Pharyngula

Open season on fresh meat

You may have noticed a recent influx of whining wackaloons, whose enchanting cries have consisted mostly of “You’re all so uncivil” and “This is not a science blog”. This is fallout from the Weblog Awards, where a couple of climate change denialist blogs have effectively turned out the disgruntled conspiracy theorist vote. One of those blogs will almost certainly win the ‘award’ — which tells you the value of these contests — so don’t worry about that. However, I do want to reply to the mindless, repetitive complaints of our new visitors, even though they will almost certainly evaporate when the award voting closes later today.

I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion. I want them to charge in to the heart of the issue and shred the frauds, without hesitation and without faltering over manners. These demands for a false front of civility are one of the strategies used by charlatans who want to mask their lack of substance — oh, yes, it would be so goddamned rude to point out that a huckster is lying to you. I am quite happy that we have a culture of being rude to frauds here.

The other claim is also a stupid distraction. This is a blog by an educator and scientist. We are not one-dimensional caricatures — I write about whatever interests me, whenever I feel like it. To claim that because I sometimes laugh and sometimes get angry and am a concerned citizen of a screwed-up country and have interests outside of journals and academia and am a father and husband and am willing to express myself on any topic that strikes my fancy means that there can’t possibly be any science here implies that you are a freaking idiot with a bizarrely narrow view of who scientists are, and a peculiarly close-minded vision of how this medium actually works.

Keep this in mind, O Regular Readers of the blog, and please do feel free to be uncivil to these fresh fools from the pseudoscientific fringe of the blogosphere.

Comments

  1. #1 Mat
    January 13, 2009

    I noticed that. They’re getting extremely annoying. Is there a way to ban the mose destable ones?

  2. #2 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    I want my commenters to be uncivil.

    No problem, ya beardy git.

  3. #3 The Petey
    January 13, 2009

    fuck all y’all

  4. #4 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    Not only are some of them very concerned about manners,they are also pretty dense.

  5. #5 Stephen Wells
    January 13, 2009

    “Nullius in verbo” : take nobody’s word for it. Demands for evidence are not uncivil or impolite, they’re what is required if we’re going to do science rather than run a tea-party.

  6. #6 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    No problem. They’ll be gone back to their little hothouses of shared ignorance tomorrow, since this is the last day to vote in those awards.

    Emmett, you’ve almost got it right. Savage my arguments rather than my facial hair, though…and besides, if the cartoon on your website has any pictorial accuracy at all, a guy with the scraggly wisps on his chin that you’ve got doesn’t get to slander anyone else’s beard, ya wan faint hippie-wanna-be baby-jawed pissant.

  7. #7 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    Nah, bring ‘em on. We have a group here who are literate and uncivil, and we like a fight. We call fuckwits fuckwits, simple as. It helps, of course, that we are also all part of the nonsense-denial conspiracy; round here we calls it rationalality.

  8. #8 scatheist
    January 13, 2009

    This is why I keep coming back PZ. I am a recent convert from the world of pseudoscience. I thank you and others for opening my eyes to the fact that “sawgrass” isn’t going to help my enlarged prostate!

  9. #9 PGPWNIT
    January 13, 2009

    I think it’s ok to question the hypotheses of the climate scientist. Even Brian Dunning is doing it. Denying for the sake of denying, however, doesn’t help anyone.

  10. #10 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Beard fight! Beard fight!

    I am going to get some hot chocolate and enjoy the hostilities. It gets me warm and tingly all over.

  11. #11 Stephen Wells
    January 13, 2009

    Questioning hypotheses is fine, but the infrared-optical properties of the CO2 molecule are not hypothetical, and the rising atmospheric CO2 level since the industrial revolution is not hypothetical. Basic physics means that warming is the default assumption.

  12. #12 araujo
    January 13, 2009

    See it and spread the news: MAJERUS, M. E. N. Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth, Biston betularia: An Excellent Teaching Example of Darwinian Evolution in Action. Evolution: Education and Outreach. In: ://www.springerlink.com/content/h7n4r6h026q1u6hk/fulltext.html>

  13. #13 Tim
    January 13, 2009

    As of a couple minutes ago, you were #2 at 29.9%. I do read some AGW doubters, but I’ve yet to encounter one who doesn’t want to get away from fossil fuels.

  14. #14 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    Then again PZ,

    you have had a few hot topics in the last few days,it wasnt only the weblog thingy,the rabbi thread brought out some fine specimens as well !

    Oh,and Janine,its 32degrees Celsius here at 1am,im sweating like a bearded scientist,and hot chocolate would just about kill me ! LOL

  15. #15 Andrés Diplotti
    January 13, 2009

    We’re supposed to fight an uncivil war then?

  16. #16 SC, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Who’s this Emmett person, Mr. Meyer?

  17. #17 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    On the theme of pseudoscience and conspiracy, I have this to say : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9Ib1WDDgjs&feature=channel_page

    Note the temperate and even handed way I’ve made my post? Given our hosts call for rudeness, this is an ingenious and counterintutive response which is actually quite rude.

  18. #18 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Clinteas, that is because you are in Oppositeland and it is summer there. Here in the real world of the mid continental North America, we are hunkering down for a few days of sub zero weather. I desire anything that could warm me up. A beard fight between PZ and Emmet helps.

    Let the hot and angry words fly!

    Clineas, you are bearded? You want to join in the battle? No need to take sides. I wanted a bearded battle royale.

  19. #19 Johnnyb
    January 13, 2009

    Dr. Meyers,

    You are certainly entitled to be discourteous at your pleasure, this is after all your house and civility certainly has not been in fashion for a long while now. It accomplishes nothing, though, except to further drive a wedge between people. By being rude you perpetuate hate, and the right/left divide and the same old politics that got us into our current mess, which you refer to as a “screwed-up country”.

    So, please continue to be as rude and discourteous as you like, and it shall be returned to yourside in kind and we can both further perpetuate the screwiness of our times, or we could forget the trivial differences between our opposing views and get on with building a better country, and give President Obama the best chance possible to correct the mess that we are currently in.

    best regards.

  20. #20 Paconious
    January 13, 2009

    Right on Prof Myerz.

    I reserve the right to call a church a waste of real state whenever i feel like it.

  21. #21 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    Janine,
    Im very unbearded…..
    Too hot !

  22. #22 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Those who proliferate the Noble Lie? don’t truck with such coarseness and vulgarity -they’re consumed with being noble after all and deny the lying part. They think their protestations against crude language and hostile tones are actually valid debating points that garner rational credibility when their main arguments have little merit.

    “I didn’t cuss and call everyone a f**ktard, so I win,” says the archly smug religiobabbler.
    *sigh*

  23. #23 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    I always try to start out civil, but demanding civility will that in a hurry, along with repeating refuted arguments ad nauseum. Sounds the AGW deniers alright.

    Every time I think about growing a beard, a certain Redhead threatens me with nail polish in it.

  24. #24 SEF
    January 13, 2009

    I wanted a bearded battle royale.

    What about fake beards? Are those sorts of frauds allowed in a beard fight? What if they’re terribly polite and particularly well-kempt beards? And then of course there’s the potential counter-culture battle of the merkins …

  25. #25 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    We’re supposed to fight an uncivil war then?

    Well, it sorta goes without saying, but ‘civil war’ is a bit of an oxymoron, anyway…

    ‘Excuse me? Sir? I beg your pardon, sir, but would you mind terribly if I napalm your children?’

    ‘Oh, by all means. Be my guest. Why, I insist!’

    ‘Why thank you kindly. And top of the morning to you…’

  26. #26 Kobra
    January 13, 2009

    Hear hear! I will do my damnedest to be as uncivil as is warranted (as determined by myself and PZ if necessary) when confronted with ignorance, stupidity, and delusion.

  27. #27 kamaka
    January 13, 2009

    “By being rude you perpetuate hate, and the right/left divide and the same old politics that got us into our current mess, which you refer to as a “screwed-up country”.

    best regards.

    I love the best regards. nice touch

    All together now:

  28. #28 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Clinteas, are you saying that I need an different flimsy excuse to get you, Emmet, PZ and others trying to lay the smackdown on each other?

    Alright, who is the most rude commentator here?

    GO!

  29. #29 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    What have the Polish got to do with it? (Anti-Scrabble bastards!)

  30. #30 Eamon Knight
    January 13, 2009

    I have no idea how these blog awards things are run, but in the recent Canadian equivalent no less than *two* of D’Oh!Leary’s founts of drivel were in the running in the Sci & Tech category, so that tells you how much credibility the process has.

  31. #31 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    Oh Joy,a troll !

    this is after all your house and civility certainly has not been in fashion for a long while now

    Is it only me or does this sentence not make an awful lot of sense?

    So, please continue to be as rude and discourteous as you like, and it shall be returned to yourside in kind and we can both further perpetuate the screwiness of our times, or we could forget the trivial differences between our opposing views

    Gee,i love perpetuating screwiness,any takers?

    Shorter JohnnyB:
    Cant you just respect my views without being so discourteous and intolerant to call them bullshit when theyre bullshit?

  32. #32 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    if the cartoon on your website has any pictorial accuracy at all, a guy with the scraggly wisps on his chin that you’ve got doesn’t get to slander anyone else’s beard

    I’m sorry to disappoint those expecting a beardfight, but I’m afraid I must concede that our host does, indeed, have the superior beard ? my goatee is, as my South Park caricature suggests, a puny ginger affair. I not only lack the concentration of testosterone in my watery Celtic blood to grow a proper science beard or go bald, but also the melanin in my skin to do anything other than turn bright pink and get cancer when exposed to sunlight.

    <offtopic>I’ll be in the SF Bay Area in Feb/Mar and (maybe) Boston in late March for a week or so; if any friendly local Pharyngulites want to meet up for a beer, contact me.</offtopic>

  33. #33 RyanG
    January 13, 2009

    Brutal honesty about your views is not rude. I’m quite religious and I have read this blog daily for longer than it has been at scienceblogs. If your view of the world is so shaky that it can’t hold up to lively discussion perhaps the problem lies with you.

  34. #34 Tom K.
    January 13, 2009

    It is every free person’s right to be rude, but we should set the bar a little higher and be rude and funny. The Dutch-speaking crowds here can check out the example set by Hans Teeuwen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcCOktdsz-0

  35. #35 Zarathustra
    January 13, 2009

    The Revolution will not be civilized!

  36. #36 Evolving Squid
    January 13, 2009

    I want my commenters to be uncivil.

    Agreed. I loathe insincere politeness. It doesn’t fool anyone except the person using it… sort of like breast implants.

  37. #37 Benjamin Geiger
    January 13, 2009

    Johnnyb @ #19:

    Isn’t it odd how these calls for “unity” and “nonpartisanship” from the right only occur after the Republicans lose?

    I think Obama should just say “Screw all y’all” and do what’s *right*, not what the right wants. Then again, the odds of that are slim. Damn liberal fair-mindedness.

    (PS: I have a vandyke, but I can’t grow a full beard. I always end up with big bald patches.)

  38. #38 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    I kept wondering why frisbees got bigger and bigger.
    Then it hit me.

  39. #39 MojaveB
    January 13, 2009

    I agree that there is no *obligation* to be civil to the pseudo-scientific (or anti-scientific) fringe. I’m not sure, in the long run, that rudeness is more effective than engaging them civilly. You may have seen this clip by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (whom I don’t think has an ounce of woo in him); it’s more persuasive than I could ever be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYBFqse7tiU

  40. #40 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    and (maybe) Boston in late March for a week or so;

    Boston eh….Wonder who you would go and see there LOL
    Gee those ministers,not only fail in the beard contest,but also no shame at all !

  41. #41 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    No beard fight! But I have the Star Trek battle music playing in my head. I want rudeness pushing into ultraviolence. Damn, I guess if I really need my blood fix, the is always The Passion Of The Christ.

    Do you see what you all are pushing me towards?

  42. #42 The Count
    January 13, 2009

    PZ speaks like a true professor, asking you to open your mind and come to the truth yourself.

    Which may be why so many folks simply cannot make a successful transition from the spoon-fed primary and secondary education systems in the US of A.

    ———

    Totally off-topic, but I was reading Greta’s post regarding Gary Marcus’ book Kludge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind. Now, brains and ideas cannot fossilize (except in a church, temple or a certain political party) so what work has been done in the evolution of the brain? What I’m referring to more specifically is the turning on or off the genes of animals in utero to attempt to devolve the brain and compare against various baseline responses. Would such a thing even have any value?

  43. #43 Deepsix
    January 13, 2009

    PZ: “I write about whatever interests me, whenever I feel like it.”

    This is what pisses me off about some of the posters on Phil’s blog. Anytime he writes about anything other than astronomy, especially his posts on “woo”, posters come out of the wood work to complain about how Phil should stick to only astronomy. The concept of a “personal blog” is lost on these people.
    If PZ or Phil or anyone else with a blog wants to write about the giant crap they took this morning, then, as the owner of the blog, they can damn well do so. We, the readers, then have the option to not read that post. But please, don’t write a post bitching and moaning that you disagree with the topic of choice on someone else’s PERSONAL blog.

  44. #44 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    Isn’t it odd how these calls for “unity” and “nonpartisanship” from the right only occur after the Republicans lose?

    Indeed. This Modern World had a comment on this just last week, I believe.

    What’s especially precious and comical about certain denialist types insisting on ‘civility’ is many of these are the very same people who endlessly ascribe all manner of deliberately devious evil and/or rampant stupidity to their opponents pretty much every time they open their mouths. Y’know… global warming’s all a commie plot by radical eco-freaks hellbent on destroying civilization and they’re all buying into it because their either with them or useful idiots who’ve never looked at the numbers or read the science themselves and thought it over, and hey, stupid, you’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid, too, ya brainwashed moron… But be civil to me, dammit!

    Right on it, ya poor dear. Oh, did my calling you deluded and pointing out in detail how you fail at basic logic at such a level it’s a wonder you can feed yourself–why, did my saying that upset your precious digestion?

    My sincerest apologies. You poor thing.

  45. #45 Matt Heath
    January 13, 2009

    They’ll be gone back to their little hothouses of shared ignorance tomorrow

    Shared-ignorance-caused domestic warming is a MYTH!!!1111111one

  46. #46 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake SC, OM:

    Who’s this Emmett person, Mr. Meyer?

    Well spotted! My spelling (or rather, my parents’) with one ?t? seems to be the less popular alternative in the US for some reason, so people getting the number of t’s right on the Internet is the exception rather than the rule. I’m well used to it and have long since stopped expecting people to spell my name right.

  47. #47 Pete Moulton
    January 13, 2009

    C’mon, PZH: say what you mean. I hate it when you mince words.

  48. #48 ImprobableJoe
    January 13, 2009

    I have come here to post comments in an uncivil manner! Besides which, it is more unciviler to be a liar than a con artist than it is to point out the liars and con artists.

    BTW… what perpetuates the “left/right” divide isn’t rudeness from the left, but the dishonesty and official corruption of the right. Right-wingers and scumbags of all stripes expect YOU to be civil, while they take advantage to steamroll right over you.

  49. #49 Scott
    January 13, 2009

    fuck em

  50. #50 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Clinteas:

    Boston eh….Wonder who you would go and see there

    I’ve family and friends in the Greater Boston area. There are probably many more, of course, but the only Pharyngulites I know (or I’m pretty sure) are in that area are SC and MAJeff (who I haven’t seen in a while), either or both of whom it’d be fun to actually meet in person.

  51. #51 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    LOL Emmet,

    I was of course referring to our favourite anarchist…

    I reckon it would be great to meet people here in person,or have a pic on your posting thingy,like on RD.net,so you can get an idea of what pale shriveled bent and disfigured net creatures we spend our time debating and talking to here…:-)

  52. #52 Allen N
    January 13, 2009

    Johnny B:
    I just love it when some dolt like JB@19 comes up with the “can’t we just get along?” tripe. After all, the differences are just trivial. Reality vs. complete divorce from this universe. Yep – barely a point of divergence.

  53. #53 SC, OM
    January 13, 2009

    *blushes and winks at clinteas*

    but the only Pharyngulites I know (or I’m pretty sure) are in that area are SC and MAJeff (who I haven’t seen in a while), either or both of whom it’d be fun to actually meet in person.

    It would be fun! I’ll/we’ll be in touch. Sorry to have to go now – my sister’s on her way up for a visit, and those floors won’t clean themselves! Enjoy your day (or night), everyone!

  54. #54 speedwell
    January 13, 2009

    Well-intentioned, intelligent commenters who disagree with the majority opinions here will do well to remember that the rest of the commenters here are extremely intelligent and respond well to evidence that you’re trying to learn and understand. You have to be thick-skinned enough to get past the rancor and frustration that’s often their first reaction. You can’t afford the luxury of taking offense in here.

    Just remember the lawyer’s saying: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the theory is on your side, pound the theory. If neither is on your side, pound the table.” (Kidding!)

  55. #55 jello
    January 13, 2009

    Paconious@20

    Um, real estate. Appropriately snarky though.

  56. #56 smijer
    January 13, 2009

    From my perspective, the lack of civility directed toward contrarian or ignorant commenters is an artifact of the oppositional nature of the discourse here among the proletariat.

    I normally lurk rather than participate, because only so much entertainment can be got by mocking the incorrigibly self-deluded. I do long for a society where disagreements and misunderstanding can be dealt with through persuasion and education. But, I understand we are realists here.

    And, yes, of course this is a science blog… though certainly not exclusively so.

  57. #57 The Count
    January 13, 2009

    but the only Pharyngulites I know (or I’m pretty sure) are in that area are SC and MAJeff (who I haven’t seen in a while), either or both of whom it’d be fun to actually meet in person.

    The Countess and The Count are also somewhat nearby in Cape Ann.

  58. #58 Ida Know
    January 13, 2009

    In case you want to vote for PZ more than once, just delete the cookie. The site uses macromedia cookies. Just find the macromedia directory and delete the cookie to this site in it. Do this two or three thousand times. Right now. Go.

  59. #59 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Hey, this is fun… I just need someone to aim it at…

    Would you think me less than civil
    If I gussied up my drivel?
    Would your disappointment shrivel up and vanish in the mist?
    Would you give me greater latitude
    If I cleaned up my attitude?
    I do not need your gratitude, goddammit, I am pissed!
    Comments here may seem?well, rude,
    But they?re rarely misconstrued
    If you?d rather be a prude and miss the point, then go to hell.
    Want polite? You?re out of luck, you
    Smarmy bastard, cos you suck. You
    Don?t deserve less than a ?fuck you, and the horse you rode as well?

  60. #60 ennui
    January 13, 2009

    Asking Llaauurraa about her magic underwear is not uncivil. OK, maybe a little, but it’s funny too.

    The big problem that I see is that of some people being personally attached to their conclusions, and not their processes. So any attack on their ideas is interpreted as an attack on their person, and then the whinging starts about “respect” and “atheists are mean,” etc. Then someone actually does call them an asshat douchebag. It gets frustrating.

    My vote for most uncivil is Holbach, followed by BobC.
    Best uncivil content? truthmachine (please come back)

  61. #61 Blondin
    January 13, 2009

    What I don’t understand is the hate accusations. Why is it every time you criticize or disagree with these folks they start whining about “why do you hate me?”, “you’re just perpetuating hate!”, etc.

    If they really want to be liked maybe they should consider examining the merits of their bullshit arguments objectively.

  62. #62 shane
    January 13, 2009

    I haven’t seen anyone called an ignorant slut in these here parts for some time. I miss that.

  63. #63 PH
    January 13, 2009

    There appears to be blatant cheating going on in this site’s voting for the weblog awards. During the last 15 minutes, the voting rate for Pharyngula has increased by an order of magnitude. Incivility and cheating is simply not acceptable.

  64. #64 Alyson
    January 13, 2009

    Hear, hear.

    I, for one, think that saying, “You’re making no sense and you’re deluded if you think this is going to change our minds” is no ruder than saying, “You have no morals, you must be miserable, and you’re going to suffer an eternity of hellfire after you die.” The primary difference on this blog isn’t manners, it’s that suddenly the godless freethinkers rule the roost while the theists are in the minority.

  65. #65 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009
  66. #66 Vaseline Baseline
    January 13, 2009

    Shane, you ignorant slut.

  67. #67 recovering catholic
    January 13, 2009

    Brian @17

    I could tell it took a toll on you, but you were indeed civil. And along the lines of some of the other posts here, nice to see what you look like! (stereotypical handsome dark-haired Irishman…)

  68. #68 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    No, no…don’t do the cookie deletion trick. It will be caught. All they have to do is look and see two or three thousand votes, all from the same IP address, and they’ll simply throw out every vote, even the valid ones, from that IP. Or they’ll look at the history and see a suspicious bolus of votes going one way from one source.

    It’s also a very right-wing site. Expect that votes for a left-leaning site will receive especially scrupulous scrutiny, while the votes for Wingnuttia will be waved on through. I suspect that a lot of the votes for that ghastly Watt site and its mob of denialist fanatics are machine-generated, but I doubt that they’ll be disclosed.

  69. #69 Teh Merkin
    January 13, 2009

    I am in Boston (Cambridge actually). I am always up for some Pharyngulation of the area.

  70. #70 S.Scott
    January 13, 2009

    @28 – “Alright, who is the most rude commentator here?

    GO!”

    I’ve always wanted an excuse to post my fovorite clip ever – Thank you! ;-)

    Kevin Bacon says it best.

  71. #71 Alyson
    January 13, 2009

    Also, I’m giving my notice here of volunteering to have Cuttlefish’s babies.

  72. #72 Cory Albrecht
    January 13, 2009

    I disagree.

    You can shred the creationists, conspiracy theorists, global warming deniers and general wackaloons to bits and it can be done with civility.

    Take quote mining, for example. If they’ve used a particular mine previously, it’s totally possible to call them a liar in a civil manner when you point out how they’ve educated on the mine in the past.

    There’s no need for a response like “You’re fucking liar, dipshit” – it only shows that you’re as much of a jerk as the quote miner.

  73. #73 Miguel
    January 13, 2009

    It’s your blog and you can write what you want to, write what you want to.

  74. #74 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake clinteas:

    I was of course referring to our favourite anarchist.

    I surmised as much. My avatar on RD.net is a little generic graphic I created based on the RD.net banner and Dawkins’s 7-point scale of religiosity, rather than a picture of me. Photos do seem to be very popular over there, as do distracting animated avatars.

  75. #75 dinkum
    January 13, 2009

    Would it be acceptably on topic to offer a

    FUCK THE CONCERN TROLLS

    too?

  76. #76 Shaden Freud
    January 13, 2009

    Janine #10

    Beard fight! Beard fight!

    What? Katie Holmes is fighting Nicole Kidman?

    Oh, I kid Tom Cruise!

  77. #77 Newfie
    January 13, 2009

    Blondin

    What I don’t understand is the hate accusations. Why is it every time you criticize or disagree with these folks they start whining about “why do you hate me?”, “you’re just perpetuating hate!”, etc.

    ’cause they’re idgits. Fuck the fucking fucking fuckers.
    We are so mean when we question their fairy tales, and point to reality.

  78. #78 Benjamin Geiger
    January 13, 2009

    shane @ #62:

    People got offended by that shit, you pompous ass. :-P

  79. #79 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Would it be acceptably on topic to offer a ?FUCK THE CONCERN TROLLS? too?

    Yes, but there’s so many of them, I fear you’d wear it down to a stump before you got halfway through.

  80. #80 Johnnyb
    January 13, 2009

    Benjamin Geigar,

    I believe that you are confused, the right would have been perfectly delighted if the left had been civil towards President Bush. I admit that I do not recall precisely, but after the 2000 election did my side not ask for a show of national unity? Did we not ask you to support President Bush? I thought that your side was invited to support your President, but I could be wrong.

    Was the right playing nice with Clinton? Were we trying to make nice back then? I seem to recall being fairly mean to Clinton, calling him a rapist and a drug dealer. Then after Waco calling him a babykiller, and having him impeached for Whitewater. I thought that was my side playing hardball, but again, I might be wrong.

    Now could be a new time, if we allow it to be, of course, that would require people to behave in a civilized fashion to each other. My side lost this election, and they deserved to, so be it. Barack Obama is now my President against my wishes, so be it. In different times, under different circumstances, I would react differently to this fact, but truth be known, what the country needs now is leadership and whether I like it or not, I realize that we are all in this together. My fate is tied to the success or failure of this country, if Obama fails the country fails, and my personal prosperity is threatened. So, what shall I do? Sow the seeds of discontent, wish Mr. Obama malice because I disagree with him on some issues, or shall I wish Obama the best and hope that he proves me wrong. The choice should be obvious.

    What is the intent of leftwing bloggers? To gloat? To insult and an inflame the right? You do know that we are all armed, right?

    Please understand, that our two sides living together in the same country is exactly like an unhappy arranged marriage. If it were possible to get a no fault divorce, it would be in our mutual best interest, but there is no such thing as a no fault divorce here. Divorce will mean a civil war, where our own friends, families and fortunes will be destroyed. Shall you continue to stoke the flames that make life so unbearable together that it justifies such a cost?

    Complaining about other people being civil to you, ha! This place is like Bizarro World.

  81. #81 Bill Dauphin
    January 13, 2009

    Haven’t read these comments carefully yet — been busy being longwindedly naive on another thread! — but I just thought I’d note that someone’s got PZ’s Weblog Awards back. Now, I guess, we’ll see how good the HuffPo readers are at Pharyngulizing a poll!

  82. #82 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Thanks PZ
    I’m still having fun with the whackos on the other thread.

    I would take you and Emmet up on that beard war though…

  83. #83 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    I bet that the AGW denialists are cheating in the polls. It’s in line with their philosophy to cheat, cherry pick, lie, distort. Cheating in the poll would be justified to them because they’re fighting a CONSPIRACY!

  84. #84 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Shaden Freud, I was waiting for someone to move the meaning there. Thank you. And TC deserves all the ridicule he gets.

  85. #85 nichole
    January 13, 2009

    oh, i’ve been looking for an excuse to troll for too long now! just laid down some sweet invective at that watt site, i expect it to be moderated but damn it feels so nice.

  86. #86 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Alyson:
    I’m thinking Cuttlefish will be flattered, and Mrs. Cuttlefish -not so much.

  87. #87 speedwell
    January 13, 2009

    KnockGoats @ 65: Thanks, I missed that. I’ll go have a look.

  88. #88 James F
    January 13, 2009

    #50

    Actually, the last Boston Pharyngufest run by MAJeff was quite well-attended. Rebecca Watson, Blake Stacey, and many others were there. PixelFish’s photos are in this group.

  89. #89 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake SC, OM:

    It would be fun! I’ll/we’ll be in touch.

    I look forward to it. Isn’t cleaning floors a much better way to spend time on your knees than praying, though?

    Cue double entendre in 3? 2? 1?

  90. #90 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    Please understand, that our two sides living together in the same country is exactly like an unhappy arranged marriage. If it were possible to get a no fault divorce, it would be in our mutual best interest, but there is no such thing as a no fault divorce here. Divorce will mean a civil war, where our own friends, families and fortunes will be destroyed. Shall you continue to stoke the flames that make life so unbearable together that it justifies such a cost?

    Did this guy just threaten a civil war if people don’t pander to his drivel? That crazy russian economist may have been on to something …

  91. #91 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM January 13, 2009

    Would it be acceptably on topic to offer a ?FUCK THE CONCERN TROLLS? too?

    Yes, but there’s so many of them, I fear you’d wear it down to a stump before you got halfway through.

    That is why there are strap ons.

    But some of us avoid sex with trolls by engaging in the troll stomp. All you need are strong legs and sturdy boots. One get get great troll whine this way. And it is great exercise. Why, look at Patricia, she can twirl all day.

  92. #92 recovering catholic
    January 13, 2009

    Ooh, ooh! This is a fabulous yet incredibly civil (I’m not implying there’s anything wrong with lack thereof) explanation of the difficulties so many people have in even listening to scientific information…here’s an excerpt:

    “Arguing against a field of science you’ve not understood is like muscling in on a card game you’ve never learned. Without an understanding of the rules, you have no valid basis for adopting a strategy, or even trying to mount a convincing bluff. The person who declares evolution to be nonsense because noone’s ever seen an ape mutate into a man is a conspicuously uninformed as a person who shouts “Snap” at a poker game, though of course their own lack of comprehension prevents them from seeing it.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h9XntsSEro

    If I sent this link to my siblings who are cretinists, that would sever the family ties forever…

  93. #93 shane
    January 13, 2009

    My favourite bit…
    What is the intent of leftwing bloggers? To gloat? To insult and an inflame the right? You do know that we are all armed, right?

  94. #94 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    @Bill Dauphin

    I used to comment at HuffPo until I tired of their woo support of Chopra and the anti-vaccine crowd. It’s nice to see that isn’t the case with AGW.

  95. #95 Smrt Newfie
    January 13, 2009

    Hey PZ, I?ll tell you what I?d like to do to some of these new guests.

    First, I?ll smack them in the face with a big fucking copy of On the Origin of Species (Hardcover). Then I?ll take a banana – you know, the fruit designed by God to prove his existence ? and shove it straight up their asses. I will then follow the banana with Satan?s answer to Gods perfect design: the coconut. The ease of fit will dictate my next move by telling us whether they are Catholic or Protestant. Let?s assume they?re Catholic. I?ll add another coconut so they can feel it. I?ll then force feed them some of those crackers they so love. I?ll even make them easier to swallow by softening them up with some fresh ?million murdered baby? stew (home brewed). As a finale, I will put on a priest?s collar and dance naked on a picture of the pope while singing a little ditty I wrote about Jesus? and Bill Donahue sharing the holy spirit.

    I call it The Christocrats.

  96. #96 Bill Dauphin
    January 13, 2009

    BTW, Emmet… IIRC Kseniya is somewhere in MA… though these days I’m wondering if she wasn’t just a mirage.

    FWIW, I’m in the Hartford, CT, area, so Boston isn’t a ridiculous drive. I was hoping to come to MAJeff’s Pharyngufest, but was, at the last moment, Overcome by Events™.

  97. #97 NewEnglandBob
    January 13, 2009

    I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion.

    This statement is profound.

    Emmet @ 50: I am also in the Boston north-west suburbs, not far from the home towns of Daniel Dennett and E.O. Wilson.

    Johnnyb @ 19: Your statement is one from a person who has no logical argument, no facts based on critical thinking or evidence of your (now hidden) position. The right wing is, and always has been, the perpetrators of hate. The left has always been the agent of fairness and moderation. The right has always been out for self and selfish interests even when detrimental to all others.

  98. #98 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    That crazy russian economist may have been on to something – Brian Coughlan

    Which particular C.R.E. would that be?

  99. #99 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    But what about the guy who threatened civil war in post #80! What is up with that!?

  100. #100 Bill Green
    January 13, 2009

    Unfortunately, lack of civility and plain nastiness seem to characterize many left-leaning outlets. I see it as a weakness. Greater strength would be demonstrated by strong arguments presented with honor. There is a difference between fighting hard and fighting dishonorably.

    I see no value in vulgarity and ad hominem approaches. This is the greatest weakness of the new atheist movement. Ad hominem always has been, and still is, a lazy and morally flawed substitute for good arguments and honest interaction. I find that when I am uncivil or nasty, I usually feel the worse for it.

    If meaning and fulfillment were to be found only in survival and physical comfort, then it may not matter how the race is run or the battle fought, but this is not the case. For whatever reason, human nature is such that the highest meaning and fulfillment in life are found in the method of the running and fighting.

    I suppose that, in the former case, shooting an unarmed man is acceptable. But higher fulfillment cannot be found in fighting with dishonor. It is unfortunate that many secularists do not seem to understand this, they view themselves as smart beasts, whose only goal is to gather food, mates, and knowlege.

  101. #101 Drew
    January 13, 2009

    @62

    Shane you ignorant slut.

    Does that make you feel better?

  102. #102 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    JonnyB
    “Was the right playing nice with Clinton? Were we trying to make nice back then? I seem to recall being fairly mean to Clinton, calling him a rapist and a drug dealer. Then after Waco calling him a babykiller, and having him impeached for Whitewater. I thought that was my side playing hardball, but again, I might be wrong.”

    Wingnuts never cease to amaze me…

  103. #103 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    Which particular C.R.E. would that be?

    This one : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

  104. #104 TSC
    January 13, 2009

    GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKER! I hope this helps.

  105. #105 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    @100,
    Concern troll is concerned.

  106. #106 Tom Gray
    January 13, 2009

    From the post:

    To claim that because I sometimes laugh and sometimes get angry and am a concerned citizen of a screwed-up country and have interests outside of journals and academia and am a father and husband and am willing to express myself on any topic that strikes my fancy means that there can’t possibly be any science here implies that you are a freaking idiot with a bizarrely narrow view of who scientists are, and a peculiarly close-minded vision of how this medium actually works.

    ================================

    This is an admission that this is not a science blog. it is something but it is not a science blog

  107. #107 IST
    January 13, 2009

    PZ, we shouldn’t be rude because it detracts from our argument and the creotards won’t actually listen to what we have to say… oh, that’s right, they don’t anyway. That and stopping someone’s argument cold because their skin is too thin to take the pounding they deserve is almost as satisfying as actually debunking the shite they profess.

  108. #108 Angel Kaida
    January 13, 2009

    I agree with PZ, pretty much. I’d say that when it gets to the point where people are making baseless personal accusations* unrelated to the argument and meant to do damage, that’s when being uncivil has gone too far. But I’ve rarely seen that here – sometimes, yeah, the arguments are interlaced with insults, but usually they have some basis in what the person has said, and usually the argument is at the fore. If the commenters’ usual behavior counts as uncivility, then fuck civility.

    *Saying “you’re ignorant and anti-science” based on someone’s views about, for instance, GW is not a baseless personal accusation. Taking the same post about GW and responding “you would clearly stomp puppies given the chance” probably is.

    @smijet,
    I’m confused. Are we the proletariat?

  109. #109 Jeremy C
    January 13, 2009

    Regarding the web log awards, over on the Jennifer Marahosy denialist blog readers are being urged to vote more than once so I took a look and yes you can vote oce every 24 hours – that doesn’t seem honest to me. Who was it that said, “vote early and vote often”.

  110. #110 Blake Stacey
    January 13, 2009

    I’ve family and friends in the Greater Boston area. There are probably many more, of course, but the only Pharyngulites I know (or I’m pretty sure) are in that area are SC and MAJeff (who I haven’t seen in a while), either or both of whom it’d be fun to actually meet in person.

    I live and work in Greater Boston, too. In fact, I’m looking out over the semi-frozen Charles, right now. Mmmm, slushy.

  111. #111 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Here is an example from JohnnyB on the previous thread showing how nice, courteous and civil he is:

    “…why does the lunatic fringe who believes such garbage as Global Warming…”

    I’ll bet Jebus guides him in his quest for a better world.

  112. #112 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    Seriously though, and I don’t mean to harp, isn’t threatening civil war Treason or something? Are american right wingers really thinking about secession? Really?

    Sort of makes the Palin pick a bit less insane. Still insane of course, but an internally consistent kind of insanity.

    Seriously, am I the only one that reacted to post #80? Am I?

    Well?

  113. #113 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    Brian@103,

    Thanks. The stupid burns… but the downright crazy amuses!

  114. #114 MattE
    January 13, 2009

    I am a regular whatsupwiththat (WUWT) visitor. We’ve all been tagged as “conspiracy theorists.” Nearly every reader there believes that man’s presence has warmed the earth to some degree. The disagreement is over how much, how good or skewed the data is, and how good the models have and will predict the future. Call me a denier, but on the flip side there are many scientists and politicians pushing an agenda based on poorly controlled data and statistics.
    Lastly, I would think that an apparently atheist-leaning blog would find a kindred spirit in those at WUWT; both are deniers of a sort

  115. #115 Clemmie
    January 13, 2009

    My favourite comment from the Richard Dawkins forums was concerning the latest blatherings of a Church of England dignitary. He/she called it “nothing more than a cuntload of toadshit”.

    Lovely.

  116. #116 nichole
    January 13, 2009

    hindsight kind of tells us that for next year’s award, perhaps we should discourage voting for phyrangula? since it’s a piece of shit poll and serves nothing but to galvanize the stupid and attract trolls.

    i guess it’s been a slow news week and we have nothing better to do than beat up on the weak of mind…

    ::dunno::

  117. #117 John Robie
    January 13, 2009

    See until recently, I too thought that scientists must be unbiased, objective, infallible, and wear a white lab coat. Fortunately, however, I read an editorial comic that set me straight:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/the_scientist_in_the_white_coa.php

    PZ is clearly both biased AND human, and therefore must be a scientist.

  118. #118 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “you can vote oce every 24 hours ”

    That’s how the voting process has always been for the Weblogs so make sure you vote evry 24 hours to cancel out the wingnuts who do.

  119. #119 Blake Stacey
    January 13, 2009

    Lastly, I would think that an apparently atheist-leaning blog would find a kindred spirit in those at WUWT; both are deniers of a sort

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Ha ha ha ahhhh. . . .

    Wait, you were serious?

    [facepalm]

  120. #120 Calladus
    January 13, 2009

    ’cause they’re idgits. Fuck the fucking fucking fuckers.
    We are so mean when we question their fairy tales, and point to reality.

    The fuckers don’t want you to say “fuck”. Especially when they are the ones doing the fucking – and fucking up while doing so.

  121. #121 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Matt. Publish or shut up. AGW deniers are no different than the ID crowd. They don’t want to do the science they just want to criticize it. SHOW that it’s wrong. Don’t just question the methods.

    The ice caps are melting.

  122. #122 Glen Davidson
    January 13, 2009

    I’ve always wondered how lying about science and scientists, no matter how politely framed, could ever be considered anything but extremely rude.

    Any name-calling in response to such extreme rudeness is generally polite by comparison. To any just person, that is.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  123. #123 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    Lastly, I would think that an apparently atheist-leaning blog would find a kindred spirit in those at WUWT; both are deniers of a sort

    True, quite true. One group deny illusion, and the other reality. Exactly the same:-)

  124. #124 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, if the data for AGW isn’t good, then fight the argument in the scientific literature, not on blogs. Oh, but that would mean you would have to actually have some valid data to supply to the argument, and preconceived ideologies would have to be placed on hold in order for the paper to be accepted. Since this is the truth on how science works, what is impolite about saying this?

  125. #125 Ktesibios
    January 13, 2009

    Regarding #80-

    Perhaps if I see the wingnut hatefreaks who infest our media lining up for unemployment because the market for their shit-flinging has gone the way of the buggy- whip, I will consider making nice with maimed authoritarian-follower personalities like yourself.

    Until that day, shitnozzle, take your barely-veiled threats and go fuck yourself with a Fluke 80K-40.

  126. #126 Ben
    January 13, 2009

    @114 “Lastly, I would think that an apparently atheist-leaning blog would find a kindred spirit in those at WUWT; both are deniers of a sort”

    Does this mean we atheists should also find a kindred spirit with people who deny that evolution is a valid theory?

    Wait. That doesn’t make sense.

    Okay, now you’re getting it.

  127. #127 Jason
    January 13, 2009

    PZ is apparently unaware that the call for civility comes from a RealClimate blog post here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/weblog-awards/

    Readers of Climate Audit and Watts feel that a double standard is being used.

    Certainly the Real Climate authors do use a double standard, simultaneously being uncivil and calling for civility.

    But as far as I am aware, PZ has never made any sort of hypocritical call for civility. He has been consistently uncivil with those with whom he disagrees.

    Unfortunately, by being so aggressive, he has lost his ability to be scientific objective. It is hard to simultaneously tell somebody “you are so full of crap, you are a disgrace to science” while critically analyzing somebody’s writings and papers.

    In the case of Watts, he has published a great many papers (authored by others) that are flat out loony, dishonest or misleading. Although he does publish some interesting things, PZ’s comments about his blog are, IMNSHO, justified.

    In the case of Climate Audit, McIntyres “audits” are scientifically sound and have resulted in improvements to the calculations a several major consensus scientific organizations. PZ’s treatment of CA has about as much scientific objectivity as a creationist science teacher.

    I’m not sure that this is a bad thing. You can’t be a good scientist if you don’t have doubt (Newsweek had a good article recent article about this http://www.newsweek.com/id/177740). You can’t be a good attack dog if you do.

    PZ is a very good attack dog.

  128. #128 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Concern noted. zzzzzz.

  129. #129 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    Sorry, PZ, I have to disagree with you here.

    You regard your war against anti-intellectualism, like your war against religious bigotry, as a war with two sides. This oversimplifies the affair dramatically.

    If you are interested in winning a debate with a single opponent, and an engaged and intelligent judging panel, then a lack of civility (particularly in context) can earn you points. But the war against anti-intellectualism is a war between smart people and a very small minority of blowhards (some of whom are clever in their own right, just deluded), and in the middle is 95% of the human population. For those people, a huge chunk may have the inclination to act rationally, but insulting them needlessly is not going to win you recruits. It might let you hang a bloody creationist’s scalp on your intellectual coup poll, but the voting public has a huge impact on science policy, and pissing them off by lumping them together with people you disagree with is counterproductive at best.

    Being right matters when you control the outcome of the discourse… when you’re in court, or when you’re arguing science with another scientist at a conference. Being right doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as it ought in the court of public opinion, and it certainly matters quite a bit less than being able to convince people to trust you.

  130. #130 MattE
    January 13, 2009

    OK, Steve_C, since you mention the ice caps melting, maybe you should know that only the northern icecap is in decline. The antarctic icecap has been growing at the same time the northern icecap has been in decline. See these charts:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

  131. #131 Ben
    January 13, 2009

    There was a good piece in Skeptic magazine about debating with creationists, and how a lack of civility can slam their minds shut. Of course, first, you’d have to find a creationist with an open mind–and that was a flaw in the piece’s premise. There might be some open-minded creationists out there, but I haven’t encountered one yet myself.

  132. #132 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, publish your ideas in the primary scientific literature. That is the only way to convince us.

  133. #133 Sastra
    January 13, 2009

    Corey Albrecht #72 wrote:

    You can shred the creationists, conspiracy theorists, global warming deniers and general wackaloons to bits and it can be done with civility.

    That depends on how one defines “civility.” One of the problems frequently pointed out here is the way popular culture often protects pseudoscientific or religious beliefs behind a barrier which demands “respect.” This particular version of respect replaces honest debate with a phony tolerance and harmony. If you argue, then you’re not allowing people the freedom to believe what they want. Or something.

    You’re talking about “shredding” someone’s argument with civility. But when it comes to some topics — such as religion — the very idea of even disagreeing may be taken as evidence of hostility, egotism, and rudeness. I take great care, both online and off, to avoid unnecessary invective and insult when I disagree with someone. Not so I can model “nice,” but so that I don’t give anyone an easy excuse, a handle to grab to deflect the discussion onto personalities and social issues. I’m wary because of experience.

    It generally works online, in a discussion forum, but my experience in real life is that all you have to do is disagree and you’re accused of incivility. It doesn’t matter how nicely you say it.

    Though I did try experimenting a few times to see if I could successfully cushion overt disagreement over some New Age crap with so much sweet-spoken tact, smiling pleasantry, flattering compliments, and reassuring redirections to areas of agreement that I could avoid them calling me some variation of “mean.” It had mixed success. They didn’t get offended or start in on attacking me personally, but they didn’t really seem to get my point either. From what I could tell, my argument was seen as a hypothetical metaphor, and they thought I was really agreeing.

  134. #134 10ch.org
    January 13, 2009

    Can there seriously be that many climate change denialists right now? I thought that most people agreed with the real science by now.

  135. #135 SteveM
    January 13, 2009

    I see no value in vulgarity and ad hominem approaches. This is the greatest weakness of the new atheist movement. Ad hominem always has been, and still is, a lazy and morally flawed substitute for good arguments and honest interaction. I find that when I am uncivil or nasty, I usually feel the worse for it.

    I wish these fucking idiots would learn what the fuck ad hominem fuckin means. It is not rudeness, nor crude language, nor insults. Saying “your stupid argument means you are an idiot” is not ad hominem. Saying “your argument is stupid because you are a fuckward” is. Do you see the fucking difference? Shit, I am so sick of that.

  136. #136 Angel Kaida
    January 13, 2009

    @Brian Coughlan, I’m not sure it’s a totally crazy idea. I mean, I’m not planning on starting one myself, since I’m a moderate pacifist, but he’s right about this being an unhappy marriage. It’s beyond disagreement on the principles of government; it’s a culture war. Maybe we’d all be better off if the right seceded. *shrug* But then all of us kids trapped in the middle who want evolution and guns and an end to the war and stem cell research and marriage rights for everyone and less taxation would probably be a little screwed, eh? It’s not like we’re getting our way anyway, though. I don’t know. Probably we’d be better off. All the ignorant creos would go over there, the kids in the middle would stay over here, and we’d have intranational variation, instead of all having to focus our energies on this kind of fundamentally irresolvable culture conflict.

    @MattE, if you don’t see the difference between atheism and global warming denial, you may fuck off. By the same token, communists, creationists, and gay people should be kindred spirits, as they’re all in a minority of some kind.

  137. #137 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Uhg. It’s just a blog. People come spouting garbage and we call them on it. That’s it.

  138. #138 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Bill Green’s blog says it all.

    He’s another John Galt, Ayn Rand, Ron Paul worshipping utopian redbaiting wingnut.

  139. #139 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    You do know that we are all armed, right?

    The Right’s motto: Force over Reason. “You may have the lion’s share logic but we’ve got the lion’s share of guns!”

    Yeah, Johnnyb, I’m gloating, motherfucker, what are you gonna do about it?

  140. #140 James F
    January 13, 2009

    Anyone want to bet that the people complaining that this is not a science blog, expecting it to be all science, all the time, have never once read a scientific research paper? Or, at best, they’ve opened a journal before but couldn’t understand it?

    Otto: Don’t call me stupid.

    Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit you. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?

    Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.

    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it. Now let me correct you on a couple things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked ‘em up.

  141. #141 Barrett808
    January 13, 2009

    So very apropos: http://wonkette.com/

  142. #142 TigerHunter
    January 13, 2009

    On the Weblog Awards: the HP’s announcement is having a noticeable effect. We’re now only 200 votes behind.

  143. #143 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    As I noted earlier, this is *exactly* what Watts wants. He acts like a gentleman and demands that folk be civil after labelling any critical view as an ad-hom. You’re just feeding his persecution complex and making his minions all that more fanatical.

  144. #144 marilove
    January 13, 2009

    I LOVE this blog, PZ. It is my favorite blog. And that’s saying a lot, considering how many damn blogs I read. The best part of this blog is the discussions!

    I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion. I want them to charge in to the heart of the issue and shred the frauds, without hesitation and without faltering over manners. These demands for a false front of civility are one of the strategies used by charlatans who want to mask their lack of substance ? oh, yes, it would be so goddamned rude to point out that a huckster is lying to you. I am quite happy that we have a culture of being rude to frauds here.

    THIS THIS THIS! I don’t comment much, as I’m still new and a little intimidated, but I feel … at home here. People always want everyone to be so fucking nice all the time. “Oh, oh, but you’re not going to get anywhere if you’re not NICE!” Fuck that, truth is not always “nice.”

    Seriously. Whenever I’m called out for not being “nice enough” (whatever the fuck that means!) I just remember that the great PZ feels exactly as I do about being “polite”.

  145. #145 Cortillaen
    January 13, 2009

    I suppose I can have a little fun with this before banishing the site from memory (a matter of simply not bookmarking it and waiting five minutes, mind you).

    “One of those [climate change denialist] blogs will almost certainly win the ‘award’ ? which tells you the value of these contests…” Translation: “If I don’t win, the contest was meaningless.” Pray tell what your reaction would be if you were winning by a large margin? Yay, hypocrisy!

    “I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion.” Translation: “Faith in the superiority of our positions is justification to be as vulgar as we like in dismissing any attempt to make us think.” There is a considerable difference between being frank and being rude. One insists on putting the facts first and may still remain civil. The other is a common mask for those who really have nothing of import to say.

    “The other claim ["This is not a science blog"] is also a stupid distraction. This is a blog by an educator and scientist. We are not one-dimensional caricatures ? I write about whatever interests me, whenever I feel like it.” Translation: “Okay, so this is really just a blog about me, but I just happen to blog about sciencey stuff a lot, and there are lots of links to scientific articles and blogs on the sidebar. Oh, and I’m an educator and a scientist, so what I say is important because I say it.”

    A quick perusal of the site tells me three very important things: First, you like to be needlessly offensive. Maybe you think the shock-jock style gets a message across or something. Second, you are unnecessarily combative towards anyone holding ideas with which you disagree. You attempt to lambaste, berate, and marginalize people based solely on their disagreement with you and intentionally attempt to offend and provoke them. Go post your opinion of the contest here and see how it feels to be on the other side (or be a coward and refuse [no doubt while articulating the reason as something like refusing to play my game, it's a waste of time, etc. {asides within asides... hmmm.}]).

    All in all, your combativeness is likely to keep you trivialized more than anything else (I will, however, and for different reasons, agree that the “Best Science Blog” award is rather meaningless as anything other than a measure of how well the sides line up behind a single candidate). It’s a “preaching to the choir” thing; nobody else is willing to put up with the incessant haranguing long enough to get whatever message you might have. Incidentally, that would make you a failure as an educator, no? Maybe that accursed civility does have a point (keep in mind that this is coming from one who wrote a paper equating politeness with lying).

    By your own admission, you don’t want a discussion or debate. You want a shouting match. You want to verbally (or its text version) abuse ideological opponents into forgoing any debate. You seem to think that shutting down an opposing viewpoint through shear harassment is tantamount to proving your ideas’ superiority.

    Okay, you’re probably already considering how best to mock me for having forgotten my third point. I thought about just leaving it hanging since you or your cohorts would do a good job of making the point for me, but I suppose I should illuminate the denser folks. Put most simply, you are arrogant.

    Well, that’s all the time I have for poking fun at a single site and its author. Don’t bother telling me I’ve wasted my time; this sort of thing is how I amuse myself on slow days, even if it never sees the light of day. I’ll leave with one of my favorite quotes (something of a finger in Professor Myers’ eye): “If you can’t say anything civilly, you’ve nothing worth saying.”

  146. #146 MattE
    January 13, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead, I don’t actually do climate science for a living. If your minimum level of acceptance is for people who publish, there is minimal room for conversation here. There is a lot to know out there and I don’t hear you making a reasonable response to the clear undisputed fact that the antarctic icecap has grown in area (and increased in thickness I might add) in an almost equal amount that the northern icecap has shrunk. This is a clear case where Steve_C’s common “knowledge” was not correct.

  147. #147 Sherry
    January 13, 2009

    Religion is juvenile myth and superstitions.
    That is truth, not incivility.

  148. #148 Glen Davidson
    January 13, 2009

    There was a good piece in Skeptic magazine about debating with creationists, and how a lack of civility can slam their minds shut.

    It’s not just a matter of finding an open-minded creationist with whom to debate, unlikely in the extreme. It’s that the real concern are the many who know little about science and need both to see that we have answers, and that the dishonesty of the creationists/IDists really does provoke a reaction.

    I think that’s what’s flawed in most calls for treating pseudoscientists with politeness–people actually judge honesty by emotions to a considerable extent. If we weren’t offended by lies, people would seriously wonder if they were lies. Any competent and honest scientist or supporter of science would be offended by the constant barrage of defamatory statements made by various liars.

    How bizarre would it be if we did not counterattack with respect to Expelled?

    “We wanted to generate anger,” Ruloff said.

    communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2009/01/03/no-apologies-allowed-producer-defends-anti-darwin-movie.aspx

    So there it is, he finally admits that he was just trolling, that the “dialog” they claimed to want to facilitate was only a matter of lies.

    There would be something wrong with people who aren’t offended by being called virtual Nazis. Indeed, I think that only neo-Nazis would not be offended.

    I’d add that while it’s true that Ruloff wanted to generate anger in order to play the victim, and that this does work with his captive audience, the fact is that our response of calling them the liars they are appears to have worked fairly well with the rest of the populace.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  149. #149 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead, I don’t actually do climate science for a living. If your minimum level of acceptance is for people who publish, there is minimal room for conversation here. There is a lot to know out there and I don’t hear you making a reasonable response to the clear undisputed fact that the antarctic icecap has grown in area (and increased in thickness I might add) in an almost equal amount that the northern icecap has shrunk. This is a clear case where Steve_C’s common “knowledge” was not correct.

    I think that makes your point with greater brevity.

  150. #150 smijer
    January 13, 2009

    @ #108 Angel
    Would you prefer Hoi Polloi?

  151. #151 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Bye Cortillaen.

    I too will forget you in five minutes.

    I feel better already.

  152. #152 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, you fall victim to DailyTech’s stupidity if you think global data doesn’t show a decline. The fact that it’s mostly concentrated in the north was predicted by climate models as far back as 1979 (Polar amplification showed up then, though it took a few years to properly represent the hemispheric differences). It’s safe to say that if science predicted it, it doesn’t contradict the science.

  153. #153 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, Real Climate did the yes, we know the Antarctic sheet is getting thicker thing almost a year ago, now.

    You want to bring stuff like that in here, bring in that context, too. Otherwise, it ain’t especially honest, really.

  154. #154 Dave X
    January 13, 2009

    Once the deniers ignore a civil “You are wrong, and here’s why….” they begin to earn their uncivil responses. The longer they persist in dishonest argument, the less respect and civility they deserve.

    And to #80:

    The Rovian policy of aiming for 50% plus one might be what the Republicans needed to win a few elections, but it is an uncivil and rude way to govern. Bush’s “some say” strawman and Coulter’s “Treason” are much more dishonest and rude than the open schoolyard taunts like Franken’s “Lies and the lying liars that tell them” or Moore’s “Stupid White Men”.

  155. #155 PFolkens
    January 13, 2009

    Do not confuse eloquence with politeness. I am an advocate for the return of finely honed ridicule if done right. (Read Winston Churchill for examples.) However, I have found that the use of rudeness and ad hominem attacks are most often substitutes for knowledge ? not unlike the liberal use of “fuck” that exposes a shallow verbal tool chest of adjectives from which to express oneself.
    Bill Green (#100) got it right. “lack of civility and plain nastiness . . . a weakness.”
    Also, a well-tuned instrument sounds better than doubling the wattage of the amplifier. Same goes for speech. The message is more effective is delivered well. Yelling doesn’t help. Neither does printing in all CAPS or resorting to uncivil rants.
    Be passionate, but express yourself well. PZ: the run-on sentences in your 3rd paragraph was more rant than meaning. Turn down the amplifier, read “Elements of Style,” and then get on with the discussion. You’ll be more effective, I assure you.

  156. #156 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Cortillaen @#145–

    Thank you!!! As I said back at post 59, I needed someone to aim at!

  157. #157 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Shane, you ignorant slut!

  158. #158 Ben
    January 13, 2009

    PFolkens, can you spot the grammatical error in your own post?

  159. #159 Norman Doering
    January 13, 2009

    Cortillaen wrote:

    It’s a “preaching to the choir” thing…

    Or a whistling past a graveyard in the dark thing:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2009/01/introducing-derren-brown.html

  160. #160 bushy
    January 13, 2009

    Hey you-all. Consider the possibility that you-all maybe wrong! Huh?

  161. #161 Scott from Oregon
    January 13, 2009

    PZ is the clown who wants his government to spend a fortune it doesn’t have on a rail system that will lose money and cost the government more money it doesn’t have, ridiculing those who point out that basic fact of life to him, and he thinks being uncivil to those who want to wake his liberal ass up is some sort of profound calling…

    His politics, and those of his closest minions, are full of odd beliefs and religio-fruitcake tendencies, all protected from examination by an unspoken tacit blog-policy that name calling and ridicule are wonderful methods of political discourse.

    Long since, have I been disabused of the notion that if you are an athiest (and maybe a scientist) you are by default rational and reasonable. There is ample evidence here that that is not even close to the truth.

    Group think and monkey antics resides here in a large pile of liberal woo too, and it saddens me to report…

    “Fecal flingers are everywhere!!!”

    Lordy lordy lordy…

  162. #162 MattE
    January 13, 2009

    Thanks all, clearly not much reason to stay and chat so I’ll be off forever. My last thought, Brian, Nerd, Steve et al, goes back to my original comment about kindred spirit with the atheists and climate change deniers. I reject intelligent design because the science overwhelmingly rejects it. I question climate change because, if you actaully take a look, you’ll find the science supporting a man made cause is actually rather flimsy. I could go on about why, but you don’t actually seem to care, you’re committed to a belief.

  163. #163 Fred
    January 13, 2009

    Well uncivil it is then. You are science bigoted asshole of the first order. A most significant waste of good oxygen.

    Just another university professor, over paid, under worked and self impressed with your own useless opinion.

    Here’s a hint . . . buy long underwear and get ready for really long, really cold period of your “global warming”.

    And remember – Al Gore lied and still lies and the Hockey Stick was fraud.

  164. #164 RamblinDude
    January 13, 2009

    I suppose that, in the former case, shooting an unarmed man is acceptable. But higher fulfillment cannot be found in fighting with dishonor. It is unfortunate that many secularists do not seem to understand this, they view themselves as smart beasts, whose only goal is to gather food, mates, and knowlege.

    Now see there how polite Bill Green #100 was when speaking out of his ass, setting an example of decorum for all people who speak out of their asses? Notice how courteously he characterized secularists as dim and simplistic beasts ?whose only goal is to gather food, mates, and knowlege”? And witness, too, his amicable, cultured concern as he implies that we would shoot an unarmed man without compunction. Also, see the underhanded way (as Steve M pointed out) he implies that because we aren?t always polite, and sometimes use invective, that we are using ad hominem arguments instead of actual arguments.

    Thank you, Bill, for your example of well-mannered discourse, showing once again that contentiousness, snideness and general asswipery and douchebaggery can be done with gentleness and civility. But then we already know that, don?t we?

  165. #165 PH
    January 13, 2009

    This site has taken on a classic Stalinist mentality. Mob rule, hatred and cheating in the voting over the last few hours.

  166. #166 Evolving Squid
    January 13, 2009

    not unlike the liberal use of “fuck” that exposes a shallow verbal tool chest of adjectives from which to express oneself.

    Now there’s a line that one could dry out and fertilize South Dakota.

    “Fuck” is a word, and a versatile one at that, and it is part of the English language. Using the word indicates nothing other than that the author chose to use it. To suggest it is indicative of a shallow verbal tool chest is a pathetically weak argument from someone with an inflated sense of self-righteousness. Overuse of the word could indicate limited literary skills, but so would overuse of any word.

    If you want to show how deep your verbal tool chest is, write eloquently and clearly without using definite articles or pronouns. That would impress me.

  167. #167 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Fred, thank you for that rant. I just wish it made sense.

  168. #168 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    P.Z., Your invective post already showed you bore responsibility for the contemptuous, uncivil culture. But I learned of the science blog poll here, and based on most of the posts, would not have assumed that this was a science rather than political blog at all.

    Do you really think discourse is improved when the personal attacks obscure and outweight the dicussions of the evidence? Even the ancient greeks recognized the problems with ad hominem arguments.

  169. #169 Bill Green
    January 13, 2009

    @135

    I agree with your definition and think, as I said, that it is very common at left-leaning outlets.

    My post was not directed at this blog specifically, since I know little about. Rather, it was a record of thoughts triggered by the Myers’ immediate post. I grant that lack of civility and ad hominem are not equal, and I don’t think I indicated that in my post.

    Bill

  170. #170 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    I love to read this blog.

    It will carefully document the rampant slavish adherence to dogma of its writer, and his acolyte followers . A true atheist would question everything, particularly something that is taken on faith! I’ve followed this whole global warming charade for over 20 years, and had been a devout follower of the anthropogenic theory of catastrophic global warming until I realized that the whole thing is based on the thinnest of evidence. As anyone here heard of “dependent on initial conditions?” Open your eyes! We live in a world dominated by chaos, one can only make projections an insignificant time into the future.

    To focus so narrowly on one type of “dangerous” industrial effluent is ludicrous. We have no idea of what will be the next impending danger to confront mankind, to mindlessly waste our resources on chasing something we can never catch is simply stupefying.

    The gloves are off!

    I will thoroughly enjoy your squirming comeuppance in the next few years.

  171. #171 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, if you wouldn’t mind, please inform us as to where it’s flimsy. Obviously, you must have perfect vision uncluttered with an understanding of climatology, so you must be unique in your ability to spot holes in the science. Care to teach us lowly atheists how we’re wrong?

    Fred appears stuck in 2006, before the National Academy of Sciences exonerated the hockey stick, before the IPCC drew attention to the dozen other studies corroborating it, and before the Wegman report that the denialists love to cite said that it wasn’t important and was time to move on from the stick. It’s almost like how creationists would have us stay stuck a few hundred years ago, except somewhat more pathetic.

  172. #172 Evolving Squid
    January 13, 2009

    PFolkens, can you spot the grammatical error in your own post?

    Only one? I found three and I wasn’t even looking all that closely.

  173. #173 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    James F@140, I’ll take that bet.

  174. #174 Steverino
    January 13, 2009

    Johnny B said:

    “I believe that you are confused, the right would have been perfectly delighted if the left had been civil towards President Bush. I admit that I do not recall precisely, but after the 2000 election did my side not ask for a show of national unity? Did we not ask you to support President Bush? I thought that your side was invited to support your President, but I could be wrong.”

    Dear Ignorant Fucktard,

    This country did, in fact, unite behind President Bush after the attacks of 9/11 only to have our Constitutional Rights marginalized and our country thrown, dishonestly, into a war of Bush’s making.

    You do understand that when soldiers die, they don’t come back from the dead…their lives are over…families are ruined….YOU DO GET THAT, RIGHT???

    So, next time you wonder why thoses of us on the LEFT are so passionate in our protests of the soon-to-be-gotten-the-fuck-out of office administration…it’s because the lives of Americans and innocent people depend on it.

    FUCK YOU very much.

  175. #175 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Pfolkens: All that was missing from your missive was a harrumph – oh, and your inability to understand that reasoning with creationist idiots is futile no matter how civil or grammatically correct the rebuttals are, you smug pedant.

  176. #176 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Brian Coughlan

    I think that makes your point with greater brevity.

    Exactly.

    MattE, it isn’t science until it is published (or accepted for publication) in the scientific literature. You can write a scientific paper. But, you will have to obey the rules of science, and you will have the paper reviewed by experts in the field prior to publication to make sure your data, methods and conclusions are appropriate.

    I’m a profession scientist of 30+ years. Requiring that the data be in the primary scientific literature weeds out a lot of crap. Which is why I require it.

  177. #177 Smrt Newfie
    January 13, 2009

    MattE, I think Nerd of Redhead, or anyone else here, would settle for a reference to a published article. You don’t have to have authored it yourself.

    Nerd of Redhead, you need to elaborate more with people like this. I don’t think they fully understand how scientific debate works. I think MattE is still trying to graduate from the Crayon Crew.

  178. #178 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    I feel sorry for PZ in all this. He can’t control his blog, and he’s all too aware that when a commentator says “climate change deniers are a bunch of moronic wankers”, a fairy dies. Yes, every single time.
    And like our queen, he’s not able to speak for himself. Never mind PZ we love you.
    And we hate fairies (except the gay kind).

  179. #179 Bill Green
    January 13, 2009

    #138

    I am delighted that you almost characterized me correctly!

    I’m not sure where you got the “worshipping” idea, though.

  180. #180 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Janine, Bitter Friend | January 13, 2009 11:54 AM
    Bye Cortillaen.
    I too will forget you in five minutes.
    I feel better already.

    Isn’t it amazing how such a long post (Cortillaen’s) can have zero content?

  181. #181 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Steve B | January 13, 2009

    A true atheist would question everything, particularly something that is taken on faith!

    I do wish you would meet our cute little house troll by the name of Facilus. He also knows better than any atheist what the true meaning of atheism is. I would so enjoy watching a battle between these two definitions of true atheism. It would be more fun than a beard fight.

  182. #182 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    Steverino@175,

    Get some historical perspective. Bush’s war time civil rights measures pale in comparison to FDR’s and Wilson’s. You can start a conscription, censorship, wage and price controls, internment camps, sedition laws and proceed from there.

  183. #183 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    I will thoroughly enjoy your squirming comeuppance in the next few years.

    Heh. ‘In the next few years’. Ya don’t mind if I call that out, now, do ya?

    See also a few other predictions that come to mind…

    I figure it’s this thing with the determinedly deluded. Vindication is somehow always just around the corner. Next year! They’ll see! Any moment now!…

    (See also ‘Fools! I’ll show them all!…’)

  184. #184 JPBrowning
    January 13, 2009

    @ #80

    Yes, the right is not being hate filled towards Obama at all. They’re not trying everything in their power to tie a string between him and Blago, even after the DA said there was nothing to tie that string with. O’Reilly hasn’t been spewing his “I’m so afraid of what this country is about to become” bullshit for the last 2 months. Rush Dumbass has not been pouring his hate for Obama and anyone who even looks left over his ignorant hate filled radio show. So you can take your mock civility and claims of “playing nice” and stick them exactly where you’d tell me to stick them, were the roles reversed. It’s worthless, and so is trying to reason and play nice with you overly-religious, hypocritical, moronic fucks who make up the “base” of the GOP.

    @ 145

    Faith is not required when you base your arguments on science & fact, instead of doing everythign in your power to discredit science and scientists because your religion can’t stand up to facts. And if you aren’t religious, that’s fine. You’ve still bought into their bullshit. Congratulations for being an idiot without any cause whatsoever.

    And yes, being an Educator does not always mean you’re correct. You have that one right. However, you need to reread that and not take it out of context and shove your own words into PZ’s mouth. He’s saying that there are multiple sides to him, and being an educator is one and being a scientist is another. And then there is more to it than even that. If you are one dimensional and have no secondary interests outside of your professional life (if you even have one of those), that’s too bad for you.

    Good Day (see, I left a little good will at the end too… I’m civilized now!)

  185. #185 marilove
    January 13, 2009

    not unlike the liberal use of “fuck” that exposes a shallow verbal tool chest of adjectives from which to express oneself.

    FUCK! It seems to me that you’re pretty fucking ignorant on how fucking amazing the world “fuck” is! It is the single most useful word in the fucking English language! You can use it for so many fucking different ways, it is fucking astounding! I want to fuck, I want to get fuck, fuck that’s awesome!, fuck! I just stubbed my toe, oh I can’t fucking believe I just got fucking fired for looking up fucking porn at work!, fuck do I love a good hamburger, man I can’t believe that fucktard just got elected, oh fuck we’re crashing!, oh fuck me harder!

    etc. and so on.

    “FUCK” is a great word. THE fucking greatest, perhaps.

  186. #186 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    I question climate change because, if you actaully take a look, you’ll find the science supporting a man made cause is actually rather flimsy.

    What do you base this on? All the actual climatologists, the relevant experts, disagree with you. Why not tell us about Quantum Physics and how the LHC will kill us all? You’re about as qualified on that subject as you are on climatology, by your own admission.

    I could go on about why, but you don’t actually seem to care, you’re committed to a belief.

    This is not true. I mean half of it is, we don’t care, that’s true, but your analysis is wrong. Big surprise there. We don’t care enough to engage in a serious debate, because you’re just some random kook who disagrees with mountains of established science. What on earth would be the point? We’d by crazy to care. Life is too short.

  187. #187 Blake Stacey
    January 13, 2009

    Turn down the amplifier, read “Elements of Style,” and then get on with the discussion.

    First of all, [The] Elements of Style should be italicized, as it’s the title of a book. In a medium which had no universally-accepted way of indicating italicization, such as plain-text e-mails, this wouldn’t be a sticking point, but here, where HTML rules, you’ve opened yourself up to those who love pædantry.

    Second, the manual fetishized by so many is a poor and hypocritical excuse for a usage guide.

  188. #188 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Hehe. The climate kooks are smarmy little brats. We won’t miss you!

    If we wanted to “debate” AGW, we’d actually post over there.

    Buncha fuckin babies.

  189. #189 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Bill Dauphin:

    ?Kseniya is somewhere in MA? I’m in the Hartford, CT, area.

    Kseniya posted a few times about a month ago, AFAIR, but beyond that I haven’t seen her much at all, which is a pity.

    I also see Teh Merkin, NewEnglandBob, and Blake Stacey are in or around Boston, so there’s more people than I thought (at least 7 if I’m counting straight) who can recommend a suitable embibing emporium for the 20th/21st of March. Most likely, I’ll be in Boston that weekend, staying a few days into the following week to have a look around a bit before flying back to CA to fly back to Sweden (yes, I know it’s crazy, but it’s the cheapest way for me to do it). My only regret is not getting to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, where I’m led to believe there are bars where there’s a bottomless pint glass for any genuine Paddy for as long as he can belt out ballads in a sufficiently broad brogue, which I can do for far longer than it takes me to fall off my bar-stool ;o)

  190. #190 Robert W
    January 13, 2009

    I believe that you are confused, the right would have been perfectly delighted if the left had been civil towards President Bush. I admit that I do not recall precisely, but after the 2000 election did my side not ask for a show of national unity? Did we not ask you to support President Bush? I thought that your side was invited to support your President, but I could be wrong.

    It’s hard to support a man who STOLE THE FUCKING ELECTION by disenfranchising 40,000 mostly black voters in Florida. At least, it’s hard if you care about things like integrity of our democracy, justice, truth. You know, those things?

    Fuck.

  191. #191 Blake Stacey
    January 13, 2009

    Bush’s war time civil rights measures pale in comparison to FDR’s and Wilson’s. You can start a conscription, censorship, wage and price controls, internment camps, sedition laws and proceed from there.

    One of these things is not like the others.

  192. #192 Tabby Lavalamp
    January 13, 2009

    Bill Green (#100) wrote:

    Unfortunately, lack of civility and plain nastiness seem to characterize many left-leaning outlets.

    I always get a kick out of reading crap like this from conservatives who appear to be entirely unfamiliar with the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, etc., etc., ad infinitum. The liberals are nasty pieces of work, but conservatives are just telling the unvarnished truth it seems.

    I’m sure there is a quote about motes, beams, and eyes.

  193. #193 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Marilove,

    Fuckity fuck fuck!

  194. #194 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: MattE | January 13, 2009 11:50 AM
    “If your minimum level of acceptance is for people who publish, there is minimal room for conversation here.”

    It’s right under his nose and MattE still doesn’t get it.

  195. #195 marilove
    January 13, 2009

    not unlike the liberal use of “fuck” that exposes a shallow verbal tool chest of adjectives from which to express oneself.

    FUCK! It seems to me that you’re pretty fucking ignorant on how fucking amazing the world “fuck” is! It is the single most useful word in the fucking English language! You can use it for so many fucking different ways, it is fucking astounding! I want to fuck, I want to get fuck, fuck that’s awesome!, fuck! I just stubbed my toe, oh I can’t fucking believe I just got fucking fired for looking up fucking porn at work!, fuck do I love a good hamburger, man I can’t believe that fucktard just got elected, oh fuck we’re crashing!, oh fuck me harder!

    etc. and so on.

    “FUCK” is a great word. THE fucking greatest, perhaps.

  196. #196 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Eleven minutes between double posts. I am impressed.

    I kid. Please do not let my teasing prevent you from posting again.

  197. #197 abb3w
    January 13, 2009

    Using incivility insures that the object of it will not think about the rest of your message; they will obsessively focus on attacking you due to the incivility. Civility insures that if there is any chance they are capable of thought, they will consider it.

    Often, there isn’t any such chance. At which point, yes, it’s pleasant to be able to vent, especially on some nice relatively private place. You just shouldn’t delude yourself that you’re going to convince anyone on the brink (or already off into la-la land) with such remarks.

    Of course, psychology and neurology aren’t my shtick; perhaps someone with expertise in those fields can explain this phenomenon… or explain to me why I’m a horse’s ass for believing it is one. More useful would be to explain what is generally involved from a neuropsychological framework perspective with “someone changing their mind” (or at least, point me towards a book or paper in the right direction).

  198. #198 Bill Green
    January 13, 2009

    I am again remined why I generally don’t visit places like this. I regret the time I have lost posting here.

  199. #199 WRMartin
    January 13, 2009

    Tom The New Here Gray @106:

    blah, blah, blah… This is an admission that this is not a science blog.

    Close but not quite. From this blog?s subtitle:

    Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal

    That is a declaration that this is not a science blog.

    Who threw the concern troll smoke bomb in here? The smell of concern farts is getting overwhelming. Phew.

    P.S. Reality is that obnoxious, confusing, and downright unrespectable stuff going on all around you.

  200. #200 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Right back at ya Bill Green. ;)

  201. #201 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Bill Green,

    I, too, regret the time you lost posting here.

  202. #202 Craig
    January 13, 2009

    I must say I’m disappointed. I thought the point of science was to argue from the data, not sling mud. I’m not a “denialist”, that offensive term that seeks to link to anti-semitic revisionists. I am a skeptic. I’m waiting for actual scientific evidence, and am finding little outside of politically-motivated organizations.

    This is nothing like the evolution vs. creationist debates. The case for AGW is not even close to that for evolution, and being skeptical of it is nothing at all like clinging to mythical fantasy.

    How being rude advances your argument is not at all clear to me. I find it unconvincing.

  203. #203 Joan
    January 13, 2009

    Mr Meyers, you are an idiot having no clue about climate change, but ready to describe everyone who have opinion different from your as “pseudo-scientific”. This sort of stupid arrogance of uniformed people is the main reason why you, left-wing fanatics, lose every open debate with “deniers”.

  204. #205 Brian Coughlan
    January 13, 2009

    I am again remined why I generally don’t visit places like this. I regret the time I have lost posting here.

    Not half as much as we’ve regretted having to read it …

  205. #206 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    “AJ Milne: Heh. ‘In the next few years’. Ya don’t mind if I call that out, now, do ya?”

    Not at all, meet you at http://www.longbets.org/

  206. #207 Sara
    January 13, 2009

    “I am again remined (sic) why I generally don’t visit places like this. I regret the time I have lost posting here.”

    You regretted posting here so much that you decided to waste time posting here, AGAIN, to point out how much you regretted wasting your time posting here?

    Wait, I’m confuzzled….

  207. #208 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Joan | January 13, 2009 12:39 PM

    …This sort of stupid arrogance of uniformed people…

    This has been one of the more entertaining threads in a while. PZ, what is the uniform you wear?

  208. #209 JonathanL
    January 13, 2009

    This sort of stupid arrogance of uniformed people is the main reason why you, left-wing fanatics, lose every open debate with “deniers”.

    Why yes Joan, we all wear uniforms. How ever did you know?

    Twit.

  209. #210 Glen Davidson
    January 13, 2009

    This has been one of the more entertaining threads in a while. PZ, what is the uniform you wear?

    Obviously it’s the uniformitarian uniform.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  210. #211 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Mayhempix

    “If your minimum level of acceptance is for people who publish, there is minimal room for conversation here.”

    It’s right under his nose and MattE still doesn’t get it.

    Absolutely correct. MattE, it isn’t you publishing per se, but rather the data you use having been published. That separates the wheat from the chaff. Most anti-AGW stuff is chaff.

  211. #212 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    craig@203,

    Discussions of AGW here remind me of debates with the Seventh Day Adventists that appear at our doors. When they can’t answer they assume that if they brought back the “experts” they could answer. They probably have never once read a climate research paper? Or, at best, they’ve opened a journal before but couldn’t understand it?

  212. #213 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Bill Green | January 13, 2009 12:11 PM
    @135
    “I agree with your definition and think, as I said, that it is very common at left-leaning outlets.”

    As opposed to rightwingnuts like Bill O’Reilly who thinks liberals come to the conclusions they do because they are “pinheads”.

    You are a fucking idiot because you have convinced yourself that the left somehow uses ad-hominem attacks more than the right and the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Little Green Footballs, Free Republic, et all.

  213. #214 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    I love how the deniers call us left wing idiots for supporting the science but scold us for calling their bunk pseudo-scientific.

    Oh the irony.

  214. #215 melatonin
    January 13, 2009

    So, only a few hours until the tedious cuntrags and dickwads slither back under their rocks.

    *waves at the morons*

  215. #216 Darth Wader
    January 13, 2009

    I shall neither ignore nor yield to ignorance.

  216. #217 jharp
    January 13, 2009

    Great post. Thank you.

    You are my kind of person. I have you bookmarked and will visit often.

  217. #218 Watchman
    January 13, 2009

    The Internet is not an inherently civil place. There are several hypotheses about why. Shitcock.

    The notion that the Right invited the Left to be civil and to unite behind Bush, and that the Left ungraciously refused, is pure bullshit. When is polarization ever a unilateral problem? Some of the most acidic and divisive voices in the history of acidic and divisive voices have been coming from the Right, and continue to.

    Fuck. [murmer] You know, it?s easy. Starts with a nice soft sound fuh ends with a kuh. Right? [laughter] A little something for everyone. Fuck. [laughter] Good word. Kind of a proud word, too. Who are you? I am FUCK. [laughter] FUCK OF THE MOUNTAIN. [laughter] Tune in again next week to FUCK OF THE MOUNTAIN.

    (OT, but I have seen traces of Kseniya within the past week or two, over on the “Another Shooting” thread, and the “Brockman Asks” thread.)

  218. #219 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    We can’t help it if you find our posts, and attitude generally, uncivil. If so, why don’t you, and I say this politely, just fuck off?

  219. #220 Blake Stacey
    January 13, 2009

    This is nothing like the evolution vs. creationist debates.

    Oh, yes it is. The people who challenge AGW employ the same sleazy tactics of misdirection, misrepresentation and outright lying as the creationists do.

    The case for AGW is not even close to that for evolution,

    Evolution is one of the most well-checked and solidly established ideas in human history. The case for something else could be weaker than the case for evolution and still be strong indeed.

    and being skeptical of it is nothing at all like clinging to mythical fantasy.

    If AGW denialists actually employed scientific arguments instead of throwing about spuriously “scientific” jargon — every term, number and citation serving as handmaiden to their fantasy — this would be more convincing.

  220. #221 marilove
    January 13, 2009

    Commenting seems to be b0rked after the upgrade or whatever, because I am certain I did not hit submit twice!

    But fuck it, the word fuck is so great it deserves to be there twice.

  221. #222 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    marilove,

    I’ve no objection to ?fucking? (either linguistically or physically), but I enjoy insults for their amusement value, and I find inventing epithets like ?stomach-churning lump of mouldering duck vomit? or ?cowgull? (a portmanteau of ?coward? and ?seagull?, used to describe one-time posters of a pantload of bullshit) is usually more amusing than calling them a ?fucking retard? or somesuch. That’s not to say that colloquialisms like ?dumb as dirt? don’t have a certain earthy charm, but I tend to prefer something slightly more creative, like ?thick as goose-shit in January?. De gustibus non est disputandum, I suppose.

  222. #223 jharp
    January 13, 2009

    Great post. Thank you.

    You are my kind of person. I have you bookmarked and will visit often.

  223. #224 JPBrowning
    January 13, 2009

    Sigh, I highly doubt that most anyone here is trying “convince” any denier of anything. We all understand how pointless it is. If facts and evidence can’t even convince you that facts and evidence exist, what chance do we have?

    So, by the arguments I’ve heard, if we aren’t trying to convince you, being rude and uncivil serves no purpose, good or bad, and it becomes our choice. We choose to vent. So please, enjoy the “go fuck yourself.”

    Good Day (see, again ending with good tidings. I’m as civil as any denier, creobot, or right-wing lunatic).

  224. #225 Steverino
    January 13, 2009

    africangenesis,

    If JohnnyB had mentioned FDR or Wilson, then I would have referenced both, but he did not. I was posting in the context of his statement and the ?apples and oranges? comparison he was trying to make.

  225. #226 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    There’s something really screwy about that Weblog vote. Every time I go over to vote (once a day) it’s always Watts Up ahead by about 1000 votes, this morning it’s 10,908 for us and 12,689 Watts Up. Did they get a 1000 vote head start? (Yes Kel, my math sucks.)

    I’m remembering back to the millionth comment contest, the Pharyngula fry came out in hordes, it’s hard to believe Watts Up has as many readers or voters as PZ does.

  226. #227 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    A clarification: being rude does not mean lunging for the other guy’s beard and giving it a gratuitous twist. It doesn’t mean you have to use profanity, even. It means calling out bullshit when it is ladled up in front of you.

    That kind of incivility is actually very useful. It breaks the logjam of useless Alphonse & Gaston style deference and forces both sides to dig right into the substance of their differences. And when one side harrumphs off and leaves the fight because you haven’t shown the proper amount of obligate respect for their cherished delusions, it gives you a free hand in ripping them apart.

  227. #228 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Joan – Fuck off.

  228. #229 Tabby Lavalamp
    January 13, 2009

    Bill Green wrote:

    I am again remined why I generally don’t visit places like this. I regret the time I have lost posting here.

    Yes, it is sad the way we didn’t honourably buy your honourable bullshit in trying to honourably paint left-leaning outlets as lacking in civility and full of nastiness while honourably implying that conservative nastiness is just “fighting hard”.
    So now that we’re not honourably buying your honourable bullshit and honourably agreeing with your every honourable utterance thus honourably changing our dishonourable liberal ways, you’re now honourably playing the honourable victim and honourably announcing your honourable intention to never honourably bestow your honourable presence on our dishonourable selves again.
    How honourable you are.

    Unfortunately, lack of civility and plain nastiness seem to characterize many left-leaning outlets. I see it as a weakness. Greater strength would be demonstrated by strong arguments presented with honor. There is a difference between fighting hard and fighting dishonorably.

    Ad hominem always has been, and still is, a lazy and morally flawed substitute for good arguments and honest interaction. I find that when I am uncivil or nasty, I usually feel the worse for it.

    Poor dear. You must be postitively and honourably bedridden right now.

  229. #230 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    I guess it is an indication of what a twisted person I am but I see the words fresh meat and all I can think about is Fresh Fruit For Rotten Vegetables. So here is a track.

  230. #231 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    Not at all, meet you at http://www.longbets.org/

    Hmm. You make an interesting proposition. Actually profiting from the deliberate dishonesty of others is attractive, now that you mention it. I might think of it as payment, really… Seems to me I am due a few bucks at least for putting up with the ranting of a certain troofer who polluted an office environment I was working in a while ago…

    Don’t suppose you have a specific bet in mind? I see there’s a few up there already from climate skeptics and those apparently unimpressed by their antics. Got a fave already?

  231. #232 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 13, 2009

    By being rude you perpetuate hate

    Being polite doesn’t reduce hate, it just covers it up in lies.

    and the right/left divide and the same old politics that got us into our current mess

    You’re a bit off here. It’s not the “divide” that got us into this mess, it’s “the right”.

    or we could forget the trivial differences between our opposing views

    That’s fine, but what about the huge, gaping differences, the ones that are simply impossible to reconcile?

    Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, the Right has zero interest in “forgetting our differences”. Indeed, they are intent on continuing on as if they were still in charge, and people like Obama and Reid seem content to let them call the shots in the name of nonexistent bipartisanship.

  232. #233 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    Oooh PZ, you’re so masterful. Kissy kissy.

  233. #234 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    A clarification: being rude does not mean lunging for the other guy’s beard and giving it a gratuitous twist.

    Which is even ruder if the other guy is female.

  234. #235 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009
  235. #236 SteveM
    January 13, 2009

    re 198:

    Using incivility insures that the object of it will not think about the rest of your message; they will obsessively focus on attacking you due to the incivility. Civility insures that if there is any chance they are capable of thought, they will consider it.

    I do not post much but I read this blog regularly and in general it appears to me that for most of the “regulars” (aka “minions” and “sycophants”) the insults and incivility do not start until it is painfully certain that the target of the abuse is already closed to rational argument. In almost all cases, politely expressed opinions (no matter how opposed to the “liberal bias here”) generally get polite responses. People dropping in and for their first post unloading a “Myers you bigoted asshole…” get the flaming they deserve. Also people who repeatedly post the same bible verses or worn out creationist myths about evolution get little patience because it is clear they will ignore all arguments anyway.
    So, yes, insults will close an open mind, and most of the commentators here appear to understand that and refrain from insults until it is clear that the mind is already firmly closed.

  236. #237 Ben
    January 13, 2009

    @213 AG said: “Discussions of AGW here remind me of debates with the Seventh Day Adventists that appear at our doors. When they can’t answer they assume that if they brought back the “experts” they could answer.”

    Come on, AG, use something new. You’ve already used that analogy about four times on this blog. In your words, I challenge you to challenge yourself!

    (Yeah, yeah, tell me this is an ad hominem attack.)

  237. #238 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM | January 13, 2009

    A clarification: being rude does not mean lunging for the other guy’s beard and giving it a gratuitous twist.

    Which is even ruder if the other guy is female.

    Just think what it is like for dwarfs. Especially when it is rude to point out that you are a female.

  238. #239 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Mmmmm… Sashay passed me big boy, and I’ll give you a gratuitous twist on the behind.

  239. #240 Quiet Desperation
    January 13, 2009

    “This is not a science blog”

    That was René Magritte chiming in.

  240. #241 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ PZ

    > And when one side harrumphs off and leaves the
    > fight because you haven’t shown the proper amount
    > of obligate respect for their cherished delusions,
    > it gives you a free hand in ripping them apart.

    This is great if you’re just arguing with the one side, I grant you.

    The problem I have with incivility as a default position is that it assumes a closed context between you and the idiot you’re arguing with. This isn’t a classroom, where one disgruntled moron will leave and let you continue your lecture and educate the remaining undergraduates.

    It’s an open symposium, where the large majority of people who are unconvinced either way are drifting in and out of different talks, some offered by smart people and some by idiots. Many of these people aren’t bad people, they’re just undereducated. They lack the ability to differentiate between the quality of one speaker and another. More to the point, some of the speakers are actively attempting to proselytize the view that a class of speakers (in which you are included) are in fact of low quality, by introducing false standards.

    The context of the argument now is not who is right and who is wrong, but instead who is actually capable of presenting quality information in the first place. This isn’t a battle of truth or facts, it’s a battle of trust.

    And if you’re being a generic ass, when one of those undereducated people drifts by your talk, they have little reason to trust you, so they walk on. This is a lost educational opportunity.

  241. #242 René Magritte
    January 13, 2009

    Ce n’est pas une science blog!

  242. #243 SEF
    January 13, 2009

    @ Bill Green #100:

    This is the greatest weakness of the new atheist movement. Ad hominem

    I suspect you are being ignorant and/or dishonest about either what ad hominem means (despite knowing the magic words) or on where it occurs, ie about which side is actually guilty of it. Hint: it’s not generally the atheists here.

    But you can confirm or deny that by being precise about who exactly is a “new atheist” and showing us copious examples of them doing what you claim – especially in contrast to non-new ones or non-atheists not doing it (ie what the population probabilities are). Otherwise you are merely trying (incorrectly*) to get away with defaming atheists via the vagueness of your “new atheist” term; and aren’t even succeeding in distinguishing them by the thing you claim to be a distinctive feature.

    * The legal situation (in the UK at any rate) is that you can be sued by more people for being vague, in that you are potentially including a greater number of innocent wounded parties, than if you were specific. Again, as with ad hominem, the bulk of ill-educated cargo-cultish followers tend not to know the truth on this.

  243. #244 marilove
    January 13, 2009

    I’m not a “denialist”, that offensive term that seeks to link to anti-semitic revisionists. I am a skeptic. I’m waiting for actual scientific evidence, and am finding little outside of politically-motivated organizations.

    Ah, so you’re a psuedoskeptic! Good to know!

    #223: I like the simplicity yet complexity of the word “fuck” — it is just so versatile! It can be used when you’re happy, excited, amused, sad, angry, annoyed, surprised, horny, tired, hungry, etc.

    That and “fucktard” is like, the greatest insult ever. I also like “asshat.”

  244. #245 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    My favorite kind of creo/winger posts are the ones where they post something so transparent and false but seem to think it’s a valid argument we’ve never heard.

    It’s like dropping a seal into a shark tank.

    Sometimes its fun to coax them and string them along and then devour them, sometimes the waters have been still for too long and they get torn apart immediately.

    Rarely do any of the creowingers have an open mind or an original thought, and that’s usually because they’ve been linked to PZ from some cesspool of ignorance.

  245. #246 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Janine, BF:

    Just think what it is like for dwarfs.

    Hmmm… What about PIXIES?

  246. #247 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    Ben@238, Give me a break, I think I’ve only used it twice before, and most of the people here are obviously unfamiliar with the climate dicussions we’ve had. I don’t see you complaining about the f-bomb, troll, denialist, whining and twit arguments, and they each have been used more than 7 times. Be consistent.

  247. #248 SEF
    January 13, 2009

    @ Jeremy C #109:

    you can vote oce every 24 hours – that doesn’t seem honest to me.

    It makes sense for a web log competition though. One might like to imagine that the ideal voter checks back through the archives of each before coming to an informed opinion, but in reality that won’t be happening. Assuming there are any non-partisan voters at all, they’re far more likely to react to just the new content – which for active blogs could easily be changing on a daily basis. Eg some days PZ posts more science than on other days (when it might be more politics or more about religious criminality or …).

  248. #249 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “I’m not a “denialist”, that offensive term that seeks to link to anti-semitic revisionists.”

    “Denialist”, it is a descriptive used to explain a certain type of behavior. It is not specific to Holocaust Denialists but AGW Denialists love to play the victim and claim that it is to avoid discussing real peer reviewed facts and studies.

    denial |di?n??l|
    noun
    the action of declaring something to be untrue : she shook her head in denial.
    a statement that something is not true : official denials | his denial that he was having an affair.
    Psychology failure to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion or to admit it into consciousness, used as a defense mechanism : you’re living in denial.

    AGW Denialists ignore, distort, parse and/or make up facts to support their emotional, ignorant, religious, bigoted, political and/or business points of view. In the case of man-made climate change, denying insurmountable scientific evidence is Denialism.

  249. #250 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    “AJ Milne: Don’t suppose you have a specific bet in mind? I see there’s a few up there already from climate skeptics and those apparently unimpressed by their antics. Got a fave already?”

    I’ve been looking, and most are pretty “safe.” None of the predictors are going out on a limb very far. I’m tempted to make my own. I’m plenty willing to stick my neck out and take my licks if proved wrong.

    Keep an eye on http://www.longbets.org/

  250. #251 bsk
    January 13, 2009

    Surely there should be some scientific criteria for nominating a “science blog”…

    I know, I know, IT’S THE INTERNET.

  251. #252 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    This is not a science blog!

    This is not a love song!

  252. #253 pvrugg
    January 13, 2009

    “oh, yes, it would be so goddamned rude to point out that a huckster is lying to you.”

    You sexy, hairy, sexy beast…

  253. #254 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Clickback on Bill Green and peruse his reading list. It’s all you need to know about Bill.
    And Joan? Blow me.

  254. #255 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM | January 13, 2009

    Hmmm? What about PIXIES?

    Do pixies in Discworld have beards?

  255. #256 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ SteveM

    > I do not post much but I read this blog regularly
    > and in general it appears to me that for most of
    > the “regulars” (aka “minions” and “sycophants”)
    > the insults and incivility do not start until it
    > is painfully certain that the target of the abuse
    > is already closed to rational argument.

    Really?

    I grant you that PZ’s blog attracts a pretty persistent class of troll, who will go on blathering idiocy well past the point of being shown (politely) that they’re being an idiot. That unfortunately comes with being a popular science blog, you see that quite a bit over at Phil’s place too, particularly on the antivaxx threads.

    On the other hand, I have noticed posts that are critical of our host’s worldview have a tendency to draw the immediate label of “troll” from someone. Perhaps not the regulars, but in general I see the gut reaction is less of “let’s see what this person has to say” and more of “here’s another one of our persistent trolls!”

    Try it sometime. Create an alter ego, log in here and play Devil’s Advocate for a week. Don’t be a troll, but pick a nuanced and at least somewhat defensible position that can be argued against the general opinion of the thread. For every reasoned response you get, you’ll get more, “You’re just an idiot/blowhard/nut”.

  256. #257 PlaydoPlato
    January 13, 2009

    OK. After reviewing all the troll posts so far, I’ve come to the following conclusion: incivility is like kryptonite to a right-wing, creotard!

    fucktastic!

  257. #258 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Pat Calahan:
    It’s a BLOG. It’s not a symposium and not every entry has to be didactic.

  258. #259 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    “AJ Milne: Don’t suppose you have a specific bet in mind? I see there’s a few up there already from climate skeptics and those apparently unimpressed by their antics. Got a fave already?”

    Keep an eye on http://www.longbets.org/

    My prediction will be made under the user name yamahaeleven. It will post in the next couple of days, they don’t put them up immediately. As it costs $50 to post a prediction, I’ve already put some money where my mouth is. Be glad if some of you would do the same for your side. Hopefully, we’ll come up with a mutually satisfactory recipient for the bets.

  259. #260 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake René Magritte:

    Ce n’est pas une science blog!

    It’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe and blog is masculine :)

  260. #261 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Joan | January 13, 2009 12:39 PM
    “This sort of stupid arrogance of uniformed people is the main reason why you, left-wing fanatics, lose every open debate with “deniers”.”

    Oh really? What “open debates” were they and who decided the outcome?

    Also, if I recall correctly, the majority in the US voted for Obama and likewise the GOP for McCain, both whom recognized the real science of AGW.

    Your stupid arrogance is showing…

  261. #262 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Emmet, you indelicate slut, everyone knows pixies don’t have beards. Snowsnakes and Snipes do.

  262. #263 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Janine, BF:

    Do pixies in Discworld have beards?

    I’ve no idea, I was just hoping you’d be able to finally answer the long-standing question: What about PIXIES and DWARFS?

  263. #264 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    My prediction will be made under the user name yamahaeleven. It will post in the next couple of days, they don’t put them up immediately. As it costs $50 to post a prediction, I’ve already put some money where my mouth is. Be glad if some of you would do the same for your side. Hopefully, we’ll come up with a mutually satisfactory recipient for the bets.

    Sounds promising. Care to pass on the specifics now? I could use those.

  264. #265 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM | January 13, 2009

    I’ve no idea, I was just hoping you’d be able to finally answer the long-standing question: What about PIXIES and DWARFS?

    We will have to get the ants running and ask Hex.

  265. #266 AnthonyK
    January 13, 2009

    Well, picking an argument on, say, something political could have the effect of attracting insults, but hey, we’re grownups. And speaking personally if I found my views were being attacked in an unfair and abusive manner I’d either be rude back and defend myself, or leave.
    I love the fact that there is – sometimes – great rudeness here and even greater profanity. It may be juvenile, it may be over the top, but it’s Pharyngula, and it’s far and away my favourite blog.

  266. #267 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Patricia, OM:

    Emmet, you indelicate slut, everyone knows pixies don’t have beards.

    I didn’t know pixies were Brazilian ? you learn a new thing every day.

  267. #268 Cpl. Cam
    January 13, 2009

    Janine,

    Just so you know I have the most righteous, ass-kicking beard on this site and it is merely a seasonal affectation.

    And what the fuck is with all this new atheist, old atheist shit? What, I’m an “old atheist” just because I live in California and people here are a little less proud about flaunting their ignorance and superstition so I don’t have to laugh in anyone’s face on a daily basis?

    Never fear religiots I feel the same way about your silly “world-view” as Richard Dawkins does but as long as you stay in Alabama or Texas or the Vatican or Jerusalem or Terhan or Mosul or any other backwards hellhole were these fundies seem to congregate and STAY OUT OF CALIFORNIA you won’t have to hear it from me, ok.

  268. #269 Ben
    January 13, 2009

    @247 AG, those aren’t worn-out, inaccurate analogies.

  269. #270 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Pharyngulites know that engaging in Whack-A-Troll is good for relieving stress and reveling in a little schadenfreude.
    Conservofascists can dish it out but they mewl like coddled brats when you toss it back at them.

  270. #271 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    AJ Milne,

    My prediction is as follows:

    I predict that the global average temperature increase will be below the IPCC 3rd Assessment report, chapter 9, figure 9.14 1S92C low prediction by 2012.

    You should agree that my prediction is easily falsified by January 13, 2012.

  271. #272 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Cpl. Cam | January 13, 2009

    And what the fuck is with all this new atheist, old atheist shit?

    As far as I can tell, this is the difference. The new atheist is alive and are open about there lack of belief. An old atheist is someone like Robert Ingersoll or Emma Goldman. They are no longer able to speak.

  272. #273 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 13, 2009

    This site has taken on a classic Stalinist mentality. Mob rule, hatred and cheating in the voting over the last few hours.

    Erm, you’re more describing the Republican Party than anything here, dipshit. In fact, one of the bigger Republican cheaters, Ken Blackwell, might become the new head Republican. Shocker.

  273. #274 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ E.V.

    > It’s a BLOG. It’s not a symposium and not every
    > entry has to be didactic.

    [snort] Certainly, not every entry needs to be filled with scientific rigor. Certainly, PZ as host is allowed to write about whatever the hell he wishes to write about, and adopt whatever writing style he wishes. I’m not attempting to tell PZ what he can or can’t write about. I’m not even attempting to tell PZ whether or not he has a right to encourage incivility; for example, Glenn (#148 above) posits a perfectly reasonable defense of incivility in some cases.

    However, I quote PZ, above:

    > This is a blog by an educator and scientist.

    Notice… not a blog by a scientist. An educator, and a scientist. Someone whose stated purpose is to educate.

    I’m just pointing out to PZ that the consequences of encouraging incivility is that he’s losing out on the opportunity to educate some people. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it isn’t necessarily a good thing. There are reasons to have a public personae that is or isn’t one way or another. There can be good results of adopting that public personae that outweigh the negative results of adopting that personae.

    Nobody’s bothering to argue that point, however. :)

    Instead the vibe I’m getting is that people here seem to want to claim that there is no negative result of incivility. This is plainly fucking stupid, and discounts the actual science of cognitive behavior. Piss people off, and the adrenal gland kicks in and their ability to think rationally is hugely impaired. If you’ve already given up the individual target as a lost cause and you’re merely interested in showing that you can win an intellectual debate, that’s fine.

    However, if you’re pissing off people who might otherwise be inclined to agree with you, you’re cutting off your own nose to spite your face, and you’re not educating those people. In fact, you’re deliberately making it more difficult for those people to be educated, by anyone, to adopt your position.

    Now, admittedly, we all know that textual communication lacks context so this could all very well be largely imagined on my part. I don’t read this blog as often as I read Phil’s (or even other blogs on scienceblogs.com), so I may be generalizing outside my bounds. I grant quite readily that I could be pointing out something that PZ has already considered, weighed, and judged to be a worthwhile trade-off. Hell, he may have written entire blog posts about it elsewhere on this blog. But I’ve never seen him or anyone defending him on the threads in which I’ve participated even acknowledge that there is a consequence to being uncivil. This seems odd, to me.

  274. #275 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Naked Bunny, was that quote by AG? It seems to be a habit of his to call the lot of us Nazis, commies and Stalinists. Dumbass fucktard.

  275. #276 SteveM
    January 13, 2009

    .. pick a nuanced and at least somewhat defensible position that can be argued against the general opinion of the thread. For every reasoned response you get, you’ll get more, “You’re just an idiot/blowhard/nut”.

    I have, several times, (disagreed with the “prevailing opinion”, just not under another name) and have never gotten such totally dismissive replies. That is part of my basis for arguing that the people here generally are civil until presented with clearly closed-minded wind bags. And I don’t think it is because I am all that respected here, I don’t post often so I don’t I have all that much “cred” to keep people from attacking if they really were just out to trash all dissent. I’ve also read plenty of discussions here with people who seem to truly want to discuss their belief in the Bible versus our atheism without trying to prosythletize. They did not get insults and invective.

    So yes I stand by my claim that “a nuanced and at least somewhat defensible position that can be argued against the general opinion of the thread” will not get more insults than reasoned responses.

  276. #277 dean
    January 13, 2009

    Beard fight?
    PZ, I’ve had my beard and mustache since Thanksgiving week 1974. Is yours of similar vintage or is it merely a Johnny-come-lately? :)=

  277. #278 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Janine BF:
    I have a full beard. It was once very dark but now has taken on a Santa-esque air even though I’m a couple of years shy of 50. If you remember Jonathan Frakes with a beard on STNG, that’s what I looked like in my 30′s. Now – meh, but I’m up for a beard smackdown. Take that Emmet OM and your puny ginger goatee!

  278. #279 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    SteveM@277, Can you point to such examples? I suspect that you didn’t hit close to their religions.

  279. #280 windy
    January 13, 2009

    It’s a BLOG. It’s not a symposium

    It’s not? Damn it, I’ve been waiting for the nude male servants to arrive with my wine!

  280. #281 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Pat, does this look familiar?

    Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.

    Your whiney ass judgmental bullshit is boring.

  281. #282 JoshS
    January 13, 2009

    Janine, Bitter Friend – Would it be too much to ask for you to go back to “Janine, Vile Bitch?” It just made me so happy to read that over my morning coffee. The little things, you know. . .

  282. #283 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    It took a few hours but it seems that the weird beard are now spoiling for a fight.

    LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

  283. #284 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    PZ,

    I imagine I’m probably on your list, however, I feel compelled to point out that I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and never posted until recently. I’ve just happened to notice a major uptick in hostility lately, more so than usual. Now I see why that is.

    You are aware — for I have already told you in an earlier letter — that among human beings jealousy ranks distinctly as a weakness; a trade-mark of small minds; a property of all small minds, yet a property which even the smallest is ashamed of; and when accused of its possession will lyingly deny it and resent the accusation as an insult.

    – Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth

    If you’re convinced of your position, be proud that you’re convinced. If you believe you can convince others, try! The one thing you should not do is to openly insult those you’re trying to convince. It’s antithetical to your goals, and if it’s not your goal to convince, then why bother posting about the science of evolution at all? If it’s merely to elicit a response from a cheering squad, I just don’t see the point. Are you Darwin’s Cheerleader since Richard Dawkins already got Darwin’s Rottweiler?

    I did add CA and WUWT to my reader, ever since you complained about them. I had to go see what all the fuss was about. So, for that, thanks. Perspective on the world cannot come from just one source, otherwise we’re as bad as those that believe everything they read in the Bible.

    *cheers*

  284. #285 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake E.V.:

    Take that Emmet OM and your puny ginger goatee!

    Puny, perhaps, but from your description, my coppery chin ornament is much sexier than your snowy old soup-catcher.

  285. #286 melatonin
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Joan | January 13, 2009 12:39 PM
    “This sort of stupid arrogance of uniformed people is the main reason why you, left-wing fanatics, lose every open debate with “deniers”.”

    They used to say that about jailbird Hovind. But the pseudoseptics (creotards and climate deniers) had already lost the important ‘debate’.

  286. #287 Gobaskof
    January 13, 2009

    Damn, I can’t believe I am late for the beard fight. What exactly are the rules in beard fighting?

  287. #288 Zephyr
    January 13, 2009

    Why is it that the folks coming here to disagree have to write novellas in the comments? Seriously, brevity, folks. They’re comments, not a blog within a blog. I didn’t read most of your arguments for civility because they were just too damned long.

  288. #289 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Oh goody! Nude male servants. With wine.
    But do they have beards?

  289. #290 Helfrick
    January 13, 2009

    @Pat Cahalan

    If I read you right, you think that incivility turns people off to the message. I completely disagree. I was turned on to P.Z. about the time of craker-gate (sorry, I hate the term too but it works) because he dared to be disrespectful. I love the idea of speaking honestly about what you are feeling and thinking. There isn’t enough of it in my opinion.

  290. #291 Luis Dias
    January 13, 2009

    Ahah! From the moment I saw the post, I knew this would be a laughing stock thread. People just love to vent their everyday frustrations into something, and nothing better than to do it with creationists. Well, today we have denialists to hit, so why not?

    But I did expect better from PZ. He’s a fucking moron with arrogance abounding, and I love him for it, and now he’s being offensive at a site that I also like pretty much, Climate Audit. It was expected. I also read WUWT, but in a more curiosity-driven state, as if it were a UFO blog or something. It does make preposterous claims, and I laugh a bit out of it. Sometimes, RealClimate or Open Mind make a good laugh out of them too.

    Climate Audit, though, is a different beast. McIntyre does publish in the literature, and some commenters over there also do, the posts are technical and comprehensive, so its clear what they are doing, and the real discussions unfold in a much clearer (and readable) thread than this one, for instance. They have shown how miserable the “Hockey Stick Team” is, and apart from the fact that they *might* give more fuel into denialist territories, I also think that this kind of cutting through the crap is a scientific endeavour. I just happen to pity the idiots that think otherwise.

    Don’t think that being a “skeptic” or a “denialist” is a bad thing per se. As some many people pointed out in here, great, just publish a paper, and it’s true that there have been more papers pointing out a catastrophe than not. Mind though that we’re mostly non-scientists over here, so all we have are clues. And if I trust PZ on biology clues, I won’t exactly trust him on things concerned with Climate, for he’s as clueless as I am with that.

    Personally I smile at the hubris of some scientists who go at great statistical lenghts to try to model what I see as a stochastic non-linear, full of variables and spatial differences event, to predict the consequences of the rising of a constant in the climate. But that’s the only thing I can do. I just hope that the powers that be won’t make many mistakes in this first half of the 21st century.

  291. #292 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Steve C

    > Pat, does this look familiar?

    > Evolution, development, and random biological
    > ejaculations from a godless liberal.

    Yep, that looks like the average idiot troll. So your point is what, precisely? That because there are idiot trolls, acting like an asshat is universally justifiable?

    > Your whiney ass judgmental bullshit is boring.

    Thank you for providing a timely counterpoint to Steve M’s #277. You have successfully discounted everything I was saying without providing a single drop of credible justification for your rejection.

    There is a difference between being critical and being judgmental. Here, let me illustrate:

    “There is a difference between being critical and being judgmental, you dickhead” – that’s judgmental

    “There is a difference between being critical and being judgmental. In the first case, you are talking about…” – that’s critical.

    Oh, I suppose that’s also being “whiny ass”, by your implicit definition.

  292. #293 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    E.V.’s beard has more tickle power Emmet…

  293. #294 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Patricia, I am sorry but women were rather frowned upon at those Greek parties.

  294. #295 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Helfrick #291

    A single anecdotal case has huge generalization issues. Bad social scientist! No biscuit!

    If you read my #275, above, you’ll note that I did in fact acknowledge that there can be positive outcomes to being deliberately offensive. Now, can you perhaps provide me the courtesy (how apropos!) of acknowledging that there can be negative outcomes from being deliberately offensive?

  295. #296 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Ward S. Wanker strikes again.

    Sorry to all the other “weird beards” but my beard which has apperared in different states from goatee to Amish to full over the past 25 years plus would win by a knockout in any match.

    To all proposed challengers: you will be “hair today, gone tomorrow.”

  296. #297 Lord Zero
    January 13, 2009

    Gee, thats really nice. PZ inspires me to be a better scientist. Its make understand which not apply our way
    of thinking, curiosity, excepticism, logic and reason in
    all aspects of our lives, its useless.
    Being a free thinker its the only way worth living.

  297. #298 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Patricia, OM | January 13, 2009

    E.V.’s beard has more tickle power Emmet…

    And where, pray tell, are you being tickled?

  298. #299 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Janine, Yeah I know, but we’re having it here. I think it’s very kind of PZ to provide nude male servants with wine, during the beard match. Now that’s what I call a generous host!
    Windy has dibs on first in line.

  299. #300 blf
    January 13, 2009

    The regular reprobates here are very civil: If you’re an idiot, they don’t mess about saying so. A simple direct “fecking idiot” clearly concisely and surprisingly often explains the problem. Not saying so is uncivil, because it’s a lie.

     ? So opinionates a proud member of the breaded git club?

  300. #301 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Mayhempix,

    There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

    ? Henry David Thoreau

    Peace.

  301. #302 abb3w
    January 13, 2009

    SteveM: I do not post much but I read this blog regularly and in general it appears to me that for most of the “regulars” (aka “minions” and “sycophants”) the insults and incivility do not start until it is painfully certain that the target of the abuse is already closed to rational argument.
    Pat Calahan: I have noticed posts that are critical of our host’s worldview have a tendency to draw the immediate label of “troll” from someone. Perhaps not the regulars, but in general I see the gut reaction is less of “let’s see what this person has to say” and more of “here’s another one of our persistent trolls!”

    I suspect that the willingness of the regulars to head over to Abuse after losing hope at the Argument Clinic may set a bad example to newcomers and irregulars… who, seeing insults are “acceptable” in some circumstances, presume they are socially acceptable generally. And the failure of a regular and respected someone to say, “now, now… one foolish post isn’t enough to prove a total fool” doesn’t help.

    Obviously, someone who comes in to the blog and starts off grossly rude to begin with from their initial remarks deserves abuse in return. A preface that “since you show no hint of being civil, I see no reason to remain so” might help emphasize the threshold to newbies. Similarly, calling the folly of a fool to be folly by fool is eventually justified. I would suggest use of Goldfinger’s Rule (“Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action”).

    The difficulty would be with the typical “drive-by” variety of troll, who posts something to provoke reaction, with no further comments. I feel that tolerating an immediate insulting accusation of “TROLL!” risks eroding the blog’s reputation for integrity. I would suggest it might be more desirable to have a cultural norm of asking “Are you serious, or trolling?” rather than a declaratory accusation. Perhaps a regular who does not sign in with TypeKey (or cares to create the dedicated TypeKey ID if not yet claimed) might wish to use the name “Speaker-To-Trolls” as the de facto standard handle that does such checking.

    However… it’s PZ’s blog; he gets to decide what he wants to put up with. I’m just part of the peanut gallery here, and not even a regular poster.

  302. #303 Gobaskof
    January 13, 2009

    #275 Pat Cahalan:

    Notice… not a blog by a scientist. An educator, and a scientist. Someone whose stated purpose is to educate.
    I’m just pointing out to PZ that the consequences of encouraging incivility is that he’s losing out on the opportunity to educate some people.

    The kind of people who are being insulted, climate deniers and creationists, normally do not want to learn, and if someone was to try to teach them science they would probably have to start from the beginning. The educating parts of this blog are normally on more advanced scientific issues (e.g. the chemical replicators post a couple of days ago).

    You can’t expect every blog by a scientist to be a respectful and polite blog that constantly teaches basic science for the wilfully ignorant. Instead we have a blog that teaches those who want to learn, and insults those who are wilfully ignorant.

  303. #304 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Patricia, I found a hidey hole for us. Just go down to the second photo.

  304. #305 WRMartin
    January 13, 2009

    Pat Cahalan @275:

    Piss people off, and the adrenal gland kicks in and their ability to think rationally is hugely impaired.

    And that?s when the hilarity begins. See, some humor is based on exaggeration. Exaggerate your average Creotard and there?s little left other than spittle and foam. Making them dance is like emptying your revolver at the feet of the local town imbecile. It won?t win you friends from the local noise police but it can be quite amusing at times. If you can get them to stumble and fall into some horseshit, all the better.

  305. #306 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    What bothers me is this common false dichotomy: Either we are obnoxiously polite and never get our points across, or we are rudely confrontational and Speak The Truth. The reality isn’t much like that, but insisting or implying that it is so certainly serves the urge to be a mobbish bunch of dicks. PZ added a touch of nuance at #228, at least, but I think Pat Calahan is dead on. Simple rudeness, not merely a lack of excessive politeness but bonus, free-wheeling insults, is just not really constructive, and it turns most conversations to shit. Not least the conversations about touchy and complex topics.

    Fundamentalists think you’re fuckwits and you think they’re fuckwits. They don’t learn anything when you call them a fuckwit, except that you think they’re one. Calling people ‘fuckwits’ anyway is usually defended in this culture by the claim to the platonic truthfulness of your position, that you in particular get to say that because you happen to actually be right that they’re a fuckwit, but that’s worth nothing in a conversation whose purpose is communication, not masturbation. Nobody has ever been called a fuckwit so many times by people they disagreed with that they eventually went “Gee, maybe I’m stupid and they’re right”.

  306. #307 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Janine, What! Are you wanting to play show & tell in the midst of a beard fight? Why you saucy minx!

  307. #308 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    E.V.’s beard has more tickle power Emmet…

    But, unlike the resplendent efflorescence below my lip, his crude faceful of wan yard-brush bristles might chafe a lady’s thighs.

  308. #309 melatonin
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Luis Dias | January 13, 2009 2:10 PM
    “I also think that this kind of cutting through the crap is a scientific endeavour. I just happen to pity the idiots that think otherwise.”

    lol, McIntyre is no more than a common pseudosceptic. Read the deltoid thread on his efforts to defend Pat Michaels misrepresentation of Hansen. It illustrates how the climate fraudit’s ‘cut through the crap’, producing a concentrated shit-sandwich.

    And Watt’s blog is laughable. Leif pulling him up on posting that BS temp data (with the 6th order polynomial)was great. The dude’s a dope.

  309. #310 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Pat Calahan:
    You made several valid points; I agree with you. That said, I add that many individuals that come to discuss topics civilly are usually answered by very well tempered, well versed posters. Trolls are another matter. Sometimes it is difficult to discern trolls from those who are truly curious but basically repeat pseudo arguments that have been debunked numerous times before.
    The spectrum runs from Chuck Wagner, Fr. Whosit, and a host of obvious trolls, to Walton, whose repressive upbringing has crippled his intellectual capacity, who was treated civilly when he first started posting. There are huge fights between those who cling to Libertarian ideals and those who -well, consider them to be shite (the ideals, not necessarily the believers) and gun laws and on and on.
    Truth Machine is an example of a once respected contrarian/misanthrope who wore out his welcome, which brings me to the final point: why do people keep posting when they obviously dislike the site and those who regularly post here? Bill Green sashayed out in a huff because no one seemed to give a shit for his opinions. His humiliating kiss-off missive will soon be forgotten but odds are that he’ll come back to try to sway opinion once again. There are several blogs that I’ve become disenchanted with and never felt compelled to comment or return for reading (Are you reading this UTI?) for a myriad of reasons. I read Pharyngula for many reasons, and I’ve learned a great deal from the posters here, chief among them that I’ve allowed framers like Nisbet to rule my life and keep me muzzled for years for fear of insulting the religious majority I was once a part of, the very group that I knew lied through there teeth to propagate an ideology in order to dictate behavior and keep themselves in power (while living off of donations and gifts). (yeah, I know, I have issues…)
    For those who despair about incivility, don’t start any shit and there will be none flung back at you & don’t pull out a cudgel and then start bawling when your opponent reflexively pulls a gun.

  310. #311 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    Also, I think ginger goatees are getting an inappropriately harsh treatment in this thread…

  311. #312 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Some ladies wear chaps.

  312. #313 Luis Dias
    January 13, 2009

    @melatonin,

    Don’t know about that Hansen affair, but in my book, Hansen is a “real life Big Fucking Troll”, independently of GW being a real threat or not, so I won’t complaint if McIntyre dissed him.

  313. #314 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Fuck. How about this. Someone says something stupid. You tell them it’s stupid and why it’s stupid. If they don’t like it, which they never do, tough.

    Everything doesn’t have to be constructive.

    Pat is a douche bag because he didn’t recognize the line that’s just beneath the name of the blog. Everyone who frequents this blog knows exactly what it’s about. And for some concerned AGW denier to come here and tell PZ and the regulars what the blog is SUPPOSED to be about is fucking stupid.

    Pat hang around if you like. Just quit saying stupid shit.

  314. #315 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Ahh, the concern trolls are out in force. OK trolls, tell me how to politely make you go away, with you understanding that I consider you to be an absolute fool for what you are saying.

    I’ll get the popcorn.

  315. #316 Ivar
    January 13, 2009

    I stand tall, alongside comrade PZ. He speaks truth.

    The “incivility” being talked about is much less about obscenities, and much more about calling a spade a spade . Witness the weeping that took place in religious circles when the State of Washington permitted a display over the Xmas holidays that found fault with all religions. That is example of GOOD incivility, in my book.

    It is appropriately uncivil to object to church support for the teaching of creationism in our schools, with ridcule. Their position (age of earth =6K years?) is worthy of intense ridicule.

    Long live PZ and his blog!

  316. #317 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Janine, Haw! That is perfect. I wish I had a tee shirt from there.
    Believe it or not I’ve actually been to Humptulips, WA and Bucksnort, TN.

  317. #318 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Some ladies wear chaps.

    A sentence which is exactly one word too short.

  318. #319 ThirtyFiveUp
    January 13, 2009

    DarkSyde at Daily Kos has posted his take on this kerfluffle.

    http://darksyde.dailykos.com/

  319. #320 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    I’m just sayin’, “calling a spade a spade” isn’t as innocently honest as it sounds when you already know your interlocutor firmly believes it to be a club.

  320. #321 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Nobody has ever been called a fuckwit so many times by people they disagreed with that they eventually went “Gee, maybe I’m stupid and they’re right”.

    No, but sometimes they get the hint and fuck off to go be fuckwits somewhere else. I’m not here because I have nothing better to do with my time than to spoonfeed knowledge to individuals whose intent is not to learn at all but to beat me about the head as soon as I’ve leaned far enough forward with the spoon. The fundies don’t come here to learn; calling ‘em a fuckwit or giving ‘em a handjob won’t make a difference either way. They’re going to go back to their churches where their meth-smoking, pole-smoking, altar-boy stroking preachers tell ‘em that homosexuality and materialism are the downfall of man, can I get a witness (and a donation in the collection plate)? If they were interested in biology, they wouldn’t only accept the biology that they got from Cornfed, local moonshine-swilling squatter turned preacher and faith healer. They want answers to their questions? They want a basic education in evolution?

    Then they can get the marks to go to a decent school and shell out the hundreds of bucks for good quality textbooks and magazines, and journal articles and so on like the rest of us here did.

    Similarly, you want to run in the Boston marathon? Then quit complaining about how rude the other runners are for refusing to pull you in your wagon, put the twinkie down, and start fucking training, fatass. Otherwise, get the fuck of the course.

    To RyanG @ #33:

    Amen. I’m glad this blog has people like you around.

  321. #322 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Steve_C,

    Fuck. How about this. Someone says something stupid. You tell them it’s stupid and why it’s stupid. If they don’t like it, which they never do, tough.

    Everything doesn’t have to be constructive.

    While I agree with the general idea of what you’re saying, all too often the “why it’s stupid” is forgotten in the zeal of “tell them it’s stupid.”

    You can’t convince people by punching them in the face, and that’s a terrible way to start even if you do intend to follow up with a convincing argument. All it does is project your own insecurities onto others. That’s what bullying is really all about.

    Incivility was what Martin Luther King and Gandhi were all about, but the way they went about it was what made them legends. If our purpose is to educate, there are great ways to do that, and none of them have ever involved being a cretin.

  322. #323 Lubo? Motl
    January 13, 2009

    Well, I think that this is a decent competition and people should naturally be polite, and the bloggers whom I know actually are.

    On the other hand, in a broader context, I agree that nasty hacks and charlatans, such as the self-described fu-cking ejaculating liberal extremist running this blog, should be derided and pissed upon.

    Decently, of course.

  323. #324 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Steve C

    > Someone says something stupid. You tell them
    > it’s stupid and why it’s stupid.

    You’re omitting the fact that there are other people involved in observing the conversation. That’s fine, you have a right to do that. I reserve the right to point it out. I’m amused that you seem to be so offended by me pointing this out. I’m further amused that you can’t just concede the point and move on.

    (you’re also conveniently avoiding the fact that you need to provide the “why” to use this as a defense, which at least in the particular case of responding to my post, you failed to do).

    > Everything doesn’t have to be constructive.

    Oh, noes! An implied false dichotomy! Your Rhetorical Skilz defeatz me! Note: things that aren’t constructive don’t necessarily need to be destructive, either.

    > Pat is a douche bag because he didn’t recognize
    > the line that’s just beneath the name of the blog.

    I see, so I’m a pejorative because I lack full context. (I’m so inclined to paraphrase Churchill!)

    But you stay classy, Steve. Every time you open your (rhetorical) mouth, you’re providing evidence of precisely what I’m talking about :)

    @ Breakfast

    > Nobody has ever been called a fuckwit so many
    > times by people they disagreed with that they
    > eventually went “Gee, maybe I’m stupid and
    > they’re right”.

    I agree (thanks for the nod of support there), but actually I’m less concerned with the fuckwits and I’m more concerned with the people who are neither rational empiricists or fuckwits, but who get tagged by the excrement flung at the fuckwits and thus decide that the rational empiricists are just asshats.

  324. #325 dinkum
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian:

    I’m not here because I have nothing better to do with my time than to spoonfeed knowledge to individuals whose intent is not to learn at all but to beat me about the head as soon as I’ve leaned far enough forward with the spoon.

    Very nice. May I use that with impunity?

  325. #326 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    If I go to a creationist site I do try to convince them. If they come here spouting stupid things, I often give them a one or two post chance to show that they’ll either respond to ideas or will actually read something link I’ve posted. But those types of visitors are very very rare.

  326. #327 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Puny, perhaps, but from your description, my coppery chin ornament is much sexier than your snowy old soup-catcher.

    Great Emmet, just great – now I have to get the screen wipes.

    But, unlike the resplendent efflorescence below my lip, his crude faceful of wan yard-brush bristles might chafe a lady’s thighs.

    I keep a well trimmed beard, thank you, and a little conditioner after shampooing does wonders for any thigh chafing that might arise and leads to the reason why I don’t need chapstick?.

  327. #328 John Phillips, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    Steve B | January 13, 2009

    A true atheist would question everything, particularly something that is taken on faith!

    Steve B, True atheist! Is that anything like a true Scotsman? Ironic that the fucktard doesn’t even know the meaning of the word he so blithely uses. A hint for you Steve B, the word itself says nothing about questioning, only about a lack of belief in god/s.

  328. #329 melatonin
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Luis Dias | January 13, 2009 2:37 PM

    “Don’t know about that Hansen affair, but in my book, Hansen is a “real life Big Fucking Troll”, independently of GW being a real threat or not, so I won’t complaint if McIntyre dissed him.”

    lol, perhaps. But independently of Hansen being a troll, McIntryre’s behaviour in defending Michaels was not that of an honest auditor. It showed his sloppiness and tendency for misrepresentation. I wouldn’t trust him audit to my daily turd. His aim is to obfuscate the science, and he does it well enough – sometimes he even finds a nugget, which is then paraded around the deniosphere like a head on stick. But he has become some sort of NASA conspiracy phreak.

  329. #330 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian, by any chance were you wearing your fedora while you typed that?

  330. #331 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Be my guest, Dinkum.

  331. #332 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    I agree, Brownian — it’s likely impossible to persuade and educate most of the people you encounter in these contexts in any serious way. But let’s not praise ourselves for being assholes to them as though by doing so we educated them…right? And in a context where the real goal is to persuade and educate, and there is any hope of doing so, we had better take an approach that works and doesn’t only antagonize. What that is, and what actually makes for progress in the public square, seems to me to be very hard to figure out, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve ‘fuckwit’.

    As an aside, the term ‘concern troll’ pisses me off — this group shouldn’t need a label with which to dismiss anyone who disagrees with its consensus. There’s nothing trollish about what I’m doing at this moment; I’m trying to have a sensible conversation about something that really concerns me, and I’m open to rational persuasion, as I hope everyone else here is too. ‘Concern troll’ is an embarrassingly ideological way to denigrate the motives and reasoning of dissenters. (I mean, there probably are some genuine concern trolls out there, but far fewer than regularly get accused of it.)

  332. #333 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    On the other hand, in a broader context, I agree that nasty hacks and charlatans, such as the self-described fu-cking ejaculating liberal extremist running this blog, should be derided and pissed upon.

    Decently, of course.

    Bring it.

  333. #334 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Pat. You’ve proven you’re a boring concern troll. How long have you been posting here? How many topics have you posted on? You don’t know anything about what goes on here other than the language gets spicy and that we don’t suffer fools.

    And you’re still saying stupid shit. Who exactly is this third party watching from the sidelines? People like you?

    Who thinks like this “Those pharyngulites are right about that stupid argument made by that poor ignorant creationist, but why did they have to be so… mean?”

    Really?

    I’m not concerned or offended. Annoyed is appropriate though.

  334. #335 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Lubo? Motl:
    What the fuck is a conservative physicist?

  335. #336 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    Wow, first time visitor here. Bunch of angry little alarmists.
    Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning the way science is done. You all stay warm, ok? ;)

    Vote for Watts.

  336. #337 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    No, Tony. We LOVE when people question science. It gives us a larger pool of people to laugh at.

  337. #338 Jo
    January 13, 2009

    Your blog is the best…and it does not need to win any phony, meaningless award to prove it. Those of us who read you, know it.

  338. #339 dinkum
    January 13, 2009

    The problem with concern trolls is that they can’t be bothered to do their fucking research. Whining about civility is simply the same ‘framing’ bullshit that has been discussed, dissected, and roundly rejected here a long time ago. A little back-reading or simply lurking for awhile really isn’t all that fucking difficult, and when you don’t do it, it’s obvious.

    Instead, snorting hand-wringers drop in, pass sanctimonious judgment, and start preaching. Blah blah fucken blah. Concern is noted. Heard it before. Still not interested.

  339. #340 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    @ John Phillips, FCB “Steve B, True atheist! Is that anything like a true Scotsman? Ironic that the fucktard doesn’t even know the meaning of the word he so blithely uses. A hint for you Steve B, the word itself says nothing about questioning, only about a lack of belief in god/s.”

    Perhaps I wrote incorrectly, I shouldn’t presume, but how do most atheists become atheists? Shouldn’t we/they use similar skepticism when confronted with dogma of any kind?

  340. #341 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    E.V. – I think that’s someone that only takes half their dose of laxative.

  341. #342 Ryan F Stello
    January 13, 2009

    Tony Byron (#337) peered into his navel,

    Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning the way science is done.

    I suppose if you think posting an article without much analysis is a way of “doing science”, then yes, I can’t stand that.

  342. #343 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Steve C.
    I have to dissent on your branding Pat as a concern troll. I tend to side with Brownian on the matter, but feel Pat’s POV is well reasoned and sincere, and entitled to his opinion. Whether you feel this is worthy of a flame war is your prerogative, but reread Pat again, he’s not a raving ideologue issuing ultimatums over false dichotomies.
    As far as I’m concerned, Pat and I will just agree to disagree on this issue. (Notice how I’m not attacking you, just disagreeing with you; I’m saving that for Lubo? )

  343. #344 windy
    January 13, 2009

    I feel that tolerating an immediate insulting accusation of “TROLL!” risks eroding the blog’s reputation for integrity. I would suggest it might be more desirable to have a cultural norm of asking “Are you serious, or trolling?” rather than a declaratory accusation.

    Didn’t we use to have something called a three post rule? I’m sure the meat will still be fresh enough even if we let it hang a bit.

  344. #345 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    but how do most atheists become atheists?

    There seem to be three main ways. 1) No indoctrination a children. 2) Reading the bible cover to cover and realizing what a horrible book it is (my discovery). 3) Realizing at some point you are being lied to about god and the bible.

  345. #346 scottb
    January 13, 2009

    Wow, first time visitor here. Bunch of angry little alarmists.
    Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning the way science is done. You all stay warm, ok? ;)

    Pat, you go ahead and handle this one for us, OK?

  346. #347 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    As an aside, the term ‘concern troll’ pisses me off — this group shouldn’t need a label with which to dismiss anyone who disagrees with its consensus.

    Concern troll is concerned about ?concern troll??

    Just kidding. Couldn’t resist.

    The people who get accused of being concern trolls, but aren’t really according to the true definition of the term, are usually infrequent or very new posters who post a condescending screed against everyone on some triviality, which is not simply dismissing someone who disagrees with the consensus. At one time or another, pretty well every regular poster here (including me) has gone against the consensus and/or upbraided, or been upbraided by, individuals for their choice of terminology, their opinion, or for being nasty. I don’t know about you, but I see a distinct difference.

  347. #348 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    And you’re still saying stupid shit. Who exactly is this third party watching from the sidelines?

    You’ve never run a blog before and run stats on it, have you? There’s hundreds of people that read mine without commenting. Many people just don’t feel the need to be a part of the peanut gallery. If they’re offended enough by what I’ve said, they tell me so.

    Sometimes they just come in “off the street” from Google or whatever and read an entry that’s long since cooled down and nobody is still actively responding to.

    It’s like having a loud argument in a restaurant and imagining that nobody else hears you and that, even if they do, it’s “none of their damned business anyway.”

  348. #349 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Steve C

    > You’ve proven you’re a boring concern troll.

    This is laughable. You don’t know anything about me, Steve, and yet you have decided to place me in a nice little container that conveniently allows you to ignore everything I say. You’ve done this, I might add, without actually acknowledging *anything* I’ve said.

    > How long have you been posting here? How many
    > topics have you posted on?

    Excuse me, but how is this germane to the rightness or wrongness of my observation? If this is the barrier to evaluation, how can anyone new ever offer anything of import?

    > You don’t know anything about what goes on
    > here other than the language gets spicy and
    > that we don’t suffer fools.

    This presupposes many things (for example, that one is required to comment in order to actually read the blog). It also ignores the fact that I already mentioned the fact that I don’t read this blog often, and that my point may already have been addressed.

    Lots of blogs have spicy language. Lots of blogs don’t “suffer” fools. What you (specifically, in this thread, I don’t know about your general demeanor elsewhere on this blog) are doing here is tagging people immediately as a “fool”.

    Shit, Steve, I’m not even asking you to outright *agree* with me (as I pointed out in 275, above)… just actually nod your head and acknowledge that being an asshole can occasionally have negative side effects. Other people have done it (Denker, E.V. for two examples), it doesn’t cause their entire position to crumble into nothingness.

  349. #350 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Patricia:

    I think that’s someone that only takes half their dose of laxative.

    Or a savant with a hemispherectomy.

  350. #351 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Nerd of Redhead | January 13, 2009

    but how do most atheists become atheists?

    There seem to be three main ways. 1) No indoctrination a children. 2) Reading the bible cover to cover and realizing what a horrible book it is (my discovery). 3) Realizing at some point you are being lied to about god and the bible.

    I am afraid I was not so intellectual about this. I remember allowing Jesus to enter my heart. But I never felt anything. So I decided not to lie to myself about this.

  351. #352 Helfrick
    January 13, 2009

    @Pat Cahalan

    I’m neither social nor a scientist. I have in fact heard that anecdote != evidence. You claim to defend the sensibilities of some unknown, easily offended crowd with nothing but your own conjecture. So I submit my story in hopes that you realize this blog will attract people open to this form of discourse.

    I did read your post. It’s not uncalled for open hostility and rudeness that is usually on display here. It is a lack of deference to poor reasoning and superstition that you see. I would agree with you if the situation fit your criteria, but I don’t see how it does. The type of people I see getting offended here are the ones that say “I’ll pray for you” to an atheist.

  352. #353 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    “” but how do most atheists become atheists?”

    There seem to be three main ways. 1) No indoctrination a children. 2) Reading the bible cover to cover and realizing what a horrible book it is (my discovery). 3) Realizing at some point you are being lied to about god and the bible.”

    Now use a similar frame of mind, methods 2 and 3, and apply it to other forms of dogma!

  353. #354 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    but how do most atheists become atheists?

    Drop that final god.

  354. #355 Alyson
    January 13, 2009

    Shouldn’t we/they use similar skepticism when confronted with dogma of any kind?

    Dogma is defined, IIRC, as: an idea held to be incontrovertible as declared by an authority.

    If we’re talking about climate change science, the only “authority” is the reality of information. The climate is changing, and in ways that can be directly traced to human beings’ behavior. It would be convenient to ignore that, or find ways around it, or to look down our noses at the slavish adherents to the mindless dogma of biology and meteorology, or to “open our eyes” to the wondrous possibilities inherent in sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting, “I can’t hear you!” But it takes a lot more intellectual effort to accept that if we continue to behave in the same way, the Earth will be fried and life as we know it will be untenable.

  355. #356 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ E.V.

    > As far as I’m concerned, Pat and I will just agree
    > to disagree on this issue.

    Probably the case :)

    There are a number of different layers of this conversation, and you can argue it all the way down to what the actual purpose of the blog is (in PZ’s mind, metaphysically speaking) vs what the consequent of the blog is (in the collective “every reader ever”‘s mind, metaphysically speaking). It’s not a “turtles all the way down” argument, but it does pass out of the realm of a general commentary on constructive discourse and into that metaphysical realm, which is somewhat outside the scope of Pharyngula.

  356. #357 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Tony B @337 is the Global Warming Denialist version of the creationists who spout,”So if we’re descended from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?”

    (How can there be global warming if it still gets cold?) Idiot.

  357. #358 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    I’m not being an asshole. That’s what you fail to understand. You’re being the asshole.
    You can be an asshole without uttering a curse word.

    Do you always bust into parties, and ask to shut off the loud music and to stop serving beer, because you don’t think that’s the appropriate way to behave?

    It’s stupid to come to this blog and tell us the way we’re behaving isn’t effective. Did anyone say that it was supposed to be effective/positive?

    Jesus Christ on a cracker.

  358. #359 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    I am afraid I was not so intellectual about this. I remember allowing Jesus to enter my heart. But I never felt anything. So I decided not to lie to myself about this.

    Expecting not to have to lie to yourself isn’t intellectual? That is what an intelligent person would do. I would put you into #3 on my list.

    I just pulled the list from my memory banks of the threads where PZ asked people to tell about their deconversions. It isn’t a complete list by any means, and the order may be off–even way off. Everyone’s journey is their own, but a lot of paths overlap.

  359. #360 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    Concern troll is concerned about ?concern troll??

    :p

    There is a difference, sure — but I’m still troubled if outsiders are labeled just because they disagree.

    It is fair to say that this stuff has been discussed to death here, though. The problem is, people still seem to just want to be rude a lot of the time (and that false dichotomy of polite vs. rudely accurate keeps getting bandied about). It pays to remember that this is not a PR outreach program, but a like-minded community, though. I just get very suspicious when I see attitudes seem to take on that settled, mobbish, crusading moral certitude that we so like to blame others for. The feeling that comes out of posts like PZ’s here is that there’s no such thing as being ‘too rude’ when in the service of truth, even if any individual, if pressed, would admit that there are some reasonable limits.

  360. #361 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “” but how do most atheists become atheists?”

    In my case I was born that way, but I have many friends who once they realized it was OK and safe not to believe in a god(s), dropped the chains of programmed religious ignorance.

  361. #362 LotharLoo
    January 13, 2009

    Steve B:

    A true atheist would question everything, particularly something that is taken on faith! I’ve followed this whole global warming charade for over 20 years, and had been a devout follower of the anthropogenic theory of catastrophic global warming until I realized that the whole thing is based on the thinnest of evidence. As anyone here heard of “dependent on initial conditions?”

    Thank you Steve. I was convinced by your post but I felt bad that the majority of the scientists don’t know the contents of your great post. It’s a desperate time so I submitted it with your name to one of the peer-reviewed journals, hope you don’t mind. Is it now too late to ask you if the contents of your post was solid and would not cause any embarrassment for you?

  362. #363 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Breakfast, I agree with much of what you’ve been writing, and I don’t think you’re being a concern troll (yes, that term bothers me too, as do the professional whiners who that term is supposed to be applied to.) Pat has also made a few good points. There are a few I’d like to add my two cents to (No, I’m not wearing my fedora Patricia, and I’ve just shaved my beard, so I’m feeling a little vulnerable and thus uncharacteristically nice today. Sort of.)

    About being called a fuckwit: yes, it sometimes works, or at least it’s worked on me, both directly and indirectly. As a rather brash and opinionated individual, I’ve been called out more than a few times for talking out of my ass. It wasn’t always in a manner as rude as being called a fuckwit and nor was it always as polite as ‘hush, the adults are talking now’, but it always stung. And if you’re the type who thinks, it can make you stop and consider why such learned individuals might not be as interested in your flip opinion based on no actual knowledge of the subject whatsoever as you are in delivering it. And if you’ve got a heart as cold and black as mine, you’ll think even further about how you can trip up those pompous eggheads at their own game, and you’ll run off and study the subject. And more often than not, you’ll realise just why those pompous eggheads were right after all. As for indirectly working, nothing freed me from my gong-fu induced woo-ishness than realising a few of my venerated heroes were full of shit because others that I respected weren’t afraid to call ‘em on it. That’s where the collateral damage comes in–it can actually be occasionally useful. (What? PZ just called Benny Hinn a fraud? But, but, I just sent him little Lurleen’s college fund. He can’t be a–ahh, I see now.)

    But there are those who come here and are genuinely interested in learning but have, unfortunately, been filled with misinformation (and who knows what else) by their respective churches, and get tagged for it. What can I say? In my case, I know it’s a little bit of battle fatigue, and it’s a little bit of ?once bitten, twice shy.? I?ve been burned here so many times by fundie trolls in sheep?s clothing that I?m afraid I?m a little gun shy and trigger happy. I don?t like it, but there it is, and sometimes I mistake genuine commenters for trolls. (And trolls aren?t always trollish nor non-trolls never trollish.) But I?m not above apologising for it (nor am I above slipping back into bad habits), as Randy Stimpson and David Heddle can both attest to.

    This said, is there room for civil comments and civil commenters? You bet your ass there is, and I?m extremely grateful for the posters on both sides of the divide that are, not because I think they?re better or more effective or more godly or whatever, but because they?re not me. And I can learn from them.

    This place isn?t a salon–it?s a saloon, and PZ?s the bartender and proprietor. He doesn?t haul out his shotgun often but he?ll do, more often than not because you?re complaining about the noise rather than shooting tequila bottles off the bar while swinging from the wagon-wheel chandelier. You can enjoy a quiet conversation here if you want (killfiles make effective earplugs), but if this place isn?t your style, you?re always more than welcome to head to the lounge at your local Chili?s.

  363. #364 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    Michael X said:
    “No, Tony. We LOVE when people question science. It gives us a larger pool of people to laugh at.”

    Please try to pay attention Michael.

    I said: “Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning the way science is done.”

    If you don’t know the difference between science and the way science is done then please ask a grownup to explain.

  364. #365 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    @Alyson:

    “Dogma is defined, IIRC, as: an idea held to be incontrovertible as declared by an authority.

    If we’re talking about climate change science, the only “authority” is the reality of information. The climate is changing, and in ways that can be directly traced to human beings’ behavior.”

    Bingo! Someone is thinking here! Listen very carefully to what you just said. We are no longer talking about “Global Warming,” instead “Climate Change!” Of course the climate is changing! There just happens to be a small minority that is just not buying the “we’re **cking up the planet with everything we do” philosophy. Sure we are doing some nasty things, but shouldn’t we be applying resources to those things that science and economics show we can remedy quickly and cheaply? Do any of you realize how much mitigating and reducing carbon dioxide emissions is going to cost humanity? Do you realize any idea anyone has come up with to reduce CO2 emissions WON’T CHANGE SQUAT? Are you all prepared to build 2 to 3 nuclear power plants every week to make an actual dent in CO2 emissions? Did you know that for every watt of power generated by wind or solar has to be backed up by a watt of base-load generation, such as coal or natural gas? Didn’t think so.

  365. #366 Tabby Lavalamp
    January 13, 2009

    Jesus Christ on is a cracker.

    Fixed it so Bill Donohue doesn’t fly into a rage.

  366. #367 Glen Davidson
    January 13, 2009

    You’re omitting the fact that there are other people involved in observing the conversation.

    Actually, we’re well aware of that fact. That’s why we treat morons like morons. I do usually try to answer politely to a polite comment, but at the second one or third one I don’t tolerate a dishonest approach any more.

    What you apparently fail to recognize is that this is the world-wide web, that numerous polite and (by our standards) overly deferential treatments of pseudoscience exist out there. Talkorigins is just one. And you know what I’ve found out? Very few of the IDiots/cretins are at all tolerant of a place like Talkorigins, indeed, they seem to hate it all the more for being thorough and polite.

    Furthermore, there are plenty of forums which are more polite, in which they can engage if they don’t like our tone. So they don’t need to be here at all in order to learn, if they in fact are open-minded.

    So when they come here, often with disingenuous bullshit, they’re really just asking for it.

    And yes, we’re dismissive of mindless jerks because we’re mindful of the audience out there. People ought to be afraid to attack well-supported science, both because we have a good command of the facts, and because we’re not going to suffer fools gladly–unless, of course, they really can support their claims (not something I’ve encountered on the creationist side). What honest science does suffer fools gladly? Apparently, only the one under dishonest attack is supposed to do so.

    The fact is that you’re just unaware of the dynamics of the situation, and shooting your mouth off in ignorance. Most people are frankly not going to be persuaded by the facts alone, because they aren’t going to study the issues sufficiently to do so.

    We can give good short answers to many questions, and we often do so when the commenter is polite–although there are some jerks who simply attack. But we’re not in this just to “persuade,” the fact is that we’re out to make people look stupid when they ignorantly attack science, hence we rightly jeer at people who persist in dishonest and ignorant attacks on science after they have been properly answered.

    Yes, some do so before that, however this is not UD, where people are censored without engaging in truly egregious acts.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  367. #368 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 13, 2009

    Patricia, I am sorry but women were rather frowned upon at those Greek parties.

    Not the flute-playing prostitutes.

    *serves some wine, nudely*

  368. #369 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Teehee. I was hoping he WOULD notice.

  369. #370 Watchman
    January 13, 2009

    You should agree that my prediction is easily falsified by January 13, 2012.

    True enough. However, if you’re right, how will we know it wasn’t due to more than six years worth of proactive global reductions of the anthropogenic contribution to greenhouse gas levels?

  370. #371 Breakfast
    January 13, 2009

    Thanks, Brownian – that all sounds pretty reasonable to me.

  371. #372 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Well said, PZ.

    Well said.

  372. #373 Everbleed
    January 13, 2009

    Too much fun.

    You go PZ.

    Sic ‘em.

  373. #374 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Ah-ha! So it’s you Naked Bunny. You stop coveting all the nude male servants. The rest of us want some wine and groping too. Especially since the beard fight died out so soon.

  374. #375 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    If you don’t know the difference between science and the way science is done then please ask a grownup to explain.

    Science is defined by the way it is done you tiresome twit. It’s a method applied to areas of study arbitrarily defined and classified by man that continue to change in scope and name, but the method remains the same. The systematically organized body of knowledge called “Science” is a product of the method.

    But it’s lackwits who claim to have a better way to truth than through painstaking evidence gathering, hypothesis making and controlled testing, that get the brunt end of my insult stick.

    So you got a problem with how science is done, present a better way. I need a good laugh today.

  375. #376 Alyson
    January 13, 2009

    Bingo! Someone is thinking here! Listen very carefully to what you just said. We are no longer talking about “Global Warming,” instead “Climate Change!” Of course the climate is changing!

    Wow, Steve B! We’re all so happy you could come here and show us the light! Never again will I ever listen to those liberal cranks known as “chemists” or “meteorologists” with their alarmist “experiments” or “studies.” Oh great Einstein, my life is changed! You have saved us all with your healing wisdom! I never knew the difference between “global warming” and “climate change” before! I’m so happy that I listened to YOU. We really need brave souls around here like you, Steve B. Otherwise we might never know anything.

  376. #377 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    @Watchman:

    ” You should agree that my prediction is easily falsified by January 13, 2012.

    True enough. However, if you’re right, how will we know it wasn’t due to more than six years worth of proactive global reductions of the anthropogenic contribution to greenhouse gas levels?”

    Just look at the atmospheric CO2 levels reported by Mauna Loa observations and you will note that there hasn’t been any diminishing of CO2 in the last 3 years. It is unlikely that it will diminish over the next 3 years. You will readily agree that it is unlikely that any reduction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions will occur over the next three years. Anyway, I’m not betting on CO2 levels, just temperature change.

  377. #378 Quiet Desperation
    January 13, 2009

    Emmet: It’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe and blog is masculine :)

    I had my last French class 20 years ago. :-P
    And it was a play on the Magritte painting, so artistic license, please? KTHX. :)

  378. #379 Tulse
    January 13, 2009

    Sure we are doing some nasty things, but shouldn’t we be applying resources to those things that science and economics show we can remedy quickly and cheaply?

    Not if the problem will have long-term and expensive consequences. That would like suggesting that someone with cancer should only take vitamin C and other quick and cheap remedies, rather than getting chemo.

    Do any of you realize how much mitigating and reducing carbon dioxide emissions is going to cost humanity?

    Is that cost greater than what not mitigating and reducing will cost humanity in terms of impacts on food supply, diseases, weather-related disasters, flooding of major coastal regions, etc. etc. etc.?

    Did you know that for every watt of power generated by wind or solar has to be backed up by a watt of base-load generation, such as coal or natural gas?

    Yes I did — did you know that there are carbon-neutral renewables that are suitable for baseload power such as tidal, wave, geothermal, and ocean thermal (as well as more exotic options such as space-based solar and various approaches to fusion)? Did you know that there are various methods for storing power from wind and solar and other intermittent renewables to make them directly suitable for base-load power? Did you know that significant reductions in CO2 could be had through conservation?

  379. #380 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Steve C

    > I’m not being an asshole. That’s what you fail
    > to understand. You’re being the asshole.

    Oh, it’s quite possible that I’m acting in a way that you find asshole-ish. This doesn’t necessarily make me an asshole.

    > Do you always bust into parties, and ask to shut
    > off the loud music and to stop serving beer,
    > because you don’t think that’s the appropriate
    > way to behave?

    Bad analogy. I do, for example, if they’re having a grand old time at 2 am right next door to the house where my two year old is trying to sleep. Hell, I’ll stop the party myself or ask people to tone it down if I’m *at* the party but it’s reasonable to assume you’re pissing off the neighbors.

    Which is basically my point; I’m just mentioning the fact that this *isn’t* a private party miles away from the rest of the world. It’s a public blog, rated very highly among science blogs in particular. People who aren’t scientists come here simply because it is those things. Some of them are going to drop by, read a post like this, and say, “What a bunch of assholes”.

    > It’s stupid to come to this blog and tell us the
    > way we’re behaving isn’t effective.

    Since when is it a net negative to try and offer someone constructive criticism?

    > Did anyone say that it was supposed to be
    > effective/positive?

    Well, again… PZ is an educator. It stands to reason that he’d like to be a good educator. If he’s doing something that I believe may make him less of a good educator, isn’t it remiss not to point it out? Sure, I’m an occasional reader. As I’ve said before, multiple times, what I’m saying may not be relevant, or it may have already been tossed over a few times and judged to be worth the trade-off. I don’t have a problem with people acknowledging what I have to say but discounting it, perhaps providing me a citation or a link to a previous discussion where this has been hashed through before.

    How does any of this make me an asshole?

  380. #381 JeffreyD
    January 13, 2009

    For some reason, I feel compelled to point out to Patricia and others that I have a full, soft, and luxuriant beard. Not sure why, but I must do this. This incarnation of beard was begun on 05 November 1975. Available for perusal by anyone near Charleston, SC or, several times a year, in Washington DC. Photos are available in the lobby, tip your waitresses, try the veal.

    BTW, getting married on 24 Jan 09 so the beard will be off limits after that. :>

    (What? Oh, yes nurse, I will shut down the computer and take my meds now.)

  381. #382 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Alyson, happy to help.

  382. #383 Quiet Desperation
    January 13, 2009

    Concern troll is concerned about ?concern troll??

    And, somewhere, a parcel of dark energy was created.

    That’s almost like an LOLCat caption. CONCERNED KITTEH IS CONCERNED.

  383. #384 John Phillips, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    Steve B said

    A true atheist would question everything…

    Again with the true atheist. Please define what a true atheist is, at least as you understand it. For to repeat, atheism ONLY means a lack of belief in god/s. There doesn’t even have to be a reason for the lack of belief. E.g. someone who had never been brought up with such a belief. Similarly, I know plenty of atheists who have the requisite lack of belief in god/s but believe totally in various shades of woo.

  384. #385 africangenesis
    January 13, 2009

    watchman@371, The Mauna Loa CO2 statistics should tell you that. We are currently ahead of the worst case scenerios, although if somehow the recession can be prolonged …

  385. #386 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    I give up. I get it. I get it. You’re concerned.

    The entire web is a loud party at 2 a.m. and half the people are fall down drunk. That’s why you leave the party and go to the polka club to escape the chaos.

    Ooompah pah pah. Ooompah pah pah. Ooompah pah pah. Ooompah pah pah.

    This isn’t the polka club.

  386. #387 DGKnipfer
    January 13, 2009

    @312,

    I’ll toss my uneducated ginger goatee in to the ring if it gets me some harsh treatment. Just don’t tell my wife.

  387. #388 Chris Christner
    January 13, 2009

    Y’know, when I drop by the comments section for Manchester United, I expect to find soccer hooligans hurling F-bombs in lieu of intelligent conversation. Funny thing is, the conversation on their blog/forum is far more civilized than on this “science” blog.

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach assert:

    …incivility is actually very useful. It breaks the logjam of useless Alphonse & Gaston style deference and forces both sides to dig right into the substance of their differences. And when one side harrumphs off and leaves the fight because you haven’t shown the proper amount of obligate respect for their cherished delusions, it gives you a free hand in ripping them apart.

    FYI, profanity is used to intimidate people or to signal that informality is appropriate (so those who choose to can talk like uneducated cretins) or for cathartic release. But PZ, bless his heart, has come up with a really FRESH use for profanity, who cares if it’s absurd?!

    Why bother expressing yourself like an adult when you can prove the superiority of your viewpoint with a shouted “bullshit!.” And when his regulars chime in with f-bombs, it just makes the science here so much more accessible to the average joe and his family.

    I understand that PZ’s bitter that his blog likely won’t win and expresses his disappointment with jibes about Anthony Watts’ blog. However, Watts has performed signature service by surveying temperature stations and pointing out the pathetic siting of most of them. That accomplishment alone deserves recognition.

  388. #389 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Why JefferyD, you sly dawg you. Congratulations on your engagement! I send you a slutty cyber smooch!

  389. #390 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Hey Christner,

    Fuck off. You suck. Your name sucks too.

  390. #391 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    @Tulse

    “…did you know that there are carbon-neutral renewables that are suitable for baseload power such as tidal, wave, geothermal, and ocean thermal (as well as more exotic options such as space-based solar and various approaches to fusion)? Did you know that there are various methods for storing power from wind and solar and other intermittent renewables to make them directly suitable for base-load power? Did you know that significant reductions in CO2 could be had through conservation?”

    Finally, a real debate! Yes, all of your alternative methods of power generation have potential. Not one of them is ready for prime time. Even if we increase our investments in those methodologies by an order of magnitude, they won’t make much difference for many decades to come. All of the renewable sources you mention are exotic. The 2-3 fission reactor plant construction pace I mentioned earlier is just for covering growth in demand, triple that figure to replace existing power generation infrastructure. Build a smart grid and save over 25% of that, but that is a simple political solution, sorry it won’t get done, too much nimby.

  391. #392 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    Nobody has ever been called a fuckwit so many times by people they disagreed with that they eventually went “Gee, maybe I’m stupid and they’re right”. – Breakfast

    How do you know?

    You can’t convince people by punching them in the face,
    Ward S. Denker

    Erm, this is a blog. No physical contact occurs. Yes I know you’re being metaphorical, but it’s a stupid metaphor: punching someone in the face, other than in self-defence or defence of another, is wrong. Calling them a stupid fucktard isn’t, if you have reason to believe that’s what they are. Yes there are occasions when regulars here, me included, go over the top. Too much exposure to crass stupidity and invincible ignorance tends to lower your threshold. But with creobots, denialists and (yes) “libertarians”, the first post is often enough to indicate that they are not open to reason. Oddly enough, some of the initially most offensive trolls do calm down and present at least an attempt at an argument after they’ve been told what stupid shits they are a few times.

    All it does is project your own insecurities onto others. That’s what bullying is really all about.

    No, I don’t think so. Bullies often have a heightened sense of their own worth and entitlement. The “low self-esteem” stuff has no evidential basis.

  392. #393 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    PZ is an educator. It stands to reason that he’d like to be a good educator

    Pat, PZ is not only an educator. This is a public citizens blog encompasing everything PZ likes or dislikes. Further, even if PZ were solely interesting in education, he need not be an educator every second of every day. In reality, he’s also a concerned citizen and combatant against religious lunacy, and likewise, that doesn’t lead into how he teaches biology in the classroom.

    This blog and it’s content is more diverse than one particular topic that serves more than one audience. If you don’t like religious topics, read up on a Peer Reviewed Research post. Something for everyone.

  393. #394 DiscomBob
    January 13, 2009

    re:#97 (NewEnglandBob)
    “The left has always been the agent of fairness and moderation.”

    Except when you disagree with them, then you’re “a perpetrator of hate”.
    Hmmm, eerily reminiscent of the tactical logic the religious folks use.

  394. #395 Ryan F Stello
    January 13, 2009

    Pat Calahan (#381) “But, But But..!”-ed

    Well, again… PZ is an educator. It stands to reason that he’d like to be a good educator.

    To his students, who pay him to educate them.
    You aren’t in that demographic (whiny finger waggers).

    Since when is it a net negative to try and offer someone constructive criticism?

    What makes you think your criticism is constructive?

    Think of it this way:
    Imagine how horrible it would be if we were welcoming of folks like yourself who ONLY seem to talk about tone and how offended they or others are.

    It wouldn’t be very progressive if we have to stop the “real” threads and wait for the tantrums to stop.

  395. #396 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    Steve,

    Did you know that for every watt of power generated by wind or solar has to be backed up by a watt of base-load generation, such as coal or natural gas?

    Sorry, but just that simple little nugget gave you away. You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. It is wrong on so many levels that I won’t even start — unless, of course, you are genuinely interested in learning something.

    Random question: is being a condescending douche a prerequisite to be a AGW denier? Or is it just the ones that come over here?

  396. #397 Saskboy
    January 13, 2009

    You’ve made an impressive comeback today, even though as you mentioned, you don’t have to have the most votes to be a ‘winner’, you just have to continue to produce a varied and interesting blog based more on fact than on fiction.

  397. #398 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    Christner, you’re an idiot. Do you think I wouldn’t notice that sneaky way you substituted “profanity” for “incivility”? Disrupting a pattern of unwarranted deference to bad ideas does not necessitate cussin’, although you seem to think so.

    As for the rest of you, I have some bad news. There will be no nude male servants here. All we’ve got are rude male servants, so you’ll just have to make do.

  398. #399 Ryan F Stello
    January 13, 2009

    And by demographic, I meant your demographic.
    Just in case you were concerned.

  399. #400 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    However, Watts has performed signature service by surveying temperature stations and pointing out the pathetic siting of most of them. – Chris Chrisner

    The term is signal service, halfwit. If you’re going to tell barefaced lies, at least try to use the right words.

  400. #401 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    What! You expect us NOT to tell your wife. That’s it buster, you just march over to the spanking couch. It’s the one beside the Naked Bunny with a Whip. I’ll be busy sending your wife a naughtygram.

  401. #402 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Pat C.:
    I do have to ask what is your definition of “metaphysics”? It’s much too vague a concept to go undefined and therefore a rampant mantra (and escape clause) for the woo crowd.

  402. #403 Chris Christner
    January 13, 2009

    Hey PZ, check your original quote:

    A clarification: being rude does not mean lunging for the other guy’s beard and giving it a gratuitous twist. It doesn’t mean you have to use profanity, even. It means calling out bullshit when it is ladled up in front of you.

    That kind of incivility is actually very useful…

    I substituted nothing. Your quoted comment and the tenor of comments here prove how you and your little tribe relish the use of profanity and general rudeness to strangers.

  403. #404 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Christner, you could be more wrong, but it would take practice.

    PZ has won this piddling noise contest before and isn’t interested in getting out the vote this year as a simple perusal of previous posts would inform you. Leaning that fact will require effort on your part. I am not optimistic.

    As for your armchair psychology, save it. Profanity can also be used when you get angry for good cause. And scientifically muddleheaded smug little boys like yourself deserve to called such and not treated with kid gloves. You damage genuine scientific inquiry and provide no positive output into the solution of real problems. You are a parasite upon the scientific method and it’s practitioners that provide you with the comforts you take for granted. So if some of them cuss at you for offering a shallow view point or peddling nonsense, don’t be surprised. You deserve it.

    Oh, and not one profane word in that whole post. I suppose it must be to your liking.

  404. #405 JeffreyD
    January 13, 2009

    Smooches back, darling Patricia.

    Now, off for fried shrimp, a tall umbrella drink, and some music.

    Ciao

    Oh, and Christner, since you are worried about profanity, fellate yourself in a sand pit full of squid while being sodomized by a rhino. See, no profanity.

  405. #406 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Stu,

    Yes, I am interested. Post links. But I must say my skepticism on “renewable” power has grown over time. I just don’t see how renewable power can be integrated into our grid as it is currently configured.

  406. #407 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    Hell, I’ll stop the party myself or ask people to tone it down if I’m *at* the party but it’s reasonable to assume you’re pissing off the neighbors.

    Which is basically my point; I’m just mentioning the fact that this *isn’t* a private party miles away from the rest of the world. It’s a public blog, rated very highly among science blogs in particular.

    What an incredibly stupid analogy. No-one is in any way discommoded by this blog unless they choose to read it. If they look and don’t like, they can go away. So why don’t you, you tedious concern troll?

  407. #408 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    What!? No nude male servants. WAH!!!!!

    Well alright for you PZ, you big meany. In that case there will be no bare breasted barfight either. *pout*

  408. #409 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Christner, you’re an idiot.

    I distinctly heard Dan Akroyd when I read that and scanned on for something about a misguided ignorant slut…

  409. #410 JY
    January 13, 2009

    This appeal to incivilty (uncivility?) is a very BOLD endorsement from one that so aggressively attacks the most extreme religious viewpoints–and by extension those holding those views.

    That takes courage…or stupidity (or ignorance, which is a bit different). There’s a fine dividing line between the two.

    PZ, your remark, “I want them to charge in to the heart of the issue and shred the frauds, without hesitation and without faltering over manners.” is one I happen to agree with.

    BUT,

    PZ, you go on to point out that you’re “…a father and husband and am willing to express myself on any topic that strikes my fancy means that there can’t possibly be any science here implies that you are a freaking idiot with a bizarrely narrow view of who scientists are,…”

    That’s a gutsy admission–recognizing the psychology of some of the demographic you’re provoking, or maybe you don’t realize it.

    No doubt you realize that those of that persuasion (especially very many in the religious nut case category) are mentally unstable. It doesn’t take much to provoke them. All it takes is just one.

    Case in point: My wife worked at an abortion clinic for some time, and a remark by a protestor really unsettled her. Something in the manner spoken or something. She couldn’t recall the exact words or “put her finger on it” that was so unsettling. She quit. A few weeks later the doctor was shot & the staff were shot at. All she did to provoke the remark was work there & look at this guy. Which is nothing compared to your latest blog.

    You are inciting uncivil behavior that is [or appears to be] contrary to your stated position as an educator (be uncivil versus educate). Religious whackos just love hypocrites — the extreme in that demographic just can’t resist seeing them as a target. It’s really inspiring to them! Why a family man would go out of his way to provoke THAT type of person is baffling. Read some of the comments closely….if I was you I’d feel like I just became a walking bullseye for some headcase.

    Good luck to you.

  410. #411 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “…had been a devout follower of the anthropogenic theory of catastrophic global warming…”

    Well that’s SteveB’s problem right there. First he was a “devout follower of AGW and now he’s a devout follower of AGW Denialism.It reminds of David Horowitz who was a fanatic leftist in the 60s, became disillusioned when his heroes turned out to be flawed humans like himself and then became fanatic rightwingnut. Fundie personality types are always all or nothing and there is no area in between.

    I for one am never a devout follower of anything, but as far as it goes, I will take conclusions based on the scientific process and peer review over anything posted by a true believer.

  411. #412 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB:
    As anyone here heard of “dependent on initial conditions?” Open your eyes! We live in a world dominated by chaos, one can only make projections an insignificant time into the future.

    and then…

    There just happens to be a small minority that is just not buying the “we’re **cking up the planet with everything we do” philosophy. Sure we are doing some nasty things, but shouldn’t we be applying resources to those things that science and economics show we can remedy quickly and cheaply?

    People then “wonder” about the incivility! Someone comes along, describes the problem as non-linear — then pretends that it should be economically modeled as a linear system! (The underlying assumption of the second point being that there’s a cost-benefit proportionality, and we should make a decision based on that).

    That’s why people get insulted as dishonest, ignorant cretins pretending an intellectual air simple to advance a propagandistic agenda. How else to respond when you discover that your opponent isn’t a “good-faith” interlocuter, but is simply using you as a mark?

  412. #413 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    “Science is defined by the way it is done you tiresome twit.”

    That’s exactly why I said specifically “questioning the way science is done” and not “question science” as you said.

    And by the way, questioning (accepted) science is the path to advancing science.

    I won’t get too detailed here but doing science does not include collecting unrepresentative data from asphalt parking lots and blacktop roofs or cherry-picking dates (in Europe specifically) such as 1991 as a baseline.

    “Tiresome twit” is nice…I appreciate someone who goes outside the box for an ad-hominem. Obviously you are not an average “angry little alarmist”.
    You will be in a subset.

  413. #414 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Glen (#328)

    > People ought to be afraid to attack well-supported
    > science

    I’m having trouble agreeing with this outright. While I sympathize with the underlying principle, I generally find that when people as a class fear something, they marginalize it. IMO, that’s not good for promoting science in the public eye. This is one of those instances where being “right” (correct) isn’t necessarily the end-all-beat-all goal.

    > The fact is that you’re just unaware of the
    > dynamics of the situation

    Why is it that nobody seems willing to note that I’ve already mentioned that this could be the case?

    > and shooting your mouth off in ignorance.

    Hey, Glen? I’m hardly shooting my mouth off… and while I’ll gladly concede that PZ is an astoundingly better biologist than I’ll ever be, I do have something of a familiarity in cognitive theory, philosophy, general science, and argumentation, mmmk? So I’m not exactly an ignoramus.

    > Very few of the IDiots/cretins are at all
    > tolerant of a place like Talkorigins, indeed,
    > they seem to hate it all the more for being
    > thorough and polite.

    Doesn’t this add weight to my point, not diminish it? If, like some on this thread, tweaking the cretins is a good in and of itself, then isn’t this approach more constructive in that regard? And if, instead, the point is to educate, isn’t being thorough and polite a more generally useful approach than vitriol, enabling you to reach a broader audience?

    Now, I’ll grant you that PZ may have decided that other blogs are a better venue for hitting the broad audience, and that his temperament is more suited for grabbing and educating people like Helfrick, who gravitate towards the style. Okay, that’s fine, it’s certainly his right. And if Pharyngula wasn’t a continuous contender for #1 Science Blog, I wouldn’t even have any objection whatsoever. But by his positioning, he *is* attracting that broader audience, at least in drive-by traffic. Like it or not, PZ is one of the few public faces of science blogging.

    So I feel compelled to comment. That’s all. It doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with a lot of what PZ says. It doesn’t mean that I’m attacking his science. It doesn’t mean that I support idiot trolls. I’m just making an observation.

  414. #415 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    “Science is defined by the way it is done you tiresome twit.”

    That’s exactly why I said specifically “questioning the way (the method)science is done” and not “question science” as you said.

    And by the way, questioning (accepted) science is the path to advancing science.

    I won’t get too detailed here but doing science does not include collecting unrepresentative data from asphalt parking lots and blacktop roofs or cherry-picking dates (in Europe specifically) such as 1991 as a baseline.

    “Tiresome twit” is nice…I appreciate someone who goes outside the box for an ad-hominem. Obviously you are not an average “angry little alarmist”.
    You will be in a subset.

  415. #416 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    your little tribe relish the use of profanity and general rudeness to strangers.

    Yes, yes, yes. And you and your little tribe relish smug holier-than-thou attitudes. We can do this forever. But do you see how you’ve actually stated no point and argued no claim? It is this puritanical focus upon style and not content that obsfucates any actual discussion. We actually discuss content. You just don’t like the style and that doesn’t bother us, because in the end, it’s trivial.

    Lastly, only certain strangers generate hostility. And it is those, like you, who enter here with a negative attitude of their own.

  416. #417 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    I just don’t see how renewable power can be integrated into our grid as it is currently configured.

    Christ on a crutch, do you need help carrying those goalposts? Do you think maybe there’s a reason grid overhaul should be, and luckily seems about to become the first priority?

    But thank you for conceding the main point. We can move on now.

  417. #418 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    This incarnation of beard was begun on 05 November 1975.

    Your beard has a birthday? I’m not getting in a beardfight with someone whose beard has a birthday ? the same way you don’t argue about who’s the best USS Enterprise captain with someone wearing spandex and pointy rubber ears.

  418. #419 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Frog:

    “People then “wonder” about the incivility! Someone comes along, describes the problem as non-linear — then pretends that it should be economically modeled as a linear system! (The underlying assumption of the second point being that there’s a cost-benefit proportionality, and we should make a decision based on that).”

    I don’t care about civility, I’m in complete agreement with PZ in that regard.

    Why not use a linear model for short term? We don’t have much else. You will have to agree with me that it is rare for any linear model to be accurate for very long, we should only apply resources to things that give a short term measurable benefit.

    Are you saying that we should use chaotic models for the short term and linear models for long term projection?

  419. #420 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “… the tenor of comments here prove how you and your little tribe relish the use of profanity and general rudeness to strangers.”

    Holy shit! Christo is on to us!

  420. #421 Tulse
    January 13, 2009

    Yes, all of your alternative methods of power generation have potential. Not one of them is ready for prime time.

    Nonsense — there are tidal and geothermal projects generating power at this moment (in Brittany, Spain, Scotland, etc.), and one such plant has been operating since 1966. And unlike conventional power plants, the technology for these kinds of approaches is pretty basic engineering, and doesn’t require much in the way of exotic solutions.

    Even if we increase our investments in those methodologies by an order of magnitude, they won’t make much difference for many decades to come.

    Not at all — as I said above, some are generating power right now, and because most are built not as large megaprojects, but instead as relatively small units that benefit from economies of scale, they are likely to become rather cheap and easy to produce very quickly. It is anticipated that Europe may have as much as 5,000 megawatts of capacity just from wave and tidal installation by 2020, and that is with current investment levels and not an order of magnitude increase.

    All of the renewable sources you mention are exotic.

    Space-based power and fusion are, granted, but not the others, which involve extremely straightforward engineering using current technologies.

  421. #422 frog
    January 13, 2009

    JY: Why a family man would go out of his way to provoke THAT type of person is baffling. Read some of the comments closely….if I was you I’d feel like I just became a walking bullseye for some headcase.

    So PZ should live in fear? And if there are no models of courage, where would anyone else show courage?

    This is about moving the Overton window. The nice moderates get to live in freedom because a few crazy radicals create the cultural space for that.

    Now, of course most of us are hiding in our basements, living quiet lives of anger because we won’t run the risk for all of us — but that’s nothing to be proud of, or to call “intelligence.” It’s just a fact of life — most of us are Kafka moles.

    You are inciting uncivil behavior that is [or appears to be] contrary to your stated position as an educator (be uncivil versus educate).

    This statement, on the other hand, is just plain stupid. It’s a simple-minded version of consistency — sameness across all domains, rather than internal consistency of one domain. Of course, in a university setting civility is the name of the game — hypocrisy would be PZ demanding civility from his students, while he sputtered and insulted them!

    What is happening here is a completely different game — it’s an open forum of debate with a tendency to attract idiots who think their mumblings are on par with the Buddhas. So the rules are different.

    In your little mindset, a “pacifist” would be a hypocrite for playing football on weekends. Now, that’s just a trivially worthless position, no?

  422. #423 DGKnipfer
    January 13, 2009

    @402,

    Sorry but I like to be the one holding the whip; though I do appreciate Bunny for her methods. Besides, my wife is more than welcome to read the blog and I’m posting under my real name.

  423. #424 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    I’m just mentioning the fact that this *isn’t* a private party miles away from the rest of the world. It’s a public blog, rated very highly among science blogs in particular.
    What an incredibly stupid analogy. No-one is in any way discommoded by this blog unless they choose to read it.

    I, for one, was tackled by my Mac and forced to read Pharyngula daily where you rude fuckers breached all decency with your profanity laden abuses hurled toward prigs, assholes and fucking idiots. I will alert the proper authorities at Scienceblogsnow that my offensensitivity levels have been so rudely breached.

    Keep it down you crude fuckers, it’s required reading and a public forum; for as you know, all bloggers on Scienceblogs represent the world’s Science Cartel. *maniacal laugh*

  424. #425 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Erm, this is a blog. No physical contact occurs. Yes I know you’re being metaphorical, but it’s a stupid metaphor: punching someone in the face, other than in self-defence or defence of another, is wrong. Calling them a stupid fucktard isn’t, if you have reason to believe that’s what they are.

    It goes over equally well, that’s the connection. I really doubt that jeers and thrown beer bottles from the pickup trucks of the “south’s gunna rise agin’” crowd ever made a homosexual think “Wow, I never thought about it that way before, I guess I like the opposite sex now.”

    All it’s made them think is, “Where are the cops when you need them?” and “I guess I’m going to have to avoid this area of town now.”

    I find it laughable that some of you are comparing the place to a “rough bar” or a “saloon.” It’s doubtful that many of you would survive an actual rough bar. Now, if you’re saying that this is an “intellectual’s ‘rough bar’” then I say they guy that’s got the biggest gun is the one with the greatest incisive wit with which to mow down terrible arguments. The rest are just pretenders, the intellectual equivalent of the above-mentioned jeering, bottle-throwing bigots.

  425. #426 Hank
    January 13, 2009

    Speaking of idiots have you ever read some of the tripe put out by James Hansen. The guy talks of protecting creation and being carried off by mephistopheles. Ha! The guy needs to put forget the literary pretensions and clean up his data.

  426. #427 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    I just don’t see how renewable power can be integrated into our grid as it is currently configured. – Steve B

    It already is. Currently produces about 6% of total energy used in the US, but 30% of California’s electricity (note: not 30% total energy). The US DOE reckons wind power alone could account for 20% of US electricity by 2030. Some countries, of course, have higher values already.

    The big short-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption and CO2 production, however, lie in energy efficiency and behaviour change – much faster and cheaper than any building programme.

  427. #428 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    From Tulse:

    “Nonsense — there are tidal and geothermal projects generating power at this moment (in Brittany, Spain, Scotland, etc.), and one such plant has been operating since 1966. And unlike conventional power plants, the technology for these kinds of approaches is pretty basic engineering, and doesn’t require much in the way of exotic solutions.”

    Of course all of the renewable methods work, but they are limited, and if they worked real well, we’d be using much more of it already. If you are a denizen of the coast, or near it, how would you like a wave power system within your view? Several wind power projects have been canceled for aesthetic reasons. Many don’t want whales to be chopped to bits by tidal power extraction. Go ahead and produce all the renewable/alternative power you possibly can, it just won’t come close to reducing CO2 emissions to any level that would make a measurable difference.

  428. #429 Don Smith, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    @Nerd #346:
    How about 4) you realize all the annoying people are going to heaven and all of the interesting people are/will be in hell?

  429. #430 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    I may be wrong but I thought Naked Bunny with a Whip was a he.

    And Ward Dinker: I guess you are under-armed in this battle.

  430. #431 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    I say they guy that’s got the biggest gun is the one with the greatest incisive wit with which to mow down terrible arguments.

    Unfortunately, he also thinks you’re a fuckwit ;o)

  431. #432 KnockGoats
    January 13, 2009

    The guy needs to put forget the literary pretensions – Hank

    He needs to “put forget the literary pretensions” does he? You need to attend a remedial writing class. Then you can specify just what data you’re talking about, what’s wrong with it, and where in the peer-reviewed literature the matter has been discussed. Until you can do that, piss off.

  432. #433 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Tony, I wish I could return the favor. You however remain in the majority of insufferable trolls.

    That’s exactly why I said specifically “questioning the way (the method)science is done” and not “question science” as you said.

    My whole point was that these claims are interchangeable and laughable.

    So here’s what I can conclude so far. You speak as clearly as mud, equivocate around the word “science”, provide no clarification, all the while continually claiming to “question the way science is done”. Yet if, as you say, you’re questioning of science is actually just doing science in the typical sense, then all I can request is that you quit spending time on APGW and take an English class and start using phrases in ways that don’t muddle the meaning of your statement.

    For example: “Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning the way science is done” would read, if said by a scientist: “Obviously can’t stand the idea of people questioning YOUR CONCLUSIONS.” See the difference? One statement questions, within science, the conclusions of particular findings, while the other questions science as a method. English!

    Lastly, “tiresome twit”, in the context I used it in was not an ad hominem. It was an insult. If my response to your statement was that I wouldn’t agree with you because you’re a tiresome twit, then it would be an ad hominem.

    I’m afraid if I spend any more time teaching you english I’ll need to charge tuition.

  433. #434 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    JY,

    If death threats and looney posters scared PZ he would of stopped blogging years ago. Sometimes when they are particularly rabid he’ll post relevant information and we all do a little investigating.

    One guy emailed PZ using his wife’s work account. That didn’t go well for the poster.

  434. #435 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Ryan (#396)

    PC> PZ is an educator. It stands to reason that
    PC> he’d like to be a good educator.

    R> To his students, who pay him to educate them.
    R> You aren’t in that demographic (whiny finger
    R> waggers).

    Not in my opinion… sorry. Educators and scientists don’t get to be educators and scientists only when they damn well feel like it and only to the audiences that they select.

    This blog is hosted by Science Blogs. PZ notes in his profile both his profession and his place of employment, right there in the first line. I would imagine he asks (indeed, rightly so) that people judge the relative value of his postings at least partially based upon his profession, and grant him a standing as an expert in biology and at the very least a practitioner of education.

    A scientist (note, again: I freely admit this is *my opinion*) has a responsibility to further the cause of science. An educator has a responsibility to further the cause of education. Particularly for tenured faculty -> you have tremendous authority and privilege granted to you by your standing, and you have a professional obligation to be aware of that, and not abuse that standing. PZ has mentioned agreement with this general principle himself before, by criticizing (rightly so) educators and scientists who abuse their standing to support horseshit outside their actual fields.

    > What makes you think your criticism is constructive?

    Maybe it’s not, but it’s certainly not destructive. Why are you responding as if it is?

    > Think of it this way:
    > Imagine how horrible it would be if we were
    > welcoming of folks like yourself who ONLY seem
    > to talk about tone and how offended they or
    > others are.

    I’m posting comments about tone and offense… on a thread about *tone and offense*. How horrible! I’m posting comments *germane to the topic*, on a comment thread *specifically about that topic!*

    I’m not hijacking some other thread. I’m not commenting about tone on a thread about biology. PZ is positing a standard of behavior, and I’m mentioning possible consequences of that standard. Isn’t that what the comment section of a blog is supposed to be… for? Discussion?

  435. #436 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    This place deserves some kind of award, that’s for sure.

    Surely not science related though.

  436. #437 Lego my Logo
    January 13, 2009

    We need to identify, ban, and tag these deniers now. It should be simple to compile a list for future incidents and to share with other sites. Deniers can yak all they want to themselves but disproven lies have no place in the public scientific arena. They are only further pollution clogging up rational discussion. It might be humorous, but also tragic, that each posted lie also generates further CO2 and wastes more precious energy resources. If we are serious about reason and the environment (the natural, objective one and the virtual ideal one) then we must commit to purging these toxins out of the system.

  437. #438 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Hello KnockGoats,
    Thanks for real numbers!

    “It already is. Currently produces about 6% of total energy used in the US, but 30% of California’s electricity (note: not 30% total energy). The US DOE reckons wind power alone could account for 20% of US electricity by 2030. Some countries, of course, have higher values already.

    The big short-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption and CO2 production, however, lie in energy efficiency and behaviour change – much faster and cheaper than any building programme.”

    I urge you to look into Germany’s situation, they may be one of the countries that have a higher value, much higher, I think. They have to buy considerable amounts of base load power from France and others to make up for the times solar and wind just go dead. That 30% electrical power figure for California must be nameplate power, not average, as wind power only produces that energy at optimum conditions, hence the need for expensive back up power.

  438. #439 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    It’s doubtful that many of you would survive an actual rough bar.

    It’s doubtful you’d survive telling me that in person.

    (Hey, since we’re obviously flexing nuts, now.)

  439. #440 craig
    January 13, 2009

    “Anyone want to bet that the people complaining that this is not a science blog, expecting it to be all science, all the time, have never once read a scientific research paper? Or, at best, they’ve opened a journal before but couldn’t understand it?”

    Maybe, but I can tell you what absolutely IS the case – when PZ posts straight science posts, they don’t read them. You will never find them commenting in those posts’ comments threads. Never.
    They NEVER participate in those threads, they never engage, they never show up to say “my, isn’t this interesting.”

    They ignore the science threads, and that’s why they want nothing but science threads here – so they can safely ignore them in the same way they ignore all other science-related publications.

    They want PZ to stop politically-oriented posting because that’s all they care about, all they HAVE is their political opinion backed up by emotion and nothing else… and their strategy for winning the debate is to convince their opponents to not bother showing up.

  440. #441 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB: I don’t care about civility, I’m in complete agreement with PZ in that regard.
    Why not use a linear model for short term? We don’t have much else. You will have to agree with me that it is rare for any linear model to be accurate for very long, we should only apply resources to things that give a short term measurable benefit.

    Well, there you go again! Some phenomena show threshold effects — climate being a classic example. A series of linear approximations is guaranteed to be complete wrong! It’ll miss the threshold, and once we hit that it will be impossible to respond appropriately.

    We know that the Younger Dryas climactic disruption in North America was triggered within a very short period, for example. It may have made N.A. basically uninhabitable for a millenium. So you suggest that we don’t use our foresight to try to avert such a disequilibration of the system, and instead keep our noses to the grindstone? Seriously?

    Regardless of the quality of our current models (and I do not doubt that they are seriously screwed up), the overall envelope is clear. We are looking at a number of explosive positive feedback loops, from decreasing albedo to ocean acidification and massive methane hydrate release. To just “declare” that away because our models can’t tell us whether current technological practices will bring us to the threshold in 10 years or 100, is insane.

  441. #442 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Bored bored bored. Once again PC wants to determine the ground rules. PZ has avery right to run his blog anyway he sees fit. PZ’s personal blog wasn’t much different when he was running it himself.

    Seed brought him aboard knowing exactly the kind of blog he would run. He and Ed Brayton get into it from time to time too.

    I’m thinking Ed’s blog is much more your speed.

  442. #443 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    It’s doubtful that many of you would survive an actual rough bar.

    I dunno, I can run pretty fast for a short guy.

  443. #444 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Don Smith, FCD

    How about 4) you realize all the annoying people are going to heaven and all of the interesting people are/will be in hell?

    In my post #360 I acknowledged that my list was probably incomplete. Add all you want. And anybody else. It’s on the table, have a go at it.

  444. #445 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    No Tony Byron, YOU should win an award. Would you mind listing your science credentials for the Academic posters here (I am not one, I freely admit) but there are more PhDs and PhD candidates than you can shake a stick at. We’ll all consider your assessment of Pharyngula as soon as you can prove you’re not the trollish buffoon you appear to be. Thanks.

  445. #446 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Pat, for fuck sake. This is the most popular blog on ScienceBlogs. PZ has won numerous awards and he’s always been this way.

    At a certain point the evidence against your claim that PZ’s method is bad simply becomes overwhelming. PZ is successful as a scientist, educator and public intellectual because of the way he is.

    So here is my challenge friend. Either begin to support your claims with real evidence or save it. Your time for assertion is up.

  446. #447 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    5) Hell has all the good bands.

  447. #448 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    I’m thinking Ed’s blog is much more your speed.

    No, no Steve. A lot of us post on that one too.

  448. #449 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    Of course all of the renewable methods work

    Phew. Okay, for a minute there I thought you were actually going to debate that.

    but they are limited

    I assume you mean geographically and temporally? If not, please elaborate.

    and if they worked real well, we’d be using much more of it already

    They simply haven’t been economical yet. Now we can either start fixing that right now, or wait until oil hits $500 a barrel and the entire world economy keels over.

    If you are a denizen of the coast, or near it, how would you like a wave power system within your view?

    Oh no! A bunch of buoys half a mile off the coast!

    And I’d like it just fine if the alternative is hand-cranking my lights in the evening, thank you very much.

    Several wind power projects have been canceled for aesthetic reasons.

    Yes, people are morons. Film at 11.

    Many don’t want whales to be chopped to bits by tidal power extraction.

    Are you serious? Do you have a link for this?

    Go ahead and produce all the renewable/alternative power you possibly can, it just won’t come close to reducing CO2 emissions to any level that would make a measurable difference.

    Depending on how serious we get about it, 20-50% by 2030 sounds plenty measurable to me.

  449. #450 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Dammit! Emmet!!!
    *wipes monitor screen again*

  450. #451 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    And Ward Dinker: I guess you are under-armed in this battle.

    And…

    Unfortunately, he also thinks you’re a fuckwit ;o

    I do believe I have struck a nerve. I got a tired, un-witty cliche meant to deride me and an outright insult (jeers and bottles). Neither seemed to address the point being made, unless I need to consult a numerologist to find the hidden meanings.

    When the response resembles exactly what I predicted that it would resemble, doesn’t that make you the slightest bit embarrassed? Don’t you realize that you resemble most what you like the least? It looks like denial to me.

    I hit a nerve with little more than holding up a mirror. I didn’t have to parody either of you, you did that yourselves. Look hard at what you’re seeing. Is that who you are?

  451. #452 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    This place is what it is, and if it weren’t what it is then it would be some other way. And if it were some other way then some of us wouldn’t be here because we like it the way it is now. Point is, regardless of what goes on here, this place is an enjoyable internet hotspot for many. Pharyngula is interesting, and if you don’t agree you can fuck off!

  452. #453 Grendels Dad
    January 13, 2009

    My four day growth of chin stubble makes me feel like I brought a knife to a gunfight. I?m backin? outa here real slow now?

  453. #454 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “The rest are just pretenders, the intellectual equivalent of the above-mentioned jeering, bottle-throwing bigots.”

    Then why do you come here Ward? Are you a masochist? Or do you like pretending you are above the filthy heathen hordes that desecrate this blog because it gives you the feelings of superiority you lack in real life? I mean let’s get real here. You certainly don’t come here for the community support. Maybe it’s because it’s lonely over on your “Libertarian Atheists” blog and in hopes that somehow someone will gravitate over your way? You definitely tried to bait me to come over to “debate” you on healthcare… notice I’m not that gullible.

    IMHO you seem miffed and feel rejected because the vast majority of us don’t buy into your Free Market God BS and have no qualms about saying it bluntly and to the point. You have even coined a “law” and named it after yourself no less: “Denker’s Law: As the length of an online discussion with liberals increases, the probability of a liberal presenting the false dilemma that a libertarian is either extremely naďve (does not understand the plight of the poor) or morally corrupt (hates the poor) approaches one.” It reeks of victimization while the true meaning inherent in it goes right past you.

  454. #455 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM | January 13, 2009

    I dunno, I can run pretty fast for a short guy.

    Can I call you Rincewind The Wizzard?

  455. #456 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Frog:”Regardless of the quality of our current models (and I do not doubt that they are seriously screwed up), the overall envelope is clear. We are looking at a number of explosive positive feedback loops, from decreasing albedo to ocean acidification and massive methane hydrate release. To just “declare” that away because our models can’t tell us whether current technological practices will bring us to the threshold in 10 years or 100, is insane.”

    Now just how certain are we of these positive feedback loops? Have we seen them in the past? Positive feedback loops should have killed us long before we even walked the earth. Are you saying that the climate system is balancing on a sharp knife edge, and that any perturbation will send us spinning to either hell on earth or hell freezing over? That is what positive feedback should give us, an either/or, no shades of gray allowed, and any perturbation will send it spinning off.

  456. #457 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    When I said “Pharyngula is interesting, and if you don’t agree you can fuck off!”, it was meant to be accompanied by this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_2xGIwQfik

  457. #458 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Am I the only one finding Pat’s concern about civility boring? Yawn.

  458. #459 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Pat Calahan: Not in my opinion… sorry. Educators and scientists don’t get to be educators and scientists only when they damn well feel like it and only to the audiences that they select.

    Now you are really veering into concern trolling. PZ’s entire life must be committed to “science and education”, as if he was some kind Fraa in a concent from Anathem?

    You think that’s a serious point?

    Yes, we get to have multiple lives. We’re allowed to be politicians one day, and educators another. You don’t get to demand that we be straight-jacketed and removed from certain elements of the public and private discourse.

    PZ isn’t required to rigorously describe the digestive anatomy of cephalopods at an orgy — he’s allowed to screw and moan just like everyone else. Only an asshole would demand anything else.

  459. #460 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Ward S. Denker, if it makes you feel better, I have been ignoring you. But I guess I am not now.

    Back to ignore!

  460. #461 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Dr. Wankseed @452:

    I do believe I have struck a nerve.

    Not in anyone’s funny bone, you didn’t ? what’s wrong with a little humour?

  461. #462 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I do believe I have struck a nerve.

    Yeah, sure. Creationists like to toss that one out too, usually whenever someone gets tired of hearing “if we come from monkeys, then how come there are still monkeys” for the six thousand, four hundred and twenty-third time and takes them to task for it.

    But do continue; there’s nothing better than to be lectured about predictable behaviour than a living, breathing stereotype.

  462. #463 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    No need for the mirror, Ward. I have a few myself. And my god do I look fantastic!

  463. #464 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Janine, BF:

    Can I call you Rincewind The Wizzard?

    Not being a Pratchett devotee, I had to look it up ? I think his beard is more like E.V.’s than mine, don’t you?

  464. #465 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    as wind power only produces that energy at optimum conditions, hence the need for expensive back up power.

    Or, with an upgraded grid (to transfer solar and wind energy around efficiently), battery storage at house level and increased pumped storage facilities, you wouldn’t need as much. Not to mention that efficiency increases would severely decrease peak demand.

    Anyway, that doesn’t even seem to be the crux of your argument. Am I correct in assuming that you are advocating against renewable energy primarily because it would not help quickly enough?

  465. #466 Watchman
    January 13, 2009

    Steve B:

    Anyway, I’m not betting on CO2 levels, just temperature change.

    Apparently.

    Do I have to connect the dots for you?

  466. #467 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    HAHAHA. Nerd. See my post #443.

  467. #468 AJ Milne
    January 13, 2009

    That is what positive feedback should give us, an either/or, no shades of gray allowed, and any perturbation will send it spinning off.

    Umm, no.

    I know this should go without saying, but here it is for the logically challenged anyway: positive feedback loops are regularly encountered in which a threshold must be crossed before feedback is meaningful. You’ve encountered this yourself, if you’ve ever used a PA. Feedback squeal in a microphone->amplifier->speaker chain only accelerates to that horrible squawk you know and love if the sound pressure on the mic gets to a certain point.

    Were we to follow your hilariously broad statement down the chain of ‘reasoning’ you have taken it to (I use the term loosely), it would be impossible to use a microphone at all, provided there existed a speaker connected to it somewhere in the universe. But it is possible, and with the speaker in the same room. You have to set the gain according to where the speaker is.

    Adding this up with the rest of it, I have to suspect from the general disingenuity of your arguments here you’re really just lying your fat ass off, Steve B. That much illogic doesn’t happen by accident. You have to work at it.

  468. #469 Colonel Sun
    January 13, 2009

    MMGW – the new religion of the neo-flagellants:

    http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/7743/capture7720082574320amur6.jpg

  469. #470 DLC
    January 13, 2009

    ::shrug:: Nothing wrong with calling bullshit when someone spews bullshit.
    But on the other hand, if someone has legitimate questions, asked from honest ignorance (as opposed to stupidity), then they should get a short but civil reply from those who know the answer.

    Emmet Caulfield @419: LOL! good one. but.. what if those aren’t fake ears. but plastic surgery ?

  470. #471 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Stu: “Or, with an upgraded grid (to transfer solar and wind energy around efficiently), battery storage at house level and increased pumped storage facilities, you wouldn’t need as much. Not to mention that efficiency increases would severely decrease peak demand.”

    That is all well and good, but we are no where near the technology to do that. Increasing efficiency is something we already do, it pays right away, dumping large amounts of government largess won’t help us increase efficiency any faster than it already is.

    “Anyway, that doesn’t even seem to be the crux of your argument. Am I correct in assuming that you are advocating against renewable energy primarily because it would not help quickly enough?”

    Sort of, you could set me into the “it is too little too late so all of this AGW panic is pointless” camp.

  471. #472 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    Now just how certain are we of these positive feedback loops? Have we seen them in the past?

    Yes. For instance, there have been these things called “ice ages”.

    Positive feedback loops should have killed us long before we even walked the earth.

    And they did. At least a lot of us.

    Are you saying that the climate system is balancing on a sharp knife edge, and that any perturbation will send us spinning to either hell on earth or hell freezing over?

    No, not “any perturbation”, but we’ve been mucking about with it for centuries now, and it is obvious and proven that we are disturbing natural cycles.

    That is what positive feedback should give us, an either/or, no shades of gray allowed, and any perturbation will send it spinning off.

    No, it would not. Why are you making things up?

  472. #473 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB: Now just how certain are we of these positive feedback loops? Have we seen them in the past? Positive feedback loops should have killed us long before we even walked the earth. Are you saying that the climate system is balancing on a sharp knife edge, and that any perturbation will send us spinning to either hell on earth or hell freezing over? That is what positive feedback should give us, an either/or, no shades of gray allowed, and any perturbation will send it spinning off.

    Are you that ignorant of geological history — even the recent history of the holocene?

    The Dryas event is one example, due to the dumping of glacial water down the Hudson. There is also evidence of massive methane hydrate explosions at the end of the last ice-age, we know that the Saharah’s conversion to desert was fairly quick… That’s not including less clear similar events going back tens of millions of years.

    Now, Stevey, in reality positive feedback loops aren’t unbounded — a threshold gets hit, then a saturation occurs. It’s the same thing you see in any biochemical reaction or information system — a big old S curve. Usually, it leads to a disruption, but the rest of the system (aka, trees, wolves and worms) adapt after a die-back. I’d really prefer not to be involved with one, or leave one to my children and grand-children — now that would be uncivil.

    The only basically uncontrolled positive feedback I’ve heard about was the Snowball earth effect about 600 mya, where the entire planet may have been reduced to super-arctic conditions. Even that case obviously saturated and was only a meta-stable state that eventually de-stabilized leading to another positive feedback towards planetary tropical conditions.

    So, yes — we can be fairly certain these “positive feedback loops” exist, just as the negative feedbacks exist. Yes — we have evidence of their past behavior, and good evidence that we are entering their reactivation (just google siberian methane hydrate — if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you’re just too stupid to live). No, the fact that these loops exist does not imply that we’re living on a knife’s edge constantly — most of the climactic time is spent in meta-stable states. Just like a personality — meta-stable most of the time, with threshold effects that can completely transform it in a blink of an eye, to a new meta-stable state.

    What we have to worry about is massive perturbations; since it’s non-linear, most of the build up will be quite slight changes (the “linear regime” of biologists trying to cheat) until we hit the threshold. And if you don’t think we’ve done a massive perturbation that is very likely to create a possibly unexpected threshold-crossing, well I guess ignorance is bliss.

  473. #474 Helfrick
    January 13, 2009

    Not in my opinion… sorry. Educators and scientists don’t get to be educators and scientists only when they damn well feel like it and only to the audiences that they select.

    Wow, just wow. I could somewhat respect your position until this little nugget. That is an asinine statement. Are you the type of person that finds out he is talking to a doctor at a party and hikes up his shirt to ask about “this damned rash”?

  474. #475 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Michael X

    > At a certain point the evidence against your
    > claim that PZ’s method is bad simply becomes
    > overwhelming. PZ is successful as a scientist,
    > educator and public intellectual because of
    > the way he is.

    Mr. X, there are several obvious and immediate holes in your argument. One, the particular measurement of popularity you cite is not in any wise a reasonable metric for quality of science or educational ability. I’ll go ahead and grant you PZ is a good biologist (I have no reason to doubt this and will accept it on face value. Even if this is not true, it would be difficult for me to claim this in any justifiable way, as I have no standing as a biologist myself). At my present place of employment, I’m surrounded by outstanding scientists (not to mention my own educational institution). I do not notice a general positive correlation between “good scientist” and “good educator”.

    Also, not I did not claim that PZ’s method was “bad”. I observed that it can have negative consequences, something which seems pretty obvious, but some here have rejected that observation.

    Claiming that *PZ’s method* is in fact (either qualitatively or quantitatively) bad is a much more rigorous claim. Who am I answering here? All I really wanted to accomplish by my commentary is the first, actually. I’m really quite astounded that some people have difficulty actually acknowledging the point.

    > So here is my challenge friend. Either begin to
    > support your claims with real evidence or save
    > it. Your time for assertion is up.

    I just may accept your challenge, sir. What evidence do you require? Are citations from peer-reviewed psychology journals acceptable? Sociology? Educational journals (they may not be properly scientific)? Do you require refereed journals, or are conference papers enough to provide you with some sense that what I’m saying has value? I’m imagining that you yourself are not a social scientist, so what authorities will you accept as a reference?

    Moreover, since you are now asking me to invest a large amount of time in research (as opposed to making a simple observation that has generated a substantially disproportionate amount of negative response), can you provide me with some sort of reasonable guarantee that ya’ll gonna stop acting like assholes when I scientifically prove to you that it is counterproductive?

    Or am I just going to go off and bust my ass off and have everyone just say, “Megh. We like it here”, which seems to be the prevailing defense (and which is not much subject to being countered via science, is it?)

  475. #476 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    LOL! good one. but.. what if those aren’t fake ears. but plastic surgery ?

    Raise your hand, palm facing the guy, part your fingers between the second and third finger, and say ?live long and prosper? while backing away slowly?

  476. #477 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    That is what positive feedback should give us, an either/or, no shades of gray allowed, and any perturbation will send it spinning off.

    WTF?! Why is SteveB arguing any position on climate change when this is his level of understanding?

    Nice work flushing that turd, AJ.

  477. #478 windy
    January 13, 2009

    I find it laughable that some of you are comparing the place to a “rough bar” or a “saloon.”

    We didn’t come up with that comparison, an editor of Nature did.

    It’s doubtful that many of you would survive an actual rough bar.

    Nonsense, rough bars are nice safe places to relax after field trips. Ever seen a professor pull a knife on a student?

  478. #479 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Are you the type of person that finds out he is talking to a doctor at a party and hikes up his shirt to ask about “this damned rash”?

    Better than pulling out his cock and asking the same question.

  479. #480 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield, OM | January 13, 2009 5:49 PM [kill]?[hide comment]

    Thus spake Janine, BF:

    Can I call you Rincewind The Wizzard?

    Not being a Pratchett devotee, I had to look it up ? I think his beard is more like E.V.’s than mine, don’t you?

    Not for the beard, for the running.

  480. #481 Tony Byron
    January 13, 2009

    My my Michael you do get into some persnickety parsing don’t you?

    How about addressing the data collection from heat islands and admitting why 1991 is a magic baseline for ghg emissions?

    How about admitting computer models can’t explain past “climate changes” like the “little ice age” or the “medieval warming”?

    Water vapor and clouds and solar influence can’t be accurately modeled and it’s obvious from the divergence of IPCC predictions and the reality of the last 10 years.

    Do go on playing with yourself over semantics though.

  481. #482 'Tis Himself
    January 13, 2009

    Your beard has a birthday? I’m not getting in a beardfight with someone whose beard has a birthday

    My beard’s birthday was September 30, 1991, the day I stopped working for a boss who hated beards.

    I’m perfectly willing to be civil to you if you’re civil to me. As has been discussed several times before on this thread, one can be quite uncivil without using profanity. I consider repeated use of logical fallacies to be uncivil, especially if you’ve been warned that you are using them. If you’re uncivil, I’ll be uncivil back.

  482. #483 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Pat: Or am I just going to go off and bust my ass off and have everyone just say, “Megh. We like it here”, which seems to be the prevailing defense (and which is not much subject to being countered via science, is it?)

    It’s perfectly amenable to scientific analysis — just show evidence we don’t like it here.

    Maybe you meant that we shouldn’t like it here? Or that we should spend time where we don’t like it? Or that it shouldn’t matter what we like?

    I’m starting to smell a smug puritan ethic — it’s not a pleasant odor.

    On a more serious not, you seem to be assuming that a manifold of approaches is wrong — that there is one right approach, rather than an alliance of approaches which work in concert. Ah, there’s that stench again!

  483. #484 Jadehawk
    January 13, 2009

    I believe that you are confused, the right would have been perfectly delighted if the left had been civil towards President Bush. I admit that I do not recall precisely, but after the 2000 election did my side not ask for a show of national unity? Did we not ask you to support President Bush? I thought that your side was invited to support your President, but I could be wrong.

    Was the right playing nice with Clinton? Were we trying to make nice back then? I seem to recall being fairly mean to Clinton, calling him a rapist and a drug dealer. Then after Waco calling him a babykiller, and having him impeached for Whitewater. I thought that was my side playing hardball, but again, I might be wrong.

    amazing how “bipartizanship” changes meanings depending on whether the Republicans are in power or not: when they are on top, it means “we won, so you have to support us for the sake of unity!” when they are on the bottom, it’s “forcing your ideas on the almost-half of the country who disagrees with you is unfair and dividing! it’s OUR country, too!”

    grrrness.

  484. #485 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Thus spake Janine:

    Not for the beard, for the running.

    Yeah, I know, but when I saw the full white beard of David Jason on the Wikepedia page, it reminded me of E.V.’s description earlier on and I couldn’t resist.

  485. #486 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Steve_C
    HAHAHA. Nerd. See my post #443.

    Absolutely correct. I spotted your post when after I posted mine. Laugh away. (Bows head in shame for a minute).

  486. #487 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    Are you the type of person that finds out he is talking to a doctor at a party and hikes up his shirt to ask about “this damned rash”?

    lol.

    I was the “good with computers” guy growing up so Mum would try to get me to help her friends with computer trouble.

  487. #488 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Then why do you come here Ward? Are you a masochist? Or do you like pretending you are above the filthy heathen hordes that desecrate this blog because it gives you the feelings of superiority you lack in real life? I mean let’s get real here. You certainly don’t come here for the community support.

    Ah, a question I imagined was going to be asked of me quite a way back, but it took a while for someone to get it.

    Perhaps I am a masochist. I do pick scabs because I prefer the pain to the itching. Perhaps I just seek lively debate, and you don’t get that from a cheering squad. I don’t mind a few battle scars because, as the saying goes, “I give as good as I get.”

    If you didn’t have dissenters here and you all got your wish, you’d soon abandon the blog. Know why? Know what another place is where you only talk to people who agree with you? A church. Do you really want to think of PZ as a preacher and you only want other parishioners in the pew beside you? That doesn’t sound like half the party, saloon, or rough bar you want it to be. It just sounds like a place to go to sleep where nobody will notice to me.

    But, it’s my contention that we can have a lively, educational, intelligent debate without the jeers and bottles. Throwing a bottle and being cheered on by your friends for doing it is not the equivalent of being clever, incisive, or witty. It’s being a cretin, nothing less.

    Maybe it’s because it’s lonely over on your “Libertarian Atheists” blog and in hopes that somehow someone will gravitate over your way? You definitely tried to bait me to come over to “debate” you on healthcare… notice I’m not that gullible.

    Well, in my defense, I shouldn’t have to repeat things that I’ve already said (in great length) elsewhere and I had been previously accused of being a thread-jacking troll. Because the general topic of “health care” is not the same as the specific “anti-vaccine religious exemptions bug me,” I felt that it was too far off-topic.

    In the spirit of disclosure, I do get additional traffic from here. It’s not that much though. I hardly feel lonely. Arguments give me good things to think about, research, collect my thoughts, and post about on my own blog. It allows me to hone my own arguments to a razor’s edge and tells me what I didn’t think about, what I missed.

    You assume that I came to Libertarianism in a different way than I came to atheism. In reality, a search for a better way to do things led me to explore that path (and many others). Few people are born into Libertarian households. I certainly wasn’t. I wasn’t indoctrinated. It might surprise you (or not) that I was indoctrinated by the United States public education system into liberal thinking. It took a while (early adulthood) for me to recognize what had been done, but I can figure out things on my own with a rational, critical eye.

    You should be able to see by my style and the content of my comments that I am no dummy and that I enjoy learning new things. It’s all of the intellectual rubbish that I’ve got to shovel before I find the true gems here that make me question coming back. The fact that there are the occasional gems and sometimes a bit of humor too (happy monkey!) is the only thing that does.

    You can convince people of a point of view without turning a blog into an Al Qaeda training camp (and even there they are probably telling people a tiny bit of true, verifiable things about America). I get it already, you hate Libertarians, you hate AGW skeptics, and you really hate Creationists. Down with America, jihad! Right?

  488. #489 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Stu,

    I’m not making anything up. Positive feedback gets you a rapid transition to a maximum or minimum possible value. We are all familiar with the microphone and amplifier feedback loop. It takes considerable control to keep such a system in check. Is the implication that our climate system needs careful control to keep within optimum bounds? What was that control in the past? Do we have sufficient knowledge and suitable feedback measurements to control it ourselves? Are we going to be pushing on the rope or pulling it?

  489. #490 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Oh man. PC. No one is going to change anything because you don’t like it or you can show that cursing and intolerance of trolls amd loons is counterproductive.

    You’re arguing that the blog has a reason other than existing for the purpose of enjoyment and commerce. That’s what it does. And that’s productive. Ad views and a place for godless liberals with a respect for science and a love of cephalopods. Never forget the cephalopods.

    If you don’t like it, change the channel.

  490. #491 Watchman
    January 13, 2009

    Ward wrote:

    I find it laughable that some of you are comparing the place to a “rough bar” or a “saloon.”

    This, from the guy who earlier equated a typed verbal insult to a punch in the face. I conclude that he does understand the concept of metaphor, therefore he has chosen to be inconsistent on this point.

  491. #492 Facehammer
    January 13, 2009

    Tony Byron
    This place deserves some kind of award, that’s for sure.

    Surely not science related though.

    Thank you, O pseudoskeptical one, for that incisive, constructive and informative comment that really tells us a lot about why the apparently well-evidenced science of anthopogenic climate change is in reality a great crock of shit.

    Now kindly insert a pair of your fingers knuckle-deep into your rectum, then insert them – again knuckle-deep – into your nostrils. You may remove them only once you justify your style of snide ramblings with some published papers and genuine evidence.

    Also, Derd S. Wanker should realise that nobody gives a toss what he thinks, and that by the nature of the faeces-hurling apes that we all are, exposing some pathetically thin skin on the internet is as good as an invitation for those who think that you are an uninformed, mewling oaf to stub out their cigars in it.

  492. #493 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Ward. You’re a tool. And really fucking long winded too.

  493. #494 'Tis Himself
    January 13, 2009

    having [Clinton] impeached for Whitewater

    Just as a pedantic nitpick, Clinton wasn’t impeached for Whitewater. He was impeached for lying about sex with a consenting adult. (Officially the charges were perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice.)

  494. #495 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    I get it already, you hate Libertarians, you hate AGW skeptics, and you really hate Creationists. Down with America, jihad! Right?

    Now you are getting into the spirit of things. Who said that civility and comparing people to extremists couldn’t go hand in hand? Why use of such words like hate to characterise the opponent’s position as irrational is an eloquent way of beating the argument down. Very nice work, you’ll do well here.

  495. #496 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Ward S. Denker | January 13, 2009

    You can convince people of a point of view without turning a blog into an Al Qaeda training camp (and even there they are probably telling people a tiny bit of true, verifiable things about America). I get it already, you hate Libertarians, you hate AGW skeptics, and you really hate Creationists. Down with America, jihad! Right?

    What a tiresome dumb fuck. Killfile.

  496. #497 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    Colonel Sun @ #470: You do realize that graph starts in an El Nino and ends in a La Nina, both of which have substantial but short-term (i.e. NOISE) effects on temperature trends (i.e. SIGNAL), right?

    Why not look at the entire record or the decadal rankings? (Or this if you’d rather complain about temperature records.)

    Could it be that denialists like Watts consider the full record the way creationists consider transitional forms?

  497. #498 SEF
    January 13, 2009

    @ E.V. #311:

    don’t pull out a cudgel and then start bawling when your opponent reflexively pulls a gun.

    It’s usually more a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent. Even those creationists who have mustered some old-fashioned weapons haven’t mastered them – and typically they don’t know how to wield them at all.

  498. #499 'Tis Himself
    January 13, 2009

    I get it already, you hate Libertarians, you hate AGW skeptics, and you really hate Creationists.

    Shorter Ward S.: “You hate stupid people.”

  499. #500 Don Smith, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    Re: someone accusing us of not being able to survive a rough bar (probably from personal experience).

    I’ve been in plenty of rough bars and never had a problem. Of course it really helps if you walk up to the biggest, meanest badass in the joint and say “Can I buy you a beer?”

  500. #501 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I, for one, welcome Ward’s frankness, honesty, and intellectual curiosity as espoused in comment #489.

    Look, he was honest and (relatively) concise, and he refrained from hurling insults.

    Sorry, but I’m not gonna dogpile on the guy for that comment. I actually appreciated it quite a bit.

    But it’s not true that I hate Libertarians, AGW skeptics, or Creationists; it’s just that I find their arguments to mostly consist of intellectual rubbish. That doesn’t bother me. That is, of course, when they make arguments at all.

    It’s when they make from the hip assertions that even the most cursory examination of the surrounding world would immediately refute that I lose my nut.

  501. #502 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    That is all well and good, but we are no where near the technology to do that.

    So I must be imagining the catalogs for deep-cycle battery banks, self-contained solar water pumps and solar water heaters I am currently browsing to upgrade my house in a month or two.

    Gotcha.

    Increasing efficiency is something we already do

    Are you fucking kidding me? Google CAFE standards before you say anything else, please. It’s getting really embarrassing now.

    dumping large amounts of government largess won’t help us increase efficiency any faster than it already is.

    You’re right! Massive government-funded research has never come up with a technological breakthrough *cough* Manhattan Project *cough* Apollo Project *cough*.

    Sorry, let me grab a lozenge.

    Sort of, you could set me into the “it is too little too late so all of this AGW panic is pointless” camp.

    Here’s your fiddle. Would you mind shutting up and stepping aside while those that care about our children try to fix things?

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  502. #503 kamaka
    January 13, 2009

    Apparently, the guy who thinks rough bars might be too much for the likes of us has never hung out with any field biologists.

  503. #504 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Finally an answer! I was beginning to feel neglected.

    the particular measurement of popularity you cite is not in any wise a reasonable metric for quality of science or educational ability.

    Popularity is not meant to be a metric for science or education. It’s meant to show that PZ’s style isn’t as fraught with detrimental social downfalls as you seem to assert, or that even if those downfalls are present they are not as fearsome as you may believe.

    His scientific credentials speak for themselves and his tenure and Peer Reviewed Blog Posts are evidence as to his educational ability.

    Lastly, the only claim you’ve made that I particularly disagree with is that PZ must be bound by his role of “educator” at all times and is not allowed to be “angry citizen” because his blog is hosted by ScienceBlogs or is hailed as a great science blog by other people.

    So, Evidence required: Anything that backs us up this claim “A scientist (note, again: I freely admit this is *my opinion*) has a responsibility to further the cause of science. An educator has a responsibility to further the cause of education. Particularly for tenured faculty -> you have tremendous authority and privilege granted to you by your standing, and you have a professional obligation to be aware of that, and not abuse that standing. PZ has mentioned agreement with this general principle himself before, by criticizing (rightly so) educators and scientists who abuse their standing to support horseshit outside their actual fields.”

    For your argument to work, PZ must be on a par with those who “support horseshit outside their actual fields”. Also, his responsibilities to science and education must be continual and not fullfilaible through his work or time in class, but must also be taken into account in everything PZ does. Many have disagreed stating the near impossibility and/or unpracticality of asking such. Can you support these claims any further than assertion?

    You see, I’m just a little tired of asserting ourselves into circles. We can spin out wheels all day saying that PZ’s style is too negative or not, but I’d rather learn if PZ’s style produces negative effects or not. And if it does, do they outweigh the positive?

    Lastly, I don’t really disagree that some people can be turned off by harsh rhetoric. I simply don’t believe that such rhetoric produces more negative consequences than positive ones. So if you’d like to provide evidence (begin from anywhere you like) that PZ’s style or method of blogging is somehow so detrimental that it is in need of changing, then be my guest.

  504. #505 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @489:

    [1] If you didn’t have dissenters here and you all got your wish, [2] you’d soon abandon the blog. [3] Know why? Know what another place is where you only talk to people who agree with you? A church. [4] Do you really want to think of PZ as a preacher and you only want other parishioners in the pew beside you?

    Wrong on every count.
    1. What makes you think “our” wish is for no dissenters?
    2. Why would we? I originally subscribed (back before ScienceBlogs assimilated Pharyngula) for the posts.
    3. Would it surprise you to know that threads (usually science posts) where only regulars comment are often full of disputation and acrimony?
    4. What a quaint notion. PZ is the host, nothing more.
    He raises issues, commenters discuss them. Apparently this is a hard concept for you to grasp.

  505. #506 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Steve B: I’m not making anything up. Positive feedback gets you a rapid transition to a maximum or minimum possible value. We are all familiar with the microphone and amplifier feedback loop. It takes considerable control to keep such a system in check.

    No — not in general. Natural systems are meta-stable — they are chock-a-block with negative and positive feedbacks. See wolves v. rabbits.

    It’s pretty easy to see that CO2 emission has outpaced the controls on it — such as increased plant growth or increased albedo from increased rainfall. The detail are less than essential, since as you so rightly point out, such systems are very sensitive to “initial conditions” — i.e., are measurements underdetermine the system. That does not imply, however, that we can’t get a good idea of a switch in probabilities — i.e., that a threshold is coming.

    For example, when pores form in biological membranes under large electric fields, we can’t determine exactly when and where they will form; any measurements we make will underdetermine the system. However, we can very accurately model the stochastic aspects of the system to predict the probability of holes forming at a given voltage and associated measures such as their rate of formation and size distribution.

    The details of the day when and location where our system starts developing “holes” is less of interest than the magnitude of when the rate of their formation explodes. That we know is on the order of 10-100 years.

  506. #507 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Stu,

    Looks like I missed your larger post.

    “So, yes — we can be fairly certain these “positive feedback loops” exist, just as the negative feedbacks exist. Yes — we have evidence of their past behavior, and good evidence that we are entering their reactivation (just google siberian methane hydrate — if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you’re just too stupid to live). No, the fact that these loops exist does not imply that we’re living on a knife’s edge constantly — most of the climactic time is spent in meta-stable states. Just like a personality — meta-stable most of the time, with threshold effects that can completely transform it in a blink of an eye, to a new meta-stable state.”

    So we have many multiples of overlapping meta-stable states, about as predictable as a rivulet of water trickling down a sheet of glass. There are all sorts of disaster scenarios that scare the hell out of little kids hiding under their beds. Methane hydrate doesn’t scare me any more than a comet or asteroid impact, just as many ifs need to come together.

    I guess I’m just too stupid to live. Haaarrrrggg…..

  507. #508 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB: Methane hydrate doesn’t scare me any more than a comet or asteroid impact, just as many ifs need to come together.
    I guess I’m just too stupid to live. Haaarrrrggg…..

    I’m glad we can come to an agreement. Particularly after comparing asteroid impacts (scary but with a very low probability of causing planetary disruption over the next century, or even next millenium) with methane hydrate release (which appears to be reaching saturation now in Siberia, and which we know closely follows and amplifies global warming events, such as 8kya).

    We at least agree on the essentials. Again, you say: So we have many multiples of overlapping meta-stable states, about as predictable as a rivulet of water trickling down a sheet of glass. Yes, the details of the path are unpredictable — but the volume and direction of the path are perfectly predictable.

    Only a serious dumb-ass wouldn’t plug a hole in his roof because the detail of the path of rain through that hole can not be determined. Unfortunately, we live under the same roof.

  508. #509 NFPendleton
    January 13, 2009

    I got the feeling that I might find a “home” here, but after that post, it’s confirmed. I always get the stink-eye for not putting up with Teh Nonsense.

    And as for staying “on subject” … apparently they’ve never spent any time in a university classroom. Books are great, but we humans do better when taught by humans. Non-linear thought shouldn’t be dismissed just because we’re supposed to be all sciencey at the Pharyn.

  509. #510 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Mr. Denker writes: “It’s all of the intellectual rubbish that I’ve got to shovel before I find the true gems here that make me question coming back.”
    Oh how true, Mr. Denker. Isn’t irony marvelous?

  510. #511 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Frog,

    Now we’re talking! Your last comment was the best argument I’ve heard to date!

    “It’s pretty easy to see that CO2 emission has outpaced the controls on it — such as increased plant growth or increased albedo from increased rainfall. The detail are less than essential, since as you so rightly point out, such systems are very sensitive to “initial conditions” — i.e., are measurements underdetermine the system. That does not imply, however, that we can’t get a good idea of a switch in probabilities — i.e., that a threshold is coming.”

    Now, what I’m trying to understand here, keeping in mind I’m too stupid to live, is how we are certain about CO2 being a initiator of a positive feedback loop.

  511. #512 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    We go off topic all the time here. It doesn’t matter. We’re all about tangents. Although, we can always count on a creobot to refocus us.

  512. #513 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I guess I’m just too stupid to live.

    No, just too stupid to competently discuss climate.

    No one’s claiming you should die, just that you should shut the fuck up about things you clearly don’t fucking understand, ya goddamned martyr.

    Yeah, it’s complex. Yeah, all the details haven’t been worked out. Yeah, the relative strengths of different factors need to be considered. But if we threw our hands in the air (like we just don’t care) every time we encountered some aspect of nature we found difficult to measure or comprehend, we’d still be banging hammerstones.

    And we’re expected to be civil when confronted with such incredibly moronic hubris?

  513. #514 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    Steve,

    The larger post wasn’t me, it was frog (I’d love to take credit, but I’m in an honest mood for some reason).

    Anyhoo,

    Methane hydrate doesn’t scare me any more than a comet or asteroid impact, just as many ifs need to come together.

    Worst. Analogy. Ever. Epically bad. Classic. Frame-worthy fail.

    I guess I’m just too stupid to live.

    If you can’t see that there are massive climate changes going on, that we are causing, that we can stop and/or reverse if we get serious about it, and that have the potential to kill of the majority of life on this planet if we proceed with your attitude, well…

  514. #515 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Brownian | January 13, 2009

    I, for one, welcome Ward’s frankness, honesty, and intellectual curiosity as espoused in comment #489.

    Look, he was honest and (relatively) concise, and he refrained from hurling insults.

    Sorry, but I’m not gonna dogpile on the guy for that comment. I actually appreciated it quite a bit.

    I was content to not paying much attention to him, just a quick skim as I go through everything. But the crack about this being an Al Qaeda training camp and adding Jihad! at the end. It is merely an updated way to call your opponent a nazi.

  515. #516 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Frog:
    Kicking butt and taking names, I see.

  516. #517 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    This, from the guy who earlier equated a typed verbal insult to a punch in the face.

    It was that metaphor that inspired mine, so it should not come as a surprise that it bears resemblance.

    And really fucking long winded too.

    Brevity is not a strong suit of mine. For that, I apologize.

    Now you are getting into the spirit of things. Who said that civility and comparing people to extremists couldn’t go hand in hand? Why use of such words like hate to characterise the opponent’s position as irrational is an eloquent way of beating the argument down. Very nice work, you’ll do well here.

    You seem to have missed the point, and I’m afraid I must not have clarified it well enough.

    If what we’re advocating is hateful invectives toward others and we’ve abandoned all hope of educating people then we’re intellectually no better than the anti-US propaganda being used by an Al Qaeda training camp. One does not have to be violent to buy the propaganda of violent people, if you understand my meaning. It’s all under the umbrella metaphor that this blog is like a “rough bar.” Of course I’m not saying everyone that comes here is a hate monger, I’m just saying that some are using the same tactics. That should probably be discouraged because it tends to cast a poor light on others.

    By declaring “open season on fresh meat” some have taken this to mean that “those with a dissenting opinion should be shot on sight because we hate them.” When PZ says that he doesn’t like where “they” came from (meaning CA and WUWT) some see that as the equivalent that it’s an “us vs. them” situation.

    I’m in a middle ground. I’d never heard of either CA or WUWT until PZ said something about them and I’ve read Pharyngula off-and-on for a while now, more often of late. I get it that a lot of the commenters aren’t as interested in the science that occasionally does get mentioned here as they are his stance as a fire-breathing liberal. What I don’t get is why some of us have to be shot down in the crossfire (and most of the bullets are coming from this side) who are interested in science. Is it really so difficult to imagine that three blogs can share a readership on issues of science? Is there any reason that commenters can’t embrace new readership?

    I’ve not seen the hosts of either of those two blogs say anything about Pharyngula at all, save one quote of PZ’s (in context). In fact, they seem to be discouraging slagging on another science blog (or its readership).

    I may have used a strong metaphor to call attention to it, but you’ve (mistakenly) turned it into a message of hate. That’s what you were looking for, and it’s what you found. The spade wasn’t really a spade at all.

  517. #518 wildlifer
    January 13, 2009

    Don’t pay Lubo? no mind, he’s got a golden shower fetish. He get’s it regularly from Rabbets.

  518. #519 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Zzzzzzzz. Still boring. Still longwinded.

  519. #520 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @518:

    By declaring “open season on fresh meat” some have taken this to mean that “those with a dissenting opinion should be shot on sight because we hate them.”

    Upon what do you base this assertion? Can you provide examples of such?

    Because I think you’re bullshitting, and this is nothing more than hyperbolic rhetoric.

  520. #521 Pat Cahalan
    January 13, 2009

    @ Michael X

    > Also, his responsibilities to science and education
    > must be continual and not fullfilaible through his
    > work or time in class, but must also be taken into
    > account in everything PZ does. Many have disagreed
    > stating the near impossibility and/or un-
    > practicality of asking such. Can you support
    > these claims any further than assertion?

    Ah, not exactly. To clarify: if one is presenting one’s own personal opinions in a medium reserved for that purpose, I don’t really care if they wear a tutu and rant about Time Cube. But clearly PZ has willingly blurred the lines between his professional and personal personae. I don’t mind that, either; I do it myself, and find the maintenance of two distinct online personae to be inefficient and a giant waste of time. When you do that, however, you have to acknowledge the fact that one affects the other. There’s probably jobs I won’t get because I burn down political idiocy when I see it on my own blog (albeit as politely as I can manage). I’d probably have a hard time getting an NSA job with my frequent calling out of the still-current administration for domestic spying. In PZ’s case, his blog and standing affect how people look at scientists.

    > We can spin out wheels all day saying that PZ’s
    > style is too negative or not, but I’d rather
    > learn if PZ’s style produces negative effects
    > or not. And if it does, do they outweigh the
    > positive?

    That is absolutely a fair question. 376 comments and several ungrounded accusations of idiocy before someone actually asked it. I honestly don’t know; but my suspicion is that the answer is “it depends largely on the audience you’re talking about”. :)

    I’ll see if I can find out.

    > Lastly, I don’t really disagree that some
    > people can be turned off by harsh rhetoric. I
    > simply don’t believe that such rhetoric
    > produces more negative consequences than
    > positive ones.

    Remember that admitted bias later when weighing evidence, will you? :)

  521. #522 Don Smith, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    Funny you should bring up asteroids. Now suppose we discovered a “world killer” asteroid was going to hit the Earth in 20 years. Would you be frightened?

    Now suppose again someone had a real solution but it would require that all of our resources were put towards it and it would destroy our economy in the process. Which would you pick? Assuming, you’ve picked “save the world”, at what probablilty of the asteroid striking would you switch back to “do nothing”?

    Just curious.

  522. #523 Stu
    January 13, 2009

    In fact, they seem to be discouraging slagging on another science blog (or its readership).

    They are not science blogs. That’s the entire everloving point.

    And yes, 90% of what you write is firmly in TL;DR category. You might want to work on that.

  523. #524 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I was content to not paying much attention to him, just a quick skim as I go through everything. But the crack about this being an Al Qaeda training camp and adding Jihad! at the end. It is merely an updated way to call your opponent a nazi.

    Yeah, but since he’s been arguing for the need for us to be civil and didn’t use profanity, it’s clearly not an insult. Perhaps since I’ve come to expect so little from Libertarians, I’m being a little too generous.

    Besides, creos liken us to Nazis all the time. Libertarians live in a similar land of make-believe, so why should I be insulted?

  524. #525 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    If what we’re advocating is hateful invectives toward others and we’ve abandoned all hope of educating people then we’re intellectually no better than the anti-US propaganda being used by an Al Qaeda training camp.

    And by equating it to something so extreme, how is this not a variation on Godwin’s Law?

    It’s not that people here don’t want dissenting opinion, it’s the constant stream of crap where people give the same nonsense in support of their views. Honestly there’s only so many times you can hear “have you ever seen a cat turn into a dog?” as a refutation for evolution before you grow weary of answering those with completely misinformed opinions.

    The libertarian discussion has been done to death on here, almost every political thread leading up to the election broke down into an argument on libertarianism, anything even slightly political was taken to the extreme of ideology.

    The point I’m trying to make is this, it’s not that contrary opinions are not wanted, it’s that battles over these positions are played out time and time again and people grow weary of hearing the same tired arguments over and over again. I’ve been posting on here about 8 months, and in that time I got to a point where I didn’t want to hear another libertarian because any and every discussion was getting turned into a battle over libertarianism.

    From the frame of reference of many here, the libertarians, the AGW-deniers, the creationists, these are all just a persistent nuisance with no real arguments that come along. For the individuals who stumble upon this sight for the first time, of course they are going to feel the collective frustration. This blank slate idea where we discuss intellectually is a good concept in theory, but in practice we aren’t able to possess that blank slate and the arguments presented have been done to death.

  525. #526 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Pat @522,

    But clearly PZ has willingly blurred the lines between his professional and personal personae.

    This is not clear to me. Care to instantiate an example of such?

  526. #527 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB: Now, what I’m trying to understand here, keeping in mind I’m too stupid to live, is how we are certain about CO2 being a initiator of a positive feedback loop.

    We’ve produced a four-million year perturbation correct? On top of massive deforestation, right? On top of massive ocean acidification, right? And all of these disruptions are unparalleled on different scales from the 10k time horizon to the 10m time horizon, correct?

    I think, in that case, the onus is to show that it won’t initiate a positive feedback. Just as if you had removed the spleen, half the liver and one kidney — the reasonable position is that those arguing for removal of even a section of the second kidney show that it won’t lead to a massive cascade.

    This is medicine, not engineering (the distinction being that you have a live system that you can’t isolate, take offline and test): first, don’t do anything to kill the patient.

  527. #528 Steve B
    January 13, 2009

    Stu: “Methane hydrate doesn’t scare me any more than a comet or asteroid impact, just as many ifs need to come together.

    Worst. Analogy. Ever. Epically bad. Classic. Frame-worthy fail.”

    Nope, have you wrapped your mind around how much methane hydrate there seems to be? Do you have any idea how long it takes to get it warmed up enough to be on the verge of catastrophic out gassing? I might as well piss on a glacier to see if I can melt it.

  528. #529 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    As I pointed out in another thread – say it quickly and out loud – Ward S Denker.

    ‘What a stinker’. It’s no coincidence.

    That being said, I bear him no ill will; I’m just pointing out that you shouldn’t be surprised by his troll-like behaviour.

  529. #530 frog
    January 13, 2009

    SteveB: Do you have any idea how long it takes to get it warmed up enough to be on the verge of catastrophic out gassing? I might as well piss on a glacier to see if I can melt it.

    The measurements from Siberia seem to disagree with you. Since the last major outgassing appears to be part of a positive feedback loop that took us out of the ice-age into our current balmy and stable climate, which strangely appears to be correlated with the rise of civilization…

    Well, I guess “empirical measurements of saturation” are of little import, and a natural historical model is just jibber-jabber by the non-believers.

  530. #531 Helfrick
    January 13, 2009

    I was the “good with computers” guy growing up so Mum would try to get me to help her friends with computer trouble.

    Me too. I still do computer work, but I usually don’t like to talk about it with someone socially unless they do similar work. What kills me is when folks say something to the effect of “I’m so stupid when it comes to computers.”

  531. #532 Colonel Sun
    January 13, 2009

    #498 wrote:

    “Posted by: Brian D | January 13, 2009 6:27 PM

    Colonel Sun @ #470: You do realize that graph starts in an El Nino and ends in a La Nina, both of which have substantial but short-term (i.e. NOISE) effects on temperature trends (i.e. SIGNAL), right?”

    So the magnitude of the natural phenomena, what you call noise, far exceeds the claimed trend.

    “Why not look at the entire record or the decadal rankings? (Or this if you’d rather complain about temperature records.)”

    Okay, let’s look at the entire record.

    http://i43.tinypic.com/33cm0av.jpg

    “Could it be that denialists like Watts consider the full record the way creationists consider transitional forms?”

    “Denialists”? How soviet.

  532. #533 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian: I, for one, welcome Ward’s frankness, honesty, and intellectual curiosity as espoused in comment …

    I am rolling in my chair. You are one funny internet entity… the straight jokes are the best!

  533. #534 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Brownian | January 13, 2009

    Besides, creos liken us to Nazis all the time. Libertarians live in a similar land of make-believe, so why should I be insulted?

    Perhaps in my quick skim, I did not catch all of the context.

    I think I have amply demonstrated that I can be quick with the invective but I save that for those who come in with the insults. It is for that reason that I avoid pulling a Godwin. One has to draw a line somewhere. I have spent too much time around leftists who like to toss that bit around like fairy dust. It gets tiresome really quick.

  534. #535 The Rev
    January 13, 2009

    I’m so sick of hearing people posit that the scientific establishment is afraid to be confronted on global warming. It’s very simple. One of you nutsack denialists just has to formulate a hypothesis, test it, and if evidence supports the hypothesis (and your tests are repeatable) PUBLISH YOUR RESULTS IN A PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL. Fuck. Screeching that we’re suppressing you is meaningless. Do the science, bring something to the table, then we’ll talk.

    Same to you IDers. That is all.

  535. #536 Colonel Sun
    January 13, 2009

    Since this blog appears to be a new religion site (not sure why it was in the science blog running) here’s Freeman Dyson on the need for heretics

    http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf

  536. #537 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Sun: So the magnitude of the natural phenomena, what you call noise, far exceeds the claimed trend.

    That’s generally true for all biological phenomena until they hit threshold — however, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the trend — or the noise — to come to important conclusions.

    I guess you don’t know any of the ion channel literature, for example.

  537. #538 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Well, Pat, I look forward to what you find. Though I don’t envy your task. I must admit I still don’t find your argument about personal overlap convincing.

    For example, I am an artist and an atheist. These overlap only in the sense that they are both facts about myself. But my social opinions and statements have not effected my professional life one jot or tittle and I am very vocal. The people I work with are professional and I am judged by my work. If people did begin to treat me differently professionally due to my views outside of my professional work, I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway and I don’t think they would get very much further in their goals either.

    So in short what I’m saying is, there is no blowback that wouldn’t have already happened to PZ due to his blog that he isn’t aware of and ok with.

    As for my last statement, let me rephrase it. “I have seen no evidence to lead me to believe that harsh rhetoric causes more negative effects then positive.” I would site women’s suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, and now the culture wars as evidence of harsh rhetoric doing more good than kid gloves.

  538. #539 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Colonel Sun | January 13, 2009

    Since this blog appears to be a new religion site (not sure why it was in the science blog running) here’s Freeman Dyson on the need for heretics

    Brownian, I think we can agree that this person is a stupid git.

  539. #540 Colonel Sun
    January 13, 2009

    Last I time checked climate was a physical phenomena.

  540. #541 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    Colonel Sun:

    So the magnitude of the natural phenomena, what you call noise, far exceeds the claimed trend.

    Only on small time scales, as any statistician can tell you. It’s obvious Watts isn’t a statistician worthy of the title.

    Okay, let’s look at the entire record.

    http://i43.tinypic.com/33cm0av.jpg

    An unpulblished paleoclimate record? While probably dismissing these out of hand?

    There are other proxy methods to take. For instance, ice cores come to mind as ones that completely contradict your sources. Note how all of human civilization fits in a very narrow band out of that.

    This sets aside how I was talking about an *instrumental* record, either through thermometers or satellites.

    “Denialists”? How soviet.

    Can the persecution complex, anonymous troll. It isn’t persecution to call a denialist a denialist, and what makes a denialist a denialist are the tactics used. I should note that Watts fits the bill on pretty much all of these.

    By the way, the underlying assumption in your posts is that climatology says that carbon is the only factor controlling climate. This is very much like a creationist saying evolution predicts a crocoduck.

  541. #542 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    And by equating it to something so extreme, how is this not a variation on Godwin’s Law?

    It isn’t because we’re talking esoterically about applying metaphors that may or may not be applicable. A church (the other metaphor used) could easily become an Al Qaeda training camp, in theory, if the preacher routinely preached hatred and called for removal of others for not being believers in “the cause.” If films like Jesus Camp didn’t make us feel like it was only a small step from a Christian equivalent, we’d never comment on them at all. They’d be boring propaganda films like Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and (almost) nobody would watch them that wasn’t already indoctrinated (or spoiling for a fight against the inanity).

    Can’t you see that any message can be taken too far? Can’t you see how PZ essentially saying “sic ‘em boys” can be easily misconstrued? I’m not about to go so far as to say that there is that real of a chance that this would be a slippery slope to Al Qaeda. That’s absurd (and the reason I said it, it got attention). What I am saying is that a certain kind of thinking should be discouraged and that’s “buy the propaganda because we’re in-the-know.” The only people you can convince like that are ones you really don’t want on your side.

    It would be better to starve the “creobot” trolls by not engaging them at all. By displaying open hostility toward them they are finding what they set out to find: evidence that some evolutionists are elitist, hateful jackasses with nothing better or more intelligent to say than “fuck off, troll!” That’s enough to turn them (any of the people on the sidelines that aren’t commenting that are reasonable and religious) away from listening to any of us, no matter how reasonable we are.

  542. #543 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian, I think we can agree that this person is a stupid git.

    Freeman Dysan? No, he’s fairly smart.

    Easily misunderstood by drive-byers though.

  543. #544 'Tis Himself
    January 13, 2009

    Since this blog appears to be a new religion site

    Translation: You’re not praying at my church, so you must be a new religion.

  544. #545 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Another example of the need to be uncivil:
    Sun: Since this blog appears to be a new religion site (not sure why it was in the science blog running) here’s Freeman Dyson on the need for heretics

    Now, I’ve had long running flame wars with other commenters, particularly about certain concensuses in the scientific community that I believe are unwarranted. But I’ve never accused my opponents of being “religious”, or the entire site being a “new religion” because of a heated disagreement.

    I’ve accused particular people of being ignorant, innumerate or careless, with unsupported positions. I’ve insulted particular people viciously (I believe).

    But this weak-kneed, whiny, childish insult — “you don’t agree with me, so you’re just a bunch of dogmatists” — is just pathetic and empty. A real sign of empty trollage that never intended to have a debate — pointing to an empty-headed ideologue behind it.

    It lacks creativity, style or any imagination in word selection. It’s at the level of youtube commentary — the kind of insult thrown by a stoned teenager who dropped out by 11th grade. Just sad really.

  545. #546 Mick
    January 13, 2009

    Here’s an uncivil comment, the consensus over Global Warming smacks of the groupthink and pseudoscience over another progressive scientific consensus, eugenics.

    Like eugenics, climate science does not engage in rigerous testing of theories, preferring weak evidence and theories backed by contemporanious liberal progressive political consensus. Like eugenics, tremendous damage will be done before the quacks are exposed and progressives try to bury the subject in the historical record.

    Except unlike eugenics, this is the age of the internet and all the retarded alarmist predictions and comments will be stored in incredible detail. Unlike eugenics, there will be no graceful historical exit for progressives…

  546. #547 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Last I time checked climate was a physical phenomena.

    Then check again, fuckhead. You clearly haven’t a fucking clue about the interactions between the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere, you stupid lackwit. Why don’t you read up on banded iron formations and their relevance to both the physical aspects of the planet and its biology for a fucking start, you asshole?

    And then go jump off a fucking bridge. I’m tired of educating arrogant fucking morons like you today, you fucking pillar of dumb.

  547. #548 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Brownian | January 13, 2009

    Freeman Dysan? No, he’s fairly smart.

    Easily misunderstood by drive-byers though.

    Now you are being a smart ass. Thank you. I was under the impression that many people here admired Freeman Dysan. But I wonder if the drive-byers will understand?

  548. #549 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    “What I don’t get is why some of us have to be shot down in the crossfire (and most of the bullets are coming from this side) who are interested in science. Is it really so difficult to imagine that three blogs can share a readership on issues of science? ”

    Oh bullshit Ward. If that were the case you would confine yourself to the threads that are about science. Instead you keep bringing up with the same sanctimonious holier than thou crap that hardly anyone else here buys in the slightest.

  549. #550 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Sun: Last I time checked climate was a physical phenomena.

    Deserves an anti-Molly! Complete gitosity.

  550. #551 wildlifer
    January 13, 2009

    Actually Sun, climate is an emergent phenomena.

  551. #552 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    It isn’t because we’re talking esoterically about applying metaphors that may or may not be applicable. A church (the other metaphor used) could easily become an Al Qaeda training camp, in theory, if the preacher routinely preached hatred and called for removal of others for not being believers in “the cause.”

    This is not a church, and if you stay here you’ll realise that many people disagree on many things. You are setting this place up like there’s no dissent allowed, which is utterly false.

    In regard to starving creationists, on one level I agree. But on another if their arguments continue unchecked then they’ll just feel that their position is unanswerable. It’s always better to try and educate, even if it’s infuriating.

  552. #553 JeffreyD
    January 13, 2009

    Emmet Caulfield, regarding your #419, of course my beard has a birthday. The Fifth of November 1975 was the day I got out of the army, last shave after having to do two a day.

    OK, off to the mirror to adjust my spandex and pointy rubber ears. Live lawng and prosper y’all, as they say in the Vulcan south, T’Prawalina to be exact.

  553. #554 Ward S. Denker.
    January 13, 2009

    ‘What a stinker’. It’s no coincidence.

    It is a coincidence and an obnoxious one. Other people with my name actually exist, you know?

    It doesn’t even sound like that, unless you have a mental condition and that’s how you speak. If that really is the case, that’s OK though.

  554. #555 wildlifer
    January 13, 2009

    Actually Sun, climate is an emergent phenomena.

  555. #556 Moses
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Janine, Bitter Friend | January 13, 2009 11:54 AM

    Bye Cortillaen.

    I too will forget you in five minutes.

    I feel better already.

    Was he that giant load-of-crap black-text block? I started to read it, but the stupidity and false conviviality of it burned.

  556. #557 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    It would be better to starve the “creobot” trolls by not engaging them at all. By displaying open hostility toward them they are finding what they set out to find: evidence that some evolutionists are elitist, hateful jackasses with nothing better or more intelligent to say than “fuck off, troll!” That’s enough to turn them (any of the people on the sidelines that aren’t commenting that are reasonable and religious) away from listening to any of us, no matter how reasonable we are.

    Nisbetianism at its finest!

  557. #558 Moses
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Colonel Sun | January 13, 2009 7:29 PM

    Since this blog appears to be a new religion site (not sure why it was in the science blog running) here’s Freeman Dyson on the need for heretics

    http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf

    Heretics, not morons. No where does he say we need morons, who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel, to challenge scientific orthodoxy.

    We need SCIENTISTS to think out-side of the box. Even if it means, and it usually does, that the out-side-of-the-box thinking in which they were engaged was wrong.

    But some git in Texas, or Nova Scotia, on the payroll of the Oil Companies and is being used as a cat’s paw to sew doubt and division in something… You know, a LOT of doctors sold out to the tobacco companies. They were outside the box, they were wrong, and a lot of people died.

    And that’s what you are. You’re the hacks that would rather have people die of AIDS than admit you’re wrong. You’re the hacks who’d rather people got addicted to cancer-sticks and would have them die than admit you’re wrong.

    Ignorant, pus-brained, egotistical ass-troll-morons.

  558. #559 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Oh bullshit Ward. If that were the case you would confine yourself to the threads that are about science. Instead you keep bringing up with the same sanctimonious holier than thou crap that hardly anyone else here buys in the slightest.

    Actually, that is only evidence that I read those posts and don’t comment on them. Isn’t it at least a little bit possible that I can both read and agree with them and not have anything to say about it?

    You’re trying to find what you’re looking for without any evidence for your position. That’s a patently unscientific way to see the world, and it’s the reason for my objection to posts like “Open season on fresh meat.” All they do is detract from the science posts and give people the impression that the host, and his posters are cretins.

    Note: Before that’s taken out of context, since some of you are so fond of doing that) I did use the word impression. A few of you actually are cretins, but not enough of you to say that the entire blog is run by one or that even a majority of the commentators (on a good day) are either. But, when nobody says anything to the actual cretins and rather pats them on the back for it, they’re doing themselves and this blog a huge disservice.

  559. #560 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Gee Mick, you sure convinced me; where do I sign up? Oh wait, where’s all that evidence to back up your position?

    *cricket… cricket…*

  560. #561 wildlifer
    January 13, 2009

    Hey Mick #546,

    I think you left out the part where you support, that “climate science does not engage in rigerous [sic] testing of theories…..

  561. #562 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    Quite simply Ward, the fact that your posts are allowed here despite the fact you compared us to an Al Queda training camp is proof enough that PZ allows free speech and free expression. This blog is scarcely moderated and to be banned one has to really go out of their way in being an obnoxious weed. Your view is put up here along with others, and that’s really as much as you can ask for anywhere – and indeed it’s better than a lot of places on the internet.

  562. #563 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Nisbetianism at its finest!

    I don’t get the (joke/disparagement/insult/whatever it’s meant to be) and I suppose that means it’s supposed to be an inside joke. Google turns up nothing. If it’s meant disparagingly, you can keep it to yourself. If it’s supposed to enlighten me to something, please elaborate.

  563. #564 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    [1] It would be better to starve the “creobot” trolls by not engaging them at all. [2] By displaying open hostility toward them they are finding what they set out to find: evidence that some evolutionists are elitist, hateful jackasses with nothing better or more intelligent to say than “fuck off, troll!”

    Heh.

    1. I’ve been on blogs that practice that; the outcome is a climate of fear that trolls will arrive, and that those who respond are criticised. Often, the trollish droppings are removed by a moderator or the blog owner and the troll banned.
    In Phangula, trolls get stomped. It’s fun.
    2. As opposed to being validated by not being confronted? Heh.

    You fail to see the nuances; not all creobots/godbots are trolls (except perhaps functionally), and not all trolls are creobots.

  564. #565 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    It is a coincidence and an obnoxious one.

    Not nearly as funny as the fact that ?Ward S. Denker? is an anagram of ?Dr. Wankseed?, though.

  565. #566 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Michael X – You have not been ignored. (I was edging closer to you all the time, while quietly pouting.)
    You sir, are outrageously handsome and debonair!

  566. #567 Moses
    January 13, 2009

    #512Posted by: Steve B | January 13, 2009 6:53 PM

    Now, what I’m trying to understand here, keeping in mind I’m too stupid to live, is how we are certain about CO2 being a initiator of a positive feedback loop.

    You bash. You protest. You deny.

    You yet you demonstrate that you are completely ignorant of something learned in any decent high school general science class.

    You could have at least tried Wikipedia. Hardly rocket science, but even they get it right: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas as it transmits visible light but absorbs strongly in the infrared and near-infrared.

    Molecule absorbs infra-red. Molecule gets warmer. Ta da. Or as is written up in Wikipedia: Late 19th century scientists experimentally discovered that N2 and O2 did not absorb infrared radiation (called, at that time, “dark radiation”) and that CO2 and many other gases did absorb such radiation. It was recognized in the early 20th century that the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused the Earth’s overall temperature to be higher than it would be without them.

    (That’s right, about 100 years ago we knew this. But back then, the ‘problem’ was minuscule and thought to be so far in the future that it was of no concern. Well that, and the fact that nobody back then really could figure out what the real, likely, changes could entail.)

  567. #568 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Ward: Actually, that is only evidence that I read those posts and don’t comment on them. Isn’t it at least a little bit possible that I can both read and agree with them and not have anything to say about it?

    Okay — I can’t help myself. You agree with them all? You never have something to add, something to extend to them?

    You do know about probabilistic inference, don’t you?

    Apparently, you know nothing about how science is done.

  568. #569 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Mick regurgitated,

    Like eugenics, climate science does not engage in rigerous testing of theories, preferring weak evidence and theories backed by contemporanious liberal progressive political consensus.

    Here’s my rigerous [sic] testing of a {hypothesis}.

    The data: You speak like a political hack, write like a pretentious fop, and use “liberal” as an ad hominem.
    My hypothesis: You have no evidence to back your bald faced assertion.
    The test: I challenge you to put up or shut up asshole. Produce evidence of a lack of testing among climate scientists.

  569. #570 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    2. As opposed to being validated by not being confronted? Heh.

    That sounds like insecurity in one’s position.

    Nobody fears that the weirdo babbling in the park that biblical Armageddon is upon us and it’s time to repent doesn’t draw crowds. Ignoring him is better to do than arguing with him because arguing with him may actually feed his delusion of a conspiracy that “they” are out to stop him from delivering “the word.” You’re actually validating some other position he holds by responding in the first place.

    That’s why most people just walk on by and ignore the fellow.

  570. #571 Brian D
    January 13, 2009

    Kel, to be fair, I have a smackdown in moderation here, but that’s because I provided several links to back my claims up using HTML. The wonders of countering the Gish Gallop — even blog comments, which *can* have all their information linked to in a brief span of time, can get caught up in delays before publication.

    Ward, Nisbet = Matt Nisbet of the ScienceBlog Framing Science. He’s got a long history of trying to frame arguments in such a fashion that pseudoscience isn’t mocked but rather isn’t addressed at all. Nisbet isn’t well liked. (It’s also rather interesting to see the different approaches to science communication that his frequent collaborator Chris Mooney takes compared to Nisbet himself.)) On a climate front, his most recent serious gaffe was described here.

  571. #572 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @564, Nisbet is an appeaser. He has a blog.

  572. #573 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Dammit, I missed an ?r?!

    It should be ?Dr. Wankseder?, of course.

  573. #574 Patricia, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Mick probably learned that from Rush Limbaugh.

  574. #575 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Oh Patricia, flattery will get you everywhere.

  575. #576 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    Kel, to be fair, I have a smackdown in moderation here, but that’s because I provided several links to back my claims up using HTML.

    That happened to me once, I learnt from my mistake though, never post more than two hyperlinks in the same post :P

  576. #577 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @571,

    That [not ignoring creobots] sounds like insecurity in one’s position.

    Really? How so?

    I fail to see how addressing and disputing wrongness indicates insecurity; rather the opposite. I’m confident in my position, and welcome challenges to such.*

    I rather think that avoiding confrontation, as you propose, is the insecure position.


    * Note: since my beliefs are tentative, they’re open to change by argument and evidence.

  577. #578 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Moses: yet you demonstrate that you are completely ignorant of something learned in any decent high school general science class.
    You could have at least tried Wikipedia. Hardly rocket science, but even they get it right: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas as it transmits visible light but absorbs strongly in the infrared and near-infrared.

    Feeling uncharitable? Our esteemed friend Steve B does understand that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What he can’t get is that CO2 is embedded in a complicated system with some obviously limits, where excess CO2 over ocean acidification, loss of carbon dump growth in the ecosystem, feedbacks between polar albedo and temperature change, etc, and etc, and etc, makes a threshold effect inevitable.

    We should of course refine our model to get a better sense of what the thresholds on the system are — work that is being done with a cursory review of Science or Nature, much less actually reading Climatological journals.

    But our honorable friend instead prefers to speak in a pseudo-scientific gobbledy-gook about “chaotic systems” without understanding such simple facts, as that the earth’s orbit is a chaotic system. One which has a very clear envelope.

    Or that many systems are highly dependent on initial conditions — but even if the differential form of the equations can’t be solved, the integral form often come out quite neatly.

    So please, give SteveB the benefit of the doubt: he’s not ignorant of everything, just the things that don’t benefit his conclusion.

  578. #579 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Okay — I can’t help myself. You agree with them all? You never have something to add, something to extend to them?

    You do know about probabilistic inference, don’t you?

    Apparently, you know nothing about how science is done.

    I may not be able to be capable of adding additional scientific insight to posts on evolution, it’s an ancillary interest (one of many) of mine. I don’t want to add an “Amen, brother PZ,” derail the thread (unless I might have something funny to say) or risk sound like I am a “creobot” if I found a problem with the logic or the scientific rigor of said posts.

    Admitting that most scientists are not multi-disciplinary and that they’re actually, you know, ignorant about other fields outside their own isn’t scientific. It’s honest. The vast majority of scientists are really knowledgeable about their field of study, but would be woefully inadequate applied to another field altogether. The only ones that come the closest to true multi-discipline across a great sphere of knowledge are mathematicians and they’re often not really called “scientists” at all. If we agree that everything is applied mathematics, that is. Those few are often jacks-of-all-trades, but even they have their strengths and weaknesses (and interests). Mathematicians are overwhelmingly hired by the NSA to devise and break encryption algorithms and codes (among other things).

  579. #580 E.V.
    January 13, 2009

    Ward:
    I’m assuming that you think that we as atheists are looking to proselytize and convert the irrational religious who see faith as equivalent to rationality. No amount of charm, niceness or civility is going to bring an evangelical ideological metamorphosis.
    “Hallelujah! You once believed in magic but now you know physical laws govern all material things and that gods and metaphysical creatures are human constructs! Amen!”
    No matter how reasonable, rational, patient and charitable an non-theist is, it will do nothing to convince someone of divesting their “faith”. Ask Scott H. Ask the the many theists who read Pharyngula religiously (heh, heh).
    The fanatical fundamentalists/evangelicals/creationists don’t care how nice or mean you are, either way you are their enemy. You are the one THEY are trying to convert. Logic, science and reason are futile until the cognitive dissonance becomes loud enough for them to have to sort out reality from dogma and even then there is the chance that they will reject reason for faith because of the ultimate social and psychic cost.
    Your catch more flies with honey vs. vinegar approach is wrong. Flies always prefer shit and carcasses.

  580. #581 mayhempix
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Ward S. Denker | January 13, 2009 8:05 PM
    “You’re trying to find what you’re looking for without any evidence for your position.”

    You clearly had no idea what I was talking about. You stated:

    “I get it that a lot of the commenters aren’t as interested in the science that occasionally does get mentioned here as they are his stance as a fire-breathing liberal. What I don’t get is why some of us have to be shot down in the crossfire (and most of the bullets are coming from this side) who are interested in science.”

    My observation was that it was bullshit for you to claim your interest was in science when you engage in the threads that are not. I could care less that you read the science threads without commenting. Have at it. But to claim you are the poor science loving victim caught in the crossfire on threads about social issues is wanking at its best.

  581. #582 Michael X
    January 13, 2009

    Well I gotta rehearse. But, doing Moliere’s Les Precieuses Ridicules is going to be a lot funnier to me after this thread.

    Don’t be too uncivil guys! *snicker* *snicker*

  582. #583 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    Ward wrote:

    It is a coincidence and an obnoxious one.

    Don’t blame me, dumbass – I didn’t name you. I suggest you take it up with your parents.

    And as for your snide comments regarding ‘correct’ pronunciation, you might want to note that there are numerous posters here who aren’t from the same town, county, state or country as you – and, in fact, many of whom aren’t native English speakers – so your name is going to be pronounced relative to the linguistic factors stemming from that.

    Right now you sound like the kind of person who’d find listening to a non-English speaker struggle with pronunciation a real laugh riot.

  583. #584 frog
    January 13, 2009

    Ward: Admitting that most scientists are not multi-disciplinary and that they’re actually, you know, ignorant about other fields outside their own isn’t scientific.

    What can I say, but if I believe what you claim, then you’re just a hack. Every field is multi-disciplinary and requires at least a passing knowledge of other fields. You sound like Sherlock Holmes claiming that he doesn’t need to know that the Earth revolves around the Sun for his detective work!

    You don’t know enough to recognize a question that those in the field may not have asked? You don’t see any intersections with your field, you don’t have curiosity that is unanswered in the posting or the comments, yet you never misunderstand severely enough to require posting a question? And this at the simple level of a comment — not posting a blog on the subject, but simply a small comment underneath someone else’s blog?

    See, I’m in a real quandary — are you merely a hack, or being completely disingenuous? I think logical consistency requires the latter, but then again, they are not mutually exclusive.

  584. #585 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Wowbagger,

    I think you need a non-rhotic accent for it to work; it does work particularly well with an Australian accent, though, where it’s as good as Seymour Butts or I.P. Freely.

  585. #586 Moses
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: Mick | January 13, 2009 7:47 PM

    Except unlike eugenics, this is the age of the internet and all the retarded alarmist predictions and comments will be stored in incredible detail. Unlike eugenics, there will be no graceful historical exit for progressives…

    Eugenics were, for the most part, the providence of the rich right-wingers. Prescott Bush was a typical member of Eugenicists. And, for the record, he lost in his first run for Senate because of his support for Hitler and eugenics and since it was right after WWII… People were not so kind and forgiving to the Nazi-sympathizers among us.

    Amazingly how fifty-years can change a country. His son and a grandson both became President. And his grandson is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a fascist leader of a fascist state and will go down as one of the worst leaders in the history of our country and the modern world.

    You’d know that if you weren’t a semi-literate, uneducated fuck-tard.

  586. #587 j h woodyatt
    January 13, 2009

    PZ sez: “There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion.”

    I think what the professor meant to write is there’s no virtue in politeness when confronted with WILLFUL ignorance, dishonesty and delusion. Normal ignorance alone is no cause for taking a confrontational approach, but deliberate, studied ignorance deserves all the scorn one can muster.

    I don’t have a reason to be pissed off if I can’t rouse you for watch until I find out the reason you won’t get out of your rack is that you’re pretending to be asleep.

  587. #588 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    I’m assuming that you think that we as atheists are looking to proselytize and convert the irrational religious who see faith as equivalent to rationality. No amount of charm, niceness or civility is going to bring an evangelical ideological metamorphosis.

    You’d be assuming incorrectly then. What I am saying is that there are side-liners, incidentals that we can’t ignore. Being religious is not necessarily the same thing as being irrational.

    Many atheists have come from the ranks of the religious, deconverted because they managed to find insightful reasons to believe that religion is silly and only serves to fill the gaps of human knowledge that existed at the time.

    Some of us came to this on our own, others have been convinced. It’s amusing to hold a creationist to the fire, but that only serves to cause those incidental visitors to decide that what they’re actually seeing is elitism in a wrapper of smugness. They’re not going to bother to see if there’s actually candy under that.

    I’m sure Pharyngula comes up on a lot of Google searches (some of which you’d never expect) because PZ’s quite a prolific blogger, quoted and linked to often. This gives him a prominence in the scientific community. I contend that this prominence comes with a responsibility to try to educate his readership. You may not agree, but I think entries like this one harms evolution education.

  588. #589 Moses
    January 13, 2009

    Posted by: frog | January 13, 2009 8:28 PM

    So please, give SteveB the benefit of the doubt: he’s not ignorant of everything, just the things that don’t benefit his conclusion.

    lol. You made my day. Especially with the very charitable ending. :)

  589. #590 Kel
    January 13, 2009

    I contend that this prominence comes with a responsibility to try to educate his readership. You may not agree, but I think entries like this one harms evolution education.

    Your concern has been noted.

  590. #591 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    And as for your snide comments regarding ‘correct’ pronunciation, you might want to note that there are numerous posters here who aren’t from the same town, county, state or country as you – and, in fact, many of whom aren’t native English speakers – so your name is going to be pronounced relative to the linguistic factors stemming from that.

    And I thought that this discussion was supporting the cause of incivility. I was just giving back what I got. Just because it stings doesn’t mean you should get all pissy about it. :)

    Right now you sound like the kind of person who’d find listening to a non-English speaker struggle with pronunciation a real laugh riot.

    Actually, I find that I am most often the only one that’s actually trying to understand what non-native English speakers are saying (vocally, it’s harder to identify them on the internet because of the background noise of stupid Americans mangles signal detection of honest learners). I’m actually rather good at it.

    The scientific edifice is filled with non-native speakers in America (though, since the SARS outbreak we’re not stealing as many Chinese scientists as we really should be, which is a damned shame). Bring them all here, in my opinion!

  591. #592 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @#589,

    People deconvert in different ways. Some of the testimonials on RichardDawkins.net say, and more than a few posters here have said, that seeing other people puncture the vainglorious sanctimony of religion by being rude and crude about it actually helped them see religion for the bucket of shite that it is ? true, many people don’t respond to it, but some do.

    Richard Dawkins agrees with Daniel Dennet when he notes in The Four Horsemen videos (with Hitchens and Harris) that, while working on Breaking the Spell, he tried desperately to rephrase the parts that were deemed excessively ?shrill? by religious readers of the drafts, and it was impossible to satisfy them ? any criticism of religion, no matter how mildly he tried to phrase it, was seen as excessively strident, intemperate, and offensive.

    There is plenty of room for the attitude that you might as well speak plainly and be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and it finds expression here.

  592. #593 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    Emmet Caulfield wrote:

    Wowbagger,

    I think you need a non-rhotic accent for it to work; it does work particularly well with an Australian accent, though, where it’s as good as Seymour Butts or I.P. Freely.

    Funny thing, that – while I’ve a ‘Cultivated Australian English’ accent (which is a technical term BTW, not just me being pompous) I’m still capable of extrapolating how the majority of my neighbours (or even those on Neighbours, ha-ha) would pronounce the name.

    But most of them wouldn’t consider it insulting in the same way; over here we don’t use the term ‘stinker’ in a pejorative sense – if we say it at all it’s almost always about a day of very high temperature.

    For example, ‘It was a real stinker in Adelaide yesterday’ – which (funnily enough) it was; it got up to 41°C.

  593. #594 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    #593: s/Dennet/Dennett/

  594. #595 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    ?while I’ve a ‘Cultivated Australian English’ accent?

    Does that mean you’re a Harold Bishop rather than a Joe Mangel?

    *ducks*

  595. #596 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Tell you what, Ward. You show us how it’s done. Take someone like Colonic Sun here. You straighten him out, show him where he’s wrong, help him see the error of his ways, and you do it wearing your Ambassador for Science robes.

  596. #597 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    Does that mean you’re a Harold Bishop rather than a Joe Mangel?

    You’re really showing your age there, Emmet…

  597. #598 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    Gee PZ. Still fighting that adolescent battle against the tyranny of creationism? Never grew out of that and moved on and became an adult.

    How old did you say you are? A University professor without maturity or a shred of a sense of responsibility. Just the same hate and anger you carried with you since you were a sullen and miserable teenager.

    I hope you dont mind the ad-homs. After all, it is your preferred tone isnt it?

    I do gotta add though–I dont see what makes you any superior or even different from the people you revile.

  598. #599 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Tell you what, Ward. You show us how it’s done. Take someone like Colonic Sun here. You straighten him out, show him where he’s wrong, help him see the error of his ways, and you do it wearing your Ambassador for Science robes.

    Alright, I’ll try.

    Colonel Sun,

    A few posts with scant data in them aren’t enough to form a conclusion on your side of the argument. It’s not germane to the discussion at hand, and it would be really difficult to bring all of the arguments here at once. Couple with that the realization that the residents here don’t consider your point of view to be a scientific one at all, and that they’re reluctant to admit their real reasons why, you’ll find this blog to be cold company.

    What you can feasibly do within the space of a comment is to prove small facts. One such fact is that the Mann “hockey stick” was (being generous) terrible science, and at worst it was intentionally fabricated to produce the graph it did because it fails a simple monte carlo analysis. You can extend the argument further that many who supported it on face value (such as the IPCC and Gore), and still defend it today, have diminished scientific reputations (and they’ll deny it) for accepting such a load of crap to begin with. It’s indicative of the kind of pseudo-scientific nonsense that makes it into an IPCC report (which are whitewashed to remove dissenting scientific opinions).
    :)

  599. #600 Emmet Caulfield, OM
    January 13, 2009

    You’re really showing your age there, Emmet?

    I was but a tiny tot back then ;o)

    Oh, and Harry#599 is definitely a cowgull.

  600. #601 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Oh, Hi Harry.

    Good to see you finally got off that deserted island. It’s been a crazy time since you’ve been gone. The religiots took over the US and justified an ill-conceived overseas slaughter by burying their heads up their asses while spouting biblical verses. Their pogrom against homosexuals continues and their war against science has escalated. It’s really only through highlighting their hijinxs that we’ve been able to keep their idiocy in check by the slimmest of margins.

    I know you’re eager to reacquaint yourself with civilisation, but I just thought I’d give you a heads up on some of the darker aspects of this modern world.

    All the best.

  601. #602 Crustacean
    January 13, 2009

    599: A+ for effort, C- for execution.

  602. #603 «břnez_brigade»
    January 13, 2009

    Well, I voted for Pharyngula each day (and I played nice this year). So be it.

    I thought PZ answered his critics well with this post, especially in point #2: it’s his fucking blog, and he’ll write about whatever the fuck he wants. As for their whines about science, maybe they need another reminder a la the Stan Palmer spanking.

  603. #604 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Crustacean @603,

    That averages to a passing grade, so thanks! ;)

  604. #605 Feynmaniac
    January 13, 2009

    One such fact is that the Mann “hockey stick” was (being generous) terrible science

    Wrong. The NAS report showed while there were errors in the statistical analysis the overall conclusion still held. Will you guys ever let that go?

  605. #606 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    A few posts with scant data in them aren’t enough to form a conclusion on your side of the argument. It’s not germane to the discussion at hand, and it would be really difficult to bring all of the arguments here at once. Couple with that the realization that the residents here don’t consider your point of view to be a scientific one at all, and that they’re reluctant to admit their real reasons why, you’ll find this blog to be cold company.

    You know what Ward? Fuck you, you slimy little shit.

    Reluctant to discuss reasons? How’s this? A fucking douchebag who writes a smug comment like “Last I time checked climate was a physical phenomena” has just demonstrated that he hasn’t even a high school understanding of climate forcings. Since he’s not even aware of the basics, it’s pretty well impossible for him to have a ‘scientific view’, any more than it’s possible for the letter writer PZ highlighted in his most recent post to have a ‘scientific view’ of evolution. Need more reasons, you dumb fuck? Crack an introductory palaeo textbook, and you’ll see why the Colonel is an idiot.

    It’s equivocating pieces of shit like you who think their vacuous, ignorant little opinions are worthy of debate and try to defend them with unsupported assertions that we need to have a discussion on civility when dealing with fuckwits. If you clueless fuckers bothered to gain even a cursory understanding of the issues you try to argue against, we’d have no problem.

    Try reading the ‘correspondence’ section of a scientific journal to gain a clue as to what disagreement–even vehement disagreemen–between individuals who’ve taken the time to actually learn the basics and beyond before they open their traps.

    As for you, you uneducated little prick, I’m done with you on this thread.

  606. #607 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    So Brownian, has the climate debate became yet another outlet to air you ideological views? Is that all this is about to you guys?

    That’s pretty much what I was thinking anyway. It really wasnt about the science after all was it?

  607. #608 «břnez_brigade»
    January 13, 2009

    And, fuck, I’m glad I now don’t have to type my name and email address every goddamn time I want to comment. Melikes the post-SB-server-upgrade version of Pharyngula.

  608. #609 Sasklectic
    January 13, 2009

    Funny. I was reading our paper today (I live in Ottawa, Canada) and the issue of “courtesy” came up in the editorial section. The writer was reacting to bus signs in the UK. Anyways, for those interested, here’s the link:

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/right+believe/1171127/story.html

    There’s a cute line in there: “These so-call new atheists are intelligent and articulate, but they have also been known, with the possible exception of Mr. Dennett, to ridicule traditional religion. This is not conducive to dialogue.”

    Because religious people only want dialogue, right? Of course…

  609. #610 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    Harry, #599, squawked:

    I do gotta add though–I dont see what makes you any superior or even different from the people you revile.

    That’s probably because what you ‘don’t see’, Harry, would – as they say – fill more than a few bigger-than-average barns. I’ll hazard a guess that this is the result of your head being stuck, permanently, up your ignorant ass.

  610. #611 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian,

    You did ask me to try and dissuade him without attacking his point of view. I did exactly what you asked. There’s no need to get angry when I was being accomodating (though it wasn’t the exactly what you envisioned).

    Wowbagger,

    I think Harry was being tongue-in-cheek. I could be wrong, though. He can answer for himself.

  611. #612 David
    January 13, 2009

    Having read about 20% of the comments, I can see why this site DIDN’T win. The ratio of “debate” to “consensus” is high in real science. In this blog it is extremely low.

    Dogma != Science

    Not matter how “uncivil” you manage to be.

  612. #613 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    “I’ll hazard a guess that this is the result of your head being stuck, permanently, up your ignorant ass.”

    That’s good Wowbagger. That would definitely earn you an above average grade with Professor “PZ” Myers of the University of Minnesota. It didnt however, answer the question. I guess there really isnt anyway to tell the difference between you and a religious zealot is there?

  613. #614 SC, OM
    January 13, 2009

    A fucking douchebag who writes a smug comment like “Last I time checked climate was a physical phenomena” has just demonstrated that he hasn’t even a high school understanding of climate forcings.

    …or of the fact that phenomena is plural.

    Carry on.

  614. #615 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I guess there really isnt anyway to tell the difference between you and a religious zealot is there?

    Nope. We’re exactly the same. So you’re better off going to church than hanging out here. They’re nicer.

    Bye.

  615. #616 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    You did ask me to try and dissuade him without attacking his point of view. I did exactly what you asked. There’s no need to get angry when I was being accomodating (though it wasn’t the exactly what you envisioned).

    Sorry. I forgot to stipulate that you must use science, not dogma. Nice work attacking us instead of him. A real win for the civility proponents.

    Anyways, don’t worry about it. I don’t need anything more from you. As I said, I’m done with you on this thread. I only responded to this out of courtesy.

  616. #617 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    I guess there really isnt anyway to tell the difference between you and a religious zealot is there?

    You might be right – if, of course, you happened to be ignorant of the definitions of the words ‘religious’ and ‘zealot’. Or perhaps ‘difference’ and ‘you’; at this point I’m not prepared to make any assumptions about your intellectual capacity – or lack thereof.

    It didnt however, answer the question.

    Maybe you should read over what I quoted from your post, genius. There wasn’t a question.

  617. #618 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    So Brownian, has the climate debate became yet another outlet to air you ideological views? Is that all this is about to you guys?

    That’s pretty much what I was thinking anyway. It really wasnt about the science after all was it?

    Yup. You nailed it. We’re all about the validation of our previously held beliefs.

  618. #619 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    OK Wowbagger, so here’s the question: (Brownian, PZ Myers and any of the rest of you can join in), what gives you such a sense of superiority that you no longer feel you need to be civil.

    Here’s another:

    What makes you different from the people you rile against?

    Try to answer this while mentioning 5 or less bodily functions.

  619. #620 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    I should add, since it’s pretty much what Harry was thinking anyway, that I’ve been thoroughly inculcated in the AGW dogma held by liberal science professors. I’ve got the 4.0 average in every climatology course I’ve ever taken to prove it.

    I’m really adding this for the benefit of the rest of you, since it’s pretty much what Harry was thinking anyway.

  620. #621 Brownian
    January 13, 2009

    Why ask Harry? Why bother? You’ve already got your answer. “It’s yet another outlet to air [our] ideological views. We’re blind to new evidence. It’s pretty much what what you were thinking anyway.

  621. #622 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Who is Harry?

  622. #623 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    Brownian:
    “I’ve got the 4.0 average in every climatology course I’ve ever taken to prove it.”

    Probably earned that average with reason skills like the argument below:

    “You know what Ward? Fuck you, you slimy little shit.”

    Was Myers your instructor? He must be proud.

  623. #624 Ward S. Denker
    January 13, 2009

    I am curious why there’s so much objection to the term “physical phenomena [sic]”

    Are you trying to support the claim that climate cannot be described by physics? That is what generally the term physical implies, scientifically speaking. Is it just because there are some aspects that can be described by biological processes? I didn’t see him making a claim that it’s only a physical phenomenon.

    There’s a lot of it that’s described by physics, such as fluid dynamics, etc. The amount of solar radiation Earth receives due to its position in relevance to the sun as well as processes like deep ocean currents make up a lot of what drives our climate, and those are physical processes too.

    Where’s the disconnect here?

  624. #625 Alan Kellogg
    January 13, 2009

    Lesson for this thread. Do not mess with Happy Fun Brownian (OM)

  625. #626 Ryan F Stello
    January 13, 2009

    What makes you different from the people you rile against?

    A sense of irony.

    My turn: why do you care?

  626. #627 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    OK Wowbagger, so here’s the question: (Brownian, PZ Myers and any of the rest of you can join in), what gives you such a sense of superiority that you no longer feel you need to be civil.

    Right now my sense of superiority over you is only a relative one; it’s fueled by nothing more than your frequent, repeated illustration of inferiority.

    More to the point: why, exactly, are you assuming that incivility stems from a sense of superiority? You’ve demonstrated your inferiority and yet your first post on this thread was one of uncivil attack. Does the combination of the terms ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ mean anything to you?

    What makes you different from the people you rile against?

    Try to answer this while mentioning 5 or less bodily functions.

    Well, you’ve got me there – thinking, after all, is a bodily function; one that you, evidently, disdain. Care to try again?

  627. #628 Crustacean
    January 13, 2009

    what gives you such a sense of superiority that you no longer feel you need to be civil

    Harry, what gives you such a sense of superiority that you can demand that others be civil, or provide their reasons for not being so?

  628. #629 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    Wowbagger:
    “More to the point: why, exactly, are you assuming that incivility stems from a sense of superiority?”

    From you guys I get a sense defensiveness concealed as smug superiority, but I’ll be just as happy with your explanation of why being as rude and offensive as you want to be is more desirable for you. Is your point to convince the unbelievers or to consolidate your own beliefs?

  629. #630 Nerd of Redhead
    January 13, 2009

    Ah, just another concern troll. Yawn.

  630. #631 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    Crustacean:

    “Harry, what gives you such a sense of superiority that you can demand that others be civil, or provide their reasons for not being so?”

    1. I made no demands, I’ve just made comments and asked questions.

    2. This is a forum right?

    I’m sorry guys. I guess you arent used to having to have your beliefs questioned. I understand.

  631. #632 Travis
    January 13, 2009

    Harry,
    What beliefs have you questioned? Maybe I missed the posts where you actually questions beliefs here. Your first just complained about the tone and anger, and after that you said a few things about people being zealots but I still have not seen anything where you have particularly questioned anything.

  632. #633 Lee Picton
    January 13, 2009

    It’s OK, Harry. I know you don’t get out much.

  633. #634 Klokwurk
    January 13, 2009

    *Yawn* Can we move on from Harry? I think we’ve established exactly why he is here and that nothing of substance is going to come from responding to him.

  634. #635 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Harry

    [1] I’m sorry guys. [2] I guess you arent used to having to have your beliefs questioned. [3] I understand.

    1. No, you’re not.
    2. Wrong.
    3. No, you don’t.

  635. #636 Harry
    January 13, 2009

    Well Travis, the question is out there and on topic. Professor Myers opines that he doesnt feel the need to converse with skeptics in a civilized manner and encourages his readers to act likewise. My original intent was to comment that in this approach, I didnt see what makes Professor Myers different than the blind religious dogmatist he rails against. Now its just a really good question. I you have read my last few posts you know what my question is. If you dont act this way out of a sense of superiority, then what’s it for?

    Do you see what I’m getting at?

  636. #637 Steve_C
    January 13, 2009

    Yes. Harry. We never have anything questioned here ever. It’s one massive group think. Yup. You nailed it. You’ve won. You can go now.

  637. #638 Wowbagger
    January 13, 2009

    From you guys I get a sense defensiveness concealed as smug superiority, but I’ll be just as happy with your explanation of why being as rude and offensive as you want to be is more desirable for you.

    You’re really not very good at this, are you?

    What you’re doing is called projecting. Because your positions are mostly groundless you are insecure; this makes you defensive, so you assume others must be as well.

    Your assumptions are incorrect. The appearance of smug superiority may be indicative of nothing other than smugness stemming from actual superiority. To be defensive would mean possessing an underlying doubt in the position held – which isn’t always the case.

    I can’t speak for PZ (or anyone else) but I, personally, choose rude and offensive if it seems the most appropriate means of conveying my opinion. It’s effective, fun for me to write, and provides (I assume) entertainment for the readers.

    Is your point to convince the unbelievers or to consolidate your own beliefs?

    False dichotomy – it’s neither. Unbelievers are unlikely to be convinced; my own beliefs need no consolidation. What’s important – probably more so in debates over religion – is the fence-sitters, those who can be swayed.

  638. #639 SC, OM
    January 13, 2009

    Try to answer this while mentioning 5 or less bodily functions.

    5 or fewer! Fewer, you pissy little shit-for-brains snot-nosed scumbag.

  639. #640 Feynmaniac
    January 13, 2009

    Arguing about how to argue is boring. If you have something substantive to say, say it. Either wise, fuck off.

  640. #641 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Ward @625:

    I am curious why there’s so much objection to the term “physical phenomena [sic]*”
    Are you trying to support the claim that climate cannot be described by physics? That is what generally the term physical implies, scientifically speaking.

    Because “climate” is a descriptor for long-term weather patterns. Classifications are abstractions, not physical phenomena.

    Climate relates to weather, the which is itself a classification of physical phenomena.

    Where’s the disconnect here?

    Your lack of understanding. That an abstraction relates to phenomena does not mean it’s itself a phenomenon.


    * Do you realise that, absent the context indicating plurality, there is no error in the term “physical phenomena”?
    “That is what generally the term physical implies, scientifically speaking” – now, such an abuse of grammar deserves a siccing :)

  641. #642 John Morales
    January 13, 2009

    Harry:

    Professor Myers opines that he doesnt feel the need to converse with skeptics in a civilized manner and encourages his readers to act likewise.

    You appear not to understand that sceptic ≠ denialist. The former requires evidence and argument, the latter is impervious to such.

  642. #643 Aquaria
    January 13, 2009

    But the reason I come here is for the incivility!

  643. #644 Wowbagger
    January 14, 2009

    SC wrote

    5 or fewer! Fewer, you pissy little shit-for-brains snot-nosed scumbag.

    Hmm, once I stopped laughing I counted: ‘pissy’, ‘shit-for brains’, ‘snot-nosed’ and ‘scumbag’ all relate to bodily functions, at least tangentially. But that’s only four. So, Harry has to accept it.

  644. #645 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    wowbagger:
    “What you’re doing is called projecting.”

    Is that what I’m doing? Well, I’m sure glad the only reason you choose to be uncivil is as a fun manner of expressing an opinion rather than out of a feeling of being either smug or defensive. I guess “fun” is as good a reason than any other.

    Here’s a couple of guys having fun:

    SC, OM:
    “5 or fewer! Fewer, you pissy little shit-for-brains snot-nosed scumbag”

    Feynmaniac:
    “If you have something substantive to say, say it. Either wise, fuck off.”

    Still sounds defensive to me, (and a tad frightened), and more than just a little bit the same response I would expect to get on any extremist website. Who really knows right?

  645. #646 John Morales
    January 14, 2009

    Harry:

    Still sounds defensive to me

    Further evidence that you lack perspicacity.

  646. #647 Charlie Foxtrot
    January 14, 2009

    Well Harry, its like this…
    when I’m showing someone an apple and they say “Its an orange”, I’m initially perplexed and keen to correct their (obvious) error. I say “No, its red, its an apple”
    “Its an orange”
    “No, its white on the inside. Its an apple”
    “Its an orange.”
    “Look. Its crunchy, not juicy. Its an apple”
    “Its an orange.”
    “Dammit! Look! Red, white,crunchy, its an apple!”
    “I believe it is an orange. Nothing can change that.”
    “For Fucks sake! Look…”
    etc…

    You can see how quickly civility is worn away in that conversation. So, it’s not that we possess an inflated sense of superiority, its that we’re all so damn sick and tired of people who can’t see the fucking apple.

  647. #648 Ward S. Denker
    January 14, 2009

    John Morales,

    Well, that’s kind of playing at semantics, isn’t it. It was actually frog that first used the term to describe climate:

    Some phenomena show threshold effects — climate being a classic example.

    Colloquially, most of us recognize the term “phenomena” as an ambiguous term that means “observable effects.” The term “physical” is quite a bit less ambiguous, and I don’t doubt the meaning he intended it to have.

    As for being “sicced” for grammar, it’s getting rather late and I have no coffee :(. At the time I was quite distracted as well by other pressing issues. I ended up writing that one short post in disjointed bursts, so I’m actually amazed it came out as well as it did, in retrospect.

    Besides, if we’re nit picking my style, I should point out that I could have used a better word here:

    The amount of solar radiation Earth receives due to its position in relevance relative to the sun as well as processes like deep ocean currents make up a lot of what drives our climate, and those are physical processes too.

    A little more evidence that I’m just getting tired, and that I’m actually aware of it.

  648. #649 PZ Myers
    January 14, 2009

    You’re projecting, Harry. Both SC and Feynmaniac have been here a good long while, and they’re having a good laugh at you.

    They also make a valid point. Exactly what argument are you making? You haven’t said anything substantive at all, at least not yet. No one can feel defensive when you haven’t even made the effort to challenge any ideas yet.

  649. #650 SC, OM
    January 14, 2009

    You’ve contributed nothing insightful, interesting, amusing, or intelligent, Harry, and I’m busy on another thread. I deem you worthy of mocking and correction.

    Oh, and by the way:

    OK Wowbagger, so here’s the question: (Brownian, PZ Myers and any of the rest of you can join in), what gives you such a sense of superiority that you no longer feel you need to be civil?

  650. #651 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    John Morales:
    “You appear not to understand that sceptic ? denialist. The former requires evidence and argument, the latter is impervious to such.”

    Oh, I understand perfectly. Im glad we agree on this. However, that isnt Professor Myers stated belife. To him, there is no such thing as a climatw skeptic and no need to be civil at all:

    “There are people who put together a coherent picture of a scientific issue, who review lots of evidence and assemble a rational synthesis. They’re called scientists. Then there are the myopic little nitpickers, people who scurry about seeking little bits of garbage in the fabric of science (and of course, there are such flaws everywhere), and when they find some scrap of rot, they squeak triumphantly and hold it high and declare that the science everywhere is similarly corrupt. They lack perspective. They ignore everything that doesn’t fit their search criterion, and of course, they’re focused only on putrescence. They aren’t scientists, they’re more like rats.

    And the worst of the rats are the sanctimonious ones that declare that they’re just ‘policing’ science. They aren’t. They’re just providing fodder for their fellow denialists, and like them all, have nothing of value to contribute to advance the conversation. You can quit whining that you and McIntyre are finding valid errors; it doesn’t matter, since you’re simultaneously spreading a plague of lies and ignorance as you go.”/i”

  651. #652 Wowbagger
    January 14, 2009

    Still sounds defensive to me, (and a tad frightened), and more than just a little bit the same response I would expect to get on any extremist website. Who really knows right?

    Tell you what, Harry, you find a site where people discuss the heliocentric model of the solar system, and you tell them that they’re being ‘defensive’ when they call someone who believes in an earth-centric model a fucking useless clown shoe who wouldn’t know shit from Shinola.

    Or, go to a site about gravity and see how people who go there to propose the idea of magical, undetectable, invisible fairies who carry objects to the ground instead of gravity. Are they ‘defensive’ when they tell them to cram their stupid ideas up their stupid asses, with walnuts?

    There are occasions where insults ? defensiveness. This is one of them.

  652. #653 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    Oh great, Professor Myers…while I have you hear, can I go ahead and ask you if you think there are climate “skeptics” (not “denialist”) you can talk to and do so in a mature fashion?

  653. #654 Kendo
    January 14, 2009

    Hey Harry #620! Your first question has an unstated assertion, that a sense of superiority is a necessary condition for incivility. Care to support that assertion? I mean, to me it sounds axiomatic re. your idea of superiority but I could be wrong. (Do I need to mention the mind-numbing banality of your second question?)

  654. #655 Ward S. Denker
    January 14, 2009

    Alright, I read some of the NAS Report Feynmaniac linked, but all of what I’ve read so far is actually disclaiming confidence levels in the data that went into producing that graph.

    It’s basically admitting the calculated levels of confidence the scientists at the NAS that reviewed it are of varying degrees. It mentions that there are several proxies for the data, since direct measurement couldn’t have been taken (kind of goes without saying) and that at least some of the proxies are pretty good and that said proxies correlate to one another pretty well.

    What it then goes on to say is that, past a certain point in pre-history (I don’t mean actual history, but rather “measurement” history) the data becomes sparse and the confidence levels drop off rather drastically.

    I’m not sure how this props up the Mann “hockey stick” at all, and actually seems to be asserting that some of the data that went into it doesn’t meet very high standards of confidence (by which I presume they mean statistical confidence, and not the colloquial meaning).

    I’m tired and face a diminished capacity to concentrate on scientific literature for now. I think I’m going to give my brain a rest and go watch a movie.

    Thanks for the interesting conversations (to all that were able to provide one, anyway).

  655. #656 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    Professor Myers?

  656. #657 Declan O'Dea
    January 14, 2009

    I’m someone who is poking around here as a result of being led here by the blog vote thing. I love the site, being hugely into evolutionary biology and hugely against religious stupidity. I’ve bookmarked it for future browsing. I don’t care one way or the other about rudeness, but PZ you’re making a big mistake in your easy dismissal of the two climate sites. There are plenty of nutters who prowl the sites, but the bloggers themselves are actually doing outstanding work. In the case of Steve McIntyre, this outstanding work in the face of plenty of disgraceful unscientific behaviour by the so-called scientists whose work he is criticising. You should look at what he’s done with a more open mind.

  657. #658 Magnus W
    January 14, 2009

    Worth reading on the subject:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/wiggles/

    Statistics

  658. #659 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 14, 2009

    Funny thing, Harry is not even the most obnoxious troll to hang out here today.

    Harry, I will point out a few things to you. Because of the nature of this blog, there are a lot of evolution denying fundamentalist christians who like to venture here in order to either condemn or convert us. If you took the time to go through the archives, they come in condemning us and it goes down hill from there.

    Funny thing, rarely do these people present anything that any of us have not seen dozens of times before. And for the people who actually have training in biology, it must really be galling. Just try to imagine what it must be like if people kept coming to you in your area of expertise and insisted that you are all wrong and that you are evil for pursuing your work. Yeah, it gets pretty fucking tiring.

    Most of us can sniff out a troll pretty quick. It is not that any of us have special senses, they make it very easy for us to tell. As you may or may not tell, most of us here have a sense of humor and a low tolerance for bullshit. These trolls are game for us.

    Cruel? Perhaps.

    But there is a funny thing here. Harry, most of the people that you have been sparring with, would have spoken civilly with you if you have been civil. I have seen them be very patient with people that I have little patience for.

    Harry, just how did you come in? Guns a blazin’.

    Gee PZ. Still fighting that adolescent battle against the tyranny of creationism? Never grew out of that and moved on and became an adult.

    How old did you say you are? A University professor without maturity or a shred of a sense of responsibility. Just the same hate and anger you carried with you since you were a sullen and miserable teenager.

    I hope you dont mind the ad-homs. After all, it is your preferred tone isnt it?

    I do gotta add though–I dont see what makes you any superior or even different from the people you revile.

    There is plenty of combat here. You could have come in combative and have something to say about global warming. But you had nothing. You came in shouting insults to people who are used to being insulted. And even worse, they give it back. When you came in like that, you became sport.

    You kept throwing your invectives but not once did you have anything to say. Yet more reason to pile on. And trust, no one was scared of you, we were all laughing.

    One last funny thing, if you give these people here something to mull over, they will stop being mean. There will still be teasing but we tease each other here.

  659. #660 SC, OM
    January 14, 2009

    I posted this link a little while ago on the other thread:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Stephen_McIntyre

    Thought it might be of interest.

  660. #661 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    Declan O’Dea:
    “I don’t care one way or the other about rudeness, but PZ you’re making a big mistake in your easy dismissal of the two climate sites.”

    I wouldnt easily dismiss the rudness. Its part & parcel of the dismissal of any view not conforming to popular AGW “consensus” on this site.

    They do discuss science over there. Yes, even though Mc Intyre makes himself clear nothing he had discovered disproves, or is meant to disprove AGW, the bulk of the comments are overwhelmingly skeptical. However, there is a distinct lack of such technical climate terms commonly used here, such as; “asshole”, “fucktard”, “Conservofascists”, “nutsack denialists” or “fucking fucking fuckers”. Im sure they loose points in the debate because of it.

  661. #662 anonymouroboros
    January 14, 2009

    @Harry
    Gee PZ. Still fighting that adolescent battle against the tyranny of creationism? Never grew out of that and moved on and became an adult.
    *You* rail against being uncivil. I’m sure that this response is somehow civil in your mind, but ask yourself this question from, who else, yourself:
    What makes you different from the people you rile against?

    But here’s the real question:
    (…) what gives you such a sense of superiority that you no longer feel you need to be civil.
    (Note that I gave you the benefit of the doubt and acted as if I missed something by not quoting the rest of it.)

    What makes you different from the people you rile against?
    Better yet, what makes you different from the average troll?

    However, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re an idiot. You criticize others for not having civility, yet you yourself show incivility in all of your posts that I have read. “Hypocrite” is the word, but perhaps stupid is simply a better word for such an obvious error in argumentation. Mind you, hypocrisy does not necessarily disqualify the argument itself, but it does show that you do not have any real commitment to what you express, making you either a dunce or both a dunce and a troll.

  662. #663 Jadehawk
    January 14, 2009

    Im sure they loose points in the debate because of it.

    the debate about climate science is lead in scientific journals (where it happens to have been confirmed with as much certainty as modern science can provide, not on blogs. on blogs, some people have the gall to claim they know better, and others are fucking sick of telling them where they can stick their overblown egos, after discovering that it’s easier to talk a wall out of verticality than an AGW “skeptic” out of his denial

  663. #664 Jadehawk
    January 14, 2009

    er. that was supposed to be climate change, not climate science

  664. #665 Rey Fox
    January 14, 2009

    “Im sure they loose points in the debate because of it.”

    I’M with an apostrophe, and LOSE with one ‘o’, you fucking, shitting, pissing, eating, lactating smegmacake.

    I’d add “pompous windbag”, but I’m afraid that might be mistaken for respiration, and I believe I’m already over the bodily function quota. I’ll wait for my next turn.

  665. #666 Stu
    January 14, 2009

    Holy shnikes. I, for one, would like to hereby nominate frog for the next round of Mollies. He/she has done what I aim/aspire to do, only better, with more patience and respect, however undeserved.

    Steve: really, cut your losses.

    Harry: do you have a point?

    Declan: bring your proof, we’ll bring ours. Until then, shut the fuck up.

  666. #667 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    Janine:
    “Harry, just how did you come in? Guns a blazin’.”

    Yes. Including this bit here:

    “I hope you dont mind the ad-homs. After all, it is your preferred tone isnt it?”

    I dont know if you ever took Professor Myers to task for promoting incivility, but I think it more than a little disingenuous to call me out for mine. Maybe if I had described Myers as a “whackaloon” I’d be at the same level. But you certainly couldnt object to what Ive written on the very thread written by a University professor advocating uncivil discourse.

    Please Janine, lets not be dishonest. Ive seen what passes for debate here and Myers sets the tone, not I.
    No, Im not here to talk about climate. Im here to discuss the discourse. In this, I am on topic. Its Myers thread.

    You keep saying that I have nothing to add to the discussion, but I think you know what Im saying and that itg does have merit despite you and Myers claim that Im being laughed off.

    I guess with you, at least I can be thankful that you havent used a four-letter invective in your post. That for the moment, puts you in a higher class than a University professor.

  667. #668 Rob JM
    January 14, 2009

    Well isn’t this just fun, two lots of scientifically trained skeptics trying to call each other names. Insults may overcome those sensitive bible types but us science types just take it as a complement! anyway a few points about science and AGW theory i’d like to make.

    1/ science is about theory and observation, and is independent of opinion or reputation.
    Therefore there is no such thing as a scientific consensus since a consensus is unscientific.
    2/ The IPCC consensus did not involve consultation of IPCC scientist. to prove me wrong please show the voting results.
    3/ The IPCC continue to ignore the various effect of water vapor/clouds because its “to hard to understand” Please tell me how you can be confident of you findings when you don’t understand the component that makes up 95% of the greenhouse effect, most of the albedo, and many of the climate forcings.
    4/ The dominant greenhouse gas, water vapor, has decreased by up to 14% percent since the 1970s, please explain how the total greenhouse effect is increasing?
    5/ Measurements of the outgoing longwave radiation show the earth is losing more heat as it heats up. please explain how the earth warms due to trapping more heat while the observations show its loosing more heat.
    6/ The official (Dogey) temp record say we have warmed up 0.7dec C in 150 years. how is this significant when the temperature naturally varies by 3-4 deg during the current ‘stable’ interglacial climate period of the last 10,000 years
    7/ please explain why climate scientist ignore pre-existing thermodynamic principles that prove negative feedback, such as Le Chateliers principle, while continuing to model climate as a system dominated by positive feedback, just like a perpetual motion machine.

    Does anyone still have ‘faith’ in a theory containing more holes than a piece of swiss cheese after a nasty incident with shotgun!
    Cheers :)

  668. #669 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 14, 2009

    Posted by: Harry | January 14, 2009

    I guess with you, at least I can be thankful that you havent used a four-letter invective in your post. That for the moment, puts you in a higher class than a University professor.

    Not anymore. Fuck off you disingenuous piece of shit.

    Whether you hear it or not, we are laughing at your sorry ass.

  669. #670 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 14, 2009

    One last thing Harry, fuck you for implying that the regulars here are so weak minded that they merely follow PZ’s lead.

  670. #671 John Morales
    January 14, 2009

    PZ,

    I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion.

    Harry:

    But you [Janine] certainly couldnt object to what Ive written on the very thread written by a University professor advocating uncivil discourse.

    Note the second sentence of the above quote from PZ, indicating context. You, Harry, have provided nothing that a concern troll wouldn’t've. Do you care to acknowledge he’s advocating it for my commenters?

    I think that what you’ve done here is a hasty generalisation.

    We get it, you object to incivility, apparently not realising that reiterating the same thing ad-nauseam, supported by nothing other than your opinion, is uncivil.

    Maybe if I had described Myers as a “whackaloon” I’d be at the same level.

    You don’t get it, do you? It’s not about the language, or even the tone. It’s about honesty and clarity of expression (not being mealy-mouthed).

    I guess with you, at least I can be thankful that you havent used a four-letter invective in your post. That for the moment, puts you in a higher class than a University professor.

    Again with the language issue! It’s about the sentiments expressed, not about the terminology. It’s about unwarranted deference to stupid, dishonest and wilfully-ignorant assertions.

    Such as yours.

  671. #672 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    You guyz !!! Oh,you guyz !!!

    2 hours to read through a thread just to arrive at the conclusion that:

    1. AGW people are just as dogmatic and close-minded as creationists

    2.They feel its impolite and rude to critizise their opinions,just like creationists

    3.They spend considerable time on a blog they clearly dont like,and dont get

    4.They misrepresent and lie and shift goalposts,just like creationists

    YAWN.

  672. #673 Brownian
    January 14, 2009

    So far, Harry hasn’t presented anything worth refuting with more than four letter words.

    Has he an argument that goes beyond diction? (Perhaps more to the point, does he even understand why I kept highlighting pretty much what he was thinking anyway?) Perhaps if he were in the position of ever having worked diligently to understand a concept, he might.

  673. #674 Global Warming Is A Scam
    January 14, 2009

    This is fallout from the Weblog Awards, where a couple of climate change denialist blogs have effectively turned out the disgruntled conspiracy theorist vote. One of those blogs will almost certainly win the ‘award’ ? which tells you the value of these contests ? so don’t worry about that.

    Shorter PZ:

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I didn’t win. Those mean denialists voted against me! WAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! I WANT MY MOMMY!!! WAHAHAHAHA!!!

    where “denialist” is defined as:

    Anyone who does not march in lock-step with the drumbeat of my far-left Warmista agenda

  674. #675 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    Lunatic @ 676,

    I find it astonishing that “far-left” seems to be a conditio sine qua non to be a real “warmista”.

    Your language betrays your ideology,Im afraid.And your blindness.

  675. #676 Global Warming Is A Scam
    January 14, 2009

    Lunatic @ 676,

    I find it astonishing that “far-left” seems to be a conditio sine qua non to be a real “warmista”.

    The Warm-monger movement is absolutely dominated by socialists, communists and other left-leaning types disaffected by the failure of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. They saw “environmentalism” as an opportunity to advance their agenda, which is of course the elimination of capitalism world-wide and an implementation of their utopian socialist one-world government.

    Your language betrays your ideology,Im afraid.And your blindness.

    Unlike, say, calling someone a “lunatic” or a “denialist”, thereby invoking the spectre of Holocaust denial. Only in the alleged mind of a deluded religious fundamentalist such as yourself could such babble pass for logic.

  676. #677 Allen N
    January 14, 2009

    RobJM @670:

    It would appear that you may not be clear on the meaning of consensus. I’ll refer you to the wiki post on that. I think you will find that there is nothing about the concept of consensus that makes it something not found in science.Some of the softness you seem to find in IPCC statements may reflect the process of working towards consensus.

    For your other statements of fact regarding albido, et.al. – citations please. You make some interesting claims. I’d personally be interested in 4,5, and 7.

    As for your requirement for voting records – is it your contention that the process was run like an election? Elections do occur in selecting board chairpersons and members but any group working on consensus will most likely not have formal votes with simple majority rule wins. That’s the opposite of consensus. Who/what is the IPCC scientist that was not consulted?

  677. #678 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Rob JM

    1/ science is about theory and observation, and is independent of opinion or reputation.
    Therefore there is no such thing as a scientific consensus since a consensus is unscientific.

    The second sentence does not follow from the first. A scientific consensus means that the vast majority of relevant experts agree, based on the state of the peer-reviewed literature, that a question has been settled, and that it is therefore time to move on to further questions and/or refinements.

    2/ The IPCC consensus did not involve consultation of IPCC scientist. to prove me wrong please show the voting results.

    You evidently do not understand the meaning of “consensus”. Look it up: it does not imply voting, but a conclusion that all or almost all those involved accept. The IPCC reports are based on the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and are drawn up by large teams of experts. Any who disagree with the consensus can withdraw. A very, very few have done so.

    3/ The IPCC continue to ignore the various effect of water vapor/clouds because its “to hard to understand” Please tell me how you can be confident of you findings when you don’t understand the component that makes up 95% of the greenhouse effect, most of the albedo, and many of the climate forcings.

    This is simply false: water vapour and clouds are included in all GCMs, and it is the feedback from water vapour (warmer air holds more) that increases the estimated mean temeperature increase from a doubling of CO2 from 1.1 degrees C to between 2.5 and 4.5 degrees C. There remains some uncertainly about the net effect of clouds, which is fully acknowledged in the IPCC reports. Given the above,
    you are clearly either completely ignorant, or a barefaced liar. Which is it?

    4/ The dominant greenhouse gas, water vapor, has decreased by up to 14% percent since the 1970s, please explain how the total greenhouse effect is increasing?

    [citation needed]

    Water vapour content varies greatly from place to place, and minute to minute.

    5/ Measurements of the outgoing longwave radiation show the earth is losing more heat as it heats up. please explain how the earth warms due to trapping more heat while the observations show its loosing more heat.

    [citation needed]

    It is of course only the ocean, surface and troposphere that are warming: the stratosphere is cooling (note: if the warming were of solar origin, this would not be the case.

    6/ The official (Dogey) temp record say we have warmed up 0.7dec C in 150 years. how is this significant when the temperature naturally varies by 3-4 deg during the current ‘stable’ interglacial climate period of the last 10,000 years

    *Sigh* Because 150 years is a lot less than 10,000 years.

    7/ please explain why climate scientist ignore pre-existing thermodynamic principles that prove negative feedback, such as Le Chateliers principle, while continuing to model climate as a system dominated by positive feedback, just like a perpetual motion machine.

    So according to you, nothing can ever change, because negative feedback will always stop it. No-one says positive feedbacks are going to continue increasing the temperature indefinitely. The most important feedback in GCMs is the ability of warmer air to hold more water vapour (you know, the thing you falsely claimed they ignored in point 3). Do you really think that thousands of scientists would have missed it, if their concepts of climate dynamics violated the conservation of energy? Or maybe they do know it, and are all part of the evil commie/greenie/Muslim/business/grant-hungry-scientist/alien-lizard conspiracy? Grow up.

  678. #679 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    Im noticing an interesting trend with GW denialists,they all seem to have their finger pretty tight on the Holocaust denial comparison trigger,not that it surprises me.

    If you dare to critizise me,you are comparing me to Holocaust denialists,thats unfair,therefore Im right !

    Classic fundamentalist debating tactics.

    Just out of interest,what does the former Soviet Union have to do with the arctic ice melting? Let me guess,its all a global commie plot,right?

  679. #680 Ward S. Denker
    January 14, 2009

    Magnus W,

    What your link neglects to mention is that there may just as easily be multiple signals within the same noise, rendering a finding irrelevant and not of the statistical significance implied.

    If there’s one thing we know about climate it’s that it’s definitely not cut-and-dried.

    One last thing Harry, fuck you for implying that the regulars here are so weak minded that they merely follow PZ’s lead.

    Well… He has been pretty effective at getting people to crash polls. There’s evidence of that all over the web.

    What’s interesting is that the most recent poll crashed, a number of commenters brought up the fact that the question was worded poorly. Anyone who read it could see that, if they looked. In lieu of making an actual choice on their own (that should have gone one way or the other in equal proportions due to the wording), they grumbled but crashed the poll in PZ’s favor anyway.

    The reason that I assert that it should have gone either way in equal proportions is bolstered by the fact that, since the day of the crash it has since equalized. It has settled on a 49%/51% yes/no split. That means that at least some of PZ’s fans willfully voted against their nature, or didn’t care enough to decide the question on its merit.

    At final count it had been taken from a 70%/30% split to a 28%/72% Yes/No split.

    Care to explain?

  680. #681 Stephen Wells
    January 14, 2009

    @670: your point number 5 expresses surprise that the earth would radiate more heat as it grows warmer. In the real world, it is normal, nay universal, for warmer things to radiate more heat. You seem confused about elementary thermodynamics.

    Point 6 indicates that you don’t understand the difference between a mean and a variance, so you are confused about statistics too.

    Point 7 implies that climate models violate thermodynamics, which is simply wrong. Whether a system displays positive or negative feedback is a question of the physics of the system; neither Le Chatelier nor perpetual motion machines are relevant.

    Someone else can fisk your other errors, I’ve done the physics side. Though I do find the claim “IPCC consensus did not involve consultation of IPCC scientist” hilariously incoherent.

  681. #682 Global Warming Is A Scam
    January 14, 2009

    Im noticing an interesting trend with GW denialists,they all seem to have their finger pretty tight on the Holocaust denial comparison trigger,not that it surprises me.

    Only because you Warmistas chose the term “denialist” for the express purpose of invoking Holocaust denial, thereby associating your opponents with perhaps the most sickening event in human history.

    Fortunately, though, people are starting to catch on to this tactic, so I don’t think you’ll be able to use it much longer.

    Just out of interest,what does the former Soviet Union have to do with the arctic ice melting?

    Please learn to read for comprehension. I said that leftists joined the environmental movement after their utopian nation-state collapsed. I do agree with you on one point, however: the USSR definitely has nothing to do with the increase in the Antarctic ice cap.

    Oh, and for all of you Warmistas out there: what is the optimal temperature of the planet? And don’t give me any of this nonsense that “no such temperature exists”. If the temperature is irrelevant, so is “global warming”.

  682. #683 John Morales
    January 14, 2009

    Ward @682,

    Care to explain?

    Try a search on this site for “pointless poll”. There’s more than one post that explains.

  683. #684 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    As fascinating as it is to see someone indoctrinated,politically uneducated and closed-minded try to make the facts fit his worldview,It is something I can witness here all the time and it does not become a more interesting process just because its a GW denier instead of a creationist for a change.

    Their thinking,if you want to call it that,seems to work in a rather similar way.

    Only because you Warmistas chose the term “denialist

    You know jack shit about me mate,how unsurprising that you would assume I am a “warmista”,thats what I meant when i said your ideology betrays you.

  684. #685 Blue Field Damian
    January 14, 2009

    @684: Speaking of screeding conspiracist jackholes…

  685. #686 Ward S. Denker
    January 14, 2009

    John Morales,

    Given two equally bad choices, people will vote for each in nearly equal numbers. Look at the 2000 election – public sentiment at the time was almost exactly split.

    It’s a pointless poll, but it is still subject to human behavior, and it’s on a page that’s sure to get huge numbers of hits.

    You can’t just wave your hands and make the problem go away, you need to explain why it equalized to predictable levels, given that it’s unlikely there really are that many other sites like Pharyngula out there out to crash it and that they too would likely fall upon a 50/50 split.

  686. #687 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    what is the optimal temperature of the planet? And don’t give me any of this nonsense that “no such temperature exists”. If the temperature is irrelevant, so is “global warming”. – GWIAS

    Oh good gravy, this stinking turd is back. You’ve been answered repeatedly, fuckwit, and demonstrated conclusively your total inability to understand the answer, so let me try another tack:

    What’s the optimal weight of a human being? And don’t give me any of this nonsense that “no such weight exists”. If the weight is irrelevant, so is “getting fatter”.

  687. #688 wildlifer
    January 14, 2009

    @684
    The “optimal temperature of the planet” would be temperatures in the range that man is adapted to, especially wrt agriculture.

  688. #689 Josh
    January 14, 2009

    The “optimal temperature of the planet” would be temperatures in the range that man is adapted to, especially wrt agriculture.

    Wow. That doesn’t imply that humans are the only important organism on the planet at all.

  689. #690 Stanton
    January 14, 2009

    “Global Warming is A Scam” thinks that the communists are environmentalists?

    Uh, has this person pulled his head out from under his large rock to actually look at the environmental records of communist countries?

  690. #691 wildlifer
    January 14, 2009

    #691
    Do you really think an appeal for the other species on the planet would work on a denialist?

  691. #692 Josh
    January 14, 2009

    Do you really think an appeal for the other species on the planet would work on a denialist?

    Nope, not at all. That is a fair point. It still doesn’t really give us the leeway to erect foolish metrics like the “optimal temperature” of a planet, but I definitely see where you were going.

  692. #693 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    “You don’t get it, do you? It’s not about the language, or even the tone. It’s about honesty and clarity of expression (not being mealy-mouthed).”

    What??? LOL!! C’mon John! No it isnt! Re-read Myers thread! Honesty and clarity have nothing to do with it! This is about a university professor advocating incivility towards people he disagrees with.

    “It’s about unwarranted deference to stupid, dishonest and wilfully-ignorant assertions. Such as yours.”

    Which “wilfully-ignorant” assertion? That you guys are no better than the strawman enemy you rail against? I’d say Im dead on. Maybe you can explain how I’m wrong. Is there such a thing in your mind as an AGW skeptic? Or must they all be “deniers”?

  693. #694 Stephen Wells
    January 14, 2009

    As a scientist, I’d say that any “warming skeptic” who doesn’t display a clear and evident grasp of the underlying science here- specifically, the spectroscopic properties of the CO2 molecule- counts as a “denier”. Use of well-known wrong arguments- like confusing the magnitude of an underlying trend with the magnitude of typical variation- is a pretty big red flag, much as creationists who blunder in here asking “why are there still monkeys” deserve, and get, short shrift.

    I do love the term “Warmista” though. I should get that on a T-shirt.

  694. #695 wildlifer
    January 14, 2009

    Harry,
    As a nOOb around here, you really shouldn’t be trying to re-interpret what PZ means.
    The target of incivility is a class of people with which he disagrees. Instead of trying to interpret what he writes, try reading for comprehension.

  695. #696 Blue Fielder
    January 14, 2009

    Harry, cry all you like, but you and your ilk aren’t “skeptics”, you’re ideologues.

  696. #697 SC, OM
    January 14, 2009

    It’s been several months since I posted the link to this great talk by Naomi Oreskes, but I think the story is important to remember when dealing with either knowing or unwitting shills:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

    It’s also been several weeks at least since I mentioned the yam (“you’re all mean”) gambit, or yambit. The whiners here are rank yamateurs, and will need a lot of work before they’re ready for the big leagues. Dr. Jay Gordon is still world yampion. After an entire thread yamming it up at Respectful Insolence, he acknowledged that people had given him something to think about. Then he went off and posted a yamifesto on another site about the exchange, and proceeded shamelessly over the next few months to spread antivax and antiscience garbage that could have fatal consequences. This included penning the foreward to Jenny McCarthy’s book. He then returned to RI to thank the commenters for the thought-provoking conversation (the yat-p gambit, which often includes “We may disagree on many issues, but…” or “I’m going to have to read up on that and come back”). He’s responded to none of the strongest substantive criticisms, and has recently returned with more empty antivax blather. I’ve seen Dr. Jay in action. The Civili-team here is strictly little league.

  697. #698 Harry
    January 14, 2009

    Stephen Wells:
    “I’d say that any “warming skeptic” who doesn’t display a clear and evident grasp of the underlying science here- specifically, the spectroscopic properties of the CO2 molecule- counts as a “denier”.

    I’m sure you might find debate in that point. At least once we moved beyond the invective that is. Of course, there have been other points of contention in the debate. Be that as it may Stephen, is there anyone that you can name that doesnt comport to your views on climate change you consider merely a “skeptic” rather than a “denier”? Is there no contrary view point in your mind that has any merit?

  698. #699 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    I see Ward is still wanking away today.
    I love how he comes here to deride PZ… my guess is jealousy.

  699. #700 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    Harry:
    “Is there such a thing in your mind as an AGW Denier?”

    There, I fixed it for him.

  700. #701 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    “The Warm-monger movement is absolutely dominated by socialists, communists and other left-leaning types disaffected by the failure of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. They saw “environmentalism” as an opportunity to advance their agenda, which is of course the elimination of capitalism world-wide and an implementation of their utopian socialist one-world government.”

    These guys kill me. They drip with global conspiracy paranoia and then cry out, “Why won’t you take us AGW Deniers seriously?!!”

    Of course he also thinks the homos want to turn the public schools into gay child sex nurseries and that atheists and liberals are the reason god has forsaken us causing his authoritarian world to fall apart.

    I suggest GWIAS ask his doctor about the wonders of lithium.

  701. #702 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    mayhempix,

    agreed this particular specimen is especially fond of the big commie gay atheist liberal conspiracy,to come up with a world-wide secret plan to make up global warming to further their evil environmentalist agenda.

    But communist,atheist,liberal and gay anxiety seems par for the course in american right-wing and left of the IQ Bell curve cycles…

  702. #703 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Here’s something to amuse the sane, and get the denialist whackaloons really foaming at the mouth:
    The Change we need: After eight long, tiresome years, President Al Gore won’t be missed. Even if he did save the planet.

    I warn you though – there’s a nasty twist at the end!

  703. #704 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    wildlifer, Josh,
    GWIAS has been here before, depositing his “optimal temperature” turd. It was pointed out to him numerous times that there is a range of acceptable temperatures, and that it is rapid change that is dangerous, hence he was speaking through an orifice usually reserved for waste elimination, but he’s far too stupid to understand the point, as you’ll see by his loony conspiracy theory. Hence my analogy@689.

  704. #705 Steve_C
    January 14, 2009

    Ha! Thanks KG, that was a fun what if…

  705. #706 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    Thanks Nick,
    that was fantastic !!

  706. #707 Josh
    January 14, 2009

    Knock:

    GWIAS has been here before, depositing his “optimal temperature” turd.

    Yeah, I know. I’ve watched it unfold with GWIAS before. For whatever reason though, I’ve been in the mood lately where I don’t mind throwing on the broken record hat and reiterating to these guys, again and again, stuff that’s already been pointed out to them numerous times. I guess I’m always concerned about those watching silently from the sidelines for the first time. I hate having stupid points not get refuted in every instance where they appear.

    BTW, I enjoyed the analogy in #689 quite a bit. Well done.

  707. #708 Stephen Wells
    January 14, 2009

    @700: do you really think the IR spectroscopic properties of CO2 are subject to debate? Wow. I think the minimum condition for taking an informed part in the debate is to acknowledge that warming due to anthropogenic CO2 is the default assumption. If you can then argue coherently for countervailing factors, go to it.

    There’s plenty of argument to be had and open questions to be solved in climate science, as in any other healthy science. But if you kick off by denying that anthropogenic CO2 is a warming factor, you go in the same bin as flat-earthers and creationists. And if you claim that AGW is a cabal, conspiracy, or something that scientists are backing because of social pressure rather than evidence, you go in the same bin as the conspiracy theorists.

    It reminds me of the tobacco “debate”. There was a period of a few decades when pretty much every medical organisation in the world was saying that tobacco smoke was a major, major health issue, and the tobacco companies- the ones with the money- could muddy the waters just enough to keep marketing their product. Thing is, their arguments were only remotely plausible if you started from the assumption that tobacco should be considered, by default, harmless; then you could demand strong, nay incontrovertible evidence, for harm. But if you think for a second about biology, the default assumption for _persistently inhaling the smoke of burning vegetation, laden with tars and nicotine_ should be that it’s harmful, and you need evidence to conclude that it’s _not_.

    We’re at pretty much the same place here. People who grasp the physics are concerned about AGW. It’s the fossil fuel companies that have all the money and political clout to keep the debate “balanced”. That makes it grimly amusing when people post stuff like 678: “The Warm-monger movement is absolutely dominated by socialists, communists and other left-leaning types disaffected by the failure of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. They saw “environmentalism” as an opportunity to advance their agenda, which is of course the elimination of capitalism world-wide and an implementation of their utopian socialist one-world government.” Weird: I’m a liberal democrat and I’m glad the Soviet Union collapsed (for one thing I wouldn’t have met my wife otherwise!), yet I’m concerned about AGW because of basic science which no “denier” seems capable of arguing coherently against.

  708. #709 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 14, 2009

    Posted by: Stanton | January 14, 2009

    “Global Warming is A Scam” thinks that the communists are environmentalists?

    Funny thing, one of Rush Limbaugh’s point for many years is that after the fall of the Soviet Union, all of the marxists, lefties and liberals moved on to environmentalism.

  709. #710 Nerd of Redhead
    January 14, 2009

    I see KnockGoats still has it.
    I’ve stayed away from the civility argument because nobody was going to change anyone elses minds, and I didn’t see any room to mock. My opinion is that once a person demands total civility for his arguments, he knows they are lame, and he/she will lose the argument on a factual basis. And doesn’t want to be taken to task for his/her lame ideas and made to feel bad, so they hide behind the civility argument.
    The facts stand for themselves. If people ignore or misrepresent the facts, they need to be shown the error of their ways, and sometimes you need to get their attention, just like you need to get the attention of toddler throwing a temper tantrum. Strong language may do the job.
    Personally, I try to either let the other side start the name calling, or use the 3 post rule if they are just obstinate.

  710. #711 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Be that as it may Stephen, is there anyone that you can name that doesnt comport to your views on climate change you consider merely a “skeptic” rather than a “denier”? – Harry

    There are a handful who deserve that title, most notably the Roger Pielkes, father and son – although the son is a political scientist with interests in climate change, not a climate scientist. Roy Spencer has published a few decent peer-reviewed articles, but these are far less out of whack with the consensus than the spin he puts on his work in the blogosphere. There’s a few more, maybe, but very few.

    Josh@709,
    Thanks! Yes, just repeating the truth is necessary in case, as you say, people are watching from the sidelines.

  711. #712 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    It’s the fossil fuel companies that have all the money and political clout to keep the debate “balanced”. – Stephen Wells
    Actually, even they have mostly abandoned the claims that it isn’t happening or isn’t down to us. Exxon’s CEO has now called for a carbon tax. Of course, the fossil-fuel lobby will still be fighting for their profits, but the ideology-driven “libertarian” and similar whackaloons are now almost alone in pretending there’s significant doubt about the need for action – and we can see from the sort of conspiracy-theory lunacy they’re posting here how desperate they are.

  712. #713 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    Posted by: clinteas | January 14, 2009 10:04 AM
    “But communist,atheist,liberal and gay anxiety seems par for the course in american right-wing and left of the IQ Bell curve cycles…”

    Hey! You Aussies sent us Ken Ham!

  713. #714 Stephen Wells
    January 14, 2009

    I see that realclimate seems to use the term “climate change inactivist”, which is quite elegant.

  714. #715 Charles
    January 14, 2009

    > I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion.

    Sure seems to me that the world could use more civil behavior. What good has ever come on being uncivil? Does it convince your opponents? Does it convince those who are unsure? No, it only rallies a mob. Incivility is the enemy of education and civilization.

  715. #716 Stu
    January 14, 2009

    Of course commies are environmentalists! That’s why China opens up a new coal-fired power station every week!

    Oh, wait.

  716. #717 Steve_C
    January 14, 2009

    Are we really going to get NEW concern trolls now? Didn’t we move on?

  717. #718 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    @ 717,

    Charles,

    or can I call you Charlie,

    No, it only rallies a mob. Incivility is the enemy of education and civilization.

    Congrats on your quote-mining skills.At least that part of your brain works.
    700 odd posts,and you have seem to have read none of them,certainly not what PZ actually wrote.

    Its the context that counts matey,nobody here is advocating incivility(well,thats a relative term isnt it)or rudeness in the setting of education or science facilities.

    Whats been pointed out here ad nauseam is that close-minded,irrational,boring,dense people that have repeatedly been given a chance to educate themselves or at least consider the validity of other’s viewpoints,when they choose to insist on their braindeadness,can be made the object of ridicule and what you call incivility.

  718. #719 SC, OM
    January 14, 2009

    It reminds me of the tobacco “debate”.

    …We’re at pretty much the same place here.

    Watch the Naomi Oreskes talk @ #699 (especially from the 28-minute mark on)!

  719. #720 Nerd of Redhead
    January 14, 2009

    Charles, if you want more civiity, apoliogize for your restarting he argument after 700+ posts. Otherwise, you aren’t civil.

  720. #721 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    Hey Charles,
    considering that you believe the current recession is Obama’s fault, your wingnut “concern” has about as much credibility as George W. does.

  721. #722 Stephen Wells
    January 14, 2009

    @717: I think “what good has ever come on [sic] being uncivil” is right up there with “what have the Romans ever done for us?”.

  722. #723 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Nerd@722,
    I thought you were joking!

    Wow, that’s real grade-A stupid, Charlie-baby! You should bottle it and sell it to people who want to run for Congress as Libertarians.

  723. #724 Trent1492
    January 14, 2009

    Is this gang bang with the Denialist over the Weblog Awards going to be a annual event now?

  724. #725 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    Is this gang bang with the Denialist over the Weblog Awards going to be a annual event now?

    I hope not.
    So far Im only mildly amused by the influx of deluded wingnuts,and theyre not very original.
    Kind of like an afternoon out for tea and biscuits at the insane asylum.

  725. #726 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Sorry, @725, Nerd@722 -> mayhempix@723. Apologies to both.

  726. #727 frog
    January 14, 2009

    Funny thing — all the libertarian whackjob denialists have driven mean much further to the left than I had been before. I doubt that I’m the only one.

    Is it possible that Liberterians are a radical leftist conspiracy to drive all the moderates to the left? That Horowitz never stopped being a Trotskyist, but is a deep-cover agent for the Communist International, an agent provacateur?

    Global warming ain’t the commie conspiracy — it’s global warming denialism that’s the Mao-Lenninist plan! Those commies are really awfully clever.

    Maybe I should stop reading PK Dick.

  727. #728 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 14, 2009

    Posted by: Steve_C | January 14, 2009

    Are we really going to get NEW concern trolls now? Didn’t we move on?

    That is the beauty of teh intertoobs, there is an endless supply of identical trollz marching through.

  728. #729 mythusmage
    January 14, 2009

    Cahalan,

    Never tell a man which shows he must watch on his own tv. PZ wants to post about matters you’d rather see ignored, that’s his business. PZ wants to allow certain types of comments regarding certain subjects or commenters, that’s his business too. Nobody made you the Miss Manners of the Blogosphere, and even if you were you’d still be an ass.

    Anyone who acts like a bloody fool deserves to get stomped. Not only stomped, but kicked repeatedly until the message gets through, don’t be an ass. Thanks to fussbudgets and prissy missies like you we have a surfeit of the rude and obtuse fucking up productive dialogue.

    To make this even plainer, sometimes people who obstruct advancement need killin’.

    And speaking as someone who knows; saying your piece, offering what you can to support your claim, then shutting up has a better chance of getting your point across than exhibiting your tedious ignorance over and over again. There are things we can’t test yet. There are things we can now test, but we don’t because we’re so sure they don’t need to be tested. Why animals have sex for instance.

    Myers allows things you don’t like. Big whoop. PZ blogs for himself, not you. If the Seed Consortium didn’t like the way he blogs, they’d dump him. All your bitching aint changin’ a thing.

    And if you don’t want kids walking on your lawn, get a fence.

  729. #730 ctygesen
    January 14, 2009

    @686

    You know jack shit about me mate,how unsurprising that you would assume I am a “warmista”,thats what I meant when i said your ideology betrays you.

    clinteas, I don’t know from “warmista”, but you look like a damn “comma”-nist to me.

  730. #731 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    @KnockGoats
    “Sorry, @725, Nerd@722 -> mayhempix@723. Apologies to both.”

    Thanks Knock, but I’m not quite clear what you are apologizing to me for…
    but the consideration is still appreciated.

  731. #732 JY
    January 14, 2009

    PZ:

    RE: Post #411, then #423 re “stupid” comment — yes, that would be stupid given the context of the interpretation, the person posting #423 interpreted the statement his way, not the way I intended, which was how some nutjob might (which makes that statement not stupid in the sense it relfects the nutjob’s perpsective, or, stupid because that was the nutjob’s perspective).

    ….then, post #435, which mentions “death threats”; the context suggests this is nothing new.

    RE: Anyone who acts like a bloody fool deserves to get stomped. Not only stomped, but kicked repeatedly…To make this even plainer, sometimes people who obstruct advancement need killin’. (#731)

    So now, we’ve got a posting advocating murder (or at least in a metaphorical sense…but the words taken at face value are unambiguous).

    After reading this site for some time, it seems to me a threshold has been crossed. If I were you I’d be watching my back VERY seriously for some nutjob holding the polar opposite philosophy of life (or whatever one wants to call it). Forewarned is forearmed…and those inclined to “act” know this. IF such moves to act you won’t know about it, unlike the implied warning provided in remark #435, the “threat” and “act” may be separated by milliseconds.

    Good luck, again.

  732. #733 Helfrick
    January 14, 2009

    @JY

    So, since no one scuttled away in fear because or your previous “warnings”, you are going to continue on to veiled threats? Whats next, are you going to go camp out in front of his house?

  733. #734 AnthonyK
    January 14, 2009

    Christ with a dildo – still on this? Why are the anti-science crowd still here, complaining that PZ’s blog is uncivil? The people who blog regularly here are all pro-science, pro-rationality, and anti-woo. You have done your best to demonstrate how deeply paranoid and unreasonable your views are. If nothing else, you have tried to demonstrate that there is some sort of “conspiracy” among proper scientists to perpetuate a myth. Now like most pharyngulites, I am not a scientist (though I do have a science degree), but I do know that scientists are not conspiracists, not in hock to whatever fashionable ideas are going around or to any group of special interests whatsoever. I trust them, and I trust their evidence.
    And above all, when I hear their consensus, based on evidence, called a conspiracy – then I know that those claiming it are full of shit. And when, as happens all too often with some of the nutjobs who’ve come for an argument, social and political theories are brought in to define “our” position as merely pandering to a flawed worldview, then I know you’re full of shit.
    As has been said before many times, if you think that “science” is wrong on this issue, then do your own (genuinely) unbiased research, publish, and change our minds.
    Otherwise, you really are just a bunch of paranoid, misinformed, fuckwits – and you’re wrong.

  734. #735 JY
    January 14, 2009

    RE: #735

    That remark is absurd on numerous levels.

    I’m just posting a possible outcome…but then I’m one of many that’s noticed how that “incitement to incivility” remark has been passed around in the blogosphere in conjunction with the blog vote & the 2nd place (?) ranking, usually in much abbreviated format to facilite misinterpretation, among some interesting groups. Based on that one might say ole’ PZ has made an invitation. He, you & others may differ. But that’s not my problem. Or yours. Or others.

  735. #736 Helfrick
    January 14, 2009

    Are you high? Take a moment and read what you wrote. Here’s another possible outcome that you may not have considered. Nothing will happen.

  736. #737 Smart People are a Scam
    January 14, 2009

    The smart monger movement is dominated by people with small penises that make up big words and then edit wiktionary so that when I look they seem like they’re real. You smartistas just see atheism as a way to direct attention away from the fact that you’re all hopelessly disappointed that your all holy science never turned out those fucking flying cars.

    Well you can choose to call me retarded. But your obviously just using that to connect pure sugar cane common sense with mental disorders.

    …I see through your little games.

  737. #738 AnthonyK
    January 14, 2009

    Actually @739, I do have a small penis, and it makes me feel very disangrogenised. What’s your point?

  738. #739 Travis
    January 14, 2009

    Smart People are a Scam, it was a good try but I just do not buy it. Your portrayal just does not seem authentic to me. I am not sure what it is, not desperate enough perhaps?

  739. #740 Helfrick
    January 14, 2009

    What is the denialist version of a poe called?

  740. #741 Klokwurk
    January 14, 2009

    So now, we’ve got a posting advocating murder (or at least in a metaphorical sense…but the words taken at face value are unambiguous).

    Right, or maybe advocating the use of killfile? Nah, murder seems more likely…

  741. #742 AnthonyK
    January 14, 2009

    Sorry, I meant “disandrogenised” – why is my spell check not working?

  742. #743 Ben
    January 14, 2009

    Question for regular Pharyngulites: In your opinion, how much overlap is there between the AGW-denialism camp and the creationism camp?

  743. #744 Travis
    January 14, 2009

    Ben, I don’t know really, it would be an interesting question to look into though. I suspect there is a fair amount of overlap but I would also guess the climate change denialism group has a large number of other people who for numerous political and social reasons also do not want climate change to be real or at least seen as a threat but who do not support creationism.

    However after having long watched both groups, and many other forms of denialism I do see complete overlap in their modes of operation.

  744. #745 Steve_C
    January 14, 2009

    I suspect there’s much more overlap with wingnuttia. The leftist commie comments support that. I wonder how many of the wingers are AGW denialists just because they hate Al Gore. I bet a larger margin than those willing to admit. They probably believe that Al Gore said he invented the internet too.

    Creationist in general don’t accept science at all, except of course medicine which they seem to think has nothing to do with science.

  745. #746 CJO
    January 14, 2009

    In your opinion, how much overlap is there between the AGW-denialism camp and the creationism camp?

    It’s not that most AGW deniers are creationists, it’s that practically all creationists are also AGW deniers.

  746. #747 KnockGoats
    January 14, 2009

    Ben@745,

    There is certainly an overlap: Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, the even more loathsome Vox Day, and I would guess quite a few other Rethuglicans, and many of those “libertarians” who are also Christians. Roy Spencer, one of the few AGW sceptics to publish in the peer-reviewed literature, is also an IDiot.

  747. #748 Ben
    January 14, 2009

    Thanks, everybody. If you don’t mind, let me ask a slightly different question:

    In your opinion, what percentage of creationists also deny AGW?

    (That is a different question, isn’t it, or have I been at the computer too long?)

  748. #749 Ben
    January 14, 2009

    CJO, just saw your response at 748. That’s what I was looking for. Thanks!

  749. #750 mayhempix
    January 14, 2009

    Posted by: Smart People are a Scam | January 14, 2009 2:40 PM
    “…I see through your little games.”

    Stupid People Are Teh Stupid

  750. #751 Watchman
    January 14, 2009

    Ward at #518:

    It was that metaphor that inspired mine, so it should not come as a surprise that it bears resemblance.

    Hmmm.

    Sorry, Ward, I think you’ve misremembered the sequence of events. Either that, or you’re trying to lie your way out of this relatively shallow little hole (though all things considered, I think the first explanation is more likely and more fair.)

    If your face-punching metaphor came in response to a claim that this blog was like a rough bar, I’m not seeing it. This is how I think it went. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Ward at #323:

    You can’t convince people by punching them in the face

    Brownian at #364:

    This place isn?t a salon–it?s a saloon

    KnockGoats at #393 responded:

    Erm, this is a blog. No physical contact occurs.

    Ward at #427 responded:

    I find it laughable that some of you are comparing the place to a “rough bar” or a “saloon.”

    Whose metaphor inspired whose, again? I think you’ve got it backwards.

  751. #752 'Tis Himself
    January 14, 2009

    Many AGW denialists have politico-economic reasons for their denial, not scientific objections to AGW. Post #678 is a more blatant example than most.

  752. #753 Watchman
    January 14, 2009

    Steve_C:

    I wonder how many of the wingers are AGW denialists just because they hate Al Gore. I bet a larger margin than those willing to admit. They probably believe that Al Gore said he invented the internet too.

    Based on my personal experiences and on what I’ve observed online, you’re right on the money.

  753. #754 Watchman
    January 14, 2009

    ‘Tis Himself: No kidding. The guy objected to the use of the word “denialist” on (unsupported) Godwinesque grounds immediately after having vomited up this calmly rational claim:

    The Warm-monger movement is absolutely dominated by socialists, communists and other left-leaning types disaffected by the failure of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

    “Absolutely dominated.” LMAO. What a fucking lunatic.

  754. #755 Caryn
    January 14, 2009

    Cuttlefish, that poem (posted way back up there in the mists of time) was quite lovely.

  755. #756 Ward S. Denker
    January 14, 2009

    Watchman,

    My initial exposure to the phrase (though it’s been stated that the reference originated from an editor of Nature) was on another thread. I do pay attention, as well as I can, to the deluge of comments aimed in my direction. I can’t answer them all (and some just aren’t worth answering).

    I internalized that those of you that regularly comment here see yourselves this way. I don’t seem to be mistaken. Nobody has claimed anything to the contrary that I’ve seen yet. I don’t tend to have the best memory for details, but I do have a great memory for where they can be found again. Striking characterizations and metaphors tend to stick with me though. This one seems to be a meme that may be unique to Pharyngula, a badge of honor the denizens wear proudly, if you will.

    If I’ve misapprehended the nature of your collective self image, I apologize. Obviously, I’m not expecting that everyone sees themselves in any particular way. We all have our nuances as individuals.

  756. #757 SC, OM
    January 14, 2009

    I find it laughable that some of you are comparing the place to a “rough bar” or a “saloon.” It’s doubtful that many of you would survive an actual rough bar.

    Well, I’ve survived rough bars of various sorts, but the fact that I’m an outgoing woman has probably helped.

    Now, if you’re saying that this is an “intellectual’s ‘rough bar’”

    Of course that’s what people are saying, doofus. As I stated clearly in that post, that was Henry Gee’s characterization of Pharyngula, which formed part of his warped analysis of a heated discussion (during which, IIRC, Gee in fact did note his physical toughness and dare people to go to his town and say things to his face; I’d be happy to link to the start of that discussion if you’d like, or you can search for it under “Dr. Who? Dr. Dawkins”).

    His characterization was funny for exactly the same reason references to PZ Myers’ cyberpistol are – because this is a freakin’ blog. But it wasn’t off the mark. It’s an Italian opera audience or a Catskills comedy audience – a tough crowd that knows its stuff. The people I’ve seen here love science and love debating social, political, and philosophical questions (including with one another). We also love a good heated argument, and if that includes skewering the stupid or dishonest then all the better. But there’s a range and mix of personalities – patient, sensitive, witty, scrappy, snarky, brutal – and different commenters are treated differently according to how they present themselves (I believe this should be clear to you by now).

    then I say they guy that’s got the biggest gun is the one with the greatest incisive wit with which to mow down terrible arguments. The rest are just pretenders, the intellectual equivalent of the above-mentioned jeering, bottle-throwing bigots.

    I don’t see why this is necessary or how it even makes sense. There are a number of intellectual/debating heavyweights here.

    If I’ve misapprehended the nature of your collective self image, I apologize.

    For what? I’d rather hear an explanation of why this psycho-social analysis is so important to you. Why are you dwelling on this tiresome nonissue instead of trying to contribute to a substantive discussion? If you don’t like the tone of the responses, you’re free to leave, but you may find it more enjoyable than you thought. But be warned: Henry Gee couldn’t take the pressure, and you’re no Henry Gee, huckleberry.

  757. #758 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    Stephen Wells@710,

    “warming due to anthropogenic CO2″ is a factor, but the direct effects can only accout for less than 30% of the recent warming. The null hypothesis that must be overcome is that the warming is natural. The net feedbacks have to be positive for CO2 to account for more of the warming. They may well be, but there is not yet evidence for that.

  758. #759 John Morales
    January 15, 2009

    [...] “warming due to anthropogenic CO2″ is a factor, but the direct effects can only accout for less than 30% of the recent warming. The null hypothesis that must be overcome is that the warming is natural.

    “the recent warming”. You accept this?

  759. #760 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    Morales@761,

    Yes, I accept the 20th century warming.

  760. #761 John Morales
    January 15, 2009

    africangenesis, The null hypothesis that must be overcome is that the warming is natural.Rephrased, that would be “The null hypothesis that must be overcome is that the 27,000,000,000+ metric tons of human CO2 emissions have no effect on the climate“. Sounds odd to me.

  761. #762 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    John Morales, Why don’t we wait until we can tell that it won’t be swamped by natural variation. A possible 0.2 degrees C of the 0.6 degree C warming. Keep in mind that the next 27,000,000,000 metric tons will likely even less effect due to the logarithmic nature of its effect.

  762. #763 John Morales
    January 15, 2009

    africangenesis, I’m querying why you hold that the null hypothesis is that human emissions have no climatic effect, ceteris paribus.

    (PS Obviously, blockquote fail in my previous)

  763. #764 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    John Morales, No problem, I don’t even attempt to write html. I have not found evidence that the CO2 effect is strong enough to explain the recent warming. It is a plausible hypothesis if the net feedbacks are significantly positive but even a net negative feedback is possible. It is difficult to find any evidence that is not tainted by models, even so called observationally based estimates of climate sensitivity such as Annan’s depend on models and are based upon solar and aerosols instead of CO2. I believe that CO2 has an effect on the climate, it is obviously true in a trivial sense, but how could one go about proving that it has a significant effect amidst the noise of natural variation? It was hard enough to tease the warming itself out of the data with all the noise and confounding factors. The null hypothesis is not that CO2 has no effect on the climate. The null hypothesis is that natural variation is cause of the recent warming. Natural variation was the cause of past warmings and is poorly understood. Feedbacks to GHGs are poorly understood, especially clouds. Models are not yet ready for this particular task.

  764. #765 John Morales
    January 15, 2009

    AG, you repeat yourself, rather than answer my question: (I’ll try the quotes again! :)

    AG: The null hypothesis that must be overcome is that the warming is natural.

    JM: I’m querying why you hold that the null hypothesis is that human emissions have no climatic effect, ceteris paribus.

    AG: The null hypothesis is not that CO2 has no effect on the climate. The null hypothesis is that natural variation is cause of the recent warming.

    That aside, when you write

    I have not found evidence that the CO2 effect is strong enough to explain the recent warming. [...] Models are not yet ready for this particular task.

    you clearly consider that human effects are climatically negligible.

    Since you still assert, with no support, that this is the null hypothesis, I ask: Have you citations that quantitatively address this?

  765. #766 clinteas
    January 15, 2009

    Does it actually matter why we can sail the Northwest passage again?

    As far as I understand it,we are not due for another warming cycle caused by the funny orbit earth has round the sun for another 10000 yrs or so,havent had a meteor or vulcano eruption for a while(well,they actually cool us down,dont they?),and we’ve been blasting CO2 into the atmosphere for 200 years like there is no tomorrow.
    Which now has gotten us into a positive feedback loop with the methane we are freeing by the receding ice and thawing of tundra etc.,I mean,its not rocket science is it?
    You have to be pretty dense and a real conspiracy theory ace to seriously buy(and boy,it takes belief !)into this GW denialism shit.

  766. #767 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    I know what I consider better than you. Lets stick to the evidence. There are good argument that CO2′s direct effects would be on the order of 30% of the recent warming. The net effects after feedbacks may be more of less. Of course the IPCC conclusions require large positive feedbacks. A significant human contributiion plausible. It is questionable whether there is any evidence for it yet. Certainly not enough to overcome the null hypothesis. Even the stratospheric signature hypothesized based on models is in question, since it may only be a signature of warming, and even if accepted does not give us the amount of the attribution.

  767. #768 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    John Morales@767 again. Let me get this straight. Are you really unaware of citations that show there is natural climate variation?

  768. #769 John Morales
    January 15, 2009

    africangenesis @770, no.
    However, you seem to be claiming that the 30% (granting your figures) of the recent warming due to anthropogenic causes is not sufficient to consider a null hypothesis that this effect (over and above natural variation) is of significance, but on the contrary, that it is not of significance. My initial and subsequent questions are because I’m curious as to what evidence you’re employing to justify this assumption.

  769. #770 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    @africangenesis: your “null hypothesis”, as John Morales pointed out, assumes that CO2 has no effect, whereas basic physics says the null hypothesis is that it does. So, you are wrong. Then, you confuse range of variation with a shift of the mean, so you are wrong again. Try harder.

  770. #771 africangenesis
    January 15, 2009

    There is only an argument for nearly 30%, it is from model results also, but has more credibility because it doesn’t rely on feedbacks, just radiative transfer. But lets say the null hypothesis is that 30% of the recent warming is AGW. The models still aren’t capable of rejecting that in either direction.

  771. #772 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    @africangenesis

    You’re like one of those Japanese soldiers they found on islands in the pacific in the 1980′s, still manning their guns 40 years after the war had ended. Someone get a megaphone, and bring this lost soldier home.

    Newsflash! The data is in. It’s over. You lost. The good news is that the world is a better place because of it. Cheer up and invest some money in wind farms or something.

  772. #773 Global Warming Is A Scam
    January 15, 2009

    As fascinating as it is to see someone indoctrinated,politically uneducated and closed-minded try to make the facts fit his worldview,

    You mean the way failed presidential candidate and Internet InventorTM Al Gore and admitted liar “Dr.” James Hansen do?

    Their thinking,if you want to call it that,seems to work in a rather similar way.

    Yes, the “thinking” of a Warmista is almost identical to that of a creationist, which should surprise no one, since in both situations an argument is being made from credulity.

    You know jack shit about me mate,how unsurprising that you would assume I am a “warmista”,thats what I meant when i said your ideology betrays you.

    Good thing I disassembled my irony meter the other day, for you know “jack shit” about me, how unsurprising that you would assume I am a “denialist”, that’s what you meant when you said your ideology betrays you. Pot, meet Kettle.

    Posted by: KnockGoats, sockpuppet of Nick Gotts (No Brain) | January 14, 2009 8:10 AM

    You are aware, are you not, Nicky ol’ girl, that sockpuppetry and morphing are not permitted here? How long before Nicky is banished to the dungeon? Oh, wait, he’s a Warmista. His views have been pre-approved. It’s okay then. Then again, if I posted the drivel below I would want to hide my identity also.

    Oh good gravy, this stinking turd is back. You’ve been answered repeatedly, fuckwit, and demonstrated conclusively your total inability to understand the answer, so let me try another tack:

    You mean you Warm-mongers have consistently avoided answering the question and have instead served up intellectual slop in the form of “there is no such temperature”, ignoring the logical conclusion that this renders “climate change” absolutely irrelevant.

    What’s the optimal weight of a human being? And don’t give me any of this nonsense that “no such weight exists”. If the weight is irrelevant, so is “getting fatter”.

    I’ll take “Asinine Analogies” for one thousand, Alex!

    Answer: This warmista tried to draw a parallel between weight loss and “climate change”.

    Who is Nick Gotts?

    That is correct!

    You’ll notice I didn’t ask for the optimal temperature of a planet, but for the optimal temperature of this planet. It’s the difference between definite and indefinite articles. You fail English grammar. But don’t worry, it’s only your first language.

    An individual human being does indeed have an “ideal” weight. You fail human physiology.

    Your idiotic ideology actually makes my point for me; therefore, you fail propositional logic, to say nothing of reading comprehension.

    Please visit your local elementary school and enroll in a remedial third-grade level course post haste. I mean, you wouldn’t want to experience the global-warming-induced End Of The World As We Know ItTM to come along without being able to understand what people are saying about it, would you?

  773. #774 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    GSIAS, got any peer reviewed primary peer reviewed scientific literature to back up your lies? If so cite them so we can verify the accuracy of the papers with your statements. No web citing allowed.

  774. #775 Global Warming Is A Scam
    January 15, 2009

    Hey, Red! You claim to be a scientist. Why don’t you point us to some of your own peer-reviewed climate science publications?

  775. #776 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    Just so GWIAS doesn’t get the last word, it’s worth reiterating the following.

    The majority of actual climatologists, the relevant experts, are in broad agreement about AGW. GWIAS and other denialists might just as well tell us how the LHC will destroy the world, how 911 was an inside job or how Darwins lack of knowledge on the subject of ET’s destroys the case for evolution. Most Denialista’s are about as qualified to comment on the relevant science in these fields, as they are to drivel on about climatology. Frequently in fact, they are absurdly proud of their utter lack of relevant qualifications.

    Tell you what GWIAS. Get your degree in Climatology, publish a few papers on the subject in the relevant journals and then a lot of people here will be genuinely interested to hear what you have to say about climate change. Absent that, not so much.

  776. #777 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    GWIAS, you are making the claim, so the burden of proof is upon you. But you know that if you were the least scientific. You also know you don’t have the proper peer reviewed scientific evidence. So time to toddle along to another web site to spread your lies. Bye Bye

  777. #778 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    the direct effects can only accout for less than 30% of the recent warming. – africangenesis

    While approximately true, this is deliberately deceitful (I say deliberately, because I’ve pointed this out to africangenesis before, and his religion requires that no collective action should ever be taken to meet environmental threats). As africangenesis knows well, it is the positive feedback from warmer air holding more water vapour that raises the estimated rise in global mean surface temperature of doubling CO2 concentrations from just over 1 degree C, to between 2.5 and 4.5 degrees C. Thus the rise in CO2 plus the consequent rise in water vapour can account for effectively all the recent warming. Indeed, it may account for more than all the warming seen since the 1940s, as the rise in fossil fuel use has also caused a rise in sulphate aerosols, which have a cooling effect. Possible negative feedbacks (some clouds) are less well characterised but almost certainly considerably smaller than the water vapour positive feedback.

    An individual human being does indeed have an “ideal” weight. You fail human physiology. Lying moron GWIAS

    No they don’t, shit-for-brains. They have a healthy weight range, and doctors warn particularly against the dangers of rapid weight-change. In other words, the parallel with global mean temperature is exact. That’s why I made it.

  778. #779 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    I call for GWIAS to give his own ideal weight, to an accuracy of 1 gram, and justify his answer.

  779. #780 Ben
    January 15, 2009

    Has anyone ever been able to decipher WHY so many creationists deny AGW? Something to do with God not letting us destroy the planet, or that we don’t have power over God, blah, blah, blah…?

  780. #781 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    @782: (a) because if you see that AGW is happening you have to think of something to do about it and that takes effort and intelligence. (b) because sky daddy make all better soon. (c) because it’s science and therefore a Satanic snare and delusion. (d) because it was cold yesterday.

  781. #782 Helfrick
    January 15, 2009

    Pat, are you still around? You mentioned something about evidence that our incivility would have negative consequences. Are you still looking for it?

  782. #783 SteveM
    January 15, 2009

    (d) because it was cold yesterday.

    damn straight, where is that global warming when you really need it?

  783. #784 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    (d) because it was cold yesterday.

    This morning, -10 F in Chiwaulkee metroplex. High of -3 F. Still, it beats what PZ had a couple of days ago.

  784. #785 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    @782, I think the reason is clear. The American Republican party. Bearing grandmothers and eggs in mind, the Republican base is made up of two primary wings. A minority of Free market idelouges, and a majority of Christian fundamentalists.

    The primary set is republican ideology, inside that you’ve got mostly (but not completely) overlapping subsets of AGW deniers and Creationists.

    When you consider this, and the power, reach and influence of the US it becomes clear. It’s republican ideology that is killing the planet and the Iraqis.

  785. #786 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    SC, OM,

    But there’s a range and mix of personalities – patient, sensitive, witty, scrappy, snarky, brutal – and different commenters are treated differently according to how they present themselves (I believe this should be clear to you by now).

    I can certainly agree that there is a mix of personalities. As far as “different commenters are treated differently” I can’t really say that’s particularly clear to me.

    The responses to me have run the gamut from vacuous it vicious and from insipid to intellectual. What it really looks like is everyone throws everything they’ve got to see what sticks.

    It’s more like a elementary school cafeteria with a perpetual food fight going on than a rough bar. That’s my observation.

    And before you ask why I care, I don’t. Remember, you asked me.

    For what? I’d rather hear an explanation of why this psycho-social analysis is so important to you.

    For nothing. I’m just disclaiming that I meant to offend anyone’s liberal sensibilities.

  786. #787 frog
    January 15, 2009

    JY #743: RE: Post #411, then #423 re “stupid” comment — yes, that would be stupid given the context of the interpretation, the person posting #423 interpreted the statement his way, not the way I intended, which was how some nutjob might (which makes that statement not stupid in the sense it relfects the nutjob’s perpsective, or, stupid because that was the nutjob’s perspective).

    #411: You are inciting uncivil behavior that is [or appears to be] contrary to your stated position as an educator (be uncivil versus educate). Religious whackos just love hypocrites — the extreme in that demographic just can’t resist seeing them as a target. It’s really inspiring to them! Why a family man would go out of his way to provoke THAT type of person is baffling. Read some of the comments closely….if I was you I’d feel like I just became a walking bullseye for some headcase.

    Oh, so it’s my interpretation, eh?

    Maybe you just lack the ability to communicate clearly? You know a little hedge of the form “[or appears to be]” is really insufficient to claim that you don’t really mean it. It’s the classic cowardly concern troll hedge.

    Additionally, if you want to play the game, one of the rules is that you quote what you’re responding to so we can all see exactly what you’re reference is!

    So, I guess I stand corrected — the comment was stupid not because it is your “perspective”, but it was stupid because you never clarified your perspective to sufficiently distinguish it from the “nutjob” perspective.

    I’m not sure which is worse in this context — to be utterly insane, or utterly inane.

  787. #788 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    And before you ask why I care, I don’t. Ward S. Denker

    So why was this the subject of the first of your recent comments, and why have you gone on and on whining about it?

  788. #789 Watchman
    January 15, 2009

    Ward @ #758: Ok, fair enough, and thanks for the clarification. It did occur to me that maybe you were drawing on comparisons made in other threads, but it wasn’t clear given the flow of comments within this thread. My apologies for being short-sighted. Consider the issue closed.

  789. #790 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    It’s more like a elementary school cafeteria with a perpetual food fight going on than a rough bar. That’s my observation.

    And your “observation” is incorrect. I’ve been here for almost a year, lurking for a couple of months before I started posting – I think I have more knowledge of the situation than you do. I’m also a sociologist. If you’re going to make claims, you need to back them up with clear definitions and data. Until then, my more informed opinion beats yours.

    (By the way, I see that you linked to my comment on the earlier thread. Did you ever respond to my request in that post that you point to specific comments that you considered “bullying” in context? Again, I would be happy to defend my own.)

    And before you ask why I care, I don’t. Remember, you asked me.

    What KnockGoats said.

    For nothing. I’m just disclaiming that I meant to offend anyone’s liberal sensibilities.

    I’m an anarchist. I’m not offended by your unsupported observations – they’re just lame and boring.

    [I have to admit that at moments like this I actually do kind of miss truth machine.]

  790. #791 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    So why was this the subject of the first of your recent comments, and why have you gone on and on whining about it?

    I do try and answer people when they ask me questions, that way they know I’m not dodging them. The ones that are getting ignored are either missed, or being intentionally ignored. Last I checked, answering questions put to me isn’t the equivalent of whining

    I’m also a sociologist. If you’re going to make claims, you need to back them up with clear definitions and data. Until then, my more informed opinion beats yours.

    “I’m a sociologist, so my metaphors are better than yours!”
    That’s just silly. I know HTML so my metaphors are more colorful!

    Appeal to authority, and a lame one at that, because it’s your own percieved authority you’re appealing to.

    Did you ever respond to my request in that post that you point to specific comments that you considered “bullying” in context?

    I needn’t dredge them up. If they’re filled with nothing but hate and invectives they didn’t get any responses. That should set you off on your path of enlightenment (or at least get you to stop asking me to chew your food for you).

  791. #792 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    “I’m a sociologist, so my metaphors are better than yours!” That’s just silly. I know HTML so my metaphors are more colorful!
    Appeal to authority, and a lame one at that, because it’s your own percieved authority you’re appealing to.

    You’re truly dense, Ward. I’m a sociologist, and therefore I expect that when someone makes a bold sociological claim about a group of people (s)he should be able to defend it with clearly-defined terms and evidence. You haven’t done so, so there’s no reason for anyone to take your silly unsupported “observations” seriously, and certainly no more seriously than the equally-casual observations of someone with far more knowledge of the situation who is also trained in social analysis.

    I needn’t dredge them up. If they’re filled with nothing but hate and invectives they didn’t get any responses. That should set you off on your path of enlightenment (or at least get you to stop asking me to chew your food for you).

    So that would be a ‘no’ in response to the polite request for you to back up your accusations with specific evidence, then? Why am I not surprised? You’ve shown yourself to be an intellectually-dishonest little whiner, Denker.

    (By the way, I clicked over to Denker’s blog the other day. It was very amusing. The first post was about rules, containing a seriously explanation of his own rules for his blog. I scrolled down the page, and don’t think I saw a single comment on any post. It seems someone has a rather inflated impression of his own importance. I think I’ll develop an elaborate system of rules for people to follow when they’re seeking my autograph.)

  792. #793 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    I’ll ignore all the rest, asked and answered.

    The post on Rules you’re referring to isn’t about all the rules on my blog at all. I only have three, they’re short and (probably) fair. No religion, be respectful, and don’t litter (intellectually).

    What it’s actually about, had you taken the time to read it (instead of complaining about what you thought you’d read) is a bit of self-reflection. I spoke esoterically about all kinds of rules (and laws) and the concept of them altogether. I questioned my own motives for having them, an exercise in honesty, and my own motives for breaking the rules of others.

    I won’t speak anymore about that here. I avoid talking about my own blog here because I consider that to be bad form. I consider it equally bad form to slag on my blog but, in some ways, expected. Everyone’s a critic. What I find truly repugnant and distasteful is when someone intentionally misconstrues what I’ve said and turned it into another argument altogether.

    Read, or don’t read, I don’t mind either way. Thanks for having at least a little curiosity about my views, though.

  793. #794 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    The post on Rules you’re referring to isn’t about all the rules on my blog at all.

    Um…

    My own blog has rules and I think they’re simple, fair and clear. How do I feel about them, and the idea of moderation?

    On one hand, I question my motives in making them. Do I select them in order to feel a modicum of control over others? I, like all rule-makers, like to think that I don’t. I tend to recall many occasions where I’ve been subject to squelching by the sanctimonious sort. All too often I’ve felt the harsh leather of the muzzle and it comes to mind each rule I make for others (when I am in the position to do so).

    On the other, I feel more like maybe my rules are more like reminders to be polite and civil and that, with them posted, I don’t really expect that many to break them… [Well, that I believe.]

    I avoid talking about my own blog here because I consider that to be bad form.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/testing_testing_testingis_this.php#comment-1307618

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/testing_testing_testingis_this.php#comment-1310277

    Thanks for having at least a little curiosity about my views, though.

    You’re welcome. Reciprocation, rather than relentless slagging, would be greatly appreciated.

  794. #795 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    I’ll ignore all the rest, asked and answered.

    Right – I asked you to substantiate your accusations with evidence, and you answered that you needn’t do so. That tells me all I need to know, Wa…nker.

  795. #796 CJO
    January 15, 2009

    Has anyone ever been able to decipher WHY so many creationists deny AGW? Something to do with God not letting us destroy the planet, or that we don’t have power over God, blah, blah, blah…?

    Creationists’ science-denial is all purpose. It’s a symptom of an authoritarian political alignment as much as it is religious. Science is anathema to authoritarians, first because it’s a meritocracy, but mostly because it’s always offering up these uncomfortable conclusions based on methods and reasoning that they can’t understand sufficiently to engage with in the literature. It’s like this whole other world, and they can’t control the actors, the conclusions arrived at, or the dissemination of those conclusions. And what an authoritarian cannot control, he must misrepresent and demonize.

  796. #797 Pat
    January 15, 2009

    @ Helfrick

    Yes, I’m still around (or, to be precise, I’ll be back when I have a well structured argument, which is liable to be a while since I have other obligations). Don’t worry, I take this particular issue seriously.

    One side note, however. After I accepted this as a legitimate challenge, I noticed that Michael did something of a bait and switch on me at #539:

    > “I have seen no evidence to lead me to believe
    > that harsh rhetoric causes more negative
    > effects then positive.” I would site women’s
    > suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, and now
    > the culture wars as evidence of harsh rhetoric
    > doing more good than kid gloves.

    That’s well outside of the realm of where I’m going; it’s like asking someone who’s proposing to do basic chemistry and show that CO2 has certain thermal properties that instead they have to prove global warming :)

    I think it’s fairly possible for me to find credible evidence for the following propositions:

    (a) Encouraging an uncivil environment limits direct educational effectiveness (your ability to educate directly).

    (b) Encouraging an uncivil environment reduces collaborative efforts (your blog’s ability to foster an environment where knowledge can be pooled effectively).

    (c) Encouraging an uncivil environment impairs organizational efficiency (you waste a lot of time that would otherwise be put to constructive use).

    (d) Encouraging an uncivil environment is actually counterproductive as it both discourages new members to join the community and encourages some members who might otherwise be productive to leave.

    Certainly, people may argue that (a) is only one purpose of this blog. Certainly, people may argue that (b) is only one purpose of this blog. Certainly, people may argue that (c) may not be germane, because they like wasting their time taking pot shots at people they think are stupid. Some people might argue that (d) isn’t relevant, because they don’t want new members here and don’t care if people that don’t like the environment go elsewhere.

    Brownian may argue that I’m completely correct, but that the general science blogosphere in aggregate meets all of those purposes, and that this particular corner of the blogosphere is aimed at people who gravitate to this style of learning. Like I said above, this is a position that one could argue.

    Glen may argue that I’m completely correct, but that there is a greater social consideration; that scientists *ought* to get fucking pissed at people who argue with science (using garbage) so that the non-scientific public knows that they’re invested in their stance. I consider this to be a more credible objection than Brownian’s, myself; philosophically speaking, it’s a telling point that I’m mulling over and I may very well decide that he’s right.

    Michael (by his parting comment that I quote above) may argue that within the context of science education I might be right, but in the larger context of this blog being a front in a social war pitting the woo against science all of the points I’m making are outweighed by a greater social cause of fighting the woo. That’s a legitimate argument, too. The woo certainly does encourage behavior I don’t like; on the other hand “I’m fighting the woo!” does ignore the fact that the woo does have some debatable advantages to it, and carpet bombing the woo may not be the best strategic approach.

    But I propose that if I go ahead and show (a)-(d)… provided of course everyone finds the evidence to be compelling… I’ve done the equivalent of showing that incivility can generally be regarded as *bad* in a social medium such as a blog.

    The burden of proof, I now would argue, goes to Brownian, Glen, Michael, et. al. to show that *given that incivility can generally be regarded as bad*, in this particular case, it is outweighed by some other advantage gained (like I said before, I think Glen has an edge here). In an analogy to the AGW debate that is threaded throughout here, I’m showing that incivility is generally bad (CO2 retains heat), now it’s up to them to show me that fostering it here doesn’t impact the social view of science (effect the climate).

    Now, unlike what someone mentioned above, I’m not trying to dictate policy here. I really do believe that PZ has a right to run his blog the way he wants to run his blog, and he (and everyone else) can look at what I present, and say, “Hey, you know what, you might be right… and I don’t have the time or the inclination to actually try and argue against it, but we do like it here and we’re going to keep doing what we want to anyway”.

    I’m just pointing out that there are negative consequences :)

  797. #798 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    My own blog [implying the discussion is about Rules, not my blog] has rules and I think they’re simple, fair and clear. How do I feel about them [Indication that digression from this statement is coming], and the idea of moderation?

    All that follows that is about the topic of the post, the first sentence was background and a seed statement intended to have a place to start a discussion on the main thrust of the topic.

    I avoid talking about my own blog here because I consider that to be bad form.

    That does not mean I never plan to make a link to a topic where I’ve clarified my position into a distilled form, especially as a short answer here (I am not prone to brevity). Both times I put in a link it was an answer along the lines of the topic at hand, esp. since ? during the digression that led up to the post on Denker’s Law ? the argument had become about me and my politics. Others indicated that they did not feel that I was thread-jacking (they were the ones to divert the topic, after all), so that made a response to the nature of the topic fair game in my eyes.

    If I posted some random musing totally unrelated to the topic, you’d not have seen a link from me at all.

    I tire of this topic, however. It’s almost 800 comments long as it is and I’m simply worn out discussing it. For my part, this particular discussion is at an end.

    Adieu.

  798. #799 Ben
    January 15, 2009

    @783, Stephen Wells
    @787, Brian Coughlin
    @798, CJO

    Good input re: creationists and AGW. Thanks.

  799. #800 CSue
    January 15, 2009

    Only somewhat on-topic:

    Is it fair game to lure trolls over here from other fora?

    We’ve had one clown show up on an anti-theism site, putting the word scientist in quotes, and claiming that evolutionary psychology is bunk. I’m sure there’s somebody here who could hand him his ass (with class :) on that topic, as I’m unfamiliar with it (although UC Santa Barbara has a nice FAQ…) and therefore can have little effect on the ranting.

    He’s been banned twice. We’ll see how long it is before he shows up with a sockpuppet, though.

    The best thing is, he thinks he’s the sharpest blade in the drawer, because he took a course in formal logic once.

    Of course, our own forum is rather strictly moderated for CIVILITY and RESPECT. No fun at all.

  800. #801 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Wanker’s (unqualified) statements were “The post on Rules you’re referring to isn’t about all the rules on my blog at all” and “I avoid talking about my own blog here because I consider that to be bad form.” These were both lies, as I’ve shown.

    the argument had become about me and my politics

    Yes, you keep complaining about this. I in fact addressed the substance, such as it was, of your ridiculous proposals; you proceeded to ignore my questions. But perhaps if you hadn’t introduced (as I recall) two sentences in your very first post with “As a libertarian,…” and then gone on to sound like a heartless raving loon, the discussion would have stayed more on point.

    I tire of this topic, however…For my part, this particular discussion is at an end.

    Adieu.

    Are you sure you’re not an SNL character?

  801. #802 africangenesis
    January 16, 2009

    KG@780,

    Of course I know that water vapor feedback will be positive, but the errors in the clouds are in the 10s of Watts/m^2.

    You are incorrect that I wouldn’t advocate collective action, if there was evidence that warming was a threat. Even before the AGW fearmongering, I was in favor of energy taxes balanced by tax cuts elsewhere to achieve at least revenue neutrality, for purposes of reflecting the true cost of that energy in terms of military spending to patrol the shipping lanes and to lessen dependence upon foreign oil. As you know, the democrats in the NE were one of the barriers since they considered heating oil in need of an exemption. I’ve long been a supporter of nuclear energy and a skeptic of the fearmongering about it also. I also support suspension of the stringent clean diesel regulations, so that technology equivilent to that in Europe can be deployed here.

    These measures would probably accomplish far more than Kyoto ever did.

  802. #803 africangenesis
    January 16, 2009

    Ben@782,

    I think creationists are more likely look skeptically at AGW, because AGW believers have so many characteristics of a competing religion, they speak of fearful endtimes, with paniced followers with glowing eyes are evangelizing others into action, and they are asking everyone to drink economic kool aid. Economic koolaid just pales in comparison to being washed in the blood. Why believe AGW when you don’t have to?

    Guess what. They don’t have to deceive themselves when they look at the “evidence” for AGW, it just isn’t there. There are plenty of good arguments and some that I think are mediocre for being skeptical of AGW. The arguments they hear are “common sense” arguments, that appeal to them. Strangely, despite original sin, they don’t believe that humans are an evil scourge upon the earth. Despite their belief in end times, the AGW endtimes don’t look like Revelations to them.

  803. #804 KnockGoats
    January 16, 2009

    They don’t have to deceive themselves when they look at the “evidence” for AGW, it just isn’t there. – africangenesis

    It is of course africangenesis and his fellow-denialists who are the religious fundamentalists: the idea that collective action to protect the environment is needed so horrifies them that, exactly like creationists or AIDS-denialists, they concoct ludicrous conspiracy theories, or in the more sophisticated, accusations of “groupthink”, to explain the scientific consensus and justify ignoring or distorting the abundant evidence on which it is based. Unlike most AGW denialists, africangenesis does know the climate science literature, but uses the cherry-picking approach typical of denialism to justify inaction. I have repeatedly urged him to debate his scepticism about climate models with real exerts at RealClimate, but he won’t – which is extremely telling. He did refer me to an online argument with an expert he was convinced he’d won because the expert stopped responding after making the position as he saw it clear – I do urge people to check it out and judge for themselves.

  804. #806 africangenesis
    January 16, 2009

    KG, I just cherry pick the model errors, including correlated errors among all the AR4 models that can’t be statistically eliminated by combining results into “ensembles”. Put together all the claims of model successes you want, and they can’t put the models back together again in this complex nonlinear system. It is practically a mathmatical truism. Continue believing the science is settled if you like, but unless unlike IPCC you can do it without the models, your belief will not be scientific. The IPCC has “confidence”, but in science “evidence” is more important than emotion.

    I am sorry you are having problems with that link, was mine that long? You should guide those with short attention spans to the car analogy, I look forward to follow-ups here.

    Most scientists are humble in the face of complex nonlinear systems. Perhaps some mathmaticians in the field of nonlinear dynamics should look into what these modelers claim they can do. Actually the claims of confidence seem to increase as one moves up the IPCC hierarchy, (hmmm, is that like the Pope having the most faith?) but the Working Group I authors are the ones who should have known better and glossed over the documented errors, which have continued to be documented since the AR4.

  805. #807 Stephen Wells
    January 16, 2009

    @808: a roulette wheel is a complex nonlinear system and you will have very little success modelling the sequence of numbers it produces. However, casinos seem to do very well. It’s almost as biasing the system- by putting a zero on a roulette wheel, or putting CO2 into the atmosphere- systematically shifts the results in one direction, even though the system is quite unpredictable in detail.

    Arguing against taking action on AGW because the detailed consequences are hard to model is incredibly foolish and short-sighted. Imagine a guy who eats Big Mac Meals three meals a day. As his weight balloons he visits a series of doctors. One warns him about heart disease, another warns him about the stress on his bones and joints, others warn him about vitamin deficiencies, bowel cancers, diabetes, liver disorders… then, as no two of the doctors agree on _exactly_ what will happen to him or _exactly_ when, he concludes that they are all wrong, and carries on eating Big Macs…

  806. #808 KnockGoats
    January 16, 2009

    So, ag, remind us again why you won’t debate with the experts at RealClimate?

    People deal successfully with complex, nonlinear systems everyday – because many responses of many such systems are broadly predictable. We know that in temperate regions it’s going to get colder in winter and warmer in summer and can estimate how much – and that, of course, is precisely the same complex nonlinear system as we’ve been discussing, in this case responding in broadly predictable fashion to a change in the solar input.

  807. #809 africangenesis
    January 16, 2009

    Stephen Wells@809,

    It is rushing to dring the economic koolaid rather than waiting for development of the models and science that is “short sighted”. Your argument assumes that the warming is serious. Few people consider the 20th century 0.6 degress C warming serious, it took a decade to detect, and another 0.6 degrees over the next century would be similarly benign compared to the economic consequences of moving to more expensive energy.

    Y