Who’s divisive? »« Botanical Wednesday: It’s Hammer Time!

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  1. carlie says

    I still have to use Google sometimes to find original sources.

    I stumbled upon a good method of finding plagiarized answers to test questions once: instead of typing in the possible offending text, (which I had tried and somehow gotten nowhere) I finally just typed the entire question into Google. Bam. First result. Heh.

  2. carlie says

    Way back when the internet was shiny and new, the first thing I got involved with was a forum for women who were all due to give birth the same month. I’ve talked about that forum before here; it’s the one that underwent a hideous split after about a year and a half and dissolved in a spectacularly awful fashion. I don’t know if I mentioned that shortly before the split happened, we found out we had a faker. Someone had been impersonating a pregnant woman and then mother, with fake details of herself, the birth, the baby, etc. She just came on one day and posted that she had been participating all that time as part of a master’s thesis in sociology, studying this relatively new “forum” concept from the inside, and everything about her down to her name had been a lie. I can’t even describe how betrayed and creeped out we all felt (not to mention that I had no idea how she’d ever managed to get that “study” past an IRB).

    So honestly, anything short of that level of sham as an explanation would be a lot better than what I’m braced for. But in the meantime I’ve got a terrible icky feeling that is too familiar.

  3. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    broboxley: Maybe. On the subject of economics, I’m not even an amateur*, so I’ll defer to the judgement of others.

    *maybe “ignoramus” fits, here. I just think money is boring and have a difficult time learning things that are neither necessary or interesting for me.

  4. says

    SC, forgive me if the reason for your antipathy is well-known, but why are you glad to see Hallquist headed elsewhere?

    He posted agreeing with Thunderfoot during that fiasco and was happy to have at least that one thread – I think there were a couple – turn into a Slimepit outpost (plus Orac, acting like a fool). I did comment there arguing with his post, but I think he ignored me. He then did one of those amusingly sad “Welcome, new readers!” posts with links to his other material. I haven’t really paid attention to him otherwise, but I feared seeing some idiocy from him about Atheism+ in the sidebar here, so I’m glad that won’t happen and that he’s just no longer a presence here.

  5. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’ll weigh in as not needing an explanation. It’s a weird, shitty thing to do, but certainly no weirder or shittier than much of what takes place on the interwebs, and a hell of a lot more predictable and benign that what people do IRL. But YMMV. I don’t have much of a clue on anything that ‘Tis likes to write about (sailing, being in the navy, economics), so, like…fuck it. Whatevs.

    carlie#501…my wife caught a student who had posted all of a take-home exam’s questions on yahoo answers (or whatever that yahoo service is called). The answers were so incoherent and non-responsive that she decided to just google the questions.

  6. ChasCPeterson says

    I can’t imagine an explanation that would make me feel any better about it. I’d rather not read one that makes me feel worse.

  7. says

    Hallquist is leaving? Not even a bit sad to see him go. Hopefully he’s enough of a grown-up to forget we exist, but I’m totally expecting him to start bashing us pretty much immediately.

  8. says

    Oh, it was actually this post I had in mind – Grothe, not Thunderfoot.

    And if I remember correctly he’s also the one who got into a large argument about whether Plantinga (or was it William Lane Craig?) was really a believer, which in itself is of course fine, but from the bits I read he made some spectacularly bad arguments – for example, saying that the reason he knows he’s really a believer is that he knows him enough to judge based on experience and then very shortly after asserting that he’s also certain that the people involved in the Inquisition were all believers as well, I guess because being part of the Inquisition was evidence enough. Certainly not a reason to want him to leave (to put it mildly), but it annoyed me that anyone would make such a dumb claim.

    Or am I confusing him with another blogger?

    (If I am, I hope it’s not one I like. :))

  9. says

    I know Loftus said that Craig was both a fine human being and a skilled philosopher, along the time that Craig was saying that Biblical genocide was a good thing, and making terrible arguments along the way. I’m not a philosopher, I’ve actually got some contempt for philosophy as a professional “discipline,” and it is due to the fact that people like Plantinga and Craig can be well-respected philosophers and other philosophers will shrug their shoulders and say “well, they are clever and have books published” and think that excuses piss-poor arguments and in the case of Craig seriously warped ethics.

  10. consciousness razor says

    I’m not a philosopher, I’ve actually got some contempt for philosophy as a professional “discipline,” and it is due to the fact that people like Plantinga and Craig can be well-respected philosophers and other philosophers will shrug their shoulders and say “well, they are clever and have books published” and think that excuses piss-poor arguments and in the case of Craig seriously warped ethics.

    If most of your exposure to it has been with religious topics, it’s easy to get a distorted picture of what it’s like in general. But whatever you really think of it, you’re probably getting a biased sample. If I had to guess, I’d say most probably don’t respect Plantinga or Craig, or would shrug and say that sort of thing. I doubt most of them have even heard of Craig.

    Plantinga, they certainly have, but from what I’ve seen, they usually try to cordon off his theology (as utterly ridiculous) from the remaining scraps of the rest of his philosophy (as at least useful sometimes), which is fair enough. In his case, I’d bet being a professor rather than being published is what gives him the most leverage.

  11. says

    consciousness razor,

    More like… I’ve never really delved deeply into philosophy, but it feels sort of at best “not my bag” combined with “you needed a degree to come up with that?” and “yes, but how does that apply to the real world?” And then you add to it what I see from the “professionals” and it seems like gymnastics… I guess it is neat that you can do that, but let’s not pretend you’re really doing something, ok?

  12. strange gods before me ॐ says

    If you don’t mind reiterating sgbm or aratina, what first led you to suspect plagiarism? Was it inconsistency in method, style, or just that you had read exactly what ‘Tis had cribbed?

    The latter, in my case. About 100 years ago (internet time), I read Bob Black’s* The Libertarian as Conservative when I was deconverting from right-wing libertarianism.

    I noticed ‘Tis plagiarizing it — I think first in the Why are Texans so unpatriotic? thread — when the “more or-else orders … police … decade” line rang a bell for me. Then I started testing other his comments in Google and noticed the pattern.

    *NB: Bob Black writes some antifeminist shit.

    I’m trying to find the thread where I first asked him about it with Brownian being the only other person who seems to have noticed. No luck so far.

    Is it this one? The “‘Tis Himself, was comment #15 a blockquote fail?” question was from Brownian, and you replied to mention Falvey.

    and other philosophers will shrug their shoulders and say “well, they are clever and have books published” and think that excuses piss-poor arguments and in the case of Craig seriously warped ethics.

    Citation please.

  13. consciousness razor says

    I guess it is neat that you can do that, but let’s not pretend you’re really doing something, ok?

    Heh. Your feelings and vague impressions of it are pretty much irrelevant to what I was responding to, but okay. Let’s make sure you don’t pretend you’re “really” doing something when you do a bit philosophy either. That’s a deal?

  14. says

    sgbf,

    If I tell you that I don’t have a citation, will you mercilessly stalk me for the next year or three?

    I’m not sure if there’s an archive of Loftus’s blog when he was posting here, but he defended Craig both personally and professionally and I’m paraphrasing but part of the professional defense was “I think he’s completely wrong, but he’s created some really clever arguments, so he’s a good philosopher”. I actually DID have a list of links/citations for my position, on a hard drive that is currently in a wicker box in the living room that I’m hoarding on the off-chance I’ll get bored and try to salvage something from.

  15. says

    consciousness razor,

    Heh. Your feelings and vague impressions of it are pretty much irrelevant to what I was responding to, but okay. Let’s make sure you don’t pretend you’re “really” doing something when you do a bit philosophy either. That’s a deal?

    Only as soon as I start writing 50,000 word essays defending a point that can be stated in a paragraph. Deal?

  16. Aratina Cage says

    @SGBM:

    Is it this one? The “‘Tis Himself, was comment #15 a blockquote fail?” question was from Brownian, and you replied to mention Falvey.

    Yep! :) That’s the one, and no wonder I couldn’t find it since the comments on that thread have not yet been restored at National Geographic. It’s been almost three years I see. Notice how ‘Tis doesn’t return to that thread after our comments, his last comment being #131 and Brownian’s question being #136 and mine #139, all within an hour and a half of his comment. He ran from that thread just like he is running from the Thunderdome now and from the Lounge and the other threads where he is questioned about this habit of his.

    No explanation is fine with me, but at least let’s have an acknowledgement, ‘Tis.

  17. strange gods before me ॐ says

    If I tell you that I don’t have a citation, will you mercilessly stalk me for the next year or three?

    Is this a bad joke, or have you really bought into a bullshit narrative about me? I don’t stalk anyone.

    I’m not sure if there’s an archive of Loftus’s blog when he was posting here, but he defended Craig both personally and professionally and I’m paraphrasing but part of the professional defense was “I think he’s completely wrong, but he’s created some really clever arguments, so he’s a good philosopher”.

    So, Loftus maybe. Not highly regarded around here anyway. And not “philosophers” generally.

    Only as soon as I start writing 50,000 word essays defending a point that can be stated in a paragraph. Deal?

    You want to cite that either? You’re blowing smoke, man. It’s not to your credit.

  18. consciousness razor says

    I’m not sure if there’s an archive of Loftus’s blog when he was posting here, but he defended Craig both personally and professionally and I’m paraphrasing but part of the professional defense was “I think he’s completely wrong, but he’s created some really clever arguments, so he’s a good philosopher”.

    That’s just Loftus. That’s not “other philosophers,” many philosophers, most philosophers, all philosophers, or philosophy as a professional discipline.

    Only as soon as I start writing 50,000 word essays defending a point that can be stated in a paragraph. Deal?

    That sounds like doing a lot, rather than not “really doing something.”

  19. says

    Why are people so defensive about philosophers? If your answer is to make mention that whenever someone is thinking, they are doing philosophy, or you can point to someone applying philosophy isn a real-world way to the benefit of real human beings, I don’t know what to say because that’s not what I’m talking about.

  20. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Why are people so defensive about philosophers?

    Wrong question.

    Someone is wrong on the internet, and that someone is you.

    Right question: Why are people so bothered by false and idiotic claims?

    If [...] you can point to someone applying philosophy isn a real-world way to the benefit of real human beings, I don’t know what to say because that’s not what I’m talking about.

    Well shit, Joe, you might have said from the beginning “I don’t like bad philosophers” instead of the silliness you’ve been saying.

  21. Brownian says

    That’s the one, and no wonder I couldn’t find it since the comments on that thread have not yet been restored at National Geographic.

    I’m glad someone found it. I’d completely forgotten that thread (and looking back on it, I can’t remember how I’d figured out that it was lifted, but I can hazard a guess that I’d simply cut ‘n’ pasted a sentence or two into Google to find more information and found a lot more than I’d bargained for.)

    This whole thing, including ‘Tis refusal to deal with it, is really frustrating.

  22. Aratina Cage says

    Also, I hadn’t seen this before:

    Hounding! By pointing out that he plagiarized Stiglitz and Welker, I am hounding him! I am the bad guy! For “waving around” the fact that he plagiarized, right in the thread where he plagiarized.

    That is unfortunately a common reaction to speaking up about plagiarism. I think it works similarly to the use of the word “racist” et al. The person uttering it is the True Problem™, not the person doing the thing that the word describes.

  23. says

    That sounds like doing a lot, rather than not “really doing something.”

    If it takes me three weeks to do something that needed three minutes, that really doing a whole shit-ton of padding, which is a really fancy way of doing three weeks minus three minutes of nothing.

  24. Brownian says

    Hmm. How did I fail to follow your link from yesterday’s comment, SG?

    In case it’s not obvious, my question “‘Tis Himself, was comment #15 a blockquote fail?” was me giving ‘Tis every possible benefit of the doubt, which I obviously can no longer do.

  25. strange gods before me ॐ says

    How do you tell a good philosopher from a bad one?

    I read them and see if they’re wrong.

  26. Brownian says

    How do you tell a good philosopher from a bad one?

    Aside from obvious bruises, blemishes, or bad smells, good philosophers will give a bright, high ‘tink’ when you rap them with your knuckles. If they give a ‘thunk’, they’re probably still edible (stew them well), but if the sound is more of dull ‘thud’, into the compost they go.

  27. says

    I read them and see if they’re wrong.

    a) Are you a professional philosopher?

    b) How do you judge “wrong”?

    c) If they are wrong enough to be classified as a bad philosopher, how did they get to be a philosopher at all? Or at least one of enough prominence that a layperson would run across their work?

  28. Aratina Cage says

    Huh. I thought you could tell apart the good philosophers from the bad by how Bright they were.

  29. strange gods before me ॐ says

    a) Are you a professional philosopher?

    No.

    b) How do you judge “wrong”?

    Jesus Christ. What kind of question is this? I use logic and empiricism, of course. The same way any sensible person judges whether any statement is probably true or false.

    c) If they are wrong enough to be classified as a bad philosopher, how did they get to be a philosopher at all? Or at least one of enough prominence that a layperson would run across their work?

    That’s going to depend on the individual in question, obviously.

  30. ChasCPeterson says

    How do you tell a good philosopher from a bad one?

    Various criteria apply. For example, the ones who write 50,000-word essays to say something Joe-on-the-internet could say in a paragraph? Bad ones.
    No, actually, straw ones.

  31. says

    Huh. I thought you could tell apart the good philosophers from the bad by how Bright they were.

    Well, I see that Loftus, Fincke, and Hallquist were all invited to FtB and lots of people have had issues with both their conclusions and the reasoning they’ve used to reach those conclusions, on top of folks like Craig and Plantinga being taken seriously. So, it seems like it is actually sort of tough to pick a winner?

  32. says

    Jesus Christ. What kind of question is this? I use logic and empiricism, of course. The same way any sensible person judges whether any statement is probably true or false.

    You’re getting pissed off like I’m asking a stupid question, but I’m not. It isn’t a stupid question because I’m pretty fucking sure that professional philosophers are ALSO convinced that they are also using logic and empiricism. Do you not see the problem?

  33. Brownian says

    It isn’t a stupid question because I’m pretty fucking sure that professional philosophers are ALSO convinced that they are also using logic and empiricism.

    Who isn’t?

  34. says

    Brownian,

    That’s sort of my whole point. Everyone is sure that they are using logic and reason. Philosophers are supposed to be actually trained to do it. There seems to be a number of philosophers who have careers at it who also seem to often fail miserably at it. I think that’s an issue.

  35. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You’re getting pissed off

    I’m not. This is just Thunderdome. I’m getting exasperated because you’re saying stupid shit, and here in this thread I’m allowed to say it’s stupid shit. All of Pharyngula was this way, once upon a time…

    like I’m asking a stupid question, but I’m not.

    Yeah, you are.

    It isn’t a stupid question because I’m pretty fucking sure that professional philosophers are ALSO convinced that they are also using logic and empiricism. Do you not see the problem?

    No, because you haven’t stated the problem you think you’ve stated.

    Some people are right and some people are wrong. Or rather, some people are more right and some people are more wrong. These is facts. If some people who are wrong don’t know that they’re wrong, that has no bearing on the fact that other people are right.

  36. consciousness razor says

    Why are people so defensive about philosophers?

    Because I think some of it’s valuable, and because some people have some grudge against this bizarre parody of philosophy that only exists in their minds. Don’t conflate theology with philosophy. It simply makes no fucking sense to do that. You can blame religions and apologists for distorting things if you like, but there’s no need for the collateral damage.

    And then there’s this other idea that if you’re not doing science, you’re wasting your time. You better believe a lot of fucking people are going to being defensive about that shit, not just philosophers when that sort of “criticism” gets leveled at them, even if it’s just due to sloppy thinking and isn’t meant that way.

  37. says

    ChasCPeterson,

    I don’t know how much of a straw philosopher that is, when Dan Fincke at one point seemed to be promising a series of essays potentially totalling 20-30 thousand words+ to justify his moderation policy, or the fact that WLC has written an entire book justifying a really simple and really lousy argument for the existence of his genocidal god.

  38. Brownian says

    Philosophers are supposed to be actually trained to do it.

    So are many other academics. What does that say about them?

  39. Brownian says

    Me too. But how do you tell which is which?

    How do you tell which biologists* are valuable vs. others?

    *Insert any field whatsoever into here.

  40. says

    Brownian,

    That’s a great point. Let’s look at economics. There are various schools of economics, and they call for contradictory actions to create the same outcomes. Some of those ideas have been shown to be empirically wrong and yet those ideas have not be universally rejected and are apparently still taught as though they are a valid option. And yes, that also means that there are schools of economics that are empirically justified.

    But, if there are wrong ideas that are still accepted, and any moderately-informed person can tell the difference between good and bad ideas, what does that say about the discipline as a whole? Doesn’t it say something?

  41. consciousness razor says

    Philosophers are supposed to be actually trained to do it.

    Professional musicians are supposed to actually be good at music.
    Celine Dion is a professional musician.
    Therefore, professional musicians are no better than non-musicians at being good at music.

    Yeah, uh, so everybody: How about those professional musicians? What the hell is wrong with them, am I right?

  42. consciousness razor says

    I should’ve said “non-professionals” rather than “non-musicians” but fuck it. We all know what a True™ musician is. Know what I mean? *wink-wink nudge-nudge*

  43. ChasCPeterson says

    In grad school I played in a band with a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, great piano player. I took a few courses in college (Plato-to-Descartes, Spinoza-to-Kant, Existentialism, something called Philosophy of the Counterculture) and knew it wasn’t my bag, but I tried to pick my piano-playing friend’s brain whenever I got the chance; he was a cool guy and our wives became friends. We talked about all kinds of mind-numbing bullshit. Anyway, one thing he said I remember was “One way to think of philosophy is as working at the intersection betwen reality and language.”
    I still think that’s interesting.

  44. Brownian says

    But, if there are wrong ideas that are still accepted, and any moderately-informed person can tell the difference between good and bad ideas, what does that say about the discipline as a whole? Doesn’t it say something?

    Yes, it says that some fields of study are more subjective than others.

    My first degree is in anthropology. Unfortunately, some units of study don’t fit into petri dishes.

  45. says

    How do you tell which biologists* are valuable vs. others?

    *Insert any field whatsoever into here.

    Can you insert ANY field in there? Because I can tell when a plumber is doing the job correctly if my plumbing works and I don’t get overcharged for the labor and parts. I can tell if a mechanic is doing their job correctly. There are ways to track the performance of doctors and biologists and physicists, although those are probably beyond the realm of the average layperson in a lot of cases.

  46. LicoriceAllsort says

    Apologies for barging in, but I wanted to put this petition on the Horde’s radar. TW for references to sexual abuse.

    Pennsylvania is preparing to execute Terrance “Terry” Williams, a man who suffered years of physical and sexual abuse by older males, eventually killing two of his abusers while in his teens.

    Mr. Williams, known to his friends and family as “Terry,” is on death row for a crime he committed three and one-half months after his 18th birthday. On that tragic day, Terry and another teenager killed a man. As the sentencing jury heard, Terry also committed another killing five months earlier at the age of 17. What the jury did not hear was that both of the men had sexually abused Terry, and both crimes directly related to Terry’s history of sexual abuse by older males, which began when he was six years old.

    Terry’s execution date is set for Oct 3, 2012. Please consider signing the petition and passing it along to others.

  47. Brownian says

    Because I can tell when a plumber is doing the job correctly if my plumbing works and I don’t get overcharged for the labor and parts. I can tell if a mechanic is doing their job correctly.

    There are multiple solutions to most problems. How can you tell if you’ve been overcharged for labour and parts?

    There are ways to track the performance of doctors and biologists and physicists, although those are probably beyond the realm of the average layperson in a lot of cases.

    I know something about medicine, particularly oncology. Are you sure of this?

  48. says

    consciousness razor, you’re misinterpreting my point. I blame myself for not presenting a formal paper to you on the subject… :)

    No, seriously I do accept that I have been less than clear. Your analogy with music would work better if you replaced “professional musician” with “professional music instructor.” And while musical taste is subjective, there’s actually a way to judge if a musician is playing a piece of music as written, or if they are screwing it up.

    If you want to say that philosophy is an art rather than a discipline, or even as much art as discipline, I can accept that.

  49. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I don’t know how much of a straw philosopher that is, when Dan Fincke at one point seemed to be promising a series of essays potentially totalling 20-30 thousand words+ to justify his moderation policy,

    To justify, not to state. He could have stated it outright very succinctly. It was quite a bit more work to attempt to justify all his arguments for why it should be such. If you think that’s trivial, go restate all his arguments as briefly as you can — not your arguments for a moderation policy you’d prefer, but his arguments for his own policy — keeping in mind that many of his arguments were in response to specific counterarguments from earlier threads.

    or the fact that WLC has written an entire book justifying a really simple and really lousy argument for the existence of his genocidal god.

    Theology again. Doesn’t help your case much.

    But, if there are wrong ideas that are still accepted, and any moderately-informed person can tell the difference between good and bad ideas, what does that say about the discipline as a whole? Doesn’t it say something?

    Consider biology. By your reasoning, the fact that both David Sloan Wilson and PZ Myers are professional biologists is a problem for the discipline of biology as a whole, because they can’t both be right.

    +++++
    Are you aware of any good philosophers, Joe?

  50. consciousness razor says

    Anyway, one thing he said I remember was “One way to think of philosophy is as working at the intersection betwen reality and language.”
    I still think that’s interesting.

    Yeah, that’s not too shabby. It deals in concepts. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the words and concepts we make up just naturally or automatically “carve up nature at its joints,” but they don’t. So people have to pick them apart and put them back together in different ways, just to see what works as a concept and what doesn’t. That’s the kind of work it’s doing a lot of the time, but I don’t feel like writing 50,000 words on it right now, since many others already have.

  51. says

    Are you aware of any good philosophers, Joe?

    I don’t know if I can answer that question in the context of this conversation. I am aware of philosophers that I agree with, and people who are “doing philosophy” that I agree with.

  52. consciousness razor says

    If you want to say that philosophy is an art rather than a discipline, or even as much art as discipline, I can accept that.

    No. It’s an art in the way science is, but that’s not what I wanted to say about it. I don’t understand the distinction between “an art” and “a discipline” that you’re making.

  53. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I am aware of philosophers that I agree with, and people who are “doing philosophy” that I agree with.

    And why do you agree with them?

  54. Ichthyic says

    By your reasoning, the fact that both David Sloan Wilson and PZ Myers are professional biologists

    Sloan Wilson is not a biologist any more.

    he pretends to be one, but really all he does is recycle bad assumptions into mathematical models.

  55. Ichthyic says

    …I do understand your point. Just had to toss that out there, given I’ve met the man and listened directly to his latest spiel about group selection and the evolution of religion.

    he’s gone down the rabbit hole of self-confirmation bias.

  56. Ichthyic says

    I don’t know if I can answer that question in the context of this conversation. I am aware of philosophers that I agree with, and people who are “doing philosophy” that I agree with.

    now that’s interesting.

    Joe decides if a philosopher is good based on whether they agree with them or not?

  57. Brownian says

    he’s gone down the rabbit hole of self-confirmation bias.

    So have I, but I’m still really good at giving the impression that I’m open to the possibility that I could be wr—

    Sorry, my fingers slipped.

    I’m open to the possibility that I could be wro—w-r-o—

    Uh, there’s something up with this keyboard.

    Let me try something else.

    I’m open to the possibility that I could be incorre—incorrrrrrr—myknowledgecouldbeincomplete.

  58. says

    … last post for the night on this subject. Can everyone limit themselves to one last short post at most, so that I can reasonably answer your criticisms tomorrow? I don’t mind the discussion, and I’m pretty sure I’m chianging my mind on at least some of my position, but if you dogpile while I’m doing other things I’m going to be overwhelmed.

  59. Brownian says

    Joe decides if a philosopher is good based on whether they agree with them or not?

    No, my interpretation is that he’s saying that he can tell whether or not he agrees with a philosopher, but that he’s not capable of telling whether or not that particular philosopher is any good.

  60. Brownian says

    Joe, don’t worry about me. I’m happy to lurk this one, so don’t feel you have to respond to my comments. I think others are far more capable of discussing this issue than I.

    Have a good night.

  61. hotshoe says

    Joe decides if a philosopher is good based on whether they agree with them or not?

    No, my interpretation is that he’s saying that he can tell whether or not he agrees with a philosopher, but that he’s not capable of telling whether or not that particular philosopher is any good.

    Exactly.

  62. broboxley OT says

    #26 improbable Joe

    How do you tell a good philosopher from a bad one?

    the one who doesnt fall into your normative of the narrative is the bad philosopher

    SGBM will call you on stuff and ask for citations if you posit a point but only if it seems like your point needs to be addressed.

  63. says

    Hmph. Philosophy. I have conflicted feelings about the discipline, because while a lot of the potential subject matter seems interesting and important, and while some people who are philosophers write some very interesting things, there’s also a hell of a lot of rubbish, including a fair percentage of the stuff by the “big names”. Descartes beginning from “I think, therefore I am,” and proceeding to “prove” the omni* triune deity of the Catholic Church is one that particularly annoyed me when I first read his stuff many years ago. By the end I found myself wondering why anyone took him seriously ever at all, and he’s by no means the only one I’ve had this kind of experience with.

    One big problem I’ve seen in a lot of the philosophy I’ve encountered is the use of very vague and subjective words (often Randomly Capitalized, like capitalization makes them somehow more important or fundamental) which make it easy to equivocate and bamboozle the reader. Religious philosophers seem to be some of the worst abusers of this — I’m thinking particularly of stuff like making a big ol’ mucky wallow out of the idea of “perfection” in order to “prove” the necessary existence of a particular deity-concept. Many modern secular philosophers seem to have learned to be more careful about this kind of thing, but I still see it cropping up occasionally, and a lot of older works are almost unreadable because of it.

    Another problem I’ve encountered is incessant citation of Big Name So-And-So’s position on a particular issue, as if the fact that So-And-So the Great said something means that that thing is established as true for all time and no one is ever permitted to question it. Being in the physical sciences, I understand the importance of giving proper credit to the originator of a particular idea, and of summarizing evidence for brevity, but it’s rare when I read physical science literature that I get the impression that somebody’s trying to impress me into silence with the Name of their source. There are definitely philosophers who are citing more in a physical science way, just saying, “So-And-So is generally considered to be the originator of the argument that ,” but there’s also a fair bit of stuff that’s more along the lines of, “So-And-So proved , so I’m going to build everything else on this basis without even giving much of a pointer to a justification [and if one is so bold as to seek out the justification one will discover that it's complete nonsense],” especially once religion starts coming into it. I’d like to think that philosophy has mostly come out of the era of the arguments from authority and antiquity, but it in my experience there’s still a certain amount of backsliding.

    The third thing that bugs me about a lot of philosophy is that so much of it seems to be so backward-looking. Philosophers from hundreds of years ago are still cited as important authorities, and it’s considered a key part of education in philosophy to read their actual original works, no matter how obscurantist their language or how lousy their argumentation. It’s not clear to me why it’s important to read all this old crap to have a good grounding in philosophy. I didn’t have to read the original works of Galileo to learn how to use his ideas, and, in fact, if I were to try to do physics in the style of Galileo, cite his works extensively in scientific publications, and declare myself a “Galilean”, I’d be laughed out of science. Galileo was an interesting dude, to be sure, and I respect what he accomplished, but studying his works directly is considered to be in the realm of history of science, not science (no disrespect intended to history of science — it’s also neat and valuable, it’s just not the same as science).

    So why are (for example) Nietzsche’s rather unreadable (IMO) works still essential texts in a philosophy education rather than being replaced by something more updated and streamlined? Why are all these old d00ds still being cited on a regular basis, rather than gathering dust in a back room like Galileo is? I can’t help wondering if these things hold on not so much because they’re still relevant to the field in and of themselves, but more because philosophers are inculcated with a ridiculously strong strain of respect for ivory-tower-polishing, rather than being taught that the point of doing philosophy is to make new contributions to our understanding of the world and to the development of humane and practical ethical systems.

    So, I dunno. My experience of philosophy has been that I’m drawn to a lot of the subject matter, but repulsed by a lot of the actual written works that I’ve encountered. I do know that there’s good stuff out there, and I’ve even read some of it, so I always try to go into any given reading with a positive attitude, but I’ve been disappointed with readings in philosophy far more often than with readings in the sciences. So it’s easy to conclude that it’s mostly a waste of time to try to sort the wheat from the chaff.

  64. says

    Whoops, forgot to escape my angle braces. Those sentences in my second paragraph should read:

    “So-And-So is generally considered to be the originator of the argument that <explanation and brief justification of argument>,”

    and:

    “So-And-So proved <bald statement>, so I’m going to build everything else on this basis without even giving much of a pointer to a justification [and if one is so bold as to seek out the justification one will discover that it's complete nonsense],”

  65. broboxley OT says

    #71 Anne C. Hanna

    Religious philosophers seem to be some of the worst abusers of this — I’m thinking particularly of stuff like making a big ol’ mucky wallow out of the idea of “perfection” in order to “prove” the necessary existence of a particular deity-concept.

    I think you are confusing applied logic vs research and development logic

  66. says

    broboxley,

    #71 Anne C. Hanna

    Religious philosophers seem to be some of the worst abusers of this — I’m thinking particularly of stuff like making a big ol’ mucky wallow out of the idea of “perfection” in order to “prove” the necessary existence of a particular deity-concept.

    I think you are confusing applied logic vs research and development logic

    I am really not sure what you’re trying to get at with this. Please elaborate.

  67. broboxley OT says

    Philosophy of the religious sort is applied logic. The constraint field is pre-built for you much like applied research. All logic must proceed from this precondition of containment.

    Research and Development logic is free form with no containment other than empirical building blocks. Like an research and development project where you are given a very vague endpoint and a large budget. You are told to build something spacey and the next thing you know you have found a use for nano buckey balls and tooth enamel repair but it only works in a vacuum.

    “I think therefore I am” was interesting. Almost as interesting as “I think therefore you only exist in my mind as an extension of myself”

  68. broboxley OT says

    what field are you in Anne? Maybe I could use similes that you are more familiar with

    Religious Philosophers are constrained by their faith. Because of that constraint their logic is reasoned very well within that particular framework. If you don’t accept their religious “circular reasoning bucket” their arguments wont have a lot of resonance fr you.

    Non religious philosophers (and I dont really consider Nietzsche a philosopher) Also have constraints of their current localized culture. The common theme as SGBM has mentioned earlier is that their logic must be empirical. Not necessarily right but cohesive.

  69. broboxley OT says

    Sorry Ann, should have clicked on your Nym

    So there is “applied research” and R&D
    religious philosophers are like folks working on applied research projects
    non religious philosophers are like the R&D researchers as opposed to applied researchers

  70. consciousness razor says

    I think you are confusing applied logic vs research and development logic

    broboxley QFT? What is happening here? Is the world ending? I need to reevaluate my life.

    I am really not sure what you’re trying to get at with this. Please elaborate.

    Apologists trying to prove the existence of a god are irrelevant, so I’ll ignore it.* What makes you think this is at least somewhat accurate?

    Many modern secular philosophers seem to have learned to be more careful about this kind of thing, but I still see it cropping up occasionally, and a lot of older works are almost unreadable because of it.

    Could you give an example? Are they trying to prove something exists? Or trying to develop a consistent framework by researching (hence “R&D”) what the implications would be if something were true, without committing to it or using it in some kind of ontological argument?

    *In fact a lot of modern religious apologists don’t accept ontological arguments either, whether they count as representative of “philosophers” or not.

  71. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    Non religious philosophers (and I dont really consider Nietzsche a philosopher)

    Why?

  72. says

    broboxley, I think I see what you’re saying now, but what *I* was trying to say is that their reasoning is *not* in fact logical, because it relies on a lot of hidden assumptions which often shift without notice.

    In the particular case of the “perfection” argument, the term “perfection” is generally not well defined, and there is often substantial equivocation amongst multiple different definitions of perfection, depending on which happens to be convenient at any particular point in the argument. This is just an example, but I’ve seen similar nonsense all over the place in certain types of philosophy.

    So my complaint is not just that these arguments don’t have resonance for me, it’s that they’re shit arguments which seem be more about motivated reasoning (trying to prove the thing the arguer already believes) than about building a sound logical framework from empirically-warranted and clearly defined premises.

    I don’t see any justification for cordoning off a particular area of argumentation as a special clarity-, consistency-, and empirical-warrant-free zone where people ought to be allowed to witter on endlessly about the logical necessity of ill-defined “perfections” without being called on it just because that’s how that area of argumentation works. It strikes me as little better than the separate magisteria crap that religious folks try to use to protect their nonsense from effective scrutiny.

  73. broboxley OT says

    #79 Hurin
    to me Nietzsche was an articulate observer of his time and place. His works, which I have only read english translations of, are interesting as descriptors. His theory of “question authority” wasn’t really new or that interesting. Thats just me. I prefer Lenny Bruce and Allan King

  74. broboxley OT says

    Ah, Anna I see
    But how can one have a good argument about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin without stipulating that both angels and pins exist? (BTW if you didnt know the answer its 144)

  75. says

    consciousness razor,

    Could you give an example? Are they trying to prove something exists? Or trying to develop a consistent framework by researching (hence “R&D”) what the implications would be if something were true, without committing to it or using it in some kind of ontological argument?

    I admit, my days of spending significant amounts of time trying to read philosophy are largely over, primarily because I got impatient with the amount of laughable nonsense cloaked in layers of abstruse verbiage that I was encountering from supposedly great philosophers. It just stopped seeming worthwhile to wade through that to find the good bits. What little philosophy I’ve read recently has been related to religion/atheism discussions, which is why the “perfection” example is prominent in my thoughts, but I don’t have a huge list of other examples ready to hand. Seeing as how I don’t really have a vendetta against philosophy, just a sorta mild dissatisfaction with it, I’ve got no motivation to keep such a list.

    That said, I’m not sure why anything I’ve said would lead one to the conclusion that I’m critiquing philosophers simply for examining hypotheticals. I would’ve thought that my choice of examples would’ve made it clear that that’s not the case.

    Furthermore, I am in no way contending that all (or even most — I haven’t taken a survey) philosophy is crap. I’ve seen some good stuff, and I’m not trying to run it down. All I’m saying is that there are good reasons that a lot of people are kind of iffy about philosophy in general. I suspect that most of them are probably related to holdovers from its theological past, and are probably slowly decreasing, but I still think it’s worth taking explicit notice of them, in order to get rid of them faster, and in order to address the negative perceptions that people have about the discipline.

  76. says

    broboxley,

    (BTW if you didnt know the answer its 144)

    I’ve been trained to see the solution/proof as more interesting than the answer, so I’m going to have to insist that you show your work. :P

  77. broboxley OT says

    #84 Anne short version
    with the stipulation of both angels and pins you have the following
    pin, dimensions dont matter as angels are magical
    what is an angel? In the literature you have beings that are godlike without being a supreme being. References from persian, hebrew, assyrian, hindi and tibetan sources gain a hierarchy of angels. One stops at 144 because that number is symmetrical. Lesser numbers seem trivial and larger exponents of 12 let in lesser demons such as the base animistic demons. Now some backward country wannabees insist that the numerical exponential should be 7 not 12 but we let those folks mutter in the lubavitch corner :-)

    To me philosophical discussions between atheists and the religious should never happen. Any discussion should be on pure legal terminology as one side will not accept the others stipulations.

    So where is your book, what does it say, why are you not living up to what your book states if its all true. That at least gets you to there is no “true christian” part of the argument

  78. consciousness razor says

    I admit, my days of spending significant amounts of time trying to read philosophy are largely over, primarily because I got impatient with the amount of laughable nonsense cloaked in layers of abstruse verbiage that I was encountering from supposedly great philosophers.

    Okay. I’ve never seen a modern philosopher use an ontological argument, except for some fraction of theologians. It just doesn’t happen.

    They make mistakes like everyone else, but most of them really aren’t so prone to fallacious arguments and total absurdities like people seem to be saying. And they don’t tend to make a load of assumptions without analyzing them. Instead, some do tediously spend thousands of words trying to rip them apart to see if there’s anything of value, rather than state in a paragraph what they believe while expecting everyone to simply accept it without discussion. That may not be interesting or useful to you, at least in some cases, but I don’t know why anyone would be against it generally.

  79. ChasCPeterson says

    ah, the intersection of engineering and juggaloism. I can’t think of a better committee for judging philosophy.
    What say ye of…Berkeley?????
    Engineer?
    Juggalo?

    how about…Sartre?????
    Juggalo?
    Engineer?

  80. consciousness razor says

    Those are two of the greatest juggaloists of all time, Chas. Everyone knows that.

  81. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Some of my favorite philosophical work has implications in the way that evidence is used to update beliefs, especially when the field of explanation is well defined (phylogenetic trees) but vast. In short there are very few disagreements about the actual mathematical operations but much more about what the results mean in terms of validating hypotheses. The decision about which kinds of operations one wishes to employ rest on not only the tractability of the operations, but philosophical reasons about which methods anwer the questions in a way that allows a straightforward interpretation of which hypotheses ought to engender belief.

    The differences are so deep, that after 30 years, there are still rifts in the scientific community about which operations to use, even though computation of competing methods is not very controversial.

    For an early overview of how this all unfolded, David Hull’s Science as a Process is a fairly captivating read*.

    ChasP: I like the description that you gave– intersection of reality and language.

    *although, some of the facts presented have been disputed by the subjects of the work

  82. says

    consciousness razor,

    I’m willing to accept that modern philosophers have gotten a lot better about the kind of stuff I’m objecting to. But why is it that all these old d00ds who *did* do it still seem to be in the ranks of the greats, and still seem to be considered essential reading? Is this all just a matter of popular perception, and True Philosophers don’t really give much respect to all that old nonsense any more, or are the old d00ds seen as being for some reason so valuable that it’s worth overlooking their flaws? Are they just kept around because when one needs to argue against a particular view it’s useful to have some name to attach it to as shorthand? And if so, why aren’t these old crappy things more widely understood to have been discredited, like phlogiston was in physics? Is *that* the popular perception failure? What am I missing here?

  83. consciousness razor says

    But why is it that all these old d00ds who *did* do it still seem to be in the ranks of the greats, and still seem to be considered essential reading?

    Because history is worth understanding? Because they sometimes had things to say that are still relevant? Because we can learn from mistakes just like we can learn from successes?

    Again: give some examples.

    I do sort of like Carrier’s idea of setting up a website of “established” philosophy, when something’s been covered exhaustively and a pretty reliable conclusion (or two or three) has been reached. But I bet that would still be fairly limited, relative to of all the topics that have come up over thousands of years.

  84. John Morales says

    Anne, science is philosophy, but with with a particular domain, epistemology and methodology; similarly logic, jurisprudence, political theory and any number of other disciplines are types of philosophy.

    (Once was natural philosophy)

    Is this all just a matter of popular perception, and True Philosophers don’t really give much respect to all that old nonsense any more, or are the old d00ds seen as being for some reason so valuable that it’s worth overlooking their flaws?

    Because otherwise people would keep rediscovering those ideas and arguments and they’d have to be nutted-out all over again.

    (Euthyphro dilemma, anyone?)

    And if so, why aren’t these old crappy things more widely understood to have been discredited, like phlogiston was in physics?

    Not just the above, but also because most such are not amenable to empirical falsification, unlike science.

  85. broboxley OT says

    Chas #87 excellent both juggaloeists

    now Maimonides?

    Pythagoras?

    Violent Jay? (gave you an easy one)

    Pablo Escobar, criminal or philosopher or both?

    Stallworth, engineer philosopher or jugaloeist?

    Black Elk, philosopher or jugaloeist?

  86. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Without philosophy, statistics is just naked operation.

     

    Yeah. I said it. I’m a little drunk, but, shit.

  87. broboxley OT says

    #91 Anne,
    quick question, is string theory philosophy or engineering?

    from the evidence it can be both but is disputed by those who do not regard the underlying constraints (like the non religious refuse the constraints of the religious)

  88. ibyea says

    @broboxley
    I would call it speculative applied math. It is trying to be physics, but there is no way in hell that it can be falsified, since if one form of string theory goes wrong, someone comes up with new excuses.

  89. consciousness razor says

    quick question, is string theory philosophy or engineering?

    from the evidence it can be both but is disputed by those who do not regard the underlying constraints (like the non religious refuse the constraints of the religious)

    Theoretical physics, but I’m okay with calling that philosophy.

    Not engineering, unless I’m missing something. Do string theorists have to make or design their own chalk?

  90. ibyea says

    Well, what conscousness razor said is more accurate. It is theoretical physics. I just hate calling it physics. That’s just me, though.

  91. says

    broboxley, right now string theory is math. If anybody ever figures out how to test it, maybe it will then become science. Or maybe it will be discarded like phlogiston. If it *is* discarded, I can guarantee you that in a hundred years physics students won’t spend much time learning details about the names and theories of the proponents of string theory, or reading their original works. It won’t be completely forgotten, any more than phlogiston has been, but it’ll be a footnote, and the string theorists’ books will probably be out of print, accessible only in obscure rare book collections.

    The thing that bugs me about philosophy is that a lot of its crappy old stuff doesn’t seem to be in a similar condition. I’m not saying that it oughta be thrown into a fire, or that it’s not of historical interest or nuthin’, but why haven’t folks like Aristotle and Aquinas faded into well-deserved obscurity the way the phlogistonists mostly have? Why is so much of this stuff still treated as significant cultural touchstones?

    Even when you look at bad scientific ideas that *haven’t* faded out of the popular culture yet, like creationism, an education in the sciences doesn’t generally involve any kind of pretense that such things are of anything more than historical interest, and one doesn’t typically spend much time delving into their intricacies, reading the original works, or exploring the details of the arguments. Hell, even in the case of the *good* ideas, we don’t usually spend a lot of time studying the originators’ works, because the original conceptions and presentations of the ideas generally weren’t as good as what was developed and refined by later generations of researchers. We remember the originators’ names, but when we use their ideas we refer to textbook distillations, not primary sources.

    Somehow science mostly doesn’t have to refight all its old battles over and over and over (modulo the occasional crank), despite the fact that those old ideas aren’t given a serious amount of attention in science education. There’s a general recognition that that stuff is old and dead and generally a waste of time that could be better spent studying stuff that *hasn’t* been shown to be crap.

    I get that philosophy isn’t entirely subject to empirical validation, and that this can cause complications, but by that logic, math should have the same problems, and it doesn’t. This is because math actually *does* define its terms clearly and unambiguously, state all of its axioms, and proceed from there without any messing around. So when you prove something in math, it’s proven, straight-up, with very little room for sensible argument, but philosophy doesn’t seem to be able to offer this. In fact, I’d argue that the problem in philosophy is precisely that, unlike math, it *does* have links to the real world. It attempts to pronounce about what humans are, what we value, what we *should* value, how we should actualize those values, and so forth. In this realm it’s hard to define the terms and axioms precisely, or to determine their logical implications. Moreover, while philosophy has real-world implications which *should* be testable to some extent, nobody seems to be able to agree about what constitutes a valid test, or what the test results mean. This in turn means that it’s easy for sneaky, equivocating crap (or inadvertently equivocating crap) to pass unnoticed, because there’s no definitive way of rejecting it. A non-negligible amount of that sneaky, equivocating crap seems to be in the canon of greats, and it’s not clear to me why there isn’t a more concerted effort to clean it out.

  92. says

    Addendum: John, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with defining philosophy (for the purposes of this conversation) in a way that’s so broad that just about every field of human intellectual endeavor could potentially be considered philosophy. It kind of seems like yet another equivocation issue. The original gripe here was pretty clearly about philosophy as practiced by the people who call themselves philosophers and inhabit philosophy departments, so it seems to me that dragging in the physics department and the political science department and so forth will just confuse things.

  93. consciousness razor says

    I’m not saying that it oughta be thrown into a fire, or that it’s not of historical interest or nuthin’, but why haven’t folks like Aristotle and Aquinas faded into well-deserved obscurity the way the phlogistonists mostly have? Why is so much of this stuff still treated as significant cultural touchstones?

    Aristotle practically invented formal logic. Is that still significant? Is it like phlogiston? Some people (philosophers or not) still like some things about his ethics, maybe without even knowing it. That’s about it, I think. Other than that: obscurity. What makes you think otherwise? Have you been pestered by many staunch Aristotelians lately? Since you don’t want it thrown in the fire, what exactly do you expect modern philosophers to do about it that they haven’t in fact been doing?

    Same with Aquinas, really. I don’t know many philosophers who’d bother to spend any time poring over Thomistic theology. Philosophers tend to be atheists, so what would be the point?

  94. consciousness razor says

    The original gripe here was pretty clearly about philosophy as practiced by the people who call themselves philosophers and inhabit philosophy departments, so it seems to me that dragging in the physics department and the political science department and so forth will just confuse things.

    Where to begin? The world is confusing. Philosophers in philosophy departments do address political and physical theories, among many other things. I don’t what else to say. It’s definitely not all about ancient religions.

  95. John Morales says

    Anne:

    The original gripe here was pretty clearly about philosophy as practiced by the people who call themselves philosophers and inhabit philosophy departments [...]

    Really?

    (You quibble about categories and scope of the universe of discourse whilst decrying philosophy as a discipline — I am duly amused)

  96. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ John / Hanna

    Eeyore’s Theorem: “the analytic function of an analytic function is itself analytic.”

    (Well, we called that one “Eeyore’s Theorem”. Who came up with the nickname originally is lost in the mists (and beer-fog) of time. Substitute “philosophy” at your own peril.)

    {relurks}

  97. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    There’s a rumour going around, because I just started it, that the MRAs and other asstivists in the genre have become quite disgruntled and want a place just to be able to say whatever the fuck dumb shit comes to their feeble minds, especially rape jokes, victim blaming, use of gendered epithets and masturbation of privilege; so they are starting their own website dedicated to the cause: Ableism+

    At Ableism+ one can blather on contentedly for hours about how Rebecca Watson IS the c-word, the apparent victory over the BlagHag despite her imminent return and other fun pastimes that border on the obsessive and paranoid, if not completely transgressing it, stomping on it until a dust cloud rises and screaming misogynist slurs until the noise bylaw officers have to intervene…uhm, where was I? Oh yeah, and one will not hear a single discouraging comment from the FtBullies, only the calming reassurances and echoing sentiments of your fellow DudeBros or those hotties that are really working it in that sexy attire they’re wearing today.

    Join the bowel movement at Ableism+.org.

    #BitchesAintShit #Women’sOpinions?LOL #WeBeUnctuousSmirkingAssholes #TellItMahBruthuh! #HowDareTheyQuestionMyWhiteDudedness #Ableism+FTWBITCHES!

  98. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    MikeG:

    You won’t have to worry about anyone cannibalizing those jokes. ;)

  99. carlie says

    So he has been reading along, then. ‘Tis, nobody’s trying to put you on trial and condemn you here. You’ve built up a pretty extensive history, and regardless of whether you were cribbing from others, I assume that everything about your personality and your reactions etc. were the “real” you. It’s just that most of us do see plagiarism as a big thing, and some of us would like to know whether you did it on purpose and for you to start citing your sources from now on.

  100. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I’m stuck in moderation at Alethian so I’m going to x-post this here in case I get lost in the shuffle.

    Kagin’s argument doesn’t make sense to me. No one has copyrighted the usage of the word ‘atheism.’ It would be like a group of people who like river trout fishing deciding to get together and wanting to take their discussions a step deeper into a cerebral and activist tangent and add some content about environmentalism. They call their group Fishing+ and get together and talk about the issues important to their group. Should everyone involved in the global fishing industry fall all over themselves in an attempt to shut it down, harass the members, attempt to reveal their personal data on the interwebz and all the other inane vitriolic behaviour that has happened with A+? Would this behaviour not be even more questionable if it was discovered that the majority of Fishing+ were women and all of the fishing industry attacks decided to double down on the attacks by using misogynistic terminology?

    Yes, the word has a definition, but that definition is an umbrella over a LOT of differing attitudes and opinions. Adding a mathematical sign or other descriptive words and terminologies to a word doesn’t undo the definition of the original word OR attempt to label anyone else using the word alone. People searching for information about atheism online are still going to be presented with the basic premise. A+ doesn’t and won’t override any of that information or re-define people who are simply ‘atheist.’ The paranoia surrounding the ‘OHNOES! SOMEONE IS DICTATING WHAT WE SHOULD BE!’ sentiment would be expected, if it was some group that had a distinct imagined persecution complex, like Christians who get butthurt when someone says they can’t put a ten commandments sign in a state building. Seeing it come from people claiming superior rationality is a bit of a letdown, actually.

    There’s nothing wrong with a group wanting to throw a plus sign after a descriptive word, as it wouldn’t be wrong if someone did want to have a group called Atheists Hating Smoked Oysters (AHSO!). It describes the members of the group, but isn’t attempting to steal the main word and definition as its own or tell anyone but a member of that group what their main idea is. If the group seems unnecessary to you, don’t join it. Not joining would seem the rational action, rather than railing on like a toddler having a Toys’R’Us tantrum, like has happened (and to clinically OCD degrees). This also points out to me that there’s a WHOLE freakin’ mob of people under the atheist umbrella that have over-inflated opinions of themselves and think that everything is about them. Jen has tried to say this some exponential number of times and ad nauseum, and I say this to those people: this ISN’T ABOUT YOU nor does it DESCRIBE YOU. It’s for people, also under the atheist umbrella, hence the usage of the term ‘atheism’, which you don’t own, with an extra ‘+’ appellation to distinguish it AS UNIQUE AND SEPARATE FROM YOUR VIEWS!!! This concept shouldn’t be like rocket surgery to understand, yet you continue to log in the lacking-comprehension miles everytime there’s another rail against A+. Give it a rest already.

  101. broboxley OT says

    Kagin is an ass, I simply commented that insisting on raping someone isnt the same as declaring that you dont like the flavor of their ice cream and the fucker wouldnt publish that

  102. says

    I’m not sure about the appropriate place to vent this, but it’s unmoderated and my girlfriend’s asleep so what the hell.

    What the everliving hell is wrong with people? How can anyone pretend that there’s not a moral imperative to leave the Catholic Church at this point? THat people aren’t being assholes by staying and supporting it? There is no ‘greater good’ to be done by trying to really change it. Like the democrats, they have considerable leeway because they have absolute (and justified) faith that people won’t leave more or less no matter what they do. Unlike the democrats, there’s no utilitarian reason to stay, and there’s considerably less accountability or serious change from within in the intervening periods.

    It pisses me the hell off that people will treat emotional attachments to the church as a moral justification for staying. Don’t get me wrong; people are people. I understand that some will stay for this, even if they are totally ethical in every other respect. But that doesn’t make it the correct or right choice. People are fucking suffering because of the Catholic Church. Quit fucking helping them do it.

    And of course, I had to watch feminists be the ones to ignore the catholic church’s massive bullshit campaigns.

  103. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    ॐ, Google images identifies it as Alferd Packer.

    Is this some sort of cannibalism / plagiarism leap?

  104. anteprepro says

    What the everliving hell is wrong with people? How can anyone pretend that there’s not a moral imperative to leave the Catholic Church at this point?

    The religious are notoriously good at pretending and notoriously bad at understanding moral imperatives that aren’t fed to them by their churches. The consistent denial of the obvious by Catholics (or appealing to “b-b-b-but, I’ve always gone to church, whimper whine”) in order to justify their continued support of their church is just the latest galling example of that.

  105. chigau (違わない) says

    The effect Catholic Church teaching had on me was to make me think that the Catholic Church was the only way to get to heaven.
    It mattered not in the slightest if I approved of anything or anypriest as long as I followed The Rules.
    It was dead easy and required no thought.
    But then I stopped Believing™ as a young teenager so I have no idea how adults manage.

  106. broboxley OT says

    ruteekatreya my wife is a catholic, she identifies as such and will die under that brand. She goes at christmas and maybe at easter. Wont take communion because she hates confessing to anything to anybody. We almost didnt get married (Im not catholic but offered to marry her there) because she refused confession. It took an entire villiage to cajole her into the hut. When I asked her how it went she said “shaddup” but if you ask her what her religion is she will answer, catholic.

  107. consciousness razor says

    What the everliving hell is wrong with people? How can anyone pretend that there’s not a moral imperative to leave the Catholic Church at this point? THat people aren’t being assholes by staying and supporting it?

    Pretty much my whole family is Catholic. I’ve talked with my parents about it before. They can’t stand all the rapes, cover-ups, other scandals, or even some of their church’s dogma. Some of it’s hit them locally, with priests and others they’ve known for years, so it’s really gotten to them and they’ve complained pretty openly about it to me. Along with having a constant influx of new, increasingly-uninspiring priests shuffled around in their diocese, the liturgy changed recently too. They’re fairly devout and stubborn and ignorant (I repeat myself?), so that kind of thing matters a lot to them.

    None of it’s the same church to them, and there’s really nothing about the church and how they interact with it that they wouldn’t have a good reason to complain about. And because they’re devout and stubborn and ignorant, that episcopalian church over there (or whatever) is scary and foreign. Nice, friendly, normal people do go there, of course, but inside it’s apparently a big black box. Who knows what could happen if they went there instead? Several years ago, they settled into a different Catholic parish in the same diocese because they were so frustrated with the other, but if they did more than that, I don’t know…. Zeus might strike them down or something.

    And somehow it’s like they don’t even have a decision to make. They’re old. They’re surrounded by other Catholics they’ve known their entire lives. It’s their identity and their family and their community. It’s just who they are, in so many ways. It’d be like asking them to become someone else. How could they do that? It seems like they just can’t think of it as which institution they’re “staying” with or “supporting.” Like I said, a lot of this shit is very local for them too. It’s hard to treat it like some distant thing halfway across the country, but they can still distance themselves just enough.

    “It’s those other people right over there. Who me? No, I’m just me, and I’m Catholic, always have been. Nothing I can do about that.”

    I just don’t know what you can say to a person like that.

  108. says

    Anne C. Hanna seems to have said a lot of what I have been feeling, and much better than I would have done. Sweet, I can be lazy!

    Joe decides if a philosopher is good based on whether they agree with them or not?

    Noooo!!!! Like other folks correctlty interpreted, I am saying I don’t know if they are good or not. I’m not sure what the criteria should be. As stated earlier in the conversation, we can say we are judging by “logic and empiricism” but that’s sort of moving the question one step back and hitting the same problem. It is a rare day where one person just up and admits that they are making shit up based on a whim and just pretending that they have good reasons to hold that view.

  109. consciousness razor says

    Anne C. Hanna seems to have said a lot of what I have been feeling, and much better than I would have done. Sweet, I can be lazy!

    Since it fails on all points, I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t bother making it even worse.

  110. says

    Good evening, ‘Dome.

    ———

    John and cr,

    I’m not decrying philosophy as a discipline. I’m saying that there seem to be some aspects of the way the subject is handled that are unsatisfactory, in the same way as I might critique the widespread problems with statistics in certain areas of modern medical research without decrying the entire practice of medicine, or even the idea of doing research in those particular areas.

    I’m also not claiming that professional philosophers don’t or shouldn’t address questions that are somehow the property of other departments, or that work in other departments doesn’t/shouldn’t ever encompass a certain amount of material that could reasonably be described as philosophy. I’m not generally terribly interested in disciplinary boundaries. I study and discuss stuff that interests me without getting hung up on where it oughta fall in the course catalog, and I’m sure as hell not gonna impose restrictions on others’ investigations that I wouldn’t accept for myself. I just don’t think it’s very helpful for the purposes of the current discussion to equate the academic discipline which calls itself philosophy with all philosophical discussions engaged in by everyone everywhere, or to defend against complaints about the quality of some philosophical argumentation by pointing out that philosophers also argue (sometimes poorly, sometimes well) about things other than the number of angels which can dance on the head of a pin.

    In fact, I actually just ran into an example of crap philosophy today which was in fact about something from the sciences:

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/another-philosopher-proclaims-a-nonexistent-crisis-in-evolutionary-biology/

    As far as I can tell, this Dupré guy isn’t religious in any way, but that doesn’t stop him from making a hash of things in his buzzword-laden quest to overturn “traditional reductionist views of science”.

  111. says

    Also, cr, I’m interested that you say that I failed on all points when you didn’t even *address* most of the points we made in my original comment. We’ve been going back and forth about one or two sentences, with, I think, a certain amount of misunderstanding of what I said in those sentences, and the rest of it seems to have fallen down the memory hole.

  112. broboxley OT says

    Anne #124 under chaos theory a butterfly fart in the amazon can cause a tornado in nebraska.

    What does it matter to study from the tornado to the butterfly or the butterfly to the tornado?

  113. cm's changeable moniker says

    a website of “established” philosophy

    http://plato.stanford.edu/

    that would still be fairly limited, relative to of all the topics that have come up over thousands of years

    Probably, although it might well be less wrong than all the random shit people have made up over thousands of years. ;-)

  114. consciousness razor says

    Also, cr, I’m interested that you say that I failed on all points when you didn’t even *address* most of the points we made in my original comment.

    You gave no examples of your impression of philosophy having any basis in reality. I asked several times and got nothing. If you just make a bunch of assertions, I’d say those points failed, and I’d say I wouldn’t need to address them until they get substantiated. So of the points that you’ve actually backed up, assuming there are any, which haven’t I addressed?

    Now, you finally gave an example: a philosopher of science interpreting facts differently than Coyne, maybe even getting some facts wrong? How terrible! Scientists make the same fucking kind of mistakes every day.

    So even if he’s totally off base here, what’s the point? What is the problem for philosophy or philosophers generally that you’re alluding to in this case?

    As far as I can tell, this Dupré guy isn’t religious in any way, but that doesn’t stop him from making a hash of things in his buzzword-laden quest to overturn “traditional reductionist views of science”.

    Is it being wrong? Is it the use of buzzwords? Is it wanting to overturn traditional reductionist views? What?

    As an aside: he’s doing philosophy of science, but you said you wanted to leave those sorts of things out to avoid confusion. Your complaints were at least supposed to be about “pure” philosophy (whatever that would be, if anything), but I don’t see how this could be an example of that. I personally wouldn’t hold that point against it as being representative of philosophy, so this is pretty much irrelevant, but I’m still confused by what you were saying before.

  115. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Hm. Anyone help me flesh out a few mental puddles I’ve trodden in whilst reading the comments over at Alethea’s rather smashing Neo-Molly post?

    I’m one of those irritating people who always gives the benefit of the doubt, so I was reading BG’s posts and getting a bit bemused by the backlash, until I was smacked in the face by the connection to the OP. (Yeah, I’m a bit slow sometimes.)

    I’m feeling a bit horrible though, I know that the situations with the stupid hypotheticals are irrelevant, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that you con’t justify having a hypothetical moral judgment reaction to those hypothetical situations. Personally, I -would- feel negatively towards any mythical being who had a late-term abortion, but that reactions remains as hypothetical as the original scenario.
    That’s the point, isn’t it? That this anti-choice argument is simply pulling a scenario out of a giant hypothetical arse, causing people to feel negative emotions about it and conflating the reality of those emotions with the ‘reality’ of the scenario?

    So… it’s not really the judgmental reaction itself that’s the problem, it’s the fact that you’re applying that to a very real and dangerous situation to which it is entirely irrelevant?

    Didn’t want to derail the convo over there!

  116. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    ARGH. To “mythical being who had a late-term abortion”, add “for reasons of simply vanity or lack of care.”

  117. consciousness razor says

    So… it’s not really the judgmental reaction itself that’s the problem, it’s the fact that you’re applying that to a very real and dangerous situation to which it is entirely irrelevant?

    No, it’s really both. It’s not your body, so it’s not your judgment. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it’ll actually happen. You’re still saying someone else’s bodily autonomy is worth squat compared to your judgment. And that’s not a “hypothetical judgment,” as if you’re not really saying what you just said. It’s right there in the comment you just made, and it’s not going anywhere, unless you want to take it back.

    Didn’t want to derail the convo over there!

    It wouldn’t be derailing. That is the conversation. You are just wrong about it.

  118. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    I don’t follow – I’m human, I’m fallible, I make stupid and irrelevant judgments of other people with no justification. I’m a product of being socialised to feel that certain things are ‘wrong’ when in fact I have no right to make those judgments.

    I would probably make such a hypothetical judgment, initially, and it would be wrong to do so. Denying that it’d go through my head, however, is simply dishonest.

    That’s kind of what I was trying to clumsily drop into my thought processes. I assume it’s not worked. Back to the brain-tank I go.

  119. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Trying to clarify slightly; If, as humans, we are prone to making unjustified knee-jerk judgments when initially confronted with an issue with which we are not entirely familiar and comfortable, is it not reasonable to conclude that the judgmental reaction itself is not the crux of the problem?
    The crux, as I see it now, would be our treatment of that initial reaction. If we actively oppose that initial reaction, dismiss it for the reason it is not our business, then we’ve made a rational decision to respect this (imaginary) person’s autonomy.

    Yes, it’s nitpicky. I just see a big connection here as to why the fundy anti-choice arguments can be so irritatingly persuasive to so many people. It’s taking our human tendency to react emotionally to hideously overblown hypotheticals to… well, do just that. To create an emotionally charged gut response in people hearing the issue, so the person will associate those negative emotions with any mention of the -real- issue. It’s dishonest and insidious, but frustratingly effective.

  120. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I would probably make such a hypothetical judgment, initially, and it would be wrong to do so. Denying that it’d go through my head, however, is simply dishonest.

    You don’t have to deny it — because nobody’s asking.

    And if they are asking, you’re not obligated to answer.

    People can feel what they feel about others’ abortions. Whatever. They should keep their negative feelings to themselves, though, since those feelings are wrong, unjustified, and socially destructive when aired.

  121. consciousness razor says

    Denying that it’d go through my head, however, is simply dishonest.

    Okay, I guess I misunderstood. No one is saying that you have to. There’s not much anyone can do about that, if it’s clear you understand and accept why it’s wrong.

    I don’t follow – I’m human, I’m fallible, I make stupid and irrelevant judgments of other people with no justification. I’m a product of being socialised to feel that certain things are ‘wrong’ when in fact I have no right to make those judgments.

    Sure. But the whole point of the absurd exercise is to justify why it would be wrong in these extremely contrived hypothetical scenarios (and that society can do something about it, and thus that it could and should be illegal). So you’d have to demonstrate that doing it is harmful and that outlawing it isn’t treating women like chattel, not just demonstrate that you have an icky feeling about it.

  122. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Yes. That’s very true.
    I agree entirely – if someone thinks their initial judgment of a person’s actions is right and should trump that person’s own opinions/feelings/rights then they are entirely wrong to do that.

    Yeah, this seemed much more important to me before. We’re human – we do/think immensely stupid things. That’s normal. Saying said stupid things out loud as though they should be given any traction is the problem, and my musing on subtleties is nitpicky and not helping.

    Glad I posted here. heh.

  123. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Yeah. I just understand much more clearly now why that argument is so infuriatingly appealing, yet so utterly wrong.

  124. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Glad to be of help.

    I just see a big connection here as to why the fundy anti-choice arguments can be so irritatingly persuasive to so many people. It’s taking our human tendency to react emotionally to hideously overblown hypotheticals to… well, do just that. To create an emotionally charged gut response in people hearing the issue, so the person will associate those negative emotions with any mention of the -real- issue. It’s dishonest and insidious, but frustratingly effective.

    And yes, I think that’s what’s going on. Although there are different ways of compensating for the emotion, so it doesn’t always work as they might intend.

    Specifically, since the issue can involve thoughts of death and corpses, there are probably mortality salience effects — which will probably cause highly committed pro-choicers to become even more strongly committed to their position and disdainful of anti-choicers. I.e. for us, any negative emotion can become associated with the opposition instead of abortion per se.

  125. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Full agreement. Issues as emotionally charged as these do tend to create intense polarity. For those being confronted with any polar extreme, the initial response (unless they agree entirely with the argument presented) is likely to be opposition.

    In fact, the anti-atheism+ debate seems to be doing this very thing. See a polar extreme, don’t agree entirely therefore MUST OPPOSE. In other words, haven’t thought it through to the logical conclusion, you’re proposing something I haven’t yet overcome my ingrained prejudices about, therefore you’re a FUNDAMENTALIST DOGMATIC GODWIN INDUCING blah blah blah repeat ad nauseam.

    I can see where the “you’re alienating moderates and fence-sitters!” people come from, but I can also see why they’re blowing the wrong trumpet.

  126. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Maybe. Mortality salience probably is a special case, though.

    I’m actually not sure why it’s viewed as suspect to have strongly held views. It’s “uncool” to care about things, as I learned very early, but I’m not sure quite what’s going on there — is it that strong emotions are for queers, women and children? Is it that strongly held views which are divergent of the norm indicate a person as an out-group member, thus to be distrusted?

    It happens even here. I espouse several views that are seen as extreme by a significant subset of the commentariat. I understand and have no fundamental problem with it when my views are denounced as incorrect. Occasionally, though, I am simply denounced as an extremist, as though this in itself is wrong. It’s the golden mean fallacy, of course, but I’m unsure what causes it.

  127. John Morales says

    Sophia,

    If, as humans, we are prone to making unjustified knee-jerk judgments when initially confronted with an issue with which we are not entirely familiar and comfortable, is it not reasonable to conclude that the judgmental reaction itself is not the crux of the problem?

    I wouldn’t ask Improbable Joe that one, since it’s a philosophical question and therefore useless to contemplate.

  128. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    You know, I think you’re on to something there.

    Being suspicious of strongly held views… why?

    I suspect for some people it’s the label of skeptic combined with personal experience (IE privilege). Strange how it all spirals back to those same concepts, eh? Hyperskepticism.
    Accusations of irrationality (just like the fundamentalists/creationists), hysteria (use of that word, for a start!), overreacting, having definitions wrong…

    Privilege. Complete and Total Arse of a thing.
    Also, patriarchy, which is simply applied privilege.

    Men (IE the default, normal) are not emotional and are therefore rational. Women (deviating from the male norm) are emotional and therefore not rational. Being unemotional, men (and by extension, normal people) do not react emotionally to insults, harmful behaviours or other negative stimuli.

    Under this model, reacting emotionally to any topic is considered abnormal, hysterical, womanly (weak) and should be pulled back into line so as to appear more normal (emotionless, indomitable).

    Of course, espousing this kind of view is Feminist Propaganda, and despite the demonstrable applicatibility of the model, since it comes from a perspective that claims women are oppressed (of course they’re not – claiming oppression is a hysterical, womanly, weak, abnormal, non-manly thing!), it’s thrown out.
    the irony is STAGGERING.

  129. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    John:
    That depends entirely on your definition of philosophy.

    I’m not getting suckered into that argument, my knowledge levels qua philosophy, definitions and the applications of, are below 101 levels.

    SGBM:
    Additionally, that Terror Management Theory link is very… explanatory. And applicable. And frustrating.

  130. John Morales says

    Sophia,

    [1] Men (IE the default, normal) are not emotional and are therefore rational. Women (deviating from the male norm) are emotional and therefore not rational. [2] Being unemotional, men (and by extension, normal people) do not react emotionally to insults, harmful behaviours or other negative stimuli.

    [3] Under this model, reacting emotionally to any topic is considered abnormal, hysterical, womanly (weak) and should be pulled back into line so as to appear more normal (emotionless, indomitable).

    1. Yeah, that part seems to sum it up pretty well, and was the model under which I grew up.

    (I got better)

    2. You discount the (time-honoured) exceptions: certain insults do not just allow, but indeed require strong emotional reactions — but these must be manly (therefore aggressive) emotions.

    (I’m sure you can think of examples)

    3. Due to the above exceptions, this constitutes too simplistic a generalisation.

    I’m not getting suckered into that argument, my knowledge levels qua philosophy, definitions and the applications of, are below 101 levels.

    Heh. That was only ostensibly addressed to you, with the spurious excuse that I was quoting you.

    Also, note that my knowledge levels qua feminism, definitions and the applications of, are probably below 101 levels — but that’s never stopped me from weighing in regarding specific contentions on that issue. :)

  131. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    John:

    I mostly agree with your points, though I would add that “emotional” under my model is a word that has connotations of femininity, weakness, etc. Certain emotions are mostly exempt from this – “masculine” emotions of anger or aggression are owned by men.
    Use of “masculine” emotions by women is considered abnormal and punishable. In fact, when a man shows anger or aggression he is generally praised, when a woman does so whe is usually met with the same emotion as punishment (put in her place).

    It gets fuzzy in the “masculine emotions” stakes, men don’t often get told they’re “too emotional” if they express anger, women often do. A man expressing sorrow, empathy, love or other “womanly” emotions will often be called a sissy, a girl, be told to put their big girl panties on and so forth.

    Another note is that even anger, agression and annoyance can sometimes be viewed as negative and feminine when they’re not about the right, manly, things as shown with the use of the expression “you’ve got sand in your vagina”, being that your anger is like a woman’s anger at a woman’s problems and you are not justified in feeling it – it is beneath you as a man.

    It’s all very interesting. And depressing.

  132. strange gods before me ॐ says

    but these must be manly (therefore aggressive) emotions.

    And must be accompanied by violence or the threat of violence, explicitly stated or expressed by posture or approach.

    Aggressive emotion without at least the threat of violence is construed as emasculating: impotent.

    I mostly agree with your points, though I would add that “emotional” under my model is a word that has connotations of femininity, weakness, etc. Certain emotions are mostly exempt from this – “masculine” emotions of anger or aggression are owned by men.

    I think my response to John can account for an inclusion of all emotionality per se — the threat of violence is a compensatory device which legitimizes an emotion which would otherwise be construed as evidence of weakness.

  133. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Masculine/Potent anger as opposed to Feminine/Impotent anger.

    Violence is manly, superiority is manly, superiority through violence is normal.

    All kinda mooshes together, doesn’t it? Funny how things make sense when they’re true :P

  134. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Additionally, that Terror Management Theory link is very… explanatory. And applicable. And frustrating.

    I should mention also the meaning maintenance model, which has a competing explanation of mortality salience effects. In this model, death is but one of many threats to meaning.

    The controversy does not seem to be very important for the purposes of anyone who isn’t a researcher publishing on either topic. The effects are what they are, regardless of whether they occur because mortality salience is a threat to meaning or belongs in a unique category.

  135. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Yes… frankly I can’t really see too much difference aside from the fact that death is the only completely inevitable thing we have to deal with, and therefore there’s rather more motivation to find a way to deal with it. In other words, it’s a subset. an important one, but still a subset. Same theory, one important application.

  136. John Morales says

    Sophia, aging past one’s prime and its concomitant decrepitude is also inevitable, but it ain’t death.

  137. John Morales says

    [addendum]

    Hm… I was wrong — it is evitable, but only at the cost of dying young.

    (I retract my objection)

  138. Walton says

    Philosophy is important. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t often done badly, of course. But we all rely on philosophical assumptions in our daily lives, whether we know it or not.

    For instance, what is morality? How do we know what is morally right or morally wrong? On what do we base our moral convictions? Is there such a thing as an objectively “right” view of morality? These are philosophical (specifically, meta-ethical) questions; and all of us, if we espouse views about morality and ethics (which we all do), need to have answers to these questions. If we assert that X is morally right or that Y is morally wrong, we need to be able to explain why. We can’t avoid that. And once we answer those questions, we are, by definition, doing philosophy.

  139. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I wanted to say something along the same general lines as Walton, but he said it infinitely more eloquently than I ever could. So, thanks for that and saving me from embarrassment.

  140. says

    Azkyroth:

    I’ve noticed people have started saying “excuse me” for not just sneezing but yawning, coughing, and even bumping into inanimate objects or stumbling. Which I find irritating, because none of those things have the actual unpleasant effects of, say, burping or farting.

    Oh, for chrissakes. Nobody wants to see some random person’s tonsils. Coughing sprays germs into the air. Bumping into things can knock them over or displace them. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with excusing oneself for clumsiness — speaking as someone without much coordination.

    But, yeah, people should stop being polite because it irritates you and makes you worry that people will expect greater politeness out of you.

    Everything’s about Azkyroth, isn’t it? God, you’re a petulant, solipsistic asshole.

  141. broboxley OT says

    John,
    either that or you have trouble with the top down, bottom up investigatory method

  142. ChasCPeterson says

    All you wanted to know about tardigrades but were too afraid to ask

    Some nice tardigrade shots in there.
    The citizen-naturalist protagonist, however, while certainly dressed for the part, knows nothing about evolution.

    Tardigrades did not come from outer space. We know this.

    We do know where tardigrades fit in the tree of life, and we do know their closest living relatives. [They are part of a clade called Panarthropoda, which also includes arthropods and onychophorans.]

  143. says

    That was a terrible video, full of misinformation. “We don’t even know what species tardigrades are related to…” — bullshit.

    “We might even have come from a different galaxy.” More bullshit.

    “It would have taken hundreds of years for another species to travel from another galaxy.”

    I give up.

  144. Rodney Nelson says

    “It would have taken hundreds of years for another species to travel from another galaxy.”

    The nearest galaxy to the Milky Way is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, approximately 25,000 light years from the Solar System and 40,000 light years from the Milky Way’s galactic center. So light from Canis Major, traveling at 300,000 kilometers per second, takes 25,000 years to reach Earth. Animate beings would be traveling far slower than light.