I don’t find this BS soothing, either


I’m up at 4:30, and I don’t even have the excuse of going fishing. I’m just a jangly ball of stress right now, and also, we’ve got the bathroom taps open a little to prevent freezing, so all night long it’s drip-drip-trickle-gurgle, and it gets to you after a while. So I gave up trying to sleep and got up to get some work done and check my email.

Oh boy, the Noah’s Ark/DNA guy sent me more email about his “theory”.

On Rosh
Dear PZ Meyers,

A few weeks ago, I sent you a copy of my theory on human genetics and Noah’s Ark. Today, I am sending you a second part to my theory that gives special attention to the Scythian Horse Riders that I believe descend from Rosh the son of Benjamin. The theory will only take a few minutes of your time and could dramatically alter your view of the world. Next week, I plan on uploading my theory to youtube and I hope that it will get a lot of views.

This is what he sent me.

Sorry, I’m not going to bother uploading the “figures”, which seem to be random images extracted from various publications. This is not a theory. This is a guy plucking something out of Bin A, the Bible, and something out of Bin B, various scientific publications he barely understands, and declaring “Ha ha! They fit!” even if they don’t.

My view of the world continues on unaltered, my idea that there are a lot of loons out there sadly unperturbed. Confirmed, even.

He might actually succeed and get a lot of views on YouTube, since the YouTube algorithm is undiscriminating, except in the sense it seems good at launching talentless hacks into bewildering heights of popularity.

Yeah, I’ve told the Noah’s Ark/DNA guy to go away and stop sending me his lunacy, but another property of the deeply delusional is that they can’t imagine you wouldn’t be interested in their ravings.

Comments

  1. says

    “I plan on uploading my theory to youtube and I hope that it will get a lot of views.”
    Oh it will bro. Just not the kind of views you want. Can’t wait to see the response videos. I wonder if the guy thinks the Earth if flat too.

  2. johnniefurious says

    I just think about every crack-pot calling into any atheist discussion show and the host saying, “Have you tried presenting your theory to an actual scientist?”

    Oof.

  3. larrylyons says

    Why not just add the nutter’s email address to your spam filter. That takes care of it.

  4. weylguy says

    It’s sad that with Trump out of the White House, crackpot ideas and crazy opinions are no longer accepted as facts. What will Republicans turn to now? Oh, that’s right, we still have QAnon and the Oath Keepers, and Trump hasn’t really gone anywhere.

  5. says

    Many don’t know how unnerving extreme cold can be. It sucks! Been using a blanket here in Puerto Vallarta for toooo long now.

  6. says

    A little below freezing here in Austin. Plus rain. Lots of ice, multi-car accidents. Supposed to get down between 10 to 0 F later in the weekend depending on which weather report.you use. People aren’t used to this here.

  7. stroppy says

    I just open up one tap out of ear shot. Then again, that may not be sufficient where you are.

    (I also fiddle with it to get a nice smooth stream. Maybe putting a sponge or something under it would quiet things down a bit?)

  8. Artor says

    Stroppy, it’s best to leave the kitchen tap going slowly. As there is often a window above the sink, that puts the pipes in an exterior wall, while bathrooms are usually buried deeper in the house. But a sponge to catch the drips is a good call for noise reduction.

  9. davidc1 says

    “Yeah, I’ve told the Noah’s Ark/DNA guy to go away and stop sending me his lunacy”
    LOL ,don’t do that ,you will only upset him .
    @11″ btw snowing here in the PNW and all hell breaks loose – the world shuts down”
    You should try winter time in England ,two snowflakes in a row and the whole country grinds to a halt .

  10. blf says

    @12, Just one flake of the wrong type of snow has been adequate in the past to mostly shutdown London…

  11. unclefrogy says

    I had a friend tell me a long time ago that “the guy who said snow was beautiful was inside”
    therefor I will continue living in deep southern cal. where it has been dry and mildly cool lately. I do not envy those who live in the cold at all nor do I feel in any way superior either, take care it is as dangerous as heat.
    uncle frogy

  12. unclefrogy says

    it is interesting how bible quoting christians who a cherry pick passages to prove some “moral point” think that is how scientific inquiry works and come up with some “bible based theory” that cherry picks some few data points, do not recognize that science tries to reconcile all the known facts and data to come-up with a comprehensive explanation that covers all that we “know” about the subject.
    uncle frogy

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    unclefrogy @14: I couldn’t live anywhere that doesn’t have a proper autumn. Snow isn’t as much fun now that I can’t cross-country ski any more, but it can still be beautiful, even outside.

  14. whheydt says

    If I want snow, I’ll drive 3 hours to the east…into the Sierra Nevada, where we keep our snow (when there is any).

  15. unclefrogy says

    well Rob we do not have the superb show as some places have but there is a noticeable change that occurs at least by me. I know snow is beautiful inside and out and also very cold. I grew up here, and probably because of the air quality back then, look forward to that “devil wind” from inland to blow in the fall as the light turns more golden because of the angle change. It is always nice here when the wind is blowing but not so nice if it is still for a few weeks. In some ways it is like having an extended spring as spring flowering plants from colder climes are planted for winter color here.
    uncle frogy

  16. Tethys says

    This deep freeze is very unpleasant. It’s currently -8 F here on the east side of MN. It’s supposed to get even colder over the weekend, as PZ’s current weather creeps this way. The sun is great after months of gloomy short days, but the trade off is squeaking snow and temperatures far better suited to polar bears than humans.

    Winter does have some charms. It kills any outdoor allergens. We don’t have palmetto bugs, chiggers, or venomous spiders. Christmas looks better in a winter wonderland.

    I don’t like the length of our winter, or the cold, but with proper clothing it is enjoyable to get outdoors and breathe in the crisp clean scent of snow. I cannot tolerate heat at all. Anything above 90 F and I melt into a sweaty ball with zero energy.

  17. Tethys says

    As to the OP,

    What exactly is this theory supposed to explain??
    Mentioning Scythians and the tribe of Benjamin is more of the crazy theory that I’ve heard before.

    I suspect that some nazi era eugenics ‘science’ is being circulated in some religious circles. It sounds suspiciously like their special theory of the great white Aryan nation.

  18. Tethys says

    Yamnaya were a mix of ancient populations

    The Yamnaya transformed the gene pools of northern and central Europe, such that some populations, like Norwegians, owe around 50% of their ancestry to these Steppe pastoralists.
    But the Yamnaya were themselves a mixed population. Around half of their ancestry came from a sister group to the hunter-gatherers who inhabited Europe before farming, while the other half appears to be from a population related to – but noticeably different from – the Middle Eastern migrants who introduced farming.
    Researchers have now analysed genomes from two hunter-gatherers from Georgia that are 13,300 and 9,700 years old. The results show that these Caucasus hunters were probably the source of the farmer-like DNA in the Yamnaya.

    The whole article is worth a read, as there have been huge advances in the area of ancient human DNA recently.

    I wonder how the young earth creationists manage to come up with elaborate theories of human population while managing to ignore the ages and ethnic ancestry of the humans that DNA came from.

  19. John Morales says

    Tethys,

    I wonder how the young earth creationists manage to come up with elaborate theories of human population while managing to ignore the ages and ethnic ancestry of the humans that DNA came from.

    Well, were you to put that to this person, I suspect the reply would be that the dates are wrong, but otherwise it’s just even more support for his pet theory.

    Dunno. Possibly the virtuous lie, or just doublethink, or motivated reasoning, or whatever.

    Thing is, I reckon many of these people are True Believers, and I also reckon that while the easier to fool others the smarter one is, the harder it is to fool oneself.

  20. lumipuna says

    Re 12 and 13,

    Reading the Guardian regularly, I have recently learned that the UK Met Office has something like “yellow snow warnings”.

  21. davidc1 says

    @23 Don’t eat the yellow snow .When i was free to do what i wanted ,the only good thing about winter was the birds that find GB a lot warmer than Russia .Redwings ,Fieldfares, Widgeon .Even saw a Goldeneye one time ,talking about Shropshire in the 1980’s .There must have been other species ,but i have forgotten them ,plus i am a crap bird watcher .

  22. blf says

    @24, “i am a crap bird watcher”: Whilst feaces (droppings) are a valuable source of information, I was unaware there were any bird-watchers who watched specifically for birds defecating. I presume this is not done from immediately underneath the bird, albeit knowing how obsessed bird-watchers can be, that might not be a reasonable assumption?

  23. lumipuna says

    blf: When I was about five and learning my native language, I got the impression that birds have “shit” whereas humans and dogs have “poop” (speaking of Finnish equivalent terms). It made perfect sense, considering how avian and mammalian feces look different.

  24. lumipuna says

    I think there’s actually a special word (English “dropping”, Finnish “papana”) for the relatively dry, pellet-like feces of certain mammals. Possibly, some Australian languages might have a word specifically for wombat droppings.

  25. davidc1 says

    @25 HAHAHAHA ,first laugh of the day ,i will have to watch myself when you are around .
    What i should have said was ,i am not the twitcher type of bird watcher .When i went for a walk down by the river Severn ,depending on the time of year i expected to see certain birds .Same with woodland .

  26. davidc1 says

    @25 PS ,well them scientists do do take an interest in Owl pellets ,they can tell what they have been feeding on .

  27. stroppy says

    Well, English is fairly well stocked with words for animal waste. Thanks to Frenchified Vikings, there’s also a dichotomy between polite and “dirty” words. ‘Shit’ is a still a swear word for that reason — for those who still observe the niceties. When I was a kid, using it would have gotten me smacked.

    Most words will do in any variety of cases, but the one lumipuna may be looking for is ‘turd’.

    Animal sign, including birds, is useful for identification. Owls, being prolific dribblers, will whitewash a favorite perch, for instance. Not that anyone asked…

  28. lumipuna says

    I think mice, rabbits and such have droppings rather than turds? Then again, “dropping” may be used more broadly than I suggested.

    As for owl pellets, I once personally invented this (somewhat biologically accurate) Finnish tongue twister:

    Pöllö hyökkää syömään yöllä, yökkää syömästään jäännökset päivällä
    “The owl charges to eat by night, pukes the remains of its eating by day”

    (Most Finnish words do not have “umlaut” letters, but those that do tend to have several of them due to vowel harmony)

  29. stroppy says

    Segue to night owl charging a drunken party

    ……..
    Rabbit raisins.

    Anyway ‘Droppings’ sounds alright, inoffensive and non-technical, good for most occasions where I come from.

    ‘Turd’ is a little rude. OTOH, Dubya Bush calling Karl Rove “Turd Blossom” was allegedly a term of endearment.

  30. davidc1 says

    @25 On reflection ,your attempt at humour makes no sense ,if i had sad i was a bird crap watcher ,you might have had a point .
    @32 Yeah i know that ,still counts as a type of droppings .

  31. johnlee says

    Oh dear. I take it my theory about Ley Lines and the Bermuda Triangle isn’t going to interest you either. :-(

  32. Tethys says

    Stroppy @31

    Thanks to Frenchified Vikings, there’s also a dichotomy between polite and “dirty” words. ‘Shit’ is a still a swear word for that reason

    Scheiss/shit is a very old word. I think the Anglo Saxons would have had little trouble understanding the invading Vikings. Dreck is the polite word for excrement, but shit is used to convey insult. It can also be an adjective such as shithead.

    I don’t know when merde became the French word for shit, but it doesn’t seem to have made it into English. Ordure is the only synonym (besides excrement) that I can think of which seems frenchified.

  33. blf says

    I don’t know when merde became the French word for shit[e]

    It’s been found in writings dating back to c.1200 CE, and supposedly comes from the Latin merda. Napoléon I apparently addressed Talleyrand as merde on at least one occasion.

  34. stroppy says

    Frenchified Vikings –> Normans

    If I remember my history, French became the English court language after 1066. Anglo-Saxon became déclassé and latinate language elite (see also piss v. urine, for example).

    People who want to put on snobby airs still drop bon mots– very continental don’t you know.

    Heh, and I once had a teacher who chided me for using too many words of Germanic origin. Claimed it sounded harsh and ugly.

  35. davidc1 says

    Didn’t a French General at Waterloo (the battle not the railway station ) reply Merde to an offer to surrender by an Englishman ?
    Words hurt you know .

  36. blf says

    @40, He possibly replied Merci !, but the lessor southern pansies, not known for foreign language skills, misinterperted…
    (I have no idea.)

  37. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @37:

    I don’t know when merde became the French word for shit, but it doesn’t seem to have made it into English.

    It did, at least in the word ‘bemerd’, meaning to befoul with shit. Not used much these days.

  38. davidc1 says

    @41 The first thing a lesser southern pansy does whenever he get a a Foreign Language dictionary is to underline all the rude words .

  39. blf says

    @43, And then mispronounce them — before wandering around randomly shouting “where est de les pub?”

  40. Tethys says

    stroppy @39

    Frenchified Vikings –> Normans
    If I remember my history, French became the English court language after 1066. Anglo-Saxon became déclassé and latinate language elite (see also piss v. urine, for example).

    Yes, if only Harald had not looked up at the wrong moment and taken an arrow to the eye. There are a few hundred years between Vikings and Normans. The church had a firm monopoly on literacy and staying elite by the time of the Norman invasion.

    Heh, and I once had a teacher who chided me for using too many words of Germanic origin. Claimed it sounded harsh and ugly.

    Thats hysterical, considering that English is a member of the same north Germanic language group as Saxon and Norse. Even more so since the word France itself is German, as were the eponymous Franks.
    I tend to agree that the Saxon dialect sounds harsh and filled with gravel and goose sounds. I cannot speak it without spitting, which is off putting.

    The much less harsh western/southern germanic dialects have a lot of words that are exact cognates of modern French. My OHG German word for five is cenk, because fimpt (fist) is a rude word.

  41. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @45: Pardon my pedantry…

    Harold Godwinson was the English king who (probably) got it in the eye at the Battle of Hastings. A couple weeks earlier, he had beaten the invading Norwegian king Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge, in the north of England. Harald was killed by an arrow to the throat.

    Also; English (along with German, Frisian, Dutch) is West Germanic. The Norse languages are North Germanic.

    As for harshness: depends who’s talking. My older sister married a guy from Northern Germany. When I’ve listened to them speaking (with each other or his parents) there’s nothing harsh about it. Maybe the ‘guttural German’ thing comes from people hearing Hitler’s speeches.

    Re Old English: This doesn’t sound particularly harsh to me.

  42. Tethys says

    @Rob

    The split between west Germanic and east Germanic occurs before it further differentiates into northern and southern variants. Modern English is heavily influenced by invading Vikings and Danes, in addition to the centuries earlier migrations of Anglo Frisians and Saxons from the continent.

  43. Tethys says

    Re Old English: This doesn’t sound particularly harsh to me

    .

    That is not a Saxon accent, and his cadence is making me cringe.

    My grandparents all spoke different dialects of German. I prefer the high German soft Ich to the low German Ek. Hitler is Austrian, as is his sharp, spitty accent.

  44. stroppy says

    @45 Tethys

    Well, if I were not being facetious, I wouldn’t have said “frenchified.” Just be happy that I didn’t say “French fried.” The fact remains that Normandy took its name from Norse Viking settlers who assimilated there.

    English is classified as Germanic at its base, but the vocabulary is more heavily latinate, and as sometimes happens when languages collide, grammar changes sometimes simplifying, including loss of inflection as in the case of English. The change from OE to MidE is pretty striking. From the perspective of modern English, OE is pretty much a foreign language.

    Re Germanic harshness in English:
    Some of that may have been sensitivity to language left over from WWII, which was a little fresher in peoples minds at the time. To be fair to my teacher, I was probably doing something like piling up words with -ing endings in inelegant ways. I don’t really remember.

  45. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys: The cotemporal languages Old English and Old Norse (by around 800 CE) are classified, respectively, as belonging to the West and North Germanic language branches, in anything I’ve read.

    Modern English is heavily influenced by invading Vikings and Danes,

    Yes, the influence consisted of a bunch of loan words (e.g. sky, skirt), and a huge simplification in grammar, presumably (again, according to what I’ve read) because the two languages had a lot of common roots but different endings. That didn’t make English any closer to the North Germanic languages.

  46. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @49: OK, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Saxon’. Do you mean the West Saxon dialect of Old English?

  47. Tethys says

    Old English is never referred to as a horrible sounding language, unlike the Saxon dialect. Saxony Anhalt is a place in Germany, and my grandmothers low German dialect was indeed gravelly and harsh in comparison to the dialects of Alsass and Wurttemburg.

  48. stroppy says

    Benjamin Bagby performs (not reads) Beowulf
    voice and Anglo-Saxon harp

    Probably as close as anyone is likely to come to what it was like. I only watched a little bit of the YouTube version, but if it’s anything like his DVD, once he gets going he really tears into it and well worth watching.

  49. davidc1 says

    @44 HAHA ,You can tell a certain kind of Brit on the piss abroad by ,the union jack shorts ,lion and union jack tats .
    Any skin not inked up is a bright gammon red colour ,and not forgetting the beer belly the size of a WW2 sea mine .
    Voted leave in 2016 to get are sovrentee back init .Going to get a nasty surprise when the world staggers back to what used to be normal ,they will have to queue for hours at the airport when they invade the costa del craphole for their summer hols .

    I know you Americans are missing your hourly dose of barking mad nonsense from you know who .Just to remind you we still have our version in power
    That twatfacd twat johnson has ditched the idea of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland ,he is now pushing the idea of a tunnel instead .
    You are welcome ,you won’t get treats like this all the time .

  50. davidc1 says

    @46 Yeah ,typical nasty trick by Johnny forriner ,invading ,while Harry and his army were still shagged out from marching all the way from Lincolnshire to the south coast .
    Was it a coincidence that that bastard William landed at a place called Battle .

    Chortle ,chortle

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