Pharyngula

Florida: Land of the Delusional

Donna Callaway, a member of the Florida Board of Education, has an editorial that has to be read to be believed. This is a woman who has drunk deep of the Kool-Aid.

First, she’s babbles about how surprised she was that the revision of the science standards included major elements, such as evolution, of which she disapproved. This seems to be hard for many people to grasp, especially some of those who are appointed to education boards, but the board members are administrators, not scientists. To write the science standards, they actually recruit knowledgeable, qualified people to put together a document that reflects the current state of science: it doesn’t matter if the bureaucrat in charge of implementing the standards doesn’t know the science. Problems arise when one of these paper pushers decides to impose her brand of ignorance and attempt to override the efforts of the standards writing team (a situation that arose right here in Minnesota several years ago, with Cheri Yecke’s efforts to sabotage our state science standards.)

Callaway is alarmed at one of the Florida standards: “Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms. A. Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.” Your alarm is irrelevant, Donna. You aren’t a biologist. That standard is accurate and properly represents the opinion of the scientific community. If instruction in the state of Florida is to prepare students for understanding the reality of biology rather than the errors of your ideology, then that is what should be taught.

Not only does she not have a clue about what her job entails, but she’s swaddled in meters-thick layers of delusion.

If there is a victory for those who oppose the evolution standard as written or amended, it is that they stood shoulder to shoulder, not in a fanatical, demanding way as many may have expected. Rather, they stood kindly with a sense of calm assurance, with open and transparent reasoning that confused their opponents who expected a religious battle. This was never that battle; it was a battle over student rights. Those rights were not recognized.

Well, they might have confused their opponents, but it wasn’t because they were open and transparent and reasonable — it was because they were batshit insane. Have they already forgotten the orange man?

As for whether there was no religious battle, note that this editorial was published in the Florida Baptist Witness and, well, read on.

I left the SBOE meeting emotionally drained but reaffirmed by the love for children and the respect for others that I saw in those who hold beliefs with which I can identify. And, speaking of identity, I began my comments to the SBOE with an acknowledgement that I have a religious identity. That identity urges me to use the Master Teacher as my example.

(Trust me, I don’t think she’s talking about Richard Feynman here.)

The model He set for us 2,000 years ago is so appropriate for today. He allowed Himself to be questioned. He never thrust his belief on anyone. He allowed both Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman to question Him, each from an opposite end of the human spectrum. It was as if He said, “Ask me questions. I will answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but there is more. I invite you to come and see. Decide for yourself.” Learning took place under those circumstances.

We very much want that kind of learning experience to occur for our children. When they are not just allowed, but encouraged to debate issues, they explore them, search for evidence, think critically, and then have an ownership of the knowledge they gain. Adults have a right to do this. How can we deny that to our children?

In the immortal words of that masterful tactician, Bill Buckingham, “Two thousand years ago someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?” Oh, right, we’re supposed to believe these bozos are promoting Intelligent Design with purely secular intent. If there is a god, why does he keep promoting his most stupid followers to school boards?

Comments

  1. #1 J
    February 23, 2008

    Is PZ Myers gonna have to choke a bitch?

  2. #2 Alex
    February 23, 2008

    Richard Feynman was cooler than Jesus.

  3. #3 Glen Davidson
    February 23, 2008

    Sure, the Socratic dialog that she portrays Jesus as using in his ministry is her ideal of education. All we have to do is to bat ideas around, never bother with the evil world (that is how Jesus depicts the world), and come to a consensus.

    Science arose when people realized that this sort of empty rhetoric yields no meaningful product, and results in no justice for the accused. One learns by actually looking at the evidence, and interpreting that evidence in accordance with “proven” ideas. That’s why we want to teach evolutionary theory, after all, because it is one of the examples of how to think properly, rather than voting on issues, or letting the slickest sophists manipulate opinion.

    Callaway is anti-knowledge, wishing to go back to meaningless dialog because it will produce the meaningless consensus of heaven and god (the Good is what he called it)which Plato concluded must exist.

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

  4. #4 dzd
    February 23, 2008

    I wonder if anyone other than creationists is fooled by the “student rights” smokescreen.

  5. #5 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    It was as if He said, “Ask me questions. I will answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but there is more. I invite you to come and see. Decide for yourself.”

    Why, it as if Jesus understood that the religious zealots like her might not like to hear that evolution is reality, but they are invited to come and see for themselves!

    Wait, that’s not what she meant?

    J – Inappropriate. Even as a parody statement, which is the way I assume it was meant in the original clip. Don’t.

  6. #6 J
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie: apologies, no offense intended. Definitely parody, in the original and in my post. Chalk it up to scientist’s extreme frustration with the creos.

  7. #7 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    “Decide for yourself.”

    This is the motto for all pseudosciences. Throw out the experts. Throw out the method. Throw out rigor and cross-checking and stringent analysis and controlled studies and peer review by people who work with what they deal with.

    It’s all about personal experience and finding out what works for you and making up your OWN mind, free and unhampered by any limiting logic and reason. You’re as good as anybody else, because all that counts is a pure heart and humble attitude. You are a child of a universe which made you for a purpose.

    Think of the children.

  8. #8 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    S’ok, J, and I love Wayne Brady. But a commenter here awhile back correctly noted that there sometimes pretty offensive statements made here that don’t get slapped down, and I wanted to make sure this one got explained especially since it looks so stark by itself.

  9. #9 J
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie – cool, done and done. :-)

  10. #10 jeh
    February 23, 2008

    Once again, we see another example of the supposed “stealth technology” of the religious right. They think they are cloaking their true intentions in public (even though inevitably one of the rank-and-file blurts out what they really believe), but their motives are completely obvious to anyone who knows what they say in “private” to the other true believers. Killed them in Kitzmiller, yet they continue on in the same mode.

    Disingenuous and stupid, no?

    Their cloaking device is off-line. Target their warp nacelles! Fire!

  11. #11 BobC
    February 23, 2008

    The Christian war against Florida’s science education is not over with yet.

    “An evolution compromise approved on Feb. 19 by the State Board of Education was the best that could be achieved in that body but legislative action to protect academic freedom of teachers offering criticisms of Darwinian evolution is possible, House Speaker Marco Rubio told Florida Baptist Witness in a Feb. 20 interview.”

    http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/8463.article

  12. #12 BobH
    February 23, 2008

    I live in Orlando, and I have followed this whole thing very closely.

    It angers and frustrates me that Ms. Callaway, with no scientific background, has this kind of power to decide what my kids will be taught in science.

    Yes, in a strangely bizarre twist that put Ms. Callaway voting as part of the 4 to 3 minority, along with the only two sane members of the Board (they all voted against MODIFIED standards), we actually got new standards. Go figure the logic behind that. Our two sane members voted against anything but the original standards, while Ms. Callaway would have voted against anything that didn’t include some flavor of Creationism.

    For getting new science standards for our schools, I am glad. But I’m also frustrated that the fundie groups get to go back home flaunting their “victory” at inserting these 11th hour, unvetted modification to the standards, inserting “Scientific Theory of” before each mention of the word “evolution”. Note that these mods were inserted on the Friday just prior to the three-day weekend that preceded the Tuesday when the vote was taken. Coincidence? Go figure that the Board would allow these kind of sleazy shenanigans, and go figure that the board would ignore the writers’ and framers’ wishes to have the standards passed without modifications.

    I’m sure that the fundies are all back home now, telling their congregations of their victory, and bragging that while Florida teachers will now be using the dreaded ‘E’ word, the State has at least formally “conceded” that evolution is “just a theory”.

    Ahhhhhh! I live a few miles west of the launchpads of some of the greatest science on (and off) the planet, and at the same time live among some of the most backwards people in this entire country!

    Somebody please pinch me and wake me from this crazy nightmare!

  13. #13 Batch
    February 23, 2008

    As a card carrying [ornery lady likened to a female dog],
    I reckon people need to
    chill the [recreational copulation] out. Eliminating the verbal abuse of [female dogs] is not going to eliminate sexism in the same way that yanking the tail off of a lizard is going to kill the lizard.
    If anyone called ME specifically, a [lady canine] to my face, I’d kick them in the [mule that Jesus rode]. Otherwise, as a general term, I don’t care.

  14. #14 Dahan
    February 23, 2008

    OMG

    “The model He set for us 2,000 years ago is so appropriate for today. He allowed Himself to be questioned. He never thrust his belief on anyone.”

    Didn’t thrust his belief on anone? Really?! You might want to tell the folk over at Landover Baptist Church that. They seem to think differently.

    http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news1200/ntdamnation.html

    Yeah, I know it’s been posted here before…

  15. #15 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    Very interesting blog you have here. I have been brought up my entire life believing the Creationistic theory, and only recently have been challenged by one of my customers in heated debates, to be open to the theory of Evolution. I have tried to listen to his emphatic counter-pounding, and insistence that all fundamentals are wrong because of PROOF. But when I asked him to please show me proof, so I could be as knowledgable as he, he merely told me, “Well, everybody knows that creation is hogwash, and evolution is accepted by everybody!”

    I am a skeptic by nature, which is the only reason why I was open to hearing this man out. And yet, the man began to footsie around (as many of my other customers have), and could not tell me why he believed straight Creation could NOT be true, except that he did not believe in God, and that evolution was just ‘so accepted’.

    Therefore, sir, I am led to believe that evolutionists do not so much have a solid defense for what they believe, but instead have this unquestioning faith in their god-like peers. I was fascinated reading over your blog-comments, because it seems like so many of your commenters took a lot of time to trash any body who disagreed with the way ‘everybody believes’, and what ‘all scientists agree with’. That was all they had to say; “so and so is wrong and she’s full of **** and her God is just another god, and I’m just another person following the crowd.”

    But, isn’t it intriguing that some of these studiers of science have the courage to step out from among the throngs of popular belief, and say what they believe? I don’t understand why so many people have this HATRED for anybody who doesn’t bow down and believe the way they do! If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes! It takes alot of courage to go against ‘what everybody believes and thinks’. At least she has more courage as an individual, than you have as an accepted evolutionist surrounded by the undying support of your unquestioning fans.

  16. #16 defectiverobot
    February 23, 2008

    2 + 2 = 5.

    Decide for yourself!

  17. #17 IanR
    February 23, 2008

    He allowed … Nicodemus … to question Him

    Nicodemus? I suppose Callaway’s understanding of the bible is as thin as her understanding of science. Nicodemus is a great example – Jesus is speaking in metaphors, while Nicodemus is trying to take the metaphors literally. What’s the point of the questioning? Jesus is saying to Nicodemus “use your brain, you aren’t supposed to take this literally”.

    Like Nicodemus, Jesus’ point is totally lost on Callaway.

  18. #18 MAJeff
    February 23, 2008

    Posted by: Andria | February 23, 2008 2:14 PM

    As I said in the thread below, there truly is something wrong with these people. This entire comment is a demonstration.

  19. #19 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Donna Callaway wrote: “I contacted the executive editor of this publication because I felt that this standard needed to get out to Christian parents, children and churches throughout the state.”

    Why did she feel that the standard needed to go out to Christian people? If something is false, it’s false for everyone. Or does she not care about non-Christian children being taught fallacious information? Or does she realise that this has nothing to do with education, with evolution or with “think about the kids!” By her own admission, this is a Christian/religious matter.

    “Interestingly, the battle lines were drawn, not between religion and evolution, but between those who wanted fairness for our children and those whose single goal was to keep “religion” out of the standards.”

    I’m not American, but as far as I know your separation of church and state would imply that keeping religion out of the standards IS what is fair for the children. Why is she pretending those are two different goals? Why is she pretending now that it’s not a religious issue, when she just singled out Christians as the ones affected by the standards?

    This is just embarrassing. The whole article made me cringe. “Master Teacher”? Ugh.

  20. #20 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes!

    A. Her opinion is not insignificant, as she is on a state board of education, and therefore decides what every child in the state system will learn. Therefore, she has a particular responsibility to be informed and correct in matters that pertain to the education of children.

    B. She is wrong not just in our eyes, but in the eyes of reality.

  21. #21 Les Lane
    February 23, 2008

    Religions which claim to promote truth damage themselves in the long run when they rely on incompetent sources for science information.

  22. #22 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Aside from her CreoStupidity (TM) “Now With Chunks!”, the woman can’t write her way out of a paper bag. That article is a pointless mess with no narrative flow, no logical structure, and a surfeit of convoluted, ugly phrasing. No doubt she thinks it makes her sound “thoughtful.” I hate bad writing almost as much as I hate CreoStupidity; it’s doubly offensive when it comes from people in charge of public school curricula.

  23. #23 Stanton
    February 23, 2008

    I saw this quote on the main page,

    Those who are enslaved to their sects are not merely devoid of all sound knowledge, but they will never even stop to learn.

    [Galen]

    And I was struck about how it applied so accurately to Donna Callaway’s opinions and positions.

  24. #24 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Oh, I forgot to add I was sorely tempted to “choke a bitch” after reading this.

    ALERT FOR THE IRONY-IMPAIRED – I’m not advocating violence against women. Now that I’ve ruined my own joke, will you promise not to get “concerned and troubled?”

  25. #25 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, you’re joking, right? Joking or trolling.

    The theory of evolution is one of the most robust theories in science. It is backed up by 150 years of evidence. What should your “customer” have done? Whipped out his trolley filled with science journals? Showed you his quick PowerPoint presentation that he carries around just for such moments?

    You have access to the internet. Use it. I’m sorry, but evolutionary cannot be condensed into a single sentence like the Creationists’ “God did it.” I know that it’s unfortunate, but we’re not 3 anymore. “Just because” is no longer a satisfactory answer to “Why?”.

    Start with http://www.talkorigins.org/

  26. #26 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Josh, if you are unable to make a joke that doesn’t involve choking someone as part of the punchline, I feel sorry for you.
    Somehow, I suspected that simply saying that advocating violence isn’t funny even if meant as irony because it contributes to the overall infusion of such language and ideas in society would provoke vociferous all-caps rabid frothing responses within an hour or two. Thanks for not letting me down.

  27. #27 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Missed a word there: “but evolutionary theory cannot be condensed”.

  28. #28 PhysioProf
    February 23, 2008

    He allowed both Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman to question Him, each from an opposite end of the human spectrum.

    Who the fuck are Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman? Sounds like characters in a fucking comic book.

  29. #29 Rey Fox
    February 23, 2008

    PZ:
    “To write the science standards, they actually recruit knowledgeable, qualified people to put together a document that reflects the current state of science”

    Thank heaven somebody is doing it.

    dzd:
    “I wonder if anyone other than creationists is fooled by the ‘student rights’ smokescreen.”

    I should hope not. All my uneducated teenage flailings with regards to “student rights” were ignored when I was in high school. But if I had argued for the indoctrination of moldy old dogma as my student right, then they would take me seriously? Even back then I would have considered that to be bullshit.

    Sastra:
    “It’s all about personal experience and finding out what works for you and making up your OWN mind, free and unhampered by any limiting logic and reason. You’re as good as anybody else, because all that counts is a pure heart and humble attitude. You are a child of a universe which made you for a purpose.”

    Unless, of course, you decide to have sex with members of the same gender, or some other behavior they don’t approve of.

    Andria:
    “If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes!”

    In what fever-dream world are these people NOT allowed to talk? They do nothing BUT talk and talk. They write newspaper editorials. And we counter. That’s the nature of communication. If you seriously can’t stand any of that, then there’s plenty of other things to do with your life. We get rightly testy when people come in (and there’s been several this week) who just come in and whine about how mean evolutionists supposedly are, and then don’t offer any substantial argument in their favor.

  30. #30 nlightnmnt
    February 23, 2008

    If there is a god, why does he keep promoting his most stupid followers to school boards?

    I think you may be laboring under a misaprehension – this woman can at least write in coherent sentences, and thus qualifies as well above average as far as evangelical Christians in the United States go.

  31. #32 ndt
    February 23, 2008

    I suspected that simply saying that advocating violence isn’t funny even if meant as irony because it contributes to the overall infusion of such language and ideas in society would provoke vociferous all-caps rabid frothing responses within an hour or two.

    Maybe that’s becauise the idea that “joking about violence contributes to the overall infusion of such language and ideas in society” is ridiculous?

  32. #33 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Andria #15 wrote:

    Therefore, sir, I am led to believe that evolutionists do not so much have a solid defense for what they believe, but instead have this unquestioning faith in their god-like peers.

    Anyone can tell a ‘personal story’ where they met someone who said they believed ‘X,’ but, when questioned, could only say they believed it because “everyone knows it’s true.” An atheist could easily say that’s what “someone” said when asked why they think God exists, or Christianity is true. It says nothing.

    As for accepting evolution, the “faith” is not in “god-like peers.” On the contrary, if you have an absolute confidence in individual scientists, then you will NOT value science. Science, as a method, tells us we shouldn’t trust scientists — not as people, we shouldn’t. People make mistakes. That’s why we need a method which tries to weed out biases and errors, which checks and cross-checks, which requires demonstration and consistency. It seeks an objectively inter-subjective consensus, because it starts out with “we can be wrong.” Unlike faith, which starts out with confidence.

    The vast majority of experts in the field of biology use evolutionary theory, and claim it works. For you, a non-expert, to go against the overwhelming consensus of a well-educated majority which has been using a difficult, stringent method which has been confirming predictions for over 100 years — what exactly are you relying on? Instinct? Hope? Faith in intuition? Personal faith? Feelings? Wanting to make your mind up “for yourself?”

  33. #34 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    All right, let’s try logic, since apparently you all are not used to opposition. Your only answers, as of yet, are ‘she is wrong, because we say she is, and ‘J’ says she is, and my teacher in the third grade says she is’. But who decides ‘the eyes of reality’? Are YOU reality? Who gave you that authority?

    Perhaps you are not fighting out against Christianity, or me, or Calloway. Perhaps you are fighting against the thought that you might be wrong. Why else would you so vehemently deny anybody else’s theories credence? All she fought for was establishing that EVOLUTION is a THEORY. It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is! Both are ‘a priori’, which means ‘by faith’. Are you so scared that children will grow up and know that evolution was based on man, and not God? If Christians (and by the way, Landover Baptist Church is by no means Christianity) are just little bugs of opinions that need to be squashed, then why a dedicated sight to slamming all Christians – like they are some universal hate-force? Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.

    In my opinion, ‘Christianity’ is just a word. A word that is sorely mis-used, mis-represented, and hated before understood. What is more important, is how you believe, and you interpret God’s word, and how you view life. God is not just an ideal. He IS reality. And even if you may deny it, all you have in the end – is your right to deny it. But it still doesn’t make you right.

  34. #35 Stanton
    February 23, 2008

    PhysioProf,

    Nicodemus was a Pharisee who met with Jesus three times (the last time being Jesus dying on the Cross), and for the most part, agreed with what Jesus said.

    And the Samaritan Woman was a woman whom Jesus surprised by talking to her, and asking for a drink of water from a deep well (at the time, the Jews regarded the Samaritans as being unclean).

  35. #36 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Andria wrote: “All right, let’s try logic…”

    K, go for it.

  36. #37 Stephen Wells
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, please give a concise explanation for the existence and distribution of endogeneous retroviral sequences in metazoan genomes.

  37. #38 Stanton
    February 23, 2008

    Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.

    In my opinion, ‘Christianity’ is just a word. A word that is sorely mis-used, mis-represented, and hated before understood. What is more important, is how you believe, and you interpret God’s word, and how you view life. God is not just an ideal. He IS reality. And even if you may deny it, all you have in the end – is your right to deny it. But it still doesn’t make you right.

    Andria, a “theory” is an experimentally proven hypothesis. Furthermore, the word “theory” has been brutally abused far more than “Christianity,” especially since your religious handlers have made sure that you repeat the stale mantra of “Evolution is just a theory.”

    That you rail against “abuse” of word while simultaneously perpetuating it in order to remain ignorant of reality marks you as a hypocrite of the highest order, especially since you are not bothered one wit that Florida’s science curricula have become among the very worst in the entire nation thanks to the efforts of fundamentalists like Donna Callaway.

  38. #39 Dan
    February 23, 2008

    In my opinion… God is not just an ideal. He IS reality. And even if you may deny it, all you have in the end – is your right to deny it. But it still doesn’t make you me right.

    Posted by: Andria

    There… All fixed.

  39. #40 Zirrad
    February 23, 2008

    Comments by Andria in bold quotes.

    I have been brought up my entire life believing the Creationistic theory… I am a skeptic by nature,

    Then why do you simply believe in the stuff you were brought up with? Isn’t the burden of proof on those teachers as well?


    I have tried to listen to his emphatic counter-pounding, and insistence that all fundamentals are wrong because of PROOF.

    I call shenanigans on this one. You’re just setting up a straw man argument. Do you know what this is?

    Suppose you asked someone to explain the operation of a nuclear reactor. Does it invalidate the existence of said reactor if that particular person doesn’t know the math, physics and engineering and simply points to existence of verifiable theory and artifacts?


    But when I asked him to please show me proof,

    So do you realize you are completely unfamiliar with how science works?

    Have you demanded a proof of your god? Do you have such a proof to show us?


    Therefore, sir, I am led to believe that evolutionists do not so much have a solid defense for what they believe, but instead have this unquestioning faith in their god-like peers.

    Can you tell me how, based upon the performance of a few lay persons, you can generalize to pass judgment on the work of decades by thousands of people?

    I’m not asking you to believe in their work, I asking if you can walk us all through how you can make such a leap of logic. Do you truly believe that your inference constitutes a proof of the validity of all evolutionary theory?

    Or are you an intellectual coward?

    Can you answer this last question. This is a challenge similar to the one you put to your customers. We are all waiting to hear. Now is your chance to convert us all.

  40. #41 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Andria wrote: “All she fought for was establishing that EVOLUTION is a THEORY. It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is!”

    I’m guessing you haven’t been to that link yet.

    There is a really nifty FAQ that lists five common misconceptions about evolution. Number five is:

    “Evolution is only a theory; it hasn’t been proved.”

    Before you ruin your reputation as a skeptic, rush on over and wisen up. It helps to know what the words mean that you’re using. (Hint, “theory” in science doesn’t mean what you think it does. I know it sucks, but you need to know the basic if you’re going to post on a science blog.)

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html

  41. #42 Zeno
    February 23, 2008

    PhysioProf: Who the fuck are Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman?

    According to John’s gospel, the Samaritan woman is “the woman at the well” whom Jesus importunes for a drink, whereupon she asks why a Jew would ask favors of a Samaritan. Then they get to cross rhetorical swords over the differences in their religious sects. I did my own mischievous rewrite last year as The women at the well plays along.

  42. #43 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    *basics
    Note to self, read the preview.

  43. #44 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Andria #32 wrote:

    All she fought for was establishing that EVOLUTION is a THEORY. It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is! Both are ‘a priori’, which means ‘by faith’.

    Evolution is a science theory, which means it rises or falls based on the evidence, and must always be revised or discarded given disconfirming findings — such as fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.

    What kind of evidence would convince you that Creationism is false?

    What kind of evidence would demonstrate that you’re wrong about Christianity being true?

    What kind of evidence would persuade you that God does not exist, and never did?

    Is creationism a science theory? Is Christianity a science theory? Is the existence of God a science theory? If so, then give your answers, because you must have already worked them out.

    Again, science starts out by asking the question “If I’m wrong, how would I know?” If you’re wrong, how would you know? Or would you “being wrong” suddenly morph into God “being wrong?”

  44. #45 Stanton
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, please give a concise explanation for the existence and distribution of endogeneous retroviral sequences in metazoan genomes.

    “Because GODDIDIT”

  45. #46 Daniel Murphy
    February 23, 2008

    Florida State Board of Education member Calloway writes: I left the SBOE meeting emotionally drained but reaffirmed by the love for children and the respect for others that I saw in those who hold beliefs with which I can identify.

    It appears not to occur to Calloway that love and respect for children and others and education motivates the proponents of teaching science in science classes.

    Despite her board membership, Ms. Calloway writes that she was unaware that “evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.” What gall to be so ignorant these days, when it is so easy for any literate person to be educated about any aspect of the world around us?

    The self-described “skeptic” Creationist in #15 above writes: If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes

    Unfortunately, Ms. Calloway is not merely a quietly “retired educator” but a public official who presumes to set education policy for the state of Florida without knowing the first thing about biology.

    And you, sir, #15, spare us your defense of “courageous ignorance” and go educate yourself. It is so easy to do.

    To paraphrase Loyal Rue in his recent chat with PZ about telling the human story: What is it, Ms. Calloway, about Christianity that requires closing one’s eyes and ears and mind to all the marvelous discoveries of science, and believing that everything we can ever know about the world was revealed in a 3,000 year old Babylonian myth?

  46. #47 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    I got bingo on Andria’s #32 post alone! Right after I finished laughing at the first sentence, that is. Everyone else has already done the hard work, so I’ll just chime in and say that Andria, you have said absolutely nothing that hasn’t been said and shown to be wrong hundreds of times before, dozens of those times on this site alone. Google is your friend. Look up your “arguments” before you go spouting them off at the big kids’ table.

    And as for this, Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians., a lot of the slammers used to be quite dedicated Christians, so you can’t use the “but they don’t understand us” canard around here.

  47. #48 Rey Fox
    February 23, 2008

    You bruise easily, don’t you Andria?

    “since apparently you all are not used to opposition.”

    We get it quite frequently, in fact.

    “Your only answers, as of yet, are ‘she is wrong, because we say she is, and ‘J’ says she is, and my teacher in the third grade says she is’.”

    Well, one poster above gave you an informative web link. But aside from that, there are a lot of books out there on the subject. Heck, probably any high-school level or college-level textbook could give you a good summary.

    “It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is! Both are ‘a priori’, which means ‘by faith’.”

    Wrong. It’s based on evidence. Something that is curiously lacking in the creation theory. Do you seriously think that the underlying theory that unites all of biology and has enabled us to, among other things, cure and continue to cure many diseases and improve our food crops and their resistance to pests, is just taken on faith?

    “Are you so scared that children will grow up and know that evolution was based on man, and not God?”

    The Bible was also written by men. Also, edited, translated, retranslated, re-edited, amended, and so forth, by men. Just saying.

    “Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.”

    On the contrary, the sizable majority of the people who comment to this site (our host included) used to be Christians. And most of them were raised just like you.

    “What is more important, is how you believe, and you interpret God’s word, and how you view life.”

    It’s been interpreted and believed in nearly as many ways as there have been people who have called themselves Christians. There is little way for any of them, solely in the framework of that religion, to tell which way is right, or even which ways are more right than others.

  48. #49 J
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,

    Why else would you so vehemently deny anybody else’s theories credence? All she fought for was establishing that EVOLUTION is a THEORY. It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is! Both are ‘a priori’, which means ‘by faith’. Are you so scared that children will grow up and know that evolution was based on man, and not God?

    1) Ms. Callaway was actually trying to discredit evolution. The “academic freedom” canard was not aimed at gravity or electromagnetism, and no one was raising a ruckus about plate tectonics not being labeled “the scientific theory of plate tectonics.”
    2) Evolution is both theory and fact, based on evidence, not on faith. To paraphrase Prof. David Baltimore, evolution occurred, and is occurring, it’s a matter of exactly how and when that is being investigated. Creationism is not in any way a scientific theory since it presents no hypotheses that can be tested and relies on faith upon something outside the natural world, and thus outside of the realm of science. In fact, it vigorously denies scientific evidence.
    3) For most mainstream Christian religions, evolution is, like any natural process, part of God’s universe. Only a literal reading of the Bible (typically the English King James version) causes a conflict.

  49. #50 semi
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,

    We’re not going to get into a pissing contest with you by trying to explain 150 years of the science of evolutionary biology. I don’t know what your science education was (I suspect you didn’t have much), but there are certain rock solid tenets of science that you should start with.

    Number one is that science looks for naturalistic explanations. Invoking god or the supernatural to explain something automatically puts your idea outside the realm of science because those types of ideas can’t be tested.

    Now you might not like that rule, but it is part of the fundamental definition of science. That’s why creationism, intelligent design or whatever the flavor of the month is from its religious proponents can’t be taught in a science classroom or a science curriculum.

    I suggest that if you really want an education on the subject matter, you start with a basic understanding of science. You shouldn’t even proceed to discussing evolution until you understand the scientific method. Otherwise you look like an ignoramus claiming (for example) that there is no way an automobile can work because you can’t see a horse attached to the front it.

  50. #51 Tosser
    February 23, 2008

    Do boards of education always seek out the least qualified candidates available?

    Do creationists ever care about “teaching the controversy” or “letting kids debate” when the topic is anything but evolution?

    The most amusing part of the article is the promotion of Jesus as an advocate of the free exchange of ideas. “Become my follower and believe everything I tell you or be tortured for an eternity” doesn’t sound like a particularly free exchange of ideas to me.

  51. #52 tacitus
    February 23, 2008

    From the commentary:

    I contacted the executive editor of this
    publication because I felt that this standard needed to get out to Christian parents, children and churches throughout the state. I further agreed to make a statement regarding my concerns which was published in December and now has been credited with opening the “floodgate” causing the controversy, creating the tension that has since occurred.

    Interestingly, the battle lines were drawn, not between religion and evolution, but between those who wanted fairness for our children and those whose single goal was to keep “religion” out of the standards.

    My neck hurts from the whiplash after reading those two consecutive paragraphs. They really don’t have the slightest grasp on reality.

  52. #53 raven
    February 23, 2008

    Andria trying to think:

    I don’t understand why so many people have this HATRED for anybody who doesn’t bow down and believe the way they do!

    Actually Andria, we don’t give a rat’s ass what you believe. It is a free country. We do care when you try to sneak your lies into our kids science classes, destroy the US constitution, and settle us into a new Dark Ages.

    The Amish don’t believe in electricity and phones. We don’t care because they aren’t out blowing up power plants and cutting transmission lines so that we have to sit in the dark.

    The issue with the fundies isn’t their trying to force 2 pages of 4,000 year old mythology into a description of a 13.7 billion year old universe. It is trying to force everyone else to accept their bronze age mythology as reality.

    And BTW, over 99% of the world’s scientists accept evolution and astronomy and geology etc. as facts. The few who don’t freely admit they do so on sectarian religious grounds. You can find more scientists in mental hospitals and detox centers than scientists who reject 2,000 years of evidence.

  53. #54 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie, #26

    For goodness’ sake, life is too short to waste energy getting upset about this small stuff. We have enough work to do fighting the fundamentalists. I propose a deal: let’s call a truce and be friends. I won’t make any jokes about choking someone out of respect for your point of view if you’ll refrain from blowing it out of proportion and into a sociological commentary of epic proportions.

    And, I realize we disagree, but I think labeling my post as “rabid frothing” is, well, a lot over the top. I don’t think your’e insane or a whacko for disagreeing with me, and I’d appreciate it if you’d return the courtesy.

  54. #55 sailor
    February 23, 2008

    Andria food for thought:
    http://www.myspace.com/greydonsquare

  55. #56 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    Haha, you guys are all ganging up on me. It’s great. All right, I am told to understand that ‘evolution’ is ‘highly complicated, and takes years of study, and only the best scientists can truly defend it’. I beg to differ.
    Sometimes the most complicated things have simple answers. And it’s great cause you don’t even have to be 3 to understand it!

    So, since we are trying to teach our kids evolution in the second grade – when is it that they will be able to understand it? Eh? In the 7th grade perhaps? Or maybe when the graduate from high school? When do all of the complicated pieces fall into a comfortable pattern of circular reasoning so the child can rise and type on a blog – ‘my! I have all the answers!’

    While I am not going to put on a highly-educated front of ‘knowing everything’ like some on this site are apt to do, I will say that there is a primary difference between the theory of Evolution and the theory of Creation.

    Creation starts with – God.

    Evolution starts with – what is it again – a cell? A highly powerful speck of life-potential? RIGHT. We all know the theory. That speck became highly-intelligent human beings with the ability to think and reason and then die peacably – without worry of hell of heaven or any other such nonsense. Evolution tells man that he is responsible to no one, because man came from nothing. And better yet — Evolution (devised by woman-hater Charles Darwin) has been around a whole 150 years! Wow – this shocks me. Here we’ve been around billions of years — and all of our extensive proof and reasoning goes back 150 honkin years. That’s huge!

    My question for Evolutionists is – where did the speck come from? Who made the speck? I’m sure you’re used to this coming from skeptics and other such annoying challengers of your methods (pardons for calling it a faith), but just for the absolute fun of disagreeing for a second – where did the speck come from? How did life come about? Man accepts the ability to breathe and think as naturally as he accepts the sun will shine the next day. And yet – it is not idealistic to wonder if an exhorbent amount of time + a speck = life and intelligence. It is, in fact, realistic to doubt.

    I realize I’m barking up a dead tree, and this will only be picked apart by people who determined it was wrong before they read it, but I can’t help but wonder whether the simple answer of ‘yes, God did it’, is more logical than ‘chance brought me about, and by a miracle of nothingness, and the highly-thought-out theory of the speck, my complex brain took form and here I am’.

    I am not oblivious to you who are staring at your screen, getting your buttons pushed and itching to find my chokable-neck, but why not challenge yourself? Since I’m already making you ‘rightly testy’ (and no, I don’t shy away from a debate), how do you reason that everything so detailed, and so complex in this world – came from nothing? How do you KNOW there is not a God?

    If life can come from chance (for that IS what your theory is based on), why can’t chance defy death?

    Tell me, if you have the answer for life, what is the answer for death?

  56. #57 Craig
    February 23, 2008

    “I wonder if anyone other than creationists is fooled by the “student rights” smokescreen.”

    Why not? Plenty of people are fooled by cigarette industry funded “smoker’s rights” groups.

  57. #58 Holbach
    February 23, 2008

    Andria: I’ll save myself and you a lot of venomous bile
    by having you prove that your imaginary god exists and
    have it come down and smite all of us that have the nerve
    to question your insane beliefs. Come on, let’s see this
    freaking god of yours. You cannot do it because all this
    superstitous crap is lodged in your deranged brain and
    will forever misguide your pathetic and insane life.

  58. #59 Dan
    February 23, 2008

    I’m with ya, Andria. But, my Creationist fantasy begins like this:

    “Lasers. Eight o’clock. Day One!”

  59. #60 healthphysicist
    February 23, 2008

    O/T ****Book TV*** This weekend

    There are several books being reviewed on CSPAN’s Book TV that I think will be of interest, including John West (of Disco Inst) talking about the dangers of Darwinism & another talk on Creation vs. Evolution and many more.

    Here is the schedule:

    http://www.booktv.org/schedule.aspx

  60. #61 Blake Stacey
    February 23, 2008

    Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.

    Many of my relatives are Christians. Most of the people in the town where I grew up (Huntsville, Alabama) are Christians. Do you really think I never even tried to understand the people I grew up with, went to school with, celebrated holidays with?

  61. #62 Dan
    February 23, 2008

    It’s cute how Andria claims to be a skeptic. Don’t you think?

    Andria, I find you to be about as probing and insightful as a two inch colonoscopy.

  62. #63 Craig
    February 23, 2008

    Why does every creationist seem to think they’re the first person ever to ask their foolish questions?

  63. #64 Mike O'Risal
    February 23, 2008

    PZ has missed the very first delusion in Callaway’s column; Callaway says that the hearing took place on November 19. She wrote that in the column and the editors at Florida Baptist Witness published her column without checking so much as the first two words in it. I got wind of Callaway’s column this morning and wrote a bit about it myself including a screen shot of the most egregious error ever. Then again, these are religious fundamentalists we’re talking about here. Since when have they ever bothered worrying about facts?

    And as proof of that, we now have Andria lurking about in the comments here spewing her blathering nothings. As is typical for Creationists, she has no clue what the theory of evolution says and doesn’t care because she’s here not to discuss anything factual but to vomit forth her twisted, stupid, Medievalist, laughably asinine vision of a religion with its impotent, invisible, blood-drinking vampire of a manurepile of a deity.

    I know God doesn’t exist because if there were an omnipotent being capable of creating and guiding the development of living things, there’d be no excuse for the existence of people as utterly, deeply stupid — and in this case, I don’t mean ignorant, I mean STUPID — as Donna Callaway and her wannabe butt-buddy, Andria.

    The answer for death is very simple. It’s fundamentalist “intellect.” Given enough time and enough people willing to treat it with kid gloves, it’s a toxic idiocy enough to kill everything.

  64. #65 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Andria:

    “How did life come about?” is a science question. A scientific answer will attempt to provide mechanism. The differing theories of abiogenesis — I assume you are familiar with them — all try to do this. They deal with chemical reactions under differing circumstances. All of the hypotheses are, in theory, falsifiable.

    Is “God” a science hypothesis? If so, what are the mechanisms in its operation, and how did it come about? What evidence would falsify it?

    If you want to play with us, you have to play by the same rules. No tennis without a net.

  65. #66 Chris the Ninja Pirate
    February 23, 2008

    You’re all wrong!

    This is how it really happened! End of discussion!

  66. #67 Blake Stacey
    February 23, 2008

    Take this statement:

    My question for Evolutionists is – where did the speck come from? Who made the speck?

    And then ask, “Who made God? Where did God come from?”

  67. #68 Michael X
    February 23, 2008

    You’re not being “ganged up on” Andrea. You are being given concise answers to your statements and questions and are being asked direct simple questions, none of which you have answered yourself.

  68. #69 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    How do you KNOW there is not a God?

    We don’t. We could be wrong. There could be.

    But it’s an unnecessary hypothesis, and provides no explanation deeper than “like comes from like.” But like does not always come from like. On the contrary, science has discovered that complicated, different things actually can come out of simpler things, given a mindless selective process which shapes to the environment.

    If there is a God, it doesn’t appear to do anything that couldn’t happen without it.

  69. #70 Budbear
    February 23, 2008

    Re: Donna Callaway.
    What a load of self serving claptrap, dished out for the titillation of like-minded theocrats.

    Oh! And Donna, do something about your hair. At least show some respect for your body if not your mind.

  70. #71 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, you’re lying or you can’t read. The mechanism behind evolution is simplistic. You didn’t ask for a definition of evolution, you asked for proof of evolution. I pointed out that we’re sitting on top of 150 years’ worth of evidence (not proof, but let’s not go into that – you’re not ready). You can’t reasonably expect one person to be able to condense it for you, right? That is why we have books and websites. I directed you to such a site. To clarify once more, no one said “evolution is highly complicated”. I said that the evidence for evolution is vast. Spot the difference?

    The rest of your post reads like a “how to” from Answers in Genesis. Like I said, you’re online. The answers are available. We’ve “opposed” these questions so many times before that you can’t turn left online without bumping into a “creationist vs sane person” thread.

    You’re following a tired old formula. Whatever we say, you’ll respond with more creationist nonsense that will spiral away from truth and logic at an alarming rate. Soon you’re going to find you’re one of those idiots babbling about moon dust and the unreliability of radiometric dating.

    Case in point: “Tell me, if you have the answer for life, what is the answer for death?”

    Seriously, are you on something? 42, now go away.

  71. #72 ClaSch
    February 23, 2008

    I had a discussion with a creationist earlier today about the sun shrinking :
    (simplified notation, calculation and age)

    (me)…
    a=4,567x10e9 age of the sun in years
    b=3x10e-14 yearly loss due to solar wind in solar masses (Nasa)

    axb=0,000137

    If we agree on a constant loss rate since its formation, the sun has lost a total of about 0,01% of its mass due to solar wind…

    (creationist)
    I see you like to confuse people with above average math. So that you look smarter while trying to make other people look stupid…

    (me)
    Excuse me but a simple multiplication is not above average math…

    (creationist)
    You can believe what you like. You have that option just as I do.

    I must admit i had a brief “Is Wayne Brady gonna have to..” moment but then i just bursted in laughter. Believe me, i fully understand what we are up against and this drive-by crea-troll Andria just isn’t worth the effort.
    Great blog PZ!

  72. #73 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Josh, small things add up. And I only “wasted” about 30 seconds on it in the first place, which was only lengthened by the fact that you decided to pick on it, even though the person who wrote it basically said “Oh, right, my bad, didn’t think about it”, and that was the end of it. I wish that one time, anywhere, ever, someone could ask for a gratuitously offensive comment not to be repeated and not have that request spun out into a flame war. Just once. It’s so damned tiresome.
    Think of it this way: Would you have been as quick to defend the comment if it had been “PZ should lynch that nigger”? Why not? To use your rationale, it’s not actually advocating violence, it’s just a phrase. No use for anyone to waste time and energy complaining about it, since there are so many more important battles against creationists to fight and all. People (at least the decent ones) don’t say things like that any more, because it’s an incredibly offensive thing to say and people get called on it when they do it. The only way to get language like that out of the mainstream is to make it socially unacceptable, that entails it being criticized when it is done, and it does work eventually even if it’s moving the mountain teaspoon by teaspoon.

    Andria: SELECTION IS NOT CHANCE. And yes, you can explain evolution to 2nd graders. My kids could explain it fairly well by that age. The basics are simple, the intricacies are more complicated. Interesting how a lot of things are that way, isn’t it? You haven’t even gotten to that first step, though, and no one is going to bother to explain the difficult parts to you until you’ve shown that you’ve at least learned what the foundation is, whether or not you agree with it.

  73. #74 Mike O'Risal
    February 23, 2008

    ClaSch,

    You used scientific notation. Creationists don’t believe in materialism-based mathematics. Can you redo the equation with religious notation? Maybe make Jesus an exponent or something?

  74. #75 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    From the Creo To English Phrasebook:

    Student’s Rights: The right to “surrender to ignorance and call it God.”

    Meanwhile, back at Pharyngula:

    Is there any hope for Andria?

    Andria: Go back to school before your mind turns into complete jelly.

    Andria: You are part of the PROBLEM. America is going down the toilet because of people like you.

    Gah! I’m really not in the mood for such flagrant, mind-destroying ignorance today. Won’t someone PLEASE break out the duct tape and put an end to Andria’s toxic, gaseous yapping?

    Wow! This is the rudest I’ve been to anyone in, like, a year! Andria wins! She wins… a really nice prize. Of some kind. Or a weekend at the brain spa. It’s free with the tour of the timeshares.

    Crap. Now I have to apologize.

    Andria, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean all that. It’s the flu. Honest. Praise the Lord, and pass the Ibuprofen. Amen.

    Seriously. I am sorry. And I’d say Andria is the real winner here. She’s the one with the greatest opportunity to ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING HERE TODAY.

    The world waits, with bated breath: Will Andria seize the day?

    GO FOR IT, GIRL! Go for it.

    For the love of all that’s real or imagined… Go for it.

  75. #76 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    You guys are great! I like this one.

    Mike O’Risal:
    As is typical for Creationists, she has no clue what the theory of evolution says and doesn’t care because she’s here not to discuss anything factual but to vomit forth her twisted, stupid, Medievalist, laughably asinine vision of a religion with its impotent, invisible, blood-drinking vampire of a manurepile of a deity.

    Wow, ouch Mike. Did it hurt that much? How many adjectives can there be for such a sick, sadistic creature like me – coming into your wonderful world of scientific blog and stirring the bees-nest, eh?

  76. #77 Mike O'Risal
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,

    It doesn’t hurt me that you make up evil sky-giants in your head and worship them, no. It just makes you look like an idiot.

    Unlike you and your fundamentalist brethren, scientists spend their lives trying to do something useful for humanity instead of creating sick fantasies of vengeful deities and basing mythologies on them.

    There will never be enough adjectives for sick individuals who worship sick, bloodthirsty ghosts they invent. You can have your barbaric worshiping of death, but don’t expect it to be supported by people who haven’t sold their reason to your hoodoo spirits.

    Nobody made you come in here and prove how stupid you are. Now you’re bleating about the results of having revealed yourself. I think zombie Jesus must have eaten your brain.

  77. #78 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    All right, let’s try logic, since apparently you all are not used to opposition.

    LMAO!

    Ten points to Andria for making me grin on this dull, grey day! Thanks! I take back every nasty thing I said! I take them back twice! Then I will eat crow! Three times!

    “…not used to opposition.”

    Tee-hee.

    [*shuffles off, muttering happily*]

  78. #79 Rey Fox
    February 23, 2008

    “Haha, you guys are all ganging up on me. It’s great.”

    And yet you obviously didn’t read a word of it. And you wonder why we all get so testy with you people.

    “Sometimes the most complicated things have simple answers. And it’s great cause you don’t even have to be 3 to understand it!”

    Do you also think that wind is caused by trees sneezing? It’s a simple answer, after all.

    “Creation starts with – God. Evolution starts with – what is it again – a cell?”

    At least we know cells exist. Anyone can see them in a microscope. God? Not so much.

    “Evolution tells man that he is responsible to no one, because man came from nothing.”

    Evolution says no such thing. Evolution merely describes what happens with life over time. If anything, evolution tells man that he is responsible to man. He is responsible to his fellow man to insure the survival of the human race. Why that should be considered less noble than to be responsible for sucking up to some Big Daddy is beyond me.

    “How do you KNOW there is not a God?”

    We don’t. He could have been hiding under my dresser all this time. He could be a dolphin and is a bit pissed about what we’ve done to the world’s oceans. But we don’t really see any reason to believe in any of that.

    “How did life come about?”

    We’re not quite sure. But there are scientists out there who have good ideas about it, and they’re testing to see of those ideas are feasible. You see, the certainty with which you can believe something has absolutely no bearing on whether it’s true or not. You need to have other people checking your work.

    And at any rate, just because we don’t know exactly how life started, doesn’t mean we can’t study and make reasonable conclusions about how life has thrived and diversified over the planet. The whole origin thing seems to be mostly a particular hangup of the creationist set. If they can’t conceive of life without knowing why they were created and what their obligation to some supposed deity is, then that’s their problem, not any of ours.

    “I am not oblivious to you who are staring at your screen, getting your buttons pushed and itching to find my chokable-neck”

    You’re doing it again. Equating words with actual physical actions. Stop it. And please notice that none of your posts have been deleted, nor have you been kicked out of the blog. Many of us have been banned or had comments removed from pro-ID blogs for way less attitude than you have shown. So give your persecution fantasies a rest.

  79. #80 PZ Myers
    February 23, 2008

    Since Andria says evolution is simple, and since I would love to have a simple, thorough, one paragraph encapsulation of evolution (I do have some, but they all have shortcomings), I would appreciate it greatly if Andria would plainly state the theory of evolution.

    Please?

  80. #81 Zeno
    February 23, 2008

    So it’s no longer enough that Darwin was a proto-Nazi, now he’s a woman-hater, too? Boy, they just keep piling it on.

    Andria is a smug little creationist who calls her ignorance “god”. Let her worship it in peace because all she wants is a course of miracles. You’re not going to “explain” anything to her because she’s not listening. Nevertheless, she takes delight in thinking she’s created controversy because people take a minute or two each to poke fun at her pre-rational version of reality. Leave her to her assurance, folks. Invincible ignorance is what it is.

    And I’ll suggest that Andria pray diligently for our barren souls, since that should keep her from more deleterious activities.

  81. #82 raven
    February 23, 2008

    Andria trying to think and failing:

    Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.

    Andria, the majority of Xians worldwide don’t have a problem with science and evolution. This includes Catholic, mainstream protestant, Mormon, and even some evangelicals.

    As to understanding wingnut fundies, after running the country for 6 years we understand them way too well. They lie a lot, publish lists of people they think should be murdered, and occasionally murder them. The 10 commandments shrank to 8. Hopefully that is why Huckabee only got 10% of the total primary votes.

  82. #83 Michael X
    February 23, 2008

    Go away troll.

  83. #84 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Excellent idea as usual, PZ. Andria, I daresay anyone here can properly describe the Creationist position that we are arguing against. Can you do the same, and properly describe this “evolution” you are so set against? Do you even know what it is that you don’t believe in?

  84. #85 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Okay Carlie, I tried to take a middle road and acknowledge we both really disagreed with the other, but that we could put it aside. I’m sorry that’s not good enough for you, but I’m not going to give you the grovelling mea culpa you think you deserve. I mean you no disrespect, but your opinions and ideas about what’s offensive are not the only ones in the world, and your level of emotional outrage doesn’t make your view any more valid.

    I’m not even going to dignify your comparison of what I said to inflammatory racist rhetoric except to say it’s extraordinarily nervy of you to write about me as if I were some unreconstructed boor who had no idea how hurtful and offensive language can be. I’ve been the target of “hey faggot” bullshit since I came out as a young teenager. I do not require your schoolmarmish tone to understand – viscerally – the difference between two peoples’ senses of humor and the hateful racist or homophobic things people sometimes say. You, however, might want to consider whether it’s worth insulting and provoking other people of good will by lumping them together with the deplorable sort of people who use the word “nigger.” That, madam, is offensive.

    I am sorry this has turned into such a dust up, because I think we’re both perfectly nice people who probably wouldn’t even be in this position if it weren’t for easy it is to kick up a kerfuffle in anonymous internet land. But as much as you don’t appreciate my sense of humor, I bristle at your condescending tone.

  85. #86 Manduca
    February 23, 2008

    Andria:

    Here’s the theory of evolution by natural selection in a nutshell.

    Individuals in a population vary. [You can tell this is true by looking around you at the variation in people, or in any group of organisms you wish to observe.]

    Some of that variation is genetic. [That is, the gene for a trait is passed from parent to offspring. You can tell this is true by any number of human or barnyard observations.]

    Not every individual in a population will breed successfully. [Some fail because they never make it to adulthood, some because they never find a mate, some because they never produce an offspring, and some because their offspring die before reaching adulthood. This should be readily apparent, as well, especially as the world is not blanketed with flies several miles deep.]

    Some of the genetic differences between individuals influence the likelihood of success at breeding in that particular environment. [This may occur by improving the chances of making it to adulthood, or attracting a mate, or producing an offspring, or keeping that offspring alive. This is also apparent after a little bit of reflection.]

    Over time, the population changes – there are more individuals with the genes for the more beneficial traits and fewer individuals with the genes for the less beneficial traits. [This is the inescapable consequence of the previous observations.]

    All it takes for evolution to occur is for replication to be imperfect. Duplication and modification of existing genes are errors in replication that we can observe if we look closely.

    To begin to understand what biologists mean when they say evolution, you must first see the sense of these statements. In my experience, most people don’t realize it’s that simple.

    There’s more, of course, but you could start by digesting the common sense of natural selection.

  86. #87 szqc
    February 23, 2008

    Taking a break from trying to educate our new troll (or perhaps a sockpuppet for an old troll), here’s one from the same website that hosts Calloway’s op-ed.

    This one is from a retired teacher (Robin Brown I believe): “For today’s bright minds, Intelligent Design has opened up new possibilites in the scientific arena. I say to them, ‘Go for it!’ See how far your research and lab experiments will take you”.

    Indeed. How far. How’s that working out for them ya think?

    Gonzalez certainly did a *great* job of new research(cough cough). Behe seems to have last done original work last milennium. Dembski of course generally refuses to even talk about having to provide evidence (and Behe of course said he also had no interest in original research – see Dover). Sternberg, Durston, and Axe do research and then leap to the opposite conclusion or an supported conclusion. So did Warda and Han… post PZ, they may think twice about plagiarism and stupidity (theirs was a review paper not research per se but still..).

  87. #88 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    C’mon, Mike, tell us what you REALLY think.

    Andria, the “bees-nest” gets stirred daily. Yes. Stirred. Daily. Week after week, month after month, year after year. You think you’re some kind of exception? You think that the pan of kitty-litter you’ve quite intentionally kicked over and scattered around the floor here is in any sense new, or in any way compelling?

    Your opinion of your impact here is grossly – GROSSLY – over-inflated.

    Your first and only accomplishment here – at the rate you’re going – will be to make a complete fool of yourself. The one regret I have is knowing that you can’t or won’t see that, and that there’s nothing anybody here could say that might change it.

    But there’s still time to recover. Honest. Go ahead. Prove me wrong. I’d love it. (Helpful hint: a cut-and-paste from AIG or UhDuh won’t win you that weekend getaway in Cancun.)

  88. #89 Ted Powell
    February 23, 2008

    Back when people generally knew what a scientific theory was, they would sometimes sarcastically refer to unfounded speculation as a “theory”–just as they might refer to somebody’s broken-down jalopy as a “limousine”.

    Nowadays it seems that most people are only aware of the ironic connotation.

    Despite this, descent-with-modification has been, and continues to be, observed. Regardless of the term used to describe the body of knowledge that has grown up around this, that body of knowledge has survived enough testing, and has produced enough subsequently-confirmed predictions, that it is generally accepted subject to the possibility of disconfirming evidence.

    Personal discomfort/distaste, and contradicting folk tales do not, of course, constitute disconfirming evidence.

  89. #90 szqc
    February 23, 2008

    Damn. Even did preview and missed the typo above – that should be “unsupported conclusion”.

  90. #91 Mike O'Risal
    February 23, 2008

    Kseniya,

    What I really think is that it’s pretty cool somebody using the UID “Manduca” showed up in here when I just recently got hold of some Manduca sexta chitin A gene primer to sequence a few insects.

    Surely this proves that god is a hornworm!

  91. #92 Mike O'Risal
    February 23, 2008

    Oops… my bad. Make that chitinase A.

  92. #93 Ichthyic
    February 23, 2008

    Surely this proves that god is a hornworm!

    holy crap! I was just thinking the same thing the other day when 2 dozen of the critters suddenly appeared on my tomato plant, and had eaten half of it already.

    seriously, I had checked the plant less than a week earlier…

    plague of locusts my ass; it’s gonna be a plague of hornworms!

    I’d like to say the adults are attractive moths, but I can’t even say that; they’re rather bland, if on the large side.

  93. #94 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    I do not require your schoolmarmish tone to understand – viscerally – the difference between two peoples’ senses of humor and the hateful racist or homophobic things people sometimes say.

    That’s wonderful. Glad to know you’ve come that far. I’m simply asking you to broaden your horizons a bit and add “sexist” to your list, because sexist is just as bad as racist and homophobic. Making hateful comments about women is still socially acceptable, and it shouldn’t be. I would think that someone who knows what it feels like to be threatened with violence just because of who he is would have some amount of understanding when that exact thing happens to people in other groups just because of who they are. Just as it’s not ok to make fun of/threaten someone because of their sexual orientation, it’s not ok to make fun of/threaten someone because of their sex. You’re asking me to appreciate your sense of humor, which means somehow that it’s funny to talk about choking bitches. How is that funny, again?

  94. #95 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie, I think our spat has been off-topic enough already (and I’m just as responsible for that). In order not to annoy everyone else, we should probably end it. If you want to continue arguing it out, I can provide you an email address, though I don’t think we’ll probably get very far.

  95. #96 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Proving Kseniya wrong wins a weekend getaway in Cancun?

    Ok, he’s pretty sharp, but there’s probably a catch. Still, I will be going through ALL his posts with a fine-tooth comb, from now on. Just in case. Because I’m in Wisconsin, and the weather has not been that nice, recently. I could use a weekend getaway in Cancun.

  96. #97 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Sastra, I’m afraid that Kseniya’s offer is directed at Andria only. I know, I read the fineprint too. It turns out that if Andria ceases to make a fool of herself and learns something, she’s a winner.

    I’d say that weekend getaway is safe.

  97. #98 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Sorry, Sastra. The offer is only open to Andria.

    I’m wrong lots of the time. I’d go broke if I… you know… had to buy all those getaway packages. Every freakin day! :-)

    BTW, FYI, FWIW: http://www.behindthename.com/name/kseniya

  98. #99 RamblinDude
    February 23, 2008

    I suspect (though I hope not) you are wasting your time with Andria. As soon as you tell her she has to think for herself and study and investigate, her eyes will glaze over and she’ll become easily confused, and she’ll start throwing those simplistic creationist memes that are all the ammunition she has against those who aren’t subservient to her god. If she really wanted to find out the truth for herself, she wouldn’t wait to be spoon-fed information, she would do the hard work to get to it. (You’ve been given links, lady, do a little research and then come back with evidence that you think refutes “The scientific theory of evolution”.) Until she understands and appreciates the inherent lazy mindedness of faith, she will be unreachable and unteachable. There is no argument possible against those who think “praise jesus” is evidence.

  99. #100 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    :-) Prazzie.

    I really do feel badly for being harsh to Andria. I’m just not cut out for nastiness. SIGH.

  100. #101 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Josh, these threads go OT all the time, but I agree. If you really can’t see that “choke the bitch” isn’t any funnier than “choke the fag”, then there’s nothing to discuss, and there’s no point in trying.

    Back to topic,
    And I’d say Andria is the real winner here. She’s the one with the greatest opportunity to ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING HERE TODAY.
    Kseniya wins the internets. Again.

  101. #102 Logicel
    February 23, 2008

    “Why does every creationist seem to think they’re the first person ever to ask their foolish questions?”
    ______

    In addition, most likely this is not the first time Andria has presented his/her perspective to unbelievers. If it is, then such a virginal presentation would actually take some courage. Instead, it is most likely Andria is on godbot pilot, doing what she/he has done in many other venues, fired up by the Lord. Andria is ignoring the feedback now just as she/he has done in previous venues.

    Note well that once Andria was asked specific questions, the godbot pilot flared up almost obliterating all common sense, and Andria veered off onto a religious debate, about meaning of life and death. The scientific method which has given us the scientific theory of evolution as all of the other scientific theories that do not seem to trouble the godbots, is what is up for discussion, not Andria’s religious beliefs.

    Andria is free to have any religious belief he/she so desires, but not her/his version of science. And Andria keeps mixing up the two to the point one pities America. Will America continue to be left behind, in the very non-rapturous state of crumbling infrastructure and decaying academic excellence because of godbots?

    Andria, how about all the scientists going off to practice what they love and do best in another country where they do not have to waste all their energies on fundamentalists like you? Who will do your thinking for you then? Who will make your mere earthly world work until you shuffle off your mortal coil?

  102. #103 Moses
    February 23, 2008

    Damn, I’m late to this dog and pony show, but what the hell, I’ll put my hat in the ring:

    Very interesting blog you have here. I have been brought up my entire life believing the Creationistic theory, and only recently have been challenged by one of my customers in heated debates, to be open to the theory of Evolution. I have tried to listen to his emphatic counter-pounding, and insistence that all fundamentals are wrong because of PROOF. But when I asked him to please show me proof, so I could be as knowledgable as he, he merely told me, “Well, everybody knows that creation is hogwash, and evolution is accepted by everybody!”

    Ah, yes, “the friend,” does he have a name? Mine friend’s name is Ibe Strohmann. He tells me many things. All of which I somehow always refute with my brilliant arguments in our heated debate.

    But as for proof of Evolution, you don’t see it because you refuse to get an education. As for proof of creationism, how would you like to know that your bible, from which your tale comes, is a a lie?

    And what I mean by lie, is that you’ve been taught it is true. But the archaeological evidence tells us that much of is just tales. Tales stolen. Tales made up. Rock solid archaeological evidence tells us that, in fact, Judaism was at one point in time a POLYTHESTIC religion (in Israel). That God (El) had a wife (Asheroth) and a son (Baal) and a daughter (Lilith).

    Under Josiah in the 7th Century BC efforts of the monotheist movement to make Judaism a monotheistic, male-dominated religion come to a head.

    Part of that was to write out God and his inconvenient children. Baal and Lilith become demons. Asheroth, his wife, is written out in just about everything but traces of her remain in the bible. Traces that, to this day, are explained away with incorrect explanations because the practitioners of Christianity are unaware of the precedent religions from which there religion is derived.

    I could go on. But since you won’t be even slightly bothered to learn about the awesomeness of the Theory of Evolution, I’m sure you’d NEVER, EVER see that Christianity is just a more recent morph/hybrid of a religion that itself was a morph/hybrid of religions that preceded it. And, frankly, I’d just be wasting my damn time as you can’t argue religion with a stump.

    I am a skeptic by nature, which is the only reason why I was open to hearing this man out. And yet, the man began to footsie around (as many of my other customers have), and could not tell me why he believed straight Creation could NOT be true, except that he did not believe in God, and that evolution was just ‘so accepted’.

    I’m a skeptic too. I’m skeptical that you’re doing anything but the “friendly, confused Christian” routine. Been there. Done that. Have the move rights.

    Therefore, sir, I am led to believe that evolutionists do not so much have a solid defense for what they believe, but instead have this unquestioning faith in their god-like peers. I was fascinated reading over your blog-comments, because it seems like so many of your commenters took a lot of time to trash any body who disagreed with the way ‘everybody believes’, and what ‘all scientists agree with’. That was all they had to say; “so and so is wrong and she’s full of **** and her God is just another god, and I’m just another person following the crowd.”

    Yep. Here’s the pony. I knew under the pile of crap “phony jovial confused Christian with the strawman friend” we’d get to this point.

    Always happens. Every time.

    But, isn’t it intriguing that some of these studiers of science have the courage to step out from among the throngs of popular belief, and say what they believe? I don’t understand why so many people have this HATRED for anybody who doesn’t bow down and believe the way they do! If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes! It takes alot of courage to go against ‘what everybody believes and thinks’. At least she has more courage as an individual, than you have as an accepted evolutionist surrounded by the undying support of your unquestioning fans.

    Posted by: Andria | February 23, 2008 2:14 PM

    So you’re saying we’re courageous? Because, pretty much this anti-intellectual, pig-ignorant country we live in believes a cobbled-up, bronze-age fairy tale written by some ignorant sheep-fuckers over millions of man-hours of rock-solid science. Science that has, despite over 150 years of Christians whinging about it, more than held its own.

    And that a few scientists become drooling crackpots… Well, that’s not evidence that evolution is wrong. Only that they’re crackpots.

  103. #104 Paul Burnett
    February 23, 2008

    So in Donna’s universe, evolution is “an issue that is not settled when many do not agree, including scientists and teachers.”

    Sounds like she’ll be notified any day now that she’s a Fellow of the Dishonesty Institute.

  104. #105 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Andria (Andrea?), what is this talk about ganging up? You jump headfirst into the scientist pit that is infested with saber-toothed atheists, and then you say people gang up on you?

    Also, why are you conflating Christianity and creationism, and science and atheism? Where I come from, being Christian is the default, and being a creationist is an extremely rare condition that many don’t even know exists. (Well, with all those recent news from the USA, maybe they do now.)

    Next, why do you say “EVOLUTION is a THEORY” as if that were a bad thing? Go learn what the technical term “theory” means. In doing so, you will also learn why creationism is not a theory but just a speculation.

    Manduca has explained evolution (it really is that simple), so let me explain science. You asked for proof — this proves that you don’t know how science works.

    1) Falsifiability
    Science cannot prove, only disprove. If a hypothesis (you have followed that link above, so you now know what “hypothesis” means, right?) contradicts observations, it’s disproven; if it agrees with all observations made so far, it’s not disproven, but that’s it. Who can tell if tomorrow we will make an observation that will disprove the hypothesis? Who can count the other hypotheses that also agree with all observations? And if we actually do find the truth, how can we tell that what we have found is in fact the truth? By comparing it to the truth? We don’t have the truth…

    Some hypotheses cannot be disproven even in principle. The existence of any sufficiently ineffable deity is such a hypothesis. Science is forced to ignore all such hypotheses. As long as you can answer the question “If I were wrong, how would I know?”, you are doing science. As soon as you can’t answer that anymore, you have stopped doing science. Scientists tend to regard contemplating unfalsifiable hypotheses as useless.

    2) Ockham’s Razor: the principle of parsimony

    What if we have several hypotheses that explain the observations equally well ( = have not been disproven)? Then we choose, for the time being, the “simplest” one — the one that needs the fewest additional assumptions. Creationism consists mostly of additional assumptions… lots of assumptions about processes that have never been observed and entities the existence of which is not even testable.

    Any more questions?

  105. #106 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Andria (Andrea?), what is this talk about ganging up? You jump headfirst into the scientist pit that is infested with saber-toothed atheists, and then you say people gang up on you?

    Also, why are you conflating Christianity and creationism, and science and atheism? Where I come from, being Christian is the default, and being a creationist is an extremely rare condition that many don’t even know exists. (Well, with all those recent news from the USA, maybe they do now.)

    Next, why do you say “EVOLUTION is a THEORY” as if that were a bad thing? Go learn what the technical term “theory” means. In doing so, you will also learn why creationism is not a theory but just a speculation.

    Manduca has explained evolution (it really is that simple), so let me explain science. You asked for proof — this proves that you don’t know how science works.

    1) Falsifiability
    Science cannot prove, only disprove. If a hypothesis (you have followed that link above, so you now know what “hypothesis” means, right?) contradicts observations, it’s disproven; if it agrees with all observations made so far, it’s not disproven, but that’s it. Who can tell if tomorrow we will make an observation that will disprove the hypothesis? Who can count the other hypotheses that also agree with all observations? And if we actually do find the truth, how can we tell that what we have found is in fact the truth? By comparing it to the truth? We don’t have the truth…

    Some hypotheses cannot be disproven even in principle. The existence of any sufficiently ineffable deity is such a hypothesis. Science is forced to ignore all such hypotheses. As long as you can answer the question “If I were wrong, how would I know?”, you are doing science. As soon as you can’t answer that anymore, you have stopped doing science. Scientists tend to regard contemplating unfalsifiable hypotheses as useless.

    2) Ockham’s Razor: the principle of parsimony

    What if we have several hypotheses that explain the observations equally well ( = have not been disproven)? Then we choose, for the time being, the “simplest” one — the one that needs the fewest additional assumptions. Creationism consists mostly of additional assumptions… lots of assumptions about processes that have never been observed and entities the existence of which is not even testable.

    Any more questions?

  106. #107 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 23, 2008

    Andria says:

    I am a skeptic by nature

    If you are a skeptic by nature then you have surely questioned your belief in God. Can you tell us what your criteria are for the falsibility of God or any other supernatural being? What evidence would you accept that would disprove the existence of a creator?

    But, isn’t it intriguing that some of these studiers of science have the courage to step out from among the throngs of popular belief, and say what they believe?

    I’m not sure who these studiers of science are that you refer to. Callaway is a layperson with little or no knowledge of science. She is a member of a board of education and not, so far as we can see, a scientist.

    I don’t understand why so many people have this HATRED for anybody who doesn’t bow down and believe the way they do!

    Odd. We say that a lot about Christian anti-evolutionists.

    If the persons’ opinion is so insignifant, then just let her talk! Let her say what she believes! Let her be wrong in your eyes!

    No one is stopping her from talking. We are simply pointing out her errors.

    It takes alot of courage to go against ‘what everybody believes and thinks’. At least she has more courage as an individual, than you have as an accepted evolutionist surrounded by the undying support of your unquestioning fans.

    I think you find we go by the evidence, which is far stronger than any peer approval.

  107. #108 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Kseniya – I know, you’re a sweetheart. It’s the meds.

    I was going to apologise for my mean “weekend getaway is safe” comment, but I was afraid that Andria might think we could be friends. (I’m ill and on meds too. So I’m stuck at home and “someone is WRONG on the internet” :P)

  108. #109 Three-Fitty
    February 23, 2008

    Jesus was a poorly developed character in an old series of folk tales. I much prefer characters like Hannibal Lecter or Sarah Conner.

    For a real person to learn from, I prefer John Scarne.

  109. #110 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,

    I notice, like most creationists who come here, that you don’t answer questions, particularly the challenges that have been put to you.

    My suspicion is that you cannot answer the questions because you don’t have either the facts or the intellectual tools to give an answer.

    PZ has asked you a reasonable question. Kindly answer it.

  110. #111 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 23, 2008

    I can’t help but wonder whether the simple answer of ‘yes, God did it’, is more logical than ‘chance brought me about, and by a miracle of nothingness, and the highly-thought-out theory of the speck, my complex brain took form and here I am’.

    Or we could render this into a more reasonable form of:

    “I can’t help but wonder whether the simple answer of ‘yes, my imaginary friend created human life’, is more logical than a process of natural selection that directed the development of all lifeforms until a particularly complex race with highly developed brains appeared, of which I am one and here I am.”

    To which the answer is “no”.

  111. #112 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    My suspicion is that you cannot answer the questions because you don’t have either the facts or the intellectual tools to give an answer.

    Not so impatient. She’s only been here 3 1/2 hours. I gave her stuff to read, too…

    PZ has asked you a reasonable question. Kindly answer it.

    Too late, Manduca has answered it. (Andria is probably now reading this and finds herself in the Huxley situation: “How stupid of me not to have thought of this myself!”)

  112. #113 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    My suspicion is that you cannot answer the questions because you don’t have either the facts or the intellectual tools to give an answer.

    Not so impatient. She’s only been here 3 1/2 hours. I gave her stuff to read, too…

    PZ has asked you a reasonable question. Kindly answer it.

    Too late, Manduca has answered it. (Andria is probably now reading this and finds herself in the Huxley situation: “How stupid of me not to have thought of this myself!”)

  113. #114 Lazarus Long
    February 23, 2008

    Prazzie posted: “Why did she feel that the standard needed to go out to Christian people? If something is false, it’s false for everyone.”

    You don’t understand. In Donna’s populist paradise, non-Christians don’t count – they simply aren’t in the equation. When Donna helps Mike Huckabee take back America for Christ, and the smoke from Halliburton’s gas ovens clears, those who are left behind will be in complete agreement she did the Right thing.

  114. #115 Steve_C
    February 23, 2008

    Manduca,

    I suspect that even after your nice little summation she’ll still balk and be reduced to a micro versus macro argument or another moving of the goal posts.

    She’s a creationist. They’re predictable. I have never, not even once, seen a creationist actually learn the theory through efforts here and have an “ah ha! well that makes perfect sense’ moment.

    It would be nice to actually see someone get it. But there’s little hope, it just brings up a whole load of internal issues they would have to deal with.

  115. #116 TimJ
    February 23, 2008

    Hi guys,

    Well, I’m not sure why I wasted my time (like I have copious amounts to spare *sigh*), but I went ahead and fired off an email to the editor on that Florida Baptist, or whatever that was, web site. I imagine they’ll take one look at that “None” I put down on affiliated church (a required field) and send my ramblings to /dev/null. So, here’s what I wrote (not sure I like the way I rambled on at the end, but I was in a hurry..). Feel free to bombard them as well..

    cheers,
    Tim

    Dear Editor,

    I’ve just read the editorial written by Donna Callaway and am confused. She claims that children need to be taught both sides when there is controversy and seems to imply that this is the case for the theory of evolution. I certainly agree that when discrepancies with established theory exist, problems should be pointed out. Therein lies opportunity for progress, and this is, in fact, how much scientific progress is made. But within the scientific community, there is certainly no controversy regarding the theory of evolution. It remains a most powerful theoretical framework on which rests the whole of biology. So far, no competing framework exists which explains the mountains of evidence which evolution does, or matches evolution in predictive power. To deny this would deny much of the astounding progress that has been made in medicine, for starters.

    To preempt the argument that it is only a “theory”, I should add that theory in scientific terms does not mean a “wild guess”. A theory is a generally predictive framework explaining multiple phenomena and which survives rigorous testing. The theory of evolution is no more a wild guess than the theory of gravitation is. So far, there is generally no controversy regarding gravitational theory (expect possibly at very large scales where scientists do look for deviation from the general theory of relativity..none of which have yet been found..or possibly at the scale of loop quantum gravity .. still being investigated. Even so, such new theoretical frameworks would still need to agree with established theory at the scales where established theory is known to work rather well.).

    Thank you,
    Tim

  116. #117 Moses
    February 23, 2008

    #32 All right, let’s try logic, since apparently you all are not used to opposition. Your only answers, as of yet, are ‘she is wrong, because we say she is, and ‘J’ says she is, and my teacher in the third grade says she is’. But who decides ‘the eyes of reality’? Are YOU reality? Who gave you that authority?

    That’s not logic, so why are you calling it such? And why are you asking idiotic rhetorical questions about reality? Reality is reality and it is the job/passion of the scientist to discover and describe reality.

    And, no, there are no “soft realities” where someone gets to pull shit out of his or her ass and say “my reality is as valid as yours.” There’s just one reality and people who are better at seeing and describing it to others. That ignorant people seem to think that they can spout an opinion and foolishly believe that it is as “valid” is not relevant.

    Though it is very childish.

    Perhaps you are not fighting out against Christianity, or me, or Calloway. Perhaps you are fighting against the thought that you might be wrong. Why else would you so vehemently deny anybody else’s theories credence? All she fought for was establishing that EVOLUTION is a THEORY. It IS a theory, just as much as Creation is! Both are ‘a priori’, which means ‘by faith’. Are you so scared that children will grow up and know that evolution was based on man, and not God? If Christians (and by the way, Landover Baptist Church is by no means Christianity) are just little bugs of opinions that need to be squashed, then why a dedicated sight to slamming all Christians – like they are some universal hate-force? Whoever is doing this slamming, has clearly never tried to understand Christians.

    Of course Evolution is a Theory! But that word doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means the best possible explanation for the facts we observe. It is the PINNACLE OF SCIENTIFIC ACHEIVMENT. Not a wild-ass guess.

    In my opinion, ‘Christianity’ is just a word. A word that is sorely mis-used, mis-represented, and hated before understood. What is more important, is how you believe, and you interpret God’s word, and how you view life. God is not just an ideal. He IS reality. And even if you may deny it, all you have in the end – is your right to deny it. But it still doesn’t make you right.

    Posted by: Andria | February 23, 2008 3:00 PM

    HE doesn’t exist. If you had a grip on REALITY and an education in ARCHEOLOGY you’d soon find out the origins of the Abrahamic myths and its writings.

    And let me tell you, they aren’t pretty. For example, the early-Jews practiced human sacrifice and killed their first-born sons. Seriously, what the hell do you think the story of Abraham and Isaac was about? It was about the change in theological practice that lead to the abolishment of human sacrifice by the Jews. Even then the evidence says it took almost 300 years for them to stop! So, until you have a rock-solid clue about your mythology, don’t be pushing your semi-incoherent “logic” at anyone and think you’re winning points.

  117. #118 Rick T.
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,
    I used to be a minister. I think I understand Christians. Don’t assume we’re all unbelieving (although most of us are) because we are ignorant of Christian dogma. Just as a guess based on reading the comments here, I would say a good portion of Pharyngula commenters know more about the Bible than you do. They certainly know how to Google which seems to be a skill unfamiliar to you.
    My deconversion resulted in my belief that truth cannot be assailed. It can withstand scrutiny and criticism. I need not fear questioning the truth because it will be truth whether or not I question it.
    Big mistake for my immortal soul as it turned out (don’t be a fainting goat, it’s a joke. One you will get if you just open your eyes). I first took a scientific theory course (a prerequisite). I took biology and a few anthropology courses. It was all so clear and obvious that I had been lied to in my religious upbringing. I was pissed off. How could I have wasted all my life believing in creationism? There is so much fucking evidence for evolution that it would take the blinders of religion to keep a person from seeing this truth.
    Why do you think that there are now bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics? Why does there seem to be a new version of the flu every year? Why do they dig up unusual fossil remains that bear little resemblance to anything we see today? Why are there fossilized footprints of the bipedal kind that look as if we could have made them yet they are nearly 4 million years old?
    The truth did win out. I just could not have thought that it would have left the Bible as the one in error. I’m glad I took the time and effort to educate myself. I’m much happier to live in a real world instead of a make believe one. Maybe you will be too. Read “You’re inner fish”. It’s amazing reading. You don’t need to defend the Bible. It will be fine all by it’s lonesome self. Instead, catch up on what’s been going on in science. It’s a treat.

  118. #119 raven
    February 23, 2008

    So in Donna’s universe, evolution is “an issue that is not settled when many do not agree, including scientists and teachers.”

    Donna is wrong here. Nothing unusual for creos. “Many scientists do not agree” is false. A few don’t for religious reasons, which they freely admit.

    As for teachers, who cares? What about auto mechanics, fruit pickers, lawn mowers, and computer programmers?

    If we all voted on reality and reality was malleable, the world would be a vastly different and ever changing place. But the universe doesn’t work that way.

  119. #120 Ichthyic
    February 23, 2008

    an education in ARCHEOLOGY you’d soon find out the origins of the Abrahamic myths and its writings.

    might I recommend a recent post here on Pharyngula that links to some nice talks by Hector Avalos to further that point for Andria?

    or heck, she could just read his book:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591025362/theinfideguyl-20

  120. #121 Logicel
    February 23, 2008

    “Making hateful comments about women is still socially acceptable, and it shouldn’t be.”

    Absolutely, Carlie! Though usually I am fresh enough at the beginning of a thread to click on most links, I refrained clicking on Js. Why? Choke and bitch together after a lifetime of witnessing violence and disrespect directed at my sex disguised as ‘joking’ made me not want to take the chance of yet again reading some sexist crapola. I ran the chance of missing something smart and clever, but life is short and I had enough of that crap already. Thanks for taking out the time to make your point with which I agree.

  121. #122 Ichthyic
    February 23, 2008

    … or, watch the video:

    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/hector-avalos-how-archaeology-killed-biblical-history-part-1-of-2/891496982

    How Archaeology Killed Biblical History

    seriously, how many xians does anybody know that has even the slightest inkling that archeology does NOT support biblical history?

  122. #123 Daniel Murphy
    February 23, 2008

    RE #78: Darwin summarized natural selection simply (but not thoroughly) in ten words:

    “[M]ultiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.” (Origin of Species, Ch. 8).

    And then he added: the rest is commentary; go and read it. All right, no, he didn’t add that. But although evolutionary theory is not simple, neither is it so complex that a layman needs “years of study” to acquire a layman’s understanding. An open mind helps, though, one that prizes being informed over playing the ignorant buffoon.

  123. #124 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 23, 2008

    Not so impatient. She’s only been here 3 1/2 hours. I gave her stuff to read, too…

    Hey, she expects her customers to trot out the evidence for evolution at the drop of a hat, and without reference materials to hand. Methinks 3.5 hours is more than lenient on her.

  124. #125 Manduca
    February 23, 2008

    Steve C:

    I was hoping (in vain, I know) to engage Andria. The natural selection summary was only intended as the first step. It’s so sensible, and requires no special knowledge.

    I had in mind to follow up with the multiple independent lines of evidence thing.

  125. #126 j
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie, thanks for your persistence in this thread on the issue of hateful language against women. I often feel that we can do a lot to make the atmosphere of Pharyngula less hostile towards women, but it takes a lot of courage and patience to call out these slurs when they occur.

  126. #127 Richard Simons
    February 23, 2008

    Andria said

    Evolution (devised by woman-hater Charles Darwin) has been around a whole 150 years!

    That’s a new one on me, that he was a woman-hater. Where did you drag that out from and what’s the evidence? Even if he was it has nothing to do with whether or not his theory was correct, just as we do not cast Newton’s ideas to one side because in many respects he was an unpleasant character. Why did you bring it up?

    Oh, and you are wrong about the 150 years bit. People had accepted the fact of evolution well before Charles Darwin came on the scene (his grandfather, for one, had written about it). It’s just that his theory was the first to provide a believable mechanism.

  127. #128 Molly, NYC
    February 23, 2008

    Andria –

    Couple things:

    1. Evolution’s biggest PR problem is that most people–including you–want every explanation reduced to a cute little sound-bite. Intelligent design has the edge here because they can do it in three syllables: “God did it.”

    That doesn’t make ID true. It just makes it simple. You ever hear the saying that “Life isn’t fair”? It’s not required to be simple either.

    Evolution–much more complex–requires some time, education and thought. You’re complaining because you don’t have the patience to follow the arguments. You expect everything to be dumbed-down, as if we were trying to sell you toothpaste, instead of trying to tell you the truth.

    2. One reason your customers may be taken aback at your request for an explanation is they may have been trying to figure out how much background information a “Creationistic theory” believer like yourself might be lacking before launching into the meat of the argument. This blog’s readers tend to be science geeks, and you aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with that, obviously. And it doesn’t take a genius to understand this stuff. However, it does usually require hitting the books (lectures, labs, etc.) for a few years. And after a certain point, you start to see those patterns and relationships rippling out through all life forms, and no one has to argue you into evolution–it’s just incredibly obvious. When you have to backtrack from that to explain things someone who wants to know why you don’t believe in magic–it’s a real shift of gears. Most people don’t do it very well.

    Believe me, no one faults you for not getting a degree in molecular microbiology or some such. For many of us who did, it was a pain in the @ss. But here’s a news flash: Those of us who did actually know more science than you do–just like you know more about your business than we would. It’s completely understandable that you don’t have the time or interest to get up to speed on this stuff yourself–relatively few people do. But of the ones who have, almost all support evolution, hands-down.

    And the very few who don’t, tend to either (a) reject evolution on religious grounds; (b) get paid to reject evolution (Bob Jones faculty, e.g.); or (c) both.

    There’s a reason why ID has a well-funded PR firm (the Discovery Institute) and evolution is forced to scrape along with only the support of pretty much every scientist on the planet. You might want to ask yourself why ID advocates are trying to convince you and not, say, the folks at the National Academy of Sciences.

    3. Re “Creationistic theory”–It’s not a theory, not the way scientists use the word. Science works in this order: You get data. You then test the data, looking for patterns. Then, if you’re lucky, and if you have the intellectual discipline to back off and not try to pigeonhole what you know into only what you want to see, you may notice the the patterns forming a larger framework. Then, other scientists are given the wherewithal to poke holes in this framework. Science is competitive, and they will take their best shot–and they do it over the course of decades–centuries, sometimes. Only an extremely strong framework can stand up.

    That’s what scientists call a “theory.”

    By comparison, “Creationistic theory”–which started with something you learned in Sunday School, thenwent cherry-picking for supporting facts–isn’t a theory. It’s what scientists call “pulled out of your @ss.”

    4. It’s not just that ID doesn’t make the cut as a scientific theory. It’s also that–since it’s got that cart-before-the-horse logic mentioned in item 3, above–it gives a totally messed-up idea of what science is and how it works, which is guaranteed to hinder schoolkids who might otherwise go into scientific careers, as well as non-science types who have to deal with a world increasingly dependent on science and the technology that it feeds.

  128. #129 Steve_C
    February 23, 2008

    It’s an admirable effort. I would let her respond to the first effort. Then you’ll know how receptive to LEARNING something she might be. She claims she’s never heard a good explanation. Now she has one. If she’s receptive, she’ll ask more questions. If she’s not she’ll move the goal posts, or tell you the explanation isn’t good enough.

    If she comes back.

  129. #130 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    … or, watch the video:

    Requires me to download and install iTunes. No, thanks.

  130. #131 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    … or, watch the video:

    Requires me to download and install iTunes. No, thanks.

  131. #132 windy
    February 23, 2008

    woman-hater Charles Darwin

    How does that 8th commandment go again?

    Tell me, if you have the answer for life, what is the answer for death?

    “You must always face the curtain with a bow.”

  132. #133 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    David Marjanovi?, OM, to the rescue! :-) Andria, ignore idiots like me, and listen to educated people like David, Sastra, Dr. Myers, or any of the other highly qualified science professionals in our midst. (Sorry if I left anyone out!)

    Prazzie… I make no claim on being “a sweetheart,” but thanks. Actually it’s not the meds, it’s the flu and all the accompanying discomfort, which I foolishly allowed to impatiently and discourteously express itself here.

    And “someone is WRONG on the internet” LOLOL

  133. #134 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Okay Carlie, and now Logicel:

    Let me be perfectly clear – I in no way, shape, or form, condone violence against anyone. Nor did my repetition of the line in the first post have *anything to do with* making a joke about violence against women *as women per se*. I’m sorry if it came off that way, but damn it, stop imputing motives to me that aren’t there, and stop talking to me like I’m stupid. It’s really uncalled for. Some of the best comedians out there with the most liberal, progressive ideas on social justice (that I share), such as Margaret Cho, use this kind of language all the time in an attempt to take the power out of it and laugh at it. I suppose you find them hateful, too?

    I guess I have been around that attitude toward bigotry (take the piss out of it) so long I no longer realize some of the words themselves can be red flags for other people, especially people who don’t know me. For that, I’m sorry. It did not even *once* occur to me that the line would be taken as an off-handed dismissal of violence against women, which I surely didn’t mean. And no, that’s not because I’m a cretin who needs my consciousness-raised, it’s because I’ve spent my whole adult life around people who abhor that kind of thing and instinctively know that our circle of friends doesn’t hold such awful views.

    I’ll cop to being ignorant of the way what I said would be perceived, and regretful about that. Will you in return please – please – stop the condemnation and take me as a person of goodwill?

  134. #135 windy
    February 23, 2008

    How does that 8th commandment go again?

    Or 9th, depending on your denomination…

  135. #136 Richard Simons
    February 23, 2008

    I see Andria has a blog, The Blog You’ve Been Missing Out On
    As she is just 17 years old, there’s still hope for her but she sounds rather conceited.

  136. #137 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    I hereby request that all future instances of the verb “choke” intended for humorous use and not pertaining to a failure of nerve or performance be used only in reference to commonly recognized varietys of poultry or to hearty sausages such as kavbasa. Thank you.

  137. #138 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    I accept your sensible terms, Kseniya, since you generously granted a dispensation for chicken-choking. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise!

  138. #139 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    I see Andria has a blog… As she is just 17 years old, there’s still hope for her but she sounds rather conceited.

    Really, Richard? That’s interesting. Shades of Sophia

    One correction to your assessment, though: She’s not conceited – after all, at 17, we DO have all the answers! (I’m sure I did at 17, but I think there must have been a hole in my pocket…)

  139. #140 Rick T.
    February 23, 2008

    You’re inner fish

    Of course this should read “Your Inner Fish”.
    PZ has just made reference to it in his next post.
    I will say that evolutionary theory has been advanced to such an amazing degree since I graduated from college in the early 80′s. If I was convinced by the evidence for evolution at that time I don’t know how anyone could resist the evidence today.

  140. #141 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Richard, #130 -

    Why, oh why did you have to sully my eyes with that link? Actually, she sounds like just about every 17-year-old I’ve ever met. Overconfident and wanting to make a mark on the world. It’s too bad she’s characterized all the feedback she’s gotten here as people “hating” the little 17-year-old. But you never know, maybe she’ll think about some of it.

  141. #142 Sili
    February 23, 2008

    Seventeen?

    Ah – that would explain the “i”.

    Oooooh – and look! October 1990! I think we have a winner!

  142. #143 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Kseniya #127:

    Er, thanks, but I’m not a “highly qualified science professional.” You’ll note that most of my arguments take place in the “meta” areas which bypass petty details, like facts and particulars. Fortunately, the real issues for the creationist are seldom about the pathways of development in the flagella.

    And that’s okay about the Cancun trip, I hadn’t held out a lot of hope anyway — and BTW, FYI, FWIW, I apologize about that sex thing (and now everyone who can’t remember the facts and particulars on that one is going to frantically scroll back, heheh.)

  143. #144 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Sastra – LOL! :-D

    (And it is nice to see Molly, NYC make an appearance today. Hi!)

  144. #145 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Kseniya – ok, evil flu to blame for grouchiness. Meds innocent. Got it. (For those who don’t remember, PZ linked to the “someone is WRONG on the internet” comic recently. http://xkcd.com/386/ Just wanted to give credit where it’s due, in case someone didn’t know about it and mistook me for being that insightful.)

  145. #146 CalGeorge
    February 23, 2008

    Donna, Donna, Donna.

    The questions you want to leave open for (kindly) debate have all been answered.

    It’s called progress. Not all of America is emotionally trapped, as you are, in Baptist stupid land with Jesus. I’m willing to bet that most children don’t want to waste time in science class talking about the crap you purvey in Sunday School.

    Leave the heavy lifting on the science standards to the people who know what they are talking about.

    You are in way over your head.

  146. #147 Rey Fox
    February 23, 2008

    Josh, try and understand that the original context of the “choke a bitch” line on Chapelle’s Show was that it was being spoken by Wayne Brady to a prostitute that he was trying to collect money from. It was funny because we all know Wayne Brady to be this nice, clean-cut talk-show host comedian guy, and yet there he was in the seedy part of town pimping whores and trying to get one to turn a trick for Dave Chapelle. It was a shock line delivered from the most unlikely of sources, that’s what the whole sketch was about. (And if you listen to the DVD commentary on that episode, Chapelle admits that Brady was very concerned about tarnishing his image by appearing in that sketch).

    I chuckled at the line when I saw it out of simple recognition, but then realized that in this context, it was simply not funny. It was an implication that PZ, a fairly able-bodied man, would have to choke a hapless old church lady for what she said in an editorial. The strong beating up on the weak, that’s conservative humor.

  147. #148 Dan
    February 23, 2008

    I knew everything when I was seventeen. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten an awful lot of it.

  148. #149 LisaJ
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, you said:

    “My question for Evolutionists is – where did the speck come from? Who made the speck?… It is, in fact, realistic to doubt.”

    My question for you is: where did your creator come from? Who made him? It is, in fact, realistic to doubt this ridiculous belief. Furthermore, if you think about it logically, doesn’t it seem much more ridiculous that a human like being arose out of nothing to create the rest of us, rather than a small miniscule cell arising out of ‘nothing’?

    You also said:

    “I realize I’m barking up a dead tree, and this will only be picked apart by people who determined it was wrong before they read it” and “why not challenge yourself?”

    Carefully read through your posts. How can you not see that it is really yourself who has read her computer screen already determined that we are wrong?

    Why not challenge YOURSELF to learn the true nature of the world and that belief in god is ridiculous and illogical? The thing is, that most of us here DO have more credibility than you in this debate as we have already challenged ourselves. As many have indicated above, and which is absolutely true in my case, we started of as christians. At some point in our upbringing we asked important questions and challenged the lies we were being told. We went to University, studied science on the internet, read books on these subjects, etc. There are many means to gain the knowledge that we talk about here… it all started with us challenging ourselves regarding our belief in god.

    My intention here really, seriously, is not to pick on you and laugh at you, it is show you that questioning your beliefs in god and educating yourself will only enrich your life! Please, give it a try!

  149. #150 The Hanged Man
    February 23, 2008

    “J – Inappropriate. Even as a parody statement, which is the way I assume it was meant in the original clip. Don’t.”

    Carlie, either you’re an uptight crybaby or you’re coming off as one. Talk about mountains and molehills.

  150. #151 guthrie
    February 23, 2008

    I know this sounds awfully British and eccentric, but I think you could get a lot more fun out of the newcomers and creationists and trolls if you all either form a queue or take turns to have a go. If you all bag a number, from 1 upwards, and then when number 1 has finished having a go, 2 can take over, then 3, and so on.
    That way, the thread doesn’t fill up with 15 replies to the same bit of inanity, and we can string them along for days and days at a time, ensuring they don’t go elsewhere and say silly things.

  151. #152 Dave M
    February 23, 2008

    Sastra, I think “Kseniya” was the name of Boris Godunov’s (fictional) *daughter*.

  152. #153 tsig
    February 23, 2008

    That soft warm feeling is jesus peeing in your pocket

  153. #154 J
    February 23, 2008

    Re #141

    It was funny because we all know Wayne Brady to be this nice, clean-cut talk-show host comedian guy…
    I chuckled at the line when I saw it out of simple recognition, but then realized that in this context, it was simply not funny. It was an implication that PZ, a fairly able-bodied man, would have to choke a hapless old church lady for what she said in an editorial

    Rey,
    I was trying to poke fun at the fact that, like the Wayne Brady skit, it’s just as ridiculous that PZ would physically assault Ms. Callaway. As you noted, I was invoking a specific (linked) internet/pop culture meme: there is no way would I have said, “PZ should choke that b—-” because my point was satire. Similarly, I wouldn’t have used a Dave Chappelle joke on a less-freewheeling blog like, say, the Catholic League. This place gets pretty raunchy (Ken Ham and the piglets??) and it didn’t occur to me that I’d hurt anyone’s feelings. Carlie very clearly stated that she thought it was inappropriate, I apologized, found that she was also a Wayne Brady fan, and it was all good; I will definitely choose my words more carefully in future. I feel bad that Josh got any fallout for my joke! So…peace to all. *passes virtual flowers around to all the ladies of Pharyngula*

  154. #155 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    So I have been discovered to be a conceited, arrogant, blood-sucking, relentlessly ignorant, unyielding, skeptic posing, Christian-blinded 17 year old. Right. And I do have a blog. http://www.couchblog1.blogspot.com You guys are free to check it out.

    I have been challenged repeatedly to support the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ (I appreciate the technicality) of Creationism, define who God is, dissprove Evolution in detail, and define every intricacy of the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ of Evolution which apparently the world has been indoctrinated with.

    My, my, where have I been all of my life! I am wrong! Dead wrong! All I have ever been taught has been lies. How can God be real? How could He ever do great things like create a whole world full of scientists? And who believes anymore that God can do miracles!? Why have I been so blinded? No couple would deny that when they first look down into the face of their child – the last thing they would think is that their child might be a miracle! I am realizing now, thanks to all of you, that God could not possibly have brought forth this great nation of America, man cannot trust in God to protect His people, and God does not hear the person who calls on Him for trust and love. Yes, you all have made me very cynical. Who is to say who is right or wrong?

    Is this what you all expected me to say? Did you expect me to research all those links for hours, until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberish, and to have only now come back to you – you the triumphant dozens who seek to do everything you can to CRUSH the THEORY (pardon my ignorance of technicalities from henceforth) of Creation.

    The DEBATE, ladies and gentleman, is NOT whether Evolution is in fact true, or whether Creation is a truth. The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories. I’d be the last person to say that you have to BELIEVE in God or Creation. But if the concept of God is so stupid, and so easily proved impossible, then why is it so dangerous to objectively teach more than one plausible reason for our existence to our children?

    You guys really are a sensitive bunch. I know full well that I don’t have a good argument when it comes to the nit-picky technicalities. And no, I have not read The Origin of Species, so I’m not up to par on your high knowledge. But I could not sit idly by and not deliver a good contradiction to the things I disagreed with. I do know that there IS a God. And while many have chosen to spend their time today – PROVING that every belief other than their own must be wrong – God is still a reality. You don’t have to believe it. But I choose to. That’s the glory of the choice of the individual. Freedom of Speech in America! Isn’t it great? And God doesn’t transform yours truly into a blood-sucking vampire – that’s absurd religious hate! I am just another person that is sticking up for what she believes, and will undoubtedly be forgotten tomorrow. I’m not afraid of that — some that frequent these journal with their words of wisdom may fear that their scientific know-how will someday be ignore, but I could care less. God has always been, He is, and He always will be. These are His ideas, not mine, and they aren’t going away any time soon. But you knew that.

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong. The point is, we have the freedom to debate and to choose. Shouldn’t the children have that right too?

    Or are you scared?

    Thank you.

  155. #156 CalGeorge
    February 23, 2008

    “All I have ever been taught has been lies.”

    Them’s the breaks.

  156. #157 PatF in Madison
    February 23, 2008

    I went over to the page containing Callaway’s article and I noticed something interesting. On the right hand side is an ad for an organization that books Christian entertainment. The acts are Ventriloquism, Magic Tricks, Comedy Acts and … Sermons.

    The accidental equivalence relation here strikes as more than a little bit coincidental. So, what is your pastor’s sermon going to be this Sunday? Is it going to be a Magic Trick? (“And now watch me make the world in seven days!!!”) Is it going to be comedy act? (“Didja hear the one about the loaves and fishes?”) Or is it going to be ventriloquism? (A wooden puppet of Andria shows up on the pulpit and mouths the words “It’s only a theory.”)

    Just thought I’d mention it.

    –PatF in Madison

  157. #158 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    I’m Teh Scared! Ooooh Nooez!

  158. #159 Strakh
    February 23, 2008

    Say Josh, did you enjoy your emasculation?
    Relax, the graduates of the Andrea Dworkin School will never, never let you get the last word, thought, or idea, because, even if they fall for other guys, you know what you need to cut off to become acceptable.
    Even in the midddle of a prime opportunity to whack yet another creationist mole, we will, by god, teach a man how to speak right.
    Because we all know that if you say it, you will do it, if you read it, you will copy it, if you see it, you will become it, because, that damned broken chromosone just won’t let the blood go to the right head.
    A simple statement. A ridiculous reaction. And Susan Faludi is confused?

  159. #160 LisaJ
    February 23, 2008

    As many of us have already said, NO creationism should not be taught in the science classroom, purely for the fact that it has no scientific merit and is not a scientifically testable theory.

    Did you see my post above? I noticed that you didn’t respond to my questions. Remember, as I said, most of us were believers once too! We aren’t as ignorant to your views as you think we are.

  160. #161 semi
    February 23, 2008

    Andria said:

    “The DEBATE, ladies and gentleman, is NOT whether Evolution is in fact true, or whether Creation is a truth. The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories. I’d be the last person to say that you have to BELIEVE in God or Creation. But if the concept of God is so stupid, and so easily proved impossible, then why is it so dangerous to objectively teach more than one plausible reason for our existence to our children?”

    Because it’s not science, and doesn’t belong in a science classroom.

    If you had actually read the responses to your posts, you would know that by now.

    Are you thick?

    You have been asked many questions here which you have not bothered to answer.

    You are becoming tiresome. It’s time for you to go back to your blog and rant about how everyone here hates you.

    Perhaps you should go back

  161. #162 CalGeorge
    February 23, 2008

    “But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong.”

    Enjoy your colossal stupidity.

    Do the world a favor: try not to infect too many other people with it.

  162. #163 Manduca
    February 23, 2008

    Andria:

    What bothers most of the commenters here is not that you believe in god, but that we have heard just about every creationist claim there is uncountably many times. What may seem new to you is old and repetitive to us.

    We have also learned that most creationists don’t really understand evolution, and when they try to argue against it, they argue against their misconceptions of evolution, not against what biologists have concluded from examining the evidence.

    Until the creationist understands what biologists mean by evolution, it is not possible to have a conversation, because there is no agreement even on the topic of that conversation.

    Up in comment #84, I tried to explain the principles of evolution by natural selection. I was hoping to help you understand part of what biologists mean when they say evolution, so you can more effectively join the conversation.

    Once you have indicated that you know what we mean by natural selection as the mechanism for evolution, we can talk about other aspects of the subject.

  163. #164 MAJeff
    February 23, 2008

    Wow. As a teacher, Andria’s comments make me very, very sad. Basically, she’s saying, “I know I’m ignorant. But I’m proud of that fact and I’m not going to make any effort to change it. Indeed, I’m going to resist attempts to help me alleviate that ignorance, and I’ll try to pass it off as a positive value instead.”

    What a sad world when that’s considered a reasonable position to take.

  164. #165 Rey Fox
    February 23, 2008

    “I have been challenged repeatedly to support the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ (I appreciate the technicality) of Creationism, define who God is, dissprove Evolution in detail, and define every intricacy of the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ of Evolution which apparently the world has been indoctrinated with.”

    Yes, how mean of us to actually think that you should KNOW anything about the position you so rabidly defend. No, better to just clap your hands and say “I do believe in God, I DO!”

    “The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories.”

    And they shouldn’t, because one is clearly bunk. Is this hard to understand? Would you teach students who are not fully mentally mature outright falsehoods, or stuff that doesn’t have any evidence behind it? If so, why? Because they make you feel good? And remember that there’s only a limited amount of time in classrooms, and literally thousands of other creation stories to tell. Doesn’t it make sense to concentrate your efforts into the stuff that actually has observed evidence behind it? Some people think the moon is made of green cheese.

    And really now, abiogenesis (that is to say, the emergence of life from non-life) isn’t even COVERED in high school anyway. It’s too tentative at this point, as well as being highly technical. But we know that species evolve, and so we teach it.

    “then why is it so dangerous to objectively teach more than one plausible reason for our existence to our children?”

    Why is it necessary? There are these places called “churches” that already dispense the god indoctrination to willing audiences on a weekly basis. The better question is why do you need a captive audience for your god talk?

    “But I choose to. That’s the glory of the choice of the individual. Freedom of Speech in America! Isn’t it great?”

    Absolutely. It means we can give your arguments all the debunking necessary. I’m lovin’ it.

    “You guys really are a sensitive bunch.”

    Pot, kettle.

  165. #166 Strakh
    February 23, 2008

    Say, Andria, in #149 you make a couple of very strong statements:
    “Did you expect me to research all those links for hours, until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberesh,…” Yes, we do. And you should, if you are going to honestly debate. Otherwise, you are not speaking from a position of knowledge, but of ignorance. You see, Andria, people like us have read YOUR books, why can you not read OURS? Having read the bible, in the original languages, Andria, not the hideous copies present in American today, and the Quran, and the Torah, and the Bhagavad Gita, etc, in a 43 year search for truth, I am, as are many others on this blog, eminently qualified to debate your ‘creationist theory’ with you.
    I, we, come at you with years of study, reams of knowledge, and what do you come to us with? The poorly transcribed plots from inferior Chick Tracks. How gauche.
    Your second statement:
    “I do know that there IS a God.” That’s a very powerful statement. Do you know what KNOW means? That means you must have proof. You need not accept on faith what you KNOW to be true. So here’s a simple question, Andria, all the ‘creationist/evolutionist’ stuff aside:
    Where is YOUR proof? Concrete, testable, verifiable proof. Proof I can see, we can see, ALL can see and KNOW as YOU know.
    I am not scared, Andria, I am anxiously awaiting. Don’t disappoint us, now. You have all our “studiers of science” attention.
    Lead us down that path to redemption, Andria, we willingly await the revelation YOU are privy to.

  166. #167 Steve_C
    February 23, 2008

    I say we have a future JAD on our hands.

    Creationism is a theory y’all!

    God can be scietifically tested apparently.

  167. #168 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Andria: “I do know that there IS a God…God is still a reality. You don’t have to believe it. But I choose to.”

    Know: to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty: I know the situation fully.

    Andria, either you know or you don’t. If you “choose to believe”, that is not knowledge. That is delusion.

    delude: to mislead the mind or judgment of; deceive: His conceit deluded him into believing he was important.

    Because I have some free time and I like to test my knowledge of “the creationist”, I’ll set myself up for the “ooh pretty waterfall so complex” feely stuff.

    How do you KNOW there is a God?

  168. #169 Sastra
    February 23, 2008

    Andria #149 wrote:

    I have been challenged repeatedly to support the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ (I appreciate the technicality) of Creationism, define who God is, dissprove Evolution in detail, and define every intricacy of the ‘method’ or ‘theory’ of Evolution which apparently the world has been indoctrinated with.

    That is because you said that Creationism should be taught as a science theory in a science class as a scientific ‘alternative’ to evolution — and you came into a biology scienceblog to say it. You also said that the theory of creationism is supported by the fact that God exists, and you ‘know’ it does. Oh?

    Welcome to the debate.

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong. The point is, we have the freedom to debate and to choose.

    Welcome again. The point of debate is for both sides to support their arguments with facts and evidence. Which means that yes, we are going to ask you to support your claim that one of the strongest theories in biology is wrong, and the biologists are wrong, and you are right.

    Shouldn’t the children have that right too?

    The reason the public schools stay away from debating the topic of creationism in science class — and letting the children choose — is because scientists say that creationism is not scientific, evolution is our best conclusion, and it is not up to children to “choose” to argue against experts in their field. They are there to learn. Let them grow up and become biologists, if they want to gain the expertise to play by the rules and make a case against the consensus. You don’t get to make up science.

    The reason the public schools stay away from debating the topic of religion in class — and letting the children “choose” between believing whether God exists or not — is because a REAL debate, which fairly and clearly represents the best case for both theism AND atheism — would expose children to views many parents do not want them exposed to, at a young age. Let them grow up and get on the internet, if they want to argue the issue and choose sides.

    Like here.

  169. #170 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Also, Andria, are you from Florida?

  170. #171 Glazius
    February 23, 2008

    And nobody’s said anything about this yet? Time to be first, I guess.

    The theory of evolution by descent with modification doesn’t explain the origin of life. It doesn’t have to. It presupposes that life exists, which is justified because, uh, life does in fact exist. Evolution is a process for the progression of life, and any explanations of this process don’t have to bother with how it started.

    Taking the theory of evolution by descent with modification to task for not explaining the origin of life is like deriding calculus because it can’t explain Hamlet.

  171. #172 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Did you expect me to research all those links for hours, until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberish

    “Expected” is perhaps not the right word, but we certainly hoped you wouldn’t be too arrogant to learn.

    Hey, the link I gave is just two or three screens long, with empty lines throughout. Why not spend five minutes reading?

    The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories.

    Two errors in this one sentence.

    1) Creationism is not a theory.
    2) “Two”? Why not three?

    Debate is whatcha put on de hook to catch de fish. The debate lasted from 1859 to the 1870s, and then it was over — among those who knew what they were talking about, that is.

    But if the concept of God is so stupid, and so easily proved impossible,

    It’s not. It isn’t falsifiable even in principle.

    It is not even wrong.

    then why is it so dangerous to objectively teach more than one plausible reason for our existence to our children?

    Once again you are confusing Christianity with creationism.

    And no, I have not read The Origin of Species

    So what? Neither have I. It’s only interesting from a history-of-science point of view anymore.

    I do know that there IS a God.

    No, you don’t know it. You believe it. That’s not the same thing.

    Freedom of Speech in America! Isn’t it great?

    “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.”
    – Senator Patrick Moynihan

    The fact here is that creationism — whether Christian or otherwise — is not science and therefore cannot be taught as such.

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong.

    Indeed not. The point is that you don’t even want to know whether you are wrong. This is the most damaging form of cowardice.

  172. #173 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Did you expect me to research all those links for hours, until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberish

    “Expected” is perhaps not the right word, but we certainly hoped you wouldn’t be too arrogant to learn.

    Hey, the link I gave is just two or three screens long, with empty lines throughout. Why not spend five minutes reading?

    The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories.

    Two errors in this one sentence.

    1) Creationism is not a theory.
    2) “Two”? Why not three?

    Debate is whatcha put on de hook to catch de fish. The debate lasted from 1859 to the 1870s, and then it was over — among those who knew what they were talking about, that is.

    But if the concept of God is so stupid, and so easily proved impossible,

    It’s not. It isn’t falsifiable even in principle.

    It is not even wrong.

    then why is it so dangerous to objectively teach more than one plausible reason for our existence to our children?

    Once again you are confusing Christianity with creationism.

    And no, I have not read The Origin of Species

    So what? Neither have I. It’s only interesting from a history-of-science point of view anymore.

    I do know that there IS a God.

    No, you don’t know it. You believe it. That’s not the same thing.

    Freedom of Speech in America! Isn’t it great?

    “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.”
    – Senator Patrick Moynihan

    The fact here is that creationism — whether Christian or otherwise — is not science and therefore cannot be taught as such.

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong.

    Indeed not. The point is that you don’t even want to know whether you are wrong. This is the most damaging form of cowardice.

  173. #174 CalGeorge
    February 23, 2008

    “God has always been, He is, and He always will be.”

    My advice:

    Rather than wasting time worshiping foreverness and perfection and immutability, try focusing on something more down to earth. Do something, anything, to get outside of your head.

    You might learn something.

    Seriously. God talk is boring. It goes nowhere. Besides which, you are on extremely shaky ground. No one has ever managed to talk about God in a way that makes any sense.

    Expand your horizons! Try to enlighten yourself and your friends rather than wallowing in some dumb fantasy.

    Use your brains!

  174. #175 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Glazius, it’s been lightly touched upon by Sastra in #63 and Rey Fox in #159 and maybe in a couple of other posts too. But it bears repeating.

  175. #176 cath
    February 23, 2008

    Two comments:
    On evolution – the best short description I’ve heard is evolution as an algorithm.
    “If it works, repeat with modification; else discard”
    (Thanks to Febble of several message boards)

    On sexism:
    Not everyone who reads this blog is up on American popular culture. The Chappelle Show probably has not even ever been shown on TV in some of the countries that people here come from. Without that context,”Choke the bitch” sounds *exactly* like “lynch the nigger” or “kill the faggot”. Exactly. How could it not? Moaning about people who don’t understand that context as the “Andrea Dworkin” school shows a very deep lack of insight. Josh provided the context, and with that it is indeed funny. A MUCH more helpful response. Thanks, Josh.

  176. #177 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Holy cow. To steal a line from Melissa McEwan, if you don’t like me acting like a humorless feminist killjoy, stop giving me reasons to be one. Usually at this blog I get to play rude ex-fundamentalist paleontologist instead, but I got stuck being the feminazi on this thread just because I thought the first comment could shock people in a bad way.

    It really was a simple thing. Yeah, it was kind of funny when Wayne Brady did it because the humor came from it being so obviously out of character for him, but there was way too much room for misinterpretation when placed in this thread. It required connecting a lot of dots and knowing that PZ is as squeaky clean as Brady, which many people visiting the blog might not know, so I said as much. Perhaps I should have been more deferential in doing so, since I’m a girl and all, to possibly avoid the backlash. I hesitated for awhile before addressing it, because I knew that it would probably blow up and turn into me not “getting” it and spoiling everyone’s fun just over a little joke and semi-hijacking the thread, and it’s ok when women make those jokes so why can’t men, and blah blah blah feminism 101 all over again. I was quite relieved when J. took it in the intended spirit, not mean stereotype “schoolmarm” rapping knuckles over perceived slights, and it was smoothed over and done, but then of course it ended up happening anyway.
    You know, ten years or so ago I would have been the same way, back when I was also a fundie evangelical creationist and all. Why couldn’t people have a sense of humor over jokes made at their expense? What’s the big deal? It took a few years of being shown how words can affect people, how those things are entirely insidious, and how they create a subconscious undercurrent that it’s ok to demean certain groups of people, for me to see that it really shouldn’t be done. And the thing is, it doesn’t have to be done. It’s really quite easy to avoid using slurs against entire groups of people based on their inherent characteristics.
    Arguing that someone is being petty and humorless and ridiculous when you’re saying something rude and hateful is saying that you feel that you deserve to make fun of them, that your ability to take a cheap shot is more important than anything else. Besides, it’s lazy. If the only thing you can think to insult someone with is their gender, then you’re not very funny.

    Back to Andria: You said “The ISSUE is whether children should be taught both theories.” However, you still haven’t provided any evidence that you even know what those “theories” are. How then can you argue whether they should be taught, when you don’t know if they have any value? And you make a big mistake in claiming “both”. There are many, many creation stories. Do you want to pick one in particular and provide evidence to support that it’s the best one out there, or to have kids learn all of them? That’s going to take a lot of time away from all their other subjects, and that’s just if you stick to creation stories that are currently taught by active religions. Add in the historical ones, and you’ve got the entire school year booked up. Is that what you want?

  177. #178 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Do you know what KNOW means?

    Ooh! Ooh! Let the Book of Mormon answer this:

    Alma 32:17-18 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.

    That’s among the few things Joseph Smith got right.

    Evolution is a process for the progression of life

    No, its diversification. There is no progress.

  178. #179 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 23, 2008

    Do you know what KNOW means?

    Ooh! Ooh! Let the Book of Mormon answer this:

    Alma 32:17-18 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.

    That’s among the few things Joseph Smith got right.

    Evolution is a process for the progression of life

    No, its diversification. There is no progress.

  179. #180 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    God has nothing to do with it. Believe in God, or not. The reason two theories are not taught is because there are not two theories to teach. One is a scientific theory. The other is religion. Belief in God is not an impediment to understanding evolution, unless you allow it to be – or, as appears to be the case with you, Andria, you insist that it be.

    Keep it simple: Descent with modification; natural selection.

    See?

    You’re wrong about what the “debate” is about, by the way. It’s not about academic freedom to teach competing theories. It’s about force-feeding unscientific religious dogma down the throats of unsuspecting children who won’t necessarily have the background in science or in critical thinking to differentiate the valid from the invalid.

    To allow children the choice to be taught a) science, or b) crap is not in the best interest of the children.

    Ah, the children. You don’t care about the children. You care about justifying your own dogmatic ignorance. That, dear Andria, is what’s at the core of this “debate”. You’ve fallen for the creationist line:

    Teach The Controversy!

    WHAT CONTROVERSY? There is no controversy. The controversy is a fiction written by the creationists.

    Let The Children Decide!

    Yes! Teach Astrology, Phrenology, Crapology, The Four Humors, Flat Earth Theory, Geocentricism, etc. ad nausea, and LET THE CHILDREN DECIDE which is true. That’s what you’re advocating.

  180. #181 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    To be fair, if she’s 17, she is “the children”. Naturally she’s advocating that the children decide what to be taught.

    I think the best approach to take here is “No, young lady, you’re grounded. Go to your room and read every Pharyngula post ever written.”

  181. #182 woowoozy
    February 23, 2008

    Andria –
    You are being given a precious opportunity to open your eyes to the real world. PLEASE TAKE IT. I did, and I never regretted it. I was taught Christian dogma, began to question what I was force-fed as a child, decided to take a biology class, and…well, got carried away with the beauty of it all. Two science degrees later and still going… The world is sooo much more wonderful than you can possibly imagine. Go to those links. Read again what the posters have said. Ask questions of them. They care more than you think…just look at MAJeff’s post to you. Don’t close them out just because you don’t agree with them. Look at the facts and the science for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

  182. #183 sailor
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, in case this has not occurred to you,
    How strongly you hold a belief has no bearing on its validity. Evidence is the key to validity.
    Superstition is believing in something for which there is no evidence.

  183. #184 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberish

    That kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

    “Do you expect me to talk?”

    “No, Mr. Bond – I expect you to LEARN.”

  184. #185 Physicalist
    February 23, 2008

    Did you expect me to research all those links for hours, until my mind was filled with journals of scientific-gibberish,

    Yes, Andria, that is what we expect. Not merely hours, but years, decades. You believe that God gave you a mind, the ability to reason. We expect you to use it.

    You have to earn your right to an opinion. You haven’t earned it yet. You should get to work.

  185. #186 Prazzie
    February 23, 2008

    Wait, you’ll scare her. Think like a teenager. Hip young lasses don’t have time for reading. Andria, go to youtube. They have these awesome (or totally cool or whatever you say) clips that’ll, like, totally explain this stuff in, like, no time.

    Try http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54 He has some video clips you might find useful.

  186. #187 woowoozy
    February 23, 2008

    Regarding the editorial, it was gracious of her to say children have a right to ask questions because a man-god allowed his followers to….the alternative would presumably be that students be forced to swallow religious claptrap whole w/o any questioning or dissent?

    My favorite line was “reaffirmed by the love for children and the respect for others that I saw in those who hold beliefs with which I can identify” It’s pretty clear she doesn’t see respect for others and love for children in those who hold beliefs with which she CANNOT identify. IOW, if you believe like me, you love kids; if you don’t, you don’t?

  187. #188 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    True, Prazzie – heck so are my brothers, who are both still in HS. So are her unborn children. And mine. I’m not going to sit quietly and let willfully ignorant ideologues like Callaway – and Andria, if she continues on her present course – corrupt the quality of my children’s education, our children’s education, and in doing so corrupt the educational experience of an entire generation and beyond.

    She’s the same age as Skatje. She jumped in the ring, and chose to question the integrity of people who actually know something about this. Well, if she can’t handle the bees, she shouldn’t go stirring up the nest. She is sorely lacking in that most Christian of virtues: Humility.

  188. #189 pedlar
    February 23, 2008

    While I’m assuming that The Hanged Man at #144 is just a silly troll and not worth answering directly, I would like to say – as a latecomer to this thread – that I am a little embarrassed on behalf of my fellow bloggers that only Logicel and Rey fox have so far given Carlie any support in her admirably reasonable defence of common decency. I don’t want to restart a flame war so I won’t express it any more strongly than that, but just for the record:

    thanks, Carlie, it’s been a pleasure to read your posts.

  189. #190 Richard Simons
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, every couple of weeks someone stops by here or some other science blog with a sarcasm-filled rant like yours, but not one ever seems to realise that what is important in science is evidence. They never provide any and I do not expect you to provide any. That is the main reason why people like you are not taken seriously.

    Did you expect me to research all those links for hours,

    No. I never expect creationists to look at evidence. However, if you wish to participate in any serious discussion about evolution, yes, you most certainly do need to study all those links and many more. Jonathan Witt not only studied links for hours, he studied evolution for years. He got his PhD with the avowed aim of destroying ‘Darwinism’ but he has still been unable to put a dent in the theory. Anyone who does not have the equivalent of a degree in a relevent science has not the slightest chance of coming up with an original criticism of the subject.

  190. #191 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Errr, that is, I mean, her unborn children and my unborn children are “the children” – I didn’t mean to say that her unborn children and my unborn children were “still in high school.”

    *cringe*

  191. #192 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Josh, specifically – yes, I can see that you might well run with a crowd that takes lines like that as an in-joke, subverting the baggage that goes along with it, and doing that can be hella funny. But that’s a really tricky thing to pull off, and requires knowing the full context of the person doing it. That sort of contextual background is exactly what we don’t have in the wild west of the internet, and so my point was that given the high probability of it being taken straight rather than as the opposite of what it said, it’s better avoided. All the shorthand isn’t there online – in person, even if you don’t know someone well, body language and intonation can convey irony. You’re right that if we had all been sitting in a bar this either wouldn’t have blown up at all, or have been dealt with fairly quickly, and quite possibly would have ended up with us good-naturedly calling each other a few choice names and me buying you a beer. But this way, the intent is just too difficult to discern. Notice that a couple of people jumped on it near the end here who do think those jokes are funny, and were backing it up as if it were straight. That’s the kind of thing I don’t want to foster.

    And now, having taken up more space on a single thread than I think I ever have before (except possibly for my infamous-to-me rants of New Year’s Eve 2007), I’m gonna go watch Torchwood.

  192. #193 Physicalist
    February 23, 2008

    And a “Right on!” to Carlie from me too. Thanks!

  193. #194 MPW
    February 23, 2008

    You know, when I found out Andria is a 17 year old, I thought, “Well, that makes perfect sense. She certainly sounds like one.” Then right after that I thought, “Most of the creationists who show up here sound about like that.” She could have as easily been a 43 year old creationist. Even the thin-skinned martyr attitude that sounds so very teenage is just as typical of creationist commenters.

  194. #195 BB
    February 23, 2008

    One way of pre-empting these types of debate about evo as a theory in the loose sense might be a formulation like this: “Evolution is a theory comprising the laws of reproduction and growth, the fact of variation among individuals, and the fact that those individuals best fit to a biological situation will reproduce.” If you speak really fast, you might get it all out in one breath, and that’s important to get from the theory-ness of the overarching concept to the underlying lawlike assumptions. (I say “lawlike” because one might have to modify “law” to be less deterministic than probabilistic.) Any opinions?

  195. #196 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    You know Carlie, do you ever stop to consider that maybe part of the problem is you? You talk about other people taking things in the spirit in which you intended, but you won’t extend that courtesy to others, even after they offer an olive branch. And yeah, you do sound like you’re up on your moral high horse. You’re in high dudgeon because you declared something offensive, and other people didn’t automatically agree.

    I realize why you and others were offended at what I said, as there was no context. I regretted that, and said so. But you just have to keep worrying the bone, and spitting back at people who try to put it to rest. You’re making me very sorry indeed that I even tried to meet you half way, because you’re throwing it back in my face. It’s ugly and mean-spirited to refuse to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, and it makes people want to argue with you. Christ on toast – there really are nasty, abusive people out there who deserve your condemnation. Socially progressive, liberal people who have worked for years against discrimination (like me, even if my humor fell flat) aren’t among them.

  196. #197 Moses
    February 23, 2008

    When Donna helps Mike Huckabee take back America for Christ, and the smoke from Halliburton’s gas ovens clears, those who are left behind will be in complete agreement she did the Right thing.

    Posted by: Lazarus Long | February 23, 2008 5:51 PM

    Interesting, my broker bought that for me yesterday. He must of had inside information. I think I’ll stay on his good side.

  197. #198 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Okay, I did the stupid thing of posting before I refreshed. Thank you Carlie, for post #184. I hadn’t read it when I posted #188. I understand where you’re coming from, and I think you understand my position. Beer’s on me if you stop in my neck of the woods in Vermont.

  198. #199 DanioPhD
    February 23, 2008

    MAJeff @#158:

    As a fellow educator–and scientist–I had exactly the same response when reading Andria’s latest post. The fact that Andria’s position is representative of a large segment of the US population is as saddening as it is horrifying. I truly cannot imagine the tragedy of going through life with my eyes so tightly shut, lest I see something that threatens to expand my world-view.

    Andria has posted excerpts of this exchange on her own blog, citing it as evidence for the ‘hatred’ she encountered here. She will undoubtedly be congratulated by her contemporaries for ‘telling it like it is’ and not backing down to the hate-spewing atheists. Her closed-mindedness and robotic regurgitation of dogma will be celebrated as a triumph of the true believer over the foolish god-deniers. Meanwhile, you, I and many others here will lament her missed (or, more accurately, obtusely ignored) opportunity for gaining perspective.

    Oooooh. Feel the hatred.

  199. #200 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Oh geez.

    Actually, pedlar, there were one or two others who posted comments in support of Carlie. (For example, < href="http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/02/florida_land_of_the_delusional.php#comment-761271">a comment by someone identified known only as “j”.)

    Torchwood trumps Flamewar. I like that.

    Carlie, I hope you understand that my own contribution (such as it was) to the topic was an attempt to defuse the tension a little, without undercutting your point. If you think I failed on one or both points, please let me know. I’m on your side in this. If I thought you needed defending, I’d have jumped in, but that didn’t appear to be necessary.

    (FWIW my personal hot-button is rape jokes. Sigh. It’s all of a piece, though. It disturbs me that “rape” is such a casual concept with kids my brother’s age, so casual that they use it as a mock threat with their girl friends. It’s weird. What do they think it means?!?)

  200. #201 Kagehi
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, lets use another field as an example. It would take me less than five minutes to explain the *basic* concept behind computer programming. It would take me not much longer to teach someone how to write the age old “Hello World!” program in some language. It would take me hours to tell them how to do so in *every* language available to do so, and probably longer if you including binary. It would take days to teach them how to code something like Notepad in just 2-3 of those languages. It would probably take me years to try to teach someone *every* language and *every* method, and *every* API, etc, that I have ever used, mostly because I would have to find books on them and relearn most of them myself, and that isn’t even if you demand that I tell you how to do it for every processor ever made. Basically, the languages, in the most simple terms, would be much the same, but the *binary* genes of the program you end up with would depend on which “species” you where dealing with. Several different “species” of machines might all share the value h20 as Jump to Subroutine. Both IBM PCs and Apples share some *common* code numbers, but they have been changed such that they don’t always work exactly the same way. The reason they all look alike is because the needs evolved, so we manufactures new chips that met those needs, changing things in the process. Not quite the same as mutation, but similar in concept.

    Genetics is both like that and different. On one hand, you might have 90 different ways to write “Hello World!” in genes, and while the “program” has gone through a lot of changes, the binary form is identical across all species. I.e., instead of changing the “machine” to do stuff that it didn’t before, but adding codes, it all uses the same codes, and sometimes huge chunks of the same programming, then weaves it all together in a huge mess, which never the less works. The equivalent would be if someone had taken the first 1,000 books ever written, then made every other book since them nothing more than page after page of instructions like, “Read word 53, page 7 of the Bible, then skip to line 59, page 44, of Plato’s something or other, then skip over the next 90 lines and read the sixth word of the next line, before skipping again to word 10 on page 4 of still some other book…” I.e., DNA, unlike computer chips, is more like someone cutting up a pile of news papers to make a ransom note than anything *anyone* has ever *designed*. And that is just the language of genetics, which is like 1/4th of evolution and 1/10th of biology?

    I couldn’t adequately explain what I know about computer programming and how **that** works in the time you want to give to learning it, why the @#!#@!# do you honestly thing someone should be able to prove to you something that I willingly admit to knowing less than 10% of anything about, even if its obvious, at this point, that you know less that 1/10 of a percent of the 10% I do? And that is while ignoring the silly idea that proof means anything in the world of science. Even criminalists don’t talk about “proof” that things happened, they talk about *evidence*. Enough evidence can be considered proof, if there are *no* open lines of investigation and all possible sane examination of the evidence implies that its not possible for something else to have happened, but you will note that this is proof based on evidence, which takes **real** time to learn, understand and examine, and not a gut reaction to glancing over things for five minutes and deciding you prefer your version of things. Well, evolution is proven to happen, but not proven to the point where *every* detail is known. I.e., you can convict someone one it, but some fool from the defense might still try to claim that you haven’t discounted the possibility that all the fingerprints are there by chance, the would be killer was telling the truth when he said he was alone at night reading his Bible and some completely random, and unidentifiable person teleported the knife from the perpetrators kitchen to use it on the victim But, as in a court case, with science, at some point you either have to drag your unidentified person into the court room with blood on their hands and evidence of your own that they where involved, or admit that not only does 99.9% of the evidence all point in one direction, but that every time they find more evidence it just makes the case more solid.

    What you don’t do is keep whining about how unfair it is that no one will listen to your insistence that, “The events didn’t happen the way the prosecution keeps claiming and providing all that silly evidence of. God did it!” Well, drag his butt in here, or at least “some” sort of evidence that he was at the scene, could have committed the crime, knows things about it that the prosecution and the detectives don’t, or even, for that matter, exists at all, so that he could have been there.

    There isn’t any such evidence, which is *precisely* why, as with high profile court cases, creationists want this handled in the court of public opinion, and **not** some place where they have to show evidence of any of their claims and defend its validity.

  201. #202 DanioPhD
    February 23, 2008

    Just wanted to chime in in support of Carlie–thanks for representing.

  202. #203 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Oops. Not having a good night here. Make that:

    (For example, a comment by someone identified only as “j”.)

  203. #204 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Beer all around! Except for those Hanged Man and Strakh troll dudes.
    It’s just way too easy to get tracked wrong on a thread, isn’t it? Thanks to all for the support.

  204. #205 Richard Simons
    February 23, 2008

    In fairness to Andria, she has allowed my comment to go through on her blog.

    But it was still amusing, how quickly all of these ‘learned, higher-order, unquestioned’ evolutionists began hating a little 17 year old for speaking her mind.

    ‘Hating’? No. But irritated by yet another conceited person who reveals a complete lack of knowledge of the topic yet feels they know more than thousands of people who have studied the subject for years.

  205. #206 MPW
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie on Wayne Brady and choking bitches: “I can see that you might well run with a crowd that takes lines like that as an in-joke, subverting the baggage that goes along with it, and doing that can be hella funny. But that’s a really tricky thing to pull off, and requires knowing the full context of the person doing it.”

    I understand what you’re saying here, Carlie. But I’m troubled by your assumption that the burden is therefore on Josh or anybody else making the reference to be really, really sure that no one reading might possibly take it the wrong way before making such an off-the-cuff reference. It smells a bit too much of the “heckler’s veto” or something similar.

    You yourself seem to be admitting, late in the game, that this is a tough judgment call. It certainly didn’t sound that way in your original smackdown (“Inappropriate. Even as a parody statement, which is the way I assume it was meant in the original clip. Don’t.”) I immediately thought upon reading that, “There’s a reasonable case to be made for her position, but who died and made her Thread Mother?” When pressed, you eventually deigned to explain your position as if you were communicating with a thinking fellow adult, but you were content at first to hand it down as an order to a naughty child, requiring no elaboration.

    Now that I’ve perhaps unwisely inserted myself into this – can someone elaborate on the comment a ways above that Pharyngula needs to be made more friendly to women? I’m quite surprised no one has followed up to either disagree, agree or ask for more explanation. I’m not asking a rhetorical question here: I’m honestly open to examples beyond the current one. I’d prefer something other than “If you even have to ask, you just don’t get it and are part of the problem.”

  206. #207 Moses
    February 23, 2008

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong. The point is, we have the freedom to debate and to choose. Shouldn’t the children have that right too?

    Or are you scared?

    Thank you.

    Posted by: Andria | February 23, 2008 7:21 PM

    Sure. From now on it’s okay for children to choose. But we’re not stopping at Evolution. Children don’t have to go to school if they choose. They can drink and do drugs if they choose. They can have sex with goats if they choose. They can do whatever they want.

    Now, was the sarcasm obvious enough for you?

    BTW, why is the right-wingers moderate comments so heavily yet tell the “liberals” that they’re scared? Seriously, you have moderated comments. Many conservative blogs heavily moderate, or completely disallow, comments.

    Yet, on the left, censorship and moderation are seldom practiced… Yet, we’re the ones who are scared…

    Project much?

  207. #208 The Hanged Man
    February 23, 2008

    Pedlar, thanks for coming to the defense of common decency. God forbid that someone makes a joke that offends someone without it being made into an assault on our values.

    Either lighten up or toughen up, for Pete’s sake. Or you could just keep crying.

  208. #209 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    That “hate” thing is another cop-out for those who can’t take criticism.

    And her “17″ thing is disingenuous. She made no mention or indication of her age when she posted. She could have been 50. If she’d wanted her age to be a factor, she should have mentioned it. Surely people would have been a little more gentle with her. But she never mentioned it, at least not before Richard did at post #130. But now she’s whining about how everyone beat up on the “little 17 year old”? What a dishonest, cowardly little wretch.

  209. #210 raven
    February 23, 2008

    Support for Carlie also. These days random violence is so common we expect it. Never know when the next mall shooting, school/university shooting, or Xian terrorist attack will be. Anyone could be a target but especially MDs and academics. No, it isn’t funny when the cops get your copied death threats and watch your house for a while.

    In my area, some kid wrote a post on the university web site about columbine and how he admired those shooters. Someone called the cops. The cops did a web search and discovered he recently bought some guns. He is being evaluated in a lockup right now. If he can’t convince the shrinks it was a joke, he will stay there.

    Anyone who thinks jokes about violence or using violence are funny should joke around with the ATF screeners next time they are in an airport. Please. Probably get an upgrade to the next country, Cuba-Guantanomo.

  210. #211 Bob Calder
    February 23, 2008

    Although I attended two talks on religion and evolution at the AAAS annual meeting last week, the one I learned the most from was on public health and communication.

    In particular, from a gentleman (sorry notes at work) who works as a lobbyist for scientific enterprise. His remonstration toward scientists who do not empathize with lawmakers was pointed. The fact is that they have many competing interests that simply must be served. Simply doing what we think is the best thing for science and the public is often not possible for them.

  211. #212 pedlar
    February 23, 2008

    The Hanged man says:

    Either lighten up or toughen up, for Pete’s sake. Or you could just keep crying.

    What is it with you macho men and crying? Do you actually get sexual pleasure out of the thought of hurting people? Just wondering.

    No, I’m not wondering actually. Don’t answer that. I’ve just realised I’m totally uninterested in you.

  212. #213 The Hanged Man
    February 23, 2008

    Pedlar, thanks for confirming my point about lightening up. You turned an idiom about whining into an implication of sexual sadism. Nice one.

  213. #214 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    “Anyone who thinks jokes about violence or using violence are funny should joke around with the ATF screeners next time they are in an airport. Please. Probably get an upgrade to the next country, Cuba-Guantanomo.”

    And this is exactly what happens when a country gets so paranoid you’re afraid to even ask a screener not to handle you so roughly when you’re in the line. I’m sorry, but do *not* try to paint a joke, no matter how ill-timed, as on a par with school shooters and terrorists. I’ve been drubbed enough on this thread, but that’s a step too far.

  214. #215 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Hey Josh, are you Josh the paleontologist?

  215. #216 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    The paleontologist? No, not me. Is there a Josh who’s a well-known paleontologist?

  216. #217 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    Ummm… well, not exactly; there was a guy who used to post here a lot who (I think) was named Josh. He sure knew his fossils. Nice fellah, too. Thought you might be him. (This isn’t relevant to anything, I was just curious.)

  217. #218 Josh
    February 23, 2008

    Nope, not me. I’m just an internet commoner of no consequence. I do like old bones, though. Remind me to show you my precambrian rabbit sometime, it’s a doozy! I got it from Andria for a song.

  218. #219 Holydust
    February 23, 2008

    Josh and Carlie: Stop it, you two. You’re on the same side and you’re squabbling is shennanigans.

    (Don’t be mad. Deep down you know it’s true.)

    Andria: From a girl who was raised (happily) Christian who has decided to go her own way for the past 10 years, with a loving, doting father who is still fairly certain he believes in Intelligent Design, I ask you with all sincerity: please at least give the reading material others have provided a chance.

    I apologize if it seems as if you’re met with nothing but namecalling. But I think you’ll find that “our kind” receive the same in kind, ten-fold, from yours, and so there is a quick assumption that such will quickly follow if we are not on our guard. My father has been quick to argue that athiests are “snobbish and self-righteous” and “tend to think non-athiests are ignorant”… I cannot deny this for all athiests because I would be lying. Still, this shouldn’t be about what others think of you. It should be about what you believe and how you came to believe it.

    Please, if you are happy and secure in your beliefs, it should behoove you to read the material others have provided and find security in continuing to believe what you belief if it does not ring true with you. I simply think you, and others like you, owe it to themselves to take a gander with their own eyes and then decide what they believe.

    After all, life is too short to spend it subconsciously feeling as if something is missing. Why not have both sides?

  219. #220 CJColucci
    February 23, 2008

    “The point is, we have the freedom to debate and to choose. Shouldn’t the children have that right too?”

    No.

    Why not? BECAUSE THEY’RE CHILDREN. They don’t know much, and certainly don’t know enough to have a meaningful opinion on most of the subjects our schools teach them — especially demanding ones like science. They are literally in no position to “debate and choose” anything so far beyond their current levels of understanding. That’s why we educate them, and MAKE them get educations when they’d rather be doing something else.

  220. #221 Holydust
    February 23, 2008

    Argh. you’re = your. I changed the sentence structure and didn’t alter the spelling. Guh.

    The flood-filter won’t let me correct my horrible mistake. My world is ending!

  221. #222 Tosser
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, I hope you’re checking back with this thread, because I’d like to address some of your comments.

    Therefore, sir, I am led to believe that evolutionists do not so much have a solid defense for what they believe, but instead have this unquestioning faith in their god-like peers.

    It’s very possible that the person you talked to doesn’t know much about the evidence for evolution. He probably also doesn’t know about–or at least would struggle to articulate–the evidence that matter is made of atoms. Yet one man’s ignorance doesn’t mean that there isn’t good evidence to believe matter is made of atoms–or that evolution is true.

    If you are interested in learning about the evidence for evolution, the tip of the iceberg is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_evolution#References

    If you read this, read the articles/studies it references, read the articles/studies that those reference, and then continue by reading the articles/studies that those reference, then a belief in evolution will look very much unlike faith.

    P.S. This site is another good starting point:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

  222. #223 RamblinDude
    February 23, 2008

    Andria, before you get all blushed with smug that this thread has, in the main, been about you (a little 17 year old) –it hasn’t been. It’s not about you.

    You have shown in every post that you are a generic creationist, and your most recent comments show clearly that you are playing games with us, and are being purposely obtuse. This thread has kept going, though, because every time some person of faith drops by, filled with the holy spirit and, therefore, excused from learning all that “scientific-gibberish” it’s a chance for us to marshal our resources and hone our arguments against the ignorant masses clamoring for science to “teach the controversy.”

    But science is not about emotions, it’s not about feeling something in your heart, it’s not about having enough faith, it’s not about being saved by grace, and it’s not about knowing something because you had a good cry over it. In other words, science is, in most ways, the exact opposite of religion.

    Getting to the truth is a difficult business, and just because you have the imagination to envision perfect, eternal and all powerful beings, doesn’t mean you have found a magical shortcut to it. It certainly doesn’t mean you have a lock hold on beauty, and the sacred, and insights into the mysteries of the universe. Those insights are reserved for people who actually apply themselves, with real passion and energy toward understanding how the world works.

    If you actually don’t care that that people are trying to get anti-science taught as science then the part of your brain that is truth-seeking has been shut off, and that is nothing to be smug about.

  223. #224 Holydust
    February 23, 2008

    RamblinDude: Molly-worthy post.

  224. #225 Andria
    February 23, 2008

    My dear evolutionists, This has been fun. I believe in one kind of evolutionism. Micro-evolutionism. But Macro-Evolutionism continues to have nothing but circular reasoning behind it. I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change. I was the lucky one to happen upon all of you on a random Saturday, and be blessed with all of your obvious wit. Imagine! Here I thought I was just randomly posting a query to someone else’s opinion on a random blog! And it seems I have become the only defender of faith, God, and a divine Creation.

    I will however give a couple of parting thoughts, because while no one can win at this, what is there to lose in at least saying what you believe anyway? (Which is apparently what you are doing, and I will continue to do throughout my life).

    The only proof of Creation is in the objects of Creation. I love examples, so I’m going to use a nice simple example for you guys. Our example lies in the beautiful example of a car (you’ve probably heard this before). Take your pick which kind of car you’d like to imagine. Okay, even such a normal thing as a car, could not exist, without a creator. Normal plausibility tells us, that things prone to disorder do not HAPPEN upon order. Shake things up in a blender, and you’re not going to come up with anything but a shake. There’s no such thing as the Big Bang, and there’s no such thing as man evolving from a monkey. (I realize this will rile a few, but I’ve gone this far, what do I have to lose, eh?)

    In answer to those of you who demand proof of God – I offer you the very breath you use to speak out against God. Who gave it to you? Alot of people feel uncomfortable to ask these questions, but I’m asking them. You think I’m going to offer you a proverbial offering of fire like that of Elijah? You think I’m going to say that Leviticus is what all good Christians base their lives around (which, btw to be ‘technical’, the Old Testament way of sacrificing animals was made unnecessary by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. After the rending of the curtain in the temple – for those of you Bible scholars – man no longer needed an intermediate priest to talk to God.) The only proof in God is when you know him personally. And yes, (thank you for pointing this out) by know, I do mean believe. Often, as you well know in your own studies, for even the most objective scientist, their bias sneaks into their hypothesis and they will present their beliefs as ‘fact’. I do not deny that Creationist do this. Is it dangerous? Why? What did Creation and God ever do to you? This will spark a variety of opinions, no doubt.

    Lastly, many of you complained that you wanted me to answer your dozens of specific questions concerning Evolution. I’m not going to pansy around and pretend I have all the answers. I don’t. And you do? You obviously have the upper-edge (as one of you put it, I happened upon a chat room of science geeks) where technicalities thrive, and I’m sure that pleases you immensely.

    But since I have been demanded answers for my beliefs, I have a few questions of my own. And no, they are not original with me (so if you pick them apart, you’re picking apart someone else). I googled. Thanks for the tip.

    All I have to say, is if you can answer all of these, I will be proven wrong. I know – well, I believe – that you have proven yourselves worthy oponents. Thank you.

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
    2. Where did matter come from?
    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?
    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
    9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
    10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
    11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
    12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
    13. When, where, why, and how did:
    Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)
    Single-celled animals evolve?
    Fish change to amphibians?
    Amphibians change to reptiles?
    Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)
    14. How did the intermediate forms live?
    15. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
    Whales evolve?
    Sea horses evolve?
    Bats evolve?
    Eyes evolve?
    Ears evolve?
    Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?
    Which evolved first (how, and how long; did it work without the others)?
    The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
    The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
    The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
    DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
    The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
    The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
    The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
    The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
    The immune system or the need for it?
    16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?
    17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?
    18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.
    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?
    20. *How did thought evolve?
    21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?
    22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?
    23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?
    24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?
    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?
    26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?

    After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

    1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)
    2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, “God must have designed it”?
    3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe? If God is excluded at the beginning of the discussion by your definition of science, how could it be shown that He did create the universe if He did?
    4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?
    5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?
    6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?
    - It is all they have been taught.
    - They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).
    - They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.
    - They are too proud to admit they are wrong.
    - Evolution is the only philosophy that can be used to justify their political agenda.
    7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?
    8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?
    9. What are you risking if you are wrong? As one of my debate opponents said, “Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening.”
    10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools? If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.
    11. Aren’t you tired of faith in a system that cannot be true? Wouldn’t it be great to know the God who made you, and to accept His love and forgiveness?

  225. #226 Yossarian
    February 23, 2008

    Alas, I think Andria is long gone.

    It recentry struck me that maybe these creobots are coming here specifically to be “attacked by the evil atheists” so they can post on their blogs as some kind of rite of passage.

    Kind of like gangsters in LA getting into high speed chases with the cops just so they can get the helicopter footage on the evening news to develop their “street cred”.

    I wonder how much is actually being accomplished by engaging these guys? I have to admit that while I have yet to see a creobot be convinced by our arguments, it is always an entertaining and informative read for me. I have learned a lot just by lurking in comment threads like these.

  226. #227 Yossarian
    February 23, 2008

    I spoke too soon!

    Unfortunately, it looks like the usual copy-paste we’ve seen dozens of times before. Many of the questions you pose can be answered by doing some googling and some reading.

    May I recommend “The Ancestor’s Tale” by Dawkins? I just finished it, and it’s an amazing read. I think you’ll find a lot of explanation for how certain characteristics evolved, following the evolutionary tree back to its origins. It’s a much better treatment of the topics than many of us could manage.

  227. #228 Carlie
    February 23, 2008

    Holydust – we did, we’re having a beer. The hanged man can’t seem to let it go, though, and MPW is making me feel like I’m 60 years old and wearing orthopedic shoes by casting me as thread mother. MPW, I wasn’t using a rare, obscure, only slightly possibly true interpretation of the original comment, I was taking it the way that those kinds of statements are meant and interpreted 98% of the time. I realized fairly quickly that J. was in that other 2%; thanks to the vagaries of internet communication it took awhile longer to conclude that Josh was also in that 2% but I did, hence my apologies to them.

    However, I still stand by the fact that saying things like that is playing with fire. Especially in a forum such as this, with people dropping in and out from all types of places and backgrounds, it’s not a good idea to say things that are so easily taken at face value, and that most people would interpret that way. J. and Josh were being ironic, but who would be faulted for initially assuming that people mean what they say? That’s usually the default setting, after all. Hanged Man sure seems to think the original joke still stands that way, even after they’ve said it wasn’t, and here I’m still getting grief from other people who think I should have sat down and shut up and not even asked about it.

    As for how female-friendly Pharyngula is, that’s why I bothered to comment on it in the first place on this thread. A month or so ago there was a thread that had some pretty obviously sexist comments, and a new person said that wow, this place was really woman-unfriendly. That got my back up, because I’ve been here a long time and hadn’t noticed any real problems, but then I went back and read the whole thread again. There were indeed some misogynistic comments, some by regular commenters who I knew didn’t mean them that way so had just glossed right over them. BUT, anyone reading without that background saw rotten comments that went unopposed and unchallenged and unexplained. That doesn’t make an atmosphere people want to come back to. Science already suffers from the aura of a good old boys’ club; it doesn’t need to be made any worse.

  228. #229 BA
    February 23, 2008

    Born and raised in FL, I’m suprised that I can graph my data. There is a reason why FL consistently ranks in the bottom 10 in the US for scores on standardized testing. It is the ignorant arrogance of agenda-driven public policy like that displayed by Donna Callaway that has produced such a joke of a public school system. One reason I’m no longer there is that I would never send my children to school in FL.

  229. #230 LisaJ
    February 23, 2008

    Wow Andria, those are alot of questions that you’ve got for us there!

    In addition to Yossarian’s suggestion for you above, how about you start by answering some of our questions, since we’ve already answered plenty of yours. Really, all you have to do is answer one question to convince me that your beliefs are true and that I am the delusional one, and hence that we should be teaching you viewpoint to our children: Where did God come from and who created him?

    It’s pretty simple, it’s just one question (OK, maybe it’s a two-in-one question), much easier than the 37 questions you proposed to us. I’m waiting to be convinced!

  230. #231 woowoozy
    February 23, 2008

    Andria –
    You said, “I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change.”

    In part of this you seem to be right — the second part. You most certainly won’t change. You’ve closed your mind to honest investigation of any of the questions you posed.

    As for the rest of the people on this blog, you are mistaken. They will change what they believe about evolution (or anything else) when and if evidence becomes available for a more parsimonious, better-backed theory to explain the things evolutionary theory now explains. Their minds are not closed to new information. You have shown yours is.

    Lastly, you seem to think this is some kind of grand game — a stump-the-scientist with bullchips game to be played on a boring Saturday. What you fail to see is that it doesn’t matter whether any of us can answer your long list of questions. The only real concern you should have is whether YOU are open-minded enough to seek out the evidence, follow it where it leads you, and accept the conclusions to be found in that evidence. What matters is whether you choose to answer your own questions based on superstition and faith or on evidence and reality. It’s your choice.

  231. #232 Holydust
    February 23, 2008

    Carlie: I’m proud of both of you. Good post. As for me, after Andria’s last post, I’ve given up on my hopeful offering of honest logic.

    I mean this emoticon with everything I can muster: :(

  232. #233 Onkel Bob
    February 23, 2008

    I’m sure everyone here is familiar with Susan Jacoby and her latest book. Andria, res ipsa loquitur…

    “Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcom X” – Paul Mooney

  233. #234 Kseniya
    February 23, 2008

    May as well pack it in, folks. Andria (to her credit) did some reading, and (not to her credit) most of it came from creationist websites, and (not to her credit) she now thinks she has it all figured out, and has made her statement: She has no respect for “technicalities” or “scientific gibberish” (translation: no respect for “knowledge” or “education”) she will not change.

    How dreadfully pitiful, in the most literal sense. Maybe I should say “pitiable.” She’s not even old enough to drink and she’s already got wet brain.

    I mean, look at this utter tripe:

    6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?

    - It is all they have been taught.

    -They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).

    - They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.

    - They are too proud to admit they are wrong.

    - Evolution is the only philosophy that can be used to justify their political agenda.

    Oh, my – why, the choices don’t include any that allow for even the possibility that evolution is a robust scientific theory! Goodness me! Perhaps… perhaps those are the ONLY reasons why people accept evolutionary theory!

    What rank dishonesty!

    As I said: she’s a dishonest little wretch who came in here, with mind soundly shut, to proudly display her ignorance then play the victim when people called her on her shit.

    Well, we all know from long experience that dishonesty is par for the course when it comes to creationists, who wear their ignorance like a badge of pious honor. It’s disgusting. What an insult.

    What an insult you are, Andria, you and your insulting and baseless accusations of nihilism and misogyny. What an insult you are to the generations scientists who have made careers out of researching evolution – you, who benefit from the fruits of those careers; you, sitting smugly in your tiny, dark little world, brainwashed and ignorant, betrayed by the very people most responsible for your growth from dependent child into thinking, responsible adult and blaming the darkness in your mind on these few strangers here who are offering you a ray of light.

  234. #235 Beth
    February 23, 2008

    Oh, this little Andria is just PRECIOUS!

  235. #236 Pierce R. Butler
    February 23, 2008

    Donna Callaway: He [Jesus] never thrust his belief on anyone.

    A whole bunch of entrepeneurs in the Temple courtyard might’ve ventured to disagree with that one. (/fundie)

  236. #237 Richard Simons
    February 23, 2008

    Andria,

    Did you steal the questions from Scott777ab or did you both steal them from the same source? (Yes, I know some came from Hovind.)

    Although taking other people’s work and presenting it as your own is considered acceptable for a clergyman giving a sermon, it is not considered acceptable amongst scientists, in fact it has ended the careers for some. This stealing of other people’s work is typical of the dishonesty we have come to expect from creationists who pretend to do science.

    Most of the questions betray an almost complete lack of knowledge about the theory of evolution. Taking one question at random,

    7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?

    Piltdown man (discovered to be a forgery by evolutionary biologists, not creationists) has not been used as an example for well over 50 years and even before that many did not trust it. Recapitulation lost its appeal before that. Did you latch up with one of the creationist sites that says archaeopteryx is a hoax or one that says it is not a hoax but is 100% bird? Both are wrong. What exactly is questionable about the other topics? Do you even know what a vestigial organ is?

    I suggest you go away and study for a few years and come back when you actually have some substance instead of some empty-headed copying of other people’s ideas.

  237. #238 Craig
    February 23, 2008

    I personally have sympathy for Andria.

    Look at her blog. She has quotes from Rush Limbaugh. She derides “liberals.” It’s no coincidence. These things always go together. What does Limbaugh have to do with the origin of the universe and life? Nothing. Yet these “opinions” always seem to come as a set wingnut=creationist=conservative, etc.

    Andria is the victim of child abuse. Have some sympathy. She has overbearing parents who have drilled into her since birth that she MUST believe all of these things, the whole package, or she risks their disapproval.

    She has lived her entire life under that oppression, with parents that didn’t let her personality and dreativity flourish and grow on its own, but rather stamped out any deviation from their own opinions. Parents who demanded that she not be herself, not think for herself, but rather be exactly like them, or else.

    At 17, there’s hope for her.

  238. #239 Yossarian
    February 23, 2008

    Well, I came late to this party and STARTED to answer as many of the long list of questions as I could and then lost steam. It’s getting late, and I’ve had a long day of travel.

    I gave up answering the questions because so many of them were either repetitions of earlier ones, others were based on a complete misunderstanding of evolutionary theory (and therefore some basic learning as attempted earlier would be more appropriate than trying to correct the misunderstandings), and yet others demanded that we go into an unreasonable amount of detail before she’ll be ‘convinced’.

    Andria, I *DO* hope that you try to take on some of our reading suggstions. You may come to understand why truly sceptical and scientific methods of inquiry have done so much to advance our understanding of the world around us.

    Some of the denizens of Pharyngula are hostile to creationsists — and this is perhaps understandable because, as has been pointed out, what happened here today is a repetition of the same arugments we’ve had many many many times before. However, others have sincerly been trying to be helpful and offered honest suggestions for how to proceed — in the (desperate?) hopes that you may actually be sincere in your belief to educate yourself and participate in a thoughtful debate. In the future, I suggest you engage the helpful ones and try to ignore the more hostile ones.

    Of course, if you’re just trying to get your “Attacked by evil atheists” merit badge, then you’re doing just fine.

  239. #240 LM Wanderer
    February 23, 2008

    I see Andria found
    Ken Hovind’s questions

    LM Wanderer

  240. #241 Bride of Shrek
    February 24, 2008

    Ok at 17 I was a total smartarse too but I knew that a) it was smarter to STFU when backed into a corner of your own childish ignorance and b)plagiarisim was wrong. Maybe Andria hasn’t read the part in her bible about not lying.

    And really what a woefully babyish blog she has going there. Go back to serving your coffee and telling your customers they’re wrong luvvie.

  241. #242 Steve_C
    February 24, 2008

    not surprised at all…

    from florida? coincidence? I think not.

  242. #243 MPW
    February 24, 2008

    Thanks for the gracious response, Carlie.

    “I was taking it the way that those kinds of statements are meant and interpreted 98% of the time”

    Well, this is of course a vast assumption, and one I find quite unjustified, especially in the sarcasm & irony rich environs of the internet. But it’s hard to say really. I don’t think either one of us has taken a poll or anything. At least I don’t remember having done such a thing, and you’d think I would.

    I recall noticing troubling comments of the sort you note, on a few occasions. But I would say that calling Pharyngula a community that’s “hostile to women” is a huge stretch, big enough to be grossly unfair, although I know you weren’t the one who phrased it that way. But then again I’m coming from a man’s perspective. I’ll certainly keep my eye out for such things from this point. Hmm, with a bit of thought, I will say that the “Ann Coulter is a transvestite lol” subgenre of supposed witticism really sticks in my craw.

  243. #244 LesserOfTwoWeevils
    February 24, 2008

    Andria, you’re a hypocritical idiot. It appears that you’ll make a great creationist nutball though, you’ve already got all the skills down pat. Lie, obfuscate, move the goalposts, quote-mine, lie, refuse to read answers when they’re pointed out, lie, and parrot a constant stream of claptrap.

    So far, you’ve complained that no one had any answers, then immediately complained that people were ganging up on you when they did answer. You’ve refused outright to read any of the sites you’ve been pointed to, even though the Talk.origins site contains plenty of short, easy-to-read articles that would answer most of your ‘questions’ immediately.

    You refuse to even explain what you think evolution *IS*. No one here expected you to defend evolution, or offer learned critiques on your side OR ours – They just wanted to know what YOU thought the Theory of Evolution WAS, so we could educate you in all the places you were wrong. (And boy, have you been wrong so far!)

    You’ve accused as all of hating you, of having closed minds and refusing to listen, yet YOU’RE the one who refuses to answer the simple questions or do the simple reading that would clear up the problem. You’re just like every single other creationist trollbot who’s schlepped through here and vanished to crow about their ‘win’ amongst the deluded, while the rest of the world laughed at them.

    But worst of all in my book, you flat out admitted that you are going to remain proudly ignorant, and that ‘we couldn’t blame you if you didn’t know the answers’. Guess what? I CAN blame you if you’re being willfully ignorant and don’t know the answers because you refuse to look when they’re pointed out to you!

    How can you SAY something like that and face yourself in a mirror? ‘I refuse to look at your answers because I PREFER to remain stupid and ignorant’. Are you honestly *proud* of yourself for being so intentionally blind?

    You’ve got the Gish Gallop down, too – Several of the questions in your ‘few questions’ above would take pages to answer alone, but you’re going to give us a list of 30 or 40 questions and expect us to answer them all, after you’ve admitted that you won’t listen anyway? There are a lot of those ‘why’ questions that just don’t have answers. So… What are YOUR answers to those questions? I’ll bet I can come up with dozens of peer-reviwed studies on the subjects shotgunned in your ‘few questions’ – What could YOU come up with to answer them? ‘GodDidIt’ is far less of an answer than what you’re asking of us. Why do you expect such clear answers from us, when you obviously don’t ask for the same from the religious side?

    No. Not a chance in HELL, you stupid twit! I can see several of those ‘questions’ have easily-located answers on talk.origins. Follow the links you were given and get the answers, and THEN ask us questions – or stew in your own ignorance, secure in your delusions. Everyone here would be glad to take the time to help you understand if you actually wanted to know, but you just as obviously wish to retain your innocent stupidity. So be it!

    You want to sincerely ask any of those questions? Great. I can think of several good places to point you to answer your questions about fish>amphibian and land animal>whale, as well as some good cosmology sites for some of your earliest questions. (You obviously don’t understand that ‘how the universe & planet earth got here’ is not part of the Theory of Evolution, but other areas of science do hold many answers to those questions as well, IF you’re willing to look.)

    But I’m not going to try to answer that whole list, then have you ignore my answers and refuse AGAIN to answer my questions or read my evidence. Nope!

    You’ve already provided plenty of evidence that you aren’t worth my time. Unlike you, I try to listen to what the evidence tells me! Enjoy slapping yourself on the back over on your blog, but I don’t intend to waste my time on the willfully stupid.

    The Lesser of TWO Weevils

  244. #245 Holydust
    February 24, 2008

    Ridonkulous question, but… where’s Andria’s blog that you guys seem to be drawing lots of trenchant psychological conclusions from? :D I couldn’t find it. 235+ posts, and I lose my ninja skills.

  245. #246 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Her “research” consisted of googling for whatever creationist literature she could find to support her preconceptions. Why am I surprised? At least Sophia engaged us honestly here, even if, ultimately, she didn’t change her view much. Sigh.

  246. #247 MPW
    February 24, 2008

    And, oh yeah, getting back to the post topic (imagine!): “He never thrust his belief on anyone.”

    I seem to recall J-Dawg’s saying at least once that believing in his whole program was the only way to avoid Hell. And he had the connections to back that up, too, if the Book is to be believed. I’m not sure you can get more coercive than that.

  247. #248 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Holydust: look here.

  248. #249 Bride of Shrek
    February 24, 2008

    Holydust
    Post #133 has the link

    Cheers

  249. #250 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Coercive? Right, MPW, at least Big Science hasn’t threatened anyone with eternal damnation. Yet.

  250. #251 monyNH
    February 24, 2008

    I see, in the high school where I work, many young people strain against the regulations we put in place for the simple reason that they cannot, or choose not, to understand the need for them. For most kids, an honest explanation is all that is required for them to grasp it (Oh, so that’s why I need to sign in to be in the library!). For a handful of others, though…nuttin’. They simply cannot see outside of their own vantage point or imagine another perspective (Why do I need to be quiet just because other people are studying??!!). I’m not talking about those with Asberger’s, either; is there a clinical name for arrogance combined with sheer jerkitude?

    Maybe I’m projecting on Andria since we are (finally!) enjoying a vacation from each, the students and I. But man, it all looks real familiar.

  251. #252 Steve
    February 24, 2008

    There will never be a better example of the phrase “arrogance of youth”. To be so supremely confidence while simultaneously being so stunningly aggressively ignorant…words fail me. What an utter waste of a life.

  252. #253 sphex
    February 24, 2008

    Rick T., you just made me cry.

  253. #254 thalarctos
    February 24, 2008

    A month or so ago there was a thread that had some pretty obviously sexist comments, and a new person said that wow, this place was really woman-unfriendly. That got my back up, because I’ve been here a long time and hadn’t noticed any real problems, but then I went back and read the whole thread again. There were indeed some misogynistic comments, some by regular commenters who I knew didn’t mean them that way so had just glossed right over them. BUT, anyone reading without that background saw rotten comments that went unopposed and unchallenged and unexplained. That doesn’t make an atmosphere people want to come back to. Science already suffers from the aura of a good old boys’ club; it doesn’t need to be made any worse.

    well, I’m late to the party, just having come back from a different one, but I remember what you’re describing, Carlie, if not exactly which thread it happened on.

    my take at the time was that Pharyngula itself is one of the more women-friendly places I’ve been at, due to PZ’s outspoken feminism. Some commenters say idiotic misogynistic things sometimes, usually falling into one of two categories: 1) the clueless git (e.g., women shouldn’t be allowed to make their own reproductive decisions because what if they aborted a time-traveling Dr. Who??!!), and 2) the malignant narcissist (e.g., removal of the foreskin under anesthesia and sanitation is exactly every bit as bad as scraping off the clitoris with a dirty blunt knife and no anesthesia, and anyone who says differently is a hysterical feminist JUST LIKE ANDREA DWORKIN!!11!!).

    Personally, I’ve always been very gratified by how the guys at Pharyngula call those misogynists on their shit pretty much immediately. For example, I’ll totally give Azkyroth his props on that–I usually don’t even get a chance to decide not to bother responding to a lizard-brain, when I see that Azkyroth’s already taken them to task. I never did get that “not woman-friendly” thing someone was complaining about earlier, especially compared to a lot of places on the Web. I remember that thread, but didn’t see such a big problem as to paint all of this joint as unfriendly to women.

  254. #255 Rick T.
    February 24, 2008

    People,
    Andria is likely not reading any of our comments. She is probably afraid of a spiritual attack of some kind by the devil. Sounds silly, which it is, but these fundies really are superstitious about who and what they expose themselves to and what they allow themselves to think. The devil can get inroads into their minds and … next thing you know they’re frying in hell.
    My mom once threw a small garden Buddha into the garbage when she came for a visit. She thought that it was inhabited by demons. Maybe Andria thinks science websites are demon possessed. She only comes here to prove her faith (like snake handlers) or witness to us.

  255. #256 JJ
    February 24, 2008

    So Andria is plagiarizing from that theistard Ken Hovind, no surprise. I hope she’s not from Florida we don’t need anymore Donna Callaway’s around here. Thought living someplace close to where some of the great science accomplishments start off from in space exploration would spare me from this, guess not, D’oh.

  256. #257 Rey Fox
    February 24, 2008

    Andria, you git. I felt I was awfully patient in refuting your individual points earlier in this thread while you didn’t afford any of us the same courtesy. Now I felt a little bad after work tonight, since there were so many people ganging up on you, it must have been hard to pick anything to directly address. But then, just as before, you come back with your own questions, a whole huge list of about 40 of them. As if it’s not bad enough that I’m apparently expected to do all your homework for you, to top it off, those questions weren’t even yours, they were stolen from some other pious guy who didn’t want to do any book-learning either.

    And you wonder why the big bad evolutionists get so testy. It’s because of so many folks like you who come in and think they can challenge hundreds of years of scientific progress, and then quite cavalierly dismiss all of our arguments without any kind of thought. Oh, and your blatant dishonesty. And your cherry-picking of all the worst things that have been said on this thread and making them out to be representative of the whole. And your whining about it.

    Simply put, you people are pests. We swat pests.

  257. #258 Rey Fox
    February 24, 2008

    “I’m not talking about those with Asberger’s, either”

    Ass burgers! Eggcorn of the Week!

    “I was trying to poke fun at the fact that, like the Wayne Brady skit, it’s just as ridiculous that PZ would physically assault Ms. Callaway.”

    I guess I can see that. Still, it rubbed me the wrong way, and I think it’s because the “choke a bitch” line is getting tossed around pretty cavalierly elsewhere (by frat-boy types). I’ve almost said it myself a few times when I’m annoyed at someone. We’ve all miscalculated on jokes before, surely there’s no one more guilty of that than me.

    So props to J and Josh, too. And to all the people whinging after the happy resolution between these parties, sod off.

  258. #259 Deepsix
    February 24, 2008

    I like how Andria assumes the answer to all of her questions is “God”. I prefer purple space monkeys myself.

    Andria, your arguments goes something like this:
    “I believe god created emotions. We have emotions. Therefore, god exists.”

    Do you see your error? You can replace “god” with anything, and you’d be just as right (or wrong).

    “I believe purple space monkeys created emotions. We have emotions. Therefore, purple space monkeys exist.”

    Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know the answer”. And then, try finding the answer. But, if you can’t don’t jump to “goddidit”.

  259. #260 Holydust
    February 24, 2008

    Ksenyia and Fiona: thank you, I don’t know how I missed it.

    I respect Andria’s latest post; in spite of her lack of response to any of the reading material posed to her, she seems at least to be possessed of a mind capable of not (at least in the post directed at her peers) claiming victory in the face of opposition. I still wish we could have some sort of confirmation that she had, at least, perused the literature passed on to her.

    Perhaps it was her ability to express whole thoughts and spell properly that inspired us to taunt her so. After all, a completely mindless drone replete with a weaksauce vocabulary and entirely silly questions is no fun to debate, is it? Still, her eagerness to parrot (read: quotemine) questions from other creo-activists translates something entirely different to me… what I’ve read from my father — a desire to quench some subconscious need for a lack of true answers in the world.

    Honestly, no matter what nastiness was thrown about, I think the lot of us probably feel greater loss at this debate than we have with your typical Ken Ham type because there seemed to be hope in this one. :D Oh, well.

    This is coming out all Yoda. I need sleep.

  260. #261 Holydust
    February 24, 2008

    @ to Rey Fox: I think I was the only person asking that Carlie and J patch things up, and I was only unaware that they had done it already because I’m a slow-ass goobtard. Chill the hell out. :) I’m sure they like me just fine. :D Right? Right? C’mon guys, don’t leave me hanging.

  261. #262 CalGeorge
    February 24, 2008

    “The only proof in God is when you know him personally.”

    So, tells us, since you know God personally, is he the shit the Bible makes him out to be?

    Give us the lowdown on this God you know so well.

    Is he exactly they way they describe him in the Bible, or is there stuff they left out?

    Of course, we’re not obligated to accept your answers as proof of anything, since each of us has to find God for ourselves, but it would be nice to have an idea of what is waiting down the road if one of us decides to search for this God you have adopted for your very own.

    Does he talk to you? What’s he sound like? Is “he” really a male? Does he have a deep voice? Does he have a beard?

    Inquiring minds want to know! What does it feel like to KNOW God personally. It must be very interesting to have direct, uninhibited contact with the Supreme Ruler of the Universe!

    I have so many questions!

  262. #263 Janine
    February 24, 2008

    Holydust, I did a google search on the sentence “Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.” This is the result. Do not be overly impressed by a parrot.

  263. #264 DanioPhD
    February 24, 2008

    Andria, I don’t think anyone is going to bite on your lengthy list of questions, nor should they. However, please try not to take this as any kind of concession on our part. As I always tell my students, it doesn’t help *you* learn the material if *I* answer the questions for you. There are, in fact, marvelously complex, wondrously satisfying hypothesis-driven answers to most of the first set of queries you posed. And guess what? NONE of them require the invocation of supernatural causes.

    Real life, real science–REALITY–is infinitely more interesting and engaging than the tired old mythology you have been brought up on. The information is out there. I hope that someday you will avail yourself of it. Best of luck.

  264. #265 Dave M
    February 24, 2008

    Ah, Hovind: the gift that keeps on giving. My favorites are:

    14. How did the intermediate forms live?

    That one never fails to crack me up. But I’d never seen this one before:

    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?

    Yeah! What about that, anyway? (*snort*) That “as” is priceless.

  265. #266 Catherine
    February 24, 2008

    I’ve got a feeling about Andria… I have read all (yup, all) of the comments here and, of course, checked out her site to really get an idea of where she is coming from. I just don’t think “Andria” is all that she says she is. Her blog is super new (only this month did it start) and having read her first posts she seems to start out like some goofy teen only to change topics onto a conservative agenda. If she really is only 17 you’d think there’d be even a comment by family (who obviously adores her) or friends or someone who loves her? But no, the only post that elicits a comment is connected to this thread. It is too packaged. I think we have a (gasp!) fake blogger on our hands. I really don’t know how to confirm that but it probably doesn’t matter.

  266. #267 Ichthyic
    February 24, 2008

    Andria is the victim of child abuse.

    so is any child raised in a cult.

  267. #268 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Interesting observation, Catherine.

    I liked the “Blind to Obama” entry, in which she proclaims that she’s opposed – “morally,” mind you – to everything he supports, but that she doesn’t like McCain (with his “snake smile”) and gosh it’s too bad that Huckabee won’t have a chance because of his – get this – because of his “liberal background.” :-)

  268. #269 JJ
    February 24, 2008

    Catherine,

    you could be right. How do we flush Him/Her out ?

  269. #270 Catherine
    February 24, 2008

    Totally. So am I off base with this? “She” seems to be pretty oriented and agenda driven in her posts. If anything, her “teen” leanings are more window dressing. Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I just have to wonder… The whole coffee bar thing, young “thinker”, blah blah blah, could be to attract a certain demographic? And with all the debates she’s having with her customers, I’d have fired her by now. Not many companies want to offend their customers.

  270. #271 BB
    February 24, 2008

    Andria: Your list of questions is very rich, and worthwhile thinking about. Would you mind researching it (or parts) and posting here for each question two answers. Check sources available to you on the web. These answers could differ either by the evidence they cite, or the conclusionds they reach.

    Perhaps postpone that until tomorrow, though …

  271. #272 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Hey, good pick, Janine. Here’s a site that provides some answers to Andria’s questions:

    http://www.skepticfiles.org/new/silly-q.htm

    (Are you out there, Andria? Check this out. Someone already started your homework for you.)

  272. #273 Catherine
    February 24, 2008

    JJ- I honestly don’t know how to find out for sure. I’m totally not a computer person. I have google reader and gmail — that’s it! I don’t know if it even matters, but it would be nice to know if this “17 year old girl” just had more incredibly smart scientists try to teach her about evolution (let alone the scientific method) than any other person EVER or if it is some hillbilly with a computer and a working knowledge of cut/paste. Either way, it is sad that “Andria” doesn’t see the beauty in that alone.

  273. #274 Marge
    February 24, 2008

    So it’s no longer enough that Darwin was a proto-Nazi, now he’s a woman-hater, too? Boy, they just keep piling it on.

    Well I hate to tell Andria (and I am not a scientist) I was raised Catholic and talk about women-haters that call themselves Christians. That would be Catholic. I always loved math and science so I suppose I am bad in Christian eyes. Good!

  274. #275 JJ
    February 24, 2008

    Catherine,

    my suspicions concerning Andria continue to grow, Is she really who she appears to be or a total farce, messing with this blog for entertainment purposes ?? Strange as that may seem. On the other hand, she could be a legitimate Cretin Theistard of 17 growing into a Ken Ham or worse.

  275. #276 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Oh, my. The link I posted has a more complete version of the stuff I blockquoted from Andria’s list. Pure, contemptible Hovind.

    6. COULD IT BE THAT PEOPLE ACCEPT EVOLUTION BECAUSE OF SOME OF THESE FACTORS:

        A. IT IS ALL THEY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT?

        B. THEY LIKE THE FREEDOM FROM A GOD? (NO MORAL ABSOLUTES, ETC.)

        C. THEY ARE BOUND TO SUPPORT THE THEORY FOR FEAR OF LOSING THEIR JOB OR STATUS OR GRADE POINT AVERAGE?

        D. THEY ARE TOO PROUD TO ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG?

        E. THEY KNOW THAT EVOLUTION IS THE ONLY PHILOSOPHY THAT CAN BE USED TO JUSTIFY THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA OF:

        1. COMMUNISM    7. WOMEN’S LIBERATION

        2. RACISM    8. EXTREME ENVIRONMENTALISM

        3. ABORTION    9. EUTHANASIA

        4. NAZIISM    10. PORNOGRAPHY

        5. SOCIALISM    11. HUMANISM

        6. GAY RIGHTS    12. NEW AGE RELIGIONS

  276. #277 Ichthyic
    February 24, 2008

    how many years does Kent have left on his tax evasion and lying in court sentence?

  277. #278 Michael X
    February 24, 2008

    I begin to wonder if Andrea is home-schooled.

    I don’t mean this as an attack to any honest home-schoolers out there, though you are few.
    I have a good deal of knowledge about what it’s like to be raised fundamentalist and homes-schooled. (Fundamentalists, me. Fundamentalist & Home-schooled, my fiance.)

    At 17, I can’t help but guess that Andrea is also living in a fundamentalist family and home-schooled. She sounds so extreme and totally indoctrinated (and uneasily familiar) that I’m inclined to play the odds and guess as such.

    As a side note, I hope that any who have decided to trip on over to Andrea’s blog exercise restraint.

  278. #280 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    Andria, I’ve come back late to all this, but let’s sum up what we know so far:

    (1) You don’t answer questions.

    You are keen to challenge us, but your refutations don’t go on beyond “I KNOW there is a God.” That’s not good enough for us, I’m afraid. Evidence trumps belief every day of the week.

    And pasting rote questions from creationist sites does not impress. Every one of them has been shot down at places like talk.origins. You have been given the links, why don’t you go there and learn something?

    Now, answer the questions as you have been asked.

    (2) You want schools to ‘teach the controversy’ (I’m paraphrasing.)

    The problem is that not only is there no controversy, because the evidence for creationism is so slight, but your method is unsound. It suggests we also teach other science ‘controversies’ such as geocentrism, the existence of UFOs and the enormous hole at the polar regions where the UFOs fly to.

    These are crackpot beliefs, all earnestly held as true by folks at some time or other, but we don’t put them into the classroom for good reason.

    As I say, evidence trumps faith every day of the week.

    (3) It’s unwise to debate Christianity with so many ex-Christians.

    We know the doctrine and catechism oh so well. And many of us have been liberated by throwing off the yoke of religion.

    By becoming atheists we shed our burdens of guilt and shame. Indeed we became better people because we could no longer pray away sin. Rather we had to stop sinning against others because our holy ‘get out of jail free’ card had been revoked. We have become MORE moral, not less, by leaving the church. And our eyes have been opened to a world new minted and fresh and more wonderful than anything in a bible.

    Why don’t you come and join us?

    (4) Pharyngulans are a bit rough and shouty.

    Yeah, but they have taken so much crap from people from people such as yourself that they give back what they have taken. And sometimes shouting is the correct response to stupid and/or obtuse people.

  279. #281 Michael X
    February 24, 2008

    Though, Cathrine, I do hope you’re right. I’d rather such mindsets be performance art, than actually true.

  280. #282 Batch
    February 24, 2008

    I have a better analogy for life than your car, Andrea. You’re probably not going to get it, though.
    Think of life as a really complex computer program. Our “designers” will be really bad computer programmers. (In reality, the program would just be really bad at rewriting itself, but the programmers suck so much that the program had might as well be rewriting itself.) They have millions of years to work on this program before it ships, so they can bang on it all they want to. It starts out with just a few simple lines that don’t do much, the primordial equivalent of “Hello World”. But the bad programmers add a few more words every few years. Every time someone makes a mistake, it causes the program to crash or behave in unwanted ways, and someone else hacks in a line or two to fix it. Every once in a while, someone will make a “bug” that is actually a “feature”, and they decide that the program is better with the “feature” because they really didn’t know where they were going with this project anyway. A couple of million years later, the program is quite big. It’s full of lines that are commented out, and lines that are wrong, and lines that don’t do what they’re supposed to, but somehow it works, because a bunch of bad programmers, given enough time, will eventually spit out something usable.
    Evolution is kind of like that. Except, instead of programmers writing small snippets of bad but logical code, we have chemical reactions which are perfectly logical in and of themselves, and combined with other chemical reactions create more and more complex systems, which work, but have a lot of tiny by-products of years of bug-fixing.

  281. #283 Rey Fox
    February 24, 2008

    Sorry, Holydust, wasn’t referring to you.

  282. #284 klien4g
    February 24, 2008

    Andria,

    Try answering your own questions. You’ll of course repeatedly say, ‘God’. If you strain your head hard enough, perhaps, there will be a click of understanding and you’ll realize that which explains everything explains precisely nothing. In other words, you mean by the word ‘God’ the phrase ‘I don’t know, yet have this persistent feeling that I do.’
    Moreover, please do not make a virtue of ignorance. It’s a common teenage strategy. It doesn’t work.

  283. #285 ZekeCDN
    February 24, 2008

    In a way I feel sorry for Andria–and all of her contemporaries–who will never understand that the closest they’ll ever get to “god” is through the very “nit-picky technicalities” they do their best to avoid.

  284. #286 Stephen Wells
    February 24, 2008

    @253: My favourite version of that one goes:

    Christmas presents come from Santa Claus.
    Christmas presents exist.

    Therefore…

  285. #287 negentropyeater
    February 24, 2008

    Andria,

    if you want, I can introduce you to my african grey parrot. She can answer all of these questions, easy, she just repeats “Goddidit”.
    I’m sure you’d have a wonderful conversation together…

  286. #288 Moses
    February 24, 2008

    My dear evolutionists, This has been fun. I believe in one kind of evolutionism. Micro-evolutionism. But Macro-Evolutionism continues to have nothing but circular reasoning behind it.

    There is only one kind of evolution. Your statement is akin to saying “I believe in blue, but not red.”

    I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change. I was the lucky one to happen upon all of you on a random Saturday, and be blessed with all of your obvious wit. Imagine! Here I thought I was just randomly posting a query to someone else’s opinion on a random blog! And it seems I have become the only defender of faith, God, and a divine Creation.

    This is dull. “I’m just a poor ignorant simpleton stuck in my ways by the grace of the baby jesus, jolly me” doesn’t work. Some of us have seen it play out in its variations, literally, thousands of times.

    I will however give a couple of parting thoughts, because while no one can win at this, what is there to lose in at least saying what you believe anyway?

    You’ve already lost. All your rambling boiled down to: I’m totally deluded and believe in something that, from the archaeological evidence, is clearly false, plus I’m also pig-ignorant and that I wish to remain pig-ignorant because it’s fun and feels good.

    (Which is apparently what you are doing, and I will continue to do throughout my life).

    Yes. Thinking is difficult. Just marry yourself off and have a passel of ignorant kids. You’re clearly not worth further education. Maybe one of them will escape the crushing stupidity of your world view and make a positive contribution to mankind.

    The only proof of Creation is in the objects of Creation.

    That’s circular reasoning, delusional and, ultimately, a meaningless tautology.

    I love examples, so I’m going to use a nice simple example for you guys. Our example lies in the beautiful example of a car (you’ve probably heard this before). Take your pick which kind of car you’d like to imagine. Okay, even such a normal thing as a car, could not exist, without a creator. Normal plausibility tells us, that things prone to disorder do not HAPPEN upon order. Shake things up in a blender, and you’re not going to come up with anything but a shake. There’s no such thing as the Big Bang, and there’s no such thing as man evolving from a monkey. (I realize this will rile a few, but I’ve gone this far, what do I have to lose, eh?)

    Stupid. Refuted. Inane. This is why people picked on you.

    In answer to those of you who demand proof of God – I offer you the very breath you use to speak out against God. Who gave it to you?

    I did. I inflated my lungs as part of an automatic process of birth. Tell me this, why does God fail to deliver (every minute of every day) what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34.

    Alot of people feel uncomfortable to ask these questions, but I’m asking them. You think I’m going to offer you a proverbial offering of fire like that of Elijah? You think I’m going to say that Leviticus is what all good Christians base their lives around (which, btw to be ‘technical’, the Old Testament way of sacrificing animals was made unnecessary by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

    You ignorant git. You know nothing of the bible or this issue. Seriously, like most Christians you’re totally screwed up on what’s going on in the bible.

    After the rending of the curtain in the temple – for those of you Bible scholars – man no longer needed an intermediate priest to talk to God.)

    Again, more ignorance. You have NO CLUE to what the bible says. You’re 17 years old and you haven’t you noticed that Jews still pray? That they have no temple? Seriously, get a fucking clue!!!

    The only proof in God is when you know him personally. And yes, (thank you for pointing this out) by know, I do mean believe. Often, as you well know in your own studies, for even the most objective scientist, their bias sneaks into their hypothesis and they will present their beliefs as ‘fact’. I do not deny that Creationist do this. Is it dangerous? Why? What did Creation and God ever do to you? This will spark a variety of opinions, no doubt.

    Delusional beliefs do not make for honest or worthy opinions. There is no proof of God, your feelings don’t count, this is old, dead non-logic.

    Lastly, many of you complained that you wanted me to answer your dozens of specific questions concerning Evolution. I’m not going to pansy around and pretend I have all the answers. I don’t. And you do? You obviously have the upper-edge (as one of you put it, I happened upon a chat room of science geeks) where technicalities thrive, and I’m sure that pleases you immensely.

    We know you don’t have answers. If you had answers you wouldn’t be such a self-centered, ignorant jerk spouting of “the one truth of the bible.” You’d be a lot more humble as a human realizing just how much there is to know and how little you know instead of knowing nothing and thinking you have the answers.

    But since I have been demanded answers for my beliefs, I have a few questions of my own. And no, they are not original with me (so if you pick them apart, you’re picking apart someone else). I googled. Thanks for the tip.

    All I have to say, is if you can answer all of these, I will be proven wrong. I know – well, I believe – that you have proven yourselves worthy oponents. Thank you.

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
    2. Where did matter come from?
    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?
    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
    9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
    10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
    11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
    12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
    13. When, where, why, and how did:
    Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)
    Single-celled animals evolve?
    Fish change to amphibians?
    Amphibians change to reptiles?
    Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)
    14. How did the intermediate forms live?
    15. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
    Whales evolve?
    Sea horses evolve?
    Bats evolve?
    Eyes evolve?
    Ears evolve?
    Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?
    Which evolved first (how, and how long; did it work without the others)?
    The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
    The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
    The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
    DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
    The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
    The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
    The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
    The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
    The immune system or the need for it?
    16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?
    17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?
    18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.
    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?
    20. *How did thought evolve?
    21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?
    22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?
    23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?
    24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?
    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?
    26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?

    After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

    1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)
    2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, “God must have designed it”?
    3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe? If God is excluded at the beginning of the discussion by your definition of science, how could it be shown that He did create the universe if He did?
    4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?
    5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?
    6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?
    - It is all they have been taught.
    - They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).
    - They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.
    - They are too proud to admit they are wrong.
    - Evolution is the only philosophy that can be used to justify their political agenda.
    7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?
    8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?
    9. What are you risking if you are wrong? As one of my debate opponents said, “Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening.”
    10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools? If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.
    11. Aren’t you tired of faith in a system that cannot be true? Wouldn’t it be great to know the God who made you, and to accept His love and forgiveness?

    Posted by: Andria | February 23, 2008 10:37 PM

    We’ve already pointed you to these answers. But how do you solve the problem of regression: Where did God come from? And none of this “always existed crap.” That’s not acceptable. Need a MECHANISM.

  287. #289 negentropyeater
    February 24, 2008

    BTW, don’t underestimate my african grey, when I ask her ;

    - do you really believe in God ?
    She answers emphatically, “Yes, Papa”

    - is God talking to you ?
    She answers emphatically, “Yes, Papa”

    - who is God ?
    She answers emphatically, “Yes, Papa”

    - why are you there ?
    She answers emphatically, “Goddidit”

    So, that’s clear evidence isn’t it. It’s a miracle !
    (BTW, I’m Papa, I taught her how to say “Goddidit” and “Yes Papa”, and she makes use of these two expressions really well. Better than Kent Hovind. But please, don’t tell anybody, otherwise, they won’t believe it’s a miracle.)

  288. #290 negentropyeater
    February 24, 2008

    So, let’s ask my african grey parrot these questions :

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
    “Goddidit”
    2. Where did matter come from?
    “Goddidit”
    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
    “Goddidit”
    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
    “Goddidit”
    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
    “Goddidit”
    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?
    “Goddidit”
    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
    “Goddidit”
    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
    “Goddidit”
    9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
    “Goddidit”
    10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
    “Goddidit”
    11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
    “Yes, Papa”
    12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
    “Goddidit”
    13. When, where, why, and how did:
    Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)
    Single-celled animals evolve?
    Fish change to amphibians?
    Amphibians change to reptiles?
    Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)
    “Goddidit”
    14. How did the intermediate forms live?
    “Goddidit”
    15. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
    Whales evolve?
    Sea horses evolve?
    Bats evolve?
    Eyes evolve?
    Ears evolve?
    Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?
    Which evolved first (how, and how long; did it work without the others)?
    The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
    The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
    The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
    DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
    The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
    The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
    The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
    The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
    The immune system or the need for it?
    “Goddidit”
    16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?
    “….”
    17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?
    “Goddidit”
    18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.
    “Goddidit”
    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?
    “Goddidit”
    20. *How did thought evolve?
    “Goddidit”
    21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?
    “Goddidit”
    22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?
    “…”
    23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?
    “Yes, Papa”
    24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?
    “Yes, Papa”
    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?
    “Goddidit”
    26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?
    “Yes, Papa”

    So, satisfied with my Grey Parrot’s answers ? Quite impressive, no ?

  289. #291 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    I will post comments 253, 265, 274, 276 and 279 on Andria’s blog. I don’t think she’ll ever read them if they are only posted here — she’ll come back, sure, but just to repeat herself or Hovind or Ham.

    And then I’ll write a detailed reply to her Gish gallop and post it on her blog, too. She has to realize she has fallen among the nerds. She also has to realize how pathetic, unoriginal and ignorant the questions are.

    Will be very easy. Will take a long time — the copied list is long, and I have other things to do, too, but it will be very easy. I don’t see a reason why nobody should try.

  290. #292 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    I will post comments 253, 265, 274, 276 and 279 on Andria’s blog. I don’t think she’ll ever read them if they are only posted here — she’ll come back, sure, but just to repeat herself or Hovind or Ham.

    And then I’ll write a detailed reply to her Gish gallop and post it on her blog, too. She has to realize she has fallen among the nerds. She also has to realize how pathetic, unoriginal and ignorant the questions are.

    Will be very easy. Will take a long time — the copied list is long, and I have other things to do, too, but it will be very easy. I don’t see a reason why nobody should try.

  291. #293 negentropyeater
    February 24, 2008

    David,

    “I don’t see a reason why nobody should try.”

    Maybe because she has already closed her mind ?

    Maybe because she doesn’t understand, or even respect the notion that some people are not satisfied with Goddidit as an answer, that some people want to understand, if he did it, how he did it. Fundamentally, these people don’t understand why some people want to search for the truth. They already know, their truth.

  292. #294 Mikewot
    February 24, 2008

    David Marjanovi?, OM I have tried posting to that blog at early o’clock this morning (UK time) but all comments are moderated. Still not appeared so I would guess that the usual creo rules apply, unwelcome comments get kinda lost in the ether.

  293. #295 Carlie
    February 24, 2008

    Since it’s her blog, though, she does have to read the comments before deciding to post them or not, so at least it should get to her even if she’s too scared to let the information appear to the general public. From behind the mountain of grading and laundry that will take up my day, I applaud David for falling on his sword and spending the time on it.

  294. #296 dkew
    February 24, 2008

    I think the majority of commenters here are being naive. Catherine and others are right to be skeptical about “Andria”. The massive, rapid creo dumps in post after post are not by a 17-year-old. I’m reminded of the middle-aged idiots who keep getting stung by the cops and internet vigilantes pretending to be 13-year-old girls or boys. I suspect some creotards are having a good laugh at the anthill they disturbed. Maybe Ken Ham is taking time off from piglet raping.

  295. #297 Prazzie
    February 24, 2008

    “I don’t see a reason why nobody should try.”
    – “Maybe because she has already closed her mind ?”

    Yes, but the more links we create to answers to these inane questions, the less work we’ll have in the future. Let’s answer them now (again) on her blog and eventually people won’t think the questions are so clever after all. This list of creationist stupidity will become yet another oft refuted piece of spam.

    That’s the dream, at least.

  296. #298 Carlie
    February 24, 2008

    thalarctos, I don’t think this place is unfriendly to women. Quite the opposite, I’ve always felt entirely comfortable here. I just don’t want to give an opening to say that it is. Yes, when those kinds of comments do arise here they almost always get reprimanded, I just happened to be the first one to do it this time.

    I notice we haven’t heard from Andria again. Quite possibly she went to bed and is spending most of today at church, but I’d lay odds that she doesn’t appear back here now that she’s exhausted her cut and paste abilities.

  297. #299 Fernando Magyar
    February 24, 2008

    But the point is not that I am right and you are wrong. The point is, we have the freedom to debate and to choose. Shouldn’t the children have that right too?

    Or are you scared?

    As a father I’m actually terrified that a 17 year old living at the dawn of the 21st century, in what used to be considered a scientifically and technologically advanced society, could possiblly be as ignorant and brain washed as you are. You are wrong, wrong and wrong. Now go to your room and do your homework because until you bring home some better grades you are grounded! No more TV and I’m taking away your cell phone too.

  298. #300 Holydust
    February 24, 2008

    Hm. I don’t know about the “she’s not 17 theory”. The only reason I would be inclined to agree with it is the arrogance and flippant nature with which she bats away real answers. But grown-ups do that, too.

    Janine: I guess the point is that she was just copypasting a lot of information? No, I agree. Not too impressive. I have that same problem with Dad, right now — he goes out looking for articles to read to discuss this topic with me, but he’s looking at Creationist and anti-science websites, so it’s not too helpful when he copy-pastes snippets to me.

    @Ichthyic:
    Re: Kent Hovind. OH, SNAP. :’D

  299. #301 Mooser
    February 24, 2008

    But a commenter here awhile back correctly noted that there sometimes pretty offensive statements made here that don’t get slapped down,

    Okay, I apologise for all comments past, present and future. Especially that awful one about the soldier. The truth is, I just can’t help it.

  300. #302 windy
    February 24, 2008

    And then I’ll write a detailed reply to her Gish gallop and post it on her blog, too. She has to realize she has fallen among the nerds. She also has to realize how pathetic, unoriginal and ignorant the questions are.

    If you do, maybe you could ask PZ to immortalize the answers as a separate post? Although there are some answers to Hovind’s “26 questions” already online, I didn’t find any detailed ones – most of the answers simply point out how dishonest the questions are (which is true too). And I’m sure the hive mind here could help with any of the answers you don’t have time to look into – although some of them are right up your alley.

  301. #303 windy
    February 24, 2008

    Re: Kent Hovind. OH, SNAP. :’D

    Yes, Hovind’s question about the “end result” of belief in evolution is looking mighty ironic now :)

  302. #304 lithopithecus
    February 24, 2008

    Andria (again):”17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?”

    Did Henry Walter Bates just roll over in his grave?

  303. #305 lithopithecus
    February 24, 2008

    Pharyngula: where creationist mouth-breathers step up to get smacked down.

  304. #306 Another George
    February 24, 2008

    Andria (from #34): “Landover Baptist Church is by no means Christianity”

    I smell parody.

  305. #307 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Giving Andria the benefit of the doubt for the moment, I’d say:

    1. dkew: Of course you are correct, the “massive creo dumps” are not by a 17 year old, they are C&P from the original Hovind – which tells us nothing about her age.

    2. I left a comment yesterday, but I forget what time it was. (Blame a brain fuzzy from flu symptoms.) At the time, there was only one comment showing. Now there are six, the most recent posted by Andria herself at around 0115 GMT (2015 Saturday night, Andria Time). Given that she has two things working against her managing the blog (the flu, church) it’s possible that she hasn’t checked in since she left that comment. In any case, my comment, which may have submitted after 0115 GMT and wasn’t exactly a fire-breather, has not appeared.

    I like Fernando’s ideas. :-)

    Speaking of which, perhaps the reason she got under my skin so easily is related to what Fernando said. I hate thinking that someone who is almost a peer – she’s the same age as my brother’s GF – thinks that way. And yet, I realize that there are many, many more like her out that. Maybe that is why it troubles me so.

    Andria herself is relatively harmless, and likely is a reasonably nice and normal young woman in many respects. She’s not unintelligent, and writes fairly well. I may have been wrong to characterize her as part of the problem when, at this point in her life, she is more a symptom (read: victim) of the real problem.

  306. #308 Molly, NYC
    February 24, 2008

    Hi Kseniya!

  307. #309 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    Just for documentation purposes, in cases Andria decides not to post my comment:

    ===============================================

    Here’s your monster comment 220 that is for the most part a plagiate. It’s a Gish gallop: a debate tactic that consists of spouting so much nonsense in so little time that the opponent is dumbfounded, not knowing where to begin, and knowing that refuting all of it would take several hours.

    So what? It’ll be easy.

    My dear evolutionists, This has been fun. I believe in one kind of evolutionism.

    Two mistakes right there.

    First, scientific theories aren’t something you believe in or don’t believe in. They are testable — falsifiable (otherwise they wouldn’t be scientific) –, and that means that if they are wrong, we can find that out, no matter how sincerely and fervently we or anyone else believes in them. Belief is irrational. Science is not.

    Second, scientific theories aren’t ideologies. They aren’t “-isms”. To call them such is dishonest. Or would you call yourself a gravityist?

    Micro-evolutionism. But Macro-Evolutionism

    There is no difference between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. Biologists invented these terms in the early 20th century when evolution wasn’t well understood yet. It has since turned out that the terms are useless. Let mutation, selection and drift (if you don’t know what exactly these terms mean, ask me or ask Google) go on for long enough, and you’ll see “macroevolution” no matter how you define it. That’s because there’s simply nothing to prevent it from happening.

    continues to have nothing but circular reasoning behind it.

    So? Explain, if you can.

    I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change.

    Wrong. We are talking about science, not about religion. We, and you, will go wherever the evidence leads us, and we — like you — will immediately change our minds when our opinions are disproven. This is of crucial importance for science. If we are wrong, we can find out that we are wrong. That’s the big advantage of science over any other so-called “way of knowing”.

    “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”
    – Thomas Henry Huxley. Called “Darwin’s Bulldog” because he defended On the Origin of Species with more fervor than the ever-cautious, ever-polite Darwin did.

    Here I thought I was just randomly posting a query to someone else’s opinion on a random blog!

    Hundreds like you have come before you. Pharyngula has been among the most widely read blogs in its field for years. Hundreds of creationist drive-by trolls have posted the ever-same talking points, believing they had made an original point.

    It’s not your fault you didn’t know this situtation, but I think you could have easily imagined it.

    And it seems I have become the only defender of faith, God, and a divine Creation.

    “Defender of God”? Isn’t that, like, blasphemy or something? Are you saying God can’t defend himself?

    Also, you have never answered the question of why you confuse Christianity and creationism. The two are not the same.

    I will however give a couple of parting thoughts, because while no one can win at this, what is there to lose in at least saying what you believe anyway?

    Your beliefs might be either disproven or shown to be untestable and therefore outside science. That’s what.

    (Which is apparently what you are doing, and I will continue to do throughout my life).

    We don’t believe. We test hypotheses.

    The only proof of Creation is in the objects of Creation.

    All of which can also be explained in other ways — so they aren’t proof. No surprise there. Outside of math and formal logic, nothing can ever be proven.

    That’s the point of the “flying space monkey” and “Santa Claus” comments I forwarded.

    I love examples, so I’m going to use a nice simple example for you guys. Our example lies in the beautiful example of a car (you’ve probably heard this before). Take your pick which kind of car you’d like to imagine. Okay, even such a normal thing as a car, could not exist, without a creator.

    See, that’s where the analogy already breaks down. Cars don’t reproduce. They don’t even grow. Try again.

    Evolution is something that happens to populations, not to individuals. It requires reproduction with imperfect inheritance. That means that living beings (including viruses) evolve, languages evolve, and evolution can be simulated in computers, but that basically is it. Oh, universes might evolve, too, but that’s very difficult to test and probably not the simplest explanation for the observations it’s supposed to explain. (Therefore it’s not a very popular hypothesis at the moment.)

    Normal plausibility tells us, that things prone to disorder do not HAPPEN upon order. Shake things up in a blender, and you’re not going to come up with anything but a shake.

    You overlook that order is sometimes the energetically preferred state of affairs. Water vapor is disorder — liquid water is partial order — ice is order. That’s because of electrostatics: water molecules have a positive and a negative pole, so that they stick to each other in a certain pattern. Destroying that pattern requires energy. Or take the paranut effect. Take random solid objects, put them in some container, and shake that container. If you shake long enough and then open the container, you’ll find that the biggest objects are on top and the smallest at the bottom. That’s because the shaking creates spaces between the objects — the small ones can fall through, the big ones can’t. Or take well-shaken sandy and muddy water and let it settle. Regular layers will settle on the bottom: the biggest grains will fall out first, so the bottom layer will be coarse sand, and the finest grains will fall out last, so the top layer will be fine clay. Geologists call this a fining-upwards sequence. I’ve seen several on top of each other in a 10-million-year-old nearshore seafloor in northwestern Austria: every time a storm came, it stirred the water at the shore where it stirred up sand and silt, the water spread offshore to the point where I was, and then the coarsest grains fell to the bottom, then the next coarsest grains, and so on. Coarse sand grading into middle sand grading into fine sand, coarse silt, middle silt, fine silt, coarse clay, middle clay, fine clay. Then the fine clay continues upwards till the next storm layer, which again begins suddenly with coarse sand.

    In answer to those of you who demand proof of God – I offer you the very breath you use to speak out against God. Who gave it to you?

    This has already been answered on the Pharyngula thread.

    Let’s put it this way: Those babies who didn’t have the reflex to start breathing when they were born have already died, so that nobody has inherited the lack of this reflex, so the trait has disappeared from the population. That’s called natural selection.

    Don’t you even know that most Christians today believe that God’s existence cannot be proven? That God is above the understanding of puny humans?

    In Austria, all schoolchildren who at least nominally belong to one of the largest local religions get religious instruction in school. My Catholic RI teacher told me that a God who could be proven would be poor! The idea is that 1) God is simply greater than that, greater than a puny human brain; 2) if God were proven, there would be no free will anymore, but God wants us to have free will, so he refuses being provable.

    I should also mention what might be the most important point here: Atheists aren’t dystheists. Dystheists like Dr. Behe believe that God exists and is evil. They can “speak out against God”. Atheists believe that God does not exist. Logically, they cannot speak out for or against God. They speak out against the — in their eyes delusional — belief in any deities. Can you speak out against Ea, the Sumerian water god who sent the worldwide flood that only Utnapishtim and his family survived in their ark? No, because you believe he’s a fairytale in the first place.

    You think I’m going to offer you a proverbial offering of fire like that of Elijah?

    Huh?

    You think I’m going to say that Leviticus is what all good Christians base their lives around (which, btw to be ‘technical’, the Old Testament way of sacrificing animals was [...]

    Blah, blah, blah. No, the vast, vast majority of atheists are ex-Christians. Everyone knows Leviticus isn’t the whole Bible. Everyone knows, for example, the New Testament and what it says.

    The only proof in God is when you know him personally.

    Do you?

    And yes, (thank you for pointing this out) by know, I do mean believe.

    Then you should say “believe” rather than “know”. By doing so, you would also no longer conceal the fact that a belief cannot be a proof.

    Often, as you well know in your own studies, for even the most objective scientist, their bias sneaks into their hypothesis and they will present their beliefs as ‘fact’.

    See? You didn’t follow my link, so you still don’t know what “fact” even means. Go read it, and then come back. It’s just about 12 lines of text.

    “Even the most objective scientist” will occasionally overlook evidence and therefore present a hypothesis that is already disproven, or (more commonly) will overlook an alternative hypothesis and will therefore present their own as the only one that can so far explain the facts when that is not the case. No scientist will ever present a hypothesis as a fact, because hypotheses explain facts. They cannot become facts.

    What did Creation and God ever do to you?

    Why did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    Lastly, many of you complained that you wanted me to answer your dozens of specific questions concerning Evolution.

    “Specific”! Hah! We were asking you the very basics!

    I’m not going to pansy around and pretend I have all the answers. I don’t. And you do?

    We understand the very basics, yes. We understand what on Earth we are talking about.

    But since I have been demanded answers for my beliefs, I have a few questions of my own.

    How logical.

    And no, they are not original with me (so if you pick them apart, you’re picking apart someone else).

    So what? Whether something is wrong doesn’t depend on who came up with it.

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?

    Why did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    This is yet another wrong question. There is no such thing as “space for the universe”. The universe is space, with energy and matter in it.

    2. Where did matter come from?

    Matter is a form of energy. When you inject energy into a vacuum, you create elementary particles. This is inevitable according to quantum physics, and indeed it is observed. Heating a lightbulb creates photons (particles of light), for example.

    Energy… in sum, the universe apparently contains zero energy, because the sum of all energy (including matter) is equal to the sum of all gravity.

    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

    We don’t know. But we’re working on it. Spend a few hours in Wikipedia, and you will get a glimpse into this active field of research.

    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?

    What do you mean?

    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

    See above.

    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?

    When? Between 4.4 and 3.85 billion years ago. Where? Somewhere in liquid water, probably on Earth. Why? Because it could happen. Everything that can happen happens sooner or later.

    The numbers I got from a paper (which I think I can send you) that showed the Earth already had a crust and an ocean 4.4 billion years ago, and from another (which I don’t have, but which is cited in textbooks) that found chemical evidence for life in 3.85-billion-year-old layers. If you don’t know how radiometric dating works, just look it up on Wikipedia, it has a good article on that.

    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

    “Learn”? That’s again a wrong question. If you leave nucleic acids alone under certain conditions, they will get copied, because of nothing else than temperature and electrostatics.

    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

    It didn’t reproduce sexually. It reproduced asexually. And then its offspring started mating occasionally.

    Man, that was easy. Did you really believe that the ability to reproduce sexually automatically makes asexual reproduction impossible? Sorry — did you even read what you copied from Hovind?!?

    9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival?

    “Want” simply doesn’t enter into the question.

    (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)

    It’s simple: those who haven’t had enough surviving offspring have already died out, and their lack of fertility and/or protection and/or nourishment for the young with them. Natural selection. We are the descendants of those that had enough surviving offspring. It really is that simple.

    10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code)

    This doesn’t mean anything. Whoever wrote it doesn’t know what a mutation or the genetic code are.

    create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)

    Is that supposed to be a comparison?

    Any mutation creates something new. If it manages to change the amino acid in the resulting protein (about 1 in 3 mutations does that), and if this doesn’t change an amino acid into a chemically very similar one, then something new will happen to the organism.

    What “improved” means depends on the circumstances. The most famous example is sickle cell anemia. If you have two copies of the mutated gene, you die from sickle cell anemia. If you have one copy, you suffer from things like shortness of breath. Bad, no? Not in the region in West Africa where sickle cell anemia is widespread. It just so happens that the malaria parasite cannot enter the deformed red blood cells that result from the mutated gene. So, over there, those who have two copies of the mutated gene die from sickle cell anemia — and those who have two normal copies die from malaria. Those who have one copy of the mutated and one of the normal version survive.

    Or take vitamin C. Normally, vertebrates can make vitamin C. Apes (such as us) and guinea pigs have lost this ability: one of the genes for an enzyme in the chemical pathway has acquired a mutation that disables it. Bad, no? No, because we get enough vitamin C from our food. Not needing to produce all those enzymes, which would require energy, is an advantage: we can invest this energy in growth or reproduction.

    (Incidentally, humans and chimps at least have exactly the same mutation in that gene. Why could that be? Guinea pigs have another.)

    11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?

    By “prove”, you don’t mean “prove”, you mean “are evidence for”. Similarities alone are compatible with both ideas, so we’ll have to look for something else.

    So let me present the fact that the similarities have a pattern. A tree-shaped pattern. Why are there intermediates between “reptiles” and mammals, but none between mammals and insects? If there were intermediates between everything and everything, the theory of evolution would be in trouble. (I told you it’s falsifiable.) The speculation of creation, on the other hand, is compatible with all imaginable scenarios. It can “explain” everything and nothing. If it were wrong, we could never find that out by disproving it. Therefore it is not science.

    Simple, isn’t it?

    12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available

    Yes, but don’t forget that the available information changes all the time — mutation.

    and tends only to keep a species stable.

    This depends on the enviroment. When the environment is stable and the species (or, rather, population) is well adapted to it, we see stabilizing selection. When the environment changes, a few individuals have traits that fit the new environment better than the majority of the population, and then we see directional selection. By “see” I mean it has been observed in the field; check out e. g. the studies by the Grants on the Darwin finches.

    How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?

    Increasing complexity? No, increasing diversity of complexity. Sometimes, being complex is an advantage, so it’s selected for. Sometimes, it’s a disadvantage, so it’s selected against. There is no overarching trend in evolution. It really is just mutation, selection, and drift — or at least these three factors are enough to explain everything we observe.

    13. When, where, why, and how did:
    Single-celled plants become multi-celled?

    Several times independently: red algae once, green algae twice. (Yellow and brown algae once more each, but they aren’t actually plants — they have red algae inside their cells.) The fossil record of marine plants isn’t good, but the oldest known remains of multicellular red algae were 2.1 billion years old last time I read something on the topic.

    Where: Somewhere in the sea.

    Why: Because cooperation sometimes has net advantages.

    (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)

    Learn about colonial green algae, will you? Google Micraster and Volvox, for instance. Also, what about cell chains that are so common among fungi and green algae?

    Really, isn’t that taught in biology lessons in the USA?

    Single-celled animals evolve?

    At least 1.3 billion years ago, probably.

    Where: Somewhere in the sea, probably on the floor.

    Why: Because filter-feeding sometimes is the easiest way to get food. Compare choanoflagellates and sponges.

    Fish change to amphibians?

    Not directly. Limbs evolved from fins sometime between 380 and 390 million years ago, probably in a vegetation-rich body of water, perhaps an estuarine swamp. Amphibians ( = everything more closely related to the frogs, salamanders and caecilians than to us) evolved from other limbed vertebrates sometime around 350 million years ago, most likely in a possibly coastal swamp; this has no “why”, it’s simply a split.

    Amphibians change to reptiles?

    Never. The closest relatives of the amniotes (mammals, “reptiles”, and birds) are not the amphibians, but the diadectomorphs; amphibians and amniotes have a common ancestor that lived sometime around 350 million years ago (see above). By definition, the origin of Amniota is the divergence between the mammal branch (Theropsida) and the bird branch (Sauropsida — turtles, lizards and crocodiles are on the bird branch); this probably happened sometime between 315 and 335 million years ago, on land. Sorry for not being more precise — I can’t be, because the fossil record consists mostly of holes, and because the formation of Pangea had progressed pretty far at that time.

    Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)

    Congratulations! I am a paleontologist, my specialty are… drum roll… dinosaurs! The “where” of all this questions is easy: on Pangea. The “when” and the “why” are different for each.

    Bird lungs are shared by at least one of the two dinosaur branches, as well as by the pterosaurs. So let’s say 240 million years ago, for greater endurance. Many of today’s “reptiles” have lungs that approach a crude version of bird lungs to various degrees; imagining how the bird-style lungs evolved is very easy. Unfortunately the only good description I’ve seen is in a very technical book, and it relies heavily on illustrations, so I can’t reproduce that here. (I don’t even have the book here with me in the first place.)

    How do we know? Because bird-style lungs usually leave traces on and in bones: first the vertebrae in the shoulder region, then all neck and trunk vertebrae and ribs, then the sacral vertebrae, then the tail vertebrae (sometimes), then the wishbone, breastbone, and hip bones, then the upper arms and thighs, and so on. This we find in the fossil record in this order.

    The eyes? The eyes aren’t different. Birds have ordinary vertebrate eyes — more normal ones than most mammals, in fact. What is your source talking about?

    By the reproductive organs I suppose you mean the fact that in most birds only the right ovary is functional and that they lay one egg per functional ovary at once? Oviraptorosaurs, dromaeosaurids and troodontids (close relatives of birds) laid their eggs pairwise: one egg per functional ovary, like in birds. We’ve found their nests, complete with brooding parent on top and baby skeletons inside. Other dinosaurs, like crocodiles, laid eggs en masse.

    The shift to a single egg per functional ovary must have happened between 230 and 170 million years ago (fossil nests are rare), on Pangea, as a shift from r-strategy (lots of cheap offspring, of which a few will survive simply because they’re so many) towards K-strategy (heavy investment in a few offspring that get a good start into life and will therefore more likely survive). The shift to a single egg per ovary must have happened between 170 and 70 million years ago, probably at the later end of this span, anywhere on land (birds can after all fly), probably for the same reason. (K-strategy and r-strategy are extremes of a very broad spectrum.) It may also have been an advantage for flying (two ovaries are probably heavier than one).

    The hearts of birds and crocodiles are almost identical. This type of heart (4-chambered) differs from that found in lizards (3-chambered with varying degrees of separation of the left & right halves of the main chamber) only in degree. The 4-chambered heart must have evolved about 260 million years ago, on Pangea, and has the advantage of giving greater endurance.

    “Method of locomotion” means “flight”, I suppose? How flight evolved is an active field of research, but a few things are clear. For example, feathers and probably wings were already present; it is also logical that wings had evolved for something else (like sexual selection or brooding) before they were first used for flight. Around 180 to 160 million years ago, on Pangea. The advantages of flight are self-evident.

    Feathers are scales that are lengthened, split down the middle of the underside, and in most cases opened. The first bristle-like feathers must have appeared between 170 and maybe 200 million years ago (they don’t fossilize normally) and had advantages like insulation, but may have first appeared as something that sexual selection acted on.

    14. How did the intermediate forms live?

    Between what? In most cases it’s self-evident how intermediate forms lived. Be more precise.

    15. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
    Whales evolve?

    About 55 million years ago, from chevrotain-like even-toed ungulates. (So did the hippos, the whales’ closest living relatives.) Probably on the shores of the Tethys ocean, maybe in Pakistan. How? Here you are asking for a treatise because we are have discovered a whole tree of intermediate forms in the last 20 years!!! Spend a few hours in Google. Why? Because they had no competition in the sea — the mosasaurs had died out 10 million years earlier.

    Sea horses evolve?

    No idea. I’m not an ichthyologist.

    Bats evolve?

    Also about 55 million years ago. Their closest identified relatives are the odd-toed ungulates plus the carnivorans plus the pangolins (together called Zooamata). The last common ancestor of all these animals must have looked like a shrew. The bat branch took to the trees and perhaps started gliding and using its arms to grasp insects… the fossil record is poor here. Only two weeks ago it was found out that flight appeared before echolocation in bats. The advantages of flight to a tree-living insectivore are obvious.

    Eyes evolve?

    Whose eyes? Eyes evolved several times independently from light-sensitive cells. (Those cells, however, are very old.)

    Ears evolve?

    Whose ears? A cricket’s?

    Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?

    Skin is, basically, simply the outer — or upper — cell layer of a two-layered animal.

    Feathers — see above. Hair, feathers, scales, and claws including nails are all just outgrowths of the skin. You’ll be surprised to learn that the same gene, called Sonic hedgehog (no joke), is involved in all outgrowths from animal body walls, all the above as well as teeth, taste buds, and limbs.

    Which evolved first (how, and how long; did it work without the others)?
    The digestive system, the food to be digested

    The food came first. Not all organisms even eat other organisms, you understand.

    the appetite

    Very late.

    the ability to find and eat the food

    When you swim in a watery solution of your food, and when the food diffuses through your cell membrane, you don’t have this problem.

    the digestive juices

    See above.

    or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?

    Must have evolved in tandem with the digestive enzymes and the acid production. Step by step.

    The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?

    Cell division comes automatically.

    The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat

    The throat. Lungs are just an outgrowth of the esophagus. The mucus came last, because when you live in water, you don’t dry out.

    or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?

    “Perfect mixture” is ridiculous. We have adapted to the mixture that is there.

    Of course, oxygen was dumped into the air long before lungs evolved.

    DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?

    RNA. Pretty obviously. Go read Wikipedia.

    The termite or the flagella[te!] in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?

    First the “flagellates” which were originally free-living. I bet lots of such free-living organisms still exist.

    The termites originally ate rotting wood where the cellulose was already mostly decomposed. One of the two branches of the termite family tree still does just that.

    The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?

    The plants. Ever heard of wind pollination? I mean, please!

    The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?

    Never noticed that animals without bones have muscles, too? If you’re small enough, you can have one without the other.

    The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?

    Hormones first, nerves later. There is no such thing as a “repair system”. You know, Hovind likes making stuff up.

    The immune system or the need for it?

    The need for it — but gradually, like the immune system. It’s an arms race.

    16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation.

    Provide one if you can. Hint: you can’t.

    17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?

    By mutation and selection. Mutation is random, selection is not — those who look most similar to what they’re imitating are eaten the least often. Simple. Really simple.

    18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings?

    Man didn’t. They’re all much older.

    Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.

    Wrong. Look up “kin selection” and “reciprocal altruism”. It’s all quite obvious, really.

    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?

    AsteriscMost of the intermediates are still alive. The form most widespread today, which uses water as the hydrogen source, is the chemically most difficult one and came last. The precursor uses hydrogen sulfide instead, which is much safer; bacteria that use it are widespread in oxygen-poor or -free and sulfur-rich layers of seashores today. A yet older method is to directly use hydrogen. That’s easiest. This, too, still exists today.

    20. *How did thought evolve?

    We’re working on it.

    21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?

    That’s a very active field of research. The “how” is pretty obvious: more and more protection layers accumulated around the seed. What their closest relatives are is unclear: either bennettites or cycads or pentoxylopsids or glossopterids or gigantopterids or gnetaleans or all of the above plus conifers. Come back in 10 years, and I’ll probably be able to tell you.

    22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?

    Tell me about those “kinds”. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?

    “Really? That I wanna see.”

    Except what you mean isn’t 50 but 70 years ago. This happens when creationists copy from each other over 20 years. The first Latimeria chalumnae was discovered in 1938.

    24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?

    See above on the lack of a difference between “micro-” and “macroevolution”. Also see above for the treelike pattern of similarities among organisms. Also see above for how science works: you should ask “is there one clear prediction of the theory of evolution that has proven wrong, and is there one clear prediction of the speculation of creationism that has proven wrong?”

    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?

    Huh?

    26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?

    “Believe” doesn’t enter into the question. It currently looks like everything came either from nothing or from nothing-with-quantum-physics-in-it (which is a more realistic state of affairs than “nothing” can be); I don’t know of any evidence against this, so I have to accept this hypothesis for the time being.

    After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

    1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)

    I am sure they are reasonable. I am not absolutely sure they are all absolutely right — science isn’t finished yet! I am, however, certain that all reflect the best of my knowledge of the evidence.

    There is no such thing as “scientifically provable”. Is not understanding science a prerequisite for being a creationist, or what? (On second thought, it probably is.)

    My religion? I’m an apathetic agnostic, I have no such thing as a religion.

    2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, “God must have designed it”?

    They show a complete lack of faith. It’s all “show me the evidence, show me, show me, show me”. Compare the story of St Thomas. :-)

    3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe?

    It’s certainly possible, but it’s neither testable nor a necessary hypothesis to explain anything. Thus, it is a completely useless assumption, at least for now.

    4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?

    No. It is wise and fair to present evolution as an observed fact, because that’s what it is, and to present the theory of evolution by mutation, selection and drift as the only testable explanation that people have so far come up with.

    5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?

    There is no such thing as “belief in evolution” in the first place. The evidence is clear — it doesn’t go away if we stop believing in it.

    But even if, what end result should there be? I can’t think of one.

    6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?
    - It is all they have been taught.

    That’s certainly the case for some people, but not for scientists. Scientists follow the evidence where it leads.

    - They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).

    Does not follow. What are you talking about? Has it ever entered your mind that not all Christians are creationists (for the fifth time now)?

    - They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.

    Ridiculous! If you can overturn a widely accepted theory, you get the Nobel Prize. In this case the one for Physiology Or Medicine. The more revolutionary your results*, the greater your fame.

    * I didn’t say “beliefs”. I didn’t even say “opinions”. I said “results”. Research results.

    - They are too proud to admit they are wrong.

    People for whom this is true shouldn’t go into science. And indeed, very few of them do. Among creationists, on the other hand… ouch.

    - Evolution is the only philosophy

    BZZZT! Wrong. The theory of evolution is science, not philosophy. The difference should be clear by now.

    that can be used to justify their political agenda.

    Various distortions of the theory of evolution have been used to “justify” any political ideology, except theocracy. Various forms of any religion have been used to “justify” any political ideology, no exceptions this time.

    7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?

    Why exactly did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    Please. Nobody has used the Piltdown forgery as evidence for anything in biology ever since it was discovered to be a hoax (by paleoanthropologists who noticed it didn’t really fit into the human family tree). Every biologist, as far as I can tell, knows that Haeckel’s “law” of recapitulation is a drastic oversimplification (ontogeny evolves, too — the Pharyngula stages of mammals, birds and frogs are very, very similar, but their blastula stages are very different, for example, because of the different amounts of yolk they carry). Nothing is wrong about Archaeopteryx — Sir Fred Hoyle’s claim of forgery were easily and quickly disproven, and several new specimens of Archie have been discovered in the decades since, not to mention lots of other ancient birds and near-birds. Nothing is wrong about Lucy, Java Man, or the Neandertalers — if you think otherwise, please explain. Horse evolution is very well documented: it’s not a pole, as it was illustrated in the 19th century and unfortunately in general textbooks till much later, but a tree. Google for it. And what’s up with vestigial organs?

    8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?

    Note the misuse of “theories”.

    Firstly, “equal time” is a bit silly. Some ideas require more time for explanation than others. Creationism is just “goddidit” — evolution is more complicated than that. Secondly, did you follow this link? Its point is that Christianity is not the only religion with a creation myth. You’d have to teach literally hundreds of such stories. That would easily fill up an entire school year, and I don’t just mean the biology classes. Thirdly, we are talking about the USA. According to the big-C Constitution, you are allowed to teach either all religious ideas of creation or none. Given the aforementioned time constraints, it’s much easier to teach none of them and to teach science instead.

    9. What are you risking if you are wrong?

    Nothing, why?

    As one of my debate opponents said, “Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening.”

    And therefore neither of them can be true, or what?

    But did you notice? Hovind or whoever changed the topic here: from evolution to religion.

    10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools?

    We aren’t. We are afraid of evolution not being sufficiently presented in public schools — plus all the problems mentioned above, such as the Constitution.

    If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.

    Wrong, see above.

    11. Aren’t you tired of faith in a system that cannot be true?

    Faith doesn’t even enter the question here, and “cannot be true” is something you will have to demonstrate. Good luck.

    Wouldn’t it be great to know the God who made you, and to accept His love and forgiveness?

    Once again a change of topic from evolution to religion…

    Sure, it would be great, if he exists in the first place. That remains to be demonstrated. Many Christians, never mind believers of other religions, agree that it can’t be.

  308. #310 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    Just for documentation purposes, in cases Andria decides not to post my comment:

    ===============================================

    Here’s your monster comment 220 that is for the most part a plagiate. It’s a Gish gallop: a debate tactic that consists of spouting so much nonsense in so little time that the opponent is dumbfounded, not knowing where to begin, and knowing that refuting all of it would take several hours.

    So what? It’ll be easy.

    My dear evolutionists, This has been fun. I believe in one kind of evolutionism.

    Two mistakes right there.

    First, scientific theories aren’t something you believe in or don’t believe in. They are testable — falsifiable (otherwise they wouldn’t be scientific) –, and that means that if they are wrong, we can find that out, no matter how sincerely and fervently we or anyone else believes in them. Belief is irrational. Science is not.

    Second, scientific theories aren’t ideologies. They aren’t “-isms”. To call them such is dishonest. Or would you call yourself a gravityist?

    Micro-evolutionism. But Macro-Evolutionism

    There is no difference between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. Biologists invented these terms in the early 20th century when evolution wasn’t well understood yet. It has since turned out that the terms are useless. Let mutation, selection and drift (if you don’t know what exactly these terms mean, ask me or ask Google) go on for long enough, and you’ll see “macroevolution” no matter how you define it. That’s because there’s simply nothing to prevent it from happening.

    continues to have nothing but circular reasoning behind it.

    So? Explain, if you can.

    I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change.

    Wrong. We are talking about science, not about religion. We, and you, will go wherever the evidence leads us, and we — like you — will immediately change our minds when our opinions are disproven. This is of crucial importance for science. If we are wrong, we can find out that we are wrong. That’s the big advantage of science over any other so-called “way of knowing”.

    “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”
    – Thomas Henry Huxley. Called “Darwin’s Bulldog” because he defended On the Origin of Species with more fervor than the ever-cautious, ever-polite Darwin did.

    Here I thought I was just randomly posting a query to someone else’s opinion on a random blog!

    Hundreds like you have come before you. Pharyngula has been among the most widely read blogs in its field for years. Hundreds of creationist drive-by trolls have posted the ever-same talking points, believing they had made an original point.

    It’s not your fault you didn’t know this situtation, but I think you could have easily imagined it.

    And it seems I have become the only defender of faith, God, and a divine Creation.

    “Defender of God”? Isn’t that, like, blasphemy or something? Are you saying God can’t defend himself?

    Also, you have never answered the question of why you confuse Christianity and creationism. The two are not the same.

    I will however give a couple of parting thoughts, because while no one can win at this, what is there to lose in at least saying what you believe anyway?

    Your beliefs might be either disproven or shown to be untestable and therefore outside science. That’s what.

    (Which is apparently what you are doing, and I will continue to do throughout my life).

    We don’t believe. We test hypotheses.

    The only proof of Creation is in the objects of Creation.

    All of which can also be explained in other ways — so they aren’t proof. No surprise there. Outside of math and formal logic, nothing can ever be proven.

    That’s the point of the “flying space monkey” and “Santa Claus” comments I forwarded.

    I love examples, so I’m going to use a nice simple example for you guys. Our example lies in the beautiful example of a car (you’ve probably heard this before). Take your pick which kind of car you’d like to imagine. Okay, even such a normal thing as a car, could not exist, without a creator.

    See, that’s where the analogy already breaks down. Cars don’t reproduce. They don’t even grow. Try again.

    Evolution is something that happens to populations, not to individuals. It requires reproduction with imperfect inheritance. That means that living beings (including viruses) evolve, languages evolve, and evolution can be simulated in computers, but that basically is it. Oh, universes might evolve, too, but that’s very difficult to test and probably not the simplest explanation for the observations it’s supposed to explain. (Therefore it’s not a very popular hypothesis at the moment.)

    Normal plausibility tells us, that things prone to disorder do not HAPPEN upon order. Shake things up in a blender, and you’re not going to come up with anything but a shake.

    You overlook that order is sometimes the energetically preferred state of affairs. Water vapor is disorder — liquid water is partial order — ice is order. That’s because of electrostatics: water molecules have a positive and a negative pole, so that they stick to each other in a certain pattern. Destroying that pattern requires energy. Or take the paranut effect. Take random solid objects, put them in some container, and shake that container. If you shake long enough and then open the container, you’ll find that the biggest objects are on top and the smallest at the bottom. That’s because the shaking creates spaces between the objects — the small ones can fall through, the big ones can’t. Or take well-shaken sandy and muddy water and let it settle. Regular layers will settle on the bottom: the biggest grains will fall out first, so the bottom layer will be coarse sand, and the finest grains will fall out last, so the top layer will be fine clay. Geologists call this a fining-upwards sequence. I’ve seen several on top of each other in a 10-million-year-old nearshore seafloor in northwestern Austria: every time a storm came, it stirred the water at the shore where it stirred up sand and silt, the water spread offshore to the point where I was, and then the coarsest grains fell to the bottom, then the next coarsest grains, and so on. Coarse sand grading into middle sand grading into fine sand, coarse silt, middle silt, fine silt, coarse clay, middle clay, fine clay. Then the fine clay continues upwards till the next storm layer, which again begins suddenly with coarse sand.

    In answer to those of you who demand proof of God – I offer you the very breath you use to speak out against God. Who gave it to you?

    This has already been answered on the Pharyngula thread.

    Let’s put it this way: Those babies who didn’t have the reflex to start breathing when they were born have already died, so that nobody has inherited the lack of this reflex, so the trait has disappeared from the population. That’s called natural selection.

    Don’t you even know that most Christians today believe that God’s existence cannot be proven? That God is above the understanding of puny humans?

    In Austria, all schoolchildren who at least nominally belong to one of the largest local religions get religious instruction in school. My Catholic RI teacher told me that a God who could be proven would be poor! The idea is that 1) God is simply greater than that, greater than a puny human brain; 2) if God were proven, there would be no free will anymore, but God wants us to have free will, so he refuses being provable.

    I should also mention what might be the most important point here: Atheists aren’t dystheists. Dystheists like Dr. Behe believe that God exists and is evil. They can “speak out against God”. Atheists believe that God does not exist. Logically, they cannot speak out for or against God. They speak out against the — in their eyes delusional — belief in any deities. Can you speak out against Ea, the Sumerian water god who sent the worldwide flood that only Utnapishtim and his family survived in their ark? No, because you believe he’s a fairytale in the first place.

    You think I’m going to offer you a proverbial offering of fire like that of Elijah?

    Huh?

    You think I’m going to say that Leviticus is what all good Christians base their lives around (which, btw to be ‘technical’, the Old Testament way of sacrificing animals was [...]

    Blah, blah, blah. No, the vast, vast majority of atheists are ex-Christians. Everyone knows Leviticus isn’t the whole Bible. Everyone knows, for example, the New Testament and what it says.

    The only proof in God is when you know him personally.

    Do you?

    And yes, (thank you for pointing this out) by know, I do mean believe.

    Then you should say “believe” rather than “know”. By doing so, you would also no longer conceal the fact that a belief cannot be a proof.

    Often, as you well know in your own studies, for even the most objective scientist, their bias sneaks into their hypothesis and they will present their beliefs as ‘fact’.

    See? You didn’t follow my link, so you still don’t know what “fact” even means. Go read it, and then come back. It’s just about 12 lines of text.

    “Even the most objective scientist” will occasionally overlook evidence and therefore present a hypothesis that is already disproven, or (more commonly) will overlook an alternative hypothesis and will therefore present their own as the only one that can so far explain the facts when that is not the case. No scientist will ever present a hypothesis as a fact, because hypotheses explain facts. They cannot become facts.

    What did Creation and God ever do to you?

    Why did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    Lastly, many of you complained that you wanted me to answer your dozens of specific questions concerning Evolution.

    “Specific”! Hah! We were asking you the very basics!

    I’m not going to pansy around and pretend I have all the answers. I don’t. And you do?

    We understand the very basics, yes. We understand what on Earth we are talking about.

    But since I have been demanded answers for my beliefs, I have a few questions of my own.

    How logical.

    And no, they are not original with me (so if you pick them apart, you’re picking apart someone else).

    So what? Whether something is wrong doesn’t depend on who came up with it.

    1. Where did the space for the universe come from?

    Why did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    This is yet another wrong question. There is no such thing as “space for the universe”. The universe is space, with energy and matter in it.

    2. Where did matter come from?

    Matter is a form of energy. When you inject energy into a vacuum, you create elementary particles. This is inevitable according to quantum physics, and indeed it is observed. Heating a lightbulb creates photons (particles of light), for example.

    Energy… in sum, the universe apparently contains zero energy, because the sum of all energy (including matter) is equal to the sum of all gravity.

    3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

    We don’t know. But we’re working on it. Spend a few hours in Wikipedia, and you will get a glimpse into this active field of research.

    4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?

    What do you mean?

    5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

    See above.

    6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?

    When? Between 4.4 and 3.85 billion years ago. Where? Somewhere in liquid water, probably on Earth. Why? Because it could happen. Everything that can happen happens sooner or later.

    The numbers I got from a paper (which I think I can send you) that showed the Earth already had a crust and an ocean 4.4 billion years ago, and from another (which I don’t have, but which is cited in textbooks) that found chemical evidence for life in 3.85-billion-year-old layers. If you don’t know how radiometric dating works, just look it up on Wikipedia, it has a good article on that.

    7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

    “Learn”? That’s again a wrong question. If you leave nucleic acids alone under certain conditions, they will get copied, because of nothing else than temperature and electrostatics.

    8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

    It didn’t reproduce sexually. It reproduced asexually. And then its offspring started mating occasionally.

    Man, that was easy. Did you really believe that the ability to reproduce sexually automatically makes asexual reproduction impossible? Sorry — did you even read what you copied from Hovind?!?

    9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival?

    “Want” simply doesn’t enter into the question.

    (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)

    It’s simple: those who haven’t had enough surviving offspring have already died out, and their lack of fertility and/or protection and/or nourishment for the young with them. Natural selection. We are the descendants of those that had enough surviving offspring. It really is that simple.

    10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code)

    This doesn’t mean anything. Whoever wrote it doesn’t know what a mutation or the genetic code are.

    create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)

    Is that supposed to be a comparison?

    Any mutation creates something new. If it manages to change the amino acid in the resulting protein (about 1 in 3 mutations does that), and if this doesn’t change an amino acid into a chemically very similar one, then something new will happen to the organism.

    What “improved” means depends on the circumstances. The most famous example is sickle cell anemia. If you have two copies of the mutated gene, you die from sickle cell anemia. If you have one copy, you suffer from things like shortness of breath. Bad, no? Not in the region in West Africa where sickle cell anemia is widespread. It just so happens that the malaria parasite cannot enter the deformed red blood cells that result from the mutated gene. So, over there, those who have two copies of the mutated gene die from sickle cell anemia — and those who have two normal copies die from malaria. Those who have one copy of the mutated and one of the normal version survive.

    Or take vitamin C. Normally, vertebrates can make vitamin C. Apes (such as us) and guinea pigs have lost this ability: one of the genes for an enzyme in the chemical pathway has acquired a mutation that disables it. Bad, no? No, because we get enough vitamin C from our food. Not needing to produce all those enzymes, which would require energy, is an advantage: we can invest this energy in growth or reproduction.

    (Incidentally, humans and chimps at least have exactly the same mutation in that gene. Why could that be? Guinea pigs have another.)

    11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?

    By “prove”, you don’t mean “prove”, you mean “are evidence for”. Similarities alone are compatible with both ideas, so we’ll have to look for something else.

    So let me present the fact that the similarities have a pattern. A tree-shaped pattern. Why are there intermediates between “reptiles” and mammals, but none between mammals and insects? If there were intermediates between everything and everything, the theory of evolution would be in trouble. (I told you it’s falsifiable.) The speculation of creation, on the other hand, is compatible with all imaginable scenarios. It can “explain” everything and nothing. If it were wrong, we could never find that out by disproving it. Therefore it is not science.

    Simple, isn’t it?

    12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available

    Yes, but don’t forget that the available information changes all the time — mutation.

    and tends only to keep a species stable.

    This depends on the enviroment. When the environment is stable and the species (or, rather, population) is well adapted to it, we see stabilizing selection. When the environment changes, a few individuals have traits that fit the new environment better than the majority of the population, and then we see directional selection. By “see” I mean it has been observed in the field; check out e. g. the studies by the Grants on the Darwin finches.

    How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?

    Increasing complexity? No, increasing diversity of complexity. Sometimes, being complex is an advantage, so it’s selected for. Sometimes, it’s a disadvantage, so it’s selected against. There is no overarching trend in evolution. It really is just mutation, selection, and drift — or at least these three factors are enough to explain everything we observe.

    13. When, where, why, and how did:
    Single-celled plants become multi-celled?

    Several times independently: red algae once, green algae twice. (Yellow and brown algae once more each, but they aren’t actually plants — they have red algae inside their cells.) The fossil record of marine plants isn’t good, but the oldest known remains of multicellular red algae were 2.1 billion years old last time I read something on the topic.

    Where: Somewhere in the sea.

    Why: Because cooperation sometimes has net advantages.

    (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)

    Learn about colonial green algae, will you? Google Micraster and Volvox, for instance. Also, what about cell chains that are so common among fungi and green algae?

    Really, isn’t that taught in biology lessons in the USA?

    Single-celled animals evolve?

    At least 1.3 billion years ago, probably.

    Where: Somewhere in the sea, probably on the floor.

    Why: Because filter-feeding sometimes is the easiest way to get food. Compare choanoflagellates and sponges.

    Fish change to amphibians?

    Not directly. Limbs evolved from fins sometime between 380 and 390 million years ago, probably in a vegetation-rich body of water, perhaps an estuarine swamp. Amphibians ( = everything more closely related to the frogs, salamanders and caecilians than to us) evolved from other limbed vertebrates sometime around 350 million years ago, most likely in a possibly coastal swamp; this has no “why”, it’s simply a split.

    Amphibians change to reptiles?

    Never. The closest relatives of the amniotes (mammals, “reptiles”, and birds) are not the amphibians, but the diadectomorphs; amphibians and amniotes have a common ancestor that lived sometime around 350 million years ago (see above). By definition, the origin of Amniota is the divergence between the mammal branch (Theropsida) and the bird branch (Sauropsida — turtles, lizards and crocodiles are on the bird branch); this probably happened sometime between 315 and 335 million years ago, on land. Sorry for not being more precise — I can’t be, because the fossil record consists mostly of holes, and because the formation of Pangea had progressed pretty far at that time.

    Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes, reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)

    Congratulations! I am a paleontologist, my specialty are… drum roll… dinosaurs! The “where” of all this questions is easy: on Pangea. The “when” and the “why” are different for each.

    Bird lungs are shared by at least one of the two dinosaur branches, as well as by the pterosaurs. So let’s say 240 million years ago, for greater endurance. Many of today’s “reptiles” have lungs that approach a crude version of bird lungs to various degrees; imagining how the bird-style lungs evolved is very easy. Unfortunately the only good description I’ve seen is in a very technical book, and it relies heavily on illustrations, so I can’t reproduce that here. (I don’t even have the book here with me in the first place.)

    How do we know? Because bird-style lungs usually leave traces on and in bones: first the vertebrae in the shoulder region, then all neck and trunk vertebrae and ribs, then the sacral vertebrae, then the tail vertebrae (sometimes), then the wishbone, breastbone, and hip bones, then the upper arms and thighs, and so on. This we find in the fossil record in this order.

    The eyes? The eyes aren’t different. Birds have ordinary vertebrate eyes — more normal ones than most mammals, in fact. What is your source talking about?

    By the reproductive organs I suppose you mean the fact that in most birds only the right ovary is functional and that they lay one egg per functional ovary at once? Oviraptorosaurs, dromaeosaurids and troodontids (close relatives of birds) laid their eggs pairwise: one egg per functional ovary, like in birds. We’ve found their nests, complete with brooding parent on top and baby skeletons inside. Other dinosaurs, like crocodiles, laid eggs en masse.

    The shift to a single egg per functional ovary must have happened between 230 and 170 million years ago (fossil nests are rare), on Pangea, as a shift from r-strategy (lots of cheap offspring, of which a few will survive simply because they’re so many) towards K-strategy (heavy investment in a few offspring that get a good start into life and will therefore more likely survive). The shift to a single egg per ovary must have happened between 170 and 70 million years ago, probably at the later end of this span, anywhere on land (birds can after all fly), probably for the same reason. (K-strategy and r-strategy are extremes of a very broad spectrum.) It may also have been an advantage for flying (two ovaries are probably heavier than one).

    The hearts of birds and crocodiles are almost identical. This type of heart (4-chambered) differs from that found in lizards (3-chambered with varying degrees of separation of the left & right halves of the main chamber) only in degree. The 4-chambered heart must have evolved about 260 million years ago, on Pangea, and has the advantage of giving greater endurance.

    “Method of locomotion” means “flight”, I suppose? How flight evolved is an active field of research, but a few things are clear. For example, feathers and probably wings were already present; it is also logical that wings had evolved for something else (like sexual selection or brooding) before they were first used for flight. Around 180 to 160 million years ago, on Pangea. The advantages of flight are self-evident.

    Feathers are scales that are lengthened, split down the middle of the underside, and in most cases opened. The first bristle-like feathers must have appeared between 170 and maybe 200 million years ago (they don’t fossilize normally) and had advantages like insulation, but may have first appeared as something that sexual selection acted on.

    14. How did the intermediate forms live?

    Between what? In most cases it’s self-evident how intermediate forms lived. Be more precise.

    15. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
    Whales evolve?

    About 55 million years ago, from chevrotain-like even-toed ungulates. (So did the hippos, the whales’ closest living relatives.) Probably on the shores of the Tethys ocean, maybe in Pakistan. How? Here you are asking for a treatise because we are have discovered a whole tree of intermediate forms in the last 20 years!!! Spend a few hours in Google. Why? Because they had no competition in the sea — the mosasaurs had died out 10 million years earlier.

    Sea horses evolve?

    No idea. I’m not an ichthyologist.

    Bats evolve?

    Also about 55 million years ago. Their closest identified relatives are the odd-toed ungulates plus the carnivorans plus the pangolins (together called Zooamata). The last common ancestor of all these animals must have looked like a shrew. The bat branch took to the trees and perhaps started gliding and using its arms to grasp insects… the fossil record is poor here. Only two weeks ago it was found out that flight appeared before echolocation in bats. The advantages of flight to a tree-living insectivore are obvious.

    Eyes evolve?

    Whose eyes? Eyes evolved several times independently from light-sensitive cells. (Those cells, however, are very old.)

    Ears evolve?

    Whose ears? A cricket’s?

    Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?

    Skin is, basically, simply the outer — or upper — cell layer of a two-layered animal.

    Feathers — see above. Hair, feathers, scales, and claws including nails are all just outgrowths of the skin. You’ll be surprised to learn that the same gene, called Sonic hedgehog (no joke), is involved in all outgrowths from animal body walls, all the above as well as teeth, taste buds, and limbs.

    Which evolved first (how, and how long; did it work without the others)?
    The digestive system, the food to be digested

    The food came first. Not all organisms even eat other organisms, you understand.

    the appetite

    Very late.

    the ability to find and eat the food

    When you swim in a watery solution of your food, and when the food diffuses through your cell membrane, you don’t have this problem.

    the digestive juices

    See above.

    or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?

    Must have evolved in tandem with the digestive enzymes and the acid production. Step by step.

    The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?

    Cell division comes automatically.

    The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat

    The throat. Lungs are just an outgrowth of the esophagus. The mucus came last, because when you live in water, you don’t dry out.

    or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?

    “Perfect mixture” is ridiculous. We have adapted to the mixture that is there.

    Of course, oxygen was dumped into the air long before lungs evolved.

    DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?

    RNA. Pretty obviously. Go read Wikipedia.

    The termite or the flagella[te!] in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?

    First the “flagellates” which were originally free-living. I bet lots of such free-living organisms still exist.

    The termites originally ate rotting wood where the cellulose was already mostly decomposed. One of the two branches of the termite family tree still does just that.

    The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?

    The plants. Ever heard of wind pollination? I mean, please!

    The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?

    Never noticed that animals without bones have muscles, too? If you’re small enough, you can have one without the other.

    The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?

    Hormones first, nerves later. There is no such thing as a “repair system”. You know, Hovind likes making stuff up.

    The immune system or the need for it?

    The need for it — but gradually, like the immune system. It’s an arms race.

    16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation.

    Provide one if you can. Hint: you can’t.

    17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?

    By mutation and selection. Mutation is random, selection is not — those who look most similar to what they’re imitating are eaten the least often. Simple. Really simple.

    18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings?

    Man didn’t. They’re all much older.

    Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.

    Wrong. Look up “kin selection” and “reciprocal altruism”. It’s all quite obvious, really.

    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?

    AsteriscMost of the intermediates are still alive. The form most widespread today, which uses water as the hydrogen source, is the chemically most difficult one and came last. The precursor uses hydrogen sulfide instead, which is much safer; bacteria that use it are widespread in oxygen-poor or -free and sulfur-rich layers of seashores today. A yet older method is to directly use hydrogen. That’s easiest. This, too, still exists today.

    20. *How did thought evolve?

    We’re working on it.

    21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?

    That’s a very active field of research. The “how” is pretty obvious: more and more protection layers accumulated around the seed. What their closest relatives are is unclear: either bennettites or cycads or pentoxylopsids or glossopterids or gigantopterids or gnetaleans or all of the above plus conifers. Come back in 10 years, and I’ll probably be able to tell you.

    22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?

    Tell me about those “kinds”. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?

    “Really? That I wanna see.”

    Except what you mean isn’t 50 but 70 years ago. This happens when creationists copy from each other over 20 years. The first Latimeria chalumnae was discovered in 1938.

    24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?

    See above on the lack of a difference between “micro-” and “macroevolution”. Also see above for the treelike pattern of similarities among organisms. Also see above for how science works: you should ask “is there one clear prediction of the theory of evolution that has proven wrong, and is there one clear prediction of the speculation of creationism that has proven wrong?”

    25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?

    Huh?

    26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?

    “Believe” doesn’t enter into the question. It currently looks like everything came either from nothing or from nothing-with-quantum-physics-in-it (which is a more realistic state of affairs than “nothing” can be); I don’t know of any evidence against this, so I have to accept this hypothesis for the time being.

    After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

    1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)

    I am sure they are reasonable. I am not absolutely sure they are all absolutely right — science isn’t finished yet! I am, however, certain that all reflect the best of my knowledge of the evidence.

    There is no such thing as “scientifically provable”. Is not understanding science a prerequisite for being a creationist, or what? (On second thought, it probably is.)

    My religion? I’m an apathetic agnostic, I have no such thing as a religion.

    2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, “God must have designed it”?

    They show a complete lack of faith. It’s all “show me the evidence, show me, show me, show me”. Compare the story of St Thomas. :-)

    3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe?

    It’s certainly possible, but it’s neither testable nor a necessary hypothesis to explain anything. Thus, it is a completely useless assumption, at least for now.

    4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?

    No. It is wise and fair to present evolution as an observed fact, because that’s what it is, and to present the theory of evolution by mutation, selection and drift as the only testable explanation that people have so far come up with.

    5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?

    There is no such thing as “belief in evolution” in the first place. The evidence is clear — it doesn’t go away if we stop believing in it.

    But even if, what end result should there be? I can’t think of one.

    6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?
    - It is all they have been taught.

    That’s certainly the case for some people, but not for scientists. Scientists follow the evidence where it leads.

    - They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).

    Does not follow. What are you talking about? Has it ever entered your mind that not all Christians are creationists (for the fifth time now)?

    - They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.

    Ridiculous! If you can overturn a widely accepted theory, you get the Nobel Prize. In this case the one for Physiology Or Medicine. The more revolutionary your results*, the greater your fame.

    * I didn’t say “beliefs”. I didn’t even say “opinions”. I said “results”. Research results.

    - They are too proud to admit they are wrong.

    People for whom this is true shouldn’t go into science. And indeed, very few of them do. Among creationists, on the other hand… ouch.

    - Evolution is the only philosophy

    BZZZT! Wrong. The theory of evolution is science, not philosophy. The difference should be clear by now.

    that can be used to justify their political agenda.

    Various distortions of the theory of evolution have been used to “justify” any political ideology, except theocracy. Various forms of any religion have been used to “justify” any political ideology, no exceptions this time.

    7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?

    Why exactly did Napoleon cross the Mississippi?

    Please. Nobody has used the Piltdown forgery as evidence for anything in biology ever since it was discovered to be a hoax (by paleoanthropologists who noticed it didn’t really fit into the human family tree). Every biologist, as far as I can tell, knows that Haeckel’s “law” of recapitulation is a drastic oversimplification (ontogeny evolves, too — the Pharyngula stages of mammals, birds and frogs are very, very similar, but their blastula stages are very different, for example, because of the different amounts of yolk they carry). Nothing is wrong about Archaeopteryx — Sir Fred Hoyle’s claim of forgery were easily and quickly disproven, and several new specimens of Archie have been discovered in the decades since, not to mention lots of other ancient birds and near-birds. Nothing is wrong about Lucy, Java Man, or the Neandertalers — if you think otherwise, please explain. Horse evolution is very well documented: it’s not a pole, as it was illustrated in the 19th century and unfortunately in general textbooks till much later, but a tree. Google for it. And what’s up with vestigial organs?

    8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?

    Note the misuse of “theories”.

    Firstly, “equal time” is a bit silly. Some ideas require more time for explanation than others. Creationism is just “goddidit” — evolution is more complicated than that. Secondly, did you follow this link? Its point is that Christianity is not the only religion with a creation myth. You’d have to teach literally hundreds of such stories. That would easily fill up an entire school year, and I don’t just mean the biology classes. Thirdly, we are talking about the USA. According to the big-C Constitution, you are allowed to teach either all religious ideas of creation or none. Given the aforementioned time constraints, it’s much easier to teach none of them and to teach science instead.

    9. What are you risking if you are wrong?

    Nothing, why?

    As one of my debate opponents said, “Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening.”

    And therefore neither of them can be true, or what?

    But did you notice? Hovind or whoever changed the topic here: from evolution to religion.

    10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools?

    We aren’t. We are afraid of evolution not being sufficiently presented in public schools — plus all the problems mentioned above, such as the Constitution.

    If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.

    Wrong, see above.

    11. Aren’t you tired of faith in a system that cannot be true?

    Faith doesn’t even enter the question here, and “cannot be true” is something you will have to demonstrate. Good luck.

    Wouldn’t it be great to know the God who made you, and to accept His love and forgiveness?

    Once again a change of topic from evolution to religion…

    Sure, it would be great, if he exists in the first place. That remains to be demonstrated. Many Christians, never mind believers of other religions, agree that it can’t be.

  309. #311 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    I have tried posting to that blog at early o’clock this morning (UK time) but all comments are moderated. Still not appeared so I would guess that the usual creo rules apply, unwelcome comments get kinda lost in the ether.

    I just did it. I submitted an enormous comment on her blog that answers her comment 220 here. Because I can’t trust that she’ll actually post it, I posted it here too; it’s currently being held for approval because it has at least two links in it.

    But probably she’s just in church. She hasn’t posted any comments for several hours.

  310. #312 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    I have tried posting to that blog at early o’clock this morning (UK time) but all comments are moderated. Still not appeared so I would guess that the usual creo rules apply, unwelcome comments get kinda lost in the ether.

    I just did it. I submitted an enormous comment on her blog that answers her comment 220 here. Because I can’t trust that she’ll actually post it, I posted it here too; it’s currently being held for approval because it has at least two links in it.

    But probably she’s just in church. She hasn’t posted any comments for several hours.

  311. #313 Mikewot
    February 24, 2008

    #301 David I posted at 0330 Eastern Standard Time, which was 0830 here in the U of K. Still zip, zilch and nada. Mayhap she’s forbidden by her religion from using computers on the sabbath. But I somehow doubt it.

  312. #314 Sastra
    February 24, 2008

    One question for Andria:

    1.) Is evolution a Test for God?

    How strong is your faith that God could not and would not and did not work His will out by using evolution? Is your faith in this belief so strong you’d give up God, before you’d give up that faith? Your belief in Creationism — or your belief in God?

    Chew over that one.

    And I really don’t see whether it makes any real difference if Andria is really “Andria,” or someone only pretending to be “Andria.” We didn’t have any history with a REAL Andria to start out with. As for our efforts, even older, jaded creationists are sometimes reachable — and if it’s an atheist/evolutionist who is trolling, well, so what? Someone is always being WRONG on the internet, we’ll get the next one. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…

  313. #315 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    David, any chance you could post your comment here?

  314. #316 dave
    February 24, 2008

    Andria: “My question for Evolutionists is – where did the speck come from? Who made the speck?… It is, in fact, realistic to doubt.”

    Of course the good Darwinist answer is “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one”. From the second edition of ”On the Origin of Species” onwards. And Charles did indeed doubt, thinking the question of the existence of God was beyond his abilities, but never withdrew that statement. Evolution theory may eventually shine light on how that speck arose, but in the meantime evolution stands as the scientific explanation of diversity of life regardless of how life originated.

    Andria has illustrated well the problem with Donna Callaway’s demand that “our children” be “encouraged to debate issues”. An instant shopping list of creationist misinformation, replies to which are readily available from a huge database at TalkOrigins Archive. The place for the debate is in comparative religion, and a basic understanding of what scientists mean by evolution is needed before the debate can make any sense. Best to arrange plenty of time in school for that debate!

  315. #317 Fernando Magyar
    February 24, 2008

    Kseniya, Just for the record I’ll readily admit that it’s a bit easier to be the father figure here than it is with real life teenagers :-) However if she is indeed a 17 year old and is doing what is quite normal at that age, challenging those feeble minded adults, with her greater wisdom and intellectual prowess, she does need a reality check. Someone has to let her know that she hasn’t quite earned the right to doubt people who are experts in plumbing and car mechanics let alone those who hold advanced degrees in fields of science. If indeed she is a real 17 year old I wouldn’t give up on the possibility that she can still be reached, but it sure doesn’t sound like it will be easy. Her mind seems to be shut tighter than a clam surrounded by starfish.

  316. #318 windy
    February 24, 2008

    Someone has to let her know that she hasn’t quite earned the right to doubt people who are experts in plumbing and car mechanics let alone those who hold advanced degrees in fields of science.

    Hm? What right? I’ve worked with some students about Andria’s age and it’s wonderful when they doubt the previous results in the field. Everyone has the right to doubt, it’s just that their doubt isn’t very valuable before they test it.

  317. #319 Darrell E
    February 24, 2008

    Holy Shit! I missed all the fun.

  318. #320 DAN, THE CREATIONIST
    February 24, 2008

    I’d like to laugh at all of you, mocking andria for her beliefs, I too, am a creationist. Why believe it because it’s all you know? Many in Christianity believe that evolution only exists to absolve man’s guilty conscience – you do wrong? well, of course it’s not wrong – God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong. This allows many to live however they like. So go ahead, laugh at Christianity. Since you’ve got so much “proof” – like the Nebraska Man – such a great discovery, a pig’s tooth, and the Java nad Peking man – nothing more then monkey bones mixed with human bones. Also explain for me, how a petrified tree can run through multiple layers of the earth, is one half older then the other?

  319. #321 MAJeff
    February 24, 2008

    Not so fast, Darrell.

  320. #322 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    David, any chance you could post your comment here?

    As I mentioned, I did — and as I mentioned, it contains at least 2 links, so it’s being held for approval.

    Why believe it because it’s all you know?

    We don’t believe here. Read comment 174 again.

    (Why do you make the 309th comment if you haven’t read all of the 308 preceding comments? Why should we feel obligated to repeat ourselves all the time? Shame on you. Go back and read.)

    Many in Christianity believe that evolution only exists to absolve man’s guilty conscience – you do wrong? well, of course it’s not wrong – God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong.

    This is complete nonsense, as has been explained on this blog lots of times.

    More importantly, what you are doing here is an argument from consequences — and that’s a logical fallacy: “If the theory of evolution were true, this would mean horrible things. I don’t want horrible things to be true. Anything I don’t want to be true isn’t true. Therefore the theory of evolution isn’t true.”

    Since you’ve got so much “proof” – like the Nebraska Man

    Dude. That Nebraska Man was a peccary was discovered in the 1950s, by the very paleontologist (H. F. Osborn) who had described it as a human at first. Where do you get the idea that it’s somehow being sold as “proof of evolution”?

    and the Java nad Peking man – nothing more then monkey bones mixed with human bones.

    Then why do any of the individual bones have intermediate shapes?

    Also explain for me, how a petrified tree can run through multiple layers of the earth, is one half older then the other?

    That’s easy, for example when the layers were deposited by several successive, like yearly, floods. What’s your point?

  321. #323 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 24, 2008

    David, any chance you could post your comment here?

    As I mentioned, I did — and as I mentioned, it contains at least 2 links, so it’s being held for approval.

    Why believe it because it’s all you know?

    We don’t believe here. Read comment 174 again.

    (Why do you make the 309th comment if you haven’t read all of the 308 preceding comments? Why should we feel obligated to repeat ourselves all the time? Shame on you. Go back and read.)

    Many in Christianity believe that evolution only exists to absolve man’s guilty conscience – you do wrong? well, of course it’s not wrong – God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong.

    This is complete nonsense, as has been explained on this blog lots of times.

    More importantly, what you are doing here is an argument from consequences — and that’s a logical fallacy: “If the theory of evolution were true, this would mean horrible things. I don’t want horrible things to be true. Anything I don’t want to be true isn’t true. Therefore the theory of evolution isn’t true.”

    Since you’ve got so much “proof” – like the Nebraska Man

    Dude. That Nebraska Man was a peccary was discovered in the 1950s, by the very paleontologist (H. F. Osborn) who had described it as a human at first. Where do you get the idea that it’s somehow being sold as “proof of evolution”?

    and the Java nad Peking man – nothing more then monkey bones mixed with human bones.

    Then why do any of the individual bones have intermediate shapes?

    Also explain for me, how a petrified tree can run through multiple layers of the earth, is one half older then the other?

    That’s easy, for example when the layers were deposited by several successive, like yearly, floods. What’s your point?

  322. #324 Stanton
    February 24, 2008

    Andria was taught to be a recalcitrant moron, and deserves all of the scorn and ridicule heaped upon her, especially since she presumed to know more than actual biologists.

    You, too, deserve nothing but scorn and ridicule, as well, as you, as does Andria, use your faith as an aegis for your stupidity while arrogantly wallowing in your own ignorance in the exact same manner as pigs forced to wallow in their own filth.

    Nebraska Man was the tooth of a peccary. Scientists examined it, and reidentified it correctly, and has long since become a dusty, piddling footnote. The way creationists attempt to resurrect it in order to injure Evolutionary Biology is akin to a kindergartener pulling a 30-year old wad of gum off of the bottom of his desk to fashion into a bullet with which to slay an elephant armed with a machine gun.

    If you actually knew how to read, let alone do actual research, you would know that Peking Man and Java Man were various specimens of Homo erectus, and not “human bones mixed in with monkey bones.”

    Multi-strata trees are quite simple to explain, provided you know how to think critically at a 4th grade level, to quote EvoWiki:

    Many polystrate tree fossils form when a tree is subjected to rapid sedimentation, that is, when a tree is buried due to a flood, mudslide or volcanic ashfall (the three most common causes of rapid sedimentation). In other words, the strata that the tree passes through were laid down during the tree’s lifetime, and or time of death. All of Yellowstone’s upright petrified trees are rooted in place, having been buried alive during a prehistoric volcanic eruption. The Carboniferous fossil lycopod stumps show a series of roots that suggest that the trees were buried in floods, but continued to grow by producing more roots and adding more height to their trunks.

  323. #325 Rey Fox
    February 24, 2008

    “Many in Christianity believe that evolution only exists to absolve man’s guilty conscience – you do wrong? well, of course it’s not wrong – God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong.”

    What a profoundly unempathic thing to believe. What utter disregard for the well-being of your fellow man. To only act in an ethical way because you think some cosmic authority wrote all the rules and will punish you if you don’t follow them. What children those Christians are.

    Not that that has ANYTHING to do with what really happened in Earth’s history with regards to the diversity of life, of course. But you’re probably too blinkered to realize that.

    “So go ahead, laugh at Christianity.”

    I laugh to keep from crying.

  324. #326 DAN THE CREATIONIST
    February 24, 2008

    I’m not attempting to change anyone’s beliefs, but I like stating my own. Evolution is just as much of a belief as Creation. There’s to not a way PROVE either, is there? None of us were present when the earth was created / exploded into being.

  325. #327 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong.

    Nonsense. Humans can define right and wrong without the need for God. Indeed, philosophers have been doing this for millennia. Just go and read Socrates for an example of pre-Christian thinking on ethics.

    …if there is no God, there is no wrong. This allows many to live however they like.

    Untrue. If there is no god the ethics will not disappear into the fundament. Nor do we atheists want to life in a world free of goodness or justice. However, we will be free of the distortions of religion and we will use methods other than dogma to determine right and wrong.

    So go ahead, laugh at Christianity.

    I’m laughing at you, old son. Just you.

  326. #328 DAN THE CREATIONIST
    February 24, 2008

    I knew I’d be laughed at too, but you guys are just as steeped in your beliefs as I am – were you to go to a more creation-oriented website, you’d be laughed at too

  327. #329 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    I’m not attempting to change anyone’s beliefs, but I like stating my own.

    We noticed.

    Evolution is just as much of a belief as Creation.

    Hardly. On the one side we have physical and observed evidence of processes, we have an accumulation of data. On the other we have the mitherings of priests and holy books. To say that the science of evolution is based on belief is akin to suggesting the science of gravitation is based on belief, even though we cannot ‘see’ gravity, only its effects.

    There’s to not a way PROVE either, is there?

    There’s certainly no way to prove the existence of God. But there is a very good method–the scientific method–to prove the fact of evolution and the theory of the processes by which it occurs.

    None of us were present when the earth was created / exploded into being.

    No, but we can determine the existence of other planets from the wobbles of stars and see nebulae coalescing into stars. From these things we can infer the processes by which the Solar System and our planet formed.

  328. #330 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    I knew I’d be laughed at too, but you guys are just as steeped in your beliefs as I am

    Not really, as I have explained, there is a difference between evidence and dogma. I have confidence in the product of the scientific data, not in the ramblings of your priests.

    were you to go to a more creation-oriented website, you’d be laughed at too

    I’m sure I would. That’s why I don’t frequent such places, any more than I visit the websites of Islamic fundamentalists, UFO freaks, Scientologists or Mormons who believe that God lives on a planet circling the star Kolob. They are all hives of iniquity where people live in a world of distortion and lies.

  329. #331 DAN THE CREATIONIST
    February 24, 2008

    an “accumulation of data”? this is data that we’ve observed over, what 100 years? Yet, you claim it’s existed millions – many dating methods for fossilized material are inaccurate, you can’t tell me that dating tools being 150 million years off at a time is accurate…

  330. #332 Stanton
    February 24, 2008

    I’m not attempting to change anyone’s beliefs, but I like stating my own. Evolution is just as much of a belief as Creation. There’s to not a way PROVE either, is there? None of us were present when the earth was created / exploded into being.

    How can I put this?

    DAN, you and Andria are trapped in shackles of ignorance, and the way you strut about, flaunting your manacles is a blasphemous affront to all sentient organisms.

    “Evolution” is both a group of scientific theories that define the totality of Modern Biology, Agriculture and Medicine, AND is a fact that has been observed and demonstrated by humans for well over 12 millennia. “Creationism” is neither a theory nor a fact that can be demonstrated. In fact, creationists have demonstrated that they are not only physically incapable of demonstrating the truth, they are totally unwilling to attempt to experimentally verify and validate Creationism as either a fact or a theory.

    And if either of you actually possessed enough oxygenated braincells to bring yourselves within 10 miles of a beginning course in Geology or Astronomy, you would have realized that the Earth did not explode into existence, it came into existence from dust and debris that coalesced together while a primordial dustcloud orbited the sun when the solar system first formed. This was not directly observed, but is implied due to observations of other stars in giant dustclouds, as well as applications of scientific deduction and knowledge of elementary physics.

    Furthermore, DAN, do you honestly think that all criminals who have committed crimes without any eyewitnesses never actually committed any crimes, or are you being stupid on purpose?

  331. #333 raven
    February 24, 2008

    Dan being ignorant:

    I’m not attempting to change anyone’s beliefs, but I like stating my own. Evolution is just as much of a belief as Creation. There’s to not a way PROVE either, is there? None of us were present when the earth was created / exploded into being.

    Hey Dan, were you in the Garden of Eden, at Jesus Cruxification, when Moses got the 10 commandments? by your reasoning Xianity can’t be proven.

    How about when Columbus discovered America? When the pyramids were being built? Or Teotihuacan?

    We infer lots of things by the evidence left behind.

    As to evolution being a belief, that is a creo lie. It is a fact and a theory. BTW, moron we see evolution in action around us every day. A freshman student can evolve something. It is a serious problem for medicine and agriculture. Ever hear of MDR TB, influenza, drug resistant Staph, BT resistant bollworms, DTT resistant mosquitos. Every time a patient dies of a drug resistant cancer, virus, or bacterial disease evolution is proven.

  332. #334 Stanton
    February 24, 2008

    an “accumulation of data”? this is data that we’ve observed over, what 100 years? Yet, you claim it’s existed millions – many dating methods for fossilized material are inaccurate, you can’t tell me that dating tools being 150 million years off at a time is accurate…

    If you actually knew how to read, people have been gathering data, geological, as well as biological, for hundreds of years, especially at the start of the Renaissance.

    Furthermore, there are several methods of radiometric dating available, each of which has a specific range and margin of error.

    The only reason why creationists allege that radiometric dating is inaccurate and untrustworthy is because they deliberately misuse these methods, often by deliberately using the wrong methods to date a particular substance.

  333. #335 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    Stanton brings up an excellent point. In jury trials there are rarely smoking guns and often take place without the aid of unimpeachable eyewitnesses. By definition juries cannot have witnessed the crime, so judges direct juries to convict if the evidence puts guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Science works in an analogous manner. There are many physical, biological and astronomical processes we cannot witness directly, maybe because the timescales are too long or too short for us to observe. However, we can accumulate evidence that puts the matter beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Star and planet formation is an example of just such an area of science. We know from observations that planets exist outside our solar system–they are now finding evidence of rocky planets as well as gas giants–and we can see star formation in various stages around the galaxy. From this jigsaw we have pieced together an excellent model of how the solar system formed–one in which we have great confidence.

  334. #336 RamblinDude
    February 24, 2008

    David’s post finally arrived-303#. Dude, you’re awesome.

  335. #337 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 24, 2008

    an “accumulation of data”? this is data that we’ve observed over, what 100 years?

    Longer than that. But at least it is recent data, and much fresher, more reliable and checkable than your holy books, which are over 2000 years old and have been the subject of considerable mistranslation and misinterpretation since then.

    What are we to make of the mistranslation of the Aramaic word ‘naggar’ to describe Joseph as a carpenter? Or the translation of the Hebrew word ‘almah’ (or ‘young woman’) to mean virgin (or ‘betulah’ in Hebrew)?

    Why does the gospel of Luke claim that a Roman census took place when Quirinius was governor and Herod King of Judaea when Quirinius was never governor of Syria during Herod’s reign of 37 BCE to 4 BCE? And indeed the only census we can find is the one mentioned by Josephus as taking place in 6 CE?

    Why does the fourth gospel pointedly state that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem but came from Galilee?

    Why is so much of Christian belief based on folklore rather than the words of the Bible? For example, Luke never states that Jesus was born in a stable. Only that he was placed in a manger because there was no place (‘topos’) in the ‘kataluma’, a Greek word more readily translated as ‘room’ rather than ‘inn’. The suggestion is that a manger was brought into a room and used as an improvised cradle, and yet non-canonical Christian belief would have it otherwise. Why is that?

    Given that the Gospels were written many years after Jesus’s death (the earliest are usually placed at 50-55 CE) the factual basis for even the New testament starts to look shaky.

  336. #338 Janine
    February 24, 2008

    Concerning David Marjanovi?, OM work on comment 303. It has been shown that the parrot named Andria pulled her list of questions from the hazy mists of Creationistland. I would suggest that some people should tuck away David’s work so that immediate answers can be posted the next time some creationist feels the need to shake our convictions to the core. David took the time to answer those questions, no one else should have to take time do the drudge work.

  337. #339 Carlie
    February 24, 2008

    Absolutely. I’m saving a file of that post now, in fact. Just be sure to give him the proper credit when it’s used! (speaking as a professor who has written “cite here” on more papers than she can recall)

  338. #340 Yossarian
    February 24, 2008

    Dan,

    I can’t believe some of us are answering your questions when they’re EXACTLY the same questions asked by Andria — and answered by us much earlier in the thread.

    Here’s a hint — you see that vertical bar at the side of your browser with the up and down arrows? That’s a SCROLL BAR. It allows you to move the text up and down your screen — meaning you can read back on all the work that’s been posted here so far!

    In fact, if you have one of these fancy mouses with a wheel in between the buttons, you can even be lazy like me and whiz that thing around to save having to move the mouse ALL THE WAY to the scroll bar.

    So, scroll back. Read the answers already given. If you don’t understand something, or wish to take issue then by all means do so. Otherwise, save us the headache of going through this all over again.

  339. #341 Janine
    February 24, 2008

    Carlie, you are correct. I was going to also comment that it has to be credited to David Marjanovi? but it seemed too obvious to me. I should not make that kind of assumption.

  340. #342 Carlie
    February 24, 2008

    Janine, it was just in my mind because I’ve written that, like, a zillion times just in the last couple of days(!) Nothing like getting your mind stuck in a rut.

  341. #343 Physicalist
    February 24, 2008

    @ David Marjanovi?, OM (#303): Wow! You’re an Übermensch!

  342. #344 Stevie_C
    February 24, 2008

    Creationists are really starting to depress me.
    ow can anyone not see the circular reasoning and non-logic of their arguments. Down is Up and left is right. It’s bizarre.

    Evolutionists WOULD CHANGE THEIR MIND if evidence showed that theory doesn’t hold up. But as we’ve seen over 150 years, the evidence only gets stronger. It’s not a belief its time tested, fact based science.

    Creationism is backwards faith. Delusion. Stupidity.
    We mock them not because we hate christians, but because they continue to ignore the evidence and defend their ignorance and the embracing of lies.

    It’s sad.

  343. #345 windy
    February 24, 2008

    “[How did] Sea horses evolve?” No idea. I’m not an ichthyologist.

    A seahorse is just an upright pipefish with a fancier brood pouch but a more boring sex life.

    There is no difference between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. Biologists invented these terms in the early 20th century when evolution wasn’t well understood yet. It has since turned out that the terms are useless.

    Well, some biologists like Larry Moran would disagree. But when I (and others) have asked him to clarify why macroevolution is not just repeated rounds of microevolution, the answers have had a tinge of the Courtier’s Reply.

    “24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?” See above on the lack of a difference between “micro-” and “macroevolution”. Also see above for the treelike pattern of similarities among organisms. Also see above for how science works: you should ask “is there one clear prediction of the theory of evolution that has proven wrong, and is there one clear prediction of the speculation of creationism that has proven wrong?”

    Also Tiktaalik or any such example of a succesful prediction of a fossil’s age and characteristics could be mentioned as a really hands-on prediction come true… But I don’t want to start back seat driving here, since you already did such a huge job!

  344. #346 mothra
    February 24, 2008

    I’m VERY late to this party and it took a few hours to go through the comments. As others have posted, it is quite possible that the entity ‘Andrea’ does not exist.
    ____
    I realize, though, that this is a dead-end where debate is concerned, because none of you will change, and I will not change. I was the lucky one to happen upon all of you on a random Saturday, and be blessed with all of your obvious wit. Imagine! Here I thought I was just randomly posting a query to someone else’s opinion on a random blog! And it seems I have become the only defender of faith, God, and a divine Creation.
    ____

    If Andrea is a real person, her adolescent mind is yet too unformed to understand consequences of actions. She somehow thinks this is ‘just a debate.’

    Expanding slightly on Ksenyia’s excellent (#228) post.
    The insult is greater than the lives of dedicated scientists, it is almost an abject hatred of humanity. We already know what a Christian world is like- the Dark Ages. We also know in fair detail what a pre-Christian, semi ‘western’ civilization was like- ancient Greece. Yes, Greece had problems of slavery and sexism- these are cross-cultural problems. The ‘Dark Ages’ endured for 1000 years, this is almost 59 Andrea lifetimes. What talents went undeveloped, what genius failed to bloom, One thousand crushing years of nothing but day-to-day existence.

    Andrea has not the slighest clue how lucky she is!! She can sit at a computer and converse with educated people the world over. Pliny lost his life because he wished to observe a volcano. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake simply for speculating that other planets might have life. Galileo lived under house arrest for the last decades of his life because he simply asked people to look at the evidence. Charles Darwin did not publish for decades out of fear! Madam Curie died of cancer, her discoveries were the first links in a chain that ultimately provides cures for some forms of cancer. The accumulated knowledge of 150 years of science is at Andrea’s fingertips! How lucky! Gregor Mendel founded modern genetics- his work was overlooked, the principles of heredity were independently rediscovered three times and the researchers ascribed the discovery back to Mendel. So, there is this shining example of scientific integrity (not plagiarism) as heritage passed on to Andrea. How lucky! Her grandparents did not die of small pox, that her parents were not crippled by polio. How lucky! She is living in the United States where there is easy uncensored access to the internet and a free exchange of ideas. How lucky! And she throws it all away on on superstition and dishonesty- what a damned fool!

  345. #347 woowoozy
    February 24, 2008

    David Marjanovi? — Thank you for putting the responses to Andria’s/Hovind’s questions together…way beyond the call of duty, that. I hope you won’t mind if I use this material when these assinine questions get posted. (Properly attributed, of course). I just spent two days arguing some of these points on another blog with a particularly vehement and insulting creobot. Your list could have save a LOT of time. You ARE the man.

  346. #348 mothra
    February 24, 2008

    @Dan the Creo- My comment, #337, mostly applies to YOU as well. Your ignorance, demonstrated by participation and statements in support of the ignorance of others, is perhaps greater. Are you older than 17? Your IgQ is even higher and you are not worth debating until after you learn to read.

  347. #349 mothra
    February 24, 2008

    We need a ‘Molly of the year’ award. The first nominee must be David Marjanovic.

  348. #350 Stanton
    February 24, 2008

    Mothra, I would think that David would have some stiff competition for “Molly of the Year,” especially what with your post in #337, and all.

  349. #351 Dave Godfrey
    February 24, 2008

    I think macroevolution is a useful term when discussing long term evolutionary trends, like Cope’s Rule for instance.

    It doesn’t mean that we aren’t seeing repeated rounds of “microevolution”, just that on longer timescales different things come into view that aren’t necessarily obvious from the short-term experiments and observations implied by “microevolution”.

    There might well be some kind of higher-order selection going on between lineages, but its going to be fairly arm-wavy in its descriptions and predictions, and in the end comes down to the individual organisms’ success or lack thereof.

  350. #352 Michael X
    February 24, 2008

    That monster of a reply was brilliant David. I’ve saved that momma for when I eventually receive the same list of Hovind’s questions. Because it will happen.

  351. #353 MartinM
    February 24, 2008

    e.g., women shouldn’t be allowed to make their own reproductive decisions because what if they aborted a time-traveling Dr. Who??!!

    …eh?

    She-bears get all the truly high-quality crazy, apparently. It’s not fair :(

  352. #354 Rick T.
    February 24, 2008

    Many in Christianity believe that evolution only exists to absolve man’s guilty conscience – you do wrong? well, of course it’s not wrong – God defined wrong, if there is no God, there is no wrong. This allows many to live however they like.

    Of all the things that pisses me off about Creationists this irks me the most. Don’t get me wrong. Ignoring so much in the fossil record indicating human evolution such as Australopithecus Afarensis and Africanus, Homo Erectus, etc. (these are from my over 30 year old education) plus more recent finds that shed new light on the subject. For shit’s sake we have footprints recorded in an ash flow. Yet, all Dan mentions is a pig tooth as proof that evolution is wrong. All it proves is that some scientist got a little excited and made a mistake. Hey Dan, remember when those nut jobs dressed in white and went up on a hill to wait for Jesus to come and rapture them away? Why wasn’t that proof enough for you that Christianity is crap? Same idea.
    Anyway, I was watching PBS today and heard an old American Indian woman asking where was the conscience of the settlers and the military when they slaughtered most of her tribe when she was a little girl. We called it manifest destiny. God wanted us to expand west, kill or subdue the heathens. Yet it seems to me she, not being a Christian, had a sense of morality. She knew what happened to her tribe was wrong and she couldn’t understand how anyone could be so completely amoral. And Christians I suppose.
    So, don’t be so ignorant as to tell me that without God I have no morality. I sometimes wonder if it’s an inverse relationship. The less of God belief the more the sense of morality. But maybe I’m speaking from anger at what I see coming from people like you.
    We could have avoided the dark ages if Hypatia was not taken out of the library at Alexandria and skinned alive followed by the destruction of the library and it’s contents. By whom? A godly man who was bishop of Alexandria determined to please God. It set in motion the destruction of all knowledge that didn’t jive with orthodox Christianity. Is this what you are trying to do today?
    Please get somewhat of an education. Even a little is better than none. Don’t be hell bent to drive us back into the dark ages. Have some morals, please.

  353. #355 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    Aaaaaand…. now it’s Rick T. adding to the list of Molly-worthy comments on this thread!

    8′D

    Here’s another Molly-worthy remark:

    If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such thing exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in Protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God.

    Thank you, Thomas Jefferson.

  354. #356 Kseniya
    February 24, 2008

    By the way, it does look as if Andria is letting all the comments through on her blog.

  355. #357 thalarctos
    February 24, 2008

    She-bears get all the truly high-quality crazy, apparently. It’s not fair :(

    LOL, MartinM! :)

  356. #358 thalarctos
    February 24, 2008

    Anyway, I was watching PBS today and heard an old American Indian woman asking where was the conscience of the settlers and the military when they slaughtered most of her tribe when she was a little girl. We called it manifest destiny. God wanted us to expand west, kill or subdue the heathens. Yet it seems to me she, not being a Christian, had a sense of morality. She knew what happened to her tribe was wrong and she couldn’t understand how anyone could be so completely amoral.

    Rick, you remind me of a story of a morality that I can only aspire to: you mentioned Manifest Destiny, and in addition, Kit Carson carried out a scorched earth policy against the Navajo. This policy culminated in the Long Walk, driving the Navajo out of their homes 300+ miles away, and killing many along the way to disease, malnutrition, and exhaustion.

    After people were permitted to return to their homes, the government carried out intermittent culling of the Navajo herds of sheep. Not being Navajo, I won’t pretend to speak to what that meant to people who went through it, but many Navajo have written about how traumatic those events were. These are not ancient history, either; they are in living memory to people, their parents, and their grandparents.

    Yet, here’s the thing–after all those government policy atrocities carried out against them, when the US was attacked in WWII, the Navajo signed up for the US military to defend the land. The Code Talkers are justly, if belatedly, famous for their service, and it’s generally known that without the Code Talkers, the US may well have lost Iwo Jima and other crucial battles in the Pacific Theater.

    To me, that’s morality of the highest order–to endure all those atrocities, and then to rise above them to help the very same people who perpetrated those atrocities against them in the name of Christianity and civilization. It positively gives me the chills to think about it.

  357. #359 Monado, FCD
    February 25, 2008

    Now, where were we? The origin of the universe, matter, space, or life – not part of evolution.

    “I believe in microevolution but not macroevolution”: See Carl Zimmer’s book, “Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs,” And consider whether it makes sense to say that erosion can cause gullies in fields but not river valleys.

    Most of the other questions: We’re on it, see standard literature on evolution.

  358. #360 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    February 25, 2008

    Virtue, morals and ethics are not unique to the Godly. Indeed, the Godless may have the better of it, for they are free of the distortions and errors of religion.

  359. #361 warren
    February 25, 2008

    FWIW
    A little backgorund info on the writer of andria’s questions-

    Hovind is currently serving a ten-year term in Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield in Edgefield, South Carolina, for 58 tax offenses, obstructing federal agents and related charges.[4]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind

    [4]http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=NameSearch&needingMoreList=false&LastName=Hovind&Middle=&FirstName=Kent&Race=U&Sex=U&Age=&x=19&y=12

  360. #362 Heather Kuhn
    February 25, 2008

    Kseniya at 166:
    I think I spotted an error in that list you linked to:

    6. WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW DID LIFE COME FROM DEAD MATTER?

    [These are starting to become close to biology yet are more accurately the venue of biogenesis or biopeseis. The "when" is understood to have been about 10 billion years ago -- perhaps at early as 14 billion years. The "where" is understood to have been highly likely to have been volcanic vents under the oceans. The "why" is an unscientific question devoid of meaning in a scientific context -- not to mention an absurdity as there is no need for a "why" in any event. - flr]

    Looks to me like the timing’s off by 6.5-10.5 billion years… which starts putting into age of the Universe range.

  361. #363 Prazzie
    February 25, 2008

    DAN THE CREATIONIST wrote: “None of us were present when the earth was created / exploded into being.”

    Lol. What on earth are you on about? Why don’t you make TODAY the day that you go outside of your cave of illusions and join the real world?

    That the earth was “created” (I assume you mean by a “Creator”) is not the only option and that the earth “exploded into being” is one I have ever heard before (but thanks, that made me laugh out loud).

    If you meant the Big Bang and the time that the universe “exploded into being”, unfortunately Fred Hoyle mockingly called the initial expansion a “big bang” and it’s become an easy way to identify people talking out of their asses. Like you. The Big Bang is a misnomer and “explosion” is a bad analogy.

    I don’t know off which cereal box you got your education, but it’s time to invest in some books. Also, I’d recommend the “output only” approach when using a pc, so if you could put your keyboard into storage and only use a mouse for a year or so, that would be lovely. Thanks.

  362. #364 Prazzie
    February 25, 2008

    Correction to my previous post: “is one I have Never heard before”.

    Seriously, I nearly had a Coca-Cola through nose EXPLOSION happening there. Earth exploded into being. *shakes head*

  363. #365 pedlar
    February 25, 2008

    Late in the day but one more Wow! for David Marjanovi?, OM at #303

    Just two quick points.

    1. Seems to be a glitch at:

    19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?

    AsteriscMost of the intermediates are still alive. The form most widespread today, which uses water as the hydrogen source, is the chemically most difficult one and came last. …

    I’d love to see that corrected.

    2. The exchange:

    20. *How did thought evolve?

    We’re working on it.

    is admirable concise and accurate. But may I suggest the alternative reply:

    “Define thought.”

    Let’s try to make them do a little work at least.

  364. #366 Kseniya
    February 25, 2008

    the earth “exploded into being”

    Yes! Sort like this!

  365. #367 Dan S.
    February 25, 2008

    Late in the day but one more Wow! for David Marjanovi?, OM at #303

    Make that two more. Wow. Shiny.

  366. #368 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 25, 2008

    What are we to make of the mistranslation of the Aramaic word ‘naggar’ to describe Joseph as a carpenter?

    What does it mean, then?

    @ David Marjanovi?, OM (#303): Wow! You’re an Übermensch!

    Hm. Last time I was accused of having the patience of a saint, I pointed out I simply have the perseverance of a nerd. I simply sat down yesterday afternoon (actually, that’s a lie, I was already sitting), started writing, and wrote and wrote without interruption till it was finished. As I predicted, it was very easy, it took nothing but time, and I suck at estimating the time required for anything anyway.

    I have several symptoms of Asperger’s “syndrome”. I just mentioned three. :-)

    Too bad I was too tired in the evening to get anything else done, like writing the contract for my cosupervised thesis to try for the 3rd time to satisfy all the bizarre bureaucrats. Will have to do that this evening.

    A seahorse is just an upright pipefish with a fancier brood pouch but a more boring sex life.

    Wow, great explanation. Anyone who wants to cite my comment, please cite this, too (windy, # 336).

    And, yes, mentioning Tiktaalik wouldn’t exactly have hurt.

    Pliny lost his life because he wished to observe a volcano.

    During the eruption that buried Pompei, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.

    Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake simply for speculating that other planets might have life.

    Not quite. He asked if Jesus had also died for the “men on other stars”. Somehow (I don’t know how) this had theological implications that someone didn’t like.

    …way beyond the call of duty, that.

    If I worried about duty, I wouldn’t procrastinate here in the first place!!!

    I think macroevolution is a useful term when discussing long term evolutionary trends, like Cope’s Rule for instance.

    Not a bad point, but with all the terminological confusion I think it’s enough to just say “evolution over longer timespans”. Whether Cope’s Rule ever applies, BTW, remains to be seen — of the few papers that have studied the question, those that have used reasonably sophisticated math have all failed to find evidence for Cope’s Rule.

    I’d love to see that corrected.

    It was deliberate: the question (and all following ones) began with a pointless asterisc, so I did the same to my first answer, except I spelled the asterisc out in an attempt of parody.

    “Define thought.”

    Good point. Very good point. Could maybe be seen as a cop-out, though. — On the other hand, you’re right I didn’t think of it. I tried to convey the fact that the science of neurobiology is hard at work, and once we’ve figured out what thought actually is, that should give us plenty of clues by itself.

    And now I’ll go over to Andria’s blog to see what, if anything, has happened there… :-)

  367. #369 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 25, 2008

    What are we to make of the mistranslation of the Aramaic word ‘naggar’ to describe Joseph as a carpenter?

    What does it mean, then?

    @ David Marjanovi?, OM (#303): Wow! You’re an Übermensch!

    Hm. Last time I was accused of having the patience of a saint, I pointed out I simply have the perseverance of a nerd. I simply sat down yesterday afternoon (actually, that’s a lie, I was already sitting), started writing, and wrote and wrote without interruption till it was finished. As I predicted, it was very easy, it took nothing but time, and I suck at estimating the time required for anything anyway.

    I have several symptoms of Asperger’s “syndrome”. I just mentioned three. :-)

    Too bad I was too tired in the evening to get anything else done, like writing the contract for my cosupervised thesis to try for the 3rd time to satisfy all the bizarre bureaucrats. Will have to do that this evening.

    A seahorse is just an upright pipefish with a fancier brood pouch but a more boring sex life.

    Wow, great explanation. Anyone who wants to cite my comment, please cite this, too (windy, # 336).

    And, yes, mentioning Tiktaalik wouldn’t exactly have hurt.

    Pliny lost his life because he wished to observe a volcano.

    During the eruption that buried Pompei, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.

    Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake simply for speculating that other planets might have life.

    Not quite. He asked if Jesus had also died for the “men on other stars”. Somehow (I don’t know how) this had theological implications that someone didn’t like.

    …way beyond the call of duty, that.

    If I worried about duty, I wouldn’t procrastinate here in the first place!!!

    I think macroevolution is a useful term when discussing long term evolutionary trends, like Cope’s Rule for instance.

    Not a bad point, but with all the terminological confusion I think it’s enough to just say “evolution over longer timespans”. Whether Cope’s Rule ever applies, BTW, remains to be seen — of the few papers that have studied the question, those that have used reasonably sophisticated math have all failed to find evidence for Cope’s Rule.

    I’d love to see that corrected.

    It was deliberate: the question (and all following ones) began with a pointless asterisc, so I did the same to my first answer, except I spelled the asterisc out in an attempt of parody.

    “Define thought.”

    Good point. Very good point. Could maybe be seen as a cop-out, though. — On the other hand, you’re right I didn’t think of it. I tried to convey the fact that the science of neurobiology is hard at work, and once we’ve figured out what thought actually is, that should give us plenty of clues by itself.

    And now I’ll go over to Andria’s blog to see what, if anything, has happened there… :-)

  368. #370 John C. Welch
    February 25, 2008

    You know, it’s funny, the whole “must not use terms others don’t like” thing. Carlie is defending women’s rights to not hear sexist language, someone else is defending their rights to not hear anti-homosexual language, there’s a third saying no racist language.

    What’s it all mean to me? That I am now perhaps very reluctant to comment here, unless I have occasion and time, and inclination to vet everything I say through people who aren’t me. Why? because I am, like everyone else, am unable to look at things except through my own head, and it’s obvious, from the comments here, that my sense of humor and ability to follow the wisdom of “if someone says something that can be taken two ways, and one of them makes you angry or upset, assume they meant it the other way” means that I am simply not qualified to make a comment that will not be offensive.

    Of course, I’m kind of screwed here. My wife, and closest female friends use “Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch” more than reruns of Chappelle. (That’s actually pretty mild for my friends. I’ve an ex-girlfriend who likes to freak people out by telling the story of how she lost her virginity as “It was lovely…soft lights, music softly playing, the gun at my head, my underroos being slowly pulled down”. Making people curl into a ball while moaning “make the bad lady go away” is a hobby for her. She works in customer service, they skew mean.) This kind of behavior holds through various other friends with different orientations and racial backgrounds than mine. In other words, where’s a link with “normal” people to vet shit?

    It seems that, anymore, people are expected to somehow magically, (because that’s the only possible mechanism for this to work), divine how everyone else is going to take something. that’s the only way to not offend anyone, at the end of the day. You have to be able to know how everyone on the planet will take what you say, or at least everyone who might read it, and then edit what you say until no one can be offended. I understand Communications 101, the receiver determines content more than the sender, but at some point, the receiver has to do a *little* work.

    This, honestly, is bullshit, and the way this attitude of “Don’t ever offend me” is imposed on people is bullshit too. Carlie did NOT start out with a calm “Hey, I know a lot of people find that funny, but I’m not sure how you really mean it, and since most people wouldn’t be able to, you might want to consider not using that without better context.”

    That would have been a logical, reasonable response, one that would have created a better opening for a reasonable dialog. Instead, essentially ignoring the fact that J did provide context, we get

    J – Inappropriate. Even as a parody statement, which is the way I assume it was meant in the original clip. Don’t.

    That is not reasonable, nor is it even barely polite. It is Carlie telling J how to behave.

    But, because it’s done from a certain POV, that’s okay. Because obviously, that’s just patently offensive, right? Well, the problem is, no, it’s not. it is to *some* people, but not *all* people. You’d have a hard time proving even *most* people. You can’t even prove most women here. I got what J meant, so did my wife. Last time we checked, she’s a woman. Her reaction to Carlie was “of the two, her behavior is worse. At worst, J’s guilty of inappropriate comments for the site. But telling someone else “don’t”? I admire J’s restraint, my response would have been two words, and only the “you” would have been nice.” So for every “OMG, OFFENSIVE” view, there’s another “OMG, HILARIOUS” view, and a third that is too apathetic for the “OMG”. And millions of variations in between.

    That viewpoint, that “all offensive speech must be slapped down” is presumptive, offensive, and ultimately self-defeating. Presumptive, because for Carlie (or whomever is doing it in a given case) to be right, we have to assume that she has correctly taken up the mantle of all women everywhere, and can be assumed to speak for them, at least in a majorityy. Good luck with proving that. Offensive, because honestly, when you want another grown adult to behave in a certain way, I was taught that words like “Please” are used, not “Don’t”. It’s self-defeating, because it doesn’t work. Now, we have the word “canadian” slowly becoming the new “nigger”. Yeah. We turned “nigger” into the “n-word”, and what changed? Nothing, because now the racist fucknuts say “Canadian”. (linkage: http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2008/01/wow_banning_words_really_does.html )

    if you succeed in banning a word, people will find a new one. In its own twisted way “Canadian” is brilliant, because you’re going to have a REAL hard time turning “Canadian” into the “C-word”, (capitalized to differentiate it from the other “c-word”, thus avoiding the confusion that exists with the “f-words”. Maybe one of them should be capitalized? But what if we have a third “f-word”? Shit. We’ll be fucked then.) I don’t think Canadians are going to allow themselves to be called “C-words”, and based on history, I’m positive it wouldn’t work anyway. Not that people will stop trying to achieve harmony via banning “bad” words. It’s never worked, and no one has even slowed down.

    Maybe, and this is, I know, totally nuts, maybe, before assuming offense, we could occasionally take ten fucking minutes and try to get some proof. The irony of someone on the side of science, castigating someone who is defending baseless assumptions, then using baseless assumptions to determine what’s in someone’ s head and further attempt to dictate “proper” modes of behavior based on those same baseless assumptions is beyond rich. It makes my jaw hurt, from dropping open so fast.

    If a word or phrase really, really makes you feel offended, then instead of Carlie’s tactics, (look how good they didn’t work), why not just bloody ask? “Hey, what did you mean by that?” Is it that hard? Personally, I’d be tempted to quote Rollins at you, (“Anyone who can make you lose your temper can control your life”) and say that you need to spend less time being offended at words, and more time dealing with the root causes. But that would just piss people off, and offend someone, the idea of self-esteem and self-image being the responsibility of the self, and not the other no longer being in vogue.

    But is it that impossible to take the extra time to find out the real story, before dictating behavior? Isn’t that the primary idea of science? Take the time to find out what’s really happening before you base actions on theory? It would seem to me that this would be an excellent behavioral mode for outside of the lab as well.

    (recommended reading/listening: The collected works of George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor)

  369. #371 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 25, 2008

    Yes, Andria has let both of my comments through, and several others as well. I must say such moral behavior is unusual for a creationist. There’s hope for her :^)

  370. #372 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 25, 2008

    Yes, Andria has let both of my comments through, and several others as well. I must say such moral behavior is unusual for a creationist. There’s hope for her :^)

  371. #373 deathadder
    February 25, 2008

    Just to toss in my 2cents. You creationists are freaks. There is no god or heaven or hell and the bible is fiction. Go stick that in your pipe and smoke it and shut the hell up. Wackos.

  372. #374 Janine
    February 25, 2008

    Yeah, that will work. That will smack down the most devout of believers.

  373. #375 Mikewot
    February 25, 2008

    Re post #361 My comment has also been allowed, which is remarkable. Unfortunately she doesn’t actually seem to have done anything ‘with’ them other than publish.
    David Marjanovi?, OM you have my respect for answering such a long (and bizarre) post, a worthy Molly holder :-)

  374. #376 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 25, 2008

    Here is a comment that I have submitted to Andria’s blog:

    T. Bruce McNeely said…

    Evolution (devised by woman-hater Charles Darwin)

    You know, that little dig really annoys the Hell out of me. Your other stuff has been countered thoroughly in the other comments, both here and on Pharyngula.
    This casual bit of slander just demonstrates your foolish bigotry, since there is no evidence that Darwin was a woman-hater. He was a devoted husband who loved his wife and family. His favourite child was his daughter Annie, whom he lost to scarlet fever when she was still a child. He never recovered from this, and it is thought that Darwin’s loss of faith in God resulted from this tragedy.
    When I read that dig, I really don’t feel like giving you the benefit of the doubt. You are a bigot.

    February 25, 2008 11:39 AM

  375. #377 pedlar
    February 25, 2008

    At #359:

    What are we to make of the mistranslation of the Aramaic word ‘naggar’ to describe Joseph as a carpenter?

    What does it mean, then?

    Builder, or all round handyman. Or so I was told. But that’s second-hand knowledge. Corrections welcome.

  376. #378 deathadder
    February 25, 2008

    @Janine:

    There is no smacking down of the most devout of believers. No amount of evidence or logic is ever going to change their minds. Ever! Whether you use facts, evidence, proof, or name calling the end results are the same. They will continue to live in their fantasy land. No amount of “debate” can change that. They are not interested in debate, they are interested in their fantasy land and trying to get as many to join them in it. There is no debate here, it is a war.

  377. #379 Carlie
    February 25, 2008

    John, if you really want to think about it beyond “that mean hypersensitive lady doesn’t want me to use shitty terms without thinking about it first”, try reading a nice summary of using the word bitch here and why it’s useful to call out even inadvertent use of that language here.
    Other than that, you’re not baiting me into discussing it further. That thread diversion finished off a few dozen comments ago, and there’s absolutely no reason to resurrect it.

  378. #380 DAN THE CREATIONIST
    February 25, 2008

    far be it from be to lead you all into more heated debates, but you’ll find quite a few people who back up me and andrea here, http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?s=db49d41c1f6f5fb3bab59d2463b51fbe&showforum=20

  379. #381 Catherine
    February 25, 2008

    Hey Dan- Any of those peeps over there a scientist? You happen to be on a scientist’s blog and are engaging with ACTUAL SCIENTISTS right now so why don’t you either listen to what they are saying or just stay where you feel safe and warm with your sky daddy. The deal is so over. Creationism is religion, not science. Get on with your life.

  380. #382 Kseniya
    February 25, 2008

    Dan, the validity of scientific findings is not determined by a popular consensus of the ill-informed. Shut your little eyes, close your little minds, stamp your little feet, chant your little chants and spread your little lies. You’ll still be wrong.

  381. #383 Richard Simons
    February 25, 2008
    At #359:

    What are we to make of the mistranslation of the Aramaic word ‘naggar’ to describe Joseph as a carpenter?

    What does it mean, then?

    Builder, or all round handyman. Or so I was told. But that’s second-hand knowledge. Corrections welcome.

    I also looked it up and found from a couple of sites that it is basically equivalent to ‘craftsman’ but that it was also used to mean ‘scholar’.

  382. #384 Ira Fews
    February 26, 2008

    Fucktards like Donna Calloway make my stomach churn, not just because they are abysmally ignorant but because they are hypocrites. This walking, wailing bunghole goes on and on about how this is about “the children.” Yet what if the science standards had somehow been crafted in total parallel with creationist views and the real scientific community had risen up in vocal and rightful protest? Calloway and her Christarded buddies magically become silent about issues like “fairness” and “both sides” and “the children” when they have a shot at brainwashing kids unchallenged. Fucking vermin is what they are, and someone should take a wrecking ball to their churches.

  383. #385 John C. Welch
    February 26, 2008

    Carlie:

    1) Show me how banning a word has ever measurably improved human conditions on a reasonably permanent basis. Along with that, would you care to take into account that a word can, and does have very different usage issues depending not only on what country you’re in, but what part of the country, etc.

    2) Nice way to reduce my points down to “wah, I can’t say bitch anymore”. That’s not what I meant, but way to reduce any argument you disapprove of to dismissable jargon so you can feel superior. I would hope that’s not your tactic in a professional setting.

    3) Somehow, were I breathlessly agreeing with you, and nodding along to your every word like some bobblehead, I doubt you’d have any problems with my comment.

    4) When one of your links is an article saying “Oh, MEN can’t say “cunt” but women can, as long as they say it in a way I approve of, and I’ll completely ignore all cultural differences on the use of the word, because that would then kill my argument that it’s always bad and can never be used. Unless *I* use it, or some other woman uses it in a way I approve of”, forgive me if I don’t take such blatant hypocrisy seriously. Again, if someone is going to dictate language use, then they better show a better level of authority than verbosity.

    5) Funny how comments you don’t agree with are “baiting”. That’s a repeat of 3), but worth bringing up a second time.

    Perhaps next time you wish to attempt to “correct” another adult’s use of a word that you dislike, you’ll do it in a more polite, peer to peer way, instead of from an ill-assumed “parent wannabe” role. That caused you more problems than anything else.

  384. #386 John C. Welch
    February 26, 2008

    Oh, and for those wondering why FL. is just so fucknuttio whacky; I grew up in Miami in the 70s and early 80s. Lived there again in the 90s. I’m more surprised when FL is NOT being collectively batshit crazy.

    You almost have to live there for a decade or so, to really grasp how COMPLETELY insane that state is. For example, in the same high school, where I was getting a solid science and Math education, (Coral Gables High, class of ’84. Our Motto: Our Mascot is so stereotypically gay that he’s a one man pride parade. Don’t ask, I could NOT explain the Cavalier mascot. Not even to myself.), there were a ton of students that would get A’s, then sit at lunch and discuss how everything they’d learned was COMPLETE bullshit, because only Jesus counts.

    Brain cramping yet? That’s okay, it goes away.

    In the 90s, I lived near Hillsborough county, where USF is. USF may not be top-tier research, but it’s a solid school.

    One county away, Pasco county, had, for a time, the friggin’ KLAN as part of their “Adopt-a-highway” program. Yes, they went out, in the pointy hats and picked up trash. I.Shit.You.Not. When I moved to St. Petersburg in 93, not a month later, some dude was set on fire for being black in the wrong part of town. A town with what seemed like 53 MLK boulevards.

    And one of the best Dali museums in the world.

    Florida is a state that’s like a big pot of crazy made into pill form and fed to Sybil, and you just wonder what color is going to kick in next.

    Oh, did I mention that Key West is at the tail end of one of the most redneck places in the state, namely the Keys? Oh, okay, because it is.

    Florida: Where the Crazy Lives.

    And yet, I am eagerly working to return. because it’s the only place i’ve ever lived where I can drive a bit, and without doing more than turning 180 degrees, watch the sun rise and set in the ocean.

    I can put up with a lot for that.

  385. #387 Carlie
    February 26, 2008

    John, why are you so upset by the fact that I objected to certain specific language that you’ve written almost 1500 words about it, almost a hundred comments after the topic died down? Is it that important to you to be able to say whatever you want, and fuck off to anyone who doesn’t like it? Will all of civilization as you know it end if people complain about certain swear words and ask you to think up new ones instead? If the link between root causes and the language used to express them is made explicitly clear, is that somehow bad? Do you always obfuscate the topic by complaining about the mode in which it was brought up, so the point is invalid if the questioning wasn’t quite deferential enough for your tastes?
    The disheartening thing isn’t that sometimes people say objectionable things. That happens. The disheartening thing is that when it’s noticed, people flock to defend the offensive statements and claim that their right to say them means that no one else has the right to point out that it’s offensive, to the extent that they’re willing to dredge it up long after everyone else has moved on.

  386. #388 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2008

    I also looked it up and found from a couple of sites that it is basically equivalent to ‘craftsman’ but that it was also used to mean ‘scholar’.

    Interesting.

    But then… the NT is written in Greek… where’s the evidence that any particular Aramic word applies?

  387. #389 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2008

    I also looked it up and found from a couple of sites that it is basically equivalent to ‘craftsman’ but that it was also used to mean ‘scholar’.

    Interesting.

    But then… the NT is written in Greek… where’s the evidence that any particular Aramic word applies?

  388. #390 Strakh
    February 26, 2008

    To: John Welch:

    Thank you for your comments, especially #360. What should have been a gleeful smackdown of the fetid crap of religidiocy instead became yet another boring, tiresome diatribe of the insipid idiocy of politically correct policing by the sickingly weird freaks who think they not only have the right to tell others what to do and say, they have the obligation to do so, while doing *exactly* what they tell others *not* to do.
    Unfortunately, not one word you said (and they were exactly what needed to be said and were all brilliant) will make the slightest difference. I had the misfortune of being in school when the leader of this sick and twisted set of freaks was in her disgusting prime. Andrea Dworkin in her finest moment stated that *all* men were rapists because they had penises. Not potential, but absolutely. If they had not done it yet, they most certainly would. And she was listened to. Let me repeat that:
    People. Listened. To. Her.
    After so many years of trying to reply to these complete nutjobs who can make a mountain out of a pisshole, I’ve lost any patience I’d ever had and complete respect for any of them. I can no longer give the sustained, intelligent, reasoned responses like you have given here, because I know absolutely *nothing* will change. No matter how well you say it, and you said it as well as it will ever be said, not one word will get through to any who have whined, cried and wimpered over this non-issue.
    Everyone of the insipid freaks are saying to themselves while they dismiss you: “He admitted he’s a man, so we know he just doesn’t get it. *Nothing* he says has any validity, because he has a penis.” They even, in their stupidity, automatically assumed I am male, without even once thinking of why S.E. Hinton(my childhood role model)used her name in the fashion she did.
    So there ya go. Good luck, though, and remember that men like yourself are the norm and remember, twisted, sick little whiners like the ones you are responding to are not our norm. (BTW, I’d love to party with your customer-service ex-girlfriend, she sounds like a hoot!)

  389. #391 Rey Fox
    February 26, 2008

    There, there, Strakh, don’t you worry. The big bad feminists won’t get you here. There there.

  390. #392 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    If anybody here is a religious nutjob you all in your mere existance define it with all of your pipe dreams and illogical reasonings trying to salve your own guilt with distortions of “true science” and supporting your beliefs with theories rather than observation. A genuine scientist would never misconscrue facts to support his theories. So continue on with your little religion and church of nature blog and carry on with your facade of a science and reality.

  391. #393 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    And BTW viruses have only changed within their own genetic code which is not a proof of macro-evolution only micro-evolution. So I think andria has a point here.

  392. #394 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    So continue on with your little religion and church of nature blog and carry on with your facade of a science and reality.

    Oh noes, nature?

    I mean, I prefer spending my time among glass and cement, but I’m not quite sure what kind of silliness kirk is full of.

  393. #395 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    And BTW viruses have only changed within their own genetic code

    even that is wrong. many viruses have a non-lytic (non-cell destroying) phase where they instead insert their genetic code into a hosts genome. when inserted thusly, any mutations to the host genome can obviously affect the inserted bit as well.

    so you tell me, genius…

    is the virus “only changed within their own genetic code”?

    here, read something and learn, moron:

    http://geneticsevolution.suite101.com/article.cfm/viral_genes_in_human_genome

    so if a virus that was lytic, becomes non lytic, inserts its genetic code into a host genome, the host genome mutates, the virus is changed drastically and goes lytic again.

    is it the same virus?

    or do you think ALL viruses are the same “kind”?

    LOL

  394. #396 Kirk
    February 26, 2008

    So what now we’re evolving because a so called virus is mutating from lytic to non-lytic. What a load of bull! . At this point in time scientist have only identified 3 types of mutations.
    1).Neutral
    2).Beneficial
    3).Detrimental
    Of the three types Scientists have been only able to to create/observe Neutral and Detrimental mutations. Besides that genetists will tell you that it is impossible to go from SIMPLE to COMPLEX w/ out addiing new information. So what’s going on with evolution now? Apparently it’s long gone on vacation.

  395. #397 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    So what now we’re evolving because a so called virus is mutating from lytic to non-lytic.

    well, I was actually referring to the virus itself evolving, but since you brought it up…

    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20070029220033data_trunc_sys.shtml

    see how little you are aware of?

    can you figure out why we think you little more than a passing amusement?

    Besides that genetists[sic] will tell you that it is impossible to go from SIMPLE to COMPLEX w/ out addiing[sic] new information.

    who says new information isn’t being added?

    ever heard of polyploidy as another example?

    no?

    another thing you were unaware of.

    LOL

  396. #398 DanioPhD
    February 26, 2008

    Kirk (moving the goal posts. Again. Yawn):

    I challenge you to define your terms. What’s the difference, molecularly, between the three types of mutations you cited? Your contention that these are the ‘only’ types of mutations scientists have identified leads me to believe that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    There are mutations that could be considered ‘beneficial’ all over the place–google “antibiotic resistant bacteria” or MRSA, for example, or ‘pest resistant crops’, or ‘insecticide resistance”. The list is long. I could go on, but somehow I doubt you’ll actually make any attempt to educate yourself, so I really don’t see the point.

    Your blathering about complexity and the evolutionary ‘vacation’ is so nonsensical I can’t dignify it with a response, except to say, wise up man. Your challenges, such as they are, are flimsy and boring.

  397. #399 Kirk
    February 26, 2008

    “ever heard of polyploidy as another example”

    It must be pretty cool to randomly pull facts out of your ass as proof for everything. Also I checked out your link which proved to be nothing more than models and theories. Way to present FACTS as proof.

  398. #400 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    It must be pretty cool to randomly pull facts out of your ass as proof for everything. Also I checked out your link which proved to be nothing more than models and theories. Way to present FACTS as proof.

    Please let this be a parody of Kirk. Please. Otherwise, well…kaboom!

  399. #401 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    It must be pretty cool to randomly pull facts out of your ass as proof for everything.

    uh, no, pulling fiction from rearward orifices is YOUR job.

    I provide references…

    http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Polyploidy.html

    see?

    Is it possible for you to stop projecting, I wonder…

    no evidence to the contrary so far.

    those aren’t “models and theories”; there are many documented instances of plant polyploidy, for example. As to horizontal gene transfer; thousands of documented cases of that, too. I was merely providing a very digested version of what the evidence of horizontal gene transfers mean for evolutionary theory. if you prefer, you can step on to a description of how gene transfer works, with references at the bottom that compile many examples for you:

    http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/~smaloy/MicrobialGenetics/topics/genetic-exchange/exchange/exchange.html

    when will you get it through your thick skull that you simply don’t know enough about the subject you are ejaculating upon to even begin to be taken seriously?

    Is it even possible for you to recognize you haven’t the slightest clue what you’re talking about?

    I rather doubt it.

    do you enjoy making a fool of yourself?

    ever consider a career as a clown?

  400. #402 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    It must be pretty cool

    yeah, it is. Being a scientist is damn cool, if not terribly lucrative.

    too bad you’ll never know…

  401. #403 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    “yeah, it is. Being a scientist is damn cool, if not terribly lucrative.
    too bad you’ll never know…”
    If you are an example of a “scientist” then you’re probably right it’s not the field for me. Once again your only proofs are micro-evolution.

  402. #404 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    it’s not the field for me

    indeed, exactly why i suggested you try out as a clown.

    you’d be perfect!

    Once again your only proofs are micro-evolution.

    you saying it doesn’t make it so.

    or hadn’t you figured that out yet?

  403. #405 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    neither does the contrary in your case

  404. #406 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    neither does the contrary in your case

    correct. which is why instead of merely spouting off idiocies pulled from one’s rectum, I actually referenced what I was saying.

    IOW, unlike you, mr. clown in training, you don’t actually HAVE to take my word for it.

    face it, you’re losing…

    and looking bad doing it.

  405. #407 flamerman
    February 26, 2008

    Now I, for one, think evolution is a bunch of BULLCRAP! But I’ve been told I have to teach it to you anyway. It was thought up by Charles Darwin and it goes something like this… In the beginning, we were all fish. Okay? Swimming around in the water. And then one day a couple of fish had a retard baby, and the retard baby was different, so it got to live. So Retard Fish goes on to make more retard babies, and then one day a retard baby fish crawled out of the ocean with its… mutant fish hands… and it had butt sex with a squirrel or something and made this… Retard frog-squirrel, and then that had a retard baby which was a… monkey-fish-frog… And then this monkey-fish-frog had butt sex with that monkey, and that monkey had a mutant retard baby that screwed another monkey… and that made you. So there you go! You’re the retarded offspring of five monkeys having butt sex with a fish-squirrel! Congratulations!

  406. #408 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    these have got to be parodies.

    Right?

    Right?

  407. #409 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    flamerman.

    now normally, I try not to read anything into a handle, but…

    hey at least you could have come up with something original, if just as stupid.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=And+then+one+day+a+couple+of+fish+had+a+retard+baby%2C+and+the+retard+baby+was+different%2C+so+it+got+to+live&btnG=Google+Search

  408. #410 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    these have got to be parodies.

    *shrug*

    I gave up buying new irony meters long ago.

  409. #411 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    “unlike you, you don’t actually HAVE to take my word for it.”
    Your blantent lack of proof for macro-evolution leaves me no option but to take your word for it.
    Wow, AMAZING just because I don’t agree with you you resort to THIRD GRADE name calling. Isn’t that MATURE.

  410. #412 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    Your blantent lack of proof for macro-evolution leaves me no option but to take your word for it.

    well then why aren’t you?

    take my word for it:

    it works.

    THIRD GRADE name calling. Isn’t that MATURE.

    remind me who came up with the “pulling facts from your ass” thing again?

    I’m merely treating you in an age appropriate fashion, given your methods of expressing yourself.

    baby wanna glass of apple juice?

  411. #413 Stanton
    February 26, 2008

    Actually, kirk would make for a very unfunny clown. His allegation that there have been no positive mutations found, despite thousands of reports done on bacteria and pathogenic protozoa developing resistance to antibiotics and medicines, as well as insects and even rats developing resistance to pesticides, as well as the appearance of 2 different versions of the enzyme “nylonase” are not at all amusing.

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

    That and the way he attempts to deny the existence of polyploidy as being “just facts,” despite the fact that polyploidy, coupled with hybridization, has been documented as being responsible for the spontaneous appearances of numerous plants, especially for domestic wheat, is utterly pathetic.

    The fact that kirk does not appear to realize that he is arguing with actual people who hold actual degrees in Biology is like watching a five-year old argue with the Pope over how to use matches safely.

  412. #414 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    “reports done on bacteria and pathogenic protozoa developing resistance to antibiotics and medicines, as well as insects and even rats developing resistance to pesticides, as well as the appearance of 2 different versions of the enzyme “nylonase””

    The supposed ABOUNDING PROOF just keeps on coming. Another example of MICRO-EVOLUTION being used to support MACRO-EVOLUTION. Have they evolved into a new SPECIES?
    The’re still apart of the same species family.

  413. #415 RamblinDude
    February 26, 2008

    Oh now, Mrs. Garrison/flamerman, you need to go find Mr. Hat and have a good talk.

  414. #416 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    Another example of MICRO-EVOLUTION being used to support MACRO-EVOLUTION. Have they evolved into a new SPECIES?

    did you look at the link to polyploidy i provided for you?

    no?

    why not?

    what stops “microevolution” from proceeding, exactly, there, clownboy?

    ever thought that far into your idiocy?

    The’re still apart of the same species family.

    or did you only get as far as Baraminology without recognizing that was what you were doing:

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

    *psst* there is an entire fossil record showing massive changes and extinctions.

    care to explain the observable changes if there is no “macroevolution”? the theory of evolution explains the patterns we see quite well, and even predicts what we are likely to find when we go looking:

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

    which reminds me – you might want to read a recent book by one of the researchers who found the fossil mentioned, Neil Shubin, called “Your Inner Fish”

    did satan plant all those mean-’ol fossils?

    ever hear of the “Vancome Lady”?

    http://www.nic0lesullivan.org/vancometop.html

    guess who you remind me of?

    “LALALALALALA, THERE IS NO MACROEVOLUTION, LALALALALALA”

    if you could only see yourself.

  415. #417 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    Many …believe in evolution for the simple reason that they think science has proven it to be a `fact’ and, therefore, it must be accepted… In recent years, a great many people…having finally been persuaded to make a real examination of the problem of evolution, have become convinced of its fallacy and are now convinced anti-evolutionists.”
    – Henry Morris, former evolutionist.

  416. #418 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    Another example of MICRO-EVOLUTION being used to support MACRO-EVOLUTION. Have they evolved into a new SPECIES?

    did you look at the link to polyploidy i provided for you?

    no?

    why not?

    what stops “microevolution” from proceeding, exactly, there, clownboy?

    ever thought that far into your idiocy?

    The’re still apart of the same species family.

    or did you only get as far as Baraminology without recognizing that was what you were doing:

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

    *psst* there is an entire fossil record showing massive changes and extinctions.

  417. #419 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    …(had to break that up because of more than two links)

    care to explain the observable changes if there is no “macroevolution”? the theory of evolution explains the patterns we see quite well, and even predicts what we are likely to find when we go looking:

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

    which reminds me – you might want to read a recent book by one of the researchers who found the fossil mentioned, Neil Shubin, called “Your Inner Fish”

    did satan plant all those mean-’ol fossils?

    ever hear of the “Vancome Lady”?

    http://www.nic0lesullivan.org/vancometop.html

    guess who you remind me of?

    “LALALALALALA, THERE IS NO MACROEVOLUTION, LALALALALALA”

    if you could only see yourself.

  418. #420 kirk
    February 26, 2008

    If you claim that evolutionism is not a religion then explain to me why are there no transitional links and intermediate forms in either the fossil record or the modern world? In other words we have no fossil proof of beings actually evolving to the creatures we have today. Talk about a LOT of FAITH.

  419. #421 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    If you claim that evolutionism is not a religion

    there is no need to claim such; it’s patently obvious to those who aren’t projecting as much as you are. It’s no more a religion than the theory of how lighting forms, or plate tectonics.

    uh, you don’t think those are religions, do you?

    no transitional links and intermediate forms in either the fossil record or the modern world

    says the clown who must have just completely ignored the post right above his latest screed.

    sweet plastic jesus on my dashboard, if I can’t even get you to look ONE POST UP, how do expect to convince anybody you are even sane, let alone reasonable?

    go change that diaper you’re wearing, clownboy, you stink.

  420. #422 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    If you claim that evolutionism is not a religion then explain to me why are there no transitional links and intermediate forms in either the fossil record or the modern world? In other words we have no fossil proof of beings actually evolving to the creatures we have today.

    *Stands with jaw agape*

    They really are that dishonestly and willfully ignorant.

    I mean, I’ve been fighting the culture wars on the sexuality front for a long time now, so I knew they were basically willing to lie about anything. But, wow. Sometimes, you just have to stand back and marvel.

    This thread has been a very nice demonstration of the triumph of Reaganism in American Conservatism: Facts are Stupid Things.

  421. #423 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    Vancomme Lady, nice call.

  422. #424 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    Jeff -

    speaking of “Inner Fish”, have you finished it yet?

  423. #425 Uber
    February 26, 2008

    If you claim that evolutionism is not a religion then explain to me why are there no transitional links and intermediate forms in either the fossil record or the modern world?

    Kirk- I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not retarded butyou are clearly, very clearly uneducated.

  424. #427 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    speaking of “Inner Fish”, have you finished it yet?

    Oh, yes. Took less than a week. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Very much a book for a mass audience. Also bought a copy for my father, who graduated with a BS in biology in 1968, and worked for a couple years as a HS bio teacher, but for most as a large-animal veterinarian. He also thoroughly enjoyed it–especially since it included so much of what has happened in the field since he graduated (the genetic revolution, really).

    Also read Unweaving the Rainbow (only found it so-so), reread Imagined Communities (forgot how good that was) and Public Vows (marriage is weird), and some articles on the state regulation of marriage, while starting Censoring Science (dully written, but important story) and getting ready for The Selfish Gene (that’s looking like spring break). Some Pinker soon, but also getting ready to reread Publics and Counterpublics (dissertation stuff and a class this summer) as well. Gotta do a bit more review of some narrative stuff as well (Barthes, here we come!–also dissertation and summer class)

    Reading is fun, and reading lots of different shit is even more fun.

    Now, a novel?

  425. #428 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    My students actually laughed at me last week when I said that I was reading evolutionary biology as pleasure reading. I spend so much time reading queer theory, social movement studies, narrative and public sphere theory, and state/society/family stuff, that biology becomes my bed-time reading.

    I’m a geek. A complete and total geek. And one of the things that drives me crazy is that I’m interested in everything. I want to be a generalist instead of a specialist, which is exactly the career path of death.

    I’ve just figured out the framework for the chapter that has been kicking my ass. Dissertation should be done this calendar year. Then I want to look at something completely different. And I want to teach; not specializing and focusing on teaching are ways to hop around as an adjunct–an amazingly talented teacher respected only by students….and be paid accordingly–but not to develop any kind of stability in career or life.

  426. #429 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    getting ready for The Selfish Gene (that’s looking like spring break)

    actually, when you finish that, you might want to see the “genesis” of where Dawkins drew his original arguments from.

    I would recommend reading at least the first volume of “Narrow Roads of Gene Land”, it’s part of a 3-volume set that was the last thing WD Hamilton published before his demise.

    the first volume is where he introduces and explains the history (scientifically and sociologically) of how he developed his theories of the evolution of social behavior (including the concept of inclusive fitness).

    he does a fantastic job of narrating his life and thinking during the times in the UK when he was first working the ideas out in his head, the resistance he got from professors at the time, and how he went about formulating and then testing (in South America) his models.

    It’s both great science and great history, as well as being very interesting from a sociology-meets-science perspective.
    Hamilton was at the epicenter of the vast bulk of thought regarding the ToE that came afterwards.

    I think you would really enjoy it.

    it’s expensive new, but fortunately there are still good used copies about:

    http://www.google.com/products?q=narrow+roads+of+gene+land&btnG=Search+Products&hl=en&show=dd&scoring=p

  427. #430 cyan
    February 26, 2008

    kirk, you are telling scientists what science is.

    Do you find that the least bit ridiculous?

    But, that aside, since you don’t know what a scientific theory means,:
    How about atomic theory: are you posting at chemistry blogs about how silly it is to “believe in” electrons because no-one has ever actually seen them? How about protesting the “beliefs” of scientists that any particular molecule consists of a certain chemical architecture, when any of those structures have never been seen? Are you arguing with scientists that in chemical reactions, electrons are not being attracted to other nuclei (breaking former bonds & creating new ones)? And on & on in chemistry ….

    And physics! …..

    My bet is that you are not doing that arguing, and that this is because other scientific theories do not clash with your religious beliefs.

    You do not understand the process of science, but accept it there in the background (totally unaware that without its practice throughout the millenia, you would be living in the same conditions as people 10,000 years ago, if living at all), unless one field of it clashes with your religious upbringing.

    So if you are not arguing with all scientific theories, then you are inconsistent in your thought processes.

  428. #431 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    @cyan:

    *tag*

    you’re it.

    can you entertain Kirk for a while?

  429. #432 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    It may be time for some physics. Never did enjoy it as an undergrad (yes, I did spend 3 1/2 years majoring in Chemical Engineering), and would like to see if I can find some good interesting stuff. And maybe a few novels again. And there is this dissertation….then onto, maybe, a sociology of food. Or maybe I’ll look for ways to mix the biological with the sociological and do some integrative sexuality studies or something. Or marry a sugar daddy in amsterdam.

  430. #433 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    And there is this dissertation….

    um, what’s that now?

  431. #434 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    um, what’s that now?

    You know, that book you write so that five people will certify you qualified to call yourself doctor. Gotta finish that thing. The framework which has been eluding me hit me on the train this afternoon. I’ve done some mapping this evening. Tomorrow morning, is coffee and looking at the things I’ve been jotting over the week and starting to pull the goddamned thing together. The next chapter will be fairly easy (that’s discourse, narrative, and *gasp* framing)…then on to analyzing the data and shit….cake)

  432. #435 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    I was afraid you were going to say that.

    you better get your damn ass in gear, or that quip about marrying a sugar daddy might not be so far fetched.
    I have enough friends who can share the horror stories of never finishing their dissertations.

    yes, it’s like pulling teeth. yes, you still have to just grind it out.

    yes, everybody else went through exactly the same thing.

    yes, we all empathize.

    now get back to work and stop wasting time here!

  433. #436 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    Actually, I’m going to bed within the hour.

    I have time scheduled in the morning, set aside specifically for writing. Tomorrow’s topic, specifically, is the integration of (particular) gay lifestyles and identities into institutional relationships of American life, and how that affect(s)(ed) the trajectory of gay and lesbian politics.

    The second task is developing the framework (the two questions driving the chapter) in a way that finally pulls together the things I have been attempting to pull together.

    That time is from 9:30 until 12:00 tomorrow. I’m opening the coffee a student brought me from Hawaii.

    This is my internet play time.

  434. #437 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    And did you not catch the parts about reading about public sphere/queer theory/marriage/the state/nation/narrative? All dissertation work. It’s sociology, but kinda interdisciplinary too.

    Now let me play for a little while!!!

  435. #438 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    The other thing I’ve been doing, which I’ve loved, and which makes me feel soooooooo Gramsci, is a private blog. Only I can access it to read or write. So, if I’ve got a quick not about something (like the thinking about integrating gay relationships into the relations of production via domestic partnership programs–and a reminder to look up evans and butler on that point), I can toss up a quick note that’s a lot more useful than using word. Ends up being more editing–which is a relatively new experience for me–but it’s actually a pretty handy thing, especially considering how my own thinking process is far from linear and tends to jump from point to point.

  436. #439 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    It’s sociology, but kinda interdisciplinary too.

    Now let me play for a little while!!!

    uh huh.

    :p

    I can toss up a quick note that’s a lot more useful than using word.

    you know that’s an interesting point; things have changed so much since I worked on my dissertation. I can’t even fathom how much quicker it would have been if I could have done all the necessary background work from home, merely using library subscriptions to dl stuff straight to my ‘puter.

    I bet you don’t even hate your local uni library, am I right?

    man, I can’t count the number of hours spent reading journals in the library, making copies.. taking notes…

    *shudder*

  437. #440 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    It’s been interesting for me lately trying to integrate these things together. I really hate writing, to be honest.

    I adore teaching, and don’t mind doing research, but once i’ve got it figured out it’s time to move on, right? oh, yeah, that publishing thing….

    I’ve never been diagnosed, but ADDHD would not be the least bit surprising. The private blog, with the notebook like approach, fits my ways of thinking, my nonlinearity, my jumping around, in ways that sitting down and free-writing on word just doesn’t. I simply don’t hit [CTRL]-[A]-[DELETE] as much, and that’s my favorite keystroke combination. (And honestly, since quitting smoking, it’s been much harder to smoke. That get up and go outside for a cig and reflection is sorely missed.)

    This chapter organization is exactly what I was looking for. I had all these things I was trying to figure out how to tie together–now I can…and if I finish it in the next two weeks, I’m allowed to use my FF miles to take a long weekend trip for Spring Break.

  438. #441 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    Um, since quitting smoking it’s been harder writing…SEE!!!!

  439. #442 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    Oh, yes. Once the dissertation is done, my notebook (blog), unlike Gramsci’s, will be destroyed. Hell, the dissertation itself might be.

  440. #443 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    I really hate writing, to be honest.

    never heard that before…
    :P

    I’ve often referred to writing articles for publication as feeling like “pulling teeth”.

    I’ve never been diagnosed, but ADDHD would not be the least bit surprising.

    I have been (when i was young). It would explain a lot as to why your thoughts bounce and you dislike focusing on writing.

    do you find yourself more focused after a cup of coffee?

    you might find this little bit from fellow sci-blogger Shelley Batts useful:

    http://scienceblogs.com/retrospectacle/2007/10/repost_the_neuroscience_of_adh.php#more

    got me looking at norepinephrine uptake inhibitors:

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

    it’s something to think about if you think it might actually be inhibiting your ability to focus and write.

  441. #444 MAJeff
    February 26, 2008

    thanks, I’ll take a look.

    I’d really, honestly, like to get a job doing recipe development. I honestly thing that when I’m done with this politics of same-sex marriage stuff, I’m gonna do some sociology of food stuff–and I’m going to write an Intro textbook using my own goddamned recipes :)

  442. #445 John C. Welch
    February 26, 2008

    John, why are you so upset by the fact that I objected to certain specific language that you’ve written almost 1500 words about it, almost a hundred comments after the topic died down?

    Oh wow, maybe that’s when I started you know, reading the comments? Maybe I had other things to do the precise second PZ posted this, so there was a delta of a few hours.

    Is it that important to you to be able to say whatever you want, and fuck off to anyone who doesn’t like it? Will all of civilization as you know it end if people complain about certain swear words and ask you to think up new ones instead?

    Because it’s obvious that kvetching about “OMGBADWERD” doesn’t actually fix a fucking thing? Because when you and the rest of the Bad Werd Patrol spend all this time bitching that someone said a word you don’t like, it doesn’t decrease sexism, racism or homophobia one damned bit. But then, It’s always easier to bitch about words than to really change anything, isn’t it. Given the choice of putting up with bad words, or allowing people who smile, and never say anything offensive, all the while treating people like shit, I know which one I’ll take, any day. It’s like the big myth that the North is less racist than the south. It’s complete bullshit, it’s just that the North was better at *hiding* it. If all you want is for people to HIDE their smallminded bullshit, you’re on the right track. If you actually want to DO something about it, then you’re going about it the wrong way.

    If the link between root causes and the language used to express them is made explicitly clear, is that somehow bad?

    You planning on showing clear empiric proof that isn’t a badly written rant by someone justifying their use of “cunt” while denying its use by the entire free world? So far, it’s “Proof: Ur Doin’ it rong”.

    Do you always obfuscate the topic by complaining about the mode in which it was brought up, so the point is invalid if the questioning wasn’t quite deferential enough for your tastes?

    Funny, I think if the reaction to your first comment had been “Fuck off, you’re not the boss of me”, you’d have reacted to it FAR worse. Or is it that you’re allowed to piss on other people, but heaven forfend someone do it to you. The humorous thing here is that a lot of what you’re complaining about is based on etiquette and manners, yet, when that is no longer inconvenient to your needs, you dismiss it as unimportant. Can’t have it both ways Carlie. If manners count, then they count even when they inconvenience you.

    The disheartening thing isn’t that sometimes people say objectionable things. That happens. The disheartening thing is that when it’s noticed, people flock to defend the offensive statements and claim that their right to say them means that no one else has the right to point out that it’s offensive, to the extent that they’re willing to dredge it up long after everyone else has moved on.

    Offense, like beauty, and non-empirical truth, is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s evil smut is someone else’s turnon. Just because something offends you doesn’t mean that you get to ban that word.

    That is the point that is eluding you, and I’m almost tempted to think you’re deliberately avoiding it: Not everyone is offended by the same things. Bear with me, this may get a little hard for you. Person a says something. Person b is offended. Obviously, Person a was wrong to say what they said, right?

    Wrong.

    Person a, barring hateful intent was no more wrong to say something that person b found offensive than person b was to be offended by it. They’re both right. This isn’t some fucking binary issue, except in your head. J wasn’t wrong to say what he said, and find it funny. Nor were you wrong to find it completely unfunny and offensive.

    Where you went off the tracks was in your reply where you, point-blank, ordered another person whom you have no authority over other than your assumed authority, granted solely by, from what I can tell, your female status, how to fucking talk and behave. You can dance around that until you’re mistaken for Barishnikof, but the fact is, you don’t get to dictate how other people act, talk, eat, sleep, fuck, walk, run, or take a crap unless they are directly and specifically assaulting you/causing you harm. To construe J’s comment as direct assault or harm against you requires you to be either be so insecure that I am amazed you made it past birth, or to have such a monstrously huge ego that you assume everything everyone says is about you.

    It wasn’t, and you know it. But heaven forbid you either ignore a random comment that may be inappropriate, or ask nicely that it not be used again. No, for you are CARLIE! DEFENDER OF TEH WOMYNH00DS!

    Strakh: Keep in mind that while Dworkin did say some astoundingly inane things, she also got quote-mined worse than Darwin and Dawkins combined. She was at times waaaay too strident, but a lot of what she was trying to say, however poorly, was not really that off-base.

  443. #446 Kseniya
    February 26, 2008

    It’s not a coincidence that notebooks and sketchpads, cigarettes, and coffee shops go together well. Nicotine, like caffeine, has a focusing effect. You’re bound to feel a bit scattered after quitting smoking. That side effect comes with the territory, just like the physiological withdrawls you experience during that detoxing phase and the psychological dependencies that linger long afterwards.

    You’ve embarked on a very challenging and worthwhile journey. How long has it been?

  444. #447 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2008

    like to get a job doing recipe development

    I look forward to your first book on the subject.

    meh, don’t make it a textbook, though.
    ;)

    one suggestion; don’t wipe out your dissertation, as much as you might want to after all the (likely) endless revisions.

    you will end up going back to it at some point; a lot of work goes into making one (kind of the point), and I’m betting that work was not a waste of time.

  445. #448 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    You’ve embarked on a very challenging and worthwhile journey. How long has it been?

    Nuh-uh.

    like to get a job doing recipe development
    I look forward to your first book on the subject.
    meh, don’t make it a textbook, though.

    Actually, I’m thinking of something like “An culinary introduction to the study of society.” (But I’ve got a way better title I don’t want stolen). More of a series of essays using different aspects of food as points of entry into various forms of social analysis and different social issues…with recipes!!! I’ve got some ideas to work on before the prospectus…and this boring old marriage equality stuff until then.

  446. #449 K
    February 27, 2008

    “Nuh-uh?”

    Not gonna talk about it at all, eh? LoL… :-p

    s’kool

  447. #450 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    Not gonna talk about it at all, eh? LoL… :-p
    s’kool

    Let’s put it this way. A couple years ago I was asked to organize a one-day “Nuts and Bolts of Teaching” for new graduate students taking over their own classes. One of the faculty members I was working with–remember, she’s supervising graduate students–looks at my vita and says, “You’ve got more teaching experience than I do!”

    My focus, to the detriment of my writing, has been teaching. I adore being in the classroom, but I’m just forcing myself to sit down and write the fucker. It’s hard as hell, but it’s just got to be done. IT. HAS. TO. BE. DONE.

  448. #451 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    I also swore I would not be like my friend and end up on the floor in the fetal position, sobbing….I managed to stay on my bed. (My poor cat got so many hugs that night.)

  449. #452 Owlmirror
    February 27, 2008

    Silly evilutionists!

    Don’t you know that if a cort marshall finds you guilty of dissertation, they send you to jail?!?!

    /anti-evolutionist

    (Well, it’s no sillier than many of the other things they are obviously confused about…)

    “An culinary introduction to the study of society.”

    “(This was after stew, but so is everything. When the first man first clambered from the slime and made his first home on land, what he had for supper that first night was stew.)”

  450. #453 Ichthyic
    February 27, 2008

    My focus, to the detriment of my writing, has been teaching. I adore being in the classroom

    you would likely prefer an academic career at a city or community college then. they tend to focus on teaching instead of research, and actually appreciate your teaching skills far more than most major unis will.

    I have yet to meet someone who liked teaching who disliked teaching at a community college.

    I am equally familiar with those who also like teaching, but secretly hate being at a major uni because of all the pressure on publications in order to get a chance at tenure.

    then there’s the third group who are ecstatic to be at a major uni, because of all the resources available to actually spend time focusing on research.

    *shrug*

    I opted for doing research and teaching via NGO’s (tremendous flexibility).

    I’d have to say my experiences with the major universities were a bit disappointing. Not from the resource perspective, mind you, but all the pressure creates a lot of backbiting and politics that I found quite distasteful.

  451. #454 Kseniya
    February 27, 2008

    Yup. Some things just have to be done. I hear you.

    Well, you know, I was raised by addicts and alcoholics, and I watched them get sober (at least once each) and quit cigarettes (at least once each) and I’ve talked to them endlessly about the ins and outs of addiction and recovery and logged quite a few hours in the Halls myself, as an interested spectator, though it all came in pretty handy when I decided to give up all substances myself when I was 19. I dunno where i’m going with this except to say “I have some idea what you’re going through” and I wondered if it was like 2 years ago or more like 2 weeks. That’s all. If I could make it easier for you somehow, I would, but moral support seems to be all I’ve got in inventory at the moment.

    The focusing thing is a bitch. I remember my dad walking around in a daze for at least a month, even after the irritability had long worn off. Sheesh. Nicotine. It’s a shame that the delivery system is so hideously disgusting and deadly.

  452. #455 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    A member of a dissertation group I was part of said it this way, “I just had to stop thinking about doing it and do it.”

    Would that it were so simple. I’m also having to completely relearn to write (which is also part of the problem.) I’ve never had to edit before. I’ve been able to get by with writing 45 pages in a weekend and passing with distinction. Now, 45 pages in a week is unheard of.

    I used to sit and giggle as I wrote. I want that back.

    Memorial Day will be 2 years without cigarettes.

    OK, so bed’s happening a bit later than anticipated (but my sleep’s been fucked up for a while). I will be writing tomorrow…guaranteed.

    Then again, it’s social science so it’s not like it’s real or anything anyway :)

  453. #456 DanioPhD
    February 27, 2008

    Ah, those happy, happy dissertation memories. My time in grad school spanned the advent of mainstream electronic media. We shifted from overhead transparencies to powerpoint, cardboard mounted posters to giant Adobe Illustrator documents, and gained electronic journal access. I spent the first three years mining the library for background literature, copying pages of bound, batched journals, and the final two blissfully PDF’ing my way to freedom. The dissertation itself was old-school, though–’special paper’, precise margins, no ‘orphans’ or ‘widows’ allowed.

    I used to enjoy writing so much, but now I keep it in my head until the last possible moment and then spew it out right before the deadline. So far it’s working out ok, even if I have to fake a deadline for myself to generate an action potential, as it were. I’m sure someday it will come back to bite me in the ass, though. I hope it’s as painless as possible for you, Jeff. The topic sounds really interesting.

    Speaking of recipes and culture, one of my friend has a blog along those lines that you might enjoy checking out:

    http://www.browniepointsblog.com/

    Sweet dreams, all.

  454. #457 thalarctos
    February 27, 2008

    Would that it were so simple. I’m also having to completely relearn to write (which is also part of the problem.) I’ve never had to edit before. I’ve been able to get by with writing 45 pages in a weekend and passing with distinction. Now, 45 pages in a week is unheard of.

    Don’t know if this would be helpful or not, Jeff, but if a non-social-scientist who doesn’t know your area, but has very good editing skills, would be useful to you, I could find a couple of hours a week for it. you can reach me at ide DOT projects AT gmail DOT com if you ever want to take me up on it.

  455. #458 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    Thanks all. I’m going to get it done; that’s no longer a question (several months ago it was). I’m starting to finding my curiosity again (it died for a while–sometimes it just wanders off).

    Part of that rediscovery is due to reading new materials and finding out new things from folks here (y’all will be in the never-read acknowledgements of a dissertation sitting on a long-forgotten shelf in a library). I’d forgotten how cool learning stuff is. I mean, that’s one of the things I always try to get across to my students–that there is a pleasure in learning itself, and that such pleasure is a worthwhile goal–but had forgotten it.

    And, I’m seeing more the import of writing. I’m one of those whacked out constructivists when it comes to sexuality, yet it’s not the least bit incompatible with my understanding of myself as an upright-walking primate with a particularly large brain I’m seeing some work in my future along those lines.

    I got a couple books in me.

    I’m just relearning to write….without cigarettes (lord i don’t miss the taste or the hacking or the smell, but i miss my cigarettes) Blogging is practice in putting fingers to keys. The private blog is useful stuff (esp since no one else will ever read it.) It’s not just retraining myself, but also finding new ways of working with my own foibles and eccentricities…and I’m keeping some of those so that when I really go crazy when I’m old they won’t be able to tell the difference and get rid of me.

    Enough babbling. This is not a support group for fucked-up grad students (redundancy alert!), but for making fun of creo-fools.

    Thanks all. But it’s bed time.

  456. #459 Ichthyic
    February 27, 2008

    This is not a support group for fucked-up grad students

    it isn’t?

    NOW he tells me.
    ;)

  457. #460 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    it isn’t?
    NOW he tells me.

    Although I am imagining that with the terms “sociologist”, “constructivist”, “frame” and the like showing up with “motherfucker” some speziod somewhere just pulled one of these

  458. #461 LesserOfTwoWeevils
    February 27, 2008

    Hmm.. I see David’s posts to Andria are being allowed to go through. Mine from last night doesn’t seem to have made it, however. Anyone else having things not being let though?

    Lesser of TWO Weevils

  459. #462 Ichthyic
    February 27, 2008

    “sociologist”, “constructivist”, “frame” and the like showing up with “motherfucker”

    don’t forget piglet rapist!

    g’nite

  460. #463 MAJeff
    February 27, 2008

    g’nite

    Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

  461. #464 Kseniya
    February 27, 2008

    I think I had a TMI moment back there. *ulp*

  462. #465 Kseniya
    February 27, 2008
  463. #466 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 27, 2008

    A what moment?

    (kirk & sockpuppet are gone? I don’t need to google “Speciation in the Fossil Record” for them”? Fine… I have to go anyway. Or rather, I should have gone long ago, as usual.)

  464. #467 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 27, 2008

    A what moment?

    (kirk & sockpuppet are gone? I don’t need to google “Speciation in the Fossil Record” for them”? Fine… I have to go anyway. Or rather, I should have gone long ago, as usual.)

  465. #468 Kseniya
    February 27, 2008

    TMI = Too Much Info [whether disclosed, or absorbed]

  466. #469 Andria
    February 28, 2008

    In Fact…
    Right, so today I stood at the green counter and decided life was rather boring. Perhaps it was merely in my perspective that life was boring — it could in fact have been very exciting and I just missed out today — or it could be that I still feel focused very strongly on a certain issue, and even though deep in my gut I know there is no end to this argument (unless of course, I agree with those who disagree with me)… there seems to be an endless fountain of thoughts on the subject. It’s on me mind. It’s boring me, but it’s on me mind. So it’s welling up within me. No beliefs shall be altered. Might as well drive this into the dust, eh? What have I got to lose!

    First of all, I’d like to thank those of my customers who have graciously visited my blog. You know how much I treasure and value your opinions – that is why I divulge some of your deep thoughts here. It’s really fascinating – how much you can learn from passing conversations, passing witty thoughts, and even different infectious ways of saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Anyways, that was totally free.

    Evolutionists. Very knowledgable people, I must say. But I wonder if they are really all that comfortable skirting around the issues they don’t know, and spouting off about the issues they do know. (Regardless, they certainly deal with alot of issues).

    In fact, as interesting as the perspective of the theory Evolution has been for me, Evolution is NOT Science. The literal meaning of ‘Science’ is ‘knowledge’. Evolution is merely a way of LOOKING at knowledge – discoveries – new information – scientific processes.

    Everyone is biased – duh. I have never read a work that was notpbaised, and if I ever did, I probably wouldn’t finish it because it would be boring! So a ‘bias’, or ‘leaning of beliefs’ is inescapable for any religion (be it Evolution, Creation, or any other nut job out there).

    One of my customers had a very good, simple way of describing this bias. If having a bias is like wearing a pair of glasses, then no matter what you study ‘scientifically’, you will be seeing it all through your choice of glasses (i.e. your bias).

    For Creationists, it is fascinating to discover new things, because it does not have to ‘disprove Science’ or ‘disprove facts’. No, when a Creationist Scientist studies and observes science, he sees added detail to Intelligent Design. Creatinist Scientists see a Detrimental or Neutral Mutation, and because of their bias, think ‘That proves it. Only God could create a Beneficial Mutation’. Studying science through the shades of Creation, therefore strengthens the faith of the Creationist. This is not scientifically ‘incorrect’, it is merely a different way of interpreting the data. (As for new ‘religions’ poppin up all over the place, which give atheists cause to challenge ‘which is the true god?’ – I submit that the true god is the oldest God – the one God – the only God of the Bible. If a new god is being discovered in 2008, that is one pathetic and unpowerful god. Let’s stick with the God you’ve always fought against, no?).

    Evolutionists cannot create Beneficial Mutations – but through their bias, it is only logical for them to say triumphantly, “But that makes sense! Only billions of years could bring about something so complex.”

    Both ways of evaluating, are in fact in pursuit of “Science”/”Knowledge”.

    Because the concept of Creationism has been around for so long, many modern scientists find it too ‘simple’, ‘unchanging’, and quite possibly ‘too-God-oriented’. This is unfortunate.

    Evolutionists like to come across as “more complex”, “more scientific”, and “more accurate”. When in fact, their technical terms are a pretty way to dress up what they DO know, and CAN prove (thinks that could in fact, have more than one way to look at it). Naturally, they quickly forgive the GAPS in their theories, look no deeper, and call it Evolution/Science. Indeed, Evolutionists are perched behind pileds of knowledge, but they see it all through a glass darkly.

    Many children that are taught the theory of Creation all of their growing up years – go on to a secular college, and are immediately retaught all that ‘science’ entails. Do you suppose if a Scientist who has been trained all of his academic years to support the theory of Evolution were to find a contradiction to the theory of Evolution – he would actually deliver it up to the public or print it in textbooks? Most would scorn the idea – and like BLT said – would never believe regardless of conflicting evidence. No, my friends. They would automatically set about to disprove it… This is only natural, because they are strongly biased. Logically, they would call it an ‘exception’, and would quickly shelve it. This is merely a stipulation, of course, but it does give cause for ponder.

    A Creationist, looks at the layers of our earth, and say “Yes, it is odd how each of those layers seems to represent billions of years’. And yet – a Creationist is willing to look deeper – NATURALLY – because he is willing to prove his bias. What a Creationist might find, is an uprooted tree – petrified straight up through those layers. Now he can ask – “Did the tree stand there and wait for billions of years of layers to build up around it? Or is the account of the Biblical flood possible?”

    In response to all of the questions directed against me, I would honestly love to stay on and google 24/7, and alternate between debating every comment that contradicts my beliefs, but – in fact – I have a life. A boring one at times, albeit a very “full-of-potential and things to do” life. Ture – it is good to know what other’s think and say – but in the end, few care to hear once again what ‘others think’. They want you to speak for yourself.

    For this reason, I find it cute that many of the evolutionists seem to have a ‘Book of Links Promoting Evolution’ on hand. Ask them a question, and they raise their hands eagerly… to pull down the ‘Link Book’. Theny they, the master’s of copy and paste, copy the approved Link in answer to any of their problems (with the exception of David. I appreciate your thorough insight, sir).

    Truly, I tell my fellow skeptics (which literally means: thoughtful, inquiring), that the theory of Evolution is very smooth, it is very complex, and it has become – over the last only 150 or so years – the generally accepted modern answer to ‘life’. But Evolution is just a way of looking at Science. Evolution is NOT Science.

    Many years ago, the geocentric theory was FACT. Spontaneous generation (the concept that organisms come to life from non-living substances) was accepted until the mide-1800′s. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that frogs and fish were formed during raisntorms. So, of course ‘Science’ (man’s limited knowledge) is constantly changing!

    To some, logical reasoning is truth. They feel it is true, if everything makes sense and is figured out. Mathematics is logical. 2 + 2 = 4. But, in fact – we are dealing with 2 + x = 5. You tell me what the answer is. (that’s rhetorical, don’t get defensive).

    So, is it logical to come from nothing? I realize there are alot of technical terms for it all, but strip away the formalities and talk human. Is it logical for matter (which can be neither created nor destroyed, only altered) to create/evolve more matter through un-inspired mutations? Is it possible that modern Science has become skewed – quite popularly – so that man is told not to question – never to question (only ask for more knowledge ‘humbly’ – as I was instructed to try) – only absorb. And it is an untruth to accuse me of “not questioning” my beliefs and my upbringing and my God. I’ve questioned God on alot of things, and I’ve been searching for answers. He has never failed to show me that, while the world may constantly change and alter in so many ways, it is TRUTH that remains the same foundation.

    The belief in God, as Supreme Designer of this world, however, is the only Simplicity about the theory of ‘Creation’. Many mature evolutionists have mocked ‘Godidit’ – as though that is the answer for every scientific phenomenon that Creation Scientists discover. But, it is obvious that the life God created on Earth is VERY complex – something no man could ever duplicate, improve on, or seek to alter. Hoenstly. Think about it. Even if someone went about the process of putting an organism completely together, they could not make the organism function or even proces life.

    Evolution is based on DEATH – each less superior animal or organism had to die off to give way to a new, better, improved organism.

    Creation is based on LIFE – God made a mature world, and He made good on His perfect Creation right from the start. What does God need with evolution? If He can create something as complex as the DNA Double Helix (which Evolutionists cannot possibly credit to the theory of Evolution), He can certainly create man how he should be from the start – instead of evolving the first poor creature into some better version of Adam!

    Another thing – while I’m at it – are these words by Darwin rejected by Evolutionists?
    —”Long before the reader has arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to him. Some of them are so serious that to this day, I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered…”— Darwin also said: “Not one change of species into another is on record…we cannot prove that a single species has changed (into another )”.

    While we’re pulling for ‘Link Books’, here are some links you might like to check out and disprove for me.

    http://www.creator-creation.com/evolution.htm

    http://www.allaboutscience.org/dNA-double-helix.htm

    http://www.icr.org

    http://www.creationstudies.org/

    and then, once you’re exhausted from those (or comforted by completely ignoring them),

    here’s a happy familiar pro-evolution one you guys gave me. I send it right back atcha for your assurance in time of need.

  467. #470 Mikewot
    February 28, 2008

    Ah Andria, you’ve popped up here again. It looked so promising earlier in your blog when you seemed to be starting to think. Now I note you’re filtering the replies (couple of mine were blocked) and are on another Gish gallop.

    Very quick responses to this latest at #456

    The cambridge Dictionary meaning of science is “(knowledge obtained from) the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical world, especially by observing, measuring and experimenting, and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities:”

    How do creationists discover new things? Can you tell us anything a creationist or creationist scientist has discovered?

    Uuummm, only one true god the one in the bible ’cause the ‘new’ ones are feeble? What about all the gods before that one, each ancient civilisation have had their own gods, each shrivels into the dust over time.

    Men cannot improve life etc. What do modern medicines do? Need I go on?

    BTW I know you’re 17 and believe you’re immortal but life is death, we are all of us going to die, we’re born to die.

  468. #471 Kseniya
    February 28, 2008

    Andria, Darwin is a starting point. He got a lot of stuff wrong. You have to cast off this whole “cult of personality” yoke you’ve been enburdened with. It’s part of the standard creationist toolkit of lies and distortions. Religionists are, by nature and necessity, prone to defer to authority and to put a lot of stock in the ancient writings contained in a single book. So, of course, they see Darwin as the Prophet and Origin as the doctrine. However, they are mistaken. Scientists do not see things that way.

    x=3. What’s your point?

  469. #472 Dave Godfrey
    February 28, 2008

    Darwin is interesting from a historical point of view. The majority of biology undergrads haven’t read his book. very few geneticists have read Gregor Mendel’s original paper on peas.

    Darwin is a popular figure because he’s an interesting person in his own right. Physicists have the same sort of thing going on with Newton and Galileo. And exactly the same principle is applied to what they wrote- it has been taken as a starting point for further research, parts are expanded on, other parts discarded, revived in slightly different forms, or completely ignored as we now know they’re clearly wrong.

    Another thing – while I’m at it – are these words by Darwin rejected by Evolutionists?
    —”Long before the reader has arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to him. Some of them are so serious that to this day, I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered…”

    No they are not denied. But you should complete the quote. Its a classic Victorian writing style, of stating the argument before going on to demonstrate that it does not apply. I could probably quote the opposite from Biblical Scholars arguing against evolution. In the next sentence he says that depite these difficulties, his research has demonstrated that they are not so severe after all.

    – Darwin also said: “Not one change of species into another is on record…we cannot prove that a single species has changed (into another )”.

    We do not have a perfect record of species through time. We do not have the ability to show that one specimen is a direct ancestor of another species.

    However since Darwin’s time speciation has been observed both in the lab and in the wild. Look for information on the London Underground Mosquito, the Apple Sawfly or heavy metal resistance in grasses. All examples of organisms changing until they cannot interbreed with their relatives.

    …I find it cute that many of the evolutionists seem to have a ‘Book of Links Promoting Evolution’ on hand.

    Links are useful. Other people have explained your percieved problems with the theory in a bette, more concise format than an individual commenter can. Why should we do all the work. Creationists repeatedly say they are “willing to learn”- while not understanding the basics, and when they are pointed to the places where they can learn they demonstrate their laziness. David Marjanovi? could have responded with a series of links, encouraging you to read and engage with the wealth of information at your fingertips. Instead he took the time to write out the information for you. The least you could do is try to engage with it.

    Many years ago, the geocentric theory was FACT. Spontaneous generation (the concept that organisms come to life from non-living substances) was accepted until the mide-1800′s. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that frogs and fish were formed during raisntorms. So, of course ‘Science’ (man’s limited knowledge) is constantly changing!

    The church’s domination of society, and their dogmatic following of Aristotle (despite ignoring the bits where Aristotle clearly contradicted what they wanted to believe) had a lot to do with that. During the Medieval period there was nothing that we would recognise as “Science”- people didn’t do experiements, but thought that you could learn everything you wanted to from what others had written down, or by arguing about it. No-one bothered to go out and look at the world. When people did they suddenly found that everything was a lot more complicated than they first thought.

    For Creationists, it is fascinating to discover new things, because it does not have to ‘disprove Science’ or ‘disprove facts’. No, when a Creationist Scientist studies and observes science, he sees added detail to Intelligent Design.

    So why do we get piles, back pain, or choke to death? Not a very intelligent design if you ask me, but exactly what you’d expect to see from the jury-rigged system of evolution. Look more closely at the apparently perfect mechanisms and you see parts co-opted from other systems, duplications, degeneracy – again not what you’d expect from the optimum design the ID crowd seem to suggest exists in nature.

    Creatinist Scientists see a Detrimental or Neutral Mutation, and because of their bias, think ‘That proves it. Only God could create a Beneficial Mutation’.

    Detrimental, beneficial and neutral only exist when you apply selection. At the level of the genetic code they do not exist. Scientists can create mutations in the lab and then look at them to see if they are beneficial or not, and if they are not the manner in which they are harmful can tell them an awful lot about how a gene functions.

    Studying science through the shades of Creation, therefore strengthens the faith of the Creationist. This is not scientifically ‘incorrect’, it is merely a different way of interpreting the data.

    But what about when the data doesn’t fit creationism? What then? Do you discard creationism?

    Good science follows the maxim of Huxley- Go where the data leads you. Scientists are only human. When continental drift was first proposed some scientists embraced it. Others fought against it with vigour, claiming it could not happen- there was after all no mechanism.

    I used to be fairly convinced of the “ground-up” model of bird evolution. (Though it certainly isn’t my area of palaeontology) New discoveries (Microraptor gui for instance) convinced me I was wrong.

    I submit that the true god is the oldest God – the one God – the only God of the Bible. If a new god is being discovered in 2008, that is one pathetic and unpowerful god.

    The Sunmerian, Babylonian and Egyptian gods are just as old as yours, if not older. And I wouldn’t underestimate the power of the new gods- you do know about the correlation between global warming and the lack of pirates?

    But, it is obvious that the life God created on Earth is VERY complex – something no man could ever duplicate, improve on, or seek to alter. Hoenstly. Think about it. Even if someone went about the process of putting an organism completely together, they could not make the organism function or even proces life.

    Define “life”. Show how you can distinguish it from “non-life”? What propoerties of an object make it alive? Being alive is not some essence that an object can possess, it is the result of complex chemical interactions. Abiogenesis deals with processess that while arguably not alive are required in combination for most definitions of “life” metabolism and hereditary. The two can exist in isolation, as anyone who works with RNA can testify.

    I would far rather admit that I don’t know, than claim that we can never know or that “a bigger boy did it then ran away”- which is the sum total of ID’s stance. Using that excuse is a cop-out, just because something is too complex for you to understand does not mean that someone else with better intellectual tools cannot hope to do so.

  470. #473 Andria
    February 28, 2008

    Look for information on the London Underground Mosquito, the Apple Sawfly or heavy metal resistance in grasses. All examples of organisms changing until they cannot interbreed with their relatives.

    Isn’t this dealing with micro-evolution?

    Define “life”. Show how you can distinguish it from “non-life”? What properties of an object make it alive? Being alive is not some essence that an object can possess, it is the result of complex chemical interactions.

    Get all the chemicals you want together — it still doesn’t spark LIFE. According to Wikipedia, Life:Life is a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects, i.e. non-life, and dead organisms.

    I’d say that’s pretty self-explanatory. And you have to agree that scientists cannot observe life created from non-life.

  471. #474 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    Isn’t this dealing with micro-evolution?

    here’s a simple question for you:

    what stops “microevolution (your terminology) from becoming “macroevolution” (again, your terminology).

    since you morons invented the terms, surely you know, right?

  472. #475 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    And you have to agree that scientists cannot observe life created from non-life.

    how is that relevant to the theory of evolution, exactly?

    not that this hasn’t been pointed out to you before (abiogenesis), you dishonest, lying little sack of shit.

  473. #476 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Andria, you certainly are an arrogant little thing, aren’t you. Apparently, you are so devastatingly brilliant that you know better than actual working, practicing scientists what science is. How are your gifts being wasted in retail? Surely, the Lord wants something greater for you, right? Obviously, since you know better than people who do the actual science you should have already graduated from a top university and written a revolutionary book or two, right? Scientists love discoverers, people who overturn the way things are, make grand discoveries. They name theories after them and give them big old prizes. Surely, you’ve got some revolutionary work in you, the field of Andrianics, that given the way science operates, you would be able to persuade people who are scientists of a better way of doing it. After all, they no longer look for phlogisten, right?

    So, put up. So far, you’ve demonstrated an unwarranted arrogance, borne from defining your own ignorance as a positive virtue. That’s not skepticism, young lady. That’s foolishness.

  474. #477 Kseniya
    February 28, 2008

    Isn’t this dealing with micro-evolution?

    No. It’s called “speciation”, something which creationists routinely claim has never been observed. Hmmm. Could they possibly be ignorant – or lying? Unthinkable! :-O

    Define “life”. Show how you can distinguish it from “non-life”? What properties of an object make it alive? Being alive is not some essence that an object can possess, it is the result of complex chemical interactions.

    Get all the chemicals you want together — it still doesn’t spark LIFE. According to Wikipedia, Life:Life is a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects, i.e. non-life, and dead organisms.

    Ah, but you also have to define the condition, and if you read beyond the first sentence of that Wiki article, you’ll know that the definition of life isn’t exactly written in stone. However, any definition will primarily depend on the chemical processes that occur when a thing is “alive”.

    Ask yourself this: When does something cease to be alive? How can you tell a dead thing from a living thing? What is, what differentiates a living person from a dead person? How can you tell a dead thing from an inanimate thing such as a rock? Which are more similar: a living person and a dead person, or a dead person and a rock?

    Anyways, whatever the answers may be, what Ichthyic says is true: they have nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. If you claim “science can’t create life” and then point to that claim as some kind of proof against the ToE, you either know nothing about the ToE, or you’re being dishonest.

    Ask yourself another question: “How many times will I have to be told this before I freakin GET IT?”

    I commend you for engaging in the discussion, however. As I posted on your site, Andi, belief in God is not incompatible with the ToE. Claims to the contrary are nothing more than a symptom of the so-called “culture war”, and (to put it more bluntly) are nothing but lies. And who are the people making these claims, propagating these lies? Yup. Creationists. Again.

  475. #478 Stanton
    February 28, 2008

    It is the apple MAGGOT fly, not sawfly (which is a kind of wasp), Andria. If you actually read about the London Underground mosquito, Culex molestans, you would realize that it can not breed with its ancestor, the European Mosquito, Culex pipiens, which means it is an example of MACRO-EVOLUTION, which is evolution above the species level.

    If you actually knew how to read, you would realize that speciation events form a major cornerstone of MACRO-EVOLUTION, and the fact that all of the different apple MAGGOT fly populations that are attacking different fruit tree orchards, and are not interbreeding with each other is a speciation even that is occurring right now.
    To dismiss this, and the London Underground mosquito as being “micro-evolution” demonstrates how truly intellectually crippled you really are.

    I mean, My God, if you really don’t want us to think of you as a gibbering idiot, please, for the Love of Jesus and kittens and ice cream sundaes, LEARN HOW TO READ AT A 11th GRADE READING LEVEL.

    And for your information, scientists have only spent a little more than half a century trying to “create life” in a laboratory. If you think that the study of abiogenesis is “20 easy steps for growing an orangutan in an Erlenmeyer flask,” you are a moron. If you actually knew how to read scientific textbooks, if not actual scientific literature, you would already realize that scientists have already created self-replicating organic molecules, as well as also created cell-free biological systems, in test tubes no less, that can synthesize proteins, either of which can be considered very crude forms of life. Scientists have not yet created artificial organisms, but they will be able to do so eventually, provided that religious idiots like yourself, Andria, do not impair their ability to do their work.

  476. #479 Stanton
    February 28, 2008

    Furthermore, Andria, please explain, IN DETAIL, why the fact that scientists do not yet know what the exact circumstances that began life on this planet impairs the ability of other people, including scientists, orchid, dog, pigeon and fish breeders, horticulturists and farmers from documenting and formulating information from observed changes in numerous lineages of extinct and living organisms?

    In other words, please tell me why not knowing how life began prevents people from studying “descent with modification.”

  477. #480 Dave Godfrey
    February 29, 2008

    Thanks Stanton- I was relying on my unfortunately innacurate memory of “Almost Like A Whale”. Which Andria, your should get a copy of.

    ‘Tis indeed the Apple Maggot Fly, which is descended from the Hawthorn Maggot Fly, and breeds at different times of the year, so the two populations do not meet, do not breed and hence are different species. This is speciation, which many creationists claim can’t happen, and usually claim to be “macroevolution”.

    This is a term which I have already said is useful in specific circumstances, but as David Marjanovic points out just causes confusion in public communication.

  478. #481 windy
    February 29, 2008

    For this reason, I find it cute that many of the evolutionists seem to have a ‘Book of Links Promoting Evolution’ on hand. Ask them a question, and they raise their hands eagerly… to pull down the ‘Link Book’. Theny they, the master’s of copy and paste, copy the approved Link in answer to any of their problems…

    I find it cute that someone who cut-and-pasted us a bunch of questions from Kent Hovind (are you aware that he’s in prison for fraud?) would scoff at offered links.

    So, is it logical to come from nothing? I realize there are alot of technical terms for it all, but strip away the formalities and talk human.

    Particles coming to existence from nothing has been observed by modern physics.

    Is it logical for matter (which can be neither created nor destroyed, only altered) to create/evolve more matter through un-inspired mutations?

    Mutations don’t create more matter, they alter the properties of already existing matter.

    Is it possible that modern Science has become skewed – quite popularly – so that man is told not to question – never to question (only ask for more knowledge ‘humbly’ – as I was instructed to try) – only absorb.

    No, scientists are taught to question. If you mean the Huxley quote, it means follow the data humbly, not people. However, before you can question the results of science, you have to have the humility actually look at them before you dismiss them.

  479. #482 Ichthyic
    February 29, 2008

    I find it cute that someone who cut-and-pasted us a bunch of questions from Kent Hovind (are you aware that he’s in prison for fraud?) would scoff at offered links.

    it’s all just projection. The only way a creobot can communicate when speaking of things they have no direct knowledge of.

    which is of course, just about everything apparently.

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