The Haeckelization of Paul Davies

Davies is up to his same old nonsense again: he’s in Australia, lecturing people about his theory of the causes of cancer.

Seven years ago, the National Cancer Institute in the US asked Professor Davies to use his insight as a physicist to look at cancer. His conclusion is that most cancer biologists are thinking about the problem the wrong way.

Rather than treat cancer as a disease of cell mutation, he and his colleague Dr Charley Lineweaver at the Australian National University have developed what they say is a new theory of cancer that traces its origins to the dawn of multicellular life more than a billion years ago.

Professor Davies believes cancer cells are a “reversion to an ancestral phenotype”, the physical expression of deep genetic information that springs from the very nature of multicellular life.


[Read more…]

But how will you know?

The president of a fake university, Liberty University, wants students to carry guns so they can “end” Muslims before they even walk in the door.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. urged students during Friday’s convocation to carry concealed weapons on campus in the wake of Wednesday’s massacre in San Bernardino, California.

Students erupted in applause; however, the remarks did not come without controversy after some felt Falwell unfairly called out an entire religion rather than just extremists.

It just blows my mind when I see that the president of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control, Falwell said. … I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.

I’m trying to figure out how this works. So before they commit any crime, before they draw their guns and charge in blazing, you’re supposed to just shoot Muslims? But how will you know they’re terrorists? Is it just open season on Muslims?

He did clarify, and explain that not all Muslims are evil. Just the ones who shoot people.

I was referring to ‘those Muslims’ that just carried out attacks in Paris and California, he said in the tweet clarifying his comments.

So…we should be armed, so that we can shoot people who are, perhaps, carrying weapons before entering a college classroom, for instance? I don’t think he’s thought this through. He seems to be suggesting that we summarily execute religious fanatics and fundamentalists who are walking around public places with weapons, while telling an institution full of religious fanatics and fundamentalists that they should be carrying weapons in public places.

I’m trying to keep an open mind. I’m not at all a fan of violence, but if the college president wants to turn Liberty University into an apocalyptic wasteland of paranoid gunslingers, who am I to argue?

Why would anyone shoot up a social services building?

I know the gun-fondlers are all cowards hiding behind their weapons, but charging in to kill 12 people at a building that provides assistance to developmentally disabled people? WHY? It’s as if they decided to target the weakest people in society needing the greatest help.

<insert vague and futile expression of hope that this tragic crime will finally motivate government to crack down on the folly, a hope that will never be fulfilled and will only produce more cynicism and despair>

None of them ever have a racist bone in their body

The stories of the suspects in the Black Lives Matter shooting are trickling out now. You won’t be surprised to learn that they’re all saying they aren’t racist at all.

His dad says of one that he’s a poli-sci major, and “these kinds of social-political things really interest him, and he was just there to observe”. Right. Just there to observe, while hanging out on 4chan, wearing a mask, taunting the protestors, and watching as a friend flaunts a pistol and starts shooting. I suppose it’s possible his crime was just having really shitty friends, but in that case, I’m sure he’ll helpfully testify against those other racists he was running around with.

You know, I’m a guy who is really interested in creationists, a group of people I despise, and I also care about observing them and learning more about what they’re doing. But my strategy is to be open about who I am, clearly state my position, and observe politely without interfering — I’ve gone to creationist events with friends and students, and what I always tell them is to be polite and non-disruptive and learn…and also document. I guess I’ve been doing it wrong. Maybe if I were a poli-sci major, I’d know to disguise myself, yell slurs at the audience, and maybe take a few pot shots at them.

Also, one of my kids was a poli-sci major, and if he were involved in something like this, I wouldn’t be making excuses for him. This was a crime, and a stupid crime at that, and the perpetrators were all fully grown men in their twenties. You do not learn responsible adult behavior on 4chan.

Louise Mensch gets smacked down again

According to Louise Mensch, the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology (KOFWST), the organization that hosted Tim Hunt’s now notorious speech at a luncheon, the Korean scientists at the event were not at all offended by his jokes about same-sex labs and women crying and falling in love all the time. Unfortunately for her, the Menschian deluge of excuses hand now been strongly repudiated by the federation. They have posted a statement publicly and also directly addressed to Mensch a request that she read it.

In light of this, KOFWST issues a warning about the ongoing serious distortion of facts by foreign commentators, suggesting that KOFWST has lied, or that KOFWST’s request to Sir Hunt was influenced by foreign journalists. Such allegations ignore undeniable facts and evidence and demonstrate a lack of regard for KOFWST’s autonomy and integrity.

They clearly don’t know Mensch at all. This is going to prompt a whole new series of conspiracy theories: obviously, the Anti-Tim-Hunt-Syndicate has bought out all of Korean science just to get Louise Mensch. And Tim Hunt, that goes without saying.

I get email, Sam Harris edition

I should go back to desecrating communion wafers. That’s less aggravating than pissing off a pack of uber-“rational” atheists. Quoting Sam Harris directly is an act of such disrespectful temerity that I’ve been flooded with messages that are mostly about how feminine I am, or how I possess a female reproductive tract, or my social status as a cuckold.

But I also get messages trying to explain how, in very polite terms, I am totally wrong on everything, and Harris is totally right, and here is the math to prove it. Here’s one example; the highlighting is all mine.

[Read more…]

Stop me if you heard this one before

Trump is arguing with historians. He’s claiming that some golf course he owns is also the site of a historic Civil War battle (if so, good job of historical preservation, guy); real historians are saying he’s wrong, the battle he’s talking about took place miles away. But Trump has a rebuttal!

Trump waved off the historians’ criticisms in his own interview with The New York Times Tuesday.

How would they know that? he asked of regional experts. Were they there?

Maybe this particular battle is written up in the Bible. I don’t know how we could know anything about it, otherwise.