Pharyngula

I always aim to misbehave

Some of you know that the producers of Expelled had a conference call this afternoon…a carefully controlled, closed environment in which they would spout their nonsense and only take questions by email. I listened to it for a while, and yeah, it was the usual run-around. However, I dialed in a few minutes early, and got to listen to a tiresome five minutes of Leslie and Paul chatting away, during which time they mentioned the secret code (DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH!) for the two way calls. I know. Sloppy, unprofessional, and stupid, but that’s the way they work.

So … I redialed. (DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH!)

Then I listened along quietly until I could take no more.

They repeated the usual lies (the Minneapolis event was a private screening [which was publicly linked on the web, where any idiot could get to it]; their blog was #1 on blogpulse [near as I can tell, it wasn't—it was my exposure of their hypocrisy that was #1]; they didn’t lie to get interviews [totally bogus], etc.). They made amusing contradictions. Walt Ruloff first claims that the genesis of the movie was in 2006, when he claims to have started investigating biotechnology and discovered that there are “questions that can’t be asked” and that people were suppressing information that called Darwinism into doubt — note, though, that he never stated what those unnameable questions are. A moment later Mark Mathis comes on to say that the subject of the film was a work in progress, that they hadn’t settled anything, and that the name wasn’t even decided upon. Come on, they registered expelledthemovie.com in early 2007, well before they asked us to be interviewed.

They threw out a bunch of softball questions to Ben Stein: “How can you be so intelligent and question Darwinism?”, I kid you not.

One good question got through on email: KMOX radio contested the claim that there was no distortion of the interviews of Dawkins and Myers because they surrounded the interviews with film clips of Nazis — I think it’s obvious how they were trying to bias the discussion, and I was floored by Stein’s reply. He wanted more goose-stepping Nazis all over the place.

This was all a great deal to stomach, but I restrained myself. Then Mathis really started to lie: he said that all anybody ever blogged about was distractions, and several times he claimed that we never addressed the content of the movie. Let’s set aside the rank hypocrisy of expelling the people interviewed in the movie from screenings so we couldn’t see it; it’s simply not true. We have blogged extensively on the ridiculous premise at the heart of the movie, that the Holocaust was a consequence of evolutionary theory.

Here’s one of my entries in this subject.

Here’s Richard Dawkins’ review, which discusses the bogus Nazi connection quite a bit. Josh Timonen, of the RDF, also saw the movie.

John Wilkins has an excellent post on Darwinism and racism.

The Panda’s Thumb has discussed the false connection several times.

So I interrupted. I said, in essence, hang on — you guys are spinning out a lot of lies here, you should be called on it. I gave a quick gloss on it, and said that, for instance, anti-semitism has a long history in Germany that preceded Darwin, and that they ought to look up the word “pogrom”. There was some mad rustling and flustering about on the other side of the phone some complaints, etc., and then one of them asked me to do the honorable thing and hang up…so I said yes, I would do the honorable thing and hang up while they continued the dishonorable thing and continued to lie.

Then I announced that if any reporters were listening in, they could contact me at pzmyers@gmail.com and I’d be happy to talk to them.

So excuse me, I’ve got a few dozen emails in my inbox right now.


More accounts of the press conference:

Comments

  1. #1 Graculus
    March 28, 2008

    What a wonderful way to start the weekend. I think my Laughing woke the cat.

  2. #2 Anton Mates
    March 28, 2008

    That was beautiful. Just beautiful.

    I think the Expelled guys will be checking under their beds tonight, just in case you’re planning to leap out and savage them with reasoned argument once they’re drifting off to sleep.

  3. #3 thalarctos
    March 28, 2008

    They are the gift that keeps on giving, aren’t they?

  4. #4 Cain
    March 28, 2008

    Cue Mooney/Nisbet hissy fit in 5, 4, 3…

  5. #5 Frac
    March 28, 2008

    I think I’m going to get a pet squid and name it PZMyers.

  6. #6 Stanton
    March 28, 2008

    They are the gift that keeps on giving, aren’t they?

    Exactly like acute isosporiasis.

  7. #7 Anton Mates
    March 28, 2008

    and then one of them asked me to do the honorable thing and hang up

    That was the best part. “Uh, we don’t seem to be quite as good at Expelling people as the Darwinist atheist Nazist agenda, so could you please Expel yourself just to be nice?”

    The headlines write themselves.

    Expelled Makers Repeatedly Attempt To Expel Opponents, Fail”

  8. #8 Bill
    March 28, 2008

    PZ, I humbly bow before your brilliance.

  9. #9 trog69
    March 28, 2008

    sotto voce: We’re here on the set of Expelled, and we’ve secretly swapped the entire cast’s supply of multivitamins with these “Superasshattery Plus” multi-stupidity pills.

    Let’s watch and see if they can tell the difference…

  10. #10 Graculus
    March 28, 2008

    Cue Matt Nisbet clutching his pearls in 3..2…1….

  11. #11 Rheinhard
    March 28, 2008

    PZ, it must be asked – do you have a good podiatrist? For I imagine your foot must surely be starting to hurt pretty bad from the sheer volume of asses you’re kicking.

  12. #12 DiEb
    March 28, 2008

    That will teach them to use their ultra-secret decoder rings next time!
    Lovely, hilarious!

  13. #13 Bronze Dog
    March 28, 2008

    Well, this strikes me as a bit different from the theater expulsion, but I can’t see too much wrong with it. You’re moving the discussion to the open.

  14. #14 jonathan
    March 28, 2008

    That is so funny. I swear, if I weren’t married, I’d marry you. Well, and if I were gay. …and if gay marriage weren’t illegal…

  15. #15 danley
    March 28, 2008

    Secret code? So that’s how DNA works…

  16. #16 Kristine
    March 28, 2008

    They repeated the usual lies (the Minneapolis event was a private screening [which was publicly linked on the web, where any idiot could get to it];

    Well, DaveScot, private eye, has figured out where Glen (and thus I) got that link – from a Christian blog on blogger. But that doesn’t make the information public, no siree! To quote somebody at Uncommon Descent, look at the URL! Can’t you see that the word “special” is in it? ;-)

    J-Dog openly asked if I was going to invite you, PZ. I mean, maybe if Expelled writer Kevin Miller hadn’t run away from our questions in that forum he would not have been taken so unawares.

    Troy Britain was invited, and after shelling out 10 clams all he got was the pre-movie cartoon. So there you are. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

  17. #17 Glen Davidson
    March 28, 2008

    Here’s another interview from Mathis:

    Mark Mathis is Associate Producer of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a forthcoming documentary that says the Darwinists of American universities are suppressing scientific inquiry.

    World on the Web: What makes Expelled different from other “radical idea” documentaries, like the ones Michael Moore has produced?

    Mark Mathis: This film is not told from a conservative worldview, though that accusation will happen. Most of the documentary films that have been well done are driving an agenda that comes from the left side of the political spectrum. Films that do (come from this perspective) are less ambitious, more true to documentary form. Our agenda is that science needs to be free, and that the freedom’s not there. When you come to a Michael Moore or Al Gore film, the message is, “we have the answer; and everyone else, just shut up.” Expelled wants to do the opposite: stop the shutting down of scientific inquiry and return freedom to science.

    WoW: Who is the film’s target demographic?

    Mathis: Our target is the general public. The public is not aware of the materialist, atheistic agenda that is driven by elitists. We know that within the academic elitist institutions across this country, we are going to persuade almost absolutely no one. They’ve stopped looking at the evidence in an unbiased way.

    WoW: And who do you think will be most interested in seeing this?

    Mathis: People who care about freedom. People who are sick and tired of elitists dictate to them what truth is, people who believe that when they look at nature, they see reason to pursue scientific inquiry, and people who believe in God will have a strong interest in seeing this film. Having a free society will ultimately show us the truth.

    WoW: In the documentary, you draw a connection between Darwinist scientists and the Nazi ideology. Do you think that approach will draw criticism?

    Mathis: Should we shy away from the truth? People are uncomfortable that a materialist philosophy can lead to a phenomenon like Nazism. Just because it makes people uncomfortable doesn’t mean we should leave it out. All the more reason we should leave it in. It’s not a guaranteed outcome, and we’re not saying that. But…we know that Adolph Hitler was a staunch Darwinist, and those ideals consciously drove him. It was a consequence. The unfortunate thing in this is that there are far too many people have misappropriated Nazism to their own agenda. It’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” syndrome.

    WoW: What was the most interesting interview you conducted, and why?

    Mathis: The one with (Dr.) Will Provine of Cornell University. What I can’t say about most of the people I interviewed is that Will Provine is something of a model of what we should be seeing in most of the universities today. He believes that Neo-Darwinism is a fact and there is no God, but he allows people who disagree with him to speak in his classes. It’s very healthy for science, and it forces his students, who think like he does, to sharpen their arguments. That’s what science should do.

    WoW: Why did Ben Stein seem a good choice to star in this film?

    Mathis: Three reasons: one, Ben Stein is an accomplished person on multiple levels; an author of more than 30 books, a lawyer, an economist, an entertainer, a pitchman. He writes for the New York Times, and he’s a commentator for Fox News. Two, we wanted someone with a name in the culture, so when we talked about Expelled, it wasn’t just a documentary film. Three, we wanted to do a film where people weren’t going to see the film for a science lesson. They want to learn something, yes, but they want to be entertained along the way.

    http://www.worldontheweb.com/2008/03/28/mark-mathis-interview/

    Yeah, funny that. You’d think the public would be aware of a
    materialist, atheistic agenda pushed by pastors and priests, people
    from all religions, cultures, and perspectives–since that seems so
    unlikely and unbelievable. But they’re just not, they tend to think
    that if religious and irreligious folk alike can agree on chemistry,
    biology, and physics, that it’s just chemistry, biology, and physics.
    It takes a real dedicated religious moron to assume that the science
    done in Catholic schools is part of the materialist, atheistic agenda,
    and that heroic dedicated religious moron is Mark Mathis.

    Let’s see, dishonest Mark, Stein has already told us that this is a
    free society, which he attributed to capitalism. And having this free
    society will ultimately show us the truth? Looks like it already did,
    which is why you want an unfree society to enforce your lies into the
    curricula and into the science labs.

    And gee, Mark, you’re not going to persuade anyone who’s well-
    educated, including the many religious academics? Why not? Don’t you
    have any truth to tell us? I’d think that if you had any truth, you’d
    be able to persuade some people. What’s the point of merely
    persuading those who don’t know enough to judge? Money and
    propaganda? ‘Fraid so.

    “…People who believe in God will have a strong interest in seeing
    this film.”

    Ooh, you just contradicted yourself there, idiot boy. You said that
    the academic elites wouldn’t be interested, and a significant number
    of those happen to be religious folk (like at the Catholic university
    I attended for a couple of years). The intersection between religious
    folk and “academic elites” just happens to make a contradictory claim
    by you, hence you’re lying once again.

    Then again, do you ever cease to lie in your interviews, Mathis?

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

  18. #18 Ric
    March 28, 2008

    You terribly discourteous hate-crasher you… er, phone and gate-crasher I mean.

    I predict poor ole’ DaveTard will be all up in arms over how impolite you were and how that conference call was oh-so-secret and private.

  19. #19 danley
    March 28, 2008

    Hitler was an aryan jesus trying to cleanse the world of money lenders. Ben Stein is a frumpy idiot trying the cleanse the world of reason.

  20. #20 H.H.
    March 28, 2008

    Yeah, they’re going to whine good about this one, but it was worth it. F those liars. The truth will out, for PZ is the ghost in the machine!

  21. #21 bcpmoon
    March 28, 2008

    Seems that they’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture…

  22. #22 Adam
    March 28, 2008

    PZ Myers, I love you.

  23. #23 jawbone
    March 28, 2008

    Ben Stein? The Ben Stein of TV and advertising fame?

    I do hope his reasoning is better about economics than about evolution.

    What a cred shredder.

  24. #24 Glen Davidson
    March 28, 2008

    I wrote a follow up to the above (mostly) cross post (Talkorigins):

    By the way, it should be noted that they never give interviews to
    anyone who will ask tough questions, or challenge their various lies.

    Plus, Stein has seemed especially quiet since Myers was Expelled from
    his hideous rant which is child’s play to take apart as dishonest
    propaganda. One has to wonder if they’re having some problems with
    coming up with ways of spinning their nonsense, and since Stein is
    particularly prone to saying the most outrageously stupid things (like
    that we can’t question gravity because of “Darwinism”, and we can’t
    explain the motions of planets), they might be keeping him chained up
    so that he won’t make things even worse.

    There’s always the risk that that the controversy might help them, of
    course. But I think it came too early. They want controversy late,
    which is why they let Shermer see it–his undoubtedly unfriendly
    review will come out about the time that the movie does. A lot of
    information came out earlier than they liked, though, and if Stein or
    Mathis ever go onto a program that asks tough questions (obviously not
    Larry King), they’re going to have to answer why they’re expelling
    science, and why the film is such a piece of lying filth.

    Just watch, I bet they will avoid tough questions all the way to movie
    time. They’ll go onto whatever shows will not ask tough questions,
    but they won’t dare speak to regular news organizations, for fear that
    their lies will be exposed. That’s why this Mathis interview is with
    some biased conservative BS organization, they’ve never been able to
    take the questioning that scientists can and do allow and encourage
    (Provine is like the majority of professors, willing to take questions
    from ID students–Mathis is just as stupid and dishonest about that as
    about everything else).

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

  25. #25 Norman Doering
    March 28, 2008

    Anton Mates wrote:

    I think the Expelled guys will be checking under their beds tonight, just in case you’re planning to leap out and savage them with reasoned argument once they’re drifting off to sleep.

    PZ,

    You know, you could make some money now selling PZ masks to scare Ben Stein and cohorts with.

  26. #26 Steve Ulven
    March 28, 2008

    Incredible!!! What will he do next? Will he catch Ben Stein beating off a poodle?

    You are truly the greatest thorn (perhaps machete) in their sides.

  27. #27 Hairhead
    March 28, 2008

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (gasp)

    Sorry, but the image of the expressions on their faces when your voice butted in on their wankfest–

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (whoop!)

    Sorry again, but the imagined sounds of them clustered around their tech guy, frantically trying to expel you from their phone lines –

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (I really have to stop or I’ll throw up!)

    Seriously PZ, have you *ever* in your life met such a group of *magnificently incompetent* liars — the kind who hold themselves up to public ridicule again and again and again and again . . . ?

    Kudos for the weekend, at any rate. Rather than be worried about your foot being sore from kicking asses, I’m worried that your (metaphorical) hands are sore from ripping new ones (ripripripripripripHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

  28. #28 Beth
    March 28, 2008

    Awesome.

  29. #29 Moses
    March 28, 2008

    You go girl!

  30. #30 gg
    March 28, 2008

    Norman wrote: “You know, you could make some money now selling PZ masks to scare Ben Stein and cohorts with.”

    I picture an Expelled screening being overwhelmed with a bunch of identically clad PZ-masked protesters; kind of like the end of “V for Vendetta” (the movie). Instead of wearing capes with the mask, though, everyone will be wearing those tentacle-arm thingys…

  31. #31 Chris Krolczyk
    March 28, 2008

    PZ:

    I think it’s obvious how they were trying to bias the discussion, and I was floored by Stein’s reply. He wanted more goose-stepping Nazis all over the place.

    If anyone needed any more proof as to the quality of pompous asshat we’re dealing with in both Stein and Mathis, it’s this.

    Is there any possibility that – in a rare moment of actual self-reflection – one of these two goofs is going to come to the conclusion that exceedingly crude agitprop like Expelled makes them look more like disciples of Goebbels and not the horrible, horrible “Darwinists” they’re trying to cover in this offal of theirs?

  32. #32 rmp
    March 28, 2008

    Since I can’t stomach the idea of going to their sites, any word yet from Mooney/Nisbet?

    Oh, I forgot to say, way to go PZ.

  33. #33 Sastra
    March 28, 2008

    If the producers of a pro-evolution anti-creationism movie were doing a radio interview, and they were told that someone like Ken Ham was on the phone, and wanted to talk — the likelihood is that they’d be thrilled. Put him on!

  34. #34 mezzobuff
    March 28, 2008

    As a lurker, I had to come out from under my little rock and say, all a-tremble, “PZ, maaaaaaaay heeeeerooooo!.” And to the rest of you posters, I can’t adequately express how much joy you have given me over the last week or so.
    (I think I want a PZ mask for when ‘Expelled’ hits Chicago)!
    Keep up the good fight!

  35. #35 rmp
    March 28, 2008

    mezzobuff, didn’t you get the memo? We’re supposed to keep low. Shhhhhhhhh.

  36. #36 Christopher Waldrop
    March 28, 2008

    I’m beginning to wonder if, pompous self-promoter that he is, Ben Stein isn’t beginning to regret his involvement with this project. After all, he claims to be promoting academic dissent but he’s working on behalf of people who are doing everything they can to suppress dissent. Surely the irony isn’t lost on even a tool like Ben Stein.

  37. #37 True Bob
    March 28, 2008

    PZ, thanks, that was fantastic. The squid’s tentacles are EVERYWHERE!

  38. #38 longstreet63
    March 28, 2008

    Priceless! I got a mental picture from the old ‘Super Friends’ series, with PZ popping up on their giant video screen to taunt them, ala Legion of Doom.

    Of course, the analogy breaks down there, seeing as the Expellers are the incompetent bad guys and PZ is the benevolent hero, instead of there being two equally incompetent groups of supers.

    But what a Super-Villain he would make in a world controlled by Creationist Superheroes.

    Sign me up for one of your undoubtedly-squid-related-uniformed minions.

  39. #39 makita
    March 28, 2008

    I’m with Norman at #25. If you do decide to go for the mask idea, I want one. In fact I want a hundred. Then I can organize a parade. That’ll give them nightmares.

  40. #40 James
    March 28, 2008

    Does the title of this post identify you as a Firefly fan, PZ?

  41. #41 speedwell
    March 28, 2008

    First you smuggled Richard Dawkins in disguised as a pillar of smoke… then you used your atheist magic to call in on a line you should have had no knowledge of (who told you, huh? huh?)…

    Maybe they should start asking themselves whose side God is on, already. Heh.

  42. #42 Glen Davidson
    March 28, 2008

    I think it is clear that they’re really far too stupid to do anything but fuck up the PR efforts again and again.

    Mathis probably actually thinks that ID is being suppressed. It is hard to tell, since he’s so dishonest. Still, I think it’s not a surface dishonesty, it’s a dishonesty that goes to the “depth” of his soul, a dishonesty that is enhanced by his stupidity, and vice versa.

    They’ll just go on lying, wherever they are, because they seem to be truly wedded to their Big Lies, that poor little Xians are being persecuted by evil atheists like Ken Miller, and any ancillary and auxiliary lies that they have used to prop up the Big Lies are equally non-expendable.

    All halfway competent movie and science reviewers will simply shred their nonsense in the mainstream media. Mainline Xians won’t be able to stomach any of this junk, and probably some of the more sensible evangelicals will reluctantly distance themselves from their web of lies. The Ann Coulter fundies will applaud no matter what, of course, but so what? That will just alienate anybody to the left of Coulter herself, which so far is most of America (crossing fingers for the future).

    I do wish Coulter would get on board with them. Is Mathis actually concerned about her endorsement, that we haven’t gotten a review from her yet? Come on Mathis, I’d love to see Coulter “boosting” your film, indicating to everyone that this is a film for authoritarian bigots.

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

  43. #43 James F
    March 28, 2008

    longstreet63: Perhaps PZ as a cephalopod version of The Monarch, complete with henchmen?

  44. #44 Norman Doering
    March 28, 2008

    mezzobuff wrote:

    (I think I want a PZ mask for when ‘Expelled’ hits Chicago)!

    This could be the next “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

  45. #45 Scott Campbell
    March 28, 2008

    Too funny!

    What a great way to start my weekend.

    Keep it up, PZ

  46. #46 mystikphish
    March 28, 2008

    Hate to be a downer about this but PZ should really REALLY talk to a lawyer immediately about this…

    “…during which time they mentioned the secret code (DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH!) for the two way calls. I know. Sloppy, unprofessional, and stupid, but that’s the way they work.
    So ? I redialed. (DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH!)…”

    You may have actually violated several federal telecom laws designed to stop “phone phreaking” etc. It would be best to be informed of your legal standing, prior to having the wingnut’s lawyers chasing you around with a federal indictment.

  47. #47 eyesoars
    March 28, 2008

    P3WNED!

    Truly classic. Keep up the good work.

  48. #48 Dale Austin
    March 28, 2008

    I have been wrong all along, there is a god-tentacled and omnipresent. His name is PZed. All hail.

  49. #49 Chris P
    March 28, 2008

    So is it going to be better not to go to the film (because you are giving them money) or show up in a PZ mask?

    Is there a link to suitable PZ mask photo?

    Chris P

  50. #50 longstreet63
    March 28, 2008

    JamesF:
    Well, as long as he’s a competent one.

    I’m sure there’s a doomsday device on PZ’s desk, or at least the plans, probably off to the side under a bunch of ungraded papers.

    If not, I guess he could order one from Acme.

    And I feel certain he will carefull review the Evil Overlord list.

  51. #51 Seamyst
    March 28, 2008

    You rock. Totally and completely.

    @#30: Hell yeah! That would be awesome… I read it and just started giggling uncontrollably.

  52. #52 PZ Myers
    March 28, 2008

    I am a huge Firefly fan.

    Yeah, they could complain…but note that Mark Mathis tried to argue with me on the phone, and Paul Lauer told me to let the interview go on and that they’d call on me if necessary. Alas, I just hung up on them. I could see where they were going with it all.

  53. #53 Jim Lippard
    March 28, 2008

    While this is amusing, I think calling in and using a presenter access code on a conference event bridge that they’ve incompetently exposed is not much different from logging in to an account where they’ve incompetently exposed their username and password. Depending on the applicable state computer crime laws, it could even be illegal, though I think they’d be fools to press charges.

  54. #54 gg
    March 28, 2008

    Chris P wrote: “Is there a link to suitable PZ mask photo?”

    Maybe we could all dress up like this. :)

  55. #55 bwv
    March 28, 2008

    fantastic! This is turning into such an utter fiasco I wonder if any IDers will have enough integrity to try to dissassociate themselved from the project. Its too funny that to protect themselved from the elitists who are supressing free inquiry they have to so meticulously control any contrary opinions expressed in their venues.

    Is the audio clip available anywhere?

  56. #56 Contrarian
    March 28, 2008

    Oh my. They’re such bubble babies! They can’t handle anything outside their comfort zone, yet they’re perfectly content to throw stones at those who live to burst bubbles.

    I bet they wet themselves when they heard you on the line.

  57. #57 K
    March 28, 2008

    Man, if you could do masks online that everyone at the next Expelled could be wearing, that would be hysterical! Take a picture of your face full on and post it so people can print it and wear it.

  58. #58 Midnight Rambler
    March 28, 2008

    The thing that really set off my irony meter was Mathis’ complaint that people were commenting on “distractions” instead of the content of the film, when they’d been making people at screenings sign non-disclosure agreements. Even aside from the fact that it was completely untrue, the way that they’ve been actively trying to prevent people from commenting on the content really takes it over the edge.

  59. #59 Kim
    March 28, 2008

    Well, I think it is obvious that the current phone crash was not to be found on a public place, so I suspect that PZ was tipped of by one of the participants, if not indirectly by the producers themselves, in order to generate more publicity. What I hope is that PZ has taped the exchange, although I think it would not be wise to publish that, but it is good ammunition when they peddle lies about the conference call.

    But my weekend started out VERY well!

  60. #60 George
    March 28, 2008

    The only thing that I can think of that describes how secretive and scared they are to face open criticism is…

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott

  61. #61 Nerdette
    March 28, 2008

    “(I think I want a PZ mask for when ‘Expelled’ hits Chicago)!”

    Me, too!

  62. #62 Dale Austin
    March 28, 2008

    The hint of prosecution in some comments above is, I think, foolish. Mathis et al. have shot themselves in the foot (and head) so often they may be learning. It would be a PR fiasco of (ahem) biblical proportions to proceed. That said, I pledge $500 to the PZ defense fund-I’ll give up my cable if I have to. This is comedy gold-better than anything I get from television.

  63. #63 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    March 28, 2008

    Terrible framing.

    How do you like them apples, Mr Nisbet?

  64. #64 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    March 28, 2008

    Terrible framing.

    How do you like them apples, Mr Nisbet?

  65. #65 Jeffery Keown
    March 28, 2008

    Awesome stuff… I can hardly wait to see this film. I may have to do the “wrong ticket” thing, but I’m definately seeing it. I do truly love the debate, and more importantly, I like being on the winning team.

  66. #66 Gib
    March 28, 2008

    So, where’s the mp3 of the call ?

  67. #67 George
    March 28, 2008

    to jonathan,

    I don’t think gay marriage is illegal in too many places it doesn’t exist.

  68. #68 xebecs
    March 28, 2008

    While this is amusing, I think calling in and using a presenter access code on a conference event bridge that they’ve incompetently exposed is not much different from logging in to an account where they’ve incompetently exposed their username and password.

    I think the burden of proof would be on them to show he knew the code was only for presenters.

    On the other hand, I could definitely see these morons trying to slap him with some sort of stalking charge.

  69. #69 Moses
    March 28, 2008

    You may have actually violated several federal telecom laws designed to stop “phone phreaking” etc. It would be best to be informed of your legal standing, prior to having the wingnut’s lawyers chasing you around with a federal indictment.

    Posted by: mystikphish | March 28, 2008 6:36 PM

    Tilting at windmills, are we? PZ responded to the following:

    Dear Media Member,

    As one of our appreciated media partners, Motive Entertainment cordially invites you to join a special, nationwide “conference call” press junket with actor/comedian/author/speaker Ben Stein TOMORROW, Friday, March 28th at 1 p.m. PST/3 p.m. CST/4 p.m. EST, regarding one of the most controversial films of 2008, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.

    CALL-IN TO 800-983-8147 (toll-free) 866-211-2047 (toll-free) AND ENTER participant code 6481720 # – YOU MUST ALSO RSVP BELOW.

    I don’t see the problem. PZ Myers is in the media, and he does get money for writing this blog, so he’s even “professional.” If I were doing his taxes, I’d classify him as I do my professional bloggers (yes, I have two, one writes for a national sports website and makes about $50K a year) — independent writer.

    OTOH, I love the “do the honorable thing.” Let’s see, they lie, they cheat, they’re completely without honor. Yet they want other to act with “honor.”

    What a bunch of tools.

  70. #70 negentropyeater
    March 28, 2008

    “Mathis: People who care about freedom. People who are sick and tired of elitists dictate to them what truth is,… Having a free society will ultimately show us the truth.”

    So here it is, we will know the truth if we let non elitist scientists teach us their non elitist theories. You know, the kind that gets its degrees from diploma-mills.
    Freedom, what will be done in your name ?

  71. #71 Wazza
    March 28, 2008

    Is there any chance that we could turn a phone phreaking trial into the next monkey trial?

    Not in court, obviously, but in the media

  72. #72 Nick Gotts
    March 28, 2008

    “The only thing that I can think of that describes how secretive and scared they are to face open criticism is…

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott” – George

    Someone, I don’t know who, capped this with:

    “But when we’ve practised for a while, how greatly we improve our style!”

    - But this clearly doesn’t apply to the IDiots.

  73. #73 allkom
    March 28, 2008

    Lies is all you can expect from this people . I am angrily waiting for a pirate copy of this to show up down here just to have a proper basis for my judgments , because I’m not giving them 1 penny of my pocket.

  74. #74 DiscoveredJoys
    March 28, 2008

    I guess next time you are going to have to wear a Ken Ham disguise to get into their lair, or possibly walk in backwards whistling innocently, or possibly shout “Look! Over there!” and slip in while they are looking away…

    Personally I think that they are annoyed that their ploy of linking alledgedly ‘expelled’ academics with the “Academic Freedom Act” is becoming derailled by their own incompetence in overcooking the Darwin/Hitler smear.

    Keep up the good work!

  75. #75 Steve Fisher
    March 28, 2008

    I’m thinking Mathis et al are wishing they’d never interviewed one Professor P.Z. Myers right about now. Methinks they screwed with the wrong atheist academic.

  76. #76 mezzobuff
    March 28, 2008

    I am envisioning a scene from Spartacus…
    After the army of evolutionists, led by PZ is defeated in battle by legions of the ID army, an ID general stands before the captured surviving members of the evo-army and demands that they turn over PZ, or else all of the evolutonists will be executed. Upon hearing this and not wanting his friends to be executed, PZ stands up and says “I am PZ Meyers.” However, the loyalty of his friends is so great that each of them stands forward in succession, shouting “I am PZ Meyers!” until the shouts dissolve into a cacophony of thousands of evolutionists each insisting “I am PZ!…”
    Oh, wait, I think I have to change the ending to a more happy one… oh and I don’t like the beginning either, really. Damn.
    (And I still want a PZ mask)

  77. #77 Moses
    March 28, 2008

    Ben Stein? The Ben Stein of TV and advertising fame?

    I do hope his reasoning is better about economics than about evolution.

    What a cred shredder.

    Posted by: jawbone | March 28, 2008 6:17 PM

    He’s not, his timing is off.

  78. #78 chezjake
    March 28, 2008

    @ #11

    Nah! They’re all big fat asses. They have the pain, not PZ.

  79. #79 Jen
    March 28, 2008

    I’m late to the comment gallery, but…

    PZ, you’re my hero!!

  80. #80 Ra-Ul
    March 28, 2008

    The Call of PZ!
    Two keyboards lost due to spewing hot cocoa while reading your blog. Priceless. Ditto, two consecutive Friday meltdowns.
    I am glad you’ve decided to use your invisibility, time traveling, and omnipresence/telepathy powers only for good. If I ever write a sprawling, epic horror/fantasy novel about a giant, all-powerful cephalopod from outside our dimension and time, I will name it PZ.

  81. #81 Norman Doering
    March 28, 2008

    I just got banned from the blog that reported the call:
    http://www.thinkingchristian.net

    I tried to log on again and got this:

    Your computer has been prevented from viewing this blog. This may be either because you have been identified as a spammer, or because you have been banned from commenting. If the second of these is true, my intent was to find a way to enforce the ban on comments, not to prevent you from reading; but I have not found another way to do this.

    I linked this:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2007/04/if-hitler-was-darwinist.html

  82. #82 Brad Hudson
    March 28, 2008

    For those who asked about recording the press conference call, in some states recording of telephone calls without the consent of all parties is illegal. Laws very from state to state, so it is always prudent to check first.

  83. #83 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    March 28, 2008

    Classic insurgency tactic. Infiltrate, then declare “all your base are belong to us”!

  84. #84 Laser Potato
    March 28, 2008

    “Incredible!!! What will he do next? Will he catch Ben Stein beating off a poodle?”
    If he does, Portal of Evil will be right on it, with “OMG HE’S A DIRTY FURRY I KNEW IT” comments trailing fast behind. Speaking of which, Jon Best/Fore Sam’s blog made the list.
    http://friends.portalofevil.com/sfs.php?si=3&fi=000041699

  85. #85 J
    March 28, 2008

    #52 PZ wrote:

    I am a huge Firefly fan.

    Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, and Morena Baccarin are coming to Dragon*Con, PZ! Skeptics Track (James Randi, Michael Shermer, Phil Plait, and more) is ready for ya! :-D

  86. #86 negentropyeater
    March 28, 2008

    Actually, what PZ did is what I’d expect from any good journalist calling in to this phone conference : question the validity of the claims.

    “As one of our appreciated media partners, Motive Entertainment cordially invites you to join a special, nationwide “conference call”…”

    Well, I guess this PZ, disqualifies you as an “appreciated media partner”. Actually, what you did is what I’d expect from any good journalist calling in to this phone conference : question the validity of the claims. Ah but Ben Stein probably remembers well from Nixon, those journalists can be real pain in the ass…

  87. #87 Hap
    March 28, 2008

    I don’t know whose response it was (to something else), but when asked if someone was shooting themselves in the foot, they replied, “No, I think they’re aiming a little higher up and closer to the centerline.”

    When these people keep talking, I keep laughing, but then I realize that lots of people think exactly like the producers of this atrocity and I grieve.

  88. #88 CrypticLife
    March 28, 2008

    ROFL! Oh, PZ, that’s too good. What buffoons!

  89. #89 craig
    March 28, 2008

    Well, logging in to the call might not be illegal, but recording it might be depending on the laws of MN.

    In NY it would be ok, only one party has to know of the taping. But if in MN the law is that all parties must be aware, then taping would be a no-no. Not that I wouldnt have taped it myself.

  90. #90 Mod
    March 28, 2008

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they deliberately gave out the code for the two-way so that PZ might be tempted to call in using it and that he might be tempted to speak and they might try to use that as a way to demonstrate that PZ is the kind of guy that ‘crashes’ things, or circumvents or ‘games’ systems in order to oppress IDiots.

  91. #91 Interrobang
    March 28, 2008

    I do hope his reasoning is better about economics than about evolution.

    No, he’s one of these right-wing voodoo economics magical thinker types — at least he runs true to type. To steal someone else’s word, you could call him a syncretin.

  92. #92 Sean
    March 28, 2008

    “I just got banned from the blog that reported the call:
    http://www.thinkingchristian.net
    Posted by: Norman Doering | March 28, 2008 7:08 PM

    Wow, talk about liars for Christ, he can’t deal with facts so he deletes comments and then closes them.

    What a coward, he needs to change his URL to http://www.lyingchristians.net.

  93. #93 Greg Laden
    March 28, 2008

    Yes, this might give them bad dreams….. Very bad dreams.

    With squid.

  94. #94 eigenvector
    March 28, 2008

    First the Expelled expulsion and now this! One would expect to have to pay to have this much fun! Keep up the good fight PZ!

  95. #95 MikeM
    March 28, 2008

    I’m even beginning to wonder if this propoganda will ever hit an actual movie theatre on April 18. I guess it might if some Pentecostal church has rented one out because the roof on the old grocery store they occupy leaks too much, but other than that…

    I can’t find much on IMDB about it, or Rotten Tomatoes. It kind of seems to me that if it’s not mentioned along with the other movies coming out on April 18, um, it may only be coming to a church basement somewhere in your town.

    But not at the local cinemaplex.

    I’m not sure I’d have dialed the “secret code” (you email those codes, you creationist idiots); I’d have felt guilty. But in your position, after already having been “expelled”, it certainly makes sense that you would. Me, no; you, I can see it.

    I have a suggestion about going to see this movie, though: Don’t (Except for people who were in the movie, that is. And if it’s actually in a real movie theatre, that is.). I’d go see the Spurlock movie instead.

    I think this may be one of those movies that ends up in a total of 4 cineplexes (total) for 3 nights, then goes away completely. Remember, “Passion” was getting way more publicity 3 weeks before its release than this propoganda is.

  96. #96 allkom
    March 28, 2008

    PZ’s response was quite rational as usual

  97. #97 Elphin
    March 28, 2008

    It gets worse, PZ. Look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

  98. #98 Muffin
    March 28, 2008

    Pwned. :D

  99. #99 Bjørn Østman
    March 28, 2008

    About the domain-name for the movie being purchased before the interviews: Did they buy others? It is common to buy a bunch before having settled on a title, to have them reserved. If they did buy others, what were they? Were they all titles that would have given the interviewed a clue, or were there others more like “Crossroads”?

  100. #100 Bjørn Østman
    March 28, 2008

    About the domain-name for the movie being purchased before the interviews: Did they buy others? It is common to buy a bunch before having settled on a title, to have them reserved. If they did buy others, what were they? Were they all titles that would have given the interviewed a clue, or were there others more like “Crossroads”?

  101. #101 DAC
    March 28, 2008

    Hey PZ, you should change the name of your blog to “PZ Myers: Media Whore.”

  102. #102 UprightAlice
    March 28, 2008

    If it’s wrong to have a man-crush on you, PZ, then I don’t want to be right. The buffoonery and outright ignorance of these people is just beyond belief, and I hope legislators in the various states where they’ve been insinuating themselves into education law see through their facade. How seriously can anybody take a cause whose spokesperson is Ben Stein? I understand Charlton Heston is unavailable but, really, can Ben Stein really have been their second choice?

    What’s their next step? Legalizing the burning of witches?

  103. #103 windy
    March 28, 2008

    I am envisioning a scene from Spartacus…

    The ID types are more like the Romans from Asterix than the ones from Spartacus! And speaking of creations of Goscinny, would it be mean to ask whether these guys remind anyone of Nisbet and Mooney?

  104. #104 Jim Lippard
    March 28, 2008

    Mike M. (#93): I’ve looked into where the film is supposed to be released on April 18. It looks like they are currently booked in 435 theaters.

  105. #105 CrypticLife
    March 28, 2008

    Elphin,

    I don’t know, I think that’s awesome! If I were PZ it would be in my favorites.

  106. #106 Sue Laris
    March 28, 2008

    Being a simple human being, with simple desires and having people I love, who love me, I simply cannot understand to the slightest degree why the shits involved with this farcical collection of lies on film get out of it. Money? The praise of people like themselves? Impish joy at lying w/o fear of consequences?

    Don’t get me wrong, I can intellectually explain these things, but it has no connection with anything essential, beautiful, enlightening, interesting, expressive, or moving in my own little life.

  107. #107 oriole
    March 28, 2008

    That made my day, PZ. Mathis must be getting treatment for hyperventilation by now, but I guess the sanctimonious framers, Nisbet, Mooney and Co., will come to his rescue soon with another condescending admonishment that Mathis will gratefully use for his propaganda purposes.

  108. #108 badmeme
    March 28, 2008

    Re: comment #93, check out the theatre locator on their web site. They’re opening all over the place.

  109. #109 Richrad
    March 28, 2008

    For the incredibly entertaining production you have managed to share with us lucky enough to be here for it I think perhaps I will purchase you a barrel of fish and a shotgun so that you may engage in sport that is actually of some challenge to you.

    It must be somewhat disheartening to know that your present opponents offer all the difficulty of a blast furnace encountering a snowflake.That said,however, may they continue to set themselves up in coffins of their own making until even their most ardent supporters are embarrassed to publicly announce allegiance to their silliness.

    Patiently awaiting the next round

  110. #110 Mena
    March 28, 2008

    Norman Doering #79:

    I posted as Benito Steinolini and my comment asking him (politely) if he has ever bought swampland in Florida or if you would want to got deleted. There was nothing obscene about it, funny that he would have done that. Not. Well, funny that he should feel the need to delete that sort of thing but not surprising funny.

  111. #111 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2008

    While a PZ mask worn V for Vendetta style is a great idea, I’d suggest something a bit more apropos. After all, they made a villain based entirely on our kindly Dr. P Zed, so there are plenty of variations on this theme that are widely available by mail order.

    Plus. hey, pirates…

  112. #112 Bill the Cat
    March 28, 2008

    The question foremost in my mind is why hasn’t South Park zinged these wet ends?

  113. #113 Sharon
    March 28, 2008

    HA! I’m halfway convinced this whole Expelled thing is an elaborate hoax made up solely for entertainment for blog-readers.

    Sadly that’s not true, but I can dream…

  114. #114 CrypticLife
    March 28, 2008

    “Well, DaveScot, private eye, has figured out where Glen (and thus I) got that link – from a Christian blog on blogger. But that doesn’t make the information public, no siree! ”

    There is something called a robots file that is used to keep web crawlers from indexing pages. If you set it up right, Google, Yahoo, et. al. won’t index your pages and you simply won’t show up in them.

    The expelled invitation link has NO robots files anywhere on it at this time, anywhere along its tree. The site is freely searchable and open to the public.

  115. #115 raven
    March 28, 2008

    The true colors of Expelled et al. are out.

    These are just far right wing Xian Dominionist extremists. All they have and all they can do is lie.

    Goebbels said it a long time ago. Lie big and lie often.

    Don’t make the simple, complex. And never turn your back on such barbarians. They are using an atrocity, the Holocaust to further their own agenda.

    A lot of people will call them on it. It will be interesting to see what the Jews themselves say. Most Jewish and Xian historians blame the German variety of Xianity.

  116. #116 Cdesign opponentist
    March 28, 2008

    Bot, that thinkingchristian web site closes comments fast! Just to reply to “Tom Gilson” here:

    First: it was a private screening. Myers ought to be savvy enough to know that he would not be invited to a private screening. What does “private” mean?

    It means that someone rented out the theatre and thereby bought the right to show the film of their choice and set their own admission standards. Which can be (as it was in this case) free for anyone.

    These guys really like their stupid pick-one-word-and-misinterpret-it games, don’t they?

  117. #117 Steven
    March 28, 2008

    Keep exposing them for what they are Paul. We all thank you for it.

  118. #118 Jon H
    March 28, 2008

    Clearly, the conference call lines were a manifestation of His Noodly Appendages.

    They never stood a chance.

  119. #119 Hap
    March 28, 2008

    I don’t know enough of what “syncretin” means – I would prefer to think of Ben Stein as a sort of Renaissance assweasel. Not only does he have a lack of knowledge in many subject areas, but he can also be dishonest in many of them as well.

    Who says ID-style education won’t produce useful results?

  120. #120 Rey Fox
    March 28, 2008

    Ahhh, but did you RSVP!?

    And if you did so, would they still be wankers?

  121. #121 raven
    March 28, 2008

    Sue Laris:

    Being a simple human being, with simple desires and having people I love, who love me, I simply cannot understand to the slightest degree why the shits involved with this farcical collection of lies on film get out of it. Money? The praise of people like themselves? Impish joy at lying w/o fear of consequences?

    Good question. What did Pol Pot get out of murdering a million Cambodians, his own people?

    One study I read indicated that Mathis, Ruloff, and their following are motivated by formless, endogenous, hatred to tear down whatever is around them. As to where that came from and where that gets them, who knows?

    My guess. A lot of people have been left behind by the 21st century. This is a highly technological, highly competitive, fast paced world and some paleolithic brained ones simply can’t cope with it.

  122. #122 Brian Coughlan
    March 28, 2008

    Everyone has GOT to see the YouTube referenced in post #94

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

    Is it pro or anti, and of whom? Whatever the intent, it’s frickin’ hilarious!!

  123. #123 Dutch Delight
    March 28, 2008

    The guy from thinkingchristians.net thinks he just needs some time to thoughtfully present the case for any links between Darwins ideas and the acts of Nazi’s. I’m sure he’ll work on how all these brainless slurs affect the veracity of Darwins scientific work next.

    It must be tough being a slave.

  124. #124 DiscoveredJoys
    March 28, 2008

    When Tom Gilson (thinkingchristian) has composed himself and surfaces again, ask him why, if it was appropriate to expell PZ from the screening, PZ’s guests were allowed to stay? Surely if PZ was ‘univited’ then his guests were even more ‘uninvited’?

    If Mathis is keen to talk about the content of his wretched film he ought to stop trying to embroider his failings and justifying his poor organisation… but I think he knows he has a stinker of a film to pass off and is thankful for the distraction.

  125. #125 Reed A. Cartwright
    March 28, 2008

    I’ve posted the invitation that we got yesterday for this call.

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/03/pz-invited-to-e.html

  126. #126 ERV
    March 28, 2008

    This reminds me of that old ‘Fundies Say the Darndest Things’– Creationist almost discovers the sun!! Creationist almost figures out how to use a telephone!! LOL! Fail.

  127. #127 Edhel
    March 28, 2008

    I wish my girlfriend was a phreak like you.

  128. #128 chezjake
    March 28, 2008

    @ Jim Lippard – #100

    I just looked at that theater locator for places in the northeast, and the count has dropped since you posted.

    Only 1 theater in all of New York state – in Rochester. In all of New England, only 2 in Connecticut. None in NJ. 11 in PA, but none in the Philly area.

    I was going to try to set up a picket line if there was one in my area, but no such luck.

  129. #129 Aituyorshu
    March 28, 2008

    PZ… own up, is this just the second installment of a trilogy? will you go for prequels after the third one, next friday?

  130. #130 Ron
    March 28, 2008

    How the hell did you manage to top the movie expulsion? How the hell are they openly discussing secret telephone codes while you listen? Could all of this manage to make a believer out of me, for its sheer volume of irony and mad coincidence?

    let us sing our obvious anthem:
    “Springtime for Hitler and Germany / Deutschland is happy and gay / We’re marching to a faster pace / Look out, here comes the Master Race/ Springtime for Hitler and Germany / Winter for Poland and France / Springtime for Hitler and Germany / Come on Germans, go into your dance.”

  131. #131 poke
    March 28, 2008

    You shouldn’t have explained how you did it. The current favored theory on the Christian blogs: atheist sorcery.

  132. #132 DavidONE
    March 28, 2008

    Man, you can’t *buy* entertainment like this… unless someone makes this whole soap opera of IDiots in to a movie and I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket for *that* movie.

  133. #133 Rey Fox
    March 28, 2008

    From Panda’s Thumb:

    “Some crew members got multiple invitations, including the one above and one at the personal site. PZ, however, was not one of them, despite the amount of (bad) press he has been able to generate for the frauds. I guess they purposely excluded his personal email from the list. However, they apparently forgot that PZ is a crew member, when they sent us our invitation. It’s incompetence all the way down.”

    That damned PZ Myers! He has tentacles EVERYWHERE! How are we supposed to control the damned message now?!

  134. #134 CanadianChick
    March 28, 2008

    Dear PZ,

    Please marry me. I <3 you. No, really.

    (OK, so you’ve got the trophy wife, I’ve got the trophy husband, but whatever…)

  135. #135 Richard
    March 28, 2008

    PZ,

    I about died when you broke into the conference. I thought at first that they made a mistake. It was so funny how they waited until you were gone to say that they wanted to talk to you. You made some great points.

    Concerning your comments about antisemitism, I would have like the promoter to comment on Mel Gibson’s Jesus movie. It was based on “Passion Plays” that were used to incite hate towards Jews. Of course, the promoter built his career on selling that movie.

    I took pretty detailed notes on the conference and posted them on my site.

    Great Job PZ!

    Richard
    http://lifewithoutfaith.com

  136. #136 SteveM
    March 28, 2008

    About the domain-name for the movie being purchased before the interviews: Did they buy others?

    It was reported in an earlier thread here that “Crossroads” (and reasonable variants) were never purchased until very recently.

  137. #137 MikeM
    March 28, 2008

    #100. Thanks for the info. I entered my zip code, and got zero theatres.

    435 theatres, or 435 basements?

  138. #138 Tex
    March 28, 2008

    Everyone has GOT to see the YouTube referenced in post #94

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

    Is it pro or anti, and of whom? Whatever the intent, it’s frickin’ hilarious!!

    That is great! As one of the commenters on YouTube said, it is Pro-funny.

    It has better production values than what Expelled is reported to have, it is more informative and at least as funny.

  139. #139 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    Is it pro or anti, and of whom? Whatever the intent, it’s frickin’ hilarious!!

    Yeah that KILLED me. I’ve watched it like 5 times. Hitchen’s with the smoke about made me fall out of my chair.

  140. #140 Sastra
    March 28, 2008

    chezake #123 wrote:

    I was going to try to set up a picket line if there was one in my area, but no such luck.

    A picket line? To protest a movie which is making phony claims about being unfairly persecuted?

    No. Laugh here and stay away. When they kicked out PZ, they looked like bullies. When they didn’t want PZ to address points on their radio show, they looked like bullies. They work against their own “frame,” the hypocrites. Going out to actively picket their movie would just feed into their storyline. “Look and see how THEY don’t want anyone to see this movie! You’re so brave to come and watch this! We won’t be intimidated!”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired fake protesters at openings. To show everyone how they’re being suppressed.

  141. #141 Jennifer Emick
    March 28, 2008

    I was wondering how you managed to get a voice in there- the sound of collective pants wetting was priceless .

    I knew it was bs as soon as they announced we would all be muted- they certasinly led us to believe that in the latter portion we would be allowed to personally ask questions (they phrased it “speak to Ben,”anyhow) I submitted questions but they only seemed interested in the ones they wrote themselves. I almost missed it, too, because I had pretty much written it off and had it on speaker while I was painting my kitchen.

  142. #142 Stuart Ritchie
    March 28, 2008

    Absolutely brilliant. If I wasn’t boycotting Uncommon Descent along with you, PZ, I’d be checking on there to see the inevitable ‘PZ MEYERS HARASSES EXPELED PRODUCERS LOL’ post.

  143. #143 Ron
    March 28, 2008

    Reading Richard’s (#130) comments on the phone call, I was struck by their insistence that scientists don’t have freedom of speech. I think they are confusing being able to say whatever you want (freedom of speech), and being able to support what you say with scientific evidence. Science is a pretty ruthless business when it comes to eliminating ideas that don’t explain nature reliably. It comes back to the idea of teaching sound science in the classroom and leaving the “freedom of speech” issues for the plaza outside the lecture hall.

  144. #94

    Thank you for bringing more of the funny to this already amusing thread. But next time put some sort of warning that clicking on the link is not safe if you’re holding a beverage. :)

  145. #145 Jennifer Emick
    March 28, 2008

    Ron, that was actually what I tried to address in my questions to them. They seem to feel that science instructors should teach whatever they happen to feel is true.

  146. #146 eewolf
    March 28, 2008

    I was checking out the theater locater for Florida and it listed a theater in Ft. Meyers. PZ is so in their heads that they can’t spell the city’s name correctly either.

    Thankfully, the theater in St. Augustine is not listed, but Jacksonville and Ormond Beach have lower standards.

  147. #147 Jay
    March 28, 2008

    lol PZ. I think I just fell in love!

  148. #148 Monado, FCD
    March 28, 2008

    By the way, PZ, the Expelled site may have violated their own privacy policy. There’s nothing in it about running your personal information past the junior producer to see if he approves of the guest list.

    Our Promise of Privacy
    We at Premise Media Corporation and Motive Entertainment are committed to protecting the privacy of our customers, and we treat any information you share with discretion, care and respect.

    How do we use the personal and non-personal information that we gather?
    We use personally identifiable information to respond to requests, to provide special offers, and to notify of new resources on our site. Like most Websites, we may also add to the above personally identifiable information a variety of technical data, including (but not limited to) your IP address (a unique number that identifies your access account on the Internet), domain, and Web browser information. We may track the page you visited before coming to our Site, the page you link to when you leave, which of our pages you access, and how long you spend on each page.

    Do we disclose your personally identifiable information to third parties?
    From time to time, we may provide your personally identifiable information with third parties that we use for our own business purposes, such as to process your order or request for information, or to provide services for us.

    Notwithstanding anything else in this policy, we may: (a) disclose personal and aggregate information when required by a valid legal mechanism such as a search warrant, subpoena, or court order, or when we deem it necessary to protect the safety of Site users, our employees or property; and (b) disclose personal information in the context of the sale of some or all of our assets.

    How are “Contact Us” emails treated?
    We use “Contact Us” forms to allow you to contact us directly with any questions or comments you may have. We read every message sent in and try to reply promptly to each one. This information is used to respond directly to your questions or comments. We may also file your comments to improve the website.

    Interesting, is it not?

  149. #149 C R Stamey
    March 28, 2008

    A comment from the Panda’s Thumb link at #120:

    ” Name said:

    I was on the call, and this is just a pile of baloney.

    Myers crashed the call. It’s not about being a listener on the call, it’s about barging in rudely, uninvited, to disrupt the whole thing.

    You say, “We Were Invited to Expelled Conference Call.” You were not invited to speak, much less to do so the way Myers did. The call was designed for all call-in attendees to be muted, and this was clearly stated at the beginning of the call. (Questions were taken by email.)

    It was stated earlier than that, actually. Let me quote from the invitation you reproduced above:

    This is a unique, exclusive opportunity for you to listen to Ben Stein and to ask him questions live, via e-mail.

    Myers admits, on Pharyngula, that he gamed the system.

    Careful what you call a lie.”

    Tsk, Tsk PZ: You were invited to listen as they engaged in mutual ego-masturbation. You ruined their fantasy. Bad voyeur! Bad! Good thing I’m a pig and luv the bad boyz. >=-)

  150. #150 Dawn
    March 28, 2008

    Wow! Fridays have typically been pretty boring lately. But two weeks in a row you have made my weekend! What do you have in store for us next Friday?

  151. #151 JRQ
    March 28, 2008

    Re: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

    Good grief, that’s the funniest goddamn thing I’ve seen all week. Heed #139: definitely not beverage-safe.

    Gonna be in my head all night.

  152. #152 Cephus
    March 28, 2008

    Yet another fantastic showing by PZ and the Expelled crew gets their asses handed to them one more time. I’m really curious to know how many of the media contact PZ and how this changes their spin on things.

    I’d ask if the Expelled crew ever got tired of making fools of themselves, but apparently not. They do it so often after all.

  153. #153 Trent1492
    March 28, 2008

    I screamed with laughter when I saw that YouTube link!

  154. #154 Alonzo Fyfe
    March 28, 2008

    I am sorry to be self serving, but as the atheist ethicist I have been covering the ‘atheism/evolution’ to ‘Hitler/Stalin’ link for the bulk of the week.

    Seeing Ben Stein’s ‘Expelled’ as Propaganda.

    Implication vs. Association

    Plus, one of my most widely read posts from last year

    The Hitler and Stalin Cliche

  155. #155 Cheezits
    March 28, 2008

    11 in PA, but none in the Philly area.

    Holy smoke! I knew PA was the Bible Belt of the northeast but this is ridiculous. :-D

    I’m so jealous of NJ right now.

  156. #156 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    I just watched it a few more times. Still funny. I wonder if Eugenie has seen it?

    oh and

    GO DAVIDSON!

  157. #157 Human v2.0
    March 28, 2008

    Flawless victory. You, good sir, are a hero.

  158. #158 Aaron Golas
    March 28, 2008

    Cameron Frye: “PZ Myers, you’re my hero.”

  159. #159 Jim Lippard
    March 28, 2008

    #123, chezcake: Unfortunately, there has been a net increase of 55 theaters, to 490. I’ve updated my blog post to show the changes.

  160. #160 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2008

    That was beautiful. Just beautiful.

    It’s far too late at night that I could read the whole thread right now, so it has probably already been said, but it almost bears repeating:

    This ranks high among the best evidence for a benevolent supernatural force that I’ve seen so far.

  161. #161 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2008

    That was beautiful. Just beautiful.

    It’s far too late at night that I could read the whole thread right now, so it has probably already been said, but it almost bears repeating:

    This ranks high among the best evidence for a benevolent supernatural force that I’ve seen so far.

  162. #162 randy
    March 28, 2008

    check out the new directions at rsvp.getexpelled.com
    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/special/expelled

    hey, I just noticed…now I see the problem PZ, you requested tickets from the “get expelled site” So you see you got ticket to be expelled, not let in to the movie…

    and to the Firefly question….PZ, no way you are a firefly fan, especially after Serenity, not after Shephard Book told Mal that he had to believe in something….Although I am sure you get a kick out of the failure of blind belief of the Operative. (I love the extra scene on the DVD where the operative ash Mal how did he continue on after the battle loss and Mal mumbles…whiner)

    see here for christian take on Serenity
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/reviews/serenity.html

  163. #163 BadMA
    March 28, 2008

    Great work, PZ! I shouldn’t be surprised how consistently incompetent these ID nuts are. I can’t believe they don’t see the irony of stifling debate about a movie about stifling debate!!

  164. #164 Kagehi
    March 28, 2008

    I have a much better one than masks. I am *betting* that there have got to more than a few Paul Myers, or Meyers, Miers, or other variations in the US. Some of them might even be PZs. What would *Truly* be damn funny is if you got a few hundred of them to sign up for one of these supposed secret showings. How would they spin that one, when hundreds of real people went, “Well, I really wanted to watch this film, but the moment they saw my identification they told me I had to leave!”

  165. #165 Laelaps
    March 28, 2008

    I got an invitation, too, but was at work this afternoon so I couldn’t listen in. Sounds like my brain cells should be thankful I didn’t subject them to the inanity of the conference call.

  166. #166 William Gulvin
    March 28, 2008

    Teh funny! It hurts! So good!

  167. #167 Aaron Golas
    March 28, 2008

    Re: #156
    Go ahead, tell PZ he doesn’t believe in anything, I dare ya. ;-)

  168. #168 Dutch Delight
    March 28, 2008

    Can’t someone record these things? If it’s a legal issue i’m sure we can get someone to call and listen in that isn’t bound by US laws. It seems silly that someone is given a public platform and can apparently demand no audio recordings to be made of his use of that platform.

  169. #169 Turdus
    March 28, 2008

    I can hear Ben Stein six months from now “Who has seen my movie ‘Expelled?’ Anyone? Anyone?” Crickets chirping. Keep it up PZ! Give ‘em hell!

  170. #170 DeNatured
    March 28, 2008

    Pwned. :D

    Actually, Muffin, I think you’ll find that the correct term is phwned.

    Yes, yes. Late and lame. I know.

  171. #171 James F
    March 28, 2008

    I think it’s PZWNED.

  172. #172 Scott Hatfield, OM
    March 28, 2008

    PZ:

    First of all, you’ve outdone yourself. Your science’s answer to Jay Leno (see my blog).

    Second of all, I believe I found another lie of sorts:

    WoW: Why did Ben Stein seem a good choice to star in this film?

    Mathis talks up Stein’s many gifts, but he seems to have left out this little jewel, courtesy of Premiere Media CEO Logan Craft:

    Yet, in the same interview, Craft remarks that Ben Stein was chosen in part because one of his colleagues “had a real insight, we believe, into the necessity to have a person, first of all, who wasn’t overtly Christian or overtly religious.”

    Bonus points, apparently, for having a (non-observant) Jew emote for the camera at a former death camp, which through some twisted narrative is laid on Darwin’s back.

  173. #173 Nana
    March 28, 2008

    Welll, I gotta say this has been the most fun week I have ever spent on the Interwebs. As I type, the credits of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is rolling on the TV.

    “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home”

  174. #174 Chuck S.
    March 28, 2008

    Good job PZ! That’s priceless!!!

  175. #175 foxfire
    March 28, 2008

    This saga of PZed vs the Expelled IDiots just keeps on giving. I’d love to see a YouTube documentary about the exposing of expelled….

    Having just watched
    “that” video (Elphin post#94), the possibilities are endless (I’m thinking Thunderf00t’s style).

    PZ, you are brilliant!

  176. #176 Martin
    March 28, 2008

    Dear P.Z. Myers.

    If the likes of you and Matt “Framing” Nisbet were to take half of the energy you put into ranting about the irrelevant movie Expelled – a movie I would have heard nothing about about if it wasn’t for you and ScienceBlogs – and put it into, you know, educating moderates from low socioeconomic backgrounds (because peer-reviewed research suggests those are the people you actually *should* be targeting), then maybe, just maybe, the science blogging community could achieve a bit more than its current state of irrelevance.

  177. #177 Dr Benway
    March 28, 2008

    The scene: Mathis and an editor are in the studio with Ben Stein. They’re watching Expelled up on the screen. Some Nazis go by, then Dawkins comes on. A few seconds later Stein interrupts a la Chris Walken in that SNL “Don’t Fear the Reaper” sketch – “I need more Nazis!”

    The editor makes a splice, the scene runs again, now there’s a quick cut from Dawkins to a Nazi image then back to Dawkins. Stein interrups again: “Guess what…I gotta fever, and the only prescription, is more Nazis!”

  178. #178 speedwell
    March 28, 2008

    Martin, if you want to tell people how to blog, start your own damn blog.

  179. #179 Paul W.
    March 28, 2008

    Re: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

    Good grief, that’s the funniest goddamn thing I’ve seen all week.

    Yeah. A definite must-see. The thing with Genie Scott gyrating and rubbing her belly is disturbing, though.

  180. #180 Kevin Wirth
    March 28, 2008

    Meanwhile, as all of you wannabe butt-kickers are lining up the yuks here, there really IS a serious issue that you evidently think isn’t worth the time of day. And of course, most of you obviously don’t seem to think discrimination and hate speech are among the things we should be concerned about (of course – those “religious nuts” deserve all the butt kicking they get, right?)

    PZ thinks he’s such a rock star…thinks that brashly crashing a press conference is such a cool thing to do. Maybe he’d show better restraint than the folks on the call did today if I were to insert my comments in his blog posts. Would that be OK PZ? Wouldn’t THAT be hilarious? I mean, you should have no objections to someone crashing your blog posts, right?

    Your never-ending and nitpicking diatribes over the minutae of this issue consumes you while those who have legitimate concerns are dismissed as know-nothing idiots. WOW – just how impressed do you think the rest of America is going to be when they come here and see first hand how incredibly full of your-arrogant-selves you really are?

    And the really sad thing is, you are all actually so PROUD of it. Well, enjoy it while you can. Must be good to feel infallible AND invincible all at once, I mean whoa – what a rush.

    Oh well – I was on the call today, and not long after, I posted my review of Expelled, with some PZ butt kicking of my own.

    But it’s pretty tame compared to you guys. Mighty tame.

    So C’mon PZ, bring on your brass knuckles and your steel toed boots – and let the disembowelment begin. Let’s see how far you get when you have over 200 million (or more) Americans climbing all over your case.

    Ben Stein is now the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics. If that idea takes hold, I doubt you’ll be able to crawl out from under the dogpile.

    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2?author=9.

  181. #181 Bob Carroll
    March 28, 2008

    What a followup: expelled again! They must be running out of feet.

    Is it true that squid tentacles resemble spaghetti noodles? and those eyes, just like meatballs. Yum, calimari with fra diavolo sauce.

    I checked into your blog back on Day 1, when replies were at about 200-300. Due to a time zone mixup, I didn’t realize that the movie was still running (I think) Now my ribcage is hurting due to the laughing.

    Yesterday, I saw a documentary that is almost a perfect antidote to Expelled. It’s called Constantine’s Sword, after a best-selling book from a few years ago written by James Carroll (no relation), a former Catholic priest. He documents antisemitism in the Catholic church, from recent examples back to the 4th century. On speaking to a friend who read the book, the book is much more detailed.

    My viewing was a preview, I think. The director, Mr Jacoby, was on hand for a Q&A session. Sounds familiar?Nobody was expelled, though.

    Highlights included the rampant presence of proselytizing fundamentalists in the military academies, especially the Air Force Academy, with Ted Haggard’s (former) church just down the road. A nice clip of Haggard (pre scandal) himself nearly turned my stomach.

    This documentary underlines the lies promoted by Expelled. It will be opening formally on the same day as Expelled IIRC, in select theatres, as they say. (A couple are in NY City, near my home.)

    What a triumph!

  182. #182 The Evolved Rationalist
    March 28, 2008

    I wasted an hour of my life listening to that theistarded conference, and I blogged about it here:

    http://www.evolvedrational.com/2008/03/first-hand-account-of-expelled.html

    Good job, PZ!

  183. #183 Pierce R. Butler
    March 28, 2008

    PZ Myers: … I dialed in a few minutes early, and got to listen to a tiresome five minutes of Leslie and Paul chatting away, during which time they mentioned the secret code (DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH!) for the two way calls.

    CrypticLife: The expelled invitation link has NO robots files anywhere on it at this time, anywhere along its tree. The site is freely searchable and open to the public.

    Rey Fox: … they apparently forgot that PZ is a crew member, when they sent us our invitation.

    These guys are clearly not prepared to take on any nefarious jackbooted worldwide conspiracy. You’d almost think they didn’t take their own scenario very seriously.

  184. #184 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    Show us some science Kevin.

  185. #185 Rebecca Watson
    March 28, 2008

    I was on the conference call, recording the entire thing. I’ve uploaded the clip where PZ blows into town, and you can listen here: http://skepchick.org/blog/?p=1190

    Well done, PZ!

  186. #186 Miles
    March 28, 2008

    PZ is ID’s Ferris Beuller!

    Nice going PZ!

  187. #187 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    Thanks Rebecca. The whining was almost too much to take though.

  188. #188 Sue Laris
    March 28, 2008

    Mr. Kevin Wirth, self-described homo americanus superior, said:

    “Let’s see how far you get when you have over 200 million (or more) Americans climbing all over your case,” in a foam-flecked embarrassment to the language of Shakespeare.

    WATCH OUT! [An armored knight enters and hits Kevin over the head with a rubber chicken,]

    What a load of shite! WHAT ARE YOU and that circle jerk of snake-oil salesman (O’Leary likely being included)and Xian wankers that is the DI and its parody of a blog GOING TO DO, BLEED ON PZ????

    I dub thee The Black Knight of Ben Stein.
    Your motto: “I’m the biggest ant YOU’LL ever see!!!!!”

    First: I noticed that your site does not allow comments of any kind. You are another tiresome coward.

    Second: you are an extremely poor, long-winded, boring writer.

    Third: you couldn’t sound more insincerely shrillingly dishonest if you were Ben Stein himself defending a Republican congressperson arrested for soliciting sex in an airport toilet.

    Da Stoopid! It burrrns!

  189. #189 Marc Buhler
    March 28, 2008

    I must say, the you-tube vid tha Elphin (comment #94)does you proud, PZ – you all got the moves!

    Tell us – did you whisper quietly “All your base” before you spoke more loudly? Sort of, ‘cleared your throat’ with it?

  190. #190 chezjake
    March 28, 2008

    Oh, well done yourself, Rebecca! Thank you.

  191. #191 spayced
    March 28, 2008

    That was righteous! I’m so happy to hear someone speak against them. You handled it way better than I could have and showed more restraint than I would have managed. Thanks to skepchick for recording it too.

  192. #192 Janine, ID
    March 28, 2008

    PZ thinks he’s such a rock star…thinks that brashly crashing a press conference is such a cool thing to do. Maybe he’d show better restraint than the folks on the call did today if I were to insert my comments in his blog posts. Would that be OK PZ? Wouldn’t THAT be hilarious? I mean, you should have no objections to someone crashing your blog posts, right?

    Aren’t you the long winded bore. Anyone can post here. How the FUCK can you claim you are crashing this post?

    Also, very sad of you to smear Rosa Parks’ name. Rosa Parks did not pander to some people’s stupidity and willful ignorance. But I have good news. Your meme will not catch on.

    But feel free to bluster. Shit, feel free to post again. It is hilarious in a “slipped on a banana peel” kind of way.

  193. #193 Rebecca Watson
    March 28, 2008

    Thanks Rebecca. The whining was almost too much to take though.
    Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oh, you should’ve heard the other 60 minutes. Have you ever listened to an hour-long circle jerk on a speaker phone? It was like that.

  194. #194 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    Oh, you should’ve heard the other 60 minutes. Have you ever listened to an hour-long circle jerk on a speaker phone? It was like that.

    Yeah it sounded painful. Thanks for suffering.

    WATCH OUT! [An armored knight enters and hits Kevin over the head with a rubber chicken,]

    you win the intarwebs

  195. #195 Nullifidian
    March 28, 2008

    “But when we’ve practised for a while, how greatly we improve our style!”

    It’s actually “But when we’ve practised quite a while….” and is attributed to J.R. Pope (?? – 1941) with no further entries in the New Oxford Book of Light Verse.

  196. #196 PZ Myers
    March 28, 2008

    “How can you be so intelligent and question Darwinism?”

    That was the part where I had to cover my mouth to hide the retching noises.

  197. #197 jdb
    March 28, 2008

    “Ben Stein is now the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics. If that idea takes hold, I doubt you’ll be able to crawl out from under the dogpile.”

    It that idea takes hold, I doubt I’ll be able to look my fellow humans in the eye.

  198. #198 FutureMD
    March 28, 2008

    I’ve been watching clips from the movie, and what is so annoying is the brazen lying going on. They have a supposed population geneticists who claims that there is no known mechanism for increasing the amount of information in our genome. HELLO!?!?! You’re a popgen-ist and you don’t know about gene duplication? That’s why you should be denied tenure. That you are probably a godbot is irrelevent. It’s the incompetence that is getting you “persecuted.”

    The worst part about this whole movie is that if you don’t have a foundation of knowledge in bio, alot of it sounds very reasonable. Preying on the ignorant. Good for you Ben Stein.

  199. #199 Rebecca Watson
    March 28, 2008

    “How can you be so intelligent and question Darwinism?”

    That was the part where I had to cover my mouth to hide the retching noises.
    Posted by: PZ Myers

    I had already pulled that out as another clip worthy of distribution. Here you go!

    http://www.skepchick.org/intelligencia.mp3

    If anyone else wants a particular clip, I can pull it. I’ll collect them all in one handy spot at some point.

  200. #200 Ph(i)Nk 0
    March 28, 2008

    Way to go! :-)

  201. #201 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    Oh vomit. Who’s voice is that listing out all the things teh “inelligencia” was wrong about.

    Fuck I need a stiff drink.

  202. #202 Rebecca Watson
    March 28, 2008

    Oh vomit. Who’s voice is that listing out all the things teh “inelligencia” was wrong about.

    That would be Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher himself. He’s a member of the intelligencia himself, you know.

  203. #203 Jennifer S
    March 28, 2008

    Oh, PZ. I love you. THANK YOU for fighting the good fight.

    You. Rock.

  204. #204 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    That was Stein?

    Damn, I really do need a drink.

  205. #205 Sue Laris
    March 28, 2008

    W/o wading through an hour of shit, can anyone would has already wasted their time doing so tell me if Ben Stein was asked “How is it you smell like summer, but in that manly way?”

  206. #206 Drinker
    March 28, 2008

    Here’s the full Expelled screenings list (including upcoming waitlisted ones) without the super secret ‘special’ in the URL: http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/events/list

  207. #207 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 28, 2008

    I guess they think us dumb rednecks down here in South Kackalacky don’t need no screenin’ of no dern movie. That or we can’t work these gold dern computer contraptions.

  208. #208 Nullifidian
    March 28, 2008

    Kevin Wirth:

    PZ thinks he’s such a rock star…thinks that brashly crashing a press conference is such a cool thing to do. Maybe he’d show better restraint than the folks on the call did today if I were to insert my comments in his blog posts. Would that be OK PZ? Wouldn’t THAT be hilarious? I mean, you should have no objections to someone crashing your blog posts, right?

    First off, Kevin Miller, then Kevin Wirth. I would like to apologize on behalf of people named Kevin. We’re not all idiots.

    Secondly, if you keep on posting here in this vein you may find that your words have “crashed” a blog post of PZ’s and become incorporated there–with Gumbies.

  209. #209 Vic
    March 28, 2008

    Ahahahhhahahahah!!!!

    “And by your incompetence shall they know you.” (probably written in the Gospel of Thomas or Judas or one of those books they left out of the bible…)

    How can these fundie fucktards just continue to be so incompetent again and again, especially after the Dawkins fiasco! Voltaire is smiling in his grave. (metaphorically speaking of course)

  210. #210 raven
    March 28, 2008

    Kevin Wirth:

    So C’mon PZ, bring on your brass knuckles and your steel toed boots – and let the disembowelment begin. Let’s see how far you get when you have over 200 million (or more) Americans climbing all over your case.

    Kevin, that name is familiar. Weren’t you the multi-ID psychotic (in the medical sense) troll, Mark, Stan, etc.. elected to the Future Mall Shooters of America for routine threats of violence? Got your ammo and guns all picked out yet?

  211. #211 Adam Robinson
    March 29, 2008

    You’ve stumbled into two moments of P.R. genius – entirely the other sides fault. Keep doing what you’re doing :)

  212. #212 Ian H Spedding FCD
    March 29, 2008

    They see him here, they see him there
    Those fundies see him everywhere
    Whether in movies or on the wires
    That damn’d persistent PZ Myers.

    (With apologies to Baroness Orczy)

  213. #213 SamDyuaa
    March 29, 2008
  214. #214 nerdiah
    March 29, 2008

    Myers, that was stupid of you.

  215. #215 Matt
    March 29, 2008

    You know, one thing I find very odd is that … well, the ID camp keeps on going on about discrimination against them. But what specific cases can they cite which actually stand up to any scrutiny?
    Crocker … gross incompetence.
    Gonzales … under-achiever that failed to live up to department standards.
    Sternberg … well, he just lied out his rear about pretty much the whole thing.

    Any other cases they try to wheel out?

  216. #217 October Mermaid
    March 29, 2008

    I approve of the Serenity reference.

    If I might add another, “I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. ‘Cept the people I’m better than.”

  217. #218 Just Al
    March 29, 2008

    Okay, that’s it, I’ve finally reached the point where I’m convinced beyond all doubt that the Disco ‘Tute is an elaborate hoax.

    I mean, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. No one, not even operating out of total ignorance and by complete chance, can screw up as many things as they have. Behe’s self-defeating testimony during Kitzmiller v. Dover should have been a clue (“It would not be fruitful,” ha! Get the fruit fly reference?), obtaining Ben Stein as their spokesperson was starting to get a bit heavy-handed, and “failing” to recognize Dawkins probably had the perpetrators hugging themselves and giggling.

    Nope, they’re just trying to see how many fish they can get on the same hook. Nobody could be that stupid and cross the street safely. Nobody. PZ, you should be ashamed of yourself. It’s like making fun of the special class kids.

    But just in case, I’ll buy you a few rounds if you ever find yourself (with horror, most likely) in North Carolina. This has been a hoot!

  218. #219 uriel
    March 29, 2008

    Although I might sometimes disagree whith the tactitics used here, all I can say is-

    Nicely done, Dr. Myers. I raise a drink in honor of your cunning and steadfast intransigence. Beautiful, and then some. I only wish I had something classier than Pepsi and cheap vodka on hand to toast your masterstroke with.

    And I’ll admit that anyone who can’t see the perfect justice and poetry of this skirmish really does need un-bunch their panties, toot-sweet.

    There’s framing and there’s framing, but this is framing writ wonderfully large and well.

    And any one who doesn’t get that really needs to rethink exactly what it is they’re trying to frame.

  219. #220 Annapolitan
    March 29, 2008

    After this last prank, PZ, I’m pretty sure you walk on water.

    Oh, wait…

  220. #221 uriel
    March 29, 2008

    PZ thinks he’s such a rock star…thinks that brashly crashing a press conference is such a cool thing to do. Maybe he’d show better restraint than the folks on the call did today if I were to insert my comments in his blog posts.

    The fact you can’t see the difference between these two alternatives speaks volumes about your insular intolerance and your mad desire desire to live in a perpetual echo chamber dedicated to your every whim. So sorry, but you’ll have to accept the fact that, on occasion, the real world might intrude on your delusions of superiority and supreme knowledge. Get used to it, it happens to us all.

    Remember, sometimes when the whole world seems to be pointing and calling you a fool, the problem isn’t the whole world- it’s just you.

    And as for this-

    Ben Stein is now the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics. If that idea takes hold, I doubt you’ll be able to crawl out from under the dogpile.

    Trust me, if that idea takes hold, not only would it mean that everything Rosa Parks stood for will have turned to tin and cheap plastics- it would signal the end of all reason as we know it.

    Although, possibly not all reason as _you_ know it, since you are quite clearly out of your rabbit-assed mind.

    Again, I point out- sometime its not the entire world, it’s just you.

  221. #222 David
    March 29, 2008

    That agonising pain I felt this morning was my first belly laugh for about 15 years. I cried too while making “hoo hoo hoo” noises until my wife arrived to ask what the matter was.

    Priceless. Well done.

  222. #223 uriel
    March 29, 2008

    jdb:

    It that idea takes hold, I doubt I’ll be able to look my fellow humans in the eye.

    O.K.- you put it better than I did.

    Props where props are due.

  223. #224 Susannah
    March 29, 2008

    Mathis: “They want to learn something, yes, but they want to be entertained along the way.”

    http://www.worldontheweb.com/2008/03/28/mark-mathis-interview/

    Oh, we are, we are!

    What’s that; you didn’t mean us?

    Too bad. You can’t expel people from public street theatre.

  224. #225 negentropyeater
    March 29, 2008

    Why not a movie about 6 letter surnames ?
    STALIN
    HITLER
    MUGABE
    POLPOT

    See a pattern ?
    It’s not Darwinism, it’s 6 letter surnames, they’ve caused the most evil dictators of the last century.

  225. #226 Susannah
    March 29, 2008

    James # 168:

    “PZWNED”

    Yes! I’ll be spelling it that way from now on.

  226. #227 James W.
    March 29, 2008

    #222

    Speaking of 6 letter surnames…

    MATHIS

    Alabama new math aside, I believe that’s also 6 letters…

  227. #228 Robin Zebrowski
    March 29, 2008

    I just watched that YouTube link that’s posted above – I think Dennett would totally wear that pimp hat if someone gave him one.

    Great great stuff.

  228. #229 craig
    March 29, 2008

    “Why not a movie about 6 letter surnames ?
    STALIN
    HITLER
    MUGABE
    POLPOT

    See a pattern ?
    It’s not Darwinism, it’s 6 letter surnames, they’ve caused the most evil dictators of the last century.”

    And once again I’ll say… Jesus CHRIST!

  229. #230 raven
    March 29, 2008

    Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

    I’ve discovered that this list really bothers fundies. Truth to them is like a cross to a vampire.

    There is a serious reign of terror by Xian fundie terrorists directed against the reality based academic community, specifically acceptors of evolution. I’m keeping a running informal tally, listed below. They include death threats, firings, attempted firings, assaults, and general persecution directed against at least 10 people.

    The Expelled Liars have totally ignored the ugly truth of just who is persecuting who.

    If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

    1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

    1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

    1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

    1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

    1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

    1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

    Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

    Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

    Up to 10 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

  230. #231 DiscoveredJoys
    March 29, 2008

    I’m beginning to see a pattern here…

    Uncommon Descent – critical posts are disappeared

    thinkingchristian – critical posters are blocked and comments are closed

    Evolution News and Views – no comments allowed

    Kevin Wirth’s blog – no comments allowed

    Expelled private previews – no criticism allowed (except they are not very good at managing their selected viewers)

    Expelled private press conference – questions only by email and stage managed (except they are not very good at restricting access)

    Now people are entitled to their worldview, but not their own facts. I guess they feel more comfortable if they don’t hear criticism.

    I expect that in some cases the snake-oil salesman doesn’t want you to know what is in the bottle.

  231. #232 Raiko
    March 29, 2008

    I am considerably amused by the the effect this must have had! Your voice crashing into their lie-festival must have been a manifestation of Mathis’ greatest nightmare.

    On the other hand, we’re very aware how this is going to be twisted: Look, PZ Myers did it again! He joined in uninvitedly. There sure won’t be a word of how you properly hung up, and how the Expelled people messed up their conference settings. In any case, even if anyone should be of the opinion *cough*Nisbet*cough* that this wasn’t right, it stands in no relation to the rudeness and blatant lying of Mathis, Stein and their underdogs.

    At this point I am thinking that the more uproar is caused about the happenings around Expelled, the better. Journalists are interested in digging in other people’s mud and a good story. I think the actual story – a censored telephone conference, dishonsesty, propaganda, self-loving and self-praising (Ben Stein), scientific incompetence, unrighteously obtained material, plus a movie that supposedly fails in filmmaking, contents and undermines the “Oh no we are not creationists”-philosophy of ID creationists… well, the slippery slope that Mathis, Stein and underdogs are taking is by far more of a story (and much more mud) than any uproar you could ever cause yourself, even if you wanted to.

  232. #233 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post 181: “Show us some science Kevin.”
    by Rev BigDumbChimp

    Would it matter if I did bring you some science? You guys are so sure of yourselves that there couldn’t POSSIBLY be any valid answer except an evolutionary one. The first knee-jerk response I see from most people on this blog is to reject any challenge to an evolutionary explanation as retarded in the 34th degree (or higher).

    You guys are pretty much like pirahna on fresh meat – an eating machine that takes bites and asks if they should have later (maybe!).

    You guys can pop off in this blog space all you want, but, here’s the reality: If you want to make any headway with the scientifically illiterate public you despise and deride so regularly here, then you need to take a different approach. (Now THERE’S a DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH! far bigger than Motive’s bonehead outing of their code prior to yesterday’s press teleconference call…).

    You don’t get it (or more likely you just don’t care…). If you want to win this thing, it’s not going to get done by shoving the so-called “scientific evidence” down people’s throats, bringing out the brass knuckles and steel-toed boots. You guys think ‘nasty’ will get you where you want to be, because being nice doesn’t matter.
    You think you can force-feed your so-called evidence with all the vileness you want, because in the end, the evidence will win out, and so why not have some fun in the process.

    Right?

    NEWS FLASH: THAT idea is definitely the minority view.

    I think it’s interesting that we have so many folks on this site who think the Bush war policy of bombing the crap out of Iraqi citizens is reprehensible, and yet have absolutely no qualms whatsoEVER about doing essentially the same thing to Americans who dissent over some aspects of evolution. And don’t try and tell me it ain’t so.

    You view dissenters as the enemy. And I’m telling you, if you want to declare war (which is essentially what PZ’s ‘knuckle and shoe’ comment is) — then fine. Let’s see how far it gets you,

    So, if you want to talk about science, I’m willing. But I wanna see the ground rules first. Send ‘em to me.

  233. #234 PhysioProf
    March 29, 2008

    I was kind of hoping that you would have shouted “You’re all a bunch of demented fucking wackaloons!!1!11!!!!” before you hung up.

    I hope you will forgive my blog shilling; I have posted on this topic here:

    http://physioprof.wordpress.com/2008/03/23/framing-non-insane-responses-to-delusional-nutjob-theocratic-wackadoodle-douchehounds/
    http://physioprof.wordpress.com/2008/03/21/ridiculous-demented-right-wing-wackaloon-theocratic-douchemonkeys-fuck-up-big-time/

  234. #235 rjb
    March 29, 2008

    Commonly undecent has a new post up calling PZ a “serial gatecrasher” now. In the comments, DaveScot has compared PZ’s behavior to that of a rapist!! These people just have no shame. I attempted to post a comment that will probably never make it past moderation. Here’s what I tried to post

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    PZ was uninvited, definitely, and you can argue that he was pushing the ethical boundaries by “sneaking in” to the press conference. But are you seriously conflating physical assault with verbal argument? Are you saying that PZ exhibited criminal behavior by using a publicly accessible access code to call in to the radio show?

    Criticize PZ for his tactics, fine. But be realistic about the level of the “insult” that he created.

  235. #236 Christophe Thill
    March 29, 2008

    The fun never ends. I think PZ has now officially graduated to the status of nemesis. I can only imagine what happened in the head of the EXPELLers gang when they heard his voice. Or the look on their face. It must have been priceless.

  236. #237 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post # 229: “Kevin Wirth’s blog – no comments allowed”
    by Discovered Joys

    I have to admit this is a legitimate observation, and I apologize. I also agree that it’s not a good thing. In fact, I mentioned this to my comrades again just yesterday, and will be taking steps to remedy it in the future.

    Unfortunately, I am not in control of managing the ‘no comments’ status of my current blog, so I’ll be making changes to that soon.

  237. #238 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post #212
    by Matt

    “You know, one thing I find very odd is that … well, the ID camp keeps on going on about discrimination against them. But what specific cases can they cite which actually stand up to any scrutiny?
    Crocker … gross incompetence.
    Gonzales … under-achiever that failed to live up to department standards.
    Sternberg … well, he just lied out his rear about pretty much the whole thing.

    Any other cases they try to wheel out?”

    So Matt…

    if you go read my review of Expelled, you’ll find your answer to this question, both in the review itself and at a comment I posted afterward.

    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2?author=9

  238. #239 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    It’s very simple Kevin. Provide some science that supports your position.

    There is nothing I have seen that does so. You try to make it more complex by waving the persecution flag and screaming about the bad nasty “darwinists”.

    Provide science that supports your position. You can start by providing a testable theory. Doing so will stop all imaginary persecution.

    You don’t get it (or more likely you just don’t care…). If you want to win this thing, it’s not going to get done by shoving the so-called “scientific evidence” down people’s throats, bringing out the brass knuckles and steel-toed boots. You guys think ‘nasty’ will get you where you want to be, because being nice doesn’t matter.
    You think you can force-feed your so-called evidence with all the vileness you want, because in the end, the evidence will win out, and so why not have some fun in the process.

    Right?

    Wrong. I’d be happy just to see some actual science and not just a multi headed marketing campaign. The science isn’t only about convincing the lay person. The science is about ..well science. You hurt yourself by making long posts like this about the self perceived persecution instead of giving us something that is testable and repeatable to support your position. Again, first give us the testable theory you are supporting. That would help.

    NEWS FLASH: THAT idea is definitely the minority view.

    Which idea? That we need evidence and not another public relations campaign to back scientific assertions? Don’t think so Kevin.

    I think it’s interesting that we have so many folks on this site who think the Bush war policy of bombing the crap out of Iraqi citizens is reprehensible, and yet have absolutely no qualms whatsoEVER about doing essentially the same thing to Americans who dissent over some aspects of evolution. And don’t try and tell me it ain’t so.

    You view dissenters as the enemy. And I’m telling you, if you want to declare war (which is essentially what PZ’s ‘knuckle and shoe’ comment is) — then fine. Let’s see how far it gets you,

    It’s very simple Kevin. Produce. Period. Dissent is at the heart of the self correcting nature of the scientific community. But in order for dissent to work, there has to be actual science to put up against the current accepted explanation. Crying and wringing of hands then filming it and releasing it as a support to your position still does not qualify.

  239. #240 negentropyeater
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin,

    you said, “I think it’s interesting that we have so many folks on this site who think the Bush war policy of bombing the crap out of Iraqi citizens is reprehensible, and yet have absolutely no qualms whatsoEVER about doing essentially the same thing to Americans who dissent over some aspects of evolution. And don’t try and tell me it ain’t so.”

    Interesting comparison, can you please provide a concrete example that shows that WE(?) are essentially doing the same thing as bombing innocent Iraqi civilians ?

  240. #241 Physis
    March 29, 2008

    @ #237

    Erm… listen to the recording?

  241. #242 Nick Gotts
    March 29, 2008

    “I think it’s interesting that we have so many folks on this site who think the Bush war policy of bombing the crap out of Iraqi citizens is reprehensible, and yet have absolutely no qualms whatsoEVER about doing essentially the same thing to Americans who dissent over some aspects of evolution.” – Kevin Wirth

    I’ve got the CNN website on another tab, and do you know, there’s NOT A WORD about yesterday’s evilutionist bombing runs on churches, synagogues, and creationist “colleges”! NOT A WORD!!! But what would you expect from the liberal-atheist dominated media??????

  242. #243 Physis
    March 29, 2008

    I have never knowingly conducted high-altitude bombing raids on the Discovery Institute.

  243. #244 Intellectuneck
    March 29, 2008

    You know, you would never have seen this type of bungling from the masters–Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson–during the Glory Days of televangelism.

    It really is astonishing how bad the entire ID establishment is with PR.

    –There were giants in the Earth in those days. . . .

  244. #245 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post # 227
    by raven

    “Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists…
    Up to 10 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.”

    I’d like to thank you for this post – I’m always looking for info like this.

    But I do have to add that 10 instances pales in comparison with the number of cases that I personally know about where competent people were discriminated against just because of their religious views or because they simply didn’t accept one or more aspect of evolution.

    If you guys can bash people like Gonzalez and Crocker, then I guess you won’t have much respect for anyone’s credibility.

    How about C. Everett Koop? Anyone care to bash his ability to function as a medical doctor?

    I’m waiting…

  245. #246 speedwell
    March 29, 2008

    Thanks to PZ, Richard Dawkins, and others willing to sit through it, we know where the real bomb is, fortunately.

  246. #247 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post # 237
    by negentropyeater

    “Interesting comparison, can you please provide a concrete example that shows that WE(?) are essentially doing the same thing as bombing innocent Iraqi civilians ?”

    Sure.

    You can kill people a lot of different ways. You can blow them up with a bomb, or eviscerate them while they live (a much more horrible death, I promise).

    The point I’m trying to drive home here is this: when people in academia or the scientific community effectively “lynch” someone merely because they hold to religious views, or hold other non-religious reasons for not accepting some aspect of evolution, they are treated to a living death.

    Most people I’ve seen on this blog seem to think such folks deserve such treatment, yet, many of them ARE perfectly competent and qualified scientists and academics.

    When someone has worked hard, and has EARNED the right to practice science or teach science (not religion) – many times they are branded as religious fundies, even though they have been very scrupulous about their approach. Asking questions, and challenging others to do the same isn’t enough reason to put the clamps on someone and haul them off the funny farm.

    That’s just too easy, and the public AIN’T going to buy it.

    Heck, I know of one poor guy who had a bumper sticker on his car that said “Question Darwin” and for THAT he lost his career.

    What happens to the scores of people who have been denied tenure, told they couldn’t be granted a degree because of their “religious” views, etc. etc. varies from one person to the next. However, it’s not at all uncommon for them to suffer severe bouts of depression and worse. Marriages and families are brought under intense emotional and economc strain. Many victims suffer considerable loss of personal self-esteem. what happens to many victims isn’t pretty. These are not ugly, bad, ignorant, stupid people. They are decent and respectable – and when that kind of person gets trashed on a regular basis (and I can demonstrate that), then there is a big problem, however ‘misguided’ you may think such people are.

    Of course, I know I must be boring most of you with all of this, because I’m pretty sure most of you think it’s all well deserved.

    But what many people here don’t seem to realize is that CRUELTY is not a virtue with most people. And the absence of (at least perceived) FAIRNESS is als0 not taken well by most. AND, when someone becomes the victim of gross DISCRIMINATION because of their beliefs, and for no other reason, then there is a perceived issue – whether YOU folks think it’s valid or not.

    The bottom line is, the treatment of Darwin Skeptics in academia and the scientific community will be perceived by the vast majority of the American public to be overkill and an injustice in need of being righted.

    And whatever you might think of Expelled, the inevitable outcome of this movie will be to put all of this in the public spotlight. And it won’t look good.

    Count on it.

  247. #248 Cheezits
    March 29, 2008

    I’m beginning to see a pattern here…

    Uncommon Descent – critical posts are disappeared

    thinkingchristian – critical posters are blocked and comments

    But then there’s Kevin Miller’s blog, where he seems to be the only one arguing in favor of ID. I suspect a Darwinian conspiracy to silence all opposing views. :-D

  248. #249 Intellectuneck
    March 29, 2008

    If you guys can bash people like Gonzalez and Crocker, then I guess you won’t have much respect for anyone’s credibility.

    I would imagine that Koop probably has a pretty solid understanding of antibiotic resistance, for example.

    Now, as to hiring and firing, certainly if one hired a civil engineer to design a bridge, and he insisted on using 3 instead of Pi (I Kings 7:23-26), one would have a serious problem.

    Well, one would imagine the employer would be at a quandary, since if one plugs 3 instead of Pi into one’s calculations, the resulting bridge would fail. The question, if one buys into the current discourse of “teach the controversy” and “don’t oppress me because of my religion,” would be whether to risk a deluge of damning PR from the religious media, or fire the guy so as to reach the goal of a structurally sound bridge.

    Now, if one seeks a job as an evolutionary biologist, the employer ought reasonably to expect him to use the (proven) predictive power of evolutionary theory in his work. If he refuses to do so because of his religious beliefs, the situation becomes absurd. Surely no one is forcing Muslims to work at pork processing plants–people who don’t like evolution are likewise not forced into St. Jude’s research wing, slaving away for weeks at a time using the (proven) aspects evolutionary biology to fight cancer.

    If a man says “I don’t believe in Pi,” he is not barred from becoming a very competent real estate agent, executive, Olympic athlete, etc. He is not taxed at a higher rate–no one throws bricks at his house. Likewise if a man says “I am Jewish,” no one forces him to slice bacon all day. However, if someone pretends for a job as a NASCAR engine tech, but defiantly refuses to build engines because he disbelieves internal combustion, the pit crew would certainly be justified in firing him–no prejudice or oppression there, just simple pragmatics
    :)

  249. #250 Beowulff
    March 29, 2008

    PZ thinks he’s such a rock star…thinks that brashly crashing a press conference is such a cool thing to do. Maybe he’d show better restraint than the folks on the call did today if I were to insert my comments in his blog posts. Would that be OK PZ? Wouldn’t THAT be hilarious? I mean, you should have no objections to someone crashing your blog posts, right?

    … said Kevin Wirth, when he crashed into PZs blog unhindered. In fact, no crashing was required, he could walk right in. Not even an invitation was needed. So far, nobody has even asked him to leave or stop posting either. I think Mr. Wirth just doesn’t know how privileged he is.

  250. #251 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    Myers, that was stupid of you.

    Posted by: nerdiah | March 29, 2008 12:47 AM

    You did a better job of concern trolling at Panda’s Thumb when you wrote this:

    nerdiah:

    You people are idiots. And this post is inaccurate — please, Myers even admitted that he was misbehaving when he used the code.

    This stunt of Myers’ has played right into their hands. Up until this point, the Expelled group were spinning like mad and tripping all over their own lies. They had got so desperate that they were resorting to slander, accusing Myers of being sneaky when he signed up for the RSVP. And then what does he do? He goes and gets sneaky with that conference-call code. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    He should have left well enough alone. They were doing a good enough job of hanging themselves without any need for help. Now he has stuffed it.

  251. #252 negentropyeater
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin,
    “And whatever you might think of Expelled, the inevitable outcome of this movie will be to put all of this in the public spotlight. And it won’t look good.”

    1. It won’t look good for whom ?
    2. I predict this movie will have no effect whatsoever, neither on our culture, nor our laws. Zero. Just a big waste of time. It will just go totally forgotten in the anals of history, like most things that are completely void of any interesting content.
    3. In a few decades, nobody will remember Ben Stein and all the supposedely great ID pseudoscientists, but mark my word, Darwin will still be regarded as one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known.

  252. #253 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    But what many people here don’t seem to realize is that CRUELTY is not a virtue with most people. And the absence of (at least perceived) FAIRNESS is als0 not taken well by most. AND, when someone becomes the victim of gross DISCRIMINATION because of their beliefs, and for no other reason, then there is a perceived issue – whether YOU folks think it’s valid or not.

    It’s not cruel to require scientists making extraordinary claims to back those claims with science. That is not discrimination, that’s good science. This is apparently not acceptable to the ID crown. They want a pass. They want to be taken seriously first and produce second.

    They are soundly and rightly attacked when they want to shove these non-supported assertions into the public education system.

  253. #254 alex
    March 29, 2008

    to further demonstrate his excitability, DaveScot at UncommonDescent compares PZ to a rapist, and the conference as a rape victim.

    ouch.

  254. #255 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    So, if you want to talk about science, I’m willing. But I wanna see the ground rules first. Send ‘em to me.

    Posted by: Kevin Wirth | March 29, 2008 8:00 AM

    You can only talk biological science in evolution, no conflating abiogensis, it’s a different science. You must make positive assertions, bring theory & experiments to support your arguments. Peer reviewed papers, in credible scientific journals (no AIG) must include a testable hypothesis and cannot have been withdrawn by the publisher. Literature surveys do not count.

    Anything appearing in the Talk Origins Index to Creationist Claims automatically defaults you to “lose.”

    Any argument from incredulity defaults you to lose. “Goddidit arguments” without tangible proof of a designer defaults you to lose. If you wish to prove the existence of God, you must over-come infinite regression and put-on tangible proof.

    If you’re stupid enough to bring the bible, be warned, it’s likely that I know so much more about the origins of the Jewish religion than you that there’s no contest. We’ll start with God’s wife, the two creation stories and the myth of Exodus as those are my favorites. But I’m also willing to discuss the myth of the missing 10-tribes.

  255. #256 Cheezits
    March 29, 2008

    You can kill people a lot of different ways. You can blow them up with a bomb, or eviscerate them while they live (a much more horrible death, I promise).

    Or you can trivialize the suffering of bombing victims by equating it with being snubbed by people who are better educated.

    Speaking from the front lines in Iraq here? How would you know what’s worse?

  256. #257 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    And whatever you might think of Expelled, the inevitable outcome of this movie will be to put all of this in the public spotlight. And it won’t look good.

    Count on it.

    Posted by: Kevin Wirth | March 29, 2008 9:32 AM

    You got something right. The publicity for Expelled has been horrible. No matter how they try to spin the idiotic “all publicity is good publicity” meme.

    It’s not. The publicity on that idiotic creationist shooter was so bad that not even the shooter fans would buy it. The publicity on Fatty Arbuckle (who was innocent) destroyed his career.

    I could go on for hours about bad publicity has ruined lives, products and careers. We’ve all seen it. Why some people seem to suddenly forget BAD publicity is BAD…

    Never makes any sense to me…

  257. #258 bibanu
    March 29, 2008

    INTELLECTUNECK – You example with 3 for PI display both a (typical in this circle) misunderstanding of the Bible and an unfair analogy.

    Much of the Bible is DESCRIPTIVE (NOT prescriptive) – and you have to understand that many times the numbers are rounded. It was typical to do that all over the ancient Near East.

    I am not aware of any Christian (or Jewish) reader who took that passage as DESCRIPTIVE and lived his life as such.

    As far as evolution goes – it is also a FACT that there are very many excellent doctors out there who don’t but into this theory. What I do not understand is – why are you guys so INSECURE if someone dares to challenge this theory (I know you BELIEVE it is a fact). Personally (I am a Christian) I would be secure enough if somebody attacked Christianity – especially if it was with patently FALSE claims (and there have been many such attempts lately – Da Vinci Code etc).

    The FACT is (and this is a FACT) – MOST AMERICANS do not buy into this theory of evolution despite decades of teaching ONLY this theory in most of our schools. Now – I am sure that many of you believe that ALL THESE AMERICANS are IDIOTS etc…

    UNFORTUNATELY – for your theory – that is simply NOT the truth – as inconvenient as that may sound.

    How much exposure does CREATIONISM or ID get in the media, schools etc?? Not very much, and when it gets it is mostly NEGATIVE. So – why are you so INSECURE when they come with a movie that questions certain “facts” of evolution???

    After so many years of teaching EVOLUTION ONLY in schools – why aren’t you secure enough that most people will be able to figure out the LIES in this documentary??? (I know – some of you believe that most Americans are IDIOTS – thank God for the enlightened few on this blog :):)).

    All these blogs buzzing with this movie and unfairness about the EXPULSION of PZ give a clear impression of INSECURITY (in my opinion) of this community, and of a lack of life.

    I do not (honestly) want to insult anybody here – but I honestly see a lack of “life” in people who spend their time and energy doing what you are doing on these blogs.

    Of course – I see a lack of LIFE and WISDOM in anybody who spends his/her life writing books that try to prove that someone (God) does not exist (e.g. Dawkins). I would NOT spend my energy trying to prove that something does not exist.

    Please forgive me if I insulted anybody. That was not my intention.

  258. #259 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    Ben Stein is now the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics. If that idea takes hold, I doubt you’ll be able to crawl out from under the dogpile.

    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2?author=9.

    Posted by: Kevin Wirth | March 28, 2008 10:12 PM

    If that idea takes hold it’ll serve to further convince me of the overwhelming narcissim of the average Creo-bot.

  259. #260 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    [Please forgive me if I insulted anybody. That was not my intention.]
    Liar liar pants on fire, hair all sticking up like wire.
    [The FACT is (and this is a FACT) - MOST AMERICANS do not buy into this theory of evolution despite decades of teaching ONLY this theory in most of our schools. Now - I am sure that many of you believe that ALL THESE AMERICANS are IDIOTS etc...
    As far as evolution goes - it is also a FACT that there are very many excellent doctors out there who don't but into this theory.]
    Bias is not sorcery. American Idol is not a model of epistemology. That’s argument from popularity, friend.
    [All these blogs buzzing with this movie and unfairness about the EXPULSION of PZ give a clear impression of INSECURITY (in my opinion) of this community, and of a lack of life.]
    POP goes Projection! (c’mon, I can’t be the *only* one who remembered that emotionally-scarring ad…)

  260. #261 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    bibanu

    Equal theories deserve equal treatment. ID / Creationism has produced zero science for it be considered as equal.

    It’s not insecure to fight fight outright lies. The movie is full of them. Read the reviews from links posted in this exact post.

    In the future you would do better by not capitalizing words throughout your comments. While you may be a reasoned person, unreasonable and sometimes frankly quite unhinged people tend to do that. Not an attack, just a suggestion.

    How much exposure does CREATIONISM or ID get in the media, schools etc?? Not very much, and when it gets it is mostly NEGATIVE. So – why are you so INSECURE when they come with a movie that questions certain “facts” of evolution???

    You may not have been paying attention to all of the school boards trying to push this legislation through. There are many. i live in SC and I can think of a number of different instances here alone.

    The point is to teach the currently accepted best availabel science in schools. That is evolution. ID / Creationism has done nothing to promote it’s standing via science. It has only use PR campaigns.

    And no insult taken :)

  261. #262 elendil
    March 29, 2008

    Moses @ 248: What the fuck makes you think I’m concern trolling? I said what I meant and I meant what I said. If you can’t comprehend someone disagreeing with their own group, then that’s your problem, not mine.

  262. #263 Intellectuneck
    March 29, 2008

    How much exposure does CREATIONISM or ID get in the media, schools etc??

    It would be perfectly legal TO teach creationism or intelligent DESIGN in a philosophy class or an overview OF religions class.

    However, teaching it in science CLASS would be a violation of the constitution, since both creationism and intelligent design are derived FROM one specific view of Christianity. It is illegal for an agent of the STATE to underwrite or support any one religion during the COMMISSION of his job.

    Now, about Americans believing or disbelieving evolution–I am sorry BUT that is completely BESIDE the POINT.

    If a poll showed, for example, that a majority of US citizens disbelieved in gravity, the PLANETS would not spiral drunkenly into the void, FREED from billions of years of NEWTONIAN imprisonment.

    None of this has anything to do with insecurity. It has everything to do with politico-religionism–in fact, ID was CONCOCTED by politico-religionists (and funded by them) with the EXPRESS intent of effecting social engineering through replacing science with a “theistic view of the universe.” This is a matter of PUBLIC record.

    Hope this helPS

  263. #264 negentropyeater
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin,

    it would have been much more useful for our culture to make a movie about the disastrous effects of confusing pseudoscience, which is based on beliefs without evidence, and real science, which is based on real evidence.
    Yes indeed, a movie on the Nürnberg laws would have shown what happens when people get confused into believing that the basis for racial hygiene and other negative eugenics theories is based on real science and not pseudoscience.

    So what is next ? Confusing ID’s pseudoscientific theories with real science is what you hope might serve as moral justification for getting rid of homosexuality and abortion ?

  264. #265 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    I like PIE. Sometimes I’m in the MOOD for apple pie. SOMETIMES I’m in the mood FOR pumpkin PIE. I like BANANA CREAM pie too. Particularly with a tall GLASS of MILK.
    I like LEMON pudding pie TOO.
    See how annoying that is?

  265. #266 Reginald Selkirk
    March 29, 2008

    Unfortunately, I am not in control of managing the ‘no comments’ status of my current blog,

    Aww, they don’t trust widdle Kevin with policy.

  266. #267 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    Another analogy for appeal to popularity:
    If the majority of the US population, for whatever reason, did not believe in tomatoes, would tomatoes suddenly cease to exist?

  267. #268 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    Moses @ 248: What the fuck makes you think I’m concern trolling? I said what I meant and I meant what I said. If you can’t comprehend someone disagreeing with their own group, then that’s your problem, not mine.

    Posted by: elendil | March 29, 2008 10:34 AM

    New name? Doesn’t matter. You engaged in concern trolling. Look it up sometime before you blow a gasket when someone calls you out on it. Wikipedia is a good place to start and I think the example does a darn good job of tying into your actions:

    A concern troll is a pseudonym created by a user whose point of view is opposed to the one that the user’s sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.[10]

    For example, in 2006 a top staffer for then-Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) was caught posing as a “concerned” supporter of Bass’s opponent, Democrat, Paul Hodes on several liberal New Hampshire blogs, using the pseudonyms “IndieNH” or “IndyNH.” “IndyNH” expressed concern that Democrats might just be wasting their time or money on Hodes, because Bass was unbeatable.[11] Bass ended up losing the election.

    And if you don’t want to be labeled a concern troll, don’t act one in public. Especially don’t go around changing your pseudonym from thread-to-thread. Or within threads.
    Because there’s no way that particular behavior is going to help you win your “I’m not a concern troll” argument.

  268. #269 Kseniya
    March 29, 2008

    Ben Stein is now the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics

    Wow. That’s a stretch. Kevin, do realize that this inane comparison renders the rest of your opinions dismissable? What an insult to Rosa Parks, the civil rights movement, and to skepticism itself. Geez, for a minute there, I thought you might actually be worth taking seriously.

    If a person rejects an idea he don’t understand because it makes him vaguely uncomfortable, that doesn’t make him a “skeptic”. However, it can – as Expelled! so luridly demonstrates – turn him into a demagogue.

  269. #270 Dale Austin
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin;

    Koop is about the worst example you could have brought up. I mean, really, if your thesis is that the religious are getting repressed, wouldn’t he be a perfect coutner example? Further, he was well known for not letting his personal religious or political beliefs intrude on the science. At the end of his tenure, there was a great deal of pressure put on him by conservative politicians to endorse the notion that abortion leads to long-term psychological problems. Despite his personal pro-life beliefs, he flat out refused because the science said otherwise. He engaged in an anti-smoking campaign that got him in trouble with some legislators as well. Science over ideology there as well. And his AIDS work got him in hot water as well.

    Of course, his religious beliefs did prevent him from rising any higher than Surgeon General. Imagine what he might have accomplished if he hadn’t been persecuted by the Darwinian Mafia?

  270. #271 jim
    March 29, 2008

    Paul, you rock so hard it’s a wonder you don’t fall over.

    #240: “I’m not in any way condoning any high-level bombing raids that somebody might conduct on the Discovery Institute if they happened to have any fighter jets spare (wink, wink), but its map reference, purely for information, is…”

  271. #272 alex
    March 29, 2008

    bibanu:
    I would be secure enough if somebody attacked Christianity – especially if it was with patently FALSE claims (and there have been many such attempts lately – Da Vinci Code etc).

    i’m sorry, but this is hilarious.
    if you saw the Da Vinci Code as an attack on Christianity, rather than a pretty second-rate sub-Indiana Jones adventure story, well – i don’t know what to say.

  272. #273 chancelikely
    March 29, 2008

    Alex #269: I’d say the attack on Christianity from the Da Vinci Code comes when you realize that Dan Brown’s version isn’t significantly sillier than the real story. Indeed, I’d argue that, except for adding one more conspiracy, it’s less silly.

  273. #274 raven
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin Wirth Lying:

    But I do have to add that 10 instances pales in comparison with the number of cases that I personally know about where competent people were discriminated against just because of their religious views or because they simply didn’t accept one or more aspect of evolution.

    Kevin, I got it right the first time. You really are a full blown psychotic. And you aren’t taking your medications.

    That is a flat out lie. The Expelled film documents these supposed acts of discrimination. They couldn’t even get 5. No one was even fired.

    Dembski was kicked out of Baylor twice for erratic, bizarre behavior.

    Crocker wasn’t rehired, common for instructors and she is clearly incompetent.

    Gonzalez denied tenure. For good causes having to do with him going inert.

    So who else is there?

    BTW, Xians make up 78% of the USA. Hardly a minority.
    Xian terrorists have killed 7 MDs, attempted to kill 17, and wounded over 200.

    Kevin, I sincerely hope you are so crippled by your psychosis that you are unable to orient to person, place, or time. A lot more psychotics would end up shooting up malls but they are too confused to plan and carry out simple things like making “dinner” to do so.

  274. #275 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    I love it so!

    Guess who?

    JAD take your meds. Please.

  275. #276 Blake Stacey
    March 29, 2008

    It will just go totally forgotten in the anals of history

    Tee hee.

    No, seriously, there might be a good pun-based observation in here, something about the character of people who keep histories of cultural minutiae. . . .

  276. #277 alex
    March 29, 2008

    You are finished P.Z. Myers, washed up, kaput and put out to dry.

    I love it so!

    Guess who?

    for you! zee varr is over! PZ Meyerz!

  277. #278 James Haight
    March 29, 2008

    You truly have the hacker nature, sir, and I salute you.

  278. #279 Susan
    March 29, 2008

    This entire episode has been an unending delight. The truth will out, of course, and their sky fairies won’t help them, but it’s really too bad that the effect of the IDiots diversionary tactics has been to hobble science education here versus in the rest of the civilized world. I think Kung Fu Monkey nailed it years ago, when he wrote in his The President and Intelligent Design post:

    Seriously. Here you are, Tsui or Sanjay, looking at a new cenury. A century in which the exponential curve of technology’s rise becomes a sheer cliff. In which only the most intellectually nimble countries, best able to master new information technologies and couple them with manufacturing bases with high levels of technical training, will survive.

    And you’re looking at that big bastard across the ocean, the US of A. First to build the Bomb. First to master the secrets of the atom. First to build the semiconductor. First and only tribe of humans who actually put men on the GODDAM MOON, to have stepped on another rock in space. Decoders of the human genome, the VERY BOOK OF LIFE !!! How will we ever stop –

    Wow, they forfeit. Cool.

    http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/08/president-and-intelligent-design.html

    Thanks for all the work you do trying to slow the (apparant) inevitability of our benevolent Chinese overlords, PZ! And for making it so amusing at the same time.

  279. #280 Proud Athiest
    March 29, 2008

    PZ,

    You and RD are truly an embarrassment to well meaning athiests everywhere. Please stop making fools of yourselves so the rest of us can begin to restore the good name atheism once had.

    PA

  280. #281 True Bob
    March 29, 2008

    Proud AtheistConcern Troll #840467

    Fixed it for you.

  281. #282 Kseniya
    March 29, 2008

    so the rest of us can begin to restore the good name atheism once had.

    TrueBob, I smell sarcasm.

  282. #283 True Bob
    March 29, 2008

    Kseniya, my smeller may be off line due to the recent spate of exploding irony meters.

  283. #284 dkew
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin claims to know many people fired and denied tenure for their religious beliefs by the evilutionists, but doesn’t name any, of course. How many thousands of fundie private schools, colleges and “universities” won’t hire people who know evolution is real? How many public schools still do the same, overtly or covertly? I think a century of instructors have minimized their evilutionist indoctrination of the country, to keep their jobs amidst loud fundie yahoos. Raven may well be right, about Kevin being off his meds.

  284. #285 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2008

    I pleased to have embarrassed those well meaning athiests. We’ll have to find out what the atheists think before I care very much, though.

  285. #286 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2008

    Note the symmetry, too: Kevin doesn’t name any victims, Walt Ruloff can’t say what the questions are that he claims scientists aren’t allowed to ask.

  286. #287 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    trackback to post #246
    by Intellectuneck

    “If you guys can bash people like Gonzalez and Crocker, then I guess you won’t have much respect for anyone’s credibility.

    I would imagine that Koop probably has a pretty solid understanding of antibiotic resistance, for example.”

    The point I wanted to make about C. Everett Koop is this:
    the man is a world-renown surgeon, who pioneered many life saving techniques. He is fully capable and is a WORLD CLASS LEADER in his field. There is no question about his competency, and yet… he is a, um, creationist.

    (ohmigosh, you mean, you didn’t already KNOW this?)

    Like I said, I don’t hear anyone bashing C, Everett Koop.
    (maybe they have, but I haven’t read the newer blog posts yet…)

    This point is this: If he had to go and start his education all over again today, there is a very good chance that if anyone “outed” him, he might not have been granted any degree, and would never have been given the chance to become a surgeon and engineer his life-saving techniques.

    The bottom line here is that being a creationist does not prevent someone from competently functioning in a field of science- I don’t care what field you care to mention. Yet, in today’s reality, the threat of lost credentials looms larger than life for ANY Darwin skeptic.

    Yet, many claim that there is absolutely NO WAY someone can be a Darwin Doubter AND also be a good scientist or science educator, right?

    I fully DISAGREE with this, because I see Darwin skeptics all over the planet who are excellent and competent scientists and educators (like Koop). But what I also typically see handed to those folks is:

    No degree
    No tenure
    No advancement
    No awards
    No recognition
    No room
    No respect
    No accomodation

    It’s a HUGE list of negatives, and I’m telling you, the majority of Americans will not stand for it, We’ve even invented a dirty little word for these kinds of practices, it’scalled…Discrimination. And, it’s Illegal (not that very many I’ve seen here seems to care much about that). You can laugh about it all you want, but if many participants on this blog expect to get anywhere with their twisty little brass knuckle, steel-toed boot crusade, they need to think about how this will be perceived by most Americans.

  287. #288 Mooser
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin, it can be called discrimination. It is, as much as I regret it, both necessary and laudable to discriminate the true from the false, and the smart from the stupid. Or are you suggesting that creationists fall under the ADA?

    But let’s leave the last word to the Master:

    They say that bears,
    have love affairs.
    And even Camels!
    We’re merely mammals,
    Let’s Misbehave!

  288. #289 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2008

    Then Koop is an incompetent biologist. There’s just no way around it.

    Sure, he can be a good surgeon, or a good plumber, or a good mechanic…but not understanding evolution means he has an absolutely abysmal understanding of biology.

  289. #290 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Trackback to post #247
    by Beowulff

    “… said Kevin Wirth, when he crashed into PZs blog unhindered. In fact, no crashing was required, he could walk right in. Not even an invitation was needed. So far, nobody has even asked him to leave or stop posting either. I think Mr. Wirth just doesn’t know how privileged he is. ”

    First off, I DO consider it a privilege to be able to post here.

    Second, I in no way have “crashed” into PZ’s blog. Posting responses here is allowed (unless he decides to kick me off) and isn’t the same as crashing into one of his blog posts. Obviously, I didn’t explain my point adequately.

    What I was attempting to suggest is that if the shoe was on the other foot, and someone hacked into PZ’s blog and added text directly to HIS BLOG POSTS (and this is what I said…), then I doubt he would be very happy about it (neither would I, by the way…I think PZ has the right to say whatever he wants without having his words stepped on by someone else).

    Unfortuantely, PZ does not seem to understand that churlish behavior is unseemly to most folks, and won’t help him gain ground where he most needs to.

    So, NOW do you get my point?

  290. #291 Nullifidian
    March 29, 2008

    No degree
    No tenure
    No advancement
    No awards
    No recognition
    No room
    No respect
    No accomodation

    You expect awards for being a creationist? Isn’t it ironic that the right-wing, which in any other instance derides the “every kid gets an award” form of pedagogy, wants its very own gold star just for showing up?

    Sorry, science doesn’t work that way, and it’s a good thing.

  291. #292 chancelikely
    March 29, 2008

    OK, Kevin. It’s discrimination. But please explain to me, and others here, why discrimination against ideas unsupported by evidence is a bad thing.

    Or alternatively, explain why creationism is not an idea unsupported by the evidence.

  292. #293 rrt
    March 29, 2008

    Look folks. If anybody here is a Rosa Parks, it’s PZ, the persecution fantasies of our creationist friends notwithstanding. I’m not the Rosa Parks type…I wouldn’t have done what she or PZ did. I’m a coward and diplomatic to a fault. But I don’t pretend to say rigid, civil, nice-nice diplomacy is the only way to make a difference, when it’s obvious that major social changes have depended on aggressive firebrands as much as diplomats. So yeah, little ‘ol stick-up-the-butt me feels a little twinge at PZ’s brazen “call crashing.” But I think it was effective, and we’re probably better off in the long run with it. It underscores yet again the idiocy of our opponents, their fear of fair exchange, and their incompetence even in their efforts to block fair exchange. And a few reporters got a far more interesting and potentially helpful to us story than the creationist circle-jerk they were being fed. They’d have gotten the “PZ is an evil gate-crasher!” meme from these guys anyway. Now they can draw their own conclusions, and hopefully will follow this up with PZ.

    Regarding Kevin’s claims of tips and icebergs: He claims the iceberg is visible at his linked blog posting. Of course, there’s nothing there but more whining about how mean we scientists are in not allowing creationists to change the rules…apparently he’d rather we buy the book he has coming out (as editor) that claims to go into detail on these thousands of poor persecuted creationists, denied jobs in science because they can’t do science.

    Gotta say, though, Kev: “Look at all these smart doctors who reject evilution!” isn’t an auspicious start. Bet you’ve got some engineers, too. How many are named Steve?

  293. #294 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin you do know that the PR firm sent invites to the entire Panda’s Thumb Crew, right?

  294. #295 blf
    March 29, 2008

    [M]y [sarcasm] smeller may be off line due to the recent spate of exploding irony meters.

    Yeah, all that smoke does make it bit hard to smell anything else.

  295. #296 James F
    March 29, 2008

    #284

    Kevin, I would like to pose this question to you.

    One of the most astonishing things about the “creation science” and “intelligent design” movements is that they have never succeeded in publishing a peer-reviewed research paper in any of the journals indexed at the National Library of Medicine, which currently encompasses over SEVENTEEN MILLION citations. Amongst these citations the theory of evolution, on the other hand, has never been disproved. NLM covers all branches of the life sciences, and needless to say a paper providing evidence against evolution would be a blockbuster. So what’s the problem? There are two possibilities:

    1. Creationism and ID are based on supernatural explanations and religious belief, and thus do not qualify as science.
    2. A concerted worldwide effort by research scientists, scientific journal editors, educators, and the media has unjustly prevented a single valid creationism/ID manuscript from being published.

  296. #297 Dale Austin
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin:

    Has Koop attempted to teach creationism somewhere we are not aware of? He’s the perfect counter-example to your thesis-a person of faith who has done quite well for himself in medicine. Unless of course you’d like to argue that either he’s been in hiding from the atheist mob until quite recently, or that the atheist mob has only come into being recently.

    Koop knows the difference between science and bullshit. Always has, That’s why he succeeded.

  297. #298 rrt
    March 29, 2008

    You’re missing the point, Rev BDC. Overhearing and using a stupidly openly discussed conference call code is clearly directly equivalent to hacking into a secured web server. I expect to see PZ hijacking posts on Uncommon Descent any day now. And Dembski better guard his ATM PIN number with his life.

  298. #299 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    As yes. Pardon me then. I’ll go back to killing puppies and raping grandmothers now.

  299. #300 raven
    March 29, 2008

    Sure science discriminates against creationism. And astrology, witchcraft, geocentrism, flat earthers, and dozens of other primitive superstitions and mythologies. It is called truth versus lies, mythology, delusions, and superstition.

    Just doing its job.

    We tried Kevin’s way once. For thousands of years. It was called the Dark Ages.

  300. #301 raven
    March 29, 2008

    No degree No tenure No advancement No awards No recognition No room No respect No accomodation

    Yes, it is unfortunate that all the flat earthers, Big Foot fans, alien abductors, UFOers, elves, fairies, homeopaths, geocentrists, astrologers, and all the other pseudoscientific fields get no respect from reputable universities.

    I blame the enlightenment, the rise of Western civilization, the spread of literacy, wikipedia, and inexpensive computers connected to the internet.

  301. #302 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    Backtrack to post# 249
    by negentropyeater

    “Kevin,

    “And whatever you might think of Expelled, the inevitable outcome of this movie will be to put all of this in the public spotlight. And it won’t look good.”

    1. It won’t look good for whom ?
    2. I predict this movie will have no effect whatsoever, neither on our culture, nor our laws. Zero. Just a big waste of time. It will just go totally forgotten in the anals of history, like most things that are completely void of any interesting content.
    3. In a few decades, nobody will remember Ben Stein and all the supposedely great ID pseudoscientists, but mark my word, Darwin will still be regarded as one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known.”

    1. It won’t look good for people who could give a rats ass about Darwin Doubters who get denied tenure, denied an earned degree, are denied advancement, etc. etc. In other words – those who discriminate will lose respect and status in the view of most Americans who see this movie. But hey – why should it matter – losing respect is a small price to pay for ridding the planet of more Fundies, right?

    2. And I say this movie will start a conversation that leads to the discovery of a grave injustice that will startle most Americans. It will certainly shift the level of awareness of just how blatant and egregious the discrimination has been in recent years. People who once thought it was just a few isolated handful of incidents will soon come to realize that no – this is a widespread practice that happens all across America. This movie will begin to generate this awareness. And I look forward to that.

    3. I say that in time Darwin will come to be regarded as the great scientist he deserves to be. But his theory will also eventually become better defined. In time, the value of the Origin of Species will be replaced by the value of the Origin of Information.

    That’s the real issue here: How can evolution be shown to account for generating all the changes of information needed to support the notion of macroevolution. This is something that Darwin did not have visibility on. He had no clue just how complex cells really were. In fact, most people still have no clue about this.

    So far we can only infer and excrapolate evolution based on what we see at the micro level. Which means that some aspects of evolution have roots firmly planted in speculation, which is fine, except… that ISN’T any different than the speculation that life shows evidence of design. Speculation is speculation, and both ID and evolution theorists use the same evidence to support their allegations. But let’s clear about one thing: that’s exactly what we have at the macro level at this point – allegations.

  302. #303 blf
    March 29, 2008

    Overhearing and using a stupidly openly discussed conference call code is clearly directly equivalent to hacking into a secured web server.

    Rubbish. Pee Zed had no prior intent for joining the call on a two-way basis. He just used the opportunity handed to him. Crackers are usually deliberately trying to break in; that is, crackers have a preconceived intention. Pee Zed did not.

    In any case, Pee Zed’s actions didn’t cause Mathis et al. to lie, routinely and repeatedly. They were making fools of themselves without Pee Zed’s help. Pee Zed simply ensured the other listeners weren’t bamboozled by the “Lie Big, Lie Often” technique of the Expelled misfits.

  303. #304 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    That’s the real issue here: How can evolution be shown to account for generating all the changes of information needed to support the notion of macroevolution. This is something that Darwin did not have visibility on. He had no clue just how complex cells really were.

    AHHH I see. You’re one of those ID supporters. You know the ones who think that the ToE has not progressed or evolved (sorry) since Darwin first penned the Origin.

    In fact, most people still have no clue about this.

    I’m going to put my money on the vast majority of practicing biologists having the understanding about cells.

    Who would you say has the better understanding Kevin? You? Mathis? Dembski?

  304. #305 rrt
    March 29, 2008

    Then you’re clear about nothing, Kevin. We have evidence for the “macro” level, and what speculation there is on that end is rooted firmly in and flows logically from the evidence on the “micro” level. Whereas you have nothing more than “I don’t think you can ever explain this, therefore goddidit…but don’t ask me how!” Your “law of conservation of information” approach is nothing but a rehashed version of the Second Law argument, and both are worthless.

    blf: My apologies, it seems that lately the satire is getting so thick around here it’s hard to suss. I was kidding. I agree totally with your comment, and you make a further point that I’d forgotten to.

  305. #306 Kseniya
    March 29, 2008

    excrapolate

    Heh.

    Show me the testable predictions. Without them, your allegations of equivalence are unsupported.

    You really don’t understand this, do you?

  306. #307 Kseniya
    March 29, 2008

    I guess Mr. Wirth is just another Sophist For ID. The line of SFIDs stretches as far as the eye can see, and yet… so few of them are named Steve.

  307. #308 Jason Gordon
    March 29, 2008

    Dr. Myers, I listened to that conference call and I have to agree with your friend’s {Professor Dawkins’} advice – to snub them. You see, Ben Stein and Matthis do not afford you the same privileges of free speech that you’re willing to give to them. Giving them the privilege of free speech just gives guys like that ammunition to take it away from you. More importantly, by allowing them to debate or even attending conferences on intelligent design you give intelligent design a false sense of importance – when in fact there is none. We don’t hold debates as to whether or not the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees or whether or not 2+2 = 4 or whether or not you can have squarecircles or circular triangles. If anyone held a conference or a debate about the previous things I mentioned without a shred of evidence and based purely on ignorance I don’t think you would waste your time attending. Dr. Myers, the more you indulge them by allowing them to express these arguments from ignorance that are used to support their theory – the more you make people believe that the ideas of intelligent design have some sort of importance when it in fact has none. The proper attitude to adopt is to sit back, relax, eat some pop corn, crack a beer open, and laugh as they make utter fools of themselves.

  308. #309 Dave
    March 29, 2008

    hahaha, PZ the professional Gatecrasher. lol, keep up the good work.

  309. #310 Eric
    March 29, 2008

    EPIC LULZ…

  310. #311 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    To Mooser at post #285

    “Kevin, it can be called discrimination. It is, as much as I regret it, both necessary and laudable to discriminate the true from the false, and the smart from the stupid. Or are you suggesting that creationists fall under the ADA?”

    No, I agree with you. It IS important to discriminate between error and accuracy, true from false (I would prefer to call this “making distinctions” instead of discriminate, for the purposes of this discussion – to avoid confusion…).

    But unfortunately I also understand many aspects (not all, by any means) of both sides of this issue. I was once a convinced evolutionist, until I started taking a long hard look at the.. EVIDENCE. I started looking at stuff everyone else seemed to be dismissing out of hand.

    All Darwin skeptics do not deserve the same treatment, much less the treatment they are currently receiving. Most of these people are respectable and fully understand how to practice the brand of science they have trained for. Carolyn Crocker, for example, is not a crackpot! Neither is Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, and many others I could mention. These people are not morons, they are VERY smart folks who clearly understand the need to make these same kind of distinctions you refer to. They struggle with the same issues of discerning true/false and even more complex issues – they could not function as scientists if they were unable to do this. Yet, the rhetoric I see on this site assumes they can’t possibly make such distinctions.

    It saddens me greatly to see this attitude. If the measure of a person rests of whether they accept evolution (as indeed it does in many/most academic settings today), then this is straying from the point. The point should not be to uphold evolution – but to uphold the principles of good science. Evolution is an artifact of science – it’s an idea subject to challenge like any other “scientific” idea. Good science allows ideas to be challenged, no matter how well established they may seem to be. If you fail that test, then you fail to give science its due.

    When we look at the “evidence” of life, we see what most scientists refer to as “apparent” design – but I say that’s enough of an admission to qualify the notion for a scientific research program right there.

    The ADA? Don’t know what you mean.

    American Dental Association?
    Actual Dumbluck Antics?
    Anti Darwin Arguments?

  311. #312 MartinM
    March 29, 2008

    Carolyn Crocker, for example, is not a crackpot! Neither is Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, and many others I could mention. These people are not morons, they are VERY smart folks who clearly understand the need to make these same kind of distinctions you refer to.

    But whether or not they’re crackpots or morons is supremely beside the point. Take Gonzalez, for example. His publication record over the relevant period was poor, and his ability to attract funding almost non-existent. He didn’t get tenure because, quite simply, he didn’t earn tenure. But because he was an ID proponent, his fellows in the ID movement leapt to the assumption that he’d been unfairly treated, regardless of all evidence to the contrary. That makes it seem rather like all the talk of academic freedom is really just code for ‘give us special treatment.’

  312. #313 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2008

    ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act

  313. #314 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2008

    I was once a convinced evolutionist, until I started taking a long hard look at the.. EVIDENCE. I started looking at stuff everyone else seemed to be dismissing out of hand.

    Yeah, we’ve never seen that argument before.

    OK, what evidence have you looked at? Why was it convincing?

  314. #315 True Bob
    March 29, 2008

    ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act

    or maybe All Dumb Asses, if it’s IDiots.

    ID/creationism is the artifact here, Kevin. It’s an artifact of a more ignorant age. Like your god(s), artifacts of that desperate grasping for explanation. That grasping for explanation is a Good Thing, Kevin. Too bad for you godbotherers, the answers create more questions, questions that require modifications to your god(s) and holy babbles.

    The sad part here, Kevin, is that when folks settle for “goddidit” as the answer to life’s mysteries, that desire for knowledge is snuffed out in some significant realms.

    Stoopid Example – YECs claim radiocarbon dating is wrong, that scientists don’t know how it works, etc. And yet at least some of those YECs are enjoying the benefits of nuclear power, nuclear medicine, CAT scans, etc. They have to go with the cognitive dissonance because they won’t learn for themselves. That’s all well and good (OK, really it’s sad…), until they insist that their ignorance should be taught as fact.

  315. #316 Ken Cope
    March 29, 2008

    The more Kevin avails himself of PZ’s hospitality on this particular thread, running his mouth and spewing his worthless propaganda, the more he justifies PZ’s response to the setup commenced when Ass Prod Mathis and team interviewed PZ and Dawkins under false pretenses, mischaracterizing the editorial focus of their film like the liars they have shown themselves to be again and again.

    I was once a convinced evolutionist, until I started taking a long hard look at the.. EVIDENCE. I started looking at stuff everyone else seemed to be dismissing out of hand.

    Nonsense. Apart from the fact that there is no such thing as evolutionism, Wirth clearly has never understood evolution, and doesn’t to this day. He has consistently presented nothing more than an empty hand waving when asked to provide evidence for ID. Convincing Kevin is too low a standard. If any of the evidence Kevin refers to were scientific, he wouldn’t have to rely on fatuous and fallacious arguments from consequences, artlessly Godwinning in an appeal to the ignorant. There is not a chance that he’ll present evidence for ID here or anywhere that is any more scientific than evidence for astrology, and any IDiot whinging that they’ve been drummed out of academe deserves no more sympathy than Zolar and his horoscopes. Most of the people Wirth can expect to win over to his side religiously check their horoscopes anyway–they already reject science.

  316. #317 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    To Alex at post #252

    OK, thanks – here’s my response…

    You can only talk biological science in evolution, no conflating abiogensis, it’s a different science.

    ** That’s a given. No conflating the two of these.

    You must make positive assertions, bring theory & experiments to support your arguments.

    ** Sounds good – examples please.

    Peer reviewed papers, in credible scientific journals (no AIG) must include a testable hypothesis and cannot have been withdrawn by the publisher. Literature surveys do not count.

    ** OK – no AIG. But I will take issue with and will NOT submit to being penalized just because some journal decides it cannot or will not accept a paper because it was submitted by a “Creationist” or an “IDer”. I’ve seen too many examples of REALLY good papers not being accepted simply because the submitter was an alleged “religious” nut – but who previously submitted papers that were regularly published before his/her “religious” views became known. Here is a proposed compromise: You must be willing to accept ANY papers written by ANYone whose papers were regularly accepted before their “religious” views became known. I won’t submit to crass discrimination. That means you will accept any papers or books published by the likes of Dean Kenyon who clearly proved his abilities before he became blackballed. Same for Guillermo Gonzalez and Carolyn Crocker, etc., who successfully published in respectable, peer-reviewed journals before they were tarred and feathered.

    Anything appearing in the Talk Origins Index to Creationist Claims automatically defaults you to “lose.”

    ** Link please?

    Any argument from incredulity defaults you to lose.

    ** Agreed. And you must also agree to drop any arguments driven by any of the 42 logical fallacies posted at
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies

    “Goddidit arguments” without tangible proof of a designer defaults you to lose.

    ** Hmmm. Proof? no – even some aspects of evolution can’t offer that. Let’s just say that a well defined, falsifiable test will suffice. Such tests might be empirical, mathematical, or even logical.

    If you wish to prove the existence of God, you must over-come infinite regression and put-on tangible proof.

    ** I won’t even try this one. Not on my list of things to prove.

    If you’re stupid enough to bring the bible, be warned, it’s likely that I know so much more about the origins of the Jewish religion than you that there’s no contest.

    ** Omigosh I’m so scared now! Sheesh…

    Hey listen – bringing a Bible to this discussion isn’t necessary to prove any point of science, but I do reserve the right to make references that are consistent with Biblical texts (I might just know more about this than you think I do…). AND I reserve the right to make any Biblical references I care to – but not as evidence to prove any scientific point of fact. I might even make a few snide remarks from the Bible now and again, however. I do agree that the Bible is not necessary to make any point in any discussion of science.

    We’ll start with God’s wife, the two creation stories and the myth of Exodus as those are my favorites. But I’m also willing to discuss the myth of the missing 10-tribes.

    ** Don’t worry, I would rather sleep and let rusting chariots lie.

  317. #318 Nick Gotts
    March 29, 2008

    “Please forgive me if I insulted anybody.” – bibanu

    Only yourself, bibanu, only yourself.

  318. #319 Chet
    March 29, 2008

    If the likes of you and Matt “Framing” Nisbet were to take half of the energy you put into ranting about the irrelevant movie Expelled – a movie I would have heard nothing about about if it wasn’t for you and ScienceBlogs – and put it into, you know, educating moderates from low socioeconomic backgrounds

    Yeah, PZ! Get your ass to a small, rural public liberal arts college somewhere in the Midwest and start educating people!

    Oh, wait.

  319. #320 rrt
    March 29, 2008

    Oh, WOW. If anything establishes that Kevin doesn’t get it, #314 does. As usual, I’ve overestimated yet another creationist’s grasp of the scientific process.

  320. #321 Ken Cope
    March 29, 2008

    I’ve overestimated yet another creationist’s grasp of the scientific process.

    What grasp?

  321. #322 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin start by offering up the testable theory that you think defines Intelligent Design.

    Seems like a good place to start.

  322. #323 Sam
    March 29, 2008

    I think it is important for people to know what sort of propaganda the fundamentalists are using so it can be countered. For example, a friend was talking to me and mentioned that she had received an e-mail about boycotting Golden Compass prior to the movie’s release. Since I had read about the issue on Pharyngula, I was able to give her some background information. If I hadn’t been able to explain what was going on, I think she may have just believed what she had seen via e-mail.

  323. #324 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    To Rev BigDumbChimp re post #236

    “Provide science that supports your position. You can start by providing a testable theory. Doing so will stop all imaginary persecution…It’s very simple Kevin. Produce. Period. Dissent is at the heart of the self correcting nature of the scientific community.”

    Gee, sorry but, in case you haven’t noticed, a lot of work has already been done numerous times by Darwin skeptics who published in respectable, peer-reviewed science journals.

    Have you actually READ ANY of the papers written by now defrocked scientists like Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, or Carolyn Crocker, for example? These people DID exactly what you are asking for, but obviously, you don’t seem to respect that. So I’m pretty sure nothing I would come up with would satisfy you.

    These people DID produce, and their work WAS accepted.

    Don’t know what to tell you, except the argument about the “self correcting nature of science” does not apply here. I’m sure it does – whenever it’s convenient. But from where I sit, I’ve seen plenty of instances where “self correcting” was used as a vehicle to support “self perpetuating” instead. And since I strongly suspect you haven’t bothered to read any of their papers, I’m thinking the latter is what you may be all about.

    And uh, hate to break the news to you but, it’s not the persecution that’s imaginary here.

  324. #325 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    [Carolyn Crocker, for example, is not a crackpot! Neither is Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, and many others I could mention. These people are not morons, they are VERY smart folks who clearly understand the need to make these same kind of distinctions you refer to.]
    Appeal to authority, appeal to authority, appeal to authority. Oh, did I mention appeal to authority? Also, Doggerel #60 (“But [Famous Scientist] Believed in [Woo]!”)
    As Bronze Dog so eloquently put it:
    “One point that must sometimes be made over and over again is something quite simple: Science isn’t some sort of ivory tower. It’s a method. Scientists aren’t all that special: They’re just human beings who are supposed to have more experience with the scientific method. The fact that they’re human means that they can make mistakes. They’re subject to all the foibles of being human, which can include blind faith and wishful thinking.
    That’s why science focuses on the evidence: If you’re going to say, for example, that Newton believed in alchemy, God, or whatever, you’d better be prepared to present his evidence. In fact, you should probably save some time by not bothering to mention Newton: The person who makes an argument is irrelevant to the validity of the argument. Newton’s got a lot of well-deserved prestige, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s made some poor arguments in his time.
    Because I do my best to stay focused on the evidence, I typically remember experiments more readily than the scientists who performed them. About the only time I care about the scientists is when they’ve earned a reputation for sloppiness or dishonesty.”

  325. #326 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2008

    Have you actually READ ANY of the papers written by now defrocked scientists like Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, or Carolyn Crocker, for example?

    No, I haven’t.

    Could reproduce here, or point to, titles, and better yet, journal references?

    Which papers do you have in mind? What do they say?

  326. #327 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    [Gee, sorry but, in case you haven't noticed, a lot of work has already been done numerous times by Darwin skeptics who published in respectable, peer-reviewed science journals.]
    Two words:
    PROVE IT

  327. #328 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    So you can name three people and not even cite the works you are claiming meet the standard? I hope Of Panda’s and The Privileged Planet aren’t part of this work you think counts.

    And you’ve only got three?

    James F stated it earlier so I’ll borrow from him

    One of the most astonishing things about the “creation science” and “intelligent design” movements is that they have never succeeded in publishing a peer-reviewed research paper in any of the journals indexed at the National Library of Medicine, which currently encompasses over SEVENTEEN MILLION citations.

    You’d think something as old as creation science and its bastard stepchild ID would have had time to produce something equal. That is unless they aren’t equal in evidence.

    Oh right its that vast conspiracy to persecute.

  328. #329 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Oops. I FORGOT to capitalize to enhance MY unhinged APPEARANCE. This SHOULD HELP!

  329. #330 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    “Regarding Kevin’s claims of tips and icebergs: He claims the iceberg is visible at his linked blog posting. Of course, there’s nothing there but more whining about how mean we scientists are in not allowing creationists to change the rules…”

    Change what rules? And I didn’t say creationists, I said, Darwin Doubters and Darwin skeptics.

    “…apparently he’d rather we buy the book he has coming out (as editor) that claims to go into detail on these thousands of poor persecuted creationists, denied jobs in science because they can’t do science.”

    Won’t break my heart if you don’t buy the book – not a problem. I would only want people with an interest in and who care to educate themselves about this issue to consider what really goes on. You can shove aside the issue of discrimination if you wish – that’s fine with me… there will always be people who will listen to the charge and they WILL take action. Because the book really DOES only reveal the tip of the iceburg.

  330. #331 Citizen Z
    March 29, 2008

    You can kill people a lot of different ways. You can blow them up with a bomb, or eviscerate them while they live (a much more horrible death, I promise).

    The Living Dead Intelligent Design Zombies! BLARGBLARG! Eviscerated by Darwinists online, a fate worse than DEATH! Not allowed in universities, yet not allowed to die, they now roam the Earth… to feed!

  331. #332 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    To Physis – post #240

    “I have never knowingly conducted high-altitude bombing raids on the Discovery Institute.”

    Good for you. But many people in academia and in scientific institutions HAVE killed the careers of many competent and gifted scientists and educators simply because they harbor doubts about evolution and/or have certain religious preferences.

    That’s a disgraceful practice and it needs to be corrected.

    Would you deny someone a degree because they were Black or Hispanic? Or over 60?

    You’d better say no you wouldn’t.

    Likewise, one’s religious views have no bearing whatsoever on whether one is capable of serving in a scientific capacity.

  332. #333 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Would you deny someone a degree because they were Black or Hispanic? Or over 60?

    Are you fucking kidding me? Did you really make that comparison?

  333. #334 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    Still waiting for those peer-reviewed, non-biased creationist…sorry, “Darwin-Doubter” articles.

  334. #335 chancelikely
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin Wirth: Please tell us why discriminating against ideas unsupported by evidence is a bad thing.

    Or why creationism is not unsupported by the evidence.

  335. #337 Ken Cope
    March 29, 2008

    Likewise, one’s religious views have no bearing whatsoever on whether one is capable of serving in a scientific capacity.

    On that point alone, devout Catholic Ken Miller would be in agreement with Kevin, but otherwise sides with PZ regarding ID and and its science-free campaign of “public relations, and political pressure.”

  336. #338 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    To Dale Austin – post #263

    “Koop is about the worst example you could have brought up. I mean, really, if your thesis is that the religious are getting repressed, wouldn’t he be a perfect coutner example?… Further, he was well known for not letting his personal religious or political beliefs intrude on the science.”

    Nope – Koop is exactly the right example for my point.

    What I said was, he developed some life-saving surgical techniques that are pretty strong evidence that he was capable of providing the scientific community with something of value. He pioneered work in separating siamese twins, and was very successful at it.

    I was just making the point: he’s a creationist AND he’s also demonstrated that he’s an excellent scientist in many respects.

    THAT is the point. You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    This is discrimination with a capital “D”, yet it occurs all the time.

  337. #339 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    On that point alone, devout Catholic Ken Miller would be in agreement with Kevin, but otherwise sides with PZ regarding ID and and its science-free campaign of “public relations, and political pressure.”

    On that quote alone I agree with Kevin, but that’s not the context he was using it. Comparing someone’s race, which they are born to without choice, to choosing to believe in something wholeheartedly unsupported by reason, logic or evidence is quite the leap. Especially when the context we are discussion involves not just believing in a religion but believing in a completely unsupported religious explanations that directly counter the well established and well supported ToE.

    It’s dumbfounding in it’s ridiculousness.

  338. #340 Ian
    March 29, 2008

    I was just making the point: he’s a creationist AND he’s also demonstrated that he’s an excellent scientist in many respects.

    THAT is the point. You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    This is discrimination with a capital “D”, yet it occurs all the time.

    And yet I’ve seen no indication that he actually was discriminated against in that manner. A scientist with religious beliefs is fine. A “scientist” who lets his religious beliefs supersede the evidence in his field of study is not.

  339. #341 Tulse
    March 29, 2008

    many people in academia and in scientific institutions HAVE killed the careers of many competent and gifted scientists and educators simply because they harbor doubts about evolution and/or have certain religious preferences.

    And that is precisely morally equivalent to bombing and physically (not metaphorically) killing thousands of Iraqi civilians? Really?!?

    Would you deny someone a degree because they were Black or Hispanic? Or over 60?

    And that is precisely morally equivalent to denying tenure to someone who is completely unproductive? Really?!?

    So now the religious and conservatives are retreating to moral equivalence arguments? The same form of argument they used to complain bitterly about? Wow.

  340. #342 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    bah, that second it’s should be its.

  341. #343 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    or maybe even ITS

  342. #344 rrt
    March 29, 2008

    Now, see, we’re still not trying to think like Kevin. If you manage to get any articles past peer-review to publication, then ALL of your articles have passed peer-review. Likewise, publication proves the article’s content is true. Publication isn’t just a useful filter, it’s the Magic Wand of Truth!

    I dunno what’s worse…the fact that he seems to believe this, or the fact that he seems to believe that we believe this. Methodological naturalism, material evidence, critical thinking, thorough peer-review, all are either alien or terribly distorted in his mind. And so his poor persecuted cdesign proponentsists have been expelled because they’re doing perfectly sound science, completely unhindered by religious ideology, that dares to challenge the orthodoxy. It’s never occurred to him they might just be doing it wrong.

    No, Kevin, we don’t deny someone a career in science simply because of their religious beliefs. We MIGHT deny them when they let those beliefs pervert their practice of the scientific method. I’m not expert, but Koop apparently never did that…it’s harder for an MD to directly encounter a conflict anyway. We respect Miller because he doesn’t do that. Dembski, Behe, etc., do it all the time.

  343. #345 brain
    March 29, 2008

    don’t you realize that the more attention you give this=the bigger the controversy gets in the media=more free publicity=more money in the pockets of these liars? If you and Dawkins et al would just shut up about it, no one would see the movie except those who are already believe in ID. You are attracting a far wider audience.

  344. #346 Kevin Wirth
    March 29, 2008

    response to PZ Myers – post #283

    “Note the symmetry, too: Kevin doesn’t name any victims, Walt Ruloff can’t say what the questions are that he claims scientists aren’t allowed to ask.”

    Well, let’s see. Not quite right. I did mention 3 names so far. I’m currently editing a book that names plenty more, and you can read it in about a couple of months, or whenever the book comes out (“Slaughter of the Dissidents”)

    And the list will only get bigger.

    Hold your tongues until the book comes out (if you can, I know it will be very difficult for many of you to resist calling me a liar until then…)

    And, there are an even greater number of people who are fearful of being discriminated against (again), who will not reveal their identities until they are awarded their degrees, achieve luminary status, or retire.

    As for Walt Ruloff’s questions – he may be referring to questions that challenge evolutionary presuppositions. Asking any questions along those lines is generally like offering your neck to a vampire.

  345. #347 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Nisbet is that you?

  346. #348 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2008

    You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    And who has?

    The only genuine criterion for success in academia is academic competence.

    No-one has argued against that.

    However, fundamentalist religious belief can and does correlate with academic incompetence.

    Incompetents should not be rewarded.

    In those cases where religious believers are academically competent, there is often a subtler incompetence going on: They believe that competence in one are gives them competence in another.

    It is all too often true that they are merely ignorant, and completely incompetent in areas outside a narrow specialty.

  347. #349 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Well, let’s see. Not quite right. I did mention 3 names so far. I’m currently editing a book that names plenty more, and you can read it in about a couple of months, or whenever the book comes out

    Do you have the master list of Creationist dodges that you are working from? because you are hitting on all cylinders here.

  348. #350 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2008

    Hold your tongues until the book comes out

    Why?

    If you can’t provide evidence to back up your claims now, what makes you think that publishing your cherry-picked data is going to help?

    By the way, are you also going to include those who suffered discrimination and threats because they taught science and evolution in locations steeped in religious superstition and bigotry?

    “Slaughter” of the Dissidents, indeed.

  349. #351 Ed Darrell
    March 29, 2008

    Hmmmmmm. I joined the Society of Professional Journalists in 1974. I’ve been an FOIA agitator in three states, a reporter in radio, television and print. I spent many years on the other side of the phone, too, flacking things that didn’t deserve the space I got for them, and flacking things that deserved much better coverage than I was able to get for them. And I’ve been sued for libel by the big boys — unsuccessfully, I hasten to add — sued for FOIA by the big boys — unsuccessfully — and sued for withholding information, and had the joy of having a federal judge announce my procedures were far beyond what the law required in making information available to the public, so far that though a technical violation of the law had occurred (not my fault), we were exonerated of wrongdoing, since we had done good instead.

    I just want to let you know where I’m coming from.

    You did the right thing, P.Z. You did the honorable thing. The press conference was open, you got in. It’s not your fault they weren’t telling the truth, and it’s not your fault they can’t answer serious questions.

    Nor was it you who misrepresented softball questions.

    Mark Twain said if one tells the truth, one doesn’t need to tax one’s memory trying to keep all the stories straight. It was good advice for Ben Stein and everyone else involved in this horror movie. Too bad they didn’t take it.

  350. #352 MAJeff, OM
    March 29, 2008

    “Slaughter” of the Dissidents, indeed.

    Well, if you can’t get a heathen to physically kill you, martyring your career for Christ is almost as good.

  351. #353 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Well, if you can’t get a heathen to physically kill you, martyring your career for Christ is almost as good.

    I’m not a gay man MAJeff, but I have a man crush on you.

  352. #354 MAJeff, OM
    March 29, 2008

    I’m not a gay man MAJeff, but I have a man crush on you.

    *blush*

  353. #355 Marcus Ranum
    March 29, 2008

    Would you deny someone a degree because they were Black or Hispanic?

    I would. But I’m a Mormon. Do I count?

  354. #356 Wazza
    March 29, 2008

    I think it’s just great that Kevin Wirth’s URL leads one to a site where they tell you to look up ID in the New American Encyclopedia, then give you a link to the New World Encyclopedia…

    quality scholarship there…

    AMERICA IS NOT THE WORLD!!!

    Thank you.

  355. #357 Laser Potato
    March 29, 2008

    Tsk, tsk, Kevin. You said, earlier in the thread:
    [Gee, sorry but, in case you haven't noticed, a lot of work has already been done numerous times by Darwin skeptics who published in respectable, peer-reviewed science journals.]
    and you have yet to back this up in any way, shape, or form. Is it really too much to ask you to provide evidence for these elusive peer-reviewed articles? I’ve noticed that when asked for these mythical articles, creationists tend to shift the burden of proof and insist it is OUR job to find them, as if we instinctively knew where they were.

  356. #358 mojoandy
    March 29, 2008

    Even Jesus is laughing at those idiots.

  357. #359 arachnophilia
    March 29, 2008

    now THAT is gatecrashing.

  358. #360 pedlar
    March 29, 2008

    Kevin:

    Have you actually READ ANY of the papers written by now defrocked scientists like Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, or Carolyn Crocker, for example?

    Gee, Kevin, if they published these papers before outing themselves as IDiots then obviously these wonderful peer-reviewed papers had nothing to do with ID, did they?

    Oh wait, that’s logical. Sorry, Kevin, over your head …

    Oh, and:

    You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs

    But ID is science, not religion. Isn’t it?

  359. #361 MememicBottleneck
    March 29, 2008

    (on my knees, arms extended over head, bending at waist) “We are not worthy, we are not worthy”.

  360. #362 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 29, 2008

    But I will take issue with and will NOT submit to being penalized just because some journal decides it cannot or will not accept a paper because it was submitted by a “Creationist” or an “IDer”. I’ve seen too many examples of REALLY good papers not being accepted simply because the submitter was an alleged “religious” nut – but who previously submitted papers that were regularly published before his/her “religious” views became known. Here is a proposed compromise: You must be willing to accept ANY papers written by ANYone whose papers were regularly accepted before their “religious” views became known. I won’t submit to crass discrimination. That means you will accept any papers or books published by the likes of Dean Kenyon who clearly proved his abilities before he became blackballed. Same for Guillermo Gonzalez and Carolyn Crocker, etc., who successfully published in respectable, peer-reviewed journals before they were tarred and feathered.

    You are mistaken. It isn’t people that are peer-reviewed, it’s manuscripts.

    Each manuscript is evaluated on its own merit. To ascertain this, some journals now conduct double-blind peer-review — not only are the referees anonymous (unless they choose to sign their reviews), but they don’t get to know the names of the authors either! Two weeks ago I had a manuscript rejected by a journal that does that.

    Which just proves that smart people (if I say so myself) are capable of writing subpar papers, too. Worse yet: smart people are capable of being utter crackpots. Linus Pauling, the only person so far to have got two Nobel Prizes, believed humongous doses of Vitamin C cured everything from the common cold to cancer. Faraday was inspired to some of his work by the fact that his sect venerated circles. Newton spent much, much more time writing on alchemy and Biblical prophecy than on science. And so on.

    This is why the argument from authority is a logical fallacy.

    All you can do about a rejected manuscript is demonstrate that the rejection was unfair. (Which, of course, happens occasionally. Peer-reviewers are people and make mistakes, too. Though, in such cases, the authors usually just shrug and submit the manuscript to another journal.) You are welcome to try.

    The Living Dead Intelligent Design Zombies! BLARGBLARG! Eviscerated by Darwinists online, a fate worse than DEATH! Not allowed in universities, yet not allowed to die, they now roam the Earth… to feed!

    ROTFL!

    I was just making the point: he’s a creationist AND he’s also demonstrated that he’s an excellent scientist in many respects.

    THAT is the point. You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    We have already explained it to you: being smart is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for tenure. Other criteria must be fulfilled, most notably
    - an above-average number of frequently cited publications (there are ways to measure that);
    - in the US, an above-average amount of funding attracted.

    This is where, as far as I remember, all of the flunked (not “expelled”) people have failed. Not even mentioning that Crocker didn’t know the basic facts of the field she was supposed to teach.

  361. #363 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 29, 2008

    But I will take issue with and will NOT submit to being penalized just because some journal decides it cannot or will not accept a paper because it was submitted by a “Creationist” or an “IDer”. I’ve seen too many examples of REALLY good papers not being accepted simply because the submitter was an alleged “religious” nut – but who previously submitted papers that were regularly published before his/her “religious” views became known. Here is a proposed compromise: You must be willing to accept ANY papers written by ANYone whose papers were regularly accepted before their “religious” views became known. I won’t submit to crass discrimination. That means you will accept any papers or books published by the likes of Dean Kenyon who clearly proved his abilities before he became blackballed. Same for Guillermo Gonzalez and Carolyn Crocker, etc., who successfully published in respectable, peer-reviewed journals before they were tarred and feathered.

    You are mistaken. It isn’t people that are peer-reviewed, it’s manuscripts.

    Each manuscript is evaluated on its own merit. To ascertain this, some journals now conduct double-blind peer-review — not only are the referees anonymous (unless they choose to sign their reviews), but they don’t get to know the names of the authors either! Two weeks ago I had a manuscript rejected by a journal that does that.

    Which just proves that smart people (if I say so myself) are capable of writing subpar papers, too. Worse yet: smart people are capable of being utter crackpots. Linus Pauling, the only person so far to have got two Nobel Prizes, believed humongous doses of Vitamin C cured everything from the common cold to cancer. Faraday was inspired to some of his work by the fact that his sect venerated circles. Newton spent much, much more time writing on alchemy and Biblical prophecy than on science. And so on.

    This is why the argument from authority is a logical fallacy.

    All you can do about a rejected manuscript is demonstrate that the rejection was unfair. (Which, of course, happens occasionally. Peer-reviewers are people and make mistakes, too. Though, in such cases, the authors usually just shrug and submit the manuscript to another journal.) You are welcome to try.

    The Living Dead Intelligent Design Zombies! BLARGBLARG! Eviscerated by Darwinists online, a fate worse than DEATH! Not allowed in universities, yet not allowed to die, they now roam the Earth… to feed!

    ROTFL!

    I was just making the point: he’s a creationist AND he’s also demonstrated that he’s an excellent scientist in many respects.

    THAT is the point. You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    We have already explained it to you: being smart is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for tenure. Other criteria must be fulfilled, most notably
    - an above-average number of frequently cited publications (there are ways to measure that);
    - in the US, an above-average amount of funding attracted.

    This is where, as far as I remember, all of the flunked (not “expelled”) people have failed. Not even mentioning that Crocker didn’t know the basic facts of the field she was supposed to teach.

  362. #364 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 29, 2008

    Additional clarification: IMNSHO, Pauling fully deserved both of his Nobel prizes (chemistry and physics) — and yet he was still a crackpot for believing, in the absence of evidence and (AFAIK) later despite the presence of contradicting evidence, in his vitamin C woo. Denying him tenure in chemistry or physics would have been utterly laughable. Denying him tenure in medicine or biochemistry or molecular biology would have been the only defensible option.

  363. #365 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 29, 2008

    Additional clarification: IMNSHO, Pauling fully deserved both of his Nobel prizes (chemistry and physics) — and yet he was still a crackpot for believing, in the absence of evidence and (AFAIK) later despite the presence of contradicting evidence, in his vitamin C woo. Denying him tenure in chemistry or physics would have been utterly laughable. Denying him tenure in medicine or biochemistry or molecular biology would have been the only defensible option.

  364. #366 Sili
    March 29, 2008

    errr, David …

    Pauling’s second prize was Peace. Chemistry and Physics was Marie Curie.

    http://almaz.com/nobel/double.html gives these too

    John Bardeen 2xPhys
    Frederick Sanger 2xChem

    And then there’s the UN+RC, of course. The safe bets, if you like.

  365. #367 Julie Stahlhut
    March 29, 2008

    One of my favorite bumper stickers states that well-behaved women seldom make history. I agree with the sentiment, but also think that it should be gender-neutral.

    Someone has to take on these clowns full-force. I don’t see anything wrong with “framing” as a tactic in its own right, but if no one is willing to call an idiot an idiot and a liar a liar, all the polite framing in the world isn’t going to get anywhere.

  366. #368 freehand
    March 30, 2008

    Laser Potato #354
    Be cautious of Wirth’s equivocation here. He is, as a Creationist, so careless in his thinking that he may not even be aware that he’s doing it. A number of creationists *have published legitimate papers – Gonzales, for example. But they weren’t papers in Creationism / ID. There were papers on other subjects. If Gonzales had been a Young Earth Creationist, it’s doubtful he could have gotten anywhere in astronomy.

    Heck, if he’d published more papers, he might have gotten tenure, altho I understand he didn’t have much in the way of grad students either. Therefore he didn’t get tenure, which is as bad as getting blown up by a bomb, IIUIC.

  367. #369 scarshapedstar
    March 30, 2008

    I hereby bestow the nickname “Darwin’s Ninja” upon PZ.

  368. #370 Dale Austin
    March 30, 2008

    Kevin really is passing up a great opportunity here. If he’d just let us know the names, dates, institutions and what not of these slaughtered dissidents, this crowd would run right out and do the opposition research for him-for free. He could then omit the weak examples, and be left with a stronger book that would withstand public scrutiny.

    There is probably a name for a this process in science. I wonder what it could be?

  369. #371 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2008

    A number of creationists *have published legitimate papers – Gonzales, for example. But they weren’t papers in Creationism / ID. There were papers on other subjects. If Gonzales had been a Young Earth Creationist, it’s doubtful he could have gotten anywhere in astronomy.

    Precisely why I was hoping he’d offer up which ones he is talking about. Apparently he’s taking another dodging tactic from The Big Book of Creationist Dodges©.

  370. #372 Bill Jefferys
    March 30, 2008

    Genie Scott reports on this week’s “Skeptics Guide to the Universe” podcast (#140) that she’s even more dangerous than PZ, owing to the fact that she was pre-expelled from seeing the movie…she signed up as PZ did, but was informed that she couldn’t attend even before the film showed.

    It’s #140, and this week can be downloaded here:

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

  371. #373 Paula
    March 30, 2008

    Hmmm…the community of Washoe have turned back the pages of history revealing a time of raised consciousness in their fellow Great Apes…

    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/secr.html

  372. MartinM said about Guillermo Gonzalez: “His publication record over the relevant period was poor”

    Persecutors ALWAYS deny their own behavior. It’s a classic and predictable response. Actually Gonzalez beat out all tenured ISU astronomers in both peer-reviewed scientific publication-count and citation-count during his years at ISU. See:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/06/chronicle_of_higher_education.html

    which explains: “According to the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System, Gonzalez has published 34 publications since 2001 and his normalized publication score is 2nd among all astronomers in his department. … In fact, he beats out all tenured astronomers in his department in the normalized number of publications since 2001! We’ve already highlighted that Gonzalez has the highest normalized citation count among ISU astronomers over the same time period.”

    Rather, the real reason Gonzalez was denied tenure is documented in statements from his colleagues who voted on his tenure:

    “I participated in the initial vote and voted no, based on this fundamental question: What is science? … It is purely a question of what is science and what is not, and a physics department is not obligated to support notions that do not even begin to meet scientific standards.”

    During actual tenure deliberations in November, 2006, Rosenberg devotes a full 1/3 of his Chair’s statement in Gonzalez’s tenure file to discussing intelligent design, instructing voting members of ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy to make ID a litmus test where Gonzalez’s support for ID as science “disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    “Many of us here at Iowa State are embarrassed by the work of Guillermo Gonzalez, who with Jay Richards published the book ‘The Privileged Planet.’ … I now feel that publication of such a statement might become the most important piece of evidence in a successful court case to guarantee tenure to the person whose scientific credibility we would be attempting to discredit. … As for the unfortunate publicity we are receiving and the embarrassment we feel as a department, I think the best policy is to just grin and bear it for the next couple of years.”

    “If we go on record, we give Gonzalez a clear sign that his ID efforts will not be considered as science by the faculty.”

    “this is not a friendly place for him to develop further his IDeas”

    (http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/12/cataloguing_darwinist_denials.html)

  373. #375 Facts are for ID Proponents
    March 30, 2008

    Someone wrote: “He is, as a Creationist, so careless in his thinking that he may not even be aware that he’s doing it”

    QED: Darwinists are biased persecutors who don’t treat Darwin-skeptics as intellectual equals. I’m waiting to hear you guys cheer in “Because they’re not.” Again, QED. You’re so biased you can’t even see your own bias and persecutory behavior! The persecution stories in Expelled are most certainly true. Your denials don’t change that. In fact, they serve to confirm it!

  374. #376 Steve_C
    March 30, 2008

    Yeah? And?

    ID isn’t science. The university did its job.

    If he had pursued the study of unicorns and their effects on the moon should he have gotten tenure?

  375. #377 MAJeff, OM
    March 30, 2008

    ID isn’t science. The university did its job.

    And made me much prouder of my degree from Iowa State.

  376. #378 Stanton
    March 30, 2008

    QED: Darwinists are biased persecutors who don’t treat Darwin-skeptics as intellectual equals. I’m waiting to hear you guys cheer in “Because they’re not.” Again, QED. You’re so biased you can’t even see your own bias and persecutory behavior! The persecution stories in Expelled are most certainly true. Your denials don’t change that. In fact, they serve to confirm it!

    Then demonstrate why Intelligent Design proponents are our intellectual equals even though Intelligent Design proponents have demonstrated time and time again that they are interested in doing science at all, please.

    So, why is it that there are no Intelligent Design scientific papers on fossil organisms?

  377. #379 James F
    March 30, 2008

    OK, while we’re waiting for news on those peer-reviewed ID research papers, let me speed things up and take a few papers out of consideration. The following papers touted by the Discovery Institute are commentaries and literature reviews and as such provide no new data (most don’t even mention intelligent design):

    Denton, M. J. and J. C. Marshall. 2001. The laws of form revisited. Nature 410: 417.

    Denton, M. J., J. C. Marshall, and M. Legge. 2002. The protein folds as Platonic forms: New support for the pre-Darwinian conception of evolution by natural law. Journal of Theoretical Biology 219: 325-342.

    Lönnig, W.-E. and H. Saedler. 2002. Chromosome rearrangements and transposable elements. Annual Review of Genetics 36: 389-410.

    Meyer, S. 2004. The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117: 213-239.

    Wells, J. 2005. Do centrioles generate a polar ejection force? Rivista di Biologia 98: 37-62.

  378. #380 MartinM
    March 30, 2008

    Actually Gonzalez beat out all tenured ISU astronomers in both peer-reviewed scientific publication-count and citation-count during his years at ISU.

    Which isn’t an honest comparison, given that tenured staff have different duties, and aren’t subject to the same ‘publish or perish’ pressures. Try comparing to, say, Martin Pohl, who gained tenure at ISU at around the same time as Gonzalez was rejected.

    In any case, your methodology sucks. It counts review papers equal to papers which make novel contributions, first-author papers equal to last-author papers, and includes papers based on research not done at ISU. The normalized count is even worse; it would consider a single-author review paper better than a two-author paper proving the Goldbach conjecture, for goodness’ sake.

    I’m afraid that evaluating a publication record requires one to actually engage one’s brain, rather than mindlessly waving numbers around.

    I note also that you didn’t touch the funding issue. Unsurprising, given that Gonzalez’ funding was undeniably atrocious.

  379. #381 Robert Price
    March 30, 2008

    Thanks, PZ.

  380. #382 rrt
    March 30, 2008

    Gonzalez’s publication record was indeed poor. Spin it any way you like, the man’s science productivity plummeted, beginning even before he got to Iowa. He was rarely a lead author in what little he did, and he did little new research. The information our friend cites takes credit for work either done or begun before his arrival at Iowa. His collaboration with his colleagues at Iowa was poor, and he had almost no grad students. And it has been pointed out countless times, money may end up being THE most important consideration, whether it ought to be or not, and Gonzalez didn’t deliver. He brought in almost no grant money during his time there, and the little he did was for ID work.

  381. #383 SEF
    March 30, 2008

    To re-use an old joke: Kevin’s not wirth it.

  382. #384 MAJeff, OM
    March 30, 2008

    rrt,

    He wasn’t at Iowa, he was at Iowa State….too bad they couldn’t have shipped him over to Iowa City a few years earlier, let Iowa have him, and saved my alma mater the trouble.

  383. #385 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    The following papers touted by the Discovery Institute are commentaries and literature reviews and as such provide no new data (most don’t even mention intelligent design):

    you can also eliminate anything published in Rivista di Biologia.

    It’s not a scientifically peer reviewed journal.

    I think the only “peer reviewer” is the editor of the journal.

  384. #386 Kevin Wirth
    March 30, 2008

    responses to Post
    #311 by owlmirror
    #313 by Ken Cope

    You’ve taken issue with this comment I made:

    “I was once a convinced evolutionist, until I started taking a long hard look at the.. EVIDENCE. I started looking at” stuff everyone else seemed to be dismissing out of hand.”

    Owlmirror: Yeah, we’ve never seen that argument before. OK, what evidence have you looked at? Why was it convincing?

    Ken Cope: If any of the evidence Kevin refers to were scientific, he wouldn’t have to rely on fatuous and fallacious arguments from consequences, artlessly Godwinning in an appeal to the ignorant.

    I’m not going to put myself up for another one of your “pin the tail on the we-already-know-your-an-idiot” donkey dramas, so I’ll tell you what. You need to figure this out for yourself – I’m NOT going to do your homework for you.

    So, tell you what…

    Since you and many others here seem so convinced that there can’t ** possibly ** be any evidence that provides a serious challenge to evolution, here’s what I’ll do.

    I’ll give you everything you need to start your own inquiry, and then I’ll let you take it from there, OK? I’m not going to force feed you my pablum, and hey, you wouldn’t like it anyway (duh).

    Instead of beating on me for having no evidence (which, by the way, is a total crock), you need to participate in an exedrcise that I’ll propose to you here if you want to see what I’ve seen.

    Oh, and uh, there’s no need to pull out your Bible here, OK?

    Imagine the possibility that the same evidence used to support evoutionary suppositions can also be viewed as inadequate to support that idea.

    This shouldn’t be too difficult. If you need help, I’m pretty sure there is an ample supply of active inmagination available to everyone on this blog.

    What you need to do is start asking probing questions about the evidence (take your pick) instead of just ASSUMING that all the right questions have already been asked. Maybe they haven’t been.

    I know this could be a REAL STRETCH for many of you reading this. But I promise, if you do just this one thing for all the evidence you look at, you will soon discover just how thick the veneer of speculation supporting evolution really is, and how deeply dependent evolutionary explanations are on future discoveries and the ability to imagine how evolution “must have” occurred.

    The first thing I would say to you is this: speculation isn’t evidence.

    Go ahead, beat on me some more. Tell me how little I know about science or evolution. Tell me I have no understanding, etc. etc.

    Then go and do this little exercise. I mean, get serious about it. Then come back and tell me I’m a loon.

    Oh, and let me add this: I fully recognize speculation and imagination as legitimate tools in scientific inquiry. But, I’ve also noticed that you can overdo it to the point where it’s ridiculous.

    Just like shingles are a necessary part of building a house. But you don’t use shingles everywhere. In the same sense, speculation is a great tool when constructing a theory, but if you find that you need to use it at almost every single turn, then I think it’s time to realize something: you’re manipulating the evidence to support your theory rather than letting the evidence lead you to the truth.

    To top it all off, I’ll even refer a great little book for you to read, where you can get a really solid grip on just how much we really KNOW about the evolution of major vertebrates. The book is a little dated, but I’m pretty sure most of it still holds true. Oh, I’m sorry again, it’s not a book of the Bible (darn it, I KNOW you were hoping I’d suggest one of those to you, but gee – it just seemed so, you know, PREDICTABLE of me if I were to do that…)

    Anyway… this is an indiputably solid book that I hope NO ONE on this blog would dare suggest is inappropriate as a science text.

    Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution by Barbara Stahl. The book is out of print (sadly), but it is listed on Amazon. The best thing about it is this: its one of the most honest assessments I’ve ever read of what we know about the evolution of all the major vertebrate groups.

    Here’s a taste of what you will read in these pages:

    “paleontologists believe that Mesosaurus should probably be counted among the descendants of the romerid captorrhinomporphs…Other, later reptiles are presumed to have sprung from remerid stock…” p.280

    Hmmm. Let’s see here. Scientists “believe” and they “presume”. OK – Argument from authority, Argument from authority, but, no big deal. So, what else?

    “Szarski, Romer, and many other paleontologists believe that common possession of the ‘land egg’ identifies reptiles as a monophyletic group. Since the development of the “land egg” involved such a long and complicated series of interdependent genetic mutations, it is highly improbable, they argue, that it evolved more than once. They find it reasonable to assume that all reptiles, despite their diversity, descended from the single amphibian line in which the “land egg” appeared.” p. 271

    Hmmmm. Interesting.

    So here is an example of some evidence I would suggest that you start taking a look at. Look at the assumptions that are made, look at the evidence we have and DON’T have. Then ask yourself just how sure can we be based on the evidence (not the evolutionary presumption), that all reptiles evolved from a single amphibian source.

    Knock yourself out asking the kinds of questions a real scientist would ask (and oh, don’t let my suggestions be the only ones you might ask – or not ask)

    for example:

    - what kind of physical transformations were needed to complete the transition from an amphibian egg to a “land egg”?
    - what would the *most likely* chronological steps need to be in that transformation? How likely are they?
    - do we have any evidence for ANY of those intermediate steps?
    - what kind of new information changes would need to be made in the DNA of the ancestral amphibian stock? How and when and under what conditions would those changes likely have been made?
    - How much speculation is woven into the fabric of the explanation for how this egg evolved? Is there enough evidence to really compel me to believe the story?
    - If not, is it unreasonable for me to insist that an evolutionary explanation is the only possible one?

    So, repeat, rinse, and do it again with other types of evidence.

    So, I think you’ll get the idea of how much speculation is required to put together an explanation about what “must have” happened historically.

    Just keep this one little thing in mind: speculation is *not* evidence.

    Oh, and about MY propagandizing? Geez, looks like I’m in pretty good company.

    “Some of the nonrational elements that govern the scientific process, such as intuitition, imagination, or attachment to particular theories, are ones that most working scientists readily acknowledge. But others, such as rhetoric and propaganda, are denied any official role in science by scientific ideology, despite the fact they can play major, sometimes decisive, roles in the acceptance or rejection of hypotheses. Precisely because scientists believe themselves immune to these forms of argument, they are the more susceptible.”
    /

    Broad, William and Nicholas Wade in Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science. Touchstone, New York, NY (1982), p.141.

  385. #387 Steve_C
    March 30, 2008

    WOW. What a bore.

  386. #388 rrt
    March 30, 2008

    You know very little about science and evolution. You have no understanding. You’re a loon.

    Gee, this is fun!

  387. #389 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    shorter Kev’ :

    evidence! I no need no STINKING EVIDENCE!

    everything you presented was heresay and 3rd hand information from (out of print, no less!) books.

    did you even bother to look at the actual work the paleos did themselves?

    nope. you relied on reading information from 3rd hand sources that had titles supporting your obvious preconceptions.

    So, when you try to get us to think you actually have looked at all the information with an unbiased mind, you’re not only a moron (for thinking nobody has tried this BS before), you’re a liar.

    …and you’re long winded, rambling, and boring.

  388. #390 MartinM
    March 30, 2008

    Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution by Barbara Stahl. The book is out of print (sadly), but it is listed on Amazon. The best thing about it is this: its one of the most honest assessments I’ve ever read of what we know about the evolution of all the major vertebrate groups.

    Even the most honest assessment will be less than reliable more than twenty years later. Furthermore, your questions regarding specific details of certain transitions essentially ask us to ignore all the other evidence for those transitions. That isn’t an honest assessment by any reasonable definition.

  389. #391 James F
    March 30, 2008

    #380 Ichthyic wrote:

    you can also eliminate anything published in Rivista di Biologia.
    It’s not a scientifically peer reviewed journal.
    I think the only “peer reviewer” is the editor of the journal.

    Oh, I know, it’s about as gonzo, cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs as you can get, but it’s indexed at NLM so I can’t dismiss it completely. Get ready for this: its 2006 ISI impact factor is 0.167. Of course that’s way below Nature (26.681), but compare that to the impact factor of Injury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured, where the traumatic anal intercourse with a pig paper appeared: 1.067. Ouch!

  390. #392 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    the traumatic anal intercourse with a pig paper appeared: 1.067. Ouch!

    The index arises out of the association with Ken Ham.

    :p

  391. #393 Sven DiMilo
    March 30, 2008

    Hi Kevin.
    Your questions about the evolution of the amniotic egg are pretty good ones as far as they go. Would you be surprised to learn that “real scientists” have been asking them and–unlike you or anybody else in the “ID camp”–trying to answer them for decades? If you were really interested in the subject (why do I doubt your sincere desire for knowledge?), you could start reading about it here.
    You’ve put your disingenuous finger on a real problem in historical science like evolutionary biology (cosmology, archaeology, geology…): we cannot directly observe many of the events of interest. Piecing together the evolutionary relationships of animals that have been extinct for, in many cases, hundreds of millions of years is not easy. It may not even be possible to the degree of certainty you might prefer. But it’s possible, using a combined evidence approach of fossil morphology, developmental genetics, protein sequencing, etc. etc. to make valid and rigorous inferences. Do you care to understand the difference between inference, speculation, and assumption? Probably not, since it would be a distraction from your little game of casting trivial aspersions on “Darwinism.”

    May I suggest that you take your condescending, snide, arrogant and yet breathtakingly ignorant attitudes and shove them far up your GI tract, the back way?
    Thanks.

  392. #394 Randy
    March 30, 2008

    RE:164

    I know PZ is a believer, if he wasn’t there is no way he would pursue this issue so well.

    Too bad we only have the internet and no Mr. Universe.

  393. #395 Sastra
    March 30, 2008

    Kevin Wirth #381 wrote:

    I’ll give you everything you need to start your own inquiry, and then I’ll let you take it from there, OK?

    Ooh, ok.

    Imagine the possibility that the same evidence used to support evoutionary suppositions can also be viewed as inadequate to support that idea.

    Okay. Basically, I’m supposed to imagine that the vast majority of the world’s experts in all the fields of biology are wrong about their area of expertise, and have been wrong for over 150 years, even though they’ve been doing research and making predictions the whole time. That’s pretty hard to imagine, you know — kind of science-fiction-y. But I can do it, I guess.

    Go on.

    What you need to do is start asking probing questions about the evidence (take your pick) instead of just ASSUMING that all the right questions have already been asked. Maybe they haven’t been.

    Hmm. Maybe not. So the next part is where I — a Sheboygan housewife with a BA in English Lit from 1978 — am supposed to look at a whole bunch of information stuff in biology books and whatnot — take my “pick” — and then work on the assumption that I am going to figure out a new way of seeing things that the experts haven’t. Because I’ve got the open mind. I won’t have all those preconceptions and biases and education and experience or knowledge or background on any of the details. I’m unencumbered by criticism by peers or academic standards. I’m unburdened by rigor and discipline.

    But that’s okay. Not to worry. I understand those are the things that close the mind, and hem it in from possibilities, and keep it from probing. Those things are elitist, and I mean to probe.

    Because I am doing my OWN inquiry. It belongs to me. Look for the mistakes. Try new angles. I’m on my own, and a pretty smart person. Smart enough, anyhow.

    Hey, you’re right! ANYONE can do this! I see what you mean about not being afraid, and thinking for myself. Nobody should blindly follow authorities. You gave me the tools, and I’m taking it from here! Not only can I ask questions, I can take a stab at the answers, too.

    I feel so … empowered. Kevin, thanks so much for speaking up for the little guy (or gal, as the case may be.)

    I can’t wait to see what I discover! I bet it’s stuff NOBODY ever thought of before, too! Not even Zecharia Sitchin! This is going to be so good.

  394. #396 Sven DiMilo
    March 30, 2008

    Sheboygan?
    Had you pegged for a Racine gal.

  395. #397 rrt
    March 30, 2008

    Gosh, you’d think Sastra had an OM or something. :)

  396. #398 Sastra
    March 30, 2008

    Sheboygan?

    Not quite, but close enough. It’s the Big City. Plus “Sheboygan” sounds funnier.

  397. #399 Stanton
    March 30, 2008

    “Big City”?
    In New Jersey?
    You mean Hoboken?

  398. #400 Sastra
    March 30, 2008

    New Jersey? Huh?
    No, I mean I live in a place where I get to drive in to Sheboygan, Wisconsin for my monthly taste of sophisticated urban culture.

  399. #401 Stanton
    March 30, 2008

    I always get Sheboygan, Hoboken, and Newark confused.
    You’d always be confused, too, if you had to share your name with 4 different cities in three states.

  400. #402 Owlmirror
    March 30, 2008

    Just keep this one little thing in mind: speculation is *not* evidence.

    Uh-huh.

    And what is “ID”, then?

    Got *any* evidence in its favor? Maybe a little? Maybe just a snip? Maybe a speck?

    Nope. Nada.

    I mean, the whole point of the stuff about reptile eggs is that we do, in fact, have the eggs of various animals to compare and contrast with one another, and maybe figure out something interesting about them. But hey, we don’t know everything; there are millions of species that went extinct, and the exact order of evolutionary emergence is always going to have at least some question to it; some degree of incompleteness and uncertainty.

    You mentioned shingles, and for some reason, I was reminded of those old tall tales which involve shingling a house in a thick fog, and when the fog clears up, seeing that the shingles extended 10 (or 20 or 30, or whatever) feet beyond the walls of the house.

    People laughed when they heard that, because it’s silly. They know that no matter how thick a fog is, it’s not going to hold up even one shingle, let alone many feet of them, plus the weight of the human doing the shingling.

    Yet that’s all that “ID” is: nothing but shingles on a fogbank; nothing but silly, self-contradicting speculation.

    Got anything else?

  401. #403 Carlie
    March 30, 2008

    I think Kevin officially jumped the shark with post #381. Specifically, taking the science lingo convention of using the word “believe” and assuming that means there is no evidence behind the assertion is just about as big of a red screaming neon sign of “I know nothing about science and how it works” as it gets.

    Sastra, on the other hand, keeps on being scrumptiously Mollyicious. :)

  402. #404 Carlie
    March 30, 2008

    (I know she already has one, but her posts keep getting better and better.)

  403. #405 Robster, FCD
    March 30, 2008

    Kevin, if you were actually interested in learning about evolutionary science, instead of looking at an out of print book, try reading current research articles. Instead of assuming that there isn’t any information out there, try looking for it.

    But feel free to compare the evidence, or in the case of ID, the absolute lack thereof.

  404. #406 Sastra
    March 30, 2008

    That’s it. Carlie for Molly :)

    Thanks…

  405. #407 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    - what kind of new information changes would need to be made in the DNA of the ancestral amphibian stock? How and when and under what conditions would those changes likely have been made?

    funny, but we already have been examining that and similar questions by modifying the expression of dormant genes in extant relatives. for example, we can make chickens grow teeth by forcing the expression of long dormant genes. From information like this, we can *exactly* know what kinds of information changes needed to occur in any ancestor of an extant species. Paleontolgy, geology, ice cores, and looking at how modern species interact give us more clues as to what the conditions would have had to have been for the specific information changes noted in the genome.

    it’s hardly rampant speculation, moron.

    the fact that you are ignorant of molecular genetics research, paleobotany, geology, behavioral ecology, etc. hardly qualifies you as someone who has all the evidence at hand to make an informed decision.

    However, you’d know this, if you didn’t rely on third hand information injected into your brain from people like the kind folks at AIG, or from horridly inaccurate 3rd hand publications that aren’t even in print any more.

    I’d even provide some references relating to what is being done to figure out the genetic histories of various species, if I thought you would even bother to read them. However, information gathering is not why you came, obviously, it was rather to lie about having been “converted” to your current position by “evidence”.

    nothing but a scummy little liar.

  406. #408 Kseniya
    March 30, 2008

    Wow, just when I thought the thread was dying out…

    Plus “Sheboygan” sounds funnier.

    It sounds fun! Like “toboggan.”

  407. #409 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2008

    @kevin post #381

    Yep. old Kev is working from the Big Book of Creationist Dodges..

    “You want evidence? Well i’m not going to supply it, call persecution and then say I win! Becuase I can walk away like a child with my football claming you were mean.”

    That’s lame Kevin. You came in here full of piss and vinegar about all the evidence of mistreatment and then all the evidence of peer reviewed research that specifically deals with ID.

    What do you leave here with, just a whole other group you’ve come in contact with in your life who think you are a blow hard who can’t even begin to support his wild assertions.

    Good job Kevin. You’ve proven true every stereotype about how creationists act when confronted with the hard questions…. yet again.

    Except these weren’t that hard. All you had to do was to show us which research from those three names you listed was peer reviewed and dealt specifically with ID.

    Nope can’t do.

    You fail.

    Running off with your tail between your legs yelling persecution like all the others.

    F

    Back it up or shut up Kevin. You are a terribly sad and boring individual.

    Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution by Barbara Stahl. The book is out of print (sadly), but it is listed on Amazon. The best thing about it is this: its one of the most honest assessments I’ve ever read of what we know about the evolution of all the major vertebrate groups.

    Is that the best you can come up with.

    You can point to a book from 1974 but you can’t give us the peer reviewed research for the three people YOU FUCKING LISTED? Do you get lamer as we go on?

  408. #410 Kseniya
    March 30, 2008

    Hey, look, it’s CMF. I remember you.

    Rev, I betcha we could find a book from 140 years ago that casts some serious doubt on the theory of evolution. I betcha double that we could find a book from 200 years ago that doesn’t mention evolution at all!.

    But you evolutionists will just ignore that kind of evidence – wontcha?

  409. #411 Stanton
    March 30, 2008

    Rev, I betcha we could find a book from 140 years ago that casts some serious doubt on the theory of evolution. I betcha double that we could find a book from 200 years ago that doesn’t mention evolution at all!.

    But you evolutionists will just ignore that kind of evidence – wontcha?

    Want to help me wait for a book written 200 years from today that will disprove evolution, then?

  410. #412 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    Do you get lamer as we go on?

    you meant that rhetorically, right?

  411. #413 Owlmirror
    March 31, 2008

    I think Kevin officially jumped the shark

    Now, when most things jump the shark, it might be a Great White, or a Hammerhead, or a Mako, or a Blue, or … whatever.

    But anti-evolutionists, they always seem to jump the *Bull* Shark.

  412. #414 Stanton
    March 31, 2008
    Do you get lamer as we go on?

    you meant that rhetorically, right?

    Heeeheehee…

    You’re new around here, aren’t you?

  413. #415 rrt
    March 31, 2008

    Of course we’ll ignore that evidence, Kseniya…along with the shocking (shocking!) evidence that biologists don’t know everything and (gasp!) actually change their minds!

  414. #416 Damian
    March 31, 2008

    Wow. “Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution” is a creationist favorite, by the looks of it. Almost all of the sites that come up on Google are creationist sites, not surprisingly.

    Also not surprising is the fact that it is included in Talk Origins quote mine project. This is just one example, but there are probably more:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part4.htm

    I do hope that our resident creationist hasn’t been persuaded by quote mines. That would just be so….typical.

  415. #417 Kseniya
    March 31, 2008

    Wow. “Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution” is a creationist favorite, by the looks of it.

    Indeed.

  416. #418 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    perfect capper, Kseniya.

    just shows, for those that weren’t already aware, that you don’t have to be a xian to be a creationist.

    willful ignorance is all that is required.

    to maintain, rename as “faith” whenever necessary so one can claim persecution whenever derided by others.

  417. #419 wazza
    March 31, 2008

    Kseniya, that link made my eyes bleed!

  418. #420 RamblinDude
    March 31, 2008

    Me too!

  419. #421 RamblinDude
    March 31, 2008

    Check out the home page. I think this Adnan Oktar has gone off the deep end and hit his head on the bottom. I think I will never understand religious fanaticism. It always baffles me.

  420. #422 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 31, 2008

    Do you get lamer as we go on?

    you meant that rhetorically, right?

    and retroactively

  421. #423 bibanu
    March 31, 2008

    #315 – Nick Gotts quoted my last line and said:

    “Please forgive me if I insulted anybody.” – bibanu

    Only yourself, bibanu, only yourself.

    Posted by: Nick Gotts | March 29, 2008 4:43 PM

    I hope so! I really do.

    P.S. For those of you who made comments on my post. I never said that ID should given equal treatment in the classroom, nor that since the majority do not believe in evolution it must be false.

    I only said that you seem insecure – if after decades of teaching ONLY the theory of EVOLUTION in most schools – you are afraid of a documentary that is challenging some of its aspects (I have not seen the movie).

    That tells me a few things about biology teachers and/or evolution:

    1) The teachers who are teaching evolution are very poor educators.
    2) The teachers are good educators (they know how to teach), but they do not have a good grasp of evolution to be able to teach it clearly and convincingly.
    3) The teachers are doing a good job- but the theory is NOT convincing to the majority (again – I am not saying that this means that the theory is false).

    4) The majority of Americans are idiots – and only the few bright ones (like you guys) get it. Don’t many of you believe this? Maybe not. Apologies if I am wrong on this point.

    I do not see any other possibilities

  422. #424 ???
    March 31, 2008

    Hey Kseniya, wutz shakin? Certainly not blog censorship here at PZ Myers Hypocrisy pool;-)

    ????!!????????….???????….

    three two one….*cmf deleted again*
    dripping wet double standards;-)

  423. #425 ???
    March 31, 2008

    Hey Kseniya, wutz shakin? Certainly not blog censorship here at PZ Myers Hypocrisy pool;-)

    ????!!????????….???????….

    three two one….*cmf deleted again*
    dripping wet double standards;-)

  424. #426 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 31, 2008

    I do not see any other possibilities

    None of the reasons you listed above (1-3 I’m sure having some merit, 4 being fun for some to throw out in an argument but not necessarily true) means that we should be teaching ID alongside actual science.

    But there are other reasons. And I think it is a combination of all with these being the more likely for the overall population.

    4. Pressure from the community/parents causes teacher to worry about teaching Evolution because of the crying fits that parents have and how disruptive that can be to the classroom. So they choose to glance over it or skip it.
    5. People refuse to believe what they are taught no matter how supported the ToE is because of their religious inclinations. Religion holds a strong sway on peoples emotions and that is what they are acting on, emotion not facts.
    6. People refuse to trust science because of ideological pushes like ID from their personal religious authorities (parents, preacher, authors) not because of actually looking at the evidence. Because the evidence is as strong as nearly any scientific theory.
    7. Pushes by anti-authority groups that support ID, anti-vaccination, anti-modern medicine etc.. have caused ignorant (not necessarily an insult just a state of being) people to have a built in(and completely unwarranted) distrust for science in general.

    I’m sure there are plenty more.

  425. #427 Damian
    March 31, 2008

    bibanu said:

    I only said that you seem insecure – if after decades of teaching ONLY the theory of EVOLUTION in most schools – you are afraid of a documentary that is challenging some of its aspects.

    We are not insecure, bibanu, we just have this natural adversity to liars, that’s all. You would really have to understand the history of creationism, and its bastard child, ID, first and foremost, including its evolving tactics, all designed to “replace it (the current scientific method that has lead to the modern world) with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions” (their own words taken from the “Wedge Strategy”, which was leaked and reveals the real, religious and political motivations).

    Expelled doesn’t present any evidence against evolution, nor in favor of ID. Again, it is politically motivated movie. It attempts to make the case that “Darwinists” and “Big Science” (yes, you may laugh, but that is how they label all of those scientists who have worked all of their lives for little money, in the pursuit of human progress, knowing that they are lucky to come across one finding that advances science) are “persecuting” teachers for supporting ID. This is, of course, false. Not least because there are hundreds of thousands of creationist teachers. You do have to teach the science that has been agreed upon, however, which doesn’t even happen in many states.

    Those who have been denied tenure have either been incompetent – teaching really, really stupid and inaccurate things to innocent children – or they didn’t fulfill the necessary requirements for tenure renewal. Lots of people are refused tenure. It is only those who support ID that claim that they are being persecuted, though. The most sickening aspect of this is that people like Caroline Crocker (who claimed that there isn’t really any evidence for evolution and taught crazy things to children) is now employed by the ID movement and charges between $1000-$5000 for a few hours work, lecturing. I wish that someone would deny my right to free speech like that.

    Expelled also links evolutionary thought to a whole host of “shocking” imagery that the United States public has been conditioned to react negatively to for more than half a century. As one person who has seen the film put it:

    “Many scenes are centered around the Berlin Wall, and Ben Stein being Jewish actually visits many death camps and death showers. In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany”.

    This is a disgraceful rewriting of history. Not that it matters to the ID creationist movement. You see, if you don’t have any evidence for your position, you have to achieve your aims by other means, right?

    bibanu said:

    1) The teachers who are teaching evolution are very poor educators.

    There is much truth to that, yes. Remember, in many states evolution is not even taught for fear of upsetting parents. In others, it is not given anything like the time that it deserves, for similar reasons.

    2) The teachers are good educators (they know how to teach), but they do not have a good grasp of evolution to be able to teach it clearly and convincingly.

    Again, there is much truth to this observation. From what I have heard, it is often the case that the teachers are not necessarily biologists, and they have often only completed a basic education, themselves.

    3) The teachers are doing a good job- but the theory is NOT convincing to the majority (again – I am not saying that this means that the theory is false).

    This is also true, as well. Think of it this way:

    The United States is roughly 80% religious. There has been a creationist movement for decades that is backed by large sums of money, and it has used nefarious tactics in its attempt to promote a biblical view of “origins”, etc (see above). It is very easy to understand, as well as attractive to accept, the biblical explanation. Evolutionary biology is a hugely complex subject that covers many areas of science and spans roughly 3.5 billion years. You are only going to learn about an extremely watered down version at high school, often taught by under equipped teachers. This will almost certainly seem implausible if you step in to the classroom with your own biases already implanted. Unless you go on to study the subject at a higher education level, or take an active interest outside of education, you will never go further than a rudimentary explanation.

    This, to me, explains why so many people prefer the comforting idea that they were created by a loving God (regardless of evidence, etc), rather than some “cold, uncaring scientific theory” (it is actually a wonderful, inspiring narrative if you put the time and effort in) that has been demonized for decades in the United States, and has been linked with all a whole host of other demonized ideas, all specifically designed to appeal to emotions, again, regardless of evidence.

    I hope that this helps.

  426. #428 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    [P.S. For those of you who made comments on my post. I never said that ID should given equal treatment in the classroom, nor that since the majority do not believe in evolution it must be false.]
    Liar liar pants on fire!!! From #255:
    [The FACT is (and this is a FACT) - MOST AMERICANS do not buy into this theory of evolution despite decades of teaching ONLY this theory in most of our schools. Now - I am sure that many of you believe that ALL THESE AMERICANS are IDIOTS etc...
    UNFORTUNATELY - for your theory - that is simply NOT the truth - as inconvenient as that may sound.
    How much exposure does CREATIONISM or ID get in the media, schools etc?? Not very much, and when it gets it is mostly NEGATIVE. So - why are you so INSECURE when they come with a movie that questions certain "facts" of evolution???]
    Seriously, how stupid do you think we are?! We can just scroll up a bit and SEE the things you claimed you never typed.

  427. #429 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    Oh, and #230:
    [If you want to win this thing, it's not going to get done by shoving the so-called "scientific evidence" down people's throats]
    So the evidence is wrong because we’re not…nice enough about it?! Wait, what?!
    So if I explained the evolution of the eye POLITELY, would you listen? No, of course not; then you’d claim something else was fishy. This is a textbook example of “moving the goalposts,” ladies and gents.

  428. #430 Bunk
    March 31, 2008

    PZ, if you get inside their heads much more, they may turn around and start worshipping you.

  429. #431 Kseniya
    March 31, 2008

    Kseniya, that link made my eyes bleed!

    My work is done here.

  430. #432 Reader
    March 31, 2008

    These discussions might be improved (and some of the combatants even reconciled) were they to include better distinctions between Darwinism and Social Darwinism. The latter is more a concept of Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and 20th Century supporters of eugenics than of Darwin. This lack of distinction has also shaped the memory of the Scopes Trial to the extent that it is no longer clear, in the 21st Century, who has “inherited the wind.” Bryan had visited Germany prior to the trial and was deeply concerned about the uses to which “the survival of the fittest” (Spencer’s pre-”Origin” words) were being put. Talking past each other has a long history.

  431. #433 Robster, FCD
    March 31, 2008

    Reader, that is a very good point, but the ID/creationists don’t want understanding. They want a return to evidence free religious teaching, and an end to the scientific method where it conflicts with their sacred texts. To this end, regardless of evidence, Darwin is evil, atheism is evil, and both lead inexorably to Hitler. The reality is much less supportive of the ID/creationist.

    But ignorance is bliss, and ID/creationists are among the happiest in the world.

  432. #434 TGB
    March 31, 2008

    Mark Mathis, Ben Stein and the rest of the “Expelled” team are really undercover atheists who have insinuated themselves into the faith head community in order to take their money and make them look like complete idiots.

  433. #435 Kevin Wirth
    March 31, 2008

    Reply to pedlar at post #357

    My comment:
    Have you actually READ ANY of the papers written by now defrocked scientists like Dean Kenyon, Guillermo Gonzalez, or Carolyn Crocker, for example?

    Pedlar’s Response:
    Gee, Kevin, if they published these papers before outing themselves as IDiots then obviously these wonderful peer-reviewed papers had nothing to do with ID, did they?

    Oh wait, that’s logical. Sorry, Kevin, over your head …

    Nothing is over my head here pedlar – you’re such an eager beaver, looking to make some more “stupid” points here…

    The point I was making here (DUH!) is that if someone can publish several papers in one or more respectable, peer-reviewed science journals, isn’t that an indicator that this person has the ability to conduct acceptable scientific work?

    The answer, obviously, is “Yes” (otherwise, what’s the big deal about getting published in a peer-reviewed journal?)

    Additionally, when such a person gets outed as a Darwin skeptic, and all other future submissions to any peer-reviewed science journals are automatically declined – is this an indicator that this person has *suddenly* lost the ability to do GOOD scientific research?

    The answer, obviously, is “No”.

    Rather, what it indicates is bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination.

    The reason for this is that the only thing preventing them from publishing now is that they’ve been put on a blacklist, and they got there solely because of their skepticism about Darwin, NOT their ability to work as a scientist.

    I don’t recall saying that their papers had anything to do with ID. If I did say that, or even infer it – let me clarify something here and now: that’s NOT the point I was attempting to make, nor is it what I had in mind. Many of the people I’m thinking about published papers in their respective fields of science, and may or maY not mention anything about ID. More likely, they did not. ID has nothing to do with the point here. The point is this: they submitted a peer-reviewed paper, on a relevant topic that was accepted and published.

    THAT FACT lends substantial credibility to their abilities. Their work was deemed credible by a group of their peers – which is significant. And the more papers they published, the more apparent their credibility ought to be.

    So, NOW do you get it?

    So as I review your response, it seems like I’m having to take some rather extraordinary steps to explain to you what most people would pick up on here rather quickly.

    I guess it’s a necessary action for me and other Darwin skeptics to do for some folks who are so rabidly anti-ID that they instinctively lash out before they think.

  434. #436 Robster, FCD
    March 31, 2008

    Kevin, the ID/creationist researcher’s level of scholarship begins to drop off as they concentrate on non-scientific duties. They may choose to go on speaking tours, write an ID book, whatever, but their grant writing and article writing eventually becomes a secondary priority. Regardless of prior performance, when they pursue ID/creationism, they just don’t fulfill their contracts.

    If Gonzalez (or any of the self-martyred) had focused on his job and not on his hobby, he would have kept his job.

    ID ruins careers, not the big mean scientists.

  435. #437 Stanton
    March 31, 2008

    Additionally, when such a person gets outed as a Darwin skeptic, and all other future submissions to any peer-reviewed science journals are automatically declined – is this an indicator that this person has *suddenly* lost the ability to do GOOD scientific research?

    The answer, obviously, is “No”.

    So, then, can you tell us what scientific research ID “scientists” like Dembski, Wells, Behe and Gonzalez are working on right now?

  436. #438 Chuck
    March 31, 2008

    Thanks, Kevin, for your authenticity.

  437. #439 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    when such a person gets outed as a Darwin skeptic, and all other future submissions to any peer-reviewed science journals are automatically declined

    This has NEVER happened (to my knowledge), and unless you can document it happening you are lying, and if you are lying you are a liar.
    If tomorrow Gonzalez submitted a nice piece of work to a good astronomy journal it would get a fair review and it would be published. If he tried to sneak in some pseudosciwoo or religious implications, he would be asked to remove them, then it would be published (if, again, it was good work in the first place).

    Having manuscripts rejected and being denied tenure are NOT scientific career-enders. The former happens to every working scientist, Nobel laureates included. Both have happened to me (and, btw, to PZ) and I’m still a professional scientist with a decent job at a pretty good university.

    Yet more evidence that you and your ilk demonstrably do NOT know what you’re talking about, and yet you get offended when someone suggests you shut up.
    Pisses me off.

  438. #440 Athena
    March 31, 2008

    I had cause to delve into Guillermo Gonzalez’s publications and hence his scientific competence and integrity, because he was a major scientific consultant to Ward and Brownlee when they wrote Rare Earth (which I reviewed, E.T., Call Springer-Verlag!; the review was to originally appear in Astronomy Magazine, but got rejected because I was critical of the book’s science — an amusing counterpoint to Mr. Wirth’s assertions of discrimination against ID proponents).

    After reading several of Gonzalez’s articles (most of which appeared as reviews in non-peer reviewed journals), I observed an obvious and persistent bias towards not just ID but something even stronger. Also, Gonzalez hid activities that constituted conflict of interest. To give one example: Like Michael Behe, Gonzalez is a fellow of the Discovery Institute, whose explicit mission is fundamentalist. He asked the Smithsonian Institute to sponsor a film based on his book, The Privileged Planet without telling them that the Discovery Institute had produced it (a violation of their rules). He also wrote openly creationist articles for evangelical newsletters, although he denied doing so.

    Like many astrophysicists, Gonzalez held forth in biological domains — not his field of expertise. There is more about this issue in David Darling’s book Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology, which is a very good read in itself. Here are two links that discuss the matter:

    A New Wedge in the Discovery Arsenal of Stealth Weapons
    Was the ‘Rare Earth’ Hypothesis Influenced by a Creationist?
    (Darling’s quote in the second article, “The Rare Earth theory is neither hypothesis nor prediction, but a description of how life arose on Earth” comes directly from my review.)

    So Guillermo Gonzalez failed to meet many criteria crucial for a scientist and a teacher. The denial of tenure had little to do with his beliefs — except in how they shaped his behavior, including his ethics.

    P. S. Hello Ken, Mr. Ozcot! Long time, no hear… good to see you again on the barricades!

  439. #441 Kevin Wirth
    March 31, 2008

    reswponse to owlmirror at post#345

    You don’t credibly deny someone a careeer in science or dismiss someone from the academy simply because of their religious beliefs, and say they can’t possibly function as a scientist or educator because of that.

    And who has?

    The only genuine criterion for success in academia is academic competence.

    No-one has argued against that.”

    I don’t know if anyone has made that argument in this blog or not, but certainly, the practice is widespread in academia and in the scientific community. This is indisputable.

    Actually, this is not at all accurate. I have documented multiple instances where someone has been denied a degree, denied tenure, and etc. etc. solely because of their “religious” beliefs and/or their Darwin skepticism.

    The fact of the matter is that in academia today, you can do excellent scientific work and show competency right and left, but if you happen to have “religious” beliefs and are also a Darwin skeptic, then you’ve very likely just lost your career (not always, but more likely than not).

    Kurt R. Wise, who sat under the tutelage of Stephen Jay Gould, is an excellent example of an open creationist who did not become such a victim. So, here’s a question that challenges your assumption of “competency”: if a known creationist like Wise can get a degree from Harvard no less, what does THAT tell you? Does that indicate that Harvard is flawed because it granted him BOTH an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Paleontology?

    I hope you doubt this as much as I do.

    But then it begs another question of why, at other universities, are Darwin skeptics are treated as persona non grata?

    Or perhaps it suggests that all of the other leading academic institutions should reconsider their idea of who should be granted a degree and who should not?

    So, the discrimination of which I speak CLEARLY has nothing to do with “competence”, but everything to do with freedom of thought and freedom of speech. If someone like Wise is good enough to graduate from Harvard, then I’d dare say anyone else who is similarly competent should be allowed to enroll and graduate from any other leading University.

    Unfortunately, they are quite often, if not typically, thrown out. The book “Slaughter of the Dissidents” will document the “who has” answer to your question at length.

  440. #442 LawnBoy
    March 31, 2008

    Wow, Kevin. When asked for an example of when Big Science destroyed the career of a creationist, you don’t come up with a single example. Instead, you bring up Kurt Wise, an example of when the discrimination you bray about _didn’t_ happen.

    Does that make any sense? Do you realize that before giving the “exception that proves the rule” that it is best to give at least one non-exception that follows the rule?

  441. #443 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    who sat under the tutelage of Stephen Jay Gould

    That’s pretty brave–Gould had a good-sized tutelage.

    The book “Slaughter of the Dissidents” will document the “who has” answer to your question at length.

    That’s what you’re doing here? Hawking a book?
    I hope the author has a larger clue than you do. Please read carefully, twice: Nobody has lost a job etc. because of his/her religious beliefs. If you have the degree and do the job well, you (usually) keep the job. If you do your religious/”skeptic” schtick when you’re supposed to be doing your job (science and the teaching thereof), that’s when you lose the job.

  442. #444 MAJeff, OM
    March 31, 2008

    Sven,
    he’s hawking his own book….

  443. #445 Kseniya
    March 31, 2008

    File under: “I left the evidence in my other pants.”

  444. #446 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    Actually, Jeff, I made the mistake of clicking over to Mr. Wirth’s blog (which he shares with Denyse O’Leary!) where the one thing I learned was that:

    Kevin Wirth is the publisher and editor of the forthcoming book “Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters” by Dr. Jerry Bergman.

  445. #447 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    …and if we googlize Dr. Bergman, ‘kipedia obligingly serves up the following:

    Bergman was hired in the 1973-74 school year by Bowling Green State University. He was initially employed as an assistant professor but was reduced to the rank of instructor later for not receiving his Ph.D. as soon as he had expected. His employment was continued until 1976 when the university recommended that he receive a terminal contract for 1976-1977. Bergman’s contract for 1976-77 year was changed from terminal to temporary while studying for his Ph.D at Wayne State. In 1978 Bergman was denied tenure. Bergman believed this was due to his involvement in the creation movement and his religious beliefs and subsequently filed with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on the grounds that he had been discriminated against on the basis of religion, with both agencies ultimately ruling that he was not let go due to his religious beliefs, but because his peers voted to terminate him.
    Bergman filed suit against Bowling Green State University in federal district court in 1980, alleging that his due process rights had been violated and that he had been denied tenure on the basis of his religious views. The due process claim arose from his allegation that he never received annual written evaluations as required by the University charter. The case was dismissed in 1985. Bergman appealed but the appeal was turned down in 1987. The court ruled that the reason he was let go was because of ethics, namely that he claimed to have credentials in psychology when, in fact, he “had no psychological credentials.”

    So he oughta know.

  446. #448 James F
    March 31, 2008

    #433

    when such a person gets outed as a Darwin skeptic, and all other future submissions to any peer-reviewed science journals are automatically declined

    This has NEVER happened (to my knowledge)…

    Not to my knowledge either, Sven. They certainly don’t publish peer-reviewed scientific research papers on ID because ID is not a science, not because the Global Darwinist Conspiracy? suppresses the “Darwin skeptics.” They are free to publish valid science papers, however, and there are an astoundingly large number of journals that they can choose from to submit their work.

  447. #449 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    How much exposure does CREATIONISM or ID get in the media, schools etc??

    actually, it gets quite a lot.

    however, it gets WAY more coverage in the churches.

    duh.

  448. #450 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    They are free to publish valid science papers, however, and there are an astoundingly large number of journals that they can choose from to submit their work.

    heh, I recall several years back that the Templeton Foundation offered to review and fund proposals that would test any hypothesis of ID any of their members wished to generate.

    Nobody took them up on their offer.

    In fact, it was shortly after that that Johnson chose to suggest publicly that there was, in fact, no hypothesis of ID at all.

    Of course, there can’t be, until they manage to at least interview their putative designer for methods.

  449. #451 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    …by “their members” I was referring to the Disinformation Institute.

  450. #452 Ken Cope
    March 31, 2008

    P. S. Hello Ken, Mr. Ozcot! Long time, no hear… good to see you again on the barricades!

    Athena! Likewise! Help yourself to some water balloons–you’ll have to teach me how to wield hot molten lead like that someday!

  451. #453 Kevin Wirth
    March 31, 2008

    response to David Marjanovic, OM at post 359

    “You are mistaken. It isn’t people that are peer-reviewed, it’s manuscripts.”

    First of all, I applaud your adherence to decency, because yes, this IS the way it should be.

    But the reality is exactly as I have described it in several responses now in this thread.

    Sorry David, but when it comes to IDers, no, I am NOT mistaken. If you are a known IDer – and you submit a paper to a referred journal, it gets tossed WAY more often than not, even from publishers who previously (and often regularly…) published papers from submitters before they became known as ID advocates or even just Darwin Skeptics.

    Like I said, when your articles are accepted on a regular basis in a peer reviewed journal, but then your skepticism about Darwinism becomes well known, and suddenly your papers are continually rejected – what accounts for that? Did the scientist suddenly cease to function as a scientist? Nope. Did he produce papers that were of lower quality? Possibly. But if this person never had a rejected paper before announcing his Darwin skepticism, but afterwards suddenly *NONE* of his work is deemed worthy of publishing – doesn’t that indicate something else is afoot?

    I’d say the chances are quite favorable that it is his views and NOT his science that results in the rejection of his work.

    Doesn’t happen ALL the time David, but it certainly does happen on a regular basis.

    You can discount it or deny that this happens all you want. But it won’t change the facts.

  452. #454 prof weird
    March 31, 2008

    @ #374

    I’ve read this one :

    Denton, M. J., J. C. Marshall, and M. Legge. 2002. The protein folds as Platonic forms: New support for the pre-Darwinian conception of evolution by natural law. Journal of Theoretical Biology 219: 325-342.

    It’s actually LETHAL to Dembskian numerology !

    The authors noted that there are a VERY limited number of conformations a string of amino acids can take – something like thousands. As the conformation of a protein is far more conserved than exact sequence, this means that it is quite possible to get a ‘free lunch’ out of it (odds are actually quite high that a random string of amino acids will have a useful conformation).

    Although there are 100^20 possible proteins 100 amino acids long, they can only fold into about ~10^3 different shapes, and thus many divergent sequences will have the same ‘shape’. Not all of which are stable. This increases the odds of a useful sequence arising about 50+ orders of magnitude.

    And, as per Dembski’s (non) Explanatory Filter – if an event can be explained by natural law, there is no need to invoke a Designer. If natural law can explain the evolution of proteins, there is no need to invoke the whim of a Designer. Thus an IDer invoking THIS paper for support is either suicidal (as it undercuts his position severely), or ignorant (just saw the name ‘Denton’, and equated it with ‘anti-Darwinian/pro-IDer’)

  453. #455 MartinM
    March 31, 2008

    But it won’t change the facts.

    The pertinent fact being that you keep banging on about persecution without presenting examples. Time to put up or shut up.

  454. #456 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    But the realityfiction is exactly as I have described projected it in several responses now in this thread.

    You can discount it or deny that this happens all you want. But it won’t change the facts.

    the obvious response is:

    what facts? you haven’t presented any.

  455. #457 Brownian, OM
    March 31, 2008

    Like I said, when your articles are accepted on a regular basis in a peer reviewed journal, but then your skepticism about Darwinism becomes well known, and suddenly your papers are continually rejected – what accounts for that?

    I’d guess that using the term ‘Darwinism’ says something about your lack of knowledge about the current state of the field of biology and thus the quality of your papers–hence the rejection.

    Similarly, I doubt that the Journal of AI Research publishes many papers by known slide-rulism skeptics, but I don’t imagine you’d need to invoke conspiracy theories to explain why.

  456. #458 James F
    March 31, 2008

    #448

    prof weird, thank you for your discussion of that paper! I noticed that the DI removed the Denton & Marshall concepts paper in Nature from their sham publications list. Perhaps this one will quietly be dropped, too.

    I would love to hear your opinion on the latest paper they claim (no new data, of course):

    Ø. A. Voie, “Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent,” Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, 28(4):1000-1004 (2006).

  457. #459 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    But if this person never had a rejected paper before announcing his Darwin skepticism, but afterwards suddenly *NONE* of his work is deemed worthy of publishing – doesn’t that indicate something else is afoot?

    Sure does! Who are we talking about, again? I just can’t wait for the book!!!

    (My initial hypothesis, since I have never known anybody who never got a manuscript rejected, is that our fictive protagonist was publishing in lax, semi-reviewed, crappy journals before his or her fictive announcement.)

  458. #460 MartinM
    March 31, 2008

    It’s actually LETHAL to Dembskian numerology !

    They do have a habit of that, don’t they? Like that Behe and Snoke paper, which purported to show that simple irreducibly complex systems couldn’t evolve, but actually showed that simple irreducibly complex systems evolve very easily, even if you forbid most evolutionary processes.

  459. #461 Athena
    March 31, 2008

    If I may — to James F, in reply to msg #452:

    I read the Voie article and wonder if it’s a hoax (like the justly famous one perpetrated by Alan Sokal). On the other hand, in my capacity as a molecular biologist, I have received such papers for review from general-interest journals whose editors are not scientists (or are experts in a different field than the focus of the paper) and want to give the authors the benefit of the doubt.

    So, if this work is meant to be taken seriously, it commits so many errors of both logic and fact and contains so many nonsensical statements that I cannot critique them all without exceeding the length of the original paper. I’m tempted to do so as an exercise, but it’s unlikely to change the mind (?) of those who won’t let evidence confuse them.

  460. #462 prof weird
    March 31, 2008

    @James F, #448 :

    Appears to Dembskian level confabulation.

    6. Conclusion
    Subsystems of the mind as functional objects or formal systems are unique in respect to other phenomena that follows the laws of nature and are subsystems of the universe. Life express both function and sign systems, which indicates that it is not a subsystem of the universe, since chance and necessity cannot explain sign systems, meaning, purpose, and goals [26].

    ‘Sign systems’ tend to arise when two things co-vary : tree rings vary in size due to environmental conditions while the tree was growing, thus there is a ‘code’ or ‘sign system’ generated without need of an external intelligence to create it (as an ABSTRACTION, it requires an intellect to notice the covariance and CALL it a ‘code’ or ‘sign system’, but not to create it in the first place).

    Thus, ‘sign systems’ ARE part of the universe that does NOT require intervention of unknowable beings to create.

    All the genetic code is is a list of what nucleotides bind to what nucleotides in tRNA. Quite evolvable without divine/intelligent intervention.

    He seems to be a bit teleological – he PRESUMES that life MUST conform to externally imposed constraints (ie, ‘meaning’, ‘purpose’, and ‘goals’); then argues back to his presuppositions.

    The closest thing to ‘meaning’, ‘purpose’, and ‘goals’ living things have is living long enough to reproduce.

    After all, what is the ‘meaning’, ‘purpose’ or ‘goal’ of a bacterium ? Or a fruit fly ? They are living things too !

    Quite contrary, the human mind possesses other properties that do not have these limitations, the property of creativity with ability to create through choice with intent.

    And natural selection can PERFECTLY MIMIC these results !

    Random variation supplies the creativity; natural selection applies the appearance of’choice’ or ‘intent’.

    Someone pointed that out to Dembski over on Uncommon Descent a year or so back (febble, IIRC); she was quickly banned.

    The author is seeing the end RESULTS of selection as ‘intent’, more or less.

    This choice doesn’t violate any laws. It merely uses dynamically inert configurable switches to record into physicality the nonphysical choices of mind.

    Random variation filtered through selection does EXACTLY THE SAME THING, without the need for guidance from an external mind.

    It is therefore very natural that many scientists believe that life is rather a subsystem of some Mind greater than humans or symbolic number cruncher referred to by [25].

    ie, the lazy religionist’s dodge : why work hard to figure it out when you can just sit on your rump and say ‘A Mind DIDIT !!!!!’ ?

    And where did this Mind come from ? If life on Earth requires a Mind to create it, then a Mind capable of creating life is even MORE in need of an explanation.

    Infinite loop of Designers of Designers of Designers of Designers of Designers of Life.

    At least as observers we are left taking life as an axiom as Nils Bohr suggested in a lecture published in Nature [27] “life is consistent with, but undecidable from physics and chemistry” [19].

    So – the ‘choices’ the author leaves us with is either ‘An undefined Mind DIDIT !!!!!’, or ‘the question is unanswerable !!’

    When someone HANDS you two choices and asks you to choose between the options he has presented you, the correct choice is ‘c’, or ‘d’, or anything else.

  461. #463 Kevin Wirth
    March 31, 2008

    Respone to rrt at post #341

    “Now, see, we’re still not trying to think like Kevin. If you manage to get any articles past peer-review to publication, then ALL of your articles have passed peer-review.”

    You need to stop putting words in my mouth. That’s not what I said, nor did I infer this. What I said was, isn’t it interesting that someone can be regarded as credible and get a TON of articles published in a credible peer-reviewed journal, but the minute they admit to having religious beliefs and/or admit to being a Darwin skeptic, all of their future work is somehow deemed unfit for publication (and in many instances, even examination).

    rrt wrote: “Methodological naturalism, material evidence, critical thinking, thorough peer-review, all are either alien or terribly distorted in his mind.”

    Not at all. I find nothing wrong with methodological naturalism (MN), per se. I consider it to be a valid approach. And peer review as well. What I DON’T agree with is the way it is being used to destroy the lives and careers of people who are Darwin skeptics.

    rrt wrote: “And so his poor persecuted design proponentsists have been expelled because they’re doing perfectly sound science, completely unhindered by religious ideology, that dares to challenge the orthodoxy. It’s never occurred to him they might just be doing it wrong.”

    Many of them ARE doing sound science, REGARDLESS of their religious ideology. Could they be doing things “wrong”? Sure. Scientists make incorrect assumptions, and ridiculous speculations all the time. But does that mean they are not behaving as scientists? Of course not.

    And you are correct that it SHOULDN’T matter if they have a ‘religious ideology’> It also shouldn’t matter if they are a Darwin skeptic. But the sad fact is, it DOES matter to the academy. There are real people who will testify to that. There are also a lot of folks who have written about this:

    “There are certainly a good number of scientists who now reject the concepts of evolution — not on religious grounds, but on strictly scientific grounds. Most of them are keeping their own council. Outwardly they support evolution (so as to be in step with their peers) but inwardly they have second thoughts on the subject. It is not too easy to take a stand against the beliefs of the majority, and expose oneself to ridicule, especially when one’s job and academic and professional prospects are on the line. It is only the very brave and those highly placed scientists whose standings are universally acknowledged (and thus, secure) that can afford to contradict the general trend.”

    Cohen, I.L. in Darwin Was Wrong – A Study in Probabilities. New Research Publications, Inc., New York, NY (1984), p.213-214.

    rrt wrote: “No, Kevin, we don’t deny someone a career in science simply because of their religious beliefs.

    This is absolutely false. It happens on a regular basis. Read “Slaughter of the Dissidents” when it comes out. ID is REGULARLY said by its opponents to be a “religious” ideology, despite what key ID spokespeople might say. Invoking religion or religious texts is not required to consider the claims of ID, for example.

    “The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there exist natural systems that cannot adequately be explained in terms of undirected natural causes and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence. The claim can be considered on its own merits.”

    Dembski, William A. in The Design Revolution. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (2004), p.45.

    “Intelligent Design… starts with the data of nature and from there argues that an intelligent cause is responsible for the specified complexity in nature… Intelligent design shares none of scientific creationism’s religious commitments.”

    Dembski, William A. in The Design Revolution. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (2004), p.42-43.

    rrt wrote: “We MIGHT deny them when they let those beliefs pervert their practice of the scientific method. I’m not expert, but Koop apparently never did that…it’s harder for an MD to directly encounter a conflict anyway. We respect Miller because he doesn’t do that.”

    I won’t contest Miller’s ability to do good science, but I would add that because he also accepts evolution, this disqualifies him as evidence that his science alone is what makes him palatable. My point is, the ACCEPTANCE of evolution is not the true test of whether or not you are a capable scientist (recall my example earlier today of overt creationist Kurt R. Wise, who graduated from Harvard with an M.A. and a P.hD. in Paleontology?)

    Subscribing wholesale to all of the key commitments of evolution isn’t and should not be the test of whether someone is a good scientist.

    Doing good SCIENCE ought to be the test.

    Evolution is an IDEA produced by scientific inquiry. It isn’t infallible, especially given what we currently do not know about the history of almost any vertebrate you could name, and the high measure of speculation required to sustain their fractured and highly disputed alleged evolutionary lineages.

    We ASSUME that all critters evolved – we don’t actually KNOW this from the evidence. We ASSUME that evolution is the correct answer, and we try to make all the evidence bend to the idea of evolution rather than consider other possibilities.

    For example…

    This is WHY the notion of punctuated equilibria (PE) was such a hit with so many scientists – it attempted to explain what we see in the fossil record over and over: STASIS – not the anticipated evolutionary changes everyone figured had to be there. So, instead of seeing the evidence of NO CHANGE (stasis) as a valid reflection of history, Gould and Eldredge came up with this novel idea to explain why there “seems to be” such a huge absence of transitional fossils, and thus keep the idea of evolution afloat. While Eldrege acknowledges that this evidence of apparent gaps IS “real” (see quote below), he then goes on to propose why those gaps are “real” in an evolutionary context, rather than “real” in the sense that it might indicate no evolution at all. Since there is no evidence to compellingly support or refute either view (which is why scientists still debate PE to this day), why pick evolution over the possibility of NO evolution?

    The answer is: a priori assumptions – NOT evidence. We think we already KNOW that evolution MUST be the answer, regardless of what the evidence tells us. Even Dawkins alludes to this (see his quote below) when he says the only other viable alternative is creation, and of course, we can’t even COUNTENANCE that notion.

    That’s not science, that’s overt prejudice. If the evidence leads you somewhere you’d rather not go, you’d better go there anyway – or at least be willing to consider the possibility. You don’t dismiss a possibility simply because it doesn’t happen to line up with your sacred cow paradigm.

    “One of the most surprising negative results of palaeontological research in the last century is that such transitional forms seem to be inordinately scarce. In Darwin’s time this could perhaps be ascribed with some justification to the incompleteness of the palaeontological record and to lack of knowledge, but with the enormous number of fossil species which have been discovered since then, other causes must be found for the almost complete absence of transitional forms.”

    Brouwer, A. in General Palaeontology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL (1967), 1st edition, p.162-163. (published before Gould and Eldgredge…)

    “Few fossils are yet known of plausible intermediates between the invertebrate phyla, and there is no evidence for the gradual evolution of the major features by which the individual phyla or classes are characterized.”

    Carroll, Robert in Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution. Cambridge University Press, (1997), p.4.

    “Eldredge and Gould certainly would agree that some very important gaps really are due to imperfections in the fossil record. Very big gaps, too. For example the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.”

    Dawkins, Richard “Chapter Nine: Puncturing Punctuationism” in The Blind Watchmaker. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY (1986), 2nd edition, p.229.

    “…the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation and [we] both reject this alternative.”

    Dawkins, Richard “Chapter Nine: Puncturing Punctuationism” in The Blind Watchmaker. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY (1986), 2nd edition, p.230.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change–over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.”

    Eldredge, Niles “Chapter Four: Evolution in Real Time” in Reinventing Darwin. John Wiley and Sons, New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore, NY (1995), 1st edition, p.95.

    “We are faced more with a great leap of faith– that gradual, progressive, adaptive change underlies the general pattern of evolutionary change we see in the rocks–than any hard evidence… The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life’s history–not the artifact of a poor fossil record.”

    Eldredge, Niles and Tattersall, Ian “Chapter Four: Patterns Great and Small: Evolutionary Change and the Fossil Record.” in The Myths of Human Evolution. Columbia University Press, New York, NY (1982), 1st edition, p.57,59.

    Is this notion of finding fossil transitions important? Sure it is, It was also important to Darwin:

    “..why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?… The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

    Darwin, Charles in The Origin of Species. Crown, New York, (1979), Reprint, p.292.

    Anyway, I’ve gone way off track here…

    Unfortunately, in many instances, religious views and/or skepticism about Darwin are used to deny many solid scientists and educators a degree or tenure.

    We have no idea how many incredible scientific discoveries have been banished from our storehouse of knowledge, and how many lives could have been saved because of this practice.

  462. #464 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    GET OUT

  463. #465 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Not at all. I find nothing wrong with methodological naturalism (MN), per se. I consider it to be a valid approach

    show us how any other approach would work to produce a testable experiment?

    and please, for Cthulhu’s sake…

    stop RAMBLING.

    can’t you limit your responses to a paragraph or so?

    I mean, it’s not like you are saying anything substantive yet.

  464. #466 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Many of them ARE doing sound science, REGARDLESS of their religious ideology.

    like?

    Unfortunately, in many instances, religious views and/or skepticism about Darwin are used to deny many solid scientists and educators a degree or tenure.

    again, no supporting evidence for your statement is provided by you.

    you seem to be of the “a lie repeated often enough” camp.

    it’s getting more than a little boring at this point.

    as someone said earlier:

    put up or shut up. show us ONE published scientist that lost their position BECAUSE of ONLY their stated religious viewpoint.

    I’m just leaning towards shut up at this point, as it’s obvious you have nothing but meandering drivel to spew.

  465. #467 DanioPhD
    March 31, 2008

    Shorter Kevin Wirth: ca. 2000 words worth of spittle-flecked invective, followed by “Anyway, I’ve gone way off track here…”

    You think????

    Holy raving lunatic, that was funny.

    Laser–your CAPSLOCK personna is in the driver’s seat today, I see ;-)

  466. #468 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    …btw Gould’s and Kittredge’s analysis was based on a very limited selection of fossils samples; ones that did indeed appear to show patterns of jumps.

    we certainly see gradual patterns appearing in most species we have good series for in the fossil record.

    you shouldn’t rely on 3rd hand information from idiots so much there, buddy.

    of course, this is all entirely shifting the subject from your original, and I for one don’t intend to let you get away with it.

    so, again, show us the scientists that actually have been booted for simply stating their religious preferences.

    Wells himself (a fucking MOONY) was allowed to complete his graduate career at Berkeley, despite much protest as to his legitimacy as a grad student as he really didn’t do any original research (I was there; I saw it firsthand).

    you’re simply fooling yourself if you think there is some “conspiracy” going on.

    I think you best apply Hanlon’s razor before it’s too late for you.

    or is it already too late?

  467. #469 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    “Laser–your CAPSLOCK personna is in the driver’s seat today, I see ;-)”
    I can’t help it-it’s like it’s got a mind of its own!!

  468. #470 Little Tool
    March 31, 2008

    Big Gadget, this is Little Tool. We’ve got ourselves a situation.

  469. #471 PZ Myers
    March 31, 2008

    Whoa…such a mountain of quote-mining.

    Listen: you guys play fast and loose with the facts, and it’s damned irritating. There are multitudes of transitional fossils, transitionals everywhere…yet most modern biologists don’t care about the fossils. That’s not where most of the action is at — it’s in molecular biology. What you’ll find is that in some of the transitions within a phylum, we have good fossil evidence, refuting the claim that there are no transitional forms.

    At the same time, though, most organisms didn’t fossilize, so there are gaps all over, and we recognize that — so it’s easy to find Famous Scientists saying we don’t have a complete, fully documented fossil record. In addition, the transitions between phyla that several of your quotes mention … do you have any idea when those occurred, or what the relevant organisms looked like, the ones Robert Carroll is discussing? No, I didn’t think so.

    600+ million years ago. And they looked like small boneless worms. We’re lucky to have a few trace fossils.

    But that doesn’t mean the evidence is absent. You and the worms are carrying it around in your genomes. We can pluck it out, read it, extract and compare…and we see the vestiges of your ancestry loud and clear. But like most creationists, you aren’t even aware of it — you squeak your ignorant outrage that we can’t show you the bones of the last common ancestor of molluscs and arrow worms, and when we tell you that they didn’t have bones, they didn’t have shells, and they were smaller than the nail on your pinky, so you’re asking for something that doesn’t exist, we’re laughing at your stupidity.

  470. #472 James F
    March 31, 2008

    #455 and #456

    Athena and prof weird,

    Thanks for checking that out. Sounds like the Voie paper is an even bigger pile of guano than I thought. The Dis Institute is really scraping the bottom of the barrel! I’m half tempted to Sokal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals myself.

  471. #473 Owlmirror
    March 31, 2008

    ID is REGULARLY said by its opponents to be a “religious” ideology, despite what key ID spokespeople might say.

    You mean, key “ID” spokespeople like this?

    In this book, Johnson, also Program Advisor for Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, explains that naturalism, materialism, and modernism aim to remove any support for belief in a personal God who acted with free will to create and sustain the universe.

    Sure looks like religious ideology to me…

  472. #474 Kseniya
    March 31, 2008

    Hey Kevin! Quote war! Wanna play?

    “The world is a mirror representing the divine life. The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” ~ William Dembski

    “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him.” ~ William Dembski

  473. #475 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 31, 2008

    Good job quote mining. how long did that take you to put together?

    During that time you could have been giving us the relevant peer-reviewed research that deals directly with ID from the three people you mentioned.

    Yet another dodge.

  474. #476 Sven DiMilo
    March 31, 2008

    Oooo! Quote war? Lessee…
    “Kevin Wirth is full o’ crap!”
    (I said that)

  475. #477 Robster, FCD
    March 31, 2008

    We have no idea how many incredible scientific discoveries have been banished from our storehouse of knowledge, and how many lives could have been saved because of this practice.

    Actually, we do know. None. If the discovery is valid and presented without unnecessary hocus pocus, it is accepted. If it doesn’t get in, you try another journal after a rewrite.

    Also, your constant and false equating of needless death with dismissal due to incompetence is intellectually insulting and plainly manipulative. Not to mention dishonest, but dishonesty is the currency of creationists.

    As to the lack of transitional forms, that is largely a myth, which you would know if you weren’t so busy quote mining.

    The thing is, with every fossil found with a transitional feature, two new gaps are claimed by creationists. They will never be happy with any level of evidence.

    Kevin, if your book is nothing but a rehash of debunked and disproved sob stories, you won’t find a friendly audience here.

  476. #478 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    correction to 462.

    don’t know why I put Kittredge with Gould; should be Eldredge

    must be the “edge”.

  477. #479 James F
    March 31, 2008

    #471

    We have no idea how many incredible scientific discoveries have been banished from our storehouse of knowledge, and how many lives could have been saved because of this practice.

    Actually, we do know. None. If the discovery is valid and presented without unnecessary hocus pocus, it is accepted. If it doesn’t get in, you try another journal after a rewrite.

    Well said, Robster! A better question is how much science has been stymied by the dogmatism and outright scare tactics of the creationists. That, we truly will never know.

  478. #480 rrt
    March 31, 2008

    So we’re pretty much going in circles now, but I’d like to capitalize on that a little bit, Kevin. You’ve been circumlocuting a point you don’t seem capable of confronting. Your statements have indeed implied that all papers from a scientist who has published some well-respected papers must be just as great. You’ve said again and again, in effect: “Well, their pre-ID papers clearly establish that they’re great scientists, so their post-ID papers should be just as good!” You seem to have a strange fixation on the scientist, not the work. You seem to think the scientist is the most important signal of the work’s quality, and you accuse us on those grounds, claiming we discount the work because of the author, not the work itself. And yet, somehow, you also manage to observe that: “Subscribing wholesale to all of the key commitments of evolution isn’t and should not be the test of whether someone is a good scientist.

    Doing good SCIENCE ought to be the test.”

    Kevin, forget the person and apply that statement to the work. Of course we don’t think that all papers from a “good” scientist must likewise be good. I’ve already said that. We have to evaluate each and every one on its own merits…its evidence. That’s the entire point. We don’t reject papers because Dembski wrote them, we reject them because Dembski did terrible science in them. The critical realization you seem to keep circling is that the correlation of “terrible science” with “therefore goddidit” approaches 100%. Creationists don’t do good science in attempting to support their claims, and that’s why we reject the claims…not because of the claims themselves. They’re trying to sell us castles in the air, whereas we’re obsessed with foundations.

    I say you seem to not understand this point because much of your rhetoric has that appearance, but of course you do. You’ve pointed out a couple times here that you think the evidence supports creationism and not evolution. Which takes us back to the original observation that you don’t understand science and evidence very well.

    But hey, I’ll throw you one tiny little fishbone here. You have asserted endlessly (with absolutely no evidence in support) that many creationists have had excellent papers rejected solely because they were creationists, and not because of the quality of the papers themselves. Despite your refusal to support this claim, despite the fact that it would actually involve endless bickering over the quality of papers and whether the paper can even hint at creationism, yadda yadda, I would be willing to bet that has happened at least once. Between human nature, workload and the ginormous red flags creationism legitimately raises concerning a scientist’s competence, I can believe such a mistake can be made. As I said, it’s a fishbone…because I think I know what you’ll do with it.

  479. #481 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    because I think I know what you’ll do with it.

    toothpick?

  480. #482 Kevin Wirth
    April 1, 2008

    Response to James F in post #374

    “OK, while we’re waiting for news on those peer-reviewed ID research papers, let me speed things up and take a few papers out of consideration. The following papers touted by the Discovery Institute are commentaries and literature reviews and as such provide no new data (most don’t even mention intelligent design):”

    That’s fine – I wasn’t planning to reference those anyway. And I agree that literature reviews hardly qualify as research.

  481. #483 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    and the papers you WERE going to reference are…

  482. #484 Kevin Wirth
    April 1, 2008

    Response to Martin M at post #385

    “Even the most honest assessment will be less than reliable more than twenty years later. Furthermore, your questions regarding specific details of certain transitions essentially ask us to ignore all the other evidence for those transitions. That isn’t an honest assessment by any reasonable definition.”

    Martin – you don’t get it. The point here is this: Even 25 years after Stahl published her book, what has changed significantly? Nothing. We STILL have the same issues and problems and questions we had back then. I’m simply referring to her book as a BASELINE, so you can mark off what we’ve learned since then.

    The details of the transitions are the SAME, ie, we still don’t know squat.

  483. #485 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    You’re going to say, on the blog of an expert in evo-devo, that we don’t know anything about transitional fossils?

    Go look up the whale fossil record, there’s an account right on this blog. Linking to peer-reviewed papers, too.

  484. #486 Kevin Wirth
    April 1, 2008

    response to Martin F at post# 309

    “Take Gonzalez, for example. His publication record over the relevant period was poor, and his ability to attract funding almost non-existent. He didn’t get tenure because, quite simply, he didn’t earn tenure. But because he was an ID proponent, his fellows in the ID movement leapt to the assumption that he’d been unfairly treated, regardless of all evidence to the contrary. That makes it seem rather like all the talk of academic freedom is really just code for ‘give us special treatment.’”

    You are seriously misinformed Martin. Gonzalez publication record was incredibly high during the period between 2001-2007. I show 33 articles. In fact, his normalized publication score is 2nd among all astronomers in his department. Oh yeah – he earned his tenure, dude – you just can’t stand to admit it.

    You can go here to check out his absolute publication count:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-abs_connect?db_key=AST&db_key=PRE&qform=AST&arxiv_sel=astro-ph&arxiv_sel=cond-mat&arxiv_sel=cs&arxiv_sel=gr-qc&arxiv_sel=hep-ex&arxiv_sel=hep-lat&arxiv_sel=hep-ph&arxiv_sel=hep-th&arxiv_sel=math&arxiv_sel=math-ph&arxiv_sel=nlin&arxiv_sel=nucl-ex&arxiv_sel=nucl-th&arxiv_sel=physics&arxiv_sel=quant-ph&arxiv_sel=q-bio&sim_query=YES&ned_query=YES&aut_xct=YES&aut_logic=OR&obj_logic=OR&author=Gonzalez%2C+Guillermo&object=&start_mon=01&start_year=2001&end_mon=05&end_year=2007&ttl_logic=OR&title=&txt_logic=OR&text=&nr_to_return=100&start_nr=1&jou_pick=ALL&ref_stems=&data_and=ALL&group_and=ALL&start_entry_day=&start_entry_mon=&start_entry_year=&end_entry_day=&end_entry_mon=&end_entry_year=&min_score=&sort=SCORE&data_type=SHORT&aut_syn=YES&ttl_syn=YES&txt_syn=YES&aut_wt=1.0&obj_wt=1.0&ttl_wt=0.3&txt_wt=3.0&aut_wgt=YES&obj_wgt=YES&ttl_wgt=YES&txt_wgt=YES&ttl_sco=YES&txt_sco=YES&version=1

    And for the rest of you who’ve been waiting for me to post some refereed science articles written by a Darwin skeptic – here’s my first posting on that for y’all.

    More to come.

  485. #487 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    Yes, but we want peer-reviewed papers on topics related to ID…

    his stuff looks pretty standard astronomy

    got any biology for us?

    you know, something relevant?

  486. #488 MartinM
    April 1, 2008

    I already responded to that at #375, Kevin. You might find it more efficient to read the whole thread first, then go back and respond.

  487. #489 Damian
    April 1, 2008

    Kevin, look at this graph which shows the reality of Gonzalez’s publication record.

    Now tell us that Gonzalez deserved to have his tenure renewed?

  488. #490 Kevin Wirth
    April 1, 2008

    response to wazza post #479

    “You’re going to say, on the blog of an expert in evo-devo, that we don’t know anything about transitional fossils?”

    No, what I’m saying is this: there is an inordinate amount of speculation woven into the stories put forward about how any vertebrate critter you want to pick evolved. You can’t get around this, no matter how “expert” you are on evo devo.

    Recall that I proposed that there is a problem with what we know about the evolution of the land egg? Barbara Stahl had something to say about this as well in her book”Vertebrate History”. My point to Martin is that even 25 years after she published her book, we’re STILL not any closer to understanding the evolutionary relationships between vertebrate critters. What we DO have more of is this: speculation. Notice the use of the words “imagine” and “speculation”. Remember, speculation is NOT evidence.

    Regarding the evolution of the land egg, she said:

    “It is easier to understand the stages by which the reptiles evolved temporal fenestrae and other
    distinguishing skeletal characters than to imagine the steps that led to the development of the `land egg.’
    Paleontologists continue to speculate upon the way in which the enclosure of the embryo came about,
    however, because the matter is central to the broad question of reptilian origins. Study of the eggs laid by
    living reptiles has provided little insight into the evolution of the extraembryonic structures which gave
    protoreptiles their first advantage over other tetrapods. Rather than recapitulating the process of its
    evolution, the `land egg’ develops in a specialized manner derived, no doubt, by abbreviation and reordering
    of an earlier procedure. … All the extraembryonic membranes in the `land egg’ of a modern reptile must
    complete their formation normally if the embryo is to sustain itself. The yolk sac is of crucial importance,
    because nutritive materials from the yolk mass can enter the body only by passing through the vessels in its
    surface. The allantois also cannot fail: it serves as the respiratory organ for the embryo, since blood
    coursing through it loses carbon dioxide and receives oxygen by diffusion through the adjacent chorion and
    porous shell. In addition, its central cavity stores nitrogenous wastes produced by the actively metabolizing,
    embryonic cells. Blood reentering the embryo from the allantoic vessels restores to the body water that has
    When resorbed from the excreted waste and also adds some that passes into the egg from the environmental
    air. The exterior of the embryo is kept wet by a liquid that accumulates within the amnion. Unlike pond
    water, to which it is often compared, the amniotic fluid does not act as an oxygen-bearing medium for the
    embryo. It is an adaptation for protecting the developing animal against shock and for preventing it from
    resting against the membranes in the shell and sticking to them. Despite the difficulty of explaining how the
    embryo might have been served while the “land egg” was evolving to its present state, Szarski has suggested
    a series of steps by which the reptilian structure may have arisen.” (Stahl, 1985, pp.268-270)

    How did the land egg evolve? We don’t know. We can only imagine how it *must have* happened.

    And that ain’t evidence.

    So, since we DON’T KNOW how it happened, who is to say that it *must have* happened in an evolutionary manner?

    We don’t know that either – many of us just ASSUME it must have happened that way.

  489. #491 Damian
    April 1, 2008

    Vertebrate Evolution – 173,000 papers

    Eggs and their Evolution – 239,000 papers

    Obviously, these are all fairy tales, Kevin. If you weren’t so dishonest – using one 25 year old book, that is clearly a creationist favorite – I might take you more seriously.

  490. #492 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    Well, as you know, I compare amniotic fluid to pond water all the time…

    Kevin, the problem with that is that you’re not offering any alternative. Science is all about finding the best explanation for the facts, making predictions of further facts with that explanation, and then checking to see if the new facts actually match the explanation. What you’re saying is that because we haven’t actually shown conclusive evidence of every stage of the explanation, that we therefore have to throw the explanation out, rather than looking for that evidence.

    One can imagine, a long time ago, an amphibian which, as amphibians do today, laid its eggs in water. And, because of the particular place where it lived – perhaps rainfall was variable, as it is in many places in the world today – its eggs had a chance of being above water some of the time. And – as is observed today – the eggs probably had some level of variability about them. Those eggs that were slightly more tolerant of being dry, if only for a little while, due to their heritable variability, would then have a survival advantage. And they would then have slightly more chance of growin up to lay eggs of their own, with their own resistance to dry conditions, and their own variability. Again, doesn’t have to be much. Frogs have a new generation every year, so we can assume the ancient amphibians had a similar cycle. It makes sense, fits in with the seasons, etc. Now, after a hundred thousand generations – about as many years as Homo Sapiens has been on the planet – you’d have an egg which, due to selection for dry-resistance, could be laid on land. Which some animals might do, because sometimes you need to drop weight in a hurry. And if it’s possible, sooner or later it’ll be done, and done a lot, because there’s more land than shallow water, so it’s easier to hide eggs on land. And there you have it – land eggs. Still amphibians, probably, but on their way to becoming reptiles.

    Now, I haven’t gone back and seen this happen. We don’t have any fossils, either, because amphibian eggs don’t make good fossils, they’re too soft. But we can imagine it happening. It makes predictions, such as that amphibians and reptiles will share more characteristics than special creation would suggest. These can be tested, and have, and have been found to be true.

    The final point I must make is what Cohen, Pratchett and Stewart call the problem of becoming. You’re thinking that this egg has to have popped up out of nowhere in order to allow land-laying amphibians. Not really. With scaffolding and occasional function-sharing and specialization, the original egg could have been a lot simpler, become a lot more complex, and then become simpler again, but in a more organised way… all in the name of better survival chances.

    I suspect I’m not going to get through to you, but maybe putting all this out will increase the chance that the fence-sitters won’t take your objections as remotely connected to reality.

  491. #493 PZ Myers
    April 1, 2008

    This is so typical — creationists think only bones are valid evidence (and even then they typically reject fossils), so they retreat to soft tissues like extra-embryonic membranes and think they’re safe to say “you have no evidence!” But what trips them up is what I said up above: modern biology is not dependent on bones. We use comparative anatomy, physiology, molecular biology, and developmental biology to tease apart the mechanisms.

    Maybe Kevin should read this.

  492. #494 Laser Potato
    April 1, 2008

    PZ, Kevin’s already admitted in #230 that he won’t accept any evidence we show him:
    [Would it matter if I did bring you some science? You guys are so sure of yourselves that there couldn't POSSIBLY be any valid answer except an evolutionary one. The first knee-jerk response I see from most people on this blog is to reject any challenge to an evolutionary explanation as retarded in the 34th degree (or higher).
    You guys are pretty much like pirahna on fresh meat - an eating machine that takes bites and asks if they should have later (maybe!).
    You guys can pop off in this blog space all you want, but, here's the reality: If you want to make any headway with the scientifically illiterate public you despise and deride so regularly here, then you need to take a different approach. (Now THERE'S a DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH! far bigger than Motive's bonehead outing of their code prior to yesterday's press teleconference call...).
    You don't get it (or more likely you just don't care...). If you want to win this thing, it's not going to get done by shoving the so-called "scientific evidence" down people's throats, bringing out the brass knuckles and steel-toed boots. You guys think 'nasty' will get you where you want to be, because being nice doesn't matter.
    You think you can force-feed your so-called evidence with all the vileness you want, because in the end, the evidence will win out, and so why not have some fun in the process.]

  493. #495 Robster, FCD
    April 1, 2008

    Thanks for proving us correct, Kevin.

    If you haven’t read it, it doesn’t exist. If there is a gap in knowledge, god/s did it.

    You do realize, as we mean ol’ scientists learn more about these gaps, your god/s will get smaller and smaller.

    Your theology is as poor as your science.

  494. #496 phantomreader42
    April 1, 2008

    Kevin Wirthless claimed he was a “convinced evolutionist” until he looked at the “EVIDENCE” (caps his).

    Asked what EVIDENCE he was referring to, here is his response:

    *crickets chirping*

    Okay, perhaps I should have said “here is his complete lack of a response.”

    Kevin Wirthless claimed there were tons of peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, but has yet to produce any. He just turns around and claims there’s a vast conspiracy against his fellow creationists (without actually admitting to being a creationist).

    Kevin Wirthless equates his hallucinations of persecution with MASS MURDER. When asked for evidence of such persecution, or evidence that any of the things he’s accusing scientists of would even approach DROPPING BOMBS ON CIVILIANS, even if they had actually happened outside his delusional fantasies, here is his response:

    *crickets chirping*

    Again, I should have said “here is his complete lack of a response.”

    Kevin Wirthless claims that many of his fellow creationists are doing sound science, REGARDLESS of their religious ideology. When asked for evidence to support this claim, once again his complete lack of a response is:

    *crickets chirping*

    Kevin Wirthless claims that there’s a vast conspiracy to deny people careers in science simply because of their religious beliefs. When asked for evidence of this ridiculous claim, he refuses to even try to provide any, just demands that people buy his book “Slaughter of the Dissidents”. A book hasn’t yet been published. A book whose very title is a false accusation of murder. A book so poorly researched that its AUTHOR cannot produce the slightest tiny shred of evidence for its central thesis.

    It’s not just that Kevin Wirthless can’t offer even a speck of evidence in support of any of his outrageous claims. He DOESN’T EVEN TRY. Is he stupid? Crazy? Lying? My money’s on all three.

    Anyone reading Kevin Wirthless and thinking he might have some idea what the hell he’s talking about, notice that he does not offer any evidence, no matter how many times he’s asked. He’s just throwing around creationist distortions and moving the goalposts every time he’s called on it.

  495. #497 phantomreader42
    April 1, 2008

    Kevin Wirthless claimed he was a “convinced evolutionist” until he looked at the “EVIDENCE” (caps his).

    Asked what EVIDENCE he was referring to, here is his response:

    *crickets chirping*

    Okay, perhaps I should have said “here is his complete lack of a response.”

    Kevin Wirthless claimed there were tons of peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, but has yet to produce any. He just turns around and claims there’s a vast conspiracy against his fellow creationists (without actually admitting to being a creationist).

    Kevin Wirthless equates his hallucinations of persecution with MASS MURDER. When asked for evidence of such persecution, or evidence that any of the things he’s accusing scientists of would even approach DROPPING BOMBS ON CIVILIANS, even if they had actually happened outside his delusional fantasies, here is his response:

    *crickets chirping*

    Again, I should have said “here is his complete lack of a response.”

    Kevin Wirthless claims that many of his fellow creationists are doing sound science, REGARDLESS of their religious ideology. When asked for evidence to support this claim, once again his complete lack of a response is:

    *crickets chirping*

    Kevin Wirthless claims that there’s a vast conspiracy to deny people careers in science simply because of their religious beliefs. When asked for evidence of this ridiculous claim, he refuses to even try to provide any, just demands that people buy his book “Slaughter of the Dissidents”. A book hasn’t yet been published. A book whose very title is a false accusation of murder. A book so poorly researched that its AUTHOR cannot produce the slightest tiny shred of evidence for its central thesis.

    It’s not just that Kevin Wirthless can’t offer even a speck of evidence in support of any of his outrageous claims. He DOESN’T EVEN TRY. Is he stupid? Crazy? Lying? My money’s on all three.

    Anyone reading Kevin Wirthless and thinking he might have some idea what the hell he’s talking about, notice that he does not offer any evidence, no matter how many times he’s asked. He’s just throwing around creationist distortions and moving the goalposts every time he’s called on it.

  496. #498 James F
    April 1, 2008

    #476 Kevin Wirth wrote:

    That’s fine – I wasn’t planning to reference those anyway. And I agree that literature reviews hardly qualify as research.

    Hear, hear! On that we can agree. I am eager to see what you will present.

  497. #499 Kseniya
    April 1, 2008

    He’s just throwing around creationist distortions and moving the goalposts every time he’s called on it.

    Life is so consistent.

  498. #500 Owlmirror
    April 1, 2008

    How did the land egg evolve? We don’t know. We can only imagine how it *must have* happened.

    And that ain’t evidence.

    So, since we DON’T KNOW how it happened, who is to say that it *must have* happened in an evolutionary manner?

    Dude.

    How did you, personally, come into existence? We don’t know. We can only imagine how it *must have* happened.

    And that ain’t evidence.

    So, since we DON’T KNOW how it happened, who is to say that it *must have* happened by an ordinary conception event where your father impregnated your mother?

  499. #501 Owlmirror
    April 1, 2008

    Speaking of land eggs and conception events, I just remembered, and confirmed via Google, that the Mandarin Chinese slang for “bastard” is “turtle egg”.

    (wángb?dàn (???, informal simplified: ???) / wàngb?g?ozi (????))

    I just thought that was amusing.

  500. #502 Robster, FCD
    April 1, 2008

    Turtle eggs all the way down.

  501. #503 Snicker
    April 2, 2008

    The FSM begs to differ. His noodly appendage has carefully altered genetic structures over thousands of years to create the perfect pasta chef. We all await the second saucing – be warned!

  502. #504 Ichthyic
    April 2, 2008

    Even 25 years after Stahl published her book, what has changed significantly? Nothing.

    said by the person with hands over eyes, and cotton in ears.

    too bad you didn’t add the cork in mouth.

  503. #505 Ichthyic
    April 2, 2008

    Now tell us that Gonzalez deserved to have his tenure renewed granted?

    just a minor correction.

    tenure is a permanent kind of thing.

    Just ask Behe; at least he was smart enough to wait until AFTER he got tenure before letting his insanity run loose.

  504. #506 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 3, 2008

    And for the rest of you who’ve been waiting for me to post some refereed science articles written by a Darwin skeptic – here’s my first posting on that for y’all.

    Actually Kevin we’re still waiting. That did nothing but supply a list. We need to you point to the specific peer reviewed research from those three people that deal specifically with ID.

    Sill waiting

  505. #507 Owlmirror
    April 3, 2008

    While waiting for Kevin to post some research or a rational argument, or something, I also remembered this as a followup to my point in #494:

    I will be a god, when I die. Already they begin to weave stories about me, presaging my divinity. They say that my mother, Atia, fell asleep at the temple of Apollo, and a snake made its way into her womb, and fertilized her.”

    “And is it true?”

    “Of course not. My mother was entered by nothing more remarkable than my father’s penis.”

    — Caesar Augustus, in Neil Gaiman’s Fables and Reflections

  506. #508 Shakes Peer
    April 20, 2008

    Thou art a knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in a way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamourous whining if thou deny’st the least syllabel of thy addition.

  507. #509 Mike
    August 5, 2008

    the monkey trial dot com

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