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Feb 08 2014

Lying-uh and unreasonable-uh

Man, Todd Friel is painful to listen to — so many grating rhetorical tics. Can someone tell me where this weird habit of carefully voicing every vowel and adding extra vowels to the ends of words come from? When he calls Bill Nye unreasonable and lying, it comes out UN-REEE-ZUN-A-BULL-AH and LIE-ING-UH. It makes him irritating to listen to before I even think about the content.

Here, you can suffer too.

If you don’t want to listen — and I don’t blame you — I’ll give you instead his two stupid arguments against Bill Nye’s points in the recent creation debate. They are focused entirely on the bogus distinction Ken Ham makes between observational and historical science. I can tell I am going to have to spend a lot of time in the future slapping down idiots who triumphantly march up to me and declare that evolution is a historical science, and therefore I made it up.

His first case is an example of the two kinds of science. He has a bug on a piece of paper; he declares that he’s about to do “observational science”, and he merely describes it. It’s got spots, it’s got eight [???] legs, it’s some kind of ladybug or stinkbug. Already I can tell he’s not very good at this, but he announces that this is the only true science.

What would historical science be? Then he provides a couple of scenarios, that someone carried it in their pocket and put it there for him to find, or that it flew in through a window. But we can’t know! Nothing in the past can ever be tested scientifically! In Todd Friel’s world, he could have been snorting cocaine off a rent-boy’s butt yesterday, and because it isn’t happening right now in front of you, it didn’t happen. Awfully convenient for Todd.

But actually, we can test hypotheses about the past. Did it just fly in? If his recording studio were in Minnesota right now, we could definitively say no — a small beetle would last for milliseconds at -20°C. Did someone carry it in? Much more likely — we could check who has access to agricultural supply houses, we could talk to people, we can even be pretty confident that Friel set this all up in advance. Did God just poof it into existence on that piece of paper? That’s the least likely possibility. We can examine similar and prior conditions and determine the relative probability of whole sets of causal events in the past, and even make tests. For instance, Darwin hypothesized that Pacific islands were colonized by seeds that drifted across the ocean, and he did experiments, soaking seeds in salt water for varying lengths of time to test how long they could survive and germinate. To claim that you can’t do tests of ideas about the past is simply nonsense.

Friel was also LIE-ING-UH. He tried to rebut Nye’s claim of trees that are 9550 years old, older than the Earth in the creationists’ myth, by saying flat out that they were NOT dated by counting tree rings. Actually, yes, they were, and the ice cores were dated by counting layers. It actually is that straight-forward. Then Friel announced that their age was determined by radiocarbon dating…which is proved, PROVED, not to be reliable. Carbon dating is reliable within its boundary conditions. My car is reliable as well, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work if I dropped it through a hole in the ice over Lake Minnewaska and then tried to start it as it was sitting on the lake floor. Does that PROVE that I cannot use it to drive from Morris to Minneapolis? Especially in the face of evidence that I do exactly that fairly regularly?

His second big example of Nye being an UN-REE-ZUN-A-BULL-AH man is that Nye pointed out that no wooden boat has been built that was the size of the ark, and that past efforts to build very large wooden ships failed because the material is not adequate to handle the stresses of the sea — they twisted and leaked and were a pain to maintain. I’d say that that’s pretty good observational science: build something, test it, and see if it’s possible. Then we can apply those observations to the past; is it likely that 8 Mesopotamian farmers could build a boat that exceeded the physical properties of the material, with techniques far greater in reliability than those developed by thousands of skilled shipwrights with centuries of shipbuilding expertise? Friel says yes. He waves his hands and said maybe Noah and friends figured out a better way to construct wooden boats.

Then, right after that, he floors me by announcing that we can’t convince Nye because Nye doesn’t care about the evidence.

Holy crap.

Hey, where did this giant palm print in the middle of my face come from? I guess I’ll never know, because it happened two minutes ago, and that’s historical science.

62 comments

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  1. 1
    pacal

    Another Evangelical nitwit lying for Jesus. Colour me surprised.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    I’m also serious — I would love to know about the source of this bizarre affected pronunciation used by Christian preachers. Language log? Anyone know? What is it called?

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    Why do religious people think they’re being clever when they play epistemology games? Don’t they realize that they’re on very very shaky ground indeed, in that respect?

    The scientific method is a response to the problem of how we acquire knowledge – we observe, vary causes under control, and observe again, then attempt to establish a cause/effect relationship that has predictive power.

    What kind of science is trusting the bible?? Is that “observational” or “historical”??

  4. 4
    Bruce Rolston

    “Then we can apply those observations to the past…”

    But that’s their point, right? That you can’t. That you are not permitted any form of temporal extrapolation of logic or method outside of the “present day”, however that’s defined. Any other kind of inference is okay, just not that kind. Because as soon as you’re permitted that, creationism will fail logically, of course, in all manner of ways.

    What’s always shaky is where the present day starts. If I bore a hole in a one-year old tree and see one tree ring, and then two years the year after, am I allowed to infer that the tree is now three years old from the third ring? Presumably. So how many tree rings is one allowed before the ban on temporal inference kicks in? Is it a rolling ban (you can go back a thousand years from today) or a fixed ban (anything after 1000 AD?) Makes a big difference when talking about things observed over historical time, like Mongols, car designs, or climate change. I like a hermetically sealed point of view as much as the next guy but I wish they’d state their priors.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    the source of this bizarre affected pronunciation used by Christian preachers

    It’s a threat display; other christian preachers can recognize the sound and tell that there’s a flock being shorn and not to try to horn in on it. When they are fleecing a flock, they use the same display, and expect not to have others horn in on them. It avoids them having to kill eachother as often as they used to.

  6. 6
    Ryan Cunningham

    Without “historical science,” how can we know what the bible says? Pretty simple refutation of this argument. Makes them look as stupid and dishonest as they are.

  7. 7
    Gerard Farell

    “Which object-Tah coverys more reliable-Ah meanin-Gh ? Stories made up by goat herder-Zah or fossil-Ahs?”

    What an annoyin-Gah preache-Rh!

  8. 8
    Menyambal

    I first noticed the ending-uh on a Christmas album by an Italian-American singer, back in 1965 or so. The first times that I heard it from preachers, it was from fat guys who were preaching so hard they were gasping for breath after every word, and who articulated the gasps.

    This guy needs to take a breath. Nobody ever said science could tell you the color of the chef’s pants, but it could assign some probabilities. Religion, if it worked, could not just tell you the color, but inspire an entire audience to shout out the color in perfect chorus, by God.

  9. 9
    PZ Myers

    I was wondering if it had something to do with the early days of radio, when you had to be extremely precise in your speech, no slurring or dropping your terminal consonants, in order to overcome the noise in the technology.

  10. 10
    johnharshman

    My understanding is that the 9500-year-old tree was indeed not dated by tree rings but by carbon dating of the roots, since the above-ground part is much younger. However, this understanding comes from Wikipedia and you may know better.

  11. 11
    Gorogh

    It’s been interesting to see for quite a while how they appropriate rhethorical figures mostly used (as far as I can tell) to describe the religious fraudsters they are, and simply turn them 180°, e.g. “[Nye] is either not reasonable, not intelligent [ok that's a bit redundant], or he’s lying”. Seems to be along the lines of “YECs and evolutionist have the same evidence and the same methodological prowess, but us YECs simply interpret it differently”. The issue is probably the lack of legitimacy (cf. PZ’s cartoon in the debate thread) and their awareness thereof, with such rhethorics being an attempt to compensate.

  12. 12
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Maybe he thinks he’s Mark E. Smith-uh.

  13. 13
    schweinhundt

    PZ, I couldn’t find anything that directly addressed the pronunciation but “christianese” seems to be a semi-official dialect.

  14. 14
    Felix

    I clicked on the YouTub link, fearing my world view would come crshing down, to see if these confident, decent creationists had an overwhelming dismantling of all the counter-arguments to offer in the comment section. But, alas, my world-view remains fully intact, and the creationists once again underscore who and what they are by having comments disabled.
    They just can’t handle anything else than a captive, ignorant, silent (or AMEN-ing) and quivering audience, can they?

  15. 15
    grahamjones

    I associate extra uhs with UK punk group The Fall.

    Example from 1981

  16. 16
    grumpyoldfart

    Can someone tell me where this weird habit of carefully voicing every vowel and adding extra vowels to the ends of words come from?

    The extra vowel at the end of a sentence was a technique used by tent preachers in the early 20th century.

    It was also used by a lot of Rockabilly singers in the 1950s. I call it the “rockabilly hiccup”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak9WDAgbxfc
    `

  17. 17
    Jenny Ashford

    @12 and @15

    DAMMIT! Y’all beat me to it!
    *pouts at not being the first one to post a Fall reference*

  18. 18
    Scientismist

    I wonder how this stuff that looks like pocket lint got tangled in the eight legs of this bug? Never mind. It was something in the past, so we will never know unless there’s a passage explaining it in this book that I happen to have here.

  19. 19
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    grumpyoldfart #16

    the “rockabilly hiccup”

    Further evidence, though slightly more subtle.

  20. 20
    Rey Fox

    I would love to know about the source of this bizarre affected pronunciation used by Christian preachers.

    I’m more curious about why they still use it when it’s been a punchline for as long as I can remember. Of course, it’s not like they’re on the cutting edge of humor and satire, and their audience is steadily skewing older.

  21. 21
    raven

    and declare that evolution is a historical science, and therefore I made it up.

    Total lie of creationist fundie xians.

    Evolution is both observational and historical.

    1. We can and do demonstrate it in the labs all the time. Everyone has heard of Lenkski’s citrate evolvers but that is just one of many evolution experiments.

    2. The big trend in evolution experiments is mesoscale outdoor experiments. Scientists isolate large areas and use these giant outdoor petri dishes to run experiments lasting years.

    3. We see it in natural experiments all the time. Especially in the hospitals and farm fields as new antibiotic resistant microbes evolve and weeds become resistant to roundup and insects to GMO plants.

    4. We see it as US xianity evolves into more and more toxic forms and then trundles off to drown in the bathtub as people’s survival drives kick in.

  22. 22
    raven

    Friel was also LIE-ING-UH. He tried to rebut Nye’s claim of trees that are 9550 years old, older than the Earth in the creationists’ myth, by saying flat out that they were NOT dated by counting tree rings.

    There are a bunch of these trees and shrubs older than the fundie’s universe.

    They’ve been dated by a variety of methods. But often enough just by counting tree rings.

    I’m going from memory here so the dates are approximate but there are:

    1. A creosote bush clone in southern California that is around 11,000 years old.

    2. A spruce clone in Scandinavia that is around 8500 years old.

    3. An oak clone in California around 12,000 years old.

    4. A holly clone in Tasmania that is around 45,000 years old, and is the only member left of both its genus and species.

    In these cases, the individual living trunks aren’t that old. What they do is count the rings in the deadwood from previous trunks.

    It’s all irrelevant anyway. We have tree ring chronologies that go back long before the fundie’s universe formed. I can’t remember the oldest, something around 10,000 years. And ice cores and lake sediment varve layers that go back 100,000′s of years.

  23. 23
    shelldigger

    Way back when I was a young lad, I have seen this dialect used by old time preachers. They use it to help whip themselves up into a frenzied sermon. I guess I was the only one there thinking it was odd.

    One of the first of many questions to come. I gave religion a respectable shot, it did not pan out. Too many contradictory contradictions and hypocritical hypocrites. I feel much better now.

  24. 24
    raven

    Amazon.com:

    Experimental Evolution: Concepts, Methods, and Applications of Selection Experiments Paperback by Theodore Garland(Editor),Michæl R. Rose(Editor)

    Experimental approaches to evolution provide indisputable evidence of evolution by directly observing the process at work. Experimental evolution deliberately duplicates evolutionary processes—forcing life histories to evolve, producing adaptations to stressful environmental conditions, and generating lineage splitting to create incipient species. This unique volume summarizes studies in

    For anyone wanting to run their own evolution experiments, here is one book from Amazon.com.

  25. 25
    knut7777

    For maximum entertainment please look up the time Christopher Hitchens called up Friel’s radio show to sell a few books. :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZB0lLIcXIA

    You will not be disappointed.

  26. 26
    Alex

    To stay with nye’s CSI analogy, Is Friel by any chance confronted with an upcoming investigation against him and quickly tries to convince the world that detective work is logically impossible? :D

  27. 27
    ChasCPeterson

    He tried to rebut Nye’s claim of trees that are 9550 years old, older than the Earth in the creationists’ myth, by saying flat out that they were NOT dated by counting tree rings. Actually, yes, they were

    Actually actually…no they weren’t. Bristlecone pines, yes: those are ring-dated to 5000 years. But the 9550 year-old spruce in Sweden (‘Old Tjikko’) is a merely several-hundred-year-old ramet of a much older root system. And it’s the roots that were dated to 9550 years–by carbon dating.

    I’m going from memory here so the dates are approximate

    Why? Why do this? You’re on the fucking internet.
    why, look here!

  28. 28
    robro

    I first heard the preacher “uh” in country churches in Georgia in the 50s. I know it dates before that because I’ve seen footage of some preacher from the 30s or 40s using it…maybe that was Billy Sunday. Billy Graham was famous for it and he’s every preacher’s role model.

    I think it was used at the end of phrases to cue congregation response. There’s a call-and-response, song-like quality to this style of preaching with potentially powerful emotional effect, which is the whole point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the method has now become a parody of itself.

  29. 29
    raven

    I’m going from memory here so the dates are approximate

    Why? Why do this? You’re on the fucking internet.
    why, look here!

    ChasCPeterson, why do you do this?

    Why are you an asshole, a defective human, and an internet troll?

    It’s a rhetorical question. I don’t really care why.

  30. 30
    Margaret Hardman

    I loved the bit where he said we figured a way to keep the Titanic afloat. Not the best example, I’d have thought.

    By the way, coming from England, I don’t often get exposed such dangerous levels of concentrated wrong.

  31. 31
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    What would historical science be? Then he provides a couple of scenarios, that someone carried it in their pocket and put it there for him to find, or that it flew in through a window. But we can’t know! Nothing in the past can ever be tested scientifically! In Todd Friel’s world, he could have been snorting cocaine off a rent-boy’s butt yesterday, and because it isn’t happening right now in front of you, it didn’t happen. Awfully convenient for Todd.

    Huh. I thought only chickenshit K-12 school employees (and volunteers) thought like this.

  32. 32
    wpjoe

    @ 8, 23, & 28
    I, too, heard this style of preaching as a kid in GA. The guy would pace back and forth, yelling his sermon and taking an exaggerated gasp at the end of each sentence. He did seem to be working himself into a frenzied state. I imagine you can still hear this kind of thing at camp meeting, a revival, or a holiness church where they dance in the spirit and speak in tongues.

  33. 33
    carlie

    Pastors did this all the time when I was a kid, too. i think they learn it at seminary.

    ChasCPeterson, why do you do this?

    In this case he is right, though. In fact, it’s been mainly because of him doing that exact goading that I try to always get my source before I hit submit – it takes longer, but it makes the statement a much stronger one. Now and then someone might really only have a minute or two and want to get the comment in before the conversation moves elsewhere, but usually either you do have enough time to look it up, or it can wait for your comment until you do have the time to do so.

  34. 34
    Moggie

    I’ve wondered in the past whether the odd vocal style of these preachers is a way of setting themselves apart from their congregation.

    When I read something written by a clergyman, I often find myself wondering why they use slightly odd phraseology. The higher they are in the hierarchy, the more marked this is, and with a pope or archbishop you could be forgiven for wondering whether they’re from another planet. They may preach humility, but the subtext seems to be “the way I express these thoughts tells you that I am not like you: I am on a higher plane entirely, more learned, more spiritual, more imbued with the God-essence, so don’t get the idea that you could do what I do, peasant”.

    Todd Friel and his kind operate in a different milieu, one which is touchy about elitism, so they have to be careful about how they set themselves apart. Adopting a distinctive vocal style may be their signalling mechanism, conveying a message of specialness untainted by superior education.

    Or it might be the call-response thing. That works too.

  35. 35
    plainenglish

    My dad was a Baptist preacher but always very reserved in his approach. He did occasionally cry at the pulpit when the weight of the world’s sin came on him, so to speak. Which brings me to point: The gasping, the guttural moans and whipped up rhythms of the preacher lead the pew-stuck folk along a road to orgasmic recreation, to being ‘saved’ in spirit and penetrated by Gawd itself. The stuff all begins with a gracious hello, maybe a hymn or two but soon enough the petting stages are left far behind, Praisssse Jeeeebus, I can feeel somethin’ way way down!!! (The three exclamation points represent the one true and triune injector.) On it goes, on and on into the frenzy, the orgasmic knowledge of truth. Don’t need no logic-ah… don’t need no science-ah… don’t need no non-believers-ah…. Hit me again, Jeebers. Take me Lawd!
    The sex leads to dancing, not the other way around. All of us old Baptists know that early on… the Pentecostal dancers in the aisles have the ‘oral sex’ first by way of the preacher-ah, that moaning voice-ah, and then they dance. Fer Crice sake Myers, you wear glasses for reason!

  36. 36
    carlie

    There was one pastor I knew who talked completely “normally” (meaning like the rest of us) most of the time, but when he was preaching would always say “ISSSSSS – rael” for Israel, which everyone else in town said with a short z sound. I’m not sure where he got that.

    Mainly what I notice that they all have in common is the cadence – sing-songy, with a particular lilt and slightly odd emphasis. I can pick it out on the radio in a second no matter what they’re actually saying.

  37. 37
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I read somewhere that after Chuck Yeager became famous, pilots of everything from crop-dusters to airliners to fighters copied his laconic style in radio-communications, and often his accent. It became “what pilots should sound like.” I’m guessing that this is much the same thing.

  38. 38
    roxchix

    PZ- If you come up with a short and pertinent text or slide addressing the false dichotomy of historical versus observational science, I hope you post it.

    The spruce tree in Sweden was dated two ways, the living trunk by counting the rings, and the 9k root system by carbon dating. Of course, the carbon dating has been calibrated by a anchored tree ring counting back much further than 9K

  39. 39
    unclefrogy

    These fools do this splitting of the world in two thing that just leaves me with a blank stare
    Would they deny the historical evidence that is used commonly in criminal investigations being valid? Or are they saying it is only wrong when you try to apply it to the “truth of the bible”?

    uncle frogy

  40. 40
    woozy

    Objective Science: A broken window. A baseball. A sheepish ten-year old behind the couch.
    Historical Science: 10-year old says “The dog did it”.

    Conclusion: The 10-year old is the only witness we’ve got. So the only logical conclusion is the dog did it. Funny thing, though. We don’t own a dog. Oh well, I guess it will show up some-where.

  41. 41
    woozy

    “We could look up hotel records. But that’s detective work. That isn’t science.”
    —-Say WHAT?!?!

    “Which transmission mechanism is more reliable? A book or a, *scoff*, rock?”
    —-Well, the rock, of cou—
    “But that isn’t the issue. This is a battle of world views.”
    —-Gee, thanks.

  42. 42
    imthegenieicandoanything

    He’s just another consciously-lying asshole. Until he decides to stop knowingly lying, he just deserves scornful, cold opposition. When he’s willing to entertain the possibility of being wrong and go over the evidence, his doubts can be addressed in a reasonable and more respectful manner.

    Ignorance is the beginning point, and admitting that, and using critical thinking and being warmly skeptical is the way to a joy not saccharine in nature.

    He fears (and therefore hates).

  43. 43
    georgewiman

    PZ: “I would love to know about the source of this bizarre affected pronunciation used by Christian preachers.”

    As many have noted, it’s gasping for air. Which reminds me of my homiletics professor at the Christian college I attended in East Tennessee back in the ’70′s. He was the president of the college and knew a lot of preachers, and said that weird pronunciation was indeed caused by such bad breathing habits that they were in danger of passing out from lack of oxygen. Which they interpreted as being filled with the spirit. He brought in the college chorale director to give us breathing and voice lessons so we would “never, ever sound like that in front of a congregation”.

    Even today, as a filthy atheist, I still appreciate his excellent lessons in public speaking.

  44. 44
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    The THING-UH is a Verbal Tic.

  45. 45
    Azuma Hazuki

    Presuppositionalism again! Everywhere you fucking look, van Til’s bloated, rotten corpse is there, jacking off at you! And people wonder why I’ve got such a bee in my bonnet over this…

    Marcus Ranum seems to be the only person here who’s got a grip on how to cut this one off at the knees. Marcus, if you’re still here, I would love to see you elaborate on your posts above!

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Friendly

    Ernest Angley used to be infamous for preaching with that kind of tic. These days, at age 92, I don’t think he has the breath for it.

  48. 48
    kreativekaos

    Gee Todd,.. I guess we can just fire all local law enforcement and CSI* staff, the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, Interpol, etc., since according to your asswipe stupidity, when a crime has been committed,
    it could never be investigated or back-analyzed, because of course,.. we ‘weren’t there’ to observe it as it was being planned or executed, and we can know nothing (know nothing–like you) about what happened prior to a criminal action.

    Yeah Todd, I’m sure you’d be in favor of releasing all those people incarcerated for capital crimes like murder, rape, high level financial fraud, etc., I mean,… according to you, evidence against anyone for a crime executed to any degree in the past–whether 6-10 millennia or 6-10 milliseconds–is all just ‘historical’ in nature and therefore untrustworthy/unreal, right?

    You dickwad.

    *As Bill Nye had mentioned as an example in the ‘debate’.

  49. 49
    vaiyt

    Objective Science: A broken window. A baseball. A sheepish ten-year old behind the couch.
    Historical Science: 10-year old says “The dog did it”.

    Conclusion: The 10-year old is the only witness we’ve got. So the only logical conclusion is the dog did it. Funny thing, though. We don’t own a dog. Oh well, I guess it will show up some-where.

    If you don’t own a dog, then it’s not even A logical conclusion, let alone the only one!

    Books don’t lie, though. If you look around enough, you’ll find a passage that says it was the dog! Problem fucking solved!

  50. 50
    tacitus

    The preacher ‘uh’ affectation serves two purposes. As others have said, it’s a repetitious rhythmic device, used by preachers at the end of phrases and sentences to add color and passion to their voice, with the intent of whipping up the emotional state of the audience to get them into a receptive mood (for whatever nonsense they have in store for them that day).

    I’ve even heard preachers use it as a kind of religious rap, stringing rhyming words or phrases together with the “uh”s as they reach the climax of their sermon.

    “Jesus is wonderful-uh.
    His blessings are bountiful-uh.
    Our lives are a miracle-uh.
    His Father all-powerful-uh.”

    And so on, sometimes for five-ten minutes.

    Friel, on the other hand, is using it for a more prosaic purpose — to add emphasis to certain words that he wants the listener to pay most attention to (lengthening them also helps in that regard). Note that he repeats the same phrases over and over again — another preacher trick — to make sure that, if nothing else, they remember that Nye is either “not reasonable, not intelligent, or lying-uh” (the implication being, of course, is that he is indeed lying-uh.)

    FWIW, I tend to listen to religious radio when I’m driving around town, and sometimes hear Friel’s wretched show (and yes, it is extremely wretched in the secular sense). Funnily enough, I can’t say I’ve even noticed his “uhs” before. The thing that really stands out for me is his faux-jocular style, which makes everything he says sound extremely snide. A most unpleasant characteristic.

  51. 51
    David Marjanović

    Example.

    For maximum entertainment please look up the time Christopher Hitchens called up Friel’s radio show to sell a few books. :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZB0lLIcXIA

    You will not be disappointed.

    Day saved. :-)

    ChasCPeterson, why do you do this?

    Why are you an asshole, a defective human, and an internet troll?

    What. That is your reaction when someone points out that you could so easily have found the whole information, so you didn’t need to spread half-remembered information instead – and then does your minimal homework for you, so you’re spared even the investment of one minute in Google?

    It’s particularly weird because you post Google snippet previews so often.

    When I read something written by a clergyman, I often find myself wondering why they use slightly odd phraseology. The higher they are in the hierarchy, the more marked this is, and with a pope or archbishop you could be forgiven for wondering whether they’re from another planet. They may preach humility, but the subtext seems to be “the way I express these thoughts tells you that I am not like you: I am on a higher plane entirely, more learned, more spiritual, more imbued with the God-essence, so don’t get the idea that you could do what I do, peasant”.

    …Maybe. But I’m sure a large part of it is simply that they’re used to jargon from the seminary, get used to using it, and simply have trouble switching it off again.

    but when he was preaching would always say “ISSSSSS – rael” for Israel, which everyone else in town said with a short z sound. I’m not sure where he got that.

    …Maybe from the original Hebrew, where [s] and [z] are strictly kept apart – unlike in English, where most of the time it’s easy to predict which sound to use.

    I read somewhere that after Chuck Yeager became famous, pilots of everything from crop-dusters to airliners to fighters copied his laconic style in radio-communications, and often his accent. It became “what pilots should sound like.” I’m guessing that this is much the same thing.

    That’s definitely part of what’s going on! There’s precedent.

    As many have noted, it’s gasping for air.

    They don’t sound like they’re inhaling, though.

    I love to sing-uh, about the moon-uh and the Jun-uh and the spring-uh…

    Horror.

    Funnily enough, I can’t say I’ve even noticed his “uhs” before.

    It’s not like he uses them on every occasion; in the video he goes without one for half a minute in the short snipped I actually watched. I think you’re right he uses them for emphasis, to make voiced consonants at the ends of words easier to hear (and to pronounce).

  52. 52
    David Marjanović

    Oh. I don’t even remember which quote I failed to insert in the first blockquote tag. The example is Rev. Lovejoy speaking like this.

  53. 53
    Jerry

    Tree ring counting is probably too esoteric and “elitist” for most YEC fundamentalists, even though it is the simplest method imaginable. The one thing I have never heard them be able to refute or even respond to is the fact that we have human civilizations and their artifacts thousands of years older than they want to admit as the age of the Earth: India (Indus) 7000 BCE, Egypt 5500 BCE, China 7000 BCE (with writing dating to 6000 BCE). None of these human civilizations show evidence of being disrupted by a “world-wide” flood; so much for that as well.

  54. 54
    Rey Fox

    David: Calling raven out on anything gains you instant troll status. I got the badge somewhere in my boxes in the moving van.

  55. 55
    ChasCPeterson

    why do you do this?

    Because I care more about data than feelings.

  56. 56
    Robert Smart

    If somebody starts speaking of historical science vs observation science, you should re-frame it back to its correct terms, Hypotheses (or testable claim) and Observation (supporting facts).

    Historical science is really just renaming of the terms Theory and Hypotheses in order isolate these aspects of science away from their supporting facts (observational science).

    If you allow the use 2 scientific (historical vs observational) aspects then you allow the introduction of a wall between a Theory and Supporting Evidence. You’ll waste time in your argument defending against this conceptual wall before you can start on utilizing factual evidence in support of a scientific theory when arguing against pseudo-scientific or religious woo.

  57. 57
    tonyjiang

    so PZ what do you think about actually debating this guy? or maybe Jason Lisle?

  58. 58
    tacitus

    so PZ what do you think about actually debating this guy?

    PZ would not survive the debate. His head would explode long before they got to the Q&A section from the sheer volume of inanities coming out of Friel’s mouth.

  59. 59
    tacitus

    As many have noted, it’s gasping for air.

    No, it’s not. “uh” is produced while exhaling, not inhaling.

  60. 60
    tonyjiang

    http://www.jasonlisle.com/2013/09/06/are-you-epistemologically-self-conscious/comment-page-2/#comment-7930

    and maybe you guys should take a look at some of Lisle’s nonsesne even worse then Friel

  61. 61
    ChasCPeterson

    No, it’s not. “uh” is produced while exhaling, not inhaling.

    thank you-uh

  62. 62
    Jacob Schmidt

    Because I care more about data than feelings.

    What about data on feelings? Or feelings about data?

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