Here’s the latest from William Dembski:

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s signing of a transgender anti-discrimination bill points up the lunacy that ensues in a world without design.

He then links to this article by Ross Kaminsky in the right-wing magazine Human Events.

I have no comment on whether or not this is a good bill, since I have not read it and know about it only from Dembski’s post. It sounds fine in principle, but Kaminsky raises some interesting practical issues in his article. Human Events is not a publication I trust, however, especially not on issues like these.

But perhaps you are wondering what ID has to do with the issue of equal treatment of transgendered people. If you are, here’s Phillip Johnson explaining the issue. You see, he actually devoted a chapter to this question in his book The Right Questions:

For example, Darwinists insist that birds do not fly because they were meant to fly but because they happened to evolve that potential and then exploited it in order to survive and reproduce.

For the same reasons, the teachers all assume that humans do not reproduce sexually in order to further some purpose of a Creator. Students learn that sexual reproduction evolved by accident and then spread from one species to another because it provided some advantage to the species that happened to reproduce that way. Once we understand that life has no ultimate purpose, we are free to divorce sex from reproduction and employ it entirely for sensual pleasure or personal assertion. The fact of sex may have its origins in biology, but Darwinian biology has no normative implications for how we should live today. Darwinism enabled humans to declare their independence from the primal biblical teaching on sexuality: Genesis 1:27.

So God created humankind in his image
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Today the substitution of the term gender for sex signifies our declaration of independence from biology as well. Begin with Genesis, and you are on a logical track that leads to the conclusion that our sexuality reflects God’s purpose for our lives. Begin instead with Darwinism, and fantastic as the suggestion would have seemed to Darwin or Huxley, you are on a logical track that leads ultimately to the transgendered son. (pp. 131-132)

Food for thought, indeed.

Of course, Dembski’s brief post only makes sense if the designer he envisions is of the sort whose absence robs us of certain moral strictures on our sexual identities. Something to keep in mind the next time he claims that ID takes no stand on the identity of the designer.

Comments

  1. #1 natural cynic
    June 5, 2008

    [Johnson rant]
    Food for thought, indeed.

    More like ipecac

  2. #2 Julie Stahlhut
    June 5, 2008

    Begin with Genesis, and you are on a logical track that leads to the conclusion that our sexuality reflects God’s purpose for our lives.

    … with which many LGBT theists completely agree, and which brings them to the polar opposite conclusions from those of Dembski.

  3. #3 tguy
    June 5, 2008

    Once we understand that life has no ultimate purpose, we are free to divorce sex from reproduction and employ it entirely for sensual pleasure or personal assertion. The fact of sex may have its origins in biology, but Darwinian biology has no normative implications for how we should live today.

    He says this like it’s a bad thing?

    I’ve always wondered what ID/Creos think about those whom the cdesigner saw fit to endow with ambiguous genitalia at birth. What “purpose” do they think is served?

  4. #4 Miss Agent Girl
    June 5, 2008

    Hey cool for Colorado. Since all the chicken-little fundies will be afraid to use the womens bathroom for fear of running into a lady with a wiener, I won’t have to wait in line anymore.

    Score!

  5. #5 harold
    June 5, 2008

    Ok, further proof that ID is largely a right wing authoritarian phenomenon.

    But what “practical points” does the Kaminsky article make? All I see is a false claim that allowing discrimination against gays is “pro-business”, the ludicrous suggestion that men will claim to be transgendered so that they can use the women’s bathroom, and a strained philosophical defense of allowing discrimination.

    I suppose there is a philosophical argument that private business owners should be able to discriminate, even in the sphere of public accomodation – please note, of course, that this position has its roots in opposition to civil rights era activity like lunch room sit-ins – but I don’t find it very convincing under any circumstances. When it is made by people who actively work against basic rights in every other way, I am even less convinced by it.

  6. #6 Ahcuah
    June 5, 2008

    Demski wrote:

    Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s signing of a transgender anti-discrimination bill points up the lunacy that ensues in a world without design.

    So, is he admitting that the world is not designed?

    Let me check the logic: the signing would not occur in a world that was designed, but it would occur in a world without design.

    The signing occurred. Thus, logically, the world is not designed. QED.

  7. #7 raven
    June 5, 2008

    Phillip Johnson:

    Once we understand that life has no ultimate purpose, we are free to divorce sex from reproduction and employ it entirely for sensual pleasure or personal assertion.

    I got news for Phillip Johnson father of ID and a kook. Sex is separated from reproduction for most people most of the time. This happened when half our kids stopped dying before 5 years, the world got crowded, and we invented a modern civilization. Otherwise, the average family would have 10 or 20 kids. I notice that the fundies rambling on about birth control, abortion, family values and whatever usually have either small families or none. They certainly don’t have the 15 to 20 kids attainable today.

    Besides which, my sex life and family decisions are no business of Berkeley professor/headcase Phillip Johnson. This guy is a lawyer who wants to play god rather than worship one.

    PS: Johnson is famous for routinely equating science with evolution and both with atheism. This is a Big Lie, science has nothing to do with religion. In the passage above, science says nothing about anyone’s ultimate purpose. Anyone if free to make up their own, or borrow the usual religious ones.

  8. #8 George
    June 5, 2008

    How odd that he decides that transgender tendencies and, would guess also homosexuality, are separate from biology. The evidence suggests that these characteristics are, in fact, the result of biology.

    Thus, if the designer is postulated, the designer created homosexuals and transgender individuals with a purpose in mind. Otherwise these characteristics are the natural result of biological evolution.

    Either way, the logic dictates that these people, as do all people (with their own characteristics), deserve full respect and position in our societies.

  9. #9 John Kwok
    June 5, 2008

    Dear Jason,

    What more do you expect from the Josef Goebbels of the Intelligent Design Movement, since he is only interested in making a cheap shot against the “evil anti-Christian” transgender, gay and lesbian crowd. I thought his more interesting recent posts were those from yesterday pertaining to the “weaknesses” of evolutionary theory and earlier this month, in which he ranted and raved against “rich Darwinists” like Dawkins, Ayala and Miller (see the thread below for some lively discussion at Amazon.com):

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/science/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxZ58KVEERYS5E&cdThread=Tx2G28XVQNOPOBD&displayType=tagsDetail

    Regards,

    John

  10. #10 Brendan S
    June 5, 2008

    PJ: …Darwinian biology has no normative implications for how we should live today.

    I agree with PJ there. Do I shoot myself now or later?

    (Of course, I don’t believe what he thinks is the implication, namely that this means Darwinian biology is false)

  11. #11 AL
    June 5, 2008

    Ah, the classic argumentum ad consequentiam. If people stop believing in teleology, we won’t be able to defend our homophobic prejudices as being consistent with God’s will.

  12. #12 AL
    June 5, 2008

    *Not that proving we were designed by God would imply homosexuality is normatively wrong. Is != ought, and all that, as Johnson and Dembski both seemed to have missed, though not surprisingly.

  13. #13 steve s
    June 5, 2008

    The real lunacy is saying Bill Ritter, a Catholic and former missionary, doesn’t believe in god. But Dembski has a long track record of being stupid.

  14. #14 windy
    June 5, 2008

    “Today the substitution of the term gender for sex signifies our declaration of independence from biology as well.”

    Good thing there’s nothing in Christianity that declares an independence from biology, otherwise this would sound a tad hypocritical.

  15. #15 freelunch
    June 5, 2008

    My sympathy to Bill Dembski that he won’t be allowed to be a bigot in this area in Colorado. Well, not really. If he wants to indulge his bigotry, he’ll just have to deal with the fact that religious folks didn’t all agree that slavery was a good idea or that Jim Crow was God’s plan for the world or that God had condemned miscegenation.

    “God supports my bigotry” is an old, but never proven claim. I’m sorry to see that Dembski has now stooped to it.

  16. #16 MPW
    June 5, 2008

    I’m trying to come up with some sort of pithy joke that points out that transgender people certainly are designed – moreso than most people! – and therefore one would think Dembski would be happy to see yet another confirmation of design in the world. But I’m not managing to make it work. “Anyone?… Anyone?…”

  17. #17 obvious
    June 5, 2008

    “Once we understand that life has no ultimate purpose, we are free to divorce sex from reproduction and employ it entirely for sensual pleasure or personal assertion. ”

    Aha. so that explains completely why IDers and Creationists don’t ever have oral sex

  18. #18 Stacy S.
    June 5, 2008

    Yay for Colorado!

  19. #19 Winter
    June 5, 2008

    Curious that he also assumes God would create men and women, only men and women, and that any variations from that are mistakes/confused/tools of satan/whatever it is he’s going to come up with. (Someone should mention the people who are intersexed/otherwise physically ambiguous to him…)

    Yeah, i know he’s going to bring out this or that bible verse (believe me, i know) but it’s only through selective quoting that he’s able to construct a deity that agrees with him. Not that i have some great revelation, but at least i’m honest about it. (With myself and others.)

  20. #20 386sx
    June 5, 2008

    Darwinism enabled humans to declare their independence from the primal biblical teaching on sexuality: Genesis 1:27.

    So God created humankind in his image
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

    How is that a teaching on sexuality? Phillip Johnson sure is reading a lot into that. No wonder he has kooky ideas.

  21. #21 Kalil
    June 5, 2008

    It’s worth noting that by a one possible literal reading of the Hebrew in Genesis 1:27, God created Adam male and female. The word translated as ‘man’ or ‘mankind’ in that verse is aleph-tav-mem, which is translated throughout genesis as either a proper noun – Adam – or as ‘man’ or ‘mankind’, depending entirely on the translators belief of what is more appropriate. The translation of adam in that verse has been a subject of rabbinical debate over the centuries. Interpreting is as a proper noun resolves the aparent dichotomy where both male and female were created both on the 6th day of creation, and then again after creation was complete, when God fashioned Eve in Eden. In the ‘two-faced’ interpretation, God created Adam both male and female, and ‘separated’ Adam into two beings at a later point, and fits with the later assertions that a woman is necessary to make a man “complete”.

    …end theology geekiness. Kalil out.

  22. #22 Kalil
    June 5, 2008

    Err, minor correction to my above post: God created mankind on the fifth day.

  23. #23 Michael Moore
    June 5, 2008

    Lets see:
    One God…
    “In the image of God created He them”…
    “male And female…”
    …Is God transgendered?

  24. #24 raven
    June 5, 2008

    Darwinism enabled humans to declare their independence from the primal biblical teaching on sexuality: Genesis 1:27.

    So God created humankind in his image
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

    How is that a teaching on sexuality? Phillip Johnson sure is reading a lot into that. No wonder he has kooky ideas.

    There is a Big Lie in Johnson’s theory. In reality Darwinism has nothing to do with genesis or god or anything religious. It is a scientific theory. His statement is just illogical nonsensical lies.

    Johnson equated implicitly Darwinism with atheism and evilism and hoped that no one would notice. He is a Bolt Hall lawyer. So, you call him on his Big Lie in those words.

  25. #25 Dan
    June 5, 2008

    Johnson said:

    “Darwinism enabled humans to declare their independence from the primal biblical teaching on sexuality: Genesis 1:27.”

    Whereas he really should have mentioned the biblical teaching on sexuality Genesis 19:

    31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

    33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

  26. #26 Paul Burnett
    June 5, 2008

    “So God created humankind in his image…male and female he created them.”

    It’s in the Book: God (or at least God’s image) is transgendered, both male and female, and thus we are all both male and female.

    …which actually makes sense, if you know anything about testosterone-mediated embryonic morphology…all the male naughty bits are just modified female naughty bits.

  27. #27 Paul Murray
    June 5, 2008

    “The fact of sex may have its origins in biology, but Darwinian biology has no normative implications for how we should live today.”

    True. The central thing that the nonreligious don’t understand is that the religious do not consider the truth of a proposition to be the main (or even an inportant) reason for belibing it.

    Those propositions of dubious or unknown truth, which nevertheless ought to be belived for other reasons, are grantes “capital-T” Truth status. They are “Truths”. And that sort of truthiness is way more inportant than factuality.

    To us, it seems obvious that one ought to belive (provisionally, of course) that the theory of evolution is a correct accounting of how the world works. It ain’t ovbious at all, to them, and that’s why we talk at cross-purposes.

  28. #28 fnxtr
    June 6, 2008

    So, Phil’s saying the facts can’t teach us how to live. Well, duh, Phil. Make up your own (God-given, if you like) mind.

  29. #29 KenM
    June 6, 2008

    @Kahlil

    /restart theological geekiness briefly

    aleph-dalet-mem, actually. And it was the 6th day, at least in the old testament: you were right the first time.

    /end theological geekiness again

  30. #30 PvM
    June 6, 2008

    The lunacy of Dembski is only overshadowed by that of the commenters on his thread.

  31. #31 Interrobang
    June 6, 2008

    I love how these people don’t get that sex (biological) and gender (performative) are actually two different things. My sex is female; my gender is, well, not exceedingly feminine. There are plenty of unmasculine males out there, and unfeminine females, and masculine males and feminine females, and every combination in between.

    I’m quite convinced the modern western conception of binary gender (thanks, stupid Manicheans!) needs to be broadened, or abolished, or something; it definitely needs to be expanded past two. Some cultures already do this: I wonder if Dembski knows about the berdache of native North American cultures, hijra of South Asia, and kathoeys of Thailand, for instance.

  32. #32 hje
    June 6, 2008

    Billy D no longer even tries to perpetuate the charade that ID is not religiously motivated. Expelled really was a watershed for the UD crowd–a lot of the pretensions concerning “scientific” arguments for ID were promptly abandoned in favor of religious language of the culture warriors of Protestant evangelical-fundamentalists. Much of the stuff over at UD of late is more inspired by the kind of thinking promoted by the late D. James Kennedy than by ID advocates like Behe, Dembski, etc.

    Hence the attack on the transgendered. Even a commenter over at UD said: “But attitudes of disapproval towards transgender people are deeply dismal, in my opinion. Even the Iranian mullahs have got their head round this one.” Of course he was then immediately attacked for promoting “special privileges” for the transgendered–the usual canard of the “persecuted” religious right when they are hypocritically promoting the right to discriminate against GLBTs.

  33. #33 Robert O'Brien
    June 6, 2008

    I’m quite convinced the modern western conception of binary gender (thanks, stupid Manicheans!) needs to be broadened, or abolished, or something; it definitely needs to be expanded past two.

    No thanks.

  34. #34 Robert O'Brien
    June 6, 2008

    It’s in the Book: God (or at least God’s image) is transgendered, both male and female, and thus we are all both male and female.

    …which actually makes sense, if you know anything about testosterone-mediated embryonic morphology…all the male naughty bits are just modified female naughty bits.

    Nope. God is incorporeal. I don’t know about the Hebrew but I do know the Greek (of the Septuagint and New Testament) and “image” need not involve corporeality.

  35. #35 hje
    June 6, 2008

    Of course Dembski should consider that a not insignificant number of humans are born with disorders of sex development (as high as 1-2% could be classified as having an intersex condition. Even a “normal” individual can be affected by vestigial remnants of the path not chosen in development (e.g. torsion of the testicular appendix, a Mullerian duct remnant). And it would seem reasonable that the sexual differentiation of the brain could likewise show the range of variation seen for the reproductive organs.

    Now are these affected individuals the products of incompetent intelligent design? Of course Dembski et al. would immediately explain this condition as a consequence of the Fall–a purely religious idea with no scientific basis.

  36. #36 steve s
    June 6, 2008

    I would like to see Dembski try to explain how ID–which, remember, refuses to take a position on who the Designer is, or the Designer’s motivations–prescribes discrimination against the transgendered.

  37. #37 Shirakawasuna
    June 6, 2008

    Wow, Dembski just can’t keep himself from failing, can he? First there’s the “hats” rescue of his social conservative nonsense, now this ;). Let’s all play the “idiot” game, where we pretend Dembski isn’t lying to us about the nature of his “designer”!

  38. #38 hje
    June 6, 2008

    Nope. God is incorporeal. I don’t know about the Hebrew but I do know the Greek (of the Septuagint and New Testament) and “image” need not involve corporeality.

    I’m not sure Judaism embraces such an abstract concept.

    “The rabbinic notion of image is concrete: It relates to people’s looks, to their face and form, which are like God’s, and not to some concept of mind, soul, spirit, or intellect.”

    Source: http://www.icjs.org/what/njsp/theimage.html

  39. #39 DaveH
    June 6, 2008

    interrobang said
    “I wonder if Dembski knows about the berdache of native North American cultures, hijra of South Asia, and kathoeys of Thailand, for instance.”

    Erm, but aren’t these examples all from Gawdless Heathen Cultures? Therefore they Don’t Count.

  40. #40 Bing
    June 6, 2008

    Kalil wrote:

    In the ‘two-faced’ interpretation, God created Adam both male and female, and ‘separated’ Adam into two beings at a later point,

    That kind of jives with the explanation in the song The Origin of Love from the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But I’m guessing Willie D hasn’t seen that movie either.

  41. #41 John A. Davison
    June 6, 2008

    The entire universe, animate and inanimate, was designed from beginning to end. To imagine that life could have arisen by chance and evolved in that way, even once, is INSANE and flies in the face of everything that has ever been dislosed by experimental and descriptive science.

    The only real issue involves how many designers were involved. My personal bias is toward two, one malevolent, the other benevolent. How else can we explain creatures like P.Z. Myers, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Ernst Mayr on the one hand and Pierre Grasse, Robert Broom, Richard B. Goldschmidt, Leo Berg, William Bateson and Otto Schindewolf, real scientists all, neither an atheist nor a religious fanatic in the lot, on the other hand?

    Incidentally, according to DaveScot/David Springer, Dembski thinks “Davison is nuts.” Davison thinks Dembski is a religious fanatic who is afraid of Springer who Davison thinks is an unprincipled, egomaniacal, malevolent, totally self-absorbed tyrant.

    There, now I feel somewhat better.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  42. #42 Dan
    June 6, 2008

    John A. Davison claims that

    To imagine that life could have arisen by chance and evolved in that way, even once, is INSANE.

    You’re not the first one to make this observation.

    In 1859, writing in the first edition of Origin of Species, Charles Darwin says that “mere chance … alone would never account for so habitual and large an amount of difference as that between varieties of the same species and species of the same genus” (page 111).

    Richard Dawkins makes the same point in his book The Blind Watchmaker, where he concludes a long and delightful explanation by writing that: “This belief, that Darwinian evolution is ‘random’, is not merely false. It is the exact opposite of the truth. Chance is a minor ingredient in the Darwinian recipe, but the most important ingredient is cumulative selection which is quintessentially non-random.”

    Why do so many people share the misconception that evolution is a random process, even after distinguished and literate scientists from Darwin to Dawkins have labored so hard to dispel it?

    Please, Mr. Davison, let us know!

  43. #43 Jud
    June 6, 2008

    Nope. God is incorporeal. I don’t know about the Hebrew but I do know the Greek (of the Septuagint and New Testament) and “image” need not involve corporeality.

    You’ve contradicted yourself. “[I]mage need not involve corporeality” permits corporeality, which is inconsistent with your statement, “God is corporeal.”

    Besides which, don’t you feel it’s the height of arrogance to declare your complete comprehension of exactly what God is? Conversely, is your God really so puny that a single human being can completely comprehend all that He is?

  44. #44 Ian
    June 6, 2008

    Jason – This has ramifications for so-called intelligent so-called design so-called theory (SCISCDSCT) way beyond what you’ve addressed here.

    Dembski seems to be insisting that either there is no such thing as transgender or hermaphroditism or homosexuality in nature or that such options aren’t designed.

    I wonder if he’s planning on an update to his non-existent theory with regard to how we determine which it is?

    Maybe there’s not only a beneficent designer but also a demented evil one? That would explain a lot about what we find in nature, especially things like the necrophiliac homosexual rapist duck….

  45. #45 Jud
    June 6, 2008

    Dan wrote: “John A. Davison claims that

    To imagine that life could have arisen by chance and evolved in that way, even once, is INSANE.

    “You’re not the first one to make this observation.”

    But he is the first one to make this observation so repeatedly in so many fora whether it is apropos of the subject under discussion or not, to the extent that he has been banned by any number of blogs.

    Did you ever watch the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”? Remember the part where they’re in the movie theater and John Turturro’s character keeps stage-whispering, “Do not seek the treasure!”? Well, “Do not feed the troll!” :-)

  46. #46 John A. Davison
    June 6, 2008

    Nobody knows a damn thing about God or Gods. Gods are like that. All that we know is what they have wrought. That alone is enough to prove their past existence and nothing more. There is not a shred of evidence for the existence of God and there is no need for it.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undmemonstable.”

  47. #47 Jud
    June 6, 2008

    Jebus. I managed to mangle my reply to Robert O’Brien above. Here’s my second try:

    Nope. God is incorporeal. I don’t know about the Hebrew but I do know the Greek (of the Septuagint and New Testament) and “image” need not involve corporeality.

    You’ve contradicted yourself. “‘[I]mage’ need not involve corporeality” permits corporeality, which is inconsistent with your statement, “God is incorporeal.”

    Besides which, don’t you feel it’s the height of arrogance to declare your complete comprehension of exactly what God is? Conversely, is your God really so puny that a single human being can completely comprehend all that He is?

  48. #48 MPW
    June 6, 2008

    Davison: “Nobody knows a damn thing about God or Gods. Gods are like that.”

    And yet you go on to contradict yourself in the very next sentence by claiming that we know God/s created… well, something (us? the universe?), and then to contradict yourself again by claiming there is no evidence for God/s, despite having just claimed that God’s creations are evidence. You’ve managed to refresh the tired old “God is, like, sooooo unknowable” nonsense even more incoherent than usual.

    If God is so unknowable, why do you keep talking and talking and talking and talking about him/it? You really think you sound erudite and intellectual, don’t you? I just hear the tinkling of the bells on your cap.

  49. #49 MPW
    June 6, 2008

    Ack!, that should be “by making it even more incoherent than usual.” Stupid typing before breakfast…

  50. #50 Blake Stacey
    June 6, 2008

    I wonder if John A. Davison has ever managed to order that pizza.

  51. #51 mark
    June 6, 2008

    Students learn that sexual reproduction evolved by accident and then spread from one species to another…

    Ow! Teh Stoopid! Are you sure Phillip Johnson said this, and not that other law-talking guy Lionel Hutz? Should I get vaccinated so I don’t catch any other evolved features?

  52. #52 John A.,Davison
    June 6, 2008

    I see I am wastimg me time with a bunch of cowardly, nameless, intellectual snotbags, none of whom have ever published a word on the only matter which has ever been in question – the MECHANISM of a long ago terminated, goal-oriented organic evolution. Have a nice little cozy “groupthink.” In the meantime, KMA and GFY.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemostrable.”

  53. #53 John A. Davison
    June 6, 2008

    P.S.

    I love it so!

  54. #54 fnxtr
    June 6, 2008

    See? Keith Eaton.

  55. #55 Raging Bee
    June 6, 2008

    Well, it sure didn’t take long for Davison to lose his facade of maturity and show his true colors, did it?

  56. #56 JimCH
    June 6, 2008

    Davison…

    In the meantime, KMA and GFY

    Is that how you think that sexual reproduction is thought to have evolved? Or maybe it’s just a recreational lifestyle choice? But hey, that’s cool.

  57. #57 VMartin
    June 6, 2008

    That’s interesting. Professor Zdenek Neubauer (former head of Uni department) from Univeristy Prague wrote an interesting article (as far as I know it is available only in Czech language) “Male and female [God] created them”. Professor Neubauer published as a young scientist some articles in the Nature on microbilology. He is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers in Central Europe. He publishes his articles only in Czech, German and Italian (he speaks those languages fluently). He helped to translate also some works from ancient Greek, but he refuses to publish in English anymore. He turned to be a strong opponent of neo-darwinism. He criticises neo-darwinian apogelets as sorceres. His explanation of sex contradicts the “irony” of Mr. Rosenhouse.

    There were (and are) many great thinkers and scietists-evolutionists in Central Europe who dismissed neodarwinian interpretation of evolution after second WW – entomologist Franz Heikertinger, professor Adolf Portmann, professor Zdenek Neubauer. Other names are mentioned in an extraordinary good work “Evolutionary Manifesto” written by professor John Davison. His work has been quoted in “Evolutionary biology” written by Jaroslav Flegr (Uni Prague) regarding non-homology of germ cells. I consider professor John Davison’s anti-darwinian work as the most inspiring contribution to the underestanding of evolution which is nowadays available.

  58. #58 Dale Husband
    June 6, 2008

    This is why I refer to Dembski as DUMBSKI!

    “Intelligent Design” is intelligent deception!

  59. #59 rimpal
    June 6, 2008

    The Hindu epics and lore contain amny instances of transgender identities. Shiva himself has one form in which he is one with his consort Parvati – Arthanareeswaran – or half woman and half himself. And Vishnu has a female form – Mohini. And the child of Mohini and Shiva is the very popular guy – Ayyappa of Sabari Mala in Kerala. There are also cases of women turning into men – most famously Amba in the Mahabharata who turns into Sikhandi and finally relaises her aim of killing Bhishma. But I am not sure of any major female deity having a male form. Though in certain traditions notably the Shakti tradition, the female form is all – it is the default form, and the male is simply a modification of it. The male consort of both Shakti and Lakshmi are qualified by their consort’s names as in Lakshmi’narayanan, Meenakshisundaram, Sitaram, Sriram, Radhakrishnan etc.,

    That’s enough for BillyD’s diastolic for one day.

  60. #60 PvM
    June 6, 2008

    The lunacy of Dembski is only overshadowed by that of the commenters on his thread.

    And then they show up here… How sad to see people so unfamiliar with science and faith, make foolish comments that evolution cannot presently be demonstrated.

  61. #61 David Marjanovi?
    June 6, 2008

    Is God transgendered?

    No, plural. ‘Elohim, the plural of ‘eloha, as in e. g. ‘adonai ‘elohe-nu “the Lord our God”.

    That’s right. Genesis 1:1 to 2:3, unlike most of the rest of Genesis, is older than monotheism.

    He is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers in Central Europe.

    By you.

    The argument from authority is a logical fallacy, my friend. Wise up.

  62. #62 tomh
    June 6, 2008

    PvM wrote: … people so unfamiliar with science and faith …

    I understand people who are unfamiliar with science but people who are unfamiliar with faith? What does that even mean? Unless you mean people who are unfamiliar with your faith, which seems a rather self-centered view.

  63. #63 John A. Davison
    June 6, 2008

    Thank you very much for your ongoing support Martin. It is much appreciated.

    “The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.”
    Samuel Johnson

    ______________________________________________________

    I see PvM has surfaced here. Is this by any chance Pim van Meurs who, some years ago, was forced to take a course in ethics by his employer because of his internet behavior? I believe it is.

    It is my conviction that no organism, reproducing by strictly sexual means, is capable of transcending the species barrier. We should be reminded that Theodosius Dobzhansky tried and failed to transform Drosophila melanogaster into even a new member of the same Genus and admitted it, much to his credit. How he remained a Darwinian is the mystery.

    Dobzhansky also provided us with a valid, testable physiological definition of species by defining two forms as separate species if their experimentally produced hybrid proved to be sterile.

    It is not sufficient to claim that new species have appeared in recent times without that experimental proof, a proof that I feel is lacking. The proof of a newly evolved species requires the following. The parent species and the mechanism by which the new species was produced. Both must be known. It is my conviction that obligatory sexual repreoduction is not competent to produce a new member even of the same Genus, let alone of any higher taxonomic category. Are we to believe that what Dobzgansky was unable to achieve with the most intense selection that which occurs routinely in nature. This investigator is not prepared to make such a concession. I also reject gradualism as all creative evolutionary events were instantaneous without gradual transitional stages as the fossil record so clearly reveals.

    The facts speak as follows. Man has undoubtedly caused the extinction of countless species as he has destroyed their habitats. I defy anyone to demonstrate a single replacenent species and its parent along with the cytogenetic mechanism by which the new form was produced. It is my conviction that sexual reproduction is much too conservative to be competent as a creative evolutionary device. The best it can do with either natural or artificial selection is to produce intra-specific varieties or subspecies none of which are incipient species in any event. Neither sexual reproduction nor Mendelian genetics have ever played a role in creative evolution. As matter of fact they are both anti-evolutionary just as is natural selection.

    “The struggle for existence and natural selection are not progressive agencies, but being, on the contrary, conservative, maintain the standard.”
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 406

    I also join with both Robert Broom, Pierre Grasse and Julian Huxley that creative evolution is finished and has been for a very long time, at least 2 million years at the genus level and historical times at the true species level.

    Phylogeny, like ontogeny, has proven to be a self-limiting self-terminating phemomenon. The death of the individual is the counterpart of the extinction of the species. Furthermore, I do not believe that chance has ever played a role in either process. Neither did Leo Berg.

    “Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance.”
    Nomogenesis, page 134

    I have repeatedly offered the challenge to others to name a new species, its parent species and the proof that it is physiologocally isolated from its source by the criterion provided by Dobzhansky. I have yet to receive such an example that satisfies those experimental criteria. Until I do I will continue to repeat my signature -

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable ”

    Now I fully expect the usual name calling and denigration that continues to characterize internet forums and blogs.

    I love it so!

  64. #64 Jesse
    June 6, 2008

    Nobody knows a damn thing about God or Gods.
    Because it is hard no know things about made up, fictional entitities. If I say God has 40 Legs, no Liver and a single pice of hair with a diameter of 3 feet, can you prove me wrong?

    Gods are like that. All that we know is what they have wrought.
    So did God only ‘design’ bacteria and we evolved from that? Or were we ‘designed’ as is. Please provide proof for your answer.

    That alone is enough to prove their past existence and nothing more.
    If you don’t know what they did, how can prove their existence?

    There is not a shred of evidence for the existence of God and there is no need for it.
    Yes and no. Certainly, there is no evidence. However, if you want to argue that God exists because we were designed, then you need to prove the existence of the supposed designer.

    This isn’t very difficult to understand: a 10 year old could rip your ‘arguments’ to shreds.

  65. #65 Jesse
    June 6, 2008

    Re: JAD’s asinine signature:

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/105/12/4792

  66. #66 VMartin
    June 6, 2008

    This isn’t very difficult to understand: a 10 year old could rip your ‘arguments’ to shreds.

    Professor Davison mentioned Robert Broom, Schindewolf,
    Grasse (the president of French academy of science), Punnet, Goldschmidt, Leo Berg (his Nomogenesis influenced the research of evolution of languages – as Prague circle proved) and other scientists.

    I added to them entomologist Franz Heikertinger, prominent Swiss zoologist Adolf Portmann and professor Zdenek Neubauer Uni Prague.

    All of them published in peer-review journals (Neubauer as talentned 22-years old scientist-microbiologists in the Nature and other journals). All of them dismissed neodarwinism as valid explanation of evolution. Adolf Portmann published several book in repeated editions.

    Do you think all of theirs arguments can ripped apart by “10-years old”? Have you ever published something in peer-reviewed journals?

  67. #67 Jesse
    June 6, 2008

    Vmartin- That was quite a dodge. Did it leave you dizzy?

    I challenged JAD’s rediculuous notions of a designer. All you did was name-drop. What’s your fucking point? (apart from trying to suck up to JAD.

    Yes, I have many published papers in journals including Development, Molecular Cell, PNAS, and Cell Stem Cell.

    How many papers proving design or creation do you have? How about your mentor (I don’t mean bottom-tier joke journals from some guy’s basement in Italy.)

  68. #68 hje
    June 6, 2008

    Now I fully expect the usual name calling and denigration that continues to characterize internet forums and blogs.

    Your terms are acceptable. It is the type of martyrdom you do diligently seek.

  69. #69 Brownian
    June 6, 2008

    If there’s no God, then who designed VMartin’s mouth to pucker so perfectly against John A. Davison’s ass?

  70. #70 John A. Davison
    June 6, 2008

    If Jesse, whoever that is, actually had any real publications relating to evolution, he would be using his real name. Instead the degenerate little coward resorts to foul language thereby disclosing his real self, confdent that no one will ever know his real identity. The internet crawls with trash like Jesse, lily livered snotbags with nothimg of substance to offer on any subject. That is why they must use aliases.

    At eighty it is a little late for martydom. Besides I love exposing intellectual garbage wherever I find it which is just about everywhere in cyberdumb.

    This so called forum is just another flame pit manned by the same cowardly anonymous blowhards that one finds in such citadels of rational discourse as Pharyngula, EvC, ARN, Panda’s Thumb and After The Bar Closes. I wouldn’t give a nickel for the whole damn lot. All they are is venues for the relief of psychologically disturbed “prescribed,” “born that way” mental defectives.

    You clowns are a barrel of fun. Don’t let me interrupt your festivities. You have my permission to carry on without me. In the meantime you may all KMA and GFY.

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  71. #71 Sir Craig
    June 6, 2008

    I’ve read many of John A. Davison’s and VMartin’s comments on numerous weblogs, mostly those they claim to eschew as “venues of … mental defectives.” Odd that both know they are going to encounter a hostile reception, yet they insist on going to these dens of irrationality to badger and harrass those they know will respond in kind, usually with bigger and better points.

    I suspect some kind of masochistic personality disorder, tinged with hyper-narcissism; how else could one explain Davison’s claim that those who “hide” behind an alias must be “degenerate little coward(s) resort(ing) to foul language … confdent (sic) that no one will ever know his real identity,” only to turn right around and call these same anonymous posters “lily livered snotbags” and urging everyone present (VMartin excepted, I’m sure) to “Kiss My Ass” and “Go Fuck Yourselves”? Rather hypocritical, even to the casual observer.

    Still, I find there’s an even more troubling aspect to Davison’s and VMartin’s arguments: Their assertions that one can only be taken seriously if one has been published in a (supposedly) peer-reviewed journal. This is, of course, utter nonsense; before ANY of the names dropped by VMartin were published, were their views completely meaningless? Did becoming published suddenly endow these “superior” minds with some kind of magical quality that instantly erased their earlier, non-published views? What would have happened if something prevented them from being published – would their views remain ignored and maligned?

    It has been said before: This is merely a logical fallacy, an Appeal to Authority that fails each and every time. I know I will never be published in a peer-reviewed journal in regards to anything scientific – it’s not my area of expertise. This does not mean, though, I am unable to understand the arguments and respond to them: I’m not stupid or ignorant. If I say something in error, I appreciate it when people try to set me straight. I weigh the evidence presented and add it (or arguments against it) to my experience – I do NOT become offended and go off on hypocritical rants.

    If this view runs counter to and offends such luminaries as John A. Davison (whose signature line is so absurd as to be admired as the very definition of “unintentional parody”) or VMartin, so be it – I’ve pissed off better people.

  72. #72 anti-Davison
    June 6, 2008

    Q: Do functional crazies know they are crazy?
    sub-Q: Does the same person who writes thus–

    KMA and GFY

    & thus–

    Instead the degenerate little coward resorts to foul language thereby disclosing his real self…

    really not see the hypocrisy? As if not spelling out the complete phrase but leaving the meaning intact is somehow a profanity loop-hole.
    Mr Davison, this isn’t exactly setting the standard for reasonableness.

  73. #73 michael fugate
    June 6, 2008

    Is VMartin an alias?

  74. #74 Martin
    June 7, 2008

    He’s certainly an ignoramus.

  75. #75 Martin
    June 7, 2008

    Davison snivelled:

    At eighty it is a little late for martydom.

    Funny. Would have thought you were eight.

  76. #76 MPW
    June 7, 2008

    Davison, if you’re going to tell everyone you’re taking your ball home, at least stay there and lessen the embarrassment to yourself. Slightly.

    What a baby.

  77. #77 VMartin
    June 7, 2008

    Jesse wrote:


    Vmartin- That was quite a dodge. Did it leave you dizzy?
    I challenged JAD’s rediculuous notions of a designer. All you did was name-drop. What’s your fucking point? (apart from trying to suck up to JAD.

    My point is that natural selection didn’t play any role in evoluion. Evolution was a prescribed process and mystery we are unable to solve. Atheist minds do not have nothing else to offer as “natural selection”. Oddly enough even the greatest neodarwinian thinkers of our days do not know on which level “natural selection” acts. Hamilton/Dawkins support individual level (“inclussive fithess”, “kin selection”) and father of sociobiology Wilson came up with outdated group selection in 2006. First make clear how this mysterious natural selection takes place. Only then go to school and teach children neodarwinian nonsenses.


    Yes, I have many published papers in journals including Development, Molecular Cell, PNAS, and Cell Stem Cell.

    I appreciate that. Do you have also your blog?


    How many papers proving design or creation do you have?

    None. But I am afraid your papers do not prove evolution via natural selection either.


    How about your mentor (I don’t mean bottom-tier joke journals from some guy’s basement in Italy.)

    There is a list of papers published by professor Davison somewhere in AtBC forum. As I rember Alan Fox put it there.

  78. #78 John A. Davison
    June 7, 2008
  79. #79 Mark Duigon
    June 7, 2008

    Evolution was a prescribed process and mystery we are unable to solve.

    Howso “prescribed,” and by whom? How does the “prescription” get made into flesh-and-blood features of organisms? The mystery has been in the process of unraveling, as one can see by reading, for example, Carroll’s evo-devo book and the references therein, or the PNAS article about observed evolution in lizards cited in a comment above, or numerous other sources. It may seem incredible to some, but I’ve known non-atheists who considered natural selection to be a quite reasonable factor in evolution.

  80. #80 raven
    June 7, 2008

    Strangely enough, there is an article today on human sex and gender, copied in part below. It turns out that there is a continuum between male and female for biological reasons rooted in our evolutionary history. Although most are solidly one or the other sex, intersexes are not unknown. There are cases of babies assigned to one gender eventually fathering children and one case I’m aware of, of a nominal male with ambigous genitalia who eventually got pregnant and had a daughter.

    If Dembski had a brain, knew biology, and cared one whit about reality, he would know that. But with creos it is all politics and ideology all the time and truth and reality are a nuisance.

    Alternatively his “Designer”, who he identifies as Jehovah is sloppy, haphazard, and has a weird sense of humor. Hmmmm, maybe we were just a beginner’s effort for a god who was just learning world building.

    Why Men Have Breasts
    Meredith F. Small
    LiveScience.com Fri Jun 6, 9:36 AM ET

    The June 9 issue of “People” magazine has a disturbing photograph of actor Harrison Ford.
    There he is, the hunk aka Han Solo and Indiana Jones, walking along the beach at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a man-bra.
    Deleted

    Mr. Ford, for all his aging manliness, has a set of man boobs that many women would envy. Which brings us to the age-old question that anthropologists have been answering for centuries – Why do men have breasts and nipples?

    They have them because men start out as women.

    As much as men hate to hear this, the human fetal blueprint is initially female. We all begin as a ball of cells that quickly differentiates into various body parts. At five weeks of gestation, the fetus sports a neural tube that eventually become the spine, but other than that, we all look like a wad of chewing gum. Then at six weeks’ gestation, the outlines of eyes, arms, legs and a face (and let’s not mention the tail that also shows up for a while) appear.
    It’s not until about week six that the fetus also begins to takes on the biological accoutrements of gender.

    Deleted
    But the developmental secret here is that breasts and nipples are already in place before testosterone shows its hand and starts shaping cells into male organs.
    In other words, men have breasts and nipples because they already had them before they became male.
    Deleted
    Because evolution doesn’t simply wipe out unnecessary physical bits and pieces. Those parts have to be a burden, or be in the way of survival and reproduction for evolution to take notice. Since there’s no real caloric cost to men having boobs, evolution has no impetus to erase them.
    In fact, men’s breasts are a good lesson in the higgledy-piggledy way that evolution works. Natural selection chooses for and against body parts, but there is no master plan that aims for the perfect creature. Men have boobs, women get facial hair, and we all stand in front of the mirror asking, “Why?”

    Each person is, in fact, a Rube Goldberg sort of organism pieced together by biology and made up of good parts, bad parts and parts that are inconsequential.
    Deleted

  81. #81 Blaidd Drwg
    June 7, 2008

    I’ve got a somewhat OT question here, that’s been bugging me for a while, and not being a Biologist, I figured I might ask it here:

    Is it possible that the recent rise in homosexuality is partly due to the overpopulation of the planet? It is known that other species will take what appear (to us) to be somewhat drastic measures to reduce competition (when a lion takes over a pride he usually kills off all the cubs, bringing the females into heat, and thus allowing his genes opportunity).
    I don’t know any mechanism that might pre-dispose a woman to produce gay children, other than the awareness of overpopulation – maybe the brain is subconsiously able to alter subtly the hormones in the developing fetus…

    Obviously this is a total W.A.G., but…

  82. #82 Tilsim
    June 7, 2008

    Blaidd Drwg:

    Is homosexuality on the rise? Where?

  83. #83 John A. Davison
    June 7, 2008

    Homosexuality is not on the rise. Neither are sodomy, atheism, hypocricy and blatant mendacity. Now they are regarded as politically correct by the far left notwits that dominate the contemporary world scene.

  84. #84 Blaidd Drwg
    June 7, 2008

    Homosexuality is not on the rise. Neither are sodomy, atheism, hypocricy and blatant mendacity.

    Talking about the Church, I see…

  85. #85 MPW
    June 7, 2008

    Jesus H. Christ, Davison, I thought we were supposed to carry on without you. You make Pee-Wee Herman look like a mature debate opponent. Will you stay away already?

    Although I do have to give you credit for finally convincing me with that comment that ID is not a right-wing culture war gambit. You and Billy D. are on a roll.

  86. #86 Adrienne
    June 7, 2008

    Does it never occur to the creos/IDers that maybe homosexuality or even transgenderism could be part of God’s big plan too? Homosexuality only affects 4-7% of the human population (according to estimates I trust). Transgendered individuals are certainly a very tiny minority too. It’s not as though these groups present a real threat to humans’ ability to perpetuate themselves via sexual reproduction(not to mention that many gay people DO in fact procreate and reproduce).

    So why are creos/IDers like Johnson and Dembski so narrow-minded in assuming that human diversity in sexual orientation/identity and the enjoyment of sex, even gay sex, for its own sake aren’t part of the Great Designer’s design for human sexuality? I mean, I know the real answer is that Dembski and Johnson assume the Designer is the Christian god (or their perception of Him) who supposedly only wants humans to have sex in order to “be fruitful and multiply”. But I’m just sayin’ that even if you believe in a Great Designer who has a big Plan for humans to reproduce, it doesn’t logically and automatically follow that said Designer didn’t plan for some humans to be gay or transgendered.

  87. #87 Adrienne
    June 7, 2008

    John A. Davison wrote: “Now they are regarded as politically correct by the far left notwits that dominate the contemporary world scene.”

    Ha! Would that this were really true! Then we in the US at least would not have had to endure 8 years of the worst President of the United States to ever hold office.

  88. #88 Science Avenger
    June 7, 2008

    “Incidentally, according to DaveScot/David Springer, Dembski thinks ‘Davison is nuts.’”

    Well, even Dembski can’t be wrong about everything.

  89. #89 Tyler DiPietro
    June 7, 2008

    I see that Jason has finally gotten big enough on the blagotubes to endure to endure the Davison/Martin infection. My condolences to you, my friend.

  90. #90 Blake Stacey
    June 7, 2008

    Well, even Dembski can’t be wrong about everything.

    Indeed. Of course, he still has a ways to go before he catches up with a stopped clock, which is right twice a day.

  91. #91 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 7, 2008

    Tyler-

    Ah, the price of fame!

  92. #92 Leni
    June 7, 2008

    Now that we’ve established Davison has nothing of value to contribute, can we ban him? His sole purpose in life appears to be to spread misery, vitriolic verbal abuse and lies about science.

    The irrationally hateful tone of his posts completely abrogates any value they might otherwise have had. If it’s some kind of metal illness causing this behavior you’d probably be doing him as much of a favor as you would us.

  93. #93 CDV
    June 7, 2008

    One wonders how Dr. Dembski has determined that stopping discrimination against transgendered persons is an Abomination unto the Time Travellers and Meddling Space Aliens, who cannot be ruled out of his theory of intelligent design.

    Or else, he has evidence that the designer is in fact the Lord of the Old Testament – His views on the differently Mullerian-ducted are not known but it seems logical and appropriate that He would hate them .

    Then again, this may be a strength of his theory, not its weakness; By explicitly “linking” it with issues that misguided people can relate to, he ensures that he will usually have people on his side in school boards and public discussions. These people may not care about education or logic or science, but are willing to sacrifice all three in return for a world that fits their opinions, and looks like a world they are used to.

    Dr. D’s opponents have to care a lot for education, science and the future, to match that level of commitment.

  94. #94 John A. Davison
    June 7, 2008

    Well ladies, what is the verdict? Are you going to ban me or are you going to allow me to continue exposing you as the degenerate, “groupthinking,” monumentally ignorant, congenital wannabes with no credentials at all that you all present yourselves to be? Poll the delegation and come up with a decision you lily livered masochists!

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  95. #95 John A. Davison
    June 7, 2008

    But seriously Jason, why oh why did you abandon mathematics to become a self styled expert on organic evolution, a subject you obviously know absolutely nothing about?

    I love it so!

  96. #96 Leni
    June 7, 2008

    CDV wrote:

    Then again, this may be a strength of his theory, not its weakness; By explicitly “linking” it with issues that misguided people can relate to, he ensures that he will usually have people on his side in school boards and public discussions.

    Let’s hope so. That’s exactly how they’ll lose the court battles.

  97. #97 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 7, 2008

    John Davison –

    Leni’s argument is getting stronger by the second. For now I will simply ask you politely to express yourself with a bit more dignity and a lot less hostility. If you find that too difficult to manage, then I will ban you.

  98. #98 Ed Darrell
    June 7, 2008

    But if Philip Johnson equated idiocy with atheism he’d define himself out of the church.

    An unwillingness to face reality leads to all sorts of inanity and insanity, no?

  99. #99 Etha Williams
    June 7, 2008

    John A. Davison’s in(s)ane rambling…

    I hate it so!

    (And yet there is a morbid fascination….)

  100. #100 John A. Davison
    June 7, 2008

    You threaten me or Martin one more time and I will see to it that you become a lot more famous than you are right now. Martin knows more about the evolution literature than the combined lot of you lightweight, mostly anonymous, blowghards are even aware of. You are nothing but a spontaneous aggregate of “prescribed,” “born that way,” “dyed-in-the-wool,” congenitally predestined genetic mistakes.

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”
    Cervantes

    Now do yourself a favor and apologize to Martin and myself for the behavior of your clientele if you expect any mercy from either one of us. If that is impossible you can just join Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, After The Bar Closes, ARN, EvC and RichardDawkins.net forum as just one more example of what characterizes the mindless polarization that makes it impossible to communicate in the wonderful world wide web.

    Just remember -

    “What happens in cyberdumb stays in cyberdumb.”
    John A. Davison

  101. #101 Tyler DiPietro
    June 7, 2008

    I’ll add my voice to those advising that Davison be banned, people like him strain my compassion for the mentally ill.

    Get help, Davison. Get it now.

  102. #102 Interrobang
    June 8, 2008

    I said: I’m quite convinced the modern western conception of binary gender (thanks, stupid Manicheans!) needs to be broadened, or abolished, or something; it definitely needs to be expanded past two.

    Robert O’Brien said: No thanks.

    Why not? What’s it to you if I (or the guy down the street or whomever) want to be a third gender? Would you even know it if you saw it? Gender is performative, not biological (hence the differentiation between “sex” and “gender”; they’re not the same thing). In any case, modern concepts of masculinity and femininity also need to go, because currently they’re no bigger than a breadbox, which chafes a hell of a lot of people, myself included.

    Of course, in Dembski’s world, people like me don’t exist; we’re not tidy enough.

  103. #103 Ian H Spedding FCD
    June 8, 2008

    John A. Davison wrote:

    Now do yourself a favor and apologize to Martin and myself for the behavior of your clientele if you expect any mercy from either one of us.

    There was a British Conservative politician called Geoffrey Howe who, rightly or wrongly, had the reputation of being somewhat ineffectual. Being attacked by him was once likened memorably to being “attacked by a dead sheep”…

  104. #104 Blake Stacey
    June 8, 2008

    Interrobang:

    In any case, modern concepts of masculinity and femininity also need to go, because currently they’re no bigger than a breadbox, which chafes a hell of a lot of people, myself included.

    Any Real Man will tell you that a confining unit only as large as a breadbox is, indeed, incredibly chafing. :-)

  105. #105 SLC
    June 8, 2008

    Re John Davison

    Mr. Davison has been banned over at PZ Myers’ blog. After having read some of the crap he has written here, it would appear that Prof. Rosenhouse would be well advised to take similar action.

    As an aside, there are true hermaphrodites who have the sex organs of both sexes and a Y chromosome, in additon to 2 X chromosomes. I recall reading of a case a million years ago of a young man who, for inexplicable reasons started bleeding once a month out of his rear end. The physicians at the time (this was before Xrays) were unable to explain this phenomenon which continued until the gentleman was in his early forties. In between, he married and fathered some children. Upon his death, an autopsy discovered that he had 2 ovaries and a uterus, with a birthcanal exiting into the large intestine.

  106. #106 Science Avenger
    June 8, 2008

    I love it so! “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

    Yeah, except for all those scientists demonstrating it daily. Oh well, I’ll bet the Davison/Martin comedy team spends its share of time at airports arguing that heavier-than-air flight is undemonstrable too.

  107. #107 JimCH
    June 8, 2008

    John A. Davison as Stewie Griffin:
    “You will rue the day … START RUING

  108. #108 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 8, 2008

    John Davison –

    You are no longer welcome to comment here. Please go away now.

  109. #109 Tree
    June 8, 2008

    Has anyone considered that the only reason Authoritarians cling to this particular creation myth is that it provides rationale for sex slaves?

    Think about it. Would any of these nuts be calling you boyz ‘ladies’ if Adam had listened to the snake instead of Eve?

    Would explain the tendency for the Authoritarians to slide towards harems and child brides, though maybe I’ve been reading too much Margaret Atwood.

  110. #110 kmlisle
    June 8, 2008

    Our local town council recently passed an anti-discrimination law for trans-gendered individuals. I watched in horror the several hours of discussion that occurred before the vote. Dozens of far right Christians testified, quoting various scripture, literally foaming at the mouth, overcome with fear and hatred for their neighbors. A few brave trans-gendered souls testified to beatings, threats, and discrimination by employers and police. They gave statistics on suicide rates and homelessness. One point made again and again by the so called Christians was that being trans-gendered in a “lifestyle choice”. Here science becomes inconvenient since there are genetic and anatomical facts that cannot be denied in this arena. Some Christians (but not most) certainly have problems with scientific fact interfering with their beliefs. I personally think its a good thing. Maybe in another 300 years we will get past this and our descendants will all say its so obvious that the earth goes around the sun – oops I mean evolution is a fact!

  111. #111 Blake Stacey
    June 8, 2008

    Yet as soon as Davison is — har har — Expelled!!! from EvolutionBlog, Theodore “Vox Day” Beale shows up at Pharyngula. Can’t a rationalist get some peace in these parts. . . .

  112. #112 Magpie
    June 9, 2008

    Awww. Davison was a comedy goldmine! Seriously: “…if you expect any mercy from either one of us” – is about the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a blog comment.

    I’ve put his blog in favourites. I hope he starts updating more. I have gained a taste for his particlar flavour of stupid.

  113. #113 Stephen Wells
    June 9, 2008

    I thought the Howe quote as “like being _savaged_ by a dead sheep.”

  114. #114 jpr
    June 9, 2008

    Being transgendered is a ‘life-style choice’, eh? What a bunch of masochists we must be, choosing to make our lives ten times more difficult than they could be and risking the alienation of family and friends, just on a life-style choice. And that’s before you consider those TGs who elect for surgery.

    I did run across a TG IDer a few months ago on a forum, but I can’t remember who or where. A pity, as their views on this matter would be of interest.

    Oh, and it was Denis Healy who described dealing with Geoffrey Howe as like ‘being savaged by a dead sheep’. However he should not be underestimated; his resignation speech in 1990 led to the downfall of the evil Thatcher:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/1/newsid_2513000/2513953.stm

  115. #115 Leni
    June 9, 2008

    Blake Stacey wrote:

    …Theodore “Vox Day” Beale shows up at Pharyngula. Can’t a rationalist get some peace in these parts. . . .

    Where? I’m out sick with a sinus infection and I have this terrible urge to make my head hurt even more.

  116. #116 Leni
    June 9, 2008

    Nevermind. I found it after bumbling around a bit.

  117. #117 Ian H Spedding FCD
    June 9, 2008

    Stephen Wells wrote

    I thought the Howe quote as “like being _savaged_ by a dead sheep.”

    Quite right, it was “savaged”.

  118. #118 pough
    June 10, 2008

    This so called forum…

    Sigh. Not a forum: a blog. Hint: it’s in the name of the site and this blog. If it were a forum, I would be able to add a roll-eyes emoticon.

  119. #120 golya
    August 30, 2008

    I love it so much!

  120. #121 kpss
    September 3, 2008

    There was a British Conservative politician called Geoffrey Howe who, rightly or wrongly, had the reputation of being somewhat ineffectual. Being attacked by him was once likened memorably to being “attacked by a dead sheep”…

  121. #122 Boobe
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you very much for your ongoing support Martin.I always read it.

  122. #126 okey
    February 13, 2009

    merci ı lowe you

  123. #127 logo tasarım
    February 13, 2009

    mersi

  124. #128 söve
    February 13, 2009

    thanks.

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