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“Intolerant Atheists Viciously Attack Christian School”

That’s right: a mob of snarling, vicious atheists on PCP descended on an innocent, pious group of reverent Christians, on their knees and heads bowed in prayer, and brutally clubbed and stabbed them. Just ask Ken Ham.

Oh, wait, no…what actually happened is that the Answers-in-Genesis inspired exam given at this one school came to light, and thousands of people expressed their dismay at the miseducation being delivered in the name of Jesus Christ. You’ve probably seen it. It’s so, so dumb.

creationsciencequiz

It’s got everything: the earth is only thousands of years old, dinosaurs and people coexisted, “Were you there?” Ken Ham is shocked that people all around the country saw that abominable collection of lies and were appalled, and immediately curled up into the traditional persecuted Christian ball of martyrdom.

Now, this Christian academy is not a large school. Yet the atheists went after it with incredible fervor. The school administrator informed us she knew that the school would be involved in a spiritual battle after the quiz went public, but she was not expecting such ferocity. She told us she was shocked at the level of hate that the atheists poured down upon her, the teacher, and the school in general.

This is clearly a sign that the atheists are taking over the world and opposing good Christian morality. Ham even has a list of all the evil things atheists are doing.

How Are Atheists Becoming More Aggressive in America?

  1. Billboards promoting atheism and attacking Christianity have popped up across the country.

  2. The American Humanist Association has launched a special website for children to indoctrinate them in atheism.

  3. An atheist rally in Washington DC last year had a special promotion to encourage kids to attend their atheist camps.

  4. Atheists have been increasingly using terms like “child abuse” to describe the efforts of Christians who seek to teach their children about creation, heaven, and hell.

  5. Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

  6. Atheists have actively opposed any effort in public schools to even question a belief of evolution or suggest there are any problems with it.

My reply consists of simply referencing the material on the Answers in Genesis site.

  1. dragonbillboard
  2. The Answers in Genesis Creation Education Center.

  3. The Answers in Genesis Vacation Bible School.

  4. “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4–5)

  5. Citation needed.

  6. Does the quiz cited above give even the slightest acknowledgment of any education in the evidence backing up evolution?

Hypocrites and liars. Typical Christians.

Comments

  1. says

    The flood? Were you there? Burning bush? Were you there? Flight from Egypt? Were you there? Jesus raised from the dead? Were you there?

  2. says

    blackwhite (definition slightly modified from what Orwell wrote):

    Applied to an atheist, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a True Believer, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when religious faith demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.

  3. says

    @Marcus #1: The difference being that all these things are described in the Bible, which is the infallable word of God, and hence true.

  4. shouldbeworking says

    If Ken the ham is shocked that the quiz gathered so many responses from around the country, he needs geography lessons as well. People from around the world have been laughing at him about this. Canada, New Zealand and UK are not part of his adopted country. Perhaps he thinks that USA is gawd’s chosen country and the rest of the planet doesn’t matter?

  5. John Morales says

    Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    Never mind “citation needed” — the very idea of people “belonging to” other people is antithetical to humanism, if typical of an Abrahamic world-view.

    (In that world-view, not only do children belong to their parents, but wives also belong to their husbands)

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    And there are actually other people who claim that children are actually young people, and do not “belong” to anyone. Note, for example, that the selling of children is now frowned upon.

  7. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Reginald, “great minds” and all that! :)

    (Good comment!)

  8. birgerjohansson says

    If McFarlane dedicated an episode of Family Guy to Answers in Genesis, people not familiar with it would criticize the satire as being exaggerated.
    Basically you could build an episode like the South Park one, where they simply tell what the Book of Mormon says, deadpan. In this case you could just quote this exam.

    “Ken Ham says there was once dragons, dum dum dum dum dum”
    “Then they all drowned in the big flood, dum dum dum dum dum”
    “And now Ken Ham needs your money, dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb”
    “This got P Z very upset, smart smart smart smart smart”

  9. says

    Persecution is a fundamental identifying factor for Christians because in the Bible Jesus said his followers would be persecuted, so there is ideological imperative to see persecution everywhere. I’ve had this conversation with my fundamentalist parents who don’t understand that they are confusing two Biblical concepts. If you act like an ass and people treat you like an ass, that is not ‘persecution.’ That is ‘reaping what you sow.’

  10. Trebuchet says

    #5 has been a bit of a far-right meme ever since Hillary Clinton’s book “It Takes A Village”, which they saw as promoting government control of child-rearing.

  11. Alverant says

    Oh those poor christians. You’d think Atheists have a right to express their opinions.
    /sarcasm

    #11
    This.

  12. says

    Gregory
    and (as I think it is written in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—i.e. the Atheists’ Bible) after proving black is white he gets run over on the next zebra crossing.

  13. Sastra says

    The school administrator informed us she knew that the school would be involved in a spiritual battle after the quiz went public, but she was not expecting such ferocity. She told us she was shocked at the level of hate that the atheists poured down upon her, the teacher, and the school in general.

    By “ferocity” they mean “clarity.” Creationists are generally used to the mealy-mouthed complaints they get from other Christians and people of other faiths. “This is not the best way to interpret the Bible.” “This is not what God thinks.” In other words, arguments which take place on their own turf. IF they take place at all.

    From the general public they expect disapproval to be accompanied by a gracious admission that religion is a good thing, so maybe it’s all just opinion anyway. When it comes to matters of faith people have a right to believe whatever they want — legally AND epistemically. It’s lovely when you see little children being lead to follow the word of God in general. It’s simply that it would be better if the parents would be a little wiser when it comes to the science. Yes. Please do reconsider, okay?

    When atheists come directly out and explicitly state that no, this is both WRONG and STUPID it feels much worse than it really is. Religion is supposed to be a cultural safe zone: you believe what you want and I believe what I want and then we’ll get along. The charitable tendency to cut parents any kind of slack when it comes to what they teach their children about God is gone and the unfamiliar honesty hurts.

    But no — we don’t hate creationists. We hate what they are doing. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Gee — they ought to immediately recognize this one.

  14. voidhawk says

    But those poor Christians! Some Atheists are putting up… billboards! Oh! Please fetch my fainting couch!

  15. says

    I like to call this “The Monty Python and the Holy Grail” response:

    I’M BEING OPPRESSED!!! See, he’s oppressing me!

    It’s entertaining for 5 or 10 seconds, then they move on. Unlike creationist for whom this never gets old.

  16. robro says

    Interesting intro about the German “Christian” family seeking asylum because the mean old German government won’t let them teach this non-sense to their children. This apparently has nothing to do with the “dinosaur-and-Bible quiz” (Ham’s words) except for Ham to take a swipe at Obama. The administration comes up several times in the article as if suggesting that the Obama admin is promoting an atheist agenda. And here I thought they thought he’s a secret Muslim.

    Ham says the school has been “besieged” lately, but I can’t find much about this at all. There’s apparently nothing in the main stream press about it. I wonder if something’s going on in Landrum to give this impression to Ham & Co. Perhaps atheist zombies are coming to eat their children. I don’t know.

    In any case, here’s a piece on Patheos that gives some background to how this came out. Seems that the story first appeared on r/atheist and was pursued by Snopes (here) who were contacted by the parent of a child at the school who first posted the pictures.

    I feel for this parent, who tried to hide the school because their child is doing well in the school on the basics. But it’s bound to come out who posted these pictures and then the ostracism will get serious. Landrum, SC is a small, rural town in northwest South Carolina with a population of 2,376. On Google Earth I count 8 churches, which is so typical of the South.

  17. says

    “Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s Ham being upset that most liberal and/or progressive types, not just atheists who aren’t necessarily liberal or progressive, hold the position that there is an essential difference between “my child” and “my car”, and that children have rights independent of their parents.

    Thus we tend to think that children have a right to real education and that their parents should not be allowed to infringe on that right. That children have a right not to be beaten to death with plumbing tube as some Christian pastors recommend (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/pastor-corporal-punishment-advice-scrutinized-child-deaths-160004793.html). Stuff like that.

    To the Ken Hams of the world, people who at their most basic level don’t believe in freedom or rights but rather consider the world to be a hierarchical place of masters and slaves, owners and owned, aristocrats and peasants, the idea of children having rights is simply incomprehensible. Thus they tend to see this as the community taking ownership of children away from parents.

  18. hypatiasdaughter says

    #15 Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon
    Yes. It is the Blue Ridge Christian Academy in near Greenville, SC. Snopes has a no confirmation from the school but DOES have confirmation from Ken Ham of AIG.
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/sciencetest.asp

    #3 Kilian Hekhuis
    The second page is sounds exactly like a Ham video where he is talking to kids this age.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiV39cR2jgc
    I couldn’t find the exact video but the one above is good taste of his style.

  19. says

    What, a pack of snarling vicious atheists merely clubbed pious christians? Any self respecting atheist knows it’s always been a part of the evil Illuminati agenda to have a guillotine at hand….THESE WEREN’T REAL ATHEISTS!

  20. DLC says

    Good Grief.*
    The standard “Teh Ebil Atheeests wantsta take away our Jeeeeeesuuuus!!! ” line.
    Well no, Ken. I don’t want to take away your Jesus.
    I want you to put your imaginary friend away of your own free will.
    Ken, even you may some day realize that there is no deity “up there” that will keep your spirit around after your body can no longer sustain your life.
    You may yet realize that all that stuff in your holy book is just a bunch of ancient tribal tales told around campfires coupled with a bunch of bollocks designed to grant superiority to some while making everyone else a second or third class citizen.
    Tis silly of me to hope, but where there is life there is hope.

  21. says

    I’m pretty certain most atheists would strongly disagree with #5. You’re not allowed to own people unless you believe in the Bible, be it through a co-op kinder ranch or as an individual, home-spun enterprise.

  22. hypatiasdaughter says

    BTW, check out the AIG “Kids Answers” for a slick flashy way they sell these lies to kids.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/kids/
    Ham is the founder of the AIG, and the Creation Museum in KY. Apparently, AIG produces material for xtian schools and home schoolers.
    He is NOT some small potatoes fringe nut, like Phelps, you can dismiss. Mainstream atheists and xtians who do so, are letting letting this anti scientific crap creep into and shape American education and culture.

  23. Akira MacKenzie says

    Trebuchet @ 12

    Yes, I remember the hue and cry from the right wing that the dread Hilary and her jack-booted thugs were coming to rip infant children away from their mothers arms to be raised and indoctrinated by the government. (In fact, I was on that side of the political spectrum at the time.) After all, parents in general, and right-wing Christian parents in particular, have done a wiz-bang job at abusing and imparting emotional dysfunction upon raising their children. Not to mention the utter joy of that adults get from having their independence, health, and finances wrecked by maintaining a shrieking brat for 18 years bring a child into the world. Having the government take up the task of child rearing would be sooooo horrible.

  24. says

    The intolerance of complete lies!

    How awful, how prejudicial, how Christian in the ideals it espouses.

    Imagine someone being held to account for misleading children. It’s, it’s just what Christianity claims will happen as the result of divine justice.

    Just admit it, Ken, all you want is for your dishonesty to escape scrutiny and any reasonable accounting for why you would fill children’s minds with filthy lies.

    Glen Davidson

  25. Akira MacKenzie says

    Sastra @ 18

    Religion is supposed to be a cultural safe zone: you believe what you want and I believe what I want and then we’ll get along.

    Yes, and have the freedom to believe whatever we want about the world, but we have no obligation to accept that world’s realities.

    Yeah, that arrangement has worked out well.

  26. golemxiv says

    5. Citation needed.

    Here it is (just one, but it is a good start).

    Enjoy.

  27. graham says

    “She told us she was shocked at the level of hate that the atheists poured down upon her.”

    Hatred? Contempt & ridicule would be more accurate.

  28. truthspeaker says

    sleepingwytch

    3 May 2013 at 9:46 am (UTC -5)

    What, a pack of snarling vicious atheists merely clubbed pious christians? Any self respecting atheist knows it’s always been a part of the evil Illuminati agenda to have a guillotine at hand….THESE WEREN’T REAL ATHEISTS!

    Indeed. Clubbing can spoil the meat. A quick beheading, followed by butchering, then letting the carcass hang so the blood drains out is the correct way to prepare for butchering.

    You can club the meat after butchering to tenderize it but with young Christian children this really isn’t necessary.

  29. glodson says

    Yes. It is the Blue Ridge Christian Academy in near Greenville, SC. Snopes has a no confirmation from the school but DOES have confirmation from Ken Ham of AIG.

    It is always good to see my home town in the news.

    FUCK!

  30. Randomfactor says

    I’ve looked, and I don’t think Kenny has a Constitutionally-protected right not to be laughed at.

    And his wife dresses him funny.

  31. chigau (違う) says

    Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    That wasn’t atheists, it was [scary music] the Jews.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz#Children
    —-

    …a special website for children to indoctrinate them in atheism.

    Everyone starts out as an atheist, the indoctrination is in something else.

  32. says

    I think what especially makes Ham feel persecuted is something fairly simple, but frightening to someone in Ham’s position. We have the evidence, and he doesn’t, and it’s just so mean to point that out.

    I’m not saying that he’s not deluded and all, and in that sense he’s not even necessarily lying. But it’s not accidental that his speeches and museum speak of “two approaches,” he knows that you don’t get to his nonsense via the evidence alone. He’s defensive and reactionary, and, like all creationists, the real point of their form of “education” is to poison the well of science, or even to leave it out altogether in the “wrong areas,” as this book clearly does.

    Of course he’s not going to admit that he’s afraid of the truth, he’s going to project his fears onto “atheists” as the evil ones out to persecute and molest people who are simply doing what everyone does, only in their case, starting with the truth–which the atheists fear, don’t you forget it, and Ham doesn’t need evidence to know that.

    Glen Davidson

  33. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Those poor Christians. I didn’t realize that reality was so oppressive.

    (Wait. Yes, I did. Do. Just a slightly different version of oppression. Or depression. The oppression of depression? Shutting up, now.)

  34. says

    1. “Were you there?”
    2. “Well, were YOU there?”
    3. “No.”
    4. “Then how do you know I wasn’t? You know because that would be EFFING RIDICULOUS!”

  35. blf says

    Clubbing can spoil the meat. A quick beheading, followed by butchering, then letting the carcass hang so the blood drains out is the correct way to prepare for butchering.

    The lions are not that picky… although I believe they prefer the food live and kicking (not being scavengers (as far as I know)).

  36. Randomfactor says

    But it’s bound to come out who posted these pictures and then the ostracism will get serious.

    Yeah. The Christians will treat him the way they’re afraid WE will treat THEM.

  37. says

    I never get outraged at this stuff. Because there’s a difference between what fourth graders learn in order to complete the test and what they figure out.

    Heck, I was about in fourth grade when I became an atheist. The whole ark story just presented itself to me as so much nonsense. So, although I would have passed this test easy, I wouldn’t have believed it for one second.

    And even if they do swallow the myths as true, so what? I mean, at least they’re learning how to read…right? Any maybe make change for something less than a $6,000 bill?

    McDonald’s always is in need of counter help. Last I checked, you didn’t need to know a lick of science in order to work there. Or wiping down cars at the local car wash. Or being a roofer — my neighborhood got hit with a big storm more than a year ago and we’re still putting on new roofs. We need more roofers.

    No more preachers, though. We’ve got more than enough of those.

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @SA Dunlap, #20

    Yeah, except in Monty Python at least the guy is complaining about a real monarchy whose king he has no opportunity to select. There is oppression there. One of the most beautiful things about the skit is that King Arthur really does manhandle him. “Come and see the violence inherent in the system” is exactly right, which is part of what makes it so funny. We can laugh at the overreaction of the community – if he didn’t know he had a king, the oppression isn’t very effective within the sheltered environment in which he lives, so why worry about it – but at the same time his political analysis is dead on. And, worse, Arthur responds badly – as any king would. We always take King Arthur to be a good guy, but no one stops to think about the ethics of being a king in the first place.

    The opposite is true here: this is King Arthur preceding a pair of banging coconuts as he approaches an independent community. Stopping to chat, he finds that the community works together and has rotating executive leadership for rapid response when required, but direct democracy and the very fact of rotation (thus brief, rigid term limits coupled with the certain knowledge that someone you don’t like is going to have their turn in executive power, which makes it less likely someone wants to establish tyrannical precedents) effectively check that executive power and give the people power over their own lives.

    At this point, King Arthur starts screaming, “Help, help! I’m being oppressed. My absolute rule is being undermined. A moistened hint lobbed this scimitar at me, and therefore I should be able to chop off the heads of people who wear garments of mixed fibers, but this other person who is totally not me is articulating a point of view opposed to the unrestricted power to kill mixed-fiber wearers!”

    Then, when King Arthur grabs and pummels the peasant, he calls, “Come and see the violence inherent in the system,” before pushing the peasant in the dirt… and all this while really believing that the peasant is the one being violent toward him.

  39. says

    The lions are not that picky… although I believe they prefer the food live and kicking (not being scavengers (as far as I know)).

    They’re not scavengers, but they scavenge. I think that all large mammal hunters scavenge, as why pass by free meat–or meat that can be stolen?

    Glen Davidson

  40. truthspeaker says

    Kevin, I get outraged because I would like those kids to have the same opportunities as everyone else.

  41. stevem says

    re Kilian Hekhuis@3:

    Is it just me, or does that test have “Poe’s law” written al over it?

    Yes, it does, but just to be clear, remember “Poe’s Law” is not just a synonym for “sarcasm”, but that
    it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing., and this I think is an example of the reverse. So the two are indistinguishable, this is an example of such extreme fundamentalist that it looks like parody, not the usual use of the “Poe’s Law” label to claim a statement must surely be parody.

    If only that stoopid quiz was given in “Religious Interpretation” class instead of Science, they might have a partial case of “persecution”, but to call is Science is beyond the pale. It’s outright lies and propaganda, don’t we want to teach kids facts, not lies? How do you ‘indoctrinate’ kids with facts? Aren’t facts facts regardless of one’s political agenda?

    ‘scuse me for being totally ‘mind boggled’ by Ham’s counter-reaction to the reaction to that “quiz”.
    I hate to say it, but at least some religiots use [the concept of] God as a tool to teach morality and ethics only, not cold hard facts contradicting verified measurements.

    Completely OT but I am totally sick and exhausted of the usual shout of, “prove God does NOT exist, you stupid atheist you!”. They never hear the counter, “Prove he DOES exist”. Or if they do hear you, they just say, “Look around, we exist because of GOD, what more proof do you need? How could everything just pop out of nothing, as you ‘scientists’ claim?” So, because scientists don’t know EVERYTHING, there must be GOD, since,by definition, He knows EVERYTHING (omniscient).
    [rant, rant, rant, I can go on forever, but I’ll stop there {for now}]

  42. David Marjanović says

    5. Citation needed.

    See comment 5: it’s a very telling misunderstanding of “children aren’t the property of their parents”. Like… “So? Whose property are they, then? Atheists are communists, so… The Commune.”

  43. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @golem xiv:

    Obviously you’re not reading the comments, but this was already mentioned as a statement against which Xians are reacting.

    However, this is not from an atheist!

    Seriously, try again and you might be able to come up with something actually useful to the discussion. But try really hard and, this is key, if you want to be part of the discussion you have to hear what other people have said before you pop off thinking your words are oh-so-new-and-necessary-and-intelligent.

  44. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    the usual use of the “Poe’s Law” label to claim a statement must surely be parody.

    Which is a completely illegitimate use. If it surely must be parody, then it is not indistinguishable from earnest religion and it surely must not be a Poe.

  45. says

    Help, help! Come see the irrationality inherent in the system.

    And there’s nothing wrong with communities taking an interest in the safety and care of children. It might forestall some of the child abuse that passes for discipline in religious households, and it’s like to pressure local politicians into advocating for actual funding for school districts.

  46. kieran says

    It could be worse I think Robert winston in a debate with him asked him if he was circumcised as the bible instructs. Got very annoyed claimed he was being oppressed then as well.

  47. thumper1990 says

    Fuck, that test is terrifying. Enlarge the picture, and check out question 17… then ask yourself how Ham has the fucking cheek to assert that Atheists are indoctrinating people?

    Re. Ham’s no.5 on his list “How Are Atheists Becoming More Aggressive in America?”; I think you’ll find most Atheists say children don’t belong to anyone.

  48. stevem says

    re Crip@51:

    the usual use of the “Poe’s Law” label to claim a statement must surely be parody.

    Which is a completely illegitimate use.

    agreed! ‘Illegitimate’ but all too common. Too often I see see people yelling “I call Poe’s Law”, even at extreme fundamentalist statements to devalue them as ‘just parody’. (whether actually fooled or not)
    Oh, maybe I was just being oversensitive in my previous harping on the “definition” of the ‘Law’. Excuse me, again, I’ll be quiet now.

  49. otrame says

    @Cripdyke

    Nice analysis. The genius of Monty Python in that scene is that they were making fun of both the monarchy and the hyper-reactive “oppressionable” type, which can be found in many many places. Not-too-bright Arthur faced with a, to him, over-intellectualized mumble from a muck-covered peasant is hilarious. You are right that Arthur does use a little of the violence inherent in the system and it does make it even funnier.

    And by the way, in case it wasn’t a case of autocorrect over-correcting, it was a “moistened bint” (derogatory slang for woman in the UK–from the Arabic for daughter–no, seriously), not a moistened hint.

  50. stanton says

    Interesting intro about the German “Christian” family seeking asylum because the mean old German government won’t let them teach this non-sense to their children. This apparently has nothing to do with the “dinosaur-and-Bible quiz” (Ham’s words) except for Ham to take a swipe at Obama. The administration comes up several times in the article as if suggesting that the Obama admin is promoting an atheist agenda. And here I thought they thought he’s a secret Muslim.

    Creationists like Ken Ham neither understand nor care that there is actually profound differences between “Muslim,” “Atheist,” “Devil-worshiper,” or “Darwinist/Scientist”

    It makes slander, ad-hominems, and name-calling all that much easier.

  51. Amphiox says

    Rule of thumb about Poes.

    If you can say “It’s a Poe”, it’s not a Poe.

    Because then it would be distinguishable!

  52. stevem says

    re Amphiox @60
    QFT:

    Rule of thumb about Poes.

    If you can say “It’s a Poe”, it’s not a Poe.

    Because then it would be distinguishable!

    But not if you’re a genius in a field of idiots, “nyah, nyah, I can see parody where you can’t. Only you idiots are subject to Poe’s Law, I’m above it, nyah, nyah” That’s how I see it, thanks a lot Amphiox for making me not stick my flounce@57. I’ll try again…

  53. Ichthyic says

    it’s a very telling misunderstanding of “children aren’t the property of their parents”. Like… “So? Whose property are they, then?

    All your baby are belong to us.

  54. kagekiri says

    @43 Kevin:

    I never get outraged at this stuff. Because there’s a difference between what fourth graders learn in order to complete the test and what they figure out.

    Yeah, well, I was a fundamentalist YEC Christian from the age of four to the end of college, and I passed every biology course or test I took with flying colors using the same technique in the opposite direction: what I learned and answered was different from what I believed was actually true when it came to any aspect of evolution or archaeology. My sister got a Masters in Biology and MD while still believing in some aspects of creationism (possibly not YEC like me, though).

    But if I hadn’t been exposed to it at my public school, I’d probably only have the AIG or CRI lies about evolution to go on.

    And even if they do swallow the myths as true, so what? I mean, at least they’re learning how to read…right? Any maybe make change for something less than a $6,000 bill?

    McDonald’s always is in need of counter help. Last I checked, you didn’t need to know a lick of science in order to work there. Or wiping down cars at the local car wash. Or being a roofer — my neighborhood got hit with a big storm more than a year ago and we’re still putting on new roofs. We need more roofers.

    Your condescension for believers is unhelpful, and your belief that they never get anywhere is false. People who are not otherwise stupid or incompetent can still hold these ridiculous beliefs because of childhood indoctrination; that’s why creationist doctors, business leaders, and politicians exist. “Don’t worry, they’ll figure it out, and I don’t care if they end up stunted intellectually and become unemployable” is both false comfort and pretty damn calloused, even if you’re joking.

    It matters, and those kids’ chances at learning the truth matter. I don’t want our government to fund schools pulling this crap on kids, even if the majority manage to escape the indoctrination anyway.

    TLDR: Yeah, well I DO get outraged at this stuff.

  55. Amphiox says

    That’s how I see it, thanks a lot Amphiox for making me not stick my flounce@57. I’ll try again…

    On Pharyngula, flounce sticks to you!

    That’s why we make such fun of trolls and their flouncing. Because we know, know, they’ll be back.

    (The act of flouncing is actually engendered in the announcement thereof. If one just leaves, no one necessarily cares, or notes when you come back. Of course, if you do that, you can’t get any attention for it….)

  56. Amphiox says

    it’s a very telling misunderstanding of “children aren’t the property of their parents”. Like… “So? Whose property are they, then?

    In the Abrahamic fundamentalist worldview, everything belongs to something, and everyone belongs to someone, with Sky Owner in possession of all at the top.

    It’s the Great Chain of Being, economics version.

  57. coffeehound says

    Golemxiv @31, yeah, other than Melissa Harris-Perry not being an atheist, and as I recall, being in the middle of a divinity degree, spot on….

  58. yazikus says

    Atheists have been increasingly using terms like “child abuse” to describe the efforts of Christians who seek to teach their children about creation, heaven, and hell.

    You know what? It is child abuse to teach your child that they will suffer eternal torment unless they are perfect, when you know they can’t be perfect. I spent years terrified I was going to hell, saying the “jesus,come into my heart & save me” prayer over and over at night, sobbing. So yeah. I wish more people would see how inherently wrong the teaching of hell is. Also, I like how he threw it in at the end there, like, oh yeah, and that hell thing.

  59. cag says

    As per atheist billboards, this site indicates that there are about 300,000 churches in the US. There are, at any time, a few dozen atheist billboards. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that an atheist billboard is much more powerful than 1,000 churches.

  60. glodson says

    The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that an atheist billboard is much more powerful than 1,000 churches.

    Well, reality does give our words a bit of impact.

  61. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Otrame:

    Yes, that must have been autocorrect. I did know it was “bint” and not “hint”. Or maybe it was just a typo as h & b are adjacent.

  62. Amphiox says

    The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that an atheist billboard is much more powerful than 1,000 churches.

    You know what they say. A single real picogram will tip the scales against a trillion imaginary tonnes.

  63. Ichthyic says

    McDonald’s always is in need of counter help.

    I can only imagine the look on your face when the future welcomes you to the Idiocracy, where working a counter job at mcdonalds would be considered a top job requiring massive amounts of intelligence.

  64. says

    @63: It was a Christian school. Not government funded. So you can probably check that part of your outrage at the door until it’s needed. Keep it handy, though. I’m sure somewhere in Louisiana, this test is being given at PS104. Because Governor Bobby likes to “teach the controversy”.

  65. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @calibaba, #53:

    from that discussion, I particularly like:

    no one has ever found his body and they will not because he lives.

    There is another hypothesis that could account for no one being able to see the body of Jesus.

    It’s just so darn odd when absence of something is seen as proof that something exists, it’s really hard to know how, exactly, such a person even thinks. How would you have a debate with such a person over, say, gun control laws?

    JimBob*: “I hate the Obama’s policy of hunting down gun owners, shooting them like dogs in the street, and confiscating simple shotguns used only for hunting.”

    Rational person: “Are you kidding? No such policy exists, and you no one has ever seen a gun owner hunted down & shot so that the US federal gov could take away a birding gun.”

    JimBob: “See! Proof!”

    *JimBob is the actual screen name of the person who made this comment. This is not me engaging in stereotyping.

  66. says

    @72. I had lunch at a fast-food place yesterday. Their computers were down.

    Let me tell you, it was an eye-opening experience at just how dependent we all are on technology. Which, of course, requires educated workers. Even ones that might need to understand that we’re not all little instantly created snowflakes.

    By my count, there was about a 1-in-3 chance of the order being wrong. And since the credit card machine was still working, they weren’t taking cash (because of course no one could tell them what change should be given back).

    Yeah. Even in the Idiocracy, you’re going to need a little better knowledge than that.

    Except for roofers, of course. Scrape off, nail on. Scrape off, nail on. Scrape off, nail on.

  67. Amphiox says

    Re @76;

    Well, we can always envision an Asimovian world, wherein we outsource all serious thinking to 3 Laws compliant super AIs (and we’ll leave the task of figuring out how to properly communicate to dumb humans to the AIs).

  68. says

    Landrum, SC is a small, rural town in northwest South Carolina with a population of 2,376. On Google Earth I count 8 churches, which is so typical of the South.

    [OT]… This made me avare of my own “privilege” to live in a town of the same aproximate size, with only two churches, both empty and silent most of the time, with the exception of ocasional funeral…[/OT]

    Rerarding the point 5) – to be fair, I encountered even atheisst who had hard time to grasp, that children are not their posessions to make what they desire with, but responsibilities to take care for, and who blurted something similar to Ken Hams nonsense here in response to criticism.

  69. unclefrogy says

    I simply can’t follow the “logic” of fundies at all other than to realize that it is only what they believe and does not have grounding in the way things actually are.
    The best thing that can be done is simply getting them to say it out loud in public as often as possible and not keep it “private” or for the initiated only while continuing to make public and open to all the things that have been discovered about the nature of things and how they got that way.
    60 minutes should do a report on the creation museum and include the preposterous beliefs and the tax breaks and the cries of persecution. encourage them to speak freely!

    uncle frogy

  70. mikeyb says

    What, no questions on ‘kinds’ and how they are not the same as species, how Adam and Eve’s kids reproduced, how old Methuselah was, or pictures of the Grand Canyon? And what is this creationist fetish about dinosaurs? Collecting all those microscopic critters would be orders of magnitude harder tasks for Noah. For fun I’d actually like to see what they think Noah’s ark actually looked like inside and how the plumbing worked. Perhaps those are for 5th grade or grad school.

  71. says

    Charly:
    Oh no doubt. The “children are the property of parents” meme is thoroughly soaked into the fabric of society (in the US; not sure about elsewhere). Once again we see the divide between dictionary atheists and those who take some time trying to figure out how to navigate a godless world. Since christianity is a human construct and god is nonexistent, how can one continue to justify a parent owning their child? Or any human owning another? This thought process can be helpful in structuring a more coherent set of beliefs in accordance with reality. Humanism anyone?

    (This is what I mean when I speak of the logical implications of atheism. Sure there is no god. NOW WHAT? There is a lot of human behavior shaped to various degrees by religious teachings. Remove those teachings and you SHOULD reasses those behaviors).

  72. calliopejane says

    re: SteveM @ 47

    ‘scuse me for being totally ‘mind boggled’ by Ham’s counter-reaction to the reaction to that “quiz”.
    I hate to say it, but at least some religiots use [the concept of] God as a tool to teach morality and ethics only, not cold hard facts contradicting verified measurements.

    I’d guess that’s the perspective of the parent who was appalled that his daughter was being taught this crap, and complained and made the quiz public. But to people like Ken Ham, the biblical outlook is an all-or-nothing kind of thing. Part of Ham’s response is:

    The parent, like all parents who have children enrolled at this academy, had signed a statement, which acknowledged an understanding that sending their child to this Christian school would mean they would be taught biblical Christianity. The parent expressed dismay that his daughter was taught a biblical approach to dinosaurs.

    I’m sure it never occurred to this particular parent when s/he signed that statement that “biblical Christianity” would include a “biblical approach to dinosaurs.” But it obviously never occurred to Ken Ham that anyone might think it wouldn’t.

  73. says

    To be fair, I think Melissa Harris-Perry would also agree that children belong to no one in the sense fundamentalist authoritarians use the word. I think most of us would concur that children belong to the community in the sense of being full members of the community, with rights of their own. Also, that responsibility to protect and care for children doesn’t belong exclusively to that child’s parents, as was, I believe, Ms. Harris-Perry’s point.

  74. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @mikeyb, #80

    Yeah, “Is this was Noah’s ark looked like?” Answer definitively kiddies.

    “How old is the earth?” Answer definitively kiddies.

    Someone says something about geology or evolution? Ask, “Where you there?????”

    I have a new strategy. I have decided to reveal to the world that I, in fact, was there. And I know for a fact that Ken Ham wasn’t. So when I say the earth is 4.5 billion years old, he has to believe me. He certainly can’t contradict my sure and certain knowledge that I was there since he wasn’t. He admits of no way of knowing things that occur when one doesn’t directly witness them without the aid of instrumentation.

  75. robro says

    Radomfactor

    But it’s bound to come out who posted these pictures and then the ostracism will get serious.

    Yeah. The Christians will treat him the way they’re afraid WE will treat THEM.

    I think the parent’s concern would be for the child. A child ostracized in a small town could be emotionally devastating.

  76. patricksimons says

    All a non believer has to do to be considered ‘intolerant’ is fail to pay religious belief the deference, believers think they are automatically entitled to. It wasn’t Christianity that was coming under attack here, it was stupidity.

  77. truthspeaker says

    calliopejane

    3 May 2013 at 2:31 pm (UTC -5)

    I’m sure it never occurred to this particular parent when s/he signed that statement that “biblical Christianity” would include a “biblical approach to dinosaurs.”

    And that demonstrates a certain level of cluelessness on the part of that parent. Young Earth Creationism and Biblical literalism aren’t exactly new.

  78. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    @63: It was a Christian school. Not government funded. So you can probably check that part of your outrage at the door until it’s needed. Keep it handy, though. I’m sure somewhere in Louisiana, this test is being given at PS104. Because Governor Bobby likes to “teach the controversy”.

    But private parochial schools do suck at the teat of government. Not through direct funding, but through tax breaks (charity), through busing (in many states, the local school district buses all students — including the ones going to private schools), and, recently, through attempts at tuition vouchers. So that part of the outrage does not need to be checked. We are all supporting churches, religious schools, and the damage they do through our taxes and the federal, state and local tax structure.

    Except for roofers, of course. Scrape off, nail on. Scrape off, nail on. Scrape off, nail on.

    Off course, roofers need to be able to figure out how much roofing material is needed, how to measure and cut, and how to figure out just how much to charge.

  79. birgerjohansson says

    You know, since Genesis is a compilation of several partially contradictory stories inspired by myths borrowed from other religions, the Answers-in-Genesis inspired exam is perfect since it distils the silliness of trying to take Genesis as a true story.

    Crip Dyke
    “I have a new strategy. I have decided to reveal to the world that I, in fact, was there. And I know for a fact that Ken Ham wasn’t.”

    I think Tom Bombadil might have been there. You know, the one who saved Frodo and Sam from the bad trees not far from Shire.

    Golem XIV
    A fellow reader of Lem? Good for you.

    “Clubbing can spoil the meat”
    Evil Penguins are not interested in the meat. They club seals (and humans) for fun. Which is why I use them as enforcers.
    *(Bad Penguins”; a collection of penguin cartoons)

  80. says

    Excerpt from coverage on The Maddow Blog:

    Link.

    Presenting fact and fiction in the same class, as if both are equally credible, does not help students “think critically”; it breeds confusion and ignorance.

    When it comes to science, there’s already an equal and open playing field. Creationists can submit their ideas to scientific journals, endure the peer-review process, and engage in a substantive debate with colleagues in their field. If their ideas withstand scrutiny, good for them — they’ll be part of the scientific canon and students will be exposed to their theories. If not, then their ideas need more work.

    Jindal and his allies think creationists should skip this process altogether — bypass scientific canon and head straight for Louisiana’s public school science classes.

    I suspect some of you are asking whether the state law is legal, since the Supreme Court has already ruled against teaching science and religion in public school science classes. The problem with legal challenges to this is that the Louisiana policy was crafted to make lawsuits difficult — under state law, teachers still use real science textbooks and real science curricula, and there’s nothing in the policy that specifically promotes or encourages religion.

    But under this controversial policy, teachers are also permitted to use “supplemental materials” on science Republicans don’t like, including evolutionary biology and global warming. It allows pseudo-science to sneak in, without the fingerprints of state policymakers. (“Today, I’d like you to open to chapter three in your biology textbook, and while you do that, I want to pass around some materials I brought in from the local fundamentalist church….”)

    Jim Dugan, an anthropology instructor at Tulane University, told policymakers, “Louisiana deserves national ridicule for having this act.”

  81. Azuma Hazuki says

    Regarding the passage from Luke, don’t the earliest versions say “Fear him who hath power to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna?” Figures these dishonest whackadoos don’t know their own scripture…

    And I’ve said this about eleventy hojillion times, but a lot of the pre-Nicene church fathers were Universalist or Annihilationist. Origen outright states this, Theodore of Mopsuestia likewise, Gregory of Nazianzus at least implies it, and so on.

    These people are so far from Jesus’ original teachings they wouldn’t recognize him if he smacked them across the face and left a big red handprint with a size ninety-six nail hole in it.

  82. says

    #5 is a very common right-wing Fundie bugaboo called “Parent’s Rights”. Essentially, they believe that parents should have the “right” to treat their children as their property to abuse and destroy as they see fit (they are especially fixated on the right to spank or otherwise beat their children when they are “bad” in order to “instill moral discipline in them” and constantly worry that this will be made illegal by goosestepping liberal fascists (and I wish that was more snarky than it actually is)).

    And since they have no imagination and view children and wives as uppity property, they assume through the magic of IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION that liberals must view woman and children as property too. And thus if they are saying it’s wrong to beat or own one’s wife or kids and that these groups have fundamental human rights that shouldn’t be waived because some authoritarian gobshite wants to feel “more like a man”, they must be saying that only so the EBIL GUBMINT can steal away the property and turn them into evil atheist, feminism spewing, anti-Christian zealots (again, wished this was more snark than it is).

    Thus, instead of being the man of the house’s property, they’d be “society’s property” or the “property of the community”.

    It doesn’t often get talked about much outside the Fundie community, probably because even they realize that literally arguing for the right to own and abuse children just might be poorly received by society at large, but it leaks through here and there with little vague shout-outs about how “parent’s rights” are being abrogated.

    And yeah, it’s pretty vile as shit.

  83. mikee says

    During various periods of history Christians have been persecuted, for example being thrown to the lions etc.

    These days they think a billboard or a simple criticism = persecution. Their ancestors would be embarassed.

  84. mikee says

    From Ken’s website

    “…a chasm is widening between what is Christian and what is not. Christians can no longer straddle both sides of the chasm, for it’s getting wider. They will ultimately have to decide which side they will stand on!”

    One should always be careful when delivering such an ultimatum, as he may find the majority of people choose the side he isn’t on!

  85. says

    As others have said, #5 is a fundamentalist thing, where children are property, and is wrapped up in their frothing hatred of Hillary Clinton. It’s not just from her “It Takes a Village” book, but I believe it got a more recent update about how all of society has to take responsibility for all children, or something similar.

    Basically, fundies love talking in code.

  86. notsont says

    The Christians being thrown to the lions thing, I can’t seem to find confirmation on that seems like it is kinda made up.

    Any scholars here know? I’m curious.

  87. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Newtie (Gingrich) who proposed taking kids away from welfare mothers?

  88. Rey Fox says

    It’s not just from her “It Takes a Village” book, but I believe it got a more recent update about how all of society has to take responsibility for all children, or something similar.

    America: Every Man For Himself And His Property

  89. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    While there may be something to be said for scraping roofers off, nailing them on is a bit cruel, even for the US building trade.

  90. Azuma Hazuki says

    I’d love to know where this persecution complex comes from. If they want to be persecuted, they can go to fuckin’ Iran or Saudi Arabia. But how dare they whine about persecution here?

  91. MetzO'Magic says

    #53 calibaba:

    Ouch. I left the States about 35 years ago, and have lived in reasonably progressive countries since. I do travel back there on business occasionally, and I do read skeptical sites like PZ’s *a lot*. I’ve seen quite a few brain dead Fox newscasts in my time (Rachel Maddow is particulary good at taking them down, as is our own PZ), but somehow I’ve never managed to see such a… parochial one like that one from SC. Holy shit. That was a proverbial wall of D-K self-smug stupidity, and proud of it.I couldn’t even bear to watch all of it.

    Now I really see what we’re up against trying to take back the U.S. from teh stoopid, and it’s more than a bit depressing. Yet, it’s all the more reason for the likes of PZ and ourselves to to keep chipping away at the edges. I suppose the best way forward is to become as involved as you can in local efforts to stamp out the superstition ans willful ignorance of science.

  92. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    notsont @98

    Look up Reasonable Doubt on here. They had a podcast about this subject not so long ago. I think it was called The Myth of Martyrdom.

  93. MetzO'Magic says

    P.S. Gotta remember to tack on ‘Sent from my iPhone 4S’ (NOT!) to future missives so as to excuse the typos.

  94. says

    For the children belonging bit I like to say that they belong to themselves, and as parents you are simply acting as a steward until such a time as they are prepared to do it for themselves. I had foolishly assumed that, aside from a few particularly crazy control freaks, even the fundamentalist xians held a similar view.
    Guess not. It’s all “you live to pursue glory in my name” with this jerk as a prominent mouthpiece.

  95. Lofty says

    The fundie bizzaro definition of hate is of course entirely consistent with their definition of love, the attentions of an abusive, controlling uber parent. Not exactly news. By their definition I’ve been married hatefully for 20+ years!

  96. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I can’t find the story, but supposedly: A man is beating a horse, and a churchly-compassionate fellow steps up and asks him to stop beating the horse. The horse-beater snarls, “He is MY horse.” The good man says, “No, he is God’s horse.”

    Which was supposed to make some lofty point, but I suppose the fundamentalist’s will interpret it to mean that since what they are doing is God’s will, it’s all hunky-dunky.

    But yeah, the horse or the child is not your possession. As has been said up-thread.

  97. Drolfe says

    While we’re on about Melissa Harris-Perry being a UU and taking a Divinity degree let’s also recall that she slams non-believers on the reg with all her faith in faith and views about the source of morality (spoiler, it’s God).

    See also MHP and others in Black Folks Don’t.

  98. bortedwards says

    As the indebted owner of a newly-minted PhD in evolutionary biology trying to find a postdoc, I can assure you that a career behind a McDonalds counter looks a not unlikely outcome…. :s

  99. Ichthyic says

    Not exclusively Christians.

    It’s more humorous when it is though. Even though it so rarely happened.

    It makes their protestations of persecution… by an empire that ended up BECOMING CHRISTIAN, all the more delicious in their irony.

    an ironic trend that seems embedded in the very core of that religion.

    lying fake martyrs for Jesus.

    LOL

    see? always makes me laugh.

  100. says

    @ 98 notsont

    The Christians being thrown to the lions thing, I can’t seem to find confirmation on that seems like it is kinda made up.

    Any scholars here know? I’m curious.

    In 2008 I visited the French city Nim (pronounced “neem”) which has the best preserved Roman arena in the world. The museum exhibit there explained that criminals would be thrown to the animals after an initial show of teams of men fighting wild animals. Christians were the minority of the victims and the animals who killed them were mostly starved bears, not lions (contrary to the wikipedia article cited by txpiper #113).

    A couple of months ago Alternet had a review of a history book about the uneven-ness of Roman persecution of Christians (sorry, can’t find the cite). Not only did Christianity eventually become the state religion but also you can read references in the primary sources to times when Christians were thrown out of public office and had their lands confiscated. That means there was a period in which they held public office and accumulated wealth and real property. The lion/bear type oppression was early in the game. It also backfired, as Romans saw how Christians welcomed death (martyrdom as a sure way to get to heaven). This made an impression on many which led to more converts. Call it the Hungry-Bear-Streisand-Effect.

  101. John Morales says

    [OT]

    sadunlap:

    It also backfired, as Romans saw how Christians welcomed death (martyrdom as a sure way to get to heaven). This made an impression on many which led to more converts.

    Apocryphal claims of martyrdom exist and may have gained converts, but I’m pretty damn sure that the vast majority of actual chompees did not welcome their own death.

    (Call me cynical if you wish)

  102. Azuma Hazuki says

    Call it the Hungry-Bear-Streisand-Effect.

    You just made sencha spurt out my nose!

  103. Amphiox says

    an ironic trend that seems embedded in the very core of that religion.

    Their fundamental myth is that of an unjust persecution. How could persecution not end up in the very core of the religion?

  104. hypatiasdaughter says

    #80 mikeyb
    Ahh, but kids LOVE dinosaurs. Both Hovind (who calls himself Dr Dino), Ham and the newest fuckwit on the block, Ian Juby, know what bait to put on their ignorance hook.

  105. Brain Hertz says

    While there may be something to be said for scraping roofers off, nailing them on is a bit cruel, even for the US building trade.

    Sometimes that ends really, really badly:

    Austrian nails testicle to roof

    An Austrian roofer who slipped on the job ended up nailing himself to the roof – through his wedding tackle.

    According to Ananova, 59-year-old August Voegl of Jennersdorf “shot the four-inch nail into his left testicle with the compressed air nail gun” and was thereafter “unable to extract it or pull himself away from the roof”.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/18/austrian_roofer/

  106. John Morales says

    [OT]

    As an aside, I note that when it comes to dishing out the martyrdom, Christians have been no slouches.

    If you have any inkling of the history of Christendom, consider the pagan:Christian ratio — never mind the (Christian) heretic: Christian one.

    (By their hypocrisy shall ye know them)

  107. Azuma Hazuki says

    @123/John Morales:

    If there is some kind of afterlife I hope the people who did these things suffer for it. The screams of torture victims echo throughout history. There can be no forgiveness.

  108. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    We made Kreationist clown Ken Ham mad? Good! Great to hear.

    I really love PZ Myers’ “Dear Emma B” answer to that whole “were you there?” nonsense :

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/06/23/dear-emma-b/

    from way back in the old Science Blog days – posted June the 23rd, 2011 – and still think its the best piece PZ’s ever written. Thanks again for that PZ. (Also love much else of what you’ve written since too of course!)

    I also really like some of the answers others have given since including the one on Mano Singham’s Stumping the stumpers’ thread here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2013/04/30/stumping-the-stumpers-2/#comment-328887

    by Kimpatsu where Matt Dillahunty was asked the same question, and Matt answered superbly that he wasn’t there when Jeffrey Darmer [sic] killed all those people, but he know the truth because that’s what the evidence shows.

    Evidence. What science is all about.

  109. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    Evidence. What science is all about.

    And theory. Evidence and theory.

    And testing. Evidence and theory and testing.

    (need I go on?)

    PS the Hambot has evidence too; stupid, spurious and subjective, but evidence nonetheless.

    (Perhaps you meant empiricism?)

  110. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ John Morales : Well, yes, that’s true. I stand corrected.

  111. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @126. John Morales :

    PS the Hambot has evidence too; stupid, spurious and subjective, but evidence nonetheless.

    You mean Bible verses, sophistry, absurdly willfully ignorant questions like “were you there” and shit? You call thatevidence?! Well I ‘spose it is at a ve-ery long stretch and speaking technically.

    Perhaps you meant empiricism?)

    Probably what I was thinking of / meaning yeah. Guess so.

    (Reminds self to wiki empiricism for clarity and to refresh memory.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism

    Aha! Yep definitely that.

  112. John Morales says

    txpiper, from your link:

    One of the only well preserved dinosaur skin samples ever found is being tested at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron to determine skin colour and to explain why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years.

    Hey, 70 million years is a fair while ago — multiply that by 10 and you get a noticeable fraction of the time elapsed since Earth’s formation.

    Also, I see you don’t dispute that kids LOVE dinosaurs and thus the Hammy one baits-and-switches them to get the lovely, lovely money one gets when unashamedly bilking the credulous.

  113. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    “multiply that by 10 and you get a noticeable fraction of the time elapsed since Earth’s formation”

    Yeah, but that isn’t relevant to the “why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years” issue.

  114. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Yeah, but that isn’t relevant to the “why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years” issue.

    <snicker>

    “Intact” for the purposes of synchrotron beam testing to determine residual pigmentation, you dolt.

    (You seen the little fragment the experimenter is holding between his thumb and forefingers, no?)

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yeah, but that isn’t relevant to the “why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years” issue.

    Neither is anything you say, as you can’t/won’t prove your imaginary designer/creator exists, meaning anything based on that concept is full of shit. Science, refute it with more science or shut the fuck up, if you have honesty and integrity. We will keep showing you have neither every time you post your inane fuckwittery.

  116. says

    [more OT]
    # 118 John Morales

    Apocryphal claims of martyrdom exist and may have gained converts, but I’m pretty damn sure that the vast majority of actual chompees did not welcome their own death.

    I’m not so sure. Suicide bombers demonstrate up to today how religious belief in an afterlife can lead people to accept an early departure time. Social pressure works into it as well (then and now). Besides, if what I have read is true the early christians could’ve opted out of the guest-of-honor gig at the bears’ banquet pretty easily: all they had to do was make an offering at a pagan shrine. Their refusal was the evidence that convicted them.

    Realistically? I agree that the capital punishment by animal feeding was most likely for a very brief period and only a few Christians; thus, making the claim of persecution quite overblown. And we can never be sure how any given one of them reacted.

  117. Ichthyic says

    Their fundamental myth is that of an unjust persecution. How could persecution not end up in the very core of the religion?

    that’s just it…

    the irony comes from the idea that their model martyr never whined about being persecuted.

    “Christians” don’t love martyrdom, the love to WHINE about the possibility of BECOMING martyrs.

  118. says

    @ #119 Azuma Hazuki

    You just made sencha spurt out my nose!

    It’s all part of the service I provide.

    At least it wasn’t dragon pearls. That would have been really gross.

  119. John Morales says

    sadunlap:

    Suicide bombers demonstrate up to today how religious belief in an afterlife can lead people to accept an early departure time.

    It may be sufficient, but it’s hardly necessary: e.g. Che Guevara.

    (As always, it’s religion taking credit for a human penchant; it’s just another form of ideology gone wrong)

  120. says

    @ #123 John Morales

    As an aside, I note that when it comes to dishing out the martyrdom, Christians have been no slouches.

    I am presently working my way through the book Indian givers by Jack Weatherford. Most of the gold and silver the Catholic Church has comes from the new world. Most of the silver in all the world comes from one mountain in Bolivia. When the Spanish first started to mine it they used 6 thousand African slaves but all those died at the high altitude. Oops. The Spanish had to resort to forced labor of the natives.

    The church had the clout at the time to put a stop to the death and horror but the Conquistadors were smart enough to buy them off with a big piece of the action.

  121. says

    5. Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    Well, duh.. The way it really works is that the parents belong to the church, and the children to the parents, and therefor its perfectly fine if the priest someti… uh, wait, that’s not going quite the right place, is it?

    Seriously though, a lot of the meaning of number 5 demands a clear definition of “community”. It seems that, at least on some level, the “community”, in the sense of humanity, would probably be better off having some say in things, stuff like public education tends to define “community” as everyone living in its borders, and even the wackos want them all “educated” the same way, its just that their definition of “education” is, “lies, delusions, revisionist history (gosh, I just can’t wait for the next lovely thing out of the new George What-is-reality Bush’s new library), and dogma, and then, you get down to states, then cultures, then maybe social status, and finally “religion”. Every damn one of them think ***they*** are the “community”, and that, one at least some level, the children belong to them. Well, unless they like in some place like Oregon, where religious children *definitely* belong to the parents, even to the point of letting them stay with said parents, after more than one of them dies, for preventable reasons.

    So.. Yeah, not really going to say that we “don’t” believe this, just… what exactly does he mean by it, you know, beyond the obvious, and literal, “Is the property of”, as apposed to, “Needs to be helped along for a while, so they become real members of”, interpretation that the rest of us might mean, if we where the ones presenting that sentence.

  122. says

    Sadunlap wrote: «In 2008 I visited the French city Nim (pronounced “neem”).»

    You mean Nîmes. (That’s where denim “comes from”, by the way: "de Nîmes" = "from Neem".)

  123. Ichthyic says

    sounds like an interesting book, sadunlap!

    just added it to my read list.

    thanks.

  124. roeland666 says

    For me the problem is not only the obvious wrongness, but also the stupidity of the questions themselves. ” What did God tell Noah to build?” And then the next question is about the Ark, so if somehow you had forgotten it was the ark, the next question would have told you the answer to the previous question.

    Ahhh, the stupidity it burns,……

  125. colluvial says

    Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    Mr. Ham clearly needs to learn the difference between the two meanings of ‘belong’ he just used: ‘being a member of’ as opposed to ‘being the property of’. But then again, maybe he thinks of the entire human race as being his potential chattel.

  126. says

    A few questions I’ve always wondered about:

    1. How come the Egyptians, who were among the best record keepers in the ancient world, never mention Moses, the plagues or all those Hebrew slaves escaping over a temporarily dry Red Sea? Seems to me the events would have caused enough commotion to at least be mentioned. You know, like the death of the Egyptian “first-borns”. I mean, come on, somebody had to notice.

    2. According to Joshua 10:12-13, the earth stopped spinning at 1000 miles per hour, waited “a whole day” and then restarted. It’s the damnedest thing, but nobody else in the world even noticed that either. (Not the Egyptians, not the Assyrians, not the Minoans, not the Greeks, not the Chinese, not the Mesoamericans, nobody!) Of course, if it really had happened, everybody would be dead anyway.

    3. How did Noah get all those animals (I mean, just counting mammal, reptile, amphibian and bird species, that’s over 31,000 pairs (62,000 animals) and that’s not even considering the over 1,100,000 species of insects and spiders) on one little boat the size of a WWII Liberty Ship? “the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits” (Genesis 6:15). This is equivalent to a length of 487 feet, a breadth of 81 feet and a total height of 49 feet. (1 Babylonian cubit = 19.5 inches.)

    4. And then there’s the flood itself: Jewish scholars place it in 2150 BCE. That must have come as quite a shock to a lot of already existing bronze and iron age civilizations in Egypt, Ireland, India, Greece, Peru, Ukraine, China and a lot of other places. Funny thing is, every one of them forgot to mention it happening during their time.

    5. And what happened to the cockatrices (Jeremiah 1:17), the satyrs (Isaiah 13:21), the fiery serpents (Numbers 21:6), the unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), the leviathans (Psalms 74:13-14, Job 41 and Isaiah 27:1), vampires (John 6:53-57), and the dragons (Malachi 1:3 and 15 other references)? They are listed after the flood so Noah must have invited them along.

    6. And finally, if it took Yhwh (his original name) seven days just to create the earth, how did he manage to create over 200,000,000,000 galaxies with an average of 100,000,000,000 stars each in just one day (Genesis 1:19)

  127. sundiver says

    Dave Kilby, fundies are immune to things like evidence and data. I like to ask where the water for the flood came from and where it all went. The ad hoc bullshit they pull out of their asses would be amusing if I didn’t know the assholes teach this shit to their kids. I love the vapor canopy crap, so easy to destroy with a bit of science and, I hate this term, common sense. I’ve gone round and round with fundies on that one. I got a co-worker on one major point: The heat a vapor canopy would have to release in order to condense as rain would fricasse the planet, even if it comprised only 1/10 of the water required to flood Earth to a depth of 10 kilometers. To say nothing of the amount of sunlight that would make it to Earth’s surface if there was enough water in said canopy to provide one kilometer of water. And when he tried the “waters of the deep” gambit I asked him to stick his face over Old Faithful when it erupts, then imagine a few kilometers of water coming up from that deep. At that point I was told “you just gotta have faith”.

  128. says

    Sundiver, you are absolutely correct about “fundies”.

    I do a blog entitled “Grumbles From an Old Grouch” in which I touch on mythology and politics (sometimes they’re exactly the same thing). In response to some of my posts, I have run into more of the “mentally lazy” than I ever thought possible. I get a lot deeper into Genesis particularly in the “The Theory of Evil-ution vs The Myth-ology of Creationism” series.

    I first read the King James version back when I was eight. I thought it was the Christian version of “Hamilton’s Mythology”. Still do.

    Anyway, if you want to, check out my blog. I have a feeling you might get a kick out of it.

  129. erik333 says

    147 sundiver

    I tend to ask about salinity and and temperature of the flood water as well, and how marine life would cope.

    I disagree though slightly, I don’t think they are immune – some of them do recover sanity.

  130. Owlmirror says

    1. How come the Egyptians, who were among the best record keepers in the ancient world, never mention Moses, the plagues or all those Hebrew slaves escaping over a temporarily dry Red Sea? Seems to me the events would have caused enough commotion to at least be mentioned. You know, like the death of the Egyptian “first-borns”. I mean, come on, somebody had to notice.

    Because all of the record-keeping scribes just happened to be first-born.

    According to Joshua 10:12-13, the earth stopped spinning at 1000 miles per hour, waited “a whole day” and then restarted.

    Sheesh. The earth didn’t stop spinning; the sun stood still in the sky.

    They did it with space mirrors.

    How did Noah get all those animals (I mean, just counting mammal, reptile, amphibian and bird species, that’s over 31,000 pairs (62,000 animals) and that’s not even considering the over 1,100,000 species of insects and spiders) on one little boat the size of a WWII Liberty Ship?

    It was a TARDIS, obviously.

    And then there’s the flood itself: Jewish scholars place it in 2150 BCE. That must have come as quite a shock to a lot of already existing bronze and iron age civilizations in Egypt, Ireland, India, Greece, Peru, Ukraine, China and a lot of other places. Funny thing is, every one of them forgot to mention it happening during their time.

    Those weren’t human civilizations; those were all abominable amphibious Deep Ones, for whom the flood was a minor inconvenience.

    And what happened to the cockatrices (Jeremiah 1:17), the satyrs (Isaiah 13:21), the fiery serpents (Numbers 21:6), the unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), the leviathans (Psalms 74:13-14, Job 41 and Isaiah 27:1), vampires (John 6:53-57), and the dragons (Malachi 1:3 and 15 other references)?

    The cockatrices are poisonous snakes, the satyrs are goats, the fiery serpents are a different kind of poisonous snake, the unicorns were aurochs, the leviathans are whales, the vampires are Catholics, and the dragons are large reptiles.

    *pious tone* Don’t blame God for poor mortal translators. /*pious tone*

    And finally, if it took Yhwh (his original name) seven days just to create the earth, how did he manage to create over 200,000,000,000 galaxies with an average of 100,000,000,000 stars each in just one day (Genesis 1:19)

    The Earth is a carefully handcrafted work of art. Shaping the crinkly bits of the fjords takes time.

    The stars and galaxies were rapidly mass-produced by a soulless factory from non-renewable resources.

    ======

    These answers were produced by Because Bullshit™ Apologetics Ministries. BBAM!

  131. says

    @ # 141 Tuválkin

    Sadunlap wrote: «In 2008 I visited the French city Nim (pronounced “neem”).»

    You mean Nîmes. (That’s where denim “comes from”, by the way: “de Nîmes” = “from Neem”.)

    Thank you. I was too lazy to double-check the spelling. French spelling drives me crazy.

    My brother and I as little kids tried to find a place from a song on a map of Europe. We could not find “Mon-Trow” anywhere. When I was 29 I read A Farewell to Arms in which the two main characters at the end go to *M*O*N*T*R*E*A*U*X in Switzerland. AAAARRRRRRGGGGG!!!!

  132. sundiver says

    theignored, I’ve tried to go to Ham’s website but the stupid gets a bit enraging. The co-worker to whom I refered is not a stupid man, but just cannot let go of the deity delusion, why I cannot fathom. Michael Shermer says it’s because smarter people can rationalise away a lot shit, and I think that’s an interesting idea. My feeble little brain refuses to wrap itself around the convoluted thought process required to believe that shit, though. Erik333 ( are you the offspring of the anti-christ or just the semi-christ? ) you are correct that some do (re)gain rationality. If anyone wants to read a great refutation of “da Flood” I highly recommend a paper by Phil Senter refuting “flood geology” with data provided by, of all things, “flood geologists”. He points out that the geological column shows no evidence of a world-wide inundation and the flood geologists have admitted as much, even while still insisting that it really happened.

  133. says

    roeland666

    For me the problem is not only the obvious wrongness, but also the stupidity of the questions themselves. ” What did God tell Noah to build?” And then the next question is about the Ark, so if somehow you had forgotten it was the ark, the next question would have told you the answer to the previous question.

    That’s just bad test design, though. I’ve seen (and taken advantage of) the same kind of thing on tests covering perfectly legit material.

  134. unclefrogy says

    I am amazed when I rear someone trying to argue about bible beliefs as if they are in deed scientifically true., I assume they feel threatened by what people have discovered about the reality of things with the tools of science and reason. They obviously feel the need to dispute and try to use the same tools but they can’t because they do not understand them at all.
    Why don’t they just stick with the ultimate magic of their imaginary god because it really makes no difference what reality really is it appears like it does for reasons only the god knows anyway.
    the only proof they really need at all is any proof that magic exists because it is all miraculous and ultimately a matter of belief over reality.
    Keep poking them because it is a corollary of the old saying ” it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt”

    just keep them talking!

    uncle frogy

  135. opposablethumbs says

    Eh, you know someone’s gotta say it, sadunlap … French spelling is almost wholly consistent. Meanwhile, we get to have fun with cough and through and thorough and though and of course hiccough.

    Alllllllll together now …. an old chestnut but a glossy one …
    I take it you already know
    Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
    Others may stumble, but not you,
    On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
    Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
    To learn of less familiar traps?
    Beware of heard, a dreadful word
    That looks like beard and and sounds like bird,
    And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead —
    For goodness sake don’t call it ‘deed’!
    Watch out for meat and great and threat
    (They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
    A moth is not a moth in mother,
    Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
    And here is not a match for there
    Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
    And then there’s dose and rose and lose —
    Just look them up — and goose and choose,
    And cork and work and card and ward,
    And font and front and word and sword,
    And do and go and thwart and cart —
    Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
    A dreadful language? Man alive!
    I’d mastered it when I was five!

    /derail

  136. theignored says

    to “sundiver” at #153:

    I highly recommend a paper by Phil Senter refuting “flood geology” with data provided by, of all things, “flood geologists”.

    Do yo mean this paper?

  137. theignored says

    You know what’s funny? The spelling mistakes that one of those schools officials (this is a different creationist school) made when Hemant Mehta tried corresponding with them:

    Dear Sir,

    This particular student is NOT from our school… I would have to say that we completely agree with Mr. Ken Ham and his stand on a young earth. Like the school in the article, we firmly stand behind our beliefs. As the parents, knowing our stands, choose to send their students to our school, we do not apologize for our beliefs, nor what we teach to each student.

    As an institution, we applaud the courage of this particle school to stand up for the cause of Christ.

  138. theignored says

    Whoops. The link is supposed to go to the main article, not a comment.

  139. John Morales says

    [OT]

    theignored, there are no spelling mistakes in what you quoted.

  140. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    chigau:

    I dunno if it is all that dicey. That, with the obvious lack of parentheticals, looks much like my, well, my online, mode of discourse.

  141. birgerjohansson says

    If the fundies make films based on the OT, cannot we make a film about Jehowah’s lawyer? I mean, all the interesting stuff (the flood, the serpent in the garden, a child being floated down the river in a basket, even a resurrection in the NT) were stolen from other religions of the era. And since those religions and civilisations were older, you can bet their lawyers were pretty sophisticated at bleeding a plagiating* entity white. You think Jesus had it bad, think of the guy who had to take all those legal bullets for Jehowah.

    *Plagia…plagiazing…plag.. never mind.

    *A truly sophisticated civilisation has twenty words for “murder”. And a whole dictionary of legal terms.

  142. says

    the courage of this particle school

    It’s a very small piece of a much larger school that was crushed. Probably in the flood. Last week.

  143. says

    5. Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

    Bizzare. Children belong to themselves. And the community has an interest in protecting the children until they are capable of making their own decisions (on the basis that it’s easier to prevent problems like ignorance, etc., before they happen, since remedial repairs are often harder and more expensive than avoiding problems entirely) the parents act on behalf of the community and are able to inject their own opinions and beliefs but they don’t trump community standards – that’s why societies don’t allow parents to beat children or use them as sex toys: the child is not the parent’s property. It’s also why societies are starting to catch on to the idea that parents don’t have a right to raise their children in ignorance, or to saw at their genitalia, tattoo or pierce them, beat them, etc.

    Parents have way too much say over what happens to children, in general. One sign of advancing civilization is that the children are recognized as having individual rights and are not treated like chattel. First, though, women need to be freed (more) from patriarchy and superstition and I suspect a lot of children’s rights issues will follow behind that.

  144. txpiper says

    “How is deliberately raising a child to be ignorant not child abuse?”

    Ignorance is begging for a definition here. For most people this is going to be more about emphasis than deliberately depriving their kids of knowledge and information.

    ====

    “(You seen the little fragment the experimenter is holding between his thumb and forefingers, no?)”

    Yeah, I saw the picture. But considering that it is supposed to be hadrosaur skin, I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a little fragment.

  145. John Morales says

    txpiper … or decayed beyond scientific testing for the skin colour, either.

    (What’s your point?)

    So, from your link:

    “It is astonishing that we can get information like this from such an old sample,” said Tim May, CLS Mid-IR staff scientist.

    Our calendar reads roughly two thousand years, this specimen is roughly thirty-five thousand older than that.

  146. says

    No, it really, really, isn’t. The statement “The Earth is billions of years old” is a true statement. Teaching that it is false constitutes inculcating children with ignorance. This is a denial of facts, not a difference in emphasis.

  147. John Morales says

    [erratum]

    Our calendar reads roughly two thousand years, this specimen is roughly thirty-five thousand times older than that.

    [mutter]

  148. theignored says

    To John Morales at #161

    Actually, there is:

    As the parents, knowing our stands, choose to send their students to our school, we do not apologize for our beliefs, nor what we teach to each student.

    It should be “stance”, not “stands”.

  149. John Morales says

    So, txpiper.

    From your own link, these guys are examining a 70my specimen.

    (You don’t dispute that, right?)

    Therefore: what do you think of someone who utterly ignores the science and instead goes via stupid reasoning based on purported data from the translation-of-translations of a selection of oral mythology, and insists on teaching children this anti-science in the science classroom?

  150. John Morales says

    [OT]

    theignored, again: neither word is misspelt.

    (Your reference to that malapropic homophonism doesn’t indicate a spelling error, it indicates they were unaware of the distinction)

  151. Amphiox says

    Yeah, but that isn’t relevant to the “why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years” issue.

    Ah look. The texpip is back, perseverating on yet another of his favorite dishonest talking points.

    “Remained intact”, eh?

    No.

    The thing has been mineralized. Turned into rock.

    That’s why they need to use a friggin’ synchrotron to extract the tiniest clue that might help them figure a possible coloration.

    If it was actually intact, they wouldn’t need to do any of that to figure out its color. They’d just need to look at it.

    More pathetic dishonest wordplay from the texpip.

    blockquoteBut considering that it is supposed to be hadrosaur skin, I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a little fragment.

    Considering the size of the average hadrosaur? Yeah, that’s definitely a little fragment.

    Even more pathetic dishonest wordplay from the texpip.

    How pitiful.

    But it is nice for the texpip to bring this up. Since, you know, we actually have REAL samples of 6000-odd year old skin and we KNOW that it does not require a synchrotron to determine the color of that skin in life.

    So that fact alone proves that the hadrosaur fossil skin in question must by MUCH older than 6500 years or so.

    And thus is creationism disproved, and the evolutionary worldview demonstrated to have superior explanatory power.

    *POOF*

  152. txpiper says

    “The statement “The Earth is billions of years old” is a true statement. Teaching that it is false constitutes inculcating children with ignorance.”

    So how has anyone who doesn’t believe this, isn’t aware of this, or doesn’t care about this, been abused? And since you believe this true statement, you must be aware of advantages that have resulted from your unabused status. What are those?

    ===

    “Our calendar reads roughly two thousand years, this specimen is roughly thirty-five thousand times older than that.”

    So what?

  153. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    So what?

    So that to which you linked is 100% supportive of science and 0% supportive of young-Earth creationism.

    (That’s what)

    So, what do you think of someone who utterly ignores the science and instead goes via stupid reasoning based on purported data from the translation-of-translations of a selection of oral mythology, and insists on teaching children this anti-science in the science classroom?

  154. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So what?

    YOU ARE WRONG! WHAT ELSE IS NEW [OLD]. You can’t be right until you can provide evidence for your imaginary deity. Until the, if you have honesty and integrity, you shut the fuck up. But then, we all know you have nothing but bullshit all the way down, as you can’t put up, and you can’t shut up. Typical of liars and bullshitters.

  155. dfarmer1584 says

    As others have noted for Ham’s #5, parents are stewards of their children. Children do not “belong” to anyone–not parents OR the community; however, children are members of the community. They are the most vulnerable members of the community, and thus they need protections. Sometimes–often, in fact– children even need protection from their stewards. At the moment in our culture parents can pollute children’s minds exclusively with sectarian nonsense and it is considered the parents rights to do so. We will protect children’s bodies from bad stewards, but not their minds. I think we are ethically deficient in this area. We ought to do more for those young minds.

    Tricky ethical questions lurk here, but I, for one, hope to see the day when parents are REQUIRED to expose their children to a solid secular education, in addition to their sectarian fantasies. I am thinking very much along the lines of Dennet in “Breaking the Spell.”

    In any case, it IS an outrage that the “exam” shown above is seriously administered by any institution pretending to be a school responsible for educating young people.

  156. Amphiox says

    And since you believe this true statement, you must be aware of advantages that have resulted from your unabused status. What are those?

    Can the texpip really be so stupid or sunk to such depths of depraved dishonesty that he could, with a straight face, imply that knowing the a true thing about the world in which one has to life cannot result in an advantage over being led to believe a deliberate falsehood?

    Why am I not surprised?

    Pathetic.

  157. Amphiox says

    So what?

    Well, for one thing, understanding that the age of the earth numbers in the thousands of millions of years is actually needed to successfully find the geological formations that contain the sweet, sweet crude oil that the texpip loves so much.

  158. Amphiox says

    Amphiox, small minds have a problem with $BIGNUM.

    Apparently its an 11-bit mind, seeing as how it has trouble counting very much past 4004.

  159. Owlmirror says

    For most people this is going to be more about emphasis than deliberately depriving their kids of knowledge and information.

    For most people in general, or for most Creationist people? If the latter, then this is false, and you know it’s false: You’re lying.

    Creationist parents and teachers do not teach the geology that explains why there cannot possibly have been a global flood. They do not teach the geochronology and dating systems that explains why the Earth must be at least 4.5 billion years old. They do not teach the plate tectonics that explains the current state of the Earth and its geological features. They do not teach the cosmology that explains that the universe must be about 13.8 billion years old, or the astrophysics that connects the fusion in the stars with the composition of our own solar system. And they most certainly do not teach a proper understanding of the theory of evolution, and the evidence that supports evolution.

    If they have biology textbooks that mention evolution, Creationist teachers will glue or staple shut the pages that deal with the topic of evolution specifically.

    Creationists will censor, ban, and sometimes even burn books about evolution.

    They deliberately avoid learning those topics themselves, and they do indeed deliberately deprive their children of the knowledge and information about those topics.

  160. theignored says

    John Morales at #175

    (Your reference to that malapropic homophonism doesn’t indicate a spelling error, it indicates they were unaware of the distinction)

    Meh…just as bad.

  161. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    theignored, it’s worse than “just as bad”, and that’s only one dimension of the fractal wrongness within that response.

    I find this excerpt particularly amusing: “I would have to say that we completely agree with Mr. Ken Ham and his stand on a young earth.”

    (Attempted cargo-cult orotundity spoiled by evident ignorance of person, mood and even idiom is sad yet risible — a pipsqueak’s indignant bluster)

  162. theignored says

    Oh for fuck’s sake…isn’t it 50,000 years? Does one have to completely educate those clowns in the topics that they’re rejecting??

  163. Ichthyic says

    So how has anyone who doesn’t believe this, isn’t aware of this, or doesn’t care about this, been abused?

    Because you are stunting minds by filling them with lies and garbage, setting children back in their education.

    seriously.

    Imagine if you had decided on an entirely different mathematical ruleset, such that you simply made up consistent answers for basic math functions.

    for example, you decided to teach your childred that when you add the number 2 to something, it really means you added 5 to something, and when you multiply by 2, it really means multiplying by 3. you create an entire fictional ruleset for your imaginary mathematics, and indoctrinate your children with this.

    If you knew anything about how children learn, if you keep them indoctrinated with this false information for just a few years at an early age, they will NEVER be able to properly catch up and understand real math when they finally have to really do it in the real world.

    so, yes, you have literally robbed your children of a proper education, something the vast majority of them could never properly recover from. You have robbed them of their potential, just as surely as if you had lobotomized them with an icepick.

    Yes, it is abuse. In fact, I’m betting in the not too distant future, creationist parents will be sued in civil court by their fucked up kids, and rightly so.

  164. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    ”So, what do you think of someone who utterly ignores the science and instead goes via stupid reasoning based on purported data from the translation-of-translations of a selection of oral mythology, and insists on teaching children this anti-science in the science classroom?”

    What do I think? I think that kids should be taught that long, long ago, chiral amino acid molecules came from interstellar space and joined with other more terrestrial amino acids and through a series of poorly understood natural transformations, wound up combining into numerous task-specific proteins, and the end result was millions of plant and animal species generated and enhanced by occasional DNA replication errors. But children who are taught this should be told that since proteins don’t replicate, most mainstream scientists reject the protein theory and prefer an entirely plausible RNA-first theory.

    They should also be made aware that more exciting avenues are being explored all the time:
    http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/5464/ocean-ice-tubes-provide-clues-to-lifes-origin

    There is, of course, some risk involved with exposure, as their curiosity could lead to questions, or even doubts, and incredulity could creep in.

    ===

    ”…knowing the a true thing about the world in which one has to life cannot result in an advantage…?”

    I didn’t doubt the advantages. I just asked what they are, so I can appreciate the superiority.

    ”understanding that the age of the earth numbers in the thousands of millions of years is actually needed to successfully find the geological formations that contain the sweet, sweet crude oil”

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    “Two hours later a much cleaner truck—an oil carrier—pulls up to the other end of the plant, and the driver attaches a hose to the truck’s intake valve. One hundred fifty barrels of fuel oil, worth $12,600 wholesale, gush into the truck, headed for an oil company that will blend it with heavier fossil-fuel oils to upgrade the stock.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/anything-oil#.UYZzob2ICSo

  165. says

    Killian writes:
    @Marcus #1: The difference being that all these things are described in the Bible, which is the infallable word of God, and hence true.

    Oh really? So you think we should reinstitute slavery right? And how many farmers have you killed for planting two different crops side by side? And have you killed your father for touching your mother’s bed when she was having her period? Did you kill her for going out of the house when she was having her period?

    No, the Bible is not the infallible Word of God. It can’t be. It wasn’t written by God..it was written by us humans.

  166. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    Situation normal, Citation needed.

    There is, of course, some risk involved with exposure, as their curiosity could lead to questions, or even doubts, and incredulity could creep in.

    Science is always exploring, unlike you, who have found your answer with an imaginary creator/designer. There is no curiosity on your part. Merely trolling to attempt to create doubt about science amongst the evidence based crowd, with pseudo evidence, that usually says what you think it refutes. Your Schtick is tired and well refuted bullshit.

  167. kayden says

    That school administrator should take comfort in the fact that despite the “vicious attacks” by the godless, she can continue to teach her pupils pretty much anything she wants. I’m surprised that she takes umbrage at a little criticism.

  168. Amphiox says

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    How typical of the texpip to deliberately misrepresent, once again.

    Formation of oil is about pressure and temperature (also at least some time).

    But, as is clear in the very quote cited, I was not talking about formation, I was talking about finding the geologic formations that contain said oil.

    Typical pathetic texpip lying, yet again.

    Intellectual dishonestly all the way down.

  169. says

    BTW, roofing requires tons of math. Each material has different slopes, you need large fraction and minute angles to figure out is layers will layer right, temperatures to apply sheeting.

    Without the right angles, distances, and slopes roofs will fail. You can’t just pull the stuff off and put more on and pray it works. That’s just asking for failure. And what about new roofs? Gotta apply it right in the first place.

  170. Owlmirror says

    What do I think?

    You’re doing it wrong.

    I think that kids should be taught that long, long ago, chiral amino acid molecules came from interstellar space and joined with other more terrestrial amino acids and through a series of poorly understood natural transformations, wound up combining into numerous task-specific proteins, and the end result was millions of plant and animal species generated and enhanced by occasional DNA replication errors.

    Or in other words, you would not provide the actual facts of evolution, but rather you would demonstrate your pathetically poor understanding of abiogenesis hypotheses, and your distorted and dishonest understanding of evolution itself.

    They should also be made aware that more exciting avenues are being explored all the time:

    True, but they should not be presented by people as ignorant and dishonest as yourself.

    There is, of course, some risk involved with exposure, as their curiosity could lead to questions, or even doubts, and incredulity could creep in.

    Being as willfully ignorant as you is always a risk, of course. Those whose curiosity is honest will actually study the subjects they are curious about, instead of reading just enough to sneer at the scientists who are doing the research.

    Shocking idea, I know.

    I didn’t doubt the advantages. I just asked what they are, so I can appreciate the superiority.

    You don’t agree that the truth is necessarily superior to the false?

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    Obviously insufficient, else there would be no coal beds but only oil fields. Even reading the article, it explains that there’s more to the process than just “pressure and temperature”.

  171. Amphiox says

    Not to mention that if it were just pressure and temperature, and timescales much greater than 6000 years were not required, someone should be getting filthy filthy rich right now turning algae, plankton, by catch, and human sewage into sweet sweet crude on an industrial scale (and carbon neutral to boot!)

  172. Amphiox says

    So at last he comes clean with what he wants. He wants to teach children lies, falsehoods and distortions. He wants to teach a FAKE version of abiogenesis theory, intentionally misrepresented to sound ridiculous and completely different from what real abiogenesis theory actually says. He wants to teach a FAKE and incomplete version of Evolution Theory, that deliberately leaves out the most important parts that make the mechanism work. He wants to teach about holes in theories that he himself invented out of whole cloth, while deliberately omitting the fact that those wholes either do not exist or are in the process of being filled. He wants to sow confusion and doubt and leave the children vulnerable to the future presentation of lies.

    The classic con.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Utterly sickening.

  173. David Marjanović says

    Comment 44 wins 1 (one) Internets.

    The lions are not that picky… although I believe they prefer the food live and kicking (not being scavengers (as far as I know)).

    Lions are bigtime scavengers. And kleptoparasites. In some regions, they get most of their food by waiting for hyenas to kill something and then driving them away.

    [OT]… This made me avare of my own “privilege” to live in a town of the same aproximate size, with only two churches, both empty and silent most of the time, with the exception of ocasional funeral…[/OT]

    According to surveys, the Czechs are the second most godless people in the world, surpassed only by the East Germans.

    (The Pirahã weren’t asked, but look them up. They actually deconverted the missionary that was sent to them.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnatio_ad_bestias

    From there: “Also, a bishop of Saare-Lääne was sentencing criminals to damnatio ad bestias at the Bishop’s Castle in modern Estonia in the Middle Ages.[49]”

    And adults like finding their remains, especially things like this:

    *eyeroll* Melanosomes. Melanin is pretty stable stuff, like lignin or chitin; it preserves comparatively well, at least as well as keratin, though of course not as well as bone.

    To call it “intact” and even “skin” is a gross exaggeration. Keep in mind that, as a rule with way too few exceptions, science journalists do not understand what they’re writing about. Take everything they write with liberal amounts of salt.

    the vampires are Catholics

    O hai! I maded u this Internet from lavender cookies, and I did not eated it. kthxbai

    French spelling is almost wholly consistent.

    It goes one way. When you only know the spelling, you can strictly deduce the pronunciation, except for proper names and a few small common words; when you only know the pronunciation, you often have a choice of several options as to what the spelling might be.

    *Plagia…plagiazing…plag.. never mind.

    Plagiarizing. :-)

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    Fine, but why, then, don’t fossil fuels contain any C-14 except when there’s a radioactive ore nearby?

  174. says

    It must be comforting for those defending that school to pretend that the ones criticizing it are all Godless but sorry..quite a lot of us are Christians.

    The real Godless ones are the Creationists whose central “theory” is that God is a liar.

  175. Azuma Hazuki says

    @James: Yahweh is a liar. Try Matthew 10:23 for a start. I’m glad you’re aware enough to be able to criticize the real nutballs in your cohort, but your journey has only just begun.

    Read the Bible, really read it, and you will unavoidably come to the conclusion than Yahweh is worse than Cthulhu…infinitely worse, given that once Cthulhu drives you mad and kills you you stop existing, whereas your Yahweh intends to torture the majority of humanity for all eternity.

  176. Amphiox says

    Melanosomes. Melanin is pretty stable stuff, like lignin or chitin; it preserves comparatively well, at least as well as keratin, though of course not as well as bone.

    And in fact they’re not even necessarily looking for the pigment melanin or its remnants. They are looking for the size and shape of the melanosomes, which happen to correlate with color, at least in modern birds. And from that infer the color.

    The whole line of reasoning, of course, works because evolution is true and modern birds are descendants of ancient dinosaurs.

  177. Ichthyic says

    I didn’t doubt the advantages. I just asked what they are, so I can appreciate the superiority.

    you don’t doubt it, but you’re entirely ignorant of how the history of science has made your life what it is today.

    fuck me, but you’re a failure as a human being.

    why do you go on?

  178. txpiper says

    ”But, as is clear in the very quote cited, I was not talking about formation, I was talking about finding the geologic formations that contain said oil.”

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    ”He wants to teach a FAKE version of abiogenesis theory, intentionally misrepresented to sound ridiculous and completely different from what real abiogenesis theory actually says. He wants to teach a FAKE and incomplete version of Evolution Theory, that deliberately leaves out the most important parts that make the mechanism work.”

    You do, in summary, have a very frail worldview; a huge collection of hanging-by-a-thread issues, all kinds of chicken-or-egg nightmares, and endless giant gaps. I’m thrilled to not be stuck with it. But, in an overview, it does sound ridiculous, doesn’t it?

    I guess I did leave out the ethereal natural selection centerpiece. But I tend to overlook that because despite all the incantations and enchantments, it is still nothing but a process of elimination…still not a helpful fairy. Sorry for the oversight.

    ====

    ”you’re entirely ignorant of how the history of science has made your life what it is today”

    Actually not. I’m aware of who most of the founders of the disciplines were and what they believed. I also enjoy reading about the people who established schools and hospitals, and the vision, courage, tenacity and resources they invested. Have you ever noticed how so many institutions are still titled Methodist, Providence, or St. fill-in-the-blank?

    ”why do you go on?”

    Ha ha…I’m not without problems, but nevertheless rich in all directions, none of which are your punk business.

  179. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    ”But, as is clear in the very quote cited, I was not talking about formation, I was talking about finding the geologic formations that contain said oil.”

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    I cannot be the only one laughing.

  180. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    ”you’re entirely ignorant of how the history of science has made your life what it is today”

    Actually not. I’m aware of who most of the founders of the disciplines were and what they believed. I also enjoy reading about the people who established schools and hospitals, and the vision, courage, tenacity and resources they invested. Have you ever noticed how so many institutions are still titled Methodist, Providence, or St. fill-in-the-blank?

    And yet the religious beliefs of those founders are hardly needed to keep those institutions going. Funny how that works.

  181. Rey Fox says

    Nothing about the stupid reasoning based on purported data from the translation-of-translations of a selection of oral mythology thus far, I see.

  182. says

    All good and well, but aren’t 1-4 tu quoque fallacies?

    They would be if the only point PZ were trying to make was that Ham’s arguments were factually untrue–the reason tu quoque is a logical fallacy is because an individual claim can be true or false regardless of how big an assbag the person saying it is.

    However, in this case, one of the things PZ was trying to illustrate is that Ken Ham is very much an assbag, so pointing out his hypocrisy and double standards is perfectly on point.

  183. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    You do, in summary, have a very frail worldview; a huge collection of hanging-by-a-thread issues, all kinds of chicken-or-egg nightmares, and endless giant gaps. – txpiper

    Is there a Nobel Prize for Projection? Because if so, txpiper is surely a shoe-in.

  184. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Nor do you. Nor will you ever. Your deity/creator/designer is imaginary. Live with it.

    You do, in summary, have a very frail worldview; a huge collection of hanging-by-a-thread issues,

    No, that is you, with your imaginary deity/creator/designer, you can’t prove with solid and conclusive physical evidence. You have nothing but delusional blather.

    still not a helpful fairy.

    You’re the one with the fairy. You have no explanation. Nothing but delusional blather with imaginary causes.

    I’m not without problems,

    Your problem is that you can’t put up the scientific information to show you are right, and you can’t shut the fuck up like a person of honesty and integrity would do. Nothing but lies, more lies, damned lies, and bullshit. You have nothing cogent to offer to any discussion, only inane and unscientific blather.

  185. Amphiox says

    You do, in summary, have a very frail worldview; a huge collection of hanging-by-a-thread issues,

    Poor, poor texpip. Too busy looking at the useless skies for “threads” to notice the mountain holding it up from below.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7417/full/nature11514.html

    all kinds of chicken-or-egg nightmares,

    To busy making up his own dishonest dreams to open his eyes to actual reality.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/14/2794.full

    and endless giant gaps.

    Gaps will always appear large to those who willfully refuse to learn anything to fill them.

    E PUR SI EVOLVS.

    http://i.imgur.com/vb8ne.jpg

    I’m thrilled to not be stuck with it.

    Sorry, but you are, even if you are too dishonest to admit that to yourself.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence

    But, in an overview, it does sound ridiculous, doesn’t it?

    And yet, even your attempts to caricature the theories to make them appear ridiculous results in something more intelligible than any form of design theory.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZdCxk0CnN4

    I guess I did leave out the ethereal natural selection centerpiece.

    THIS time, you did.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://pleiotropy.fieldofscience.com/2012/10/pleiotropy-saves-day-for-evolving-new.html

    But I tend to overlook that because despite all the incantations and enchantments,

    Yet another flat lie. “Tend”? No. Sometimes you deliberately overlook it, to harp on mutations. Other times you talk ONLY about it, and ignore mutations. The only thing you “tend” to do is lie by omission, one way or another.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18594508

    it is still nothing but a process of elimination

    No.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35317/title/Humans-Under-Pressure/

    Sorry for the oversight.

    You should be sorry for your intellectual dishonesty and rank ignorance.

    But for that you’d actually have to be intellectually honest, and ethically decent, which you are not.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/29/the-evolution-of-the-country-mouse-and-the-city-mouse/

  186. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Or in other words, you would not provide the actual facts of evolution, but rather you would demonstrate your pathetically poor understanding of abiogenesis hypotheses, and your distorted and dishonest understanding of evolution itself.

    ♬ The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. ♫

  187. Amphiox says

    ♬ The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. ♫

    Standard texpip runaround.

  188. txpiper says

    Yeah Amphiox, I recall the Lenski’s iconic experiment where, after 31,000 generations, E coli, in an astonishing display of evolution, begins to use a gene that it already had. That is really heavy. So I’d teach the children how to extrapolate this for all it is worth, but I wouldn’t encourage inquiries about how this bacteria ever got that gene, or any others. Maybe, with very cautious language, gene duplications could be mentioned, but I would steer wide and clear of trying to explain that these are wholesale screw-ups that depend on further screw-ups to render the duplicate into something new and exciting. I would not, under any circumstances, ever get tangled up in accidental formation from scratch. If that ever has to be mentioned, wait until their ability to exptrapolate is firmly intact, so that they won’t expect an answer.

    The article you linked to is nonetheless interesting. I always like to see natural selection in full feathers:

    “The ability of E. coli to feed on citrate in the presence of oxygen is extremely rare; it occurs when E. coli picks up the necessary genes from other species. In its normal environment (inside us), natural selection must not favor these mutants.”

    I’m sure it doesn’t.

  189. John Morales says

    txpiper, Lenski’s epitomous long-term experiment is ongoing, and undeniable evidence.

    Wikipedia (myemphasis):

    In 2012, a team of researchers working under Lenski reported the results of a genomic analysis of the Cit+ trait that shed light on the genetic basis and evolutionary history of the trait.[5] The researchers had sequenced the entire genomes of twenty-nine clones isolated from various time points in the Ara-3 population’s history. They used these sequences to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of the population, which showed that the population had diversified into three clades by 20,000 generations. The Cit+ variants had evolved in one of these, which they called Clade 3. Clones that had been found to be potentiated in earlier research were distributed among all three clades, but were over-represented in Clade 3. This led the researchers to conclude that there had been at least two potentiating mutations involved in Cit+ evolution. The researchers also found that all Cit+ clones sequenced had in their genomes a duplication mutation of 2933 base pairs that involved the gene for the citrate transporter protein used in anaerobic growth on citrate, citT. The duplication is tandem, resulting in two copies that are head-to-tail with respect to each other. This duplication immediately conferred the Cit+ trait by creating a new regulatory module in which the normally silent citT gene is placed under the control of a promoter for an adjacent gene called rnk. The new promoter activates expression of the citrate transporter when oxygen is present, and thereby enabling aerobic growth on citrate. Movement of this new regulatory module (called the rnk-citT module) into the genome of a potentiated Cit- clone was shown to be sufficient to produce a Cit+ phenotype. However, the initial Cit+ phenotype conferred by the duplication was very weak, and only granted a ~1% fitness benefit. The researchers found that the number of copies of the rnk-citT module had to be increased to strengthen the Cit+ trait sufficiently to permit the bacteria to grow well on the citrate, and that further mutations after the Cit+ bacteria became dominant in the population continued to accumulate that refined and improved growth on citrate. The researchers conclude that the evolution of the Cit+ trait suggests that new traits evolve through three stages: potentiation, in which mutations accumulate over a lineage’s history that make a trait accessible; actualization, in which one or more mutations render a new trait manifest; and refinement, in which the trait is improved by further mutations.

  190. Tigger_the_Wing, Can Fly (provided xe uses an aeroplane) says

    txpiper, if those bugs had formed an entirely new gene from nowhere? Now that would have been strong evidence of intelligent interference. The fact that the mutation built on what they had already, shows that it was natural selection.

  191. John Morales says

    Tigger, txpiper has this thing about $BIGNUM and also holds that those 2933 base pairs being randomly duplicated required an improbability of 1 in 2^2933 to occur.

    (Too improbable to occur merely by chance!)

  192. thumper1990 says

    @txpiper

    ”understanding that the age of the earth numbers in the thousands of millions of years is actually needed to successfully find the geological formations that contain the sweet, sweet crude oil”

    It’s about pressure and temperature, not time.

    I have a BSc in geology, and this had me laughing so hard I nearly passed out. In the formation of hydrocarbons from organic matter, you think time is not a factor? Pffffft.

  193. alwayscurious says

    So I’d teach the children how to extrapolate this for all it is worth

    Except for a few minor points: there is direct evidence from experimentation backing up this claim…it can be replicated…it can be verified independently…and matches up to what we observe in the outside world.

    On the other hand, there is no evidence for a flood of biblical proportions: a handful of sentences in a book about how it rained for 40 days straight and covered everything. When it rains here for 40 days straight, we call that the “holiday season”–sometimes even a highway closes.

  194. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Txpiper thinks his inability to believe the science means something to anybody but himself. Science doesn’t give a shit about his OPINION, since only more science with new evidence refutes science, and his OPINION never is or will be evidence. But all ignorant creobots/IDiots pretend otherwise. Attitude, not facts and evidence, are all they have.

    Science isn’t done by criticizing the present theories. It is done by publishing your theory in an appropriate peer reviewed scientific magazine/journal, and further communicating it to the scientific community through follow-up papers in appropriate peer reviewed journals. It is a positive showing for the theory that makes for acceptance. The new theory must prove itself better than the old one. Txpiper is too scared to even attempt to publish his unscientific religious nonsense in a scientific journal; indeed, he has been repeatedly challenged to do so. His paper would only be laughed at and rejected as unscientific drivel, and he knows that. He won’t even present his theory to this blog, because he will be asked to evidence his imaginary deity/creator/designer, and he can’t do that. He has tried in the past and failed to provide one iota of conclusive physical evidence for said phantasm.

    He has been reduce to mere trollery, as he has nothing he can evidence to any scientific argument, and his purposeful inability to understand the science is his problem, not that of science. Deliberately ignoring the solid and conclusive SCIENTIFIC evidence doesn’t make his blather anything other than irritating and irrelevant noise. Irrelevant is an apt description of his OPINION on this subject.

  195. txpiper says

    Tigger,

    “if those bugs had formed an entirely new gene from nowhere? Now that would have been strong evidence of intelligent interference.”

    I’m surprised nobody has barked at you for this.

  196. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    I’m surprised nobody has barked at you for this.

    The ignorant are perpetually surprised.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m surprised nobody has barked at you for this.

    No, we’ll just bark at your inability to prove your imaginary deity/creator/designer exists. All you have is wishes and presuppositions. Not one whit of EVIDENCE. Making all you say and claim nothing but lies and bullshit.

    All starting with your IMAGINARY DEITY. Nothing but dishonesty all the way down, and you know intellectually, but can’t accept it emotionally. Hence your inability to acknowledge you were never in the argument.

  198. Amphiox says

    I’m surprised nobody has barked at you for this.

    You feign surprise because you are an intellectually dishonest habitual liar who thought you saw a chance to make a talking point.

    But because you are also a stupid, ignorant, incompetent liar, you have, in fact, made no point, except to demonstrate once again your pathetic lack of anything remotely resembling intellect or integrity.

    HONEST, intelligent people, who actually understand what the theory of evolution says and how it works, have no problem whatsoever with what Tigger said.

  199. Amphiox says

    I recall the Lenski’s iconic experiment where,

    To recall and to understand and describe honestly are two different things.

    after 31,000 generations, E coli, in an astonishing display of evolution, begins to use a gene that it already had.

    Let us look at that article, and see what you have “recalled”.

    Evolution has rewritten this little algorithm in the citrate eaters. As one cell in Lenski’s flask divided, it duplicated its DNA with one fateful mistake. It accidentally copied the citT twice.

    This is mutation. Thank you, texpip, for recalling that mutations occur.

    The new copy ended up near a different genetic switch–a switch that turns on neighboring genes in the presence of oxygen, not the absence.

    This is a BENEFICIAL random mutation (“mistake” is metaphor, lest you try to play dishonest word games again, you pathetic liar).

    So thank you, texpip, for recalling that BENEFICIAL RANDOM MUTATIONS occur.

    The scientists also found other mutations that arose during Chapter Three. While they have yet to figure out what those mutations did, the evidence they’ve gathered so far suggests the mutations allowed the bacteria to break down citrate more efficiently so they could get more energy from their food.

    Thank you, texpip, for recalling a second time that BENEFICIAL RANDOM MUTATIONS occur.

    It started in 2003, when the scientists there noticed something odd in one of the 12 flasks. It had become much more cloudy than the others. In a microbiology lab, that’s a sure-fire sign that the bacteria in a flask have experienced a population explosion.

    This is SELECTION. So thank you, texpip, for recalling that NATURAL SELECTION occurs.

    Mutations produce NEW PHENOTYPE. Natural selection FAVORS new phenotype. New phenotype spreads through the population.

    This. Is. Evolution.

    So thank you, thank you, thank you, texpip for “recalling” that the theory of evolution is TRUE.

    And finally:

    Chapter One (from generaton zeo to at least generation 20,000): Our hero, E. coli, picks up mutations that don’t seem to have anything to do with feeding on citrate. They might have helped the bacteria grow better on their stingy rations of glucose. At least one of those mutations set the stage for feeding on citrate.

    Chapter Two (around generation 31,500): The bacteria accidentally rewire their genome, so that a new copy of citT switches on in the presence of oxygen. Thanks to the mutations of Chapter One, this rewiring yields a modest but important improvement. Now the bacteria can feed a little on citrate, as well as on glucose.

    Chapter Three (from about generation 31,500 to 33,000–and beyond): The bacteria make extra copies of the new and improved citT. They can pull in more citrate; new mutations fine-tune their metabolism to grow quickly on the molecule. World domination soon follows.

    How typically predictable of you, texpip, you pitiful mendacious piece of leeched shit, to deliberately cherry pick one piece of the article and present it in a pathetically transparent manner to attempt, and fail badly in the process, to make a useless talking point that runs contrary to the overall message of the article itself, while ignoring all the other important aspects of that article.

    The existence of people like you, texpip, and I use the term “people” only in the loosest most metaphorical sense, is proof enough that this universe does not contain any sort of benevolent creator deity.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    I would not, under any circumstances, ever get tangled up in accidental formation from scratch.

    Only creationism ever talks about formation, of any kind, from scratch. So thank you, texpip, for conceding that creationism should not, under any circumstances, be taught to children.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Txpiper, liar, bullshitter, and presuppositionalist:

    http://pleiotropy.fieldofscience.com/2012/10/pleiotropy-saves-day-for-evolving-new.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17928853

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18594508

    Those are SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. EITHER PRESENT THREE PIECES OF PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO REFUTE SAID PAPERS, OR STAND AS A LIAR AND BULLSHITTER. Your OPINION is *floosh* dismissed before your OPINION is given.

    Welcome to science, which is PUT UP or SHUT THE FUCK UP. Only those admitting to the world they are nothing but liars and bullshitter try a third option.

  201. Amphiox says

    The Lenski experiment is not past 50,000 generations and has produced this:

    http://myxo.css.msu.edu/PublicationSearchResults.php?group=aad

    That’s 219 more scientific publications produced by this one experiment inspired by the theory of evolution than all the scientific publications produced by the entirety of creationism.

    And just scanning the most recent abstracts, we see more traits besides the citrate metabolism evolving before our eyes. For example:

    http://jb.asm.org/content/193/2/429.abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01049.x/abstract

    The theory of evolution is one of the most fruitful ideas humanity has ever produced.

    Creationism and ID are intellectually completely bankrupt.

  202. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    By the by, all those who keep claiming that PZed automatically bans anyone who disagrees with him (or the regulars)? txpiper has been inflicting his delusions on PZed’s blogs for longer than I have.

  203. txpiper says

    “By the by, all those who keep claiming that PZed automatically bans anyone who disagrees with him (or the regulars)? txpiper has been inflicting his delusions on PZed’s blogs for longer than I have.”

    I wouldn’t presume to understand Professor Myers. I expect he is like most people…sometimes in a pissy mood, sometimes gracious and tolerant. But I think he is prudent enough to recognize that you can’t keep a razor edge on your worldview with mutual admiration societies and support groups.

    Were I him, I might have spanked the tape players who are incapable of carrying on a rational discussion, but he doesn’t. Just guessing, I think that is because he is kind, and understands what a gruesome thing it is to be lonely. In that regard, this site is a refuge.

    I like PZ, and though I almost always disagree with him, I enjoy reading what he has to say. This is his online kingdom, and I try to play by his rules, though some of the minions and lackeys do not. (Do minions outrank lackeys?) That said, if he doesn’t like my thoughts and remarks, he can ban me.

    ===

    Amphiox, I’ll try to get to comment on your links tomorrow if time permits. In the meantime, try and settle down…you’re way too spooled up. Don’t lose sight of the fact that from your perspective, you are no more important than a termite, and when you croak, it will be at the same level of significance as someone farting. Relax and preserve your health. Stress kills.

  204. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, another irrelevant OPINION from txpiper. Not one iota of evidence for his imaginary deity, or anything else. Typical evasion of the hard truth.

    I like how txpiper talks about a tape recorder. Nothing but “I can’t see it”, “that can’t be right”, and dishonest evasion of the hard questions and even harder evidence from him. He could tape in his posts, and recycle them like he recycles his inane and irrelevant objections. Nothing rational, cogent, intelligent, or evidence based about them.

  205. Amphiox says

    Don’t lose sight of the fact that from your perspective, you are no more important than a termite, and when you croak, it will be at the same level of significance as someone farting. Relax and preserve your health.

    Don’t presume to think yourself entitled to LIE about what my perspective is, you sad, sorry, pitiful excuse for a semi-sentient entity. You should worry more about learning how to read your own mind clearly before attempted to read mine.

  206. Amphiox says

    I’ll try to get to comment on your links tomorrow if time permits.

    “If time permits”?

    Hahahahahaha…..

    With the exception of 3 of them, every single one of those links, texpip, I have already provided for you before. You have consistently ignored them all. I have a special folder on my browser’s bookmark page filled with links I have found for you and cited for you, which you have all deliberately ignored.

    And you will see them again and again and again, so long as you persist in fouling this place and refuse to give satisfactory answers to them.

    “If time permits”?

    You have had 5 fucking years, you pathetic fool and liar. You problem is not time. Your problem is you.

  207. Amphiox says

    It is telling that the texpip didn’t even recognize those links as old ones he has already been presented with. (Several of them not just by me, but by others as well, multiple times).

    What more proof does anyone need that he has never had any intention of engaging in honest discussion, ever?

  208. Amphiox says

    you are no more important than a termite

    To whom, texpip?

    How sad it is to see you assuming that, in a worldview without a god, human beings have no worth.

    I ask again, texpip. important TO WHOM?

    Should I presume to guess that, based on this statement, in your worldview, your worth is determined solely by what your god thinks of you? That what your friends think, is not important? That what your children is not important? That what your spouse thinks is not important? That what your parents think is not important?

    I ask again, texpip, no more important TO WHOM?

    Because if, without a god, the love my parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephew, uncles, aunts, friends, coworkers have more is “no more important than a termite”, then the love yours has for you is similarly “no more important than a termite”.

    Is this what you think of the human beings in your life? That they are termites? That just your god matters and everyone else is as an insect?

    What a pathetic, sorry shell of a facsimile of a human being you are indeed.

    I will tell you this though. I my worldview, the tireless termites, whose activities help maintain the habitability of this planet for things like human beings, are far, far more important that human beings like you, whose only contribute to this earth and this life is to make it worse.

  209. cassandratoday says

    I was with you until the last sentence:

    “Hypocrites and liars. Typical Christians.”

    That’s not true, and you know it.

    Or if you insist that it is true, citation please.

  210. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Or if you insist that it is true, citation please.

    Try this experiment:
    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. Something equivalent to the eternally burning bush. If you can’t evidence your imaginary deity, do you have the intellectual fortitude to acknowledge your deity doesn’t exist, and your babble is work of mythology/fiction?
    If you can’t evidence your presuppositions true, and you can’t admit your deity doesn’t exist, how does this not fit the hypocrite and liars statement?

  211. cassandratoday says

    There are truths about people, and about the human condition, that are not easily expressed, and certainly not explained, in mathematical terms. We talk about those things using other media. Poetry, symbolism, metaphor, and yes, mythology and fiction are examples. The fact that something is expressed in a non-scientific medium does not ipso facto make it untrue or false.

    Your suggested experiment is constructed to exclude such expressions of truth. It is that assumption, built into your experiment, that leads to your tautological conclusion.

  212. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    “Hypocrites and liars. Typical Christians.”

    That’s not true, and you know it.

    Or if you insist that it is true, citation please.

    Are you living up to all of the rules and strictures of your holy books? Have you cut off your family that you may truly know Jesus? Do you wear cotton or wool blends? If a Christian is not a hypocrite and actually lives truly by the bible, they would not function in society and would most likely be in jail after murdering their neighbor for mowing lawn on the sabbath.

  213. cassandratoday says

    Myeck Waters, yes, I live in the USA, and I know many people who are Christian, and who are neither hypocrites and liars, at least no more so than any typical person.

    I’ll admit to biased sampling. The vast majority of the Christians I know are not fundamentalists, do not take the Bible literally, and accept that science provides a valid explanation of those things that it explains.

    Maybe your sample of Christians is biased too, but in the other direction?

  214. cassandratoday says

    Ogvorbis, there are other kinds of Christianity than those that take the Bible as a book of literal instructions. Did you really not know that?

  215. cassandratoday says

    Myeck Waters, those were not evasive maneuvers. Put more simply: Nerd of Redhead’s experiment defines a priori as hypocrisy/lying anything that fails their experiment. In fact, the use of the terms “hypocrites and liars” in the article is intended much more broadly. It is to that broader — and intended to be more insulting — usage that I object.

  216. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    No shit, cassandratoday.

    And yet all of them (save for the UUs) claim that Jesus is the son of god because the bible tells them so. So they decide one part is literal and one part isn’t based on their beliefs (sounds like hypocrisy to me). Or they pick and choose the parts they like and abandon the other parts (also sounds hypocritical).

    Then, of course, you have all the true believers from among the 40,000 or so sects of Christianity (each one claiming that they, and only they, are right) who use cherry picked and altered parts of the bible to justify torture, murder, rape, slavery, misogyny, child abuse, patriarchy, and even obscene wealth.

    So, what is your point in being here?

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd of Redhead’s experiment defines a priori as hypocrisy/lying anything that fails their experiment.

    No, I define you not acknowledging the result of the experiment as being definitive on existence/non-existence. Then you either keep believing with hypocrisy, or your renounce your faith if you are a truthful person. But then, you pseudointellectual evasions keep proving PZ’s point. Until you can be wrong, you will never be right.

  218. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Cassandratoday,
    I do realize that there are “other christianities”. I was raised in one–a liberal Methodist tradition. There was much to admire–they were friendly to women and minorities, opposed the Viet Nam War before it was popular–and you were more likely to hear Gandhi quoted from the Pulpit than St. Paul.

    However, the ultimate problem is that not even the liberal Christians can quite define what it is they believe in. They say you have to make that leap of faith. However, if you don’t have any actual evidence, what direction do you leap? How do you keep the faithful from simply assuming God shares all their prejudices. If you cite the Bible as a guide, it doesn’t help much–particularly of one is gay or a woman or a child or a slave. The Bible is a work of men–and indeed of men who lived in a time where it was much better to be a man than a woman.

    Ultimately, I rejected even liberal Xtianity, because it didn’t resemble the world that I saw around me. Much of what it asked me to believe was absurd–and as Voltaire said, “If they can make you believe absurdities, they can make you commit atrocities.”

    To me, it makes much more sense to base things on evidence, or at least on things for which evidence is possible. I don’t see that deities fall into this category.

  219. cassandratoday says

    I don’t use the same definition of Christian that you do, Ogvorbis. For example, your description of Christianity doesn’t cover my own beliefs.

    As far as my point in being here… Well, I came here because I was interested in the followup on the 4th-grade-exam meme that’s been all over Facebook and elsewhere. The complete story, including the information about the school and the source of their curriculum, is helpful to me in fighting against crap like that. When I say, Oh that’s horrible, I don’t want someone to reply by asking if I bothered to find out if it really was a 4th grade exam, and where. I want to know. The response of the school leaders and the curriculum author are also interesting to me. To argue effectively against them, I need to know what they’re saying. I assume that PZ Myers’ reasons for posting the information are similar to my reasons for wanting to read it.

    However, the gratuitous, stereotyped insult at the end of the article had nothing to do with the information in the rest of the article. That kind of negative generalization does not help to resolve conflict, but rather fans the flames. I don’t think that was Dr Myers’ purpose; I’m guessing that he was letting off steam to cool his anger. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s appropriate, especially in a blog that’s devoted to reason. That’s why I commented.

    I’m still here because I’m hoping to find a conversation about these topics. I understand that you don’t want to have a conversation, so I won’t press you for one.

  220. cassandratoday says

    Nerd of Redhead, you’re saying that if something can’t be proven, it’s not true. That’s a fallacy. Specifically, you’re saying that if God can’t be proven to exist, then I’m a hypocritical liar for continuing to use religious language to discuss anything.

    I may be reading too much into what you wrote when I characterize your thought experiment as tautological. It depends on what you mean by something “imaginary”. If you mean something that doesn’t really exist, then you’re asking me to take something that by definition doesn’t exist, and prove that it exists. That’s a rigged experiment.

    If you mean something broader by imaginary — for example, that anything that comes from the human imagination is imaginary — then we may have something to talk about.

  221. cassandratoday says

    Ray in Dilbert Space (a great online identity, by the way), thank you for offering to engage in conversation. That’s certainly my preferred way — talking and listening to each other, rather than talking at each other and not listening. That’s how I talk with my atheist 34 year old son about these topics, as well as how I talk with two of my dear friends who are atheists. I find I learn from those conversations, and I like to think that they do too.

    I think I understand your feelings about religion. I was raised UU, and an important part of what I learned there was that each person has to make his or her own decision about religious belief. I saw good things and bad things about religion, and that some religions seemed better or worse than others. I was an atheist in young adulthood; a mainline Protestant (Methodist then Presby) from my late 30’s til my mid-50’s; and I now attend a non-denominational feminist Christian church. Having been on various “sides”, I agree that there can be tension between religion and science, and especially between religious orthodoxy and science.

    This brings me to the sentence in your letter that troubles me. “They say you have to make that leap of faith.” Taking that step — or making that leap — has been my choice; it wasn’t because I believed I had to. On the other hand, I have also made the choice not to be limited by anybody’s definition of Christian orthodoxy. For me — perhaps because of my UU upbringing — the spiritual/religious part of my life can’t be dictated by some human authority. It’s my choice.

    So I wouldn’t say “you have to…” to anyone else about their belief or non-belief. It’s not for me to say. If you’re a former-Christian-now-atheist, I say good for you. And I would hope that you would say the same for me, a former-atheist-now-Christian.

    I don’t assume that I know what all atheists are like just because I know something about what you’re like, or what PZ Myers is like, or my son, or my two atheist close friends, or Ogvorbis or the other commenters above.

    Similarly, I would hope that you don’t assume that you know what all Christians are like just because you know something about what I’m like, or about Ken Ham, or Pope Francis, or Julian of Norwich.

    I think that atheists and Christians can coexist peacefully. And that’s why I called PZ out on the unnecessary insult at the end of his essay.

  222. txpiper says

    ”I have already provided for you before. You have consistently ignored them all.”

    I’m sure I have for one reason or another. In this case, I was able to read the Pleiotropy piece. The first sentence was “What is the origin of new genes?”. But this article is not about the origin of new genes. It is about a very hopeful, save-the-day model about copied genes being improved by random errors.

    The problem with models like this, is that they are extremely narrow, just-so constructs. To fit this into the development of any complex organ or system involving lots of specialized cell types, proteins and regulating functions, requires all kinds of unlikely, uncoordinated things occurring in tandem. It isn’t realistic.

    I did appreciate that the writer had the wherewithal to briefly introduce functionalization problems, but he seems to view pseudogenes as casualties.

    If you have something in your collection that deals with actual new genes from scratch, I’d be happy to read it.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But this article is not about the origin of new genes. It is about a very hopeful, save-the-day model about copied genes being improved by random errors.

    Sounds like natural selection at work. Compared to your imaginary designer/creator, which you will not prove exists. Just like every other cowardly creobot/IDiot. Your inability to show courage in the face of reality is legendary loser.

    The problem with models like this, is that they are extremely narrow, just-so constructs.

    Compared to your “godditit”, without proving your god exists? Talk about narrow constructs of imaginary things. Your deity is imaginary until you show physical evidence to the contrary. And you can’t/wont’ do that….Dishonesty all the way down.

    If you have something in your collection that deals with actual new genes from scratch, I’d be happy to read it.

    If you have any physical evidence for you imaginary deity, we would be glad to see it. But there will be nothing, as there is nothing there. Your deity is imaginary.

  224. Dhorvath, OM says

    Who, anywhere, has ever suggested that a new gene would just pop into existence out of scratch?

  225. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think that atheists and Christians can coexist peacefully.

    Only if Xians acknowledge they delusional fools believing without evidence in imaginary things.

  226. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That kind of negative generalization does not help to resolve conflict, but rather fans the flames.

    Why should the conflict be resolved, unless Xians acknowledge defeat, as their babble is a book of mythology, and their deity is imaginary . Welcome to reality, at odds with all religious thinking and bullshit.

  227. Dhorvath, OM says

    at odds with all religious thinking and bullshit

    I sense redundancy.

  228. txpiper says

    “Who, anywhere, has ever suggested that a new gene would just pop into existence out of scratch?”

    Oh gosh no. They can’t “just pop into existence”. They have to evolve by being selected for.

  229. Dhorvath, OM says

    Then I don’t get your objection. Are you trying to suggest that genes were the first sequences of a self replicating molecule? It’s akin to saying that prokaryotes were people. Things change.

  230. says

    I don’t use the same definition of Christian that you do, Ogvorbis. For example, your description of Christianity doesn’t cover my own beliefs.

    Sigh, and this is another “HUGE” problem. Lets say I want to declare myself “Indian”. I am not from India, I am not a Native American, it probably unlikely that I, in any way shape of form, have had ancestors that have even set foot near one in thousands of years, or the other, until the last 150 or so. However, I have read a bunch of stuff on both Native Americans, tried, somewhat unsuccessfully to read the book, “Always Coming Home”, loved “Wind Talkers”, and have, at one point, written bits of India into the back story of a fictitious, online, character I play. So, I am going to simply declare myself “Indian”, and to hell with what the actual word means in any other context.

    Is that how it works, or do I have to tell my kid that its true, over and over, until they are convinced that Raven and Vishnu are both real, at which point “they” get to call themselves “Indian”, without being one?

    The “nice” Christians all seem to practice Homeopathic Christianity, the less actual Christian Faith in their faith, the more Christian they actually are. lol

  231. says

    Then I don’t get your objection. Are you trying to suggest that genes were the first sequences of a self replicating molecule? It’s akin to saying that prokaryotes were people. Things change.

    If I where to make a guess, “No, but someone/thing has to selected them.” Because, you know, the laws of physics can’t, in any way, allow anything to self organize, there has to be someone/something out there “deciding” that once in a while a coin lands on its edge, instead of either side, for example. Weird shit happening just once is bad enough, but billions of time, over mega-tera-hyper-gazzilions of attempts. That’s just completely impossible, according to ID people. Problem is, as Terry Pratchett famously put it, “…magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

  232. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    txpiper,
    Your mistake is in assuming that biology is highly tuned and optimized. It is not. Small changes in the genome will not always result in big changes to genetic functionality–and when they do, that will not always result in evolutionary failure.

    Let’s take the example of sickle-cell anemia. According to evolution, it survived because it conferred an advantage of immunity against malaria that allowed the bearer to reproduce despite eventual fatal consequences. According to your GODDIDIT hypothesis, your deity is a sadistic asshole that likes watching people suffer. Pick one.

  233. Amphiox says

    But this article is not about the origin of new genes. It is about a very hopeful, save-the-day model about copied genes being improved by random errors.

    No, actually it is not. And this comment once again proves that you, texpip, have not actually read the article, and are, once again, lying about it.

    Pathetic.

    If you have something in your collection that deals with actual new genes from scratch, I’d be happy to read it.

    If I had something like that, I’d be a creationist, and so would every biologist in the world, since “genes from scratch” is the foundational creationist idea. The onus is on YOU, the creationist here, to provide a citation about genes from scratch.

    Your deafening silence on this point over at least the last 5 years is telling.

    Pitiful.

  234. cassandratoday says

    Well, Kagehi, you must not be talking about my own understanding of Christianity, since you don’t know what it is. Or if you think you are talking about that, then you’re making an awful lot of unsupported assumptions. Either way, your post is essentially content-free.

  235. Amphiox says

    Nerd of Redhead, you’re saying that if something can’t be proven, it’s not true. That’s a fallacy.

    It is a fallacy only if you take the absolutist definition of “true”.

    But the absolutist view has no place in the real world.

    In the real world, if something cannot be proven, and it is necessary for practical reasons make a judgment about it (because in the real world we have to make judgments with incomplete information all the time, we provisionally consider it not to be true, and act accordingly, until such time as new evidence shows otherwise.

    This approach is NOT merely philosophical, or ideological, it is practical. It is the approach by which we minimize our probability of large error (the kind of error that leads to real world mistakes with disastrous consequences on real world concerns). This is the approach that science takes, and the success of the scientific method have proven the practical usefulness of this approach over and over and over again.

  236. Amphiox says

    Let’s take the example of sickle-cell anemia.

    Sickle-cell anemia was hashed over with the texpip extensively sometime in 2010 (I think. It could have been 2011).

    Let’s see if the texpip comes back repeating the same set of lies he used the last time….

  237. cassandratoday says

    You’re right, Nerd, I should have said that it’s possible for some Christians and some atheists to coexist peacefully. Clearly, you’re not one of those atheists. But I have seen that coexistence, so I know that it is possible.

    And are you really arguing against peaceful resolution of conflict? In that case, we really do have too little in common to have a meaningful conversation.

  238. Amphiox says

    Behold yet another example of the texpip’s pitiful intellectual dishonesty.

    Here, again, is the texpip lying about the pleiotropy article:

    It is about a very hopeful, save-the-day model about copied genes being improved by random errors.

    The problem with models like this, is that they are extremely narrow, just-so constructs.

    Here is the link to the pleiotropy article, again:

    http://pleiotropy.fieldofscience.com/2012/10/pleiotropy-saves-day-for-evolving-new.html

    As usual, the texpip deliberately ignores the most important part of the citation, which is here:

    The researchers then look at a preexisting parental gene in Salmonella enterica that has low levels of two distinct activities that allows them to grow without the amino acids histidine and tryptophan, respectively.

    There is far more than just a theoretical model being presented here. The researchers DID THE WORK. They did an experiment and SHOWED THAT THE MODEL WORKED.

    The texpip completely ignores this.

    The texpip also ignores that this article is a review/summary of primary research, and the primary research link is given, right in the article. Even though only the abstract is available due to the paywall, it is OBVIOUS in the way the texpip responded that he did not bother to follow that link, or having, followed that link, realized that it blew his intended argument completely out of the water, and so deliberately ignored it.

    Here’s the primary research link (which again, is in the article, in fact given TWICE).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6105/384.abstract

    And here’s what the abstract says:

    One example fitting this model is a preexisting parental gene in Salmonella enterica that has low levels of two distinct activities. This gene is amplified to a high copy number, and the amplified gene copies accumulate mutations that provide enzymatic specialization of different copies and faster growth. Selection maintains the initial amplification and beneficial mutant alleles but is relaxed for other less improved gene copies, allowing their loss. This rapid process, completed in fewer than 3000 generations

    Since it was behind a paywall, the author of first article provided more information in the comments, which again, it is obvious that the texpip did not bother to read. Here is what he said:

    Here’s what they say:

    We placed this bifunctional parental gene (dup13-15, D10G) under the control of a constitutive promoter that cotranscribed a yellow fluorescent protein ( yfp) gene. We also placed the T-his operon in a transposition-inactive transposable element Tn10d Tet close to the lac operon on the low–copy number (about two copies per chromosome) (11) F′128plasmid (Fig. 1C). Duplications and amplifications of this region are frequent and have low fitness cost (3), allowing experimen- tal study of the process within a reasonable time frame.

    Sounds like they waited for duplications.

    The original researchers directly experimentally demonstrated the evolution of two new genes from a single precursor following their model. They did it WITHOUT directly inducing any of the necessary mutations. They merely spliced the original gene they wanted to study into their model organism and let it grow in the right selective environment, and simply waited for all the necessary mutations to occur and two new genes evolved within 3000 generations.

    And the texpip calls this a “just-so construct”.

    It is indeed, just-so CORRECT.

  239. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh gosh no. They can’t “just pop into existence”. They have to evolve by being selected for.

    I know you are trying to be ironic, but you stated the truth. You’ve never show SCIENTIFIC evidence to refute random mutation, nor any SCIENTIFIC evidence to refute natural selection. Your OPINON isn’t and never will be scientific evidence. Merely the evidence you are a delusional fool.

    Still no evidence for your imaginary deity/creator/designer. If you presuppose its existence for your inane and illogical theories, you must show evidence for it.

  240. Amphiox says

    You’re right, Nerd, I should have said that it’s possible for some Christians and some atheists to coexist peacefully. Clearly, you’re not one of those atheists.

    As far as I know, Nerd of Redhead has never murdered, physically assaulted, or went to war against, any Christian, and at least some Christians have not murdered, assaulted, or went to war against Nerd.

    And Nerd does not live in a commune isolated from Christians.

    So, clearly, Nerd IS one of those atheists who HAS coexisted peacefully with Christians.

    Opinionated free speech does not negate peaceful coexistence.

  241. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    nd are you really arguing against peaceful resolution of conflict? I

    I’m saying that there is no argument. Xians are delusional fools believing in imaginary deities and mythical/fictional holy books. There is nothing to discuss. They must recognize their problem, and solve it themselves. Until they see their theology is intellectually and morally bankrupt, there is nothing to talk about.

  242. Amphiox says

    Oh gosh no. They can’t “just pop into existence”. They have to evolve by being selected for.

    I know you are trying to be ironic, but you stated the truth.

    The more the texpip attempts to feign incredulity to promote his transparently dishonest arguments, the more the texpip merely exposes just how ignorant, pathetic, and incompetent he is.

  243. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So, clearly, Nerd IS one of those atheists who HAS coexisted peacefully with Christians.

    Opinionated free speech does not negate peaceful coexistence.

    On my way to work (1.7 miles) I drive by 7 churches. Only entered one for a funeral, and didn’t antagonize anybody. Otherwise, peaceful coexistence. Until THEY knock on the door to my house, and I told them to fuck off…That is the problem, they won’t leave folks alone, they must proselytize…

  244. Lofty says

    cassandratoday, you are of course posting in a space that is home to “strident” atheists, where religious believers of every stripe are mercilessly mocked for their unevidenced beliefs. So to expect a cordial discussion here is pointless. In a nutshell, this is not a “safe space” for christians to blather in.
    However in the real world I am quite happy to converse politely with a christian, so long as their unevidenced beliefs aren’t being used to justify oppression, wars, murder child molestation and other unsavoury practices. Until every god-botherer stops using their influence to marginalise people who don’t subscribe to their worldview I will be polite as I need to be in my dealings with them and no more.
    ………………………..
    Now do you have any evidence your deity has any real influence in the world today? Name a phenomenon that can be directly linked to his presence. I wait patiently (if a bit ready to burst out laughing).

  245. Lofty says

    Hey Nerd, I regularly go out on a bicycle ride on Sundays, and I make a habit of giving the exiting parishioners in their funereal black cloaks the evil eye. Just by wearing coloured lycra and looking askance at them I am oppressing them! How dare I not look as dull as them!!!!!!!!!!

  246. alwayscurious says

    cassandratoday, there is plenty of room for meaningful conversation between atheists and theists. But when it comes down to “God did this” or “God wants that”, conversations get heated and evaporate. Try searching “Why I am an athiest” into the Pharyngula search engine–use the quotes around the phrase. The stories won’t provide conversation, but they will give a much friendlier window into the thinking processes around here.

  247. John Morales says

    cassandratoday:

    “Hypocrites and liars. Typical Christians.”

    That’s not true, and you know it.

    How do Christians rationalise military service by Christians in the light of the Sixth Commandment?

    (How many Christians turn the other cheek?)

    There are truths about people, and about the human condition, that are not easily expressed, and certainly not explained, in mathematical terms. We talk about those things using other media. Poetry, symbolism, metaphor, and yes, mythology and fiction are examples. The fact that something is expressed in a non-scientific medium does not ipso facto make it untrue or false.

    And here comes the typical Christian lying; the typical Christian doesn’t normally claim God is poetry, symbolism, metaphor, or mythology or fiction — that’s saved for when they’re trying to justify their magical Santa Claus for grownups.

    The vast majority of the Christians I know are not fundamentalists, do not take the Bible literally, and accept that science provides a valid explanation of those things that it explains.

    So… Christian creationists are a tiny minority of Christians, according to you?

    Ogvorbis, there are other kinds of Christianity than those that take the Bible as a book of literal instructions. Did you really not know that?

    Funny that they all refer to the Ten Commandments, and not the Ten Figurative Suggestions, then.

    I’m still here because I’m hoping to find a conversation about these topics. I understand that you don’t want to have a conversation, so I won’t press you for one.

    Hey, I’d love to have a conversation with you!

    (You can open one at any time in Thunderdome)

    I think that atheists and Christians can coexist peacefully. And that’s why I called PZ out on the unnecessary insult at the end of his essay.

    Of course we can, though just like a Christian you imagine that describing your ilk honestly is insulting.

  248. Ulysses says

    cassandratoday @258

    I think that atheists and Christians can coexist peacefully.

    I’ll be happy to coexist with Christians the moment they stop using their religion to push various socio-political agendas. Same-sex marriage should not be outlawed because God doesn’t like what gays do in bed. Mythology should not be taught in school in place of science. Pedophile clergy should not be protected by their church’s “seal of confession.”

    But you say you’re all in favor of teaching evolution in public schools, two adults should be able to marry if they want, and child-raping priests should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You (this is a generic “you”) also think that other Christians and theists should be able to believe whatever they want. That makes you an enabler for fundamentalists and other extremists. When you start telling Pat Robertson to stop using Christianity to promote a far-right political agenda then maybe I’ll have some respect for you and your position.

  249. cassandratoday says

    cassandratoday, you are of course posting in a space that is home to “strident” atheists, where religious believers of every stripe are mercilessly mocked for their unevidenced beliefs. So to expect a cordial discussion here is pointless.

    Thank you, Lofty, for explaining the norms of this space. As I said earlier, I’m interested in a conversation, so I won’t be spending any more pointless time here.

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    s I said earlier, I’m interested in a conversation, so I won’t be spending any more pointless time here.

    Have the conversation with your fellow believers, and have then keep religion where it belongs. The home and the church. No place else. That is the conversation you should be having.

  251. thumper1990 says

    Aw, I missed all the fun! Late to the party again.

    Regarding cassandratoday’s point about Atheists and Christians co-existing peacefully, it is indeed perfectly possible. I have many Christian friends, I have Sikh friends, and I have some Muslim friends. I love them all very dearly, but I still think they are wrong and that their beliefs are stupid. And I do not shy away from telling them so if they insist on talking about them.

  252. John Morales says

    cassandratoday:

    As I said earlier, I’m interested in a conversation, so I won’t be spending any more pointless time here.

    What was that you were spouting earlier about your typical Christian not being a liar and a hypocrite?

    Seems to me it’s not conversation you seek, it’s the opportunity to speak your mind while enjoying the undue respect to your religiosity to which you feel entitled.

    (My invitation back @287 remains open, should you choose to assuage your interest)

  253. cassandratoday says

    John Morales — Lofty was quite clear in saying that “to expect a cordial discussion here is pointless”. If cordial discussions are not possible here, and a cordial discussion is what I want, then no, I don’t feel the least bit hypocritical for not engaging here.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If cordial discussions are not possible here, and a cordial discussion is what I want, then no, I don’t feel the least bit hypocritical for not engaging here.

    We have the fact nobody is playing by your inane rules of “cordial discussion”, and you still won’t fade into the bandwidth? Hypocrite, with your actions and words a prima facie evidence of being one.

  255. Amphiox says

    If cordial discussions are not possible here, and a cordial discussion is what I want, then no, I don’t feel the least bit hypocritical for not engaging here.

    And yet, here you are, still engaging.

  256. cassandratoday says

    And regarding 287, John, I don’t mean the kind of conversation where you change what I say, and then disagree with that as a way of disproving what I said. Nor does the response of “You’re lying” count as civil discussion.

  257. John Morales says

    cassandratoday, leaving aside that Lofty speaks for Lofty and not for me, let’s consider changing what you say: until Lofty mentioned cordiality you claimed you were merely seeking conversation about these topics — “I’m still here because I’m hoping to find a conversation about these topics.”

    (What, am I not being civil or cordial to you right now?)

    PS Speaking of civility, did you take the time to read the commenting rules before commenting?

  258. Amphiox says

    I’ll go talk with some rational atheists now.

    You already were.

    But you would have to know how to recognize rationality to realize that.

  259. Lofty says

    cassandratoday, my humble apologies if I seemed to be a bit rude. If you want a chat on why you think religion should be afforded respect by atheists, go for it. I’m all eyes and ears. Hit me with your best rhetoric!

  260. thumper1990 says

    Nor does the response of “You’re lying” count as civil discussion.

    It does if you’re lying.

  261. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll go talk with some rational [accommodating] atheists now.

    Fixed that for you. You don’t want discussion, you want us to bow down and give your religion the privilege you think it deserves. We give religion the privilege we think it deserves–none.

  262. Amphiox says

    Not to mention, the kind of passive-aggression, deliberately-seeking-to-find-offense prickliness demonstrated by cassandratoday is rather non-cordial in and of itself.

    And barreling into another group’s social space as an outsider, and loudly demanding that everyone there suddenly start conforming to your personal definitions of politeness, contrary to the long established customs of the place, is not particularly cordial either.

  263. txpiper says

    “If I had something like that, I’d be a creationist, and so would every biologist in the world, since “genes from scratch” is the foundational creationist idea. The onus is on YOU, the creationist here, to provide a citation about genes from scratch.”

    No, you must be thinking of ex nihilo, from nothing.

    Once upon a time, there were no genes, but between then and the point where gene duplication began to occur, some genes had to develop with no pattern (and of course, no role or purpose). So what are the prevailing hypotheses for getting to a point where there genes to be copied? This is one of the large gaps I mentioned somewhere above.

  264. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Txpiper, Funny, where you see “a huge gap,” I see an area of active research. A hundred years ago the entire mechanism of genetic was a mystery. Fifty years ago, the idea of decoding the entire human genome was inconceivable. As long as researchers keep looking for answers, we continue to make progress. That stops the second you dismiss the idea of progress with a simple “GODDIDIT”.

  265. txpiper says

    “How do Christians rationalise military service by Christians in the light of the Sixth Commandment?”

    There are several Hebrew words for kill. The one used in the Decalogue is about homicide. A different word is used for acts of war and executing criminals.

  266. says

    Well, Kagehi, you must not be talking about my own understanding of Christianity, since you don’t know what it is.

    On the vague chance you haven’t actually taking one persons statements of this place as true to all of them, let me just say that when someone is unwilling to state what their position is, its a bit hard to do anything but guess as to what it is, based on past experience.

    In my experience, there is a wide range of definitions for “Christian”, it ranges from what the church would have accepted, right around when they where cherry picking myths to make up the NT. In that context, not believing their exact version means “not Christian”. On the other end of the spectrum, there is the modern, “Jesus may have just been a man, but as long as you ignore some of the odd stuff, or crazy stuff, or things attributed to him, and the future, in Revelations, he had great ideas. Now.. when was my Chakra based Yoga class, run by a Wiccan.. Right.. Tuesday. See you there?”

    Basically, Christian can mean anything, or nothing, and until someone is clear on what their version actually believes, one can hardly hold a rational, never mind irrational, discussion with them on issues, since what their position on any one of those issues, including god, Jesus, and even faith and prayer, are, never mind biology, genetics, what is proper education in schools, and so on, may as well be guessed at, by placing every possible position imaginable, on a dart board, and firing a shot gun at it. That is about how “clear” calling yourself “Christian”, then saying, “I would like to discuss these issues.”, is.

    We have some Christians here, though, not many, and there are some on a number of other similar sites, who support most of the same principles, but try to avoid trigger points. They do this by making clear what their actual positions are, and why. The ones that show up and say, “I am Christian, and want a conversation.”, just trigger the shotgun, and who knows what someone will accuse them of.

    That said, I stand by the assertion of the Homeopathic Christian. Its somewhat ironic that, in reality, just like when talking about Orthodox Jews, vs. secular Jews, the reality of what “most” Christians follow is not, by the original definitions, actually Christian. This is an important point, I think. The fundies are right. Liberal Christians are not, in the strictest sense, anything at all like “old world” Christians. Why? Because the whole entire mess of insane stuff they thought was true contradicts reality, and often our basic humanity as well. So, you want a medal because you can call yourself something that rejects the insanity, the horrors, the injustice, and so on, from what the word originally meant? Fine, you can have a medal. Wait, you also want us to believe that, “But all the critical bits are true, including Jesus, and its OK to cherry pick the trinkets from old world Christianities corpse? Uh… then again, that doesn’t deserve a medal, since its just a desperate attempt to hold onto a name, which means nothing at all what you want it to, and a god, which, by ***everything*** described in the Bible, including the idea of committing a false human sacrifice, to repay himself for something that never happened in the first place, isn’t the god you claim to follow either (assuming of course that my aim with the shotgun is a bit closer to the mark this time. Its so hard to tell, given how wide the shot spreads, and how random the results are…)

  267. txpiper says

    “where you see “a huge gap,” I see an area of active research”

    Well, that’s fine. But I can find all kinds of happy stuff about gene duplication, and not much at all about the formation of original genes. I can appreciate your default to faith, but that is a gaping hole to fill with random, unguided natural accidents. Genes are very complex things, and there are one hell of a lot of them. I read where in the last few years, ophthalmologists have identified hundreds of genes associated with eye disease, out of thousands associated with eyes and vision. You might think that there was one original vision gene that was duplicated thousands of times. or a few dupicated hundreds of times, or hundreds duplicated a few times. But whatever you think, you should actually think, and have something better than a sappy slogan to offer. All you are doing is saying mutations/selectiondidit.

  268. says

    Once upon a time, there were no genes, but between then and the point where gene duplication began to occur, some genes had to develop with no pattern

    What the other guy said. But, also.. We have things like how mitochondria took up residence in some cells, instead of getting eaten. One doesn’t need to start out with “complex”. One needs only “replication”. A lot of chemicals self organize. We even have Prions, which, while normally dormant, and, with a small change, start replicating in massive amounts, by directly converting other proteins into new copies of themselves. What you need is this:

    1. A chemical that can replicate and self organize. – very common, crystals do this all the time, just not in a complicated way.
    2. Conditions where “variations” on this chemical can happen.
    3. Conditions where these variations stabilize, and link up, to make more complex replicators.

    Once you get them linking up, it becomes possible to get a string of near identical, linked, chemical sequences, any one of which can mutate, or even duplicate, during a copy. Its not hard to get from there to two groups of such chemicals, in chains, interacting, and from that, basic viral DNA, with the “basic” conditions still existing to allow them to replicate. But, yeah, there are unknowns. We don’t know what the likely starting point in the process was. There are literally a lot of bad candidates, and, ironically, once even a single cell organism existed, the odds of such a precursor lasting long enough to be detected, before being eaten, becomes very slim. Its a bit like looking for wagons, in a city that has been snow locked so long they have burned everything short of their own houses. You won’t find how they “really” got there, because they burned all the wagons ages ago. Same with biology. Such simple chemicals, assuming you could find them at all, would exist, if at all, only in the “baseline” intermediary steps, in cell metabolism, because, otherwise, they would get eaten so fast, by microbes, that you would never find one. And, looking at such things in modern cell metobolics… might not help either, any more than you might expect to find examples of machine language from ENIAC, on a modern PC. The “original” precursors may not either a) form often, or b) at all, under modern conditions, where there is already complex life, using up the chemicals from which it all started.

    That said, we do *still* find that many of the baseline chemicals that form DNA/RNA form in certain conditions, naturally. So.. The question may not be, “what chemicals started it all”, so much as, “what combination, in what amounts, with the right trigger event(s), let them link up into something more complex, and start replicating as a DNA/RNA strand, instead of just distinct, independent, chemicals?”

    This isn’t anything close to as huge of a gap.

  269. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, you must be thinking of ex nihilo, from nothing.

    Your deity came from nothing. And you have no way it was formed from nothing. Your ideas are nothing….

  270. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can appreciate your default to faith, but that is a gaping hole to fill with random,

    Sorry, our EVIDENCE is not FAITH, rather reality. FAITH is what you have in your imaginary deity. Something there is no logical reasons for it to exist, and no evidence for it either. It only exists as delusion between your ears. Nothing but blather from an fool.

  271. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Txpiper,
    Research continues to progress on our understanding of the genetic code. The second you say, “GODDIDIT,” that progress stops. That is your problem–the think you already know the answer, so you don’t look further. Science has filled in most of the gaps. It continues to progress–doesn’t it make sense to let it continue to make progress. I have yet to hear any biologist say they are utterly stymied.. Funny how they see opportunity where yo see impossibility–now which of you has a better chance of being right?

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But whatever you think, you should actually think, and have something better than a sappy slogan to offer.

    You’re the one with the sappy slogan “goddidit”. Since your deity never existed. Try reality, where imaginary things are ignored. Like your alleged intelligence, alleged cogency about science, and your delusional deity.

  273. Amphiox says

    No, you must be thinking of ex nihilo, from nothing.

    No that is not what I am thinking. Do not presume to put words in my mouth, you pathetic dishonest hack.

    Genes are very complex things, and there are one hell of a lot of them.

    Any creator capable of creating genes would have to be even more complex.

    Thank you for admitting that creationism is much more improbable that abiogenesis.

  274. Amphiox says

    But I can find all kinds of happy stuff about gene duplication, and not much at all about the formation of original genes.

    Ah yes, the same old pitiful dishonest pattern. Having been completely embarrassed on the subject of evolution, the texpip runs, whipped dog that he is, back to abiogenesis, just as, early on this same thread, having been thoroughly dismantled on the subject of abiogenesis, the texpip tried to run to evolution.

    It doesn’t matter where you run, texpip, you will be humiliated over and over again, because abiogenesis and evolution are both reality.

  275. Amphiox says

    All you are doing is saying mutations/selectiondidit.

    “Saying”?

    No, we are SHOWING that mutations and selection did it.

    And just as I expected, you have attempted to reply to this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3519909/

    What a pathetic dishonest coward you are.

    Here are more citations, which you will, once more, dishonestly ignore.

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/21/lifes-rocky-start/

    http://www.nature.com/news/how-life-emerged-from-deep-sea-rocks-1.12109

    http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2812%2901438-9

  276. Amphiox says

    but that is a gaping hole to fill with random, unguided natural accidents

    Just because you in your pitiful dishonest incompetency THINK a hole is “gaping”, does not mean that it is.

    Random, unguided, natural accidents HAVE BEEN SEEN IN REAL-TIME filling a variety of gaps.

    A creator entity has NEVER BEEN SEEN filling even the smallest of gaps.

    When faced with a bunch of gaps of varying sizes which we do not yet know how they were filled, what is a more reasonable starting point? To posit a mechanism WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN filling other, similar gaps, or to call on something WE HAVE NEVER SEEN, whose very existence is itself a gap bigger than all the other gaps we seek to explain combined?

    Creationism is a bankrupt idea. It does not fill any gaps of any kind in any way at all. All it does is replace small gaps with even bigger gaps.

  277. says

    @ ARIDS

    The second you say, “GODDIDIT,” that progress stops.

    You might want to point out that the whole “GODDIDIT” gambit has been tried before, by a completely different religion: Islam.

    The wonderful flourishing of Islamic science and mathematics came to a fairly grinding halt in the regions that followed Al-Ghazali‘s “GODDIDIT” rejection of cause and effect. Science can only be right if it reaches the same conclusions as revealed religion. But as it can only ever reach these same conclusions, it is superfluous and a waste of time.

  278. says

    cassandratoday:

    I’ll go talk with some rational atheists now.

    You want the atheists down the hall. They’re called accomodationists. They want to work with theists to achieve…something.
    Despite your pathetic, thinly veiled insult (which puts you firmly in the hypocritical camp, b/c y’know you wanted cordial discussion), the atheists here *are* rational. You are just too accustomed to discussing your beliefs and having them respected. *Here*, you do not get get accorded undeserved respect. Having your beliefs not respected /= irrational. This is clearly not the space for you because you cannot handle this.

  279. Rey Fox says

    Never fails to amaze me when someone will declare that the voluminous scientific information on evolution out there is full of holes, but will pore over a musty old book of Middle Eastern myths for every scrap of whatever.

  280. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Rey Fox, that is simple–there are no holes in the Bibble. For there to be holes, there must be substance in which the holes can dwell. The Bibble has no substance, therefore no holes.

  281. txpiper says

    Kagehi,

    ”1. A chemical that can replicate and self organize. – very common, crystals do this all the time, just not in a complicated way.”

    Yes, in a very uncomplicated, nucleic acid-free way, which completely disassociates them from biology.

    ”2. Conditions where “variations” on this chemical can happen.

    There are labs all over the world, staffed with bright researchers who can impose and control every “condition” imaginable, far beyond natural circumstances. But decades since Miller, whose design included much more than wild conditions, they have produced nothing significant.

    ”3. Conditions where these variations stabilize, and link up, to make more complex replicators.”

    First, you’ve hopped to the happy stabilization and linking, but before the variations and conditions were ever established with testable results. This is not unlike celebrating gene duplication without ever having accounted for how (and chicken/egg style why?) any particular purposeless gene self-assembled itself. That said, you can’t just assume that variations become stable and link up just because the narrative requires it.

    ”That said, we do *still* find that many of the baseline chemicals that form DNA/RNA form in certain conditions, naturally.”

    No, but hell no, we do not. Like Moynihan said, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. There is absolutely nothing significant to account for a biological homochiral bias. This is yet another, we’re-working-on-it, faith-based abyss.

    ”This isn’t anything close to as huge of a gap. ”

    Yeah, it is….and just one in a long list. You’re trivializing incomprehensibly complex things.

    Before the human genome project, it was believed that we might have as many as 100,000 genes. It is now down to something like 23,000. What does that mean?

    ===

    “Ah yes, the same old pitiful dishonest pattern. Having been completely embarrassed on the subject of evolution, the texpip runs, whipped dog that he is, back to abiogenesis”

    No, I’m not dishonest, nor embarrassed, nor running. I want to hear your thoughts or see your citations concerning original genes…nice duplicatable genes that can be easily, if accidentally, altered into neo-functional genes. That is all kinds of gaps past the self-assembly of amino acids from space somehow hooking up with the rest of the regrettably chiral family, so this is about about biology, not abiogenesis. So try and control yourself, and actually confront just this issue. Feel free to insult me, and call me anything you want, but try to focus in between your spasms, and actually address this. Can you do that? I bet you can.

  282. chigau (違う) says

    Before the human genome project, it was believed that we might have as many as 100,000 genes. It is now down to something like 23,000. What does that mean?

    Are you serious?
    “What does that mean?”
    Really?
    Do you think the 100,000 is a failed prophesy?

  283. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    try to focus in between your spasms, and actually address this. Can you do that? I bet you can.

    Fuck you, you goddamned mealymouth bastard. Does your mama know you’re such lowlife coward that you have to sneak around calling people “spaz” and pretending you’re Mr. Rogers talking to the poor retarded children? Yeah, I bet your family is all kinds of proud of the way you behave.

    You’re beneath contempt.

  284. Ichthyic says

    You’re trivializing incomprehensibly complex things.

    dude, you’re such a fucking nitwit, you’d probably chastize someone for “trivializing” absurdly large numbers.

  285. Ichthyic says

    Ha ha…I’m not without problems, but nevertheless rich in all directions, none of which are your punk business.

    time to confine you to thunderdome methinks.

  286. Ichthyic says

    I’m aware of who most of the founders of the disciplines were and what they believed.

    that’s just it, fuckwit… that’s the irrelevant bit, and why you are FUCKING IGNORANT.

    deeeyamn.

  287. chigau (違う) says

    Has anyone ever figured out why txpiper lacks the ability to do blockquotes?

  288. says

    @ chigau

    Has anyone ever figured out why txpiper lacks the ability to do blockquotes?

    Why should txpiper bother to learn about Internet etiquette when it is all irrelevant compared to his YHWH anyway? Further: why bother with the nature of reality when it is all to be replaced by a harp and a fluffy cloud in a few years hence?

  289. Amphiox says

    No, I’m not dishonest, nor embarrassed, nor running.

    Oh yes, you absolutely are.

    I want to hear your thoughts or see your citations concerning original genes…nice duplicatable genes that can be easily, if accidentally, altered into neo-functional genes.

    Case in point. I’ve already given you multiple citations on this subject, which you continue to ignore.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    Intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

    Pathetic.

  290. Amphiox says

    There is absolutely nothing significant to account for a biological homochiral bias.

    This blatant lie was refuted at the very beginning of the last thread you infested, and again multiple times on this thread.

    And here you are, blithely repeating the falsehood as if all those prior refutations had never been offered to you.

    Shamelessly pathetic.

    Before the human genome project, it was believed that we might have as many as 100,000 genes.

    Another lie.

    Before the human genome project there was no consensus about how many genes humans had. Some estimates were as low as 30,000 (which as it turns out was pretty close), others as high as 200,000.

    Once more the odious texpip cherry picks and misrepresents, and exposes himself as nothing more than a pitiable fool and liar.

    It is now down to something like 23,000. What does that mean?

    It means that evolutionary science has progressed. It means that thanks to ability of the theory of evolution to produce testable hypotheses, we now know more about what genes are and how they work than we did before. (It also means that it is easier and less complex to evolve a being with 23,000 genes than 100,000 genes, so thank for admitting that your ‘soooo complex’ argument is a crock of shit, just like the rest of you)

    It means that, once again, evolution has helped advance human knowledge while creationism has done nothing but twiddle its thumbs in the corner and drool.

    It means that you, texpip, in thinking that this was somehow a point you could make, are exposed once more as an incompetent fool and sickeningly banal liar.

    Pitiful.

  291. Amphiox says

    try to focus in between your spasms

    As someone who professionally treats people suffering from epilepsy, let me add that a man who could make a statement like this in a context like this is beneath contempt.

  292. Amphiox says

    But decades since Miller, whose design included much more than wild conditions, they have produced nothing significant.

    Yet another lie by the texpip.

    In this thread and multiple prior threads, the texpip has been given citation after citation of original abiogenesis research, all of which have produced significant findings.

    All of which the texpip has completely ignored.

    “Nothing significant?”

    A pathetic liar is a pathetic liar.

  293. Amphiox says

    This is yet another, we’re-working-on-it, faith-based abyss.

    Creationism, of course, is a we’re-not-working-on-it, faith-based abyss.

    Even here, evolution is superior to creationism.

    Thank for conceding that particular point, yet again, texpip.

  294. Amphiox says

    Notice how the texpip STILL has not dared to try to make a cogent reply, with counter evidence and counter citations, of ANY of the primary research citations I have provided for him?

    He huffs and puffs his pitiful word games, but when asked to engage about REAL science? He runs and hides, sorry coward that he is.

  295. thumper1990 says

    @txpiper

    1. A chemical that can replicate and self organize. – very common, crystals do this all the time, just not in a complicated way.”

    Yes, in a very uncomplicated, nucleic acid-free way, which completely disassociates them from biology.

    You are aware that Biology is basically just complex chemistry, right?

    Moron.

  296. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, I’m not dishonest, nor embarrassed, nor running. I want to hear your thoughts or see your citations concerning original genes…

    You are dishonest if you aren’t showing your citations. You have no thoughts. You can’t/won’t think. “goddidit” is nothing but sloganeering, ignorance, and presupposition. Utterly and totally unscientific.

    Either prove your deity exists, or shut the fuck up. That would be honest. But then, if you don’t do that, prima facie evidence to the world of your dishonesty. And you have admitted you can’t prove your deity exists….

  297. John Morales says

    txpiper @309:

    There are several Hebrew words for kill. The one used in the Decalogue is about homicide. A different word is used for acts of war and executing criminals.

    Did you read birgerjohansson @164?

    “A truly sophisticated civilisation has twenty words for “murder”. And a whole dictionary of legal terms.”

    I dare you to be explicit: you seriously don’t see any hypocrisy whatsoever is a self-professed Christian becoming a soldier or an executioner?

  298. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    [txpiper] try to focus in between your spasms

    [Amphiox] As someone who professionally treats people suffering from epilepsy, let me add that a man who could make a statement like this in a context like this is beneath contempt.

    Yes, it’s a new low from the texan. Which is why I swore so furiously at him in my response to that same appalling comment.

    I didn’t know you treat people with epilepsy, though. Thanks for being part of the forces for good in humanity!

  299. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    “I dare you to be explicit: you seriously don’t see any hypocrisy whatsoever is a self-professed Christian becoming a soldier or an executioner?”

    What’s daring about being explicit?

    No, I don’t see any hypocrisy, or conflict at all, especially for Christians.

  300. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    No, I don’t see any hypocrisy, or conflict at all, especially for Christians.

    Me either.

    Why call what is second nature hypocrisy?

  301. txpiper says

    “It also means that it is easier and less complex to evolve a being with 23,000 genes than 100,000 genes”

    No, it isn’t easier. It means more complexity. There are many more proteins in humans than there are genes. Genes coding for multiple proteins just complicates the problem.

    On the original genes issue, you might enjoy these:

    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/biowissenschaften_chemie/genes_templates_211751.html

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002379

  302. John Morales says

    txpiper: you’re still here because you’re (unwittingly) a joke.

    “It also means that it is easier and less complex to evolve a being with 23,000 genes than 100,000 genes”
    No, it isn’t easier. It means more complexity.

    Admit it, you’re thinking of code compression, ain’t ya? :)

    (You hold the genome to be a code, since if there were no Coder, it needn’t be)

    On the original genes issue, you might enjoy these:

    Not one of the articles to which you have ever linked have ever supported your actual claim, and I have no reason to believe these are an exception.

  303. John Morales says

    [I fucked-up the quotations*, so trying again]

    txpiper: you’re still here because you’re (unwittingly) a joke.

    “It also means that it is easier and less complex to evolve a being with 23,000 genes than 100,000 genes”
    No, it isn’t easier. It means more complexity.

    Admit it, you’re thinking of code compression, ain’t ya? :)

    (You hold the genome to be a code, since if there were no Coder, it needn’t be)

    On the original genes issue, you might enjoy these:

    Not one of the articles to which you have ever linked have ever supported your actual claim, and I have no reason to believe these are an exception.

    * Perhaps it’s fear of fucking-up that leads txpiper to avoid essaying HTML.

  304. consciousness razor says

    txpiper:

    How does your god interact with the world? You think it does interact at least on rare occasions, right? I get that “god has mysterious ways” and whatnot, but I’m not asking for much here. We both know there’s a world, you claim there’s a god, and I want to know about your evidence that gods do whatever magical things you think they do. Do you not have something that basic figured out yet?

  305. omnicrom says

    Not one of the articles to which you have ever linked have ever supported your actual claim, and I have no reason to believe these are an exception.

    You aren’t missing anything John Morales because you are 100% correct.

    I assume that Txpiper snapped up the first link without actually reading it beyond the first couple of paragraphs or at least comprehending them. It’s actually a fairly interesting article chronicling where and when genes arose. The research says that a surprising number of genes appear to be new genes and not modifications of old genes, but points out they develop near older genes and are able to arise because they use the same genetic promoters that older genes already have access to. In other words it’s the usual path of least resistance in mutation and adaptation that we see all throughout evolution.

    The second link is a scientific paper examining new genes that have arisen in humans since our ancestors split off from chimpanzees. There’s a lot less to say as its much more analytic but they found around 60 genes in humans that don’t seem to correspond to chimpanzees or orangutangs.

    I’m really not sure what Txpiper is angling for with these links. That second link to the paper is a really curious thing for evolution denying goddist txpiper to point out since it is examining the divergent evolutionary paths that humans and other primates took adding more and better understanding of evolution. I assume txpiper is somehow attempting to win a masterstroke by saying “AHA! You guys said that genes come from other genes but turns out sometimes they don’t! Neener Neener therefore god!”. I can’t quite comprehend how muddled the thinking is to assume that reports on evolution which are consistent with evolution and provide a better understanding of evolution somehow mean evolution is a satanic hoax. I mean I get txpiper’s blatant and shameful intellectual dishonesty, their endless eyerolling shifting of the goalposts, and their continued attempts to attack some parody strawman version of the theory of evolution, I mean it’s why they are complete, unabashed scum worthy of every ounce of loathing sent their way. I just don’t get why txpiper would post two links that don’t help their case in any way at all, the people who are examining new genes don’t see a burning bush or an angel putting them there..

  306. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, it isn’t easier. It means more complexity.

    Word salad from an abject unscientific fuckwit. Your deity doesn’t exist. Never did, never will. All in your delusion mind. Prove otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence. All you have is nothing but blather, handwaving, and wanking.

  307. Amphiox says

    It means more complexity. There are many more proteins in humans than there are genes. Genes coding for multiple proteins just complicates the problem.

    No, actually it doesn’t, as anyone who actually understands how the genes that code for multiple proteins actually do it would know.

    But the texpip doesn’t possess that kind of intellectual competency.

    This whole “complexity” argument of course basically forms the core of the texpip’s entire ongoing argument. It is a fallacy, which has been explained to the texpip long ago, but of course the intellectually dishonest hack has persistently ignored it. I suppose it has no choice. If it actually acknowledged this truth, it would have nothing left to say.

    The “complexity” issue is wholly irrelevant, and always has been.

    Because what we are discussing here are theories that seek to explain complexity, in this case biological complexity. The theories of evolution and abiogenesis all (not both, because there is more than one theory of abiogenesis) do this by positing the stepwise accumulation of simpler steps. Just as there is no such thing as a number “too large” to be produced by the process of addition, there is nothing “too complex” that cannot be produced by the process of accumulating steps. If you want to argue that something “cannot evolve”, you have to posit a mechanism that stops the accumulation of steps.

    The problem of complexity is of course, even more stark, in fact insurmountable, for creation theory. Because creation theory attempts to posit complexity originating from even more complexity.

    In other words, creation theory does not explain complexity at all. No matter how complex or seemingly difficult anything might seem to evolve from a stepwise process, something that can design and create such a complex thing must be even more complex.

    So, when compared to creation theory, evolution and abiogenesis resort to the less complex, and therefore, less difficult to obtain, alternative.

    The more the texpip harps about complexity, the more he in fact argues against creationism, and by extension, for evolution and abiogenesis.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In other words, creation theory does not explain complexity at all. No matter how complex or seemingly difficult anything might seem to evolve from a stepwise process, something that can design and create such a complex thing must be even more complex.

    QFMFT

    The intellectually dishonest part of creationsim/ID is that they refuse to explain how the even more complex entity came to be. They just presuppose that it exists, and try to hide it behind words like eternal, and beyond space and time, along with other dishonest means of not questioning how it arose from nothing.

    Two possible paths:
    1) nothing–>universe
    2) nothing–>god–>universe
    Parsimony says 2), being both longer, and if the middle god entity is removed, you get the same result is as 1), should not be the correct explanation

    If their more complex entity is an alien, how did it arise? The only logical explanation is nothing—>universe—>abiogenesis–>evolution of alien–>life designed for Earth. Not very parsimonious, and evolution and abiogenesis still needed in the pathway. Remove the aliens as they aren’t needed to explain life on Earth, if it arose and evolved elsewhere in the universe, it could here.

    No alternate explanation is parsimonious. So, txpiper shows intellectual dishonesty all the way down.

  309. Amphiox says

    From the texpip’s first citation:

    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/biowissenschaften_chemie/genes_templates_211751.html

    According to the findings of the Plön-based researchers, around 60 percent of genes originate from our unicellular ancestors from the early phase of evolution.

    Thank you, texpip, for (once again!) providing another citation with evidence supporting evolution. In this case our evolution from unicellular ancestors.

    Large numbers of new genes were added in particular during the advent of fundamental evolutionary innovations: for example, the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms and the emergence of vertebrates.

    Thank you, texpip, for providing yet another citation demonstrating that new genetic information tends to be generated during periods of changing selection pressures. This is EXACTLY what the theory of evolution predicts should be found.

    They form in the gene-free sections of the genome, between the old genes

    In other words, they form among the non-coding DNA. And it so happens that we know how non-coding DNA formed. It formed from DNA DUPLICATION MUTATIONS. (Here I’m including lateral DNA transfer as a duplication mutation, as the DNA had to be duplicated before it can be moved to another organism)

    This often necessitates only minimal changes

    In other words, the process does not require inordinate complexity, a simple change is all it takes. What is a “simple change”. A MUTATION. Thank you, texpip, for providing yet another citation demonstrating that mutations occur and can produce new genes.

    It appears that new genes can appropriate promoters belonging to other genes and use them for their own purposes

    The “appropriate of a promoter” can arise from a number of mechanisms, but a prominent one would be a duplication mutation of the original promoter.

    So thank you, texpip, for providing YET ANOTHER citation that demonstrates how duplication mutations produce new genetic information.

    Now, on to the second of texpip’s citations:

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002379

    The origin of genes can involve gene duplication,

    Thank you, texpip, for providing a citation demonstrating that gene duplication does, in fact, produce new genes.

    exon shuffling, retroposition, mobile elements, lateral gene transfer, gene fusion/fission, and de novo origination

    And thank you, texpip, for providing a citation demonstrating that new genes can arise from old genes. In other words, THEY EVOLVE.

    To determine whether the de novo genes had come under selective constraints, which would indicate that they had acquired a function, we examined the rate of sequence evolution of these genes.

    Thank you again, texpip, for providing a citation demonstrating that SELECTION results in genes acquiring function.

    To be a candidate de novo originated gene, in addition to having a potentially translatable open reading frame in the human genome, the gene must have been present, and disrupted (i.e., non-translatable), in both the chimpanzee and orangutan genomes, e.g., the chimpanzee and orangutan sequences must lack an ATG start codon or have frameshift-inducing indels or nucleotide differences that result in a premature stop codon.

    In other words, the de novo genes originated with the production of a start codon where previously (in the ancestral ape), there had not been one. This, of course, is a MUTATION. So thanks, texpip, for providing evidence that mutations create new genes, AGAIN.

    Also, this line evidence that the genes under discussion are truly de novo is only valid if humans, chimpanzees and orangutans all share a common ancestor. Since the texpip clearly accepts that these genes are de novo, we must thank, again, the texpip for, once again, conceding that humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees and orangutans. In other words, humans EVOLVED.

    And so, after actually reading the citations the texpip gives (which I am now certain that, as typical for the dishonest schmuck that he is, he did not), we discover certain interesting truths:

    1. The authors of both citations clearly are using the term “de novo”, and “from scratch” to mean “mutated from non-coding DNA” (as opposed to originating from a duplication of coding DNA, ie a gene). This of course is a metaphoric use of “from scratch”, and wholly different from what the texpip has been implying with his own use of that term. This deliberate attempt to obfuscate the meaning of terms and to interpret terminology meant to be metaphoric as literal is a standard texpip trick.

    2. The prevailing view in the theory evolution is that new genes arising de novo from non-coding DNA is rare. These papers argue that this mechanism for new gene production is more common than previously thought (and they do not in any way deny that any of the other established mechanisms for producing new genes, such as duplications of pre-existing genes, don’t exist). If true, this means that the evolution of new genes is EASIER, not harder, than previously thought, and as a whole, makes the evolution of complex life forms even easier and more likely, not less likely.

    3. These papers only focus on eukaryotes, which have non-coding DNA in abundance. It does not apply to prokaryotes, which do not have non-coding DNA to any significant degree. We must not forget that something like 90% of the evolution that has ever occurred on this planet occurred among prokaryotes, not eukaryotes.

    4. The mechanisms that produce non-coding DNA are a) gene duplications followed by disabling mutations, b) non-coding DNA duplication, c) whole genome duplication, d) proliferation of parasitic DNA (ie jumping genes, viruses, LINES, SINES, etc), which are all a variant of duplication mutations, and e) lateral DNA transfer, which is also a variant of a duplication mutation. So it does not change the fundamental evolutionary idea that new functional DNA arises through a process that involves the duplication of pre-existing DNA.

    5. This whole episode should be quite familiar to those of us familiar with the texpip’s particular brand of cowardly intellectual dishonesty. When given citations to consider, he will also never answer them. Instead he sometimes to try to spam a few citations of his own. In playground terms, this is what is called “running and hiding behind mommy”. Of course, the texpip, being dishonest, doesn’t read his citation spams, and being incompetent, invariably fails to realize how debilitating to his own arguments his citations always prove to be. Because he searches the existing scientific literature for them, and he does not realize that all the existing scientific literature is strongly in support of evolution.

    In fact, I’ve just bookmarked one of these two links, since it is so perfect for throwing back at the texpip when he attempts to go off on one of his other favorite dishonest tangents. It will be fascinating to see, when this happens, if the texpip even remembers that it was a citation that HE originally introduced.

  310. txpiper says

    “Admit it, you’re thinking of code compression, ain’t ya? :)”

    No, I’m not. I had never heard of code compression, but I did a search, and didn’t see anything about gene expression for multiple proteins, or complex regulatory mechanisms.

    .
    “Not one of the articles to which you have ever linked have ever supported your actual claim, and I have no reason to believe these are an exception.”

    No, they usually don’t. I don’t post articles from creationist journals or websites, and don’t spend much time with them. I got interested in these subjects years ago while reading at an old MIT website. There were a couple of paragraphs about replication enzymes and fidelity. The more I read about mutations, the more obvious it became that most of evolutionary theory is a house of cards.

    ===

    ”How does your god interact with the world? You think it does interact at least on rare occasions, right? I get that “god has mysterious ways” and whatnot, but I’m not asking for much here. We both know there’s a world, you claim there’s a god, and I want to know about your evidence that gods do whatever magical things you think they do. Do you not have something that basic figured out yet?”

    In a word, Israel.

    ===

    ”I’m really not sure what Txpiper is angling for with these links.”

    In this case, I wasn’t angling for anything. I just didn’t notice any posts with ideas about the how original genes form. I found these, as was just passing them along. More cards.

  311. Amphiox says

    They just presuppose that it exists, and try to hide it behind words like eternal, and beyond space and time,

    Even this presupposition does not save them. To be eternal and beyond space and time is itself a very complex state. Highly complex entity plus highly complex state of being is more complex than simple mechanism plus complex state of being. Thus, if you admit to the possibility that something could be eternal and beyond space and time, you produce the following possibilities:

    1. god (eternal) -> universe
    2. natural law (eternal) -> universe
    3. universe (eternal)

    And god/creator is STILL the least parsimonious of the lot! There is no convolution of honest logic that can a parsimonious god/creator, because the god/creator idea is intellectually bankrupt as an explanatory mechanism.

  312. Amphiox says

    No, I’m not. I had never heard of code compression

    IIRC correctly, the texpip claimed in a prior thread to be a chemical engineer, or some closely related profession.

    To be in that category of profession and NOT be familiar with code compression? (In fact, to be a regular surfer of the internet and not to have at least heard of code compression?)

    It seems the texpip cannot avoid being dishonest even with throwaway comments.

  313. Amphiox says

    In a word, Israel.

    In other words, the hard work, efforts, suffering, decisions, and agency of the Israeli people themselves had nothing to do with where Israel is in the world today.

    Looks like we can add anti-semitism to the list of bigotries (misogyny and homophobia to name two, from prior threads) that the texpip has now revealed.

  314. Amphiox says

    There were a couple of paragraphs about replication enzymes and fidelity. The more I read about mutations, the more obvious it became that most of evolutionary theory is a house of cards.

    This discussion has already been done, and all your points were thoroughly destroyed 5 years ago. Naturally, you continue to ignore it all.

    What you deliberately ignore is that each and every one of those “cards” is a two ton plate of solid steel, and they are all joined to each other with thousands of rivets.

  315. Amphiox says

    The other thing that the texpip’s link on de novo genes illustrates is that even a wholly random string of DNA can be translated into a protein, and due to the laws of chemistry, even a wholly random string of amino acids will have a tendency to fold into some three dimensional shape in water, and, again thanks to the laws of chemistry, even a wholly random three dimensional (ie a protein) will have SOME sort of functional effect, which can be selectable, even if very weak, in the right set of selection pressure.

    And that is all it takes for natural selection to produce a functional protein, or to take a random abiotically generated peptide or nucleic acid and turn it into a simple self-replicating entity.

  316. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Thank you, texpip, for (once again!) providing another citation with evidence supporting evolution

    With all the self foot shooting txpiper does one has to wonder if there is any foot left and what sized shoe he wears.

    My guess is clown sized.

  317. Ichthyic says

    No, I don’t see any hypocrisy, or conflict at all, especially for Christians.

    well, I’ll take this as a statement of the obvious, and what most of us already knew about you:

    you suffer from terrible cognitive dissonance.

  318. Ichthyic says

    “Not one of the articles to which you have ever linked have ever supported your actual claim, and I have no reason to believe these are an exception.”

    No, they usually don’t

    *headdesk*

    It never ceases to amaze me how inane the Texpip is.

  319. txpiper says

    “..this means that the evolution of new genes is EASIER, not harder, than previously thought, and as a whole, makes the evolution of complex life forms even easier and more likely, not less likely.”

    You bet. Keep it manageable, and I’m glad I could help. But don’t get too cozy in the simpicity, because you and your 23,000 genes and numerous proteins, folding and otherwise, are only a small part of the picture:

    “an analysis of the full gene content and composition of these microbiomes (i.e. the metagenome) predicts that there may be more than 8 million unique microbial genes associated with the microbiomes across the human body of these healthy adults. When compared to the total number of human genes, this suggests that the genetic contribution of the microbiome to the human supraorganism may be many hundreds of times greater than the genetic contribution from the human genome…..Most of the microbes in the microbiome do not cause disease. In fact, humans rely on microbes to perform many important functions that we cannot perform ourselves. Microbes digest food to generate nutrients for host cells, synthesize vitamins, metabolize drugs, detoxify carcinogens, stimulate renewal of cells in the gut lining and activate and support the immune system.” http://www.genome.gov/27549400

    Now I’m sure that you can accomodate things like this, and that this is all exactly what evolutionary theory predicts. But it does add another modest complexity factor, and one that doesn’t involve simple things like genes sprouting on cue from human DNA. This shows what a powerful, stand-alone coordinator and organizer natural selection is. If I were you, I’d conclude that things like this are not only easy, they are inevitable.

  320. says

    It’s hard to put into words just how mind-boggling it is that txpiper thinks that {the fact that we have bacteria in our guts and our bodies are evolved to tolerate the ones that don’t harm us and even to take advantage of ones that happen to be beneficial} somehow is horribly complicated.

    No, it’s not. It’s evolution. Some pretty simply simple processes really. Just repeated in various combinations over and over and over through billions of years.

  321. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . But don’t get too cozy in the simpicity, because you and your 23,000 genes and numerous proteins, folding and otherwise, are only a small part of the picture:

    Sorry fuckwit, they are the picture. You don’t have an explanation either. Your problem is your deity is imaginary. It doesn’t exist. You have no evidence for it. Ergo, you have nothing but inane and unsupported blather. No science to back you up. Whereas evolution has a million or so papers backing it directly and indirectly. Your quotes and OPINION refute exactly zero of those papers. You have nothing but your imaginary teddy bear to clutch.

  322. omnicrom says

    In this case, I wasn’t angling for anything. I just didn’t notice any posts with ideas about the how original genes form. I found these, as was just passing them along. More cards.

    No txpiper, considering you have spent years being mendacious I’m pretty damn sure you WERE angling for something. I assume that since myself and other actually read your links and responded to them you were at a disadvantage, I mean you never read or bother to comprehend the articles provided for you so I’m guessing you thought dropping evidence of evolution as though it wasn’t would be evidence of creation which is isn’t. I can only begin to fathom what you were trying to say, mostly because it was very very stupid but I’m assuming it has something to do with complexity being complex therefore it had to come from god. However the mental knots I’d have to tie to try and follow the creationist illogic train is too stupid to fully map.

    And yes, more cards for us to play. It is completely pathetic that after moving the goalposts in order to spin the “It’s too complex!” canard you provide evidence for how that complexity came about. It is a shining beacon of intellectual dishonesty to try and suggest that evolution is untrue because of complex organism WHILE PROVIDING LINKS TO EVIDENCE OF HOW THESE COMPLEX ORGANISMS AROSE BY EVOLUTION. The courageous idiocy on display here is breathtaking.

    Amphiox I would recommend you save both of these links to your special folder, the next time txpiper rears their ugly head repost those and see if they recognize their own links.

  323. David Marjanović says

    it is still nothing but a process of elimination…

    Liar.

    I really have explained it to you often enough, and you’ve never even tried to disprove my explanations.

    http://i.imgur.com/vb8ne.jpg

    Bookmarked!

    In its normal environment (inside us), natural selection must not favor these mutants.”

    I’m sure it doesn’t.

    Well, yeah. If you knew any biochemistry at all, you’d know full well that we don’t have citrates lying around in our guts (unless we’ve drunk a lot of orange juice). Citrate normally occurs only inside mitochondria.

    Why do you keep believing that everybody knows as little as you do? I don’t get that.

    Tigger, txpiper has this thing about $BIGNUM and also holds that those 2933 base pairs being randomly duplicated required an improbability of 1 in 2^2933 to occur.

    (Too improbable to occur merely by chance!)

    What txpiper doesn’t know, so it has to be spelled out for him, is that duplication mutations often happen to more than one nucleotide at once. DNA polymerase simply slips back sometimes (…literally slips) and then merrily replicates that stretch again.

    Until you can be wrong, you will never be right.

    …That’s a really beautiful way to put it.

    Nerd of Redhead, you’re saying that if something can’t be proven, it’s not true.

    He’s not. He’s saying that if an idea cannot be disproved even in principle, it’s completely useless, because it explains everything and nothing.

    That’s basic science theory, BTW.

    The problem with models like this, is that they are extremely narrow, just-so constructs. To fit this into the development of any complex organ or system involving lots of specialized cell types, proteins and regulating functions, requires all kinds of unlikely, uncoordinated things occurring in tandem. It isn’t realistic.

    Sigh, and this is another “HUGE” problem.

    Warning, cassandratoday: Kagehi hasn’t understood what scare quotes mean, so he uses quotation marks for emphasis. I’ve been (on rare occasions) calling him out on this for seven years now – to no avail.

    Just so you know he does in fact think it’s a huge problem.

    Once upon a time, there were no genes, but between then and the point where gene duplication began to occur, some genes had to develop with no pattern (and of course, no role or purpose). So what are the prevailing hypotheses for getting to a point where there genes to be copied? This is one of the large gaps I mentioned somewhere above.

    Have you really never heard of the RNA world?

    There are several Hebrew words for kill. The one used in the Decalogue is about homicide. A different word is used for acts of war and executing criminals.

    Correct.

    Now, what about holding the other cheek?

    2. Conditions where “variations” on this chemical can happen.

    Actual, literal variations. Mutations.

    Evolution = descent with heritable modification.

    “what combination, in what amounts, with the right trigger event(s), let them link up into something more complex, and start replicating as a DNA/RNA strand, instead of just distinct, independent, chemicals?”

    …uh, what?

    There are labs all over the world, staffed with bright researchers who can impose and control every “condition” imaginable, far beyond natural circumstances. But decades since Miller, whose design included much more than wild conditions, they have produced nothing significant.

    LOL. I guess you won’t be satisfied till a scientist, in a tower, in a dark and stormy night, suddenly screams “IT’S ALIVE!!!!!” and perhaps cackles madly.

    Baby steps, txpiper. Learn about ribozymes, self-replicating RNA, the concept of “RNA world”, and things like TNA. Learn. You have a lot to learn. In fact, you could have learned a lot in the last 5 years already.

    Before the human genome project, it was believed that we might have as many as 100,000 genes. It is now down to something like 23,000. What does that mean?

    Easy: it means we are not “the pinnacle of creation”, five or six times as complex as a vinegar fly. We’re pretty unremarkable chordates, and – from just looking at ourselves and at flies – we should never have expected anything else.

    The high estimates were made by molecular biologists who didn’t know much (if any) anatomy and therefore believed humans must be special. They believed this because the general culture (religion in particular) had been feeding them this idea all their lives. Well, turns out they were wrong.

    I want to hear your thoughts or see your citations concerning original genes…nice duplicatable genes that can be easily, if accidentally, altered into neo-functional genes.

    ~:-| Do you really believe “original genes” (and why not just one?) were somehow different from “neo-functional genes”? Do you really believe it’s possible to tell from just looking at a gene how old it is (by whichever definition for “the same gene”)?

    Has anyone ever figured out why txpiper lacks the ability to do blockquotes?

    Obvious: he never learns anything – neither what natural selection is nor how basic HTML works.

    No, I don’t see any hypocrisy, or conflict at all, especially for Christians.

    The Catholic Church is against the death penalty, on the grounds that you can’t pay evil unto evil.

    There are many more proteins in humans than there are genes. Genes coding for multiple proteins just complicates the problem.

    *eyeroll* Alternative splicing. You do know that eukaryote genes consist mostly of introns ( = junk DNA), right?

    On the original genes issue, you might enjoy these:

    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/biowissenschaften_chemie/genes_templates_211751.html

    From there:

    These and other differences between young and old genes indicate that completely new genes can also form from previously unread regions of the genome.

    I hope you understand that “previously unread regions of the genome” means junk DNA, because “unread” means “unreadable” (due to the way RNA polymerase works). When a stretch of junk DNA acquires a start codon and a stop codon at a distance divisible by 3, it’s a gene, and it encodes a protein that probably does something. That will have an effect on the fitness of the organism and its descendants…

    The antifreeze proteins of icefish are well-known examples. The study described in the article just shows that this kind of thing happens more often than people used to think. :-|

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002379

    Uh, yeah, read the introduction of that paper. It describes quite clearly that the “de novo origin” of genes in the title means origin from junk DNA – not ex nihilo.

    Now I’m sure that you can accomodate things like this, and that this is all exactly what evolutionary theory predicts.

    …Uh, yeah: symbiosis is not at all surprising. What, if anything, is your point here?

  324. David Marjanović says

    Oops, forgot to reply to this:

    The problem with models like this, is that they are extremely narrow, just-so constructs. To fit this into the development of any complex organ or system involving lots of specialized cell types, proteins and regulating functions, requires all kinds of unlikely, uncoordinated things occurring in tandem. It isn’t realistic.

    Baby steps. One thing after another. We can’t research everything at once. Open a molecular-biology textbook (I recommend “the Alberts”; my brother snarkily calls it “the little paperback for in-between”) and be fucking astounded at how much knowledge has already been gathered on all these subjects.

    Seriously, get thee to a university library.

  325. David Marjanović says

    Oh, because I can’t resist:

    Ezekiel 26:21

    You’ve never even tried to reply to that one. But ignoring it won’t make your crisis of faith go away. You know that full well. :-)

  326. Amphiox says

    But don’t get too cozy in the simpicity, because you and your 23,000 genes and numerous proteins, folding and otherwise, are only a small part of the picture

    Thoroughly beaten on yet another point, the coward texpip runs away, yet again, and tries to spam yet another link.

    Pitiful.

    But it does add another modest complexity factor

    And as already discussed, increasing complexity simply makes evolution compare MORE favourably with creationism.

    Now I’m sure that you can accomodate things like this, and that this is all exactly what evolutionary theory predicts.

    Yes, as a matter of fact this IS exactly what the theory of evolution predicts.

    and one that doesn’t involve simple things like genes sprouting on cue from human DNA.

    You appear to labor under the impression, or more likely, you know the truth and are just ASSUMING to labor under that impression, because you are too intellectually dishonest to admit the truth, that all those genes in the bacterial microbiome had to “spout on cue” from each of those little bacteria, just to serve the requirements of human beings.

    That is not how it works. And once you let go of that egocentric view, the whole “problem” you have just tried to outline vanishes like mist. Unlike even the earlier “problems” you tried to make a case around, which really were things that had solutions, this one doesn’t even need that, because the whole argument itself is an illusion.

    Here’s a hint to get you started, though I am sure you will, in your standard pathetic dishonest way, ignore it. The gut microbiome precedes human beings by at least 500 million years.

  327. Amphiox says

    There are many more proteins in humans than there are genes. Genes coding for multiple proteins just complicates the problem.

    *eyeroll* Alternative splicing. You do know that eukaryote genes consist mostly of introns ( = junk DNA), right?

    And of course it is MUCH EASIER to evolve a bunch of proteins through alternative splicing than it is to evolve a separate gene for each of them.

    Suppose you had one gene with introns, like so:

    A-I-B-I-C.

    Suppose you had just one gene that cuts out intron I, and the gene works in a non-specific, wholly random way.

    This means that when you transcribe the first gene, you get the following products, in a random mix:

    A
    B
    C
    AB
    AC
    BC
    ABC

    (And for simplicity I am ignoring all the possible gene products that contain an unspliced intron still inside, such as AI, ABI, AIBC, etc)

    Which is immediately seven alternative proteins. There is no functional loss from the ancestral, pre-intron state, because the original, intronless protein, ABC, still gets produced. Of the 6 extra genes that are produced, those without any function will simply sit around doing nothing until they get chewed up by proteases in the normal way that proteins are recycled. Any that do turn out to have function will immediately have functional impact on the organism. And from there natural selection will get to work tweaking specificity into the recombination patterns and their degradation.

    You need just 2 genes to produce 7 proteins, and the second gene, the intron-splicer, originates as a piece of the original jumping gene that produced the intron in the first place, so the cell does not have to evolve that one “from scratch”. (Jumping genes encode as part of their sequence an RNA scissors that just themselves out of DNA. That is how they jump. Introns are produced when a jumping gene jumps to a particular location, splitting a gene, and then mutates to lose its RNA scissors so it can’t jump back out. To get an intron splicer gene, the cell just needs to grab a still working version of the RNA scissors from the jumping gene by lateral gene transfer. And of course the jumping gene is already in its genome, jumping around).

    This is, needless to say, much much easier than having to evolve 7 new genes “from scratch”.

    The only cost is energy. To get the same amount of the original functional protein, ABC, the cell has to transcribe about 7 times as much of AIBIC. It also has to spend extra energy on translating any alternate splicings that do not have function, and digesting those useless proteins as well.

    Which is why we don’t see alternative splicing much in organisms, like bacteria, that tend to be limited by energy production.

    But of course, eukaryotes, in possession of multiple mitochondria, have tend to have energy production surpluses. Which is why alternative splicing could evolve in eukaryotes.

  328. consciousness razor says

    In a word, Israel.

    I don’t think I could’ve imagined a more incoherent answer. I ask how, and you respond with a proper name. If you try again, read the question first this time.

  329. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    In a word, Israel.

    I don’t think I could’ve imagined a more incoherent answer. I ask how, and you respond with a proper name. If you try again, read the question first this time.

    Heh. I was thinking I should check back into this thread, and that’s where I picked up. That non-answer pops right out, doesn’t it.

    Honestly, I get the idea that txpiper just doesn’t want to try anymore.

  330. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Honestly, I get the idea that txpiper just doesn’t want to try anymore.

    He’s stuck in the classic conundrum a lot of liars and bullshitters of the creobot/liberturd genre get into here. If he doesn’t say anything, he essentially acknowledges he is wrong. He can’t refute the presented evidence, ergo, non-sequiturs, changes of topic, and personal OPINION must come to his rescue. Unfortunately for him, we are long on to his lies and bullshit, and his only true recourse is shutting the fuck up. But that is tacitly acknowledging defeat…around in circles for ever and ever….Abject losers can’t acknowledge they are wrong. Until he can be wrong, he can never be right….