I knew nothing about enneagrams until yesterday

I’d heard of them, of course, but I was in a state of blessed ignorance so the term just sailed right over my head. Now I’ve received a couple of emails from the persistent Richard Colter (never heard of him, either), so I looked ’em up.

Jesus.

It’s some kind of personality profile system, based on numerology and Christian mysticism, with this magical figure used to diagram your personality traits. It has about as much validity as Myers-Briggs personality tests, that is, none at all, but sucks believers in with its pseudo-scientific/pseudo-mathematical posing.

An enneagram is, literally, a drawing with nine lines. Figuratively, however, the enneagram is a New Age mandala, a mystical gateway to personality typing. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3.* It consists of a circle with nine equidistant points on the circumference. The points are connected by two figures: one connects the number 1 to 4 to 2 to 8 to 5 to 7 and back to 1; the other connects 3, 6 and 9. The 142857 sequence is based on the fact that dividing 7 into 1 yields an infinite repetition of the sequence 142857. In fact, dividing 7 into any whole number not a multiple of 7 will yield the infinite repetition of the sequence 142857. Also, 142857 x 7 = 999999. And of course 1 divided by 3 yields an infinite sequence of threes. The triangle joining points 3, 6 and 9 links all the numbers on the circle divisible by 3. To ascribe metaphysical or mystical significance to the properties of numbers is mere superstition and a throwback to an earlier time in human history when ignorance was considered a point of view.

I’d just throw it in the bin with astrology and dianetics and The Bell Curve and every attempt to reduce humanity to a couple of numbers, but Richard Colter has a book he thinks I should read: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN EVOLUTION: AND THE NINE HUMAN ENDEAVORS – REVEALS THE PURPOSE AND MEANING OF LIFE. I am almost tempted to order it.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to read this book is that it reveals the Nine Human Endeavors (NHE), which are the highly sophisticated behaviors that separate modern humans from early human species such as Neanderthals. The constructive use of this knowledge is the key to unleashing the untapped potential of individuals, organizations, and countries. Thus, the knowledge contained in this book will prove to be indispensable to people of all walks of life.
This book will be of interest to Anthropologists because it provides a comprehensive theory of human evolution that answers the unassailable questions of how and why humans evolved. As the story of human evolution unfolds, new concepts fill the gaps existing in the anthropological sciences, along with critical details such as the key psychological and physiological differentiators between modern humans and early humans. And a basic timeline of evolutionary events provides the context necessary for those without a background in anthropology.

It’s 341 pages of this egotistical argle-bargle. I’m sure, given how the Ennealogical Brigade thinks, that it ought to be full of bizarre mystical diagrams that represent the “evidence” that this view of purposeful evolution is true, but a quick glimpse inside reveals that the author has instead substituted page after page of word salad. Maybe the diagrams are in an appendix.

Mr Colter himself is active on Quora, where he writes about two things, and only two things: how to get out of paying speeding tickets, and spreading misinformation about evolution, which always includes a plug for his book. I’d look deeper, but I think I’ve had enough nonsense for the day.

Flying Homosexual Chemtrail Fire Ants

Does she look gay to you?

Now we know why Texas is full of homosexuals: it’s all the fire ants down south. And they’ve been spreading to England since 2015!

The World Heath Organization has put England on high alert as swarms of genetically engineered fire ants have been seen swarming the countryside in quick approach to London. The ants have been laced with chemical homosexuality via a modified homosexual chemtrail containing liquid sweat from gay men.

WHO has not issued any alerts about genetically modified fire ants swarming England.

There is no such thing as “chemical homosexuality”. You cannot “catch the gay” from sweat, especially not sweat that has been ingested by ants.

These mutated ants are thought to be the first filial (F1 hybrid) generation offspring of the the fire ants Obama deployed in Texas to bite Christians and turn them to homosexuality, a part of the Jade Helm invasion.

I amused at the use of technical genetics terms (“first filial (F1 hybrid) generation”) as if that makes the claim more sciencey. It doesn’t.

Obama didn’t deploy fire ants in Texas.

Texans bitten by fire ants don’t turn gay.

A likely unforeseen consequence of putting raw homosexual endorphins into the parental generation of the fire ants was that it gave the ants genetic diversity at a rate even higher than Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly. The flying homosexual chemtrail fire ant purportedly shows all the classic signs of homosexuality: an insatiable appetite for straight men, ravenously snapping its jaws and becoming agitated when a non-gay man’s flesh is in prox restless and its sleek body fueled by an eccentric cocktail of lurid chemical drugs.

Putting “homosexual endorphins” (which don’t exist) into a fire ant won’t modify their genetics, and it won’t increase their genetic diversity.

Homosexuality is not associated with an insatiable appetite for straight men, and ants wouldn’t recognize human sexuality at all.

I’m non-gay. I haven’t noticed any gay men ravenously snapping their jaws when I pass by, or even becoming restless when in proximity.

I have known gay men with sleek bodies fueled by eccentric cocktails of lurid chemical drugs, so maybe that part is true.

All I was doing was looking up some simple Mendelian genetics problems for my impending genetics class! Maybe I need to turn “safe search” on. Is there a setting to turn off stupid search results?

Why we should dread religion

It causes people to do stupid things, like cross lanes and drive into oncoming cars as a “test of faith”.

An investigator said Reilly told him she had been driving around for a few hours, waiting for a calling from God, when she decided to drive through the oncoming vehicle.

“Reilly related God took care of her by not having her injured,” wrote Trooper Bruce Balliet in an arrest affidavit. “Reilly expressed no concerns or remorse for the victims. Reilly also stated she did not care if the other people were injured because God would have taken care of them.”

Others don’t go quite as brazen, choosing instead to vote for incompetent con men who will steer the entire country into disaster. As a “test of faith”, of course. God will save us!

Yet another example of Christians unable to make an honest argument

Oh lord. This looks awful. It’s Matt Dillahunty in a debate with some evangelical clown named Glen Scrivener, where he totally fumbles an easy question. “Are all human beings worthy of all provision and protection?” he’s asked, and he pauses for a long time, and finally answers, “I have no idea”. It’s intercut with somebody pretending to be an exasperated. Then they cut to him saying he doesn’t think humans have intrinsic value, the universe doesn’t care about human life, and then this bit where he doesn’t think a person sitting around and just consuming doesn’t add value, etc., etc., etc.

It’s not how I would have answered anything, but OK, I think he’s overanalyzing and trying way too hard to be logical, and some of this is just plain bad argumentation. I had to look at the source, though, to get the context. So I did. It was agony. Not so much because of Dillahunty — although he does say some bullshit about bothsiderism, and the damn thing is an hour and a half long — but because Scrivener is such a flaming idiot. Also, whoever made this abbreviated cut is grossly dishonest. The part of the debate it’s taken from is at an hour and five minutes in, and it’s spliced together from short fragments sliced out of the following half hour. This is the audio analog to the notorious creationist ellipsis, where they splice together sentence fragments scattered over a whole paragraph to cobble together something the opposite of what the author intended.

If you’re going to mock anything in that debate, a worthier target is Scrivener. Around 38 minutes in, for instance (and at other points scattered throughout), he starts babbling about how secular humanism is just Christianity Lite, or a little later that all other religions, except Christianity, are built around the principle of Survival of the Fittest, (which is a Herbert Spencerism, not intrinsic to the scientific understanding of evolution or even to any of the religions he’s misrepresenting). He’s also got this smug Christian Exceptionalism, saying that it is the only religion that is inclusive and preaches universality and brotherly love and all that stuff.

You have in Christ the fittest who is sacrificed for the survival of the weakest, and what you get birthed out of the Christian movement is a unique preference for the poor, the marginalized, the weak, the outsider, to draw them in. Such that…we include everyone, even our enemies, into the circle of our humanity.”

[Christianity] is founded on the god who became flesh, who became the weak one, in order to rise up again and bring us weak ones into his family, and he uniquely gives to the entire human race a dignity.

He also has this weird schtick where he gushes over his god who became a single human cell. All that in order to enable his blood sacrifice to redeem, somehow, everyone. He never thinks twice about the twisted logic, or the lack of evidence, for any of this.

But you know what’s really annoying? I was all ready to critique what seemed to be a weakness in Dillahunty’s argument, and then I discover that the only way that excerpt was able to bring it up was to cut out an hour of flamboyant, ridiculous bullshit from Scrivener, and then hack up Dillahunty’s response into micro-fragments, and intersperse it with an actor hamming it up. I am always ready to argue my disagreements with other atheists, but then the theists have to dishonestly butcher a discussion to make their point, whatever it is, and I lose all interest in the atheist and just want to point and laugh at the capering Christian twit in the room.

So yeah, I don’t care that Matt Dillahunty paused for a few seconds before answering a question in a debate, especially not when the Christian is spewing glib garbage the whole time.

The first Goop review is in!

Oh boy. Ars Technica got to see the first episodes of Gwyneth Paltrow’s series. Do you think they liked it?

In so many ways, the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow is exactly what you’d expect based on what we already know about the Goop brand. The series provides a platform for junk science, gibberish, and unproven health claims from snake-oil-salesmen guests. It’s a platform on which respected, trained medical experts are not considered the authorities on health and medical topics; where logic and critical thinking are enemies of open-mindedness; where anecdotes about undefined health improvements are considered evidence for specific medical treatment claims; where the subjective experiences of a few select individuals are equivalent to the results of randomized, controlled clinical trials; and where promoting unproven, potentially dangerous health claims is a means to empower women.

I think the conclusion is that it is truly dire.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lap odor has sold out

Gwyneth Paltrow would have you believe that her vagina smells like this:

With a funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent, this candle is made with geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed to put us in mind of fantasy, seduction, and a sophisticated warmth.

I’m not going to test her claim that her crotch smells like a geranium soaked in Earl Grey, but somehow I doubt that it does, and also it’s rather egotistical that she thinks it does. People aren’t flowers.

It’s probably the least harmful lie on her site, at least.

I am still in Colorado, although Orac is making me regret it

My daughter is working towards a Ph.D. in computational linguistics (I think…when she talks about her research I only understand every third word) at the University of Colorado Boulder. I’m just hanging out with my granddaughter this week, and I cringed at the chewing out Orac delivers to the institution — there is a unit of UC called UC Health that is publishing the most outrageous quackery, most recently an article touting the benefits of acupuncture in winter, written by a quack with a Masters degree in Oriental Medicine from the Southwest Acupuncture College. That’s gotta be a joke degree, right? If someone applied to my department with that on their CV, we’d have a good laugh and round-file it on the spot.

Anyway, now I feel like marching down to the university administration and giving them a good talking-to. How dare they dilute and devalue my daughter’s hard work with this nonsense?

Do not put Gwyneth Paltrow in your vagina

I am not going to watch a single moment of Paltrow’s new show on Netflix, and you shouldn’t either. Boycott it. Cancel it. It’s a disgrace and it hasn’t even aired yet. It’s called The Goop Lab, and there is no science behind it at all, no lab, no research, just a bunch of rich people jumping on tired old bandwagons like energy healing or psychic mediums and using them as vehicles to sell crap to the gullible.

You can get a sufficient feel for the garbage being peddled from the trailer.

The last line there from Paltrow is We’re going to milk the shit out of it. Finally, some truth.

But another interpretation offers a clear description of Paltrow’s business model, which feeds into the multi-trillion-dollar wellness industry. (That’s a lot of milk.) With the ever-elusive possibility of a better life, backed by her celebrity status and good genetics, Paltrow’s Goop hawks uber-expensive aspirational wellness products. That includes a $350 crazy straw, an $84 water bottle with a “positive energy” rock in it, and an $85 “Shaman Medicine Bag” with “magically charged stones.”

The business model is depressingly successful. Goop’s valuations in recent years have soared to $250 million, and the company has expanded into brick-and-mortar stores on multiple continents. The Netflix series is just the latest sign of Goop’s achievements.

I guess I won’t be seeing the next MCU movie if she’s in it, either. Thanks for the excuse!

I thought the soy boy nonsense had run its course

They’re back! The clueless numpties who thought eating soy would turn men into women are complaining about Burger King’s Impossible Burger now.

Yeah, he brings up that “gay frog” nonsense that was popular on Info-Wars. Alex Jones was FLUSHHHHHed away last year, making Alpha OmegaEnergy the smeary bit on the porcelain that’s going to take another flush or two to be gone.

Nationalfile.com is one of those loony pro-Trump raging conservative fake news sites, so I think we can take the whole accusation with a heaping load of skepticism.

The claim has already been simply shut down.

New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle told the publication that Asian men and boys have been eating large amounts of soy for centuries and, “No, they don’t grow breasts.”

Isn’t it weird how so many people are insistent that one’s sex is absolute and fixed and established by biology, yet at the same time they’re fearful that eating the wrong food will dramatically change their appearance and physiology and sexual orientation? It’s got to be one way or the other, guys.