Comments

  1. hypatiasdaughter says

    One would think that the easiest way to settle this dispute would be to go to the Vatican and see if they actually have this statue (or at least a record of them once having it) in their treasury.
    But, as the Vatican has taken possession of countless works of art from all over the world, which it chooses to release to scholars only if it sees fit, then this is not an easy task.
    I see this as another strike against religion – they are the self-appointed censors of human thought and history.

  2. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    At least, now I know why they want to stick their noses in other people’s sex lives.

  3. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Birds were associated with penises in ancient Rome. It was a whole thing. That’s why everybody was making fun of Catullus for his my-girl’s-sparrow-is-dead poem and there were paintings and stuff of winged phalluses flying around.

  4. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Oh so that information is in the link and I feel superfluous :)
    It is very early. Please forgive me.

  5. says

    Another dispute with Ehrman where Ehrman can be shown to be quite clearly wrong. Slapped down without even breaking a sweat.

    How odd.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was having a crisis of “no faith”.

    Here’s my prediction: Within 3 years, Ehrman will come out as a Christian. Not a “bible-believing God-said-it-that-settles-it” Christian, but something more gentle and liberal. A vague liberal Anglican faith, I suspect.

    Either that, or he’s just raising ruckuses to get his name in the papers. No such thing as bad publicity, as it were. After all, he does have a new book to sell.

  6. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Note the author of that piece: Acharya S.

    The anti-scholar. Totally unreliable.

    This might as well have been written by Kent Hovind.

  7. says

    This reminds me of a set of wind chimes I saw at the British Museum from ancient Rome (if I remember correctly). It was essentially an erect penis with the chimes hung from it. I was disappointed that they didn’t have replicas of it in the gift shop for sale.

  8. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Another dispute with Ehrman where Ehrman can be shown to be quite clearly wrong.

    Are you sure that’s what happened? I wouldn’t trust anything Acharya S says.

    Here’s what Richard Carrier says about Acharya S, aka D.M. Murdock:

    One of the reasons Murdock’s methodology goes off the rails is that she assumes everyone is out to get her and that there is always some sort of evil conspiracy against her work. Which insulates her from listening to criticism and correcting the way she does things. That is one of the surest ways to fail as a scholar. It likely also prevents her from having useful dialogs with experts in ancient history. Which is the surest way to make yourself irrelevant as a scholar. […]

    I am interested in persuading academic professionals that a particular theory is true, or at least plausible enough to treat as respectably as other theories in the field. Every time I attempt to do that, I have the sloppy methodology of other mythers thrown in my face as a reason to dismiss all mythicism, and I have to spend a great deal of additional time explaining why my methods are valid and that mythicism can be supported with valid arguments. (I have also had mythers’ unfriendly paranoia cited at me by professors in the field, forcing me to also prove I don’t act like that–I had dismissed that claim about Murdock in the past, but now seeing it flung at me, evidently the scholars who mentioned it to me were correct about it; this is not doing her or mythicism any good, it makes them both look like tinfoil hat.) […]

    Contrary to her paranoid fantasies, I address the validity of facts and methodology, praise where praise is due, censure where censure is due. Instead, Murdock thinks this is a political game whereby we should all “up vote” and “positively review” each others work, and never be “adversarial.” That is a perfect example of why her methodology sucks. That is not how a professional should ever behave. You can never make progress toward any true knowledge if you never criticize or call out error, if you show no interest in the validity of the methods being employed, if you show no desire to root out errors and improve methodologies. If it’s all a “back slapping” game whereby our only aim is to promote each others’ book sales, then we are not scholars. We’re hucksters.

    Thus, Murdock intimates that she will now negatively review any books I produce, simply because I did not play her game (which is ironic, as it implies a level of vendetta and dishonesty in her that she projects onto me, to the eternal satisfaction of Sigmund Freud). Instead, I acted like actual scholars act: we criticize each other’s work, specifically so as to identify error and improve our methods and conclusions as a collective enterprise. Instead of being objective and simply evaluating works on their merits, Murdock says she “could have” positively reviewed my work as she did Doherty’s and Price’s, that I “could have benefited likewise,” had I “not chosen to be adversarial.” […]

    I will conclude with this: it is precisely because of these threads of research and analysis, which tediously take up my time for no purpose, only to reveal how unreliable Murdock is, in reporting, sourcing, and discussing facts, and in drawing inferences from what she quotes, that I don’t want to engage in these debates. If I were to repeat this for every claim she makes, and every claim every myther made, I would be occupied with this for hundreds of years. All to no purpose. I would rather start from the evidence itself, and recent peer reviewed scholarship by well-qualified specialists, and build my own case using a methodology I know to be sound. That is hard enough. It has taken me years (only now near to completion…Proving History is out in a few weeks, and I expect to have a reviewable first draft of Historicity by end of April). I am not going to waste any more time with “other people’s” shoddy scholarship. If someone else out there wants to do this, all the power to you. But from here on out I am disengaging. I will not bother “checking” any more of Murdock’s facts. Nor will I “debate” any of this, unless you can confirm I have made an actual, provable error (as I did make one, noted above). I am always interested in getting things right. But I am not interested in being someone else’s fact check boy. And I’m certainly not interested in Murdock’s paranoid aspersions or the trolling of her fanatical followers. Do keep that in mind.

    And here’s what Richard Carrier says about Bart Ehrman:

    Ehrman’s Jesus Interrupted is awesome. In fact, I’ve loved everything of his I’ve read so far (e.g. if you loved JI, you’ll love Forged). And I can vouch for it. He’s almost always right, and when he’s not, he’s at least reflecting the widest consensus or erring in a respectable way. So, yeah, don’t by any means take my article as reason not to voraciously consume his books. JI at the very least should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

    Acharya S will say anything to get attention. There’s no reason to take any of her claims seriously. If a real scholar wants to argue that Ehrman is wrong about this, that would be worth taking seriously.

    But Acharya S is doing to Ehrman here exactly what she did to Carrier. Don’t trust her.

  9. theophontes 777 says

    I see this as another strike against religion – they are the self-appointed censors of human thought and history.

    Indeed. In terms of its effects, what is the difference between removing our common human heritage (in the form of artifacts) by destroying it entirely- as happened with the Bamiyan Buddhas – or to hide it away for all time, as in this case?

    @ CC

    were paintings and stuff of winged phalluses flying around.

    I saw a beautiful example in Hong Kong recently (similar to this). Winged phalluses appear often, even today, as murals – to bring good luck.

  10. stwriley says

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick @ 13

    Be careful with defending Ehrman on this one, since this is the very same work that Carrier himself just trashed a part of (from Ehrman’s HuffPo article on it) for exactly the reasons Murdock is referring to; that he’s casting accusations of falsification and poor scholarship when he’s the one actually failing to do his due diligence. PZ just posted about this the other day and the take-down of Ehrman by Carrier was a thing of beauty. It may well be one of the finest academic dope=slaps I’ve ever been privileged to read (and being an historian, I’ve read some doozies.)

    Don’t be too quick to jump to Ehrman’s defense this time. He seems to have left his usual scholarship on the editing room floor and it’s not just Murdock who’s calling him out on it; it’s Carrier too.

  11. helenaconstantine says

    No. 9 above is already on to something.

    Look at this quote from her site:

    “Peter” is not only “the rock” but also “the cock” or penis, as the word is used as slang to this day. As Walker says, “The cock was also a symbol of Saint Peter, whose name also meant a phallus or male principle (pater) and a phallic pillar (petra). Therefore, the cock’s image was often placed atop church towers.”

    This is a crazy person writing that. Petros is not used in Greek for puns on pater or petra. Nether petra nor pater were slang terms used to mean the male organ. She doesn’t know Greek and is just making things up as she goes along.

    Based on this clear lunacy, I would doubt anything she says against Ehrman until I looked up the reference myself.

    However this does seem to be a real object in the Vatican Museum. I’ve seen references to it before, and some of the references cited on the linked website actually seem reliable (The Christ Conspiracy and The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects are not among them).

    If I had to understand this object in the context of ancient religion, I would refer to it to Orphism, which isn’t much better than saying unknown (it had an egg based cosmology). I don’t buy a Gnostic context. Gnostic art is almost completely unknown (most of the gems and other objects that were referred to Gnosticism a century ago turn out to be more closely related to Graeco-Egyptian magic), and an image like that would have suggested the demiurge to a Gnostic, not the savior. But if I had to bet, I would say Renaissance forgery.

    Why is PZ developing this thing for Ehrman?

  12. anchor says

    A straightforward interpretation of the story leads to an unassailable conclusion: God has a Penis and its called an “angel” or a “spirit” – uh, or, rather, an angel that carries within it the “holy spirit”, which is that holy ejaculate which the angel only delivers, that particular “immaculate conception” essence responsible for impregnating the Virgin Mary and conceiving – through the Agency of God’s angelic genitals – the Son of God. So the angel is only an intermediary tool, a “messenger” delivering the “Word of God”. Like Mercury’s ankles, it even has “wings” (the pair of scrotal sacks).

    The priests and their highers have those angels on them too, and many of them want to evangaculate all over their parishioners, uh, out of paternalistic affection. Especially the young ones…

    They rationalize: Its good for them. Turn it into an opportunity for a lesson, as extracurricular education on the Gospel. You know, by way of demonstration: “Eat/drink, for this my body/blood…” etc. – and that little white wafer which looks like a spot of semen, etc. The Messenger Angel delivering the Holy Spirit in fluent Word of God.

    A story made to order for the most innocent and gulliblyvulnerable. Many victims will find this scenario hitting awful close to the bone of personal recall. Pardon. Point is, its all a ghastly facade to conceal a paternalistic-sexuo-dominator power-mongering politicks, supremicist/dominionistic in every way. A hugely ornate and elaborate culture has evolved around the whole thing and grown ever more powerful over the centuries. There can be no limit to the contempt I reserve for that monstrosity. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church – the Vatican and its Archdiocese and the Whole Sick Holy Contraption – needs to get kicked smartly where it will hurt the most: right in the Holy Nut$. Their power will founder soon thereafter.

    Now I must take a shower and rinse with three gulps of Listerine.

  13. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    striley,

    Be careful with defending Ehrman on this one

    Be careful with defending Acharya S on any subject, since she is demonstrated to be a huckster.

    Again, “If a real scholar wants to argue that Ehrman is wrong about this, that would be worth taking seriously.”

    There is absolutely no reason to ever trust anything that Acharya S says. It is exactly like dealing with Kent Hovind. If she gets anything right, it’s by accident, because she doesn’t do the real work necessary to verify if anything is true in the first place.

    since this is the very same work that Carrier himself just trashed a part of

    1) No, that’s not accurate; it’s not the very same work. Carrier is explicit on this point: “Well, refutation of his article. Not his book.” “By all accounts here, the book is better. And at my own glance, I think it is, too. But my review will take maybe a week to produce.” “As to the book, you certainly should [read it]. As I state repeatedly in my article, I am doing the same. My article here is only a corrective to his article, not his book.”

    2) And did Carrier take issue with this claim about the cock statue? No, and I doubt that he will, since he is aware of “how unreliable Murdock is, in reporting, sourcing, and discussing facts, and in drawing inferences from what she quotes, that I don’t want to engage in these debates. If I were to repeat this for every claim she makes, and every claim every myther made, I would be occupied with this for hundreds of years. All to no purpose.”

    Don’t be too quick to jump to Ehrman’s defense this time.

    Don’t be too quick to misunderstand me. What I object to is citing Acharya S in support of any claim, including that the sky is blue. It is bad practice, and reflects poorly on the person who cites her, demonstrating that they don’t know who can be taken seriously on a particular subject.

    He seems to have left his usual scholarship on the editing room floor and it’s not just Murdock who’s calling him out on it; it’s Carrier too.

    If you look carefully, striley, you’ll see that I already linked to Carrier on Ehrman, back at comment #13.

  14. CJO says

    I’m guessing it’s political satire. Soter, “savior” was a favorite epithet of Hellenistic sovereigns.

    As far as religious iconography goes, Priapus was supposed to be the son of Hermes, who was sometimes represented by a rooster, and was, among other things, the guardian of boundaries and the mediator between humanity and the divine. From the wikipedia entry on Hermes:

    In the 6th century BCE, Hipparchos, the son of Pisistratus, replaced the cairns that marked the midway point between each village deme at the central agora of Athens with a square or rectangular pillar of stone or bronze topped by a bust of Hermes with a beard. An erect phallus rose from the base. In the more primitive Mount Kyllini or Cyllenian herms, the standing stone or wooden pillar was simply a carved phallus. In Athens, herms were placed outside houses for good luck.

  15. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    helenaconstantine,

    This is a crazy person writing that.

    Based on this clear lunacy,

    You can shut the fuck up, Helena.

    She is not crazy.

    She is lazy and dishonest.

    Do not further stigmatize mental illness by using it as an insult when you really mean lazy and dishonest.

  16. dmmurdock says

    I am the author of the blog post that Dr. Myers has kindly linked to here. I would like to thank PZ for linking to my article, which shows that I am being unfairly defamed and maligned by Bart Ehrman, who did not do his due diligence at all.

    I resent the insulting comments from other posters here, who do not know me or my work in the least. In the first place, as concerns Richard Carrier, I did not begin his longstanding feud with me. He initiated it and has kept it going. His latest post personally attacking me with all manner of horrid psychobabble is truly vile and despicable. Anyone who would repeat Carrier’s hateful bilge as some sort of authoritative pronouncement on me and my work – which Carrier has not even studied – has lost all credibility.

    The fact is that Carrier made some mistakes in his initial criticisms, which I pointed out, after which he decided to continue his attack, again with insults and more mistakes. I pointed those out, and now this unbelievably bizarre and unprofessional pretense at being a psychoanalyst.

    Holding up this man as some omnipotent authority when one has not even studied my work – again, he hasn’t even studied my work – ranks as intellectually dishonest and egregious. Here are my responses to Carrier’s bilious and defamatory rants:

    http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1461&p=25012#p25012

    http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=25149#p25149

    The weird personal attacks from him and the commenter above frankly smack of misogyny.

    Secondly, this comment is likewise utterly fallacious: “She doesn’t know Greek and is just making things up as she goes along.”

    Exactly “who” is the “she” here? You have failed to distinguish between me and Barbara Walker, whom I am quoting in the second part. I don’t know how much Greek Walker knows, but she is certainly NOT guilty of “making things up as she goes along.” That is a defamatory and libelous accusation. If you had bothered to follow up on the research, you would know where she gets her information from – Walker is a meticulous and respectable researcher whose works are widely taught in college courses. If you are claiming that Barbara Walker “makes things up,” you owe her an apology.

    As concerns my knowledge of Greek, I have been studying Greek since the mid ’70s, so your comment as applies to me is completely false. You don’t know me, and you have not studied my work to make such a hand-waving dismissal and insulting remark. Your comment calling either one of us a “crazy person” is simply more of the same sleazy defamation.

    Petros is not used in Greek for puns on pater or petra. Nether petra nor pater were slang terms used to mean the male organ.

    In the first place, you seem to be completely oblivious to the well-known usage of the word “peter” for “phallus.” Instead of making odious remarks about two women you don’t know, perhaps you could have wondered how and why “peter” became slang for “penis” and done the research.

    As I say, Barbara Walker cites her contentions meticulously. In Walker’s book The Woman’s Dictionary of Myths and Secrets (788):

    The real roots of Peter’s legend lay in pagan Roman myths of the city-god called Petra, or Pater Liber, assimilated to the Mithraic pater patrum (Father of Fathers), whose title was corrupted into papa, then “pope.” This personage had been both a Rock and a Father – that is, a phallic pillar – in the Vatican mundus since Etruscan times, when oracular priests called vatis gave their title to the site. Other variations of the deity’s name were Patriarch (Chief Father), Pompeius and Patricius (Patrick). Like Indian Brahmins, Roman “patricians” claimed a patrilineal descent from the god….

    The god’s stone phallus remained planted in the Vatican mount through the later centuries of the Roman empire and well into the Middle Ages–perhaps even into the 19th century, when a visitor said Vatican authorities “kept in secret a large stone emblem of the creative power, of a very peculiar shape.” Medieval names for such an object–perron, pyr, pierre–show that it was both a “rock” and a “peter.” Such was the ancient Pater’s phallic scepter or pillar topped with a pine cone, the thyrsus of Pater Liber. Church authorities often converted a carved perron into a Christian symbol simply by placing a cross on its tip.

    There is much more, and all of it is carefully cited, so please feel free to do the research. If it proves wrong, just present the facts – there’s no need for all the vile personal attacks. So far, however, in some 20 years of studying her work, I have not found Barbara’s work to suffer the sort of egregious errors committed by Carrier and Ehrman vis-a-vis my work.

    What I see here, from Ehrman, Carrier and others is that they fail to do the research and immediately come out with insulting and defamatory ad homs and other fallacies. Such behavior is very unprofessional and unscholarly.

    D.M. Murdock/Acharya S
    http://FreethoughtNation.com
    http://TruthBeKnown.com
    http://StellarHousePublishing.com

  17. dmmurdock says

    “She is lazy and dishonest.”

    More defamation, libel and calumny from an individual who does not know me at all. I request that this mendacious individual be banned from posting any more hate speech here against my person.

    Thank you for your courtesy.

  18. dmmurdock says

    “Be careful with defending Acharya S on any subject, since she is demonstrated to be a huckster.”

    And you have been demonstrated to be a mendacious individual who defames people he does not even know in the least. Again, I request that this disturbed individual be banned from making defamatory and libelous remarks about me.

    In the meantime, for those who would like to actually STUDY my work, please feel free to visit my sites. You can do a search here:

    http://freethoughtnation.com

    There you will also find the endorsements of several credentialed scholars, such as Dr. Kenneth Feder, Dr. Robert M. Price, Dr. Robert Eisenman, Dr. Christian Lindtner and others who actually know my work and are truly professional and classy scholars.

  19. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    dmmurdock,

    The weird personal attacks from him and the commenter above frankly smack of misogyny.

    I can understand how you’d feel that way, and I don’t intend to spend much energy talking you out of it, since I must acknowledge it’s possible that I’ve devalued your scholarship further upon learning you’re a woman. I don’t think so, but introspection is notoriously unreliable.

    But, for what it’s worth, I do remember that I thought “Acharya S” was a fraud before I learned that you’re a woman.

    I will henceforth call you a total crank, since that term is unlikely to signal anything about your gender.

  20. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Again, I request that this disturbed individual be banned from making defamatory and libelous remarks about me.

    Hey, you know what? Don’t fucking call him “disturbed.” You don’t need to be using mental illness as an insult. All right? First of all. Second, you seriously don’t need to go through the entire thread responding to every single thing someone said about you that you don’t like in separate individual posts. Third, you can stop using “defamation” to mean “someone said something mean about me and I don’t like it.”

  21. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Same with “hate speech,” by the way. Insults and hate speech are not the same thing, and I know you know that. Please don’t ignore the difference, because it matters.

  22. greggo says

    Look at the endorsements dmmurdock has listed, go and actually study her work as she recommends. She puts to shame those that try to discredit her. Her work is about the most extensive out there on these subjects..and she is not one of those arm chair researchers who are full of themselves. dmmurdock gets out there in the field, and is the best at presenting the real world.

  23. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    and she is not one of those arm chair researchers who are full of themselves.

    Her performance in this thread begs to differ.

  24. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    dmmurdock,

    I notice that as of three days ago you are still linking approvingly to Pat Condell.

    You may not be aware, but Pat Condell is a spokesman for a White Nationalist party which defines Britishness in terms of white ethnicity.

    It is bad for the Freethought movement to be associated with White Nationalist activists like Pat Condell.

    +++++
    Not coincidentally, please note also the sort of commenter you’ve attracted there: “eldon orr” writes

    British government is afraid to execute justice, just as they were afraid to execute justice long long ago when homosexuality became acceptable in British society. […] when Christian Britain failed to execute justice against homosexuals long ago, they set the stage for the present ongoing overthrow of their society by pseudo-muslim hordes.

    Since you are keen on banning commenters, I trust you will be banning that fellow; it would be a small favor to the gay community if you’d delete his comment as well.

  25. greggo says

    @life is like a pittbull #13

    the only thing that post proves is that Carrier and Ehrman do all the thinking for you.

  26. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    greggo, honestly – if you don’t have anything of substance to say, why post?

  27. Sili says

    Is it just me, or does the dmmurdock here sound like the D. Simone at Carrier’s place?

    The from the hip psychoanalysis and charges of misogyny seem a bit too similar.

  28. greggo says

    Cassandra, really? What is this dissent against DM Murdock if you have nothing to back it up? I found haters here today, with no knowledge of what she has done, or what she is currently doing. You guys want attention, that is it!

    Posting personal opinions of your own, or those of Carrier and Ehrman mean nothing

  29. greggo says

    I just started here cassandra, there is only so much I can post at once. The thing is, with DM Murdock’s extensive research, proven research, it does not take one long for me to counter anything you have against the bullshit you/Ehrman & Co. put out

  30. Sili says

    and she is not one of those arm chair researchers who are full of themselves.

    Odd. Most people I know, who’re not full of themselves, are perfectly capable of admitting when they’ve fucked up.

    If ms. Murdoch cannot say “my bad” when not knowing what the Immaculate Conception is – a fairly basic piece of modern Catholic theology – then why should I trust her honesty on more weighty matters?

  31. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Acharya S on Stanislaw Burzynski’s cancer quackery:

    Dr. Burzynski’s treatment has been scrutinized scientifically for decades and, from the video below, seems to be quite effective.

    On UFOs:

    My own thoughts include, what if “they” aren’t (all) from another planet? Even today we have people living at fairly advanced levels, technology-wise, while others remain in the Brazilian rainforest in the Stone Age, seemingly oblivious to our existence. Perhaps they’ve been here for a very long time, and we ourselves are almost oblivious to their existence?

  32. Sili says

    Cassandra, really? What is this dissent against DM Murdock if you have nothing to back it up? I found haters here today, with no knowledge of what she has done, or what she is currently doing. You guys want attention, that is it!

    You know, some evidence of this amazing scholarship, would be nice. I think you have use up to six links at a time now, so I’m a bit at a loss to understand your lack of references. Some peer reviewed stuff, would be nice, but I’ll take independent reviews as well.

    Oh, and “proven research” makes you sound like a crank. Proof is for booze and maths.

  33. greggo says

    @life is like a pitbull #39

    ??asking questions about the existence of UFO’s is a bad thing?

  34. greggo says

    Has ‘anyone’ here read her freethoughtnation article – “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican” ??

    obviously not.

    damn shame

    like Kevin in #7 mentioned….slapped down without even making a sweat

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dr. Burzynski’s treatment has been scrutinized scientifically for decades and, from the video below, seems to be quite effective.

    Video isn’t part of the peer reviewed scientific literature. But it is part and parcel of the lying and bullshitting alt-med fuckwits who pretend to be scientific. Learn the difference if you wish to have real scientists, like myself, bother to look at your alleged evidence…

  36. cm's changeable moniker says

    I found haters here today

    *dingdingdingdingding*

    Oh! One of the alarms went off somewhere.

    *goes to check which one*

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ??asking questions about the existence of UFO’s is a bad thing?

    Unless you conclusive physical evidence for their existence, yes, as the null hypothesis is non-existence. What a loser if you don’t understand the basics of skepticism…

  38. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    The thing is, with DM Murdock’s extensive research, proven research, it does not take one long for me to counter anything you have against the bullshit you/Ehrman & Co. put out

    What? First of all, whatever you tried to say with this sentence, you failed. Second, I get the impression you think I have something against your idol/sockpuppeteer Murdock. I don’t, except that she showed up here, acted like a self-aggrandizing ass who overreacts to insults and doesn’t know what words mean, and called a poster “disturbed” for no fucking reason. The reputation of her scholarship, crappy as said reputation may be, is not my problem.

    ??asking questions about the existence of UFO’s is a bad thing?

    Oh
    Hahahaha
    Carry on

  39. cm's changeable moniker says

    Has ‘anyone’ here read her freethoughtnation article – “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican” ??

    I did.

    obviously not.

    Protip: This is not how professional, scholarly research works.

  40. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Sili,

    Oooooh! Bad pittbull!

    How misogynist.

    It really is possible. I’m not above unconscious sexism, and disproportionately impugning women’s mental health is a far too common problem in our society.

    There is the difficulty that “paranoia” has both non-clinical and clinical implications, which could allow someone to deliberately imply the latter, while equivocating back to the former when challenged.

    I don’t regard it to be a frivolous complaint. I think she’s telling the truth that it strikes her as possibly misogynistic, and I don’t want to unintentionally contribute to any microaggressions like that.

    What I’m conscious of is this: I think her defensiveness (and litigious language) is typical of frauds generally, nothing clinical about it. That’s just how successful frauds survive.

    +++++
    greggo,

    the only thing that post proves is that Carrier and Ehrman do all the thinking for you.

    Good point! That would explain why I’m unable to express an opinion when they disagree with each other.

  41. greggo says

    @cm’s

    so the article that bitchslap’s Ehrman, ‘has to be’ a scholarly work now? I can take the information she gave and check things out for myself….you shoot things down like others here without any thought. You guys are really bad man…I though YT was bad, but damn

  42. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can take the information she gave and check things out for myself

    Why bother, you are a proven liar and bullshitter, so anything your “opinion” says is probably wrong. And any real skeptic will consider it so until you actually provide conclusive evidence to back up your opinion.

    You guys are really bad man…I though YT was bad, but damn

    And you are really stupid and non-skepical. You swallow whole bullshit. Which is why you and your inane opinions are laughed at…

  43. Sili says

    I can take the information she gave and check things out for myself

    That’s great! That is the skeptical thing to do.

    Now, why do you find it so hard to share with us the fruits of those checks of yours? You can post all the links you want (almost). Why do you then stick to rhetorical flourishes?

  44. Sili says

    It really is possible. I’m not above unconscious sexism, and disproportionately impugning women’s mental health is a far too common problem in our society.

    There is the difficulty that “paranoia” has both non-clinical and clinical implications, which could allow someone to deliberately imply the latter, while equivocating back to the former when challenged.

    I don’t regard it to be a frivolous complaint. I think she’s telling the truth that it strikes her as possibly misogynistic, and I don’t want to unintentionally contribute to any microaggressions like that.

    True. Given how often my own sexism is pointed out to me here, that is reasonable.

    But I’m not sure I see the difference between Carrier’s use of “paranoid” here and in his quoted complaints about Hoffmann:

    See what I mean about my worrying he’s a lunatic? He appears to be suffering from real paranoia: remarks like “the organization at whose bidding he’s doing this hatchet job” tell me he really thinks I am a paid shill on a propaganda campaign for CFI. The guy’s off his rocker.

    Shorter me: I am a sexist. I know from sexism. You, sir, are no sexist.

  45. carlie says

    the article that bitchslap’s Ehrman,

    Oh dmmurdock, your defender greggo is using misogynistic hate language. Care to call him/her out on that?

  46. cm's changeable moniker says

    ‘Peter’ is not only ‘the rock’ but also ‘the cock,’ or penis, as the word is use as slang to this day.

    Not in English English. My three preferred sources of definitions profanity ((C)OED, Brewer’s, and Roger’s Profanisaurus) have no such usage.

    The American Heritage Dictionary, on the other hand, does (since 1902):

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Peter

    Colour me sceptical.

  47. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    Sili,

    You can post all the links you want (almost).

    More than 6 trigger auto-moderation.

    (But one can post multiple comments)

  48. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Well, Carrier’s definitely going the route of clinical implication with Hoffman — I don’t like that — and he’s the one who draws the parallel with his use of the term re Murdock.

    I regret approvingly quoting that bit from him, then. Madness just isn’t a fair appraisal of how healthy, lazy frauds will behave naturally, especially when they’re surrounded by gullible people with money to spend. Accusing detractors of initiating a longstanding feud, for instance, is just a reliable way of maintaining brand loyalty.

  49. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Has ‘anyone’ here read her freethoughtnation article – “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican” ??

    obviously not.

    What the hell? Uh, why on earth would you assume that?
    First of all, it’s infuriatingly written. The way she narrates her research grates unbelievably. Second, the comment she is attempting to refute says this: “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.” (Emphasis mine.) Her article demonstrates the existence of a penis-nosed bronze statue of a cock, which I honestly didn’t doubt in the slightest because it fits in with the little I know about Priapic imagery. Okay, I buy that the Vatican might have it, the Vatican has lots of stuff. (Jerks.) But I don’t see anything to back up the claim that this particular statue is an symbol of St. Peter. Indeed, the scholarship she provides actually seems to mostly agree that this is a Priapic statue, and I find it really strange that she is claiming she represented that accurately.

  50. Sili says

    So he’s ableist, I guess. But he applies his psychopathology charges equally to guys and gals.

  51. Sili says

    I find it really strange that she is claiming she represented that accurately.

    Really? It seems par for the course for her rhetoric.

    “I say it, there it is correct.”

    Perhaps she’s watched too much Adam Savage. (Or Karl Rove.)

  52. John Morales says

    [meta]

    The (ahem) robustness of the meta-scholarly disagreements within the field of Biblical studies has mildly surprised me.

    (In hindsight, it shouldn’t have)

  53. anchor says

    I can now appreciate a fresh candidate for the origin of the term “pecker”. I used to suspect some vague association with woodpeckers, thinking the ‘pecking’ behavior to be loosely analogous to ‘phucking’, but now I see its just another cock.

    Now I have to douse my eyes in boric acid.

  54. John Morales says

    [OT]

    anchor, you’ve become cock-eyed?

    (Better than being cold-cocked, I grant)

  55. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So he’s ableist, I guess. But he applies his psychopathology charges equally to guys and gals.

    Could be. But — attempting some intersectional thinking here — it’s likely to have somewhat more damaging effects when applied against a woman, since it activates a stereotype frame.

    I’d bet it’s easier to convince more people that Ann is clinically “paranoid” than Bob, just by saying the word the same number of times in regard to each. (A worthy experiment, if the psychology grad student is reading.)

  56. cm's changeable moniker says

    anchor, you don’t even want to know about the Kestrel.

    Have some HF in a Pt cup. Don’t spill it.

  57. anchor says

    I worry I’ll start wondering how many pickled penises Peter Piper picked.

    I may never recover.

  58. John Morales says

    [OT]

    ॐ,

    But — attempting some intersectional thinking here — it’s likely to have somewhat more damaging effects when applied against a woman, since it activates a stereotype frame.

    Huh?

    You think the stereotypical mad person is a female?

  59. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    John, it depends significantly upon which illness is claimed. But there is a particular cultural pattern of labeling women crazy to discredit and silence them, and it doesn’t play out the same for men. That’s what I want to avoid inadvertently participating in.

  60. John Morales says

    ॐ, relax.

    (dmmurdock’s insinuations about you are without merit, that much is obvious to any regular, and (I think) evident to any honest reader.)

  61. cm's changeable moniker says

    @dmmurdock, any time you’d like to respond to #55, that would be lovely.

  62. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    John, I’m well relaxed, and I’m having a good time with the fraud and her followers. But, personally, you would be mistaken to take my conscious attention to sexism for a lack of sexism on my part. And, socially, even a total lack of personal sexism on my part would not automatically prevent me from reproducing more sexism in the world.

    This kind of effect is likely to occur regardless of the speaker’s intentions, for instance.

    To be perfectly honest I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I’m just answering objections in the most accurate way I know how.

  63. cm's changeable moniker says

    American or English pint? There’s a 25% difference.

    (20% if you’re going the other way.)

  64. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Acharya S on Bigfoot:

    The state-of-the-art analysis of the Roger Patterson film is quite impressive, although skepticism will remain, obviously. I am reminded of the same skepticism as concerns the mountain gorilla, described by native Africans for centuries but pooh-poohed by European scientists–until it was eventually found by them. These scientists likewise contended that nothing that big could have escaped notice or not left behind physical artifacts.

    on Zeitgeist

    This well-done video is a hilarious lampooning of the lies and smears against the Zeitgeist Movement. The “newbie” brilliantly and accurately represents the Zeitgeist Movement in its most idealistic perspective, while the TZM cultist reflects the erroneous views of Christian fundies and other detractors. A perfect rebuttal to the sinister silliness being spread about TZM and the Venus Project.

    omfg I forgot Murdock was associated with Zeitgeist. That was probably the worst thing to ever happen to the mythicist position.

  65. John Morales says

    [meta]

    ॐ, you tread dangerously close to the genetic fallacy, if you’re at all on-topic.

    (That you’ve poisoned the well regarding someone’s credibility on certain matters doesn’t affect claims not based on such credibility)

  66. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    on vaccinations:

    I just can’t imagine why people wouldn’t have their children vaccinated! And everyone should be charged with child abuse who doesn’t stick into the arm of a infant 20 needles full of heavy metals, toxic chemicals and the blood and pus products of other humans and other species, all before the baby is a year old.

    (<==Sarcasm based on comments I've actually read – including directed at me.)

    on fluoride:

    Of course, the authorities are finally coming out and admitting what many of us have known for years and decades: Fluoride is toxic, and it should not be used wantonly and added haphazardly to our water.

    Cigarettes, lead, mercury, many pharmaceutical drugs, now fluoride – all of these were denied as health hazards by governmental “authorities” and “experts” for decades before it was finally admitted they are not good for humans. What’s next?

    more on vaccines:

    Aluminum in vaccines a deadly poison?

    The issue of whether or not to vaccinate yourself or your children is a scary one, with vaccine advocates constantly raising the terrifying spector of debilitating disease or even death for those who refuse vaccinations. Every parent trembles when hearing such fearful warnings. But are vaccines safe? Should we be putting such cocktails of foreign chemicals into our and our children’s bloodstreams? […]

    Now, in addition to the concerns about mercury added to vaccines causing several health problems such as autism in children comes new worries about aluminum adjuvants in vaccines.

  67. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    John, I’ll remind you that a lot of things can look like the genetic fallacy, without being such.

    Again, “If a real scholar wants to argue that Ehrman is wrong about this, that would be worth taking seriously.”

    There is absolutely no reason to ever trust anything that Acharya S says. It is exactly like dealing with Kent Hovind. If she gets anything right, it’s by accident, because she doesn’t do the real work necessary to verify if anything is true in the first place.

    She could indeed be right about this issue, by accident. CC shows reason to think she’s not. But I’m not interested in the particular claims of this article.

    What I am interested in is the fact that Murdock is a crank and a fraud, and thus citing her is as useful as citing Kent Hovind.

    All her bullshit — Bigfoot, Zeitgeist, anti-vax, UFOs, Burzynski — does affect a Bayesian appraisal of whether anything else she says is worth one’s time or not.

    Source monitoring is necessary for us mere humans who do not have infinite time and resources. (Maybe her prehistoric UFO people can afford to take her seriously.)

  68. John Morales says

    [meta]

    ॐ,

    (That you’ve poisoned the well regarding someone’s credibility on certain matters doesn’t affect claims not based on such credibility)

    What I am interested in is the fact that Murdock is a crank and a fraud, and thus citing her is as useful as citing Kent Hovind.

    We are in agreement there. :)

  69. cm's changeable moniker says

    ॐ: It’s much simpler that that.

    “Peter” is not slang for “cock”, at least until C20th American, AFAICT.

    (That said, if someone wants to contact Madeline Kripke, maybe she can offer a divergent opinion.)

  70. Patricia, OM says

    cm – oh dear, a 20 to 25% differance in pickled peckers could be a problem. We’d better not just go into the bottling process head long before solving the issue.

  71. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    DMMurdock takes seriously, and cites, a post at ChristianNewsWire:

    It should be no surprise, therefore, that modern Ugandans are very unhappy that homosexual political activists from Europe and the United States are working aggressively to re-homosexualize their nation. Ugandan citizens report a growing number of foreign homosexual men coming to their country to turn desperately poor young men from the slums into their personal houseboys, and that some girls in public schools have been paid to recruit others into lesbianism. Foreign interests have exerted intense pressure on Uganda’s government to compromise its laws regarding sexual morality, often using their control over foreign aid funding for leverage.

    Murdock responds:

    In recent days, a brouhaha has erupted over notorious Christian evangelist Rick Warren’s involvement with Ugandan colleagues who are attempting to impose the death penalty in their country for homosexuality. A couple of weeks ago, the Huffington Post reported on the debacle caused when Warren refused to condemn the measure by claiming exemption from interfering with a sovereign nation’s policies. […]

    With this fact – if true – Warren’s reticence may actually possess some merit, as opposed to representing mere mindless homophobia.

  72. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Acharya S on 9/11:

    First of all, I have been aware of the 9/11 conspiracy theories practically from the first day of the atrocity. I have watched many videos on the subject, and I believe that a good case has been made that the 9/11 hijackers could not have been acting alone, from purely external sources, without help from the inside. […]

    It is obvious that individuals from a variety of agencies, both national and international, must have been involved. These would include, apparently, some officials not only within the U.S. government but also from a number of other countries, including Saudi Arabia.

    That there were Saudi Arabian Muslims involved in 9/11 appears as evident as the notion as that there were “rogue” elements within the U.S. government involved as well. […]

    I have watched many of the videos and read much of the literature – mostly the “inside job” conspiracy theories – since the atrocity occurred. I know about all the flaws in the mainstream theory, which is precisely why I wrote what I did in the way I did, because there are many problems with the idea that a score of box-cutter, non-pilot Saudis did it all by themselves. I basically stated that there was a multinational conspiracy, not just so-called American elements. These “American” elements are in reality INTERNATIONALISTS. So, no, even if you factor in these “American” elements, such as Bush and Cheney, it is still not “THE American government.” 9/11 was not only an “inside job” but also an “outside job,” because there were undoubtedly foreign elements involved. Let’s spell it out: MULTINATIONAL CABAL, as it practically always is.

    Acharya S in the comments section:

    You could say something about a “shadow government,” which would at least be closer to the truth. The “Illuminati” or some other such “secret brotherhood” designation would also be more accurate than saying “the American government.”

  73. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    On global warming. (I’m not going to try to excerpt this one, because I can’t quite make sense of it. It looks like AGW denialism to me, via the fallacy of the golden mean, but I’m not 100% sure.)

    And to close, a bit more bigotry:

    UPDATE: The Swiss measure has passed and will be written into the Constitution – no minarets in Switzerland! I’m moving to Lake Geneva.

  74. renescherger says

    Ms. Murdock is a top notch scholar/researcher. I’ve been a fan of hers for so many years. I have nearly everyone of her books, subscribed to her various sites, as well to sites like this where she is maligned by assorted ignorant and idiotic scum, who have NO support for any of their arguments except derision of her person and her work, which I am sure none of them have EVER read the totality of her work. Such work is ongoing and I heartily recommend and praise Ms. Murdock for her diligence and struggle to keep on doing what she is doing in the face of the dishonest freaks she has to bear with.

    All of this derision is no surprise to me (much less her), as I have followed her on various sites and seen the brainless twits like quite a few of those in here fall flat on their face, when one or other of her supporters persist in refuting her so-called ‘critics’ mental defecation posturing as enlightenment. For those readers out there with a brain, ignore these ghouls for what they are. Go straight to her published literature and her educational sites for eg. Freethought Nation.

    Thank You Acharya S/DM Murdock for all your terrific and fascinating work!

  75. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Renescherger, I get that you’re nothing more than another obnoxious driveby, but do you even know how to make an argument? Because “NO SHE’S AWESOME BECAUSE SHUT UP” is not one.

  76. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Actually, now that I look at it again without the screaming migraine I was developing when I looked at it the first time, the scholarship seems to lean toward it being a symbol of something bigger and more important than Priapus (Bacchus, “fertility principle,” something like that).
    Still not Peter though.

  77. Sili says

    (Bacchus, “fertility principle,” something like that).

    Well, Jesus is obviously a copy Bacchus.

    I mean: Water into wine? Can you get any more sloshed than that?!

  78. Sili says

    I know I’m laying myself open to charges of paranoia here, but I’d love to see comparisons of the IP addresses of the new posters here and at Carrier’s.

  79. renescherger says

    Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM
    24 March 2012 at 5:20 am

    “Renescherger, I get that you’re nothing more than another obnoxious driveby, but do you even know how to make an argument? Because “NO SHE’S AWESOME BECAUSE SHUT UP” is not one”.

    Do you know how to make an argument Cassandra? I stand accused of being a ‘driveby’ and an obnoxious one at that! I’m so hurt by your flattery and skilled arguments, that I’m crying in my beer…sniff sniff. Get back under your bridge troll.

    ACHARYA S–YOU ARE AWESOME AND DON’T FORGET IT!

    No one can win that argument with those who KNOW. Kisses for my mummy and I fart in the general direction of your troglodyte anti-choir. :-)

  80. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Do you know how to make an argument Cassandra?

    She does. Like so: «the comment [Murdock] is attempting to refute says this: “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.” (Emphasis mine.) […] But I don’t see anything to back up the claim that this particular statue is an symbol of St. Peter. Indeed, the scholarship she provides actually seems to mostly agree that this is a Priapic statue, and I find it really strange that she is claiming she represented that accurately. […] Actually, now that I look at it again without the screaming migraine I was developing when I looked at it the first time, the scholarship seems to lean toward it being a symbol of something bigger and more important than Priapus (Bacchus, “fertility principle,” something like that). Still not Peter though.»

    Now we’re still waiting for you to make an argument, renescherger.

  81. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Bigfoot?

    Worse. An MULTINATIONAL CABAL of bigfoots and yetis.

    Anyway, this statue is clearly of a chupacabra. QED.

  82. cm's changeable moniker says

    Renescherger:

    sites like this where she is maligned by assorted ignorant and idiotic scum, who have NO support for any of their arguments except derision of her person and her work, which I am sure none of them have EVER read the totality of her work.

    Cupcake, I have no intention of reading a word more of her “work” than I needed to to post #55 (or #87). I will refrain from deriding, and I will not malign, but I will–I feel, with justification–repeat the question @#73.

    (Your imputations about my ignorance and idiocy are noted and shrugged off. I spent this afternoon reading an 1823 dictionary of slang to try and gain some insight into the question. What did you do today?)

  83. Patricia, OM says

    As a matter of fact Cupcake, I haven’t read ALL of the sainted authors books, but I have read the one given to me as a gift, The Christ Conspiracy. It sits next to two of it’s worthy fellows, The Woman With the Alabaster Jar, and the Book of Mormon.

  84. Patricia, OM says

    Aw, gee thanks cm! I’ll make room for it between the Secret Magdalene and The Gospel of the Essenes. *glares*

  85. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Still, what are we going to do about the Bigfoot menace?

    I say we vaccinate ‘em, fluoridate ‘em, and then get ‘em hooked on fiat currency.

  86. Patricia, OM says

    OK smarty pants Pitbull, you pull a Bigfoot out of his privy, then we’ll see who wants to vaccinate him.

    (How come Comic Sans only works for Cain?)

  87. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    Patricia,
    <blockquote><q>(How come Comic Sans only works for Cain?)</q></blockquote>

    (How come Comic Sans only works for Cain?)

  88. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Are you suggesting a Bigfoot don’t poop in the woods?

    (PZ recently turned on Comic Sans, but it’s different here than Sb, you gotta use the q tag.)

  89. Patricia, OM says

    Hum…as I recall Peter Burn the scientist, did find some Bigfoot poop in the woods. But that was the only scat ever found. Which suggests that it was merely a Bigfoot camping incident, or an emergency oopsy. If, as has been suggested, Bigfoot poop is the secret ingrediant in jet chem-trails, then we must suppose that Bigfoot waste is gathered in some secret location and processed by secret scientists.

    It makes perfect sense.

    Thanks John!

  90. Owlmirror says

    Bigfoot is a product of the UFOs.

    Bigfoot poop is what is causing the appearance of global warming.

    Vaccines are part of the sekrit homersexal agenda to pollute our precious bodily fluids.

    TRUFAX . . . !!

  91. Patricia, OM says

    Wait a minute…

    Bigfoot poop is a product of UFOs used in sekrit vaccines by homersexurals atheists to cause global warming and make Dick Chenys heart transplant magically delicious.

    I got that right, right?

  92. renescherger says

    Well now I know where a lot of the pricks spend their time witlessly throwing rocks and playing with Peters. :) Waste of time to have an knowledgeable and intelligent ‘argument’ here. I’d rather spend my time indulging myself in some masochistic activity. ;)

  93. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Waste of time to have an knowledgeable and intelligent ‘argument’ here.
    Do you realize how transparent you are? Honestly I’m disgusted.

  94. AshPlant says

    I don’t know about anyone else but when I see comments like

    she is not one of those arm chair researchers who are full of themselves. dmmurdock gets out there in the field, and is the best at presenting the real world.

    and

    I heartily recommend and praise Ms. Murdock for her diligence and struggle to keep on doing what she is doing in the face of the dishonest freaks she has to bear with.

    then certain…alarms start to ring in my head. I am genuinely surprised that the three of them haven’t started up a conversation along the lines of ‘why thank you renescherger and greggo’ ‘no problem dmmurdock you are totally awesome’ ‘i am glad that you can see the truth renescherger and greggo’ ‘go you, dmmurdock! yaaay!’.

    The real red light for me is that they’re not saying that she has good points or writes well or argues persuasively, they’re talking about how she struggles to get her research done and recognised, which sounds kind of like…internal praise? Does that make sense? Not something an external supporter, no matter how fanboi, would likely say, but certainly something that somebody who it appears is increasingly professionally-paranoid and convinced, against all evidence, of the value of their work would want to hear said about themselves.

  95. says

    Why don’t the critics of Murdock, simply point out specific things with her work? And give her a chance to address them? Her thoughts on UFOs, Dr. Burzynski, fluoride and 9-11 are not relevant(though IMO, those are all testify who her intelligence). And people like Pitbull parade those around as though they are self-evident. It also seems a bit dis-tasteful for a “free thought” forum.

    Saying it would take “200 years” is a cop out. If you’re going to verbally trash her in that manner, you should have something to back it up with. With all the time he spent babbling on about how awful she is in every facet of her life, he could have brought up some points which would Acharya could have addressed.

    This level banter is embarassing. But unfortuneatly, all too common for people who percieve themselves as being apart of somekind of “intellectual elite”.

  96. chigau (√-1) says

    those are all testify who her intelligence

    All your base are belong to us

  97. Emrysmyrddin says

    O Great Lord Poopyhead, I’m begging you – please please please IP-check these goofballs. I mean, it’s rib-tickling as-is, but proof of puppetry would just cherry my cake…!

  98. Sili says

    Her thoughts on UFOs, Dr. Burzynski, fluoride and 9-11 are not relevant(though IMO, those are all testify who her intelligence).

    It’s exactly because they testify to her intelligence that they’re relevant.

    If she demonstrates that she’s prone to the conspiracy mindset in so many common cases, the burden of proof is on her to show that in this case the wolf is actually coming.

    If these are not her areas of expertise, then why does she pontificate about them? I have to dismiss her the same way I do Robert Price, when he demonstrates that he’s incapable of doing due diligence and way the evidence before spouting off based on his political views.

  99. Sili says

    Emrysmyrddin,

    And just to add the whipped cream, he should confer with Richard Carrier.

  100. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    (How come Comic Sans only works for Cain?)

    Cain has The Power.

    So, apparently, does John.

    Which suggests that it was merely a Bigfoot camping incident, or an emergency oopsy.

    It could also suggest that the incursions of modern humans into Bigfoot territory has forced a change in diet and Bigfoots are going extinct due to severe and terminal constipation.

    It also seems a bit dis-tasteful for a “free thought” forum.

    Freethought does not mean evidence free. If you, or others who claim that believing evidence-free conspiracy theories such as the 9/11 truthers, the birthers, or UFOs, would care to show some actual evidence that can be verified from more than believer sites, we would be happy to debate. To claim that, if one is a free thinker, one must immediately embrace all evidence-free theories other than gods is a bit disingenuous. Belief in UFOs and 9/11 conspiracy theories does not speak to intelligence; they do, however, say volumes about ones ability to study evidence and make conclusions (sciency stuff).

  101. says

    Sili,

    I suppose it depends on how you view those other topics. If you’re totally convinced that drinking flouride is good for you, that we are totally alone in the universe, etc….and that anyone who entertains these ideas is obviously dumb, and their work should be dismissed because of it, then yeah, it’s relevant to you. But how much time have you spent analyzing those issues, to come to those conclusions?

    Ogvorbis,

    I don’t want to digress to much into these other topics, but there is actually a lot of evidence regarding 9-11 conspiracy, including samples of unreacted thermate in the dust. Not to mention the obvious mystery of how building 7 collapsed at nearly free fall speed into it’s own footprint. So far, no good explaination has been given for how the buildings could have collapsed at that manner, and there is a host of suspicious circumstances.

    I wonder how truely open some of you stone throwers are to ideas which are not mainstream? A free thinkiner will analyze the evidence, see where it lead, even if it brings ridicuAs I see it, there are types of peole who rally behind the flag of mainstream thinking and throw stones at people who differ, when they themselves, haven’t even truely analyzed the subjects at hand.

  102. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I wonder how truely open some of you stone throwers are to ideas which are not mainstream? A free thinkiner will analyze the evidence,

    A free thinker will also analyze the source of the alleged evidence. It is a paranoid conspiracy theorist, or a solid scientist? Then consider the souse/source.

  103. Sili says

    rivermorrison

    I suppose it depends on how you view those other topics. If you’re totally convinced that drinking flouride is good for you, that we are totally alone in the universe, etc….and that anyone who entertains these ideas is obviously dumb, and their work should be dismissed because of it, then yeah, it’s relevant to you. But how much time have you spent analyzing those issues, to come to those conclusions?

    Wow. Did you just look up strawman in the dictionary today?

    I happen to be a chemist – not a good one, but I have the papers to show it – so fluoride is one of things I know a little about (including the fact the word is not French). So yes, drinking fluoride in the correct dose is good for you, thank you very much. As is adding fluoride to toothpaste as we do over here instead, since people can actually be trusted to brush their teeth. Incidentally, have you heard that sodium in the diet is bad for you? Why don’t you go get someone to remove all sodium from your body – that should make you a lot healthier.

    Oh, and fluoride in toothpaste? Comes the form of sodium fluoride. Coïncidence? I think not!

    Secondly, I do think it’s likely that there’s life elsewhere in the universe – intelligent life, even. But from there to entertaining the idea that they come here in flying to saucers to anally probe our livestock and hillbillies is a bit of a stretch. As I said: strawman.

    Finally: thermite. That’s a mixture of aluminium and iron oxide. Very suspicious compounds to find in a skyscraber, yes. Rust and aluminium? Nope, those don’t occur anywhere in every building everywhere.

  104. janine says

    The aliens brought me back and set me down in this bar
    But I could not get to work that day because Bigfoot stole my car

    Say what?

    I know a motherfucking Bigfoot when I see one

  105. Emrysmyrddin says

    totally…totally…anyone…

    Is rivermorrison trying to light the Azkyroth signal?

    I wonder how truely open some of you stone throwers are to ideas which are not mainstream?

    Shorter: “You don’t agree with me, so you’re totes! a sheeple!

    All I can do when confronted with you CT lot is to shake my head at all the wasted organs you could be donating. That and cringe at the abuse of the English language. Or perhaps you’re trying to curry favour with Tpyos? I’d better warn you, She’s pretty in with the Pharyngula crowd; if I were Her, I’d prefer consistent tributes too, rather than this showy, in-your-face random splattergun approach…

  106. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    I wonder how truely open some of you stone throwers are to ideas which are not mainstream?

    Like atheism? Oh, yeah. We are not open at all to non-mainstream ideas. We reject them all out of hand to maintain the dominant paradigm.

    Thermite. From a steel building and an aluminum airplane.

    heh.

  107. says

    Sili, I wouldn’t expect you to know, from being a chemist, that ingested flouride is actually a poison, and does not benefit your teeth (as they once thought it needed to be ingested). It is not a nutrient in “the right does” anymore than lead.

    And that was not a strawman argument at all, it was a retort to your illogial guilt by association. It’s one thing to simply disagree with her on other topics, but to imply her stance on those topics totally undermines her rationality is quite another. So you would actually need that ridiculous degree of certainty in your statements to draw that connection.

    And I’m no an expert on buildigs, but I’m pretty sure that unreacted thermate is not a typical ingredient. Yes, they actually found stuff that went “poof”.

    Anyway, I don’t want to get sucked into these side arguments. Point is, if I wanted to critisize Kent Hovind’s explaination for how Pangea separated during Noah’s flood, I’d might bring up how his idea contradicts he magnetic and radiometric record in the ocean floor. I wouldn’t say, “Oh look, Kent Hovind’s theories are dumb because he was convinted of tax evasion”.

  108. Sili says

    Ooooh! You actually know what an ad hominem is. Still strawmanning, though.

    Trouble is, “Kent Hovind was convicted for tax evasion, therefore he has demonstrated that he feels no compunction about lying”, is a valid argument. I’m not saying that he needs must be wrong, but I am saying that he needs to demonstrate why I should trust him.

    Same with ms. Murdoch. The onus is now on her to demonstrate that fluoride is harmful.

    As for thermi, going poof is what mixtures of rust and aluminium does. It really doesn’t take much. Fascinating, actually, how strong the bonding in alumina is. (And frankly, by now I need more than your word that any such thing was found.)

  109. janine says

    Actually, people thought that Kent Hovind was a flaming fool long before he was convicted of tax evasion.

    Oh, wait, you have a straw man to set up. Sorry to bother you.

  110. says

    If you resort to that, it indicates you haven’t the knowledge to adequately analyze the topic at hand, or that you don’t have much of an argument to begin with. Why move over to another topic?

    Perhaps it boosts your ego to chime in on topics you don’t know anything about. Perhaps it makes some commenters here feel good to spew pedantic insults at people they don’t know.

    Is there anyone here, who as read Acharya’s Sons of God, or Christ in Egypt and would like to give to critisize it?

  111. janine says

    I think I would be sadistically amused if rivermorrison and syfy got together to have some jesus talk.

  112. says

    Sili, on the thermate, the level of energy released was porportionaly equivalent to high grade thermate. The scientists who found this published their findings in a journal.

    And if you want proof that fluoride is harmful, you could conduct a simple experiment on yourself, and try drinking some, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Even in small doses, it accumulates in the bone and tissue over time. I don’t understand why you suggest she is personally responsible for prooving it is harmful. Perhaps it should have been throughly evaluated before it was added to the drinking water. Epidimeological studies have found correlations between fluoridation of driking water, and bone fractures, bone cancer, and lower IQ.

    So I suppose of she choses to error on the side of personal safety, she must be a nut and you can dismiss her work without reading. Sorry, but that is total and complete nonsense.

    As I said before, if any of you commenters have read her work, and want to critisize something in it. Go ahead. She might come back here and explain it, but I wouldn’t blame her for not wanting to address this crowd any further…

  113. Owlmirror says

    It’s a little-known fact that the Twin Towers were all full of fluoride… far, far more fluoride than thermite.

    What were they really trying to destroy, there?

    Think about it . . . !!

  114. Owlmirror says

    Oh, and Building 7? Twice the normal amount of fluoride.

    Wake up, sheeple . . . !!

  115. Sili says

    You were the one who decided it was necessary to dwell on the ‘off topic’ issues. You do not substantiate ms. Murdoch’s mythicist theses by showing the truth of Trutherism or Fluouridation harm. But conversely, by showing the implausibility of those claims, we see that Murdoch tends towards poor scholarship.

    If you want to discuss her mythicism – the subject we started out with – you need to show there’s anything in it.

    Why should I trawl through her work? I’m not spending my time reading William Lane Craig, Michael Behe or Francis Collins either, because they have been reviewed and their methods and arguments have been found wanting.

    Similar it has been demonstrated that Murdoch does not properly substantiate her claims, so even on the off chance she’s right on something, I wouldn’t know it from reading her, because she doesn’t review or engage with the status quo. Unlike say, Mark Goodacre, who engages with the best arguments from the supporters of the Two Source Hypothesis, rather than just declare from on high that they’re stupid for thinking that Q ever existed, they’re part of a vast conspiracy that suppresses all anti-Q scholarship and by the way they’re also all bigoted against Manchunians.

  116. Emrysmyrddin says

    Sili, may I just reiterate from a previous thread, long, long ago: I love you. Truly, I do. Have an Internets; it is slightly dented, but I did need a solid surface upon which to bang my head, and rivermorrison’s posts were just too spludgy

  117. cm's changeable moniker says

    For some reason, I’m reminded of this:

    “We know so little about the ancient Woolworth stores, but we do still know their locations” explains Matt Parker, “so I thought that if we analysed the sites we could learn more about what life was like in 2008 and how these people went about buying cheap kitchen accessories and discount CDs.”

    http://www.badscience.net/2010/01/voices-of-the-ancients/

  118. AshPlant says

    on the thermate, the level of energy released was porportionaly equivalent to high grade thermate.

    I just belched. The energy released was proportionally equivalent to high-grade thermite. It just wasn’t a very high proportion. What does this sentence even mean in real terms? Everything’s comparable in one way or another.

    Wait…are you a numerologist too? Are the exact details of this particular proportion directly mappable to the names of the hijackers?

    The scientists who found this published their findings in a journal.

    Well, that makes it about as true as I can possibly fucking imagine. I’m so convinced, I don’t even need you to name the journal; just knowing it exists gives me a warm glow of satisfaction.

    Now, do you have a point, or are you just here to bang on about a decade-old terror attack?

  119. KG says

    Her thoughts on UFOs, Dr. Burzynski, fluoride and 9-11 are not relevant(though IMO, those are all testify who her intelligence). – rivermorrison

    They are highly relevant: they tell the rational observer that she, like you, is a fuckwitted crank, and belongs among those morons who think “freethinking” means believing in any conspiracist garbage that some driveller comes out with.

  120. cm's changeable moniker says

    To be fair to Murdock, she doesn’t actually say 9/11 was an inside job in the usual fantasist sense. She seems to be saying “we’re all swept up by geopolitics, so it’s not outside, therefore it is–for some definition of inside–inside”. And yes, given US involvement in 80s Afghanistan, 50s Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc., that’s not wrong, but it’s not particularly insightful either.

    Ditto her astonishing research connecting ancient religions to other slightly-more-ancient religions. I mean, who knew?! /sarc

  121. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    cm, I think she’s more specific than that:

    It is obvious that individuals from a variety of agencies, both national and international, must have been involved. These would include, apparently, some officials not only within the U.S. government […] there were “rogue” elements within the U.S. government involved as well. […] such as Bush and Cheney […] You could say something about a “shadow government,” which would at least be closer to the truth. The “Illuminati” or some other such “secret brotherhood”

  122. Sili says

    Actually, ancient Egypt is vastly older than Augustinian Palestine. Any claim of a direct cultural connection there *is* astounding, and Murdoch has done little to nothing to establish any direct casual link. To make matters worse, what Carrier points out is that the stories don’t even resemble eachother that much, so there isn’t even a parallel that needs explaining.

  123. cm's changeable moniker says

    Oh, yikes. Going back to re-read, I get this:

    These “American” elements are in reality INTERNATIONALISTS. So, no, even if you factor in these “American” elements, such as Bush and Cheney, it is still not “THE American government.” 9/11 was not only an “inside job” but also an “outside job,” because there were undoubtedly foreign elements involved. Let’s spell it out: MULTINATIONAL CABAL, as it practically always is.

    http://www.freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/162-what-about-911.html

    You know, you Americans and us Brits? Spraffing on the internet?

    INTERNATIONALISTS!

    (I concede the point.)

  124. glowball says

    It’s possible that you might want to leave “mentions flouride” out of the list of “Things that make one a crank”. Looks like some fairly legit folks think the jury is still out on that.

    refs:
    “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. March 2006 Chapter 8

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11571

    “Thyroid Function: Fluoride exposure in humans is associated with elevated TSH concentrations, increased goiter prevalence, and altered T4 and T3 concentrations.” (Page 262)

    “(The thyroid effects are associated with average fluoride intakes that) will be reached by persons with average exposures at fluoride concentrations of 1-4 mg/L in drinking water, especially the children.” (Page 260)

    John Doull, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Kansas Medical Center – “The thyroid changes do worry me.” (chair of NRC)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21755305
    “Fluoride toxicity and status of serum thyroid hormones, brain histopathology, and learning memory in rats: a multigenerational assessment.”

    (This is just an aside, and I’ve no opinion on anything else in this thread. – Just had to comment on the fluoride bit tho.)

  125. says

    Sili,

    In “Christ in Egypt”, she’s drawing parallels between Egyptian mythos and aspects of the New Testament. The link between these cultures is trivially easy to establish. The fact that you bring that up makes it appear that you are totally ignorant of the related history.

    It’s also interesting that you’d even make an evaluation of something she did or did not do after admitting that she didn’t read her work. Many of her detractors haven’t read it either.

    But that’s ok, if that’s the way you all want to spend your time, have at it……

  126. Sili says

    It’s also interesting that you’d even make an evaluation of something she did or did not do after admitting that she didn’t read her work. Many of her detractors haven’t read it either.

    I can read reviews, thank you very much. That’s how I decide what to read. If she want to be taken seriously, she can start by following The Roolz™.

    In “Christ in Egypt”, she’s drawing parallels between Egyptian mythos and aspects of the New Testament. The link between these cultures is trivially easy to establish.

    Really? Going from 18th dynasty, 1500 BC Egypt to Roman imperial Palestine is “trivial”? Do tell. Are all Indians the same to you as well?

  127. Sili says

    “(The thyroid effects are associated with average fluoride intakes that) will be reached by persons with average exposures at fluoride concentrations of 1-4 mg/L in drinking water, especially the children.” (Page 260)

    At a quick glance those are pretty high concentrations. The recommendations for public fluoridation seem to be capped at 1 mg/l, so I should look up how the adverse effects were distributed.

    Some proper cost-benefit analyses would be nice. Vaccines may harm one in a million, say, but if the disease kills one in ten thousand, that must be an acceptable risk. Collateral damage if you like.

    So even on the off chance that water fluoridation does harm some people, it should probably be shown that that harm exceeds the benefits from caries protection.

    That might be easier now, than when fluoridation began, but as long as you don’t have anything resembling decent child healthcare in the US, you’re likely better off as it is.

    Back of the envelope calculation: You drink 2 l of water a day. That’s 800 l a year. There’s 1 mg of NaF in every liter, so that’s 0.8 g of NaF a year. That’s the same amount as in two tubes of toothpaste. So I’ll grant that I likely consume less fluoride than you, if that’s my only source.

  128. CJO says

    In “Christ in Egypt”, she’s drawing parallels between Egyptian mythos and aspects of the New Testament. The link between these cultures is trivially easy to establish.

    No, she’s drawing hyperspecific parallels between dubious, idiosyncratic interpretations of Egyptian mythology and passages in the New Testament that don’t require an explanation in such terms because they can be shown to be the result of more proximate trends in the interaction of certain Jewish beliefs with the wider religious climate of the Greco-Roman eastern Mediterranean.

    A link between Egyptian religion and the cultures that gave rise to the New Testament is indeed “trivially easy to establish,” because such a link existed. Egypt was on one hand widely understood as the most ancient of monarchies and the cradle of the Gods, and on the other, Ptolemaic political stagecraft in the form of religious syncretism was exported throughout the region in the form of reverance for such figures as Serapis and Isis. Egypt exerted a great fascination for many in the era, and it was the watchword for mysticism and ancient magical secrets. It would be surprising if there were no trace of this in any religious expression of the times. But Murdock isn’t just pointing this out, she’s vastly overstating the directness of the links and the justification for seeking answers in that particular direction.

  129. renescherger says

    I scan this site and all I see are a bunch of pathetic boors. Very boring…ho hum. Don’t be chicken and register at Ms. Murdock’s Freethought forum and let’s see how you play out there. I doubt you have the the integrity or bravado to reveal yourselves there, other than lurk like cowards where you can’t escape so easily with your boorish behavior.

    Come on over and try it. I dare ya. I am pretty sure you won’t have what it takes to stand up to the scrutiny of your remarks. Cowards are like that. She’s tired of coming here to have to correct the disinfo and tolerate the dribble that passes as intellect here.

  130. Sili says

    She’s tired of coming here to have to correct the disinfo and tolerate the dribble that passes as intellect here.

    And yet, there she is and #22. And 23. And 24. And 25.

    Or are you saying that’s an impostor?

    . I doubt you have the the integrity or bravado to reveal yourselves there,

    Sez the one with the non-linked name.

  131. CJO says

    OK, scherger, your crank can beat up… uh, some other crank. See you in detention after the fight at the flagpole.

  132. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I think I can explain what’s happening with the Acharya fans.

    It feels good to “learn” something. Fans of Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, Alex Jones, the Sovereign Citizen movement generally, Ron Paul specifically, and Zeitgeist, all know this feeling.

    They get to become “informed” of many remarkable tidbits, and sometimes grand narratives that tie everything together into a revelatory explanation of the world; and most of their family, friends and acquaintances don’t “know” these things. So the fan has important, strategic “information” which other people don’t have, which they can get attention for repeating, which makes the fan feel good about themself, and they subconsciously credit the guru for making them feel good, and so regard the guru with positive affect.

    It’s much harder to try to figure out if any of this “information” is true. That requires skepticism, empiricism, rigorous independent investigation that most people really don’t even know how to perform; they weren’t trained in it. Plus, if they make this effort, on most issues they’re likely to end up very near the mainstream consensus. And that would make their information much less interesting and strategic.

    The reward/effort ratio of skepticism is therefore much lower, for most people, than it is for simply absorbing and repeating wild bullshit.

    And it feels to them like we’re attacking one of their favorite and easiest ways to feel good about themselves, directly by calling them gullible fools, and by proxy by calling their leader a crank.

    Reaffirming their faith in their leader is much easier than starting to do the work of real skepticism, which might even further challenge their sources of meaning in life, so the cost/benefit analysis usually favors doubling down on bullshit.

  133. cm's changeable moniker says

    sgbm/LM/pitbull, it gets better. It’s a class issue!

    There is almost universal agreement that tooth decay in children is related to social class. The majority of the research conducted to date indicates that water fluoridation reduces dental caries inequalities between high and low social groups. No studies have shown fluoridation to increase inequalities.

    http://www.bfsweb.org/facts/dental_benefits/medicalresearch.htm

    In summary: too much fluoride, bad. Not enough, bad. Over-zealous proponents, bad. Serious research, good. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

  134. cm's changeable moniker says

    renescherger:

    Don’t be chicken and register at Ms. Murdock’s Freethought forum and let’s see how you play out there. I doubt you have the the integrity or bravado to reveal yourselves there

    Well, I was going to, but when I went there I found this:

    Criminy, if this guy is right about BP having punctured a volcano or the magma layer, and the subsequent destruction of the entire world’s seas, we may be in for a helluva ride in a couple of years, despite what the Maya elders say! To say the least, this is VERY concerning.

    http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20220#p20220

    Magma layer. Uh huh.

    Deepwater Horizon was mysteriously on a line of a Pentacle. Ohhhkay. And they were drilling in 5000 feet of water without understanding where the drill tube string [FTFY] was going? Then they hit a volcano?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-L5t7ho_bs

    Forgive me if I decline. I prefer reality.

  135. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    It’s a class issue!

    That’s interesting. I picked one of their sources, the York review, and checked to see whether they were accurately relaying the results thereof. Confirmed.

  136. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I made my “what a great thread” comment here to note the time; I had just gone over to Murdock’s site to leave a comment. At that time, the last comment visible was the one by Julyfire.

    I left the following comment there:

    Acharya S / D M Murdock has ruined her credibility here. She is so full of herself, she can’t admit that there’s no evidence this statue relates to Peter.

    Acharya is not a freethinker. She is an intellectual lightweight who has an agenda.

    It is weakly worded because, except for my own “she can’t admit that there’s no evidence this statue relates to Peter”, I chose every phrase from her other commenters’ words about Ehrman.

    Comments are moderated there.

    Hours since I sent my comment, a new comment has now been released from moderation, from Mário João Russo.

    My comment is nowhere to be seen.

  137. sc_a5d3087719156123e3bee95e7e5d4e16 says

    I knew it! A rabble of chicken-hearted blowhards. The flatulence emitted in here is both deafening and stinks like a sewer! Honestly, I don’t know which of you is worse, but I will be so kind as to recommend a badly needed preventative for use here (tho I truly doubt it will work): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLo6ioXvw30 OR/AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2omxX0eG4Zc I suggest orally as well as well..take the double dose. ;-)

  138. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Now they’ve approved more comments. Not including mine. But this is interesting. There is one critical comment, from Lancelot, titled “the Murdoch Myth:

    Listen! Get wise you troupe of Humpty Dumptys!
    Murdoch only prints comments to advance her book sales!
    sHE HAS MODERATORS to approve the comments that can generate hot air-words! I know countless people who have made comment on this particular article and they tell me none of their comments have ever appeared. Who gives a damn about a bronze phallic hidden in the vatican or whether Jesus Christ was an imposter that originated in Egypt.! Its a continual word battle and words do not mean anything. Try finding some original worth lady and your paid commentators.

    N.B. THIS COMMENT WILL QUEUE-UP FOR APPROVAL BY SIT ADMINISTRATORS!!! oH BOO HOO BOO HOO

    To that, one of the moderators, FTL, responds:

    Lancelot, I do not approve comments with malicious smears, insults and other abuses. You and others seem to think that as Freethinkers and Mythicists we are suppose to accept such abuse and be treated like 2nd class citizens that are to be bullied and discriminated against. There are plenty of other places to post your hate speech, bigotry, lies, smears and abuse, but it’s not here.

    We’re more interested in conversations with people interested in the facts and credible evidence. Nobody is twisting your arm forcing you to post here.

    So let’s dissect my comment:

    “Acharya S / D M Murdock has ruined her credibility here.” Copied from Jackson’s comment that Ehrman “has just ruined his credibility.”

    “She is so full of herself,” from changingmyself’s comment that Ehrman is “full of himself.”

    “she can’t admit that there’s no evidence this statue relates to Peter.” My only original content. A completely substantive disagreement.

    “Acharya is not a freethinker.” Copied from D. Simone: “Ehrman is not a freethinker.”

    “She is an intellectual lightweight” from John Conolley that Ehrman is “an intellectual lightweight.”

    “who has an agenda.” Copied from Amen Ra: “Bart Ehrman Has An Agenda”.

    +++++
    If those are malicious smears, insults and other abuses, then the moderateors do approve malicious smears, insults and other abuses, as long as they are aimed at Murdock’s targets.

  139. Sili says

    If those are malicious smears, insults and other abuses, then the moderateors do approve malicious smears, insults and other abuses, as long as they are aimed at Murdock’s targets.

    And very niftily the opposing view that *was* approved was chosen to enforce the Barbarians at the gates mentality.

  140. observant says

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick said:

    “I left the following comment there:

    Acharya S / D M Murdock has ruined her credibility here. She is so full of herself, she can’t admit that there’s no evidence this statue relates to Peter”

    Ms. Murdock specifically addresses this at the very beginning of the article.

    from the website:

    “In the first edition of my book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (1999), I included a chapter entitled “The Bible, Sex and Drugs” (275-295), at the end of which I provided a line drawing of a bronze, rooster-headed bust with a phallus for a beak. Under the image, I added the following caption:

    Bronze sculpture hidden in the Vatican treasury of the Cock, symbol of St. Peter. Inscription reads “Savior of the World.”

    (Note that I do not say here or elsewhere that the bronze sculpture itself is a symbol of St. Peter, but only the cock or rooster, as in the story of Matthew 26:34, etc., in which Peter denies Christ three times before the cock crows. In several places elsewhere in my book I provide the citation for the cock/rooster being a symbol of St. Peter. I apologize for the ambiguity, but I was not in error here, despite the constant attempts to make me appear as such.)”
    http://www.freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/669-the-phallic-savior-of-the-world-hidden-in-the-vatican.html

    The Catholic Church herself has designated the cock as a symbol of St. Peter, due to the gospel story of Peter denying Christ.

    http://www.catholic-saints.info/catholic-symbols/cock-christian-symbol.htm

  141. roobookaroo says

    To observant:

    The Catholic Church herself has designated the cock as a symbol of St. Peter, due to the gospel story of Peter denying Christ.

    http://www.catholic-saints.info/catholic-symbols/cock-christian-symbol.htm

    Not exactly true.
    Even here I can see that you haven’t done your fact-checking, but simply superficially glanced at titles.
    I’m repeating what I posted on Vridar:

    http://vridar.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/the-facts-of-the-matter-carrier-8-ehrman-1-my-own-review-part-2/#comment-28332

    We are innocent victims of gross bamboozling
    What does the famous Easton Bible Dictionary (1897, republ. 2007) say? It is a resource for Bible scholars, an encyclopedia-like explanation of the terms.
    On p. 141: The entry is not for “cock,” but only for “cock-crowing”:

    “Cock-crowing. In our Lord’s time the Jews had adopted the Greek and Roman division of the night into four watches, each consisting of three hours, the first beginning at six o’clock in the evening (Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division, known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained. The cock usually crows several times soon after midnight (this is the first crowing), and again at the dawn of day, and again at the dawn of day (and this is the second crowing). Mark mentions (14:30) the two cock-crowings, Matthew (26:34), alludes to that only which was emphatically THE cock-crowing – viz., the second.”

    The cock figures in it only for its cock-crowing, not for his coverage of the hens.
    The cock-crowing singled out in Mark, Matthew, Luke and John is the second one, marking the end of the night. Peter’s denial will happen three times. He must be given plenty of time to execute. The morning cock-crowing is the bell that marks the end of Peter’s scene.
    So, in Easton’s, the cock is not a symbol, only cock-crowing, and not any cock-crowing, but only the sunrise crowing (the “second” one).

    The Catholic site at http://www.catholic-saints.info/ gives more info on Catholic symbols.

    “They date back to times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown…They enabled people… [to] understand the meaning of a symbol regardless of understanding the written word or whatever country they were in.”

    The page shows a very handsome Peter illustrated with his symbols:

    “Symbols and Icons associated with Saint Peter ( See above Picture)
    The image of the Catholic Saint Peter at the top of the page illustrates how symbols and icons are represented in Christian and Catholic Art. Saint Peter is depicted holding keys, the Keys of St. Peter, a symbol and an emblem of the Catholic Church which represents the divine authority invested in the apostle Peter before the death of Christ. The crossed keys symbol was formerly used as a symbol or an emblem of the ancient Roman God Janis and the Mithraic God Zurvan (Iranian) who were both gods of time and keepers of doorways, and removers of obstacles. The keys were symbols of these ancient gods and then used as an emblem for Saint Peter. This symbolism led to the legend of Saint Peter as the bureaucratic keeper of the “pearly gates.”

    No cock in there, nor anything that resembles cock-crowing. However, we get more information on a page for “Cock Christian Symbol”. The text first recites Easton’s definition above about cock-crowing, then adds:

    “The Definition and Meaning of the Cock as a Catholic Christian Symbol: Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Cock? The Cock Christian Symbol represents awaking early in the morning, is a symbol of watchfulness and vigilance. If two cocks, or roosters, are put together, they always fight. Two roosters symbolize the Christian who is called to fight the good fight of faith.”

    Then it adds: “Reference to the Cock in the Bible: The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Cock Christian Symbol in the Bible. The cock symbolizes Peter’s denial of Jesus. Jesus had prophesied that Peter would deny knowing Him three times before the cock crowed as detailed as follows, John 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”
    But, verily, we see that this Catholic text already distorts Easton’s definition. Easton does not say that “the cock symbolizes Peter’s denial of Jesus”. For Easton, the honest writer, it is only cock-crowing.
    So, again, even this “Catholic Saints” popularization text does not see the “cock” as a symbol of Peter, only the morning cock-crowing as associated with Peter’s denial.

    As mentioned previously, we find better info in a more scholarly English book of 1841 “Observations on Popular Antiquities, Chiefly Illustrating the Origin of Our Vulgar Customs, Ceremonies and Superstitions, by John Brand, M.A., Revised and Enlarged by Sir Henry Ellis, Principal Librarian of the British Museum” (London, Charles Knight & Co, 1841). This book benefited from access to the largest library in the world at that time, and its entry on “cock-crowing” is of superior quality than Easton’s.
    It gives multiple reasons for why cocks were installed on steeples.
    The most obvious and reasonable one was an emblem of the sun rising. The most far-fetched one, from (Jesuit?) theologians was that the cock was not a symbol of Peter, not even a symbol of Peter’s denial, but on the contrary a WARNING SYMBOL given to the congregation to AVOID anything like Peter’s denial, and to “forbid all schism in the Church…and denying the established principles of her Faith”. “In all probability [this link is] of popish original”.

    Anyway we want to look at it, the Priapus Gallinaceus has never been “a symbol of Peter”, and the “cock” itself cannot be seen in any manner as a symbol of Peter, not even when placed on top of steeples. Only the morning “cock-crowing” could be associated with a reminder of Peter’s denial, not as a symbol or emblem, but only as a reminder to AVOID ANY DENIAL OF THE CHURCH.
    The “Priapus Gallinaceus”, or the cock itself, as a symbol of Peter, are inventions of Barbara G. Walker, uncritically copied by Dorothy Murdock.

  142. roobookaroo says

    To Pitbull:

    Very pertinent comments.
    I have spent a lot of time writing a few reviews of Murdock’s books, and I am aware of the problems you’ve described.
    I have read too much of her stuff, which is not good for one’s brain.

    The big problem with this writer is that she has not developed critical thinking, and she does not allow it on her sites, or among her happy band of students/devotees/followers.

    You get the impression that she poses as a modern disciple of Helena Blavatsky, dispensing Theosophy’s wisdom and knowledge to her disciples. She is acting as the priestess of a new cult for her followers, who can only repeat her pronouncements and glorify her. Skepticism and critical thinking are rigorously discouraged.

    They all repeat the same mantra, using the same words and accusations, the same encomiums, and always requesting “apologies” to critics who don’t agree with her.

    Murdock started as a critique of Christianity, but only in order to promote her New Age speculations. This is nothing more than the themes developed by Godfrey Higgins, Robert Taylor, Kersey Graves, Helena Blavatsky, Gerald Massey and G.R.S. Mead adapted to the contemporary culture.

    Your 161 post is key. But many other posts were as good, as well as many other posters. On the whole, this has been a remarkable critical review of Murdock’s style, and the low-grade character of her supporters and advocates. Some of them can barely write English or articulate a detailed thought.
    They behave like new converts to a cult, they have a credo, and a catechism, and are not allowed to think beyond her boundaries or criticize her. It is a strange world. But for her, it’s fun and more exciting than the secretarial life that she fled by pursuing this writing vocation.

    She is always hesitating between furthering her reputation as a so-called “scholar” and her role as a Theosophist dispenser of New Age fantastic ideas. It’s clear that she is trying to pursue both, using her books to strengthen her influence as a “teacher” of wisdom. (of course, this is what New Age devotees call “wisdom”, a mixture of mysticism and wild speculation). She has never encountered a conspiracy theory that she doesn’t like.

    The key problem with her is her pursuit of those cherished topics and themes, all borrowed from the handful of the pioneers of the 19th century mentioned above, and her inability, as Carrier has always pinpointed, to do any reliable fact checking.
    So what her readers get is a mountain of speculations and assumptions presented as solid facts. And swallowed as final “truth” by her group.

    She has no training in mathematics or science, and is not interested in cold critical analysis of anything. For her the fun is in the total freedom to pursue her emotional preferences, jump to conclusions as she feels convenient, and getting the support of her group of uncritical admirers.

    To give her credit, she is a character, and an entertaining one, if you keep your thinking cap while exposed to her far-out theories.