Pharyngula

Birdnow is back

I’d almost forgotten Timothy Birdnow. He’s the embarrassingly ignorant property manager who claimed to have refuted Darwin, but instead made a whole series of foolish blunders; I pinned him down on one point he’d made, and asked him to address it…which he answered even more foolishly. It was actually gut-bustingly funny: he got rather upset and accused me of “destabizing [his] blog’s formatting.” That’ll teach the creationists. Cross me, and I’ll give your blog the evil eye.

Anyway, Birdnow is babbling about Darwin again, as ignorantly as ever. I guess he likes to make up stories about history as well as science.

For those of you who are unaware, Darwin turned against Christianity after the death of his non-believing father and brother, calling it “a damnable doctrine“ because Christian dogma consigned them to hell. He then went on to create a purely mechanistic theory of evolution which could be used as a weapon against the Church.

I wouldn’t want to destablize his blog again, so this time I’ll let John Pieret do the honors. Every word of Birdnow’s claim is factually incorrect—he doesn’t even have the chronology of events right, an error which makes his argument temporally impossible.

Even funnier, Birdnow says he was thinking of writing up his dubious ideas for publication. It’s almost too bad Pieret has shredded them so thoroughly and so prematurely.

Comments

  1. #1 Bronze Dog
    May 31, 2006

    Non-cubic linear time singularity is an illusion, and thus materialism is refuted. 😉

  2. #2 quork
    May 31, 2006

    Every word of Birdnow’s claim is factually incorrect…

    That’s just not true. This part, for example, is 100% true:

    the

  3. #3 speedwell
    May 31, 2006

    Apparently not here:

    “Eugenics was the core principle of Nazismsm [sic],…”

    That is, unless you think Naziism had only one core principle.

  4. #4 Tara Mobley
    May 31, 2006

    So Birdnow is still doing spastic flibertegibbit dances?

  5. #5 Ed Darrell
    May 31, 2006

    As I noted at Pieret’s blog, even the idea that Darwin “turned against the church” is wrong. As most naturalists and scientists, Darwin was a charming man, a dear husband, a doting father, and an all-around good guy who took great pains to avoid conflict with any and all churches.

    Birdnow’s simplest premises are dead wrong. What sort of bitterness can drive a person to such error? From what well of hurt can such bitterness spring?

    In the end, Darwin was a better Christian that 90% of current practicing Christians, and better than 99.999% of the Darwin critics who spread falsehoods about Darwin as if they were doing a good deed.

  6. #6 theRidger
    May 31, 2006

    Every word of Birdnow’s claim is factually incorrect…

    That’s just not true. This part, for example, is 100% true:

    the

    Well, as a linguist I have to point out that “the” is only true if the word it modifies (or determines) is one that has been referenced before or can be reasonably inferred by the reader, given cultural or real-world constraints. Is this really true in Birdnow’s post?

    Well, actually, I suppose it is, some of the time…

  7. #7 adoreilly
    May 31, 2006

    Hey, destabilizing his blog is a lot better than that time when you destabilized the spacetime continuum, opening a rift to the dimension of the Squidoids. I mean, sure, you were all excited about it, but the rest of us found them rather gross.

  8. #8 Calihafan
    May 31, 2006

    The typical “because the evolutionist is earnest he is wrong” nonsense. His blog is ridiculous – thank you for pointing it out, I needed a laugh.

    That said, it was worth reading because he called you a “muhajadeen.” Which is a plural form of a word. Which is spelled incorrectly anyhow.

    Oops! I forgot, he is a “real estate guy, after all.” He’s allowed to be ignorant and incompetent. I sure as hell wouldn’t want him selling my house.

    This site is amazing. Keep up the good work.

  9. #9 SmellyTerror
    May 31, 2006

    Guy’s an idiot. I’m astounded he’s actually able to string a sentence together. It’s actually a bit confusing. Are you sure he’s not some kind of hysterical ID Turing Test?

    These folk who want to demonise my man Charles really should try to remember: Darwin didn’t invent evolution, he just NOTICED IT.

    It’s not like he got up on a really big footstool and shot god dead, then altered the universe to create evolution. It was there before anyone noticed exactly what was going on, and it’ll be happening long after we’re gone. It’d be happening whether we noticed it or not.

    Might as well blame Newton for gravity. I dropped a hammer on my foot the other day. Bloody Newton. My belly is starting to sag. Bloody Newton. I have to lug an oven up some stairs later. OH IF ONLY THAT BLOODY NEWTON HADN’T WORKED OUT GRAVITY!!!

    I hate that guy.

  10. #10 CCC
    May 31, 2006

    I dunno about this. Why give a property manager Creationist any more attention than you would an accountant Bigfoot enthusiast or an Area 51-crazed ad sales rep?

  11. #11 SmellyTerror
    May 31, 2006

    ‘Cause smackin’ fools is what makes life worth living! I mean, if I wasn’t smackin’ a fool, how would I know *I* wasn’t a fool just waiting to GET smacked?

    …think about it.

  12. #12 BlueIndependent
    May 31, 2006

    Well I for one applaud the continued factualized denunciation of abject stupidity, so keep refuting the fools. Eventually the refutations make their way around the blogosphere and the “internets”, and people find out for themselves.

    I see it as an informational thing. An evolution of the marketplace of ideas, if you will. Back in the older days, fools stood on street corners and professed ignorant things. Others would dutifully come ’round and correct them. What is taking place here is really no different.

  13. #13 Beaming Visionary
    June 1, 2006

    I think that starting this moment, I’ll be abandoning all pretense at valuing or even acknowledging facts and instead will be “giving everyone the Birdnow.” This process will involve mining my personal sources of cognitive dissonance for an appropriate target, drafting a harrowingly inept screed linking the Godless Science Orthodoxer Du Jour not only to the rise of Nazism but to Stalinism, Islamofascism, HIV, and the “American Idol” cultural phenomenon from hell, and of course slowly raising and extending my middle finger toward anyone pestering me with evidence that I’m zinging merrily around somewhere in the troposphere of Planet Batshit — provided I can identify said finger given an anatomy book, ample time, and the cooperation of my brachial plexus.

    Jesus!

  14. #14 Keith Douglas
    June 1, 2006

    SmellyTerror: Nor was Darwin by any means the first person to think of the idea of evolution by natural selection. Darwin was “simply” the guy who wrote about a mass of evidence in its favour, whereas the earlier proposal (Empedocles, c450 BCE) was purely speculative.

  15. #15 llane1@unl.edu
    June 1, 2006

    More real estate agents

    Birdnow isn’t the only real estate person who claims special knowledge of evolution. Perhaps real estate courses now include creationism indoctrination.

  16. #16 Dark Matter
    June 1, 2006

    Maybe Birdnow’s next “publication” can be about the
    connection between jetliners, jet fighters
    and nazism.

    I hope he enjoys his buisness trips on
    propeller-driven passenger planes
    …..y’know, to avoid the whole “nazi-jet engine
    connection thing”…

    Or maybe he can just stop playing “Six degrees of
    separation from Adolf Hitler” and grow the hell up.

  17. #17 Stanton
    June 1, 2006

    I asked Mr Birdnow a question, in that, I asked him to explain how reconstructing prehistoric animals and postulating bird of paradise lineages were unforgivably wicked and sinful, whereas praying like Pat Robertson (ie, for the death of everyone who disagrees with him) was not.
    Betcha he’s going to ignore it.

  18. #18 RavenT
    June 1, 2006

    Perhaps real estate courses now include creationism indoctrination.

    Actually, I think it’s a case study of evolution in action–the ability and willingness to bullshit probably provides a differential fitness advantage, and thus a selection pressure, in a sales environment.

  19. #19 Beaming Visionary
    June 1, 2006

    Birdnow in the comment thread:

    “srnissen, you need to go back to Kintergarden.”

    PZ, you need to establish some sort of standard wherein above a certain irony level, you allow yourself the freedom to ignore bursts of creo-blog flatulence. I would recommend the same for any e-mail you receive that starts with a version of the word “so” that contains three or more “o’s”.

  20. #20 KeithB
    June 1, 2006

    Actually the jet engine was *also* a british invention:
    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bljetengine.htm

  21. #21 JMJanssen
    June 2, 2006

    I’ve given up on this kind of blogging. There are so many people who are just too stupid to ever realize how stupid they are. Also, I start feeling a bit guilty when I read their stuff just to give myself a chuckle, it’s a cheap laugh really, like the first few episodes of American Idol.

    In short, I truly feel as though we should be above this and simply ignoring the complete morons, so we can focus our energies on those who actually wish to learn.

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