Respectful Insolence

Heh.

Before I abandon the disgusting piece of fecal matter that is Ben Stein’s Expelled! for (hopefully) a long, long time, if not forever, I can’t resist pointing out that it’s good to see that at least someone totally gets it and sees through the lies. It’s even better to see it coming from a hometown publication Real Detroit Weekly (you’ll need to scroll almost all the way to the bottom of the web page to get past all the other movie reviews). A couple of gems:

  • In addition to the standard creationist claptrap, Ben Stein argues that there is a link between acceptance of evolution and Nazism.  To be fair, this would explain why so many of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists have a penchant for slaughtering scores of Jews. Thankfully for Stein, the name of God has never been used as a justification for heinous acts–otherwise his argument would seem laughably inconsistent and intellectually dishonest.
  • Since this movie is more chuck-full of errors than Kim Jong Il’s Ethics final, I’ll direct those who are interested to www.expelledexposed.com.
  • Proponents of ID are fond of saying that it’s not the same as creationism (read: creationism sans the talking snake and the magic rib). But if ID isn’t creationism, then oral sex isn’t sexual relations. Beyond semantic nuances, the underlying argument of creationism and ID is the same: If there is any phenomenon that science has yet to provide an explanation for, there clearly is no scientific explanation–God did it.

And perhaps my favorite bit:

If we do decide to teach Intelligent Design along with evolution, let’s at least be consistent and give equal time to other supernatural theories.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • The theory of relativity will be taught alongside the theory of divinity, which maintains that E = whatever God good and well pleases.
  • Gravitational theory will be taught alongside the theory of Deliberate Motion, which proposes that celestial bodies do not move as a result of gravitational force, but as a result of an Intelligent Mover pushing them around.
  • The germ theory of disease will be considered, but so will the Divine Retribution theory, which posits the existence of an intelligence who distributes diseases in order to punish sins. Of course, this will necessitate that medical schools give time to traditional pharmaceutical approaches to healthcare, as well as “faith-based” approaches, which will rely on prayer and the sacrifice of baby rams.

Sadly, this last one is far closer to the truth than I think Jay Davis (the critic reviewing the movie and interviewing Mark Mathis) knows, as I’ve shown with my Academic Woo Aggregator (which is already in dire need of an update again). I have to wonder if Davis has a background in biology. Whatever the case, it’s good to see a hometown publication taking this on.

There, like many others, I think I’ve now had enough of Expelled! and probably won’t mention it again unless something new or really interesting develops. I just wanted to send a shout out to a hometown publication. Too bad it’s one of those free weekly entertainment mags and doesn’t have much of a distribution beyond the metro Detroit area. In the meantime, Your Friday Dose of Woo is set to appear tomorrow, and I have a couple of journal articles that I hope to get to next week.

Comments

  1. #1 Nemo
    April 24, 2008

    In promoting the movie, Ben Stein has made remarks along the lines of the “Intelligent Mover” theory. Seriously.

  2. #2 Elf M. Sternberg
    April 24, 2008

    According to Michael Behe, Intelligent Design theory is Divine Retribution theory. In his latest book, he examines and praises the marvels of the malaria parasite lifecycle, stating without apparent discomfort that malaria could only exist because God wanted it to.

  3. #3 Warren
    April 24, 2008

    Michael Behe himself is proof of Divine Retribution theory. Only a mightily pissed-ff god could have created such a feckless, mindless drip of chlamydia as that.

  4. #4 Abel Pharmboy
    April 24, 2008

    Having lived in three markets with major local indy weeklies, my observations are that writers there are unusually lucid and crafty with a style that is so counter to the insipid MSM but so necessary and appreciated. Mad props to your Real Detroit Weekly homeboy Jay Davis for gems like this:

    Proponents of ID are fond of saying that it’s not the same as creationism (read: creationism sans the talking snake and the magic rib). But if ID isn’t creationism, then oral sex isn’t sexual relations.

  5. #5 cee
    April 24, 2008

    Oh well. The road to nihilism continues in the souls of some. Dehumanizing language (mindless drip of chlamydia), is just another example of the erosion.

    I recall my family being called “rats,” by those Germans following Hitler down that skeptics’ road. Once again, strip away all of the fluff and diversion and one concludes with what Nietzche held to in his insanity. Nihilism, and component of it, is the secularist’s ideology from which The Holocaust flourished.

    I’ll stick with The Shema. Have a pleasant day.

  6. #6 Marcus Ranum
    April 24, 2008

    The road to nihilism continues in the souls of some.

    Hey! Don’t tar all nihilists with the same brush!! Some of us are perfectly capable of being courteous and would never dream of calling Behe a “drip of chlamydia.”

    On the other hand, calling you a “shithead” doesn’t bother me.

  7. #7 vlad
    April 24, 2008

    “is the secularist’s ideology from which The Holocaust flourished” Actually I believe the catholic church smiled and nodded in fained ignorance of the whole thing. I’m not sure catholics are nihilists, I’m pretty sure of the opposite though.

  8. #8 cee
    April 24, 2008

    I am sure calling someone names does not bother you, Marcus. Respect for people no matter what they believe (whether of a natural sort or metaphysical sort) seems to no longer be a given in modern society. This has been the point of my postings and my cogent observations of the ideologues, like you.

    The dehumanizing of perceived opponents (enemies) should alarm you, however. There is always a reason why people say and do things. If intellectuals of certain ideologies choose to debase themselves so, bringing themselves down to such a primitive level, those of us who are regarded as intellectually inferior ask, “why?”

    Why?

    The hot potato that was the atrocities against humanity in the new and improved modern century known as “The 20th,” seems to be tossed rather quickly around here. Secular academia seems to get just as defensive, angry and primitive when their pet philosophies are included in contributing to the mindset that allowed such behavior.

    A line from HAMLET (A.3/S.2) comes to my mind.

  9. #9 Patrick
    April 24, 2008

    How about some peer reviewed science published in a major scientific journal to back up this putrid expulsion crapola?

    And hey, how about not calling others ideologues if you don’t like name calling eh?

  10. #10 Matthew
    April 24, 2008

    Cee,

    People resort to insults when confronted by someone who insists on repeating lies that have been long disproven. Behe is such a person. Since he has proven immune to reason, people resort to mockery.

    As for your repeated claims that Hitler was a skeptic, and that the Holocaust was somehow secular, I don’t understand how you dismiss Germany’s Christianity at the time the Nazis rose to power. Or how you explain Hitler’s frequent appeals to Christianity to justify his antisematism. Or the long history of religious antisematism in Germany and Europe. And I don’t believe you are unaware of it, as it has been documented on this blog and others. But your insistence on ignoring this in favor of false claims is quite tiresome.

  11. #11 Liesl
    April 24, 2008

    “Once again, strip away all of the fluff and diversion and one concludes with what Nietzche held to in his insanity. Nihilism,”

    Nietzsche’s nihilism was not the product of insanity, nor was it something he came to after insanity gripped his mind.

  12. #12 Harry Eagar
    April 24, 2008

    ‘Actually I believe the catholic church smiled and nodded in fained ignorance of the whole thing.’

    Pretty thin feigning, since Roman Catholic priests led the processions of doomed Jews in Croatia, singing hymns and displaying the Crucifix.

    Considering the relative strengths of the German and Croat polities, the Croats were even deadlier than the real Nazis, killing 300,000 Jews or about 5% of the total.

    It’s doubtful any of the Croats were Darwinian biologists or that many of them had ever heard the name Darwin.

    It takes a lot of special pleading to be a Christian.

  13. #13 cee
    April 24, 2008

    Patrick: When a person zaelously defends an idea, to the low point of dehumanizing an opponent or judging their level of intelligence, that, by definition makes them an ideologue. Why is my identifying people who are supposedly participating in respectful search for truth a problem? Ideologues destroy the ability to exchange ideas to get to the truth and it seems that many negative reactions to EXPELLED are from ideologues.

    And in regards to peer reviewed articles, I can easily direct you to books on shelves that I have read, including The Torah, and the Christian New Testament. Are those acceptable sources?

    I am not here creating things out of whole cloth. Also, as a Jew with relatives exposed to the people participating in the pograms, I can assure you that my opinions are based on carefully thoughout concerns that make no excuses for the people who committed the crimes. Excuses like “European Chrisitan anti-Semitism,” “Economic insecurity,” “group think,” and the like are minor to the base erosion of the human spirit that morality could be stripped from an individual’s processes. The excuses ivory tower academics use to rationalize any base human behavior has always failed and the tripe I have been reading here today is a poor form of it.

    You see, I see the pograms as a crime against Jehovah, not me or any man or woman. To sin (commit a crime) against Jehovah has a very logical explaination and is nicely packaged in 19th Century human philosophy…best articulated in nihilism.

    Perhaps you can educate yourself on what I mean by reading this article I posted on the other thread in response to someone else with no respect for metaphysical beliefs:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0020.html

  14. #14 CanadianChick
    April 24, 2008

    cee – I don’t think the hebrew or christian bibles really count as peer-reviewed…unless you’re saying that god and man are peers…

    circular references are fatuous anyway

    I must admit, you have a unique perspective, certainly not one shared by the members of the shul I’m most familiar with.

  15. #15 Mike
    April 24, 2008

    Sorry, Cee, but your arguments are silly. What you’re trying to do is flatten everything you don’t like into one broad smear of “evil”, and then complain that others are the ones who are making things the same.
    Calling someone an idiot is insulting, it’s not dehumanizing. To make this argument only makes it look as though you can’t make fairly simple distinctions.
    There is NO moral equivalence between mocking people and killing them because they’re “subhuman”, and your attempts to make that equivalence makes YOU out to be the bad guy.
    Any attempt to claim that “Darwinism” (a name I only ever hear uttered by creationists) is responsible for the Holocaust is ahistorical and borders the fanatic. Don’t waste people’s time with the nonsense of defending this type of argument (which IS what you’re doing, whether you mean to be or not), please.

  16. #16 windy
    April 24, 2008

    The hot potato that was the atrocities against humanity in the new and improved modern century known as “The 20th,” seems to be tossed rather quickly around here.

    War, genocide and torture are not exactly 20th century inventions. What do you think about the atrocities against humanity described in the Torah?

  17. #17 Lucas McCarty
    April 24, 2008

    Let’s explore the ‘dehumanising’ angle a little more; how can a word like ‘idiot’ be dehumanising?

    Are there any non-humans which such a word can be applied? I don’t there is; only a human can be an idiot. Calling someone an idiot positively celebrates their humanity!

  18. #18 shortie
    April 24, 2008

    cee, Define cogent. Now use it in a sentence.

  19. #19 Brian
    April 25, 2008

    Thanks for the pointer to that interview & review. It was too, too perfect.

  20. #20 Marcus Ranum
    April 25, 2008

    Cee writes:
    Respect for people no matter what they believe (whether of a natural sort or metaphysical sort) seems to no longer be a given in modern society.

    Of course it’s not a given, doofus. If you believe something that’s laugh out loud stupid, or you wear a clown-suit to a funeral, or something dumb like that – you don’t deserve respect.

    Respect is earned. Being a concern troll doesn’t earn mine. If Behe doesn’t like being called names, let him defend himself. If you don’t like being called a “shithead” stop acting like one. It’s simple!

    (Funny that here I am – the nihilist who doesn’t believe in any of this – having to play Miss Fucking Manners)

  21. #21 Dr. Ted Baehr
    April 25, 2008

    EXPELLED is a wry, funny, well-crafted documentary. Ben Stein’s quest for truth is often laugh-out-loud funny.

    This movie has leaked out into the atheist community and created a vicious outcry. Rather than expelling the movie, the professors and freedom of thought, it is clear that the successors of Darwinism, Hitler’s National Socialism and Communism would like to torture anyone who dares question, as real scientists should, the existing order of the academic community.

    Atheists and Darwinists should make sure that people of faith and values and agnostics do not see this movie. It is so well crafted that it will completely expose the naked inconsistencies of the Darwinists. It will equip every person of faith and values with common sense to refute the arguments of the academic overlords.

    Atheists might want to go out of their way to stop this movie by buying up theaters and perhaps even buy out the distributorship itself because this movie will do more to undermine them and bring down the wall of the academic gulag. Perhaps, they should see it so they can figure out how to come up with viable arguments instead of the ones Ben Stein demolishes with such wry humor and careful questioning.

  22. #22 Bob
    April 25, 2008

    Interesting what happens when you search Google for "Ben Stein demolishes with such wry humor". “Dr.” Ted must be a specialist in cut-and-paste from WorldNetDaily. The only thing Stein can demolish is silence.

    I’m holding out for the sequel to Expelled! – Yoko Ono Wins Ben Stein’s Money.

  23. #23 pedlar
    April 25, 2008

    This one from cee:

    Respect for people no matter what they believe (whether of a natural sort or metaphysical sort) seems to no longer be a given in modern society.

    modern society? You mean, like, we just invented rudeness and insults? Geez, do you know any history at all? Or do you just ignore it if contradicts you. The first is called ignorance. The second, lying.

  24. #24 Confused
    April 25, 2008

    Respect for people no matter what they believe (whether of a natural sort or metaphysical sort) seems to no longer be a given in modern society.

    I have a deep respect for everyone, regardless of what they believe. I know many creationists that I disagree with, but still respect very highly (my father is one of them). A persons religious belief and faith are absolutely irrelevant to the amount of respect I attribute them. How they behave is what’s important. Forcing ones views on other people and deliberately misleading them with manipulation, mistruths and outright lies are all grounds for withdrawing respect. Behe has perpetrated mass deceit by publishing works riddled with lies and unfounded statements, and has at least twice stood up in court an expert witness and given biased and untrue testimony (and was found as such by a Judge who was politically favourable to the case of the religious right).

    On a side note, I have to strongly disagree with Marcus – the idea that respect should be earned is a pernicious one. Respect should be given freely and withdrawn if it is not warranted. Michael Behe is a particularily good example of someone who has completely lost my respect.

  25. #25 Jud
    April 25, 2008

    cee wrote: I recall my family being called ‘rats,’ by those Germans following Hitler down that skeptics’ road. Once again, strip away all of the fluff and diversion and one concludes with what Nietzche held to in his insanity. Nihilism, and component of it, is the secularist’s ideology from which The Holocaust flourished.

    My father doesn’t recall where his mother was born. My paternal grandfather was born in Palangen, outside Riga, Latvia. It doesn’t exist any longer. The Nazis lined up and shot most of the inhabitants, leaving them in mass graves.

    My mother’s parents came from Grodzisk, Poland, part of the Warsaw Ghetto. It no longer exists. My great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother died there (of starvation, from what surviving family members told us).

    What this has to do with understanding the good, careful work done by thousands of sincere and caring scientists over 150 years, that shows (depending on one’s point of view) how the glorious diversity of life arose through evolution, or how God chose to give rise to that glorious diversity through evolution, I absolutely cannot fathom.

    I’ll stick with The Shema. Have a pleasant day.

    We are told to write God’s words on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates; that we shall bind them on our hands and as frontlets between our eyes; that we should teach them to our children and have them in our hearts.

    There’s nothing at all in there about treating them as half-baked science texts.

    What in those words is really important? When Hillel was asked, he didn’t say the essential thing was that one should take Genesis as a literal guide to the way life diversified.

    Now do as Hillel exemplified: exercise patience with those who provoke you. And do as Hillel counseled: Give the thousands of scientists who work on these questions every day the same benefit of the doubt, the same credit for sincerity, skill, and humanity, that you would wish them to give you.

  26. #26 Ranson
    April 25, 2008

    Dr. Ted, aside from being a cut-and-paste troll, isn’t even a very good one, as Orac has distinctly criticized the conflation of scientific thought with atheism. While I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him discuss his beliefs, his stance on the matter makes Orac a poor target for this particular bit of trolling.

    I wonder if we can see this cut-and-paste on every single science blog that mentions the movie?

  27. #27 Mike O'Risal
    April 25, 2008

    Cee,

    As a person whose family in Europe was wiped out by the Nazis, and whose grandfather fled Poland, got US citizenship, enlisted in the army and went back to Europe to fight the same Nazis, and whose cousin is a Hasidic rabbi in Michigan, and who is himself also a biologist, I most respectfully tell you that you’re a jabbering fool. Unless you are about to tell us that Israel is a state aligned with Nazi ideology, you haven’t a leg to stand on. It supports a great deal of research in evolutionary biology, in fact.

    Essentially, cee, what you are is a very blinkered individual who really ought to either learn what in the hell you’re talking about or shut up and go away. I really don’t care what you believe, but if what you’re saying here is the product of your belief then you can stick your Shema up your tuchus.

  28. #28 Dangerous Bacon
    April 25, 2008

    Cee: “You see, I see the pograms as a crime against Jehovah, not me or any man or woman.”

    The correct spelling is “pogrom”. According to the infoplease.com dictionary site, a “pogram” is defined as:

    “A “creak-shoes,” a Puritanical starch mawworm.”

    Sounds like a charmingly retro insult to apply to a common scold. ;)

  29. #29 cee
    April 25, 2008

    “We are told to write God’s words on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates; that we shall bind them on our hands and as frontlets between our eyes; that we should teach them to our children and have them in our hearts.

    “There’s nothing at all in there about treating them as half-baked science texts.”

    You are wrong, Jud, read The Torah completely….

    My fellow Jews who attack me forget the first part of The Shema:

    “Hear O Israel, THE LORD is our God, the LORD is One”

    I am sorry you have forgone this statement of fact. It does not ask us to believe. It does not ask us to investigate whether the statement is true. It tells us Jehovah is our God.

    So to those who attack me with hatred for starting with this basic fact of Judaism, I understand why your conclusions about me are so wrong. Those Jews who have abandoned this fundamental fact of being a Jew in arguing (defending) a world view that replaces Jehovah with, well, I am not sure (Do you agree with Dawkins?), I will pray for you.

    A world view (ideology) that removes the metaphysical creator is different than a world view that states, with no uncertainty, there is no God. Choose wisely. Darwin did. Galton did. Hitler did. Dawkins has. What, according to all of the historical record, did they choose…there is obviously two well supported schools of thought on that and the implications and ideologues bring down the level of discourse to hatred, insult and disrespect to avoid the reasning on the other side. I am sorry to see that.

  30. #30 Jud
    April 25, 2008

    cee wrote: “Hear O Israel, THE LORD is our God, the LORD is One”

    I am sorry you have forgone this statement of fact. It does not ask us to believe. It does not ask us to investigate whether the statement is true. It tells us Jehovah is our God.

    If you would be so kind as to show me where in my comment I said anything to the contrary?

    So to those who attack me with hatred for starting with this basic fact of Judaism, I understand why your conclusions about me are so wrong.

    It’s not about you, cee. Certainly I did not attack you, nor display anything like hatred toward you.

    What I did was ask you to open your mind and heart to generations of good, sincere people who are carefully trying to understand how the wonderful diversity of life we see around us came to be. (In fact, a book about evolution and the pre-Cambrian by the late Stephen Jay Gould is entitled “Wonderful Life.” I highly recommend it.)

    There is nothing at all against God in seeking to understand this aspect of the world (Creation, if you like), any more than Einstein was working against God when he resolved Newton’s question of exactly how the gravitational force worked. *Any* quest for scientific knowledge can be seen as trying to understand how things work, or trying to understand how God has made them work. Evolutionary theory is no different from any other aspect of science in this regard.

    Would you maintain that *all* science is an attempt to push God aside? Isn’t it far more sensible to consider it a logical extension of the curiosity we all have (or to put it another way, that God gave us)?

  31. #31 cee
    April 25, 2008

    Jud, all you say is that The Shema instructs us to write God’s words on our dorr posts, etc, “We are told to write God’s words on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates; that we shall bind them on our hands and as frontlets between our eyes; that we should teach them to our children and have them in our hearts.”

    That is inaccurate.

    The Shema is central to the greatest commandment of worshiping THE LORD, LOVING THE LORD.

    When I watch EXPELLED! Mr. Stein interviews atheists like Mr. Dawkins who, using Darwin’s theory in part, call into question the intellect, sanity and even maturity of people who believe in THE LORD. So Jud, my question to you is…

    Do you support the ideology of Richard Dawkins?

    I believe his ideology and many similar to him did contribute to actions of thousands in supporting The Holocaust. People simplistically think ideology based on an Agnostic or Atheistic world view is benign, I do not.

    Charles Darwin discusses his Agnostic world view in his autobiography and displays it quotes from DESCENT OF MAN, and Mr. Stein, as do many, see traces of these ideas in Nazi ideology. The connection is there and even made stronger through the application of SOCIAL DARWINISM.

    Respect for people’s beliefs, something Richard Dawkins and the other Darwinsts interviewed in EXPELLED do not display, has been the point of all my posts. Ideologues do not respect other people’s point of view.

    So, if as a Jew, a person does not believe in THE LORD, they have rejected The Shema. That is fine, they have every right to do that.

    But be honest about how others deride, disrespect the opinions of others, that is what EXPELLED showed very well.

    Demogoguery like, “YOU’RE A HOLOCAUST DENIER!” is not helpful for discussion. I am of the opinion that both secular and religious ideology contributed to the actions of participants in the holocaust, but ideologues in both camps do not want to accept responsibility for their world views having flaws that lead to such atrocities.

  32. #32 Howard
    April 25, 2008

    During his appearance on Craig Ferguson’s show last night, B.S. claimed he was simply trying to point out that the earth will continue to rotate and revolve around the sun even if you don’t believe in Darwinism. Tactically, it was pure Denialism in emphasizing a nonexistent issue, but ironic in the context of European religious conflict with science. I suppose the next claim will invoke Galileo and Isaac Newton as people who didn’t believe in evolution.

  33. #33 Jud
    April 25, 2008

    cee wrote: Jud, all you say is that The Shema instructs us to write God’s words on our dorr posts, etc, “We are told to write God’s words on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates; that we shall bind them on our hands and as frontlets between our eyes; that we should teach them to our children and have them in our hearts.”

    That is inaccurate.

    The Shema is central to the greatest commandment of worshiping THE LORD, LOVING THE LORD.

    To me, the commandment that you should have the word of God in your heart is synonymous with loving God.

    I am of the opinion that both secular and religious ideology contributed to the actions of participants in the holocaust, but ideologues in both camps do not want to accept responsibility for their world views having flaws that lead to such atrocities.

    I am of the opinion that the participants in the Holocaust perverted both secular and religious ideologies to serve evil purposes. To me, this is no reason to hate the ideologies or on that basis to consider them flawed. The Nazis used algebra to calculate V2 trajectories. Shall I therefore curse the Greek and Arab mathematicians who invented algebra, or consider “flaws” in ancient mathematical texts somehow responsible for the Blitz? Shall I take a stand against mathematical research and teaching algebra to schoolchildren?

    It seems to me you are confusing scientific research and the personal beliefs of scientists with the monstrosities perpetrated by those who didn’t care whether an ideology was religious or secular, so long as they could somehow turn it to their own evil purposes. This doesn’t mean the ideologies are flawed for that reason. Show me the ideology that evil people cannot mischaracterize.

  34. #34 Wes
    April 25, 2008

    cee,

    You post, full insidious and false insinuations about atheism and agnosticism, exhibits a clear lack of respect for the beliefs of others. And your sanctimonious demands that others “respect” your beliefs is just a bit of hypocrisy used to prop up your own beliefs. You clearly have no such respect for the beliefs of others.

    And, you know what? I don’t expect you to respect people’s beliefs. I have no respect for racist beliefs, sexist beliefs, homophobic beliefs, etc. I see no reason at all that beliefs should be deserving of respect. People should be respected, but not necessarily their beliefs. I respect a belief when it is reasonable and supported by evidence. When it is unreasonable or contradicted by evidence, I criticize it.

    People such as yourself, who hide behind postmodernist relativism by dogmatically repeating such cliches as “respect beliefs”, are equating criticism of beliefs with disrespect of the person. But the two are very different things. You scream that we must all “respect your beliefs” whenever someone makes a criticism to which you have no answer, but you of course, have no intention of showing that same respect towards the beliefs of others, to the point where you would actually agree with the slanderous lies being spread by Ben Stein, who clearly has no respect at all for the beliefs of others.

  35. #35 Dr Aust
    April 25, 2008

    It is interesting to see how “Cee’s” postings on this thread start quietly and get more and more ranting and religious fundamentalist-ic.

    And Jud, whether you are a religious person or not, you’ve definitely got the patience of a saint.

    Can I just re-iterate Abel Pharmboy’s view above that the line about “if ID isn’t creationism, then oral sex isn’t sexual relations” is a stone classic. And it’s not disrespectful in my book. It is a brilliant line because it is sharp, and funny, and righteously skewers ID’s evasions.

    Bernard Katz, neuroscientist, Nobel Laureate, and Jewish refugee from Nazism, famoously used to like to quote his one time boss, Nobel Laureate A.V. Hill, to the effect that
    “laughter is the best detergent of nonsense” (said by Hill, famously, in the 30s about the Nazis’ ludicrous attempts to co-opt science to justify their idiotic racial theories). I would say the ID-and-sex line does exactly that.

  36. #36 Anthony McCarthy
    April 25, 2008

    “Any attempt to claim that “Darwinism” (a name I only ever hear uttered by creationists)”

    Maybe you should listen to more people, then.

    See what happens when people make up stuff like this “only creationists say “Darwinism” junk? Mike, Richard Dawkins uses the word “Darwinism” as was documented here the other day. Look at Orac’s first post the other day about Caplan, he uses it.

    Making up this kind of phony folk etymology is the kind of thing teenagers do when they don’t want to deal with something that gets said.

    If a creationist uses the word “Darwinism” it’s because they’re using the English language, anyone can use a perfectly standard English language word, it’s allowed. I’m getting tired of you Scienceblog jocks thinking you get to write the rules of evidence to suit you and the dictionary as well. It was just this piece of phony etymology that brought me here the other day.

  37. #37 Ktesibios
    April 25, 2008

    Dr. Aust, the technical term for Cee’s behavior is authoritarian aggression. If you’ve read Altemeyer you’ll recognize all three attributes of the classic rightwing authoritarian: authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression and high conventionality.

    Nothing seems to drive this personality type into a foamier, more spittle-flecked rage than an “Evil Other” who refuses to knuckle under and be beaten up for being one of the out-group.

    One of the most depressing things about the Internet is the bountiful opportunities it provides to have one’s face rubbed in how common these attitudes are. Besides fundie religionists I’ve often observed them among devotees of paranoid conspiracy theories, pseudoscience cranks and other purveyors of woo. The ‘net appears to offer an easy means of indulging their aggressive urges with no risk attached, which might help to explain why it is that authoritarian-follower personalities seem to feel compelled to parade their symptoms on it, a phenomenon which I’m otherwise at a loss to explain.

  38. #38 Damian
    April 26, 2008

    Anthony McCarthy said:

    “I’m getting tired of you Scienceblog jocks thinking you get to write the rules of evidence to suit you and the dictionary as well. It was just this piece of phony etymology that brought me here the other day.”

    Oh, don’t worry Anthony, we are just as tired of your self-righteous whining. I wouldn’t mind if you had actually said anything of substance in the whole time that you have been here, but you haven’t. All that you have done is complain about things that you clearly don’t understand. And it’s really interesting that you mention evidence, as you haven’t presented any.

    At the risk of wasting my time by explaining this to you one more time — yes, Dawkins did use the term “Darwinism” (though he has decided to stop doing so), which refers to a particular stance on modern evolutionary theory, but it is one that most biologists do not adhere to.

    “Darwinian” generally indicates a particular stance on the role of natural selection. As most biologists do not adhere to the same stance as someone like Dawkins — believing that natural selection plays a less important role than was once thought — it is actually highly inaccurate and misleading to refer to all people who accept modern evolutionary theory as the explanation for the diversity of life, as “Darwinists”.

    That is only part of the reason why many people reject the term. Another is that it gives the impression that MET still adheres to the same ideas that Darwin published 150 years ago, which it doesn’t, and that it hasn’t moved on. It has moved well past Darwin’s ideas, and he also made a number of mistakes.

    The final and most important reason is that it has been co-opted by creationists in their attempt to re-brand MET as a religious concept, so they can argue that it shouldn’t be taught in schools because it violates the separation of church and state.

    That is why it is frowned upon by the majority of American biologists — you know, those people who know what they are talking about. The situation is simply not the same in England, which is why it is still used at times (and again, only in specific circumstances), and for the reasons that I have outlined.

    So, once again, you are simply wrong, and you are over-simplifying an issue that you clearly don’t understand. It won’t be the first time, though. We are getting used to it now.

  39. #39 cee
    April 26, 2008

    First, show me evidence that my beiefs are “racist”, “sexist,” “homophobic,” etc. Secondly, if the core of my beliefs starts with The Shema and I state it, how can that be characterised as “more and more ranting and religious fundamentalist-ic” (whatever “fundamentalist-ic” means).

    A fellow Jew questioned my belief and misrepresented The Shema as a tradition. It is not. In the text it is “the” statement of belief, and a metaphysical revelation to a person, in this case Moses. Now, those who have abandoned the possibility of the metaphysical, and I point out that even the poster-boy of Darwinism, Richard Dawkins, claims his belief in Darwinism brought him to this conclusion, scornfully attack me for believing that that evolutionary theory has been a part of the road which seems to be traveled by many to a nihilistic world. However, I continue to observe the ideologues’ apologists ignoring the evidence that Darwinism alone as an explaination for life had a close transition to SOCIAL DARWINISM and the subsequent rush of interest in eugenics late in the 19th Century and early 20th Century, and these influences of the life theory on THE SECULAR GERMAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, pre-Naziism, was the foundation that brought us places like Hadamar.

    Hadamar had nothing to do with the victims being Jewish. That simple fact throws the “Holocaust denial” argument out the window. Hadamar had all to do with Social Darwinism which has a definite link to the theory of Natural Selection in the application of “survival of the fittest,” and the competition of organisms for limited resources. Even Darwin himself invokes the theory as pushing the process of evolution towards the “perfect” over the “defective.” What is prefect in the natural world? What is fit?

    “Life” is no longer sacred and under the rule of the One mentioned in The Shema. According to agnositics like Sir Darwin and atheists like Mr. Dawkins, life was only a product of accidental events. Some took that elimination of “special life” to justify things like euthanasia. These small but important points seem to be excused by the elite posting here who would rather attack me personally with pejoratives and “theories” of how I arrrived at my conclusions.

    Retreating to bumpersticker slogans against the bogeyman Intelligent Design is not what I would call a good rebuttal. I also recall posting an article which discussed that although belief in the metaphysical is scoffed at by modern biologists, the number of people who still reflect on the metaphysical and believe it exists remains as high as ever AND…lookie here…..These crazy, deluded and misguided people are still contributing to the great advances we have seen in science and technology across the centuries. It looks like the Darwinists’ predictions that a belief in the supernatural stunts scientific and technological advnacement has not occurred and is what it always was….another fear tactic used by secular ideologues, a wild man waving his arms above his head to warn us all of the dire consequences of worshiping a creator instead of doing the “superior” or “more evolved and intellectual” action of forsaking such childish beliefs.

    EXPELLED skillfully showed the arrogance, the elitism and the hatred of some (and I emphasize some) of the fanatics who believe only science has the answers human beings need for “how” and “why.” Scientists should remember that using scarlet letters, or other pejorative tactics, brings them down to the level of rhetoric they once avoided in the high ivory tower.

    A test….

    I may be a minority on this board, but I would love to have one or two of the more “elitist academics” among you join me for a beer in a local bar and see how using the same tones and words affect the average person while I simply continue to try to act and speak in tones that respect people, no matter what their beliefs and strive for the time when those beliefs could be discussed without hatred, mockery or demogoguery.

    I am sure that would be a site to see!

  40. #40 Shiritai
    April 26, 2008

    Dangit, cee, you said you were a bio major, but I’ve no clue how you got through classes thinking evolution explains the origin of life, and that fitness has anything to do with “perfection.” And have you never heard of “theistic evolution?”

  41. #41 cee
    April 26, 2008

    Darwinists, many who taught me in University, clearly state that the life we see likely occurred spontaneously in a common ancestor billions of years ago and through genetic mutation and the influence of natural selection.

    Why is that so difficult to undertand? I was trained well, with excellent grades that allowed me to pursue my dreams in medical school, and I still stand knowing a creator was responsible for life despite the attempts of ideologues to tell me otherwise.

    The materilaists’ theories of how the first self-replicating, self-correcting/proof reading information containing molecule arose from inorganic atoms have been discussed and there has been very little evidence to support those theories. “Theistic evolution” would be a nice idea, Shiritai, but I doubt the elitists in academia would have any differing view of that compared to Intelligent Design.

    So as I stand here called an idiot for believing in God, I ask you…..Why? Why do some materialists, naturalists, Darwinists, scientists, whatever label you want to use, respond so violently and primitively to someone with a different point of view regarding how life came to be in the universe?

  42. #42 Anthony McCarthy
    April 26, 2008

    Oh, don’t worry Anthony, we are just as tired of your self-righteous whining.

    More self-righteous and whiny than PZ? Wow, I didn’t think that was possible.

    If you think I’m going to take vocabulary advice from an intellectual thug like Dawkins, you’ve got rocks in your head.

  43. #43 Orac
    April 26, 2008

    Darwinists, many who taught me in University, clearly state that the life we see likely occurred spontaneously in a common ancestor billions of years ago and through genetic mutation and the influence of natural selection.

    I highly doubt that that’s what your professors taught. I don’t doubt, however, that that’s how you misinterpreted what they taught. Stop confusing abiogenesis (the mechanisms of which have not been worked out and are tentative) with evolution, a theory with 150 years worth of evidence to support it.

  44. #44 Shiritai
    April 26, 2008

    “”Theistic evolution” would be a nice idea, Shiritai, but I doubt the elitists in academia would have any differing view of that compared to Intelligent Design.”

    I’m not sure who “the elitists in academia” is referring to, but if you’re talking about ScienceBlogs, then Ken Miller has good support around here from what I’ve seen.

  45. #45 cee
    April 26, 2008

    Sorry Orac, but Darwin’s theory of natural selection always was put into modern, 20th Century context of molecular biology, genetics AND the ultimate question of the ORIGIN of those little DNA molecules that are mutating and giving rise to new phenotypes, what natural selection acts upon. I don’t know your experience, but the holistic approach via the MATERIALISTIC avenue starts early in science so that those young minds do not go off the reservation.

    To try to say there is compartimentilization in the approach of modern day scientists in instructing students on their dogma is laughable! The ideology is always present and when the improbability and lack of evidence of abiogenesis is brought up….silence….like in EXPELLED!

    Darwin himself speculated on the origins of life in his later writings. The discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick took the materialists views to the next level and is what I was exposed to in the early 1990′s. It is a holistic approach and science gives the impression that the story is set…a creatorless start with oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon combining, somehow, into a molecule which was capable of expressing information capable of highly complicated functions, along with the ability to copy itself AND correct any error in either the copying or transmission of the information.

    I was just in Philly’s Franklin Institute this past weekend and once again received the materialist’s party-line that, what you call abiogeneisis, the origins of life have well supported theories. As an informed member of the lay public, I found this revelation startling and wondered why I have not heard about this evidence.

    Where is the evidence for what occurred billions of years ago? Oh that’s right, there is not any.

    So, I stand here with a belief of the origins of life as we observe it today and the ideologues in the scientific community have their belief. Why do they get to say who joins in the discussion and who does not? And my continued, unanswered question….Why do so many of the Darwinist ideologues respond with such hatred, anger and unfounded demogoguery?

  46. #46 cee
    April 26, 2008

    Oh, and Orac, as a physician, the Darwinist ideologue’s insistance that only materialistic views of the origins of all life be entertained by “intelliget people” has not had an effect on my success in treating the various diseases my lovely patients have faced. I am sure, from my experience with people, that using the scientific method does not require people to accept the ideologues’ elitist conclusions.

    I can say my belief in God, prayer and the “specialness of life” has had a positive and wonderful effect on my practice while keeping me humble. From the way the
    Darwinist ideologues speak and act, like Richard Dawkins, I would not want one of them at my bedside as I faced the emotional and disturbing effects of disease or death. The sacredness of life still pervades most in the medical field and that no thanks to the anger and loathing of the Darwinist ideologues.

    So the Darwinist ideologues should continue the tactics of fear, intimidation, demogoguery and snobbery. It is entertaining to see the self-proclaimed superior amongst us display such base behavior This is why EXPELLED, and Stein’s approach, has resonated with millions.

    Who is really to blame for that reality?

  47. #47 cee
    April 26, 2008

    Jonathan Wells was one of those interviewed in EXPELLED! Let’s see how an ideologue approaches such a nice, intelligent and respectful person such as Dr. Wells….

    “Many of the people involved in the Intelligent Design movement would be selling bibles or insurance if they hadn’t taken up the call to attack science. But Wells by all accounts is not only a nice guy (And I don’t mean that in a smarmy used car salesman kind of way; he’s said to be a truly warm person always willing to lend a hand to a neighbor or friend), he’s gifted with a classic brilliant, eccentric intellect of the absent minded professor. The loss is not just his, the loss is all of ours. For you and I and everyone we know have been deprived of what all the Joanthan Wells’ of the world might have contributed to science, had they not been coopted by fringe, neo-fundamentalist bullshit during their formative years.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/15/112257/411

    Ah yes, the elitist attitude that if only we had this man’s mind to mold and keep from the religious maniacs that need to stop their teaching!

    Freedom seems to me to be anathema to people like the poster at DALIYKOS and other ideologues who wish to indoctrinate instead of debate with respect. Note the line, “The loss is not just his, the loss is all of ours. For you and I and everyone we know have been deprived of what all the Joanthan Wells’ of the world might have contributed to science, had they not been coopted by fringe, neo-fundamentalist bullshit during their formative years.” Where does such arrogance arise from? The idea that the creative human whose opinion and thinking is just a commodity for “society” to use as just a resourse is a horrible view of humanity. Again, utilitarianism at its most vile!

    Do you agree or not?

  48. #48 Ktesibios
    April 26, 2008

    I have to wonder if, when cee was in medical school, (s)he ever heard the hoary old truism “if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras”, because it’s damned good advice for anyone who is investigating anything, be it the cause of a patient’s ailment, the cause of the failure of an electronic system (my own trade), the source of the Sun’s heat or how it is that some humans retain he ability to produce lactase in adulthood while most others do not.

    If you are seeking an explanation of how something which is part of the natural, material world works or how it developed that way of working, hypotheses based in the material world (horses) are much more likely to prove fruitful than those based on supernatural zebras. That’s why a scientific approach to understanding the natural world is predicated on methodological materialism.

    Turning to theology for explanations of natural phenomena is rather a “Brave Sir Robin” way of working- it consists of bravely, bravely running away- from any chance of actually working the thing out.

    Another excellent way of pulling a Brave Sir Robin is to reject an evidence-based inference because it fails to support a predetermined supernatural conclusion. So is flinging words like “materialist” and “elitist” around as if they are insults while claiming, risibly, to be “humble”.

  49. #49 D'oh!
    April 26, 2008

    Cee appears to be under the impression that belief in a Creator somehow innoculates one against devaluing human life. How Cee arrives at this conclusion is baffling, seeing how much evidence there is against it.

    But I suspect it is just another article of faith for him or her.

    BTW, Cee, I got a good laugh out of “keeping me humble.” I don’t think you have a clue how you are coming across here.

  50. #50 Sastra
    April 26, 2008

    There is heavy irony in someone tossing around the words “the fit” and “the unfit” in regards to the scientific theory of evolution — which is not progressive, is not prescriptive, is not hierarchal, and does not have a “moral code” — and then contrasting this unfavorably with traditional Abrahamic religion — which is built around dividing “the saved” from “the damned,” is heavily authoritarian, devalues human imperfection, strives after utopian paradise, and justifies suffering in this life as endurance tests and necessary purges for the life to come.

    All people are equal and have worth? Not in every religion. How much are the people in Hell worth? Nothing. How much are the people who are going to Hell worth? Nothing. If you think God has told you which people deserve to be in Hell — how then are you likely to treat them?

    You can argue against science. You can argue against social theories and economic theories and philosophical theories which are structured on reason, evidence, and testing their application by their consequence in this world. You can argue against them because you can show them to be wrong.

    But all you can do to argue against someone who is “following God” and doing things you think are wrong not in spite of it, but because of it, is to tell them “you’ve got God wrong.”

    And undermine their God for them. And take away what they “know” on faith. Lots of luck.

    Nothing is more subjective and relative than religious belief. Faith is a rock you can rest any ideology on. Social Darwinism’s mistake was not that it rested on science. It was that it blended a poor understanding of science with faith.

  51. #51 cee
    April 26, 2008

    “Cee appears to be under the impression that belief in a Creator somehow innoculates one against devaluing human life.”

    I never claimed it. I simply believe that taking materialism to its logical end, as does Richard Dawkins, allows the believer to stand in judgement of life and rule which has more value. Watson, Crick, Margaret Sanger, the Darwinian ethicists and eugenicists as well as secularists like Peter Singer have come to this logical end.

    It’s interesting that none have come to defend those like Margaret Sanger who were so closely aligned to Social Darwinism, using similar terminology. Again, that hot potato!

    And Ktesibios, in regards to the overused Zebra quote (the cliche was just used on the TV show GREY’S ANATOMY this past week and I have heard it used on the TV shows HOUSE and ER)…it is good advice and usually true. One piece of advice thought….My own experience calls to mind that there are MANY kinds of horses and it is difficult to know which one is yours when hundreds are grouped together in a stampede.

    So, if anyone would like to refute the connection of Darwin to Sanger or take a stab at what ideologues have to say about people’s freedom to think and believe and discuss…please try. Otherwise I will await the next distracted post concentrating on items not related to the issues brought up.

  52. #52 Sastra
    April 26, 2008

    I simply believe that taking materialism to its logical end, as does Richard Dawkins, allows the believer to stand in judgement of life and rule which has more value.

    That is the difference between secular humanists and you. Secular humanists like Dawkins believe that our lives have value even though they came from mindless, material processes. How life got here has no impact on meaning and ethics. You, apparently, believe that life has value ONLY IF it comes from God. Only divine things really matter. Your belief in God allows you to stand in judgment and decide that, absent God, life has no intrinsic value. People have no intrinsic value. Love has no intrinsic value. This is the real nihilism.

    Tell me something — if tomorrow you were to come to the conclusion that God does not exist, and never has existed — what would YOU decide to change about what you care about?

    If nothing changes for you, then you must already understand where God got its worth in the first place. If everything changes – then how dare you criticize those who have the strength and heart and compassion to care about what — to you — is now empty and void of all meaning. It wasn’t perfect enough for you.

    As for Margaret Sanger and other eugenicists, sure — they used their misunderstanding of evolutionary theory as if it was a justification from Nature. It’s called the “naturalistic fallacy.” But, as Orac has pointed out before, their language and way of thinking has much more to do with the concepts in animal breeding than it does with evolution. Evolution has no goal towards which it “progresses,” there is no hierarchy, and it tends towards diversity.

  53. #53 daedalus2u
    April 26, 2008

    A slight correction, people in Hell or destined for Hell are worth less than nothing, they are worth infinitely less than nothing. God is going to infinite effort (maintain Hell for eternity) in order to inflict infinite punishment on them.

    Seems rather petty to me, to inflict infinite punishment for finite transgressions. But if God feels He has nothing better to do, then who am I to judge God’s priorities. Me? I have got better things to do, such as find people on the internet who are wrong.

    Maybe God needs to get a life.

  54. #54 Mike
    April 26, 2008

    Anthony,
    Before you start huffily “correcting” people, you might make sure you read what was said. I said I only ever heard it used by creationists, which you claim means I am saying they alone use it. The two statements are NOT the same. I have NEVER heard it used by anyone but creationists, and THAT is a fact. Have others used it? Possibly, but that doesn’t counter what I said, UNTIL I HEAR them say it.

    “Maybe you should listen to more people, then. ”

    I do, quite often. Still, as I said, I’ve never heard it used by Dawkins. Possibly I have missed it, but my point still stands.

    “See what happens when people make up stuff like this “only creationists say “Darwinism” junk?”

    See what happens when you attribute to others something they didn’t say? You look stupid, as you do here.

    “Mike, Richard Dawkins uses the word “Darwinism” as was documented here the other day. Look at Orac’s first post the other day about Caplan, he uses it. ”

    As I said, I’ve not seen it, but I will look it up. Then again, it’s entirely possibly he was using it in response to someone else. It would a little weird for an evolutionary biologist to use that phrase. Or, possibly, he doesn’t know the stigma it has in the US. I don’t know. (Actually, now I do know, since I went to Wikipedia and looked. He DOES use it, but my point still stands, in that I have never heard him use it)
    The proper phrase IS evolution, if that’s what is meant. It’s a broader term, since “Darwinism” should/does mean only those ideas Darwin espoused, long ago. Evolution means those ideas of Darwin, plus the many decades of what has been learned since.

    “Making up this kind of phony folk etymology is the kind of thing teenagers do when they don’t want to deal with something that gets said.”

    I have to ask, do you actually read things before responding to them, or just look for key words? Because, you’ve misread something I said, and then proceeded to get quite worked up over it.

    “If a creationist uses the word “Darwinism” it’s because they’re using the English language, anyone can use a perfectly standard English language word, it’s allowed”

    Except, that Darwinism is NOT the same as evolution, and if evolution is meant, that’s the word you should use. I KNOW from having talked to creationists (I live quite close to that idiotic museum) that they use Darwinism quite on purpose. They want to make it look as though it’s all about Darwin, and nothing more.

    “I’m getting tired of you Scienceblog jocks”

    Don’t delude yourself into thinking many people care.

    “thinking you get to write the rules of evidence to suit you and the dictionary as well”

    You read FAR more into things than is there.

    “It was just this piece of phony etymology that brought me here the other day”

    I made NO claim of etymology, so calm down.

  55. #55 Mike
    April 26, 2008

    Damian,
    If only I’d seen your post before making my response, I wouldn’t have bothered…
    Thanks! Well said.

  56. #56 Mike
    April 26, 2008

    Cee,
    Here’s the problem, as I see it, with your line of thinking:

    “I simply believe that taking materialism to its logical end, as does Richard Dawkins, allows the believer to stand in judgement of life and rule which has more value. Watson, Crick, Margaret Sanger, the Darwinian ethicists and eugenicists as well as secularists like Peter Singer have come to this logical end”

    I am an atheistic materialist. AND I firmly regard as the basis of ethics for me, that ALL human life is equal, and NO ONE can say one life is more valuable than another. While I have had some atheistic friends argue with me, the people who have gotten most offended by this are religious people.
    Why?
    Some say it’s because God DID decide some lives are more valuable than others (and they then begin to tell me how they know which is which) and some because they “know” that people need to be punished for their sins, and my ideas don’t allow them to kill as punishment.
    So, claiming that atheistic materialism leads to placing value on life while religious ideology doesn’t is counter to a LOT of my own experience.

  57. #57 Anthony McCarthy
    April 27, 2008

    Anthony,
    Before you start huffily “correcting” people, you might make sure you read what was said. I said I only ever heard it used by creationists, which you claim means I am saying they alone use it. The two statements are NOT the same.

    “See what happens when people make up stuff like this “only creationists say “Darwinism” junk?”

    See what happens when you attribute to others something they didn’t say? You look stupid, as you do here.

    And you’re saying I got huffy? Hey, I’m sorry to have assumed you were better informed then you are. I didn’t think that was an insult.

    “I’m getting tired of you Scienceblog jocks”

    Don’t delude yourself into thinking many people care.

    I don’t care if you don’t care. But I’m not putting up with it in silence anymore so you’re on notice.

  58. #58 Mike
    April 27, 2008

    Anthony,
    You are part of why I don’t talk to people on the internet much anymore. You are SUCH a jerk. You attack people for what they didn’t actually say, and then pretend to be the aggrieved party when they respond. I’ve had more than enough of people like you, so full of themselves for no obvious reason. Don’t expect me to bother with you any more.

  59. #59 Anthony McCarthy
    April 27, 2008

    Mike, would you rather I talk like the typical ScienceBlog comment? Like a snot-nosed 8th grader who thinks f-bombs are a retort? I can, though I’d rather talk about ideas and I take Orac’s request to keep it polite seriously. I’m not going to pretend that I can’t answer something just to make it easier for you guys.

  60. #60 John C. Welch
    April 27, 2008

    Cee,

    Do you do everything the Torah and the Talmud direct, with no analysis on your part?

  61. #61 Jud
    April 28, 2008

    cee wrote: A fellow Jew questioned my belief and misrepresented The Shema as a tradition.

    Apparently cee feels I “misrepresented” the Shema by quoting a portion of it that tells us to keep the word of God always with us – around our homes and our persons, and in our hearts.

    I don’t recall questioning cee’s belief at all. Perhaps there’s some confusion on cee’s part about that.

    cee, if it feels good to you, you’re the owner of the authoritative version of God’s revelation and I am unworthy to touch the hem of your garment, OK?

    Now that we’ve got that out of the way: I’d like to know how the fact that people have perverted both science and religious teachings to their own evil ends throughout history is supposed to make the pursuit of scientific knowledge in one particular area (the cause of life’s diversity) morally responsible for the Holocaust.

  62. #62 Amy Alkon
    April 28, 2008

    I am sorry you have forgone this statement of fact. It does not ask us to believe. It does not ask us to investigate whether the statement is true. It tells us Jehovah is our God.

    And Jim Jones told all his followers to drink the pretty purple Kool-Aid. Lucky for you, with your sheep-like willingness to do what you’re told, that you weren’t in Guyana.

    I was raised Jewish, but actually employed rational thought from a very young age, and realized that there was no evidence for god, which meant it was silly to believe in god.

    It isn’t rude to “deride and disrespect” that opinion. It’s reasonable and rational. If some other person believed that chairs walk, talk and fly, and swore that in a post here, and people “derided and disrespected” them for that opinion, would you feel the same way?

  63. #63 Bronze Dog
    April 28, 2008

    One of the things I really hate about the newage postmodern relativist shit is the idea that ideas worthy of derision and disrespect shouldn’t be derided and disrespected.

  64. #64 Phoenix Woman
    April 28, 2008

    Ktesibios had it right:

    Dr. Aust, the technical term for Cee’s behavior is authoritarian aggression. If you’ve read Altemeyer you’ll recognize all three attributes of the classic rightwing authoritarian: authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression and high conventionality.

    Yupper. Another one for the killfile. (Folks, don’t bother to explain to her about Greasemonkey; let her indulge her paranoiac fancies.) Though Jud, I do admire your efforts to try to reach someone who claims to be a biology student but knows buggerall about the scientific method. (Oh, but she doesn’t need to know about that icky science stuff, not when she has such a vivid imagination!)

    Nothing seems to drive this personality type into a foamier, more spittle-flecked rage than an “Evil Other” who refuses to knuckle under and be beaten up for being one of the out-group.

  65. #65 Flex
    April 29, 2008

    Cee wrote, “From the way the Darwinist ideologues speak and act, like Richard Dawkins, I would not want one of them at my bedside as I faced the emotional and disturbing effects of disease or death.”

    Heh.

    Having met Dr. Dawkins at TAM3, and gone drinking a couple times with PZ (although I don’t expect either of them to remember me, they were social meetings with a group of people), I can personally affirm that you will rarely meet more polite and respectful people.

    Not having seen Expelled, and having no plans to see it either, I can’t say what the editing made them appear to be. However, Cee, should you accidently run into them in a pub, you would probably consider them pleasant enough blokes.

    They would gently correct you if you tried to tell them that evolutionary theory leds to fascism. Because it doesn’t; evolutionary theory testably describes what we observe happening in biology. That’s what makes it science and not a political ideology

    Fascist writings may take inspiration from evolutionary theory. This is a point I’m willing to concede. The converse is not true, evolutionry theory doesn’t take any inspiration from fascism. As a science, evolutionary theory is concerned with how biology works, not how political systems are justified.

    As you are undoubably aware, fascist writings have also taken plenty of inspiration from other sources, many of them religous, including Christianity.

    To close on one rememberance of PZ at the pub; there was no heirarchy around the table, no jockeying for social position. Probably a dozen people came and went during the evening, the discussion ranged from American history to mind-body dualism. A variety of people were present, and everyone’s opinions and thoughts were heard and considered. Expertise was valued when it was offered, but opinions were challenged.

    No one felt humbled because of PZ’s fame. No one was devalued because of age, gender, sex, color, or any other physical trait or personal creed. It was an evening without rancor or recriminations, although there were some strenuous disagreements. It was not a love-fest by any means. It was a very enjoyable evening. It was what every free-thinker and, dare I say it, atheist, desires in this world.

    It was a meeting of equals.

  66. #66 Modusoperandi
    April 29, 2008

    cee “Jonathan Wells was one of those interviewed in EXPELLED! Let’s see how an ideologue approaches such a nice, intelligent and respectful person such as Dr. Wells….”

    Um…have you read reviews of Icons of Evolution by people who know what they’re talking about? One Icons of Evolution review. There are many more, but the gist of each is that Wells’ grossly distorts the Theory of Evolution so that he can knock it down (some of the hypotheses of abiogenesis, too). It’s a common tactic of the Discovery Institute. Where does he work, again? Oh, right. Incidentally, ID rarely argues for ID, touting its strengths, theory and experiments (those being none, none and none, respectively). Instead it spends most of its time attacking the ToE, and most of that time is spent attacking a cartoon version of that.
    For that matter, did you read the rest of that Dailykos page? Skipping to the end only works for pornography; for things other than than, a complete read-through is called for.

    “Freedom seems to me to be anathema to people like the poster at DALIYKOS and other ideologues who wish to indoctrinate instead of debate with respect.”
    Science stands on the evidence, not the rhetoric. You can make up an damn fool hypothesis you want, but you need evidence to back it up before anyone will listen to you. ID (and before it, creationism) stands on a foundation of lies, hubris and ignorance, then whines about being “persecuted” when the experts point out that they are full of it.

    “Where does such arrogance arise from?”
    Pointing out that Wells is full of hot air isn’t arrogance, it’s honesty. Honesty is something that the Discovery Institute lacks. Arrogance, on the other hand…

    “I simply believe that taking materialism to its logical end, as does Richard Dawkins, allows the believer to stand in judgement of life and rule which has more value.”
    Yeah, that’s God’s job! Take that, citizens of the ancient near East who had the audacity to live in a place that God gave the Isrealites but failed to tell anyone else that He’d done so, leading them to move in when His favourite people spent some time in Egypt!

    “It’s interesting that none have come to defend those like Margaret Sanger who were so closely aligned to Social Darwinism, using similar terminology.”
    And passages from the Torah like Exd22:18 and Lev20:13 never did nobody no harm, no how? The different between the groups is that social darwinism is a distortion of ToE while a homo stoning or a witch burnin’ is following the text to the letter. ToE is an “is”, not and “ought”. Holy books are riddled with “oughts”, some of which have aged really poorly. Physics is an “is”, but I haven’t heard anyone attempt to overturn “Newtonism” (replacing it with the evidence-free Intelligent Falling) because Hitler hung some Jews (and apparently ate dinner while watching), ergo, from Newton-to-Hitler.

    In closing, a quote from the Expelled Special Edition of Hitler’s Mein Kamph (with an introduction by Ben Stein. An outroduction, too. But I digress):
    “…and when I read in the Book of Darwin of Him noticing that otherwise similar birds on different islands in the Galapagos had beaks whose size and shape varied with diet and this, extrapolated back into Deep Time (with the assistance of these “fossils” that Darwinists keep digging up), meant that living things, both flora and fauna, could potentially change beyond all recognition over a span of many generations if those best adapted for given environmental pressures outbred those less so, I experienced the Special Revelation that the God of Godless Atheism, the Most Divine and Holy Naturalism and His chosen method, the Scientific, really wanted me to off a bunch of Jews. Of course, Luther’s On the Jews and their lies, centuries of church and state supported antisemitism, as well as a conveniently visible minority to scapegoat after our failure in the Great War (and the repercussions that came from that) won’t hurt, but I pin all of my hopes, and those of the Aryan race (and by “Aryan”, I mean “Noble” or not Semitic), on the Righteousness of Darwinism, a theory that few follow and fewer still understand. XOXOX, Adolf.”

  67. #67 Modusoperandi
    April 29, 2008

    cee “Jonathan Wells was one of those interviewed in EXPELLED! Let’s see how an ideologue approaches such a nice, intelligent and respectful person such as Dr. Wells….”

    Um…have you read reviews of Icons of Evolution by people who know what they’re talking about? One Icons of Evolution review. There are many more, but the gist of each is that Wells’ grossly distorts the Theory of Evolution so that he can knock it down (some of the hypotheses of abiogenesis, too). It’s a common tactic of the Discovery Institute. Where does he work, again? Oh, right. Incidentally, ID rarely argues for ID, touting its strengths, theory and experiments (those being none, none and none, respectively). Instead it spends most of its time attacking the ToE, and most of that time is spent attacking a cartoon version of that.
    For that matter, did you read the rest of that Dailykos page? Skipping to the end only works for pornography; for things other than than, a complete read-through is called for.

    “Freedom seems to me to be anathema to people like the poster at DALIYKOS and other ideologues who wish to indoctrinate instead of debate with respect.”
    Science stands on the evidence, not the rhetoric. You can make up an damn fool hypothesis you want, but you need evidence to back it up before anyone will listen to you. ID (and before it, creationism) stands on a foundation of lies, hubris and ignorance, then whines about being “persecuted” when the experts point out that they are full of it.

    “Where does such arrogance arise from?”
    Pointing out that Wells is full of hot air isn’t arrogance, it’s honesty. Honesty is something that the Discovery Institute lacks. Arrogance, on the other hand…

    “I simply believe that taking materialism to its logical end, as does Richard Dawkins, allows the believer to stand in judgement of life and rule which has more value.”
    Yeah, that’s God’s job! Take that, citizens of the ancient near East who had the audacity to live in a place that God gave the Isrealites but failed to tell anyone else that He’d done so, leading them to move in when His favourite people spent some time in Egypt!

    “It’s interesting that none have come to defend those like Margaret Sanger who were so closely aligned to Social Darwinism, using similar terminology.”
    And passages from the Torah like Exd22:18 and Lev20:13 never did nobody no harm, no how? The difference between the groups is that social darwinism is a distortion of ToE while a homo stoning or a witch burnin’ is following the text to the letter. ToE is an “is”, not an “ought” (the closest to “ought” in ToE is evolutionary psychology, which only tells us what worked so far, not what we “ought” to do in the future). Holy books are riddled with “oughts”, some of which have aged really poorly. Physics is an “is”, but I haven’t heard anyone attempt to overturn “Newtonism” (replacing it with the evidence-free Intelligent Falling) because Hitler hung some Jews (and apparently ate dinner while watching), ergo, from Newton-to-Hitler.

    In closing, a quote from the Expelled Special Edition of Hitler’s Mein Kamph (with an introduction by Ben Stein. An outroduction, too. But I digress):
    “…and when I read in the Book of Darwin of Him noticing that otherwise similar birds on different islands in the Galapagos had beaks whose size and shape varied with diet and this, extrapolated back into Deep Time (with the assistance of these “fossils” that Darwinists keep digging up), meant that living things, both flora and fauna, could potentially change beyond all recognition over a span of many generations if those best adapted for given environmental pressures outbred those that proved less so, I experienced the Special Revelation that the God of Godless Atheism, the Most Divine and Holy Naturalism and His chosen method, the Scientific, really wanted me to off a bunch of Jews. Of course, Luther’s On the Jews and their lies, centuries of church and state supported antisemitism, as well as a conveniently visible minority to scapegoat after our failure in the Great War (and the repercussions that came from that) won’t hurt, but I pin all of my hopes, and those of the Aryan race (and by “Aryan”, I mean “Noble” or not Semitic), on the Righteousness of Darwinism, a theory that few follow and fewer still understand. XOXOX, Adolf.”

  68. #68 Modusoperandi
    April 30, 2008

    That’s twice. As you well know, twice is too much. My apologies.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!