Quantcast

«

»

Feb 15 2012

What’s Behe doing lately?

Epigenetics is a serious business, with many scientists and many conferences on the topic. I wrote a short summary of epigenetics myself a while back. So it was with some shock that I regarded this announcement from the Discovery Institute:

Richard Sternberg and Michael Behe to speak at epigenetics conference in Tampa Feb 24-25.

Really? They’ve been invited to a science conference? Which one, a Keystone Symposium, or possibly a Gordon Conference? I was horrified.

But no, it was just the DI padding their résumé again. It was this one.

It’s sponsored by a Christian apologetics organization called the C.S. Lewis society, and it looks like some kind of wacky newagey self-help conference. It’s titled “Shaping your DNA Destiny: Exploring Epigenetic Keys to Improving Your Health”, and this is the description:

We will focus on the physical and spiritual health implications of the discoveries that have been made about the “epigenetic software” that runs our cellular DNA. Also speaking will be Dr. Richard Sternberg. He is the biologist in the “Expelled” film who described to Ben Stein the harassment he experienced at the Smithsonian Institute.

Other speakers will give talks on spiritual health, and tips for good nutrition and exercise. We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.”

It’s being held at Calvary Baptist Church, with lunch catered by Chick-Fil-A. Sounds sciencey, all right. I’m really curious to learn how I can improve my health by modifying my epigenome, though.

81 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Is the Disco Institute ramping up or something? This is the most on them in a while.

  2. 2
    raven

    Last I heard, one of his older sons (as a crazy Catholic IIRC, he has 12 kids) had defected from creationism and was being confined in his basement to keep the infection of normalcy from spreading to the other 11 future warriors for the Pope.

    Or something similar. Religious kooks, who knows what goes on in what passes for their minds.

    I haven’t heard how that came out. Who knows, there are xian reeducation camps in their Gulag system all over the world. Maybe he has been rebrainwashed. At least they no longer burn their apostates at the stake. Hmmm, well I hope they don’t any more.

  3. 3
    raven

    Son of Michael Behe discusses his atheism | Breaking Spellsbreakingspells.net/son-of-michael-behe-discusses-his-atheism/Cached
    You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    7 Oct 2010 – There’s a fascinating discussion going on at Reddit started by the son of creationist-biochemist Michael Behe who is revealing his recent …

    Must be a bit of a disappointed.

    Behe tries to outbreed the normal people and his children…turn out normal.

    All that work and pain for nothing.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    He is the biologist in the “Expelled” film who described to Ben Stein the harassment he experienced at the Smithsonian Institute.

    OMG, a wacko spewing woo was actually harassed by people with scientific principles?

    Next thing you know, Madoff will be disparaged for running a Ponzi scheme.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    BinJabreel

    I’m having a real hard time believing that their son committed suicide just because of reading “The God Delusion”, and not because of, oh, say, a crippling clinical depression and suicidal ideation.

  6. 6
    leonpeyre

    It’s sponsored by a Christian apologetics organization called the C.S. Lewis society

    Oh my goodness. Why not just call it the Poor Argument Society and just leave it at that?

  7. 7
    anteprepro

    We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.”

    I’m sure that religious factors and influence had nothing to do with someone killing themselves due to reading criticism of religion. It’s all Dawkins’ fault!

    Bonus on that story, from the site:

    Dad links son’s suicide to ‘The God Delusion’
    Says atheism-promoting book hidden under mattress, last page bookmarked
    Note from C. S. Lewis Society Director, Dr. Tom Woodward: We are posting this story as it appeared in the fall of 2008, when WorldNetDaily carried it, and when Discovery Institute also provided some news coverage of the story. Dr. James Gills and I briefly discuss this tragic news item in our new book, The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA. The parents of Jesse Kilgore, Keith and Linda Kilgore, will be sharing their story, “Triumph over Tragedy,” at our Feb 24-25 2012 conference in Clearwater: “Shaping Your DNA Destiny: Exploring Epigenetic Keys to Improving Your Health.”

    That’s right: Their source is Wingnut Daily. The person in question was 22 year old college student and Iraq veteran Jesse Kilgore who had possibly already talked about suicide before reading Dawkins. And, even if were true that the God Delusion is so depressing that it drives kids to suicide, that doesn’t make evolution or atheism false. Does anyone hear the sound of straws being grasped?

  8. 8
    A. R

    Oh, that conference sounds like it might be fun to crash with some serious questions about epigenetics research.

  9. 9
    humanape

    We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.”

    Mr. Dawkins should have had a warning on the front cover, for example “Caution, do not read if reality makes you become mentally disturbed.”

    I’m concerned about how many nutjobs will blow themselves away after they read PZ’s new book.

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Unfortunately, their actual definition of epigenetics is the genetics of the epi pen. Which was, of course, designed. Which proves that life was designed, too.

    (What? That prolly makes more sense than what they will puke up, right?)

  11. 11
    raven

    I’m having a real hard time believing that their son committed suicide just because of reading “The God Delusion”, and not because of, oh, say, a crippling clinical depression and suicidal ideation.

    Or from being brought up by wild eyed braindead religious fanatics.

    Correlation doesn’t prove cause and effect anyway.

    So what is the point of this fairy tale lie? To outlaw books on atheism. Or outlaw atheism itself? Not going to happen until the fundies overthrow the US government and set up their theocracy. And to do that they will have to kill more than one person. More likely a few million or tens of millions.

    PS For what its’ worth, xianity kills a lot of people and there is no doubt about it. The fundie practice of human child sacrifice by medical neglect and torture beatings kills around 100 kids a year. Bullying of gay kids kills lots more. Faith healing of adults kills lots and lots. Xian terrorists kill a few MD’s here and there. If any group has blood on their hands, its the xians.

  12. 12
    Lynna, OM

    I’m amazed that these doofuses are still trotting out the film “Expelled” as a way to pump up their claims to credibility. This is still going on after “Expelled” was so thoroughly debunked?

    For example, here’s just one of many pages on the “Expelled Exposed” website in which scientists have taken the time to point out the fallacies the film perpetrates:
    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/contest/on-science-and-religion

    Excerpt:

    Ben Stein says …Einstein worked within the framework of believing there was a God. Newton worked within the framework of believing there was a God. For gosh sakes, Darwin worked within the framework of believing there was a God. And yet, somehow today you’re not allowed to believe in it. Why can’t we have as much freedom as Darwin had? – interview on The O’Reilly Factor, October 22, 2007

    Some of the debunking text is also shite, but there’s quite a lot of thoughtful negation of Ben Stein’s nonsense:

    Glen Davidson notes that he misrepresents Einstein’s views:

    I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science. If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. – Albert Einstein, in conversation with Gustav Bucky

    To assume the existence of an unperceivable being … does not facilitate understanding the orderliness we find in the perceivable world. – Albert Einstein, responding to an Iowa student who asked, “What is God?” July 1953; Einstein Archive 59-085

    The page on science and morality: http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/contest/on-science-and-morality

    …Stein’s outlandish assertion that “materialist naturalist[s]” are indifferent to human cruelty, injustice or the value of human life is baseless, and is nowhere reflected in lives and beliefs of scientists or secularists in our culture….

  13. 13
    truthspeaker

    Glen Davidson says:
    15 February 2012 at 2:23 pm

    OMG, a wacko spewing woo was actually harassed by people with scientific principles?

    Next thing you know, Madoff will be disparaged for running a Ponzi scheme.

    The word you’re looking for is “persecuted”.

  14. 14
    Lynna, OM

    Here’s the debunking of Richard Sternberg’s claims of persecution:
    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/sternberg

    Excerpt:

    Expelled claims that Sternberg was “terrorized” and that “his life was nearly ruined” when, in 2004, as editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, he published a pro-intelligent design article by Stephen C. Meyer. However, there is no evidence of either terrorism or ruination. Before publishing the paper, Sternberg worked for the National Institutes of Health at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (GenBank) and was an unpaid Research Associate – not an employee – at the Smithsonian. He was the voluntary, unpaid editor of PBSW (small academic journals rarely pay editors), and had given notice of his resignation as editor six months before the Meyer article was published. After the Meyer incident, he remained an employee of NIH and his unpaid position at the Smithsonian was extended in 2006, although he has not shown up there in years. At no time was any aspect of his pay or working conditions at NIH affected. It is difficult to see how his life “was nearly ruined” when nothing serious happened to him. He was never even disciplined for legitimate violations of policy of PBSW or Smithsonian policy.

  15. 15
    truthspeaker

    The suicide rate among Iraq war veterans is pretty high, but I’m sure it was reading “The God Delusion” that drove that kid to suicide.

  16. 16
    Patrick

    “tips for good nutrition and exercise” followed by lunch from Chick-Fil-A.

    Hmmm.

  17. 17
    Larry

    Are the benefits to your health due to epigenetic keys offset by the eating of greasy chicken from Chickfila?

  18. 18
    reasonbeing

    Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box is one of the books that cemented my leaving Catholicism when I was in grad school. I guess I owe Behe something, his writing helped turn me into the proud skeptic I am today.

  19. 19
    Therrin

    Will they be unlocking all 12 strands of DNA?

  20. 20
    peterhuestis

    He is the biologist in the “Expelled” film who described to Ben Stein the harassment he experienced at the Smithsonian Institute.

    Last I checked, the name of the place was “The Smithsonian Institution.”

  21. 21
    A. R

    Therrin: Or restoring the Atlantean triad?

  22. 22
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Wow. I didn’t think Behe was doing anything at all. Or wait. He’s still not doing anything at all.

    I’m really curious to learn how I can improve my health by modifying my epigenome, though.

    It’s quite simple, really. You must methylate your oncogenes. The may be achieved by a diet high in methyl while concentrating on those nasty genes and how Jesus hates them.

  23. 23
    eric

    Catered Chick-fil-A lunch is certainly non-sciency.

    I wish I could say that’s because science conferences are above fast food, but it’s closer to the reverse: it’s non-sciency because most science conferences wouldn’t spring for any food at all, not even Chick-fil-A.

    You get water. And maybe those hard nasty mints if you’re lucky. Grape and watermelon mostly. Ugh.

  24. 24
    'Tis Himself

    Why’s there all this sneering at Chick-Fil-A? You never outgrow your need for grease.

  25. 25
    autumn

    ‘Tis, do you know that Chick-Fil-A is owned by evangelical Christians? It’s why they’re the only fast-food franchise that isn’t open on Sundays.
    I can get my grease without the Jesus.

  26. 26
    littlejohn

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprized that they called the Smithsonian Institution the Smithsonian “Institute.” Maybe they should be institutalized.

  27. 27
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Most LGBT people will not have a thing to do with the place, Chick-Fil-A has a history of firing LGBT employees.

  28. 28
    marcus

    Epigenetics, it’s the new quantum.

  29. 29
    Ragutis

    Clearwater, eh? I’m tempted to go, but tomatoes are so expensive right now.

  30. 30
    rtp10

    Chick-fil-a I wish all conferences were catered by it, I would attend more of them!

  31. 31
    peterh

    All that wonderful woo going the rounds & Chopra won’t be there?

  32. 33
    tommccann

    Apologies for being slightly tangential to the topic, but I’ve only just worked out what the “Chick-Fil-A” name is about. I’d always thought it was a strange name until I realised today that the “Fil-A” is probably meant to be pronounced “Filet”. Am I right?

    I’m probably a bit dumb for taking so long to get it, but it never occurred to me that a business would need to spell out Filet for its customers. Can I have my intellectually snobby and smug European sneer at Americans now?

  33. 34
    nmcc

    The poor guy killed himself after reading The God Delusion?

    What utter nonsense!

    Of course, it was just coincidence that he was ex-US military and a depressive too.

    Surely if you were going to commit suicide over a book by Dawkins it would be The Blind Watchmaker?

    How does it go…

    “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”

  34. 35
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Here’s the correct link to the article Raven cites, which in turn links to this Reddit thread started by the younger Behe.

    [regarding his relationship with his family] Bad. And I do confidently blame religion for this. I certainly don’t think it always turns out this way, but my stubbornness in maintaining and voicing my beliefs conflicted with my parents’ policy of keeping the rest of my family shielded from alternate viewpoints. “Indoctrination”, unfortunately, is really the word that describes it best, and I do believe that my younger brothers (the members of my family I am closest to) are truly being hurt by this. So my parents and I are in perpetual disagreement. I have, for the most part, stopped talking to my parents, and I am not allowed to speak to my little brothers at all. I don’t want to complain, but this has been very painful for both them and I. Hoping to move out soon.

    The vast majority of families that I know are devout Christians, often Catholic. I have been cut off from several of my friends, I have been rather demonized by parents of my friends, and in the case of one family, my friend’s father threatened her that she would not have a normal life unless she severed contact with me completely. I am either spoken to with curtness and disdain or am not spoken to at all by many families I know.

    …there is a LOT of tension in the house. I was probably a full-blown atheist for about a year before I told my parents… around here, you get used to keeping secrets. I couldn’t take it longer than that. When I did them, it was essentially an appeal to let me live my life and not drag me along for every Mass, every Confession, Rosary, etc. That didn’t work, to put it lightly. If anything, they are now more strict about forcing me to go to church because they believe I am in need of “graces” that I can attain from church. And of course, this has only increased my dislike of religion.

  35. 36
    jimnorth

    tommccann says

    “Can I have my intellectually snobby and smug European sneer at Americans now?”

    Only after you watch 25 commercials starring the Chick-Fil-A Cows.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWIoYSurSrw

    Eat Mor Chikin

  36. 37
    Sili

    Einstein worked within the framework of believing there was a God. Newton worked within the framework of believing there was a God. For gosh sakes, Darwin worked within the framework of believing there was a God.

    Oooh! Ooooh! Can I play too?!

    Ignacio de Loyola worked within the framework of believing there was a God. Savonarola worked within the framework of believing there was a God. For gosh sakes, Hitler worked within the framework of believing there was a God.

    This is fun!

  37. 38
    truthspeaker

    peterhuestis says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:03 pm

    He is the biologist in the “Expelled” film who described to Ben Stein the harassment he experienced at the Smithsonian Institute.

    Last I checked, the name of the place was “The Smithsonian Institution.”

    There you go, persecuting someone for having a different viewpoint than you.

  38. 39
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Glen Davidson wrote:

    “Next thing you know, Madoff will be disparaged for running a Ponzi scheme.”

    Glen wins the thread.

    Furthermore, speaking of disappointing children, I think I caught Madoff’s father saying that he hopes his son goes to prison for a good long time. But maybe it was some other Ponzi-schemer.

    PZ, Behe is always doing some variation of the same old blunder: getting his facts wrong, tripping himself up, and opening his mouth to change fee.

  39. 40
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    FEET!

    My keyboard often takes T as a command instead of a letter.

  40. 41
    alisonmeyer

    Oh, come on now, DI. Chopra managed to get Michael Shermer and VS Ramachandran (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fg%2Fa%2F2012%2F02%2F15%2Fprweb9193541.DTL) and the best you can do is some guy who didn’t even show up for his volunteer job?

  41. 42
    boskerbonzer

    “We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.””

    I wonder if any of them have made a connection between Perry Moore’s suicide and the fact that he produced “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

  42. 43
    samsalerno

    The whack jobs are coming out of the woodwork with a new and improved creationism called “woo.” Jerry Coyne just had an interview on a show called skeptico where the guy pulls out his lame woo crap http://www.skeptiko.com/

  43. 44
    Crudely Wrott

    Chick-Fil-A?

    Hell, I’m goin’!

  44. 45
    Lawrence

    “We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.””

    According to this horribly constructed sentence, the couple were devastated after reading ‘The God Delusion’ and that somehow led to their son’s suicide? Am I reading it right?

  45. 46
    Gregory Greenwood

    raven @ 11;

    Correlation doesn’t prove cause and effect anyway.

    Fundies will never accept this. If they can’t draw vague connections with much handwaving between disparate things without being crushed under the cruel, cruel tyranny of a requirement for actual evidence then their entire worldview would implode. Attempting to fudge the dividing line between correlation and causation has been raised to an artform by these people, mostly as a means of insulating themselves from reality and its awkward tendency not to conform to their cherished delusions.

    The universe can be something of a git that way, stubbornly refusing to radically change at the whim of xians – how rude

    So what is the point of this fairy tale lie? To outlaw books on atheism. Or outlaw atheism itself? Not going to happen until the fundies overthrow the US government and set up their theocracy. And to do that they will have to kill more than one person. More likely a few million or tens of millions.

    They will certainly try to use it to justify their next spate of book-burnings. They will claim that they are acting to ‘protect society’ from ‘dangerous’ ideas – like fascist censorship-junkies throughout history. Of course, should they get away with that, then they may well be emboldened to try to ban the books wholesale; first under the auspices of local laws, then state law and finally (if they can amass enough power) federal law. Of course, it would go against the US constitution somewhat, but you know how xians are with their… creative interpretation of things like the first amendment and the non-establishment clause.

    Beyond that, who can say? It is relatively unlikely that the fundies will ever weild power enough to enact their fantasies of thought-crimes on the statute books, but if they could outlaw atheism they would in a flash, and you could bet your bottom unit of applicable national currency that they would use the tired old ‘greater good’ excuse to justify it. Of course, if they had power enough to get that far they certainly wouldn’t limit themsleves to anything so prosaic as mere fines – it would be the whole nine yards of xian ‘re-education camps’ and quite possibly lifetime incarceration or even execution for persistently godless ‘recidivists’ along with homosexuals, feminists, ‘uppity’ women and members of ethnic minorities, members of other religions, members of other xian sects, human rights advocates and general ‘undesireables’ (always a favourite catch-all category for totalitarians).

    At the moment this is still the stuff of the darker end of fiction, but there can be no absolute guarentee that it will stay that way, and poisonous groups like the Discovery Institute are gleefully seeking to lay the groundwork for just such a dystopic, theocratic future with statements like this.

  46. 47
    golkarian

    @reasonbeing

    Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box is one of the books that cemented my leaving Catholicism when I was in grad school. I guess I owe Behe something, his writing helped turn me into the proud skeptic I am today.

    I had a similar experience with “A Case for a Creator”, quite a bit worse than the black box in my opinion.

  47. 48
    Phledge

    Regarding the suicide: y’know, I think these assholes just want a ride on the coattails of the suicide waves occurring in kids as a result of anti-LGBT bullying that the fundies cause in the first place and/or refuse to address.

    In related news, can “depressive” as a noun be eliminated from the record please? Us “people with depression” would appreciate it so much. Yeah, I’m sensitive, whaddya expect?

  48. 49
    JohnnieCanuck

    Made me think of suppressive. As in Scientology and their Suppressive Person lists.

  49. 50
    peerhalvorsen

    PZ is this the Calvary Baptist Church in Roseville MN? I’m a fellow Minnesotan and I grew up in the Baptist church. Several of my cousins went to that house of craziness and I myself was dragged there a few times. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of Baptist churches around the country all seem to repeat the same generic names so some clarification would be nice. At least the Catholic churches all have cool names like Our Lady of the Bloody Rag or some such nonsense . . .

  50. 51
    escuerd

    I decided never to eat at Chick-fil-A again after learning that they’ve donated a couple million to anti-gay organizations.

    http://www.allbusiness.com/franchising/16713835-1.html

    It’s not surprising given that the franchise is owned by fundies.
    The food tastes OK, but is nothing special and no terrible loss.

  51. 52
    nemothederv

    “We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.”

    I stick a fork in a light socket.
    I get electrocuted.
    Do I blame the spoon?

    They must have really gone into hard sell mode to convince these parents that Dawkins was to blame. Perfect speakers foor a “science” conference. This feels more newage than fundie.

  52. 53
    Alex

    The phrase “For gosh sakes” is such a pathetic mutilation of the wonderful English language, it gives even a non-native speaker like me brain pain.

  53. 54
    Alex

    nemothederv,

    that is a terrible analogy. It would have been a good analogy if the son had complained about losing his faith after reading TGD. Alas, he died.
    That being said, it’s highly unlikely that reading TGD leads anyone to suicide. It’s a funny book, sometimes even cheerful.

  54. 55
    nemothederv

    @54 tyrant
    Okay, I admit that my analogy is a bit clunky but I’m not implying that TGD caused this kid to commit suicide. Quite the contrary. It was my clumsy way of saying Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    TGD is the spoon in the analogy. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

    In fact, if a crisis of his faith leads to suicidal thoughts then TGD would be helpful in preventing someone from acting them out.

    The parents are pointing their finger at the wrong thing probably because they’re not sure who or what to blame.
    Maybe their afraid to point the finger at themselves…….

    or maybe the whole thing is made up Maury Povich style. I wouldn’t put it past Behe. After all, truth is not important when you’re making an emotional appeal.

  55. 56
    concernedjoe

    I think it is ghastly that people let alone parents of the victim would use a tragic event so “commercially”.

    Yes young people’s tragic and sad ends often are used illustratively but I find overwhelmingly the ends hoped for generally justify the means (e.g., “if you drink and drive no good will come of it!”).

    To boot most have some sound tested scientific basis (e.g., “the incidence of young deaths is x times more for those who drink and drive – indeed for all ages that do – than for those who do not!”).

    On the contrary their religiously motivated point is pathetic, baseless certainly when extended to the general, without a clear legitimate aim (what? ban ideas?!?) and blatantly self-serving. Pathetic!

    As to what they believe and expect (no demand) all of us to believe along with them is nothing more then expecting me to believe leprechauns cause P0351′s and leprechaun theology and appeals should be taught at tech schools, put in manuals and guides, and practiced by all good mechanics. Really it is no different to me!

  56. 57
    aziraphale

    “the C. S. Lewis society”?

    Oh dear. Lewis was a no-nonsense character (stipulating that Christianity is not nonsense). He had hard words for this sort of fuzzy spirituality, and those who use it to prey on the gullible.

  57. 58
    concernedjoe

    aziraphale – C. S. Lewis was a master purveyor of nonsense.

    Pray tell how and why he would be internally offended by the deference being paid to him by in kind purveyors?

  58. 59
    sarahvenhartly

    I wonder how many suicides are done with Bible close at hand, and if so, how many religious folks would blame the Bible and say it a should be banned.

  59. 60
    scottplumer

    The mention of the suicide supposedly caused by the God Delusion reminds of the debate I did in high school about the supposed “dangers” of Dungeons & Dragons. This was after a murder-suicide allegedly caused by the game. My reasoning was that if only one person killed himself in connection to the game (or the book), vs. the number of people in general society who kill themselves, then it’s actually safer to play D&D or read the God Delusion than not! Clearly, playing D&D and reading the God Delusion PREVENTS suicides!

  60. 61
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    I think the fact the young man HAD TO HIDE Dawkins book tells you everything you need to know about how great his family life was.

  61. 62
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    May I play, too?

    “We will have a special guest appearance from a grieving man who lost his partner, Perry Moore, to a drug overdose after Perry was devastated by producing the movies called ‘The Narnia Chronicles’ after the novels by C.S. Lewis.”

  62. 63
    peterh

    @ #45:

    You have parsed the sentence correctly. Along with an inability – nay, refusal – to comprehend or employ a rational approach to reality, so very many of these fundies exhibit a clearly evident inability to use the language correctly or effectively.

  63. 64
    samcentipedro

    From Chick-fil-A’s FAQs:

    Q: What is the Corporate Purpose of Chick-fil-A, Inc.?
    A: To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

    Praise the lord and clog the arteries!

    It’s heartening to know that the custodians of Chick-Fil-A have no interest in accumulating personal wealth but only in the blessed slaughter of millions of fowl for their punters.

    How lucky that so often God’s will aligns with the personal enrichment of his boosters!! Praise be!!

  64. 65
    markr1957

    “We will have a special guest appearance from a couple who lost their son to suicide after being devastated by reading the book by Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion.”

    No mention of the son’s own blog in which he comments that his parents refused to talk to him, or that they refused to allow him to talk to his younger brothers all because he had previously expressed a lack of belief in their faith – which seems more likely to have been a cause for suidical tendencies: the complete rejection of a child by his parents or a book by a total stranger?

  65. 66
    julietdefarge

    “The parents of Jesse Kilgore, Keith and Linda Kilgore, will be sharing their story, “Triumph over Tragedy,”

    Triumph is not the term I’d use for cashing in on your child’s suicide.

  66. 67
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    If it’s anything like usual, the triumph will be that his parents drove him to suicide “before” he totally left their religion so he will have gone to “heaven”.

  67. 68
    David Marjanović
    It’s titled “Shaping your DNA Destiny: Exploring Epigenetic Keys to Improving Your Health”

    LOL. The health of your as-yet-unconceived future children perhaps. Your own? Good luck.

    Oh, that conference sounds like it might be fun to crash with some serious questions about epigenetics research.

    Yes, please!!! I can’t go to Florida on such short notice!

    It’s quite simple, really. You must methylate your oncogenes. The may be achieved by a diet high in methyl while concentrating on those nasty genes and how Jesus hates them.

    A diet high in methylating agents? Like this one which is corrosive and dangerous to the environment according to the German Wikipedia? It also “has a disagreeable odor, and is spontaneously flammable in air.” </mad scientist>

    Catered Chick-fil-A lunch is certainly non-sciency.

    I wish I could say that’s because science conferences are above fast food, but it’s closer to the reverse: it’s non-sciency because most science conferences wouldn’t spring for any food at all, not even Chick-fil-A.

    You get water.

    Exactly.

    You still get token amounts of alleged food, some of it even edible, during some poster sessions. And you get coffee and tea. That’s usually about it.

    Surely if you were going to commit suicide over a book by Dawkins it would be The Blind Watchmaker?

    And indeed, in the foreword to Unweaving the Rainbow, Dawkins describes the letter he got from someone who had read The Blind Watchmaker and turned… rather depressive.

    Read Unweaving the Rainbow. :-)

    At least the Catholic churches all have cool names like Our Lady of the Bloody Rag or some such nonsense . . .

    Most don’t. Most are named after saints, and some saints are a lot more popular for that than others.

    Triumph is not the term I’d use for cashing in on your child’s suicide.

    + 1

  68. 69
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I think it is ghastly that people let alone parents of the victim would use a tragic event so “commercially”.

    One of the rather pernicious memes of Christianity is the whole, “Everything happens for a reason, who are we to understand the mind of gods, the lord works in mysterious ways, etc.” Everything has a meaning. Your egg yolk breaks when you make your sunny-side-ups, there is a hidden meaning in why gods allowed this. Your sister is killed by a drunk driver, but gods must have a loving reason why it happened. Your son committs suicide, gods wants him to serve as a warning against those with intellectual curiousity that learning new things is bad.

    Losing a child is a heartbreaking tragedy (that is from my “DUH!” files). If that death, though, is part of gods’ programme to save more people and keep them from burning forever in the love of gods, then the death, though still a tragedy, is no longer pointless. It is now and Example for Others! and is a Good Thing!

    which seems more likely to have been a cause for suidical tendencies: the complete rejection of a child by his parents or a book by a total stranger?

    Obviously the stranger’s book. After all, they were shunning him in order to open his heart to the love of gods which is what his sould cried out for. (I’m not good at this, did that sound sufficiently vomit-worthy?)

  69. 70
    daisythecow

    C.S. Lewis Society epigenetics poster fail

    http://bit.ly/ADlXpf

  70. 71
    rr

    Enjoy your fellowship at the Calvary Baptist Church Mr. Behe, I’m sure everyone there will agree that abusing your child for Jesus is the right thing to do.

  71. 72
    anteprepro

    which seems more likely to have been a cause for suidical tendencies: the complete rejection of a child by his parents or a book by a total stranger?

    Forgetting that he was also an Iraq veteran? I mean, come on. We need to stress exactly how dangerous The God Delusion is, that both this possible shunning by the parents making bank off of his death and involvement in actual war were less damaging to his psyche than an atheist’s book.

  72. 73
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Losing a child is a heartbreaking tragedy (that is from my “DUH!” files). If that death, though, is part of gods’ programme to save more people and keep them from burning forever in the love of gods, then the death, though still a tragedy, is no longer pointless. It is now and Example for Others! and is a Good Thing!

    I’ve always struggled very hard to understand that state of mind.

    For me this kind of thought is quite far from comforting.

    In fact, it makes me want to kill, slowly and painfully, anybody/thing who’s supposedly responsible for this. And this is the feeling I get from losing a dear friend. I can’t even imagine the rage I would feel were I to lose a child as a believer.

    Somehow this kind of serene reaction to finding “meaning” in the loss of a loved one makes me wonder if they ever truly love anyone, ever.

  73. 74
    Ing

    He had hard words for this sort of fuzzy spirituality, and those who use it to prey on the gullible.

    Yes I believe they were “Would you like your copy authographed, sir?”

  74. 75
    truthspeaker

    Mind you, reading some of CS Lewis’s apologetics made some of my brain cells want to commit suicide.

  75. 76
    Ing

    @Truthspeaker

    True story: when we learned about the Liar, Lunatic or Lord Trilema in Catholic School I, knowing that CS started out as an atheist, thought it was from his preconversion days and thought it was rather surprisingly convincing. I waited for the catholic/christian response to it…but they just kept going and dread started setting in. Oh shit…this was the apologetic.

    It seemed to be such a good argument in the beginning for the contrary view! I mean yes we all presume Christ is lord, but isn’t the option of liar or lunatic also on the table? And those should be considered right!? And aren’t they more likely because lunatics and liars are common yet there is only one lord!?

  76. 77
    rr

    Somehow this kind of serene reaction to finding “meaning” in the loss of a loved one makes me wonder if they ever truly love anyone, ever.

    Christian “love” is a perverted thing, perhaps conditional affection would be a better term. Behe provides a perfect example: his conditional affection for his son evaporates when the son rejects Behe’s beliefs. With crap like this passing for normalcy it’s no wonder humanity is in such a sorry state.

  77. 78
    Stacy

    No mention of the son’s own blog in which he comments that his parents refused to talk to him, or that they refused to allow him to talk to his younger brothers all because he had previously expressed a lack of belief in their faith – which seems more likely to have been a cause for suidical tendencies: the complete rejection of a child by his parents or a book by a total stranger?

    Are you sure about this? Sounds like you’re confusing Jesse Kilgore with Behe’s son (who has not committed suicide).

  78. 79
    ikesolem

    Humans thought up the Bible, the Koran, and all the other sacred texts. You know, don’t you, that if human civilization was destroyed and all that snuck through was The Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft, then future proto-civilizations would be worshipping Cthulu, right? That’s not deniable, is it?

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”

    Makes as much sense as anything else. The things people come up with…

  79. 80
    Azuma Hazuki

    @ikesolem

    Cthulhu would be better than Yahweh. Cthulhu isn’t a sadistic bastard, and he can only kill you once, as opposed to infinite times over the span of eternity. I wish more Muslims and Christians understood what it is they truly believe and worship.

  80. 81
    Chris Booth

    peterhuestis @ #20:

    He is the biologist in the “Expelled” film who described to Ben Stein the harassment he experienced at the Smithsonian Institute.

    Last I checked, the name of the place was “The Smithsonian Institution.”

    What a pathetic level of detail.

    ;-)

Comments have been disabled.