Pharyngula

I am amused

Poor Geoffrey Simmons, so painfully pathetic. He’s back on KKMS right now, given an hour where there isn’t one of those wretched evolutionists to point out the absurdity of his comments. So far, all he’s doing is giving a litany of complexity — the eye is so complex, and the eyes are at the top of your head to give you the best visibility, and they’re exactly the right distance apart to give you binocular vision. It’s painfully panglossian and naive.

Oh, and he snipes at the ‘experts’ and claims that the ‘Darwinists’ don’t understand the complexity of childbirth, unlike him, the MD. Good grief, I’m a developmental biologist!

You can tell that without me there he’s feeling free to make up even more lies, not that he was significantly inhibited the last time he was on.

Hmmm…should I suggest that maybe they should give me a solo hour on air too, to discuss what evolution and biology are actually about? I doubt that they’d take me up on it; they’re clearly desperate to make up for their embarrassment last week by giving Simmons a little uncritical bootlicking, and they would feel no such obligation to me.

Go ahead, call in at 651-289-4499 and let them know how tiny and frightened this makes Simmons look.

Comments

  1. #1 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    In addition to the apostasy (or what his religion actually is), I’d like to hear him clarify exactly how old he thinks the universe is (he got very vague about the “old earth” model again).

  2. #2 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    How is “supernatural” testable, ya doink?

    “Ugliest bear in the cage”?

    Oooh! Just got a plug!

    Banned in Spain?

  3. #3 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    How do species change into other species?

    “Not bringing God to the table – this is contra-Darwin.”

    “Can’t find molars in front and insciors in the back (of the mouth)”

    He doesn’t know squat about development!!! It’s all design!!!

  4. #4 Alex
    February 6, 2008

    Well, since god changed the speed of light and radioactive decay rates, the Universe can be as old (or young) as they need it to be.

    That’s what’s great about magic sky gods!

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    February 6, 2008

    “The nose is always above the mouth”…therefore, design.

    This guy is nuts.

  6. #6 Glen Davidson
    February 6, 2008

    and the eyes are at the top of your head to give you the best visibility,

    Dammit, where’s my giraffe neck? I’m top of the chain of being, so I deserve the best visibility of all.

    Did he perhaps mention the flounder? Eyes developing on both sides of the head, one migrating to the other side as it develops? Now that’s design for you, or, well, that’s evolution anyway, considering that you’d expect that sort of half-solution from evolution (like the testes migrating during development. And don’t bother about the lifestyle of the young flounder with eyes on both sides of the head–of course that configuration’s useful then, but what makes that stage of development “optimal” or any such thing? Certainly not the case for testes, except insofar as evolved developmental paths dictate where testes develop).

    Anyway, Simmons shows his enormous ignorance whenever he discusses any of these “perfections,” since he totally ignores developmental problems caused by evolutionary constraints.

    Even more than the giraffe neck, I want my hawk eyes. Surely we deserve that, since the whole universe was made for us, and our own adaptations to get around the “inside-out” vertebrate eyes aren’t as excellent as those in the hawk’s eyes.

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

  7. #7 healthphysicist
    February 6, 2008

    Crap, I’m having the same problems listening as I did when PZ did the debate. Please call in and please provide internet updates!

    Thanks from Memphis!

  8. #8 Copernic
    February 6, 2008

    Listening now. What a dimwit. For a doctor, he sure knows jack-all about comparative anatomy. Eyes are above the nose is proof of design? snicker
    J

  9. #9 Alex
    February 6, 2008

    I Design, Therefore I Am…….God.

  10. #10 Sven DiMilo
    February 6, 2008

    so…what was the mighty creator thinking when it arranged for snails to twist around to put the asshole above the mouth?

  11. #11 Alex
    February 6, 2008

    The snail thing happened accidentally when god sneezed. That’s also why they’re always so slimy and yucky.

  12. #12 GravityTakesFaith
    February 6, 2008

    Just tuned in and my eyes cant stop rolling. I love his comment that he denies evolution but not natural selection.
    My jaw hit the floor on that one.

  13. #13 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    PBS shows have evidence for evolution…

    “Parents are concerned” Aw.

    No room to debate. ?

    Dude, you had your debate and FAILED.

    ID had its day in court and FAILED.

  14. #14 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Gah!!!!

    Ontology recapitulates phylogeny!!!

    Darwin did no experiments? Hello, barnacles!

  15. #15 C. M. Baxter
    February 6, 2008

    “‘The nose is always above the mouth’…therefore, design.

    This guy is nuts.”

    In Simmons’ case, the ass is always between the eyes.

  16. #16 healthphysicist
    February 6, 2008

    Are they taking phone calls? Or is that too dangerous?

  17. #17 PZ Myers
    February 6, 2008

    Now he’s attributing “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” to Darwin, and claiming that Darwin never did experiments, but just sat in his thinking room and made it all up.

    He also claims that there is no documentation of the transformation of the reptilian jaw to the jaw and ear bones of mammals.

    Lies and ignorance. It’s all he’s got. I’m appalled, but unsurprised.

  18. #18 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Ear evolution – no evidence…

    Agendas! People want to keep their jobs!

    Plugging Hitchens, Behe, Dembski, Meyers, etc – the usual suspects.

    Where did water come from? Why does water expand?

    Challenge tax-paid professors!

  19. #19 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Sorry the comments are so haphazard – summarizing idiocy in real time is harder than I thought.

  20. #20 MAJeff
    February 6, 2008

    Dammit, where’s my giraffe neck? I’m top of the chain of being, so I deserve the best visibility of all.

    Don’t try to find a turtleneck. Shit, I can’t even find a medium-extra-tall to fit my arms.

  21. #21 Raguel
    February 6, 2008

    hah; I called in (right around that bit about Darwin and ontology), but didn’t get past the screener. ah well

  22. #22 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Simmons doesn’t even know the basics about Darwin and his life, other than the usual quote mines.

  23. #23 COpernic
    February 6, 2008

    I don’t get how he was a staunch evolutionist when he knows less about evolution than I did at 13 (25 years ago).

    The inner ear evolved from a lizard’s jawbone? How about the development and reduction of the lower jaw bones of an ancestral lobe-finned fish via amphibians, therapsids, and then mammals, all found in the fossil record.

    This man is a deceiver and should be struck down by his imaginary god.

  24. #24 Alex
    February 6, 2008

    Their dishonesty on such critical issues of fundamental understanding for our species, for all of our suffering and effort through the ages of struggle for learning, is repugnant.

  25. #25 Raguel
    February 6, 2008

    not that I know more about biology than he does, but I know enough to know I’m no expert.

  26. #26 healthphysicist
    February 6, 2008

    Maybe someone should call in and ask why he’s not a Christian (what he said in the debate). Ask what evidence he has the Christianity has it all wrong…

  27. #27 Matt
    February 6, 2008

    PZ, if they don’t give you an hour or so to give the listeners an unmoderated, uninterrupted lesson in evolution…. don’t participate in another debate on that radio station. They’ve shown extraordinary bias by allowing this nutjob back on the air after your trouncing of him last week.

  28. #28 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    Can’t prove Darwin… sigh,

    Science will bury itself on this theory.

    Can’t prove that it’s ID!

    “My position is more contra-Darwin!”

    Doesn’t have to come up with another explanation!

    Fish coming out of the sea and walking on the sand!

    (Dumbass doesn’t know lungfish! Swamps, river deltas, tidal flats, not sand, you moron!)

  29. #29 Raguel
    February 6, 2008

    Wow they totally distorted my “supernatural” bit, and didn’t even bring up his confusion of Darwin vs. Haeckel.

  30. #30 Owlmirror
    February 6, 2008

    That was a very frustrating hour of idiocy.

  31. #31 B McManus
    February 6, 2008

    I seriously don’t understand how Simmons’ particular “irreducible complexity” arguments could appeal to ANY reasonably intelligent creationists. They seem utterly unconvincing to me even when I try to look at them from the viewpoint of a creationist.

  32. #32 H. Humbert
    February 6, 2008

    And the creationists prove themselves to be immoral, dishonest cowards [i]again[/i].

  33. #33 Kseniya
    February 6, 2008

    The whole affair reeks of cowardice and propaganda.

    In Simmons’ case, the ass is always between the eyes

    That’s funny. Simmons swore it was his ELBOW there between his eyes.

    I don’t know about anybody else, but speaking as a female of the species I just don’t see the divine plan behind the design that has the semen traveling through the same freakin tube as the urine. And, really. Cramps? WHY?

    And then there’s the candiru … and cancer and malaria… and harlequin babies… and… [insert endless list of biological horrors here].

  34. #34 Kseniya
    February 6, 2008

    Oh yeah, and someone please drop this in the mail for “Dr.” Simmons. He should go back to playing bass for KISS. I mean, really.

  35. #35 RamblinDude
    February 6, 2008

    Welcome to AM talk radio in America. It will astound you, it will amaze you, you won’t BELIEVE what you are hearing!

    Go ahead Christians, just keep on lying your asses off and spreading misinformation. What goes around, comes around. Eventually, you’ll just bury yourselves under your own stupidity and the world will be rid of you.

    Man, that guy is one big lump of dumb.

  36. #36 Alex
    February 6, 2008
  37. #37 Reginald Selkirk
    February 6, 2008

    He also claims that there is no documentation of the transformation of the reptilian jaw to the jaw and ear bones of mammals.

    “Documentation”? What does he want, an owner’s manual? Isn’t the lack of an owner’s manual evidence against design?

  38. #38 Tulse
    February 6, 2008

    they’re clearly desperate to make up for their embarrassment last week by giving Simmons a little uncritical bootlicking

    That’s what’s so fascinating to me — the ID folks bitch and moan about debating the controversy, but then avoid actual debates.

  39. #39 holbach
    February 6, 2008

    Crazed, insane, deranged, and moronic religionists are
    examples of intelligent design? Why should we waste our
    time and brain cells on this “menance to Western Civilization? We will never bring them around to sound
    rationalism, so let’s just destroy them with demeaning
    remarks and examples of their freaking warped thinking.
    Use every tactic they use but make it hit harder and with
    even nastier results. They will not be swayed by our
    superior intelligence, so let’s be the predator against
    the prey. A good example to persue should be analgous in
    action to the scene in the movie “Raiders of the lost ark”
    where the big freaking arab is swishing his sword around
    pursuant to slicing up Indiana Jones, who nonchalantly
    and blatantly realistic, whips out his revolver and fells
    the sucker with one bullet. No time for that bullshit;
    stark reality with brute force does it all the time. Let’s
    handle the religious scum in the same manner. You are a
    freaking crazed asshole; what is your god going to do
    about it, eh moron?

  40. #40 raven
    February 6, 2008

    Darwin did no experiments? Hello, barnacles!

    Bunch of lies. What about the Beagle voyage? Galapago Islands? Barnacle systematics. Orchids and pollination?

    Darwin spent his whole life doing science.

    Simmons apparently spent his whole life in his room making up lies. Oh wait, he doesn’t have that much talent. He is just parroting decades old creo lies.

  41. #41 AlanWCan
    February 6, 2008

    “The nose is always above the mouth”…therefore, design. Canwe ask him what moron would run waste disposal system, the urethra, right though a recreational area?

  42. #42 Alex
    February 6, 2008

    They need to be called out and harassed at every opportunity. Even when they refuse to engage they should be needled, prodded, and antagonized by the might and power of acerbic, reasoned, knowledge.

  43. #43 PJC
    February 6, 2008

    Geoffrey Simmons has trapped himself. Everyone here thought that he was an idiot to begin with, he made that worse but that’s really no loss to him. What is bad for him is that because of the outcome of his debate with PZ creationists and ID nuts now think he is an idiot as well. There is really no way out of this situation for him. No-one who heard the debate the other day is going to be impressed by an hour list of things that are obviously “designed”. He’s never going to become a chosen advocate for ID because his lack of genuine scientific knowledge is embarassing. Unfortunately if he tries to actually learn about evolution then he’ll probably stop believing in ID. Unlucky Geoffrey.

  44. #44 J
    February 6, 2008
  45. #45 Cephus
    February 6, 2008

    He’s doing exactly what I predicted he’d do right after the original debate. No matter how badly he got his ass handed to him, he’s declaring victory and pretending he won.

    This is how creationists operate, they don’t care about facts, they just want to make their pet beliefs look good.

    PZ, personally, I’d go back to the radio station and ask for equal time and they’ll probably give it to you, especially since they already offered you the chance to come back and debate someone more rational than Simmons.

  46. #46 Katie Glasrud
    February 6, 2008

    And they won’t let me into medical school just cuz i can’t spell good. christ!

  47. #47 Epikt
    February 6, 2008

    “…they’re exactly the right distance apart to give you binocular vision.”

    Um, having your eyes further apart would give you *better* binocular vision. But understanding parallax depends on knowing high school plane geometry, and that’s clearly well beyond the good doctor’s capabilities. I mean, an MD isn’t the most rigorous of degrees, but, still, how did this guy ever graduate? Does Regent University have a med school?

  48. #48 holbach
    February 6, 2008

    I was just watching the news on the internet with videos
    of the desrtuction caused by those intelligent designed
    tornadoes as they ripped through several states and killed
    52 people and injured more than 150. In one video from
    Arkansas there was a church ripped apart by that uncaring
    and mindless monster. As I always remark when a freaking
    church is destroyed by natural occurrences, “Where was
    their god?” Answer that you freaking morons!

  49. #49 ifeelfine72
    February 6, 2008

    . . . And sex feels great! It must be design!

  50. #50 Eric
    February 6, 2008

    If eyes were intelligently designed, why do 64% of Americans wear eye glasses? [1]

    [1] http://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/statistics-eyewear.htm

  51. #51 Carlie
    February 6, 2008

    “The nose is always above the mouth”…therefore, design.

    But how else could we hold up our glasses? Duh.

  52. #52 Christopher Heard
    February 6, 2008
    He also claims that there is no documentation of the transformation of the reptilian jaw to the jaw and ear bones of mammals.

    “Documentation”? What does he want, an owner’s manual? Isn’t the lack of an owner’s manual evidence against design?

    The guy should read Neil Shubin … it’s all there.

  53. #53 madder
    February 6, 2008

    The version of evolution that he has in his head is truly bizarre. Apparently we scientists think that daughter species spring forth with zero traits, and then have to re-evolve all of their features de novo.

    This is the only explanation for his batty claim that the location of the eyes as always above the nose, and that above the mouth (but remember him going on the other day about whales?) is any kind of evidence for design, as opposed to common descent. Same thing goes for the complexity of pregnancy and delivery.

  54. #54 Tulse
    February 6, 2008

    But how else could we hold up our glasses? Duh.

    “Manifestly,” he said, “nothing could have been different. Since everything was designed for a purpose, everything is necessarily meant to serve the best of all purposes. Observe how noses are designed to hold up eyeglasses, and therefore we have eyeglasses. Legs are obviously meant for wearing shoes, and so we have shoes. Rocks having been designed to be quarried and used for building purposes, the Baron has a singularly beautiful mansion. The greatest Baron in Westphalia requires the greatest dwelling-and because pigs were made to be eaten, we dine on pork all year long. Accordingly, those who have suggested that everything is good have spoken obtusely: what they should have said is that everything is for the best.”

  55. #55 rp
    February 6, 2008

    So, God designed my scoliosis, bad back and arthritic joints. Right. If they said that bad design was proof of a designer, I might be persuaded. If you think of user interfaces for cell phones or VCRs, many of them were obviously designed by a drunk committee who couldn’t leave work until the design was finished. That’s the kind of designer God is. I guess I should be grateful he also designed poppies and opiate receptors so I can walk without crying. And these idiots want me to believe in a perfect designer? Not a chance.

  56. #56 Paul D
    February 6, 2008

    Whenever a creationist tries to tell me how perfect the eye is, and how well designed, I just slowly reach for my glasses and put them on while the person is talking.

    Only about half of ‘em get it.

  57. #57 Tulse
    February 6, 2008

    Boy, Paul, you must be a real sinner if your transgressions are having such an impact on God’s perfect design!

  58. #58 Noadi
    February 6, 2008

    The few times someone has tried to use that eye argument with me I quietly ask them to tell me what time it is if there’s a wall clock. My near vision is good enough for me to be able to sculpt (with corrective lenses) but not good enough for me to read a wall clock or to drive. Usually stops them dead.

  59. #59 BTCreel
    February 6, 2008

    rp wrote:
    That’s the kind of designer God is.

    Well, he did have to do it all in just six days (took Sunday off for football I guess), give the guy a break.

    Going offtopic a bit here: I got into a lovely discussion with a guy at work today who actually believes in the literal word of the Bible. Noah’s Ark, creation in seven days, and I even got him to admit that he believed that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. He went to a southern baptist college, and believes in a kind and gentle God. So tomorrow I get to play my favorite game – “Break the Christian!” I force him to look at some of the biblical genocidal fun they glossed over and get him to either admit that his God is evil, or that his bible isn’t the inerrant word of his kind, gentle and loving God. Either way, doubt is introduced, and I force him to think. Ahhh… good times…

  60. #60 pradeep
    February 7, 2008

    Can someone post the transcript of an MP3 of this talk.

  61. #61 Copernic
    February 7, 2008

    I am screaming at my monitor. This guy is an idiot and doesn’t know f*ck about evolution.

    Fish develop a way to not dry out on its first time out of the water? Did this guy learn evolution from a Far Side cartoon? Does he know about mudpuppys? amphibians?

    Imaginary god, please smite him!!

  62. #62 MJ
    February 7, 2008

    As I always remark when a freaking
    church is destroyed by natural occurrences, “Where was
    their god?”

    holbach:
    Their god is renovating the Church. You just need to have faith that he will start building soon!

  63. #63 josh
    February 7, 2008

    Love the binocular vision quote. I have pretty severe myopia, so without lenses, if I want something to be in focus, I have to hold it so close that I can’t use both eyes. Way to go God!

  64. #64 noncarborundum
    February 7, 2008

    . . . his batty claim that the location of the eyes as always above the nose, and that above the mouth . . . is any kind of evidence for design, as opposed to common descent

    I remember that Coulter in Godless argued that the absence of organisms with eyes on their feet was evidence against evolution. Maybe she coached him.

  65. #65 H. Humbert
    February 7, 2008

    Remember, in the debate with PZ, Simmons claimed he was knowledgeable enough about the theory of evolution to argue its points as well as any expert. Rather, he should have said that he is ignorant and conceited enough to believe that his baseless suppositions are the same as what the experts would tell him if he ever bothered to listen.

    This man is either extremely stupid or extremely dishonest or both. Furthermore, anyone who thinks that is a needless insult instead of a fair assessment (radio DJs, I mean you) is also stupid or dishonest or both (although I lean toward stupid).

  66. #66 Manni
    February 7, 2008

    Answer that you freaking morons!

    Easy: It’s because God hates gays!

  67. #67 rpenner
    February 7, 2008

    pradeep in #60 asked:

    Can someone post the transcript of an MP3 of this talk.

    http://www.kkmslive.com/MP3/16020608-Geoffrey%20Simmons.MP3

  68. #68 AGG
    February 7, 2008

    As I always remark when a freaking church is destroyed by natural occurrences, “Where was their god?”

    Which reminds me of this curious news from yesterday!

  69. #69 rpenner
    February 7, 2008

    (Host) Modern Science has progressed

    And Creationists think it’s all about Darwin.

    (Host) When it was visible, what what used to be invisible, microscopic, sub-microscopic, genetic, biochemical, things I don’t fully understand…

    This is an ignorant man! Evolution = genetics + time.

    (Host) The numbers of missing links have skyrocketed. Every link discovered brings more questions.

    With Xeno-like insight to the nature of the near-continuum, the host makes explicit that more discoveries mean “more gaps”. I see a fossil, he sees one gap being replaced with two. The flaw in this, is that the “new gaps,” even combined, are much smaller than the old one, and I even think we can do this formally with some sort of analogue of measure theory for the phenotype, and more formally by the genotype.

    (Host) How can there be “billions of missing links” when scientist say the theory of evolution is basically proven. The theory of evolution isn’t the theory of evolution, it’s the fact of evolution.

    Yes! That is the question (allowing for non-science words like “proven” and the bogus use of “theory” as uncertainity). Now make him answer it. According to the assumption of common descent we need over 1 billion well-defined and known species to have 1 billion unclearly documented transitions.

    (Simmons) One could go back to the whale, which was discussed the previous interview (sic).

    Prof. Myers wasn’t interviewing you.

    (Simmons) [The whale] is an animal, with a quadrillion cells.

    Source? Pedagogical need for a number? This is only a factor of 10-100 more than the estimates I have seen for the number of cells in a human body, which is a more researched subject, I think.

    (Simmons) [The whale] has a blowhole on the top of it’s head that …. exemplifies the missing links thing.

    Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees or the evidence for evolution for getting stuck in a hole.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/ (mentions Ambulocetus, Rodhocetus, blowhole embryology).
    http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/whales/evolution_of_whales/ (nice pictures of Rodhocetus and Aetiocetus nostrils )

    (Simmons) This [talk of the] nostril moving back is a bit of a make-up type of information.

    That’s not English! He seems to be saying even though the nostrils started at the tip of the snout and by Rodhocetus and Aetiocetus were half-way up snout, and now are at the top of the head creates an false illusion of change over time. By this specious brand of logic he should ask for his money back at the theater because he was promised moving pictures.

    (Simmons) There are only 4-5 fossils which might have something similar to a whale.

    Ignorant hoping that the representative photographs he has seen now might actually be all the fossils there are.

    (Simmons) And yet this monstrous animal, biggest in the world, …

    Here we see that he is living in the nineteenth century, when whales were assumed to have “monstrous” temperments because they were large and put up a fight if you injured them.

    (Simmons) [The whale] can dive for an hour or more, hold its breath. It can close off this nostril with a monstrous muscle flap. It’s actual windpipe is separate from it’s esophagus which is totally unique in the animal world.

    There are many species of whale, so I don’t know what he means by totally unique.

    (Simmons) … and there’s no in-between species.

    Huh? This from the guy who just admitted there were fossils of in-between species. I wonder what he makes of limb atavism in whales….
    Simmons seems to think that it’s a point for him when he points out that there is no fossil evidence of acoustic communication networks.
    He’s wrong when he suggests that mother whales stay “awake” for one month to support their infants. The infants are free-swimming, and feed underwater. As for the question of mothers sleeping or not, even human parents go on autopilot for child rearing and only a complete human chauvinist would assume all animals sleep the same way.
    http://science.jrank.org/pages/1358/Cetaceans-Pregnancy-birth.html
    http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask05/0074.html

    So I guess he spend the last few days reading up on whales, so much so that he forgot what question he was asked.

    He seems to think that Darwin was claiming whales evolved from bears, but that is not what Darwin wrote in Origin of Species

    In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.

    Which is a hypothetical illustration of an idea, not a claim of historical fact.

    EPIC FAIL even in a non-debate. I don’t know when I will have time to listen to the other 90%.

  70. #70 Michael X
    February 7, 2008

    Damn! Tulse, you beat me to the Candide quote. (This late night job always makes me look slow…) Although, nice to know some of our godless, science-minded, heathens also know their arts! Nothing like being well rounded huh?

  71. #71 QrazyQat
    February 7, 2008

    In one video from
    Arkansas there was a church ripped apart by that uncaring
    and mindless monster. As I always remark when a freaking
    church is destroyed by natural occurrences, “Where was
    their god?”

    In Gassville, Arkansas, right next to where my mom lives, a tornado killed someone and injured others as well as destroying a lot of property. There are at least 6 churches there, 5 of them Baptist. Population 1868, 98% white. You wanna know what god apparently does not like? If you believe in god, there’s your answer for this week. Get busy and write up that sermon, parson, your flock needs to know.

  72. #72 Mrs Tilton
    February 7, 2008

    Kseniya @33,

    I just don’t see the divine plan behind the design that has the semen traveling through the same freakin tube as the urine. And, really. Cramps? WHY?

    And then there’s the candiru … and cancer and malaria… and harlequin babies… and… [insert endless list of biological horrors here].

    To your list of biological horrors, may I just add the human back (okay, not so very horrible compared to malaria, perhaps; but then, malaria isn’t afflicting me at the moment).

    You’re a little too harsh on cdesign proponentsism, I think. The natural world is compatible with the idea of an intelligent designer; just not a designer who is omnipotent. Or benevolent. Or even, to be brutally frank, competent.

  73. #73 Wobert
    February 7, 2008

    Righto,I take it that it was a pretty close thing, but did Simmons actually win this week?

    I reckon I could win a debate against an empty chair,mug lay person that I am.

    You show us everything you’ve got
    You keep on dancin’ and the room gets hot
    You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy
    You say you wanna go for a spin
    The party’s just begun, we’ll let you in
    You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy
    You keep on shoutin’, you keep on shoutin’

  74. #74 csrster
    February 7, 2008

    QrazyQat – Mark my words, those churches are going to be _full_ next Sunday. Religious folk don’t think the same way as the rest of us.

  75. #75 craig
    February 7, 2008

    clearly this universe was a friday afternoon job.

  76. #76 Niobe
    February 7, 2008

    As somebody who actually gave birth, God needs a kick in the nuts for signing off on that design.

  77. #77 Wobert
    February 7, 2008

    Niobe
    I’d a shot the bastard, and the horse he rode in on.And I was only there to be yelled at.

  78. #78 gingerbeard
    February 7, 2008

    Can anyone find the link to email KKMS? I think a write in program demanding equal air time for PZ is required after hearing that drek.

  79. #79 zeekster
    February 7, 2008

    “It’s painfully panglossian and naive.”

    I love you, PZ. I’ve been an ‘out’ atheist since the age of 12, but only an angry, outspoken and highly active atheist since breaking up with my last boyfriend a year ago. He and all his friends were religious nuts who were highly offended when I compared their way of thinking to that of Pangloss! I kicked them all the curb and met my current sweetheart at a local atheist meet-up group. And we all lived happily every after. ~the end~

  80. #80 Kseniya
    February 7, 2008

    Yes, Mrs. T., that’s kinda my point. We’re on the same page. I can “embrace the designedness” as Truth Machine suggested a few months ago, without inferring a Designer and without making (or accepting) any of the outrageously myopic claims about design perfection we’re so often served up by the out of work wait staff over at the DiscoInsto.

  81. #81 Booger
    February 7, 2008

    What a shame. He used to be so cool when he was fronting KISS.

  82. #82 SEF
    February 7, 2008

    Whenever a creationist tries to tell me how perfect the eye is, and how well designed, I just slowly reach for my glasses and put them on while the person is talking.

    Anyone got any idea of how many creationists with bad eyesight still do trot out that (false) perfection line? I suspect if you challenge them on it, they only follow it up with the unsubstantiated “it was the fall” line though – and are probably also unwilling to admit to being worse sinners than all the people who actually have good (for humans) eyesight (especially atheists).

  83. #83 Eric
    February 7, 2008

    You can also leave comments (try to keep them clean so that they don’t get deleted) on the page for the show:

    http://www.kkms.com/blogs/JeffandLee/11567481/#discuss

    In order to leave a comment, you must register with the site. If you don’t want to give them your email, use the following service and make up a fake email:

    http://www.mailinator.com/

    How it works:

    In the email field at the signup page (on KKMS), just put in whatever you want for an email address, but use the domain name: @mailinator.com

    So an example would be: joeblow@mailinator.com

    To check for the email, go to the site http://www.mailinator.com and enter in ‘joeblow’ in the ‘Check your inbox!’ field and hit ‘Go!’.

    You should then be able to see your registration confirmation email from KKMS:

    It’s going to say something like:


    Before your account is active you need to click on the following link. This verifies to us that this email account is active.

    /user/login/?u=FrankWalters001&c=918111

    Which really means you have to copy and paste the FULL url in the browser address bar:

    http://www.kkms.com/user/login/?u=FrankWalters001&c=918111

    (Hint just add the prefix: http://www.kkms.com to the partial URL in the email)

  84. #84 Dahan
    February 7, 2008

    A bit off topic, but still interesting to me. Heard on MPR today a story about the damage and deaths in TN and elsewhere from the recent storms. They interviewed one person who managed to survive with her family in their mobile home. They, of course, said it had to do with prayer.
    Then they talked about the brick house across the street that was utterly destroyed, killing a Gulf War vet and his family. They mentioned how the recovery crew were very moved when they found the dead vet’s signed Bible.

    Guess he didn’t pray hard enough… or maybe he should have gotten that “Prayer for Idiots book, or whatever…

  85. #85 uncle noel
    February 7, 2008

    Rodd&Todd(praying): …and thank you for sending Lisa to save us from the moth You sent.

    Dimwits after disaster: I thank the Lord for saving me from the disaster [He sent].

    If someone bulldozed your house down but failed to kill you, would you thank him? Uggh! If I prayed for anything it would be to make people more logical.

  86. #86 Kseniya
    February 7, 2008

    “The wrath of God is the only way I can describe it. I’m used to seeing roofs off houses, houses blown over. These houses were down to their foundations, stripped clean.”
    GOV. PHIL BREDESEN of Tennessee, after surveying tornado damage there.

    Perhaps he is speaking figuratively.

  87. #87 Kseniya
    February 7, 2008

    I have suffered a temporary lack of vision. Perhaps today is the wrong day to poke at irrational godly interpretations of natural disasters.

  88. #88 Glen Davidson
    February 7, 2008

    Simmons’ pathetic denialism re the debate (from evolutionnews.org):

    Ed: Dr. Simmons sent us the post below, asking us to publish it in response to ongoing discussions of his recent debate with Dr. Myers.

    Against Stupidity, God Himself Is Helpless — Old Jewish Proverb

    Before the recent KKMS (MN radio) debate, Dr. P.Z. Myers blogged on Pharyngula that he would decimate me. Within minutes of the show’s conclusion, he blogged that he accomplished his goal, never conceding a single point from an hour long show. It is worth one’s while to read his blogs and those that follow as they readily speak to the character of these folks, much moreso than I could ever do. Richard Dawkins was also quick to compliment the professor and add to the feeding frenzy. Again, no concessions. They had their hearing aids turned off before the show even started.

    Other than winning points for outright rudeness and making up fiction, what part of the debate did this tax-paid professor win? Could it be the five or so fossil pieces from dog-size animals that represent intermediate species between land animals and the quadrillion-cell whale with unexplained tons of blubber, communication skills that span thousands of miles, a windpipe separate from the esophagus (unheard of in land animals), segmental decompression, a heart the size of a Volkswagon, ability to dive thousands of meters deep or eat a krill diet? Or, was it the fact that a sperm and egg cell can unite to form a 10-75 trillion cell human being without going through 10-75 trillion trial and errors? Perhaps it was my misunderstanding of their ways of critiquing the theory of evolution? To me, it’s like having your brother correct your homework. Lastly, where is the rule that says one has to have an alternative and provable explanation for the origin of life before one can criticise Darwinian thought? Cannot a child point to the leaks in a dam and warn people of an impending flood without any knowledge about dam construction? Their rule, this requirement, doesn’t exist.

    — Geoffrey Simmons, M.D.
    Author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links

    Right, the fuckup doesn’t know the most basic facts which bear on his claims, like actual fossils (IDiots don’t care about facts, though) which just happen to contradict his claims, then turns around and says that’s like your brother checking your homework. Excactly right, bozo, you haven’t done the homework, you’re just a lying weasel who doesn’t care about honesty or truth.

    And of course one may criticize “Darwinism” sans having an alternative, as many have done. What this moron doesn’t know is that if he’s going to claim design, as he does, he needs a fucking explanation for it, which the pathetic excuse for a human totally lacks.

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

  89. #89 Glen Davidson
    February 7, 2008

    Lastly, where is the rule that says one has to have an alternative and provable explanation for the origin of life before one can criticise Darwinian thought?

    Well, dimwitted clown, here’s Phillip Johnson explaining why ID went down in Dover:

    “I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable.”

    sciencereview.berkeley.edu/articles.php?issue=10&article=evolution

    If you’re trying to push for an alternative in schools or in science, you’d better have a theory. Despite the snide comments regarding “errors” (there is much not known, “errors” appear to be few and far between), Johnson appears to be admitting that science works (that is, Simmons parasitizes off of a science that he despises and malings for his living), and ID does not.

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

  90. #90 Kseniya
    February 7, 2008

    “…this tax-paid professor…”

    Ah. Simmons says so much with so few words.

    As if the politics of resentment have any place in this discussion!

    I wonder if he lives in fear of spilled salt?

  91. #91 Dahan
    February 7, 2008

    Kseniya @ 88,

    A fine point. I’m quite sure I’ve ever introduced myself as a “non-tax-paid professor” because I work for a “for profit” school. Why would I do that? What does that add to the discussion?

  92. #92 Dahan
    February 7, 2008

    never…sorry…

  93. #93 Derek Huby
    February 7, 2008

    #86

    Yeah, Darwinism is completely unable to explain the whaliness of whales (or any other fish, for that matter). However much ‘evidence’ of ‘fossil intermediates’ those scientists produce, a whale is very, very whaley, and things that aren’t whales have a whaliness of 0%. So, whales can’t evolve. Got it?

  94. #94 Kseniya
    February 7, 2008

    Whaleyness. LOL.

    Yeah, Dahan. I wonder if Simmons resents the work done by “tax-paid” law enforcement officers, firefighters, or infrastructure maintenance workers, “tax-paid” judges and elected officials, “tax-paid” military servicemen and women at home and abroad” Does he resent whatever benefits he may reap from “tax-paid” subsidation of health care, home ownership, parenting, and student loans?

    (Don’t these people THINK?)

    Other than recently elevating his game to include calling PZ rude and a liar, has Simmons offered anything more substantial than attacks on Darwin’s character, and his own arguments from personal incredulity?

    Is he showing himself anything more than another whining, ignorant right-wing ideologue? What concessions has he made to PZ’s vastly superior grasp of a subject he pretends to understand?

    In the category of “Ironic Application of Old Jewish Proverbs”, I’ve got one for Dr. Simmons:

    “Listen to your enemy, for God is talking.”

  95. #95 trrll
    February 7, 2008

    Um, having your eyes further apart would give you *better* binocular vision.

    Wow, doesn’t everybody know this? What kid didn’t play with periscopes? Just turn a periscope sideways, look through it with one eye while keeping the other one open, and watch distant objects leap into dramatic relief!

  96. #96 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 8, 2008

    What kid didn’t play with periscopes?

    Me.

    I find your lack of imagination distuuuuurbing.

  97. #97 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 8, 2008

    What kid didn’t play with periscopes?

    Me.

    I find your lack of imagination distuuuuurbing.

  98. #98 True Bob
    February 8, 2008

    WRT vision and eye placement, if it were even half-asssed designed, we’d have three eyes spaced around our faces. Talk about your depth perception. And why not compound eyes? Oh, I guess glasses wouldn’t work then.

  99. #99 Epikt
    February 8, 2008

    Kseniya:

    I wonder if Simmons resents the work done by “tax-paid” law enforcement officers, firefighters, or infrastructure maintenance workers, “tax-paid” judges and elected officials, “tax-paid” military servicemen and women at home and abroad” Does he resent whatever benefits he may reap from “tax-paid” subsidation of health care, home ownership, parenting, and student loans?

    No doubt, he delivers whiny rants against creeping socialism from within the comfortable fact-repeling confines of his tax-exempt church.

  100. #100 Interrobang
    February 8, 2008

    I’ve got another old Jewish proverb for Simmons: If one tell you you have an ass’ ears, ignore him. If two tell you, best procure yourself a saddle. I know a couple of truly excellent tack-and-harness places, and I’d be delighted to send them his business.

  101. #101 Willo the Wisp
    February 8, 2008

    My eyes are on top of my head? WTF?

  102. #102 Dave Godfrey
    February 10, 2008

    February 4 2008, 5.00 hour Dr Jason Lisle Astrophysicist with Answers in Genesis on what it is like to tour the Creation Museum, and answering your calls on creationism.

    He seems to repeat his performance on the 8th at 3.00. On htis basis I don’t think PZ will get offered a slot.

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