Pharyngula

Ridicule works!

The threat of an eruption of creationism in Polk County, Florida, is dying down. The school board hasn’t changed, it still has a number of confident creationists on it, but they’re all going to keep their religious beliefs at home and in church, and in fact, they have a “great eagerness simply to return to the day-to-day work of running a school district with 90,000 students.” It’s great news all around.

What got them to confine their interest to doing their job? As the article explains, a lot of factors contributed. The county wants tech sector jobs and expansion of a University of South Florida campus, and they got biting comments from the people behind those economically important initiatives. They had the Dover trial waved in their faces, and saw the threat of expensive litigation and even more expensive defeat. And they got ridiculed on a local and national level—bloggers and magazines mocked them, they got mail from proponents of the flying spaghetti monster, their quaintly ridiculous religious views got publicized on the front page of local newspapers.

Creationists hold some very stupid ideas, but most of them aren’t stupid people. They know deep-down that their religious beliefs are indefensible on a plane that demands evidence and results, and while they aren’t going to give up those beliefs, they’d rather be spared the embarrassment of having to lay them out and explain them in scientific terms. A good loud campaign of public ridicule can be just the thing to convince them to put their heads down and buckle into the secular work they’re supposed to be doing.

Comments

  1. #1 Stingray
    December 22, 2007

    Interesting sentiments PZ; despite the amount of time I spend reading about the religion verus rationality debate, I can’t help but think that although the steps may be small and infrequent, they ultimately add up to an inevitable progression to a secular [read; free from superstition] human society. In other words, rationality wins… eventually. We can only hope, eh?

  2. #2 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    While ridicule may work, is there a way to institutionalize something? What I’m thinking of is a movement of faculty to get our universities to refuse to accept science credits, particularly biology, that exclude evolution?

    Institutional power is useful.

  3. #3 Scrofulum
    December 22, 2007

    Don’t know if anyone posted this, so apologies if they have, but it made me giggle:

    http://www.re-discovery.org/per_table.gif

  4. #4 Jonathan Smith
    December 22, 2007

    I love this statement

    “”They’ve made us the laughingstock of the world,” said Margaret Lofton, a school board member who supports intelligent design. She dismissed the e-mail as ridiculous and insulting.”
    No Ms Lofton you have made youself a laughing stock
    with your mindless religious rantings.

  5. #5 Albatrossity
    December 22, 2007

    Re the periodic table and other sciency parody from Scrofulum’s comment #4, I am looking forward to the day when the Re-Discovery Institute replaces “Kansas” with “Texas” on their material…

  6. #6 Tom
    December 22, 2007

    It’s refreshing to see Darwinists using persuasion (even if it’s ridicule) to convince school boards to censor criticism of Darwinism. No ACLU, no threats of litigation and bankruptcy.

    What if the people of a district are ultimately persuaded to allow open discussion of Darwin’s theory, including criticisms? No doubt, Darwinists will then use judicial censorship to silence those who ask questions in schools. It’s unconstitutional to ask questions critical of Darwin’s theory, you know. I’ve just had some dificulty finding the clause in the constituition that applies…

  7. #7 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    For the love of GOD, Tom, please stop. you’re making me laugh so hard I’m in pain.

  8. #8 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    It’s unconstitutional to ask questions critical of Darwin’s theory, you know.

    This is similar to claiming that it’s “unconstitutional” to pray or read the Bible anymore, since the government can’t use tax funds to promote a religion in the public schools and force everyone to stop and watch. Learn the difference between what individuals are allowed to do in public, and what the state, on behalf of the public, can do.

    By the way, the proper venue for asking “questions critical of Darwin’s theory” is the scientific community. Come up a testable theory with viable results and see all those mean bullying tactics fall away. They weren’t tactics — they were rules.

  9. #9 ChemBob
    December 22, 2007

    Would someone from here please go over to the article, register, and set Maxfl1 and jameswpope (I think that was the name) straight. Even as aggravated as I am with their nonsensical understanding of evolution, etc., I’m just too burned out on arguing with fundies to work up the energy for it this morning.

  10. #10 thadd
    December 22, 2007

    #7
    I am all for discussion of alternatives, when your years of biological research finally find one, please let us all know ok?

  11. #11 firemancarl
    December 22, 2007

    Now, all we need is the people in St Johns County ( St Augustine) and Hillsborough County ( Tampa/ St Pete ) to realize that ID just wont work.

  12. #12 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “Now, all we need is the people in St Johns County ( St Augustine) and Hillsborough County ( Tampa/ St Pete ) to realize that ID just wont work.”

    Fine. Convince them. Don’t censor them.

  13. #13 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    Creationists hold some very stupid ideas, but most of them aren’t stupid people. They know deep-down that their religious beliefs are indefensible on a plane that demands evidence and results, and while they aren’t going to give up those beliefs, they’d rather be spared the embarrassment of having to lay them out and explain them in scientific terms.

    You know, this may also shed some light on why it’s often so damn difficult to get a more liberal theist to lay out and explain — clearly and coherently — just what they mean by the term “God.”

  14. #14 Steve LaBonne
    December 22, 2007

    You’re confused as usual Mark. What is unconstitutional is trying to insinuate religious indoctrination into the public schools. Sadly for the creationist movement it did a rather poor job of covering its tracks when it morphed into “ID” in the hope of flying under the legal radar. A Republican, Christian federal judge in Pennsylvania was neither fooled nor amused by their tactics, as someone may possibly have told you.

    Also you might try reading my previous comment and doing a little online research into the terms I used. That might enlighten you as to the amount of actual scientific debate and questioning that goes on (namely, a lot), as well as to the fact that Darwin has been dead for a long time and his books, while monuments of the history of science, are obsolete.

  15. #15 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    You haven’t addressed my point.

    Which point? Or, are you Tom? Oh goody, sockpuppetry as well.

  16. #16 Epistaxis
    December 22, 2007

    #7:

    It’s refreshing to see Darwinists using persuasion (even if it’s ridicule) to convince school boards to censor criticism of Darwinism.

    No, I think most of the persuasion/ridicule came from people who understand modern evolution with all of the advances it’s made in the last 150 years, not just the biographers of the man who discovered it.

    It’s a good thing those Dembskians/Beheites/Johnsonians/Wellsians/Meyerists in Florida don’t feel like being the next laughingstock in an ill-fated Discovery Institute test case.

  17. #17 thadd
    December 22, 2007

    “You haven’t addressed my point. Why is it unconstitutional to question a theory (scientific or otherwise) in a public school?
    If the religious motivation for the question is the issue, why then wouldn’t it be unconstitutional for a teacher to question any government policy in front of students, if it could be shown that the question arose from the religious convictions of the teacher?
    Would it have been unconstitutional for a teacher who, because of her religious convictions opposed segregation in the South, to question Jim Crow laws?
    I’m not addressing the point as to whether it would be wise or scientifically appropriate to question Darwin’s theory, but whether it would be constitutional.
    It’s ironic how folks who tout their ‘reason’ and ‘freethought’ censor with such vigor.”

    You obviously have no understanding of the interpretation of seperation of church and state taken by the supreme court.
    If you do somthing that shows support for a religion or religious doctrine, that is in violation. This Jim Crow law example is a poor one, since it is not dirrect support of a religion.
    Your argument also forgets that Creationism/ID is not an alternative for evolution, nor is it a scientific theory. It doesn’t work, so it is not a valid alternative to present even if one were going to allow for different explanations

  18. #18 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “What is unconstitutional is trying to insinuate religious indoctrination into the public schools. ”

    The First Amendment says nothing about religious indoctination. It reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of.”

    Does mention in a public school of the Declaration of Independence (“Endowed by our Creator…”) violate the Establishment Clause? How about Lincoln’s Second Inaugural (“The Almighty has His purposes…)and his quote from the Gospels (Transgressions must come, but woe…) violate the Establishment clause?

    If not, why then does criticism of Darwin’s theory violate it?

  19. #19 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    How far is Mark going to move the goalposts?

    It’s no longer teaching a religious theory (as was the case in Dover and the what was proposed by the board members), but teaching “criticism of Darwinism” that he’s framed the problem as. Not a terribly intellectually honest person.

  20. #20 Tom (McCann)
    December 22, 2007

    Aaaagggghhhh!!! As someone who usually posts under the name ‘Tom’, I wish to disassociate myself with the ‘Tom’ in comment #7. I will use a better handle in future – don’t want to get banned by PZ for trolling.

  21. #21 Steve LaBonne
    December 22, 2007

    I see we can add “constitutional law expert” to Mark’s long list of “qualifications”.

    Unfortunately, a long line of judges have disagreed with him.

    Umm, idiot, criticism of “Darwin’s theory” goes on all the time. It comes from biologists, not from ignorant, dishonest religious apologists like the ID crowd (you can’t “criticize” what you don’t even understand.) The latter merely insinuate the idiotic (and unconstitutional) fallacy “we don’t know everything yet, therefore goddidit”.

    Of course, you’re quite incapable of outlining “Darwin’s theory” and explaining how and why many modern approaches to evolutionary biology differ from it significantly. Modern evolutionary theories are in large part concerned with the fate in populations over time of genes, i.e. of entities about whose existence Darwin was quite unaware.

  22. #22 Steve LaBonne
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff- he’s simply parroting the most recent DI party line / strategy.

  23. #23 Epistaxis
    December 22, 2007

    #15 (MarkTom):

    Why is it unconstitutional to question a theory (scientific or otherwise) in a public school?

    It’s unconstitutional to take away time that could be spent educating kids on the scientific consensus underlying all of biology and replace it with religious indoctrination, which the courts have ruled creationism/ID to be. If you want your kids to learn alternatives to science, nobody is threatening to close down your local church or take away your Bible. If you want to challenge the scientific paradigms yourself, you’re welcome to get a Ph.D. in biology and publish a couple dozen peer-reviewed papers like everyone else.

    If the religious motivation for the question is the issue, why then wouldn’t it be unconstitutional for a teacher to question any government policy in front of students, if it could be shown that the question arose from the religious convictions of the teacher?

    Evolution isn’t a government policy, but I’ll address your argument anyway. If a physics teacher wants to “teach the controversy” about string theory, it might actually be very beneficial for students to hear the scientific arguments for both sides. Likewise, back when it was a controversy, the distinction between gradualism and punctuated equilibrium could have made good education. Two problems with creationism are (1) there isn’t a scientific controversy with scientific arguments on both sides, and (2) the objections to the science are religiously sectarian in nature, which means public schools are rightly prohibited from teaching them.

    Would it have been unconstitutional for a teacher who, because of her religious convictions opposed segregation in the South, to question Jim Crow laws?

    If the only way she could present abolitionism to her students was to teach them her Methodist or Quaker beliefs, yes, that’s obviously unconstitutional. Likewise, it would have been unconstitutional for her to cite Leviticus 25:39-46, 1 Peter 2:18, and Titus 2:9-10 as the reasons why slavery is a just and worthy institution. On the other hand, if she discussed the works of those who argued for abolition on moral, rather than theological, grounds, such as Ernestine Rose and Harriet Martineau, that wouldn’t be an unconstitutional use of school time for religious indoctrination.

    It’s ironic how folks who tout their ‘reason’ and ‘freethought’ censor with such vigor.

    Yes, that would be a devastating criticism if we were talking about censorship. Fortunately, no one is proposing to have the NSA redact your copy of Darwin’s Black Box, or monitor your pastor’s sermons to make sure he only delivers the approved theology, or delete content from your blog and remove it from Google searches. That would be unconstitutional, foolish, and evil.

  24. #24 Tulse
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, so you would be in favour of also teaching in health class that blood transfusions are a matter of controversy? Presumably as long as one didn’t actually say “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, that would be OK, since you’d just be teaching the controversy, right? And it would be appropriate to mention that there is controversy about whether poisonous vipers can be handled without harm, since as long as you don’t mention the religions that believe that, you’re just teaching the controversy, right? And in language arts class it would be appropriate to say that there is controversy about language learning, and as long as you don’t specifically mention charismatics speaking in tongues, you’d just be teaching the controversy, right?

    And if you wanted to talk about the age of the universe in science class, if you said that some people thought it was 155 trillion years old, that would be OK as long as you didn’t mention Hinduism, right? You’d just be teaching the controversy (and surely if you are going to include views against the mainstream scientific thought, it would only be fair to include vedic cosmology as well as Biblical, no?). And in health class presumably you’d want to mention the value that some people see in taking bear gall bladder — just teaching the controversy, right? In social studies, presumably you’d want to mention that some people think the arrangement of the stars at the time of their birth influences their lives — just teaching the controversy, right?

    Surely, if there are criticisms of any aspect of knowledge, no matter how unusual or unlikely, we should teach it, right? (I guess we’ll just need to extend the school year…)

  25. #25 Citizen Z
    December 22, 2007

    Why is it unconstitutional to question a theory (scientific or otherwise) in a public school?
    If the religious motivation for the question is the issue, why then wouldn’t it be unconstitutional for a teacher to question any government policy in front of students, if it could be shown that the question arose from the religious convictions of the teacher?

    If you are honestly wondering why, there are resources out there that can answer your question. I would recommend you go here and read the posts (starting at the bottom and working your way up). Better than wasting our time here.

  26. #26 firemancarl
    December 22, 2007

    Funny MarkTom, no one here in Florida censored them. They school board folks finally relaized that teaching any religious dogma in a public school system is vorboten. I am no longer suprised that ID/YECist like yourself continue to change the name of the point your trying to make regardless of how many times it has been shot out of the water.

    You simply cannot teach something in a science class that doesn’t even mesaure up to the term pseudo science. I suppose you would be unwilling to allow for all forms of creation to be taught in school. You and your ilk simply favor the xtian version where god did it. It’s hard to make a scientific statement that starts and end with “God did it.”

    Just remember, people use to think that the planets were held in orbit by angels.

    Face it, science will always trump religion and the longer the human races thrives, the longer science will debunk any god of the gaps arguments.

  27. #27 David Ratnasabapathy
    December 22, 2007

    Steve LaBonne:

    …[Darwin’s] books, while monuments of the history of science, are obsolete

    I disagree.

    Darwin’s Origin of Species:
    1. is free
    2. is widely available
    3. is easily understood
    4. proves, to laypeople, that macroevolution happened

    What other books fit that description?

  28. #28 RamblinDude
    December 22, 2007

    My favorite part was “No doubt, Darwinists will then use judicial censorship to silence those who ask questions in schools.”

    That’s right, all they want to do is ask questions just like scientists do, because they’re curious people just like scientists are! ROTFLMFAO!!

    (We just want to question evolution because we’re curious…ah, priceless.)

  29. #29 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    MarkTom, the science of biology has advanced since Darwin. Your arguments have not. Why are you still using 1859 arguments in 2007, almost 2008? Do try to keep up.

  30. #30 Stan
    December 22, 2007

    Teaching something in a classroom is the same as Congress passing a bill establishing a state religion? This is silliness used to promote Athesim, which, by several Federal Court decisions is legally a religion.

    This thread indicates exactly who is smug, and uses ridicule rather than logic.

  31. #31 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Stan, like the rest of ‘em, so cute when he tries to think.

  32. #32 RamblinDude
    December 22, 2007

    Now it’s about promoting atheism. ROTFLMFAO AGAIN!!! I gotta go.

  33. #33 shrimplate
    December 22, 2007

    For creationists it is not enough that they are stupid. They must ensure that others are just as stupid as they themselves are.

    They want to go into public school science classes and proclaim “Let’s all be stupid.” What’s not to ridicule about that?!

  34. #34 waldteufel
    December 22, 2007

    Stan’s tryin’ to think, but nuttin happens.

  35. #35 Neil Schipper
    December 22, 2007

    It’s refreshing to see Darwinists using persuasion (even if it’s ridicule) to convince school boards to censor criticism of Darwinism. No ACLU, no threats of litigation and bankruptcy.

    Actually, Tom is close to saying something very worthwhile here. Most of you are focusing on the word censor (and thereby allowing your buttons to be pushed a bit too easily). Why not dwell a moment on the word convince?

    Are not Florida and Texas places where a huge — I repeat, huge — constituency exists that supports secular education? Doesn’t the oil industry care about geology done, and therefore taught, well? Aren’t there lots of educated parents (at many places along the religious spectrum) keenly aware of the value of having their kids receive the fruits of the best thinking of the day? I don’t easily accept the idea that, in Texas specifically, there isn’t a numeric majority among the business people, geologists, doctors, engineers, computer scientists, science teachers and so on, oriented towards evidence-based science.

    So it seems to me that the real big news here is that these well-paid and theoretically very influential folks haven’t the confidence or social glue or courage to slap down the education board, and get that hack chairman tossed out.

    Maybe instead of doing childish internet battle with creationists, and babbling about constitutions, there could be more adult political discourse — the kind where people use their real names — in which members of the aforesaid educated class pick up the phone to their representatives, the media, university presidents and so on and ask “what are you doing to prevent my state from becoming a laughing stock and a backwater?”

  36. #36 raven
    December 22, 2007

    StanMarkTom lying creo troll:

    Teaching something in a classroom is the same as Congress passing a bill establishing a state religion?

    That isn’t what you cultists want to do. You want to sneak your dumb mythological lies into our kids science classes. And yes, it is blatantly illegal.

    Sounds like you hate living in a free and open scientifically advanced society. Life can be a bitch sometimes. Fortunately, several theocratic hellholes have openings. I recommend Afghanistan or Somalia. You will have to change Jehovah to Allah and demote Jesus to a prophet. But these mental gymnastics are nothing to someone who can pretend a 13.7 billion year old universe is 6,000 years old.

  37. #37 Steve LaBonne
    December 22, 2007

    Did you read the linked article, Neil? What you called for is exactly what happened in Polk County. (And this was clearly alluded to in PZ’s post.)

  38. #38 Neil Schipper
    December 22, 2007

    Steve, I didn’t read it, but I did the get the drift, and obviously I’m delighted. I’m responding more to what pharyngulists seem to think is a worthwhile use of their life force.

  39. #39 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    I find that the “childish internet battles” help prepare me for what are often even more simplistic battles in what’s sometimes called ‘real life.’ When you keep dealing with common arguments and watch how others deal with them, they become familiar. You eventually learn what works, and what doesn’t.

    The internet may be a rowdy, rude free-for-all, but on the whole it’s less stressful than face to face encounters. Gain knowledge, poise, and serenity — or vent steam, bile, and invective — in an place where it’s all verbal, and all safe, and the hope is that a little of it will rub off when dealing with the media and the government — or maybe just Aunt Edna and the guy who works in the next cubicle.

  40. #40 Calladus
    December 22, 2007

    Doesn’t the oil industry care about geology done, and therefore taught, well? … I don’t easily accept the idea that, in Texas specifically, there isn’t a numeric majority among the business people, geologists, doctors, engineers, computer scientists, science teachers and so on, oriented towards evidence-based science.

    Neil, I agree that public discourse is a real solution for showing the difference between science and religious pseudoscience. However, I want to point out that from my own experience that industry still works just fine with a certain percentage of technically trained people that are otherwise blind to science.

    I lost a life-long friend when he converted to a radical form of Christianity – a friend who is employed to lay out oil derricks via CAD. His belief that oil was created a mere 6,000 years ago by God, and that there is plenty to last until Armageddon (which will happen any time now…) is no hindrance to his ability to follow the instructions of engineers and geologists. Why the dichotomy doesn’t make his head explode evades me.

    In my job as an electrical engineer, I see this sort of thing all too often. (Everyone here knows just how many engineers are so sure that God is the ultimate engineer.)

    Yes, there are many in industry who recognize that good science is necessary for industry – but they also realize that we have to use the technical competence that is available – even when that technical competence is attached to someone who believes that goddidit.

  41. #41 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    Stan, what would god ever do without you to protect him?

  42. #42 Calladus
    December 22, 2007

    I hope PZ’s defensiveness does not divert attention from my central idea: Bickering with YEC/ID’ers by pseudonymous non-specialists is a form of entertainment; trying to cajole influential people is politics. I see a lot of chit-chat on this site that suggests a lot of people don’t quite get that.

    Stan, I disagree that anonymous discourse is merely entertainment. And I’d like to point out that there are a lot of science supporters and organizations who are openly opposing this religious foolishness.

    A lot of us who work with trusted pseudonyms, or under full anonymity, also work with or support these open organizations too. As was suggested, we’re not just playing around on the Internet – we’re sharpening our arguments and getting them ready for prime time, in front legislators, educators, and even the press.

  43. #43 Steve_C
    December 22, 2007

    I’m just playing around, we don’t have as many problems with creationists in the north east.

    Plus, mocking I.D. and creationists is fun… and completely appropriate.

  44. #44 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “Most of you are focusing on the word censor (and thereby allowing your buttons to be pushed a bit too easily). Why not dwell a moment on the word convince?”

    Neil makes a good point. Obviously I disagree with you about some (but not all) of Darwin’s theory, but my beef isn’t with that. In fact, if I had my way, I’d include more time for evolution in schools, and I don’t support teaching creationism or intelligent design. I support teaching and questioning Darwin’s theory, rigorously, in schools, and engaging students to really think about what he said and about what evolutionary biologists say today.

    What is the evidence that living things arose entirely without design? How good is that evidence? How has and can that theory be tested?

    Students are smart enough to understand when they’re being indoctrinated. When federal judges censor any ‘disparagement’ of Darwin’s theory (The Dover judge’s term), people know that what is going on is indoctrination, not objective discussion of the issue. Placing ‘science’ on the side of censorship will do far more harm to science in the long run than a few questions about Darwin’s theory in a classroom.

    And, by the way, if the evidence is so good for Darwinism, why are you so afraid of an open discussion in schools? People with the facts on their side don’t need to censor their oppponents. They welcome the unfettered exchange of ideas. Why not show school kids what fools those ID guys are, by exposing their ideas and refuting them, in the classroom?

    To the public (and not a few scientists), you look like a bunch of guys trying to insulate a very tenuous theory from scrutiny.

  45. #45 jdb
    December 22, 2007

    Neil: “I hope PZ’s defensiveness does not divert attention from my central idea: Bickering with YEC/ID’ers by pseudonymous non-specialists is a form of entertainment; trying to cajole influential people is politics. I see a lot of chit-chat on this site that suggests a lot of people don’t quite get that.”

    Cute rhetorical tricks. PZ’s response is dismissed as “defensiveness,” and criticism of creationists is just “bickering” and “chit-chat.” And people who don’t agree with your view just “don’t quite get” it.

    Thanks so much for your substantive contribution.

    Oh, and as to “pseudonymous non-specialists”: who do you think should be allowed to express an opinion here? Also, since you’re so fond of openness and credentials, I’m sure you’ll post your address, employer, and educational credentials for us to examine. Thanks.

  46. #46 SF Atheist
    December 22, 2007

    On comment #4: I need some help here. As a retired chemist I’m lmao over the depiction of the periodic chart of the elements. And then it dawned on me, is this Discovery Institute serious? Guess I live a sheltered life here in San Francisco, as it is incomprehensible to me that someone actually believes this nonsense.

  47. #47 jdb
    December 22, 2007

    Mark: “In fact, if I had my way, I’d include more time for evolution in schools, and I don’t support teaching creationism or intelligent design.”

    Sure you don’t. I totally believe you.

  48. #48 junk science
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, you should worry more that people will find out about your anti-Darwin criticism than that they’ll be prevented from finding out about it. Stupid people with no argument embrace censorship for a reason. It’s in our interest to make sure the world knows everything about what your people are really saying.

  49. #49 Stan
    December 22, 2007

    Oh come on, you guys know this. Well maybe not. Here ya go:

    KAUFMAN v MCCAUGHTRY
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh District Circuit Court,
    Chief Judge: Crabb
    Circuit Judges: Bauer, Wood, Williams
    Document 04-1914; Aug 19,2005.

    Welsh v. United States,
    398 U.S. 333, 340 (1970);

    United States v. Seeger,
    380 U.S. 163, 184-88 (1965);

    Torcaso v. Watkins,
    367 U.S. 488, 495 & n.11 (1961);

    Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d
    197, 200-15 (3d Cir. 1979) (Adams, J., concurring);

    Theriault v. Silber, 547 F.2d 1279, 1281 (5th Cir. 1977) (per curiam;

    Thomas v. Review Bd.,
    450 U.S. 707, 714 (1981);

    Lindell v. McCallum,
    352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir. 2003).

    Look ‘em up guys. Just because you WANT to believe something is not an excuse for not knowing this stuff.

  50. #50 T_U_T
    December 22, 2007

    When federal judges censor any ‘disparagement’ of Darwin’s theory (The Dover judge’s term), people know that what is going on is indoctrination, not objective discussion of the issue. Placing ‘science’ on the side of censorship will do far more harm to science in the long run than a few questions about Darwin’s theory in a classroom.

    And, by the way, if the evidence is so good for Darwinism, why are you so afraid of an open discussion in schools? People with the facts on their side don’t need to censor their oppponents.

    mark, why you are lying so much ?

  51. #51 PZ Myers
    December 22, 2007

    “Defensiveness”? There you go again.

    Your central idea is all wrong. Relying on politicians and academics is an elitist mistake. What we need to do is enlist and inform everyone into the fight, and this internet “chit-chat” is precisely what does that. The way we get politicians on our side is to show grassroots support, and the people who disparage the hoi-polloi are the disastrous and largely clueless gomers who have gotten this country into this situation.

    As for that whine about pseudonyms — you cannot imagine how irritating and repulsive it is. The people you are demeaning are using pseudonyms…but the have websites, they have email addresses, they have been a consistent presence, and they have reputations. You have none of those, yet you seem to feel you’ve got some superiority merely because maybe you are using your real name. To which I have to say…who the hell is Neil Schipper? Mena, Calladus, RamblinDude, Sastra, firemancarl, all these people with funny names here have far more credibility than you do because they have a history of presenting ideas.

    All I know about you is that you don’t get it.

  52. #52 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    cute wittle stanie.

    What’s your point again?

    Oh yeah, your head.

  53. #53 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    Thanks for the support but I post under my real, albeit funny, name…

  54. #54 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    junk science:

    “Mark, you should worry more that people will find out about your anti-Darwin criticism than that they’ll be prevented from finding out about it. Stupid people with no argument embrace censorship for a reason. It’s in our interest to make sure the world knows everything about what your people are really saying.”

    I have no fear of open discussion of the ID/Darwin debate, in schools or elsewhere. That’s why ID advocates support open debate in schools.

    You know as well as I do that the reason the supporters of Darwin’s theory go to federal court to censor criticism in public schools is that if school districts were allowed decide without federal judicial censorship, Darwin’s theory that all life arose without evidence of design would almost immediately come under intense scrutiny in schools, and would be discredited in many if not most districts in the country in short order.

    The reason that you take the enormous political risk of supporting censorship (and it’s a real Achilles’ heel for your side)is that the alternative would be rapid nationwide repudiation of the dogmatic materialistic aspects of your theory.

    It would be like Glastnost. Open the door a crack- allow a little freedom- and the whole rotten edifice collapses. You need censorship.

  55. #55 Stan Stephens
    December 22, 2007

    (1)”Stan, like the rest of ‘em, so cute when he tries to think.”
    (2)”Stan’s tryin’ to think, but nuttin happens.”

    This sort of sophomore trash talk is what seems to pass for rational discourse around here. When you guys get out of Junior High School, let’s talk. I assume that you don’t even know the difference between the process of empiricism, and the philosophical idealism that is known as Naturalism.

    Do you want to talk or throw spit wads?

  56. #56 T_U_T
    December 22, 2007

    mark lies again :

    I have no fear of open discussion of the ID/Darwin debate, in schools or elsewhere. That’s why ID advocates support open debate in schools.

    Or. If this is not a lie, then, please, tell us what exactly your objections to (sic)darwinism exactly are.

  57. #57 PZ Myers
    December 22, 2007

    Yeah, but Mena…you don’t use your last name. Maybe you aren’t pseudonymous, but you’re too damned informal for a serious discussion.

  58. #58 raven
    December 22, 2007

    StanTomMark the cuckoo troll:

    To the public (and not a few scientists), you look like a bunch of guys trying to insulate a very tenuous theory from scrutiny.

    Mark, to normal people, you look like a psychotic religious killer about to go on a shooting rampage at a day care center for preschoolers somewhere. Ignore the voices in your head and take your medication. Please.

    Gee, it is sort of fun to make wild accusations without much proof on the internet. Mark is just a troll killing time.

  59. #59 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “If this is not a lie, then, please, tell us what exactly your objections to (sic)darwinism exactly are.”

    The Darwinian hypothesis that all complexity of living things came about without design is not supported by evidence. There is no evidence that a code (genetic code) can arise de-novo in nature without a mind causing it.

    That some biological variation is the result of chance (undesigned) mutations is reasonable, but the hypothesis that all biological structure came about without design is not supported by evidence, and there is strong evidence against it (irreducible complexity).

  60. #60 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    and there is strong evidence against it (irreducible complexity).

    Like the bacterial flagellum and the eye?

  61. #61 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Actually, I wonder why I’m suggesting that you guys give up on censorship. It won’t last forever— there’s a big backlash building, and a few appointments to the Supreme Court will do away with this ridiculous distortionof Establishment Clause jurisprudence.

    To the general public, one of the strongest arguments ID guys have is that you are afraid to tolerate dissent in the classroom. I’m assuming that you know that, and you support censorship anyway. The reason, I presume, is that you have no choice. Open questioning of Darwinism in schools would be a catastrophe for your theory. For you, advocacy of censorship is the lesser of two evils.

  62. #62 AllanW
    December 22, 2007

    Re; #69.

    Hahahahahahaha! Forgive me but as was mentioned on another thread ridicule is my only response at this point. I’m sure PZ and a host of others can flood this thread with links to demonstrate exactly where you are just plain wrong but I’ll content myself with wiping my eyes, my keyboard, screen and desk of the tea I just spurted out. Back in awhile …..

  63. #63 Wesley R. Elsberry
    December 22, 2007

    You know as well as I do that the reason the supporters of Darwin’s theory go to federal court to censor criticism in public schools is that if school districts were allowed decide without federal judicial censorship, Darwin’s theory that all life arose without evidence of design would almost immediately come under intense scrutiny in schools, and would be discredited in many if not most districts in the country in short order.

    So far as I know, that’s never happened.

    What does happen when people insert their narrow sectarian view as if it were science is that students and parents who object get called “atheists” and ostracized (c.f. Humes’ “Monkey Girl”), receive threatening phone calls, or even get physical retaliation. The antievolution folks have a huge talent for projection, which is about all I can think of to explain their complete inversion of reality when it comes to willingness to converse. One of the critical elements of a conversation is that if one is wrong about a point, one is willing to acknowledge that and eliminate the part that was wrong from further conversation. Antievolutionists apparently can’t, or only very rarely, do this. Look up “gish bullfrog” for the canonical example.

  64. #64 Calladus
    December 22, 2007

    Mark,

    Just out of curiosity, which form of Intelligent Design would you prefer be discussed in school? How many different forms should be given careful attention?

    Only one? Two? Thirty?

    From my reading, I’d hazard a guess that there are hundreds of different forms of Intelligent Design from thousands of different religions.

    There are only a couple of different forms of naturalistic explanation of why there are so many different (but related) forms of species, and these are sometimes compared in class and their faults (like Lamarckism) are tested and pointed out – when the curriculum allows, and as the harried high school teachers find the time.

    Intelligent Design is a (ahem) theory that offers no proof, no evidence, and no testability. As such, it fails the basic definition of “science”. “Darwinists” (as the IDers like to call them) have been asking for testable proof – begging for it! A scientist who comes up with a testable proof of ID is an instant shoo-in for the Nobel Prize! Fame and Fortune await!

    And scientists love to one-up each other, and prove the other guy’s theory is garbage by presenting their own, better theory! But the rules of the game require that the new theory have repeatable, testable evidence, as agreed by a peerage of potentially hostile reviewers – or else the newly proposed theory is merely crap.

    Descent with modification has been observed, tested, and is used as the basis of biology today. An entire successful field of science and medicine is based upon this humble theory.

    Which field of science is based upon Intelligent Design?

  65. #65 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “I’m sure PZ and a host of others can flood this thread with links to demonstrate exactly where you are just plain wrong ”

    Why not demonstrate why I’m so wrong in front of an audience, in a public school, say?

    Why do you censor dissent in schools?

  66. #66 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    It’s ironic how folks who tout their ‘reason’ and ‘freethought’ censor with such vigor.

    It’s time to toss Mark in the Dungeon for insipidity and wanking.

  67. #67 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    It’s time to toss Mark in the Dungeon for insipidity and wanking.

    Martyrdom, he’ll love it.

  68. #68 AllanW
    December 22, 2007

    Re; #76

    Because it’s a waste of their fucking time, man. Do you want to take it right back? Ok let’s have lessons on why putting your hand into fire is bad for you. Good grief. With the limited time available in compulsory schooling, educators have the job of distilling already learned and verified knowledge and cramming it into heads. This stuff is just a progression from ‘don’t put your hand in the fire. it’ll burn’ except more sophisticated and harder to understand.

    With every statement you just reveal how far back in the class you are. Either do the work to catch up or leave people to it who give a shit whether we progress as a race; deal?

  69. #69 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Wesley:

    Re: “What does happen when people insert their narrow sectarian view as if it were science is that students and parents who object get called “atheists” and ostracized (c.f. Humes’ “Monkey Girl”), receive threatening phone calls, or even get physical retaliation.”

    And suing in federal court, threatening to bankrupt school districts, and censoring discussion in biology classes under the threat of a federal court order makes people nicer?

    It’s sectarian largely because you guys went to court to impose censorship. The hostility increases when one side uses coersion and censorship to stifle debate.

  70. #70 Ichthyic`
    December 22, 2007

    ..oh and lest i forget, here’s another reason to toss Tom/Mark in the Dungeon:

    Oh goody, sockpuppetry as well.

    so, we have insipidity, wanking, and sockpuppetry. The first two demonstrated across multiple threads.

    so, are folks ready to retire Mark, yet?

    or are you still having fun poking him with a stick?

    I rather thought he got entirely boring in the first thread he went off in.

  71. #71 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Martyrdom, he’ll love it.

    best of both worlds. he gets his beloved martyrdom, and we don’t have to hear about it.

  72. #72 raven
    December 22, 2007

    Creationism, flat earthism, and geocentrism were the ruling paradigms for almost 4,000 years. The scientific world dropped them because they were wrong.

    There is no reason in the 21st century to revive old superstitions that went nowhere but into books on ancient mythology.

  73. #73 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    And suing in federal court, threatening to bankrupt school districts, and censoring discussion in biology classes under the threat of a federal court order makes people nicer?

    …and forcing the resignation of someone just for forwarding an email makes people nicer?

    what a tunnel-visioned, projection-filled, wanker.

  74. #74 me
    December 22, 2007

    I’ll bite.

    Kaufman v. McCaughtry:
    First, this is not a Supreme Court decision so it only applies in the Seventh Circuit. Second, the ruling said the atheism should be treated as equivalent to a religion from a First Amendment standpoint, not that it was a religion. If you can’t see the difference, don’t be an armchair lawyer.

    Welsh v. United States:
    Allowing a humanist to be a conscientious objector is far from ruling atheism a religion.

    United States v. Seeger:
    See above. Also, this ruling explicitly states “There is no issue here of atheistic beliefs, and, accordingly, the decision does not deal with that question.”

    Torcaso v. Watkins:
    This a simple First Amendment case. Maryland’s constitution violated the “no religious test” clause.

    Malnak v. Yogi:
    Third Circuit (“Adams, J., concurring” A concurrence? Get real.)

    Theriault v. Silber:
    Fifth Circuit. You’d have to stretch this far to get it to support your point.

    Thomas v. Review Bd.,
    Lindell v. McCallum:
    You’re going to have to explain why you think these cases support your assertion. Lindell is again a Seventh Circuit case.

    Look ‘em up guys.
    The question is, have you ever looked them up?

  75. #75 windy
    December 22, 2007

    Why do you censor dissent in schools?

    Not that it’s censorship if a “cdesign proponentsist” book is rejected as biology reading material, but schools are the last place to try to overturn established scientific theories. If you have a radical new theory on how special relativity is wrong or how vaccinations are useless, you don’t go to the public schools to test it.

  76. #76 jdb
    December 22, 2007

    Mark: “Why not demonstrate why I’m so wrong in front of an audience, in a public school, say?

    Why do you censor dissent in schools?”

    Who exactly is trying to dissent? Science educators aren’t exactly clamouring to teach ID.

    I guess we should also allow “dissent” in the form of the Theory of Intelligent Falling (finally addressing those obvious gaps in the Theory of Gravity!), astrology, homeopathy, and every crackpot delusion espoused by some guy with a website.

    Seems like that would take a lot of time, though. It would be nice if we could focus the use of already-scarce classroom time on theories that had shown some merit, rather than wasting it on every piece of random bullshit in the name of tolerating “dissent.”

    If only we had some process or “method” for evaluating which ideas are likely to be true and which aren’t. Perhaps it could involve make testable predictions and comparing them to the evidence. Then maybe people could, I don’t know, publish their ideas and let others examine and respond to them.

    Ah, but that’s crazy talk.

  77. #77 Tim
    December 22, 2007

    Stan –

    Thanks for listing court decisions which have determined atheism to be a religion. I did a little bit of research and it seems that in those instances in which the Supreme Court made or reaffirmed that view, it did so in order that religious organizations or communities not be entitled to rights rights that are not also extended to (a) other religious communities/practitioners or to (b) non-religious citizens (e.g. atheists).

    So having done just that much research, I’m left wondering what your original point was.

    I’ve attached a link which summarizes the meaning of the decisions you cited.

  78. #78 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Ichthyic:

    Re: “…and forcing the resignation of someone just for forwarding an email makes people nicer?”

    Perhaps one strong arm tactic arose because of another. Be careful of what you sow.

    There are a lot more of us, and a lot of us are very angry. These are our kids, our schools, and our taxes, and we deeply resent censorship in our curricula.

    People like you— people who in this nation represent a distinct minority view– are well advised to promote congenial rules of engagement. There’s a big backlash building, and I won’t shed a tear for you guys.

  79. #79 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    oh. my. god.

    talk about a lack of self-awareness.

    Mark, when has your side, EVER promoted congenial rules of engagement. Jesus christ you’re delusional.

  80. #80 Sastra
    December 22, 2007

    Why do you censor dissent in schools?

    Students are welcome to discuss or argue any issue on their own time. But in order to present “the other side” in a science class it has to have scientific merit.

    School children are not good judges of what has scientific merit. Parents are not good judges of what has scientific merit. Taxpayers are not good judges of what has scientific merit. Not even congressmen and judges are good judges of what has scientific merit.

    Scientists are. The “criticisms of Darwinism” you are talking about do not have scientific merit. There are real disputes in evolution: those aren’t.

    You only want to shift the area of the debate to “public schools” because you know you lose the case on its merits in the scientific arena.

  81. #81 AllanW
    December 22, 2007

    Re; #91
    Oh no! Here come the plagues of locusts!

    Do me a favour and take your biblical threats and shove them where the sun don’t shine. You are kidding yourself if you think you represent the prevaling paradigm; and a hypocrite for relying on the advances that science has unearthed.

    Go back to church, tell them you fought the good fight, feel good about yourself then leave the real world to the rest of us. Please.

  82. #82 Calladus
    December 22, 2007

    People like you— people who in this nation represent a distinct minority view– are well advised to promote congenial rules of engagement. There’s a big backlash building, and I won’t shed a tear for you guys.

    So it merely requires a majority agreement to determine what is true, and what isn’t? Wow, how very “Dark Ages” of you.

    When you kill off all the scientists, watch out for plague, okay?

  83. #83 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Perhaps one strong arm tactic arose because of another. Be careful of what you sow.

    nice try, buddy, but those “tactics” have been entirely employed by your side of this thing for hundreds of years.

    if anything, the reason you idiots feel you are under “attack” now, is because of what YOU have sown.

    so, again, nice projection on your part, wanker. You morons will end up burning all of xianity on a stake of your own creation.

  84. #84 windy
    December 22, 2007

    There’s a big backlash building, and I won’t shed a tear for you guys.

    That’s very Christian of you.

  85. #85 raven
    December 22, 2007

    StanTomMark the psychotic religious fanatic killer:

    There are a lot more of us, and a lot of us are very angry. These are our kids, our schools, and our taxes, and we deeply resent censorship in our curricula.

    People like you— people who in this nation represent a distinct minority view– are well advised to promote congenial rules of engagement. There’s a big backlash building, and I won’t shed a tear for you guys.

    Hey, maybe I wasn’t wrong after all. Sounds like Mark is making threats now. Hey, Mark, the records for fundie killers are Tim McVeigh with about 200 dead and Seung Cho with 33 deaths.

    BTW, there is a backlash building and it isn’t against scientists and American patriots. It is against fundie authoritarians who seek to destroy our country and send it back to the Dark Ages. Data. A recent poll by Barna, a Xian organization, found that 49% of the US population is sick and tired of wingnuts trying to force their wacko beliefs down our throats. And creo troll, worldwide, most Xians have no problem with science or evolution. Your cult nonsense is just cult nonsense that the majority of Xians worldwide despises.

  86. #86 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff: “Mark, when has your side, EVER promoted congenial rules of engagement. ”

    For decades, even in deeply fundamentalist parts of the country, Darwinsim has been taught in local public schools to the local kids with local taxpayers’ money without any mention of design in the curriculum. In many of these areas, virtually all parents believed that life was designed, but they didn’t challenge you.

    A school board wants to put a sticker on a text book in Georgia or read a two-minute statement proposing that Darwinisim is a theory not a fact, and you drag them into federal court.

    As I said, you pissed a lot of people off, and the tide is turning. Comer is the first of many.

  87. #87 Calladus
    December 22, 2007

    I’m done with this guy. He’s either willfully stupid or a mere troll. Either way, he’s no longer interesting.

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    As I said, you pissed a lot of people off, and the tide is turning. Comer is the first of many.

    WATERLOOOOO!

    idiot.

  89. #89 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Mark has laid out the entirety of the Christian Right–they’re pissed because they are no longer in a privileged position. That’s it.

    Mark, your side has been calling evolution evil, associating it with Nazism and the like for decades. You’re a liar. Plain and simple.

  90. #90 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Don’t you mean Waterloo?

  91. #91 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    windy #88 wrote:

    … schools are the last place to try to overturn established scientific theories. If you have a radical new theory on how special relativity is wrong or how vaccinations are useless, you don’t go to the public schools to test it.

    Exactly.

    It’s possible that one reason so many creationists see this normal, uncontroversial recognition of how we introduce and test theories as “censorship” may be because — in their world view — even a very small, ignorant, untutored child can grasp the most important, controversial, difficult truth in the whole universe: God Exists, and made the universe for us to find Him in. Who needs expertise, background, and qualifications when you have a good and sincere heart? Public school students? Heck, One lisping 4 year old can overturn centuries of established science as the “wise” are brought low by the “foolish.”

    They have the “awwwww” factor. (Not to be confused with the “aw, shucks” factor)

  92. #92 Stan
    December 22, 2007

    You’re going to have to explain why you think these cases support your assertion. Lindell is again a Seventh Circuit case.

    Look ‘em up guys.
    The question is, have you ever looked them up?

    (a) Never said Supreme Court. It was not challenged in Supreme Court, it was set into law by the Seventh Federal Appellate Court.
    (b) Every one of the cases mentioned was used by the court as a precedent for the Kaughman vs McCaughtry decison.

    You guys strut and crow about a Federal case concerning evolution in schools; will you deny validity to other Federal court cases?

    Rudeness and ridicule don’t phase me, despite the title and tenor of this thread.

  93. #93 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    You can’t even begin to understand the damage that you’re doing to your cause

    riggghhhht.

    you just keep telling yourself that, moron.

    and, while you’re at it, tell it to the people in dover, who overwhelmingly voted to oust the school board officials who tried to force ID into their schools, or the ones in Kansas who did the same thing after their previous school board fundies tried to actually change the definition of science itself to include nonsense.

    after that, you can travel to Ohio and tell it to the people who miserably failed to change the policy to include “teaching the controversy”…

    then on to florida, south Carolina…

    like i said, moron…

    WATERLOOOOOO!

    ever think you just might be entirely delusional? ever think you might need to visit a mental health care professional right away?

    you morons are accomplishing nothing but making a further joke of the religion you profess to such importance in your lives. driving more and more people away with your utter inanity.

    like i said, you are burning your own religion alive at the stake.

  94. #94 anthropicOne
    December 22, 2007

    “People like you— people who in this nation represent a distinct minority view– are well advised to promote congenial rules of engagement. There’s a big backlash building, and I won’t shed a tear for you guys.”

    You lost the fight so now you resort to threats or the joy of watching the suffering of others. By this statement alone, you have demonstrated your hypocrisy, lack of moral judgment, and inability to argue rationally.

  95. #95 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    It’s the politics of resentment, the only thing the right has been pushing for years. We damned atheists won’t let the christians place their religion where ever they want; the racially coded politics of “quotas”, “law and order”, “welfare queens” and “illegal immigrants”; it’s the damned homos and feminists and abortionists not worshiping at the altar of the magic sperm and conception. Pure resentment that they don’t get to claim a superior position. So they’re pissed, and they have been for almost 40 years.

  96. #96 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    Theistic evolution: God designed Nature to work according to His plan.

    Creationism: God designed nature, but not well enough to work His plan out without His having to intervene at random and unpredictable intervals to help things get over the rough spots.

    Stop whining that you can’t have design and evolution at the same time. You can. You can even have God’s design and science at the same time. Nobody’s taking that away by teaching evolution alone.

    You just can’t have miracles and science at the same time. That is, not unless creationists demonstrate the existence of miracles to scientists, while working as scientists, within science. Go ahead. Formulate it as a testable theory. As you know, the scientific method itself doesn’t preclude this.

    They’re waiting.

  97. #97 raven
    December 22, 2007

    like i said, you are burning your own religion alive at the stake.

    I’ve been saying this for a long time. When Xian becomes synonymous with moron, ignorant, violent, lying, and murderous, who would want to be one? Ultimately the fundies will do some serious damage to the religion.

    The only question is whether that happens before or after they destroy our civilization.

    FWIW, I read somewhere that the hardcore fundies in the USA only number somewhere between 7 and 23 million depending on what polls one reads and where one draws the line. The largest sect in the USA is the Roman Catholic church. Even among US Xians fundies are a minority. And we all know from Iraq and the Reformation how well the various sects of a religion get along.

  98. #98 Frank Oswalt
    December 22, 2007

    Mark,

    you had me fooled for a while, but you’ve overdone it with your last few comments. You are obviously presenting a satire of an ignorant, right-wing Christian for our entertainment…

  99. #99 dave
    December 22, 2007

    Why is the devout Mark so against teaching Darwinist ideas about the origin of life in schools?

    “”There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one…”

    Of course that would be ruled out by the “atheistic” Constitution and its First Amendment… but then no-one teaches the origin of life in science classes, from what I’ve read, and teachers confine themselves to the modern evolutionary synthesis. Dealing with evolution AFTER the origin of life. Of course, if someone wants to “teach the controversy”, there’s always room for a noodly appendage ;)

  100. #100 windy
    December 22, 2007

    The largest sect in the USA is the Roman Catholic church. Even among US Xians fundies are a minority.

    Mark is a Catholic, actually (going by the information in the “80 years” a.k.a “Everybody loves Stalin” thread) Gracious of him to tell us, btw, even if the other parts weren’t.

    And we all know from Iraq and the Reformation how well the various sects of a religion get along.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the average school board fundie ID/Creationism types wouldn’t be too crazy about Catholics, right?

  101. #101 raven
    December 22, 2007

    Mark is a Catholic, actually (going by the information in the “80 years” a.k.a “Everybody loves Stalin” thread) Gracious of him to tell us, btw, even if the other parts weren’t.

    And we all know from Iraq and the Reformation how well the various sects of a religion get along.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the average school board fundie ID/Creationism types wouldn’t be too crazy about Catholics, right?

    If Mark the terrorist troll is a Catholic he is also a heretic. The last 4 Popes said that evolution is OK, as long as god gets in there somewhere. You won’t get anything better from a chief cleric. Pope Pious said it best, “one Galileo in 2,000 years is enough.” If he is a Catholic, the idiot doesn’t even know his own religion.

    Many fundies believe the Catholic church is led by Satan. Pat Robertson said that he didn’t have to be nice to Catholics because it was a satanicly inspired organization.

    To be claiming to be a Catholic and then spouting his nonsense is a sign of mental confusion. The RCC isn’t too fond of members contradicting the heirarchy. More likely, he is just mentally ill.

  102. #102 Rey Fox
    December 22, 2007

    “This sort of sophomore trash talk is what seems to pass for rational discourse around here.”

    So run home and cry to Mommy. We don’t mince words with morons.

    “And you play right into our hands. Keep openly associating Darwin’s theory with atheism, keep suing, and keep up the arrogance. You can’t even begin to understand the damage that you’re doing to your cause.”

    There always seems to be this unspoken assumption that our arrogance will drive people away, and your arrogance won’t. I’m not sure I buy that.

  103. #103 dkew
    December 22, 2007

    PZ’s response (#60) to Neil’s complaints about anonymous posters seems right. The frequent posters develop reputations, good or bad, whether we know their real names and background or not. Beyond that, several have their own web sites and blogs linked to their posting names. Even Stan Stephens has his delusional sophistry http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/ linked.

  104. #104 CJColucci
    December 22, 2007

    “You know as well as I do that the reason the supporters of Darwin’s theory go to federal court to censor criticism in public schools is that if school districts were allowed decide without federal judicial censorship, Darwin’s theory that all life arose without evidence of design would almost immediately come under intense scrutiny in schools, and would be discredited in many if not most districts in the country in short order.”

    Hardly. Almost no one teaching secondary school biology and exactly no one taking it is even capable of giving evolutionary theory “intense scrutiny,” let alone “discredit[ing]” it. Someone else somewhere would have to have done the work already so it could be pre-digested for high-school teaching and consumption. If that work HAD been done there would be a genuine scientific controversy, the curriculum would have been revised accordingly, and the lawsuits would have come out the other way.

  105. #105 Wolfhound
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, you moron, who the heck is keeping you from shackling your poor, intellectually benighted offspring with ignorance? You can (and do) “teach” them your ridiculous Bronze Age myths in church and are also free to continue the fantasy stories in the privacy of your own home. ALL of you “angry”, deluded idiots have that right. There are humanities classes in public school and comparitive religion and philosophy courses in college to discuss fantasy stories and that’s exactly where your nonsense belongs. It ain’t science. It’s religion. Pure and simple. Supernatural=NOT SCIENTIFIC. Why is it so hard for you and your anti-intellectual ilk to grasp?

  106. #106 Neil Schipper
    December 22, 2007

    PZ (#60):

    Relying on politicians and academics is an elitist mistake.

    What makes you think I disagree? I’m totally into more pushing and shoving. I am part of the hoi-polloi, and I’m eager to play a role.

    As for the issue of pseudonyms, don’t you see a parallel between “the moderately religious provide cover to the extremists by supporting the idea that irrational faith is a virtue” and “pseudonymous name callers weaken the impact of activist pro-reason public intellectuals by supporting the idea that at the grassroots level, fearfulness rules”?

    You sarcastically complained that the fact that I ever comment on a blog is some kind of proof of hypocrisy, as if I’m against conversation. And then you make the outlandish point that only those who post frequently on your blog deserve respect? Who is this Neil Schipper, anyway? He doesn’t post 8 times a day on my site!

    fyi, I directly engaged an author of one of those lame anti-anti-theism books after suffering through this painful article. The discussion is here. Please note that I’m no biologist (tho, t’would be cool) and I’m no philosopher (yuk!). But I got my point across forcefully without the use of stupid or demented fuckwit.

    And heck, since we’re playing “Who is Neil Schipper?” (and I’ve just relearned the trick of embeddeding URLs), why not check out some of my lead guitar playing(I don’t play on Big Rig)? It even includes pix — glad to meet y’all. (And I don’t apologize to all the brave rationalists out there that Lindsey is a believer; she’s a sweetie, and I’m working on her at my pace and in my way.)

  107. #107 Citizen Z
    December 22, 2007

    You know as well as I do that the reason the supporters of Darwin’s theory go to federal court to censor criticism in public schools is that if school districts were allowed decide without federal judicial censorship, Darwin’s theory that all life arose without evidence of design would almost immediately come under intense scrutiny in schools, and would be discredited in many if not most districts in the country in short order.

    Mark seems to be under the misimpression that high schools are centers of debates that influence the field of biology, instead of centers of education.

  108. #108 Tulse
    December 22, 2007

    We have those things called “universities”.

    Exactly! Those noted hotbeds for atheist liberal socialist perverts are the ones coming up with science, instead of proper God-fearing people!

  109. #109 Moses
    December 22, 2007

    Teaching something in a classroom is the same as Congress passing a bill establishing a state religion? This is silliness used to promote Athesim, which, by several Federal Court decisions is legally a religion.

    This thread indicates exactly who is smug, and uses ridicule rather than logic.

    Posted by: Stan | December 22, 2007 12:49 PM

    You don’t quite get it. And that’s because the people at World Nut Daily, and the other Christianistas, have lied to you about what the cases actually find. And you’re too dumb and ignorant to use any skepticism and find out on your own.

    Let’s look at this seminal opinion, possibly the MOST IMPORTANT Establishment Clause case (Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)) in US History:

    “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.'” 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.

    Calling “atheism” a religion is a massive distortion of the Court’s findings. Atheism (the freedom to not believe) is protected by the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, just as the freedom to believe. But it doesn’t mean Athiesm is a religion. Only that it, being Anti-Religious, also gets to have the same legal respect, and limitations (we can’t teach atheism to your children) of religion.

    And for those who wish to read the actual case and read about the history of the writing of the Constitution and understand exactly WHY we forever separate Church and State, here’s the link:

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=330&invol=1

  110. #110 Moses
    December 22, 2007

    By the way, my user name is my initials. That should give me at least a semblance of authenticity, right?

    Posted by: wrpd | December 22, 2007 7:14 PM

    I use my great-grandfather’s name. Who had his grandfathers name. Who had an uncle with the same name. Etc. Etc. Etc. All-in-all, until my generation, the men in my family used about a dozen names. Sometimes there’d be two boys with the same first name in the same family, just different middle names.

    Not a lot of creativity there.

    I’m just glad it wasn’t Hezekiah or Mordecai…

    Not that I can cast stones. My daughter’s name is Miriam.

  111. #111 David Ratnasabapathy
    December 22, 2007

    Mark:

    When federal judges censor any ‘disparagement‘ of Darwin’s theory (The Dover judge’s term), people know that what is going on is indoctrination, not objective discussion of the issue.

    That is so true! Search for “disparag” in the Dover decision and we find:

    page 93:

    We have been presented with a wealth of evidence which reveals that the District’s purpose was to advance creationism, an inherently religious view, both by introducing it directly under the label ID and by disparaging the scientific theory of evolution…

    page 101:

    members of the Board spoke openly in favor of teaching creationism and disparaged the theory of evolution on religious grounds.

    The third and last hit was the judge’s order in favour of plaintiffs.

    So yes indeed, when Darwin’s theory is “disparaged” we can see at once that what is going on is “indoctrination and not objective discussion of the issue.”

    There’s also the problem, of course, that ID people lie. How can schools objectively discuss ID when the evidence for ID is based on falsehoods?

    page 84:

    Dr. Padian’s demonstrative slides, prepared on the basis of peer-reviewing scientific literature, illustrate how Pandas systematically distorts and misrepresents established, important evolutionary principles.

    page 86:

    In summary, Dr. Miller testified that Pandas misrepresents molecular biology and genetic principles, as well as the current state of scientific knowledge in those areas…

  112. #112 Moses
    December 22, 2007

    And you play right into our hands. Keep openly associating Darwin’s theory with atheism, keep suing, and keep up the arrogance.

    You can’t even begin to understand the damage that you’re doing to your cause. But you believe that the world arose without design, so why would you have insight into anything else either?

    Posted by: Mark | December 22, 2007 3:59 PM

    In my grandparents generation, atheism was exceptionally rare. In my father’s generation, maybe 4-5%. In mine, close to 10%. In my daughter’s, it’s about 15%.

    So, despite your bellowing and concern trolling, we’re winning.

    All you are left is the rage of the dying beast. You’re dangerous, like any crazed, wounded animal. But you’re going down. By the time my grandchildren have grandchildren, we’ll be like Europe – religion is there, but not really a significant social force.

  113. #113 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    David Ratnasabapathy,

    You mean he’s a quote mining liar and an IDiot? What are the odds?

  114. #114 anthropicOne
    December 22, 2007

    …By the time my grandchildren have grandchildren, we’ll be like Europe – religion is there, but not really a significant social force.

    What a shame it will probably take that long. Imagine how much we could advance as a society if we didn’t have to wage these battles with credulous people who cling to belief in ancient books because of fear and laziness.

    They fear the end of this life, so they prop up schemes for some idealized afterlife. They fear explanations of the beginning of the universe, so they lazily claim goddidit. They fear a common ancestor (as if that would be a bad thing), so they contrive a pat explanation for ID.

    And the biggest puzzler is that these people demand evidence in every other part of their lives; politician’s track records, scrutinizing the skills and work history of potential employees; checking out who their kid’s play with. There’s no faith there.

    Interesting, and very, very sad.

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    not worshiping at the altar of the magic sperm

    hmm, is magic sperm like sea monkeys?

  116. #116 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    hmm, is magic sperm like sea monkeys?

    really, it’s just catholic sperm. When they hit an egg, it becomes a fully formed human, complete with “soul,” immediately. It’s the sperm that carries the soul and makes it human, thus MAGIC! Kinda like Jesus: MAGIC!

  117. #117 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    But I got my point across forcefully without the use of stupid or demented fuckwit.

    well, you did before NOW anyway.

    ;)

    if anything, Florida and Ohio show us that at least metaphorically, “demented fuckwit” works just fine, thankyouverymuch.

    you only have to win the argument of facts ONCE, and it was won long, long ago.

    now it’s equally effective to just point one’s finger at the jesters and laugh.

  118. #118 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    When they hit an egg, it becomes a fully formed human, complete with “soul,” immediately.

    ahhhh.

    thanks for the edumacation.

    i feel entirely enlightenemified.

    :p

    so it’s like semenmonkeys?

  119. #119 Jonathan Hogg, AKA Rey Fox
    December 22, 2007

    “As for the issue of pseudonyms, don’t you see a parallel between “the moderately religious provide cover to the extremists by supporting the idea that irrational faith is a virtue” and “pseudonymous name callers weaken the impact of activist pro-reason public intellectuals by supporting the idea that at the grassroots level, fearfulness rules”?”

    No.

  120. #120 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    I use my great-grandfather’s name. Who had his grandfathers name. Who had an uncle with the same name.

    wait, you don’t have family get-togethers where you talk about leading large numbers of friends and relatives through a desert area, do you?

  121. #121 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    I’ve been saying this for a long time.

    of course; and not just you. didn’t mean to step on your toes. it just seems an entirely appropriate argument to direct at this particular moron.

    he really fits in with the rest of the morons who’ve been saying for more than 80 years that evolution theory was “doomed”.

    the numbers say something entirely different (on both sides), and I rather doubt poor stan/tom/mark/legion has even considered that consciously.

  122. #122 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    so it’s like semenmonkeys?

    Well, if it were sold on the back cover of comic books it would be.

  123. #123 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Well, if it were sold on the back cover of comic books it would be.

    I just got a new idea to make some money…

  124. #124 Sid Schwab
    December 22, 2007

    What is more irreducibly complex than god, Mark? Did god evolve? Surely not. He must have been designed. But who designed the designer?

    It’s simply fatuous to insist that complexity implies design. Your god exists without creation, by your definitions. That is immeasurably more implausible than evolution. Science is about what we know, and the process by which we know it. And it’s about what we don’t yet know, and how we might go about finding out. The science that has led to understanding of evolution is the same that has led to understanding of atoms, of electricity, of cell-phones. You don’t get to deny the one unless you plan to deny all the rest.

  125. #125 David Ratnasabapathy
    December 22, 2007

    Sorry for the confusion MAJeff. I was trying to be sarcastic. Mark didn’t quotemine there. I quotemined him.

  126. #126 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Moses:

    Re: “In my grandparents generation, atheism was exceptionally rare. In my father’s generation, maybe 4-5%. In mine, close to 10%. In my daughter’s, it’s about 15%.
    So, despite your bellowing and concern trolling, we’re winning. But you’re going down. By the time my grandchildren have grandchildren, we’ll be like Europe – religion is there, but not really a significant social force.”

    The are two issues regarding atheism’s vitality: its vitality as a philosophical proposition, and it’s influence on culture.

    The vitality of atheism as a philosophical system is waning fast. Atheism is philosophically floundering, as any objective reader of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris would have to admit. The arguments are stale: “Who made God” is a pre-schooler’s question. In Christian and Jewish theology, God’s essence is existence, so He wasn’t made, He is the source of creation. Whether you agree with the answer or not, the question has a venerable and ancient answer, ignored by jejune critics. The philosophical quandries atheism faces are detailed by A.N. Wilson in “God’s Funeral” and by Alister McGrath in ‘The Twilight of Atheism”. Both books have a philosophical and historical depth that Dawkins et al lack. In “Does God Exist?”, theologian J.P. Moreland takes atheist philosopher Kai Nielson apart. The best Kielson could muster was the desperate claim that the word ‘God’ lacked precise meaning. Moreland’s arguments demolished him, as even many atheists reviewers admitted.

    As a matter of cultural vitality, I find it amusing that Moses would use Europe as an example. Most atheist-secular nations in Europe have birthrates below replacement (2.1/ woman) in the native European population. Some are very low- near 1. Russia is losing a million people a year. These freshly atheist nations face a demographic catastrophe (Mark Stein “America Alone”): seventeen European nations are at depopulation rates that will mean huge numbers of older people without young people or families to support them. The rates of childbirth in Muslim communities in Europe are much higher (4-5/woman), so Europe will not remain depopulated. After atheism has wiped out European Christendom, it will have a harder go in an Islamic civilization, where atheists are treated with a bit less tolerance (ask Theo Van Gogh about it). If you win, you lose.

    Atheists fail in the most important responsibility a civilization has: to perpetuate itself. In fact, atheist Europe has accomplished something no other civilization has ever accomplished. It is the only civilization to voluntarily depopulate itself, without war, famine, or pestilence.

    In America, the situation is a bit less desperate, because the atheist disease is less widespread, and there is a vigorous Christian culture fighting back. Given the remarkably low childbearing rates of atheists as compared to theists in America, and the tendency of children to adhere to the faith of their parents, atheists may face a demographic bomb in the US before they can destroy our entire civilization.

    Regarding Moses’ estimate of 15% as the percent of atheists in the US, there are nations in which the atheist population is even more dominant than that in (dying) Europe. North Korea is nearly all atheist, and quite dynamic.

    There are, however, atheist civilizations in which the

  127. #127 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    Yeah, but Mena…you don’t use your last name. Maybe you aren’t pseudonymous, but you’re too damned informal for a serious discussion.

    I’m just being lazy. I used to post under my first and last name (gasp, was it that long ago?) in 1996/97 at sci.bio.paleontology but that was because it was all there for me automatically. I think that the first post or two that I did here had my home page but I got too lazy for that too. For the sake of whoever posted that we are all being anonymous so our opinions don’t matter, I put the address on this one. I’m still too lazy to type out my last name, but it’s on there. :^)

  128. #128 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Mark,

    Just stop. No one’s interested. You’re batshit. You’ve proven that. Now go masturbate with your priest buddies…oops. you’re too old.

  129. #129 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    The vitality of atheism as a philosophical system is waning fast. Atheism is philosophically floundering,

    which is why Dawkin’s book sales are so good, right?

    which is why the atheists have been clearly winning any debates relevant to the issues for since before 300BCE, right?

    the question has a venerable cretinous and ancient [non]answer

    fixed that for you.

    the answer isn’t ignored, it is rejected as entirely circular in nature.

    do you understand what circular reasoning is, trashcanman?

    oh wait, that’s right, you haven’t gotten past the pre-school version of the argument yet.

    It is the only civilization to voluntarily depopulate itself, without war, famine, or pestilence.

    wtf does that have to do with atheism, trashcanman?

    holy crap, why bother.

    someone PLEASE toss this drek into the dungeon.

  130. #130 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    Mark made us all LOL with:
    Atheists fail in the most important responsibility a civilization has: to perpetuate itself. In fact, atheist Europe has accomplished something no other civilization has ever accomplished. It is the only civilization to voluntarily depopulate itself, without war, famine, or pestilence.
    because he doesn’t seem to realize that Europe has a population density of 134 people per square mile while North America has a whopping 32. With medicine and decent food available people don’t have to breed like rats any more. Hey Mark, have you ever been out of the US?

  131. #131 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    wtf does that have to do with atheism, trashcanman?

    It’s about TEH BAYBEEZ and not breeding enough, because you know we must keep expanding the population, damn the consequences. God will provide, so we needn’t worry about any consequences.

  132. #132 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Given the remarkably low childbearing rates of atheists as compared to theists in America, and the tendency of children to adhere to the faith of their parents, atheists may face a demographic bomb in the US before they can destroy our entire civilization.

    have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”, trashcanman?

    I highly recommend it, especially for you.

  133. #133 Greco
    December 22, 2007

    Most atheist-secular nations in Europe have birthrates below replacement (2.1/ woman) in the native European population.

    There are several countries in the world with fertility rates below replacement level that aren’t as secular as most of Europe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate

  134. #134 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    It’s about TEH BAYBEEZ and not breeding enough, because you know we must keep expanding the population, damn the consequences. God will provide, so we needn’t worry about any consequences.

    then that has to do with catholicism and certain protestant sects, vs. other protestant sects, Islam, etc.

    not atheism.

    but i know you knew that.

    Trashcanman:

    an atheist can choose to do whatever they want with their endeavors in intercourse, without regards to fiction-based dogma. fuck as much as they want, wear a condom or not, purely up to the individuals to decide the risks involved for themselves and their partners. Not forced to take risks like SOME dogmatic morons I could name…

    I’m sure there are atheists that have large families, too, for whatever that’s worth.

    now doesn’t that sound like more fun?

    c’mon, join us trashcanman, you know you want to…

  135. #135 Kagehi
    December 22, 2007

    Hmm. Lets see… I use Kagehi, Kageriso, Shadowfyr and my real name *everyplace*. It wouldn’t take more than about 10 second through google to at least guess what I real name is, so I find it damn hard to figure out what his point is about pseudonyms…

    As for the rest of his BS. The reason ID is being pushed in schools is ***because*** the people pushing it know damn well that children are not knowledgeable enough to tell why its invalid, there isn’t sufficient time to teach enough about evolution to prove thats ID is BS and they don’t have to actually do any science to convince the next generation that their gibberish is worth anything. Just to be 100% clear Mark. It **has** been suggested that a new course, on comparative religion, which could cover creation myths and how they diverge from science, might be a more appropriate option. ID proponents have rejected it on the grounds that a) it doesn’t let them drive the proper “wedge” into science to undermine it (check IDs history, this **is** its stated goal), b) it doesn’t allow them to claim that its a direct challenge to the science, and, even worse, c) such a class would require that several hundred other creation myths be discussed, along with other religions, and even the **known** histories of them. Why is that worse? Because, its hard enough to argue that you have a viable theory, when you barely have a lie disguised as a vague hypothesis, but when you start teaching about other religions, its damn hard to avoid the inevitable conclusions that the Xian faiths stoled damn near everything from its holidays to its supposed heroes, saints and stories from *other* older religions. Don’t want to confuse the poor kids that are just learning something fundies don’t like, by teaching them stuff that makes them question the entire faith, on the basis that its a) stolen, b) unimaginative, and c) contains distortions of historical events which can be, you know… tested and evidence collected, which proves things like, wrong dates, wrong people, wrong causes, distorted natural events, distorted historical events, etc. lol

    See, even on those rare occasions that they agree with the idea of teaching such a class, they start to back peddle the moment someone mentions “other” religions, and practically turn inside out, do to how fast they retreat, the moment they realize that some of those religions, or just known history, might make the providence of their own mythology questionable. ;)

  136. #136 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    btw, for those wondering, if you’ve ever read “The Stand”, I’m sure you can figure out why I’m calling Mark Trashcan Man.

    bumpity bump.

  137. #137 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    It’s about TEH BAYBEEZ and not breeding enough, because you know we must keep expanding the population, damn the consequences. God will provide, so we needn’t worry about any consequences.
    then that has to do with catholicism and certain protestant sects, vs. other protestant sects, Islam, etc.
    not atheism.
    but i know you knew that.

    Yes, I did. And that also gets back to the magic sperm issue–it’s especially strong in Catholicism; hell we dudes get condemned for wasting it in the shower…guess how fags like me are viewed…another side effect of accepting evolutionary theory, I guess.

  138. #138 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff,

    What’s the evolutionary explanation for homosexuality?

  139. #139 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Mark,

    Actually, Mark, there are several. But I’m sure you’ve got a better one. After all, your church is so welcoming and positive when it comes to homosexuality, calling it evil and all.

  140. #140 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    why, am I “not natural” mark?

  141. #141 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff,

    I know that this has been a problem (one of countless) for evolutionary theory. No doubt Hamilton is invoked. I presume that homosexuality helps cousins, etc.

    What are the explanations, and the evidence?

  142. #142 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    And, to be honest, MarkTom, I’m done with your worthless bigoted ass. You’ve added nothing. Your entertainment value has declined tremendously.

    You’re a pissed off right winger, pissed that you don’t get the superiority you feel entitled to as a “believer.” Big surprise. You’re also a fool and a liar.

    TaTa now.

  143. #143 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    What’s the evolutionary explanation for homosexuality?

    what’s the evolutionary explanation for blind faith?

  144. #144 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Bumpity bump, Trashcan Man.

  145. #145 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, can you answer a question?

    You aren’t the interrogator. If you want to play that role, get your own blog. You’ve refused to answer any number of questions. Fuckwit.

  146. #146 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Who should decide what is taught to the children in a school district? I say the voters in a district, after considering the opinions of people like you and me.

    so, you’re a flat earther too, eh, Trashcan Man?

    shall we teach the world is flat? How ’bout that the moon is made of cheese?

    do you even grasp why I ask?

  147. #147 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff,

    You raised the issue of homosexuality. I just asked how your scientific theory explains it. I see I touched a nerve. About your theory, I mean.

  148. #148 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    And you still have yet to answer any of my questions.

  149. #149 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    I see I touched a nerve. About your theory, I mean.

    that’s not the nerve you touched.

    why are you going around touching people’s nerves anyway, Trash?

    perv.

    And you still have yet to answer any of my questions.

    oh, you first, moron.

    dinosaur got your tongue?

  150. #150 Mena
    December 22, 2007

    I’m still waiting too. Well MarkTom?

  151. #151 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    And you still have yet to answer any of my questions.
    oh, you first, moron.
    dinosaur got your tongue?

    Dude, that was me about the questions.

    But I’m pretty much done with Mark. I honestly don’t give a shit about evolutionary pathways for homosexuality. I don’t give a shit about biological or causal mechanisms. Indeed, I see the search for a cause for homosexuality (and that’s the only thing that ever gets researched) as a problem of heterosexism.

    However, I will state this without reservation: Homosexuality is not a moral issue. If you consider the fact that someone is gay to be a moral question, there’s something wrong with you. There is morality in how people treat each other in relationship, but being gay in and of itself is not a moral question. If you seek to elevate it to such a position, and if your conclusion falls on the immoral side, you’re an anti-gay bigot.

  152. #152 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Ok, I’ll answer it myself.

    Perhaps homosexuality is mostly non-genetic, and not subject to selection. Or perhaps homosexuality is the conjunction of traits that individually do confer selective advantage. Or perhaps homosexuality and non-procreation are not tightly linked historically. Or perhaps homosexuality confers (by some mysterious mechanism) fertility on relatives (Corna’s study of maternal female relatives of homosexuals).

    In other words, you don’t have a clue.

  153. #153 ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Dude, that was me about the questions.

    ooops, got lost in the back and forth.

    he would have said the same thing anyway, given another 5 minutes.

    that’s the way creobots work. avoid any substantive questions about their own position, post already endlessly answered (and ignored) questions about their own, and pretend we are unresponsive.

    classic.

  154. #154 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    and again it ignores everything everyone else says to carry on it’s own nonsense.

    It still hasn’t answered anyone else’s questions.

    Ich, I thing you’re right on the dungeon.

  155. #155 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    and what did Aquinas say, because that’s what really matters.

  156. #156 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    In other words, you don’t have a clue.

    frankly, if you bothered to investigate ANY of the ideas you listed, you might find there actually has been a lot of work done in the literature.

    but you aren’t interested in science, right, flat-earther Trash?

    obviously, because one thing isn’t explained “to a pathetic level of detail” (to coin another obtuse moron), that must mean there is no value whatsoever in the application of theory in general, right?

    now take that same notion and apply it to a field of science you DON’T find frightening and challenging to your manhood.

    are you even able to see what asinine logic you are trying to apply here?

    doubt it highly, given the rest of your ilk.

    Bumpity bump, Trash.

  157. #157 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Ok, I guess you don’t know how homosexuality evolved. Let’s try something easier. How did belief in atheism evolve?

  158. #158 windy
    December 22, 2007

    You raised the issue of homosexuality.

    Actually, you raised the issue of heterosexuality first (what with the number of kids and all). So, how many children do you have, how many sex partners have you had, ever used contraception, and what´s your favorite position?

  159. #159 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    I rather enjoy my current position.

  160. #160 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    I said I was gay and I know how well that’s received on the religious right…which Mark transformed into his own agenda.

    Do I know how homosexuality evolved? No. Do I care? No. But now that’s central.

    He’s consistently ignored other people’s questions.

    He’s played sockpuppet.

    Classic troll, and nothing but.

    Dungeon.

  161. #161 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    How did belief in atheism evolve?

    avoiding the obvious errors in your statement…

    you first:

    I asked you how the idea of blind faith evolved.

    next I will ask you how the concept of the color black evolved.

    but before that, why don’t you tell me why we don’t teach that the earth is flat in secondary schools, Trash?

    radiation burns getting to you yet?

    bumpity bump bump

  162. #162 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    I rather enjoy my current position.

    Big bridge or little bridge?

  163. #163 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    I asked you how the idea of blind faith evolved.
    next I will ask you how the concept of the color black evolved.
    but before that, why don’t you tell me why we don’t teach that the earth is flat in secondary schools, Trash?
    radiation burns getting to you yet?

    Hey, I’m still waiting for examples of irreducible complexity that haven’t been shot down by biologists.

  164. #164 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    I rather enjoy my current position.

    being reamed from behind by your own misconceptions and ignorance? Or is it using your own head as a buttplug?

    well, to each his own, i guess…

  165. #165 windy
    December 22, 2007

    I rather enjoy my current position.

    That’s nice, but you didn’t answer the questions. What have you got to hide?

  166. #166 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Or is it using your own head as a buttplug?

    Yoga. Hindu. Not acceptable because not Abrahamic.

  167. #167 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff,

    Re: “Hey, I’m still waiting for examples of irreducible complexity that haven’t been shot down by biologists.”

    ‘Shot down by biologists’ means that IC is a scientific theory, which means that ID (in that respect) is science. In a couple of posts, you’ve admitted that Darwinism can’t even begin to explain homosexuality or atheism, and you admit that ID (as the theory of IC) is science.

    You’d be better off paying attention to science, rather than faux indignation.

  168. #168 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Yoga. Hindu. Not acceptable because not Abrahamic.

    on the contrary, creobots have a tendency to be miraculously flexible.

    we often also term this “moving goalposts”.

    it allows each and every one of them to be able to shove their own heads firmly up their rectums at will.

    I’d show you a picture, but evidently the rework i did of that epicurus picture/quote was so popular my internet provider shut down my website.

    bastards.

  169. #169 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    ah, here it is on another site (btw, regardless of what you hear, I myself started the circulation of this documentation of the creationist’s amazing ability back in 1998).

    http://www.lifeisajoke.com/Pictures/head_up_ass.jpg

  170. #170 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Re: “I rather enjoy my current position.

    That’s nice, but you didn’t answer the questions. What have you got to hide?”

    My current position is asking a claque of Darwinists very basic questions they can’t answer.

    I rather enjoy it.

  171. #171 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, you’re a fool.

    Still waiting for actual answers, not obfuscation and running around the topic. You haven’t answered anyone’s answers. Have any?

  172. #172 windy
    December 22, 2007

    Mark, are you a heterosexual?

  173. #173 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    ‘Shot down by biologists’ means that IC is a scientific theory, which means that ID (in that respect) is science.

    that would be a false conclusion, there, Trash.

    it could have just as easily been shot down by mathematicians, statisticians, logicians, physicists, and most intelligent people on the planet.

    oh wait, it already was.

    nevermind.

    oh, do take care of that red, peeling skin before it falls on the floor, Trash.

  174. #174 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    keep shifting the ground Mark..that way you’ll never have to answer anything. Just like theology. Just like ID.

    You got nothing.

    What does your God say about my being gay and how homosexuality came into being?

  175. #175 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    My current position is asking a claque of Darwinists very basic questions they can’t answer.

    oh yes, you’re winning alrighty.

    LOL

    never seen a creationist claim victory when they were on the ground, bleeding from their ears before.

    nope.

    never.

    *snicker*

  176. #176 spurge
    December 22, 2007

    Mark you ignorant slut.

    You clearly don’t know what science is.

    You don’t understand what a scientific theory is.

    You prove it with every moronic post.

  177. #177 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    But this one? Came out calling everyone Stalin-loving scum, and now is absolutely sure he has the high ground. Gotta love that.

    and complaining about arrogance…. *snort*

  178. #178 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Windy,

    Re: “Mark, are you a heterosexual?”

    Is this some kind of Darwinian proposition? ‘Would you like a drink?’ works best for most people.

  179. #179 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Usually they start getting at least a bit exasperated at this point

    I have one name for you:

    Dave Hawkins.

    Trash here can only dream of being a pimple on Hawkin’s butt.

  180. #180 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Most science over the centuries has been wrong. But it’s no less science just because it’s wrong. Science is a testable proposition about the natural world. What about this don’t you get?

  181. #181 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Science is a testable proposition about the natural world. What about this don’t you get?

    Says the man who wants to insert God. Holy shit.

  182. #182 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    But it’s no less science just because it’s wrong

    the problem is, Trash, that ID “isn’t even wrong”.

    Holy shit.

    that about sums up Trash.

    I can’t think of anything to top that.

  183. #183 windy
    December 22, 2007

    Is this some kind of Darwinian proposition? ‘Would you like a drink?’ works best for most people.

    Sounds like you are advocating pre-marital sex. Obviously you are scum and deserve to go to hell.

  184. #184 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Holy shit.
    that about sums up Trash.

    And, we’re done.

    so, ichy (do you mind if I call you ichy?)

    dunno if you’re into handle cannibalism, but if you’re ever in Boston and looking for seafood, go here. Best squid in the city.

  185. #185 Rick T.
    December 22, 2007

    Stan,

    See the “Selected Works of Sara S Ruff”. You,ll find a 21 page paper on the KAUFMAN V McCAUGHTRY decision. You obviously didn’t read what you referenced as others have mentioned above.

  186. #186 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    MAJeff:

    Re: “Science is a testable proposition about the natural world. What about this don’t you get?

    Says the man who wants to insert God. Holy shit.”

    I don’t want to ‘insert’ God into science. I want to make sure that the inference to design, which is a legitimate option in all sciences, isn’t excluded from biology for ideological reasons.

    Let me ask this: if life were designed, how would you detect it?

  187. #187 Sastra
    December 22, 2007

    As I understand it, Intelligent Design is an interesting combination of failed science, pseudoscience, and not-even science.

    In the few places where specifics statements or math formulas have been advanced, experts in the field have demonstrated many errors and omissions. It’s wrong. But, since it could be shown to be wrong, one can argue it’s science — just bad science.

    However, ID itself has no specific theory to it. It’s basically a God of the Gap assumption which can’t be falsified, says nothing at all about method, and makes no predictions. It’s not even wrong.

    The fact that it’s being touted as “scientific” when it doesn’t meet the standards (both because it fails in small areas and because it doesn’t attempt the big ones) makes it pseudoscience.

    ID, like God, is apparently a trinity.

  188. #188 raven
    December 22, 2007

    Mark the Psychotic Terrorist:

    You feel strongly. So do I. Who should decide what is taught to the children in a school district?

    Got news for you, psycho buddie. Reality isn’t determined by voting. Psychopaths like you give Xianity a bad name. And BTW, I wouldn’t let you near my kids in a million years. No one sane wants your kind.

    PS Have you kicked the Pope out of the Vatican yet? If you are Catholic as some indicate, you are badly out of step with your own religion. Either the Pope is a heretic or you are.

  189. #189 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    ah, alas I’m on the opposite shore these days.

    have a grand fondness of seafood of all types though, handle notwithstanding (simply means “all things fish”)

    used to BBQ my own fresh caught squid (Loligo opalescens) with lemon butter and garlic out on Catalina Island when i used to do research on damselfish out there.

    hard to beat.

    I’ll try to keep your restaurant suggestion in mind if I make it back to the East Coast before I end up in New Zealand.

  190. #190 spurge
    December 22, 2007

    I don’t think eating an Ichthyic eating squid is cannibalism?

    Since I live near Boston I will have to check out that restaurant.

    Thanks for the info even if it was not meant for me.

  191. #191 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    used to BBQ my own fresh caught squid (Loligo opalescens) with lemon butter and garlic out on Catalina Island when i used to do research on damselfish out there.

    Sounds fantastic. I have an issue with cleaning squid (I gross out easily) so it’s prob a restaurant only dish for me.

    One of the few things I’m looking forward to about this coming week is grilling with Dad. He’s got some flash-frozen vacuum-sealed salmon he caught in Alaska that he likes to grill when I come home (Minnesota–he’ll grill in a blizzard). I can’t wait for that fish…better than any of the farm shit I’ve had on the east coast.

  192. #192 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    Let me ask this: if life were designed, how would you detect it?

    right back at you:

    how do we detect human designed objects, and how do we know they are human designed?

    if you can answer that, you can answer your own question.

    *hint*

    your specific question in fact is a trick one, though you don’t realize it, obviously.

  193. #193 MAJeff
    December 22, 2007

    Since I live near Boston I will have to check out that restaurant.
    Thanks for the info even if it was not meant for me.

    Have the black (squid) ink putanesca. The aglia e oglio is good (with chopped squid), but the putanesca is out of this world. And the fried calamari as an appetizer? Best I’ve ever had. Seriously. It is cooked to the moment of perfection.

    Honestly, my friend and I (and several other friends I’ve talked to since) rank this as one of the top two or three North End places to eat. It’s my #1 (esp since I like squid better than fish).

  194. #194 Sastra, OM
    December 22, 2007

    Let me ask this: if life were designed, how would you detect it?

    We compare and contrast human (or animal) designs with nature, to discern what is ‘artificial’ from what is natural. But what do we compare and contrast nature with, to see what parts of nature are natural, and what parts are not?

    So the question involves examining how we detect the supernatural. We’d need a large body of experience with it, and a scientific consensus on it, so that we may compare and contrast natural design (evolution) with super-natural or artifical design — of nature.

    Are there parts of nature which God had nothing to do with? Which parts?

  195. #195 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    He’s got some flash-frozen vacuum-sealed salmon he caught in Alaska,

    King?

    hard to beat BBQ king salmon.

    try this one:

    make the following sauce:

    take some butter, some brown sugar, a pinch of dill, and a touch of lemon. as a twist, try adding a shot of white wine, and/or a pinch of garlic.

    melt it all together in the microwave (you need about half a cup).

    take a fillet or steak, put on a large sheet of aluminum foil, and liberally douse with the above mixture.

    close the foil around each fillet, and BBQ on medium heat for 6-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filet).

    now, remove the foil and BBQ on high for 2-3 minutes a side.

    this is the way the Chilkoot Indians cooked it for us up in Alaska (though it was over open fire pit), and I haven’t found anything I like better in the following 25 years.

    used to get fresh king salmon almost daily for a large part of the year when I lived up in Santa Cruz.

    damn, i sure do miss that.

  196. #196 spurge
    December 22, 2007

    Thanks MAJEff

    I am kind of surprised I have not heard of that place before.

    If my friends know about it and have failed to inform me there will be repercussions.

  197. #197 Mark
    December 22, 2007

    Ichthyic:

    Re: “how do we detect human designed objects, and how do we know they are human designed?”

    We detect human design by analogy to human design. There are some situations in which we would recognize design by analogy to human design, even without any knowledge of the designer, except that the designer wasn’t human (e.g. SETI).

    The inference to design, based on analogy to human design, can be a reasonable inference, even if we have no knowledge of the designer.

  198. #198 raven
    December 22, 2007

    Mark the Psychotic:

    My current position is asking a claque of Darwinists very basic questions they can’t answer.

    I rather enjoy it.

    Mark has all the signs of a psychotic. Delusional, cognitive deficits, and extremely hostile. The trinity of mental illness.

    So Mark, how many times have you been diagnosed as crazy? Which medications are you supposed to be taking but aren’t?
    How many times have you been locked up? Runins with the police?

    For extra credit. When do you plan to go on your murderous rampage and who will you target?

    Got the next next Seung Cho or Matthew Murray here.

    I’m done with the troll. He can be crazy and lie far longer than anyone normal can stay interested. These are all one trick ponies with limited behavioral ranges, in other words forever.

    Trolls like Mark get fed by provoking reactions in others. His method is to be a wacko religious fanatic and threaten to kill people. Not very imaginative, Vox Day and Michael Korn already cornered that market.

  199. #199 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2007

    We detect human design by analogy to human design.

    so all we need to know is how the designer designs in order to detect the designer’s designs, right?

    get right on that for us, would ya?

    I think you’ll have to interview your putative designer as a start.

  200. #200 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    I am kind of surprised I have not heard of that place before.

    It’s kind of small (about 5 tables I think). Third (?) block on Hannover coming from the Haymarket stretch. Not one of the “fine dining” places you’ll see like Lucca or Artu or those places, but, honestly, far better food. Squid seems to be their specialty.

    make the following sauce:

    I’ll keep that in mind. I usually rule the kitchen, but when I come home and it’s grilling time, Dad doesn’t let me interfere (Mom will gladly surrender the kitchen). I’ll try it out here some time.

  201. #201 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    ..oh, and why don’t we teach the earth is flat again, Trash?

  202. #202 Mark
    December 23, 2007

    Sastra,

    Re: “Are there parts of nature which God had nothing to do with? Which parts?

    I believe that God created nature and holds nature in existence. I don’t know all of his motives or methods. I probably understand very little of what he does.

    My views on intelligent design are consistent with my belief in God, but are not required by my belief. It may be that all design in life is invisible to me.

    Scientifically, I think that the inference to design is a valid scientific inference, and in some aspects of biology (the genetic code, functional molecular complexity) it is likely to be true.

    A major weakness of the Darwinian approach is that it precludes the possibility of design, and thus couldn’t detect it even if it were there.

  203. #203 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    I believe

    what part of science is that, Trash?

    is that the wishful thinking lack of evidence “science” morons like yourself seem to prefer?

    why don’t we teach the world is flat, Trash?

  204. #204 Colugo
    December 23, 2007

    The creationist/ID movement has convinced many Americans that there is a conspiracy of scientists (and perhaps other agents like the “cultural left”) to prop up allegedly moribund evolutionary biology (and hence, suppress its purported rival, ID).

    Since ID’s main planks (which really come down to Dembski’s neo-Paleyism and Behe’s irreducible complexity) wither under scrutiny, I think that the key to the popularity of ID is the conspiracy theory.

    So how to counter a conspiracy theory? I really don’t know. I’ve learned firsthand that 9/11 conspiracy theorists are incorrigible and if you refute one bogus “fact” they will just discover another.

    Obviously, it’s important to keep debunking the weak planks of ID. It’s also good to emphasize the practical importance of evolutionary biology; to highlight the point that evolution is not just esoterica but is critically important. Usually when biomedical applications of evolutionary biology are discussed they tend to be microevolutionary processes (drug resistance, pathogen virulence, HLA diversity). Creationists then say they accept microevolution (whatever it means to them) and claim that these examples indicate that there is no practical use for macroevolution. But there are plenty of examples of macroevolutionary applications in biomedicine. Examples: the role of ancient horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of the human genome, the evolutionary history of maternal-fetal conflict, the significance of major evolutionary transitions in understanding cancer and somatic stem cells. These macroevolutionary phenomena ought to be emphasized alongside the microevolutionary examples. (This isn’t about “framing;” it’s about explaining.)

  205. #205 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    oh, and yes, Jeff, that farmed Atlantic Salmon is indeed terrible stuff.

    IIRC, Atlantic Salmon are essentially biologically extinct (only exist on farms now).

    are there any natural runs left at all?

  206. #206 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    Jeff, that farmed Atlantic Salmon is indeed terrible stuff.

    Indeed. We’ve still got some damn good clams though, and it’s the perfect time of the year for a nice hearty chowder (with tobasco)

  207. #207 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    Shouldn’t the voters decide? It’s their kids, their schools, their taxes, their country.

    and yet you keep running from a simple question, Trash:

    why don’t we teach that the world is flat?

    I mean, once upon a time, the VAST majority of the public indeed was absolutely convinced it was flat, right?

  208. #208 PZ Myers
    December 23, 2007

    I’m actually slightly sympathetic to Mark’s claim that ID is “science,” but only because there are a lot of ways to think about what science means.

    In the most general, basic understanding, science is just exercising one’s curiosity and testing any idea against the material, natural world. Little kids do science all the time, without degrees or fancy apparatus. Poking roadkill with a stick is “science” in this sense.

    But modern science is a professional enterprise and has more refined and demanding values. We expect practitioners to be familiar with work that’s already been done; to have testable hypotheses that advance our understanding; to be able to recognize when a hypothesis has been refuted.

    Mark is playing a game here and eliding those two meanings. He wants to call ID a “science” because it meets the lowest, crudest, broadest meaning of the term, but then he seems to think calling it a “science” then should put it on equal footing with the efforts of professional scientists. He wants to be able to poke a dead dog with a stick and claim that’s just like being a molecular biologist with a million dollar budget analyzing developmental circuits in an evolutionary context.

    Nuh-uh. Not gonna fly.

    ID was a reasonable scientific hypothesis two centuries ago. I can understand how a naive person with no understanding of the advances since then might, out of uneducated but commendable curiosity, propose it now, but it would be in contradiction to an important part of modern science: we build on the foundation of work by our predecessors. You don’t get to just ignore that because it makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t fit your ideology.

    There’s another point where ID fails. Taking a guess is only the beginning of doing science — the next step is to test those ideas. ID hasn’t done that at all. I’m being charitable when I compare ID to poking a dead dog with a stick. It’s more like a few little boys sitting in their clubhouse talking about how if they had a stick, they could poke a dead dog with it, if they could find a dead dog.

  209. #209 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    perfect time of the year for a nice hearty chowder (with tobasco)

    Boston style, or Manhattan?

    I used to live on Boston style chowder in the Bodego Bay area (south of San Fran).

    still can’t get enough of the stuff.

  210. #210 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    Boston style, or Manhattan?

    Look at my handle again and see if you find the answer…

  211. #211 Mark
    December 23, 2007

    Rjaye:

    Re: “This whole thread is why the framers of the Constitution wanted separation of church and state:”

    Thomas Jefferson proposed a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, fifteen years after the Constitution was adopted.

    Jefferson wasn’t a framer of the Constitution (he was in France when the Constitution was written), and the Constitution makes no reference to separation of church and state. It prohibits an establishment of religion (an official national church). Extensive involvement between religous activities and the government was accepted and practiced by the Framers (prayers in legislative sessions, etc).

    Jefferson’s private letters aren’t Constitutional law.

  212. #212 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    It’s more like a few little boys sitting in their clubhouse talking about how if they had a stick, they could poke a dead dog with it, if they could find a dead dog.

    yeah, that IS pretty good.

    haven’t seen you use that one before. new?

  213. #213 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    Look at my handle again and see if you find the answer…

    i didn’t want to presume the area dictated the food choices.

  214. #214 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    i didn’t want to presume the area dictated the food choices.

    I don’t think it’s possible to find chowder with tomatoes around here. And why would you want to? I can work enough magic with tomatoes.

  215. #215 spurge
    December 23, 2007

    I don’t know if it even legal to sell Manhattan style in MASS.

  216. #216 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    I can’t let the obligatory Simpsons reference pass…

    Mayor Quimby:
    “It’s ‘chowdah’! chowdah! Say it right, Frenchy: Chowdah!”

  217. #217 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    I don’t know if it even legal to sell Manhattan style in MASS.

    I’m happy with Boston style chowder (with tobasco–although clams are one thing I won’t can, unlike the rest of my soups) but i’d kill for some Leinenkugels out here!!!!!

  218. #218 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    Mayor Quimby:

    Mayor Quimby’s nephew Freddy Quimby, actually

  219. #219 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    ah, damnit, too many years have gone by since that episode.

    at least I recalled it was a “Quimby”.

    *hangs head in shame*

  220. #220 MAJeff
    December 23, 2007

    ah, damnit, too many years have gone by since that episode.

    DVDs are a Simpsons fan’s best friend….if only they were past Season 10. (I bought the movie Wednesday–prob been played 15 times already..at a minimum…although mostly in the background)

  221. #221 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    I agree with P.Z. I DO NOT support teaching ID in public schools

    BWAHAHAHAHA.

    what a maroon.

    as transparent as glass, this one.

  222. #222 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    .if only they were past Season 10.

    i have some suggestions on that front.

    I’ve posted my email here before, but I think I want to avoid the psychotic lurker hanging about these parts at the moment.

    Instead, I would just suggest you…

    Hoist the sails and head on yonder to thepiratebay.org, whereon ye should whip out yer lookin’ glass and spy about.

  223. #223 spurges
    December 23, 2007

    Of course he does not support it.

    He has moved on to the newest talking point.

    Teach the controversy.

    He is just a parrot.

  224. #224 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    as an additional recommendation to Trash, aside from Idiocracy, he might want to take some time and read John Stuart Mills’ essay on the Tyrany of the Majority, in order to perhaps add something to his (lack of) understanding as to why we have a republic instead of a democracy.

    I’ll even give him a boost:

    http://www.serendipity.li/jsmill/jsmill.htm

  225. #225 Mark
    December 23, 2007

    Tulse:

    Re: “So voters should be allowed to violate the Constitution? Should public schools in Utah be allowed to teach that there are in fact three Gods, and that all humans can attain godhood, as long as the voters decide? Should public schools in a predominantly Jehovah’s Witnesses community be allowed to teach that blood transfusions are evil, as long as the voters decide? Should we allow public schools to teach that blacks are not equal to whites, as long as the voters decide?”

    Each of these examples are clearly unconstitutional. The first two violate the Establishment clause (they are explicit religious doctrine), and the third is a violation of the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection.

    The inference to design is a theory about nature, tested by natural methods. It is a scientific inference, whether you think that it is correct or incorrect. Evidence can be collected to support or refute it. There’s nothing unconstitutional about discussing it in public schools, if that’s what the voters in the district decide.

    As I said above, I don’t personally advocate teaching it as science, because it has not been developed sufficiently as science to make it into the curriculum, but Darwin’s theory should be critiqued, and that can and should be done from an ID perspective.

    If Darwin’s theory is solid, critique from an ID perspective will strengthen it and discredit ID.

  226. #226 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    He is just a parrot.

    just a parrot
    *squawk*

    just a parrot

    *tweet*

    what’s really funny is he THINKS his ideas are original.

    another classic creobot.

    thanks, Trash, for proving our point about how ridiculing your ilk does wonders to make the lurkers see what idiots you are.

    just keep burning yourselves at the stake

    shootin’ yourselves in the head

    putting your head up your ass

    *squawk*

  227. #227 spurges
    December 23, 2007

    He reminds me of the mindless creobots that infested the Yahoo science boards.

  228. #228 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    Evidence can be collected to support or refute it

    you go, girl!

    go on and collect that evidence.

    good luck with that.

    don’t forget to interview the designer, first, so you know what might actually constitute evidence of the designer’s designs.

    we’ll be waiting.

    been waiting for about 80 years now, if you mark Paley as a starting point.

  229. #229 Kseniya
    December 23, 2007

    And I think that scientists should explicitly oppose censorship in the public school discussion of Darwin’s theory, and endeavor instead to defend it vigorously. I think that Darwin’s theory would not survive such a public test, but I could be proven wrong.

    Wow, Mark’s science-literacy credibility just went through the basement floor.

    I wonder what in what respects he feels ID is “true”.

  230. #230 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    He reminds me of the mindless creobots that infested the Yahoo science boards.

    with good reason.

    hence:

    creobot.

  231. #231 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    Wow, Mark’s science-literacy credibility just went through the basement floor.

    you mean it ever rose as high as the floor to begin with?

    I must have missed that.

    *looks*

    still not seeing it.

  232. #232 Mark
    December 23, 2007

    Ichthyic;

    Re: “been waiting for about 80 years now, if you mark Paley as a starting point.”

    Paley died in 1805.

  233. #233 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    hey, thanks, Trash.

    I wonder why i put in the figure 80 years…

    oh well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

    make it 200 years we’ve been waiting then.

    (still suffering from that overwhelming tendency to shoot yourself in the head, Trash?)

  234. #234 Colugo
    December 23, 2007

    Mark: “Darwin’s theory should be critiqued, and that can and should be done from an ID perspective.”

    “Darwin’s theory”? Do you mean natural selection or do you mean the larger science of evolutionary biology? There are plenty of debates within evolutionary biology, including the importance of natural selection relative to other processes. But your interest is very different, isn’t it?

    Is there any other science that you want to subject to an ID “critique”? Chemistry? Astronomy? Math? Physics?

    You apparently want to replace methodological naturalism with methodological supernaturalism AKA Anything Goes. Throw methodological naturalism out the window and there are no rules. Your intelligent Designer would be superceded by radical solipsism, which is superceded by epistemological nihilism. Why not? It’s all rhetorical gymnastics and magic at that point.

  235. #235 akshay
    December 23, 2007

    Mark,

    Darwins theory precludes God as much as GR precludes Intelligent Falling. Hell! It even precludes the theory that gravity is caused by the FSM pushing us down using his noodly appendages.

    The real question is not- Is our universe designed? The real question is “What is the nature of reality?”. Could it be that we are living in a dream(and after death we wake up in another dream)? Could it be that the universe is situated inside the belly of a giant celestial octopus?(maybe after death we get excreted?). Could it be that we are inside the matrix? All these are narratives that are possible and not contradicted by science. Even your belief that the universe was made by a human-like super being is no more plausible than saying that “mountains are made by giant invisible moles(since moles make mole hills)” or that “hail stones are produced by small invisible re-fridgerators lurking in the sky”. All these make “sense” because the properties of the objects used within the “story” gell quite well with each other.
    Using your logic, we should be considering the giant invisible mole a scientific fact. Should we?

    As for the “design inference”. Why should we assume that it has to be a “designer”, which has serious human connotations? Afer all we can only operate (and thereby design) within the rules of the physical world. But God is nothing like that, he is not designing from within a structural frame work, he is both the “rule” and the “reason for the rule”. This is unlike anything we can ascribe to a human being. So why should the “law giver” and the “law deducer”(us humans) have similarities. Why should God even be intelligent? If we could increase our intellect indefinitely, what makes you think it will give us the power to creat “rules”(eg: set the speed of c to its known value) and help us be our own “cause”?

    The thief who leaves a trail and the dog that sniffs it out need not have much in common.

  236. #236 Owlmirror
    December 23, 2007

    The inference to design is a theory about nature, tested by natural methods. It is a scientific inference, whether you think that it is correct or incorrect.

    The bolded part is false. Not only is “intelligent design” not tested, it isn’t even testable. Which is why the second sentence is false.

    If there were a religious work that had something like this in it:

    And the LORD said: Nor are stuff and work unakin. Rather, they are groundwise the same, and one can be shifted into the other. The kinship between them is that work is like unto weight manifolded by the fourside of the haste of light.

    The fact that it appeared in a religious work would not stop it from being also a testable prediction about the natural world, and therefore a scientific hypothesis. If scientific tests supported it, it could be and would be taught in schools.

    ID offers no tests of reality to determine what intelligent design is, and therefore is not science.

    The bible does have statements about reality in it, and some of them were testable (and still are). The reason they aren’t science today is because they failed the tests.

  237. #237 akshay
    December 23, 2007

    “The inference to design is a theory about nature, tested by natural methods. It is a scientific inference, whether you think that it is correct or incorrect.”- mark

    The design inference goes like this- Can phenomenon ‘A’ be explained by our current body of scientific knowledge? If NO, then Goddidit!

    If geologists somehow failed to completely explain the formation of mountains then I can declare victory over them as it would prove my “giant mole inference” right.

    Hardly useful, this excercise of making elaborate stories, I tell you.

    Your problem is that you see this as a “materialist Vs theist” showdown. The true nature of reality is unknown. To live life, to learn, to do science you don’t need to be committed to any ontological premise(including materialism). We only need to produce testable hypotheses. The scientific method is good enough to keep us busy, searching and coming up with “real” answers one at a time.
    “Goddidit” is the worst answer anyone can give, for it does not offer anything to study and there is no way of verifying if God was infact the “cause” for anything.

  238. #238 Davis
    December 23, 2007

    But you believe that the world arose without design, so why would you have insight into anything else either?

    Oh-so-insightful clever person, please explain to us how one goes about unequivocally recognizing design in the world. I’d love to hear of such an algorithm.

  239. #239 Davis
    December 23, 2007

    I think that Darwin’s theory would not survive such a public test, but I could be proven wrong.

    Silly me, I thought the process of publishing (vast quantities of) evidence for evolution in scientific journals was a public test. In what way is that process not public?

  240. #240 Eric Paulsen
    December 23, 2007

    I have no fear of open discussion of the ID/Darwin debate, in schools or elsewhere. That’s why ID advocates support open debate in schools. – Posted by: Mark

    Then you should have no fear of debate OUTSIDE the schools (ie: the internet, the courts, the (largely absent) media). What you CRAVE is getting your foot in the door of the school system because you believe that if you can just get them young enough you can twist their minds to your agenda. Kind of like how the church indoctrinates people from birth. This is just one more attack from the religious reich – don’t like birth control? Take over the pharmacies. Don’t like the constitution? Start pumping out fundie lawyers. Hate everyone who doesn’t think exactly like you and your bible-thumping buddies? Vote Huckabee.

    You guys are like a brain tumor with vocal cords.

  241. #241 Crudely Wrott
    December 23, 2007

    Hee hee hee. I love it

    This is Deuteronimously Liviticus!

    Biblical fulfillment in terms of second Timothy chapter Iforget verse mumble:
    “Be as cunning as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.”

    Ridicule, skillfully wielded, has made a great difference without causing any more damage than that which accompanies a lashing with a wet noodle. Oh! That blessed appendage!

  242. #242 Frank Oswalt
    December 23, 2007

    OMG, this discussion is still going on?

    @Neil Schipper: Pointless point, about the pseudonyms. But thanks for the link to the article and your enjoyable replies.

    @Mark (#162): Like all the other tired points you bring up here, your question about homosexuality has been asked and answered on this very blog. I’m sure you think that all your points are fresh and revolutionary, but they are simply stupid, stupid, stupid.

  243. #243 Citizen Z
    December 23, 2007

    From #187: Hey, I’m still waiting for examples of irreducible complexity that haven’t been shot down by biologists.

    Well, I should think there wouldn’t be many. But if I assume you added a negation in there by accident, there’s the blood clotting cascade for starters.

    From #243: Thomas Jefferson proposed a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, fifteen years after the Constitution was adopted.

    He did not “propose” it, he described it, which is obvious to anyone who takes the time to actually read the letter.

    Jefferson’s private letters aren’t Constitutional law.

    If you want to discuss Constitutional law, there is a significant amount of jurisprudence on the subject. The earlier link I provided and you apparently ignored has more background.

  244. #244 observer
    December 23, 2007

    RE: Mark@243

    The reason that Jefferson’s thoughts are significant is that Madison drew from his ideas, most specifically those from Jefferson’s Virgina Declaration for Religious Freedom, when drafting the Establishment Clause. Since Madison wrote the thing, his thinking on the issue would probably be a better guide, and here he was more radical than Jefferson. Also, you’re mistaken that the wording of the Establishment Clause is to merely prohibit the establishment of a national religion. Wording which stated congress shall not “establish a religion,” was proposed and rejected in favor of prohibiting concress from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion.” Madison’s own writings make it clear that he meant that government is to have no say whatsoever in matters of conscience, and that government is to have strict neutrality with regard to religion. Madison was clear in his writings as to the debt he owed Jefferson for his language in the first amendment.

    It is interesting to note that at the convention where the Bill of Rights was drafted, a daily prayer was proposed and then unanimously voted down. Madison himself was against proclamations of thanksgiving, ceremonial prayers, and governmental chaplains. Although he allowed political winds to sway him in those directions at times, he made clear in his writings that he regretted it and believed such things were unconstitutional.

    The point of all this is to illustrate that it is a mistake to assume “The Framers” spoke with a monolithic voice on any particular constitutional issue. There is little doubt, from notes supporting the development of the establishment clause, that “The Framers” meant something quite a bit stronger than merely prohibiting a national church.

  245. #245 Mooser
    December 23, 2007

    Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.

    Faith-based grants, anyone? Oh, BTW, they total in the Billions of dollars

  246. #246 Ray S.
    December 23, 2007

    Mark@250:

    I think that Darwin’s theory would not survive such a public test, but I could be proven wrong.

    Actually in this thread, you’ve gone a long way to proving you’re wrong just considering the first two words of the quoted sentence.

    Your initial point regarding censorship of dissenting views is pointedly off the mark. It’s only censorship in the same way we censor the ideas like 2 + 2 = 5 or adverbs are verbs used in commercials. There’s no room for such silliness in K-12 education because there’s not enough time as it is to teach what we do know.

    You insult scientists, who have a responsibility to be aware of and respond to previous work in a discipline, to assume they’ve simply glossed over the massive holes in evolutionary theory for what you perceive to be ideological reasons. Holes you can clearly see with your lack of scientific training. I think I know who is being driven by an ideology here.

    Your latest attempt at a point, to assert that local uneducated voters should be able to pick and choose among educational topics they know nothing about instead of spending their efforts trying to find ways of effectively implementing known comprehensive curricula, simply allows a vocal minority to destroy the future of otherwise innocent children. Your approach means that heavily Latino areas could displace teaching English in favor of another language. Do you support that? Or maybe enough skinheads in an area could vote to teach that the Holocaust never happened. Do you support that? Yet you support the right for a school district to decide to make their children scientifically illiterate.

    Regarding Darwin’s theory and public tests, you’re wrong about it surviving. The basics of Darwin’s insight are still there, but through 150 years of public testing by scientists, we’ve come to the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory. Advances across the board, maybe most notably DNA, have yielded insights Darwin could never grasp in his time. Darwin’s work has been augmented, not replaced, in much the same way that Newton’s work was augmented by relativity and quantum mechanics. But all of that work was done by people trained in their respective fields, not by school age children dissenting from the status quo because the local witch doctor is delusional.

  247. #247 Reynold
    December 23, 2007

    And I think that scientists should explicitly oppose censorship in the public school discussion of Darwin’s theory, and endeavor instead to defend it vigorously. I think that Darwin’s theory would not survive such a public test, but I could be proven wrong.–from the ID poster here.

    It’s been said many times already, but I like beating dead horses. You have been proven wrong. Ever hear of the Dover trial? You know what happened there? Both sides presented their cases , each side had time to examine the claims and presenters of the other side and the judge weighed the evidence. As in every format where both sides have time to examine the evidence, the ID creationists lost.

    That’s what you people fear. Not “open (as in oral) debate”, but rather letting the other side have the time to check your claims out.

    If ID/creationism really had the evidence going for it, and if “darwinism” was as weak as you said it is, then in such a format your side should win, since your points could be publically shown.

    Instead, it’s the opposite. Your claims are always shown to be misquoted, bogus, or constructed from cherry-picked data.

    So you people want your views taught in schools, where there is no chance of the teacher knowing everything there is to know about the subject to expose all the falsehoods in your views; saying “let the kids decide”.

    In order to make an informed decision, one needs all the facts. IDers and creationists never give all the facts except when they’re in court and the other side has had time to dig them up.

    But it sure sounds “fair”, doesn’t it? Which is what you people count on: it makes real scientists looks like the bad guys because they’re “censoring” your views.

    BS. If they were censoring your views, they woudn’t be posing detailed critiques of ID books on sites such as “Pandas Thumb”. Publically exposing mistakes is the opposite of “censoring”.

  248. #248 Reynold
    December 23, 2007

    Whoops. Forgot to mention: Maybe one of the things teachers could do in schools to show just how vacant ID is, is to have the kids do some kind of “book report” type project on various aspects of the Dover Trial maybe? That way, each kid would see a different aspect of the failure of ID once people have time to examine it.

    If it’s a higher level grade, they could look at the 29 Evidences for Macroevolution on the Talk Origins website as well. Have them each examine a tiny bit of the site, and they’ll see bit by bit how the theory of evolution has, unlike ID, stood the tests of time and scientists.

  249. #249 Mena
    December 23, 2007

    Reynold, that wasn’t public discussion, that was activist judges imposing their positions from the bench, donchaknow. They have an excuse for everything, other than that they are wrong of course. How else would you explain the different sects that arose from different interpretations of the same book, very little of which makes sense to anyone? Wars have been fought over whose justifications are “better”.

  250. #250 Lowell33
    December 23, 2007

    Mark,

    In #250, you wrote that you “DO NOT support teaching ID in public school,” but in the same breath proposed that K-12 students would be “best served by a criticial discussion of Darwin’s theory . . . framed largely from the ID perspective . . . .”

    Please explain how a lesson plan “teaching ID” would necessarily differ from a lesson plan outlining a “critical discussion of Darwin’s theory . . . framed largely from the ID perspective . . . .”

    If there is a difference, would it be any more meaningful than the difference between “teaching creation biology” and teaching a “critical discussion of evolution framed largely from the biblical perspective”?

  251. #251 Rey Fox
    December 23, 2007

    “DVDs are a Simpsons fan’s best friend….if only they were past Season 10.”

    On the contrary, season 10 seems like a good stopping point.

  252. #252 Stan
    December 23, 2007

    The KAUFMAN V McCAUGHTRY decision.

    I have not read the second hand sources you have referenced, I read the actual court document and so can you, it is on-line. Google it up.

  253. #253 dkew
    December 23, 2007

    PZ at #240:
    ” a few little boys sitting in their clubhouse talking about how if they had a stick, they could poke a dead dog with it, if they could find a dead dog.”
    Their pet dog died in 1859. Their poking makes the bloated corpse move, and they pretend it’s still alive, ready to lick their faces or hump their legs.

  254. #254 Neil
    December 23, 2007

    Wow. I can’t believe I read all 285 comments. I could have spent that time in church!

    I would like to state up front that my formal education ended after only two years of college, and I was studying literature and music, not biology. I am mostly self-educated in the sciences, for my own pleasure. I have a couple of layman’s questions for the Mark/Stan/Anne Elk person.

    What exactly is this theory that you are talking about? Specifically, what observations have been made?
    What hypothesis has been proposed? Has it been tested/is it testable?
    What experiments have been conducted? What data or evidence has been collected? How was it analyzed? What conclusions were reached, and can they be demonstrated repeatedly and independently?

    I have read all of your posts on this thread and I can’t find anything pertaining to the basic nature of this great controversy. I have read quite a bit about this theory on this site and others, and I have yet to hear an explanation of what the hell this theory actually is. I’ve read vague summaries, I’ve read what actual scientists think about it, but I have never read a proponent actually state the scientific content of the theory that they want taught. Not even on ID websites did I find any science content or even a clear definition of what exactly is being researched.

    The layman’s conclusion? It is impossible to censor a theory that doesn’t exist.

    On to more substantial matters. If the subject of clam chowder was brought up specifically to make a show of ignoring the troll, I apologize. I couldn’t help myself.

    I’m in California, long known for access to a wide variety of foods. We are also known for taking other folks’ wonderful recipes, and then horribly adulterating them for mass consumption. Just like Hollywood does with books! But Pismo clam chowder is the shit. It’s really just Boston style with a few significant alterations, but we got this one right! Extremely thick and creamy, a little paler than Boston chowder. Less spices but more clams. A shitload of clams. Only a few small-cut pieces of potato, maybe a little celery. Usually no pat of butter. Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach puts their chowder in a small sourdough bread bowl. A meal in itself. Krab topping(or crab topping if you’re lucky) optional.
    As far as I know, I am the only Californian who also loves Manhattan style. Tomatoes go with everything, I thought people knew that. The REAL question is: Why haven’t I seen split pea soup in a restaurant for fifteen years? It was a standard offering for generations, but my shallow me-generation peers totally ignore it just because it looks like a dying smoker’s lung butter.

  255. #255 Ray S.
    December 23, 2007

    dkew@288:

    That explains the Terry Schiavo mess also. It’s an inability to recognize reality.

  256. #256 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    The layman’s conclusion? It is impossible to censor a theory that doesn’t exist.

    *applauds*

    well done.

    It always makes me happy to see that just a small bit of education is all that is necessary for anyone to see through the tissue paper lies of “Intelligent Design”.

    you’re absolutely right, even one of the founders of the Disinformation Institute, Paul Nelson, readily admits there is no actual theory of ID.

    based on the construction of the inference, logically there simply cannot BE an hypothesis to test, let alone an actual theory arising from the successful testing of hypotheses and predictions based on the inference.

    It all stops at not being able to identify what the designer is, and how it operates in the world.

    without that basic knowledge, there simply is no way to formulate testable predictions.

    the closest analagous actual scientific endeavor would probably be paleo-anthropology. We can identify an item we find as a tool, because we know how the prospective designer actually operates in the world. We have billions of examples to operate from in constructing our hypotheses.

    ID has…

    nothing.

    now if some alien/deity/? decided to appear and claim credit for for various natural phenomena, we could actually test against their claims; form an actual hypothesis.

    if that ever happens, we would highly encourage ID proponents to actually spend some of the money they spend on PR on actual research.

    as of now, it’s rather obvious that the function of the Disinformation Institute is entirely political in nature, and has about as much to do with science as any other professional advertising agency.

    that is to say.. none.

  257. #257 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    But Pismo clam chowder is the shit.

    …and you got that right, too!

    still, I’m not sure if it’s better than the stuff I used to get at Bodega Bay.

    I’ll have to do another run and compare again someday soon.

  258. #258 Sastra, OM
    December 23, 2007

    Mark #232 wrote:

    Re: “Are there parts of nature which God had nothing to do with? Which parts?” I believe that God created nature and holds nature in existence. I don’t know all of his motives or methods. I probably understand very little of what he does… A major weakness of the Darwinian approach is that it precludes the possibility of design, and thus couldn’t detect it even if it were there.

    I think you missed the import of my question.

    You had asked how we would detect design in nature, and my response was that we would do it by comparing natural design in nature with supernatural design in nature. To do this, we would have to have a large group of “supernaturally designed” objects, for contrast. This, after all, is how we detect the difference between beavers’ dams and a bunch of sticks in the river. Compare and contrast something new to items in two established categories, to see where it goes.

    The problem, therefore, is actually going the opposite way. By telling me that everything in nature is supernaturally designed, there is now no way to compare and contrast. As it is, neither science nor evolution preclude the possibility of the supernatural upfront. We could, in theory, use that as a category — if we’d ever found items in it.

    But ID creationism gives us no way to detect any difference between natural and supernatural design. That’s a fatal flaw.

  259. #259 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    This, after all, is how we detect the difference between beavers’ dams and a bunch of sticks in the river.

    actually, I’d like to explore this simple example a little bit. Not directed as Sastra, of course, (nor at Trash, since he is mentally incapable of bypassing his own mental defenses), but a general exploration of how we form hypotheses based on observation for those who simply hadn’t thought about it before.

    Say you’ve never seen a beaver before, but you have seen humans build dams before, or even just know that humans are entirely capable of building similar structures.

    what would the initial hypothesis be upon running into a beaver dam for the first time?

    that it was built by humans, yes?

    why? because you have knowledge of how humans build things, and thus have observations to base your hypothesis on.

    you could even test your hypothesis by building a similar dam yourself. You could ask fellow humans if they have ever built something similar.

    Later, you end up observing beavers for the first time, and see them build a dam.

    you then say “oops” my initial hypothesis, while entirely plausible and functional, was in fact, wrong.

    You had the opportunity to observe how the actual designer of the dam operates, just like you observed how humans can build dams or similar structures.

    new information allowed you to re-work your hypothesis as to how the dam was built.

    This is how science works.

    with ID, this is entirely impossible, as there is no way to observe how a fictional designer operates in the world.

    thus, it is not, and cannot be, science, unless and until you find and can observe the “beaver” that has created the structures you think are designed.

    until such time, a “design inference” is just that, a projection based on human observations of design in nature, nothing more.

    It’s not a theory, it’s not even a hypothesis. In fact, it’s even LESS than thinking a beaver built damn was built by humans. It’s more like assuming a pile of random sticks IS a dam to begin with (false assumption of design), and THEN, having concluded the random sticks are somehow “designed”, that there must be some unknown designer that made it that way.

    utter nonsense.

    it results from a human tendency to project pattern when analyzing the world, and is unfortunately then used to rationalize superstitious drivel.

  260. #260 Glen Davidson
    December 23, 2007

    Students are smart enough to understand when they’re being indoctrinated.

    Is that why geocentrism wasn’t believed by students prior to Copernicus? IOW, do you have anything that isn’t some retarded cliche?

    When federal judges censor any ‘disparagement’ of Darwin’s theory (The Dover judge’s term),

    Moron, it isn’t that “disparagement” is censored, lying disparagement from cretins like you is prevented from being injected by gov’t power.

    people know that what is going on is indoctrination, not objective discussion of the issue.

    Actually, tard, it’s pretty damn obvious to those with their heads out of their asses that the indoctrination comes from those who can’t compete in the scientific marketplace of ideas. Then again, PZ didn’t exactly say that all of you were intelligent, and you seem just unintelligent enough not to know anything of consequence.

    Placing ‘science’ on the side of censorship will do far more harm to science in the long run than a few questions about Darwin’s theory in a classroom.

    Allowing whole cloth fabrications like teaching science constitutes “censorship” is what would destroy education. Which is your goal, since you can’t compete in any fair fight over ideas.

    And, by the way, if the evidence is so good for Darwinism, why are you so afraid of an open discussion in schools?

    Lying retard, “open discussion” isn’t outlawed, it’s the theistic fakery of treating ID as science that is outlawed.

    People with the facts on their side don’t need to censor their oppponents.

    That’s right, if you had anything that was true and honest you wouldn’t have to try to use gov’t to try to impose your will onto the schools. Hoist by your petard, numbnuts.

    They welcome the unfettered exchange of ideas.

    That’s right, bring some substance into the discussion, instead of ancient BS, and we’d be glad to engage in it. Your mindless tripe, however, is only so much propaganda.

    Why not show school kids what fools those ID guys are, by exposing their ideas and refuting them, in the classroom?

    Were you not a fuckwit, you’d know that teaching science is the first priority. Trying to discuss the methods of science that ID lacks with people who don’t know the methods of science (like you, buffoon), is a fool’s game, which is why you promote it.

    To the public (and not a few scientists), you look like a bunch of guys trying to insulate a very tenuous theory from scrutiny.

    You know, if you had anything honest, you wouldn’t constantly resort to lies. Only to very few, and to a very dishonest few, scientists do we look like what you say. If you have evidence to the contrary, present it, and make an honest argument for once in your lifetime.

    To fuckwits (or just the naive–but you’re the former, Mark), it is true, the lies of the IDiots do seem plausible. That’s why we have to prevent them from being taught in the schools which are supposed to be teaching science, and not the dishonest religion that you wish to substitute for science.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  261. #261 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    just unintelligent enough not to know anything of consequence

    ooh, I rather like that.

    mind if I add it to my collection, Glen?

  262. #262 Glen Davidson
    December 23, 2007

    (which is nonsense- it’s not a religious establishment),

    You know, you never support your BS, you just state it bare, as if the fact that you heard something from the IDiots makes it true. You’re a complete fuck-up.

    but because it’s not a professionally developed scientific theory. I think that in certain respects ID is true, but that’s not enough to get into the school curriculum.

    Actually, it’s just you spouting the BS that is all that you know, since you ceased learning anything in order to regurgitate theistic lies regardless of their merits.

    I believe that students are best served by a criticial discussion of Darwin’s theory.

    I do too, and when they understand both science and volutionary theory, they can engage in critical discussion. Which is in college, at the earliest.

    What are it’s weak points? It’s strong points?

    Yes, what are its weak points, retard? Tell us. I mean, we ourselves know of weaknesses in various theories, including MET, but I have the sneaking suspicion that you know none of this, but are merely mouthing pious nonsense.

    What would refute or confirm it?

    What could refute it is if “purpose” were found beyond mere reproduction, or of rational design principles being used rather than descent with (non-teleological) modification. And neither has been found in the biological evidence whatsoever.

    What is the current state of the evidence?

    It is extremely good, about as good as the evidence that something we call “gravity” operates in this universe. And like MET, gravity has its theoretical problems, which, of course, are not mentioned before high school, and very little there (usually to more advanced students).

    I believe that these questions can and should be framed largely from the ID perspective, because that is the challenge that Darwin’s theory is now facing (and has always faced).

    Only because of lying swine such as yourself. It isn’t a scientific challenge, but only a political challenge from ignoramuses such as yourself.

    Plato’s theory of forms is probably closer to being a real challenge to evolution (at least it would have inherent hypotheticals which would not be immediately refuted, as ID’s inherent (but unstated by the IDiots) hypotheticals are), but it isn’t really worth considering in the schools either.

    And I think that scientists should explicitly oppose censorship in the public school discussion of Darwin’s theory, and endeavor instead to defend it vigorously.

    You’re right, which is why the too-small amount of time spent on MET in schools today (if it’s covered at all) should not be reduced even further with your bunch of BS, which has no science behind it at all.

    I think that Darwin’s theory would not survive such a public test, but I could be proven wrong.

    Now I know that you’re as ignorant in philosophy as you are in science, but of course argumentum ad populum is a childish fallacy, even for you. MET passes the tests of science, which is why you disingenuously try to change the test of what science is, no matter how stupid your “challenge” is.

    And, as I have said many times, the curricular decisions must ultimately be made locally, by voters (parents).

    Yes, I can’t imagine you ever taking a stand that isn’t stupid and ignorant.

    It’s their kids, their schools, their money.

    It’s our collective Constitution, and I don’t appreciate your disparagement and attacks upon that venerable document. Or your contempt for children, wherein you suppose that lies are just fine to substitute for truth.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  263. #263 Glen Davidson
    December 23, 2007

    Plato’s theory of forms is probably closer to being a real challenge to evolution (at least it would have inherent hypotheticals which would not be immediately refuted, as ID’s inherent (but unstated by the IDiots) hypotheticals are), but it isn’t really worth considering in the schools either.

    Of course by “in the schools” I meant as a “scientific theory,” not that it shouldn’t be considered in philosophy and in the history of philosophy.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  264. #264 Glen Davidson
    December 23, 2007

    #296just unintelligent enough not to know anything of consequence

    ooh, I rather like that.

    mind if I add it to my collection, Glen?

    Add away.

    And obviously I do subscribe to the notion that ridicule works. If not on Mark, at least on others who trundle out their vasty depths of ignorance to display it to the world, bringing shame on their more intelligent fellows.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  265. #265 Marion Delgado
    December 23, 2007

    Thanny:

    Didn’t they give you the balloon analogy in high school? That’s literally the case. As your knowledge expands, it impinges on more and more areas that you don’t know. Your “known unknowns” increase exponentially. Plus, living in cultures that have thousands of years of art and science and religion and language behind them, you learn more and more how impossible it is to get a specialists knowledge of more than a few fields, and that there are millions of fields potentially, and so on.

    Whereas, when you know a lot about comparatively little, there’s very little you know about that’s not understandable to you. It’s a paradox.

  266. #266 John C. Randolph
    December 23, 2007

    Just like H. L. Mencken told us.

    -jcr

  267. #267 Ichthyic
    December 23, 2007

    If not on Mark

    of course it was never meant for Mark. discourse does not affect those suffering from extreme cognitive dissonance; experience supports this contention.

    ridicule works as an object lesson for others, rarely the target themselves.

    in fact, it usually causes the target to become even MORE defensive, which, unfortunately for them, tends to actually reinforce the value of using ridicule to begin with.

    Trashcan Man became the very object lesson to prove the point of the title of the thread.

    coincidence?

  268. #268 Marion Delgado
    December 24, 2007

    I would say hostile and pompous and unself-aware ridicule is either not going to work or will backfire.

    That said, what Ichthyic above said has a lot of historical evidence behind it.

    I was taught in HS the generalization that the Japanese had a shaming culture instead of a guilt culture. If your only target is the problem individual, that’s a guilt approach. If your target is others, to have them pressure the target, that’s a shaming approach.

  269. #269 Stan
    December 24, 2007

    MERRY CHRISTMAS Folks!

  270. #270 Ichthyic
    December 24, 2007

    I would say hostile and pompous and unself-aware ridicule is either not going to work or will backfire.

    good thing nobody here utilizes ridicule of the ignorant variety then.

    I think you will see that kind of ridicule (say, for example, William Dembski’s fart joke flash movie of Judge Jones) being utilized by the creobots themselves, and backfiring exactly as you suggest.

  271. #271 Kagehi
    December 25, 2007

    Sorry, been away from the thread, so I am answering late:

    Who should decide what is taught to the children in a school district?

    The people that do the fracking work to understand the world, how it works and how to use that information for the betterment of humanity, which isn’t the ignorant, uneducated, clueless, gullible, know nothing nitwits that think 6,000 year old myths that include BS like a flat earth and fracking animals appearing before the plants they eat, makes some sort of sense, even if it wasn’t contradicted by 200 years of research. That is who should be allowed to determine what we teach, you half wit. Otherwise, we are right back to where we where in the dark ages, when the most logical conclusion the **church taught** doctors could come up with for the plague that wiped out 80% of the population of Europe was that two planets formed some unusual astrological alignment, which produced a miasma (poison cloud) that “imbalanced” the bodies natural state. That is the kind of idiot explanation you get when the church pushes nonsense, and we see the same stupidity and nonsense in the whole, “HIV didn’t evolve to infect humans, there is actually no such thing as HIV, its really caused by having the wrong kind of sex!”, which the same lunatics that think ID makes sense think is a better explanation for AIDS.

    People have to base what we teach on the **best** explanations available, not on, “Well, we think there are a dozen other explanations, none of which can be tested, for which we have no evidence other than the wish that they are true, and a lot of whining and hand waving about how some vague thing we ***don’t fracking understand*** sounds sort of like it supports our views, so lets teach all of them!” Umm, no, you have to have better evidence than that. Hell, you have to have something that people who spent their entire lives trying to understand *recognize* as evidence, and not as intentional distortions of their own work, complete lack of understanding of the data, or so complete a lack of comprehension about the subject that it calls to mind two children discussing how one of their mothers grew bee hives on her body after eating something she was electric to. I.e., ignorance, misunderstanding and stupidity that one **should** either a) grown out of or b) learned to keep ones mouth shut about, until one actually understands enough to form a rational opinion.

  272. #272 Eric Paulsen
    December 25, 2007

    And a joyous Yule to you Stan. May Black Pete bring you exactly what you deserve this year.

  273. #273 Kagehi
    December 25, 2007

    Ok, first…

    How did belief in atheism evolve?

    As soon as you show me **any** child that, the moment they are born, or even, more to the point, without outside interference, concludes, by default, that there is some sort of God in the world, then you have a serious problem implying that this has to evolve. Its like asking how humans evolved to speak English, instead of Latin (I use Latin in this context because at one point it was considered the official language of Christianity). It makes sense to ask, how did the ability to speak evolve. It makes sense to ask, how do people come to believe one religion over another. It makes no damn sense to ask, “How, when never forced to learn it, does someone default to not believing in gods, instead of believing.”, any more than it would make any damn sense to ask, “Why can’t a child that was sealed in a box for the first ten years of their life not talk?” The question is answered by the very fact of their environment, and not based on their evolved traits. However, the two situations are not equal. Children invent and believe in imaginary friends, which talk to them, they believe in Santa, they believe in ghosts, and goblins, monsters under the bed, and a whole fracking mess of other things that “explain” stuff they don’t understand, fear, hope for, etc. All of these things have the same **identical** attributes to gods, which are invisible, supposedly talk to them, exist in places they can’t see or visit, and give them stuff, if they perform the right rituals. The difference between and atheist and an adult is that we questioned, at some point, the validity of god, and concluded this idea is so silly that it belongs on a Saturday morning cartoon, along with the rest of the imaginary friends on Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, not sitting in some corner of our minds, where we pretend its talking to us.

    Second:

    You bring up the silly idea that, “ID makes predictions about stuff like irreducible complexity, etc., which can be tested, and would strengthen Evolution if proven false.”, or roughly to that effect. Well, where the frack have you been, under a rock? Every attempt to show irreducibly complex things in nature that ID proponents come up with gets shot down, either by someone publishing new work, or someone that published 2-3 years ago about the subject discussed, and shown them to **not** be irreducible. But, even if you can then make the silly claim that, “Well, there is the rest of the animal kingdom and 90% of the genetic code we haven’t looked at, maybe *it* has something irreducible in it!”, that is a) not a valid argument and b) people have made dozens of simulations, ***including*** the original evolution ones, like Avida, which **have** and **do** produce irreducibly complex structures, which fit every single detail of what they claim would prove that it had to be designed. Hell, we have even had cases where we ***did*** design things, like neural networks, where removing apparently unused parts causes some tiny glitch in the circuit, which resulting in it not working. We designed the circuit, we designed the data to train it, we designed the algorithms needed to let it learn, and we ***thought*** we know everything about how it would behave, and it still managed to program itself, via something similar to evolution, into a state where our attempt to either determine how it really worked was nearly impossible, and removing any part from it rendered it completely useless.

    The moment you simulate evolution you produce irreducibly complex systems **period**, so, since evolution produces such structures, even when we don’t want it too, its a damn stupid criteria to use to infer that someone designed anything. You could still argue that the system that the evolution took place in was designed, which in your case would mean that God made the universe, so things would evolve in it, but once things actually start doing so you not only can’t predict the outcome, prevent irreducibility from forming, or *prevent it from evolving without basically killing the entire species*. It will, as our own experiments have shown, simply learn that something is mucking around with it, find a way to pretend that its doing what *we* want, while we are looking at it, then go right back to doing what *it* wants when we stop looking.

    Its got to be damned embarrassing to run test data on a virtual life form, think that you are preventing it from evolving at all, by killing all the “successful” ones, only to take a good hard look at the “living” versions in your simulation and find that they not only *are* more efficient, but that they knew you where looking at them, and **chose** to pretend to be stupid, so you wouldn’t kill them off. lol So much for claiming that basic self awareness and intelligence *require* a God monkeying in the works to produce them either.

    No, ID only has three arguments – 1. Its unlikely to happen via evolution. Wrong, wrong, and still wrong, no matter how they muck with the numbers to make it appear unlikely. In fact, the odds of any one person winning the lotto are probably 1,000 times less likely. 2. Irreducible stuff would prove a designer. Wrong, lots of experiments have shown that not only is this possible without implicitly *designing* such things, but you literally can’t stop it from happening via evolution (or stop evolution once it starts in the first place). 3. God makes more sense and random stuff. Again, wrong. Its not random, any more than the path of a rain drop down your window is “random”, even if the rain drop was. And if its not random, then the argument that something non-randomly fiddling with things isn’t an argument.

    There are no other arguments from ID. There are no tests it proposes, no explanations for how to detect design (except for the one already shredded and used to line the cage of a certain dead parrot), it has no other “theories” to propose, never mind ways to test any of them, and what math it uses to propose how unlikely anything in evolution works has more in common with numerology than statistics.

  274. #274 Owlmirror
    December 26, 2007

    “Who made [the Flying Spaghetti Monster]” is a pre-schooler’s question. In [FSMology], the [Flying Spaghetti Monster’s] essence is existence, so He wasn’t made, He is the source of creation. Whether you agree with the answer or not, the question has a venerable and ancient answer, ignored by jejune critics.

    I just wanted to mine, I mean, pick these lines out and admire them for a bit. So beautiful, so … what’s the word I want?

    And isn’t it just so self-evidently true? Just like the Swiss spaghetti harvest (as famously depicted in the BBC documentary of 1957), clearly evidencing the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s generous bounty, providing pasta for all.

    It’s like… like… like that lithograph by M. C. Escher, depicting the waterfall that always flows down, and yet somehow manages to feed back around to become its own source, clearly showing that we are meant to have clean and infinitely renewable energy! Great is the bounty that we have been granted. Truly, like the Waterfall, like the Flying Spaghetti Monster, this argument is so beautifully…

    Ah, that’s the word I wanted!

    It’s so beautifully loopy.

  275. #275 Stan
    December 26, 2007

    Kagehi, Could you please povide specific information about the simulations you refer to that fail when a single element is removed, yet show improved “efficiency” anyway? Are you talking about replicated experimental data? Is this a peer reviewed paper that I can access?

    Thanks in advance,

    Stan (40 year atheist)

  276. #276 David Rolfe
    December 27, 2007

    I can’t believe this thread is still going. However, I’d like to mention that Mark’s core argument/handwavery, “design can be inferred!! teach the holes!!” (e.g., comment 250) has been addressed probably a zillion times (or at least enough times that its refutation has had a page in the ITCC since 2003).

  277. #277 Pyre
    December 27, 2007

    Re: the “wall of separation” metaphor.

    Mark @ 243 said: “Jefferson’s private letters aren’t Constitutional law.”

    No, but what is Constitutional law is the Supreme Court’s ruling in Emerson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947):

    The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

    (emphasis added)

  278. #278 Kagehi
    December 27, 2007

    Kagehi, Could you please provide specific information about the simulations you refer to that fail when a single element is removed, yet show improved “efficiency” anyway?

    You would have to look into the papers written by the Avida teams, and the like. I don’t know any links specifically, or at least don’t remember what they are. :p Pretty much all of them say three things – 1. The methods evolved to solve problems are often incomprehensible to the researchers, 2. Multiple solutions exist, 3. if you clip apparently useless bit out, it stops working and 4. (At least in the ones they try to do so in) you can’t prevent them from continuing to evolve. Every one I have read seems to say most of those things.

  279. #279 Kseniya
    December 27, 2007

    Pyre, that’s great stuff. And yet, here in 21st century America we have at least one presidential candiate who claims that government is ineffective and that it’s time to take back America for Christ.

    W.
    T.
    F.
    !.

  280. #280 Pyre
    December 28, 2007

    Kseniya: yeah, and isn’t it odd that candidates would claim that government is ineffective, while running to be put in charge of that “ineffective” organization?

    Because then, to prove their point, they have to make the government ineffective, put foxes in charge of all the henhouses, etc.

    There in a nutshell is a big part of why government has been run so much worse during the two terms since 1/2001 than during the two terms before 1/2001.

    That and the wish to let corporate cronies run wild without regulation, no matter the long-term cost to society.

  281. #281 David Rolfe
    December 30, 2007

    yeah, and isn’t it odd that candidates would claim that government is ineffective, while running to be put in charge of that “ineffective” organization?

    But this is all part of the “drown it in the bathtub” strategy, of course! I don’t see how that’s compatible with endless war or permanent global hegemony though. :-\

    I guess that’s just part of their big tent. Ha.

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