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  1. Dick the Damned says

    But they don’t actually read that book, (the fucking bible). Some influential persons tell them what it’s all about, in a highly nuanced way. If the rubes actually read it, they’d see what a crock of shit it is. (Of course, i’m referring to those of them that are capable of rational thought on the subject of religion.)

  2. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    This is for biasevolution. I wrote it back in 2009. Biasevolution, please not the parts near the end regarding fossils. I expect you will ignore it, but I might as well try.

    10 July, 2009

    When I was 12 years old, my father took me out of school for two days and we hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. As we passed the Temple Butte Limestone and the Tonto formation (Muav Limestone, Bright Angel Shale and Tapeats Sandstone) we began taking samples of each layer, placing them in my almost empty backpack, and carrying them down to Phantom Ranch. We sampled the Temple Butte (a nice exposure along the Kaibab Trail), the Tonto, the accessible Grand Canyon Group, the Vishnu Schist and the Zoroaster Granite. We also sampled the dikes and sills within the metamorphosed pre-Cambrian formations. By the time we got to the bottom, my pack weighed around 60 pounds. Those rocks came out of the canyon by mule. We repeated the process on the way up, sampling the Redwall Limestone, the Supai Group, the Hermit Shale, Coconino Sandstone, Toroweap Limestone and Kaibab Limestone.

    Ordinarily, this would be illegal as all get-out, but my dad was a Park Ranger and we were collecting the rocks for the museum at Yavapai Point. Years later, when I visited the canyon again, I was rather put-out. The large rocks we had hauled up and down the canyon trails had been cut down to samples twice the size of my fist. I carried rocks three times the size, and they cut them down to little bitty pieces. We could have chopped them down to size before lugging them around.

    According to more than half of Americans, the Grand Canyon is a monument to Noah’s Flood. The shales, limestones, sandstones, lava flows, block faulting of the Grand Canyon Supergroup, the metamorphic Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite (metamorphosed from sandstone, limestone, shale and lava flows) were deposited during and directly after the Noatic flood. A few days of water draining off of the land (to where?) depositing different types of sediment (sediment from where?) leaving the Grand Canyon. Some Christian Young Earth Creationists see the miracle of God in everything and dismiss naturalistic explanations as being limited, depressing, and heretical.

    When I first encountered this view of geology, my thought was, “How limited. How depressing. How boring.” Two billion years of history reduced to a couple of weeks of flood drainage. A kindergartner’s version of earth history. Talk Origins very effectively argues against this rather primitive myth.

    The reality is not only based upon fact, but a much better non-mythical tale.

    Between 1.7 billion and 2 billion years ago, ancient (well, hell, at that age, they better be ancient) sediments, the remains of seas, deserts, deltas and volcanic eruptions, were folded into a mountain range that may have been higher than the Rocky Mountains. The pressure and heat at the root of the mountains metamorphosed the sediments creating the Vishnu and Zoroaster formations. Over millions of years, the mountains were eroded by wind, rain, ice and snow, down to their roots. Thanks to the changes wrought by metamorphosis, along with the lavas, radiometric dating gives a very accurate age.

    This plain creates the Pre-Cambrian uncomformity — a time when no sediment was being deposited. This gap in time represents about 450 million years.

    Starting around 1,250 million years ago, a shallow sea flooded the plain laying down the Bass Limestone — the beginnings of the Unkar Group. Over the next 150 million years, the Hakatai Shale, Shinumo Quartzite, Dox Sandstone and Cardenas lavas were successively laid down. Stromatolites and primitive algae fossils are found in the Bass and Dox formations. Again, the lava flows make accurate dating easy.

    Another uncomformity, this one of about 50 million years, separates out a sandstone (the Nankoweap formation, found only in the eastern Grand Canyon). After another uncomformity of 50 million years, the Chuar Group was deposited. The Galeros formation (interbedded shale, limestone and sandstone), the shale and mudstone of the Kwagunt, and the sandstone and shale of the Sixtymile formation were laid down between 825 and 1,000 million years ago. One more uncomformity (called the Great Uncomformity), represents a gap of 280 million years (to put things in perspective, that amount of time covers the entire time from before the dinosaurs to today).

    Each of these groups, and the unconfomities separating them, represent a quarter-of-a-billion years. They represent seas, oceans, eruptions, deserts, deltas, valleys, plains and mud bogs are from a time when there were no vertebrates, no complex plants, no predators, no prey, no land animals, no land plants, no breathable air. A time when none of the animals supposedly on Noah’s Ark existed.

    Following the Great Unconformity is the Tonto Formation (Tonto is Spanish for silly or stupid — and having hiked across the plains of the Tonto Formation many times, I would have to agree). The Tapeats Sandstone was laid down by an ocean and includes fossil trilobites (during the 5 years I lived at Grand Canyon, I never saw a fossil trilobite (always pissed me off)) and brachiopods. One hell of a jump in complexity of life. This 545 million year old wave sorted sandstone is the tan cliff at the top of the inner gorge of the canyon. About 530 million years ago, the Bright Angel Shale was laid down (interspersed with some sandy limestone and sandstone lensing) followed 15 million years later by the Muav Limestone.

    Yet another uncomformity of 165 million years separates the Tonto from the Temple Butte formation. This limestone and dolomite fills in creek and river valleys carved into the top of the Bright Angel Shale. This eroded layer is further proof of the incredible time factor involved — the Bright Angel had to solidify before the creeks and rivers created the uneven upper contact.

    One of the two most dramatic formations is a brown limestone cliff standing some 400 to 500 feet high. Minerals washed down from above give it a dramatic bright red colour as well as its name: Redwall Limestone. Dating to 335 million years ago, this massive formation of dolomite and limestone includes brachiopods, clams, snails, corals, fish and trilobites.

    Above the Redwall is the Supai Formation. This 285 million year old formation consists of shale and mudstones with a little limestone and sandstone mixed in. Iron oxides wash out of the Supai and down the face of the Redwall. This formation, probably a massive river delta (think Louisiana) includes fossils of amphibians, reptiles and terrestrial plants.

    The 265 million year old Hermit Shale tops the Supai Formation. This is one of the softer rocks in the canyon. As it erodes, it undercuts the Coconino Sandstone, occasionally sending massive blocks tumbling down the canyon walls, sometimes as far as the Tonto Formation. Fossils include ferns, conifers and other plants, as well as some fossilized tracks of reptiles and amphibians.

    The other incredibly dramatic layer in the Grand Canyon is the Coconino Sandstone. This pale yellowish-white sandstone represents a desert environment (no, AIG, it is not an aquatic formation!) and dates to about 260 million years ago. There are no skeletal fossils, but trackways and raindrop fossils are found.

    The Toroweap Formation consists of sandy limestone, slightly darker than the Kaibab above, is a 255 million year old. Along with the 5 million year younger Kaibab Limestone, it represents a Triassic sea. Fossils include brachiopods, corals, sea lilies, mollusks, worms and fish teeth. This is the whitish bathtub ring around the top of the Grand Canyon. Younger layers (which can be seen at Arches, Zion, Capital Reef and Cedar Breaks) have been eroded away.

    So why describe the layers of the Grand Canyon so minutely? Mostly, to show the abject poverty of the creationists mythology. Within this one vertical slice of earth’s history, we see the roots of a mighty mountain chain in the Pre-Cambrian metamorphic rocks of the inner gorge. We see evidence of erosion, deposition, erosion, deposition, and block faulting and tilting in the Grand Canyon Supergroup. We see the advance and recession, over massive periods of time, of oceans and seas. We see the swamps of deltas, the eroded surface of an undulating plain, a massive desert of sand dunes and small lacertilians, and another ocean. We see the different types of rock, added, folded, changed, erodes, and deposited in many different environments.

    And we see fossils. From the stromatolites and algae of the Grand Canyon Supergroup to the brachiopods and trilobites of the Tonto Group, from the snails, corals, fish and trilobites of the Redwall to the ferns and amphibians of the Supai, from the reptiles of the Coconino to the fish, sea lilies and corals of the Kaibab, we see the development of life. From algae to lizards, from trilobites to fish, from ferns to conifers, we see the fossil column match exactly the geological column. We can date the layers accurately either through various radiometric methods or by comparing an ‘undateable’ fossil from the Grand Canyon with a radiometrically dated fossil from elsewhere in the world.

    Were the Grand Canyon the result of the Noatic Flood, would all the different dating methods reliably yield the same ages in the same order? the same gaps? Were the Grand Canyon the result of the Noatic Flood, would the fossil column show the development of life from the algae and stromatolites of the Pre-Cambrian through the advanced fishes of the Triassic? In the same order shown elsewhere in the world?

    Young Earth Creationism, Biblical Literalism, and Christian Fundamentalism is a severely limiting philosophy. By assuming that the answer to any question is that God Did It, creationists choose to ignore the reality around them. They ignore the evidence left by billions of years of earth’s history. Their version of earth is without evidence. Their version of earth is without proof. Their version of earth is limited, depressing and boring. Their version of earth is a poverty of the human spirit of inquiry, knowledge and truth.

    Sadly, men and women who follow this anti-intellectual pseudo-philosophy and attempting to force their limited view of the possible down the throats of all Americans. In Texas, anti-intellectual godbots are attempting to limit the study of American history, of evolution and biology, and even the age of the universe. And Texas, being such a big buyer of textbooks, influences limits the choices of every state in the union.

    If you prefer the one paragraph version near the top of this post, so be it. Just don’t expect the rest of us to bend over and take it. Two billion years of geologic proof trumps a bunch of self-contradictory bronze age myths. And it does it by studying the evidence. Ya’ll should try it. Might be a new experience for you.

  3. Menyambal says

    SC, thanks for that great description of the laws of nature, and thanks for the introduction to Emma Goldman.

  4. Kevin Kehres says

    Here’s the thing about that…if there were a great global flood that wiped out all civilization…

    The cities would be at the bottom. Cities can’t run like people or dinosaurs.

    They aren’t. Case closed.

  5. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    It has been a long time since we’ve had a live one like biasevolution. Others will no doubt rip him/her a brand new and fully functional asshole on the astounding ignorant spew from the previous thread. I will just weigh in on a couple of points:

    First, BE doesn’t even seem to understand that science is about prediction, not explanation. For explanation, a just-so story will do, as will GODDIDIT. Science, though tells you what to expect and where to look for it. Just-so stories and religion satiate curiosity. Science stimulates it. ID cannot make predictions unless you would presume to understand the psychology of the designer. As such, it is not and can never be science.

    Second, BE brings up C-14 dating. Oops! C-14 has a half life of 5730 years. One C atom our of a trillion is C-14. That means that in a 1-mole sample of pure carbon, you will have about 0.1 trillion C-14 nuclei. The last of these will have decayed within 150000 years, so C-14 is worthless for dating anything older than that. In point of fact, this is even optimistic, as 1)carbon is often lost to other processes other than decay, and 2)living organisms are enriched in C-12 and depleted in C-14 compared to the natural abundance.

    It would appear that BE gets his science from Xtian comic books.

  6. mikeyb says

    Terrific book recommendation I’m just getting into – Thomas Piketty – Capital in the 21st Century – a tour de force with evidence and data on how capitalism is at the root of obscene inequality not just in the US but worldwide. To me its a must read for anyone who cares about the economics of income inequality or just humanity in general.

    Here’s a talk he gave on the book. The more people informed about the data driven research presented in the book, maybe there could be a slim chance of actually trying to do something about it. If we don’t we can say goodbye permanently to any delusions about democracy.

  7. Kevin Kehres says

    @9…that actually just came to me the other day.

    Of course, it’s worse than that. Because the ruins of ancient cities we do see not only are on the top, they’re made up of the stuff that’s below them in the geological column. The limestone and sandstone of previous epochs.

    That couldn’t possibly be the case under the flood scenario.

  8. Menyambal says

    Ogvorbis, #4 is marvelous. I got to hike down into the Grand Canyon once, with a geologist. I remember the height of the Redwall, and the feel of age of the PreCambriam.

    I also recall massive towers of rock, leaning against the vertical canyon walls. That is not the result of instant erosion through soft sediments.

  9. says

    Re: Piketty’s book

    I’d love to read it. I keep hearing stuff on NPR about it, and the interviewers’ astonishment and perplexity at the thought that capitalism might simple be a bad idea and nothing more is amusing to me.

  10. davidchapman says

    8
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    …..BE doesn’t even seem to understand that science is about prediction, not explanation.

    Isn’t it more accurate to say that science is about prediction as well as explanation — and about prediction and explanation at the same time, that is, by the same process?

    For explanation, a just-so story will do, as will GODDIDIT.

    That really depends who’s on the receiving end of the explanation; what emotional pressures they are placed under to accept certain kinds of explanation and so on.

    Science, though tells you what to expect and where to look for it……..
    Science stimulates [curiosity.]

    Isn’t that what genuine explanation does, to, by its nature?
    The thing is, one of the massive contributions Natural Selection has made to human thought has been purely in terms of explanation. First and foremost, it’s just an enormous, and enormously important, EXPLANATION.
    And secondly, it proferred an alternative explanation to the activities of a Creative Intelligence, and that was one of the reasons why one explanation was not as good as another; because before evolutionary models were invented, there wasn’t another explanation. And this is definitely an instance of science in action, because it is one of the most transformative and liberating things that science has ever done for us — which of course, is saying something.

  11. says

    @ rorschach (previous iteration #654)

    Daniel Kahneman

    He is the perfect introductory reading for

    Pascal Boyer: Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

    He [Pascal Boyer] advocates the idea that human instincts provide us with the basis for an intuitive theory of mind that guides our social relations, morality, and predilections toward religious beliefs. Boyer and others propose that these innate mental systems make human beings predisposed to certain cultural elements such as belief in supernatural beings. ¹

    Really: the discussion of biology this, and geology that ², with religious people is a dead end street. Professor Boyer has put the whole issue to bed permanently. There really is not much to discuss once one understands the underlying psychology of the religious delusion.

    ¹ From the Pfffffffffft of All Knowledge, no less!

    ² Not that I wish to interrupt what is otherwise a fascinating debate. What I mean to say, rather, is that the debate is over. The goddists lost. We can now get back to a discussion of biology and geology, … and the like.

  12. says

    davidchapman #15

    Science, though tells you what to expect and where to look for it……..
    Science stimulates [curiosity.]

    Isn’t that what genuine explanation does, to, by its nature?

    Depends on what you mean by genuine explanation, I guess. I think the point is that you have to explain not just why X happened, but why X happened, rather than not-X.

    “Goddidit” is perfectly capable of explaining any given phenomenon, but it’s equally good at explaining the exact opposite phenomenon. That’s why it’s not really a very satisfying explanation at all and also why it can’t produce any predictions.

    It’s a result of its unfasifiablity; by securing the god hypothesis against disproof, the theists have also rendered it irrelevant. They even know that, which is why you often see then cycling back and forth between two very distinct conceptions of god; the unknowable, inhuman force that created everything and the personal, jealous megalomaniac who throws a fit if you do the wrong thing with your genitals. One version is used to evade uncomfortable questions and the other to affirm dogma.

    The thing is, one of the massive contributions Natural Selection has made to human thought has been purely in terms of explanation. First and foremost, it’s just an enormous, and enormously important, EXPLANATION

    You could say that, but the reason we know the explanation is correct is that it make predictions about what we’d be likely to find, which turned out to be correct. Prediction is an essential factor in judging hypotheses.
    A hypothesis that makes no predictions is impossible to evaluate, since there’s literally an infinite number of hypotheses that fit any given data set. The prediction is what really allows us to test our ideas.

    In that connection, it’s important to note that its entirely possible to predict past events, as long as the prediction is made before the past event is known to you. As such, the discovery of Tiktaalik was a genuine prediction, even thought the species had been dead and gone for millions of years by the time the prediction was made.
    That’s one of the (no doubt many) ways in which Ken Hams distinction between historical science and observational science is nonsense.

  13. David Marjanović says

    Second, BE brings up C-14 dating. Oops! C-14 has a half life of 5730 years. One C atom our of a trillion is C-14. That means that in a 1-mole sample of pure carbon, you will have about 0.1 trillion C-14 nuclei. The last of these will have decayed within 150000 years, so C-14 is worthless for dating anything older than that. In point of fact, this is even optimistic, as 1)carbon is often lost to other processes other than decay, and 2)living organisms are enriched in C-12 and depleted in C-14 compared to the natural abundance.

    If you’re really lucky, you can get to 60,000 years ago.

  14. says

    @ mikeyb

    Thanks for the recommend.

    The US is looking more and more like an oligarchy. So too many other countries, Russia and China, to mention but two. The mechanisms are not complicated to understand. They are very old (though the interviewer only refers to “200 years of inequality”), and I cannot but help think of Solon and the unwinding of the oligarchic state of early Athens. Democracy is something that is enforced by law. Left to their own devices, the human ape is not capable of sustainably arranging its affairs in a sustainable manner.

    I blame crappy software.

    Exploring the Psychology of Wealth, ‘Pernicious’ Effects of Economic Inequality

    Fuck ‘em, I say!

  15. Velvet Heart says

    I loved this Cosmos series sofar, but what’s up with all the atoms having their electrons stuck in the S orbital?

  16. mikeyb says

    All I know are things are seriously fucked up, they gotta change, and I am not alone. I think income inequality has a lot to do with it.

    Here’s a personal anecdote. I have a very intelligent son, near top of his class, high SAT, etc etc who has applied to and got admission to a few elite universities I won’t mention. The problem, they offer him scholarships which are 20-30K/year less that what is required. I don’t have the money to subsidize the difference, and I don’t recommend my son go to these schools by getting in massive debt with student loans. So he is more than likely going to go to a local university in which he doesn’t incur as much debt. But what the fuck, this is no way to run a country. Why bother to do well – excel if it doesn’t make a fucking difference. I’m seriously stressed about this, but don’t know what I can possibly do about it. We’re creating a nation of indebted college students, which when they are done even successfully, may not be able to find decent careers and jobs. Sorry about the vent.

  17. davidchapman says

    17
    LykeX
    Depends on what you mean by genuine explanation, I guess. I think the point is that you have to explain not just why X happened, but why X happened, rather than not-X.

    Yes, I think I agree with what you and Ray are saying in these two posts, except for this one mega-important issue as to whether science is explanation, which you also seem unkeen on.
    What I mean by genuine explanation: I was specifically implying in contradiction to what Ray said that explanations are not arbitrary. They’re decodings, unlockings of combination locks, actual solutions to real puzzles. The fact that they’re usually only partial explanations shouldn’t blind us to the fact that they are explanations. ( And it particularly shouldn’t here, because it’s possible that with the case of Natural Selection and the rest of modern evolutionary thought we have an example of a full explanation of the puzzle– which would be rather cool. )

    Whereas what you say in this ( above ) quote is valid and important, it’s not the whole thing. Scientific explanations are genuine explanations because they really clarify the puzzlement in question, like for example where surface tension in water comes from, or why bees make hexagonal honeycombs.
    Really explaining something is also the same thing as saying why something else didn’t happen, so I agree with you. But it is also saying why x happened, specifically and illuminatingly.

    17
    LykeX

    First and foremost, it’s just an enormous, and enormously important, EXPLANATION

    You could say that,

    Yep, because it’s extremely true.

    but the reason we know the explanation is correct is that it make predictions about what we’d be likely to find, which turned out to be correct. Prediction is an essential factor in judging hypotheses.

    All excellent stuff, words of wisdom, I couldn’t agree more. What I was saying was not against prediction, but pro explanation. ( And by the same token, the observation that what science is, or achieves is complex. That it’s not about any one thing. )
    Of course this raises other issues, like explanation in quantum physics, or whether my view proffers an opportunity to religious pundits to mock science because of the things it doesn’t have an explanation for. I don’t know if such, or similar considerations prompt Ray to suggest that science is not about explanation, but my purpose here is to point out that this cannot be right. As it stands, science does not proffer an overarching philosophical account of the Universe; nor it it necessary to pretend that it does. A lot of problems stem from the fact that, because it is, righteously, the authoritative voice on a lot of the most important things, and because alternative intellectual approaches, involving Just Making Shit Up, are touted so aggressively and villainously in this troubled, troubling World — decent and rational people want to pretend that it does, to maximize its ability to deal with this vast army of tossers lest they fuck everything up even more than they have done already.
    And that therefore decent and rational fans of science are torn between thinking that science should either have an explanation for everything, or explanations are not really what this thing is about. I think this is a serious mistake.

  18. joel says

    Dick the Damned (comment #2):

    former Xian here, let me assure you that the rubes really do read the Bible, most of them daily. They read it, study it, talk about it, hear about it at church, and talk about it some more at Bible Studies during the week. Google “Bible Quiz” and learn about the Xian equivalent of Quiz Bowl for kids. It’s not unusual to find perfectly average fundy Xians who can list all 88 books of the Bible, in order, and tell you something specific about every one of them. Because they’ve read them all, repeatedly, with focus.

    Of course, there is a great deal of selective blindness in all this. Most Xians will fumble a bit if you challenge them about the appalling bloodthirstiness of the God of the Old Testament. And many younger Xians today are suffering severe cognitive dissonance regarding the numerous condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible, compared to the perfectly ordinary gays that they know in real life. It is not coincidence that Millenials take the Bible less seriously than any other generation in US history.

    But do not doubt: the Bible is the primary motivator for creationism. This is why our efforts to educate creationists by citing evidence are doomed to fail. Evidence is not what it’s about for them. Not in the slightest.

  19. David Marjanović says

    Being a Texan, the only logical place to store your chocolate is in the freezer.

    What about the fridge?

    château en Espagne

    Must be like “girlfriend in Canada”.

    Ratel.

    Holy… crap.

    What is of interest is the talk of the controversy and your demands of publishing the evidence against evolution which is a fallacious request. It is simply naive to think well-done research which actually definitively underscores how bogus the TOE will be accepted. Not even multiple ones.

    Congratulations! You have managed to single-handedly accuse all biologists in the world of either having a deeply unscientific mindset – to the point of simply not being scientists at all –, or of being lying conspirators, to which I can only say that tens of thousands of scientists can keep a secret when all but one of them are dead and the last has advanced dementia.

    You’re just making an excuse for not even trying.

    -Lack of transitionals? Blame fossils.

    Turns out Darwin was right about that one. Go ahead! Mention a transition in vertebrate evolution, and I’ll list the transitional fossils.

    A lot has happened in the last 156 years.

    -See an irreducibly complex eye? Make stories using ‘simpler eyes’.

    A stone arch is irreducibly complex: take a stone out, and the whole arch collapses. You are suggesting that it’s impossible to build an arch. Perhaps you haven’t listened to yourself – it is quite plainly what you’re saying.

    The trick is the scaffold. Do you want some examples of scaffolds in biology?

    -What’s the origin of the species? Personify nature and ascribe selective powers to it

    You’ve simply misunderstood the term “natural selection”. Really, that’s all there is to it.

    Those individuals that are better at deriving energy (finding food, say) and reproducing than the others in a given environment will have a greater number of surviving fertile offspring than others in the same environment. If the reasons why they do better in that environment are heritable, the descendants of those individuals will be overrepresented in the next generations. Shorthand for this is “the alleles that make them do better in this environment are being selected for”.

    Likewise, the descendants of those that do worse in a given environment will be underrepresented in the next generations. Shorthand for this is “the alleles that make them do worse in this environment are being selected against”.

    That’s all there is to it. It really is that simple. :-|

    while shedding no light on variations.

    Variation is caused by mutations. This, the origin of new alleles that were previously absent in the population, is pretty much what “mutation” means.

    -What of Mendel’s experiments that definitively showed recessive and dominant traits? Incorporate it into the theory never mind how it blows gradual evolution out of the water.

    Mendel assumed mutations never happen.

    It seems like every genius makes one big, fat, embarrassing mistake. This is Mendel’s.

    -Years of failed experiments of random mutations in fruit flies?

    What? What experiments, and how have they failed?

    Still insist random mutations makes novel traits for selection. Not even the fact of DNA repair to prevent random mutations hampers this.

    Are you really stupid enough to believe DNA repair is perfect?!?

    It is known what mutation rates are, and what they would be if any particular part of the repair system were missing (many are weakened or missing in viruses, BTW). The numbers have been textbook knowledge for decades. Look them up already.

    -See soft tissues in dinosaur bones? Assume they must last for hundreds of millions of years.

    Not sure how you get from 85 to “hundreds”… It’s also evident that you aren’t familiar with any of the other facts of these cases. The soft tissues in question are by no means unaltered; only certain proteins are left (no fat, no DNA!), and they are heavily crosslinked (by the catalytic action of iron from hemoglobin) so that no digestive enzyme can do anything with them. They’re deep inside solid bone cortex, where hardly anything can get to them. The bone is very well preserved (better than most) because of the well-drained sandstone, the fact that the groundwater (when there was any) hasn’t been acidic since then, and so on.

    There’s no reason to think that proteins can’t last for 85 Ma under such conditions.

    -Repeatedly test for C-14 in fossils? Ignore this, any C-14 in fossils buried MUST be impurities that leaked in no matter how much is found and in how many fossils.

    Funny how its quantity increases the closer the fossil lies to a radioactive ore. Are you stuck in the 1950s or something?

    -What of a genetic code, how the heck can natural processes make codes?

    Don’t get stuck on words. Don’t assume research hasn’t been done just because you don’t know it has been done or just because you can’t imagine it.

    I just went to Google Scholar, typed evolution genetic code, restricted the search to “since 2010″ so I won’t feed you outdated information (such as the few papers I’ve actually read on this topic), went to the second page, and got this from 2011 (pdf) and this from 2014. Tell me if you hit a paywall.

    -What of the machinery in the cell and the genetic information in the DNA specifying them and their integration in a life-form, doesn’t this suggest design?

    If you take a very superficial look at it, it often does.

    This gives you two choices. You could throw up your arms and shout “praise Jesus”. Or you could do the scientific thing and take a second look.

    The similarities and differences in cellular chemistry are like those in externally visible anatomy, and the similarities and differences in the DNA coding for it are like that coding for anything else: they’re arranged in a tree shape. Not a line, not a ladder, not a circle, not a cross – a tree. This happens to be exactly what the theory of evolution predicts.

    This tree holds lots of surprises. Albumin (a protein that binds fat, making it possible for it to be transported by the blood) is nested among digestive enzymes. Crystallin (a transparent component of eye lenses) is nested among lysozymes (which destroy bacterial cell walls). Icefish antifreeze is nested among junk DNA.

    Why would any designer do such a thing?

    -What of fossils of animals virtually similar to their modern counterparts?

    Name one. :-)

    -ID? Definitively “anti-science” according to

    the Wedge Document. We have read it. You should, too.

    the TOE theory

    it was quickly co-opted as a prop to enable the meme of science accepting explanations which affirm materialism

    Oh yes, it was. Many kinds of ideologues jumped on it because they thought it supported, or could be twisted to support, their mutually contradictory and usually murderous ideologies.

    That doesn’t change the fact that the theory of evolution provides an explanation for biodiversity that does not require a Designer. The argument from consequences is a logical fallacy.

    The Theory Of Evolution theory? :-)

    The bacteria already had the DNA to do what Dr. Joao Xavier is calling evolution.

    No! The genome of these bacteria was sequenced every few thousand generations. Genes for citrate metabolism weren’t present and switched off or something, they were absent. The ancestors of those genes were present, but they had other functions. This is a fact.

    (And who is this Xavier dude? What happened to Lenski?)

    This loss of information can be beneficial…like long haired dogs losing the DNA for long hair in the desert, but this is a loss of information

    You don’t know that. What if the mutation codes for something that actively stops hair growth or speeds up the hair replacement cycle?

    and will never be regained.

    I have red hair like my dad. This means some gene involved in making eumelanin is broken; I only make phaeomelanin.

    Most of me only makes phaeomelanin. I have a few black hairs scattered over my body (3 on each wrist, for instance).

    It’s obvious what happened: in a few hair follicle cells of mine, the mutated gene mutated again. Mutations are random, there’s no way to prevent them from going in any particular direction.

    If it makes you feel better, I also have a few white hairs scattered over my body (again 3 on each wrist, for instance). Clearly, some step in the production of phaeomelanin has broken in them, too; or perhaps one of the “on” switches is broken.

    Lastly and most importantly this bacteria mutated from bacteria to…….bacteria, so…not evolution.

    No, you don’t get to change the definitions of technical terms, and neither does Ham.

    Evolution = descent with heritable modification.

    Well, first of all it is logical, if you have one parent that has for example LS (L=long hair; S= short hair) for its DNA and the other parent has SL, with the first letter being dominate respectively. You have the following options for offspring: LL, SS, LS, SL. Even in a mutation you will only get a mix of the letters L and S you cant get N because it isn’t possible.

    …Wow, this is complete and utter nonsense. “Mutation” means that a new allele appears; the chance of it being identical to one of the old ones is rather tiny.

    I find that “ignorance about evolution” usually means “disagreeing with the theory”.

    Based on the above, I submit that you’re too ignorant to tell. :-|

    If I don’t subscribe to UCA I make less claims about a fossil.

    You make fewer, but you imply many more. That’s where you go wrong.

    For instance, you imply that it’s the result of a separate origin of life. We only have to postulate one… You imply that its similarities to other organisms are either random or due to the Designer’s whim. In the latter case you have to postulate the existence of a Designer, and you have to explain its whims; “it’s ineffable” is not an explanation.

    Do I need to go on?

    (By “UCA”, do you mean “universal common ancestry”?)

    If in a hundred thousand years human evolved to this amount hen in over 3 billion years I would expect a whole host of fossils because the number of life-forms that would’ve existed be very huge.

    …That’s exactly what we’re finding wherever preservation allows it. :-| Again, tell me a transition in vertebrate evolution*, and I’ll present it to you in detail.

    * Vertebrates, because of their bones & teeth, have a pretty good fossil record, and they happen to be my field. :-)

    When you design a better eye let me know.

    In all seriousness, pretty much any modern camera will do. Your eyes don’t even correct for chromatic aberration except in the crudest way possible – by having ridiculously few receptors for blue.

    an ad-hominem attacks [sic] on the design quality

    …You don’t know what an ad-hominem argument is.

    “X is some kind of asshole, therefore whatever X says is wrong” is an ad-hominem argument.

    “This is wrong because it contradicts the evidence” is not an ad-hominem argument.

    the pretence part is the worst of all because when ‘evodoesit’ it’s good enough but ‘goddidit’ is bad, bad BAD!

    Your projection is really amusing. :-)

    If you tried publishing a paper that said nothing more than “evodoesit”, the editors wouldn’t even send your manuscript out for review. They’d just tell you “we knew that much; your manuscript fails to explain how evo does it, let alone in a testable way – therefore it’s rejected, have a nice day”.

    No wonder, then, that precisely such explanations abound in the literature. That you haven’t read them is your problem.

    Mendel’s laws never helped Darwin because they suggested variations were discrete and had limits beyond which more variation couldn’t be attained. I think centuries of experiments and selective breeding have confirmed these facts beyond all doubt. It’s just that Darwin urged against limits to variation (despite the evidence) because his theory required the contrary.

    It would literally take a miracle to prevent mutations from happening. It would take a miracle to tell DNA polymerase II “no, you mustn’t misread this C as a T and put an A in the new strand, that’s already been done often enough in the last thousand generations”. It would take a miracle to tell a water molecule “no, you mustn’t crash into the bond between this base and its ribose, try the next one over where it doesn’t matter”.

    Mendel had no idea of this. DNA was not understood in his lifetime, probably not even known. He did pretty much the best he could with the knowledge and evidence available in his time – and happened to make a big fat mistake. :-| Shit happens.

    And what I’ve written above demonstrates the holes in your theory.

    It demonstrates the holes in your knowledge, and the holes in your esteem of your knowledge.

  20. David Marjanović says

    Seven screens on a large screen! Þe olden times have returned! ^_^

    So he is more than likely going to go to a local university in which he doesn’t incur as much debt.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but I recommend going to a university in a country where universities don’t or can’t change such ridiculous amounts – indeed, there are countries where studying at a university is free.

    when they are done even successfully, may not be able to find decent careers and jobs

    That’s the same for practically everyone everywhere in the world, though.

    former Xian here, let me assure you that the rubes really do read the Bible, most of them daily.

    This depends very strongly on the denomination. In short, reading the Bible is a Protestant thing.

    Bible Studies during the week.

    An American thing.

    Google “Bible Quiz” and learn about the Xian equivalent of Quiz Bowl for kids.

    I didn’t know any of those, including Quiz Bowl, existed.

    all 88 books of the Bible, in order

    The number depends on the denomination, and the order even on the edition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible

    Millenials

    That would be derived from 1000 assholes, not 1000 years. :-)

    Xavier is this guy.

    Oh, awesome. :-)

    he’d referred to Kropotkin in a piece about cooperation and microfilms

    Hee. :-)

  21. Amphiox says

    If you tried publishing a paper that said nothing more than “evodoesit”, the editors wouldn’t even send your manuscript out for review. They’d just tell you “we knew that much; your manuscript fails to explain how evo does it, let alone in a testable way – therefore it’s rejected, have a nice day”.

    Ironically this is exactly what PZ and many others criticize evolutionary psychology for. Because that’s essentially what a lot of that evo-psych stuff is, declarations of “evolution did it” without any reasonable attempt at figuring out the how in a testable way.

    Our troll obviously doesn’t read the rest of this site…

  22. azhael says

    @25 David

    Ratel.

    Holy… crap.

    Just watched the whole documentary.

    Evil is real, it can´t be contained and it wants honey.

  23. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Responding here to #555 by WMDKitty in the Lounge.

    It’s got nothing to do with “OMG tits.” I like boobs.

    I assume this means that you find breasts sexually exciting? That is not relevant. Misogynists use this excuse all the time (they can’t hate women! they love to fuck them!) and it means nothing. You find the actual biological function of breasts repulsive. That you can find them sexually exciting when divorced from this function is irrelevant.

    I find it disgusting, degrading, and dehumanizing because I am utterly repulsed by the mere thought of someone feeding off of another human being. (See: my thoughts on pregnancy.)

    These are your feelings. No one should ever pressure you to breastfeed or carry a pregnancy. No one should judge you or shame you for your disinterest in these things. However, they are only your feelings. They are not universal standards.

    Naturally, I’m going to take issue with people who decide to shove their crotch-goblin onto a tit without a little fucking discretion and respect for others who just might not want to see it. (And no, it’s not always possible to “just not look”, because some people deliberately make a Broadway production out of it like their babby is some kind of status symbol.)

    If respecting others who don’t want to see things meant hiding everything they didn’t want to see, I’d never leave the house. If we value equality and justice, we can’t use standards like that. Standards like that are used to shame and oppress people. Declaring people who breastfeed are being disgusting and need to hide their disgustingness limits what those people can do in their daily lives. It means they either have to stay home or else pay money they may not be able to afford in order to pump or use formula; sterilizing bottles and planning around feeding times (and not all babies will keep to a schedule) costs them time and energy that is already sorely taxed; it takes away their ability to make their own decisions about what’s best for themselves and their infants.

    Take it to the car, or a back corner, cover up, arrange your friends to provide a “wall”, I don’t care, so long as I don’t have to see it.

    This isn’t your decision to make or even a reasonable blanket request. I’m sorry for the obvious distress you have over these biological functions, but you don’t get to dictate this.

  24. rowanvt says

    Yeah, I’m the bad guy for asking BFing mothers to please respect the people around them and use a little discretion.

    All I can think of when I read this is:

    “Yeah, I’m the bad guy for asking gays to please respect the people around them and use a little discretion.” It’s an adult version of “Think of the Children!”

  25. David Marjanović says

    Oh! Took me a while to see the error.

    …I didn’t even notice. You mean “microfilms” instead of “microbes”, right?

    I just find it funny that Kropotkin gets cited in Current Biology. Not wrong, just funny. :-)

    Evil is real, it can´t be contained and it wants honey.

    That’s a good way to put it. :-)

    Ratels do indeed kick ass.

    :-D

    I am utterly repulsed by the mere thought of someone feeding off of another human being

    …I’ll just say that not everyone is that deep into metaphor.

    crotch-goblin

    o_O

  26. rq says

    Also, discretion?
    It’s like every breastfeeding mother out there has just thrown off her shirt while loudly proclaiming “I’m about to breastfeed mah baby!” in your face, because no mother has ever been shamed about trying to feed her baby in public, and breastfeeding mothers don’t already know about general possible attitudes they might meet in public while engaging in the feeding of their “crotch-goblin”, who sometimes gets hungry off-schedule or sometimes the schedule gets unexpectedly rearranged while in progress… I guess one can never be careful enough, and it’s best to stay in, even when all you want is to go for a coffee or tea outside of the walls of your confining house. Yeah, right.

  27. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    WMDKItty probably won’t respond here, so I don’t know why I bother , but….
    “Yeah, I’m the bad guy” implies there is a bad guy who isn’t you who’s…. who? Breastfeeding mothers are the only candidates right now.

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    MellowMonkey#33 re breast feeding in public:

    This isn’t your decision to make or even a reasonable blanket request. I’m sorry for the obvious distress you have over these biological functions, but you don’t get to dictate this.

    QFMFT.
    You have a problem, YOU look away.

  29. opposablethumbs says

    Responding here to comment in the Lounge:

    Yeah, I’m the bad guy for asking BFing mothers to please respect the people around them and use a little discretion.

    That’s actually quite a long way from what you started out saying, which was basically that all women who breastfeed are doing something gross and that nobody should ever do this where anyone else could possibly see it.
    i.e. the above is not what you said before, and … well, I’m annoyed because that’s not fair. It’s not acceptable to demand that a woman should have to limit her mobility until a baby is weaned, or that she should have to get up and leave friends, family etc. to go and hide away in a car or another room in order to breastfeed (and in my own admittedly limited experience most women positively prefer to do it discreetly anyway).

    Whatever.

    I’m dropping it.

    OK, fair enough, and having said the above I will now too.

  30. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    38
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    WMDKItty probably won’t respond here, so I don’t know why I bother , but….
    “Yeah, I’m the bad guy” implies there is a bad guy who isn’t you who’s…. who? Breastfeeding mothers are the only candidates right now.

    Well, of course they are! They make WMDKitty feel icky, which is just evil and they should be thankful she allows discretion as a compromise. Instead of outright banning, leading to criminal charges if broken, presumably.

  31. says

    WMD Kitty:

    Take it to the car, or a back corner, cover up, arrange your friends to provide a “wall”, I don’t care, so long as I don’t have to see it.

    There are all manner of things I’d prefer not to see in public. I don’t much like seeing pants belted midway across someone’s arse, I really don’t like seeing asses spit, etc. There’s much less reason to do those things in public, as opposed to feeding an infant. When there’s something going on in public I don’t want to see, I don’t look. *shrug*

    Also, the few times I’ve ever seen breastfeeding in public, the woman has gone to some pains to be as discreet as possible. It’s a tough situation for a lot of women, so I think giving them a break is a good thing. Yeah, there might be women who ‘whip it out’ here and there, so what? It’s kinda like being pro-abortion – you can’t go with “hey, the nice women can have one, but not those sluts!”

  32. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    565
    WMDKitty — Survivor

    Azkyroth

    Mobility devices like my wheelchair are, in fact, a necessity, and enable me to participate more fully in society.

    Breastfeeding is not a necessity, and only hampers women by keeping them tethered to their crotch-loafs. Leaving the child with the other parent or a trusted caregiver is an option, as are bottles.

    I can’t leave my CP at home. I’m guessing you can’t leave your ASD at home, either.

    On that basis, your analogy falls flat, and then some.

    Fuck you for limiting women’s choices based on your icky feelings. Go fuck yourself.

    And seriously, pumping, bottles, cleaning and making the little tyke drink from a bottle, even if it is still breast milk is NOT THAT FUCKING SIMPLE. You don’t have a fucking clue.

  33. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    If anything should be prohibited in public, it’s spitting. I hate when people spit on the street. It’s just… urgh. I have to turn my head away. Especially when it’s a juicy one.
    Oh. Oh! There’s a solution for WMDKitty! Look the other way. It’s not that hard.

  34. rowanvt says

    Pfft. Beatrice, that is an undue hardship and not something we women who keep our tatas around only for sexual purposes should have to do. After all, we’re in the majority and it is the responsibility of the minority to keep us happy.

  35. says

    WMDKitty:

    Take [your breastfeeding child] to the car, or a back corner, cover up, arrange your friends to provide a “wall”, I don’t care, so long as I don’t have to see it.

    Turn your fucking head.

    If you can’t turn your head, close one eye, wear a helmet or arrange your own goddamn friends into a “wall”. I don’t care, so long as I don’t have to hear you fucking whinge about it.

  36. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    WMD Kitty:

    Breastfeeding is not a necessity

    It is if your infant refuses the bottle. For the first year of her life my daughter wouldn’t accept anything but the boob. We unsuccessfully tried every trick and product known to the internet ,short of outright woo and full-on medical intervention, all to no avail.

  37. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    JAL @ 41

    They make WMDKitty feel icky, which is just evil and they should be thankful she allows discretion as a compromise.

    Which brings me to what bothers me about requesting discretion: who’s defining it? When my niece was breastfeeding, I never saw her nipples, but she’s a very large-breasted woman. Breast tissue was exposed. Is that wrong? If she drapes her shirt so there’s no breast tissue exposed but you can still see the suckling infant is that wrong? Does it finally become discreet when a blanket is laid completely over the baby’s face? Or should it be draped over her shoulder and down to her knee so you can’t even see that there is a baby?

    I’ve seen all of these methods used. And since I’m not the one lactating and it’s not my kid, I figure the one who knows best what’s going to work with that set of boobs and that baby is the person breastfeeding. Which is why I don’t think any blanket “this is the only way you should breastfeed” statement should be made. It’s not my business and it’s far more important that the people involved are comfortable and able to make it work.

  38. says

    #49 The Mellow Monkey:

    When my niece was breastfeeding, I never saw her nipples, but she’s a very large-breasted woman. Breast tissue was exposed. Is that wrong? If she drapes her shirt so there’s no breast tissue exposed but you can still see the suckling infant is that wrong? Does it finally become discreet when a blanket is laid completely over the baby’s face? Or should it be draped over her shoulder and down to her knee so you can’t even see that there is a baby?

    I’ll see that and raise you!

    *Hurriedly starts drawing plans for the “Baby Booby Burqa”…

  39. says

    …I didn’t even notice. You mean “microfilms” instead of “microbes”, right?

    Oh, ha! I meant “biofilms.”

    I just find it funny that Kropotkin gets cited in Current Biology. Not wrong, just funny. :-)

    There’s even a picture!

  40. says

    rowanvt:

    All I can think of when I read this is:

    “Yeah, I’m the bad guy for asking gays to please respect the people around them and use a little discretion.” It’s an adult version of “Think of the Children!”

    I agree.
    As I mentioned in the Lounge, I’ve waited on several breastfeeding mothers at my restaurant. They’ve *all* covered up with a blanket. I see that as showing discretion and thinking about others within reasonable limits.
    That said, I would like to see people become more accepting of public breastfeeding. It’s one more thing on the long list of things that women get shamed for.

  41. davidchapman says

    Of course I realize this is a harsh thing to say, but it seems to me that distress at seeing a woman breastfeeding a child seems appropriate to some inmate of hell; not a reaction I’d expect from a decent human being.

  42. says

    davidchapman:

    Of course I realize this is a harsh thing to say, but it seems to me that distress at seeing a woman breastfeeding a child seems appropriate to some inmate of hell; not a reaction I’d expect from a decent human being.

    Eh, I understand it well enough. That said, one’s personal quirks shouldn’t be used to dictate to others at large.

  43. says

    I find it disgusting, degrading, and dehumanizing because I am utterly repulsed by the mere thought of someone feeding off of another human being. (See: my thoughts on pregnancy.)

    Hmm… Have you ever wondered why you have such an intense reaction to this? Could it have something to do with recognizing that we’re animals? Something else?

  44. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Could it have something to do with recognizing that we’re animals?

    Considering the conversations I’ve read involving WMDKitty, I doubt it’s because of this but I could be wrong.

  45. says

    Covering up with a blanket is fine. I figure it’s a decent (ha!) compromise.

    I also object to this stupid fetishisation of motherhood and babies. I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    On a final note, if I whipped out a tit and let my partner suckle, I’d get a ticket for indecency. How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things!

    Fuck. That.

    I’d rather host botfly larvae than have a fucking flesh-loaf suckling off of me.

  46. says

    WMDKitty:

    I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    I’m childfree too, as are a number of others on this blog. I don’t want you speaking for childfree people, just yourself. It really can’t be all that difficult to avoid women breastfeeding in public, or to simply ignore it.

    On a final note, if I whipped out a tit and let my partner suckle, I’d get a ticket for indecency. How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    It’s pretty simple. You aren’t your partner’s food source.

  47. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I also object to this stupid fetishisation of motherhood and babies. I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    On a final note, if I whipped out a tit and let my partner suckle, I’d get a ticket for indecency. How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things!

    Wait, what? This isn’t about fetishizing it at all. Do you fucking recognize us at all? Why the hell assume that’s why we are against breast feeding shaming?

    There’s a huge difference between performing a sexual act in public and feeding your child. That’s how it’s fucking different, you dense twit. There’s nothing sexual about breast feeding. Unless you buy into society’s utter sexualization of women’s bodies and reducing them to mother saints or rapable whores.

  48. says

    Covering up with a blanket is fine. I figure it’s a decent (ha!) compromise.

    Why do you think a person feeding her child should have to “compromise” with you and your reactions? Why do you think breastfeeding is indecent (or degrading or dehumanizing)?

    I also object to this stupid fetishisation of motherhood and babies. I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    Who is this directed at?

    On a final note, if I whipped out a tit and let my partner suckle, I’d get a ticket for indecency. How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    They’re feeding their children.

  49. says

    WMDKitty:

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things!

    Most people don’t consider breastfeeding to be socially inappropriate. I don’t care for people wearing their jeans around their arse, but I’m not on a crusade about it. I might consider a crusade over public spitters, that shit’s nasty. Anyway, back to breastfeeding – are you advocating going back to confinements? That’s more than extreme just so you can avoid the whole reproduction business.

    I’d rather host botfly larvae than have a fucking flesh-loaf suckling off of me.

    I wouldn’t do either one. That doesn’t mean a damn thing, nor does your personal desire in this regard. Don’t want a sprog, great, don’t have one. I didn’t. Obviously, you didn’t either. You don’t get to demand all others follow the same course.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    Really, think about that for all of five seconds. Hint: sex isn’t involved in breast feeding.

  51. says

    Chigau, I think you’re right about that.

    I think I’m going to shut up and go away before I lose my temper. I can already feel my blood pressure spiking.

    Thank you, all of you speaking in defense of us female mammal moms and our right to exist in public. What century is this, again?

  52. davidchapman says

    54
    Inaji

    25 April 2014 at 6:46 pm (UTC -5)

    davidchapman:

    Of course I realize this is a harsh thing to say, but it seems to me that distress at seeing a woman breastfeeding a child seems appropriate to some inmate of hell; not a reaction I’d expect from a decent human being.

    Eh, I understand it well enough. That said, one’s personal quirks shouldn’t be used to dictate to others at large.

    I see that you might find it embarrassing or disturbing or whatever. I might find it embarrassing. And of course that’s not so personal, it’s something you might expect many people to feel. I use such a word as distress because it isn’t and shouldn’t be that big a deal; not distress, not something that should be a matter of public protest.

  53. Rob Grigjanis says

    WMDKitty @58:

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things!

    Two questions:

    1) Where do you get your “socially-inappropriate” card. I want one of those.
    2) What else do “Mommies” get free passes on?

  54. Al Dente says

    Kropotkin was a first rate explorer and geographer. He was offered the secretaryship of the Russian Geographical Society which he refused because he felt he would rather work with the people than promote exploration.

    His book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution was a refutation of the Darwinian and Social Darwinian competitive “struggle to survive” made popular by Thomas Huxley. Kropotkin did not deny that competition and conflict existed but gave numerous examples of cooperation in both human societies and among nonhuman animals. Kropotkin argued that cooperation was more important than competition in the ability of individuals, societies and species to survive. Stephen Jay Gould wrote in his essay “Kropotkin Was Not a Crackpot” that Kropotkin was right, cooperation was a better survival tactic than competition.

  55. says

    WMDKitty:

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things

    I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from on this subject and I’m having a difficult time.
    Why is it socially inappropriate for a mother to breastfeed in public? Is it the act of feeding her child? I believe you mentioned bottle feeding was acceptable to you, so feeding babies doesn’t seem to be the problem. But when babies consume breast milk directly from their mothers, it becomes a problem for you, so I have to ask: do you have a problem with public nudity?

  56. says

    davidchapman:

    I use such a word as distress because it isn’t and shouldn’t be that big a deal; not distress, not something that should be a matter of public protest.

    It’s not distressing to you. It can be to other people. I have some strong negative feelings about the whole reproductive business, I just don’t project it onto others.

  57. says

    Tony:

    so I have to ask: do you have a problem with public nudity?

    I doubt there’s a problem there. I’ve known a few other CF people with similar reactions and attitudes.

  58. Amphiox says

    I’d rather host botfly larvae than have a fucking flesh-loaf suckling off of me.

    Then go right ahead and do so, if you should so choose.

    Should I encounter you in public, I shall not pass judgment on your free choice.

    I ask only that you afford the same courtesy to those women who choose to breastfeed their children.

  59. says

    To clarify mine @ 71:

    I doubt there’s a problem there. I’ve known a few other CF people with similar reactions and attitudes.

    Breastfeeding in public is seen by some as an extra privilege, one that women flaunt in public. I don’t agree with that assessment, but that attitude isn’t all that uncommon.

  60. says

    While we’re on the subject (can’t imagine how we got there :)), there’s a book, The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics, providing some information. It’s very far from perfect, but it’s only a few dollars on Kindle. You can also read many of his works – including some of his scientific writing – free online.

  61. yazikus says

    As for the distressing thing, over the last year and a half I’ve felt some varying levels of distress when seeing pregnant people or new babies, it is hard. However, I hardly expect all of them to stay in, I just made sure to wear sun-glasses and avoid baby showers and the pregnant people I know.

  62. says

    I find it disgusting, degrading, and dehumanizing because I am utterly repulsed by the mere thought of someone feeding off of another human being.

    Hope you don’t drink milk. That shit feeds baby cows. They don’t even wear clothes. Disgusting little fuckers. And did you know carrots actually come from DIRT? What the fuck, amirite?

    In other news, what personally squicks you out about basic mammalian biology is irrelevant when it comes to determining what constitutes lawful behaviour.

    Covering up with a blanket is fine. I figure it’s a decent (ha!) compromise.

    I also object to this stupid fetishisation of motherhood and babies. I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    It’s not a fetish to breastfeed. Aside from being aforementioned basic biology, breast milk has demonstrable physiological benefits over formula, as well as tangible psychological benefits. It makes fucking sense to do it, if you’re able.

    I also don’t appreciate the crunchy Earth Goddess deification some people engage in when it comes to motherhood (especially the closely correlated demonisation of women who can’t or choose not to breastfeed) – however, I try not to take personal goddamned offence at broad social trends.

    On a final note, if I whipped out a tit and let my partner suckle, I’d get a ticket for indecency. How the fuck is that any different to what BF mothers are doing?

    This is the most willfully obtuse question I’ve ever seen asked in a Pharyngula thread that didn’t come from a creationist, MRA or pro-lifer. Get a fucking grip, for the love of Lucy.

    Oh, right, she’s a MOMMY, so she gets a FREE PASS on all kinds of socially-inappropriate things!

    And where did you get your Free Pass to call other peoples’ kids “flesh loafs”, natter on about how fucking repulsive you find healthy maternal behaviour and insist that everyone else adjust to your completely fucking irrational horror over breasts being used for their primary biological function?

    I’d rather host botfly larvae than have a fucking flesh-loaf suckling off of me.

    Pics or STFU.

    Scratch that – just STFU.

  63. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    73
    Inaji

    Breastfeeding in public is seen by some as an extra privilege, one that women flaunt in public. I don’t agree with that assessment, but that attitude isn’t all that uncommon.

    Because only men and breast feeding women get to expose their chest in public…?

    That’s damn stupid. Beyond that possibility, I don’t see the extra privilege angle.

    Oh, wait…..*thinking that through*
    is it because women get to finally violate the prudish dressing regarding what’s socially acceptable and avoid being labeled as a slut? That makes far more sense but I doubt anyone would actually cop to it.

  64. yazikus says

    WMDKitty,

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    This I agree with, in that men go shirtless freely while women cannot, which I think is ridiculous.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    The fact you avoid the WHY of “whipping them out” shows you have a problem, not us. Besides, in feeding the baby, I see very little of the gland itself. And for their privacy purposes, I also look away. YOUR problem, you come up with YOUR solution….

  66. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    81
    WMDKitty — Survivor

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    Not cool.

    So, instead of working towards less nudity phobia (oh, except below the waist because you find that EWW), you want to shame mothers?

    And you can’t just say “because BABBY”. Yeah, it’s out momentarily to feed a baby and goes right back in. That’s the fucking point. You whipping them out for no reason in a restaurant is totally different than a mother feeding her child at the table.

    1.) They use cover themselves.
    2.) Even if they don’t 1, you can’t see everything anyways. Baby is in the way, you know.
    3.) There’s a reason: FEEDING A BABY.

  67. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    This I agree with, in that men go shirtless freely while women cannot, which I think is ridiculous.

    Because of course, you regulate women but not men. Men can be anything, while women are just always sexual.
    That’s the other option I didn’t mention since she seems so hung up on wanting to whip her own out in public.

  68. Pteryxx says

    …Somehow, I doubt that women are going around having babies and thinking ‘Hell yeah, now I can whip out my boobs in public and NOBODY CAN STOP ME! *evil cackle* ‘

    However I’m glad to know that men could breastfeed their babies in public and that wouldn’t be disturbing at all.

    <_<

  69. says

    WMD Kitty:

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    No, there isn’t a double standard there. We aren’t talking about women who, because they have an infant, suddenly decide to drop top and expose their breasts. As has been mentioned, numerous times, most women take pains to be as discreet as possible. They aren’t having babies so they can legally go topless, y’know. Also, even when breastfeeding in public, in most places (at least in the U.S.), women have no choice but to be discreet – over exposure of breast can get them a visit from the cops and a possible ticket too.

    This is not a matter of “whipping them out”, that’s pure fucking idiocy and you damn well know it.

  70. says

    @82, JAL

    Because only men and breast feeding women get to expose their chest in public…?

    That’s damn stupid. Beyond that possibility, I don’t see the extra privilege angle.

    Oh, wait…..*thinking that through*
    is it because women get to finally violate the prudish dressing regarding what’s socially acceptable and avoid being labeled as a slut? That makes far more sense but I doubt anyone would actually cop to it.

    That might be a factor. But clearly society is making a distinction (that I don’t necessarily agree with) between the primary function of breasts – lactation – and their secondary sexual function. Obviously it’s expression of the secondary function that’s legally proscribed – but not so long ago, public breastfeeding came under the category of indecent exposure, just like “whipping them out.” I’m in Australia where in most places public breastfeeding isn’t illegal anymore, but it was in living memory and still is in a great many places in the world.

    Anyway, if public nudity laws were relaxed and women weren’t prevented from going shirtless, I doubt very much that a great number of women would immediately shirt-off; societal proscriptions and personal modesties would still be in place, even if legal restrictions weren’t present. But that’s another topic.

  71. says

    Pteryxx:

    However I’m glad to know that men could breastfeed their babies in public and that wouldn’t be disturbing at all.

    That would bother me more, ’cause of the hair factor.

  72. yazikus says

    Jal,

    working towards less nudity phobia

    I think this would be really great, and would do away with a lot of harmful body shaming. It reminds of of when I was a girl I lived outside the US where girls my age would commonly swim topless (like the boys) until they started to develop breasts. I was raised by super conservative xtian parents and swam in a suit & t-shirt. I was scandalized because, bodies bad!!!sinful!sexual!. Think how nice it would be if people didn’t have that reaction first.

  73. says

    Hank_Says:

    Anyway, if public nudity laws were relaxed and women weren’t prevented from going shirtless, I doubt very much that a great number of women would immediately shirt-off; societal proscriptions and personal modesties would still be in place, even if legal restrictions weren’t present.

    In the U.S., if going topless was declared legal tomorrow, I wouldn’t do it. Most women just don’t need even more harassment from men.

    I’ve enjoyed myself at nude beaches and other clothing optional places, though. It’s nice when people are mature enough to cope.

  74. Lofty says

    Being technically a childless male adult I really don’t see any difficulty in politely averting my gaze from a momentarily revealed aureole. I do have the ability to look away and not embarrass a nursing mother.
    Tolerance is such a difficult concept for some people.

  75. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I used to live at the beach, a very popular tourist destination. A great number of the “topless men” had bigger boobs than most women. And no one said anything. Talk about your double standard. If someone, as say an art project, attached a baby to those male boobs, what do you think would happen on that beach?

  76. Pteryxx says

    I’ve enjoyed myself at nude beaches and other clothing optional places, though. It’s nice when people are mature enough to cope.

    I’ve hung around a few clothing-optional groups. The major difference was that we spent a lot of time sketching each other. It’s really rare to get candid sketching opportunities of naked people who aren’t in porn.

  77. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Re my #95. The popular tourist beach is in Southern California and is not clothing optional.

  78. says

    @92 Inaji

    In the U.S., if going topless was declared legal tomorrow, I wouldn’t do it. Most women just don’t need even more harassment from men.

    I’ve enjoyed myself at nude beaches and other clothing optional places, though. It’s nice when people are mature enough to cope.

    I would myself (Maslin’s, Australia’s first nude beach, is only an hour’s drive from my house) but I’m afraid my vanity wouldn’t cope very well :) However I do suspect that the “changing room effect” would kick in at some point: once I realised everyone else was nude and not bothered, I’d chill out. Until then, though, I’m happy to confine my outdoor nudity to my high-fenced backyard.

  79. says

    Pteryxx:

    The major difference was that we spent a lot of time sketching each other. It’s really rare to get candid sketching opportunities of naked people who aren’t in porn.

    Art colonies are fab for that sort of thing.

  80. says

    Hank_Says:

    once I realised everyone else was nude and not bothered, I’d chill out.

    You get used to naked people very quickly. Makes clothed people very exciting.

  81. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    92
    yazikus

    I think this would be really great, and would do away with a lot of harmful body shaming. It reminds of of when I was a girl I lived outside the US where girls my age would commonly swim topless (like the boys) until they started to develop breasts.

    Yeah, the fact that girls have to where tops even as babies while boys don’t bugs the fuck out of me.

    Also, the school dress codes where girls tank tops have to be at least two inches. And have you seen the post about boys going to school in spagetti straps and short skirts and getting away with it because the school literally said “those rules are for girls”? I can’t find the information now but fucking christ does all this shit piss me off. Just layers and layers of bullshit all the way down.

    Time to make dinner though, so I’ll have to do more than a search through my bookmarks for that post later.

  82. yazikus says

    Jal,

    And have you seen the post about boys going to school in spagetti straps and short skirts and getting away with it because the school literally said “those rules are for girls”?

    I haven’t but I am so not surprised, and now I’m super pissed. That is just the most idiotic thing ever. Bah.
    -
    Have a good dinner! I’m subsisting on potato salad left over from yesterday=)

  83. carlie says

    I have never once seen a full-on breast in public when a woman is breastfeeding.

    I have seen women cover up in various ways, some more successfully than others, but never once have I seen actual bare breasts. If it happened briefly when latching on or off, it would have only been visible for a brief moment that someone would have to be actively looking for. “Whipping them out” is never something I’ve seen happen, ever, if we’re going to go all personal anecdote on it.

    As for “just carry a bottle or plan better”, I can’t do much other than laugh at either the ignorance or extreme callousness (or both) on display in that statement. I know what it’s like to try and be completely discreet in public. I was breastfeeding a decade and a half ago, when the breastfeeding movement was starting up but women were still routinely told to vacate public spaces while breastfeeding or get arrested. I mentioned in the other thread that neither of my kids would take a bottle even while at daycare all day, much less from me or when I was anywhere around. If we wanted to go out for the day as a family, it took huge amounts of feeding planning. The City was an hour away, so there’s two hours of travel time to incorporate right off the bat. Then we had to plan whatever we were doing, no matter what or where it was, so that we’d be in the vicinity of the one Babies R Us that had a nursing room at approximately the time we thought the baby would need to eat. That didn’t always work, because surprise, you can’t program babies to be hungry at specific times only! God forbid we were half an hour away from the Babies R Us when the hunger hit. I’ve used department store dressing rooms, but that required unstaffed dressing rooms, because half the time employees refused to let me use them “in case real customers need to try things on” (this in a place with 6 dressing rooms and no customers to be seen). I’ve tried breastfeeding in the car in a parking lot, which in the midwest in summer is risking heatstroke to the baby (because you STILL have to cover up, because what if someone walks by?). Just… no. Saying women shouldn’t breastfeed in public is condemning them to isolation the same way that forcing women into menstruation huts for a week is, with the same underlying sexism and ridiculousness.

  84. Amphiox says

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    Not cool.

    Even if it is a double standard, every double standard is a problem that can be approached from TWO directions.

    Why do you insist on focusing only on one of these two?

  85. Amphiox says

    I have never once seen a full-on breast in public when a woman is breastfeeding.

    The baby’s head and mouth already covers up much of it automatically. Considerably more, in fact, than quite a number of swimsuits and pop music performance costumes to which no one bats an eye.

  86. Amphiox says

    Saying women shouldn’t breastfeed in public is condemning…

    It is, quite frankly, just another way of saying “stay in the kitchen.”

  87. HappyNat says

    Injai #73

    Breastfeeding in public is seen by some as an extra privilege, one that women flaunt in public. I don’t agree with that assessment, but that attitude isn’t all that uncommon.

    Which is strange, it’s not like mothers wait to leave the house when their kids are hungry because they just love to breastfeed in public. Some women may flaunt it but I’ve never seen any who can’t wait to breastfeed in public.. Maybe they can’t afford formula and have to take 3 bus transfers so the kid is going to get hungry. Maybe they are traveling and don’t want to sit in an airport bathroom. When ours were little a couple times the kid got hungry at an inconvenient time, so we would pull the car over or find a secluded spot, but we are pretty privileged and have a lot more options than most folks.

  88. says

    WMDKitty:

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    Not cool.

    Like carlie I’ve never seen a full on breast when a mother breastfeeds in public.
    As for the ‘double standard’, I don’t agree. While I would like to see more public acceptance of nudity (I still can’t believe so many people freaked out after Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” back when), as things stand if *you* were in public and exposed your breasts that would likely be considered indecent exposure:

    Indecent exposure is the deliberate exposure in public or in view of the general public by a person of a portion or portions of his or her body, in circumstances where the exposure is contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behavior. Social and community attitudes to the exposing of various body parts and laws covering what is referred to as indecent exposure vary significantly in different countries. It ranges from prohibition of exposure of genital areas, buttocks and female breasts.
    [...]
    Breastfeeding in public does not constitute indecent exposure under the laws of the United States, Canada, Australia, or Scotland.[3] In the United States, the federal government and the majority of states have enacted laws specifically protecting nursing mothers from harassment by others

    The US government makes a distinction between indecent exposure and public breastfeeding. Why? I don’t know. Pure speculation, but perhaps breastfeeding is seen as a non-sexualized activity, despite involving breasts. Without a nursing infant, exposed breasts retain their sexual component.
    If public breastfeeding were treated as indecent exposure (so there is no “double standard”), where does that leave mothers who are nursing? What choice is left for breastfeeding mothers if they cannot do so in public?

    Even if I agreed with you that baring your breasts and breastfeeding an infant are similar, I would not support measures that sought to limit the ability of women to participate in public activities (I suspect you feel the same). So what now?

  89. carlie says

    I can understand the backlash against being all pro-baby given that parenting is considered the default state of adulthood, and that there is so much pressure to have babies, and people are looked at weirdly when they don’t, and the whole anti-abortion thing has warped the whole baby thing so badly.

    But that doesn’t make having a baby in society an easy thing. For all “society” wants women to have babies, society treats women with babies like lepers. Don’t be around here, I don’t want crying babies. Take “that thing” home where it belongs. The worst thing about public transportation is sitting next to a woman with a baby, amirite? God, I went to a restaurant, and some stupid baby was crying and it ruined everything. Some woman with a stroller took up half the sidewalk, can you imagine? Look at that toddler throwing a fit, what a terrible mother to let that happen. For fuck’s sake, do NOT breastfeed in public, you disgusting cow. Yeah. Saying “I don’t like babies and what they do in public” is about as revolutionary and paradigm-shifting as “take my wife, please”. Telling women with babies that their very existence in public horrifies you does nothing to change the stigma against not having children, it just makes life that much harder for the woman you’re harassing.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    dexitroboper #111
    Thank very, very, very much for that link.
    The video is brilliant.

  91. says

    SC
    There used to be a leftist bookstore in Eugene that sold t-shirts with a portrait and the tagline Kropotkin:The Anarchist formerly known as Prince. I wish I’d been able to get one.

  92. says

    I’d totally go topless in public if it were legal. (And it ought to be!) Seriously, it gets humid during the summer, and I’m far more comfortable without a shirt on. Hell, I’d go out rolling around in just my underpants, if I could!

    As for public nudity below the waist? I’d really rather not have a face-full of ass or wang, thanks, as my eye level is roughly waist level (give or take a few inches) on a person who is standing up, so… yeah. I’m not a prude, I’d just rather make eye contact with, well, eyes, and not balls.

    On another, completely tangential topic (while I’m here), BLOOD SUGAR, Y U SO LOW TODAY? I’ve been in a pretty obvious Mood today (I’m sorry!), I’ve taken it out on people (I’m so sorry!), I really can’t brain when it’s low (I’m sorry!), and I have to stick to the low-carb diet because I’m dangerously close to becoming diabetic. It’s really fucking with my moods and my head and even I don’t be around me when I’m like this.

  93. Jacob Schmidt says

    But yeah, there IS a double standard going.

    It’s okay for her to whip ‘em out because BABBY.

    But I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out.

    Not cool.

    Yeah, that’s a double standard. Its well resolved by simply allowing you to “whip ‘em out” without the ticket.

    As an aside, I don’t think mothers get off scot free breastfeeding in public. It may not be illegal, but there are plenty of people who are happy to shame the mother for doing so. I seriously doubt the double standard is a large as you think.

  94. rorschach says

    This must be one of those discussions that are only possible in a hyperreligious prudish and sex-negative country like the USA. Reminds me of the farcical eruption of faux concern and outrage when that woman singer’s tit fell out during some ballgame a few years back.

    It’s really quite simple, if the act of a mother feeding her baby offends you, the problem is with you. See a therapist, but don’t tell people what to do or not to do feeding their offspring. Sheesh.

  95. says

    WMDkitty

    I’d totally go topless in public if it were legal. (And it ought to be!) Seriously, it gets humid during the summer, and I’m far more comfortable without a shirt on.

    IIRC you’re somewhere in the PNW, in which case it more than likely is legal if you’re in a metropolitan area of any size; there’s no Oregon or Washington statutes prohibiting it, and most municipalities west of the Cascades haven’t either.

  96. says

    WMDKitty
    That’s apparently not what the Seattle police Department thinks. AFAICT, the actual Washinton statute says “A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm”, which is one of those annoying ‘general public standards’ things, but appears to be interpreted loosely by most larger municipalities. Seattle’s got a naked bike ride, frex.

  97. echidna says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    I don’t think mothers get off scot free breastfeeding in public. It may not be illegal, but there are plenty of people who are happy to shame the mother for doing so.

    A few years ago now, in Australia, I had the joy of trying to feed my baby in public. If I breast-fed, I would be approached by total strangers who scolded me. If I just tried to rush home with my screaming baby in the pram, strangers would accost me to tell me to feed the poor thing. If I expressed milk before hand, and used a bottle to feed him, I would be told off for not breast-feeding. Total strangers, usually men but not always, who felt that they had the right to control whatever was happening around them.

  98. fwtbc says

    chigau @ #62

    I think we’ve done this before but it was about circumcision.

    Yep. I’ve seen the same thing. She seems to have a pathological loathing of foreskins, too.

  99. says

    I also object to this stupid fetishisation of motherhood and babies. I’m CF, and I don’t appreciate having motherhood touted as this Ultimate Expression of Femininity.

    You know what?
    Women don’t have babies to rub this in your face. There might be a few quiverfull women who do, but generally, when women decide to have babies, the opinions of total strangers are NOT on their minds. Yeah, we could have a sensible discussion about societal expectations of women and about mandatory femininity, but you’re not having it.
    You’re dehumanizing women and babies, calling them anything that makes them seem to be not-really-people.


    BTW, public breastfeeding is a non-issue in Germany. I usually simply put the baby in my lap, rolled up my shirt, took out the boob and the baby would do the rest. No, I did not make any fucking attempt to draw attention to us by handling blankets and stuff. And you would have to go through some damn creepy trouble if you wanted to see anything you don’t usually see on public billboards

  100. carlie says

    WMDKitty – I get the same way when I don’t have enough sleep (not just for one day, but several in a row). There’s a danger point that I reach where I know I have to remove myself from people or risk nuking even long-term friendships by the stuff that will come out of my mouth, and I don’t always recognize that point in time.

  101. David Marjanović says

    Thank you, all of you speaking in defense of us female mammal moms and our right to exist in public. What century is this, again?

    Not “century”. It’s America. I had never heard of breastfeeding mothers using a blanket.

    …Oh, wait, maybe I’ve seen one once; but the woman in question covered all her hair as well – that’s on the fundamentalist side for a Turkish background, which she most likely had, if I’m not confabulating all of this right now.

    I’d get a ticket for whipping ‘em out

    Not over here, as far as I’m aware. Indeed, I wouldn’t know how to translate “indecent exposure”, and Wikipedia doesn’t either – there is a link labeled “Deutsch” in the English article, but it leads to one particular kind of exhibitionism, a section of the “exhibitionism” article.

    …Somehow, I doubt that women are going around having babies and thinking ‘Hell yeah, now I can whip out my boobs in public and NOBODY CAN STOP ME! *evil cackle* ‘

    …Yeah, me too.

    However I’m glad to know that men could breastfeed their babies

    0

    Deliberately out of context: there are cismen who can in fact produce milk in sufficient amounts.

    (Never mind the fruitbat species where all adults suckle.)

    girls have to where tops even as babies

    *blink* What???

    I have never once seen a full-on breast in public when a woman is breastfeeding.

    Yeah, me neither, as far as I can remember.

    Look at that toddler throwing a fit, what a terrible mother to let that happen.

    LOL, as if mothers had any influence on that! :-D :-D :-D

    Breastfeeding can really ruin your day

    Perfect.

    A few years ago now, in Australia, I had the joy of trying to feed my baby in public. If I breast-fed, I would be approached by total strangers who scolded me. If I just tried to rush home with my screaming baby in the pram, strangers would accost me to tell me to feed the poor thing. If I expressed milk before hand, and used a bottle to feed him, I would be told off for not breast-feeding. Total strangers, usually men but not always, who felt that they had the right to control whatever was happening around them.

    …Christ, what assholes. o_O

  102. Al Dente says

    You can keep it.

    Thank you but I have a sufficiency of random zeroes. Perhaps you might interest some ancient Romans in your extraneous zero.

  103. azhael says

    There are people who consider the idea of seeing others eating or being seen eating to be disgusting. It causes them distress. While i sympathise with them, i do not think their irrational perception of such a necessary and natural behaviour should in any way influence legal policies or general cultural perceptions.
    If you find what others do distressing or disgusting, particularly if it is a perfectly normal activity like eating or breast-feeding, it is nobody else´s responsability to shelter you from it. Demanding that others take special meassures to adjust to your criterion, which by the way is not generalized, is simply ridiculous.

    I´ve seen women expose their breast for breast-feeding, with no special meassures to conceal the act, in public places, and nobody bated an eyelid. Quite frankly, i think a society that reacts that way is better off…going the other way around and promoting more body-shaming and more pointless puritanism instead of trying to work on your personal hang-ups is entirely the worst option in every way.

    By the way, the “girls have to wear tops even as babies” thing is fucking madness. This is Spain for fuck´s sake and although apparently local authorities can regulate it, it is legal and generally considered a non-issue for women to be top-less at the beach…any beach….

  104. azhael says

    Oh, forgot to add that it´s not just top-less women, nudism is legal in any spanish beach. Just in case it comes across the wrong way, i´m not bragging…i´m just genuinely shocked that fucking Spain with its catholic majority, old population and its ultraconservative dictatorial recent past is less puritanical. Between this and the recent poll that shows that we are the country with the highest acceptance of sexual diversity i might just have to start liking my own country…O_o

  105. opposablethumbs says

    i might just have to start liking my own country…O_o

    … what can I say, I like it too.

  106. says

    WMDKitty:

    I’m not a prude, I’d just rather make eye contact with, well, eyes, and not balls.

    This is something I’m conscious of when I’m at work. In addition to running the bar, I also wait tables and many of the tables in the restaurant are low to the floor, which means that as I approach the table, my crotch is at their eye level, which I find disconcerting. That’s why I tend to stand 2-3 feet away from the table.

  107. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    137
    alexanderz

    Here’s a link to WMDKitty‘s thought about circumcision. It looks like a consistent disregard towards other people.

    I read that and am just repulsed. But I thought, that was a long time ago, maybe she changed her mind? So, I went searching. I found nothing to indicate she’s changed her mind, finding nothing of her on the same topic again.

    Instead, I found more repulsive opinions about other’s choices with the same basis.

    I had no idea. That’s shocking. Ugh.

    [Or if I was there to read it, I certainly forgot.]

    If anyone wants the links, I’ll post them. But I’m torn on including them in this comment considering her problems voiced in the Lounge and don’t want to seem like I’m trying to push her over the edge. I’m not, this really started out with the best intentions.

  108. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    alexanderz @ 137

    Here’s a link to WMDKitty‘s thought about circumcision. It looks like a consistent disregard towards other people.

    Yes, it’s a consistent pattern. Post something dehumanizing, argue for a bit, apologize without showing much awareness of the genuine problem, resume the same behavior but in a slightly different way. I’ve now seen Kitty do it against the bodily autonomy of children, people who breastfeed, infertile people, and poly people.

    I’m not pointing this out to be a jerk or cause WMDKitty distress, but because it is a pattern and I’m getting tired of people acting surprised every time it happens. This doesn’t come from nowhere. If this is toxic societal sludge lurking in Kitty’s head that only comes out under stress, she needs to remain aware of that and aware of the fact that saying things rudely is not the actual issue here.

  109. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Hmmm…. Would two squares of duct tape count?

    I can confirm that, at least roundabout 1998, that¹ was perfectly acceptable dress code at the Slimelight.

    I remain &c, your historic London club scene correspondent.

    ¹ OK, it was two crosses of duct tape. What-ever!

  110. chigau (違う) says

    The Mellow Monkey #139

    I’m getting tired of people acting surprised every time it happens.

    Me too.

  111. carlie says

    I read that and am just repulsed. But I thought, that was a long time ago, maybe she changed her mind? So, I went searching. I found nothing to indicate she’s changed her mind, finding nothing of her on the same topic again.

    She did apologize, right on that very thread, near the bottom.

  112. biasevolution says

    For the sake of convenience, my response re: irreducible complexity is here in the relevant thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/04/25/irreducible-complexity-again/comment-page-1/#comment-787936

    Now, for the rest:

    I submit that you”re too ignorant to tell.

    Based on those prior exchanges and your response here I’d say my comment is evidenced.

    If it’s so easy, why do you get it so wrong? You previously brought up this inane list of six types of evolution—which was invented by a creationist and has nothing to do with actual science—because you are under the misconception that evolution “HAS to explain everything.” No, it doesn’t. You think that because you believe that evolution is some sort of master theory meant to wholly supplant every part of the Christian creation story. It’s not. Your myths are just plain irrelevant to science.

    Anyway, you clearly have zero interest in learning how you’re wrong. My first response was never really for your benefit, but to point out how you are so laughably ignorant you don’t even have the capacity to understand how you’re wrong. I have no desire to waste my time attempting to engage your nonsense and lies. It’s like we’re talking vehicle maintenance and you keep bringing up flux capacitors and eight speed microprocessor turbodrives with autopilot. Even worse, you’re speaking in some bizarre dialect that you don’t even realize is different from what everyone else here uses. It’s absurd.

    In fact, I think you should be banned unless you can, at a minimum, a) honestly allow yourself to be corrected on how scientists conceive of and describe evolution,¹ and b) make explicit what evidence would change your mind about creationism/evolution.²

    ¹ To start with, none of this nonsense about there being six different kinds of evolution. You would have to acknowledge everything on this page.
    ² Of course, the problem with (b) is that you would want to do so based on your misunderstanding of science, not on how science actually works. No one can show you a transitional fossil if you have some bizarrely aberrant idea of what a transitional fossil is. No one can demonstrate change between “kinds,” because “kinds” is not only an unscientific concept, it has no concrete definition to begin with. You would have to apply the corrections from (a) to (b).

    Stories and rhetoric as I said above. I find it funny you think I want evolution to explain everything when I know it can’t. It’s all the more ironic since chances are you’d ask creationists how God did it or ask IDists to mention the designer and how and for what it designed life as if they too must explain everything.

    Easy, a million or so pieces of scientific evidence to back up the theory. Compared to no other SCIENTIFIC theory.

    All which count as nothing against the facts. Like there being limits to how species vary. Or random mutations being detrimental and not beneficial and being militated against by DNA repair.

    Just shows how little you are prepared to look at the evidence for evolution. The fossil record tells a story, and it ain”t creationism.

    I couldn’t even look at all the evidence if I wanted to. I am specific in what I require of the theory: plausible mechanisms. I find none. BTW the gaps still exist and I’d say the fossils still say no to the TOE.

    You make fewer, but you imply many more. That”s where you go wrong.

    For instance, you imply that it’s the result of a separate origin of life. We only have to postulate one. You imply that its similarities to other organisms are either random or due to the Designer”s whim. In the latter case you have to postulate the existence of a Designer, and you have to explain its whims; “it’s ineffable” is not an explanation.

    Do I need to go on?

    Strawman. You yourself are assuming implications and why bring OOL into this, I thought evolutionists distinguish between the two. The same whims you say I attribute to Designer’s whims can and has been said of NS too. What doesn’t NS explain ? Heck I’d bet biologists will say death was selected for too.

    Ogvorbis #4: Stories. I’m bullet-proof to evolutionary “speculations”. I’m a deist, an ID supporter and I have ideas of my own.

  113. biasevolution says

    Are you an idiot? The theory of evolution does not rely on fossils. It”s 2014, even if there wasnrt a single fucking fossil on the planet because bone was preserved even worse that what it already is, there are so many ways of proving common descent nowadays that it is entirely ludicrous to take a position of hyper-scepticism, or in your case, denial, on the issue.

    we’re finding wherever preservation allows it. Tell me a transition in vertebrate evolution (Vertebrates, because of their bones & teeth, have a pretty good fossil record, and they happen to be a field my biologist friend is good in), and I”ll present it to you in detail.

    What evolutionary changes in humans, in any species of the genus homo, would be apparent in fossilized bone?

    Neanderthals have gone extinct. Homo floresiensis has gone extinct. But what changes in the distribution of heritable characters would show up in bone being fossilized today that wouldn”t have shown up in bone being fossilized 100kya?

    Got anything at all?

    Point 2: there have been a great number and diversity of fossilized species over the last billion years. I”m neither a biologist nor a paleontologist and know fvck-all about microfossils and how one might identify speciation in fossils of single-cell organisms, but it”s possible that there”s fossil evidence of speciation for the previous couple of billion years in the shapes of life forms preserved in earth”s rocks from that era as well. But even if there wasn”t, there”s evidence that single-celled organisms did exist at that time from morphological preservation in rock. Combine that with a whole host of geologic data about the chemical prevalence and availability of different elements and isotopes AND genetic data, and the amount of information that can be reconstructed regarding single-cell life”s evolution is vast.

    Please present evidence that there is not a great number of species preserved in fossils over earth”s geologic history. Your claim that there is not a great number is not sufficient given the evidence of a whole bunch of people doing explorations of fossil beds.

    You flatter me guys. You all had to spew all that for a point I made. Now you want me to bring evidence for a negative (ie “. . . evidence that there is not a great number of species preserved in fossils . . .”). Interesting. Then you say your theory doesn’t rely on fossils after effort while endorsing an imagery of the fossil evidence in the Grand Canyon. Classic case of a contradiction.

    Your projection is really amusing. :-)

    At least I was of some service.

    If you tried publishing a paper that said nothing more than “evodoesit”, the editors wouldn”t even send your manuscript out for review. They”d just tell you “we knew that much; your manuscript fails to explain how evo does it, let alone in a testable way….. therefore it”s rejected, have a nice day”.

    No wonder, then, that precisely such explanations abound in the literature. That you haven”t read them is your problem.

    But dress that with evolutionary speculations, do some genome sequencing etc and throw around some sciency terms and you have an early draft of what will be a published, peer-reviewed paper.

    The point is you need to understand is how scientists think about evolution. You are not allowed to disagree with the definition of evolution any more than you’re allowed to disagree with the definition of internal combustion. Evolution is what it is, even if you don’t accept it as true. You cannot declare science faulty for failing to live up to definitions and concepts no scientist ever uses (like the creationist usage of the phrase “kinds reproducing after their kind”) which is inaccurate). Micro-evolution (insofar as scientists even use the term) is evolution because, like all evolution, it is change in allele frequency in a population over time. Refusing to acknowledge that is not “disagreeing with the theory,” it’s just fundamentally wrong.

    No one will deny evolution given correct definitions of the theory. What people deny is universal common ancestry and the sufficiency of random mutation and NS to account for that. Now I would like to know why you think ‘kinds reproducing after their kinds’ is wrong.

    Incomplete dominance and codominance.

    And please, please know that Mendel is not the end all of genetics: .it’s the very beginning. We’ve learned SO FUCKING MUCH about genetics since Mendel, and all of it screams very loudly that you are pathetically wrong. Just like your hero, Ham, you think you are educated enough about the subject to make valid criticisms. You dream yourself to be competent about a subject you know virtually nothing about because instead of understanding current biology, you are attacking bits and pieces of Darwin and Mendel as if the last 150 years hadn’t happened. You are like a little child smugly lecturing the teacher because “Nooo, you know nothing”my friend Hammie says”. Since I assume you are an adult, it”s embarrassing.

    Dude I don’t need a Ham to criticize evolution. I hardly even visit AIG. For creationists sites I go to CMI and ICR but I have always preferred ID for obvious reasons, it isn’t explicitly religious. I find it funny you pretend my point was based on past knowledge alone. I noted that many selective breeding experiments (like Lenski’s LTEE) done since Darwin came on board have shown that there are limits to variation. We’ve selectively bred dogs, horses etc since then and they are pretty much the same species. Not even a whiff of change which suggests UCA is possible_except you have a priori commitments to the theory.

    By the way, if you think inventing cosmic hyper-powerful wizards to “explain” everything by magic is more parsimonious than evolutionary theory you have to be fvcking high.

    Then there’s the ridiculous idea that individual acts of creation for each “kind” (or whatever) is somehow more parsimonious than the one-time emergence of a universal common ancestor. And it gets even more silly when you realize this cosmic hyper-powerful wizard gave each “kind” a genome that arranges into a family tree with other “kinds” and that this tree matches family trees based on morphology, even though none of them should be discernibly related.

    You assume and arrange this family tree. The ‘evidence’ for it is non-extant given the facts of variation within limits. Would you expect dogs to grow rudimentary fins a thousand years from now ? No. Too absurd. Yet that is precisely what your theory requires. At least, something along those lines.

    Even if taken purely as speculative hypothesis on paper, naturalistic ones beat the crap out of any theistic one when it comes to parsimony or explanatory power. That’s even without the need to see how they fare when compared with reality, at which point we all know what happens. Well, not all of us, to analogise, you still think magic is a better “explanation” for why there is a rabbit in the hat than a concealed compartment, even though we can see the inside of the hat and we have footage of how the rabbit got there.

    “God” is not a parsimonious answer to why whales are related to cows and can occasionally develop hind legs. Or why seals are related to bears. Or why bats are related to horses. That is just completely fucking stupid design for someone who supposedly wasn’t constrained by anything.

    Whales don’t have hind legs. A couple of bones near their tails ain’t hind legs. This is how people equate the coccyx to tails of monkeys. Actually, your whole rant here misses the point. The parsimony I layed down was about fossils. I said I make less claims about a fossil if I don’t subscribe to UCA (universal common ancestry). You go off on a tangent about naturalism being more parsimonious than supernaturalism. Who mentioned that ?

    Showing your religious authoritarian bias, thinking Darwin was the last word. Genes and the genomes of living beings support evolution. They don”t support your idea. You must prove your deity/creator isn”t a figment of your imagination and really exists. You haven”t done that, and you can”t. We both know that. All you have is your faith. Which science laughs at, as it in no way refutes science except in your delusional mind.

    You are 180 degrees off from reality. You”re really that ignorant of the history of selective breeding in plants and animals, but you”re making these authoritative statements about it? You’re a funny guy, biasevolution.

    Which statement is more in tandem with observed facts laymen can relate to.

    1) species can evolve over deep time to become a different species eg mammals to whales

    2) Species have limits (however fuzzy) within which they can vary.

    You just engage in rhetoric but lack substance, even PZ Myers is better. Proving a deity is a philosophical argument and ID isn’t philosophical, it’s science and it emphasizes the case for design in living things. Clearly, design detection is only a science when it is materialism-friendly as SETI is. Yet make an ID theory and you go bonkers. Why ?

    Sure there are limits. I suspect that no thermophilic bacteria will ever evolve the ability to live in the core of the sun.

    Good.

    That you think that existence of such limits is somehow a problem for Darwinian evolution merely demonstrates that you comprehend neither Darwinian evolution or Mendelian genetics.

    It is. As I said, evolution requires the fact of limits to variation being ignored. That’s why Darwin suggested a gradual simple-to-complex evolution that subsequent explanations like PE have added unto.

    It would literally take a miracle to prevent mutations from happening. It would take a miracle to tell DNA polymerase II “no, you mustn’t misread this C as a T and put an A in the new strand, that”s already been done often enough in the last thousand generations”. It would take a miracle to tell a water molecule “no, you mustn’t crash into the bond between this base and its ribose, try the next one over where it doesn’t matter”.

    So what ? Why would you expect random mutations to build new traits ? How is such demonstrated ? Even modifying the a gene is a first step, without cellular machinery modifying the code is of no use.

  114. biasevolution says

    Congratulations! You have managed to single-handedly accuse all biologists in the world of either having a deeply unscientific mindset, to the point of simply not being scientists at all; or of being lying conspirators, to which I can only say that tens of thousands of scientists can keep a secret when all but one of them are dead and the last has advanced dementia.

    A delusion coupled with fear of repecussion by some dissenting scientists would be more appropriate. I say some because others like Behe and Axe openly disaffirm evolution. And the author of ‘Frozen Evolution’ Jaroslav Flegr is another curious case and Hoyle too to some extent. No need to be unscientific.

    You’re just making an excuse for not even trying.

    Nah. It really will be a waste of my efforts. Better people than me have tried. The best means is to plant these ideas in young minds which everyone knows all too well.

    Turns out Darwin was right about that one. Go ahead! Mention a transition in vertebrate evolution, and I”ll list the transitional fossils.

    A lot has happened in the last 156 years.

    No need. I don’t want to argue over petrified bones and corpses. Not my thing.

    A stone arch is irreducibly complex: take a stone out, and the whole arch collapses. You are suggesting that it’s impossible to build an arch. Perhaps you haven”t listened to yourself – it is quite plainly what you’re saying.

    The trick is the scaffold. Do you want some examples of scaffolds in biology?

    No need for examples.

    I’m suggesting that it’s impossible for chance mutations and NS to build an arch in gradual steps. A stone can’t function as arch. The stones must be joined into an arch before it can be selected for. If it functions as something else it must be appropriately modified (or not) and joined with other stones to make an arch. Just as you won’t expect undirected natural processes to effect arches akin to those on aqueducts I won’t expect random mutations to build biochemical nanomachines.

    You’ve simply misunderstood the term “natural selection”. Really, that’s all there is to it.

    Those individuals that are better at deriving energy (finding food, say) and reproducing than the others in a given environment will have a greater number of surviving fertile offspring than others in the same environment. If the reasons why they do better in that environment are heritable, the descendants of those individuals will be overrepresented in the next generations. Shorthand for this is “the alleles that make them do better in this environment are being selected for”.

    Likewise, the descendants of those that do worse in a given environment will be underrepresented in the next generations. Shorthand for this is “the alleles that make them do worse in this environment are being selected against”.

    That”s all there is to it. It really is that simple. :-|

    ‘Survive and thrive’ right. Except that variations that enhance an individual’s ability to survive doesn’t necessarily have to translate to increased progeny. In fact, organisms with precisely the novel traits that evolve may die before passing them on. Genetic drift occurs but it is deemphasized.

    So here’s the thing. If a variation improves survival eg by better finding food but there is no consequent increase in progeny it’s of no use_NS as described can’t occur. This is all the more applicable to sexual organisms whose progeny differ from their parents within fixed parameters. OTOH, if an organism is prolific at reproducing but in isn’t doing to well trait-wise it’s survival and evolution is at risk. Many aquatic preys eg cods and sea turtles seem to fall into this category. Then there’s the worst of the lot, trait-wise aren’t easily adaptive in animals that have are slow to reproduce eg elephants and the extinct dodo.

    The gap is clear. An adaptive trait which enhances chances of survival must be tallied with reproductive benefits. IOW random mutations must not harm reproductive function but even enhance them so traits can survive. This is non-random because it specifically attends to the need to reproduce a trait so it thrives.

    Natural selection as it actually works in the real world simply weeds out organisms whose traits don’t match a selective pressure and not a drop more. Many species have gone extinct or endangered under the huge selective pressure man’s activities pose. Elephants, lions, prarie chickens, dodo etc. To then say that NS evolves an entirely new species over time is ridiculous in the face of the facts.

    Variation is caused by mutations. This, the origin of new alleles that were previously absent in the population, is pretty much what “mutation” means.

    Mutations cause variation alright. But the type of mutation is what’s in contention. Mutation could mean accidental change to a genetic sequence (which are random WRT the organism’s need) or simply changes to a genome. At the moment, directed mutations hasn’t been accepted in mainstream science even though the evidence for it has been piling up since the 60′s.

    I will accept that new alleles can arise in a population, but again, I will assert that it happens within limits.

    Mendel assumed mutations never happen.

    It seems like every genius makes one big, fat, embarrassing mistake. This is Mendel’s.

    Same for Darwin. Just that his mistake is more pervasive. Darwin assumed variations had no limits and were simply produced. He brought no mechanisms or gave no clues as to the nature of variations. As Mivart said, natural selection doesn’t explain the arrival of the fittest.

    What? What experiments, and how have they failed?

    The experiments by TH Morgan and Dobzhansky. They failed to get novel traits after exposing lots of fruit flies to chemicals and UV rays to randomly mutate them.

    Are you really stupid enough to believe DNA repair is perfect?!?

    Who said that ? My point is to show that it is illogical to claim something your body works to prevent made your body in the first place. What next, earthquakes build houses right ?! Or accidents makes cars and airplanes.

    It is known what mutation rates are, and what they would be if any particular part of the repair system were missing (many are weakened or missing in viruses, BTW). The numbers have been textbook knowledge for decades. Look them up already.

    Okay.

    Not sure how you get from 85 to “hundreds”. It”s also evident that you aren”t familiar with any of the other facts of these cases. The soft tissues in question are by no means unaltered; only certain proteins are left (no fat, no DNA!), and they are heavily crosslinked (by the catalytic action of iron from hemoglobin) so that no digestive enzyme can do anything with them. They”re deep inside solid bone cortex, where hardly anything can get to them. The bone is very well preserved (better than most) because of the well-drained sandstone, the fact that the groundwater (when there was any) hasn”t been acidic since then, and so on.

    There”s no reason to think that proteins can”t last for 85 Ma under such conditions.

    The oldest dinosaurs should be about 200 million years old, unless you are speaking about the bones Schweitzer examined which were about 65 myo. Proteins have actually been confirmed beyond doubt and where in a better condition than you state. What is unclear is whether ancient DNA resides in such dinosaur bones. It’s unlikely tho’.

    Check this: http://www.nature.com/news/molecular-analysis-supports-controversial-claim-for-dinosaur-cells-1.11637

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Check this: http://www.nature.com/news/molecular-analysis-supports-controversial-claim-for-dinosaur-cells-1.11637

    So, all explained by science,

    I looked for any citations to back up your inane blather and posturing. I see NOTHING. Not one scientific paper to back up your claims. Since this is a scientific discussion, not a philosophical argument, it must perforce be backed by real scientific evidence, and you must provide that link (only up to six per post) to back up each and every claim you make, as you are the one trying to convince us you are right, as the null hypothesis is that the Theory of Evolution is a solid science and has a million or so scientific papers, backing it directly and indirectly, and you have essentially none.

    Starting with your imaginary creator/designer/deity. You must supply evidence, physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Until you supply said evidence, your whole idea can be dismissed as religious fuckwittery.

  116. azhael says

    We’ve selectively bred dogs, horses etc since then and they are pretty much the same species. Not even a whiff of change which suggests UCA is possible_except you have a priori commitments to the theory.

    Fuck. Me.
    We´ve been selectively breeding wolves for what….10000 years? In that time, which is nothing….we have been able to observe remarkable degrees of variation, in body size, skeletal proportions, behaviour and even changes in physiology. Somehow you are looking at the domestication of wolves in that short time and saying, yeah that conclusively shows that bigger changes would be impossible in 800.000.000 years.
    This limitations that you insist exist are nothing but bullshit.
    Oh, by the way, what´s your excuse for the fossil record of cetacean evolution? And early tetrapods? Perissodactyls? Carnivorans?
    And define “kind”…and please pleeeeeease enlighten me about wether feliforms and caniforms are different “kinds”…i really need to know.

    You repeteadly use the phrase “in the face of the facts”…That is trully hilarious. Reading your posts, though, is depresing as fuck…so much fail…

  117. chris61 says

    @146 biasevolution

    You’re right – whales don’t have hind limbs. Based on evolutionary theory one can make certain testable predictions about gene expression during embryonic development in whales that would explain their lack of limbs. Predictions that have been borne out and help us understand how limbs develop in vertebrates that have them. What does ID add to understanding limb development?

  118. chigau (違う) says

    Why must we have this in two threads?
    Do you want me to go work in the garden?

  119. consciousness razor says

    We’ve selectively bred dogs, horses etc since then and they are pretty much the same species. Not even a whiff of change which suggests UCA is possible_except you have a priori commitments to the theory.

    Hilarious. I’d like to see some whiff of an argument that common ancestry is impossible. Presumably it’s nowhere to be found in the molecular evidence or anywhere else which is showing an overwhelming abundance of commonalities in every living organism. Maybe you have in mind a contradiction in the very idea of common ancestry, in which case, you’d need to demonstrate that or else shut the fuck up about “a priori commitments.” Since you’ve evidently had nothing for a long time, it looks like you’re late for your shut the fuck up appointment.

  120. azhael says

    Would you expect dogs to grow rudimentary fins a thousand years from now ? No. Too absurd. Yet that is precisely what your theory requires. At least, something along those lines.

    mammals to whales

    Who said that ? My point is to show that it is illogical to claim something your body works to prevent made your body in the first place. What next, earthquakes build houses right ?! Or accidents makes cars and airplanes.

    Arghh….the FAIL…it is everywhere!!!

  121. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Would you expect dogs to grow rudimentary fins a thousand years from now ? No. Too absurd. Yet that is precisely what your theory requires. At least, something along those lines.

    Apropos of nothing? Of course not but that’s not what evolution requires. Exhibit #3049857 that you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

  122. biasevolution says

    Forgot to address these as well:

    In all seriousness, pretty much any modern camera will do. Your eyes don”t even correct for chromatic aberration except in the crudest way possible, by having ridiculously few receptors for blue.

    Put them in your eye sockets, tell me how they look, then we’ll talk. What’s the use of ‘better eyes’ you can’t look with but use secondarily (as cameras) ?

    Bullshit. What they”re doing is pointing out that what we see in nature in fact doesn”t look like it was designed at all. The “flaws” we see are perfectly consistent with evolutionary history, but not with intelligent design. That”s the point.

    This is myopic thinking. If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws. Not that there aren’t flaws but you HYPE flaws. To say living things with the amount of flamboyance and exquisite extravagance of the multiple subsystems they depend on plus the fact of an actual (not metaphorical) genetic code and information in their DNA or RNA stamps a designer. Natural processes have never been seen to make a code anywhere. Then again, we are only scratching the surface of how living systems are composed. We really don’t know trade-offs and net gains involved. I’d liken your comments here to a Weidersheim’s list. I predict that discoveries in the future will show some of these flaws to be good trade-offs in the long run.

    We can explain why these features exist and you can”t. You have to appeal to a designer that”s simultaneously brilliant beyond all human measure and a complete bumbling idiot, as each feature requires.

    Of course the designer must be brilliant. Syn

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . Natural processes have never been seen to make a code anywhere.

    Sorry, it has happened.
    The problem with biasevolution and other stupid creobots is that science rightly ignores their imaginary deity, and that is because they can’t show with solid and conclusive evidence their deity isn’t a delusion in their minds.
    Science has no need for their phantasm due to parsimony. When two explanations give the same results, the simpler will probably be right. So Nothing –> phantasm –> universe –> life is compared to nothing –> universe –> life, the second is the preferred idea, as the same result is had with or without the phantasm, which adds a level of complexity, like how did it form…

    Until you provide the proper evidence for you phantasm, you have nothing cogent to say. Complaining about evolution in no way demonstrates the validity of your phantasm. That has to be done separately from complaining about evolution.

    In order to refute evolution, you must do so with science, and your sophistry and inane fuckwitted questions and arguments aren’t and never will be that science. And that science has to be published in the peer reviewed scientific literature, and not at any web site where the myths of the babble must be considered true, in order for it to be taken seriously. Why aren’t you trying to publish your already refuted bullshit? You know it will be rejected as religious frippery.

  124. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws.

    It’s spectacular really, how ignorant you are. Flaws exist. They need to be explained. Evolution explains them. A designer not only fails to explain flaws, it entails that there be none because your designer is supposed to be omniscient, omnipotent and perfect. You’re criticizing evolution here literally because it explains a particular item of evidence better than your pet theory.

  125. Prof Weird says

    biasedagainstreality @ 158 sez :

    This is myopic thinking. If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws. Not that there aren’t flaws but you HYPE flaws.

    A designer would NOT be limited by historical constraints, BUT EVOLUTION IS. A designer would not be limited to ‘good enough’ (especially considering who the ‘Intelligent Designer’ is supposed to be).

    Examination of REALITY shows many, many, MANY examples of historical constraint, meaning evolution is more likely the correct explanation than the vapid blubberings of IDiots, creationuts and theoloons (who can’t even DEMONSTRATE that their Creative Agent actually exists, much less actually did anything.)

    Initiating standard Argument from Arrogant Ignorance :

    To say living things with the amount of flamboyance and exquisite extravagance of the multiple subsystems they depend on plus the fact of an actual (not metaphorical) genetic code and information in their DNA or RNA stamps a designer.

    Only if one has a pathological need to slap a robe and halo on their ignorance and name it God‘Intelligent Designer’.

    A ‘code’ arises when two things co-vary – NO EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE REQUIRED.

    Tree rings ‘encode’ the growing conditions the years they were formed, but no one (except maybe you or your handlers) would claim an intelligent agent installed them.

    ‘Information’ arises in any system showing imperfect replication and selection – for genomes, variants that work tend to stay around, while less effective variants go extinct.

    End result -the APPEARANCE of design, and an INCREASE in information.

    Just because YOU are unable and unwilling to accept reality-based explanations does not make them false. Your personal incredulity is not evidence that evolution is wrong or ID is right – it is merely evidence that you are incredulous.

    Standard blubberings continued :

    Natural processes have never been seen to make a code anywhere.

    Actually, they have. It just requires an intelligence to CALL a co-varying relationship a ‘code’.

    All the genetic ‘code’ is is what three nucleotides match up with a tRNA carrying an amino acid. Given the FACT that genetic codes can change and evolve, your imbecilic ‘requirement’ that an intelligent agent MUST be involved becomes sillier with every repetition.

    Standard appeal to ignorance :

    Then again, we are only scratching the surface of how living systems are composed. We really don’t know trade-offs and net gains involved. I’d liken your comments here to a Weidersheim’s list. I predict that discoveries in the future will show some of these flaws to be good trade-offs in the long run.

    RiiIIiiIIight !! The standard ‘we is too dum to know how it actually works, so ANYTHING we call a flaw actually be DEEEEZINE too superior for us to understand !!!!!!1!111!!

    Why would an intelligent designer need to make trade offs ? Is he/she/it/they LIMITED in what they can do ?

    Evolution expects and explains trade-offs, so the dodge ‘but, but – their MIGHT be some currently unknown advantage to doing things this way so its not REALLY a flaw !!1!!!1!’ is shown to be ridiculous. Much like someone convicted for murder claiming that since there MIGHT be some evidence presented sometime in the future that exonerates them, we should let them go free now.

    The reality-based community has an EXCELLENT idea of how living things are composed (thanks to actually GATHERING DATA, forming models and TESTING THOSE MODELS.)

    Contrast with IDiots, creationuts, and theoloons, who have convinced themselves that since they already ‘know’ all the answers, they feel no need to actually test their ideas with experiments (presuming that their vapid rhetorical twists and whinings are somehow relevant).

    BTW – whether a mutation is ‘deleterious’, ‘beneficial’ or ‘neutral’ is CONTEXT DEPENDENT. What is bad in one environ could be neutral or good in another.

    Mutations occur without respect for need – THIS WAS DEMONSTRATED ALMOST SEVENTY YEARS AGO. That organisms have DNA repair mechanisms does NOT prevent mutations from happening – if they did, THERE WOULD BE NO SUCH THINGS AS OBSERVED MUTATIONS !

    Since mutations HAVE BEEN OBSERVED TO HAVE HAPPENED, you’re argument falls flat.

    Got some EVIDENCE that Intelligent Designers actually exist, or are you going to just rely on the delusion that your IGNORANCE is evidence of something ?

  126. Nick Gotts says

    My point is to show that it is illogical to claim something your body works to prevent made your body in the first place. – biasevolution

    There is nothing in the least illogical about that. The USA works to prevent secession – as it showed rather determinedly in 1861-5. Yet it came into existence by secession from the United Kingdom. Most governments established by revolution or coup work to prevent anyone else carrying out a revolution or coup. For that matter your body has mechanisms to prevent many of its cells from dividing to produce more cells – when these fail, the result is often cancer. But how did it come into existence in the first place? (Hint: the “stork theory” is generally considered unscientific, although of course it’s no more so than creationism.)

  127. azhael says

    @162 Nick
    Why bother, he himself has acknowledged that the correcting mechanism isn´t perfect and mistakes do occur. That´s it, that´s all you need. In fact this imperfect correcting system prevents the mutational rate from being too high which would cause too many deleterious mutations per individual. The reduced, but NOT inexistent, rate of mutation prevents this while at the same time allowing for descent with modification.

    But really this is all pointless i think….his brain contains too much fail to be reasoned with. A full on education from the very beggining would be required to mend all the fail that is on display on his posts.

  128. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws.

    Also, that something we consider flawed, like the human eye, is “good enough” is not merely an assertion. It is evidenced by the fact that we can, indeed, see, although not as well as some other species. That the degree to which we can see is “good enough” is evidenced by the fact that we haven’t yet gone extinct. However flawed the human eye is, it clearly hasn’t prevented us from being able produce viable offspring, i.e. good enough.

    However, under ID, “good enough” is not good enough (*snerk*) because your proposed designer would not be limited to incremental improvements the way evolution is.

  129. says

    biasevolution #149 & #161

    Now I would like to know why you think ‘kinds reproducing after their kinds’ is wrong.

    Not so much “wrong” as “so vague, it’s meaningless”. Define “kind” in a biological context and we can discuss it.

    As I said, evolution requires the fact of limits to variation being ignored.

    No, it doesn’t.

    You’re like a person arguing that god must have created the eiffel tower. After all, it’s impossible to build a tower to the moon, and if there are limits to the height of human constructions, the eiffel tower can’t be man made. Notice how stupid that argument is?

    You need to demonstrate not just the existence of limits, but limits sufficiently constraining to make the evolutionary explanation untenable. You haven’t done that. Nobody has. There are limits (as everybody has always agreed), but they’re more than wide enough to allow for the evolution of life on this planet from a universal common ancestor.

    Indeed, those limits are actually quite important for the next point:

    If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws.

    “Good enough” and “flawed” aren’t contradictions. The detour of the laryngeal nerve usually doesn’t cause any problem for us, but it is a sub-optimal design. That’s undeniable. It’s good enough and it’s flawed.

    The problem (for you) is that there’s no reason that a brilliant designer should leave such flaws in his design. It shows a level of incompetence that’s incongruous with the necessary brilliance for doing the design in the first place.

    Evolution, however, explains it beautifully. Evolution is constrained by the past and can’t plan for the future, so we see these odd jury rigged solutions. Evolution can’t just draw up a new design from scratch, the way an intelligent designer would. Evolution can’t borrow parts from other designs, the way an intelligent designer could.

    In an evolutionary model, we can explain these flaws. In a design model, you can’t. Except, of course…

    I predict that discoveries in the future will show some of these flaws to be good trade-offs in the long run.

    An easy prediction to make, given how you haven’t mentioned a time limit or even a specific flaw. If nothing new is found, you’ll say “it’ll come, just wait”. If something, anything, is found you’ll claim success. You’ve even hedged by saying “some of these flaws”, so even if we conclusively demonstrate that one structure is flawed and has no redeeming qualities, you can brush it off.

    It’s not only dishonest, it’s also cowardly.

  130. Nick Gotts says

    azhael@166,

    I disagree. In the first place, arguing with a creationist on a blog is never only about that creationist, who will almost always be totally impervious to reason – or they wouldn’t be a creationist. Second, the claim from biasevolution I quoted is characteristic of the total refusal creationists demonstrate to recognise that a process may have very different properties and results on different scales: here, that mutation can (usually) be deleterious for an individual organism, while (combined with natural selection) producing new species and novel functions on the scale of populations over long time periods. Another example of the same is the claim most of them make to accept “microevolution” while rejecting “macroevolution” – in that case because they refuse to understand that a long series of small changes can result in a radical transformation – even though they see this happening as a baby (let alone a zygote) grows into an adult.

  131. azhael says

    Nick@170
    Fair enough. I´m all for discussing and i recognize that even if the oponent is impervious, it has value for potential onlookers. I just think in this particular case, nothing new is being proposed and he has shown way too many basic failures of reasoning which he just won´t even recognize at all…which means we could be arguing for ages and i doubt he´ll even consider reassesing some of his deep missconceptions and the unwarranted set of limitations he must impose on evolutionary theory to maintain the illusion that he has a case at all.
    Maybe i´m just not as patient as you lot xD

  132. azhael says

    I’m a deist

    You believe there is a god that creates “kinds” presumably in a young earth scenario…that doesn´t sound at all like deism…it smacks of theism.

  133. A. Noyd says

    What the fuck is going on here? Why is someone called JonMilne arguing on the site debate.org with this very same creationist nitwit (who goes by the nym Iredia there) while plagiarizing comments from Pharyngula? For example, his comment here starts out using The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge’s comment here, then copies Nerd of Redhead, Amphiox, and a_ray_in_dilbert_space from the same thread. Here he is using David M’s words, then mine, then azhael’s and my little exchange about parsimony (altered so it’s not a back-and-forth between two people anymore), then Nerd of Redhead’s, Amphiox’s, and David’s again (from the previous link).

    In #149 biasevolution quotes not me but JonMilne’s plagiariazation of me. Most of what JonMilne uses is word-for-word copying, but, like the alteration to azhael’s and my exhange, he modifies anything that might indicate what he copies comes from a different place. This is my original sentence:

    You cannot declare science faulty for failing to live up to definitions and concepts no scientist ever uses, like your idiotic question on the previous page about why micro-evolution (which you incorrectly define as “kinds reproducing after their kind”) is evolution.

    This is how JonMilne altered it, which is what biasevolution is quoting here:

    You cannot declare science faulty for failing to live up to definitions and concepts no scientist ever uses (like the creationist usage of the phrase “kinds reproducing after their kind”) which is inaccurate).

    Why is biasevolution carrying on the exact same “debate” and posting the exact same comments both here and on debate.org in the first place?

  134. David Marjanović says

    i might just have to start liking my own country…O_o

    While Zapatero was prime minister, it was called “The Socialist Kingdom of Spain”.

    (And now that the king and some of his relatives are involved in a corruption scandal, I wonder how much longer the monarchy will continue…)

    Stories and rhetoric as I said above.

    biasevolution, first you completely misrepresented the theory of evolution by blithely quoting Ham, and then you say “stories and rhetoric” when we object?

    Are you trolling? Or are you scared shitless of admitting that you didn’t know what the theory is about and what it’s not about?

    All which count as nothing against the facts. Like there being limits to how species vary. Or random mutations being detrimental and not beneficial and being militated against by DNA repair.

    None of these is a fact. There are no limits, indeed limits would be a miracle, as I explained; the vast majority of mutations has no effect whatsoever; whether a mutation that has an effect is detrimental or beneficial depends on the environment – when there’s lots of citrate in the environment, mutations that lead to the ability to eat citrate are beneficial, as happened in Lenski’s experiment; DNA repair is not perfect, as I mentioned and as any textbook can tell you with numbers.

    You plainly don’t understand what you’re talking about. Get off your illusions of knowledge and go learn.

    Heck I’d bet biologists will say death was selected for too.

    Well, no. It’s instead a side-effect. Reproduction and repair both require energy; what you invest in one you can’t invest in the other.

    You flatter me guys. You all had to spew all that for a point I made.

    Your point was wrong in so many ways that listing them all took a while. :-|

    Then you say your theory doesn’t rely on fossils after effort while endorsing an imagery of the fossil evidence in the Grand Canyon. Classic case of a contradiction.

    LOL, no! Fossils are one line of evidence – they’re sufficient, so we mention them, but they’re not necessary.

    But dress that with evolutionary speculations, do some genome sequencing etc and throw around some sciency terms and you have an early draft of what will be a published, peer-reviewed paper.

    Show me.

    Now I would like to know why you think ‘kinds reproducing after their kinds’ is wrong.

    Go ahead, try to define “kind”. :-)

    You have 100 to 200 mutations that both of your parents lack. Add that up over generations. When do you get a new kind? What miracle do you imagine prevents this from happening?

    I noted that many selective breeding experiments (like Lenski’s LTEE) done since Darwin came on board have shown that there are limits to variation. We’ve selectively bred dogs, horses etc since then and they are pretty much the same species.

    This is remarkably silly. Consider when humans began breeding anything, and try to define “species”…

    Not even a whiff of change which suggests UCA is possible_except you have a priori commitments to the theory.

    Why, then, do all known organisms have so much in common that they don’t need to? Why do we all use the same RNA and DNA with the same sugars, with phosphate, with the same bases? Different backbones and different bases have been synthesized in the lab, and they all work; they’re no worse than what Life As We Know It actually uses. Why are the enzymes for the same function so often so similar, much more than they’d need to to fulfill their function, in vastly different organisms? Why are some of these enzymes for different functions similar in likewise unnecessary ways in all organisms, if not because of a gene duplication before the last common ancestor of all known life?

    You assume and arrange this family tree. The ‘evidence’ for it is non-extant given the facts of variation within limits. Would you expect dogs to grow rudimentary fins a thousand years from now ? No. Too absurd. Yet that is precisely what your theory requires. At least, something along those lines.

    Thank you for this eloquent demonstration that you have no clue what you’re talking about. *slow clap* Let’s take this apart:

    You assume and arrange this family tree.

    I don’t arrange a family tree, dumbass, I have a computer calculate it. Long, long ago phylogenetics really was an art rather than a science, so your criticism would have had a tiny point – but not nowadays or within the last… 30 years in my field, up to 64 elsewhere.

    The ‘evidence’ for it is non-extant given the facts of variation within limits.

    There’s evidence for the tree. You believe there are limits to variation, so that this evidence must be somehow wrong. Therefore you ignore the evidence and close the case. Doesn’t it occur to you how stupid this is? The evidence is there, so it must be explained in some way; when two lines of evidence conflict, as you claim they do, you can’t simply pick the one you like better and ignore the other one, hoping it’ll go away somehow.

    Again I ask: why are there intermediates between some groups but not between others, so that a tree shape results? Is the creator, whose existence you have yet to demonstrate, playing a practical joke or something?

    Would you expect dogs to grow rudimentary fins a thousand years from now ?

    Suppose a population of feral dogs finds itself in an environment where being able to dive for fish or other aquatic food is a big advantage. Further suppose there’s no competition (from seals or otters, say). Further suppose this state of affairs prevails for… I’d guess a few hundred thousand years at least. Under these circumstances and no others I would expect the descendants of those whose body shape was best suited to swimming to be overrepresented in the next generation.

    I’m deliberately vague about the body shape, because it may involve more finlike limbs (as in seals) or instead a longer, thicker tail and shorter legs (as in otters). Dog tails are rather pathetic to begin with, so the first option may be more likely, but there’s no way to tell for certain.

    Anyway: just one thousand years? It would really surprise me if that were enough, except maybe under rather cruel artificial conditions.

    Yet that is precisely what your theory requires. At least, something along those lines.

    LOL! Nope, the theory of evolution doesn’t require fins on dogs in a thousand years.

    Whales don’t have hind legs. A couple of bones near their tails ain’t hind legs. This is how people equate the coccyx to tails of monkeys.

    Uh, yeah, it is. The couple of bones are clearly pelvis and femur, and sometimes also tibia and fibula, and sometimes even more. The phenomenon of homology was discovered, and the term coined, by the creationist Richard Owen; evolution provides a very neat explanation for homology, where Owen could only claim that God somehow, for (presumably) some reason, really likes to make only certain kinds of variations from basic blueprints (“archetypes”) but not others.

    BTW, whales with quite impressive hindlimbs abound in the Eocene fossil record. You’re really missing out by restricting yourself to the living.

    Actually, your whole rant here misses the point. The parsimony I layed down was about fossils. I said I make less claims about a fossil if I don’t subscribe to UCA (universal common ancestry).

    And I said that you actually make more claims that way: you cannot help implying that this fossil somehow popped into being unconnected to anything else; you cannot help implying that it represents a separate origin of life. You need to assume millions of origins of life, where we can do with a single one! You cannot help implying that its similarities to other organisms are all either chance or due to the Designer’s personality quirks, while we can explain them.

    You are 180 degrees off from reality. You”re really that ignorant of the history of selective breeding in plants and animals, but you”re making these authoritative statements about it? You’re a funny guy, biasevolution.

    Which statement is more in tandem with observed facts laymen can relate to.

    1) species can evolve over deep time to become a different species eg mammals to whales

    2) Species have limits (however fuzzy) within which they can vary.

    (Sorry for the quotation marks – they’re generated automatically by putting text in Comic Sans.)

    Have you no shame? :-) You’re trying to make an argument from personal incredulity and an argumentum ad populum at the same time. Two logical fallacies for the price of one!

    ID isn’t philosophical, it’s science

    It’s not. It’s one big argument from personal incredulity and from plain ignorance…

    …designed to hide an evil agenda.

    Clearly, design detection is only a science when it is materialism-friendly as SETI is. Yet make an ID theory and you go bonkers. Why ?

    First, there are four ways anything can come to be:
    – chance;
    – necessity (the laws of physics don’t permit anything else);
    – design;
    – evolution.

    Evolution being descent with heritable modification, it cannot happen to things that don’t reproduce. Radio waves don’t reproduce; they can’t evolve. Thus, if we find a pattern in radio waves that cannot be explained by chance or necessity, design is the only option.

    Second… I just linked to the Wedge Document. Read it.

    Sure there are limits. I suspect that no thermophilic bacteria will ever evolve the ability to live in the core of the sun.

    Good.

    That’s a limitation of physics, not one of evolution: atoms cannot exist in the core of the sun. It doesn’t help your point. Don’t try to pretend otherwise.

    Why would you expect random mutations to build new traits ?

    Excuse me? That’s practically what mutation means. If a mutation doesn’t result in a new trait, you can’t even know it ever happened unless you sequence the genome of the organism in question.

    Congratulations! You have managed to single-handedly accuse all biologists in the world of either having a deeply unscientific mindset, to the point of simply not being scientists at all; or of being lying conspirators, to which I can only say that tens of thousands of scientists can keep a secret when all but one of them are dead and the last has advanced dementia.

    A delusion coupled with fear of repecussion by some dissenting scientists would be more appropriate. I say some because others like Behe and Axe openly disaffirm evolution. And the author of ‘Frozen Evolution’ Jaroslav Flegr is another curious case and Hoyle too to some extent. No need to be unscientific.

    Delusion obviously is an unscientific mindset, and so is lying (even if for fear of repercussion). In other words, you are saying that “all biologists in the world of either having a deeply unscientific mindset, to the point of simply not being scientists at all; or of being lying conspirators”.

    Behe (a biochemist) hasn’t published a scientific paper in decades. Hoyle is dead, wasn’t a biologist, and published lots of unscientific nonsense; for instance, his claim that the London specimen of Archaeopteryx was a fraud was a long-winded argument from ignorance. I’ve never heard of Axe or Flegr.

    So. What makes you believe hundreds of thousands of people suffer from a delusion? What are these repercussions you assume exist? Why do you think so many people shy away from the chance to win a Nobel prize by overturning what everyone thought they knew? Why do you think the threat of repercussions works on everyone but Behe?

    You have a lot to explain here.

    No need. I don’t want to argue over petrified bones and corpses. Not my thing.

    Are you afraid of something? :-)

    The trick is the scaffold. Do you want some examples of scaffolds in biology?

    No need for examples.

    I’m suggesting that it’s impossible for chance mutations and NS to build an arch in gradual steps.

    Just… wow. I’m afraid of learning of evidence that counters what I say; I just want to keep saying it.

    You’re not suggesting that it’s impossible for mutation and selection to build an arch. You’re asserting it. There’s plenty evidence to the contrary in the literature, even in textbooks, but you don’t want to learn it exists! You want to keep your fingers in your ears, and you want to keep singing!

    Have you no shame?

    A stone can’t function as arch. The stones must be joined into an arch before it can be selected for.

    Yes, and? Duplication mutations happen all the time. Duplicate the gene for the stone a few times, and you’ll have enough for an arch.

    If it functions as something else it must be appropriately modified (or not) and joined with other stones to make an arch.

    Yeah, well, sometimes no modification is necessary. Sometimes the modifications happen by… *whisper* random mutation.

    Just as you won’t expect undirected natural processes to effect arches akin to those on aqueducts I won’t expect random mutations to build biochemical nanomachines.

    That’s too literal. Undirected natural processes don’t make stones with so many flat surfaces, straight edges and sharp angles. “Biochemical nanomachines” don’t have such things; they’re just proteins, differing from other proteins only in sequence and length – things natural processes can and do modify all the time.

    ‘Survive and thrive’ right.

    Huh? Are you quoting something here?

    Except that variations that enhance an individual’s ability to survive doesn’t necessarily have to translate to increased progeny. In fact, organisms with precisely the novel traits that evolve may die before passing them on.

    I did specify heritable traits. If you think that useful traits always, or almost always, decrease fertility, please explain what makes you think so.

    Genetic drift occurs but it is deemphasized.

    What do you mean by “is deemphasized”?

    So here’s the thing. If a variation improves survival eg by better finding food but there is no consequent increase in progeny it’s of no use_NS as described can’t occur.

    Uh, yes, and? What is your point?

    My point is that, more often than not, a mutation that improves finding food will make more resources available for investing into progeny, in other words, it’ll allow more eggs/more yolk/more blood to the placenta/better guarding and defense of the nest/whatever. Similarly, a mutation that decreases the risk of death from predators or accidents during the fertile period of the lifespan will lead to more progeny, and a mutation that does so before the fertile period of the lifespan will increase the probability of reaching the fertile period in the first place.

    BTW, you can’t get a dash by typing an underscore; you can get one by pressing Alt while typing 0150 on the numeric block.

    OTOH, if an organism is prolific at reproducing but in isn’t doing to well trait-wise it’s survival and evolution is at risk. Many aquatic preys eg cods and sea turtles seem to fall into this category. Then there’s the worst of the lot, trait-wise aren’t easily adaptive in animals that have are slow to reproduce eg elephants and the extinct dodo.

    Uh, nobody said* that extinction is impossible, let alone that evolution makes extinction impossible. I have no idea what your point is.

    I’m also not sure what the word pile “trait-wise aren’t easily adaptive” means. Judging from “that have are slow to reproduce”, you seem to write faster than you think…

    * Well, nobody has said it since the early 19th century. Before that, lots of people took for granted that God would never allow extinction.

    The gap is clear. An adaptive trait which enhances chances of survival must be tallied with reproductive benefits. IOW random mutations must not harm reproductive function but even enhance them so traits can survive. This is non-random because it specifically attends to the need to reproduce a trait so it thrives.

    So what? You seem to think this never happens, or doesn’t happen often enough; why?

    Natural selection as it actually works in the real world simply weeds out organisms whose traits don’t match a selective pressure and not a drop more. Many species have gone extinct or endangered under the huge selective pressure man’s activities pose. Elephants, lions, prarie chickens, dodo etc. To then say that NS evolves an entirely new species over time is ridiculous in the face of the facts.

    …What a jumbling of nonsense.

    That natural selection only works on detrimentral traits is a common misunderstanding among laypeople, especially creationists. It’s not true. This should be obvious from the theoretical explanation I gave, but also from Lenski’s experiment and many, many others.

    Hey, if by some miracle nothing could be selected for, breeding (artificial selection) wouldn’t work.

    You’re of course right that mutations can’t always provide enough variation that a population can cope with a strong selective pressure. Mutations don’t happen on demand. What is your point? Are you trying to believe that all selective pressures are as strong as overhunting?

    Mutations cause variation alright. But the type of mutation is what’s in contention. Mutation could mean accidental change to a genetic sequence (which are random WRT the organism’s need) or simply changes to a genome. At the moment, directed mutations hasn’t been accepted in mainstream science even though the evidence for it has been piling up since the 60′s.

    Then show me that evidence.

    I also, as so often, don’t see what your point is. If mutations by some miracle happened according to the needs of a population, evolution would be faster and easier, and extinction would be less common; I thought you were trying to convince us that evolution is slower and more difficult than we think?

    I will accept that new alleles can arise in a population, but again, I will assert that it happens within limits.

    Add them up over enough generations, and you’ll be astonished.

    natural selection doesn’t explain the arrival of the fittest.

    Mutation does. Next question?

    The experiments by TH Morgan and Dobzhansky. They failed to get novel traits after exposing lots of fruit flies to chemicals and UV rays to randomly mutate them.

    …What do you mean by “novel trait”? And why did the Conspiracy allow Morgan and Dobzhansky to publish? :-)

    My point is to show that it is illogical to claim something your body works to prevent made your body in the first place.

    This is the kind of massive stupidity I’d only expect from a really, really bad philosopher.

    Ever heard of “too much of a good thing”? Ever heard of side effects? Ever heard of Pandora’s box?

    TSIB.

    It is known what mutation rates are, and what they would be if any particular part of the repair system were missing (many are weakened or missing in viruses, BTW). The numbers have been textbook knowledge for decades. Look them up already.

    Okay.

    So, have you?

    The oldest dinosaurs should be about 200 million years old, unless you are speaking about the bones Schweitzer examined which were about 65 myo.

    *blink* Of course I’m talking about the ones Schweitzer and her team actually examined. Some of those are at most 67 Ma old, others more like 85. It’s completely irrelevant here that the oldest dinosaurs are about 230 Ma old. ~:-|

    1) Proteins have actually been confirmed beyond doubt 2) and where in a better condition than you state.

    1) Yes.
    2) No. Where do you think I’m taking the information about crosslinking from? I was there at Schweitzer’s presentation in 2012, and at a poster presentation by her team at the same conference in 2008 (my first SVP meeting), where unfortunately my talk was at the same time as Schweitzer’s.

    What is unclear is whether ancient DNA resides in such dinosaur bones. It’s unlikely tho’.

    That’s a very optimistic way to put it.

    I thought whales were mammals.

    Well, yes. :-)

    Put them in your eye sockets, tell me how they look, then we’ll talk. What’s the use of ‘better eyes’ you can’t look with but use secondarily (as cameras) ?

    Optics. Do you have any idea what I’m even talking about?

    I’m talking about lenses, and yes, you have a lense in each of your eyes. Chromatic aberration.

    *eyeroll*

    This is myopic thinking. If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws. Not that there aren’t flaws

    Most cdesign proponentsists are Christians (and the rest are usually Muslims), so they believe the Designer is perfect and doesn’t make designs with flaws. You’ve said you’re a Deist – apparently you believe there’s a creator that can make the whole universe but isn’t as good at it as it could be…

    the fact of an actual (not metaphorical) genetic code and information in their DNA or RNA stamps a designer. Natural processes have never been seen to make a code anywhere.

    I’ve already told you that there’s a lot of research on the evolution of the genetic code. I’ve even googled it for you, provided direct links to two papers, and told you you should tell me if you hit a paywall.

    What are you waiting for?

    Then again, we are only scratching the surface of how living systems are composed. We really don’t know trade-offs and net gains involved.

    Yes, but we’re working on it.* In fact, we’ve been working on it for decades; a lot more knowledge exists on these issues than you have ever imagined.

    You should get out less and read more.

    * Dawkins’s reply to “there are more things in heaven and on Earth…”.

    Of course the designer must be brilliant. Syn

    Your comment ends here. Try again.

    plagiarizing comments from Pharyngula

    Bizarre. Thanks for alerting us.

  135. says

    A. Noyd:

    Why is someone called JonMilne arguing on the site debate.org with this very same creationist nitwit (who goes by the nym Iredia there) while plagiarizing comments from Pharyngula?

    For a year or so, Jon Milne would show up here in Tdome, saying they were arguing with one creationist or another, and wanted everyone else to do his work for him. After a bit, I got tired of it, and repeatedly asked Milne to bring the person here. Other people joined in on that request, or at the very least, asked for a link to where the argument was taking place. Milne said the other person wouldn’t come here, refused to link, etc. I haven’t seen Milne back for a while, requesting other people to do the work for him. Apparently, he’s just stealing it now.

  136. says

    Whoa. That’s just disgraceful — copy/pasting the exact same words people used here without attribution of any kind. All any creationist would have to do is point out that Milne is doing exactly what we accuse creationists of doing to completely discredit him.

    It is plagiarism. It is unethical. If Milne is reading this, knock it off — you are actively undermining our position with unprofessional and improper behavior.

  137. jonmilne says

    Alright, I need to hold my hands up. Not just because I’ve been caught out doing something fundamentally fucking stupid, but because it’s undoubtedly a very clear sign that I need to take a hell of a break away from even being in topics like the ones I’ve been in.

    So, in case it wasn’t obvious by now, I was the user “biasevolution”. I got a little too eager to have responses I could use when engaging in these debates I was passionate about being in, and when requests as myself concluded with failing, I tried portraying a sock account. This, as you see, resulted in people responding, and me, well, doing the moronic and ridiculously unethical actions I took. I got way too passionate about these debates, and took things way too far. So to make things clear, debate.org user Iredia never appeared on this site. That makes my actions even worse, and Professor Myers is absolutely correct about what my actions can and may well will. end up provoking responses of, and that’s nothing but utterly shameful on my part.

    I cannot apologise enough to every user on this site affected by my actions, whether you were someone who I stole arguments from or even if you were just an interested onlooker watching what appeared to be a kooky ID troll that had appeared on the site but was in fact a poe, a fake, a liar, a complete moron addicted to trying to be right in arguments with fringe groups in the scientific community. And I apologise to Professor Myers as well that he had to waste his time creating an entire thread rebutting the argument I posed as mine, even if the thread in question will be highly useful to be people arguing against IC in future, as I’ve muddied the principle of it by my disgrace. And I apologise to Professor Myers and all the people here, qualified in the sciences or not, that I committed these offences at all, regardless of whether it was on their “turf” of this website.

    There is no excuse for what I did, none. I deserve to be banned. I have disgraced the ethics and code of conduct of this site, of secular morals, and of myself. Either way of what winds up happening now, what has happened is a welcome wake up call, a solid slap in the face about how unbelievably fucking wrong and pathetic my actions have been, and I need to take a long sabbatical from doing these kinds of debates, and I would be far better off observing others write brilliant things, without the stupid need and desires to want to copy everything they say without their permission.

    Sorry to everyone, from the bottom of my heart.

    Jon Milne

  138. says

    Holy shit.

    You were sockpuppeting a creationist to get fodder for a debate? You trolled us to trick us into helping you out — you weren’t even honest enough to ask directly?

    Fucking BANNED.

  139. David Marjanović says

    This is deeply perplexing.

    you weren’t even honest enough to ask directly?

    Perhaps Iredia is the mysterious creationist jonmilne was talking about back in January, who mysteriously didn’t want to come here? I’ll ask over there.

    There haven’t been any responses to my comments there so far.

  140. David Marjanović says

    Whoa. That’s just disgraceful — copy/pasting the exact same words people used here without attribution of any kind.

    Worse: copy/pasting the exact same words except for removing all evidence that they were originally posted here, as documented in comment 173.

  141. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *brings in the Hazmat team to clean out the plagiarist stench*

    *hands out free grog and swill to those who were copied*

  142. says

    Well, I was just about to post my suspicion that biasevolution was actually JonMilne, based off the time stamps of parallel comments.

    I’m not particularly happy about being right.

  143. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Wow.

    I thought “biasevolution” seemed a little too articulate to be as stupid as he let on (except for a couple of spots where his keyboard got ahead of his brain—happens to the best of us). And he knew how to blockquote, which should have been a dead giveaway. Anyway, I’m flummoxed.

    DM @ #174:

    BTW, you can’t get a dash by typing an underscore; you can get one by pressing Alt while typing 0150 on the numeric block.

    Windows users really have to remember all those numbers? You can’t just hit shift+alt+hyphen? Or pull down the Keyboard Viewer? Wow.

  144. says

    Yeah SC, I haven’t heard word one about how he was treating his woman at all. My first run through the story, where I came in to hear the recording, my immediate takeaway was that he was incredibly disrespectful and authoritarian to whomever he was speaking. And then I heard one of the racist comments and I was wondering, just who the hell is this guy? I caught in in local news, so with their usual mercy, they repeated everything ten times and I got the slightly larger context. WTF?

  145. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    He says while committing tagfail! Well, I was doing it myself instead of depending on htmlXtra. That’ll ‘larn me!

  146. David Marjanović says

    I thought “biasevolution” seemed a little too articulate to be as stupid as he let on

    Nah.

    Remember, the comments are all copied from Iredia’s at debate.org.

    And he knew how to blockquote, which should have been a dead giveaway.

    You’re right about that part!!!

    Windows users really have to remember all those numbers?

    Well, most don’t…

    You can’t just hit shift+alt+hyphen?

    Nope. That would be logical, but Windows has the worst keyboard driver of all. This goes so far that in MS Word you can get a dash by pressing Ctrl+minus…

    Or pull down the Keyboard Viewer?

    Keyboard?

    There’s a character map that allows you to insert everything Unicode has to offer. Bizarrely, though, it’s hidden (before the first use) in All Programs > Accessories > System Programs* > Character Map.

    * That’s right: System Programs belongs to Accessories. And you have to click on Start to switch off.

    That was a typo, right?

    I’ve seen “your/her man” as a cover term for “boyfriend/husband”.

  147. Owlmirror says

    As I wrote on April 17:

    So I wondered — who coined “National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism”? Surely this sneering backronym has been around for a while, maybe from a post on a creationist or fundamentalist Christian blog?
    Nope. It appears to have been created de novo this year; indeed, this month, and unless biasevolution is a plagiarist as well as being a creationist (hey, it could be), biasevolution is also medic0506 on debate.org. There’s a mouseover box that comes up with more information about him there.

    Emph added.

    I really thought medic0506 was trying to argue in two places. I kept meaning to go back to debate.org to see what had happened, and I might have caught JonMilne myself if I had.

    But things have been hectic.

  148. Amphiox says

    If it’s evolution, you’ll assert that it’s good enough but when it’s a designer you forget that and hype flaws.

    I’ll make this reply despite the skullduggery behind it all because this is an important point.

    “Good enough” flawed features are a *hallmark* of evolutionary processes. In fact, it is a PREDICTION of evolutionary theory. Natural selection distinguishes the “good enough” from the “not good enough”, but cannot differentiate between the “good enough” and “better than good enough” SPECIFICALLY because it lacks intelligence and foresight.

    Thus evolutionary theory PREDICTS that evolved features will the vast majority of the time be “good enough”.

    But that is NOT a hallmark of design. Even the most imperfect intelligent designer *attempts* to make designs BETTER than good enough, to apply foresight and plan for future contingency. With even the most incompetent design one would expect to find at least a few small features that are better than “good enough” and indicative of foresight.

    Thus this is a feature that distinguishes evolution from intelligent design. Evolution produces “good enough” features. Intelligent design produces BETTER than “good enough” features, and the degree to which they are BETTER directly reflects the power and competency of the designer.

    An omnipotent, omnibenelovent and omniscient designer should produce NO designs that are “good enough but flawed”.

    And “good enough” features is ALSO not compatible with the idea of a “fallen” world. In a fallen world, one being steadily corrupted by malign influence, one would expect to see an increasing number of features that are not even good enough, but that is also not what we see in reality.

  149. says

    I’ve seen “your/her man” as a cover term for “boyfriend/husband”.

    As with most terms in a patriarchal society, the meaning isn’t the same.

    (Of course, in French and Spanish, the sexism is built in: woman, wife – same word.)

  150. David Marjanović says

    (Of course, in French and Spanish, the sexism is built in: woman, wife – same word.)

    In German, “man” and “husband” is also the same (if you don’t want to resort to more poetic terms like “spouse”)…

  151. says

    In German, “man” and “husband” is also the same (if you don’t want to resort to more poetic terms like “spouse”)

    Again, though, not the same meaning. There’s a historical connotation (connected to real laws and cultural notions) of actual ownership involved with the terms for women.

  152. says

    @ David Marjanović

    more poetic terms like “spouse”

    In Afrikaans: Eggenoot

    derived from Dutch:

    Echtgenoot —> Echt + genoot

    Echt —-> True

    genoot —–> from geniet = pleasure (here used as suffix to denote “companion” or “partner”)

    .

    In Chinese, a common term of endearment for “spouse”: 老仆 (Lǎo pū) —–> “old servant
    Also, “wife”: 太太 (Tàitài), 太 = “excessive“. Repetition of words is used for emphasis (as it is in Afrikaans.)

    @ johnmilne

    Fie!

  153. azhael says

    Of course, in French and Spanish, the sexism is built in: woman, wife – same word.

    In our defense, we have alternatives, and even though the historical connotation of “mujer” as in spouse is obvious, the modern usage implies no trace of ownership unless specified. But yeah, gendered languages tend towards being incredibly sexist…surprise, right?

  154. Nick Gotts says

    I need to take a long sabbatical from doing these kinds of debates – jonmilne@179

    Make that permanent. If you return to that activity at any time, you will find yourself in the same position that tempted you to plagiarise, then sockpuppet, and there’s every chance you will slip back into the same pattern.

  155. David Marjanović says

    Again, though, not the same meaning.

    How do you know?

    Not saying that wasn’t the origin of it, but I’m talking about current usage by all generations.

    genoot —–> from geniet = pleasure

    I don’t think so. It’s obviously related to German Genosse (m.) and Genossin (f.), an obsolete word for “friend” that is used to translate Latin socius (…not sure if socia is attested…) and the socialist/communist meaning of “comrade“.

    (The military/fascist usage of “comrade” is Kamerad.)

    In Chinese, a common term of endearment for “spouse”:

    Wow, I didn’t know that. Is it ever used to refer to men?

    太太

    Abolished in the PRC.

  156. says

    In our defense, we have alternatives,

    There’s no need to be personally defensive. You didn’t create the language!

    and even though the historical connotation of “mujer” as in spouse is obvious, the modern usage implies no trace of ownership unless specified.

    Depends on what you mean by “modern.” If it’s “under Franco” (or the parade of rightwing Latin American dictators), it implied more than a trace of ownership. Did you ever watch Cuéntame cómo pasó? There’s a scene in which a woman abused by her husband escapes from him and is hiding out at a friend’s. The police come and force her to return…because it’s the law.

    (“Unless specified”?)

    But yeah, gendered languages tend towards being incredibly sexist…surprise, right?

    Well, there is progress. :)

  157. says

    How do you know?

    Not saying that wasn’t the origin of it, but I’m talking about current usage by all generations.

    I know because there’s a long history, which continues to some degree into the present (all of the cultures about which we’re speaking continue to be patriarchal), in which marriage and relationships are understood in terms of men possessing women and women’s bodies. Many of the legal aspects have been overcome (some fairly recently), but that doesn’t make the cultural connotations of words disappear.

  158. azhael says

    Well, by modern i meant “today”, but i should have been more accurate. Today’s Spain is radically different from “under Franco” Spain.
    The “defensiveness” was in jest xD I just wanted to point out that while there is innate sexism in the gendered language, there are non-sexist synonims, although they aren´t the most commonly used terms.

    (“Unless specified”?)

    Well, yeah, an individual can always make sure to imply ownership…if he is a bloody disgusting bastard…
    When your average guy says “mi mujer” he is not implying “she is my property” anymore than when he says “my spouse” (mi esposa), even if historically that was very much the case for either term.

    Yeah, there is progress, and sometimes it´s in amussing forms. I had a professor of botany that always refered to the students in femenine form as long as there was at least one female present. Rather amazingly i never heard a single male student complain in any way. Gotta love biologists…:)

  159. says

    Well, by modern i meant “today”, but i should have been more accurate. Today’s Spain is radically different from “under Franco” Spain.

    Absolutely true, not that sexism is gone completely. But again, the connotations don’t just disappear. I’m not suggesting that everyone who uses the word intends to imply ownership,* but that this history is built into the language.

    The “defensiveness” was in jest xD I just wanted to point out that while there is innate sexism in the gendered language, there are non-sexist synonims, although they aren´t the most commonly used terms.

    Yes, I’d like to see the ones with the connotations fade from use.

    (I’m still just stunned by “Periquear. Dicho de una mujer: disfrutar de excesiva libertad.”)

    * Regarding my original question – in English, “his woman” carries that meaning quite strongly, which is why I asked about the typo. I assumed “this woman” had been intended.

  160. azhael says

    @205

    I know…but at least now 80% of the spanish population can tell the fucking conservatives to shove it, which is not a trivial difference. In fact it will hopefully be that difference that will see that ridiculous, offensive reform buried deep up their backsides.

  161. says

    In fact it will hopefully be that difference that will see that ridiculous, offensive reform buried deep up their backsides.

    Hope so. (By the way, I agree with what someone said on the other thread – your written English is excellent.)

    ***

    Wow:

    periquear (de “perico”) intr. Salir demasiado de casa las mujeres. *Callejear. Se usa en general en la forma “andar [o ir] periqueando”.

  162. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    SC
    I just wanted to let you know I read a couple of references you provided on the biopsychiatry issue, and I’m going to expand my reading on the subject. Very interesting material. You’ve provided me lots to chew on — thank you!

  163. says

    I just wanted to let you know I read a couple of references you provided on the biopsychiatry issue, and I’m going to expand my reading on the subject. Very interesting material. You’ve provided me lots to chew on — thank you!

    Thanks for letting me know! I’m glad you’re finding it interesting/useful.

  164. azhael says

    @207 SC

    Stop it, i might end up believing it :P

    I’ve never in my life heard the expression “periqueando” and i’m really fucking glad. It sounds like the kind of archaic expression that old southern fascists use…when they go, i hope they take that shit with them…:)

  165. David Marjanović says

    So, while I had a debate.org account, I got a friend request.

    …from JonMilne.

    I know because there’s a long history, which continues to some degree into the present (all of the cultures about which we’re speaking continue to be patriarchal), in which marriage and relationships are understood in terms of men possessing women and women’s bodies. Many of the legal aspects have been overcome (some fairly recently), but that doesn’t make the cultural connotations of words disappear.

    It’s not like such things never happen, you know.
    – It’s been a good long while since “fuck you” was a rape threat; survivors use it in every relevant thread on Pharyngula, and a pseudonymous linguist “now known to be the late James McCawley” (see also Wikipedia) has written the first of these 3 highly entertaining papers (pdf) about it without, apparently, quite getting it.
    – French con, grammatically masculine, means “cunt”. It also means “stupid man” (as in quel con) and “stupid” (as in c’est con), which I’ll happily blame on misogyny. However, idiots are so much more often the topic of conversation than genitals that the word has not only become quite frequent in many social settings and probably printable, it has acquired a feminine form, conne “stupid woman”. I’m pretty sure that most native speakers nowadays consider the two meanings of con to be random homonyms.
    – Away from all this patriarchy. The (grammatically neuter) word for “evil person” in my dialect of German is irregular from a historical linguistic point of view: instead of the expected vowels, it has similar but different ones – indeed, if they were switched around, they’d fit the expectations. Clearly, generations of children have (like me) learned this word from each other several years before they ever noticed its rather transparent origin as a compound of “arse” and “hole”.

    So, I still have to question your certainty that it’s patriarchal when my grandma casually talks to friends about “her man” (in German of course).

    I had a professor of botany that always refered to the students in femenine form as long as there was at least one female present. Rather amazingly i never heard a single male student complain in any way.

    :-) :-) :-)

  166. says

    It’s not like such things never happen, you know.

    …So, I still have to question your certainty that it’s patriarchal when my grandma casually talks to friends about “her man” (in German of course).

    David, I’m not saying it’s patriarchal in the sense that everyone consciously recognizes the connotations every time they use or hear the word, but the fact that the word for woman and wife is the same has historical baggage in societies in which marriage traditionally involved a man’s ownership of a woman in some form (in Spain, the laws talked about in the RH Reality article I linked to existed in my lifetime). There are connotations involved with this double meaning that simply don’t exist when talking about men, because there’s no parallel history or culture. In English, those terms with double meanings don’t exist – or at least I can’t think of any right now – but saying “my man”* has nothing like the connotations of saying “my woman.” It can’t possibly, because, again, these are historically and currently patriarchal societies. (Even for an expression like “my girl,” which might be perfectly innocent, that potential meaning always lurks in the background, in a way it doesn’t and couldn’t for “my guy.”) A word with a double meaning of man and husband in German in these cultures couldn’t possibly have the same potential use or effect as a word with a double meaning of woman and wife. Could that potential use or effect fade away entirely? Sure, but since I still regularly see references, for example, to how Muslim men “treat their women” and the like I think it’s still out there, available.

    * Unfortunately, it’s also become associated with “Stand By Your Man.”

  167. says

    Salty Current,

    Yeah, no, it wasn’t a typo. If there was a reasonable form of description involving a word or two, which will satisfy reasonable anti-sexist folks, for how we describe such relationships, I’m all for it. To me “girlfriend” tends to sound demeaning since people like to use “girl” to infantilize women. Not always, but it just lends cover to those who do. The pronouns describing relationships, which include ownership (and if some of us are not projecting the worse option in a given context, someone is going to assume it, apparently), have also not been replaced (“xir” and friends do not escape this more any other pronoun).

    She is also clearly not his wife, but that is a word I like to avoid as much as I can, without offending people with whom I am directly speaking, and who don’t care about the word but do care about the actual relationship they have.

    Anyway, I chose “woman”, although when I first heard it used (e.g., my woman), i thought it sounded owney myself, but as David Suzuki used it and explained it, he was avoiding using “wife” for all the reasons we, here, like to avoid it.

    And, quite frankly, I’m not going to refer to “the woman who has some sort of sexual or romantic relationship with douchbag NBA owner wotsisname” as I did just here in the quotes.

    But again, I’m happy to use a reasonable replacement term, and I’m going to go back and read carefully all the responses that appeared after I stirred up this bit of controversy for clues or suggestions.

    Anyway, I came here to get the link to your original comment for mention in Ed’s blog where he too pulls up the racism aspect without addressing the sexism, so I’m going to do that, too.

  168. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’m all for it. To me “girlfriend” tends to sound demeaning since people like to use “girl” to infantilize women.

    Ditto.

    I like date mate and house spouse instead of girlfriend/boyfriend and husband/wife. It’s something I’m trying to make default for me, but it’s hard over writing life long patterns. Plus, I’ve have little cause to use it usually. But I love the idea of it.

  169. says

    Ah, and by the way, that is an interesting and culturally informative discussion. I agree with all the points made therein.

    I would have to say, though, that if I had written “this woman”, in that context, as well in the context of my mind which can’t possibly be displayed in a comment, I would have had to edit it. It sounds worse to me – disparaging, or dismissive – in a way that I probably cannot describe or explain, perhaps even to myself.

    Good to point it out, not sure what I would do to change it. The sun does not rise, as this dude does not own a woman. But I can’t constantly qualify everything. So some kind of better relationship descriptor and “possessive” pronoun are in order. (See, it’s even in the name, though we do not “own” many or most of the things that are “ours”. )

  170. says

    JAL

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t know which things are best to avoid. Internally, I have to problem with girls/boys, but there is history there. I can see the same issue with “my woman”, and maybe I date myself, but it was the progressive thing to do in my social contexts, anyway. If I heard anyone use it in a way that he thought did imply ownership (well, same with any other terms and pronouns anyway), someone would get an earful from me or I would be supporting anyone else who wanted to provide that earful.

    I don’t see why we cannot clearly redefine or delimit currently used words in the same manner we try to change modes of thought, but i do know that enough reasonable people can be offended by them, with good reason, so I would rather have different means of expressing these things. But of all the attempts at fixing grammar which can imply or assume certain negative cultural tropes, I don’t find a fix for this one.

    Or, it could be that I am just being dim and forgetful, since I almost never have occasion to really use any of this in meatspace. And the rest of the internet is all “my BF/GF”. “SO” has had some limited popularity, but using that in this case would be making a different sort of assumption, and using it with a possessive pronoun instead of a determiner creates the same problem.

  171. alexanderz says

    David Marjanović:
    Now those are some good papers. “Describe and fuck communism” made me lol so bad. And of course “fuck Lyndon Johnson or I’ll take away your teddy bear”.

  172. says

    @ David Marjanović

    Wow, I didn’t know that. Is it ever used to refer to men?

    Good that you flagged that. No. My bad: “spouse” should read “wife”. I might have taken it as too literal (and I have had the term described to me as such).

    I am told that the characters must be taken together, and not separately, as I did. 老公 (lau gong) would refer to the husband. (Again, don’t treat characters separately).

    太太

    Abolished in the PRC.

    Saywhut? I hear it often enough, everywhere in China. It has even crept into English in Hong Kong.

    What my spies tell me: “Tai” was a term in the name of noble women. “Lao Po” the term of endearment amongst commoners.

  173. medic0506 says

    Owl Mirror,

    I’m not up to date with what Jon Milne has been up to but I can assure you that he and I are not the same person. I’m not sure where you got that information but it is definitely false.

  174. medic0506 says

    “So I wondered — who coined “National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism”? Surely this sneering backronym has been around for a while, maybe from a post on a creationist or fundamentalist Christian blog?
    Nope. It appears to have been created de novo this year; indeed, this month, and unless biasevolution is a plagiarist as well as being a creationist (hey, it could be), biasevolution is also medic0506 on debate.org. There’s a mouseover box that comes up with more information about him there.”

    It was me who used that term for the NCSE. Not sure if it’s ever been used before but it fits, given the leader.

  175. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It was me who used that term for the NCSE. Not sure if it’s ever been used before but it fits, given the leader.

    Why?

  176. medic0506 says

    “Why?”

    Ever since I saw her tell a bold-faced lie on a news program with Stephen Meyer, I can’t look at her without being reminded of the wicked witch.

  177. David Marjanović says

    date mate and house spouse

    :-) :-) :-)

    Saywhut?

    女士. The two textbooks we used used only this term and didn’t even mention 太太. A tape we also used did use 太太, but it referred to expatriates, and the teacher explained that 女士 was a communist neologism intended to decrease misogyny.

    a b[a]ld-faced lie

    Namely?

  178. David Marjanović says

    One of the textbooks was made in the PRC in the 1970s (which was very, very obvious from the art and the setting of the stories as well as the typefaces), the other more recently in Germany by someone with a Chinese name in a non-Pinyin transcription.

  179. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    The first comment from medic0506 about light on that forum following DM’s first comments caused me to flashback to my foolish decision to read the full thread of braincrashing ignorance from Cassiterides.

    All of the research and testing done in the photonics, medical imaging, agricultural imaging, spectroscopy, spectrometry, and machine vision labs that I’ve been surrounded by for nearly a decade would not work if light did not travel while exhibiting properties of both particles and waves. Every chemical film, biological photoreceptor, and electronic light sensor requires light travel from a remote source onto the receptor, and humans have accurately determined the laws of nature (physics, chemistry, etc.) that enable them to function. The Primesense cameras (structured light – using size and shape of light patterns projected onto target to calculate distance), SoftKinetic cameras (phase-shift – modulating light source at much lower frequencies than the frequency of light used, and measuring the phase-shift between the sent and returned light), laser/LED range finders (measuring Time of Flight of a burst of coherent light for long range; phase-shift modulated light for expensive short-mid range; triangulation for inexpensive short range) we use in the robotics section of the spect/spect/mv lab require sending light onto a target from a modulated laser or LED light source and quantifying the light that returns from the target to the sensor.

    Hell, the computer monitor being used to write that crap requires a light source (generated from behind, and transmitted through, the liquid crystal layer; generated externally, traveling through the open cells of the LC layer, bouncing off a reflective layer behind the LC layer, and traveling back out through the open cells of the LC layer; generated from the plasma cells or organic light emitting diodes; generated by an electron beam striking phosphors) to permit one to read the information drawn on the screen.

    Light. IT TRAVELS! AND WE CAN QUANTIFY ITS TRAVEL!

  180. says

    a communist neologism intended to decrease misogyny.

    …decrease misogyny…

    Mwahahaha!

    Sadly.

    Like “decreasing”: graft, corruption, sexism, bullshitism, … all the other things that are supposed to be tackled but aren’t. Hell, all of history is a lie here.

    Such things are denounced in direct proportion as they are found to be absolutely necessary.

    Twice as much life is lived with doublethink. Thrice as much with triplethink!

  181. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    @theophontes

    Although some were a bit on the violent side, my favorite comments on Cass were from breakerslion:

    You need to start with something simpler.

    A train leaves Chicago at 44.3 MPH traveling due East. If the Engineer stops looking forward, how long will it take the train to fall off the edge of the Earth?

    If a tree falls in the forest and you’re under it, will anyone care?

    Billy throws a rock at a window. If it always has to travel half the remaining distance before continuing, a) how come it doesn’t never arrive, and b) how come a twit like you observing this from inside the room will get hit in the eye and not see the rock still in Billy’s hand?

    If you have 5 matches and I take one away, how many do you have left to light a fire then die in it?

  182. David Marjanović says

    braincrashing ignorance from Cassiterides

    A darkness denier. :-)

    I wonder how old such people are.

  183. says

    medic0506, if you’re going to post here, quote people properly, please. Use:

    <blockquote>Place Text Here</blockquote>

    It won’t make your comments sensible, however, it will make them readable.

  184. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    David Marjanović @ #

    A tape we also used did use 太太, but it referred to expatriates, and the teacher explained that 女士 was a communist neologism intended to decrease misogyny.

    How sure are we that this isn’t the same thing as when Soviet citizens weren’t supposed to call each other Товарищ unless they were both party members, but a lot of them did anyway?

  185. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Help?

    I’ve got a wireless usb adapter.
    I installed it in Windows.
    Windows finds my network, but can’t connect to it. It says that the adapter isn’t connected. Although it obviously is, because when I disconnect it I can’t find any networks. Obviously.
    In Ubuntu, I find and connect to the network without problems. (hence, I’m here)

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Get rid of Windows, burn them with fire.
    Won’t happen for now, any other ideas on how to make internet happen while on Windows? Please, thank you.

  186. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    wireless internet, that is
    One of the points of this exercise, other than getting cheaper internet/tv/phone was getting rid of some of the wires criss-crossing the apartment.

  187. David Marjanović says

    LOL.

    it referred to expatriates

    Uh, I mean that the 王太太 mentioned on the tape was explicitly a… let’s see if the wonders of Google… ah yes: 华侨.

  188. David Marjanović says

    …implying that the term was still in use outside the PRC.

    Why am I so bad at explaining today? I’m not more tired than usual.

  189. rorschach says

    Beatrice @236,

    which Windoze version, on what hardware, using which usb adapter? is there an error message?

  190. Owlmirror says

    @medic0506

    I’m not up to date with what Jon Milne has been up to

    Really? Then how did you come here? My comment was prompted by comments #173,#175,#177-182 above (and some additional ones further down), which were in fact all about what Jon Milne was up to.

    But I can assure you that he and I are not the same person.

    I didn’t ever think you were. I (mistakenly) thought that you and “biasevolution” were the same person — until it became clear that “biasevolution” was jonmilne plagiarizing you.

    I mentioned the possibility that “biasevolution” was plagiarizing you, but I didn’t really think it was the case.

    Ever since I saw her tell a bold-faced lie on a news program with Stephen Meyer, I can’t look at her without being reminded of the wicked witch.

    Did she say that Ken Ham is a piglet-raper? Because, see, that would have been a joke.

  191. Owlmirror says

    @Beatrice #236:

    I’ve got a wireless usb adapter.
    I installed it in Windows.
    Windows finds my network, but can’t connect to it. It says that the adapter isn’t connected. Although it obviously is, because when I disconnect it I can’t find any networks. Obviously.
    In Ubuntu, I find and connect to the network without problems.

    I have found that Linux often has better wireless driver support than Windows does.

    I think what might work is to plug the Windows into the wired network, remove the driver for the wireless usb, insert the wireless usb and let Windows check online for the wireless driver.

  192. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    win 7 on pc
    Admittedly, the adapter is a really old one I found in the drawer – DWL-G122 airplus G (d-link)
    (now that I’m looking, it’s old enough that windows 7 aren’t mentioned in “this product works on….”)

    Maybe I’ll just go buy a new one.

    But it almost kinda works half-way. And it works all-way on ubuntu. Stupid windows.

  193. rorschach says

    @243,

    there is a win 7 driver for this adapter on the dlink website and places like cnet, should work.

  194. Amphiox says

    Ever since I saw her tell a bold-faced lie on a news program with Stephen Meyer, I can’t look at her without being reminded of the wicked witch.

    What lie? Evidence, please.

  195. medic0506 says

    medic0506, if you’re going to post here, quote people properly, please. Use:

    Place Text Here

    It won’t make your comments sensible, however, it will make them readable.

    With so much intelligence gathered in one place, I would have thought that the quotation marks would make it self-explanatory, but ok, I’ll try it your way. :)

    I doubt that I’ll spend much time here. I just heard about JonMilne’s adventures over at debate.org, and wanted to make sure that people know that he and I are not the same person.

  196. says

    medic0506:

    With so much intelligence gathered in one place, I would have thought that the quotation marks would make it self-explanatory, but ok, I’ll try it your way.

    With so much intelligence gathered in one place, I would have thought that the quotation marks would make it self-explanatory, but ok, I’ll try it your way.

    We’re well acquainted with quotation marks, we use a better way. As you might note from other people’s comments to you, most are polite enough to use your nym, please attempt to return the favour.

  197. anteprepro says

    medico:

    I just heard about JonMilne’s adventures over at debate.org, and wanted to make sure that people know that he and I are not the same person.

    We know. PZ did a whole post about it. The comment you were responding to was about that post, and the ironic use of the statement “unless biasevolution is a plagiarist” from before that post was made. You seem to be the most unaware of the subject, at the moment. I can’t believe that JonMilne felt compelled to cheat in order to argue against such an incompetent opponent. But I guess that’s just the kind of crowd that get drawn in by the allure of proving one’s mad debatin’ skillz. It tends to draw in the arrogant and ignorant crowd.

  198. Amphiox says

    With so much intelligence gathered in one place, I would have thought that the quotation marks would make it self-explanatory, but ok, I’ll try it your way.

    The accuracy of your punctuation has no zero correlation to the coherence of your statements.

    What your willingness, or lack thereof, to conform to the accepted standards for the basic mechanics of conversation here, once politely informed of what they are, tells us, rather, has nothing to do with the validity of your commentary, but instead is indicative of whether you, as a person, are, or are not, a jerk.

  199. medic0506 says

    Really? Then how did you come here? My comment was prompted by comments #173,#175,#177-182 above (and some additional ones further down), which were in fact all about what Jon Milne was up to.

    David Marinovic(sp?) posted about the incident in my thread at debate.org, and posted a link to this thread. Not knowing exactly what was going on yet, I misunderstood your post. Thank you for clarifying, and my apologies for the misunderstanding.

    Did she say that Ken Ham is a piglet-raper? Because, see, that would have been a joke.

    No, she tried to tell Meyer and the audience that his paper, the one published causing the Sternberg affair, didn’t even mention ID.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFhMxAsMDvk

  200. says

    JAL:

    I like date mate and house spouse instead of girlfriend/boyfriend and husband/wife. It’s something I’m trying to make default for me, but it’s hard over writing life long patterns. Plus, I’ve have little cause to use it usually. But I love the idea of it.

    Related to this, I used to refer to women as ‘girls’ without a second thought, until I learned how infantilizing it is. Now that I understand the demeaning nature of it (a lesson learned in the years of reading this blog), I’ve been trying to correct myself. I’ve found myself doing so- mid-sentence- for a while now. For instance, I’ve said to other employees “There’s a girl…[pause]…woman here for her to go order”. Using ‘woman’ sounds clunky, but I think it’s bc culturally, I’m so accustomed to saying ‘girl’. Breaking habits that are culturally ingrained and constantly reinforced is difficult, but worthwhile (I’ve completely stopped using b*t*h, c**t, d*k*e, sl*t, and few others not just from my everyday vocabulary, but from my general thoughts, and I’m working on making tweaks to other little things that contribute to microaggressions).

  201. medic0506 says

    Inaji:

    We’re well acquainted with quotation marks, we use a better way. As you might note from other people’s comments to you, most are polite enough to use your nym, please attempt to return the favour.

    I will attempt to use the standard etiquette of the site. Anything else I should be aware of??

  202. David Marjanović says

    David Marinovic(sp?)

    …You could just copy & paste, you know.

    Marinović happens to be a name, but it happens not to be mine.

    BTW, there’s a reason for using <blockquote>: it makes comments easier to read. Doesn’t matter in a short one, matters a lot in a long one.

  203. David Marjanović says

    most are polite enough to use your nym

    ~:-| What’s polite about that? Why is it polite?

    Anything else I should be aware of??

    The rules.

  204. medic0506 says

    Anteprepro:

    We know. PZ did a whole post about it. The comment you were responding to was about that post, and the ironic use of the statement “unless biasevolution is a plagiarist” from before that post was made. You seem to be the most unaware of the subject, at the moment. I can’t believe that JonMilne felt compelled to cheat in order to argue against such an incompetent opponent. But I guess that’s just the kind of crowd that get drawn in by the allure of proving one’s mad debatin’ skillz. It tends to draw in the arrogant and ignorant crowd.

    I try to avoid other people’s drama so I didn’t know about the situation until I saw David’s mention, on DDO, of a plagiarism incident. Someone at debate.org brought me up to speed on what was happening, so Owlmirror’s post makes more sense now that I know the story.

    You mentioned PZ, is that THE PZ?? Does he actually post here often??

  205. David Marjanović says

    …what?

    Perhaps go to the front page of this blog? Or are you making a joke that’s flying over my head?

  206. medic0506 says

    Amphiox:

    The accuracy of your punctuation has no zero correlation to the coherence of your statements.

    What your willingness, or lack thereof, to conform to the accepted standards for the basic mechanics of conversation here, once politely informed of what they are, tells us, rather, has nothing to do with the validity of your commentary, but instead is indicative of whether you, as a person, are, or are not, a jerk.

    I’m trying.

  207. consciousness razor says

    Yes, THE PZ™ does write here, at his own blog, fairly often.
    “This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” — D. Adams

  208. consciousness razor says

    medic0506:

    You’re a young-Earth creationist, right?
    Is the universe young too?
    How about you start by telling us about the speed of light. Is it 299,792,458 m/s?

  209. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    David M @ 257

    ~:-| What’s polite about that? Why is it polite?

    Because people can tell they’re being addressed and can more easily respond when someone says something to them. Because it shows consideration for the time and energy and focus of other people, instead of forcing them to pay close attention to other people’s blockquotes in case they are being quoted without being addressed. Because it treats the people you’re speaking to like people instead of random pixels on a screen.

    And because this has been decided to be a polite gesture by the community in general and implemented as a request for behavior:

    VI. Courtesies:
    If you are replying to a specific comment, use the comment number and poster’s name.

    When someone purposefully chooses to ignore an agreed upon courtesy within a social group, they are being impolite.

  210. says

    medicO506:

    It was me who used that term for the NCSE. Not sure if it’s ever been used before but it fits, given the leader.

    No, it doesn’t fit.
    The name of the organization is National Center for Science Education. The organization is described as:

    The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents, and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education. We educate the press and public about the scientific and educational aspects of controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution and climate change, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels. Our 5000 members are scientists, teachers, clergy, and citizens with diverse religious and political affiliations.

    They focus on evolution and climate change, so right off the bat, your term for the organization is, at best, misleading (I think it’s flat out wrong).
    As for your not-so-subtle attempt to undermine evolution by equating it to witchcraft:

    The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and others. One 1987 estimate found that “700 scientists … (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) … give credence to creation-science”. An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that “99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution”. A 1991 Gallup poll found that about 5% of American scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.

    Additionally, the scientific community considers intelligent design, a neo-creationist offshoot, to be unscientific, pseudoscience, or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design “and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life” are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own. In September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying “Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent.” In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying “intelligent design is not science” and calling on “all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution

    You’d have us believe that evolution–which accounts for observations in multiple scientific fields–is unscientific and magic. Riiiiight.

    Link to evidence for evolution.

    But the hits keep a’coming. Your use of “Coven” implies the organization is comprised of practitioners of witchcraft. This, despite the fact that the type of magic you’re referring to is not real. So we’re left with an organization which (by your “reasoning”) isn’t science based, but also isn’t magic based…what does that leave? What do they promote? What type of knowledge are they spreading? What does this organization do?
    You’ve failed to apply adequate critical thought to your bastardization of NCSE.

    Shoot. I forgot there’s more.
    Your use of “Coven” and description of Eugenie Scott point to some lovely sexism on your part. You later go on to make that sexism explicit:

    Ever since I saw her tell a bold-faced lie on a news program with Stephen Meyer, I can’t look at her without being reminded of the wicked witch.

    You look at a woman–a woman you can’t even be bothered to refer to by name (but you can do that with Stephen Meyer)–and she reminds you of a witch. Specifically, the evil witch from the Wizard of Oz. Images of Ms. Scott remind you of an evil, fictional character, because you think she told a lie (I haven’t watched the video, so I don’t know if she did or not, but my criticism of your comments don’t rest on having watched it).

    A woman (by the name of Eugenie Scott, in case you forgot) acted in a manner that you don’t approve of, therefore she’s evil?!

    Do you have any racism or homophobia you’d like to add to the mix?

    I think I’m done. You can fuck off now.

    Oh, wait. I forgot one thing.
    Ann Reid is the Executive Director of the NCSE. Eugenie Scott served in that role from 1987 until 2013.

    NOW, you can fuck off.

  211. medic0506 says

    263. CRazor:

    Yes, I’m a YEC and yes I believe the universe is young, as well. As for the speed of light, I wouldn’t argue much with scientist’s ability to measure it accurately in a particular situation, so your number is probably pretty accurate.

  212. consciousness razor says

    medic0506:

    As for the speed of light, I wouldn’t argue much with scientist’s ability to measure it accurately in a particular situation, so your number is probably pretty accurate.

    Since we can measure it so well, it’s actually an exact definition, not “probably pretty accurate.” There was no use in defining the speed in non-integer units, since previous measurement standards were less precise.

    Anyway, if you agree with that figure, you have to explain why our own galaxy by itself is something like a 100,000 light-years across, the observable part of the universe goes to about 46.6 billion light years (roughly where the cosmic microwave background radiation is), and the observable part and everything in it looks to be at least ~13.8 billion years old. Is that what you think of as “young”?

    If you’re really going to tell me you don’t have a problem with the speed of light, then draw me some inferences already. How are we seeing stuff that’s billions of years old, if the universe isn’t billions of years old?

  213. throwaway says

    As for the speed of light, I wouldn’t argue much with scientist’s ability to measure it accurately in a particular situation, so your number is probably pretty accurate.

    Did you have another situation in mind?
    *leans into palms propped on his knees*
    I hope it’s not too obvious a lead.

  214. Al Dente says

    medic0506 @266

    Yes, I’m a YEC and yes I believe the universe is young, as well.

    This is an attitude I’ve always found confusing. I’m being honest with these questions:

    Why do you reject reality and replace it with a 2500 year old creation myth some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians?

    You claim your god created the entire universe but you reject what the universe tells us and replace it with an old book written by humans. So you’re rejecting your god’s work in favor of something written, edited, translated, revised, redacted, amended and altered over centuries by different groups of people with often conflicting agendas. So isn’t Biblical literalism very disrespectful to your god?

  215. throwaway says

    medico506: If the Bible is true and correct and the only way the earth can be is “young” (how many millenniums is it for you?) otherwise the Bible is contradicted, why hasn’t the Bible made more accurate predictions about the observable universe than the past 100 years of cosmology, physics, astronomy, biology…? Did the Bible let you know there would be gravity waves? Or that those distant spots in the sky were stars and our own Sol was among them? Or that they would have planets encircling them as well, and that these stars would form more massive groups? If God(s) ha(ve)s indeed given you to wonder toward teasing out the infinite vastness of Xir complex and intricate design, don’t you feel the least bit of shame in shutting your mind off to all the evidence of that complexity and design, and presuming things not in evidence to account for that which your own eyes and deductions can lead you to? I mean, I sure would. Ah well. Carry on.

  216. says

    medicO506:

    Yes, I’m a YEC and yes I believe the universe is young, as well. As for the speed of light, I wouldn’t argue much with scientist’s ability to measure it accurately in a particular situation, so your number is probably pretty accurate

    How do you rationalize your completely unscientific views about the age of the universe with the body of evidence showing the age of the universe to be ~13.7 billion years?

    How do you account for the distant galaxies which are far farther than 6-10,000 light years?

    What about the light from supernova remnants that reach the earth? In 1604 the light from Kepler’s Supernova reached Earth. It was later calculated at no farther than 20,000 light years from Earth (link).

    There is no evidence to support this universe being 6-10,000 years old. There is ample evidence that our universe is older than that by orders of magnitude.

  217. Amphiox says

    medicO506:

    Since you accept the speed of light as it is, answer this question: does Supernova Remnant 1987A actually exist?

  218. Amphiox says

    medicO506;

    Another question for you. How many winters do you believe occur in Greenland every year?

  219. consciousness razor says

    Tony:

    How do you rationalize your completely unscientific views about the age of the universe with the body of evidence showing the age of the universe to be ~13.7 billion years?

    I know this is kind of nit-picky, and I’m guilty of it too at times, but we ought to be careful in how we reason about this, especially with YECs trying to figure out what we’re saying. Even wiki gets it wrong:

    The best measurement of the age of the universe is 13.798±0.037 billion years ((13.798±0.037)×10^9 years or (4.354±0.012)×10^17 seconds) within the Lambda-CDM concordance model.

    First, to pick at a really unimportant nit, it’s 13.8, not 13.7. You should round up, not down. :)
    Second, this is not necessarily “the age of the universe,” depending on what exactly that’s supposed to mean. This is the time since the big bang, the inflationary epoch, or whatever you want to call it. It’s the minimum age allowed by the evidence, not necessarily the age (of everything there is, period, full stop). That is of course a lot longer than only a few thousand years, as a creationist would say, but this can still be confusing for them.

    Something might have always existed. Indeed, some kind of eternal inflation is currently the best model we’ve got for explaining the big bang, and that’s actually what it says. The big bang isn’t a theory about how it came to be that way; it shouldn’t even pretend to be explaining itself. When you do get around to explaining it, you don’t have to say time itself exists only right then (at t=0 or whatever) and not before. Or you could perhaps just say the universe, in the form it is now, is about 13.8 billion years old, without going into further explanation, and not commit to some kind of claim about the existence of time or the existence of everything or anything like that. To put it another way, we say things like “the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old” and that makes sense in context — we’re not saying the stuff it was made of isn’t older than that, but that the Earth formed from preexisting stuff into a particular kind of object (a planet). But when you talk about something like “the age of the universe,” or “how old” it is, what that’s supposed to mean in context isn’t very clear.

  220. consciousness razor says

    Duly noted. Thank you.

    Just to make it clear, basically everybody uses a shorthand like that. It wasn’t really meant to be a criticism of what you said. It was intended more for medic0506 than for you.

    See, a creationist might want to say we think the everything “popped” into existence “from nothing” (or some garbage like that) at some time 13.8 billion years ago, or that time itself (or anything else) didn’t exist before that. If you think eternal inflation is right, that’s not actually what you think. So you’d have to clarify to say that, no, everything-there-is isn’t just some finite number of years old. Apparently, time, and something about the physical world, is eternal. Things are infinitely old, if you feel like putting it that way. That’s the picture we really ought to be drawing, but it suffices to say to a YEC that things are at least billions of years old. Whatever might actually be the explanation of the big bang (supposing eternal inflation’s wrong) we’re at least certain about that much. And you don’t even need to go that far, into a big cosmological picture. They can’t even account for stuff inside our own galaxy which is farther than some thousands of light-years, much less stuff that’s millions or billions of light-years away.

  221. medic0506 says

    265. Tony:

    No, it doesn’t fit. The name of the organization is National Center for Science Education.

    How about we compromise by just typing NCSE in this thread, and we can each think what we want about the organization??

    They focus on evolution and climate change, so right off the bat, your term for the organization is, at best, misleading (I think it’s flat out wrong).

    It was meant to be humorously derogatory, not necessarily factually accurate. I don’t really believe it is a coven of witches, nor do I believe they are interested in science education, so I see the name you use as misleading, as well.

    As for your not-so-subtle attempt to undermine evolution by equating it to witchcraft:

    That’s your statement, not mine, but I won’t deny that I give the two about the same amount of credibility.

    The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory…

    Argument from majority noted.

    One 1987 estimate found that “700 scientists … (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) … give credence to creation-science”.

    27 years ago there were 700?? That’s awesome!! It only takes 1 to be right, so the other 699 are just gravy on the taters.

    You’d have us believe that evolution–which accounts for observations in multiple scientific fields–is unscientific and magic. Riiiiight.

    Depends on how you’re defining “evolution”.

    Your use of “Coven” and description of Eugenie Scott point to some lovely sexism on your part. You later go on to make that sexism explicit:
    Do you have any racism or homophobia you’d like to add to the mix?

    You got sexism, racism, and homophobia all in one post. Did I get re-directed to whineyliberal.com??

    A woman (by the name of Eugenie Scott, in case you forgot) acted in a manner that you don’t approve of, therefore she’s evil?!

    I don’t recall ever saying that she’s evil. IIRC, “lying old wart-nosed wench”, was the term that I used.

    NOW, you can fuck off.

    NOW, I see where JonMilne learned his skills.

  222. omnicrom says

    Medic0506 would you like to explain we atheists should believe in your god? There’s been at least a million gods in human history even counting the ones that were deliberately created as fictional. Why should we give yours deferential treatment above any other?

  223. omnicrom says

    Depends on how you’re defining “evolution”.

    How do you define “evolution”? And if it’s different from scientists who actually study evolution would like you to explain why?

    Argument from majority noted.

    I note you didn’t respond, or indeed even re-quote, the link that Tony provided to evidence for evolution that made it so their post was not an argument from majority.

    You got sexism, racism, and homophobia all in one post. Did I get re-directed to whineyliberal.com??

    No, Tony noted the sexism inherent in how you tarred eugenie scott. Experience on this site of myself and presumably Tony is that Sexism often goes with racism, homophobia, and other prejudices.

    Also if you consider calling

    I don’t recall ever saying that she’s evil. IIRC, “lying old wart-nosed wench”, was the term that I used.

    To be just them over-hysterical shrill PC liberals than I suggest you leave. This blog is not for you. Pharyngula takes sexism, racism, homophobia, and other prejudices quite seriously.

  224. consciousness razor says

    27 years ago there were 700?? That’s awesome!! It only takes 1 to be right, so the other 699 are just gravy on the taters.

    It doesn’t take any people to be right. The facts are whatever they are, and any one fact is enough, no matter whether anybody believes that fact. I doubt you believe it’s terribly awesome that a person thinks something. I bet you believe it’s awesome that some kind of fact supports a belief you have. But you don’t have any such facts.

  225. Dhorvath, OM says

    medic0506,

    It only takes 1 to be right, so the other 699 are just gravy on the taters.

    So how do you know which one is correct?

  226. Al Dente says

    I see medic0506 was unwilling or unable to answer the questions I asked @269. Apparently xe’s too busy sneering at a woman and denying bigotry to explain why a book is more important than the universe hir god created.

  227. Al Dente says

    27 years ago there were 700?

    Project Steve is at 1335. That’s how many scientists named Stephen or a name similar to that accept evolution. There may be 700 engineers, dentists and other semi-scientific people, all with various first names, who “question” evolution. There are 1335 scientists named Steve who accept evolution.

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

    @medic0506, re: addressing David Marjanović:

    David Marjanovic: [sic]

    Apologies for the misspelling. Is DM ok with you??

    The approved short form is DDMFM, to include his title and honorific.

  229. Dhorvath, OM says

    On David, since he reads everything as near as I can figure, I don’t sweat it too much when quoting him and stick to David M. I don’t use MF if I can help it anywhere, it makes me very uncomfortable.

  230. says

    medicO506 @278:

    I don’t really believe it is a coven of witches, nor do I believe they are interested in science education, so I see the name you use as misleading, as well.

    What evidence do you have that they aren’t interested in science education? Given that you have this belief, surely it is supported by evidence. Can you point to something to support your belief?
    It’s good to know you don’t believe in witches. There’s still the nagging problem of you believing in YEC, which is every bit as nonsensical and unevidenced as witchcraft. Why do you believe the one and not the other?
    Oh, and it’s not “the name *I* use”. It is the name of the organization. You ought to acquaint yourself with their activities before you claim the name is misleading.

    That’s your statement, not mine, but I won’t deny that I give the two about the same amount of credibility.

    Based on what?
    Why do you not find witchcraft credible?
    Why do you not find evolution credible?

    Argument from majority noted

    I wasn’t making that argument.
    I never said “evolution is true because a lot of scientists believe it is true”. I was attempting to point out that evolution is nothing like witchcraft (it has the overwhelming support of the scientific community), so drawing a comparison between the two is dishonest.

    27 years ago there were 700?? That’s awesome!! It only takes 1 to be right, so the other 699 are just gravy on the taters.

    And yet none of the evidence supports creationism. Given the body of evidence in support of evolution, those 700 people are/were wrong. It happens. You’re wrong to believe in a young Earth too. It’s ok to be wrong.

    Depends on how you’re defining “evolution”.

    Well then, let’s define it:

    In the biological sciences, evolution is a scientific theory that explains the emergence of new varieties of living things in the past and in the present; it is not a “theory of origins” about how life began. Evolution accounts for the striking patterns of similarities and differences among living things over time and across habitats through the action of biological processes such as natural selection, mutation, symbiosis, gene transfer, and genetic drift. Evolution has been subjected to scientific testing for over a century and has been (and continues to be) consistently confirmed by evidence from a wide range of fields.

    What definition were you using?

    You got sexism, racism, and homophobia all in one post. Did I get re-directed to whineyliberal.com??

    I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say with the first sentence. Your comments about Eugenie Scott were sexist. I didn’t see any homophobia or racism. Having commented at Pharyngula for several years, I’ve seen that some people hold multiple bigoted views. I was curious if you were going to display any other type of bigotry.
    The second sentence is a piss poor evasive attempt to dismiss my criticisms of your sexism.

    I don’t recall ever saying that she’s evil. IIRC, “lying old wart-nosed wench”, was the term that I used.

    You compared Eugenie Scott to the Wicked Witch, remember?
    Here, I’ll refresh your memory:

    Ever since I saw her tell a bold-faced lie on a news program with Stephen Meyer, I can’t look at her without being reminded of the wicked witch.

    That comment indicates you are aware of The Wizard of Oz. She was the principal villain in the 1939 movie and was a contrast to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. What conclusion am I supposed to draw from your comparison? Why did you pick an evil witch to compare her to? Were you unable to find any other fictional women that told lies? You totes had to go with a classic pop culture icon of evil.

    BTW you sexist fuckwit, this blog has a community of people who value equality for all, and an end to bigotry of all kinds. That means that sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist comments are not accepted here.

    NOW, I see where JonMilne learned his skills.

    Ah, a tone troll too. You don’t like “Now you can fuck off”, but have no problem with making sexist comments.
    Must be that biblical morality I’ve heard so much of. No naughty words, but you can be as sexist or misogynistic as you want.

  231. consciousness razor says

    There are 1335 scientists named Steve who accept evolution.

    People named Steve are not to be trusted, obviously.

    But you must admit that the University of Crete has a biology department. And what do you think they teach there??? Evolution!!1!!! Are any of them named Steve, you ask? Perhaps, but it doesn’t matter, since all Cretans are liars, therefore evolution must be false. QED.

  232. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    do I believe they are interested in science education, so I see the name you use as misleading, as well.

    Why do you say that, a lie? You are the one with the problems with science, as science says things don’t go the way you would like to believe they happen. All without evidence on your part, just your blind faith.

  233. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Argument from majority noted.

    Argument from majority of people who understand the details and the million or so scientific papers backing up the theory of evolution, both directly and indirectly. Versus ZERO that back your imaginary creator.

  234. Dhorvath, OM says

    Well, obviously what I believe is true and anything which supports that is science while anything that doesn’t support it isn’t science and anyone who supports things I don’t believe to be true is a liar. Or something. I dunno.

  235. Amphiox says

    Argument from majority noted.

    It isn’t an argument from majority if the majority actually has expertise relevant to the question at hand.

    Your anti-democratic instincts are, however, noted.

    You got sexism, racism, and homophobia all in one post. Did I get re-directed to whineyliberal.com??

    No. You are being called out by decentethicalmoralhumanbeing.com

    Depends on how you’re defining “evolution”.

    There is only one definition of evolution that matters, and that is the one used by evolutionary scientists in their work.

    While you’re at it though, why don’t you define “god” for us?

  236. says

    omnicrom:

    I note you didn’t respond, or indeed even re-quote, the link that Tony provided to evidence for evolution that made it so their post was not an argument from majority.

    D’oh! I forgot to respond to that omission.

    (btw, it’s ok to use male pronouns in reference to me)

  237. Amphiox says

    Do not think that you are starting here with a blank slate, medicO506. Jonmilne might have been a dishonest plagiarising sockpuppetteer, but everything he posted here as biasevolution WAS, word for word, what YOU wrote.

    Every reply we have already made to the SUBSTANCE (such as there was) of biasevolution’s posts, still applies to any additional arguments you try to repeat.

  238. Amphiox says

    I note, medicO506, that, intellectual coward that you are, you still evade my two very simple questions. I shall repeat them for you now.

    1) Does Supernova remnant 1987A exist or not?
    2) How many winters does Greenland experience each year?

  239. A. Noyd says

    Amphiox (#295)

    Do not think that you are starting here with a blank slate, medicO506. Jonmilne might have been a dishonest plagiarising sockpuppetteer, but everything he posted here as biasevolution WAS, word for word, what YOU wrote.

    Jon Milne was “debating” at least two different creationists over on debate.org. Someone by the ‘nym of Iredia who is a deist and then this YEC yahoo. I know he was copying a lot of Iredia’s crap over here, but I’m not sure how much he was copying medic. You’ll either have to trawl through several pages of medic’s contributions on this thread or him what his actual positions are.

  240. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Thanks, rorschach.
    Updating didn’t fix the problem, but I’ll try reinstalling. Later.

  241. says

    I had to fight the urge to respond in thread to anuran’s latest idiocy.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/04/29/what-happens-when-you-accuse-racists-of-being-racist/comment-page-1/#comment-789425

    You have to understand that pharyngula is not a place for nuance or multiple perspectives on a anything except scientific matters. Outside of that there’s a very narrow range of acceptable opinions with things neatly divided up into Good Guys and Bad Guys. Disagree on anything substantive and you are a Bad Guy.

    There is no room for demurral or a range of honestly developed opinions. It’s very cut and dried as one would expect on a fan site such as this.

    This is eerily similar to complaints from the Freeze Peach brigade.

  242. says

    Oh gee, he says more:

    Try “Simple, plain truth” Pick any substantive issue. There’s almost certainly a Pharyngula Consensus Position. Deviate and you’re a deviant. It’s as doctrinaire as the Free Republic and with as much venom leveled at anyone who doesn’t toe the line. You just notice it less because it happens to be a place which agrees with you so far.

    More vagueness. How much slyme are you wading in?

  243. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Try “Simple, plain truth” Pick any substantive issue. There’s almost certainly a Pharyngula Consensus Position. Deviate and you’re a deviant. It’s as doctrinaire as the Free Republic and with as much venom leveled at anyone who doesn’t toe the line. You just notice it less because it happens to be a place which agrees with you so far.

    And of course it’s just totally impossible that these alleged Consensus Positions were arrived at because they’re what the evidence on the topic supports and are, therefor, correct. Nope. No possibility at all. They were just plucked out of the ether completely arbitrarily and, when we explain how you’re wrong and offer evidence of such, it’s not because you’re actually wrong, it’s just because you’ve failed to toe the party line.

    And of course, since this is so self-evident, you’ll be able to provide us with an entire truckload of examples of people having their arguments rejected completely absent any explanation of why. I have the utmost confidence that similar quantities of evidence in support of these positions that are being dismissed for no reason will also be forthcoming.

  244. Amphiox says

    Try “Simple, plain truth” Pick any substantive issue. There’s almost certainly a Pharyngula Consensus Position. Deviate and you’re a deviant.

    Yes there is a Pharyngula Consensus Position for many things. Such as 1+1=2.

    Being “doctrinaire” over some issues is a virtue.

    SOME issues have CLEARLY right and CLEARLY wrong sides to them. That a consensus develops towards the right sides here is merely a side effect of people here being humane, ethical human beings.

  245. rorschach says

    You have to understand that pharyngula is not a place for nuance

    Must have never spent 2 months in a row arguing nuances of nuances with strange gods.

    or multiple perspectives on a anything except scientific matters

    Nope, no multiple perspectives on social justice issues, skepticism, guns, foreskins, movies ever. No siree. Even for anuran that’s pretty myopic.

    Outside of that there’s a very narrow range of acceptable opinions with things neatly divided up into Good Guys and Bad Guys.

    I would argue the goodies and baddies (this is the way the Aussie PM judges the world too, so you’re in good company) are even subdivided here, think of a Venn diagram.
    It might have anuran in the baddies and say Caine, Chas and me in goodies in a “ballpark not the worst asshole” circle, but if we subdivide that group and keep doing it, it would be microgoodies and microbaddies all the way down, depending on who you ask…:-)

    Disagree on anything substantive and you are a Bad Guy.

    Mileage may vary, but if it’s truly “substantive”, I think people tend to agree because something is obvious, not because of group think. Of course that depends on an entirely subjective interpretation of what substantive means.

    There is no room for demurral or a range of honestly developed opinions.

    Of course there is room for it, there is even a special thread just for matters of demurring for the last 2 or so years, so demurring doesn’t get in the way of debating.

    Ridiculous “arguments”.

  246. Louis says

    Rorschach,

    It’s is a Well Known Fact™ that I am the only goodie here and the rest of you are scum. My mummy said so. You wouldn’t want to call my mummy a liar now would you?

    Louis

  247. says

    anuran, I’ve been a regular to this site for years, since it’s SB days… I’ve seen discussion and debate on just about every social issue, large and small, and I’ve seen a wide range of opinions argued strongly on both sides. This site attracts regular contributors that tend to have similar viewpoints and leanings, and they tend to be those that are born from evidence and rational thought. But even among the regulars there are sure as shit many, many differences of opinion, and wonderfully nuanced discussions around those opinions. (I dare you to start a discussion around vegetarianism / vegan-ism).

    I call bullshit on your narrow characterization.

  248. medic0506 says

    267. CRazor:

    Anyway, if you agree with that figure,

    I agreed with that figure given the situation in which it was measured. I’m not convinced that the particular speed measured, in that situation, can be extrapolated into a universal speed.

    you have to explain why our own galaxy by itself is something like a 100,000 light-years across, the observable part of the universe goes to about 46.6 billion light years (roughly where the cosmic microwave background radiation is), and the observable part and everything in it looks to be at least ~13.8 billion years old. Is that what you think of as “young”?

    If you’re really going to tell me you don’t have a problem with the speed of light, then draw me some inferences already. How are we seeing stuff that’s billions of years old, if the universe isn’t billions of years old?

    First, I think you would agree that a light-year is a unit of measuring astronomical “distance”. Then you make a huge leap to also use it as a measurement of time. Given that it is you that makes that leap, and not me, you need to justify your use as a unit of time measurement before you can claim that I have something to answer for.

    Secondly, you have the exact same problem. We can see objects that are further than 13.8 billion light-years away. If you have a natural scientific solution to that problem, then you can’t rationally argue that the problem still exists. If you don’t have a solution, then you can’t rationally argue that my theory is falsified but yours isn’t.

  249. chigau (違う) says

    “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?…It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”
    ―Han Solo

  250. consciousness razor says

    medic0506:

    I agreed with that figure given the situation in which it was measured. I’m not convinced that the particular speed measured, in that situation, can be extrapolated into a universal speed.

    It’s a constant. You should speed this conversation up a bit and get to the point where you tell me what you’re not convinced about.

    So tell me. We’re about 30,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way, give or take. You think that the world is what — 6,000 or 10,000 years old, give or take? Do you have any idea what it would be like for the speed of light in a vacuum to drop off so drastically over such a short distance? No? Then what the fuck is so unconvincing to you about it? Your total ignorance of the subject doesn’t count as evidence.

    First, I think you would agree that a light-year is a unit of measuring astronomical “distance”.

    That’s what I think, but we don’t “agree” about that, if you don’t believe it’s a constant unit. If it’s a function or changes at random or something, you have to actually me what that is, not just say “I’m not convinced” like a dumbass, as if there’s not a fuck-ton of physics you ought to know about and which you’d have to toss out the window.

    Then you make a huge leap to also use it as a measurement of time. Given that it is you that makes that leap, and not me, you need to justify your use as a unit of time measurement before you can claim that I have something to answer for.

    I haven’t said light-years are a unit of time. Read again. I don’t need to justify using years as a unit of time.

    Apparently you’ve never dealt with this information before, because if you had, you wouldn’t even think of making such a stupid point. Don’t act as if you can say anything reasonable until you actually learn about the subject. But as is typical for YECs, the bullshit comes first, and the learning … well, it never actually comes. Not unless they start caring about the truth and stop being YECs.

    I’m totally with Harry Frankfurt on this. Bullshit’s worse than lying. At least when you’re lying, you pay attention to what the truth is, and maybe you even have some reasonable way of determining what it is. Only then do you start fucking things up. With bullshitting, the truth never even gets considered in the first place.

    Secondly, you have the exact same problem. We can see objects that are further than 13.8 billion light-years away. If you have a natural scientific solution to that problem, then you can’t rationally argue that the problem still exists. If you don’t have a solution, then you can’t rationally argue that my theory is falsified but yours isn’t.

    No problem. Space expands. And in fact, that expansion is accelerating. That’s what the observations of the big bang and dark energy are all about. This is all in accordance with a whole lot of physics which you seem to know nothing about, but that isn’t my problem. I don’t have a problem with any of the observations. You do, with all of them.

  251. carlie says

    Let’s go back to that “Depends on what you mean by evolution” comment, because that’s not something that’s a matter of opinion. It’s an actual word, with an actual definition. Just because you make up your own definition doesn’t mean that you have any type of point against people who understand the definition and are using it in that same way. There is no “depends on what you mean” by it, there’s only “do you understand it and are using the term correctly” or not.

  252. medic0506 says

    268. Throwaway:

    Did you have another situation in mind?

    Just saying that the measurement is probably pretty accurate, given the circumstances in which the speed was measured. As I said in another post though, I’m not convinced that you can extrapolate that measurement into a universal speed limit.

    *leans into palms propped on his knees*

    My, aren’t you the friendly one.

  253. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I agreed with that figure given the situation in which it was measured. I’m not convinced that the particular speed measured, in that situation, can be extrapolated into a universal speed.

    Citation to third party evidence needed, otherwise nothing but an assertion from ignorance.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We can see objects that are further than 13.8 billion light-years away.

    Citation needed.
    If you get caught telling lies, with evidence like this easily available, then you need to stop telling lies, as we will expose your idiocy piece by piece.

  255. throwaway says

    medic0506 @ 314

    268. Throwaway:
    Did you have another situation in mind?

    Just saying that the measurement is probably pretty accurate, given the circumstances in which the speed was measured. As I said in another post though, I’m not convinced that you can extrapolate that measurement into a universal speed limit.

    You’re not convinced that the speed of light is a universal constant because… it’s the only way for your pet theory to be correct? What evidence do you have that suggests that it might not be consistent, barring interference from gravity and matter?

    *leans into palms propped on his knees*

    My, aren’t you the friendly one.

    I must have been redirected ‘www.poorwiddlediddums.com’.

  256. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ medic0506

    First, I think you would agree that a light-year is a unit of measuring astronomical “distance”. Then you make a huge leap to also use it as a measurement of time.

    How completely transparent. If you know light-year is a measure of distance, you also know that it’s the distance light travels in a year and thus that, if something is X light years away from us, it must also be at least X years old. You don’t accept that the speed of light is constant because that would mean you’d have to accept that the universe is older than you want it to be.

  257. Dhorvath, OM says

    Medic0506,
    Just so you know, the energy output of our star is linked fairly critically to the speed of light, the square of it to be more accurate, which would exagerate any changes in that speed. Are you contending that our star has had radically different outputs in the past?
    For that matter, if the speed of light is decreasing, which would be necessary for our ability to see further objects, we would find blue shift rather than redshift of absorbtion lines.

  258. consciousness razor says

    We can see objects that are further than 13.8 billion light-years away.

    Citation needed.

    That’s true, Nerd. That NG article isn’t reporting it correctly.

    The radius of the observable universe is about 46.6 billion light years. You have to account for the expansion of space. The light from 13.8 billion years ago (e.g., the CMB) would’ve only traveled 13.8 light-years if the intervening space hadn’t been expanding in the mean time, but space has been expanding in the mean time. Eventually, stuff we can see now will be moving relative to us so much that the light won’t be able to reach us any more.

  259. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, thanks CR. I went to Wiki, and found this the cause of my confusion:

    The word observable used in this sense does not depend on whether modern technology actually permits detection of radiation from an object in this region (or indeed on whether there is any radiation to detect). It simply indicates that it is possible in principle for light or other signals from the object to reach an observer on Earth.

  260. Amphiox says

    If thr speed of light is not a universal constant as medicO506 wants to claim, then the gravity waves that were recently observed would not have been observed in the way they were, GPS would not work, and gravtitationally lensed objects would not appear the way they do, and the nuclear bomb used on Hiroshima would not have exploded. Because all the predictions of Relativity are derived from the assumption that the speed of light is a universal constant, and if c were not constant none of them would have been correct.

    The fact that we have observe these predictions to be accurate to within measurement error in living memory in real time means that c must either be constant or can only vary within a strict range of limits. That range is far far far smaller than what would be required to turn a 13.8 billion year old universe calculated on the assumption that c is constant into a 6000 year old universe.

  261. Rob Grigjanis says

    medic0506 @309:

    We can see objects that are further than 13.8 billion light-years away.

    There’s no mystery there. The simplest assumptions plugged into general relativity tell us that the furthest observable objects should be about 3t light years away, where t is the time since shortly after the Big Bang. It’s actually a bit more than that, because lately (since a few billion years ago) the expansion has been accelerating. See here for a quickie calculation.

  262. medic0506 says

    269. Al Dente

    Why do you reject reality and replace it with a 2500 year old creation myth some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians?

    By “reality” you obviously mean the reality that agrees with your beliefs. My reality works out quite well for me, and doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves, or that organisms can morph into different organisms. Those things don’t happen in any reality that I’ve ever seen. You’re free to think that those things happen, in your own reality, but don’t try to project that as being the reality that we all live in, until such a time as you can actually prove that as “reality”.

    You claim your god created the entire universe but you reject what the universe tells us and replace it with an old book written by humans.

    Who says that I reject what the universe tells us?? To be more accurate, what I reject is the things that atheists and evolutionists tell us about the universe, that is theorized, extrapolated, or assumed, rather than shown by actual evidence. That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like, so I see no need to disregard it in favor of what others believe.

    So you’re rejecting your god’s work in favor of something written, edited, translated, revised, redacted, amended and altered over centuries by different groups of people with often conflicting agendas. So isn’t Biblical literalism very disrespectful to your god?

    Not at all. I believe that God has the ability to protect His word from being corrupted, and His word is not compatible with billions of years or evolutionism. That’s not to say that people can’t make up a god that fits with those beliefs, but it isn’t the God of the bible.

  263. Amphiox says

    First, I think you would agree that a light-year is a unit of measuring astronomical “distance”. Then you make a huge leap to also use it as a measurement of time.

    He is not making any sort of “huge leap”.

    He is in fact doing simple grade school math.

    You know, “the yellow school bus leaves X at 2:00pm traveling at 100km/h, and arrives at Y which is 300km away. How long did the trip take?”

    In this case, light year is the unit of distance, just like km, and the speed of light is 1 light-year per year. Time is then calculated from this information.

    Thank you for being brave enough to admit that you don’t understand the concept of multiplying by 1. The first step to getting the help you need is admitting you have a problem.

  264. Amphiox says

    Not at all. I believe that God has the ability to protect His word from being corrupted

    You make an assumption without any evidence whatsoever that your book even is the word of your god.

  265. Amphiox says

    My reality works out quite well for me, and doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves, or that organisms can morph into different organisms. Those things don’t happen in any reality that I’ve ever seen.

    None so blind as he who will not see.

    Organisms changing into different organisms has been observed directly in real time multiple times. The only way you can deny that is to arbitrarily and dishonestly change the meaning of the word “different”.

  266. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    @ 245:

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like, so I see no need to disregard it in favor of what others believe.

    I don’t know how you can reject evolution when those four-legged insects in the bible have all grown two extra legs in just 2500 years. That’s hyper-evolution, man! But it’s undeniable since the bible “paints an accurate picture of nature”. So you insist that insects had only four legs as recently as 2500 years ago.

  267. says

    My reality works out quite well for me, and doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves,

    Eh??

    or that organisms can morph into different organisms. Those things don’t happen in any reality that I’ve ever seen.

    Ah, so your real problem is narrow scope of vision. Luckily for the rest of us, reality happens anyhow even if you choose not to believe it.

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like,

    So in your prior sentence you make some grand (albeit totally false and contradictory) claim about “evidence” and then follow it up immediately by fully admitting your views are prejudiced by what you’ve been taught to believe things should look like… which has nothing to do with evidence other than limited observation after the fact. You see something looks like this, and the bible says it should look like this, therefor, god!

    How does that differ from, say, Greek mythology? Why is that wrong and your mythology right? Same principal applies…

  268. chigau (違う) says

    .
    God has the ability to protect His word from being corrupted
    .

    he just chose not to

  269. medic0506 says

    270. Throwaway:

    If the Bible is true and correct and the only way the earth can be is “young” (how many millenniums is it for you?) otherwise the Bible is contradicted, why hasn’t the Bible made more accurate predictions about the observable universe than the past 100 years of cosmology, physics, astronomy, biology…?

    The obvious answer is that the bible was not meant to be a science textbook, but where it does touch on issues that can be addressed by science, it has held up. How monotonous our world would be had God created us with great intellect, but then given us all the answers, leaving nothing for us to learn on our own.

    If God(s) ha(ve)s indeed given you to wonder toward teasing out the infinite vastness of Xir complex and intricate design, don’t you feel the least bit of shame in shutting your mind off to all the evidence of that complexity and design, and presuming things not in evidence to account for that which your own eyes and deductions can lead you to?

    Actually my mind isn’t totally closed, in spite of what you probably think about YECs. However, my mind is not gullible, and is not so open that my brains have fallen out. I’m not going to accept nonsense just because someone else calls it “science”.

  270. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those things don’t happen in any reality that I’ve ever seen.

    Then you aren’t looking at the right reality. The wrong reality contains your imaginary deity, which doesn’t exist until prove otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence,evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Which is always MIA when talking to creationists.

    To be more accurate, what I reject is the things that atheists and evolutionists tell us about the universe, that is theorized, extrapolated, or assumed, rather than shown by actual evidence.

    So you are saying libraries full of scientific papers are dismissed with a wave of your hand as “atheism”? Which is funny, as science is only refuted by more science, not by belief in a phantasm and book of mythology/fiction.

  271. says

    My reality works out quite well for me, and doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves, or that organisms can morph into different organisms.

    Have you ever had children, or noticed that other people have children? Did you also notice that the children are slightly different from their parents?

    I have. It’s a key part of reality, relevant to the point you’re trying to make.

  272. says

    medicO506:

    Those things don’t happen in any reality that I’ve ever seen. You’re free to think that those things happen, in your own reality, but don’t try to project that as being the reality that we all live in, until such a time as you can actually prove that as “reality”.

    •It’s supremely ironic that you said the above. You’re the one who believes in a genocidal magic wielding sky daddy, despite the lack of any proof of its existence.

    •It’s also ironic that you reject various scientific discoveries (cf. the speed of light) yet you’re on the internet(how you can honestly do this when you’re so incredibly ignorant is mindboggling. “I don’t comprehend evolution, and clearly haven’t studied much, but I still know that all the evidence in support of evolution is wrong”). In so many ways, you’re reaping the benefits of a tremendous amount of knowledge acquired about the world around us, yet you arrogantly reject much of that knowledge.

  273. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Medic0506, so how far do you go in believing everything in this old book. Do you believe pi=3, as stated in 2nd Chronicles 4:2-5?

  274. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Kevin,
    So, you are saying the deity allows his scribes to estimate? Does he stop at numerical quantities, or are the moral values also just “estimates”? If the Bibble were truly the inerrant word of a deity, don’t you think he’d at least give them the 22/7 approximation?

  275. says

    Do you believe pi=3, as stated in 2nd Chronicles 4:2-5?

    or that bats are a type of fowl? (Leveticus 11:13-19)

    Remember, you made the following statement…

    the bible was not meant to be a science textbook, but where it does touch on issues that can be addressed by science, it has held up.

    We’ve provided just a few instances where this is clearly and laughably not the case. So do you still stand by this statement?

  276. consciousness razor says

    It could’ve at least said the circumference was thirty-one cubits instead of thirty. That’s not hard to do.

    Pi: 3.0 or 3.1? It’s your reality, you decide!

    Besides, maybe pi isn’t a constant. Have you ever considered that, evolutionists? Sure, I’d say pi is probably pretty accurate, given the circumstances in which some circles have been measured. But I’m not convinced you can extrapolate that to all circles. Go on, convince me!

  277. says

    medic0506:

    To be more accurate, what I reject is the things that atheists and evolutionists tell us about the universe, that is theorized, extrapolated, or assumed, rather than shown by actual evidence. That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like, so I see no need to disregard it in favor of what others believe.

    Given that your understanding of evolution is so piss poor, you really have no basis for rejecting what the experts in the relevant fields have discovered.

    As for your book of fiction, the world it paints is not the shared reality that you and everyone else lives in. You really should go read your bible. Start with page 1 chapter 1. The problems begin there.

    Not at all. I believe that God has the ability to protect His word from being corrupted, and His word is not compatible with billions of years or evolutionism

    Given that there are christians who *do* believe the bible is compatible with billions of year or evolution, what makes you right and them wrong? You’re both using the same book of fiction.

    The obvious answer is that the bible was not meant to be a science textbook, but where it does touch on issues that can be addressed by science, it has held up

    No it doesn’t hold up. Plants did not exist before the sun. Humans don’t grow to be 7-, 8-, 900 years old. There was no global flood. These unsupported claims about reality made in your book of fiction are refuted by metric fucktons of evidence.

    Actually my mind isn’t totally closed, in spite of what you probably think about YECs. However, my mind is not gullible, and is not so open that my brains have fallen out. I’m not going to accept nonsense just because someone else calls it “science”.

    What is your basis for determining whether or not you’ll believe a truth claim?

  278. anteprepro says

    medico:

    By “reality” you obviously mean the reality that agrees with your beliefs.

    Pure projection. By “reality” we mean, the shit that we can empirically observe, via scientific method. As in, the closest a human can really get to objectively understanding “reality”. So by “reality”, we mean….reality (with a reasonable margin of error).

    My reality works out quite well for me, and doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves, or that organisms can morph into different organisms.

    What you are really telling us: Your “reality” involves active ignorance of the facts. It involves believing things simply because they are simpler for you to understand and make you feel better.

    You’re free to think that those things happen, in your own reality, but don’t try to project that as being the reality that we all live in, until such a time as you can actually prove that as “reality”.

    Either incredibly hypocritical, or more baffling post-modernish relativism from the God Squad.

    Who says that I reject what the universe tells us?? To be more accurate, what I reject is the things that atheists and evolutionists tell us about the universe, that is theorized, extrapolated, or assumed, rather than shown by actual evidence.

    “I don’t reject evidence, I just reject any or all logic and reasonable conclusions derived from that evidence!”

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like, so I see no need to disregard it in favor of what others believe.

    Ha. Citation needed.

    I believe that God has the ability to protect His word from being corrupted, and His word is not compatible with billions of years or evolutionism. That’s not to say that people can’t make up a god that fits with those beliefs, but it isn’t the God of the bible.

    Doesn’t it trouble you in the slightest that the entire reason why you are cherry picking science to deny is because you think it contradicts the Bible? Doesn’t it strike you that that is a terrible reason to deny empirical evidence and the scientific consensus? Would you ditch logic itself if logic was inconsistent with your holy book?

    The obvious answer is that the bible was not meant to be a science textbook

    And yet you think that the Bible, not meant to be a science textbook, trumps actual scientific evidence. That it is sufficient to dismiss actual, independently determined facts about our world. No, the Bible was not meant to be a science textbook. It was meant to be myth and poetry. And yet people like you take it as a blueprint to the physical universe and of human nature regardless.

    How monotonous our world would be had God created us with great intellect, but then given us all the answers, leaving nothing for us to learn on our own.

    Yes, because if there is anything God is known for, it is for his firm desire for humankind to obtain knowledge. I guess, as long as it isn’t apple form (?)

    Actually my mind isn’t totally closed, in spite of what you probably think about YECs. However, my mind is not gullible, and is not so open that my brains have fallen out. I’m not going to accept nonsense just because someone else calls it “science”.

    Your mind isn’t closed, but evolution is nonsense that isn’t really science. Sure.

    Please show us why you believe evolution isn’t science. The fact of the matter is you are both incredibly gullible, and profoundly ignorant. You suffer from both afflictions to such a degree that you are ignorant of your gullibility and have accepted misinformation to such a degree that ignorant of your own ignorance. You have been misled and don’t know nearly as much as you believe you do. Because that’s how indoctrination and Christian propaganda works. This makes you just like every other YEC, as much as you seem reluctant to think of yourself fitting into that pigeonhole. It’s a damn shame, I know, but you really aren’t significantly better than the rest of them. My dearest apologies for informing you of that, but you needed to know.

  279. azhael says

    When he says:

    doesn’t require me to believe that things can create themselves, or that organisms can morph into different organisms.

    He is very obviously implying the “reproducing after their kind” bullshit. He actually thinks evolutionary theory requires an animal having offspring that are a completely different “kind” of animal. That is how much he doesn’t understand evolutionary theory. I guarantee that if he makes any further comment about that specific bit and the answers he has received, it will be to say that he obviously doesn´t mean by “different” the kind of difference between parents and offspring, and that is not what evlutionary theory requires. He is THAT wrong.

    In addition to that the scientific worldview doesn’t require believe in things creating themselves (which is utterly non-sensical because in order to create itself, it would already have to be, so there would be no need to create itself).

  280. Amphiox says

    Who says that I reject what the universe tells us?? To be more accurate, what I reject is the things that atheists and evolutionists tell us about the universe, that is theorized, extrapolated, or assumed, rather than shown by actual evidence.

    This is a flat out lie on your part, medi0506. Because you reject evolution, and evolution is observed FACT. You reject organisms changing over time, and that is observed FACT, actual direct, real-time, observe evidence.

    That natural selection and random mutation is a or even the primary mechanism that causes the change over time that is the OBSERVED FACT of evolution is a theory. But you don’t claim to just reject that. You claim to reject all evolution, all change of organisms over time.

    And THAT is observed fact, actual reality, direct evidence.

    So you are lying.

  281. says

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like, so I see no need to disregard it in favor of what others believe.

    You mean things like Genesis 30: 37-39:

    37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.

    Is that a “pretty accurate picture” of how nature works?

  282. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Kevin@349,
    I disagree. The arguments we get from YEC all pretty much amount to: “Were you there?” They cannot say that about this particular argument. It is pure mathematics, and it demonstrates conclusively that the Bible cannot be the inerrant word of an omnipotent and omniscient deity. I’ve had endless fun watching creationists twist themselves into knots trying to hold onto inerrancy of the Bibble in the face of that one verse. My favorite was the argument that it’s the difference between outer diameter and inner diameter.

  283. says

    medic0506…

    Curious… have you actually ever read the Bible?… I mean, read it from start to finish, not just spoon-fed the carefully selected and filtered nuggets you get from going to church or Sunday school.

    For me, and many others, that was the first step towards starting to question things. Turns out I learned that questions are good things. And actual answers derived from evidence, observation and reasoned logic are way better, and more fulfilling, than being told “god did it and stop asking so many questions”. A true understanding of the universe is horribly incomplete when you limit yourself to what you are forced to accept from the bible alone.

  284. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @353

    My favorite was the argument that it’s the difference between outer diameter and inner diameter.

    You know, I don’t normally like to write posts that are largely devoid of content, but after reading the above…

    DaFuq?! 0_o

  285. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    What is more, 2nd Chronicles is thought to have been written in the latter 5th century BCE, about the same time the Greeks were proving the existence of irrational numbers. It emphasizes what a backwater Israel was.

  286. Christopher says

    You know, I don’t normally like to write posts that are largely devoid of content, but after reading the above…

    DaFuq?! 0_o

    Assume that the diameter measurement is from outside edge to outside edge and the circumference measurement is along the inside of the bowl then: 10 – 30/pi = 0.44 (approximately), therefore the bowl was 0.44 cubits thick.

    Why anyone would measure the outside for one measurement and the inside for another is ignored.

  287. CJO says

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like

    As pointed out, you’re questioning the evidence of “creation” itself in favor of a book written by people with a mythological view of material phenomena we now understand empirically.

    “Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?” (Job 37:18 KJV)

    (Where “spread out” means “hammered, like metal”, and “strong” entails “solid” and a looking glass is a solid object)

    Is the sky a solid dome, medic0506?

  288. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Christopher, what is more, your thickness of 0.44 is again an approximation. The real thickness would again have to be an irrational number. It moves the problem. It doesn’t solve it.

  289. omnicrom says

    Here medic0506, let me repeat some of my questions you haven’t yet gotten to.

    Medic0506 would you like to explain we atheists should believe in your god? There’s been at least a million gods in human history even counting the ones that were deliberately created as fictional. Why should we give yours deferential treatment above any other?

    How do you define “evolution”? And if it’s different from scientists who actually study evolution would like you to explain why?

    And while you’re at it can you answer Amphiox’s question? It’s a very good question. If you don’t recall Amphiox asked

    While you’re at it though, why don’t you define “god” for us?

    Until you can provide evidence for your god any discussion of what your god did or did not do, or whether or not he has “protected his word from corruption” this discussion is pure sophistry.

  290. Christopher says

    Christopher, what is more, your thickness of 0.44 is again an approximation. The real thickness would again have to be an irrational number. It moves the problem. It doesn’t solve it.

    Agreed. But then again, I’m sure the dumbasses that wrote that passage in the first place didn’t have access to micrometers or even a ruler more accurate than their forearm.

    I never could understand how someone could use a computer to argue that we should pay more heed to idiots in the distant past who didn’t even know not to shit in their water supply over modern day scientists and engineers.

  291. Amphiox says

    The order of creation in Genesis has plants being created before the sun, seed bearing plants before sea animals, and birds created before land animals, all of which are flat out wrong. Even if you go full metaphor and claim that “birds” can count for anything with wings that can fly, including insects, it is still wrong.

    You can fiddle with the speed of light all you want, but you can’t fix a RELATIVE ORDER that is flat out wrong.

    Pretty accurate?

    Only with an arbitrary and dishonest redefinition of the word “pretty”, or the word “accurate”.

  292. Amphiox says

    Even if you accept that pi=3 is an approximation in the bible, anyone who tried to use that approximation for real world applications will end up constructing buildings that fall down.

    That is hardly the behavior of an omnibenevolent deity, is it, to provide for its loyal worshippers estimates that are approximations so rough that if they follow them obediently it will result in them dying horrible painful deaths in building collapses?

  293. Amphiox says

    Even if you stretch the metaphor so far as to include flying fish as birds, it is STILL WRONG.

  294. says

    Amphiox:

    That is hardly the behavior of an omnibenevolent deity, is it, to provide for its loyal worshippers estimates that are approximations so rough that if they follow them obediently it will result in them dying horrible painful deaths in building collapses?

    It might not be the behaviour of an omnibenevolent deity, however, it fits right in with the rest of El Shaddai’s behaviour.

  295. chris61 says

    medic0506

    I think you’ve missed the point about science and scientific theories. They’re not just to explain what we know about the world around us – any one with a half decent imagination can come up with a story to do that. It’s about making testable predictions so we can learn more about what we don’t currently know. That’s where evolution has shown it has it all over creationism.

  296. A. Noyd says

    carlie (#313)

    There is no “depends on what you mean” by it, there’s only “do you understand it and are using the term correctly” or not.

    medic0506 is the guy biasevolution was plagiarizing for the claim that there are six types of evolution—cosmic, chemical, planetary, organic, macro and micro. Makes sense a YEC ignores what actual scientists say about what they think in favor of what another YEC says about what scientists think. And apparently he’s known on DDO for being an unteachable idiot.

    Just thought you might want to know what you’re up against.

  297. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Christopher@363, No, of course they didn’t have fine measurement capability. But if the Bibble is the inerrant word of a deity, why are they measuring at all? Why not just listen to the sky daddy’s dictation. If every word of the Bibble is TRUE, where is there room for approximation or even measurement error?

  298. Nick Gotts says

    That “old book”, on the other hand, paints an accurate picture of what nature should, and does look like – medico506

    As usual, it’s not long before a creationist resorts to barefaced lies. Aside from the gross inaccuracies others have already mentioned, There’s the claim of the sun standing still in the sky at Joshua’s command – a physically impossible event, which somehow went unnoticed by contemporary civilizations; the claim of a universal flood, decisively refuted by Christian geologists in the early 19th century; the claim that insects go on four legs… Why do you tell such whopping lies, medico506? I thought there was something in your religion deprecating that practice.

  299. omnicrom says

    I thought there was something in your religion deprecating that practice.

    If you’re lying for Jesus you’re bearing TRUE witness!

  300. David Marjanović says

    chigau, thank you so much for reminding me of that HTML trick! I had completely forgotten about it! :-) *hangs head in shame*

    David Marjanovic:

    Apologies for the misspelling. Is DM ok with you??

    I’m amused you still haven’t copied & pasted. With just a bit of care, it’s entirely possible to highlight the text of a link. :-) But anyway, DM is of course okay if sometimes confusing, and – as has been mentioned – once I want to participate in a thread, I read the whole thread, so there’s no need to mention me at all, just quote what you’re replying to.

    ~:-| What’s polite about that? Why is it polite?

    Because people can tell they’re being addressed and can more easily respond when someone says something to them.

    This makes no sense.

    Pharyngula is a public blog. Everyone can respond to everything. How does being addressed make that easier???

    Because it shows consideration for the time and energy and focus of other people, instead of forcing them to pay close attention to other people’s blockquotes in case they are being quoted without being addressed.

    “Close attention”? Wouldn’t you read the whole thread anyway, just for the sake of completeness?

    Because it treats the people you’re speaking to like people instead of random pixels on a screen.

    …I don’t know about you, but when I’m in meatspace I don’t throw people’s names at them any more often than here. Why would I?

    I know there are places where it’s considered ungrammatical to just say “hi” when you encounter someone you know in meatspace, so you’re supposed to say “hi, [name]” instead, and when you meet three people, you’re expected to say “hi, [name], hi, [name], hi, [name]” (and have to hope the order you chose doesn’t subtly insult anybody). I see no reason to make this a standard in the global village. *shrug*

    And because this has been decided to be a polite gesture by the community in general

    Actually by PZ, who was taking suggestions from the community but not actually conducting a poll… but either way this is just circular: “it’s polite because people have decided it’s polite” – so why did they decide so?

    Another question for you. How many winters do you believe occur in Greenland every year?

    *evil laugh*

    One 1987 estimate found that “700 scientists … (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) … give credence to creation-science”.

    27 years ago there were 700?? That’s awesome!! It only takes 1 to be right, so the other 699 are just gravy on the taters.

    …No, it doesn’t take 1 to be right either. It takes 0 to be right. It’s not like the Earth didn’t orbit the sun before Aristarchos of Samos got the idea that it did.

    Rather, let’s talk about why creation science hasn’t caught on. It’s often claimed, usually by grumpy scientists, that new ideas only catch on in that the younger generation grows up with it and the older generation eventually dies out, but that’s clearly not true: plate tectonics was first proposed in 1968, and by the mid-1970s there weren’t any fixists left. Scientists do change their minds when they’re aware of sufficient evidence.

    So, what’s going on here? Are we unaware of the evidence for creation? Or is the evidence just too bad?

    A woman (by the name of Eugenie Scott, in case you forgot) acted in a manner that you don’t approve of, therefore she’s evil?!

    I don’t recall ever saying that she’s evil. IIRC, “lying old wart-nosed wench”, was the term that I used.

    It’s truly interesting to read a confession by a creationist who doesn’t consider lying evil. Fascinating in a Vulcan sort of way.

    Depends on how you’re defining “evolution”.

    Descent with heritable modification.

    I don’t use MF if I can help it anywhere, it makes me very uncomfortable.

    You’re not the only one. There’s a commenter on another blog who found out about this, somehow came to believe I had bestowed that title upon myself, and spent months believing I was a totally ludicrous megalomaniac. :-S

    I agreed with that figure given the situation in which it was measured. I’m not convinced that the particular speed measured, in that situation, can be extrapolated into a universal speed.

    Evidence that the speed of light is constant.

    Besides, the speed of light is all over physics. For instance it’s the c in E = mc². If it varied, we’d for instance see supernovas going off in unexpected, inexplicable ways somewhere in the distance; so far, we don’t.

    “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?…It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”

    Probably went through hyperspace. :-)

    (…uh, in which case I hope the distance in hyperspace was much less than even a quarter of a parsec. That’s the whole point of hyperspace. :-] )

    organisms can morph into different organisms

    That’s not how it works. I know what Pokémon® do is officially called Evolution™, but it fails to fulfill the definition biologists use.

    Who says that I reject what the universe tells us??

    The tragedy here is that you reject lots of such things without even noticing. You have next to no idea what the universe tells us. You haven’t learned to read the barcodes in the starlight, in the stones and in the genes – not only haven’t you learned how to do this, you don’t know it’s possible at all; you don’t even know they’re there in the first place.

    (Barcode image taken from Unweaving the Rainbow. It’s a book you might find interesting.)

    the bible was not meant to be a science textbook, but where it does touch on issues that can be addressed by science, it has held up.

    Well, first, it contradicts itself. Right at the start, first it claims that at least one man and at least one woman were created at the same time, and that they were created after all other animals – then it turns around and says one man was created, then all other animals, then the first woman.

    The second quite obviously contradicts all available evidence. The first might hold up if you choose your definitions very carefully, but it’s part of a continuous poem or song that also claims the first birds lived at the same time as the first fish and before the first land animals; and that contradicts all available evidence.

    I could go on all night.

    Can we not use that as an example anymore please? It does us no good. The author of Kings was clearly estimating.

    Why would he estimate? There’s no point in giving both the diameter and the circumference of a circle; if you have one, you can easily calculate (or estimate…) the other.

    Clearly, the author didn’t know that.

  301. David Marjanović says

    It’s often claimed, usually by grumpy scientists, that new ideas only catch on in that the younger generation grows up with it

    them, that is. The new ideas.

  302. Amphiox says

    There is one other possible interpretation of that Kings passage. That would be that it was describing a non-real, alien-geometry mindscrew in some Lovecraftian alternate universe separate from normal reality.

    After all the behavior of the deity in the Old Testament really does fit well with that of an Eldritch Abomination.

    What kind of curvature would it be necessary to give to spacetime to make C/d=3.0, I wonder?

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

    @amphiox, 377:

    So god was just giving the value of pi in his otherworldly realm?

    Now god is reminding me of a grey squirrel that got M*A*S*H’s Hawkeye in med school trouble:

    This happened while I was in my first year of medical school. I was taking an exam in anatomy. It was really tough. They ask questions like “How many bones are there in the hand?” I was stymied. I kept saying to myself, “How many bones are there in the hand?”

    Then I heard this little voice that said “24.” I looked around the room and there sitting on the window sill of the classroom was this little grey squirrel with a very intelligent face. And he pointed at his hand and said “24.” So I wrote it down. And then after the exam I rushed over to the library to look it up. And would you believe it? That stupid squirrel was wrong by four bones.

    I went looking all over the campus for him. I wanted to kill him. I finally found him over on a bench by the Psych department.

    “You were wrong!” I screamed at him. “There’s 28 bones in the human hand!”

    “Oh,” he said pointing at his hand, “I thought you meant a squirrel’s hand.”

    God, the great squirrel of knowledge.

  304. Al Dente says

    There’s a commenter on another blog who … spent months believing I was a totally ludicrous megalomaniac.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  305. A. Noyd says

    David Marjanović (#375)

    Pharyngula is a public blog. Everyone can respond to everything. How does being addressed make that easier??? … Wouldn’t you read the whole thread anyway, just for the sake of completeness?

    Some people have dyslexia or attentional disabilities or just read slow. Some are really pressed for time. Some are distracted by pain or drugs. Some people even have trouble remembering they wrote a sentence when it’s taken out of context.

    Using ‘nyms helps people who can’t otherwise easily do so notice when you’re saying something to them. Think of it as an accessibility issue.

  306. The Mellow Monkey says

    David M: I truly don’t mind how you choose to write your posts, just for clarification. I assumed your question was meant sincerely and was attempting to offer an answer.

    …I don’t know about you, but when I’m in meatspace I don’t throw people’s names at them any more often than here. Why would I?

    If I’m in a group conversation and need to make it clear that I’m responding to a specific person I will direct my attention to them. Lacking body language and facial expressions in text, I use names. But using names in a thread is also different than just talking to someone, because it often involves quoting them. If I’m quoting someone in a conversation, I will make it clear who I am quoting. If I’m quoting someone in a paper, I will properly attribute the quote. If I’m quoting someone in a thread, why wouldn’t I properly attribute the quote?

    Wouldn’t you read the whole thread anyway, just for the sake of completeness?

    I personally do, other than the Lounge and the Thunderdome. However, not everyone is capable of keeping track of things to see if something not addressed to them is actually responding specifically to them. Just as an example, dyslexia or using a screen reader can change how someone interacts with the written word and make things that are negligibly easy for you much harder for them.

    Actually by PZ, who was taking suggestions from the community but not actually conducting a poll… but either way this is just circular: “it’s polite because people have decided it’s polite” – so why did they decide so?

    Following a social norm is considered polite. Many social norms are arbitrary. If “because this is considered thoughtful” doesn’t make sense to you, there is no explanation for this that will ever satisfy you. “It’s polite because people have decided it’s polite” is basically society in a nutshell. We can come up with explanations, but it really does come back to that in the end. What behavior we collectively accept, desire, respond favorably too, etc, is all based on what we’ve collectively decided is acceptable, desirable, favorable, etc. If that wasn’t true, every society in the world and throughout history would have sensible, logical rules for behavior instead of the hodge podge of standards people have cobbled together.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *hands out free grog/swill and popcornz to those posting rebuttals to medico0506*
    Excellent job….

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

    @Al Dente and DDMFM:

    Never doubt that a totally ludicrous megalomaniac can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

    –Seedy

  309. says

    consciousness razor @277:

    Just to make it clear, basically everybody uses a shorthand like that. It wasn’t really meant to be a criticism of what you said. It was intended more for medic0506 than for you.

    [my laptop's dictionary doesn't recognize the word wasn't...vewwy, vewwy strange]
    No worries, I didn’t take it as criticism. I thought of it as reasonable advice.

    ****

    Mellow Monkey:

    David M: I truly don’t mind how you choose to write your posts, just for clarification.

    For the most part, I’m in agreement with you.

    ****
    David M:
    It doesn’t happen often, but over the years I’ve occasionally found myself wishing you’d include either the comment number or the person you’re responding to. That’s usually bc you’ve quoted something that
    a) I didn’t originally read
    and
    b) I find interesting (for me, that usually means I want to read the rest of the comment)

    That would be made easier if you included comment numbers or nyms. It’s an *extremely* minor annoyance that I’ve learned to accept.

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

    @Tony!, 386:

    If I haven’t hit a friend with a brick today, I’m not doing my job.

    –Seedy too

  311. vaiyt says

    My reality works out quite well for me,

    Stop using GPS, and indeed anything that requires telecommunications satellites. They’re kept in target using relativistic calculations.

    Stop using petroleum derivates. Evolution and old-earth geology are used to predict where oil reserves can be found.

    Shun modern medicine, as they use evolutionary predictions to attack new strains of diseases and to choose animals for testing.

    Abandon all forms of engineering, as simple trigonometry can be used to show that C is constant.

    And so on.

    Walk the walk of “your reality”, then come back to us and talk the talk.

  312. Akira MacKenzie says

    Since the comments in The Lounge have been shut down, I might as well post my query here.

    I’ve been cleaning out my pig sty of a room today, when one of my bookshelf collapsed. In the shuffle to consolidate and find new shelves for my books, DVDs, and boxed board/RP games I came upon a few books well-known books written by Professor Muslima and Dr. Byclcle Shorts. I’m in a bit of quandary as to what to do with them. Should I…

    1. Keep them on the grounds that their written work has no bearing on the terrible people they seem to be?

    2. Donate them to the local library?

    3. Perform a PZ-style book burial and return their atoms to the earth?

    I also have some the Amazing Skeptic’s books as well, and since he doesn’t seem to want to ride herd over the organization that bears his name, I’m wondering if I should ditch those too.

    Any thoughts?

  313. screechymonkey says

    Am I missing something, or did Chris Rodda’s blog, This Week In Christian Nationalism, just disappear from FtB?

    I was participating in a comments thread over there, objecting to Mikey Weinstein and his lawyers writing an indignant letter to Fox News for “defaming” them by calling them… gasp … atheists! PZ had commented, too.

    Now I go to see if there are any new comments, and the entire blog is gone. Did Rodda leave in a huff and delete everything?

  314. screechymonkey says

    By the way, the blog post referenced in my @392 is now at the HuffPo

    I was also troubled by the odd reference in the article to the pictures of Megyn Kelly that appeared in a GQ profile — even a dishonest disgrace of a journalist like her shouldn’t be slut-shamed — but I got no explanation for that, either.

  315. says

    Akira MacKenzie @390:

    Since the comments in The Lounge have been shut down, I might as well post my query here.

    0.o I did not know this. Off to see if the problem is resolved.

    ****
    screechymonkey:

    Am I missing something, or did Chris Rodda’s blog, This Week In Christian Nationalism, just disappear from FtB?

    That’s strange. I rarely read Rodda’s blog, so I don’t think I would have noticed it was gone if you hadn’t pointed it out. I wonder what happened…

  316. anteprepro says

    It is strange. Nothing on her Twitter about it, and used one of the links to her posts via her Twitter and it redirects to the mainpage. I wonder if it is just a mistake of some kind, because most people who left FTB didn’t baleet everything immediately. They gave some warning and imported their shit elsewhere, posted a redirect. Mysterious….

    Similar topic: This sucks. Hopefully Jen can still find a way to make things work.

  317. screechymonkey says

    By the way, I realize in re-reading my posts above that it sounds like I’m suggesting I made an entire blog disappear with the power of my comments, which is totally not what I meant. It was really the fact that PZ was criticizing them too that made me wonder if there was some back-channel fighting going on.

    But now I’m wondering if it isn’t the fact that the blog post is duplicated at HuffPo. I can’t imagine HP likes the idea of not having exclusive rights to its content. Even if it doesn’t actually, you know, pay for it….

  318. says

    anuran:
    By my count, you made 7 unsupported claims in the “What happens when you accuse racists of being racist” thread

    From your comment #101:

    1. “You have to understand that pharyngula is not a place for nuance or multiple perspectives on a anything except scientific matters.”

    2. “Outside of that there’s a very narrow range of acceptable opinions with things neatly divided up into Good Guys and Bad Guys.”

    3. “Disagree on anything substantive and you are a Bad Guy.”

    4. “There is no room for demurral or a range of honestly developed opinions.”

    From your comment #103:
    1. ” Pick any substantive issue. There’s almost certainly a Pharyngula Consensus Position.”

    2. “Deviate and you’re a deviant.”

    3. ” It’s as doctrinaire as the Free Republic and with as much venom leveled at anyone who doesn’t toe the line.”

    You have yet to provide examples in support of any of these comments. Nor have you addressed the responses to those comments from Area Man @105, Amphiox @111, Anri @117, and David Marjanović* @130. Those are just the ones from that thread (there are also responses here in the Thunderdome).
    Your #101 was directed at bibliophile20, but failed to provide any evidence to support the truth of your claims. How is xe supposed to determine if your claims are true? Is xe supposed to take it on faith that they’re true?

    Obviously the choice to respond is yours. I hope that you choose to do so.
    ____

    *Heeeeeeeeeey, David M was right! It is really easy to copy/past his nym so it is spelled correctly. Imagine that!
    (not directed at anuran)

  319. chigau (違う) says

    Yup.
    It’s easy to copypaste someone’s nym.
    When it is convenient for David Marjanović to do so.
    Otherwise why would you bother?

  320. Akira MacKenzie says

    Tony! @ 394

    Everything appears back to normal. Thanks. I’ll repost my query there.

  321. ChasCPeterson says

    It’s easy to copypaste someone’s nym.

    ‘course it’s even easier not to.

  322. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Chas:

    chigau:
    It’s easy to copypaste someone’s nym.

    ‘course it’s even easier not to.

    Do what is right, not what is easy.

    /serious business

  323. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    David Marjanović,

    Your not posting names of people you quote and respond to is starting to bother me more now that you have been politely asked, several times, to please start doing that to make other people’s lives easier. It was explained why people are asking, several times.

    Why is it such a problem for you?
    You write 7-screened comments with tons of blockquotes, if that’s not a problem, neither should be adding names.

  324. medic0506 says

    271. Tony:

    How do you rationalize your completely unscientific views about the age of the universe with the body of evidence showing the age of the universe to be ~13.7 billion years?

    I view the true answer as the “scientific” answer. I don’t close off a possible explanation for origins just because I don’t like its consequences, as many of you do. If the true answer ends up being materialistic, so be it, if it ends up being supernatural, so be it. I’m not at all impressed with the argument that your beliefs are scientific, while mine aren’t, because your kind of science has no value.

    That said, your belief in deep time is heavy on theory but light on actual evidence to back it up. I haven’t seen anything that would sway me to believe in deep time, but I have seen things that seem to set an upper limit on age in the thousands. Therefore, there is nothing for me to rationalize.

    How do you account for the distant galaxies which are far farther than 6-10,000 light years?

    By using light-years as a measure of distance, not time. That is an assumption of your theory, not mine.

    What about the light from supernova remnants that reach the earth? In 1604 the light from Kepler’s Supernova reached Earth. It was later calculated at no farther than 20,000 light years from Earth (link).

    What about it??

    There is no evidence to support this universe being 6-10,000 years old. There is ample evidence that our universe is older than that by orders of magnitude.

    Have you looked for evidence that the universe and earth may not be as old as you think??

  325. azhael says

    @407 medic0506

    I don’t close off a possible explanation for origins just because I don’t like its consequences, as many of you do.

    Oh yes, you do.

    “Magic man done it” is not a possible explanation for anything. Not origins, not rabbits in hats. You don´t have a scientific theory for your unsupported believes, you don´t even have a shred of evidence on which to build a reasonable hypothesis. You have a completely unjustified predetermined conclussion and you are willing to ignore the whole of reality in order to maintain that delusion.You have no data in support of it, all you have is the systematic denial of data to the contrary.
    Your ignorance is worrying…you have demonstrated you have no idea what evolutionary theory is, as well as deep ignorance about physics and the scientific method. Now you are making it clear that you don´t even know what a theory is….or evidence for that matter. Yet, you insist on pretending that you are in any way competent to critisize these subjects.

    Arrogant ignorance pisses me off…

  326. medic0506 says

    272-273. Amphiox:

    Since you accept the speed of light as it is, answer this question: does Supernova Remnant 1987A actually exist?

    Never studied it but I wouldn’t argue against it.

    Another question for you. How many winters do you believe occur in Greenland every year?

    How about you just make your argument about ice cores and spare me the stupid questions.

  327. azhael says

    Medic0506, where is the data that supports your conclussion that the speed of light and the observations we have made about the universe are consistent with YEC?
    Please note that you have none. It´s not that you have repeated observations of real phenomena that converge on YEC. You have none of that. What you have is the dismissal of evidence to contrary. Even if your waving away of things like the speed of light turned out somehow to be founded (they are fucking not, but let´s engage in an hypothetical anyway), it doesn´t magically mean that your assumption is now correct. You like to pretend that if you dismiss the speed of light as not being constant, that means it somehow necessarily behaves in a way that is entirely consistent and indicative of a young universe. You are wrong. Even if everything we know about the universe turned out to be incorrect you would still have absolutely nothing to validate your made up belief. Nothing.
    This is the same kind of fallacy that pervades your entire thinking. If i insist that evolutionary theory is wrong, that means Yahweh created everything with magic. If i insist that i don´t accept the speed of light to be constant, that means that speed of light behaves exactly the way it should if the universe were 6000-10000 years old. No. No. No. No…..
    You have started with a conclussion and you are desperately trying to shoehorn reality to fit that conclussion. Actually not even that, you are just insisting that if it doesn´t fit in a different shoe, then it must necessarily fit in yours despite the fact that you don´t even have a shoe to begin with.

  328. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Medic0506, ever hear of this thing called third party evidence, that you link to in order to back your fuckwitted beliefs? Like evidence for your imaginary deity, for your claims on the speed of light, for everything you claim…
    Like this, evidence for evolution: Lenski1, Lenski2, Schneider. Peer reviewed scientific papers, to back up a claim, so it isn’t simply my belief, it is my scientific conclusion.

  329. Snoof says

    medic0506 @ 407

    Have you looked for evidence that the universe and earth may not be as old as you think??

    Yup. So have large numbers of geologists and cosmologists, especially throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Have you?

    (Found any?)

  330. opposablethumbs says

    By using light-years as a measure of distance, not time. That is an assumption of your theory, not mine.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry … medic0506, a light-year is the distance travelled by light in a year. That’s the definition of a light-year. So if something is – for example – 20k light-years away, then it took 20k years for the light to get here so we could observe it. What we are seeing is the light emitted by the object 20k years ago.
    .
    So, got any actual evidence to suggest that the speed of light is not/has not always been constant? Any possible process or mechanism whereby the speed of light could be altered? Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

  331. medic0506 says

    280. Omnicrom:

    How do you define “evolution”? And if it’s different from scientists who actually study evolution would like you to explain why?

    Biological Evolutionism- The belief that all life forms originated from a common ancestor which was able to create itself from non-living matter, though some believe that a god created the original life form and used evolutionism to achieve diversity. Proponents believe that any two living organisms shared a common ancestor, at some point in earth’s history. They believe that the diversity of life can be explained by organisms changing into different kinds of organisms, over vast amounts of time.

    Sound about right??

    I note you didn’t respond, or indeed even re-quote, the link that Tony provided to evidence for evolution that made it so their post was not an argument from majority.

    Good catch, you’re right I didn’t. That link, a wiki page, seems to contain complaints about creationist arguments rather than actual evidence for evolutionism. If you or Tony wish to present an argument here, I will address it, but am not going to go wading through wiki pages to find it.

    You got sexism, racism, and homophobia all in one post. Did I get re-directed to whineyliberal.com??

    No, Tony noted the sexism inherent in how you tarred eugenie scott. Experience on this site of myself and presumably Tony is that Sexism often goes with racism, homophobia, and other prejudices.

    HER organization was the subject of discussion, I didn’t just randomly target her because she’s female. If a male were the head of that organization I would have made similar comments about him. It was HER that lied on public television, while at the same time smirking about it because she knew her minions would ignore the lie, and defend her, just as is happening in this thread. Not a single person has taken interest in her behavior, instead, this red-herring came up. I’ve tarred little Dicky Dawkins on many occasions too, and if it would have been a male that lied in that situation, I would have tarred him, just as I did her. She lied, and I pointed it out. There’s no more sexism in that than there is discrimination in store security catching a shoplifter.

    To be just them over-hysterical shrill PC liberals than I suggest you leave. This blog is not for you. Pharyngula takes sexism, racism, homophobia, and other prejudices quite seriously.

    Obviously it’s taken so seriously that it’s made up even when it doesn’t exist…lol…So much for “freethought”, huh?? Yay tolerance!!

  332. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sound about right??

    NOPE
    Biological Evolution, not evolutionism. It isn’t a belief system, like your imaginary deity and book of mythology/fiction, but rather a conclusion based on scientific evidence. Like a million or so scientific papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature. Like I cited three from above.

    As long as you pretend it is only a believe system, and not an evidence based conclusion, you have nothing but your delusions.

  333. throwaway says

    The belief that all life forms originated from a common ancestor which was able to create itself from non-living matter.

    Evolution doesn’t touch upon monogenesis… which is an odd way of stating that combinations of molecules of proteins were capable under preferable conditions to bond and eventually through chemical processes self-replicate. Your answer is: Goddidit. Or some other contrarian ‘God-of-the-gapes’ special pleading.

  334. throwaway says

    Basically your supernatural model lacks rigour and explanatory power since it’s relying only on the alleged “weaknesses” of another theory, spurious assumptions about the inconsistency of natural laws which aren’t in evidence, the dismissal of every branch of science’s findings, save for those which can provide what you think is ammo (but your aim is so poor you continually shoot yourself in the foot with it.) Basically, Jack, ya got shit.

  335. medic0506 says

    281. CRazor:

    It doesn’t take any people to be right. The facts are whatever they are, and any one fact is enough, no matter whether anybody believes that fact.

    True dat. The truth is true regardless of belief. It’s always a good thing though, to have someone who recognizes it, and tries to spread the word.

    I doubt you believe it’s terribly awesome that a person thinks something.

    Why would you doubt that?? I think it’s awesome that so many people are willing to stand up and admit their beliefs, in spite of the hostility that exists.

    I bet you believe it’s awesome that some kind of fact supports a belief you have. But you don’t have any such facts.

    That’s quite a bold statement given that your entire theory is nothing more than my theory repackaged and renamed, supplemented with magical morphing abilities that no one can see.

  336. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    That’s quite a bold statement given that your entire theory is nothing more than my theory repackaged and renamed, supplemented with magical morphing abilities that no one can see.

    There goes another irony meter. Good thing they’re cheap.

  337. azhael says

    The belief that all life forms originated from a common ancestor which was able to create itself from non-living matter, though some believe that a god created the original life form and used evolutionism to achieve diversity. Proponents believe that any two living organisms shared a common ancestor, at some point in earth’s history. They believe that the diversity of life can be explained by organisms changing into different kinds of organisms, over vast amounts of time.

    Nope.
    I´ll repeat that “create itself” is a completely non-sensical concept and biology doesn´t in any way whatsoever imply that such a ridiculous thing happened at any time. The progressive increase in complexity of chemical systems through competition and natural pressures is not even remotely the same as something popping up into existence from nowhere or creating itself.
    Common descent is a central fact of biology. It´s not a mere belief, it´s a factual, demonstrable part of reality backed up by such a gigantic body of evidence that it is obscene to negate it. Biologists believe it because the evidence forces them to accept it as true to a very high degree of certainty. Evidence from every single branch of biology unambiguously converges on common descent as a biological reality. Biologists don´t however propose a single organism popping up into existence from nowhere and giving rise to all of life. The beginnings of life are far more complicted than that ridiculous and terminally incorrect simplification.
    As for organisms changing into different kinds of organisms….evolution happens in populations, not individuals. Organisms reproduce and the offspring are never identical (not even in clonal organisms), but no organism has ever produced offspring that was a different kind of organism. You got the vast amounts of time right, though.

  338. medic0506 says

    282. Dhorvath:

    So how do you know which one is correct?

    I didn’t say that only one was correct.

  339. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s always a good thing though, to have someone who recognizes it, and tries to spread the word.

    Except the truth is you deity/creator doesn’t exist, until you provide conclusive physical evidence for that. As per usual, such evidence has not nor cannot be shown by you.

    I think it’s awesome that so many people are willing to stand up and admit their beliefs, in spite of the hostility that exists.

    Oh, you think its awesome to admit you are a delusional fool believing in phantasms? *snicker*

    I didn’t say that only one was correct.

    What you say is irrelevant, as your testament is under full skeptical scrutiny, required third party evidence to make your testament anything other than bullshit. And yet, not one link to third party information in your latest posts. Tells me all I need to know about your lack of honesty and integrity.

  340. medic0506 says

    283. Al Dente:

    I see medic0506 was unwilling or unable to answer the questions I asked @269. Apparently xe’s too busy sneering at a woman and denying bigotry to explain why a book is more important than the universe hir god created.

    Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. In the meantime, stay hot on that fishy smell that you’ve alerted on. Don’t let that red-herring escape…lol

  341. throwaway says

    To medic0506: why do all living things share the same building blocks in their core genetic structure? Try to look at it from a bottom-up perspective rather than a grand design, top-down perspective, and then answer. Which one has fewer assumptions about the starting point? Which starting point is realistic and which one is fanciful?

  342. Nick Gotts says

    medic0506,

    I haven’t seen anything that would sway me to believe in deep time

    Of course you haven’t, because you keep your mind resolutely closed. That the earth is at least millions of years old was firmly established – by geologists who were almost all Christians – in the 19th century. Multiple lines of evidence from a wide range of sciences refute YEC fantasies. But if you have considered the matter as you claim, you can undoubtedly tell us what evidence would sway you. Why don’t you?

    but I have seen things that seem to set an upper limit on age in the thousands.

    Be specific.

  343. medic0506 says

    285. Al Dente:

    Project Steve is at 1335. That’s how many scientists named Stephen or a name similar to that accept evolution. There may be 700 engineers, dentists and other semi-scientific people, all with various first names, who “question” evolution. There are 1335 scientists named Steve who accept evolution.

    I don’t care if there are 13 million Steves that accept it, that still doesn’t help make it any more true. Just like your attempt at deception, by implying that only “semi-scientific” people are included and not mentioning any of the biologists, geologists, astrophysicists, etc., that not only question evolutionism, but also accept creation, doesn’t change the fact that they exist.

  344. Nick Gotts says

    not mentioning any of the biologists, geologists, astrophysicists, etc., that not only question evolutionism, but also accept creation, doesn’t change the fact that they exist. – medic0506@427

    There are virologists who deny that HIV causes AIDS, and historians who deny that the holocaust occurred as well. For almost any absurd lie, it is possible to find some credentialled person who accepts is – but like the “biologists, geologists, astrophysicists, etc.” who are creationists, they are rare outliers, regarded with incredulity and contempt by their peers.

  345. Snoof says

    I don’t care if there are 13 million Steves that accept it, that still doesn’t help make it any more true. Just like your attempt at deception, by implying that only “semi-scientific” people are included and not mentioning any of the biologists, geologists, astrophysicists, etc., that not only question evolutionism, but also accept creation, doesn’t change the fact that they exist.

    So we’ve established that “the number of people who believe it” isn’t a reliable metric for determining the truth or falsehood of a statement! Wonderful!

    (It is fascinating how many theists will simultaneously claim that a billion Christians can’t all be wrong, but the mere fact that over 98% of scientists working in cosmology, geology, biology and related fields accept that the age of the earth is billions of years old proves nothing.)

    So, what methodology do you use for working out whether something is true? Do you rely on divine revelation? Common sense? Personal observation? The scientific method as applied by the scientific community?

  346. medic0506 says

    Ok, obviously I’m outnumbered and not making any progress in trying to address each post. I didn’t really come here to get into a pissing contest with a bunch of intolerants who make themselves feel good by claiming to be in a war against intolerance. I was told on DDO that there were actual scientists here who would engage in informal argumentation, so since I’ve had my fun with the whineylibs, I’ll scroll through an see if there is any valid posts by someone who wishes to have a discussion rather than just try to scratch my eyeballs out.

  347. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    medic0506
    Does light travel? Yes or no.

    If ‘no’, kindly provide the alternative scientific theory that accurately quantifies the operation of any photosynthetic process, biological photosensor, chemical photographic film, electronic optical sensor, or photovoltaic solar panel utilized across the planet every single day since the beginning of life and/or the beginning of human discovery of quantifiable theories through experimental study of the universe (e.g. optics in 10th century by Ibn al-Haytham, modern chemistry in ~16th century).

  348. throwaway says

    I was told on DDO that there were actual scientists here who would engage in informal argumentation

    It’s hard to have an argument when someone is as wishy-washy and evasive about how they know what they know as you. You think you are putting up great “arguments” here? Newsflash: the inverse of truth-claim for evolution as we understand it is not creationism by default – less far-fetched proposals must also be contended with, and then even if everything has been excluded, there is still more that could be possible unless creationism comes with some hard evidence to back it up. You don’t even have soft evidence that would contend with Project Steve, so you blatantly dismiss it as being simply “soft evidence”, as you do with even the hard evidence! One thing that isn’t really tolerated is when someone comes to argue in bad-faith and just hand waves everything away.

    For the record, intolerance of intolerance is not necessarily bad, it depends on context.

    And another WTF from me: why do (I presume medic0506 is one) conservatives have to make a diminutive for everything? Whineylibs – how droll! Such wit!

  349. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I was told on DDO that there were actual scientists here who would engage in informal argumentation, so since I’ve had my fun with the whineylibs, I’ll scroll through an see if there is any valid posts by someone who wishes to have a discussion rather than just try to scratch my eyeballs out.

    We are have a discussion, a scientific discussion where your beliefs are irrelevant without supporting evidence. You are trying to pretend your beliefs aren’t delusional, based on the twin fallacies of your imaginary creator existing and mythical/fictional holy book being inerrant.

    So, where is your evidence to back your beliefs?

  350. azhael says

    It’s not that we are intolerant, it’s that you are wrong. If someone says 2+2=47 because Jesus, telling them just how horribly wrong they are is not intolerance.

    So rather than engaging in anything other than hand waving, vagueness and making unsupported statements, you are now going to add onto that by just using the “outnumbered by intolerant whineylibs” excuse? Tell us, does the fact that we are “whiney liberals” have anything to do with the truth value of our possitions? Is it like with your dismissal of science, where you mistakingly think that dismissing fact “x” automatically means god? Since these whineylibs are saying things, and they really whiney and really liberal, i can just dismiss it all and that of course means god is real and he magicked everything into existence. That´s really what you are thinking, isn´t it?

  351. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Medic0506, Indeed there are scientists here. I’m a physicist. So I’m a little bothered by your assertion that merely saying that the light-year is a measure of distance resolves the contradictions inherent in assuming the Universe is young.

    We can see light from objects over 13 billion light-years away from us. Now how would light travel over 13 billion light-years in a time less than 13 billion years if the speed of light is a universal constant.

    And all the evidence supports the speed of light being a universal constant–not just here on Earth, but throughout the Universe. Were it not so, the spectral lines of hydrogen would have different spacings. They do not.

    I do hope you will answer this question directly and not dissemble. The only way you will ever be right is if you are not afraid to be wrong.

  352. medic0506 says

    288. Tony:

    What evidence do you have that they aren’t interested in science education? Given that you have this belief, surely it is supported by evidence. Can you point to something to support your belief?

    Sure, one only needs to read the header at the top of the page to see that they aren’t interested in any scientific pursuit, unless it provides positive reinforcement for evolutionism.

    “NCSE provides information and advice as the premiere institution dedicated to keeping evolution and climate change in the science classroom and to keeping creationism and climate change denial out.”
    http://ncse.com/about

    That doesn’t strike me as being a group that is open to evidence, no matter where it leads them. It strikes me as a group that already has its mind made up, and will dogmatically defend its beliefs against any evidence that seems to be contrary to its position. That’s not science in any meaningful sense of the word.

    Oh, and it’s not “the name *I* use”. It is the name of the organization. You ought to acquaint yourself with their activities before you claim the name is misleading.

    I’m familiar with their activities, which include unashamedly using the judicial system to bully school officials into making sure that only the prettiest possible picture of evolutionism is taught in the classroom, even if the evidence used is known to be false. How “scientific” can a belief be if it requires court protection to keep it viable?? Can you think of any other “scientific” principle that needed court protection?? To my knowledge, evolutionism is the first.

    Why do you not find evolution credible?

    Because organisms don’t change into other kinds of organisms. Reproduction yields a recombination of the already existing parental DNA, which results in offspring that are the same in form and function, as the parents, though that offspring may exhibit slight variations due to mutations and recombination.

    I wasn’t making that argument.

    Then why bother spending time to go out and find the information to begin with?? It’s irrelevant no matter whether the subject is witchcraft or YEC.

    In the biological sciences, evolution is a scientific theory that explains the emergence of new varieties of living things in the past and in the present; it is not a “theory of origins” about how life began. Evolution accounts for the striking patterns of similarities and differences among living things over time and across habitats through the action of biological processes such as natural selection, mutation, symbiosis, gene transfer, and genetic drift. Evolution has been subjected to scientific testing for over a century and has been (and continues to be) consistently confirmed by evidence from a wide range of fields.

    You should have saved yourself all that trouble and just typed, “Change over time”, or gone to the “Defining Evolution” page, and actually posted the part that we would disagree about.

    “…There are three important concepts within evolutionary biology:
    1. The definition of evolution (common ancestry and descent with modification)
    2. The processes of evolutionary change (for example, natural selection and genetic drift)
    3. The patterns of evolutionary relationships (depicted as phylogenetic trees or cladograms).

    Common ancestry forms the core of evolutionary biology. The processes and patterns represent the frontiers of evolutionary biology, where current research yields new discoveries and increases our understanding of the how descent with modification occurs, how species change over time, and how new species form…”
    http://ncse.com/evolution/education/defining-evolution

    Since it is UCA that creationists will argue with and is the “core of evolutionary biology”, you should add this section to your definition.

  353. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sure, one only needs to read the header at the top of the page to see that they aren’t interested in any scientific pursuit, unless it provides positive reinforcement for evolutionism.

    And by you calling evolution inanely evolutionism (it isn’t a religion, but a scientific conclusion), you can’t mention anything you do as scientific. Science has rules, and you ignore them. Just like science rightly ignores your imaginary deity, as it doesn’t exist.

    That doesn’t strike me as being a group that is open to evidence, no matter where it leads them. It strikes me as a group that already has its mind made up, and will dogmatically defend its beliefs against any evidence that seems to be contrary to its position. That’s not science in any meaningful sense of the word.

    And you still don’t understand science. Science is more than ideas, it is the body of evidence and models that explain the evidence. It is always changing as new evidence comes forward. Science has asked folks like you, and the climate denialists, to publish their work in the peer reviewed scientific literature to show they are using the methods of science, and the evidence of science, to back up their claims. The silence is deafening, with the paranoid conspiracy theories abounding.
    Apparently, like you, they don’t like to have to back up their claims, and expect their word to be taken as evidence. That isn’t how science works.

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

    @medic0506, who said:

    By using light-years as a measure of distance, not time.

    I’m trying to understand your argument. You say that you can be consistent in your logical thinking by using light-year as a measure of distance but that it would be inconsistent to do the simple math: d=(d/t)*t; d=dt/t; t=(dt)/d; the time in transit of a bit of light, in years = the number of light-years traveled by a bit of light since leaving the originating object.

    Why do you assert this is true? Because the distance light travels in a year is fixed, but the speed of light is not.

    Can you please explain how you logically justify employing light-year as a distance while not permitting them to be used to compute measures of time in transit?

    I’m truly not understanding how you can logically do that.

  355. medic0506 says

    295. Amphiox:

    Do not think that you are starting here with a blank slate, medicO506. Jonmilne might have been a dishonest plagiarising sockpuppetteer, but everything he posted here as biasevolution WAS, word for word, what YOU wrote.

    Every reply we have already made to the SUBSTANCE (such as there was) of biasevolution’s posts, still applies to any additional arguments you try to repeat.

    I don’t recall asking your permission to start here with a clean slate. Frankly, it’s of no consequence to me whether my slate is clean or dirty here. I haven’t seen any of the argumentation involving biasevolution, so I have no idea what was said.

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

    @medic0506:

    That doesn’t strike me as being a group that is open to evidence, no matter where it leads them. It strikes me as a group that already has its mind made up, and will dogmatically defend its beliefs against any evidence that seems to be contrary to its position. That’s not science in any meaningful sense of the word.

    And the NCSE is not a science group. It’s an advocacy group. This is a group of people that are open to the evidence on lots and lots of things, but feel that certain questions have receive sufficient evidence for conclusions. One of those questions is that science education should have X qualities to be effective. Another is that science education is valuable, when done in certain ways for certain audiences.

    you may disagree with their conclusions, but it’s hardly a gotcha that an advocacy group advocates their beliefs. Becoming a scientist (or an educator) does not entail becoming a passionless, belief-free, inhuman robot.

    If you want to see what the mission statement of a science enterprise, rather than an advocacy enterprise, might look like, perhaps you could try something like:

    The IAS.

  357. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Crip Dyke

    It looks so, yes. But really, Large Hardon Collider is a porn movie waiting to happen.

  358. Dhorvath, OM says

    Medic0506,

    By using light-years as a measure of distance, not time.

    This is a hazy distinction. What assumption are you trying to hide in there? How would that measure of distance have any meaning if it weren’t for light having a reliable speed? I mean, kilometres could still be defined based on the distance from pole to equator in the absence of a reliable measureable velocity like the speed of light, but light years require that light travels consistently and predictably.

    I didn’t say that only one was correct.

    Apologies, I was vague. I was referring to which idea, not which person. You had set up a contrast between evolution and not evolution that I was referencing. How do you choose whether or not evolution is correct? What are your criteria?

  359. Amphiox says

    Never studied it but I wouldn’t argue against it.

    If you admit the existence of Supernova Remnant 1987A, then you are acknowledging the universe is at least 150000 years old, not just because the object is about 150000 light years away, but because we have seen it change, in real time, from a star to a supernova to a supernova remnant.

    Thank you for conceding the argument.

    How about you just make your argument about ice cores and spare me the stupid questions.

    Stop evading and ANSWER THE QUESTION. How many winters?

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

    @throwaway, 447:

    My thoughts as well. I keep thinking of evangelical, cis men who do interviews talking about how gay sex is unnatural while bumping the tips of opposed pointer fingers together. Large Hardon Collider might be their attempts at empirical observations on the results of pee-pee bumping?

    Could be funny. Erotic? Not so much.

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

    @amphiox:

    medic0506 won’t answer my question about how you can possibly get a unit of distance from speed*time when speed is unreliable, I doubt you’ll get an answer to your eminently reasonable question.

    Because, you know, no one’s talking facts and science here.

  362. Amphiox says

    I don’t recall asking your permission to start here with a clean slate. Frankly, it’s of no consequence to me whether my slate is clean or dirty here.

    Dishonestly and deliberately missing the point, I see.

    I haven’t seen any of the argumentation involving biasevolution

    More lies from you. As others have already told you, biasevolution was COPY-PASTING arguments made by several people, INCLUDING YOU, on another site, to this one, and then COPY-PASTING counterarguments made here to those posts BACK AT THAT SITE YOU WERE PARTICIPATING IN.

    So unless you are the dishonest type of liar who claims to post at a site without reading anything on it or even reading your own posts, then you HAVE SEEN pretty much ALL the argumentation involving biasevolution at that other site.

  363. Amphiox says

    @Crip Dyke

    medic0506 won’t answer my question about how you can possibly get a unit of distance from speed*time when speed is unreliable, I doubt you’ll get an answer to your eminently reasonable question.

    Because, you know, no one’s talking facts and science here.

    I am giving him the opportunity to demonstrate an evolution into a more intellectually honest, decent human being who will honestly answer questions in order to debate in good faith. It is, of course, his choice if he wishes to take it….

  364. Amphiox says

    How about you just make your argument about ice cores and spare me the stupid questions.

    Incidentally, medic0506, the question IS the argument about ice cores.

    Now stop evading and answer it.

  365. Nightjar says

    medic0506,

    Why do you not find evolution credible?

    Because organisms don’t change into other kinds of organisms.

    “Kind” is not a taxonomic rank as far as I’m aware. You need to tell us what you mean by kind, otherwise this is a meaningless statement.

    Reproduction yields a recombination of the already existing parental DNA, which results in offspring that are the same in form and function, as the parents, though that offspring may exhibit slight variations due to mutations and recombination.

    You need to identify exactly what prevents such slight variations from accumulating over generations, thus making evolution not credible. Specifically, you need to explain why these modifications would presumably stop accumulating once the “kind” barrier is about to be crossed, but not before, so that organisms can change only within their kind as you seem to imply is the case.

    Come on, let’s see something more substantial from you. Define “kind”, explain why there’s a limit to descent with modification, and specify why that limit is set at the “kind” level. Only then will you have started to properly address Tony’s question.

  366. azhael says

    Hardon collisions is something bonobos have excelled at for a very long time.

  367. omnicrom says

    So Medic0506 in the other thread you gave an incoherent explanation for “Kinds”, would you like to keep on digging? How about you define us your god and try and give us a reason to believe in it? If you see evolution as a religion then why aren’t you trying to convince us to convert?

  368. says

    From Ed’s blog:

    “I find that in about 95 percent of broken marriages, though the husband’s the one that ran out on his wife, the wife loves her children more than she does her husband,” Bowers said. “That is an abominable idolatry.”

    He then directed his comments, his voice rising, to the women in his congregation, which he led from 2000 to 2012.

    “Do you hear me, ladies?” Bowers said. “It is an abominable idolatry to love your children more than you love your husband, and it will ruin your marriage. And yet you blame it on him because he ran off with some other woman! He did run off with some other woman, and you packed his bags. All of his emotional bags, you packed for him. Is that true in every case? No, but it’s true in the vast preponderance of them.”

    He described “abominable idolatry” as “unlawful worship” as he continued lecturing women.

    “You just ran him off,” Bowers said. “You paid more attention to your children than you did to him. ‘Oh, he doesn’t need me?’ He needs you more than they do. He chose you, they didn’t. An abominable idolatry.”

    I have no words.

  369. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Inaji @459:

    I have no words.

    My thoughts exactly when I saw it yesterday. I still think the same thing today.

  370. Menyambal says

    So I took a different route through the area today, and ran across a Trail of Tears crossing. I knew there was an old stagecoach road near there, and had once, long ago, heard that the Trail of Tears went through this area, but seeing the sign, and the old road angling through the suburbs, was a bit of a shocker.

    I have been crossing the Trail of Tears almost daily for years, and didn’t know it. It isn’t marked or mentioned. But today, there was a marker, and there was the trail, a grassy lane with trees each side, cutting through suburbia, as if it was unchanged and unused after what had happened so long ago. As if it were a memorial, left untouched, haunted.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears “The … ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.”

    Huh. I just realized that some small fraction of my ancestry was forced down that trail. Much more, though, was not, and some may have been doing the dirty work.

    We are all dirtied by its happening, and we all must work to prevent such thing happening again. and we must be aware that such things are happening now.

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

    @Menyambal

    …and we must be aware that such things are happening now.

    QFT.

  372. chigau (違う) says

    rorschach
    A few threads back, someone much smarter than me mentioned that if you put something after the address, probably with a [return], it doesn’t embed.
    Appears to be true.

  373. carbonfox says

    Just to need to vent… A preacher that my spouse works with announced at work today that he won’t be officiating at the wedding of his best friend’s son (the best friend is also a coworker) because he’s marrying a woman from Vietnam and he “doesn’t do mixed marriages”. WTF?!?!? But we’re post-racial, folks.

    You’ll also surprised to hear that the workplace is rampant with misogyny. The men constantly bash women — as well as brag about cheating on their “money-hungry” wives — and they look down on my spouse as being “snooty” for not joining in these convos. They have a policy (not on the books, but verbally acknowledged by higher ups) to not hire women in their department because they’re “distracting” and “inhibit productivity” — since the MEN wouldn’t leave alone the last few women they hired, including stalking them! Mind you, these are all “good Christian men”, too.

    We live in NC, but in Raleigh, so I’d think people in the Research Triangle should know better than the ignorant rednecks I grew up around in the Foothills, FFS. Get me the fuck out of here, please.

  374. vaiyt says

    But we’re post-racial, folks.

    “Post-racial” is a code word for “we can stop talking about non-white people now”.

  375. rq says

    European Onion clone

    Yup, that’s what we are, one thin layer in the European Onion!

  376. says

    @ medico506

    “I’m not convinced that the particular speed measured, in that situation, can be extrapolated into a universal speed.”

    I bought this wristband at the market the other day. It is made of leather and has a sort of round’ flat mechanical talismen attached. I have noticed something perculiar about it though. Under a transparent, rather flat glass dome, there are three concentric metal dials of different lengths.

    What is perculiar about these dials is that they rotate at very particular angular velocities. The short dial rotates about the talismens face at exactly one revolution in a twelve hour period. The medium lengthed dial rotates at exactly 60 times as fast. The longest dial has an angular velocity of exactly 60 times that of the medium lengthed dial.

    After observing the various, precise angular velocities of these dials, I hit upon a brilliant plan: By marking the face of the talismen at various angles off the vertical, I do believe that I have discovered a means to measure time, by way of measuring angular displacement of the dials.

    As you appear familiar with the relationship between time, constant velocity and distance, I wish to offer you a business opportunity in my new venture to market these talismens as devices for the measuring of time. As they may be utilised for observing the passage of time, I am considering calling them “observes”, “look ats” or “gaze ats”. My accountant is suggesting “watch”. What do you think?

    Yours sincerely,

    Theo Phontes

    PS: I have since thought of some other uses for this device. It could, for example be used at races, to calculate the speeds of the competitors. By YHWH’s grace, I think we are onto a real moneyspinner here.

  377. Tekore says

    Holy shit, carbonfox. I live near RTP, and while it isn’t as surprising as I would like, it’s still pretty depressing. …I don’t suppose there is anything helpful I can do, but it usually doesn’t hurt to ask.

  378. gijoel says

    So guys help me out here. I just got banned from Boing Boing. For a comment over this article.

    It starts off with a god botherer making dark insinuations about the state of everybody’s soul after they died. I pointed out that when we die, nothing happens. We just rot.

    Chucklelugs responds with:

    [BobbaBoosh]
    Bobba​Boosh
    21h

    gijoel said:

    And when you die there will be… nothing. No heaven, no hell, no thoughts, or sensations, because the mechanisms of reason will have ceased functioning.

    Although I think you are wrong, as long as you have that opinion; you had better hope so.

    gijoel said:

    So please, stop trying to scare people with your stupid fairy tales.

    Na, Im a rational human being. I have a right to an opinion. As a matter of fact as a Christian it is my duty to invite everyone to the party.

    To which I respond:

    [gijoel]
    gijoel
    20h

    Although I think you are wrong, as long as you have that opinion; you had better hope so

    Same to you too buddy.

    BobbaBoosh said:

    Na, Im a rational human being. I have a right to an opinion. As a matter of fact as a Christian it is my duty to invite everyone to the party.

    And as a militant skeptic, and atheist I feel it’s my duty to point out the poor reasoning, and bigotry when I find it. The whole reason this thread was created was becasue some tosser like you decided that they could ignore parts of their constitution that they so love to fetishize. They decided that they needed to use their power to proselytize their version of their religion.

    Others decided to point out their hypocrisy, and you’ve got your panties in a bunch because of it. The real problem here is that someone wants to use their power to promote, and enforce their particular viewpoint. Which is all fine, and dandy if that coincides with your veiwpoint. The moment that changes you’re screwed.

    Which is the founding fathers whole reasoning behind the seperation of church, and state. It allows you to go about worshipping your particular god without any fear of being forced to worship another.

    Now you can go on and mutter dark threats about something that’ll happen when I’m dead, but I won’t believe you. Why? Because there isn’t a lick of evidence9 that anything will happen to me after I die.

    Besides, sitting on a cloud all day, and doing nothing but pumping up some dudes ego by singing fluff songs about him. That sounds like the most boring party ever.

    Then a, what I feel is, a new idiot enters the game.

    And as a fellow atheist and sceptic, I gotta ask… Does religiosity of all kinds rile you up, or is it only Christians?

    Do you also insult Moslems, Jews and Buddhists with explaining how their religion is a fairy tale when they identify as a religious person, or do your reserve this kind of mocking for one particular religion?

    Whenever some Muslims display religiously motivated behavior, whether wearing a Burkha, refuse to shake a mans/woman’s hand, or insist on using part of a public building for segregated prayer several times a day, you’re right there in their face, pointing out how illogical and medieval their reasoning is, right?

    In that case, good for you!

    But otherwise you’re not really the proud atheist, fighting for reason and secularism as you’d like to think, but more of a bigot. A bigot motivated by a contrarian, spiteful rebelliousness, but still a bigot.

    Needless to say I felt a little pissed at this, and responded thus

    Fuck off concern troll. Look see I’m mocking a fellow atheist, does that count?

    And fuck off with your false equivalence. If Jews, Buddhists, or Muslims wanted to put a little shrine next to the Christian one I’d be fine with that. Same as if someone puts up a FSM, or a statue of Satan. As I said before, either no one puts their shrines on public property (Which I’d prefer), or everyone does. Personally, I suspect that you’re a bigotted Christian hiding behind an atheist mask. So fuck you

    Do you think my comments deserve to get me banned? I think this is the first time I’ve sworn at someone on that forum, but apparently that’s all I seem to do. Is there any mechanism in Boing Boing to get unbanned? Or should I just not bother?

  379. gijoel says

    Is there a word, or blockquote limit on thunderdome? A longish comment of mine hasn’t gone up.

  380. carbonfox says

    Tekore, thanks for asking, good to hear from you! :) Honestly, just hearing that other people recognize that those viewpoints are bullshit helps to keep me sane. It’s particularly good to reminded that there are plenty of non-bigoted folks in NC, too. We’re getting ready to move out to Greenville as I’ll be going to grad school there, but spouse will be stuck commuting to Raleigh until we can find him another job in a less toxic workplace (and closer to the new stomping grounds). I’m trying to de-lurk, so hopefully we can chat again.

  381. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gijoel #474

    Is there a word, or blockquote limit on thunderdome? A longish comment of mine hasn’t gone up.

    According the DDMFM, there is a six link limit before it goes to moderation. And certain words sends a post to moderation, usually bigotted or similar words, or references to banned trolls.

  382. gijoel says

    @Nerd of redhead. Thanks for that, I thought I was going mad. Hopefully my comments won’t offend the Graces of Pharyngula. I just wanted some feedback over a comment that got me banned on boing boing.

  383. Walton says

    More news from the UK: In the last couple of days detainees at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre (run by private company GEO) have staged a protest against the violence and injustice they face at the hands of the British state. Many of them are asylum-seekers who have been put on the “Detained Fast Track”, where their asylum claims are processed and refused and their appeals dismissed in a matter of days, with no opportunity to gather evidence. The whole process is a cruel parody of justice, especially for the large numbers of detainees who have no legal representation.

    Some quotes from detainees as reported by activists from the Unity Centre (I can’t verify the source of these, but they tally with my experience of the system):

    Detainee 1 ‘we don’t even know the meaning of fast track; they give us an
    interview today and decide tomorrow, it is not fair’
    ‘some people have gone back to their countries and been killed’
    ‘we are expecting letters from lawyers but don’t receive letters; we send
    letters and they don’t go out’
    ‘people need help, no one is going to eat food, no one is going for
    visits’ ‘they are treating us like criminals in here’

    Detainee 2
    ‘our point of view is this one, we are all put on fast track and have no
    proper time; just one day before we get decision then they finish our case
    within 5-6 days’
    (talking about appeals and decisions)

    ‘we are not given time to get evidence if someone wants to save their life
    that’s why they come here…’
    ‘there is no time to prepare a case and we have to find all our
    own evidence’
    ’80% of people in here have no solicitor’
    ‘they consider everyone the same, there is no proper time to make a claim,
    if someone needs evidence from their country it is not possible in 1 0r 2
    days to get this’
    ‘judges give decisions of appeals in the same day as they are heard’ ’99%
    of cases on fast track are refused’

    Detainee 3
    ‘we are scared what will happen now, they are taking our IDs; they are
    taking us away 5 or 6 at a time’
    ‘we don’t know each other but we are all suffering in the same way’
    ‘there are about 150 of us sitting here’

  384. rorschach says

    @479,480,

    well my son and I just looked up numbers from 1-10 and the word for “dog” in the chinese dictionary…

    They do get instructions in Chinese in class even in first grade, but it’s like one word per semester.

    And I’m on to him, he can’t play games like Assassins Creed or Skyrim since he’s fucking 7 years old, but what he does is watch videos of other people playing the games on youtube on his(mothers) Ipad. Clever bastard. Got to close that loophole next.

  385. rorschach says

    (For those who are newcomers, as I see a lot of ‘nyms that are new to me, and I don’t post often any more: I’m a pupil barrister in London working in immigration and criminal law, and a socialist who used to be a libertarian before I saw the light

    Dont believe him, newbies. He is a vixen with a 60s haircut, a neanderthal mou, and he stole the pretty lady we had commenting here. That guy is evil. And to think it took us years to straighten him out.

    ;)

  386. says

    Here is medic0506‘s source code: Jocko-Homo Heavenbound, for those that want to try some tweaking.

    THIS IS NOT EVOLUTION, it is the opposite. It is going the wrong way.

    Devo! [de-evolution]

    @ rorschach

    chinese

    Japanese.

    what he does is watch videos of other people playing the games on youtube on his(mothers) Ipad

    Universal problem … my nephew does exactly the same. Umberto Eco would be proud.

  387. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I should go back and watch the old school Doctor Who. I finally got around to watching the modern series through Tenant but I lost interest after that. Matt Smith just didn’t do it for me. And I miss Rose. :(

  388. says

    The Hatpin Peril.

    The suffragists rejected the notion, advanced by the Chicago Vice Commission, that unchaperoned women should dress as modestly as possible—no painted cheeks or glimpse of ankle—in order to avoid unwanted attention. The issue lay not with women’s fashion or increasing freedoms, one suffragist countered, but with “the vileness of the ‘masher’ mind.”

    Perhaps it’s time for hatpins to make a comeback.

  389. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Perhaps it’s time for hatpins to make a comeback.

    Prolly a bad idea. If a bag of Skittles is enough to justify somebody Standing Their Ground™, a hatpin would really make them “Fear for their life”!

  390. says

    Speaking of hatpins, I am reminded of a scene from Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett:

    One of the men was bright enough to raise his crossbow but stupid enough to do it with Nanny Ogg standing behind him with a hatpin. Her hand moved so swiftly that any wisdom-seeking saffron clad youth would have started the Way of Mrs. Ogg there and then. The man screamed and dropped the bow.

  391. birgerjohansson says

    “Unless he considers calling Eugenie Scott a witch to be a good argument”

    But she turned me into a newt!

  392. opposablethumbs says

    You got better, right? I’m assuming, as – unlike archie – I see you can manage the shift key and punctuation ;-)

  393. azhael says

    @494

    But she turned me into a newt!

    How do i get her to do the same for me?? O_O Answer me!!!

  394. birgerjohansson says

    opposablethumbs,
    fortunately, I can use tongue and tail to depress the right keys…

    Sent in my tax papers recently. (great sense of relief)

  395. opposablethumbs says

    Sent in my tax papers recently. (great sense of relief)

    Jammy! But so early? I haven’t even started my accounts for 2013-14 yet. Our deadline is in the autumn; when’s yours?