Pharyngula

Open Thread: are we having fun yet edition

While I am intensely distracted—I’m freaking out a little bit over this Cafe Scientifique presentation I have to do in a couple of hours, and since I’m also the organizer I’ve also got to set up all the AV gear in a new venue and miscellaneous other mundane tasks—I’ll let everyone talk among themselves for a while.

(My problem with this talk right now is that I put together all kinds of stuff and had 130 slides to show…I’ve had to be ruthless and rip at it savagely, since I really want this to be an easy going 30-40 minute presentation. But there’s so much I could say!)


Hey, an important reminder: send those Tangled Bank entries soon: go here for the address. This is your last chance!

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Sutton
    February 28, 2006

    There’s this guy on a forum I visit who’s convinced that whales evolved from land-roaming shrews. I shook my head.

  2. #2 wamba
    February 28, 2006

    Rev. Mark H. Creech speaks out against the Clergy Letter Project using the sophisticated argument: “No I’m not, you are”:


    According to AgapePress, Zimmerman says these 10,000 members of the clergy that have signed the Clergy Letter Project “are saying that intelligent design, creation science, is not only bad science as defined by the world community, but it is also bad religion.” Hah! It’s just the opposite! Evolution neither makes for good science nor religion.

  3. #3 BronzeDog
    February 28, 2006

    Someone needs to brush up on his blackness comparison between pots and kettles.

    Dear Strong Bad,
    Why don’t you write a book about comeback jokes?

    No, why don’t YOU write a book about comeback jokes, NERD!

  4. #4 BronzeDog
    February 28, 2006

    Realized a possible misinterpretation that could go on: That someone I was talking about is that Creech guy wamba quotes.

  5. #5 just john
    February 28, 2006

    Okay, I’m just picking on you for being Minnesotan, but have you seen Thinkprogress’ story, “The Minnesota GOP’s Stealth Attack On Privacy“?

  6. #6 Alon Levy
    February 28, 2006

    While I am intensely distractedI’m freaking out a little bit over this Cafe Scientifique presentation I have to do in a couple of hours, and since I’m also the organizer I’ve also got to set up all the AV gear in a new venue and miscellaneous other mundane tasksI’ll let everyone talk among themselves for a while.

    Well, I have a German midterm in 12 hours that I better pass, and a senior thesis to show my advisor in 10. If any of you knows how to get graphics to work in LaTeX, please do tell me how; I’ve finished all the math work, and only need to get that out of the way.

  7. #7 MissPrism
    February 28, 2006

    Does anyone keep a list of creationist speakers along with information that might be useful to people wishing to argue against them? I’ve just written a summary of an creationist talk by nutjob Jobe Martin (first item in my blog, linked above) and I wondered if it might be helpful to anyone with more patience than I have.

  8. #8 Bored Huge Krill
    February 28, 2006

    hmmm. What form do you have graphics in?

  9. #9 BronzeDog
    February 28, 2006

    I don’t know about specific speakers, but there’s the good old generic TalkOrigins index

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2006

    Jobe Martin? At an IDEA club meeting? He’s a classic creationist dingbat who rejects all versions of evolution — I thought the IDEA clubs were supposed to be more sophisticated than that (hah! That’s sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it.)

  11. #11 MissPrism
    February 28, 2006

    Oh yes, all the same old shit, and not even in a new bucket.

  12. #12 Steve
    February 28, 2006

    Does anyone else wrestle with a strong belief in freedom of speech and a desire to permanantly shut up the dangerous woo woos of this world, creationists, HIV deniers,anti vaxxers etc. Or even a generally peaceful even pacificistic outlook and the feeling you could really pop some of the smug sobs in the mouth?

  13. #13 Steve
    February 28, 2006

    One day i’ll proof read before i post and prevent reiterations of a word in a single sentence even..

  14. #14 BronzeDog
    February 28, 2006

    Does anyone else wrestle with a strong belief in freedom of speech and a desire to permanantly shut up the dangerous woo woos of this world, creationists, HIV deniers,anti vaxxers etc. Or even a generally peaceful even pacificistic outlook and the feeling you could really pop some of the smug sobs in the mouth?

    Ev-er-ry day.

  15. #15 MissPrism
    February 28, 2006

    Steve: yup, I know that inner conflict. And then there’s the one between my egalitarian, everyone deserves a say philosophy and the desire to say “Do shut up, you ignorant peasant.”

  16. #16 RavenT
    February 28, 2006

    are you using epsfig, Alon?

  17. #17 RavenT
    February 28, 2006

    backing up a step–do you already have graphics in some format that you need to get into LaTeX, or do you need to create the graphics? If the latter, I propose creating them as .eps files, and using the epsfig package with the begin{figure}…end{figure} commands (slashes as usual in LaTeX, but I’m guessing the blog would gag on them)).

  18. #18 lt.kizhe
    February 28, 2006

    Rev. Mark H. Creech speaks out against the Clergy Letter Project….…and relies heavily on the scribblings of the recently-late Henry Morris while doing so. Someone should tell him that his hero is now an evolutionist. Must have been embarassing for the old fart ;-).

  19. #19 Jeremy
    February 28, 2006

    People of Pharyngula, I simply MUST draw your attention to today’s dose of idiocy from everybody’s favorite dumbass, MISTAR DAVESCOT.

    What does the theory of Natural Selection (the most well tested theory in science) predict about Avian Flu?

    Anything at all practical that isnt obvious from simple observations of past flu behavior?

    Dont hold your breath. The most well tested theory in science is also the most useless theory in science.

    Linky

    Just when you think he couldn’t be more of a tool, he goes out and tops himself.

  20. #20 Jeremy
    February 28, 2006

    People of Pharyngula, I simply MUST draw your attention to today’s hilarious dose of idiocy from everybody’s favorite dumbass, MISTAR DAVESCOT.

    What does the theory of Natural Selection (the most well tested theory in science) predict about Avian Flu?

    Anything at all practical that isn’t obvious from simple observations of past flu behavior?

    Don’t hold your breath. The most well tested theory in science is also the most useless theory in science.

    Linky

    Just when you think he couldn’t be more of a tool, he goes out and tops himself.

  21. #21 Jeremy
    February 28, 2006

    Whoops, sorry for the double post. Tried to fix a couple of things… bleh.

  22. #22 MikeM
    February 28, 2006

    Here comes Utah!

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/02/28/teaching.evolution.ap/index.html

    Oops, there goes Utah.

    My favorite idiotic quote:

    “I don’t believe that anybody in there really wants their kids to be taught that their great-grandfather was an ape,” Buttars said.

    I very firmy accept the Theory of Evolution, but I also do not want my kids to hear great-grandpa was an ape. Why? Because he wasn’t.

    Someone needs to read “Ancestor’s Tale”, I think.

  23. #23 Bored Huge Krill
    February 28, 2006

    I just saw an email on an industry working group reflector (of which I am a member) suggesting that all future meetings be scheduled so as to avoid major religious holidays – for which a list is provided.

    I was wondering, could anybody point me to a list of Pastafarian holidays? I should make sure they are added to the list…

  24. #24 MissPrism
    February 28, 2006

    BHK, I don’t know about Pastafarian holidays, but the Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic has quite a few:

    http://www.apatheticagnostic.com/ourchurch/calendar.html

  25. #25 James R
    February 28, 2006

    Steve
    I wrestle with… all the time. That is what makes the blogosphere so wonderful. We can practice here and when we get it out of our systems and onto the net we have accompished more then the IDiots ever will. And we don’t need to find a place to hide the bodies.

  26. #26 Chris
    February 28, 2006

    Actually, your great-grandfather *was* an ape… and so was mine, and our grandfathers, and our fathers, and us. It’s a pretty good bet that anyone reading this blog is an ape, and so are all of their recent ancestors. It’s possible that there may be some good reasons for paraphyletic terms like “fish” or “dinosaurs”, but since humans strongly exhibit many characteristics of apes (large brains, complex social structures, learned behaviors, forelimbs specialized for grasping, etc.), bipedalism and partial hair loss seem poor morphological grounds for excluding us from a group to which we clearly belong on cladistic grounds.

    I realize that this was probably not what you meant, and almost certainly not what Buttars meant, but allowing the use of “ape” for “non-human ape” to pass unchallenged will only lead to more of this type of misunderstanding in the future. Trying to disavow our species’ relationship with other apes is like trying to claim you’re not related to your cousin because you can’t stand his fart jokes. Your relatives are your relatives, whether you like them or not.

  27. #27 Bored Huge Krill
    February 28, 2006

    thanks, MissPrism. Maybe I should add some of those…

  28. #28 coturnix
    February 28, 2006

    Ken Ham and Jason Lisle preach in NC. And an attached editorial.

  29. #29 Corkscrew
    February 28, 2006

    Steve: the ones I’m tempted to beat round the head aren’t so much the numbskulls running their mouths off (heck, I’ve matched those criteria myself a few times) but the sheep who sit there smiling and nodding without even engaging their brain let alone critically analysing the nonsense they’re being fed.

    It’s much more frustrating – they have the outside perspective on the numbskull’s commentary to have no excuse not to burst into laughter 😐

  30. #30 NatureSelectedMe
    February 28, 2006

    There’s this guy on a forum I visit who’s convinced that whales evolved from land-roaming shrews.
    Did you set him straight, Steve? New Fossils Resolve Whale’s Origin

  31. #31 Owlmirror
    February 28, 2006

    Giant squid grabs London audience

    With link to video, and nice long panoramic image of the squid in its preservation tank.

    I, for one, welcome …

  32. #32 Francis
    March 1, 2006

    Dean Esmay is once again promising that he has a scientist who is going to blow the cover off the great HIV -> AIDS conspiracy.

    Tara has made a brief appearance on the comment thread but looks like she could use some moral support.

  33. #33 NelC
    March 1, 2006

    I wouldn’t count on everyone reading this blog to be an ape. I have a strong suspicion that PZ is a actually a Deep One, so he’s not an ape, but some humanoid form of cephalopod….

  34. #34 Alon Levy
    March 1, 2006

    Raven, you’ve saved my life. I already had the graphics, but as graphs created on the spot using Maple; originally I tried exporting them as GIFs and JPEGs, and failed to get LaTeX to render them correctly no matter what configuration I tried. Exporting the graphs as EPS files shut down WinEdt’s LaTeX compiler, which for some reason says it doesn’t recognize EPS as a valid graphics format; however, the DVI-to-PDF compiler does recognize EPS, so that now that I did what you said, everything turned out alright.

    I was wondering, could anybody point me to a list of Pastafarian holidays? I should make sure they are added to the list…

    Every Friday is a Pastafarian holiday. In addition, Talk Like a Pirate Day is sometimes associated with the FSM.

  35. #36 wamba
    March 1, 2006

    This is odd: someone quoting Gregg Easterbrook as an expert source. At least he doesn’t venture on to the topic of evolution.

  36. #37 RavenT
    March 1, 2006

    Glad it all worked out, Alon. I may need the karma someday :).

  37. #38 wamba
    March 1, 2006

    Deep-spied Fish: Atlantic Expeditions Uncover Secret Sex Life Of Deep-sea Nomads

    For centuries scientists have thought of deep-sea pelagic fish as nomadic wanderers, in part because information about them was so limited. However, new results from the ongoing Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystems program (MAR-ECO), a Sloan Foundation-sponsored component of the Census of Marine Life, have revealed that these fishes may in fact be gathering at features such as ridges or seamounts to spawn. The research has important implications for how deep-sea ecosystems should be managed to prevent devastation by deep trawling activities. MAR-ECO research expeditions have also led to the discovery of as many as six fish species new to science and the collection of some unusually large deep-sea fish specimens.

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