Pharyngula

Utter nonsense

What the hell? How can the BBC News publish this tripe?

But in the nearer future, humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, he predicts, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years, Dr Curry claims.

Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.

Ignoring the fact that you cannot predict long-term evolutionary trends without knowing long-term environmental trends (and not even then), I would like to see the evidence for any of this. For instance, I doubt that there’s even a speck of credible data showing that men with square jaws have greater reproductive success than men with more rounded jaws…or that large penises and fertility are correlated. The author of this claims is just making things up, I assert.

On what basis does he make these claims? It’s all about his perception of what sexual selection should do.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the “underclass” humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

In other words, because he (and the advertising world) has set up hairless women with pert breasts and glossy hair as the ideal, well, they must get lots of sex and produce lots of children who will propagate that Cosmo state of airbrushed perfection. Meanwhile, no man is going to breed with the majority of women (you know, those women who have body hair and whose breasts actually sag a little bit…the “squat goblins”) unless they are chinless, lopsided dwarves, so we’re going to see that subhuman breed spontaneously segregated from the noble Eloi.

I might have believed this nonsense could come from some late 19th century eugenicist, but now? Is there any evidence of the kind of sympatric speciation event described going on? Humans are a happily interbreeding group, with no hint of the separation of genetic classes corresponding to this prediction emerging, or that real-world human beings make mate choices as simplistic as that, or that the people who best fit those stereotypes are at all superior in reproduction. What competent biologist could even suggest such silly nonsense?

The source is not a biologist, which helps. It’s Oliver Curry, who recently received a Ph.D. from the Government Department of the London School of Economics, and now teaches Political Theory. “Eh, what?” I hear you say—what does training in government, economics, and politics teach you about how evolutionary biology works? Apparently, next to nothing. Worse still, this fellow is a member of something called the Evolutionary Moral Psychology Group. I roll my eyes at everything Evolutionarily Psychological, and sticking the word “Moral” in there just makes it worse. There is good work in morality by psychologists and social scientists, but calling it “evolutionary” seems to be a universal corrupter, as the practitioners, who rarely have any knowledge of population genetics or evolutionary biology in general, strive to tangle their misperceptions of biology with the complicated business of how their brains work.

It’s a good thing Larry Moran and I didn’t know about this garbage during our trip to London, or we might have been tempted to forego some of the generally fun and wonderful items on our schedule for the less savory effort of snarling at these guys.

I’ve heard that the movie Idiocracy also tries to predict human fate in the next millennium…but it is satire. The BBC article shows no such self-awareness of the parody of evolution they are promoting.


Wilkins and Hawks also give this crap a good flush.

Comments

  1. #1 Caledonian
    October 18, 2006

    This has been a problem for years – the BBC’s coverage of science matters is overly simplistic, verging on the sensationalistic.

  2. #2 PZ Myers
    October 18, 2006

    Is it the BBC news that distorted this stuff? Or is the work they’re reporting on simply crap?

  3. #3 Caledonian
    October 18, 2006

    My best guess is that it’s just garbage, which the BBC is reporting because they believe it will draw attention.

    My only claim to even approaching expertise is in human psychology, but the BBC’s broadcasts and reporting on that subject have been seriously flawed for a very long time. Important points are dumbed down, exaggerations are made, and half-truths are presented as true, and caveats aren’t aired.

    This is the same sort of treatment, now involving biology and the study of human evolutionary development. The only point that can really be said to be correct in this article is that humans are shown to prefer mates that are similar to themselves in background and personality traits, so that it is possible that freed from standard selection pressures, people with specific traits might become more likely to breed with similar people. (This has been speculated to be a mechanism potentially responsible for the rise in reported cases of autism, but there’s little evidence one way or another, and plenty of alternate hypotheses.)

  4. #4 minimalist
    October 18, 2006

    No surprise that a crank “evolutionary psychologist” (with no credentials vaguely related to even that debased field) is at an economics school. They’re good at promoting unevidenced ‘theories’ and models based on wishful thinking. And making predictions that always turn out to be false.

    I’m sure the creationists will find a way to smear the entire biology community with this guy, all thanks to the Beeb’s careless reference to this guy as an “evolutionary theorist”. Yeah, and every bad sci-fi writer who ever predicted that we’d evolve into sexless, lightbulb-headed supergeniuses in the year 5000 are “evolutionary theorists” too.

  5. #5 Sarah
    October 18, 2006

    Curry forgot the part about the noble subspecies of humans evolving the ability to become richer.

    ‘Cause, you know, that’s powered by genetic selection too.

    *cough*

    All in all, I think this would make a fantastic article for The Onion.

  6. #6 Rick @ shrimp and grits
    October 18, 2006

    Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds.

    So the guy’s a fan of anime?

  7. #7 Blake Stacey
    October 18, 2006

    @Rick:

    Yeah, his next paper will be about how thirteen-year-old girls will evolve short skirts and thigh-high socks, while men evolve tentacles.

    (Did I just say that out loud?)

  8. #8 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    October 18, 2006

    Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features

    I for one will welcome our pert breasted future masters.

  9. #9 jimBOB
    October 18, 2006

    PZ, I don’t doubt you’re right on the main points here, but I’d like to make a small side observation.

    My wife’s family belongs to an old-money country club in our area, and on (very rare) occasions I go over there for one of their holiday things. (Note: I am the furthest thing from old money myself.) Most of the members are part of a highly interbred economic elite, whose families run the upper echelons of this midwestern city’s big companies and institutions. These people go to the same private schools, marry and have affairs with each other, get each other hired into management, and when they’re old, all go to the same blue-haired restaurant where no small number die at their tables face-down in their schnapps or whatever.

    Whenever I’ve over there, I’m always struck by how incredibly tall they all are. Even the women. It’s like going to an ents convention. I’m 5′ 9″ i.e. average height, and balding, and these people make me feel like a squat goblin. The pervasive non-baldness probably has something to do with Hair Club for Men, but the height thing you can’t fake.

    I don’t think this differential is necessarily leading to a speciation event, but it is striking.

  10. #10 Joshua
    October 18, 2006

    Mmm… tentacles…

  11. #11 flame821
    October 18, 2006

    Rick,Blake – you two rock

    And I can discount this ‘theory’ in 2 words without even using any scientific method or any knowledge gained from book learning:

    Frat Party

    I have seen virile young men ‘hit’ females that were a far cry the nigh perfect creatures this article described.

    But I had to admit, my mind immediately went to anime and LOTR with the Orcs and Elves. LOL

  12. #12 PZ Myers
    October 18, 2006

    Of course, height is one of those things that is highly sensitive to environmental factors, like diet. I don’t think post-WWII Japanese have seen such a rapid increase in average height because only the tallest Japanese are having children.

  13. #13 Mandolin
    October 18, 2006

    & gotta love the assumption that intelligence and height and beauty go together, while ugliness and stupidity and lack of height go together. Did he provide any reason for assuming those traits go together?

  14. #14 Carlie
    October 18, 2006

    Not to mention that those models he touts as the ideal quite often are amenorrhagic due to keep-us-thin poor diets; not exactly bastions of fertility, they.

  15. #15 Robster
    October 18, 2006

    Come on, PZ. You are just unhappy that you were born one millenia too late. You want to have all those benefits of the genetic upper class, but are just afraid to admit it, you white, round chinned goblin! [/snark]

  16. #16 decrepitoldfool
    October 18, 2006

    Is it the BBC news that distorted this stuff? Or is the work they’re reporting on simply crap?

    Both; it’s distorted crap. I saw this article and thought, “WTF?” It makes more sense when you know it’s coming from an economist.

    Expect to see it forwarded somehow as an argument against evolution.

  17. #17 Tracy P. Hamilton
    October 18, 2006

    But now evolution can explain PYGMIES and DWARFS!

  18. #18 Warren
    October 18, 2006

    I was wondering if you’d notice that. It struck me when I read it as a wretched combination of silly predictions and total ignorance of biology.

    Glad you’re back, BTW, particularly given the hideous state of the States of late. I’m not sure I could have been convinced to return.

  19. #19 craig
    October 18, 2006

    um.
    So he’s asserting that men are AVOIDING women who shave their legs and armpits, etc., so that they can find the rare naturally hairless females?

    Or… maybe he’s saying that women who have to shave less will survive to reproduce, while those who DO have (and/or choose to) shave will be more likely to die in fatal armpit-shaving accidents?

    what?

  20. #20 eric taylor
    October 18, 2006

    you missed the best part! The sun has the picture

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/1,,2006480199,00.html

    Now all you need is a little photoshop, and change the label “genetic elite” into “scientists” and “the rest” into “creationists” and you’re all set!

    I love the guy from 12,006. It’s like his mouth is specially designed to suck beer out of a six pack.

  21. #21 MartinC
    October 18, 2006

    Its fairly obvious that Lamarckian evolution is about to make its long awaited comeback. All that leg shaving and high heeled pain will be worth it in the end (errr not me, well maybe at weekends – but only as a comfort thing, you understand !).
    To be serious for a second, the report says more about the quality of the BBCs science reporting than anything else. This Oliver Curry guy prepared this study for a ‘mens TV channel’ -you know the sort, basically a sportscar and bikini clad bimbo channel, not somewhere to show programs about proper science. Its about one step up from ‘Hustler’.

  22. #22 Geoffrey Brent
    October 18, 2006

    I’m confused. Does the bit where humans all interbreed to form one coffee-coloured melting-pot happen before or after the bit where they speciate by refusing to breed outside their own station?

  23. #23 Silmarillion
    October 18, 2006

    Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin

    I bet the people over at Gilette are crying into their coffee.

  24. #24 Anton Mates
    October 18, 2006

    Craig: Exactly. And women who get boob jobs tend to experience silicone leakage into their ovaries, torquing their fertility, while the naturally pert-breasted have tons of babies. Maintaining the pertness of their breasts throughout, mind you.

    Furthermore, there will be this remarkable reproductive segregation into upper and lower classes of hawtness, even though all ethnicities will be simultanously breeding indiscriminately with each other so we can become “coffee-colored.” It’s the miracle of evolution!

    Sadly, all this will never come to pass if our celebrities keep cruelly and unfeelingly adopting 3rd-world kids. Angelina Jolie, we need your genes! Especially if collagen syringes are heritable.

  25. #25 PZ Myers
    October 18, 2006

    Oh, ick. That Sun article is even worse.

  26. #26 Jeff Fecke
    October 18, 2006

    Wait–if women are going to have lighter skin, how does that square with interbreeding causing a uniform shade of skin? Or will men and women simply become totally seperate species who simply create their unstoppable 2m army of fembots in a lab?

  27. #27 Nandes
    October 18, 2006

    Even as one of your non-scientist readers, that first quoted paragraph almost gave me an heart attack.

    The scary thing about news stories like this is that the general population reads them and believes them because a “scientist” said so.

    I wonder if creationists will use this as some sort of ammunition againt the “evils” of evolution.

  28. #28 eric taylor
    October 18, 2006

    Hey, the sun article is way better because it’s made clear that the people at Sun think it’s The Onion style of space-alien science. Just look at the title, man, “All men will have bigger willies”, that’s definitely there for the humor element. The BBC article on the other hand, seems to take it all seriously. That’s much worse.

  29. #29 midnightjester
    October 18, 2006

    CNN also reported it, I believe, verbatim as did all our local papers in Cape Town, SA. At least the Gaurdian took it with a pinch of salt. The thing was commissioned for the “Bravo” satellite channel for chrissake. That should have been a clue to the Beeb.

    jester

  30. #30 Andreas Bombe
    October 18, 2006

    Jeff: That’s about the only part that wouldn’t be total nonsense in that whole mess. The average skin color of women in the same ethnic group is generally slightly lighter than the average for men.

  31. #31 Pygmy Loris
    October 18, 2006

    Wow!

    From the Sun article
    “The predictions appear in a new report by evolution theorist Dr Oliver Curry, of the Darwin@LSE Research Centre at the London School Of Economics.”

    How in the world does being an economist qualify you as an evolution theorist?

  32. #32 Zeno
    October 18, 2006

    So when do we get our bigger willies?

  33. #33 Stanton
    October 18, 2006

    Pygmy Loris, I think the title “Evolution Theorist” is granted to a person who buys the Platinum Package at the University of Phoenix diploma mill.
    Zeno, I think we’ll get them by around 2020.

  34. #34 Mena
    October 18, 2006

    Zeno, the problem with the big willy evolution thing is that men tend to worry about that stuff a heck of a lot more than we do, ergo there isn’t much of a selective pressure for that. Besides, if we are supposed to stay virgins until we are married how would we ever know? ;^)

  35. #35 Alon Levy
    October 18, 2006

    Mena, can’t you ask a man to strip for you and then decide whether his penis is large enough for you to marry him?

    Geoffrey, Razib actually pointed out why the “We’ll all be the same shade of brown” argument is crap.

  36. #36 Pamela
    October 18, 2006

    From the Evolutionary Moral Psycholgy Group:

    evolutionary moral psychology begins by specifying the recurrent problems of social life that our ancestors faced

    As if this was the easy part.

    I haven’t thought much about this “research” for about 10 years. It hasn’t changed a bit! Thanks for the laugh and the link PZ. Laughing until I cry: I agree that it’s very distressing that crap like this (still) gets mainstream attention.

  37. #37 King Spirula
    October 18, 2006

    So if you already have a big willie, does that mean you’re ahead of your time, or just a head?

    But seriously, when I taught college biology I was appalled at the general lack of understanding of natural selection, sexual selection, and inheritance. But I shouldn’t be surprised. I did research at a dental school and overheard a PhD/Dentist tell someone that parents of differing height will produce children who’s height is between the two.

  38. #38 Dianne
    October 18, 2006

    I’m still stuck on the bit where men evolve more facial asymmetry whereas women evolve less. Is facial asymmetry supposed to become sex linked somehow?

  39. #39 Liam Morley
    October 18, 2006

    I think I did see an article somewhere that said that blonde hair would be gone in another few thousand years or so, but that’s about as close as I’ve seen. I’m no scientist, but it seemed somewhat credible to this reader.

  40. #40 QrazyQat
    October 18, 2006

    No surprise that a crank “evolutionary psychologist” (with no credentials vaguely related to even that debased field) is at an economics school.

    First, this guy is a nutjob, at least on this hypothesis. Whether it’s because he’s a total nutjob or just way over his depth I don’t know. But you can find nutty evo pysch people at lots of different universities, just as you can also find some good ones, scattered here and there. You don’t always hear about them as much because they don’t say such headlineably stupid things.

    And the LSE is a good school, not just for economics. I know their anthro dept had had some really good people, and best of all, they have this great little library room where I went to the best conference I’ve ever been to — not too many people, everybody talked to everybody, and best of all, if you got to the room early you could grab one of the comfy chairs (the comfy chair? the comfy chair? the comfy chair? the comfy chair?). Any of you who’ve been to the usual hotel conference room conference and sat in those awful chairs for hours, day after day, know what I’m saying here. 🙂

    Okay, they did have the usual crappy dorm rooms to stay in, but at least it wasn’t like being in a stone floor dorm in Durham in December.

  41. #41 Jim Harrison
    October 18, 2006

    If we’re dead set on speciating, we need to start keeping groups of people as pets so that they don’t need to maintain their general competence as organisms and can become extremely specialized like dog breeds–badgermen with tiny little legs, Bullmen with flat faces and bow legs, poodle people with dry-clean only white hair and cute tails… Well, we’ve already developed horndogs.

  42. #42 Jason Taylor
    October 18, 2006

    I must say that the bit about the Eloi strand having recessed jaws as a result of years of eating softer processed food is ludicrous, particularly in light of the fact that he attibutes jaw structure to sexual selection among the genetically superior class.

    This will show up again as a straw man attack on evolutionary biology, I just know it.

  43. #43 inge
    October 18, 2006

    “Der Spiegel” reported it, too, without any of the snark they occasionally afford. My guess is that the author had read “The Time Machine” before going to sleep and this great idea then came to him in a dream, or something like that.

    Or it’s a simple case of, “if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” — using an economics toolkit on evolutionary biology.

  44. #44 Andrew Brown
    October 18, 2006

    The whole LSE thing comes about because Helena Cronin, Dawkins’ old friend, ran and now runs again a very sociobiological programme there called Dawkins@LSE: Oliver Curry used to be her assistant. Then he went to Bath or Bristol (somewhere in the West Country anyway). He picked up then the knack of getting into the papers. I note that this was released as a Sunday-for-Monday.

    They have had all the gang over, one way or another — Trivers, Pinker, Dawkins himself, most recently Dennett.

    PZ, I put up a reply to your last on my own blog.
    nice to meet,though.

  45. #45 Reed A. Cartwright
    October 18, 2006

    PZ, I believe that the “square jaw” thing comes from studies of male attractiveness. IIRC, square jaws correlate with high testosterone are are a visual cue that a man has high fertility. Women when ovulating, if given a choice, will prefer men with squarier jaws. They prefer something else when not ovulating. It seems to be an adaptative strategy for cuckoldry. However, given current population levels and culture, I doubt that “square jaws” have much higher reproductive success than “round jaws”.

    Height is similiar. Last time I TAed undergrad evolution, the prof displayed a chart of pre-WWII Poland in which taller men had more children that shorter men. It was funny to watch how the men in the class couldn’t understand what was causing it, but the women knew right away: female choice; taller men were more attractive. Then he showed a post-WWII chart, in which the effect of height had disappeared because the sex ratio had changed and women couldn’t be a choosy any more.

  46. #46 Charles Hargrove
    October 18, 2006

    Sure reminds me of the movie Bulworth, wherein the main charcater advocates: All we need is a voluntary, free spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep f*ckin’ everybody til they’re all the same color.

    It also brings to mind The Marching Morons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons

  47. #47 Kagehi
    October 18, 2006

    Looks like this clown put together a combo of general trends and badly understood science to make up unbelievable predictions.

    Lets see:

    1. 6-7 feet tall.. Check. There has been a general trend for taller people. Problem is, its hard to say if its due to just diet or there are genetic factors triggered by a general improvement in diet that are making people taller, or both. I would tend to think both. My parents where not exactly starving, but I and my brother are 6’5″ and 6’4″ respectively, which is almost a foot taller than “either” parent. Not sure where he gets the 1,000 years goal for when everyone would be that way, but its bloody unlikely to be universal, even if the average would some day be 6′.

    2. Age… Well, this one “might” be a reasonable prediction. The problem is, its close to the limit without genetic manipulation, and one would presume that in 1,000 years either a) we will have done so, or b) we will have found ways to cheat without doing so. In either case, I think 120 is more likely to happen in 50-100 years, not 1,000.

    3. This is where things start to get completely silly. The only way symmetrical characteristics are going to appear universally is either through Nazi style Eugenics or more careful manipulation of genetic markers. Why? Because while symmetry is generally, according to every study ever done, “preffered” from a physical stand point, scent is still a factor according to others, since it signals some vague genetic compatibility (or rather, “I am less likely to pass on the same defective gene and produce a kid with two copies.”, signal) and then there is social factors, which are pretty much certain to muck up any “intentional” attempt to produce less ugly in the world, unless by intentional you are again describing some sort of breeding program to “perfect” society.

    4. Interbreeding = uniformity. Umm.. No. Black people that move north have lighter skinned kids, white people that move south have darker skinned kids. Sure, it takes generations, but if every person from Africa moved to Europe and everyone in Europe moved to Africa, within 10-20 generations you would have an African continent filled with European looking black people and a European contitent filled with white people who all had African features. Unless we stop the earth from wobbling and all live half way between the equator and the poles, this isn’t going to happen. It would require that nearly 70-80% (guessing) of the entire population shift every generation to random places on the planet, then produce kids with the locals, only to have their kids move to yet another random location, with no physical preferences or racial distinctions in that selection at all. Ain’t happening!

    The rest just gets *really* idiotic. Especially since, as has been pointed out, pretty can mean dumb as a stump, so the premise as to what the “subclass” is going to look at is flat out stupid, even if it didn’t fail to include those that, through a series of errors, mistakes or accidents, find themselves financially and socially incapable of staying in the “upper” class. Why it would happen now, when there have been plenty of cultures that have developed such drastic seperations and enforced them, but none of them produced massed of goblin like people, is just nuts.

    Like I said, the guy has probably read a lot of the same stuff I have, failed to read about half the rest, and barely comprehended *any* of it. This rediculously silly mix of half right, but invalidly reached, conclusions and pure gibberish is the result.

  48. #48 MartinC
    October 18, 2006

    Andrew, the program at LSE is called Darwin@LSE, not Dawkins.
    I noticed that Oliver Curry has a first name Nature article listed on his publication list, but looking it up it turned out to be a book review.
    Im not sure he didnt write the whole thing as a bit of a joke for the Bravo channel and its being taken out of context – the context being that its simply a joke for a ‘Mens channel’ about the future being full of pert women and all the men getting huge willies (causation or merely association ?)

  49. #49 JJP
    October 18, 2006

    Bullshit like this makes me embrassed to be an evolutionary biologist

  50. #50 windy
    October 18, 2006

    Last time I TAed undergrad evolution, the prof displayed a chart of pre-WWII Poland in which taller men had more children that shorter men. It was funny to watch how the men in the class couldn’t understand what was causing it, but the women knew right away: female choice; taller men were more attractive. Then he showed a post-WWII chart, in which the effect of height had disappeared because the sex ratio had changed and women couldn’t be a choosy any more.

    How much pre and post WWII was this? Sounds a bit strange, I doubt that female mortality was greater in WWII… But perhaps WWI killed more Polish men than WWII, causing male scarcity between the wars, and the difference levelled off after WWII?

    But anyway, it sounds doubtful. Were illegitimate children surveyed, or was the effect supposed to be wholly due to the most fertile women choosing the tallest men and leaving the shorties without mates? What if the tallest men were tall as a side-effect of being affluent and better-fed? Maybe these men could afford to marry and have kids earlier, and pass some of the affluence to their kids and raise more surviving children?

  51. #51 superBadGirl
    October 18, 2006

    I have the opposite theory. I think that the widespread adoption of plastic surgery will make the wealthy progressively uglier. Once they’re ready to mate they’ve had the human growth hormone, the bariatric surgery, orthodontic work, Accutane, hair extensions, Lasik, personal trainers, etc. But they pass on shortness, mangle-tooth, baldness, obesity, bad skin, nearsighted genes to their kids. They pay for their mutant offspring to get “up to code”, and then those children breed even more hideous progeny. No child of privilege will see the light of day until they are old enough to get through their 1st round of surgery.

    Actually, this would be kind of funny to see.

  52. #52 Bartholomew
    October 18, 2006

    Could be worse – over the water at the University of Ulster they’ve got a full-blooded eugenicist named Richard Lynn.

  53. #53 CJColucci
    October 18, 2006

    So we’re all going to be Tiger Woods? Will we then have to recalibrate what constitutes a “par” golf score?

  54. #54 Reed A. Cartwright
    October 18, 2006

    Windy, I believe that this is the paper that the figures came from.

    The effect was comparing post-war Poland (114 Women per 100 Men) with more recent decades (105 Women per 100 Men).

    There is also a study on West Point graduates, which found similiar results for height. They attribute the effect to taller men being more likely to have more than one family. (I guess that means remarriage.)

  55. #55 Lynn Fancher
    October 18, 2006

    What a pile of codswallop!

    I really hate it when people start speculating about the evolutionary future of our species. It either ends up being a senseless extrapolation of past trends in the species–which is insupportable, as much of the selective pressures which shaped our past are no longer acting on us–or silly, wishful thinking nonsense like this article.

    What’s truly sad is the degree to which this man has displayed his biological ignorance. He clearly has no notion, for instance, of the realities of the genetics behind skin color. A high degree in interbreeding freedom will do nothing to alter the allelic diversity of the species. Even if you could achieve, for one brief moment, a human population of universally coffee-colored individuals, the second they started making babies–and reassorting all those nicely diverse alleles again–you’d lose it. The only way to actually establish consistently uniformly-colored humans would be to somehow actually eliminate all of the high and low pigment alleles of the skin color genes, and that’s not going to happen by interbreeding ;^)

    And of course, all the wishful thinking about pert-breasted beauty queens and over-endowed, square-jawed Hercules impersonators is also nonsense, particularly in view of the measures to which so many are willing to go to artifically alter all of those aspects of sexual attraction. Utterly silly.

    And the hairless women are also a fantasy. Humans may *look* less hairy than our primate relatives, but it’s essentially an illusion. We have as many hair follicles per square cm of skin as they do. We just have little wussy hairs instead of big robust ones ;^) There’s been no real sign of a trend to *lose* hair, and as males and females are *not* separate species, it’s highly unlikely that such a change would exclusively depilitate females, leaving males as hirsute as ever.

    Guess I’d better cut myself off–I think this is my first blog-rant LOL! And if I don’t get to class my students will all run out on me.

    Lynn

  56. #56 Buffalo Gal
    October 18, 2006

    superBadGirl – that would be a terrific cheesy Sci Fi movie plot.

  57. #57 lo
    October 18, 2006

    Can`t it just be that this was meant sarcastically by the author and was taken out of context?

    Anyways I foremost agree on one thing: It has virtually become impossible to predict future evolutionary trends of the human race. Ultimately we are a product of our environment and we can`t even predict environment since we are constantly inferring with it on a massive scale with each technological revolution.

    We even know now that plane trails significantly impact the weather. Due to economical benefit the future says that we will do cloud seeding, and already are we planning on creating plasma mirrors in the ionosphere. But then again even a major sunburst has an impact on nature, and so on…

  58. #58 Nes
    October 18, 2006

    I heard this on the radio this morning. Nice to see that I more or less correctly labeled it as BS when I heard it!

    From the Sun article:
    “If we are all popping pills, diseases such as cancer won’t be weeded out of the gene pool.”

    Now, I’m not a doctor, nor even a biologist for that matter, but aren’t some (if not all) cancers caused by an error when copying DNA when a cell divides (or something like that)? And if that is the case, then wouldn’t it really not make a difference one way or the other if we were popping pills, since that could happen regardless of how “perfect” our genes were?

  59. #59 colin
    October 18, 2006

    In 1000 yrs Dr Curry’s decendants will have evolved past verbal communication — they’ll just have to open their mouths and pure tripe will pour out on to the floor. Thus guarenteeing understanding to all in line of sight and granting the underclasses a solid meal.

  60. #60 Slippery Pete
    October 18, 2006

    Check out this photo, and then ponder whether a squat goblin hobnobbing with another squat goblin, visiting a monument to a third squat goblin, and complaining about the term “squat goblins” is a coincidence.

  61. #61 Slippery Pete
    October 18, 2006

    Let’s try this again –

    Check out this photo, and then ponder whether a squat goblin hobnobbing with another squat goblin, visiting a monument to a third squat goblin, and complaining about the term “squat goblins” is a coincidence.

  62. #62 MJ Memphis
    October 18, 2006

    What about short but non-squat people? Do we turn into elves?

  63. #63 decrepitoldfool
    October 18, 2006

    OK, I just saw that fellow’s picture on the Sun, and he reminded me of “Skip Hammond” from this fine article on The Onion; Actual expert too boring for TV

    He’s an “expert” on a field with nothing to be expert about

  64. #64 Ted
    October 18, 2006

    So the BBC is inaccurate when it comes to science, but spot on with it’s Antiamericanism and coverage of world events. I’ll be sure to keep the distinction in mind the next time I’m harangued about ignoring the BBC’s latest Truth about America.

  65. #65 Dan
    October 18, 2006

    My reading of the original article left me in tears (crying? laughing? I’m not sure – perhaps both).

    However, I’d have to say that evolutionary psychology stands as a real science (at least when practiced by responsible scientists), certainly more so than some of the psychology tht continues to get bandied around by educational psychologists and psychoanalysist. Steven Pinker is a good example of a researcher who provides good, and justifiable, evolutionary psychology mechanisms and explanation (no long range forcasts!)

  66. #66 ChrisB
    October 18, 2006

    A few people have suggested that Curry may have written this with tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek, which could explain this nonsense. If Curry takes himself seriously as an academic then I don’t think this is likely.

    I have, on a couple of occasions, had articles done on my own research, research that I was serious about and for which I was glad to get publicity. More than once, the resulting article has made me cringe, as the reporter did such a ham-fisted job of quoting or interpreting what I had said, and demonstrated such complete ignorance of science that the end result was just embarassing. I understand that this often happens to legit research; thus, purposely ‘publishing’ (albeit on the ‘Bravo’ Network) nonsense like this just to take the piss seems really stupid to me.

    Even if I had written something like this as a joke, once I discovered the kind of press it was getting I’d do my damnedest to make it known that it wasn’t meant to be serious–I’m supposing that noone has heard Curry retract this anywhere?

  67. #67 quork
    October 18, 2006

    Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds.

    I presume this is based on a sexual selection argument. But think about it: In this age of readily-available birth control, are the most attractive women the ones with the most offspring? Are there any supermodels with half a dozen or more children?

  68. #68 Dave Godfrey
    October 18, 2006

    Don’t forget, until that pesky Victorian gent turned up the Morlocks were in charge. The Eloi were cattle.

  69. #69 magikmama
    October 18, 2006

    Andreas Bombe – the reason that women tend to have slightly lighter skin is simple: folic acid and vitamin D. Folic acid is necessary to prevent severe birth defects nd vitamin D is required to make healthy bones. Too much UV light destroys folic acid, thus raising the severe and likely fatal birth defect rate tremendously. Not enough UV light and your babies come out with rickets and the girls will likely have pelvic deformities that will kill them in childbirth.

    This is why all populations, minus heroic modern medicine, would adjust to whatever the local skin tone is, within 4-7 generations. There are a few examples where this doesn’t happen, but generally this is because some cultural quirk steps in to alter this balance (a habit of wearing black from head to toe would actually cause the lightening of skin tone, regardless of latitude.)

  70. #70 ken melvin
    October 18, 2006

    I think all the homely people living near me are proof positive that Darwin was wrong.

  71. #71 Carlie
    October 18, 2006

    I think I did see an article somewhere that said that blonde hair would be gone in another few thousand years or so, but that’s about as close as I’ve seen. I’m no scientist, but it seemed somewhat credible to this reader.

    Liam – it wasn’t. I use that exact article in my classes when we do Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The BBC writer made the fatal mistake of equating “recessive” and “rare” with “becoming less frequent”. No matter how rare it is, no matter if it’s recessive, as long as there’s no actual selection pressure against it, it will not go away (assuming no drift, and with a population of 6 billion and growing that’s not bloody likely). It’s Jenkins’ paintpot all over again. There’s also some media-savy-ness about it, too – apparently it came out on a day when most actual science writers on staff have the day off (because Tuesday is a more standard big science day, and this was a Friday or something), so it made it around the world and to the Today show before the science writers got back in to work, told everyone off, and the retractions were quiet and embarrassed. Not only that, but the “German science article” the information supposedly came from didn’t exist. It’s a fascinating study, because it does all sound so logical, but is so soundly wrong.

  72. #72 MattXIV
    October 18, 2006

    Has anybody ever actually studied whether precieved attractiveness translates into increased reproductive success in contemporary society? It doesn’t seem like a very hard study to conduct and it would nip a lot of stupid theories about genetic change in humans in the bud.

  73. #73 Peter
    October 18, 2006

    Of course this is straight out of Huxley, the difference being that in Brave New World the genetic strata were created by isolating the desireable traits for each social class and then perpetuating them through something like cloning.

    On an related note, I have a colleague whose mother is European and whose father is from India. She was once asked, by an Indian gentlemen, “How dark is your father?”, the idea being to find out what caste she belongs to. She evaded the question, but I wonder if the anecdote isn’t somewhat relevant here.

  74. #74 Mike Janitch
    October 18, 2006

    Hey, Mr. Myers…

    A little evolution egg in the face?!

    Are you going to be a goblin for halloween, or a super human sqaure jawed large penis man?

    Funny how your side always reverts back to the “mein kampf” deduction of super humans over short periods of time!

    Keep up the good work, don’t forget to save some cash, or else you’ll become a “have not”… which means you could “evolve” into a bald, fat, and dim-witted LOWER CLASS human…

    Reason number 1,257,999 of why evolution is such a farce of logical / empirical science that it deserves to be ridiculed for its lame deductions.

    On a different note… can I ask if your side still thinks the earth is flat?!

  75. #75 Mike Janitch
    October 18, 2006

    Hey, Mr. Myers…

    A little evolution egg in the face?!

    Are you going to be a goblin for halloween, or a super human sqaure jawed large penis man?

    Funny how your side always reverts back to the “mein kampf” deduction of super humans over short periods of time!

    Keep up the good work, don’t forget to save some cash, or else you’ll become a “have not”… which means you could “evolve” into a bald, fat, and dim-witted LOWER CLASS human…

    Reason number 1,257,999 of why evolution is such a farce of logical / empirical science that it deserves to be ridiculed for its lame deductions.

    On a different note… can I ask if your side still thinks the earth is flat?!

  76. #76 Kseniya
    October 18, 2006

    Is posting the same moronic gloat three times (as opposed to one) supposed to attract squat goblin girls?

  77. #77 Baratos
    October 18, 2006

    I think Mike was trying to prove he knew how to read and press a button that says “Post.” He failed miserably.

  78. #78 Corey Schlueter
    October 18, 2006

    Funny how your side always reverts back to the “mein kampf” deduction of super humans over short periods of time!

    Funny how your side revert back how beings were created in such a short time.

  79. #79 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2006

    More to the point, the fact that this gloat seems to have completely missed the point of PZ’s post, which explicitly expounds on the innaccuracy and poor reasoning of the original article, renders it essentially a self-classification into the clade of intellectual protozoa.

    Seriously. I’m actually curious; please explain how anyone capable of operating a keyboard and a web browser could be so unbelievably fucking stupid as to read this article and come away with the impression that PZ believes any of this, or that this has any scientific validity?

  80. #80 Baratos
    October 18, 2006

    Azkyroth: the fact he triple posted suggests that he cant use a keyboard perfectly well. How do you expect a creationist to operate something not mentioned in the Bible?

  81. #81 minimalist
    October 18, 2006

    Want to know just how dumb this Janitch guy is?

    A while back, PZ linked to a blogpost from this dope.

    Janitch was stating his firm belief that, because the naming of Eris was “inspired by the strife caused by the debate over what constitutes a planet”…

    … that it was therefore a dig at President George Dubya Bush (God’s Anointed!) and the Iraq War.

    Really.

    His blog is an entertaining read in a “watch the crazy, foaming yapping little dog” sort of way, but it gets boring quickly. Also he deletes all comments that make him look like the buffoon he is. I’m surprised he ventured out of his little sandbox, frankly.

  82. #82 Mena
    October 18, 2006

    Alon: The point really is that women just aren’t as concerned about that as men are. You can always tell which naughty stories were written by men pretending to be women because men always mention size. They also have no idea what bra sizes mean so they come up with things like 48D which means that her chest is 48 inches around under her breasts. It has nothing to do with breast size at all!
    Lynn Fancher: Your name sounded familiar and when I clicked on your link I realized why. Oh my gosh, I took your genetics class way back when, let’s just say it wasn’t too long after you started there. Hi!

  83. #83 mygaia
    October 18, 2006

    Many races of humans have been separated from each other for up to forty thousand years as in the case of Australian aboriginals but have still remained one species

  84. #84 mikej
    October 18, 2006

    each time I posted, this lame ass blog told me the message did not post, with a “scripting error” which “we apologize for”.

    So I posted again until it accepted.

    Feel free to delete the other two duplicates.

    It still doesn’t negate the snarkism.

    Using the 2 other duplicate posts as a reason to dismiss my critique is akin to you people dismissing Hovinds theories because of being taken to court.

    Logical fallacies from the evolutionists are common. Almost as common as your Ad Hominem’s.

  85. #85 mike j
    October 18, 2006

    Oh and I was vindicated by the whole Eris thing, when Michael Brown acknowledged that the name Eris could be construed as being “ill timed” and as being “political”.

    Also Michael Brown said that the names were pushed through “in record time” right over the 9.11 anniversary.

    As for PZ Meyers not endorsing this “finding” by a fellow evolutionist… OF COURSE HE WOULDN’T endorse this finding about Coffee-people… what is funny is that he cherry picks which outlandish science findings he supports, and which he denies.

    If you people really do believe in evolution.. they HOW COULD YOU DISAGREE with your fellow evolutionary science professional who says that in 1,000 years we will be coffee-people with big penises?

    I would say that this story just sheds more light on your darkage belief in macro-evolution!

    No reply from Myers.. maybe he’s making his halloween costume…. I’ve heard he’s going to dress up as a goblin-idigent-lowerclass-bald-dimwit.

    Hey don’t knock it.. .its “science”!

  86. #86 Caledonian
    October 18, 2006

    Mena, can’t you ask a man to strip for you and then decide whether his penis is large enough for you to marry him?

    Except that, as Mena states and as countless studies have concluded, people generally don’t care about penis size. Most of the sensory nerves are within the first third of the vagina in human females, and there is of course the clitoris, so they don’t really have much practical reason to prefer large penises. There is also an issue with bumping the uterus and jarring the ovaries, which I’m told is somewhat like being kicked in the testicles for men.

    It should be noted that in simian species where long-term monogamy is practiced, such as gorillas, penises are *quite* small by human standards. Species in which females may mate with many males have significantly larger penises. This has given rise to two hypotheses. The first is that a larger penis can break through seminal plugs left by other males, and may have a slight advantage in depositing semen. The second is that larger penises are a form of threat display or intimidation tactic – yes, that men have large penises to impress other men. Since men care about penis size much more than women generally do, this is somewhat plausible.

  87. #87 Xanthir, FCD
    October 18, 2006

    If you people really do believe in evolution.. they HOW COULD YOU DISAGREE with your fellow evolutionary science professional who says that in 1,000 years we will be coffee-people with big penises?

    Maybe because rational people don’t idolize titles? That way, fuckwits can’t put one on and thus fool everyone. You actually have to *earn* the right to have your words respected. Looks like you didn’t get the memo explaining that…

    Plus, of course, he’s not an “evolutionary science professional”. He’s an economist. Read the f’cking article.

  88. #88 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2006

    Mike:

    I suggest you learn what evolution actually is before you try arguing against it. The proposition PZ is arguing against here is at best a “pop” theory with as much relevance to actual evolutionary biology as comic-book ideas about a superhuman “next stage” of human evolution. We reject this proposal because it lacks the supporting characteristics that have made evolutionary theory so successful, including a strong body of evidentiary support that creationist hacks have to work overtime to downplay, internal consistency, observational and, in part, verification, and an absence of emotional bias in the formulation of its guiding hypothesis and in the interpretation of its results. (Creationism, incidentally, lacks all four: many of the body of Creationist claims contradict each other; its “evidence” consists entirely of fabricated or distorted attacks on the validity of evolution, with no positive evidence whatsoever presented and the impossibility of positive evidence occasionally frankly admitted; it has neither observational nor experimental verification; and it is demonstrably driven entirely by the wishful thinking and arrogant dogmatism of religious extremism.

    As for “macro-evolution,” claiming you accept change within a species but not “macro-evolution” is like claiming you accept inches, but not miles. Unless, of course, you’re about to dazzle us with your discovery of tangible, observable barriers to speciation via accumulation of mutations in a subset of the population? Didn’t think so. And considering that new species have been isolated in the laboratory and observed developing in the wild, this position is doubly ridiculous. If what you really mean is “speciation accompanied by drastic morphological change,” we haven’t been observing the world long enough for that to have been observed in…probably anything other than (“just”) bacteria.

    Incidentally, isn’t humility supposed to be a Christian virtue? I’m trying to think of how your tone could be rendered more arrogant, and I’m drawing a blank.

  89. #89 Kseniya
    October 18, 2006

    Yaponski Bog! This Janitch guy has to be a hoax, a satirical character created to spoof Creationists. Nobody could be really be that clueless.

    Ummm…. Right?

    FWIW, I can’t google up any mention of Brown acknowledging that the Eris thing could be construed as being political. I concede that he very well could have said that, but would also like to point out that “I can see how it could have been construed as” is a far cry from “It was.”

    It’s just as likely Brown was casting about for a diplomatic way to say, “I can see how the paranoid nutbags on the Right would automatically jump view anything, no matter how innocuous, that might conceivably allude to the turbulent reality of today’s world, as a back-handed slap at The President.”

  90. #90 Kseniya
    October 19, 2006

    Urgh. Fire the editor. (Me.) The world “jump” was supposed to be deleted. And I think I used too many commas. Oh well!

    Azkyroth said it 1,000 times better anyway. 😉

  91. #91 mike j
    October 19, 2006

    Well Azk, I don’t know where to begin. Assuming you are raising questions that you actually want answered, as opposed to raising rhetorical questions.

    First, I have learned what evolution is… that is to say, I have gone through schooling up to and including 16 years of “evolution” taught through biology, genetics, anatomy, geology etc. Through the graduate level.

    So I do understand evolutions claims (i.e. transitions AMONGST species, and transitions within species).

    I agree that transitions within species occur, such as Dogs breeding differing types of dogs.

    I DO NOT agree that transitions occur between two different types of species. (macro-evolution)

    You see, the problem you encounter is that there are at least 6 different types of “evolution”. You claim that in order for me to accept MICRO evolution, I also must accept MACRO.

    Your analogy of accepting the inch, instead of the mile makes my arguement (and ID’ers argument as well) very well defined.

    Your side always tries to include MACRO-evolution as part of some kind of “package deal”…

    You see, it can be OBSERVED that Dogs produce other types of Dogs, but there are NO EXAMPLES of Dogs producing non-dogs or part-dogs.

    You then extrapolate that because Dogs produce different types of Dogs.. therefore Frogs produced dogs.

    Its an illogical jump based upon a completely different set of criteria.

    Your side has never observed a “transition”.. but rather your side has only seen variation.

    As for “accumulations of mutations” somehow producing some kind of “new” animal.. I would say .. prove it. Your side BELIEVES this without seeing it.

    Mutations are just scrambling of genetic code… genetic code with already exists I might add. Therefore, logically, if all the code was already there, mutation cannot explain “new” animals/species.

    I can provide a “DAZZLING” discovery, if you’re willing to actually listen.

    My dazzling discovery is very simple, yet confounding in comlexity… its the fact that matter exists.

    You see, in order for YOUR SIDE to “believe” in evolution, you must assume several things that are NOT observable (much like creationism/ID).

    Your side must assume that Cosmic evolution took place, that is to say. That something came out of nothing. That Hydrogen appeared at the beginning, and then somehow “evolved” into all the elements, which then these elements somehow combined into stars, which then somehow combined into materials to make planetoids. Then your side must “believe” that these inorganic compounds combined into the first cells, then your side must “believe” cells somehow formed into bacteria etc..

    By the way, I must say I don’t “believe” all these accidents could have taken place on their own. There is another logical explanation.

    My logical evidence is that for all these suppositions to take place, for the evolutionist, or the creationist…. a supernatural event LOGICALLY must have occured in order for all things to be here.

    Supernatural means “beyond” natural. Therefore at some point, a force outside of the Universe had to “create” the matter that forms all things.

    Since it is logical to deduce that matter was created, then the argument is over for your side. Your side is shuffling deck chair on the titanic. The point of evolution becomes obsolete once you deduce that a creator had to create even the smallest of atomic structures.

    I could go on and on about molecular structure, atomic structure, universal laws, cellular complexity, but you get the point. For such complexities to occur by accident is beyond absurd, and has NEVER BEEN OBSERVED… therefore because it has never been observed and tested, it is NOT SCIENTIFIC!

    Biblical Creationism claims that the “supernatural” force has identified itself through the bible, and I agree many parts of creation cannot be proved scientifically, but nonetheless just because science is INCAPABLE of explaining how matter came to be, does NOT negate the fact that at some point, matter had to be created.

    My final point is that since it is logically proved that matter HAD to be created, then logiclly speaking, and scientific deduction proves, that since matter was created, then the complex nature of living things can be explained by the same process of creation.

    I’m not telling you to pick up a bible and read it, I’m saying that logically your left out in the cold when trying to explain a natural source for everything.

    As for me being arrogant, or anti-humility… since when can an evolutionist, non-god believing atheist cast a stone at anyone? Leave the judging to someone who is capable of telling right from wrong. You should just stick to misinformation, and pseudo-science babble.

    I’m not trying to be nice and make friends… myers comes onto my blog all the time and berates me for no reason (as I never heard of him until he started coming onto my .com and saying rude things).

    Any person could read what I wrote, and tell I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but as for PZ Myers, he’s said some very rude things which I have been more than gracious in “turning the other cheek”.

    His denial of today article about coffee-penisman was proof enough for me that he cherry picks which incredulous things he wants to believe and which he thinks are ridiculous.

    I just happen to think they ALL are ridiculous. If that makes me arrogant, and non-humble then so be it.

    I wear your (and his) contempt as a badge of honor.

  92. #92 Andrew Brown
    October 19, 2006

    To pick up a couple of Mike’s points.

    1) Speciation HAS been observed. For a comprehensive list see the talkorigins.net archive. This is where tow groups of organisms which could previously breed to produce fertile offspring no longer can due to one or multiple factors. Dogs are still technically the same species, but are classified differently due to geographical isolation e.g. dingo and jackal.
    http://talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

    As for Frogs produced Dogs. I think I’ll ask you to go back and take a retest. Amphibians were an evolutionary precursor to modern mammals, but frogs certainly did not give rise to dogs.

    As for the assertion that God exists because matter exists. Just because we don’t know what happened we don’t default to ‘God did it’, as Mike does. Unkown does not equal supernatural. I don’t know why my team’s main striker (Peter Crouch, go ahead and laugh)regularly misses an open goal from 6 yards, but I don’t attribute it to some malign outside influence.

    As for the assumption that most of us who don’t subscribe to the ‘alpha male upstairs’ theory think the universe came about by accident, all I can say is, how many times can you misunderstand your opponent’s position? Evolution is absolutely NOT a theory of chance, any more than it’s an accident when your team wins a game of football as it’s a complete accident whether or not they win the random event of the coin toss at the beginning. Luck may give you an advantage, but it isn’t the final arbiter, there’s a lot of other factors involved.

    And the one question which Mike has failed to address, never mind to answer. If something more complex than the universe brought it into being, where did that creator come from? It’s a classically circular argument, and eventually Mike will resort to shouting ‘God just did it OK?’ which let’s face it isn’t actually an answer at all.

    Mike just one final word of advice,

    A dunce cap isn’t a badge of honour.

  93. #93 Anton Mates
    October 19, 2006

    Except that, as Mena states and as countless studies have concluded, people generally don’t care about penis size.

    The studies I’ve seen, as for instance this one–
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6874/1/1
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/wqw4675505001761/

    –report a slight but significant preference for greater thickness, and the amount of preference going up with sexual experience. Length seems to be less important, or rather, while individual women can have strong preferences for shorter or longer, there’s no overall consensus.

    Most of the sensory nerves are within the first third of the vagina in human females, and there is of course the clitoris, so they don’t really have much practical reason to prefer large penises. There is also an issue with bumping the uterus and jarring the ovaries, which I’m told is somewhat like being kicked in the testicles for men.

    True, but most of that argues for length being irrelevant and (if excessive) undesirable, not width. Of course, too much size in any dimension is uncomfortable.

    The second is that larger penises are a form of threat display or intimidation tactic – yes, that men have large penises to impress other men. Since men care about penis size much more than women generally do, this is somewhat plausible.

    Provided it can be shown that men care about it in the right way: they react to larger-penised acquaintances by backing down in fights, or making alliances, or something of that sort. Possibly selection here would be driven by homosexuality as a social bonding activity?

  94. #94 miko
    October 19, 2006

    Unfortunately you don’t have to go to Mike’s blog to find drooling morons, or to the LSE to find “academics” (ok, economists) making moronic comments about evolution.

    Anyone else glance through Nicholas Wade’s (of the New York Times) book? Ugh. He would agree wholeheartedly with this shit… he thinks Jews were selected for math skills.

    I am starting to think as a society we just can’t handle evolutionary psychology… even at its best it’s just this side of feeling crackpotty, and through the monosyllabic media filter cranked up to 11 it invariably becomes full blown crackpot.

  95. #95 Claire
    October 19, 2006

    Hey, apparently if I call myself an expert in creationist theories (and why not? I have a degree in science, own a bible and…. have a dog. Qualifications about as relevant as Curry’s), I can introduce the theory that God is going to give the universe over to the spaghetti monster. And creationists everywhere will have to accept it, because a) my views obviously represent that of the majority, b)because I’m an expert and c)creationists are not allowed to “cherry-pick” theories, what stands for evolutionists must stand for creationists also.

    Woohoo! Bring on the Spaghetti Monster!!

  96. #96 Azkyroth
    October 19, 2006

    Well Azk, I don’t know where to begin. Assuming you are raising questions that you actually want answered, as opposed to raising rhetorical questions.

    I already know the answers. I very much doubt whether you do. …and, it looks like I’m right.

    First, I have learned what evolution is… that is to say, I have gone through schooling up to and including 16 years of “evolution” taught through biology, genetics, anatomy, geology etc. Through the graduate level.

    So you claim. Let’s see if it holds. …and, it looks like it doesn’t.

    So I do understand evolutions claims (i.e. transitions AMONGST species, and transitions within species).

    I agree that transitions within species occur, such as Dogs breeding differing types of dogs.

    I DO NOT agree that transitions occur between two different types of species. (macro-evolution)

    You see, the problem you encounter is that there are at least 6 different types of “evolution”. You claim that in order for me to accept MICRO evolution, I also must accept MACRO.

    Your analogy of accepting the inch, instead of the mile makes my arguement (and ID’ers argument as well) very well defined.

    And what are these “six different types of evolution?” The only ones I’ve heard of are “biological evolution,” “stellar evolution,” and “social (or cultural) evolution,” none of which has anything to do with each other except in the very broad sense of relating to the gradual change in and development of a set of entities with certain characteristics.

    You seem to be a bit confused as to what a species is; presumably you’re forcibly attempting to fit it within the Biblical concept of “kind.” But you’ve already accepted “macro-evolution” in accepting “micro-evolution.” “Macro-evolution,” which seems to comprise and conflate the concepts of speciation and drastic morphological change, is, in the case of speciation, simply the accumulation of “micro-evolution”ary divergence between two populations of a given species to the point where members from each of those populations are no longer able to interbreed, and this has been observed; see the list of “observed speciation events” above for details. In the case of drastic morphological change, it takes quite a bit longer. I’m not sure this has been directly observed in live animals, though I’d be surprised if it hadn’t in organisms like bacteria with much shorter generations.

    Your side always tries to include MACRO-evolution as part of some kind of “package deal”…

    That’s because it’s the same concept, extended to a greater degree. There is no apples-and-oranges difference of the sort you are postulating. So, yes, the “inches and miles” analogy holds.

    You see, it can be OBSERVED that Dogs produce other types of Dogs, but there are NO EXAMPLES of Dogs producing non-dogs or part-dogs.

    I’m not sure about dogs, but there have been numerous observed instances of closely related species producing “part” animals–what the hell else would you call a liger or mule, for instance? As for dogs producing creatures that are recognizably not dogs, there’s no reason for them to, even if there had been enough generations for minor genetic changes to have accumulated on this level, since canines are very well adapted to the pack-hunting, prey-chasing top predator niche.

    You then extrapolate that because Dogs produce different types of Dogs.. therefore Frogs produced dogs.

    Its an illogical jump based upon a completely different set of criteria.

    Indeed, that is an illogical jump. Fortunate for our side that it’s a flagrant straw man, huh? Evolutionary theory does not claim that frogs produced dogs, any more than Biblical genealogy claims the Virgin Mary “produced” Pontius Pilate; rather, both models claim that the two classes in question have a common ancestor. Nevertheless, the last common ancestor of frogs and dogs was much more like an amphibian than a dog.

    Your side has never observed a “transition”.. but rather your side has only seen variation.

    Accumulation of genetic changes leading to reproductive isolation in the lab and in nature, and transitional sequences in the fossil record. Yup. Just variation. Clever of you to spot it; we give up.

    As for “accumulations of mutations” somehow producing some kind of “new” animal.. I would say .. prove it. Your side BELIEVES this without seeing it.

    Aside from observed speciation events, the accumulation of genetic variation under artificially exaggerated selective pressure producing morphological variety in captive-bred canines drastically greater than anything observed in the wild between closely related but reproductively isolated species, and the numerous instances of transitional sequences in the fossil record, about whose existence your ilk perpetually lie through their teeth. But no actual EVIDENCE, mind you.

    Mutations are just scrambling of genetic code… genetic code with already exists I might add. Therefore, logically, if all the code was already there, mutation cannot explain “new” animals/species.

    Mutations are changes; they are not necessarily changes that produce unworkable or meaningless code of the sort implied by the connotations of “scrambling.” And the code was not all already there, since some of these changes do in fact take the form of nucleotides, whole genes, or even chromosomes being duplicated, with mutations in one copy that don’t occur in the other (over the next x generations) subsequently turning them into unrecognizably different genes.

    And furthermore, it does NOT follow that if all the “information” (genes? nucleotides?) was there in the first place, that new animals or species could not result from a reordering. Take any complex algebraic equation and try switching around signs, parentheses, coefficients and exponents and see if the result is equal to the original. Or, for that matter, try randomly reordering the pixels in a bitmap image and tell me that it’s still the same picture. Or randomly reordering syntax elements in a section of code and tell me it’s still the same program. And do you think that randomly reordering the letters in your post would produce the same level of intelligibility and meaning?

    Well…bad example, that last. But I think you get the point.

    I can provide a “DAZZLING” discovery, if you’re willing to actually listen.

    My dazzling discovery is very simple, yet confounding in comlexity… its the fact that matter exists.

    You see, in order for YOUR SIDE to “believe” in evolution, you must assume several things that are NOT observable (much like creationism/ID).

    So, even granting its assumptions, the crux of your argument is that creationism/ID breaks even with evolutionary theory? Your claim that this is dazzling suggests that YOU are very simple, and it is for this reason that the existence of matter confounds you.

    Your side must assume that Cosmic evolution took place, that is to say. That something came out of nothing. That Hydrogen appeared at the beginning, and then somehow “evolved” into all the elements, which then these elements somehow combined into stars, which then somehow combined into materials to make planetoids. Then your side must “believe” that these inorganic compounds combined into the first cells, then your side must “believe” cells somehow formed into bacteria etc..

    False, both in general and in specific elements. We are still working on figuring out exactly what happened when the universe “began” (assuming it had a “beginning” as we think of the concept), but this doesn’t mean that we’ll never solve it. Most of the rest, however, is much less of a mystery than you’d like us to believe. As I understand it, the physical processes leading to the formation of protons and electrons, and hence hydrogen, from subatomic and quark-level particles are fairly well understood; there is no “somehow.” You’ve got the order scrambled here; the first stars were composed almost entirely of hydrogen (a small fraction of the first atoms formed were helium and lithium). There is no “somehow” in terms of the formation of other elements either; they form by nuclear fusion in the cores of stars, a process which has nothing whatsoever to do with and no resemblance to biological evolution. The collapse and subsequent explosion of those first stars (again, processes fairly well understood) produced the quantities of elements heavier than iron, and dispersed the remaining hydrogen and other elements that had been formed in gigantic clouds of gas and dust, which eventually coalesced into new stellar systems, pulled together by a force known as “gravity” (you may have heard of it). While it’s true that we don’t know entirely how or why gravity works, this is hardly a “somehow.” As for the inorganic components combining into cells, this is less well understood, but hardly a “somehow”; several plausible hypotheses have been proposed and are being tested (we have observed the formation of amino acids and self-replicating noncellular molecules in experimental conditions). However, note that absolutely none of this is necessary for or particularly relevant to biological evolution. Your magical sky fairy could have created the sun and the ball of rock and metal we call “earth” and placed the first living cell in the ocean, and evolution could have taken over from there (I believe Behe believes something of the sort; however, the evidence is against this hypothesis). Weren’t you complaining earlier about people trying to make (according to you) different and unconnected ideas into “package deals?” Cast out the beam in thine own eye, and all that.

    As for the first cells having somehow formed into bacteria…the first cells WERE bacteria. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus. I thought you said you’d studied this….

    By the way, I must say I don’t “believe” all these accidents could have taken place on their own. There is another logical explanation.

    My logical evidence is that for all these suppositions to take place, for the evolutionist, or the creationist…. a supernatural event LOGICALLY must have occured in order for all things to be here.

    Roughly translated “I can’t see how this could have happened naturally, [and I’m omniscient, so if I can’t understand it, it’s impossible], therefore A Creator must have done it.” I believe the standard response here is “nature is smarter than you.” There is nothing logical about postulating an extra layer of assumptions that add no explanatory power whatsoever, simply because they’re easier for you personally to wrap your fuzzy little mind around. But I’m willing to be proven wrong; explain how it logically follows that this matter “must have been” supernaturally created, except in the sense that it was “logical” to prehistoric tribespeople that earthquakes and such “must be” supernaturally caused.

    Simply asserting this doesn’t make it true and it’s not going to convince anyone. Do you seriously think we’ve never considered this? Do you seriously think no one’s tried it on us before? Do you actually believe that we’d hold the positions we do if such a combination of observation and unsupported assertion would sway us?

    …you know what…don’t answer that.

    Supernatural means “beyond” natural. Therefore at some point, a force outside of the Universe had to “create” the matter that forms all things.

    Thank you for the vocabulary lesson. Can you tell me what “begging the question” means?

    Since it is logical to deduce that matter was created, then the argument is over for your side. Your side is shuffling deck chair on the titanic. The point of evolution becomes obsolete once you deduce that a creator had to create even the smallest of atomic structures.

    It is not logical, and it is not deduction; in your subjective personal opinion it “seems” logical because you lack imagination, not because it has any rhetorical validity. The fact that you can’t get your mind around how it could happen, and the fact that science has not yet *fully* formulated an explanation of how it happened, do not mean that it is impossible. And as I observed above, the point of evolution does not become moot (I assume this is the word you want) even if a creator could be shown to have acted at some point in history, at some level.

    I could go on and on about molecular structure, atomic structure, universal laws, cellular complexity, but you get the point. For such complexities to occur by accident is beyond absurd, and has NEVER BEEN OBSERVED… therefore because it has never been observed and tested, it is NOT SCIENTIFIC!

    “By accident” is indeed absurd. Fortunate that it’s a straw man. Evolution, even in the overbroad, muddled sense you’re using the term in, is not “random chance” merely because it is not intelligently directed. The laws of physics are not “random,” and it is according to these that the phenomena above have proceeded, so far as science can tell, and claims to the contrary tend to be invariably found wanting. This is the explanation that best fits the available data and has never been seriously challenged (though it has been frequently modified or expanded) by any scientifically and logically sound, honestly presented evidence.

    Biblical Creationism claims that the “supernatural” force has identified itself through the bible, and I agree many parts of creation cannot be proved scientifically, but nonetheless just because science is INCAPABLE of explaining how matter came to be, does NOT negate the fact that at some point, matter had to be created.

    Just because YOU are incapable of explaining how matter came to be does not mean that SCIENCE is incapable of explaining it, and just because science doesn’t have all the answers YET does not mean that it never will. And by what criterion have you decided that Biblical Creationism, which you admit is unprovable, is more plausible than the scientific explanation, except that you like it better?

    My final point is that since it is logically proved that matter HAD to be created, then logiclly speaking, and scientific deduction proves, that since matter was created, then the complex nature of living things can be explained by the same process of creation.

    Even if it were proved that matter HAD to be created, that wouldn’t follow.

    I’m not telling you to pick up a bible and read it, I’m saying that logically your left out in the cold when trying to explain a natural source for everything.

    You may be left out in the cold. But we’re not you.

    As for me being arrogant, or anti-humility… since when can an evolutionist, non-god believing atheist cast a stone at anyone? Leave the judging to someone who is capable of telling right from wrong. You should just stick to misinformation, and pseudo-science babble.

    I am perfectly capable of telling right from wrong, for reasons that have been expounded on many times in many places, by myself and other atheists, and even better, I do what’s right because it’s right, not because I expect a reward or fear a punishment.

    I’m not trying to be nice and make friends… myers comes onto my blog all the time and berates me for no reason (as I never heard of him until he started coming onto my .com and saying rude things).

    Any person could read what I wrote, and tell I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but as for PZ Myers, he’s said some very rude things which I have been more than gracious in “turning the other cheek”.

    Funny; I don’t think anyone who read it got that impression. I guess if you’re sufficiently selective about who you consider “people,” this could be true. As for what PZ’s said, some examples, please?

    His denial of today article about coffee-penisman was proof enough for me that he cherry picks which incredulous things he wants to believe and which he thinks are ridiculous.

    ….

    The proposition PZ is arguing against here is at best a “pop” theory with as much relevance to actual evolutionary biology as comic-book ideas about a superhuman “next stage” of human evolution. We reject this proposal because it lacks the supporting characteristics that have made evolutionary theory so successful, including a strong body of evidentiary support that creationist hacks have to work overtime to downplay, internal consistency, observational and, in part, verification, and an absence of emotional bias in the formulation of its guiding hypothesis and in the interpretation of its results.

    -Azkyroth
    ….

    I just happen to think they ALL are ridiculous. If that makes me arrogant, and non-humble then so be it.

    Your tone, which I specifically referred to (you DO understand that HOW you say things influences how people perceive them, indepedent of their objective informational content, right), makes you arrogant and non-humble, as does your apparent conviction that if YOU can’t understand something, NO ONE can understand it.

    I wear your (and his) contempt as a badge of honor.

    Then you can pin my amusement and pity next to it. Here you go.

    As for the penis size thing, I’ve heard conflicting reports from female acquaintances, but the most consistent and detailed is from a friend who describes her position thus: “Size is very important to me. Anything over 7 inches jabs my cervix painfully.”

  97. #97 PZ Myers
    October 19, 2006

    I really have to correct something here. This mikej fellow writes,

    myers comes onto my blog all the time and berates me for no reason

    Um, I didn’t even remember who “mikej” was. I had to dig into the archives to remind myself of who he was…oh, yeah, he’s one blogging kook (among many), and Phil Plait mentioned to me that he’d come up with a crazy conspiracy theory on how planets were renamed, and I linked to him and his silly anti-evolution foolishness once.

    I hadn’t been back to his site since.

    I might have commented there, I don’t recall; a quick look at the likely threads around that time doesn’t reveal anything.

    It’s funny that in his head I’m now berating him all the time. Sorry, guy, you’re forgettable. Paranoid much?

  98. #98 Some Idiot
    October 19, 2006

    Um… the BBC is not stating this as fact you losers, they’re just reporting on this guys opinion.

  99. #99 Azkyroth
    October 19, 2006

    This guy’s opinion is not worthy of serious media coverage, for the same reason that black helicopter theories wouldn’t be worthy of it except indirectly, through coverage of those who believe in them and their actions. Also, note that anything which is reported by the media or said by “a scientist” acquires an air of respectability of which this proposal is utterly undeserving, and the fact that the BBC doesn’t seem to be interested in pointing out why his position on the facts is wrong will imply, to many people, that they do consider it factual.

  100. #100 Yeti
    October 19, 2006

    Intelligence and attractiveness going together? This guy obviously hasn’t seen my lecturers in the computer science department.

  101. #101 JIm Wynne
    October 19, 2006

    Um, I didn’t even remember who “mikej” was. I had to dig into the archives to remind myself of who he was…oh, yeah, he’s one blogging kook (among many), and Phil Plait mentioned to me that he’d come up with a crazy conspiracy theory on how planets were renamed, and I linked to him and his silly anti-evolution foolishness once.

    I might be the guilty party with regard to mikej’s appearance here. He left a comical comment at my blog about how this Oliver Curry nonsense is some sort of “gotcha” for “evolutionists,” and I directed him to this thread to demonstrate that Curry wasn’t being taken seriously, except by idiots. My apologies. (But the guy is funny, you must admit.)

  102. #102 Corey Schlueter
    October 19, 2006

    This mikej I believe is Mike Janitch mikejanitch.com, whom you wrote about planet Eris some time ago. Someone said he has guy has to be a hoax, a satirical character created to spoof creationists. He actually acknowledged that he liked liked my debating with him.

  103. #103 mike j
    October 19, 2006

    Andrew,

    Talkorigins is the be all end all for the evolutionist. If its not on there, the most people don’t know about it. I have had at least 10 different evolution supporters point me to this site. I have read it multiple times in multiple reference.

    Your “examples” of speciation are EXACTLY what I’m talking about when I say mixing of micro and macro… your side says.. micro is observed, therefore MACRO is true. Its just plainly a bunk statement.

    All the examples of “speciation” on talk origins, are fish producing fish, HUMANS USING ARTIFICIAL selection to make Drosophila paulistorum sterile (don’t know how that proves a gain of information, or a production of different species)… for instance a human can be sterile– and still be considered a human– fireweed doubling its chromosomes (but remaining exactly the same as before), and MICE PRODUCING MORE MICE.

    In all examples you point to what is called “micro-evolution”.

    Your problem is that you then make an illogical (and unprovable jump)to MACRO evolution. For instance, the mouse on Faeroe island… you think the mouse came from where?!

    Andrew then goes on to say about matter popping into existence , that “god did it” is NOT a scientific explanation!

    It is a logical deduction to say that since matter had to come from somewhere, and the only logical place it could come from is outside the current natural universe, then by definition matter came from a supernatural source.

    Which is a scientific proof in itself of a supernatural source! (some people call the source God).

    This is where the disconnect occurs. The Atheist is precluded from coming to this logical deduction.. therefore the atheists positions are falsified!

    I’m not saying that “god did it” therefore it can’t be studided… i’m sure there IS a way it can be scientific/logic reasoned and explained. But you first must acknowledge that indeed a supernatural source is the only explanation.

    Azk says: what are the 6 different kinds of evolution?

    1. Cosmic Evolution
    2. Chemical Evolution/Elemental Evolution
    3. Stellar evolution/Planetary Evolution
    4. Biologic evolution
    5. Macro-evolution
    6. Micro-evolution

    Azk says: “There have been numerous observed instances of closely related species producing “part” animals–what the hell else would you call a liger or mule, for instance?”

    Liger is a type of feline, and a mule is a type of “horse”. They are not any physically different and can reproduce among the same species… much like a zebra and a horse (zorses), or a red and a yellow finch.

    So again, your side uses MICRO evolution to try to prove MACRO. If you can get a horse to produce an entirely new animal (6 legs maybe, make a feline, or combine sexes), then MACRO is true.

    Your example of “kinds” is a good one… for macro to be true, a horse/donkey would have to produce an entirely different “kind” of animal.

    Azk says: “And the code was not all already there, since some of these changes do in fact take the form of nucleotides, whole genes, or even chromosomes being duplicated, with mutations in one copy that don’t occur in the other (over the next x generations) subsequently turning them into unrecognizably different genes.”

    Your proof for the code not all being there to begin with? Or is this another assumption?! Nucleotides, whole genes, and chromosomes being “duplicated”… don’t you understand for something to be duplicated, it had to already exist?!

    You then go on to say that they become unrecognizable different genes… which I actually agree with, but you fail to say these “new” genes DON’T WORK with the existing animal/species… therefore if they don’t work and CAN’T work, how is this proof of anything beneficial?!

    Azk says: “And furthermore, it does NOT follow that if all the “information” (genes? nucleotides?) was there in the first place, that new animals or species could not result from a reordering. Take any complex algebraic equation and try switching around signs, parentheses, coefficients and exponents and see if the result is equal to the original. Or, for that matter, try randomly reordering the pixels in a bitmap image and tell me that it’s still the same picture”

    You say a new animal/species COULD result from the reordering of the genetic code, but again cannot, and have not proved it. This is a baseless supposition… try just rearranging 1% of the code of any given organism. Lets see if it can function (or even live). From my experience, and observation– you use examples of bitmaps and algebraic equations (both of which I love being a computer science major)…

    If you scramble a bitmap image, it comes out as a bunch of gobbleygook, and if you change variables in an equation.. the answer is WRONG — which proves my point in a nutshell!!!! You are saying that if you change around a bitmap, that by chance a new picture will form… and your side is saying that if you change a variable in an equation, that a “new answer” will form.

    It just so happens the new bitmap image will result in crap on the screen, and the algebraic equation will be completely wrong (and won’t work).

    So thanks for proving that “if” evolution is like a bitmap image, then unless someone is sitting there moving the pixels into a new picture.. on its own the bitmap would be useless garbled information(a new picture will result only if an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER is sitting there moving each individual pixel). Same with the equation.. if you change even ONE variable, the answer becomes useless. Only if an INTELLIGENT PERSON is reworking the entire equation, can a correct answer be found.

    Azk says: “So, even granting its assumptions, the crux of your argument is that creationism/ID breaks even with evolutionary theory? Your claim that this is dazzling suggests that YOU are very simple, and it is for this reason that the existence of matter confounds you.”

    I am NOT saying evolution and creationism break even… I am saying that for both of our theories, it requires certain assumptions about matter being here. Your side assumes it just popped out of nowhere, and so does my side.

    Your side says that matter popped from nothing.. that is to say, “FROM NOTHING, EVERYTHING”.

    My side says, that FROM SOMETHING, CAME SOMETHING. As for your other statement… matter DOES confound me. This is why I am pondering creation as an explanation. It is illogical to deduce that something can come out of nothing without a catalyst!

    In this case, the only logical explanation is that the catalyst lies outside nature. This is not some dark age suppostion based upon my “belief” this is a provable fact. The proof lies in the fact that matter is here. Very basic stuff here.

    The problem comes when you try to apply a naturalistic scientific explanation for something NOT natural or scientific. You say that matter coming into existence is NOT DAZZLING?!

    If doesn’t make your mind jump thinking about it, then science shouldn’t be your field of study!

    So now its 9:00 am MST, and I have to actually go to work, I will reply to the rest of your points later.

    But just so you know, I have an answer for each point you’ve made.

    And also, I don’t think I’m omniscient. That is what you have so aptly called a “straw man”.

  104. #104 Edie
    October 19, 2006

    I am so, so glad that scientists are tireless defenders of science against such ignorance! That reply by Azkyroth is wonderful, and I might add incredibly educational for us non-experts. Thank you!

  105. #105 Steve_C
    October 19, 2006

    So the question is… Is Mike a YEC or a OEC?

  106. #106 Keith Douglas
    October 19, 2006

    I might add that this guy also poisons discussions of actual moral psychology, a field that is long overdue to take our biopsychological heritage seriously. Some are starting in the right direction, but it is going to be a long slog. Already we find judges and so on relying on prescientific understanding of responsibility, etc. The conflict is only going to get worse, and muddying up things will not help …

  107. #107 Keith Douglas
    October 19, 2006

    I might add that this guy also poisons discussions of actual moral psychology, a field that is long overdue to take our biopsychological heritage seriously. Some are starting in the right direction, but it is going to be a long slog. Already we find judges and so on relying on prescientific understanding of responsibility, etc. The conflict is only going to get worse, and muddying up things will not help …

  108. #108 av
    October 19, 2006

    I haven’t read all the comments so it’s entirely possible that someone has already said this, but I’ll say it anyway.

    In Renaissance-era Europe, fat women were the beauty standard, because being fat meant you had lots of food to eat and no work to do, and that meant you were financially well-off and societally upper-class. The beauty standard has reversed course because “typical” jobs are no longer physically laborious, which means you can both work and get fat. People in “good shape” have the time to make themselves that way and the money to pay professionals to keep them on track. So if this boob had been writing evolutionary predictions back in the day, he’d have said that the large people were the superior “race” and the thin ones not. Which indicates that the vast majority of “beauty” standards (beyond things like symmetry and signs of youth/fertility like flushed cheeks) are artificial. If he knew anything about history he’d know his argument is rubbish.

  109. #109 thwaite
    October 19, 2006

    Mike,
    Ligons and mules aren’t the only data pertinent to macroevolution. I recommend reading talkorigins.org on speciation and macroevolution more carefully – and a search there on ring species returns an especially useful cluster of articles.

    Ring species are geographic series of populations in which near-neigboring populations are very similar, but remote neighbors have accumulated so much micro-evolution that they can no longer interbreed if the remoteness is bridged. They have thus formed new species. The basic perspective here is that the process of divergence into new species happens to populations, not to individuals.

    More detail: since divergence of populations mostly happens over generations, we don’t often observe it directly. But in some cases it happens over space as well as over time, and these can leave the original non-diverged forms visible – this seems particularly persuasive. These are “ring species”. This wikipedia article cites a classic study of gulls but the most reliable and detailed example it cites is David Wake’s research on Ensatina salamanders. Starting in Oregon ( (and still present there), this growing population has migrated into southern California by two paths, the coast route and the Sierra foothills. These varying ecologies have changed the two groups of migrants. They’ve diverged so much that on overlapping again near Los Angeles, the two migrant groups are no longer able to interbreed – and that’s the criterion for saying new species have formed. Even though in this case, each southern population (coastal & foothill) is very similar to (and breeds with) its immediately northern neighbor and so on all the way back to the original population in Oregon, the southern-most populations are new species, having definitively diverged due to adaptations to their differing ecologies.

    PBS has a page on the Ensatina salamanders with an excellent map including their color morphs. And here’s a short summary.

    Another example is the “greenish warbler”, Phylloscopus trochiloides, whose speciation is described here with great graphics & details, and here’s a BBC summmary .

    Another ring-species divergence is found in mice following the path of human farms out of the middle east into Europe at the beginning of the historical era. As the settlements proceeded northwest they were split by the Alps – and on again meeting in the Low Countries the divergent populations no longer interbred.

    And so on. These aren’t hopeful monsters, which is what you may have been imagining. Again: the process of divergence into new species happens to populations, not to individuals.

  110. #110 Azkyroth
    October 19, 2006

    Talkorigins is the be all end all for the evolutionist. If its not on there, the most people don’t know about it. I have had at least 10 different evolution supporters point me to this site. I have read it multiple times in multiple reference.

    TalkOrigins is a convenient repository of documented evidence for evolution. Would you also object if we referred you to, say, the Encylopedia Britannica?

    Your “examples” of speciation are EXACTLY what I’m talking about when I say mixing of micro and macro… your side says.. micro is observed, therefore MACRO is true. Its just plainly a bunk statement.

    All the examples of “speciation” on talk origins, are fish producing fish, HUMANS USING ARTIFICIAL selection to make Drosophila paulistorum sterile (don’t know how that proves a gain of information, or a production of different species)… for instance a human can be sterile– and still be considered a human– fireweed doubling its chromosomes (but remaining exactly the same as before), and MICE PRODUCING MORE MICE.

    In all examples you point to what is called “micro-evolution”.

    Your problem is that you then make an illogical (and unprovable jump)to MACRO evolution. For instance, the mouse on Faeroe island… you think the mouse came from where?!

    It is a difference of degree, not of kind. Only creationist hacks regard “macro” and “micro” evolution as being fundamentally different. Drastic morphological change that would correspond to a change in what, to humans, subjectively looks like a different “kind” of animal (a biologically meaningless concept, as you’re using it) has not been observed in living animals because we haven’t been observing long enough, however, it is extensively documented in the fossil record. Did you even READ my argument? I’m pretty sure my two year old daughter could understand this concept, if it weren’t for her language delay; why can you, reportedly an adult, not get it through your thick skull?

    Andrew then goes on to say about matter popping into existence , that “god did it” is NOT a scientific explanation!

    It is a logical deduction to say that since matter had to come from somewhere, and the only logical place it could come from is outside the current natural universe, then by definition matter came from a supernatural source.

    Which is a scientific proof in itself of a supernatural source! (some people call the source God).

    This is where the disconnect occurs. The Atheist is precluded from coming to this logical deduction.. therefore the atheists positions are falsified!

    Wrong. It is NOT a logical deduction to say that it “had to come from” somewhere in the sense of arriving pre-formed (look into quantum physics, FFS), and the fact that YOU, PERSONALLY cannot imagine any other way for it to come into existence is proof, scientifically or otherwise of nothing but your lack of imagination. Again, did you even READ my argument?

    I’m not saying that “god did it” therefore it can’t be studided… i’m sure there IS a way it can be scientific/logic reasoned and explained. But you first must acknowledge that indeed a supernatural source is the only explanation.

    Despite the fact that we have come up with others, which YOU can’t get your mind around, but for which there is a fair body of evidential support. Again, did you even READ my argument?

    Azk says: what are the 6 different kinds of evolution?

    1. Cosmic Evolution
    2. Chemical Evolution/Elemental Evolution
    3. Stellar evolution/Planetary Evolution
    4. Biologic evolution
    5. Macro-evolution
    6. Micro-evolution

    The first two are not even meaningful concepts; the origin of the universe and its material constituents is of no relevance to, and not meaningfully analogous to, biologial evolution and I have never seen anyone except you refer to them in this fashion. Stellar “evolution” is also irrelevant and non-analogous, though I have seen the term used elsewhere. Macro and Micro evolution, as distinct from each other and as separate categories from biological evolution, are creationist fabrications, plain and simple. So we’re left with biological evolution. I addressed some of this before; again, did you even READ my argument?

    Azk says: “There have been numerous observed instances of closely related species producing “part” animals–what the hell else would you call a liger or mule, for instance?”

    Liger is a type of feline, and a mule is a type of “horse”. They are not any physically different and can reproduce among the same species… much like a zebra and a horse (zorses), or a red and a yellow finch.

    So again, your side uses MICRO evolution to try to prove MACRO. If you can get a horse to produce an entirely new animal (6 legs maybe, make a feline, or combine sexes), then MACRO is true.

    Your example of “kinds” is a good one… for macro to be true, a horse/donkey would have to produce an entirely different “kind” of animal.

    Your idea of “kinds” only exists in the human mind. I note, specifically, that your side habitually lumps together as single “kinds” enormous groups, such as nematodes (“just worms”) and bacteria (“just bacteria”), in which vastly more genetic, morphological, and behavioral diversity is observed than that between, say, cows and sheep, which I’m reasonably certain you regard as separate kinds. It is not a biologically meaningful concept, and the degree of change you claim would be necessary in mammals to prove “macro” evolution has been observed in organisms, like bacteria, with much shorter generations.

    If a horse or donkey gave birth to a creature that was radically unlike horses or donkeys this would falsify evolution; this is not not how evolution works except in the minds of creationist hacks. Incidentally, mules and ligers are usually sterile hybrids.

    Azk says: “And the code was not all already there, since some of these changes do in fact take the form of nucleotides, whole genes, or even chromosomes being duplicated, with mutations in one copy that don’t occur in the other (over the next x generations) subsequently turning them into unrecognizably different genes.”

    Your proof for the code not all being there to begin with? Or is this another assumption?! Nucleotides, whole genes, and chromosomes being “duplicated”… don’t you understand for something to be duplicated, it had to already exist?!

    You then go on to say that they become unrecognizable different genes… which I actually agree with, but you fail to say these “new” genes DON’T WORK with the existing animal/species… therefore if they don’t work and CAN’T work, how is this proof of anything beneficial?!

    The only “assumptions” in my argument are that there is a world that corresponds to that perceived through my senses, with consistent physical laws, which can be effectively studied under the scientific method, assumptions that so far have been unequivocably borne out by my observations. Evolution follows from these and from a careful and unbiased examination of the data. Anyway, I do indeed understand that something has to exist to be duplicated, though I don’t understand what point that’s supposed to prove.

    As to “how the new genes DON’T WORK with the existing animal and species” or “don’t work and CAN’T work” …um, what? How the hell do you figure that? It’s been observed; look up “speciation by polyploidy.”

    Azk says: “And furthermore, it does NOT follow that if all the “information” (genes? nucleotides?) was there in the first place, that new animals or species could not result from a reordering. Take any complex algebraic equation and try switching around signs, parentheses, coefficients and exponents and see if the result is equal to the original. Or, for that matter, try randomly reordering the pixels in a bitmap image and tell me that it’s still the same picture”

    You say a new animal/species COULD result from the reordering of the genetic code, but again cannot, and have not proved it. This is a baseless supposition… try just rearranging 1% of the code of any given organism. Lets see if it can function (or even live). From my experience, and observation– you use examples of bitmaps and algebraic equations (both of which I love being a computer science major)…

    If you scramble a bitmap image, it comes out as a bunch of gobbleygook, and if you change variables in an equation.. the answer is WRONG — which proves my point in a nutshell!!!! You are saying that if you change around a bitmap, that by chance a new picture will form… and your side is saying that if you change a variable in an equation, that a “new answer” will form.

    It just so happens the new bitmap image will result in crap on the screen, and the algebraic equation will be completely wrong (and won’t work).

    My point was that reordering or slightly changing information that was already there does in fact produce a new, distinct information-object; it is not analogous to evolution and was not intended to be so. This was considerably clearer than your supposed “tongue in cheek” response. And look at your arguments: first you’re insisting that mutations can’t produce new genetic information, now you’re insisting that changing the genetic information would have such a severe effect on the organism that it would be unable to survive. Can we make a decision here?

    So thanks for proving that “if” evolution is like a bitmap image, then unless someone is sitting there moving the pixels into a new picture.. on its own the bitmap would be useless garbled information(a new picture will result only if an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER is sitting there moving each individual pixel). Same with the equation.. if you change even ONE variable, the answer becomes useless. Only if an INTELLIGENT PERSON is reworking the entire equation, can a correct answer be found.

    I believe I already answered this above. It’s not an analogy to evolution, it’s a refutation of a specific, poorly reasoned claim of yours.

    Azk says: “So, even granting its assumptions, the crux of your argument is that creationism/ID breaks even with evolutionary theory? Your claim that this is dazzling suggests that YOU are very simple, and it is for this reason that the existence of matter confounds you.”

    I am NOT saying evolution and creationism break even… I am saying that for both of our theories, it requires certain assumptions about matter being here. Your side assumes it just popped out of nowhere, and so does my side.

    You admit that your side requires belief in something unprovable, and claim that our side does as well. Which is true, as I noted above; our side of the argument assumes that there is a world that corresponds to that perceived through my senses, with consistent physical laws, which can be effectively studied under the scientific method, and again, these assumptions have yet to be challenged by observational data.

    Your side says that matter popped from nothing.. that is to say, “FROM NOTHING, EVERYTHING”.

    If you’d try actually READING some of the literature on the Big Bang and other cosmic-origin theories you’d see that this is, at best, a grotesque and rather infantile oversimplification.

    My side says, that FROM SOMETHING, CAME SOMETHING. As for your other statement… matter DOES confound me. This is why I am pondering creation as an explanation. It is illogical to deduce that something can come out of nothing without a catalyst!

    Again, the fact that YOU can’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Did you even READ my argument?

    In this case, the only logical explanation is that the catalyst lies outside nature. This is not some dark age suppostion based upon my “belief” this is a provable fact. The proof lies in the fact that matter is here. Very basic stuff here.

    You jump from “I can’t understand how this could happen naturally” to “it couldn’t happen naturally” to “an intelligent Creator must have done it.” There is nothing logical about this.

    The problem comes when you try to apply a naturalistic scientific explanation for something NOT natural or scientific. You say that matter coming into existence is NOT DAZZLING?!

    If doesn’t make your mind jump thinking about it, then science shouldn’t be your field of study!

    That’s not what I said and you know it. The existence of matter is explainable naturally, even if we don’t have it completely worked out yet. The universe is certainly amazing, but I don’t consider its existence to be compelling proof that your ideas are correct. The fact that YOU can’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And it’s not that I’m not impressed, it’s just that I don’t get all googly-eyed and mystical about it.

    So now its 9:00 am MST, and I have to actually go to work, I will reply to the rest of your points later.

    But just so you know, I have an answer for each point you’ve made.

    Why do I have a sinking feeling it’ll just be more of the same? I suppose I must cling to hope that your future answers will reflect having actually READ and understood my argument.

    And also, I don’t think I’m omniscient. That is what you have so aptly called a “straw man”.

    Your argument is unambiguously grounded in the assumption that if you can’t understand how something could happen, it can’t possibly happen. This would only be true if you were omniscient. Simple, when you think about it, and I suppose that’s the problem right there.

    I am so, so glad that scientists are tireless defenders of science against such ignorance! That reply by Azkyroth is wonderful, and I might add incredibly educational for us non-experts. Thank you!

    Aww ^.^ I try. Though in all fairness, I wouldn’t call myself an “expert,” I’ve just done a fair amount of reading on the subject.

  111. #111 Nes
    October 19, 2006

    But, but, thwaite… those are still mice and lizards! The lizards didn’t give birth to pigs and cats, so macro-evolution is false! [/sarcasm]

    Yes, Mike seems to be expecting “hopeful monsters.”

    This picture from one of PZ’s other posts offers a pretty clear idea of slow and gradual changes that make a new species. Go a bit further with the one at the top, and use a little imagination and speculation, and you can easily see it becoming an alligator, or lizard, or any other number of land dwelling critters; ones that certainly wouldn’t be fish! And it was accomplished with gradual changes, that is, micro-evolution, (and remember that this particular sequence covers 20 MILLION years), not with a fish suddenly giving birth to a 4-legged fish monstrosity.

  112. #112 Andrew Brown
    October 19, 2006

    Mike,

    I think you might need to recheck your taxonomy. You’re expecting speciation to be an enormous change from one type of organism to one with a totally different appearance. Morphology is not the only criterion by which one can judge speciation. By that yardstick we should regard whales and whale sharks as being the same kind, as indeed many of our forebears did. These are not examples of micro and macro evolution, the distinction is essentially spurious. If speciation has occurred then the organisms are different and do not interbreed. They do not need to show massive changes observable by an uneducated human, a small change in the coating of the ovum is enough. Multiple strands of evidence point to common ancestry amongst the different phyla currently in existence.

  113. #113 George Orr
    October 19, 2006

    In the future we will all be grey, I’m planning on dreaming about it tonight…

  114. #114 Kseniya
    October 19, 2006

    Whatever you do, don’t dream about hostile alien invasions! Skip right to the shopkeeper phase, please.

    I know a biologist who accepts micro-evo but rejects macro-evo on the grounds that it hasn’t been observed. I suspect he is a YEC, but he steadfastly claims that his rejection of macro-evo is not, as I have suggested, rooted in his religious beliefs. Frankly, I don’t know what to do with him.

    Maybe if I change my major to biology from psych… Nah.

  115. #115 tdb
    October 19, 2006

    i recall a reading assignment in 4th grade about predicting the future of the human race as super-tall, thin (physical prefs), large bald heads (no need for thermoregulation since everyone will be underground), pale (since everyone will live underground), blah blah. i remember it catching my attention as “wow, can scientists really predict that?” i probably believed it until i developed a more sophisticated understanding and realized that piece was more science fiction than fact.

    oh, my point… um, kill all the sci fi authors. and the journalists. actually anyone who doesn’t get it right.

  116. #116 Rey Fox
    October 20, 2006

    You seem awfully hung up on First Cause, Mike. So tell me, who or what created the Designer? HeSheIt couldn’t have just arisen from nothing, you know!

  117. #117 NatureSelectedMe
    October 20, 2006

    Hey Rey Fox, what created the universe? Sure the big bang is a cool theory (anything with a bang is cool) but what was before? What, it just came from nothing?!!!

  118. #118 Azkyroth
    October 20, 2006

    If, as at least some versions of the theory have it, time came into existence along with space and matter/energy in the Big Bang, there was no “before.” I assume your inability to comprehend such a state is about to be fielded as evidence of its impossibility?

  119. #119 Steve Baker
    October 20, 2006

    The problem with predicting human evolution is that we are rather more in control of it than is the case for other animals. Genetic failures can be fixed up by medicine such that genes that would have been fatal (and thus eliminated from the pool) are now viable if the symptoms they produce are treatable.

    Consider this: if there were a strong bias for taller men – then short men would be considered ‘abnormal’, treated with growth hormone at a tender age and would thus be available as procreators of the next generation. This would make genetically induced tallness a hard thing to take hold. Please note that this is already happening:

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/archive/7/fox.htm

    “In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized pharmaceutical companies to promote human Growth Hormone (hGH) for use in children who are very short but not suffering from any specific illness or medical condition. Parents are now using hGH in record numbers, hoping that hormone treatment will give their kids happier childhoods and more prosperous adulthoods.”

    QED.

  120. #120 Savyasachi
    October 20, 2006

    I am amazed by the number of Americans who believe that the British are in any way better or more science-inclined than they are. In reality, the British are just racist morons (for the most part – exclude, for instance Oxford and Cambridge) obsessed with proving the superiority of the white skin.

  121. #121 Azkyroth
    October 20, 2006

    And you base this on what exactly?

  122. #122 mike j
    October 20, 2006

    Ok, I’m not going to continue debating any more of you on this blog. I just read PZ Meyers post “dismissing” me as a person who he doesn’t even know about…

    Here’s a perfect example of what a LIAR this guy (PZ) is… he wrote a whole post about me no more than 1 1/2 months ago, about the Planet Eris and Dysnomia having politically charged names. He went off on me, berated me, called me names and other such diatribes.

    Mr. Myers is what Bill Clinton would call “truth challenged”.

    Here is the post itself:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/09/planetary_conspiracy_theories.php

    BY THE WAY, I was vindicated on this whole Eris being named after “current political events” in the world .. Michael Brown, the discoverer of Eris is quoted in a phone interview (where they asked him about MY questioning the names)… and HIS REPLY WAS:

    “Certainly, the words ‘Strife’ and ‘discord’ have obvious resonance with current events”…

    Did PZ Myers retract his original smear of me? No?

    So to sit here and debate his neophyte alcolytes is pointless. There is nothing I can say that will convince you of my theory.

    Much like Newtons work on optics, creationists like myself are going to have to forge ahead without the consent of the community at large. But oh well, at least I tried to justify why I believe by giving rock solid examples of my POV.

  123. #123 Steve_C
    October 20, 2006

    You mean forge in place… we all know you won’t get anywhere.

  124. #124 mj
    October 20, 2006

    whoops acoloytes.. and I noticed also that someone else triple posted up above, Azkyroth don’t forget to uphold your standard of criticizing him.

  125. #125 mike j
    October 20, 2006

    Actually the word is properly spelled Acolytes, and if you’re going to pretend to be me then please at least use my handle as opposed to mj.

    Also, I don’t nit pick about triple posts like the previous guy.

  126. #126 mike j
    October 20, 2006

    And to sit there and criticize the spelling of a minor word in an arugement is retarded. But nonetheless common for evolutionists to do when they have nothing better to say in retort.

    Get a life, and stop criticizing spelling errors on a comment board/Chat board. I suppose you wouldn’t accept abbreviations like LOL, or PWNED either.

  127. #127 Caledonian
    October 20, 2006

    Ok, I’m not going to continue debating any more of you on this blog. I just read PZ Meyers post “dismissing” me as a person who he doesn’t even know about…

    We know plenty about you, mike j, from the sorts of things you say and the way you say them.

  128. #128 Torbjörn Larsson
    October 20, 2006

    mike j:
    “I just read PZ Meyers post “dismissing” me as a person who he doesn’t even know about…”

    Which post?

    “”Certainly, the words ‘Strife’ and ‘discord’ have obvious resonance with current events”…”

    You are nuts. The reports, that I see you are aware of from your initial post, describes Brown’s choice since the discussion about how to define the planets and whether Pluto should decide the definition is a very old and heated one.

    The matter was actualised by several similar discoveries 2000 CE but come to it’s head when Brown and his group discovered Eris 2005 CE. The naming had to wait another year until the planet definition was decided after 6 years of intense debates. And the conflicts didn’t stop there, the original proposals of Xena and Gabrielle were refused.

    So, yes, the names Eris and Dysnomia were entirely appropriate.

    But of course, nothing we say can convince you about the simple truth. Better to construct an adhoc conspiracy theory involving 9/11 and universities to suit your twisted view of reality.

    “Much like Newtons work on optics”
    Sure sign of a crank: compare him-/herself with a famous person.

    Nuts, conspiracy theorist, twisted, crank, selfprofessed creo,… Did I forget anything?

  129. #129 PZ Myers
    October 20, 2006

    I wrote a post that was mainly a joke, pointing out some hypothetical alternative loony reasons planets were renamed, riffing off the forgettable idiocy of some kook on the Intarwubs. That’s all it was to me…at least now he’s backing off of his claim that I come “onto [his] blog all the time and berate [him] for no reason”.

    Instead, he’s comparing himself to Newton.

    What a loon!

  130. #130 Blake Stacey
    October 20, 2006

    What’s funniest is that Newton’s ideas about optics were wrong. Light is not made out of “corpuscles”. (Mind you, it’s not an entirely mistaken notion, and in some circumstances, we can say that photons behave in a particle-like way. Newton’s ideas of light were less wrong than Euclid’s, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was more mistaken than Einstein, Maxwell and arguably Huygens.) But of all the daft claims of “I’m so persecuted” we have heard from creationists. . . .

    PZ’s right: what a loon.

  131. #131 mike j
    October 20, 2006

    I’m comparing creationism to Newton, not myself, although I am working on “light compression” .. which is something I don’t think you people would understand or embrace— since the “society” of professionals still thinks light is constant.

    From what I remember about Newton, although some of his THEORIES were incorrect, his work on optics made him world renowned, and his contemporaries laughed and dismissed him as a person who “would never publish”.

    After Newton did publish, he received scorn on his papers regarding optics (although eventually proved correct), he swore he would never publish again– because of the scoffers.

    In the end, he was made head of the Royal society, and then ‘mint’ master where he perfected the art of making money (which we still use today).

    Any scientist who makes hundreds of postulates will eventually get several wrong, so the citing of corpuscles.

    So, I’m no Newton, but the scorn on optics, can be compared to the scorn on creationism— that was my point. Way to go for twisting it, and making it into an ad-hominem (like evolutionists always do when they can’t debate the issue).

    Also, on a different note, I have made a prototype electromagnetic engine which is going to revolutionize the way personal transportaion is performed, once my patent is approved.

    So before you dismiss me as a loon, you should at least understand I am not an imposter to scientific reasoning.

    As for PZ Myers coming onto my blog and making rude comments, I still stand by my claim and here is one of the posts in case others are still believing your lies.

    Just becaue I took your comments down doesn’t mean you didn’t send them PZ.

    by PZ Myers (commenter only) on Fri 15 Sep 2006 07:31 AM MDT | IP: 12.206.141.248 | Email: pzmyers@pharyngula.org
    Hovind’s award isn’t genuine or serious, and he’s in no position to even evaluate the validity of biological evidence. We watch his videos for the hilarity; in your stupidity you seem to think they actually contain some legitimate science.”

    There are 2 other posts like this which came from out of the blue. If you recall PZ, it all started one day when I posted on Jurassic Beaver, then you and one of your followers (Jeff K) came onto my blog and started in on me for postulating creationism. If you really want to go there, I can contact my blog provider and have them pull the comments you made from the archive, but I think you have a selective memory when it comes to remembering the attacks you make on creationists.

  132. #132 Rey Fox
    October 20, 2006

    Get down off your cross, someone else needs the wood.

  133. #133 Dr Howard
    October 21, 2006

    The BBC writer seems to know of dominant genes and nothing about recessive genes. While it is more likely that two tall parents will have tall children they may still have a short child or two. Midgets who are married often have children of normal height. Finally evolutionary change does not happen in hundreds of years. Why just about 1000 years ago in 1066 was the Norman invasion of Britain. No one claims these people were evolutionary different from us today.
    He also missed tetragenic events. Many of the poor stupid people in the world are that way because a normal mom drank when pregnant. Smart babies who are malnurished get stupid. He also seems to assume that people are poor because of genetics; what of inequities in corporate wealth or racism. When we look at the races today we see more inter-breeding not more breeding within races. Why would this trend stop. Never forget the stupidity of horny drunk guys. I can go out with tall, smart girl and talk or go out with the short slut and get laid. Hmmm who would drunk frat guy pick?

  134. #134 Azkyroth
    October 21, 2006

    I’m comparing creationism to Newton, not myself, although I am working on “light compression” .. which is something I don’t think you people would understand or embrace— since the “society” of professionals still thinks light is constant.

    Didn’t you say above you were a computer science major? How can a polymath like you claim to be still be so spectacularly ignorant of every aspect of science you’ve expounded on? Not to suggest that you’re *making shit up* or anything. I couldn’t claim that with certainty, based on just what I’ve seen here, but I do believe the famous Trilemma applies to you, and the “Lord” option has been discounted.

    Let me guess…I suppose you worked on the Philadelphia Experiment, too?

    From what I remember about Newton, although some of his THEORIES were incorrect, his work on optics made him world renowned, and his contemporaries laughed and dismissed him as a person who “would never publish”.

    This is the part where you rub your dishwashing-style gloves together, cackling, and say “they laughed at me! Fools! I’ll show them all!” right? Isn’t Galileo the traditional object for spurious, melodramatic comparisons by kooks backed into a corner in a battle of wits they started with a well-placed nerf dart (metaphorically)?

    After Newton did publish, he received scorn on his papers regarding optics (although eventually proved correct), he swore he would never publish again– because of the scoffers.

    Judging by the posts above, it doesn’t sound like he was proved correct. And I’ll bet money that the ones who scoffed the loudest were the religious loons, who were convinced that he was just making up data to deceive the world, because the truth had been handed to them in the bible. Do I win anything?

    In the end, he was made head of the Royal society, and then ‘mint’ master where he perfected the art of making money (which we still use today).

    Somehow, I very much doubt that we use the same method except in the most general sense. Little thing called “electric power” that’s happened since then (and did they even *have* paper money, to speak of, in his day?). You might have heard of it.

    Any scientist who makes hundreds of postulates will eventually get several wrong, so the citing of corpuscles.

    Yes. And then 150 years after their death, the real adherents of science will honor their contributions while correcting their errors, while the kooks will lie to schoolchildren and say the scientist in question never made anything BUT errors and recanted on their deathbed. This is sounding familiar.

    So, I’m no Newton, but the scorn on optics, can be compared to the scorn on creationism— that was my point. Way to go for twisting it, and making it into an ad-hominem (like evolutionists always do when they can’t debate the issue).

    No, the scorn on phlogiston could be compared to the scorn on Creationism, except for the fact that people weren’t pushing for phlogiston to be forcibly taught in schools 150 years after the modern chemical understanding of heat originated.

    Also, on a different note, I have made a prototype electromagnetic engine which is going to revolutionize the way personal transportaion is performed, once my patent is approved.

    So before you dismiss me as a loon, you should at least understand I am not an imposter to scientific reasoning.

    For once, you have me at a loss. This comment can stand as is; any mockery I might add would be gilding the lily.

    As for PZ Myers coming onto my blog and making rude comments, I still stand by my claim and here is one of the posts in case others are still believing your lies.

    Just becaue I took your comments down doesn’t mean you didn’t send them PZ.

    by PZ Myers (commenter only) on Fri 15 Sep 2006 07:31 AM MDT | IP: 12.206.141.248 | Email: pzmyers@pharyngula.org
    Hovind’s award isn’t genuine or serious, and he’s in no position to even evaluate the validity of biological evidence. We watch his videos for the hilarity; in your stupidity you seem to think they actually contain some legitimate science.”

    I’d be interested in hearing PZ’s side of that, and seeing the post it was on, as it appeared at the time he made that comment, assuming you didn’t simply fabricate it like your stories of your scientific prowess.

    There are 2 other posts like this which came from out of the blue. If you recall PZ, it all started one day when I posted on Jurassic Beaver, then you and one of your followers (Jeff K) came onto my blog and started in on me for postulating creationism. If you really want to go there, I can contact my blog provider and have them pull the comments you made from the archive, but I think you have a selective memory when it comes to remembering the attacks you make on creationists.

    Go ahead. We’ll wait.

  135. #135 Azkyroth
    October 21, 2006

    So now its 9:00 am MST, and I have to actually go to work, I will reply to the rest of your points later.

    But just so you know, I have an answer for each point you’ve made.

    -Mike J, October 19, 2006 11:15 AM

    Well? I’m still waiting…

  136. #136 Mark A. Craig
    October 21, 2006

    Myers exclaimed: “On what basis does he make these claims? It’s all about his perception of what sexual selection should do.”

    That sounds familiar… where have I heard of someone presuming that *their* perceived genetic ideal is in fact the only viable ideal?

    Oh, yeah: his name was Adolph Hitler.

  137. #137 Torbjörn Larsson
    October 21, 2006

    mike j:
    ” still thinks light is constant.”

    More specifically, relativity and causality needs the vacuum light speed to be constant, or more exactly that the information it carries never exceed that speed.

    Light compression techniques in nonlinear material are a research area today used to tease out exactly where the information is in a wave packet. You can make the front of the packet move faster or slower than the rest, you can even make it go backwards. (http://www.livescience.com/technology/060518_light_backward.html )

    Unfortunately for you all these experiments, and others that rely on relativity, confirm relativity.

    “then ‘mint’ master where he perfected the art of making money”

    As the rest of your fabulations about Newton and your self, this is contrafactual. This is a trivial one; Newton revealed forgerers. Are coins the perfect art of making money? Paper and electronic currency says it’s not.

    But I see you can’t read and understand previous commenters…

    ” So before you dismiss me as a loon, you should at least understand I am not an imposter to scientific reasoning.”

    Patents make no research. In fact mentioning patents instead of research makes loons.

    “I took your comments down”

    ’nuff said already.

  138. #138 mike j
    October 21, 2006

    Torbjorn:

    The fact that you think electronic money is superior to actual “real” money says alot about not only where you are from, but your ideology.

    I agree that electronic money is more efficient, but coinage/paper money methods are trivial.

    Although your dismissal of Newton and his accoplishments speak volumes to your mindset.

    As for telling my research into electromagnetic propulsion is not wise, although I could most likely make a safe bet that what I have done outweighs anything you have accomplished in your life (and I am 29 years old).

    As for my light compression work… as well as work done by many others… light has proved to NOT be a constant, as they have sped light up to 300 times the speed, and slowed it down to an absolute stop.

    My light compression theory can be explained though, since I am in beginning stages of calculations/experiments.

    Really, the best way to describe it is using the 186,000mph constant which many ascibe to.

    Imagine a 186,000 mile long piece of fiber optic line. IF light travels at approx 186,000 miles per second, you could “trap” 1 second of light inside this “tube”.

    So if you stood at one end of the tube, and I stood at the other end…. if I had a light which I shined into the 186,000 mile tube, it would take it 1 second to get to the other end for you to see it.

    My study is based upon compression of things with mass.

    If you took a can of coca cola, and poked a hole in the sealed metal can, and then applied pressure to the outside of the can once a hole was punctured in it… the soda would be forced out at a great speed.

    If you had a scuba tank full of air, poked a hole in it, and applied MORE compression to the tank from the outside, the air would come out at a great speed.

    If you take a certain amount of Plutonium and apply pressure to it from the outside at all angles (i.e. with explosives), you get a nuclear explosion…

    If you take sound and focus the sound wave from the outside (ie. frequency) you get a strong sound wave which can be destructive.

    So back to the 186,000 mile long fiber optic line…

    If you had a “full second” of light “trapped” … if you could then apply pressure from the outside by moving the length of the “tube” inwards… you could compress light (as light is a physical substance).

    Now it must be said this is a major simplification of what I am doing, but I must say the initial experiment produced some strange results.

    Assuming there is something stong enough to hold the compression of the particles, the energy produced is mathematically fantastic.

    Also the potential to store actual light becomes possible.

    One application would be to store actual sunlight into containers. Another application would be to store information in an infinite way. One more application would be to harness the energy which comes from releasing the compressed particles in a controlled way.

    As for me taking PZ’s comments down… I don’t leave up comments which call me stupid, dumb, etc.. I pay for my .com, and I’m not paying to have people who believe in evolution call me stupid for not endorsing THEIR theory.

    As for patents making no research.. in order for a person to submit a utility patent in the USA, you must provide the actual workings of the object you are attempting to have legally protected.

    Also, I would be a fool to reveal my inventions inner workings on a sci blog before the patent comes back as approved.

    But I can say this, Imagine taking combustion out of the equation all together…. think about what else can move a metallic iron object like a crank shaft…. its not rocket science.

  139. #139 Torbjörn Larsson
    October 21, 2006

    mike j:
    “The fact that you think electronic money is superior to actual “real” money says alot about not only where you are from, but your ideology.”

    An unwarranted ad hominem that you can’t support.

    And I didn’t claim that electronic currency (EC) is superior, I used bills and EC as examples showing why coins isn’t the “perfected” art of money.

    “Although your dismissal of Newton and his accoplishments speak volumes to your mindset.”
    Where did I dismiss his accomplishments? I have to add delusional to the list of your characteristics.

    It isn’t meaningful to discuss with someone who has too weak grasp of what is said, as exemplified by above and by your inability to grasp what relativity says and says not about light and causality, so I will stop here.

    Tho’ I can’t refrain to first say that it is hilarious that you can’t stand what commenters say to you on your own turf, thus misunderstanding trivials as blogging and free speech. So you erase comments to pretend they never existed, while they probably have been recorded by web crawlers for posterity anyway. 🙂

  140. #140 mike j
    October 21, 2006

    Free speech does not include free abuse.

    I have every right to enforce my blog rules, which I have stated on my blog before are simple.

    Make your arguement, but name calling and cursing are not acceptable to me.

    I have set standards as a private “institution”. Much like private schools can set standards, my blog is not for PUBLIC use… it is for private use, but I allow the priveledge of commenting.

    Just like the government gives the priveledge to drive a car, they can take away your license when you keep breaking the rules.

    I gave PZ Myers the priveledge to comment, he abused that priveledge, so I took down the comments (but still have them in the archive).

    As for webcrawlers keeping a copy of blog posts, good luck searching.

    I’m not going to waste my time and energy looking up old posts which call me stupid.

    I think I pretty much proved PZ was lying. That was the point.

    As for you, as one of his loyal followers, I hope he gives you a merit badge to put on your sash for taking up the cause in berating me as … how did you put it… “delusional”.

  141. #141 Torbjörn Larsson
    October 21, 2006

    I wouldn’t answer again except for the gross mischaracterisation.

    I’m not a follower, loyal or not, that is simply not in my nature. (Think ‘cat’.) You can find plenty of my contrary arguments here and elsewhere on the web.

  142. #142 Kristjan Wager
    October 21, 2006

    That sounds familiar… where have I heard of someone presuming that *their* perceived genetic ideal is in fact the only viable ideal?

    Oh, yeah: his name was Adolph Hitler.

    Argh. It’s Adolf – why can’t you Americans spell it right? And I should point out that the worldwide eugenic movement had much of its foundation in the US and Britain. However, one would have thought that we had learned from the past – it doesn’t look that way.

  143. #143 Nes
    October 21, 2006

    As for patents making no research.. in order for a person to submit a utility patent in the USA, you must provide the actual workings of the object you are attempting to have legally protected.

    This may be true (I wouldn’t know), but the people reviewing patents aren’t always smart. As long as it sounds plausible, it might pass. Just check out some of the patents that were issued that Randi has featured. A “free energy machine?” Please. One that, I note, was supposed to have been released over 3 years ago now. So, having a patent means jack squat.

    I’m not saying that whatever it is you’re working on is bunk, or doesn’t work, or anything like that. I’m just pointing out that a patent doesn’t carry much weight; it’s a legal tool, not a peer reviewed paper.

    I’d also like to touch on the whole “[insert great scientist here] was laughed at too!” claim that you’re applying to Creationism/ID. See, the big problem with that is that the idea of a creator is the OLD “science,” not the new. Creationism/ID is (metaphorically speaking) the flat Earth idea, not the round Earth idea. Evolution is the new one that was laughed at and ridiculed; and now, at least in the scientific community, it has (for the most part) been accepted.

  144. #144 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2006

    I’m not going to waste my time and energy looking up old posts which call me stupid.

    shall we make some new ones then?

  145. #145 khan
    October 21, 2006

    He really should use a spellchecker.

  146. #146 Azkyroth
    October 21, 2006

    Also, I would be a fool to reveal my inventions inner workings on a sci blog before the patent comes back as approved.

    But Mike, you transparently are a fool, as your mangling of physics and biology coupled with arrogance and “intellectual” snobbery illustrate. I call your bluff on the “light compression” thing; at best, your claims sound analogous to cold fusion, but it’s far more likely that it’s simply one of the “I have a dinosaur in my backyard but you can’t come look at it” claims creationists are prone to.

    But I can say this, Imagine taking combustion out of the equation all together…. think about what else can move a metallic iron object like a crank shaft…. its not rocket science.

    Now this, at least, sounds very plausible, though you’re going to have a hard time establishing originality, since, from reading this, it appears that you’re essentially claiming to have invented the electric motor.

    As for using electric motors for personal transportation, that might be viable if you mean cars and not powered roller skates or something similarly stupid (PS: did anything ever come of the Segway? I notice I’ve stopped hearing about it, and I never saw one). However, the use of electric motors has been tried, and the problems are well-known, the biggest of them being the problem of a power source. What are you planning to use, that will circumvent those problems?

  147. #147 mike j
    October 21, 2006

    Its not an “electric” motor dude.

    But it is powered by electric….

    But doesn’t need to be recharged…

    hmm….

    But does use electromagnetism….

    hmm….

    Dinosaur in my backyard? What does that mean? I guess it means you don’t believe I’m working on a compressed light experiment.

    Well, you see, I’m in a bind there, because the work is not being done in my garage (or in my backyard). heh.

    I guess you’ll just have to “trust” me.

    As for the other guy, commenting on me using a spell check program. He should go back up and re-read some of these other posts in here, which make my spelling look good.

    The problem is that this cheap blog has none.. I suppose I could cut and paste my comments into MS word, do a spell check, then cut and paste back into the comment field… and maybe I will from now on just to stop you people from citing that as a reason to pick apart what I have to say.

    For more information see above where person comments on me mis-spelling acolyte. Or before someone saying there were multiple spellings of bologna (baloney) .. whatever.. this is getting ridiculous (spelled properly?).

    Azkyroth … I have come up with SEVERAL solutions to the power problem actually.

    I will tell you one that I decided not to submit into my patent materials but would still work.

    That is to use the kinetic energy, or friction of the brakes to produce DC power.

    Or have an entire axle (iron) function much like the turbine in an hydro-electric dam. As the axle turns, as the car moves forward, the axle turns, and generates enough energy to power a second set of batteries. This of course would require a “first” set of batteries to originally power the car to move it forward, but once it was moving, the car could “recharge” itself. My wife suggested maybe even an “oldschool” cranking device like in the first automobiles, but I had a better idea of using a button that you could push, which would use 2 or 3 car batteries (as 1 is just not enough), to perform the original charge you would need to get the crank shaft moving, thus moving the car forward enough to charge the first set of batteries.

    Also, the power required to move MY engine is over 50 times LESS than the power you would need to move a “regular” electric engine.

    As my invention only uses electricity to power ELECTROMAGNETS which in turn move the crank shaft, as opposed to having to power an “electric engine”.

    Electric engines are great for small things, but you find they drain the battery rather quickly, but you’d be surprised how LITTLE energy is required to use a magnet to move an object.

    Think about a junk yard, and the electromagnet they use to PICK UP an entire car.

    You only need a fraction of the electricity to PUSH/PULL the car along on its wheels. Even 1 Human can produce enough energy to PUSH the car forward at about 5mph on a flat surface.

    The light compression theory I have, is just that, a theory. I don’t have the funds available (yet) to purchase the amount of fibreoptic line to perform any more tests. The only observable testing I have done is to work with a fellow from the University of Colorado, and a guy from NOAA out here in boulder on the side when we get some spare time.

    What we have tested is seeing how much light can be stored and reflected in a 186 foot piece of cable. With one mirror at one end, and another mirror which is really just a piece of 1 way transparent Mylar, we can project light into the “tube” so it can’t escape, then we cut off the end of the tube using a mirror as a shears, and so far, we have put in less than 1/100th second of light, and since we don’t have a way to measure the light (as any camera we have to observe actual LENGTH of the increase) the experiment will require about 186,000 miles of cable just to do a 1 second observable test.

    Or we could employ supercomputers, nano-second (or less) camera to take per frame pictures of the event, or some other very expensive option that we haven’t thought of yet.

    I would say that it is possible to work this out with mathematics, which myself, and a friend from St. Louis University are working on.

    But in principle, it should work. For if you can trap 1 second of light in an enclosed space, and if you can then reduce the space once the light is trapped… the light should be able to be compressed.

    Once it is compressed you can do a couple of things. Like my analogy of the soda can, if you popped a hole in the tube of compressed light, would the light come out at a greater rate than when it was put in? Much like my analogy of frequency and sound waves, can you compress the light into a “super beam” (not a laser by the way)? Or can you just compress the light infinitely until the object holding the light cannot take any more?

    These are some of the answers I hope to find out. No one has done the experiments, no one has even really studied it.

    Finally, I must correct you… I am not an intellectual snob. I am not bragging, or putting myself above anyone. But I will defend my views wholeheartedly, and tell others what I believe the observed things mean.

    If I don’t hold the same views you do, I’m sorry. If my views on evolution somehow offend you, I can’t control that. To be a snob, the snob has to think they are better than others. I am not any better than you, I am just right, and you happen to be wrong ;^)

    So off to spell check in MS Word, so your buddies don’t find fault with spelling.

  148. #148 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2006

    why do I find Mike’s rants in a thread titled “Utter Nonsense” so appropriate, I wonder?

  149. #149 Azkyroth
    October 21, 2006

    Its not an “electric” motor dude.

    But it is powered by electric….

    But doesn’t need to be recharged…

    hmm….

    But does use electromagnetism….

    hmm….

    Do you actually have the slighest understanding of how an electric motor functions?

    Well, you see, I'm in a bind there, because the work is not being done in my garage (or in my backyard). heh. I guess you'll just have to "trust" me.

    What I mean is that it sounds like bullshit and your obfuscation is doing nothing to dispell that impression.

    As for the other guy, commenting on me using a spell check program. He should go back up and re-read some of these other posts in here, which make my spelling look good.

    The problem is that this cheap blog has none.. I suppose I could cut and paste my comments into MS word, do a spell check, then cut and paste back into the comment field… and maybe I will from now on just to stop you people from citing that as a reason to pick apart what I have to say.

    For more information see above where person comments on me mis-spelling acolyte. Or before someone saying there were multiple spellings of bologna (baloney) .. whatever.. this is getting ridiculous (spelled properly?).

    I don’t use a spellchecker and aside from occasional typos I don’t have that problem. But ok…

    Azkyroth … I have come up with SEVERAL solutions to the power problem actually.

    I will tell you one that I decided not to submit into my patent materials but would still work.

    That is to use the kinetic energy, or friction of the brakes to produce DC power.

    Or have an entire axle (iron) function much like the turbine in an hydro-electric dam. As the axle turns, as the car moves forward, the axle turns, and generates enough energy to power a second set of batteries. This of course would require a “first” set of batteries to originally power the car to move it forward, but once it was moving, the car could “recharge” itself.

    What you’re describing is called “regenerative braking” and it’s fortunate that you didn’t decide to submit it with your patents, since it’s been used on diesel-electric locomotives, among other machines, for (I believe) decades. Also, it wouldn’t work, since the energy conversion wouldn’t be perfectly efficient, so sooner or later you’d have to add charge from somewhere or the car would slow to a stop. As for using the axle as a generator while the car’s in motion…it’s physically impossible; the effect of using the axle as a generator would exert a braking force on the rotation of the axle, so without another source of energy the car would stop moving rather quickly.

    What you’re describing here is essentially a perpetual motion machine, which is physically impossible.

    My wife suggested maybe even an “oldschool” cranking device like in the first automobiles, but I had a better idea of using a button that you could push, which would use 2 or 3 car batteries (as 1 is just not enough), to perform the original charge you would need to get the crank shaft moving, thus moving the car forward enough to charge the first set of batteries.

    I…very much doubt that 2 or 3 car batteries could get a crankshaft moving to the point where the car would actually accelerate significantly. And even if they did, it would slow to a stop as soon as you tried to extract power from the movement of the axle.

    Also, the power required to move MY engine is over 50 times LESS than the power you would need to move a “regular” electric engine.

    As my invention only uses electricity to power ELECTROMAGNETS which in turn move the crank shaft, as opposed to having to power an “electric engine”.

    An electric motor uses a rotating magnetic field produced by electromagnets to turn a metal drive shaft type thing. What you’re describing IS an electric motor, and I’d be VERY interested to see the calculations by which you concluded that it would be more efficient than others of its type. I suspect you’re unintentionally right; its power use would be “a lot over” 50 times less than that of other electric motor designs.

    Electric engines are great for small things, but you find they drain the battery rather quickly, but you’d be surprised how LITTLE energy is required to use a magnet to move an object.

    Think about a junk yard, and the electromagnet they use to PICK UP an entire car.

    You only need a fraction of the electricity to PUSH/PULL the car along on its wheels. Even 1 Human can produce enough energy to PUSH the car forward at about 5mph on a flat surface.

    See above. You have some good ideas, but I would suggest that you’re in way over your head here.

    The light compression theory I have, is just that, a theory. I don’t have the funds available (yet) to purchase the amount of fibreoptic line to perform any more tests. The only observable testing I have done is to work with a fellow from the University of Colorado, and a guy from NOAA out here in boulder on the side when we get some spare time.

    What we have tested is seeing how much light can be stored and reflected in a 186 foot piece of cable. With one mirror at one end, and another mirror which is really just a piece of 1 way transparent Mylar, we can project light into the “tube” so it can’t escape, then we cut off the end of the tube using a mirror as a shears, and so far, we have put in less than 1/100th second of light, and since we don’t have a way to measure the light (as any camera we have to observe actual LENGTH of the increase) the experiment will require about 186,000 miles of cable just to do a 1 second observable test.

    Or we could employ supercomputers, nano-second (or less) camera to take per frame pictures of the event, or some other very expensive option that we haven’t thought of yet.

    I would say that it is possible to work this out with mathematics, which myself, and a friend from St. Louis University are working on.

    But in principle, it should work. For if you can trap 1 second of light in an enclosed space, and if you can then reduce the space once the light is trapped… the light should be able to be compressed.

    Once it is compressed you can do a couple of things. Like my analogy of the soda can, if you popped a hole in the tube of compressed light, would the light come out at a greater rate than when it was put in? Much like my analogy of frequency and sound waves, can you compress the light into a “super beam” (not a laser by the way)? Or can you just compress the light infinitely until the object holding the light cannot take any more?

    These are some of the answers I hope to find out. No one has done the experiments, no one has even really studied it.

    I can’t say conclusively that this is gibberish, since I haven’t taken that many semesters of physics yet, but…it doesn’t mesh well with any of what I do know, especially about the nature and behavior of light. It does sound very much like the “cold fusion” fiasco, frankly.

    Finally, I must correct you… I am not an intellectual snob. I am not bragging, or putting myself above anyone. But I will defend my views wholeheartedly, and tell others what I believe the observed things mean.

    I’m sorry, did I misinterpret the following:

    I could most likely make a safe bet that what I have done outweighs anything you have accomplished in your life (and I am 29 years old).

    If I don’t hold the same views you do, I’m sorry. If my views on evolution somehow offend you, I can’t control that. To be a snob, the snob has to think they are better than others. I am not any better than you, I am just right, and you happen to be wrong ;^)

    Your views on evolution don’t offend me. Your tone in many of the posts above is another matter entirely.

  150. #150 mike j
    October 22, 2006

    ok azk..

    You clearly have a problem with trying to debunk everything I type.

    The locomotive “regenerative braking” is indeed an existing invention. But with a car its not, and does work by the way.

    As for the axle functioning as a turbine generator does, you say it is “physically impossible” …. this is a possibility actually… obviously you never had a bicycle headlamp which is powered by forward motion of the tires.

    But as you said, the problem comes when you stop. Which actually is solvable! I know, because I solved it!

    But I came up with a much more innovative solution, which you will find out about hopefully in the next year or so.

    You see, you are spouting off things that my 60 year old uncle (who works for AmerenUE in Missouri said to me)… the problem with people of your type are that you are constrained by what you have been taught… your example of perpetual motion being impossible is one of those things that you’re just spouting out because you read or heard it somewhere.

    Have you ever done any experiments to falisfy it? NOPE!

    As for knowing about electric engines, my work before computer science required using electric motors, and battery power (wireless cellular tower sites)… which is how I even came up with the idea of using electromagnets to push a crankshaft instead of combustion. Because when the power goes out at a cellular tower, there are backup generators that run on diesel.

    The diesel runs out rather quickly, and is very inefficent.

    The “perpetual motion” problem can be overcome if you have a charge to start with. For a car, that charge is proved to come from as little as 2-3 car batteries, or you could have a charge in the battery banks when you buy the engine I have designed.. or you could plug the battery in once per week/month whatever…

    The problem I ran into was moving forward and making a charge was fine, but what If you’re sitting in traffic for hours?

    I solved that problem (without giving out too much info here).. simply by having two sets of high capacity lithium ion batteries. One set has the original charge, the other set is charged by forward or reverse motion.

    So the question then becomes, how do you get the “original” charge to start the car and get it moving?

    This is easy, 2-3 car batteries provide enough energy to get a car started and moving! And you’d be surprise at how easy it is to get energy from a turbine once it starts to spin. A hint: it takes less than 100 ft. of movement on a Hyundai Elentra. Theoretically, you could push the car if it ran out of energy in the battery bank, and within 100 ft, you’d have enough power to get yourself going again.

    Once the car is moving, the forward motion provides a charge to the secondary battery!

    But all that aside, even if you had to charge it once per week/month, it would still be better than going to the gas station once per week, cost less, way less pollutive, be more efficient, and be quieter.

    The only sound comes from the moving crankshaft, spinning axle, and the tires upon the road.

    Seperately, Another invention I had, which is already owned by GM unfortunately, are magnetic brake pads… against iron rotors. You would never have to buy another set of pads in your life… as a fixed magnet retains its magnetic charge for a very long time. And the stopping power is HUGE!

    So anyways, I’ll stop taking up blog space, as I’m sure you’ll retort to this as well.

    Its just good to discuss this in public finally. I’ve been rather scared to even bring it up, but according to my patent attorney, now that we submitted it via certified mail, I’m free to discuss generalities of it.

  151. #151 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2006

    The locomotive “regenerative braking” is indeed an existing invention. But with a car its not, and does work by the way.

    another would-be crank who doesn’t do his homework.

    *sigh*

    http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid433.php

  152. #152 Azkyroth
    October 22, 2006

    ok azk..

    You clearly have a problem with trying to debunk everything I type.

    No I don’t. 😛

    The locomotive “regenerative braking” is indeed an existing invention. But with a car its not, and does work by the way.

    The concept has been invented. And I know it works; regenerative braking does indeed recover *some* of the energy used to accelerate the object to that speed. However, it will not recover 100% of it. This is due to a variety of factors, including air resistance and the loss of energy due to friction of moving parts within the machinery and the electrical resistance of the conductors. I will concede that in a complete vacuum, with zero friction in the machinery and zero resistance in the electrical circuits, this might work. Good luck achieving such a setup.

    As for the axle functioning as a turbine generator does, you say it is “physically impossible” …. this is a possibility actually… obviously you never had a bicycle headlamp which is powered by forward motion of the tires.

    Of course that’s possible, because energy is being put into the system via the rider pumping the pedals as well as being taken out of the system via mechanical friction, air resistance, incandescence in the headlamp, and resistive losses in the headlamp circuit. There is nothing impossible about this; however, it WOULD be impossible to use electricity generated by the spinning axle to power a robotic leg pushing the pedals sustainably, because energy would inevitably be lost due to friction, air resistance, and electrical resistance.

    But as you said, the problem comes when you stop. Which actually is solvable! I know, because I solved it!

    That’s not what I said; see above.

    But I came up with a much more innovative solution, which you will find out about hopefully in the next year or so.

    You see, you are spouting off things that my 60 year old uncle (who works for AmerenUE in Missouri said to me)… the problem with people of your type are that you are constrained by what you have been taught… your example of perpetual motion being impossible is one of those things that you’re just spouting out because you read or heard it somewhere.

    Have you ever done any experiments to falisfy it? NOPE!

    A perpetual motion *machine* is impossible because you cannot have a net extraction of energy from a system without eventually depleting the energy in that system, and a machine (that is, a perpetual motion system which does Work, in the physics sense, rather than simply running indefinitely) extracts energy from the system driving it, some of which is inevitably lost unrecoverably as heat. Without energy being continuously added to the system driving it, it will cease to function over time. This is basically Thermodynamics for Dummies (note: I have never read a book with this title and did not get this understanding from such). There is nothing closed-minded or dogmatic about being skeptical of claims to overturning basic principles of physics from someone whose understanding of physics is so deficient that he can find no other explanation for the existence of Life, The Universe, and Everything than divine intervention. But, I’ll bite. What experiments have you done that falsify the laws of thermodynamics, and why have you not claimed your Nobel for them prior to fiddling with applications like this?

    As for knowing about electric engines, my work before computer science required using electric motors, and battery power (wireless cellular tower sites)… which is how I even came up with the idea of using electromagnets to push a crankshaft instead of combustion. Because when the power goes out at a cellular tower, there are backup generators that run on diesel.

    The diesel runs out rather quickly, and is very inefficent.

    Yeah, I know how these things work.

    The “perpetual motion” problem can be overcome if you have a charge to start with. For a car, that charge is proved to come from as little as 2-3 car batteries, or you could have a charge in the battery banks when you buy the engine I have designed.. or you could plug the battery in once per week/month whatever…

    Again, you’re either essentially plugging your ears and going “la-la-la-I can’t HEAAAR you” regarding the loss of energy from the sources I’ve cited above, or, best case scenario, dramatically underestimating it. Adding a charge at the start does not overcome the perpetual motion problem. Adding a charge continuously might, but then we’d be right back where we started.

    The problem I ran into was moving forward and making a charge was fine, but what If you’re sitting in traffic for hours?

    I solved that problem (without giving out too much info here).. simply by having two sets of high capacity lithium ion batteries. One set has the original charge, the other set is charged by forward or reverse motion.

    So the question then becomes, how do you get the “original” charge to start the car and get it moving?

    This is easy, 2-3 car batteries provide enough energy to get a car started and moving! And you’d be surprise at how easy it is to get energy from a turbine once it starts to spin. A hint: it takes less than 100 ft. of movement on a Hyundai Elentra. Theoretically, you could push the car if it ran out of energy in the battery bank, and within 100 ft, you’d have enough power to get yourself going again.

    Once the car is moving, the forward motion provides a charge to the secondary battery!

    I would very, very much like to see the math on this.

    But all that aside, even if you had to charge it once per week/month, it would still be better than going to the gas station once per week, cost less, way less pollutive, be more efficient, and be quieter.

    The only sound comes from the moving crankshaft, spinning axle, and the tires upon the road.

    Seperately, Another invention I had, which is already owned by GM unfortunately, are magnetic brake pads… against iron rotors. You would never have to buy another set of pads in your life… as a fixed magnet retains its magnetic charge for a very long time. And the stopping power is HUGE!

    Um, knowing something about the upper limits of the strength of permanent magnets, I somewhat doubt this. I’m sure GM’s version uses electromagnets.

    So anyways, I’ll stop taking up blog space, as I’m sure you’ll retort to this as well.

    Its just good to discuss this in public finally. I’ve been rather scared to even bring it up, but according to my patent attorney, now that we submitted it via certified mail, I’m free to discuss generalities of it.

    Uh, you’re free to anyway. And if your patent is accepted I will be amazed (patents depending on violations of the laws of physics to function tend to have a poor track record). But maybe you’ll take the time to “discuss generalities” of what makes your version of the electric motor different, since you sidestepped the question above.

  153. #153 Stanton
    October 22, 2006

    So, in other words, it’s impossible to make a perpetual-motion device by plugging a generator into itself.

  154. #154 Mark Craig
    October 22, 2006
    That sounds familiar… where have I heard of someone presuming that *their* perceived genetic ideal is in fact the only viable ideal?

    Oh, yeah: his name was Adolph Hitler.

    Argh. It’s Adolf – why can’t you Americans spell it right? And I should point out that the worldwide eugenic movement had much of its foundation in the US and Britain.

    Kristjan (see, spelled it right):

    Sorry about the spelling, it was too late/early. I spelled it correctly the day before, does that restore some of my cred? I definitely knew about the vigorous eugenics movement in the U.S., and in particular California. I happen to live in that state and am “disordered” (Asperger’s Syndrome and ADD), so of course I’m immensely proud to live in a state that 80-ish years ago would have eagerly sterilized me to protect society from my defective genes. >:-|

  155. #155 Crosius
    October 22, 2006

    I have a book called “Wasn’t the Future Wonderful” that has an article from the 50’s about how humans were going to “evolve” into one-eyed cyclopes with microscopic vision. The tone of that article and this newer one are very similar, as is the utter lack of factual support.

    Hack journalism appears to run in cycles.

    Eugenics – Don’t forget Canada. We sterilized our “undesireables” for a while.

  156. #156 Erik Ringmar
    October 23, 2006

    I met this guy briefly when I taught at the LSE. He is one of those “the country that controls magnesium controls the world” kind of guys who explains everything with the help of one big theory. It may work in biology but it doesn’t work in the social sciences. Someone should have stopped him — his PhD supervisor — from giving the LSE a bad name.

    This is a good example of how easily the soft social sciences like political science fall victim to cranks who claim to do “science.” There have been one wave after another of such pseudo-scientification. Evolutionary theory is, I’m afraid, the latest fashion. God help us (so to speak).

    I blog a bit about it here: ringmar.net/forgethefootnotes/?p=142

    .

  157. #157 Azkyroth
    October 24, 2006

    Mike seems to have finally made good on his repeated promises of not continuing the debate. A pity, that…

  158. #158 Erik Ringmar
    October 24, 2006

    Sorry, it seems I got the HTML tag wrong. Here is another attempt: bigprick@lse.ac.uk

  159. #159 Sonja
    October 25, 2006

    New study finds the fly in the ointment of Dr. Curry’s theory:

    Most Desirable Mates May Not Sire Prolific Offspring

  160. #160 David H.
    October 26, 2006

    Haven’t read every single comment made on this, but I’m still surprised that I haven’t spotted one single comment that points out the main flaw in Curry’s theory. Darwinian evolution is today such a slow and irrelevant force in the evolution of homo sapiens that no reputable futurist considers it all when constructing plausible scenarios for the future evolution of homo sapiens. The two competing evolutionary forces affecting homo sapiens at this point are: 1.genetic engineering and 2.cybernetic technology. Both of these will enable homo sapiens to start redesigning itself seriously within a hundred years at most. (I urge anyone who thinks this is science fiction to read up on the subject.) Thus, arguing about whether Curry is right or not in his prediction that homo sapiens will subspeciate into tall/beautiful and short/ugly in the distant future is supremely irrelevant.

  161. #161 Sam the librarian
    November 6, 2006

    There is an upside to this. He seems to forget that we morlocks get to eat the eloi.

  162. #162 Melisande
    November 7, 2006

    Hey, well, we may all be happily interbreeding (and by Jove, I am as mixed a pup as there be), but I don’t HAPPILY interbreed with certain types.

    People I know wouldn’t be happy interbreeding with those we perceive as fools, fnools, solipsists, total know-it-alls, people lacking altogether in basic logical functioning, serial killers, creationists, dullards, those incapable of individuating, those who do not regard dogs as persons, and so on. In short, over the last 400 years or so of “family history,” my family, while interbreeding widely as to skin color, hair form, body size, hairiness, chin type (though frankly preferring square – sorry), jaw size, nose shape, lip form, etc., etc – has avoided the types just mentioned, and the radiating branches of our lineage will hopefully continue onward past the next big die-back.

  163. #163 Hank Roberts
    October 24, 2007

    It’s back!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6057734.stm

    Human species ‘may split in two’
    Different human sub-species predicted by Dr Oliver Curry
    Humanity may split into an elite and an underclass, says Dr Curry

    Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years’ time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

    Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge. ….

    —————-
    ‘Evolutionary theorist’???????

  164. #164 Hank Roberts
    October 24, 2007

    (It’s on their short list of ‘most popular’ emailed stories today)

  165. #165 Ichthyic
    October 24, 2007

    Humanity may split into an elite and an underclass, says Dr Curry

    Humanity may split into eloi and morlocks, says Curry.

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