Pharyngula

Hey, Bellingham, you still have time!

Gordy Slack is going to be doing a reading from his book on the Dover trial today, at 4:00, on the Western Washington University campus.

If you want more drama, there will also be a panel discussion tomorrow, Wednesday, at 6pm. Slack, will be there, as will Josh Rosenau of the NCSE and TfK, and for hilarious comedy relief…Casey Luskin, mindless attack mouse of the Discovery Institute. Don’t miss it for the laughs.


I just got word that you get a third shot at Slack. He’s speaking in 234 Biology at 4pm on 29 October on “Do Neo-Creationists get anything right?” I’m guessing the answer will be “no”, I hope.

Comments

  1. #1 PGPWNIT
    October 28, 2008

    I appreciate the vigilance in your attack of the idiots who support creationism, I really do…but…I feel it may be bordering on obsession.

    Course, one man’s obsession is another man’s diligence.

  2. #2 eric
    October 28, 2008

    Given Luskin’s presence I hope Mr. Slack picks one of his passages where he talks about DI not showing up. I particularly like this one:

    Even though Discovery disagreed with Thompson’s approach, it did offer the expert testimony: William Dembski, a methamatician and philosopher and the guru of “specified complexity,” Center for Science and Culture director Stephen Meyer, and University of Memphis rhetorician John Angus Campbell…But when Thompson refused to let Dembski, Meyer, and Campbell testify under the guidance of Discovery’s own legal council, Discovery pulled them, leaving Thompson with only two scientist witnesses…

    “We had committed to defending the school board,” Thompson later recalls, “which had chosen its curriculem plan based partly on advice it got from Discovery. We had a moral obligation to defend them, but Discovery Institute was thinking strategically, in terms of promoting their broader policies, not in terms of defending the board members.”
    G. Slack, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA.

    [Assume all spelling mistakes are mine -Eric]

  3. #3 PGPWNIT
    October 28, 2008

    [Assume all spelling mistakes are mine -Eric]

    who, I was thrown with ‘methamatician’.

  4. #4 SC
    October 28, 2008

    Gordy Slack is going to be doing a reading from his book on the Dover trial today, at 4:00, on the Western Washington University campus.

    Hope it’s better than that article:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/what_is_wrong_with_journalists.php

    [I do give him a lot of credit for showing up here to (attempt to) defend himself - and shamelessly plug his book :) - and for having a pretty good sense of humor about it.]

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    For a second I thought you said FtK (TfK) was going to be there.

    FtK, Casey Luskin, well, what’s the difference?

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

  6. #6 Desert Son
    October 28, 2008

    ‘methamatician’

    Someone’s who’s a whiz in the meth lab.

    Hello? Is this mic on?

    No kings,

    Robert

  7. #7 tina
    October 28, 2008

    Did I miss something about drinking on Saturday in Toronto? Having a smallish Kid, I can’t make the Halloween talk, but I’d love to meet up the next day.

  8. #8 eric
    October 28, 2008

    P.S. the page reference for the beginning of that quote is location 875 on Kindle. Sorry, I have no actual page number.

  9. #9 stevogvsu
    October 28, 2008

    Mindless attack mouse, I like that characterization.

  10. #10 Metro State Atheists
    October 28, 2008

    Remember the lecture you gave for us? Well our school news program finally reported it. If you want to see it just go to the URL I provided. The Segment about you starts at 4:20.

    - Chalmer

  11. #11 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “Casey Luskin…mindless attack mouse”

    He has a fine understanding of this type of abuse that is so frequently levelled against him – from the very first page of his very useful website:

    I have written quite a bit on the scientific theory of intelligent design. I also try to treat people nicely and with respect, even when they disagree with me. *My views combined with my respectful approach tends to incur the wrath of a small cadre of internet-Darwinists whose primary tactic of opposing intelligent design is to call names and engage in character assassination.*

  12. #12 Matt7895
    October 28, 2008

    In what way does ‘Goddidit’ constitute a scientific theory?

  13. #13 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    I also try to treat people nicely and with respect, even when they disagree with me.

    Unfortunately, that claim that he tries to “treat people nicely” clashes strongly with his constant lying about what those people say, and about what motivates them.

    There is nothing even slightly nice in his “polite” lies, only the rancid smell of a thoroughly dishonest man trying to Saran wrap the stench he exudes.

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

  14. #14 OctoberMermaid
    October 28, 2008

    #11

    What’s that? A creationist is playing the martyr? Well, golly, stop the presses!

  15. #15 minimalist
    October 28, 2008

    Wouldn’t Luskin have to have some actual character first, before anyone could assassinate it?

  16. #16 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    OctoberMermaid: You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.

    A long time ago at college I was engaged in a heated debate with a classmate, whose name escapes me right now. He was arguing that the idea papal infallibility was flawed. The priest of the college had sat down at the same table and other classmate was entirely unaware of just how offensive he was being. Rather than explode with anger and rightly castigate him and put him in his place, the priest instead engaged thoughtfully and after about 5 minutes had made a convincing case. I asked the priest how he managed to contain himself when I could see he was so obviously upset. He said something I’ve never forgotten “debate the argument, not the man”. It would have been far to easy for the priest to have used his position to stop the conversation but instead he managed to actually change someone’s mind and make a difference.

  17. #17 Qwerty
    October 28, 2008

    Will the “two drunk ladies” who paid the suprise visit to the Discovery Institute show up to cheer on Casey? I know they want to revisit the Discovery Institute before it catches on to them. Besides, doesn’t Casey have a crush on them?

  18. #18 OctoberMermaid
    October 28, 2008

    “OctoberMermaid: You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.”

    You best be trolling, buddy.

  19. #19 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 28, 2008

    Rookie, have you ever heard of cdesign_proponentsists?

  20. #20 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    Here’s the dishonest Pete Rooke, blaming those who very often do debate the argument–when there is one:

    He said something I’ve never forgotten “debate the argument, not the man”.

    Here’s the dishonest Casey, clearly attacking the man with lies and loaded terms:

    October 26, 2008

    Science Censor Appointed to Review Texas Science Standards
    Casey Luskin
    One of the expert reviewers of the draft Texas science standards, Southern Methodist University (SMU) professor Ronald Wetherington, has a track record of advocating censorship to restrict the free flow of information on evolution to students. So extreme is Wetherington’s intolerance that last year he attempted to ban a voluntary conference on intelligent design at SMU co-sponsored by a student group and Discovery Institute. That’s right: Not only does Wetherington want to control what goes on inside the classroom, he wants the power to censor speakers outside the classroom co-sponsored by students on their own time!

    From evolutionnews.org

    I think this adequately demonstrates both Rooke’s and Luskin’s lack of regard for truth, and fair treatment of the person.

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

  21. #21 Nerd of Redhead
    October 28, 2008

    Pete the Rookey, you keep showing your ignorance by posting at a blog that is clearly porn for you. Take your religion and go home. Stay there. Quit bothering your betters. You have no place here.

  22. #22 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    Janine – I’m not sure of the relevance.

  23. #23 baryogenesis
    October 28, 2008

    Matt- It’s all to be understood in the context of appearances.You see, you “win” by scoring points for presentation. We know this helps win elections, so why shouldn’t such an appeal to the emotions score a “win” in the science vs. religion “debate”? Since Casey treats people with respect, he wins! (cough)

  24. #24 Steverino
    October 28, 2008

    Will this be recorded in any fashion??? I’d love to see or hear the goings on!

  25. #25 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    Pete Rooke –

    honestly… unless you have something relevant and new to add to this topic that you haven’t already repeated umpteen times… stop it already. Stop wasting your, and our, time.

    If your point is to defend poor Mr. Luskin from the comment made about him calling him an “attack mouse”, great… concern noted.

    But if you continue to make inane statements like this one: “You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.”, you are going to get soundly and rightfully trounced… and you know already what will be the outcome.

    So seriously… stop it already. Just stop.

  26. #26 Steverino
    October 28, 2008

    Peety-Pete
    “You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design. ”

    Really??? How do you explain the “cdesign propronentsists” in the the book “Pandas”….and no other change to content???

    Are you ignorant or dishonest?

  27. #27 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    Glen Davidson: I see your point however the overall argument I was making still stands.

    I would also say what Casey did in that situation was not merely an outright verbal assault that he so often finds himself on the end of.

    Instead he made the argument as a politician would – he put the nuance to one side and painted his opponent in the starkest possible terms. Whether or not Ronald is unfairly represented in that instance I can’t say because I’m not familiar with the man. However, I’m not here as a spokesman for Luskin but rather as a spokesman for the truth (if that doesn’t sound to pompous and arrogant).

  28. #28 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    Are you ignorant or dishonest?

    No fair, since he can be both at once. And the evidence points toward that conclusion.

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

  29. #29 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “Are you ignorant or dishonest?”

    Read post 16 and what I have to say about argument.

  30. #30 Nerd of Redhead
    October 28, 2008

    Pete, if your are here for the truth, you should be able to show say five articles from the journals Science and Nature that would support ID as being a science. If you can’t, and still support ID, you aren’t for the truth, but for the lies.

  31. #31 Nick Gotts
    October 28, 2008

    I have written quite a bit on the scientific theory of intelligent design. Casey Luskin as quoted by Pete “miniskirts of human skin” Rooke. That’s it Casey, start off as you mean to go on, with a lie. There is no such scientific theory.

  32. #32 Wolfhound
    October 28, 2008

    Ah, Pete Rooke, Catholic troll. Go figure he’d show up again. And go figure that he would find any argument that the Pope was infallable to be “convincing” and anybody who disagreed with such a ludicrous premise was “offensive”.

    Creationism=Intelligent Design. You know this. Stop Lyin-4-Jeezus.

  33. #33 Steverino
    October 28, 2008

    So YOU don’t understand the underlying issue between Creation and Intelligent Design….or you don’t wish to address it.

  34. #34 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “If you can’t, and still support ID, you aren’t for the truth, but for the lies.”

    If evolution is good enough for the Pope.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

    I fully support evolutionists. They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

  35. #35 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    This is what Behe, Casey Luskin’s fellow at the DI, wrote:

    “If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon but does not generate even an attempt at an explanation, then it should be banished.” Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box p.186

    Yet when Wetherington tries to keep a campus from hosting a pseudoscience “conference” (propaganda session is more like it, since ID has no science to discuss), Luskin labels Wetherington a “censor.”

    Luskin has never honestly dealt with Behe’s statement (not that I know of, and considering how dishonest he is about all these matters I don’t mind stating it as highly improbably that he has and I simply don’t know about it), unsurprisingly, and he is a spokesman for the DI and for Behe. Clearly his labels for Wetherington are nothing but dishonest.

    The fact is that IDists really want to ban evolution (the Wedge document hedges, but anyone should understand that such is implied in its 20-year goals), for it will never be able to compete with evolution in any free marketplace of ideas–not among those who understand the issues, at least.

    We know who the real censors are.

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

  36. #36 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    Pete –

    They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

    I have no soul, Petey, and neither do you. Go on… prove me wrong…

  37. #37 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.

    And you are lying if you are claiming that they aren’t the same thing. ID is just Creationism in a bad Tuxedo.

  38. #38 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 28, 2008

    Rookie, if you went back and read what I posted, it explains how “creationists” was replaced with “design proponents” in a creationist/intelligent design textbook titled Of Pandas And People. It is old news to everyone here. But it seems you need to read up on the topic.

  39. #39 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    I would also say what Casey did in that situation was not merely an outright verbal assault that he so often finds himself on the end of.

    Casey finds himself at the other end of verbal assaults because Casey Luskin is constantly caught lying and is called to the carpet for it.

  40. #40 Kristjan Wager
    October 28, 2008

    We know who the real censors are.

    Not fair Glen – you’re using facts.

  41. #41 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 28, 2008

    Posted by: Pete Rooke | October 28, 2008 2:57 PM

    “If you can’t, and still support ID, you aren’t for the truth, but for the lies.”

    If evolution is good enough for the Pope.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

    I fully support evolutionists. They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

    If it is good enough for your pope, why is it not good enough for Casey Luskin?

  42. #42 PGPWNIT
    October 28, 2008

    If it is good enough for your pope, why is it not good enough for Casey Luskin?

    Is Casey a Fundamentalist? Papist are a close second to Atheists in their book.

  43. #43 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    I fully support evolutionists. They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

    And for that very same reason, neither can you. You can’t even show that it exists.

  44. #44 Rey Fox
    October 28, 2008

    Boo hoo hoo. The poor cdesign proponentsists. We hurt their feewings. Boo hoo hoo.

    “They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.”

    Yes, the soul is the domain of special pleading and making stuff up.

  45. #45 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “I have no soul, Petey, and neither do you. Go on… prove me wrong… ”

    Its not called faith for no reason you know..

    However, unless we want to reduce the mental to mere epiphenomena, or ignore the radical privacy that leads to qualia, or to ignore intentionality and the intuitive nature of human existence we are forced to conclude that there exists a separate mental substance (where is that happiness located again.. next to the pineal gland.. ).

  46. #46 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    Faith ? evidence
    Faith ? proof

    Using the faith cop out I can claim anything I want.

  47. #47 PGPWNIT
    October 28, 2008

    There’s no use even arguing faith. It’s outside the realm of science.

  48. #48 Nerd of Redhead
    October 28, 2008

    Poor Rookey, wedded to his woo, or for some people (most Pharyngulites), his delusions. Like the one where we care at all about what either he or the pope thinks.

  49. #49 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    However, unless we want to reduce the mental to mere epiphenomena

    No problem with that at all. It is a result of biological functions that have come to being through millions of years of evolution.

  50. #50 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    Pete Rooke –

    Its not called faith for no reason you know..
    However, unless we want to reduce the mental to mere epiphenomena, or ignore the radical privacy that leads to qualia, or to ignore intentionality and the intuitive nature of human existence we are forced to conclude that there exists a separate mental substance (where is that happiness located again.. next to the pineal gland.. ).

    Translation – “I can’t prove that you or I have a soul, of course… so blah blah blah, faith, hope… blah blah, incoherent babble”.

    Did you pull a muscle dragging that thesaurus off the shelf?

  51. #51 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    ignore the radical privacy that leads to qualia

    I’ll plead ignorance on what the hell you mean here Pete.

  52. #52 Sven DiMilo
    October 28, 2008

    I’m actually looking for some “separate mental substance”…if anybody knows where I can get an oh-zee of the kind shit, e me!

  53. #53 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    Its not called faith for no reason you know..

    Funny you say this after making this statement

    I fully support evolutionists. They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

    Having faith in something does not equal you having knowledge about it.

    Again, this further supports my previous point that you know exactly the same as “evolutionists” about the soul. Precisely nothing past the idea.

  54. #54 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “I’ll plead ignorance on what the hell you mean here Pete.”

    http://members.aol.com/Neonoetics/Nagel_Bat.html

    Subjective experience – above is a fairly exhaustive demolition of physicalism.

  55. #55 Rev. BigDumbChimp, Kot
    October 28, 2008

    Funny, I’ve actually read that before. I wasn’t that impressed.

    What I really want to know is what you mean by that one sentence

    ignore the radical privacy that leads to qualia

  56. #56 PGPWNIT
    October 28, 2008

    “http://members.aol.com/Neonoetics/Nagel_Bat.html

    Subjective experience – above is a fairly exhaustive demolition of physicalism. ”

    Jesus, that’s alot a words.

  57. #57 Sven DiMilo
    October 28, 2008

    Subjective experience???
    Man, don’t make me bring up Jerry Garcia’s space helmet again.

  58. #58 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    Pete Rooke –

    you toss out Nagel’s “Bat” example, and I’ll trot out Grim’s argument from knowledge de se as an argument against the existence of god… and both are equally futile philosophical arguments with the same basic problem: neither can be validated as truth statements.

    Let’s not go there… ok?

  59. #59 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    The “subjective experience” of qualia, etc., is merely what the physical phenomenon (of fields, notably the electric field) “really is like.” Nagel’s a sap. Abstractions describe the phenomenon in 3rd person terms, but never gets to what the interactions are “really like.”

    Besides which, there is no line between the “objective” and the “subjective” that can clearly be drawn. The two terms are useful in many cases, but they are only relative distinctions within our experience, which has no convenient division into “subjective” and “objective”.

    No one denies that “subjective experience” occurs. We just deny the spirituality (in the religious conception, that is) of LSD, which quite evidently and repeatedly capable of dramatically changing that “subjective experience.” It’s called following the evidence, rather than forcing it into theistic preconceptions.

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

  60. #60 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    Rev. – The privileged nature of access to the mind – pain is something that cannot be known simply through analysis of c-fibers, it has to be experienced; and the famous example of Mary (as someone colorblind) learning something new when she looks at an object and sees color etc. Qualia is simply this subjective experience – the phenomenology. Basically it’s a denial of the identity theories.

  61. #61 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    The privileged nature of access to the mind – pain is something that cannot be known simply through analysis of c-fibers, it has to be experienced; and the famous example of Mary (as someone colorblind) learning something new when she looks at an object and sees color etc. Qualia is simply this subjective experience – the phenomenology. Basically it’s a denial of the identity theories.

    Ok, enough already… this has whatall to do with your statement that ID is not the same thing as creationism?

    Stop changing the subject…

  62. #62 Nerd of Redhead
    October 28, 2008

    Rookey, tossing words together in a way that might sound meaningful but isn’t is not the sign of a superior intellect, but rather the opposite. You keep spewing nonsense and our already low opinion of you will drop even further. Time to cut your losses and leave.

  63. #63 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    “Man, don’t make me bring up Jerry Garcia’s space helmet again”.

    That’s pretty spot on for a rough idea of the nature of the problem. At least the first part from Chopra – I’ve yet to get to any space helmet part.

  64. #64 Pete Rooke
    October 28, 2008

    Time to cut your losses and leave.

    I was about to to.. Arrivederci in cielo.

  65. #65 Celtic_Evolution
    October 28, 2008

    @ Pete, beating the retreat…

    I only lament that I will never be able to truly know how you feel as the door hits you in the ass on the way out… ahh, but such is the nature of subjective experience…

  66. #66 Hen3ry
    October 28, 2008

    “They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.”

    If the soul is so very incorporeal, how does it affect the brain to produce mental processes? Either it affects the brain, producing your desired mental states, in which case we should be able to measure this effect, or it does not, and is fully incorporeal, in which case who gives a fuck? Saying that we can never understand it, and that it affects the brain makes no sense.

  67. #67 Dale Husband
    October 28, 2008

    I fully support evolutionists. They can have no knowledge of the soul however, because of its very nature and definition as an incorporeal substance.

    Evolution has nothing to do with the concept of the human soul, so why even bring it up? Because you are trolling.

  68. #68 James F
    October 28, 2008

    I have written quite a bit on the scientific theory of intelligent design.

    I wish Mr. Luskin would explain how a scientific theory can be based on supernatural causation, make no testable hypotheses, and have zero data supporting it in peer-reviewed scientific research papers.

  69. #69 sara
    October 28, 2008

    I actually go to WWU! I won’t be attending either of those events, as I have a Bio lab write up I should be finishing now…

  70. #70 Nick Gotts
    October 28, 2008

    Pete Rooke@54,
    Nagel’s arguments do not constitute anything approaching a “demolition of physicalism”. Do you really think no-one has contested his claims since 1974? Read Consciousness Explained, Ch.14, section 2 for a start.
    Nagel is trapped in the illusory “Cartesian theatre” Dennett refers to – the belief that there is a homunculus inside us to which experiences appear – I think because he apparently knows very little about how the actual phenomena of consciousness, including non-human consciousness, are studied by cognitive psychology, cognitive ethology, and neuroscience.

  71. #71 Nick Gotts
    October 28, 2008

    Italics should end after “for a start”@70

  72. #72 Sili
    October 28, 2008

    Thanks, Glen.

    I feared I was the only one to do a double take at the TfK.

  73. #73 Glen Davidson
    October 28, 2008

    I feared I was the only one to do a double take at the TfK.

    Conjures up endlessly shifting evasions and refusals to deal with the evidence, does it not?

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

  74. #74 BobC
    October 28, 2008

    Posted by: Pete Rooke | October 28, 2008 2:23 PM OctoberMermaid: You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.

    The creationist retards of the Discovery Institute agree with the stupid asshole Pete Rooke. The Christian creationists of the Discovery Institute insist that intelligent design creationism magic is different from plain old creationism magic. They do this because they want their version of magic to look scientific so they can sneak it into science education. I am patiently waiting for President Obama to throw the Discovery Institute Christians into prison for treason.

  75. #75 BobC
    October 28, 2008

    Translation of Casey Luskin’s quote in #11:

    “I have written quite a bit on my childish idiotic Christian belief in intelligent design magic. I also try to treat people nicely and with respect, even when they disagree with me. My views combined with my never ending attacks against science education tend to incur the wrath of the entire scientific community whose primary tactic of opposing intelligent design magic is to point out the obvious fact that I’m a lying stupid asshole.”

    – Casey Luskin

  76. #76 snibwig
    October 28, 2008

    I just love the quote, (#16) “He was arguing that the idea papal infallibility was flawed. The priest of the college had sat down at the same table and other classmate was entirely unaware of just how offensive he was being.”

    Actually, I find the concept that this is offensive offensive. You show me someone claiming to be infallible and I have no qualms with calling him a liar to his face. I might try to word it more politely, or demonstrate the point as constructively as possible, but I’m not going to pretend such a view is even remotely tenable.

    Am I just a jerk or does this annoy anyone else? I just feel like *not* bringing this nonsense up makes me somewhat complicit in its perpetration.

    I’d say it to a scientist claiming it, a teacher, or my family no matter how much it hurt them to hear it. Anyone claiming to be infallible is either not human, insane, or trying to gain power over those who believe them. I think we can do a simple DNA test to determine whether they are human or not quite reliably and when those results come back positive, we know the truth is either option B or C.

    Papal infallibility is a disgusting piece of self-serving, immoral fiction no matter how you slice it. Why is it so offensive to question this?

    …Ok I’ll put my soap box away now since I’m new here.

  77. #77 Jen
    October 28, 2008

    In a barely (or more?) related Washington topic: I saw Lucy last week! The first half of the exhibit is entirely about the ancient cultures of Ethiopia, (complete with religious turmoil) but the second half is all about the evolution of early hominids, culminating with LUCY at the very end. TOTALLY AWESOME! WA people, go see her!

  78. #78 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 28, 2008

    Hello snibwig. Just to let you know, Pete the Rookie is a semi regular catholic troll and he is very easily offended. Yet he knows not how foul he is.

  79. #79 Nerd of Redhead
    October 28, 2008

    Janine, your description of Pete the Rookey is the model of circumspection. Snibwig, Pete’s sanity is up for grabs. During Crackergate he left psychotic descriptions in his posts. He has not been so bad of late, and reminds me of a dotty, fussy old prude who is easily addled and sounds incoherent when he is. His biggest problem is that he thinks we are in dire need of his opinions, but if he never posted here again it would still be too soon.

  80. #80 Sydney S.
    October 28, 2008

    Damn, all the good speakers are always on the other side of the mountains. If I was wasn’t wary of the pass at night I would totally go there. Thanks for keeping up updated PZ.

    #77 Yay! I’m going up with a bunch of other CWU anthropology/primatology students next month, glad to hear it lives up to the expectations.

  81. #81 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 29, 2008

    Well, I could go on about his views about gender. (Modern women dress like whores and do not know their place.) I could go off about him describing his reverence for the wafer by comparing it to a book that contains one’s philosophy of life and it is bound by the skin of a loved one. (I am not kidding!) Or I could go off about Rookie comparing PZ’s nailing of a cracker to PZ being a milkman with really bad teeth and drinking his customer’s bottle of milk. (Nerd is right. I was holding back.)

  82. #82 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    Thanks Janine. I figured that a bit from his warm reception. ;)

    I wasn’t necessarily offended by what “generic_xtian_troll_03″ said in particular as by the very idea that such a statement could be offensive and off limits.

    Tangent/scary atheist background:

    I spent my whole young life (family businesses get to say, “what child labor laws?”) having to work for and cater to people like this on their religious retreats/camps where they assumed they were free to speak openly about their beliefs without any nasty, prying atheist or minority ears present.

    It’s funny what the ‘righteous’ will say when they think everyone present agrees with them and the fact that I’m an atheist isn’t as obvious to them as if I say, had a different skin color.

    Being told I looked like “a fine trustworthy young Christian”
    made me feel a little dirty every day. It was clear how they felt about non-christians (me, secretly). It was worse coming from family. My grandparent’s will had religious stipulations, I kid you not (though I did not have to comply with them, thankfully).

    There is nothing so heartwarming as conditional love.

    Maybe I’m just too touchy about it, but after growing up to my teenage years in such an environment I make it a point to hammer them point by point on every single thing they say because not one bit of it makes any sense.

    Heck, a friend and I were called ‘monkey boy’ by our entire high school science class for supporting evolution…

    And last I checked Southern California in the late 90′s was supposed to be the opposite of Tennessee in the 20′s…wasn’t it?

    Anyway um… Hi everyone! Another ‘strident’ atheist here! I’ve been a reader for a bit but just started posting recently.

  83. #83 John Morales
    October 29, 2008

    snibwig,

    Papal infallibility is a disgusting piece of self-serving, immoral fiction no matter how you slice it. Why is it so offensive to question this?

    Are you sure you know to what Papal infallibility refers? It refers to a very limited domain, under specific circumstances, and is rarely exercised.

  84. #84 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    Thanks John, I stand corrected. It is nowhere near as far-reaching as I had originally thought.

    However, even after reading more of the details about it, I maintain that it sounds like a thoroughly reprehensible piece of self-serving fiction.

    It still boils down to a human (or council of humans) having the ability to say their word or interpretation is divine and unquestionable no matter how infrequently it may be invoked. It says clearly that when it is used they are not only not-wrong but incapable of BEING wrong.

    It’s a corrupting idea, right from the start.

  85. #85 BobC
    October 29, 2008

    No matter how rarely it is exercised, snibwig is correct. It’s still a “disgusting piece of self-serving, immoral fiction”.

  86. #86 John Morales
    October 29, 2008

    snibwig, yeah. But remember, the Catholic Church no longer tortures or kills apostates; Catholics willingly accept dogma and can opt out at any time.

  87. #87 John Morales
    October 29, 2008

    BobC,

    It’s still a “disgusting piece of self-serving, immoral fiction”.

    Would you deny BDSM practicioners their little pleasures? Because that’s what it boils down to – the freedom of people to choose.

  88. #88 Kel
    October 29, 2008

    Catholics willingly accept dogma and can opt out at any time.

    Opting out of any dogma is a hard thing to do, especially when it’s tied to the social and cultural identity of that person. For someone who grew up in a family of devout Catholics, how can they willingly leave without breaking the plutonic fabric of the family? And what of their friends and the community as a whole? Surely the decision to opt out isn’t one that can be made easily with so many negative feedback loops to keep the system running steady.

    It could therefore be inferred that religion as a meme has many elements that are overall beneficial to the organism such that ridding oneself of said meme is like cutting off a limb. The bad would carry on unchecked because it’s not enough to outweigh many of the more important factors that can be positives; family ties, being part of a community, the comfort of belief, cultural indoctrination, etc.

  89. #89 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    John (#86):True, but how much of that is an honest change of heart and how much of it is because of no longer having the authority?

    I have a lot of trouble giving people credit for progress that they are forced into.

    There have been some wonderful ‘modernizers’ within the church historically, but typically they are responding (late) to immense societal changes outside the church that have usually been actively opposed until they would no longer be able to while still maintaining authority (since it starts to look childish and stupid eventually, even to their own followers).

    Issues with homosexuality are getting there, but when various groups do finally get forced to accept homosexuality because of changes in society’s views that these groups have poisoned and resisted at every step along the way, I’ll be excited for equality but I *won’t* believe it’s because they *wanted* to make the change.

  90. #90 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    @87

    Wait, am I missing something here? I know you weren’t quoting me, but I have no issues with BDSM (quite the opposite…)

    Now someone saying “I speak with the authority of god and I don’t like BDSM, so god doesn’t either, so YOU musn’t do it” or even having the power to say so… that I have a problem with.

    Or am I lame and was that a reference to catholics being like BDSM enthusiasts who desire to be dominated?

  91. #91 John Morales
    October 29, 2008

    Kel @88, I’m not disputing anything you’ve written in that comment. I myself would have been classified as a practicing Catholic until I was 17 years old (an altar-boy, even, until I was 15!) purely because of familial and societal pressures, though I was atheistic before the age of 13. Also, I suspect cultural Catholicism (heresy, technically) is quite common among putative adherents.

    snibwig @89, sadly, I consider that the factors affecting historical changes in Church policy and practice regarding apostasy are much more due to “no longer having the authority” than to “an honest change of heart”.

    PS I’m making this my last comment about this issue in this thread, because it’s clearly OOT.

  92. #92 Patricia
    October 29, 2008

    Oh, sweet baby jesus. I take a last look in for the night, and we’ve traded Salt for Pete.

    You don’t have a soul Pete, you have half an ounce of spam in your skull, and a wet diaper. Seek help from your care giver.

    We know the great secret of the vatican Pete, your pope get’s sucked, blah, blah blah.

  93. #93 John Morales
    October 29, 2008

    snibwig, so much for my intent to stop commenting on this subject! :) This one really is my last.

    I was making a (hasty and probably weak) analogy regarding consensual dominance and submission – since the quote raised morality I’d play on that (cf. the Catholic views on sexual morality).

  94. #94 Kel
    October 29, 2008

    Also, I suspect cultural Catholicism (heresy, technically) is quite common among putative adherents.

    I always wonder about that, not just with Catholicism but with all religious folk. How many just go out of habit? How many of them are actually certain in the faith and have not descended into a state of agnostic theism (i.e. they still believe in the God concept, but wonder about it). There are just so many rituals, customs, tenets, and dogmatic structures that are simply absurd. Surely there have got to be many a Catholic who just think “that cracker is still just a cracker”.

    I guess I’m just hitting an intellectual curiousity as to how otherwise apathetic people will defend away such absurd beliefs and practices when really they don’t have any real conviction of their own. It’s like the public display of the 10 commandments, I doubt that many people who want them displayed or consider them a good guide to behaviour would know all 10. In that, I believe that the religion meme has armed itself with a great defensive mechanism – the otherwise apathetic. And with that, I do think that many people would stay even when their faith dies. You have to admire the elegance of a meme that can on the one hand carry absurd dogma and on the other keep propagating by those who recognise the dogma as absurd.

  95. #95 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    @93 Thanks for the answer John! :) I totally agree that we’ve been off on a plenty-long tangent now, but I was sad that your last comment didn’t clarify on that.

    In response, I suspect it was actually plenty obvious, but I’m just dense like that sometimes. The analogy makes perfect sense to me now.

  96. #96 Patricia
    October 29, 2008

    Kel, It’s getting late for me, but I can answer your question to some extent. Church going gave me a great deal of social pleasure.
    I got to be assured that I was good, the other people were bad, and gawd loved me.
    Then there was the fun of scripture competitions, sort of like spelling Bee’s.
    And at church celebrations I was always praised for my pies, deviled eggs (!), and chicken and dumplings (so light they can fly to heaven).
    Right or wrong, that’s the good part of church. The dark side, well that’s for another time.
    Gotta get to sleep. :o)

  97. #97 clinteas
    October 29, 2008

    Hey Patricia,

    thats a very nice (folksy even)description of what church does for people,I like it……

  98. #98 Emmet Caulfield
    October 29, 2008

    Comment by Pete Rooke blocked. [unkill]?[show comment]

    Viva killfile!

    This one’s hilarious, though (quoted above, otherwise I’d never have seen it):

    You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.

    The only answer can be: and you are displaying yours by claiming that there is one.

    The difference between creationism and ID is the same as the difference between six and half-a-dozen.

  99. #99 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    I’m still pondering how Mr. Rooke can’t make the connection here

    OctoberMermaid: You are only displaying your own ignorance in your failure to appreciate the difference between creationism and intelligent design.

    And then Janine here @ #19

    Rookie, have you ever heard of cdesign_proponentsists?

    And yours truly here #37

    And you are lying if you are claiming that they aren’t the same thing. ID is just Creationism in a bad Tuxedo.

  100. #100 Hap
    October 29, 2008

    I’m sure this is obvious, but “willful ignorance” might ring a bell with reference to Mr. Rooke.

    “If you close your eyes hard enough, you can see stars…”

  101. #101 Bryan
    October 30, 2008

    Hey, they put up some gameplay video. Looks like a Myst-esque point-and-click.

    Might be fun. Lots of the game interpretations of Greek/Roman mythos are a good time. Let’s see if that can be done with Christianity.

    Probably not, mind you. Things like God of War are fun because they could narrate against the mythos. The sorts of Christians that invest their egos into a game almost universally are too literal to pull off a good bit of artistic license.

    Still, it would be nice to be surprised. I think the last playable Christian game was Spiritual Warfare for the NES.

  102. #102 Kel
    October 30, 2008

    Thanks for explaining that Patrica

  103. #103 Spidey
    October 30, 2008

    So I did record this event, I apologize that the quality is not great.
    WWU ID Panel

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