Pharyngula

VenomFangX vs. Thunderf00t

Ah, the weird, wild world of the interwebs, where one actually finds people calling themselves “VenomFangX” and “Thunderf00t” squaring off to do battle. VenomFangX is one of the lower denizens of Youtube, a creationist notorious for the arrogant confidence with which he states the ridiculous and ignorant. Thunderf00t is a calm rationalist and defender of science and evolution on Youtube, and they recently did battle.

VenomFangX, unable to actually outargue and outreason Thunderf00t, made a series of legal accusations, that Thunderf00t was violating copyright, and convinced Youtube to briefly yank his account. Thunderf00t shot those accusations down, and made a legal claim in reply, that abusing the copyright act had serious penalties associated with it, and demanded a public retraction and apology.

Thunderf00t won, and got VenomFangX to concede and read a detailed apology on camera, which is now on Youtube. I have to give it to VenomFangX, he actually managed to read it with a little dignity and about the same amount of sincerity you’ll find in his creationist videos — but I doubt that he has really learned anything from the episode, other than to be more careful about making actionable statements.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian, OM
    October 13, 2008

    I doubt that he has really learned anything from the episode, other than to be more careful about making actionable statements

    You’re likely right PZ, but I like to hope that every once in awhile, someone comes around and realises that their position is unsupportable because it’s just not true.

    (hope. n. The human tendency to poorly evaluate probability, and bet on the long shot.)

  2. #2 Kobra
    October 13, 2008

    Thunderfoot’s “Why do people laugh at creationists?” series is awesome.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    October 13, 2008

    but I doubt that he has really learned anything from the episode, other than to be more careful about making actionable statements.

    Well, showing he is capable of learning anything at all is surprising.

    I’m sure the distaste of this “effort” will indeed be lost on him soon enough, however.

    training, even with negative reinforcement, still requires repetition.

  4. #4 Brian
    October 13, 2008

    Kobra: agreed. I figured this had to be the same person. It is.

  5. #5 zer0
    October 13, 2008

    This… is…. PURE… AWESOME!!!!!!!!111one!

  6. #6 CrypticLife
    October 13, 2008

    Awesome. I hope this is posted under Thunderf00t’s account, not VFX’s. He had VFX completely over a barrel.

    Most of the youtube religion debates are just shouting matches. This match produced a pretty clear winner. Congrats to Thunderf00t!

  7. #7 Glen Davidson
    October 13, 2008

    After the DI IDiots, this is the prime example of why “discussion” with the advocates of IDiocy is worthless, and why there is no cause to “respect” such people who will do anything to win and nothing to learn.

    Most of them end up being only trolls whose hatred only deepens as they encounter legitimate reasons why they are wrong. Some of them have to be answered, there are few occasions in which to actually engage their endless dishonesty and treachery.

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

  8. #8 H.H.
    October 13, 2008

    Just to hear VenomFang admit on camera that he lied “deliberately and repeatedly” is awesome beyond words. What an upstanding Christian! We always knew he was a scumbag liar, of course, but now there can’t be any dispute about that point. Hats off to Thundef00t! You have done the world a great service. May the halls of reason and light reverberate with your made-up internet name!

  9. #9 Raynfala
    October 13, 2008

    Way OT:

    Holy moly! Hitchens breaks away from the conservatives, and (reluctantly) backs Obama.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2202163/

  10. #10 Alex
    October 13, 2008

    Watching this little saga unfold was indeed a sight. I watched that video sometime last week I think and really had to hand it to Thunderf00t.

    That pipsqueak is really creepy too. If you go to Thunderf00t’s page you can watch a vid of vx made-up like The Joker. He’s definitely got some pwnage issues.

  11. #11 Ichthyic
    October 13, 2008

    Hitch backs Obama?

    that is news.

    thanks

  12. #12 scooter
    October 13, 2008

    I doubt that he has really learned anything from the episode

    I hope not, half the fun of following Thunderfoot is his creativity in finding new ways to crush and humiliate VenomFangX. Best flamewar on the web.

    I love British put-downs, lots of adjectives with a cool accent.

  13. #13 Porky Pine
    October 13, 2008

    I must confess that I had gotten very tired of the spat between thunderfoot and venom. I liked watching his debunking videos but after awhile it stopped being debunking and just pissing and moaning about Venom.

  14. #14 James F
    October 13, 2008

    Thunderf00t won, and got VenomFangX to concede and read a detailed apology on camera, which is now on Youtube.

    There go the poor lad’s chances of working for Answers in Genesis or the Discovery Institute….

  15. #15 Thomas Langham
    October 13, 2008

    I love Thunderfoots voice. It is so soothing. He sounds like Pierece Brosnan (or HAL from 2001).

  16. #16 Thomas Langham
    October 13, 2008

    I love Thunderfoots voice. It is so soothing. He sounds like Pierce Brosnan (or HAL from 2001).

  17. #17 Dirty Hairy
    October 13, 2008

    Poll to Pharyngulize:

    http://www.afa.net/petitions/pbspoll/takesurvey.asp

    And, yes, I signed up for the afa newsletter for a few good chuckles.

  18. #18 Dave
    October 13, 2008

    Oh my, that is rather entertaining.

  19. #19 Oskar Kennedy
    October 13, 2008

    There’s a lot to hate in the DMCA, but it does make someone who knowingly files a false infringement complaint liable for the legal fees and costs of the person the complaint is filed against. If it was genuine contrition rather than fear of that liability that prompted the apology, then I’m a Cambrian Bunny.

  20. #20 Kel
    October 13, 2008

    Thunderf00t really stuck to his guns, showed just how immature and clueless that VFX really is. Though he should have pressed ahead legally and reported him to youtube, really pwnt that little bastard!

  21. #21 Falyne
    October 13, 2008

    w00t to the defeat of VFX! And, wow, that could be a bit of a precedent-setter.

    Once again, Hitchens earns a small measure of my grudging respect. Too bad he wasn’t tortured this time! (I kid, I kid….)

  22. #22 Lago
    October 13, 2008

    I feel sorry for people who have not seen the people involved in this debate beforehand.

    That little effin’ brat was so smug in his ignorance of science that it made you want to slap him constantly. Thunderfoot was always calm and even keeled no matter what. This only made the little brat more obnoxious over time.

    Basically the kid was as ignorant of the scientific method as one could be, and still walk, but was able to say his point-of-view in a manner that seemed to impress his fellow ignoramuses. I give the kid that much credit, as his artfulness when it came to bullshit was up there with Rembrandt and Raphael.

    In the end, however, it seems fear is the only truth this little prick could understand, and to lose his pulpit would have made the bitch cry like…well, …like the little bitch that he is.

  23. #23 Conor H.
    October 13, 2008

    I can’t seem to watch any of Thunderfoot’s videos. It says “video not available” or somesuch.

  24. #24 Zeno
    October 13, 2008

    VenomFangX is such a supercilious prat that it was a huge delight to see him deliver the formal apology for his lies and misrepresentations. I felt not the least sympathy for the little monster. My empathetic faculties clog up at the sight of him.

    I doubt that VFX will simply fade away, although he deserves to live on in mundane obscurity. I suspect that instead he will reconstitute himself as a martyr who was tempted by an excess of Christian zeal into using foul means to smite the enemy. Jesus will forgive him, of course, and then VFX can preach anew. Just very, very carefully for a change.

  25. #25 nicknick bobick
    October 13, 2008

    There is a very good reason why the VenomMeister was never able to outreason Thunderf00t: VFX does not have the ability to reason. I think that it is very important that people connect the dots whenever they refer to to this simple-minded creationist. He is purely and simply (with the emphasis on the simple) a Kent Hovind clone. I call him Kent Hovind Junior.

    Look at any of his videos: he actually parrots Hovind’s sermons verbatim, including the same graphics and often the same vocal inflections. His teeny-bopper (jesus-bopper?) followers are too uninformed to catch this.

    VFX apparently does not have an original thought in his pin head.

  26. #26 bunnycatch3r
    October 13, 2008

    Thunderf00t’s voice is cool until you hear him trying affect a southern accent. It will scare the shyt out of you.

  27. #27 Skeeve
    October 13, 2008

    While VFX did make the apology video, he still superimposed his website URL on it. I would have refused it on principle. I’ve posted and commented on his videos in the past, you should especially see his ‘proof of god’ video. He totally mangles science and logic. Thunderf00t totally schooled him on “Fair Use” and filing false DMCA’s.

  28. #28 Bronze Dog
    October 13, 2008

    I got to subscribing to Thunderf00t’s stuff partway through this whole thing. Big kudos for this level of ownage.

    Weird thing: Read an old Creationist comment claiming ice is magnetic. Next day, I saw a VFX debunking that included a clip of him claiming the flood water came from ice held in orbit by Earth’s magnetic field.

    Normally, I’m a mix of frustrated and amused. Magnetic ice was pure amusement, though.

  29. #29 LeeLeeOne
    October 13, 2008

    OMGS! Internets, full of drama queens/kings?! Whodahunk?

  30. #30 Derek
    October 13, 2008

    Congrats to Thunderf00t. Enjoy the sweet taste of victory, my friend.

    (The “Why Do People Laugh At Creationsits” is one of my favorite ways to spend time on youtube.)

  31. #31 Milo Johnson
    October 13, 2008

    That is wickedly delicious. Hope he liked that colon expansion, I bet you could park an eighteen-wheeler in there about now!

  32. #32 Kevin
    October 13, 2008

    Hm, while the topic is on YouTube, I suppose this is as good a time as any to plug my channel? It’s a pretty new channel on atheism and it’s going well. Check me out and subscribe if you like. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SkepticalStudent

  33. #33 scooter
    October 13, 2008

    Skeeve @ 27

    you should especially see his ‘proof of god’ video.

    That one was so good, it got its own thread here.

  34. #34 InTheImageOfDNA
    October 13, 2008

    I had run across some VenomFangX videos long before all this erupted. I was positive then that he was satirical. He struck me then and he still strikes me now as acting. I still think that this might be just one big charade meant to bring attention to creationist idiocy. However, I have not watched all of his videos. To those who have: is there any chance he’s not being serious? I mean he’s just so over the top!

  35. #35 Kevin
    October 13, 2008

    No, he’s 100% serious. It’s sad, but true.

  36. #36 Annapolitan
    October 13, 2008

    I agree with the others who say that ThunderfOOt’s “Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?” videos are some of the best things on YouTube. T’f00t is MY HERO for those videos alone, not because he has triumphed over VenomFangX (although that was pretty awesome, too.)

  37. #37 qedpro
    October 13, 2008

    As much as I enjoyed watching ThunderfOOt tear this little shit a new one, I really don’t like giving PCS/VFX the attention. Clearly he craves it and feeds on it like a starving baby on his drunken mother’s tit. He’s TVangelical material all the way. Its unfortunate that Thunderf00t didn’t pursue the matter and give this guy a criminal record because you know he’s going to be back.

  38. #38 fsb
    October 13, 2008

    Thunderf00t’s voice is cool until you hear him trying affect a southern accent. It will scare the shyt out of you.

    Yeah, I’m from Georgia, and at that part I was like, NOOOO…

  39. #39 Jammer
    October 13, 2008

    If you have not yet checked out Thunderf00t’s “Why do People Laugh at Creationists?” series on youtube…check it out! Thunderf00t Rocks!

  40. #40 Deepsix
    October 13, 2008

    I’ve been a subscriber to Thunderf00t’s channel for some time now. And yes, his “Why do people laugh at creationists?” videos are a must see.
    He gives VFX a virtual beating from the start:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS5vid4GkEY&feature=related
    (there are 26 parts)

  41. #41 Dark Matter
    October 13, 2008

    Haha…he just races through this thing. Reading it all had to kill him a little inside. I’d feel sorry for him, but I don’t think that lying bastards deserve my pity when they’re forced to pay the price of their stupidity.

  42. #42 Samuel
    October 14, 2008

    I’m a fan of Thunderf00t’s and have enjoyed the spat between the two. DonExodus does a decent rebuke of VFX as well…little creep…”My ministry, my ministry!”

  43. #43 dveej
    October 14, 2008

    Am I the only one who saw this “apology” and thought: “what if this were not really VFX reading this apology, but rather some young Yank that Thunderfoot asked to read it and thereby to impersonate VFX?” That would be a great revenge, eh?

    But I don’t know if the male reading the apology (which seems rather unlike an apology to me) is or not the actual VFX, so maybe someone can tell me…

  44. #44 Liane
    October 14, 2008

    Thanks for posting this, PZ! I’d never heard of the Thunderf00t vids before this, let alone the VFX spat (am clearly insufficiently aware of all internet traditions), so I clicked over to the “Why do people laugh at creationists” vids and have been laughing my head off ever since … Nothing like a bit of creo-pwnage to spice up one’s day.

  45. #45 Pikemann Urge
    October 14, 2008

    The most shocking thing VFX ever did was post photos of gigantic human skeletons in one of his videos. Turns out they were composites done for a competition. My jaw dropped as I wondered if he had a clue how silly he looked. He didn’t think to… check his references?

  46. #46 Mad Hussein LOLscientist, FCD
    October 14, 2008

    Next order of business: get ExtantDodo (who’s been kicked off at least twice due to malicious false complaints from anonymous users) reinstated.

    The good news: In the mean time, PrometheusWithLight has started reposting ED’s stuff.

    Oh, and that AFA poll (Do you think Barack Obama is qualified to be president?) needs some SERIOUS squidifying! It’s running 169,000 NO to 9,000 YES.

  47. #47 Arno
    October 14, 2008

    Thunderfoot’s work is simply amazing. That T-foot decided not to have VFX’s account removed on YouTube, is just a demonstration of T-foot’s character: he has always attacked people who tried to limit freedom of speech, and believes that everyone should be allowed to express their thoughts.

    That is just one more reason why he kicks immense ass.

  48. #48 Marc Abian
    October 14, 2008

    I thought this little spat was a bit overdrawn, but now I see it was all worth it.

    PZ had one of the “why people laugh at creationista” videos up a while ago. It was the one where Ben Stein said “science leads you to killing people”.

  49. #49 anomose
    October 14, 2008

    Thunderf00t’s definitely one of the best YouTubers out there. I recommend watching his videos!

  50. #50 RideThePig
    October 14, 2008

    Kind of old news to people frequenting Thunderf00t. Besides, it barely sounded sincere coming from VFX.

    More irritating is that ExtantDodo’s account is still suspended as he had easily some of the best refutation videos out there, chock-full of credible citations.

  51. #51 Bill Williams
    October 14, 2008

    You know, sometimes i gotta wonder if the whole controversy is staged, or at least intentially blown out of porportion to increase hits on video’s or websites. Personally i don’t have a problem with people who believe in creationism, and they can feel free to rant about it all they want. I doubt that any party is swaying enough fence sitters to make a difference. So why do it execpt to generate controversy, fame, and perhaps even revenue. Scientist should be spending their time on well.. science.

  52. #52 John Phillips, FCD
    October 14, 2008

    Bill Williams, we would love to. However, one little problem, whenever we just ignore the IDiots they just take that as implicit permission that they can do what they like and carry on trying to corrupt science education and undermine science in general, and not just in the US.

    BTW, you might be surprised to know that some people actually find it possible to have more than one major interest in life. Additionally, when one of those other interests also involves trying to protect your field from the IDiots, all the sweeter. Unless of course you expect scientists to only do science and have no other interests outside their immediate fields. Does that include not getting into relationships, going on holiday, etc. etc., as that is all time that could be spent on science. Or does it only apply when the time being spent is on something you disapprove or dislike of for whatever reason. As you seem to like to reposting the “Scientist should be spending their time on well.. science.” line.

  53. #53 negentropyeater
    October 14, 2008

    Scientist should be spending their time on well.. science.

    And Bill Williams, what should he be spending his time on ?

  54. #54 Bill Williams
    October 14, 2008

    Dunno. probably reading books on LUA or PLC programming.

    Of course scientist can have other passions, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m a chemist by education and enjoy mountain biking. But I don’t post videos on youtube claiming that people who prefer steel bikes over aluminum are dumb-asses.

    Also, even if you could convince a retard that he’s retarded, that won’t cure his retardedness will it? All I’m saying, is that there is an agenda somewhere. An agenda that goes beyond just a hobby. I swear the dramas that play out on youtube remind me of watching some stupid reallity TV show meant for a captive audience that doesn’t know any better. Anyway, forgive my rant, I know it probably doesn’t sit well with the target audience of this site.

  55. #55 Glen Davidson
    October 14, 2008

    So why do it execpt to generate controversy, fame, and perhaps even revenue. Scientist should be spending their time on well.. science.

    I don’t discount the attempts to get blog hits. But perhaps your question should be addressed to the people who spent probably over $10 million to try to get people to believe that science has a conspiracy with the courts, federal government, and educational system to promote a false view of science–and that the only “cause” of this is the great desire to promote atheism.

    It isn’t even so much for “fence sitters” as for the great number of people who barely care at all that we counter such efforts. They’re not even going to read more than a few sentences of the responses, but they’re reassured by the fact that a response is made, and because the “right people” say it’s a good response.

    The way I see it, scientists have done a pretty good job of doing science (which is what makes their reputations and gets them grants), and not a very good job of communicating science to the public–which does not yield very many rewards. It is not all that difficult to argue that relating science and its value to the public is well within the role of the scientist, btw.

    And if receiving blog hits, a bit of recognition and possibly even a little money, gets some out educating the public who will learn, plus indicating to those who care little that we have plenty of responses to attacks, I really don’t mind at all.

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

  56. #56 Will Brinkley
    October 16, 2008

    As disappointed as I am that Venomfangx won’t be sharing an 8×8 with Big Gay Al, there is the glittering victory that Thunderf00t actually took the moral high ground and showed Venomfangx to be the worm he really is.
    Call it a moral victory for rationalists, but it does give VFX the opportunity to thank is invisible friend for bailing him out of a giant hole he dug for himself. If nothing else, Thunderf00t should’ve facilitated a san quentin vacation so that VFX could reflect on the weakness of his God to bail him out of his shenanigans. Although, like he said it would’ve taken a lot of effort and honestly, what is a hero without his nemesis? Youtube without VFX would be like the bible without Satan.

  57. #57 weberly
    April 24, 2009

    H.H. and others, you probably don’t think you lie deliberately or repeatedly, but it’s unlikely. an honest person admits their mistake, to do so on camera under that kind of pressure takes courage and integrity. to use THIS as your basis for characterizing someone as lying untrustworthy scum, etc. is pretty shallow and just seems malicious.

  58. #58 eddie
    April 25, 2009

    An honest man admits his mistakes.
    A creationist bullshitter needs the threat of court action to save them from their own stupidity. Where’s tht so-called xian morality?

  59. #59 Euthymios
    May 1, 2009

    Thunderf00t does not deal on a scholarly level, and he refuses to debate people. He is a coward and everybody knows it. VFX has successfully brought education to the atheists. There is a reason why smart people are not atheists.

  60. #60 Euthymios
    May 1, 2009

    Thunderf00t does not deal on a scholarly level. He is a coward and refuses to debate. VenomFangX and other’s have brought education and logic to the Youtube atheist community. There is a reason why smart people are not atheists.

  61. #61 Emmet, OM
    May 1, 2009

    Thunderf00t does not deal on a scholarly level. He is a coward and refuses to debate. VenomFangX and other’s have brought education and logic to the Youtube atheist community. There is a reason why smart people are not atheists.

    Now, there’s a pantload of flaming stupid. Twice.

    PS: an apostrophe does not mean ?here comes an ?s??.

  62. #62 weberly
    May 10, 2009

    if he’s dishonest and the threat of court action was his ONLY motive, how can we be sure he’s guilty of what he admits to. obviously it’s a forced confession, but maybe his parents forced him to comply. clearly it was written by someone else. i’ll admit lying about lying would still be lying, but i don’t see how this has much substance as to determining the actual truth of the situation. under the circumstances it’s not very reliable, and if it’s completely true despite that, then you gotta give him credit for coming clean regardless of how he got there. ultimately it was his decision one way or the other, however ill-advised or noble it may have been.

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