Pharyngula

Was that fun, or what?

That radio debate was a hoot and a half, but I can’t take credit. All the joy came straight from the mouth and brain of my lovely opponent, who obviously didn’t do a lick of research for either the debate or for his books. I was shocked for a moment when, after I’d mentioned the recent discovery of Indohyus, he went on to claim that there were no intermediates between that deer-like artiodactyl and modern whales … and when I tried to mention Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rhodcetus, Basilosaurus, etc., he seemed to have never heard of them, claimed his information came from a Scientific American article some months ago (way to plumb the depths of the scientific literature, Dr Simmons!), and then started making stuff about them not exhibiting dorsoventral flexion in swimming, and not having dorsal blowholes. He wrote a whole book about “Billions of missing links”! His other book, What Darwin Didn’t Know, needs to be retitled in a new edition, What Geoffrey Simmons Doesn’t Know. It will be a very large book.

I shouldn’t have been surprised at his performance, though. I have a secret: I read part of What Darwin Didn’t Know before the show, and knew exactly what kind of creationist I was engaging.

I have to share a few tidbits with you from that hilarious book. It has a chapter titled “Purposeful Design” which purports to list 81 examples of design. He has very low standards. Basically, anything that works is evidence of design.

The mouth, vagina, urethra, and anus are sealed by mucus when not in use and yet can open and close in controlled ways as needs arise.

This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.

The book is full of confessions like that.

Menopause: Are women designed not to have babies when they age or are physically less fit, or is it the reverse, that babies shouldn’t be born to women who might not live until their children have grown up? Most women go through menopause around 52 years of age, and they all go through menopause in much the same way. It is clearly programmed. A similar pattern is found in men. As they approach 50, many have lower testosterone levels, lower sperm counts, and less interest in having sex.

What a bizarre argument. So, when the life expectancy was around 30 or 40 (say, in the time of Jesus), shouldn’t women have entered menopause around the age of ten or twenty? And if a designer is setting the timers on women’s fertility for optimum utility, I have a complaint: I want daughters’ fertility switched off until they’re old enough to handle it. Like around 30.

All women don’t go through menopause in the same way. There is an underlying similar cause, but the symptoms and expression of that mechanism is different in everyone.

And, umm, how old is Geoffrey Simmons?

His age might not matter. I don’t think he knows very much about sex. Look at this argument: women’s bodies are perfectly designed to maximize their enjoyment of the missionary position!

Intercourse: Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world, found only among whales, dolphins, dugongs, manatees, beavers, sea otters, centipedes, some crustaceans, a aNew Zealand songbird, and some primates like orangutans and bonobos [and squid. "Relatively rare," huh? -- pzm]

One might ask, how did human males and females evolve to be so perfectly compatible? Pelvic thrusting during intercourse stimulates both individuals and deposits the sperm in the deepest possible spot. Vaginal rugae (folds) stimulate the penis. Every male aspect of intercourse—from the initial excitement set off by visual cues and pheromones, to a good mechanical fit, to stimulation, to the placement of sperm—matches up well with the female’s equivalent interest, her means of being stimulated, the delivery of the egg, and her mechanisms to help the sperm on their voyage. Dopamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure, is released into the bloodstream in males and females after sex, just as it is released after ingesting a good meal or certain illicit drugs.

Please, somebody, show Dr Simmons where the clitoris is and explain female orgasms to him…for the sake of Mrs Simmons!

After that mercy is taken care of, explain evolution to him. I will note that Dr Simmons is the product of parents who had sufficient interest in sex and sufficiently compatible plumbing that they could generate him, and that they in turn had parents with compatible genitalia, and they came from parents likewise, and on and on back into the past. There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other, so his observation, from an evolutionary perspective, is completely trivial. Design is unnecessary.

I was really tempted to turn this debate into a sex education discussion, which would have been good for the Christian listeners. Imagine a Christian talk station that patiently explained to the male listeners what a clitoris was … there would be many happy smiling ladies in church.

Comments

  1. #1 Geral
    January 31, 2008

    Will the segment be uploaded to the internet for us to listen too?

  2. #2 Brian English
    January 31, 2008

    I just keep expecting to wake up and find out that creationists are a bad dream or a parody. But it doesn’t happen…..

  3. #3 mlf
    January 31, 2008

    haha!

    From http://www.kkms.com/blogs/JeffandLee/11566451/:
    “www.scienceblogs.com/pharyngula ***Warning: This website contains profanity and may be offensive to some listeners.”

  4. #4 Brownian, OM
    January 31, 2008

    “Dopamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure, is released into the bloodstream in males and females after sex, just as it is released after ingesting a good meal or certain illicit drugs.”

    So God wants me to do blow?

  5. #5 danley
    January 31, 2008

    Christ you fucking slayed him. Did I mention the word fucking?

  6. #6 Ryan F Stello
    January 31, 2008

    Please, somebody, show Dr Simmons where the clitoris is and explain female orgasms to him…for the sake of Mrs Simmons!

    But…but…Christian sex isn’t supposed to be about stimulation!
    (And no, I don’t buy it that Simmons isn’t one.)

  7. #7 Rich
    January 31, 2008

    DI FELLOW + SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN = CLUSTERFUCK.

  8. #8 Brian
    January 31, 2008

    I have a secret: I read part of What Darwin Didn’t Know before the show, and knew exactly what kind of creationist I was engaging.

    Sounds to me like you’re perfectly entitled to take credit, Dr. Myers.

    Oh, and P.S.: Fuck.

  9. #9 danley
    January 31, 2008

    This is what I got from Simmons: Whales are magic and Darwin is a bad, bad man. He did, however, take note of your book suggestion…though it would have been nice if he read anything before the debate began.

  10. #10 Chayanov
    January 31, 2008

    “This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.”

    After listening to his performance in that debate, I kind of agree, too!

  11. #11 secularskeptic
    January 31, 2008

    I’ve had several vigorous debates with my peers about menopause and its origins. The problem is that there are so many competing evolutionary hypotheses that all make sense, it’s hard to know which one (or which three or five) of its benefits caused it to be selected for. That he points to it as evidence of design, as if it couldn’t have evolved, is quite absurd indeed.

  12. #12 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.

    This made me laugh, twice.

  13. #13 MikeM
    January 31, 2008

    I was really tempted to turn this debate into a sex education discussion, which would have been good for the Christian listeners. Imagine a Christian talk station that patiently explained to the male listeners what a clitoris was … there would be many happy smiling ladies in church.

    And why, for the love of Pete, did you not?

    Wow, this is basically the funniest posting you’ve had in… Okay, ya got me.

  14. #14 Jim Baerg
    January 31, 2008

    I guess it’s a bit late to suggest this tactic:
    http://cectic.com/105.html

  15. #15 Kimpatsu
    January 31, 2008

    “There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other…”
    Umm, Louise Brown? Or didn’t Doctor Patric Steptoe win the Nobel prize for the first test tube baby?

  16. #16 rpm
    January 31, 2008

    Hoping someone finds a podcast upload.

  17. #17 Fedaykin
    January 31, 2008

    I must protest:

    “This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.”

    This (or rather my reaction) got me many stares from my co-workers.

    Fuck!, keep it SFW PZ!

    ;P

  18. #18 BlueIndependent
    January 31, 2008

    Yeah, someone get a recording of this up PLEASE. I *NEED* to hear the carnage.

    Man all the human effort they waste trying to prove their garbage ideas about life, and they won’t just sit down, look at things unblindered for 5 seconds, and let reality set in.

  19. #19 James Hanley
    January 31, 2008

    I want daughters’ fertility switched off until they’re old enough to handle it. Like around 30.

    Amen!

    Um, I mean, I have 3 pre-teen daughters. So, yeah, I agree.

    Fuck, I can’t believe I wrote “amen” on an atheist’s blog. Thank god he lives far away from me. I mean, no, not thank god, um…oh, shit.

  20. #20 kid bitzer
    January 31, 2008

    “there would be many happy smiling ladies in church”

    you’re assuming that women would actually *want* to be felt up by these christian losers?

    i don’t know–if i had to sleep with a clueless creationist, i might prefer to just leave him in ignorance and get it over with quicker.

  21. #21 James Hanley
    January 31, 2008

    Well, that might almost have been funny if I had put in the

  22. #22 James
    January 31, 2008

    PZ Myers and Geoffrey Simmons. The Thomas Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce for a new generation.

    Brilliantly played, professor, brilliantly played. One hour on the radio was a journal’s worth on the subject of good science advocacy. I can only hope that it made even one close-minded person stop and think.

  23. #23 Patrick Quigley
    January 31, 2008

    “I have a secret: I read part of What Darwin Didn’t Know before the show, and knew exactly what kind of creationist I was engaging.” – P.Z. Myers

    Made me think of this.

    “Rommel… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!” – George C. Scott as Patton

  24. #24 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    It’s common knowledge that males and females of no other animal species–those that are limited to non-missionary sex positions such as, say, doggies–fit together nearly as well as We do.
    Now I really want to see some beavers doin’ it though. (I mean real beavers–Castor, Brownian)

  25. #25 Ric
    January 31, 2008

    This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.

    Goddamn it, PZ! First the cracker comment and now this. I’m about to send you the bill for the shirts you’re going to make me ruin from spitting out my drink because I’m laughing so hard.

  26. #26 Michael X
    January 31, 2008

    The carnage at the UD blog is laughable. FtK is there and assumes she will be ill after listening to the debate. I can only hope so.

    As for the other commenters I hold my head in shame for them. Someones argument against knowledge of brain evolution is “Where are all the brain fossils?”

    Another twit, argues “‘Looks like this and that, therefore is a transitional between this and that’ is a clear logical fallacy. (Undistributed Middle)” and believes it to be a strong counter argument. He apparently has never heard of genetic mutation, or natural selection and yet still argues against it.

    Well, I guess that’s par for the course. Of the humanity of the UD blog…

  27. #27 Engima
    January 31, 2008

    “If I had to use this debate to judge the validity of NeoDarwinism, I would be a Darwinist. Simmons is a terrible dissappointment. I shall pass on his books, though they haven’t been on my short list.” – from Uncommon Descent.

    Looks like even the ID folks agree PZ pwned.

  28. #28 Bride of Shrek
    January 31, 2008

    The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), The Gay Science, section 191

    I’d say “Dr” Simmons just set his cause back, I don’t know, about 6000 years. Even over at UD they now think he’s a wanker.

  29. #29 Brownian, OM
    January 31, 2008

    Now I really want to see some beavers doin’ it though. (I mean real beavers–Castor, Brownian)

    I’m sure I haven’t the foggiest as to what you’re getting at, Sven.

  30. #31 windy
    January 31, 2008

    This made me laugh, twice.

    I would have laughed, but my mouth was sealed by mucus.

  31. #32 fardels bear
    January 31, 2008

    What I want to know is whether or not he was wearing his face makeup like he did when he was in Kiss?

  32. #33 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    The mouth, vagina, urethra, and anus are sealed by mucus when not in use and yet can open and close in controlled ways as needs arise.

    I think he meant uterus there…

  33. #34 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    I would have laughed, but my mouth was sealed by mucus.

    makes it hard to shit your pants, too. ;P

  34. #35 D. Scarlatti
    January 31, 2008

    Face-to-face intercourse … beavers …

    The Christian ladies will be even happier when they hear about this.

  35. #36 Ron
    January 31, 2008

    Enjoyed the “debate.” Listened to a bit of the comments from the host(s) afterwords where they had some callers. When the host expressed the opinion that Dr. Simmons was an expert on fossils, I gave up and stopped listening.

  36. #37 Patrick Lingenfelter
    January 31, 2008

    From the way the station’s site is designed and the hosts’ comments, I expect they’ll have the recording up pretty soon for the enjoyment of all. A very enjoyable broadcast and top notch demonstration of the thorough basis for evolutionary theory from both sides. Doctor Simmons in particularly made such a good case against ID that one had to wonder if he wasn’t some sort of plant. To present “evidence” for ID that anyone could disprove while simultaneously allowing Dr. Myers (or “Professor” Myers as the hosts seemed to prefer. I mean if you’re going to try and make one of your guests look less qualified than the other…try not to forget that you’ve stated their degree already). In all seriousness, I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of the discussion compared to other such “debates.” While some clear dirty tricks were used such as Simmons only attacking evolution rather than making any defense of ID and the hosts setting up the debate to focus on that, overall they were far more professional than many of the radio hosts in the business. Granted I live in the Louisiana in a city with more christian radio stations than any other variety so my perspective may be skewed. Nonetheless, kudos to Dr. Myers (and Dr. Simmons) for expertly demonstrating the strength of evolutionary theory over the infantile ignorance of creationism.

  37. #38 Jody
    January 31, 2008

    I listened as well… lunch-time!… and was utterly aghast at how poorly the DI dude did. What got me even more though was how clueless the radio host were, too. They tried to broker the peace and weigh in on matters far outside of their pay-grade. I chuckled, right up until I realized they were examples of the -above average- listener to that show. They walked out of there thinking they knew what was science and what wasn’t. We still have a long, long way to go.

  38. #39 Johnny Vector
    January 31, 2008

    One Simmons, a fellow by duty blessed,
    Battled PZ and just had his booty stressed
    By a kick that did rend
    Stem to stern, now he’s spend
    ing some quality time with his beauty rest.

    Hmmm, what’s the opposite of a Molly…?

  39. #40 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    This made me laugh, twice.

    I would have laughed, but my mouth was sealed by mucus.

    aaaaaand that would be #3.

  40. #41 LadyH
    January 31, 2008

    “makes it hard to shit your pants, too. ;P”
    Shit, I nearly peed myself . . .

  41. #42 Nix
    January 31, 2008

    Sealed by mucus? Are there *any* openings on the human body that are sealed by *mucus* when not in use? We’re not snails: we tend to use sphincters of various types, or other muscular sealing systems.

  42. #43 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    Nix – yes. The uterus. Actually it’s the cervix which builds up a mucous plug, not the vagina.

  43. #44 Johnny Vector
    January 31, 2008

    we tend to use sphincters of various types, or other muscular sealing systems.

    Yeah, but if PZ had brought that up you just know he would have replied, “A sphincter says ‘what’”

  44. #45 octopod
    January 31, 2008

    #42: cervix?

  45. #46 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    Google

  46. #47 Azazel
    January 31, 2008

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but the people over at uncommon descent have actually posted some slightly favorable comments about you PZ on their post about the debate. They have a hard time doing so, but they actually agree that you beat Simmons’ ass in the debate. You rock and I cant wait to listen to the beat down.

  47. #48 Ed Darrell
    January 31, 2008

    As for the other commenters I hold my head in shame for them. Someones argument against knowledge of brain evolution is “Where are all the brain fossils?”

    Brain fossils? They’re over at UD, except for a dozen or so at ICR headquarters in Texas.

  48. #49 Gary F
    January 31, 2008

    Is there any way I can listen to this? Did anyone record it?

  49. #50 DiscoveredJoys
    January 31, 2008

    He uses the Missionary Position as evidence for God?

    Since dopamine is released after a good meal, I guess a Big Mac is also proof of the existence of God.

    “You want fries with that?”

  50. #51 Dianne
    January 31, 2008

    “You want fries with that?”

    No, cunnilinguis. (Oops, is that one of those words that might offend?)

  51. #52 Alex
    January 31, 2008

    PZ, would you please be so kind as to start a new thread when you get the audio? Much appreciated.

  52. #53 Siamang
    January 31, 2008

    Must… hear… audio……

    Oh, also: Fuck. And not missionary position.

  53. #54 Dan
    January 31, 2008

    So God wants me to do blow?

    Posted by: Brownian, OM

    The new holy trinity: Doing blow off a woman’s forehead during an old-school missionary position climax.

    How’s that for design?

  54. #55 MikeM
    January 31, 2008

    The more I think about this interview, the funnier it gets.

    Missionary position. Great snort.

    Sphincters as evidence of ID. Wow.

  55. #56 James
    January 31, 2008

    Tune in next week, when Geoffrey Simmons debates Stephen Hawking on the subject, “Are Newton’s Theories Fact or Faith Issues?”

  56. #57 CalGeorge
    January 31, 2008

    Oh, no.

    A giant, rampaging, mucus-dripping vagina, opening and closing at will, is going to haunt my dreams, I just know it…

  57. #58 Bride of Shrek
    January 31, 2008

    Anyone thats ever had haemerroids would argue that not all sphincters are perfectly designed.

    …although I am touched Dr Simmons considers my vagina to be divinely inspired.

  58. #59 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    Now that one made me laugh so hard I almost lost control of my mucous…

  59. #60 raatrani
    January 31, 2008

    Is anyone familiar with the religious nut who holds lectures, teaching good christian men how to make their semen taste good?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13834042/

  60. #61 Matthew
    January 31, 2008

    Raatrani, that won’t help. Their religion will always leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. (right, relurking now).

  61. #62 Alex
    January 31, 2008

    Ahh yes. The eventual spiral into smuttiness has finally begun.

  62. #63 Jim Tobias
    January 31, 2008

    I’m afraid I can’t join in the general merriment. You lost an opportunity to neutralize this ID blather in front of an audience of which perhaps a good quarter would have been receptive. You came off angry and superior instead of confident and expert. You should have reminded the audience that the modern world depends on the scientific virtues of respect for evidence and careful thought, and that their lives and their prosperity depend on science. You began down that road with your framing away from “Darwin” and towards “biology”, but you should have raised points at every turn that linked what these people hold dear to the Enlightenment values you seek to defend.

    How about using some simple analogies to make your case? When we hear complaints about “missing links”, remind them that we’ve been looking for fossils for less than 200 years, and only over a tiny fraction of the earth’s surface and depth. Would someone be right to interrupt a Bingo game after 2 minutes, shouting that it was fixed because no one had won yet?

    In short, this was not an academic debate. It was an opportunity to persuade. You seemed to misunderstand that.

  63. #64 jeh
    January 31, 2008

    Over at UD they are licking their wounds. One of the contributors bemoans that they will never be able to establish ID through debates and “education”. They then go on to say what they need is a “BIG EVENT.” Kind of makes you wonder just what sort of “event” they have in mind.

  64. #65 KiwiInOz
    January 31, 2008

    Posted by: Bride of Shrek | January 31, 2008 8:18 PM

    This atheist considers all vaginas to be divinely inspired, and oneself to be blessed upon encountering them.

  65. #66 MAJeff
    January 31, 2008

    So God wants me to do blow?

    He designed the coca plant, didn’t he? Get the sacred straw ready.

  66. #67 Aaron
    January 31, 2008

    I’d like to third (4th) having it uploaded somewhere.

  67. #68 October Mermaid
    January 31, 2008

    “This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree”

    That is a freaking awesome burn. Please help me come up with insults for my enemies and those who defy me.

  68. #69 Scholar
    January 31, 2008

    Is there any way to hear it now? I could not find a link to the debate on the xian website. Please post the audio link when/if it becomes available.

    Thanks!

  69. #70 Azkyroth
    January 31, 2008

    Sphincters as evidence of ID. Wow.

    Interesting. I’m only familiar with sphincters as proponents of ID.

  70. #71 June
    January 31, 2008

    But … weren’t fingers obviously designed to hold cigarettes after sex?

  71. #72 A
    January 31, 2008

    What about those of us (male and female) who like doin’ it doggy style?

  72. #73 wrpd
    January 31, 2008

    I always found semen tastes good just the way god made it. If that isn’t offensive enough: fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

  73. #74 Dustin
    January 31, 2008

    Anyone thats ever had haemerroids would argue that not all sphincters are perfectly designed.

    Or a perianal fistula.

  74. #75 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2008

    There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other,

    See, that’s a simple, plain, obvious, straightforward statement — that Christians would argue must be false because of Jesus as a counterexample.

    Sigh.

  75. #76 Glen Davidson
    January 31, 2008

    And mouths, you know, work damn well for stimulating the penis and clit, too, so I guess that proves design.

    Don’t forget anuses, God looks out for homosexuals as well, both with those and with mouths. There’s no reproductive need to make things work for gays too, so there must be a god.

    Or, has the doofus never thought that penises actually evolved to fit cloacas, and gee, maybe even vaginas and penises co-evolved when the vagina evolved to supplant the cloaca for reproductive purposes.

    Evolution, Simmons, is a kind of parallel computing genetic algorithm, and the only thing more surprising than the idea that vaginas would not stimulate the penis, would be if, you know, there were any kind of evidence for design of the reproductive system at all. You know, something rational, something purposeful, maybe put the damn clit where it would be easily stimulated during vaginal intercourse instead of in some default position whenever the genes and hormones make the phallus into a clit instead of into a penis.

    Indeed, reproductive organs are a fine example of evolution and not design, as the testes, rather than being able to make sperm at body temperatures as testes do in birds, have to move from a roughly ancestral position down into the scrotum, causing the male hernias and exposing testes to possible mechanical damage.

    Oh well, the man’s an idiot. He actually has a license to practice medicine, when he apparently knows almost nothing about the human body (mouth sealed by mucus, as others pointed to)?

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

  76. #77 Daisy
    January 31, 2008

    There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other

    Actually, it happens all the time, and is commonly called “artificial insemination.” Not to mention in-vitro fertilization.

  77. #78 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    Get the sacred straw ready.

    The truly old-school may, verily, roll the sacred Benjamin.

  78. #79 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2008

    There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other
    Actually, it happens all the time, and is commonly called “artificial insemination.” Not to mention in-vitro fertilization.

    The parents’ gametes had sex with each other.

  79. #80 Hank Roberts
    January 31, 2008

    Science — where do you _think_ they get these ideas, eh?

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2229/2233310665_ee4aba928c.jpg?v=0

  80. #81 Corey Schlueter
    January 31, 2008

    I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.

  81. #82 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    im not sure how simmons accepts ID because of what hes seen as an MD, does he not spend all day looking at failures of so called ID ie bodies that arent working properly.

    With every possible intermediate between self destructing fertilised eggs (well i think they kindof do that) to people living to 100+ years youd think he’d have realised theres no real ID involved, well thats because he WANTS there to be an intelligent designer. The slope of the human condition from long lived types to those who never get born to those born with no heads and all inbetween is just the sort of thing that evolution would predict, certainly not the thing youd predict from a loving god.

  82. #83 Michael X
    January 31, 2008

    A cretin named ‘vesf’ at the UD blog recently writes in to say

    “I agree with FtK – the Discovery Institute should put out a transcript of the debate with notes rebutting the lies of the atheist PZ Meyers.”

    Aside from the expected misspelling of PZ’s name, I thought that the Disco Instructors had nothing to do with religion? So why link them to the Crucible-esque description of PZ as “the atheist?” They seem to be coming apart at the seams over there, dropping the ball every chance they get.

  83. #84 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    I can imagine simmons overlooking some young womans anus, ‘nicely designed little piece there’.

  84. #85 Ryan
    January 31, 2008

    I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.

    Sure I’m interested.

  85. #86 Ryan
    January 31, 2008

    ryansyp@gmail

  86. #87 D.M.
    January 31, 2008

    I’m sorry for making an off-topic comment, but I thought this might be interesting.

    A Presidential candidate is actually standing for Church/State Separation.

  87. #88 Ric
    January 31, 2008

    Here’s a serious, on-topic question.

    So, when the life expectancy was around 30 or 40 (say, in the time of Jesus)

    Is this really true, though? I read that the average life expectancy was so low not because people died super young (though some dead) but because so many died in infancy and childhood, dragging the average down. I could be completely wrong here, though. Clarification?

  88. #89 rpenner
    January 31, 2008

    FYI, the MP3 link is working, but not posted yet.

    http://www.kkmslive.com/MP3/15013108-Simmons%20&%20Myers.MP3

  89. #90 QrazyQat
    January 31, 2008

    Face-to-face intercourse:

    also found in black-handed spider monkeys; gorillas do so occasionally, as do woolly spider monkeys. Sea otters do not, although researchers have said “it would seem simpler”.

    And of course there are a number of variations used in human sexual intercourse (and some people use gadgets, like the rarely used “mucus plug”).

  90. #91 jfatz
    January 31, 2008

    ***Warning: This website contains profanity and may be offensive to some listeners.

  91. #92 Falyne
    January 31, 2008

    If your mouth is sealed by mucus, I think you’re doing it wrong.

    I *wish* the vagina could be closed, though… that would make close to a quarter of the adult lives of half the human race (without Nuvarings or other beautiful things, at least) that much easier.

    There was one brilliant kid (actually, he was damn smart, just… not well informed?) in the wilderness first responder class at my high school who, when we were discussing genito-urinary stuff, asked, regarding menstrual blood flow, “can girls, like, control it or hold it in or what?”

    Our female ex-marine-medic instructor, after laughing until she cried and catching her breath (the way he said it was.. just so earnest, so I-hadn’t-thought-about-this-before, so hilarious…), wound up drawing the relevant section of anatomy on the board and explaining exactly which areas had control sphincters.

    Oh, and we gave his girlfriend shiiiit the next day.

    Granted, it was more shocking when a friend of mine (who was a college sophomore at the time) asked her boyfriend, in response to college-dinnertable-humor jokes, what the clitoris was…. ay yi yi.

  92. #93 Pierce R. Butler
    January 31, 2008

    windy @31: …my mouth was sealed by mucus.

    ‘Snot funny!

  93. #94 Chuck Morrison
    January 31, 2008

    I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.

    I’m interested. My email is camnchar (AT) gmail.com

  94. #95 Corncob
    January 31, 2008

    So….if the missionary position was designed to be all that and a bag o’ communion wafers, and we’re supposedly the ones who brought death, sin, suffering, etc. into the world…

    What on earth did the mallards do to deserve their lot?
    http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1277

  95. #96 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    rpenner, thanks for that, ive started listening, so seems that the debate title was changed when simmons realised that he actually had no evidence for ID, sneaky little monkeys. i also laughed when i heard P Zee myers name, being a brit ive always said P zed myers, but anyway I should have know from watching all that sesame street.

  96. #97 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    rpenner, thanks for that, ive started listening, so seems that the debate title was changed when simmons realised that he actually had no evidence for ID, sneaky little monkeys. i also laughed when i heard P Zee myers name, being a brit ive always said P zed myers, but anyway I should have know from watching all that sesame street. dear god simmons talks a lot and has said nothing in his 5 minute slot. pz got a lot in in that 5 minutes, impressive.

  97. #98 unwords
    January 31, 2008

    You are AWESOME. That is all. :D

  98. #99 akg41470
    January 31, 2008

    Listening to the debate now… holy CRAP PZ, you are *destroying* this guy. This will go in my collection of classic debates… This one deserves all the attention it can get.

  99. #100 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    im halfway through and can say that simmons is making such a poor performance that im almost in disbelief, when hes asked to ask pz a question about the shortcoming in evo and he switches to victimistation of christians in schools and lack of discussion of this theory (ID). an incredibly inept display which can only be expected, debates about god are one thing but creationism will get trashed every time.

  100. #101 Alex
    January 31, 2008

    ***Warning: This website contains profanity and may be offensive to some listeners.

    What they really mean by this is: ***Warning: This website questions and pokes fun at your ridiculous dogma, and thus may offend you. Viewing said website may result in an eternity in Hell.

    Actually, the first thing I thought when I saw that was they should put a warning next to the Discovery Institute link warning people about the blatant lies and stupidity there.

  101. #102 mmurphy21
    January 31, 2008

    “I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.”

    Please send to mmurphy21@aol.com

  102. #103 rpenner
    January 31, 2008

    Simmons does NOT make the claim that evolution is faith-based. Fixated on Darwin (why is it that creationists think biologists have a Pope?). Fixated on populist misconceptions of what evolution is. Dragged out that hoary fact vs. theory distractor. Harped on Darwin’s personal ignorance. Makes an idiotic statement that Darwin could not publish today which is predicated on some bizarre time travel plot. Claims to be able to argue the “evolution side” just as well as “many” which is not in fact the standard of expert debate. Claims the fossil record is even more incomplete than in Darwin’s day (if true, this would directly contradict his claim that Darwin could not get published today). Bizarre metaphor of macro-evolution as a cross-country trip. Unsupported generalism that biologists are more at a loss about how things came about than in the past. (And I thought Science was progressive.) As a doctor, he should know that he’s talking trash about a newborn needs to begin breathing at a specific time. (Breathing is a action performed by fetuses.) Claims there are no pre-giraffe fossils and no pre-whale fossils.

    The hosts actually understand PZ Myers.
    Simmons repeats his claim about Giraffe Necks (Transition between Okapia and Giraffa is “missing” but the young of Giraffa do have short necks, so evo-devo predicts the transition to be thinly documented by my reading) and Whale precursors. Does some specious numerology to try to determine how incomplete the fossil record. Pushes books. Talks about “agendas” and “the Darwin of today.”
    Simmons pleads with PZ Myers to not call him ignorant in public.

    Simmons brings up the “Expelled” myth.

    Simmons brings up complexity of life and personal incredulity that it could have evolved.

    Simmons was murdered in that hour and knew it.

  103. #104 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    around 31:15 ‘its beyond my comprehension….’ classic argument from incredulity.

    does simmons actually said a single noteworthy point??

  104. #105 kristen in montreal
    January 31, 2008

    From the radio website, re: Pharyngula link:

    “**Warning: This website contains profanity and may be offensive to some listeners.”

    LOLZ

  105. #106 Chris Noble
    January 31, 2008

    One might ask, how did human males and females evolve to be so perfectly compatible? Pelvic thrusting during intercourse stimulates both individuals and deposits the sperm in the deepest possible spot. Vaginal rugae (folds) stimulate the penis. Every male aspect of intercourse–from the initial excitement set off by visual cues and pheromones, to a good mechanical fit, to stimulation, to the placement of sperm–matches up well with the female’s equivalent interest, her means of being stimulated, the delivery of the egg, and her mechanisms to help the sperm on their voyage.

    That sounds logical – but where does Ray Comfort’s banana fit into the picture?

  106. #107 kristen in montreal
    January 31, 2008

    “I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.”

    PLEASE send it my way @ kristen.lange@gmail.com !
    :)

  107. #108 kristen in montreal
    January 31, 2008

    “Sphincters as evidence of ID. Wow.”

    >>Interesting. I’m only familiar with sphincters as proponents of ID.

    EPIC WIN

  108. #109 extatyzoma
    January 31, 2008

    simmons says ‘darwin cmes from a time when frogs were born in mud puddles and birds flew to the moon for the winter’, he also says darwin said nasty things about women and blacks. well for sure frogs can still be born in mud puddles, yup, simmons was royally thrashed and as rpenner states above, he knew it. Buttered and swallowed…..whole.

  109. #110 True Bob
    January 31, 2008

    Hell, I come from a time when I’d be driving a flying car as an adult. A little thing called reality interfered there…just like it has with ToE.

    Lovely job, PZ. It was as if Simmons wasn’t even there.

  110. #111 phantomreader42
    January 31, 2008

    I have been reading this blog for months, but haven’t commented until now. This made me laugh out loud:

    “This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.”

    It isn’t the first thing here that’s provoked that reaction, which says good things about you. Dr. Myers (I’m not usually a fan of titles, but after the way they made a point of mentioning your opponent’s doctorate but not yours it seems appropriate), you’ve shown a sharp mind and mastery of both science and humor, often in the same post.

    With people like you, and most of the commenters here, we might actually have a chance of making the USA a civilized, scientifically advanced society rather than a laughingstock. The forces of ignorance are well-organized, wealthy, and unscrupulous, but they are also clearly DUMB AS A FUCKING POST!

    I will have to get a copy of this interview and listen, to hear how many times you handed this moron his own ass.

  111. #112 John C. Welch
    January 31, 2008

    Well, he does call PZ “Dr. Myers” a few times. But PZ is just such a great set of initials. But “We were going to visit the Creation Museum, and decided to have a debate?” WHY?

    Listening to the opening statements. “This is a stupid question”. LOVE it. “We know Darwin got a lot of things wrong” Brilliant! “Biology is not a matter of faith. Biology IS”. Dude, that was a BRUTAL opening statement. I think I’m in love. Dr. Simmons “I’m not here to show you proof that ID is science”. Then what the fuck ARE you here for? “I’m going to keep bringing it back to Darwin, even though we all admit he has little to do with it any more.” Oh GOD, the FACT vs. THEORY thing. What a fucking nimrod. “Darwin said we’re descended from monkeys” NO HE DIDN’t YOU MORON.

    gah….I’m impressed PZ, I’d have been screaming.

  112. #113 doctorgoo
    January 31, 2008

    This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.

    You have 11 more months, but somehow I doubt you’ll be able to come up with a better line than this one for 2008.

    This quote is an instant classic!

  113. #114 Mena
    January 31, 2008

    What I found interesting is that at first Dr. Simmons was saying that he was using the term “Darwinism” and focusing on Darwin because the term was used in a particular way by the general public but by the end he was judging modern evolutionary biology by what Darwin wrote. By the same logic, shouldn’t they not use the New Testament? The terms that they want us to operate under can and should be used by their side as well but for some reason they think that they should be exempt from all of that. They are special. That’s why although humans and chimps have similar brains, different stuff comes out of them. There’s magic in our brains or something. Should I assume that he was referring to a soul? That would be simply a matter of faith, wouldn’t it?

  114. #115 Troff
    January 31, 2008

    Curses, you horrible, horrible people. I didn’t see a link to the UD page. I actually had to type the URL into the browser. Neither my browser, brain nor fingers will forgive me for that.

    Phantomreader42 and anybody else who mentioned the “forces of ignorance”, did you spot the UD reply #30? It said, and I quote:

    “In my opinion we should just close our eyes and pretend that this debate never happened.”

    Were truer words ever written by a/n UD poster?

  115. #116 James
    January 31, 2008

    Ric@ #88

    The average life expectancy in the First Century CE in the Roman Empire was between 20 and 25 years. For every 100 births; approximately 32 died at birth; approximately 75 were dead by the age of 2; approximately 89 were dead by the age of 18. Two of the major causes of death were water born diseases and starvation. You have to remember that for all their conquests, for all their engineering accomplishments, for all their magnificent art, these people did not know enough to keep their own excrement out of their food and water supply. And of course, the medical knowledge to deal with the problems that this lack of knowledge would bring was not available.

  116. #117 Alan Kellogg
    January 31, 2008

    Human penis and vagina a perfect match? Look into pig sex some time. Talk about getting screwed. :)

  117. #118 Alan Kellogg
    February 1, 2008

    This is a test. I am posting this to see if it’s somebody using a Nethere.com address or me that’s been a naughty boy.

  118. #119 phantomreader42
    February 1, 2008

    doctorgoo #113, yesterday’s “I had absolutely no respect for my opponent’s intellectual honesty in the first place, so I can’t argue that this has diminished it.” wasn’t bad either.

    troff # 115, I haven’t seen that. I expected them to THINK something like that, but not to be so stupid to come right out and SAY it. I should’ve remembered their stupidity literally knows no bounds.

  119. #120 waldteufel
    February 1, 2008

    I withdraw my reticence . . . .PZ, you kicked that creationist’s ass from Hell to breakfast.

    Good on you, mate!

    If the good Dr. Simmons is still practicing medicine, one hopes that his patients are not really very sick.

  120. #121 folderol
    February 1, 2008

    Wow. I just finished listening to that trainwreck. PZ, you rock, not only in your clear explanations, but in not throwing a screaming meltdown hissy fit after the first 10 minutes.

    Simmons combines those marvelous traits of willful ignorance and easily-hurt feelings. While PZ never came right out and said “liar liar pants on fire” in response to Simmon’s mendacity, he (PZ) didn’t pull any punches. Rather than owning up to his errors, Simmons kept objecting to PZ’s “tone” and then would let the radio hosts chime in about keeping it civil. Bunch of pansies. Heck, PZ didn’t once call Simmons a drooling fuck knuckle.

    I know I would have.

  121. #122 phantomreader42
    February 1, 2008

    One phrase I might have found it impossible to resist saying, were I in that situation is “isn’t your imaginary god supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?”

    Not sure how well that would’ve gone over.

  122. #123 merkin j. pus-tart
    February 1, 2008

    They just had to get in at the end the obligatory “god bless you both.”

  123. #124 VeryUnseemly
    February 1, 2008

    Dude, I seriously thought he was going to start crying!

    That made my week.

  124. #125 Tex
    February 1, 2008

    I really am sorry to be so late to this party (grant deadline and other real life issues [/lame excuses ]) but this sorta parallels my debate with creationists last year. Right after I agreed to do the debate, I was overcome with fear that I (a plant molecular biologist) would have to learn lots of paleontology, developmental biology, population genetics, evolutionary theory, etc. After reading the creationists’ books, I was greatly releived to realize that one of our bright undergraduates could have handed them their asses.

    One of my favorite creationist arguments was that God desigened human females to always be receptive to sex so that we could populate the earth. My first point was not really all that logical, but I just pointed out that they clearly were hanging out with a different subset of human females that the ones I know. The second, more grounded, point was that no matter how often human females wanted to ‘do it’ they could not have more than one child per year, and given lactional amenorrhea, the rate would be much less than that. On the other hand, bonobos, one of our closest relatives, appear to be even more sexual than we are, but they have not assumed dominion over the earth and are instead severely endangered.

    Enough about me. What about Ric@ #88?

    So, when the life expectancy was around 30 or 40 (say, in the time of Jesus)
    Is this really true, though? I read that the average life expectancy was so low not because people died super young (though some dead) but because so many died in infancy and childhood, dragging the average down. I could be completely wrong here, though. Clarification?

    The only evidence I have is anecdotal. Jesus died in his mid thirties, in complete agreement with the average life span back then.

  125. #126 pough
    February 1, 2008

    I wonder who designed duck genitalia? You know, those ones with the phalluses designed to … um… surprised the female ducks with… um… let’s say sudden, unilateral copulation. And the females having reproductive tracts designed to discourage… um… unintentional copulation.

    Just wondering.

  126. #127 Krystalline Apostate
    February 1, 2008

    Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world, found only among whales, dolphins, dugongs, manatees, beavers, sea otters, centipedes, some crustaceans, a aNew Zealand songbird, and some primates like orangutans and bonobos

    And porcupines, for obvious reasons.

  127. #128 tiredofTSOS
    February 1, 2008

    I am listening to PZed’s closing comments.

    His opponent is a contemptible, ignorant, lying ass. He suits to a T the group of frauds and con men that is the DI.

  128. #129 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    February 1, 2008

    The life expectancy figures provided by James intrigued me. I went looking and found a page from the UTexas classics department. http://tinyurl.com/es93l There is controversy over the accuracy of estimates of ancient demographics. Based on their model:

    A child that made it to 10 could expect to live to about 50.

    To maintain a constant population, an average woman that reached menopause would need to birth 2.5 live girls (GRR). Including boys and James’ number for babies dying at birth, I calculate this average woman would have experienced 7.5 births.

  129. #130 PirateHooker
    February 1, 2008

    PZ = my hero.

    Man o man, I missed the debate. It sounds killer though. Is there a transcript or audio file out there somewhere?

  130. #131 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    PZ…

    I have been waiting for someone to debate a creationist in the way I know it should be done. Time and time again, people fail my expectations. For the first time, I have heard a man debate the proper way.

    I am, from now on, your most humblest of servant.

    To “Doctor” Simmon’s family, where might I send the flowers, and will it be an open casket? I hope not, as I am rather delicate in nature.

  131. #132 Guenter
    February 1, 2008

    Sweet Zombie Jesus! My favorite line by Simmons is: “I’m not talking about what scientists talking among themselves say about…” It’s the classic misconception of scientists are all evil masterminds that are trying to keep something from us… Patheti-sad…
    Great job on the debate PZ, Simmons was incredibly ill prepared for one of your caliber.

  132. #133 capitalistimperialistpig
    February 1, 2008

    I hope Prof Myers was a bit more coherent in his debate than he was in his post. But then I’m prejudiced – I’ve never considered foaming at the mouth a good debate tactic.

  133. #134 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    “”***Warning: This website contains profanity and may be offensive to some listeners.”””

    I am sorry about this PZ, and I will not be at all upset if you remove this particular post, as I know it is in poor taste, but on the chance some of the religious right-wingers show-up, I really cannot miss the opportunity to say:

    Shitfuckscrewmuthafuckersonofabitchingcocksuckerwhore…

    Oh, and “Liberal”

    I bet even Martin Luther couldn’t have beat that!

  134. #135 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    “I hope Prof Myers was a bit more coherent in his debate than he was in his post. But then I’m prejudiced – I’ve never considered foaming at the mouth a good debate tactic.”

    Actually, it was Simmon’s that was foaming at the mouth, and was claiming PZ, had a bad, “tone” when in reality, PZ mostly just giggled at how absurd Simmon’s comments were.

    For example, Simmon’s passed himself off as an expert on what is known in the fossil record, and made claim there were no intermediates between land mammals and whales. When PZ started to name off known intermediates, Simmon’s actual freakin’ response was that he knew the state of know whale fossils because he read a “Scientific American” article a few months back. That is his depth of study. He admitted he could not even remember who wrote the article, and that he could not tell PZ, or anyone else, what “Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rhodcetus, Basilosaurus, etc.” were, by saying, “I don’t know every fossil” blah blah blah.” I am some jackass on-line and I have known of those fossils for years, how come this “expert” doesn’t? How was PZ not to laugh at this?

    The guy admitted he was not there to give evidence for ID, and said he was there to show the holes in “Darwin” and his “theory.” Despite this, PZ showed, not only that the claim that there was a hole where Simmon’s stated was false, but that Simmon’s knew less than ~99% of the people posting here when it came to a subject he actually wrote freakin’ books on!

  135. #136 Nomad
    February 1, 2008

    I’m listening right now, still at the beginning. Richard Simmons, er, I mean Geoffrey Simmons (just can’t stop thinking about the name “sweating to the oldies”.. he’s sure dragging out the oldies in this opening statement) has just finished his opening statement, and as others have said.. I heard nothing but attacks on Darwin rather than the theory, then personal incredulity, plus the ever popular “it’s being disproved today” claim.

    This is PAINFUL. Even more so now that I know what’s going to happen to this poor Simmons creature.

    So here’s the question. Why did the DI let this uninformed individual be lead out like a Christian before the lions? Shouldn’t they have realized that PZ knew more than he did?

    I mean this is far worse than Behe having a stack of books dropped on his table at Dover. He’s asking PZ for books.

    One more quote before I end this:
    “or perhaps they’re pruned by design”

    That from Geoffrey “I’m not going to talk about Intelligent Design” Simmons. So by his logic, he can use alternate explanations to attempt to disprove evolution, but he doesn’t think he should be held accountable to defend those explanations.

  136. #137 windy
    February 1, 2008

    I hope Prof Myers was a bit more coherent in his debate than he was in his post. But then I’m prejudiced – I’ve never considered foaming at the mouth a good debate tactic.

    You prefer to concern troll instead?

  137. #138 RBH
    February 1, 2008

    Looks like the UD discussion has been disappeared. It was in my Google Reader, but the link now elicits a 404 error. History? We don’t need no steenkin’ history! :)

  138. #139 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    Hey, how do you guys do quotes in here? It does not work for me when I try the way I know…

  139. #140 merkin j pus-tart
    February 1, 2008

    #138 what do you bet that the link at the radio station disappears as well?

  140. #141 Stanton
    February 1, 2008

    Lago, it’s “< "blockquote">” insert text here “”
    after you remove the quotes, of course.

  141. #142 Kevin
    February 1, 2008

    “I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.”

    Please send to me as well.

    kevinpATfmail.co.uk

    Thanks!

  142. #143 Stanton
    February 1, 2008

    Er, make that (blockquote)insert text here(/blockquote) and replace “(” with “<“

  143. #144 Mowgli
    February 1, 2008

    Did anyone notice that UD deleted the comment thread where some folks were admitting it went badly for the ID side?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/dr-geoff-simmons-vs-pz-myers-debate-link-to-listen-to-it/ is now a dead link.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/dr-geoff-simmons-vs-pz-myers-debate/ still exists, but is only a few pre-debate comments.

  144. #145 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    (blockquote)Hey, how do you guys do quotes in here? It does not work for me when I try the way I know..(blockquote/)

    =

    “”Hey, how do you guys do quotes in here? It does not work for me when I try the way I know..”/”

    ?

  145. #146 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    I am obviously a moron, but one more time

    “Hey, how do you guys do quotes in here? It does not work for me when I try the way I know../”

  146. #147 GodlessHeathen
    February 1, 2008

    Hahahaha!

    PZ calls Simmons a *LIAR* and the bastard doesn’t bat an eye, but when PZ says he’s ignorant only then does Simmons get offended.

    Oh, those ID folks are just a real work of art.

  147. #148 Lago
    February 1, 2008

    OK…I give…

    The only way I know is [quote]text[/quote]

    And that doesn’t work here.

    I really need to stop having my girlfriend do all my computers stuff, because I am freakin’ cyber illiterate because her know…

  148. #149 Iago Mosqueira
    February 1, 2008

    Hi,

    Good to hear it went well. he was the “brilliant scientist” in the parade that the DI and PSSI have toured around Spain last month. Unfortunately the average journalist covering science issues was not much more informed. Fortunately they were refused the chance to preach in Universities.

  149. #150 RBH
    February 1, 2008

    I’ve just listened to it. PZ did very very well. Those who have not been on live radio in an unscripted context have no idea how hard it can be. PZed done real good.

  150. #151 thalarctos
    February 1, 2008

    lago: <blockquote>quoted text</blockquote>

  151. #152 Sideways
    February 1, 2008

    Lago–use [blockquote]Text[/blockquote] but replace the brackets with your left and right carats, shift-comma and shift-period on your keyboard.

  152. #153 CeilingCat
    February 1, 2008

    Displaying the grace and honesty that have won them so many people’s respect, UD just 404ed their entire debate thread including the comments about how PZ pwned Simmons – but it’s saved and posted to:

    http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=47a2e03b56a03bda;act=ST;f=14;t=1274;st=24870

  153. #154 Hero of Kvatch
    February 1, 2008

    Female orgasm? So it’s true then. And There is me thinking she was just fucking whinging. Well fuck me.

  154. #155 QrazyQat
    February 1, 2008

    I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.

    BTW, I’d like a copy: anthrosciguy@yahoo.com

    Thanks.

  155. #156 Sam
    February 1, 2008

    Your ignorance is not evidence is absolutely superb as an argument and slogan. Why? Because it is a totally valid argument undermining the god-of-the-gaps and the no-transitional-fossils arguments which also works at the correct level for the audience.

    Too often anti-creationists think creationism-v.-biology is an argument about the science. It isn’t a scientific argument, that’s already won, won, won. Ordinary people don’t have scientific arguments and even scientists don’t use the scientific method for most of their thinking; rather they “feel” their way through and then justify or test with the science.

    Ordinary people evaluate arguments by a mixture of prejudice and plausibility. A good god-fearing man (as they might see it) says something they’re minded to agree with, and they instinctively inclined to agree. An evil materialist (boo! hiss! don’t like him!) comes up with reams of argument and it won’t sway the matter (“well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? but I don’t think he’s telling the truth”). It’s about winning hearts and minds, but hearts first, minds afterwards.

    But Your ignorance is not evidence absolutely carries the message that the “good” guy is not good and that his arguments are not completely honest, but the biologist is not going to stoop to bad name-calling. Ad hominem arguments are not good science, but they are actually part of how ordinary people think a lot of the time (“why should I listen to what this priest says about morality when I know he’s shagging one of the choristers?”).

    Yes, a tee-shirt with
        Your ignorance is not evidence …
        the fish with legs diagram
        … we have the fossils
    would be very neat, accurate and as peruasive as anything. Or a range of them with real pictures of different “transitional” fossils on them (good old Archeopteryx for one!).

  156. #157 Zak
    February 1, 2008

    Oh man that was so awesome!! PZ didnt let the creationist get away with anything! Man, alive! I laughed out loud a few times. I cant believe the whole thing about the blow holes… that was rich.

  157. #158 SteveN
    February 1, 2008

    In answer to Nomad, in #136

    So here’s the question. Why did the DI let this uninformed individual be lead out like a Christian before the lions?

    Because he’s probably the best they have and they really consider him to be an expert. If one is so self-deluded and self-congratulatory to believe the things they do, this would be an easy mistake to make.

  158. #159 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    “There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other…”
    Umm, Louise Brown? Or didn’t Doctor Patric Steptoe win the Nobel prize for the first test tube baby?

    Poor reading comprehension. Simmons is not a descendant of Louise Brown.

  159. #160 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    Why did the DI let this uninformed individual be lead out like a Christian before the lions?

    “led”, not “lead”, dammit.

  160. #161 Cephus
    February 1, 2008

    I just listened to the “debate” and it was ridiculous. PZ kicked Simmons’ ass in every conceivable way. Every time Simmons got backed into a corner (which happened a lot), he just refused to talk about it and changed the topic.

    What an idiot!

    Hey PZ, you should debate these morons more often, it’s only doing damage to the creationist side by showing how ignorant they are.

    Any bets that Simmons thinks he won?

  161. #162 Manuel
    February 1, 2008

    The UD folks deleted the original blog entry on the PZ vs Simmons debate… Typical.

  162. #163 ben
    February 1, 2008

    Please note that the entire post and comment thread on this debate has been disappeared from Uncommondescent.com after even the sycophant regulars there began admitting one after another that PZ cleaned Simmons’ clock. As anyone familiar with ID’s preeminent crap site knows, this is par for the course whenever things don’t turn out the way they incompetently plan. They censor opposing arguments, then declare their own arguments irrefutable.

    Fortunately pictures of the trainwreck were taken and saved for our amusement.

  163. #164 Manuel
    February 1, 2008

    The “standards” of UD are getting lower every day… They recently posted a korean news article on an alleged “revival of ID in South Korea” in which we find some braindead claiming that Duane Gish is a genius.

  164. #165 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    The only evidence I have is anecdotal. Jesus died in his mid thirties, in complete agreement with the average life span back then.

    I do hope that you meant that as a joke, but I fear that you didn’t, and that there are those who might look at it and not think “Damn but that’s stupid”.

    In any case, PZ should know better than talk about “the life expectancy”, leaving out the word “average”, obscuring how misleading such numbers are. Sadly, there are many people — perhaps including PZ — who think that a 73 year old American man must be on the verge of dying because the average life expectancy for American men is 73.6 years. Likewise, women who had reached child-bearing age in the time of Jesus had an average life expectancy closer to 52 than to “30 or 40″. Which provides a clear alternative to Simmons’ “obviously programmed” nonsense: we would expect evolution to produce organisms that can reproduce throughout their lifetimes, but reproductive systems more robust than that are likely to incur costs that shorten the organism’s average lifespan or reduce its fertility.

  165. #166 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    we would expect evolution to produce organisms that can reproduce throughout their lifetimes, but reproductive systems more robust than that are likely to incur costs that shorten the organism’s average lifespan or reduce its fertility.

    Let me put that in a more direct fashion: changes that lengthen the functionality of an organism’s reproductive system up to the length of its life span have a fitness advantage and can be expected to propagate, but lengthening the functionality of the organism’s reproductive system beyond the length of its life span has no fitness advantage. This is particularly true when the reproductive system is complex and requires a considerable fraction of the organism’s resources, as in human females. Rather than being “programmed”, menopause can be seen as the wearing out of complex machinery — its mean time to failure.

  166. #167 ConcernedJoe
    February 1, 2008

    Truthmachine very nicely put alternative in #163. Want to bet though that the IDers will never “see” the beauty of logical alternatives like that .. it is way too evolutionary may I say for them. Sad.

    I pity them for being stuck in the mud of religion and fear; I am angry though that they want us all to be and they have such political sway in this great nation.

  167. #168 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    One of my favorite creationist arguments was that God desigened human females to always be receptive to sex so that we could populate the earth. My first point was not really all that logical, but I just pointed out that they clearly were hanging out with a different subset of human females that the ones I know.

    Downright illogical, in fact. I would expect any creationist that you pulled that on to point out that it only applies to married females; before that, God supposedly wants them to be virgins.

  168. #169 Christophe Thill
    February 1, 2008

    Well now it seems obvious that the mouths of creationists are filled with mucus.

    Unfortunately, it’s not sufficient to seal them.

  169. #170 Mrs Tilton
    February 1, 2008

    From that memory-holed UD comments thread:

    Simmons is a reasonable man; because he’s reasonable, when inconvenient facts came to his attention, he changed his way of thinking; he’s made the mistake of thinking Darwinists are reasonable men and women, just simply under-informed. I would think that today was a learning experience for him.

    My irony meter just asploded so hard, its pieces have reached the edge of the universe and are now collapsing back in upon themselves with such ferocious acceleration that they will shortly form a black hole which sucks all of existence into itself forever. Sorry about that, though I think the commenter bears even more blame here than I do.

  170. #171 windy
    February 1, 2008

    lengthening the functionality of the organism’s reproductive system beyond the length of its life span has no fitness advantage. This is particularly true when the reproductive system is complex and requires a considerable fraction of the organism’s resources, as in human females. Rather than being “programmed”, menopause can be seen as the wearing out of complex machinery — its mean time to failure.

    But it may also be “programmed” if menopause is an adaptation. Chimp females are usually fertile until very close to death, and Kristen Hawkes has argued that even in hunter-gatherer conditions, many women live past menopause.

  171. #172 windy
    February 1, 2008

    The menopause argument in other words: although lengthening the functionality of an organism’s reproductive system beyond the length of its life span has no fitness advantage, lengthening an organism’s life span beyond the functional time of its reproductive system – or shortening the functional time of its reproductive system relative to life span – may have a fitness advantage.

  172. #173 Azkyroth
    February 1, 2008

    Lago:

    The code for quotes should look as follows: <blockquote>text you want to quote</blockquote>

  173. #174 DrFrank
    February 1, 2008

    Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

    Oh noes, Darwinism has warped my fragile little mind!

  174. #175 October Mermaid
    February 1, 2008

    Wow. I’m listening to the radio show now and it’s incredible. This Simmons guy actually thought he had a chance! And he brought up whales! Why would he do this!? The last thing he ever ever ever should have brought up was whales! Even I knew that and I’ve only just begun learning about evolution!

    I think the radio show hosts were so open to letting PZ talk because they probably believed that one way or another, facts and science on its own terms would prove the Bible’s take on reality true. Unlike the Discovery Institute sleaze, they didn’t know that lying was necessary or that they were being lied to by them. That’s my take on it. They let PZ offer his arguments without interruption or censorship because they honestly believed he would be soundly proven wrong by the facts. The DI chumps know that when they’re up against facts, they will always lose.

  175. #176 Fernando Magyar
    February 1, 2008

    Wow, these guys seem have a penchant for making comments that easily disintegrate even the most durable of irony meters.

    “PZ easily won the debate.”
    Thankfully “winning” a debate does not the truth make.

    The flat-earthers of old no doubt often “won” debates against the less informed and less debate-able round-earthers.

  176. #177 maxi
    February 1, 2008

    I cannot wait to hear the whole thing – I will crack open my favourite bottle of Pinot and put my feet up for an hour.

    And who uses the missionary position to promote ID? I don’t know of any girl who actually likes the missionary position.

    truth machine @166 – LOL!

  177. #178 badchemist
    February 1, 2008

    As it fits in nicely with the thread my favourite argument against ID is:

    What kind of designer puts a waste outlet in the middle of a pleasure zone?

    Credit to one of former chemistry Profs.

  178. #179 maxi
    February 1, 2008

    badchemist @176

    That rather reminds me of I joke my dad emailed me (him being a civil engineer):

    Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.

    The first one said, “It was a mechanical engineer.” Just look at all the joints.”

    Another said, “No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.”

    The last one said, “Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?”

  179. #180 Fernando Magyar
    February 1, 2008

    Totally OT but just saw this on Yahoo news:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080131/od_nm/dumb_odd_dc

    The dumbest ever quiz answer

    Presenter: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which

    jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he

    play?

    Contestant: Jesus

  180. #181 Steve Gold
    February 1, 2008

    I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.

    Please send it to gold.steve@gmail.com. Thank you.

  181. #182 Barry
    February 1, 2008

    Haha, what a moron! PZ you really really need to do this more often. That was too easy.

    My favorite quote… “One [piano] plays a rock and roll tune and one plays a concerto”. Besides all the scientific errors, he doesn’t realize that piano’s can’t play a concerto…

  182. #183 DuckPhup
    February 1, 2008

    PZ: “There was never a point where anyone had two parents who did not have sex with each other, so his observation, from an evolutionary perspective, is completely trivial. Design is unnecessary.”

    “Child-bearing is hereditary, did you know? If your parents didn’t have any offspring, chances are you won’t, either.” ~ Unknown

  183. #184 bill r
    February 1, 2008

    Following up on truth machine’s comment: the longer you live, the greater your life expectancy (mean residual lifetime), so women who made it through their ’30s, would have a greater expected age at death than women just entering their reproductive period. That’s where grandmothers come from. So the average age of death of 30 or 40 is irrelevant to the argument.

  184. #185 James
    February 1, 2008

    Sam wrote:

    Yes, a tee-shirt with
    Your ignorance is not evidence …
    the fish with legs diagram
    … we have the fossils
    would be very neat, accurate and as peruasive as anything.

    Here’s a prototype:

    http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/5545/ignoranceep1.jpg

  185. #186 Peter Ashby
    February 1, 2008

    The menopause fitness argument misses a potentially vital point, grandmothers are useful. Around the time the great technological, cultural and artistic leap forward was happening in Europe (think Lascaux cave paintings) something interesting was happening. We began to get grandparents. Oldsters are useful because they can mind the kids while Mum & Dad are out hunting an gathering etc. During that time they can pass on knowledge and culture. They also act as the group’s memory, if some environmental change happens and you have someone who can say ‘I remember this from when I was a kid, we did this’ then you have a group fitness advantage (note this is not group selection by genes, but my memes).

    In such a situation, being fertile will not enhance fitness but will decrease it. So selection will favour menopause, operating through the grandchildren. A bit like Aunts helping out in raising birds.

  186. #187 Craig
    February 1, 2008

    Can someone send me a copy to craig.clarke@XXXXXXgmail.com? Thanks. Take out the XXXXXX, obviously. Trying to foil email harvesters.

  187. #188 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 1, 2008

    Just started listening to it. Not sure if anyone caught the Freudian slip by the host at the begining.

    “Lets begin the Destruc…um Discussion”.

  188. #189 Lorax
    February 1, 2008

    Odd, just finished listening to it from one of the links here, but there was no mention of sex, reproduction, or the bits involved. Was this part of the “debate” edited out for the easily flustered?

  189. #190 extatyzoma
    February 1, 2008

    PZ is one of the best debators ive head, hes got 2 strengths.

    1)he points out logical flaws and lies from the opposition quickly, thats very important in debates with cprops because all what they say is usually a lie or fallacy and an uninformed audience wouldnt realise that. The fact that simmons had never heard of pakicetus for eg was incredible, its the kind of beastie you see on yahoo news now and again.

    2)he explains stuff well, thats because he knows his stuff and when you have a lot of honest facts its difficult to actually fuck up the explanation, unlike simmons who went off on a rant about nasty darwin because he knew he had nothing to say.

    way better than any of the god debates ive heard recently. i kliked the way that the hosts suggested another dabate but the next time pz talk with somebody else, hmm, i wonder why. the host probably realised that simmons wasnt very good at getting teh ID point across, i still would like to hear a deate on the originally planned topic, evidence for evo/evidence for ID.

  190. #191 stellabella
    February 1, 2008

    Did I listen to the right debate? There was nothing about plugged mucus :( Also, in Simmons opening he seems to say that”…natural selection, genetic variation, mutation, survival of the fittest, is all natural laws like water boiling or water freezing. These are not at issue… this is the theory of evolution at issue.” huh?

  191. #192 extatyzoma
    February 1, 2008

    PZ is one of the best debators ive head, hes got 2 strengths.

    1)he points out logical flaws and lies from the opposition quickly, thats very important in debates with cprops because all what they say is usually a lie or fallacy and an uninformed audience wouldnt realise that.

    2)he explains stuff well, thats because he knows his stuff and when you have a lot of honest facts its difficult to actually fuck up the explanation, unlike simmons who went off on a rant about nasty darwin because he knew he had nothing to say.

    way better than any of the god debates ive heard recently. i kliked the way that the hosts suggested another dabate but the next time pz talk with somebody else, hmm, i wonder why. the host probably realised that simmons wasnt very good at getting teh ID point across, i still would like to hear a deate on the originally planned topic, evidence for evo/evidence for ID.

  192. #193 extatyzoma
    February 1, 2008

    ah damn, i thought i was editing a post (i dont think thats possible?) and ive double posted now, i was trying to delete a pont i made about simmons not knowing pakicetus taht was irrelevant to my point, but oh well.

  193. #194 PZ Myers
    February 1, 2008

    The stuff I put in this post was stuff I did NOT use in the debate — and there’s more, much more. Geoffrey Simmons is what I like to call a target-rich environment.

  194. #195 Nan
    February 1, 2008

    Ric, I’m jumping into this real late, but a clarification on life expectancy — it refers to the median age of a cohort and not to biological possibilities. That is, it may be possible for an individual member of a species to live for 100 years, but various factors (accidents, disease) kill most members off before that. If you say that life expectancy for humans is now 75 years, for example, it means that half of the people born this year will probably be dead before they reach age 75. As others noted, one reason life expectancy was low during the Roman era due to high infant and early childhood mortality.

    One interesting historic side note is life expectancy dropped during the Middle Ages after the Xians began denouncing bathing as vanity. Some historians of medicine have posited that Christianity contributed to the spread of the plague by pushing for public bathhouses to be closed because they (the bathhouses) promoted immorality. It’s amazing what a difference a little soap and hot water can make in living longer.

  195. #196 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    Sorry if this has been brought up before, I don’t have time to read 192 comments now (and then the 342 on the previous post, and the 79 on the one before… urgh…)

    Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world, found only among

    NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITIEEEAAAAAN!!! Among our weapons are such diverse skills as…

  196. #197 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    Sorry if this has been brought up before, I don’t have time to read 192 comments now (and then the 342 on the previous post, and the 79 on the one before… urgh…)

    Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world, found only among

    NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITIEEEAAAAAN!!! Among our weapons are such diverse skills as…

  197. #198 Geoffrey Alexander
    February 1, 2008

    @151 (Ceiling Cat):

    That site is blocked by my company’s webfilter (‘FortiGuard’, a service that is used by other companies as well) as an “Advocacy Group”. Can you email me the page as html? I will post it on a clear site for all to enjoy. I think it is an important resource because in their despair they made some comments that are very telling.

  198. #199 instafaggot
    February 1, 2008

    a search on kmms’s web site for “pharyngula” gives no results. Are they just pretending you don’t exist? LOL

  199. #200 noncarborundum
    February 1, 2008

    Besides all the scientific errors, he doesn’t realize that piano’s can’t play a concerto…

    Maybe he means this. Though probably not.

  200. #201 bernarda
    February 1, 2008

    The main problem is that though Simmons is worse than a know-nothing, most of the people listening are know-nothings when it comes to anything outside their daily life and circle.

    Therefore, I think the rational arguments are not in their immediate grasp. I can imagine that many jesus freaks thought that Simmons did well even though he didn’t say anything intelligent.

    How many of the audience think that the world is flat or that the sun turns around the earth, or would just say they are not sure? That is what you are dealing with.

  201. #202 Rob
    February 1, 2008

    From a comment at the UD blog:

    Education and arguments are nice but they will only be effective after we’re on top, not before.

    These people have a tendency to say more than they intend to.

  202. #203 Steve LaBonne
    February 1, 2008

    Looked at that deep-sixed UD thread and I think the most pricelss moment was this knock-down argument against transitional fossils- hilarious.

    You must assume Darwinism is true in order to call anything a transitional!

    Wow, what a giant brain it takes to come up with an “argument” like that! Very symptomatic of their “understanding” of how science works. This idiot might just as well have come right out and advocated humming loudly with fingers in ears.

  203. #204 CalGeorge
    February 1, 2008

    Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain

    What does Simmons think evolution can explain?

    Anything? Does he reject it entirely?

    Turn the tables on the hole-pokers and ask them to explain what they find valuable about the theory.

    If they say “nothing”, they end up looking enormously stupid.

    If they can’t talk about it coherently, they end up looking enormously stupid.

  204. #205 Ric
    February 1, 2008

    So their man got crushed, and now they’ve dropped their thread down the memory hole, huh? I’d love to email them and throw that in their face. Why is their no contact info on Uncommon Descent? Does anyone have wussie-boy DaveScot’s email addy?

  205. #206 anon1234
    February 1, 2008

    “The mouth, vagina, urethra, and anus are sealed by mucus when not in use…”

    He actually said “vagina”? Not “vajayjay” or “hoo-hah” or some other pure Christian euphemism to preserve the innocence of his audience?

    And “anus”? On Christian radio? I’m feeling faint…

  206. #207 DrFrank
    February 1, 2008

    I finally got around to listening to it – it’s fantastic :)
    Especially large kudos for making sure to point out every time that he’d just made some crap up.

    For Simmons’ sake, I hope the new orifice you ripped him in that debate will be successfully sealed with mucus in time.

  207. #208 Helblindi
    February 1, 2008

    Fantastic stuff, my congratulations!

  208. #209 Immunologist
    February 1, 2008

    I don’t know if someone has beat me to it, but a link to an MP3 files of the broadcast as posted on Uncommon Descent. Here it is: http://www.kkmslive.com/MP3/15013108-SimmonsMyers.MP3

  209. #210 Peter Ashby
    February 1, 2008

    PZ flagged it clearly in the main post at the top, where he writes: ‘the book is full of confessions like that’ before the first of a couple of quotes, obviously from said book. Sheesh, reading comprehension these days.

  210. #211 longsmith
    February 1, 2008

    Me, too. I would like to hear it. longsmith AT verizon.net.
    Thanks!

  211. #212 Peter Mc
    February 1, 2008

    So now we have ID ‘argument from sphicters’: a load of shit.

  212. #213 AJS
    February 1, 2008

    PZ — you have a nice voice :)

    And you totally pwned that creationist!

  213. #214 jarrod henry
    February 1, 2008

    I just .. listened to that, and honestly, I think you were an excellent debater. I also think that it just was shouting down a wall of people who put their fingers in their ears and hummed very loud.

    I know now why you don’t debate creationists. It’s just a waste of time.

  214. #215 Scott de B.
    February 1, 2008

    If you say that life expectancy for humans is now 75 years, for example, it means that half of the people born this year will probably be dead before they reach age 75.

    I don’t think this is true — I think it means that the average age of people who die this year is 75 years. Someone born this year might have an average life expectancy greater or lower.

  215. #216 October Mermaid
    February 1, 2008

    “For Simmons’ sake, I hope the new orifice you ripped him in that debate will be successfully sealed with mucus in time.”

    Yet another very good burn.

  216. #217 Matt
    February 1, 2008

    PZ, you were at a disadvantage from the start. You were right in likening it to a negative campaign in politics. The creationist didn’t have to defend his side of the argument but was free to have a go at yours. But the way he did was by bringing up gaps in a fossil record he hasn’t even bothered to research, the ‘just a theory’ fallacy, the ‘Darwin got stuff wrong therefore evolution is wrong’ fallacy. He didn’t bring up a single scientific argument in the debate. And yet he has the arrogance to say all opposition to evolution is silenced! Maybe if he comes up with good, reasoned arguments then he’ll have more success. What a fool.

  217. #218 John Scanlon, FCD
    February 1, 2008

    I’m supposed to be writing a grant application but after reading most of the comments I just had to listen. It was a new pleasure to hear PZed’s voice – surprisingly soft-spoken rather than the audio equivalent of the heat-haze blasting from the Balrog’s maw that I was expecting. In case any part hasn’t already been savoured to the last, here are my quoted fragments:

    Jeff/Lee: “…before we begin the destrucsh – ah, the discussion, …” (Yes Rev. BigDumbChimp #188, I also noticed that)

    Simmons: “… 200 years later it’s even more incomplete …for instance, the neck of the giraffe – there’s no fossil evidence of pre-necks-like-that; or pre-whale fossils…”

    Simmons: “…not only the Darwin from past, the Darwin from present, whoever they are…”

    PZ (off-mike): WTF?

    PZ: “Dr Simmons has just made. stuff. up.”

    Simmons: “No, I just read an article in Scientific American, less than six months ago… They do not have anything with a blowhole on top of it”

    Jeff/Lee: “…you just heard – arr – Dr Simmons present – his side of things – so to speak…”

    PZ: “…your ignorance about the state of the fossil record is not evidence that there are holes in Evolutionary Theory…”
    Simmons: “I would prefer you not drop to ‘ignorant’ terms like that…”

    PZ: “Infantile and ludicrous”
    Simmons: [no response]

    Simmons: “…an example where I’m coming from. Let’s take the human brain…”

    [PZ (off-mike): MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Cthulhu has delivered him into my hands!]

    Simmons: “It’s beyond my comprehension that this could have come about through trial and error” [OK, it's just beyond my comprehension actually]

    PZ: “I’m afraid you’ve stepped [unwittingly, obviously] right into my field there with that question”

    Simmons: “… but man has been around for 150,000 – or LESS – depending on who you read, if you believe in the old-Earth material – and I know you don’t want to get into the old-Earth and new-Earth stuff but I’m just using YOUR terms…” [But I'm not a Christian or anything like that... I mean, I don't have ANY friends now]

  218. #219 Raynfala
    February 1, 2008

    Um… I was listening to the audio, and there was a hiccup (possibly some sloppy editing?) at 6:04 into the MP3 file. Did anybody else notice that? Was it something important?

  219. #220 AllanW
    February 1, 2008

    Very many congrats PZ on the resounding performance. It felt good from this end to hear the solid thwacks of arrows hitting home.

    Just a thought that creeps into my hindbrain though; the set-up of this debate was all skewed in Simmons’ favour and you may not be so lucky if similar events are arranged in the future to be faced with such a clueless, ignorant know-nothing.

    Well done again.

  220. #221 Umkomasia
    February 1, 2008

    PZ,

    I agree that you did great. However, in several earlier posts you argued that debating creationists is bad as it gives them a platform. Why the change in attitude?

  221. #222 Glen Davidson
    February 1, 2008

    It’s been noted that the embarrassing spectacle of UD admitting that the PZ-Simmons debate was an embarrassing spectacle has been disappeared (Expelled?). But if anyone wants to see it, just for fun, Ceiling Cat saved it here.

    Glen D

  222. #223 me
    February 1, 2008

    The only missing links are those for what used to exist on uncommon descent

  223. #224 Glen Davidson
    February 1, 2008

    Oh well, I linked to it while PZ was doing so. Never mind.

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

  224. #225 Dave Godfrey
    February 1, 2008

    That was glorious PZ. Absolutely glorious.

    As for debating ID’ers its a little easier than the YEC’s, you won’t have to worry about Polonium Halos, Mt St Helen’s and all the other rapid-fire crap they’ll spout. IDers are more likely to stick to the argument from incredulity and the “not enough fossils” line. They still want to keep the pretence that their view is compatible with science.

    (If anyone has a version of the audio with the calls intact I’d very much like a copy at dgodfrey9189@XXXaol.com (without the X’s natch)- I came late to the party, and only heard the chap with a theology degree shred the hosts)

  225. #226 Rift
    February 1, 2008

    PZ- Your a Master Debater (sorry if this joke has been used before, i didn’t read through all 200+ comments yet)

    I was amazed that a medical doctor would use the “it’s just a theory” BS. Next time, ask him why they still call it Germ Theory???

    Way to smack him down.

  226. #227 Stats
    February 1, 2008

    Scott de B [214] quoting Nan [195]:

    [Nan:] If you say that life expectancy for humans is now 75 years, for example, it means that half of the people born this year will probably be dead before they reach age 75.

    [Scott:]I don’t think this is true — I think it means that the average age of people who die this year is 75 years. Someone born this year might have an average life expectancy greater or lower.

    Nan’s answer is correct. According to http://www.pbs.org/secondopinion/episodes/longevity/medicalglossary/story415.html: “Average life expectancy.
    The age at which 50 percent of the members of a population have died, when plotted on a standard survival curve. This statistic is normally calculated from birth, but may be recomputed in terms of expected years remaining at any age.” In other words, count all the people born during some time period, say a year; approximately half will die younger than the average life expectancy, half will die older.

  227. #228 AJ Milne
    February 1, 2008

    Just heard the audio.

    Simply. Marvellous. Hereby havin’ a shot o’ Bushmills, and raising it in the general direction of Minnesota.

  228. #229 JanieBelle
    February 1, 2008

    Oddly enough, human genitalia are just within optimal reach of both hands as well. Design!!!

    I’d love to see them explain that in church.

  229. #230 Steve_C
    February 1, 2008

    Wow. Listening to the debate.

    Just getting to the end of Simmon’s introduction.

    They just present as many lies, falsehoods and misconceptions as possible. Typical.

  230. #231 Cephus
    February 1, 2008

    Of course they do, Simmons fell into the typical creationist debating style which is:

    1) Throw as many ridiculous claims as they can at the scientist.
    2) When proven wrong, refuse to acknowledge failure and just more on to another subject.

    Luckily, PZ was up to the challenge.

  231. #232 Sergeant Zim
    February 1, 2008

    @ CalGeorge #57
    Oh, no.

    A giant, rampaging, mucus-dripping vagina, opening and closing at will, is going to haunt my dreams, I just know it…

    So…you’ve met my ex-wife???

  232. #233 Julie Stahlhut
    February 1, 2008

    Intercourse: Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world, found only among whales, dolphins, dugongs, manatees, beavers, sea otters, centipedes, some crustaceans, a aNew Zealand songbird, and some primates like orangutans and bonobos [and squid. "Relatively rare," huh? -- pzm]

    Centipedes? The ones I know of all fertilize eggs by means of an external spermatophore. Maybe there are exceptions — I’m not a myriapodologist — but for the most part, if you put two centipedes face to face, regardless of their sexes, you’d wind up with one big centipede that probably wouldn’t be hungry for a while afterwards.

    Maybe he meant millipedes, which have their reproductive organs somewhat fore rather than aft, and generally mate in a position that makes them look like chromosome arms crossing over.

  233. #234 windy
    February 1, 2008

    Oddly enough, human genitalia are just within optimal reach of both hands as well. Design!!! I’d love to see them explain that in church.

    It’s so that you can cut them off, if they offend thee.

  234. #235 Peter Ashby
    February 1, 2008

    It is however probably a good thing that we are not as flexible as dogs….

  235. #236 Pablo
    February 1, 2008

    It is however probably a good thing that we are not as flexible as dogs….

    Says you…

  236. #237 Steven Carr
    February 1, 2008

    SIMMONS
    ‘Every male aspect of intercourse–from the initial excitement set off by visual cues and pheromones….’

    CARR
    SO God designed things so that men get excited by looking at women.

    And then Jesus says that if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he is committing a sin.

    Is this religion meant to make some sort of sense?

  237. #238 AllanW
    February 1, 2008

    Take a look at post #17 on the RDFRS thread about this topic …

  238. #239 stan
    February 1, 2008

    I didn’t go back and re-listen to the debate, but what exactly was PZ’s point in bring up Mary-Jane West-Eberhard? This lady was ridiculed and supressed for years and years by the establishment, yet now she’s on the side of selectionist darwinism? How? She believes traits arise purposefully and nonrandomly from an interaction with the environment…that traits get written into dna after they appear….genes are followers, not leaders. Is this the stance of the person who writes this blog?

  239. #240 Steve_C
    February 1, 2008

    Listen to what he says about the book.

    She makes an argument FOR something… she has ideas that are controversial with in the science community.

    PZ in no way endorsed the ideas in the book.

  240. #241 Beth
    February 1, 2008

    Just listened – too funny! I get the sense that PZ totally screwed Simmons’ whole line of thinking in the very beginning when PZ went on at the beginning about how modern biology doesn’t have much to do with Darwin, and how Darwin got many things wrong, etc., etc., so really the topic should be “is BIOLOGY fact or faith”.

    So then Simmons was left with nothing to say because he was planning on simply pointing out how Darwin was wrong. You could tell he was floundering for an argument and then just would blurt out something like, “well Darwin thought that whales used to be BEARS! So there!” (I’m paraphrasing.)

    Hilarious!

  241. #242 noncarborundum
    February 1, 2008

    Is this religion meant to make some sort of sense?

    No:

    For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (I Cor 1: 17-20)

  242. #243 Inquisitive Raven
    February 1, 2008

    “I recorded the debate. So, if anyone was interested in wanting to hear it, I could e-mail them to you.”

    send it to “tortieconspiracy(at)cavtel.net” please.

  243. #244 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    Around the time the great technological, cultural and artistic leap forward was happening in Europe (think Lascaux cave paintings) something interesting was happening. We began to get grandparents.

    The grandparents hypothesis is nice, but what makes you think grandparents only appeared 30,000 years ago? And why are there grandparents outside of Europe, most notably in Australia?

  244. #245 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    Around the time the great technological, cultural and artistic leap forward was happening in Europe (think Lascaux cave paintings) something interesting was happening. We began to get grandparents.

    The grandparents hypothesis is nice, but what makes you think grandparents only appeared 30,000 years ago? And why are there grandparents outside of Europe, most notably in Australia?

  245. #246 Quentin Long
    February 1, 2008

    For those of you who are interested in “ignorance is not evidence” T-shirts: I’ve created two designs, and have uploaded them to this directory:

    http://transform.to/~cubist/ath31sm/

    Note that they’re pretty big — both are 2400 pixels across, and one is a 262K file whilst t’other is a 550K file. Anyway, I invite Pharyngula’s readers to check ‘em out, and let me know which of the pair you like better. Feel free to send me your response via email, or post it to this thread; either way is fine by me…

  246. #247 Dan
    February 1, 2008

    PZ – Thank you for giving me the opportunity to vicariously live out my fantasy of completely thrashing creationist in a debate. You were really good yesterday.

  247. #248 Quentin Long
    February 1, 2008

    Blarg! Foolish of me to invite email, and then fail to provide an email address. My address, specially munged to confound spammers, is cubist[at]aol[dot]com.

  248. #249 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    BTW, Rodhocetus. It’s not a Greek rose, but a place in Pakistan.

  249. #250 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    BTW, Rodhocetus. It’s not a Greek rose, but a place in Pakistan.

  250. #251 Matt
    February 1, 2008

    You completely destroyed him PZ; his complete lack of any sort of research is what hurts him the most. Intelligent Design is built by people who don’t know how to break evolution down, because they cannot seem to research it. Evolution can be broken down, but it is completely constructive towards what new things we can learn!

  251. #252 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    @windy

    lengthening an organism’s life span beyond the functional time of its reproductive system – or shortening the functional time of its reproductive system relative to life span – may have a fitness advantage.

    How the former, other than as caretakers for kin? And how the latter at all?

  252. #253 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    I don’t think this is true — I think it means that the average age of people who die this year is 75 years.

    So much the worse — much worse — for you, as what you don’t think is true obviously is, and what you do think is true obviously isn’t. It’s called “average life expectancy”, not “average age of death”; sheesh.

  253. #254 sasha
    February 1, 2008

    PZ MAN I LOVE how you completely pwned that simmons guy in that debate! that was incredible, i love how you approach debates and i cant wait to see how you do in the future :D

  254. #255 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    And how the latter at all?

    Never mind … once my brain started working again (with a bit of help from Peter Ashby), I realized that pregnancy is a bit of a drag on caregiving.

  255. #256 capitalistimperialistpig
    February 1, 2008

    #137

    You prefer to concern troll instead?

    Actually I lean towards facts, logic, and an even-tempered demeanor. I probably don’t disagree that much with our host, but I usually find his manner offensive, and doubt that he has ever persuaded anyone who didn’t already agree with him. Occasionally I’m annoyed enough to complain.

    I visit here because he sometimes writes interestingly on biology. I usually go away annoyed because all I find is another boring testoserone rant against religion.

  256. #257 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    PZ in no way endorsed the ideas in the book.

    Shades of Obama and Reagan.

  257. #258 truth machine
    February 1, 2008

    Actually I lean towards facts, logic, and an even-tempered demeanor.

    Odd that you don’t display that here; there’s nothing factual, logical, or even-tempered about #133 … or #253 either, for that matter, with its silly hyperbole. If truly all you find here are boring testosterone rants against religion, your perceptual capacities are severely retarded.

  258. #259 stan
    February 1, 2008

    I am, in fact, a creationist (by faith) and though I am not a scientist, and I am admittedly ignorant on the subject, I would love to debate PZ on evolution, as I think I could out-debate him. Can anyone set that up?

    thanks, Stan

  259. #260 Julie Stahlhut
    February 1, 2008

    Stan wrote:

    I am, in fact, a creationist (by faith) and though I am not a scientist, and I am admittedly ignorant on the subject, I would love to debate PZ on evolution, as I think I could out-debate him. Can anyone set that up?

    Repeat after me: Nemesis defeats hubris.

  260. #261 stan
    February 1, 2008

    just a friendly debate….nothing on tape or anything formal…just in plain text on the front page. I’m just a harmless, scientifically-ignorant Christian. This would be like taking candy from a baby for PZ. :)

    stan

  261. #262 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2008

    I’m just a harmless, scientifically-ignorant Christian.

    Then what exactly are you trying to debate?

  262. #263 foxfire
    February 1, 2008

    PZ, you were excellent!

    @ #17, AllenW, thanks for the tip! Gotta love that “PZed” thing and I totally agree with RD’s statement:

    But to call somebody ignorant when he has just unequivocally DEMONSTRATED his ignorance, in a subject about which he had written a whole book, is simply a matter of fact, and not impolite at all.

  263. #264 foxfire
    February 1, 2008

    Sorry! I meant @ #237 re AllenW’s tip, not @ #17.

  264. #265 Unsympathetic reader
    February 1, 2008

    How come the radio guys referred to Simmons and “Doctor” Simmons but Meyers as “PZ”? If anything it’s “Doctor” or “Professor” Meyers.

  265. #266 Stan
    February 1, 2008

    “Then what exactly are you trying to debate?”

    I would like to debate PZ over the evidence (or lack of it) for Darwinian selection.

  266. #267 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2008

    I would like to debate PZ over the evidence (or lack of it) for Darwinian selection.

    But you claimed to be scientifically ignorant. The evidence for natural selection is part of scientific knowledge; the science of biology.

    Are you going to claim that because you don’t know it, it doesn’t exist?

  267. #268 stan
    February 1, 2008

    well, let me clarify: I’ve been told I’m scientifically ignorant….and so I’m just assuming, for the moment, that I am. And compared to PZ I certainly AM scientifically ignorant. That, however, does not mean I’m not completely confident that I can pin PZ’s science up against an intellect wall and render it useless.

  268. #269 chuck goecke
    February 1, 2008

    “Please, somebody, show Dr Simmons where the clitoris is and explain female orgasms to him…for the sake of Mrs Simmons!”

    How generous and rich of you, PZ. The mysteries of the human female orgasm are probably beyond Dr Simmons’ ability or interest to understand(how patriarchal!). Nice job mopping the floor with this guy, trouble is, the floor is dirtier for it. I hope this encourages more technical folks to take on the IDer’s in debates. PZ showed one very helpful winning strategy, when faced with these “bait-n-switchers. Wrest a hold of the topic, and redirect it back to the important and relevant issues. Nice one!
    Chuck

  269. #270 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2008

    That, however, does not mean I’m not completely confident that I can pin PZ’s science up against an intellect wall and render it useless.

    My! That certainly sounds very confident, I must say. Now I am becoming curious.

    How would you classify this argument, if not as scientific? Would you say that it is philolsophical or theololgical?

    And, did you, by any chance, come up with this argument yourself, or did you read it elsewhere?

  270. #271 PZ Myers
    February 1, 2008

    Stan, consider this comment thread your arena. Stop telling us you are going to tell us what’s wrong with evolution, JUST DO IT.

    People who whine away that they’ve got a killer argument but don’t say what it is are just attention whores; I won’t believe you’re serious about discussing the issues until you start making substantive comments.

  271. #272 stan
    February 2, 2008

    Hi PZ….nice to meet you. My name is Stan.

    First of all, let’s talk about common descent. Would you agree that in order for this to happen via the darwinian hypothesis that natural selection must select from a pool of random genetic variants, thus making populations evolve genetically? (I would like to emphasize two words in the previous sentence: random and genetic)

    I will assume this is reasonable, that in order to build up the genome, selection must be selecting genetic variants. With this in mind, please answer the following:

    We’ve got to get the bacteria (or bacteria-like creature) out of the primordial swamp. And we have to do it genetically. Therefore we have to link new genes or mutations to beneficial, selectable, physiological traits.

    So I guess my challenge is this: plese present me a mutation that mutation that can generate a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. ) For example, the eye was said to have evolved by way of numerous mutations, each mutation adding on to what previous mutations (plus selection) had added before.

    Please keep in mind that there are mutations that duplicate existing structures, mutations that reduce existing structures, mutations that deform organisms, and mutations that cause disease and death. . . .but Unfortunately for those who believe in common descent, these could never turn a population of bacteria into a population of lizards or bears or monkeys or humans.

    Not only that, but it seems the info coming out post-ENCODE is telling us that what makes humans differnt than other animals cannot be found in the very protein-coding genes you guys have always claimed are responsible for evolution!

    http://www.broad.mit.edu/cgi-bin/news/display_news.cgi?id=4163

    “More broadly, the (genomic) research reveals that little invention of genes has occurred since mammalian ancestors diverged from the non-mammalian lineage. “There’s no real creativity going on in the mammalian genome,” explained Clamp. That means that the number, structure, and function of protein-coding genes are not expected to differ very much from mammal to mammal, so what makes humans different from mice and dogs likely lies outside this realm of the genome. Clamp and her Broad Institute colleagues are now peering into the genomes of many other mammals, in an attempt to explain what parts of our genome truly make us human.”

    See, here’s the problem for evolutionists: You guys have everything backwards: DNA is not responsible for building organisms; instead, life is all about how organisms make use of their DNA, turning it on or off, using it to express itself……DNA is not the starting point in life, nor can science collapse physical form on to it. Life is an expression of something much deeper and less physical than DNA….it just uses DNA to shine through.

    You have my challenge.

  272. #273 Owlmirror
    February 2, 2008

    LIFE CAN HAS SPIRITUAL GENETIC TELEOLOGY?

  273. #274 Owlmirror
    February 2, 2008

    ?????? ??????? says ??!

  274. #275 stan
    February 2, 2008

    Ask Doctor Pert:

    “Your brain is extremely well integrated with the rest of your body at a molecular level, so much that the term mobile brain is an apt description of the psychosomatic network through which intelligent information travels from one system to another. Every one of the zones, or systems, of the network — the neural, the hormonal, the gastrointestinal, and the immune — is set up to communicate with one another via peptides and messenger-specific peptide receptors. Every second, a massive information exchange is occurring in your body……We can no longer think of the emotions as having less validity tahn physical, material substance, but instead must see them as cellular signals that are involved in the process of translating information into physical reality, literally transforming mind into matter.” Dr. Candace Pert Molecules of Emotion. Pg.189

  275. #276 GO
    February 2, 2008

    Just so you all know, this “Stan” is better known across debate fora as “Supersport” and “Guzman” Check out some of his posts on http://www.4forums.com, http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/index.php, and (for Guzman) at http://www.rantsnraves.org/index.php
    before you bother even trying to talk any sense into him.

  276. #277 stan
    February 2, 2008

    I see my challenge above got wacked out of shape from a faulty paste-job. Let me rephrase it…

    So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. ) For example, the eye was said to have evolved by way of numerous mutations, each mutation adding on to what previous mutations (plus selection) had added before.

    Please keep in mind that there are mutations that duplicate existing structures, mutations that reduce/enlarge existing structures, mutations that deform organisms, and mutations that cause disease and death. . . .but unfortunately for those who believe in common descent, these could never turn a population of bacteria into a population of lizards or bears or monkeys or humans….(as these types of mutations would only create duplicated reduced/enlarged/deformed/dead bacteria.)

  277. #278 chemist99
    February 2, 2008

    Stan
    [Quote]So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. ) For example, the eye was said to have evolved by way of numerous mutations, each mutation adding on to what previous mutations (plus selection) had added before.[/quote]

    He already knows that sickle cell trait fits his bill quite well. No problem with “Stan” style challenges beyond determining what he said.

  278. #279 stan
    February 2, 2008

    “So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part.

    Hmmm…I can’t wait for Stan’s evidence of a “scientifically-documented/observed” spontaneous creation of a life form by a “scientifically-documented/observed” non-human intelligent designer.

  279. #280 Raguel
    February 2, 2008

    The mammalian ear fits the bill. Using embryology, paleontology, and genetics the history of the evolution of the ear (from reptilian ancestors) have been shown.

    I think PZ also posted something about the genetic similiarites between fish gills, human thyroid, and insect wings. I don’t remember the specifics tho.

  280. #282 Owlmirror
    February 2, 2008

    The mammalian ear fits the bill. Using embryology, paleontology, and genetics the history of the evolution of the ear (from reptilian ancestors) have been shown.

    I think PZ also posted something about the genetic similiarites between fish gills, human thyroid, and insect wings. I don’t remember the specifics tho.

    No, no, you miss Stan’s genius idea. Whole point is all improvement such as ear evolution, and pharyngeal homology, did not arise from mutation. Instead, organisms simply desired better ears, or a thyroid gland, and caused the appropriate genetic change to just happen, by powerful magic teleological mechanism.

    Good Bolshevist science like this is why Soviet Russia now dominates entire world. Stan, as good Communist, explains Lysenkoism for good of all proletariats.

    Now we all sing Internationale.

  281. #283 Raguel
    February 2, 2008

    Ah. Well, I wasn’t aware that Stan had a known…ideology (although I have to admit, a vision of “butterfly wombs” danced in my head, heh).

  282. #284 Shiritai
    February 2, 2008

    Stan,

    Check out the many varieties of the domesticated wolf.

  283. #285 truth machine
    February 2, 2008

    I am, in fact, a creationist (by faith) and though I am not a scientist, and I am admittedly ignorant on the subject, I would love to debate PZ on evolution, as I think I could out-debate him.

    Which is yet another thing you take on faith. Sorry, you arrogant moron, but all you have managed to do is ask some questions that reflect your ignorance. You can’t win a debate by demanding that your opponent show you something.

  284. #286 truth machine
    February 2, 2008

    You guys have everything backwards

    “You’re wrong, I’m right” also doesn’t win debates, especially when the other side can present mountains of evidence for their view and you can offer none for yours.

  285. #287 truth machine
    February 2, 2008

    Please keep in mind that there are mutations that duplicate existing structures, mutations that reduce/enlarge existing structures, mutations that deform organisms, and mutations that cause disease and death. . . .but unfortunately for those who believe in common descent, these could never turn a population of bacteria into a population of lizards or bears or monkeys or humans….(as these types of mutations would only create duplicated reduced/enlarged/deformed/dead bacteria.

    Lizards, bears, monkeys, and humans are all deformed bacteria, moron.

  286. #288 truth machine
    February 2, 2008

    So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way. )

    The bacterial flagellum, an addition to a secretion pore, is a fine example of your question begging restriction. And don’t even bother blabbering about the flagellum being “irreducibly complex”, as you have already admitted your ignorance and so you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about. In fact, we could present all sorts of bogus evidence and you could not challenge it, given your automatic-debate-losing up-front admission, but we don’t need to because there’s heaps of valid evidence.

  287. #289 AlanWCan
    February 2, 2008

    Listening to this now, and PZ you fucking rock.

  288. #290 windy
    February 2, 2008

    So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way.)

    The mutation changing the expression of the Prx1 transcription factor that resulted in longer forelimbs in bats. (now confirmed in mice)

    (you asked for a “scientifically-documented/observed” mutation, not a mutation that someone observed happening in the wild)

  289. #291 Tycho
    February 2, 2008

    Just so everyone knows who we are dealing with. Stan is also known as Supersport and Guzman. His stupidity is well known to many and a sampling of it can be found in Fundies Say website (www.fstdt.com) by searching for “supersport” where we can find such quotes as:

    “Studying DNA is a waste of time”

    “but you are assuming that the lightwave has to travel to us….why can it not be that my eyes travel to it?…”

    “Don’t use your “logic” with me. I have no use for it. ”

    “The medical establishment is a bigger fraud than evolutionary science is.”

  290. #292 stan
    February 2, 2008

    First of all, I would like to please ask that PZ responds here. I challenged him, not all you other people, especially people from Carm, where this “debate” is being broadcast for education of all forum readers.

    The ear thing is not a scientifically-observed mutation….it’s just a guess….I’m looking for hard evidence that mutations can do as advertised. The bat/mouse thing is not even a mutation at all…did you read the article?

    “this unprecedented finding demonstrates that evolution can be driven by changes in the patterns of gene expression, rather than solely by changes in the genes, themselves.”

    Now please — I ask that only Dr. Myers respond to my challenge. After he gives me a few examples we can move on to my point about natural selection….

  291. #293 AJ Milne
    February 2, 2008

    Re: “Don’t use your “logic” with me. I have no use for it.”

    Sweet.

  292. #294 windy
    February 2, 2008

    The bat/mouse thing is not even a mutation at all…did you read the article?

    Of course it’s a mutation. The transgenic work is just to see what the mutation does. The original mutation happened in the bat lineage and is “scientifically-documented” by the study of bat genomes.

  293. #295 C.W
    February 2, 2008

    I really don’t think anyone cares what science believes – if it tells us the earth is old, it is clearly wrong.
    Supersport

    Stupidity, driven far enough, is like a superpower.

  294. #296 windy
    February 2, 2008

    Now please — I ask that only Dr. Myers respond to my challenge.

    Why?

    Life is an expression of something much deeper and less physical than DNA….it just uses DNA to shine through.

    Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter!

  295. #297 stan
    February 2, 2008

    windy: “Of course it’s a mutation. The transgenic work is just to see what the mutation does. The original mutation happened in the bat lineage and is “scientifically-documented” by the study of bat genomes.”

    No, of course it’s not. I asked for a scientifically-observed example of a mutation, yet you present me a case where science re-expressed re-expresses the same genes.

    If you asked me for an example of a scientifically-observed mutation that generates an organ (or part of an organ) and I showed you my eye, would that be good enough for you? How about if pointed to my eye and simply said God designed it? What’s the difference?…neither is science.

  296. #298 windy
    February 2, 2008

    No, of course it’s not. I asked for a scientifically-observed example of a mutation, yet you present me a case where science re-expressed re-expresses the same genes.

    It’s a mutation that altered gene expression in the bat lineage.

  297. #299 AJ Milne
    February 2, 2008

    Windy, realizing you may already know: Guz is a troll. He’s not going to acknowledge any example you give him. You may flood him with papers; he will dismiss every single one on the most absurdly contrived of excuses… assuming he even acknowledges them at all. He’s not interested in honest discussion. He’s interested in creating an illusion–and at best a really transparently obvious one–of the same, in the vain hope those with a relatively thin grounding on these subjects may actually believe there’s actually something substantial to talk about, here*. He’s got a weird ‘magical Lamarckist’ idea that all organisms direct their own evolution, and he’ll stick to it ad nauseum, attempt feebly to support it through endlessly pathetically obvious quotemines and appeals to various bizarre pseudoscientific kooks. He likes the word ‘epigenetics’, lately, too… thinks it makes him sound like he knows what he’s talking about… again, presumably, among those with subzero IQs.

    Seriously, if you pursue him on this, he’s just gonna keep spinning it out, pretending to respond, misrepresenting your arguments, and generally lying his ass off. Google the sucker on ‘Supersport’ or ‘Guzman’, if you really want to see the future of this thread. His record’s a few years long, now, and hasn’t changed in that entire time.

    *Yes, it’s just possible there’s someone with a grounding that thin. We haven’t found them yet, tho’.

  298. #300 Dahan
    February 2, 2008

    “Intercourse: Face-to-face intercourse is relatively rare in the animal world… ”

    Well, it’s relatively rare among some of us humans too. The missionary position being the one least likely to produce an orgasm in the human female, some folk use it less than other options.

  299. #301 windy
    February 2, 2008

    realizing you may already know: Guz is a troll. He’s not going to acknowledge any example you give him.

    yes, yes… just gave him a few pokes.

    He likes the word ‘epigenetics’

    and “post-ENCODE”, too!

  300. #302 arensb
    February 2, 2008

    I have a secret: I read part of What Darwin Didn’t Know before the show, and knew exactly what kind of creationist I was engaging.

    Gosh, it’s a shame there’s noplace to read about your views, opinions, and research, so Dr. Simmons could have similarly prepared :-)

  301. #303 Brian Macker
    February 2, 2008

    Listening to the debate now. Great opening by PZ. I’m up to the point where Simmons claims about Darwin that, ” … that I don’t think he would be published now.” Yet, one more area Simmons is ignorant of. Darwin is published now and I have books by him. The Origin of Species is probably in your local bookstore.

  302. #304 Raguel
    February 2, 2008

    So Stan is supersport. rofl so I was right: it’s Mr. “butterfly Wombs” himself. So Stan, do you still think air-conditioning is the reason why there are still whites in South Africa?

  303. #305 AllanW
    February 2, 2008

    re #288 stan
    “ask that PZ responds here”. Just sod off,stan, and take your whining with you.

  304. #306 stan
    February 2, 2008

    I’m still waiting patiently for Dr. Myers to answer my challenge, as no one else around the internet has been able to do so. And while you’re at it, Dr. Myers, do you believe that individuals can evolve on their own?….can organisms alter their own DNA as a plastic response to internal/external environmental threats? Are you the same genetically now as you were when you were a kid? Is the assertion that the scientific community has made for decades that only populations evolve genetically blatantly false?

    I’m not responding to anyone else. I want my own, personal moment with Dr. Myers.

  305. #307 MAJeff
    February 2, 2008

    I want my own, personal moment with Dr. Myers.

    Awww…somebody has a crush!

  306. #308 Owlmirror
    February 2, 2008

    No, Comrade Stan, no! Do not be silent! Do not hide from these counterrevolutionary bourgeois! You must rise up and proclaim the truth; tell the world how proper Bolshevist science has created the wheat that feeds the many Soviet Socialist Republics throughout the world! Tell how Soviet Africa is no longer hungry; how Soviet Latin America swells with glorious and happy proletarians; how even Soviet Antarctica is being colonized by brave and hardy workers eating cold-proof wheat!!

    Show them, Stan!!! Show them how wheat, when given the proper Bolshevist propaganda and incentives, will grow absolutely anywhere!!!! Show them all!!!!!

  307. #309 Brian Macker
    February 2, 2008

    Wouldn’t it be more correct to say “There are no known physical differences between human and chimp brains except size”. Saying there are no diffences at all except size sets one up for being shown false in the future. Certainly there are differences in proportions that are now known. Also, at some point we must find some difference between chimp and human brain in order to explain differences in their behavior. Chimps don’t merely act like humans with smaller brains. Those physical differences may be in affinity to chemicals, wiring, and the like in order to give a physical mechanism for the obvious differences in behavior. Like our innate attraction to and mastery of language. Even chimps who are around humans their entire lives don’t learn to speak. I doubt they would even if we made a language that thier vocal cords could handle.

  308. #310 PZ Myers
    February 2, 2008

    Well, Stan, aren’t you a demanding little whiner.

    Your questions are collections of misconceptions. No, individuals don’t evolve — populations do. That is, I suspect, your fundamental error, that you don’t understand the basic foundation of evolutionary thought.

    You also don’t understand homology. When we talk about a duplication of a gene, we are saying that the same gene is now present in two copies, which is where you get hung up. They are initially the same, we continue to refer to their descendants as members of the same gene family, but they also accumulate novelties in their sequences that are expressed as variations in phenotype. These variations will typically be subtle at first; it takes time for sufficient change to occur for profound differences to emerge.

    I suggest you read this description of the evolution of fly wing spots. Try to understand it. You may think the spots are trivial, but they’re crucial to fly mating success…and we understand the molecular basis of how these morphological features are flicked on and off in different lineages.

    Otherwise, I’m afraid you aren’t going to get much of a response from me. You’re boring. Please do try to bring some simple comprehension of the subject to the debate before you “challenge” me again.

  309. #311 PeteK
    February 2, 2008

    Ventro-ventral copulation and the migration of the vagina to a sheltered spot within the body cavity is suggestive evidence for the “Aquatic Ape Hypothesis” – that humans spent some time in ancient aquatic environments (see Hardy and Morgan)…

  310. #312 PZ Myers
    February 2, 2008

    The chimp/human brain argument was made a long time ago — look up the Huxley-Owen debates on the subject. Anatomically, there don’t seem to be any major structural innovations, except size and some subtle regional specializations (Broca’s/Wernicke’s areas, those regions dedicated to speech, are distinctly much more prominent in humans, for instance), and there could be significant molecular differences in regulatory elements that control relative size of specific areas. We both have the standard mammalian brain circuitry. There’s nothing as radical as the anamniote-amniote switch from the midbrain to the forebrain of the primary visual processing centers, for instance.

    And no, chimps don’t act like humans with small brains. Humans with small brains have a host of deficits and are clearly pathological in ways that would compromise survival — they would not be at all competitive with chimps, for instance. What we have are brains of a certain size and many quiet, understated little adapatations that promote the efficient function of brains of that size.

  311. #313 damitall
    February 2, 2008

    Stan/stuporsnort/guzzle’s challenge gets modified every time he trots it out.
    Mostly, it’s challenging something that no-one has ever claimed anyway. He’s almost orgasmic about there being no single mutation that has led to the instant appearance of an extra limb or some equally dramatic stupidity.

    But this is a man that thought he could see by virtue of Majick Beams travelling from his eyes to the object viewed, so it’s worthwhile keeping him around for the belly-laugh potential, if you can stomach his nasty politics

  312. #314 Charly W
    February 2, 2008

    Stan is a FULL BLOWN YEC ‘TARD;
    As he was so accurately described over at rantsnraves, where he was going by the handle of Guzman.

    The guy is an unparalleled idiot and a troll.

  313. #315 ck1
    February 2, 2008

    “So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way.”

    Hi “Stan”,

    Seems this is the same challenge you have been posting all over the internet.

    And ignoring all substantive responses.

    I will simply remind you of one of those ignored examples:

    MYOSTATIN

    Different mutations that inactivate this gene have been described in humans, cattle (Belgian Blue), mice, and dogs (whippets). These various mutations double the muscle mass in affected individuals. In dogs the mutation has been linked to a measurable enhancement of athletic performance.

    So there you have it, a mutation in a single gene that produces a clearly visible change in morphology and is beneficial (athletic performance).

    Just what you asked for.

    http://genetics.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pgen.0030079.eor

  314. #316 stan
    February 2, 2008

    Dr. Myers….the wing spots thing is interesting, and I’ve read about them before, but surely you are not going to use those as evidence of common descent. Changes in pigmentation will do nothing to change a fly or any other creature into something it’s not. The bacteria could have never gotten out of the swamp and turned into humans by changing colors or getting larger/smaller. Humans are not mutated bacteria or mutated flies. To build a human or an ape or a tiger, an ancestral organism would need to be able to generate a flood of selectable novelty: hearts, kidneys, lungs, wings, beaks, antennas, sonar systems, immune systems, nervous systems, spinal columns, etc etc. A wing spot that may or may not make the fly more selectable is hardly evidence for this. Not only that, but if indeed this spot is a result of an observed mutation, (is this your claim?) it would be interesting to see if the fly is otherwise defective.

    Anyway, maybe I’m missing something but the following article suggest the mutation in question was in the past, that what’s going on here is not a result of an observed mutation, which is what I was asking for.

    http://www.brightsurf.com/news/headlines/view.article.php?ArticleID=24010

    “The big stunner in this paper was that the two independent gains of spots we studied each resulted from mutations in distinct ancestral CREs,” said Carroll. “In the ancestor, one of these CREs controls the expression of the yellow gene in the wing blade and one in the vein.

    “This finding is informative because it shows that the wing pattern wasn’t generated from scratch,” said Carroll. “The fly didn’t use nave DNA that had no job and invent this pattern out of thin air. It used a gene that was already active in the wing, already drawing some kind of pattern in the wing, and modified that pattern. We think that is strong clue to how nature invents, which is by using material that is already available. This demonstrates how evolution is a tinkerer,” he said.

    The findings also underscore an important role for pleiotropic genes in evolution. “For example, a fly’s body has pigmented bristles, mouth parts, thorax and abdomen. These different features are controlled separately, so the same yellow gene can be used in different parts of the body. So this pleiotropy gives evolution an artistic freedom to play with the regulatory elements in specific regions without making mutations that would affect the gene throughout the body.”

    If you can’t give me an example of a mutation that is shown scientifically to result in a new body part or a new selectable addition to an existing body part then not only do you not have an explanation for how genomes built up, but there is no sense in calling ToE science and therefore it should in no way be represented as such in textbooks.

    In contrast, what seems to be going on is that animals individually and purposefully generate their own morphological adaptations in response to environmental cues:

    http://dbs.umt.edu/research_labs/emlenlab/PDF's%20for%20publications%20page/Hartfelder%20%20Emlen%202005.pdf

    “Changes in color and wing morphology
    Changes in locust color may be triggered
    by a variety of environmental cues (e.g., humidity;
    Dorn et al. (2000)), but one important cue is the
    level of crowding experienced by nymphs as they
    develop. Exposure to crowded conditions induces
    a shift from the solitary (green) to the gregarious
    (black with yellow (S. gregaria) or orange (L. migratoria))
    form, and much of this shift appears to be
    mediated by hormones.”

    http://discovermagazine.com/2006/nov/cover

    “To the surprise of scientists, many environmentally induced changes turn out to be heritable. When exposed to predators, Daphnia water fleas grow defensive spines (right). The effect can last for several generations.”

    Dr. Meyers, do you believe individuals are environmentally adaptive?

  315. #317 Alan Bird
    February 2, 2008

    Excellent trounci^H^H^H er debate, PZ. Well done.
    After listening to it I went over to Amazon for a peek at Dr Simmons’s book about the billions or trillions or whatever missing links.
    Ahem.
    I note that no one has posted a criticism of it. Now there’s an open goal, folks…
    So I’ve just put this review on Amazon UK. Anyone else care to have a go?

    “Dr Simmons has some unorthodox ideas about biology and the modern theory of evolution (or Darwinism as he and his kind prefer to call it). Before anyone is tempted to buy this book, you should be aware that the author is astonishingly ignorant about his subject.
    Proof? He recently had a debate with Prof PZ Myers (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/) on a Christian radio show. THe debate is available online at http://www.kkms.com/11566451/ Dr Simmons was, not to put too fine a point on it, trounced.
    Example: Dr Simmons claimed that there were no transitional fossils showing the development of the modern whale lineage. Prof Myers started to list the many examples discovered over the last 20 years, and asked where Dr Simmons got his information from. Dr Simmons’s answer: an article in Scientific American about 6 months ago. This is the depth of learning that enabled to guy to write a book on the subject?”

  316. #318 Azkyroth
    February 2, 2008

    Ventro-ventral copulation and the migration of the vagina to a sheltered spot within the body cavity is suggestive evidence for the “Aquatic Ape Hypothesis” – that humans spent some time in ancient aquatic environments (see Hardy and Morgan)…

    No it’s not.

    The vagina, also, hasn’t “migrated.” It’s between a female human’s legs because her body has rotated effectively 90 degrees with respect to them, relative to other mammals; when on all fours, it’s behind her, like other mammals (a logical implication of your claim here is that “doggy style” would be a lot more difficult than it is).

  317. #319 PeteK
    February 2, 2008

    What about neotony? Human growth patterns
    are overall more like those of immature apes than they are of mature apes. Immature female apes have more ventral vaginas; during maturation, growth is such that the vagina opens more dorsally. This doesn’t happen in humans because our growth patterns are more like those of immature apes than they are of mature apes. So they did migrate, in that sense, by staying where they are in juvenile apes. Whether any of this constitutes evidence of aquatic adaptations is another issue :-P

  318. #320 Steviepinhead
    February 2, 2008

    I’m sure multiple commenters have said something along these lines by now, but if I’d had lost interest in sex at 50, I’d probably have done serious harm to myself by now. Or find a new drug…!

    It’s amazing how these people project their own inadequacies out on the world, and even more ridiculous how they then expect the world to constrain itself to their inadequacies.

  319. #321 jre
    February 2, 2008

    I, too, wish to claim my right to challenge the blogmaster!
    I have a question, and a follow-up.

    Dr. Myers: Who put the bop in the bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop?
    And, after you have chewed on that for a bit, I demand that you tell me who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?
    If you cannot answer these questions — and you must attempt to answer them, under the universally accepted rule of challenge questions from the batshit insane — you will have forfeited the question to me!

    Haha! The gauntlet is thrown, sir!
    I’m waiting …

  320. #322 PZ Myers
    February 2, 2008

    I have the answer right here in my ding-a-ling. And if you don’t know the answer, you must be playing with your ding-a-ling.

  321. #323 Anon
    February 2, 2008

    @313: “Dr. Meyers, do you believe individuals are environmentally adaptive?”

    It turns out that many individuals are indeed environmentally adaptive–but this is only tangentially related to evolution. The environmental adaptations at the level of the individual are termed “learning”; such adaptations are seen in a vast spectrum of species, including many homo sapiens, present company excepted. These adaptations are not, however, passed on genetically to the offspring of these individuals.

    Evolution has selected for, in some organisms, a plasticity which allows for this individual learning. Other organisms may not have the capacity for such adaptation over the lifespan of the individual. For those living in a relatively unchanging environment, it would not be adaptive; there would be no selection pressures favoring learning in such an environment.

    Even in environments that select for learning, individual variability still exists, and thus some organisms (including people) are able to learn to adapt to myriad new environments and situations.

    On the other hand… some people never learn.

  322. #324 Brian Macker
    February 2, 2008

    Stan,

    “If you can’t give me an example of a mutation that is shown scientifically to result in a new body part or a new selectable addition to an existing body part ”

    Happens all the time in my gardening catalogs. Peas where leave are replaced with tendrils, doubling of flowers, etc. So those count as new body parts or new selectable additions to an existing body part.

    Here’s a sport of cosmos with tubular petals, which is a different effect than doubling. These weren’t around when I was a kid. Certainly a beneficial mutation because people consider it more decorative and therefore it benefits the plant.

  323. #325 stan
    February 2, 2008

    So, Anon….tell me about this plasticity. When, for example, a developing cricket is able to emerge with (or without) wings based on an external cue (overcrowding), how exactly do you think this is accomplished without some sort of awareness, sensation and/or intelligent response to this sensation? How do the crickets “know” how to gauge external conditions and then respond appropriately by altering their morphology? Does this not strike you as seemingly miraculous? Does it not strike you that pulling wings out of thin air (or more specifically, out of thoughts/awareness) is essentially an act of creation whereby something (matter) comes from nothing (non-matter), which is a direct contradiction to materialism?

  324. #326 stan
    February 2, 2008

    CK1: “MYOSTATIN

    Different mutations that inactivate this gene have been described in humans, cattle (Belgian Blue), mice, and dogs (whippets). These various mutations double the muscle mass in affected individuals. In dogs the mutation has been linked to a measurable enhancement of athletic performance.”

    ————————–

    CK1………I acknowledged in my challenge that mutations can duplicate structures….but bacteria could never turn into lizards or cows or humans by merely duplicating themselves. There needs to be selectable novelty generated — new beneficial structures….and mutations evidently cannot do it. They cannot add whole new body parts such as organs, and they cannot generate structural additions to existing body parts. Therefore the bacteria is stuck in the pond.

  325. #327 Aaron
    February 2, 2008

    Finally got a chance to listen. Very entertaining. I nearly spit coffee all over my laptop when Simmons brought up uncertainty in physics as part of his “evidence.”

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go try to win that dinner with Dr. Dobson. :p

    @stan
    Define “structural additions to existing body parts.” While I’m not a biologist, there are many people born with extra fingers or toes or “tails,” and these seems to be structural additions.

    You seem to discount all of the _negative_ mutations that change physical forms. While most random mutations are negative or ineffective, it is the statistical anomalies that create beneficial changes. This is the mathematically and statistically expected result.

  326. #328 Anon
    February 3, 2008

    Stan–

    Are you familiar with the term “Circular Reasoning”?

    It’s important. I’ll wait for your response before continuing. Take your time; be sure you know what the term means, because your post #322 is fatally infected with it. If you don’t see that, please educate yourself some more. Or not, and I will decide whether to spend my time teaching you what you could have learned yourself.

    As a clue… those crickets emerged without wings because they did not have my permission to grow wings. Evidence? Clearly, the fact that they did not develop wings is evidence that I did not give them permission. Exactly the same evidence that you have for “some sort of awareness, sensation and/or intelligent response”.

    Like I said… take your time.

  327. #329 stan
    February 3, 2008

    Dr. Myers: “No, individuals don’t evolve — populations do. That is, I suspect, your fundamental error.”

    —————————————–

    Perfect. I would like, just for the record to re-post my question, to which was answered above:

    Stan: “Dr. Myers, do you believe that individuals can evolve on their own?….can organisms alter their own DNA as a plastic response to internal/external environmental threats? Are you the same genetically now as you were when you were a kid? Is the assertion that the scientific community has made for decades that only populations evolve genetically blatantly false?”

    ———————-

    ok….so individuals do not evolve genetically. So tell me, Dr. Myers, would you say that it’s true or untrue that when after a person receives a flu shot that entirely new genes get created, that white blood cells induce mutations in order to neutralize the virus?

    Also, are you denying that new genes and new genes and traits can be transferred horizontally from one species to another, who then pass these traits on vertically to future generations?

    Which one/or both do you disagree with, and please tell me how this does not qualify as individual organisms evolving and being able to alter their DNA as a plastic response to environmental threats. I would also like to ask you again — are you the same genetically now as you were when you were a kid? Have you ever had a flu shot, Dr. Myers?

  328. #330 stan
    February 3, 2008

    Anon…you are going to have to explain to me how asking you a series of questions is circular reasoning. You didn’t even attempt to answer any of my questions.

    But it’s just like this cichlid thing….notice these fish can turn different colors whenever a predator comes around or background conditions change or other environmental factors change. Social settings can also play a role in color changes:

    http://www.bigskycichlids.com/coloration_article.htm

    “The endocrine and nervous system both influence coloration in fish. The pituitary gland secretes hormones that direct the production and storage of pigments throughout the life of a fish, and particularly as maturity is reached. Pigment production and storage often increases at the onset of maturity. Many species use color to provide camouflage and attract a mate. Fish of the family Cichlidae are particularly known for brilliant coloration of mature males. The autonomic nervous system directs rapid color changes in response to stimuli such as a predator or an aggressive tankmate. Anyone who has observed fish knows this color change can occur at a spectacular rate.”

    I’m thus simply asking you how you — as a materialist — can rationalize that just the right trait appears at just the right time without there being some sort of mental awareness and/or intelligence going on. How/why do hormones get released if there’s not some sort of mind activity goin on?

    And even so, fish aren’t supposed to change colors that way. Organisms aren’t supposed to do that according to ToE…..because organisms are dumb, passive, and incapable of intelligent responses…….darwinists have always said that adaptive color is an accidental arrival in a lucky mutatant…….but that’s not what’s happening. Instead, we now see that any and all cichlids in the same environment can evolve the same trait at the same time, because it’s a purposeful, non-random, internally-generated trait that comes about as a response to external stimuli.

  329. #331 MAJeff
    February 3, 2008

    I finally see the Truth. I know now that when my cat sees me and purrs rather than running away, like she does when other people enter the apartment, is because goddidit!

    Glory Hallelujah, my eyes are open!

  330. #332 James
    February 3, 2008

    I would hate to see this mans wife if he thinks the vagina, mouth and anus in most women are plugged with mucus.

  331. #333 Graculus
    February 3, 2008

    Instead, we now see that any and all cichlids in the same environment can evolve the same trait at the same time

    I see that you know fuck all about cichlids, to go with your abysmal ignorance of evolution in general.

  332. #334 stan
    February 3, 2008

    Dr. Myers still hasn’t answered my question but I need to modify it just a tad……
    ———————————————–

    “ok….so individuals do not evolve genetically. So tell me, Dr. Myers, would you say that it’s true or untrue that when after a person receives a flu shot that entirely new genes get created, that white blood cells induce mutations in order to neutralize the virus?

    Also, are you denying that new genes and new traits can be transferred horizontally from one indidivual to another and even from one species to another, who then can pass these adaptive genes and traits on vertically to future generations?

    Which one/or both do you disagree with, and please tell me how this does not qualify as individual organisms evolving and being able to internally alter their own DNA as a plastic response to environmental threats. I would also like to ask you again — are you the same genetically now as you were when you were a kid? Have you ever had a flu shot, Dr. Myers?
    ——————————————

    thank you for your explanation.

  333. #335 windy
    February 3, 2008

    because it’s a purposeful, non-random, internally-generated trait that comes about as a response to external stimuli.

    Like developing a tan? That’s evolution too, is it?

  334. #336 stan
    February 3, 2008

    Windy, quit changing the subject and please….let the adults debate. Dr. Myers needs to explain to me how exactly it is that humans can create new genes as a plastic response to an environmental change, and that genes and traits can be passed horizontally from individual to individual, yet somehow individuals don’t evolve. Here is his statement:

    Dr. Myers: “No, individuals don’t evolve — populations do. That is, I suspect, your fundamental error.”

    Yes, Dr. Myers?

  335. #337 PZ Myers
    February 3, 2008

    let the adults debate

    If we enact that restriction, you’ll have to leave.

    Have you ever heard of the Weismann barrier? In individuals, the immune system is subject to modification over time, just as other somatic tissues can accumulate mutations. However, you do not produce gametes from the immune system lineage or from cancerous skin cells. Only cells of the germ line propagate to subsequent generations.

    So, no, individuals do not evolve. They can change, but those changes terminate when the individual ceases to be.

    Now, really, your questions are appallingly ignorant. Could you please go read a basic textbook in evolution (say, Futuyma or Ridley or Carroll) and quit pestering the grownups?

  336. #338 SteveG
    February 3, 2008

    At 33:25 into the debate, at the file at this link

    http://www.kkms.com/blogs/JeffandLee/11566451/

    we hear Geoffrey Simmons state the following:

    “But one would have to speculate that this would take billions and billions of years if one were to have an intermediate step for each one of these – and yet this all happened within, oh, a few hundred thousand years maybe, or less. You know, the dolphin has been around for five million years and it hasn’t changed, but man has been around for a hundred fifty thousand, or less, depending on who you read, if you believe in the old earth material – and I don’t even want to get into the old earth and new earth stuff, but I’m just using your terms – and yet man has evolved enormously in this very short period of time. It’s very, very odd.”

    As I heard Simmons say this, I found his comment to very, very odd. “…depending on who you read, if you believe in the old earth material – and I don’t even want to get into the old earth and new earth stuff, but I’m just using your terms….”

    Surely it is only a young earth creationist who would make such a comment. So is Simmons a young earth creationist? And if he is, then here is yet another example of the fact that the Discovery Institute CSC is so genuinely unconcerned about genuine science that they actively recruit the blatantly anti-science young earth creationists as promoters of their propaganda. (Ones that we happen to know about already are Paul Nelson, John Mark Reynolds, and Dean Kenyon.)

    It seems to me that in debates such as this, since young earth creationists are so embarrassed about their belief in young earth creationism these days that they try to hide it in public discussion (embarrassed as they should be because even they realize how much it destroys all credibility in anything they have to say about science), the *very first* question that should be asked of an ID proponent is: Do you accept the geological fact that the earth has been around for billions of years?

    If he says “Yes,” then you can deal with the real subject. But if he says “No” or starts engaging in evasions (which you’re not going to allow because you’re going to pin them down), then you’ve won the debate about SCIENCE before it’s even really started, because your opponent has begun the debate by abandoning science altogether, his mind being in the fantasy world of young earth creationism religious dogma. If he tries evading the question with something like “I’m not even going to get into that; it’s not relevant to what we’re discussing.” You’ve got him by the gonads, with the immediate response, “It has *everything* to do with what we’re discussing, because what we’re discussing is what science really is and what should be taught to children in public school science classes, and it’s obvious to everyone that we should NOT be teaching anti-science propaganda to our children that is (1) based on religious dogma, yet (2) falsely pretends to be based on genuine concerns about science, to try to get around the First Amendment, when in fact concern about teaching good science has nothing to do with it. If you don’t even accept geological science and astronomical science, let alone evolutionary biology, then you prove exactly my point, that these so-called ‘debates’ are about people attacking science as motivated by their particular religious beliefs. Real science has nothing to do with it.”

  337. #339 AllanW
    February 3, 2008

    re; #333 stan
    ‘Dr. Myers needs to explain to me..’

    No, he doesn’t. You need to get over yourself and slink back under the stone that spawned you. I repeat, sod off.

  338. #340 Steve_C
    February 3, 2008

    I love when the little twerps get the smack down by PZ.

  339. #341 stan
    February 3, 2008

    Dr. Myers….I asked you very directly if individuals evolved genetically in response to environemntal conditions. You skirted my question because you know darn well that the evo establishment has been preaching for years that individuals cannot adapt genetically….yet you are afraid to admit it here for your audience…….so instead, what you do is change the subject to whether or not individuals can pass genetic changes on to future generations. But I gotta tell you — this is a perfect example of how evolutionists’ use sleight-of-hand techniques to fool others….and you people have been doing it for decades. I will explain further in a moment….but first, I would like you to read these words from Dr. Frank Vertosick, Jr from a book called “The Genius Within”…then I would like you to answer my questions below

    ————-From page 67:

    To compete on an equal footing with microbes, newly evolving vertebrates could not rely on large-scale evolution, acting on many generations, to solve their thorniest problems. Individual animals would have to shoulder more of the intellectual load and do a little evolving on their own, and do it in the course of a single lifetime.

    This idea sounds bizarre. Supercharged evolution housed inside a single animal? After all, evolution implies mutation or some other form of permanent DNA modification. For individual vertebrates to “evolve” genetically during their lifetimes, they would have to alter their own DNA intentionally as they age. Are the genes I possess now different from those I inherited at birth? Yes, Well, at least some of them.

    Bizarre as the idea of internal evoltuion sounds it’s quite true. Genetically I’m not the same person I was forty-five years ago. I have evolved – or, more accurately, my immune system has evolved – to keep pace with the genetic plasticity of the microbial world laying siege to my flesh. In addition, the white cells in my body are fighting for the right to survive, as certainly as the squirrels of the forest or the fish in the ocean compete to prove their own genetic superiority.

    pg.68

    “Hours after (a person) receives his flu vaccination, he begins creating enrirely new genes, his white cells mutating in an attmept to find a novel way of neutralizing the virus, just as bacteria muate in order to disvoer some novel way of neutralizing an antibiotic….

    The immune system looks too intelligent, almost like a magician. We inject an influenza protein into the body and, several weeks later, out pops an antibody that recognizes that protein with uncanny precision. It accomplishes this feat at the genetic level, so that our ability to recognize influenza antigens becomes part of our DNA…..

    ….Biologists like to believe that a pristine germline carries all the geneic information we’ll ever need from cradle to grave. For individual animals to change genetically during their lifetimes sonds too dangerous. After all, cancers arise because of alterations of our germline DNA, so surely we wouldn’t toy with our DNA blueprints intentionally…

    …Ah, but indeed we do. In the 1970s, improved DNA analytical techniques allowed immunologists to peer into the DNA of vertebrate immune systems, and they soon learned that we do evolve genetically in response to external threats in the same way that bacteria and flies evolve.”
    ————————————

    Now, Dr. Myers, sure enough you said individuals do not evolve. This is repeated here: (and thousands of other places)

    http://nsm1.nsm.iup.edu/rwinstea/darwin.shtm

    “Evolution is any change in the combined genetic material in a POPULATION, i.e., by definition, evolution has occurred if there is any change in the POPULATION’S gene pool. Especially note that individuals do not evolve – populations evolve.”

    But Dr. Myers….you all but admitted above that individuals can mutate and generate new genes in response to the environment. Dr. Vertosick very boldly pounds his fist on the table and shouts that it absolutely happens. So answer me this for me, Dr. Myers — do you not see how it could APPEAR that gene frequencies are changing in a population if ALL the members (who are each individually genetically adaptive) change genetically to the same environmental cue? Just to stick with the same example, if 1000 people got flu shots and they all generated genetic changes to provide new antibodies, could that not APPEAR to be populational “evolution?” Could it not appear that the population “evolved” via natural selection if it were seen or noticed after the fact in the field? (Can you say “Antifreeze Gene?) Dr. Myers, can you not see this simple logic? Can you not see that your insistence that individuals cannot pass on these genetic changes (which is an unsupported assertion any) is completely and totally unimportant?

  340. #342 stan
    February 3, 2008

    By the way, Dr. Myers, I noticed you avoided explaining how it is that when individuals pass genes to each other horizontally and then pass them on vertically (as they do in bacteria and other organisms) that this is not individuals “evolving.” How do you figure? And also, why is it that you gave me an example of a mutation that generates a new selectable structure (eye spots) when there was, in fact, no induced or observed mutation?

    At this point you are failing on every challenge I’ve given you.

  341. #343 PZ Myers
    February 3, 2008

    Stan, I don’t know whether you’re an idiot or a liar, but I suspect it’s a combination of the worst of both.

    Individuals change genetically. The immune system is an excellent example of this. Far from hiding this fact, I teach about DNA modification in my physiology course.

    These modifications, however, only exist for the life of the individual. They vanish when he or she dies. They are not passed on to subsequent generations. Without inheritance, you don’t get evolution. Far from being unimportant, that simple observation is a critical limitation to the relevance of your argument.

    Somatic cell modification is NOT evolution. It really is that simple.

    Now bugger off. I don’t mind explaining things to morons, but obtuse morons who won’t listen are a complete waste of time.

  342. #344 ck1
    February 3, 2008

    Stan, you issued a challenge:

    So I guess my challenge is this: please present me a scientifically-documented/observed mutation that has generated a new, beneficial, selectable morphological addition to an existing body part. . . . (a mutation that alters an organism’s physical, outward appearance in a beneficial way

    I noted that myostatin mutations clearly generate a new beneficial morphological addition.

    You response to this example was to move the goalposts by altering your challenge to ask for mutations that add new body parts or new structures:

    mutations evidently cannot do it. They cannot add whole new body parts such as organs, and they cannot generate structural additions to existing body parts.
    ____________________
    You ask

    How/why do hormones get released if there’s not some sort of mind activity goin on?

    and then answer your own question

    The autonomic nervous system directs rapid color changes in response to stimuli such as a predator or an aggressive tankmate.
    In other words, this phenomenon is mediated by signal transduction, a process that has been explained to you many times on other forums.
    _____________________
    I would also like to ask you again — are you the same genetically now as you were when you were a kid? Have you ever had a flu shot, Dr. Myers?

    As Dr. Myers said, genetic changes occur in specific genes in immune system cells in response to foreign antigens. Those antigens can be introduced by infection or by vaccination. These changes do not occur in the germline and are not passed to the next generation.

    If similar immune responses are seen in 1000 individuals exposed to the same antigen, it is still not evolution.

  343. #345 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    Horizontal gene transfer and epigenetics are not arguments for biological teleology. It’s still all fundamentally natural mindless random biochemistry.

    Heritability is a pretty crucial point. If changes are not passed on, the descendants won’t have them. If they don’t have them, then their descendants won’t have them. The change can hardly be said to have been “evolutionary”, in that case.

    Still waiting for those flourishing Antarctic wheat fields over here, Comrade.

  344. #346 stan
    February 3, 2008

    PZ: “Stan, I don’t know whether you’re an idiot or a liar, but I suspect it’s a combination of the worst of both.”

    Well PZ, it’s funny now how you have a complete lack of an answer…..you come on this forum of yours bragging about how soundly you defeated Dr. Simmons yet you don’t have the integrity to answer my questions. You are just the type of scientific egomaniac fraud that I absolutely despise.

    The fools in science have been proclaiming to the public for the past 50 years (or more) that individuals don’t change genetically. And you know why they’ve made up this lie?…it’s because they know not everyone is a dang fool…they know there are few people out there who can figure out if individuals are individually adaptive on the somatic and/or genetic level that it might be that populational (evolution by natural selection) becomes irrelevant because individuals — whether they be a developing organism or full-fledged adults — have the power and capacity to learn about and take in information from their envirornment, and also have the ability to respond appropriately and intelligently. But see you guys hate that because you hate the idea that organisms have a mind or intelligence. You people are so obsessed and consumed with ToE and your own irrelevance, that you are willing to deny intelligence, the very thing you claim to have more of than creationists.

    ——————

    PZ: “Individuals change genetically. The immune system is an excellent example of this. Far from hiding this fact, I teach about DNA modification in my physiology course.”

    Lovely. So if you admit the immune system can generate mutations and new genes in response to an environmental challenge then you must be admitting that “evolution” has been internalized, as all organisms are genetically adaptive.
    ————————

    PZ: “These modifications, however, only exist for the life of the individual. They vanish when he or she dies. They are not passed on to subsequent generations. Without inheritance, you don’t get evolution. Far from being unimportant, that simple observation is a critical limitation to the relevance of your argument.”

    Did you even read my statement? Do you simply not understand that if every individual in a population evolves/adapts genetically from internal processes that external processes of adaptation (selection) are not needed? If every individual (alive or in development) is genetically adaptive, how could you ever tell if the trait/gene was acquired or inherited?…and what would it matter? I honestly believe a 3rd grader could understand this.———————————

    PZ: “Now bugger off. I don’t mind explaining things to morons, but obtuse morons who won’t listen are a complete waste of time.”

    You can keep calling me names and insulting me but the reality is you have not yet answered any of my questions. You have not given me an example of a scientifically-validated mutation that can generate an additional body part or a selectable structural modification to an existing body part, you have not explained to me how it is that genes and traits transferred horizontally from certain oranisms in a population to others does not qualify as “individuals evolving”…you do not seem to be able to grasp that natural selection becomes invalid if individuals can direct their own genetic processes —– you, Dr Myers, are the one who’s a waste of time…not only that but this site and ToE as a whole is a complete joke….and you are the ringleader who just got the floor sweeped by an “ignorant” Christian. Now put all this in your pipe and smoke it.

  345. #347 MAJeff
    February 3, 2008

    not only that but this site and ToE as a whole is a complete joke….and you are the ringleader who just got the floor sweeped by an “ignorant” Christian. Now put all this in your pipe and smoke it.

    Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are.

  346. #348 Uber
    February 3, 2008

    Stan is profoundly ignorant of basic biology and it is this fact alone that leads him to his misunderstanding.

  347. #349 stan
    February 3, 2008

    yes, it does have a touch of humor, doesn’t it. :)

  348. #350 MAJeff
    February 3, 2008

    I shouldn’t laugh at the delusional, but it’s so hard not to.

    stan’s logic-fu is not strong.

  349. #351 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    Did you even read my statement?

    Alas, it was a statement completely unsupported by actual evidence, such as Antarctic wheat fields.

    If every individual (alive or in development) is genetically adaptive, how could you ever tell if the trait/gene was acquired or inherited?

    It may astonish you to learn this, but it is possible to do genetic comparisons between parent and offspring.

    natural selection becomes invalid if individuals can direct their own genetic processes

    Just as the horse-trading market becomes invalid if wishes can become horses?

    ToE as a whole is a complete joke

    But not as funny as you…

    I think PZ, and everyone else here, would dearly love to see the expressions on your face as you attempt to direct your own genetic processes. Feel free to grow another arm, or even an extra finger, sheerly by the force of your own will, and document the process.

    That would be great.

  350. #352 stan
    February 3, 2008

    OWL….it doesn’t matter if I can “direct” genetic processes or not. It doesn’t matter if they happen blindly by accident or if the Tooth Fairy does it. The reality is genetic processes are internalized and individuals have the power and capacity to read and respond to environmental challenges. I would like to say that mind and matter cannot be separated and that intelligence is an emergent property of all molecules, tissues, cells, organs, etc, but ultimately it doesn’t even matter what’s responsible because it can never be seen or proven anyway. The important thing is that the results of internal processes doing their thing is very testable and observable….and it has been observed that individuals do have the capability to evolve. The reality is genes and genomes are followers, not leaders in evolutionary change. This puts the big hurt on ToE, which says the opposite.

  351. #353 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    it doesn’t matter if I can “direct” genetic processes or not.

    But it does matter! It’s absolutely critical to your entire thesis! Did you not just say, entirely seriously, “natural selection becomes invalid if individuals can direct their own genetic processes” ?

    Get cracking and direct those genetic processes!

    individuals have the power and capacity to read and respond to environmental challenges.

    Hey, an even more dramatic demonstration would be for you to respond the the environmental challenge of the Antarctic. Walk proud and naked in the katabatic winds, proving all of the theory of evolution to be a joke. Don’t forget the extra finger and arm as well.

  352. #354 Promethean
    February 3, 2008

    OWL, In Stan (aka. Supersport, Guzman) you are talking to a moron that thinks DNA doesn’t matter. And idiot who claims that bacteria have minds that drive their antibiotic resistance. This dirtbag thinks all matter has intelligence. The range of stupid claim he has made encompass the whole spectrum of human endeavors. Stan even had the gall to tell a researcher (Justin Touchon) what his research really meant. Trying to discuss anything with this imbecile is a waste of time; the only thing you can do is correct his many mistakes just in case someone might believe his.

  353. #355 LW
    February 3, 2008

    Getting off the topic of Stan’s weird rants, I haven’t seen anyone mention my favorite part of Dr. Simmons’ contribution to the debate: “There’s a time in the life of a fetus when a quarter of a million brain cells migrate practically every minute for a short chunk of time and they all go to the right place and make all or almost all the right connections, and indeed they do do some pruning. But one would have to speculate that this would take billions and billions of years if one were to have an intermediate step for each one of these, and yet this all happened within, oh, a few hundred thousand years maybe, or less.”

    I believe he is saying that the evolution of the human brain would require individual mutation followed by natural selection to create every single one of those brain cells and direct it to its destination. It seems he may actually think that that’s how evolution works, as opposed to a mutation that says something like, “delay secreting the migration-producing chemicals for a little longer,” which allows more brain cells to form (by division) and then respond to the migration-producing chemicals exactly the way brain cells did before, except now there are more of them.

    I suppose if that’s really how a creationist thinks evolution works, that explains some of their stranger arguments. A bit scary that a medical doctor thinks that, though.

  354. #356 fusilier
    February 3, 2008

    Just in case anyone thinks “Stan” is serious, here is his post on CARM discussion forums from 2-3-08

    Come join the action. I’ve (*) done ticked off PZ myers by challenging him to a debate on his blog. I just threw the first pitch….let’s see how long this goes before I get banned.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2…un_or_what.php

    * = Stan at Pharyngula

    Stan, consider this comment thread your arena. Stop telling us you are going to tell us what’s wrong with evolution, JUST DO IT.

    People who whine away that they’ve got a killer argument but don’t say what it is are just attention whores; I won’t believe you’re serious about discussing the issues until you start making substantive comments.

    ps….you’ll find “Stan’s” comments at/near the bottom.

    SS has admitted to me that he just does this in order to amuse himself at work, when things are slow.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  355. #357 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    SS has admitted to me that he just does this in order to amuse himself at work, when things are slow.

    And why should I not amuse myself right back?

    Somehow, I didn’t think he was going to take up the challenge.

    Still, it would make a great Weekly World News headline:

    “Six-fingered three-armed man dances with penguins!
    (Scientists baffled)”

  356. #358 stan
    February 3, 2008

    OWL: “But it does matter! It’s absolutely critical to your entire thesis! Did you not just say, entirely seriously, “natural selection becomes invalid if individuals can direct their own genetic processes”

    I am getting with it….my genome is in constant flux, in constant readiment…ready to move and adjust itself to whatever kind of new environment I put myself in. I no more have to think about than I have to think about digesting my food or healing an injury. I can’t help it that life is miraculous…it’s just the way it is.

  357. #359 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    I am getting with it….my genome is in constant flux, in constant readiment…ready to move and adjust itself to whatever kind of new environment I put myself in.

    So when you swim, you sprout gills?

    Dances with penguins, swims with the cod?
    How odd.

  358. #360 ck1
    February 3, 2008

    Hey, Stan!

    I see you did not get around to responding to my post – Why not?

    moving on…you said:

    If every individual (alive or in development) is genetically adaptive, how could you ever tell if the trait/gene was acquired or inherited?…and what would it matter? I honestly believe a 3rd grader could understand this

    Acquired traits resulting from signalling induced altered transcription will not be seen in the next generation in the absence of the external stimulus. The immune system DNA rearrangements you describe are not found in other types of somatic cells nor are they inherited by the next generation through the germline.

    I presume you also recognize that somatic rearrangements can be found in tumors, but those rearrangements are also not found in non-tumor containing tissues of the organism and are not passed to the next generation.

  359. #361 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    By the way, as you swim underwater naked, watch out for horny sea-life, or you may find yourself becoming far more intimately knowledgeable of “horizontal gene transfer” than you might prefer.

    Although, hey, maybe you and your constantly fluxing genome just swing that way.

    CAN HAS XENOGENESIS, PLZ? KTHXBAI.

  360. #362 jre
    February 3, 2008

    And if you don’t know the answer, you must be playing with your ding-a-ling.

    Spawn of Satan! How did you know that?

    Oh … you’re trying to have a serious discussion with stan? Terribly sorry. Carry on. Good luck with that.

  361. #363 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    you’re trying to have a serious discussion with stan?

    Define “serious”.

    Another Weekly World News headline:

    “Three-armed six-fingered man gives birth to baby fish-man hybrid!
    (Scientists baffled.)”

    Or maybe: “squid-man hybrid”.

    Or even: “half-man half-penguin half-walrus half-orca half-cod monster!!
    (‘Very busy day’, says weary parent)
    (Scientists baffled, and also slightly disgusted)”

  362. #364 AJ Milne
    February 3, 2008

    …it’s funny now how you have a complete lack of an answer…

    … how the Guzbot sez: ‘I didn’t understand your answer… or I’m gonna pretend I didn’t, since I got nothin’ else…’

  363. #365 Raguel
    February 3, 2008

    heh I told supersport about PZ over a year ago iirc.(sorry PZ :() It looks like he finally found the site. ;)

    He was claiming evo-devo disproved evolution, and yes, he really did say South African whites didn’t mutate in one generation to black skin because of the presence of air-conditioning.

    Troll or sincere, he’s just another example of Poe’s Law in action.

  364. #366 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2008

    yes, he really did say South African whites didn’t mutate in one generation to black skin because of the presence of air-conditioning.

    He should have volunteered to go down himself and show off his constantly-fluxing genome.

    If he wore only an apron, he would end up looking like a penguin, so he would be all set to go on to Antarctica.

  365. #367 Occam's aftershave
    February 3, 2008

    Hey SuperSpurt, why don’t you tell us about how long it takes light from a flashlight to travel from Ft. Worth to the sun? :) :) :)

    http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about12267.html

  366. #368 Raguel
    February 3, 2008

    ROFL thanks Occam

    Just when I thought SS was heading for the “old and busted” column, he brings the noise.

    Well done, sir. /bow

  367. #369 Those Pesky Darwinists
    February 3, 2008

    This has got to be the most devolved blog site on the entire WWW. Not only has it got the worst possible layout, font etc…the commentators aren’t looking any better either. Apparently, they were born that way.

  368. #370 Graculus
    February 4, 2008

    Hey SuperSpurt, why don’t you tell us about how long it takes light from a flashlight to travel from Ft. Worth to the sun?

    Well, that’s seveeral muons short of a worm-hole.

  369. #371 Owlmirror
    February 4, 2008

    Hey SuperSpurt, why don’t you tell us about how long it takes light from a flashlight to travel from Ft. Worth to the sun?

    Well, that’s seveeral muons short of a worm-hole.

    He’s obviously gotten into the ether.

    And I suspect that it’s not the luminiferous kind, either.

  370. #372 slapge
    February 4, 2008

    ‘Stan’ writes:
    I’m just a harmless, scientifically-ignorant Christian

    I can vouch for that.

  371. #373 slpage
    February 4, 2008

    “And compared to PZ I certainly AM scientifically ignorant. That, however, does not mean I’m not completely confident that I can pin PZ’s science up against an intellect wall and render it useless.”

    Confidence despite ignorance – Dunning-Kruger (with a twist) all the way.

  372. #374 slpage
    February 4, 2008

    “”To the surprise of scientists, many environmentally induced changes turn out to be heritable. When exposed to predators, Daphnia water fleas grow defensive spines (right). The effect can last for several generations.”

    Amazing…

    Supersport/Guzman/Stan is without a doubt the most dishonest, lying little ignorant weasle I have ever encountered. This water flea business has been EXPLAINED to him literally a dozen times on at least 2 different forums, and he STILL trots it out again as if it is ‘new’.

    What a fuckwit.

  373. #375 nkanellos
    February 4, 2008

    Wait a minute. Wait …… A ….. Minute. I think I’ve figured “stan” out.

    He’s on our side. He’s one of the good guys. He’s a plant. A mole. His mission: Discredit the religious nuttiness he purports to support.

    Brilliant!!! Masterfull!!!

    Dude, awesome. But tone it down a bit. Just a bit. Nobody is that stupid. The cdesign proponentists might catch on. We have to be carefull. A fine balance is necessary. The merely ludicrous is OK. The utterly comtemptible ludicrous we have to use sparingly. This mission is important. We can’t afford failure.

    Loved the flashlight logic. Awesome!!

    Oh…wait-a-minute. I think I just blew your cover. Forget what I said. Bad, stan… Bad!!!

  374. #376 David Edwards
    February 4, 2008

    Oh no, I see that Guzman/Supersport has decided to troll this blog.

    Just for the record, his latest wheeze is to come up with an alternative “theory” to supplant evolution which involves a truly weird bastard love child of Lamarckism and panpsychism, with possibly a lump or two of Nietzschean superman “will to power” thrown in for good measure. His theory is (wait for it):

    [1] DNA is a “follower rather than a leader” in genetic change;

    [2] Organisms can change their genomes wholesale by an act of will.

    I kid you not. There’s a whole thread of this tard over at Rants ‘n’ Raves.

    Oh, and he’s just posted over at RnR the comment that “PZ is having his chimp brain smoked over there” … which just goes to show how delusional the little tardbot really is. Go take a look and see clinically psychotic levels of delusion in action (possibly actionable action, who knows?).

    Wade through this thread over at RnR to see Stuporsquirt expound his thesis that individual cells have “minds” and can reprogram their entire genomes wholesale by “thinking” about it. No less than thirty pages in which our resident creotard is handed dozens of scientific papers that demonstrate that his ideas are a pile of festering donkey faeces, only to be given the Behe response, namely “it isn’t good enough” (as if old Mr Butterfly Wombs himself is in a position to determine this).

    You can’t make this shit up. Well, unless you suffer from the kind of intellectual palsy that affects creationists, you can’t. Enjoy weapons-grade fuckwittery on an epic scale in that 30 page thread.

    Oh, and MAJOR hat tip to PZ for frying Simmons’ ass on that radio show. Simmons was almost as pig ignorant of basic biology as Stuporsquirt, which for a practising doctor is unforgivable.

  375. #377 David Edwards
    February 5, 2008

    Double post. Perhaps PZ will find this entertaining enough to use in a lecture sometime. :)

    Here is the post in which the bastard love child of Lamarckism and panpsychism I cited above is introduced …

    However, when he was asked the following question:

    Care to present here an instance of an individual multicellular eukaryote that has modified its own genome wholesale? In other words, one in which that genome alteration has taken place identically in every single one of its cells? Ideally with “before” and “after” genome sequences?

    the response was this:

    I’m not going to attempt to answer your impossible-to-answer challenge — how in the world could I ever prove genomic alterations happen identically in every cells?…don’t you think that’s a bit much to ask for from me? How could anything be proven to be true in every cell? C’mmon.

    This is the kind of individual who is trolling your blog PZ – someone who not only makes shit up as he goes along, but when challenged to support it when provided with an example of how to verify the purported validity of his “hypothesis”, squirms and evades like mad.

  376. #378 Owlmirror
    February 5, 2008

    Just for the record, his latest wheeze is to come up with an alternative “theory” to supplant evolution which involves a truly weird bastard love child of Lamarckism and panpsychism, with possibly a lump or two of Nietzschean superman “will to power” thrown in for good measure.

    Since the troll being discussed doesn’t really care about the truth, I still think that the proper strategy is to mock his cartoon biology, and call it the Lysenkoism that it is.

    Emphasizing the absurd consequences that would follow if his premises were true has been a lot of fun (well, for me, anyway), and it certainly seems to have shut him up over here.

    Really, he’s far sillier than wossname with his balloon animals.

  377. #379 stan
    February 5, 2008

    Anyone care to explain to me why Dr. Myers couldn’t come up with a single mutation that adds a new beneficial structure?…….why he cites me an “example” (wing-spot) that isn’t even the result of an observed or induced mutation? Anyone care to explain to me why it is that Dr. Myers refuses to admit that individuals evolve and that individuals’ genomes change during their own lifetime in plastic response to environmental changes? Anyone care to tell me why Dr. Myers refuses to answer me as to how it can be that when individuals pass genes and traits back and forth that it doesn’t qualify as individuals evolving? You goons are great at insults and ridicule, but when it comes down to the meat and potatoes of the debate, you cranks ain’t got jack.

  378. #380 MAJeff
    February 5, 2008

    So, is Stan ignorant or stupid?

  379. #381 spurge
    February 5, 2008

    “So, is Stan ignorant or stupid?”

    False dichotomy!

  380. #382 Owlmirror
    February 5, 2008

    You goons are great at insults and ridicule, but when it comes down to the meat and potatoes of the debate, you cranks ain’t got jack.

    So when are you going demonstrate how your constantly fluxing genome will turn your skin black (with a white belly like a penguin), and allow you to swim naked underwater for, say, 10 minutes, in the freezing cold?

    If you can’t afford the trip to South Africa and Antarctica, you don’t even need to leave the continental US. You could just walk in the sun in Texas, and dive naked into Lake Michigan.

    Put your genome where your mouth is.

    (OK, ew.)

  381. #383 stan
    February 5, 2008

    The theory of evolution is falsified in 6 words:

    “Mutations don’t add new, selectable structures.”

    Too bad, so sad. You people are wasting your time.

  382. #384 Owlmirror
    February 5, 2008

    You people are wasting your time.

    Don’t forget to upload the video of you growing your extra fingers and third arm to youtube! And post the link here, Bolshevist Comrade!

  383. #385 john
    February 6, 2008

    I am late to comment her. But after listening to the debate I was wondering if the subtle difference of referring to Simmon. as Dr. Simmons every time he was addressed and Dr. Meyers was addressed as PZ without the title often through out the show was done on purpose by the host.

  384. #386 Wolfhound
    February 6, 2008

    My favorite Supersport post, when he was posting on RantsN’Raves as “Guzman” was so precious and so perfectly sums up his mental state that I had to use it as my sig there: “…because the little skirt-wearing/make-up wearing/disco-dancing/feces ingesting fags disgust people 98% of the non-fag population. Now answer my question.” Yes, “Stan” hates Teh Gay because Jesus tells him so.

  385. #387 Ray S.
    February 6, 2008

    Stan:

    You people are wasting your time.

    I think this is the first correct statement I’ve seen from Stan, including my exposure to him in other fora. Anyone who thinks they might be able to hold a rational discussion with him is sadly mistaken and is indeed wasting their time.

  386. #388 Dillo
    February 6, 2008

    Wow,
    I guess I’m experiencing culture shock.
    I’m not at all surprised that PZ totally took the guy apart within the first few sentences and just ruled the entire debate. I guess I’m surprised that this is still such a widespread, blood-boiling issue for so many people.

    I live in a bubble. A tiny little island of sensibility, rational thought, civilization and intelligence, surrounded by a sea of idiots, cranks, mouthbreathers and worse.

    Is this a wingnut station or representative of the mainstream out there?—If the latter, I don’t know how you manage to stand the place…

  387. #389 Earl
    February 6, 2008

    Oh look,
    The radio station is featuring your opponent on the radio today, Feb 6th! That ought to be a hoot!

  388. #390 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Sigh.

    4:00 pm – “Evolution: Billions of Missing Links”
    Dr. Geoffrey Simmons, Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute will help us better understand why the theory of evolution is simply not feasible.

    So much for PZ getting the last word.

    I wonder if Dr. Simmons will care to explain his apostasy during the debate?

  389. #391 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Sigh.

    Before hSimmons was yakking about whales again. Including Darwin & his bears speculation. Moron.

    Now he’s blathering about babies breathing again.

    Now human tears.

    Eye design.

    He’s pretending the debate didn’t happen. Well, except for one very vague allusion.

  390. #392 RichardC
    February 6, 2008

    KKMS quickly realized its mistake in inviting PZ to debate with Simmons, so they had Simmons back to “win” the debate the only way he can, with his opponent gagged.

    I’ve been listening to the Simmons interview, and its one long argument from incredulity. Things Evolution Can’t Explain.

  391. #393 RichardC
    February 6, 2008

    Simmons (in interview): Darwin didn’t use the scientific method, didn’t know what it was.

    One howler after another.

  392. #394 Keith Douglas
    February 7, 2008

    David Marjanovi?, OM: The Inuit also have all matter of stories and legends about grandmothers, especially. Of course, by my reckoning, these women are probably 40 years old or so.

  393. #395 Graculus
    February 7, 2008

    Anyone care to explain to me why Dr. Myers couldn’t come up with a single mutation that adds a new beneficial structure?…….

    APO1 Milano.

    Now piss off.

  394. #396 HitMeWithIt
    February 10, 2008

    The debate was quite a disappointment in my opinion. When two people are so badly matched intellectually that a planned debate becomes no more than one person drowning in their own ignorance -whilst the other has won before it’s even started, it really is boring.
    I was hoping for a debate of some kind…I didn’t expect the idiot of the party to be an idiot of such a level that he shouldn’t have even been there!
    When he used the old school playground ‘you called it a theory’ thing (I won’t call it an argument) I just had to laugh…was that the best he could come up with?
    Tosser.
    Oh and that radio station sounds like a real hoot!

  395. #397 notanidiotmonkey
    February 22, 2008

    Oh the sweet smell of retreat, from Darwinists, evolutionists, or whatever label you come up with, from getting defensive when confronted with daily, revealed evidence backing the Truth. Serve up a little mockery and demoralization to offend and ridicule. Add a side of contempt. Voila! It’s instant fear and retaliatation by nothing more than the mentality and prattle of a group of elementary school aged children on the playground or in the locker room.

    Cerebrally challenged? Hardly! Could these be words from those that should donate their brains to science? Yes! Why? Simple. They’ve never used them correctly, so they would serve someone better who needs a transplant. That way they could then access it’s higher functions and use it more correctly and productively.

    Clits, penises, coca plants, etc.! Some even mentioned the word “adult” in their comments! What oxymoron! You’ve done nothing to smear anyone’s debates or books on the Creation! You’ve only given it more acceleration and motivation and you’ve helped show that the other side is successfully revealing IT IS TRUTH-FILLED evidence! However, you have succeeded in educating people about the immaturity and emptiness of the mind that continues to haunt even the most educated students, science scholars and, it appears, associate professors.

    Far be it from anyone to use science in the manner IT WAS CREATED and show the world what really happened and is happening day-by-day, of course. HE (can your brain decipher who HE is?) isn’t going to let ANYONE figure it all out. But, that’s why Creation is becoming clearer and receiving more rejection and cynicism. Revelations are a steady process. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

    I believe you said it, with quite an off-color demeanor I might add:

    “That radio debate was a hoot and a half, but I can’t take credit. All the joy came straight from the mouth and brain of my lovely opponent, who obviously didn’t do a lick of research for either the debate or for his books. I was shocked for a moment when, after I’d mentioned the recent discovery of Indohyus, he went on to claim that there were no intermediates between that deer-like artiodactyl and modern whales … and when I tried to mention Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rhodcetus, Basilosaurus, etc., he seemed to have never heard of them, claimed his information came from a Scientific American article some months ago (way to plumb the depths of the scientific literature, Dr Simmons!), and then started making stuff about them not exhibiting dorsoventral flexion in swimming, and not having dorsal blowholes. He wrote a whole book about “Billions of missing links”! His other book, What Darwin Didn’t Know, needs to be retitled in a new edition, What Geoffrey Simmons Doesn’t Know. It will be a very large book.

    I shouldn’t have been surprised at his performance, though. I have a secret: I read part of What Darwin Didn’t Know before the show, and knew exactly what kind of creationist I was engaging.

    I have to share a few tidbits with you from that hilarious book. It has a chapter titled “Purposeful Design” which purports to list 81 examples of design. He has very low standards. Basically, anything that works is evidence of design.

    The mouth, vagina, urethra, and anus are sealed by mucus when not in use and yet can open and close in controlled ways as needs arise.

    This is a man who thinks the fact that he isn’t drooling and feces aren’t dribbling down his leg is a miracle from god. After reading his book, I kind of agree.”
    PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

    I’m confused. How does a well-known associate professor, who appears would lower his reputation, intelligence and, ultimately self, choose to go from mentioning “Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rhodcetus, Basilosaurus, etc.,” to sphincters, menopause, and intercourse? Which, consequentially, lead to a plethora of comments that purported nothing more than locker-room and street-wise (excuse the oxymoron, again) intellect and conversation. I’ll need to read more about your institution. Seems that I need to keep abreast of the University of Minnesota, Morris’ Mission Statement, Curricula, and Syllabi.

    Albeit, the author did write about these things, but he also wrote professionally, courteously, and non-perversely about the TRUTHS as they are becoming evident, and more crystal clear, with each turn of the globe, picture captured with NASA’s powerful tools, and trip to space.

    As an educator, I find it unappealing, unproductive, immature, and quite hypocritical that associate professors, and those that follow, take time from responsibilities and demands to write so intelligently, dramatically and earnestly about things that would condone putrefaction and obscenities, rather than do the job they are paid to do and stay on topic, about issues that modern-day science is revealing and PROVING, regardless of race, color, gender, or bubblegum flavor!

    And, as “one of those who champion and abide in Creationism”, I would pray that any discoveries, facts, and, especially, debates, would be agreed with, or disagreed with, on an Eternal basis. The future counts, today!

    Labels mean nothing more to me than those on foods, political fools, and anything or anyone else that will soon rot and decay, sadly, without ever going anywhere positive.

    I’m happy with the ways things are coming about that are NEW discoveries and evidence of false or skewed, centuries-old discoveries and debates. I live in comfort knowing that THE TRUTH will prevail and not the peer pressures and conjectures of the “in crowd” and scientists. This “in crowd” uses childish antics, the media, politics, even tries to twist the Constitution their way and use occupational position to fire, push away, attempt to damage reputations or silence “those other scientists” that are discovering TRUE FACTS and showing a living God in action!

    I pray for us all.
    “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

  396. #398 Ichthyic
    February 22, 2008

    Oh the sweet smell of retreat, from Darwinists, evolutionists, or whatever label you come up with

    shorter anidiothuman:

    WATERLOOOOO!!!!

  397. #399 Owlmirror
    February 22, 2008

    How does a well-known associate professor, who appears would lower his reputation, intelligence and, ultimately self, choose to go from mentioning “Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rhodcetus, Basilosaurus, etc.,” to sphincters, menopause, and intercourse?

    Actually, it was intelligently designed to be rather funny.

    Seems that I need to keep abreast

    See? You did it too!

    TRUTHS as they are becoming evident, and more crystal clear, with each turn of the globe, picture captured with NASA’s powerful tools,

    Yeah, that image of God in the Orion Nebula was pretty neat. Of course, he does kinda look like a lopsided troglodyte with a penis-like nose, but hey, nothing is perfect.

  398. #400 Mike
    February 22, 2008

    In each Creationist’s basement is a wooden cross that they want to be nailed too.

  399. #401 Kuba
    May 9, 2008

    Why didnt you correct him when he said “evolution is not a fact”?

  400. #402 Blaine
    May 12, 2008

    Can we redefine the use of “law” as a scientific tag and just start calling it the “law of evolution”… I’m so sick of:

    “Theory of Evolution” > “HA HA! He said theory!!!” > [explain 'theory'] > [silence] “… HA! THEORY!”.

    It’s like a child laughing every time they hear ‘uranus’… he he…anus.

  401. #403 Anonymous
    June 9, 2008

    The disposable soma theory, amongst other things, deals with meno-pauze (it’s about natural selection being in place for genes that endorse early reproduction, plus genes affecting many components; hence genes that help early reproduction can have adverse effects later on in life – after all: the ‘immortal’ does not ‘care’)

  402. #404 Anonymous
    June 9, 2008

    (‘immortal’ of course referring to the ‘immortal gene’)

  403. #405 Donovan
    June 10, 2008

    I would love to see some, just a little, just a smidgen, just a hint of the evidence #394 has apparently immersed him/herself in. I also think it’s great that an associate professor can switch from serious discussions of evolutionary fossil records to jokes about sex and feces. Hell, my best professors can combine the two over beers and wings and enrapture the whole bar in the epiphany of understanding. In case that particular professor is reading this, you still owe me cab fare. Science (and the rest of academia to include us ALB’s) is beautiful in just that way: it’s fun and entertaining while good for humanity and life in general.

    And why was Simons so upset with being called ignorant? I’m ignorant, which is why I’ve shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to universities over the years fighting my ignorance. Ignorance, like theory, is NOT a pejorative term. It is a statement of the amount of acquired knowledge, and we are ALL ignorant to some extent. Simons was either ignorant or lying, I think PZ was overly generous in applying the ignorant label, allowing Simons to say (more appropriate that his actual response) “Yes, I was ignorant about those fossils, and I will have to research that. Let us switch to some other areas of the theory I find unsupported and I hope we can discuss the whales again when I am up to speed.”

  404. #406 imflyboy
    September 16, 2008

    Just listened to the show on my way home tonight. It’s already been said enough, but way to go Dr Myers! This guy was a complete moron. What kind of medicine does this guy practice? If he’s as knowledgeable about his profession as he is about evolution I don’t want him anywhere near my body! I though it was great that when he realized he didn’t have a case he began to complain that you were insulting him. A nice try to distract the audience and the clowns moderating seemed more than ready to defend him. Too bad the folks who tune into that station are too ignorant to comprehend Dr Myers’ argument.

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