LOL! Atheism wins AGAIN

We get Harry Potter too.

“I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.”– Daniel Radcliffe

Win!

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    July 4, 2009

    That was my favorite episode of Extras.

  2. #2 Brian
    July 4, 2009

    “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do.”

    Of course, that probably describes the majority of atheists in the world. So I guess we’re just “very relaxed” as a group. (Do you think it could be genetic?)

  3. #3 Magnus
    July 4, 2009

    Jesus died because he was weak and stupid. :D

  4. #4 Sili
    July 4, 2009

    It’s kinda cute that he’s taking ballet lessons to catch up with the actors who’re actually in training.

    Iono why, but I couldn’t stand listening to that clip. Could someone give me the gist of it?

  5. #5 vhutchison
    July 4, 2009

    The Interfaith Alliances of OKC and Tulsa have been strong opponents of creationism/ID in public schools and have strongly opposed Kern’s Krew on a number of her shenanigans. Members are from mainstream, fairly liberal denominations and have been strong allies with Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) and others in the battle to defeat religion in school and creationist bills such as the ‘Academic Freedom Act.’ They have also adopted statements in support of the teaching of evolution in public schools. Jeff Hamilton, a former legislator, is the author of this statement and is a member of the Board of Governors of OESE. The Tulsa Interfaith Alliance was the major group that defeated the attempt of creationists to place their crap at the Tulsa Zoo. Some readers of this blog may not agree with their religious stance, but they have been very important in our successful battle here in the grass roots efforts to defeat legislative bills for creationism over the past ten years. All should welcome their assistance!
    —————–

    PRESS RELEASE FROM THE INTERFAITH ALLIANCE OF OKLHOMA Rep Sally Kern’s “Morality Proclamation”

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, an alliance of the wide range of faith traditions in Oklahoma, Christian and Non Christian, takes exception to the “Morality Proclamation” presented by State Representative Say Kern on Thursday, July 1, at the State Capitol of Oklahoma.

    Representative Kern forced a number of issues into a narrow interpretation of the meaning of morality and stripped the meaning of religious liberty of all coherent significance. It would seem, then, that Representative Kern wishes to rewrite history to suit her own religious purposes. While the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma supports Representative Kern’s right to express herself, it does seem that she has sought to give tacit support to her views in the name of the State of Oklahoma. That is a serious breech of the very intent of our Nations Founders, whom she claims to have on her side.

    The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma respectfully requests that Representative Kern withdraw her ill founded “Proclamation On Morality “ in the spirit of morality and integrity.

    Jeff Hamilton
    President, The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma
    —————————–

  6. #6 vhutchison
    July 4, 2009

    For those who can stand it, here is the video of the Silly One’s news conference that followed her presentation of the proclamation. As usual it is full of misquotes and other errors such as the incorrect use of polling data, her comment about a Brigadier General in the Navy (there are no generals in the Navy – they have admirals), etc. As she left the press conference the opposition again turned their back to her as she passed down the hallway.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psaah-s2fqQ&eurl=http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit&feature=player_embedded

  7. #7 William Wallace
    July 5, 2009

    Even the liberals are turning against Dawkins, now. The atheist fundamentalist Dawkins didn’t expect journalism from Minnesota public radio (who can blame him?). Dawkins got pwned by a liberal. LOL. He’s getting soft and confused.

  8. #8 Natasha Yar-Routh
    July 5, 2009

    Cthulhu but you’re a persistent little troll aren’t you Wallace? You do realize that it is very hard to be a fundamentalist with no faith don’t you? That’s all atheism is, no faith. In my case the lack of evidence and too many gods claiming the throne led to giving up on religion completely. But you don’t like evidence or you wouldn’t be a creationist.

  9. #9 JoeyJoJoJr
    July 5, 2009

    Hey ERV – Whatever happened to that cool title banner you were going to put up on your blog?

  10. #10 a lurker
    July 5, 2009

    “Jesus died because he was weak and stupid. :D”

    Living almost 2000 years ago might also have been a contributing factor. :-)

    Getting on the bad side of the Roman authorities might have been another.

    /I do think that there was a human Jesus if only because we know that James, Peter, and Paul were quite real. Exactly how the resurrection story got started is probably unknowable though.

    —-

    I am not really sure why Mr. Radcliffe’s opinion on the matter is of any importance. I don’t think anyone here would take him to be an authority on anything besides being a young actor and whatever hobbies he might have. And that atheism is far more common among scientists, artists, and intellectuals than with the general population is hardly news. Neither is the fact that it is also more common for the British than Americans. His choice of roles also made it unlikely that he was very devout (and I am not talking Potter either). And oh yes, he certainly need not worry about being unable to earn a wage because of admitting unbelief as if has any brains he is financially set for life.

  11. #11 Magnus
    July 5, 2009

    @a lurker

    I was actually making a reference to a comedy article in the Onion that was taken seriously by fundamentalists.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/harry_potter_books_spark_rise_in

  12. #12 Zar
    July 5, 2009

    William Wallace wants Richard Dawkins inside him.

  13. #13 tsig
    July 5, 2009

    “William Wallace wants Richard Dawkins inside him.”

    I think it is Jesus he would like to be with. Once he felt those strong manly arms hugging him to the ribbed chest and the rod of god arose to squirt him full of the true spirit them WW would know fulfillment. And maybe light a cigarette after.

  14. #14 PZ Myers
    July 5, 2009

    Little Willy Wallace sure isn’t very bright. That interview on MPR was from back in March, the day he gave his talk in Minneapolis. It spurred a huge surge in ticket sales for the event…so no, I don’t think he got “pwned”. Quite the contrary. It also gave me a nice hook for his introduction.

  15. #15 CC
    July 5, 2009

    I am not really sure why Mr. Radcliffe’s opinion on the matter is of any importance. I don’t think anyone here would take him to be an authority on anything besides being a young actor and whatever hobbies he might have.

    Well, it shouldn’t make any difference if people were rational, but they aren’t and it could.

  16. #16 Tommykey
    July 5, 2009

    This is old news, actually. I recall reading at least a year ago wherein Radcliffe said in an interview that he was an atheist.

  17. #17 William Wallace
    July 6, 2009

    They just replayed a segment again (July 2 or 3rd).

    Amazing how you could use it as a hook, considering you had to “miss it” as you were “scrambling to get ready for class”, and then presumably had to drive across Minnesota to get to the Northrop to deliver your introduction. Stream it to your mac while you were driving?

    Surge in ticket sales? Any evidence that a significant portion of the tickets were sold after the interview? I’d love to take your word for it, but you already have a history of making stuff up without substantiating it.

  18. #18 LanceR, JSG
    July 6, 2009

    but you already have a history of making stuff up without substantiating it.

    **SPOINGGGG**

    Dammit. That’s my last irony meter! Limp Willy, you owe me fifty bucks!

  19. #19 TomJoe
    July 6, 2009

    This blog has officially jumped the shark.

  20. #20 LanceR, JSG
    July 6, 2009

    This blog has officially jumped the shark.

    Hah! We laugh at your sharks! We jump them for fun!

    Now if they had fricken’ lasers on their heads… *that* could be more problematic.

  21. #21 Prometheus
    July 6, 2009

    This.

    “William Wallace wants Richard Dawkins inside him.”

    *golf clap*

  22. #22 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 6, 2009

    you already have a history of making stuff up without substantiating it.

    Speaking of which, how is the modeling coming, Limpster? Ever going to release the the alleged results?

  23. #23 Tyler DiPietro
    July 6, 2009

    “This blog has officially jumped the shark.”

    Your mom officially jumped my shark last night.

  24. #24 TomJoe
    July 6, 2009

    Tyler,

    You live blogged your own birthday. NOTHING is jumping your shark.

  25. #25 lurker
    July 6, 2009

    hey ww – thanks for the link to the interview with Dawkins. i’ve never heard Dawkins speak before, nor have i read any of his books. just haven’t been that interested. but now i am. will run out and get the God Delusion asap. (see guys, ww isn’t a totally worthless troll…)

  26. #26 Tyler DiPietro
    July 6, 2009

    “NOTHING is jumping your shark.”

    That’s not what she said.

  27. #27 William Wallace
    July 6, 2009

    thanks for the link to the interview with Dawkins. i’ve never heard Dawkins speak before, nor have i read any of his books. just haven’t been that interested. but now i am.

    Somehow I don’t think that was the reaction of most Kerri Miller listeners, fans, and libdrones, who hadn’t heard of Dawkins.

    Ever going to release the the alleged results?

    I may, but they are not at all suprising, if you know math. It’s summer, so the project is languishing right now. It still surpises me that biology blog readers think there is anything surprising in my results.

  28. #28 William Wallace
    July 6, 2009

    I ARE WALLAIDS. I HAZ SECRET MATH AND I NOT SHAWING CUZ U SUCK. FUCK YOU FAGGOTS.

  29. #29 minimalist
    July 7, 2009

    Stop that, Tyler. :) Wally’s blitherings stand quite nicely on their own.

    Somehow I don’t think that was the reaction of most Kerri Miller listeners, fans, and libdrones, who hadn’t heard of Dawkins.

    Hee hee, yeah, you’re such an expert on what other people think. Limpy, you can’t even detect obvious sarcasm:

    It still surpises me that biology blog readers think there is anything surprising in my results.

    Okay, then let me spell it out: I think I speak for each and every last commenter here when I say that the ONLY way we could be surprised is if your Magical Computar Program

    a) existed,

    and

    b) did not contain errors that would make a first-year CS student howl.

    Clear enough for you?

  30. #30 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 7, 2009

    I may, but they are not at all suprising, if you know math. It’s summer, so the project is languishing right now. It still surpises me that biology blog readers think there is anything surprising in my results.

    Well, seeing as you have yet to tell us what it is you think you’re modeling, and the other model that you developed at the same time was fatally flawed in the only detail you provided, it reasonable for us to be be sceptical about your results. As we’ve repeatedly told you, a model is only as good as its assumptions. As your grasp on basic evolutionary concepts is (demonstrably) rather tenuous, any assumption you make is suspect.

    Of course, it is just as likely that you’ve not even made a model and are lying through your teeth.

  31. #31 William Wallace
    July 7, 2009

    did not contain errors that would make a first-year CS student howl.

    What makes you think you’re competent to evaluate a computer program written by me?

    Get a grip on reality, son. I’m not interested in impressing ERV fanboys.

    Here is a challenge for you, find the problem in Mark Chu-Carroll’s “recompressibleizer”. It’s truly laughable. And it took me about 0.5 seconds of inspection to notice a glaring error. And note, not once in 23 comments did anybody catch this freshmen level error. Let me know how long it takes you to find the error, and I’ll consider adding you to the review list.

    Sciencebloggers are laughbable, as are scinceblog fanboys.

  32. #32 LanceR, JSG
    July 7, 2009

    Okay, this should be good…

    Tell us, O great and wise Limpdick, what is his “freshmen level error”(sic)? Did he forget to indent?

  33. #33 LanceR, JSG
    July 7, 2009

    I will go even further, and submit that somewhere among the legion of ERV-ites is a Ph.D-level Comp Sci major. I would be willing to wager a significant portion of my next paycheck that this hypothetical scientist would be able to absolutely *SHRED* any program Limp Willy can create. Further, she will be able to do it with one frontal lobe tied behind her back!

  34. #34 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 7, 2009

    What, the close bracket on the “for” line? Less than a second.

    BTW, thanks for letting us know that you allegedly wrote a program to get your result. That’s more information than you’ve ever given before. At this rate, we should figure out what you’re trying to model sometime next year. Actually, looking back, you’ve never actually claimed that your model was a computer program, have you?

  35. #35 jim
    July 7, 2009

    Typo. Spurious } character. Probably fat-fingered the { key. It’s the sort of thing that’s very easy to do in a throwaway example program you’re not intending to actually run. Of course, making a simple typo in a scinceblog post invalidates every argument you ever made and makes you, personally, laughbable, doesn’t it, Wally?

  36. #36 minimalist
    July 7, 2009

    Actually, looking back, you’ve never actually claimed that your model was a computer program, have you?

    I thought he had in another recent thread, but I could be wrong.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it was Legos.

  37. #37 Ty
    July 7, 2009

    “Sciencebloggers are laughbable, as are scinceblog fanboys.”

    Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick, how pathetic are the trolls then?

  38. #38 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 7, 2009

    Nope, just used the term models. Here’s the quote you’re likely thinking of:

    The project was put on hold for the summer but I do plan to refine the models that generated the data. Of course, I am willing to admit, unlike many of you, that the premises often determine the outcome in science and modeling.

    But, an interesting question question is, if nested hierarchies that go against common descent were found in the lab, would they be published? Who could possibly publish them before they were expelled, before the author and peer reviewers are outed as closet anit-Darwinians, or worse (at science blogs), politically conservative Christians?

    Well, we can get a pretty good idea of what will happen, since there is a paper that was published just this year that questions the consensus common descent. (It should be noted that any nested hierarchy implies common descent, therefor I take Enzyte-boy’s argument to mean a nested hierarchy that goes against the consensus model).

  39. #39 Prometheus
    July 7, 2009

    # 31

    *brags copiously about spotting a freshman level error*

    *misspells laughable and science*

    WW, if you are going to dub yourself the king of pedantry, could you at least do us the courtesy of putting your fucking papier-mâché crown on straight.

  40. #40 LanceR, JSG
    July 7, 2009

    I believe Brave Sir Wallace bravely ran away, away.

  41. #41 Tyler DiPietro
    July 7, 2009

    “What makes you think you’re competent to evaluate a computer program written by me?”

    Oh please, Wallaids. Anyone who’s seen you attempt any serious math or science in the past knows that you’re nothing but a poseur. Your attempt at a critique of Jeff Shallit a while back contained one of the most pathetic misapprehensions of Shannon information I’ve ever seen. The only thing more pathetic if inane bluffing like this.

  42. #42 William Wallace
    July 7, 2009

    W. Kevin Vicklund wrote:

    As we’ve repeatedly told you, a model is only as good as its assumptions.

    Kevin, you make that statement as though I would ever disagree with it, and as though I actually have disagreed with it. Could you come up with a link to a conversation in which I was a participant, and in which I took the opposing view?

    …As your grasp on basic evolutionary concepts is (demonstrably) rather tenuous, any assumption you make is suspect.

    For example?

    It should be noted that any nested hierarchy implies common descent

    I disagree. A nested hierarchy is not inconsistent with common descent is as far as I would go.

    Others, I wasn’t the one who brought up the of specter of a first-year CS student. It was minimalist in #29. And my typographical errors would be funny if I claimed a Ph.D. in copy editing, and was writing a blog where my Ph.D. was my claim to fame.

    LanceR: Fail.

    Tyler DiPietro, I would be most interested in hearing what you think was “pathetic misapprehensions of Shannon information”, and especially in seeing a link. I doubt very much you even understand information theory, but be my guest and prove me wrong.

    My recollection of Jeffrey Shallit was that he had a Kolmogorov fetish, and acted as though Kolmogorov’s ideas about complexity were necessary to answer questions he posed when Shannon’s theories were sufficient. Kolmogorov was a total red herring. I answered the questions, but then he wanted proofs. When I offered to prove it, using only Shannon, under the condition that he would give up blogging if I were successful, he just changed the subject. But in all honesty, I can’t fault his fear and trepidation, as he probably realized Kolmogorov was a red herring, a name dropped to make him seem more intelligent than he really is.

    But I really would like to see what you considered to be a “pathetic misapprehensions of Shannon information,” and more interestingly, why.

    Back to W. Kevin Vicklund, you can email me (go to my about page for address) if you’re actually interested in my model, the hypothesis it was designed to evaluate, and why the results aren’t that surprising. I am quite confident that you will come to the same conclusion, unless you’re as stupid as TD or LanceR.

  43. #43 Tyler DiPietro
    July 7, 2009

    Wallaids:

    How about this:

    In a code, in which symbols are used as an alphabet, and concatenations and permutations of symbols contain varying amounts of information, the concatenation of symbol strings xx can contain more information than just the string of symbols x. Consider the following code with an alphabet {0,1}:

    00: “Yes”
    001: “No”
    0000: “The police arrested our glorious leader, send bail money and call the lawyers.”

    The message “0000″ contains more information than the message “00″.

    They dispel misunderstandings like in elementary textbooks. Shannon information has nothing to do with the “meaning” of the message. The amount of information contained in a string is a specific numerical quantity identified by the log likelihood of a string in given ensemble, i.e, the reduction in uncertainty (entropy) provided to the recipient.

    “I doubt very much you even understand information theory…”

    That’s because you’re a poser who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    “My recollection of Jeffrey Shallit was that he had a Kolmogorov fetish, and acted as though Kolmogorov’s ideas about complexity were necessary to answer questions he posed when Shannon’s theories were sufficient…”

    Except A.) you mangled elementary concepts in Shannon information and thus failed to prove your case and B.) Shallit explained that he considered Kolmogorov superior in this case because the quantity is recursively invariant (subadditive, technically) and doesn’t depend on prior probability distributions. Concepts that were probably over your head anyway.

  44. #44 William Wallace
    July 8, 2009

    Out of the set of possible messages, it seemed self-evident that P(0000) was less than P(00). Apparently not. Let me assign some probabilities for you. P(00)=.03, P(01)=.03, and P(0000)=.000003. Happy?

    Nice quote mine, though. The example was meant to illustrate the difference between a message and a code. The topic was Dembski writing about Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Do you disagree with the actual context, “two identical copies of a message do not contain more information than one copy, in the Shannon sense–unless you’re talking received copies over a noisy channel, or unless you treat the number of times a message is sent as a code.”

    But you’re right in alluding to the fact that a mathematical treatment of information in the Shannon sense treats as irrelevant the meaning, context, semantics, and relationships to the real world of the information–it deals with the probability of a message out of a set of messages. You slew a straw man, but at least you demonstrated an elementary grasp of information theory.

    But in a pedantic sort of way. Reminds me of the comp. sci. professor who promises no trick questions on the next test, but then poses on the very next text a question to rewrite a c-language call by value function so that it is call by reference, expecting students to answer “C doesn’t support call by reference”, when in the real world, if the technical manager were to ask a programmer to do the task, it would get done without argument, using pointers, because the task at hand, while not articulately stated to the satisfaction of a computer science pedant, is clear enough.

    Communications systems convey information that can be mathematically analyzed in the Shannon sense, and these messages have meanings in a semantic sense. Shannon simply ignores the correlation between probabilities and meaning, which is different from saying he thought there is no correlation.

    After all, you don’t have a mobile phone to transmit probabilities to your mother. And your mother doesn’t smile or cry because P(TD’s message)=X.

  45. #45 Stephen Wells
    July 8, 2009

    “Out of the set of possible messages, it seemed self-evident that P(0000) was less than P(00).”

    Which is why you should do math rigorously and not just handwave. I don’t believe your “simulation” even exists; you could prove me wrong by actually providing the code. Since I’ve made money from codes I’ve written, I think I[d be competent to judge yours, Wally- if you had any.

  46. #46 Stephen Wells
    July 8, 2009

    Oh, and Dembski was wrong; two copies contain more information than one, as they contain the full information content of one copy _plus the information that there are two copies_. Dembski wants a quantity to be 0 when in fact it’s greater than 0, which is why he can’t publish in decent journals.

  47. #47 Shirakawasuna
    July 8, 2009


    My recollection of Jeffrey Shallit was that he had a Kolmogorov fetish, and acted as though Kolmogorov’s ideas about complexity were necessary to answer questions he posed when Shannon’s theories were sufficient. Kolmogorov was a total red herring. I answered the questions, but then he wanted proofs. When I offered to prove it, using only Shannon, under the condition that he would give up blogging if I were successful, he just changed the subject. But in all honesty, I can’t fault his fear and trepidation, as he probably realized Kolmogorov was a red herring, a name dropped to make him seem more intelligent than he really is.”

    So what you’re saying is that you’re a grown (?), petty child? I mean, we already knew that, but I never knew that you had come to terms with it. Congratulations on embracing the douchebaggery and implicitly the cowardice of never offering your oh-so-obvious catches.

    Queue the stupid insult and/or complete ignore.

  48. #48 Tyler DiPietro
    July 8, 2009

    “Out of the set of possible messages, it seemed self-evident that P(0000) was less than P(00). Apparently not. Let me assign some probabilities for you. P(00)=.03, P(01)=.03, and P(0000)=.000003. Happy?”

    First of all, this is bullshit on your part. You clearly misidentified the measure of information with the colloquial sense of the meaning of the message. The semantic meaning of the string to the recipient has no effect on the information contained in it, but you claimed that “0000″ has “more information” because it was associated with a long sentence. Second of all, you’re forgetting one little important aspect of info theory: the set of possible messages is agreed upon in advance by sender and receiver. It’s trivial that 0000 contains “more information” by virtue of being the only four character string.

    You also misunderstand this.

    The topic was Dembski writing about Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Do you disagree with the actual context, “two identical copies of a message do not contain more information than one copy, in the Shannon sense–unless you’re talking received copies over a noisy channel, or unless you treat the number of times a message is sent as a code.”

    This has nothing to do with the kind of codes you’re talking about. Dembski is making reference to code repetitions in the sense of 0100 being sent multiple times through a noisy channel to reduce the likelihood of error (i.e., sent through the channel as 010001000100). It once again has nothing to do with there being a long English sentence associated with the string. Second of all, Dembski is trivially wrong here, as it took about two seconds for a poster to point out. The encoding would have to note that there were two copies of Hamlet being sent through the channel in advance. This is also true in Kolmogorov information where a reference machine would have to encode the the fact that there were two copies of a string.

  49. #49 Stephen Wells
    July 8, 2009

    Dembski’s grocery shopping must be hilarious.

    “How many oranges are in that bag?”
    `There’s an orange in the bag.’
    “Yes, I can see that. _How many oranges_?”
    `Multiple oranges contain no more information than one orange, so I’ve already answered your question.’
    “… and how many apples in this bag?”
    `I am the Isaac Newton of information theory; I already dropped the apple.’

  50. #50 stogoe
    July 8, 2009

    Could we rename the Dunning Kruger Effect on ERV to “The William Wallace Diagnosis”?

  51. #51 lurker
    July 8, 2009

    ww – just wanted you to know that my library has 30 copies of the god delusion but they’re all checked out and i had to be put on a waiting list. i asked for the version that’s on CD – read by Dawkins himself! thanks again for that link to the NPR interview that motivated me to learn more.

  52. #52 LanceR, JSG
    July 8, 2009

    The William Wallace Diagnosis. I love it.

    And I guess it’s one of those marks of accomplishment when Limp Willy calls me “stupid”, yes? Good thing I disconnected my irony meter this time!

  53. #53 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 8, 2009

    Just so people know, I’ve emailed William Wallace.

  54. #54 LanceR, JSG
    July 8, 2009

    Just so people know, I’ve emailed William Wallace.

    My prediction: the “model” will be riddled with basic errors, be completely irrelevant to “nested hierarchies” and evolution, and when confronted with these failings, Limp Willy will resort to “See, I knew you weren’t smart enough to recognize my genius!” before claiming the mantle of Gallileo.

    Just off the top of my head.

  55. #55 William Wallace
    July 9, 2009

    Comes now LanceR busily building a straw man.

  56. #56 LanceR, JSG
    July 9, 2009

    Come now, Limp Willy. Can’t you tell the difference between a strawman and a prediction? Predictions are what the scientific method is all about, after all. If you have this Amazing Model(tm), show it. Openly. Whip it out, Limp Willy. We’re all breathless with anticipation.

    Or are your balls as small as your brain?

  57. #57 eddie
    July 9, 2009

    Its no good talking round the problem. Limp boy doesn’t have a model to be examined so comparisons with other models that exist are pointless. This is a standard tard playbook move that deserves more contempt than its getting here.
    Can I politely request ERV to put a tits or GTFO on wee willy until it substantiates?

  58. #58 William Wallace
    July 9, 2009

    On another thread,

    Shrunk wrote:

    When last the topic of ERV’s came up here, WW claimed to be working on a computer model to show that a nested hierarchy pattern could arise just by chance, without common descent. How’d that work out, Willie?

    And I responded:

    Aside from your utter inability to comprehend and paraphrase what it was I was working on, it worked out better than initially expected. But, like the birthday paradox, it is not that surprising upon reflection. Indeed, the model does show that a nested hierarchy can be found that supports common descent, but that other hierarchies can also be found if sought. It even shows that if you start out with a well mapped out genome, and look for patterns there in less well mapped genomes, you will find the nested hierarchy that confirms what you are looking for. Strange, huh? But, upon further analysis, rather unsurprising.

    And then LanceR on this thread somehow translates that to “Amazing Model(tm)”, etc. It’s not me building an unsurprising result up as amazing. Hence, if you were able to ever actually understand the results, and realized that they were not amazing, you would say “see, I told you.” Hence, a straw man of your own creation is being built.

    Considering LanceR was unable to find a syntax error in code identified to have a syntax error (how much easier can it get?), and even expressed skepticism that one existed (see #32), I am not sure why I’m toying with this child.

  59. #59 LanceR, JSG
    July 9, 2009

    Yep, Limp Willy’s balls *are* as small as his brain.

    No model. No answers. Just more “I’m a genius, and you’re too stupid to understand”. Complete with blockquote errors that he so recently mocked.

    I did not say that his results would be “amazing” or “not amazing”. I said that they would be “riddled with basic errors, be completely irrelevant to ‘nested hierarchies’ and evolution”. See, completely different than he suggests. Of course, he lies reflexively, so he won’t see it that way.

    unable to find a syntax error in code identified to have a syntax error

    Wow. A non-coder unable to find a syntax error. I’m devastated. Why, just last month I was unable to diagnose advanced heart disease. Reverse argument from authority?

    I agree with Eddie. Tits or GTFO. It’s time for him to put up or shut up.

  60. #60 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 9, 2009

    Well, so far, Willy is a bit hesitant. Here is part of his response to my email (I don’t think this is a violation of private correspondence, it’s reasonable for him to ask me this)

    Out of curiosity, why were you skeptical, when you didn’t even know what it was I was testing? What do you intend to do with the results with my email communications?

    Pending answers from the above, and assuming a small amount of good faith, [...]

    Willy’s got the first button open. Whether or not he shows the goods is anybody’s guess. And I responded, in detail, to the above questions.

  61. #61 LanceR, JSG
    July 9, 2009

    Interesting tidbit there in the middle:

    What do you intend to do with the results with my email communications?

    Sounds like Limp Willy is setting up some sort of NDA, in his own clumsy way. Then when his “model” fails the litmus test of reality, he can claim “But you weren’t supposed to show anyone!” or “I knew you were gonna cheat, so I didn’t show you everything!”

    Didn’t Brooke Shield’s mom try that after Blue Lagoon? “Those weren’t my daughter’s tits. That was a body stocking!”

    C’mon, Willy. Whip ‘em out! Tits, or GTFO!

  62. #62 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 9, 2009

    Well, I made clear in my response that I intend to do a detailed critique on my blog. Like the ones I used to give for Larry’s and blastfromthepast’s claims on Panda’s Thumb. Full bore, “this part is good, this part is bad, oops my initial assumption was wrong here” type analysis.

    Now he’s at the “What do I get out of it?” stage. If he agrees to let me see his work, I’ll let you guys know, but I won’t say anything about it until my analysis is done. And it may take some time to complete.

    Assuming WW has the gonadal fortitude to let someone verify his work.

  63. #63 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 10, 2009

    Wally has now given me sufficient information to evaluate his model. I’ll try to write it up on my blog this weekend and let people know when I’m done.

  64. #64 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 10, 2009

    My analysis of Limp Willy’s is complete and up at my blog. The verdict:

    His results are as unsurprising as they are irrelevant. He completely failed to account for the location of the ERVs, which is what makes them such compelling evidence. His genome size was, get this, 14 bits.

    Stephen Wells identified Wally’s mistake in comment #211 of the Zaboomafoo Part 2 thread last April.

    Turns out the tits are merely zits.

  65. #65 LanceR, JSG
    July 10, 2009

    Thank you, W. Kevin Vicklund, for taking on that task for us!

    Shall we revisit my predictions?

    1. The “model” will be riddled with basic errors.

    2. [The model will] be completely irrelevant to “nested hierarchies” and evolution.

    3. When confronted with these failings, Limp Willy will resort to “See, I knew you weren’t smart enough to recognize my genius!” before claiming the mantle of Gallileo.

    Looks like I’m 2 for 2. Well, Limp Willy, it’s up to you. Gonna come forward and admit your mistakes like a man? Or are you going to make my prediction rate perfect?

  66. #66 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 10, 2009

    No problem, Lance. Feel free to point me at other grenades to fall on – I even have a page specifically for people to point me to these types of argument.

  67. #67 windy
    July 10, 2009

    So, what was the population size in WW’s model? Was it “geometrically increasing”? And how did he distinguish between “early” and “recent” insertions?

  68. #68 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 10, 2009

    Actually, I never got anything on his common descent model. I have no idea what his pop size was, and from the description in April, I don’t think he had any selection at all.

  69. #69 William Wallace
    July 10, 2009

    Please somebody point out where Abbie has ever answered my repeated requests for a mathematical description of the stochastic process?

    You might want to review discussions at Lentiviruses: Me, and you, and Zaboomafoo Part Two! for additional context. LanceR is just building a strawman to knock down.

  70. #70 William Wallace
    July 10, 2009

    I just noticed 66, 67, 68 after I posted 69.

    He completely failed to account for the location of the ERVs, which is what makes them such compelling evidence. His genome size was, get this, 14 bits.

    2^14 is only 16,384, which makes it kind of hard to generate 98,000 unique ERV-locations per species in the non-common descent model.

    His model, if he wished to make it even somewhat realistic, should have used 50,000 bits instead of 14. The probability of finding a nested hierarchy with that many bits is astronomically low when all you have is random insertion, let alone one that matches the consensus.

    2^50,000 possible viable locations? I don’t doubt you, but would like a cite. By viable, I mean the ERV hosts have a chance at reproducing. 2^50,000 viable locations seems theoretical at best, as it implies that there are already 2^50,000 known ERVs. Doubtful.

  71. #71 LanceR, JSG
    July 10, 2009

    “A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.” Wikipedia

    Please point out where I made any misrepresentation of Limp Willy’s position. I made three testable predictions. So far I’m 2 for 3. Just because Limp Willy doesn’t *like* those predictions, and that they were accurate, does not make them a “strawman”.

    C’mon, Limp Willy. Confess the error of your ways, or make my predictions perfect.

  72. #72 windy
    July 11, 2009

    Actually, I never got anything on his common descent model. I have no idea what his pop size was, and from the description in April, I don’t think he had any selection at all.

    Was there a population in the ERV insertion model, or just a single ‘genome’ for each species?

  73. #73 Anton Mates
    July 11, 2009

    2^50,000 viable locations seems theoretical at best, as it implies that there are already 2^50,000 known ERVs. Doubtful.

    Just glancing at Wikipedia, it looks like there’s about a million Alu sequences alone in the human genome, so 50,000 viable locations is a very conservative estimate.

  74. #74 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 11, 2009

    2^14 is only 16,384, which makes it kind of hard to generate 98,000 unique ERV-locations per species in the non-common descent model.

    Especially considering that 14 bits only gives you 14 unique locations and 16,384 unique sequences. You’re using an ID hash, Wally! Learn what it means.

    2^50,000 possible viable locations? I don’t doubt you, but would like a cite. By viable, I mean the ERV hosts have a chance at reproducing. 2^50,000 viable locations seems theoretical at best, as it implies that there are already 2^50,000 known ERVs. Doubtful.

    No, by 50,000 bits I mean 50,000 unique locations. Which is half the known ERV sites in humans.

    Of course this is all based on my understanding on your incredibly vague descriptions of the model, Wallaids. I could be wrong about how your model is constructed. If I am, it is up to you to provide a correction.

    I don’t think His Limpness understands ERVs.

  75. #75 LanceR, JSG
    July 11, 2009

    I don’t think His Limpness understands ERVs.

    Or evolution. Or math. Or large chunks of reality.

  76. #76 LanceR, JSG
    July 14, 2009

    Brave, brave Sir Wallace*
    Bravely ran away, away
    When skepticism reared its ugly head
    Sir Wallace* bravely turned and fled

    Bravely he turned about
    and braver still he chickened out
    Brave, brave, brave
    Brave Sir Wallace*

    *(Apologies to the actual William Wallace and his descendants.)(Further apologies to all knighted persons everywhere. Calling Limp Willy “Sir” is just for the song.)