Be safe, Easterners! »« Bryan Fischer and the dogmatic incantations

Rats emboldened by Rick Perry

So Bryan Fischer came out swinging like a lunkhead, and now Ann Coulter scurries out to try and get in a sucker punch. Neither are very effective.

Roughly one-third of my 2006 No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” is an attack on liberals’ creation myth, Darwinian evolution. I presented the arguments of all the luminaries in the field, from the retarded Richard Dawkins to the brilliant Francis Crick, and disputed them.

But apparently liberals didn’t want to argue back.

I do, I do! I read Godless — it was appallingly bad, packed full of very poor rants made in complete ignorance of the science. I even challenged Coulter fans to pick out their favorite paragraph for me to dissect…and none stepped forward. Maybe there are no Coulter fans. Or maybe they’re smarter than she is.

She’s apparently going to do a series of columns exposing the weaknesses of evolution. This week, she holds her banner high for irreducible complexity.

Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin’s time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once — complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell’s tiny flagellum and cilium.

“Microbiology”?

“Microbiology”?!?!

It wasn’t microbiologists who worked out the structure of DNA. She apparently believes microbiology is the field that studies itty-bitty little things. It’s so cute to see someone so ignorant sit there and glibly type out such revealing nonsense. I’ve had students do that — it’s a sign that they deserve to fail.

Or how about this?

Thanks to advances in microscopes, thousands of such complex mechanisms have been found since Darwin’s day. He had to explain only simple devices, such as beaks and gills. If Darwin were able to come back today and peer through a modern microscope to see the inner workings of a cell, he would instantly abandon his own theory.

Bwahahahaha! How many of you molecular biologists do all your work by peering into a microscope? Oh, look, did you see that Notch molecule bind to Delta? Hey, there goes the cytoplasmic element, activating a transduction cascade! Do you also use your microscope to read off the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coiled in the nucleus? Such a silly naif.

Aside from the ignorant gaffes, though, here’s the rotten heart of her argument.

It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell’s flagellum — forget the 200 parts of the cilium! — could all arise at once by random mutation. According to most scientists, such an occurrence is considered even less likely than John Edwards marrying Rielle Hunter, the “ground zero” of the impossible.

Nor would each of the 30 to 40 parts individually make an organism more fit to survive and reproduce, which, you will recall, is the lynchpin of the whole contraption.

No one argues that they all arose instantly in a flash in full functioning order. Oh, wait, there are some who do: the creationists. No legitimate biologist is that stupid. Her claim that the individual components can contribute no incremental benefit is nothing but an assertion from a non-biologist with no knowledge of biology; I recommend Ian Musgrave’s article on the evolution of the flagellum that describes transitional forms and the combination of components involved, as well as refuting the simplistic notions of what a flagellum does that most creationists have.

Dembski has claimed that, as the eubacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex, he can eliminate explanations based on natural law for the origin of the flagellum. This conclusion is wrong for two reasons: (1) Being IC does not eliminate indirect evolutionary explanations, and flagella can evolve from simpler systems through a series of functional intermediates. Further, (2) eubacterial flagella are not the “ outboard motors” that Dembski envisages, but rather organelles that are involved in swimming, gliding motility, attachment, and secretion. They occupy one end of a range of secretion-based motility systems in bacteria of varying complexity, and several existing intermediate stages show how the flagellum could well have arisen by evolution and natural selection.

Coulter has a BA in history and a law degree. She hasn’t even done any research on the biology she’s critiquing; she only parrots creationist sources. Liberals aren’t afraid to argue evolution with her, but instead see her as an unqualified, clueless twit who isn’t even capable of addressing the actual substance of an argument.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. says

    Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin’s time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once — complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell’s tiny flagellum and cilium.

    OMFSM! That surely qualifies as the Dumbass Quote of the Day.

    Microbiologists, indeed.

    Molecules are so small that a single red blood cell takes up 1.2 billion oxygen molecules. It’s ludicrous to think that microbiologists are peering at biochemical reactions.

    Coulter is just opening her mouth to change feet.

  2. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    She apparently believes microbiology is the field that studies itty-bitty little things.

    That’s silly. Microbiologists study itty-bitty little living things.

    Okay, I’ll go back to writing about taxes and the rich.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Just how can we blame this grabbage on Texas’s answer to Ronald Reagan?

    Coulter’s “boldness” hasn’t visibly increased (sfaict – I lack the stomach to follow her otherwise than through her occasional appearances via blogs like this) with RP’s surge in polls of stupid people. Hasn’t she always rushed out to every fringe where attention might be gained, even before Mr. Waxhair got his start as Dubya’s sidekick?

  4. says

    Damn, this topic had no posts when I read it a few minutes ago! I wasted valuable time checking to see if ol’ JD was going to take you up on that challenge of yours, PZ. Bottom line, that cowardly fuck is just dodging.

    Big surprise. Mhich and me aren’t going to let it drop.

  5. andyo says

    If she’s a satirist he’s got the completely opposite audience she should have (see: Colbert). (I know the “satirist” bit is carried over from the last thread on her.)

    If she’s a satirist, liberals would love her and conservapublicans would also kinda like her for a while, until she pulled something like Colbert did at the Correspondents Dinner with Dubya. Then they would go and search in their dictionaries for “satire”. Then they still would not get it and remain confused, until they realize they’re stupid, wise up, and become godless liberals.

  6. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    “Do you believe in the Bible — yes or no?”

    To which my response would be “what difference does it make?”

  7. says

    Hey Coulter, why don’t you explain “simple devices, such as beaks and gills.” Yes, I know, poof.

    Well, apart from fairy tales, you have no “explanation” at all. Not even for the homologies in bacterial flagella and cilia, except by weaseling in an evolution of which your Designer has no need.

  8. says

    “lynchpin” = pet peeve.

    LYNCH etymology
    First attested 1835, from Lynch law that appeared in 1811. There is a popular claim that it was named after William Lynch, but equally strong arguments would have it named after Charles Lynch.

    LINCHPIN etymology
    Middle English lynspin, compound of lins ‘axletree’ and pin, from Old English lynis ‘linchpin’, from Proto-Germanic *luniso (compare German Lünse), from Proto-Indo-European (compare Welsh olwyn ‘wheel’, Armenian ołn ‘shoulder’, Sanskrit āṇís). Figurative use attested from the mid-20th century.

    Coulter is not even wrong, just irrelevant. The sad truth is, though, that dictionaries, being reflections of the language, are starting to list her ign’ant version of the spelling.

  9. freelunch says

    Why are there so many lawyers who think they know everything when they manifestly know nothing about the area they are nattering on about?

    Coulter is paid to spew right-wing lies. I have no idea if she actually believes what she is saying or just being a good lawyer and saying what her client wants her to say.

    Definitely not even wrong.

  10. says

    Canadians have banned Coulter from speaking here. The US should banish her and her cronies to a small cold island off of Greenland.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Jusarious @ # 14: Canadians have banned Coulter from speaking here.

    On what grounds?

  12. Roxane M. says

    Will all of you who have “peered through a microscope” and instantly abandoned the idea of evolution please raise your hands?

  13. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    Canadians have banned Coulter from speaking here.

    I’m very sorry to read that.

    Free speech is acknowledging someone whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of their lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.

  14. chigau () says

    Ann Coulter has NOT been “banned” from speaking in Canada.
    Ann Coulter canceled her own speach in Ottawa in March as a publicity stunt.

  15. says

    If Darwin were able to come back today and peer through a modern microscope to see the inner workings of a cell, he would instantly abandon his own theory.

    Charles Darwin was a skilled microscopist who did “see the inner workings of a cell” and wrote about the complexity that those processes obviously implied. It’s pretty impressive that someone can be so consistently ignorant about everything they write about.

  16. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    A google search for “Coulter Canada” revealed nothing about her being banned from Canada. The closest I could find was her cancelling a speech last year in Ottawa because of raucous protests.

    There was the private letter which the Provost of the University of Ottawa warned her about Canada’s hate speech laws. This letter was mysteriously leaked to the National Post, Canada’s most conservative national newspaper and to newsmax.com, where Coulter is a regular commentator. She wrote in newsmax: “The Provost of the University of Ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on Monday–before I’ve even set foot in the country!” Of course she neglected to add that the Provost had no authority to criminally prosecute her or that the letter had been intended to advise her that under Canada’s hate speech laws she might be vulnerable given her penchant for gay-baiting and Muslim-baiting.

    But it appears Coulter is not banned from Canada.

  17. Johan Fruh says

    I remember when I looked in a microscope for the first time..
    All I saw was white and fuzzy nothingness…
    However when I looked in a microscope and saw something interesting for the first time…. a little swimming protiste…
    man… I was thinking… evolution is so god damn incredible!

    The most frusterating part, is what all these people are losing out on.
    The more I see the world for what it truly is… the more my eyes tinkle in amazement. I could sit hours staring at a leaf in utter amazement.. (ok.. it’s more like minutes… but TENS of minutes!! at least!)

    All those “infinitely complexe” mechanisms, that appeared, assembled, on the cours of billions of years.
    Fine tuned through raw and unforgiving survival (or lack of)…

    All that bring us things like.. the hemoglobin….
    Man.. the hemoglobin… how it’s just incredible at it’s multiple functions… using overly complexe yet strangely gadgety mechanisms.

    Even if it were for pure entertainement value, evolution would be the better choice… rather then the “God went ZAP!” thingy….

    Sometime I feel like the creationist are missing out on the best, most incredible show on earth… ever..
    and that’s a shame.

  18. says

    Coulter gives the strong impression of enjoying her role as a right-wing mouthpiece for “outrageous” statements and no indication that any of it stems from deep convictions. She strikes me as little more than a hired gun who finds it lucrative to spout extremist nonsense. I suspect that she would turn her coat in a second if she decided there was more money and notoriety in becoming an apparent “convert” to left-wing politics. (However, Arianna Huffington may have already filled that particular ecological niche.)

  19. ss123 says

    I wish Coulter allowed comments on her website articles. She has some pretty big onions to call Dawkins ‘retarded’. Although he will probably ignore her, I eagerly await his response.

  20. Mo says

    Oh Saar-raaaahh…someone’s using the “R” word! Are ya gonna get all a-Twitter about this outrage?

    No? Oh, it’s a rightwing nut. That makes it all OK?

  21. says

    It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell’s flagellum — forget the 200 parts of the cilium! — could all arise at once by random mutation.

    Which makes it a magical certainty.

    Aside from the fact that it’s a strawman evolution she’s attacking.

    Glen Davidson

  22. amphiox says

    What’s amusing, as always, is just how old and tired these arguments are. The flagelleum? Irreducible complexity? The second law of thermodynamics?

    I mean come on now! Can’t they show a teensy bit of creativity and think of something new for a change? This is just plagiarizing stuff from 30 years ago.

  23. says

    Wasn’t the “irreducible complexity” of the bacterial flagellum knocked out at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, fer chrissakes? Sooooo 2005.

    Coulter is a true believer in rightwingnuttery. When she says inane things like “I would be very surprised to see any liberals in heaven,” she means it. The over-the-top viciousness, pettiness and hyperbole she engages in may be for the Big Bucks, but I cannot see her ever converting to liberalism no matter how much money is in it. Like most hard-core righties, she’s too much of a narcissist to admit she was ever wrong about anything, even to herself.

  24. says

    An argument using the flagellum as an example against the Theory of Evolution?! Again? I say “argument”; I mean “witless rant”.

    It’s like listening to the worst student in class, someone with a serious learning disability and behavioural problems, who, in a fit, tied and gagged the teacher then grabbed a megaphone after having the basics uselessly explained to him for the twentieth time.

  25. anatheiststhoughts says

    Ann Coulter is perhaps the most retarded of the Creotards.

    Historians looking back to this period of history will see the “controversy” over evolution/ID and say: “Gee, these IDiots are were retards.”

    Perhaps at some point in the future (if not the case already), the term “coulter” will actually be a synonym for “retard”.

  26. says

    Today, through inference, I learned that microbiologists apparently are not people who study itty-bitty living things.

    Wait… Wikipedia says microbiology “is the study of microorganisms, which are microscopic, unicellular, and cell-cluster organisms.” Doesn’t that mean itty-bitty living things?

    So, in conclusion, I am just as i gnorant as Ann Coulter. But on the bright side, I don’t plan to write a book about my ignorance. And I do recognize that the definition above wouldn’t include DNA, which, unless I’m wrong again, is not a microorganism.

  27. brokenSoldier, OM says

    Pierce R. Butler :

    Just how can we blame this grabbage on Texas’s answer to Ronald Reagan?

    Coulter’s “boldness” hasn’t visibly increased (sfaict – I lack the stomach to follow her otherwise than through her occasional appearances via blogs like this) with RP’s surge in polls of stupid people. Hasn’t she always rushed out to every fringe where attention might be gained, even before Mr. Waxhair got his start as Dubya’s sidekick?

    It’s not that it can be laid totally at the feet of Rick Perry – I think the point he was making was that Perry’s recent ridiculosity concerning evolution is creating something of a conservative echo chamber. Since one of the leading republican candidates has so loudly (and ignorantly) brought the conversation back to the forefront of the election conversation, it gives the Coulters and the Fischers of the world license to come back out and capitalize on it in order to revive their public profiles in the eyes of the party base. Because, honestly, do you think Coulter is actually interested in anything resembling argument or debate on the issue? It’s just another excuse to self-promote at the expense of truth. Granted, Rick Perry isn’t a necessary factor in that equation, but he is certainly sufficient. Which is why I think ‘emboldened’ was a good word for it.

  28. says

    Perhaps at some point in the future (if not the case already), the term “coulter” will actually be a synonym for “retard”.

    I’m going to start using it right away:

    coulter: [noun] 1 a pseudo-intellectual, esp. one inclined toward verbose argument and specious reasoning;

    2 a verbose but vapid argument.

  29. F says

    Do you also use your microscope to read off the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coiled in the nucleus?

    No, Jesus sings them out for you, in His beautiful falsetto.

  30. jheartney says

    I used to think that Coulter was probably reasonably intelligent, just incredibly dishonest. Now I’m starting to wonder…

    She’s definitely the sort of sociopath who doesn’t actually tell lies as she’s too indifferent to the concept of truth to care about accuracy. She was the prototype internet troll from the time before blogs.

  31. itzac says

    It’s like watching a remedial high school student makes excuses for a failing bio grade.

  32. thunderbird5 says

    I get the feeling that Coulter feels left out because she didn’t get to figure much as a rentagob in the 2008 election. IIRC she had shot her load pretty much by 2004. Now she wants to make sure she gets in for 2012, basically by reprise shrieking the same bollocks.

  33. bullofthewoods says

    brokenSoldier, OM I am glad to see that you are back. I hope you are well, you have been missed.

  34. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’m teaching molecular biology this semester– there isn’t a microscope in the room for a good reason. If students had access microscopes they would never buy my liberal Darwinian ideology.

  35. broboxley OT says

    Anne Coulter is an entertainer, not a political analyst. She has proven many times that she only has a glib understanding of the issues. I wouldnt be surprised if Sarah Palin has a deeper understanding of economics and foreign policy than Coulter. She makes money by doing a lousy politically inspired Don Rickles act. Im surprised she still has an audience.

  36. Duke York says

    …from the retarded Richard Dawkins…

    I wonder if Chris Mooney and the other folks over at The Intersection will mention this…

  37. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    How about conservative journalists start putting mikes in front of liberal candidates and demanding, “Do you believe in the Bible — yes or no?” “Is an unborn baby human — yes or no?” and “Do you believe teenagers should have sex — yes or no?”

    Are you for serious? Ever heard of Bill O’Reilly?

    Here, have a clue.

  38. kpidcoc says

    “Microbiology”? “Microbiology”?!?! It wasn’t microbiologists who worked out the structure of DNA.

    Granted it was physicists, but this blanket dismissal of microbiology must not stand. Think how you tell the story. Frederick Griffith was a microbiologist, sensu stricto, as were Oswald Avery and Joshua Lederberg. And what would you know of Max Delbrück but for Salvador Luria, a…wait for it… You know, it was called the phage group for a reason.

    Ah, frog people.

  39. Algernon says

    “How about conservative journalists start putting mikes in front of liberal candidates and demanding, “Do you believe in the Bible — yes or no?” “Is an unborn baby human — yes or no?” and “Do you believe teenagers should have sex — yes or no?”

    1) Yes, I believe the Bible exists. It’s an archaic book of mythology.

    2) An unborn baby has human DNA, as does a human cancer cell. It’s still a matter of the pregnant person’s body and ultimately it comes down to that principal solely. You are either in favor of limiting people’s control of their own bodies or not. I am not.

    3) I believe that there is no way to determine who should or shouldn’t have sex for other people or when. That also means that it is not up to you to decide a teen is ready to have sex with you! Some teens will have sex and love it, some will choose not to, and some will just end up not having sex… and unfortunately for some it will be a mistake. The only way to help them is to arm them with enough information and resources to minimize their chances of making a bad decision. That means total honesty and openness. Do you think people can handle that?

    That was easy.

  40. rincewind'smuse says

    F @38,

    No, Jesus sings them out for you, in His beautiful falsetto.

    Is that what that was? Shit, I thought it was too many hours in the lab standing too close to the formaldehyde….

  41. abeo says

    Say what you will about Coulter — she’s many bad and horrible things, and very bad AT the things she plies her nefarious noggin to in many horrible ways, but she IS good at one thing: sniffing out the zeitgeist of her side. She’s got a ruthlessly unerring nose for the cultural ‘big argument’ on the horizon, and knows just how to fan those flames.
    Horrific as it is, a lot of people DO listen to her blather and think she speaks truth. The thoughtless, fact-free harshness appeals to a lot of uninformed people who share her politics et al.

    As for that unerring nose… if she’s ramping up for a multi-pronged attack on evolution, and right around election time when there are fucking Dominionists in the front running…

    PZ, I’m scared. :(

    (Someone, ration me out of this?)

  42. Pierce R. Butler says

    brokenSoldier @ # 36 – Welcome back!

    … Perry’s recent ridiculosity concerning evolution is creating something of a conservative echo chamber.

    Well, (re-)introducing a particular flatulence into an already reverberating echo chamber.

    Certainly there are a lot of things the Repubs (including non-candidates) don’t want to talk about right now, and they all seem happy to play follow-the-leader for any opportune distraction.

  43. brokenSoldier, OM says

    Certainly there are a lot of things the Repubs (including non-candidates) don’t want to talk about right now, and they all seem happy to play follow-the-leader for any opportune distraction.

    Indeed. And the conservative version of the media is all too happy to oblige them in that respect. And for that matter, the media in general seems complicit. I know there are pockets of exception, but really, how many times does Bachmann have to go on different shows saying the exact same things verbatim before the media as a whole calls her on it? Don Lemon did a good piece on it, but she still goes on and on with the same talking points without even changing words half the time, and hardly anyone calls her on it. She’s not the only one by far – Rovian campaign strategy made a fetish of talking point worship, and it makes me want to poke my own eyes out every time one of them starts it.

  44. M Groesbeck says

    @ 38 —

    Jesus sings them out for you, in His beautiful falsetto.

    Unless Jesus has a falsetto/countertenor that can compare to Yoshikazu Mera, I’m not going to pay much attention.

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, I say the following not to embarrass myself – I’m the definition of ignorant on the evolution of the flagellum – but, hopefully, to embarrass the IDiots who keep bringing it up.

    I’ve been told over & over by these people that the parts of the flagellum couldn’t possibly have any use outside of the full system. The following is entirely imaginary, but I think shows how they are among the most amazingly dense individuals ever when the make the claim that the parts couldn’t possibly do any good.

    1) The cell evolves a mutation that causes a monoprotein structure to stick out from the cell. that’s it. That’s all it does.

    The sticky-things either catch in holes on rocks or prevent the cell from being carried into rock cracks allowing it to stay in a favorable environment – I can imagine a more favorable static and a more favorable flowing environment, so take your pick.

    We have 1 piece in place.

    2) Another mutation causes the surface of the cell wall to reinforce, reducing the number of times that the sticky-thing gets lost and thus the energy of production gets lost.

    3) The sticky thing can now pull on the cell wall without breaking free, and another mutation arises to notice this pulling and pushing. This gives the cell information about its environment a micron or 10 away. The cell is advantaged by this mutation.

    4) Being able to detect the motion, the cell now actually attempts to induce the motion, through the careless, energy intensive methods that it has used to move its cell wall before – the motion of ions and other gross techniques. It throws itself against its own cell wall to heave the sticky-thing one way or another. This was impossible before it could sense which direction it was going. The cell has advanced again.

    5) Hold a sewing pin in your thumb & index & try to move its tip by pushing on the fingers holding the body of the pin. Now try to move it by the base sticking out from between the fingers. Which is energetically more efficient? And so another mutation creates a ring around the sticky-thing that isolates it from the cell wall. It is now free to have it’s tip moved like a lever….but it is also free to spin… and the cell wins with new efficiency.

    6) Every more complex ways evolve to move the tip around

    7) the sticky-thing goes from mono-proteinous to poly-proteinous when another mutation that is advantageous comes along making it possible to be more flexible or more conical than cylindrical or whatever works as the next mutation.

    8) you get a flagellum.

    Seriously, they can’t imagine ANYWAY that these proteins could provide incremental benefit? I mean, it’s one thing to say I have a theory about why we can’t say that about these specific proteins that has to do with the fact that I know X information….

    …but the classic behe, “I can imagine no way” (which I believe is a direct quote from his Dover testimony) seems so blatantly wrong-headed. I have no training in this area & I can imagine it.

    I didn’t even fall back on the sticky-thing blowing up predators or opening space to get light for cyanobacteria or blah, blah, blah.

    I sometimes wonder how behe manages to think at all without actually intelligent thoughts happening by accident once in a while.

  46. amphiox says

    Can no longer remember where I came across this, but it seems that, as of the present moment, of all of the various proteins that make up the eubacterial flagellum complex, all but 4 have now been identified to be closely related to other proteins with other distinct functions. So all that would have been required for their evolution would be a simple gene duplication event in the pertinent gene family.

    Also, a simple survey of all the various eubacterial species that have flagella shows that all of those proteins do not have to all be in place for the flagellum to work (and hence the thing isn’t irreducibly complex even by Behe’s original definition of the term). Different bacteria use a different subset of the flagellum proteins for their individual flagella, and all of those flagella, each missing different various pieces out of the original assembly, all work. (As flagella. This is not even taking the Type 3 secretory system and other such things into account)

  47. nmmng says

    Coulter is a black hole of self-righteous ignorance, stupidity and arrogance. She is rethuglicanism distilled into its very essence.

  48. MadScientist says

    “He [Darwin] had to explain only simple devices, such as beaks and gills.”

    Darwin himself would have been shocked at the ignorance of that claim. I guess Coulter believes the cilia/flagella of some cells are more complex than the radiating carpals in much later animals like fish, humans, bats, and so on. Beaks and gills? You can tell she never read Darwin’s work.

  49. maxamillion says

    Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin’s time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once — complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell’s tiny flagellum and cilium

    Perhaps Ms. Coulter should read the Dover v Kitzmiller transcript.

  50. physioprof says

    It’s ludicrous to think that microbiologists are peering at biochemical reactions.

    Actually, there is a growing field that employs what is referred to as “single-molecule” techniques, and allows one to genuinely peer at biochemical reactions through a microscope. For example, an investigator named Paul Selvin at UIUC has employed single-molecule fluorescent imaging to optically observe the biochemical ATPase power cycle of myosin motor enzymes.

  51. kpidcoc says

    It makes no sense to argue with ID proponents as if they don’t understand basic biology. They’re not ignorant, they just find it useful to lie. Some will remember contention over a bloggingheads diavlog where John McWhorter invited Michael Behe to discuss his book. McWhorter gently challenged Behe on how bacterial flagella share components with secretion systems. This is how Behe replied, verbatim:

    It’s like taking away an axle or something from an outboard motor and saying, I can use this axle over here, and somebody says, Yes, but the outboard motor is broken, it doesn’t work anymore.

    Incoherent nonsense, right? But Behe takes the chance that McWhorter’s limited knowledge of cell biology is such that he can get away with, and he does. It’s all about the con.

    Coulter’s a tougher case. She seems so dense that it’s hard to believe she’s faking it, but her intellectual dishonesty on other fronts certainly makes it plausible.

  52. Kevin Alexander says

    Ann Coulter is not stupid and she’s not a poe. Her training as a lawyer is the key to understanding her.
    Imagine a man comes to your law office and offers millions of dollars to defend his son who has been arrested for some crime. He stipulates that he cannot plea bargain, he cannot plead guilty. Attracted by the money you take the case.
    Upon investigating you find out that the prosecutors have an airtight case. A dozen witnesses saw the kid do it. There’s a mountain of physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, shit! there’s even an HD video. What do you do?
    Attack the prosecutors, attack the witnesses, shit on the experts testimony. Remember, you don’t have to convince them, you only have to convince the JURY. And they don’t have any preconceived biases, your job is to create their biases for them.
    Worked for Johnny Cochran and it works for Ann Coulter. All the way to the bank.

  53. F says

    M Groesbeck #59

    Unless Jesus has a falsetto/countertenor that can compare to Yoshikazu Mera, I’m not going to pay much attention.

    This is probably a wise course of action, regardless how good, bad, or extant Jesus’ falsetto is.

  54. says

    Well, it seems JD Curtis is too busy simultaneously running with his tail between his legs while calling PZ a coward.

    It’s nice that christians can so consistently have their cake and eat it too.

    (must be a disgusting mess though when it goes down that gullet the second time though!)

    Apparently Vox Day is getting into the action. I guess he didn’t like some article that Myers wrote a while back.

  55. says

    So I guess you won’t be going over to Day’s blog to attempt to point out how wrong he is any time soon Reynold. Heck, he even created a thread and addressed your comments directly. Bravo. Wuss.

    But why all of this posturing over who has more intellectual firepower between the two? Myers can end any accusations of cowardice and sissified behavior and intellectually vanquish Day and end this nonsense it once and for all. I could even suggest a good moderator that would ensure that they BOTH get a fair shake.

    Who knows? Such bravado may rub off on PZ’s girlfriend Dawkins who might actually ‘grow a pair’ and agree to debate William Lane Craig.

  56. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    One of Pox Day’s buttboys has stopped by to whine about how nobody wants to debate an ignorant, narcissistic, misogynist looneytarian with delusions of adequacy.

    It’s obvious what Pox Day gets out of having somebody respectable like PZ debate him. It would give Pox Day the illusion of validation. What Pox Day and his lickspittle lackies never explain is what’s in it for PZ? Do they actually think normal people are concerned when a know-nothing like Pox Day calls them a coward for refusing to waste their time?

  57. says

    Mr Curtis, you’ve already been given my reply on your blog. I also see that you have responded to it.

    No, I do not want to see your deranged, rambling treatise on macroevolution. I’ve told you the terms. Focus. Give me one specific, clear argument from Coulter’s book (I know she said some things about macroevolution, for instance), and support it. Support ONE claim COGENTLY. I know you won’t be able to do it.

    This is another reason I don’t bother debating you clowns. You won’t give a straight answer to a single question — instead, you babble all over the place and throw out a thousand lies that each take more time to answer than it takes you to make them all. So my terms have a simple purpose: you only get to offer one lie.

  58. says

    Also, who the hell is JD Curtis? Have you had any training in biology? Have you read the books by Valentine, or Stanley, or Vrba and Eldredge? I mean, really, this is a huge topic with some very substantial and technical literature. Isn’t it a bit audacious to claim that you have any kind of substantial argument against macroevolution?

  59. says

    Deranged? I haven’t even submitted anything Schmendrick. I’ll submit it to you AND a second site that will post it in it’s entirety, so even if you find it lacking and don’t bother posting it, others can judge for themselves.

    The aggregate amount of “Free Thought” here is dizzying.

  60. Reynold says

    Right, look at your religion! Yeah, freethought is really encouraged in xianity is it? One can see that in the statements of faith that groups like CMI, AIG etc have. Oh yeah.

  61. says

    Apparently you’ve never attended an adult Sunday School class Reyn.

    There’s twice the amount of free thought there as opposed to the persistant groupthink on offer in this place.

  62. Brownian says

    Apparently you’ve never attended an adult Sunday School class Reyn.

    There’s twice the amount of free thought there as opposed to the persistant groupthink on offer in this place.

    Is that where you learned to chant ‘groupthink’ at opinions you don’t like, JD? Because anytroll who’s anytroll has dropped that term. It’s so last year.

    These days, fashionable independent thinkers prefer to use ‘echo chamber’. Sure, it’s a few more letters to type, but is that really that much of a sacrifice when you’ve already abandoned any pretense of an argument for the sake of blurting out zingers like ‘groupthink’?

    Of course, only the out-of-the-boxest of the out-of-the-box thinkers use ‘hive mind’. I think it’s kind of faddish myself, but American Troll says it’s going to be the new ‘echo chamber’ for 2012. Only time and people like you will tell.

  63. Anteprepro says

    Wow, what another insightful post from JD Curtis. One where he pretends that he can goad science professors into a debate with an Internet Famous denialist by calling them cowards for having better things to do. One where he takes exception to being called deranged for the totally brilliant, totally original refutation of evolution that he will totally post. And then, a day later, one last one whining about “groupthink”. Thank you for gracing us with your wisdom, JD. You truly aren’t short on content and making up for it with bluster and haughtiness in a way that is typical of creationists. No, not at all.

  64. says

    Hah. Brownian, you’ve seen pretty much all that JD is capable of. You notice that he ignored the facts I brought out about the oath taking which includes their pre-supposed conclusions that the religious creationists groups make all members agree to even before they go out and do any “research”.

    Instead he just throws out the same old insult.

    Check out the man’s blog. He never gets any better. One of his favourite sources that he cites is: Conservapedia.

  65. anteprepro says

    August 28th: “Deranged? I haven’t even submitted anything Schmendrick. I’ll submit it to you AND a second site that will post it in it’s entirety, so even if you find it lacking and don’t bother posting it, others can judge for themselves.”

    September 2nd: *Crickets*

    An ode to drive-by trolls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZwuTo7zKM8

  66. says

    Nope, I was wrong. Really, really wrong! He said he might do it after all! From that last link:

    Setting aside for a moment the dodginess of requiring someone to argue from the arguments raised by a particular person from a particular book (in this case, Ann Coulter’s Godless: The Church of Liberalism) it is quite possible that I will take up Myers on his offer. I would first, of course, have to obtain a copy of Godless and peruse it for a relevant starting point, but I’m sure that it’s not entirely outside of the realm of possibility.

    So he made a post where he raves about Coulter’s book yet he’s never read it?! Maybe before blindly agreeing with the author of a book he should take the time to actually read the damned book.

    And now Vox is claiming that Ive never answered his questions?

    He goes on about how what I said was unjustified, etc. but just because he doesn’t like what I say doesn’t mean that I didn’t answr. Maybe I’ll have to try posting there one last ime in a day or so and use small words, maybe it’ll sink in.

    Maybe I should follow JD’s idea in post #78. Send it to Vox’s site and another site. (I’ll probably cross post my second attempt at a reply in this thread in two days)

  67. says

    For the record, these are what I tried posting on Vox’s site: though my browser or something keeps mutilating my comments:

    000000
    VD
    Answer this question. If science produces technology, and not the other way around, why was technological advancement almost completely frozen in the Soviet Union for fifty years when they devoted a larger percentage of their GDP to science research than the United States did?

    “Technological advancement almost completely frozen”? Their space program sent a satellite and a man in space before the americans did. They got the bomb (atomic and hydrogen) very soon after the states did.

    “Completely frozen”? Not always. Only when their ideology ruled the day. For example, that Lysenko guy didn’t believe in the chromosomal theory of heredity and got Stalin convinced of his views, and from there on, their agriculture got screwed. As well, many geneticists were executed.

    Science has to be free to go wherever the evidence leads, that’s how science works. It won’t work if you suppress it!

    VD
    I further note that your argument that one must know science to create technology is disproven by your own statements. You previously asserted that I know less science than a fifth-grader, and yet I have been a successful, ground-breaking professional technology designer for 20 years.

    So a second question: is science unnecessary for technological development or am I, in fact, a master of science?

    Let’s look at some of your “groundbreakingwork shall we? The one game that you designed by yourself bombed, and other games like Rebel Moon Rising didn’t seem to do very well.

    Care to explain just what ground you broke?

    As for new or “ground-breaking” ideas, how’s the “Failmouse” uh, sorry “Warmouse” thing working out?

    Science is necessary for technological development and you’re not a “master” of anything.

    Speaking of you and PZ Myers, didn’t you once say that Myers didn’t have the guts to go through with his cracker desecration idea?

    The saltines are safe, for just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there is no vow that the militant atheist will not violate if he perceives any risk to his material well-being.
    No athiests in foxholes“? Really?

    ===========
    So, less than one full day and you go and make a post about how I have not answered any of your questions?

    Not only is that impatient as hell, but that’s dishonest. I have answered several of your questions.
    You just find some excuse to disregard them (see your post above) and then claim that I’ve never answered them.

    I was warned that you were a dishonest pr1ck, looks like they were right.

    From the previous post:
    2. If science produces technology, and not the other way around, why was technological advancement almost completely frozen in the Soviet Union for fifty years when they devoted a larger percentage of their GDP to science research than the United States did? (Your attempt to argue that Soviet technology was essentially equal to the USA is false.)

    Did you miss the reason I gave about what happened when ideology got thrown into the mix?

    “Contradictory assertions” about science and technological develpment? Huh? Care to spell out what they were? I said that technology is dependent on science. It’s basically applied science, really. Like with the computer:

    Regardless of motives, one still needs to understand materials science, conductivity, etc. to be able to devise the plans to build one.

    Let’s see: “bleeding edge technology developer”? Is that why you have so many patents? Or is that why your’re still trying to get that ergonomic monstrosity of a “warmouse” going after a few years? If it’s so “bleeding edge” why are the reviews so mixed? The only positive review I found was one saying that maybe for a niche market it’d be ok But for the most part, they’d prefer some other kind of mouse.

    You even quote from the post where I do answer at least some of your questions at 8/29/11 9:59 AM, but you keep claiming that I haven’t answered them? Even if you consider my answers wrong, which you say you do in this post, that’s NOT the same damned thing.
    ————————————————-

    For the questions I haven’t already answered:
    1. Would you seriously consider it meaningful, or even remotely relevant, if JD were to debate me on Paul Zachary’s behalf, so long as he felt he has a good understanding of Paul Zachary’s words?
    JD agrees with you, not with PZ. I’m trying to get him to accept PZ’s challenge to see if he can back up the claims that Coulter made in her book since he seems to believe that her book is accurate. In other words, he agrees with her. That’s where your question falls apart.

    Paul seems to want to know why people would think that, since he and other actual scientists have taken her book apart.

    4. Now that I have answered all his questions and proved that “marital rape” can be reasonably defended under the principle of Common Law, is he willing to admit that by his own metric, the adjectives “inane” and “unworthy” no longer apply to me as a potential debate opponent for Paul Zachary Myers?
    Your defense of marital rape through the use of common law? As George, I’d love to see you try that in a real court of law. “inane” and “unworthy” still apply to you as a person.

    I’ll leave it up to Myers whether he wants to deal with you or not. Lord knows you’re certainly odious enough just through this medium. In person, holy crap.

    0000000

    It seems I’ll have to try again…to come up with something he’ll accept as an answer and in short enough posts (or with a different browser) so it doesn’t get mauled again.

  68. Reynold says

    My provisional answer to Vox’s questions, which he dismissed on that same post of his I linked to above, are also posted here.