Missouri screws up


I don’t know whether it’s by design or fortuitous incompetence, but creationists are masters of the fuzzy statement that opens the doors to all kinds of new opportunities for ignorance. Missouri, for instance, just passed a law giving themselves the freedom to pray (a freedom they already had, which is not in peril) and at the same time, just had to toss in this lovely and dangerous clause: no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.

Raise your hand if you think you can spot the potential problem there.

Missouri has just passed a law declaring that students can opt out of any part of the curriculum that they find objectionable to their faith, and we all know what that means: evolution and climate change are all now optional. And you know that that’s what this clause will be used for, to shut down big chunks of science that contradict religious idiocy.

And look at this. This is why I can’t tell sometimes if creationists are just incredibly stupid or incredibly cunning.

Mike Hoey, a supporter of the amendment and executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, thinks that Rosenau is “overanalyzing” the language in the amendment. “I don’t think this will affect science in the classroom in any significant way,” he says. “I think the vast majority of students will want to participate in all units of their science classes.” The amendment makes no mention of providing an alternative curriculum, Hoey adds. So any student who opts out of a biology lesson, he says, “will need to face the consequences” of missing those lessons.

Right. So putting that ‘objectionable’ material on the exams and making grades dependent on learning it will not be considered a way to compel students to perform or participate in work that goes against their religious beliefs? Nonsense. Hoey is being disingenuous here. Of course it will affect how science is taught. There are students who will, even in the absence of deep religious belief, use this clause to exempt themselves from difficult bits of their classwork.

Not only will it affect science teaching, its proponents intend for it to cripple instruction in evolution and any other science that crosses their benighted worldview. Hoey is either a liar or so brainless his eyes probably roll back into his cranium every time he looks up.

Comments

  1. a3kr0n says

    If someones belief system is contrary to science the should have a look at that.
    Religion – 0
    Science – ∞

  2. belfastian says

    I think you are right in saying that there is no end to how this can be used to avoid challenging your own ideals. Of course children are the means of continuation of the cult so they must be “protected” from anything that could let them begin to question their “spiritual leaders” or parents.
    I hope there is something that can be done to counter this. How come this law wasnt fought hard enough before it was passed in the first place…?

  3. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    I anticipate this will also affect social studies/history classes (what can I say, I have a warped perspective).

    And allowing the kid to opt out but still count the material outopted? Sounds like a recipe for lawsuits, unhappy children, unhappy parents, and unhappy teachers (not that anyone cares about the teachers anymore; since they formed a union, they have become public enemies (yes, I am cynical)).

    So does the state get to decide what is, and is not, religiously proscribed? If Calvin want’s to claim math is against his religion, and his parents back him up, does the state come in to explain that math (other than set theory?) is not religiously proscribed within any sect of Christianity and therefore is not eligable? Should be interesting.

  4. Cunning Pam says

    I know, I know. *sigh* Not only did it pass, it did so by a huge margin, which only adds to the disappointment.

    The disingenuousness of those who insist it will not change how science is taught is indeed staggering.

  5. says

    So does the state get to decide what is, and is not, religiously proscribed?

    That’s what I was going to point out as the inevitable problem. That puts the government in the position of telling people what their religious beliefs are.

    It’s a failure of the lemon test – unnecessary entanglement.

  6. Louis says

    Okay, who is up for starting a new religion founded on smoking pot and playing WoW all day whilst pissing through a catheter?

    I GUA-RAN-TEE that religion will take off in Missouri as this bill is passed.

    “I’m sorry Miss/Sir, I object to all these classes as they interfere with my religion. I must go and propitiate the Great God BLIZZARD with my Holy Cheeto Stains.”

    Louis

    P.S. Yes I know, gamers are not Cheeto stained, pot smoking, hardcore catheter using losers. Very few of us can achieve those lofty heights. Isn’t religion all about aspiring to be better? ;-)

  7. proudmra says

    It’s already been pointed out elsewhere, but this policy is going to do WONDERS for the attendance figures of the Church of No Homework.

  8. anubisprime says

    OP

    Mike Hoey, a supporter of the amendment and executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference

    So much for a church that pretends it actually accepts Evolution.

    It never has and it never will and Galileo was a poopy head!

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Catholics seems really good at missing things on purpose. They do get a lot of practice…

  10. says

    So the Pastafarians will finally be protected from being forced to cook with pasta in Home Economics classes? Well about time too. It’s a travasty that’s been ignored for too long.

  11. zb24601 says

    I thought Missouri was the “Show me” state. What is it now? The “You can try to show me, but I will not look or listen” state? The “Show someone else” state? The “Don’t show me” state?

    I guess they have to get their state ready for when Jesus comes back and sets up his kingdom on Earth, ruling from Missouri, like Mitt Romney believes will happen.

  12. says

    My sons and I live in MO and I can tell you the two out of 3 of us registered voters (the third is not a registered voter) did not vote for this stupid amendment. We voted against, despite knowing that the Xians outnumber non-theists, and it would pass anyway. *rolling eyes* Personally, we’re ashamed to live in this state and plan on getting out as soon as reasonably possible.

  13. davidct says

    This measure passed by 83%. I doubt that the citizens of Missouri really know what they were voting for. I know from experience that once a person gets to the voting booth they find only a summary of the proposition that they are voting for. If a voter does not know the issues in advance it is easy to make a mistake. Hopefully there will be grounds for a lawsuit.

  14. Alverant says

    #9
    I’ll do one better and introduce the Church of No Homework and No Gym and No Reading Boring Books. Adherants can choose whether or not to follow Church law of not showing respect to teachers or any students you don’t like. And what can be done about it? The government can’t dictate a person’s beliefs.

  15. joed says

    “This is why I can’t tell sometimes if creationists are just incredibly stupid or incredibly cunning.”

    Don’t underestimate the creationists.
    The can and do say ANYTHING that will get them what they want. They aren’t hindered by reason or logic or any of that. An out-right lie for god is beautiful and morally good.
    These people know what they are doing and they do it very very well–obviously.

  16. says

    I can see that I’m going to have trouble with my algebra students this semester — if they’re from Missouri, I mean. (On the brighter side, any students I have from Missouri this school year might be recent refugees from the stupidity in the “Show Me” state.)

  17. Pteryxx says

    …can we just *declare* reality a religion already? That’s the only way it’ll ever get fair treatment from these disingenuous asses.

  18. kantalope says

    As an atheist, can you just walk out of any class and point at presuppositionism as infringing on your right to be free of religious compulsion?

  19. tubi says

    As far as I can tell, it only allows students to “opt out” of participating in assignments that violate their beliefs. But it still permits teachers to give the student a “0” for that assignment, right? So a student could opt out of set theory, for example, but then have to get A’s across the board in the other parts of the class in order to finish with a B?

    Am I reading it right?

    And also, it doesn’t prohibit universities from rejecting students from MO on the grounds that they don’t know what they need to know to matriculate, right? I mean, could UMM review a Missouri student’s application and decide, “This person doesn’t understand evolution, therefore he is not qualified to be a student here?

  20. julietdefarge says

    Let the SAT sort them out.
    I would have welcomed the option to skip the “educational presentations” and forced pep rallies that opened with a prayer and/or were larded through with religious blandishments.

  21. carlie says

    As far as I can tell, it only allows students to “opt out” of participating in assignments that violate their beliefs. But it still permits teachers to give the student a “0″ for that assignment, right?

    I don’t think so. The implication is that they can do so without penalty, which means they’d have to either be given an alternate assignment or have that assignment grade dropped from their calculation.

    Jehovah’s witnesses: no learning about blood
    Scientologists: no psychology
    Fundamentalists: no geology, climatology, higher maths
    Mormons: no human migration patterns, Native American history

    What else am I missing?

  22. says

    For science teachers, all they have to do is prefix their test questions with ‘according to scientific consensus…’. No religious deferment could stick, because the student’s beliefs are not being challenged (directly). Just like the question: According to the historical consensus on Hitler, what group of people were considered vermin that should be wiped off the face of the earth? The denier answer can’t be accepted since what historical consensus is is what is being asked

  23. carlie says

    Story on it

    State Rep. Mike McGhee, a Republican who sponsored the amendment, said it would remind people about their religious freedoms, such as reading religious books at school. “It’s OK to bring your Bible to study hall,” he said.
    It is not clear how students’ exemption from classroom activities will be regulated. McGhee has said it could vary by age group, but individual school districts will likely create their own policies on the matter.

    Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill voted “yes” on the amendment.

    FUCK.

  24. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    It is not clear how students’ exemption from classroom activities will be regulated. McGhee has said it could vary by age group, but individual school districts will likely create their own policies on the matter.

    Different standards created by each school district? Some civil rights lawyers are smiling. The lawyers under retainer at the individual school districts should be worried. That could get ugly.

  25. says

    “State Rep. Mike McGhee, a Republican who sponsored the amendment, said it would remind people about their religious freedoms, such as reading religious books at school. “It’s OK to bring your Bible to study hall”

    Another weird thing…I mean, what kid actually DOES that. I can’t imagine that even in the most Christ-haunted areas of the U.S that any kid would be caught dead conspicuously toting a bible around, or even praying aloud of hir own volition. It’s a straw-child argument.

  26. carlie says

    For science teachers, all they have to do is prefix their test questions with ‘according to scientific consensus…’. No religious deferment could stick, because the student’s beliefs are not being challenged (directly).

    That is a very good point, and should be spread to all teachers in the state.

  27. scottrobson says

    @carlie “Fundamentalists: no geology, climatology, higher maths”
    Just curious, why would fundamentalists reject higher maths. Which higher maths?

  28. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    Just curious, why would fundamentalists reject higher maths. Which higher maths?

    Set theory, for one. For some reason which I cannot grok, some Christian fundamentalists get very upset over set theory. Perhaps because of implications for the holy trinity?

  29. kantalope says

    Ashleybell, you are not from around here are you? –full happy statement, no accusatory implications

    Somehow without this law lots and I do mean lots of High School students were carrying Books of Moron in Utah.

    Seen students in Colorado at Starbucks and such reading Bibles for fun.

  30. bjtunwarm says

    The academic end of this is already covered PZ – the children will just follow the moral example set by their parents with this law and lie.

    One does wonder what is their vision for Missouri in 2032 will be like with entire generation that is hopelessly under educated. But I suppose this all makes sense if all your doing is raising your kid to be a fisherman so he can get on Deadliest Catch.

    The Hunger Games here we come.

  31. says

    When the universe has a similar clause, saying that you can opt out of whatever your religion finds inconvenient, that’ll be a great law.

    Actually, interpreted narrowly, there’s nothing wrong with what it says–but there’s also nothing new that wasn’t already protected by the First Amendment, as no JW is now legally forced to participate in prayer with the unclean others. So, if it is to mean anything, it has to be interpreted broadly, potentially leaving kids unprepared for a world that doesn’t give a shit about why they’re stupid.

    Glen Davidson

  32. Trebuchet says

    What’ll happen when the first Muslim creationist tries to opt out of biology? Or world history, for that matter?

  33. phud says

    Missouri legislators should be mocked. And Calvin does it well.

    Thanks for the memories of a comic strip that was ahead of the curve.

  34. raven says

    One wonders why fundie xians even bother to try to educate their kids.

    Oh wait, they don’t.

    1. Many of them homeschool. While homeschooling can work (most homeschoolers aren’t brain dead fundies), it can also make sure that the kids never know more than their ignorant parents.

    I’ve seen two adults who were “homeschooled”. One can barely read while the other one had to learn to do so as an adult.

    2. There is always the option of xian schools. Some of these make a feeble attempt to educate the kids in the basics. Some of them are just brainwashing academies which turn out minimally educated kids who can repeat fundie mythology very well.

    Fundies set their kids up to fail. Then they fail.

  35. raven says

    Religious problems with set theory

    They also have religious problems with nuclear fusion. Supposedly the sun really isn’t fusing hydrogen into helium because that makes baby jesus cry. Or something.

    I’m not seeing why Missouri just doesn’t let fundie kids opt out of school altogether. Give them a diploma that says they have acquired a fundie xian safe education. It’s a win win solution. We don’t have to deal with them, and they can hide from the real world and stay ignorant.

    Everyone else will know they are most likely ignorant morons, but who knows, they can always get jobs at chick-fil-a.

  36. scrutationaryarchivist says

    Does this mean we can keep the facts in our textbooks? If the Biblical literalists are now allowed to skip the parts with which they disagree, they have no need to dumb down the material for everyone.

  37. tomh says

    @ 23

    One clause reads, “that students may express their beliefs about religion in written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their work;”

    I would think that “discrimination” would include failing grades.

  38. timberwoof says

    After WWII, a significant portion of the US military and political leadership wanted to turn Germany permanently into a pre-industrial agrarian economy. (Thanks to General Marshall, they did not. Now Merricans can buy BMWs and Audis.) It strikes me as somehow deliciously ironic that the very same thing is being imposed in the Midwest. They seem to want to establish their own little Shire there.

    Be prepared for a lawsuit over this. If it is overturned on the grounds that violates separation of church and state, plug your ears to try to keep out the bleating about how there is no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution and how these damned activist judges are denying the democratic will of the people.

    I dunno. Is the United States done? Or is this just as cycle as proposed by the http://www.fourthturning.com people?

  39. Sastra says

    The bill seems designed to appeal to two popular paranoid fantasies: that They are out there, and They’re trying to prevent people from being religious by using any methods They can, including force — and that the only adequate defense against a life filled with suffering and evil is one with a strong religious faith. That second assumption is what sets fire to the first fear.

    If you were to ask parents whether they would prefer that a child be ignorant and poor, yet very religious — or well-educated and employed, but not concerned at all about loving God — I suspect many of them would say (or feel obliged to say) the first option is better. It’s sort of like asking whether it’s better to be nice than right; the ‘pro-intellectual’ alternative assumes we’re going to be dealing with a monster.

    That’s why I think the fight to defend scientific integrity in the schools just has to be coupled with a full-blown attempt by atheists outside of the schools to undermine the cultural belief in belief — the faith that faith is not only a virtue, but the ultimate virtue. As long as that hovers in the background of every church/state conflict regarding children, the battles will never end. The accomodationists simply can’t convince all religious people to measure religion using humanist standards. The whole point of religion is that you don’t, by definition.

  40. says

    Hoey (what a great name given his job description) may be right:

    In Columbia schools, students already have the right to opt out of any assignments that conflict with their religious views. The most commonly challenged subject is evolution in biology classes, said Mike Szydlowski, district science coordinator.

    However, he said, often the problem is that families have an incorrect perception of what the district is teaching about evolution.

    “They hear evolution, and they have an impression oftentimes that we’re teaching about how humans were created or how humans evolved,” Szydlowski said.

    Instead, the curriculum focuses on “how plants and animals and organisms have changed over time,” he said. Typically, once families understand what’s being taught, they realize it’s not “challenging their beliefs at all,” he said.

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/aug/11/school-officials-say-prayer-law-wont-change/

    Because, after all, people aren’t animals or even organisms.

    Missouri is way past screwing up.

  41. grumpyoldfart says

    Not only will it affect science teaching, its proponents intend for it to cripple instruction in evolution and any other science that crosses their benighted worldview.

    Never mind, the next generation can make heaps of money diving for coins thrown by tourists on visiting cruise ships.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QcMSA3Z-W8

    #

  42. says

    Oggie:

    For some reason which I cannot grok, some Christian fundamentalists get very upset over set theory.

    If I remember correctly, it’s because set theory establishes that there are different values of infinity AND WE KNOW THAT THERE’S ONLY ONE THING THAT IS TRULY INIFINITE!!

    (Answer: God.)

    Speaking as a Dudeist priest, would this mean that DarkFetus* could could skip any gym classes that weren’t concerned with bowling?

    *After she’s born, duh.

  43. Air says

    I wouldn’t be too sanguine about students who opt out getting their comeuppance on the SAT or even in their future career. There is a straight, smooth path pioneered by many of GWB’s minions from homeschool to Liberty University or Bob Jones or Biola (including law school, of course)right into positions of authority in business, politics and government.

  44. carlie says

    I wouldn’t be too sanguine about students who opt out getting their comeuppance on the SAT or even in their future career. There is a straight, smooth path pioneered by many of GWB’s minions from homeschool to Liberty University or Bob Jones or Biola (including law school, of course)right into positions of authority in business, politics and government.

    Yeah. They’re likely to end up as a vice-presidential candidate.

  45. tsig says

    Algebra is an Islamic plot to undermine our youth so there goes math, science is an attempt to undermine faith so physics, biology, ect. are out, not going to me much left to teach.

  46. David Marjanović says

    So much for a church that pretends it actually accepts Evolution.

    America, the place where even the Catholics are evangelical. *sigh*

    He doesn’t know what the pope thinks, and the pope doesn’t know what he thinks. That’s probably how this works.

    After WWII, a significant portion of the US military and political leadership wanted to turn Germany permanently into a pre-industrial agrarian economy. (Thanks to General Marshall, they did not. Now Merricans can buy BMWs and Audis.) It strikes me as somehow deliciously ironic that the very same thing is being imposed in the Midwest. They seem to want to establish their own little Shire there.

    *lightbulb moment*

  47. rrede says

    @Ashleybell: I teach English at a university, and I have the occasional student who has their Bible with them at all times–the most recent one was a superb student who never proselytized (that I saw, during the creative writing class time), and who never, unlike some others, resisted the idea of having to read a story or poem that did not support his faith (in one creative writing class, a student once told me she could not read anything about sex or she would lose her virginity).

    I can guarantee based on my experiences here including the ongoing comments on the evaluations about how I teach queer perverted degenerate satanic etc. literatures that this law could strongly effect English classes (unless, like a number of my students report, the principals and superintendents have already mandated white, straight, correct xtian curriculum).

    Don’t even get me started on what some of my students (this time in a class designed to teach how to analyze literature for the future English teachers in that major track) say about Harry Potter…..!

  48. says

    What’ll happen when the first Muslim creationist tries to opt out of biology? Or world history, for that matter?

    Indeed, what happens when Jews and Muslims join together and demand that Jesus should never be referred to as “Christ”, since that implies a religious conclusion?

  49. neuroturtle says

    We had plenty of openly Bible-carrying students at my Missouri high school. Some students even started a pretty popular Christian ska band.

    There will be plenty of room for this law to affect humanities. My AP English III class (best teacher ever!) included a unit on the Bible as Literature, looking at how modern literature has been affected by biblical stories, reading The Scarlet Letter and East of Eden and stuff like that. One acquaintance, upon hearing of this unit, flat-out stated that “if we discuss the Bible as anything but the inspired word of God, I’m out of there.”

    Another friend in college kicked up a stink in chamber choir because she didn’t want to sing a song with the line “where the hell am I?” because she objected to the word “hell.” She wouldn’t sit the song out, she wouldn’t not sing the word, she wouldn’t insert the word of her choice instead. She railroaded the whole choir into dropping a great song. (As if the vast majority of choral literature isn’t Christian already!)

    Science isn’t the only subject they’re going to destroy. =/

  50. zutalors says

    The problem with this law will not be confined to science. As an American historian, I have repeatedly offended the religious sensibilities of my students at a comprehensive regional university in the Northwest by discussing the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers, the use of Christianity to defend slavery in the mid-19th century as well as evolution and global warming.

  51. unclefrogy says

    At a time when it has become obvious that the competition for leadership of the world in the economic realm is more dependent on superiority in science and engineering , when the ability to get and hold a good high paying job is dependent on having an education, the grand state on Missouri passes a law making it legal to remain ignorant.

    So much for the competition of the cold war illustrated by the furor that resulted when the Russians beat us to launch the first artificial earth satellite that generated a push for increased science education.

    uncle frogy

  52. konnihall says

    I live in Missouri, I’m a Christian and I voted against this stupid law. The turnout for this particular election was 23%. The people that put this on the ballot knew what they were doing…if it got on the general election ballot in November and there was high voter turnout, it probably would not have passed. I hope that it gets overturned, as it is unnecessary.

    I realize there is a dichotomy between Christianity (and probably other religions) and science but I accept that I do not understand the ways of God or the ways of some of the higher mathematics and sciences. It is possible to believe in both creation and evolution. I happen to believe the Bible is the word of God but I realize that humans, likely with agendas, were the ones who passed it down orally, wrote it on scrolls, interpreted it to followers, revised it prior to printing for the masses to read themselves and chose which books were the ones that were holy. I can realize all this without rejecting Christianity.

    I have free will as does everyone else, and I believe that my job as a Christian is to live what I believe. I’m not going to push my beliefs on anyone else. I don’t make fun of atheists, agnostics, Scientologists, Wiccans, or the church of smoking pot and playing WoW all day whilst pissing through a catheter. I don’t feel sorry for those who have different beliefs as me either.

    I do feel sorry for my former neighbors kids who were homeschooled poorly because their parents wanted to shelter them from society. Their three daughters were raised to be wives and mothers and nothing else. Is it any wonder the youngest daughter rebelled? I can’t say as I blame her.

  53. KG says

    So much for the competition of the cold war illustrated by the furor that resulted when the Russians beat us to launch the first artificial earth satellite that generated a push for increased science education. – uncle frogy

    All pro-science Americans should be rooting for the Chinese taikonaut-to-the-moon programme!

  54. KG says

    konnihall,

    I live in Missouri, I’m a Christian and I voted against this stupid law.

    Good for you. Have you told creationist Christians this?

    I accept that I do not understand the ways of God

    That’s a neat way to evade the problem of evil.

    It is possible to believe in both creation and evolution.

    How?

    I happen to believe the Bible is the word of God but I realize that humans, likely with agendas, were the ones who passed it down orally, wrote it on scrolls, interpreted it to followers, revised it prior to printing for the masses to read themselves and chose which books were the ones that were holy.

    So what does saying it’s the “word of God” mean? Did God whisper it to someone, but fail to speak clearly? If he wanted us to know his views, shouldn’t he have ensured that they got through undistorted by human agendas? Couldn’t he have included clear prohibitions against slavery, selling your daughters, dispossessing foreigners of their land and slaughtering them wholesale, blaming children for the actions of their parents… along with maybe suggestions to wash your hands before you handle food, and cover your mouth when you sneeze? You know, stuff that would actually have reduced human suffering? Though of course, since he’s omnipotent and all, I guess we have to conclude that he’s rather in favour of human suffering.

  55. interrobang says

    Another weird thing…I mean, what kid actually DOES that. I can’t imagine that even in the most Christ-haunted areas of the U.S that any kid would be caught dead conspicuously toting a bible around, or even praying aloud of hir own volition.

    You obviously didn’t go to my high school. I knew several kids who carried Bibles with them everywhere, including to the bathroom, and lots who prayed openly. Our valedictorian even invoked Jesus during our commencement speech.

    I’m Canadian, from southwestern Ontario. It isn’t just an American problem, and, if anything, it’s harder to deal with here because so many people have a deeply-ingrained attitude of “if you don’t like it, just ignore it,” never mind that your Jesus bullshit belongs in church, not in my secular public high school.

  56. FlyingToaster says

    ashleybell@29:
    You wrote:

    Another weird thing…I mean, what kid actually DOES that. I can’t imagine that even in the most Christ-haunted areas of the U.S that any kid would be caught dead conspicuously toting a bible around, or even praying aloud of hir own volition. It’s a straw-child argument.

    Never lived in a square state, have you?

    I grew up in KCMO, survived KCMO/NKCMO public schools, and escaped. Even when I was there, my HS had two competing before-school bible studies. In more than one class, there were people whose parents attempted to opt them out of assignments in English, History, and sciences because of their religion. Fortunately, the district’s policy was a 0 for the assignment and it was counted, since if you didn’t like the public school there were several parochial choices available.

    A girl from one of my classes refused to write her paper on propaganda films because the topic was Lenin’s quote: “Religion is the opiate of the masses: prove or disprove using the films we’ve viewed plus any other material you have available.” Writing a paper showing that Lenin was wrong got at least two other students “A”s on their papers, but she was too lazy (or dumb) to do the work. IIRC, two years later she refused to read some of the required books for Senior Lit and was booted from the (elective) class.

    There will be a whole bunch of MO Xtianists who will keep their kids from being exposed to science or history or literature, and not have to stay home to “school” them.

    neuroturtle@60:
    I hear you; our winter “Messiah” concert always had to be voluntary because some of the “Baptist” parents didn’t want their kids performing “Catholic” music. Note: Handel was Protestant and followed George I to England.

  57. truthspeaker says

    carlie
    17 August 2012 at 9:45 am

    Story on it

    State Rep. Mike McGhee, a Republican who sponsored the amendment, said it would remind people about their religious freedoms, such as reading religious books at school. “It’s OK to bring your Bible to study hall,” he said.

    Nobody was saying otherwise, Mr. McGhee. Way to solve a problem that didn’t exist. Next they’ll pass a law providing funding for the state to buy crocodile repellent. “But there are no crocodiles in Missouri,” you say. See, the law worked!

  58. leonpeyre says

    konnihall, try not to be discouraged by our harder-core members. Personally (and I’m sure I speak for some others here) I’m glad that some liberal Christians spend time on Pharyngula and contribute to the discussions. I’d rather deal with liberal Christians any day than reality-denying funamentalists any day…in fact, if more Christians acted like you have here, a lot of us would never have felt a need to get active in the atheist community.

  59. truthspeaker says

    tsig
    17 August 2012 at 11:31 am

    Algebra is an Islamic plot to undermine our youth so there goes math, science is an attempt to undermine faith so physics, biology, ect. are out, not going to me much left to teach.

    Perfect! Then we can shorten the school year and lay off some teachers, saving the taxpayers money! See, Republicans are fiscally responsible after all.

  60. konnihall says

    KG,
    I’ve told anyone who cares to listen to me that I voted against Amendment 2. I believe in the Old Testament as a historical source for the New Testament. There are some Christian religions that disagree with me, but I don’t believe that “the rules” listed in the Old Testament applied once Jesus was crucified. As I’ve studied the New Testament, I’ve often had questions or concerns about what “the rules” are. For instance, in Romans, Paul writes that everyone must submit themselves to the government authorities and if they rebel, they are rebelling against God. Therefore, according to this, the US was founded in sin because the colonies rebelled against Great Britain and went to war for our freedom. In other areas, books of the Bible seem to contradict each other, even those written by (or attributed to) the same author.

    I can’t explain these things. All I can do it read it, reflect upon it and try to use it in my life to live the best life I can. And whether you are a Christian or of another religion or have no religion, what you should do is to try to make things better and do no harm. That is what I try to do every day when I roll out of bed.

    As far as evil goes, who understands it, truly? Over the years I’ve known people who’ve overcome terrible childhoods where they were beaten, sexually abused, tortured, yet they never harmed anyone. And then I’ve heard of others who had one bad thing happen to them that scarred them for life and they lashed out against other people. And even some who had a seemingly perfect life. Who can understand what drove despots like Hitler and Pol Pot? What snapped inside Andrea Yates that caused her to kill her children?

    It seems to me, the more I learn, the more I study, the more questions I have. And that’s not just within the realm of religion but within many subjects: science, history, psychology, the list goes on and on.

    As far as creation and evolution, why can I not believe that God created evolution? I think that a lot of what is written in the Bible was put in terms that more primitive peoples could understand. Through science we have found evidence that species have evolved. Peoples who lived closer to the equator developed higher levels of melanin in their skin and those further from the equator did not have as much. That’s why the indigenous people of Africa are darker than those of Scandinavia.

    If you take the religion out of any religious text (whether the Talmud, Qraan, Book of Mormon, Bible, Vedas, etc) and strictly look at the sentiment, all of them have good advice and examples of what happens when you do wrong to your fellow man. In my opinion, FOR MY LIFE, God can speak to me through the Bible and guide my paths. For years I had fallen away from the church and I think there were times he spoke to me in other areas because I sure as heck wasn’t getting any messages from the Bible.

  61. KG says

    leonpeyre@71,

    I thought my #65 was pretty mild stuff. I’ve no problem working with politically progressive Christians (or other religious believers) on shared goals, nor with Christians (or other religious believers) commenting here, but would konnihall comment on a blog where gnu atheists hang out, and expect not to be challenged if xe puts hir religious beliefs forward?

  62. says

    I happen to believe the Bible is the word of God but I realize that humans, likely with agendas, were the ones who passed it down orally, wrote it on scrolls, interpreted it to followers, revised it prior to printing for the masses to read themselves and chose which books were the ones that were holy.

    Honestly, that makes absolutely no fucking sense to me. From my point of view, the bible as the word of god and the bible as a document written, edited and interpreted by humans, according to their personal agendas, are opposing positions.

    The only way I could see them being reconciled is if you’re willing to completely toss free will out the window and claim that god was pulling the mental strings of every human being involved in making the bible what it is today.

    I appreciate that you’re not a bible-bashing, fundamentalist wackjob. However, I’m still going to call bullshit when I see it and this bit smells kinda rank.

  63. konnihall says

    leonpeyre,
    Thank you for your sentiment. I’m not discouraged at all. I welcome the challenge and I agree with you that Christians are the very ones who push people away. I’ve been pushed away myself by Christians over the years because I do not agree with them. As a matter of fact, pretty much every time I go to church I hear something that I disagree with or think that the passages are being misinterpreted. But just because I disagree with part of it doesn’t mean I should reject all of it.

    I’m a Republican but I disagree with much of the party platform. But I’m still a Republican. I serve on the state PTA board but there are many legislative policies they support that I disagree with. If you walk away from an organization just because you disagree on some things, you will never affect any change. You (or someone) has to be willing to stand and fight rather than run away.

  64. says

    63 Konnihall

    I happen to believe the Bible is the word of God but I realize that humans, likely with agendas, were the ones who passed it down orally, wrote it on scrolls, interpreted it to followers, revised it prior to printing for the masses to read themselves and chose which books were the ones that were holy. I can realize all this without rejecting Christianity.

    I guess it’s easy to “not reject” something when you give yourself license to pick and choose which bits constitute the word of God and and which bits you can dismiss as someone else’s subjective interpretations. Do you realize that like all the other “humans, likely with agendas” you are deciding what is and is not the word of God?

    I would never tell anyone what to believe. You believe you know the word of God better than anyone else, OK for you. Not my concern.

    I wonder if you realize that what we’re doing is pretty much the same as what you’re doing – rejecting someone else’s subjective, agenda-laden conceptions as to what constitutes the word of God – but someone like me simply goes “one God further?”

    I can easily adopt certain “Christian principles” such as not pissing on poor people, not killing, etc. And if those nice, non-discriminatory parts of the Gospels are what you have adopted for yourself, then masel tov! Most atheists happily adopt those principles too (a theology student friend of mine when I was in college once said to me that if I believed in God I’d make a wonderful Christian).

    Rejection of the crazy bits (such as KG’s post above) does not constitute a rejection of the nice bits nor an attack against you or other well meaning individuals personally.

  65. truthspeaker says

    konnihall
    17 August 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I’m a Republican but I disagree with much of the party platform. But I’m still a Republican. I serve on the state PTA board but there are many legislative policies they support that I disagree with. If you walk away from an organization just because you disagree on some things, you will never affect any change.

    If you walk away from an organization and join one that fits your views better, you can, in fact, affect change.

    And if so many people walk away from an organization that it becomes ineffectual, you have affected a huge change!

  66. says

    74 Konnihall

    in Romans, Paul writes that everyone must submit themselves to the government authorities and if they rebel, they are rebelling against God. Therefore, according to this, the US was founded in sin because the colonies rebelled against Great Britain and went to war for our freedom. In other areas, books of the Bible seem to contradict each other, even those written by (or attributed to) the same author.

    Sorry, I realize that the written medium can make some statement “sound” more harsh. I really do not meant to come across that way. It’s just that if you attended a theology school when you studied the New Testament I suggest that you ask for a refund.

    St. Paul was possibly the first and definitely the best at Christian Dog-whistle messaging. Romans is one loooong toot on the Christian dog whistle. There’s a double-meaning in the use of the term “Government” and a very subtle use of the ancient Greek to the effect that government authorities ordained by God (this is from memory so I’m paraphrasing here) are the ones against which it’s a sin to rebel. The unwritten (but clear to Christians) message: government authorities not ordained by God, OK to rebel against those. This satisfied the pagan Roman censors that the document did not constitute sedition against the empire (because they didn’t grok the unwritten message). But it did. Romans was one of the most seditious documents ever written.

    No one ever told you this before?

  67. konnihall says

    truthspeaker,
    That is true as well. The problem, at this point, is that, at least with the two organizations I mentioned, I don’t know of an organization that is a better fit (political party) or even an alternative (PTA). So I’m working within them with what I’ve got for now. But you’re right, if everyone walks away from an organization, it will wither and die.

    As far as church goes, I did walk away from one and join one that fit my views much better. Will my leaving change the Baptist church? Doubtful. But I’m much happier.

    I’m glad I commented on this thread and people were willing to read and comment on what I’ve had to say.

  68. konnihall says

    sadunlap,
    Honestly, within the past 6 months I’ve read and studied the Bible more than I ever did in the first 38 years of my life put together. In addition to reading, I’ve been looking into the historical perspective of what was going on at the time that different books/letters were written. Like everything else I read, I take it with a grain of salt. Why did this person write this to these people at this time? I’d sat through hours of church services until I was 10, from the age of 16-19 and again from the age of 29-35 and I’d never, not once, ever heard a preacher or a Sunday school teacher talk about the Bible in the context of the times in which it was written. All I ever heard was…it says this, it’s the word of God, it’s true and it’s what you’re supposed to do. And of course, you could never do everything you were supposed to do because you’re not perfect.

    But since I changed churches and started actually studying and listening to a preacher that presents the text within the context of the times and talks about different translations and what this word or that word means or meant then, I have a better understanding.

  69. KG says

    konnihall@73,

    My #74 crossed with your #73, and evidently you don’t have a problem with being challenged on your beliefs. Good for you.

    I’ve told anyone who cares to listen to me that I voted against Amendment 2.

    Good for you again!

    I can’t explain these things.

    Since the NT is pretty much as morally problematic as the old (no questioning of slavery, reinforcement of patriarchy, antisemitism, Jesus condemning whole cities to some dreadful fate for not welcoming his disciples, condemning people to eternal torment for their beliefs (or indeed, at all), breaking up families, slighting his own mother…), and since as you say, it’s full of apparent contradictions, on what grounds can you accept it as a guide to how to live, either logically or ethically speaking?

    As far as evil goes, who understands it, truly?

    That’s a cop-out. From an atheist point of view, there is no philosophical problem of evil at all, although there are plenty of practical problems, concerning how to reduce it. Simply, neither the universe as a whole nor natural selection is capable of caring whether people and other sentient beings suffer; and it’s easily understood that animals capable of both suffering and causing suffering can be more likely to leave descendants than those that are not. But if you claim that a benevolent and omnipotent being created the world, you have a huge philosophical problem: why would such a being create a world in which there is suffering? There’s no remotely satisfactory answer to that.

    It seems to me, the more I learn, the more I study, the more questions I have. And that’s not just within the realm of religion but within many subjects: science, history, psychology, the list goes on and on.

    The difference being that in those other areas, there are systematic ways of discovering error and approximating to truth. In religion, there are none – instead, there are systematic ways of evading difficult questions, as you are doing.

    As far as creation and evolution, why can I not believe that God created evolution?

    The amount of suffering caused in the course of evolution means that belief in evolution is incompatible with belief in a benevolent creator, unless one also believes that the creator is utterly incompetent.

    If you take the religion out of any religious text (whether the Talmud, Qraan, Book of Mormon, Bible, Vedas, etc) and strictly look at the sentiment, all of them have good advice and examples of what happens when you do wrong to your fellow man.

    All of them also have plenty of bad advice, and injunctions to do harm to others (and particularly to women). All of them promote irrationality, patriarchy, hierarchy, unthinking acceptance of religious authority, and bigotry. In the only case among those you mention where we know much about the authorship – the Book of Mormon – we know that the whole thing is a complete fraud.

    In my opinion, FOR MY LIFE, God can speak to me through the Bible and guide my paths. For years I had fallen away from the church and I think there were times he spoke to me in other areas because I sure as heck wasn’t getting any messages from the Bible.

    If religion is such a positive influence, why is it that some of the least religious societies also seem to be among the happiest?

  70. tomh says

    Konnihall wrote:

    The people that put this on the ballot knew what they were doing…if it got on the general election ballot in November and there was high voter turnout, it probably would not have passed.

    Seriously? It passed with over 80% of the vote. If there was 23% turnout, that’s about half of what you can expect for the general election, there’s no way it would have been defeated.

    It was put on the primary ballot, rather than the general election ballot, by the Democratic governor, because he knew that if it were on the general election ballot it would bring out more conservative voters, just to vote for the amendment. While there, they would also vote for all the Republican candidates. Better to let them vote among themselves during the primary. It was going to pass no matter what.

  71. truthspeaker says

    konnihall
    17 August 2012 at 3:38 pm

    truthspeaker,
    That is true as well. The problem, at this point, is that, at least with the two organizations I mentioned, I don’t know of an organization that is a better fit (political party

    I can think of a political party whose policies are nearly identical to what the Republican party espoused 35 years ago…

  72. Cunning Pam says

    Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill voted “yes” on the amendment.

    Great. So in November, my choice for Senator is going to be Claire McCaskill or Todd Akin?

    In the immortal words of Daffy Duck: “Shoot me now! Shoot me now!”

  73. Rip Steakface says

    @29 ashleybell

    My high school band alone has two Bible-toters – and I’m in that relatively non-religious state of Washington.

  74. tomh says

    @ 86
    Her explanation for voting for the amendment was feeble, at best.

    “… the ballot summary explaining the amendment “seemed pretty straight-forward.” She noted that the summary didn’t refer to any of the disputed provisions.”

    “So since I didn’t think it really changed the current law, there would certainly be no reason vote against it. I’m all for prayer.”

    Apparently, all she knew about the amendment was from the ballot summary, which was indeed innocuous. Doesn’t give you a lot of confidence in her as a Senator, if she can’t be bothered to read a short bill like that before voting on it. But, as far as who to vote for, Akin is a right wing idealogue, anti-choice, anti-woman in general, who wants to outlaw the morning-after pill. McCaskill is at least pro-choice.

  75. says

    Fuckers. Maybe it’s time to just start taking revenge and pushing for laws that the koran needs to be taught in schools. I bet that’d get the christians all in favor of keeping religion out of the classroom. Maybe they’d get the point.

  76. says

    Cunning Pam said: Great. So in November, my choice for Senator is going to be Claire McCaskill or Todd Akin?

    In the immortal words of Daffy Duck: “Shoot me now! Shoot me now!”

    I hear you, but Claire has one thing going for her… She’s Pro-Choice, last I knew. Akin is not.

    sigh…. We’re screwed

  77. Gene says

    Just for general interest re: Christianity. I just finished reading “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All” by David Fitzgerald. His conclusion is this (spoiler alert!) — “The truth is inescapable: there simply could never have been a historical Jesus.”

    This is all good, scholarly research, from what I can tell. A very interesting read.

  78. says

    ashleybell:

    The denier answer can’t be accepted since what historical consensus is is what is being asked

    That will work, until we get people denying not only the historical consensus but also denying that it is the historical consensus.

    “You can’t ask me that question because claiming that it is the historical/scientific consensus is against my religious belief.”

    Or am I too cynical?

    Of course it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be tried but I doubt it will be that easy.

    Ogvorbis:

    Set theory, for one. For some reason which I cannot grok, some Christian fundamentalists get very upset over set theory.

    Didn’t you read the article about it linked here the other day? (also linked by Carlie in comment 34.)

    Basically they are afraid that when they say their god is infinite that we’re gonna ask “Ok, but what is the cardinality of your god’s infinity? Is it aleph-0, aleph-1…” which, now that I am aware of it, they certainly should be (well, those that meet me).

  79. paulburnett says

    So these will now be “legal” answers to Missouri school tests:

    2 + 2 = Jesus!

    Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? – Jesus!

    Reacting sodium and chlorine yields – Jesus!

  80. consciousness razor says

    I think that a lot of what is written in the Bible was put in terms that more primitive peoples could understand.

    You seem to be saying the Bible is The Inspired Word of God for Dummies™. Why wouldn’t a god create people who could understand what he/she/it actually wanted to say? If that isn’t possible, why communicate with them at all, especially if it’s obvious they’ll do lots of evil shit because of it? If he/she/it waited for billions of years for humans to evolve, why not wait a few more centuries or millennia (or even billions more years into the future) so the people would be less “primitive” and can understand whatever the fucking point of the Bible is supposed to be?

  81. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I’m reminded of a short story by Connie Willis (I think it was called Ado but alas I appear to have loaned the book to someone who I can’t remember and therefore can’t look it up.)

    Not only the religious groups but any objections could cause the removal of material from teaching. I think Hamlet went down to less than a few pages.

    I think it’s in the collection Impossible Things. She was apparently tried to extrapolate some of the PC stuff out to the illogical absurdity. Here’s hoping it doesn’t get quite that far.

  82. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    Didn’t you read the article about it linked here the other day? (also linked by Carlie in comment 34.)

    No, I did not read the article about it linked here the other day. I may have still been at a forest fire at the time. I did read Carlie’s link. I am so very sorry that I failed to read every comment on every post on this blog. It will happen again.

  83. says

    I started, and didn’t a finish a comment here yesterday. Halfway through I thought maybe it might be too strong in its sentiment of futility.

    I reread The Authoritarians last night, however. While reading, everything over these past few years that has added to my “what the fuck” factor with each new unchallenged bald faced lie, obfuscation, voter suppression tactic, power or break given to the wealthy, ruling merging corporations with the state, further degradation of the education system, blatant attempt at theocratic governance and on and on…

    All of it sort of fit together at once in a more cohesive way than previously. Rather than as a series of affronts to reason and democratic civilization, or groups of such. Unlike when each rings the alarm as they come one by one, pinging an uncomfortable part of the mind intuitively. But as a much wider, more intricate, more complete whole. In a way that maybe I haven’t really wanted to formulate.

    It crossed a certain line I’ve set up in my head when estimating future possibilities. It has moved passed an intuitively bad outlook. Passed the “I think” qualification stage.

    I am comfortable saying this thing is lost. Not necessarily this election. It is possible to keep the train moving toward hell at its current pace for a spell.

    But the RWA type has seized enough power, and are acting in such egregiously criminal/immoral/dishonest ways with so little accountability and pushback… have enough of the courts, enough of the government, enough of the populace… all of it supported by the most wealthy – again without accountability… all bolstered by the privilege and ingrained cultural respect of religious self-righteousness…

    It will pick up steam, soon. A judge here, a voter suppression there, public education stamped out enough everywhere, and major, major changes occur with nowhere near enough to challenge.

    It can only end in blood. Maybe 2 years, maybe 15, I don’t know. But I don’t see this thing turning around from its theocratic/plutocratic downward spiral without a lot of blood.

  84. jimmauch says

    The religious are so absolutely certain of the truth of their beliefs and are absolutly certain that nonbelievers are idiots for not also seeing the truth yet when you ask these same people to expose their beliefs to the light of real evidence and reason the are up in arms. By upholding their right to be willfully ignorant they are disrupting the educational process and making certain that others in the classroom are forced to endure that same privilege as well.

  85. left0ver1under says

    Here’s a suggestion: Start a campaign and have kids make outrageous “against my religion” claims. Those who are religious and recognize that the law is ridiculous could even take part:

    “I’m a believer in Last Tuesdayism. I refuse to study history because it doesn’t exist!”

    “The science teacher is claiming there are more than four elements! I refuse to take that creationist class!”

    “I’m Amish! I refuse to attend school beyond eighth grade.”

    “Hindu-Arabic numerals are anti-christian! I will only do math in Roman numerals!”

    Sometimes, ridicule is the best way to confront the ridiculous.

    Of course, the wingnuts would actually embrace some stupid ideas one could say (e.g. they think girls shouldn’t be educated), so you’d have to be careful.

  86. says

    Kentucky was mentioned in comment #67. Here’s more. This is an “uh-oh” story in that Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill that had unintended consequences. Students had to actually learn real science. Now the legislators are all in a dither.

    Kentucky’s Senate Republicans pushed successfully in 2009 to tie the state’s testing program to national education standards, but three years later, they’re questioning the results.

    Several GOP lawmakers questioned new proposed student standards and tests that delve deeply into biological evolution during a Monday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education.

    In an exchange with officials from ACT, the company that prepares Kentucky’s new state testing program, those lawmakers discussed whether evolution was a fact and whether the biblical account of creationism also should be taught in Kentucky classrooms.

    “I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution,” Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, said Tuesday in an interview.

    The new requirements — college-readiness testing, end-of-course exams and more national norms — are part of Senate Bill 1, a 2009 bill developed and pushed by Senate Republicans to marry Kentucky’s testing program to national standards for better comparisons of student success.

    “Republicans did want the end-of-course tests tied to national norms; now they’re upset because when ACT surveyed biology professors across the nation, they said students have to have a thorough knowledge of evolution to do well in college biology courses,” said Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, chairman of the House Education Committee….

    Link to full article at McClatchy.

  87. says

    Follow up to my comment @102 — a few choice quotes from Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, and from Representative Ben Wide, R-Madisonville:

    [Senator givens said]
    “I think we are very committed to being able to take Kentucky students and put them on a report card beside students across the nation. We’re simply saying to the ACT people we don’t want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students’ ability to do critical thinking.”

    [irony meters break around the globe]

    Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville said, “The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up. My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”

  88. alathea1 says

    Its not even the kids that are worrisome. Its the parents that will pull their kids out of various assignments, and use this law to do it. The kids won’t have to say anything or subject themselves to any ridicule. They’ll just channel their parents to do it for them.

  89. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    The kids won’t have to say anything or subject themselves to any ridicule.

    This is anecdote, not data. When, in Middle School, a note was sent home stating that next week we would be discussing evolution in our biology class, the five of us in the class who did not opt out of the lesson were the ones subjected to ridicule and abuse.

    In High School, they handled it much better. The teacher held up the biology text and said, “The state mandates that I cover evolution. In your textbook it is chapter one. I am a biologist and can tell you that there is not a shred of evidence anywhere that supports Darwin’s idiocy and that evolution is a lie meant to destroy Christianity. If you wish to endanger your soul and read chapter one, go ahead. I have now covered evolution and need not bother you with it again.” Of course, I (and about ten others) had read chapter one before the next class. Not once did it mention where humans fit in with evolution.

    So, in the rural school districts, those who do not opt out may be the ones getting abused and ridiculed.

  90. says

    A more hopeful quote from the controversy in Kentucky:

    Vincent Cassone, chairman of the University of Kentucky biology department, served on the committee that developed the standards.

    “The theory of evolution is the fundamental backbone of all biological research,” he said. “There is more evidence for evolution than there is for the theory of gravity, than the idea that things are made up of atoms, or Einstein’s theory of relativity. It is the finest scientific theory ever devised.”

  91. says

    No, I did not read the article about it linked here the other day. I may have still been at a forest fire at the time. I did read Carlie’s link. I am so very sorry that I failed to read every comment on every post on this blog. It will happen again.

    Carlie’s link was the article PZ linked to the other day that I was referring to.

    Thanks for the smackdown, I deserved it, and sorry for the stupid presumpteousness.

  92. says

    If you wish to endanger your soul and read chapter one, go ahead.

    This is similar to “Do not open door number one!” How can you resist opening door number one?

    Of course the whole idea of telling children and teens that something they read will “endanger your soul” is emotional blackmail — besides being untrue. Disgusting.

  93. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    Thanks for the smackdown, I deserved it, and sorry for the stupid presumpteousness.

    Sorry. I was aiming for sarcasm not a personal smackdown. Do not thank me for abusing another person. You did not deserve it. I wrote while pissed off at an idiot at work and should not have taken it out on you.

  94. says

    More on the depth of stupidity demonstrated by Kentucky legislators:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/08/kentucky-lawmakers-shocked-to-find-evolutoin-in-biology-tests/

    Excerpt:

    The legislators apparently asked ACT whether it could create a Kentucky-specific version of the test; one that, presumably, would be a sort of formal recognition of the state’s distaste for mainstream science. They were told, however, that doing so would be prohibitively expensive.

    Kentucky is hardly the only state that has issues with evolution, though. Both Louisiana and Tennessee have passed laws that specifically target the teaching of evolution. These state-level efforts, however, are now running up against national science standards that accurately depict evolution’s status as a well-supported scientific theory. Kentucky will certainly not be the last state where the conflict between local desires and national standards ends up creating problems.

  95. says

    News article from April, 2012 documenting Tennessee’s anti-science education bill:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/04/tennessee-governor-allows-bill-targeting-science-education-to-become-law/

    Excerpt:

    One approach to diluting science education was a series of bills that allowed schools to use supplementary materials in science classes; conveniently, the anti-evolution Discovery Institute published a supplementary text at about the same time.

    An alternate approach has appeared in a number of bills (again, all with nearly identical language) that would protect teachers who present the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, although the bills single out evolution, climate change, and a couple of topics that aren’t even theories. Again, the goal seems to be to use neutral language that will allow teachers to reiterate many of the spurious arguments against the widely accepted scientific understandings. Tennessee’s House and Senate had passed a bill that took precisely this approach.

    The state’s governor, saying the bill doesn’t “bring clarity,” has decided not to sign it. But he’s decided not to veto it either, which will allow it to become law.

  96. says

    Sorry. I was aiming for sarcasm not a personal smackdown. Do not thank me for abusing another person.

    Both are not mutually exclusive. I felt the sarcasm and did not feel abused at all. The way I phrased it came off as me criticising you for not spending your time in a way that I saw fit.
    I’m pretty sure it is not what I was trying to convey when I wrote it but as people around here say, intent is not magic, so I can take my metaphorical lumps and learn to try to phrase things better in the future, and having the person I was presumptuous toward take me down a peg or two by pointing out that they have a life beside reading pharyngula (and that I have no claim on how they spend it) was totally proper (which is what I meant by smackdown, not anything horrible).

    You did not deserve it.

    Yes I did, but I don’t mind disagreeing about that ;).

    I wrote while pissed off at an idiot at work and should not have taken it out on you.

    It allowed me to see how bad my wording was and it allowed you to vent some anger, apparently way more than I perceived as I did not feel you to be overly rash towards me, so I would say it’s a win-win situation.

  97. raven says

    I am a biologist and can tell you that there is not a shred of evidence anywhere that supports Darwin’s idiocy and that evolution is a lie meant to destroy Christianity. If you wish to endanger your soul and read chapter one, go ahead.

    I’m an atheist. I don’t have a soul.

    BTW, I read chapter 1 on evolution and nothing happened. The least they could do was have a demon pop up in a puff of smoke or something. Quite the disappointment. I also read the bible and was horrified by just how bad it was.

  98. Ogvorbis: faucibus desultor singulari says

    The faith is in how YOU bring up your children

    Then why are the right wing radical Christians trying to control the public school curriculum that is paid for by all taxpayers?

    META: It’s nice to have an actual godbot rather than an MRA.

  99. John Morales says

    PZ notes

    Missouri has just passed a law declaring that students can opt out of any part of the curriculum that they find objectionable to their faith, and we all know what that means: evolution and climate change are all now optional.

    sc_mess fails:

    Why are the so-called LEFT/RIGHT wing Atheists trying to control the school curriculum?

    (Clueless goddist is clueless)

  100. raven says

    troll:

    Why are the so-called LEFT/RIGHT wing Atheists trying to control the school curriculum?

    They aren’t.

    The people who control the school curriculum are called “normal people”. I’m sure you’ve never met one, but they are actually a majority of the USA. Fundies are only 25% of the US population and concentrated in backward places like Missouri and Mississippi.

    BTW, keep your Oogedy Boogedy death cult religion away from my kids and pets.

    If reality terrifies you, and it clearly does, send your kids to xian private schools for brainwashing and cognitive damaging or keep them home and pretend to homeschool them.

  101. raven says

    troll:

    The simple fact that even you as an aethiest can have a belief of some sort that can allow all atheists from doing any/none course at school.

    This is gibberish and makes no sense. You appear to have had a good xian education and are now a near illiterate.

    If you are an atheist and your child believes in GOD, WHAT DO YOU DO?

    That can happen. It isn’t common though. You just shrug your shoulders and deal with it any way you can. It’s their life to live, not yours.

    I can tell you what fundies do though. They sometimes disown their kids. Fundie religion has been splitting families up since 33 CE.

    Mostly it happens the other way around. About 2 million people leave US xianity every year. All of my parents generation were and are xians. Even I was for 40 or so years. All the kids are either apathetics, Nones, Pagans, or atheists. FWIW, no one cares in our family. We have better things to do than fight over imaginary Sky Fairies.

  102. raven says

    dumb troll:

    TO raven

    what is your alternative for the children being schooled?

    I already posted it. Try reading slower, and ask for help with the two and three syllable words. You really aren’t very literate.

    We could do what we’ve been doing for the last 100 years. Teach the kids what we know is real and true. I went to good public schools like millions of other kids and other than getting a few college and postgrad degrees, nothing happened.

    The enemy of your death cult perversion of xianity isn’t the schools, atheists, other xians, Moslems, science, or demons. It is reality.

    Reality doesn’t care one bit how many laws you pass, how isolated you keep your kids, or how much you abuse them and brainwash them.

    BTW, if your religion was true, you wouldn’t have to lie, brainwash and abuse your kids, and be terrified of the world.

  103. John Morales says

    sc_mess:

    This is why our world progrssively grows.

    Your world grows smaller every year, true, even as the irreligious grow more numerous at a growing pace.

    (Only tiny teensie gaps remain for whatever god goddists like you worship to squeeze into; no wonder you’re scared of having your children learning how science has filled the gaps!

    Once were dinosaurs, now are chickens)

  104. raven says

    You are absolutely right.I never brain-washed, lied, forced or used any influence on my children and they have a faith stronger than mine. I am proud of this. They decided for themselves.

    I don’t believe you. You are clearly terrified of the world and reality. Fundies always, always lie.

    If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be trying to destroy the public schools. Fear frequently results in hate, and fundie xiantiy is based on pure, raw hate.

    Science has not filled the gaps and if you think you know it all, please let me be the first one to tell you that there is so much more to learn.

    Science doesn’t know everything and never will. It’s a never ending process always discovering new and wonderful things.

    Religion is just a dead end. It got everything wrong at the beginning, killed anyone who pointed that out, and eventually no on cares any more.

    Science created our modern hi tech civlization and is responsible for US preeminence in the world. All xianity has done lately is try to destroy our society, sponsor xian terrorists and assassinate a few MD’s.

  105. consciousness razor says

    Seriously, lets do the alphabet backwards.

    Z, Y, X … Oh, my fault, you aren’t serious.

    Start at your beginning and figure out who is clueless?

    Well, we were born, most of us in a hospital. Or do we need to go back to the part with the stork?

    The simple fact that even you as an aethiest can have a belief of some sort that can allow all atheists from doing any/none course at school.

    This all looks like English, but what do you think you’re saying?

    Fortunately, most parents attempt to teach their children and many children attempt to teach themselves the right way. This is why our world progrssively grows.

    If neither the parents nor the children are teachers, then what role, if any, do you suppose teachers play in the way “our world progressively grows” (whatever that’s supposed to mean)?

    what is your alternative for the children being schooled?

    Why would we need an alternative? Children should get a good education, so the alternative would be something that shouldn’t happen.

    Science has not filled the gaps and if you think you know it all, please let me be the first one to tell you that there is so much more to learn.

    Your deity is a gap? Why would you worship a gap?

  106. carlie says

    God, the Republican party is jut a bunch of kids who never grew up, still screaming “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME LEARN IF I DON’T WANT TO!”

  107. consciousness razor says

    Why do you attack a person’s God when you actually know sherbert?

    There’s no god to attack, fuckwit. And I don’t see anyone here trying to attack an imaginary being, except you beating a bunch of strawmen.

  108. consciousness razor says

    It’s odd that you’re defending a law which could allow children to not learn stuff (or let their parents prevent them from learning), while at the same time reminding us all about how little we know and how much more there is to learn. Of course, I say “odd,” but really I mean fucking absurd.

  109. John Morales says

    sc_mess, again:

    What, exactly, does your particular god purportedly do?

    (Or: in what way is it any different to an imaginary friend?)

    And why is belief in this imaginary friend supposedly a good and lawful reason for children to avoid lessons in science?

  110. raven says

    Why do you attack a person’s God when you actually know sherbert?

    Say’s a lot. yea

    Because you are attempting to impose your Oogedy Boogedy god on the vast majority of us who don’t believe in him.

    Even most xians don’t hate science and aren’t afraid of school and knowledge. That is limited to a few weird cults based in backwards places of the USA like…Missouri.

    It’s a free country, you can believe in your Sky Monster god, fairies, Elves, Elvis, UFO aliens, Bigfoot, the Easter Bunny, whatever.

    You are also free to send your kids to xian schools or homeschool them if knowledge and education terrifies you and it clearly does.

    What you are not free to do is destroy the schools and educations of the kids of normal people.

  111. consciousness razor says

    To sc_mess:

    Gee, I wish I had your brain. You actually missed so many points, made ridiculous points (“If neither the parents nor the children are teachers”) cannot seriously be a comment from someone with half an IQ. Point being that both teach and learn, as all who grow up have to live with.

    And you my friend are the only one who knows about a gap.

    My life is simple. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

    Keep saying nothing, shithead. You represent creationism well. If you’ll just say something bigoted about a few groups — other than atheists, since you already have that covered — they might even give you a promotion.

  112. says

    Gee, I wish I had your brain. You actually missed so many points, made ridiculous points (“If neither the parents nor the children are teachers”) cannot seriously be a comment from someone with half an IQ. Point being that both teach and learn, as all who grow up have to live with.

    And you my friend are the only one who knows about a gap.

    Good lord you must have made your English teacher proud

  113. raven says

    troll:

    My life is simple.

    “The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.” – Carl Sagan:

    You live in demon haunted darkness.

    It’s simple and simple minded.

    Speaking of which, the near illiterate troll has just run out of thoughts and is now throwing out not very clever insults. This is boring.

  114. says

    I never brain-washed, lied, forced or used any influence on my children and they have a faith stronger than mine.

    You think you had no influence on your children, not even by example? You must have your charisma cranked way low.
    And you’re proud in your children’s abilities to maintain beliefs in the face of contrary evidence? You must positively beam when they wear buckets on their heads.
    “Yeah. That’s my kid!”

    If you think that this is it……I actually feel sorry for you.

    Yeah, pity us. All we have is a whole fucking universe. A universe that we allow to tell us about itself, rather than impose some ridiculously narrow, bronze-age narrative upon.
    So, on your journey of learning, how do you actually tell what is true and what is not? You have no means by which to test competing ideas.

  115. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Science has not filled the gaps and if you think you know it all, please let me be the first one to tell you that there is so much more to learn.

    Science has filled more gaps than any religion has. Name one thing we know because of religion.

    Actually know, not believe. Other that religious people are gullible that is.

    Now think of all the things science has exposed for us.

    Science is a reliable tool for reality.

    Religion is a reliable tool for fear and stories.

  116. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yes yes yes *waves away* if anyone needs me I’ll be enjoying nonchristian sex and blow.

    Obviously my nonchristian sex and blow invite was lost in the mail.

  117. says

    There is so much more to learn, so much more to do that having this conversation is ridiculous.

    Yes but there is more to see than can ever been seen more to do than can ever be done *sips tea*

  118. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Science, still not a person

    On the topic of “Science”, we are just scratching the surface.

    There is so much more to learn, so much more to do that having this conversation is ridiculous.

    Are you really so conceited that you believe you have all the answers.

    No, we don’t have all the answers, but we have more of them because of science.

    Religion has not provided us one reliable answer.

  119. txpiper says

    “Science has filled more gaps than any religion has. Name one thing we know because of religion.”

    If you asked about things we know because of religious people, you will have a long list.

  120. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If you asked about things we know because of religious people, you will have a long list.

    Was that what I asked?

    Hint: no

  121. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    #148

    By the same token, who gives a shit for your world, your vision?

    It is just simply CRAP!

    Crap to you, reality to… Well… Reality

  122. txpiper says

    “Was that what I asked?”

    No, but let me help you out here. You’ve equated science with atheism. Your thinking is screwed up.

    Name one thing that we know because of atheism.

  123. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    No, but let me help you out here. You’ve equated science with atheism. Your thinking is screwed up.

    You have a serious reading comprehension issue. Where did I do this?

  124. hotshoe says

    txpiper –
    Why do you hate your country so? Why do you want your children and grandchildren to to fall behind the Chinese, Japanese, English, German, French, etc, economies, which will be guided by students who received an accurate understanding of basic science (basic rationality, for that matter) ? Why do you want them be handicapped by ignorance and YEC lies ?

    Why do you allow your hatred for the science of evolution to trump your love of your family and country, when their future which will depend on valid basic education?

    Why do you deny the evidence that your very own god has placed upon the face of the earth to show you that the universe it created is old, very very old ? What part of you is broken such that you cannot be as honest as faithful Christians were two centuries ago when they recognized the evidence that our Earth is older than 6K years ?

    Don’t you realize that your god hates you for your sin of pride in that you think you know better than all the academies of the world ?

  125. John Morales says

    I see the sc_mess carefully avoids confronting the obvious question: “Why is belief in this imaginary friend supposedly a good and lawful reason for children to avoid lessons in science?”

    The obvious answer: because if they’re exposed to scientific theories that contradict their religious dogma, they might exercise their reason and intellectual honesty and thus drop the silly dogma.

    (Keep’em in the dark and feed’em shit!)

    [OT + meta]

    The txpiper is predictably tedious and basks in its incomprehension: obviously, science has no need whatsoever for theism, thus it imagines atheists imagine atheism is the same as science.

  126. hotshoe says

    “Was that what I asked?”

    No, but let me help you out here. You’ve equated science with atheism. Your thinking is screwed up.

    Name one thing that we know because of atheism.

    Naughty, naughty, txpiper. No changing the subject until YOU answer the question you were asked FIRST:

    Science has filled more gaps than any religion has. Name one thing we know because of religion

    P.S. Learn to blockquote, you rude pig.

  127. Amphiox says

    Name one thing that we know because of atheism.

    That there is no omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator god responsible for the creation of earth or the life upon it.

    And what do we know because of theism?

    *crickets*

    Thanks due to the texpip for once again demonstrating the utter bankruptcy of theist “thought”.

  128. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Name one thing that we know because of atheism.

    That belief in magical sky fairies at best is irrelevant to science and morality, and in general is to the detriment of both.

    (Bonus: that belief in magical imaginary friends doesn’t stop people from murdering, enslaving, torturing or persecuting other people — indeed, it demonstrably has historically motivated such behaviour)

  129. Amphiox says

    No, but let me help you out here. You’ve equated science with atheism. Your thinking is screwed up.

    You have a serious reading comprehension issue. Where did I do this?

    Not reading comprehension. Maybe with some other creo trolls, but not with the texpip, as it has already amply demonstrated many times before.

    Deliberate lies and intentional distortion of other people’s words.

    As usual.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Utterly pathetic.

  130. says

    There is so much more to learn, so much more to do that having this conversation is ridiculous.

    How can you claim to be “learning” when you can’t be arsed to test your beliefs? Doesn’t “learning” imply gaining dependable knowledge about how the universe works? How can your “knowledge” be dependable when no amount of evidence can be considered to have disproved it? How can you depend on something that never works?
    There’s a reason, you know, as to why religion keeps branching out into more and more faiths, denominations, and sects, all with ultimately incompatible beliefs–it has no way to test competing ideas. It rejects the very idea of testing ideas.

    Are you really so conceited that you believe you have all the answers.

    No, I’m not. That’s why I believe science is the best way to get answers. Answers we can depend on (which we do, every day).
    Science is the best approach because it, unlike faith, attempts to control for the various ways we can be fooled, and the ways we can fool ourselves. It removes the mistakes and the cognitive biases from the equation–starting with our tendencies to believe what we want to be true, to believe what we were taught as children, and to continue to believe the things we already believe. Scientific knowledge depends on consistent, reproducible results and confirming predictions that derive from hypotheses.
    You want conceit? Believing that you are communicating with God, the most powerful and wise intellect that could ever be, and that you are receiving deep and profound truths from this creature, is about as conceited and arrogant a position as one could hold. And believing that these truths are so indisputable that you don’t ever need to test them against anything going on outside of your own head–that’s conceited.

  131. Amphiox says

    If you asked about things we know because of religious people, you will have a long list.

    He didn’t.

    And texpip once again dishonestly evades the question whose answer he knows but is too much of a liar to admit.

    Simply pitiful.

  132. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Not reading comprehension. Maybe with some other creo trolls, but not with the texpip, as it has already amply demonstrated many times before.

    Yeah I know. I like watching the spiral.

  133. Amphiox says

    Are you really so conceited that you believe you have all the answers.

    And this is presented as an argument in favor of letting people refuse to learn things?

    Logic and internal consistency must be against sc_blarg’s religious beliefs.

  134. Amphiox says

    Yeah I know. I like watching the spiral.

    It just keeps going down and down and down.

    I suppose it IS evidence that there is something in this universe that really is infinite.

  135. says

    Name one thing that we know because of atheism.

    We don’t know things because we’re atheists–we’re atheists because we know things. And we know things because we’ve put our ideas to rigorous tests, repeatedly, and don’t depend on internal revelation, magic books, or self-proclaimed “authorities.”

  136. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Maths and Science are vital. Contarary to your opinion, they do not conflict with a person’s belief.

    Except when they do. Frequently.

    Pi anyone?

  137. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I repeat myself again that if any of you doubt that we are only scratching the surface and that there is much more to learn, disagree and show me I am wrong.

    If you doubt that science has taught us where religion hasn’t, show me I’m wrong.

    I’ve already told you we don’t know everything, but what we do do you can be guaranteed science almost certainly taught us.

  138. txpiper says

    “Why do you want your children and grandchildren to to fall behind…”

    If you think that state-sponsored fairy tales is the worst thing my kids and grandkids will have to deal with, you are severely out of touch.

  139. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If you think that state-sponsored fairy tales is the worst thing my kids and grandkids will have to deal with, you are severely out of touch

    Where in that did you get worst thing?

    Teaching bad science will cause your progeny, who already appear to be hindered, to be at a disadvantage along with all the kids being told the nonsense that is creationism.

  140. Amphiox says

    If you think that state-sponsored fairy tales is the worst thing my kids and grandkids will have to deal with, you are severely out of touch

    Yet another classic texpip distortion of someone else’s words.

    Though I will grant that it is undeniably true that having such a dishonest, mean-spirited, hateful, pathetic excuse for a human being as a father and grandfather is worse than having the state ensure that they get taught things that are understood to the best of existing human knowledge to be true.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Pitiful.

  141. Amphiox says

    I repeat myself again that if any of you doubt that we are only scratching the surface and that there is much more to learn, disagree and show me I am wrong.

    No one actually disagrees with that statement.

    We take issue with the deliberately dishonest bad-faith manner in which sc_barf has attempted to USE that fact to dissemble, distort, and distract from untenability of its own core positions.

  142. John Morales says

    sc_mess:

    To be bluntly polite, it has never been stated that anyone, least of all children, should not study Science.

    Well then, are you for or against this Missouri law that permits children to opt out of science classes because if they claim such “violate” their religious beliefs?

    (That is the specific topic of this post!)

  143. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yip, Science has taught us some of the things we know today.

    Some huh?

    What has religion taught us that we know?

    It is almost like a stuck record, it is not possible to be a Christian and believe in Maths and Science. Seriously? Who do you want to convince with that argument?

    Sorry it’s late, did I miss where someone said this?

  144. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    #192

    Non answer. Deflective.

    What has religion taught us about reality that we know to be true?

    Are you willing to stake your argument on these lessons as unique to your religion?

  145. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Me on the other hand have learnt many things […]

    Grammar ain’t one of those things, evidently.

    (Me Tarzan!)

  146. Amphiox says

    It is almost like a stuck record, it is not possible to be a Christian and believe in Maths and Science.

    Then, obviously, no Christian would ever need to use this Missouri law to avoid learning things in Science and Maths that conflict with his or her beliefs.

    And this law is useless.

    Useless, but consuming legislative time to write, debate, and pass. Using up paper resources to record. Eating up state budget money to enforce.

    So sc_blarf agrees that this Missouri law is a bad law and should be immediately repealed?

  147. txpiper says

    “your progeny, who already appear to be hindered, to be at a disadvantage along with all the kids being told the nonsense that is creationism.’

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches. And drive home the point that they only exist because of billions of random accidents. Make them feel very scientific, but don’t underemphasize that at the end of their inconsequential lives, there is no reckoning because the cosmos doesn’t recognize human constructs like right and wrong, normal and abnormal. Otherwise, they will might wind up in a support group trying to believe otherwise.

  148. Amphiox says

    Yip, Science has taught us some of the things we know today.

    Name ONE thing that we know for certain today that was NOT taught to us by science.

  149. Amphiox says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches

    The texpip lying and slander again.

    Pathetic.

    And drive home the point that they only exist because of billions of random accidents.

    Another lie.

    Pitiful.

    Make them feel very scientific, but don’t underemphasize that at the end of their inconsequential lives there is no reckoning because the cosmos doesn’t recognize human constructs like right and wrong, normal and abnormal.

    Naturalistic fallacy.

    Idiotic.

    Otherwise, they will might wind up in a support group trying to believe otherwise.

    This piece of inhuman indecency hardly warrants commentary, except to point out that this, too, is just another part of the texpip’s established pattern.

    Odious.

  150. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches. And drive home the point that they only exist because of billions of random accidents. Make them feel very scientific, but don’t underemphasize that at the end of their inconsequential lives, there is no reckoning because the cosmos doesn’t recognize human constructs like right and wrong, normal and abnormal. Otherwise, they will might wind up in a support group trying to believe otherwise.

    And you and yours are just so very special in the universe. In fact it was created for you despite everything we know saying differently. Such special snowflakes who’s survival is limited to such an infantesimal part of the universe it really isn’t, you know, special.

    Your strawmen and misunderstandings aside, you are very cute when you get offended.

  151. txpiper says

    “This piece of inhuman indecency hardly warrants commentary”

    Intellectual trousers all the way down.

    Amusing.

  152. John Morales says

    Looks like the bots have forgotten this is a topical (rather than an open) thread, so, to remind them I quote from PZ’s OP:

    I don’t know whether it’s by design or fortuitous incompetence, but creationists are masters of the fuzzy statement that opens the doors to all kinds of new opportunities for ignorance. Missouri, for instance, just passed a law giving themselves the freedom to pray (a freedom they already had, which is not in peril) and at the same time, just had to toss in this lovely and dangerous clause: no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.
    Raise your hand if you think you can spot the potential problem there.

    [OT]

    That noted, the txpiper faintly pipes thus:

    Well, [1] you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches. [2] And drive home the point that they only exist because of billions of random accidents. [3] Make them feel very scientific, but don’t underemphasize that at the end of their inconsequential lives, there is no reckoning because [4] the cosmos doesn’t recognize human constructs like right and wrong, normal and abnormal. [5] Otherwise, they will might wind up in a support group trying to believe otherwise.

    1. Acktually, that’s the Christian view-point, that they are worthless in the sight of Jawa (the Hut).

    2. As opposed to the Christian view, where they were poofed into existence so that a (very) few of them could spend eternity praising the Poofer, whilst the rest suffer unutterable torment forever.

    3. Projection there: atheists make their children feel like people who get to decide what to do with their lives, not like some possession of a spiteful, egoistic sky-monster who will either have to obsequiously praise it for eternity or suffer endless torment.

    4. Anthropomorphising the cosmos is of course magical thinking, the purview of irrational supernaturalists (and it ain’t Christian, but then almost all Christians are heretics to the tens of thousands of other Christians who follow a different sect).

    5. Actually, atheists have one less reason to suffer mental problems than theists, since they aren’t subject to an entire category of cognitive dissonance caused by the contrast between reality and their delusion.

  153. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You could ask a question to several people if they were robbed the same way by the same person and certain parts could fit a pattern. Because they are not exactly alike, does it make it unique? The bottom line is that they were all robbed.

    Equating your faith to being robbed?

    Fitting.

    You were robbed.

  154. Amphiox says

    Amusing.

    The texpip apparently thinks that making jokes about mentally ill and emotionally distressed children seeking support, and people expressing disapproval of such jokes, is amusing.

    Moral bankruptcy all the way down.

    Pathetic.

  155. says

    Yip, Science has taught us some of the things we know today.

    Please explain to the children how they came from nothing or a dot, which you can prove without a doubt.

    Danielhaven, is that you? Yip, yip, yip! WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON BESTIALITY?
    Sorry, having a bit of a flashback. Apologies if I’ve got the wrong guy, but you’re starting to sound awfully familiar.
    If you are the same person, welcome back. I’ve missed you. You’re an idiot.

  156. John Morales says

    sc_mess:

    P.S. John……Please explain to the children how they came from nothing or a dot, which you can prove without a doubt.

    You have it wrong, as usual — we come from billions of years’ worth of evolution, not from a magical sky fairy that poofed existence into being and breathed life into dust (or whatever other creation myth).

    I guess you’ve never read The Ancestor’s Tale.

    (Also, your epistemology is weak; there is no such thing as proving beyond doubt outside mathematics and logic (where the axioms and rules of inference are defined) — there is only warranted belief)

  157. Amphiox says

    Please explain to the children how they came from nothing or a dot, which you can prove without a doubt.

    4.4 billions of years of evolution over several billion if not trillions of generations is not “nothing”.

    And a zygote is not a dot, though it is about the size of one.

    And if you want proof without a doubt, for the zygote part, we actually have video of nearly the entire process from start to end.

    It is creationism that claims that we come from nothing, poofed into existence with a word.

  158. Amphiox says

    Although a recent study conflicts that neanderthals and homo sapiens mated.

    And that study has been debunked.

    http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/neandertals/neandertal_dna/neandertal-ancestry-iced-2012.html

    The actual revelation is that we will never agree

    That is because you are wrong, and we here do not compromise on intellectual honesty.

    but to have a free debate can do no harm (if allowed).

    “Free” debate is the polar opposite of what this Missouri law does. And the biosciences jobs Missouri will lose for not having a sufficiently qualified and educated workforce, and the additional resources higher education will have to spend to reteach Missouri students the basics they end up not getting earlier, will most certainly result in harm.

  159. John Morales says

    sc_mess:

    And unless you can study, test, demonsrate everything, you cannot unequivicolly accept anything that is said.
     
    With that, you have the beginning…….

    Such hypocrisy!

    Science is tested, religion is make-believe.

    Science begins from observations, religion begins from someone’s say-so and mythos.

    Science tests its hypotheses and develops theories, and then tests those theories while religion shies away from testing its claims.

    Science welcomes (nay, demands!) rigorous, replicable and testable evidence for its claims; religion just relies on wishful thinking and supposition.

    (Thus this Missouri law to spare religious children the trauma of learning science that conflicts with their particular religion)

    Obviously, time to repeat the topic of this thread:

    Here:

    I don’t know whether it’s by design or fortuitous incompetence, but creationists are masters of the fuzzy statement that opens the doors to all kinds of new opportunities for ignorance. Missouri, for instance, just passed a law giving themselves the freedom to pray (a freedom they already had, which is not in peril) and at the same time, just had to toss in this lovely and dangerous clause: no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.
    Raise your hand if you think you can spot the potential problem there.

    (So, for the third time: What, exactly, does your particular god purportedly do?)

  160. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Why is the sky blue?

    What causes lightning and thunder?

    What are the lights in the sky made of?

    Why do some lights in the sky move and others don’t?

    Where are the pillars that hold the sky-dome up?

    What keeps the planets in their orbits?

    How come rocks fall from the sky?

    Why does the Sun shine?

    What are rainbows?

    What makes volcanoes erupt?

    How come whales are mammals?

    What causes the Aurora?

    How can people talk to each other without perceptible delay when they’re thousands of miles apart?

    Why do people get sick with the plague?

    Why are there albinos?

    (etc. etc. et fucking cetera)

    (Religion says: shut up and stop asking silly questions — goddiddit)

  161. John Morales says

    [meta]

    sc_mess, you do realise that it’s science and not religion that determined that elements have isotopes (and why), you are most conspicuously avoiding my very, very basic question.

    For the fourth time: What, exactly, does your particular god purportedly do?

    I put it to you that you can ignore the imaginary-tyrant-in-the-sky concept altogether and nothing (but nothing) changes.

    (PS your cowardice is duly noted)

  162. John Morales says

    [OT]

    sc_mess, at least you admit it’s just your imaginary crutch to avoid confronting reality, much like a comfort blankie is to a child.

    (Your pride in your pointless pathetic neediness for your imaginary magical despot is laughable but tolerable; but that it impels others to write laws to allow children to be taught science isn’t.)

    PS you do realise that a singular entity being sexed is a ridiculous conceit, right?

    (Sex is a feature of reproducing entities, so as to mingle genes and adapt quicker than non-sexed reproducing entities)

  163. consciousness razor says

    On a personal level, my God brings a tranquility and peacefulness into my life.

    What does it do then? I don’t mean whether believing in a god makes you feel tranquil or peaceful. You’re supposed to be explaining what this god does (if anything), not what you do (which is believing in it and feeling tranquil because of that).

    On the other hand, maybe we should assume you are this god; then, at least, we would have evidence of it doing something.

    He is a shining light when darkness surrounds me and through all my hard times I have always felt his presence.

    This god emits light? Or is it radiation? Is god a metaphor?

  164. John Morales says

    [erratum]

    Huh. Obviously, @222, I miswrote. The correction is

    “allow children to be taught science”

    “allow children to not be taught science”.

  165. John Morales says

    sc_mdss:

    In explaining the peace and tranquility it is obvious that it is difficult for you to understand the difference when you try to do it by yourself (serious power of the mind) versus when you are graced by his presence.

    Ooooo… you forgot to capitalise the pronoun this time around.

    Tsk.

    (Again — why exactly does your god have a penis and testicles since it’s supposedly a singular entity?)

    I will say it again, I am proud to be a Christian.

    Your attempted defiance is most amusing, since you’re claiming to be proud of needing a psychological crutch with which to face reality.

    (That’s like being proud of needing a night-light in your room to appease your nyctophobic anxiety of the boogy-man)

    So, anyway, back to the topic at hand.

    What do you reckon is the reason religious people made a law that lets religious children opt out of science classes if they pose a challenge to their mythical beliefs?

  166. consciousness razor says

    It would be laughable except #223 poses questions that are pretty ludicrous.

    They were in response to your ludicrous claims. Which one of us do you think takes your bullshit seriously?

    Besides, is it ludicrous to ask what a god does, or did you just forget to answer that one?

    If there’s no evidence that it does anything, then there’s nothing to give us any reason to believe it exists. I’m not going to “go through the experience of accepting the Lord” until there’s a reason to think there’s something to accept. That is what any experience of acceptance is to me. I either would or would not have something to accept, which would or would not be acceptable for a reason.

    But you’ve got nothing. That also happens to be what you god is: nothing.

  167. John Morales says

    sc_mess:

    To get to the topic, is it only religious children that are allowed to opt out.

    What part of no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs is confusing to you?

    (My helpful emphasis)

    Still, that’s the letter of it, but of course the cartoon in the OP illustrates that no, any child can claim to be religious and qualify.

    And I would not agree with any reasonable parent stopping their child from learning Science.

    Well, that covers reasonable parents.

    (What about the rest? :)

    More to the point, do you agree with this law?)

    P.S. am I bad for the pronoun?

    Dunno, but you certainly are inconsistent, what with the apparently arbitrary capitalisation.

    (PS why exactly does your god have a penis and testicles since it’s supposedly a singular entity?)

  168. lexie says

    Daniel #227, from my reading of the situation it would apply to only religious children and it would be used to prevent such children from being taught things their religion disagrees with which would likely be used to exempt children from science classes when the topic being taught is evolution, age of earth or climate change.

    With regard to the pronoun I am just a bit confused by why you are capitalising it, as I don’t think that this is standard English grammar.

  169. alwayscurious says

    With so many debunked theories, it sort of gets you asking questions. A heck of a lot more than you can ask me about my faith. It does not detract from the true science, it simply puts things in perspective and how people can mis-manage information for their own cause.

    Yep, sure gets me thinking. When science is littered with so many wrong ideas, how much more utter waste there is in religious ideas?!? I mean really: recompile your knowledge base from first principles once in a while! Humanity has wasted gobs of time, energy & life in justifying/clarifying/interpreting what somebody once wrote/said/thought centuries ago simply because the source “can’t be wrong”. Science considers ideas rapidly, demanding evidence & immediately testing it; faith doth not consider ideas, but rather validates feelings. Science should NOT be shackled by such religious faiths that MIGHT approve of the scientific present sometime in the next century or two. (Women are people too. The Earth is NOT the center of the universe. Evolution explains biological diversity. Homosexuality is natural.)

  170. KG says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches. – txpiper

    You’re a shameless liar, txpiper. I understood that your religion tells you not to lie, but you lie in just about every comment you make here.

  171. lexie says

    Daniel #232. I just wanted to clarify do you disagree with religious parents exempting their children from studying certain topics in the Science classroom e.g. evolution or age of the earth if it disagrees with their religion? You have stated that you don’t think that responsible parents would exempt children from science classes but I just wanted to check that you don’t think they should be exempted from studying certain topics.

    Also what are you referring to when you talk about surprise gifts?

  172. John Morales says

    [OT]

    In my belief, my Lord is a he.

    For the third time: why exactly does your god have a penis and testicles since it’s supposedly a singular entity?

  173. KG says

    Maths and Science are vital. Contarary to your opinion, they do not conflict with a person’s belief. – sc_mess

    Another shameless liar. Science has shown that the earth and life are billions of years old, that all life is descended from a common ancestor, that all people are not descended from a single couple living at a time when there were no other human beings, and that there never was a global flood, to pick out four key scientific findings that conflict with the beliefs of many Christians. It has also shown that Israelites did not travel to the Americas in ancient times, as Mormons claim. It has shown that no bridge was ever built between India and Sri Lanka by the monkey god Hanuman, as many Hindus claim. It has shown that the Japanese are not descendants of the sun goddess Ameratsu as Shintoists believe. I could go on, but these are enough examples to demonstrate conclusively that you are a liar.

  174. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And unless you can study, test, demonsrate everything, you cannot unequivicolly accept anything that is said

    And tell me, how do you do any of the above with your faith?

  175. Gregory Greenwood says

    sc_e05c5f3250fcaae78a1ba67fa7a77a24 (formerly) @ 215;

    This commenter seems to have disappeared from the thread altogether, but before xe vanished into the ether, xe wrote;

    With so many debunked theories, it sort of gets you asking questions. A heck of a lot more than you can ask me about my faith. It does not detract from the true science, it simply puts things in perspective and how people can mis-manage information for their own cause.

    Other posters have already covered this, but it bears repeating; the scientific method is a self correcting process.

    A hypothesis is put forward for a phenomenon that conforms to our current understanding of the field in question. It is tested and, if it seems to be born out by the experimentation allowed by the level of technology available at the time, then it is tentatively viewed as a credible explanation, a position always subject to revision should new evidence be forthcoming. As the weight of evidence builds, the hypothesis may garner acceptance as a broadly recognised theory.

    As our understanding grows, and with it our capacity to perform ever more sophisticated forms of experiment, it is inevitable that some theories that seemed superficially to explain a phenomenon fairly completely will be found upon closer analysis to be incomplete, and so will be modified or replaced by a stronger theory that better reflects the newly available evidence.

    This is in no way a failure of the scientific method. The fact that all conclusions are tentative, and that science has no ‘sacred cows’ that are not open to reexamination in the light of new evidence, is its greatest strength. It makes the pursuit of the truth of reality possible by allowing us to take recognisance of new data and discoveries.

    Unlike the scientific method with its preparedness to always follow the evidence, religion trades in inflexible dogma. This wilfull rejection of reality is not strength, still less wisdom. It doesn’t demonstrate any direct line to a ‘higher truth’ – it is simply ignorance enshrined.

    Religion offers easy and, to some at least, comforting answers to complex questions. It assures the faithful that their physical mortality is merely an inconvenience to be rectified by an allegedly perfect and eternal afterlife, rather than representing the ultimate termination of one’s consciousness that all the evidence indicates.

    Religion promises the believer that an all powerfull entity – a magical being akin to an upgunned fairy, since no scientific explanation of its supposed powers is offered or, indeed, is possible – watches over them and provides them with a handbook that provides the answers to all moral quandaries. Though it is notable that these notionally ‘holy’ texts often don’t deal with modern problems, and also promote heinously bigoted attitudes to traditionally oppressed social groups while always promoting the unaccountable power of the patriachy. It is almost as though they are simply books written many centuries ago, and periodically updated, with the sole purpose of maintaining the power and status of the already privilged, with the clergy at the top of the pile…

    Whenever religion encounters a difficult question, it always defaults to the same answer – god did it. No gathering of evidence, no analysis, no tentative answer subject to revision in the light of new data. Just goddidit.

    Simple? Yes. Credible? No.

    It seems somewhat hupocritical to criticise science for all its ‘debunked theories’ while ignoring the fact that religion has been shown time and again – on literally thousands of occasions – to bear no relationship whatsoever to reality. And unlike the scientific method which incorporates new evidence and adapts theories accordingly; religion has refused to adapt to the new evidence, and has instead doubled down on its dogma and gone to war with reality itself, as may be seen from the denial of the hugely sucessful theory of evolution by many religious groups, and the doctrine of young earth creationism, that would be funny in its ridiculous claims if its adherents were not so hell bent on corrupting the educational system and forcing their benighted, delusional beliefs on the rest of society.

  176. raven says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches. – txpiper

    This is a lie.

    Xianity is far worse. Official doctrine:

    1. We are all flawed, evil creatures because of something a woman did with an apple long ago. Original sin. It’s not even our fault.

    2. We all deserve to go to hell and be tortured for eternity for our inferiority.

    Jesus attoned for our sins, so even though we don’t deserve it, a few us will go to heaven. The vast majority will still go to hell.

    As a bleak view of humanity, it can’t get much worse.

    PS Glad I bailed early. Just skimmed this thread and a few poster trolls have demonstrated just how igonrant, dishonest, and hate filled fundie xians are.

  177. txpiper says

    “4.4 billions of years of evolution over several billion if not trillions of generations is not “nothing”

    Well, you can’t always just throw time at the scenario. For instance, whale evolution is constrained by a limited to a period between Pakicetus (48-49 mya) and the time where whales (are believed) to have already diverged into toothed and baleen varieties, only some 14 million years* later.

    From there you have to temper that number down with the obvious limiting factors. Perhaps Pakicetus gave birth to litters at the time it was hanging around the water’s edge in frustration, waiting for DNA replication errors to grace it with marine adaptations. But the norm for whales became a single offspring. As time passed, gestation periods got a lot longer (well over a year form many modern whales). Age to sexual maturity increased significantly as well (about 10 years for Orcas).

    All this would have really slowed things down, but there are still lots more limitations. Replication enzymes make mutations very rare, but even assuming they got a good one, it would take many years for it to become fixed in the population. I suppose most scientists would insist that gene duplication would have to play a role. But since the process is random and undirected, making a player out of a spare gene could take millions of years.

    The standard obstacles have to be considered too. Since we are dealing with mammals, there are millions of candidate sperm or hundreds of thousands of eggs, so the chance of a rare mutant germ cell being involved in single-offspring reproduction is very low. And unfortunately, infant mortality would be a factor, especially if the victim was a mutant which had acquired one of the small steps on the way to a new feature.

    All things considered, 14 million years cut down to a realistic period, is not enough time to get from a land-adapted animal about the size of a dog to the divergence of whales into two distinctly different forms.

    You could put the problem into context by comparing the many examples of plants and animals that have not changed appreciably for tens (or even hundreds) of millions of years.

    ===

    *14 million years is my calculation from different sources. There are more compressed estimates, like this one:

    “Around 35 million years ago, when modern whales began to appear in the ocean, whale evolution ignited. Whales began as basically similar body types and evolved into everything from porpoises to blue whales over the next 5 million years, said study lead author Graham Slater of UCLA.

    “Five million years is like the blink of an eye,” Slater told LiveScience.”
    http://www.livescience.com/10672-whales-evolved-blink-eye.html

  178. Ogvorbis: faucibus desultor singulari says

    Hmm.

    txpiper, ever hear of punctuated equilibrium? Explains exactly what you claim is unexplainable.

    And, while we’re at it, do you have any actual evidence for the existence of any god? (I’m even making it easy and asking for evidence for any god, not just the psychopathic Abrahamic one.)

  179. Gregory Greenwood says

    txpiper @ 214;

    All things considered, 14 million years cut down to a realistic period, is not enough time to get from a land-adapted animal about the size of a dog to the divergence of whales into two distinctly different forms.

    Well, frankly, ‘all things considered’, evolutionary adaptation by natural processess over millions of years is still a damn sight more credible than ‘a magic fairy in the sky waved his wand and poofed whales into existence’.

    You claim flaws in evolutionary theory, but your alternative is so utterly ludicrous that the only reason anyone does more than laugh at it is because of the unearned privilege outmoded religious dogma is afforded by our society.

    You could put the problem into context by comparing the many examples of plants and animals that have not changed appreciably for tens (or even hundreds) of millions of years.

    You don’t understand the role of selection pressures at all. Evolutionary change is not some process that occurs at a fixed rate. Random mutations happen all the time, but they only propogate substantially through the population where they happen to confer a competative advantage. If a lifeform is already well adapted to its environment, and does not face any significant pressures within its evolutionary niche, then the selection pressures will likely be light, and a higher proportion of any possible mutations would prove deleterious to survival, rather than advantageous.

    This results in plants and animals that appear to remain largely physiologically static for significant evolutionary time periods, but should the status quo change – should the environmental factors, and thus the selection pressures, shift – then the greater selection pressures may lead to more rapid and noticeable change.

    Mutation is random. Selection pressures are not entirely so, and so you cannot point to examples of relatively static species to try to demonstrate that more rapid evolutionary chnage is somehow impossible.

  180. txpiper says

    “txpiper, ever hear of punctuated equilibrium?”

    Of course I have. Gould and Eldredge took science in a completely different direction, not by proposing an idea based on evidence, but to try and explain why there isn’t any. But if you think that’s what happened, you have to manage the factors I listed above, not just believe something asinine because it is the only option your worldview allows.

    ===

    “you cannot point to examples of relatively static species to try to demonstrate that more rapid evolutionary chnage is somehow impossible”

    Of course you can, and should, unless you have an explanation for why mutations and selection just lose their supposed irresistable authority. Or you could entertain the possibility that whale evolution is nonsense because the facts don’t support it.

  181. hotshoe says

    *14 million years is my calculation from different sources. There are more compressed estimates, like this one:

    “Around 35 million years ago, when modern whales began to appear in the ocean, whale evolution ignited. Whales began as basically similar body types and evolved into everything from porpoises to blue whales over the next 5 million years, said study lead author Graham Slater of UCLA.

    “Five million years is like the blink of an eye,” Slater told LiveScience.”
    http://www.livescience.com/10672-whales-evolved-blink-eye.html

    Txpiper, you are one dumb puppy. You’re quoting a scientist who just proved that whale evolution occurred faster than might have been expected – as somehow supporting your uneducated opinion that it couldn’t have possibly happened in 14 million years!? Bizarre, your lack of thought is just bizarre.

    By the way, Slater et al’s actual science paper is freely available Diversity versus disparity and the radiation of modern cetaceans; Graham J. Slater, Samantha A. Price, Francesco Santini and Michael E. Alfaro

    Interestingly, this is what Slater’s paper actually says about the evolutionary tine scale for cetaceans:

    3. Results

    (a) Time tree inference
    Our time tree (figure 1) is broadly congruent with other recently published studies of cetacean phylogeny (McGowen et al. 2009; Steeman et al. 2009). The split between hippopotamuses and cetaceans dates to 54.5 Ma (95% high posterior density, HPD: 54.1–55.1), and extant cetaceans (Neoceti) share a most recent common ancestor at 36.9 Ma (95% HPD: 34.4–39.9). Crown mysticetes originated at 28.8 Ma (95% HPD: 28–30.1). Crown odontocetes originated at 34.8 Ma (95% HPD: 30.9–38.7) and show a gradual pattern of lineage divergence. The sperm whales (Physeteroidea), beaked whales (Ziphiidae) and river dolphins (Platinistidae, Lipotidae, Iniidae and Pontoporidae) are old, originating prior to 20 Ma. The remaining odontocete families within the Delphinoidea are younger than 15 Myr old and the most speciose cetacean clade, Delphinidae, containing 36 of 84 species, is less than 10 Myr old.

    Why, oh creator, why, why did you create whales’ common ancestors 36.9 million years ago and then wait until 28.8 million years ago to create the ancestor of (filter feeder) Mysticete branch ? What were you waiting for, oh creator ? Did it really take you 6 million years just to come up with the concept of baleen ? Or was it 6 million years of tinkering to work out the unholy bugs in your concept ?

    Why, oh creator, why ?

  182. Gregory Greenwood says

    txpiper @ 218;

    Of course you can, and should, unless you have an explanation for why mutations and selection just lose their supposed irresistable authority. Or you could entertain the possibility that whale evolution is nonsense because the facts don’t support it.

    I already explained that @ 217; mutation is random, but it can only propagate through a population if the selection pressures are such that the mutation in question confers a competative advantage. Thus, where the selection pressures are light, the liklihood that a new mutation will confer a substantial advantage, rather than being neutral or actively deleterious to survival and the passing on of one’s genes, is low, and so species may change more slowly. This does not mean that evolutionary change can only occur at this slower rate in circumstances where selection pressures are greater.

    The evidence does support evolutionary theory, irrespective of your personal lack of comprehension of both evidence and theory.

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here’s a link to a paper on the power of natural selection. Which TXpiper, the confirmed liar, bullshitter, and egomanic, says with only his OPINION (which isn’t scientific), can’t do anything. Never mind science is only refuted by more science, which must be published in the peer reviewed scientific literature, and Tex’s OPINION is never, ever, supported by the evidence. As above, tex uses quotemining, which is creationist dishonesty all the way down, to pretend it is sciency. And in the process confirming it is a liar and bullshitter all the way down, without a shred of honesty and integrity.

  184. vaiyt says

    And I just watched a docummentary about Darwin yesterday… wow. Some of the arguments used by IDiots and creobots today, like the gaps in the fossil record, are the same used in Darwin’s first public debate. The IDiots have been saying the same tired bullshit for over 150 years.

  185. Ichthyic says

    Gould and Eldredge took science in a completely different direction, not by proposing an idea based on evidence, but to try and explain why there isn’t any.

    exactly wrong.

  186. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ichthyic about txpiper’s OPINION about evidence:

    exactly wrong.

    QFMFT.

  187. Amphiox says

    Well, you can’t always just throw time at the scenario. For instance, whale evolution is constrained by a limited to a period between Pakicetus (48-49 mya) and the time where whales (are believed) to have already diverged into toothed and baleen varieties, only some 14 million years* later.

    The texpip recycling another old line of lies, I see. The whole whale evolution strand has been previously discussed AT LENGTH with the liar on previous threads. But now we see texpip still recycling the same hackneyed arguments that have already been thorouhly refuted, and as usual, brings it up in a new thread while completely ignoring everything said in the old thread, as if it thinks a new thread is a carte blanche to recycle the same old lies all over again, in hopes of deceiving some new readers who weren’t familiar with the old threads.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Pathetic.

    But it is nice to see the texpip admit to 14 million years (or even 5), as that number alone refutes creationism, and only evolutionary theory is compatible with such numbers.

    I will repeat again that the fossils of Pakicetus and the later transitional whales can only exist where they were found if the theory of evolution were broadly true. And the paleontologists who found the fossils were able to find them only because they used the theory of evolution to predict where in the world to try to look for them. The very fact that the fossils were even found, and from them we could even calculate a number for the texpip to lie about is demonstration of the broad correctness of evolutionary theory.

    Kudos to the texpip for once again bringing to everyone’s attention evidence that supports evolution and completely refutes creationism.

  188. Ichthyic says

    as usual, I would add that in all the times the pipster has been shown wrong, whether by exact reference or simple logic, when he returns to post on a different day, it is as though none of that ever happened.

    this is a positive sign of an underlying mental issue.

    TXPIP: seek help.

    you need it.

  189. Amphiox says

    Of course you can, and should, unless you have an explanation for why mutations and selection just lose their supposed irresistable authority.

    Here we have an example of another one of the texpip’s tired recycled lies – the deliberate misuse of teleological language to misrepresent what the theory of evolution actually says.

    Not that this too hasn’t been pointed out to the texpip innumerable times on prior threads.

    But once again, it’s a new thread, so the texpip sees that as license to repeat all the same old lies again.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Pitiful.

  190. Amphiox says

    The IDiots have been saying the same tired bullshit for over 150 years.

    Of course. Their “theory” is useless, and cannot generate new knowledge, or even new questions to ask. 150 years from now, if they still exist, they’ll be using the same arguments. Their “theory” does not provide them with any way of producing new arguments.

    Evolution theory, on the other, simply continues to chug along, expanding our understanding of how life works and how it arose, leaving stagnant creo liars like the texpip choking in the dust.

  191. Amphiox says

    The Gould/Eldridge punctuated equilibrium lie is yet another one of the texpip’s falsehoods that has been brought up in previous threads, thoroughly corrected, only for the texpip to shamelessly bring up again in new threads.

    Utterly pathetic.

  192. Amphiox says

    And what evolution theory actually says about Pakicetus is that it isn’t the direct ancestor of whales, but a relative of it, sharing a common ancestor with it, and living after the split, so whale evolution from the LCA with Pakicetus and the baleen/toothed split isn’t constrained to the 14 million years anyways.

    And at the time of the baleen/toothed split, the whale lineage that actually did the split was not, as the texpip so dishonestly tries to imply, anything at all like modern baleen or toothed whales. Those early baleen whales still had teeth, for example, and most of the adaptions that would later “lead” to baleen (in human hindsight only) hadn’t even appeared yet, or existed only in rudimentary form.

    And the 5 to 15 million year window is also consistent with the amount of time other lineages needed to go from terrestrial/semi-amphibious to fully aquatic. It’s roughly the same amount of time that mosasaur evolution took, and ichthyosaur, and pliosaur, etc.

    5 million years also being roughly the amount of time it took for human morphology to arise as well.

    Plenty of time.

  193. raven says

    this is a positive sign of an underlying mental issue.

    TXPIP: seek help.

    I googled txpiper when he first showed up because there seemed to be some mental pieces missing.

    He’s been posting the exact same things for something like 15 years.

    After this length of time, there is no hope. Txpiper is a meat robot or Zombie, one of the living (brain)dead. It’s not worth the time.

  194. Gregory Greenwood says

    But… but… Amphiox – are you telling me that the creationist lied? Surely it cannot be so! What with their religious injunction not to bear false witness and all.

    If we make like txpiper, and ignore all evidence and prior precedent, then we can most assuredly demonstrate that no creationist has ever lied about anything, ever, because the history of the creationist movement is too short a time period for the mechanism of lying to have developed…

    ;-P

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And one thing that txpiper, the confirmed liar, bullshitter, creobot, and liberturd (sorry about the redundancy), has never done, is show conclusive physical evidence for its imaginary deity/creator. Not one burning bush or equivalent cited….almost like it knows and tacitly acknowledges it is a pathological liar…

  196. Ichthyic says

    Txpiper is a meat robot

    but like the robot that could reconstitute itself in Terminator 2, it just reassembles itself after being put through the meat grinder… over and over and over again.

    you have to kill it by immersing it in molten steel (aka: FIRE).

  197. Amphiox says

    If we make like txpiper, and ignore all evidence and prior precedent, then we can most assuredly demonstrate that no creationist has ever lied about anything, ever, because the history of the creationist movement is too short a time period for the mechanism of lying to have developed…

    Lying is such an irreducibly complex activity. One has to both know the truth and think up a falsehood counter to that truth at the same time. Knowledge of truth and ability to think both being so fantastically rare among creationists, to have them both appear, simultaneously, in the same individual, why that would be a truly miraculous coincidence.

  198. Amphiox says

    And one thing that txpiper, the confirmed liar, bullshitter, creobot, and liberturd (sorry about the redundancy), has never done, is show conclusive physical evidence for its imaginary deity/creator.

    It demands a mutation by mutation, selection event by selection event, generation by generation account of even the tiniest evolutionary change, down to the documentation of every single individual, or else evolution didn’t happen.

    But it assumes creationism without a single iota of evidence.

    The double standard does stand out.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lying is such an irreducibly complex activity. One has to both know the truth and think up a falsehood counter to that truth at the same time. Knowledge of truth and ability to think both being so fantastically rare among creationists, to have them both appear, simultaneously, in the same individual, why that would be a truly miraculous coincidence.

    *hands Amphiox chit for infinite grog, popcornz, and bacon sammich supply plus an internet*

  200. Ichthyic says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches

    I’m curious.

    How, exactly, does believing you are more significant than a cockroach to a non-existent 3rd party improve ones life?

    specifics please.

  201. Gregory Greenwood says

    Amphiox @ 236;

    Lying is such an irreducibly complex activity. One has to both know the truth and think up a falsehood counter to that truth at the same time. Knowledge of truth and ability to think both being so fantastically rare among creationists, to have them both appear, simultaneously, in the same individual, why that would be a truly miraculous coincidence.

    I believe this gold plated, irreducibly complex internet belongs to you…

    @ 237;

    It demands a mutation by mutation, selection event by selection event, generation by generation account of even the tiniest evolutionary change, down to the documentation of every single individual, or else evolution didn’t happen.

    Yup – txpiper responds to evolutionary theory with the equivalent of ‘pics or it didn’t happen’…

  202. Amphiox says

    For instance, whale evolution is constrained by a limited to a period between Pakicetus (48-49 mya) and the time where whales (are believed) to have already diverged into toothed and baleen varieties, only some 14 million years* later.

    And just for fun, I’ll point out here that this 14 million year window the texpip pretends to have such trouble with depends on the existence of the fossils, about 14 million years younger than Pakicetus that demonstrate the toothed/baleen split. Split, as in divergence from common ancestor, as in speciation, as in evolution.

    So yet more kudos to the texpip from bringing to attention yet more evidence demonstrating the truth of evolutionary theory!

  203. Anri says

    Ok, txpiper

    All things considered, 14 million years cut down to a realistic period, is not enough time to get from a land-adapted animal about the size of a dog to the divergence of whales into two distinctly different forms.

    How long would be long enough?

    Please show your work. Not with vague “a long time” bullshit like you did earlier, but with allele frequencies and fixation rates and so forth.
    Because right now, you’re just waving your arms around and going “WOW GUYZ THIS IS HAPPENING SO FAST!” and I think a decent number of researchers might look at you oddly and say “Yep, this happened pretty quick. Cool, isn’t it?” and go back to tracking gene flow variations.

    Also, to advance an alternate explanation, you need to actually explain it, please. What is the operating speed of the GodPoof method? Give your presumed method for GodPoof’s capacity to manipulate DNA, based on the fossil record and current DNA studies, if you would, please. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a general mechanism. Good questions would be such things as
    – “At what point during procreating does GodPoof alter DNA?” and
    – “What are the assumptive methods by which GodPoof causes populations to assume the new genome?” and
    – “Roughly what percentage of a population does GodPoof operate on for any given change?”

    You don’t have to answer these questions, of course, but you should, assuming you have a coherent theory, be able to suggest where we might begin to look for the answers.

    Either that, or you could just finally admit you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    (Or, of course, you could do what you actually will do, which is to ignore any questions that make you sound ignorant.)

  204. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Either that, or you could just finally admit you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Just following his comments recently should give you the answer to that.

    Take comments from the years of his activity and you’ll see this is something he is completely incapable of doing.

  205. KG says

    Of course you can, and should, unless you have an explanation for why mutations and selection just lose their supposed irresistable authority. – txpiper

    The point about selection, fuckwit, is that in some circumstances the current phenotype of a population will be more advantageous than any variant that can be produced by mutation, so selection will prevent the population undergoing marked change. In other circumstances – such as when a population is adapting to a new environment – phenotypes that can be produced by mutation from the current norm will have an advantage, and the population will undergo marked change. It’s really very simple, for anyone just a little less stupid and bigoted than you.

  206. Snoof says

    What does txpiper actually believe, anyway? Is xe the one who thinks species were created ‘frontloaded’, with genetic information already present so they could adapt as circumstances changed?

    Or was that someone else?

  207. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What txpiper believes is that that evolution shows his imaginary deity doesn’t need to exist, and is worthless if it did, and therefore evolution must be wrong. Otherwise, goddidit, and don’t question my imaginary deity.

  208. txpiper says

    “But it is nice to see the texpip admit to 14 million years (or even 5)”

    No, I didn’t admit anything. That’s why I included “(are believed) to have already diverged”.

    But there is still lots of confusion in the whale scenario. I think the original Pakicetus fragments were thought to be something like 13 million years older than the most recent ones. So there again, you have very little going on juxtaposed with a supposed burst of evolution.

    I can see why that the next thought for some would be punctuated equilibrium. But the problem with that is still the obstacles I listed that either slow down or interrupt the development. (I don’t think any of them are unreasonable, though they may be uncomfortable to think about). To acquire sonar or baleen requires lots of very small steps, all of which are hard to imagine as part of a completely accidental sequence which results in extremely complex specialties.

    The two types of whales are radically different. I read that even a blue whale has a throat that is quite small, so it is easy to see why baleen would be selected for. Whereas a sperm whale can swallow large marine animals, so ditto for the sonar to find them.

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For the lurkers. Another citation less post by txpiper, so his OPINION is *POOF* dismissed as unscientific fuckwittery. YOUR OPINION ISN’T AND NEVER WILL BE SCIENCE. SCIENCE IS ONLY REFUTED BY MORE SCIENCE FROM THE PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. You did nothing to refute the science, ergo the science stands. Somehow tex is too stupid and too arrogant to understand this simple concept. Shows dishonesty all the way down.

    TXpiper, where is the conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity/creator? No deity, no creation, logic 101. WHY AREN’T YOU PROVIDING THAT EVIDENCE? Your inability to do so makes it seem like you know it doesn’t exists, and that you know you lie and bullshit about its existence. Lurkers, pay attention to the dodging of this simple request for evidence. Further prima facie evidence of dishonesty all the way down. Tex couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it.

  210. says

    To acquire sonar or baleen requires lots of very small steps, all of which are hard to imagine as part of a completely accidental sequence which results in extremely complex specialties.

    Your lack of imagination doesn’t mean spit. Evolution is cleverer than you are.
    And something like sonar, which begins with traits that evolved because they gave other advantages (the ability to make sounds and hear them)would give an advantage at every step of the way. Each improvement in the ability to navigate by sound would give a slight advantage over competitors, every generation.
    This is hard for you?

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is hard for you?

    No, it is obstinately stupid and refuses to learn anything.

  212. Amphiox says

    I think the original Pakicetus fragments were thought to be something like 13 million years older than the most recent ones.

    Which simply suggests that Pakicetus as a clade existed for at least 13 million years, and pushes the potential date for the original divergence further back, making the scenario more likely.

    Thanks again to the texpip for providing yet more evidence in support of evolutionary theory.

    To acquire sonar or baleen requires lots of very small steps, all of which are hard to imagine

    As they are not hard to imagine at all for the actually paleontologists who study the evolution of whales, the texpip’s lack of imagination is not a problem for evolutionary theory.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    Also, the sonar issue has already been discussed in a prior thread, and once again the texpip is ignoring everything already presented to it in the past.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    as part of a completely accidental sequence which

    Still recycling the old mischaracterization of what evolutionary theory actually says lie.

    Utterly pathetic.

    results in extremely complex specialties.

    Any creator capable of designing such a thing would be even more extremely complex and harder to imagine.

    Kudos again to the texpip for demonstrating once more why evolutionary theory is superior to creationism as an explanatory mechanism.

    WHY OF MIGHTY MAKER, WHY?????

  213. Amphiox says

    All things considered, 14 million years cut down to a realistic period, is not enough time to get from a land-adapted animal about the size of a dog to the divergence of whales into two distinctly different forms.

    But some creator entity poofing it all into existence, fully formed, instantly, is somehow more plausible.

    HOW OH MIGHTY MAKER, HOW????

  214. Amphiox says

    I can see why that the next thought for some would be punctuated equilibrium.

    No, the texpip most certainly doesn’t “see”, as it has done nothing so far but lie about and misrepresent what the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium actually says.

    The texpip doesn’t “see” anything except for opportunities to distort and misrepresent in a pathetic attempt to make some semblance of a rhetorical point.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Utterly pathetic.

  215. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    To quote (or perhaps paraphrase) PZ: “Your ignorance…is not evidence.”

  216. Amphiox says

    And something like sonar, which begins with traits that evolved because they gave other advantages (the ability to make sounds and hear them)would give an advantage at every step of the way.

    The likelihood that the preadaptions for sonar, the ability to use ambient sound to localize objects, is probably primitive to all mammals (and the fact that human beings can learn to use sonar without any additional specializations or adaptions) has already been discussed in a prior thread infested by the texpip.

    Of course the texpip is once again ignoring all that in its attempt to deceive new readers in new threads, as usual.

    Transparently pitiful.

  217. Amphiox says

    But there is still lots of confusion in the whale scenario.

    Confusion is normal in science. It is a sign that the frontiers of knowledge are advancing, and the scientific theory (evolution in this case) is healthy and robust, generating new questions to ask and new avenues to research.

    Unlike creationism, which remains stagnant as a turd.

    Yet more kudos to the texpip for demonstrating how superior evolutionary theory is as an explanatory mechanism.

  218. Amphiox says

    But the problem with that is still the obstacles

    Nope. Not obstacles at all, except to dishonest liars with a rhetorical agenda, like the texpip.

    I listed that either slow down or interrupt the development.

    Which is why it took several million years to occur, instead of just a few thousand, or a few hundred million years.

    See, unlike creationism, which is useless, evolutionary theory can produce quantifiable and testable predictions. The rates of evolutionary change can be determined. And taking known mutation rates and maximal selection pressures, the amount of evolutionary change in whales would have only taken a few tens of thousands of years to achieve, except for the fact that there are indeed factors that interrupt and slow down the process. And the presence of these factors slows down the expected time frame into the millions of years.

    Exactly as evolutionary theory predicts.

    Creationism, on the other hands, has all those species being produced instantaneously.

    Which is precisely what the fossil record DOES NOT show.

    So, yet again, congrats to the texpip for demonstrating once more the superiority of evolutionary theory and the utter intellectual bankruptcy of creationism.

    The texpip is on a roll. With virtually every second word it utters it is strengthening the position of evolutionary theory and weakening the position of creationism.

  219. Anri says

    txpiper:

    I can see why that the next thought for some would be punctuated equilibrium. But the problem with that is still the obstacles I listed that either slow down or interrupt the development. (I don’t think any of them are unreasonable, though they may be uncomfortable to think about). To acquire sonar or baleen requires lots of very small steps, all of which are hard to imagine as part of a completely accidental sequence which results in extremely complex specialties.

    (emphasis added)

    You do understand, don’t you, that all of your posts here boil down to you saying, repeatedly, “Guys, I’m not smart enough to understand evolution so stop talking about it it makes my head hurt!”

    I’m sorry you don’t get this topic. I truly am. But I don’t get multidimensional calculus – that doesn’t mean I think it doesn’t exist.
    I recognize my limitations in understanding things that specialists use as basic tools every day. It’s time for you to come to that realization too.

    I’m sorry that you almost certainly won’t.

  220. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Personal incredulity is a feature not a bug from the creationist point of view.

  221. Nightjar says

    lots of very small steps, all of which are hard to imagine as part of a completely accidental sequence which results in extremely complex specialties.

    “Hard to imagine” isn’t an argument, txpiper. I’ll tell you the same thing I told you over on the I want skin… thread earlier today: you haven’t done the math. You haven’t even bothered to learn anything about the field where people who do that kind of math work. Stop whining and show your work.

  222. txpiper says

    “..you haven’t done the math. You haven’t even bothered to learn anything about the field where people who do that kind of math work. Stop whining and show your work.”

    The conclusions you accept were not reached from having done the math. Evolution was the establishment paradigm long before there was enough knowledge about molecular level stuff to even analyze the theory. I don’t think a point by point developmental outline showing how any particular bio-feature would be produced by random replication errors has ever been done. Not even for something like a cecal valve.

    Do you recall when I asked David how many mutations would be involved in whales going from no sonar to a complete integrated system? I do. “Zero”

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Another citation less post by txpiper, so his OPINION is *POOF* dismissed as unscientific fuckwittery. YOUR OPINION TXPIPER ISN’T AND NEVER WILL BE SCIENCE. SCIENCE IS ONLY REFUTED BY MORE SCIENCE FROM THE PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. You did nothing to refute the science, ergo the science stands. You lose and science (evolution) wins by forfiiet with every post you don’t provide citations.

    where is the conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity/creator? No deity, no creation, logic 101. WHY AREN’T YOU PROVIDING THAT EVIDENCE? Every post where you fail to provide said evidence you tacitly acknowledge EVOLUTION is the only SCIENCTIFIC theory, which means you lose and evolution wins with every post without said evidence.

  224. Nightjar says

    The conclusions you accept were not reached from having done the math.

    What conclusions?

    And you’re the one who is convinced there are aspects of the theory of evolution that can be falsified by pointing to specific examples you know of. That’s awesome, really. It also means you’re the one who has to demonstrate it.

    Seriously, if you’re just going to keep whining about how you cannot imagine it, I can just keep saying I can imagine it and the only thing that will show is that my imagination is better than yours.

    Evolution was the establishment paradigm long before there was enough knowledge about molecular level stuff to even analyze the theory.

    Yes, and?

    The important thing is that the theory was analysed and improved when the molecular data came in, right?

    I don’t think a point by point developmental outline showing how any particular bio-feature would be produced by random replication errors has ever been done.

    That’s right, txpiper.

    You don’t think and you don’t know. Anything.

    That’s exactly the problem.

    One word: Lenski.

    One link: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002397

    And yes, I know exactly what you’re going to say next. I suggest you take your disdain for the impressive evolutionary accomplishments of microscopic life and almost-life and shove it.

    Do you recall when I asked David how many mutations would be involved in whales going from no sonar to a complete integrated system? I do. “Zero”

    Liar. You said nothing about a “completely integrated system”, you asked about sonar, period. Sonar is emitting a sound and listening to its echo. You can learn how to do it. People learn how to do it.

  225. Anri says

    txpiper:

    The conclusions you accept were not reached from having done the math.

    True.
    It was accepted based on observing the current biome and fossil record.

    Evolution was the establishment paradigm long before there was enough knowledge about molecular level stuff to even analyze the theory.

    And, oddly enough, people who know what they’re talking about still accept it now that molecular analysis has been done.
    This allows us to, for example, look at two people’s DNA and determine if one is the parent of the other.
    That’s because we understand and can quantify descent with modification.
    This allows us to, for example, breed desirable traits into, and undesirable traits out of, agricultural products.
    That’s because we understand selection pressure.

    I don’t think a point by point developmental outline showing how any particular bio-feature would be produced by random replication errors has ever been done. Not even for something like a cecal valve.

    And exact mathematical models for weather systems have never been constructed either. Does that mean hurricanes are just god sneezing?

    You are stating that there are good, solid, provable mathematical reasons why evolution cannot work. When asked, you cannot demonstrate these reasons beyond “Well, it’s lots!“. Meanwhile, the folks on the our side just keep pointing at the the growing pile of evidence that aligns with the theory, allowing us to conduct experiments and make predictions.

    If you want to make all of that evidence become invalid you can – but you have to show your work in a rigorous manner. You’re the one making that claim, so it falls to you to demonstrate it. If you can demonstrate this, do so. If you can’t, admit you can’t and move on.

    Even you can understand this.

  226. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You are stating that there are good, solid, provable mathematical reasons why evolution cannot work.

    Compare this to the Schneider paper who shows mathematically why natural selection works. Poor creobots, science is just so mean to have real evidence refuting their bullshit.

  227. Nightjar says

    Even you can understand this.

    Sadly, txpiper really doesn’t seem to understand why the words “but I can’t imagine it!” aren’t enough to debunk the whole modern evolutionary synthesis and deep time, all in one go.

  228. Nightjar says

    I don’t think a point by point developmental outline showing how any particular bio-feature would be produced by random replication errors has ever been done.

    Um, it just occurred to me that I probably misread txpiper here. This time he’s not only asking for a mutation by mutation account of how something evolved. I think he is asking for that plus something like an assessment of the likelihood of those mutations happening? Spreading? Something?

  229. txpiper says

    “plus something like an assessment of the likelihood of those mutations happening?”

    No need for anything like that. Everybody knows that swarms of replication errors are always occurring to provide the raw material for a variety of natural selection modes to tinker with.

  230. Amphiox says

    The conclusions you accept were not reached from having done the math. Evolution was the establishment paradigm long before there was enough knowledge about molecular level stuff to even analyze the theory.

    FALSE. (Another texpip lie, surprise, surprise.)

    For the first half century or so after Darwin proposed his theory, it was NOT widely accepted. It generated wide interest but NOT acceptance. By the turn of the century, in fact, the consensus was that Darwin was wrong about natural selection and biologists of the time were busy trying to find alternative mechanisms for producing adaptions.

    But then people like Fisher started developing the mathematical tools necessary to analyze evolution quantifiably (inventing most of statistics in the process), and lo and behold, the results of the maths showed the viability of natural selection as a mechanism, and matched what was observed in nature.

    THAT was the watershed moment when evolution theory became widely accepted. When it became quantifiable. That was the beginning of the Modern Synthesis.

    (And that is why Darwin, the favorite whipping boy of liar creationists like the texpip, is actually only half (if half!) the story of modern evolution theory).

    But this too has already been discussed with the texpip in previous threads, and once again, ignored by the pitiful liar.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

  231. Amphiox says

    Everybody knows that swarms of replication errors are always occurring

    In humans, on average ONE HUNDRED NEW ONES in EVERY INDIVIDUAL BORN.

    Yes, everyone knows that, since everyone knows we have sequenced the human genome.

    Everyone, apparently, except for the texpip, who lies about it instead.

    Pitiful.

    to provide the raw material for a variety of natural selection modes to tinker with.

    Another example of another one of the texpip’s recycled dishonest rhetorical tricks, the abuse of teleological metaphor used literally in an attempt to mock.

    This too has been pointed out to the texpip many times before.

    This too is always ignored.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Utterly pathetic.

  232. Amphiox says

    Liar. You said nothing about a “completely integrated system”, you asked about sonar, period.

    Moving the goalposts.

    Standard texpip dishonest trick.

    Not even original to the texpip.

    Utterly pathetic.

  233. Amphiox says

    I don’t think a point by point developmental outline showing how any particular bio-feature would be produced by random replication errors has ever been done. Not even for something like a cecal valve.

    1. Evolutionary biologists are working on this as we speak. And when the day eventually comes that they succeed, will the texpip recant his opposition to evolutionary theory? No, the liar will not. The liar will just move the goalposts again.

    2. And no point by point developmental outline of how the omnipotent creator-entity poofed any particular bio-feature into existence has ever been done. Indeed no point by point description of the necessary features of the creator-entity has even been done. And are their creationists working on figuring out this problem? No. Because they can’t. Because CREATIONISM IS USELESS.

  234. txpiper says

    ”everyone knows that, since everyone knows we have sequenced the human genome.”

    Yes, and the unexpected results highlighted the complexity of the situation; Only 25,000 genes coding for 90,000 proteins. That’s an exponential complication, but it is dwarfed by other considerations:

    “an analysis of the full gene content and composition of these microbiomes (i.e. the metagenome) predicts that there may be more than 8 million unique microbial genes associated with the microbiomes across the human body of these healthy adults. When compared to the total number of human genes, this suggests that the genetic contribution of the microbiome to the human supraorganism may be many hundreds of times greater than the genetic contribution from the human genome.”
    http://www.genome.gov/27549400

    What kind of selection would be involved there? I’m thinking “Microbe-Appreciating” or something like that.

    ===

    “Evolutionary biologists are working on this as we speak.”

    I seriously doubt anyone is focused on such an enormous undertaking. Why should they when all they have to do is say that something evolved, arose or appeared? Who is gonna argue? You? I think not.

    ===

    “And when the day eventually comes that they succeed”

    Very impressive faith right there (but probably not as remarkable as believing in things like the chance formation of ribosome, or original genes). At least this would be a conscious, purposeful task.

    The really cool thing about your all-accidents-all-the-time rationale is that no matter how useful or complicated any given accidental result might be, it is always unrelated to function. It’s just a complex screw-up that happened to match circumstances, or was patient enough to wait around till there was something for it to do. There are no goalposts.

    ===

    ”will the texpip recant his opposition to evolutionary theory?”

    I don’t think I need to concern myself with their eminent success. But the first thing I would be interested in was what all was taken into consideration. The development of special features could never be about a single sequence of fortunate errors. Biosonar requires all kinds of peculiar, regulated systems http://neuronresearch.net/hearing/files/dolphinbiosonar.htm that would have to have “arisen” simultaneously. You guys want to play the game as if one really lucky person was bowling and the pins in all the other lanes always fell down too….billions of times….accidentally.

  235. KG says

    Biosonar requires all kinds of peculiar, regulated systems http://neuronresearch.net/hearing/files/dolphinbiosonar.htm that would have to have “arisen” simultaneously. – txpiper

    You keep coming out with this piffle in various forms, but it remains piffle. No, there is no reason whatsoever why all these systems would have had to evolve simultaneously. Even a very simple ability to detect reflected sound would be of use to a cetacean ancestor. Indeed, people have such a capability, being quite able to tell in complete darkness whether they are in a small or a large space. Blind people often develop this echolocation facility considerably beyond that – why do you think those who carry sticks tap with them, you halfwit?

  236. Amphiox says

    I seriously doubt anyone is focused on such an enormous undertaking. Why should they when all they have to do is say that something evolved, arose or appeared?

    Hahaha. The texpip thinks that it has to be ONE scientist, or even ONE team of scientists working on the ENTIRE question.

    Otherwise to the texpip it doesn’t count.

    Real funny.

    Every time a group of scientists work out ONE mutational step (and we see this happening all the time), that is one more step to add to the puzzle. And once having figured out that step, real scientists don’t just stop – they move on to working on the next step. And the rest of the scientific community will also go on to work on the other steps.

    Lenski’s team, incidentally, is currently working on figuring out exactly how their E. coli evolved the ability to metabolize citrate, and yes, they will eventually produce a mutation by mutation account, down to the specific generation the mutations appeared in, what sequence, how and how fast each mutation spread. Their experiment is set up to allow for this level of scrutiny. And since the texpip asked for any biologic feature this counts.

    Watch the dishonest liar move the goalposts again….

    Of course what a dishonest liar like the texpip doubts or does not doubt (and we can’t even be sure if it is honest in claiming to “doubt”) is irrelevant.

  237. Amphiox says

    The really cool thing about your all-accidents-all-the-time rationale is that no matter how useful or complicated any given accidental result might be, it is always unrelated to function.I t’s just a complex screw-up that happened to match circumstances,

    More deliberate distortions of what evolutionary theory actually says.

    Same old song and dance.

    Clearly, the texpip cannot evolve.

    Utterly pathetic.

    or was patient enough to wait around till there was something for it to do.

    Back to the deliberate abuse of teleological metaphor.

    Pitiful.

    There are no goalposts.

    There is one, survival. All others are assigned in hindsight, by humans, after the fact.

    But of course this too was previously discussed.

    And as we can see, on this too the texpip continues to lie.

    Pitifully pathetic.

  238. Amphiox says

    Why should they when all they have to do is say that something evolved, arose or appeared?

    Once more BEARING FALSE WITNESS against evolutionary scientists, since they don’t actually ever do this.

    What a hypocrite.

    Pathetic.

  239. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I seriously doubt anyone is focused on such an enormous undertaking.

    Given your past lies and bullshit, why should we believe your OPINION on anything. *POOF* dismissed as terminal fuckwittery.

    Very impressive faith right there

    Compare this to the faith that your imaginary creator really exists? Science will win, not your delusion. Your creator doesn’t exist until you can demonstrate it does with conclusive physical evidence. The evidence you pointedly don’t put out there, proving our point every time you don’t. evolution wins, creationism loses every time you don’t prove your deity exists.

    The really cool thing about your all-accidents-all-the-time rationale

    Compared to your “godditit” without a deity? Gee, you are the one with the evidence problem, and you know it, and demonstrate that by avoiding the issue. Science has the evidence that random mutation and natural selection works. You haven’t refuted that scientifically, or by your unscientific OPINION which *POOF, is dismissed as terminal fuckwittery.

    Still no evidence presented that your creator is anything other than a figment of your imagination. It must be right there next to thinking your OPINION refutes science. Long past time to put up or shut the fuck up.

  240. Amphiox says

    Yes, and the unexpected results highlighted the complexity of the situation; Only 25,000 genes coding for 90,000 proteins. That’s an exponential complication,

    No it isn’t. It actually makes it easier and less complicated. The effect of every mutation gets magnified since it can affect more than one protein.

    Given its supposed engineering background, the texpip should understand this. So I’m going with the lying hypothesis again.

  241. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I keep noticing one thing in txpip’s whole idiocy. He keeps concentrating on genes that manufacture proteins. Evolution just doesn’t occur there. It also occurs in the regulatory genes, and the bundling of genes. Never, ever, mentioned. But changes in regulatory genes will make physical changes to the life form much faster than small changes in proteins. And make natural selection work faster. Same for bundling of different genes together, so they work at the same time instead of independent of each other. But then, with limited imagination, I can see where creationists have trouble with this. It almost makes evolution a fact, not just a “theory”.

  242. Ogvorbis: faucibus desultor singulari says

    I keep noticing one thing in txpip’s whole idiocy.

    Hm. Hadn’t noticed that one. I’ve been hung up on the fact that txpip can toss out, in one phrase, something that is so mind-blowingly wrong that it takes a paragraph to point out why xe is an idiot and then, within an hour or two (or at the most, a day), xe is spouting exactly the same moronic argument again. What must it be like to live within a mind that is that thoroughly closed?

  243. Amphiox says

    It also occurs in the regulatory genes, and the bundling of genes. Never, ever, mentioned.

    We already tried to explain this to the texpip long ago. In fact, in complex metazoans, the vast majority of evolutionary change is produced by changes in regulation of pre-existing genes, not the generation of new genes.

    For example, the entirety of cetacean biosonar could probably be produced without resorting to a single new protein producing gene (not to say that it didn’t in reality, that will have to be determined by actually studying it). Changing the skull and head shape to produce a melon can be achieved just by tweaking differential embryonic growth rates. Click production just by tweaking pre-existing larynx development genes. The mammalian inner and middle ear is already there. Analysis in the brain is just a matter or reworking neural networks, which can even take advantage of pre-existing neural plasticity, and so forth.

    This too was explained to the texpip long ago.

    Naturally it has ignored all of it.

  244. Amphiox says

    In fact I suspect that the vast majority of “new” gene evolution, the generation of novel protein coding genes, probably occurred in prokaryotes, during the phase of earth’s history when they were the whole show.*

    With perhaps a pulse of new gene generation occurring at the very beginning of the eukaryotic endosymbiosis. And few more comparatively minor ones such as the double duplication event that occurred in the vertebrates.

    The vast majority of all subsequent eukaryotic evolution has been in the adjustment of gene regulation and expression.

    *In a typical prokaryote like E. coli, the mutation rates, population sizes and generation times are such that in the span of about 1 year, every single locus on the genome will mutate at least once somewhere in the population. And this is taking into account just point mutations. This means that after several years, every single possible mutation that can possibly occur in that genome will have happened, somewhere in that population, at least once. In prokaryotes, all possible mutations are cycling in and out of the population, with their persistence determined by the environment at the time of their appearances. A mutation that appears and dies out because it conveyed no advantage will reappear again within a few years, and gets “another shot” to spread in a possibly altered set of environmental selection pressure.

    Evolution in prokaryotes is not necessarily rate-limited by appearance of mutations at all.

  245. Anri says

    Rude as it may be to quote myself, txpiper, here it is again:

    If you want to make all of that evidence become invalid you can – but you have to show your work in a rigorous manner. You’re the one making that claim, so it falls to you to demonstrate it. If you can demonstrate this, do so. If you can’t, admit you can’t and move on.

    Which are you going to do?

  246. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Go, Anri, go. Nail.Meets.Head.

    So Txpiper, can you ever envision where you are wrong, and Science is right? That question separates an honest questioner looking for truth (science isn’t absolute, so a small tee) from an ideologue preaching TRUTH (absolute truth through their imaginary deity). I’m sure PZ is looking at the answer, and may hold you to it.

  247. dean says

    Yes, and the unexpected results highlighted the complexity of the situation; Only 25,000 genes coding for 90,000 proteins. That’s an exponential complication,

    txpiper seems to have come from one of the groups of people who count thusly: “1, 2, many”.

  248. David Marjanović says

    Well, you teach your kids to believe that they are just meaningless animals, no more significant than cockroaches.

    Huh? Such concepts as meaning and significance don’t even apply here.

    And drive home the point that they only exist because of billions of random accidents. Make them feel very scientific, but don’t underemphasize that at the end of their inconsequential lives, there is no reckoning because the cosmos doesn’t recognize human constructs like right and wrong, normal and abnormal.

    You’re skirting dangerously close to an argument from consequences. What if the world really does suck? Why couldn’t it really suck? Is that somehow impossible a priori?

    You’re also revealing your usual lack of imagination. That “right” and “wrong” don’t exist at the level of electric charge doesn’t mean they don’t exist at the level of society.

    That people don’t matter on the scale of the universe doesn’t mean they don’t matter to each other.

    Otherwise, they will might wind up in a support group trying to believe otherwise.

    …which still wouldn’t change whether the world sucks.

    Reality is that which does not go away when you stop believing in it.

    From there you have to temper that number down with the obvious limiting factors. Perhaps Pakicetus gave birth to litters at the time it was hanging around the water’s edge in frustration, waiting for DNA replication errors to grace it with marine adaptations.

    Tsss. Pakicetus was already a better swimmer than a chevrotain (look up what that is). You can tell by just looking at it (…closely).

    I suppose most scientists would insist that gene duplication would have to play a role.

    I don’t see why, in this case.



    All things considered, 14 million years cut down to a realistic period, is not enough time to get from a land-adapted animal about the size of a dog to the divergence of whales into two distinctly different forms.

    How can you possibly conclude such a thing, when you haven’t even tried to do the fucking math? You only say things like “very low”! You don’t put a single number into your “argumentation”!

    Have you no shame in front of yourself?

    You could put the problem into context by comparing the many examples of plants and animals that have not changed appreciably for tens (or even hundreds) of millions of years.

    Stabilizing selection imposed by largely stable environments.

    Also, exaggeration. Latimeria, today’s two species of coelacanth, is by no means identical to, say, Caridosuctor or Allenypterus or even just Mawsonia. Ginkgo is easy to tell apart from Ginkgoites. And even Lingula is distinguishable from Lingulella.

    (You have some googling to do.)

    “txpiper, ever hear of punctuated equilibrium?”

    Of course I have. Gould and Eldredge took science in a completely different direction, not by proposing an idea based on evidence, but to try and explain why there isn’t any.

    That’s what it looks like at first glance.

    It’s quite stupid to stop after the first glance… which you do a lot.

    Punk eek is just a random sequence of stabilizing selection and directional selection – of an environment that stays stable for a while and then changes. Based on what we know about long-term changes to climate, sea level, continental drift and so on and so forth, that’s exactly what we expect, and Gould & Eldredge simply pointed this out.

    Also, in some of the few cases where the fossil record is so good that we can actually watch evolution, we see punk eek, including the transitional forms that are usually lacking; in others, we see gradual changes, because the environment changed gradually as it is (in those cases) expected to. I’m sure I’ve shown the “speciation in the fossil record” paper to you several times before; google for it.

    I think the original Pakicetus fragments were thought to be something like 13 million years older than the most recent ones.

    Ah, I remember when you claimed that nonsense last time. It turned out that you had used a source that cited the age of Pakicetus as “middle Eocene” and then gave the entire fucking duration of the entire middle Eocene. I pointed this mistake out to you, and you… promptly forgot it, colander-for-brains.

    That Pakicetus is from the middle Eocene does not mean, or at all imply, that it appeared at the beginning of the middle Eocene and died out at its end.

    To acquire sonar or baleen requires lots of very small steps

    How do you know?

    We’ve been through explaining sonar to you several times. You can learn to use it. Enlarging the inner ear and tweaking the noise-making apparatus help, but they’re not necessary for forms of sonar that are good enough for many applications.

    Baleen is the same material as hair. Now look up Aetiocetus and gaze in wonderment; if you don’t have access to the paper in Systematic Biology, find me in Google Scholar, e-mail me, and I’ll download it and send it to you.

    The two types of whales are radically different.

    Quantify.

    And familiarize yourself with the fossil record.

    I read that even a blue whale has a throat that is quite small, so it is easy to see why baleen would be selected for.

    Actually, the other way around: baleen allowed the throat to shrink. Again, familiarize yourself with the fossil record.

    “Do you recall when I asked David how many mutations would be involved in whales going from no sonar to a complete integrated system? I do.” “Zero”

    Liar. You said nothing about a “completely integrated system”, you asked about sonar, period. Sonar is emitting a sound and listening to its echo. You can learn how to do it. People learn how to do it.

    Our system is already integrated enough for that. No more integration is necessary, and indeed no more has occurred, assuming I understand what – if anythingtxpiper even means by that word.

    Yes, whales and bats have modifications to their ears and their noise-making apparatus, and we lack those modifications; therefore they have better sonar than we do. But even ours is good enough for many applications. Better sonar provides selective advantages in the kinds of environment that whales and bats live in.

    Well, except for baleen whales and fruit bats. It’s not surprising, then, that they lack those modifications. At least in the case of fruit bats, they’ve lost them.

    For the first half century or so after Darwin proposed his theory, it was NOT widely accepted. It generated wide interest but NOT acceptance. By the turn of the century, in fact, the consensus was that Darwin was wrong about natural selection and biologists of the time were busy trying to find alternative mechanisms for producing adaptions.

    Yep. Most biologists were some kind of neo-Lamarckists in those days: creationism having become obviously untenable, they accepted a theory of evolution, but not one by mutation & selection.

    Yes, and the unexpected results highlighted the complexity of the situation; Only 25,000 genes coding for 90,000 proteins. That’s an exponential complication

    Oh dear. Somebody’s never heard of alternative splicing. Look it up!

    I seriously doubt anyone is focused on such an enormous undertaking. Why should they

    Because it’s interesting?

    (That’s a motivation you seem to lack entirely. But it’s the only reason to become a scientist.)

    Because thorough work is likely to result in a publication that will be cited a lot, making the authors’ careers easier?

    Because understanding it will help understanding all sorts of other things?

    Again you show your lack of imagination and knowledge. Work on them.

    Biosonar requires all kinds of peculiar, regulated systems http://neuronresearch.net/hearing/files/dolphinbiosonar.htm that would have to have “arisen” simultaneously.

    *eyeroll* Biosonar requires none of these. That’s why the site says “While it is believed that all members of Cetacea (whales and dolphins) have at least some echolocation capability, that of the bottlenose appears the most optimized” and “The phonic and aural systems of the bottlenose dolphin have evolved well beyond that of other chordates, including the bat”.

    The impressive things it goes on to list and explain are extra additions that make sonar more sophisticated, but they’re not required for sonar to exist at all, as you yourself can demonstrate by putting yourself in complete darkness and making noise.

    You always wear such thick glasses of wishful and anxious thinking when you read anything. Take them off at last!

    makes evolution a fact, not just a “theory”

    *sigh* Evolution is an observed fact. The theory of evolution explains this fact.

    With perhaps a pulse of new gene generation occurring at the very beginning of the eukaryotic endosymbiosis.

    As opposed to the endosymbionts simply bringing genes in?

  249. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Goldenheart, I really have trouble understanding what you are on about. And, I think, you do too.

    A long time ago, I—not a well-educated biologist—figured out something about how genes must work in the human body. It was just my mechanical-engineering guess at how it could best be done, based on what I knew about genes and about systems, and I assumed that biologist/geneticists already knew all about it. I didn’t have any real urge to study up in that field to find out, and I forgot all about it.

    About five minutes ago, I was reading something PZ wrote about how genes work, and I realized that he was saying that they work EXACTLY as I had figured out. There’s a lot more to it, I am sure, and the mechanisms must be interesting—and I am already guessing at them—but the bit I had figured out was good.

    So there is an example of a strong theory. Not mine, the theory about how genes work. When a goober like me use it and figure things out, in this case make a sort of prediction and have that prediction proved true, it is working well.

    The fact that genes exist is a fact. There is a strong theory about how they work, and it works well.

    The fact that evolution occurs/exists/is occurring is a fact. The theory about how it works is strong and working very well.

    I don’t know what you think is going on, but if you are trying to say evolution is wrong, and/or that the theories about evolution are wrong, you are wrong.

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    According to NORH, the peers must say so and then it is so, till they learn the next lesson. Those lessons will never end.

    Misrepresentation of what I said. You claim you have truth, but when pressed you can’t present any EVIDENCE for your claim other than your presuppositional belief the fallacious ideas of your deity and a mythical/fictional holy book being inerrant. Whereas science has and will always have EVIDENCE to back up what it claims. The fact that science isn’t locked in stone is one of its strengths. You mythical/fictional babble can’t change with the times and NEW EVIDENCE. Science can and does.

    Your proof and my proof are so far and yet so close.

    No, you don’t have “proof”. Proof is for alcohol and mathematicians, not science. Your holy book is not proof of anything, other than somebody wrote down a myth many years ago. That is what you miss. Science doesn’t, as it tried and failed to evidence the genesis myths. Which remain myths.

    There are far too many scientific questions and some have just been accepted through peer pressure and a want to prove.

    THis is an incoherant sentence. Science doesn’t prove. You don’t prove. You EVIDENCE your claims. There is no peer pressure for supporting evolution, and without a citation to EVIDENCE your fuckwitted assertion, it can and will be *POOF*, dismissed for the libel it is. There is a Nobel prize waiting for somebody who comes up with a better theory than the Theory of Evolution. But, it must be a SCIENTIFIC theory, not a RELIGIOUS IDEA. Creationism isn’t and never will be scientific, until it loses the presupposition that the babble is anything other than a book of mythology, and only looks at the EVIDENCE outside of the babble.

    Put your EGO’S on the back burner and take a long hard look at the timeline explained.

    Another incoherant sentence. What timeline, explained where, and how EVIDENCED? If from your babble, it is equal to the timeline of the Harry Potter books. Nothing but fiction.

    Science was there before you. Science was there before you studied it. And the Science you think you know would fit into something less than a mustard seed.

    More incoherence. No mustard seeds except for the delusional fools who don’t understand reality. They must BELIEVE in IMAGINARY THINGS.

    The lab, the peers, the few lies that attempt to lay claim.

    More incoherence without context. STill not making any sense, which requires context and EVIDENCE, not idiocy.

    Asking a simplistic question “How do you know?” is similar to asking a person who is colour-blind if the sky is blue. Converse, not just to yours but many others, how do you know?

    How do you know your deity isn’t imaginary, and you babble isn’t a book of mythology/fiction without EVIDENCE for either proposition? You don’t. Both are false. You haven’t shown otherwise except by making unevidenced claims, which can be *POOF* dismissed without evidence.

    You lose again, as you never touched the science. Science is only refuted by more science. Your belief in your phantasm does nothing to change that. And you can’t win without presenting scientific evidence to back up your claims. Which you never, ever produce. Why? There is nothing there in the scientific literature to support your incoherant claims.

  251. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of my questions was asnwered by one of your own, a question asked about radio-carbon dating was ignored and I have many scientific questions I ask myself and many to pose.

    You have no SCIENTIFIC questions to pose. You don’t understand science. You present no science.

    Banned troll (danielhaven) clean-up needed PZ.

  252. chigau (this space for rent) says

    alert message sent.
    (even though I have a soft spot in my blackened atheist heart for DH666)