Pharyngula

On NPR’s ‘This I Believe’

It was with some trepidation that I learned Ken Miller was on “This I Believe”…but hey, it’s actually good stuff that I agree with. Go ahead, even us delicate little atheists can listen to it.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian
    February 25, 2009

    You know PZ, this continual endorsement of individuals with whom you don’t completely agree makes it so hard for creos to accuse us of close-minded dogmatism without looking stupid.

  2. #2 Porky Pine
    February 25, 2009

    What is it between you and Ken Miller? Did he pee in your corn flakes or something? It seems like he’s the uni-brow baby to your Maggie. Is it the fact that he believes in a god that bothers you? I don’t believe in a god either but if I wanted someone to defend evolution, he’d be one of the ones I’d want to do it.

  3. #3 mellowjohn
    February 25, 2009

    i used to say ? along with peter pan ? that “i believe in peanut butter.”
    now days, not so much.

  4. #4 Twin-Skies
    February 25, 2009

    @Porky Pine

    Dude, PZ noted that he agrees with Ken’s points in the audio clip.

  5. #5 AnthonyK
    February 25, 2009

    I think Ken Miller’s terrific too. He’s turned more kids, and adults – see especially the Dover trial – on to evolution than almost anyone else. It shouldn’t matter what he believes religiously, that’s his own business. At least he keeps it out of science.

  6. #6 Sastra
    February 25, 2009

    I really enjoyed this. Very beautiful, very grand.

    What is it between you and Ken Miller?

    What is this obsession people have with seeing religious disagreements as somehow different than any other kind of disagreement — scientific, political, or social? PZ sincerely admires Miller on evolution, but thinks his arguments for theistic evolution are lame.

    If they disagreed on some science controversy — the role of epigenetics or punctuated equilibrium or horizontal gene transfer — and if PZ brought this disagreement up from time to time to pick at it — I doubt very much that anyone would think anything of it, and assume there was some deep, dark grudge between the two of them. They wouldn’t exclaim and wring their hands and say “look, you two agree on so many aspects of horizontal gene transfer, why can’t you forget the rest and just be friends!”

    As I recall, PZ is on the record as liking Ken Miller personally, as well as admiring his ability to do and explain evolutionary biology. There is no feud.

    There is a disagreement. So it’s religion. And it’s brought up from time to time. Big deal. Ken Miller is a big boy, he can handle it.

  7. #7 Your Mighty Overload
    February 25, 2009

    I think the good thing was that Miller actually kept off religion.

    @Porky Pine
    I think PZ has trouble understanding how someone so well educated and erudite, who applies logic to easily and comprehensively to his studies and teaching of evolution, can so willfully misapply the self-same logic to other beliefs. It is basically a form of intellectual dishonesty.

  8. #8 Porky Pine
    February 25, 2009

    @Twin-skies

    I realize that but it seems that PZ has a small measure of disdain for Miller (i.e. “It was with some trepidation…”) and this is not the only time I’ve noticed this coming from PZ.

    If anything, PZ should welcome Miller as it takes away the ammo Creationists use about evolution being a “atheist religion”.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 25, 2009

    Miller is fantastic as long as he stays off the theistic side of things. Once he strays over to that land discussing the end of his book he starts sounding apologetic.

    His science is as sound as it gets and he’s one tough customer when he sticks to it.

  10. #10 Your Mighty Overload
    February 25, 2009

    Porky

    If evolutionary biology being an “atheist religion” is ammo for the creationists, then it appears they are shooting blanks.

  11. #11 Jeff
    February 25, 2009

    I have been having an ‘argument’ on Facebook with a Catholic ‘lawyer’ about ID/Evolution. (I am only a musician who visits pharyngula everyday. Very interested in evolutionary theory/science in general)
    Would any of you like to befriend me on facebook and respond to this twit. He left a screed called ‘Verbal and Intellectual Rapeage(sic) on (me)’. He was the drummer in my high school band and now he’s a douchebag. The screed is maybe too LONG to post here, and full of shit. I did my best debunking (same old creationist nonsense). would love if any of you REAL BIOLOGISTS would like to weigh in for me(and evolution). Thanks!

  12. #12 Your Mighty Overload
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff,

    I’ll give you a hand. I have a PhD in Plant Biology, and currently work as a post-doctoral scientist. Let me know your details and I’ll add you as a friend. Alternately, search for Louis Irving in the Aberdeen network.

  13. #13 Kel
    February 25, 2009

    If you send him over to the Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason And Science group, there are a few of us on there who are used to debating those things with creationists.

  14. #14 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    he won’t go. he doesn’t listen. he is losing but keeps bragging about how he won. A total nitwit…Would love if a gang of Biologists posted all over his moron ‘arguments’. I am fighting your fight with you!

  15. #15 kamaka
    February 25, 2009
  16. #16 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    Here is the horrible screed of inanity. Please help.

    TO ALL WHO CARE – MY ASS-KICKING OF JEFF NOWMOS
    Jeff Nowmos decided to respond to my Note about my religious beliefs by bringing me into a debate with him in which he says that basically, anyone who believes in God and Intelligent Design (I.D.) is an uneducated and ignorant doofus. Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I love an intellectual challenge and an opportunity to shove someone?s words up their ass. So, feel free to review our prior exchanges on my other note under ?Religous Stuff? to better understand why I felt it necessary to humble this ignorant bastard.

    But first, just a brief background so you understand what this debate is actually about. I have asserted (and established) that there are a long list of scientists who actually believe in God and believe that the process of evolution falls short of explaining many of the most fundamental questions pertaining to the beginning of life and the beginning of the Universe. In fact, many scientists are investigating a growing theory called ?Intelligent Design? (I.D.) Intelligent Design is NOT what the skeptics what you to believe it is (the old ideas of creationism, which based itself upon two tenets: a supernatural agent created all things, and the Bible gives us an accurate account of what happened). Unfortunately, this concept of I.D. is so offensive to most of mainstream academia, for various reasons, that they are being deprived of the funding and opportunity to explore this scientific theory. They are labeled as scientific ?heretics?, religious lunatics and they are blackballed from continuing this line of scientific investigation. (Ironically, this is the exact same intellectual dishonesty caused by the Catholic Church many centuries ago, when it attempted to punish anyone who challenged their current religious doctrines, such as the earth being the center of the universe. In that case, Science and Truth eventually won the day and defeated the attempts of those who wished to stifle truth because they were afraid to hear it). This type of intellectual dishonesty, is exactly what ?science? is perpetuating by its refusal to consider I.D. as being scientific.

    Now, the stuff below, pertains to Jeff?s most recent factually ignorant and retarded opinion that ?there are no ?real? scientists who support the idea of Intelligent Design and there are no peer reviewed journals of any such theories?. I explained to him that despite academia?s attempt to stifle such research, it is ongoing and there are real scientists who support it. Jeff claims this is not true and he called me a religious cukoo, a ?fucktard? and a bunch of other things as I explained to him how wrong he was. He has insisted that I show him ONE REAL scientist who holds an I.D. opinion and who has offered it for peer review. So, I have done it and established once again that Jeff, you are an ignorant fool and a stupid asshole. To the rest of you, Behold my continued ass-kicking of Jeff Nowmos? stupid, retarded, ignorant, uninformed opinions, and incorrect assertions of ?facts?. Let the ass kicking begin….

    Mathematician and Scientist, William Dembski, has twin Ph.D.?s in mathematics and philosophy and did postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, physics at the University of Chicago, and computer science at Princeton University. He is one of the leading scientists on Intelligent Design and he is a Professor at Baylor University in Texas, where he created the Michael Polanyi Center, leading academic institute for pursuing the science of ID ID depends upon a concept known as Specified Complexity and is built upon three tenets:
    1. Specified complexity is well defined and empirically detectable.
    2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity.
    3. Intelligent causation best explains specified complexity.
    Dembski puts it this way: ?Specified complexity powerfully extends the usual mathematical theory of information, known as Shannon information. Shannon?s theory dealt only with complexity, which can be due to random processes as well as to intelligent design. The addition of specification to complexity, however, is like a vise that grabs only things due to intelligence. Indeed, all the empirical evidence confirms that the only known cause of specified complexity is intelligence.?

    WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN?
    Say you?re out raking leaves in the backyard. If you were to find little piles of leaves, equally spaced apart in a long line, the arrangement would be an example of specificity, but it could be explained by what fell out of a rolling barrel. Each time the barrel made a revolution, another clump fell out, each spaced apart by about the same distance. The pattern is specified, but not complex.
    When you come across thousands of piles of leaves in no particular pattern, that?s complex, and it may take billions of overturned barrels to produce another pattern just like it. But it?s not specified. No intelligent design is required to explain it.
    But let?s say you come across a thousand leaves arranged as letters spelling meaningful words, sentences, paragraphs, even a whole story–that?s specified complexity. Specified complexity creates information and meaning, and that requires intelligent design.

    Eugenie Scott (like dopey Jeff Nowmos, another loud-mouth opponent of I.D.) argues that intelligent design proponents don?t have a scholarly position because they never submit their work for peer review or hold academic conferences on the subject. But each time she brings up this complaint – she stops short when she comes to the work of William Dembski. This is because…..ARE YOU READY FOR THIS JEFF NOWMOS?…..Dembski?s book, The Design Inference, was written as part of a Cambridge University philosophy of science series. Published as Dembski?s doctoral dissertation in philosophy, it became Cambridge?s best-selling philosophical monograph in recent years. After surviving a review of 70 scholars, and then the standard dissertation defense at the University of Illinois, The Design Inference finally underwent corrections and refereed scrutiny for two years at Cambridge University Press. Scott remembers Dembski?s ?The Nature of Nature? conference (April 12-15 at Baylor) and grudgingly admits: ?They actually did invite some scientists there.? In fact, the slate of speakers was weighted toward prominent biologists, physicists, and philosophers who were critical of intelligent design included two Nobel Prize-winning scientists and several members from the National Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, as admitted by Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer, whose editorial board is overwhelmingly composed of intelligent design critics such as Stephen Jay Gould and Eugenie Scott, when referring to Dembski?s conference, stated ?They have real degrees and tenure,?They?re real academics, not cranks? IF SCIENCE IS ALL ABOUT TRUTH, WHY WOULD THEY NOT CONSIDER I.D.?

    Because Science no longer follows the true Scientific Method and most academics and scientists are afraid to even consider the idea that a Creator – God – may actually exist! There is a method used in science today that is based on a philosophy called naturalism, defined by Funk & Wagnalls as ?the doctrine that all phenomena are derived from natural causes and can be explained by scientific laws without reference to a plan or purpose.? It?s the ?without plan or purpose? part that nixes Intelligent Design. When this philosophy is applied to science, it?s called methodological naturalism, and for many scientists today it is an unquestioned assumption.
    Methodological naturalism proposes that scientists be provisional ATHEISTS in their work, no matter what contrary evidence they find. Intelligent design proponents are asking simply that science be purified of all philosophical biases.

    Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson stated the issue succinctly at a recent congressional briefing: Americans, he said, must choose between two definitions of science in our culture: 1. science is unbiased, empirical testing that follows the evidence wherever it leads, or 2. science is applied materialist philosophy which, like Marxism or Freudianism, is willing to impose its authority. Unfortunately, #2 is what we have today.

    OK, but are there any other Scientists who support the idea of a Creator and I.D.?
    Yes. More than I feel like posting (and you feel like reading about) but I will name one more, because many people have at least heard his name and what he is famous for – Francis Crick -winner of the Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of DNA?s structure,. Crick wrote that ?the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd…The theory that life was assembled by an intelligence…is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.?

    What makes Crick?s statement funny, is, that he, like Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion – a book that says anyone who believes in God and believes in I.D. is a moron) believes that life may have started on earth by alien civilizations that planted seeds of life here on earth. Dawkins, is one of those funny pseudo-intellectuals who likes to make statements that Life can start without God, but when you ask him how it started, he will tell you it was started by other more advanced civilizations. This stupid theory actually has a name and it is called the ?panspermia? hypothesis. Unfortunately, like all other intellectually dishonest and stupid ideas, it fails to answer the ultimate question….WHO STARTED THE FIRST LIFE? DUH!

    Jeff, I accepted your challenge and I proved you are a fucking uneducated, ignorant asshole. You can continue to pretend none of this is true, you can continue to stick your head in the sand. But you won?t win an argument with me based on facts and intelligence, when you have neither facts on your side, or any brains in your empty head. Peace!

    AJB has spoken!

  17. #17 kamaka
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff,

    I take it back. Nothing will help. This guy is a flaming, ignorant, lying creotard.

    There is no use in being rational with someone so irrational, they just keep on being irrational.

    Compose a considered response if you wish, then block him.

    The dungeon for this fucktard.

    AJB has spoken! Total asshat.

  18. #18 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    I know, but if someone with scientific credentials posts, he will feel a tiny twang of his own ignorance.. And make me feel better…
    He is a loon

  19. #19 Blake Stacey
    February 25, 2009

    I realize that but it seems that PZ has a small measure of disdain for Miller (i.e. “It was with some trepidation…”) and this is not the only time I’ve noticed this coming from PZ.

    Recalibrate your dry-humour-o-meter.

  20. #20 kamaka
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff,

    WHO STARTED THE FIRST LIFE? DUH!

    If he could read such books (I doubt it):

    Daniel Dennet “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”

    Lee Smolin “The life of the Cosmos”

    Robert Nozick “Philosophical Explanation”

    These speak directly to where it might have begun.

  21. #21 Mauve Binchy
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff: that was hilarious, thanks, my sides are hurting. It takes a special kind of pompous ignoramus to so spectacularly combine willful stupidity, unthinking acceptance of dogma, and douchebaggery.

    If you’re upset about this you should try to change your perspective because it’s really very humourous.

    I think the leaves were the funniest; classic argument from incredulity. Put it this way: if I found his screed in my back yard there’s no way I could be convinced that an intelligence was behind it, as the million insane monkeys in front of typewrites seems far more plausible.

  22. #22 kamaka
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff,

    I left one out.

    Victor J. Stenger “God:The Failed Hypothesis”

  23. #23 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    i do find it funny. I post jokes, he doesn’t get them. but he is such a pompous prick, I would love if someone wrote the equivalent of:

    I have a Phd in (some field of Biology) you are a nitwit. How anyone hires you as a lawyer is a mystery as you are completely ignorant of reality and science…

  24. #24 Kel
    February 25, 2009

    You should sent him H Allen Orr’s review of No Free Lunch. And his revivew of Darwin’s Black Box for good measure.

  25. #25 Vronvron
    February 25, 2009

    Jeff

    Send the Catholic lawyer a link to Ken Miller on “This I Believe.” so he can listen to a theist/scientist speak clearly and rationally about evolution: http://www.wrni.org/content/evolution
    Maybe he will learn by example.

  26. #26 James F
    February 25, 2009

    #16

    Jeff,

    Your “friend” makes the statement: “he says that basically, anyone who believes in God and Intelligent Design (I.D.) is an uneducated and ignorant doofus.” I have a feeling you didn’t phrase it that way, but the first thing to do is correctly frame the argument. Assuming you didn’t really mean that anyone who believes in God is an “uneducated and ignorant doofus,” simply present the evidence proving the specific claim that ID is not science. ID relies on supernatural or otherwise untestable causation and it presents no mechanism, so right from the start it fails to qualify as science. Not surprisingly, there is no data presented (this is important: no data, since they do have 8 or 9 data-free or otherwise irrelevant papers) in support of ID in peer-reviewed scientific research papers.

    And of course, he’s citing William Dembski as an authority on science, which is an automatic fail.

  27. #27 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    He won’t listen to anything. I kept insisting he read Kitzmiller v Dover(he’s a lawyer and doesn’t know about this?!) but he never mentions it.I am SURE I am wasting my time. But he’s such a PRICK. I need facebook posters. I have 2 already preparing their remarks.

  28. #28 kamaka
    February 25, 2009

    Hey, thanks Kel, I Wikied the guy, didn’t know about him. I’ll be reading his stuff.

  29. #29 jeff
    February 25, 2009

    My ‘status’ post this morning was “Jeff says Intelligent Design has no data, testable hypotheses, or publications in peer-reviewed science journals.It is not science. Have a nice day!”

    I never mention God, just Kitz v Dover and the above in various forms…

  30. #30 Marcus J. Ranum
    February 25, 2009

    anyone who believes in God is an “uneducated and ignorant doofus”

    Sounds right to me. Except I wouldn’t capitalize the G word.

  31. #31 HP
    February 25, 2009

    Hey, Jeff –

    Just wanted to let you know that besides you, there’s the brilliant Interrobang, the even more brilliant Tristero (correct me if I’m wrong, Interrobang, but Tristero is pretty fucking brilliant) and me (lurker, infrequent commenter, somewhat lower on the brilliance scale) who are trained musicians with an abiding interest in evolution and atheism, and who read Pharyngula. And probably others, who may not identify with the sobriquet “musician” quite as strongly.

    I’m inclined to agree with those who point out that your former drumline buddy is an asshole, and you should write him off. (I have, myself, had fallings-out with members of my high school drumline over non-musical issues. And you know what? High school was a long time ago, and people change, and sometimes it’s just best to cut the cord.)

  32. #32 Bart Mitchell
    February 25, 2009

    Not bad. I liked it.

    I still count the day I was lucky enough to catch Penn Gillettes ‘This I Believe’ as one of my favorite PBS moments.

  33. #33 bobxxxx
    February 25, 2009

    Miller is trying to sell his magic space man book.

  34. #34 bobxxxx
    February 26, 2009

    Even though Ken Miller’s religious ideas are nutty, and even though I sometimes think he just pretends to be a theist to sell his books, what he said was better than excellent, and all creationists should listen to it. The problem is creationists have no idea what they’re missing, and that’s the point Ken Miller is trying to make.

  35. #35 Nick Begovich
    February 26, 2009

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557

    I owe my atheism to a magician. Sigh.

  36. #36 Nick Begovich
    February 26, 2009

    I owe my atheism to a magician. Sigh.

  37. #37 ArchangelChuck
    February 26, 2009

    We may not all agree with Ken Miller, but it appears that he is defending scientific integrity. To me, that’s enough to expect.

    Jeff: You’re working too hard. Simply state, “Intelligent Design is the philosophy of ignorance.” Did ID ever lead to any discoveries? No. End of discussion.

  38. #38 Philip Kahn
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff:

    The full Wikisource Kitzmiller trial result, and Project Steve has reached 1000 Steves who say ID is bunk.

    Further, point out that stuff like the Hoyle Fallacy is a reason to be skeptical of nonbiological arguments against evolution. Further, a philosophy dissertation is emphatically not a peer-reviewed scientific journal (I might argue that philosophy doesn’t fall under that banner in any circumstances, actually … )

    Also, as hard as it is (I know) try to use no profanity in your response. Makes ad-hominem attacks harder.

    Finally, direct him to the Nova documentary Judgement Day to point out how massively Dembski’s arguments failed in court, and how blatantly incorrect they were shown to be. Hope this helps!

  39. #39 BMS
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff-

    I kept insisting he read Kitzmiller v Dover (he’s a lawyer and doesn’t know about this?!)

    Many lawyers do not know about scads of cases. That’s why Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw exist.

    Also, Kitzmiller was decided at the trial court level. Trial court opinions rarely (if ever) make it into law school texts as the are not binding precedent on either a state or federal level.

    If your “friend” is a new lawyer he would not have encountered the case in law school, at least not as part of the curriculum.

    Further, if he’s just being disingenuous (duh, right?), even were he aware of it he would neither (a) cop to that nor (b) read the opinion nor (c) watch the Nova special about it.

    Long post short? Give up, defriend / block the dolt.

  40. #40 BMS
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff, also – obviously you know the guy’s being a douchenozzle. He is aware of the case if for no other reason than that you’ve told him of it.

    Just write him off.

  41. #41 Calladus
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff…

    He won’t listen to you? Then shake the dust off your sandals and move on.

  42. #42 jeff
    February 26, 2009

    Thanks all. I don’t want to be his friend. I just want to embarrass him. He is an enemy to reason…

    I have a degree in music.
    and love science.
    read sci am every month cover to cover. do not understand all of it but am trying.
    also atheist…
    hear me at
    http://www.myspace.com/jeffnowmos

    let me know if you need any tunes

  43. #43 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    It’s a time to close this neodarwinian shop. There is no greater nonsense than “natural selection”. Those who believe in it should put tatoo on their forehead – “I am a moron, I believe in natural selection.”
    Or – “I was created via natural selection”.

  44. #44 TBRP
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli: What a wonderful comment! Delightful, and sure to change minds! The sheer persuasiveness of implying that those that think natural selection is real are morons really showed me the error of my previously Darwinian ways. Praise FSM! Let those Neo-Darwinians find a chink in THAT argument! I dare them!

  45. #45 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    TBRP – it’s you and your cronies who have no argument whatsoever. Natural selection only removes extremities, nothing else. Believing that it could have created mankind from ancient fish is a nonsense par excellence. Only intellectually undernourished mind can insist on such a nonsense – and even be proud of it.

  46. #46 TBRP
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli:

    You of course mean my former cronies. Your eloquence has completely convinced me! I now know, from your most recent post, that Natural Selection just removes the outside parts of the bell curve of the population, and cannot possibly make something as complicated as myself. I now realize there is no change between generations whatsoever!

  47. #47 Your Mighty Overload
    February 26, 2009

    Ahh, yes Bernoulli,

    Rather than the observable phenomena of descent with modification, and all those fossils and DNA evidence stuff, it is vitally important that a magic man in the sky did it.

    I mean, that whole creating everything in six days and the talking snake and the worldwide flood – it all just makes so much sense.

    I’m off to taunt female bears into killing some children who have been bothering me now.

  48. #48 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    I know, I know, DFTT but sometimes it can’t be helped :)

    Bernoulli, actually, I have no problem with that suggestion. For at least then I would know those I would have a chance of a rational conversation with and, far more importantly, I could avoid like the plague those without the mark of the beast in case their IDiocy was catching. The only disadvantage in some countries, such as the USA, is the uneducated and even more ignorant than their leaders IDiots who’s often theofascist leaders have no problem using as cannon fodders to eliminate those who disagree with them while keeping their hands ostensibly clean. Sounds much like you in fact and I would hate to make it too easy for you stormIDiots, assuming they could read the tattoo of course. Perhaps instead you should suggest a very simple symbol to make it easy for you stormIDiots to recognise us and round us up. After all, that would be the next step as it is traditionally how theofascists operate and you tend to be big on tradition.

  49. #49 bassmanpete
    February 26, 2009

    “Furthermore, as admitted by Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer, whose editorial board is overwhelmingly composed of intelligent design critics such as Stephen Jay Gould”

    Stephen Jay Gould died in 2002. I don’t think he’s on any magazine’s editorial board :)

  50. #50 Your Mighty Overload
    February 26, 2009

    Yeah, Bassmanpete, I commented on that to Jeff on Facebook – if Gould is on the board, I imagine the air in the office is somewhat “rich” by now.

  51. #51 castletonsnob
    February 26, 2009

    I think Bernoulli should stick to fluid dynamics and leave the biology to the experts.

  52. #52 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    Thank you for your comments guys. As you can see you presented no arguments. I can tell you why – there is not the simplest example of “natural selection in action”. But it occurs – in neodarwinian heads. Darwin thought that nature acts like he himself when breeding pigeons. No one observed “natural selection” in nature before him. Why this curious hypothesis from 19 century survived untill today is a mystery. It should have be dead like marxism, another naturalistic bullshit that saw everywhere “struggle”.

  53. #53 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, you shitty little liar, you are not after arguments for Natural Selection or you could have just asked rather than insult from the off. Hence our response was on par with your initial post, except ours were honest from the off. However, even if presented with arguments in support I doubt you capable of understanding them. But, on the off chance that you genuinely want to know and are not a troll, to save us repeating it all over again for the nth. time go to this link were if you are capable of openly reading and understanding you will see most if not all your questions answered;

    http://www.talkorigins.org/

    P.S. Dismiss the knowledge at the above link and you will have proved that you are an ignorant trolling IDiot or creotard.

  54. #54 charley
    February 26, 2009

    I’m agree with TBRP. You have totally convinced me, so your work here is done. Thank you and goodbye.

  55. #55 charley
    February 26, 2009

    Next time, coffee before commenting.

  56. #56 maddogdelta
    February 26, 2009

    @Bernoulli

    As you can see you presented no arguments.

    OK, Tough Guy. If you really want the evidence, I will introduce as my first argument “On the Origin of Species, First Edition”. Then I will present 150 years of biological research which supports Natural Selection. The latter is especially interesting in that just about every single one of the papers presented supporting natural selection started out with the intention of disprove portions if not all of Natural Selection.

    I can’t make you read all of the papers, so it is up to you to start reading, which is why I started by recommending On the Origin of Species”. Feel free to poke holes in it.

    Now, once you have (unlikely, but I’ll grant that you might be the next great biologist, and you might be able to do it) ripped natural selection to shreds, You need to present evidence that your version of an explanation for the many species is true.

    To do this, I recommend you follow the techniques Darwin did when he wrote his book. Basically, by presenting piles of evidence, (which the reader is free to verify at his leisure), show the reader any number of places where they could possibly falsify his theory, then state his theory, with the caveat that he could always be proven wrong if someone meets the conditions of the statement he made about how one could falsify the theory.

    In other words, you have 1) do lots of work 2) be honest.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t found many creationists yet who are willing to work, and even fewer who are honest.
    Honest, informed, creationist. Pick two.

  57. #57 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    John Phillips, FCD.

    Talkorigin is a neodarwinian propaganda site where nothing is to be found. Except if you are an ignorant of course.

    Why there is not mentioned such great critics of neodarwinism like Richard Goldschmidt and his voluminous research? Why neodarwinists pretend there are not such phenomena like phenocopies? Why they dismissed all great tradition regarding research of color patterns on animals – or butterfly wings? I can tell you why – because in those patterns simple evolutionary rules can be observed. Rules that have nothing to do with “natural selection”. That’s why names like like W.Schad (Geist in der Natur), F.Suffert, K.Henke, F.Heikertinger, F.Kipp, A.Portmann, H. Poppellbaum etc? are neglected nowadays in neodarwinian works. They are unpleasant, they disclose fallacy of the whole building of “natural selection”.

  58. #58 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, Please cite ten papers from the peer reviewed primary scientific literature in the last five years proving your point.

  59. #59 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    As I thought, a brain dead IDiot/creotard troll who can’t even follow the links to the sources from Talk Origin so trots out the same old, same old. Bye bye and do enjoy wallowing in your ignorance.

  60. #60 NJ
    February 26, 2009

    I’m sorry, but Steve Martin totally owns the concept of a monologue on personal belief.

  61. #61 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    As usual. No argumets, just hysterical neodarwinian cry. You are an ignorant! Articles in peer-reviewed journals! I will give you a question my dears. Why there isn’t a single article published in peer-reviewd journals refuting natural selection as the source of evolution? Such articles were pretty common before 1970. Isn’t the main problem that neodarwinists occupy all Uni departments like marxists in the East (and sometimes West) Europe some years ago? But I hope it won’t last long and your “natural selection” lies would become obvious to everyone.

  62. #62 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Yawn, conspiracy. Now, either prove it with hard evidence, or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science.

  63. #63 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, make a living human out of dirt and magic or shut the fuck up.

    Your babbling and conspiracy theories won’t cut it. Evidence or GTFO.

  64. #64 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    Why there isn’t a single article published in peer-reviewd journals refuting natural selection as the source of evolution?

    Bernoulli’s getting really close…if only he’d take the proper fork of that dilemma…

  65. #65 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    What evidence? It’s you who should give evidence for “natural selection”. You are unable to do so coherently even in such cases as mimicry (once the beloved child of selectionists). But you will claim that dubious force “natural selection” is responsible for descent of man. You are mystics.

  66. #66 maddogdelta
    February 26, 2009

    @Bernoulli
    Whargarble

    Willfully ignorant people are funny. Keep it up. You’re the best entertainment I’ve had all morning.

    Tell me, how old do you think the earth really is. We could get a whole day full of entertainment here.

  67. #67 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    You are mystics.

    You are projecting. (and a troll)

  68. #68 Bart Mitchell
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, I found the Cit+ E. coli experiment from Dr. Lenski to be a very interesting. Also, the study of the Albert and the Kaibab squirrels at the Grand Canyon showed speciation at work. Poke holes in those if you like.

    My question to you: If evolution by natural selection is false, then what produced the diversity of life? What mechanism allows life to adapt to its environment (which has been shown over and over in multiple species)

    Falsifying a theory is just the first half. You need to provide an alternate theory that explains the events we see in the world.

  69. #69 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    Such articles were pretty common before 1970.

    Please, just one specific example.

    It’s you who should give evidence for “natural selection”

    copyright 1986

  70. #70 sng
    February 26, 2009

    Such articles were common before 1970? Make with the lInks, summaries, and references please. Even one.

    Also. You want evidence? Here you go.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

  71. #71 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Hmmm… What discovery circa 1970 could show the relatedness of all species? My wild guess would be gene mapping. Biologists?

  72. #72 Ouchimoo
    February 26, 2009

    I was created via natural selection

    Haha, that’s so dumb. I am so making a tshirt that says that!

    Bernoulli, get this though your thick skull, we don’t want to waste our breath on you. We have dealt with enough of your ilk to know that regardless of what evidence we put at your feet you will just stomp on it, make up some lame ass whiny excuse not to look at it and then demand that we throw more at your feet.
    Waste. Of. Time.
    Now bugger off already.

  73. #73 KH
    February 26, 2009

    NPR has been pretty good in general during this big Darwin month, but I was dismayed that they validated Egnor in this story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100867217

  74. #74 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    I owe my atheism to a magician. Sigh.

    Why does that read like an example of post coital bliss?

    **********************************************************

    Jeff: He’s a Lawyer for gods sake! Pseudo reasoning and false syllogisms are his stock and trade since the entire point of being a lawyer is to win at any cost. Just point and laugh and revel in the knowledge that he’s a complete waste of protoplasm and that any rational person will recognize him as being a pompous, arrogant asshole. Shadenfreude is your friend.

  75. #75 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, if you can’t be bothered to meet my challenge to magically animate the dust of the earth, why should we bother showing you evidence you have a religious commitment to deny? It’s pointless trying to educate creationists, they’d rather die than learn. No force in the universe will convince you of reality, because you worship your own ignorance.

  76. #76 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009


    Such articles were common before 1970? Make with the lInks, summaries, and references please. Even one.

    Try this one:

    Mimetic Polymorphism, a Controversial Chapter of Darwinism
    Richard B. Goldschmidt (1945)

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/2808727

    I’ve read the paper repeatedly. I can reassure you that Goldschmidt perfectly refuted “natural selection” as the source of mimicry in the case of polymorphic mimicry. No one has adressed coherenntly his convincing arguments yet. The only argument the poor neodarwinists are able present is their mantra : “it is outdated now, give us something new.” That is the only argument you can present. It is sad job to be a darwinian, isn’t?

  77. #77 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    Thanks for the link, Bernoulli. WIll read Goldschmidt with interest when time permits.

  78. #78 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    Keep digging. We have the DNA, you have… what again?

    Explain the mechanism that produced the diversity of life on our planet.

  79. #79 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    You have to buy the article. Perhaps it’s available elsewhere.

  80. #80 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, your main argument is to trot out Richard “hopeful monsters” Goldschmidt? If you want a refutation, heck, just check out this basic evolutionary genetics course. In any case, Goldschmidt was hardly an opponent of natural selection, at least as writ broadly — the whole notion was that his “hopeful monsters”, the result of large chromosomal changes, were more fit than their competitors, and thus survived and bred more.

  81. #81 KH
    February 26, 2009

    Goldschmidt had a basic misunderstanding of the nature of genes and mutations. See M. Dietrich’s many historical articles about him (e.g. Nat. Rev. Genet. 4:68). In any case, his proposal that a giant chromosomal rearrangement led suddenly to a mimic phenotype can easily be examined and refuted these days through genome sequencing of the species in question, along with related species that don’t have the mimic phenotype.

  82. #82 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff,

    Here’s a reminder to AJB regarding Dembski’s recent achievements that I posted recently at the US News and World Report website:

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/room-for-debate/2009/2/18/creation-of-christian-soldiers-a-chilling-sidelight-of-darwin-bashing/comments

    It’s a comment dated February 24th, most of which I am reposting here:

    1) Dembski contacted the U. S. Department of Homeland Security nearly three years ago, requesting that they investigate eminent University of Texas ecologist Eric Pianka as a “potential bioterrorist”.

    2) Bill orchestrated a “death threat” campaign against eminent University of Texas ecologist Eric Pianka and the Texas Academy of Sciences.

    3) Nearly two years ago Dembski, along with his fellow intellectually-challenged Uncommon Dissent pals (including Mike Behe) held an online “roasting” of Johns Hopkins epidemiologist and biochemist David Levin, simply because Levin had spotted some errors in Behe’s “research”.

    4) Dembski made a rather crude, quite despicable, comparison of notable University of Chicago evolutionary geneticist Jerry Coyne with Herman Munster at Uncommon Dissent last year (Coyne told me that he thought Dembski’s act was truly a very “low blow”.)

    5) Dembski followed up this bizarre display of infantile behavior with another Uncommon Dissent comparison of distinguished University of California, Berkeley paleobiologist Kevin Padian with Archie Bunker, “rhetorically” asking whether Padian was the “Archie Bunker of evolutionary biology”.

    6) Dembski has admitted at Uncommon Dissent – with ample malicious intent – that he stole a Harvard University cell animation video made by the Connecticut-based video production company XVIVO (This has been noted by others, including Abbie Smith, and David Bolinsky, XVIVO’s president, elsewhere online.).

    7) In December 2007, Dembski tried to exercise a crude form of censorship against yours truly by asking Amazon.com (USA website) to delete my harsh, but accurate, review of Bill’s latest published example of mendacious intellectual pornography, otherwise known as “The Design of Life”. He also organized an online smear campaign against me.

    8) Last May, at Uncommon Dissent, Dembski had the gall to whine and to moan about “rich Darwinists” like Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Francisco Ayala and Ken Miller for “making money” off of evolution. He also made the inane observation that we ought to support Intelligent Design since it is a “middle class” idea, whereas evolution is an “upper class” idea. Bill also made the absurd claim that he is a member of the middle class, when the real truth is that he is a graduate of a prestigious Catholic boarding school (Portsmouth Abbey), and had, growing up, a childhood that was far more “upper class” than either mine or Ken Miller’s.

    So much for honest, decent, “Christian” behavior from Dembski.

    As an addendum, it is absolutely both hysterical and pathetic to think Dembski is capable of such acts, especially when he is now a “research professor” at at Texas Baptist seminary (He was expelled from Baylor University for not doing sufficient scientific research and because of earlier examples of his bizarre, unprofessional and unethical behavior towards his critics.).

    Regards,

    John

  83. #83 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    Hi all,

    Although I greatly appreciate PZ’s consistently excellent work in exposing IDiots and other fanatical creationists, I draw the line at his harsh criticism of Ken Miller’s religious beliefs, going so far as accusing Ken once of being a creationist (In the interest of full disclosure, I had the privilege of assisting Ken in his very first debate against a creationist, when he was a newly-arrived assistant professor of biology and yours truly, an undergraduate, on the campus of our undergraduate alma mater, Brown University, years ago. Ken is both a friend and mentor with respect to my own ongoing battle against creationists – especially Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers like my “pal” Bill Dembski – elsewhere online.). I believe PZ’s criticism is especially unwarranted since Ken has done far more work against creationists, period (For example, his testimony at the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial and his many debates, for which he has been honored in print by eminent philosopher of science Philip Kitcher, as the “redoubtable Ken Miller”.).

    Respectfully yours,

    John

  84. #84 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    As a postscript to my previous comments, I should also note that Ken is this year’s recipient of the AAAS Public Understanding of Science And Technology Award, which he received in Chicago at the AAAS meeting on February 14th:

    http://news.aaas.org/2009/02112008-aaas-public-understanding-of-science-and-technology-award-presented.shtml

    Ken was nominated, in part, because of his work as the lead witness for the plaintiffs at the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial.

  85. #85 AnthonyK
    February 26, 2009

    I wholly agree with you John. Ken Miller’s a scientific hero. He doesn’t deserve to be criticised or, worse, sneered at. Not even here.

  86. #86 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    PZ must have let his straw stuffed effigy out of the house because, evidently, it has been mouthing off recently…. that, or some people need to bone up on their reading comprehension skills.

  87. #87 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    KH.

    Why are you criticising something you have no slightest idea about? Are you one of those “knowledgeable evolutionists” who will tear any creationist apart, hehe? Goldschmidt only claimed that the first step towards mimicry must be a great one to deceive predator. This idea become more and more accpted and nowadays it is something that is accepted also by prominent neodarwinian lepidopterists like Fr. Nijhout and others. Check inet.
    Of course in bizarre neodarwinian newspeech it is not Goldshcmidt’s saltation, but “mutation with great effect on phenotype”.

    Goldschmidt mentioned systemic mutation only bellow the line in unrelated thoughts. His main idea was that mutations proceed via prescribed paths as proposed by Henke, Suffert etc who studied wing patterns. It is well supported by the fact, that similar but unrelated butterflies occurs in Africa vs. East Asia or Africa vs. South America. In the first case neodarwinists posited mimicry (they see mimicry everywhere) with non-specified migratory birds as “selective agent”. In the second case they are lost and predent the problem doesn’t exist. The whole problem of polymorphic mimicry concerns also modifiers. So read the article first and criticise it aftewards. Otherwise your neodarwinian posts look silly.

  88. #88 sng
    February 26, 2009

    One of the whole points of a scientific and rational viewpoint is that -everybody- deserves to be criticized and even sneered at when they are wrong. The correct response isn’t to assert that he’s above critique or even being made fun of or to suggest that anybody should lay off. It’s to refute the arguments.

    In this particular case he’s done some great work. And that is both acknowledged and appreciated. He also holds some wacky beliefs. And those will be both criticized and sneered at.

  89. #89 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    …your neodarwinian posts look silly.

    Keep using “neodarwinian”, you sound so smart when you use that straw man term.

  90. #90 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ sng,

    Whether or not PZ wishes to admit this, Ken Miller has done far more work than PZ has in exposing the illogical, unethical behavior of creationists (If that’s not the case, then why do you think Ken received the AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award? There is nothing in PZ’s past history which suggests that he, too, is worthy of such recognition.).

    I will admit that I don’t subscribe to Ken’s religious beliefs simply because I am not a Christian (I am Deist.). But, unlike such “eminent” Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers like Behe, Dembski, Klinghoffer, Luskin and Wells, for example (I am citing Klinghoffer since he’s unfortunately, a fellow Brown alumnus, who must have left his intellect behind when he departed finally from College Hill immediately after graduation years ago.), Ken isn’t interested in “converting” people to his religious beliefs. That is an important distinction which you, PZ and others critical of Ken’s religious thinking ought to recognize and to appreciate.

    John

  91. #91 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    So there are people with wackier beliefs out there. Why again does that place his wacky beliefs above criticism?

    I also explicitly acknowledged his contributions. They are worthy of recognition. But you’ve failed to answer the question of how they place his wacky beliefs above criticism. Or why -any- set of beliefs should be above criticism.

  92. #92 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    Why are you criticising something you have no slightest idea about?

    Boy, that’s Alanis-level irony.

    Goldschmidt only claimed that the first step towards mimicry must be a great one to deceive predator. This idea become more and more accpted and nowadays it is something that is accepted also by prominent neodarwinian lepidopterists like Fr. Nijhout and others.

    If you mean Fred Nijhout, I don’t see how you can claim that his work has anything important to do with Goldschmidt’s fundamental views. Nijhout is not a saltationist, and certainly ascribes to a pretty standard evolutionary approach.

  93. #93 Julie Stahlhut
    February 26, 2009

    Regarding the Facebook guy: Jeff, are you sure he isn’t merely off his meds? He reminds me of those people who blog ten-page rants against the nasty physics professors who diss their perpetual motion machines.

  94. #94 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    Actually. Alanis wrote a song, not about irony, but about things that just suck.
    One of my all time least favorite songs of all times.

    Everytime she sings “and isn’t it ironic…” I would yell at the radio, NO!

  95. #95 KH
    February 26, 2009

    Sigh, Bernoulli, can we just discuss the data without falling to the lows of personal insult and baseless assumptions? On the other hand, it’s not “tearing someone apart” to point out factual errors or misunderstandings. That is part of civil scientific debate. The quickly emerging genomic data on butterfly wing pattern is delineating what mutations happened when, where, and with what effect, including mimicry. Everything thus far is consistent with random mutation and natural selection. The molecular data will tell a more and more detailed story, making moot the vague theorizing from 1945, before people even knew the foggiest thing about the molecular nature of the gene. Goldschmidt would probably have been thrilled to learn genomic evidence related to his topics of interest, and as an acclaimed scientist, he would have gracefully accepted when the data refuted his original thoughts.

    Here are just a couple of many recent articles to get started on: Papa et al, BMC Genomics. 2008 Jul 22;9:345. Baxter et al. Genetics. 2008 Nov;180(3):1567-77.

  96. #96 Naughtius Maximus
    February 26, 2009

    Jeff
    Go to youtube and look in Edward Currents page, he has a good one under Gods Cool Designs

  97. #97 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok #82 wrote:

    Although I greatly appreciate PZ’s consistently excellent work in exposing IDiots and other fanatical creationists, I draw the line at his harsh criticism of Ken Miller’s religious beliefs, going so far as accusing Ken once of being a creationist.

    Why are the standards changed when the subject has to do with religion?

    PZ has repeatedly praised Ken Miller for his excellent scientific understanding of evolution, and his marvelous work fighting creationism. But Ken Miller has written on a large variety of subjects. One topic he writes on is the relationship between science and religion. He presents a rational case for his point of view, making arguments.

    PZ disagrees with him, and explains why. He points out that some of the lines of argument Miller uses are one he himself explicitly rejected from the Creationists, and that drawing a line between reasonable and unreasonable magic — and reasonable and unreasonable faith — is hard to justify rationally.

    “Harsh attack.”

    No, it’s called debate.

  98. #98 RickK
    February 26, 2009

    @Steve_C

    “Actually. Alanis wrote a song, not about irony, but about things that just suck.”

    Now THAT is ironic.

  99. #99 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Sastra and sng -

    There’s a major difference between disagreeing with Ken’s religious thinking (I think I’ve hinted strongly already that I don’t.) and calling him something – a creationist – which he isn’t. PZ Myers should realize that sometimes his criticism is not only counterproductive, but may actually be playing into the hands of creationists who insist that “belief in evolution equals denial of GOD”. Moreover, his style of rational discourse has influenced others, most notably ERV, in expressing their own hostility towards those who are religiously devout. Both PZ and ERV and others like them should recognize that there are many religiously devout scientists who also recognize that evolution is valid mainstream science (Some prominent examples include eminent evolutionary geneticist Francisco Ayala, former Human Genome Project head Francis Collins, and noted ecologist Michael L. Rosenzweig, a graduate school mentor of mine.). In a talk I heard back in January of this year presented by distinguished vertebrate paleobiologist Donald Prothero, he noted that, according to recent polling data, approximately 54% of evolutionary biologists are religiously devout too. So it is incorrect for PZ and ERV and others like them to claim some kind of moral superiority merely because they are atheists, and thus, therefore, more capable of understanding and explaining the validity of evolution as science than their religiously devout peers.

  100. #100 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    PS @ Sastra and sng -

    I meant to say that I don’t subscribe at all to Ken’s religious beliefs, period. Moreover, I strongly disagree with them. But I do not – unlike PZ and several others – lose sight of Ken’s importance as one of our leading proponents for sound science education in school classrooms and our best critics of Intelligent Design creationism and other flavors of creationism too.

  101. #101 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    I would love to have you point out examples of PZ or anybody else claiming moral superiority or denying Ken’s importance.

    I would also love to have you answer my questions. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for either to happen.

  102. #102 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ sng -

    You can sense sometimes from the tone of PZ’s remarks, that he tries to act morally superior to those who are religiously devout (This is an assessment that I have heard independently from others, including one very prominent evolutionary biologist whom I won’t mention – and no, it isn’t Ken Miller, since Ken isn’t an evolutionary biologist.).

    I’ll agree with you that no beliefs should remain unchallenged. But I think you and PZ, among others, may lose sight as to what is important, celebrating Ken’s work or criticizing his religious beliefs. I think you are losing sight now IMHO.

    John

  103. #103 Bernoulli
    February 26, 2009

    KH


    Goldschmidt would probably have been thrilled to learn genomic evidence related to his topics of interest, and as an acclaimed scientist, he would have gracefully accepted when the data refuted his original thoughts.

    Your off topic pressupositions brings nothing valuable to the underestaning of evolution of polymorphic mimicry. Goldschmidt didn’t claim that for mimicry are responsible the same (super)genes in model and mimic species – as was Punnet’s opinion (why don’t you read the paper btw?). So if “mimic (super)genes” responsible for color pattering are on the second chromosome in one species and on the third chromosome in another species (in mimetic rings) this fact has no relation whatsoever to the “natural selection” as the source of mimicry.

    You cannot judge from molecular level of genes on chromosome and their pattering/developmental cascades that behind mimicry of given species was “natural selection” or was not – unless one is a cabalist (or – neodarwinist, what is, in fact, almost the same ).

    You know sometimes one butterfly species create color effects by pigments and other by scale refraction. No one is expecting the same genes behind the phenomena – but who knows. Even it it were the same genes (like hox), it wouldn’t persuade you that “natural selection” is nonsense, would it? Every structure of genes will support neodarwinism.

    What is important is the fact, that saltus in evolution of mimicry has been tacidly accepted by neodarwinian school nowadays. So there must be prescribed “mutation” of wing patterns.

  104. #104 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok is here, dropping names and dripping concern.

    according to recent polling data, approximately 54% of evolutionary biologists are religiously devout too

    I don’t believe this number. Citation needed. Graffin’s results were certainly very different!

  105. #105 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    Lots of people sense lots of things. My response to that is “produce evidence/a good argument or shut up”.

    Your second assertion simply proves that you aren’t reading or at least not thinking about what I’m saying. This isn’t an either or situation no matter how much you would like to see somebody you clearly care deeply for given a pass on the wacky bits based on the good bits. I’ll sing the praises of his good bits from the rooftops, and PZ does just that in this post, but I’ll also call him out on the wacky bits.

    The people I consider my best friends do just that for me and I for them. I think any other approach to life is just plain flawed. So, no, doesn’t get a pass on the wacky bits just for the good bits.

  106. #106 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ sng -

    I may be more accepting of religious values – though I don’t describe myself as being religious – since I come from a large family with diverse religious beliefs ranging from Judaism and Christianity to Buddhism (which would be expected I suppose, given my last name), and finally, Islam (One of my cousins is that former US Army chaplain who was in the news a few years ago, formerly stationed at Camp Gitmo and falsely accused of treason.).

    A superb example of PZ’s “moral superiority” is his inane criticism last summer of a Roman Catholic ritual. Surely PZ must have better things to do with his time than needlessly provoke others.

    @ Sven DiMilo,

    Ask Don Prothero yourself for independent confirmation. I saw the slide in question at his lecture. You can look up his e-mail address at the Occidental College website, where he is a professor of geology.

    As for “name dropping”, I guess that’s the best retort you have for my sensible defense of one of my favorite college professors. Am I right?

  107. #107 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    The fact that you accept these beliefs does not answer the question of why these beliefs should remain unquestioned and uncriticized. Or why Ken’s good work excuses his beliefs from questioning and criticism.

    As for your summary of crackergate. Yeah, that’s not even wrong so I’m just going to ignore it.

  108. #108 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    Wow. John Kwok is so interesting. I wonder who else he knows and where else he went to school. Maybe he’ll publish his fucking memoirs someday, and we’ll all be able to relish an endless steam of self-aggrandizing anecdotes. I can only hope.

  109. #109 KH
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli, if you read the papers I mentioned (and many others on the same topic), I hope you’ll be triggered to seek a deeper understanding of basic genetic principles. For example, “saltus” is obsolete in the face of modern knowledge of mutations and their effects. If you can refute the findings in all the papers on the evolution of wing patterns, while simultaneously supporting with specific modern evidence the idea of “prescribed mutation,” then let us all know. (Anyway, your focus on whether it’s mutations in the same or different genes underlying convergent evolution is irrelevant, as natural selection functions in either case.) I’m signing off now to get real work done.

  110. #110 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok #98 wrote:

    So it is incorrect for PZ and ERV and others like them to claim some kind of moral superiority merely because they are atheists, and thus, therefore, more capable of understanding and explaining the validity of evolution as science than their religiously devout peers.

    PZ et al. are not claiming that they are morally superior individuals: they are claiming that atheism is a better and more reasonable position than theism, from a scientific standpoint. Attempts to harmonize belief in God and the acceptance of the scientific method are strained, and require a kind of mental gymnastics and compartmentalization that does not harmonize well with either the nature of reality as revealed through our science, or the scientific mindset itself. Theistic evoluition embraces the limited value of magical thinking, and, in doing so, is unlikely to be effective, long term, on curtailing the sort of magical thinking that intrudes into science. It perpetuates its source.

    Okay, I’m not planning on arguing for this position for now. I just want to point out what this position is not:

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists are bad, immoral people.

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists can’t or don’t understand evolution.

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists can’t teach or explain evolutionary theory.

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists are the enemy.

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists are exactly the same as creationists.

    It is not saying that there are no theistic evolutionists.

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists have no right to argue for theistic evolution.

    and finally,

    It is not saying that theistic evolutionists are not playing a valuable role in helping the public become more accepting of evolution.

    One can believe that people like Miller — who are role models for those who want to keep their religion and accept the scientific fact of evolution — are helpful in fighting creationism — and still argue that theistic creationism is philosophically and scientifically flawed.

    Because there is not one, and only one, best strategy.

    Analogy: If people are trying to cure their cancer with worthless homeopathic remedies, one effective way to stop them might be for homeopathic doctors to convince them that homeopathy isn’t for cancer: it’s only for headaches, the common cold, and other minor, self-limiting ailments.

    But it would not be a bad idea to have other doctors, who are not homeopaths, try to convince the people with cancer — and with colds — that homeopathy doesn’t work at all, not for anything. That puts Doctors Against Using Homeopathy For Cancer against each other. Yes. It would. At the same time that they are on the same side.

    I don’t see how it can be any other way.

  111. #111 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ sng -

    I question beliefs held by many of my most religiously-devout relatives. I don’t question them in the same irresponsible, often infantile, manner that I have seen documented here at Science Blogs by PZ and ERV at their respective blogs. One can do a better job questioning religious beliefs by having a rational dialogue – where it is possible of course, assuming that the other person you are having a conversation with does think rationally and wants such a dialogue – than by needlessly irritating others.

    @ Lowell -

    You simply don’t know who I know. But that’s okay. You’re QUITE interesting too. Why? You act like the typical delusional IDiot – whom I usually refer to as a Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg drone, enjoying his/her membership in the DI IDiot Borg Collective – that I have encountered elsewhere online.

  112. #112 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Lowell -

    Well thanks for thinking about my potential memoirs. After all, I did study with someone – years before he became well known as such – regarded by many as the foremost memoirist of our time.

    @ Sastra -

    Again, I should remind you that I believe that PZ’s and ERV’s online conduct can be considered as counterproductive, by providing evolution denialists with ample proof that “belief in evolution means denial in GOD”, and those who subscribe in such a belief act irresponsibly, often in an infantile manner, towards those who are religiously devout.

  113. #113 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok #105 wrote:

    A superb example of PZ’s “moral superiority” is his inane criticism last summer of a Roman Catholic ritual. Surely PZ must have better things to do with his time than needlessly provoke others.

    As sng points out, this leaves out the context. Not to get off on a tangent, but the criticism was not specifically directed at the ritual itself, but at the idea of a public university enforcing what amounted to a ‘blasphemy law.’ The cracker (along with a copy of the Quran and The God Delusion) was desecrated to make a point in a political argument. PZ’s act was similar, in a sense, to burning an American flag to protest a proposal to amend the Constitution to “protect our sacred flag.”

    (/crackergate discussion)

  114. #114 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Sastra -

    I might add that I don’t think that Ken’s strategy is the only means of defeating Intelligent Design creationism and other forms of irrational thought. But I think it has been far more productive than anything PZ has done, and, in recognition of his success, Ken received this year’s AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award. Maybe PZ ought to consider the strong possibility that Ken’s strategy has been far more effective in confronting Intelligent Design creationism and other flavors of creationism than his own brand of criticism.

  115. #115 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    So now we’re down to “Waaa! They’re mean.”.

    Doesn’t change the facts and I’d go so far as to say that I lose major respect points for people who can’t get past that or think that it’s important or significant. So I’m done with you and if Ken really does have his oh so sensitive feelings hurt by all this I’d say maybe he should look at the real arguments and get the fuck over himself.

  116. #116 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Sastra -

    PZ was needlessly offensive. That’s an assessment that someone I know – who shares PZ’s disdain of irrational thought and superstition – and is a prominent evolutionary biologist, independently arrived at.

  117. #117 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    Concern Troll is concerned.

    Why is there only one viable way of approaching creationism?

    Mocking and ridicule are also effective. And quite fun.

  118. #118 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    I am by no means a cdesign proponentsist, so you’re way off on that assumption. I just have a visceral dislike for the parenthetical name dropping and self-promotion that tends to run through your posts. For me, it distracts from the good points you make.

    (I could also really do without reading your trademark phrase “medacious intellectual pornography” again. It’s just not as witty as you think, certainly not after the first 50 times or so. Sorry.)

    We’re on the same side as far as ID creationism, though. It was reactionary of you to assume that my poking a little fun of you means I’m too dumb to see through that charade.

  119. #119 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ sng -

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not Ken Miller’s sockpuppet, mindless stooge, or any other risible insult you can think of.

    BTW I’m especially mindful of insults since I refer frequently elsewhere to the Dishonesty Institute’s Fellows and Senior Fellows as that “band of mendacious intellectual pornographers”. But I’m not calling them names merely to insult them, but instead, to describe accurately their very modus operandi; that they are indeed peddling a mendacious intellectual pornography known as Intelligent Design creationism.

    Anyway, thanks for demonstrating that your intellectual capacity for clear, rational thought is as abysmal as anything I have read from the likes of Luskin, Klinghoffer, Dembski or Behe. Are you sure you’re not really a DI IDiot Borg drone in disguise? I wonder…..

  120. #120 john Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Lowell,

    I frankly don’t care whether I do name dropping. Seems to me that those who doth protest the loudest also practice it too.

    As for my phrase “mendacious intellectual pornography”, I think it is one that ought to be thrown at the Dishonesty Institute not only by me, but by many people, including you, for the very reason I stated in my most recent reply to sng.

  121. #121 tomh
    February 26, 2009

    Sastra wrote: Why are the standards changed when the subject has to do with religion…

    I think it stems from the mantra that is drilled into Americans from the time we are children, namely that religious belief, no matter how wacky, is beyond criticism or even discussion. We can see this in any number of ways, not the least of which is the number of laws that are bent in order to accomodate religious beliefs.

    Kwok, of course, is a different matter, merely distorting the issue to air his pet peeves, even bringing his favorite peeve, ERV, into the discussion, out of thin air, as it were.

  122. #122 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok #111 wrote:

    Again, I should remind you that I believe that PZ’s and ERV’s online conduct can be considered as counterproductive, by providing evolution denialists with ample proof that “belief in evolution means denial in GOD”

    I understand this argument, and why you make it. However, I still think there is room for multiple strategies.

    As PZ (and other so-called New Atheists) argue, it is not true that belief in evolution means denial of God. People can and do compartmentalize. But, the creationists are correct to the lesser extent that, if you accept evolution all the way down — and then apply the scientific method on the concept of God itself — God becomes an unnecessary hypothesis.

    Perhaps there is value in considering this from another perspective. It is not the atheists who are falling into the creationist’s trap. It is the creationists who are falling into the atheist’s trap.

    The theistic evolutionists should warn them about that. Creationists are making a ‘test for God.’ They should know not to do that.

    and those who subscribe in such a belief act irresponsibly, often in an infantile manner, towards those who are religiously devout.

    I think that arguments about tone, style, attitude, and manner don’t get very far. Again, different strategies. In addition to people who are “turned off” by harsh and mocking language, there are people who are “turned on.” Sometimes unexpected people from unexpected places.

    I’ll make another suggestion, re the “Overton Window.” Before the so-called New Atheists came along, with their harsh and nasty ways, atheists were routinely shut out from the public discourse. Now, they are often let in, so that they may tell the faithful that, even though they are atheists themselves, they can’t stand the harsh and nasty ways of the so-called New Atheists either. And then there is harmony and embraces, where there were none before.
    ;)

  123. #123 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    please direct me to the place where PZ called Miller a creationist. I somehow missed it.

    VMartin (because that’s who “Bernoulli” obviously is),

    1) Have you noticed that 1945 came before 1953?
    2) Read some textbook on genetics that was published in the last few years, not the last few decades.
    3) Read some modern work on mimicry, too.

  124. #124 sng
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    And just where did I say you were? I did say that you seem to be dismissing arguments simply because you don’t think they’re delivered very nicely and that I disagree with that assessment. I did ask you some, unanswered, questions about your first position. I did say that I had lost respect for you. Not that I started with a lot, mind.

    But I have not said anything that can even be remotely construed as any of the words you are putting in my mouth.

  125. #125 john Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ tomh,

    Should I remind you that ERV has, more than once, acknowledged PZ as her mentor? I think she should look to other, much better, mentors like Ken Miller, for example. Maybe then she could learn how to deal properly with the likes of Dembski and Luskin. Flipping the bird at Luskin is definitely a sign of her immaturity IMHO.

    That doesn’t mean of course that Ken doesn’t believe in ridicule either. For example, he told me privately that he thinks Mike Behe ought to be writing a textbook on Klingon biochemistry. Of course that is meant to be funny, echoing my own “advice” to both Behe and Dembski that, in lieu of promoting Intelligent Design creationism, that they should be writing instead, the definitive textbook on Klingon Cosmology (Since I think I’ve offered ample, persuasive evidence that there is indeed more “proof” for the reality of Klingon Cosmology than there is for Intelligent Design creationism.).

    I think it’s fine to ridicule and to laugh at Intelligent Design advocates and their acolytes. But I think one ought to do it in such a way that it is regarded as funny, without making the critic looking foolish too (which, I regret to say, both PZ and ERV have been guilty of more than once).

  126. #126 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok #115 wrote:

    PZ was needlessly offensive. That’s an assessment that someone I know – who shares PZ’s disdain of irrational thought and superstition – and is a prominent evolutionary biologist, independently arrived at.

    That’s a fair opinion, but one I disagree with. As I watched the situation unfold, my own view — which had been somewhat uncomfortable — changed. I thought he made a significant point, and with eloquence.

    So I’m not sure if this is a matter of having more information, or a different taste, strategy, or approach. Experience shows that a longer discussion is likely to end up with us agreeing to disagree.

    (Or, rather, a longer discussion is likely to end up with a longer and longer discussion, since Crackergate threads never end. I say no more. Bringing up the cracker is almost as bad as bringing up libertarianism or abortion. Beware!)

  127. #127 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Sastra -

    Let’s just agree to disagree. I was looking closely at that too and came away with my own, rather critical, interpretation of it. So did a prominent evolutionary biologist I know.

    On a more positive note, I am grateful that you’ve been able to express your disagreements with me in a most polite, quite civil, manner.

  128. #128 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok @ #111:

    Again, I should remind you that I believe that PZ’s and ERV’s online conduct can be considered as counterproductive, by providing evolution denialists with ample proof that “belief in evolution means denial in GOD”

    So, John Kwok, banned from the Amazon.com forums for advocating the assassination of President Obama (or rather, candidate Obama at the time), is lecturing others on “counterproductive online conduct”? Pot, meet kettle?

    Really, John, you were pretty damn CREEPY in that thread, defending McCain’s pick of a creationist nitwit for VP, babbling about divine wrath on Obama (while claiming to be a deist, a position incompatible with divine wrath), trying desperately to pretend you weren’t quite suggesting he should be assassinated, while making it obvious you would love to see it happen. I’ll have to go back and see if I can find that thread, though all of the Kwok posts were deleted as I recall. Only other commenter on Amazon I can recall that happening to was a creationist troll by the name of whoknows(nothing).

    John Kwok, living proof that support for science does not prevent one from being an insufferable ass.

  129. #129 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Maybe then she could learn how to deal properly with the likes of Dembski and Luskin. Flipping the bird at Luskin is definitely a sign of her immaturity IMHO.

    No, from reading the context, I think it was exactly appropriate at that point in their “discussion”.

  130. #130 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    It’s just a frackin cracker!

  131. #131 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    John, other “prominent evolutionary biologists” take a different view from you. Perhaps instead of pompously not-name-dropping, you could actually address the content of the arguments here.

  132. #132 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    John K.:
    Look up solipsistic personality and then look in a mirror. You are not the arbiter of anyone’s behavior beyond your own and any minor age children you may have fathered. Trying to control others tone and behavior whom you deem as wrong is just a way of distracting yourself from your own tone and behavior. Ever been accused of being a control freak? There was a reason for that.

    The obvious torch you carry for Ken Miller has gone from glowingly admirable to glaringly inappropriate. Even Ken would be a little embarrassed and tell you to take it down a couple of notches.

  133. #133 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ phantomreader42 -

    The last time I checked, I think I have reminded people that I recognize – if not support completely – Obama as my President (Your rather inane assertion is predicated on this – and only this – assumption: that Obama would usurp the Constitution’s legal authority, and try to rule as a “dictator for life”. Under such circumstances I noted that I would condone his removal from office by a military coup d’etat. However, I don’t think it is necessary, even though I strongly disagree with his current economic thinking regarding the stimulus package. But I do endorse his foreign and military policies, and his appointment of some very capable people, especially in the realm of science and technology. BTW, did I mention too that both his attorney general and a key White House advisor are fellow alumni of my high school too?).

    Thanks for demonstrating that your intellectual reasoning is as fine as any I’ve encountered from the likes of Behe, Dembski, Klinghoffer, Luskin, Nelson, Wells and their fellow Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers.

    Live Long and Prosper (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

    John Kwok

  134. #134 tomh
    February 26, 2009

    john Kwok wrote: Should I remind you that ERV has, blah, blah, blah.

    Are you sure that it doesn’t have more to do with the fact that she banned you from her blog for, in her words, “derailing every goddamn post of mine with trolling and wildly O/T comments, sending me dozens of emails a day DEMANDING I delete others posts. etc.”?

  135. #135 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ E. V.:

    What “torch” do I carry for Ken Miller? You must be joking. Merely to note that he has done far more with regards to criticizing Intelligent Design creationists and other creationists than PZ has ever done? A fact that was recognized recently with his receipt of the 2009 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award. I think you’ve taken leave of your senses.

  136. #136 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ David Marjanovi?, OM -

    Sure, you’re right. It’s quite appropriate for the rough and tumble Brooklyn, NY neighborhood I grew up in. It’s not appropriate in a college auditorium, no matter how strong Luskin’s provocative behavior – and I agree that it was quite provocative – may have merited that very act.

  137. #137 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    BTW, did I mention too that both his attorney general and a key White House advisor are fellow alumni of my high school too?).

    Why no,too. I missed that too.
    (Jeebus, his brain has turned to mush right before our eyes… too!)

  138. #138 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok:

    I frankly don’t care whether I do name dropping.

    Yeah, I picked up on that. That’s why I tried to point out that it puts me (and I suspect many others) off.

    Seems to me that those who doth protest the loudest also practice it too.

    I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I make an effort not to. (Not that I personally know any of the bigshots in the culture war, like you claim to.)

    As for my phrase “mendacious intellectual pornography”, I think it is one that ought to be thrown at the Dishonesty Institute not only by me, but by many people, including you, for the very reason I stated in my most recent reply to sng.

    No thanks. I don’t think it’s very effective. It’s too long for a slogan, for one thing (in my opinion). And even though I agree that it’s essentially correct, your incessant repetition of it just seems weird to me.

    Sorry to everyone else if I helped make this The John Kwok Thread (which, now that I think about it, probably only exacerbates his self-importance).

  139. #139 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ tomh -

    You must have flunked reading comprehension. If that was the reason, I think I’d be intellectually honest to admit it. But I hate to disappoint someone like yourself, who is an obvious ERV sockpuppet (Or rather, maybe a typical, quite delusional, member of the ERV Borg Collective.).

  140. #140 AnthonyK
    February 26, 2009

    You started out defending Ken and ended up defending yourself. I can see why, but it is a hard task here arguing yourself happy.
    I think that some religious people are our greatest allies and we are best off not alienating them with our “your belief is stupid” attitude – correct though it is.
    Hey, imagine what the situation must be like over in the creationist/ID “big tent”?
    I’d let it rest, if I were you John. It’ll make you cross, then drunk and cross, and I guarantee that none of your friends will understand why!

  141. #141 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Lowell -

    What’s weird? The fact that Intelligent Design creationism IS mendacious intellectual pornography, since it is promulgated by those – including several with Ph. D. degrees in the biological sciences who ought to know better – who rely on bizarre, unethical, and unprofessional behavior of the kind I have noted for Dembski in this very thread? Or the fact that I coined the term and am using it?

  142. #142 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ AnthonyK -

    Your view is that taken by the National Center for Science Education and the Clergy Letter Project.

    As for defending myself, trust me, I had no intention of doing so. But when there are some lurkers interested in taking shots at me….

    Appreciatively yours,

    John

  143. #143 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Okay John K.:
    The STNG Borg references have become off-putting in the sense that we feel we’re conversing with a geeky/nerdy virginal fanboi with acne and a pocket protector. It produced a forced smile the first time you used it, but now it’s just weird and annoying. Collect your dignity and walk away.

  144. #144 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    John Wilkes Kwok @ #132:

    The last time I checked, I think I have reminded people that I recognize – if not support completely – Obama as my President (Your rather inane assertion is predicated on this – and only this – assumption: that Obama would usurp the Constitution’s legal authority, and try to rule as a “dictator for life”. Under such circumstances I noted that I would condone his removal from office by a military coup d’etat. However, I don’t think it is necessary, even though I strongly disagree with his current economic thinking regarding the stimulus package. But I do endorse his foreign and military policies, and his appointment of some very capable people, especially in the realm of science and technology. BTW, did I mention too that both his attorney general and a key White House advisor are fellow alumni of my high school too?).

    So, you’re saying you would advocate a military coup in this country if Obama set himself up as a “dictator for life” (something he has not done, or even come close to doing), and you felt the need to repeatedly say this, at length, babbling about messiahs and roman emperors and other such bullshit, months before he was even elected, without the slightest speck of evidence that he would behave in such a way?

    I don’t recall a single time that you suggested you would support such a coup against McCain if he did the same thing. And there was as much evidence that he was plotting to become Emperor as that Obama was (that is, no evidence at all).

    And you’re name-dropping yet again. That seems to be compulsive with you, no matter how irrelevant it is to what you’re talking about. It’s not impressive. It doesn’t lend weight to your arguments. It’s just creepy and sad.

    Seek help, seriously. You’ve become a caricature of yourself. You’re a Republican cultist with paranoid delusions.

  145. #145 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    It’s the latter. Like I said, it’s an accurate description, but you seem to intone it like it has some magical power or something. It just doesn’t seem persuasive to me (and I’m on your side!)

    Then again, I agree with the notion that we need to take a multi-pronged approach to increasing scientific literacy, so maybe it will help convince some people but not others.

  146. #146 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ E. V. -

    BTW I am not really that much a fan of Star Trek now (An admission that will surprise Ken I’m sure.). I like “Babylon Five” a lot more. Have used the Borg Collective analogy merely to illustrate the inane reasoning I’ve encountered from those interested in speaking the Dishonesty Institute’s talking points about ID creationism, evolution, etc.

  147. #147 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ phantomreader42 -

    I’m such a “Republican cultist” that I now own a shrine to my Messiah, Obama, in my bedroom. Satisfied?

  148. #148 windy
    February 26, 2009

    Sorry to everyone else if I helped make this The John Kwok Thread

    Back off slowly… risk of an endless spiral of time-wasting absurdity

  149. #149 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Bringing up the cracker is almost as bad as bringing up libertarianism or abortion. Beware!

    Or gun control or circumcision, mwahah.

  150. #150 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ AnthonyK -

    Here’s the link to the Clergy Letter Project:

    http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/rel_evol_sun.htm

    I believe it’s also linked from the National Center for Science Education website:

    http://www.ncseweb.org

  151. #151 I Doubt It
    February 26, 2009

    Did you know that Ken Miller received the 2009 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award? I think I read that somewhere….

  152. #152 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    So, John Wilkes Kwok, what possible reason did you have for assuming your “messiah” would be in need of removal by a military coup? I mean, you must have had SOME reason, or you wouldn’t have spent weeks on Amazon derailing a thread about creationist nutcase GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin with your “Caesar Barack Obamus” bullshit, right? You wouldn’t be implying a Presidential candidate was plotting the overthrow of the United States Government based solely on the testimony of the voices in your head, would you? And by the way, what high school did those voices go to?

  153. #153 tomh
    February 26, 2009

    john Kwok wrote: If that was the reason, I think I’d be intellectually honest to admit it.

    No doubt in some corner of your mind you think you’re “intellectually honest”, (though how that differs from just being plain honest escapes me). But for anyone who followed this thread on Panda’s Thumb and watched you blatantly lie, ignore irrefutable facts, then lie some more, it would take a little more than your claims of honesty to be convincing.

  154. #154 AnthonyK
    February 26, 2009

    Well don’t say I didn’t warn you…

  155. #155 Rick R
    February 26, 2009

    phantomreader42 @151- “And by the way, what high school did those voices go to? ”

    And who are their friends? Any big names we should know about?

  156. #156 Ouchimoo
    February 26, 2009

    We can has ban now?

  157. #157 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ AnthonyK -

    If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve been ignoring my “fans”. Life is too short to dwell upon their intellectually-challenged thought, which, amusingly enough, resembles that from our Dishonesty Institute “friends” and acolytes (I find it especially amusing how much some of ERV’s thinking processes can resemble that of our “pal” Behe’s.).

    On a more serious note, I hope you found my links to the Clergy Letter Project and the National Center for Science Education worthy of note.

    Appreciatively yours,

    John

  158. #158 phantomreader42
    February 26, 2009

    I heard the voices in John’s head went to school with Napoleon Bonaparte! Or at least, a guy who said he was Napoleon. :P

    Also, their homeroom teacher was a 10,000 year old Atlantean wizard!

    I know all this because my pet dragon was the class hamster in a previous life. :P

  159. #159 Ouchimoo
    February 26, 2009

    Please?

  160. #160 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    I heard the voices in John’s head went to school with Napoleon Bonaparte!

    Oh please, it never said that, just that it was a “prominent 19th century French emperor”.

  161. #161 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ AnthonyK -

    Well, here’s something else to get the intellectually-challenged worked up. The world’s best orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker, is visiting NYC again, on its annual tour, which this year includes Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Mumbai. Am sure I’ll be reading some inane comments from some here and elsewhere critical of the fact that the orchestra is still almost entirely composed of WASPs, especially of the Teutonic variety. Guess whose “voices” I’ll be hearing….

    Cheers,

    John

  162. #162 Mrs Tilton
    February 26, 2009

    David @122,

    1) Mr Kwok is mistaken. PZ has never called Miller a creationist. (At least, I’ve never yet seen a post of his that did so, and I’d be astonished if I ever did.)

    Perhaps our enviably mentored young friend is confusing the owner of this website with its commenters. I do recall seeing a few, a very few comments suggesting that religious people who are also prominent reality-based scientists are nothing more than ID creationists after all (I think Collins is more often the target than Miller, but couldn’t swear Miller has always been spared). It goes without saying that I cannot be arsed to trawl the archives to find these comments, but young John is welcome to do so.

    I emphasise that these commenters represent an extreme minority position. Most people here (bar the minority of theistic science fans like Scott Hatfield, who presumably think Miller groovy all round — where is SH, BTW?) say two things about him. One, they regret his religious belief, in tones ranging from baffled sadness (“How could somebody otherwise so smart..?”) to mild mockery (“OK, sure, but in this one area he’s a total dork!”). Two, and at the very same time, they all say “As a scientist, educator, and advocate for reality in the schoolroom, he kicks righteous ninja ass.” (Ummm, BTW, John? That’s pretty much PZ’s position in this very thread.)

    2) Can you recommend any good recent stuff on mimicry?

    3) I really don’t want to harsh on John too much. He comes across as a bit of a pompous ass, but perhaps that just reflects insecurity. One doesn’t want to judge too harshly.

    Be that as it may, however, with the attitude he expresses here, I can’t imagine him, as a boy in a rough and tumble Brooklyn neighbourhood, lasting more than six or seven minutes before getting the mother and father of an arsekicking from everybody else on the playground, six year old girls included, just on general principle.

    Unless, of course, his “rough and tumble neighbourhood” was the Heights, or the Slope (on a name street east of Sixth). In that case, the six year old girls might not have joined in.

  163. #163 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Mrs. Tilton:

    I was told this by none other than Ken Miller. I’m not sure whether PZ denounced him on this very blog or in private e-mail correspondence.

    Speaking of Sixth Street, I used to have a sweetheart there long, long ago.

  164. #164 thalarctos
    February 26, 2009

    where is SH, BTW?

    He’s not around much these days, but for whatever it’s worth, I did see that the placoderm shagging thread brought him out of lurking.

  165. #165 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Can you recommend any good recent stuff on mimicry?

    No, just Google Scholar — which, IIRC, served me very well last time I had an extended discussion with VMartin.

  166. #166 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Mrs. Tilton -

    If I am sounding like a “pompous ass”, then I can’t help it. I’m trying to do my best Stephen Jay Gould imitation.

  167. #167 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Mrs. Tilton -

    You may wish to look at the latest edition of Douglas Futuyma’s evolution textbook for some examples of mimicry. I think he has sought to stay as current as possible in each edition.

  168. #168 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    If I am sounding like a “pompous ass”, then I can’t help it. I’m trying to do my best Stephen Jay Gould imitation.

    Now you’re just sounding like an ass.

  169. #169 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Trust me John K, you’re no SJG. You’re nowhere near the scholar or writer he was.

  170. #170 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ E. V. -

    You’re no Lloyd Bentsen either (I apologize in advance for misspelling his name if I have.).

    Who said I was Steve Gould? The best I ever did was to play a practical joke on him once… which I’ll not disclose here on this thread.

  171. #171 Mrs Tilton
    February 26, 2009

    John @160,

    WASPs, especially of the Teutonic variety

    We’re a little unclear on the concept of “WASP”, aren’t we, dear?

    The Angles and Saxons were both teutonic peoples, of course, and from my own personal perspective one Sasanach is much the same as any other. But for people for whom “WASP” is a concept with meaning and importance, Germanic descent is not the salient factor, or even a factor at all. Nobody, in other words, is going to think that a bunch of Austrian musicians are WASPs, especially when most of those Austrians are more likely Slavs or Magyars these days. (Oh, and David M. can spare the obvious remark that, not all that long ago, lots of those Slavs and Magyars would have been Austrian. They still wouldn’t have been considered very seriously for membership in the Boston Athenaeum.)

  172. #172 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Mrs. Tilton:

    You should also look here at this special Darwin commemorative issue. There may be some relevant examples:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/m3k441k67q3n/?p=e42b2dc855a6486f96921210910925df&pi=0

  173. #173 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Mrs. Tilton -

    I was kidding. I actually meant to say that the Wiener Philharmoniker has been referred to, sarcastically, at least here in New York City, as the “Vienna Boys Club”. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment, especially when the orchestra now includes French, Austrian and – I think Hungarian – women musicians too. Other ethnicities represented include Swiss, German, British, Czech, Australian, and now, its very first American; a new trombonist who is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

  174. #174 ken miller
    February 26, 2009

    With Respect to Post #162, claiming that PZ has never called me a “Creationst.”

    He did. The posting on Pharyngula is dated 9/9/2006:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/09/ken_miller_creationist.php

    Glad to correct the record,

    Ken Miller

  175. #175 5keptical
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok,

    Please shut up.

  176. #176 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    If anyone still wishes to doubt, the title of PZ’s post is:

    Ken Miller, creationist

    Ken is as much a creationist as Francisco Ayala, or Francis Collins, or Michael Rosenzweig, or any other religiously devout scientist who accepts evolution as valid mainstream science:
    in each and every instance, none of these prominent scientists ARE creationists.

    PZ’s inane reasoning is yet another example of the “slash and burn” tactics that he so quickly uses against anyone whom he thinks is wrong to subscribe to a religious faith.

  177. #177 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ 5keptical -

    THAT WAS KEN MILLER who posted the comment at Post #173. If you watch a video of him speaking at YouTube, etc. you’ll realize that I’m right.

  178. #178 Steve_C
    February 26, 2009

    Yeah. He was pretty pissed.

  179. #179 Mrs Tilton
    February 26, 2009

    John,

    (Snark) E.V. beat me to the obvious riposte, I see.

    (Again, snark) I’m sure your 6th Street sweetheart was a lovely girl, but 6th Street != Sixth Avenue, and is a fortiori not a name street, is it?

    (No snark) On the name-dropping thing: it must have been thrilling to study under such luminaries. But your mode of expression here is not having the effect that I think you think it has. In fact, though you might not realise this, it makes you look something of a git. I’ve often heard it’s best to wear one’s learning lightly. Perhaps we should wear at least as lightly the people we had our learning from. (Unless of course your aim here is to create an obnoxious parody internet persona, in which case carry on, you’re doing splendidly.)

    (Again, no snark) Thanks for the suggestion re: Futuyma. I have his text, but it’s a few years old and I suppose there may well be intervening editions.

  180. #180 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    I might have found Ken Miller’s comment persuasive, but he didn’t drop any names or mention which high school he went to, so I’m unconvinced.

  181. #181 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    THAT WAS KEN MILLER who posted the comment at Post #173. If you watch a video of him speaking at YouTube, etc. you’ll realize that I’m right.

    sigh

  182. #182 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ Lowell -

    Suggest you watch a video of Ken on YouTube. I can assure you, that was him.

    @ Mrs. Tilton -

    Which “luminaries” did I study under? I don’t remember reciting their names for either yours or anyone else’s benefit. Could you offer a guess?

  183. #183 Patricia, OM
    February 26, 2009

    Ken Miller – Do you still believe in the bullshit now, or have you changed your mind?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  184. #184 windy
    February 26, 2009

    Perhaps our enviably mentored young friend is confusing the owner of this website with its commenters.

    “Young”? I would imagine a young person wouldn’t have had time to meet all those people…

    I really don’t want to harsh on John too much. He comes across as a bit of a pompous ass, but perhaps that just reflects insecurity. One doesn’t want to judge too harshly.

    (Disregarding my own advice for a moment): It’s way beyond insecurity, IMO. John has behaved shamefully in trying to badmouth ERV all over the scientific blogosphere, revealing himself to be a vindictive creep. Apparently John doesn’t feel it’s necessary to “celebrate” her work to counter creationist claims.

  185. #185 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Here is part of the thread about Ken Miller:

    … The Lawrence Journal-World reports the same thing:But Miller said the root of the portrayal of religion and evolution as opposites may come from scientists who have an “anti-theistic interpretation of evolution,” a stance he disagrees with.”People of faith are shooting at the wrong target. They should not be shooting at evolution itself,” he said. Instead of attacking evolutionary theory, the argument should be against the anti-theistic interpretation of evolution, he said.I’d say he was pandering to a bunch of bible-walloping yahoos, except I think he honestly believes that nonsense himself. It still doesn’t excuse suggesting that everyone needs to start shooting at the godless, and he should realize that what he’s doing with that kind of argument is antagonizing a rather large subset of the scientific community.

    and this:

    More on that Miller guy
    Category: Creationism
    Posted on: September 9, 2006 8:07 PM, by PZ Myers

    I’ve now listened to a recording of Miller’s talk in Kansas. I like it even less

    Miller is an excellent speaker. He’s persuasive, he’s clear, he knows his science well, and he was an impressive participant in the conflict at Dover?and he was on the correct side. Here’s the problem: he’s wrong now.

    What he does is an insightful and lucid analysis of the problems with creationism, and then tries to wrap it up by identifying the source of the problem. Unfortunately, he places the blame in the laps of atheists, which is simply absurd. We’ve got fundamentalists straining to insert religious nonsense in the school curricula, and Miller’s response is turn around and put the fault on those godless secular people who have antagonized good Christian folk, giving them perfectly reasonable cause to fear for their immortal souls. How dare we? It’s only understandable that Kansans would object to godless interpretations of science!

    There are so many ways in which this is wrong:

    There is a reasonable case to be made that creationism is a response to modern (in the sense that they’re less than two centuries old) ideas that threaten traditional beliefs. I’ve made the case myself that what court cases from Scopes to Dover have done is alienated ordinary people by highlighting the failings of strongly held myths. However, who needs to change here? These new ideas are a response to new evidence and new and better frameworks for understanding the world; Miller is making an appeal to the old by blaming the vanguard of the new, and legitimizing creationist biases against those who don’t share their religion.

    His strategy involves simply throwing a rather large subset of the evolutionary biology community to the wolves; not literally, of course, but let’s redirect the political pressure they’re using to silence evolution to silencing atheists. This is pure demagoguery. Pick a group you know your audience dislikes, put the blame on them, and let the scapegoating begin. And don’t even try to pretend he’s trying to encourage an honest dialog: is that what we get in the debates over evolution with these people?

    I think he’s missing what should be the ultimate goal: getting people to recognize atheists as normal human beings, and making it clear that it is not OK to treat them as the amoral degenerates you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry. What we should be doing is saying, “Yes, many biologists are atheists (as are many non-biologists), they have different ideas than you do, but they aren’t threatening you, so get used to them.” Instead, it’s singling atheists out as the reprehensible Other, held to account for creationists’ dislike of evolution. If the source of the problem is widely held bigotry against atheists and atheism, shouldn’t we be trying to educate people to end that, rather than pandering to it?

    The idea is hopelessly naive. As Miller pointed out, many scientists already are real, live, active Christians, and many of them have been very influential. Mendel, Dobzhansky, Ayala, Miller himself?it’s been a tactic by the NCSE and others to actively promote these Christian biologists as role models, and heck, even I hand out Miller’s book to students who are struggling with the issues. Does it work? No. Does anyone say, “Well, the evolution by Dawkins and Mayr is bad, but the evolution by Conway Morris and Ayala is good”? The whole premise that the complaint is solely with the atheism of many of the proponents rather than with the implications and evidence of evolution itself is ludicrous. Is it only atheists who oppose the idea of a worldwide flood and promote the descent of humans from other primates? Shouldn’t Miller be aware that even his tame version of Catholicism is seen as a damnable hellbound doctrine by many creationists?

    One of the implications of evolutionary biology is that it is a cruel and wasteful and undirected process (and if you think otherwise, trot out the evidence. The Intelligent Design creationists sure are anxious to claim a directing force, and for all their bluster, they’ve failed to support it?as Miller knows full well.) I don’t think we are well-served by trying to hide the inescapable conclusions of the evidence; we’re better off facing the truth and building our lives around the facts. Miller finds his reason to get up in the morning in imagining a little god-shaped bundle of love hiding somewhere out of sight, and belittles Dawkins by wondering how he can get out of bed in the morning without that delusion. I am much more respectful of Dawkins’ views, embracing ‘mere’ reality, and working towards a hopeful vision of the future in our humanity rather than a myth’s whims.

    To those who disagree with my calling Miller a creationist: tough. I’ve read his book, I’ve listened to several of his talks. He believes that evolution is insufficient to explain our existence, and has to postulate a mysterious intelligent entity that just happens to be the Christian god as an active agent in our history, and further, he believes he can make common cause with more overt creationists by highlighting his religious beliefs. Theistic evolutionists are part of the wide spectrum of creationist beliefs, and that he personally endorses the power of natural processes in 99.99% of all cases does not change what he is, it just means we’re haggling over the degree.

  186. #186 James F
    February 26, 2009

    Whoa, whoa! I question whether reopening old wounds serves any purpose. I was under the impression that things were basically smoothed over between Ken and PZ. The past record is there for all to see, and those unfamiliar with it can brush up on history there. It’s fair to say, I think, that that particular altercation marked the nadir in the interactions between Ken and PZ. I think PZ will always be sarcastic when dealing with theists, but he did promote an excellent radio piece by Ken that I would have otherwise missed, so I see that as a positive.

  187. #187 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    The question is: How does Ken Miller respond to this:

    To those who disagree with my calling Miller a creationist: tough. I’ve read his book, I’ve listened to several of his talks. He believes that evolution is insufficient to explain our existence, and has to postulate a mysterious intelligent entity that just happens to be the Christian god as an active agent in our history, and further, he believes he can make common cause with more overt creationists by highlighting his religious beliefs. Theistic evolutionists are part of the wide spectrum of creationist beliefs, and that he personally endorses the power of natural processes in 99.99% of all cases does not change what he is, it just means we’re haggling over the degree.

  188. #188 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    I know who Kwok’s secret famous-memoirist-mentor is. He’s not always so coy (tee-hee!)

  189. #189 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Whoa, whoa! I question whether reopening old wounds serves any purpose. I was under the impression that things were basically smoothed over between Ken and PZ

    Obviously yes, since it was Mr. Miller who pointed out the specific thread. PZ hasn’t responded to this (I doubt he felt John K.s assertions merited attention or rebuttal) but Ken Miller is still harboring some discomforting feelings over that particular series of posts from 2006. Perhaps they need a little Kumbyah moment.

  190. #190 mgr
    February 26, 2009

    I would like to comment on the discussion regarding Richard Goldschmidt(KH, Tulse and Bernoulli).

    KH and Tulse– saltationism has a significant role in plant evolution, as it operates within the frame of polyploidy, and plants are perfectly capable of vegetative reproduction. This is where ideas of reticulate speciation originated from, particularly in the case of introgressive hybridization.

    Bernoulli– the problem with saltationism is that unique genotypes must survive to reproduce, in the case of animals, this would require a compatible mate (e.g. two genetically identical monsters of opposite sexes). Having a neat swarm of unique genotypes that cannot reproduce might be a curiosity in the sense of four legged frogs, but do not address biology’s concern with phylogeny, and the fact that descent with modification is both observable in the phenotype, and consistent with genetic mapping.

    Botanically Goldschmidt is correct, but his observation is trivial, as there is even less evidence for quantum speciation within plant lineages, and hopeful monsters once they emerge are still subject to natural selection.

    Mike

  191. #191 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Sven:
    Hell, I’m gonna start name-dropping like a motherfucker! I’ve got the goods on several D-listers and three or four B/C-listers. There are things Jamie Farr would rather you all not know…

  192. #192 'Tis Himself
    February 26, 2009

    In the 1970s I served in the same navy as a failed presidential candidate. My brother lives in the same city that a present US president calls home. Not only that but I went to high school with a man who was a starting wide receiver for a well known National Football League team for three years during the 1970s. Therefore you must take my pronouncements about monetary policy very seriously.

  193. #193 Reyn
    February 26, 2009

    Personally, i find it more annoying that people argue that evolution cannot be a religious person’s belief. Granted, my religion isn’t one of the ‘accepted’ ones. I’m pagan. But I sure as hell always believed in evolution. Even when I was growing up a good little catholic, I did.

    There are plenty of intelligent people who find it not at all illogical to believe in some form of the divine as well as in science.

    Just something to consider.

  194. #194 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    i find it more annoying that people argue that evolution cannot be a religious person’s belief.

    No has said it isn’t psychologically possible, as Miller, Collins, et al. make extremely clear. What is contested is whether is it scientifically consistent to argue for the whole of evolution and at the same time postulate a supernatural entity or entities that physically interferes in our universe.

    Just something to consider.

    You think we haven’t?

  195. #195 Your Mighty Overload
    February 26, 2009

    Bernoulli

    How about

    Molecular phylogenetics and the evolution of mimicry in the butterfly genus Basilarchia
    Hughes TM, Marcus JM
    JOURNAL OF INSECT SCIENCE Volume: 7

    or
    A common mechanism explaining the evolution of female-limited and both-sex Batesian mimicry in butterflies
    Ohsaki N
    JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY Volume: 74 Issue: 4 Pages: 728-734

    or

    Variable selection and the coexistence of multiple mimetic forms of the butterfly Heliconius numata
    Joron M, Wynne IR, Lamas G, Mallet J
    EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY Volume: 13 Issue: 7-8 Pages: 721-754

    Those three papers would seem to refute your point.

  196. #196 John Kwok
    February 26, 2009

    @ windy,

    No, I’m not a “‘vindictive’ creep”, but rather, an enthusiastic groupie when my favorite orchestra comes to town (BTW, I just spoke to one of its principal musicians, whom I will be seeing, along with his colleagues, performing this weekend. Unfortunately the local media critics don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for the world’s best symphony orchestra.).

    As for Abbie, she ought to be a bit less like PZ and more like Ken in dealing with creationist critics. I think she should – and I believe she has that responsibility – since hers is one of the most popular science blogs around. I’m not going to comment further except to note that I think our current hostility sounds more like a long-distance lovers quarrel. Now if I was truly engaged in attacking her every waking minute, I’d be doing it. Trust me. I have more important fish to fry against the real lunatics, the creationist creeps from the Dishonesty Institute, Answers in Genesis, and others of their ilk. I just hope for her sake that Abbie finally grows up and start emulating more responsible creationist critics like Eugenie Scott and Ken Miller…. not PZ.

    Respectfully yours,

    John

    P. S. Just came from an exceptional concert featuring a visiting Viennese string quartet that is definitely among the world’s very best (It was afterwards, at a private reception, that I spoke to the musician from the Wiener Philharmoniker.).

  197. #197 Kel
    February 26, 2009

    Again, I should remind you that I believe that PZ’s and ERV’s online conduct can be considered as counterproductive, by providing evolution denialists with ample proof that “belief in evolution means denial in GOD”

    So while a creationist may sit in a church, hearing constantly from his elders that evolution is a lie and that God made the world 6000 years ago, while they may be in a circle of friends where that myth is also perpetuated, where the literature they are exposed to (either willingly or otherwise) also backs up the young earth creation myth, how is it that the likes of PZ are in any way a problem? To me it seems like you are attacking the wrong target there.

    If there were no problem with reconciliation between god and faith, then surely the likes of PZ commenting about the incompatibility could be laughed off.

  198. #198 tomh
    February 26, 2009

    John Kwok wrote: As for Abbie, she ought to be a bit less like PZ…

    She has already shown herself to be far more aware than PZ by barring you from commenting on her blog.

    …our current hostility sounds more like a long-distance lovers quarrel.

    How did she put it again? Ah yes, “derailing every goddamn post of mine with trolling and wildly O/T comments, sending me dozens of emails a day DEMANDING I delete others posts, etc.” Yeah sure, lovers quarrel, that’s what it sounds like. Sounds more like she got sick of your dishonesty and trolling behavior.

  199. #199 a lurker
    February 26, 2009

    “8) Last May, at Uncommon Dissent, Dembski had the gall to whine and to moan about “rich Darwinists” like Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Francisco Ayala and Ken Miller for “making money” off of evolution. He also made the inane observation that we ought to support Intelligent Design since it is a “middle class” idea, whereas evolution is an “upper class” idea.”,/i>

    Wow. This is from a guy who charged the law firm defending the Dover school district $20,000 for writing his “expert” report? And then did not even testify? I bet many a student has written better reports and had to pay for the privilege. And as Dembski’s career is for all practical purposes is promoting ID and making good money doing so, his rant is hypocritical.

    Darwin was able to make money off his writings a couple decades before he announced his views publicly: The Voyage of the Beagle sold reasonably well. And of course Darwin did not need the money anyways as his family was rich enough that he could have lived very comfortably doing nothing.

    Sure Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, etc. make money selling books. This is because they good writers. Dawkins could have easily made money writing books with no connection to God, evolution, or science if he had wished.

    Dembski is not going to mention that for every scientist who makes significant money writing science books for the public, there are a many, many more that don’t. Most are not rich or famous. And they are as for evolution as Miller and Dawkins. Those who really want to get rich usually don’t become Ph.D. research scientists, they get MBAs…

  200. #200 Pete
    February 27, 2009

    Lovely. John Kwok is the puppetmaster, and you all are dancing to his music.
    He posted on average once every 10 minutes for 6 hours. A day well spent!

  201. #201 tomh
    February 27, 2009

    He posted on average once every 10 minutes for 6 hours.

    And some fool counted them all.

  202. #204 Sven DiMilo
    February 27, 2009

    (It was afterwards, at a private reception, that I spoke to the musician from the Wiener Philharmoniker.)

    Quoted for typicality.

    One surmises that the reception was given by a classmate of Kwok’s fellow alumni, all of whom graduated, with Kwok and his classmates, from the same prominent New York high school, where Frank McCourt used to teach Kwok and his fellow alumni classmates, before he earned his Masters in evolutionary geosciences and became personal friends with Ken Miller and other prominent evolutionary biologists, some of whom graduated from the same prominent high school as Kwok and his alumni classmates, as did advisors to Presidents and Kwok. Oh, and you should read his reviews over at Amazon.

  203. #205 John Kwok
    February 27, 2009

    @ Sven (re: Comment # 203) -

    You seem to be suffering from a bad case of reading comprehension, buddy. I noted in Comment # 82 a brief history regarding my personal ties to Ken Miller. As for my educational background, you’ve completely flunked, since I do not claim at my Amazon profile that I possess a degree in “evolutionary geosciences” (Scientific fields which are nonexistent.).

    As for the reception I attended last night, that was organized and held in the offices of a cultural organization whose employees are state employees of their country’s government (As to which government, I’ll give you a hint. I spoke to one of the most important musicians from a visiting orchestra that hails from the country in question.).

    Your inane remarks merely demonstrate that you are just as stupid as your fellow ERV sockpuppet tomh.

    John

    P. S. No, Mr. McCourt wasn’t in attendance either.

  204. #206 CJO
    February 27, 2009

    Yeah, the stalker will always claim it was “a lover’s quarrel,” the stalkee, not so much.

    I used to wonder what the kids meant, calling a person “a tool.” It is now perfectly, aye, even painfully clear. Thanks for the education, John.

  205. #207 John Kwok
    February 27, 2009

    @ CJO -

    Depends what your definition of “stalking” is. I can assure you that my actions were honorable. As for Abbie, I can refer you to her recent “baiting” of Luskin and West – knowing that she would most likely get her butt kicked in the process – and a recent misinterpretation of a major discovery in evolutionary biology (Which she began with a petulant observation that she could learn as much about evolution studying HIV-1 virus in a few weeks than a team of scientists who had published a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper correlating increasing organismal body size with changes in the oxygen composition of Earth’s atmosphere over the past 4 billion years. Not even a noted microbial ecologist and virologist, Paul Turner of Yale University, would make such an inane comment as Abbie did, noting only that observed rates of natural selection are much faster in microbes and viruses than in metazoans; I heard him state this observation at a talk he gave here in New York City two weeks ago.), as glaring examples of her immature adolescent behavior.

    Just for the record, if I was Abbie, I wouldn’t claim sole credit for “getting” Dembski at his September, 2007 talk. She was able to do that amidst a friendly audience – in a talk originally designed for the University of Oklahoma’s fundamentalist Protestant Christian community – thanks to the hard work of an ad hoc committee of Oklahoma faculty who published an advertisement protesting his visit that very morning in the campus newspaper. What most people don’t know is that the head of that committee contacted me via e-mail more than a month before Dembski’s visit and requested my assistance. While I won’t take much credit, I do know that my contributions were timely and important and helped ensure a successful “reception” for Dembski.

  206. #208 John Kwok
    February 27, 2009

    @ CJO

    I presume that this is what windy meant when she accused me of trying “to badmouth ERV all over the scientific blogosphere:

    “If what Luskin claims to be true at his blog that Abbie was merely echoing what John Lynch had said at a recent public appearance at the University of Oklahoma, then she should have thought clearly before repeating it, lest she be misconstrued as one of Lynch?s acolytes (And I don?t mean this as a criticism of Lynch BTW.).”

    “Alas Abbie has a tendency to jump to conclusions, especially when they are unwarranted, as noted here in her rather inane discussion of ‘evolutionary potential’, misinterpreting what PZ Myers had said with regards to an important PNAS paper co-authored by Payne et al. last month which correlated increasing organismal body size with changes in the oxygen composition of Earth?s atmosphere over the last 4 billion years:

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/01/latent_evolutionary_potential.php#comments

    “It?s really a sign of her immaturity when she noted at that blog entry:

    ‘Gawd I love doing HIV-1 research. Stuff that takes big-stuff-biologists millions of years to watch, we can figure out in a few weeks.’

    “I heard a talk on February 13th given by Yale microbial ecologist and virologist Paul Turner who, while noting that we do observe the fastest examples of natural selection in microbes and viruses, did not leap to the inane assertion that we understand it better than we do for metazoans.”

    “You could say that Abbie was hoisted by her own petard during the Q & A session following Luskin?s ?speech?.

    If the preceding comments that I posted elsewhere are indeed examples of trying to “badmouth” ERV, then they are rather tepid to be sure. I wonder if windy knows when someone is trying to “badmouth” someone else.

  207. #209 CJO
    February 27, 2009

    You can quit addressing me, John. I’m not interested in your inflated opinion of yourself, or, to be honest, your opinions about anything.

    kthxbai

  208. #210 John Kwok
    February 27, 2009

    @ CJO -

    Don’t think I have an inflated opinion of myself. However, I won’t let anyone attack me online and think that he/she/it will get away with it. Understand?

    If you don’t wished to be addressed by me, then don’t post anything about me.

  209. #211 Patricia, OM
    February 27, 2009

    John K. – Coming here to bitch about someone else, that evidently banned you from her blog, is poor form old boy.

    If you keep it up long enough you’ll get banned here too. Fresh trolls we enjoy, but 2nd hand trolls that are beginning to decay just smell up the place.

  210. #212 John Kwok
    February 27, 2009

    @ Patricia, OM -

    Sorry, I strongly beg to differ when both the person I have referring to, and her mentor, PZ, have been quite zealous in attacking the religiously devout merely to alienate them…. and, in so doing, providing additional proof for creationist zealots claiming that scientists are really atheists who think that “belief in evolution is denial of GOD”. You may have missed my message that ERV needs to polish up her act and try to emulate more, the likes of Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott, not PZ, when she attacks creationists.

    I wouldn’t have mentioned ERV if she hadn’t admitted more than once that PZ is her mentor. I wouldn’t be criticizing PZ if he didn’t attack Ken Miller for being a creationist, as noted in Comment # 173 by Ken Miller himself.

    IMHO, the case is closed.

  211. #213 Patricia, OM
    February 27, 2009

    Good, then stop banging on about it.

  212. #214 PZ Myers
    February 27, 2009

    Ditto. I have heard your suggestion, considered it, and decided that it is truly stupid.

  213. #215 'Tis Himself
    February 27, 2009

    Has Mr. “I went to high school and/or college with almost every important person that you’ve ever heard of but I’m not bragging about how I went to high school and/or college with almost every important person you’ve ever heard of, even though I went to high school and/or college with almost every important person you’ve ever heard of” left yet?

  214. #216 H.H.
    February 27, 2009

    I had always found John Kwok to be an annoying, name-dropping sycophant, but he really revealed himself to be a Grade A basket case during the run up to the election. He was one of the vocal lunatics comparing Obama’s oratory skills to Hitler, claimed that Obama was building his own “private army” of brownshirts, and argued that Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen and that his birth certificate had been forged, etc. It was all real tinfoil hat conspiracy stuff, and I’ve made it a point to avoiding reading anything that nut has to say ever since.

    He is not the sort of person anyone wants defending them. I’m sure Ken Miller is embarrassed.

  215. #217 Kel
    February 27, 2009

    John, considering that most creationists become creationists through churches, they have the preachers singing hellfire, exist in social circles where creationism is propagated, and expose themselves to literature that only confirms their worldview, just how much do you think the likes of PZ saying “evolution and God are incompatible” has an effect on what people believe?

    And for that matter, why aren’t religious moderates doing more to show they are compatible? Time after time we hear that the Big Bad Atheists who represent a tiny minority of society are the ones responsible, yet it seems to be the opposite. Why aren’t those who have reconciled God and evolution not doing more to bridge that gap? (Ken Miller excluded) Why aren’t theists instead trying to show just how the two views can be reconciled instead of complaining at the atheists who don’t? Creationists will see an incompatibility regardless of what the likes of PZ says, it’s up to moderate theists to show that the two ideas can be reconciled rather than blaming a minority who for 99.9% of things they say are ignored.

  216. #218 tomh
    February 27, 2009

    John Kwok wrote: Depends what your definition of “stalking” is. I can assure you that my actions were honorable.

    Depends what your definition of “honorable” is. “…sending me dozens of emails a day DEMANDING I delete others posts”, that doesn’t sound very honorable. Lying for weeks on a Panda’s Thumb thread and never owning up to it, that doesn’t sound very honorable. Claiming “I’d be intellectually honest” instead of just being honest, that doesn’t sound very honorable. But I guess it just depends on your definition of “honorable.”

  217. #219 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    sez Kwok:

    You seem to be suffering from a bad case of reading comprehension, buddy.

    You mean, I guess, a case of bad reading comprehension. A shame I can’t get private lessons from Frank McCourt, prestigious memoirist and your favorite teacher at your prominent New York public high school.
    (Dude, I’ve read your stuff before.)

    I noted in Comment # 82 blah blah blah blah in question.).

    You are humorless, as always. I was parodying your unique general style, not attempting factual assertion. And please understand, John: neither I nor anybody else reading the thread has the slightest interest in the reception you attended. Please try to grok this: we. don’t. care.

    Your inane remarks merely demonstrate that you are just as stupid as your fellow ERV sockpuppet tomh.

    Huh wha? a) “I do not think that “sockpuppet” means what you think it means. b) I actually don’t read ERV much at all (but I do remember an old comment thread over there in which you asked her out…lover’s quarrel, hey?).

  218. #220 windy
    February 28, 2009

    I too graduated from the most prominent high school in my town (it was on top of a hill).

    Sven: maybe we shouldn’t encourage the alker-stay…

  219. #221 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ PZ -

    In light of the fact that Ken Miller received this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science Public Understanding and Technology Award, maybe you should cease needling him at every opportunity.

  220. #222 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ Kel -

    Your inane logic fails to explain the likes of Evangelical Protestant Christian Keith Miller (an invertebrate paleobiologist, no relation to Ken Miller), Conservative Jew Michael L. Rosenzweig (among our most distinguished ecologists), Evangelical Protestant Christian Francis Collins (formerly, Director, Human Genome Project) and last, but not least, former Roman Catholic monk Francisco Ayala (one of our most eminent evolutionary geneticists). I can assure you, they are not in the minority of scientists who profess some belief in a GOD and accept as valid science, modern evolutionary theory.

  221. #223 AnthonyK
    February 28, 2009

    John, just leave it! People will continue to post horrible things about you, they will never stop no matter what you say, and you won’t “win”.
    Don’t do this to yourself, mate! Go out and look at nature – and marvel. I guarantee it will not call you names!
    Or, put it this way – the more you post as an unpopular poster, the more stupid it makes you look.
    And we don’t want that do we?

  222. #224 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    re: Comment # 220

    It’s actually the AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award.

    As for being a potential Ken Miller sockpuppet PZ, I may actually surprise you. Why? I may share some of your concerns regarding Ken’s religious thinking. However, unlike you, I don’t conclude automatically that “Ken is a creationist”, when there are ample facts demonstrating that such a conclusion is erroneous, starting with his excellent testimony on behalf of the plaintiffs during the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial (And that’s a major reason why he received this year’s AAAS award.).

  223. #225 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ AnthonyK -

    One of my heroes, John Adams, our second president, was reviled for speaking the truth. I don’t care if that is hapenning now.

    But you’re absolutely right about one thing. I have more important things on my mind now, such as enjoying three wonderful concerts given this weekend here in New York City by the Wiener Philharmoniker, the world’s best symphony orchestra.

  224. #226 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    yeah, OK, I’m feeling better now…I’m quite sure that I’ve gotten any propensity for Kwok-baiting out of my system…phew.
    I do want to thank John, though, for posting the complete list of eminent modern biologists who also publicly profess their theistic beliefs. It can be done, those are the gentlemen who have done it, and now we all have a handy list for reference.
    The point being? That PZ (and [non-sequiturally] ERV) need to stop being such meany poopy-heads?
    Got it, concern noted.

  225. #227 AnthonyK
    February 28, 2009

    There you go then. In preparation, why not listen to say…one of Beethoven’s Late Quartets, or something else sublime. But don’t beat yourself up here!
    Incidentally, John Adams (great TV special, by the way) would not have done anything if he’d posted here, and would have ended up an unknown, embittered drunk.
    I too, think Ken Miller a man worthy of great respect, but that’s my opinion and I’ve said, briefly. So have you.
    Last post, so, really, please, fuck off and do something else with your head.
    And I mean that very politely.

  226. #228 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2009

    In light of the fact that Ken Miller received this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science Public Understanding and Technology Award, maybe you should cease needling him at every opportunity.

    You are really much enamored with the trappings of authority, aren’t you? Sorry. Getting an award from the AAAS does not suddenly make one immune from criticism. It also doesn’t confer infallibility.

    I don’t have infallibility, but I do have omnipotence in the very limited domain of this blog. You are working on a Tedious Git award yourself, which is likely to earn you a prestigious mention in my blog filters.

  227. #229 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    You know, that’s excellent advice, Anthony, and it probably applies to some degree to all of us. I for one intend to log off right now!!!! and do, you know, something else for a while.

    But first, SNC-EOTI!!!! (that’s “needs copy-editing”):

    their country’s government (As to which government, I’ll give you a hint. I spoke to one of the most important musicians from a visiting orchestra that hails from the country in question.) Austria

    OK. Seeya.

  228. #230 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    Just when I think I’m out, they drag me back in. [/pacino]
    PZ, would you mind checking the IP for comment #173?

    I’m just curious, and for some reason watching a clip of Dr. Miller on YouTube, as suggested, did not convince me one way or the other. Thanks.

  229. #231 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2009

    That was Ken Miller. He does occasionally read the blog, and he’s actually the fellow who alerted me to his appearance on NPR.

  230. #232 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    Good! Thanks.

  231. #233 Steve_C
    February 28, 2009

    holy crap. shut the hell up Kwok.

  232. #234 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ PZ -

    My favorite “mantra” is “Question Authority”, which seems to be the favorite mantra of fellow alumni from mine – and Ken Miller’s – undergraduate alma mater. So I’m not defending Ken because he won the AAAS award, but because he is my friend, and because -much to my delight – he has earned ample respect and appreciation from our fellow alumni for his teaching excellence on campus.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I alerted him and Jerry Coyne to this blog.

  233. #235 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    fellow alumni from mine – and Ken Miller’s – undergraduate alma mater

    Can you believe this guy?

  234. #236 AnthonyK
    February 28, 2009

    *shakes head slowly from side to side*

  235. #237 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ Sven -

    Maybe you forgot Comment # 82, which I’m not going to repost here. I suggest you read it again, since I mention there how I met Ken Miller.

  236. #238 Steve_C
    February 28, 2009

    Kwok

    We

    Don’t

    Fucking

    Care

  237. #239 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ Steve_C:

    Obviously you do care, given your inane remark:

    “Although I greatly appreciate PZ’s consistently excellent work in exposing IDiots and other fanatical creationists, I draw the line at his harsh criticism of Ken Miller’s religious beliefs, going so far as accusing Ken once of being a creationist (In the interest of full disclosure, I had the privilege of assisting Ken in his very first debate against a creationist, when he was a newly-arrived assistant professor of biology and yours truly, an undergraduate, on the campus of our undergraduate alma mater, Brown University, years ago. Ken is both a friend and mentor with respect to my own ongoing battle against creationists – especially Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers like my ‘pal’ Bill Dembski – elsewhere online.). I believe PZ’s criticism is especially unwarranted since Ken has done far more work against creationists, period (For example, his testimony at the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial and his many debates, for which he has been honored in print by eminent philosopher of science Philip Kitcher, as the ‘redoubtable Ken Miller’.).”

  238. #240 AnthonyK
    February 28, 2009

    Steve, that is a conspicuous waste of rant space. It’ll all be gone soon, and it’ll be your fault. I hope you’re happy.

  239. #241 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2009

    Yes, John, I had forgotten your seminal comment #82. Thanks for rebringing it to my unforgivably, but only temporarily, divided attention. Please be assured that I have just updated my assiduously complete log of Kwoklore to reflect this important piece of background information and, further, will never ever Ever confuse you with another attempt at humor at your oblivious expense again. Nor, in fact, will I ever again address you, neither directly nor indirectly, in future comments to this or any other blog or forum. I do sincerely hope that you (and, of course, your prominent classmates and fellow alumni) have a nice life.

  240. #242 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    @ Sven -

    Have a good life too…. and when you find yourself the target of Dishonesty Institute staff or other creationists, don’t even think of asking me for help.

  241. #243 Patricia, OM
    February 28, 2009

    Kwok off.

  242. #244 E.V.
    February 28, 2009

    Sven:

    The DSM-IV-TR defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as “an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts”, such as family life and work.

    According to the DSM-IV-TR, a patient must exhibit five or more of the following traits in order to be diagnosed with NPD:

    *grandiose sense of self-importance
    *preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    *belief that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    *need for excessive admiration
    *sense of entitlement
    *takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    *lacks empathy
    *often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    *shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Sound familiar?

  243. #245 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2009

    Kwok, stop talking and think about this for a minute.

    Maybe every point you make is completely right (I don’t think they are, but let’s just pretend for a moment). Maybe you are on the side of the angels, and if only you were put in complete control of the anti-creationist movement, we would see complete victory in a decade. OK? Somehow I don’t think you’ll have any trouble imagining this scenario at all.

    Now take a look at what people are saying here. They are pointing out that you are a name-dropping tedious bore, an obsessive compulsive, and a pompous ass. Even if you were the great general with the perfect strategy, you would be getting fragged on day one. One reason that we don’t think your advice is any good is that a really good strategist would step back and rethink what they are doing…but what do you do? You copy and paste the same stupefyingly pretentious comments again. It’s as if you’re an idiot-savant who skipped the savant lessons.

    You’re not doing yourself any favors. Get one thing straight: we do not care about your little CV of past associations, not one bit. And we find ourselves getting very annoyed when you keep dragging the pathetic thing out and waving it in our faces, as if it were such sufficient proof of your intelligence that you feel no need to demonstrate it in substantial ways.

  244. #246 Kel
    February 28, 2009

    Your inane logic fails to explain the likes of Evangelical Protestant Christian Keith Miller (an invertebrate paleobiologist, no relation to Ken Miller), Conservative Jew Michael L. Rosenzweig (among our most distinguished ecologists), Evangelical Protestant Christian Francis Collins (formerly, Director, Human Genome Project) and last, but not least, former Roman Catholic monk Francisco Ayala (one of our most eminent evolutionary geneticists). I can assure you, they are not in the minority of scientists who profess some belief in a GOD and accept as valid science, modern evolutionary theory.

    I understand that there are many who accept evolution, but again you are missing the point. (in order to name drop)

    Quite simply I put it to you that if atheists stopped saying that evolution and religion are incompatible, the problem of creationism won’t go away. Hence blaming the atheists is misdirected. Instead more needs to be done by those who believe they are both compatible, people of influence in the community. So what there is wrong about this statement?

    Funny that you’ll mention sending this to Jerry Coyne after his “seeing and believing” article.

  245. #247 John Kwok
    February 28, 2009

    PZ -

    You are merely proving my point that there are some religiously devout people who would conclude, however erroneously, that “belief in evolution equals DENIAL OF GOD”.

    Moreover, I should note that I have seen more ecumenical behavior from a certain British friend of yours (e. g. his 2007 New York Times Book Review of a certain book proclaiming the “mathematical limits to Darwinism”) than, regrettably, what I am reading from you and those in complete agreement here in this discussion thread.

    Wouldn’t it help, perhaps, if you displayed some tolerance? Without trying to sound smug and superior, I must credit alumni and current students I have met from my undergraduate alma mater for expressing and demonstrating tolerance of differing cultural, especially religious, values. I think your credible arguments against embracing superstition and ignorance would have more validity if your excellent words were matched equally well with comparable deeds (In plain English, could you take a break from poking fun at the Roman Catholic Christian church? While I agree that it often merits such amusement, I think your actions may have proven to be quite counterproductive. And, by no means, am I suggesting that you find another target, say, Sunni Islam, for example.)

    PZ, I greatly admire your scientific reporting. Please spend more time on that. Engaging in behavior that, oddly enough, is reminiscent of what I have read or heard from the Dishonesty Institute reflects poorly upon yourself and on those of us who want to keep the focus aimed solely on the Dishonesty Institute and its pathetic band of mendacious intellectual pornographers, and of course, on other so-called “scientific creationists”.

    Respectfully yours,

    John

  246. #248 Patricia, OM
    February 28, 2009

    Kwok, Kwok, Kwaaaaaaok!

    Crocoduck impression.

  247. #249 'Tis Himself
    February 28, 2009

    Without trying to sound smug and superior

    Epic fail, Kwok. You are the most pompous, condescending prig I’ve come across in a long time.

  248. #250 SC, OM
    February 28, 2009

    I think your credible arguments against embracing superstition and ignorance would have more validity…

    What a kwok of shit.

  249. #251 windy
    February 28, 2009

    I wouldn’t have mentioned ERV if she hadn’t admitted more than once that PZ is her mentor. I wouldn’t be criticizing PZ if he didn’t attack Ken Miller for being a creationist, as noted in Comment # 173 by Ken Miller
    himself.

    In that case, can we criticize Ken Miller for your behavior? Dr Miller, please put your mentoree back on the leash.

    (just kidding, of course Miller isn’t responsible, I’m just applying John’s own argument)

  250. #252 Patricia, OM
    February 28, 2009

    SC, OM – Oh dear, this could get ugly! ;) (#249)

    Kwok-a-doodle-doo! Rooster impression from a cluckhead. Pfffft!

  251. #253 PZ Myers
    February 28, 2009

    Respectfully, Up Yours, John.

    Try actually reading some of the criticisms here, instead of simply typing out the words of your interior monologue.

  252. #254 John Kwok
    March 1, 2009

    PZ -

    It bears reminding what Porky Pine said in Comment # 2, which I am reposting here for your benefit:

    “What is it between you and Ken Miller? Did he pee in your corn flakes or something? It seems like he’s the uni-brow baby to your Maggie. Is it the fact that he believes in a god that bothers you? I don’t believe in a god either but if I wanted someone to defend evolution, he’d be one of the ones I’d want to do it.”

    As for myself, I am not going to answer each and every ludicrous comment posted here by you and your acolytes. Why? You can look at Comment # 160. That wonderful ensemble has been reminding me as to how devout religious faith inspired the likes of Bruckner and Schubert towards composing some of their most memorable works; in fact, Bruckner’s 9th symphony – which I heard Friday night, and, alas, he did not live to complete – was one that he dedicated to GOD. Anyway, I’m off to hear them perform the last concert in their annual visit to New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Those of you who reside in Los Angeles will have the opportunity of hearing them early this week, as they complete the USA leg of their around-the-world tour, with remaining stops in Beijing, Mumbai and the United Arab Emirates, before flying back to their Central European hometown.

  253. #255 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 1, 2009

    instead of simply typing out the words of your interior monologue.

    diarrhea of the mouth mind

  254. #256 can't...resist
    March 1, 2009

    Bruckner’s 9th symphony – which…, alas, he did not live to complete – was one that he dedicated to GOD.

    um…

    But anyway, Kwok sure does love him some Wieners.

  255. #257 PZ Myers
    March 1, 2009

    That’s a new one. Anton Bruckner dedicated a symphony to a god, therefore, god exists. Or, perhaps, god is therefore useful or good or something.

    Oh, and the orchestra is going to Mumbai, UAR, and Beijing, therefore, it is true.

    Lord, Kwok, but you are a tedious git. You aren’t going to answer every comment, which is fine (actually, I encourage you to answer none of them and just go away), but the ones you do choose to address will be with irrelevant anecdotes that puff up your pontifical attitude, which is bad.

  256. #258 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 1, 2009

    Bruckner’s 9th symphony – which…, alas, he did not live to complete – was one that he dedicated to GOD.

    Perhaps god did not want Bruckner to complete the Ninth, did not like the work in progress and decided to bring it to an end.

  257. #259 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2009

    let the record show: I am (metaphorically) walking away

  258. #260 SC, OM
    March 1, 2009

    diarrhea of the mouth mind ego

  259. #261 John Kwok
    March 3, 2009

    @ PZ -

    You can thank the blizzard which struck New York City and the rest of the East Coast yesterday for my silence. Maybe, just maybe, there are more culturally aware readers of this increasingly inane blog discussion thread who might be interested in seeing the Wiener Philharmoniker perform in LA tonight and tomorrow night. Maybe that didn’t cross your culturally starved mind, I suppose?

    Incidentally, much to my amazement, and completely out of the blue, I spent at least ten minutes talking about you with Ken Miller when I saw him last spring after an AMNH talk he gave. I didn’t bring him up; he did. I’m not going to repeat what we said, but we were both of like minds with regards to your “stunt” with Premise Media at the Mall of America last spring (I’ll let you guess as to what our “verdict” was.).

    Just out of curiosity, what EXACTLY IS your problem with Ken? Obviously he is going out of his way to be friendly towards you by alerting you to his radio talk, and you return the compliment by giving a little dig at him.

    Think you can let it rest for once?

    John

  260. #262 PZ Myers
    March 3, 2009

    Think you can let it rest for once?

    You are oblivious to irony.

    And just what do you mean, my “stunt” with Premise? I was in the movie. I went to see the movie. I did nothing but stand in line, and was thrown out of the movie. What, exactly, do you think I did?

    What you call a “dig” was a bit of self-deprecating humor, accompanied by a compliment to Miller’s piece. Why don’t you toddle off and grow a sense of humor before you come back again, OK?

  261. #263 clinteas
    March 3, 2009

    Is this the tedious Kwok troll that used to post on ERV?
    gawd help us all….

  262. #264 E.V.
    March 3, 2009

    Kwok is trying to stir shit up, but he’s clueless or apathetic that he comes off as narcissistic, pretentious and -shall I say – inventive. He would have to supply an affidavit for everything he said before I would even ask him what time it was. Let’s just say he has issues and move on.

  263. #265 John Kwok
    March 4, 2009

    @ PZ -

    You may think it’s “humor”, but others were asking you – before I stopped by – what the heck is your problem with Ken. While I’m not going to psychoanalyze either you or Ken, I am still a bit surprised that we spent at least ten minutes talking about you while I shared a cab ride with him back to his hotel room after his AMNH talk (Incidentally, both you and Dembski were discussed at length.).

    No, I am not “oblivious to irony”. Not when it seems as though every other blog discussion thread you’ve created seems to be an attack of some kind on organized religion, especially on the Roman Catholic Christian Church (What did the Catholic Church do to you in your youth, I wonder? I have seen or read far more ecumenical behavior from my favorite high school English teacher and his actor brother towards the Roman Catholic Church, and, in general, religion, than I have read from you (Sorry for name dropping. But if you can mention your British friend – whom I have met at a booksigning here in New York City years ago (along with his wife) – then I can mention my famous former teacher.). Moreover, both men have far more reasons to be hostile towards the Church than you, but I have yet to see any semblance from them of the very hostility which you post here at this blog.

  264. #266 PZ Myers
    March 4, 2009

    As is typical, Kwok ignores everything anyone said, unless it reinforces the endless little monologue running through his brain.

  265. #267 John Kwok
    March 4, 2009

    As is typical, Myers ignores anything I say, unless it reinforces the endless little monologue running through his brain.

  266. #268 John Kwok
    March 4, 2009

    @ PZ -

    With regards to the Premise Media “affair”, you decided to “crash” it even after you were told that you wouldn’t be welcomed (In a similar vein, I don’t have much sympathy for your acolyte ERV either in “crashing” her recent campus event featuring Luskin.). Both Ken and I concluded independently that you’ve spent too much time protesting about your “explusion”.

    John

    P. S. I’ve had my own disagreements with Ken, but unlike you, I don’t go out of my way to
    “spill the beans” online.

  267. #269 Sven DiMilo
    March 4, 2009

    Walking away.
    I am walk…ing…a…way.

  268. #270 PZ Myers
    March 5, 2009

    Errm, no, John. You don’t seem to grasp the basics of the story. I was not told I wouldn’t be welcomed before I signed up. I followed their protocol and registered under my own name for the event, and received an automated acknowledgement telling me that I could come, with my listed guests. And when I showed up and they sicced a security guard on me and told me that I had to leave, I politely and quietly followed their instructions and left the theater.

    I think I have concluded independently that you are a moron.

    Goodbye.

  269. #271 John Kwok
    March 5, 2009

    @ PZ -

    “I think I have concluded independently that you are a moron”.

    I couldn’t have said it better about yourself. Moreover, in light of your bigotry towards organized religion, I wonder whether you’d be accepted at a culturally and religiously diverse university like mine and Ken’s undergraduate alma mater. Whatever you do, I hope you don’t decide to go after Islam next (I shudder to think as to what “treatment” you might receive at the hands of some of my cousin’s more “moderate” friends, who seem far more sympathetic to Islamist, not moderate theological movements, within Islam.).

    I think you missed my point that both Ken and I have agreed independently that you wasted too much time whining and moaning about your mistreatment at the hands of Premise Media (And really, PZ, I am referring more to what transpired with you and them as your pal RD was watching at their Mall of America event, not the very act of online registration with them.).

    Respectfully yours,

    John

  270. #272 Ichthyic
    March 5, 2009

    I think you missed my point that both Ken and I have agreed independently

    argumentum ad populum.

    …and only with a number of “2″!

    laughable.

    funny, literally hundreds of others have independently concluded his efforts bore much fruit, and dragging the issue out repeatedly was not only useful, but necessary given how the other side tends to act out their denial fantasies.

    and yet, with all that, you won’t find anyone HERE claiming that we have justification in numbers.

    One wonders if you understand the real purpose of things like “Project Steve”, John.

    I hope you don’t decide to go after Islam next (I shudder to think as to what “treatment” you might receive at the hands of some of my cousin’s more “moderate” friends, who seem far more sympathetic to Islamist, not moderate theological movements, within Islam.).

    damn, this almost sounds like you have fatwa envy there, John.

    are you sure you wouldn’t like to take a deep breath and reconsider?

    you DO tend to sound like a complete ignoramus when you get upset about things, I’ve noticed.

  271. #273 Ichthyic
    March 5, 2009

    what the heck is your problem with Ken.

    strawman. If you actually read any of PZ’s commentary on Ken’s theistic arguments, you’d find him in great support of Ken himself, but not his application of theistic evolution.

    It’s like you want everyone under the tent to march in lockstep, John.

    Have you ever actually spent time in scientific debate? say, after a paper has been presented at a conference, or during a critical paper analysis group meeting?

    I think you might find that scientists can disagree quite vehemently on materials and methods, results and conclusions, without thinking the person representing the opposing viewpoint is an ignoramus.

    With your current line of argument, though, with its plethora of strawmen and ad-hominems, I tend to lean away from critiquing just your arguments, and towards criticizing you personally for presenting them in such a fashion.

  272. #274 Ichthyic
    March 5, 2009

    My analysis of John’s commentary, here and on PT over the last year or so, suggests that:

    -he represses his hatred of the fact that the vast majority of people where he frequently posts completely disagree with his support of rethuglicans. He must REALLY be smarting after losing the white house, and BOTH houses of congress.

    -he represses his hatred of atheists, which again predominate most of the places where he frequently posts.

    both of these things combined tend to make him fly completely off the handle whenever the two meet in a figure he considers important in the battling the anti-science movement, which results in him saying some extraordinarily stupid shit. Because, in short, I would summarize his postings in this thread as: “Atheists should just shut the fuck up about any critique of religion as long as the religious are around”

    I know he can be more thoughtful than this, but I see these kinds of posts frequently enough from him that it makes me think he should step back and take a deep breath for a while.

  273. #275 Ichthyic
    March 5, 2009

    I am walk…ing…a…way.

    don’t walk too far. Seating for events like this tends to get filled up quick.
    ;)

    You should go back to before the election and see some of the choice arguments I had with Kwok on PT.

    damn fun.

    I sometimes think he and Sandefeur would make a good couple.

  274. #276 windy
    March 5, 2009

    And all this because PZ used the words “some trepidation”! *facepalm*

  275. #277 Sven DiMIlo
    March 5, 2009

    Ich, I have to walk away…I promised.

  276. #278 Ichthyic
    March 6, 2009

    going back a ways:

    Bernoulli is yet another moniker for that asshat sychophant of John Davison: VMartin (I recognize it because he is the only one who ever cites that paper about mimicry, which was dealt with at length on several occasions at ATBC).

    so, one, he’s in violation of posting rules since he was already banned to the dungeon for previous frequent morphing bouts.

    two:

    Why there isn’t a single article published in peer-reviewd journals refuting natural selection as the source of evolution?

    as has been pointed out to this demented fuckwit on MANY MANY MANY occasions…

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/genetic-drift.html

    as one well known alternative mechanism for evolution that has fuck all to do with natural selection.

    does it invalidate the theory of evolution?

    not hardly.

    does it negate the effects of selection in producing identifiable traits?

    not hardly.

    go the fuck away, you goddamn energizer moron.

  277. #279 Ichthyic
    March 6, 2009

    But anyway, Kwok sure does love him some Wieners.

    ROFLMAO

  278. #280 Badger3k
    March 21, 2009

    Re: 279: (and yes, I know he’s banned from posting):

    Only wieners that have been in the same factory as those that Ken Miller eats, or maybe those that have gone to a certain prominent person in biology who says they are good. And they have to be served at the same high school that he had gone to, and graduated from….

  279. #281 johnkyrk
    March 21, 2009

    I get it. This is a new kind of blogofomercial for the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

  280. #282 yoyo
    March 22, 2009

    Wow I knew kwok was sick but not the level of self deluding sick. Honestly, this is the sort of talk my patients would make before they tried to go postal. PJ, do be careful, this pathetic creature really believes he is better than most of humanity and that makes him likely to hurt someone.

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