George Will: not so strong on the logic thing

His latest column chides the climate Cassandras, and makes a really bizarre argument. Did you know that there have been severe disruptions of human activity by non-anthropogenic climate change in the past?

And if climate Cassandras are as conscientious as they claim to be about weighing evidence, how do they accommodate historical evidence of enormously consequential episodes of climate change not produced by human activity?

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I get email

You know who scares me? It’s not the trolls on the internet. It’s the local loons.

I got a weird demand from some guy named Terry Dean Nemmers (for some reason, he calls himself “Terry Dean, Nemmers” — I’ll refer to him as Comma from now on). This was sent to me and many other people at UMM, but it’s really irrelevant to me, since he’s going to have to go through campus police and the administration to get any of those things he is requesting. But he’s clearly been fed well on Fox News to direct his hatred at me.

Chancellor Johnson:

Chapter 13 data request – Email me the 13.82 Comprehensive Law Enforcement Data. Subd. 7. Criminal investigative data for the incident involving PZ Myers, associate professor at UMM. Email me the incident reports, handwriting samples, audio files and the referral to the prosecutor for prosecution. It shocks the conscience that UMM personnel would incite others to engage in censorship and criminal activity, isn’t it?

Oh, and in case you intentionally forgot, you are currently illegally withholding (censorship, right?) the following public data: 1. Names of all UMM personnel 2. Salaries of all UMM personnel (In dollars and cents – if coded provide key to code) 3. Incident reports for the 09-05-13 botched West Central SWAT raid (publicity stunt) at America’s Best Value Inn in Glenwood. You remember: The willful misuse of municipal, county, state and federal funds on a wild goose chase for Andrew Dikken.

Terry Dean, Nemmers

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I’m not seeing a difference between Hinduism and Christianity here

It’s not just the Christians who have a persecution complex, but also other religions? Say it ain’t so! But read this remarkable whine about poor, picked-upon Hinduism — did you know that only Hindu beliefs get mocked?

…why is it that only Hindu practices and traditions are targeted for censure and ridicule? How is what Smriti Irani did more superstitious or unscientific than a Muslim kneeling to pray to a black stone in Mecca or a Catholic imbibing bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ?

Here, I’ll make Ms. Aditi Banerjee feel a little better: all of those practices are absurd, superstitious, ritualistic baloney.

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Oh, so that’s the difference

Perhaps you’ve wondered what the difference between atheism and secular humanism might be. That renowned expert on ethical secularism, Rafael Cruz, father of Ted, explains it all in one simple slide.

 Without hope Sexual abuse Immorality Devalues life Situational ethics No moral absolutes Governed by instincts ↑ Atheism Communism Socialism A life of dependency Social justice Liberation theology Social Gospel You are your own god ↑ Secular Humanism


Without hope
Sexual abuse
Immoralit
Devalues life
Situational ethics
No moral absolutes
Governed by instincts

Atheism

Communism
Socialism
A life of dependency
Social justice
Liberation theology
Social Gospel
You are your own god

Secular Humanism

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Ready to lose a few brain cells? You won’t need them, apparently

synapse

Michael Egnor, neurosurgeon, has made a bizarre post in which he reveals that he knows nothing about how the brains he cuts up work. Egnor claims that it is impossible for the brain to store memories. Yes, he knows that neural damage can cause loss of memory, that certain delicate areas of the brain, if harmed, can destroy the ability to make new memories, and he waves those awkward facts away to announce that there is simply no way memory or information of any kind can be stored in a meat-organ like a brain. He doesn’t say where memories are kept, then, nor does he account for any of the physiological correlates of memory, nor does he seem to give a damn about any of the neuroscience experiments that have teased apart the underlying molecular mechanism. By pure reason alone, if we can call his argument a product of reason at all, he deduces that the brain could not possibly have any way of storing memories.

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The inverted ethics of the internet

It seems to me that there is a significant difference between maintaining internet anonymity to prevent being harassed, vs. anonymity used to enable harassment. But this distinction is routinely ignored, especially by the harassers, who just lump violating either into the category of the most sacrilegious of all internet violations, the total desecration of the holiest principle of all communication, doxxing. I suspect the only reason that “doxxing” has been elevated to such a sacred level of knee-jerk abhorrence is not out of some virtuous desire to protect the innocent, but entirely to protect the guilty.

So we now have a situation where there is a hierarchy of crimes, with “revealing the identity of a troll” at the very top of the list, followed by “giving a damn about social justice” just below that, and somewhere near the bottom, “threatening to rape and murder a woman and her family”. It’s upside down. It needs a polarity reversal.

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