Comments

  1. says

    I want to see just a small percentage of the millions of folks who find it objectionable that “ministers” are able to receive income tax free income of millions of dollars, and lesser amounts depending upon circumstances, to show up and sign the White House sponsored petition in order to force Obama to publicly address what he sees for the future of IRC 107, in the context of the legal challenge to the law being prosecuted by the FFRF (but which may takes years).

    Here’s the direct link, text and explanation:

    http://wh.gov/QQOh

    We petition the Obama administration to:

    > propose that Congress act to repeal Internal Revenue Code
    > Section 107 that allows “ministers” income tax free income.

    Explanation:

    > Internal Revenue Code section 107 allows ONLY “ministers” to receive
    > unlimited amounts of income tax free income as long as it is spent on
    > housing. The IRS has extended the benefits to employees of many
    > private, non-church organizations such as the basketball coach at
    > Pepperdine University. Many tax and legal scholars have written and
    > spoken on the issue of its obvious UNconstitutionality, but there has
    > been no political will to repeal the law or modify it to curb abuses and
    > make it constitutional. Only in recent years has judicial effort been made
    > to have the law ruled UNconstitutional, but that litigation could take
    > many more years when Congress and the President could resolve the
    > issue quickly. The President should take a leadership role in proposing
    > that the law be repealed.

    There’s only about 1,800 so far and we need 25,000 by January 24, 2013.

  2. Ogvorbis says

    Nepenthe and carlie:

    Thanks.

    If I were an angler, and one of those showed up on my hook, I would give up fishing and switch to drinking. Heavily.

  3. says

    “TheIgnored”,

    I don’t think citizenship is required to take part in the petition efforts.

    Give it try.

    We need to pick up the pace if we are going to hit 25,000 by the deadline.

    Not only do we need folks here to sign up, we need them to ask their friends, associates, and enemies to sign up. We need to find someone who knows a lot of folks who share “our” interest in this.

    I’m about as close to a nobody as anybody, and I’ve been going about trying to find folks to sign. I don’t know where the 1,800 came from, but I guess I did a little to generate that much and appreciate what help has come along the way (unbeknownst to me).

    Meanwhile, I continue to notice frivolous petitions managing to get the minimum 25,000 signatures with, apparently, little or not effort.

  4. says

    It’s working, but we still need to pick the pace up a bit:

    Maybe if PZ Myers helps us out with this further, he could be the honorary #25,000; though I have elsewhere suggested that that spot be reserved for Annie Gaylor. We might even have contest to see who might be selected for that honorary spot.

  5. says

    Taylor,

    Thanks. I do hope it rallies some troops.

    Even theists, like me, should support the effort. Many theists can do so in hopes they can get Obama to announce his intend to defend IRC 107 to the death; drawing the battle lines in the sand.

    If the issue is not resolved sooner, trial in the FFRF case is scheduled for January 2014.

    Annie and Dan have been on vacation and, I think, are due back in their offices today. Maybe they will begin to rally their 19,000 members into signing. One of the FFRF lawyers has already signed (#313).

    10 days to go!

    It can be done!

    Will it get done?

    I hope so!

  6. intergalacticmedium says

    Ah that’s disappointing I was really excited though I did find the wording of the paper strange and supremely confident, looks like there are some decent scientists involved, are they all junk or have they done some good work?

  7. Barklikeadog says

    Study finds evidence of fossilized diatomic cells in a meteorite, contamination ruled out as cell structure lies within meteorite matrix

    Let me be one of the 1st to call bullshit on this one. Red rain? For fuck sakes who are these dipshits to claim such obvious BS.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    If fossilized diatomic cells were found in a meteorite, wouldn’t the most likely explanation be the result of a long-ago major impact event on the Earth (blown out into space near Earth orbit)?

  9. says

    They are really modest, too:

    We conclude therefore that the identification of fossilised diatoms in the Polonnaruwa meteorite is firmly established and unimpeachable. Since this meteorite is considered to be an extinct cometary fragment, the idea of microbial life carried within comets and the theory of cometary panspermia is thus vindicated

    Well that’s solved then. Someone tell the Pope.

  10. schweinhundt says

    For US folks: “Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks, even inside single quotes.” Just like that.

    Putting the period outside the quotation marks is an unseemly practice of our former Brit Overlords. This is serious business! Emulating their style invites renewed colonial subjugation, or a tear in the space-time continuum, or worse.

  11. cm's changeable moniker says

    Putting the period outside the quotation marks is an unseemly practice of our former Brit Overlords

    Look, you can put the full stop wherever you like. Just, you know, respect the periphrastic “do”, if you’re working in French, the euphonic “t”, and if you’re commenting on the internet the Oxford comma.

    Dammit, people are so touchy about punctuation.

  12. chigau (無味ない) says

    If you are quoting something and using quotation marks to contain the quote, the quote should exactly duplicate the quote you are quoting. Including punctuation.
    What you do outside the quotation marks is up to you.

  13. Cyranothe2nd says

    @ Chigau,

    If you are quoting something and using quotation marks to contain the quote, the quote should exactly duplicate the quote you are quoting. Including punctuation.

    Actually no, if you end the sentence with the quote, the period goes inside the quotation mark. (Source: I’m an English teacher *yikes*)

  14. chigau (無味ない) says

    Cyranothe2nd
    What if the final punctuation in the quote is not a period?
    [English english or some other variation?]

  15. carpenterman says

    Ogvorbis #1, alanbagain #22

    There are some unbe-fucking-leavably ugly things living deep in the oceans. I remember as a kid being completely freaked out by a full-page sized picture of two hatchet fish in a Disney book. (Like the angler, they were head-on, in close-up.) Good Dog, I’m 52 years old now and I still shudder to think of those damn fish. Fuck you, Disney.

  16. Lofty says

    John Morales:
    Yeah, the elephant didn’t really mean it, he was just feeling a little testy.

  17. John Morales says

    Heh.

    I’ve commented on it before; note there’s associated stories providing context.

  18. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @30.chigau (無味ない)

    If you are quoting something and using quotation marks to contain the quote, the quote should exactly duplicate the quote you are quoting. Including punctuation. What you do outside the quotation marks is up to you.

    What about using square brackets

    … [like this -ed?] … ”

    inside the quotation or quoted material or adding (sic) for obvious typos errors or unusual stuff eg. the First Fleet’s* “spoonmaker (sic)” on one listing of its members?

    What too about making reasonable edits that reduce the quoted material by removing irrelevant sections and or potentially confusing / unnecessary words or sentences so its not too long without changing the meaning and clearly indicated by those elipsis dots.. ?

    Also is it really that bad to correct typos in quoted material even if its your own name that’s been mistyped?

    * See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Fleet for those who don’t already know this Aussie history reference.

  19. John Morales says

    Hey, StevoR.

    Aussie evening time, now.

    I see you are reduced to querying grammatical minutiae.

    So, after due chit-chat: how are you handling the general tenor of discussions about you here?

  20. John Morales says

    PS StevoR, here is vindication to assuage your ego: Britain sends planes to escalating Mali conflict.

    International support for the French mission in Mali is growing as Islamist rebels strike back in the face of air strikes, seizing a small government-controlled town.

    Britain says it is sending two transport planes loaded with troops and supplies, and a number of African nations are promising to speed up the deployment of troops, possibly within days.

    France, meanwhile, has continued to pound Islamist strongholds in the north as small teams of rebel fighters moved under the cover of night and crossed the river into the central Malian town of Diabaly.

    While heavily battered by the air strikes, the insurgents remained on the offensive.

  21. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @(old thread) 666. strange gods before me ॐ :

    Old thunderfome here : http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/24/thunderdome-13/comment-page-2/#comment-534311

    StevoR, would you be willing to voluntarily imitate joey here? Show you can be as moral as a Christian?

    Hey, I’m not *that* bad.

    I really dislike thunderdome. I’m trying hard NOT to derail threads and make positve contributions, I’ve taken a few days break.

    I’ve offered to PZ and y’all to be voluntarily put on auto-modertaion if that helps and that offer still stands.

  22. Lofty says

    StevoR:
    Thunder(f)ome. The bind moggles? All hail Tpyos!
    BTW I gather you are a fellow Adelaidan, Thursday’s forecast is back to a scorcher.

  23. Vilém Saptar says

    dysomniak – Thank you. I think you’ve done / said a great deal more that i’ve found really great, than i ever have, esp on feminism / gender / social justice. I did check out the wiki article earlier and i’m glad it helps you deal with your struggles. I don’t own firearms, blades or drugs except the kitchen knife i use for cutting vegetables, but i haven’t been ideating about any specific ways or methods. I just feel worthless and futile and so sorry all the time, i can’t bring myself to find any value in myself. I do wonder why it would be such a bad thing after all, though, if it all were to end.

    Beatrice – Thanks for that. Maybe i am “marinating in guilt”, but i suspect it isn’t that.

    opposablethumbs, Ogvorbis – Thanks for your offers to listen, but i’m too ashamed to talk about it, i suppose.

  24. Ogvorbis says

    Vilém Saptar:

    As was pointed out to me (for a long time (though I (until recently) refused to believe it), the fact that you feel shame for your actions shows that you are a good person.

  25. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    For your education and delight, may I present to you the Martin Luther insult generator.

    I would not smell the foul odor of your name.

    In appearance and words you simulate modesty, but you are so swollen with haughtiness, arrogance, pride, malice, villainy, rashness, superciliousness, ignorance, and stupidity that there is nothing to surpass you.

    You are a brothel-keeper and the devil’s daughter in hell.

    You find things irreverent, inquisitive, and vain just as all ungodly men do, or rather, as the demons and the damned find things hateful and detestable.

    You are more corrupt than any Babylon or Sodom ever was, and, as far as I can see, are characterized by a completely depraved, hopeless, and notorious godlessness.

    Have fun!

  26. chigau (無味ない) says

    I was frightened and thought I was dreaming, it was such a thunderclap, such a great horrid fart did you let go here! You certainly pressed with great might to let out such a thunderous fart – it is a wonder that it did not tear your hole and belly apart!

    teehee

  27. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The problems with this site’s CSS are driving me nuts. It is not a browser problem, it cannot be fixed by switching to XYZ browser, it’s happening on all the ones I run. About 40 percent of the time the pages load with little style. No menu access, no formatting. Just lines of text running all the way from the far left to the right side. It’s like seeing a really bad (yeah, even on mobile) a mobile version of the site.

    There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it happens on every blog here, it’s sometimes the comments section and sometimes the whole damned thing.

    It would be really, really awesome if whoever does the tech side of things would at least acknowledge that they know this is a problem and that it’s being worked on. It’s impossible to communicate this stuff in a professional way—there’s not “contact us” or “site support” portal. I resorted to emailing Jason Thibeault to ask him to pass this along. And I was lucky I knew his email address—why isn’t there a way to contact site administration? I’m not trying to be a pain, I’m actually trying not to do things like clutter up threads with off topic stuff.

  28. John Morales says

    Josh,

    The problems with this site’s CSS are driving me nuts. It is not a browser problem, it cannot be fixed by switching to XYZ browser, it’s happening on all the ones I run.

    This never happens to me.

  29. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The Florida Patriarchy Association hire a plane to fly a banner over where people are gathering for a Lady Gaga concert. On the banner is NOT BORN THIS WAY.

    Oh, and this was on their website.

    How would you feel if your child or grandchild went to a concert where unbeknownst to you they were convinced to embrace a homosexual or transgender lifestyle for a lifetime? You can help counter Lady Gaga’s concert campaign to persuade kids to accept the homosexual lifestyle.

    You can help counter Lady Gaga’s concert campaign to persuade kids to accept the homosexual lifestyle.

    The fact that someone these kids do not know spent significant resources to fly a plan to tell them they are NOT born that way will prayerfully speak to their souls. Florida Family Association would like to fly more banners to counter Gaga’s hedonistic, Godless message at more concerts. You can click here to see the schedule Ladygaga.com. It will cost $1,900 to fly this banner for four hours before sunset. The goal is not to fly banners at every concert but at enough concerts to make a difference.

    Thousands of kids who might have otherwise worked through their pubescent sexual identity issues will be inspired to accept the wrong choice based upon this unscientific, emotionally charged propaganda. What’s brave or kind about telling thousands of sexually frustrated teens that they were Born This Way when a high percentage of them would have ended up taking the straight heterosexual path for life?

    Because a person NEVER becomes a homosexual unless that person was molested as a child.

  30. says

    Oh my:

    C4llum:

    More guys go to skeptics conferences. It’s a statistic.

    Caine:

    Mmm. And just why do you think that is? Try really, really hard to think it through.

    Probably the same reason why more guys read the Pharyngula site, and FreeThoughtBlogs as a whole, Caine? Perhaps you could think really hard and inform us why fewer women read Pharyngula and FTB?

    You take care now.

  31. Ogvorbis says

    Because a person NEVER becomes a homosexual unless that person was molested as a child.

    I am really sick of that trope. And I swear I run into it at least every other day.

  32. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Ah! The old “Nerd Is The Only Woman At Pharyngula” fallacy.

    *double facepalm with added temple rubbing*

  33. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m just going to park this here in the event that teh ECO ever gets back to his anti-EP series: an example of really bad pop anti-EP.

  34. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I am really sick of that trope. And I swear I run into it at least every other day.

    Damn good thing you had someone prayerfully inform you that you dad not have to go that route.

    (I hope I did not push a button there.)

  35. Ogvorbis says

    Ah! The old “Nerd Is The Only Woman At Pharyngula” fallacy.

    Well, that’s a keyboard heading for the trash. Today is January 15th and I have already killed two irony meters and one keyboard thanks to this place. (Plus (hopefully?) one demon?)

  36. says

    Janine:

    Ah! The old “Nerd Is The Only Woman At Pharyngula” fallacy.

    Yep. And I think it was that doucheclown, Paden. The posts have been disappeared now. I still can’t figure out what that moron thinks I’ve done to him.

  37. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The slymies are getting all hot and bothered about that thread.

    But no one seems to be saying shit about that Return Of Kings bullshit.

  38. Ogvorbis says

    I still can’t figure out what that moron thinks I’ve done to him.

    I can think of two of the top of my head. First, you are female (the only one on Pharyngula, too!). Second, you called him out on his bullshit. And the first one, combined with the second one? ooooh, yer evile!

  39. says

    Ogvorbis:

    ooooh, yer evile!

    Yeah, that’s the standard stuff, but there’s something else going on with Paden. He showed up here a week or two ago foaming something about “people have told me you’re making up stories about me threatening people, Cain…yada, yada, yada.” I am absolutely clueless about that, but I’ll admit I’m curious as to what he’s on about.

  40. cm's changeable moniker says

    Today was a very weird day.

    It began with a cold shower and a CT scan.

    (These events were not related. The scan was scheduled; the boiler failing, not so much.)

    And it ended with me seeing/hearing 5,000 kids singing a bunch of pop music at the O2 Arena, then looking at pictures of the inside of my head.

    (These events weren’t related either, except that I couldn’t do the latter until the former was over.)

    To my untrained eye, it appears that my brain is empty. Is this normal? ;-)

  41. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah! The old “Nerd Is The Only Woman At Pharyngula” fallacy.

    *sigh*
    Dons tutu and steel-toed troll stomping boots (for safety, of course ;) )

  42. cm's changeable moniker says

    Born This Way

    Heh. That was one of the songs in the kids’ “pop medley”. They also did U2’s Pride, with quotations from the “I have a dream” speech sampled over the top.

    Today is/was MLK’s birthday. It’s like some awful liberal agenda! *faints*

  43. cm's changeable moniker says

    Care to elucidate?

    I keed, I keed.

    Apparently my lower skull cavity (at or about the level of my ears) is — to CT scanning — completely featureless. Skull, ears, whatever, yes. Brain, no. :-)

  44. cm's changeable moniker says

    Ehh, we have the Dr Who Christmas special every year. Smaller on the outside!

  45. says

    It was amusing to read that comment at B&W. Yup, I can’t think of many women who comment at Pharyngula. ::eyeroll::

    Caine:
    I am not sure that was Paden. It had sentence structure and used proper grammar (for the most part). It also wasn’t a hideously long paragraph.
    Of course there is the fact that he chose to only address you and neither carlie nor SallyStrange.
    Perhaps you are seen as the spokesperson for all that is eeeeebil at Pharyngula.

  46. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @50. Lofty :

    StevoR: Thunder(f)ome. The bind moggles? All hail Tpyos!
    BTW I gather you are a fellow Adelaidan, Thursday’s forecast is back to a scorcher.

    Yep – to both. 41 degrees Celsius forecast and, yeah, I live in the Adelaide hills.

    @47. John Morales

    Hey, StevoR.
    Aussie evening time, now.
    I see you are reduced to querying grammatical minutiae.

    Well, I’m interested in hearing what folks think there. Would love to have those questions answered.

    So, after due chit-chat: how are you handling the general tenor of discussions about you here?

    Hopefully okay. It’s upsetting and sucks to be misjudged and mischaracterised and accused of being / flat out called things I know I not of course.

  47. StevoR, fallible human being says

    That’s :

    called things I know I’m not ..

    Natch.

    I know I’m NOT perfect; I’ve already fessed up to having previously said things I regret and I have learnt and changed over time, I’m not a monster or a bad person or a bigot though.

    As I’ve said before I do enjoy this blog and try to make positive contributions sucha s various news items, latest figures on pharyngulating polls, etc .. although I can’t stand some of the commenters and know that feelings mutual. I do try to do the right thing by people generally.

  48. says

    Tony:

    Perhaps you are seen as the spokesperson for all that is eeeeebil at Pharyngula.

    Well, the ‘pitters aren’t fond of me, to say the least. That’s been the case since it all started up. They still have people showing up in that thread to have a go at me. Silliness, all of it, because they can’t figure out what constitutes actual statistics.

  49. Lofty says

    Caine, you’re delightfully spiky. Think of the self-inflicted damage all the jumpers do to themselves.
    and grin evilly.

  50. StevoR, fallible human being says

    This :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbq0WYnph0w

    is my favourite ever youtube clip, my broader perspective for everything and what I believe or understand.

    Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot words with music by Sigur Ross posted by raregee.

    I’m a flawed, fucked up human being but I do still try to be a kind, reasonable and good person.

  51. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @81. Caine, Fleur du mal + : Don’t feel disheartened. There is always hope and for all you’ve said about me, I do respect you and consider you a good person too.

  52. opposablethumbs says

    You don’t mean just the pitters, Caine? Some bad RL stuff? Sorry to hear there is bad shit going on, if that’s what you meant. Take a break, restore your strength and then skewer the lot of ‘em?

    And take care of that hand. You need it for creating things and troll-skewering and stuff ::sends Caine assorted Nice Cups of Tea and whetstone to use as spare back-up skewer-sharpening stone::

  53. StevoR, fallible human being says

    FWIW. I’m not going to comment on anything Muslim related here fro an indefinite but long period of time unless someone asks me direct questions on the matter in which case I will answer any questions as bets I can.

    I’m also trying not to post when too drunk, tired and emotional.

    I admit in this past I’ve been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde :

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/jekylhyde.htm

    character online in various net fora and, well, I apologise for and am working on that.

  54. Beatrice says

    In case there is also bad RL stuff I offer some *hugs* (if you want them), Caine.

    Snuggles for the rats, so that they’re not jealous. And you might feel better too while delivering the snuggles.

    Really, hoping all is well in RL.

  55. carlie says

    This must have been “jump all over Caine” day and no one told me. Damn, I’m feeling disheartened right now.

    *throws load of fluffy pillows over Caine for protection*

  56. Beatrice says

    So what the hell is going on with blocking comments without notification?

    Comments with too many links (>5, I think) automatically go into moderation.

  57. coelsblog says

    PZ, why are you so intellectually dishonest these days? You really are getting as bad as the creationists, no-one can trust your posts to be fair and honest now. A couple of years ago they could. But your WSJ post is ridiculous.

    “And they illustrated it with a picture of what they consider the poor.” Oh yeah? Then quote me the bit of the article where they say “we consider the people in this picture to be poor”. Bet you you can’t. Indeed, what does the figure caption itself say? If says: “The bill approved in Congress to avert the fiscal cliff would bring the first major tax increase on HIGH EARNERS in 20 years. Laura Saunders breaks down how new tax increases will impact across different tax brackets.” (Added emphasis.)

    If that were not clear enough, the text backs it up: “Many AFFLUENT PEOPLE in exactly the same financial position as last year will see a substantial tax increase,” says David Kautter, … that applies only to individuals with at least $400,000 of taxable income or couples with at least $450,000. … But there are two backdoor tax increases that will apply to people earning far less—$250,000 for singles and $300,000 for couples”.

    That is what the article is mostly about, about people earning between 250,000 and 400,000, and how they fare compared to those above and below this band, and this is what the figure illustrates.

    Thus your post is dishonest, it simply isn’t about what you claim it is. Your statement that it is a “picture of what they consider the poor.” is a lie. Yes, a lie. PZ, you really are getting as bad as creationists in your intellectual dishonesty. And to think that you once wrote posts about how atheists value truth.

  58. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Coelsblog:
    Are you trying to kill off my last irony meter? Right next to the picture in the WSJ piece it says:

    While the top 1% of taxpayers will bear the biggest burden, many other families, affluent and poor, will pay more as well

    Now, you utter lack of reading skills and/or honesty, your obsession about finding hypocrisy in PZ, your hyper-literalism… In what way do they differ from classic creationist ramblings?

  59. coelsblog says

    Are you trying to kill off my last irony meter? Right next to the picture in the WSJ piece it says:

    Sure, it says that. And then it explains how “many other families, affluent and poor, will pay more as well”, by pointing to the “The most immediate change [that] affects nearly all workers”, with the result that “each will owe up to $2,425 more in payroll tax this year than in 2012.”.

    But THEN it goes onto the main topic of what that article is about, what THAT FIGURE is about, which, as stated in the figure caption itself, is “The bill approved in Congress to avert the fiscal cliff would bring the first major tax increase on HIGH EARNERS in 20 years”. It is that effect on HIGH EARNERS that that figure is all about (and indeed is the main point if the the article). PZ’s commentary is thus a gross misrepresentation.

    Now, you utter lack of reading skills and/or honesty, …

    I invite the unbiased reader to read the article and judge for themselves

  60. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    I invite the unbiased reader to read the article and judge for themselves

    And we have appeals to a non-existent entity.

    Definitely a creationist.

  61. coelsblog says

    And we have appeals to a non-existent entity. Definitely a creationist.

    Now that’s quite good!

  62. says

    The things I learn…

    Corn Flakes, for example, was designed by J.H. Kellogg as a massive anaphrodisiac to temper and eventually reduce sexual ardor in American men. […] But Kellogg’s chief concern was masturbation. In Plain Facts for Old and Young, he provided anxious parents with a frighteningly systematic list of thirty-nine signs of masturbation, including physical and behavioural changes. Such a list could provoke anxiety in virtually all parents. What could they do about this plague? In a chapter called “Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects,” Kellogg listed a set of chilling home remedies. In addition to bandaging the genitals, covering the organs with cages, and tying the hands, Kellogg also recommended circumcision “without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment.” Older boys may be forced to have silver sutures placed over the foreskin to prevent erection. “The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur, and the slight irritation thus produces acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice.”

    […] Nor was Kellogg alone. Other reformers suggested bloodletting or applying leeches or heated pneumatic cups to the genitals to draw out “congestion” which led to arousal. One writer advised punching a hole through the foreskin and inserting a metal ring, while another suggested cutting the foreskin apart with jagged-edge scissors. Red iron, tartar emetic and Spanish fly-blister could all be applied to make the genitals painful to touch. “It is better…to endure any physical discomfort than to sacrifice one’s chastity,” wrote Henry Guernsey, MD, in his Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects in 1882.

    Manhood in America, Michael Kimmel

    *Screams*

  63. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Caine, all of that and more was part of the plot points of The Road To Wellville by T.C.Boyle.

    If you want more fun tidbits, look up the origin of the graham cracker.

  64. says

    Janine, I’ve already read quite a bit about Sylvester Graham. He’s mentioned in Manhood in America quite a bit. Amazingly enough, he didn’t come close to the toxic remedies of Kellogg. He was on the fanatical side when it came to diet, though. Graham crackers are good though, so he did one cool thing. :D

  65. opposablethumbs says

    I knew Kellogg was a fucked-up anti-mastrubation fanatic but I thought it was all gloves and stern admonitions, shaming and tied hands (which fuck knows is more than bad enough). I had no idea he was a hardcore sexual sadist. That is some unbelievably nasty shit.

  66. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    But that was entirely by accident. Eating bland foods like the original graham cracker was supposed to reduce a person’s carnal lust.

  67. says

    Opposablethumbs:

    That is some unbelievably nasty shit.

    To say the least. I read those bits to Mister and he about ran screaming from the room. It’s an absolute horror, to think that anyone did those things to their children.

    Janine:

    But that was entirely by accident. Eating bland foods like the original graham cracker was supposed to reduce a person’s carnal lust.

    True. That belief was understandable though, because it had been around for fucking ages. Christ, Romans used to complain about the Greeks and other Romans being all soft and effeminate because they used *gasp* pepper! And even other, more decadent spices!

  68. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The common complaint, the movie was not as good as the novel.

    Though I am kind of surprised that World’s End has not been made into a movie.

  69. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    *Everything* gets shared with the ratties

    And then you share them with us. Personally, I like the exchange rate. ♥

    Manhood in America is on my reading stack. I knew Kellogg was anti-mastrubation, but I had no idea he advocated such horrific “treatments”.

  70. John Morales says

    Huh. There’s even a TV Tropes article on it!

    Kellogg: Nurse Graves?
    Graves: Yes Doctor?
    Kellogg: Take Mister Lightbody immediately to the yogurt room and give him fifteen gallons.
    Lightbody: Oh no, no. I can’t eat fifteen gallons of yogurt.
    Kellogg: Oh it’s not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.

    Will: You, sir! You were masturbating!
    Badger:
    I was not! I was massaging my colon!
    Will: “Massaging your colon?!” I know where the colon is, and it doesn’t stick up in the air!

  71. says

    Hekuni Cat:

    And then you share them with us. Personally, I like the exchange rate. ♥

    Works for everyone. :D Manhood in America is a fascinating read. I’m not even that far into it and I already understand much better how the notion of masculinity got so terribly fucked up and left so many men utterly lost when trying to figure it all out. I’m past the “masturbation is the worst evil ever” part, and onto how Freud’s entry removed the horror of masturbation and Dr. William Robinson’s “discovery” of frigidity in women (1912), so we’re back to men’s sexual problems being our fault.

    John, Kellogg was fanatical about evacuation. Seems it wasn’t possible to do enough of it.

  72. says

    Prior to being distracted by the whole masturbation remedies stuff, I had a WTF moment over the conclusions of a visiting British group:

    Many men believed that cultural feminization was the direct result of the feminization of American boyhood, the predominance of women in the lives of young boys – mothers left alone at home with their young sons and teachers in both elementary and Sunday schools. In 1910 four of every five elementary school teachers were women, up from three-fourths in 1900 and two-thirds in 1870. The “preponderance of women’s influence in our public schools,” warned Rabbi Solomon Schindler in 1892, is feminizing our boys; a “vast horde of female teachers” were teaching boys how to become men, added psychologist J. McKeen Cattell. A 1904 report of a British group that was sent to the United States to observe American education and head off a similar problem in Britain concluded that the preponderance of women teachers meant that “the boy in America is not being brought up to punch another boy’s head; or to stand having his own punched in an healthy and proper manner.”

  73. The Mellow Monkey says

    “the boy in America is not being brought up to punch another boy’s head; or to stand having his own punched in an healthy and proper manner.”

    Damn those women! How will these boys reach manhood without knowing how to take a skull beating?

  74. says

    Mellow Monkey:

    Damn those women! How will these boys reach manhood without knowing how to take a skull beating?

    I was discussing that with Mister – he sides with the British, in that knowing how to fistfight was an important aspect of boyhood. *sigh*

  75. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    I was discussing that with Mister – he sides with the British, in that knowing how to fistfight was an important aspect of boyhood. *sigh*

    Mister is not alone. My brothers would definitely have said the same thing.

  76. The Mellow Monkey says

    Caine:

    I was discussing that with Mister – he sides with the British, in that knowing how to fistfight was an important aspect of boyhood. *sigh*

    Our ideas about gender truly, truly baffle me at times. Because these things become so tied into identity, it’s next to impossible to then strip our personal experiences of the meaning they’ve been assigned.

  77. Galactic Fork says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay: #55

    The problems with this site’s CSS are driving me nuts. It is not a browser problem, it cannot be fixed by switching to XYZ browser, it’s happening on all the ones I run. About 40 percent of the time the pages load with little style. No menu access, no formatting. Just lines of text running all the way from the far left to the right side. It’s like seeing a really bad (yeah, even on mobile) a mobile version of the site.

    This happens to me all the time, too. I’ve been searching through freethoughtblogs trying to find anybody else mentioning it. It happens on 2 different desktops in firefox and IE. Plus on my tablet with chrome, opera and firefox. I have to repeatedly leave the page and come back hoping it will load right.

  78. Galactic Fork says

    *sigh* I failed at block quotes, the second paragraph is mine… here it is outside of quotes:

    This happens to me all the time, too. I’ve been searching through freethoughtblogs trying to find anybody else mentioning it. It happens on 2 different desktops in firefox and IE. Plus on my tablet with chrome, opera and firefox. I have to repeatedly leave the page and come back hoping it will load right.

  79. says

    I came across some more about the boyhood necessity of fighting, this from the early 1900s:

    There are times when every boy must defend his own rights if he is not to become a coward, and lose the road to independence and true manhood…The strong-willed boy needs no inspiration to combat, but often a good deal of guidance and restraint. If he fights more than, let us say, a half-dozen times a week, — except of course, during his first week at a new school – he is probably over-quarrelsome and needs to curb. The sensitive, retiring boy, on the other hand, needs encouragment to stand his ground and fight.

    This goes on, to a rather horrifying extent. It seems that a boy was considered to have little to no chance of ever becoming a man if he wasn’t properly fighting in school.

  80. keresthanatos says

    re # 127 damn posted in the wrong thread, still tear it up and see if it is accurate.

  81. Lofty says

    Caine:
    That sounds like my school days, endlessy picked on by the aggressive type until I lost it and hurt him back. The look on his face was worth it, despite being hauled up in front of the head.

  82. says

    Lofty, so…you’re in agreement with the whole “fistfighting is important for boys in school” business?

    This is part of an ongoing discussion, starting with post 117, this thread. Us women are doing some headscratching here…

  83. John Morales says

    StevoR, it’s not “Overheating”, it’s merely climate forcing.

    (There is no thermostat that has gone wrong)

  84. says

    I’m now reading about Muscular Christianity and have gotten completely distracted because the full texts of the 1904 The Manly Christ and the 1912 The Masculine Power of Christ are online (and free). It’s going to take me forever to get through this book.

  85. Lofty says

    Caine:

    Lofty, so…you’re in agreement with the whole “fistfighting is important for boys in school” business?

    No I am not in agreement however I think if fistfighting is not actively suppressed fighting back is sometimes effective. At least it was for me.

  86. says

    The evangelist Billy Sunday described the rich thusly: ” big, fat, hog-jowled, weasel-eyed, pussy-lobsters.” Anyone have any insight into “pussy-lobsters” as an insult? I’m a bit leery of attempting a search on that colourful phrase.

  87. Nakkustoppeli says

    Caine,

    I did a short and lazy search. It seems, apart from a facebook profile “Ping Ping Hermano Pussy Lobster” and a picture of a a cat in lobster suit in a pot, pussy lobster isn’t widely used as an idiom nowadays. Googling does get you a lot of links to pussy, lobster and sexistically insulted lobsters.

  88. says

    Nakkustoppeli:

    Googling does get you a lot of links to pussy, lobster and sexistically insulted lobsters.

    I was afraid of that. Thanks. I’m not altogether sure that “pussy-lobster” was a widely used idiom back in Billy Sunday’s day. I’m tending toward he just decided to put a bunch of words together because he couldn’t think of nasty enough names to decry all the people he needed to decry.

    I just find the combination of pussy and lobster to be…bizarre.

  89. annejones says

    Hello, I’m a Christian ID and Creationism advocate, and I’d like to take issue with the scientific method and the derision of Christian beliefs and creationism/ID as established fact.
    *

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other. There is a great deal of accord between Christianity and science, and science is one of the greatest sources of evidence for the Christian worldview, in fact.
    *

    People tell me that science is great because it “eliminates biases” and when applied “properly”, it’s becomes true even if the testers are biased. I’d word this differently (because the scientific method absolutely does NOT always prove the theory)…instead, I would say that it provides reliable results that either confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis (the theory only comes into existence after a hypothesis is tested and confirmed).
    *

    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?
    *

    I then get people responding by saying “Oh, but those early day Christian scientists actually tried scientific experiments in order to prove that those things were existent and what their true natures were so that all the arguments about them could be settled once and for all!” But I would like someone to list those experiments that secular “science-minded” atheists claim did this. The fact is that this isn’t what happened at all. What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it. I don’t doubt there were a few people here or there who tried to prove a point. But early science was an exploration of nature, and it was motivated by a belief that nature was discoverable because God made it.
    *

    An atheist friend pointed me to a book by Greta Christina just released. I actually found it quite entertaining, and had empathy for a lot of her complaints. That said, her Chapter 8 (“Evidence against God” or something like that) was utter garbage, especially when she mentioned this (and I’m going by memory here, because I don’t own the book, I only borrowed it, but I took a note of this phrase because of how memorable it was):
    *

    contrary to the rigorously-gathered, carefully-tested, thoroughly cross-checked, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, replicated, peer-reviewed research that has obeyed the Gold Standard of scientific evidence wherein methods have been used to filter out biases and cognitive errors as much as humanly possible” evidence that is gathered for evolution, creationism/ID/God claims only stands after careless, casual examination based on wishful thinking and confirmation bias

    *

    This is interesting. Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. And it’s not merely Christians who are claiming this. Most cosmologists, Christian or otherwise, scratch their heads over this extraordinary finding in nature. The same can be said for the evidence pointing to the beginning of the universe out of non-being and other areas.
    *

    Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong. The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect. Given that that placebo has no causative powers, there is no effect possible. And yet the one taking it believes there that powerful medicine is at work, so there is a change (and this has been seen in profound areas like Parkinsons Disease symptoms being reduced by simply believing in the sugar pill). This points to an unembodied consciousness with the ability to impact the physical body.
    *

    Add to this things like the peer-reviewed studies by Pim van Lommel (published in the medical journal Lancet) confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences (and by this, I mean extra-body experiences where people have verifiable experiences of people and places and conversations at geographic distance from where their body lies on an operating table…in some cases, these are people born blind who have never seen anything their whole life, but are able to accurately describe what they see while “dead”)…bottom line, atheists, science is on OUR side here!
    *

    Greta Christina also mentioned something about (again, just paraphrasing here) :
    *

    poor understandings/instincts of creationists/IDers/Goddists when it comes to probability, and the tendency of creationists/IDers/Goddists to see patterns and intentions where none exists, in addition to intrinsic cognitive biases and weird human brain wiring that creationists/IDers have

    *

    Here, we just have a garbled mess that’s a mixture of ad hominem (“you don’t understand probability”) and false claims (“your brains are wired wrong”). She’s likely talking about some books released about our brains being wired to believe in God, and perhaps the “God Helmet” experiments.
    *

    First, the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing (I can go into more depth on this if you want to walk down that alley). And the “God Helmet” nonsense is just that…people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience. We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.
    *

    It’s not shallow thinking. It’s not bad wiring. It’s rigorous deductive conclusions based on evidence of multiple sorts.
    *

    Us creationists and Christians also get accused of by many atheists of:
    *

    They are completely dishonest, for one main reason: their claims have failed to stand up to serious testing

    *

    I don’t think the case is as open and shut as you guys claim. I tend not to spend a great deal of time advocating for ID, and ID is not part of why I believe in God. I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone, and I draw that conclusion for two reasons:
    *

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity
    *

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life
    *

    In summary, guys, it seems that you’re quite willing to mischaracterize Christians, post things that are unsubstantiated claims without any support or evidence, and proclaim victory. That doesn’t work here, I’m afraid. If you want to make the case that Christianity is at war with science, you’re welcome to do so. But I can show you a number of very prominent scientists who arrived at their faith based on the very science you claim is conclusively against Christianity.
    *

    In fact, I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes that may help:
    *

    Paul Davies (British astrophysicist):

    “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe….The impression of design is overwhelming”.

    – from “The Cosmic Blueprint”
    *

    Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy):

    “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

    – from the article “Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest” in New York Times
    *

    Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics):

    “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”

    – from his book “The Physics of Immortality”
    *

    In fact, here is a brief interview of Dr. Francis Collins, who was once an atheist, set out to prove his atheism was true, and then decided that God does exist after all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGwf63SfzyU . And here is a much longer lecture he gave, in which he talks about the evidence for God and why he left his atheism for Christianity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32UGgy-P0yU
    *

    Collins is, as you may know, part of the human genome project and one of the most highly regarded scientists in the US today.
    *

    Bottom line, atheists, your confidence in this matter is quite overblown. You may assert all you’d like. But the facts do not support your certainty.
    *

    …Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I’m not bringing this to Greta, I was under the impression from what I was told recently she’s suffering a really bad illness, so I didn’t want to burden an unwell individual. So I came here instead, since I say this place get a big recommendation in her “Resources” section.
    *

    Also, in future, how do I properly separate my paragraphs?

  90. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other.

    Why what a nice large pile of shit you’ve chose to start out with.

    Assuming you choose the eurocentric view of “when science started”, the fact someone was a christian does not mean science is owes its start to Christianity.

  91. annejones says

    Pardon me, but if you’re going to respond to something I say, could you please not quote-mine, and address what I say in full? Just so that there’s no double standards here, you understand, since I’m not exactly unfamiliar with the accusations of quote-mining against IDers, so I’d appreciate a little bit of fairness please.
    *

    Also, isn’t there a “Three Posts of Civility” rule or something before you launch into personal attacks?

  92. The Mellow Monkey says

    Not in this thread:

    This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

  93. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Annejones:

    I really can’t be bothered by your whole Gish-gallop. For the future, if you want a produtictve response, you might want to distill down your post to a main point with a few core arguments. Preferably related ones, not ones that are all over the place.

    You can always introduce more later, no-one is going to shut you down for that. A lot of people shut down when you are shotgunning arguments all over the place.

    For now: Return/enter gives breaks. Preview might be slightly broken but two returns yield one paragraph break.

    And people might be good in one area, completely bonkers in another. That’s why we generally don’t do argument from authority in these parts. Especially autority outside it’s field. And since there’s no universally established authorityor consensus on the existence of the supernatural, everybody’s out of their field on that subject.

  94. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Pardon me, but if you’re going to respond to something I say, could you please not quote-mine, and address what I say in full? Just so that there’s no double standards here, you understand, since I’m not exactly unfamiliar with the accusations of quote-mining against IDers, so I’d appreciate a little bit of fairness please.
    *

    Also, isn’t there a “Three Posts of Civility” rule or something before you launch into personal attacks?

    Not in this thread and that wasn’t a personal attack. That was me calling your argument a pile of shit.

    Science owes it’s existence to Christianity or the other way around? Which is it?

  95. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Assuming you choose the eurocentric view of “when science started”, the fact someone was a christian does not mean science is owes its start to Christianity.

    Hmmm… Just thinking a-loud here: Wouldn’t a correct euro-centric view of science yield a Muslim, Greek/Roman or Egyptian result? (Euro-centric with a slightly north-African flavour that is, but still)

  96. annejones says

    Right thanks.

    Thing is though, I have other commitments, and I live in the UK, so since a whole bunch of you are American I considered it far more convenient to post everything I needed to say in one go so that when I wake in the morning or come back to the site in the afternoon, I’d have plenty of actual responses to actually address.

    I’m not “Gish-Galluping”, and I really resent that implication. I said exactly at the beginning of my intro what my topic was about, and stuck to it.

    I am entirely open to the possibility that I could be wrong. But if you’re denying me that education by simply providing an actual response that rebuts the points I raised, then in the face of any potential “ignorance” I may possess how exactly am I going to learn anytime soon with you guys refusing to cooperate in intellectually honestly discussing? If you’re refusing to truly enlighten me about any gaps in my knowledge, how can I repair them?

  97. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Good point. How about not those brown people centric?

    As long as brown includes slightly-mor- golden too.

  98. says

    What you said, annejones, was about fives times more than anyone wants to read in one post. I’m not about to wade through that huge pile of verbiage. Boil it down.

  99. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    People tell me that science is great because it “eliminates biases” and when applied “properly”, it’s becomes true even if the testers are biased. I’d word this differently (because the scientific method absolutely does NOT always prove the theory)…instead, I would say that it provides reliable results that either confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis (the theory only comes into existence after a hypothesis is tested and confirmed).

    This is sticking to your topic how?

  100. Beatrice says

    If you’re refusing to truly enlighten me about any gaps in my knowledge, how can I repair them?

    Aw, how sweet of you to blame us for your own incompetence in educating yourself.

    Hint: you will probably get further without playing this game. Honest thirst for knowledge rarely stays unsated here

  101. says

    Annejones

    Maybe you could start by making a point then waiting for our response instead of relaying all the different responses others have given.

    A few points I’ll pick out
    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    Scientists are people they don’t all think critically about their religious views in the same way they do their research. There’s also the National Academy of scientists where only 7% are believers.

    On fine tuneing. Is the universe fine tuned or are we fine tuned for the universe. No one fine tunes the pot hole to the water the water has properties that allow it to perfectly fit the pot hole.

    Placebo’s are not at odds with a naturalistic world you don’t understand the placebo effect.

    There are non supernatural explanations for NDE and it is not as conclusive that they are supernatural in nature.

    You provide no evidence that the age of the solar system in insufficient for evolution.
    The lack of an explanation for life doesn’t mean god did it you have to prove that.

    Quoteing scientists is an argument from authority if you want I can give counter quotes it really doesn’t matter. There are also scientists who made good discoveries and then went into lala land (see vitamine C mega dosing and the aquatic ape).

    In the future I suggest picking 1 point 1 topic (maybe your best point?) and we start discussing that instead of trying to cover a dozen different arguements.

  102. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    But if you’re denying me that education by simply providing an actual response that rebuts the points I raised

    Hey!
    Privileged little shite! No-one is denying you an education except possibly yourself.

    Do you generally barge into other people’s areas demanding they do your homework for you? Have you no idea how disrespectful this is?

    There’s search engines you know. It’s not like you raise something that hasn’t been covered a number of times before.

    If you want to genuinely learn, go find the talk orgins FAQ. Read it a couple of times. The we can talk. (I could have provided you a link, but frankly your attitude makes me not want to).

  103. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    citation sorely fucking needed.

  104. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Let’s try that again.

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    Citation sorely fucking needed.

  105. Aratina Cage says

    @annejones
    The only tl;drs I like to read are genuine starfarts, posts by the blog author, and comments by Pharyngula regulars. But I’ll bite the end of your tl;dr:

    Bottom line, atheists, your confidence in this matter is quite overblown.

    I think you’ll find it’s quite the other way around. You have exactly no reason to be in any way confident that your brand of theism is right. 0. You have no ground to stand on. You might as well believe that Zeus or the Easter Bunny are real. It’s all the same to us atheists: fiction. Thanks for playing, but you lose.

  106. Beatrice says

    Gnumann+,

    I could have provided you a link, but frankly your attitude makes me not want to

    Wow, I bet you also bust teacher unions, with that contempt for education you are showing.

    (joking, of course)

  107. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Citation sorely fucking needed.

    Oooooh! Lemme guess! Me me me me!

    Ken Ham?

  108. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    annejones wrote:

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war…

    That much I agree with, since a war implies a two-sided battle of armies – which this most certainly isn’t. A far more apt comparison would be a boat (Christianity) sinking in the ocean as the water (science) keeps coming in.

    You folk are bailing, not fighting.

  109. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Wow, I bet you also bust teacher unions, with that contempt for education you are showing.

    Does wanting to subvert my own (which includes a fair lot of teachers)count as busting? It’s not socialist, that shit ought to end.

    (As for me being in a non-socialist union, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Mainly because the socialist union in my neck of the woods doesn’t value education enough. It’s complicated you hear!)

  110. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    First this is complete nonsense.

    What evidence exactly does ID have.

    Instead of playing the attack game, how about you provide something that supports ID? Actual hard science.

  111. Rodney Nelson says

    annejones #150

    I’m not “Gish-Galluping”, and I really resent that implication.

    Resent it all you want. When you throw out arguments ranging from Christianity invented science to the placebo effect to near-death experiences to the age of the Earth isn’t long enough for evolution then you’re Gish-Galloping.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m not “Gish-Galluping”, and I really resent that implication. I said exactly at the beginning of my intro what my topic was about, and stuck to it.

    Sorry, you were “Gish galloping”. You were making a series of uncited claims from authority. Either back up your claims with a citation to the peer reviewed scientific literature (any website claiming a biblical perspective isn’t scientific, it is religious), or you aren’t doing science. You are making unevidenced claims that can and will *POOF* be dismissed as nonsense.

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    annejones, if you want to show a creator exists, you must do this: you need to provide conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin.

    If you can’t show it exists, you have nothing but your presupposition, which with a dollar gets you a cup of coffee at McDonald’s in the morning. It costs the same without your presupposition, showing what your presupposition is worth, both intellectually and monetarily.

  114. cm's changeable moniker says

    ID and Creationism advocate

    This is very strange. Creationists tend to believe that God magicked everything into existence 6-10 thousand years ago. ID-ists tend to believe that God has guided 4.5 billion years of evolution. I don’t see why you’d need (or want) to believe both.

    How old do you think the Earth is?

  115. Rodney Nelson says

    cm’s changeable moniker #170

    Certain IDers push a form of creationism with any mention of gods carefully filed off so as to bypass legal and political restrictions on teaching religion in science classes. These IDers are usually Old Earth Creationists.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    These IDers are usually Old Earth Creationists.

    Ah, parsimony, the bane of those pushing imaginary creators/deities.

  117. Nightjar says

    Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong. The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect.

    Nonsense.

    Given that that placebo has no causative powers, there is no effect possible. And yet the one taking it believes there that powerful medicine is at work, so there is a change

    Look, if it makes you believe something, then it has already caused a physiological response in your brain. It had an effect. On your physiology. So there are changes. Complex changes that we don’t fully understand, sure, but that’s not an excuse to invoke magic.

  118. cm's changeable moniker says

    Certain IDers push a form of creationism with any mention of gods carefully filed off so as to bypass legal and political restrictions on teaching religion in science classes. These IDers are usually Old Earth Creationists.

    Yeah, I know that. The weird thing is that they still do exist in countries that don’t have church/state separation (e.g., annejones’s and my homeland, the UK). A senior academic {somewhere I studied} was a respected mathematician, theoretical physicist, and Templeton prize winner. It can’t simply be a subterfuge to sneak God into the classroom.

    I think some people just really believe God is tan(beta).

    Or that tan(beta) is God. I’m not sure which is wackier.

  119. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    It can’t simply be a subterfuge to sneak God into the classroom.

    Nothing social stays simple. It’s kinda like the relationship between V and David Icke.

  120. phhht says

    …the derision of Christian beliefs.

    I deride Christian beliefs because they are so silly. They’re preposterous, and laughable.

    You think there is an invisible immortal superman with magic powers who hears your thoughts and grants your wishes?

    Riight, pull the other one!

  121. says

    oh that’s just not fair. we have a creationist here for once, and I can’t participate, because I have to go and make a bunch of investigators go insane and/or die in 15 minutes.

    *dramatic sigh*

  122. Rich Woods says

    @Jadehawk #178:

    I would wish them luck with their SAN rolls, but that would be no fun.

    @annejones #140:

    Seriously, you do need to boil your argument down to a single point as a starter. The forum format just doesn’t make it feasible to manage multiple points at once, and inevitably you’d be the one who would find it most difficult to keep track of all the responses. Also, please don’t worry about the time difference. There are enough of us in the UK who’ll be along in the morning, while people on anti-sunward continents are having a lie-in…

  123. Maureen Brian says

    annejones, as you’re in the UK you should not find it difficult to happen upon a copy of Joaob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man. The book’s better but the videos are perhaps an easier place to start. I recommend either.

    Or you could find the BBC series by Jim Al-Khalili on the science of early Islam. Or the series they did on the life of Charles Darwin.

    Whichever way you look at it, Christianity is both a late-comer and a bit player in the story of science. Now, do you remember who Galileo Galilei was and what happened to him?

    Find out a bit more then do come and bug us again.

  124. cm's changeable moniker says

    It’s kinda like the relationship between V and David Icke.

    Turquoise jump suits? Or the face peeling?

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the inevitable inter-specific hybrid. *dun dun durrrr*

  125. cm's changeable moniker says

    Gnumann+:

    Nothing social stays simple. It’s kinda like the relationship between V and David Icke.

    Actually, let me sit with that one for a while. There seems to be something there.

  126. steve oberski says

    @annjones

    Also, in future, how do I properly separate my paragraphs?

    If you limit yourself to one paragraph per post this will never be a problem.

    I have a question for you, why do creotards and IDiots always place such great store in titles and credentials as the primary mechanism for asserting the validity of an argument, you know like Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy) and Paul Davies (British astrophysicist) ?

    Could it be because the only type of argument you are familiar with is one from authority ?

  127. says

    This whole interaction highlights a real problem that I think needs a solution.

    We have a perfectly polite, but terribly un-informed theist doing what they usually do which is dumping a great big bag of deepities, bad science and outright nonsense in a huge pile in what is probably a well intentioned attempt to save our souls or something.

    Then we have a bunch of Atheists who have seen it a hundred times before and are sick and tired of having to do people’s research for them in order to refute every one of their poorly formed arguments and bad premises.

    It’s incredibly frustrating and deeply tedious. Probably the best response the theist is going to get is to be pointed towards Iron Chariots or something… which probably won’t go anywhere because that’s like responding with our own massive pile of facts and responses – and we already know they’re not that good at research.

    The more likely response is people get mad and then it’s just another convert to the ‘angry-atheists’ crowd. (I don’t care about atheists being angry, they should be, I do care that it’s the only thing people think we are.)

    I’m kinda curious that with the power of search algorithms, and because so many of the arguments fundies give are just copy pasted anyway if you could write an app or a webpage that allows you to just copy and paste the latest ID screed into it and it spits out an easy to understand refutation of every point they raise, in the order they raised it.

    True I think a lot of you would probably say “Why bother?”.

    You might be right… but on the other hand it could save a lot of time.

  128. cubist says

    sez annejones:

    I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone, and I draw that conclusion for two reasons:
    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    Which “studies” would those be? More details about the specifics of your claim would be very helpful, because at the moment, I’m not sure whether you’re stumping for YEC nonsense (which would, if true, preclude there being enough time for evolution to have occurred), or for Walter Remine’s nonsense (which is okay with what real science says about the age of the Solar System, but foolishly demands that evolution would necessarily take even longer than that amount of time), or perhaps for some other flavor of nonsense entirely. You might want to browse through the Index to Creationist Claims; if whatever nonsense you’re arguing for is on said Index, you would be well-advised to, at minimum, read up on the real-science rebuttal(s) to your nonsense, and demonstrate that real science has gotten it wrong in this context.
    Or, you know, not.

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    If you’re referring to the fact that abiogenesis is a topic for which we don’t have all the answers, then yeah, you’re right: We don’t have all the answers. [shrug] I don’t quite see how you get from “I don’t know” to “therefore, God”, but if that’s what makes you happy, go for it. Just don’t try to force your argument-from-ignorance into school curricula, okay?
    If you are, instead, arguing that we have absolutely no clue whatsoever about abiogenesis, well, that’s just wrong. We know that mindless, undirected chemistry is perfectly capable of generating amino acids without any need for a Designer’s intervention; we know that random concatenations of amino acids can and do have biologically-relevant chemical properties. Both of these facts being the case, it’s pretty clear that we have more than just a clue about abiogenesis, even if the clues we do have fall tragically short of the notarized-videotape-of-every-millisecond-of-the-process ‘standard’ of evidence you Creationists demand of real scientists while, at the same time, you also are perfectly happy to accept some-guy-said-so as conclusive, irrefutable ‘evidence’ for the Creationist nonsense you happen to accept.

  129. says

    jamescarlton:

    It is not “perfectly polite” for a Christian to dump copypasta in someone’s lap and insist that they address unsupported assertions that the Christian probably doesn’t even understand in the first place.

  130. says

    No even better! An ELIZA or Siri like chatterbot.

    "It appears you're trying to refute evolution using the argument from incredulity. Would you like to learn why that is fucking stupid ill-informed?

    Oh man… the idea of all these fundies trying to beat an anti-theist Clippy from MS Word just cracks me up.

    I honestly don’t think it’d be that hard to program one that would comprehensively own 99% of fundie apologists.

  131. says

    @Improbable Joe

    It is not “perfectly polite” for a Christian to dump copypasta in someone’s lap and insist that they address unsupported assertions that the Christian probably doesn’t even understand in the first place.”

    No it’s not, but they don’t think it is so it’s not going to stop happening. Would be nice to have a more painless (and hilarious) way of dealing with it.

  132. Daniel Schealler says

    Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I’m not bringing this to Greta, I was under the impression from what I was told recently she’s suffering a really bad illness, so I didn’t want to burden an unwell individual. So I came here instead, since I say this place get a big recommendation in her “Resources” section.

    The restraint is admirable – but at the same time, perhaps slightly misplaced.

    Greta ain’t no wilting violet. And speaking for myself: Taking on religious people in arguments online can be quite cathartic.

    Obviously, it would be up to Greta to decide whether or not she was interested in responding. But if you made it clear to her that you didn’t feel entitled to a response, and that you’d be happier for her to reproduce your arguments on her blog so she could discuss it openly, then I suspect that she might very well enjoy the opportunity.

    At the very least, so long as you don’t hassle her about it, I don’t think that it would hurt to give her the opportunity to respond. Again: She ain’t no wilting violet. If she doesn’t want to respond to you, she just won’t.

    I don’t think the case is as open and shut as you guys claim. I tend not to spend a great deal of time advocating for ID, and ID is not part of why I believe in God. I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone, and I draw that conclusion for two reasons:
    *

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity
    *

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    Firstly: I am very glad to hear that you don’t base your Christian belief on the truth or falsehood of ID. Because there are a couple of fatal problems in the way ID is often used to justify belief in God.

    The two that spring to mind are: An unidentified ‘intelligent designer’ doesn’t lead to the conclusion of ‘therefore, God’ – which is often how ID is used to justify the belief in God, despite the fact that there could be any other number or kinds of ‘intelligent designer’ that would not be considered deities – particularly when we allow for unknowable unknowns.

    The other is to do with another way that ID is mistakenly used to conclude that the world is designed. The argument goes something like this:

    1) X demonstrates specified complexity
    2) By definition, that which demonstrates specified complexity is both complex and designed
    Therefore
    C) X is designed

    The problem with this is that in order to prove that a thing demonstrates specified complexity, the argue-er must first demonstrate that it is both complex and designed. But if the argue-er could have proven that it was designed up front, then they wouldn’t need to bother with the argument itself. If the arge-er cannot prove that X is designed up-front, then they cannot assert that X demonstrates specified complexity.

    These two fatal flaws in ways that Intelligent Design is commonly used to justify belief in a cosmic designer are, well… fatal. So it’s good to know you don’t rely on Intelligent Design in this way.

    All the same, given that you are an advocate of Intelligent Design, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on my critique of ID. I’ve presented these problems that I have with ID to other ID proponents and been met with silence or a change in topic. You’re under no obligation to do so, of course. I’m just curious as to what you think.

    ———————-

    On the subject of fine tuning: I infer from your initial comment that the fine-tuning of the universe is an important feature in your justification for your religious faith. Please do correct me on that if I’m mistaken, I do not wish to misrepresent your views.

    Given that you’ve identified as an ID and Christian science proponent, I’m sure you’re already familiar with Douglas Adams’ concept of the intelligent puddle as being illustrative of some of the problems in the view of fine tuning. I’m interested in your views on that counter-argument.

    Here it is reproduced, in case you need a refresher:

    This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

    ———————

    I will say one thing here, however. You have erred very badly to include 2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life as one of the reasons for your conclusion that belief that ID is true.

    This is a transparent argument from ignorance, or god-of-the-gaps argument. The absence of a naturalistic explanation is not in and of itself evidence for a supernatural one.

    I expect that you included that without realizing that it was an erroneous point to be including. That doesn’t of itself undermine everything else you said, but it is still an irrelevant and fallacious point.

    It’s also (sort of) untrue. Abiogenesis is still a field in its infancy so no hard conclusions have been drawn just yet. But it’s also not a field devoid of hypothesized chemical pathways that could reasonably result in the formation of proto-life from simple prebiotic chemistry.

    As a conversant non-scientist, the explanation that strikes me as the most beautiful and satisfying is Szostak’s vesicle-first model. Note that this isn’t the final word however, Jack’s work is almost certainly incomplete at this stage. But it’s still a very nice demonstration of what a naturalistic explanation looks like. And it could very well turn out to be a very significant and correct part of whatever the whole turns out to be.

    For a crash-course, CDK007 has a very good introductory video here. The original research by Szostak labs can be found at their website.

    Do follow through on those links. Szostak’s work on this subject is fascinating and beautiful. At least, it is to me. Even if you disagree with it or find it problematic in other ways, I hope you still get something out of it. It struck me as a particularly poignant reminder to be intellectually humble (I hope you’re not rolling your eyes at me for that). Because, before going through that CDK007 video and reading the underlying research, I never would have been able to imagine that scenario as being valid. But after watching and reading and learning, it seems obvious.

    That to me is a good take-home message from the video. Just because I, Daniel Schealler, the software developer with a measly BSc in Computer Science that had zero biology papers under it cannot think of something, doesn’t mean that I can therefore assume that no-one else can do so. I’m regularly surprised at the ingenuity that far smarter and better-educated people than me apply to solving problems creatively that would otherwise leave me completely stumped. It’s a refreshing reminder that I’m not half as clever as I’d like to think I am. ^_^

    Looking forward to your response. Interested as to what else you have to say.

  133. says

    Just a few basic points which cover the width and breadth of your argument.

    1. People do not make great scientists because they are Christians, atheists, Muslims, wiccans, druids, or anything else. People make great scientists because their theories and subsequent tests of those theories present relevant explanatory principles that seem to shed light on the nature of reality. Simply because some scientists were Christians no more makes science and Christianity bosom buddies than some scientists being vegetarians/Muslims/Caucasians/Alchemists/etc. makes those things somehow any more or less compatible with science. Making such an argument is nothing more than an associative fallacy.

    2. Cosmological constants in no way imply that the universe was somehow fine-tuned for life, only that life is fine-tuned for the universe. If the cosmological constants were different, then the universe would likely exist in a substantially different form, and likely some intelligent life form would eventually arise claiming how ITS particular universe’s constants are proof of fine-tuning. If the universe were so fine-tuned for life, then why is 99.999999999999999999% of it incredibly hospital of it, and life has only been able to grab a toehold (as far as we know) for the last 3.5 billion out of 13.75 billion years that the universe has likely been around. If the universe were made and tuned just for the purpose of life, it needs a little more fine-tuning so it doesn’t have such a nasty habit of killing it.

    3. Near-death experiences can be produced with surprising ease in a laboratory for something with supposedly supernatural explanations, and the ability of the human mind to gather and process information while on the edge of death is still unknown, but is growing constantly. Near-death experiences are very interesting; however, the fact that we don’t know exactly what’s going on in an incredibly complex organ during an immensely complex period (death), isn’t proof of God or the supernatural, only that we have more to learn about how our bodies function.

    4. I don’t understand your assertion that the placebo effect couldn’t work in a purely naturalistic universe. There’s a range of fully-functioning explanatory principles, some biological and some psychological, that explain much of what occurs during the so-called “placebo-effect.” It’s no more magic now than colds and flu’s were before we fully understood germ-theory. Much-like the near-death experiences, there are some things we don’t know, but this isn’t proof of god, only that there’s things we don’t know, something any good scientist or skeptic will fully admit. “I don’t know” is a fully acceptable answer if we don’t currently know (hopefully followed by “how can we find out?”) However, “I don’t know, therefore God” is just intellectually dishonest.

  134. texasaggie says

    Luv, let’s go through your article paragraph by paragraph and we’ll see just how silly your theses are.

    The idea that the first scientists, “natural philosophers,” were trying to study nature to see how their god manifested in it is true. However, by and large, they ran into the problem that it didn’t work and that studying nature disproved the Bible. Indeed, one of the “natural philosophers” warned against doing just that because it was obvious that nature and the Bible were not on the same page, so to speak.

    “because the scientific method absolutely does NOT always prove the theory” – it isn’t supposed to. It is designed to disprove the theory, and if it doesn’t, then the theory is strengthened.

    many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. – Oh, really? But more lost their belief by the things they find in science.

    “Oh, but those early day Christian scientists actually tried scientific experiments in order to prove that those things were existent and what their true natures were so that all the arguments about them could be settled once and for all!” – Huh? What is this supposed to mean? Could you reword it, please?

    to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. – You do realize that this particular train of thought has been shot down repeatedly, don’t you? If the universe happened to have other conditions, then we would be different as well, or if the conditions were so far off, then the universe wouldn’t exist. It’s like throwing a pair of sixes and saying that it must be preordained because otherwise a pair of ones would have lost the game.

    Given that that placebo has no causative powers, there is no effect possible. – This particular bit was disproved by a Brit, if I’m not mistaken. There is an excellent book about the placebo effect, whose title I forget at the moment, but the effects are shown to be entirely because the person believes it will happen. Thus the placebo effect is more effective in cases where the problem is physiological such as asthma. It isn’t so good in killing bacteria.

    confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences – how about you looking at the much greater literature disproving the NDE, and showing why it seems to occur? I saw one study where electrical stimulation of part of the brain produced just that effect in the subject, and they weren’t even close to being dead.

    the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing – That no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” proves nothing. There also is no single area of the brain that stores memories, but people remember things.

    We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists. – Ah, no. You are the type of Christian that you are because that is the way you were raised. If you had been raised in a devout Jewish home, your idea of Christianity would be totally different.

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity
    *

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life – This is the god of the gaps argument again. Why do you think that our solar system isn’t old enough for evolutionary processes to have been responsible for life’s present complexity. If you understood evolution, you would realize that the thing guiding it is natural selection. That is good enough to develop bacteria that can digest nylon in a period of three months.

    post things that are unsubstantiated claims without any support or evidence, and proclaim victory. – You’re doing quite a bit of projecting here. In your whole post you have not made a single supported claim.

  135. Daniel Schealler says

    Oh, I must have accidentally edited-out one of my other points. Oops.

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    Can you give me a reference for how old you think the solar system is?

    Also for what you think the minimum boundary of time would be for life to have evolved to its current form?

    I’m very interested to see if and how you can back up your point 1) at all. I’m sceptical but open-minded. Please point us to these scientific studies so we can evaluate them for ourselves.

  136. says

    Honestly, every single one of your arguments is something most of us have probably seen a few hundred times in the past. You haven’t presented any amazing new evidence or proofs for theism that are going to awaken anyone’s eyes. This isn’t a case of anyone here being close-minded (ok, possibly some). Rather, in the past we’ve all been open minded enough to see questions like these, accepted that such were initially valid questions when we first encountered them, and instead of just unskeptically swallowing them, sought out valid explanations that did need unwarranted assumptions to answer them. At the very worst/best, we were willing to say “I don’t know,” instead of simply saying “God did it” as a stop-gap explanation.

    I say this because as a believer in the past, I’ve made nearly these exact same arguments both to myself and others, before I became open minded enough to seek out answers for myself.

  137. No One says

    140
    annejones

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other. There is a great deal of accord between Christianity and science, and science is one of the greatest sources of evidence for the Christian worldview, in fact.

    1) One of the many battle grounds showing that some forms of christianity are diametrically opposed to science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

    2) Science existed before christianity. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth circa 240 BC. There are many others. Science is the natural progression of knowledge from hunting (forensics), farming (genetics), navigation (astronomy) as examples. These are human activities that do not require any particular religion to flourish. In fact magical thinking (superstition) often impedes them.

    3) Science is one of the greatest sources of atheism. No outside agency is required.

    4) If you had been born and raised in Saudi Arabia you would be spouting islam at us. The one common denominator of all religions is atheism.

  138. kiki says

    I think the fact that anniejones attacks her own paraphrasing as a ‘garbled mess’ is hilarious. Is it considered rude to call Poe around here these days?

  139. kiki says

    And the “God Helmet” nonsense is just that…people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience. We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    Well, the God Helmet stuff may be nonsense, but I’m impressed that you seem to have invented a device that allows you to read the minds of every one of the 2 billion Christians on the planet. You should call it Cerebro.

  140. says

    Cerebro doesn’t give you the ability to read minds. You have to already have psychic abilities for it to be functional, it only enhances them.

    Geez….

  141. vaiyt says

    ID-ists tend to believe that God has guided 4.5 billion years of evolution.

    ID is creationism with the serial numbers filed off. The exact same fucking bullshit, peddled by the exact same people.

  142. nightshadequeen says

    Ouch.

    I haven’t seen such bad science in ages.

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other.

    Hun, I owe my existance to my mother. This doesn’t stop me from disagreeing with her on practically everything, and for outright wishing she’d actually done the logical thing and aborted me.

    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    *cough*.

    But focusing only on the western world: because in the 19th century, the only way to have enough time to science was to be a monk?

    Because most scientists aren’t creationist (see the first answer). Also, I’d like to point out that over 50% of MIT students are atheist or agnostic.

    What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it.

    Yes, they believed that.

    So?

    Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe.

    I’m…cringing so much here. So much. So much.

    Can you please go read about the weak anthropic principle. Please.

    Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong. The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect.

    ….You obviously don’t understand the placebo effect.

    The placebo effect is related to the perceptions and expectations of the patient; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but, if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect. In 1985, Irving Kirsch hypothesized that placebo effects are produced by the self-fulfilling effects of response expectancies

    In other words – we report we feel better because we think we should be feeling better.

    Add to this things like the peer-reviewed studies by Pim van Lommel (published in the medical journal Lancet) confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences

    False. Let me find the exact study, but there was one where scientists placed an object on a shelf where it wouldn’t be visible to patients. They asked all patients who had a near-death experience what that item was.

    Result: Nope.

    Here, we just have a garbled mess that’s a mixture of ad hominem (“you don’t understand probability”) and false claims (“your brains are wired wrong”)

    First, the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing

    *cough*

    And no one instinctively understands probability. If that was the case, casinos would be broke.

    We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    I’m not seeing the logic here.

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    How old do you think the solar system is?

    The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    Can I introduce you to the RNA world.

    PS. I have half a mind to just leave this link here, just to show how amazingly incomprehendable physics is.

  143. nightshadequeen says

    Arg. Sorry, that was a flood of links.

    Try two: with fewer links this time around.

    Ouch.

    I haven’t seen such bad science in ages.

    It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other.

    Hun, I owe my existance to my mother. This doesn’t stop me from disagreeing with her on practically everything, and for outright wishing she’d actually done the logical thing and aborted me.

    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    *cough*.

    But focusing only on the western world: because in the 19th century, the only way to have enough time to science was to be a monk?

    Because most scientists aren’t creationist (see the first answer). Also, I’d like to point out that over 50% of MIT students are atheist or agnostic.

    What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it.

    Yes, they believed that.

    So?

    Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe.

    I’m…cringing so much here. So much. So much.

    Can you please go read about the weak anthropic principle. Please.

    Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong. The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect.

    ….You obviously don’t understand the placebo effect.

    The placebo effect is related to the perceptions and expectations of the patient; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but, if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect. In 1985, Irving Kirsch hypothesized that placebo effects are produced by the self-fulfilling effects of response expectancies

  144. nightshadequeen says

    In other words – we report we feel better because we think we should be feeling better.

    Add to this things like the peer-reviewed studies by Pim van Lommel (published in the medical journal Lancet) confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences

    False. Let me find the exact study, but there was one where scientists placed an object on a shelf where it wouldn’t be visible to patients. They asked all patients who had a near-death experience what that item was.

    Result: Nope.

    Here, we just have a garbled mess that’s a mixture of ad hominem (“you don’t understand probability”) and false claims (“your brains are wired wrong”)

    First, the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing

    *cough*

    And no one instinctively understands probability. If that was the case, casinos would be broke.

    We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    I’m not seeing the logic here.

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    How old do you think the solar system is?

    The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    Can I introduce you to the RNA world.

    PS. I have half a mind to just leave this link here, just to show how amazingly incomprehendable physics is.

  145. Myoo says

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    What an intriguing notion.

    You of course have and are willing to share evidence that shows that a guided evolutionary process would take less time than an unguided evolutionary one, and an approximate timeline, right?

  146. nightshadequeen says

    I love the idea that evolution was guided to produce us.

    Because, um, who fucked up with the pelvic channel? And knees. And eyes. And…etc…

  147. says

    I formally apologize to anyone on this forum with whom I tussled about Lance Armstrong. You were right; he is a lying, cheating scumbag, and I got duped hardcore.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled creationism-debunking.

  148. Suido says

    I’m going to bite the bullet, and show why 1500 word essays on an array of topics is a bad way to start an effective conversation in a comment forum.
    Deep breath.

    I’d like to take issue with the scientific method

    science is one of the greatest sources of evidence for the Christian worldview

    Oh dear, contradictions already. Deep breaths.

    People tell me that science is great because it “eliminates biases” and when applied “properly”, it’s becomes true even if the testers are biased. I’d word this differently (because the scientific method absolutely does NOT always prove the theory)…instead, I would say that it provides reliable results that either confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis (the theory only comes into existence after a hypothesis is tested and confirmed).

    People say that science eliminates bias, and you rebut that by saying that science doesn’t always prove the theory. Way to go! You really showed those people.

    Is this the entirety of your issue with the scientific method? If so, I refer you to the OED:
    “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.”

    Do you have issue with that definition? Because I don’t see how you’re wording makes any improvement.

    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    SUBJECT CHANGE!
    Citations needed, as well as rationale for excluding all ancient Greeks/Chinese/etc from ‘early scientists’.

    many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories.

    Wait, aren’t we talking about ‘early scientists’? How many ‘early scientists’ are still alive? I think that’s a prerequisite for them to still believe in God.

    In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    I don’t think this is. Citations regarding the religious beliefs of scientists required. Of much interest to me would be your explanation why some scientists believe in religions other than christianity.

    I then get people responding by saying “Oh, but those early day Christian scientists actually tried scientific experiments in order to prove that those things were existent and what their true natures were so that all the arguments about them could be settled once and for all!”

    Ah. So we are talking about early scientists. It’s hopelessly vague though. Please name drop, because I don’t intend to write about Aristotle or Descartes only for you to say “AHA! I wasn’t talking about Aristotle or Descartes. Checkmate atheist.”

    But I would like someone to list those experiments that secular “science-minded” atheists claim did this.

    Well, I would like someone to list the scientists, so I can then list their experiments. I would also like a chocolate ice cream and one million dollars, but I’ll accept a list of early scientists.

    The fact is that this isn’t what happened at all. What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it. I don’t doubt there were a few people here or there who tried to prove a point. But early science was an exploration of nature, and it was motivated by a belief that nature was discoverable because God made it.

    Oh for fuck’s sake. When does the rhetorical vagueness end? Different people had different motivations. Name some early scientists, and then we can discuss their motivations.

    An atheist friend pointed me to a book by Greta Christina just released.

    SUBJECT CHANGE! So much for staying on topic.

    That said, her Chapter 8 (“Evidence against God” or something like that) was utter garbage

    Your opinion is noted.

    Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe.

    I reject the notion that our universe is finely tuned to be suitable for life. The vast majority of the universe is hostile to life as we know it, and existed for billions of years before life arose on earth. That’s crap tuning, in my opinion.

    Most cosmologists, Christian or otherwise, scratch their heads over this extraordinary finding in nature. The same can be said for the evidence pointing to the beginning of the universe out of non-being and other areas.

    Yep. You know what they did after scratching their heads? They get back to work trying to find more answers. You know what’s not helpful? Saying “God did it, case closed.”

    Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong.

    SUBJECT CHANGE!

    The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect. Given that that placebo has no causative powers, there is no effect possible.

    This points to an unembodied consciousness with the ability to impact the physical body.

    I’m no expert on the placebo effect, but a couple of points which you don’t seem to have considered:

    1. Placebos don’t work on everyone.
    2. Nocebos affect people negatively.

    This isn’t good news for your unembodied consciousness. Apparently it’s choosy and mean. It never heals amputees. What does your unembodied consciousness have against amputees?

    I think the placebo effect points to the brain, and how much we don’t know about it.

    Add to this things like the peer-reviewed studies by Pim van Lommel (published in the medical journal Lancet) confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences

    SUBJECT CHANGE!

    Of course NDEs exist. I’ve no doubt that people who nearly die have some crazy shit going on in their brain. That’s not the right question. The question is: are they hallucinations, or are they evidence that consciousness exists outside of the brain? This question has not yet been answered.

    The study involving object placed in emergency rooms, out of sight of patients, has not yet been published to my knowledge. Lommel’s article (available here) contains one anecdote about a man seeing his dentures get removed during comatose. Not what I’d call compelling evidence for christianity.

    bottom line, atheists, science is on OUR side here!

    Nope. One article in one journal does not instantly make all of science on your side. To be accurate, science is not on anyone’s side. It doesn’t play favourites, it just explains reality. If you choose to anthropomorphise it by assigning intent, that’s your prerogative, but don’t expect anyone to be impressed.

    Greta Christina also mentioned something about (again, just paraphrasing here) :

    SUBJECT CHANGE!

    Here, we just have a garbled mess

    Um. You’re the paraphraser, so it’s your garbled mess.

    that’s a mixture of ad hominem (“you don’t understand probability”) and false claims (“your brains are wired wrong”).

    That’s not an ad hominem. Educate yourself.

    That’s not a false claim. Educate yourself.

    First, the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing (I can go into more depth on this if you want to walk down that alley).

    Please do. Your disproof is merely a lack of evidence for something that may not even be necessary. Why is identifying a ‘single area’ required for evidence of brain wiring?

    And the “God Helmet” nonsense is just that…people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience. We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    Which God Helmet are you talking about? The one I know about doesn’t induce ecstatic experiences, just a weak, fluctuating magnetic field.

    The best answer, huh? Best =/= correct.

    It’s not shallow thinking. It’s not bad wiring. It’s rigorous deductive conclusions based on evidence of multiple sorts.

    Please, present your evidence, as concisely and logically as possible. Then show your logical reasoning. Then we can discuss this further.

    Us creationists and Christians also get accused of by many atheists of:

    They are completely dishonest, for one main reason: their claims have failed to stand up to serious testing

    I don’t think the case is as open and shut as you guys claim.

    SUBJECT CHANGE!
    It is. Refer to the Dover case. Creationism, dishonestly rebranded to Intelligent Design, both debunked as completely unscientific. Open and shut.

    I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone…

    That’s correct, it didn’t happen alone. Abiogenesis + time + evolution = present complexity!

    Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

    Citation needed. How old do you think the universe is? How old do you think the solar system is? How old do you think the earth is? How long do you think unguided evolutionary processes require?

    The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    That’s called abiogenesis, not evolution. Look it up.

    In summary

    When writing a summary, it is traditional to summarise. Hint: you didn’t summarise.

    you’re quite willing to mischaracterize Christians

    Generalisation alert! I don’t mischaracterise christians. You posted a single quote calling creationists dishonest, and appear to be extrapolating that to infer that all atheists mischaracterise christians. It appears you’re also quite willing to mischaracterise atheists.

    post things that are unsubstantiated claims without any support or evidence, and proclaim victory.

    Sproing goes the irony meter. That’s exactly what you’ve done here.

    That doesn’t work here, I’m afraid.

    You are correct. Any one posting unsubstantiated claims in the Thunderdome is going to get their arse kicked. I’m sure PZ is very happy that you understand the rules.

    If you want to make the case that Christianity is at war with science, you’re welcome to do so.

    How kind condescending of you to give us permission. I don’t think there’s a war. There are scientists who are interested in discovering more about reality, and there are religions which react badly to scientific findings they don’t like. It’s more like a temper tantrum than a war.

    But I can show you a number of very prominent scientists who arrived at their faith based on the very science you claim is conclusively against Christianity.

    Yeah, yeah, we know there are christian scientists. We also know there are scientists of every other religion as well. In fact, here’s a list of Muslim scientists.

    In fact, I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes that may help:

    Blah blah blah. I could post other quotes that may help. But I grow tired of this exercise.

    Bottom line, atheists, your confidence in this matter is quite overblown. You may assert all you’d like. But the facts do not support your certainty.

    Neither do they support yours. Thanks for playing.

    …Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I’m not bringing this to Greta, I was under the impression from what I was told recently she’s suffering a really bad illness, so I didn’t want to burden an unwell individual. So I came here instead, since I say this place get a big recommendation in her “Resources” section.

    Welcome to Pharyngula. I don’t think this will turn out the way you expect.

    I don’t expect you to answer all this in one post. That would be silly. Break it down into manageable chunks.

  149. texasaggie says

    Sorry for the interruption, but I had to go pick up my wife.

    Where were we? Oh, yes, the quotes. Luv, Arguing from authority is the opposite of science. It doesn’t work, especially when the authorities you cite, being astronomers, know very little about evolution.

    Here is a list of books for your edification. They should be available in the UK. By the way, the difference between a book and a quote from authority is that in the book, there is a description of the evidence and the facts that buttress a theory. If not (see Darwin’s Black Box), then the book is worthless.

    First start off with the chapter in a quality biology textbook on DNA and how it works

    then go to the following:

    Snake Oil Science – R. Barker Bausell — A discussion of CAM including placebos.
    Darwin in the Genome – Lynn Helena Caporale
    From DNA to Diversity – Sean B. Carroll et al — Dr. Carroll has several other books relating to the relation between DNA and evolution showing how small changes in DNA lead to major changes in the organism. Read them all.
    Only a Theory – Kenneth R. Miller — an excellent debunking of the whole ID concept by a biologist who happens to be a devout Christian
    Creationism’s Trojan Horse – Barbara Forrest & Paul R. Gross
    Intelligent Design Creationism and its Critics — Robert T. Pennock, editor
    All of Stephen Jay Gould’s books that are collections of his columns from Natural History (?) – read as many as you can find. The chapters are just a few pages long, and most of them illustrate some aspect of evolution that is at work today. Start here after you understand DNA.

    Frankly, Anne, I don’t think you realized what you were getting into. Your post sort of conjures up the image of a third grader who is still shaky on long division telling a group of PhD mathematicians that you can, too, divide by zero. I hope no one hurt your feelings too badly, but you really, really don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. Read those books and many others along the same lines before you venture forth again into the jungle of the internet.

  150. wolja says

    Most day early scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

    Assuming that should read most early day scientists were Christians, frgetting of course the muslims, Mithrans, Hindu etc etc etc, you’re overeaching a tad. Saying most scientists are human , Ken Ham is a good example of the non human variety, is not an equivalent of sayng their science is due to their religion.

    If you spent some time reviewing the evidence against creationism with a thinking mind you might then ask targeted questions that are aimed at learning rather than just spouting dogma.

  151. otrame says

    It’s the “fine tuning” argument that gets me. Every single time. The entire fucking universe does its best to destroy every bit of life there is. It is only through thousands of generations of fine tuning BY LIVING THINGS that makes it possible to be alive at all.

    I wonder if the fact that we, as individuals in a modern society, don’t have to have the fight for survival in our faces every minute gives these silly people the idea that the universe is somehow perfect for us. What a ridiculous notion. We are largely insulated from having our fragility rubbed in our faces every single day because of the efforts of thousands of human minds, over a period of millennia (but especially in the last 200 years or so), who learn what we needed to know to make staying alive a little easier…for a while.

    Annejones sounds like she has at least some education. At least her grammar and spelling are at a level seldom found in creationist screeds. I wonder why she thinks ignoring reality will please her god. If I were the Creator of the Universe, it would piss me off if my creations tried to force me into the tiny, almost microscopic, box that creationists try to force their god into.

  152. digibud says

    You sound like a reasonable person willing to listen so it’s sad to see your rationale laid out bare because everything you have put forth has been debunked many times before. Suido did a point by point so I won’t belabor it further except to say that if you don’t get it now, you will have to either flounder around in ignorance a bit longer or wallow in it the rest of your life. When people have a background in evolution and the scientific method they either accept reality as it is or simply choose to ignore the real world and believe in life after death, god, heaven, hell, and the list goes on and varies from one person to the next, but the commonality among everyone that believes in religion/god/creationism/whatever is that each person just picks the ideas they like and believes in that, without any proof or basis other than that which they project. One person takes adam and eve literally, the next rejects that but believes christ is god which is rejected by the next that believes god spoke to muhamed and the endless chain of “I’m right…No, I’m right!” continues. Enjoy your beliefs. I hope they give you some solace and comfort. Religion might be good for that, but on balance it’s sure is a horrible thing for our world.

  153. says

    @ Annejones # 140

    Most day (sic) early scientists were Christian

    Rubbish. The most profound groundwork in science and philosophy was undertaken prior to the invention of jeebus. By Pagans.

    What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God.

    Yeah, but which god? Recall that science really got started amongst people who worshipped the Gods of Olympus. The formalisation of what they uberhaupt worshipped was quite willfully contrived by Homer. He (or those writers) was quite OK with creating them in the image of what he held to be salutary.

    Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe.

    I accept that this is irrefutable proof that the forebears of Almighty Zeus created the Uniberse. However, I have one nagging question: Can you show that these values could be otherwise, or alternatively , that these are the only values that could work? (Or that, having set up the system, the Flying Spaghetti Monster didn’t retire from the scene?)

    Placebo Effect

    Ever distracted a child that has skinned her knee? Notice how she stopped crying when her attention was fixated on the promise of ice-cream? No gods needed.

    FIFY:

    unembodied consciousness

    Kill the body, kill the consciousness.

    extra-body experiences where people have verifiable experiences

    Provide links to citations. I am calling you out on this.

    just paraphrasing here | a garbled mess

    Obviously you fail at paraphrasing adequately.

    We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    Again, which god? All evidence points only to Almighty Zeus, His Beautiful Cow-eyed Wife Hera and Their Divine Buddies. This is irrefutable and you are lying if you say otherwise. I have weighed the evidence, reasoned logically and observed the flight of sparrows. The best answer is that Zeus exists.

    The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    Rubbish. We all know (though some deny the truth) that the the Uniberse was created out of Chaos by Eurynome fucking a snake and birthing Eros then dancing on the waves to make the land and bringing all creatures into existence.

    Paul Davies/Alan Sandage/Frank Tipler

    Argument from incredulity. Yawn. We all know my imaginary cat is behind it all. (As a bonus, has xtianity added anything of value since the Stoics?)

    Francis Collins owns a cat. This proves my “imaginary cat” hypothesis.

    [Greta] I was told recently she’s suffering a really bad illness, so I didn’t want to burden an unwell individual.

    On the other hand, humour is the best medicine.

    Also, in future, how do I properly separate my paragraphs?

    Actually, there is a problem with the blogging software. You seem to have a reasonable solution to the problem.

  154. Amphiox says

    Most day (sic) early scientists were Christian

    1. Not counting the pagan Classical/Medieval Islamic/Imperial Chinese pioneers, the first Christian European scientists lived in a world where anyone who wasn’t a Christian couldn’t get appointments to scientific bodies or have any sort of career in science at all, when they weren’t just plain burned at the stake.

    2. In every single instance where a Christian Scientist attempted to apply Christian and/or biblical thinking to his or her science, that part of his or her work was invariably, always, eventually proven wrong.

  155. Amphiox says

    I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone…

    The onus is then on you to propose a testable* alternative (or additional) hypotheses sufficiently distinct from the known evolutionary mechanisms that once and if demonstrated by evidence, would not simply be added into the larger framework of existing evolutionary theory.

    (ie, such as endosymbiosis was)

    *And here is the crux. Want to make creationism/ID a viable SCIENTIFIC hypothesis? Propose it in a way that makes it TESTABLE. Then do, or convince someone, to DO THE TEST. And then you can get back to us.

  156. Amphiox says

    What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it. I don’t doubt there were a few people here or there who tried to prove a point. But early science was an exploration of nature, and it was motivated by a belief that nature was discoverable because God made it.

    Even if this was true, it says absolutely nothing whatsoever regarding the question of whether or not there actually is or is not a God.

    Whatever motivation compels a person to DO science has no impact of what the science, ultimately, ends up SAYING about reality.

    The ideas that motivated Heyerdahl to build Kon Tiki did not affect even a single stone on the shores of Polynesia. (And Heyerdahl’s hypothesis was wrong.)

  157. says

    [Greta] I was told recently she’s suffering a really bad illness, so I didn’t want to burden an unwell individual.

    Hahahahahahahaha. Greta would chew you up and spit you out for breakfast, dear. Go ahead and tell her you think she’s full of shit, I would love to read her response.

  158. says

    Theophontes:

    We all know my imaginary cat is behind it all.

    And behind the imaginary cat are the very real rats. Theo and the rest of the crew personally commune with the Great Cosmic Rat all the time.

  159. Lofty says

    You meanies! You all know that the only Scientists That Matter are listed in the Big Colouring In Book of Christian Scientists…

  160. chigau (無味ない) says

    My goo’ness.
    My scrolling-down-past-all-that finger is tired.
    —–
    annejones
    If you return:
    which bible do you use?

  161. says

    @ Caine

    Theo

    Hiyah Caine. Please present my little virtual rodent with some scritches. (I know, I know, I have been a very slack virtual parent.)

    Also, some bad news: Theo’s virtual sister, Ms Molly, has been caught on video using drugs!
    And some good news: I’ll post it on youtube soon. ;)

  162. says

    Theophontes, scritches and tickles delivered. Theo, along with many of his sibs are in bed with me. Theo has been curled up against my ass. He’s a nice little heater. :D

    Theo’s virtual sister, Ms Molly, has been caught on video using drugs!

    Well, don’t expect help from Theo, he’s quite fond of that particular drug himself. Wicked little ones, what can you do?

  163. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Anne Jones, please read the links provided. I once came to Pharyngula (as a lurker) to learn better pro-religious arguments from Christians arguing with the regulars here, hoping to see the atheists’ arguments get thrashed.

    The regulars can tell you how that turned out. =^_^=

    I am very, very happy now to have gained such insight into how ignorant I am, having lost such a lot of my previous ignorance through studying the information provided here by PZ and the Horde.

    I have learned that what little accurate knowledge I did have was a mere smidgen of what experts in each field know; and each of them knows so little compared to what scientists, collectively, have taught humanity.

    If the God believed in by Christians, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent – ignoring the inherent incompatibilities – were real, humanity wouldn’t have needed to develop the scientific method to provide us with the knowledge needed to produce all the wonderful advances that have now made our lives so easy compared to that of even our recent ancestors. God could have provided all of that from the outset. No excuses about ‘The Fall’, ‘Original Sin’ or any of that; a loving God could – should – have designed a world without disease, temptation, pain and disabilities. Which one of us, given the power, wouldn’t ensure our own children would be free of all horrible things? Are we, then, so much better beings than gods are? Or, is it just that our ancestors, living lives that were ‘nasty, brutish and short’ (thank you, Thomas Hobbes) yet having the same intellectual capacity as us, without the advantages of our modern education came up with explanations that, at the time and given their ignorance, made sense to them for a while at least.

    Those ‘explanations’, actually myths, don’t make sense any more. If there really were gods, the universe would look very different to the one we see around us. If the god of the bible were real, the universe would be even more different than it really is. That is the conclusion I came to when I learnt what logic actually is, how it works and how to apply it, rather than swallowing without thinking the propaganda fed to me by my religious teachers and heroes.

    Thanks to the regulars here, the Horde, I no longer necessarily accept as true something, especially something extraordinary, told to me unless it comes with verifying evidence. Everything you asserted had no accompanying evidence, or even links to places where that evidence could be found. I spent the first half century of my life as a British woman. Women in the UK have access to one of the best educational systems in the world. As a woman in the UK, you have the best opportunity to gather evidence for your position. If you cannot find it, please consider that it possibly doesn’t exist. It hurts to realise that one has been systematically misled throughout one’s life by people one thought had one’s best interests in mind; but I discovered that it costs more to hide from that fact than it does to admit that one has been duped.

    I was duped. Thanks to Pharyngula, I got better. =^_^=

  164. katansi says

    @ #202 nightshadequeen

    Your physics link, it hurt me. I understood some of the bits up until proposition 2, then I peed myself.

  165. Crudely Wrott says

    Waiting for a reply from annejones. This might be a permanent position. ‘sOK. I’m onnit.

    Arguments from authority and arguments from incredulity and arguments from indoctrination work fine within closely cloistered societies, that is how clubs and fraternal organizations work.

    Fortunately, that’s not how things work around here.

    Tip O the Hat to all those who have created opportunities for annejones to justify the statements and assertions made. You all are awesome, and that’s not a term I normally use. If there is any justice in the world, and I’m not certain that there is, annejones should be feeling small and insignificant just about now.

    Please do carry on. And thank you. ;^>

  166. chigau (無味ない) says

    Caine #224
    I can do the Heimlich thingy.
    (I just caught-up on the NYT thread)
    (my head hurts)

  167. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Saying most scientists are human , Ken Ham is a good example of the non human variety, is not an equivalent of sayng their science is due to their religion.

    The Orangs, chimps, gorillas and skunks all deny responsibility for the hamster. (The skunks remarked that he certainly smelled like a scared skunk, but noted the lack of fur and general cuteness).

    The bonobos just laughed at me,I also note that as a no.

    So for the time being, we have to recognise the hamster as a human.

  168. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’m just reading that thread, having borrowed hubby’s laptop (it wouldn’t load on my 3DS and my laptop won’t light up its screen).

    If it weren’t for highlights from the awesome members of the Horde, I wouldn’t be able to.

    *Extra rattie hugs for Caine*

  169. says

    Annejones: Even if I am to credit any of your arguments, fine tuning etc, at best they lend support for the logic of a deist worldview, the idea that /something/ created the universe. Well, sure, maybe it did; we don’t know. And if it did, is that thing ‘god’? If so, what makes you think it’s the Christian god when there are so many other deities that have existed in human minds throughout time?

    To briefly address some of your arguments:

    Fine-tuned universe: Lots of potential solutions to that one, among which are the idea of many universes, the simple anthropic principle (the universe appears to be fine tuned because here we are; if we’d been dark-matter gluon-eating star-creatures in a very different universe that would feel ‘fine tuned’ to us too).

    Placebo Effect: Yes people’s beliefs, moods and attitudes can have an impact on their health. If they believe they’re receiving effective treatment their mood will improve, stress hormones reduce, they take better care of themselves etc. That’s without invoking explanations like regression to the mean and so on.

    Time for evolution: You may think that there has not been enough time for evolution, but all the evidence points to it so it must have happened, even if we don’t understand every part of the process over time or every mechanism, yet.

  170. says

    Theophontes:

    THEO! Snuggle closer!

    Naughty man. :D

    Chigau:

    (I just caught-up on the NYT thread)
    (my head hurts)

    Yeah, mine too. The apologia is so much worse in this case. So much worse. And I’m well past any patience at this point. He got patience from me, initially. That’s over.

    Tigger:

    If it weren’t for highlights from the awesome members of the Horde, I wouldn’t be able to.

    It’s one for books.

    *Extra rattie hugs for Caine*

    Thank you. ♥

  171. says

    @ Tigger_the_Wing

    It hurts to realise that one has been systematically misled throughout one’s life by people one thought had one’s best interests in mind

    We were discussing narratives the other day. Each of us has one and (at least from my perspective) these must needs contain false and mythical elements; if for no other reason than we tend to wish for a coherency and flow that is missing in the disjoint reality that we perceive around us. For a scientist, the narrative will consist largely of the aggregate of knowledge accumulated, held together with some little inventions. All rather innocuous and serving to make the very most of a short, fallible human life.

    On the other side we have narratives made of little more than mythical glue. This jars with reality and constantly cracks. There is a remedy though. Find more people to share one’s mythical narrative – pretend that because it is shared it is relevant. That this somehow ameliorates all the liabilities it inevitably carries. (Actually I think this clubbing together and shouting lalalalala in unison probably does drown out a lot of awkward facts.)

    But here the interesting bit. Having a goddist away from the regular narrative support group, having no-one else to screen out reality. Finally they are having to deal with a scientific outlook that has no respect for the goddist’s life lies.

    (Actually, as someone pointed out, a similar experience would probably occur if one was suddenly placed in a completely different religious or cultural milieu. Perhaps this would be even more disruptive because there is so little common ground. (Compare this to the universal nature of the fact-based narrative.)

  172. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Take a collective bow, people; that was such an excellent collective* response that I have nothing to add.

    (Thank you, annejones!)

    * New nyms to me to boot, and every one excellent.

  173. Fizzing thru da Fizzics says

    /unlurks / Utterly educational, as usual, thanks to all the hordelings, I keep on learning new stuff about the squishy things. /relurks/

  174. says

    You know that the placebo effect isn’t all “I think this will make me better” effect right? When somebody signs up to be a test subject they realize that they’re being monitored and that the effects are going to potentially be very important so they do little things like not eat quite as much crappy food, exercise, actually check that they’re taking their pills as often as they are supposed to.
    Another extremely important factor is that they’re probably doing giving a doctor figure fairly frequent updates, which means they get a lot of face time with a person who is very interested in their health and in treating any problems that they had or any that arise.

    You take THOSE things out and the placebo effect shrinks down until they’re getting as much out of a sugar pill as the would by asking a can of soup to cure them. Yeah, sometimes it “works” if the only measure of success is that they feel better. The can of soup doesn’t need to do anything and they don’t even need to think that it’s going to “work.” Sometimes that will just happen anyway, for unrelated reasons.

  175. John Morales says

    andrewriding, actually, placebo is very powerful against psychosomatic ailments.

    (So yes, it’s a cure for certain diseases)

  176. says

    andrewriding:

    You take THOSE things out and the placebo effect shrinks down until they’re getting as much out of a sugar pill as the would by asking a can of soup to cure them.

    Not always. Historically, it was quite common for doctors to prescribe harmless placebos to people with hypochondria. In such cases, placebos are quite effective, as long as the patient is unaware that it is a placebo. Generally, it would be the case that the placebo would cure that complaint, but now they have this complaint, so here’s another placebo!

  177. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Fuck I fucking hate bullshit hyperskepticism; or, as I refer to it, obstructionism masquerading as skepticism. The slymepitters and their ilk keep on hiding behind this and not getting called on it nearly enough.

    Newsflash, assholes: skepticism is more than just saying ‘No, I need more evidence’ to propositions you don’t want to consider. Particularly when there’s no shortage of evidence that you just keep handwaving away as irrelevant.

    Funnily enough, none of them seems to want to (openly) apply skepticism to the consequences of simply investigating the claims that there are reasons why there aren’t more women in the skeptical movement. Because they’re quite aware of what it will find – that things need to change – and don’t want to give up having things their own way.

    Gah!

  178. says

    Wowbagger, it’s been evident from the start of all things slymey that the howling is over things they consider to be so unimportant as to be virtually non-existent. They also don’t see the need for anything to change, so obviously, we’re the hysterical bitches and mangina chorus, seeing offense where there is none to take.

    In short form, same old shit, different day.

  179. says

    And just in case anyone was curious, the pussy-lobster question was figured out:

    The Mellow Monkey:

    Caine, maybe this was said during the period of time when lobster was considered a disgusting and worthless “paupers’ food” and so a lobster itself was seen as an insulting comparison?

    I’m not sure exactly what the time period on that was and when lobster was elevated to the status it holds now, but I know it was seen as a lowly and unappetizing animal for a while there.

    Me:

    Mellow Monkey, I think you hit on it! This was in the early 1900s, during the ‘Muscular Christianity’ phase, you know, xianity for Manly Men™ Sunday was one of those who bought into all of the Manly Man™ tropes, including the “real men eat meat damn near raw and dripping with blood!” business. He also called intellectuals as “fudge-eating mollycoddles” who would rather eat “fried oysters and tea” rather than red meat.

    So, I don’t think it was because of the pauper’s food rhetoric as much as it was that he saw lobsters and other seafood as feminine.

    Ah, that’s better. Now I can stop thinking about it.

    From the lounge, where this went so as not interrupt the lessons to a creationist.

  180. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Just putting this here ’cause it’s in my head and I need to get it out.

    Here’s what I would consider to be a reasonable approach to the situation:

    1) Observe that there are fewer women in the community
    2) Ask the women why they think they aren’t as numerous
    3) Listen to what they say
    4) Consider what changes might be made in light of what was said

    But the bullshit obstructionist hyperskeptics jump in and handwave at every step.

    1) “Are there fewer women in the community? Are you sure? What’s your evidence for that? Where did you get that evidence? How do you know that evidence is reliable? When you can answer those questions, well, maybe we’ll think about looking into it.”

    2) “Maybe there are good reasons why women aren’t as numerous. Maybe that’s just because of biological differences. Maybe there are other good reasons that, even if we identified them, we wouldn’t be able to do anything about anyway. We really shouldn’t bother looking any further into it until you can explain that.”

    3) “How do you know the women actually know why? Which women did you ask? Why do you think they’re representative of all women? We know several women who’ve said they don’t have any problems at all with things the way they are. Honestly, we’d like to look into the problem, but unless you can answer those questions, it wouldn’t be truly skeptical of us to do so.”

    4) “How do you know these changes you want to make will bring more women into the community? What hard evidence do you have that it will work? How do you know it won’t drive women away? We can’t possibly make these changes until we know that.”

    As I’ve said before, if these fuckwits applied this level of ‘skepticism’ to any other aspects of their lives, they’d never cross a fucking road, turn on a tap or answer the phone.

  181. says

    Aaaaauuuuuuaaggggggghhhhhhhh Aaaaauuuuuuaaggggggghhhhhhhh

    Aaaaauuuuuuaaggggggghhhhhhhh Aaaaauuuuuuaaggggggghhhhhhhh
     
    Sorry, had to get it out of my system. Same thread, same thing, doubled down.

  182. bradleybetts says

    Oh, I missed all the fun with the Christian :( Why do they always present the same arguments? The only one in there I hadn’t seen before was the one about the placebo, which was… novel. At least she started out polite, that makes a nice change.

  183. annejones says

    Hi, for the record, I haven’t bailed, nor am I doing a “Gish-Gallup” anywhere else. I am admittedly considering C&Ping the same post I made here to Greta since she’ll make more sense of the paraphrasing I did of her Chapter 8 segments, but for the moment I am working on a genuine response to what people said here. The show isn’t ended yet.

  184. trigley says

    Concerning the question of how much time evolution takes, here is (I think) an interesting paper on the subject, sort of:

    Rapid evolutionary innovation during an Archaean genetic expansion. Lawrence A. David & Eric J. Alm Nature 469, 93–96 (06 January 2011)

    Below is a quote from their abstract:

    “Here we use an explicit model of macroevolution including gene birth, transfer, duplication and loss events to map the evolutionary history of 3,983 gene families across the three domains of life onto a geological timeline.”

    It seems hard to account for the presence of so many genes (so much evolution) as early as their work suggests.

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The show isn’t ended yet.

    Bravado. It ended before you started. All your arguments have been soundly refuted here prior to your showing up. You said nothing new. Same old, same old.

  186. annejones says

    Is that why Mr Myers saw fit to include me on the main page and poison the well by giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it? Because it was, as you say, “Same old, same old”? Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong? Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?

    And no, that last isn’t a No True Scotsman defence. I’ll happily acknowledge those people are Christians, just like I’ll acknowledge the Falwells and Limbaugh and Savage and Beck and the Conservapedia guy who embarassed himself publically with the Lenski affair are Christians. They’re just Christians who I find to be contemptible. By all accounts, aside from the Creationism/ID beliefs, I’m probably a better secularist than most of your compadres. Again, say what you want about my arguments, but at least you’re not going to see me advocating the subjugation of women or denying them their abortion rights or being super-duper mean to gay people.

  187. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    How about you stop whining about how open minded you are and how you’re not a homophobe and so on Anne? I can’t imagine that anyone cares.

    -Pick your very best argument for the existence of your god.
    -Present it in as few words as possible.
    -Provide your evidence for the veracity of that argument.

    If you can’t do those things I’m afraid all you’re going to find here is an ever increasing level of snark and mockery. Which will be heelarious, ’cause the folks here have honed their snark ’til it can’t be handled without gloves and eye protection and have made mockery into an art so beautiful that it outta be hung in MOMA.

  188. iiandyiiii says

    From annejones post #140: **This is interesting. Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. And it’s not merely Christians who are claiming this. Most cosmologists, Christian or otherwise, scratch their heads over this extraordinary finding in nature. The same can be said for the evidence pointing to the beginning of the universe out of non-being and other areas.**

    This seems akin to a lottery winner saying, after she’s won the lottery, “the chances of me winning the lottery were so low that it must have been part of a plan!”. Probability doesn’t work that way- past events aren’t “improbable” or “probable”- they already happened. Someone has to win the lottery- so whoever wins is bound to perhaps have thoughts that they are some how special in a cosmic sense. It doesn’t matter how improbable the fine-tuned laws of our universe are- it already happened. We wouldn’t be here to ask about it if it didn’t. The “fine-tuned” nature of the universe isn’t evidence of anything regarding any proposed creator.

    ** 2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life**

    This is a different subject than evolution- abiogenesis. There are hypotheses about how life first arose, and attempts are being made to at least show how it might have happened. But just because we haven’t answered all questions says nothing about any possible god. There is overwhelming evidence that evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life on earth. There is no evidence for Creationism or it’s poorly disguised compatriot Intelligent Design.

  189. johnwolforth says

    annejones;
    You are having as much trouble with the definition of fallacies as you are with the definition of the scientific method. It is unlikely that any post will appear in this thread in the next couple days with something like, “oh, I see your point and now understand your argument and I have changed my mind”. Not by you or anyone else. Obviously pz, myself and others think you need to come to that conclusion eventually, but it’s going to take time. You have been supplied with many references. You supplied a few names and some things you believe to be factual that can be easily looked up and found to be wrong. That alone should tell you something, but we can tell you have already thought about your arguments and aren’t interested in opposing viewpoints.

    Don’t bother repeating that you are interested. If you read a book on NDE’s and believed it, you’ve already lost me. I would suggest finding a book or website or two on critical thinking, then go back and re-read the sources you have cited and see if you still believe them.

  190. tfkreference says

    annejones: if you don’t want to be accused of Gish Galloping, include linked citations–and not to the bible. Separate posts for each of your arguments would help–you’re not as focused as you claim. (Also, I’ve heard that multiple links get blocked–which isn’t a problem when arguing clearly.)

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong? Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?

    Nope, same old presuppositional bullshit. We don’t have to convince you of squat. You have to convince us you have a solid scientific argument to show that the science is WRONG, not just incomplete. Science is forever incomplete, as it asymptotically approaches the truth. And you you must show your imaginary creator/deity actually exists with solid and conclusive evidence, equivalent of the eternally burning bush, not just suggestive/imagufactored evidence.

  192. tfkreference says

    annejones: that’s the reply you’ve spent all day formulating? You were so sure of your position, so I hoped that you would at least try something other than the you’re being mean to me defense.

  193. Taylor says

    @255

    annejones:

    Well, what do you think of the arguments presented so far? You shouldn’t have come to the Thunderdome if you wanted a genteel discussion, but all of your points have been addressed quite well. Do you have a response, or have you changed your mind regarding ID?

    “Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?”

    Not in the context of the ID/Evolution debate, it doesn’t. You make the same arguments, completely unsupported by evidence, that the rest of them do. The only one we haven’t seen and refuted a hundred times before was your uncited assertion that the placebo effect disproves naturalism, and we dealt with that one as well.

    By all accounts, aside from the Creationism/ID beliefs, I’m probably a better secularist than most of your compadres.”

    Really? How do you figure? How are we “bad” secularists? Good for you that you don’t let your religious beliefs lead you to oppress women and gays. We don’t believe in those things either. That doesn’t make you a secularist, it makes you a decent person. The fact is, ID is just creationism with big words attached to it. Have you ever heard of “cargo cult science?” Just because you use the right words and go through the motions of publishing “research” in a “peer-reviewed” “journal” does not make it scientific.

    One of the main traits that ID advocates who come here to debate share is that they rarely, if ever, address the actual arguments against them. They complain about the tone, accuse us of being close-minded, cherry pick a few of the weaker arguments to respond to with more vague handwaving, and then leave. You’re perfectly free to respond to what’s been written in response to you so far, but if you choose not to, we’re just going to make fun of you the way we made fun of Ken Ham when he sent his students here with scripts to convert us with.

  194. says

    @ annejones

    [Teh Poopyhead] …giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it?

    Oh, we are all sockpuppets and PZbots now? That is rather condescending. (Hint: We can and do hold our own opinions of you without the Ebil Oberlawd poisoning our minds.)

    Same old, same old

    Placebo aside, there is nothing you have written that is in any way original. This shit has been refuted endlessly in the past. Do you really need us to google on your behalf?

    Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong?

    Jolly good show! I shall, however, remain sceptical until I see solid evidence that this really is the case.

    Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?

    You have, as yet not provided any proof at this. At least they are honest about their inveterate behaviour.

    You claim to be be a caring and thinking person. If this is true, you might enjoy it here. You will certainly not be the first or only xtian Pharyngulite by a long shot. You only need to try to be open and honest. Your writing ability, by itself, places you well ahead of the vast majority of people who spout that ID bullshit.

  195. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Placebo aside, there is nothing you have written that is in any way original. This shit has been refuted endlessly in the past. Do you really need us to google on your behalf?

    Exactly. Which means same old AnneJones

    And the placebo thing is patently ridiculous.

  196. dogfightwithdogma says

    @140

    The fact is that this isn’t what happened at all. What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it.

    Never ceases to amaze me how you IDiots think this is a meaningful or relevant piece of information or that it serves as evidence of anything worth mentioning. It doesn’t matter what these natural philosophers believed back in the day. What matters is what evidence is there to support the claim that God exists. Answer: none. It was none then and it is none today. Newton’s belief in God no more establishes God’s existence than did Newton’s belief in alchemy, which by the way he spent an enormous amount of time, ink and paper upon, and which was long ago dispatched as simply wrong.

  197. nightshadequeen says

    Annejones:

    You’re allowed five links per comment. Please use them.

    (writing your essay on another blog and linking back here would be totally okay)

    Offtopic: Why does Tkinter not allow keyboard interrupt…grrr.

  198. No One says

    Be gentle, don’t spook her, and have fun tearing those arguments to shreds.

    This is PZ being nice. Notice he directs “the horde” to damaging your arguments. He said nothing about your character. I would not have responded to your post if I had not seen the missive, I don’t generally hang out in The Thunderdome. Chances are you are a decent person. But there (generally) is a pretty high standard of evidence required here. Many have posted detailed refutations of your posts, show respect for the time it took us reply to you. Stop whining about the tone and address the issues.

  199. dogfightwithdogma says

    @140

    …(the theory only comes into existence after a hypothesis is tested and confirmed).

    Apparently your science education was not up to par. This statement reveals a misconception about the relationship between hypotheses and theories. You appear to mistakenly think that a hypothesis becomes a theory after testing. This indicates that you think there is some linear relationship between these concepts, such as the following: hypothesis becomes a theory which eventually matures to become a law. But this or any other version like it is wrong. A theory is a explanation that is not necessarily, and often is not, formed from the confirmation of a single hypothesis. Rather, a theory often explains multiple hypotheses, observations, scientific laws and experimental evidence. The theory reveals the connection between these. Take for example, the Theory of Plate Tectonics. This theory, which reached its full status as a theory the late 1960s, actually explains at least two different hypotheses: Continental Drift and Sea-floor spreading. Neither of these hypotheses, which were offered some 40 years apart from one another, were known to be related at the time of their proposal. Plate Tectonics stitched these two hypotheses, along with a wide-ranging set of observations about earthquake and volcano activity and distribution as well as other observations, together into a comprehensive and coherent explanation of these various natural phenomena. The modern Theory of Evolution is similar in this regard. It brings together Darwin’s original insights and evidence and later findings in genetics and molecular biology.

  200. nightshadequeen says

    @267

    “The fastest clip you’ll probably ever see” in a room with pretty much no distractions?

    That’s like totally indicative of the rest of the world, really.

    (PS – honestly, if ever in the same room as a gunman, I’d a) hope that I could make it into the ceiling before he notices me or b) hope that I had my favorite non-Newtonian-fluid vest on and run the other fucking direction)

  201. Taylor says

    @270

    It brings together Darwin’s original insights and evidence and later findings in genetics and molecular biology.

    ..and arachaeology and comparative anatomy and zoology and…

  202. tfkreference says

    They complain about the tone, accuse us of being close-minded, cherry pick a few of the weaker arguments to respond to with more vague handwaving, and then leave.

    Thanks, Taylor, that’s a very eloquent description of what happens every time a cdesign proponentsist shows up. (Link included for annejones’s benefit.)

  203. chadwickjones says

    There were quite a few marvelous things that came out of Christianity.

    Christianity wasn’t one of them.

  204. gussnarp says

    @annejones: I seem to have missed out on all the fun by being asleep, but I’ll throw out two points that I don’t think have been quite as well covered by the other commenters. First and foremost, if you want to argue that there is evidence for the existence of god and that god created the Universe and life and at the least guided evolution, then you ought to make a coherent, testable claim, or your claim can simply be dismissed and we’re done. So start by defining god. Then define how god created the Universe and how he/she/it guided the evolution of life and affects life now. If you’re OK with it all being some great ineffable mystery, then it very much is at odds with science. Science says we may not know everything, but we can try to find out. If there’s no way to find out these things about god, then god is unnecessary and pointless to discuss as a scientific matter.

    Second, you state that Christians aren’t Christians because of an ecstatic experience, but because they’ve weighed the evidence. That may be true of some Christians, but you noted later that there are many different kinds of Christians, so you ought not to argue that Christians believe on evidence not personal ecstatic experience when there are whole sects devoted to the notion that if you have not had that experience, then your Christianity is not real. You made a claim that is true of some subset of Christians, but it is absolutely false when applied broadly. As for the “God Helmet”, I have no idea what that is, but it sounds dirty.

  205. says

    @ Rev

    And the placebo thing is patently ridiculous. Indeed, this is perhaps why it is not used. Even Ken Ham recommends that IDiots don’t disgrace themselves with spouting utter vacuity.

    @ annejones

    Do not lose site of the fact that we do not need to prove your god does not exist. At most we may show how it came into being. This we certainly can do. If you wish to debate from this angle, I have prepared a short reading list to ease you into the conversation. Most of the books can be downloaded free and gratis. Link here: History and Development of Religions.

    (The little kitteh in the Pharyngula Wiki banner is called Ms Molly.)

  206. gussnarp says

    For evidence of my point, I submit this long and frustrating debate between Matt Dillahunty and Ray Comfort. Skip ahead to somewhere around the halfway point and you get Ray essentially admitting that he’s lost on evidence and logic, but none of that matters because being convinced by reason doesn’t make you a real Christian, you have to have a personal experience of God.

  207. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    annejones, on thing you need to keep firmly in mind. This will not be you are right until proven wrong, which is the way religious people argue. We won’t let you get away with that attitude. You will be wrong until you evidence yourself right, with the burden of evidence always on you, which is how science is done. Evidence isn’t your OPINION or just mental wanking (sophistry).

  208. Nightjar says

    annejones,

    Hi, for the record, I haven’t bailed, nor am I doing a “Gish-Gallup” anywhere else.

    Yeah, some people are impatient. Don’t mind them. Take your time and post with whatever frequency you feel like. The Thunderdome isn’t going anywhere, and while some people will lose interest if you don’t post for a few days, lots of others will be here to keep the conversation you want to have going. I think it may actually be more productive that way.

    Also, try to stick to a point or two at a time. It will be easier for you. There are many of us here so between ourselves we end up covering pretty much everything you say, multiple times, in multiple ways, with little effort. You are just one person, and you won’t be able to keep track of everything. Doing a Gish Gallop here makes your life more difficult, not our. Keep that in mind.

    but for the moment I am working on a genuine response to what people said here.

    That’s good.

    Is that why Mr Myers saw fit to include me on the main page and poison the well by giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it

    What negative perceptions? “We’ve got a Christian creationist claiming at great length that atheism is false because NDEs, because the placebo effect can’t work in a naturalistic universe, because intelligent design, and because a whole bunch of quotes.” That accurately describes your first post, doesn’t it? You are a Christian creationist, your post was lengthy and contained a bunch of quotes and you think the placebo effect and NDEs are evidence against atheism. I don’t see how describing your post and telling people to go read it and rebut it is poisoning the well.

    Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong? Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?

    Why are you wasting time whining that people don’t believe you’re being honest when you could be working on a well thought out response to the points raised so far, thereby showing that you are being honest? Like I said, take your time, but don’t spend it whining.

    Again, say what you want about my arguments, but at least you’re not going to see me advocating the subjugation of women or denying them their abortion rights or being super-duper mean to gay people.

    That’s great, but irrelevant for the conversation you apparently came here to have.

  209. says

    Do not lose site of the fact that we do not need to prove your god does not exist. At most we may show how it came into being. This we certainly can do. If you wish to debate from this angle, I have prepared a short reading list to ease you into the conversation. Most of the books can be downloaded free and gratis.

    Cool. Even if Anne Jones learns nothing, I will.

  210. coralline says

    Nerd of Redhead,

    Because this is Thunderdome, I’ll take the chance to say that your posts are becoming boring and predictable. If you show up in any thread, it’s to use basically the same wording, the same tone, and about the same length posts, trouncing whomever you happen to disagree with.

    Yes, your points deserve to be made. Just not over, and over, and over in the same threads, and other people are making the points by diversifying and addressing posters’ points (admittedly, many times those points don’t *deserve* to be addressed).

    You’re an OM, but Jaysus: change your message slightly, sometimes, OK? When PZ’s cardinal rule seems to be “don’t be boring”, you’re the worst offender.

  211. dogfightwithdogma says

    Is that why Mr Myers saw fit to include me on the main page and poison the well by giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it? Because it was, as you say, “Same old, same old”?

    Dr. Myers simply pointed out that you were swimming in this pond and invited any fish not already here to come join the school and participate in the conversation. Nothing he said projected a negative perception. Every person who has responded to your post has seen this nonsense numerous times. We don’t need Dr. Myers to tell us it is bullshit. Each of us recognizes bullshit when we see it ourselves.

    Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong?

    Saying it does not make it true. Everyone of your assertions (not arguments because you provided no citations or evidence) has been refuted with convincing and compelling counterarguments. Your next post will determine just how sincere is your willingness to change your mind. If I were in Vegas I’d take the bet that your mind has not budged even the slightest from its starting entrenched position. You are genuinely wrong. You’ve been provided the arguments and evidence to establish this. You’ve been directed to other sources, such as TalkOrigins, where you can continue to explore just how wrong you are. Question is, has this made any difference at all? I not going to bet my life on an affirmative answer.

  212. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    And no, that last isn’t a No True Scotsman defence. I’ll happily acknowledge those people are Christians, just like I’ll acknowledge the Falwells and Limbaugh and Savage and Beck and the Conservapedia guy who embarassed himself publically with the Lenski affair are Christians. They’re just Christians who I find to be contemptible. By all accounts, aside from the Creationism/ID beliefs, I’m probably a better secularist than most of your compadres. Again, say what you want about my arguments, but at least you’re not going to see me advocating the subjugation of women or denying them their abortion rights or being super-duper mean to gay people.

    So you are not going to tell me that the reason why I am a lesbian is because I must have been molested when I was a child.

    Great!

    That is not a shield against criticisms for laying out a lot of ill formed babble.

    Also, PZ Myers did not poison any well. You damn well knew where you were posting your missive. You knew that the people here were inclined to not taking kindly to ID.

    I really do not have much to add here. But I will suggest this. Find a copy of Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin. In the book, not only does Dr Shubin trace a lot of quirks of the human body back to our fishy ancestors, he show how he and his colleagues use different scientific studies to figure out what spots would be the most likely places to find a species that had to existed but no fossils have been found up to that point.

    And it is highly readable.

  213. says

    @255

    Is that why Mr Myers saw fit to include me on the main page and poison the well by giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it?

    No need. You started out with “I’m a Christian ID and Creationism advocate.” Unless you start talking about the shape-changing lizards next, your credibility isn’t going to get much lower.

    Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong?

    Lots of people have said that. “Just prove me wrong and I’ll change my mind.” Ray Comfort does that. All he wants us to do is show him a crocoduck, then he’ll agree that evolution is true.

    Look, you’ve started off by aligning yourself with people and ideas that are about as dishonest and intellectually bankrupt as you can get. Then, you proceed to whine about how unfair people are. None of this is going to have the least bit on impact on anybody here. If you want to be taken seriously, start giving citations and evidence. Provide good, solid arguments. Show that you’ve got a brain and aren’t afraid of using it.

    And most importantly; understand that it’s going to be an uphill battle. You’re a bit like a person who’s trying to run for public office, yet starts out their campaign by getting naked, putting a paper bag over their head and dancing the polka on national television.
    Never mind winning, you’ve got to work very heard before people will even take you seriously enough to listen to you. That’s not because we’re being unfair. It’s because you’ve made an idiot of yourself before the conversation even started.

  214. grumpyoldfart says

    annejones:

    You know how sure you are that Zeus doesn’t exist? That’s how sure I am that Yahweh doesn’t exist.

    You know how much evidence you would need before accepting the existence of the Tooth Fairy? That’s how much evidence I would need before accepting the existence of Yahweh.

    Firm but fair, me.

  215. says

    Ann Jones ethered at comment #151, wades back into the pool 100 comments later, another comment at #255, then ethered permanently.

    This place is brutal. I love it.

  216. Dhorvath, OM says

    Evilisgood,
    I shouldn’t take so much glee in the confession. My apologies for the tussles as well.

  217. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    I decided to bring this up here rather than in the Blocked! thread that brought it up.

    In that thread, I made a joke that I thought was harmless, but it was read as being sexist by others. I didn’t mean it that way and apologized for it, and I’m not here to debate the status of that joke. What I do think we need to have a discussion about is how this community acts towards its own members.

    I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. It doesn’t mean we aren’t all bound up by a set of general principles about things like equality and fairness if we make those mistakes. I would think that, in an SJ community especially, we could acknowledge these failings in each other and be understanding about it. We could explain our opinions to one another and even if we don’t agree on absolutely everything, recognize that we’re on the same side.

    That’s not what I see happening. Generally, all I see is hostility directed at people if they screw up, no matter how established it is that they’re members and allies in good faith. That’s not to say that I think previous work should give people a “free pass”, because as I said, I apparently made a sexist joke and I apologized for it. However, failing to consider every possible interpretation of one’s phrasing doesn’t make one a raging misogynist out to hurt people. Not all of us agree on exactly what’s sexist and what isn’t, and disagreements on that doesn’t make one side or the other “not feminist” or mean they’re “doing feminism wrong”.

    To relate this to something else, I’m gay and follow the gay rights movement pretty damn closely. There’s a lot of variety of opinions in the gay rights movement, but we accept that we’re working, generally, towards the same goals. I may think that the word “fag” should never be used, while another gay person might use it frequently in an effort to reclaim it. That doesn’t mean I think they’re not a true gay rights activist, because at its heart we agree that calling someone that word as a slur is wrong; we just differ on tactics. And we don’t have to rip each other apart over that.

    I don’t like seeing this community, or any community, rip itself apart over such ideological purity. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I only bring it up here as an example of my experiences: Shakesville developed the same problem. Rather than combating actual sexism and bigotry, the commentariat shifted to policing each other’s language and meanings. Honest mistakes were treated as impossible. Being accused of saying or doing something X-ist was not a conversation starter where people could discuss the issue, it was a conversation ender. You either apologize or you’re “digging”. It’s not about self-improvement, it’s about conditioning responses to the group.

    This atmosphere at Shakesville eventually drove many regulars like me away, because we were unable to cope with the stress and unreasonably high standards we were held to there. I mean, when you know that almost any comment you make will quickly get dogpiled because someone, somewhere, was offended by what you said, and now you’ve become the enemy, why would you want to post at all? I saw the same activity going on here and decided leaving was better for my sanity than staying, and a lot of regulars also peeled off from the group because they felt the same way. I came back because I’m hoping we can deal with this issue.

  218. angelakingdom says

    There is not much to add that hasn’t already been said about this ignorant troll but she must be pretty dim to come on this forum and post such obvious nonsense; the same tired old argument that “gawd did it” and that we atheists/scientists have it all wrong. And she claims to be an Englishwoman! How dare she tarnish my country.

  219. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    RahXephon, I do not see how the situation at Pharyngula is anything like what happened at Shakesville. No one from up high has dictated how we should act. You said something silly. You got called on it. You took a step back, thought about it and apologized. And there was an apology for you for lashing at you. It seemed like everyone involved had good intentions and it got resolved.

    I am afraid I am missing the point.

  220. Emrysmyrddin says

    As Atlantic magazine decides it would like some of the glory of the NYT’s attempt to excuse rape culture.

    Fuck, I’m only a few paragraphs in and already it’s ‘consent is sooo confusing and touching isn’t assault and anyway it’s just because they’re not getting legitimate sex!’ How can other people read this kind of stuff and not see this shit?!

  221. Emrysmyrddin says

    Agree with Janine, the Blocked! situation was resolved within, what, five posts? The current NYC thread is IMO a deserved dissection in order to explain a fractal wrongness.

  222. captainahags says

    Ah shoot. Guess I hit enter by accident. That was supposed to read:

    Re: Cuervodecuero,

    Quite the interesting article, if completely wrong. I would think that the solution to a consistent problem with sexual assault and rape would be harsh punishment to the perpetrators, but apparently the fact that command engages in extreme victim-blaming behaviour is taken as a given by the author, rather than something that needs to be changed. It’s unfortunate, because it’s like he can almost see the solution, but then misses it in favor of one that’s easier to implement. Also unfortunate because the prohibition of sex at the academies is absurd, and dozens of legitimate arguments can be made against it, but this is not one.

  223. says

    AJ:

    Again, say what you want about my arguments, but at least you’re not going to see me advocating the subjugation of women or denying them their abortion rights or being super-duper mean to gay people.

    As a member of the GLBT community, I’d like a definition of “super-duper mean”. Assuming you aren’t actually twelve years old, this would seem to indicate a degree of meanness. So, you aren’t down with “super-duper” mean, but this implies you are alright with a different degree of meanness, as in, oh, you’re good with being normal mean to gay people.

    So, let’s have some specifics, such as “it’s wrong to beat up a gay person, that’s super-duper mean!” but it’s okay to “protest against gays at school or them getting married, because that’s icky and wrong and it’s not really mean.”

  224. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    As a member of the GLBT community, I’d like a definition of “super-duper mean”. Assuming you aren’t actually twelve years old, this would seem to indicate a degree of meanness. So, you aren’t down with “super-duper” mean, but this implies you are alright with a different degree of meanness, as in, oh, you’re good with being normal mean to gay people.

    I’m not a member of the GLBT community*, but I would also like a definition of “super-duper mean” and its implicit allowance of some degree of meanness being acceptable.

    *although I am a proud Motley Queer Groupie

  225. No One says

    Caine, Fleur du mal + @ 299

    I considered bringing up that up, but felt it was better left to skillful hands. My instincts proved correct.

  226. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    I was also really tempted to change my nym to Caine, super-duper mean. I won’t because I’m not twelve years old, but I thought about it. :D

    :D

  227. cuervodecuero says

    Perhaps ‘super-duper mean’comes from the lexicon of stereotypical ‘mean kids’ in high school, a level of ratings system somewhere beyond the ‘harmless fun’ of “that’s so gay” and closer to pushing targeted non-cool kids down flights of school stairs ‘accidentally’ after a week of vandalizing their locker and spamming them with text abuse on social media that encourages others to beat the target up.

    I sometimes wonder if places like Pharyngula have become online versions of door-to-door visits by evangelists testing their spiritual strength against Teh Debil. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a religious school credit in it as part of a spiritual ‘teen challenge’. Saw advertising for one of those upcoming at a local Baptist church/academy.

  228. says

    Dhorvath, OM,

    Your glee is perfectly understandable. After the way he treated those who told the truth about him, his confession is a vindication.

  229. d.f.manno says

    @ annejones (#140):

    And the “God Helmet” nonsense is just that…people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience. We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

    Untrue in many cases, certainly not in mine. I became a Catholic because my parents were Catholic, they had me baptised Catholic, they sent me to Catholic school, and they sent me to Catholic church. (I became an atheist because none of it ever made a fucking bit of sense to me, none even as a child.) This was true of just about every Catholic I know.

  230. WharGarbl says

    Okay, it was suggested that this is the place to post it…
    here
    I just…
    “Fuck” was still the word I could think of.

  231. Nightjar says

    The “super-duper mean” sounded weird to me too, but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to mean and didn’t know what to say. That kind of language in that kind of sentence just doesn’t feel right, unless it’s an attempt to mock/trivialize/be condescending to… I seriously don’t know who or what.

    Now that I see Caine felt it was worth bringing up… yeah, I’d really like to hear an explanation too.

    ***

    people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience

    Hm… Isn’t that basically what happened to heddle?

  232. says

    people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience

    Some people are. I’d say most xians who class themselves as born again qualify. That said, most people are xian because they were raised to be.

  233. John Morales says

    RahXephon:

    I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. It doesn’t mean we aren’t all bound up by a set of general principles about things like equality and fairness if we make those mistakes. I would think that, in an SJ community especially, we could acknowledge these failings in each other and be understanding about it. We could explain our opinions to one another and even if we don’t agree on absolutely everything, recognize that we’re on the same side.

    I’m not part of any SJ community.

    I am a regular commenter here.

    [1] That’s not what I see happening. Generally, all I see is hostility directed at people if they screw up, no matter how established it is that they’re members and allies in good faith. [2] That’s not to say that I think previous work should give people a “free pass”, because as I said, I apparently made a sexist joke and I apologized for it. However, failing to consider every possible interpretation of one’s phrasing doesn’t make one a raging misogynist out to hurt people. Not all of us agree on exactly what’s sexist and what isn’t, and disagreements on that doesn’t make one side or the other “not feminist” or mean they’re “doing feminism wrong”.

    1. That’s a feature, not a bug.

    2. Doubling down and becoming aggrieved is one response to such criticism, I grant.

    (Perhaps not the best one? ;) )

    I don’t like seeing this community, or any community, rip itself apart over such ideological purity. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I only bring it up here as an example of my experiences: Shakesville developed the same problem. Rather than combating actual sexism and bigotry, the commentariat shifted to policing each other’s language and meanings. Honest mistakes were treated as impossible. Being accused of saying or doing something X-ist was not a conversation starter where people could discuss the issue, it was a conversation ender. You either apologize or you’re “digging”. It’s not about self-improvement, it’s about conditioning responses to the group.

    Personality clashes will always occur, but this is Pharyngula, not that other place.

    (That last quotation is very fiskable, but I’m not in the mood.

    Just consider it done)

  234. chigau (無味ない) says

    John Morales #318
    Depends on which ‘group’ you’re in.
    My group thinks the same thing independently.
    Your group is an echo-chamber.
    I know that you understand the nuancitivnessity of this situation.

  235. cubist says

    sez annejones:

    Is that why Mr Myers saw fit to include me on the main page and poison the well by giving people negative perceptions about my post before they even read it? Because it was, as you say, “Same old, same old”?

    I, for one, would have had the same reaction to your post regardless of what PZ said. Because yes, your post was “same old, same old”. Just like so many other Creationists before you have done, you did make use of the Gish Gallop ‘tactic'; just like so many other Creationists before you have done, you didn’t bother to back up your assertions with anything in the general neighborhood of supportive evidence; just like so many other Creationists before you have done, you did bear false witness about a number of things.
    In short: This particular “well” already was “poisoned” when PZ found it, so how the hell could PZ have “poisoned” it?
    It may come as a shock to you, annejones, but this is not virgin territory. A whole lot of the regulars hereabouts have already had extensive internet interactions with Creationists and, well, they remember those interactions. They’ve noticed common motifs that occur in many of those past interactions, and when some shiny new godbot of a Creationist employs the same friggin’ motifs that have so many past Creationists have used in their previous interactions with Creationists, well, they’re gonna remember and recognize those motifs.
    In other words… [Samuel L. Jackson voice] “Pattern recognition, muthafucka. Do you speak it?” If you’re stumping for Creationism at a science-heavy blog, and you don’t want to be subjected to the internet equivalent of being drawn and quartered at great length with jalapeño relish, you really don’t want to exhibit exactly and precisely the same behavioral quirks that so goddamn many Creationists before you have exhibited. So as a public service announcement, here are some typical Creationist behavioral quirks which are likely to raise red flags (and the likelihood of said flag-raising increases when a comment displays two or more of said quirks):
     
    The celebrated Gish Gallop
    This one is named after Duane Gish, on the grounds that it’s one of his primary ‘go to’ tactics in debates against those heathen scientists. How it works is, the Gish Galloper spews a rapidfire series of lots of science-can’t-explain-X-therefore-Creationism, about lots of different topics, many of which are essentially unrelated to each other. The Gish Gallop works in a live debate setting, because in a live debate, each person only has a fixed amount of time to present their case. It simply isn’t possible for the opponent to address all of the Galloper’s assertions in the time provided by the debate format, so no matter what happens, a large chunk of the Galloper’s assertions do go unrefuted. The Galloper is depending on the audieence to notice the unrefuted assertions, and to conclude that the assertions went unrefuted because they were valid, as opposed to going unrefuted because the opponent just didn’t enough time to refute them.
    The Gish Gallop doesn’t work so good in an online setting, because there are no time constraints. People can and do refute every last one of the assertions which constitute a Gish Gallop. So when a Creationist posts a Gish Gallop of a comment—and yes, annejones, your inaugural comment here damn well is a Gish Gallop—it’s worse than useless for the purpose of persuading non-Creationists of the validity of Creationism. Because it’s a behavioral marker which is strongly associated with Creationism, and the subsequent scorched-earth fisking can only serve to confirm that Creationists are, at absolute best, full of shit—and if the Galloper in question is known to have trotted out the same set of assertions in previous Gish Gallops posted to other online forums, and recieved the same sort of scorched-earth fisking on those other forums, it will also serve to confirm that Creationists are goddamn liars. So you would be well-advised to avoid this tactic, annejones.
     
    “Dr. Bigbrain was a Believer!”
    The unspoken subtext here is, —and therefore you should be a Believer, too. Sorry, annejones, but that’s not how it works. No matter how knowledgeable Dr. Bigbrain may be about the Topic X they happen to be a recognized expert in, there will be at least one Topic Y about which they don’t have any more expertise than any random person on the street… and when Dr. Bigbrain talks about Topic Y, their expertise in Topic X does not make them any more likely to be right about Topic Y than is any random person on the street. A classic example is Isaac Newton, who is often pressganged into service by Creationists for just this reason. However, those Creationists who make noise about how Newton was a Creationist (and therefore you should be one, too! what, you think Isaac friggin’ Newton was wrong about Creationism?)… well, those Creationists never seem to mention that Isaac Newton was a flat-out heretic who denied the Trinity.
    Newton got some stuff right, yes. But that doesn’t mean he was right about everything. The stuff Newton was right about doesn’t mean we have to automatically accept Newton’s Creationism, just as the stuff Fred Hoyle got right doesn’t mean we have to automatically accept Hoyle’s views on panspermia, just as the stuff Linus Pauling got right doesn’t mean we have to automatically accept Pauling’s ideas about Vitamin C, just as…
    Again: This is a tactic which is (a) flat-out bullshit, and (b) strongly associated with Creationists. So you would be well-advised to avoid this tactic yourself, annejones.
     
    Personal!! TESTIMONY!!!
    On the Believer side of the fence, personal testimony is very common. Which makes sense, because to a first approximation, personal testimony is all you Believers have got. But on the Science side of the fence, personal testimony is rare-to-nonexistent. This is because scientists don’t need the sort of affirmations that Believers get from personal testimony. Scientists don’t need that sort of affirmations, because scientists have something better: Objective data. As far as scientists are concerned, Believer-style personal testimony is, at absolute best, irrelevant and ignorable; at worst, it’s a red flag that, taken into consideration with any other red flags that may be in evidence, confirms that the Creationist who provided that personal testimony is full of shit.
     
    “[insert anti-evolution quote here]”, therefore Creationism
    You don’t seem to have made use of this particular tactic, annejones, but it is a fairly common one among Creationists-in-general. The main problem with ‘refutation by quote’ is that, when a putatively anti-evolution quote is traced back to its original context, said quote will, more than 90 times out of 100, prove to be either (a) a gross distortion of its author’s actual views, or else (b) a blatant fabrication. Either way, the putatively anti-evolution quote is a flat-out lie.
    Scientists don’t like it when people lie about their work. They like it even less when the people who lie about their work claim to be morally superior Seekers Of Truth. Don’t be a liar, annejones.
     
    Poor, poor pitiful me
    It is utterly, completely, I-could-have-a-heart-attack-and-die-from-unsurprise commonplace for Creationists to demonize evolution-accepting people as being responsible for Communism, for racism, for Naziism, for school shootings, for social ills of every variety, for natural disasters, and on and on and frigging on. It is utterly, completely, I-could-have-a-heart-attack-and-die-from-unsurprise commonplace for Creationists to assert that evolution-accepting people are tools of Satan. It is utterly, completely, I-could-have-a-heart-attack-and-die-from-unsurprise commonplace for Creationists to declare that evolution-accepting people are morally defective, or even not fully human. So when a Creationist whines about how badly they’re treated by evolution-accepting people, said whining isn’t going to impress anybody who is even vaguely aware of the quantity, and intensity, of abuse that Creationists have hurled on evolution-accepting people.
    And when the ‘bad treatment’ the Creationist whines about, consists of that Creationist’s behavior being described accurately… well, let’s just say that that sort of nonsense doesn’t exactly do much to persuade anyone that Creationism is valid.
     
    I accept science! No, really, I do!
    Talk is cheap, annejones. John Doe might claim he’s a chess grandmaster, but if John consistently loses chess games to novice players, that consistent record of losses is good evidence that John is, in fact, not really a chess grandmaster at all. Actions speak louder than words, y’ know? John Doe might claim to be able to work out complicated math in his head, but if he can’t tell you the cube root of 2,197 without using a calculator, John’s inability to find an integer cube root without mechanical assistance is good evidence that John cannot, in fact, really work out complicated math in his head. And if John Doe claims to accept science while, at the same time, spewing forth a steady stream of pre-refuted Creationist bullshit, that steady stream of pre-refuted Creationist bullshit is good evidence that John does not, in fact, really accept science at all.
    Take-home lesson: If you’re a Creationist, don’t claim to be pro-science. Instead, just be pro-science.
     
    I could go on, but this comment is dangerously close to tl;dr territory as it stands, so I’ll leave off with the above six Typical Creationist Tactics. I’m sure other members of the Pharynguloid commentariat will add to the list, as and when they see fit.
     

    Plus, wasn’t one of the key things I said that I was willing to change my mind if I find I am genuinely wrong? Say what you will about my argument, but doesn’t that elevate me above the Christians/Creationists/IDists who profess 100% certainty about their beliefs?

    No, it doesn’t elevate you about the Creationists who assert 100% certainty. Why? Because talk is cheap. Yes, you said you were willing to change your mind if you were genuinely wrong. But at the same time, out of the other side of your mouth, you also asserted a whole lot of pre-refuted bullshit. This indicates one of two things, depending on whether or not you knew that your bullshit was bullshit when you asserted it: Either (a) you didn’t realize it was bullshit, which would indicate that you wouldn’t even know when you were wrong, or else (b) you did know it was bullshit, so your trumpeting said bullshit as supportive of Creationism would indicate that you are knowingly propagating falsehoods, which would make you you’re Yet Another Goddamn Liar For Christ.
    Whether you’re a goddamn liar-for-Christ yourself, or you’re merely repeating the lies that were given you by liars-for-Christ, is a call I cannot make. But I sure as hell can say that regardless of which fork of that particular dichotomy is true, your claim that you “[are] was willing to change [your] mind if [you] find [you are] genuinely wrong” is crap.

  236. Owlmirror says

    @ annejones,

    I don’t think the case is as open and shut as you guys claim. I tend not to spend a great deal of time advocating for ID, and ID is not part of why I believe in God. I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone, and I draw that conclusion for two reasons:

    So, just to confirm, you would indeed reject ID if it were shown that your “reasons” were false?

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity.

    The earth is approximately 4.55 billion years old. This was concluded and reported in 1956 by Clair Patterson, in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. He calculated this by testing lead isotope ratios in meteorites, so this age applies to the solar system at large as well as the earth itself. Later measuements of other meteorites have allowed for greater resolution, so the most precise measurement of the age of the solar system, and of earth, is 4.5672 billion years.

    Life itself appeared approximately 3.5 billion years ago, so the span of time that is actually under consideration is “only” 1 billion years less than the age of the solar system itself.

    Now, is this enough time for “unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity”?

    When the scientific literature is searched, I cannot find your alleged “scientific studies” that point out that this is not enough time, but only this paper, which is even titled “There’s plenty of time for evolution”. You may know of some of these alleged “studies”, but if they are not published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, they cannot possibly be scientific, but are instead pseudoscientific.

    So it looks like your first “reason” for accepting “ID” is false.

    2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

    Please do read the page linked @#212 above, and the pages it links to.

    The explanation does exist. The basic form of it is that in alkaline vents in an early acidic ocean, in serpentite mineral columns with many small bubbles to act as reaction chambers, many chemical reactions and processes can occur. These reactions can have amino acids and lipids as reaction products. So the mineral chambers can act as a scaffolding in which the reactions can become sufficiently complex to eventually become self-replicating life.

    Whether it is entirely correct, or needs further correction, still remains to be seen. But since there is an explanation, your second reason for believing in ID is false.

    Do you now reject ID? If not, why not?

  237. cm's changeable moniker says

    the cube root of 2,197 without using a calculator

    *fingers crossed*

    It’s 13.

    *toes crossed, too*

  238. chigau (無味ない) says

    Caine
    Would you drop that penny over here?
    I still don’t know what an SJ community is.

  239. chigau (無味ない) says

    cm
    Thanks.
    Is that what We™ are?
    I thought We™ were more like an on-going family feud punctuated by group hugs.
    (well connected to an information store that rivals L-Space)

  240. Louis says

    Caine and Chigau,

    It’s obviously a community for the celebration of Sarah Jessica Parker and her role in Sex and the City.

    Or Social Justice. One of the two. Knowing John, the former.

    Louis

  241. says

    Chigau:

    I thought We™ were more like an on-going family feud punctuated by group hugs.
    (well connected to an information store that rivals L-Space)

    Mmm, yes, this ^. We’re The Horde™. I consider myself a Pharyngulite, this is where I hang out.

  242. chigau (無味ない) says

    Hi Louis
    I was thinking SexyJesus but that didn’t seem o fit.
    also the SJ in this thread originated with RahXephon #292, who had a question.

  243. cm's changeable moniker says

    Could I also point out two things?

    Firstly, that the UK is now covered in snow. This means that all usual weekend pursuits (shopping, gardening, DIY, etc.) are henceforth suspended as we enter a state of national snowmergency, and that all of us UK-nians are going to be confined to our houses with nothing to do except watch Top Gear repeats on Dave and post on the internet. You may want to take precautions.

    Secondly, that if anyone uses the phrase “super duper” again, I will–with extreme prejudice–post Not the Nine O’Clock News sketches and/or songs up to and including “Supa Dupa”, just for putting that song in my head.

    Be careful out there …

  244. Louis says

    CM,

    You are completely correct, we have about 5 inches of the stuff outside. Which is exceptional for here.*

    As for “super duper”, I just have Gene Hunt from Life on Mars saying it. I might have to rewatch that series.

    Louis

    * And of course this means the council/powers that be are totally fucking unprepared and are doing {deeeep breath} FUCK ALL! Luckily I had a tonne of booze/food delivered for a now aborted dinner party. So let the good times roll!

  245. cm's changeable moniker says

    chigau:

    Is that what We™ are?

    I find it hard to think of Us™ as a community, since we don’t all live together or meet each other.

    My etymology is wrong here: I parse “community”* as “co-munity”, where “muni” is as in “municipal” (from Latin, munia: civic office), i.e., sharing a civic and governace space.

    Personally, I think of us as a Conversation™. ;-)

    (And often, a symposium!)

    *Properly, the word is derived from communitas: common. So there’s that we have in

  246. chigau (無味ない) says

    I’ve long thought of the Jesuits as more the Pope’s Ninja than the Pope’s Marines.
    mysterious…
    dress in black…
    murderers for hire…
    no one expects them…

  247. mandrellian says

    @ 323, waydude

    This is possibly the dumbest facebook page ever created. One good thing is that the owner loves to whine and cry about his creationist beliefs and then ban you. Jolly good fun.

    https://www.facebook.com/TheQuestionIrreligiosophyProject


    Darn you to Heck. That page is so egregiously stupid and aggressively fucking moronic that it raised my blood pressure and hurt my brain. Gosh darn you straight to Heck in a handbasket.

  248. Rodney Nelson says

    When I hear “super duper” I think of the same thing Janine thought of in #345.

  249. Rodney Nelson says

    cubist #320

    If Mollies were still given out I’d nominate you for your excellent discussion of the creationists’ “sins.”

  250. cm's changeable moniker says

    When I hear “Rodney Nelson”, I hear another, more distinctive, name.

    But that’s just me (and a bunch of other people).

    No NTNOCN for you! /soupnazi

  251. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Chigau, I did find a page on Allmusic for a band called Jesuit. It seems that only one song of theirs can be streamed online. And that is on MOG.

    Never heard of the band.

  252. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I found a band called Jesuit on Spotify. But that is a different album from 2011. No information about the band is available. No idea if it is the same band.

  253. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It is the same band. Looks like the album on Spotify is the other album with added tracks.

  254. guitaro says

    Re: RahXephon #292

    Although my experience isn’t the same as yours, I can relate, to a high degree.

    I had started to post here quite some time ago, and left. This is my first post here in 2 or 3 years.

    My time was short, but in that short time I had made several posts that were very well received by the veterans. I had been hesitant to begin posting–although I had/have years of experience debating creationists online, shoot–there are some real *heavyweights* here. But I finally decided to give it a go, and as I said, I was very well-received. For a while.

    Then PZ made a post concerning someone behaving very badly, making a real ass of himself. And a few people decided it was typical of people in that profession. And it was my profession as well.

    I had asked not to be tarred with that same brush–why couldn’t the reason for the person being a dick simply be that he’s a dick? I certainly had not behaved in that way–I’ve been awarded several times for doing work that had real-world benefits. There are people whose lives were directly affected by my efforts, and for the better. I am very proud of the work I’ve done, as would anyone else here be.

    But, despite the fact that I had weighed in and was as critical as anyone here of the behavior in question, suddenly I was somehow guilty of that behavior as well. Because I’m in the same profession.*

    I tried to reason with folks here, but the crap I got led to me deciding screw this. I questioned how much I really wanted to be associated with that type of crowd, and I stopped not only posting, but even reading the comments–for, I believe, going on 3 years, if memory serves. I only came to this thread because of PZ’s comments on the main page, and only to see how the fundie was making out, and with no intention to post.

    Until I saw the message/plea from RahXephon.

    I don’t expect to have my feet kissed, and will own up to it when I’m wrong and shown to be so. And I will own up to my faults and shortcomings, but I have a little problem with being held culpable for the faults of others, especially ones of whom I am critical my own self. This place can be needlessly harsh (I’m not speaking for annejones when I say that).

    But damn…I had read the comments here for years before I joined in myself, and had I known it was going to go as it did, I never would have even gotten a toe in the water. I was made to feel welcome, even to the point of being told by one commenter that if I continued in the same vein as I began, it was possible I had a Molly nomination in my future.

    I don’t expect anything to change–I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest. If what I’ve said is flame bait, so be it; let the flaming begin.

    *I won’t mention either who that person is, or our profession. I don’t want to rekindle that old, unpleasant situation, and I prefer to be evaluated by my actions here, not by my profession, or as I said, not on the basis of what someone else did, who has a name that’s not popular around these parts. No, my experience doesn’t mirror RahXephon’s, but I do thank him/her for raising the issue and arousing in me the feeling to get this off my chest.

  255. says

    Then PZ made a post concerning someone behaving very badly, making a real ass of himself. And a few people decided it was typical of people in that profession. And it was my profession as well.

    I had asked not to be tarred with that same brush–why couldn’t the reason for the person being a dick simply be that he’s a dick? I certainly had not behaved in that way–I’ve been awarded several times for doing work that had real-world benefits. There are people whose lives were directly affected by my efforts, and for the better. I am very proud of the work I’ve done, as would anyone else here be.

    But, despite the fact that I had weighed in and was as critical as anyone here of the behavior in question, suddenly I was somehow guilty of that behavior as well. Because I’m in the same profession.*

    I’m going to guess that this is bullshit. Emmet (OM), one of the cleverest and most beloved commenters here, is an engineer, and he often defended that profession against those who generalized about it. He was not vilified, by PZ or anyone.

  256. says

    SC:

    Emmet (OM), one of the cleverest and most beloved commenters here, is an engineer, and he often defended that profession against those who generalized about it. He was not vilified, by PZ or anyone.

    I’ll second every word of that.

  257. John Morales says

    guitaro:

    But damn…I had read the comments here for years before I joined in myself, and had I known it was going to go as it did, I never would have even gotten a toe in the water. I was made to feel welcome, even to the point of being told by one commenter that if I continued in the same vein as I began, it was possible I had a Molly nomination in my future.

    Truly piteous; you could have been a contender!

    I don’t expect anything to change–I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest. If what I’ve said is flame bait, so be it; let the flaming begin.

    <snicker>

    There, there.

    You poor thing, you.

    Truly, you deserve some charity and understanding.

  258. carlie says

    guitaro, you need to provide more specific information if you want that charge to stick. The scienceblogs archives of comments is incomplete, and with that little detail I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  259. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I do not remember you, guitaro. Not that it should mean anything.

    But if I remember correctly, for a while, we were dealing with creationists who had an engineering background. That they were try to move from their area of expertise, designing inanimate object, into the realm of biology.

    While it is true that there are people who paint with a broad brush here, that some decided that anyone with an engineering background were suspect; if you stand your ground, you can prove them to be wrong. You gave up instead of standing your ground.

    But for a while, we were infested with creationist engineers.

  260. guitaro says

    And now, for some reason, people are assuming my profession is engineering.

    It is not, it has never been, and I have no idea why people think it is. I have no idea what I said that makes them think I’m an engineer, but my frustration has only been increased, not alleviated. The knee jerk responses here are astounding.

    Fuck.

    Look, tell you what. How about if I just never fucking post here again? I think we’ll all be happier.

  261. guitaro says

    Also, you won’t remember me by this screen name because it’s not the one I used back then.

    And for whoever said I should have stayed and fought:

    1. I fucking did. Until it was obvious I wasn’t getting anywhere, that my detractors were bound and determined to continue, and until I’d had enough.

    2. I didn’t see the point of fighting over stupidity with people I thought were my allies.

    Also, Carlie, it matters not one whit to me whether you believe me or not. It happened. If that’s not good enough for you, well that’s just going to have to be filed under that’s too bad. I explained my reasons for not giving specific information.

    Leaving now.

  262. says

    guitaro:

    And now, for some reason, people are assuming my profession is engineering.

    No one is doing that. You’re the one doing the knee jerking. Engineering is a field which has and does come in for a great deal of criticism here. It was an *example* of a prominent poster who was an engineer, who spent a lot of time defending his field and was never vilified or denigrated for it.

    Ya know, if you went off this easy the last time, I’m not surprised your stay was short.

  263. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Engineering was something that SC brought up. And engineers was a profession that was being being decried because we had a number of people who were arguing for creationism from an engineering pov. But, I like to think, is was settled here that while some engineers tried to move from one field of expertise to an other with rather silly results, not all engineers were creationists.

    Seeing that you are being so vague, just what can anyone make of what you are trying to (and failing to) communicate. And if you are getting this upset about criticisms that are not criticism, it is probable best for you to not comment.

    Your call.

  264. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Shit, I was more harsh to chigau in the other thread then I was to guitaro in this one.

  265. jasonfailes says

    Argument from Fine-Tuning:

    The universe works so incredibly well without a god.
    Therefore, there must be a god.

    It’s ok, I suppose, if you want to go with a completely self-refuting argument, but please realize making it means you have to admit every single other creationist argument is nonsense.

  266. chigau (無味ない) says

    Janine
    Nah. You were correct and I was in the wrong.
    plus, I is tough, I can take it :)
    I am curious about what guitaro is talking about.

  267. Owlmirror says

    And now, for some reason, people are assuming my profession is engineering.

    Um, “guessing” ≠ “assuming”.

    my profession is

    hmm.
    Sociologist?

    Chiropracter?

    Homeopath?

    Philosopher?

  268. Owlmirror says

    Accommodationist science communicator/advocate of “framing”?

    Libertarian politician?

  269. says

    @guitaro

    Noting that a certain profession has a general problem with a certain kind of behavior is not necessarily the same as tarring every member of that profession with the same brush. Also, saying, “I’m an X and I don’t do that,” doesn’t refute the accusation of such behavior being a general problem and could be seen as an attempt to minimize the actual problem.

    Without reference to the original thread, it’s impossible to judge if people have really reacted unfairly towards you or if you jumped the gun. I simply can’t tell, because I have only your, very brief and vague, description of it.

    If you don’t want to bring the old debate up again, that’s fine. However, if that’s how you feel, maybe you shouldn’t have brought it up again. You’re using this old incident to criticize the behavior of people here. You can’t blame them for wanting specifics.

  270. says

    LykeX:

    Also, saying, “I’m an X and I don’t do that,” doesn’t refute the accusation of such behavior being a general problem

    Exactly. Today, a person defended diversity in engineering by noting that his engineering prof told jokes about women engineers at the start of a lecture or something and there were, like. 4 to 6 women in the class. (Yeah, he’s an idiot.)

    That does nothing to address the extremely chilly climate in engineering, or the hostility, or the harassment of women or the lack of diversity. Some people’s ideas of defending their field are…less than stellar.

  271. chigau (無味ない) says

    evilisgood
    I hadn’t heard the term ‘webinar’ until a few days ago.
    I find the word and the concept loathsome.

    I bet guitaro organises them.

  272. chigau (無味ない) says

    LykeX #395
    Har!
    [honestly. Any system of living existing that so deprives it’s members of means of expression that they are forced to use ‘super-duper’…]

  273. Owlmirror says

    people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience

    Hm… Isn’t that basically what happened to heddle?

    That’s not how I interpreted his description of his conversion. It doesn’t sound like something ecstatic; more like an intellectual epiphany.

    While I suppose some epiphanies could be considered ecstatic, I don’t think all are.

    Francis Collins, OTOH, with his epiphany at the waterfall — I’d agree that that sounds ecstatic.

    After I had struggled with this for a couple of years, I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains on a beautiful fall afternoon. I turned the corner and saw in front of me this frozen waterfall, a couple of hundred feet high. Actually, a waterfall that had three parts to it — also the symbolic three in one. At that moment, I felt my resistance leave me. And it was a great sense of relief. The next morning, in the dewy grass in the shadow of the Cascades, I fell on my knees and accepted this truth — that God is God, that Christ is his son and that I am giving my life to that belief.

    (src)

  274. dantalion says

    Why would a creationist bring up placebos? Placebos work just fine with a natural universe, but more to the point here, they only work in a universe where people can be fooled into believing untrue things.

    If you’re arguing that people believing X is proof that X is true, I’d think placebos would be the last fuckin thing you’d want to introduce to the conversation.

  275. says

    @ guitaro

    I hope I’m not too late to enter the contest. I was going to enter with a toss up between physicist and engineer. Given that engineer is precluded though, I’ll go with physicist. Please post the results soon. What do we stand to win?

    For the record, I are an engineer.

    @ cm’s

    There you go old chap: Does god exist?

    @ Owlmirror

    It doesn’t sound like something ecstatic; more like an intellectual epiphany.

    In the book list I linked to at # 276, William James goes into the question in some depth. Of particular importance is the concept of “twice born”. One of the prime examples he gives is of the “rum converts”. Essentially, the drunks discussed would reach such a low point in their lives that they would feel they had “died”. Xtianity would then present them with a new (and teetotal) life. They felt to be literally reborn in jeebus. This is, pace James, a truly transformative experience.

    (Though: Is jeebus really necessary in such experiences though? I think not.)

  276. says

    wolja:

    Saying most scientists are human , Ken Ham is a good example of the non human variety, is not an equivalent of sayng their science is due to their religion.

    Our resident creationist is wrong about a great many things. She has not, however, dehumanized anyone by claiming they aren’t human. Please don’t OTHER people. Ken Ham is a human being. He may not be a sterling example of one, but he is still human.

  277. says

    [rum converts | “double born”]

    From James’s “Varieties of Religious Experience”:

    One Tuesday evening I sat in a saloon in Harlem, a homeless, friendless, dying drunkard. I had pawned or sold everything that would bring a drink. I could not sleep unless I was dead drunk. I had not eaten for days, and for four nights preceding I had suffered with delirium tremens, or the horrors, from midnight till morning.


    I went to the nearest station-house and had myself locked up.


    As soon as I was able to leave my cell I was taken to the police court and remanded back to the cell. I was finally released, and found my way to my brother’s house, where every care was given me. While lying in bed the admonishing Spirit never left me, and when I arose the following Sabbath morning I felt that day would decide my fate, and toward evening it came into my head to go to Jerry M’Auley’s Mission. I went. The house was packed, and with great difficulty I made my way to the space near the platform. There I saw the apostle to the drunkard and the outcast—that man of God, Jerry M’Auley. He rose, and amid deep silence told his experience. There was a sincerity about this man that carried conviction with it, and I found myself saying, ‘I wonder if God can save me?’ I listened to the testimony of twenty-five or thirty persons, every one of whom had been saved from rum, and I made up my mind that I would be saved or die right there. When the invitation was given, I knelt down with a crowd of drunkards. Jerry made the first prayer. Then Mrs. M’Auley prayed fervently for us. Oh, what a conflict was going on for my poor soul! A blessed whisper said, ‘Come'; the devil said, ‘Be careful.’ I halted but a moment, and then, with a breaking heart, I said, ‘Dear Jesus, can you help me?’ Never with mortal tongue can I describe that moment. Although up to that moment my soul had been filled with indescribable gloom, I felt the glorious brightness of the noonday sun shine into my heart. I felt I was a free man. Oh, the precious feeling of safety, of freedom, of resting on Jesus! I felt that Christ with all his brightness and power had come into my life; that, indeed, old things had passed away and all things had become new.

    He traded his old negative narrative for a ready-made positive one. We know the new narrative to be false (hell, any number of different ones might work, with or without jeebus, Zeus, Wotan or Shaka), but it was indeed very successful. The preachers were very fond of persuing rum converts, as these where most susceptable to their little psychological ploy. As society weaned itself of rum houses, the pickings grew fewer and further between.

  278. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @132. John Morales

    StevoR, it’s not “Overheating”, it’s merely climate forcing. (There is no thermostat that has gone wrong)

    Well, its not that I think there’s a thermostat so much as that the word “warming” has a lot of positive connotations and sounds like something too mild and pleasant to be truly descriptive. I think the term “overheating” evokes a better understanding and has more accurate associations that we’re in trouble – parts of our planet are going wrong (in the sense of causing major harm and suffering to people, biodiversity loss, worsened conditions) and even literally melting (Artic sea ice, alpine glaciers) and burning. (Bushfires here.) I opt to use “overheating” for this reason to emphaise that it isn’t just getting nice and “warm” but getting excessively hot.

    (~sugiru sufix in Nihongo for thsoe who comprehend that.)

    I also prefer to use “Human Induced” rather than the technical jargon word ‘Anthropogenic” include the word “Rapid” for emphasising that the speed of the climate change is unusual and thus problematic and thus the acronym HIRGO – Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating – for the whole issue.

    Does that make sense and seem reasonable to y’all? If it helps, I wasn’t the one who originally came up with that terminology and acronym but love it and think its one we’re well advised to adopt.

  279. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Three interesting things I learnt about today :

    1.) Via a facebook post – wonder if this might be where we get the word ‘Formaldehyde’ from? :

    In January 897, Pope Stephen VI ordered the body of former Pope Formosus to be exhumed, dressed in his finery and tried in court for perjury. Found guilty, the body of Pope Formosus was then undressed and had his three blessing fingers chopped off. He was then thrown into a temporary grave before being exhumed once more and tossed into the Tiber River.

    So, occassionally, Popes do, it seems go on trial this one for perjury although many have committed worse offences .. :

    2.) For instance, according to what I’ve just read here :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope_Boniface_VII

    One earlier Pope /”anti-pope” Boniface VII was even involved in murdering another *two* Popes! (Wonder if *he* was / is considered “infallible”?)

    3.) Once for a number of years (1414-1418) there were no less than three “popes” at once – all of them pretty dodgy* – a solution was found – make ‘em all resign and elect a fourth! *Facepalm*

    See :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Constance

    * Such as :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope_John_XXIII

    Who ..

    … had some links with local robber bands, which were often used to intimidate his rivals and attack carriages. These connections added to his influence and power in the region.[2] ..

    After becoming Pope John 23rd was oen of teh three stooges claiming the job at this (non-local) council meeting :

    The council resolved that all three popes should abdicate and a new pope be elected. Gregory agreed and John initially did as well, but then he fled the council, hoping that without him it would lose its authority. Instead, the council deposed him and tried him for heresy, simony, schism and immorality, finding him guilty on all counts. The last remaining claimant in Avignon, Benedict XIII, refused to resign and was excommunicated. … (Snip) .. The 1910 ‘Catholic Encyclopedia’ remarks that “Undeniably secular and ambitious, his moral life was not above reproach, and his unscrupulous methods in no wise accorded with the requirements of his high office … the heinous crimes of which his opponents in the council accused him were certainly gravely exaggerated.”[4] One of his secretaries concluded that John was “a great man in temporal things, but a complete failure and worthless in spiritual things.”

    Course my fave Pope is still the female Pope Joan – whether or not she actually existed!

  280. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @258. iiandyiiii :

    From annejones post #140: **This is interesting. Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. And it’s not merely Christians who are claiming this. Most cosmologists, Christian or otherwise, scratch their heads over this extraordinary finding in nature.

    Reminds me of this quote :

    “Ocean: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.”

    ― Ambrose Bierce

  281. John Morales says

    StevoR,

    Well, its not that I think there’s a thermostat so much as that the word “warming” has a lot of positive connotations and sounds like something too mild and pleasant to be truly descriptive..

    It’s the phenomenon that’s being described that matters, not the label.

    I think the term “overheating” evokes a better understanding and has more accurate associations that we’re in trouble – parts of our planet are going wrong (in the sense of causing major harm and suffering to people, biodiversity loss, worsened conditions) and even literally melting (Artic sea ice, alpine glaciers) and burning. (Bushfires here.)

    Then ‘climatic change’ would be a better term still, because it’s even more accurate.

    I also prefer to use “Human Induced” rather than the technical jargon word ‘Anthropogenic”

    Your ignorance of language is showing, when you imagine anthropogenic constitutes technical jargon.

  282. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    Three interesting things I learnt about today :

    <snicker>

    I’ve brought up the Cadaver Synod a couple of times over the years.

    BTW, formaldehyde comes from ‘formic aldehyde’ — the former from an acid originally distilled from ants (formica) and the latter from alcohol dehydrogenatum.

  283. isilzhaveni says

    Slate has been deleting comments with any reference to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In the last ‘Dear Prudence’ column there was a letter about a woman concerned her mother would secretly baptize her son. Naturally, His Noodliness came up during the discussion in the comment section. These comments were ON-TOPIC and RELEVANT to the discussion, but Slate felt they should all be deleted. At one point I made two identical comments, one mentioning the FSM and the other using Satanism. The FSM comment was deleted within a minute of posting. However, the same comment using Satanism was deemed unoffensive and was not deleted.

    I would like to see Slate address their reasons for deleting any comment about the FSM. Until they do, I’d love to see other people making FSM references and comments on Slate. Hopefully Slate will realize the error of their misguided ways.

    I know this is a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m miffed about this discrimination! I’d like to see others who are similarly miffed to add pressure on Slate to stop its persecution of the FSM!

  284. Nightjar says

    Caine,

    Today, a person defended diversity in engineering by noting that his engineering prof told jokes about women engineers at the start of a lecture or something and there were, like. 4 to 6 women in the class. (Yeah, he’s an idiot.)

    He is an idiot, but to be fair that was not what he was trying to say. He was trying to say that in engineering, yes, he had seen lack of diversity and people opposing diversity. But not at atheist conferences, he doesn’t see any problem there whatsoever, it’s the complete opposite! So what is the whining all about, and where’s the evidence, and echo chamber, and you atheist women have it easy compared with my female engineer friends, and you’re all worse than FoxNews, and you’re all MEAN! Or something like that.

    Not that it is any less pathetic, now that I look at it. But he wasn’t defending his field.

    ***
    Owlmirror,

    That’s not how I interpreted his description of his conversion. It doesn’t sound like something ecstatic; more like an intellectual epiphany.

    I didn’t remember his original description that well, thanks for finding it. I agree with you. But it still isn’t a case of

    because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically

  285. carlie says

    Janine – yay! I would like to follow you on the Twitter! I find it less overwhelming than other social media – the limitation to one or two sentences means (to me) that there is not much to deal with at a time, it’s manageable tiny chunks. And that also makes it difficult to pour out too much of oneself into it, so I feel less obligation to pay close attention to it, if that makes any sense. I see twitter more like mingling at a party, going from conversation to conversation without anyone getting feelings hurt when you come in or leave or miss something that’s happening on the other side of the room.

    guitaro, my comment wasn’t meant to mean that I don’t believe you (although I do wonder now), but how exactly do you expect anyone to respond when you jump in with “I won’t tell you who I am, what I do, or when you did it, but you were mean to me once”? There’s no way for anyone to explain what happened or even feel sorry for it (if that’s your goal, which it seemed to be) when nobody has any idea what you’re talking about.

  286. says

    I can neither recall nor imagine what possible connection my brain was making last night between Rev. BDC’s comment and that video I linked to @ #383.

    #390 was an obscure Taxi reference.

  287. Aratina Cage says

    I’m gonna go with guitaro being in evo-psych? But jayz-uz, haven’t we all had our professions or states or countries called out for something stupid someone who was a part of them did or said? Heck, PZ has dissed everything from video games to Star Trek. How come none of the rest of us fucked off over it?

    Also, hello ‘Tis Himself (Rodney Nelson). Nice of you to drop by. It’s the Thunderdome so I’m not going to keep my mouth shut about it here.

  288. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Carlie, I have already found you and following. You probably already found me in the list.

  289. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Janphar.

    Janine from Pharyngula.

    From when I had to set up an e-mail account so that I could register.

  290. Owlmirror says

    @Nightjar:

    But [heddle’s conversion] still isn’t a case of “because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically”

    Indeed! I actually thought of bringing heddle to annejones’ attention specifically because he says the opposite.

    @annejones: As best I can tell, none of the scientists you quote — Paul Davies, Allan Sandage, Frank Tipler, and Francis Collins — are creationists or ID supporters (and neither is David Heddle, FWIW). They may all well believe that God exists, and has mucked about with life and evolution, but none of them claim that such a belief has any basis as a scientific claim.

    I am also pretty sure that none of them would agree that there is any scientific argument that has not been enough time for unguided evolution to occur, nor that abiogenesis not being fully understood somehow supports ID/creationism. As scientists, they do understand that arguments have to come from evidence, not from lack of knowledge of evidence.

    So I am just curious as to why you would disagree with them, after so proudly citing them.

  291. jose says

    So Mr. “you’d look better with acid thrown at your face” Conlon was “a big fan” (sic) of the pit. Oops, that might prove embarrassing. I wonder what ERV thinks about the guy’s love for the place she created.

    Speaking of which, I don’t understand this about ERV: She’s always insisting on how she’s busy curing AIDS and can’t be bothered with losers bitching on the internet. She’s got no time for such losers who just want to bitch on the internet because she’s working to solve real problems in the real world. Yet she’s the proud founder of a place whose population spends hours a day, every day, tracking everything a handful of people do, monitoring their blogs, their tweets, their youtube videos, their podcasts, even their comments on other people’s blogs… and then bitching about it on the internet. On her forum, to be precise, and on her blog before the corporate overlords told her to take all the internet bitching elsewhere. Not only verbal bitching, either; she appears to be happy with all the photoshopped images of this handful of people they constantly watch as well. I mean, photoshopped pictures. Her fellows aren’t exactly curing AIDS, are they?

    I understand why she kept and encouraged “the monument” and related posts on her blog, as she was making money she needs via blog hits; but that’s not the case anymore. Why is she so happy to foster so much bitching on the internet?

  292. carlie says

    Why is she so happy to foster so much bitching on the internet?

    Because they’re not doing it about her, I reckon. She gets to be the queen bee special snowflake “not one of them kinds of gals.

  293. says

    Caine @299

    As a member of the GLBT community, I’d like a definition of “super-duper mean”.

    Well, you see… when a super and a duper love each other very much and they are terrible at coming up with names on the spot, they might go to the adoption agency and end up with a name so embarassing they tried to pass it off as a surname.

    And now you know!

  294. says

    Cerberus:

    Well, you see… when a super and a duper love each other very much and they are terrible at coming up with names on the spot, they might go to the adoption agency and end up with a name so embarassing they tried to pass it off as a surname.

    And now you know!

    So simple! Thanks. :D

  295. imkindaokay says

    I’ve had a problem with the whole ‘atheism plus’ thing for a while now, and couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I think I’ve worked it out.

    I agree, generally, with the goals of atheism. I agree, generally, with the goals of the plus (or however I should call it). I can’t help but think however that they are two different goals. There are plenty of atheists who, well, suck. There are plenty of religious people who are very good, and would strive towards a world without people like the slymepitters. I feel that by tying in a goal of complete equality to atheism, we are removing a large segment of the population who would be willing and able to help with those goals.

    I feel as though, by joining it, I’m making a claim that religious people couldn’t possibly be on board with such noble goals, and I’m not quite comfortable doing that.

  296. says

    imkindaokay, I’ll respond the same way I did in this thread:

    You know, I can’t personally agree with this, either. I have no doubt that many in the ‘pit would consider themselves humanists. *shrug*

    I refuse to give ground, any ground. I am an atheist. I’m also a secular humanist. I’m also a skeptic and critical thinker. I’m all kinds of things. However, I’m not running away from one label just so I can feel safely separate from other people I don’t much care for and consider that I’ve done the important bit.

    Do I find their attitudes and thought processes loathsome? You bet I do. However, the way I see it, I’m staying in the ring, and I’ll fight like hell for the atheoskeptic sphere to be re-defined as a large, inclusive space with a definite emphasis on social justice. If they don’t fucking like it, they can stay in their little tent howling and gibbering and whinge away. They aren’t going to be allowed to define what I am or the community I love or the community I want to take shape.

  297. Beatrice says

    I feel as though, by joining it, I’m making a claim that religious people couldn’t possibly be on board with such noble goals, and I’m not quite comfortable doing that.

    If you were a chess player and you agreed with the goals of a group called Chess players for marriage equality, would you hesitate to join out of fear that it implies people who don’t know or care about chess can’t support marriage equality?

  298. nightshadequeen says

    Sam Harris replies to criticism wrt his views on guns.

    (Off topic: What’s with the Mac special-snowflake command button? Why can’t they just use control like the rest of the world?)

  299. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    From the Sam Harris link:

    This is where making the ethical case for guns is easiest. Generally speaking, men are larger than women, and even where no difference in size exists, men tend to be much stronger (especially in the upper body). Women, therefore, are at an intrinsic disadvantage in any form of unarmed combat with a man. That’s not to say that women can’t be trained to protect themselves effectively. The average man would be demolished by Ronda Rousey. But a man with the same skills will always tend to have an advantage over a woman, whether in striking or grappling—or even when fighting with non-ballistic weapons like knives, clubs, etc. As my friend Rory Miller points out, “size, strength and reach really matter with any hand-held weapon… and stronger people tend to be quicker as well. This is a huge genetic stack in men’s favor… All of that was neutralized by the introduction of the handgun.”

    Yes, drunken fights between couples can turn needlessly deadly in the presence of a gun. But guns are not the reason that so many women live in terror of men—because guns obviate every difference between a man and a woman relevant to violence. Again, I will be accused of peddling NRA propaganda about guns being “an equalizer.” But it’s not propaganda if it’s true. I’m not saying that guns are the solution to the problem of domestic violence. Clearly, there is a need for strict laws, good policing, psychological counseling, women’s shelters, and other resources. Above all, women must refuse to stay in abusive relationships. But when all else fails, a gun in the hands of a woman trained to use it is the best solution that civilization has found for the problem of male aggression (I am speaking here, not about domestic violence per se, but about attacks on women in general). Indeed, there are situations in which a gun in the hands of a woman who is untrained can suffice to save her life. An ethical argument for the banning of guns must tell us why it would have been preferable for this woman to have been armed only with a frying pan.

    This really convinced me of something I’ve been suspecting for a long long time.

    Sam Harris is really stupid!

  300. Beatrice says

    Yes, drunken fights between couples can turn needlessly deadly in the presence of a gun. But [some bullshit]

    Drunken fights between couples that turn needlesly deadly in the presence of a gun happen. In a culture that is already so steeped in gun worship it almost seems unbelievable. In a culture where it looks like everyone and their dog can obtain a gun fairly easily. A legal gun, even. It’s a country where in some states, you can carry a gun when you go out to get drunk with your buddies, and can “defend” yourself with that gun in a state when sitting in the driver’s seat of your car would get you arrested.
    And yet, there is a but after that sentence. A but followed by bullshit, with no explanation how exactly a situation that “can turn needlessly deadly in the presence of a gun” would suddenly turn better in the presence of two guns. Or is he imagining a high noon standoff?

  301. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Or is he imagining a high noon standoff?

    I don’t know, but he’s certainly thinking that physical power level has anything to do with what happens in an abusive relationship. And that weapons in some way might fix things.

    Of course if abusée kills the abuser that abound ends, but most likely the abusée will be tried for murder. And often convicted.

  302. chigau (無味ない) says

    #437 Gnumann+
    I, too, read Sam Harris’s “FAQ on Violence”.
    My conclusion was identical to yours!

  303. A. Noyd says

    Gnumann (#437)

    “But it’s not propaganda if it’s true.” [–Sam Harris]

    That’s… not how propaganda works.

  304. kouras says

    1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity.

    The earth is approximately 4.55 billion years old. This was concluded and reported in 1956 by Clair Patterson, in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. He calculated this by testing lead isotope ratios in meteorites, so this age applies to the solar system at large as well as the earth itself. Later measuements of other meteorites have allowed for greater resolution, so the most precise measurement of the age of the solar system, and of earth, is 4.5672 billion years.

    You may also care to check out articles on the Jack Hills zircons. The quoted ages range from 3-4.4 billion years, although 4.2 billion is more generally accepted as the upper limit. Even if you’re one of these that hold that the Earth and solar system did not form at the same time, they have been cooler than the relevant closure temperature for at least as long.

    …. This looks really messed up in preview, and I’m slightly scared to be posting here anyway. May be fun.

  305. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I have been ignoring the Sam Harris bit, but actually said that.

    *facepalm*

    Propaganda is the spreading of ideas. Hell, this blog is a propaganda site. It has nothing to do with if the idea is truthful or not.

    Though the propaganda that I support tends to that which I hope is at least truthful.

    Back to ignoring Sam Harris.

  306. vmsmith says

    [unlurk]

    Interesting. annejones copy-and-pasted her gishgallop over to Greta Cristina’s Blog. As predicted, GC’s ‘health’ in no way handicapped GC’s ability to reply.

    Seems she’s not entirely unable to understand what she reads. In response to GC’s suggestion to create her own blog if she wanted to be the boss of how people answer her questions, she set up her own personal racetrack so she can gishgallop in circles to her heart’s content.

    [relurk]

  307. says

    StevoR, your ignorance of Japanese is showing.

    Theophontes, sorry I haven’t been able to write you an email yet due to a death in the family. Which will make it necessary for me to be communicating with Hong Kong though. Maybe one day I will finally make it there..

  308. nightshadequeen says

    *sigh*

    Justin Vacula is raising money to attend Women in Secularism 2.

    Let’s just say that of all the douchebaggy things he done recently, this is one of the less douchebaggy things.

    Yeah. It’s that bad. (BIG BIG BIG TW for physical abuse pics).

  309. nightshadequeen says

    (just to make my pointers clear. “all the douchebaggy things he done recently, this is one of the less douchebaggy things” refers to wanting to attend Women in Secularism 2)

  310. chigau (無味ない) says

    Does this mean that annejones won’t be coming back?
    *sniffle*
    Thanks vmsmith.

  311. says

    Hi, chigau! Hi, John Morales!

    *waves back*

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    not shocking at all, but StevoR as been known to condescendingly regard Japan as part of the West, which offends me. So of course I couldn’t let it go..

  312. says

    @ pelamun

    *pouncehug*

    Sorry to hear that.

    There is no rush in Pharyngula and your beers are waiting you in the fridge. Give me a shout whenever you are coming this way. (Best on this thread, I am really bad for emails.)

  313. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @450. pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    StevoR, your ignorance of Japanese is showing.

    It is? Really? How? Please explain. I did study that language for a few years & spent six months there (Okayama) albeit over a decade ago. (Yikes. Time passing.)

    @460. pelamun, the Linguist of Doom :

    StevoR as been known to condescendingly regard Japan as part of the West, which offends me. So of course I couldn’t let it go..

    See, I really don’t grok this mindset of yours at all. To me “Western” is a set of values. Good values that I believe in and that include most of what’s good about Humanity. To say Japan is party of the Western club is meant as a compliment to them and how their culture has evolved. To become ‘Western’ is to become modern; to adopt a set of values and culture that is fundamentally, well, good.

    I see Westernisation / Americanisation as a fundamentally positive thing and something that all humans benefit from taking on. It means better values – adopting a liberty, equality and pursuit of happiness opportunities for all. It includes adopting a scientific, sex-positive, pro-feminist, pro-environmentalist view of life. Yes, the West may be imperfect but we beat the alternatives don’t we? You think otherwise? Why?

    Being Western clearly isn’t merely a geographic term given Australia and Aotearoa /New Zealand are Western lands. Western is way of life and thinking. C’est nes pas?

    (I.e. “isn’t it?” – en Francais, which, hell , I guess I’ve probably also got wrong to my critics?)

  314. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @412. John Morales :

    StevoR : “Well, its not that I think there’s a thermostat so much as that the word “warming” has a lot of positive connotations and sounds like something too mild and pleasant to be truly descriptive..”
    It’s the phenomenon that’s being described that matters, not the label.

    Yes and no. Sometimes a label can have implications and tell us something about the pyschology and make understadning /focusing on ‘X’ harder or easier.

    “I think the term “overheating” evokes a better understanding and has more accurate associations that we’re in trouble – parts of our planet are going wrong in the sense of causing major harm and suffering to people, biodiversity loss, worsened conditions and even literally melting and burning.”
    Then ‘climatic change’ would be a better term still, because it’s even more accurate.

    But less specific and clear. Climate change has always happened – the current Human induced Rapid Global Overheating via excessive fossil fuel burning is something climatologically new.

    “I also prefer to use “Human Induced” rather than the technical jargon word ‘Anthropogenic”
    Your ignorance of language is showing, when you imagine anthropogenic constitutes technical jargon.

    It is? Care to explain please? ‘Anthropogenic’ is a Latin, scientific term and to English speakers not instantly obvious whereas “Human Induced’ is much more immediate and direct is it not? How is that ‘ignorant’ of language please?

  315. chigau (無味ない) says

    To say Japan is party of the Western club is meant as a compliment to them and how their culture has evolved.

    You are an idiot.

  316. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    [1] See, I really don’t grok this mindset of yours at all. [2] To me “Western” is a set of values. Good values that I believe in and that include most of what’s good about Humanity. [3] To say Japan is party of the Western club is meant as a compliment to them and how their culture has evolved. To become ‘Western’ is to become modern; to adopt a set of values and culture that is fundamentally, well, good.

    1. He’s a fucking linguist!

    2. Japan is Occidental, eh?

    (You sure they’re not just the teensyest bit inscrutable?)

    3. You are an ignoramus.

    Not only has Japan been highly civilised for a long time, but their values and culture are nothing like that of the USA.

    (I.e. “isn’t it?” – en Francais, which, hell , I guess I’ve probably also got wrong to my critics?)

    Your persecution complex is evident; if you’ve got it wrong, then you’ve got it wrong.

    (Which (of course) you have))

  317. Pteryxx says

    To me “Western” is a set of values. Good values that I believe in and that include most of what’s good about Humanity.


    . . .

    …Well, I say ice hockey is a set of values that includes most of what’s great about humanity, all humans’ lives would be improved if they learned the ways of ice hockey, and other people’s sports are only Good to the extent that they conform to the values of ice hockey. Because ice hockey may not be perfect, but it’s better than anything else out there.

    Hey, it makes as much sense as StevoR’s version.

  318. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @ Other thread’s 254. Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Morton the “make a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer’s mantel” thread.

    See : http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/15/make-a-striking-conversation-piece-on-any-discerning-zombie-gamers-mantel/comment-page-1/#comment-536581

    … (Snip) … And it’s not just gamers, look at how gaming companies treat women. The strong women characters are Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, FemShep from Mass Effect, and… my mind just blanks at that point. .. (snip) ..

    What about the character Blaze from an old Sega (masterdrive / megadrive / playstation?) game? It was titled, I think, ‘Streets of Rage’ or ‘Fists of fury’ or suchlike and was one of my faves which I played decades ago.

    You could choose to play a three cops fighting a crime boss running a city – Adam, an African-American hero, Axel, a European-American hero or Blaze a female hero. All were pretty equal and Blaze was my fave and the one I played as most often.

    Cold be a bit old and obscure I guess but one strong female gaming hero to consider maybe?

  319. says

    @ StevoR

    To me “Western” is a set of values. Good values that I believe in and that include most of what’s good about Humanity. …yaddah, yaddah…C’est nes pas?

    Kindly go off and fuck yourself, condescending arsehole!

  320. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    But less specific and clear. Climate change has always happened – the current Human induced Rapid Global Overheating via excessive fossil fuel burning is something climatologically new.

    New? As in a change? A climatic one?

    <snicker>

    It is? Care to explain please? ‘Anthropogenic’ is a Latin, scientific term and to English speakers not instantly obvious whereas “Human Induced’ is much more immediate and direct is it not? How is that ‘ignorant’ of language please?

    Because ‘jargon’ has a specific meaning, and it doesn’t not that of merely an uncommonly-used word.

    (Also, ἄνθρωπος is Greek)

  321. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @469. Pteryxx : Well that’s kinda how I feel about cricket! Anything else as saying goes just isn’t cricket!

    @413. John Morales :

    StevoR: “Three interesting things I learnt about today ..
    I’ve brought up the Cadaver Synod a couple of times over the years.

    BTW, formaldehyde comes from ‘formic aldehyde’ — the former from an acid originally distilled from ants (formica) and the latter from alcohol dehydrogenatum.

    Okay. Cheers. Was the first I’d heard of it anyhow and figured some folks may be interested.

    @ 467. chigau (無味ない) :

    You are an idiot.

    Well, that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. Predictably enough I disagree with that assessement of my nature. I ‘spose I can be at times, I certainly admit to being fallible but, meh, even if that was true what’s that got to do with the price of eggs (or, more pertinantly, what I’ve actually typed there) anyhow?

    @468. John Morales :

    1. He’s a fucking linguist!

    Pelamun I presume? Sure he is. Have I ever denied that?

    2. Japan is Occidental, eh? (You sure they’re not just the teensyest bit inscrutable?)

    Um, no, we’re talking “Western’ values and identification not Occidental vs Oriental here, these are different things.

    3. You are an ignoramus.

    Irrelevant. In some things I freely admit I don’t know much, everyone has their strong and weaker areas of knowledge. I bet there are some areas of knowledge (eg. star names & spectral types, Deep Sky Objects, Australian explorers) where I know more than you and most people do and, sure, equally many others where you know more than me. ‘S life. I’m always curious, trying to learn and willing to listen.

    Not only has Japan been highly civilised for a long time, but their values and culture are nothing like that of the USA.

    There are differences and also similarities between US and Japanese culture. Just as there are between US and Aussie /British / Canadian and Kiwi cultures. How is this relevant to whether Japan is Westyern(~ised) or not?

  322. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @471. theophontes (坏蛋) &472-473. Caine, Fleur du mal + :

    Abuse without good reason.

    Because …?? Really, do you know what bigotry even means? Have I ever advocated mistreating someone merely because of factor ‘X’ beyond their choosing? Answer is NO.

    @474. John Morales : Huh?

  323. Pteryxx says

    There are differences and also similarities between US and Japanese culture. Just as there are between US and Aussie /British / Canadian and Kiwi cultures. How is this relevant to whether Japan is Westyern(~ised) or not?

    Because you just conflated a nationality with a state of moral righteousness. Duh?

  324. says

    Once again, StevoR reveals himself to be a racist scumbag, but then this was no news to me.

    I usually ignore him, but mostly spoke up because of his gratuitous use of Japanese in the post, which gave the impression that he sees himself as some kind of expert on Japan – I mean after all, he so generously conferred status as a western nation on Japan. And bingo, he spent half a year there.

  325. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    Because …?? Really, do you know what bigotry even means? Have I ever advocated mistreating someone merely because of factor ‘X’ beyond their choosing? Answer is NO.

    Yet these are amongst those you classify as Islamists.

  326. says

    @ StevoR

    Abuse without good reason. Because …??

    You have just directly insulted a whole string of people on this thread with your unselfcritical, bigotted spoutings. Again.

    You really are the “drol in die drinkwater” around here. Why should we ever be nice to you again? You have had more than enough second chances and you always come back with the same shit. It is as tiresome as it is unpleasant.

    Really, do you know what bigotry even means?

    You, StevoR are a prime example. When you get called out by so many people, do you think it is because we are all wrong? We’re all just so jealous of this paragon of what it is to be “Westernised”?

    Have I ever advocated mistreating someone merely because of factor ‘X’ beyond their choosing?

    You happily waltze in here to demean non-Westerners, bigot.

    @ Caine

    Surely the cutest kitteh on teh interwebz! This is because she is a “European Shorthair” (ie “Western”) and therefore far superior to all the local cats around here.

  327. John Morales says

    You know, there was a time here in Oz in the late 80s when the Nippon was seen by some (cough) as an existential threat which would buy and control us. I remember that.

    (Were I to wager, I’d wager that StevoR hasn’t read The Man in the High Castle)

  328. John Morales says

    Oh, right.

    StevoR:

    @474. John Morales : Huh?

    Which is confusing to you: that something something climatologically new is better describable by ‘climatic change’ than as ‘Global Overheating’* or that Greek and Latin are different languages?

    * Too hot for the current ecosphere not to suffer, not too hot for the planet.

  329. Amphiox says

    To say Japan is party of the Western club is meant as a compliment to them and how their culture has evolved.

    To me “Western” is a set of values. Good values that I believe in and that include most of what’s good about Humanity.

    Because …?? Really, do you know what bigotry even means? Have I ever advocated mistreating someone merely because of factor ‘X’ beyond their choosing? Answer is NO.

    So this is the latest barf-fest from StevoR?

    It would appear that StevoR is STILL willfully refusing the learn the proper meaning of the word “bigot”.

    And it would appear that StevoR ALSO does not comprehend the meaning of the word “no.”

    Or else StevoR is flat out and unashamedly lying through his teeth, yet again.

    *puke*

  330. mildlymagnificent says

    Pauline Hanson? Oh, I apologise – that woman was the embodiment of the worst of Australian “culture”.

    The very worst effect of her not very bright star in the political firmament was that she gave credibility and impetus to the previously declining racism of mainstream conservatives. They had, in fact, been extremely worthwhile and even-handed on indigenous and immigration and refugee matters. They’ve now developed into newer and very poorly disguised versions of the old proponents of the White Australia policy. And also regenerated the traditional they’ll-take-our-jobs animosity of many traditional Labor Party voters. That woman has a lot to answer for. I’m not entirely convinced that this move to the nastier side of conservatism was inevitable, though the worldwide move to the right in English speaking countries would perhaps have made it happen anyway.

  331. kouras says

    @ StevoR

    What about the character Blaze from an old Sega (masterdrive / megadrive / playstation?) game? It was titled, I think, ‘Streets of Rage’ or ‘Fists of fury’ or suchlike and was one of my faves which I played decades ago.

    You could choose to play a three cops fighting a crime boss running a city – Adam, an African-American hero, Axel, a European-American hero or Blaze a female hero. All were pretty equal and Blaze was my fave and the one I played as most often

    The other title commonly used was Bare Knuckle.

    Blaze’s designs from BN2 and 3 were consistent with the “female heroes go out in a bikini” style that people have complained about elsewhere. While she did have a speed and manoeuvrability advantage in the first game, this was later approached by Skate from 2 onwards, and his stats were more balanced.

    It does seem good that you could have a female player-character in a fighting game who wasn’t incrdibly easy to lose with, but that was 20-odd years ago. Isn’t there a problem with using this example when talking about problems with gaming today?

  332. Beatrice says

    theophontes,

    *shakes head*
    I realize that resident racist’s blinds are firmly screwed shut, but that kind of historical precedence to his current flavor of prejudice should definitely light some bulbs.

    (mixed metaphors for the win)

  333. Beatrice says

    I couldn’t remember the word flavor and wanted to write flour instead. You can probably expect language fails from me today.

  334. carlie says

    SteveoR, you are using “western” in the same way that many Christians use “Christian”. Any good thing must necessarily stem from and be included in that term. I would be highly interested in what values you consider to be “western”, and why you think “western” civilizations get to own the creation of those values.

  335. athyco says

    You do realize, douglas1102, that just as in the other thread, it’s open to everyone, and anyone who wishes will comment? The difference is that here, it won’t be off topic.

  336. douglas1102 says

    @ Athyco

    If they wanna come over an comment to me that’s fine but I already said I’m not responding to anyone else until we’re done. They seem to have a very hard time grasping that. And really if this blog is all about sniping back and forth about irrelevant crap then I’ve no use for it.

    Frankly I’m already wishing PZ moderated more.

  337. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If they wanna come over an comment to me that’s fine but I already said I’m not responding to anyone else until we’re done.

    Don’t worry, by the time you think you are done, you will be done for. Grow up Doug. This is a blog for adults, and a immature “I’ll only respond to so and so” doesn’t cut the mustard.