Pharyngula

Radio reminder

Tune in on Sunday morning at 9am Central time to Atheists Talk radio for an all-science hour, reviewing the top science stories of the past year. It’s going to have a bit of a developmental bias, and maybe even some zebrafish bias, as the big man of the hour will be Perry Hackett of the UMTC, a well-known zebrafish researcher who has been doing a lot of work on gene therapy related experiments. They’re also sneaking in another developmentalist/zebrafish guy — me — in a call-in.

Comments

  1. #1 Jadehawk
    December 27, 2008

    these radio reminders always make me feel guilty… I’m never up before 1pm on Sundays :-/

  2. #2 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 27, 2008

    Oh PZ! You are bias!

  3. #3 Ames
    December 27, 2008

    PZ –

    New Carnival of the Elitist Bastards, a ship you’ve sailed on before :).

    http://www.acandidworld.net/2008/12/27/carnival-of-the-elitist-bastards-stardate-624539/

  4. #4 Efogoto
    December 27, 2008

    Totally OT and nonsensical, but here it is anyway:

    I finally put together that the Ussher Chronology shows the Old Testament runs for 4,000 years and that Methuselah is recorded in Genesis 5 as being 969 years old when he died. That’s 24.23% of the OT right there!

    Genesis 5 supposedly records 1,556 years of “history” by showing the male descent of eleven generations — and no other information. That’s 38.9% of the Old Testament’s 4,000 year run.

    If only they’d condensed the rest of it so well…

  5. #5 HolyShitHolyShit!!!
    December 27, 2008

    OT, but wow: There is a show on CBS right now called “the lord’s boot camp”.

    They were just talking about how to convert jews.On CBS.

    The egg nog enhances.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/26/48hours/main3971028.shtml

  6. #6 spam spam bacon spam
    December 28, 2008

    Just got a Christmas present from my mom today. She’s a believer, not crazy, just the normal weekly trips thru jeebus!ville.

    The gift? My mother tells me my only brother, who is lonely after ending a wrecked marriage, has now found Joel Osteen on Sun Am….

    My brother is super intelligent so it’s not stupidity. (He runs down network hardware failures for Nasdaq and NJ Transit)

    I’d rather he be doing drugs than doing religion!!!

    FLUCK!!! Is there any way I can talk some sense in to him?

    Here’s the caveat: first, he suffers from on-anon so second, when I can get a word in edgewise, I’m ill prepared to run full throttle at him like he does me.

    Example: as kids (he about 12 yrs old, I’m about 8) he buys a book titled “1,001 Insults”, proceedes to MEMORIZE THEM ALL and starts lobbing them at me in full swing for many many months. My feeble attemt to fight back only made it worse: I transposed the words that first attempt and said it wrong…I told him to “blow up and dry away…”

    Who is this Joel Osteen? What’s his M.O.?

  7. #7 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    December 28, 2008

    Joel Osteen –

    “God wants you to be rich and successful. Buy my books and donate to my church and I will fill you in on all the details” He’s very light on all the Judgmental stuff. He preaches a combination of “The Secret” and a few of the “Positive Nice-Guy Jesus” Bible verses.

  8. #8 andyo
    December 28, 2008

    I got kind of a funny story, my first honest interaction with creationists. (Efogoto #4, I could have used that info!) Sorry for the long post, but I just have to feel I’m sharing this with someone (even if no one reads it!)

    I got a visit from a couple (husband and wife) of Jehova’s Witnesses today, and decided to have a nice conversation. I thought I had to pretend to be interested, but actually it was kind of fascinating, never having talked face-to-face with a creationist before.

    The husband was talking to me about jesus and whatnot (turns out he’s not really god), and I told him I used to be a catholic, but no religion ever convinced me. I asked them why their brand of religion is right and the others aren’t and of course they didn’t answer that with any kind of sense, but what was curious is that I asked them what’s the difference with catholicism, and they looked at each other confusingly, and after that the guy asked me kind of rhetorically, what do catholics believe? What is jesus? I told them jesus is god.

    Exactly, they said. But how can jesus and god be one? “The trinity”, I told them. They said, right. Then I commented, “so you don’t believe in catholicism because it doesn’t make sense”. Yes, they said. But by this point I was getting kind of interested for real in having this conversation, so I didn’t even let go the littlest cynical smirk.

    They told me how they are “witnesses” of jehova’s word and stuff, and how they don’t meddle with the politics of this world. So I asked them “so, you didn’t vote?”, and they said no. I asked then if they don’t have a position on gay marriage and abortion, or what they thought of evolution. They gave me the standard “the bible says it’s wrong” on gays, and cited me a passage which didn’t have much to do with gays, but with promiscuity more than that. I told them the bible says this, but it also condones slavery and having your wife as property. They again looked confused.

    The explanation was that the old testament was different and different times, yada yada, Moses, the 10 commandments… so I told them “oh, so the rules changed?” They said yes. “How can eternal rules change?” They explained jesus changed them, so I asked so what if the rules change again, and gays were wrong 2000 years ago, but not anymore. They of course only go with the bible, so my argument was bad. There’s no New New testament, or New testament Mark II!

    “Do you believe everything in the bible?” I told them I’d been reading a lot about evolution and creationism over the past couple of years (since 2005, you know why), and they said they do believe in creation. So I asked, what do they think about evolution, and how old do they think the earth (or the universe) is?

    About evolution, the “just a theory” talking point was quickly brought out. I said it’s a scientific theory, and gravity is also one of them. The wife said you can prove gravity right there by jumping off the 2nd floor. When I pointed out how evolution is backed up by geology (“the grand canyon is millions of years old”), physics and all other sciences, and DNA, fossils, etc. No rebut there. I win one!

    About the age of the earth, they didn’t even have a straight answer, what kind of self-respecting creationists are they! “Thousands”, they said. I said it’s a little off. Try thousands of millions, or “billions” for the American crowd. They looked confused again, even after I told them what they should be believing, that it’s about 4000-6000 years old!

    In other topics, I asked them about their church, and they invited me. Nice people, in a kind of bizarre surreal way. Hey, I’m not used to creationists, either in my country nor here in godless dirty liberal (though not so much it seems after Prop. 8) California. They said they’d come back next saturday, so stay tuned if you’re still reading!

    It’s gonna be interesting, if I see them again. I’ll be a bit more prepared. What I wanted to ask, but didn’t because they seemed to want to leave, is if they ever considered being wrong. I’ll do that next time, after confessing that I find their stuff lacking in substance.

    They left a booklet which they asked me to read, if I have time I’ll be scouring the google for bible contradictions, let me know your favorite ones too, please!

  9. #9 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    #8: Trying to reason with the unreasonable is an exercise in futility, but there probably are people with hobbies stranger than that.

    Since this is (at least now, by my solemn declaration!) an off-topic topic, I’ll whine a bit. Terry Pratchett’s new book, “Nation” was awfully preachy.

    Well, that wasn’t really related to anything, but I see it as my duty to tell the world my opinion (because people really want to know it, they’re just too shy to ask), and because I just finished reading it.

  10. #10 Craig
    December 28, 2008

    Here’s a poll to Pharyngulate from the Today Show on the US broadcast network NBC:

    “Do you believe in angels?
    – Yes. How else can you explain some of the miracles that happen?
    – No. I think most things can be explained more rationally.”

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/28365548/

    Woo is leading by 80:20 right now.

  11. #11 andyo
    December 28, 2008

    I had to google what “on-anon” means, I’m still only 80% sure of what that is!

  12. #12 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 28, 2008

    This poll also links to the story that Fly linked to before he stomped off in a huff.

  13. #13 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    “The angel was either coming to take her to heaven or make her better…”

    When I tell my dog “come here or stay there!”, he always does what I ask.

  14. #14 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    craig,

    nice poll link.I wont vote in it however,because im very curious to see how America will vote !

    And 80% for angels so far after ~29000 votes makes one dispair just a tiny tad……

  15. #15 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    #14: Despairing over an internet poll means you have to “click to learn more”.

    They explain quite nicely how the poll isn’t actually worth a pile of bullshit (which makes for good manure, one would imagine).

  16. #16 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    Burning Umbrella,

    Ahem,this place is the home of pharyngulated stupid internet polls,so yes,Im kind of well aware they are useless,but thanks for pointing it out again.

    However,this one is on NBC,not some weirdo’s blog or fringe cult’s site,so if that poll is 80:20 pro Angels it still tells you something.

    Not that we wouldnt have known already.

  17. #17 andyo
    December 28, 2008

    So I have to watch an ad for indoor allergy crap in order to watch an ad for religious crap? Damn you NBC video.

  18. #18 andyo
    December 28, 2008

    Posted by: clinteas | December 28, 2008 4:23 AM

    Ahem,this place is the home of pharyngulated stupid internet polls,so yes,Im kind of well aware they are useless,but thanks for pointing it out again.

    However,this one is on NBC,not some weirdo’s blog or fringe cult’s site,so if that poll is 80:20 pro Angels it still tells you something.

    On the other hand, NBC seems to be the home of people who write a news title like “Did an angel save girl from dying in hospital?” in question form. And subtitles it with “Disabled teen recovered after glowing image appeared on monitor”. Why not “Disabled teen recovered after some dude somewhere took a crap”? It’s about as relevant, and as true.

  19. #19 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    How can they both be useless and tell us something?

  20. #20 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    BU,

    How can they both be useless and tell us something?

    you be as obtuse as you like mate,Im having a good evening and really cant be bothered to reply to this crap.

    And andyo,

    yes undoubtedly NBC does woo stories too,and Im not arguing that 80:20 on this poll means 80:20 for Angels,but it would seem to at least indicate a trend .

  21. #21 John Morales
    December 28, 2008

    Burning Umbrella,

    How can they both be useless and tell us something?

    Useless in that they’re not a representative sample, nor does the popularity of an idea indicate whether the idea is veridical; tells us what the typical voter in a given poll wishes to indicate, and the questions that the poll generator considers relevant.

  22. #22 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    By all means, enjoy your evening and don’t reply. I’m left to wonder how you think a meaningless, inaccurate poll could show the existence of a trend, but alas, it seems no answer will be incoming.

    Perhaps the question itself is indeed “crap”.

    As for being as obtuse as I want, I think 110° will do.

  23. #23 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    BU,

    inaccurate due to an unrepresentative sample,which is the nature of internet polls,meaningless due to the fact that a majority for or against something does not mean that that something is true in the first place.

    However,in a sample of 29000,if there is a 80:20 distribution of votes in a reasonably broad population sample,that does represent a trend.

    So yeah,willfully obtuse.Or just a bit stupid.Its ok,we get that a lot here.

  24. #24 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    And in a sample of 29000, the fact that you didn’t vote because you’re “very curious to see how America will vote” will weight a lot.

    Again, if it does represent a trend, how is it “useless”?

  25. #25 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    LOL

    *shakes head and swears at SIWOTI syndrome*

    I shall spill it out for you then.

    We already know that 70-80% of americans believe in angels,we dont need no frackin poll to tell us that

  26. #26 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    We already know that God exists, we dont need no frackin evidence to tell us that!

  27. #27 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    We already know that God exists, we dont need no frackin evidence to tell us that!

    Yeah,I thought so.
    You might want to get back into your coffin,the sun will be up soon.

  28. #28 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    Aww, I thought that my reductio ad absurdum was obvious enough.

    So, let’s spell it out for you: your argument is ridiculous.

    If the poll shows a trend (and is considered valid evidence), it will not be useless. A test confirming an assumption is just as important as one denying it.

    If the poll isn’t considered valid evidence, you can’t assert that it shows an actual trend.

  29. #29 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    Just a thought: Aren’t you contradicting yourself with

    “im very curious to see how America will vote”

    and

    “we dont need no frackin poll to tell us that”?

    Well, technically being curious instead of actually “needing” the information isn’t really a contradiction, and perhaps I’m reading you wrong.

  30. #30 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    If the poll isn’t considered valid evidence, you can’t assert that it shows an actual trend.

    I pointed out(or I thought I did) that a sample size of 29000 on a mainstream media website frequented by a decent slice of the population is in fact sufficient to show a trend as to what people believe.
    As opposed to a lot of other polls we see here.
    Are you really that thick?

    And no,i didnt get your reductio ad absurdum.There,you got me.

  31. #31 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    So this particular internet poll is different from others in being reliable enough to be used as a base of assumptions, and to be considered when trying to gauge the “general opinion” on the subject?

    Well then, that hardly sounds useless.

  32. #32 Wowbagger
    December 28, 2008

    It doesn’t actually matter what percentage of responders vote ‘yes’, because even if it’s 100% yes it has no impact whatsoever on the fact that angels don’t exist.

    The old saw along these lines goes something like this:

    Question – if you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?

    Answer – four; it doesn’t matter what you call it, a tail is not a leg.

  33. #33 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    BU,

    I dont like you or your self-righteous posting style,but reading my earlier posts I will say that my argument was poorly presented and open to misrepresentation,so yeah,you win.

    Comes from not paying enough attention…

    Wowbagger,

    It doesn’t actually matter what percentage of responders vote ‘yes’, because even if it’s 100% yes it has no impact whatsoever on the fact that angels don’t exist.

    I just hate it when I cant manage to express my thoughts properly for 3 hours and someone comes along and sums it up in one snarky comment…;)

  34. #34 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    Yay, I wins in teh internet!

    I’m off to tell my momma, she’ll be so proud!

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject of what we don’t like, insulting people (like calling someone “obtuse” and their posts “crap” after their second reply) might not be the best way to begin an argument.

  35. #35 clinteas
    December 28, 2008

    I call people that are obtuse”obtuse”,and if their arguments are crap I call them “crap”,thanks very much.

    Now go to your momma and tell her how you won on the internet.

    *shakes head*

  36. #36 SoMG
    December 28, 2008

    Gene therapy, the whole field, is a scam. I worked at a major center and I know.

  37. #37 Wowbagger
    December 28, 2008

    I just hate it when I cant manage to express my thoughts properly for 3 hours and someone comes along and sums it up in one snarky comment…;)

    One does what one can…

    but reading my earlier posts I will say that my argument was poorly presented and open to misrepresentation

    Well, I think it was a little bit of that – and a little bit of Burning Umbrella being a pedantic douche.

  38. #38 Burning Umbrella
    December 28, 2008

    “Douche” means “a shower of water”.

    :P

  39. #39 spam spam bacon spam
    December 28, 2008

    “I had to google what “on-anon” means, I’m still only 80% sure of what that is!”

    Is it in teh google? I made it up, really…

    It’s means he doesn’t shut **ck up. He’s one of those you have to start saying you need to get off the phone 20 minutes before you actually get to hang up…

  40. #40 SC, OM
    December 28, 2008

    I missed the beginning again! What is wrong with me?!

    Anyway, a few comments:

    – She was kind of a strange interviewer here (but still has a nice voice).

    – I don’t know what Hackett meant when he called the earlier belief that there was little genetic variation across individuals a “feel-good notion.” Hmmmm…

    – Are scientists really at the point where they’re saying “If you’re a mouse and you have cancer, we can cure it”?

    – Orac wrote a good post about basic and translational research a few months ago:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/cancer_research_playing_it_safe_versus_t.php

    – PZ’s remarks about building genomic databases and how it makes possible insights gained through comparative genomics was interesting, and reminded me that I had wanted to mention that I enjoyed the article about Trichoplax in December’s SEED.

  41. #41 raven
    December 28, 2008

    Gene therapy, the whole field, is a scam. I worked at a major center and I know.

    How so? I will admit that the amount of money, time, and effort put into it has yielded almost no results in humans.

    There is the ADA girl, now woman who was cured. A few SCIDS in Europe although some of them came down with leukemia. Also at least one treatment related death which put the whole field into a nose dive.

    The problems seem to be transfecting enough of the right cells with a gene that is correctly regulated, stable, and produces enough gene product.

    FWIW, stem cells right now are at a similar stage. Everyone thinks they are magic but they also have huge problems that haven’t really been solved.

  42. #42 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    December 28, 2008

    What the Hell, Raven? Are you quoting someone else?

    Anyways, the podcast/mp3 is up and available for the show today, for those who overslept. (I’m looking at you, SC!)

  43. #43 SC, OM
    December 28, 2008

    (

    I’m looking at you, SC!)

    Hey! I resemble that remark! Actually, I had been awake for some time. For some reason, I always forget for the first 10-15 minutes or so.

    The broadcasts are really good, and I don’t understand why a vigorous discussion never gets going about them here. I do what I can – link repeatedly to the post/broadcast, summarize the discussion, ask what I think are provocative questions, etc. – but for some reason the “Radio Reminder” threads never seem to turn into fruitful debates. Honestly, I don’t know why this is. Y’all do a great job.

  44. #44 Stephanie Z
    December 28, 2008

    Thanks, SC. Appreciate the love.

  45. #45 SC, OM
    December 28, 2008

    were interesting.

    Grr at myself.

  46. #46 clinteas
    December 29, 2008

    I do what I can – link repeatedly to the post/broadcast, summarize the discussion, ask what I think are provocative questions, etc. – but for some reason the “Radio Reminder” threads never seem to turn into fruitful debates

    Especially when dickheads like Umbrella man(and myself) use the thread for pissing contests LOL

    Obvious reply I should have given to his stupid and irrelevant “reductio ad absurdum” spiel would have been to point out that we dont just assume that 80% of the US believe in angels,but that plenty of proper polls have shown that.
    Got to go easy on the port methinks.

  47. #47 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    December 29, 2008

    Hi-Jacking threads? At Pharyngula? (For the record, the PandaScan spammer is not me, but they do provide a great service for Windows Users.)

    SC, thanks! I am glad you like the show.

  48. #48 raven
    December 29, 2008

    What the Hell, Raven? Are you quoting someone else?

    Naw, just messed up the blockquote. It happens.

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