Pharyngula

Aww, the creationists are criticizing me. It would be so darned hurtful if they actually had valid complaints, but as usual, it’s all half-truths, misrepresentation, and selective quoting … and projection. It’s amusing how their complaints are more accurately reflected back at them.

Poor pathetic Michael Egnor is accusing Orac and me of lacking credibility and resorting to ad hominem in dealing with marketing master Pat Sullivan — he even quotes my criticism of Sullivan, in which I pointed out that he was wrong in substance and was misrepresenting Behe’s and Miller’s books. It isn’t ad hominem at all — it’s explaining how Sullivan’s understand of biology is exceptionally poor and that he doesn’t even seem to have read the source book he’s citing. I would think that the fact that IDists need to prop up demonstrably uninformed marketers to defend their ideas is rather damaging to their credibility.

The second attack is coming from wacky ol’ Vox Day who accuses me of cowardice for advocating that we don’t debate creationists. It’s a remarkably cowardly job on his part: he quotes the bit where I say that the ‘debate’ format is tactically poor and throws away the strengths of science, and then stops right were I start to make suggestions for actively engaging the public with substance and evidence and ideas. Is Day dishonest? Why, yes. But that kind of fraud and blatant twisting of words is Day’s specialty, right up there with his penchant for looney right-wing theocratic babble.

I hate to actually link to those clowns, but go ahead, read their screeds — you’ll see how far off base they both are. It’s a hoot.

Comments

  1. #1 Richard Carter, FCD
    July 7, 2007

    I don’t know how you manage to sleep at night with minds like those pitted against you, PZ, I really don’t.

    Right, I’m off to bed.

  2. #2 kemibe
    July 7, 2007

    Months ago I was directed to Pat Sullivan’s “blog” by an Orac post. As someone who cringes at people with no grasp of the sciences who insist on beshitting the Internet with input pertaining to topics of scientific interest, this was also the last time I needed to visit his site.

    I hadn’t known you had blogged about him. Like the slightly more expansive Vox Day, he’s a self-aggrandizing nobody, a typical ME-ME-ME-LOOK-AT-ME! by-product of an age in which everyone with a Web site is (in their minds if not in reality) magically transformed into an authority, facts be damned. If your Sitemeter or Technorati stats are robust, it means you can claim to be smart and demand equal respect for your opinions, whatever that implies.

  3. #3 MAJeff
    July 7, 2007

    But the problem with continual linking, as we will no doubt find out later, is that Vox’s legion of idiots will soon infest the place.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    July 7, 2007

    Insane is the word. The Voxites wither outside their little hothouse, so I don’t expect to see much of them.

  5. #5 Graxthal
    July 7, 2007

    Daniel Dennett is hardly the intellectual enemy of a person like PZ Myers; in fact, quite the opposite.

    PZ Myers offers plenty of rebuttals to the garbage that creationists spew, so he certainly cannot be called ‘intellectually bankrupt’. If he doesn’t directly acknowledge em, that’s simply a refusal to feed the trolls. Dawkins does the same, and I do believe that if Dennett has had the experience of being trolled by people who are not interested in truth but merely in attempting to mislead the public about science, then he most likely agrees with the Dawkins/Myers approach.

  6. #6 Norman Doering
    July 7, 2007

    Orac wrote:

    The real reason that I think the Vox-ites no longer swarm to my blog when I link to Vox is because, quite frankly, I usually slam Vox for his horrible understanding of some scientific issue or another and his minions simply don’t know how to respond.

    I’ve only done one post on Vox, here, and not a single Voxite showed up. Vox himself wrote a post catching me in a real mistake, I missed how he invented a new word, “Sciencists,” I just thought his spelling sucked and he meant scientists, and still no Voxies. Just some guy asking about Steve Fuller for some reason I can not fathom.

    I didn’t even know Vox had legion of idiots.

    Either that, or I’ve picked up my own little stable of loonies and trolls to annoy the rest of my regular readers and don’t even notice a few more directed to me from Vox.

    I wish I had a legion of idiots, loonies and trolls: “fly my little blue monkeys! Fly! Bring me the ruby slippers.”

  7. #7 Rey Fox
    July 7, 2007

    Do you suppose Egnor is squeaking in outrage over being called a creationist?

  8. #8 Chelsea
    July 8, 2007

    Know what’d be fun to watch? PZ posting a hearty rebuttal to Vox Day on Vox’s blog. Just one post. I think the internets would implode from the sheer number of inane responses.

  9. #9 Patrick
    July 8, 2007

    I can’t tell-is this video being ironic and making fun of Vox or not?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=WNSVkNwnqMA

    Wow. Videogame designer. Libertarian. Fantasy Novelist. Obscure techno musician.

    What a fucking prick. And he calls “intellectuals” ‘pussies’? And brags that in college, brilliant Vox Day made his teachers stutter with his brilliance?
    He needs a beating.

  10. #10 Scott Hatfield, OM
    July 8, 2007

    I’ll be happy to oblige.

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?
    July 8, 2007

    Know what’d be fun to watch? PZ posting a hearty rebuttal to Vox Day on Vox’s blog. Just one post. I think the internets would implode from the sheer number of inane responses.

    Vox Day exerts Divine Dominion over his blog. He’ll delete any such posts as quickly as he can.

  12. #12 Ric
    July 8, 2007

    Hey Walking Joe, PZ isn’t a jerk to those who honestly disagree with him. He’s a jerk to those who lie for Jesus and know they’re lying, but do so anyway to sway the people uneducated on the subject.

    Those people deserve to be called the scum they are.

    Keep it up, PZ!

  13. #13 Monado
    July 8, 2007

    Surely it’s possible for people to understand the basics of statistics? You can’t predict nor does anyone control which raindrop falls on you, but in a rainstorm, enough will so that you’ll get wet.

  14. #14 Science Avenger
    July 8, 2007

    Know what’d be fun to watch? PZ posting a hearty rebuttal to Vox Day on Vox’s blog. Just one post. I think the internets would implode from the sheer number of inane responses.

    Well, I gave him a point by point rebuttal, but so far no invasion. Of course, it’s Sunday, they are probably all resting.

  15. #15 Ted
    July 8, 2007

    I noticed John Derbyshire was on Day’s list of “Blogs of interest”. I emailed him to let him know Derbyshire considers creationists like himself to be nutjobs.

    Not that it’ll do much good.

  16. #16 rimpal
    July 8, 2007

    Science and religion can never meet. Whatever spin they may put on it, religion is deterministic, hence simplistic. That’s most obvious when a clown like Egnor spews his ignorance. Look at the number of entities he assumes, the hypothetical scenarios, analogies, he comes up with. It is all the mark of the religionist for whom the world is a simple place. Unfortunately for these nuts the world moved past them a while ago. That’s why Dawkins is a tenured prof at Oxford while Dembi is a crank quacking for a living at a diploma mill. It is fun to watch the likes of Dembi, Egnor, Behe, Wells etc., sputter with righteous indignation when scientists superciliously turn down their invitation to a debate. Of all the nuts Dembi is a little worse off than the rest, because he clearly has a problem working with women who don’t buy into his nonsense. Count the number of times he rails against Barbara Forrest and Genie Scott two women who time after time have torn up his pathetic rants to shreds. And have you noticed how quickly the DI notice board has changed colors. While Gonzo was filing self-righteous appeals at at ISU the board kept coming up irrelevant and immaterial evidence in support of Gonzo. Now that Gonzo has been finally shown the way out of ISU (did the Regents uphold the President’s decision?) the DI hacks have gone all quiet and are now parroting the half-wit ramblings of a business quack like Sullivan

  17. #17 Norman Doering
    July 8, 2007

    I wrote:

    “Future Toddler Chopper, Vox Day” oh now I need a reason to use it on my blog.

    I found an excuse:
    Vox the Knife wants your Anti-Christian arguments

  18. #18 grendelkhan
    July 8, 2007

    Norman Doering: Oh, thank you. I’m tickled, tickled, tickled pink. Also, “Vox the Knife” has an excellent ring to it.

  19. #19 David Marjanovi?
    July 8, 2007

    Well, he also thinks that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Link doesn’t work.

  20. #20 grendelkhan
    July 8, 2007

    Vox posted on the women-voting thing today, actually. See here.

  21. #21 Wolfhound
    July 8, 2007

    Wow. I mean, just WOW. This Vox guy is absolutely the most hateful asswipe I have ever encountered. I’m normally a pretty even-keeled person but I really hope this piece of shit dies a horrible death. And I mean this in the nicest possible way. I must admit to being curious about who “all of those women” are who would agree with his opinion that women should not be allowed to vote. I’m sure they’re all too busy squeezing out babies and/or getting beaten by their husbands right now to post on Vox’s blog in support of him, though.

  22. #22 Wolfhound
    July 8, 2007

    Oh, silly me! People who “think” and “can read” agree that women shouldn’t vote. Perhaps you shouldn’t vote, either, since I assume you believe yourself to be capable of thinking and reading. BTW, there are more than a few IDists out there with doctorates. Possession of said sheepskin does not automatically convey good sense/judgment so forgive me if I’m not impressed with your argument from wifely authority. Perhaps a poll of other women with the required education to be entitled (in your eyes) to an opinion is in order. I wonder how many would agree with your rather sexist position? Not many, I’ll wager. Meantime, your wife is perfectly welcome to (not) exercise her right to (not) vote. More power to her. Or not.

  23. #23 Kagehi
    July 8, 2007

    The only valid grounds for 50%, or more, of a population not voting would be roughly summed up in the altered philosophical statement, “What if they held an election, but no one came?” I am sure, being someone that “reads” you can figure out what that is an altered version of, then again maybe not, you don’t sound terribly bright, beyond the fact that you seem to have the capacity to do what even parrots have proven capable of, and use language. And, just to be clear, the hypothetical question only works if **100%** of people don’t vote in protest, just as with the original question.

    In any case, I think you need to take a damn good look at a lot of the BS shit men used to vote for *before* women advocated for that right, and where that would have *really* put us today, if we had been stupid enough to not declare denying them illegal. Whose next, black people and Asians?

  24. #24 prismatic, so prismatic
    July 8, 2007

    Something I suspect even a few of you good folks could do, if you could ever stifle your emotional outbursts enough.

    Sorry, we’re too busy voting.

    -pr

  25. #25 Mithrandir
    July 9, 2007

    Apparently, Vox’s position that women shouldn’t vote is based on the fact that women are statistically more likely to favor big government. Seriously, that’s his argument. I don’t have the imagination to make up something that stupid.

    Of course, he’s stupid enough to think that big government is always and everywhere an unmitigated evil in the first place, which only proves he is incapable of reading and comprehending a book on 20th century history.

  26. #26 grendelkhan
    July 9, 2007

    Oh, look, here’s Vox fantasizing about breaking Katie Couric’s jaw, because that’s the reasonable response when someone is slapped. How Christian of him. The post is, cutely enough, entitled And then she voted.

    Is it just me, or does he seem to really like the idea of hurting women? It’s not the first time he’s written rapturously about it.

  27. #27 Nate
    July 9, 2007

    The point I was refuting that only the uneducated believe that women shouldn’t vote.

    Its simply not true.

    To argue that women favor independence over security is to ignore basic pyschology and the whole of history.

    Does anyone here know the demographics of Hitler’s electoral support?

    How about his friends down in Italy? Anyone know the demographic base of support for the Fascist Party?

    Anyone?

    Sky’s blue. Water’s wet. Women vote themselves into comfortable well decorated cages… at least until the tyrants they elect decide to start forcibily breeding them.

  28. #28 KL
    July 9, 2007

    I have a responsibility to think for myself and research the issues and candidates before I vote, same as any voter, male or female. I resent being designated as “female” in this aspect of my life. Yes, if I go to my doctor it does make a difference what my gender is. But to the voting booth? My gender doesn’t determine how I do my job or pay my taxes, read my newspaper or buy a car. It would be great when we treat all Americans as Americans first, not female, male, black, white, rich, poor, etc. There are times when it is important to distinguish, but it happens too often IMO.

  29. #29 RavenT
    July 9, 2007

    BTW, Nate–

    Does anyone here know the demographics of Hitler’s electoral support?

    Do you know the demographics of Hitler?

  30. #30 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Insane is the word. The Voxites wither outside their little hothouse, so I don’t expect to see much of them.
    Posted by: PZ Myers

    What are you talking about? I offered to debate you on your own terms and you declined.

    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19426083.100-evolution-hacking-back-the-tree-of-life.html;jsessionid=DLGGABJKJPMO

  31. #31 Kseniya
    July 9, 2007

    “Spacebunny” the anesthesiologist

    Wow. Priceless. You can’t make up stuff like this! Well, she wouldn’t be the first one who got a little too, ah, involved in her work.

    Personally, I think Republicans shouldn’t be able to vote. I mean – look! Just look! Sky’s blue, water’s wet, dude! Sharks gotta swim. Bats gotta fly! Am I right? Am I right?

    Anyone know the stats on how many blogthreads collapse under the weight of Godwin?

  32. #32 the Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    No, you failed. His “own terms” were, in essence, to just post your damn propositions in the comments.

    He made no such offer. Pay attention.

  33. #33 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Close enough, though:
    You don’t have to wait for me to find time to swap essays with you. You’ve got a blog, or you’re willing to create one, so just do it and put up a summary of your position.

    Like I said he declined to debate, words have specific meanings.

  34. #34 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    If it’s worth commenting on, he will. He likes to poke holes and fun at lame arguments.

    First you assume that he can, and if he can’t, no one would be the wiser.

  35. #35 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    As it stands, I get a dozen letters every day insisting that the writer can disprove evolution

    and

    You’re pretty much in the same boat with all the other caterwauling loons, so you have to do something to show you are different.

    And if you won’t even make that effort, why should I bother?

    Loons, that’s a good foot to start out with, is that your best foot forward? I do not intend to “disprove” evolution I intend to make a case for intelligent design and prove that it is not axiomatic if evolution is true, then there is no ID. Which you regularly imply. You are incorrect sir and I will prove it.

  36. #36 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Ks

    Thanks for the kind word, I believe you were typing during my last post, look up one comment.

  37. #37 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Out to lunch….

  38. #38 Steve_C
    July 9, 2007

    I think he’s saying he’s come up with a mathematical formula that shows evolution and ID can coexist.

    I don’t get it. Evolution has shown that any “ID” is completely unnecessary.

  39. #39 RavenT
    July 9, 2007

    Meanwhile, poor Nate’s special flavor of misogynist wingnuttery is failing to register in all the noise over the “debate”.

    It’s a sad day when “women shouldn’t be allowed to vote” isn’t even the trolliest topic on the thread.

  40. #40 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Evolutionists do not claim there is no creator, they claim there is no need for a creator.

    This is absolutly incorrect, there has to have been a creator. Logic and the laws governing the physical universe demands it. I’ll save it for the debate.

  41. #41 Steve_C
    July 9, 2007

    Ouch. I almost did a spit take with my lunch.

    That’s funny stuff P.

  42. #42 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Posted by: Randy Tyson | July 9, 2007 02:10 PM

    Wrong, and will not respond to any more outragous speculation.

  43. #43 Randy Tyson
    July 9, 2007

    Ooooo! The suspense!

    My eyes are beginning to hurt from rolling them too much.

  44. #44 Michael LoPrete
    July 9, 2007

    To your 1), that makes a good deal of sense. The point is the debate, in any case, and not the comments.

    To your 2), I would ask, at least at first, for a 5 day window. I’m about to travel to visit family and celebrate a grandmother’s 90th birthday, and then soon after travel for business. I’ll have my laptop the whole time, but I’d like the extra time window since my schedule on both trips is up in the air.

    To your 3), please define Intelligent Design. In any case, I insist that we adopt a carefully worded resolution for our debate. You have yet to comment on either of the resolutions I have proposed.

    To your 4), I’m a grammar fiend, and it’s as much a character flaw as it is a talent. Criticism of grammar is obviously off topic, so don’t worry about that. To me, I think that’s only good etiquette. Like I said, I’m weird.

  45. #45 Steve_C
    July 9, 2007

    Doesn’t the DI specifically avoid naming the “designer”. And don’t they tend to try to stick to biology with their lame attempts at discounting evolution.

    Sounds like the P isn’t even going there… so actaully his arguments have nothing to do with ID arguments.

    His are either abiogenesis or big bang/first cause arguments. Both have little to do with biology.

    But damn it’ll be funny to watch him prove god exists with a math equation.

  46. #46 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    5′: You continue to be unclear on what areas are being covered. Is this a question of physics, chemistry, biology, philosophy, something else, or everything? Adopt a specific resolution, drafted in the style that I have done for you so far, that you intend to defend; we’ll go from there.
    6′: We started with a word, Creator, that could mean almost anything, and while you’ve clarified that you intend to argue for a SPECIFIC creator, namely “GOD”, but we’re still left with a word that can mean almost anything, and are therefore no farther along. What do you mean by Creator/GOD?

    5) Physics, Math and Philsophy in that order of importance. Biology is pretty much irellevent to my claim. But you are free to use it if you like.

    6) God, an omnipotent being that trancends the 3 dimensional realm.

  47. #47 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    The God of the Bible, if that is what you are trying to get me to say. And if you like we can discuss the Bible. in context with the claim.

  48. #48 The Phiscist
    July 9, 2007

    BTW, there are at least four that we exist in. I thought you were a physicist.

    I don’t have time for the fourth.

  49. #49 Brownian
    July 9, 2007

    If the Physicist means the Abrahamic god, then he should say so or he is being dishonest.

    If he does not mean the Abrahamic god, then he must justify any characteristic of this ‘god’ he invokes. For example, if he says the universe must have been created by an omnipotent god, he must then demonstrate why this god must be omnipotent (rather than just having the ability to create universes). If this god must also ‘transcend’ the (at least four) dimensions of spacetime, he must then demonstrate why. In other words, you gotta define this god from scratch. If you wanna take the easy way out and say that this god is essentially the same as the Abrahamic god, then don’t waffle.

    This is what you are going to need to do, Physicist. Frankly, I’ll put down money that you’re not up to the task, but it’s your call, of course.

  50. #50 Brownian
    July 9, 2007

    There we go. Physicist is going to demonstrate why the existence of the universe requires the god of the bible to exist, and not, say, Gitche Manitou.

  51. #51 Steve_C
    July 9, 2007

    The bible is a person? Evidence of essence?

    You should just quit now. Actually, please just stop until you post your “evidence” on the 3rd party blog where it can be easily ignored.

  52. #52 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    BTW, there are at least four that we exist in. I thought you were a physicist.

    Actually there are six dimensions described in pathagoreom form. a^2+b^2+c^2-tn^2-tp^2-tf^2= any time or place in space time

    a,b,c = three dimensional space
    tn = now
    tp = past
    tf= future

  53. #53 The Physicist
    July 9, 2007

    Jewish scripture also,I assumed you meant the entire Bible, not just the new testament.

  54. #54 Chaoswes
    July 9, 2007

    Physicist (I will not use the “The” because it is arrogant), are you saying you will argue that the Earth was created (by a super being) or the universe in general? If it is the latter then what about your “proof” about everything else? If the universe then what about life in general? Your argument needs to be much more specific.

  55. #55 Keith Douglas
    July 9, 2007

    RamblinDude: Also, that Dennett and PZ wouldn’t be on the same side against creationists is ludicrous.

  56. #56 David Marjanovi?
    July 11, 2007

    My irony meter just tipped me off.
    Octagon. Oy.

    Actually, octogon is the correct spelling. :-}

    And please stop confusing spelling and grammar, everyone!

  57. #57 David Marjanovi?
    July 11, 2007

    My irony meter just tipped me off.
    Octagon. Oy.

    Actually, octogon is the correct spelling. :-}

    And please stop confusing spelling and grammar, everyone!

  58. #58 Michael LoPrete
    July 11, 2007

    My references tell me otherwise, re: octogon vs octagon.

    FWIW, I always regarded spelling as a subset of grammar; now that you mention it, though, I don’t know why I organized it in that way.