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Oct 02 2012

The madness of Michael Ruse

Ruse has long been in his maundering dotage, but at least he could be counted on to maintain a thought in his head for more than a few minutes…and sadly, he has now written an inconsistent and incoherent pile of drivel in which he clearly rides his favorite hobby-horses while failing to notice that he’s skewering his own windmills.

Let us begin with Micheal Ruse’s wounded pride. It’s a common marker of a Ruse article: the litany of his grievances, the stinging memory of past defeats. He will never forget an insult. It’s as if every time he mentions me, it’s solely to complain that I once called him a ‘clueless gobshite’ (a remark made in passing; if I’d known it was going to be immortalized by Ruse I would have tried to be more creative.) Yes, he brings it up again in his latest article.

And yet I, and others of my ilk, am reviled in terms far harsher than those kept for the real opponents like the Creationists. We are labelled ‘accommodationists’ for our willingness to give religion a space not occupied by science. We are put down in terms that denote powerful emotion, way beyond reason. In The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, I am likened to Neville Chamberlain, the pusillanimous appeaser of Hitler. Jerry Coyne, the author of both the book and the blog Why Evolution is True and an ardent fan of Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, wrote about one of my books in terms used by George Orwell: ‘There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.’ The Minnesota biologist PZ Myers, who writes the blog Pharyngula, has referred to me as a ‘clueless gobshite’.

Let it go, Michael. It was 3½ years ago. I’ll try to find something new for you to be bitter over.

And then he says this:

I don’t care about the personal attacks. Indeed, I have the kind of personality that welcomes being in the public eye, even if the attention is critical.

He doesn’t care? Michael Ruse obsesses over past insults more than anyone else I know…well, except maybe John Kw*k.

What else is this article about? Why, the horribleness of those New Atheists. They’re just like those religious fanatics, especially that guy Richard Dawkins. It’s yet another familiar tirade about how atheism is just another religion.

But then, this is weird…after excoriating the New Atheists for their fanaticism, he declares that he, Michael Ruse, is the fanaticalest of them all.

Dawkins has said that on a scale from 0 to 7, from belief to non-belief, he scores about 6.9. I place myself even higher than that. I am a true non-believer. I am also a fanatical Darwinian — more so even than Dawkins because I think that, when it comes to culture, genes do much that he hands over to his own special cultural notion of ‘memes’. I have written many books about the implications of Darwinian thinking for epistemology and ethics.

What’s more, I think that religion has done and continues to do much harm to society.

If certainty and aggressive advancement of ideas are the signifiers of a ‘religion’, and if Michael Ruse really dislikes those atheist proselytizers, I suggest that he go lock himself in an empty room and beat himself up for a while.

But wait! There are more paradoxes! One of the big problems with the New Atheism, says Ruse, is the way we idolize and support our leaders unquestioningly.

There are other aspects of the New Atheist movement that remind me of religion. One is the adulation by supporters and enthusiasts for the leaders of the movement. It is not just a matter of agreement or respect, but of a kind of worship. This certainly surrounds Dawkins, who is admittedly charismatic.

We worship Dawkins? And possibly Hitchens and Harris? Has he ever noticed how much we all freaking argue with each other? There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement.

Oh, wait, yes he has noticed. In the very next paragraph.

Freud describes a phenomenon that he calls ‘the narcissism of small differences’, in which groups feud over distinctions that, to the outside, seem totally trivial. It is highly characteristic of religions: think of the squabbles about the meaning of the Eucharist, for instance, or the ways in which Presbyterians tear each other apart over the true meaning of predestination. For those not involved in the fights, the issues seem virtually nonsensical, and certainly wasting energies that should be spent on fighting common foes. But not for those within the combat zone.

The New Atheists show this phenomenon more than any group I have ever before encountered.

So which is it? Blind, unquestioning worship of our leaders, or incessant fractiousness and dissension? It doesn’t matter. Ruse is just spinning his wheel of deplorable sins and accusing us of whatever random flaw pops up.

It’s a freakishly odd article. It turns out that a major crux of his argument is that these New Atheists are all Humanists…and Humanism is bad. It’s an awful muddle, free of all distinctions and thought. Atheism is the same as Humanism is the same as Religion. It’s the most useless philoosophical assertion ever.Which makes it entierly appropriate that the comment is coming from the most useless philosopher ever.

238 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    Gee, Ruse, maybe there’s a conspiracy out to get you.

    Unless, well, you tend to evoke certain terms by writing schlock.

    I don’t think there’ll be many bet takers for the first possibility.

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2
    Mike

    Well I gotta hand it to the guy, I thought the only person who could burn through that many inches without even a whisper of a cogent argument was Dennis Markuse.

  3. 3
    phoenicianromans

    Give the guy a break – call him a “clueless whining gobshite” so he has something new to complain about. He can’t complain it is any less accurate, since he’s demonstrated his whininess.

  4. 4
    mnb0

    People like Ruse make me feel a New Atheist. Fortunately there are always some New Atheists making me feel an accommodist, so that I can keep on fostering my identity crisis. Not that I lose even a second of sleep about it.

  5. 5
    Donovan

    Not sure if it was a typo, but I will now refer to this type of mental gymnastic as “philoosophy.”

  6. 6
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Philoosophy! Hurdy-gurdy bork bork brok!

  7. 7
    Pierce R. Butler

    … the most useless philosopher ever.

    An aptly-positioned sequel to “clueless gobshite”, but questionable in point of fact.

    31 years ago, Ruse’s testimony was quite constructive in the Mclean v. Arkansas case. His contributions during the present millennium have been on the nugatory side, but how long would it take to find a philosopher without even that much of a positive impact?

  8. 8
    katkinkate

    I’m not sure if it was just the way PZ presented it, but I got a hint of Ruse complaining: Hey, I’m just as atheist and darwinist as Dawkins et al! Why aren’t they worshipping me!?! (foot stamp) !!

  9. 9
    Anthony K

    We worship Dawkins? And possibly Hitchens and Harris? Has he ever noticed how much we all freaking argue with each other? There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement.

    Oh, come on. I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t. Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?

    This community really needs to stop declaring itself so damn wonderful.

    Or at the very least, citation needed.

  10. 10
    Holms

    “John Kw*k”

    What’s with the asterisk?

  11. 11
    Colin J

    What’s with the asterisk?

    If you use the actual name you run the risk of summoning Him.

  12. 12
    dexitroboper

    But now PZ has summoned everyone whose name matches the wildcard expression. We’re doomed!

  13. 13
    Ichthyic

    If you use the actual name you run the risk of summoning Him.</i.

    true… but actually the reason is historical.

    the old pharyngula used to autodelete comments that had his name in them :)

    well, it did for a while anyway.

  14. 14
    okstop

    I saw Ruse “debate” Dembski at my grad institution. The whole thing was decidedly odd. First, it wasn’t a debate. They took turns presenting, with Dembski going second and then took questions from the audience. They didn’t address each other directly at all. Ruse’s talk was okay, as these things go; Dembski’s was, of course, an unmitigated mess.

    The thing that bothered me, though, was that whether or not Ruse intended to give this impression, the whole thing smacked of a “well, who knows who’s right, so let’s give both sides equal time, alright?” I mean, Ruse gives his talk, Dembski gives his, but… then what? If Dembski made any mistakes – and he made lots – Ruse sure wasn’t going to say anything about it. We the audience were left to try to untangle his nonsensical mess.

    Michael Ruse might have let it pass by without direct comment, but I wasn’t about to. Dembski made the outrageous claim in his presentation that he wasn’t arguing for anything so OUTRAGEOUS as continuing creation – oh, no! He just argued that all the information necessary was there at the moment of creation… which I pointed out would be evidentially indistiguishable from having no creator at all. He then kind of back-pedaled and agreed that new information would have to enter the system, which I got him to admit was pretty much the same thing as continuing creation. I don’t mention this to toot my own horn – the error was elementary and could have been caught by a first year logic student – but to highlight Ruse’s reaction. He grinned while I was grilling Dembski. He gave this little cock-eyed grin, like, “Ha! I knew someone would get you!”

    RUSE, YOU JACKASS, IF IT’S SUCH A BLATANT ERROR WHY AREN’T YOU SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT IT? Seriously, what if no one there had been willing to ask Dembski the question? What if no one had noticed (I shudder to think that, however)? If Ruse is going to go around actually debating this guy, if he claims this is actually in the service of promoting a skeptical view of creationist nonsense (rather than just promoting himself), doesn’t he have an obligation to call Dembski on his bullshit?

    Or am I just nuts?

  15. 15
    Keith Peterson

    Antihumanism? Now there’s a position you don’t see everyday.

    I consider myself to be a posthumanist, but antihumanism is just waaaay out there to be honest…

  16. 16
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I don’t think Ruse QUITE understands what it means to say you’re a 7 on Dawkins’s 0-7 scale.

  17. 17
    billyeager

    Hahaha, PZ, after having listed such wordy intellectual put-downs as to him being ‘pusillanimous’ etc. he does kinda leave your contribution looking like something you said after ten pints of lager and a kebab.

    Still, the practice of claiming that science should reference current weaknesses in certain areas of knowledge by bookmarking it as, “we’ll say God did this bit for now”, is utter bollocks though.

    Apparently it’s not enough to simply say we need to do a bit more research, we have to invoke ‘magic’ while we wait.

  18. 18
    coelsblog

    Which makes it entierly appropriate that the comment is coming from the most useless philosopher ever.

    Isn’t that remark rather too kind to Mary Midgley?

  19. 19
    Kel

    I liked the article, and thought that despite an overindulgence in rhetoric, Ruse had some decent points to make. Much like the new atheists ;)

  20. 20
    Argle Bargle

    coelsblog #18

    Isn’t that remark rather too kind to Mary Midgley?

    Just because Midgley’s objections to Dawkins’ Selfish Gene shows she has no idea about what Dawkins was writing about and just because her attacks on him are personal rather than academic is no reason to think she’s an incompetent philosopher. There are many other reasons to think so as well.

  21. 21
    hyperdeath

    PZ, while you’re on the subject of accommodationists, Stangroom deserves another mention. Not only does he whine incessantly about how mean and nasty you are, but he’s a fellow traveler of the hater crowd. What elaborate mental gymnastics he uses to reconcile those positions, I’m not sure, but it’s certainly interesting.

    He’s also one of those people who regards insults aimed at himself as being vastly worse than insults aimed at other people. He was mortally offended by you calling him functionally illiterate (after he blatantly misrepresented one of your posts), and by you including him in a list of misogynistic tweeters.

  22. 22
    drosera

    @Brownian,

    Oh, come on. I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t. Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?

    Brownian, on the other hand, is best known for inviting people to go fuck themselves with a sharp object and die doing so. A far greater contribution to civilization, no doubt.

    This community really needs to stop declaring itself so damn wonderful.

    Agreed.

  23. 23
    hyperdeath

    drosera:

    Brownian, on the other hand, is best known for inviting people to go fuck themselves with a sharp object and die doing so. A far greater contribution to civilization, no doubt.

    Reading comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong point. Brownian was pointing out the contradiction in self-described freethinkers holding certain people to be beyond criticism. He wasn’t commenting on the merits of those people.

  24. 24
    Anthony K

    Brownian, on the other hand, is best known for inviting people to go fuck themselves with a sharp object and die doing so.

    That’s hardly what I’m best known for. And I retracted that comment and apologized for it.

    Was that all you wanted to say? Or is there more?

  25. 25
    drosera

    @hyperdeath,

    Brownian was pointing out the contradiction in self-described freethinkers holding certain people to be beyond criticism.

    Nobody is holding certain people beyond criticism. But I don’t want to repeat that discussion here. I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute. He should crawl under a decaying log.

  26. 26
    drosera

    And I retracted that comment and apologized for it.

    Yeah, like an abusive spouse apologizing for beating up their partner. That’s alright then. Carry on.

  27. 27
    Anthony K

    Yeah, like an abusive spouse apologizing for beating up their partner. That’s alright then. Carry on.

    So, is there a point to this stream of tu quoques?

    Does any of this somehow contradict my comment? Because right now, you’re just another smug, irrelevant fuck mistaking style for substance.

  28. 28
    Anthony K

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    That’s fucking awesome. How fucking high are you?

  29. 29
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    We are labelled ‘accommodationists’ for our willingness to give religion a space not occupied by science.

    Why should religion claim that space? It seems that space should be occupied by something more worthwhile, like philosophy*, or humanism**, or a couple of pints of beer.

    Religion is worse than useless in any space. Religion is nothing more than authoritarianism dressed up as mysticism*** or spirtiualism***, all designed to disguise the fact it’s the epistemology of making shit up.

    Fuck that. I have enough useless shit in my life. I don’t have time to deal with the multitude of friends, acquaintances, and complete fucking strangers trying to tell me I need to live my life based on their made-up shit. I’m tired of people using their made-up shit as an excuse to feel aggrieved, or to keep their own children from a proper education or effective health-care, or to control society to fit their irrational made-up bullshit.

    There hasn’t been one decent fucking argument why religion should have access to the space not occupied by science. We have far better things with which to fill that space.

     

    * Which is more worthwhile than religion, at least.

    ** Or, as I like to call it, We’re all in this together-ism.

    *** Whatever that means.

  30. 30
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    drosera:

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    And you have completely removed yourself from rational discussion.

    Hey! I have an idea. Let’s all make drastic, unsupportable claims about each others’ inabilities to perform certain intellectual tasks based on single instances of behavior, rather than an overarching pattern. That’s an awesome game.

    And by awesome, I mean, “a favorite of half-witted fuckwads everywhere.”

  31. 31
    Anthony K

    Hey! I have an idea. Let’s all make drastic, unsupportable claims about each others’ inabilities to perform certain intellectual tasks based on single instances of behavior, rather than an overarching pattern.

    Well, I did make that comment, and it’s not the worst I’ve made. There is a pattern there, and one I would do well to correct.

    But that hardly disqualifies me from being an arbiter of a dispute, even if that’s what I was doing. Which, of course, I am not doing.

  32. 32
    drosera

    On every decent blog Brownian would have been banned for all eternity for making that comment. Just imagine Richard Dawkins writing something like that. The world would be too small to contain the outrage. But everybody here (except Walton, who dared to call him out) apparently has no problem with this kind of behavior. I find that pretty disgusting. But that’s just me.

  33. 33
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    drosera:

    On every decent blog Brownian would have been banned for all eternity for making that comment.

    If this isn’t a decent* blog, what are you doing here?

    But more to the point, did Brownian apologize? Has Brownian refrained from those kinds of posts since being called out? (And yeah, Walton’s pretty good about that.)

    Brownian has copped to the accusation, and apologized for it. What the fuck more do you want? You want to keep bringing it up every time Brownian offers opinion, supported argument, or intelligently witty commentary? For fuck’s sake, you even agreed with Brownian’s post. You brought up the past just to whine.

    And I find that pretty disgusting. But that’s just me.

     

    * Whatever that means.

  34. 34
    drosera

    @nigelTheBold, Venomous Demonic Hater,

    I didn’t agree with Brownian’s entire post, just with one particular sentence. There’s a difference, you know.

  35. 35
    Anthony K

    On every decent blog Brownian would have been banned for all eternity for making that comment.

    You should discuss this with commenter PG on Edwin Kagin’s blog. He feels that any blog that moderates is an echo chamber. But never mind that. He also dislikes me. The two of you will have a lot to talk about.

    I find that pretty disgusting. But that’s just me.

    Whatever a decent blog is, it would then be full of people like you who do not understand how to construct an argument.

    That would be pretty disgusting.

  36. 36
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    I didn’t agree with Brownian’s entire post, just with one particular sentence. There’s a difference, you know.

    And the part you didn’t necessarily agree with*, you dismissed with an ad hominem fallacy. And that’s the part of your post with which I find offensive.

     

    * It was hard to tell precisely what you were commenting on, other than your judgement of Brownian’s abilities as arbiter of disagreements. And your judgement was just an opinion, yet you stated it as fact. Oh, well.

  37. 37
    drosera

    Okay, you want me to comment on the substance of your post?

    Brownian responded to this statement by PZ:

    There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement.

    with this:

    Oh, come on. I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t.

    In other words, Dawkins et al. are criticized within the atheist community, just as PZ noted. So, Brownian’s response is self-defeating and clueless.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    In other words, Dawkins et al. are criticized within the atheist community, just as PZ noted. So, Brownian’s response is self-defeating and clueless.

    Is that the best you can come up with?

    Sure, and some Catholics criticise the Pope. The fact that some criticism exists does not invalidate the claim that there is a tendency to elevate people like Dawkins to Pope-like positions.

    As you wrote:

    Just imagine Richard Dawkins writing something like that. The world would be too small to contain the outrage.

    Now, why would there be such a disparate response to Dawkins vs. me?

    Of course, he has much higher visibility than I do. But he’s also seen as somewhat as a hero in the movement. Follow any thread in which he does put his foot in it, and you’ll see any number of disappointed comments with the sentiment “heroes with feet of clay”.

    This is natural. This is normal. This happens in any community. (To continue the parallel with me, the reason that I’m afforded some leeway is that people tend to feel I’ve outweighed my negative tendencies with positive ones. For ill or well.)

    But it’s certainly not the case that this community does not ‘worship’ Harris, or Hitchens, or Dawkins, esepcially given the loose way in which Ruse is using the term.

  39. 39
    Anthony K

    But it’s certainly not the case that this community does not ‘worship’ Harris, or Hitchens, or Dawkins, esepcially given the loose way in which Ruse is using the term.

    More accurately, it is not the case that there are no saints and popes in the community, unless PZ is specifically referring to the supernatural attributes of these positions, in which case his comment is facile and trite: there are no saints and popes in any community.

  40. 40
    Anthony K

    ‘Clueless’.

    Give me a fucking break.

  41. 41
    drosera

    But it’s certainly not the case that this community does not ‘worship’ Harris, or Hitchens, or Dawkins, esepcially given the loose way in which Ruse is using the term.

    Many people in the New Atheist community certainly admire Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, but only a handful of nutters would ‘worship’ them. Of course, if you start redefining words you can always ‘win’ (redefined) any argument.

  42. 42
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    Okay, you want me to comment on the substance of your post?

    Brownian responded to this statement by PZ:

    There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement.

    with this:

    Oh, come on. I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t.

    In other words, Dawkins et al. are criticized within the atheist community, just as PZ noted. So, Brownian’s response is self-defeating and clueless.

    No, you fucking idiot. Brownian’s response is not clueless, but your (perhaps deliberate) misunderstanding of it certainly is clueless.

    A few catholic individuals criticize the Pope. For Catholics as a whole to pat themselves on the back saying “see what freethinkers we are, see, we aren’t brainwashed sheep” is disingenuous at best. The specific catholic individual who does criticize the Pope may be allowed to crow about being a freethinker, but to be honest and fully accurate, should add a disclaimer that many/most of his fellows don’t live up to his standards.

    That’s where PZ went wrong, and that’s what Brownian was pointing out. Myers and Harris may indeed not have any saints or popes in their own atheism. But that’s objectively not true for many/most fellow atheists. Proof: the pushback against the rare people here who identify as atheists while daring to criticize Dawkins. Or Thunderfoot.

    And I admit that I am one of the commenters who push against criticism of Dawkins which I think is insufficiently nuanced. Does that mean I admit to thinking Dawkins is a saint or pope of atheism? No, I don’t admit that, but nonetheless I recognize that PZ’s statement “There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement.” is simply not true for many/most people who self-identify as New Atheists.

    You should stop attacking Brownian’s posts while your hatred of something Brownian did once long ago blinds you. Go away for a few more years, get over it, and come back when you can comment rationally.

  43. 43
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Many people in the New Atheist community certainly admire Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, but only a handful of nutters would ‘worship’ them.

    People who try to silence criticism of their heroes by pointing to their tremendous contribution to areas not directly related to the criticism, and scold critics for daring to criticize their heroes despite having accomplished less, have crossed the line from admiration to worship.
    Their proportion in the population seems to be unknown (unless you want to substantiate your estimate of ‘a handful’), but they reliably appear whenever a criticism of the heroes listed is made (at least on this fine blog).

  44. 44
    Anthony K

    Many people in the New Atheist community certainly admire Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, but only a handful of nutters would ‘worship’ them. Of course, if you start redefining words you can always ‘win’ (redefined) any argument.

    I don’t know many Catholics who ‘worship’ the Pope, for whatever that term means. So let’s stop using it then. Ruse brought it up, and PZ rebutted with the simplistic claim that there are no saints or popes in the atheist community. So we can simply work with PZ’s comment.

    It is the case that many in the New Atheist community admire Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens to the point of insisting they be exempt from criticism by lesser people. (Read through any of PZ’s posts on Harris for examples.)

  45. 45
    anteprepro

    While we are dredging up the past in order to make contrived ad hominems, let’s look at drosera’s fine contributions here . Would you believe that drosera, in accusing Brownian of being a hypocrite by bringing up a select few unsavory comments, is hirself guilty of hypocrisy? Because drosera hateshateshates “slander” and has a very low threshold for what it considers “slander”? And that it is obvious that it is motivated to bring this up about Brownian because he is the kind of drooling sycophants that Brownian’s comment mocked? Well, then, I present to you, The Best of Drosera.

    On Accusations of Sexism and Zombie Troglodytes:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together. It’s disgusting to see a bunch of troglodytes here attempting to assassinate his character. PZ can be proud of his pack of zombies.

    Richard Dawkins? Sexist? INTERNET SLANDER!!!

    I must assume that you consider slandering Richard Dawkins less objectionable than protesting against the slander. That makes you intellectually equivalent to a zombie, in my estimation; I treated you accordingly.

    Drosera: Gentleman in the Fray

    Not necessary, thank you very much. It does have a certain charm. Being here is a bit like slumming. Or watching Scarface.

    Calling someone sexist is character assassination, not criticism, mmkay?

    If you can’t see the difference between legitimate criticism and maniacal exaggerations amounting to character assassination, which was what I addressed, then you can’t be helped.

    You used words I didn’t use! I win!

    No, my pale-faced friend, that’s not what I said. It’s what the mouldy stuff you call your brain has made up. The words ‘because’ and ‘criticize’ here are entirely your unwarranted and devious inventions. Your whole feeble excuse for an argument hinges on this, as you know very well. You have no leg to stand on.

    Did I mention I like to accuse people of slander without elaboration?

    Except that I like reading Jerry Coyne’s website, so it annoys me when he is apparently being set up by people like you to become the next victim of the Professional Slandering™ brigade.

    What is slander? Well, I know slander when I see it.

    You can criticise anybody you want. Slandering is something else. Some people here don’t know the difference.

    Innocent until guilty: For “victims” of “slander”, not for “slanderers”!

    In civilised countries people don’t have to prove their innocence when they are being slandered. Only devious little rats like you can insist on a reversal of the burden of proof….

    So when I call you a child molester and you say that I am slandering you, people should presume that I am innocent of slander?

    Verdict: Dimwitted troll. What say you, commentariat?

  46. 46
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    In other words, Dawkins et al. are criticized within the atheist community, just as PZ noted. So, Brownian’s response is self-defeating and clueless.

    Did you see the pushback against criticism of Thunderf00t? Have you seen the pushback against people who criticize Dawkins for his Dear Muslima bullshit? Or how about the folks who post criticizing Harris for his Islamophobia?

    Hell, even here I’ve seen folks irrationally defend PZ.

    Brownian’s point is that we do provide special dispensations to those we hold in high regard. We revere them a bit more than we should. We defend them even when they say indefensible things*.

    So, no. Brownian’s point stands.

     

    * Like, “You womenz have it good compared to females in other countries, so shut up about your problems.”

  47. 47
    chigau (違う)

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/09/07/no-compromises/comment-page-1/#comment-451694

    drosera
    9 September 2012 at 3:45 pm

    A few years ago Pharyngula was my favourite web site. It’s terribly sad that it has become such a run-down wasteland.

    I leave you to it.

  48. 48
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    anteprepro, #45:

    Hell, not only does Brownian’s point stand, but drosera is exhibit A, B, and C.

  49. 49
    Forbidden Snowflake

    That is why you should always flounce with a loud public announcement. That way, you may be deterred from coming back by the potential for embarrassment, and if you do come back, at least you’ll give people a good laugh. Win-win.

  50. 50
    anteprepro

    A few years ago Pharyngula was my favourite web site. It’s terribly sad that it has become such a run-down wasteland.

    I leave you to it.

    For all the people who say that Pharyngula is such an awful place, for all the people who say they hate everything this place stands for and despise all its evil denizens, for all the people who flounce away in rage and disgust… a fucking lot of them come right back, hoping everyone forgot about their tantrum when they try to start a new tantrum.

    To all the trolls out there: You may have an addiction. Seek help.

  51. 51
    anteprepro

    Oh shi-

    Anyway, the post I meant to link to in my first comment was already linked to by chigau.

  52. 52
    Worldtraveller

    drosera@22: I might be late to the party, but I thought Brownian was best known for the queue.

    Ah, I see reading further down you’ve simply failed to stick your flounce.

  53. 53
    Anthony K

    Well, this is interesting. So, if we take these comments:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together. It’s disgusting to see a bunch of troglodytes here attempting to assassinate his character.

    Being here is a bit like slumming. Or watching Scarface.

    And this one:

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    So I (and the rest of the Pharyngula commentariat) don’t have the appropriate moral or ethical purity to criticise on Dawkins, or the community at large.

    No saints, no popes indeed.

  54. 54
    myeck waters

    I would like to state for the record that drosera has caused me to change my position on this issue.

    I had been disagreeing with Brownian.

  55. 55
    drosera

    Yes, I defended Dawkins against the outrageous outburst of hate displayed here some time ago. So what? That doesn’t imply that I consider him to be above criticism. In fact, I have criticized him myself on his own website for seeming to be an admirer of the odious Geert Wilders. Dawkins even bothered to respond personally.

    But as I already said ad nauseam (as one commenter above was kind enough to demonstrate), there is a difference between slander and valid criticism. Apparently, it needs repeating.

    In the meantime, you are all doing a good job papering over your comrad Brownian’s torture fantasies. He apologized, so it’s okay.

  56. 56
    Rey Fox

    Find a new gotcha.

  57. 57
    Rey Fox

    Or stick the flounce.

  58. 58
    vaiyt

    I don’t grok the aura built around people like Harris and Dawkins. I sometimes cringe at the occasional Pharyngula commenter jumping to defend PZ in a personal way.

    Maybe it’s because I live in Nowhere, Bumfuckistan and have never seen them giving a talk. Maybe it’s because I’ve been looking at the whole NuAtheist culture thing from the outside.

    The only attractive I see in them is that they say things that make sense. Outside of that, I don’t see why so many people would refrain from criticizing them. Would we excuse a firefighter for a murder because he’s saved lots of people? Would we excuse a philantropist from an embezzlement scheme because he’s donated a lot to charity? Why are we excusing scientists from hateful rhetoric and sexism because of their “contributions”? Come ON.

  59. 59
    anteprepro

    But as I already said ad nauseam (as one commenter above was kind enough to demonstrate), there is a difference between slander and valid criticism.

    And yet you were oddly silent about what that distinction actually was. I’m sure that isn’t because it would show that you either don’t know what slander is or because it would have been shooting yourself in the foot. Nope. I’m sure the person who shouts out “slander” with the all precision of a lawyer’s parrot has a firm grasp on the subject.

    In the meantime, you are all doing a good job papering over your comrad Brownian’s torture fantasies. He apologized, so it’s okay.

    What more can he possibly do about saying bad things on the internet? But that you consider this insufficient is particularly hilarious. Do you know what makes Brownian different Dawkins? Brownian was wrong, realized it, and apologized. Dawkins was wrong, hasn’t apologized, and continues to be a passive-aggressive, sexist asshat.

  60. 60
    Anthony K

    Yes, I defended Dawkins against the outrageous outburst of hate displayed here some time ago. So what?

    And you defended him how? Ah, here it is:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together.

    IOW “You’re not worthy to criticise St. Dawkins.”

    In the meantime, you are all doing a good job papering over your comrad Brownian’s torture fantasies. He apologized, so it’s okay.

    “Torture fantasy.” It’s less torture fantasy than Dawkins is a clueless misogynist, slanderous dumbfuck.

    And again, how is my comment at all relevant to this discussion?

    Oh right, here it is:

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    Again, I don’t have the requisite moral purity.

    So, fuckhead, let’s look at my first comment on this thread:

    Oh, come on. I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t. Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?

    Recognise someone there in the bolded bit, asshole? Oh, yeah, that’s you.

    Fucking sycophantic dipshit.

  61. 61
    Anthony K

    That should be parsed as:

    It’s less torture fantasy than Dawkins is a clueless misogynist. [You] Slanderous dumbfuck.

  62. 62
    Anthony K

    What more can he possibly do about saying bad things on the internet?

    Ban me. And ban Dawkins as well. The community will be all the better for the loss of us both.

    And I sincerely mean that.

  63. 63
    anteprepro

    By the way

    Yes, I defended Dawkins against the outrageous outburst of hate displayed here some time ago. So what?

    The “so what” is that you are “slandering” Brownian by the same metric that anyone “slandered” Dawkins. Which makes you a hypocrite accusing Brownian of hypocrisy. I thought the irony might be amusing to any onlookers. It is also shows a pattern of you coming to the defense of Atheist Authorities. Because, really, what have any of us mere mortals done in comparison to their greatness?

    Also, bringing up your previous adventure here shows to the General Audience that you are a moron and a blatant troll who is incapable of engaging properly and doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. I thought people needed the warning. And I think this information is at least as relevant as “Brownian, on the other hand, is best known for inviting people to go fuck themselves with a sharp object and die doing so. A far greater contribution to civilization, no doubt”. I’m sure you disagree. But you’re a troll, so it doesn’t matter.

  64. 64
    Sastra

    The qualifications for the title of “Qualified Dispute Arbiter” is still being worked on in Committee. Be sure to keep checking back for their Final Report on this issue.

    As for Michael Ruse, I’ll repeat the suggestion I made on WEIT: we should put his name and face on t-shirts (“I Like Mike”) and welcome him warmly into the community of New Atheist gods, buying his books and quoting his best stuff with worshipful abandon.

    If that doesn’t either pacify him or annoy him, it will at the very least confuse him. Put him off his stride.

    He’s been so … strident.

  65. 65
    anteprepro

    Ban me. And ban Dawkins as well. The community will be all the better for the loss of us both.

    And I sincerely mean that.

    Honestly, I can’t say that for either of you. Mostly because I have no idea what “the community” even is anymore, much less what the quality is of the average member. But also because you are on the right side of the majority of issues, which is apparently a rarity. Dawkins is bad, but he isn’t as bad as Hitchens was, or Harris is. Heck, the only atheist with name recognition who might be better is Dennett, and that might only be because he hasn’t had opportunity to put his foot in his mouth.

    Fuck, the Christians were right. Atheism is depressing.

  66. 66
    Anthony K

    Fuck, the Christians were right. Atheism is depressing.

    Atothefuckingmen.

  67. 67
    Anthony K

    As for Michael Ruse, I’ll repeat the suggestion I made on WEIT: we should put his name and face on t-shirts (“I Like Mike”) and welcome him warmly into the community of New Atheist gods, buying his books and quoting his best stuff with worshipful abandon.

    If that doesn’t either pacify him or annoy him, it will at the very least confuse him. Put him off his stride.

    Pro tip: Mike, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!

  68. 68
    john3141592

    Ruse seems to be using the Mistress Quickly defense. Perhaps PZ could assure him that nobody is calling him an otter. Probably. That we know of.

  69. 69
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    Yes, I defended Dawkins against the outrageous outburst of hate displayed here some time ago. So what? That doesn’t imply that I consider him to be above criticism. In fact, I have criticized him myself on his own website for seeming to be an admirer of the odious Geert Wilders. Dawkins even bothered to respond personally.

    But as I already said ad nauseam (as one commenter above was kind enough to demonstrate), there is a difference between slander and valid criticism. Apparently, it needs repeating.

    In the meantime, you are all doing a good job papering over your comrad Brownian’s torture fantasies. He apologized, so it’s okay.

    Jesus fuck, you slimeball, just stop it. Just stop your hateful hoggling against Brownian. You’re not going to win; the queue is proof of that.

    Your kind is not welcome here. Fuck off. Hey, I’ll even be nicer to you than you deserve. Fuck off, please.

  70. 70
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    Fuck, the Christians were right. Atheism is depressing.

    Atothefuckingmen.

    That made me giggle. Thanks!

  71. 71
    drosera

    Brownian sez:

    Fucking sycophantic dipshit.

    Here is how I criticized ‘St.’ Dawkins:

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/4953-geert-wilders-goes-on-trial/comments?page=3#comment_434160

    And his mildly irritated reply:

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/4953-geert-wilders-goes-on-trial/comments?page=3#comment_434171

    How sycophantic is that? But don’t let the facts burst the shiny bubbles of your fantasy world.

    By the way, I just noticed that I misspelled PZ’s name (Meyers instead of Myers). Apologies for that. Why did nobody call me out for it? That would at least have made sense.

  72. 72
    Ichthyic

    drosera suffering from flounce fail again I see.

  73. 73
    Ichthyic

    Fucking sycophantic dipshit.

    you could probably just use dipshit.

    I can’t see the reason to get more specific than that.

  74. 74
    Ichthyic

    How sycophantic relevant is that?

    fixed.

    and by implication:

    not relevant to what Brownian quoted you on in this thread at all.

  75. 75
    Ichthyic

    comrad Brownian

    my fantasies have been tinted with red.

  76. 76
    Anthony K

    Here is how I criticized ‘St.’ Dawkins:

    Good for you. I mean that, but how exactly does that invalidate my initial comment in which I wrote,

    but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t. Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?

    and in doing so, perfectly lampooned your comment

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together

    Believe me, I wasn’t thinking of you in particular (I don’t at all remember you nor particularly care to), but the reams of like-minded appeals to authority. It was only luck (assisted by your feeble narcissism) that you happened to show up.

    By the way, I just noticed that I misspelled PZ’s name (Meyers instead of Myers). Apologies for that. Why did nobody call me out for it? That would at least have made sense.

    If you wish to retain my services as a copy editor, you can pay me.

  77. 77
    drosera

    So is Ichthyic another torture apologist or what?

  78. 78
    Ichthyic


    What is slander? Well, I know slander when I see it.

    I’m sure dross* will even trademark it, like Apple trademarked rounded corners.

    think about how much money you’ll make by trademarking the word “slander” there, dross!

    I have to claim a finder’s fee of 10% on your realized profits if you do trademark it though.

    *mind if I call you dross? seems fitting, and ever so slightly shorter. Or would that be slander?

  79. 79
    Ichthyic

    So is Ichthyic another torture apologist or what?

    If saying “fuck off”, literally means I expect you to go and fuck yourself, yeah sure. call Homeland security.

    dipshit.

  80. 80
    Anthony K

    But don’t let the facts burst the shiny bubbles of your fantasy world.

    Here’s a fact.

    In this thread, Brownian wrote:

    I know it’s fashionable for atheists to declare how very independent of thought they are, what with culture ceasing to have the same effect on one as it does the great unwashed masses once one declares Jesus a myth, but we’ve all seen the stink eye we get when we criticize Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, or Thunderf00t. Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?

    Here’s another, related fact. In this comment, hir first on the thread, drosera wrote:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together. It’s disgusting to see a bunch of troglodytes here attempting to assassinate his character. PZ can be proud of his pack of zombies.

    Now, I wouldn’t have had such a picture-perfect example of what I was talking about, had drosera not shown up to lay a perfect ad hominem on me in this thread. (And I’m not talking ad hominem in the whiny nerd way that skeptics like to use it, as some sort of pretentious longhand for ‘insult’, but an actual, honest-to-god “you cannot argue X because in the past you’ve done completely unrelated Yad hominem.)

    Those are some facts, all right.

  81. 81
    Anthony K

    So is Ichthyic another torture apologist or what?

    If drosera is any indication, Dawkins has done fuck-all for rationality.

    This is your church, Dick, and this is your congregation.

  82. 82
    Ichthyic

    oh, damn forgot the link…

    comrad Brownian

    my fantasies have been tinted with red.

  83. 83
    Ichthyic

    Those are some facts, all right.

    “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”

    –Homer Simpson

  84. 84
    drosera

    Now, I wouldn’t have had such a picture-perfect example of what I was talking about

    I doubt that most of the regulars are smart enough to see that you are lying through your teeth here, after I just demonstrated that I’m perfectly fine with criticizing Dawkins.

    And no, my first comment on this thread was not an ad hominem; I didn’t claim that your comment was wrong because of your horrible fantasies.

  85. 85
    Ichthyic

    huh, I thought the whole “meaningless colorful expression = fantasies of murder and torture” died out with Moony’s blog?

    good to know Dross is as intellectually agile as John Kw*k

  86. 86
    Ichthyic

    I didn’t claim that your comment was wrong because of your horrible fantasies.

    no, you claimed he shouldn’t speak on the matter, at all, because of your erroneous interpretation of a colorful rejoinder.

    you.

    fucking.

    idiot.

  87. 87
    Ichthyic

    I doubt that most of the regulars are smart deluded enough to see that you are lying through your teeth here

    fixed.

    next time, I’m going to bill you before Brownian figures out I’m muscling in on his action.

  88. 88
    Ichthyic

    well, this has been amusing.

    if you don’t decide to finally stick your flounce, dross, do drop by again for tea and cookies?

  89. 89
    Anthony K

    I doubt that most of the regulars are smart enough to see that you are lying through your teeth here, after I just demonstrated that I’m perfectly fine with criticizing Dawkins.

    Oh, fuck off, asshole. You may be fine with criticising Dawkins, but it is indisputable that when others did it, you criticised the criticism with a perfect example of what I was talking about.

    Here’s your comment again:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together. It’s disgusting to see a bunch of troglodytes here attempting to assassinate his character. PZ can be proud of his pack of zombies.

    See the bolded bit? That’s pretty much exactly what I was talking about.

    Here’s my comment again, paraphrasing people like you:

    Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?.

    Here’s you:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together.

    My paraphrase again:

    Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?.

    You again:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together.

    My paraphrase:

    Don’t you know how much they’ve all done for atheism?.

    You:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ Meyers and his united commentariat put together.

    Smart enough. Right.

    And no, my first comment on this thread was not an ad hominem; I didn’t claim that your comment was wrong because of your horrible fantasies.

    No. Technically, you did not use ‘because’ in your first comment. But when asked to clarify, you certainly did so:

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    So, are you going to continue to sit here and deny what you’ve fucking wrote, you lying fuck? I’ve an idea; why don’t you bring up my comment again. You’re inept at any sort of reasoning, so your best hope is to simply criticise me.

    So, fucking have at it, you stupid, useless, lying piece of shit.

  90. 90
    drosera

    no, you claimed he shouldn’t speak on the matter, at all, because of your erroneous interpretation of a colorful rejoinder.

    Even Brownian himself, to his credit, probably disagrees with your characteristic. But he can correct me if I’m wrong.

  91. 91
    Ichthyic

    Even Brownian himself, to his credit, probably disagrees with your characteristic.

    hey, there’s something we can talk about.

    I always did disagree that telling someone to fuck themselves sideways with a rusty knife meant anything different than me telling you to simply fuck off.

    I disagree with those who came later and decided an apology for that was needed or warranted.

    if you want to shift usage because the majority have decided a particular phrasing of “fuck off” has become boring, tedious, or inane, then fine.

    but apologies?

    naww.

    apologies merely tend to encourage idiots like yourself.

  92. 92
    drosera

    You may be fine with criticising Dawkins, but it is indisputable that when others did it, you criticised the criticism with a perfect example of what I was talking about.

    Yes, because much of it wasn’t criticism but insane hyperbole.

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ [Myers] and his united commentariat put together.

    This is a simple statement of fact and I stand by it. If it gives you a nice ‘gotcha’ feeling in your tummy, be my guest.

  93. 93
    Ichthyic

    insane hyperbole.

    that does tend to characterize you better than anything else you’ve said.

  94. 94
    Tethys

    I’m finding drosero’s whining, and the mocking of drosero quite amusing.

    However my brain keeps reading drosero as drosophila and then setting it to lyrics.

    drosophil-eee, drosophil-iii, drosophil-eeee, drosophil-i-i-i-i-i-i, with a knapsack on my back

  95. 95
    Ichthyic

    … you know, when I said:

    “apologies merely tend to encourage idiots like yourself.”

    I think I need to amend that.

    I see that just conversing with idiots like yourself is already too much encouragement.

    you need yourself an empty room.

    to that end I now contribute.

  96. 96
    drosera

    @Ichthyic,

    if you don’t decide to finally stick your flounce, dross, do drop by again for tea and cookies?

    Juding from your pseudonym I’d rather expect something fishy. Smoked salmon on toast perhaps? I’ll bring a nice bottle of wine. In the meantime you can try to find some actual arguments.

  97. 97
    Anthony K

    Brownian, on the other hand, is best known for inviting people to go fuck themselves with a sharp object and die doing so. A far greater contribution to civilization, no doubt.

    I was just struck by the hypocrisy of this particular commenter who has completely disqualified himself to be the arbiter in any kind of dispute.

    Ad hominem par excellence, fucker.

    Ichthyic, the comment drosera is referring to is here. Both Walton and Pteryxx called me out for it.

    Yes, because much of it wasn’t criticism but insane hyperbole.

    Well, whatever. So your response to it was this simple statement of fact?

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than PZ [Myers] and his united commentariat put together.

    That’s your story? On a thread that you characterised as ‘insane hyperbole’, you thought it apt to throw out a completely unrelated and uneccesary ‘statement of fact’ about Dawkins’ relative contributions to the field? And it’s not actually an example of my comment on this thread, but an unfortunate coincidence which simply makes you look like a douche? And your response to that is to suggest that I’ve used violent, hyperbolic imagery in the past, and despite apologising for it, I’m somehow unqualified to comment on the atheist community’s admiration of people like Dawkins, but that’s not an ad hominem?

    If it gives you a nice ‘gotcha’ feeling in your tummy, be my guest.

    That’s the story you’re going with? No, these are all simply unrelated non sequiturs that I’m struggling to twist into a coherent story. You’re being unfairly mischaracterised? You’re simply unable to follow an argument are you? That’s what’s actually happening?

    Why, I think you’re one of the most dishonest people I’ve ever encountered.

    Flounce already, you chickenshit liar.

  98. 98
    Ichthyic

    Both Walton and Pteryxx called me out for it.

    that’s nice.

    I wouldn’t have.

    but then, I also don’t think Walton and Pteryxx are the moral arbiters of what constitutes an acceptable turn of phrase, any more than I think Dross has any clue what the term “not literal” means.

  99. 99
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I doubt that most of the regulars are smart enough to see that you are lying through your teeth here, after I just demonstrated that I’m perfectly fine with criticizing Dawkins.

    Quit lying through your teeth Drosera.

  100. 100
    drosera

    And your response to that is to suggest that I’ve used violent, hyperbolic imagery in the past, and despite apologising for it, I’m somehow unqualified to comment on the atheist community’s admiration of people like Dawkins, but that’s not an ad hominem?

    Demonstrating your hypocrisy is not an ad hominem.

  101. 101
    Anthony K

    In the meantime you can try to find some actual arguments.

    Here’s one you can use, Ichthyic:

    Professor Dawkins has done more for the cause of atheism and rational thought than drosera.

    It’s a simple statement of fact. It’s kind of a non sequitur, but feel free to throw that in drosera’s face in response to hir comments. Xe’ll stand by it.

    but then, I also don’t think Walton and Pteryxx are the moral arbiters of what constitutes an acceptable turn of phrase, any more than I think Dross has any clue what the term “not literal” means.

    Maybe not. But I’m the arbiter of what I consider acceptable, and I felt that I’d crossed a line.

    I then got called away and forgot about it. When I returned to the thread the next AM and saw Walton and Pteryxx’s comments, I was reminded, apologised, and was please that the target graciously accepted it.

  102. 102
    Anthony K

    Demonstrating your hypocrisy is not an ad hominem.

    You don’t know what the terms hypocrisy nor ad hominem mean.

    You haven’t demonstrated any hypocrisy with that comment. If you had, then it would be still be a tu quoque, which is a form of ad hominem, but since I’m talking about whether or not the atheist community has saints and popes (i.e. revered personages), anything unrelated to that is, well, unrelated. To bring it up then is at best a non sequitur, and to imply that because of that comment I’m unqualified to have any say in a discussion on whether or not the atheist community has saints and popes is in fact an ad hominem.

    Have you learned nothing?

  103. 103
    Ichthyic

    But I’m the arbiter of what I consider acceptable, and I felt that I’d crossed a line.

    fair enough. I just keep going back to that complete idiocy surrounding what happened at Mooney’s blog (was dross there too?) and inevitably come down on the side of NOT overreacting to what are obviously just turns of phrase.


    It’s like in that old Python skit…
    if you were the husband, I the wife, and the “offended” the person who runs off at the mention of the word “tinny”

  104. 104
  105. 105
    AJ Milne

    Let it go, Michael. It was 3½ years ago. I’ll try to find something new for you to be bitter over…

    Ooo! Ooo! Are you taking suggestions?

    (Jumps up and down in seat, with hand up, in the manner of an excited third grader…)

    And I know this probably just reveals some scary issue of mine own or something, but I always seem to read the weirdest subtexts into these things…

    But, seriously, let’s take stock, shall we:

    1) Yes, the whole thing does seem, on the surface, kinda pointless as commentary, buuuuut…

    2) He points out the fractiousness, the narcissism of small differences stuff,

    3) He brings up the old insult,

    4) He assures us he really doesn’t mind the abuse, and, finally,

    5) He underlines that, look, he’s totally athier than Dawkins.

    Don’t you see? This isn’t meant as commentary at all.

    Nay. This is the cry of a wounded, lonely soul, if ever there was one. Or, possibly, the shy, shuffled feet of a wallflower at the dance, who dearly wants to get onto the floor, but is just too nervous to ask directly…

    He’s lonely, don’t you see? No one’s called him a gobshite in years! And now it’s starting to sting a little. So now he’s all like, c’mon, listen, guys, you fight among yourselves like mad, how come no one fights with me? What, am I not good enough? What gives here? What’s wrong with me? C’mon, I’m standing right here, no one to dance with, dammit! No one’s even looking! What, is it the sweater? The hair? Why is no one paying attention to me! Guuuuuyyyyys….

    (Cue ‘Awwwwww’ sound effect…)

    So, PZ, seriously, this post is probably a nice start. But I think if someone did up a #HugTheGobshite Twitter tag or somethin’, it’d just make the poor guy’s day. Let’s show some love, here, people.

  106. 106
    drosera

    If this thread has learned us anything, it is that PZ is not considered a pope or a saint by his own commentariat, thereby proving him right.

  107. 107
    Ichthyic

    Here’s one you can use, Ichthyic:

    alas, that time is past.

    I’ve learned that conversing with it is only humorous for a few minutes.

    past that, it just becomes an exercise in waxing the car.

    you know… nothing but circular motions?

  108. 108
    Anthony K

    I just keep going back to that complete idiocy surrounding what happened at Mooney’s blog (was dross there too?) and inevitably come down on the side of NOT overreacting to what are obviously just turns of phrase.

    Well, some people, like drosera, prefer lies cloaked in politeness. I find such people repugnant. They do make excellent politicians, though.

  109. 109
    Tethys

    Have you learned nothing?

    I think drosero is far more interesting in trying to count coup against Brownian.

  110. 110
    Anthony K

    If this thread has learned us anything, it is that PZ is not considered a pope or a saint by his own commentariat, thereby proving him right.

    Basic logic fail. Such a thread would only demonstrate that PZ is not considered a pope or a saint. It certainly would not preclude others from being saints or popes.

    Jeepers, but you’re a dull one. Is there anything you’re good at?

  111. 111
    Ichthyic

    They do make excellent politicians, though.

    I would substitute the word “successful” for excellent before agreeing with you, and then wax melancholic because of the truth of it, but otherwise no argument.

  112. 112
    drosera

    @Ichthyic,

    I just keep going back to that complete idiocy surrounding what happened at Mooney’s blog (was dross there too?)[D.: no] and inevitably come down on the side of NOT overreacting to what are obviously just turns of phrase.

    In the case of Brownian I had the distinct impression that it was not just a turn of phrase. The guy meant it. Read the bloody exchange.

  113. 113
    Ichthyic

    In the case of Brownian I had the distinct impression that it was not just a turn of phrase. The guy meant it. Read the bloody exchange.

    last response.

    I’ve read the man for years, and know what and how he responds.

    if you think he meant those words literally, you’re a bigger fool than anyone ever realized.

  114. 114
    drosera

    It certainly would not preclude others from being saints or popes.

    No, but those others were already ruled out earlier in this thread. Only PZ remained as potential pope or saint.

  115. 115
    Ichthyic

    btw, Brownian, nor I should have to clarify what the apology was for.

    hint:

    it wasn’t for Brownian considering he actually threatened someone, nor was it because he has “torture fantasies”.

    that shit is all in your motherfucking skull.

  116. 116
    Anthony K

    No, but those others were already ruled out earlier in this thread. Only PZ remained as potential pope or saint.

    Oh, my. You are the most desperate, flailing case I’ve ever seen. No, they haven’t. Read the thread. Fuck. Right. Off. like you promised to do, you lousy, lying, filthy fuck.

  117. 117
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Only PZ remained as potential pope or saint.

    Stupid comment. PZ makes it clear is neither a pope or saint on a periodic basis. Only a fool would claim he is one.

  118. 118
    Anthony K

    it wasn’t for Brownian considering he actually threatened someone, nor was it because he has “torture fantasies”.

    I wasn’t threatening, nor do I want Jim to die.

  119. 119
    drosera

    if you think he meant those words literally, you’re a bigger fool than anyone ever realized.

    He sounded fairly serious to me:

    How’s this, Jimmy, you fucking two-faced lying bag of shit?

    You go fuck yourself. Get something heavy and sharp. Die whilst doing it, if possible.

    Nobody needs to engage your lying fucking ass.

    Not what I would consider merely a ‘colorful rejoinder’ [Ichthyic, somewhere upthread].

  120. 120
    Ichthyic

    I wasn’t threatening, nor do I want Jim to die.

    damnit. I just said you didn’t have to clarify that!

    ;)

  121. 121
    Ichthyic

    …OTOH:

    Not what I would consider merely a ‘colorful rejoinder’

    I should amend my earlier statement to:

    no need to clarify for anyone with at least half a functioning brain.

  122. 122
    Anthony K

    He sounded fairly serious to me

    That’s not much of an argument, given your level of stupidity.

    So, you’re not going to come clean and admit your entire reason for bringing this up is an ad hominem, even if it is an example of my ‘hypocrisy’, which it is not?

    Because you’ve already been granted way more time on this subject than you deserve.

    You can leave this place. We may be foul-mouthed, but we don’t much care for cowards and liars.

  123. 123
    drosera

    PZ makes it clear is neither a pope or saint on a periodic basis. Only a fool would claim he is one.

    Which I didn’t.

  124. 124
    drosera

    Brownian,

    I wasn’t threatening, nor do I want Jim to die.

    Clever, to put the part following the comma in the present tense. You’re a sick fuck, to state it in language even you can understand.

  125. 125
    Anthony K

    no need to clarify for anyone with at least half a functioning brain.

    Oops. Well, this dumbfuck is on the case of hypocrisy!, and xe’s not going to rest until we all admit that I wrote that and was serious (which means, what? I really wanted jim to suffer self-inflicted internal puncture trauma, perhaps fatally? Even if so, so fucking what?), and because of that unrelatedly, I’m unsuitable as an arbiter of disputes, and because of that unrelatedly, I’m wrong and PZ is right that there are no popes or saints in atheism, despite xir not ever having actually made any argument other than referring to that comment.

  126. 126
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Which I didn’t.

    You sounded like you did. Maybe if you shut the fuck up for a week or so, you wouldn’t keep sounding like are a demented fool claiming PZ is a pope or saint…

  127. 127
    Anthony K

    You’re a sick fuck, to state it in language even you can understand.

    Oh, a fucking liar and an idiot thinks I’m a sick fuck.

    I don’t know how to put it any plainer than this: I have absolutely no respect for you as a person. You’re a fucking idiot, and you’re a perfect representation of the sort of pseudo-intellectual this atheist movement is chock-a-block with.

    Feel however you want about me. It is not possible for me to care any less about you as a person, nor about what you have to say.

    It does piss me off that you’re a fucking cowardly liar, though.

  128. 128
    Anthony K

    You sounded like you did. Maybe if you shut the fuck up for a week or so, you wouldn’t keep sounding like are a demented fool claiming PZ is a pope or saint…

    Christ on a crutch Nerd, read the fucking thread. Drosera is indeed a moron, but xe did not say that, nor did xe imply that. If anything, xe’s defending PZ’s comment that “There are no saints and popes in the New Atheist movement”, but by no means is xe doing it in the manner you seem to think.

  129. 129
    Anthony K

    You’re a sick fuck

    So, we’re going to take that as a no on copping to the ad hominem then. You’re just gonna double down, are ya.

    So, honesty means nothing to you.

    I’m perfectly comfortable being an honest, but sick fuck. You, on the other hand, care not a whit for honesty.

    I hope Dawkins is very happy with the calibre of follower he’s attracted.

  130. 130
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Drosera is indeed a moron, but xe did not say that, nor did xe imply that

    Yet I quoted xis post. Maybe xe needs to be more pertinent, and less defensive or attempting inane humor when it posts. I get the feeling Xe can’t say what Xe really means.

  131. 131
    drosera

    It does piss me off that you’re a fucking cowardly liar, though.

    Yeah, that would piss me off too, if it were true. Fortunately it isn’t. But I seriously hope you’re not in a position of power over anybody. Not even a goldfish.

  132. 132
    Anthony K

    I get the feeling Xe can’t say what Xe really means.

    Well, it won’t admit so, since all it really means are ad hominems and appeals to authority. So it lies and simply settles for claiming non sequiturs and irrelevancies.

  133. 133
    Anthony K

    But I seriously hope you’re not in a position of power over anybody.

    So, you’re like what? 22?

  134. 134
    drosera

    I get the feeling Xe can’t say what Xe really means.

    And I get the feeling you can’t read. I don’t know why.

  135. 135
    Ichthyic

    Oh, a fucking liar and an idiot thinks I’m a sick fuck.

    FWIW, nobody else thinks that, nor has ever thought that of you.

    dross is just that… dross.

  136. 136
    Anthony K

    Fortunately it isn’t.

    You still haven’t admitted that you’re engaging in ad hominems. You clearly have.

    Is that dishonesty, or cowardice? What else?

  137. 137
    Anthony K

    FWIW, nobody else thinks that, nor has ever thought that of you.

    That’s only because you folks have no idea of the things I choose not to write.

  138. 138
    Anthony K

    I leave you to it.

    And yet you haven’t.

    Were you serious? Or just lying?

  139. 139
    Ichthyic

    That’s only because you folks have no idea of the things I choose not to write.

    oh sure, you’re all darkness and badness.

    totally believable.

    *pinches cheek*

    little cuddly wuddly teddy bear you.

  140. 140
    Anthony K

    oh sure, you’re all darkness and badness.

    totally believable.

    *pinches cheek*

    little cuddly wuddly teddy bear you.

    Well, that’s what the people who I am in positions of power over think.

    I can’t vouch for the goldfish. They won’t fill out the performance appraisal forms I give them.

  141. 141
    Ichthyic

    I can’t vouch for the goldfish. They won’t fill out the performance appraisal forms I give them.

    I keep telling you that fish don’t respond well to torture.

    try treats instead.

  142. 142
    Ichthyic

    meh, I gotta go meet up with the SO for lunch.

    Do me a favor and toss all the lab cats in the meat grinder for me, eh Brownian?

    there’s a good evil lad.

  143. 143
    Anthony K

    try treats instead.

    Oh, that’s a given. Without extra vegetable matter, fancy goldfish like chinshurin are prone to constipation.

  144. 144
    Anthony K

    Do me a favor and toss all the lab cats in the meat grinder for me, eh Brownian?

    Toss? Won’t they die too quickly?

    Fine. *Grumbles*

  145. 145
    Ing

    Dear Muslimina

    I’m sorry I can’t bother to respond to the death threats you are getting for apostacy…someone on the internet used violent hyperbole

  146. 146
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dear Muslimina

    I’m sorry I can’t bother to respond to the death threats you are getting for apostacy…someone on the internet used violent hyperbole

    *Trebuchets a cask of grog Ing’s way*

  147. 147
    Tethys

    Hey, I think I found a pic of Brownians goldfish

    It seems happy IMO.

  148. 148
    anteprepro

    So, I see that drosera is behaving almost exactly like it did in the previous thread. Terminally obtuse, that one. It is literate, but only just. Just barely on the cusp, where it is fully capable of writing coherently, but can’t quite grasp the ideas conveyed by others. Needs a course in reading comprehension. Or intellectual honesty. Or it needs to be put into Troll rehabilitation. Or something.

  149. 149
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Holy fuck.

    Narcissism on display. Impressive.

  150. 150
    thecynicalromantic

    Alright, this has been bugging me since… well, since my douchebag ex-boyfriend used to do it.

    How is “I’m not saying what it is blatantly obvious I was saying, that sentence was totally a non-sequitur, not a response to or otherwise in any way related to what was said immediately before it!” a defense against anything?

    Non-sequiturs are (a) rude (b) fallacious and (c) indicative of a complete lack of understanding of how argument, conversation, or any other sort of verbal or written exchange involving more than one person using any language actually functions. Using non-sequiturs is an admission that you are too much of a dumbfuck to speak to another human being and you should probably shut the hell up forever, or at least until you learn how talking works.

  151. 151
    Anthony K

    FWIW, nobody else thinks that, nor has ever thought that of you.

    Thanks, Ichthyic. I did appreciate that.

    How is “I’m not saying what it is blatantly obvious I was saying, that sentence was totally a non-sequitur, not a response to or otherwise in any way related to what was said immediately before it!” a defense against anything?

    I couldn’t understand that myself. It’s not a better thing to be throwing out random claims unrelated to any discussion at hand, even if it weren’t clearly a lie to claim so.

  152. 152
    Anthony K

    Also,

    “or at least until you learn how talking works.”

    was awesome.

  153. 153
    Ichthyic

    Hey, I think I found a pic of Brownians goldfish

    Is he experimenting with growth hormones again?

    I keep telling him: look what happened to Henry Pym!

    you don’t want to go there.

  154. 154
    Ichthyic

    “or at least until you learn how talking works.”

    does this blog have a video chat function now too?

    damn, I just got this new puter, and I’m STILL behind on everything!

  155. 155
    anteprepro

    Using non-sequiturs is an admission that you are too much of a dumbfuck to speak to another human being and you should probably shut the hell up forever, or at least until you learn how talking works.

    Talking is like sex: It’s good when you do it with other people who are interested in it. It’s better when you do it by yourself. And it’s fantastic when you do it by yourself in front of a random crowd of people, whose grimaces and sneers are clearly indicative of their awe and wonder.

    So, given the sheer intellectual force of that analogy, I conclude that brainfarts must be orgasmic. Consider trolls explained.

    (Yes, I’m pretty sure that I also don’t understand how talking works.)

  156. 156
    Ichthyic

    So, given the sheer intellectual force of that analogy

    it did indeed put images in my tattered brain.

    I guiltily confess to actually experiencing the awe and wonder that comes with a bit of exhibitionism though.

    OK, so it was one guy on a horse that was watching us have sex on a beach.

    …and I think the horse was the one that looked more interested, but still.

    what a thrill.

  157. 157
    Anthony K

    Honestly, thank you thecynicalromantic. I was gobsmacked for awhile there.

    “So, I was just skimming Pharyngula and saw Brownian’s name and decided to lay into him, because, you know, fuck that rancid douche. Yeah, that’s what I hate about Pharyngula: you can’t have a decent conversation anymore.”

    That’s the story that’s better? Really?

    And then,

    “I wasn’t saying ‘Dawkins has done so much more for atheism than you people’ in the way Brownian was talking about. ‘Dawkins has done so much more for atheism than you people’ just rolled up on my random fact-o-dex. If I’d commented a half hour later, I would have written ‘Latex allergies are accompanied by fruit allergies in some people’. I stand by my statement. Gawd, I hate slumming on Pharyngula. You people are total morons.”

    What the fucking fuck?

  158. 158
    Ichthyic

    What the fucking fuck?

    see?

    surely there must be people actually deserving of the rusty blade/necrotic porcupine treatment?

    I mean, just for irony’s sake alone, I would use it on dross.

    oh, right, I better get to it then:

    Dross…

    may a necrotic porcupine fester, unremovable, in your bowels.

  159. 159
    anteprepro

    …and I think the horse was the one that looked more interested, but still.

    Horses: Nature’s Peeping Toms.

    I smell a documentary! I hope…

    If I’d commented a half hour later, I would have written ‘Latex allergies are accompanied by fruit allergies in some people’. I stand by my statement. Gawd, I hate slumming on Pharyngula. You people are total morons.”

    I have two theories: Internet trolls were originally abandoned children, raised in the Internet Wilderness by a pack of spambots. Or they are actually self-aware spambots that are really bad at selling things, and thus post their nonsense with more frustrated RAGE than you would expect from your run-of-the-mill spambots. I don’t know which one I prefer.

  160. 160
    Ichthyic

    Internet trolls were originally abandoned children, raised in the Internet Wilderness by a pack of spambots.

    hypothesis rejected because of the simple fact it would require learning abilities not in evidence.

    self-aware spambots that are really bad at selling things, and thus post their nonsense with more frustrated RAGE

    again, I think there is sufficient evidence to reject the “self-aware” part of this hypothesis.

    otherwise, modified with that evidence in mind, I think 2 works.

  161. 161
    anteprepro

    hypothesis rejected because of the simple fact it would require learning abilities not in evidence.

    I don’t know. If you get a normal person, take away 12-16 years of education, and replace it with 12-16 years of poorly spelled Viagra ads, I think the end result will be a pretty close match to a troll.

    But, yeah, I’m leaning towards two as well. The debate is how “self-aware” they are. I think we need a Turing test that gives letter grades.

  162. 162
    Ichthyic

    If you get a normal person, take away 12-16 years of education, and replace it with 12-16 years of poorly spelled Viagra ads, I think the end result will be a pretty close match to a troll.

    thus masking the previous effects of education.

    right, ok, but then how would one be able to tell the difference just by examining the end product?

  163. 163
    chigau (違う)

    You’re such a bunch of echo-puppets.
    Except for drosophila.

  164. 164
    anteprepro

    I believe it calls for two experiments.

    The first: Group A will be the control, Group B is children without an education and raised by humans, Group C is children with an education and raised by spambots, and Group D is children without an education and raised by spambots. Make sure there are a few dozen children in each group, start them from infancy and then once they hit age 20 or so, monitor their internet activity for a year or three and record the amount of Trollishness, including such measures as Poor Spelling, Illogic, Tenacity, Aggressiveness, Inanity, Regeneration, and, perhaps, Inexplicable Jamaican Accent.
    The prediction: Group C will slightly out-troll Group B, and Group D will trump them all.

    The second: Take a sample of the population of Internet Trolls from various sites and a control sample of the general Internet Population. Measure their Trollishness as above. Get them in person and inquire about their parents and their education.
    The prediction: There will be a significant difference in Number of Spambot Parents and Education between control and troll, and both variables will correlate strongly with Trollishness in both groups.

    I’m pretty sure you’d both studies to confirm hypothesis 1. And if there isn’t enough of an effect for Raised By Spambots in study 1, and it seems suspiciously difficult to get trolls to come to physical interviews, then the tests for hypothesis 2 would begin.

    You’re such a bunch of echo-puppets.

    I don’t know what echo-puppets would be, but they sound awesome. A sci-fi or fantasy setting is out there somewhere, waiting for them. Yearning for them. I just hope they have a hivemind, or else I will throw a fit.

  165. 165
    Ing

    An echo-puppet? That’s easy. Everyone knows what they are. They’re also sometimes called Mirror-droids.

    Artificial life forms that look like they’re made of perfectly polished metal, their faces are perfectly reflective. They have the personality and memories of anyone that is reflected in their face.

  166. 166
    Ichthyic

    Group A will be the control, Group B is children without an education and raised by humans, Group C is children with an education and raised by spambots, and Group D is children without an education and raised by spambots.

    now who to apply to for funding?

    sounds like an NiH project to me. I’ll make a call to Francis Collins.

    I’m sure he’ll love the idea.

    :)

  167. 167
    Ing

    @Ichthyic

    Try to find a way to work waterfalls into the experiment, then you’re sure to get funding

  168. 168
    anteprepro

    Artificial life forms that look like they’re made of perfectly polished metal, their faces are perfectly reflective. They have the personality and memories of anyone that is reflected in their face.

    So, given sufficiently broad definitions of “reflective” and “memories,” they’re politicians?

    now who to apply to for funding?

    Well, clearly it would have to be an institution that didn’t care about the welfare of children, are willing to invade privacy, and who want a cleaner internet. Sadly, the results would likely show a positive effect for education, so I don’t think the Republican party would be as willing to contribute than if that weren’t the case.

  169. 169
    anteprepro

    Also, I’m fairly sure that science gives them the heeby-jeebies. It’s just another word for god-free elitist idea-communism, after all. Maybe an Objectivist organization or two would be willing to help, if we promised to only take infants from poor people.

  170. 170
    Ichthyic

    Try to find a way to work waterfalls into the experiment

    would kid drool count?

  171. 171
    Ichthyic

    if we promised to only take infants from poor people.

    wait, you mean there’s any other way?

  172. 172
    anteprepro

    wait, you mean there’s any other way?

    Shhh! You’re ruining the deal!

  173. 173
    drosera

    Mission accomplished.

  174. 174
    Ichthyic

    you just keep tellin’ yourself that, cupcake.

  175. 175
    chigau (違う)

    Mission accomplished.

    Message sent.

  176. 176
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    One day… One day I too shall have my fifteen minutes of fame.
    But I will know, deep in my heart, no matter how much that knowledge hurt, that my success can’t be compared to what drosera accomplished here.

  177. 177
    chigau (違う)

    Beatrice
    I know, dear, I know.
    *sigh*
    Want some rum?

  178. 178
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Yes.

    *sniffle*
    Thank you, chigau.

  179. 179
    Ichthyic

    “Tho’ I’ve belted you and flayed you,

    By the livin’ Gawd that made you,

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

  180. 180
    vaiyt

    Mission accomplished.

    Was it a social experiment?

  181. 181
    PZ Myers

    Are you trolling, Drosera? Stop that. It can get you banned.

  182. 182
    DLC

    Wow. I was going to say something about how disorganized, disoriented and discombobulated Michael Ruse seems, when an even better example of mental wanking land shows up. Are you sure your ‘nym shouldn’t be drosophila instead?

  183. 183
    drosera

    No, I’m not trolling.

    Why do you tolerate one of your commenters, Brownian, writing this:

    How’s this, Jimmy, you fucking two-faced lying bag of shit?

    You go fuck yourself. Get something heavy and sharp. Die whilst doing it, if possible.

    Nobody needs to engage your lying fucking ass.

    and then this:

    Well, this dumbfuck [drosera] is on the case of hypocrisy!, and xe’s not going to rest until we all admit that I wrote that and was serious (which means, what? I really wanted jim to suffer self-inflicted internal puncture trauma, perhaps fatally? Even if so, so fucking what?) ?

    So fucking what, indeed. Don’t you think this is sick? I find it shocking that the regulars here (with only two exceptions so far) seem to consider this acceptable, even funny. I am the one who is denigrated — for exposing it for what it is.

    One of the great minds here (Ichthyic) ridiculed me for believing that Brownian was serious. My ‘mission’ after that was to establish if Brownian was indeed serious, and I think I have succeeded in making this at least highly plausible.

    Well, it’s your blog (which I used to like), and if you’re fine with people here spouting hate-filled nonsense about other commenters or about Richard Dawkins then that’s your prerogative.

  184. 184
    anteprepro

    Poor drosera. Ridiculed for an off-topic crusade against one comment by a commenter who had already apologized for it. Such the victim. We should all shed a tear for the brave drosera, fighter of the good fight.

    But on a more serious note:

    if you’re fine with people here spouting hate-filled nonsense about other commenters or about Richard Dawkins then that’s your prerogative.

    Still whining about people daring to insult the Almighty Richard Dawkins? I think it is pretty clear why you really objected to Brownian. You’re kinda pathetic.

  185. 185
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I think I have succeeded in making this at least highly plausible.

    No, you have only succeeded in showing you’re irrationally trolling for effect. You don’t have a valid point. We understand Browning.

    Well, it’s your blog (which I used to like), and if you’re fine with people here spouting hate-filled nonsense about other commenters or about Richard Dawkins then that’s your prerogative.

    Ah, now there’s the hero whorship we have come to expect. Its hero must not be criticized for any reason, and any criticism is slander. The lessons here at Pharyngula are to question everything and everybody, including both you and your motives, and those of your hero. If you don’t like it, fuck off. You won’t change anything with your concern trolling.

  186. 186
    drosera

    You won’t change anything with your concern trolling.

    Incoming troll alert. Circle the wagons. He mentions Richard Dawkins, so he must worship him (ignoring evidence to the contrary, which I provided here).

    By all means, don’t question the behavior of one of your own.

    Start distraction routine.

  187. 187
    drosera

    any criticism is slander

    That’s the strawmanning expert speaking.

  188. 188
    A. Noyd

    drosera (#183)

    My ‘mission’ after that was to establish if Brownian was indeed serious, and I think I have succeeded in making this at least highly plausible.

    If a credulous, illogical idiot saying “I really, really believe it” makes something highly plausible, then we have to say the existence of god is also highly plausible. Only, it’s not, because to rely on the misplaced fervor of credulous, illogical idiots would be a massive failure of epistemological rigor. In other words? Try again, dumbass.

  189. 189
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    drosera:

    Well, it’s your blog (which I used to like), and if you’re fine with people here spouting hate-filled nonsense about other commenters or about Richard Dawkins then that’s your prerogative.

    What hate-filled nonesense about Richard Dawkins? You mean, people calling him sexist because he said sexist things?

    Oh, that’s so slanderous*! The calumny of calling sexist behavior sexist!

     

    * Really, it would be libelous if it were untrue and intended to hurt his character. As it is, it’s simply a truthful judgement based on Dawkins’ own statements. Not that I expect you to understand the difference between slander and libel. You have demonstrated yourself unable to grasp nuance in meaning and intent.

  190. 190
    drosera

    Aaah, wait. Suddenly it is obvious to me. How could I have been so blind? PZ was wrong in claiming that there are no popes or saints in the atheist movement after all. There is a saint, right here, among us. Unlike other saints he doesn’t like to inflict pain upon himself, but he is generous in inviting others do to so. I’s none other than our friend Brownian — he who can’t be criticized after he apologized. Well, he is in good company. If you all continue worshipping him and kissing his ass he may one day even start his own blog. That would save him from hanging around other people’s comment sections.

    Back to the civilization.

  191. 191
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That’s the strawmanning expert speaking.

    No, that was you on a previous thread. ALL CRITICISM WHERE DAWKINS WAS CALLED SEXIST WAS CALLED SLANDER BY YOU. You forget what you say. We don’t.

  192. 192
    chigau (違う)

    drosera
    You obsession with Brownian is probably very unhealthy.

  193. 193
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    drosera:

    Aaah, wait. Suddenly it is obvious to me. How could I have been so blind? PZ was wrong in claiming that there are no popes or saints in the atheist movement after all.

    I was curious how long it would take you to make this patently ridiculous claim. I figured you’d resort to it eventually. However, considering that Brownian has been criticized in the past, your playground-like assertion falls flat.

    You are right that there is one revered thing here: rationality. If you feel piled-on, perhaps it’s because you have demonstrated a vast and incredible lack of rationality. You have yet to admit your first post here was simply an ad hominem. You have yet to admit that your earlier posts demonstrate a kind of reverence for Richard Dawkins, to the point you claimed we were not worthy to call his sexist comments “sexist.” (And yes, you did say that. Claiming you meant something else is a ludicrous dodge.)

    Perhaps the act of apologizing is alien to you, as you seem unable to admit your mistakes or misunderstandings. However, a sincere apology, an admission you have done wrong, doesn’t retract earlier statements, but it is an indication you have learned, changed. Become a better person, in some cases.

    But please. Feel free to continue to deflect any kind of actual responsibility for your own words. I enjoy watching your escalating stridency and desperation. While it is low comedy, it is at least consistent with a lack of self-awareness.

  194. 194
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Funny how Drosera thinks we care what proven concern trolls think. Maybe if they did think, we could care. Now, if it had any honesty and integrity it would stick the flounce. Not sticking the flounce shows us its character, or rather, lack thereof.

  195. 195
    Anthony K

    Aaah, wait. Suddenly it is obvious to me. How could I have been so blind? PZ was wrong in claiming that there are no popes or saints in the atheist movement after all. There is a saint, right here, among us. Unlike other saints he doesn’t like to inflict pain upon himself, but he is generous in inviting others do to so. I’s none other than our friend Brownian — he who can’t be criticized after he apologized.

    Mission accomplished.

  196. 196
    anteprepro

    You forget what you say. We don’t.

    I’ve said it before: Trolls lack object permanence with respect to comments. If they aren’t looking at it, they think it no longer exists and they can go on their merry way.

    Perhaps the act of apologizing is alien to you as you seem unable to admit your mistakes or misunderstandings.

    Bingo. Admitting error in general is something that overloads its circuits and makes it spontaneously revert back to spouting ads for dating websites.

  197. 197
    chigau (違う)

    I thought The Mission was to get Brownian banned.

  198. 198
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    anteprepro:

    Trolls lack object permanence with respect to comments.

    Well, their own comments, anyway. This one seems to have a couple of Brownian’s comments stuck in an infinite loop of algorithmic outrage.

  199. 199
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Wow. The level of narcissism grows. And why does drosera have this Brownian fixation?

    And yes, drosera, you did accomplish your mission. This thread is no longer about Michael Ruse, it is about you. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it, you narcissistic troll?

  200. 200
    anteprepro

    Well, their own comments, anyway. This one seems to have a couple of Brownian’s comments stuck in an infinite loop of algorithmic outrage.

    Indeed. It is a very convenient affliction.

  201. 201
    Anthony K

    I thought The Mission was to get Brownian banned.

    Don’t feel bad. We all fell for Drosera’s Elaborate Ruse™. As the target of the sting (and as a mastermind of unmitigated evil), how do you think I feel? How can I ever look again with pride upon my collection of pickled eyes removed with a mellon-baller? No longer is my freezer filled with trophies; memories lovingly bone-sawed off and vacuum-packed with tufts of hair—now it’s just full of frozen arms and legs, like any old bin in the Costco butcher’s aisle. And my viscera pit? Just a sump in the basement. A sump wired with a $30,000 sound system to record and replay the layered screams of my victims to be sure, but now it just seems trivial and kind of tacky.

  202. 202
    chigau (違う)

    Brownian
    Did you pickle the eyes before or after you removed them?

  203. 203
    Anthony K

    Did you pickle the eyes before or after you removed them?

    Ugh. After, of course. You put the whole head in, you end up with eyelashes in your brine. Gross.

    What are you, sick?

  204. 204
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Was the mission to get Brownian banned? or to make the whole conversation about drosophilia? Now I’m confused.

    Wait.

    Perhaps narcissism was the mission and an attempt to get Brownian banned was the tactical system chosen?

    And, damnit! how come I’m still at the back of the queue after all these years? You’d think there would have been some movement by now!

  205. 205
    anteprepro

    This thread is no longer about Michael Ruse, it is about you. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it, you narcissistic troll?

    Drosera is very uncomfortable when we, the Commonfolk, the Rabble of Atheism, dare to speak ill of The Great Atheists. When we question our Superiors, The Pioneers, The Leaders, drosera sheds a single tear and shudders in terror and rage. How could we? How could we do such a thing? How dare we challenge The Movers and Shakers, whose sheer Greatness and Force of Will have moved mountains? How dare we be so ungrateful to these terrific, magnificent Ubermensch? It was bad enough when PZed, a lesser Superhero of Atheism, insulted the Superior Atheist known as Michael of Ruse. But then Brownian, a mere jester in PZed’s court, one of the little people, speaks ill of Ruse and ALL of the Wondrous Ones? Well, that will simply not stand. That will not be accepted. So, drosera, loyal subject that it is, takes it upon himself to confront the Horrific Brownian and the rest of us mere mortals. Drosera hoped to subject Brownian to a public flogging for the high crime of mocking The Dawkins, and pretending that the Real Crime was a particularly venomous comment that Brownian withdrew. So, when it turned out that the case was piss-poor, and we refused to join drosera’s lynch mob, drosera had a plan: Martyrdom. It would drench itself in idiocy and inanity, and sacrifice itself to the Horde in order to distract us all from hissing and spitting when blasphemously speaking the names of the Elder Atheists. I’m sure that the Grand Atheist Council smiles upon drosera for his servility and willingness to sacrifice for its betters. Bravo, drosera. Bravo.

  206. 206
    Anthony K

    But then Brownian, a mere jester in PZed’s court, one of the little people, speaks ill of Ruse and ALL of the Wondrous Ones?

    I was on Ruse’s side. I’m evil, remember?

  207. 207
    anteprepro

    I was on Ruse’s side. I’m evil, remember?

    Right, right. Fucked that one up. Apologies, my memory is only marginally better than a troll’s.

    (Hey, look drosera! I admitted I was wrong again! And there wasn’t even an explosion or anything! Come on in, the water’s fine.)

  208. 208
    chigau (違う)

    Y’know, Michael Ruse and PZ look alot alike…

  209. 209
    anteprepro

    Y’know, Michael Ruse and PZ look alot alike…

    GASP! PZ is really just Michael Ruse with a poopy on his head and a cephalopod at his arm! So, PZ, I must ask…..

    Why the ruse?

  210. 210
    Anthony K

    Y’know, Michael Ruse and PZ look alot alike…

    I’d noticed that. It’s all moot sillyness now, but it occured to me that I’d only need one of their faces to stretch over a frame and hang like a decorative plate. I feel so foolish just saying that now.

    What do non-evil people put on their rec room walls? TVs? I should get one. What do they cost? A kidney?

    This is gonna be a tough adjustment.

  211. 211
    AJ Milne

    Why the ruse?

    Godwin’s other law: In any thread about Michael Ruse, the probability someone will use that pun rapidly approaches 1.0.

  212. 212
    anteprepro

    What do non-evil people put on their rec room walls? TVs?

    Posters of David Hasselhoff and graffiti covered Kinkade paintings.

    I should get one. What do they cost? A kidney?

    2 European kidneys for a good TV (2.6 American). Sadly, organ harvesting is usually frowned upon, so might I suggest trading two or three stolen laptops instead? It will help you ease into your transition into Morally Gray.

  213. 213
    Anthony K

    Posters of David Hasselhoff and graffiti covered Kinkade paintings.

    And I’m the sick fuck?

    Sadly, organ harvesting is usually frowned upon, so might I suggest trading two or three stolen laptops instead? It will help you ease into your transition into Morally Gray.

    Oh, right. Well, then what am I supposed to do with all these orga—

    Hey, who’s up for a barbeque at my place?

  214. 214
    anteprepro

    Godwin’s other law: In any thread about Michael Ruse, the probability someone will use that pun rapidly approaches 1.0.

    Well, shit. Now I’ve got to rely on puns involving “Michael” instead.

  215. 215
    anteprepro

    Oh, right. Well, then what am I supposed to do with all these orga—

    Hey, who’s up for a barbeque at my place?

    I’ll bring the blood transfusions.

  216. 216
    Anthony K

    I’ll bring the blood transfusions.

    Not necessary. The blood’ll be—heh-heh, ha-ha—on me! Ha-ha, HA-HA, HA-HA-HA-HOO-HAH-HAH-HAH! [continues cackling maniacally for several minutes]

  217. 217
    ChasCPeterson

    Brownian’s no saint in my book. Myers either. Dawkins I’ve admired greatly since I first read The Selfish Gene back in 1979, but that admiration has waned steadily since he became a Horseman. He’s no fucking saint (even if he is among the best science writers of the last century)(which he is).
    I agree with those named more often than not, but far from always.
    Nope. No saints, no popes, not even any heroes. Self-styled ‘leaders’ piss me off, and blind–ar at least cataractic–followers even more.
    There. I’ve found a way to feel superior to everybody! It’s a nice warm feeling.

  218. 218
    Rey Fox

    So what day is the holy day of St. Brownian? And is it one of those holidays where an entire European village is set on fire?

  219. 219
    Ing

    @Chas

    *clinks champagne glasses* cheers

  220. 220
    Amphiox

    Was the mission to get Brownian banned? or to make the whole conversation about drosophilia?

    Wait. Ruse and drosera are fruit flies??

    I thought they were just fruit.

  221. 221
    chigau (違う)

    Low-hanging?

  222. 222
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Brownian, the Patron Saint of pointed sarcastic witticism, obsessive trolls, and queues.

  223. 223
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Wait. Ruse and drosera are fruit flies??

    Blame continued low-grade phever for the screwup from drosera to drosophilia. Sorry. I promise it will happen again.

  224. 224
    A. Noyd

    Wait, wait, wait. It’s a few weeks from Halloween, and you’re not sure what to do with a house full of body parts?

    It’s obvious: charge admission.

  225. 225
    Argle Bargle

    I’ve just read the entire thread and I realize what’s going on. drosera was conducting an experiment on the Pharygnula commentariat. He’s that rarity, a mad social scientist.

    I stand in awe! (Actually I’m sitting in a chair, but that’s not what the cliche is about).

  226. 226
    vaiyt

    Wow, the standards for Papacy have dropped sharply lately, if all it takes for Brownian to be Pope of Atheism is a few people defending them against one person. Especially when that person happens to be an off-topic poster obsessed with an old grievance.

  227. 227
    Ichthyic

    Dross sez:

    No, I’m not trolling.

    more’s the pity.

  228. 228
    Ichthyic

    Are you trolling, Drosera? Stop that. It can get you banned.

    guilty of trolling, inanity, repetition, and thread-jacking, dross should be disposed of, well, like dross.

  229. 229
    Ichthyic

    dross sez:

    . How could I have been so blind?

    you’re probably not actually blind, it’s just that you have your head wedged so far up your ass that you are just effectively so.

  230. 230
    Ichthyic

    Back to the civilization.

    whatever civilization that is, i weep for it if you are considered representative of it.

  231. 231
    drosera

    Ichthyic,

    you’re probably not actually blind, it’s just that you have your head wedged so far up your ass that you are just effectively so.

    Are you senile? Did you forget already that you stuck that porcupine up my bowels (see your comment 158)? Then how could I wedge my head up my ass that far?

    Geez. You are not the brightest of the bunch, are you? Maybe that’s why you’re so eager to ban people who are smarter than you and who don’t try to imitate Tony Montana.

    And before anyone starts crowing ‘stick to the flounce’, read Ichthyic’s comments 95 and 113 and tell that to him first. But we already know that there are double standards here.

    I will once more return to the civilized world, but first I might as well address this remark (193) by nigelTheBold, Venomous Demonic Hater:

    You are right that there is one revered thing here: rationality.

    Say what? Rationality? Bwahahahahahahaha.Heeheeheeheeheehee. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Can somebody give me glass of water?

  232. 232
    myeck waters

    Raise your hand if you think distinguishing the head from the porcupine would be difficult, even before the insertion.

  233. 233
    drosera

    Hey myeck, what’s that green blob in your avatar? Is it your brain?

  234. 234
    anteprepro

    Dross comes back in order to sneer and say nothing of substance? SHOCK GASP SURPRISE

  235. 235
    myeck waters

    To be fair, dross’ #233 was a response to a direct insult from me.

    However, as snappy comebacks go, I feel it was sadly lacking in both snap and back-come-itude.

  236. 236
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Comment 231 is a prime and rather rank example of hoggling.

  237. 237
    otrame

    (whispers to Brownian) Dross got a look at you on the Pharyngula vlogs and got a look at the line where we all impatiently wait our turn and just DISPAIRED. I’m afraid it just broke him. The hoggling is the best he can hope for, and he knows it.

  238. 238
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Nigel @193:

    However, a sincere apology, an admission you have done wrong, doesn’t retract earlier statements, but it is an indication you have learned, changed. Become a better person, in some cases.

    Drosera can’t admit to hir ad hominem attack on Brownian. Only people like Brownian apologize for statements they make. Drosera wouldn’t want to be anything like Brownian, eh?

    I know there’s a long line in the queue, but perhaps Drosera’s obsession with Brownian [poorly] masks a desire to be in the front of the line…?

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