That's funny.  There are a number of Christian organizations lobbying hard for a disclaimer at the start to say that none of the stuff in the movie is true!

Date: 2006/05/01 09:36:19, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,14:13)
I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.

I'll tell you what ... I won't sell you any bridges and you don't sell me any and we'll be friends, OK!

As for me, I'm going to get back on topic ...

Thankyou, Norm at least for that!  I'll consider your words.

Would anyone else like to comment on the real issue on this thread ... ?

We (at least I and Norm and a few others) are debating the validity of my structure for debating Origins, the Nature of Life and related topics, collectively referred to as my Creator God Hypothesis.

I have given you my preferred approach ... are there any more substantive objections?

Why should we bother commenting on anything else you say when you can't even be bothered to back up your own comments with, like, you know, evidence.

First tell us exactly where Dawkins says that science disproves God instead of just laughing it off.  If it's so obvious to you, then educate us.  We're listening.

Second, does the fact that one, admittedly strongly atheistic and outspoken scientist might believe it mean it is safe to assume all, or even a more that a small minority of scientists believe it too.  Gee, I guess that must mean I must be right in thinking that all Christians believe the same as that paragon of Christian thought, Pastor Fred Phelps (look him up if you haven't heard of him).

Finally, perhaps if you started addressing our existing comments (you haven't answered any of mine yet) then maybe we will start to entertain the idea that you are actually interested in anything we have to say.

Date: 2006/05/01 12:01:18, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Renier @ May 01 2006,16:27)
Oh cra_p. Is this going to be a Deja Vu feeling, like talking to Heddle?

I think you're being unfair to Heddle -- this guy makes David Heddle look like a genius.

If anything this thread reminds me of any number of threads on boards like Bad Astronomy where a rank amateur posts a series of half-assed assertions and claims he's just about to overturn everything we thought we knew about the laws of physics.

When challenged to produce evidence to back up his assertions all he can do is: ignore, dismiss, change the subject, mock, etc. etc.  Classic pseudoscientist reactions.

As for the forthcoming "bombshell". I'm not holding my breath.

Date: 2006/05/01 16:06:59, Link
Author: tacitus
Now the last two comments talk about extreme time dilation and crank theories about the creation of our oil fields.  Fine caliber of posters on the UD message board tonight!

Date: 2006/05/01 19:02:38, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (dhogaza @ April 30 2006,20:46)
Oh, this YEC thread ("Dinosaur shocker!") gets better and better

Quote
Is science totally in error about its perception of age? I have seen a heck of a lot of evidence for an old earth. The best evidence I have found involves hunting down details on suggestions made by the YEC community.

Glad I wasn't drinking any beer when I read that!  I would've spewed it all over my laptop screen.  It gets better yet, he believes that the discovery is evidence that the dinosaur didn't die all that long ago ...and that this is making scientists COWER.
Quote
I would be incredibly shocked to discover that dinosaurs really lived in the time of man. However, this evidence should excite the scientific community, not make them cower.

Interesting... turns out that "bFast" is also the well-known poster "Sirlinksalot" on the Free Republic message board. Compare:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1086#comment-33058

with

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1624642/posts?page=34#34

If you read the whole thread, you can see why he would feel at home at Uncommon Descent:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1624642/posts?page=1

Apologies to all sane conservatives reading this for linking to your not-so-well-informed brethern.  There are some stalwarts who defend science on that message board, but they are few in number.

Date: 2006/05/01 19:06:29, Link
Author: tacitus
I like the idea that the creator of this Universe is a grade D science student at the local multiverse high school who screwed up his science project.  It would explain a lot...

Date: 2006/05/01 19:13:25, Link
Author: tacitus
Tonight's The Daily Show's "This Week in God" was all about the Da Vinci Code, including a faux reading from the book itself (in the style of Dan Brown writing the screenplay of the book).  Hilarious.  It will be repeated a couple of times tomorrow or look for the segment to be posted on their web site in a few days if you miss it.

Date: 2006/05/01 19:54:16, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (UnMark @ May 01 2006,22:36)
Dave, wouldn't it make considerably more sense to simply state that the Bible focusses only on one particular lineage in the Creation Story in Genesis, and that all the rest come from other separately created tribes/lineages?  It makes sense, it doesn't contradict anything else in the Bible that I'm aware of: why the inane illogic to support incest and a bunch of unsupportable hunches?

Most young-earthers would argue that if we are not all descended from Adam and Eve then we have not all inherited  Original Sin meaning that there was no need for Jesus to die on the cross since we did not need to be "saved".  In other words, if the events in Genesis did not literally happen the way it was written then there's no point to the rest of the Bible.

To them the issue of inerrancy is like a house of cards. If you pull on one of them, their whole building comes crashing around them, leaving them with nothing.  

That's why they are so dogmatic about the issue of origins. If a young-earther can't find a way to reconcile their faith with a non-literal Genesis, then they're never going to accept anything science has to offer in this area since it directly contradicts their beliefs.

There are old-earthers who still believe in Biblical inerrancy--the Reasons to Believe outfit and the infamous David Heddle spring to mind--but they are far fewer in number than young-earthers and feel the squeeze from both sides--from the young-earth creationists who hate how they mangle the literal meaning of the Genesis text to get past a young Earth and global flood, and from the rest of Christianity who feel no need to treat early Genesis as a historical document.

Of course the most reasonable interpretation of Genesis is that it's just one of many creation myths that intertwine an prehistoric attempt to account for how we got here with some kind of moral message.  Many Christians quite happily accept the morality tale without having to make a big deal about its historical veracity.  I suspect afDave does not.

Date: 2006/05/01 19:54:16, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (UnMark @ May 01 2006,22:36)
Dave, wouldn't it make considerably more sense to simply state that the Bible focusses only on one particular lineage in the Creation Story in Genesis, and that all the rest come from other separately created tribes/lineages?  It makes sense, it doesn't contradict anything else in the Bible that I'm aware of: why the inane illogic to support incest and a bunch of unsupportable hunches?

Most young-earthers would argue that if we are not all descended from Adam and Eve then we have not all inherited  Original Sin meaning that there was no need for Jesus to die on the cross since we did not need to be "saved".  In other words, if the events in Genesis did not literally happen the way it was written then there's no point to the rest of the Bible.

To them the issue of inerrancy is like a house of cards. If you pull on one of them, their whole building comes crashing around them, leaving them with nothing.  

That's why they are so dogmatic about the issue of origins. If a young-earther can't find a way to reconcile their faith with a non-literal Genesis, then they're never going to accept anything science has to offer in this area since it directly contradicts their beliefs.

There are old-earthers who still believe in Biblical inerrancy--the Reasons to Believe outfit and the infamous David Heddle spring to mind--but they are far fewer in number than young-earthers and feel the squeeze from both sides--from the young-earth creationists who hate how they mangle the literal meaning of the Genesis text to get past a young Earth and global flood, and from the rest of Christianity who feel no need to treat early Genesis as a historical document.

Of course the most reasonable interpretation of Genesis is that it's just one of many creation myths that intertwine an prehistoric attempt to account for how we got here with some kind of moral message.  Many Christians quite happily accept the morality tale without having to make a big deal about its historical veracity.  I suspect afDave does not.

Date: 2006/05/02 14:03:26, Link
Author: tacitus
Dave, I'll bite.  You don't regard yourself as "religious"... maybe I'm being too suspicious, but I've heard this assertion from fundamentalist Christians to take it at face value.  They seem to regard their faith as something more than religion, but by any dictionary definition, Christianity, or faith in Jesus or whatever way you want to term it, is still a religion.  So, Dave, is that the case with you?

I see you are trying to tread carefully, avoiding a minefield of assertions and definitions in an attempt to appear neutral and willing to learn, but you're still letting some YEC howlers slip through.  Your biggest mistake this time is your assertion that *not* believing in God takes more faith than believing in God.  All good fundamentalists and creationists like to trot that one out in such debates and it usually gets a good rise, quite justifiably, out of the opposition.

Regarding your observations:

A1: First, as others have suggested, our very existence requires there to be a Universe fine-tuned for life, that is not a surprise.  Second, we already have people working on theories, backed up by mathematics (far beyond my meagre brain's understand) that points to the possibility that our Universe may only be one of an infinite number of universes, all with different "fine-tunings".  If that turns out to be the case, then our existence may have turned out to have been inevitable.  We may never be able to detect these other universes but the theoretical physicists are hard at work on the issue and may one day find some solid evidence to back up the multiverse conjecture.  

As it stands, we already have an amazing amount of knowledge and understanding of how the Universe evolved (from the moment after the Big Bang) to today, from the orginal expansion, formation of the first gases, the first stars, galaxies, solar systems, life, etc. etc. Probably the biggest gap in our knowledge is abiogenesis, but we're working hard on that too.

99.9% of all surprising facts (lightning, supernovae, "holy" books, visions of God, ghosts, tornados, etc. etc. etc. turn out to have mundane and natural explanations. Why make this exception?

A2: OK, so you simply point us to Behe, Dembski, et al.  Surely you don't expect us to waste our time refuting what has already been refuted.  If you are being sincere in your search for the truth (BTW: only creationists and religious fundies capitalize talk about "Truth") then you need to read  the books and articles that directly refute their claims.  Are you prepared to do that?  It will take some work and the technical aspects are not always easy (at least they aren't for me) but you owe it to yourself to try.

Date: 2006/05/02 20:55:13, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,06:03)
Quote
Dave, wouldn't it make considerably more sense to simply state that the Bible focusses only on one particular lineage in the Creation Story in Genesis, and that all the rest come from other separately created tribes/lineages?

No, because that would force me to accept the inane, illogical position of Evolution with no Intelligent Agent which is far more problematic concerning the real evidence.  More later.
Quote
Of course the most reasonable interpretation of Genesis is that it's just one of many creation myths that intertwine an prehistoric attempt to account for how we got here with some kind of moral message.  Many Christians quite happily accept the morality tale without having to make a big deal about its historical veracity.  I suspect afDave does not.

You suspect right!  And there is a very good reason which we will get into.  So are you telling me that I'm a different YECer than you've encountered before?  I hope so, because then if nothing else, reading my stuff will be some new entertainment for you :-)

Dave, just think for a moment.  In the very same comment you first call Evolution "inane" and then you ask me if I think you're a different (kind of) YECer...

I think you already know my answer.   :)

Date: 2006/05/02 20:55:13, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,06:03)
Quote
Dave, wouldn't it make considerably more sense to simply state that the Bible focusses only on one particular lineage in the Creation Story in Genesis, and that all the rest come from other separately created tribes/lineages?

No, because that would force me to accept the inane, illogical position of Evolution with no Intelligent Agent which is far more problematic concerning the real evidence.  More later.
Quote
Of course the most reasonable interpretation of Genesis is that it's just one of many creation myths that intertwine an prehistoric attempt to account for how we got here with some kind of moral message.  Many Christians quite happily accept the morality tale without having to make a big deal about its historical veracity.  I suspect afDave does not.

You suspect right!  And there is a very good reason which we will get into.  So are you telling me that I'm a different YECer than you've encountered before?  I hope so, because then if nothing else, reading my stuff will be some new entertainment for you :-)

Dave, just think for a moment.  In the very same comment you first call Evolution "inane" and then you ask me if I think you're a different (kind of) YECer...

I think you already know my answer.   :)

Date: 2006/05/03 08:27:02, Link
Author: tacitus
I give up.  With every response Dave makes he confirms he's simply the same old run-of-the-mill young-earth creationist fundamentalist Christian who just happens to believe he has some novel approach to the tried old arguments.  Well, I;ve got news for him.  Expanding the definition of science to encompass supernatural phenomena is not a novel approach.   It is at the very heart of what both the creationist and ID movements have been trying to do since the beginning.  It's never worked before, and will never work in the future.

The only ground he's given in this debate is on terminology alone.  He hasn't really been listening to anything we're saying--at least, if he has, it hasn't moved him one jot.

Date: 2006/05/13 18:29:25, Link
Author: tacitus
You guys still going at it?  Wow, you have some stamina!

Anyway, since AIG is being quote and mentioned again on this thread, now might be a good time to quote something from their own "About" page:
Quote
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible.

There it is.  They don't do science, they do apologetics.  They don't do any scientific research for themselves--the best you can say is that they are armchair critics.

Maybe if afDave started quoting directly from sources doing the science instead of parroting an apologetics organization we would begin to talk him more seriously.

Date: 2006/05/14 20:11:40, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (keiths @ May 15 2006,00:56)
Dembski eats crow over his smear job on Kevin Padian:
http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1122

That's about as begrudging an apology you can give after you have been caught completely in the wrong:

Quote
Padian in his letter above does not dispute that he singled out “young” “Asian” “fundamentalists” as supporters of ID


Oh my, Padain forgot to refute every single word of Dembski's post, so that means it must have been partially true after all.

Give me a break.

Date: 2006/05/16 22:09:46, Link
Author: tacitus
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse:
Quote
A Young Earth creationist will be replacing a leading intelligent design (ID) proponent as director of the Center for Theology and Science at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

The new center will be led by Dr. Kurt Wise, who recently directed the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College, a school located in Dayton, Tennessee, home of the famous Scopes evolution trial in 1925.

This man has no time for scientists:
Quote
As a creationist who holds a master's degree and a doctorate in paleontology, Wise contends that scripture provides what is by far the best evidence for creation. "I'm very interested in the specific claims the Bible makes about science," he notes, "and I'm less interested in the secular world's response to those things."

And poor Steven Jay Gould will be spinning in his grave:
Quote
Interestingly, the new head of the Center for Theology and Science received his doctoral degree in paleontology at Harvard under the advisement of famous evolutionist Dr. Stephen Jay Gould.


There's more: Southern Baptist Seminary Appoints Creationist to Head Center for Theology and Science

Date: 2006/05/17 05:24:14, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Flint @ May 17 2006,10:01)
OK, I must have missed something. I thought Dembski didn't actually leave Baylor until less than a year ago, and his position at the seminary was very recent. He's leaving already? Where is he going?

Dembski left to move back to Texas. He now works at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Same difference, really).

Date: 2006/05/17 05:41:28, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,05:36)
I take it you're surprised ...

I keep telling you guys ... we're taking over!

We're not surprised at all.  The antiscience, fundamentalist conservatives forced out all the moderates and took over the Southern Baptist Convention several years ago.  This is just one move of many that's been dragging the SBC down a long dark road back to the Dark Ages.

Kurt Wise will fit right in.

Date: 2006/05/17 05:50:05, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 17 2006,10:34)
I believe it is Southern...and not Southwestern, no?

 
Quote
In actuality, Wise asserts, science is not a product and should never have come to be understood as being "the answers," collectively, to the questions people ask. "Science is the way we find the answers to the questions people are asking," he insists. "It's a process."

And until science is taught that way in the classroom -- as a process rather than a finite product, the Christian paleontologist adds, "I don't think we have any business being in there or trying to get a creationist or an ID theory in there."


So Wise is not advocating we teach the controversy?  Hmmm...The con men of the DI will not like that.

I believe this is the institution he's moving to:

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Regarding Wise's take on science education... don't they already teach that science is a process in schools? (What the #### does saying that science is a "finite product" mean anyway?)

What he really means is that once we manage to subvert the teaching of that pesky little thing called the scientific process, the kids will be ready to swallow ID and creationism hook, line, and sinker.

Date: 2006/05/17 08:16:12, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Alan Fox @ May 17 2006,03:51)
This from Dr. D. really made me laugh out loud!

   
Quote
I’m not sure I buy the entire argument here (see the post on this blog about the evolution of nylonase), but I would like to see the insights below vigorously discussed on this blog.*


Oh, the irony!

(*My emphasis)

That made be laugh too, especially after seeing the following attached to one of the comments:
Quote
I'm taking you off the moderation list. Your comments will henceforward appear immediately. Don't make me regret it. -ds

You can just imagine the acolytes reviewing their comments before posting worrying if they're insightful enough to please the Imperious Leader and to keep from getting banned today.

Date: 2006/05/17 09:23:41, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 17 2006,13:39)
Dembski is offering yet another cash reward:

LOL - anything to avoid doing any substantial, unpaid work himself, no doubt.  Imagine Einstein vendoring out all the mathematics at a $1000 a pop, in an attempt to prove relativity...

Date: 2006/06/11 18:18:52, Link
Author: tacitus
I must admit that I occasionally enjoy reading some of the sludge conservative evolutionists and atheists have to wade through on that site.

They certainly have their work cut out fighting back the hordes of wingnut creationists and fundamentalists.

Makes me happy to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum.  Oh, we have plenty our own nutjobs, but at least most of them aren't anti-science genocidal maniacs.

(Oops - is my political prejudice showing....?)

Date: 2006/06/15 22:19:06, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (jujuquisp @ June 15 2006,21:39)
Actually, for a 50+ year old, it is impossible to have an IQ above 150.   Thus he is lying.  Look at how IQ tests are scored and anyone can see that this claim is clearly a baseless boast.  Maybe he had a score of 150+ on an IQ test when he was a kid, but it is impossible for him to have that score now.

But... but... he has four patents... he's got to be super-intelligent...

Date: 2006/06/17 17:49:53, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (afdave @ June 17 2006,13:09)
Quote
Doesn't it trouble you that this seems to happen every 5 minutes?

What's troubling is that only about half the population buys into your long age Darwinian fantasies in spite of all these excellent, smart scientists who are peddling the theory.

It's amazing to me that you don't scratch your head and say ... 'Hmmm ... with all this opportunity that we Evos have to indocrinate everyone with our theory, why don't they buy it?  Could it be wrong?'

Perhaps it has something to do with half the population being brow-beaten from the pulpit every Sunday with creationist arguments that even you would be embarrassed to use.

Half the population believes there is some truth to astrology.  Half the population once believed that the 9/11 terrorists were Iraqis. Billions of people around the world believe Islam is the only true religion.

Hmm -- perhaps we're all getting it totally wrong...

Date: 2006/06/20 22:00:32, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (keiths @ June 20 2006,22:57)
This "strong gravity" fiasco has really shaken DaveScot's confidence.  You can tell he's feeling insecure when he starts boasting compulsively:
     
Quote
I’m an autodidact with a certified IQ north of 150 (MGCT and SAT tests). I had a college level vocabulary at 9 years of age and was reading everything about science I could get my hands on starting a few years before that. I’ve continued on that course for over 40 years. In my spare time I became a computer design engineer and self-made millionaire. I quit my day job after making my third million (about 6 years ago) so I can concentrate on fun subjects like science that has little or nothing to do with computers (if I can help it), politics, and religion. So basically all the scientific discovery of the last 40 years important enough to make it into the pages of Scientific American I read about at the time it was discovered. For the last 13 years though I’ve had a broadband connection to the internet and my sources expanded exponentially. For the last 6 years I haven’t been burdened with being a computer whiz kid and my time to learn new things has expanded not exponentially but at least doubled or trebled. Any more questions? -ds

Yes, Otto, I have some questions:

1. If you had a college-level vocabulary at age 9, what happened to it?
2. Having read about all of the most important discoveries of the last 40 years, why have you forgotten almost all of them?
3. Did you skip the articles on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, black body temperatures, hemoglobin, and blood types?
4. Did you make yourself a millionaire or did Dell?

LOL!  This has got to be one of my all-time favourite DS comments.

I believe that Mr. Springer got lucky enough to become a Dellionaire (one of many here in central Texas) during Dell's explosive growth in the 90s. I just love the puffed-up "self-made millionaire" quote.  He makes it sound like it was all achieved through blood, sweat and tremendous self-sacrifice.  Of course, most likely he just happened to be in the right place at the right time to earn a few thousand stock options when the Dell stock price was going through the roof.  I'm guessing the most difficult thing he had to do to earn his millions was deciding the right time to cash in those options.

Guess what!  I'm a self-made millionaire too!  Working in the computer industry for 20 years tends to have that effect on your finances if you are reasonably prudent with your money.  I also got thousands of stock options (sadly not worth millions, but they're doing all right).

I'm just glad all that didn't turn me into an puffed-up, bombastic, a-hole like him.

Date: 2006/06/21 17:23:31, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Glen Davidson @ June 21 2006,10:56)
DaveTard:

 
Quote
I’m an autodidact...


He also may not be a savant.  The fact is that succeeding in the corporate world often entails stealing ideas, rubbishing the intelligence and knowledge of others, and generally acting like the fascist that DaveTard appears to be on UD.

Oh, I don't believe he rose high enough in the ranks at Dell to make much use of those admirable qualities.  He appears to have been a lead engineer on some hardware projects, but you don't have to be very high up in a place like Dell to do that.

Date: 2006/06/23 09:37:49, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
Do you consider that the National Weather Service tortured the people who they warned but who chose to stay in New Orleans?  I don't think they did.  They simply warned of something inevitable and the people chose to not heed the warning.  God simply warns people of something inevitable, but He does not force people to avoid it.  To do so would violate the whole free will thing.  In other words, God wants to 'throw a really good party' for His kids.  He invites everyone to come and warns that NOT coming to the party will be a really bad deal for you.  But He's a gentleman and doesn't force anyone to come to his party.


Terrible analogy.  The National Weather Service wasn't responsible for Katrina, and could do nothing to stop it from happening.  God, supposedly, can do as he pleases. He sets the rules, and determines every person's fate. (Or is the Great White Throne of Judgement simply a sham?)

A better analogy would be to say that the Mafia was throwing a really great party for everybody with the tacit understanding that if you don't show up things will go really bad for you.  The problem is that some people never received their invitations, some got garbled messages and turned up at the wrong place or the wrong time, and some received their invites from known liars and didn't believe them.

But no matter the reason, those who failed to show up got a visit from heavies wielding baseball bats and tommy guns to mete out their punishment. Oh, and by the way, the Mafia Boss is such a gentleman, and would never force anyone to attend his party, but woe betied you if you disrespect him by not turning up.

Date: 2006/06/25 08:01:50, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 25 2006,10:44)
I wonder if the bible is consistent with the Book of Origin?

Hallowed are the Auri.

If you're going to quote fictional pseudo-mythology, you really should get it right...  

It's "Ori" not "Auri".

Date: 2006/06/25 08:14:28, Link
Author: tacitus
It is telling that Dave will instantly dismiss mountains of archaeological evidence (much more that he could hope to read) and yet clings to a theory about the authorship of Genesis which is based on nothing but the merest speculation about a few repetitions of a single phrase found in the manuscript.

From that we get the original form (tablets), the original authors (God, Adam) and even the dates they were written.  Wow!  Amazing!  Gee, I wish the rest of science worked that well.  We'd be travelling the stars on little more than cold fusion and flux capacitors by now.

Date: 2006/07/04 19:52:08, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 04 2006,13:31)
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 04 2006,06:24)
 
Quote (Aardvark @ July 03 2006,19:18)
I found a video of Larry on YouTube:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?X29D23C5D

That really was Larry Farfarman on the video?

Bloody he11 is he scary.

It was some loon called David Thompson from the city of Charlotte, N. Carolina.

LOL!  I have the pleasure of living in the home town of one of the most famous "black helicopters" conspiracy theorists--one  Alex Jones, who hales from Austin, Texas.  He's been on cable access TV here for years and, when he's in the mood, can easily stir himself up into a red-faced, wild-eyed rage.  It's fascinating to watch.

His main claims to fame are his infowars.com web site, his arrest for disturbing the peace while refusing to be fingerprinted for his driver's license, and for sneaking into the elistist Bohemian Grove and taking some very shaky and indistinct footage of the "pagan rituals" being performed there.

The local slogan "Keep Austin Weird" must be working, what with Alex Jones and Dave Scott Springer making their homes in central Texas.

Date: 2006/07/05 12:53:56, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 05 2006,13:29)
Quote (tacitus @ July 05 2006,00:52)
His main claims to fame are his infowars.com web site, his arrest for disturbing the peace while refusing to be fingerprinted for his driver's license, and for sneaking into the elistist Bohemian Grove and taking some very shaky and indistinct footage of the "pagan rituals" being performed there.

Oh, him!  The story of the Bohemian Grove escapade is told by Jon Ronson in his book Them: Adventure with Extremists.  A great book, in which Ronson meets several nutters, and Denis Healey, who's responsible for setting up the secret conspiracy that really rules the world.

Bob

Really? Old Denis Healey?  Well I never!  (Haven't heard that name in a long while, though I see he's still with us, approaching his 89th birthday).

But I thought it was the shape-shifting aliens masquerading as the British Royal Family who were behind it all...

(David Icke puts Alex Jones to shame when it comes to conspiracy theories, though he doesn't have the same wild fire-in-the-eyes look that Jones is so good at.)

Date: 2006/07/11 19:58:33, Link
Author: tacitus
Hey Chiefley, dunno if you've come across this website yet, but Talk 2 Action is a weblog that keeps an eye on this type of stuff.

While we should no underestimate the amount of trouble Dominionists and Reconstuctionists can cause, I'm not really too concerned that they will make much headway in America in the future.

The Terri Schiavo affair was a salient moment in this debate. Conservatives tried to make this a "values voter" issue and were roundly rebuffed by the majority of people who were appalled by the government's attempt to intrude into this woman's private life.

In isolation, they may be able to score some politcal points against evolution, but their wider agenda of bringing back an Old Testament-style rule of law will, if you forgive the Biblical illusion, fall upon stony ground.

The only chance these people have of taking over the country would be after some terrible trauma  like a nuclear war or widespread terrorist biological attack, and frankly, if that happened we would have more important things to worry about!

Date: 2006/07/11 20:11:58, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (stevestory @ July 11 2006,11:18)
"Look, you egghead scientists: Intelligent Design is simple. An unknown thing did some unknown stuff at an unknown time. Prove me wrong, counselor."

Shouldn't that be "pinhead scientists"?

(It saddens me that I've watched enough of that man to know that  ??? )

Date: 2006/07/16 06:54:36, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote
Now our discussion of the Grand Canyon and other phenomena will make more sense within this framework ...


(Ah... Jackie Collins debates William Shakespeare)

There is only one rational response to that statement...

ROTFLMA.

Date: 2007/02/19 00:30:20, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Mike PSS @ Feb. 18 2007,21:29)
Talk about stroking your own ego.

...

As of my post there are 36 comments.  Twenty-three (23) are from DaveScot but only ten (10) are in reply to other commenters.

That means DS is his own best commenter adding information to his own post so he can answer his own questions with his own insights.

It's lonely at the top.

You really do get the sense that he believes he's just about to single-handedly expose that Global Warming as a total and utter hoax.  

For all the billions of dollars spent by scientists over the past two decades, the endless hours of data collection, the countless late nights spent analyzing the terabyte-sized data sets, the hundreds of peer reviewed papers pored over by hundreds more scientists for weeks at a time, it is he, Dave Scot Springer, having spent a mere few hours sitting in front of his computer in his underpants squinting at a couple of charts he's unearthed through his mad, autodidactic Googling skills, who is the one person to have finally divined the truth about global warming.

I can almost see it now.  William Dembski proudly bestowing the Nobel Prize for Physics upon his faithful former acolyte, with DaveScot whispering graciously to old Bill that he is welcome to contribute to his new blog, "Dave Scot Springer Was Right All Along, You Tards!" any time.

Sometimes I suspect that Dell stock options were the worst thing that ever happened to that man.

Date: 2007/02/19 04:47:24, Link
Author: tacitus
Latest post in the GW thread:

Quote

If anyone happens to run into Mark Frank tell him he isn’t banned here. Far from it. I want him to return as well as Mike Dunford.


This is what happens when you ban everyone who actually knows what they're talking about.  Nobody else worth their salt cares enough to converse with you any more.

Poor lil' Dave is getting lonely.

Date: 2007/12/05 18:48:25, Link
Author: tacitus
Hey, s'bin a while since I posted (here, anyway  :D ) but thought I would chip in with my thoughts on geegee.

You have to remember that Gonzalez co-wrote The Privileged Planet with the help of Jay Richards, who is another DI fellow, so Gonzales has been fully sold (souled?) out to the DI for a long time now.  His career is well and truly entwined with them (and rapidly downwards now, it seems).

The last time I heard Jay Richards, he was on "The Bible Answer Man" (an apologetics show) where the host, Hank Hanegraaff called TPP "an essential resource no Christian should be without". They spent two whole hours explaining how the book (and DVD) validates Christianity.  I wonder if Gonzales remember to include that endorsement in his tenure application?

I suspect the rest of the DI doesn't really care about GG's career.  They would shove him under a bus if they thought it would advance the cause of ID.  They don't care about the supposed discrimination against Gonzalez, they just want a judge to tell ISU that they have to take GG's ID-related work into consideration (positively, of course)  so that they can trumpet the acceptance of ID as valid science.

(Mind you, any win in court, no matter how narrow, will be spun furiously).

What's so funny about the IDists' reaction to all this is that they really believe that without the supposed discrimination against Gonzalez's views on ID, he has a slam dunk case for tenure.  Of course, in their little universe, all of his ID work (including SciAm articles and the book) counts towards it too.  Even when presented with solid evidence refuting their claim, they just cannot see otherwise.

I agree with dheddle that Gonzalez's case presents a wonderful opportunity for some Christian college to hire him and perhaps fund him to continue his research into whatever he wants, but isn't it telling that this never seems to happen?

Some of the super-rich billionaires in this country are creationists and ID-sympathizers, but it seems that even the arch-PRists of the DI can't prise any money from their tightly clenched fists.  Of course, perhaps it's because they can't think of anything to spend the money on in the first place?!  Funding Gonzalez privately should be an opportunity for the DI that's too good to pass up... but why do I get the feeling nothing's going to happen...again??

Date: 2008/02/12 12:05:51, Link
Author: tacitus
And Dave Scot further embellishes tales of his legendary career at Dell by explaining why he was denied the chance to lead the company into the Promised Land:

 
Quote
I became a senior engineer at Dell Computer with no degree at all and had incentive compensation on the order of major league basketball players. However, I hit a glass ceiling. If I’d an MBA I could have gone up to senior vice president and those guys got incentive pay on the order of Michael Jordan.


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-170963

Really? Poor wittle Davy Wavy would have made it to Senior VP at Dell if he hadn't been so cruelly discriminated against by those evil bastard business executives flaunting their fancy-wancy MBAs in his face.  Hint: while it helps, I don't know of any high-tech company that requires you to have an MBA before you can join the ranks of senior management.

In any case, he could have just gone out gotten an MBA. It would have been a piece of cake for a super-genius like Dave.  And if he was the monster engineer he claims he was then Dell would have almost certainly given him permission to take the classes part-time.  I've known two or three dozen engineers at IBM who've done this, and Dell is no different.  His griping about a "glass ceiling" is patently ridiculous.

And that NBA-quality "incentive compensation"?  The same reason he claims to be a "self-made millionaire".  Dell stock options went through the roof in the 90s when he was lucky enough to be working there.  "Dellionaires" were ten-a-penny at the time as just about everyone in the company was reaping huge profits from the soaring stock price.  I know a couple of senior managers who work at Dell today, and their incentive compensation is not even close to NHL-levels these days, but closer to zero than anything else.

Date: 2008/02/27 13:06:38, Link
Author: tacitus
I have never heard any serious scientist associate the hypothesis of panspermia with that of an alien intelligence seeding life on Earth.  I am sure the possibility has been discussed, but there is no serious scientific effort to develop the idea of panspermia along those lines, and certainly nobody is arguing that it should be taught in science class in high school.  Even the fans of panspermia accept this as the correct approach to take.

But panspermia is certainly a legitimate scientific hypothesis when it comes to the idea that simple lifeforms (that evolved elsewhere) may be able to survive the hardship of space for some long period of time.  Discoveries of extremeophiles here on Earth and the possibility of bacteria and other single cell organisms surviving on space-born missions are just two areas of related research (that already bear fruit).

It may not be much more than an interesting hypothesis (and it may well be wrong), but panspermia has already contributed to the scientific debate on the origins of life (but not evolution).  That is in stark contrast to ID, which has had no bearing on the scientific debate (as opposed to the political debate) at all.

So, Kevin, while in theory panspermia may hold out the tiniest of chances that alien intelligence was the agency of life on Earth it is no more likely than, say, aliens were responsible for carving the Face on Mars.  You can't rule it out completely but there is no useful scientific value to researching into it.  In fact, unless an alien species turns up on Earth's doorstep and to claim us as their own, there is no avenue of scientific research available. (And if those aliens do show up, it might be a victory for IDists, but they would be royally pissed off with the identity of the designer :) )

In that way, panspermia it is precisely like ID.  As soon as you invoke an intelligent agency, you leave the realm of science and into the realm of religion or fantasy or science fiction.  Conflating those two realms over the idea of panspermia is no help in making the case for ID as science. In fact, it proves the opposite.

Date: 2008/03/21 01:53:06, Link
Author: tacitus
Wesley, while "crossroadsthemovie.com" wasn't reserved, it is possible that they reserved another combination of name and extension (e.g. crossroads-the-movie.net).

However, if that's the case, they should have no problem telling us what domain name they did choose so we can look up the details of when they registered it, so don't let them get away with waffling about inaccurate domain names.

Either way, nice work.

Date: 2008/03/21 17:15:09, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (1of63 @ Mar. 21 2008,08:05)
Crossroads was also the name of a long-running British TV soap, notable for bad scripts, bad acting, shaky sets and improbable storylines...hmm, that sounds familiar...

Dammit.  I can't get that stupid Crossroads theme tune out of my head now (and it hasn't even been on the telly for 20 years now!).  Thanks a bunch!

Date: 2008/03/24 01:48:53, Link
Author: tacitus
I haven't seen this anywhere, but I might be repeating what someone else has already done.

I did a little checking of domain names for Expelled the Movie, and here's what I found:

The name "expelledthemovie" was registered for all of the following domain extensions on 02 March 2007:

.com .net .biz .us .org .info

In addition, "expelledmovie.com" was registered on April 5th, 2007 (it redirects to the main site).  Probably just as insurance against mistyping, but an additional "smoking gun" nonetheless.

Seems to me that this is a pretty concerted effort to cover all the bases domain-wise for the title they had decided upon.  Certainly no one has come up with anything similar for "Crossroads".

"getexpelled.com" was registered on 26th Oct 2007, no doubt when they came up with their marketing campaign, and "getexpelled.net" was added on 31st Dec 2007.

Interestingly, "expelledthemoviesucks" was registered for the domain extensions .com .net .org. and .info on 6th Sep 2007, but the registrant details are private.  My guess is that they were registered by the Expelled people as domains ending in "sucks" tend to be registered by (lame) critics of the company or merchandise being advertised. But it could equally have been someone opposed to the movie.

"themovieexpelled.com" was registered in Jan 2008, but looks like a domain squatting exercise (or critic, of course).

FYI, "expelledthedvd" is still available for all domain extensions, and they don't seem to have bothered with country-specific domain names.

Date: 2008/04/07 11:42:32, Link
Author: tacitus
Ben Stein's been spewing the word about Expelled again this morning, this time to the faithful of James Dobson's flock at Focus on the Family.  Here is a link to the broadcast:

http://focusfamily.edgeboss.net/wmedia-....211.asx

(or go to family.org and follow the links to today's broadcast if that doesn't work).

Short critique -- it's the usual drivel. No time to provide a longer critique, I'm afraid, though in his potted explanation of ID Stein mentions something about "inorganic cells" being impossibly complex.  I Googled the term and found nothing but scifi and woowoo references -- is it even a real biological term?

Stein also smugly recounts his supposed bamboozling Richard Dawkins with his startlingly audacious "1%, 49%, 51% chance of ID being real" argument.  It sounds even more lame here than it does in the movie.

Date: 2008/04/09 23:43:44, Link
Author: tacitus
I honestly don't see how they postpone the premier.  Unless they were so dumb as to not get any legal advice about making their own version of the animation (admittedly, they could be that dumb) then they will probably already have been told by a lawyer that they've done enough to squeak past any lawsuit over copyright.

So they'll probably go ahead with the movie and then attempt to tough it out in court.

Date: 2008/04/10 12:17:38, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 09 2008,10:08)
Quote (dogdidit @ April 09 2008,09:29)
I am convinced DS is writing hisself a sci-fi novel. Or channeling Arthur C. Clarke. link
     
Quote
A perfectly plausible explanation for this is that the earth, as soon as was able to support organic life in any form, was purposely seeded with it (Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel’s directed panspermia). The purpose of that was to terraform the planet so that it could eventually support oxygen breathing land animals. The first seeding culminated in the Ediacaran biota. A second seeding of modern forms of life took place in the Cambrian. If we suppose that rational man and an industrial civilization capable of repeating the cycle of directed panspermia was the ultimate goal more terraforming was required at least in as much as laying down large stores of easily accessable fossil fuels to power an industrial civilization. In order to repeat the cycle and ensure that life continues beyond the point where the earth is able to support it (the sun will eventually fry the earth into a cinder in another few billion years) there must be some means of identifying young planets able to support life (astronomy), the ability to transport life to them (space exploration), and the ability to customize forms of life suitable for the new environment (genetic engineering).

Of course, if the space aliens travelled all the way to earth just to stick anal probes up our butts seed the planet with new life and program it to go out an find a new world to live on, why didn't they just perform the latter task themselves? Oh wait, that'll be in the second volume. Tard Wars will be a multi-volume set.

"Please! We have reached the limits of what anal probing can teach us!"


One would think that was true, but it's dangerous to make such assumptions without first calculating how far Gil Dogden  can stick his tongue up another person's butt.

Date: 2008/11/17 13:09:28, Link
Author: tacitus
Am I the only one who thinks that Dave's resignation was precipitated by the fact that he wasn't tapped by Dembski as the new chief in this little fiefdom of theirs?

It must have stung hard to see a religious wingnut and sycophant like BarryA given the job over him.

Date: 2009/06/01 08:33:02, Link
Author: tacitus
I assume Dembski believes he's preaching to the converted with this new book, since I can't see how anyone who is an atheist could be persuaded by his Bible-based logic.

In the first chapter, he does a reasonable job of identifying some of the objections over the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice as atonement for all sin, but he quickly resorts to vague hand waving as he tries refute those objections. His efforts to overcome the objection that Christ, being God, knew full well that his sacrifice was merely temporary and would indeed restore him to full Godhood and all that entails are singularly unimpressive.

As for the title, "The End of Christianity," it's a rather poor attempt to shock people into picking up the book to see what it's about.  He needs almost a full page to explain what he title is supposed to be about, and I'm sure the vast majority of readers, especially those not imbued with Christian theology, will be left scratching their heads.

If the rest of the book is more of the same, I suspect this effort will only strengthen our case that ID is all about religion.  Indeed, he claims that ID has already succeeded in its role (as prophesied by the Wedge document) in opening the door to bringing Christianity back into the conversation:
Quote
Instead of routinely ignoring Christianity as they did twenty years ago, many Western intellectuals now treat it with open contempt, expending a great many words to denounce it. But this is progress. The dead are ignored and forgotten. The living are scorned and reviled. I was therefore gratified to see the recent rash of books by the “neo-atheists” such as Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens’s god Is Not Great (Hitchens insists on not capitalizing references to the deity), and Sam Harris’s The End of Faith. These books would be unnecessary if Christianity, and theism generally, were not again a live issue.

The neo-atheists’ first line of attack in challenging religious belief, and Christianity in particular, is to invoke science as the principal debunker of religion. Science is supposed to show that any God or intelligence or purpose behind the universe is not merely superfluous but an impediment to reason. Yet evidence from science shows the opposite. The case for a designing intelligence producing life and the cosmos is now on solid ground, as can be seen from such books as The Design of Life and The
Privileged Planet.

You've gotta love the hubris involved in claiming that his own book (The Design for Life) has sealed the deal for ID as valid science.

Date: 2011/07/19 13:13:09, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 19 2011,10:18)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 19 2011,10:10)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,July 19 2011,07:28)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 18 2011,17:33)
House Husband from Texas:

http://www.digitpress.com/library....er.html

ahhhhhhhhh

 
Quote
I loved programming and it was basically all I did during waking hours. I was stoned pretty much constantly too.  No one knew that and this is probably the first time I’ve told anyone other than close friends and family. In fact all through the military, college, and my entire career that was the case.  It helps me stay intensely focused on a narrow problem for many hours on end and nothing short of a natural disaster can disturb that focus.  Running on nothing but pot, cigarettes, and soda, I could work for 24 hours straight before needing to eat and sleep.  
- DaveTard

He's a legend in his own lunchtime.

Well, I guess one has to give him a little credit for resisting the temptation of calling himself a "self-made millionaire" this time.

But I suppose it's a little difficult to make that claim when you're going into so much detail about how you actually made your money -- sitting on your ass watching the Dell stock price going through the roof (and some). And no doubt, claiming to be a stoner goes down better with the gaming crowd.

I have a good friend at Dell who works at least as hard has he claims he did (they are grinding her into the ground), and believe me, she's not getting rich doing it these days.

Just shows how timing and luck can make all the difference.

Date: 2011/08/02 14:01:44, Link
Author: tacitus
Quote (sparc @ Aug. 01 2011,23:20)
BTW, is anybody here currently really following UD? I am not.

I still dip in from time to time, and once in a while I will even comment there, but all my comments have to go through moderation, so trying to carry on a conversation is a waste of time (and my last observation was summarily deleted).

O'Leary's pattern of posting a dozen pointless "News" stories a day, and then the occasional "All atheists are eeevil" comment-bait post just to make sure that there are still some readers out there, doesn't make for very interesting reading -- in fact, the comment threads (minus BA77's obsessive diatribes about the Shroud of Turin and related "evidences" for the existence of God) tend to be far more interesting. If a post doesn't have twenty comments or more, it's typically not worth the effort to click on it.

It's a good job that the ID movement doesn't do any science though. O'Leary's mocking of the way scientists keep changing the story whenever new studies turn up new evidence and/or new conclusions, is nothing short of Ham-like in its brazenness. So it's just as well for her that ID isn't subject to the same competitive pressures and accumulating evidence that real scientists have to deal with, otherwise her head might explode. Heaven forbid if two IDists ever end up feuding with one another...

So, essentially, UD has turned into nothing more than an exercise in masturbatory back-slapping. Perhaps it was always that way, but O'Leary's painful prose (are her books this bad, or does her editor paper over the worst of it?) just makes the whole experience less entertaining than it used to be.

 

 

 

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