The anti-SJW mentality

Fred Clark discusses the insulting intent of “SJW”. It’s very good, in particular in shooting down the defense that the people using it intend it sarcastically.

To describe this use of “SJW” as sarcasm would entail mockery directed at the insufficiency of the “social justice warriors’” battle for social justice. It would require an affirmation of an agreed-upon framework that regards “social justice” as a good and noble, desirable thing, and truly being a “warrior” advocating for it as an honorable, praiseworthy trait. If it were sarcasm, the scorn would be directed at the “SJWs” for being only so-called “SJWs” — for posing as SJWs while actually failing to be the true, genuine article, the steadfast advocates for social justice that we all agree we all ought to strive to be.

But there is no such shared framework. And that is not the target toward which the scorn here is directed. What is being scorned, rather, is the very idea and standards of that framework — the idea that “social justice” is, in fact, a Good Thing. Their attempted mockery of “SJWs” is an attempt to mock the very idea of social justice itself.

Isn’t it obvious when so many of the people who sneer at “SJWs” are anti-feminists and racists that it can’t be because they’re mocking keyboard warriors who aren’t very good at supporting equality? They’re against egalitarianism.

Next up, Clark should discuss the popularity of the word “cuck” among these same people. There’s something psychologically strange going on there, too.

What is it with neurosurgeons and evolution?

Yesterday, I mentioned that creationist conference in Istanbul. There wasn’t much to say about the content of the event, but they did have photos of some of the displays, that looked exactly like the nonsense published in Harun Yahya’s Atlas of Creation. But now I’ve got an essay from one of the speakers, Oktar Babuna. I’m sorry to say he’s another data point damaging the reputation of good doctors everywhere.

A Turkish anchorman, neurosurgeon, and doctor of medical sciences, Oktar Babuna, exposes the absurdity of Darwinism by scientific evidence and explains the reason why this preposterous theory is promoted almost everywhere world-wide.

Between Michael Egnor and Oktar Babuna and Ben Carson, I’m hoping I never have a brain injury, because the profession seems to be a magnet for vapid nitwits.

He has the usual ignorant creationist arguments against Darwinism.

Darwinism is absurd because it proposes that life emerged by coincidence

No, it doesn’t.

and that human beings are a mere animal species.

We are animals (although not “mere” — biologists value every species, including our own). What definition of “animal” do the creationists have that somehow fails to include humans?

He tries to back up those assertions with the usual creationist “ooh, big numbers” approach: proteins are assembled from thousands of amino acids, humans have trillions of cells, therefore it’s all just too complex to have been constructed, except by one really smart engineer. This is a fallacious argument. You might just as well look at a beach, notice there are an awful lot of grains of sand out there, and decide that they are so numerous that they must have been placed there, one by one, by a very finicky deity. Every beach is an artisanal beach. Or you could just read Ian Musgrave’s brief introduction to abiogenesis and get the stupid smacked out of your head.

Then he makes the standard Yahya argument. They all look the same to him.

If we look at the beginning of life on Earth, the first cells emerged all at once. For example, the first cell was a cyanobacteria, a cell which exists even today and produces oxygen through photosynthesis. This cell emerged and remains the same cell. All species – from elephants to tigers, plants, fish, and reptiles – appeared all at once and never really changed. There is no evolution.

Ho hum. This is the fallacy of looking at a twig and declaring that there are no branches or trunks, the tree is a twig all the way down. All the things he mentions have known antecedents in the fossil record that are different from modern forms.

Don’t worry, though, Babuna doesn’t waste much time lying about the evidence. He’s got better things to do, like lying about our motives.

So, we can ask: why is this theory supported world-wide? Because evolution is atheism. The reason why Darwin is defended by so many scientists all around the world is in order to keep atheism alive. But this didn’t start with Charles Darwin. The idea that life appeared by chance goes back to the Sumerians, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece. This is the beginning of materialism.

Charles Darwin was not an atheist. He was agnostic. He had no plans to promote atheism, and was actually reluctant to publish in part because he knew what controversy would arise, and in part because he was uncomfortable with contradicting religion’s explanations. Babuna reverses causality here. Atheism didn’t create evolution, but evolution was compatible with atheism, and modern atheism actually uses the scientific evidence to support the idea that gods are unnecessary.

You know what’s coming next, right? It’s so predictable. Hitler.

In Russia, Turkey, the US, and any other country, there is a dictatorship of Darwinism in all universities and schools. Darwinism implants the idea that humans are fighting-animals which have to struggle to survive. If you are strong, you will survive, but if you are weak, you will be eliminated. This is the selfish struggle of Darwinism. This selfishness takes law away from the world and provokes all kinds of violence, terrorism, and fascism. Karl Marx said that evolution is the basis of Marxism’s natural history. Hitler also put the foundations of fascism on Darwinism. When we look at terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc., these groups emerged for two reasons: religious ignorance and Darwinism. These people need to be educated.

No, evolution accommodates many strategies for survival, not just kill or be killed. Cooperation is just as viable as competition. You don’t need to physically eliminate your competition if you can outbreed them. Species and communities matter.

The relationship between Marxism and evolution is ambiguous and complex. On the one hand, Marx did appreciate the materialist approach; on the other, Marxism wants there to be an arrow of progress that can be consciously directed, something not present in evolutionary theory. Marx also saw Darwin’s version of evolution as more than a little bourgeois, appropriate for a nation of shop-keepers.

Hitler was anti-evolution. He banned Darwin’s books. The foundation of his ideology was God and the state, and he said so repeatedly in Mein Kampf, and religion was a staple of Nazi propaganda. Kinder, Kuche, Kirche!

But how can anyone take someone seriously who claims that ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are rooted in Darwinism?

I guess that would be the kind of person who thinks religion consists only of good things, so anything bad must, by definition, be the spawn of satanic atheism.

Darwinism has taken love away from the world. It brings selfishness; it sees human beings as animals which can and should kill other animals. If we look at the three major religions –Islam, Christianity and Judaism – they all say that God created all human beings and all other living things with love. Love is the essence of religion. Love will come back to the world with religion. We hope that, with scientific struggle, Darwinism will go away with its egoism and lawlessness.

See? Boko Haram cannot be a religiously motivated terrorist movement, because religion is only about love. Darwinism is all about killing animals, which includes humans, therefore Boko Haram is a Darwinist organization.

With logic like that, how can you not trust Oktar Babuna with a scalpel and your brain?

“geyser of mendacious vomit”

Remember “journalism”? I have this vague recollection from the distant past that it was an occupation with standards and a noble calling, but I may have been confusing reality with Spencer Tracy and Kate Hepburn movies. Unfortunately, right now television newscasting (and the New York Times) is doing it’s best to flush what reputation it had down the sewer, and is doing so at the worst possible time.

At least we’ve still got Samantha Bee and a few print journalists doing their best to do what journalists are supposed to do.

I bet there’s a book somewhere that discusses the corrupting influence of television “news” and the crappy 24 hour “news” shows on good journalism.

Please keep Malcolm Roberts, Australia

The last flaming nutter to emerge out of Queensland, Ken Ham, emigrated to the US and is busily exploiting the rubes here, so you get to keep Roberts. We don’t want him. His latest bit of raging stupidity is a speech in which he said:

It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. That means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it? It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong.

That…that…is shockingly idiotic. I have one question: was Roberts naked when he said that? After all, using his logic, clothes are not a heat source. The only sources of heat are your own body, and external sources like the sun, or a nearby radiator. Therefore, that means that clothes can only cool your body. How can they warm it?

It’s good to know. Winter is coming to Minnesota; last night the temperature dropped below 4°C, and I actually felt a little chilly. I made the mistake of putting on a light jacket, and when I went to bed, snuggling up under the blankets. As the cold season arrives, I think all the climate change deniers ought to follow Malcolm Roberts’ basic logic and strip themselves starkers when we hit -20°C and go play golf. It’s usually sunny and clear when it gets that cold, so they’ll be able to absorb all the energy of the sun unimpeded.

There’s a much more thorough debunking of all of Malcolm Roberts’ lies here.

Went home for dinner. Caught a groundhog.

Those two sentences are not at all connected, but I was famished, and this beast looked so plump and succulent, I contemplated having a tasty haunch of Marmota monax. Fricasseed whistlepig. Charbroiled chuckling.

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But then it made all kinds of clicky-chitterings at me, and called me “deplorable”, so we just relocated it to a pleasant spot down by the river, instead.

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Then we went out for Chinese.

Regrets, Turkey

Once upon a time, back in the days before I was totally locked into biology (and can never get out), I considered going for a history degree instead. All my electives were history classes, I was reading nothing but historical non-fiction for fun, and I might have gone for it except a) I liked biology better, and b) the damned language requirement. I never got far enough into a degree program to really commit to specific subfield, but one thing I was really into was Turkish history. The Turks were remarkable in how quickly they dominated their region, and further, I was very impressed with Ataturk’s secularization of the nation. You will sometimes hear atheists moaning about how Islam never progressed and needs to be more civilized, like Christianity — they’ve never looked at Turkey, apparently, or Iran. Or for that matter, appreciated the barbarism of Christianity.

But anyway, I’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul. I doubt it will ever happen, especially with the sectarian nastiness emerging among some Turks (I wouldn’t be able to shut my face about the nonexistence of any gods, which might get me into trouble), so I felt a twinge of envy at the fact that the creationist frauds at Reason to Believe got invited to a conference in Istanbul by Harun Yahya. That could have been me. All I’d have to do is abandon all pretence of scientific competence, declare my faith in an evil phantasm, and lie about the evidence for a few days.

No, unfortunately, I don’t think I can do that.

So, in addition to missing the historical power of visiting one of the great cities of the world, I also missed out on a conference that proved (their word) some amazing things.

The conference;
– Once again proved that genetics, biology, paleontology, physics, chemistry and astrophysics all answer the question ‘How did life begin?’ with ‘Creation’.
– Hosted leading academicians from the science world -all experts in their respective areas with many academic studies.

Some of the topics discussed by the prominent scientists during the conference were as follows:
– The true origin of man
– Why I say ‘God exists’
– Detailed examination and criticism of evolutionary theory
– Origins and creation of the universe
– Fossils: The conclusive evidence of the history of life

The answer to that first point is not “creation”, which is a silly thing to say. Also, the crew at RtB are not leading academicians from the science world. They are hack theologians.

I haven’t seen any record of the talks given, but some of the photos are revealing. Here’s that evidence against evolutionary theory:

oktarfossils

There’s Harun Yahya’s whole schtick. Here’s a fossil; it kind of looks like a modern form to the naive eye, therefore it did not evolve, and all of evolution is false. Never mind that if a time machine dropped you off in the Cretaceous, almost everything would look radically different, because, hey, there were jellyfish in the Cretaceous, just like now. It’s an illogical argument, and it’s also factually false, because the species of jellyfish then were different than the species of jellyfish now.

It’s an indictment of Reasons to Believe, by the way, that they willing participated in this Turkish clown show.

But at least they got to watch the dancing.

oktardance

Twenty questions, twenty answers

Sciencedebate.org sent all the presidential candidates a list of 20 questions about science policy, and most of them have sent in their answers. Gary Johnson didn’t bother. Jill Stein did, but I admit, I didn’t bother reading her answers; I have no intention of voting for her, so I don’t really care, although she did seem to take the questions seriously and had some lengthy answers. I skimmed Trump’s answers (it was easy; they’re short) mainly as a point of comparison with Clinton’s.

Hillary Clinton gives substantial answers to every questions. Sometimes they aren’t very specific, but even there she hints at positive attitudes. For instance, the question on scientific integrity isn’t very good — of course every candidate supports scientific integrity, or at least says so! — and Clinton doesn’t hit on any specific points, but does say she supports “public access to research results and other scientific information”, which is a good thing. But on the question of immigration, she immediately proposes specific bills to assist qualified people in the tech sector. On climate change, she’s going to set ambitious goals.

Generally, my impression was that she (and her staff) made a serious stab at explaining her policy, with enough details that it’s clear she really has plans. This is what I want from a serious candidate.

Trump, on the other hand, had nothing. He’d too frequently wave his hands (his tiny, tiny hands) at “market solutions” providing the answer to everything. He dismissed serious issues: his reply to the question about climate change begins, There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of “climate change.” Yes, he actually put it in scare quotes. Fuck him.

OK, I decided I wasn’t being fair to Stein, who put almost as much effort into her answers as Clinton did — I can definitely say she’d be a better candidate than Trump. So I looked at some of her longer answers. She lost me with her strategy for protecting biodiversity: Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on new GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.. Nope. Sorry. Does she even realize that GMOs are a fantastic tool for reducing reliance on pesticides?

Done arguing

The alt-right is outraged at being called “deplorable”. They’re right. The term is utterly inadequate. How about “despicable”? How about abhorrent, abject, abominable, awful, contemptible, detestable, disreputable, hateful, heinous, ignoble, ignominious, loathsome, low, mean, odious, reprehensible, shabby, shameful, and vile?

A spokesman for the alt-right just had a press conference, led by Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, an openly racist, white supremacist organization. He also had a couple of speakers to help him out — speakers who are known entities in “scientific” racism.

Spencer invited two prominent members of the movement to join him. One was Peter Brimelow, the founder of the website VDARE.com, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an “immigrant-bashing hate site that regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right.” (Brimelow freely admitted during the event that he publishes white nationalists.) The other was Jared Taylor, a self-described “race realist” who explained why the white race is superior to all others (except for East Asians, he said, who are superior to whites). The audience was a mix of reporters and what appeared to be alt-right members and fans.

Good god. What did they have to talk about? Basically how wonderful Donald Trump is for their goals, and what a glorious leader he is.

Spencer continued, “It really is about him and it’s about, in a way, projecting onto him our hopes and dreams. There’s something called ‘me magic,’ and that is a self-fulfilling prophecy…We want to make Trump; we want to imagine him in our image. And that is maybe—you can see that in a meme of Trump as a Napoleon or Trump as some figure out of the Dune novels in an arcade of the future in a robotic suit of armor fighting enemies. All of that stuff is silly, all of that stuff is ridiculous, but it actually gets at something real and that is that we want something more, we want something heroic, we want something that is not defined by liberalism or individual rights or bourgeois norms. We want something that is truly European and truly heroic.”

Then they argued about whether Jews would be allowed to continue to live in the Aryan States of America. No, really.

What would this utopia look like? Spencer said it’s too far off to get into specifics. But he and Taylor, whose role at Friday’s event was to give academic assurances that the races of the world are not equal, disagreed on whether Jews would be welcomed into the white utopia homeland. Spencer took the position that they were not “European” and therefore would take their place in their own ethno-state. Taylor countered, “I don’t think that if a Jewish person identifies with the West and with Europe than that’s something that we should deny.” As Spencer acknowledged, the alt-right has yet to sort out these mere details.

“Mere details”. Poison gas, or bullets? Details.

It’s not all negative, in their minds.

But Spencer did offer up a vision of an alt-right society. “If the alt-right were in power, we would all have arrived here via magnetic levitation trains,” he said. “We would have passed by great forests and beautiful images of blond women in a wheat field with their hands, running them through the wheat.” The audience tittered. “It would be a wonderful sight.”

Jesus fuck. OK, what about the brunettes? Will they be deported to their own “ethno-state”? Will redheads be sequestered somewhere? I don’t even want to think about the fate of black women in Spencer’s utopia.

Like I said, “deplorable” is an unsatisfactory word to apply to Trump supporters. How about “Nazi scum”?

I think we’re well past the stage of needing to mince words anymore.