Pharyngula

Ray Comfort has a new site, Pull the plug on atheism. It’s a series of short pages which consist mainly of plugs for some bad books he is peddling, with a few paragraphs in which he announces a few of his misconceptions about atheism, with the air of one who has trounced every objection. It really is as bad as his pathetic blog.

For instance, the first thing he does is define what he means by atheist.

An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything.

Then he goes on and on with fallacious analogies: “Imagine if I said my latest book came from nothing.” Imagine if I say that I don’t believe a builder build my house.” It’s quite sad.

His analogies are foolish. We know how houses and books are made, so he’s peddling a counterfactual claim. We don’t know all the processes that went into the appearance of the universe — and that “we” includes Ray Comfort — so it is an open question. I’m quite sure it wasn’t his imaginary Christian god, since there is no reason to consider the accounts of his faith to be accurate.

He’s also relying on trickery with the language. When we say “made”, it implies an active event by an agent, so what he is doing is setting up a linguistic conflict between a word that implies agency and an event that scientists are saying was not necessarily caused. The conflict isn’t real, but is only a consequence of a limitation of language and the way our brains work.

And of course, he doesn’t bother with this problem: who made god? I can guess how he’d respond: there was no “who”, and god wasn’t “made”. At which time we do a little judo move and point out that the universe wasn’t “made” by a “who”, either.

He also continues to harp on a very silly argument, the claim that evolution is impossible because both sexes need to evolve simultaneously.

If any species came into existence without a mature female present (with complimentary female components), that one male would have remained alone and in time died. The species could not have survived without a female. Why did hundreds of thousands of animals, fish, reptiles and birds (over millions of years) evolve a female partner (that coincidentally matured at just the right time) with each species?

Curiously, he seems to think that a species is defined by the first male of the kind that appears, and females have to follow along. Weird. Sexist much?

Of course, it’s no problem at all. Species do not poof into existence as individuals without parents, siblings, cousins, or other distant relatives. Populations evolve — populations consisting of both sexes. If the population of the state of Minnesota got on board their rocketships and migrated en masse to underground colonies on the moon, and then had no further contact with the rest of humanity for a hundred thousand years, the two populations would diverge by drift and selection into different species. The population in each location would be continually interbreeding; at no point (except in the isolation mechanism) would there be a sudden transition where one group found itself consisting solely of one reproductively isolated male or female, waiting for a member of the other sex to pop into existence and give them something fun to do. Nor would anyone be able to look back and say precisely when their biology became incompatible — it would be fuzzy shifts among large numbers of people at all times.

But that’s Ray: deluded and confused and ignorant, but still plugging away obstinately with the certainty of tightly closed eyes.

Comments

  1. #1 Alex
    January 21, 2009

    At which time we do a little judo move…

    I guess reasoned logic could be considered that when demonstrating it to those idiots.

  2. #2 mikespeir
    January 21, 2009

    I hope intelligent believers everywhere will buy his books. What better cure for religious faith than that crap?

  3. #3 Eric W
    January 21, 2009

    Comfort’s twisted logic is delicious.
    It’s a bi-product of “blah blah blah, I can’t hear you, blah blah blah” with his fingers in his ears.

  4. #4 AJ Milne
    January 21, 2009

    I’m not sure Comic Sans is actually an entirely appropriate match for the level of inanity Comfort achieves…

    Mebbe somethin’ more like this?…

    (Just a modest suggestion.)

  5. #5 Matt
    January 21, 2009

    Oh Ray. I recommend a course in logic. Your arguments are classic examples of faulty logic and argumentation.

  6. #6 Donnie B.
    January 21, 2009

    A truly snarky person might suggest that we’d all be better off if the entire population of Minnesota did emigrate to the Moon.

    But I’m not a snarky person, oh no.

  7. #7 MPG
    January 21, 2009

    Oh, Comfort! You’re always good for a laugh! You can keep your Ken Hams and your Kent Hovinds, you’re king of the clueless!

    Seriously, you have to be monumentally clueless to put up arguments that are weaker and more ill-informed than the dimmest teenage YouTube evangelist.

  8. #8 MScott
    January 21, 2009

    Someone tell banana man to try strawberries.

  9. #9 Jim Roberts
    January 21, 2009

    “… a species is defined by the first male of the kind that appears, and females have to follow along.”

    It must be true, that’s the way the second Genesis creation story has it. First Adam, then when it turns out he doesn’t fancy screwing any of the animals, Eve as an afterthought.

    The first creation story is better: male and female created he them.

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    January 21, 2009

    No, a really snarky person would suggest that the entire population of Minnesota has evolved into a different species already.

  11. #11 ZeroEye
    January 21, 2009

    I like how he admits that atheist are in the rise!

  12. #12 Owlmirror
    January 21, 2009

    If any species came into existence without a mature female present (with complimentary female components), that one male would have remained alone and in time died. The species could not have survived without a female. Why did hundreds of thousands of animals, fish, reptiles and birds (over millions of years) evolve a female partner (that coincidentally matured at just the right time) with each species?

    Clearly, evolution is a failure.
    It has produced Ray Comfort,
    a grown man who is unclear on the concept
    of where babies come from.

  13. #13 Jon D. Moulton
    January 21, 2009

    I suppose he wouldn’t be comforted by the idea that sex itself evolved. Nor that many creatures don’t use sex in procreation.

  14. #14 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Something to ask Ray: if males came first, how come males (humans at least) have nipples?

  15. #15 Benjamin Geiger
    January 21, 2009

    Forgive me for not knowing this ahead of time, as I’ve only had high-school-level biology, but: how *did* living things evolve gender? (Perhaps this could be considered a followup to the classic “how do chromosome numbers change?” question…)

  16. #16 Screechy Monkey
    January 21, 2009

    Comfort Logic: Houses don’t grow from little tiny houses, therefore adult humans don’t grow up from babies — they must be built fully formed!

    Ah, Ray. The thought of bananas makes me a Happy Monkey.

  17. #17 Lance
    January 21, 2009

    Anyone else get a mental image of PZ doing a Judo-style throw? Would a rebuttal be considered a “Judo chop”? I know I know. It was my lame attempt at a funny.

  18. #18 Bob H
    January 21, 2009

    I can’t access his site from work. It is blocked for ‘potentially damaging content’! Could the web filter we are using be a sentient being?

  19. #19 Mudshark
    January 21, 2009

    Is he still letting Kirk play with his banana?

    (sorry I’m not saying anything more intelligent, but intelligence and Ray Comfort are just so mutually exclusive)

  20. #20 Alyson
    January 21, 2009

    An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything.

    *splutter* Excuse me! Mathematics and physics are considerably more than nothing!

    The species could not have survived without a female. Why did hundreds of thousands of animals, fish, reptiles and birds (over millions of years) evolve a female partner (that coincidentally matured at just the right time) with each species?

    FAIL FAIL FAIL. FAILY MCFAILERSON.

    He makes it sound like nature is a gigantic pre-Enlightenment puritan society that needs a matchmaker to arrange every sexual contact. Newsflash, Ray: not all animals are monogamous like we try to be!

    Here’s a proposition for Ray: if God arranged the structure of my body from the ground up, then I have a bone to pick with him. Many bones to pick, actually, but we’ll start with just one. I don’t like the way my kidneys work. If I am entirely His creation, then what the heck was He thinking when He designed my urinary tract? I’m not pleased, either, with the way my blood circulates (or doesn’t) to my extremities. We won’t even get started on my uterus. Was God high on ‘shrooms when he designed us? He did a better job with housecats, for fuck’s sake.

  21. #21 Lore
    January 21, 2009

    Could the web filter we are using be a sentient being?

    Here’s some Data on the subject.

  22. #22 jql
    January 21, 2009

    Complimentary means free, gratis, as any fule kno. I never came across no free females in my species. Think agane.

  23. #23 Dave X
    January 21, 2009

    In Ray’s world, can we make complicated things with less complicated tools? Or does God make all the more complicated things like computers?

    Cranes vs Skyhooks.

  24. #24 Newfie
    January 21, 2009

    If Ray truly believes the horseshit that he spews, how fucked up of an upbringing and education did this man have?

    People like Ray exist only because unthinking idgits keep throwing money at him. If you are selfish and want to make easy money, lying is the easiest way to do it.

    The only reason why these people are allowed to spout this tripe, is the advantage to unscrupulous politicians. Again, lying is the easiest way.

  25. #25 MPG
    January 21, 2009

    @Benjamin Geiger

    This article, linked above in MScott’s post (#8), explains a bit about the origin of the sexes. May I also recommend this video which is short, accessible and details more observations and evidence about how sexual reproduction evolved.

  26. #26 Coran
    January 21, 2009

    No no NO! Eric is Bananaman!
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=cNknWT-agT0

    Ray might have a superhero complex, but he’s no Bananaman.

  27. #27 JM
    January 21, 2009

    He needs to read Jerry A. Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” – not that he will, I imagine. I’ve just received my copy. I’ve tried passing other popular science books about evolutionary biology to lay creationists, and what happens is often rather peculiar. Instead of saying “Thank you” and taking the book away to read, they flick through it apparently nervously until they come to some paragraph or picture which attracts their attention – and then you get a triumphant exclamation along the lines of “See! They’re STILL finches!”, at which point the book is returned to you.

    Somewhat off-topic – I have a question about something that Coyne writes in his book – in chapter 2 – p.25 of the OUP edition. He writes:

    “Old rocks are often dated using uranium-238 (U238), found in the common mineral zircon. U238 has a half-life of around 700 million years. Carbon-14, with a half-life of 5,730 years, is used for much younger rocks, or even human artifacts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    Really? I thought that the practical limit for radio-carbon dating was about 60,000 years – making it useful only for the youngest rocks indeed, and then only ones which have organic matter still recoverable from them. I’m not a geologist – does this happen? I’m concerned that Coyne’s mention of radiocarbon dating in the same breath as other radioisotopic methods will reinforce the apparent lay creationist misapprehension that radiocarbon dating is the usual, nay only, method of dating geological strata!

  28. #28 E.V.
    January 21, 2009

    Ray C., Ken H., Rick W. & Sarah P. have become litmus tests for me. If I’m talking to someone who confesses that they admire anyone of these people or repeats their ridiculous rhetoric, I immediately know I should find a more productive use of my time.

  29. #29 Sarah P
    January 21, 2009

    My 9 year old asked if there’s a god, who made him? Does that mean Coyne needs a new show – are you smarter than a 4th grader?

  30. #30 octopod
    January 21, 2009

    What does he think sex is, exactly? Clearly he has no concept of what “evolve” means, or that it involves…er…reproduction. But I’m just really curious how he thinks a lineage of male individuals evolved on its own. I mean, does he not know that females are generally the ones who give birth?

    “How is babby formed?”

  31. #31 Sarah P
    January 21, 2009

    Sorry, meant Comfort, not Coyne, too much time in spreadsheets….

  32. #32 DaveL
    January 21, 2009

    Ray Comfort think he has atheists on the run?

    Of course he does. The man is a walking case study in the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  33. #33 Jadehawk
    January 21, 2009

    Complimentary means free, gratis, as any fule kno. I never came across no free females in my species. Think agane.

    actually, complimentary means flattering; complementary means making something complete. either way, you’re wrong. just because restaurants use “complementary” to mean “free with X”, doesn’t actually mean that’s what the word means.

    also, your spelling would make the Rev blush ;-)

  34. #34 Glen Davidson
    January 21, 2009

    Which sex is which in two conjugating bacteria, banana-head?

    And why don’t you read something, Ray? Why wouldn’t sexual reproduction evolve first, then the “sexes” evolve?

    Ever heard of animals which change their sex, Ray? Probably not, since you’re a self-satisfied ignoramus.

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

  35. #35 ennui
    January 21, 2009

    Comfort on evolution: males come first, females come as afterthought. Probably his view of intercourse, too.

    Real evolution: male and female come together. Biology FTW.

  36. #36 Mike W
    January 21, 2009

    His ignorance hurts my brain.

  37. #37 maxamillion
    January 21, 2009

    An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything.

    It never ceases to amaze me that theists like Ray fail to see that this is exactly what they believe.

    The species could not have survived without a female.
    Only Ray could have things so backwards.
    Has he never heard of “pathenogenisis” ? Oh wait, he has.

  38. #38 Rey Fox
    January 21, 2009

    This little group of ours, less than 5% of the population (if we strictly define “atheist” anyway and leave out the wobblies) must really be scary and have power beyond our numbers if we scare Ray Comfort so much. I mean, he really has to “pull the plug” on us and make a web site devoted to it? Makes me feel like a big man. Well, as soon as that wears off, I can just coast on the satisfaction of being everything that a junior-high loony like that stands against.

    “A truly snarky person might suggest that we’d all be better off if the entire population of Minnesota did emigrate to the Moon.”

    I thought you merely had to be a Wisconsinite to suggest that.

  39. #39 fcstan
    January 21, 2009

    I find his definition of atheism ironic. Aren’t the religious really the ones who believe that Nothing made everything?

  40. #40 jql
    January 21, 2009

    Jadehawk; check your dictionary; also google Molesworth for examples of your level of understanding.

  41. #41 Tualha
    January 21, 2009

    …still plugging away obstinately with the certainty of tightly closed eyes.

    If only they would drive that way. It would save all us rationalists so much time and energy…

  42. #42 Glen Davidson
    January 21, 2009

    Answer this, Ray, if you dare: Why do the Y-chromosomes in placental mammals appear to have evolved from the X-chromosomes? And why do females inactivate one of their X-chromosomes in each cell?

    Why do monotremes have X-chromosomes, but not ones involved in sex determination?

    Evolution tells us something about the (concurrent, of course) evolution of the sexes in placental mammals. ID/creationism tells us nothing useful about that, or about any other aspect of biology.

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

  43. #43 The Petey
    January 21, 2009

    well, if he thinks women are a different species, it allows him to beat his wife as he would a dog I suppose.

    of course, than he’d also be guilty of inter species sexual relationships. So, by his own logic he commits bestiality whenever he sleeps with his wife???

  44. #44 George
    January 21, 2009

    I really wonder about poor Ray. We know that he plays these stupid arguments off people to help give them comfort in their religious beliefs. This we know from when we talk to people that have bought Ray’s kool-aid. They usually can see their little safe harbors breakdown – and it is troubling to them.

    But, honestly, have listened to the man, he (and his Sit-com actor friend) actually strike me as really believing this stupidity. I mean I get the sense the man actually thinks these arguments make sense.

    This would be in contrast to most priests I have known – I came to realize that most seemed to really know that there is probably no god. Some fairly honestly wrestled with this and tried to find reconciliation. Others simply knew it was their job and their best interest to simply promulgate the lies.

    Ray seems different ? just not bright enough to see the stupidity. That is really sad.

  45. #45 Robert Thille
    January 21, 2009

    I’m an atheist, and understand evolution is a fact. But I’m still curious how sexes evolved. I haven’t read an explanation for that yet (that I remember), though I’ve read most of Dawkins’ books (still have to read Extended Phenotype). Is this an open question, or just something I’m ignorant of? Bacteria obviously don’t have sexes, but there had to be some earliest organisms which invented sex, right? What do we know about them?

  46. #46 MikeM
    January 21, 2009

    I’m still not convinced Ray Comfort isn’t a Poe. Just look at the books. Just look at the name of his blog (Ray Comfort Food Blog). Just look at his new site.

    I laugh when I read his stuff, it’s so weird. Are there people out there who read this stuff and say, “Right on, Ray!”? Part of me doubts it. Is there an alternate universe that strange?

    I would bet a sizeable percentage of people who get on his blog and say, “Oh, Ray, you are so right on!” are simply egging him on. They support him for all the wrong reasons.

    Sort of like the reviews on amazon.com for the Family Circus books. We know they don’t mean it; doesn’t stop us from enjoying it.

  47. #47 Glen Davidson
    January 21, 2009

    Why do monotremes have X-chromosomes, but not ones involved in sex determination?

    Or, to be more correct, why do they have a chromosome with homologies with eutherian X-chromosomes which is not involved in sex determination?

    They do have X and Y chromosomes involved with sex determination, they’re simply not homologous with our X and Y chromosomes.

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

  48. #48 NoAstronomer
    January 21, 2009

    Curses! fcstan and maxamillion both beat me to it! Instead I’ll have to run with:

    Imagine if I said my latest book came from nothing.

    I don’t think we need to stretch our imaginations too hard for that one.

  49. #49 Robert Thille
    January 21, 2009

    Oh sweet, the ‘strawberries’ link above has some info…thanks.

  50. #50 ennui
    January 21, 2009

    Listening to Ray Comfort on evolution is about as informative and deep as listening to Joe the Plumber report from Gaza.

  51. #51 BathTub
    January 21, 2009

    PZ you missed the hilarity that is his Atheist Central blog and when he tried to convince everyone that Darwin/Evolution teaches that life evolved into pre-humans asexually, and then evolved gender. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2008/12/sexs-without-sex.html he really is a comedy gold mine.

  52. #52 Neil
    January 21, 2009

    Benjamin, cheers you just kicked off a ‘flashback’ to an essay I wrote as an undergrad’.
    There is some rather niffty math that demonstrates why two asymmetrical gametes, i.e lots of little ‘sperm’ and a few large ‘eggs’ is likely to be the most successful and so selected for.
    You should check out cdk007’s channel on youtube he has a good vid’ on the evolution of sex.

  53. #53 AdrianT
    January 21, 2009

    Victor Stenger ‘s excellent ‘God: the Failed Hypothesis’ nicely demolished these ‘something from nothing’ arguments.

    But after the Big Rip, in about 50 billion years, there will be nothing again.

    It must be said, mentally ‘Left Behind’ people like Cameron and Comfort help make why Prof. Myers’ one of the most entertaining places on the Blogosphere.

  54. #54 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    If Ray truly believes the horseshit that he spews, how fucked up of an upbringing and education did this man have?

    Well, he is from New Zealand after all. All they learn at school is how to play rugby and how to pronounce the word for the number that comes after five in a way that makes all non-NZers giggle. Oh, and (according to them at least) make better beers than they do here in Australia.

    Then again, I can’t talk – I’m a product of the same education system that produced Ken Ham…

  55. #55 Vic
    January 21, 2009

    It’s just funny that creationist’s arguments consist entirely of their own unwillingness to learn.

  56. #56 John Pieret
    January 21, 2009

    Curiously, he seems to think that a species is defined by the first male of the kind that appears, and females have to follow along. Weird. Sexist much?

    But it’s certainly biblical.

  57. #57 'Tis Himself
    January 21, 2009

    Comfort sets up several strawmen and then ineptly demolishes them.

  58. #58 Shane
    January 21, 2009

    ‘just because restaurants use “complementary” to mean “free with X”, doesn’t actually mean that’s what the word means.’

    Actually it does. Dictionaries get their definitions for words from the way they are used. The dictionary changes to reflect the current use of language (not the other way around).

    And you’re wrong anyway because “complimentary” (the word the original poster used) does appear in the dictionary as meaning “free of charge”.

  59. #59 Steve_C
    January 21, 2009

    Is this the same Shane who denies the fact of evolution?

  60. #60 Ema
    January 21, 2009

    Wow,
    Do creationists go out of their way to not understand evolution? Or do they actually understand it but want to confuse their followers? Simply reading a book about evolution would shed so much light on this guy.

    But maybe he’s afraid of the light.

  61. #61 MPG
    January 21, 2009

    Does anyone else get the feeling that he created this obstinately non-interactive “Web 1.0″ site as a response to how his arguments regularly got taken apart on his blog? Practically everything on there is just reworked content from his blog, all of which has been roundly eviscerated by commenters (the laughable “sexes couldn’t have evolved separately” article is just a rewrite of this little gem where he manages to make even less sense by suggesting Darwin said males and females evolved as completely separate species, reproducing by binary fission until a sexually compatible pair appeared). At least with this latest effort he has a platform where people with brains in their heads can’t point out his misinformation and fallacies on the same pages.

  62. #62 Gold Dragon 1968
    January 21, 2009

    Well someone believes him:

    http://www.alvinsun.net/articles/2009/01/21/opinion/editorials/doc49774732d486b510750886.txt

    I note that this site still hasn’t printed my reply, though possibly because it was rather long due to me putting in the entire quote from the Origin of the Species about the eye. That and I pointed out how much of what it says in this article is a blatent lie.

  63. #63 BathTub
    January 21, 2009

    Oi Wowbagger, plenty of us Kiwi’s think Ray is a joke. :P

  64. #64 HumanisticJones
    January 21, 2009

    If you want to laugh until you cry, check out the “The Atheist’s Bird Problem” article on that site.

    Things like “they all look the same” in regards to birds, “Who teaches them music?”, and “Why don’t we see fat sparrows?” have just convinced me he’s almost beyond communicating with in English. Soon we’ll be relegated to talking in grunts when addressing ol’ RC. “URG! FIRE BAD!”

    Even as a CS major I’m aware that birds of the same species only look the same to us superficially because we evolved to notice the differences in humans, not birds, as a survival mechanism in our social groups. No one has to teach a bird to sing in the same way that no one had to teach me to make noises with air and my throat. And I would assume we don’t see fat sparrows because they eat a very lean diet and have a wicked fast metabolism compared to the average hominid.

  65. #65 Norman Doering
    January 21, 2009

    octopod asked:

    What does he think sex is, exactly? Clearly he has no concept of what “evolve” means, or that it involves…er…reproduction. …

    If you haven’t seen the Nightline debate where the Rational Response team took on Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, then click here.

    Ray’s problem is quite understanding sex, though I’ll bet he has lots of misconceptions about it, but is rather not having any clue about the rest of biology at all.

  66. #66 Reynold
    January 21, 2009

    Comfort is a full-bore fool: His ignorant statements about both atheism and evolution are continuously being corrected by the posters on his own blog.

    None of it sinks in, then he makes a book with the title you can lead an atheist to evidence but you can’t make him think.

    What in hell is wrong with that person?

  67. #67 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    Here’s some Data on the subject.

    This is totally off topic, but since someone brought up Data:

    http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/01/21/picards-response-to-rick-warren/

  68. #68 Norman Doering
    January 21, 2009

    BathTub wrote:

    … he really is a comedy gold mine.

    That’s what I said.

  69. #69 Sherry
    January 21, 2009

    I love talking about sex evolution! My daughter has only one x chromosome in each of her cells. (mosaic condition, about 1/4 of her cells has two) She is a full human being and unmistakably female. It’s called Turner Syndrome and demonstrates well the mightiness of the x chromosome!

    TS is the only condition where a human can have only one chromosome. There are no human with only a Y chromosome.

    She’s very very bad at math, something linked to the x chromosome donated by the male. People at Stanford were excited to put her in an interactive MRI, they predicted her x came from me rather than her father, and they were right.

    Curiously, I have never done a cartwheel in my life but this girl can fly 5 ft out of a halfpipe, doing two complete spins on the way down.

    It’s pretty clear that the nature of my nurture is the reason she is not my clone.
    I’m really proud.

  70. #70 Quine
    January 21, 2009

    Hey Ray, check out this broccoli v. evolution:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWBQ9g_5oxg

    Next time, you can use it!!

  71. #71 Leanstrum
    January 21, 2009

    I implore everyone to read the part about birds. It is truly hilarious – at least it would be if it weren’t such a flagrant display of unabashed stupidity it makes you ashamed to be of the same species.

  72. #72 Ben
    January 21, 2009

    Here’s a pretty funny bit of satire in the new Free Inquiry:

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=wright_29_2

  73. #73 Zach
    January 21, 2009

    So that brings the atheist to his only defense. He predictably asks “Who then made God?” His real dilemma isn?t that he believes that God doesn?t exist, but that he doesn?t understand how God could exist eternally, without beginning and without end. If that?s the case, then every human being is an atheist. No one can wrap his finite mind around the infinite and eternal nature of God.

    I’m simply stunned. He’s talking about how if you press an atheist about what came before evolution, they won’t know, and will in turn reply with the comment above. I don’t understand how someone can construct an argument that can be much more readily turned onto the very topic the author is trying to defend, and completely miss that point. It’s like 1984.

  74. #74 Ouchimoo
    January 21, 2009

    Oh noes!@ Is it another banana??!

    I skipped over all the parts of what Ray was saying, I’d like to keep my braincells thank you very much.

    That sexes have to evolve at the same time is hilarious shit though. Which reminds me, if god made Adam first, and then pulled an Eve out of his rib, shouldn’t humans be reproducing via rib splitting? Ya know, instead of the waste disposal system?

  75. #75 Josh West
    January 21, 2009

    But I LIKE the banana man…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoGuoXuLmsk

  76. #76 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    maxamillion @37:

    Perhaps you meant “parthenogenesis” rather than “pathenogenesis”?

  77. #77 CRS
    January 21, 2009

    Please tell me Kirk Cameron’s butt buddy hasn’t launched into other off-the-mark analogies involving cankerous milkmen and books bound in human skin. (Sorry for the painful memories of comments past, but I find the logic of both @$$holes equally unsound.)

    An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything doesn’t believe in god.

    Cleaned that up for you, Ray. You’re welcome.

    His tired arguments for evidence of god’s handiwork in the universe were (and are) repeated like mantras by Christian faithful. Growing up in the south, the one I heard most was about scattering bits of metal in a desert and those parts spontaneously forming a watch. As an adolescent grappling with his budding ability to think for himself and the outrageous concept of a creator that is all good and all powerful, I declared a ceasefire when presented with that gem. Of course, eventually I took a biology class. Now I think of my daughter, an elementary education major and fundie Xtian, who is shamed by the ignorant near her into keeping her inquisitive nature muted for fear of god. Pardon me while I go have a good cry.

  78. #78 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 21, 2009

    Ray bases his entire knowledge on the things he doesn’t know. The more he doesn’t know the more he can strawman the issue to death by inserting what he thinks is true.

    In ray’s world he’s a fucking genius >because of not in spite of his utter lack of knowledge about things.

    That and Ray is all about making a buck. Not that there is anything wrong with that and not that that would invalidate his opinions, just that it makes it that much worse.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that he created this obstinately non-interactive “Web 1.0″ site as a response to how his arguments regularly got taken apart on his blog? Practically everything on there is just reworked content from his blog

    He’s using it purely as a tool to sell his books.

  79. #79 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 21, 2009

    If we load up the creationists and put them on the moon,
    Then I bet a million dollars (if I had the cash) that soon,
    Through the pressures of selection, and the metabolic cost,
    Given twenty generations, that their brains have all been lost.
    And like eyeless fish, or wingless birds, these brainless fools survive,
    Thanks to natural selection, as the dumbest fucks alive.

  80. #80 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Do cuttlefish eat bananas? If so, give that Cuttlefish a banana!

  81. #81 Kristine
    January 21, 2009

    Imagine if I said my latest book came from nothing.

    If he were to say that, I’d reply, “I believe you.”

    If only he were to say it!

  82. #82 Stephan
    January 21, 2009

    A deist is someone who believes that everything made everything. A much more sensible position.

  83. #83 Loki
    January 21, 2009

    There is also a link on the website to a page full of goofy pictures of Comfort and Cameron. A few with them dressed in camo and standing on a tank.

    http://www.cj-studio.com/gallery/5790330_neDGe#358507397_pvmxc

  84. #84 Nightsky
    January 21, 2009

    Wowbagger@54: I have the same question. In my years of youth hosteling, I have yet to meet a Kiwi who was not stone-cold, full-bore awesome.

    So whence Ray? Was he home sick the day they handed out the awesome?

  85. #85 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    sherry @69:
    “It’s pretty clear that the nature of my nurture is the reason she is not my clone.”
    She got your X and neither X nor Y from dad, but she still got his 22 other, so its still probably around half genetic & half your nurture.

  86. #86 Andrs Diplotti
    January 21, 2009

    We don’t know all the processes that went into the appearance of the universe ? and that “we” includes Ray Comfort ?

    Well, if I’m allowed to run with this quote and do my own plugging as Banana-Man does…

    Ahem…

  87. #87 Carlie
    January 21, 2009

    Here’s the real scoop on bananas, people.

  88. #88 amphiox
    January 21, 2009

    It is my understanding that the evolution of sex remains something of an unexplained mystery.

    Which means that currently it is one of the (ever fewer) remaining gaps into which one can fit a god.

    Which perhaps explains why so many religions seem to have such an unholy obsession with the subject.

  89. #89 Alethias
    January 21, 2009

    I’d love to leave him a comment, praising the quality of his erudition. He does a lot to help atheism with sites such as this. No point in discouraging it. But alas, it seems that he doesn’t want my opinion. I could find no place to leave a comment for him.

    I think I need to send him a bunch of bananas in the mail with a card that says “From an atheist that loves you, Ray”.

  90. #90 who is your creator
    January 21, 2009

    1. There is absolutely NO empirical evidence or naturalistic explanation for the miraculous appearance of the universe, but ?
    PZ is absolutely sure that God didn?t do it!
    http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/origin_of_the_universe.html

    2. PZ whines that Ray?s ?something from nothing? analogy is nothing but ?trickery? by ?setting up a linguistic conflict.?
    But no conflicting evidence is offered.

    3. PZ demands to know who made God ?
    One day, PZ, you will have a chance to ask Him:
    ?It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the Judgment.?
    -Hebrews 9:27

    4. PZ believes that individuals don?t evolve, populations do. Interesting mechanism of change …
    Why don’t you take another stab at how evolution works? http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/how_does_evolution_occur.html

    5. Ray is ? deluded and confused and ignorant,? not PZ …
    Go figure.

  91. #91 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Dumbshit banana brain Comfort thinks he has us on the run? He is getting more desperate because his imaginary god is not helping his cause of insanity with tangible evidence, and so he thinks up these assinine examples of trying to discredit atheists and rationalism. We are the pillars of reason, and as such, stand in his way for further unchecked derangement and this just infuriates and pisses him off. I would love to meet this moron and reduce him to the puke crap that he is. This is the type that needs a full barrell of forceful reason right through his thick skull. His feeble attempts at intimidation only make him look and soud all the more insane. What a maroon.

  92. #92 Sistercoyote
    January 21, 2009

    Someone else has probably mentioned this, but not only is his assumption that the male “becomes” first and then needs to find a female mate a little off, but completely discounts the fact that most fetuses start out female and only grow male parts with the right cocktail of hormones.

    Unless I’ve got my basic biology confused again, in which case I know someone will be along to enlighten me.

  93. #93 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    Obvious troll (whoisyourcreator) is obvious.

  94. #94 Porco Dio
    January 21, 2009

    delusion, confusion and ignorance is what many ignorami thrive on…

    their simple minds cannot cope with the complexity of reality and so they scuttle around regurgitating the only things that make sense to them…

    they totally don’t appreciate the beauty and majesty that is in front of their own eyes… it’s a damn shame, i know… and proof that their god-given eyes are not perfect and therefore probably evolved from simian eyes…

    happy monkey all round.

  95. #95 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Sistercoyote,

    As far I can tell, I (being male) have the answer right in front of me – well, on my front if you want to be really pedantic about it. Nipples. We have ‘em too, for no good reason that anyone’s ever provided me. So, that leaves us all starting off female and going from there.

    I guess it’s much easier to start off both males and females with them than to start off without them and only have the one gender develop them.

    No doubt someone with more science-fu can shed some light on it.

  96. #96 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    Obvious troll is also oblivious to science. But then he is a godbot. God is ignorance.

  97. #97 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    who is your creator @90:
    Went immediately to your 2nd link, which starts:
    “How Does Evolution Supposedly Work?
    The foundation of Darwinism is NOT the fact that variations and adaptations can modify EXISTING features. Darwinism goes further by claiming that genetic changes and natural selection can create NEW features to appear.”

    “…natural selection can create NEW features to appear.” !!!!!

    Evolutionary theory definitely does NOT claim that.

    A lie (or ignorance) right in the first sentence – why bother to read the rest?

  98. #98 zaardvark
    January 21, 2009

    I don’t think my post will make it through, or last long if it does:

    “Crikey! I nivah thought of it that why! You’d hiff to be banonnas to think it all caime from nothin’!”

    Something like that; I forget :).

  99. #99 Chiroptera
    January 21, 2009

    who is your creator, #90: There is absolutely NO empirical evidence or naturalistic explanation for the miraculous appearance of the universe….

    Not only is such a thing not needed, but since by definition the universe includes everything that exists, has existed, or will exist (including time itself), such things as “appearance of the universe”, “cause of the the universe”, or “creation of the universe” don’t even make any sense.

    Just sayin’.

  100. #100 Stanton
    January 21, 2009

    Someone else has probably mentioned this, but not only is his assumption that the male “becomes” first and then needs to find a female mate a little off, but completely discounts the fact that most fetuses start out female and only grow male parts with the right cocktail of hormones.

    Unless I’ve got my basic biology confused again, in which case I know someone will be along to enlighten me.

    No, you have it correct, at least with placental mammals.

  101. #101 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    Oh, and I see your “how did Evolution Supposedly Ocurr” is nothing but tiresome, long-debunked canards about “random chance,” irreducibly complex bacterial flagella, new features in organisms “miraculously appearing” and “scientists disagree!” What a crock.

  102. #102 LiquidThinker
    January 21, 2009

    Will somebody please tell Ray that when comedians say that men and women are different species, it is not meant to be taken literally. Then ask him about the design of pineapples.

  103. #103 The Tim Channel
    January 21, 2009

    His shopworn apologetic nonsense aside, the scientific viewpoint IS that everything came from nothing (singularity). That doesn’t mean it’s the ATHEIST viewpoint, although they likely overlap greatly. These nuts aren’t just after atheists. They are after SCIENTISTS. Science is destroying their ability to deceive.

    On the other hand, I don’t mind saying that it’s dam near MIRACULOUS how everything did come from nothing. I don’t presuppose to have any clue as to the how or why, but the Christian version of events makes about as much sense to me as the Greeks, Romans, Egyptian, Native American, or Mayan.

    Wasn’t it Dawkins who pointed out that we’re all atheists in regards to everybody elses religion?

    Enjoy.

  104. #104 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Sistercoyote @ 92

    You are correct about the initial start being female and only later having male characteristics. I have mentioned this fact to males, both the macho type with an overflow of testosterone, and religious males who enforce the principle of an imaginary male god. Isn’t evolution so kind in providing stereotypes for later irrelevant minds?

  105. #105 Jason A,
    January 21, 2009

    Ray Comfort honestly strikes me as someone who’s very unsure about his faith.

  106. #106 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    Here’s the thing about Ray Comfort and all the other loudmouths who continually expose themselves to debate and conversation with rational people. Ray GETS evolution by now. He UNDERSTANDS it. He KNOWS these arguments about coke cans and bananas and males and females poofing into existence are silly beyond words, that this isn’t the way science works, that no half-rational person who understands evolution thinks that crocoducks ever existed.

    He just keeps trotting these tired old donkeys out because he knows that this snakeoil pitch suckers in people who are undereducated. Or even just too lazy and complacent to educate themselves; let’s be fair to the undereducated masses, of which I am one, barely having a high school diploma to my name. And he knows that with an army of the ignorant on his side, clamoring for their beliefs to be taken seriously by the whole entire world, he could very well influence government. Or at least school boards. And if Ray Comfort can get other people to believe the delusion he desperately wants to be true, maybe some magic will happen and it will BE true, and he won’t have to be afraid of not existing after he dies.

    P.s. I ate three bananas today for breakfast. They did not give me nightmares.

  107. #107 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    The Tim Channel:

    Is part of the current scientific understanding of the singularity is that it is nothing?

  108. #108 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    It is clear that Ray Comfort is threatened by the fact that free thinkers are gaining in numbers and speaking out about the foolishness of creationism and fundamentalism.

    But what I really want to know is why he thinks Kirk Cameron is a mature female…
    is it a choice or was he just born that way?

  109. #109 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    Mayhempix, I think I love you.

  110. #110 Gene
    January 21, 2009

    Texas State Board of Education evolution hearing livestream

    http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/sboeaudio

    WARNING, SET STUPID METER ON LOW TO PREVENT DAMAGE

  111. #111 Norman Doering
    January 21, 2009

    amphiox wrote:

    It is my understanding that the evolution of sex remains something of an unexplained mystery.

    Some of it is. But there’s still a lot that could be said. I tried explaining it on Ray’s site. There’s still a post of mine there he hasn’t deleted:

    normdoering said…
    Ray wrote:
    Responding to:
    [“Gender differentiation emerged as a result of specialization of this ability.”]
    “Dimensio…Can you please explain to me how you know this to be true?”
    Because there are still organisms that are only partly sexually differentiated, like sponges and certain worms. Many plants have both male and female parts. And these are more similar to the kind of life forms that existed in life’s earliest history according to the fossil record.
    Bacteria exchange DNA by bacterial conjugation, and this can be observed under microscopes. The bacteria get some resistance to antibiotics and other toxins, and the ability to utilize new metabolites, from doing so.
    Of course conjugation is not reproduction and is not limited to members of the same species, and there are cases where bacteria transfer DNA to plants and animals. (You’re having sex with the whole world right now.)
    It is an example of the “selfish gene” hypothesis, Dawkins wrote of long ago and it’s possible to trace a likely theoretical path to sexuality from there.

  112. #112 Buffybot
    January 21, 2009

    Wowbagger, that’s total nonsense.

    I never learned to play rugby.

  113. #113 Lowell
    January 21, 2009

    #103

    the scientific viewpoint IS that everything came from nothing (singularity).

    I’m no physicist by any means, but the singularity posited by big bang theory doesn’t sound like “nothing” to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_singularity

    Maybe someone with a better grasp of the issue could explain it better.

  114. #114 Blake Stacey
    January 21, 2009

    Is it just me, or does the title of this post seem to want to become a song lyric? I’m imagining Roy Zimmerman imitating Bob Dylan singing, “The banana man thinks he’s got the godless on the run. . . .”

  115. #115 jfwells
    January 21, 2009

    The population in each location would be continually interbreeding; at no point (except in the isolation mechanism) would there be a sudden transition where one group found itself consisting solely of one reproductively isolated male or female, waiting for a member of the other sex to pop into existence and give them something fun to do.

    Interbreeding? In the case of the Minnesotans it might be inbreeding…

  116. #116 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    The Tim Channel:

    On the other hand, I don’t mind saying that it’s dam near MIRACULOUS how everything did come from nothing.

    Actually, from what I understand, the whole concept that the universe came from “nothing” is a total misunderstanding of physics by creationists. Current theories in cosmology do describe a “singularity” at the beginning of the universe, but this is simply a mathematical construct. Big bang theory itself says nothing about what existed before the big bang, or what caused the big bang. In fact, there are many theories that have been proposed relatively recently (String Theory, M-Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity, etc) which suggest that the universe (or Multiverse) has always existed.

    There very likely was “something” before our universe came into being. Unfortunately for the creationists, that something is probably an infinite multi-dimensional Multiverse, and not a magical supernatural entity.

  117. #117 Blake Stacey
    January 21, 2009

    His shopworn apologetic nonsense aside, the scientific viewpoint IS that everything came from nothing (singularity).

    No.

    It is not known whether or not the Universe began with a gravitational singularity. The current understanding of quantum field theory suggests that the apparent singularities predicted by General Relativity in places like the centres of black holes or the beginning of the Horrendous Space Kablooie are an artefact of our limited knowledge. In trying to describe such a situation with General Relativity, the equations one writes contain a singularity, but this aberration is not physical, because that situation is sufficiently extreme that GR no longer applies, and some new physics takes over. A full description of the phenomenon, using a theory which is actually applicable, would not have a singularity.

  118. #118 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Lowell @ 113

    No physicist either, but an ardent lover of astronomy, and as such, totally boggled and enthralled by the very idea and mechanics of the Big Bang. We will never understand(I am positive on this incredible fact) how it all started, but this in no measure lessens my unequivocal fascination of this phenomenonal event. And all devoid of any supernatural or god crap. An Atheist Big Bang! I will be fascinated by this event with its eternal mystery until I die, and eventually return to the Universe by way of stardust.

  119. #119 Blondin
    January 21, 2009

    I love it when female components compliment my male components (not that it happens that often…).

  120. #120 norm!
    January 21, 2009

    I have to give banana man some credit. He calls atheism a “rising tide”. That’s one better than most fundies who assert that young Americans are, as a whole, embracing Christianity.

  121. #121 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    We will never understand(I am positive on this incredible fact) how it all started

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. It is a very difficult problem, but lots of very very smart people are working on it. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if once we figure out exactly how and why our universe started, we’re faced with an entirely new and equally-challenging set of mind-boggling questions.

  122. #122 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 21, 2009

    Let me see if I understand this. Transgendered men and women did not just change genders, they changed species. So transsexual is not the proper term, it should be transspecied.

  123. #123 Snoof
    January 21, 2009

    This seems like a pretty clear case of still thinking of “discrete” species, and it -kind- of makes sense if you view it from that angle. The logic is:

    When the first organism of a “new” species comes into existence (which means it’s of a _different species to its parents_), what does it breed with in order to perpetuate the new species? Clearly, because we’re talking about discrete species here, it can’t breed with a member of its parents’ species, so the only way it can find a mate is if another member of its own of the appropriate sex (assuming we’re talking about regular sexual reproduction, and not one of the approximately eighteen thousand* other methods) _also_ spontaneously “evolves”. Which would seem pretty unlikely.

    Now, it’s a reasonable mistake to make, if your _entire conception of species_ is rooted in, say, pre-eighteenth century biology. Pity, really. Another perfectly good argument hamstrung by poor assumptions.

    * May or may not be hyperbole.

  124. #124 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    My understanding is that “empty space” is apparently not empty. The math points to the ability of particles to spontaneously appear out of nothing and others to vanish into nothing. One hypothesis is that these particles squeeze out of parallel universes. That perception has also been applied to the “singularity” and the Big Bang. The universe we perceive started as a “leak” or “birth” from another one and that this process is far from unique happening almost constantly between infinite universes and across multiple dimensions.

    Sort of like “Whack-A-Mole” out of control.

  125. #125 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    The math points to the ability of particles to spontaneously appear out of nothing and others to vanish into nothing.

    Which explains why my keys are never where I left them…

  126. #126 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    Snoof, go here
    talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB610.html
    and then go here.
    youtube.com/watch?v=Dm277H3ot6Y&fmt=18

  127. #127 Amanduh
    January 21, 2009

    Doesn’t he know that femaleness is the default state of all life? ;)

  128. #128 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    @libbie

    Well, thank you (blush).

    Was it the scintillating wit
    or the aphrodisiac qualities of the bananas?

    And just FTR, how did the waxing go?

    ;^ )

  129. #129 InTheImageOfDNA
    January 21, 2009

    I don’t know if any of you guys followed the short lived ChristianCrossTalk blog by the ignoramus Edward Gordon – a raving atheistphobe – but it seems that Ray Comfort is going down the same road that that loon did. Edward had a kind of psychotic break and nixed his blog, but not before spouting off some of the most failed “arguments” ever.

    It is almost like logic might have touched something deep down and they see that their arguments are broken and hence resort to these laughable but “original” ones in a last ditch effort to shore up a weakening faith. The memorable one from Ed was that Bumblebees couldn’t fly therefore it is god’s magic hand holding them up always and everytwere when a Bubmblebee is aloft. That’s akin to Comfort’s retardation. It’s like they’ve reached the end of their rope when it comes to such proclamations.

  130. #130 jahigginbotham
    January 21, 2009

    #22 jql (and Shane) got it right; I’m tired of paying.

  131. #131 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    “Which explains why my keys are never where I left them…”

    Not to mention the socks in the dryer.

  132. #132 ggab
    January 21, 2009

    “Doesn’t he know that femaleness is the default state of all life? ;)”

    Sort of makes me feel like being male is a bit of an accomplishment. Like I’ve done something.
    Y’know, many just lay around in the placenta doing nothing.
    That’s not my style. I grew a penis.
    So far, I’ve been pleased with my decision.

  133. #133 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    I always liked to use the bumblebee’s supposed inability to fly (now debunked) as an argument for the power of denial: the fat, fuzzy buggers simply refuse to believe they can’t fly; ergo, denial is an extremely powerful force.

  134. #134 John the Skeptic
    January 21, 2009

    If any species came into existence without a mature female present (with complimentary female components) . . .

    Complimentary female components? As in “Nice tits”? Or did he mean “complementary”?

  135. #135 ggab
    January 21, 2009

    IntheimageofDNA
    I ran into Ed Gordon on several occasions.
    In my opinion, it’s more likely he’s in an institution, or busy digging holes to put the bodies in.
    That guy came off as seriously dangerous.

  136. #136 Attended_Comp_vert_reproduction
    January 21, 2009

    Just as he has ignored the presence of male nipples, Comfort seems not to have payed attention in (or didn’t show up to) his comparative vertebrate reproduction class.

    All tetrapods, including Comfort himself, began life with a female-like reproductive tract. Those destined for eventual male-ness resorbed their early oviduct (sometimes partially) and built a second tract for carrying sperm.

    So, you could say all males were once “female”, or the default state is to be female.

  137. #137 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 21, 2009

    Posted by: ggab | January 21, 2009

    I grew a penis.
    So far, I’ve been pleased with my decision.

    You call that an achievement?

  138. #138 ggab
    January 21, 2009

    Janine, Leftist Bozo
    “You call that an achievement?”

    Hell yes! You should see the size of this thing.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  139. #139 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    “You call that an achievement?”

    Well they do come in handy at times.

  140. #140 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Jimminy(shouldn’t there be one “m”) christmas @ 121

    This borders on speculation, and as long and in the future figuring minds work on this incredible problem I doubt if the inception will ever be solved. We can analyze the chemical and physical makeup of matter, and perhaps further our knowledge of whatever additional data of light reveals which is not currently known, there still exists the problem of getting to the starting point of it all by going back in time to the singularity. The enormous amount of time required to do this is beyond our comprehension, not to mention the means of travel which is likewise incredible and so unequivocally linked with time, thereby boggling the mind with uncomprehension. Impossible as it seems, and to which I maintain my stance, my fascination is not lessened for the wonder of it all. I often think if Einstein had lived a few years longer and had a late in life brainstorm and came up with the solution to a Unified Theory and this in turn led to a further breakthrough of the beginning. It is just too mind-boggling to comprehend, but nevertheless totally fascinating.

  141. #141 CG
    January 21, 2009

    to HumanisticJones@64

    Wow. Just WOW. I laughed for a good couple of minutes about that ‘article’. Definitely worth the read if you need a laugh.

    “If they think, do they think in English or Chirp?”

    And I think this one wins, hands down:

    “How do they know that they are sparrows so that they can hang with other sparrows?”

  142. #142 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 21, 2009

    Posted by: ggab | January 21, 2009

    Hell yes! You should see the size of this thing.

    I will pass on the offer though it was kind of you to offer. But I have to say, it is not like you had a choice about if you would grow one or not.

  143. #143 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    Of course he thinks males evolved first, that’s the the Bible says and it influences his way of thinking. Even without him knowing it.

  144. #144 Menyambal
    January 21, 2009

    Ray says:

    No male can reproduce and keep its kind alive without a female of the same species.

    Exactly! Gene mixing occurs, which provides the variations that selection acts upon. The observable fact that even Ray is aware of leads directly to evolution.

    Heh! Whatta maroon.

  145. #145 Anthony
    January 21, 2009

    Who’s up for creating “dontpullthewooloveryoureyes.com”?

  146. #146 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    “Why don’t we see fat sparrows?”
    Uhm, I hate to bust his bubble, but I *have* seen fat sparrows…

  147. #147 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    The banned who should not be named is back. Time for PZ to put you out to pasture again.

  148. #148 Rey Fox
    January 21, 2009

    Ever jumped into the ocean and grew gills, Stan? We’re not answering a single one of your inane questions until you do so.

  149. #149 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    shittttan @ 145

    Hey godcake, you got any confirmed examples of your imaginary god? And I don’t mean the figures on a cow turd. Your god is a fairytale, moron.

  150. #150 Robin
    January 21, 2009

    I do want to put in another plug for the “problem of birds.” I am, in fact, sending it to all those I love . . . because laughter is good for your health.
    Incidentally, most sparrows that you see are fat. Happy birds have a good store of fat on them and eat voraciously to maintain that fat. Little birds especially like to have a little extra just in case, you know, it gets very cold at night. You can tell by rubbing the chest on the bird. If the keel bone is not sharp, it fat and healthy.

  151. #151 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    *points and laughs at stan*

  152. #152 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    shhhhhhhtan just took a big shhhhhhhit on the thread.

    I love how creationists ask questions that are irrelevant,
    act like they are arguing from a point of scientific reason,
    and then claim that God created life instantly as it appears today.

  153. #153 young european
    January 21, 2009

    #110 Posted by: Gene | January 21, 2009 7:03 PM

    Texas State Board of Education evolution hearing livestream

    http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/sboeaudio

    WARNING, SET STUPID METER ON LOW TO PREVENT DAMAGE

    Fascinating …

    Have mostly heard from the rational side so far,
    but now an ID-ist is on …

  154. #154 hje
    January 21, 2009

    I’m guessing Ray’s not down with quantum mechanics either. Or the Casimir effect. Or virtual particles. Etc. No mysteries for him (at least not about anything real), he’s always the expert.

    There are lots of things about the universe that defy common sense (but for which there is abundant empirical evidence). As in: “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”.

    The problem with Comfort et al. is that everything makes sense to them in their sad little universe. For Ray, it’s a universe created 6000 years ago by a creator that can’t quite get things right. Everything his god makes, soon goes bad, angels and humans. His impetuous god then kills the majority of humanity with a flood, but afterward feels regret–but not for long, because he has to get to work on creating fiery eternal punishments for bad angels and the majority of humanity. Billions of people suffer and die from war, famine, pestilence, etc., just because one naked human makes the wrong choice with respect fruit, and the vast majority go immediately to a place of eternal torment if they don’t believe just right (this is a very important point for Ray, who sees most Christians as fakes–quite unlike him). And to Ray, this kind of cosmology makes perfect sense.

  155. #155 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    Holbach (shouldn’t there be a “baron” or a “d'” in there somewhere) @140:

    This borders on speculation, and as long and in the future figuring minds work on this incredible problem I doubt if the inception will ever be solved.

    Saying “I doubt” is reasonable. Saying “I am positive on this incredible fact” (as you did) is not.

    Of course what I said is speculative, but it was no more speculative than you saying that you are 100% certain that at no time in the future will humans develop sufficient intelligence or technology which can answer the questions that currently seem “unanswerable” (such as how and why the Universe began). I’m not saying it will happen next week, or in our lifetime, or a hundred years from now (although it could). But, if we don’t destroy ourselves in the next several thousand years, I’m moderately confident we will discover new technologies and physics which will answer most, if not all, of the questions we have now.

    I suppose it just depends on how optimistic/pessimistic you want to be about humanity in general.

  156. #156 clinteas
    January 21, 2009

    Janine @ 122,

    Transgendered men and women did not just change genders, they changed species

    I would pay money to see Ray explain away a large-breasted woman with a big fat penis.

  157. #157 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    “Suppose he’s got a bunch.”
    “Shut up.”
    “Suppose he’s got a poin’ed stick.”
    “SHUT UP!”
    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  158. #158 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    “hey fruitcakes……why did PZ recently deny being a darwinist? Is he turning his back on selectionism?”
    [CITATION NEEDED]

  159. #159 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    Somebody smell something? Sniff Smells like banned idiotic troll. PZ we need an air out in aisle 6.

  160. #160 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    *continues to point and laugh at shitstain-stan*

  161. #161 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    Hello? Hello? Nobody here, just a bad smell.

  162. #162 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    #163 translation: “I left the evidence in my other pants.”

  163. #163 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    I think stanny-boy is attempting to prove his own theory by coming here; he thinks that acts of bravery – such as coming to a site like this while posessing nothing resembling knowledge or an intellect – might actually lead to his growing the set of testicles* he so wants to dearly.

    *Disclaimer: I am in no way attempting to demean stan by implying he is a female. What I mean is that Stan is some sort of eunuch who wishes he was more male than he actually is – i.e. he’s a male with serious envy issues.

  164. #164 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    Stanley,
    Step 1.) Google “ring species”.
    Step 2.) Shut up.

  165. #165 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    Who wants to bet that stan didn’t read anymore than the title of that article? He probably saw it and came in his pants.

  166. #166 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Stan,

    Define ‘Darwinist’ – if you can.

  167. #167 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    Eric: You might as well be asking us to place odds on if the sun will rise tomorrow. Not gonna happen.

  168. #168 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    Stan, hows the growing gills by diving underwater going? If you aren’t succeeding, you are not trying hard enough. Try more weight attached to your ankles.

  169. #169 A Rice
    January 21, 2009

    I’m trying to keep up here. But while the rest of us are standing on the field, some of these nuts are screaming “Why won’t you play football with me” while running through the stands waving a hockey stick.

    If you have an issue with Evolution, Post a sane, simple question and wait for an answer.

  170. #170 CrypticLife
    January 21, 2009

    Didn’t Comfort just blow any credibility he may have had by being relatively anonymous by leading with the banana argument?

  171. #171 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    #168 Science has advanced since Darwin’s day (SHOCK! HORROR!) but his theory remains valid. What are you gonna pull out next, the Lady Hope story? Haw haw haw!

  172. #172 Nerd of Redhead
    January 21, 2009

    Stan the Banned, Nothing you say or post to will mean anything. You are a proven liar and bullshitter. Now grow some balls and stay away.

  173. #173 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    By that definition none of us are Darwinists due to the existence of things like genetic drift, endosymbiosis, and horizontal gene transfer (you know, the thing in the article you cited without reading).

    I know I’m dealing with a troll, but fuck you’re stupid.

  174. #174 CG
    January 21, 2009

    I deny being a Darwinist too! Any reasonable person knows that science is always a work in progress and theories change as we find out more information. The basis of his ideas was sound and we have built on that with 150 years of research. While parts of Darwin’s theories have been refuted and parts have been changed, NONE of that has anything to do with your imaginary friend.

    …I don’t know why I’m feeding the troll, I should stop.

  175. #175 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Stan,

    Okay, say I accept your definition. How then, is PZ wrong in saying he isn’t what you’ve described? I’ll even give you a hint.

  176. #176 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    Have just listened to the entire broadcast of today’s Texas Board of Education hearing.
    Meyer of the Discovery Institute is slick & slippery.
    Don McLeroy, the Chair, is an excruciatingly, painfully thick & obvious faithhead who doesn’t even try to make a pretense of a scientific facade.

  177. #177 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    Alright, let’s stop feeding the troll, as amusing as it is to watch his tantrums.

  178. #178 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    I don’t know if it’s possible with the current software on Scienceblogs, but it would be awesome if PZ had the ability to set it so a troll coming from a particular IP can post and see their own posts (and think we also see their posts), but the rest of us do not see their posts in the thread. The troll would never know if their comments are actually getting through or not. This also could result in additional hilarity since PZ could then periodically post a “best of” of some of the more insane rants that we wouldn’t otherwise be seeing. I’ve seen other forums do this.

    It’s a win-win scenario. The trolls can continue to post, and we don’t have to be bothered by them (except to make fun of them).

  179. #179 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    PZ will clean up its droppings in time. Which will be weird for anyone reading the thread afterwards, but that’s the price we pay for pest control.

  180. #180 Caymen Paolo Diceda
    January 21, 2009

    Did you notice that Comfort’s website has no forum or place to debate with him? At least PZ welcomes comments on his blog.

    That ignorance of logic is amazing, or maybe just sad.

    What’s up with #176 above? Looks like some flame baiting there. (forgive me – I’m a new reader of this blog)

  181. #181 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009

    *ignores the troll*
    I still giggle at this:
    http://www.overcompensating.com/posts/20070615.html

  182. #182 MikeP
    January 21, 2009

    Obama was re-sworn in…without the silly bible!

  183. #183 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    *sigh*
    Can’t we at least get a creative troll?

  184. #184 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    shitaninny @ 166

    You are an example of unscientific unnatural selection, an evolutionary aberration. Let’s see your shitgod you slime mold, the one that’s infesting your cancerous brain.

  185. #185 Caymen Paolo Diceda
    January 21, 2009

    Wow, this Stan guy is amazing. His volume control substitutes for logic? Just yell louder and that makes it true?

    If he bothered to read and understand any of the standard genetic textbooks, he’d have his questions answered.

  186. #186 Laser Potato
    January 21, 2009
  187. #187 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    For those not familiar with this particular troll: he pops up every now and then and gets banned, mostly because he both refuses to read and is unable to comprehend the scientific material he’s provided with and has goalposts which move at near light-speed.

    Basically, if you can’t show that an animal that didn’t have an organ wakes up the next morning with one (a horse suddenly becomes a unicorn, for example) then evolution is invalid – despite the fact that no-one (other than him) has ever defined evolution as being able to do that.

    Even better, he believes in some weird version of adaptability where individual creatures change to suit the evironment at will. We’ve asked him to provide evidence by spending enough time in water to grow gills, but he’s never managed to achieve that – strangely enough.

    He spends most of his time getting his stupid, ignorant ass handed to him on another blog. I went there once and was surprised at just how much the regulars there hate and mock him.

  188. #188 Robin
    January 21, 2009

    197,
    Eat your bananas while ye may . . .

  189. #189 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    @ Mayhempix

    It was definitely the aphrodisiacal qualities of The Atheist’s Nightmare. That, and a long day spent chipping frozen bird poo off of perches.

    I haven’t gotten around to waxing my eyebrows yet, thank you kindly for asking. They truly are scary right now. But laughing at Ray Comfort takes precedence. I’m sure you understand.

  190. #190 mayhempix
    January 21, 2009

    Of topic I know but I just received a reply to an email I sent to Krispy Kreme politely detailing my disgust with their chickenshit appeasement to the wingnuts over their “free choice” campaign.

    Here is their chickenshit response:

    Thank you for your taking the time to contact us.

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ Inauguration Day promotion on Tuesday, January 20,
    2009, is offering one, free doughnut of a customer’s choice at participating Krispy
    Kreme locations nationwide. No purchase is necessary. The promotion allows
    customers to commemorate Inauguration Day by selecting one free doughnut of
    any variety at local participating stores. On Election Day, November 4, 2008,
    Krispy Kreme ran a promotion that provided customers with one free star-shaped
    doughnut at stores nationwide. The Inauguration Day promotion is not about any
    social or political issue.

    To view this statement online please visit:

    http://www.krispykreme.com/inauguration.htm

    Once again thank you for contacting us.

    Sincerely,
    Christy Cook
    Krispy Kreme Customer Experience
    http://www.krispykreme.com

  191. #191 Somnolent Aphid
    January 21, 2009

    >>a female partner (that coincidentally matured at just the right time)

    Damn good thing the women mature, because god knows the men never do!

    (Really, that was too easy)

  192. #192 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Jimminy christmas @ 157

    I was not being sarcastic in questioning the missing “m”, but googled your moniker to check the meaning and I found it listed as with one “m”.

    Anyway, to clarify and definitely ascertain my opinion that we will never discover the origin and cause of the Big Bang, let me offer an analogy in impossibilities. The analogy may be farfetched and wrought with dissimilarities, but I think the chance we will ever learn the origin of the Big Bang are as possible(sic) as my walking to the Andromeda Galaxy in my lifetime. The extreme example only points out how the chances of knowing are beyond comprehension. Not only will we Earth humans never discover the origin, but I am sure that neither a civilization in another galaxy will ever do so. There is no smugness or irrational thought here, but just my knowledgeable evaluation of this immense and unknowable phenomena.
    But as I said, this unattainable fact will never cease to amaze me or erase the thought of sheer speculation.

  193. #193 co
    January 21, 2009

    ask PZ why he keeps banning me

    It’s really quite obvious.

  194. #194 stephanurus
    January 21, 2009

    jql #22 beat me to it re “complimentary” where “complementary” was meant. Lots of fun can be had with “complimentary female components”. The non-complimentary ones are more expensive etc etc.
    stephanurus

  195. #195 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Holbach wrote:

    There is no smugness or irrational thought here, but just my knowledgeable evaluation of this immense and unknowable phenomena.

    Also we need to point out that, simply because we don’t know – and may never know – exactly how something happened, it doesn’t mean we must ‘fill the gap’ by assuming, as the dear deluded so often do, the existence of a god or gods.

  196. #196 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    s @ 195

    Don’t go away mad; but of course you are. You and your imaginary god are the losers you halfwit. How does it feel that you can’t get your god to kick the crap out of us, but we sure kicked the crap out of your demented skull. Have you considered suicide, perhaps a quick way to find out that you will not exist and never get to know your shit god.

  197. #197 antaresrichard
    January 21, 2009

    amphiox @ 88 just made me rethink the creationists’ GOTG mantra to explain the “virgin birth”. Arghhh, my brain! Bad brain, bad brain!

  198. #198 Brain Hertz
    January 21, 2009

    Wow,
    Do creationists go out of their way to not understand evolution?

    Yes. They learn, recite and promote a mangled version of TOE which allows them to arrive at conclusions they like, and remain impervious to suggestions that their understanding might be flawed. It must take some effort.

    They also go out of their way to not understand the second law of thermodynamics (although to be fair, that’s not hard) and my personal favorite, the priciple (or “law” as they have it*) of conservation of angular momentum.

    * yes, I know. Don’t even start.

  199. #199 Silver Fox
    January 21, 2009

    “And of course, he doesn’t bother with this problem: who made god?”

    But he does bother with it. Now, his dealing with it lacks a considerable amount of metaphysical strength. But, he tries a back door answer. He says, in ‘The Atheist’s
    Beginning’ that the atheist cannot understand how God could be eternal; in this understanding, everyone is an atheist since no one can get his finite mind around the infinity of
    God. While his conclusion is correct, he makes no attempt to establish the necessity of God’s infinity.

  200. #200 AV
    January 21, 2009

    Stan said (lovingly):

    you evos are such sorry chickens…..hurry up, ban me! And for what? — disagreement — shoving your face in the stinking excrement that is your stupid theory…without you being able to do a dang thing about it. You pigs are worthless and your theory is something you pulled right out of your sphincter. show me some evidence of this lipstick-wearing pig.

    Christian love strikes again.

  201. #201 Twin-Skies
    January 21, 2009

    @Wowbagger

    I’m relatively new here, so I’m not too familiar with Stan’s previous record. Did you perchance mean this perp?

    Weird little drive-by troll who goes into posting fits. Never says anything of substance, just insists that change is preprogrammed into genomes, and natural selection doesn’t work, and babbles, babbles, babbles. I’m giving him a special cell, with padding and straps.

  202. #202 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    Stan,
    Obviously you do not accept the theory of evolution.

    Those that do, do so because to them it is the best scientific (read: natural, not supernatural) explanation for the patterns first seen in living and geologically preserved morphologies and now at the molecular/chemical levels of genomics & proteomics.

    You have been insisting that the evidence presented does not exist, but it does, copiously. What you are doing is similar to a person who doesn’t accept the scientific explanation of what specific mechanisms are involved in forming raindrops & lightning insisting that there are no thunderstorms.

    There are certainly thunderstorms, and all the things cited as evidence of evolution certainly do exist. If those things that exist are not inferred by you to be evidence of evolution, then please elucidate the mechanisms you infer cause their existence.

    If you want to convince people who do accept evolution as the mechanisms responsible for the things they cite as being evidence for it, then you must present to them a more logical explanation for their existence than evolution.

    If your explanation is supernatural, they are not going to accept it. If instead you have a better natural (ie scientific) explanation, please present it: everyone would be thrilled to hear it.

  203. #203 Aaron
    January 21, 2009

    Wowbagger (comment #54): much more fun is poked at the heinous Australian accent than the New Zealand accent by those outside of our countries. It’s basically the reason Steve Irwin was famous.

  204. #204 Holbach
    January 21, 2009

    Wowbagger@ 206

    My sentiments exactly in your apt conclusion, and which I have expressed on other occasions. The Universe is filled to the brim with natural wonders, but not a god to despoil that natural state.

  205. #205 Menyambal
    January 21, 2009

    sstan says:

    show me some evidence of this lipstick-wearing pig

    Look in the mirror, love.

  206. #206 Doo Shabag
    January 21, 2009

    It is my understanding that the evolution of sex remains something of an unexplained mystery.

    The simplest organism that I am aware of that mates and has “gender” is yeast, S. cerevisiae (and other S. species). It typically exists as a diploid and divides by budding a daughter cell off the mother cell.

    Under the right conditions, however, the yeast can sporulate, creating a group of four cells, two of the “a” mating type and two of the “alpha” mating type. Don’t get me started on the stupidity of the naming convention. These cells can either mate to recreate a diploid, or can grow by budding themselves, and the resulting daughter cells can be either “a” or “alpha”. At some point, they will likely mate with a cell of the opposite mating type creating a diploid.

    Mating in yeast is controlled by the MAT (mating) locus, and a normal haploid cell contains either MATa or MATalpha. These cells also contain an copy of the “a” and “alpha” gene at what is known as the silent mating loci (one for each mating type). These genes are not expressed under normal conditions, but allow a haploid cell to create daughters of the opposite mating type if the gene from the silent locus replaces the gene at the MAT locus.

    The haploid cells detect the presence of a cell of the opposite mating type by detecting their mating pheromone. The cells can then grow toward each other, creating a “shmoo”. When the cells meet they can fuse to form a single mishapen cell, but the daughter cells from the new diploid have the standard diploid shape.

    Most lab strains have the HO genes that control mating type switching removed so your haploid experiments don’t accidentally become diploid experiments. Most beer and wine strains are aneuploid (have uneven copies of each chromosome) and thus are very poor sporulators – virtually no mating goes on in any beer vat or wine barrel.

    I knew that first author paper on yeast mating would come in handy eventually. Sorry for the length, and any mistakes or oversimplifications I’ve made trying to keep it as short and simple as it is.

  207. #207 Miguel
    January 21, 2009

    A xianist believes that a magic-man made everything. Even though it’s an intellectual embarrassment, they won’t deny it (although they will start hurling epithets, like “Christophobe”, for saying “magic-man”). I believe in a natural explanation for the universe, not the insanity of believing that a magic-man created it. “He. Just. Diddit.” *snort*

  208. #208 Jimminy Christmas
    January 21, 2009

    Holbach:

    I spell my name this way for my own reasons, not because I’m illiterate. Many people spell their names weird on many internet forums for various reasons. Your pedantry just seemed unnecessary, so I gave a little good-natured jibe back at you for your lack of including the full and proper spelling of your namesake in order to point out the irony of your criticism. No harm no foul ;)

    I understand where you are coming from in regard to your doubt that we will ever definitively discover how or why the universe came to be. And you very well may be correct! I was just pointing out that it is somewhat closed minded to rule out the possibility that humans will ever discover in the future (perhaps the distant future) where we came from or why we exist. We just have a mild difference of opinion on the this particular subject. That’s all. Only time will tell.

    I think we can both agree that we will probably both be dead if and when humans do discover this knowledge. All I was saying is you shouldn’t say “In my opinion X is impossible, therefore X is definitively and objectively impossible.” :)

  209. #209 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Twin-Skies, #212

    Yes, that’s the one. Calls himself ‘Supersport’ elsewhere.

    Aaron, #214

    True – while I’m originally from Queensland I now live in South Australia and, between that and years in community theatre, I sound far more English than I do like Steve Irwin. I’ve never said ‘crikey’ in my life.

    I guess it’s probably something to do with how few people outside of NZ and Australia hear real NZ accents. Still, that has to be changing – Temuera Morrison in the Star Wars prequels (and retconned originals), for example – and I imagine the success of Flight of the Conchords is giving the rest of the world a chance to hear NZ accents.

    Holbach, #215

    Yeah, I’ve never understood how the existence of a god made things in any way better than they appear to be without one. Plus existing due to billions of years evolution (physical and sociocultural) gives one a sense of achievement, rather than the emptiness that would stem from being the pets of a capricious puppet master.

  210. #210 JackC
    January 21, 2009

    It is my considered opinion that including the verb “think” in the same sentence as the name “Comfort” is purest hyperbole.

    JC

  211. #211 Wolfhound
    January 21, 2009

    Any of you kooks ever come up with a mutation that adds a new piece of gross anatomy? Any mutation?…multiple mutations, even? Anything?

    oh, and how about this — any of you nutcakes got any confirmed examples of natural selection adapting an animal population genetically?

    Evolution is a fairytale, dopes.

    Supersport? Is that you? Or is it “J” channeling Supersport? I get my retarded creationist fuckwits mixed up these days, mostly ’cause they’re interchangeable.

  212. #212 George
    January 21, 2009

    Wow – too many comments here. It is of note that Ray’s web site does not take comments.

  213. #213 Eric
    January 21, 2009

    @220 Wowbagger

    So stan is Supersport? That explains a lot actually.

  214. #214 Kel
    January 21, 2009

    The dude compared himself to Einstein, this seems like small fry compared to that.

  215. #215 'Tis Himself
    January 21, 2009

    It is my considered opinion that including the verb “think” in the same sentence as the name “Comfort” is purest hyperbole.

    I’m more of the “‘think’ and ‘Ray Comfort’ is oxymoronic” school.

  216. #216 Wowbagger
    January 21, 2009

    Supersport posts here as stan (and variants), yes.

    I ended up on another site (I can’t remember which one) and there he was asking the same inane questions, building the same strawmen, refusing to read the same articles containing examples of evolution in practice; he spends most of his time failing to think up creative insults and the rest of it shifting the goalposts.

  217. #217 Blake Stacey
    January 21, 2009

    Silver Fox (#210):

    Infinite magnitude does not necessarily imply incomprehensibility. Pick up any decent textbook on set theory, topology, real analysis, etc., etc., or spend a rainy day on a website like PlanetMath.

  218. #218 Brain Hertz
    January 21, 2009

    Wowbagger #206

    Also we need to point out that, simply because we don’t know – and may never know – exactly how something happened, it doesn’t mean we must ‘fill the gap’ by assuming, as the dear deluded so often do, the existence of a god or gods.

    Right on. I think half the argument with theists in the Comfort mould is the inability to comprehend anyone being comfortable with the answer to anything being “I don’t know”.

  219. #219 CalGeorge
    January 21, 2009

    “Cornel University believe that nothing created everything.”

    He should go back to peeling bananas. Far more entertaining.

  220. #220 'Tis Himself
    January 21, 2009

    Silver Fox #210

    the atheist cannot understand how God could be eternal; in this understanding, everyone is an atheist since no one can get his finite mind around the infinity of
    God. While his conclusion is correct, he makes no attempt to establish the necessity of God’s infinity.

    The Uncreated Creator is a case of special pleading. “Everything was created…except for one thing.” Why not “…except for ten things” or “…except for a thousand things” or even “…except for everything but one thing”?

  221. #221 JackC
    January 21, 2009

    TisHimself: I can go along with that. Only thing is, an oxymoron refers to contradictory/incongruous words, where hyperbole refers to exaggeration of extravagant proportions. We all know the common examples of oxymoronic phrasing. Hyperbole just seems a bit more esoteric.

    But yeah – most certainly. Ray Comfort and thinking in the same reference. It just doesn’t really work, does it?

    JC

  222. #222 John Phillips, FCD
    January 21, 2009

    Holbach, as Arthur C. said

    When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    Admittedly, if we humans ever do find out I, sadly, will be long gone.

  223. #223 ihateaphids
    January 21, 2009

    Re Number 4 (sorry watching BSG right now)
    Re: post 4
    “I’m not sure Comic Sans is actually an entirely appropriate match for the level of inanity Comfort achieves…

    Mebbe somethin’ more like this?…”

    I think the font wingdings is maybe more appropriate.
    How bizarre would this website get if PZ started posting nuttery in wingdings?

  224. #224 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    Oh, this will be fun! From Ray’s web site: “Atheists’ bird problems.”

    I’m an aviculturist (that’s a fancy way of saying I take care of birds.) So I like to think I know a thing or two about birds that Ray and his crack team of researchers (Kirk) don’t know.

    I will answer Ray’s bird problems line by line. Because I’m an ass. My answers to Ray’s deep avian mysteries are preceded by an asterisk. Enjoy!

    How do birds know how and when to build a nest? *Instinct. Some individuals suck at nest-building and they are typically unsuccessful at raising young. There appears to be “good” and “bad” nest-building genes out there.

    How do they choose who to hang with? *Again, instinct, and field marks seem to play a very large part. They don’t always get it right.

    How do they recognize old friends (they all look the same)? *Usually voice. The auditory systems of most avian species are far, far more advanced than ours and seem to be capable of picking up nuances that humans can hardly imagine.

    Why don’t we see fat sparrows? *We do.

    What are they singing about? *Nearly always, telling other birds to get the hell out of their territory, but sometimes to attract a mate.

    Who teaches them music? *Their parents. No, really. It’s true. Birds who are raised by humans usually do not sing as their species is supposed to sing, although sometimes the notes are correct but the voice sounds rather eerily human. I know a hand-raised crow who literally says, “CAW!” in a creepy human voice.

    How come they can all sing on key? *They don’t sing “on key.” Ray clearly knows nothing about music, either. They sing a pattern of distinct calls that they pick up from their parents. Most birds add very subtle variations to the song that they learn from their parents and this is probably how other birds can identify individuals by voice. That’s right. Bird song is a meme.

    How do they know that they are sparrows so that they can hang with other sparrows? *Field marks and songs, as well as very specific territories (for example, some subspecies of blackbird will hang out in reeds that grow one foot deep and will not venture beyond that margin; another subspecies will hang out in reeds that grow in 1.5 feet of water and will not venture shallower.)

    Birds of a feather do flock together (how many sparrows do you see flying with seagulls?). *A lot. Birds frequently feed in mixed groups and share territories with non-conspecifics. When they flock in conspecific groups, the reason seems to be to evade predatory birds who hunt on the wing, and very specialized vision (they can see about 70-80 images per second compared to humans’ 20 IPS) allows them to move without bumping into each other.

    Are they nervous on their first flight? *Some aren’t even flighted. How does this prove or disprove God?

    Who warns them about cats? *Their incredibly evolved vision does. It’s that 70-80 IPS again. Basically, birds see the world in bullet-time. Even the fastest cat is like a tortoise to an attentive bird. Birds are like Neo evading projectiles in the Matrix. To birds, there is no spoon.

    If it’s their mom and dad, how do they communicate with their kids? *Verbally, except in the New World vultures, which lack a syrinx. They communicate visually.

    Do they dream? *Probably. I’m not sure this has been studied yet. Why, will God tell us whether birds dream?

    What do they dream about? Cats? *Slow cats, maybe.

    If they think, do they think in English or Chirp? Probably Chirp. *No shit, Ray. Why would birds think in English? And yes, birds do think. Corvids are especially astute thinkers and even make tools to solve problems.

    Are they taught language skills while in the nest or afterwards at some sort of hidden Chirp school? *In the nest, dumbass. All this information is freely available at any Audubon Society meeting.

    Does the language have a similar structure to human language? *No.

    When they all get together for a sing along (we often hear loud tree choirs), do they have a conductor? *No. This is a territorial squabble before they all find their individual perches and settle down for the night. Have you ever noticed that “sing-alongs” tend to happen in trees or large shrubs around sunset?

    Is anyone is charge, or is it just a jam session of golden oldies? *It’s more like a bar brawl, Ray.

    As an atheist it must be a little frustrating having no one to thank for all this. *Nope. Not remotely. I have SCIENCE to thank for the fascinating answers to all these questions, and many more that Ray doesn’t even know enough to ask. Birds are among the most amazing critters that evolution has produced, in my bird-nerd opinion. Ray doesn’t even begin to understand their wonders. What a wackaloon.

    How can you not stand in awe at the intelligence of the mind that put all this together? *I stand in awe at the natural processes that allowed theropods to stick around and become these remarkable creatures.

    I marvel at the genius of God. *I don’t.

    Einstein did. *No he didn’t. Not your definition of God, anyway.

    Newton did. *He didn’t have many options at the time.

    The atheist doesn?t. *Damn skippy.

    He sees the meal but never tastes it…because he doesn?t want to. What a tragedy. *Hey, Ray. Why don’t you ask some really interesting questions about birds? I can answer those for you, too. You see the sparrow but never taste it. What a tragedy.

    -Libbie, Bird Nerd.

  225. #225 ndt
    January 21, 2009

    Notice how the first member of a new species (as if that made sense) is assumed, by Comfort, to be male. Very revealing.

  226. #226 cyan
    January 21, 2009

    Libbie:

    That was succinct and beautiful.

    Thanks

  227. #227 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    @ ndt: Well, the BYE-BUL says that God made man first, so therefore He must have made the male of every other species first. I mean, come on. The Bible is obviously* true and infallible.

    *not obviously.

  228. #228 JackC
    January 21, 2009

    Damn. Cyan beat me to it. Thanks from me too Libby. I love my bird feeder. No where near the nut you are about it, but I love them all the same. It was painful when we had “indoor” birds. But even those were wondrous.

    JC

  229. #229 JackC
    January 21, 2009

    Apologies. I meant Libbie. I just can’t type this late. Or this early. Or any other time either.

    JC

  230. #230 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    Birds are basically awesome. Working with them full-time is a real treat, even when I have to work in sub-freezing temperatures and haul sand all day long to improve their homes.

    If you ever get a chance to hang out with an Andean condor (the largest flighted bird) you must do it. It’s like being friends with a dinosaur. (I often wax poetic about my condor pal in my blog, which you can see by clicking on my name above.)

    Glad you all enjoyed the bird facts. :)

  231. #231 Ben
    January 21, 2009

    Forgive me if someone has mentioned this already, but Obama took the oath again today, just to dispel any “Hey, he’s not really president” comments because of the Roberts flub yesterday.

    Anyway, when he took it today, he DIDN’T use a bible, per this story on CNN:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/21/obama.oath/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

    Interesting.

  232. #232 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    More to support my secret hypothesis that Obama is not a Seekrit Muslim but is, in fact, a Seekrit Atheist.

  233. #233 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 21, 2009

    Damn Libby. The only reason I read all of Comfort’s statement was to read your rebuttal. I would have gave up after only a couple of of “question”.

    If they think, do they think in English or Chirp? Whiskey tango foxtrot! How many humans think in English?

  234. #234 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    How dare you, Janine! The Bible is written in English! It is God’s language!!!

    Er…wait.

  235. #235 Happy Trollop
    January 21, 2009

    Let me add my voice to those thanking Libbie for the bird info. Fascinating stuff…(and really, Ray, not impossible to find out using scary old science, but a damn sight harder to learn by postulating a god). I wish you’d been able to post that at Comfort’s blog. I’d love to see a response!

  236. #236 chancelikely
    January 21, 2009

    Janine: 500 million, maybe? Or about 1/12 of the population.

    Libbie: That right there? That answer at #235? That’s why Ray Comfort doesn’t allow comments anymore. You’re smarter, funnier, and a better communicator than he is, and, judging by your name, (GASP!) a girl.

    (Yeah, I know calling somebody cooler than Ray Comfort is like saying they’re taller than Herve Villechaize, but I do mean it as a compliment.)

  237. #237 Libbie
    January 21, 2009

    Aw, shucks. Thanks. I do try.

    I know, it’s incredible that I, a member of the afterthought sex, offspring of Adam’s rib, can out-think Ray Comfort in all his Y-chromosome, created-first superiority. I’m going to go contemplate a created Coke can now and weep over my tragic godlessness. Also to laugh over how chickenshit Ray is that he won’t allow somebody like me, who has no college education, to refute his dumb bird questions. If I can do this, just think what a person with a few degrees in biology or zoology or ornithology could do.

    Also, I’m going to bed. G’night, Pharyngulites!

  238. #238 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 21, 2009

    Posted by: mayhempix @ 124

    My understanding is that “empty space” is apparently not empty. The math points to the ability of particles to spontaneously appear out of nothing and others to vanish into nothing

    No, space acts as if particles are spontaneously appearing out of nothing. They are virtual particles. Not real at all. Like sex in Second Life.

    No, I don’t understand it either.

  239. #239 notrealityimpared
    January 21, 2009

    Here’s a site that has a forum for discussing Ray’s spew, as well as other fundy-flung garbage:

    http://www.wearesmrt.com/bb/

    Stop on by, show ‘em some support.

  240. #240 Aquaria
    January 21, 2009

    Things like “they all look the same” in regards to birds, “Who teaches them music?”, and “Why don’t we see fat sparrows?” have just convinced me he’s almost beyond communicating with in English. Soon we’ll be relegated to talking in grunts when addressing ol’ RC. “URG! FIRE BAD!”

    I had to read this several times to make sure I was reading what I was reading.

    And then I started banging my head on the desk.

    I’m not even an ornithologist, but I can refute the obvious bullshit and answer even the fucking moron question about why they sing! Jaysus on a pogo stick, does he really believe birds are dumber than he is?

    What an insult to birds!

  241. #241 Reynold
    January 21, 2009

    And more bullshit from the theists coming right up: Academic Freedom Day. Right…the only “controversy” in evolution is a manufactured one, done by ignoring bits of evidence, misquotes, and presenting “problems” for evolution that on further study have already been resolved.

    If there is a real controversy, it should be presented honestly.

    The Dover trial exposed some of the lies of the “intelligent design” people use to manufacture their “controversy” over evolution.

    If those people really cared about “academic freedom” as they claim, then they’d not have gone after Mr. Scopes in the original Scopes trial for daring to teach a theory that went against the bible.

  242. #242 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 21, 2009

    Stan, using the internet is HARD

    Ugh

    ugh

  243. #243 Iason Ouabache
    January 21, 2009

    I still say that Ray is secretly an atheist and is just doing all of this to make Christians look bad.

  244. #244 Reynold
    January 21, 2009

    And of course, look who’s behind it:

    Why in hell don’t these people do any sodding research like they said they would?

    =======
    C:\>whois academicfreedomday.com

    Whois v1.01 – Domain information lookup utility
    Sysinternals – http://www.sysinternals.com
    Copyright (C) 2005 Mark Russinovich

    Connecting to COM.whois-servers.net…
    Connecting to whois.dotster.com…

    Discovery Institute
    208 Columbia Street
    Seattle, WA 98104
    US

    Registrar: DOTSTER
    Domain Name: ACADEMICFREEDOMDAY.COM
    Created on: 04-SEP-08
    Expires on: 04-SEP-09
    Last Updated on: 09-NOV-08

    Administrative, Technical Contact:
    Scholz, Matthew webmaster@discovery.org
    Discovery Institute
    208 Columbia Street
    Seattle, WA 98104
    US
    206-292-0401

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS18.ZONEEDIT.COM
    NS17.ZONEEDIT.COM

    End of Whois Information

  245. #245 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    Ah yes. Who Is.

    Such and easy yet powerful tool.

  246. #246 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    and

    grumble

  247. #247 Reynold
    January 22, 2009

    I needn’t have used “whois” actually. If I’d bothered to read the entire article, the Disco Institue freely admits to setting that website up.

    Still, one would wish that they’d hurry up and dig up some of that evidence that they promised

  248. #248 talking snake
    January 22, 2009

    It seems a little odd that in 2009 with all the peer reviewed research and findings into various natural phenomena that it would be necessary to address kooks like Ray Comfort and clones. Unfortunately, these knuckle-draggers (no offense to monkeys or apes) find their way onto school boards and state legislatures where they waste time making stupid rules and laws which adulterate the science curriculum in public schools thereby dumbing down some areas of the United States. Almost feels unpatriotic.

  249. #249 africangenesis
    January 22, 2009

    What is the first man to do, when there isn’t a human female yet? In a pinch, chimpanzee babes will do! Apparently, the X chromosome is the last part of the human lineage to diverge from the chimpanzee lineage. The divergence between these lineages was not instanteous, gene exchange continued for over a million years.

    http://genepath.med.harvard.edu/~reich/Patterson%20et%20al.2.pdf

    There are also several gene candidates in the modern human lineage, that are hypothesized to be a result of gene exchanges with neanderthalis or home erectus.

  250. #250 gypsytag
    January 22, 2009

    Hey sssshitstain-stan

    I’ll debate you, as soon as you can pass a test on evolution.

    I believe a while back PZ posted some books for study material.

    When you’re ready, come back and we’ll all give you a few questions to see if you actually understand what you’re denying.

  251. #251 Twin-Skies
    January 22, 2009

    @Libbie

    Well done.

  252. #252 Rey Fox
    January 22, 2009

    Thanks for the bird info, Libbie. I am a bird nerd too, but too long out of practice. You certainly also have more patience than I do to actually go point-by-point with the infinitely obtuse Ray Comfort. I think after about five questions or so, I would have been like, “Read a fucking BOOK about it if you have so many questions!”

    “He sees the meal but never tastes it,” what a stupid arrogant fuck. I bet he’s never so much as held a bird in his hand. We’re the ones with the meal, all he’s got is empty calories.

  253. #253 talking snake
    January 22, 2009

    In your face religious authoritarians like Ray Dumbshit don’t have questions, they have answers disguised as questions. I can’t believe they believe their own bullshit, but I suppose anything is possible.

  254. #254 Dahan
    January 22, 2009

    Sorry, to many posts to read through at the moment. This has probably been commented on, but…

    “Ask an atheist what was in the beginning and he will usually say “Evolution.”

    Really? Has he tried this? I’m an atheist. I have a fair amount of atheistic friends. I don’t know any of them who would answer that question in such an asinine way. But if Ray says it’s true, it must be. He wouldn’t lie, he’d go to hell for that. Maybe my friends and I aren’t “real” atheists? Maybe we’re just confused.

    Forgive us oh great and wonderous Evolution! Our lord and savior. Please don’t smash us into tiny bits… in thy mercy.

  255. #255 Christophe Thill
    January 22, 2009

    “Imagine if I said my latest book came from nothing.”

    Yes, Ray. Yes, I can imagine that. Actually, I can very well imagine that it does. Obviously it doesn’t come from intelligence, logic or facts, so…

  256. #256 Steve
    January 22, 2009

    His video was made of nothing. Where’s the argument? Plus, I think Kirk is getting his “Big Bang” from this guy….

  257. #257 africangenesis
    January 22, 2009

    “Is”, since when is an ancient fish “nothing”?

  258. #258 Owlmirror
    January 22, 2009

    Of course John Davison is suffering from premature senile dementia, so his “manifesto” is about as coherent as spastic epileptic drunken monkey that has just been stung by a wasp.

    And of course, we are indeed derived from ancient fish — which is demonstrated by the evidence.

    http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0812/features/fish_out_of_water.shtml

  259. #259 Todzilla
    January 22, 2009

    Brain dead, creotard “Is” posted

    They think than humankind arose by “natural selection” from an ancient fish!

    Your handle’s short for “Is stupid“, right?

  260. #260 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 22, 2009

    Is, if JAD has shown that evolution is wrong, biologist would have started to incorporate the ideas that JAD has laid out. Strangely enough, it has not happened. Why would that be?

    You are showing some of the same traits as JAD but, fortunately, you have not been as long winded.

    Does anyone know what the definition of “Is” is?

  261. #261 Iason Ouabache
    January 22, 2009

    Ah, I didn’t realize that ssstan is really SuperSport. He’s up for a Lifetime Achievement Award over at Fundies Say the Darnedest Things, ya know?

  262. #262 is
    January 22, 2009

    Owlmirror.

    Your post tell us more about your mental state than something valuable about professor John Davison. It is he who can help you to get rid from your neodarwinian raving which obviously damaged your judgment completely.

  263. #263 Pat Gunn
    January 22, 2009

    I know when I was much younger I was actually curious about the boundaries of species and didn’t understand that speciation happens on the scale of populations. Most of the anti-evolution side of the debate is like this – it tries to make sense of gaps in understanding of various sciences of a largely scientifically illiterate public to undermine a modern scientific understanding of the world. If we can raise the scientific literacy of the public high enough, most of today’s creationist arguments will look ludicrously childish – it’s hard to say whether that will kill creationism or if they’ll have time and a means to carve new ground to retreat to, but at least it’ll be less irritating. Correcting people on the laws of thermodynamics for the 700th time sure gets old.

  264. #264 Kel
    January 22, 2009

    The only “pathetic” blog is this one. Of course neodarwinists think that everything arosed from nothing.

    Excuse me?

    They think than humankind arose by “natural selection” from an ancient fish!

    You make it sound absurd when you add your personal incredulity to it. But really, humans did evolve from ancient fish. I recommend reading Your Inner Fish and see just how it is we came to that conclusion.

    I would say astrology is more scientific than this drivel about “random mutation” and “nadural selection”.And you would be wrong. Again, I recommend reading “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin and see just why it is scientists push for our fishy ancestry.

  265. #265 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 22, 2009

    Oh goody. We’re off to see JAD. JAD will give the Lion courage, a heart to the Tin Man, help Owlmirror to see the truth about evolution and I can get home!

  266. #266 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 22, 2009

    Posted by: Pat Gunn | January 22, 2009

    Correcting people on the laws of thermodynamics for the 700th time sure gets old.

    That is why we love to stomp on the repeat offenders.

  267. #267 Wowbagger
    January 22, 2009

    And I reccomend you preliminary John Davison, Otto Schindewolf, Wilhelm Troll, Richard Goldshmidt. All of them professors but wrong nonetheless.

    Fixed it for you.

  268. #268 africangenesis
    January 22, 2009

    “Is-2″, Apparently you don’t understand directed evolution, it uses the ancient fish also.

  269. #269 Kel
    January 22, 2009

    And I reccomend you preliminary John Davison, Otto Schindewolf, Wilhelm Troll, Richard Goldshmidt. All of them professors.

    I recommend a book that addresses the exact point of contention you make, and you appeal to the authority of a few professors? Science works on evidence, not on accreditation. Currently the evidence points to humans having a fish ancestry, and I was pointing you to a book that lays out the evidence. That way you don’t have to appeal to absurdity.

  270. #270 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 22, 2009

    Owlmirror, just what did you say that made this troll think that you would take it seriously?

  271. #271 Rey Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “Evolution is a directed process in which “natural selection” plays no role.”

    Okay, I’ll bite: directed by what?

  272. #272 Wowbagger
    January 22, 2009

    Owlmirror, I’ll add to what you wrote, if you don’t mind:

    Of course John Davison is suffering from premature senile dementia, so his “manifesto” is about as coherent as spastic epileptic drunken monkey that has just been stung by a wasp…and is writing said manifesto using a crayon clenched between its butt cheeks.

  273. #273 blf
    January 22, 2009

    “is” and “is-2″, both of whom are almost certainly John Davidson, is even more clewless than Comfort’s banana. Davidson is a banned troll:

    John A. Davison ?
    A Legend. Has set up multiple blogs; each one consists of one post, inviting comments. Most of the comments are from himself. When he feels like that blog is “full”, starts another one. ?

  274. #274 Kel
    January 22, 2009

    Are you going to link to any argument by John Davison that specifically addresses the evidence of descent from ancient fish? Or by any of the other guys mentioned as well, it would be nice to see just how they tackle the evidence as seen in the fossil record, in the genetic code, and in the diversity of life as it is today.

  275. #275 Ken Cope
    January 22, 2009

    JAD will give the Lion courage, a heart to the Tin Man, help Owlmirror to see the truth about evolution and I can get home!

    Not so fast, Dorothy!

  276. #276 Robert
    January 22, 2009

    Way back at @15, Benjamin Geiger asked how gender evolved. My understanding is:

    Single-cell life reproduces by fission. Simple multi-celled life reproduces by fragmentation – some of the cells split away, then reproduce by fission.

    More complicated life develops specialised cells to devote to this, and thus asexual reproduction occurs.

    The next step was an exchange of genetic material; still only one gender though. Hermaphrodites come along when specialised cells for producing and receiving genetic material is developed. Note that these are female.

    Males come along later when, due to mutation, they lose their organs for receiving genetic material. This however lets them get better at producing genetic material, so you end up with males and hermaphroditic females.

    True females come along after that, because they can now compete and reproduce. Again, they edge out the hermaphroditic females through specialisation.

    And this all happened way way back in the pre-Cambrian era, roughly 2 billion years ago. But we know this is the case, because we can look around animals living today and see all of these intermediate stages, as well as examples of retrograde development (e.g. the occasional hermaphrodite human birth).

  277. #277 Wowbagger
    January 22, 2009

    Kel wrote:

    Are you going to link to any argument by John Davison…

    Ah, but Kel – you’re making the assumption that John Davison has an argument. Nine out of ten shithouse rats surveyed said they resent being used as a comparison for his sanity saying it was offensive to their kind.

  278. #278 Intelligent Designer
    January 22, 2009

    Hey Humanistic Jones, now that you are using typepad your name no longer links to your blog. Typepad sucks.

  279. #279 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 22, 2009

    Well Ken, I think I swear more online then Dorothy. T think that is to make up for my lack of violence.

    I thought it would have been the Lion who was the friend of Dorothy.

  280. #280 Kel
    January 22, 2009

    Ah, but Kel – you’re making the assumption that John Davison has an argument.

    If he’s got an argument, let him bring it out. I want to see a refutation of the fossil record, of the transitional forms, of the genetic code, of the morphological similarities and differences, the anatomy of features, of the embryological stages of development, and how he has a better means to explain all the evidence that is there for human / fish ancestry. Shubin made a very compelling case in Your Inner Fish of the kinds of evidence and just what points to the origins of the human body. If Davison has a refutation of all those pieces of evidence then so be it.

  281. #281 Sioux Laris
    January 22, 2009

    More Gumbies are needed if one chooses to deal with Mr. Comfort.

  282. #282 Sioux Laris
    January 22, 2009

    Or is it Gumbys? Anyway, lots more – a veritable legion of ‘em – are needed.

  283. #283 Brain Hertz
    January 22, 2009

    Thanks, Libbie, that was awesome. Although, after reading this part:

    What are they singing about? *Nearly always, telling other birds to get the hell out of their territory, but sometimes to attract a mate.

    I’m going to be forever imagining the two towhees (I think both male) that habitually occupy the tops of two trees near my back yard are yelling “FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF!” at each other all day…

  284. #284 Brain Hertz
    January 22, 2009

    “is” and “is-2″, both of whom are almost certainly John Davidson…

    Nah, can’t be. He doesn’t have a signature line with a quote from himself.

  285. #285 Christopher
    January 22, 2009

    I think PZ notes the linguistic tricks, but I think the most interesting thing is that Mr. Comfort is arguing his side with our logic. You could easily rewrite his whole site by inverting everything this way:

    A religious person is someone who believes that something unreal made everything real. He will of course deny that because it’s an intellectual embarrassment, but if I say that I don?t believe that an unreal builder built my house, then I am left with the sanity of believing that something real built it. It didn’t just happen.

  286. #286 Twin-Skies
    January 22, 2009

    @Brain Hertz

    Can’t be as bad as having to live with two Macaws. They’re adorable, but I swear, they enjoy screeching into my ear every morning.

  287. #287 Stewart
    January 22, 2009

    Took a brief peek at the site and clicked on a couple of the other books listed there. The description of one mentioned that it included a “sample witnessing conversation,” which was new and intriguing to me, so I googled it. This is what came up first: http://www.mobcknox.com/templates/System/details.asp?id=31196&PID=530966

    I was struck by how little resistance is anticipated in the scenario and also by the advice given at the one point where some is: “If he says no, reason with him about the details of the place of eternal torment and suffering.” In other words, use fear to overcome reason.

  288. #288 Liberal Atheist
    January 22, 2009

    “Imagine if I said my latest book came from nothing.”

    Your brain came up with it. Close enough, I guess…

  289. #289 GeoffR
    January 22, 2009

    Breathtaking inanity raised to the level of an artform, and nicely presented on an attractive looking website…I feel blessed to be able to read this Pythonesque discourse.

  290. #290 Mrs Tilton
    January 22, 2009

    Benjamin @15,

    how *did* living things evolve gender?

    Umm… dunno. However but, Mark Ridley (or is it Matt? I’m for ever mixing them up. I mean the one who didn’t preside over the collapse of Northern Rock) discusses a fascinating hypothesis in Mendel’s Demon (which has a different title in America, I believe).

    Ridley suggests that sex is extremely likely to evolve; if we find organisms on other planets, he thinks, it’s a safe bet we’ll finding them getting jiggy with it. This is because sex patently serves one or more hugely important purpsoes, be it as a means of segregating defective genes and skimming them from the pool, of keeping a step ahead of the parasites, or what have you (there are a number of hypotheses, any or all of which might be correct). Whatever the precise reason, most complex organisms reproduce sexually despite the apparent huge loss they take, genetically speaking. Asexual reproduction is a bit of a Ponzi scheme: huge rewards up front as your entire genome is copied into subsequent generations rather than a share diminishing by half at each turn; but soon enough the “profits” peter out and you go broke (or in this case, extinct). Bdelloid rotifers seem to be the great exception here, a vast clade that have been happily and successfully eschewing males for millions upon millions of years.

    Gender, by contrast, Ridley thinks might well be an accident of circumstance, the circumstance being that almost all eukaryotes have incorporated prokaryotes into their bodies as organelles; chloroplasts in plants and mitochondria in all of us. (And the very few eukaryotes that lack organelles, Colin Tudge suggests, have lost theirs secondarily). These organelles have retained a separate genome down to this day. And that separate genome is, in Ridley’s hypothesis, what lies behind gender.

    Sex and gender, if Ridley is right, evolved for entirely different reasons. Gender is, in effect, the (one-time) host cell’s mechanism for preventing its (one-time) commensal from getting into a genetic pissing contest with its (one-time) conspecifics that could endanger the host cell’s survival or reproductive success.

    Ridley points to some suggestive facts. There are a number of very different mechanisms for doing so, but eukaryotes go to great lengths to ensure that the organelles of only one parent survive in their offspring. And prokaryotes, whilst they do have sex of a sort from time to time, don’t have organelles with their own genes and don’t seem to have anything like gender.

    So we would expect, if we like Ridley’s hypothesis, that when we finally arrive on the Planet Zorb, we will find the Zorbians knocking boots, or whatever it is they wear on whatever passes for their feet. But we should not necessarily expect to find boy and girl Zorbians. They might be more like earthworms, capable of both pregnancy and impregnation. In fact they’d be more like earthworms than the worms themselves, because the worms still have two different kinds of germ cell: great big eggs that do all the work, including contributing the baby worms’ packet of mitochondria, and little sperms that do nothing but inject their DNA, roll over and fall asleep snoring. If they hadn’t experienced the historical accident of endosymbiosis, though, the Zorbians could well have a single undifferentiated sort of gamete: haploid, perhaps, but all otherwise identical. No mothers or fathers, just co-donors of genetic material. “Look, Zortron, I was thinking of making a baby this weekend. Would you mind handing me one of those things of yours? Thanks, you can have one of mine later if you like”.

    Give Ridley’s book (it talks about much more than this hypothesis) a try. Technically it’s a popularisation, but it’s a lot harder going than the usual pop-sci book (not because badly written, but because many of the ideas Ridley discusses are difficult and abstract). Well worth the effort, though.

  291. #291 Michael X
    January 22, 2009

    Aww, I missed Stan! I’d almost feel nostalgic if I wasn’t so put off by the disruption in the flow of the thread. But, I gotta admit, it is better than disemvoweling. I can never help trying to figure out what was said using the consonants.

  292. #292 Michael X
    January 22, 2009

    Breathtaking inanity raised to the level of an artform, and nicely presented on an attractive looking website…I feel blessed to be able to read this Pythonesque discourse.

    Well Geoff I’m afraid I can’t agree with you at all. I wouldn’t call Comfort’s site attractive in the least.

  293. #293 1@1.com
    January 22, 2009

    This creates a mental picture of Dodecatheon religionists scoffing at classical Greece’s philosophers and scientists for their ridiculous notion that no god “made” lightning and fire. “Theaters and stadiums are built by men, so how foolish can you be to believe that lightning is made out of nothing?”.

  294. #294 Ricahard Eis
    January 22, 2009

    I just read the “The God of the Atheist” parable on his site. It was…odd in an almost right but simplified one dimensional kind of way. Thats really the only way to describe it.
    I can only assume his brain made a break for freedom for a few moments before being dragged back into the darkness.

  295. #295 Aquaria
    January 22, 2009

    No one believe today in marxists “class strugle” anymore

    Guessing that by ;marxists “class stugle”‘ he means Marx’s class struggle as per dialectical materialism…

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    I guess he never took a sociology class…?

  296. #296 Richard Harris
    January 22, 2009

    What percentage of our genes do we share with bananas? And what percentage of his genes does Ray Comfort share with bananas? We need to know.

  297. #297 Aenthropi
    January 22, 2009

    He calls it a dilemma, which seems to be between choosing sciencie stuff or his version of Yaweh represented in his version of the bible. So, does not the use of dilemma mean he recognises his god to be an unpleasant choice also?

  298. #298 GeoffR
    January 22, 2009

    “Well Geoff I’m afraid I can’t agree with you at all. I wouldn’t call Comfort’s site attractive in the least.”

    Michael,I probably didn’t express myself very well. I’m genuinely appalled that someone can really think this way….if he really believes what he’s saying, which I doubt.
    But his website content is such idiotic, mindless waffle, and he’s gone so far in that direction, and it’s so nicely presented, that it seems to me to have a sort of bizarre charm to it.

    It reminds me of Monty Python humour, but the difference is this that this guy is serious.

  299. #299 FollowTheGourd
    January 22, 2009

    First problem with people that use this argument is that they don’t understand that a species is just a label for an evolutionary branch at a certain point in time. Telling them about ring species is a good way of illustrating the difficulty in defining a species.

    They also seem to think that sexually dimorphic species require one genome for males and one for females. Species of fish that change sex multiple times during their lifetime and temperature-dependent sex determination in crocodiles are good ways to illustrate that the genome contains the details of both sexes.

  300. #300 John Phillips, FCD
    January 22, 2009

    FolowTheGourd, not forgetting the surprising number of human babies that are born hermaphrodite to varying degrees. In some cases, only a DNA test being able to ascertain whether the infant is male or female.

  301. #301 Mike K
    January 22, 2009

    anyone else happy about the statement on the “pulltheplug…” page:
    “help to pull the plug on the rising tide of atheism”
    Horray, we are a rising tide!

  302. #302 AJS
    January 22, 2009

    How, in the name of all that’s sane and wholesome, can anyone be so wrong without actually dying from it?

  303. #303 John C. Randolph
    January 22, 2009

    How, in the name of all that’s sane and wholesome, can anyone be so wrong without actually dying from it?

    We still live in a very prosperous society. The more wealth there is, the easier it is to stay alive with a minimum of effort, or even to prosper if enough people find them entertaining.

    Back around 1900, rich preachers were a pretty unusual thing, with few exceptions.

    -jcr

  304. #304 Mrs Tilton
    January 22, 2009

    FTG @303,

    a species is just a label for an evolutionary branch at a certain point in time

    Ring species are a good illustration. Another is Dawkins’s parable of the time machine in The Ancestor’s Tale. Start with one of your parents. Then get in a time machine and go back a thousand years to visit one of his or her ancestors. Keep repeating these millennial jumps. Every single ancestor you visit would have been able to (indeed, did) successfully mate in the wild with another organism like it to produce fertile offspring (for many of us, the very definition of “species”) in an unbroken chain up the ages back to you. Yet after enough 1,000-year jumps back in time, those ancestors of yours would no longer be walking upright, bearing fur, producing amniotic eggs, walking on land, possessing a spine, having multi-celled bodies, keeping their genes in a nucleus.*

    I expect that accountants reading Dawkins’s parable are reminded of the difference between the balance sheet and the income statement.

    * Yes, yes, I know: at some point there the ancestors would not have been producing the next generation by mating with another. That doesn’t rob Dawkins’s illustration of its power to show that a “species” (or, for creationist yahoos, a “kind”, which is merely “species” in English rather than Latin) are not fixed but a flow, albeit a very slow and stately flow.

  305. #305 africangenesis
    January 22, 2009

    FYI, Mrs. Tilton,

    Apparently the human and chimpanzee lineages exchanged genes for more than million years after they first diverged. Did you see the reference in #249 above?

  306. #306 John Phillips, FCD
    January 22, 2009

    Mrs. T. almost right :) Here is the actual passage.

    In the light of this, see how empty are most of those passionate arguments about the naming of particular hominid fossils. Homo erectus is widely recogsed as the predecessor species that gave rise to Homo sapiens, so I’ll play along
    with that for what follows. To call Homo erectus a separate species from Homo apiens could have a precise meaning in principle, even if it is impossible to test in practice. It means that if we could go back in our time machine and meet our homo erectus ancestors, we could not interbreed with them.* But suppose that, instead of zooming directly to the time of Homo erectus, or indeed any other xtinct species in our ancestral lineage, we stopped our time machine every
    thousand years along the way and picked up a young and fertile passenger. We transport this passenger back to the next thousand year stop and release her (or him: let’s take a female and a male at alternate stops). Provided our one-stop time traveller could accommodate to local social and linguistic customs (quite a tall order) there would be no biological barrier to her interbreeding with a member of the opposite sex from 1,000 years earlier. Now we pick up a new passenger, say a male this time, and transport him back another 1,000 years. Once again, he too would be biologically capable of fertilising a female from
    000 years before his native time. The daisy chain would continue on back to when our ancestors were swimming in the sea. It could go back without a break, to the fishes, and it would still be true that each and every passenger transported 1,000 years before its own time would be able to interbreed with its predecessors. Yet at some point, which might be a million years back but might be longer or shorter, there would come a time when we moderns could not
    interbreed with an ancestor, even though our latest one-stop passenger could. At this point we could say that we have travelled back to a different species.

  307. #307 DoctorE
    January 22, 2009

    Did god create Ray or did Ray create god… thats the question.
    If god created Ray then god is a babbling idiot.. if Ray created god then god does not exist and Ray is an idiot.
    Take a pick

  308. #308 GS
    January 22, 2009
  309. #309 Steverino
    January 22, 2009

    Someone please send him a photo of a whiptail lizard.

    Me thinks Ray is squeezing his banana a bit too tight….

  310. #310 ospalh
    January 22, 2009

    So the Bible and the theory of Darwinian evolution are (…) apposed to one another(…).

    Hey Ray, spellcheck can’t replace proofreading.

  311. #311 africangenesis
    January 22, 2009

    Mrs Tilton and John,

    On a less serious note given the evidence for gene exchange with the chimpanzee lineage and the candidates for gene exchanges with Neaderthal as recently as 35000 years ago:

    Did our ancesters practice beatiality? How far do the lineages have to diverge before it becomes bestiality? My suspicion is that if homo erectus and homo neaderthalis were alive today, we would consider them within the range of modern humans.

  312. #312 Libbie
    January 22, 2009

    @ Brain Hertz:

    “I’m going to be forever imagining the two towhees (I think both male) that habitually occupy the tops of two trees near my back yard are yelling “FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF!” at each other all day…”

    That’s pretty accurate. Throw in a few “BITCH, I’LL KILL YOU!”s and you’ll be right on the money.

    As for mankind evolving from ancient fish, viva la Tiktaalik. He’s my favorite relative. Always a blast at family reunions.

  313. #313 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    Libbie, I didn’t thank you for the bird talk yesterday. I enjoyed it immensely.
    We had a dove who sang his territory just outside our bedroom window one summer. The 4:30 AM warnings tended to wake me up. My thoughts toward the dove when that happened were not pleasant.

  314. #314 BCReason
    January 22, 2009

    I don’t think Ray is that stupid. I think, Ray thinks most of his potential followers are.

    By now Ray has been in enough debates and seen enough evidence that he must know evolution is true.

    However he is also a true believer and would say or do most anything to promote his faith and rescue souls from hell. My bet is he views evolution as a stepping stone to atheism and most likely he is not wrong. I don’t think I would be an atheist if there wasn’t a viable alternative to creation.

    So Ray spouts his lies and looks for arguments that will sound reasonable to the uneducated. He must denounce and ridicule evolution as much as he can any way he can so that there will be no alternative to a God created universe. Thus ensuring people that have doubts about their faith will turn away from science and reason and come more securely into the fold of religion. Anything goes to save a soul.

  315. #315 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    People, people people.

    Don’t you know not to mention JADs name? If it mentioned in a thread one of his minions always appears. Usually one of his trained monkeys. IS is obviously one of those.

  316. #316 Stanton
    January 22, 2009

    We had a dove who sang his territory just outside our bedroom window one summer. The 4:30 AM warnings tended to wake me up. My thoughts toward the dove when that happened were not pleasant.

    In other words, you wanted to extend an olive branch toward your feathered alarm clock in the most violent manner possible?

  317. #317 jpf
    January 22, 2009

    Here’s my favorite Ray Comfort site: LustAdultery.com, “The hottest site on the net!”

  318. #318 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    We had a dove who sang his territory just outside our bedroom window one summer. The 4:30 AM warnings tended to wake me up. My thoughts toward the dove when that happened were not pleasant.

    Try a Melanerpes carolinus drumming on the side of your house. That is a sound on a Saturday morning that will send you in to a murderous rage.

  319. #319 Christophe Thill
    January 22, 2009

    Just read the comment by Libbie the Bird-Nerd. Well, that’s amazing. Although I tend to root for the cats, I’m fascinated by this stuff. Yes, that’s really a science blog. When the main topic is about science, we learn stuff about science. But when the main topic is about some religious bullshit, we STILL learn about science!

    Another fascinating thing is Ray Comfort’s vision of the bird world. In his mad dream, birds dream of cats (and atheists dream of bananas, I suppose?); they think in English (though he’s not sure); they have some sort of almost human language; and above all, they’re a kind of remote-controlled singing toys (and his god holds the controls). Ray’s encyclopedic ignorance is truly amazing.

  320. #320 'Tis Himself
    January 22, 2009

    BCReason #314

    By now Ray has been in enough debates and seen enough evidence that he must know evolution is true.

    A true believer will ignore evidence that goes against his beliefs. Rick Warren said that he’d studied evolution and studied the Bible and that even though evolution made sense he rejected it because it disagreed with the Bible.

    Comfort has been exposed to evidence for evolution many times but for him that evidence doesn’t exist. His religious beliefs mandate that evolution isn’t true and therefore it isn’t.

  321. #321 Czernobog
    January 22, 2009

    Ray Comfort always reminds me of the Reverend Arthur Belling.

  322. #322 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    January 22, 2009

    if the entire population of Minnesota did emigrate to the Moon.

    At least they’d be used to the temperature extremes.

  323. #323 chancelikely
    January 22, 2009

    Christophe Thill:

    When the main topic is about science, we learn stuff about science. But when the main topic is about some religious bullshit, we STILL learn about science!

    Damn straight. Thank you for saying what I was thinking better than I would have said it.

  324. #324 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 22, 2009

    I can’t help it–I keep hearing:

    It’s an afternoon post on Pharyngula,
    The regular crowd shuffles in
    There’s a pretty good chance that some troll will come dance
    And remind us we’re living in sin

    PZ is the host and proprietor,
    So you know that there’s pretty good odds
    You’ll see shocking opinions, both his and his minions’
    And probably cephalopods

    Tell us a lie, you’re Bananaman,
    Tell us a lie, or two
    Cos we’re all in the mood for a belly-laugh
    And you’ve got us laughing at you!

    Now Ray is a young-earth creationist
    Who never had time for a life
    And he wonders if maybe, he might have a baby,
    If he could evolve him a wife.

    And the internet reeks of stupidity
    And the blogosphere’s chock-full of dumb,
    And I stare at my screen, and ask “what do they mean?”,
    And then drink till my feelings are numb.

    la, la-la, di dee da…. etc.,

    Tell us a lie, you’re Bananaman,
    Tell us a lie, or two
    Cos we’re all in the mood for a belly-laugh
    And you’ve got us laughing at you!

    Pretty much writes itself, but I can’t be arsed right now…

  325. #325 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 22, 2009

    I’m not sure Comic Sans is actually an entirely appropriate match for the level of inanity Comfort achieves…

    Mebbe somethin’ more like this?…

    Wowzer! Yes, that’s even better.

    This is totally off topic, but since someone brought up Data:

    http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/01/21/picards-response-to-rick-warren/

    LOL! :-D

    It is my understanding that the evolution of sex remains something of an unexplained mystery.

    Nope. For example, the selective advantage has recently become clear: it serves to keep transposable elements from completely taking over the genome. Only the bdelloid rotifers have found a way around that — and they’ve been parthenogenetic for a long time now. Like, tens of millions of years.

    Doesn’t he know that femaleness is the default state of all life? ;)

    Not quite. Given that in, for example, birds the males have two identical and the females two different sex chromosomes, does anyone know about the ontogeny of their gametes?

    Do they dream? *Probably. I’m not sure this has been studied yet. Why, will God tell us whether birds dream?

    Only very young birds have REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, so it’s possible that adult birds don’t dream.

    Crocodiles dream a lot, though.

    No, space acts as if particles are spontaneously appearing out of nothing. They are virtual particles. Not real at all. Like sex in Second Life.

    Ehem. There’s the Casimir Effect.

    —————————-

    is is VMartin. One comment by him is still there (number 262).

  326. #326 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 22, 2009

    ARGH! Blockquote failure right after the first paragraph.

  327. #327 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    What is this business about the resurgence of Lamarckism?
    For two months running Newsweek has been publicizing this.
    In the latest issue (Jan. 26,2009) page 18, this is how the article concludes; “But evidence of the new Lamarckism is strong enough to say the last word on inheritance and evolution has not been written.”

  328. #328 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    Cuttlefish owes me a year of coffee and monitors for that.

    Tell us a lie, you’re Bananaman,
    Tell us a lie, or two

    I’ll be hearing this in my head all day.

  329. #329 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    is is VMartin. One comment by him is still there (number 262).

    yeah that’s what I thought too

  330. #330 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    SF, if you don’t get your science from the primary peer reviewed scientific literture, you aren’t reading science. There is no proof for Lamarckism. Never was. There isn’t now.

  331. #331 Godless Bastard
    January 22, 2009

    I wrote Ray off as unworthy of any *serious* consideration after his inane banana as proof of god’s perfect design of all things. He’s an intellectually dishonest wank.

    For laughs, here’s my response: http://godlessbastard.com/11.html

  332. #332 talking snake
    January 22, 2009

    @324
    It’s the banana man anthem. Kudos!

  333. #333 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “primary peer reviewed scientific literature, you aren’t reading science. There is no proof for Lamarckism.”

    Well nerd, I think you are a little bit behind the curve on that one. The article I cited noted several current and recent research that will give you all the “primary peer reviewed scientific literature” you need.

  334. #334 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    Newsweek is not considered a scientific journal.

    Why don’t you point us directly at the research mentioned in your article?

  335. #336 Patricia, OM
    January 22, 2009

    Thanks Cuttlefish. Now that’s stuck in my head. Yuck!

  336. #337 Silver Fox
    January 22, 2009

    “Newsweek has a history of misguided sensationalism regarding evolution and biology.”

    Denial is a marvelous defense mechanism.
    Uh, maybe Newsweek is owned by the Discovery Institute.

  337. #338 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 22, 2009

    Silver Fox

    Point to the actual scientific research mentioned in the article. It is all so very very easy.

  338. #339 WRMartin
    January 22, 2009

    Oi! There’s a VMartin out there who’s a troll-a-rific-moron? I choose my moniker without realizing that. However, I can say that V is no relation.
    I, among many, welcome our bird overlord, Libbie. Wonderfully appropriate mix of knowledge and snark. Thank you again.
    I’m not up to speed on the efficacy of lobotomies in the current literature but perhaps a new study is in order. Could an experiment be set up (science!) where Ray has small portions of his brain carefully excised until his IQ increases? Then we may be on the way to discovering the moron region of the brain.
    In a more friendly experiment maybe he could be placed in an MRI and then be told to tell a few lies then later tell us a few creation stories and we’ll see if the same regions of his brain are excited.
    And if I may, a short question for Mr. Comfort: If you were to adopt a Korean infant shortly after birth should you take Korean language classes so you will be able to talk to it?

  339. #340 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    In other words, you wanted to extend an olive branch toward your feathered alarm clock in the most violent manner possible?

    No, more like some duct tape or a zip tie on the beak. My real alarm is set for 6 AM. So if I couldn’t get back to sleep I was a zombie for the rest of the day. Happened more than once. They have since moved on, much to my relief.
    Rev. BDC, I have no doubt there are louder birds out there. You have my sympathies.

  340. #341 Patricia, OM
    January 22, 2009

    Thanks for the great bird post Libbie!
    This week I got to see some really great birds besides my chickens and all their wild pals that hang out at the feeders.

    We counted eleven bald eagles perched along the Columbia River in one drive to Hood River, and over thirty wild turkeys in a flock ran up a back road in front of us on our way out to the farm.

  341. #342 Joo
    January 22, 2009

    Anybody seen a contact button? Or can’t we lead him to evidence? I think the title of the book its great to creationists.

    You can lead a creationist to evidence but you cant make him think.. hmm so true now

  342. #343 Doo Shabag
    January 22, 2009

    @Silver Fox

    Just because Sharon Begley wants to call it Lemarckism, doesn’t mean it is. Her example of a giraffe stretching its neck and so its offspring has a longer neck is a great example of Lemarckism . . . and it doesn’t work that way. Lemarck thought that if you fed a cat only soft food so that it lost its teeth, its offspring would have no teeth. And that’s just plain wrong.

    Here’s an illustration of the main misconception:

    Water fleas pop out helmets immediately if mom lived in a world of predators; by Darwin’s lights, a population of helmeted fleas would take many generations to emerge through random variation and natural selection.

    That description “by Darwin’s lights” is true, and what would have had to happen the first time the helmets evolved. However once the fleas have the genes for it, they will all have it as long as it is advantageous. The evolution of the switch to turn it on/off as needed was another process that either came after or existed for other genes and applied to this gene. Regardless, the fact that the unhelmeted fleas in this example have the gene for helmets but are not expressing it means it is not really an example of Lemarckism. It sort of is and some people might call it that (it’s a bit of a stretch), but it does nothing to disprove Darwin.

  343. #344 Matthias
    January 22, 2009

    if nothing made god then didn’t nothing also made everything?

  344. #345 Kristin
    January 22, 2009

    hahaha did you see this guy’s stache?

  345. #346 WRMartin
    January 22, 2009

    I’ve had an odd feeling all day and now I know why: I’ve had the “Band on the Run” song (Wings/Paul McCartney) in my head with slightly different lyrics:
    Banana on the Run…

    But Ray, now I Got to Get You Out Of My Life.

    </McCartney>

  346. #347 Wowbagger
    January 22, 2009

    Hot damn, he’s on fire today. Give that Cuttlefish another banana!

  347. #348 blf
    January 22, 2009

    Hot damn, he’s on fire today. Give that Cuttlefish another banana!

    Um, does that mean Cuttlefish isn’t a Cephalopoda poet but an orangutan who can unscrew your head by the ears with his feet, and, if referred to by the m? word would go ?Librarian-poo??

  348. #349 Libbie
    January 22, 2009

    Holy crap, that song…Cuttlefish, you win the internet FOREVER.

    Also, I am reveling in my new title of “Bird Overlord.”

  349. #350 Nerd of Redhead
    January 22, 2009

    Libbie, are you familiar with grrlscientist?
    http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/
    Cuttlefish is a treasure. We’re lucky to have him. And I have his book on my desktop.

  350. #351 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 22, 2009

    Aw… thanks, N of R!

    Now, just for you, because you bought my silly book…

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2009/01/bananaman-song.html

    revised and extended.

  351. #352 Libbie
    January 23, 2009

    No, I was not familiar with grrlscientist, but I think I have a new love. <3<3<3

    Cuttlefish, I am totally going to check out your book. Word up.

  352. #353 rufustfirefly
    January 23, 2009

    Professor Myers:

    Ray Comfort has issued a challenge;

    http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2009/01/challenge-to-professor.html

    If you’re really bored I guess you could reply, but why give him the attention?

  353. #354 Don
    January 23, 2009

    PZ…

    Ray has made you the subject of his latest post. He needs a total smack down. Too bad we can’t just drive a nail through him and take a photo with some coffee grinds, etc. But he’d dig the nails too much.

  354. #355 The Tim Channel
    January 24, 2009

    First off cuttlefish rock.

    Then this:

    The Tim Channel:

    Is part of the current scientific understanding of the singularity is that it is nothing?

    It’s my current understanding. I’m glad the scientists haven’t quite figured it all out yet because when they do it’ll unleash forces beyond all comprehension, or not. Which nuclear pioneer noted that the reason we might not see any advanced societies in the Cosmos was because when they got just a little ‘smarter” than we are, they always destroyed themselves? It’s an unsettling thought.

    Enjoy.

  355. #356 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 24, 2009

    David Marjanovi?, OM

    Ehem. There’s the Casimir Effect.

    Exactly my point. (I expected someone to bring up Hawkings warm black holes.)

  356. #357 Ryo
    January 24, 2009

    “An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything.”

    Ray Comfort is a man, who did not discover the use of a banana by now. It’s to eat it!

  357. #358 Wendy
    January 24, 2009

    “Let’s pull the plug on atheism” = “Let’s force our beliefs down everybody’s throats whether they like it or not.” Nice.

  358. #359 Jack Kolinski
    January 28, 2009

    “Let’s pull the plug on atheism” = “Let’s force our beliefs down everybody’s throats whether they like it or not.” Nice.
    —-
    I have a similar proposal from “the other side.” I’ve posted it elsewhere regarding Science having to fight the “elitism” charge, but what science is really fighting is religion and the god-myths, of which creationism is only one part.

    In one respect, science shouldn’t be concerned about ignorant people considering science “elitist.” “Sticks and stones will break my bones . . .” and all that. In a DIFFERENT respect, science needs to be VERY concerned about attempting to communicate in “every day English” what it has and is accomplishing. Thus, the importance of James F’s comment about communicating through “non-scientist science communicators” although they do not really have to be “non-scientists,” just good communicators. We need more Carl Sagans and Richard Dawkinses and Neil Shubins (?) (“Your Inner Fish”). Someone on one of these blogs or comments thereto mentioned Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” as being criticized as somehow “middlebrow” or some similar phrase apparently meaning more than a children’s book but “less” than scientifically thorough and acceptable (I’m both guessing and paraphrasing–not very scientific, I know, but my point might still be valid!). NOBODY did more to disabuse me of any final vestiges of my thorough Christian brainwashing than Dawkins in The God Delusion. We need LOTS more of these efforts by ALL scientists in ALL scientific disciplines including at least a few people who can actually tie a lot of it together to explain why it has improved our lives, saved lives and will continue to do so. IF it is OBVIOUS to most of us that science saves more lives and empowers more people and does more good than all the religions and prayers throughout history, SURELY the scientific community together with the freethinker community can come up with a few people and/or new methodologies to tell OUR story in a positive way that DEMONSTRATES (“shows” would be a better word for many of the people we are trying to “show”) the helpfulness and usefulness and importance of science, including “evolution” and “stem cells” and other aspects of science which are troublesome to our religious brethren and sistren. Science has made tremendous strides in enlarging our knowledge of our Earth and Universe down to our DNA and quarks. Can it not figure out a way to un-brainwash millions and millions of otherwise decent and intelligent people from the various god-myths?!? The Human Genome Project was an AWESOME accomplishment. Why not a “Save the Humans From Gods and Religion” project? I would donate money to such a cause. If one exists, please let me know how to get in touch with it. We need more than blogs about the “Culture Wars.” What better time than at the election of our first Afro-American president who acknowledged “unbelievers” in his (First) Inaugural Address?
    Can’t science (genetics, behavioral psychology and several other “ologies” I can’t even pronounce) help us to understand what makes these people tick? Somewhere on one of these blogs there is a discussion of a “religious” gene. Elsewhere there is an interesting article about research demonstrating how minority views can be turned into a unanimous consensus! Surely some of you scientist types can figure out how to put some of this stuff together to convince otherwise pretty ordinary and normal people to stop believing in Santa Claus, especially when Santa keeps telling people to kill each other for believing in the WRONG Santa!

  359. #360 jeffrey jackson
    February 12, 2009

    well god said he is the beging and the end. nothing created god. if we came from monkeys then why is it that monkeys arent evolving in to hummans still. see the thing you people have to realize that people have to have faith and you have to expierence the grace of god. like when someone get’s the holy ghost they can’t fully tell you what its like endtill you expierence it for your self. now back to hummans come from monkeys thing now i know evolution doess not happen over night but from the time of man and now they still had i lot of time to evolv so if any one has any thing to say please right to me thank you and godbless you.:]

  360. #361 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 12, 2009

    poe?

    if we came from monkeys then why is it that monkeys arent evolving in to hummans still.

    hummus doesn’t come from monkeys it comes from Garbanzo beans.

  361. #362 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    Going to your myspace page I see you’re just a kid.

    Make sure you pay attention in your science class.

    Humans evolved from a common ancestor of apes. Not monkeys.

    Your question is one that has been answered so many times it’s painful to see it again.

    But if you really are interested. Go here.

  362. #363 Stanton
    February 13, 2009

    No, no poe; just a godbothering idiot.

  363. #364 jeffrey jackson
    February 13, 2009

    Jack Kolinski this to you. there is a good side of sience and there is a bad side of sience now i will explain both side’s good side of sience medicine it helps people to get better from what ever sickness they have now a quote from your speech ” IF it is OBVIOUS to most of us that science saves more lives and empowers more people and does more good than all the religions and prayers throughout history, SURELY the scientific community together with the freethinker community can come up with a few people and/or new methodologies to tell OUR story in a positive way that DEMONSTRATES (“shows” would be a better word for many of the people we are trying to “show”) the helpfulness and usefulness and importance of science, including “evolution” and “stem cells” and other aspects of science which are troublesome to our religious brethren and sistren. Science has made tremendous strides in enlarging our knowledge of our Earth and Universe down to our DNA and quarks. Can it not figure out a way to un-brainwash millions and millions of otherwise decent and intelligent people from the various god-myths?!? The Human Genome Project was an AWESOME accomplishment. Why not a “Save the Humans From Gods and Religion” project? I would donate money to such a cause. If one exists,” end quote now you saying somthing about sience save’s more peopls live’s then this sold calld “god’myth” well how would you explain peopl who been blind all there life and one day a friend invites this person who bend blind all there life and through a simpile prayer there eyes are heald and now that person can see and the same thing with some one who cant walk all there life now let me ask you one thing have you ever through your comeplaing of there is no god and we come from a animal that throws its owne crap and try and give god a chance. why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you. and then he sends you to hell. or you could follow the word of god and live a long happy life. and one more thing god ses not to look for the qustions that cant be explaind because qustions like is god real or did the bigbang happen and did we come from monkeys and the bigest one i see that friends from school always ask me who mad god and i say no one he is the beging and the end and they look at me like im crazey but then i say have faith one of littil faith. so i say like the people who tell me to try drugs and stuff like that come on try give god a chance its funny you will get a addicted and guess what it’s for every one godbless you.:]

  364. #365 Rev. BigDumbChimp,
    February 13, 2009

    Even coming from me..

    Good grief. Spell check, punctuation and paragraphs are your friend. You’re 19 for fucks sake. You should be going to college soon and this is how you write?

    Even figuring out what the hell you mean..

    there is a good side of sience and there is a bad side of sience now i will explain both

    Um no you won’t

    Give me the proof of this.

    well how would you explain peopl who been blind all there life and one day a friend invites this person who bend blind all there life and through a simpile prayer there eyes are heald and now that person can see and the same thing

    and then there is this

    why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you.

    Pascal’s Wager

    Please read this link and try to grasp it. That is if you are able, and judging by your writing and arguments I doubt it.

    Seriously, spend less time in church and more time with a tutor. You’re going to need it.

  365. #366 Ken Cope
    February 13, 2009

    Seriously, spend less time in church and more time with a tutor. You’re going to need it.

    What Rev. BigDumbChimp said; if you don’t, you’ll wind up working in a gas station, during the foretold 100 Years Gas War, “when men mix mustard and gas, and relish war” (as foretold in Phil Austin’s Roller Maidens from Outer Space).

  366. #367 Brownian
    February 13, 2009

    why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you

    Gosh, I sure hope he sees me, don’t you? I’m going to wear my prettiest dress just for him. But what if he doesn’t even notice me? What if he asks another girl to dance? Whatever shall I do then? Oh, I mustn’t fret so; I’ll look a fright. I’m going to wear my prettiest dress, just for him. Oh, I do hope he sees me, don’t you?

  367. #368 jeffrey jackson
    February 13, 2009

    lol when i said why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you it mean if you live in sin he wont know you when you follow gods word there is know gray areas you muss live for god or live for the devil so you can’t do the thing of the world all your life and think your going in to heaven just if i killd some one i wouldnt expect to go to prison o on the comments of me needing a tutor guess what im a A-B student my best class is sience. o ya how about this insted of you comeplain why dont you try and go to church and see for your self and dont go there with a grumpy attitude go there with a mind set on god that he will do something for you and who knows maybe he will change your life im not saying sience isnt real im saying its not real when it takes somthing from what god has done.

  368. #369 Ken Cope
    February 13, 2009

    @368; I Didn’t know huffing modeling cement was still the rage among the illiterati.

  369. #370 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    Jeffrey,

    on the comments of me needing a tutor guess what im a A-B student my best class is sience.

    Someone should fire your teachers.

  370. #371 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    Not surprising. Check out Jeffry’s school’s sign

    Jeffrey, please go back and read all your comments here. Tell me if that is English you are speaking.

  371. #372 jeffrey jackson
    February 13, 2009

    wow who ever told me to go to the link well i’am now dumber of reading that. not one thing in there that gave me proof that this darwin guy make any sence of his theory.

  372. #373 'Tis Himself
    February 13, 2009

    lol when i said why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you it mean if you live in sin he wont know you when you follow gods word there is know gray areas you muss live for god or live for the devil so you can’t do the thing of the world all your life and think your going in to heaven just if i killd some one i wouldnt expect to go to prison o on the comments of me needing a tutor guess what im a A-B student my best class is sience.

    This is one sentence.

    Science may be your best class but try to pay more attention in English.

  373. #374 'Tis Himself
    February 13, 2009

    wow who ever told me to go to the link well i’am now dumber of reading that. not one thing in there that gave me proof that this darwin guy make any sence of his theory.

    The link was to something called “Pascal’s Wager.” It has nothing to do with Darwin or evolution.

  374. #375 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2009

    I know that isn’t English he is spelling. Jeffrey appears to have some issues. And Jeffrey, a few of the regulars here teach/have taught science, social studies, or philosophy at the college level. Just keep that in mind with your posts.

    Rev. BDC, a Xian school I presume?

  375. #376 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    Jeffrey you are an idiot.

    wow who ever told me to go to the link well i’am now dumber of reading that.

    I doubt you could get dumber.

    not one thing in there that gave me proof that this darwin guy make any sence of his theory.

    That link I sent you to wasn’t about Darwin you dolt. I was about pascal’s wager, which as I predicted, you failed to grasp.

    Seriously, do you speak English?

  376. #377 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    no but I flubbed the link.

    here it is

  377. #378 Patricia, OM
    February 13, 2009

    Brownian – Just to be sure, don’t forget your crinolines and ruffled panties. ;)

  378. #379 Ken Cope
    February 13, 2009

    Mmm. Flouncing.

  379. #380 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2009

    I wish I had the time to read all of young Jeffrey’s free verse, but damn it, I have to go back to teaching sience.

  380. #381 phantomreader42
    February 13, 2009

    One question for Jeffrey: English, motherfucker; do you speak it!?

  381. #382 Travis
    February 13, 2009

    Wow, Jeffrey is one amazing piece of work. I can barely read that prose. I hope he is lying when he claims he is a very good student because I would be saddened to find that such poor writing and thinking skills could possibly lead to an A.
    The mix up over Pascal’s Wager is also quite wonderful. I really need to get back to marking but it is going to be hard to keep myself from refreshing the page to see if anything new and wonderful has been posted.

  382. #383 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    One question for Jeffrey: English, motherfucker; do you speak it!?

    I just imagined our little buddy Jeffrey in that scene. Things did not end well for BrettJeffrey.

  383. #384 TonyC
    February 13, 2009

    Jeffrey

    I’ll use small words so you might have a chance at understanding.

    you are appear to be a fucking idiot

    Your Myspace page is an eyesore. The only way I could read anything was to highlight it. Transparency is NOT your friend. Your page is supposed to communicate. What that page communicates to me is that you are mentally a pre-pubescent boy-child

    Your page indicates you are a ‘christian – other’. WTF if a christian – other?

    For books you have “The Bible”, for heroes “jesus”, and for TV include gems such as “700 club” and “price is right”. Super challenging and stimulating material there, alright.

    At 19 you should be able to craft and parse a sentence, use common spelling, and be prepared to enter college – if indeed you are an A-B student. Your stated ambition is to ‘get in’ the UFC, or become a cop.

    You appear to be barely capable of finding a college, never mind entering one.

    At 5′ 8″ you had better have at least a few black belts tucked away – ‘cos you are one wimpy SOB from a UFC perspective. Hope you like donuts.

    At 19 I was entering my third year in college. My favorite books encompassed the range from Knuth to Kierkegaard. For TV I liked anarchic comedy (“the Young Ones” was always good). At that time I was also under 190 lbs (I’m 6’1″ and broad shouldered), practicing chinese martial arts, playing guitar/keyboards in bands, and mastering the art of being a complete arse in public.

    So you still have a chance.

    Part 1 is recognizing that your ambitions are terribly limited.
    Part 2 is learning to love knowledge, science, and the ability to communicate.
    Part 3 is learning. Just keep doing it. It becomes easier, but it never becomes dull.

    You might still end up a cop. But you’ll probably be a much happier and much better cop.

  384. #385 Rey Fox
    February 13, 2009

    “terns is head”? Seriously?

    With regards to the monkeys thing (and like most creationists, I notice that you seem to dislike monkeys for some reason), I’ll just clear up a common bit of confusion regarding evolution. Evolution is a process, but it doesn’t follow a simple “ladder” of everything evolving into “higher” animals with human beings conveniently being at the top of that ladder. Species become adapted to their environments and the challenges those environments present. In short, monkeys don’t evolve into humans because they don’t need to. Humanity is not the inevitable endpoint for evolution, not even for monkeys.

    You could just as easily say that the pinnacle of evolution is the malaria protozoan, because they’re doing pretty dang well for themselves and will likely outlast humans, who are merely their hosts. But you’d be just as wrong.

    “and one more thing god ses not to look for the qustions that cant be explaind because qustions like is god real or did the bigbang happen and did we come from monkeys”

    Why not? Why doesn’t God want us to use the brains he supposedly gave us? I get the feeling that you really don’t know how crazy all this talk sounds to someone who wasn’t indoctrinated into it (or was, but saw through it). If you say that a being called “God” can be eternal, with no end and no beginning, why can’t you just say that the universe is eternal with no end and no beginning and cut out an unnecessary entity?

    I guarantee that if you go to college, this stuff will come up at some point. :)

  385. #386 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 13, 2009

    I see action Jackson has made his My Space profile private.

  386. #387 DaveL
    February 13, 2009

    lol when i said why take the chance of liveing for nothing and die and find out there is a god and then god terns is head and ses i dont you it mean if you live in sin he wont know you when you follow gods word there is know gray areas you muss live for god or live for the devil so you can’t do the thing of the world all your life and think your going in to heaven just if i killd some one i wouldnt expect to go to prison o on the comments of me needing a tutor guess what im a A-B student my best class is sience.

    Jeffrey Jackson, I hereby bestow upon you the Michelle Duggar Punctuation Award, in recognition of having missed so many periods in so short a span of time.

  387. #388 Ziztur
    February 17, 2009

    Comfort’s publisher sent me a review copy of this book – which is brilliant I think, to send your pro-creation book to an atheist blogger. I’m in the process of completely reviewing it – and I mean COMPLETELY. My review will probably be longer than the book itself.

    Why? I know that people are usually dismissive of Comfort – and for good reason – but he has a sizable fanbase and few thorough critics.

    I’m posting the review in bits and pieces as blog posts here – http://www.ziztur.com

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