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Apr 23 2013

My Conservapedia Article: Updated

I’ve noted before how amusing the Conservapedia article about me is. Previously, pretty much the only thing it said about me was that I was overweight. Now they’ve added a bit more detail to that, including the fact that I have often made fun of Chuck Norris:

A video of the overweight American atheist Ed Brayton mocking the fit Christian martial artist Chuck Norris can be found HERE. According to Chuck Norris, most obesity in America is the result of hedonism (see: Chuck Norris on the topic of obesity). Christians have good reasons to believe that a hedonist lifestyle is a causal factor of atheism (see: Causes of atheism).

Of course, I didn’t make fun of Chuck Norris for being fit, I made fun of him for being a weapons-grade moron. And to be honest, my life isn’t nearly as hedonist as I’d like it to be. But now they’ve added another part to the page. See if you can make any sense of this:

Using academic studies, survey data and other information, supporters of the Question evolution! campaign maintain that including Ed Brayton, there is a lack of sound leadership within the agnostic/atheist and evolutionist communities in dealing with the global decline of atheism and agnosticism.

That’s a very nice word salad. I don’t know what makes them think that atheism is in decline; it certainly is not in decline in this country, where much higher percentages than ever before are declaring themselves to be atheist, agnostic or non-religious.

I’m also amused that one of the links in the article is to a 2007 post by Sal Cordova at Uncommon Descent (aka William Dembski’s Home for Wayward Sycophants) that claims, quite wrongly, that my dear friend Genie Scott has “defeated” me on the question of whether Intelligent Design was really meant to get around the Supreme Court and get creationism under a different label into public school science classrooms. It’s one of the most ridiculous, badly reasoned and utterly dishonest articles you will ever read. I refuted it in great detail at the time and I will reprint that answer below.

Cordova Tries Again

The old saying is that when you find yourself in a hole that you can’t get out of, the first rule is to stop digging; Sal Cordova appears not to have heard that rule. He left this comment on one of my previous posts addressing him, in which he appears to be compelled to duck into the punch. He proves me right from the very first sentence. First he quotes what I said:

It should be clear to any honest person that Matzke was referring to the same thing Dembski was, to the present use of that phrase as a label for a (still non-existent) theory, research program, or movement. That Sal continues to make absurd arguments to prove otherwise only shows his lack of intellectual honesty.

And then….he agrees with it completely:

A rose is a rose by any other name, and it appears the movement merely adopted a name suitable to it’s rightful heritage. It was ID all along, and any mis-naming it along the lines of “creation science” was a mistake, and Edward’s vs. Aguillard only hastened the fixing of this mistake.

Thank you, Sal, you just admitted precisely what Nick and I have been arguing all along – ID is nothing but a new label for the same old set of arguments and claims and it was chosen becauseEdwards ruled those ideas out of public school science classrooms under the old label (that’s only the first part of the story, of course; they also then stopped using the more blatantly Biblical claims from creation science for the same purpose).

Sal has just admitted that they merely exchanged labels and that they did so because ofEdwards. We already knew that, of course, because Of Pandas and People offered the exact same definition of the two terms, but since this is exactly what Sal has been putatively arguing against all this time, it’s nice to see him finally admit that (wittingly or unwittingly). He then offers this brief quote from my good friend Genie Scott, which he bizarrely claims “defeats” me:

With respect to what ID is, and where it descended from:

ID is a lineal descendent of William Paley’s Argument from Design (Paley 1803,)

Eugenie Scott

Ed’s analysis is clumsy and simplistic as I pointed out in Eugenie Scott defeats Ed Brayton and in subsequent comments.

Of course ID is a lineal descendant of Paley’s argument; who in their right mind would deny that? Why Sal thinks that defeats my argument is beyond me; it doesn’t even address my argument. For what seems like the 9 millionth time, let me make this clear: this argument has nothing to do with who first uttered the phrase “intelligent design” or with how old the concept is. Those things are red herrings, plain and simple. The argument is over the systematic use of that phrase as a label for a movement and an (alleged) theory, particularly as a new label for an older set of arguments and claims – which means that, once again, Sal is actually admitting that we are right. And he’s not done yet:

I will show that Brayton is wrong to think the ID debate was about public schools, and of all things I will show he is wrong because of a superbly researched peer-reviewed paper by Eugenie Scott, published in the Annual Reviews of Anthropology, 1997.

But first, it is only fair to concede that biblical creationism and ID do indeed arrive on at least one common conclusion, namely, that there is design in life. But does arriving at the same conclusion imply there is only one means of reasoning to arrive at the same end? Is there only one road that leads to Rome?

If two roads lead to the same destination, does that mean the two roads must be the same road? Darwinists think that because ID and biblical creationism arrive at comparable conclusions with respect to the question of intelligent agency in the design of life, that ID must therefore be identical to biblical creation. But this line of reasoning by the Darwinists is as illogical as saying that any road that leads to Rome must be the same road, that if one arrives in Rome, he can only have gotten there through one route. So if Brayton insinuates ID = creationism because they have comparable conclusions, or that ID = creationism because the evidence leads to inferring design, he is being illogical.

But this is emphatically not my argument at all. In fact, I argue the exact opposite, that ID and creationism arrive at the same conclusion by following the same exact road to that conclusion. Their journeys are only different in two ways: creationism was explicit about the identity of the intelligent designer (it was the Biblical God, of course), while ID advocates pretend that they don’t know who or what the designer was; and the IDers make a conscious choice to avoid stopping along the way at the explicitly Biblical rest areas like the age of the Earth or a global flood. Both of those distinctions were chosen explicitly for strategic reasons, of course.

My argument that they arrive at the same conclusion using the same road is easily supported by one basic and undeniable fact: every single arrow in the ID quiver was also in the creationist quiver. There is not a single argument in the IDers arsenal that was not taken directly from earlier creationist writings. Behe was not the first one to come up with irreducible complexity, the argument was found in creationist writings long before he wrote a book about it. They even used all of his infamous examples, including the flagellum, as evidence.

Here’s my challenge to Sal: show us the arguments in ID that cannot be traced directly to earlier creationist writings and then perhaps someone will believe you that ID and creationism arrived via different paths. Good luck.

But even granting (only for the sake of argument) that ID = creationism, the claim that ID was created primarily to inject creationism into public schools is indefensible because ID was not aimed at the public schools, but rather the UNIVERSITIES. No critic I’ve debated has been able to get around that difficulty, and it will be more difficult in light of Eugenie Scott’s superb peer-reviewed research on the matter.

No critic has been able to get around that difficulty? Seriously? I find that more than a little hard to believe because the answer is so incredibly obvious. Here’s the answer: Sal is lying. And not just Sal, but many other ID advocates who have made this same claim. The chutzpah of the ID crowd is truly staggering at times; they’ll look you right in the eye and tell you that they have no desire to get ID into public schools while simultaneously trying to get ID into public schoolsOf Pandas and People is not a college textbook, folks; it’s a high school textbook.

For crying out loud, at the same time that the Discovery Institute claims that they never had any intention of putting ID into public school science classroms, three of their fellows – David DeWolf, Stephen Meyer and Mark Deforrest, put out a whole treatment of this subject arguing for doing exactly that. The title of that book tells you all you need to know:

Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook

Here’s what that guidebook argues:

While finding that the Louisiana statute failed to comply with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Court encouraged “teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children . . . with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.”3

Within the last decade or so, just such an alternative theory has emerged. Darwinian theorists have long acknowledged that biological organisms “appear” to be designed. Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins, a leading Darwinian spokesman, has admitted: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”4 Statements like this echo throughout the biological literature. Francis Crick, Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, writes, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”5 Nevertheless, Darwinists insist that this appearance of design is illusory since the mechanism of natural selection entirely suffices to explain the observed complexity of living things.

Over the last forty years, however, even many evolutionary biologists have acknowledged fundamental problems with the Darwinian explanation for apparent design. As a result, an increasing number of scientists have begun to argue that organisms appear to be designed because they really are designed. These scientists (known as design theorists) see evidence of actual intelligent design in biological systems. They argue that, contrary to neo-Darwinian orthodoxy, nature displays abundant evidence of real, not just apparent, design. As their numbers have grown, their work has sparked a spirited scientific controversy over this central issue.

The purpose of this guidebook is to help teachers, school boards, and school administrators to negotiate the difficult scientific, legal, and pedagogical issues that arise from the origins controversy. At present many groups advise educators and administrators to ignore the controversy over design and to continue to teach a single theoretical viewpoint, ignoring scientific dissent and parental concerns about dogmatism and intellectual intolerance. In short, their approach is to suppress the controversy. We believe there is a better way. We suggest that public schools teach the controversy over biological origins in a way that faithfully reflects the debate that is actually happening among scientists.

But no, where would anyone ever get the idea that they would want to put ID into public school science curricula? Anyone who would claim that is obviously a Darwinist with an axe to grind. Pay no attention to everything we’ve said in the past. Pay no attention to the fact that we’ve gone all over the country testifying in front of school boards and legislatures encouraging them to put ID into science classrooms. Pay no attention to the fact that we’ve published books arguing that ID should be in public school science classrooms and that we’ve written textbooks marketed directly to the high school market. Who are you gonna believe, me or….well, me for the last 10 years?

Sal tries in vain to turn Genie Scott against me and pretend that she somehow disputes my argument; I assure you, she does not. And this is where Sal once again displays his truly extraordinary ability to miss the point. He’s trying to claim that ID was never about public school science curricula but was always only about university curricula. And he quotes Genie Scott saying something entirely different than that:

In 1989, shortly after the Edwards Supreme Court decision, Of Pandas and People, a supplemental textbook for high school biology, was published (Davis and Kenyon 1989). Its publication signified the increasing OEC [old earth creationist] influence in the neocreationist antievolution movement, and introduced the term Intelligent Design (ID). ID is promoted primarily by university-based antievolutionists who tend to be PCs [progressive creationists] rather than YECs. Dean Kenyon, for example, a tenured professor of biology at San Francisco State University, and Percival Davis, who teaches at a public college, Hillsborough Community College, in Tampa, Florida, advocate ID.

ID is a lineal descendent of William Paley’s Argument from Design (Paley 1803,)….

ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature, perhaps because it is (except for Of Pandas and People) usually directed more toward a university audience….

….
Antievolution at the University One of the leading exponents of ID is a University of California law professor, Phillip Johnson, who holds an endowed chair at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. Johnson appeared on the antievolutionist scene in 1991 with the publication of his book, Darwin on Trial (Johnson 1993). Because of Johnson’s academic credentials, andbecause he ignored arguments about the age of the earth and was even faintly contemptuous of YEC,….

Although Johnson is an evolution basher, his main concern is not really with whether scientific data do or do not support evolution, but with broader questions of purpose and meaning.
….
In the mid to late 1990s, university-based antievolutionism is a small but growing movement. For now, participants are dwarfed in both number and effectiveness by the more public efforts of organizations like the ICR, with its Back to Genesis road shows and media programs. YEC is still the most frequently-encountered antievolutionism that K-12 teachers have to cope with, but more and more it is being augmented by “arguments against evolution,” ID or other neocreationist positions. However, because a university-based antievolution movement has great potential to reach future decision-makers (who are being educated in universities today), this component of the movement may be highly influential in the future, even if it is small today. Future generations of college graduates may think that books like those of Johnson or Behe represent modern scientific scholarship on science and evolution.

Eugenie Scott, 1997

One can only imagine why Sal thinks this actually answers any argument I’ve made. Yes, many ID scholars are at universities. Yes, lots of ID books are written for a college-educated audience (which is not the same thing as saying that they were writing college textbooks, by the way). But so what? How in the world does that deny that the ID movement has attempted to get ID into public school science classrooms? It doesn’t. Let’s take Sal’s summation of his arguments one by one:

1. ID was originally university-based and oriented

This is his unwarranted conclusion from the mere fact that many ID scholars were at universities teaching. Totally irrelevant. The fact is that none of the ID scholars at universities actually teach ID there. Minnich does not teach a class about ID, nor does Behe, nor did Gonzales (I’m leaving out Dembski, who teaches ID at seminaries). In fact, that is their first line of defense when criticized – “Hey, I believe in ID but I don’t teach it at my university so why should you care?”

Can Sal name a single attempt by ID advocates to get an ID course in any state university? Or to get a textbook used in a college level biology class? I know of no such examples. But we do know about lots and lots of attempts to get ID into public school science classrooms in high schools. We know they wrote an entire guidebook advocating exactly that, and wrote an entire textbook just for that purpose. We know that they’ve testified in front of innumerable school boards and state legislators encouraging them to incorporate ID, either explicitly or under the label of “weakness of evolution” or “arguments against evolution.” For Sal to pretend that it was never about high school curricula is a baldfaced lie, plain and simple. But we’re getting used to that by now, aren’t we?

2. ID is a lineal descendent of William Paley’s Argument from Design (Paley 1803,) therefore Matzke is in a tough position arguing ID was somehow originated in 1989

And here Sal continues to beat up the same strawman version of Matzke’s position – and continues to ignore the fact that Dembski said the very same thing Matzke did. He didn’t claim that the idea didn’t exist prior to 1987; in fact, he himself listed sources using both the phrase and the concept long ago. In fact, that letter from Darwin that Sal quoted to start this whole thing? He found out about that quote from Matzke’s post about this. How much of a liar do you have to be to continue to claim that Matzke thinks the concept of design originated in 1987 when you yourself have found prior examples of that concept from Darwin because Matzke cited them? The answer: a really, really big liar.

3. the Edwards decision is only passingly mentioned

Of no relevance whatsoever to this argument.

4. ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature (therefore it cannot be the same by definition!)

I’ll take non sequiturs for $1000, Alex. Perhaps Sal could ask Genie what she meant by that; I can assure you that she meant nothing like what he claims she meant. ID literature is “more sophisticated” than creation science literature only in the sense that it avoids some of the mind-numbing stupidities of young earth creationism (which Sal himself believes, by the way). But the fact is that all of the arguments found in ID can be found in earlier creationist writings; the difference is the level of sophistication in the way the arguments are presented. Let’s look at the larger context of what Genie wrote in this regard:

ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature, perhaps because it is (except for Of Pandas and People) usually directed more toward a university audience than to the general public, at least up to now. One is less likely to find discussions of the vertebrate eye and more likely to find DNA structure or cellular complexity held up as too complex to have evolved by chance.

Precisely so. But even the arguments about cellular complexity was found in earlier creationist literature. Behe’s arguments about the flagellum existed in creationist writings before he put them in his book. The examples used and the arguments made may be stated in a more sophisticated, scientific-sounding manner, but they’re still the same old arguments we’ve heard time and again. Indeed, Sal admits this when he points to Paley’s watchmaker analogy – it’s the same argument. What originated in 1987 wasn’t the argument, but the systematic use of the phrase “intelligent design” as a label for that same set of arguments.

5. University-based anti-Darwinism was distinguished from the public school anti-Darwinism

Again, irrelevant. That some ID advocates were “university based” does not deny the fact that those university based scholars were pushing for ID in high school science classrooms. David DeWolf is university-based, but he and Meyer and DeForrest wrote an entire book advocating putting ID into high school science classrooms. This is one big red herring.

6. ID literature was not constrained to Pandas and People, and in fact is a notable exception, contrary to what Matzke tries to insinuate!

So where are all those college ID textbooks, Sal? If ID was aimed at college curricula rather than high school curricula, where are the college ID textbooks? You might claim that the new Explore Evolution textbook is aimed at the college market (though it is being marketed to both), but then you’d have to explain why, if the whole point was the college market all along that book is finally coming out 20 years after the high school textbook was written.

Just for laughs, presumably, he threw in this bizarre statement:

For that matter we got Yale Law School’s #1 alum (class of 1970), Ben Stein, to make a movie about them.

Right. Because the #1 alum of one of the finest law schools in the world is the guy who said “Bueller” and hosted a bad game show, not an influential legal scholar. Just weird. And stupid.

40 comments

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  1. 1
    Jafafa Hots

    Who hasn’t made fun of Chuck Norris?

  2. 2
    aaronbaker

    Of course, I didn’t make fun of Chuck Norris for being fit, I made fun of him for being a weapons-grade moron.

    Ed Brayton, national treasure.

  3. 3
    steve oberski

    Christians have good reasons to believe that a hedonist lifestyle is a causal factor of atheism

    So there are no overweight christians ?

  4. 4
    tubi

    Hey, “Win Ben Stein’s Money” was pretty entertaining, although that was due primarily to the presence of Jimmy Kimmel.

  5. 5
    lofgren

    If Conservapedia didn’t exist, I would have to invent it.

  6. 6
    azportsider

    No chance, lofgren. You’re nowhere near as stupid as little Andy Schlafly.

  7. 7
    Raging Bee

    A video of the overweight American atheist Ed Brayton mocking the fit Christian martial artist Chuck Norris can be found HERE…

    Argument (and tribal identity) based on looks? That wouldn’t have flown even in my high school.

    According to Chuck Norris, most obesity in America is the result of hedonism…

    …which may be kinda true if you adopt a ridiculously vague definition of “hedonism.” (And since when was Chuck Norris an expert on obesity? Methinks Michele Obama is a bit more credible on that subject.)

    ID is a lineal descendent of William Paley’s Argument from Design…

    …with “cdesign proponentsists” as a transitional form.

  8. 8
    Raging Bee

    Oh, and why are you talking about Sal Cordova now? Is he back in the game or something?

  9. 9
    fifthdentist

    I live in the South. There are a serious shit load of obese Christians here. Asses that deserve their own zip code obese.

  10. 10
    baal

    I came for the dig on conservapedia and stayed for the discussin of ID.

    “Christians have good reasons to believe that a hedonist lifestyle is a causal factor of atheism (see: Causes of atheism).”

    Sample size = me but I was an atheist well before my hedonism got in full swing.

    Fwiw, I’m fitter (more muscle, lower body fat %) than the majority of my coworkers and hedonism doesn’t mean excessive gluttony (or just eating the current ‘western’ diet for that matter).

  11. 11
    Argle Bargle

    ID is creationism with the serial number filed off, “God” replaced with an “Intelligent Designer” who has many of the same attributes as the fundamentalist Christian god, and is an attempt to bypass the legal prohibitions of teaching religion in public schools. In his decision in Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, Judge Jones wrote:

    A significant aspect of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is that despite Defendants’ protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.

    Accordingly, we find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause.

  12. 12
    slc1

    Re Raging Bee @ #8

    It is my understanding that lying piece of filth Cordoba is no longer at George Mason, Un.which probably made a noticeable improvement in the average IQ over there.

  13. 13
    scienceavenger

    My days as a hedonist also came with my best physical fitness. It was sort of required…

    As for Sal Cordova, why give the poseur such press?

  14. 14
    mithrandir

    Ulysses@11: And one of the biggest obstacles to ID getting into public schools, ironically enough, is that its advocates in the schools keep trying to glue God back on, thus missing the whole point of filing it off in the first place. The Trojan horse strategy don’t work so good when some yahoo inside keeps opening the hatch to moon the Trojans.

  15. 15
    timgueguen

    Hmmm, you’d think they’d be suspicious of Chuck because he practices karate. Karate, invented by heathens, believers in traditional Ryukyuan religion, Shintoism, and Buddhism. Karate, which often has the idea of ki, life energy, and the power it can provide when properly controlled, as a central tenet. That could probably be considered a form of witchcraft in some Christian interpretations. Of course knowing these dumbasses they probably think karate was invented by some Christian white guy.

  16. 16
    Akira MacKenzie

    timgueguen @ 15

    Rifftrax just produced a VOD of one of Chuck’s earlier works, “Breaker, Breaker.” In it, he plays a trucker/martial arts instructor (!) who takes on a corrupt town of 70s era moonshiners. Anyway, at one point df the movie, Chuck is instructing a pair of Karate students on meditation, using Eastern spiritualist jargon.

    Ironic, isn’t it?

  17. 17
    gmacs

    According to Chuck Norris, most obesity in America is the result of hedonism (see: Chuck Norris on the topic of obesity). Christians have good reasons to believe that a hedonist lifestyle is a causal factor of atheism

    Wow. So what would they have to say about JT?
    Also, what about all the obese and overweight evangelicals I’ve seen on television?

  18. 18
    No One

    Chuck (Carlos) Norris received his 1st Dan (black belt) not in Japanese Karate, but in Tang Soo Do, a martial taught in Korea where he was an Airman. The “spiritual” components include Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Meditation (myeuk kyum) is practiced at the beginning and end of each class. I guarantee that commands in his schools are still given in Korean.

  19. 19
    No One

    Epicurean hedonism was based on the precept of “pan metron ariston” everything in proper measure. It grinds my gears to see word and concept abused.

  20. 20
    rturpin

    Chuck Norris may not know that it is Jesus that makes people fat:

    http://rturpin.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/will-jesus-make-you-fat/

  21. 21
    Lithified Detritus

    every single arrow in the ID quiver was also in the creationist quiver.

    I see what you did there…

  22. 22
    Trebuchet

    Jeeze Louise Ed, you’re taking a typical post by “User:Conservative” aka Ken DeMeyer WAY too seriously. (The “Question EvolutionCampaign) consists entirely of Ken and an everchanging cast of imaginary supporters.)

    Nevertheless, I devoutly hope and pray (if I was capable of that) that Ken himself shows up here in the comments. It would be glorious!

    And for those wishing to keep up on the antics at CP without soiling your computer by actually going there, be sure to visit http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Conservapedia:What_is_going_on_at_CP%3F. Follow the link to the talk page as well.

  23. 23
    John Pieret

    Great summary of ID and its “arguments,” Ed! As true today as it was six years ago (or for that matter 26 years years ago or 211 years ago).

  24. 24
    Wes

    A video of the overweight American atheist Ed Brayton mocking the fit Christian martial artist Chuck Norris can be found HERE.

    A video of the overweight conservative bigot Rush Limbaugh mocking the fit non-conservative (not even atheist) Sandra Fluke can be found HERE .

    So I guess now Andrew Schlafly will now abandon right wing misogyny because Rush is a fat ass. Or maybe “You’re fat” only works against liberals…

  25. 25
    meursalt

    I don’t know if you’re aware, Ed, but the Conservapedia article on “Atheism” at one point featured a pic of you in bed. Not only do you get your own article, you are apparently one of the world’s most prominent atheists in Conservatopia.

    FWIW, Trebuchet is right about user Conservative. He’s probably the second most prolific contributor after Andy himself. He comprises about 30% of talk page edits too, from what I’ve read. He is a major constituent of the delicate melange of blather that is Conservapedia.

    (Hey, I get bored sometimes!)

  26. 26
    Akira MacKenzie

    Ah, but you see, atheist obesity is explained by hedonism; eating steak and lobster purchased with Communist food stamps funded by money stolen from hard-working taxpayers. On the other hand, Christian obesity is explained by God, thought the invisible hand of the free market, rewarding the pious and enterprising with the rich bounty of the Eaeth,.. In the form of steak and lobster.

  27. 27
    andrewryan

    Following some of those Conservapedia links I just realised Ed looks like Toy Story 3′s Lotsa Hugging Bear. Which is no bad thing.

  28. 28
    tacitus

    FYI: Ken “Conservative” DeMeyer’s entire argument for the “global decline in Atheism” is essentially that, globally, the number of non-believers is growing at a slower rate than the number of religious adherents, thus overall, the percentage of non-believers is shrinking.

    It doesn’t seem to matter to him that the same argument (if it made any sense) could be made for the demise of Christianity, given that Islam’s growth is outpacing it.

    His answer to the rise in the number of American “nones” is to ignore that, and concentrate on a single academic’s claim that religious families will out-breed the non-religious, thus will outpace any loss of religious faith incurred. This is, of course, nonsense, since such disparities in birth rates are only observed in small very fundamentalist communities, and clearly cannot be applied to large nations, like the US, as a whole.

  29. 29
    dingojack

    tatitus – this also assumes that those religious people who are breeding like rabbits have kids who remain trapped within their parents’ narrow mind-set. In fact this doesn’t seem to be the case, a majority of ‘nones’* (approx. 75%) come from religious families, so it ain’t looking good for (the Xtian) god.
    Aww – ain’t that a god-damned shame!
    Dingo
    ——–
    * ‘nones’ include atheists, agnostics, spiritual-but-not-religious, Newagers and everything else that’s not a mainstream religion, but one can make a reasonable hypothesis that atheists would follow the same general pattern.

  30. 30
    John Pieret

    slc1 @12

    that lying piece of filth Cordoba

    Sal was/is many things. He would dearly wish to have his lips surgically attached to Wild Bill Dembski’s posterior. He is congenially incapable of critical assessment of his own beliefs, which leads him to the silly assertions that Ed documents. But calling him a “lying piece of filth” is not unlike calling an overexcited puppy a “lying piece of filth” because, while playing with the kids, it pees on the carpet.

  31. 31
    slc1

    Re John Pieret @ #30

    Hey, they don’t call him slimy Sal for nothing.

  32. 32
    Nomad

    I’m not sure I find that an apt metaphor, John. Unless you’ve encountered a dog that can speak clearly and promise you that it will never ever pee on the carpet again, even as it’s in the process of doing so. Sal may be a little pipsqueak desperate for approval, but what he does is a little different from submissively urinating all over UD at the sound of his master’s voice.

    And I’m terribly sorry to all for that image.

  33. 33
    Raging Bee

    I just googled “Sal Cordova” and didn’t get any hits more recent than 2010. Why are we talking about this stale pipsqueak at all?

  34. 34
    slc1

    Re Raging Bee @ #33

    At least slimy Sal is doing his pipsqueaking somewhere other then Northern Virginia these days.

  35. 35
    caseloweraz

    OT: Also from the “Cuddy” blog (see comment #20) comes a quoted confession that recent voting-law changes in Florida were done to benefit the GOP.

    Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer and unnamed party consultants now admit that the voting laws there were put in place purposely to discourage voter turnout, black turnout in particular, and from no concern for voter fraud:

    This is the subject of the blog’s most recent post.

  36. 36
    scienceavenger

    @30: “Lying” might be too strong, but “dishonest” isn’t. Sal’s schtick was to pose as an expert on a topic by parroting jargon from it, when in fact he had no idea what he was talking about. This became clear if there was an actual expert around. which on one amusing occasion was me when he made the mistake of comparing evolution to card counting in Blackjack, a former hobby of mine. And even when caught red handed and exposed, Sal kept up the pretense, like an obtuse exposed magician, which I suppose is where the “Slimy” part of his name came from. Good riddence.

  37. 37
    John Pieret

    “Obtuse exposed magician” is a description of Sal I could endorse (especially if “repeatedly” was put in front).

  38. 38
    kermit.

    NoOne Epicurean hedonism was based on the precept of “pan metron ariston” everything in proper measure. It grinds my gears to see word and concept abused.
    .
    The Fundy Christian doesn’t do “proper measure”. They feel guilty about every pleasure they notice they’re having, and are taught from the beginning that they have no self-control (except by “surrendering to the Holy Spirit”). When they do indulge – sex, food, booze, they go all out, with no apparent awareness of how they actually feel. Perhaps it’s just the momentary sensation of freedom that intoxicates them so.
    .
    They assume that hedonists also do this, even though a fair portion of us can’t truly enjoy ourselves unless we’re working hard at being fit, or practicing music for hours, or researching and blogging multiple posts daily. It’s not just sitting in front of the TV smoking cigarettes and eating corn chips from the local Piggly Wiggly.

  39. 39
    carolw

    It’s all the babies that makes us Atheists fat, innit?

  40. 40
    democommie

    @carolw:

    That’s why you need to broil them, skin on, with just a spritz of lemon juice, a little salt and pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary; remove them from the spit; allow them to cool for about 10 minutes; shuck them and serve them with some new potatoes and baby carrots with a little infantahemo au jus on the side.

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