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May 04 2012

The late John A Davison

As regulars here may know, I’ve been getting crank email from John A. Davison for many years now. Until recently, he was sending me his tirades almost every day — and they were just piling up in my spam folder. He was remarkably persistent.

Here is his very last email to me, fished up out of that spam folder, from 26 March.

Stuart “mad dog” Campbell

So the heir apparent to Pee Zee Myers has finally joined that degenerate pig by pretending that WE do not exist. You are in great company. The question you should be asking yourself is – why am I the only one treating Davison with naked contempt? Now, finally, all six of you are doing what all your predecessors have always done, fervently praying that your silence will somehow prevail. It sure took you long enough to join with the others and you still have not shared your monumental ignorance, bigotry and vicious personality with another Natural Selectionist (NSist) You are all pathetic, but you Stuart Campbell are the worst of the lot by far.
—– Original Message —–
From: john a davison
To: Staurt Campbell
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 9:40 AM

Check my weblog again you cowardly, snotty little worm.
John A. Davison, Professor of Biology Emeritus, University of Vermont. L4 Grandview Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403

webpage jadavison.wordpress.com

There are about 50 others in there (I really need to flush out that folder), and they’re all this same incoherent angry ranting, the same attitude that got him banned for his obsessive commenting all over the net.

That was definitely the last message I’ll ever be getting from him. Shortly after sending that, he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, and succumbed rapidly: John A Davison died last week.

His favorite catch phrase, typically used in all kinds of weirdly inappropriate situations, was “I love it so”. I can’t use it here — I’m just sorry he wasted so much of his life flailing wildly for his failed cause, creationism. At least it sounds like he refocused his life on his family in his last weeks.

107 comments

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  1. 1
    Sili

    So it goes.

    Poo-tee-weet

  2. 2
    philisyssis

    It’s sad for someone to live their lives and die with so much hate.

  3. 3
    carlie

    I’m very sorry for the loss his family undoubtedly has for his absence, and that he was never able to come out of whatever feelings and thoughts were gripping his mind.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    A martyr in his own mind, and strangely incapable of making sense.

    At least he was more interesting (and not as stupid) as the average IDiot.

    Like most symptoms, he will be missed. I just hope the cancer didn’t cause him too much suffering.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    Moggie

    Oh, that’s sad. As a kind of farewell, I’ve just reread John A. Davison orders a pizza.

  6. 6
    No One

    Poor fellow.

  7. 7
    Glen Davidson

    What will science by means of quotations be after JAD is no longer with us?

    Glen Davidson

  8. 8
    humanape

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

  9. 9
    Cosmic Snark

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    He was a human being with family, you know. Granted, he had some serious issues but that doesn’t mean we have to take the line of a total lack of compassion. I have even seen a considerable amount of compassion for DM in the threads, and that says a lot about the crowd here.

  10. 10
    'Tis Himself

    I have even seen a considerable amount of compassion for DM in the threads

    But Danger Mouse is cool. Why shouldn’t we be compassionate to him. We’ve even got his sidekick, Matt Penfold, as a regular.

  11. 11
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    Not really.

    First the guy didn’t help creationists to look sane and reasonable in any way.

    I would think his obsession was a lot more distressing to him than it was to any of the email recipients. For us he was mostly entertainment.

    And, the idiot was still a human being with loved ones who died from a horrible disease I would not wish upon my worst ennemy.

    So yeah, a bit sad.

  12. 12
    Ze Madmax

    humanape @ #8

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    Agreed. It’s as dishonest as assuming that a person is pretending to be sad about something.

  13. 13
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    I don’t see anyone particularly weepy over it. Still, it’s always sad to see a person waste so much of his life with pointless, deranged ranting. And it’s hard telling how much harmful impact his obsessions had on those around him; those repercussions may carry on.

    So what are you expecting to see? Gloating? Cheering?

  14. 14
    Inaji

    Goodbye, John. I hope he didn’t feel his life had been wasted at the end.

  15. 15
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    This news is both elating and sad. Elating that PZ will no longer be unnecessarily spammed. But sad that the family and friends of JAD are grieving.

    The latter wins. The Squid and Crossed Bones will be briefly lowered to half-mast, and full courtesy and honors (a 21 cyberpistol salute) shown by the Lilac Berets of the Pullet Patrol™.

  16. 16
    Amphiox

    It is also sad whenever an “idiot” dies before having a chance to correct his ignorance and educate himself. Because while there is life there is hope, even for the willfully ignorant (since the great thing about free will is that it can be freely changed.)

  17. 17
    osmosis

    His acuity of mind was present to the very end.

    I’ll refrain from pointing out the obvious joke. But only because he’s dead.

  18. 18
    Thy Goddess

    I’m not exactly sure how to phrase this. But his death brings me sadness in some way… Sadness that he was so obsessed and wasted such precious time on his delusions. Tragic, really.

    We atheists are supposed to be so full of hate and to be pitied. I think it applies better to John. I guess it’s not really sadness I feel… More like pity. A headshaking pity.

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    It’s another human being. But I guess you wouldn’t understand that. Life is a precious thing, the most precious thing you possess. There is no afterlife and therefore it’s important to live it to the fullest and not waste your time on faeries and mailing obsessions. There are many levels of sadness. I won’t shed a tear for the man but at least I can sigh and shake my head at it. And then move on.

  19. 19
    a3kr0n

    Holy crap, I live in Janesville, and went to Janesville High School too, which had been renamed Marshall Jr. High School, now renamed Marshall apartments.
    Small world

  20. 20
    mepmep09

    Good-bye JAD, and condolences to his family.
    It’s a shame that classic One Blog A Day comment thread vanished from the Internet (referenced here); whenever I needed a laugh, that was one of my go-to sites.

  21. 21
    imthegenieicandoanything

    He was so obviously crazy in the harmless way.

    He won’t be missed, but at least there was no need to feel anything but annoyed pity for him.

    Now, Robert Byers…

  22. 22
    Sastra

    Yes, it’s still sad. I always try to keep in mind that even annoying incoherent internet cranks probably like to dandle their grandkids, play waltzes on the piano or accordion, and take walks in the garden with the dog. People are inconsistent. When you only see someone’s hair-brained side, that can be a good thing to remember.

  23. 23
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    My condolences to the family.

    Anything I might have to say about JAD on a personal level can wait.

  24. 24
    Louis

    Humanape #8,

    Fuck you and fuck off.

    There is nothing, not a thing, contradictory about vehemently disagreeing with a person and not wishing them any genuine ill. I thought JAD was utterly bonkers, that detracts not one jot from the fact that he was a human being with friends, family and other loved ones. Disagreements later in his life and crackpottery later in his life do not diminish his genuine contributions earlier on. Intemperate words don’t necessarily indicate genuine antipathy.

    I’ve had more vicious arguments with my mother than I’ve had with any creationist, with JAD. Does this mean I’ll tap dance on my mother’s grave? Nope. Grow some fucking maturity and realise that as polarised and verbally vicious as any debate appears there truly is no them and us, there is only us. We’re all human, we’re all fallible, and there but for the grace of {insert something here} go we all. I can verbally muller any single opponent should I so desire, but genuine antipathy? Hate? Fuck that. Anger…haha…different bag!

    Did I, and many others, think JAD was wrong about a whole slew of stuff? Yes. Did I think he was possibly senile or mentally ill? Well, if I’m honest and as hard as I am about the misuse of mental illness as a derogatory thing, yes, I did wonder about JAD’s sanity on very flimsy evidence. Did I and many, many others, tear JAD a verbal new one? Hell yes! Does that mean I hated him or think his death is a good thing or not a thing to mourn however briefly? No. See the difference? Have a little fucking class.

    So fuck it. Spar with these people, mock these people, lambast these people. JAD was as crackpotty as the crackiest of crackpots. So what? I don’t have to celebrate the death of any human being because I disagreed with them. However vehemently. Or even because they were wilfully and in my opinion deliberately dishonestly wrong.

    Louis

  25. 25
    otrame

    What Louis said.

  26. 26
    grumpyoldfart

    I’d love to get an un-delete program running on his computer. I’ll bet it’s full of revealing nonsense he hoped no one would ever see.

  27. 27
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Humanape: Human beings are not consistent. We are not homogenous entities in all facets of our existence and because of this we cannot be judged as a whole based one trait or belief. This isn’t hard to understand. Fuck, that inconsistency is one of the reasons that we have to use logic and the scientific method to determine fact from falsehood. If you don’t feel sorrow for JAD’s death fine, but to condemn others because they do is a failure of imagination and a failure of compassion. It speaks to a desire to ‘other’ that I find repugnant.

  28. 28
    DLC

    I do admit that the Clarence Darrow quote : “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” crossed my mind. However : while I did not know JAD personally, ignored his yammerings on the internet and generally avoided even talking about him, I will also say that his family no doubt miss him and mourn his loss, and that I can empathize with that. From that position of empathy I say to the family of the deceased that I am sorry for your loss, and wish you well in the coming days.

  29. 29
    ikesolem

    What is that old saying, so well known to scientists in every area?

    “Funeral by funeral, we see the advance of science.”

    A bit harsh, perhaps, but mostly accurate. The problem is that ol’ idee fixe – here’s the wiki blurb:

    An idée fixe is a preoccupation of mind held so firmly as to resist any attempt to modify it, a fixation. The name originates from the French [French : idée, idea + fixe, fixed].

    The solution is to adopt, nay embrace, the technique of multiple working hypothesis – and if they call you a schizophrenic, just ignore them.

  30. 30
    rickk

    JAD was supremely confident of his own superiority, passionate and obsessive in his pursuit of his own agenda, contemptuous of evidence or argument that contradicted his views, unreserved in his hatred for certain people or certain points of view, and relatively unrestrained in the actions he was willing to take against those he perceived as enemies.

    In other words, he had all the characteristics of the worst dictators in history except that he lacked the circumstances or charisma to marshal a significant following. For that we can all be thankful.

    It is sad so much of his one chance at life was spent in bitter dispute with reality and in denial of some of nature’s most magnificent attributes. My sympathies to those that loved him and to those that will miss him.

  31. 31
    ikesolem

    Actually, having read the obit, it seems like this guy might have had his life extended via his internet activism – gives him a reason to go on living, all those emails. Best to treat such cases sympathetically, isn’t it?

  32. 32
    DLC

    Oh, and I will add that it would have been hilarity to see JAD and Kw*K in a Kook Fight.

  33. 33
    Ichthyic

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    that’s the actual sad thing though.

    He wasn’t an idiot.

    He had a daughter that died in the 80s, and it triggered a severe mental breakdown in him.

    before that, he was a well published scientist; with at least one article published in Science, IIRC.

    He never recovered from the death of his daughter, and eventually the University of Vermont was forced to remove him from teaching duties.

    I know at least one member of his family tried to help him, but John alienated him by ridiculing and attacking those efforts in public, on several blogs.

    No, this is not a case of an idiotic, ignorant authoritarian personality run amok. This is a genuine case of a mind beat to pieces and not recovering.

    I always felt just as sorry for Davison as for Dennis Markuze; with the same conflicted feelings in response to their extreme hatred and negative behaviors.

    both needed help.

  34. 34
    Ichthyic

    Yes, you can see his CV here:

    http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/jad-cv.html

    I double checked years back; his publication list is entirely legit. at least those published BEFORE he had his mental breakdown.

  35. 35
    chigau (違う)

    PZ
    You could update his entry on the Dungeon page.

  36. 36
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Humanape these is a huge fucking difference between celebrating the death of some like Andrew Breitbart and JAD. JAD was a minor annoyance at worst and, as other pointed out, was a broken person who never recovered from his own personal tragedy. Breitbart actively and gleefully worked at destroying people’s lives.

  37. 37
    Ichthyic

    …btw, the reason I know all this is because JAD was the very first online crank I ever was curious about to see how he got that way.

    I saw his CV years back (8 years? longer?) and saw him posting utter gibberish on Panda’s Thumb. I actually wrote the University of Vermont Department of Biology to ask them about him.

    The result was what I wrote above about his history at UV in the 80s.

    My point is this: PLEASE, realize than in at least some cases, people who become cranks are genuinely mentally ill and really could use some help. The combination of negative stereotyping surrounding mental illness in the US (and many other countries), combined with the fact that he was indeed a university professor meant he never did get the help he really needed; only those very close to him understood that he was not just an ignorant crank.

    This is not the first time I have seen this happen, either. Nor is it the first time I have seen similar mental illness ignored because the person suffering from it had a broad background in education/science, so people figured they could just “handle” any “minor” quirkiness in their behavior.

    so, bottom line then:

    Ken Hamm? Liar, charlatan, crank. I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for this guy, EVER.

    JAD? not accountable for his thoughts and reactions. I felt extremely sorry for him, though I still would have to ban him from posting on any blog I owned, simply for the disruption.

    Big.

    difference.

  38. 38
    feralboy12

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    We don’t root for cancer around here, generally.
    What do you think we are, Christians?

  39. 39
    danielwall

    Damn! …RIP

  40. 40
    Amphiox

    I think it’s a bit dishonest to pretend to be sad about an idiot dropping dead.

    I’ll confess that, going on this comment, if humanape dropped dead, I might have a little bit of trouble mustering up a lot of sadness.

    A little bit, though, I think I can manage.

  41. 41
    kristineharley

    I second Ichthyic’s comments. I actually mulled over the thought some years ago of Davison’s death, and not with relish, either. I did not even mind his crazy ideas so much as the fact that he attributed nefarious motivations to people, insulted them, and became abusive. There were times when he showed some wit, and even some kindness toward me (which did not last long). I am truly sad.

    grumpyoldfart, you need to invent something that can resurrect from RAM all of the comments that he intended to post but could not because he was “banned,” when in fact he simply could not master the task of logging in and/or entering the captcha. I say this with a certain amount of affection.

  42. 42
    Crudely Wrott

    While there is relief in knowing that the spewing of his preconceived conclusions expressed with such confident and superior assumption is a thing of the past, I still cannot help but think, “rest in peace, fellow traveler”.

    The irony is that I have no reason to think that such a fate is possible for him, he being so thoroughly ended, disintegrated, undone, finished, discorporated, and dead and all.

    What I can do is to give him the grace that I give to everyone which is to assume that in his life he experienced wonderful things and that his influence on his fellow travelers was, at least occasionally, also wonderful. That his influence at large seems to be less than wonderful is not sufficient for me to assume otherwise.

    He did provide challenges and amusement which, I grant, is something worthwhile. Well, at least I got some insight out of him. In light of which, and with hopes for the works of my own life, I can do no less.

  43. 43
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Given what Ichthyic said, it’s even more unpalatable to read his obituary. Yes, most every family beatifies their recently dead in print, but they really went overboard emphasizing his alleged mental sharpness right up until the end, and laid on thick glurge about the “spiritual care” lavished on him by endless Catholic priests and nuns.

    Yes, yes, I know. People do this in death. No, no, you don’t need to remind me that’s human. I’m not knocking on their door and berating them for how they deal with their grief.

    But if the obit is an accurate reflection of overall family attitude toward Davison, then he was very, very ill-served indeed. He didn’t need that kind of indulgent adoration; he needed real mental help. Yes, I know his family may have tried to get it for him and he may have refused. But one must wonder if any of them knew the depth of insane (yes, I mean that, and not as a slur) bile, paranoia, and vitriol that consumed him in his online life. It seems unlikely to me that no one did.

  44. 44
    left0ver1under

    John Davison, putting the tenuous in tenure since 1967.

    He won’t be missed.

  45. 45
    left0ver1under

    Addendum:

    When I said he won’t be missed, I meant around here.

    His family will miss him, but how many others?

  46. 46
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    Life is a precious thing, the most precious thing you possess. There is no afterlife and therefore it’s important to live it to the fullest and not waste your time on faeries and mailing obsessions.

    QFT

    What Louis said.

    +1

  47. 47
    Nick Gotts

    Humanape: Human beings are not consistent. – FossilFishy

    No, indeed, one must assume that even humanape is not so consistently vile as his comments here would suggest. Condolences to the family of John A. Davison.

  48. 48
    Psych-Oh

    As Ichthyic said, he snapped. He struck me as a very unstable person, and I felt sorry for him. After reading his rants, I often wondered if he was getting any psychological help. I feel bad for his family now.

  49. 49
    Kristjan Wager

    It is always sad to see great minds go bad, which was the case of John A. Davison, and which was probably the reason why so many of us feel sad for his death.

    Think of the great things he could have contributed had things been different.

    My codolences to the family.

  50. 50
    PZ Myers

    No, let’s not resurrect his crazy comments. Last night, in his memory, I flushed my spam folder, destroying all of the comments and emails he sent to me in February and March — there were a lot of them. They were all the same angry demented and arrogant demands to “LISTEN TO ME” and “I KNOW THE TRUTH” and “HISTORY WILL PROVE ME RIGHT” that he’s always made, and they do him no favor. They were uniformly repetitive and obtuse, in denial of the evidence.

  51. 51
    New England Bob

    I tried to correspond with Davison a couple years ago but gave it up when he responded with vicious hatred and bullshit. It is good that his stain on civilization will quickly fade.

  52. 52
    Ichthyic

    No, let’s not resurrect his crazy comments.

    +1

  53. 53
    Ichthyic

    …well, unless it’s on TZT.

    :P

  54. 54
    trekkinbob

    I will remember J A Davison as someone who suprised me with his articulate views concerning one of my few comments on Professor Dawkin’s site back when it was a bit easier to comment there. Seemed a likeable fellow even tho I disagreed with his views. Later, when I became more familiar with both sides of these issues I saw him in a bit better light. But even then he was still a nice guy who cared passionately about his views even tho evidence showed he was wrong. I wish there were more nice, articulate, and intelligent people in that crowd. But what I really wish is that they’d finally figure out their delusion and join the few of the rest us out here.

  55. 55
    trekkinbob

    As far as “unstable people” go, you might take a look at how your own family views yourselves. My greater family has abandoned me for “crazy rants” I’ve left on Facebook that have embarrassed them in front of their other friends when all I did was post something I’d read on Pharygula I thought was pretty good. Funny how this blade works. Like a surgeon’s scapel, critical thinking and reality cut through bullshit and destroys what people thought were perfectly good relationships.

  56. 56
    kristineharley

    Well, my comment about items in RAM was a facetious gibe at grumpyoldfart for his suggestion, meant as sarcasm, and not to be taken literally.

  57. 57
    Justin

    Humanape has a point. And a lot of you followup commentators are engaging in a false dichotomy.

    It’s not either “feel sad or dance on their grave”. Indifference is an option too.

  58. 58
    Cipher

    Humanape has a point? Humanape presumed someone was pretending. Feeling brave, Justin? Wanna name names? Whose honesty do you want to impugn by reading their sincerity through the internet?

  59. 59
    Justin

    Humanape also didn’t name names. I don’t need bravery to fight on the internet by the way.

    So are you going to first tell me who Humanape was talking about?

  60. 60
    Cipher

    You’re the dumbass who said he had a point. What point do you think he had, exactly, if you don’t know what he’s talking about?

  61. 61
    Justin

    Well it’s a statement of fact. Is it not dishonest to pretend to feel sad over something one is not sad over?

    Now I’m not going to be a douche and say “If you’re offended then it must have struck a nerve”, and I can see where she/he could have come across as insensitive, but really to have these reactions in response?

    It seems disproportionate.

  62. 62
    Cipher

    I like how you managed to work the absolutely moronic struck-a-nerve retort in there while pretending to be above it. I’m not offended; I’m contemptuous. More accurately, I’m in a bad mood and I don’t like idiots. I don’t like humanape’s idiocy and I don’t like yours. If nobody’s pretending, the relevance of his alleged point is what?

  63. 63
    Justin

    “If nobody’s pretending, the relevance of his alleged point is what?”

    Isn’t that engaging in the very same “reading their sincerity behind the internet” that you accuse humanape of? While I concede that it is possible (and even likely) that we should take everyone’s comments at face value, surely you cannot rule out that SOMEONE is pretending.

    And even in that vanishingly small likelihood, the comment is relevant.

    Oh, and by the way; I meet your contempt with indifference. :)

  64. 64
    Justin

    “while pretending to be above it.”

    Oh I forgot this little gem. It seems that certain behaviors are suitable for some, and not others.

  65. 65
    Cipher

    certain behaviors are suitable for some, and not others.

    Maybe try and be specific if you’re going to make dumbass claims.

  66. 66
    Cipher

    And even in that vanishingly small likelihood, the comment is relevant.

    So what you’re saying is that if anybody is lying, then humanape has a point.

  67. 67
    Justin

    “Maybe try and be specific if you’re going to make dumbass claims.”

    You want me to be specific? Alright I shall. By accusing me of pretending, you’re engaging in hypocrisy since you’re doing the very thing you seem to be looking down on others for. Is that to your satisfaction or should I expand the explanation further?

    So what you’re saying is that if anybody is lying, then humanape has a point.

    Sure, but since we can’t prove anyone’s sincerity either way. The point remains salient.

  68. 68
    Cipher

    By accusing me of pretending, you’re engaging in hypocrisy since you’re doing the very thing you seem to be looking down on others for. Is that to your satisfaction or should I expand the explanation further?

    No, you are obviously pretending to be above it, since you used it.

  69. 69
    Justin

    No, you are obviously pretending to be above it, since you used it.

    No, the reason I used it was to head off accusations that I was making that argument. Being sure in your assumptions does not make your assumptions any more valid.

  70. 70
    Ichthyic

    Like a surgeon’s scapel, critical thinking and reality cut through bullshit and destroys what people thought were perfectly good relationships.

    I’m confused.

    is that what you think Davison was doing, or yourself?

    and…

    I smell drama queen.

  71. 71
    Ichthyic

    Indifference is an option too.

    you know what would really show your indifference?

    not bothering to post.

  72. 72
    Justin

    “you know what would really show your indifference?

    not bothering to post.”

    But where did I say that I was indifferent?

  73. 73
    Cipher

    But where did I say that I was indifferent?

    Oh, and by the way; I meet your contempt with indifference. :)

  74. 74
    Justin

    Sure, but to be indifferent to one thing does not make me indifferent to everything.

  75. 75
    Cipher

    Sure, but to be indifferent to one thing does not make me indifferent to everything.

    Hmm. Then you’re not indifferent to the death of John A Davison, the subject of this post? How do you feel about it? *is, in fact, pretending to care how you feel about it*

  76. 76
    Justin

    Hmm. Then you’re not indifferent to the death of John A Davison, the subject of this post? How do you feel about it? *is, in fact, pretending to care how you feel about it*

    Setting aside that I haven’t stated anything concerning the death of John A. Davison and that you’re again assuming what my thoughts and feelings are on the matter, there are many things about this post and comment thread that I could feel something for (or not).

  77. 77
    Cipher

    Setting aside that I haven’t stated anything concerning the death of John A. Davison and that you’re again assuming what my thoughts and feelings are on the matter

    Do you know what question marks are?

  78. 78
    Justin

    Certainly, but I must confess that I assumed that you were being rhetorical. My error, and I apologize.

    Why ask if you don’t care?

  79. 79
    Cipher

    You know what, actually? I’m sick of batting you around. You’re boring as fuck. Either say your piece – clearly and with a minimum of idiotic dancing around – or just get the fuck out of here. What exactly is the point of your posting in this thread?

  80. 80
    Ichthyic

    Sure, but to be indifferent to one thing does not make me indifferent to everything.

    Stop babbling, and just STFU.

    seriously.

  81. 81
    Justin

    You know what, actually? I’m sick of batting you around. You’re boring as fuck. Either say your piece – clearly and with a minimum of idiotic dancing around – or just get the fuck out of here. What exactly is the point of your posting in this thread?

    My point was made many comments ago. I stated that humanape had a point, and then went on to explain why this was so. As for why I continue? Because I feel like it.

    Stop babbling, and just STFU.

    seriously.

    But I’m being highly entertained by not doing so. :)

  82. 82
    Cipher

    I stated that humanape had a point, and then went on to explain why this was so.

    A point which you’ve already admitted is only relevant if someone is being insincere. But you’re not willing to say that anyone actually is. So your point is so disgustingly trivial that you really ought to be embarrassed.

    But I’m being highly entertained by not doing so. :)

    Go fuck yourself, you tiresome piece of shit.

  83. 83
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Justin, you started with a spurious claim, and quickly descended to trolling when called on it.

    Bah.

  84. 84
    Justin

    A point which you’ve already admitted is only relevant if someone is being insincere. But you’re not willing to say that anyone actually is. So your point is so disgustingly trivial that you really ought to be embarrassed.

    Trivial? Only if one were to believe everything one reads anywhere. Do you do that? If not then why should I?

    As for your most eloquent second point, I shall leave it as it stands. :)

  85. 85
    Justin

    Justin, you started with a spurious claim, and quickly descended to trolling when called on it.

    Trolling? Certainly not. I just enjoy a good debate, as for my “spurious” claim, can you tell me how exactly it’s spurious?

  86. 86
    Cipher

    Trivial? Only if one were to believe everything one reads anywhere.

    Um, no, that would be “only if one were to believe that no one in this thread was being insincere.” This is actually a specific situation.
    Also, you’re a useless fuckhead.

  87. 87
    Justin

    Um, no, that would be “only if one were to believe that no one in this thread was being insincere.” This is actually a specific situation.

    Now where did I say that? I said that since one cannot prove either way the veracity of the claims made herein, that the point remains salient.

    Does a murderer have to be present in a discussion about murderers?

  88. 88
    Cipher

    Now where did I say that?

    If it is not the case that anybody is being dishonest in the way that humanape is complaining about, the point is not relevant to this thread, and neither his post nor your post had any business being here. You are fucking tiresome and I wish you would shove a rotting porcupine up your ass.

  89. 89
    Justin

    If it is not the case that anybody is being dishonest in the way that humanape is complaining about, the point is not relevant to this thread, and neither his post nor your post had any business being here.

    Humanape was stating their opinion, as evidenced by “I think” at the beginning of the sentence. Since when was that complaining? I simply agreed with the truth of that statement. I fail to see how either the statement or the agreement is off topic, unless you think that this thread should be entirely about condolences. If that’s the case, why not state that explicitly?

  90. 90
    John Morales

    [meta + OT]

    Justin, whether you enjoy a good debate or not is irrelevant.

    (Besides, you already lack credibility)

  91. 91
    Justin

    Justin, whether you enjoy a good debate or not is irrelevant.

    Indeed, but it becomes relevant in your accusations of trolling. If you think that I’m a troll, then I’m very happy for you, but your opinions don’t dictate reality.

    (Besides, you already lack credibility)

    Care to articulate how?

  92. 92
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Justin, you made your bed, you get to lie on it.

    (I am not in a charitable mood)

    You want an argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, go to TZT.

  93. 93
    Justin

    Justin, you made your bed, you get to lie on it.

    I’m having difficulty seeing how that makes any sense in the discussion we’ve been having so far. You think I’m a troll. Great. I’m indifferent (not to be confused with general apathy, just to make that clear to some people).

    You want an argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, go to TZT.

    And yet you’ve made multiple off topic posts at my expense. I suppose that some people are more equal than others.

  94. 94
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Justin: ou want an argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, go to TZT.

  95. 95
    Justin

    Would you like to explain how the discussion is off topic?

  96. 96
  97. 97
    Justin

    Considering that many of the first 30 comments were deriding humanape for their statement, my argument is not any less off topic.

  98. 98
    Ichthyic

    my argument is not any less off topic.

    trolly boy is whining that nobody likes his stinky cheese bait.

    got it.

    here’s hoping your entire “contribution” to this thread is wiped clean.

  99. 99
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I was wondering where he’d been, now the big question in wingnutville:

    What happened to DaveScot?

  100. 100
    PZ Myers

    Justin, you are trolling — it’s obvious when one person floods a thread with his pointless obsessions. Stop now, or face the banhammer. And yeah, I’ll be watching you for repeat offenses now.

  101. 101
    David Marjanović

    I’d love to get an un-delete program running on his computer. I’ll bet it’s full of revealing nonsense he hoped no one would ever see.

    That’s not how he worked. He wanted everyone to read all his nonsense, beginning with his lengthy Evolutionary Manifesto that I’m sure you can find somewhere.

    …What did happen to DaveScot?

  102. 102
    Justin

    it’s obvious when one person floods a thread with his pointless obsessions

    I will accede to your wishes PZ, but I will note a couple of objections:

    1. I would have left my comment at the one, had I not been accused of being a poor example of a human being right off the bat.

    2. I feel that if my point had been the opposite of what it was, you wouldn’t have anything to say on the matter.

    3. I thought this was a place of debate? I was nothing but civil, and addressed the objections raised to me. Considering that other people were commenting on comments, I felt that it was alright to do the same.

    It’s your blog, and your rules though, I just wish you had enforced them in a more consistent manner.

    Anyhow I comment so rarely for this to be an issue, and this is my last comment on this thread. You’ve successfully discouraged me from participating on this forum. Well done. I’m sure your regulars will breathe a sigh of relief.

  103. 103
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    He must have had trouble getting other scientists to accept his reasoning. He published a paper on “semi-meiosis” in 1984, stating that it was an obstacle to evolution. Then he had to self-publish his work: “Unpublished Evolution Papers of John A. Davison” from Lulu Publishers.

  104. 104
    Ichthyic

    Anyhow I comment so rarely for this to be an issue, and this is my last comment on this thread.

    flounce accepted, but your ass is still too big for this flounce to be perfect.

    here are some tips:

    http://open.salon.com/blog/verbal_remedy/2009/04/08/dont_let_flouncing_make_your_ass_look_big

  105. 105
    chigau (違う)

    Justin

    It’s your blog, and your rules though, I just wish you had enforced them in a more consistent manner.

    idiot
    —-
    Justin isn’t going to comment any more?
    *sob*
    {where’s that teeeny violin?}

  106. 106
    chunky

    Icthyic,

    John was more lucid than you even up to his last year of life.

    Your pop-psychologizing based entirely upon hearsay is exactly the kind of stupid, unscientific, uncritical thinking that John despised and regularly lambasted. You have once again confirmed that you are entirely deserving of every single insult he hurled at you.

    Same goes for the rest of you prescribed morons with your contrived pity.

    How do you like them lemon zingers?

  107. 107
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    How do you like them lemon zingers?

    What zingers? All I see is hero worship drivel.

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