John Lynch at OU

When the hell was someone going to tell me John Lynch is Irish?

Me: WTF! Youre Irish?!?
John (in an Irish accent):… I dont type with an accent…
Me: I DO DANG NABBIT!

No one told me John was such a great presenter, either (Irish accent helped with that). A perfect combination of ‘funny’ and ‘facts’.

My favorite funny, paraphrased
: “There are no such thing as ‘Darwinists’. Its just a pejorative used by Creationists cause it sounds like ‘MARXISTS!’, and it makes it seem like scientists are in this big cult where we all gather on Darwins birthday to sing songs and eat cake… *trails off cause they just ate a ‘Happy Birthday Darwin’ cake*… LOL!”

Favorite fact: Dang! All of them! I honestly dont know jack shit about history-of-science, even the history of ‘Darwins’ ideas. So I was coming to this presentation pretty much as an ‘intermediate’ layman, and I could follow along and learned lots of cool stuff. Johns talk was just great! YAY!

Least favorite part: One word– PARADIGM. My usual rule is to shoot-on-site anyone who uses that word. I gave John a pass this time because he used it in a historical sense and not ‘for real’… this time…

So if you are a science group or Uni looking for a ‘history of Darwin’ speaker, I dont know if you could do better than John. It was just fantastic.

BUT, the non-John-Talk stuff last night was also pretty dang fun!
1– Got to hang out with awesome pro-science Oklahomans, including ERV reader Ray, who helpfully took a pic of me and John for our blags. Thanks Ray!
Unfortunately, the campus police, like, kicked us out of the auditorium ~5 minutes after Johns talk was over. They gave us ~10 minutes in the foyer, then they kicked us out of there. WTF? Im sure they were ‘just doing their job’, but I was annoyed.

2– You will never guess who was in the audience last night.
Guess.
Guess!
Youll never guess.
AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!
He was like, 3 rows ahead of me. It might have been some other fellow who was unfortunate enough to look exactly like a Creationist whackaloon, but that guy is *kinda* hard to miss. LOL! There were other Creationists in the audience I recognized, but none of them asked John any questions.
Pussies.

3– Speaking of pussies, especially the cottage cheese dripping kind, I learned some fun stuff about the OU IDEA necromancer, Ray Martin (did Dave Scott have a kid?!?). Under the guise of ‘Oklahoma Daily Editorial Board’, he wrote a nice little article for Oklahoma Daily smearing two kick-ass OU professors, Dr. Broughton and Vic Hutchison (a commentor here). The ‘article’ reads like a DI press release from EN&V. If youre sick of Rho, go have fun in the comment section.

Which brings me back to Johns presentation. John referred to Senate Bill 320, nutter attempt #298563 to get Creationism in school. In the Q&A, John was like “40% of Americans think the Sun revolves around the Earth. We have a lot of things we need to change in science education. The ‘changes’ in Senate Bill 320 aint it.”

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Saveau
    February 13, 2009

    The comments section at that editorial smear looks like it’s drawn some of the trolls that like to randomly bark at various Pharyngula threads; fortunately, they are being handily dispatched by knowledgeable commenters.

  2. #2 J-Dog
    February 13, 2009

    Ha! Ha!! I knew John was Irish a long time ago. Because he’s smart, good-looking, and looks like me sort of. And by sort of I mean if I was actually young, smart and good looking.

    But at least I do like to take off the holiest days of the year – March 16 – 18th.

    Good report Abbie – I’ll go see if I can poke a stick at your local OKie Creo, which someday may be an endangered species.

  3. #3 William Wallace
    February 13, 2009

    There were other Creationists in the audience I recognized, but none of them asked John any questions.
    Pussies.

    John doesn’t take questions from creationists anyway. I asked, and my comment at his blog went into the memory hole.

    He writes: “I reserve the right to delete comments that are irrelevent[sic] to the issue at hand or that are, frankly, soapboxes for the commentator. Call it censorship if you like … it’s not – you are always free to say what you like in your own blog at blogger.com or elsewhere.

    True enough. But he can’t have it both ways: Complaining that he didn’t get to slay any creationists, and then throwing questions from the creationist down the memory hole on his blog.

    Question being: Have you ever seen any other scientists, aside from evolutionists, make birthday cakes, sing happy birthday, or make video birthday cards for a dead scientist?

  4. #4 minimalist
    February 13, 2009

    Does John know you by sight? If not, then quit making excuses, pussy.

    Anyway it’s a dumb question, ignorant of even recent history, that misses the point, which is par for the course for you. I don’t blame John for not wanting to waste any time going in circles with your dizzy ass.

  5. #5 ERV
    February 13, 2009

    WW– Question being: Have you ever seen any other scientists, aside from evolutionists, make birthday cakes, sing happy birthday, or make video birthday cards for a dead scientist?

    Yes. Mole day is a standard ‘holiday’ in most college/high school chemistry courses.

  6. #6 Eric Saveau
    February 13, 2009

    Have you ever seen any other scientists, aside from evolutionists, make birthday cakes, sing happy birthday, or make video birthday cards for a dead scientist?

    I’ve known of many people throughout my life who have light-hearted observances, complete with songs and treats, of the birthdays of scientists like Einstein, Newton, and Darwin. Of course, people who shun science and those who practice it would likely not encounter such things and would therefore not be expected to know about them offhand.

    A public birthday celebration for Chas, like the one described, sounds quite nice. And makes a nice launch-point for a discussion of biology and the history of science. And makes a nifty counterpoint to the troglodytes who launch spittle-flecked attacks against the man and his work.

  7. #7 Eric Saveau
    February 13, 2009

    Complaining that he didn’t get to slay any creationists, and then throwing questions from the creationist down the memory hole on his blog.

    Editing his blog is not the same as fielding questions at a public event. Fail, as usual…

  8. #8 William Wallace
    February 13, 2009

    Well, thanks for the counter examples, I never heard of Mole Day, even though my high school chemistry teacher was an enthusiastic promoter of science. I’ll update my comments on the reverential observance of Darwin day, which still seems a bit cultish.

  9. #9 Rhology
    February 13, 2009

    “There are no such thing as ‘Darwinists’.

    You’ll accept the term “Darwinian”, though, won’t you? Dawkins uses it of himself in _The Selfish Gene_.

  10. #10 ERV
    February 13, 2009

    selfpwn– You’ll accept the term “Darwinian”, though, won’t you?

    Someone didnt go to Johns presentation last night.

    Way to not learn, dude. *high-five*

  11. #11 Prometheus
    February 13, 2009

    “WW– Question being: Have you ever seen any other scientists, aside from evolutionists, make birthday cakes, sing happy birthday, or make video birthday cards for a dead scientist?”

    I know an Aeronautic engineer who celebrates Bernoulli’s birthday.

    I know a theoretical mathematician who named her cats Fibonacci and Archimedes.

    I met a logician who had traveled over 5000 miles just to stand where Lewis Carroll stood.

    And lately I have met a lot of whack job who can’t distinguish these examples of happy enthusiasm and religious ecstasy.

    “Have you ever seen any other scientists, aside from evolutionists..”

    no.

  12. #12 minimalist
    February 13, 2009

    Darwin day, which still seems a bit cultish.

    …hence illustrating my “missing the point” comment.

    When did Darwin Day celebrations start?

    Would you consider that there might be some level of causation/response here?

    Do you think the intent might not actually be what you suspect?

    (Subtle hint you might not catch: The speech last night was at an educational facility, given by an educator, full of information some might regard as educational.)

  13. #13 Prometheus
    February 13, 2009

    “The speech last night was at an educational facility”

    It is an ersatz Minoan temple where we worship the gods of petroleum, but you make a good point about context.

  14. #14 Aseem
    February 13, 2009

    In India, students and parents, from kindergarten to college, celebrate the birthday (September 5) of a famous educationist and our second President (Dr. Radhakrishnan) as Teachers’ Day. Newspapers bear greetings from students to their teachers. Heck, I wish my PhD advisor here at OU. This is in celebration of the spread of knowledge, and a thanksgiving gesture to its agents – our teachers.
    Likewise, September 15, the birthday of a famous Indian engineer and statesman (Sir M.V. Visvesvarayya) is celebrated as Engineer’s Day.
    Trust cultists to mistake EVERYTHING for religion. Does ‘celebration of human triumphs’ mean anything to you?

  15. #15 Aseem
    February 13, 2009

    “The speech last night was at an educational facility”

    Too bad that the same educational facility is going to be used next Saturday by IDers to spread their lies. http://www.normantranscript.com/localnews/local_story_037010659

    An ID lecture in a Museum of Natural History Folks! What an abomination! Like a pig eating bacon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sBPm6ubjnU

  16. #16 carlsonjok
    February 13, 2009

    William Wallace:

    I’ll update my comments on the reverential observance of Darwin day, which still seems a bit cultish.

    You know William, accusing someone else of cultish celebration of a birthday is a little rich coming from you. Even if we considered Darwin our patron saint (which we don’t) at least we don’t demand that is birthday be a federal holiday and get all bent out of shape if the local Walmart greeter doesn’t wish us a “Merry Darwin Day.”

    Can you say the same thing? Didn’t think so.

  17. #17 Ian
    February 13, 2009

    I was really impressed with John Lynch as a speaker. And equally surprised to learn that he was Irish. (Got a similar comment about not typing with an accept…I suppose he gets that a lot). Today’s full-day panel discussion on “Darwin Across the Disciplines” was well worth it.

  18. #18 justawriter
    February 13, 2009

    OT: I don’t know if erv has an official baseball hero, but I hereby enter a name into nomination …

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_11691923?source=most_viewed

  19. #19 vhutchison
    February 13, 2009

    #4 the minimal mind? John will forevermore recognize ERV.

  20. #20 vhutchison
    February 13, 2009

    #19. Oh, BTW see the photo on Lynch’s blog ((http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/)for evidence.

  21. #21 minimalist
    February 13, 2009

    I was talking to Willy-Wally (post #3).

  22. #22 Siamang
    February 14, 2009

    Every December 25th I open presents and sing songs in celebration of the birth of Issaic Newton.

    Not really. I do that for Jesus. A guy I don’t think actually existed, at least not as popularly portrayed.

    For real people I do better… I USE THEIR KNOWLEDGE as my own! Oh how terrible and cultish I am, using Avagadro’s number with reckless abandon! It’s a Golden Calf that weighs 196.9665 grams!!!!

  23. #23 minimalist
    February 14, 2009

    I think Wally is just sore at missing out on the cake.

    At least he didn’t set the museum on fire.

  24. #24 William Wallace
    February 14, 2009

    It’s not exactly difficult to agree that using ideas of great scientists is important.

    For example, Maxwell’s equations are great. But I don’t sing “happy birthday to James”, even though Maxwell’s contributions to science are orders of magnitude more important, pertinent, precise, enduring, and elegant than anything the metaphysicist Charles Darwin imagined, and the lopsided comparison maintains its overwhelming superiority even against the “modern evolutionary synthesis”.

    Maxwell’s equations are the quintessence of what science can and should strive to achieve.

    Macro-evolutionary theory is the epitome a “vague story to fit sparse facts” incapable, even after 150 years, of predicting what the next species will look like.

    Comparing James Maxwell’s contributions to Charles Darwin’s is almost sacrilege, and if I were a devout Maxwellian, I’d beg Jame’s forgiveness.

  25. #25 windy
    February 14, 2009

    For example, Maxwell’s equations are great. But I don’t sing “happy birthday to James”

    Sigh…
    http://www.maxwellyear2006.org/

    But that’s nothing compared to the parties the Swedes throw for their dead scientists!

    One thing was clear to me by the time Åke Bruce entered the room wearing a powdered wig and finery: This was by far the strangest birthday party I had ever attended. The birthday boy, Carl Linnaeus, is long dead–he was born 300 years ago.

  26. #26 a lurker
    February 14, 2009

    “Well, thanks for the counter examples, I never heard of Mole Day, even though my high school chemistry teacher was an enthusiastic promoter of science. I’ll update my comments on the reverential observance of Darwin day, which still seems a bit cultish.”

    Astronomers are not content with a mere day. They made it a whole year (this year in fact) for the 400th anniversary that they are celebrating (Galileo’s pointing the telescope he made to the sky). And oh yes, if you check the very same institution that hosted the lecture ERV describes is hosting a dozen astronomy and history of astronomy lectures for that.

  27. #27 minimalist
    February 14, 2009

    Don’t get butthurt, Wally.

    Also nobody gives a shit what you think about Darwin. Least of all the scientists who owe so much to his insights.

    My research > your ego

  28. #28 John Lynch
    February 14, 2009

    @3

    Silly silly person.

    You’re comment is there and not in the memory hole … I just ignore stupid questions.

  29. #29 Eric Saveau
    February 14, 2009

    Macro-evolutionary theory is the epitome a “vague story to fit sparse facts” incapable, even after 150 years, of predicting what the next species will look like.

    Which “next species” did you have in mind?

    Also, your characterization is yet another non sequitur; our understanding of natural selection predicts evolutionary relationships and adaptive traits, not merely mug shots of specific animals. But of course you knew that, and are once again just attempting to muddy the waters with the thrashing of a strawman. As usual.

  30. #30 freelunch
    February 14, 2009

    Of course, pi, which seems to be more useful than any religious holiday I’ve run across, also has its own day: March 14. Luckily, it doesn’t interfere with the Irish festivities that follow.

  31. #31 Richbank
    February 14, 2009

    I had the distinct pleasure of attending a series of lectures given by the esteemed eors szathmary and a protein researcher who was rather insulted when he was quoted by uncommon descent – dan tawfik. A great day, all in all.

  32. #32 Sean McCorkle
    February 14, 2009

    I’ve always loved the work of Maxwell and Einstein. I think its brilliant to compare
    Darwin’s work to theirs: evolution by natural selection was a grand unification theory for biology! That’s why it was so important.

  33. #33 Sean McCorkle
    February 14, 2009

    I just want to expand a bit on this point. Two examples of great theories in physics, Newton’s universal gravitation and Maxwell’s equations each were single theories that simultaneously accounted for different phenomena that had been previously considered to be separate. In the case of Newton, he tied the dynamics and gravity that we experience here on Earth to the motions of the planets, explaining Kepler’s laws in the process. Maxwell unified known behaviors of electric and magnetic fields, and as a bonus showed that e-m fields can move in waves which in fact were light, so he unified electricity, magnetism, and optics in one fell swoop.

    Similarly, Darwin’s (and Wallace’s) theory of evolution explains observations across ALL biological systems. It explains the diversity of plants, animals, fungi, protozoa, viruses, everything. Every living thing and every thing that came before as well. That’s why it is so deserving of respect.

  34. #34 Tyler DiPietro
    February 14, 2009

    I know Wallaids just wants to blither, as usual. However, it is worth setting the record straight on one point:

    “Macro-evolutionary theory is the epitome a “vague story to fit sparse facts” incapable, even after 150 years, of predicting what the next species will look like.”

    Yet it predicts transitions in the fossil record with rather amazing accuracy. Tiktaalik is a good example.

  35. #35 Siamang
    February 14, 2009

    Wow, how many ways can William Wallace be shown to be a fucking idiot in one thread?

    At some point, after a bunch of counter example of historical remembrances and celebrations surrounding scientists, I fully expect him to change tack and assert that scientists worship a pantheon of scientists.

    The Hinduism of the materialist set, if you will.

    Oh, and yes, if someone doesn’t respond to him, he’ll complain you put his post down a memory hole.

    Dumbass hole, more like it. Dude, you’re a fucking toolshed. Did it hurt when you had most of your logic centers removed and replaced with Michael Behe’s mousetraps and Dembski’s sweaters?

    Go worship your Lord and Savior Stephan Meyer, and Johnson and the rest of the bacterial flagellators. They are the infallible, inerrant suck-toads of the modern cult of Creation.

    Imagine if you defended your Christ the way you cocksure martinets bang the Behe-Book.

    Christ is dead. But Lord and Savior Dembski lives!

  36. #36 William Wallace
    February 15, 2009

    Thanks John [#28] for approving the comment. You’re not claiming, I hope, that you approved my comment in sequence, are you?

    evolution by natural selection was a grand unification theory for biology!–Sean McCorkle[#32]

    It is an attempted unification, but, in my view, is a far less persuasive, mathematical, concise, and elegant unification than the others discussed above.

    Yet it predicts transitions in the fossil record with rather amazing accuracy.– Tyler DiPietro[#34]

    Without specifically knowing if what you said is accurate, I didn’t say the ToE was without any value. It has much less value than Maxwell’s equations. One could imagine coming up with an algorithm that explains the stock market, and even predicts past stock prices, but if it doesn’t predict future stock prices accurately, it’s really not a grand unification, is it?

    Windy [#25], so the Scottish are proud of Maxwell. But even maxwellyear2006.org admits that:

    He was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, and yet most people have never heard of him!– maxwellyear2006.org

    True enough, and for good reason. National pride aside, scientists in general don’t go around attempting to induce lay people to hold intellectual giants from relevant scientific fields up as a person to be revered.

    Besides, divergence and curl operators are difficult, topics not easily covered in a slew of PBS documentaries.

    Which “next species” did you have in mind?—Eric Saveau[#29]

    I’m flexible.

    Go worship your Lord and Savior Stephan Meyer, and Johnson and the rest of the bacterial flagellators. They are the infallible, inerrant suck-toads of the modern cult of Creation.—Siamang[#35]

    I’ve only read part of one of Behe’s book, a chapter on the “two binding site rule”. Frankly, he’s not a very captivating writer, even if the chapter seemed reasonable to me. I read part of Meyer’s paper published in the peer reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, but also became bored, and couldn’t see what the uproar was about.

  37. #37 Sean McCorkle
    February 15, 2009

    (Abbie and other readers: apologies if I’m getting too long-winded or off-topic here)

    It is an attempted unification, but, in my view, is a far less persuasive, mathematical, concise, and elegant unification than the others discussed above.

    I was using the phrase “grand unification” metaphorically, not literally. Sorry for the confusion.

    Without specifically knowing if what you said is accurate, I didn’t say the ToE was without any value. It has much less value than Maxwell’s equations. One could imagine coming up with an algorithm that explains the stock market, and even predicts past stock prices, but if it doesn’t predict future stock prices accurately, it’s really not a grand unification, is it?

    Your stock market prediction algorithm wouldn’t even be a theory, much less a grand unification. It would be a phenomenological model – a system which correctly predicts behavior but doesn’t necessarily explain the underlying causes.

    There are lots of examples of our inability to predict the future in modern physics. Classical physics established a clockwork view of the universe, the belief that the future could be predicted from initial conditions. To a great extend, we still work in this worldview, calculating orbits, doing various engineering. However, statistical physics broke us out of this mindset. One cannot predict which direction a microscopic particle in water will bounce due to Brownian motion. Does that lessen the impact of the atomic theory of matter or statistical physics? No! Quantum physics was even more of a shock to the clockwork view. The current Bohr interpretation says there are simple questions that can’t even be answered at all, such as which path a photon takes through a slit experiment. Quantum mechanics is not lessened by this by any means.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution is remarkable because it presents a simple, common underlying mechanism for countless observations across whole realms in biology, from virology to microbiology to ornithology to physical anthropology. It is a unifying principle. That is its elegance. That’s why Darwin is to biology what Maxwell (and the others) are to physics. Its not a mathematical explanation, but science doesn’t always have to be mathematical.

    The theory of evolution may not be a grand unification, but neither are Maxwell’s equations, or Newton’s or Eintein’s gravitational theories. Maxwell’s equations work on the macroscopic scale-and I agree that they are elegant- but they fail to predict or account for quantum phenomena. Maxwell’s work has been superseded by Feynman’s quantum electrodynamics. Newton’s work has been superseded by Einstein, and so on. Science is a process of continually hypothesizing, theorizing, testing and testing and retesting, and going back to the drawing board for as long as it takes. Theories may fall, or change, but it shouldn’t lessen our esteem for those who made great breakthroughs in understanding. We don’t think less of Maxwell because he didn’t predict the existence of the photon.

    Expanding on the point minimalist made in comment #12: There are not hordes of citizens in the U.S. trying to block the teaching of Maxwell in schools. But there are countless attacks on the teaching evolution. Its become clear that most of the attackers and much of the population are largely ignorant of the work. The Darwin Day celebrations are an attempt to start rectifying this terrible situation by making the public more aware of the science. Its akin to the world-wide centennial celebrations of Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis in 2005. These are good things for the science world to be doing.

  38. #38 Tyler DiPietro
    February 15, 2009

    “Without specifically knowing if what you said is accurate, I didn’t say the ToE was without any value. It has much less value than Maxwell’s equations. One could imagine coming up with an algorithm that explains the stock market, and even predicts past stock prices, but if it doesn’t predict future stock prices accurately, it’s really not a grand unification, is it?”

    You’re comparing apples to trucks. Large scale morphological variation happens on a much longer time-scale than electromagnetic phenomena, so in general direct experimentation is not feasible. The wealth of data in the former comes from the past, so predicting past variations is a great success.

  39. #39 George E Martin
    February 15, 2009

    Wendy @26

    Astronomers are not content with a mere day. They made it a whole year (this year in fact) for the 400th anniversary that they are celebrating (Galileo’s pointing the telescope he made to the sky).

    The year of Astronomy is also in celebration of the publication of Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia Nova. In that publication, Kepler gave his first two laws of planetary motion. To this day, astronomers use the term Keplerian orbits.

    Hmm on the verge of another “ism” in science?

    George

  40. #40 Eric Saveau
    February 16, 2009

    Clearly the Keplerists are engaging in a CONSPIRACY! to deny Newton his rightful place! Else astronomers would rightfully speak of Newtonian orbits! And Newton probably just plagiarized Kepler anyway! We must fight the Keplerist Conspiracy!

  41. #41 Sean McCorkle
    February 16, 2009

    Right! They would deny us parabolic and hyperbolic orbits!

  42. #42 William Wallace
    February 16, 2009

    Are you referring to this?

    It’s really not that radical, and in fact, according to some evolanders, embarrassed UD.

  43. #43 George E Martin
    February 16, 2009

    William Wallace @ 42 said:

    Are you referring to this?

    It’s really not that radical, and in fact, according to some evolanders, embarrassed UD.

    If you mean me, when I put my tongue in check with my last sentence, no I didn’t mean anything like that! I read that link and I find it to be a complete bunch of garbage by someone who seems to have no understanding of what he is talking about!

    George

  44. #44 William Wallace
    February 16, 2009

    George,

    I suggest you spend some time studying the history of science, so that you can be more specific.

    Best wishes.

  45. #45 Rhology
    February 17, 2009

    Sorry I wasn’t able to make it to the Lynch lecture, ERV. I wanted to, but couldn’t. I’m going to try to hit at least 2 of the next 3 Friday evening activities coming.
    So… what did Lynch say about “Darwinian”? Just curious, actually.

  46. #46 ERV
    February 17, 2009

    No, you arent curious. Thats part of your problem.

    Curious people actively seek out new experiences, new knowledge, new ways of being, seeing new things that one one on planet Earth has seen before– or stuff thats just new to their eyes.

    If you were curious, you would have read my essay, and you wouldnt have made some of your recent responses on ERV (see here).

    You arent curious, because you are going to the ID events, not the evilution events. You want to hear people say the same things over and over and over that youve heard over and over and over in church so you can feel smart, because you know what they are going to say. You dont want your brain to be challenged.

    You arent curious.

    And you arent paying me to be your professor.

    So go you can either take the time educate your own damn self about ‘Darwinism’, or you can fuck off. Youre on ScienceBlogs. Start looking here.

    Or fuck off.

  47. #47 Eric Saveau
    February 17, 2009

    Well said, Abbie, and grimly seconded.

  48. #48 LanceR, JSG
    February 17, 2009

    I suggest you spend some time studying the history of science, so that you can be more specific.

    No sh*t? Limp Willy advising someone else to study the history of science? Limp “I dunno all that sciency crap” Willy?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Crack a book, dillweed.

  49. #49 Ray
    February 17, 2009

    WooHoo! I’m doing a happy dance! John Lynch used the pic I took of him & Abbie on his blog! Wow, my brush with fame. I’ve said it before in other places, but the talk was very interesting I learned a lot about Darwin and the historical context of his theory -and- I got to speak (very briefly darnit!) with two very smart bloggers before taking the aforementioned picture. Thanks again to both of you.

    Cheers and Happy Monkey,
    Ray

  50. #50 Rhology
    February 18, 2009

    Thanks for the link, ERV. I’ll read it.

  51. #51 Rhology
    February 18, 2009

    ERV,

    I read your linked-to essay. Thanks again, and it was very interesting on its own merits. I don’t, however, see how it’s all that relevant to the points I’ve been raising or even to the question of whether ID is true or false.
    You say:
    Once we began comparing one genome with another, we would have noticed that humans had genes in common with chimpanzees and turtles; from there, we would have likely surmised that humans and chimpanzees and turtles all descended from a common ancestor.

    I’d like to ask how you can justify your leap from the existence of similarities and “common genes”, even to a high degree of similarity, to “we have a common ancestor.”
    W/o making any statement that would assume that you know something about the hypothetical (for me) or doubtful (for you) Designer (ie, let’s not pretend you know anything about said Designer), how can you know this Designer didn’t make the DNA and RNA that way? I’ve asked this several times on the other thread and all I’ve so far gotten is “why the $%#*&$ would anyone do that?” As if that is relevant, as if this Designer, if extant, surely conforms to what you think he SHOULD be.
    So, I’d be interested in your thoughts. Or anyone’s.

  52. #52 Eric Saveau
    February 18, 2009

    Rhobot-

    I can can see that you’re not going to let this go; you are far too dogged and tenacious to be dissuaded at our attempts to steer you from your pursuit. So I’m going to come clean with you, and apologize to everyone else here.

    You are correct in your belief that there is a Designer who is responsible for the form and function of every living thing.

    And it’s me.

    I’m the Designer.

    (Prove I’m not.)

    I was hoping to delay peeling back the curtain, but I was going to have to sooner or later. You are all as I intended you to be – Science Avenger is a staunch defender of rationality, Abbie is a dedicated researcher and budding science educator, and you are a supercilious twat. You have done exactly as I have forseen, my child.

    By the way, I’d advise you to have that rash looked at. And stop picking your nose all the time; it’s gross.

  53. #53 Science Avenger
    February 18, 2009

    Rhology said: I’d like to ask how you can justify your leap from the existence of similarities and “common genes”, even to a high degree of similarity, to “we have a common ancestor.”… how can you know this Designer didn’t make the DNA and RNA that way

    The same way we do it in paternity cases. But please Rhology, for the love of the gods, if you or anyone you know ever gets involved in such a case, please ask the judge those questions. And pretty please with sugar on it let me know so I can be there to watch the fallout.

  54. #54 Tyler DiPietro
    February 18, 2009

    “I’ve asked this several times on the other thread and all I’ve so far gotten is “why the $%#*&$ would anyone do that?”

    Now you’re simply lying, asshole.

    You were answered to the effect that the designer you posit was a handwave that could fit any conceivable observation and was thus unfalsifiable. Unfalsifiable, mechanismless, unparsimonious conjectures could be conjured to fit every observable phenomenon, and we don’t admit them in science.

  55. #55 minimalist
    February 18, 2009

    Man, science would be so much easier if we could all just say “… or maybe a magic ghost just wanted it to look that way.”
    I would have so. many. publications!

  56. #56 Albatrossity
    February 18, 2009

    Rho

    Even though you’ve got lots of unfinished business on another thread, you seem to have slithered over to this one to demonstrate, yet again, your total inacapability to make logical connections.

    1) let’s not pretend you know anything about said Designer

    followed by

    2) how can you know this Designer didn’t make the DNA and RNA that way?

    Think about this for a nanosecond.

    If you don’t know anything about the designer, how can you pretend to think that he/she/it has design strategies that are even recognizable by folks like you or me? The underlying (and unspoken) assumption for ID is that he/she/it will design things so that you can recognize the design. If you can recognize it; then you know something about the designer (i.e., he/she/it designs like a human). If you can’t, then ID is dead in the water; you will never recognize design.

    Which is it? Do you know anything about the designer? If so, what is it, and how do you know it? If not, how do you know that he/she/it does anything that you can recognize as design?

  57. #57 mcmillan
    February 18, 2009

    Actually Eric, I’m the designer. I created the universe two weeks ago to see how ridiculous of an argument Rhology could make and still have people think someone could actually believe it. But even I’m starting to get tired of this now that we’ve gotten to the point that he’s arguing that because you don’t know about my motives I could have made things with a nested hierarchies of nonfunctional parts of DNA. I suppose it’s finally time to shut this down. Hope you’ve all enjoyed your existence.

  58. #58 Tyler DiPietro
    February 19, 2009

    Fuck you all, I’m the designer. In fact I designed you all with the illusion that you were the designer. I’m so brilliant, I love myself.

  59. #59 Rhology
    February 19, 2009

    Only 2 things worth responding to here. And don’t worry, I’ve put other stuff on hold so I will be available to keep going on the other thread.

    Albatrossity said:
    If you don’t know anything about the designer, how can you pretend to think that he/she/it has design strategies that are even recognizable by folks like you or me?

    I didn’t say that *I* don’t know anythg about the designer. Go back. Read it again. Remind yourself that you’re supposed to be the grown-up around here. Reading comprehension is a must, for that role.

    Various claimed to be the designer. I don’t believe it. Provide some evidence, please. Start with explaining (since you’re the designer) how life began and the origin of the laws of logic. Yes, this takes us far afield, but you’re the ones making the ludicrous claim.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  60. #60 LanceR, JSG
    February 19, 2009

    but you’re the ones making the ludicrous claim.

    Now that’s funny! You’ve made impossible claim after impossible claim, here and in the other thread. When asked to defend or justify these absurdities, you have weaseled, whined, and wriggled to turn the question back on the questioner.

    Typical troll.

  61. #61 Eric Saveaus
    February 19, 2009

    Perfect.

    Start with explaining (since you’re the designer) how life began and the origin of the laws of logic.

    Because I said so. As you yourself have maintained, the fact that everything looks like it evolved merely as a natural consequence of the Universe could just as easily be that it was made by a Designer for that Designer’s unknowable reasons and by that Designer’s unknowable methods and we can’t prove otherwise. Well, there were are; I’m the Designer, my reasons and methods are unknowable, and you – by your own “logic” – can’t prove otherwise. Deal with it.

  62. #62 Albatrossity
    February 19, 2009

    Rho

    If you say that something is “worth responding to”, it might be more effective to actually respond to it, rather than ignore the questions and try to deflect attention from your inadequacies with snide insults.

    I didn’t say that *I* don’t know anythg about the designer. Go back. Read it again. Remind yourself that you’re supposed to be the grown-up around here. Reading comprehension is a must, for that role.

    If you could read with comprehension, you would understand that I took your question and turned it against you. Your snide reply above indicates that you do claim to know something about the designer. That is what I suspected, and that is why I asked the questions that you ignored.

    Here they are again. Try harder this time.

    Do you know anything about the designer? If so, what is it, and HOW do you know it? If not, how do you know that he/she/it does anything that you can recognize as design?

  63. #63 Rhology
    February 19, 2009

    Tyler,

    B/c you said so? Um, that doesn’t answer a HOW question. Please try again.

    Further, I’m not appealing to any theistic framework here, so let’s just stick with atheistic naturalism, since my intentions on this blog this time around have been to perform an internal critique on your position, forcing you to defend it. What I was pointing out was not that anyone knows or that I know anything about the Designer. What I said is that said Designer could just as easily account for genetic similarities as well as genetic differences – the answer would be that s/he/it designed ___ that way.
    Your retreats to “No, *I’M* the Designer!” responses shows that you don’t have an answer to the challenge. It’s a very limited point, narrowly focused. Thus, you need to answer it, or you need to (for the sake of intellectual honesty) abandon this argument for Darwinian evolution.

    Albatrossity,

    Yes, I know an awful lot about the Designer b/c He has revealed Himself in the Bible, but since I’ve been focusing my challenges carefully to fit within the framework of atheistic naturalism, it’s irrelevant right now. Feel free to overturn my actual point here, or you can continue to bluster.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  64. #64 minimalist
    February 19, 2009

    Tyler,

    B/c you said so? Um, that doesn’t answer a HOW question. Please try again.

    ……

    …………………………

    Okay, now you’re just funning with us.

    You’ve GOT to be.

    Or are you really that immune to irony? Are you really completely and utterly unable to make the connection that that is exactly what we have been saying to you all along?

    We have been trying to get you to declare a “how” other than “poof! magic, because I say so (because I never learned any biology so it all looks so darn complex and designed to me — because I say so!)”

    I’m glad you finally recognize that it’s an evasion that doesn’t answer anything, even if you’re too thick to realize that you just shot your own approach in the foot.

  65. #65 Albatrossity
    February 19, 2009

    Rho wriggles: Yes, I know an awful lot about the Designer b/c He has revealed Himself in the Bible, but since I’ve been focusing my challenges carefully to fit within the framework of atheistic naturalism, it’s irrelevant right now. Feel free to overturn my actual point here, or you can continue to bluster.

    Rho, if I only knew what your “actual point” was, and particularly if I knew that it would still be the actual point the next time you moved the goalposts, I’d probably pay attention to it. But I don’t need that kind of entertainment.

    Re your designer, I’ll only point out two things

    1) The BASIC CLAIM of ID is that you can detect design (or magic, in your case) without knowing anything about that telic entity. You have clearly taken ID to another level, or you are a heretic. Either way, congrats.

    2) If your designer is the one “revealed in the Bible”, that means that he is vindictive, murderous and arbitrary (as well as a piss-poor designer). Surely there are other deities out there who are more deserving of being worshipped!

  66. #66 Eric Saveau
    February 19, 2009

    Rhobot droned-

    Tyler, B/c you said so?

    Actually, I was the one who said “Because I said so”. And I had a bit more to say on that topic when you skipped back to the Sal Cordova thread. Stay focused, Rhobot; stay focused.

  67. #67 Tyler DiPietro
    February 19, 2009

    “What I was pointing out was not that anyone knows or that I know anything about the Designer. What I said is that said Designer could just as easily account for genetic similarities as well as genetic differences – the answer would be that s/he/it designed ___ that way.”

    It’s kind of funny to see how Rhobot has, now that all his previous have been shown to be invalid, been reduced to “nuh-uh!” and “I know you are, but what am I?” responses. What is quoted above is exactly the point I and others have been making, that is, that the designer could account for anything. Thus Rhobot’s claim that it “could just as easily account for genetic similarities as genetic differences” is trivially a subset of the possible claims that could be made about the designer. To invalidate this point, Rhobot would have to point out a claim that could not be made about the designer, that is, an observation that would be incompatible with his particular notion of a designer.

    “Your retreats to “No, *I’M* the Designer!” responses shows that you don’t have an answer to the challenge.”

    No, it doesn’t. It shows the utter silliness of resorting to completely unfalsifiable conjectures and discarding the criterion of parsimony. What you end up with is an infinite collection of mutually incompatible “explanations” with no possible way of discriminating between them. In this case, your “argument” lacks any positive content to establish your particular notion of the designer and thus equally supports the notion that I’m the designer, or that we all just poofed into existence for that matter.

    “It’s a very limited point, narrowly focused. Thus, you need to answer it, or you need to (for the sake of intellectual honesty) abandon this argument for Darwinian evolution.”

    No, you’re attempting to arbitrarily counter-arguments by confining the terms of the debate to your particular example (and not other examples with which your “arguments” are equally compatible). This is nothing but “heads I win, tails you lose” rhetoric.

  68. #68 Eric Saveau
    February 19, 2009

    Since it’s not clear where Rhobot will lurch to next, I may as well reproduce my comment from the Sal Cordova thread –

    …I announced that I was the elusive Designer to which you attribute everything, thus placing you in the position of having to demonstrate conclusively that I was NOT in fact the Designer, and why I couldn’t be. You couldn’t. Everyone else here got that point instantly, hence their enthusiastic codas to my comment.

    Your challenge to me (and the others with the same claim) to prove that I was the Designer was precisely the challenge you face for all your Design claims. If you have something to offer that has predictive and informative value, then produce it. If you don’t have it… then you don’t have it.

    Since you haven’t produced it yet, despite endless opportunities to do so, we can reach a reasonable conclusion.

  69. #69 Science Avenger
    February 19, 2009

    Spartacus is the designer.

  70. #70 Science Avenger
    February 19, 2009

    Rhology said: …my intentions on this blog this time around have been to perform an internal critique on your position, forcing you to defend it.

    And then bruskly rushing off as if nothing were said any time those defenses make minced meat out of your claims, such as your assertions that we need objective standards of morality, still in dire need of justification in light of the existence of millions of people without them.

    I’ve seen your like before you know. You’ve got your little handy dandy book of “Shallow Answers to Skeptics Questions” to quote from liberally, and when anyone takes the discussion beyond the contents of that tiny tome, you gibber, and bail. That’s not challenging, it’s boring.

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