Pharyngula

The president spoke to the NAS today, and he made some great promises: increases in funding for science and science education, an investment in training new teachers in science and math, a political commitment to get better advising in science untainted by ideology. He specifically promised 3% of the GDP to go to research in science and technology.

Listen to it in an NAS podcast, or read the transcript. It’s a good speech, except for the very last line, which was incredibly stupid…but I’ll overlook it as a mindless platitude.

Comments

  1. #1 Bill Dauphin
    April 27, 2009

    That last line qualifies as nothing more than a punctuation mark in our current tradition of political speechmaking. Sad that it should be so, but, absent corroborating woo, nothing to worry about.

    IMHO, of course.

    I haven’t had a chance to study the speech yet, but 3% GDP for S&T research sounds fabulous.

  2. #2 Mena
    April 27, 2009

    Platitudes suck. Besides, Defender of the Faith was the title of the guy who lost in the Revolution.

  3. #3 Ray S.
    April 27, 2009

    I have a dream that one day we can listen to a national policy speech without having to hear silly meaningless figures of speech.

    I know, it’s just a dream. Now back to my regularly scheduled reality.

  4. #4 wet_bread
    April 27, 2009

    I haven’t listened to it yet, but I am sure I know what that last line must be…the eternal political cliche.

  5. #5 daveau
    April 27, 2009

    “God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.” And be sure to tip your waitress…

    I know it’s just pro forma in U.S. politics, but I always hear it as “Never mind what I just said about science and education and rationality, we need to embrace superstition.”

  6. #6 Glen Davidson
    April 27, 2009

    I’m happy to see Obama pushing for increases in research spending, but I think it’s a bit much to say that spending as percent GDP has steadily declined since the high point. More like sporadically increased and decreased, trending lower. I believe it’s increased somewhat in recent years, especially for the NIH.

    It’s a bit silly to argue, too, that the high point is necessarily the proper standard. For one thing, spending on science doesn’t involve just government spending, and government spending often includes military research, whose impact in the civilian sector is disputed.

    That said, I’m glad he recognizes the importance of federal support for science (including evilution). Invoking god might might make such an increase in secular spending (some of which causes IDiots to whine) go down better, so I wouldn’t be too hung up on it.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com6mb592

  7. #7 The Science Pundit
    April 27, 2009

    You’re on Shawn Otto’s email list too? ;-)

  8. #8 Outsider
    April 27, 2009

    Excellent speech (minus the last line). In my dreamworld, we, as a country, return to the world stage as a respected member and become a beacon to reason and scientific discovery. I can dream.

  9. #9 Max
    April 27, 2009

    Yes, “God bless America” needn’t be an overtly religious statement, PZ.
    I think of it more as an acknowledgment that if there is a God, he should be blessing America.
    Of course, you could disagree with that, if you’re from Canada, which is a better place all around.
    But Obama’s not.

  10. #10 Michelle
    April 27, 2009

    I’ll chalk it up to Obama tossing a bone to the religious nutbags after having laid out a feast for scientists and rational Americans. Let them have their bone.

    As Bill noted in comment #1, it’s hardly more than standard punctuation to close any political speech, lest the Religious hoards storm the White House and demand that Obama be burned at the stake. It’s almost like writing, “Dear ___,” and “Sincerely, _____” in a letter, even though you do not think that the recipient is dear, and you are anything but sincere in your writing. :D

  11. #11 Alex
    April 27, 2009

    I really hate that phrase. It’s such a cheap trick. The religious love to hijack normal interactions with the goal of proselytizing.

  12. #12 Patricia, OM
    April 27, 2009

    He did throw in a zinger about faith towards the end. Unless he left out saying it, and it’s only in the transcript.

    Probably saying god bless America at the end is just easier to do than putting up with the howl that would erupt if he didn’t.

  13. #13 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 27, 2009

    I’ll put up with the gawd bless America routine if it results in a second term. Then it might get interesting.

  14. #14 Richard Harris
    April 27, 2009

    Surely, if anyone actually meant anything by that god-crap, they be asking for the god-thing to benefit the whole world, not just their own country. I mean, that’s feckin’ selfish, eh!

  15. #15 Kevpod
    April 27, 2009

    Hey, if all we have do is to hear a two-second throwaway line in return for a rational science policy, I’m good with that!

  16. #16 Matt Heath
    April 27, 2009

    Yes, “God bless America” needn’t be an overtly religious statement, PZ. I think of it more as an acknowledgment that if there is a God, he should be blessing America.

    Hmm… except for that to be convincing it would have to be “Gods bless America” otherwise he’s at least making the explicit religious statement that (the god called) God is to be taken more seriously than the Olympians.

  17. #17 Intelligent Designer
    April 27, 2009

    It’s a fact that Obama is a Christian and I am sure he means every word of that last sentence.

    A while back my blog referenced a YouTube video of the last third of Obama’s victory speech at Millennium Park in Chicago. I found it interesting that the youtube.com poster edited off that last line of his speech which said the same thing.

    Personally I would like to hear “God bless America, and God bless the rest of the world” at the end of a speech some day.

  18. #18 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I’ll chalk it up to Obama tossing a bone to the religious nutbags after having laid out a feast for scientists and rational Americans. Let them have their bone.

    I think you would be wrong to do so. Obama himself is a believer, a Christian, and says that at the end of every speech. I wish someone would haul him aside and impress upon him that, while he is entitled to his personal beliefs, to utter that line publicly in his role as President is to endorse religion, and while the establishment clause doesn’t strictly apply to the President, his endorsement certainly goes against its intent.

  19. #19 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009
  20. #20 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 27, 2009

    I have no problem with it. I’m no Christian but he is. Yes I’d rather he not, but it serves a purpose as long as all he’s doing is saying it at the end of a speech and then not following it up with jamming it into every aspect of his presidency as a governing principle.

  21. #21 Intelligent Designer
    April 27, 2009

    nothing’s sacred: “I think you would be wrong to do so. Obama himself is a believer, a Christian, and says that at the end of every speech.”

    Great minds think a like (wink).

  22. #22 Bill Dauphin
    April 27, 2009

    Obama himself is a believer, a Christian, ….

    Mebbe so. I don’t for a moment doubt the honesty or sincerity of Obama’s public professions of belief… but I do question the depth and robustness of his religion: He has cultural and personal-history reasons to attach himself to the Christian tradition (as he himself has discussed in his books), but frankly, he’s too damned smart to fool himself forever.

    In any case…

    …and says that at the end of every speech.

    …so what? So does pretty much every other American politician, and pretty much everyone who gives any sort of speech (whether political or not) ends with some sort of benedictory formalism wishing the audience well. When Murrow signed off with “good night, and good luck,” do you think he was thereby endorsing superstition?

    The thing that bums me out the most is that this whole thread — on a science blog, no less — has focused on that throwaway line and not on the fact that we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

  23. #23 Brownian, OM
    April 27, 2009

    Personally I would like to hear “God bless America, and God bless the rest of the world” at the end of a speech some day.

    Why Stimpy? Who the fuck are you to tell your god what to do, and why is he such a fucking asshole that he won’t bless anybody unless he’s told to?

    Personally, I’d like you people to think about what you’re chanting for once in your fucking lives.

  24. #24 Intelligent Designer
    April 27, 2009

    The thing that bums me out the most is that this whole thread ? on a science blog, no less ? has focused on that throwaway line and not on the fact that we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

    Yeah … so how do you think spending on science should be prioritized?

  25. #25 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    he’s too damned smart to fool himself forever.

    I’m usually impressed by your comments Bill, but not this time. Many smart people spend their entire lives as Christians.

    …so what?

    Uh, so you apparently didn’t read the comment I responded to, which interpreted it as specific to this occasion.

    The thing that bums me out the most is that this whole thread ? on a science blog, no less ? has focused on that throwaway line and not on the fact that we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

    Good to see you went back to being intelligent.

  26. #26 The United States of America
    April 27, 2009

    Sorry, I sneezed, and Obama was just being polite.

  27. #27 mus
    April 27, 2009

    The thing that bums me out the most is that this whole thread ? on a science blog, no less ? has focused on that throwaway line and not on the fact that we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

    Amen (he he he).

    I am so THRILLED about this, I friggin’ love it any time Obama talks about science. He always seems to get it absolutely right. I cannot wait to see the state of the US and of science in 4 or 8 years!

  28. #28 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    Great minds think a like (wink).

    Both geniuses and fools think that 1+1=2, fool.

  29. #29 flaq
    April 27, 2009

    Whatever about that closing line – it was a great speech. The really notable moments were about things like reducing carbon pollution 80% by 2050 or the ARPA-E initiative. Compared to that, “God bless America” wasn’t even a blip on my radar.

    In a 5,000 word speech full of big proposals and important ideas about restoring science to its rightful place, 12 words were wasted on a throwaway non-sequitur. That’s a pretty damn good batting average if you ask me.

  30. #30 sarniaskeptic
    April 27, 2009

    I am amazed at how we are willing to accept the “god bless america” bull when often we hang on a single sentence (or word) of other speeches that Obama has made.

    His simple referencing of “non-believers” was a MAJOR point that we all thought of as positive (heck, it made headlines in USA Today, NY Times, etc.)- you don’t think the opposite is now going to be held on to? The other side is going to point out how he saved the most important thing for last and will hang on a single line. We got one f#$king hyphenated word (“non-believers”). They got a whole sentence and at one of the most memorable parts of the speech!

    Having said all that, I think he is simply pandering and has played religious out of need (it does appear necessary to be religious to be president).

  31. #31 Intelligent Designer
    April 27, 2009

    Brownian,

    You have a good point. Personally, while I believe God exists, I don’t think God answers prayers. So that phrase would be meaningless from that respect. However, one of the things that toubles me is the United States’ narcissistic foreign policy. I’d like to see some acknowledgement that the rest of the world is important too.

  32. #32 PZ Myers
    April 27, 2009

    The thing that bums me out the most is that this whole thread ? on a science blog, no less ? has focused on that throwaway line and not on the fact that we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

    Not surprising at all. The rest, we all agree with, enthusiastically. The only thing to really talk about is the part we don’t.

  33. #33 Thomas Lee Elifritz
    April 27, 2009

    He always seems to get it absolutely right.

    Ok, so you’re an absolutist. Got any other good ones?

    Personally, when I here statements like that, I naturally think – the sooner god fucks america, the better.

  34. #34 TheNaturalist
    April 27, 2009

    Obama says in the speech that science can’t replace morals and ethics. People say that a lot and it never makes sense to me. If morals and ethics are human behaviors and human behaviors are the end products of evolution, then science has ALREADY told us more than we knew about those things. Why couldn’t more research into what causes morals and ethics tell us more about those things? It seems like such an arbitrary distinction.

  35. #35 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I am sure he means every word of that last sentence.

    But what is it that he means? It it isn’t even grammatical.

    My point was that he doesn’t just say it as “a bone to the religious nutbags”, but is himself a religious … well, something. There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance in this place; people (including myself) have a lot of trouble understanding how intelligent people can be religious … somethings who utter such meaningless drivel, and so we tend to focus only on the nutbags, or assume that the religious are entirely nutbags.

  36. #36 Strangebrew
    April 27, 2009

    “And we have watched as scientific integrity has been undermined and scientific research politicized in an effort to advance predetermined ideological agendas.”

    Side swipe at the likes of Texas Board of Education maybe?

    “Under my administration, the days of science taking a
    back seat to ideology are over.”

    GW Shrub smacked down…methinks?

    “To undermine scientific integrity is to
    undermine our democracy.”

    ID and Creationist spam…?

    “I want to be sure that facts are driving
    scientific decisions ? and not the other way around.”

    Admonishment to Global warming combatants….?

    Me also thinks that ‘Barry’ is not quite the Christian the Christians want!

  37. #37 daveau
    April 27, 2009

    OK. Back on track then. Very stirring and ambitious. An excellent start.

    I like “I am announcing the appointment of the President?s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.” About friggin’ time. I wonder if they will open and close their meetings with a prayer?

  38. #38 ricklend
    April 27, 2009

    PZ, please forgive the president for his final platitude. Look what he has to put up from Notre Dame University. If I were him, I wouldn’t accept the invitation to give the commencement speech there. Cardinals and Bishops are roundly criticizing him because of his stance on abortion. The university doesn’t deserve to have him speak there.

  39. #39 flaq
    April 27, 2009

    Sarnia: “I am amazed at how we are willing to accept the “god bless america” bull”

    Damn right. I’m more than happy to trade one “god bless America” for

    Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over. Our progress as a nation ? and our values as a nation ? are rooted in free and open inquiry. To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy.

    and

    we will devote more than three percent of our GDP to research and development.

    and

    scientific discovery … holds a promise like no other area of human endeavor.

    and on and on.

    Seriously — this was a fantastic speech. Compared to what came before it, the last line barely registered.

  40. #40 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    Obama says in the speech that science can’t replace morals and ethics. People say that a lot and it never makes sense to me. If morals and ethics are human behaviors and human behaviors are the end products of evolution, then science has ALREADY told us more than we knew about those things. Why couldn’t more research into what causes morals and ethics tell us more about those things?

    Uh, why are you equating learning about things with replacing them? Science can tell us a lot about the psychology of our emotions, but it can’t replace our emotions.

  41. #41 ricklend
    April 27, 2009

    PZ, looking over your comments again, you have forgiven him already.

  42. #42 Bill Dauphin
    April 27, 2009

    he’s too damned smart to fool himself forever.

    I’m usually impressed by your comments Bill, but not this time. Many smart people spend their entire lives as Christians.

    Thanks for the conditionally kind words… I think. Believe it or not, I actually thought about this very objection as I was writing. But really smart people who are also abidingly religious are often (though not, I admit, always) inculcated with religious belief by their families or cultures. Obama, OTOH, was not subjected to Christian indoctrination as a child, but instead came to religion as an adult “seeker.” I suspect the answers he’s seeking are really more matters of personal identity than spirituality… that his quest is, at the end of the day, more an intellectual one than an emotional/spiritual one. Thus, I have (you should pardon the expression) faith that his clearly superior intellect will win out in the end.

    I could be wrong about all that, but that’s my best synthesis of what I’ve read and heard by and about him WRT to religious belief.

    …so what?

    Uh, so you apparently didn’t read the comment I responded to, which interpreted it as specific to this occasion.

    I just don’t agree that it’s actually occasion-specific. This sort of thing is always “tossing a bone to the religious nutbags.” Maybe that’s a tiny bit more important in a speech about science, but it’s really always the same: Saying “God bless” at the end of a speech has no more to do with anyone’s true religious feelings than wearing an FSM-damned flag pin on a lapel does with anyone’s true patriotism; it’s just cheap insurance against the nattering nabobs of right-wing nutbaggery.

  43. #43 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    Not surprising at all.

    Because you set it up. Rather than ignoring the mindless platitude, you drew a big honking red arrow pointing at it. Everyone immediately rushed to the bottom of the transcript to confirm what they figured you meant, and then that was all that was on their minds.

  44. #44 ricklend
    April 27, 2009

    Presidents an politicians have been saying “God bless America” for years. Did God ever bless America even once? Any evidence of it? Of course not. You would think people would learn. Dumb Americans.

  45. #45 Brownian, OM
    April 27, 2009

    However, one of the things that toubles me is the United States’ narcissistic foreign policy. I’d like to see some acknowledgement that the rest of the world is important too.

    Yes, on that we agree. (I also think 1+1=2, but I don’t know where that leaves me.)

  46. #46 costanza
    April 27, 2009

    Talk’s cheap…

  47. #47 Bill Dauphin
    April 27, 2009

    D’Oh!! I must’ve misspelled “blockquote” in my last (@42); obviously, the third- and second-to-last paragraphs should’ve been blocked.

    PZ:

    The only thing to really talk about is the part we don’t [agree about].

    Fair enough. I just find it wearing on occasion that we hairless apes are so consistently more willing to fight over the 1% we don’t share than celebrate the 99% we do.

    Not, of course, that I’m innocent of joining in the fight, eh?

  48. #48 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    I suspect the answers he’s seeking are really more matters of personal identity than spirituality

    I think this is blindingly obvious from Dreams From My Father (an excellent book, by the way.) But I also think even that way of looking at it is still too polite: I don’t believe he’s sincerely religious at all. What he is, is an ambitious politician in a country that still demands this kind of lip service.

    I further think, in a Machiavellian vein, that this is quite forgivable as long as he delivers the goods. I have a lot more problems with his eternally compromising moderatism than I do with his rhetorical genuflections.

  49. #49 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I have (you should pardon the expression) faith that his clearly superior intellect will win out in the end.

    Yes, I think it is indeed faith, rather than being grounded in evidence.

    I just don’t agree that it’s actually occasion-specific.

    Bill Bill Bill. I don’t agree either; that was my whole point. Sheesh. Again, I responded to someone who made it specific to this context, by noting that he always says it.

    This sort of thing is always “tossing a bone to the religious nutbags.”

    Sigh. Did you read my later post? It’s more than that, because Obama himself is a “religious nutbag”. Except that’s a mistake to think that it’s only nutbags to whom the bone is being thrown, unless you want to characterize every religious person, including Obama, Ken Miller, Paul Wellstone, Martin Gardner, etc. etc. as nutbags.

  50. #50 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I don’t believe he’s sincerely religious at all.

    You and the people at Free Republic.

  51. #51 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    You and the people at Free Republic.

    Was that intended to be a serious comment? If it was, get help.

  52. #52 Anonymous
    April 27, 2009

    @40

    “Uh, why are you equating learning about things with replacing them? Science can tell us a lot about the psychology of our emotions, but it can’t replace our emotions.”

    Because it’s a short trip from science to technology. You don’t think a better understanding of how morality works could have any impact on what sorts of moral systems we have in the future? I’m not saying that science will somehow morph into ethics and morality, but it could radically alter the form it takes in the future.

  53. #53 Brownian, OM
    April 27, 2009

    I just find it wearing on occasion that we hairless apes are so consistently more willing to fight over the 1% we don’t share than celebrate the 99% we do.

    We only agree on 98.5% of things, jerk!

  54. #54 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    Was that intended to be a serious comment?

    Yes. How about Michelle? Is she faking it too?

    If it was, get help.

    The help is needed by those suffering from such severe cognitive dissonance that they must deny various realities. Obama’s god-belief, as irrational and bizarre as it is, as much a consequence of his search for identity as it is, permeates his behavior.

  55. #55 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    Yes. How about Michelle? Is she faking it too?

    What the hell does Michelle have to do with it? I don’t know or care about her beliefs. As far as Barack goes I have the evidence of HIS OWN BOOK, which in my opinion makes it quite clear that the real attraction of Jeremiah Wright’s church for him was the cultural one of helping him to connect with the African American experience.

    I know smart religious people. You don’t appear to be one of them.

  56. #56 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I’m not saying that science will somehow morph into ethics and morality

    No of course you’re not, when you’re now saying something very different from what I responded to.

  57. #57 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I know smart religious people. You don’t appear to be one of them.

    Indeed I’m not; I’m not religious at all, idiot.

  58. #58 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    I stand corrected, but as a result I’m only the less clear exactly what you’re on about. I don’t know why it’s so important to you to believe that Obama is really religious; the contrary proposition is of no particular importance to me, it just happens to be what I think is actually the case based on the available evidence.

  59. #59 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    I stand corrected

    My ID and saying that I have trouble understanding how intelligent people can be religious and referring to god-belief as bizarre and irrational apparently weren’t clues.

    I’m only the less clear exactly what you’re on about.

    I just noted why you are unclear about things.

    I don’t know why it’s so important to you to believe that Obama is really religious

    It’s only important to me to get things right.

    it just happens to be what I think is actually the case based on the available evidence.

    You are very selective about the evidence. As I said, his religion permeates his behavior, including not just how he has spent his life, who he married to, and how he is raising his children, but how he frames issues.

  60. #60 Feynmaniac
    April 27, 2009

    The idea that Obama is a closet atheist seems just as ridiculous to me as the idea that he is a secret Muslim.

  61. #61 'Tis Himself
    April 27, 2009

    nothing’s sacred’s original comment in #50 was:

    I don’t believe he’s sincerely religious at all.

    You and the people at Free Republic.

    Steve LaBonne immediately (#51) replied:

    Was that intended to be a serious comment? If it was, get help.

    Look at the link given in #19.

    It’s got such gems as “He grew up saying ?allahu akhbar?, but not that.” and “He knows the call to prayer in Arabic.” Yes, I’m sure that nothing sacred made a perfectly serious comment.

  62. #62 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    The idea that Obama is a closet atheist seems just as ridiculous to me as the idea that he is a secret Muslim.

    I don’t think he’s an atheist; I suspect he’s one of the many vaguely “spiritual” people, but not especially Christian, nor a serious believer in a personal God of the big-daddy-in-the-sky-who-answers-prayers variety.

  63. #63 Strangebrew
    April 27, 2009

    A few religiously deluded might be slowly changing their jaundiced opinions about him maybe…now it is a case of claiming him for one of their own…and maybe it suits those of no-religious delusion but with an anti-Obama stance to paint him as one of theirs and so it goes!

    What is rather more important is that he does not seem to allow his…theist/atheist tendencies to get in the way of extremely important and far reaching decisions…

    No one with a comprehensive jeebus complex makes a speech like that…that is serious secularism right there!

  64. #64 Obama
    April 27, 2009

    How about Michelle? Is she faking it too?

    I resent that statement.

  65. #65 Honzo
    April 27, 2009

    That last line about god blessing was really fucking unnecessary.
    Politicians really need to become aware that they are pandering automatons and most of the time it is not needed.

  66. #66 Chuck
    April 27, 2009

    At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as
    we can ascertain it. Some truths fill us with awe. Others force
    us to question long held views. Science cannot answer every
    question; indeed, it seems at times the more we plumb the
    mysteries of the physical world, the more humble we must be.
    Science cannot supplant our ethics, our values, our principles,
    or our faith, but science can inform those things, and help put
    these values, these moral sentiments, that faith, to work
    ? to feed a child, to heal the sick, to be good stewards
    of this earth.

    Key: science can inform those things. Science cannot supplant our ethics. Ethics is the study of how human beings ought to behave towards one another. A scientific knowledge of human biology can inform that study, but cannot supplant it, because they are subjective. Faith is a cherished belief in anything. I believe in human rights. That is a matter of faith. Civil liberties do not come from natural law. They come from ethics. They come from tradition married to reason. They do not come from an empirical investigation of the natural world. But a scientific investigation of human biology, again, can inform the debate over human rights.

    I fail to see how Obama has offered any solace to irrational relgious beliefs that imprison man in perpetual infancy and barbarism. Yeah, except God Bless America – a statement utterly devoid of any content. Who gives a shit?

  67. #67 Bill Dauphin
    April 27, 2009

    Nothing Sacred:

    No doubt by the end of this post, I will have permanently destroyed your former notion that I was intelligent (if I haven’t already done so, that is); somehow I’ll have to bear the shame.

    I just don’t agree that it’s actually occasion-specific.

    Bill Bill Bill. I don’t agree either; that was my whole point.

    Well, if you recall, I hadn’t originally thought we disagreed on that point… until you called me out on it.

    As for…

    It’s more than that, because Obama himself is a “religious nutbag”.

    …after I’d read this far I was all prepared to dispute this, pointing out that not all believers are “nutbags” (at least not by any useful definition of the term “nutbag”), but…

    Except that’s a mistake to think that it’s only nutbags to whom the bone is being thrown, unless you want to characterize every religious person, including Obama, Ken Miller, Paul Wellstone, Martin Gardner, etc. etc. as nutbags.

    …it turns out that not only do you already know that, but you specifically include Obama in your counter-examples. I guess I’m just too neutron-star-dense to understand why your above comments aren’t self-contradictory.

    Suffice it to say that I stand by my own comments, whether or not you think they appropriately respond to yours.

    Steve:

    I suspect the answers he’s seeking are really more matters of personal identity than spirituality

    I think this is blindingly obvious from Dreams From My Father (an excellent book, by the way.)

    Indeed, that’s what I had in mind. Actually, I haven’t read Dreams, but I was aware he’d said something like this from seeing excerpts and reviews. I have read (listened to, actually; BO is a great reader) The Audacity of Hope, in which he covers some of the same ground.

    Brownian (@53):

    ROFL, asshole! ;^)

  68. #68 trained entomologist
    April 27, 2009

    The points about support of science and the indications of a solid direction opposite of Bush’s policies are the important take-home message.

    Everyone needs to acknowledge that and think about how to actually implement the support for science into reality. There’s a lot of catching up to do after eight years of neglect.

    The last line was partly just a platitude and partly a bone thrown at the 25% who are still hard-core Bush supporting Republicans.

    Bottom line: we who support science need to do everything we can to work WITH the Obama Administration and to help them implement policies and ideas that help the U.S. regain its standing in research and also policies like science education that will keep the public engaged and involved in science.

    If we divide ourselves against the Obama administration, the alternative is more Republicans —– and their disastrous anti-science policies. By the way, I actually supported Republicans in some elections between 1990 and 2000. Not anymore!

  69. #69 Sacoglossan
    April 27, 2009

    Obama spoke at some length about his own religious views in this 2004
    interview
    from Beliefnet.

    To me he seems on the very reasonable end of the faith spectrum, and especially unconcerned with matters of dogma.

  70. #70 TheNaturalist
    April 27, 2009

    #66

    Suppose we had a neuron-by-neuron understanding of how morality arises from the activity of the brain. We might discover that ethics aren’t subjective at all, but that there is a normal range of variation like other traits.

    You mentioned civil liberties: that notion might arise from some mechanisim that calculates whether or not a particular action is just.

    An understanding of that mechanisim would certianly change the study of how people “ought” to behave because such knowledge would allow us to predict whether or not people will precieve a particular action as “just” or “not just”.

    To get really far out, you might be able to write a program that creates a maximally “just” system of ethics calculated entirely from the structure of the brain. It would be maximally just in the sense that it would SEEM maximally just to people.

    Now you may say that this is just another case of empirical data informing our ethics and not actually replacing it (even if that informing is done by a computer algorithm). That’s sort of a trival observation and I don’t think that that’s what Obama meant.

    I think Obama meant that faith, ethics etc. are ineffable and that science dosen’t have much to say about them. It smacks of Gould’s non-overlapping magisteria to me. In fact I’m quite certain that we could construct a scientific description of why some things strike us as moral whereas others do not and where the variation in conceptions of morality comes from.

  71. #71 Alex Deam
    April 27, 2009

    As far as Barack goes I have the evidence of HIS OWN BOOK

    A single book is not very good evidence. Remember, you’re arguing on a website dominated by teh evil atheists. If we accepted the evidence of a single book, Pharyngula would be a very different place.

    I have read (listened to, actually; BO is a great reader) The Audacity of Hope

    Oh, snap!

  72. #72 PZ Myers
    April 27, 2009

    I follow a simple rule: if someone says they are a Christian, then I will simply accept the fact that they are a Christian.

    Obama is a Christian. Speculating that he might be a secret infidel means nothing if he isn’t willing to come out and simply state the fact.

  73. #73 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    Sacoglossan- thanks for the link, I agree with your characterization and it’s pretty much what I meant above. In the interview as well, the specific invocations of Christianity seem to me more rhetorical (and politically advisable) than deeply felt amid the more ill-defined “higher power” talk which is, I think, where he’s really coming from. (As is the case with a large number of what Heddle would call “cultural Christians”.)

  74. #74 Watchman
    April 27, 2009

    If we accepted the evidence of a single book, Pharyngula would be a very different place.

    Heh. Yes, but extreme wingnuttery aside, it hasn’t yet been hypothesized that Obama never existed and is a composite of several mythic and historical figures, or taken for granted that his memoirs were written and edited for hundreds of years after his death by thousands of people who never could have known him anyway. ;-)

  75. #75 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    Many of us have talked to plenty of people with belief systems very much like the one Obama displays in that interview. People who can’t understand how you can “not beleve in
    anything” but who, when pressed, show no actual commitment to any specific religious doctrine (whatever their “cultural” religion may be) but fall back on the usual “but surely there must be SOME higher power” stuff.

  76. #76 Alex Deam
    April 27, 2009

    Heh. Yes, but extreme wingnuttery aside, it hasn’t yet been hypothesized that Obama never existed and is a composite of several mythic and historical figures, or taken for granted that his memoirs were written and edited for hundreds of years after his death by thousands of people who never could have known him anyway. ;-)

    The Bible is Jesus’ memoirs?! Christ, he got cranky in his old age, didn’t he?

  77. #77 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    I do want to make it clear, by the way, that I’m not particularly criticizing Obama about this. Plenty of people who occupy the kind of halfway house I described will call themselves Christians (mutatis mutandis for other communities) as a matter of cultural identification and to fit in, without even having to worry about the political considerations Obama has to deal with. And this position, little though I may admire it intellectually, is surely greatly preferable in its practical effects to religious dogmatism.

  78. #78 willbxtn
    April 27, 2009

    I, for one, think the last line is a simple case of Obama trying to stop the people who only just brought themselves to vote for him from having their conscience use the excuse of “OMG, he’s a closet atheist!” against him.

    Anyway, other than that, the speech was typically good, and he said all the right things!

  79. #79 Heraclides
    April 27, 2009

    And that’s why I’m announcing today that states making strong commitments and progress in math and science education will be eligible to compete later this fall for additional funds under the Secretary of Education’s $5 billion Race to the Top program.

    I think that the people of Texas, etc., really need to get those twits putting anti-science legislation out the way or they’re going to lose out. (Nice political strategy, come to think of it.)

  80. #80 bobxxxx
    April 27, 2009

    May God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

    That’s really annoying. Why invoke a magic fairy in a speech about science?

    Didn’t anyone tell Obama the NAS is 93% atheist?

  81. #81 bobxxxx
    April 27, 2009

    May God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

    Mr. President, there’s no excuse for this bullshit. You’re the President of the United States, not Preacher of the United States.

  82. #82 Epikt
    April 27, 2009

    Chuck:

    I fail to see how Obama has offered any solace to irrational relgious beliefs that imprison man in perpetual infancy and barbarism. Yeah, except God Bless America – a statement utterly devoid of any content. Who gives a shit?

    Agreed. Watch the hands, not the mouth. If Obama spews the occasional god-platitude while successfully dealing with shortfalls in science funding, I’ll learn to live with it. I don’t even particularly care whether his religiosity is real, or for show. As long as he continues to undo some of the worst abominations of the previous administration, and as long as he does what he says he’s going to do in speeches like this, he’s got my vote.

  83. #83 BC
    April 27, 2009

    #79 – yes, this is better than mandating standards. Have schools get a bonus for high scores in math and science. It is, after all, the American way!!

  84. #84 Scott from Oregon
    April 27, 2009

    So Obama is either easily deluded or a bald face liar?

    Neither of those possibilities fill me with anything but embarrassment for a country like ours. I mean, the best we can do is either a liar or a deluded mind?

    Yikes.

  85. #85 Steve LaBonne
    April 27, 2009

    You’re a fine one to talk, troll, being both of those things yourself.

    The religious loon trolls are at least intermittently entertaining. The libertrolls are just boringly stupid.

  86. #86 echidna
    April 27, 2009

    Epikt@82 is spot on, I think. Obama is shepherding a herd of cats remarkably well, while giving his opponents very little to complain about without looking insane.

  87. #87 Tomecat
    April 27, 2009

    The fact is an investigation into a particular physical, chemical, or biological process might not pay off for a year, or a decade, or at all. And when it does, the rewards are often broadly shared, enjoyed by those who bore its costs but also by those who did not.

    And that’s why the private sector generally under-invests in basic science, and why the public sector must invest in this kind of research — because while the risks may be large, so are the rewards for our economy and our society.

    Perfect preemptive rebuttal to the inevitable republican/libertarian call for private sector/free market funding.

    @40: While I don’t think that science can replace morality, it can certainly change its applications. It wasn’t so long ago that educated people believed that animals, people with mental problems or learning disabilities, and even babies couldn’t feel pain. Our treatment of these groups has certainly changed thanks to new knowledge.

  88. #88 Dinosaur Teacher
    April 27, 2009

    Well, crap.

    I love everything he’s said…

    but then he starts talking about teaching credentials.

    In general, a great idea. However, I’m a history degree-holder whose taught science for 4 years, spending the last two as a Teacher of the Year nominee and also teaching a dinosaur-themed 8th grade elective on evolution as a side.

    I love and understand the material and I’m effective. I hope I’m not feeling the walls closing in, now.

  89. #89 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    Yes, I’m sure that nothing sacred made a perfectly serious comment.

    Indeed it was. I certainly don’t think, and didn’t say, that Steve believes everything about Obama that the freepers do, but they share a view of him as a Machiavellian who is lying about his beliefs for political purposes, a view not well grounded in evidence. Now Steve is saying he “suspects” that Obama is not a Christian, not even a believer in a personal god, but also not an atheist, so he must be a believer in a non-personal god; but he’s not even “sincerely religious”. It’s a bizarrely specific yet incoherent position on Obama’s beliefs. I’ll stick with “suspecting” that he’s a Christian who actually believes in the divinity of Christ; he’s not the first non-Christian who later became one; he’s not even the first otherwise intelligent one.

    No doubt by the end of this post, I will have permanently destroyed your former notion that I was intelligent

    Bill, I think you’re grossly confused on this occasion, but it’s pointless to try to disentangle it. I look forward to more of your sensible contributions in the future.

  90. #90 nothing's sacred
    April 27, 2009

    One small, attempt, Bill:

    I guess I’m just too neutron-star-dense to understand why your above comments aren’t self-contradictory.

    It seems that, today at least, you’re too neutron-star-dense to understand the use of scare quotes to indicate that there’s something invalid about the applicability of the quoted phrase.

  91. #91 Ichthyic
    April 27, 2009

    I mean, the best we can do is either a liar or a deluded mind?

    which one are you, Scott?

  92. #92 Bill Dauphin
    April 28, 2009

    It seems that, today at least, you’re too neutron-star-dense to understand the use of scare quotes to indicate that there’s something invalid about the applicability of the quoted phrase.

    The thing about scare quotes is that they don’t really work when what’s inside them is an actual quotation from a comment you’d already referred to.

    “You keep using those punctuation marks; I do not think they mean what you think they mean.”

  93. #93 nothing's sacred
    April 28, 2009

    The thing about scare quotes is that they don’t really work when what’s inside them is an actual quotation from a comment you’d already referred to.

    That’s quite mistaken. And nonsensical, unless by “don’t really work” you mean “I personally don’t understand how to interpret it”. Scare-quoted words and phrases are actual quotations; as I just said, the scare quotes are used to show that the quoted words are improperly applied by those who use them unquoted. For instance, when a wingnut refers to Obama’s socialist agenda, a sensible person offering a rebuttal might refer to Obama’s “socialist” agenda. In this case I scare-quoted “religious nutbags” because Obama is addressing (or pandering to, if you prefer), the entire religious population, not just nutbags.

  94. #94 bassmanpete
    April 28, 2009

    Heraclides @79, that sentence caught my eye too. I had visions of certain School Boards of Education in a torment of indecision over whether to keep trying for ID or to go for the money, but probably trying to figure out how to do both!

  95. #95 nothing's sacred
    April 28, 2009

    P.S.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes#Usage

    Writers use scare quotes for a variety of reasons. When the enclosed text is a quotation from another source, scare quotes may indicate that the writer does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself)[3], that the writer feels its use is potentially ironic, or that the writer feels it is a misnomer. This meaning may serve to distance the writer from the quoted content.

  96. #96 nothing's sacred
    April 28, 2009

    P.P.S. Both in #35, and in #49 where I scare-quoted “religious nutbags”, I made it very clear what my point was … that the “nutbag” part is a mischaracterization. So, Bill, it’s hard to figure how my use of square quotes “don’t really work” or how you could think I was contradicting myself by giving examples of religious non-nutbags, but like I said, it’s pointless to try to disentangle it. Still, I offered my “small attempt”, but did not expect a surprisingly (from you) illiterate response.

  97. #97 Anonymous
    April 28, 2009

    OK, so maybe I’m old but scare quotes might also be interpreted as “quotation marks”. Go figure. Sometimes, a person familiar with old timey grammatical rules might use the same marks that express derision or sarcasm to acknowledge that they are quoting another person.

  98. #98 Emmet, OM
    April 28, 2009

    we have a president who actually supports frickin’ science!

    I dunno ? the previous guy fricked science pretty thoroughly, and the guy before him was probably quite interested in the science of frickin’

  99. #99 Bill Dauphin
    April 28, 2009

    nothing sacred:

    This is actually getting a little silly, and I won’t waste any more electrons on it after this comment… but as it happens, I’m a professional editor, so I’m perhaps not quite as entirely clueless about the subtleties of punctuation usage as you might imagine.

    The thing is, if you want your punctuation usage to be understood as colloquial, it needs to be clear that it’s not the standard usage. I wasn’t disputing what scare quotes1 mean (though your own wikipedia reference points out that they may mean any of a variety of things); rather, I was saying that when the contents of quotation marks can easily be interpreted as a straightforward quotation, you can’t count on them being read as scare quotes in the first place. Think of it as a sort of Occam’s Razor of quotation marks: Absent clear evidence to the contrary, the most parsimonious interpretation of quotation marks is that they mark quotations.

    And remember, this is a remote medium: I can’t actually see you making air quotes with your fingers when you post.

    For instance, when a wingnut refers to Obama’s socialist agenda, a sensible person offering a rebuttal might refer to Obama’s “socialist” agenda.

    If that referred to a generic claim that Obama had a socialist agenda, it would read as disavowing that claim, I agree. If, OTOH, it referred to a specific comment that had already been quoted (in a straightforward way) several times in the ongoing conversation, it would read as simply meaning “that’s someone else’s word, not mine,” and approval, disapproval, or other commentary would depend on the rest of the context.

    In this case I scare-quoted “religious nutbags” because Obama is addressing (or pandering to, if you prefer), the entire religious population, not just nutbags.

    In this case, the phrase religious nutbag was part of a line that each of us had quoted (in the straightforward sense) at least once previously. You had been arguing fairly vehemently that Obama is a true believer, and you had made it clear you are not a believer. In that context, it was not at all clear your statement that “Obama himself is a ‘religious nutbag'” was intended ironically (and in fact your use of italics in that specific way seems to suggest the opposite). I take you at your after-the-fact word regarding what you intended, but on its face that looks like your own opinion, with the quotes simply indicating that you’ve borrowed some words to help make your point.

    But enough of this pedantic syntactical nuance2. As I said before, even if you think my comments were somewhat oblique to your own points, I stand by them on their own merits. When I said…

    This sort of thing is always “tossing a bone to the religious nutbags.”

    …I meant that the rhetorical formalism of ending a speech with some form of “God bless” is entirely independent of whether or not the speaker is truly a believer, and also independent of the content or occasion of the speech. I thought I’d been clear about that in the rest of that paragraph:

    Saying “God bless” at the end of a speech has no more to do with anyone’s true religious feelings than wearing an FSM-damned flag pin on a lapel does with anyone’s true patriotism; it’s just cheap insurance against the nattering nabobs of right-wing nutbaggery.

    Not wearing a flag pin doesn’t mean you’re not a patriot, and wearing one doesn’t necessarily mean you are one. It only means you know that people are expecting it, and that some of them will freak out if you don’t meet their expectations. In this connection, your constant reiteration that Obama really is a believer was oblique to my point.

    As to the comment that first got you all concerned about my rapidly declining intellect, my assertion that Obama is “too damned smart to fool himself forever”… well, I agree with PZ’s “simple rule” (note: there’s a use of quotation marks that you might be tempted to categorize as scare quotes, but which is in no way intended to disavow or belittle the words quoted) @72 that if Obama says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian. I have consistently said I think he’s sincere in his statements, and I don’t harbor any notion that he’s a “secret infidel.”

    But the thing is, I’ve been the sort of believer that he reveals himself — in his books, speeches, interviews, etc. — to be. I was raised without any indoctrination (my parents were purely social Episcopalians, and there was never any God-talk around the house), and as a young man searching for cosmic meaning… for community… for cultural relevance… I found myself drawn to a series of Christian churches. I tried for years to be a good Christian, and to be open to the sort of divine presence my friends and ministers claimed to experience. But eventually even poor benighted lil’ ol’ me turned out to be too damned smart to fool myself forever.

    I’m quite sure Obama is smarter than I am, which is why I’m so confident he’ll come to the same conclusion someday. In the meantime, it seems clear that he’s a seeker and a questioner, rather than a dogmatic absolutist, so I don’t fear that his religious beliefs will manifest themselves in tyrannical ways.

    1 Actually that term is a bit of a misnomer itself, IMHO, since frequently the quotation marks simply indicate a coined, metaphorical, or slang usage, rather than the sort of Machiavellian rhetoric the word scare suggests.

    2 I’ll note that all this nuance is precisely why my publishing group strictly reserves the use of quotation marks for actual quotations (in the main text that is; we also use them for certain kinds of titles in bibliographical references): In technical work, you want to avoid leaving things open to interpretation.

  100. #100 Ranger_Rick
    April 28, 2009

    Brownian said,

    Who the fuck are you to tell your god what to do, and why is he such a fucking asshole that he won’t bless anybody unless he’s told to?

    -Brilliant-

    Thanks for the huge belly laugh!

    If Obama could have ended his speech with that logic he’d be golden!

  101. #101 scooter
    April 28, 2009

    Since early Bill Clinton, I’ve recorded presidential speeches then I mash them up and change their words around so they sound like hideous demons, then right at the end I record a huge sneeze, followed by their God Bless. Bush was great because he would actually say ‘god bless you’

    Cheap joke but it always gets a laugh.

  102. #102 scooter
    April 28, 2009

    I don’t believe that BO says “God Bless America” because he is a christian, which he probably is. BO says “God Bless America” because he is a politician.

  103. #103 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    If I may interject: I see the reflexive “God bless America” phrase as not necessarily reflecting a belief in a literal, personal God. Rather, for those who don’t believe in such a God, it’s a figure of speech; it expresses goodwill towards America, not obeisance towards a deity.

    Likewise, here in the UK, many atheists and agnostics (including myself) are perfectly willing to sing “God save the Queen”. It doesn’t mean I believe in a “God” in the sense that the word is conventionally understood. But the key theme is goodwill towards HM the Queen (and towards the commonwealth of nations which she represents), and when we sing “God save our gracious Queen”, we merely express a desire that Providence or Fate will bring good times on our country.

    Obama is a practising Christian; but he has already gone out of his way to make clear that he respects the opinion of non-believers and those who adhere to non-Christian religions, and I’m sure he wouldn’t use the phrase unless he thought it was capable of meaning something to all Americans.

    (It’s a lot better, in that regard, than “In God We Trust” – which cannot be interpreted other than as a simple, unequivocal assertion of belief in a deity. But that rather silly motto, being only fifty years old, was invented during the McCarthy era to try and weed out “atheistic Communism”. IMO it should be removed from the currency and replaced with “E Pluribus Unum”, the much older motto used by the Founding Fathers.)

  104. #104 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Walton, “God bless America” is completely different than “God save the Queen.” There is no tradition of it here. I know the song is older, but the political mantra is a completely new invention within the last few decades and everybody here knows it’s a nod to the new political power of the Evangelical church. No coincidence that the song was entirely obscure before the 70s. For my part I had never heard it before in my life until September 2001, so for a while I thought Celine Dion wrote it.

    You say even atheists sing “God save the Queen.” Well that right there should tell you it’s completely different. No one who does not believe in God says “God bless America.”

    I can see that you’re trying to be charitable, but you’re talking about a culture you really don’t understand all that well.

  105. #105 Anonymous
    April 28, 2009

    @84:Lord,Liar,Lunatic perhaps? LOL

    By the way,am I the only one who felt like singing “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” while reading that speech?Damn fine fellow that Obama,if you ask me.

  106. #106 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    IMO it should be removed from the currency and replaced with “E Pluribus Unum”, the much older motto used by the Founding Fathers.)

    The coins do at least include the Latin motto. Goes well with the fasces on the dime’s reverse.

    Next time you come to the US, pull out a coin and ask some random people what “E Pluribus Unum” means, on the pretense that you’re British and unfamiliar with our conventions.

    Some dispiriting percentage will reply “It means ‘In God We Trust'” and you will wish you could click your heels to go back to Oxford.

  107. #107 Petzl
    April 28, 2009

    You dummies. LET him say “God bless you and God bless the United States of America.” Yeah, its dopey and a platitude but if it makes the blue-haired ladies in Kansas and Iowa support Obama and it causes absolutely no policy change by Obama himself, who cares?

  108. #108 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Personally I would like to hear “God bless America, and God bless the rest of the world” at the end of a speech some day.

    That would be an improvement, but it feels a little clumsy to me. Maybe “God bless America, and God bless all people”?

  109. #109 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    The coins do at least include the Latin motto. Goes well with the fasces on the dime’s reverse.

    Next time you come to the US, pull out a coin and ask some random people what “E Pluribus Unum” means, on the pretense that you’re British and unfamiliar with our conventions.

    Some dispiriting percentage will reply “It means ‘In God We Trust'” and you will wish you could click your heels to go back to Oxford.

    I actually think it’s an excellent motto (E Pluribus Unum, that is), as the sentiment “From Many, One” represents America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants, and its unique ability to unify disparate people under one national loyalty. It’s certainly a lot less partisan than “In God We Trust”. Even for those who do trust in “God” (in some form or another), I don’t see why they need every banknote in the country to remind them of it.

    Strictly speaking, I don’t think we have a national motto in the UK; the closest thing is Dieu et mon Droit (“God and my Right”, referring to the Divine Right of Kings), the motto of the Royal Family in England (but not in Scotland) which appears on the national coat of arms. But very few people are actually aware of it.

  110. #110 A Plus Coder
    April 28, 2009

    Questions:
    Why do you all depend on the government for encouragement towards scientific discovery? Is it all due to your self interest and financial and “professional” security and next years paycheck?

    Perhaps causal relationships surround this paradigm.

    Do you really believe you can uncover the fact that there is no intelligence and planned purpose behind cell specialization?

    You need some more money to figure it out?

    Why do you all have such a hangup on what other people have
    discovered and believe, which is that there IS a devine life force.
    Some call it GOD. Good Orderly Direction.

  111. #111 scooter
    April 28, 2009

    TRIVIA- eplurubus unum is also a Jamaican motto and is
    printed on their money in English. “Out of Many People, One”

    Petzl, you are right on the money (pun intended).
    Obama using that cliche’ isn’t going to cost the vote of any atheist I know, but it’s good for bringing more than a few in, especially among the independents, who decide the election.

  112. #112 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    extreme wingnuttery aside, it hasn’t yet been hypothesized that Obama never existed and is a composite of several mythic and historical figures,

    Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, the clone of Malcolm X, the robot Kennedy, the zombie Roosevelt, the horn of Farrakhan, the cryogenically preserved brain of Saul Alinsky, and the spirit of the black panther.

    Barack Hussein Obama — if that is his real name — man or myth?

  113. #113 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey I also noticed I never got a response to this many months ago:

    Maybe you all could sit back for a moment, and listen to the streaming ribbon harmonics of Alex Zivojinovich’s guitarwork in
    Rush’s Limelight, and conceptualize the electronics flow through the manipulating amplification circuitry from the magnetic flux variations sourced by the metal strings across magnets and the sound reproduction circuitry and transducers, the brains it took to discover the abilities to manipulate such physical phenomena using earthly elements, and then get back to us on how we all evolved from primitive nutrient pumps, made of other earthly organic elements, millions and millions of years ago.

    I realize abiogenesis isn’t your strong point PZ, and I really hope the word genesis doesn’t disturb you.

  114. #114 Stephen Wells
    April 28, 2009

    @113: it would help if you explained what if anything about music is supposed to be _incompatible_ with evolution. You’re apparently starting from the assumption that physical evolution couldn’t possibly lead to guitar playing. Since we know (from biology) that we evolved and we know (from observation) that we’re capable of music, the rational conclusion is that evolved organisms are capable of music.

    Are you claiming to be made of something other than elements? Silly person.

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    Why do you all depend on the government for encouragement towards scientific discovery?

    say, while you’re constructing strawmen, could I get you to do a few balloon animals?

  116. #116 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Even for those who do trust in “God” (in some form or another), I don’t see why they need every banknote in the country to remind them of it.

    Of course, but that’s not why it’s there. Like every public declaration of faith, it means no more than “I’m better than you.”

    Whether “you” are the Stalinist Soviet or the American atheist, the white liberal Christian or now the black liberation theology minister, or the Muslim Minnesotan, the details don’t really matter; you’re lesser.

  117. #117 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Music, certainly ours ears ( sensory mechanisms, yes, mechanisms ) decipher a nice range and can equate pleasantry with music, and also can equate different styles to a broad spectrum of other feelings.
    I ( scientific engineer ) recognize the complixities in such mechanisms, and their possible origin of creation, their networked ( to the brain ) function, and disfunction. Their beauty and purposeful design.

    You? call me silly all you wish. I know what I see. I know what you don’t.

  118. #118 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Why do you all have such a hangup on what other people have
    discovered and believe, which is that there IS a devine life force.
    Some call it GOD. Good Orderly Direction.

    Why?

    Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.

    Of course.

  119. #119 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    @117: your delusions are irrelevant. You’re looking at evolved function and seeing design: your problem, not mine.

  120. #120 DaveH
    April 28, 2009

    Walton#109

    The Scottish motto is Don’t fuck with me, pal

    ;)

  121. #121 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Speaking purely for myself (a Briton): Fuck God Save the Queen. Boring tune, disgusting call for special treatment for an over-privileged, reactionary anachronism and it means the anthem has to change with the gender of the monarch (fuck it even more if and when it becomes “God Save the King” for any of the first 3 in line). Anyone that can sing it without embarrassment (or without substituting “team” for “queen” before the football) is a cringing, wannabe-feudal sycophant.

    But, as it happens, I kind of agree that the “God” part is purely for show. I’d even not mind having “Jerusalem” stand in for a national anthem for English (as opposed to British) sports (it even has the advantage that NOBODY thinks the religious aspect of it is true).

    TRIVIA- eplurubus unum is also a Jamaican motto and is
    printed on their money in English. “Out of Many People, One”

    It’s also the motto of Benfica football club (of Lisbon). It’s a good, flexible motto.

  122. #122 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Music, certainly ours ears ( sensory mechanisms, yes, mechanisms ) decipher a nice range and can equate pleasantry with music, and also can equate different styles to a broad spectrum of other feelings.

    And this couldn’t have evolved, why?

  123. #123 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    In other words, i find so much of the content of this spillage here to be missing an important dimension, and you all purposefully do it, all call it in the name of science, and in the name of rational thought.
    GOD created all that we discover through science, we are lead to the mathematical equations that describe our universal laws, lead through insights, with our own sensory mechanisms aiding, our brains analytically weighing in.

    I find you all purposefully deceiving yourselves, thinking this is all a randomly generated world that just happened to develop by chance, denying all the miracles of life, beauty and colorful complexity, that through feedback, all compliments one another in some obvious or obscurely mysterious way. Apparently you all just think that a cell from an egg, or seed, just migrates to it’s planned final stage of purpose is not orchestrated by design, it an evolved pre-programmed trait arrived at through empirical trial and error. Break your finger, watch it heal. Tell us what feedback lead to that action. Survival? Did you command the healing?

  124. #124 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    “Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.”

    What a fucked up animal.

  125. #125 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    What’s fucked up is that you’re such a gullible homophobe you actually fell for it.

  126. #126 scooter
    April 28, 2009

    AminusCoder won the prestigious redundancy award for being the 10,000th commenter to ask:

    Why do you all have such a hangup on what other people have discovered and believe, which is that there IS a devine life force.

    Well Yee Haw for the Dee Vive but nobody here gives a shit about that. You and everybody else can believe whatever you want to as long as all faith based doctrine:

    1. Is not taught to young children in public schools.
    2. Does not force a moral code on any citizen, we already have moral codes starting with the Constitution on down through municipal safety statutes.
    3. Does not work in concert with gov’t using tax monies.
    4. Basically just keep your bullshit to yourself, because we don’t want to hear it, and it has no place in the governance or regulation of the public affairs of citizens.

    there’s about ten more, but you get the idea

  127. #127 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    GOD created all that we discover through science, we are lead to the mathematical equations that describe our universal laws, lead through insights, with our own sensory mechanisms aiding, our brains analytically weighing in.

    *citation needed*

    What a fucked up animal.

    Irony FAIL.

    Apluscoder, so far, scores 0.3 Timecubes

  128. #128 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    “What’s fucked up is that you’re such a gullible homophobe you actually fell for it.”

    Fuck you asshole, why must you insert homo sexuality into a serious discussion? Because it’s your defect of choice I must now assume.

  129. #129 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    This reminds me why I don’t enjoy discussing things
    with close minded assholes.

    Later all.

  130. #130 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Break your finger, watch it heal. Tell us what feedback lead to that action. Survival? Did you command the healing?

    I’m sure God commanded it. I’m sure God directed the movements of each and every protein and mineral. And the fall of every sparrow and so on.

    Because it sure as hell couldn’t have resulted from natural selection. Who’s doing the selecting? Is “nature” thinking? Lol you atheists!

  131. #131 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    0.4Tc
    serious discussionThe bit with you? rolfmao

  132. #132 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    deluded fool being deluded @ 123,

    I find you all purposefully deceiving yourselves, thinking this is all a randomly generated world that just happened to develop by chance, denying all the miracles of life, beauty and colorful complexity, that through feedback, all compliments one another in some obvious or obscurely mysterious way

    YAWN.
    Oh,and what’s this feedback you speak of?
    And by the way,nobody is denying”the miracles of life,beauty and colorful complexity”,we are just not claiming that they are the result of some mysterious POOF event.

  133. #133 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Don’t let the door hit you on your GOD-given arse.

  134. #134 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Fuck you asshole, why must you insert homo sexuality into a serious discussion? Because it’s your defect of choice I must now assume.

    It’s not a defect.

    I brought it up because it’s always a pretty good bet that a conservative Christian such as yourself hates gay people.

    Best to just have you discredit yourself openly.

  135. #135 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    How are these proteins and minerals synthesized?
    What instruct them to concentrate on the broken bone?
    What knows it’s broken? The brain instructs the repair, right?

    How is the acid in your stomach synthesized?
    What instructs your stomach lining to replace itself?

    Through Natural Selection? What a cop the fuck out.

    You all are hopelessly caged.

  136. #136 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    It’s not a defect…

    Okkkaaaaayyyyy.

    Very rational I must say.

    LOL

    C’aio ya all gaping assholes. goodbye. Now I know why.

  137. #137 Tassie Devil
    April 28, 2009

    I’ve just read the transcript, and I thought it was amazing. I’m aware that refusing to argue about the 1% puts me off topic, but I’d rather talk about the content.

    I’ve been trying to remember when a political leader has made a speech like this about science in, say, the last decade. I can’t come up with one. It’s usually empty waffle, with no financial commitment and the promise of yet more quangos to waste the money before it ever has a chance of reaching those who might actually be able to use it.

    We’re a decade behind globally on stem cell research, thanks to GWB. Now the US is coming on board again – but there will only be time for a brief handshake before everyone gets back down to work!

    It’s going to be terrific.

  138. #138 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    APlusCoder,

    I’ll answer one of your questions if you answer one of mine.

    First one: did you vote for Barack Obama or John McCain, if neither then which one would more closely represent your views?

  139. #139 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    How are these proteins and minerals synthesized?
    What instruct them to concentrate on the broken bone?
    What knows it’s broken? The brain instructs the repair, right?

    How is the acid in your stomach synthesized?
    What instructs your stomach lining to replace itself?

    Through Natural Selection? What a cop the fuck out.

    We know the answer to these questions,all of them.Science has answered all these questions a long time ago.Noone told you?

  140. #140 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    This thing thinks that your brain directs fracture healing? Wow, that’s incredibly ignorant. _and_ it has that obsession with anuses that so distinguishes the closeted homophobe.

    I’m sure it will be back, to gesture at another pile of Christmas presents and insist that Santa Claus is real.

  141. #141 A Plus Coder
    April 28, 2009

    What does this mean?

    “We’re a decade behind globally on stem cell research, thanks to GWB. Now the US is coming on board again – but there will only be time for a brief handshake before everyone gets back down to work!”

    You don’t work with other scientists around the world?
    Or is it they don’t want to work with you?
    What breakthroughs have they discovered that are a decade ahead?

    GWB prevented you from discovering things and practicing science?
    Really? You all need a fresh baby stem cell to work?

    What a load of crybaby shit.

    Gay Gaping Assholes.

  142. #142 llewelly
    April 28, 2009

    AplusCoder | April 28, 2009 6:31 AM:

    Fuck you asshole, why must you insert homo sexuality into a serious discussion? Because it’s your defect of choice I must now assume

    I think anyone who puts ‘fuck’, ‘ass’, and ‘insert’ so close together must be terribly, terribly lonely.

  143. #143 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    What knows it’s broken? The brain instructs the repair, right?

    FAIL
    You really don’t have to know much to know that the central nervous system has very little role in bone healing. You wouldn’t even have to have ever read book. You could have learned that from ER.

    Through Natural Selection? What a cop the fuck out.

    On it’s own it actually would be a cop out. Fortunately hundreds of very intelligent, well-informed experts have devoted their lives to working out the details of exactly how natural selection did these things and gathering evidence for or against the various hypothesis (and all hypotheses that aren’t founded on natural selection get royally shafted by the weight of evidence). So the actual answer is “Short version: natural selection, Long version: read a fucking book”.

  144. #144 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    minerals synthesized?

    Look up* the word “mineral” and then look up “natural selection.” Then please come back and enlighten us with respect to what a mechanism that’s part of a biological theory has to do with mineral genesis.

    *and for the love, please somewhere other than Wikiblabbia or dictionary.com.

  145. #145 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    “We know the answer to these questions,all of them.Science has answered all these questions a long time ago.Noone told you?”

    Bullshit. Even you can’t tell us.

  146. #146 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    For pity’s sake, coder, just buy yourself a buttplug and have done with it. We don’t need your repressed desires spattered all over this blog.

  147. #147 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    0.6Tc

  148. #148 Anonymous
    April 28, 2009

    Look up* the word “mineral” and then look up “natural selection.” Then please come back and enlighten us with respect to what a mechanism that’s part of a biological theory has to do with mineral genesi

    Perhaps you misunderstand, ( which is usually the case )

    How does our cellular bodies know what minerals and proteins to synthesize from ( our ingested requirements ) for what purpose, and how, from the one cell we came from, do constructed organisms
    come to have all the different materials that make up the creature to start with.

    Fine, if you’re happy calling it natural selection and and evolved
    state of being, then fine, I was to at one time.

    Unfortuantely I’ve moved on, and am subjected to all you pious idiocy.

  149. #149 Tassie Devil
    April 28, 2009

    apluscoder:

    FYI

    ‘We’ sometimes includes people who aren’t american.

    ‘We’ sometimes means the global scientific community.

    Which, for obvious reasons, excludes you.

  150. #150 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Look up* the word “mineral” and then look up “natural selection.” Then please come back and enlighten us with respect to what a mechanism that’s part of a biological theory has to do with mineral genesi

    Perhaps you misunderstand, ( which is usually the case )

    How do our cellular bodies know what minerals and proteins to synthesize from ( our ingested requirements ) for what purpose, and how, from the one cell/seed we come from, do constructed organisms
    come to have all the different materials that make up the creature to start with.

    If you’re happy calling it natural selection and an evolved
    state of being, then fine, I was to0 at one time.

    Unfortunately I’ve moved on, and am subjected to all you pious idiocy.

    You all are impossible to discuss things with unless I happen to
    ‘agree’ with you. So sad.

  151. #151 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    Speaking purely for myself (a Briton): Fuck God Save the Queen. Boring tune, disgusting call for special treatment for an over-privileged, reactionary anachronism and it means the anthem has to change with the gender of the monarch (fuck it even more if and when it becomes “God Save the King” for any of the first 3 in line). Anyone that can sing it without embarrassment (or without substituting “team” for “queen” before the football) is a cringing, wannabe-feudal sycophant.

    I agree that the tune is boring, but on every other point I disagree with you entirely. To see the monarchy as nothing more than a reactionary holdover from feudalism is, with all due respect, absolutely ridiculous. My loyalty to the Queen stems not from any kind of feudal sentiment, nor from any kind of principled belief in the “Divine Right of Kings” or in the hereditary principle.

    Rather, it stems from the fact that she is the symbol of our country and our society, just as the Stars and Stripes or the Constitution is for Americans. When Americans pledge allegiance to “the flag of the United States”, they are expressing their allegiance to what the flag stands for – American values and the American way of life – and their respect for those who have suffered and died for those values. Similarly, when I took my oath of allegiance to the Queen* when I joined the OTC, I wasn’t, in my own mind, pledging to obey every future monarch’s personal whim; I was pledging allegiance to the British constitution, reified in the person of the Sovereign.

    This may all sound like poetic tripe. And in a sense, it is; there’s no particular reason why the members of the House of Windsor should symbolise our nation or command our allegiance. The hereditary principle is arbitrary. But it works. The great strength of a hereditary head of state is that s/he is uniquely independent from politics; and it works well for our country. It can work well in other countries too: Juan Carlos I of Spain single-handedly transformed his country from a reactionary Catholic dictatorship into a modern, secular capitalist democracy.

    The British monarch is not a God-appointed ruler, and, unlike some of her ancestors, she doesn’t claim to be. Rather, she exercises certain state functions on our behalf by the common consent of the people. And she does a damn good job of it; and until we end up with an insane or incompetent monarch (which is certainly possible), I think any move to abolish the monarchy would simply be sacrificing an effective and well-liked institution for the sake of pure ideology.

    *”I, [name redacted], swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.”

    But, as it happens, I kind of agree that the “God” part is purely for show. I’d even not mind having “Jerusalem” stand in for a national anthem for English (as opposed to British) sports (it even has the advantage that NOBODY thinks the religious aspect of it is true).

    Ha, true. Indeed, the only people I’ve ever known to oppose the singing of Jerusalem are C of E vicars, for precisely that reason (i.e. if taken literally, the words are a load of tripe. But then, so is much of the Bible, so I don’t think they have any right to complain.)

  152. #152 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Fine, if you’re happy calling it natural selection and and evolvedstate of being, then fine, I was to at one time.

    You may have been happy “calling” what was happening natural selection, but you have made it clear that you never actually had the slightest understanding of what evolutionary biology involved or even of basic anatomy. If you weren’t so clearly ignorant of basic science you would be much more credible criticising it.

  153. #153 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    To quote that great molecular biologist, Yoda: Do, or do not; there is no “know”. These fundies all have such terrible difficulty grasping that there isn’t any knowledge or intent in biochemistry.

  154. #154 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    How do our cellular bodies know what minerals and proteins to synthesize from ( our ingested requirements ) for what purpose, and how, from the one cell/seed we come from, do constructed organisms
    come to have all the different materials that make up the creature to start with.

    Get yourself a basic Physiology book,and you will find that all your questions have long been answered.
    Not by the bible,but by science.

  155. #155 A Plus Coder
    April 28, 2009

    “Get yourself a basic Physiology book.”

    I have, and no, they have not. Why the hell do you think you all want to do more stem cell research if it’s all been figured out long ago?
    What a dipshit. Perhaps I think slightly deeper than you.

    Clueless.

    “I think anyone who puts ‘fuck’, ‘ass’, and ‘insert’ so close together must be terribly, terribly lonely.”

    See what you all are obsessed and distracted with?

    It poisons the mind.

  156. #156 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Matt Heath, Tell us what you know of electronic signal communication and how bio-chemical systems use them to communicate homeostasis throughout an organisms body.

    Then tell us how this evolved into that vast network it is today in the human body, say from a squirrel like creature, you know what i’m talking about.

    Then tell us from what base materials are used to construct it and maintain it. And then tell us what’s the next development in the evotionary cycle to improve upon it.

  157. #157 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yawn, an ignorant godbot who thinks he knows more about science than real scientists. And wonders why he gets slapped down? We know the score idiot. His questions are irrelevant, and evidence is there in the form a million or so scientific papers backing evolution directly and indirectly. Science will not and cannot use your god. And your god doesn’t exist, and your bible is fiction. Deal with the truth elsewhere.

  158. #158 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    I am a real scientist.

    How old are you Nerd Redhead? 22?

  159. #159 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    GWB prevented you from discovering things and practicing science?
    Really? You all need a fresh baby stem cell to work?

    What a load of crybaby shit.

    Gay Gaping Assholes.

    Hey Walton!

    This anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science, loyal Bushie is the future of the Republican party and your coalition partner. Stand proud.

  160. #160 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Why don’t we have the coder explain, say, the Lac repressor system. At the moment it seems to think that bodies use electronic signals for homeostasis. Hint: unless you are the Terminator, this is not true.

  161. #161 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    Why the hell do you think you all want to do more stem cell research if it’s all been figured out long ago?

    LOL
    It would be funny if it wasnt so sad.BTW,didnt you say you were leaving?
    Stem cell research is not done to figure out minerals and protein synthesis moron,how uneducated are you??
    And no,natural selection does not tell the stomach lining to replace itself.
    *Sigh*

  162. #162 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Notice the obsessive dwelling on gayness ^

  163. #163 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Walton, I don’t want to derail this too far; there is a real argument to had, I don’t doubt but in the comments of blog post we’ll probably only have a disagreement. The “Monarch as symbol” fails for me because what a hereditary Head of State symbolizes (to me) is primarily the strong lording it over the weak (also it’s no secret that if not a “divine right to govern” she does believe she has a some kind of sacred duty to reign and right to be consulted, which is divine right lite). The “Queen as ceremonial figure” always seems weaker than her supporters think because, while she personally may be rather skilled at it, she takes her husband with her. Also the fact is that in case of hung parliament she is actually rather powerful (as her Governors General have shown themselves to be in her dominions several times); this is not OK in a democracy.

    But I don’t actually expect to convince you of that. You’ve probably heard it before from republicans in JCR anyway. In any case I don’t think a republic is a great priority; the Burkean argument you mention of “wait for a bad king before we ditch them” has a bit of truth in it. Mostly I was just venting, because I hate that bloody song. It’s just too boring. I honestly think it must suck the motivation out of the national sports teams to have to hear it.

  164. #164 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APlusCoder, if you are a scientist (which I doubt), you will know that for you to propose god for anything, you must first demonstrate the existence of god with good, hard physical evidence. Show us the physical evidence for god that will pass muster with scientist, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural, origin, or lose the idea of your imaginary deity. Welcome to real science.

  165. #165 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    “Stem cell research is not done to figure out minerals and protein synthesis moron,how uneducated are you??”

    Are you serious? Cell specialization is the HALLMARK of stem cell research dimwit. And to figure out what direct cells specialization ( you know, how to grow a new kidney from your own cells ) you need to know what drives the synthesize of the materials needed.

    Maybe you need to bump your head a couple more time.

    We can manipulate this all we want, we just unfortunately
    will never really have the capacity to create it.

  166. #166 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    This anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science, loyal Bushie is the future of the Republican party

    Let’s hope not.

  167. #167 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    I’m not anti-gay, and I’m definitely not anti-science.

    I just don’t appreciate assholes like yourself.

    And I’m a registered Independent and didn’t vote, asshole.

    Perhaps you get offended when someone points out your defect?

    I have defects myself, so don’t feel ashamed.

  168. #168 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    Perhaps you get offended when someone points out your defect?

    I have defects myself, so don’t feel ashamed.

    Trust me. I have more defects (physical and mental) than you could possibly begin to imagine.

    And I wasn’t abusing you personally. I was quoting from strange gods before me (who doesn’t like me any more than he likes you, and has been repeatedly accusing me of misogyny, callousness and cowardice for some months).

  169. #169 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Do you have a point APlusCoder? You just seem to be spewing nonsense, like thinking you are smarter than us.

  170. #170 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    On a lighter note,ignoring the demented troll who promised to leave long ago….
    The new Simpsons intro !!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZGz1Ajg7QU

  171. #171 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    I think it morphed from “scientific engineer” to “scientist” because it thinks it speaks with more authority that way. Funny, if not so tragic. I’m betting we have another electronics engineer with delusions of competence.

  172. #172 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey RedHead, can you see Gravity, can you see magnetism? No, but you can see there effects. What I find interesting is that living creatures and the force behind them, manifested in so many different and complex ways, and the obvious intelligence, is
    completely overlooked by you and many ‘scientists’ as not guided and directed by a force greater than all of us.

    I know it’s a personal journey of discovery, I believe it’s meant
    to be that way. They say coincidence is GOD’s way of remaining anonymous.

  173. #173 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Notice none of these ‘scientists’ never ever answered the questions posed. Some failed attempts, and then the old ‘get a book’.

    Nothings changed.

    Bye Bye.

  174. #174 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    And then tell us what’s the next development in the evotionary cycle to improve upon it.

    From this one sentence we can gather everything we need to know about A Plus Coder’s understanding of evolution.

  175. #175 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Ah, AplusCoder, liar, bullshitter, and non-scientist. Science has no use for your imaginary friend. We will not make use of him. And your failure to show the physical evidence says you are a delusional failure yourself. Go learn how real science works. And if you don’t believe gravity works, jump off a high bridge.

  176. #176 Rorschach
    April 28, 2009

    Waste of time,this one is…..His brain is long gone.

  177. #177 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    RedHead says
    “And if you don’t believe gravity works, jump off a high bridge.”

    Where did I state that it doesn’t?

    You call me delusional?

    Wow.

    Fuck you to think YOU speak for science.

  178. #178 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    AplusCoder, you just speak for the deluded. Believing in fairies, pixies, and god, all of which have no physical evidence. And I do speak for science when I say science cannot use god as an explanation or result of an observation. So science ignores god, which appears to be your problem. Science ignores your imaginary friend, which is why you are deluded. Your imaginary friend.

  179. #179 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Let’s hope not.

    Sounds like you and poor Meghan McCain are in for some depressing demographic surprises.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1018/democrats-post-gains-in-affiliation-across-age-cohorts

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/12/are-republicans-still-national-party.html

    The Republican party is (frighteningly quickly) becoming the party of old rural people.

    Because of the US primary system, this produces a death spiral. As the dwindling party’s demographics become more specific, they tend to choose candidates who are more and more ideologically pure, having less and less to in common with the swing voter in the general elections.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/land-of-thousand-liebermans.html

    Probably you have heard calls for a “return to conservative principles” and thought that sounded promising. Nope. It’s just the gibberings of the 2006-2024 party’s death spasms.

  180. #180 Cannabinaceae
    April 28, 2009

    Hilarious.

    This probably happens all the time, but I’m just noticing it. Actual real scientists who don’t flaunt their ignorance, cluelessness, and even stupidity, make reasonable points or refute stupidity with ease by using a few facts and the simplest of logic. At some point they may note in passing that they are actually professional scientists.

    Cut to loser/wanker/dumbass trolls like HaplessCoder. Miasma of stupid masquerading as a jumble of letters gathered into word-like clumps. But: “I am a real scientist” impressed him way back when. As a godbot, this seeming appeal to authority was simply too impressive not to imitate, hence they quote: “I am a real scientist, ” somewhere amidst their idiocy, thinking it like a trick or magic spell or prayer.

    Maybe HaplessCoder is recalling a quote from somebody who said things like “all babies are natural scientists.”

    HaplessCoder, please change your ‘nym to CluelessBaby and stop pretending to knowledge. Your clueless words reveal your loserhood. Oh, and stop posting until you get a bit more understanding.

  181. #181 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Perhaps you misunderstand, ( which is usually the case )

    Sure; always possible.

    How does our cellular bodies know what minerals and proteins to synthesize from ( our ingested requirements ) for what purpose,

    But it seems unlikely in this case. Again I would refer you to my previous comment.

  182. #182 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    I am a real scientist.

    What was the date of your most recent publication?

  183. #183 APlusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Cannabinaceae ?

    Did you have something scientific to say?

    Apparently the degrading has begun. Doesn’t take long.

    Of course this is precluded by ignoring the questions.

  184. #184 Logicel
    April 28, 2009

    apluscoder does not know about hormonal/chemical feedback systems? I suppose as some evolution deniers deny that a half of an eye is better than than no eye at all, they also deny that hormonal systems can start out simple and become complex through time and natural selection influences.

    And yes, everyone who is saying that apluscoder is ignorant about well supported answers to her/his questions are correct. That is the bad news, her/his ignorance. The worst news though, is despite the fact that s/he has the intelligence to leave their ignorance behind, the bet is on that they won’t. They are hijacked by the human propensity to see intention when there is none and the pernicious influence of religion which fans this inclination to an screaming ignorant pitch.

  185. #185 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

    Samuel Clemems

  186. #186 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    And I wasn’t abusing you personally. I was quoting from strange gods before me (who doesn’t like me any more than he likes you, and has been repeatedly accusing me of misogyny, callousness and cowardice for some months).

    Walton, I’m surprised. Sure, on an absolute scale, I’m not exceptionally fond of you, but I like you immeasurably more than this pile of shit.

    My complaints about you can be summed up pretty much in this: despite my entreaty to you several weeks ago to look up “male privilege” and learn what it means, specifically to learn how it’s different from me saying that you’re not allowed to have opinions about anything that affects a woman’s life, you haven’t fucking bothered. So you continue to work from a perspective of unexamined male privilege, and… well let’s see if you can guess what happens then in a society that is misogynist by default.

    I’ve taken care to distinguish your cold contempt from burning rage. And no I don’t think the two are equally horrible.

    So here we have AplusCoder who openly, casually and very actively hates gay people:

    It poisons the mind.

    Gay Gaping Assholes.

    Perhaps you get offended when someone points out your defect?

    Notice the obsessive dwelling on gayness ^

    It’s not a defect… Okkkaaaaayyyyy. Very rational I must say. LOL

    C’aio ya all gaping assholes. goodbye. Now I know why.

    Because it’s your defect of choice I must now assume.

    What a fucked up animal.

    And you, Walton, due to your unexamined straight privilege, become apologetic with the homophobe and try to get all buddy-buddy, instead of doing the decent thing and calling him out for being a hater.

    I wonder if you can put yourself in my shoes and imagine how that feels.

  187. #187 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Of course this is precluded by ignoring the questions.

    Well, some of what you have written so far, for example:

    How do our cellular bodies know what minerals and proteins to synthesize from

    has required me asking you questions back (which you haven’t answered) rather than answering them, because some of the questions you’ve asked don’t make a lot of sense.

  188. #188 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Of course this is precluded by ignoring the questions.

    And you sidestepped the big all important question of physical evidence for your imaginary deity. And you will constantly sidestep it since there is none. If you believe in imaginary things, things that only exist between your ears, you are a delusional fool, and there is absolutely no reason for us to take you as anything other than a fool. Which we both know. Begone ignorant godbot.

  189. #189 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Logicel ?

    What religion is that? i don’t go to church so maybe you can scientifically tell me how you arrived at this conclusion.

    Dumbass fake.

  190. #190 Juniper
    April 28, 2009

    Logicel ?

    What religion is that? I don’t go to church so maybe you can scientifically tell me how you arrived at this conclusion.

    Was it through your hormones?

    Fake Fraud.

  191. #191 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Heh. Morphing FAIL.

  192. #192 AplusCoderer
    April 28, 2009

    Redheady denies there is a Life Force.

    Heart pumps beating 100,000 times a day.
    Eyes continually feeding information to the brain.

    Cells dividing and dying.

    Feedback Systems Supporting Life.

    Birth. Will to survive, motivation, happiness, sadness, disappointment, joy. Feelings of Accomplishment.

    Ever felt that?

  193. #193 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    strange gods before me

    is a hater in disguise, projecting their hate upon others.

  194. #194 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    Walton, I’m surprised. Sure, on an absolute scale, I’m not exceptionally fond of you, but I like you immeasurably more than this pile of shit.

    Thanks. I’ll consider that a compliment.

    My complaints about you can be summed up pretty much in this: despite my entreaty to you several weeks ago to look up “male privilege” and learn what it means, specifically to learn how it’s different from me saying that you’re not allowed to have opinions about anything that affects a woman’s life, you haven’t fucking bothered. So you continue to work from a perspective of unexamined male privilege, and… well let’s see if you can guess what happens then in a society that is misogynist by default.

    On the contrary, I would be the first to admit that there is a cultural and institutional sexism in our society – which works both ways. Women (especially women in public life) are judged on physical appearances, and sexually objectified, in a way that men generally are not; the way female politicians are treated by the media is a prime example of this (notably, the way that so many men on both sides of the political spectrum, last year, thought it was acceptable to refer to Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin as “bitch”). I think this kind of conduct is oppressive and wrong, and that people who do it should be called out (as, on this site, they generally are). Similarly, I also think men suffer from society’s expectations; heterosexual men are expected to display certain outward traits of masculinity (physical aggression, liking sports, drinking to excess, etc.) and are mocked, especially as children and teenagers, if they don’t live up to these standards.

    So I certainly don’t deny that our society is institutionally sexist. I do, strenuously, deny that government ought to engage in “positive” discrimination (i.e. open discrimination against men) in order to redress gender imbalances in certain professions. But that’s a different matter.

    And you, Walton, due to your unexamined straight privilege, become apologetic with the homophobe and try to get all buddy-buddy, instead of doing the decent thing and calling him out for being a hater.

    Other people are already calling him out, so I felt there was little need for me to do so. But since you ask, I think his abusive comments towards gay people are unacceptable, inflammatory, and inappropriate for civilised discussion, and I don’t doubt that, if he keeps it up, he will be banned for disrupting the forum.

    And how do you even know I’m straight? When have I mentioned sexual orientation at all?

  195. #195 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    @192: google for “vitalism” and understand that everything you describe proceeds without any “life force” whatsoever. It’s all physical, baby, which makes it _real_.

  196. #196 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Oh good, let’s have a substantive debate about that.

    Explain specifically how calling gay people “defective,” and hurling insults about “gay gaping assholes” is not hateful and homophobic.

  197. #197 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    AplusCoder, still no proof for you deity. What a delusional ignorant fool, as showing physical evidence for your imaginary friend is the first step to scientific acceptance. Questions are meaningless when you ask them inanely and stupidly as you have. Time for you to fade into the bandwidth.

  198. #198 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently hate speech regarding “believer’s of faith”
    or “christians” is perfectly acceptable.

    And really, wasn’t it you that started all this with an obscene,
    rude and crude response to my questions?

    Yet you call yourself adults? Pathetic.

  199. #199 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    “Explain specifically how calling gay people “defective,” and hurling insults about “gay gaping assholes” is not hateful and homophobic.”

    It’s called lashing back in defense.

    I’m sorry if this offended you, but i was offended first.
    And I stand by my statement that it is an unnatural defect.
    Because, scientifically, it is.

  200. #200 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APC, still no evidence for your imaginary deity. If you are a delusional fool, which you acknowledge by your belief in god, then we have every right to treat you with the scorn you deserve on a scientific/atheist blog. You are the fool. Time to go back to your basement. Your mommy is calling.

  201. #201 castletonsnob
    April 28, 2009

    To AplusCoder, amateur troll, who squeaks:

    They say coincidence is GOD’s way of remaining anonymous.

    Then “they”–and you–are profoundly stupid. How this asinine statement passes as some kind of explanation in your “mind” is testament to your childish delusions.

  202. #202 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Because, scientifically, it is.

    Could you please explain to me how something that occurs in, for example, dolphins, is an “unnatural defect” as you assert in comment #199?

  203. #203 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Sure, dolphins have defects too.
    Simple.

  204. #204 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Thanks. I’ll consider that a compliment.

    Not the first one I’ve given you, and here’s one that wasn’t backhanded: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/04/right_wing_inanity.php#comment-1590484

    So I certainly don’t deny that our society is institutionally sexist.

    Well, when I mentioned male privilege a few weeks ago you reacted as though I was touched by the Holy Ghost. So forgive me if I’m not exactly convinced that you’re well educated on the concept.

    And how do you even know I’m straight? When have I mentioned sexual orientation at all?

    That’s just my gaydar. I can dredge up some comments from last summer that sent strong implications that way. If I’m wrong and you’re closeted gay or bi, then you’re still passing as straight and collecting the £200 privilege.

  205. #205 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    AplusCoder, comment #150, wrote:

    Perhaps you misunderstand, ( which is usually the case )

    Perhaps you’d like to clarify this comment? I was under the impression that comment #144 was my first communication to you. Please identify where else I have misunderstood you.

    Or perhaps you were saying that I usually misunderstand in general? Misunderstand exactly what? Other people’s comments? That’s certainly possible. Could you cite some of my comments where this is the case, so I can be sure you and I are on the same sheet of music?

  206. #206 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Notice how it’s ignoring the science challenges? Very weak, this troll.

    (Note: the idea of trolling is to cause maximum annoyance with minimum effort. Unfortunately for trolls on Pharyngula, they wind up expending considerable effort and create nothing but amusement and contempt.)

  207. #207 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Sure, dolphins have defects too.

    Dolphins have defects that are unnatural? Okay, we need to start further back, I think. What is your operational definition for “natural?” What is your operational definition for “unnatural?”

  208. #208 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Other people are already calling him out, so I felt there was little need for me to do so.

    It appeared to me that you felt the need to set aside yourself and him as united against a common enemy. You don’t have to care about me personally, but be aware how what looks like coalition-building might appear to other gay readers of this blog.

    Thanks for the clarification. Straight privilege is exactly what I mean when you say you didn’t feel the need to bring it up until asked. That’s not an insult, just a notice.

  209. #209 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    Well, when I mentioned male privilege a few weeks ago you reacted as though I was touched by the Holy Ghost. So forgive me if I’m not exactly convinced that you’re well educated on the concept.

    That’s not because I’m unaware of what it is, but because I don’t believe that it really exists in the sense that you mean it. As I made clear, I think there is a certain amount of ingrained sexism in our society, but that this sexism works both ways; there are some traits which are seen as characteristically “female” and others as characteristically “male”, and both genders are measured and judged against certain stereotypes.

    Do women suffer a disadvantage in politics? Yes, certainly; and that’s something which requires a major cultural change in order to fix. But this doesn’t mean they’re disadvantaged, and men are advantaged, in every area of life. Look at war, for example. Historically, when a country is in a state of total war, men have been drafted; and those who escaped the draft, or refused to serve for any reason, were treated as cowards by the general populace. By contrast, women have (to my knowledge) never been drafted in any nation except Israel; and there is no particular stigma, even in a time of major war, attached to a woman failing to serve in the military (indeed, many jurisdictions don’t even allow women to serve in the military). This is a clear example of a cultural expectation being placed on men which is not placed on women.

    Likewise, men in positions of care and trust, especially over children, are treated with a lot more suspicion than are women in the same position. If you’re a male teacher working with young children, you have to take a great deal of care in order to avoid being labelled a paedophile; and if anyone in your charge levels any accusation against you, however groundless, your professional reputation is instantly destroyed and you are, essentially, deemed guilty until proven innocent. Even in commercial workplaces, it’s a lot easier for a man to be accused of sexual harassment, and for his career to be ruined without any evidence, than for the same thing to happen to a woman.

    So while I think there is a lot of sexism in our society – and I’ve spoken out here before against the porn industry, against objectification of women, and against the kind of misogynistic insults often directed against women in public life – I think it affects men just as adversely as it affects women. What we need is a broader cultural recognition that everyone – man or woman – is an individual, with the right to define themselves and their own identity however they wish, without being judged against some arbitrary traditional gender stereotype.

  210. #210 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    It’s called lashing back in defense.

    I’m sorry if this offended you, but i was offended first.

    That’s a particularly dense concentration of lies. You aren’t sorry. And you weren’t lashing back in defense.

    I did not attack Christianity in this comment, in fact, what I said was standard Christian apologetics: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/04/obamas_speech_to_the_national.php#comment-1595358

    You aren’t offended by what I said. You’re offended that I exist.

  211. #211 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    It appeared to me that you felt the need to set aside yourself and him as united against a common enemy. You don’t have to care about me personally, but be aware how what looks like coalition-building might appear to other gay readers of this blog.

    Well, I apologise (to you, and any other gay readers who might be interested). I wasn’t intending to build any sort of “coalition”; he hasn’t said anything so far which I agreed with, or, indeed, anything particularly intelligent or interesting. He’s done nothing, in fact, except attack homosexuals and call everyone an “asshole” repeatedly. I won’t give a damn if he gets banned.

  212. #212 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    strange gods before me

    Fuck off asshole.

    And I mean asshole. Waste disposal orifice.

    Next time a stranger asks you a question in person, reply with:

    “Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.”

    See how they respond.

    Coward.

  213. #213 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Wow Walton, way to stick up for yourself.

  214. #214 blf
    April 28, 2009

    a piss code @173 said ?Bye Bye.?

    Since then (c.30 comments when I compose this) it’s posted c.8 additional comments, c.27% of the total during that interval, all of which ignore the questions asked of it since #173, and many of which hurtle what can be seen as insults. Albeit, credit where credit’s due, this one hasn’t STARTED whinging in CAPS with lots of EXCLAMS!!!!1!! And, also to its credit, it seems to be familiar with the concept of paragraphs and sentences.

    It does seem to have the delusions, absence of evidence, and paranoid down pat. But, whilst perhaps necessary, that’s insufficient. You’ve really got to do better to be taken seriously as a troll around here.

  215. #215 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APC is still a Xian apologist with no evidence. Makes him appear to be the idiot he is. You don’t find god in the gaps of scientific information. That is where science is looking and will fill in eventually. The only gaps are in the godbots head where they believe in deities inspite of absolutely no physical evidence.

  216. #216 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    This is going to be a longer conversation than just this one thread.

    I think it affects men just as adversely as it affects women.

    Patriarchy hurts men too. I directed you to Pandagon way back when, so that you could get a decent perspective on precisely this.

    But the effects are not “just as adverse.” That’s like saying institutional white supremacy hurts white people just as badly as it hurts people of color.

    So for example in the UK working men make over 20% more than working women. http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13215844

    Where’s the equivalent institutional sexism against men? Where’s the equivalent of all those lost wages and passed-over promotions? I don’t have to tell you that for the average person in Western society, their personal economics are the single most influential issue on both freedom and quality of life.

  217. #217 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, you keep saying this stuff, over and over, like you’re trying to convince yourself, or others.

    Better recharge your batteries.

  218. #218 Kseniya
    April 28, 2009

    It’s called lashing back in defense. I’m sorry if this offended you, but i was offended first.

    An eye for an eye, is that right? Is that what your Lord and Savior has taught you? Tsk.

    And I stand by my statement that it is an unnatural defect. Because, scientifically, it is.

    It occurs in nature, so how can it be unnatural? And what makes it a defect? People used to believe that left-handedness was a defect, or that closely-spaced eyes indicated criminal tendencies. Scientifically, how is your bigoted stance any different from those?

    By the way, the sum of your comments thus far indicate that you think “scientific” is synonymous with “the way things look to me.” Mere common sense led people to believe that the flat earth was at the center of the universe (which was itself little more than a dome studded with bright lights).

    #129:

    This reminds me why I don’t enjoy discussing things with close minded assholes.

    Later all.

    O_o

    Bye.

    #136:

    C’aio ya all gaping assholes. goodbye.

    Bye.

    #173:

    Nothings changed. Bye Bye.

    Uh… G’bye?

    #193:

    [sgbm] is a hater in disguise, projecting their hate upon others.

    LOL! Go back and read your own comments, then come back and say that with a straight face and a clean conscience. Betcha can’t.

    #203:

    Simple.

    Indeed.

    Of course this is precluded by ignoring the questions.

    Huh? You complain about something by pointing out that it was prevented from happening?

    They say coincidence is GOD’s way of remaining anonymous.

    “They” also say that simple-minded platitudes like that are man’s way of reconciling a dearly-held irrational belief with the complete lack of evidence to support that belief.

  219. #219 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APC you keep implying your imaginary friend exists. I’m just showing you how stupid you sound to people who know better. Your god doesn’t exist until you show the physical evidence. Which you are incapable of doing. That makes you a liar and bullshitter.

  220. #220 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Well, I apologise

    It’s cool. It was a misunderstanding.

  221. #221 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Kseniya Hey what’s up cherry picker.

    Scientifically unnatural?
    “It occurs in nature, so how can it be unnatural?”

    So you believe there are no defects in nature?
    You don’t know why it’s a defect?
    You need me to explain?

    Are you capable of rational thought?

    Please. Figure it out, use you’re analytical skills,
    or develop some.

  222. #222 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    So for example in the UK working men make over 20% more than working women.

    That’s affected by any number of factors. More women in the UK – as that article specifically acknowledges – choose to work part time. I personally know many women who had full-time careers and could have continued in such careers, but moved to working part-time after they had children. Why they choose to do this is up to them; it’s certainly not a matter for the State to remedy. It’s a personal choice made by those women. I have yet to see any evidence that any significant number of employers are reluctant to hire or promote competent women (and, indeed, the fact that many women do get to the top shows that there is no insuperable barrier).

  223. #223 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    unnatural implies deviation from the norm, by the way.

    Perhaps you all think your evolving.

  224. #224 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Next time a stranger asks you a question in person, reply with:

    “Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.”

    See how they respond.

    Coward.

    Oh, then you’d absolutely love me in person.

    Typing gives me a chance to think twice and moderate what I say.

  225. #225 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Still no signs of analytical/scientific thinking form Apluscoder. He is a real dunderhead. God doesn’t exist old chap, and making noises like god is the only explanation is very tiring to us real scientists. Your mommy is calling. Go back to your basement and tin foil hat.

  226. #226 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    So you believe there are no defects in nature?

    This doesn’t answer Kseniya’s question, nor does it address my previous comment on this issue. But I fully suspect that you know that…

    You need me to explain?

    That would be terrific. Please do. But first, please define “natural,” “unnatural,” and “defect.”

  227. #227 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Is anyone else amused that this guy’s idea of a riposte is “use you’re analytical skills”? With mipsrints like that your code must be a _joy_ to debug… assuming you actually do any coding, of course.

    For what it’s worth: if _nature_ contains _defects_ then the _defects_ are _natural_ not _unnatural_. That would be an application of analytical skills.

  228. #228 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, Do you believe you sound smart?

  229. #229 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Walton, look up Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and then tell me with a straight face that you’re sure nothing similar is happening in the UK.

  230. #230 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, Do you believe you sound smart?

    Compared to your woo and godbotting, I sound like a genius. The easiest way for you to sound smart is to shut up. But then, the weak of mind, especially due to believing in imaginary beings, never understand that.

  231. #231 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    “For what it’s worth: if _nature_ contains _defects_ then the _defects_ are _natural_ not _unnatural_. That would be an application of analytical skills.”

    And would be ignorantly, patently, and applicably false.

    Un-natural

    # Inconsistent with an individual pattern or custom.
    # Deviating from a behavioral or social norm: an unnatural attachment.
    # In violation of natural feelings; inhuman.

  232. #232 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Walton: you wrote this:

    “I have yet to see any evidence that any significant number of employers are reluctant to hire or promote competent women”

    This seriously does bear on the issues raised on previous threads regarding your life experience or lack thereof. You are a student. You are male. You are not yet twenty. What _you have yet to see_ is not the same as _what there is_. Sorry if that sounds blunt but you _keep doing this_.

    And if you think the UK’s gender pay disparity is due to women doing more part-time work then you have not even being looking at the stats; the issue is that women doing the same job with the same responsibilities and the same qualifications are getting paid less.

  233. #233 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder,

    See how they respond.

    Tell me, how do you think they’d respond?

  234. #234 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Since gayness is, for gay people, consistent with their individual pattern or custom, in keeping with their behavioural and social norms, and consistent with their natural feelings, the coder’s point remains unmade.

    Hee hee, troll baiting is fun.

  235. #235 Rick R
    April 28, 2009

    I love trolls like coder. They work so hard at destroying their religion, same as the repubs who reacted to their defeat at the polls by “thinking” the solution is to be MORE conservative. More stupid, at louder and louder decibel levels. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
    My very favorite thing is to let idiots like coder shriek. As loud as they can.

    When it comes to wiping out their idiotic ideology, they do all the heavy lifting for you.

    So bring it, baby. Don’t disappoint. *kisses*

  236. #236 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Rick, what’s my religion?

  237. #237 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Rick,

    Can I shriek like Perez Hilton? Please?

  238. #238 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Un-natural

    Just curious: what’s your source for this defintion?

    # Inconsistent with an individual pattern or custom.

    You mean a “particular” pattern, or a patten exhibited by an individual?

    # Deviating from a behavioral or social norm: an unnatural attachment.

    Uh, how do you get away with having the word you’re defining in the definition?

    # In violation of natural feelings; inhuman.

    It would be good to have your definition of natural to compare to this…

    So then what papers can you point me to that define what behavioral/social norms for dolphins are, such that you can confidentally say that the occurrence of homosexual behavior is a “deviation” from those norms?

  239. #239 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Rick, what’s my religion?

    The brand doesn’t matter, just the belief in imaginary deities.

  240. #240 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    I think “self-worship” would cover it, based on evidence thus far.

  241. #241 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    So here we are boiled down to the usual to suspects.

    Religion and Homosexuality.

    How wonderfully scientific.

    I gotta block this fucked up site.

  242. #242 Rick R
    April 28, 2009

    “I gotta block this fucked up site.”

    Promises, promises.

  243. #243 KI
    April 28, 2009

    Perhaps this one is just trolling for a hook-up. It says it’s leaving (numerous times) and now says it will block out this site. Yet it doesn’t leave. I say it needs some time in a leather bar to meet the person it is pining for. Projection and unfulfilled desire are all over its postings.

  244. #244 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    @241: YOU brought up planned specialization and divine life force in about your first comment herein.

  245. #245 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    I _told_ it to obtain some modern gratification technology but it wouldn’t listen.

  246. #246 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    “Pregnancy testing UK businesses,” Croner, 16 September 2004 http://www.onrec.com/newsstories/5039.asp

    Thousands of new sex discrimination claims could be just around the corner after a new poll found that more than four-fifths of the UK?s HR professionals believe bosses automatically think twice before employing women of ?childbearing age.?

    The online poll by Croner, one of the UK?s leading providers of business information and advice, was carried out after the widely reported comment of Godfrey Bloom, of the UK Independence Party, that: “No small businessman with a brain in the right place would hire a lady of childbearing age”.

    There you go. In the UK over 80% of people working in Human Resources — these are the people responsible for hiring — say that men are preferred hires over women of childbearing age.

    No more bullshitting about lack of evidence, now. Take a single elective introductory course in women’s studies and you’ll have access to all the evidence you could ever want.

  247. #247 Bill Dauphin
    April 28, 2009

    Wow. I posted my last (@99) just before 3:00 am; I come back just 6 hours letter, just to see in what stimulating new fashion I’ve been slapped around, only to find that the thread has doubled in size and completely changed in character! Anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution need only read Pharyngula! ;^)

    Walton—

    @109:

    I actually think it’s an excellent motto (E Pluribus Unum, that is), as the sentiment “From Many, One” represents America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants, and its unique ability to unify disparate people under one national loyalty.

    Really? I think it’s an excellent motto, too, but to me the sentiment has always indicated, in addition to the tolerant blending of immigrant heritages, primarily a social synthesis of individuals into a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts… a society. Without mentioning by name the ideological kudzu vine that sometimes overwhelms these threads, I had thought this sort of societal synthesis was anathema to you.

    @151:

    Rather, [my loyalty to the Queen] stems from the fact that she is the symbol of our country and our society, just as the Stars and Stripes or the Constitution is for Americans. When Americans pledge allegiance to “the flag of the United States”, they are expressing their allegiance to what the flag stands for

    But you don’t need the Queen for that sort of symbol, because you already have a flag, which is all you really need (just ask Eddie Izzard1), and the Magna Carta.

    @194:

    And how do you even know I’m straight? When have I mentioned sexual orientation at all?

    Interesting comment. I recall that on at least one occasion (and more than one, IIRC), you’ve decried sexual passion as a socially destructive force that we’d be better off without, and you have sometimes seemed to be holding your own sexuality at arm’s length… but I confess that I, too, had made the (possibly erroneous and certainly unfounded) assumption that it was hetero sexuality you were pushing back against.

    I’ve often said I’m about as LGBT-friendly as a middle-aged, middle-class straight white guy can be, but I’m afraid that even so, when I hear sexual “hoofbeats” I still think horses, not zebras.

    Unless, of course, the stripes are really flamboyant! ;^)

    1 I couldn’t preview this video from my work computer; I hope it’s what I think it is.

  248. #248 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Dream on K,

    Woman are THE most beautiful creatures on the planet.

    And Josh

    What do my questions have to do with religion?

    I’m in search of the force behind living organisms.
    You know – the creation of life, and all.
    Kind of like Bio Logos.

    And no-one here shares any idea what I refer to.
    Yet calls themselves scientists, then craftfully
    tries to degrade.

    It’s fucked up.

  249. #249 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    In the UK over 80% of people working in Human Resources — these are the people responsible for hiring — say that men are preferred hires over women of childbearing age.

    Well, of course. That, in fact, is the fault of government. If a female employee becomes pregnant, her employer has to give her statutory paid maternity leave, and isn’t allowed to fire her. Therefore, if you’re employing someone, you won’t want to run the risk that she will become pregnant and you will have to give her a lengthy period of paid holiday, while, of course, also paying someone else to take over her job. Naturally, this is a strong disincentive to employing women of child-bearing age, particularly among small businesses which simply can’t absorb the cost.

    (Perhaps an alternative would be for the State, rather than her employer, to cover a woman’s cost of living during her maternity leave? That way, pregnancy would be less economically disastrous for employers, while the woman would still get the same benefit.)

  250. #250 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    No Apluscoder, several of us are working scientists, with many years of experience (30+ in my case). You just appear to someone who learned a couple of things and thinks they can bamboozle the experts. The chances of that happening are the same as you proving the existence of your god in the next five minutes.

  251. #251 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    I’m in search of the force behind living organisms.

    Okay, I can concede that perhaps “life force” isn’t a thinly veiled reference to a god if you can define what you mean by a “force behind living organisms.” What does that mean?

  252. #252 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    @248: try looking for leprechauns or the pumpkin fairy instead.

  253. #253 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder:

    Humor me by considering a hypothetical situation. Suppose biology achieved abiogenesis. Suppose further that cosmology demonstrated beyond doubt that there were a large ensemble of universes, most of which were dead, and that purely by chance, the laws of physics in this one favored the development of life. Suppose all this were demonstrated beyond doubt (as in fact it could be). Would you stop believing in God? In your “life force”?

  254. #254 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Ah Nerd, so you’re 30, that makes sense now, I guess, I thought you were younger though, by the use of the mommy phraseology.

    LOL

  255. #255 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    I think we have a wooist on our hands.

  256. #256 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Walton, you’re kind of implying that an absence of paid maternity leave would _improve_ women’s prospects of employment equality. Your evidence, if you would be so kind? And a substantive response to the Leadbetter vs. Goodyear Tire Company case?

  257. #257 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Ah Nerd, so you’re 30,

    30+ years of experience as a scientist does not a 30-year-old person make…

  258. #258 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, wrong as usual. But then, that is expected with illiterates like yourself. I got my PhD 30+ years ago, and have worked in science ever since. So I know when you claim to scientific, but are presenting a pile of doo-doo. Which is all you have presented to date. We are going to need the big pitchfork and trebuchet to clean up after you. Your maturity is in doubt, since, if you were truly adult you would have vanished a while back.

  259. #259 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    It can’t even _read_, can it?

  260. #260 KI
    April 28, 2009

    I have many gay friends who appreciate women aesthetically. They still hang out in leather bars. I think William S. Burroughs is the greatest 20th century writer in the English language, but I’m not taking up heroin addiction anytime soon. I’m convinced current troll has deep unquestioned issues.

  261. #261 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Well, of course. That, in fact, is the fault of government.

    I see your reflexes are in fine shape.

    You realize the maternity laws have not existed since time immemorial.

    To say it’s all “the fault of government” you’d have to show that women and men were hired at equal rates before the maternity laws.

    This should be interesting.

  262. #262 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Regarding #261.

    I think we can safely say:
    Check.

    *waits expectantly*

  263. #263 Lilly de Lure
    April 28, 2009

    SAWells

    It can’t even _read_, can it?

    Apluscoder is a truly dazzling display of intellectual incompetence isn’t he . . .

    I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like him since the Kenny era!

  264. #264 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    “most of which were dead, and that purely by chance, the laws of physics in this one favored the development of life. Suppose all this were demonstrated beyond doubt (as in fact it could be). Would you stop believing in God? In your “life force”?”

    No it wouldn’t, as there are many levels to the complexities of life that point back to some sort of intelligence.

    You here, are looking at the physical plane, and yet, perhaps 1 out of a gazillion planets orbiting a heat source with water could support “life”, in many different forms, terra-formed, let’s say.

    Then one must ask, why is man so intellectually superior to all the other creatures on this planet? What is it that makes man want
    to learn and know more and more? And why is man inquisitive?
    Why does man where clothes?
    And why does man have an emptiness that is difficult to make
    content? Why are some self-destructive? Why are some loving.
    Did man really evolve from a squirrel like primate that was preyed
    upon by birds? Birds? oh never-mind birds. Or Fish? or both!?
    Or primitive bi-valved nutrient pumps! (without brains, eyes,
    or ears..or fingers, or voiceboxes (of course) )

    What is the best ingredient to pursue for a contented life?
    Charity, helpfulness, productivity, accomplishment?

    What drives us, and how did we get here, and why do many
    of the questions mankind asked thousands of years ago still
    get asked today, and why do some of the answers from thousands
    of years ago still work today.

    And have you ever considered the informational clutter we get
    sometimes let ourselves get subjected can pollute our clarity
    of thought, and ability to get in touch with, Mother Nature?

  265. #265 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    To your aside:

    (Perhaps an alternative would be for the State, rather than her employer, to cover a woman’s cost of living during her maternity leave? That way, pregnancy would be less economically disastrous for employers, while the woman would still get the same benefit.)

    It’s a good idea. You sound like Tony Benn.

  266. #266 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Why do you all depend on the government for encouragement towards scientific discovery?

    For the same reason you are able to post comments on this website: because the public sector is much better than the private sector at funding science.

    Music, certainly ours ears ( sensory mechanisms, yes, mechanisms ) decipher a nice range and can equate pleasantry with music, and also can equate different styles to a broad spectrum of other feelings.
    I ( scientific engineer ) recognize the complixities in such mechanisms, and their possible origin of creation, their networked ( to the brain ) function, and disfunction. Their beauty and purposeful design.

    You? call me silly all you wish. I know what I see. I know what you don’t.

    I agree. We don’t see music. We HEAR it.

    This reminds me why I don’t enjoy discussing things
    with close minded assholes.

    You’re the homophobe, you’re the one with the closed asshole… I mean you’re the one who’s the close minded asshole.

    @Matt Heath:

    Speaking purely for myself (a Briton): Fuck God Save the Queen. Boring tune, disgusting call for special treatment for an over-privileged, reactionary anachronism and it means the anthem has to change with the gender of the monarch (fuck it even more if and when it becomes “God Save the King” for any of the first 3 in line). Anyone that can sing it without embarrassment (or without substituting “team” for “queen” before the football) is a cringing, wannabe-feudal sycophant.

    Hear, hear!

    @Walton:

    Rather, it stems from the fact that she is the symbol of our country and our society, just as the Stars and Stripes or the Constitution is for Americans. When Americans pledge allegiance to “the flag of the United States”, they are expressing their allegiance to what the flag stands for – American values and the American way of life – and their respect for those who have suffered and died for those values. Similarly, when I took my oath of allegiance to the Queen* when I joined the OTC, I wasn’t, in my own mind, pledging to obey every future monarch’s personal whim; I was pledging allegiance to the British constitution, reified in the person of the Sovereign.

    The monarchy may symbolize Britain for you, but it doesn’t symbolize Britain to me. The values of the Windsors don’t represent my values, or the values of most people I know. They don’t represent me.

    And our constitution sucks by the way. We are perhaps the most illiberal system of governance in the Western world.

    The hereditary principle is arbitrary.

    It’s not arbitrary, it’s discriminatory. Non-protestant? Female? Non-Windsor?

    But it works.

    So we should tolerate racism in society similarly because it works?

    Gee, let’s all have benevolent dictators! Just because the current monarch seems like a nice old lady, doesn’t mean that the next one won’t be a Stalin.

    I also don’t buy that it does actually work, by the way.

    The great strength of a hereditary head of state is that s/he is uniquely independent from politics

    So they claim.

    And this is a strength how exactly?

    Juan Carlos I of Spain single-handedly transformed his country from a reactionary Catholic dictatorship into a modern, secular capitalist democracy.

    A country with a monarchy is not a proper democracy, and while Britain is most certainly modern and capitalist, it is most certainly not secular. To me that makes Britain not much better than a Protestant dictatorship.

    Oh, by the way, yes Juan Carlos I is better than Franco (who incidentally chose Juan Carlos to be the king), but if being better than Franco is a sign of competence in your book, then your argument is not very strong at all.

    The British monarch is not a God-appointed ruler, and, unlike some of her ancestors, she doesn’t claim to be.

    This is bullshit. The Queen is known as, “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith“, and she is also head of the Church of England.

    Rather, she exercises certain state functions on our behalf by the common consent of the people.

    WTF? When did she get our consent?

    until we end up with an insane or incompetent monarch (which is certainly possible)

    I see Charles the Third going on a crusade against GM food and in support of alternative medicine such as homeopathy.

    I think any move to abolish the monarchy would simply be sacrificing an effective and well-liked institution for the sake of pure ideology.

    Democracy is such a terrible terrible ideology, don’t you think?

    Seriously, aren’t you supposed to be a libertarian? Way to stand up for libertarian values.

    I stand by what I’ve said countless times before, the monarchy is not “well-liked”, the only reason we still have it is because while the little Englander readers of the Daily Mail like the monarchy, those that would be predisposed to want to get rid of it, are, for the most part, suffering from apathy over the whole issue due to being alienated from politics.

  267. #267 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, wrong as usual. But then, that is expected with illiterates like yourself. I got my PhD 30+ years ago,”

    I was joking you stupid psuedo scientific fuck.

  268. #268 Epikt
    April 28, 2009

    APlusCoder:

    Through Natural Selection? What a cop the fuck out.

    You all are hopelessly caged.

    Right. “My very favorite sky-fairy did it!” is, of course, not a cop-out, but a Revealed Truth. I guess you have to be a “scientific engineer” to understand these things.

  269. #269 Tulse
    April 28, 2009

    When did she get our consent?

    “Well, I didn’t vote for you.”

  270. #270 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Epikt

    Maybe the squirrels running around in my backyard will someday be your friend too. Then you all can hang out together.

  271. #271 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    And if you think the UK’s gender pay disparity is due to women doing more part-time work then you have not even being looking at the stats; the issue is that women doing the same job with the same responsibilities and the same qualifications are getting paid less.

    Exactly.

    Now, can anyone tell me if the current Equalities bill going through Parliament will address this or not?

  272. #272 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, still no point, still no science, still no evidence, still showing yourself to be an idiot. Yawn, just another boring woo filled troll.

  273. #273 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    And our constitution sucks by the way. We are perhaps the most illiberal system of governance in the Western world.

    I agree that it leaves much to be desired – the present system (intentionally) places virtually no restraint on the power of Parliament and thus, effectively, on the power of the government of the day. And it provides no protection for individual rights against the democratic majority. Nor does it allow those who don’t adhere to either major party to have any real influence in the political process.

    I would suggest the introduction of a codified constitution, with an enumerated Bill of Rights similar to that in the US Constitution. I would also propose open primaries for the selection of parliamentary candidates, so as to break the power of the party whips in the House of Commons and give the voters, not party officials, the choice over who holds office. And I’m in favour of altering the appointment process for the House of Lords (perhaps making it more like Seanad Eireann in the ROI) and giving it more substantive powers.

    But I point out that none of these things is inherently incompatible with a monarchy – look at Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, constitutional monarchies whose constitutions have most of the above features.

    Really, we don’t have a “monarchy” in Britain at all. We have a crowned republic. There is no substantive difference between our system and those with an ceremonial non-executive president (such as Germany, India or the Republic of Ireland).

    But if you really find the hereditary principle so offensive, I wouldn’t object to changing the system (after the death of the present Queen) to indirect election of a monarch for life. (There is precedent for having elected monarchs; the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is one of the best historical examples, and modern-day Malaysia and Samoa also have elected constitutional monarchs.)

    Democracy is such a terrible terrible ideology, don’t you think?

    Seriously, aren’t you supposed to be a libertarian? Way to stand up for libertarian values.

    Why do you conflate democracy with libertarianism? I do not believe in democracy as an ideology. It presupposes that the majority have a right to enforce their will on the minority. I believe in the sovereignty of each individual, not in the sovereignty of the collective.

    Democracy is desirable only because it allows us to remove leaders without the bloodshed of civil wars or assassinations. Whether our elected leadership “represents” the populace (insofar as any person can ever really “represent” thousands of unique, distinct individuals with their own views) is completely irrelevant.

  274. #274 Lilly de Lure
    April 28, 2009

    Alex Deam said:

    I see Charles the Third going on a crusade against GM food and in support of alternative medicine such as homeopathy.

    Agreed – much as I rather like the Queen personally, part of me rather wishes she’ll retire as soon as poss.

    Her son’s reign is likely to become just far too entertaining to miss – unless he learns that his job as a constitutional monarch essentially boils down to keeping his mouth shut and waving a lot.

  275. #275 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Then one must ask, why is man so intellectually superior to all the other creatures on this planet?

    Because intelligence tends to be an exclusive niche; for an example see the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis at the hands of Homo sapiens.

  276. #276 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Fuck this stupid ass troll.

    Get lost dipshit.

  277. #277 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder is not doing so well at demonstrating that intellectual superiority, is he? I’ve met orangutans with better reasoning skills.

  278. #278 Lilly de Lure
    April 28, 2009

    Agreed – much as I rather like the Queen personally, part of me rather wishes she’ll retire as soon as poss.

    I possibly should clarify – I know that British Monarchs do not generally retire, but only pass on their thrones when they die.

    It’s just that as I said I’m rather fond of Lizzie Windsor as a person.

    Hence, although I would find the fireworks that are currently likely to mark Charles III’s reign an entertaining spectacle, I really don’t wish for the current queen to die any time soon, hence the retirement wish.

  279. #279 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    Redheady denies there is a Life Force.

    Heart pumps beating 100,000 times a day.
    Eyes continually feeding information to the brain.

    assploder,

    Did you know that the human heart beats for a lifetime with no external energy source?

  280. #280 John Morales
    April 28, 2009

    Nerd,

    Yawn, just another boring woo filled troll.

    Dunno about the woo, it might be troll-poeing, but otherwise spot-on; not much of a specimen really.

  281. #281 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Any progress on that definition of “natural?”

  282. #282 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Rev,
    Well, the energy is transformed within the organism, through
    energy that has been inducted.

    Barb’s sees it, or excuse me, hears it.

    Sounds like I’m leaving behind a bunch of frustrated apes.

    Good.

  283. #283 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    It makes less and less sense every time it posts. Has to be deliberate. Or on drugs? It’s like the energy is transformed within the organism, man… I need Cheetos.

  284. #284 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Natural?

    Like “natural” peanut butter?

    Sorry josh gotta move on, hope you get a chance to
    figure it out. Appreciate your congeniality though,
    but the rest of this atmosphere is socially polluted.

  285. #285 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    How can we miss you if you _won’t leave_?

  286. #286 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Sam,
    No idea what a biological transducer is?

    Cheetos are real healthy, brain food.

  287. #287 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Here’s some help shithead:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1566331

    Browner MF, Fletterick RJ.

    Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448.

    A transducer is a device that receives energy from one system and transmits it, often in a different form, to another. Glycogen phosphorylase receives information from the cell or organism in the form of metabolic signals. The energy associated with the binding of these ligand signals is integrated and transmitted at an atomic level, allowing precise adjustment of the enzymatic activity. Understanding this elegant allosteric control has required several different approaches, but the structural requirements of allostery are being defined.

  288. #288 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, So, from your answer, I would conclude that your belief in God/life-force/etc. is not rooted in empiricism. Rather, you find inspiration for your belief in the world around you.

    The thing that you need to realize is that science has done a very good job of coming up with answers to questions, and it may very well provide answers to all of them someday–cosmology, abiogenesis, belief in God, sense of wonder, the blue-light-and-tunnel near-death experience… It may be that God is not strictly necessary to explain anything. The question you have to ask yourself is whether this would stop your believing in God or diminish the joy you find in that belief. At the same time, you need to realize that others may reach the opposite conclusion for reasons just as valid as your own.

    Believing in the god of the gaps is a perilous journey of faith, because the gaps will always get smaller.

  289. #289 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Rev,
    Well, the energy is transformed within the organism, through
    energy that has been inducted.

    Barb’s sees it, or excuse me, hears it.

    That sound you heard was my point flying over your head.

  290. #290 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    what a bunch of fucking lightweight shriekers.

    Begging me to live.

    Here’s your wish come true.

  291. #291 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    but the rest of this atmosphere is socially polluted.

    Religionist sprays homophobia all over the room.

    Religionist then complains that something smells like shit.

  292. #292 John Morales
    April 28, 2009

    SAWells, it’s just baseline trolling.

    High-level trolls actually make arguments and try to start flame wars, these lowbies just want to be noticed and are too dull-witted to be embarassed by their stupidity.

  293. #293 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    It can’t spell, it can’t read, it confuses induction, transformation and transduction, and its insults become less imaginative with every passing moment. Ho hum.

    I’m a biophysicist: I can recognize your bullshit without even trying. At least try to be more original.

    Small bet: it _still_ won’t leave.

  294. #294 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    God of the cracks. God of the crevices.

  295. #295 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Begging me to live.

    I’d be willing to observe a moment of silence, should you change your mind.

  296. #296 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yawn, ever hear of biological metabolism? That is, the chemical reactions that take the energy in food and converts to energy for biological species, but, while doing so, obeys the laws of thermodynamics? Nothing special happening, just a series of chemical reactions.
    Likewise, plants and aglae build up chemicals from simpler molecules using the energy from light. At no time is there a lapse in the laws of thermodynamics. There is no such thing as life force until you demonstrate it with hard physical evidence. And do so by publishing your data in the peer reviewed primary scientific literature. So Apluscoder, either cite your paper, or run along like the fool you are.

  297. #297 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Biological metabolism? No what is that? Never heard of it. LOL

    And for you strange gods before me
    I imagine you’re perfect and full of sunshine.

    Sam’s a BioPhysicist? No Sam’s a liar.

    Biological induction makes no sense to you in terms
    of energy conversion?

    Need some help with that or haven’t you gotten that far

  298. #298 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    And still nothing from the have nothing woomeister. Not even a citation showing the laws of thermodynamics are violated by a life force. Yawn, boring troll, should be banned for being boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring…

  299. #299 SAWells
    April 28, 2009

    Who the fuck is Sam?

  300. #300 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Fuck off Nerd, get out of the lab and grow up.

  301. #301 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Sam is you SAWells, whatever that is, your pompous name??

    Some really deep thinkers here. High School Caliber.

  302. #302 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    God of the cracks. God of the crevices.

    This is a strange commentary on your ability to think.

    You believe that since science ‘explains’ how something
    happens, that that means that what, there is no creative
    intelligent force behind it?

    Very superficial.

    Nicely coined term of defense though.

  303. #303 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Agreed – much as I rather like the Queen personally, part of me rather wishes she’ll retire as soon as poss.

    Her son’s reign is likely to become just far too entertaining to miss – unless he learns that his job as a constitutional monarch essentially boils down to keeping his mouth shut and waving a lot.

    I think I read somewhere that Charles said he was going to be more outspoken than his mother. Don’t think he used quite that phrasing, but that was what it implied.

    Regardless, it will be fun when/if he becomes king, because Ben Goldacre will effectively become “His Majesty’s Opposition”.

    @Walton #273, I agree with pretty much most of what you said, but just a couple of points:

    Really, we don’t have a “monarchy” in Britain at all. We have a crowned republic. There is no substantive difference between our system and those with an ceremonial non-executive president (such as Germany, India or the Republic of Ireland).

    I know what you’re trying to say here, and I agree with it, in that the Queen uses very minimal powers, and that most of her powers are actually exercised by the Prime Minister, and not by her. However, I find the theoretical possibility of her exercising these powers troubling, however unlikely. And yes, the fact the Prime Minister is the one who exercises these powers is more troubling in a practical sense to me. The power to declare war should be given to Parliament, for instance.

    Oh, and I can’t stop sniggering at the idea of a “crowned republic”!

    But if you really find the hereditary principle so offensive, I wouldn’t object to changing the system (after the death of the present Queen) to indirect election of a monarch for life. (There is precedent for having elected monarchs; the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is one of the best historical examples, and modern-day Malaysia and Samoa also have elected constitutional monarchs.)

    I can’t be bothered to look up those monarchies right now, but I will say this about the idea of an “elected monarchy”. For me, if I was in charge of reforming how this country worked, whether we have a monarchy or not would be the last thing to be looked at. Other things, like an entrenched constitution, separation of powers (and church and state), amongst others are far more important. I think since abolishing the monarchy would be politically difficult, having a referendum every four years at the start of a new parliament on whether the people want a monarchy would be good enough for me.

    Why do you conflate democracy with libertarianism? I do not believe in democracy as an ideology. It presupposes that the majority have a right to enforce their will on the minority. I believe in the sovereignty of each individual, not in the sovereignty of the collective.

    Forgive me, but I was under the impression that since libertarians are not necessarily anarchists, then they don’t support the complete abolition of government. So then, how does a libertarian propose what minimal government they might believe in, if not by democracy? You say that libertarianism is all about the sovereignty of the individual, which seems reasonable from what I know of libertarianism, but surely you agree that sovereignty of the collective is still better than sovereignty of one specific individual (monarch)?

  304. #304 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, still no point, still no science, still no evidence. Yawn. BBOORRIINNGG.

    And APC, I am working in the lab and writing a report today. You are just a minor break in the workload. You are worth no more effort than that. If you don’t like being mocked, you have the option of ceasing to post here. I recommend that you use that option, as nobody will believe a word you say. You have already been shown to be an idiot. Further posts on your part will only confirm that.

  305. #305 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    You’re all stupid. I’m leaving.

  306. #306 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Jeebus, this clown makes Rooke look like a rocket scientist.

    Where’s the piddle pads?

  307. #307 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    It makes less and less sense every time it posts. Has to be deliberate. Or on drugs?

    Worse – it’s on God.

  308. #308 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    “Apluscoder, still no point, still no science, still no evidence. Yawn. BBOORRIINNGG.”

    Speak for yourself, this is basically all you’ve said this morning.

    If you’re unable to understand my point, why do you want me
    to leave so badly? Is it because you’re not inquisitive or
    interested? Sorry pal no matter how hard you wish, evolution
    has not been proven, nor has a creater been dis-proven.

  309. #309 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I mean it. Buncha high schoolers.

    I’m a scientist. I mean, an engineer.

    You’re so closed-minded.

    I’m leaving for reals, yo.

  310. #310 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    How come you all want me to leave? Is it because I’m blowing your little minds?

    I’m for sure leaving, but that’s because you guys have nothing to offer me.

    Expect another comment on why I’m leaving right now in another few seconds.

  311. #311 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    You believe that since science ‘explains’ how something
    happens, that that means that what, there is no creative
    intelligent force behind it?

    Well it doesn’t mean that in the sense of logical implication, but if we have an explanation of something in purely natural terms which is well supported by evidence then appealing to an outside source intelligence is roughly as justified as appealing to an invisible pink unicorn (or to pick a truly ludicrous object for reductio ad absurdm appealing to the God of the Bible).

    In any case expecting intelligence as such to be an important factor in the universe at large is such tiresome human narcissism: “What must be running the universe is something with this O So Important trait that we humans have”. It speaks of a rather sad lack of imagination not to be able to conceive of a universe nothing like you (well avoiding the obvious snark about “lack of intelligence” nothing like you).

  312. #312 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Are you implying that engineers are not as smart as “scientists”?

    LOL. Yes, of course theoretical hypothesis are so practically
    applied. Especially the one regarding ‘evolution’.

    We need to disparage those Engineers !

    Let’s call it the Salem hypothesis!

    OMG that’s special. Insecure little scientists.

  313. #313 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    evolution has not been proven

    Whoa there, sport. We don’t prove things in science. We disprove them. Given what you wrote in comment #158, surely you know that, right? This sentence here was just a typo?

  314. #314 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Man, why are you guys such assholes? I’ve already made three comments detailing your uselessness and how I’m never coming back to this stupid site, and yet you treat me like some sort of pariah.

    Did I mention I’m an engineer? Think about fingers (if you dare open your minds to the truth) and how we have ten of them, yet two are thumbs. And what is ten plus two? Twelve. And who had twelve disciples? Try reading a (Good) Book instead of this bullshit site.

    I’m leaving. To do engineering.

  315. #315 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    And for you strange gods before me
    I imagine you’re perfect and full of sunshine.

    More specifically http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxC7rAkNkRw

  316. #316 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    OMG that’s special. Insecure little scientists.

    I thought you were a scientist. No, what was it? Oh, yes, a “( scientific engineer )”.

    Anyways, you’re an asshole, apluscoder, and if you’re a representative of the kind of thinking on this site, then I’m leaving.

    Right.

    Now.

    And.

    Never.

    Coming.

    Back.

  317. #317 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yawn, still no science, still no citations, still no evidence. All APC can do is talk in circles..circles..circles..circles. That is boring.

    Since APC has nothing to offer, he should just fade into the bandwidth. But that would require a brain, which appears to be missing…

  318. #318 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Matt, most all of science is observation, interpretation, formulation of equations to describe characteristics and processes, of the world around us. It is no more than that, along with the engineering that flows out of our discoveries. We are an
    extension of what is first made through creation, no more.

    Can you provide us an equation for use to describe evolution,
    and how it can be applied in real life, today?
    ( other than the popular 1+1=3 )

  319. #319 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Seriously, I’m going, unless you explain to me how X could have arisen by chance. Because books on evolution don’t exist.

    Also, evolution has never been proven. As a scientist, I can say that. Also, I’m an engineer.

    But you guys are positively closed-minded. And assholes. Speaking of which, can’t you go one moment without bringing up your homosexual perversions?

    Fuck you all; I’m leaving.

  320. #320 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Brownian, are you an expert spell checker too?

  321. #321 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently Brownian believes that Engineers are disqualified from being scientists.

    That sounds like discrimination, doesn’t it?

  322. #322 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APC, still no citations for your idea. Still no evidence. Inane questions are neither. Show the information. We’ve seen other boring idiot types who can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag with a tear in it before. And you are dumber than they are.

  323. #323 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Brownian, are you an expert spell checker too?

    Real adult. It’s like a playground in here. And you call yourselves scientists?

    I’m leaving.

  324. #324 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    We are an extension of what is first made through creation, no more.

    I’ll take bald assertions for $400, Alex.

    Got anything to back that up, sport?

  325. #325 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently Brownian believes that Engineers are disqualified from being scientists.

    I believe that they’re not to be capitalised as a group.

    Still nothing to say but playground insults. Man, this site is full of assholes.

    I’m leaving. And never coming back. Unless it’s to remind you that I’m leaving.

    Sayonara, chumps.

  326. #326 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Yeah stu, God’s in my back pocket. Here, see?

    It’s a theory, based on observation, similar to the speculative theory of evolution.

  327. #327 Stu
    April 28, 2009
  328. #328 Choo-Choo-Charlie
    April 28, 2009

    Nope, engineers are not scientists.
    What’s more, software “engineers” are not Engineers.
    And I’m leaving too; right now!!

  329. #329 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    It’s a theory, based on observation, similar to the speculative theory of evolution.

    Yeah, so there.

    As a scientist PLUS engineer, I can assure you I know what all the above words mean.

    I’m leaving. Yawn.

  330. #330 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Nope, engineers are not scientists.

    Really? Why ? Because we’re useful and not dependent
    on universities and government?

    You really make me less impressed the more I see and hear.

    Scientists 20 years ago had more credibility than you do today.

    BTW I asked whether Engineers could ‘become’ scientists.

    What does that take? A special session with the Prof?

    Playing doctor to get your PhD? A semester in Greece?

  331. #331 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I’m coding right now, and I can assure you that none of the code I’m writing right now got there by chance. How could it?

    I’m going. What a useless site.

  332. #332 flaq
    April 28, 2009

    what a bunch of fucking lightweight shriekers.

    Begging me to live.

    Here’s your wish come true.

    Can it be? Did he really just grant us all our wish?

  333. #333 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    @318: You talking to me? How the fuck does that relate to anything I wrote?
    Anyway I’m not actually a biologist and unlike you will admit I know less about biology than biologists do. I certainly don’t think engineers are less smart than scientists but if you can’t see that they – and mathematicians like myself – are less good at science than scientists than scientists, then you are less smart than almost anyone. To know about biology, anyone half smart listens respectfully to the biologists, such as PZ, and puts little importance on the screeds whiny ideologues, such as you.

    Now that’s a good reason why I don’t have to do your imbecilic challenge. But you know what? I will do it. Because I have respectfully listened to and read the words of people who have bothered to study what they are talking about, I know that the Price equation describes that action of natural selection in a way that accurately explains and predicts the accumulation of complexity in biology and beyond. Behold, a single equality in applied probability, your Creator.

  334. #334 Chiroptera
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, #326: Yeah stu, God’s in my back pocket. Here, see?

    Actually that makes much more sense than most of what the godbots spout.

    Just sayin’.

  335. #335 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Still no evidence, no citation, no nothing. That’s it, Apluscoder is nothing but nothing! We have him figured out. Just blankness.

  336. #336 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Unfortunately the Price equation is a sad attempt at curve fitting
    to legitimize your fraud. I could just as easily devise an equation
    that would provide a correlation with intelligent design and the
    development of a dragonfly. This would be disingenuous.

    Perhaps you can show us an application of it.

  337. #337 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Can you provide us an equation for use to describe evolution,
    and how it can be applied in real life, today?

    Maybe you should read up on a fellow named Ronald Fisher, an arch Darwinian, who came up with most of statistical mathematics.

    ( other than the popular 1+1=3 )

    We travel in very different circles.

  338. #338 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Scientists 20 years ago had more credibility than you do today.

    Exactly. Name one fucking thing that ‘scientists’ have done in the last 20 years. I’ll bet you can’t. Why, when I turn on the radio I even hear songs from 1989. Thus, the world hasn’t changed. So much for ‘science’.

    You guys are actually getting stupider in my eyes as you type, and I should know because I’m and engineer AND a scientist. (So, uh, ignore the earlier part about scientist being useless. I only meant scientists who aren’t me. Because I’m one. And an engineer. I know what science is.)

    Useless liberals.

    I’m leaving.

  339. #339 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, You’re not very good at this, are you? I mean, you’re getting all hot and bothered and losing your cool. It doesn’t exactly do your side credit, does it? It looks as if you’ve never thought about most of this stuff.

    Moreover, claiming that you are a scientist and then claiming you are an engineer and then being unable to respond analytically to any of the arguments…well, it doesn’t really enhance your credibility. So, if you are a scientist, maybe you can tell us what your specialty is. Or, you can admit you lied. That’d be fine, too.

  340. #340 Glen Davidson
    April 28, 2009

    This is fun. I was missing the many posts and comments on UD about how only those ignorant of ongoing science can think properly about that science.

    Sure, APC isn’t able to go through all of the permutations possible under that scenario, but he sure has asserted his ignorance. Like we had any doubt about that.

    I’m out of this thread (probably) with this blurb. I just had to reminisce about all of the “we’re ignorant and proud of it” claims that we’ve heard before.

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

  341. #341 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    APC, still no evidence for your imaginary deity. Still no evidence for your inane idea. Still no citations of the scientific literature to back up your inane idea. And you want a scientific argument with us? We are waiting for you to prove yourself. So far, squat, nothing, nada…

  342. #342 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    engineers are not scientists.
    Really? Why ? Because we’re useful and not dependent on universities and government?

    Yeah, you got it; that’s why. You can look it up in the dictionary: a “scientist” is defined as “one who is useless; one who is dependent on universities and government.”
    But I guess you already did look it up.

    OK, now I’m leaving, and I mean it! For real!

  343. #343 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    assplus is a creationist! dipshit.

  344. #344 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    I could just as easily devise an equation that would provide a correlation with intelligent design and the
    development of a dragonfly.

    Oh, please try. Go for it, you engineer-scientist you! Shower us with your magnificence.

  345. #345 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    When I asked for evidence, I didn’t mean for you to give me evidence that I don’t like.

    So, provide just one equation that explains evolution. (Not the Price equation; I don’t like that one.)

    Just one.

    So much for your ‘speculative’ theory.

    Boy, you guys are stupid. Zero evidence.

    I’m leaving.

  346. #346 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Random aside: how seriously are we supposed to take someone oblivious to the fact that he’s being mocked and even continuously parodied for the past several hundred posts?

  347. #347 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    this thread needs more bacon

  348. #348 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    I have a BS & MS degree in Electronic Engineering.

    I must be very stupid.

    Especially to hang out here.

    Emperical Study Complete!

    No signs of intelligent life.

    Bye =D

  349. #349 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    And I hate scientists.

    Even though I am one. And an engineer. A software engineer. PLUS a scientist. Did you miss that part?

    I’m leaving.

    I have a meeting.

    About science. And Engineering.

    So stupid. 50 years ago, when I was an engineer and a scientist as well, people weren’t as stupid. You should be ashamed.

    I’m leaving.

  350. #350 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Unfortunately the Price equation is a sad attempt at curve fitting
    to legitimize your fraud. I could just as easily devise an equation
    that would provide a correlation with intelligent design and the
    development of a dragonfly. This would be disingenuous.

    Perhaps you can show us an application of it.

    Yes, I shall. Behold, the application of the Price equation… evolution!

  351. #351 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    believes that Engineers are disqualified from being scientists.

    They absolutely aren’t disqualified from being scientists. But if an engineer (or anyone else, for that matter) isn’t doing* science, then I for one don’t consider them scientists. Now that’s just my opinion, and it’s worth what an opinion is worth, but as a scientist I suspect I’m qualified to hold this opinion**.

    *~conducting systematic studies of natural phenomina that at the very least include recording observations and ideally involve testing hypothesis and communicating the results to others.
    **where’s Therion?!

  352. #352 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    Emperical Study Complete!

    No signs of intelligent life*

    * Except for possibly Josh.

    Bye =D

  353. #353 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Assplus seems familiar. I think he’s a programmer for building models physicists or something.

  354. #354 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    I repeat: Good-bye forever!

  355. #355 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Curve fitting!? It was logically derived from first principles before ever being tested against anything in nature (which empirical test it then passed with flying colours). There is nothing further from curve fitting than that. Calling a logical necessity “curve fitting” is the point where you officially became too silly for me concern myself with.

    On the other hand, I’ll point you to an application (one that even such a philistine hater of “pure” science as you’ve shown yourself to be ought to be able to appreciate), since both the mathematician and the science fan in me think the Price equation is pretty cool. How about a metric arse-load of google scholar hits for
    price equation epidemiology
    ?

  356. #356 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    I have a BS & MS degree in Electronic Engineering.

    Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! The degree comparison pissing contest game. I love this one. Can I go next?

    this thread needs more bacon

    Rev. = Wisdom

    ’nuff said.

  357. #357 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yawn, an engineer? Meh. Engineers can still use the scientific method. A method which has worked very well for a couple of hundred years, and has advanced humankind. Compared to godbotting, which holds back humankind. Not much choice if we want to keep advancing humankind. Science works b——!

  358. #358 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Rev. said “this thread needs more bacon”

    With all due respect, apluscoder looks pretty crispy about now.

  359. #359 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    I think he’s a programmer for building models physicists or something.For physicists or of physicists? The latter would be a pretty cool research project.

  360. #360 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Nerd,

    Tell us how science has advanced humankind.

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind.

  361. #361 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Ha. I’m sure he’s modeling their life force.

  362. #362 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    I have a BS & MS degree in Electronic Engineering.

    And PZ has a PhD, and he probably enjoys using bacon as a sex toy on your mum. Is this a competition? How does your degree in Electronic Engineering qualify you to diss evolution?

    I must be very stupid.

    Congratulations, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Now come back before you relapse.

  363. #363 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    I was asked what my education was in dumb fuck Alex scientist LOL Quick study…

  364. #364 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Vaccines!

    We win.

  365. #365 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    Nerd,

    Tell us how science has advanced humankind.

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind.

    You’re an idiot.

  366. #366 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Tell us how science has advanced humankind.

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind.

    Ah, so it was Kindness that cured polio? I never knew that. Is that them perfound nawledge ya gets in an EE BS & MS?

  367. #367 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    For physicists or of physicists? The latter would be a pretty cool research project.

    It would be pretty cool, but also very easy. I mean physicists don’t exactly show much variation now do they?

    (I can get away with this derogatory pun because I am actually studying physics)

  368. #368 dreikin
    April 28, 2009

    I have a BS & MS degree in Electronic Engineering

    Which in this discussion is worth less than being a biology undergraduate.

    science has advanced humankind

    Depends on what definition of advancement you’re using. But assuming one, then GM foods.

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind

    There’s a rather notable lack of kindness in humankind, and I can’t say as it’s done any more than balance, occasionally, the malice.

  369. #369 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Tell us how science has advanced humankind.

    This wasn’t addressed to me, but if it had been I’d reply that I think the accumulation of any and all knowledge advances humankind. I think with every kernel of knowledge we possess, we are slightly ahead of where we were before we had that kernel in our cache. Keep in mind, however, that this is just another opinion.

  370. #370 Chiroptera
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, #360: Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind.

    I bet a Christian would answer, “no, it has not.” Since most of the ones I’ve seen seem to avoid kindness.

    Just sayin’.

  371. #371 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder fulminates: “Tell us how science has advanced humankind.”

    3 minutes to total meltdown.
    2:59
    2:58
    2:57
    .
    .
    .

  372. #372 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    So kindness has no place in the advancement of mankind?

    Kind of obvious from this community.

    I in no way was trying to make them comparable.

    Failure in your analysis.

  373. #373 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind

    Shouldn’t we perhaps first answer the question of whether or not humankind, as a collective, actually exhibits enough kindness to make this even worth thinking about?

  374. #374 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    I repeat again: Good-bye, forever!

  375. #375 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    Bacon and beer.

    Kindness and science in action.

  376. #376 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    Do you think his head will explode? I love it when their heads explode, don’t you?

    2 minutes to total meltdown.
    1:59
    1:58
    1:57
    .
    .
    .

  377. #377 dreikin
    April 28, 2009

    Not sure whether that was at me or not, but still:

    So kindness has no place in the advancement of mankind?

    Well, it’s certainly not necessary, nor sufficient. In fact, if we did away with kindness, and stuck to pure efficiency (and some related measures), we could probably ‘advance’ humankind even faster than we are now.

  378. #378 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Ladies and gentleman, I believe we have just been presented with incontrovertible evidence for the existence of animated dog vomit.

    All praise the Life Force!

  379. #379 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    …animated dog vomit…

    Nah! This guy’s dumber than owl shit.

  380. #380 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Failure in your analysis.

    Jebus, this from APC? His series of posts is a failure of analysis. But then, what can one expect from an idiot who is delusional.

    APC, your impotent god isn’t needed for anything, especially not kindness, which comes out of humans caring for other humans. Which does not equate to your god, who is such an amoral warlord he makes the godfather capo look benevolent by comparison. Read your bible. We have.

  381. #381 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Ladies and gentleman

    There’s only one? Who is it?

  382. #382 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Errmm… Oh. That.

    I suggest we take a vote!

  383. #383 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    There’s only one? Who is it?

    Josh, possibly. Haven’t you been paying attention?

    And now, I repeat yet again: Good-bye! Forever!!

  384. #384 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    I in no way was trying to make them comparable.

    Of course you weren’t. Except that you totally were:

    Tell us how science has advanced humankind.

    Then tell us whether Kindness has or has not advanced humankind.

    I hope your engineering is better than your logic. Or memory. Or manners.

  385. #385 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    In other news. He who’s craziness can not be named but he REAAAAAAAAAAAALLY likes depeche mode is emailing me again.

  386. #386 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Walton,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/aug/21/gender.pay

    American women working full time earn about 77% of the salaries of men working full time, Babcock said. That figure does not take differing professions and educational levels into account, but when those and other elements are factored in, women who work full time and have never taken time off to have children still earn about 11% less than men with equivalent education and experience. …

    The traditional explanation for the gender differences that Babcock found is that men are simply more aggressive than women, perhaps because of a combination of genetics and upbringing. The solution to gender disparities, this school of thought suggests, is to train women to be more assertive and to ask for more. However, a new set of experiments by Babcock and Hannah Riley Bowles, who studies the psychology of organisations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, offers an entirely different explanation.

    Their study found that men and women get very different responses when they initiate negotiations. Although it may well be true that women often hurt themselves by not trying to negotiate, this study found that women’s reluctance was based on an accurate view of how they were likely to be treated if they did. Both men and women were more likely to subtly penalise women who asked for more. The perception was that women who asked for more were “less nice”.

    “What we found across all the studies is that men were always less willing to work with a woman who had attempted to negotiate than with a woman who did not,” Bowles said. “They always preferred to work with a woman who stayed mum. But it made no difference to the men whether a guy had chosen to negotiate.” …

    While both men and women were penalised for negotiating, Bowles found that the negative effect for women was more than twice as large as that for men. …

    In a final set of studies, Bowles’s team had 367 volunteers play the role of job candidates and left it up to them to decide whether to ask for more money than they were offered. Women were less likely than men to negotiate when they believed they would be dealing with a man, but there was no significant difference between men and women when they thought a woman would be making the decision. The applicants, in other words, were accurately reading how males and females were likely to perceive them.

    “This isn’t about fixing the women,” Bowles said. “It isn’t about telling women, ‘You need self-confidence or training.’ They are responding to incentives within the social environment.”

    I expect you will now insist that this is merely the fault of each and every individual woman in the world for not personally overcoming the institutional sexist discrimination against them.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/sep/05/highereducation.uk1

    Discrimination plays a significant role in the pay gap between men and women scientists working in UK universities, according to new research carried out at the University of East Anglia.

    Sara Connolly, of UEA’s school of economics, has undertaken research that reveals for the first time what proportion of the pay disparity is due to women being younger, more junior or employed in different types of institution or subject areas. Her preliminary results suggest that almost a quarter (23%) of the pay gap is “unexplained” and may be due to discrimination against women.

    “This confirms what many working women scientists have long felt,” said Dr Connolly. “My research provides sound facts and figures, rather than anecdotal evidence and hearsay, which I hope will be used to develop and implement effective policies to tackle this problem.”

    Hard numbers, relatively large ones, for a phenomenon you claimed does not exist. Just how oblivious are you? There’s a good case to be made that this ignorance and indifference on your part is a result of your cold contempt.

  387. #387 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2009

    I must stand in solidarity with my compatriots who are leaving this thread. Goodbye. Goodbye forever!

  388. #388 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Is C-C-C new? I like him and/or her!

  389. #389 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    whose

    damn it

  390. #390 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    Not new.
    And I’m not actually commenting.

    Therefore, goodbye!

  391. #391 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    I am SO out of here.

  392. #392 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1488437.stm

    Thirty years after the Equal Pay Act, women are still getting paid less than men – resulting in a financial deficit that could add up to as much as £250,000 over a lifetime.

    On average, for every £1.00 a man earns, a woman gets only 82p across both the public and private sectors. …

    Critics say this is just unacceptable and want the law to have more muscle.

    They point to the length of time it takes for cases to be settled, often up to two years.

    With the help of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Sarah Daly successfully took her former employer to a tribunal, after she realised she was being paid £4,000 less than a male colleague doing the same job.

    But it took 18 months for her case to settled out of court.

    “You’ve got to be quite confident. It was the anger that kept me going because you have to be quite sure you want an answer from them – because they can argue all sorts of irrelevant reasons for why you get paid the amount you do,” explained Sarah Daly.

    No response from you on Ledbetter, so there’s another example to bring it home.

    What can be done about this?

    Here’s something. http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKTRE53Q4GF20090427?sp=true

    Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:59pm BST LONDON (Reuters) – British companies will be forced to reveal pay gaps between men and women under draft legislation published on Monday.

    The Equality Bill, which has been attacked by employer groups as unnecessary bureaucracy during a downturn, also bans age and social discrimination.

    The government hopes to have the Bill enshrined in law by early next year.

    Equalities Minister Harriet Harman said the law contains a power compelling firms with 250 people or more to conduct a pay audit each year and publish the results.

    The government hopes businesses will volunteer to perform the audit, but wants progress made by 2013 or it will make them mandatory.

    Harman said the law would help remove secrecy around the issue of pay discrimination, where research has shown that women are paid more than 20 percent less than male colleagues.

    The legislation will ban secrecy clauses that stop work colleagues comparing salaries, and trade unions would be able to use the information in pay bargaining, Harman said.

    But no, according to you there’s no role for the state here. So I guess you won’t be supporting the Equality Bill. Because there’s no such thing as patriarchy or male privilege and sexism hurts men and women exactly equally.

    (How anything so complicated could ever apply equally to two groups, just by chance, defies all odds. Given that there are economic and other benefits for one group to subjugate the other, the extraordinary claim would be how it doesn’t happen. But we aren’t dealing with probability theory here, just ideology. It’s important for you that male privilege not exist, ergo male privilege does not exist.)

  393. #393 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    I was asked what my education was in dumb fuck Alex scientist LOL Quick study…

    I think this is addressed to me, but not even a quantum computer could crack that mess of a “sentence”. What does it mean?

    I must stand in solidarity with my compatriots who are leaving this thread. Goodbye. Goodbye forever!

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Don’t leave us PZ. We need your atheistic bacony wisdom!

  394. #394 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder posted 62 times, more or less continuously, between his pretentious argumentum ex Lifeson post at 0556 EDT and his most recent post at 1324 EDT. And what, besides dog vomit, has he brought to the table?

  395. #395 James F
    April 28, 2009

    So long, farewell
    Auf Weidersehen, goodbye

    Goodbye…
    Goodbye…
    Goodbye…

  396. #396 Matt Heath
    April 28, 2009

    Oh, and goodbye. Also.

  397. #397 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    And what, besides dog vomit, has he brought to the table?

    WHERE’S MY BACON?!

  398. #398 Lee Picton
    April 28, 2009

    I am not even a scientist and can tell that A-minus is an idiot. Who doesn’t “believe” in evolution – therefore I am sure he never gets flu shots, and indeed should not be allowed to have them.

    Oh, and I am leaving this website forever. You are all closeminded dingleberries. I am really going now.

    Besides I have to watch Arlen Specter’s press conference. Whoo Hoo!

    I’m really going now.

  399. #399 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    A quick sermon on Kindness:

    Kindness is important. When two men meet somewhere, both lonely and sexually frustrated, and consensually agree to pleasure each other such that each of them achieves orgasm, mutually reducing their loneliness and sexual frustration, are they not being Kind to each other? I, Jesus Christ, say they are. They are being very Kind to each other.

    Is it Kind to describe their Kindness to each other as a “defect”; to insult them by calling them “unnatural” and “defective”? I, Jesus Christ, must disagree. That is not Kind at all.

    I have spoken. Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    PS: I must leave now and never return.

  400. #400 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    I must leave now and never return.

    What… Again?

  401. #401 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Josh, possibly.

    A gentleman? What?

    That’s it. I’m out of here.

  402. #402 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 28, 2009

    On the other hand, APC has managed to derail any substantive discussion of any kind on this thread. How about a Pres. who not only can pronounc “nuclear” but also actually supports science.

    Let’s hear it for the Pres!! and his soon to be 60-40 majority in the Senate!!

  403. #403 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Toota’loo fruitcakes.

    So who wants to believe kindness has never saved lives, or advanced
    humankind just as vaccines have?

    Who here thinks kindness doesn’t matter?

    Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like
    ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here
    by the queers? PZ, are you queer too?

    AbioGenesis, BioLogos, Good Day.

    P.S. Yes, summation-wise curve fitting, and optimization.

  404. #404 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Yes, let’s hear it for Prez-O. The Bush administration spent eight years indulging in shameless subversion of the science advisory process. Those days are at an end.

  405. #405 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Again, nothing of intelligence from APC. Yawn. Boring, boring twit. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  406. #406 dreikin
    April 28, 2009

    @Jesus Christ:

    Well, that was a short second coming..

  407. #407 Anonymous
    April 28, 2009

    On the other hand, APC has managed to derail any substantive discussion of any kind on this thread. How about a Pres. who not only can pronounc “nuclear” but also actually supports science.”

    Really? I derailed it? Talk to your queer friends about that.

    Here are what my opening questions were:

    Questions:
    Why do you all depend on the government for encouragement towards scientific discovery? Is it all due to your self interest and financial and “professional” security and next years paycheck?

    Perhaps causal relationships surround this paradigm.

    Do you really believe you can uncover the fact that there is no intelligence and planned purpose behind cell specialization?

    You need some more money to figure it out?

    Why do you all have such a hangup on what other people have
    discovered and believe, which is that there IS a devine life force.
    Some call it GOD. Good Orderly Direction.

    Here’s the reponse:
    Posted by: strange gods before me | April 28, 2009 6:13 AM

    Why?

    Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.

    Of course.

    Ugly, sick, deviant, unkind, unnatural, response.

  408. #408 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    He’s back, as we knew he would be.

    So who wants to believe kindness has never saved lives or advanced humankind just as vaccines have?

    “Never”? I doubt anyone will ever claim that. Do you think that kindness can accomplish what vaccines cannot?

    Who here thinks kindness doesn’t matter?

    Who ever claimed it didn’t? What’s your point? Or are you simply erecting some flimsy strawmen you can knock down?

    Let me guess: You’re steering this towards the argument that altruism can only have a divine origin.

    Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here by the queers? PZ, are you queer too?

    LOL! What a cluelessly self-unaware hypocrite you are, Mister Little Ugly Mind.

  409. #409 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, I’ve offered plenty more than you have.

    Must be working real hard on that research, huh?

  410. #410 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    Yes, kindness does matter. And queers demonstrate that kindness reflects kindness. You are so right. They fit their curves together optimally. That is wise.

    PZ is kind, but he is not queer.

    PS: Good-bye, forever. I am leaving.

  411. #411 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like
    ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here by the queers?

    You owe me a new irony meter, you homophobic sack of shit.

  412. #412 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, I’ve offered plenty more than you have.

    Not that I’ve seen. Just the usual vague woo stuff that we have come to expect from the deity believing segment who post here. Actually taking a stand and presenting real evidence that could be refuted? No signs of that.
    Oh yes, I got my lab work done and half the report finished. You have delusions of grandeur on top of delusions of deities.

  413. #413 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Ugly people PZ. Ugly. I would think you deserve better.

  414. #414 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd, I’ve offered plenty more than you have

    Ah yes, if there ever was proof that quantity does not equal quality…

  415. #415 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    Yes, some people do indeed make ugly, sick, deviant, unkind, unnatural, responses to homosexuals. That is sad.

    I am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

    Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    I must go now.

  416. #416 dreikin
    April 28, 2009

    So who wants to believe kindness has never saved lives, or advanced humankind just as vaccines have?

    Who here thinks kindness doesn’t matter?

    Which was not the question you initially asked.

    Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here by the queers? PZ, are you queer too?

    Neither reflection occurs by necessity. Kindness can beget ugliness and ugliness can beget kindness. And I don’t know about everybody else, but I certainly find you queer.

    AbioGenesis, BioLogos, Good Day.

    P.S. Yes, summation-wise curve fitting, and optimization

    Hm – suitable seed for a random number generator, but not very demonstrable of intelligence.

  417. #417 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I’m leaving.

    4eva.

  418. #418 maureen Brian
    April 28, 2009

    I’m late with this but, hell, I’ve been out. I do have a life.

    Walton and strange gods before me,

    In the UK the government does cover most of the costs of statutory maternity pay. The employer pays it up front and then most companies reclaim 92% of what they’ve paid out. Very small companies – the ones not big enough to have staff dedicated to such tasks – claim 100% PLUS another 4.5% to compensate for the additional costs!

    Now, how long before someone cries that this is unfair, discriminatory against men or not an appropriate use of taxes?

  419. #419 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    awww assplus… did you run out of lube? back to borrow some?

  420. #420 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Did I mention I’m leaving?

    Asspluscodhead is a twit. You deserve better, PZ.

    Ugly.

    Real ugly.

    I’m leaving.

    Bye.

    Miss me yet?

    No?

    Then goodbye.

  421. #421 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    got a teleprompter boys?

    Stu, through empirical observance, I’ve determined many here
    do not deserve my efforts towards kindenss, which leads to
    the fact that I could give a flying fuck what you think of me.

    I’m reflecting back the hostility I have caused through
    confrontation. Apparently some don’t like what I say,
    want me leave. And one uses passive/aggressive posts in
    an attempt to muddle my message. Bravo, nice tactics.
    You all profess to be in search of the truth? I don’t think so.
    You’re an embarrassment.

    Engineers are much more aware of what it takes to make systems
    operate than do scientists, because scientists aren’t required
    to build large scale inter-operable systems. Perhaps that’s what
    explains the Salem Hypothesis.

  422. #422 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Boohoooo. Whaaaaa. Blah blah blah. Poot.

  423. #423 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Multiple resurrections by the Christman!

  424. #424 SteveM
    April 28, 2009

    AplusCoder is only here to stroke his ego by pulling everyone’s chain. He is yet another 14yr-old 4chan refugee who just wants to show how clever he is by fooling others into thinking he is serious. Nothing he said represents his true beliefs, they are merely fabricated to create the most chaos he can. Just ignore the little turd.

  425. #425 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder:

    Here’s the reponse:

    THE response. The only response. Uh-huh. And you accuse others of cherry-picking?

    Your lack of self-awareness continues to astound. And while you still haven’t figured out what that response really meant, you had no qualms whatsoever of using it as an excuse to get your full-blown homophobe on from that point forward.

  426. #426 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    Dminuscoder @ #348:

    I have a BS & MS degree in Electronic Engineering.

    Oh, then I suppose you can tell us how all the resistors in a series circuit know they need to have the same current flowing through them and agree on that current, yet the same resistors in parallel have the audacity to ignore this rule and equalize voltage instead?

    Or how the electrons traveling through a capacitor know how to charge it up?

    Or how a transistor knows to allow current through only when a voltage is applied correctly?

    Or how a diode knows which way it’s supposed to conduct?

    Or how a transformer magically gets a current flowing in a circuit with no direct connection?

    There MUST be some magical, intelligent force informing all these components of what they’re supposed to be doing. Because the mere physical properties of matter can’t possibly have anything to do with it. I mean, there’s no possible way a difference in the concentration of elements like silicon, germanium, and boron could alter the electrical properties of a material. There’s no way a current traveling through a coiled wire could create a magnetic field that induces a current in another coil. How can Ohm’s Law work without anyone to enforce it? Who will punish those naughty electrons if they don’t do what they’re supposed to?

    Your electronics textbook is a tissue of lies! It must be fairies herding the electrons with their magic wands!

  427. #427 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2009

    I know who c-c c is, but I’m not telling.

    And with that, I bid you adieu.

    Bye.

  428. #428 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    More null words from APC that amount to nothing. And he wonders why he meets “hostility”. Put out your ideas with scientific evidence to back them up, and you will get no hostility, but be prepared to defend your ideas against rebuttal with evidence and reason. Keep hiding but claiming ideas, you pay for being coy with “hostility”. And guess which option you picked APC?

  429. #429 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Engineers are much more aware of what it takes to make systems
    operate than do scientists, because scientists aren’t required
    to build large scale inter-operable systems. Perhaps that’s what
    explains the Salem Hypothesis.

    Jesus was a carpenter, not an engineer.

  430. #430 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    ?But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ?Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. ?Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. ?Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. ?If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. ?If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. ?If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. ?But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. ?Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    Also, lubrication is indeed an important part of Kindness.

    Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    I will be going now. I may be some time.

  431. #431 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    “AplusCoder is only here to stroke his ego by pulling everyone’s chain. He is yet another 14yr-old 4chan refugee who just wants to show how clever he is by fooling others into thinking he is serious. Nothing he said represents his true beliefs, they are merely fabricated to create the most chaos he can. Just ignore the little turd”

    Steve

    Is this how you brainwash your fellow followers? Tell them how
    and what to think? Brilliant.

  432. #432 SteveM
    April 28, 2009

    So is “I’m leaving”, the new “Happy Monkey”?

  433. #433 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yet another non-informative post by APC. The consistency of his avoidance is not to be admired.

  434. #434 Alphapluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    I’m gone.

    Do you miss me?

    Why are you addressing me, since I’m not here?

    I died in 1996, so I’ve never been here. Plus, I’m never coming back.

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

    OK, so I’m actually back, when I said I probably wouldn’t be. This quantum duality purportedly exhibited by this troll intrigues me, though. And I only said “probably.” He’s one of the most funs ignoramuses we’ve had here for a long time.

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

  435. #435 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    phantomreader4

    I’ve never witnessed a more superficial description of EMF.

    Can you explain magnetism and EMF? Did you that use the shit out
    of but in reality don’t exactly know it’s actually origin?

    Yes we’ve devised all kinds of valves and controls to harness
    electricity, using earth elements in brilliant ways. Our
    minds ability to do this is remarkable, and they laws that
    electricity obeys are invaluable, however theirs always the
    Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which does at times, keep
    things interesting.

  436. #436 SteveM
    April 28, 2009

    Is this how you brainwash your fellow followers? Tell them how
    and what to think? Brilliant.

    Nowhere did I tell anyone what to think.

  437. #437 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    Jesus was a carpenter

    This is true. I did indeed work with wood.

    Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    I shall leave now, and not return.

  438. #438 Patricia, OM
    April 28, 2009

    It was the kindest thing you could do for him PZ.

  439. #439 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Jesus never finished my deck! Always thought he was a con-man.

  440. #440 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Yawn, two more wasted posts. He almosts sounds as incoherent as Silver Fox into his wine.

  441. #441 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Stu, through empirical observance, I’ve determined many here do not deserve my efforts towards kindenss

    How mighty Christian of you.

    which leads to the fact that I could give a flying fuck what you think of me.

    Really? You’re spending an AWFUL lot of time here.

    I’m reflecting back the hostility I have caused through confrontation.

    Confrontation? Here’s your first comment on this thread:

    Maybe you all could sit back for a moment, and listen to the streaming ribbon harmonics of Alex Zivojinovich’s guitarwork in Rush’s Limelight, and conceptualize the electronics flow through the manipulating amplification circuitry from the magnetic flux variations sourced by the metal strings across magnets and the sound reproduction circuitry and transducers, the brains it took to discover the abilities to manipulate such physical phenomena using earthly elements, and then get back to us on how we all evolved from primitive nutrient pumps, made of other earthly organic elements, millions and millions of years ago.

    That’s not confrontation, that’s

    A) Proof that you have poor taste in music
    B) You’re bong water-guzzling incoherent and
    C) A moron.

    Apparently some don’t like what I say

    Dude, you’re not saying anything coherent. Arguments from ignorance and pouting is all. Say something substantive and it will be addressed.

    want me leave.

    Actually, you degenerated into cheap entertainment about a 100 posts ago. That you STILL don’t realise this is pathetic, pathological and very, very telling.

    And one uses passive/aggressive posts in an attempt to muddle my message.

    State your message coherently and we’ll address it.

    You all profess to be in search of the truth?

    No, it’s bacon and lesbians. Do try to keep up, sport.

    Engineers are much more aware of what it takes to make systems operate than do scientists, because scientists aren’t required to build large scale inter-operable systems.

    And that would mean something if life was built. Hint: it isn’t. Your confusion (and misguided sense of having any applicable knowledge) obviously stems from complete cluelessness about biology and evolution. Which is a plus, I guess.

  442. #442 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    “Intelligent Designer” @ #17:

    Personally I would like to hear “God bless America, and God bless the rest of the world” at the end of a speech some day.

    strange gods before me @ #108:

    That would be an improvement, but it feels a little clumsy to me. Maybe “God bless America, and God bless all people”?

    Have either of you seen Chris Rock’s movie “Head Of State”? Very much the same sentiment (“god bless America, and everybody else”), to spit in the face of his right-wing asshat opponent with his narcisistic nationalist god.

  443. #443 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Stu! Damn it. Don’t let him in on the joke. Sheeesh.

  444. #444 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Ah life isn’t built or constructed, or systematically maintained.

    Sure stu whatever you say.

  445. #445 Patricia, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Stu, you forgot beer. Bacon, lesbians and beer there ya go.

  446. #446 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009
    Jesus was a carpenter

    This is true. I did indeed work with wood.

    Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    I shall leave now, and not return.

    Wait, Jesus! I am in need of a spice rack, and was wondering if I can employ your services to construct one for me. Your advert in the Yellow Pages described your skills as “omnipotent” (whatever that means), but you refuse to work with nails, because of some phobia. This seems unusual for a carpenter, and it must make your trade quite difficult.

  447. #447 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Okay, I call bullshit on that last post. Who’s impersonating? I mean, really:

    Did you that use the shit out of but in reality don’t exactly know it’s actually origin?

    Happy hour started early, I see.

    Yes we’ve devised all kinds of valves and controls to harness electricity,

    …and I call bullshit on any EE education whatsoever, let alone a BS, let alone an MS. “Valves”? Fucking “valves”?

    however theirs always the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which does at times, keep things interesting

    Stop using big words you do not understand. It’s a lot less embarrassing that way.

  448. #448 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2009

    I’m leaving now. Later, everyone.

  449. #449 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder:

    Engineers are much more aware of what it takes to make systems operate than do scientists, because scientists aren’t required to build large scale inter-operable systems. Perhaps that’s what explains the Salem Hypothesis.

    No. What explains the Salem Hypothesis is that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    You deal with design all the time – design of man-made systems, not the apparent design of evolved biology – and yet you have the hubris to believe the your profession explains more about biological systems than can be explained by the study of biology itself. Please! Step back from your own self-pride and think about what you’re really claiming here.

    (Commenting Hint: It’s not necessary to use carriage returns when typing in a text-box, unless you want a hard carriage return.)

    FWIW, I deal with design all the time in my profession, too.

    Slightly OT, but are you aware that (most) men process women’s voices – but not men’s – with the same part of the brain they use to process music? What might this suggest?

    Also OT, but speaking of music, here’s an interesting article: http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12795510

  450. #450 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Steve: I’ve told him twice now — doesn’t seem to faze him one bit. The self-reflection is weak in this one.

  451. #451 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    yes, a transister is a valve, a vacuum tube is a valve.

    Electricity flows down the path of least resistance, just
    like water/plumbing.

    This confuse you?

  452. #452 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Ah life isn’t built or constructed, or systematically maintained.

    Yes it is, but by chemical processes that evolved over billions of years. No need for imaginary deities posited by delusional fools like you APC. Your delusional god is a useless thing, unneeded for any task.

  453. #453 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Nerd did you evolve out of mom in 9 months? Then evolve severals years into a geek and then evolve further into a somewhat of a thinking adult?

    Were you not constructed from one cell, through the DNA information stored in that cell, dividing into the complex being of many if
    not hundreds of different materials, within months?

    Or did that take millions of years?

  454. #454 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    Dminuscoder @ #435, on my declaration that magical faries must direct electrons:

    I’ve never witnessed a more superficial description of EMF.

    I’m glad you feel that way, because it’s YOUR description. It’s the same damn thing as your vitalist nonsense, just applied to a different field. You dismiss my deliberately absurd description of basic electronics, yet can’t manage to see the point about your unintentionally absurd babbling about biology.

    Thank you for admitting that you can’t explain how magical fairies make electrical circuits run. If you have the slightest capacity for understanding or honesty, you’ll stop asking how magical fairies make living things run.

    Of course, since you’ve gone so far out of your way to show how dense you are, I know you won’t even consider for a second how idiotic your claims are. So I’m leaving.

  455. #455 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    BLOCKQUOTE FAIL!

    Stu, you forgot beer. Bacon, lesbians and beer there ya go.

    But the beer is for the lesbians.

  456. #456 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    The ignorance is strong in this one.

  457. #457 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    phantomreader42

    Fair enough, however I really haven;t suggested there is some kind of fairly directing every system in a biological organism. I’ve only suggested that they all have been intelligently designed to have function, have symmetry, dexterity and presence and purpose.

    But then that’s falling on deaf ears.

  458. #458 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    SAWells @ #171, on Dminuscoder:

    I think it morphed from “scientific engineer” to “scientist” because it thinks it speaks with more authority that way. Funny, if not so tragic. I’m betting we have another electronics engineer with delusions of competence.

    Actually, I suspect he’s lying about even the engineering degree. Lying about scientific credentials is a common practice among creationists. Even if the degree is real, he’s obviously deluded and full of himself trying to use it to declare his authority on biology. And he still can’t explain how the magic fairies direct the electrons!

    And on that note I’m leaving. :P

  459. #459 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Electricity flows down the path of least resistance, just
    like water/plumbing.

    This confuse you?

    Well it confuses me, because it’s total crap.

    Electric current flows wherever there’s a potential difference. Where there’s higher resistance, there’s less current that flows, but not zero, because current can flow in more than one direction!

  460. #460 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Steve_C
    The ignorance is strong in this one.

    Have you ever witness the eyeballs forming in a fetus?

    Have you ever wondered what is instructing these events?

  461. #461 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    yes, a transister is a valve, a vacuum tube is a valve.

    Functions AS a valve, not IS a valve, you utter ignoramus.

    Also, “growing” is something entirely different than “evolving”. Just for laughs, can you give us a one-sentence definition (in your own words) for “evolution”?

    Were you not constructed from one cell

    No. Once cell divided, then those cells divided, et cetera. Your implied external actor in “constructed” is a very childish attempt at begging the question.

  462. #462 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    What the fuck? A VALVE IS A VALVE FUCKHEAD.

  463. #463 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder, you have a point to your inanity? Everything evolved. All devoplement is encoded into the genes. What part of that needs imaginary deities? None of it. It is all chemical reactions. Period. Until you show the scientific evidence otherwise. We are waiting for your real physical evidence, not inane stupid idiotic questions from a weak mind.

  464. #464 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    phantomreader42

    Fair enough, however I really haven;t suggested there is some kind of fairly directing every system in a biological organism. I’ve only suggested that they all have been intelligently designed to have function, have symmetry, dexterity and presence and purpose.

    Fairies can’t be intelligent. Thanks for killing my childhood.

    You’re just a fairyist, aren’t you?!

  465. #465 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Fetus Fairies!!! Duhhhhh.

  466. #466 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    And APC, if you are trying to posit your deity, you must first show the physical evidence for your deity outside of what you are trying to explain with that deity. That evidence is still not shown. Like all liars, you avoid the truth.

  467. #467 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Nerd,
    You must be very busy, what are you working on?

    How and why hair follicles die, and how to prevent it?

  468. #468 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    dminuscoder @ #457:

    Fair enough, however I really haven;t suggested there is some kind of fairly directing every system in a biological organism.

    Oh, so do you admit that your babbling about “life force” is just as absurd as tiny fairies directing electrons with magic wands? It’s the same principle, the attribution of intelligent agency to a process that is expicable by simple cause and effect. It’s stupid anywhere it’s applied.

    I’ve only suggested that they all have been intelligently designed to have function, have symmetry, dexterity and presence and purpose. But then that’s falling on deaf ears.

    Did you ever consider that maybe, just maybe, the reason your assertion isn’t being taken seriously is that you haven’t offered the slightest speck of evidence to back it up? Biologists have been studying living organisms for a long time. They’ve learned a lot about how they work. What makes you think you’re qualified to declare that every single biologist on the planet is deluded or lying? Without the slightest speck of evidence, without any understanding of the field or any interest in learning? All while babbling that things can happen in nature yet still be “unnatural”.

    But then, you obviously can’t understand the problem with your astounding ignorance and arrogance, so I’m leaving.

  469. #469 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    I’m trying to work out if a valve fuckhead would be a good thing…

  470. #470 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Aha! An argument!

    I’ve only suggested that they all have been intelligently designed to have function, have symmetry, dexterity and presence and purpose.

    Why would that be? What proof do you have of this?

  471. #471 Epikt
    April 28, 2009

    phantomreader42

    Actually, I suspect he’s lying about even the engineering degree.

    Probably. I’ve never heard an EE use the third-grade phrase, “path of least resistance.” I have to admit, though, that I don’t know any EEs from Liberty University.

  472. #472 dreikin
    April 28, 2009

    I’ve determined many here
    do not deserve my efforts towards kindenss […] I’m reflecting back the hostility I have caused through
    confrontation.

    Yeah, sure – you’re just a victim of the mean people here. Let’s see what your posts have to say about that:

    05:38 EDT – Why do you all have such a hangup [starting off weak]
    05:56 – I realize abiogenesis isn’t your strong point PZ, and I really hope the word genesis doesn’t disturb you. [At only your second post, and already going off! You must have seen all that hostility coming, and decided to pre-empt it, eh?]
    06:11 – I know what I see. I know what you don’t
    06:23 – In other words, i find so much of the content of this spillage here […] I find you all purposefully deceiving yourselves
    06:26 – What a fucked up animal
    06:31 – Fuck you asshole, why must you insert homo sexuality into a serious discussion? Because it’s your defect of choice I must now assume
    06:34 – This reminds me why I don’t enjoy discussing things
    with close minded assholes
    06:39 – Through Natural Selection? What a cop the fuck out.

    You all are hopelessly caged.
    06:42 – C’aio ya all gaping assholes
    06:51 – [nothing to see here]
    06:58 – Perhaps you misunderstand, ( which is usually the case ) […] Unfortunately I’ve moved on, and am subjected to all you pious idiocy
    07:11 – [nothing here either]
    07:14 – How old are you Nerd Redhead? 22? [could be legitimate..]
    07:16 – Notice the obsessive dwelling on gayness
    07:21 – Maybe you need to bump your head a couple more time
    07:24 – I just don’t appreciate assholes like yourself […] and didn’t vote, asshole […] Perhaps you get offended when someone points out your defect?
    07:31 – completely overlooked by you and many ‘scientists’
    07:34 – Notice none of these ‘scientists’
    07:38 – Fuck you to think YOU speak for science
    08:00 – Did you have something scientific to say?
    08:18 – Dumbass fake
    08:27 – [nothing here #3]
    08:30strange gods before me

    is a hater in disguise
    08:36 – Yet you call yourself adults? Pathetic.
    08:40 – And I stand by my statement that it [being gay] is an unnatural defect.
    Because, scientifically, it is.
    08:45 – [nothing here #4. Directly, anyway.]
    09:15 – Fuck off asshole.

    And I mean asshole. Waste disposal orifice. […] Coward.
    09:17 – Wow Walton, way to stick up for yourself.
    09:29 – Hey Nerd, you keep saying this stuff, over and over, like you’re trying to convince yourself, or others.

    Better recharge your batteries. [although I agree it has gotten annoyingly repetitive – half marks then.]
    09:36 – Hey what’s up cherry picker […] Are you capable of rational thought?

    Please. Figure it out, use you’re analytical skills,
    or develop some.
    09:39 – unnatural implies deviation from the norm, by the way.

    Perhaps you all think your evolving. [implied insults count too]
    09:42 – Hey Nerd, Do you believe you sound smart?
    09:48 – [nothing here #5.5]
    09:58 – [ditto – #6.5]
    10:01 – [wow, a run on NOT being insulting – #7.5]
    10:05 – I gotta block this fucked up site.
    10:19 – And no-one here shares any idea what I refer to.
    Yet calls themselves scientists, then craftfully
    tries to degrade.
    10:27 – I thought you were younger though, by the use of the mommy phraseology [thus, we discover 07:14 was NOT legitimately not an insult]
    10:42 – [Surprisingly, actually tried (and failed) to answer something, but only ended up doing a Gish Gallop of Egnorance – #8.5]
    10:46 – I was joking you stupid psuedo scientific fuck.
    10:53 – Maybe the squirrels running around in my backyard will someday be your friend too. Then you all can hang out together.
    11:10 – Sounds like I’m leaving behind a bunch of frustrated apes.
    11:13 – the rest of this atmosphere is socially polluted.
    11:16 – [nothing notable, although that might just be a failure to make a good insult – #9.5]
    11:18 – Here’s some help shithead
    11:21 – what a bunch of fucking lightweight shriekers
    11:40 – Sam’s a BioPhysicist? No Sam’s a liar. […] Need some help with that or haven’t you gotten that far [as an aside, I still haven’t seen that he understands the diff between induction and transduction]
    11:50 – Fuck off Nerd, get out of the lab and grow up.
    11:52 – Sam is you SAWells, whatever that is, your pompous name??

    Some really deep thinkers here. High School Caliber.
    11:55 – This is a strange commentary on your ability to think. […] Nicely coined term of defense though [in which APC misses the point entirely]
    12:06 – Is it because you’re not inquisitive or interested? [meh, half points, APC can do better – #10]
    12:12 – Yes, of course theoretical hypothesis are so practically
    applied. Especially the one regarding ‘evolution’. […] OMG that’s special. Insecure little scientists.
    12:23 – ( other than the popular 1+1=3 )
    12:26 – Hey Brownian, are you an expert spell checker too?
    12:28 – Apparently Brownian believes that Engineers are disqualified from being scientists.

    That sounds like discrimination, doesn’t it? [yep, trying to start a false fight counts]
    12:34 – Yeah stu, God’s in my back pocket. Here, see?
    12:41 – Really? Why ? Because we’re useful and not dependent
    on universities and government?

    You really make me less impressed the more I see and hear.

    Scientists 20 years ago had more credibility than you do today.

    BTW I asked whether Engineers could ‘become’ scientists.

    What does that take? A special session with the Prof?

    Playing doctor to get your PhD? A semester in Greece?
    12:48 – Unfortunately the Price equation is a sad attempt at curve fitting to legitimize your fraud. [meh – not really worth counting – #11]
    13:00 – I must be very stupid.

    Especially to hang out here.

    Emperical Study Complete!

    No signs of intelligent life.
    13:05Emperical Study Complete!

    No signs of intelligent life
    13:13 – [nothing here – #12]
    13:17 – dumb fuck Alex scientist
    13:24 – So kindness has no place in the advancement of mankind?

    Kind of obvious from this community.
    14:34 – Toota’loo fruitcakes. […] Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here by the queers? PZ, are you queer too?
    14:44 – Hey Nerd, I’ve offered plenty more than you have.

    Must be working real hard on that research, huh?
    14:29 – Ugly people PZ. Ugly. I would think you deserve better.
    14:59 – got a teleprompter boys? […] I’ve determined many here
    do not deserve my efforts towards kindenss […] You all profess to be in search of the truth? I don’t think so.
    You’re an embarrassment.
    15:10 – Is this how you brainwash your fellow followers?
    15:15 – Did you that use the shit out
    of but in reality don’t exactly know it’s actually origin?
    15:27 – Sure stu whatever you say
    15:33 – This confuse you?
    15:36 – Hey Nerd did you evolve out of mom in 9 months? Then evolve severals years into a geek and then evolve further into a somewhat of a thinking adult?
    15:42 – [nothing here #13]
    15:45 – Steve_C
    The ignorance is strong in this one.
    15:48 – What the fuck? A VALVE IS A VALVE FUCKHEAD.

    So, out of a fuckton of posts, you’ve managed about 13 that weren’t in some way insulting or otherwise nasty. Suuuure, you’re just the victim here..

  473. #473 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Again, avoiding doing anything that might cause you to be refuted, like showing evidence for your imaginary god. Question mean nothing. You need to show positive proof for your ideas, and you have nothing. We are waiting for your evidence, which is not found in the form of a question, but rather something published in the scientific literature.

  474. #474 Patricia, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Good grief! This has got to be the worst chowder head we’ve had in weeks. He must have escaped the dungeon.

  475. #475 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    phantom, there are biologists that do believe there’s more
    to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.
    I happen to think alot of it is due to funding and job security.
    To deny that aspect is to deny reality.

    There are many medical doctors who also believe there is something
    more than evolution at play, i imagine you all would treat them
    with the same rebellious ferver.

  476. #476 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    What the fuck? A VALVE IS A VALVE FUCKHEAD.

    Okay, let me try this a little simpler for you: a valve has moving parts, a transistor does not.

    Where did you say you got your EE degrees from?

  477. #477 Epikt
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder

    yes, a transister is a valve, a vacuum tube is a valve.

    A “transister?” From a scientific engineer with not only a BS, but an MS in electronic engineering?

    Or is that what you call your brother since her sex change?

    If you actually have the degrees you claim, you’re the Tacoma Narrows Bridge of engineers.

  478. #478 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    phantom, there are biologists that do believe there’s more to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.

    Sure, and I have a bridge over the East River for sale…

  479. #479 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    stu, A transistor doesn’t have moving parts?
    Really?

    Better think a little bit harder on that one.

  480. #480 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    there are biologists that do believe there’s more
    to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.

    Name one.

  481. #481 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder you need to think a bit more about evidence. You have shown none. Just insane question. Show your evidence, starting with the physical evidence for your deity. Until that is done, you can go nowhere as he doesn’t exist.

  482. #482 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    In defense of APC, vacuum tubes are sometimes called valves.

    /tubeAmpBuff

  483. #483 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    I’d have to google it, why, you denying it?

    It’s all about money and flow. It’s the thing you know.

  484. #484 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Let’s put it this way. I don’t want a doctor looking for divine intervention on my behalf.

  485. #485 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    there are biologists that do believe there’s more
    to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.

    POPE IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN BIOLOGIST EXCOMMUNICATION SHOCKER!

    CATHOLIC BIOLOGIST IS NEW GALILEO!

    POPE BANS EXORCISM!

    ‘CRACKERS AREN’T REALLY FLESH’ SAYS POPE!

    POPE TO WORLD: ‘ALTAR BOYS ARE NOT TOYS’!

  486. #486 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    More vague nonsense. Yawn. Boring, boring, boring.
    As the old commercial said, “Where’s the evidence?”

  487. #487 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    dminuscoder @ #452:

    yes, a transister is a valve, a vacuum tube is a valve.
    Electricity flows down the path of least resistance, just
    like water/plumbing.

    “I’ve never witnessed a more superficial description of EMF.” :P

    Okay, that’s not ENTIRELY true. But not since elementary school, at least.

    The “path of least resistance” bit isn’t at all accurate, it’s really only useful for teaching kids not to stick paperclips in electrical sockets or fly kites into powerlines. If electricity really followed the path of least resistance, a parallel circuit would be impossible, since current would only flow down one branch. More current flows down the path with the lowest resistance (ignoring other characteristics for simplicity), but as long as there are multiple viable paths for current, some is going to flow down each one. It’s only when the difference in resistance between paths is multiple orders of magnitude that only the “path of least resistance” is relevant.

    And the transister thing is taking an analogy too seriously. Thinking of a transistor as similar to a valve can be a useful analogy, but analogies do not define reality.

  488. #488 blf
    April 28, 2009

    In other news. He who’s craziness can not be named but he REAAAAAAAAAAAALLY likes depeche mode is emailing me again.

    But have you got your FINALLY yet?

    And I’m quite disappointed. First, despite that dipshite saying I was going to get even worse than you, he hasn’t e-mailed me a fecking thing! I’m not a Happy Mon?Ape.

    Second, a piss code isn’t any good at trolling at all, is it?

    Which one is the crazier loony? The batshite Canadian or a piss code? (To make it fairer, let’s try to ignore that the goofball in the North is probably certifiable.) a piss code is at least a bit more varied than the great northern goof, but beyond that it’s hard to see much difference.

    Rather embarrassingly, both appear to be, or at last to have been, in the computing/IT industry?also my profession?but, based on the posts so far, both completely lack any demonstrated reasoning ability. As such, I (would like to think) neither is in the least representative. Other than, perhaps, as examples of Teh Magic Women in Teh Sky? do to you.

  489. #489 Glen Davidson
    April 28, 2009

    there are biologists that do believe there’s more to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.

    Actually, I’d agree with you. Many times they aren’t, of course (look at Behe), but indeed, spouting woo without anything to back it up is hardly helpful to anyone’s career in biology.

    Otoh, I can’t imagine why anyone with as little evidence for his statements as APC has deserves to be considered a biologist. Indeed, it’s pathetic (if tolerable when properly compartmentalized) in an engineer, if he truly is one.

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

    Glen

  490. #490 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    stu, A transistor doesn’t have moving parts?
    Really?

    Better think a little bit harder on that one.

    Oh you sad, sad little man. Okay:

    1) What parts are moving?
    2) Do you stand by your statement that a transistor IS a valve?
    3) Why is life intelligently designed? What makes you think so?

  491. #491 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    1) What parts are moving?

    1) The electron(s) stu, that complete the circuit at the base,
    allowing the flow.

    2) Do you stand by your statement that a transistor IS a valve?
    2) Yes.

    3) Why is life intelligently designed? What makes you think so?
    3) Because there is functional design and order, and an instruction set within the DNA that guilds development and
    further, monitors systems, using feedback, to act upon setpoints.
    I could go on for days, but brievity here as I’m off to a landscaping class.

  492. #492 strange gods before me
    April 28, 2009

    Walton and strange gods before me,

    In the UK the government does cover most of the costs of statutory maternity pay. The employer pays it up front and then most companies reclaim 92% of what they’ve paid out. Very small companies – the ones not big enough to have staff dedicated to such tasks – claim 100% PLUS another 4.5% to compensate for the additional costs!

    Thanks for clearing that up, maureen Brian.

  493. #493 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    dminuscoder @ #475:

    phantom, there are biologists that do believe there’s more
    to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated.
    I happen to think alot of it is due to funding and job security.
    To deny that aspect is to deny reality.

    Ah, I see you’ve seen Expelled! *jazz hands*

    Dminuscoder, you’re trying to dodge the demand for evidence of your claims by invoking dishonest creationist propaganda. You’re declaring there’s a secret cabal among biologists to enforce orthodoxy through control of funding. You’re claiming that all of science is a vast conspiracy to sap and impurify your precious bodily fluids.

    YOU are the one denying reality. What’s next, claiming the Jews did 9/11 with help from the Underpants Gnomes? Are you gonna say the moon landings were hoaxes perpetrated by Bigfoot? Declare President Obama is a robot operated by the Illuminati?

    I’d ask you to provide evidence of scientists being “excommunicated” because they “believe there’s more to it than ‘evolution’.” But I know you don’t have any evidence, and you’ll flee in terror from the request, throwing up a smokescreen of absurd accusations and baldfaced lies to cover your retreat.

    So I’m leaving. :P

  494. #494 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    dreikin #472:

    Nice compendium. Our Coder is a real charmer. I think it’s worth revisiting his very first query, which he firmly believes was reasonable and polite:

    Why do you all depend on the government for encouragement towards scientific discovery? Is it all due to your self interest and financial and “professional” security and next years paycheck?

    Is it just me, or does that question (and those that follow it) not drip with disdain for research scientists? Does it not openly imply that “you all” are simply riding the gravy train, and that your interest in scientific discovery finishes a distant second to your financial and (note the disrespect of the scare quotes) “professional” security?

  495. #495 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    You’re on Shawn Otto’s email list too? ;-)

    Who isn’t? Everyone who signed the online petition for a science debate is on it.

    But what is it that he means? It it isn’t even grammatical.

    What? Of course it is. Present subjunctive. Like “if there be” or “[I wish that] Britannia rule the waves”. It’s just more archaic than “may God bless America” (?where may is in the present subjunctive).

    English has plenty of almost extinct grammar like that.

    we merely express a desire that Providence or Fate will bring good times on our country.

    For that, you have to “merely” believe in “Providence or Fate”? what if you don’t? I mean, what if you apply Ockham’s Razor to quantum mechanics and conclude that quantum random is true random?

    Anyone that can sing it without embarrassment (or without substituting “team” for “queen” before the football)

    ROTFL! Day saved. :-D

    How are these proteins and minerals synthesized?

    Well, duh. Didn’t you learn protein synthesis in school? Then look it up. Even Wikipedia helps. Same for biomineralization.

    In the end, it all comes down to electrostatic attraction and repulsion.

    What instruct them to concentrate on the broken bone?

    It’s not instruction, it’s a mechanism.

    What knows it’s broken?

    It’s not knowledge, it’s a mechanism. An automatism. There is no consciousness involved here. Really, just take a biology textbook and look it up. Might take a few hours. Are you capable of reading for three hours straight?

    The brain instructs the repair, right?

    WRONG!

    The brain has nothing to do with it, except for registering the pain. Take someone brain-dead and break their finger; it will still heal if they’re on life support.

    How is the acid in your stomach synthesized?

    In the cells of the stomach lining there’s an enzyme that pumps H+ ions across the cell membrane. That’s acid. To compensate for the positive charge, those cell membranes also contain Cl- channels; in sum, hydrochloric acid. Extremely simple.

    What instructs your stomach lining to replace itself?

    Nothing. It’s just cell division that is kept going by a hormone called a growth factor, and by “kept going” I mean that the hormone almost literally presses a switch on the cell membranes.

    Sometimes I think everyone should get half a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology.

    Really, it’s as described in comment 153.

    C’aio

    Simply ciao. Italian ci is pronounced sort of like a Spanish ch, then comes an [a] sound, and then an [o] sound. In sum, a bit like “ouch” backwards. Again: extremely simple. :-)

    The great strength of a hereditary head of state is that s/he is uniquely independent from politics;

    Come on. Any elected president who isn’t the head of government can do that. You went on to say that yourself in comment 273.

    The British monarch is not a God-appointed ruler, and, unlike some of her ancestors, she doesn’t claim to be.

    It does still say “D G” on her coins, though.

    Hey Matt Heath, Tell us what you know of electronic signal communication and how bio-chemical systems use them to communicate homeostasis throughout an organisms body.
    Then tell us how this evolved into that vast network it is today in the human body, say from a squirrel like creature, you know what i’m talking about.

    For fuck’s sake, all this stuff is fucking identical in all mammals, barring details like that interleukin-12 or whichever it was triggers the production of two different G immunoglobulins in humans and mice.

    Then tell us from what base materials are used to construct it and maintain it.

    What about food?

    And then tell us what’s the next development in the evo[lu]tionary cycle

    There is no cycle! Evolution is not predictable! Mutations are not predictable, and how the environment changes isn’t predictable enough either!

    Why do you make stuff up and then base your questions on it? I mean, what next? Will you ask us why Napoleon crossed the Mississippi?

    I am a real scientist.

    What have you published?

    “Stem cell research is not done to figure out minerals and protein synthesis moron,how uneducated are you??”

    Are you serious? Cell specialization is the HALLMARK of stem cell research dimwit. And to figure out what direct cells specialization ( you know, how to grow a new kidney from your own cells ) you need to know what drives the synthesize of the materials needed.

    What utter, utter nonsense. Again that phenomenon of making stuff up and then building on it.

    Protein synthesis and biomineralization have been figured out. That is not cell specialization. What stem-cell research is trying to figure out is which signals (hormones in the widest sense) trigger which cells to synthesize which proteins (switch on which genes) under which conditions. That is horribly complicated, and while a lot has been figured out here, too, a lot remains to be understood.

    Also, that word “hallmark”? I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    What I find interesting is that living creatures and the force behind them, manifested in so many different and complex ways, and the obvious intelligence, is completely overlooked by you and many ‘scientists’ as not guided and directed by a force greater than all of us.

    “Obvious”? You’ve been looking at this way too superficially.

    (And stop hitting Enter at random.)

    They say coincidence is GOD’s way of remaining anonymous.

    Isn’t that special pleading?

    Redheady denies there is a Life Force.

    Heart pumps beating 100,000 times a day.
    Eyes continually feeding information to the brain.
    Cells dividing and dying.
    Feedback Systems Supporting Life.
    Birth. Will to survive, motivation, happiness, sadness, disappointment, joy. Feelings of Accomplishment.
    Ever felt that?

    Yes, and? Where’s the mystical supernatural Life Force in that?

    Next time a stranger asks you a question in person, reply with:

    “Because I just want to have hot gay buttsex without spiritual accountability.”

    See how they respond.

    Your sarcasm detection device is still on guarantee. Try to get it repaired.

    # Deviating from a behavioral or social norm: an unnatural attachment.

    Uh, how do you get away with having the word you’re defining in the definition?

    That’s not a definition, it’s an example of how that particular usage of the word is applied. The whole thing is quoted from a dictionary.

    What FminusCoder hasn’t noticed is that dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. They don’t define words, they explain for which meanings which words are used in which ways.

    for an example see the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis at the hands of Homo sapiens.

    Which is at present completely unsupported by the generally very sparse evidence. It’s at least as likely that the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum is to blame (?while not much better supported, because there just isn’t much evidence to start with).

    The thing that you need to realize is that science has done a very good job of coming up with answers to questions, and it may very well provide answers to all of them someday–cosmology, abiogenesis, belief in God, sense of wonder, the blue-light-and-tunnel near-death experience…

    The light is very easy to explain: it’s what vertebrate eyes do when the oxygen runs out. Seeing dark, you see, is actually an effort (for vertebrates).

    You believe that since science ‘explains’ how something happens, that that means that what, there is no creative intelligent force behind it?

    It means that the hypothesis that there is a creative intelligent force behind it is unnecessary.

    I have to go and will get to comment 264 later. Someone posted a link to tvtropes.org, and I wasted half of the day there! Never do that again.

  496. #496 blf
    April 28, 2009

    Valve is valid name for vacuum tube, more commonly used (AFAIK) in British English than USAian English.

    I’m curious what parts of a valve / vacuum tube, or of a transistor, move. I presume a piss code is referring to the electron cloud? Or maybe, in the case of valves, the low pressure gas (it’s never a true vacuum albeit very low pressure valves exist). In either case it should return its alleged EE degrees for gross stupidity.

    Physically, of course, valves and transistors are not very similar at all, either in construction or principles of operation. They can perform similar functions, but accomplish the function in rather different manners. As an (alleged) EE, a piss code should know that. It might, and it might even be able to explain the difference in a coherent fashion, but based on its (lack of) communication skills so far displayed, I’m not counting on it.

    And when is it going to leave? It keeps saying it’s leaving, but doesn’t. Can we put in a new order to Trools’R’Uzz and get a better model?

  497. #497 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    And a nice little blockquote fail to go with the submission timeout. Yay. See you soon.

  498. #498 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    1) What parts are moving?

    1) The electron(s) stu, that complete the circuit at the base,
    allowing the flow.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Are you claiming that a wire contains moving parts because electrons move through it too? If so, what do you call a wire when there’s no circuit and therefore no moving electrons? When a transistor’s not being used, does that mean it’s not called a transistor anymore?

  499. #499 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    [On transistors]

    The electron(s) stu, that complete the circuit at the base, allowing the flow.

    And where do these electrons go? Might they even, oh, I don’t know, leave the transistor? To be replaced by others?

    Is water part of a water pump?

    Do you stand by your statement that a transistor IS a valve?
    Yes.

    Just curious: in your world, what’s a resistor?

    Because there is functional design and order

    Such as?

    and an instruction set within the DNA

    DNA is not an instruction set. You’re really, really, really into moronic analogies, aren’t you?

    that guilds development

    No it doesn’t.

    monitors systems

    No it doesn’t.

    using feedback, to act upon setpoints.

    No it doesn’t.

    Your “understanding” of life, evolution and biology is laughably simplistic — below high-school 101, really. I strongly suggest you stick to landscaping.

  500. #500 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 28, 2009

    Because there is functional design and order, and an instruction set within the DNA that guilds development and
    further, monitors systems, using feedback, to act upon setpoints.

    Yes my nipples are very functional.

  501. #501 blf
    April 28, 2009

    I strongly suggest you stick to landscaping.

    Not in my backyard!
    I’d prefer to hire someone competent.
    (Actually, I do need a landscape artisan, so if there’s anyone interested, and is in Southern France?)

  502. #502 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Actually, I do need a landscape artisan, so if there’s anyone interested, and is in Southern France

    Hah! I’ll move!

  503. #503 blf
    April 28, 2009

    I really am leaving now. At least for the night? Yawn! Yawnity-Yawn! Good-night.

  504. #504 Cannabinaceae
    April 28, 2009

    I strongly suggest you stick to landscaping.

    That might, in advanced circles, require application of the Pythagorean theorem or even trigonometry. So perhaps HelplessCoder can remain a landscaping trainee, or rather, if he’s lucky, someone will give him* a nepotistic pass to stay in the trainee program longer than the flunkouts from stupid school** are usually allowed.

    *or her, though the particular brand of stupidity/ignorance on display has a male feel to it
    **for those (or that) unable to parse the humor out of that, this means people who aren’t smart enough even to be stupid, the way HelplessCoder is, or at least presents themselves.

  505. #505 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    Fuck. I pop off for a couple of meetings and the thread seems to have gone completely off the rails.

  506. #506 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    This is great. Coder comes in to give a sermon on evolutionary biology, and yet he can’t even convince his readers that he’s really an EE.

    Is water part of a water pump?

    LOL – I was going to ask Coder if he thought that a pipe had moving parts when water happened to be flowing through it.

  507. #507 phantomreader42
    April 28, 2009

    blf @ #501:

    (Actually, I do need a landscape artisan, so if there’s anyone interested, and is in Southern France?)

    I just thought of Peter Mayle’s “A Year In Provence”. Might be worth reading to see what insanity you might be in for from French contractors. Or just for a laugh.

    And on that note I’m leaving. :P

  508. #508 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    DNA is not an instruction set.

    Really? What is it then genius?

    What is it that instructs a cell to become muscle fiber in
    my eyelid fuckface?

  509. #509 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    FMinusCoder, show the evidence for your idea or shut up. Your questions are meaningless. You need positive proof, which has been totally lacking.

  510. #510 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    Have you ever witness the eyeballs forming in a fetus?

    Have you ever wondered what is instructing these events?

    Have you ever considered taking a course in developmental biology?

  511. #511 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I’ve been so kind to you fuckfaces, but I really must leave now. I’m learning nothing here.

    Time to go.

  512. #512 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    As a SCIENTIST + ENGINEER?? I know simple HTML functions like ‘blockquote’ that would facilitate parsing what I write, but that would be being kind to you fuckface queers and you don’t deserve that.

    Who ‘evolved’ Kindness? Did you do it in 9 months? Or your entire life? Look at me!

    An engineer.

    I have to go now.

    Fuckfaces. LOL!

  513. #513 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    This reminds me why I don’t enjoy discussing things
    with close minded assholes.

    Later all.

    why is it they ALWAYS come back?

    why?

    I think it’s because they are suffering from so much cognitive dissonance they really are screaming for help, but then their automatic defense mechanisms kick in and all we end up seeing is projection and denial.

    *sigh*

    go get checked out at your nearest mental health care professional ASAP.

    exhibiting your defense mechanisms here will only get you laughed at, little monkey.

  514. #514 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently the term fuckface carries more weight with you all than answering the tough one.

    Admit it, you haven’t a clue.

  515. #515 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I’m leaving. I hate you close-minded fuckfaces because you’re not kind. I hate wasting my time with assholes like you fuckfaces so much that there’s no possible way I’ll make more than 75 comments in the span of over ten hours.

    I’m leaving. Just like I said I would, seventy-five FUCKING COMMENTS ago.

    How did Truth evolve, fuckfaces?

  516. #516 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Brown, are you of any value?

  517. #517 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Brown, are you of any value?

    How did ‘value’ evolve, fuckfaces? From nothing? How does evolution explain that?

    Think of your creator, and what value that carries.

    But, I’m being too kind.

    I’m leaving now. To do engineering. And science. Because I know what those are.

  518. #518 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    FMinus coder, either get to your point with the proper evidence or shut up. You are boring bore.

  519. #519 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently many have me confused with you, Brown.

  520. #520 windy
    April 28, 2009

    “Stomach lining”? People used to talk about the human eye, then the immune system, now stomach lining as the evidence for design… what’s next, foot sweat?

  521. #521 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    Brown, are you of any value?

    Told ya. Even after I pointed it out to him twice.

    What is it that instructs a cell to become muscle fiber in my eyelid fuckface?

    Nothing “instructs” a cell. That’s the entire point. You’re desparate to antropomorphisize, because you’re entirely clueless about the process.

    Also, my face does not, in fact, fuck. I have other parts for that. As encoded in my DNA.

  522. #522 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Nerd, are you like captain of the ship here, or something?

    If anyone is boring, it’s you.

  523. #523 Stu
    April 28, 2009

    By the way, Rev:

    Yes my nipples are very functional.

    Ah, but are they exploding with delight?

  524. #524 AplusCoder
    April 28, 2009

    stu, I noticed that you dodged the question.
    Is there a reason for that?

  525. #525 Epikt
    April 28, 2009

    Ichthyic:

    why is it they ALWAYS come back?

    I think, in a not-entirely-healthy way, they want to be< \i> us.

  526. #526 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    FMinusCoder, we like people who get to their point. You appear to have none. So either make a point or shut up. Why can’t you do that?

  527. #527 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    If anyone is boring, it’s you.

    projection.

  528. #528 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    stu’s answer:

    “It just does.” nothing instructs it, it just ends up there.

  529. #529 Jesus Christ
    April 28, 2009

    It is not kindness to call people unkind names.

    However, it is a kindness to cause nipples to explode with delight. Causing delight in each other is a great kindness.

    Amen.

    Yours in me,
    Jesus Christ

    I must leave now. Farewell.

  530. #530 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Apparently many have me confused with you, Brown.

    I wonder why, fuckface.

    Could it be that neither you nor I have posted anything of substance in nearly one hundred comments, one of us by (mocking) design, the other because he’s too fucking dumb to know how fucking stupid he is?

    You know why I could lampoon you so well and so quickly that we’re indistinguishable? It’s because your pissant little brain is so fucking predictable, I could parody you while in a coma after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

    You should fucking get on your knees and blow science like you’ve been sucking all your life (as you undoubtedly have), because someone as stupid like you would be bear shit if not for the efforts of real scientists, you walking parody of a human mind and a case study in the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Now get the fuck out of here like you promised seventy-five comments ago, you lying little punishment addict.

  531. #531 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Fminusdecoder. Get to your point. Unless you are just wanting to help pay for PZ’s new car. You do that with every view and post.

  532. #532 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    What is it that instructs a cell to become muscle fiber in my eyelid fuckface?

    Nothing “instructs” a cell. That’s the entire point

    What????

    I think, in a not-entirely-healthy way, they want to be us.

    What? Yeah girls I want to be just like you, ignorant
    trapped little so-called chirpy scientists, tag teaming
    a ‘heretic’ like me.

  533. #533 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    What is it that instructs a cell to become muscle fiber in my eyelid fuckface?

    Nothing “instructs” a cell. That’s the entire point

    What????

    I think, in a not-entirely-healthy way, they want to be us.

    What? Yeah girls I want to be just like you, ignorant
    trapped little so-called chirpy scientists, tag teaming
    a ‘heretic’ like me.

  534. #534 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Still no point, still no evidence for you imaginary deity, still nothing. I don’t think you have a point. Just something you don’t like.

  535. #535 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    ‘Heretic’. You flatter yourself.

    An IQ below 80 isn’t heresy.

  536. #536 Steve_C
    April 28, 2009

    Assplus…

    Tell us the developmental process of the eye in a fetus.

    What happens?

  537. #537 Apluscoder
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Brown, that was powerful, thanks for elaborating.

  538. #538 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    hey, since this thing labels itself a coder, I wonder if it’s taken a crack at “Methinks it like a weasel” yet?

    If not, there’s something productive for you to do, and the people at the “Informatics Lab” run by one William Dembski could sure use your help.

    see, they tried for weeks to come up with a workable algorithm, and failed miserably, while a bunch of biologists (who aren’t really even “coders”) ran rings around them.

    Here’s where you, being an Apluscoder and all, could really have an impact!

    you go, girl:

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/03/weasles-on-para.html

    have fun.

  539. #539 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Hey Brown, that was powerful, thanks for elaborating.

    Yeah? Take a tip, pantywad: maybe you should elaborate your point, like Nerd asked.

    Or fuck off.

    Either way.

  540. #540 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    ZlistCoder said:

    What? Yeah girls I want to be just like you, ignorant trapped little so-called chirpy scientists, tag teaming a ‘heretic’ like me.

    Translation: “Waah! Mummy, them big boys are picking on me. They’re calling me nasty names, and won’t let me play tag. ‘Snot fair! And now they’re making bird sounds at me! Help Mummy, one of them just threw a rational argument at me!”

    Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp

    Tag, you’re it…!

  541. #541 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Still nothing. PZ, I think this pest should either be made to declare his point or be plonked for stupidity. All day without one declarative statement…

  542. #542 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    what’s next, foot sweat?

    No. SMELLY foot sweat. It was designed to attract mosquitoes and repel potential mates. Brilliant design!

    And eczema. Eczema is clear evidence of design.

    And HIV. HIV is clear evidence of design.

    Malaria, too. Yes. Designed.

    And the urethra-passing-through-the-prostate thing. Excellent, excellent design.

    I’m leaving now, you trapped, queer, self-denying, animal-sensed, amoral, deluded, pastry-faced scientist people!

    Engineers rule! EE! EE! EE! EE!

  543. #543 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    NoR: All day without one declarative statement…

    Well, there was this:

    GOD created all that we discover through science, we are lead to the mathematical equations that describe our universal laws, lead through insights, with our own sensory mechanisms aiding, our brains analytically weighing in.

    Fragmented, yes, but nominally declarative. Almost thirteen hours after his first post he still hasn’t offered any evidence to support the claim, of course. I’m not inclined to count his “Electric guitars sound cool, therefore God” argument, and I suspect I’m not alone in this.

    Ok now I am really leaving. Really.

  544. #544 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Watchman, I missed that one. I stand corrected.

  545. #545 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    All day without one declarative statement…

    Not entirely true. Thus puked the retard, way back when:

    GOD created all that we discover through science, we are lead to the mathematical equations that describe our universal laws, lead through insights, with our own sensory mechanisms aiding, our brains analytically weighing in.

    That’s his contribution. That’s it. The great fucking engineer/scientist/landscaper, who asks for proof yet provides nothing even close to evidence for his assertion.

    What a fucking brainiac. What a real blessing to humanity this asshole is. How fucking kind, with his insults right off the bat. How cruel and ignorant we were to not immediately fall over in rapturous wonder at how God could have created such a marvelous blend of intelligence, humility, and human decency.

    Then again, if we didn’t have homophobes, how would we know who was still in the closet?

  546. #546 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Oops, sorry Watchman. You must have been submitting your post as I was composing mine.

    I think I owe you a beer, as the game goes….

  547. #547 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2009

    Hmmm. APlusCoder has just shown up today, and in that one day, has posted 62 comments. It’s a bit much.

    Pace yourself, son. Take a little time to write something with some meat to it. I’m seeing signs of a dehydrated brain there, and I may have to throttle you before the keyboard diarrhea shrivels it up to nothin’.

  548. #548 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I’ll acknowledge both of you as pointing out my mistake. Now, what is good at removing sock lint from the mouth?…

  549. #549 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Malaria, too. Yes. Designed.

    Ah, but God clearly designed sickle-cell anaemia so that people wouldn’t get malaria. What a wise, benevolent Creator!

    I’m not inclined to count his “Electric guitars sound cool, therefore God” argument, and I suspect I’m not alone in this.

    ARGUMENT FROM GUITAR MASTERY
    (1) Eric Clapton is God.
    (2) Therefore, God exists.

  550. #550 PZ Myers
    April 28, 2009

    Oh, but wait…I must be going. Bye.

  551. #551 Epikt
    April 28, 2009

    Apluscoder

    What? Yeah girls I want to be just like you, ignorant
    trapped little so-called chirpy scientists, tag teaming
    a ‘heretic’ like me.

    And yet you keep coming back, striking your faux-hardass poses, begging for some kind of affirmation that anybody at all takes you seriously.

  552. #552 windy
    April 28, 2009

    I’m not inclined to count his “Electric guitars sound cool, therefore God” argument, and I suspect I’m not alone in this.

    I thought it was “Electric guitars sound cool, therefore Death“. Or maybe the other way around.

  553. #553 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    “If I stay here I’ll go nuts”

    “Hooray Hooray Hooray”

  554. #554 Watchman
    April 28, 2009

    Brownian:

    Oops, sorry Watchman. You must have been submitting your post as I was composing mine.

    I think I owe you a beer, as the game goes….

    You owe me nothing. I am honored to have been so harmoniously on the same page with you for that shining, golden moment. Beer? Bah! Who needs it? I get a buzz off your relentlessly inventive and witty (and sometimes richly informative) gags and rants here. Hat-tip to you, Brownian.

    Second Argument From Guitar Mastery

    1) That Yngwie Malmsteen sure can burn!
    2) Therefore, human fingers were designed to play guitar.

    Ok now I am really, REALLY going. Ta-ta, alabaster god-deniers and lab-coated faeriekind!

  555. #555 Josh
    April 28, 2009

    keyboard diarrhea–yet another image I didn’t need. Thanks, PZ.

    APlusCoder, you’ve been here all afternoon. Seriously, can I get that definition of “natural.” Or perhaps could I get answers to the questions I posed regarding your definition of “unnatural?”

  556. #556 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    But no, according to you there’s no role for the state here. So I guess you won’t be supporting the Equality Bill. Because there’s no such thing as patriarchy or male privilege and sexism hurts men and women exactly equally.

    I didn’t say it hurt them exactly equally; that would, of course, be highly improbable. It disadvantages men in some respects and women in others.

    And no, I won’t be supporting the Equality Bill – because the last thing British employers need, in this time of recession, is more government-imposed hoops through which to jump. Right now, we need to encourage job creation – and part of the way to do that is to free up employers and employees to agree whatever employment terms they wish (within reason), without state regulation and interference.

    I don’t doubt that some employers are overtly sexist, and a great many more have subconscious gender prejudices. But this is just part of life. Fundamentally, an employment contract is like any other contractual relationship; it should be entirely in the discretion of both parties whether or not they wish to agree to it on the terms offered.

    If a private employer refuses to hire women because he is a misogynist and doesn’t believe women should be let out of the kitchen, then that’s his business; it’s his money he’s spending, not the State’s. (Though if his company is a publicly-traded one, he should be held to account by his board for using the shareholders’ money inefficiently.) As much as I might disagree with him personally, I have no right to have a say in how he chooses to spend his business’s money (assuming I have no personal stake in his business) or in which employment contracts he chooses to enter.

    The concerns are different where a job is funded by public money; in those circumstances, it should be ensured that the best person for the job is picked, regardless of race, gender or orientation (since hiring someone less efficient on the basis of their irrelevant characteristics will make the organisation less effective, and, therefore, waste taxpayers’ money). But in the private sector, I’m basically opposed to compulsory anti-discrimination laws.

  557. #557 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Who here know that kindness reflects kindness, just like ugliness reflects ugliness, as we’ve all seen demonstrated here by the queers? PZ, are you queer too?

    We’re whatever threatens you.

    Have you ever witness the eyeballs forming in a fetus?

    What’s so strange about one side of a sheet of cells growing faster than the other?

    there are biologists that do believe there’s more to it than ‘evolution’. And many times they are excommunicated. I happen to think alot of it is due to funding and job security. To deny that aspect is to deny reality.

    1) You have been lied to. Read this.

    2) How egregiously stupid to think that defending an orthodoxy would get a scientist funding or job security! Science is about showing that, and why, ideas are wrong. Each of my 3 published papers* takes a published idea and shows that, and why, it is wrong.

    If you wrote a paper that merely confirms what is already published, you’d have great trouble trying to get it accepted by any journal!

    * Only three because I’m only 26 years old. One more is submitted (and also disproves an idea), and two more are in preparation (one of which is most likely going to disprove yet another idea; the other is a review paper).

    There are many medical doctors who also believe there is something more than evolution at play

    Yes, and all three of them simply don’t understand what they’re talking about. The word egnorance was coined for one of them.

    DNA is not an instruction set.

    Really? What is it then[,] genius?

    A template.

    A physical template. A transcript is made by enzymes and ribonucleotides being electrostatically attracted to it; then this transcript (mRNA) diffuses away by Brownian motion till it sticks (again electrostatically) to a ribosome, where tRNA molecules carrying amino acids are electrostatically attracted to it and the ribosome and react with both, again triggered by electrostatic attraction and repulsion and Brownian motion (which, in turn, is again the result of electrostatic repulsion). The result of that (lots of amino acids linked together) is called a protein.

    I learned all of this in the last year of the local highschool equivalent.

    Two take-home messages:

    1) The chronically and acutely underfunded US public school system has failed to teach you anything (…including the fact that a computer is not a typewriter ? which means that you don’t need to press Enter to end a line, because that’s done automatically; you only need it to end a paragraph ?, and, hilariously, the spelling of transistor);
    2) There are only four five forces in the universe: electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, and gravity and the “cosmological constant” responsible for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

    One more thing: It would help immensely if you wrote <blockquote> immediately before and </blockquote> immediately after everything you quote. That’s how to move quotes to the right and put a vertical bar next to them.

  558. #558 Walton
    April 28, 2009

    Sara Connolly, of UEA’s school of economics, has undertaken research that reveals for the first time what proportion of the pay disparity is due to women being younger, more junior or employed in different types of institution or subject areas. Her preliminary results suggest that almost a quarter (23%) of the pay gap is “unexplained” and may be due to discrimination against women.

    “This confirms what many working women scientists have long felt,” said Dr Connolly. “My research provides sound facts and figures, rather than anecdotal evidence and hearsay, which I hope will be used to develop and implement effective policies to tackle this problem.”

    Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t this rather speculative? A researcher finds that 23% of the pay gap is “unexplained” (and the article doesn’t tell us what she considered to be an adequate “explanation”), and she (and the article’s author) jump immediately to the conclusion that said 23% is a result of discrimination.

    In any case, even assuming – without agreeing – that 23% of the pay gap is due to discrimination, that still means that 77% of the gap is explained adequately by other factors. So advocates of tougher anti-discrimination measures really need to stop trumpeting the total amount of the pay gap as if it were a conclusive argument for such measures.

  559. #559 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    A researcher finds that 23% of the pay gap is “unexplained” (and the article doesn’t tell us what she considered to be an adequate “explanation”), and she (and the article’s author) jump immediately to the conclusion that said 23% is a result of discrimination.

    Walton, what you missed was the proportion that WAS explained by her, and is usually used as rationale by those who want to explain away the disparities in pay.

    A Holmes would say:

    “…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”

    a 23% pay gap is still HUGE, Walton.

  560. #560 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    PZ, I think your TypeKey account has been hijacked by Janine. :-)

    his “Electric guitars sound cool, therefore God” argument

    I hope someone has submitted it to the Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence page yet! It’s not there yet.

  561. #561 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Parsimony, Walton. What is the simplest explanation for the remaining 23 %? What is the explanation that requires the smallest number of additional assumptions (like Fminuscoder’s life force)?

  562. #562 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    We’re whatever threatens you.

    David Marjanovi?, I love this. May I use it (with attribution, of course) on future trolls?

    …then this transcript (mRNA) diffuses away by Brownian motion till it sticks…again triggered by electrostatic attraction and repulsion and Brownian motion (which, in turn, is again the result of electrostatic repulsion).

    No wonder I’m so tired.

    But there are at least a few women in my past who would agree with the bit about me and attraction then repulsion.

    Thanks for the kind words Watchman, but I travel ’round the universe helping nascent enlightened civilisations one planet at a time, just like everybody else.

    Nonetheless, I look forward to the opportunity to by you a beer, should it ever arise.

  563. #563 Brownian, OM
    April 28, 2009

    We’re whatever threatens you.

    David Marjanovi?, I love this. May I use it (with attribution, of course) on future trolls?

    …then this transcript (mRNA) diffuses away by Brownian motion till it sticks…again triggered by electrostatic attraction and repulsion and Brownian motion (which, in turn, is again the result of electrostatic repulsion).

    No wonder I’m so tired.

    But there are at least a few women in my past who would agree with the bit about me and attraction then repulsion.

    Thanks for the kind words Watchman, but I travel ’round the universe helping nascent enlightened civilisations one planet at a time, just like everybody else.

    Nonetheless, I look forward to the opportunity to by you a beer, should it ever arise.

  564. #564 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Oh yeah. I said I’d get to comment 264. Here goes:

    most of which were dead, and that purely by chance, the laws of physics in this one favored the development of life. Suppose all this were demonstrated beyond doubt (as in fact it could be). Would you stop believing in God? In your “life force”?

    No it wouldn’t, as there are many levels to the complexities of life that point back to some sort of intelligence.

    You here, are looking at the physical plane, and yet, perhaps 1 out of a gazillion planets orbiting a heat source with water could support “life”, in many different forms, terra-formed, let’s say.

    That’s an argument from ignorance (which is, I must point out because I can’t expect you to figure that out on your own, a logical fallacy). Wasn’t a planet with probably suitable surface temperatures just discovered last week?

    Then one must ask, why is man so intellectually superior to all the other creatures on this planet?

    Why not? Something has to be in the right tail of the bell curve.

    What is it that makes man want to learn and know more and more? And why is man inquisitive?

    Assuming that inquisitiveness is heritable…

    Those who didn’t want to know if there was a leopard behind the next bush have already been eaten. Those who didn’t want to know how to find the next waterhole have already died from thirst. Those who didn’t want to know where and how to dig up tubers have already died from hunger.

    It’s called natural selection.

    Why does man where [sic] clothes?

    In hot, wet places, what little clothes there usually are have mostly ornamental function, indicating social status and stuff. Elsewhere, the climate doesn’t leave much choice.

    And why does man have an emptiness that is difficult to make content?

    That you have such an emptiness doesn’t mean anyone else has it.

    I, for one, lack it… :-|

    Why are some self-destructive?

    That’s a defect :-)

    Why are some loving.

    Those who watched their children die in cold blood have already died out. Those who watched their fellow tribe members die in cold blood were treated as assholes and therefore didn’t get to successfully reproduce much either.

    Again, natural selection.

    Did man really evolve from a squirrel[-]like primate

    Not directly, and for a pretty small value of “squirrel-like”, but, yeah. 60 million years ago, our ancestors (shared with all other living primates) looked pretty much like a tupaia, a so-called tree shrew.

    that was preyed upon by birds?

    Of course.

    Birds? oh never-mind birds. Or Fish? or both!?

    Huh?

    Or primitive bi-valved nutrient pumps!

    I don’t get what your point is. Please explain.

    What is the best ingredient to pursue for a contented life?
    Charity, helpfulness, productivity, accomplishment?

    That’s probably different for everyone, and so are the meanings of “productivity” and “accomplishment”. Me, I like doing things that I find interesting… like working on my PhD thesis on the origins of lissamphibians and turtles.

    What drives us,

    Again different for everyone, I think.

    and how did we get here,

    What do you mean?

    and why do many of the questions mankind asked thousands of years ago still get asked today,

    Because they turned out to be rather difficult to answer.

    and why do some of the answers from thousands
    of years ago still work today.

    Do they? Examples, please.

    And have you ever considered the informational clutter we get sometimes let ourselves get subjected can pollute our clarity of thought,

    No. You just need to invest the time to learn to understand it all.

    You specifically. I recommend you spend a few hours in Wikipedia and the pages it links to, if you really can’t get a biochemistry/molecular biology textbook.

    and ability to get in touch with, Mother Nature?

    I don’t think you mean anything meaningful here. This only reminds me of what a certain Zarquon said here a year ago:

    “Nature doesn’t dictate anything. And don’t anthropomorphise her, she hates that.”

  565. #565 Cannabinaceae
    April 28, 2009

    Brownian, thank you for bringing be back to moral reality with your comment:

    We’re whatever threatens you.

    David Marjanovi?, I love this. May I use it (with attribution, of course) on future trolls?

    I was just going to steal it and start using it in day-to-day conversation, whenever appropriate. Because I love it and I want it to spread*, because it expresses something I already felt but had not the specific words for. But now (thanks Brownian: I almost thought that WankingVBTechnician (or whatever his name was) was a Poe by you for our delectation; but that would be rude so I didn’t really think it so. In fact, if David Marjanovi? doesn’t ask me not to, I will do that: steal it and start using it – casually, sometimes, and without attribution if it seems like it might distort the flow of the conversation (which it would, as I can never footnote conversationally without perseverating, which makes my interlocutors sometimes impatient).

    As for trolls and in print: with attribution.

    *Yes, I know what a meme is, and I know what I’m trying to do: give a little selective advantage to an allele – keep it alive more places and for longer so that memetic drift might carry it to a relative population level that selection really does give it a chance**

    **AWussCroaker: give us evidence you’re not clueless and articulately critique what I just said, if you want anybody to think you’re serious.

  566. #566 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    I love this. May I use it

    I learned it here. I just forgot from whom.

  567. #567 Cannabinaceae
    April 28, 2009

    I might just add that on (rare) occasions a bon mot originated by me has come back from the mouth of someone else without attribution, which has pleased me to no end.

    Oh, and yes, I know there’s a parenthesis fail up there. Pisses me off. Sorry.

  568. #568 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Graffito which I know second- or third-hand: “We are those of whom you have always warned us!!!”

    I’ll go to bed. It’s really late enough. :-)

  569. #569 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2009

    Do they? Examples, please.

    FIRE BAAAAD!!

  570. #570 Jadehawk
    April 28, 2009

    I know that this thread has moved on from this, but I’d like to revisit Coder’s awesome abuse of the natural/unnatural word pair:

    if “natural” means natural like in natural peanut butter, then its antonym (unnatural) would mean artificial, i.e. “includes specifically altered chemical structures that differ in key ways from its naturally occurring origins/counterparts, thus being a man-made thing”. So, for dolphin homosexuality to be unnatural, it would have to be man-made.

    Mutant Homo Dolphin Clones FTW!

  571. #571 Jadehawk
    April 28, 2009

    Graffito which I know second- or third-hand: “We are those of whom you have always warned us!!!”

    I’ll go to bed. It’s really late enough. :-)

    is that a translation, or is it really that grammatically correct?

    I know this as “we’re the people our parents warned us against”.

  572. #572 Jadehawk
    April 28, 2009

    “warned us about“, even.

    *sigh*

  573. #573 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    I hope someone has submitted it to the Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence page yet! It’s not there yet.

    David, take a look at the 24th proof.

    And no, I won’t be supporting the Equality Bill – because the last thing British employers need, in this time of recession, is more government-imposed hoops through which to jump.

    Walton, I understand that this bill wouldn’t come into effect until 2013, and you don’t have to use Darling’s optimistic projections to realize the recession will probably be over by then.

    Regardless this part of your argument isn’t very principled. Or at least it is, but it’s effectively the principle that, even if you supported the philosophy of this bill, you would still be opposed to it coming into force during a recession, because it hampers the private sector. This is a bit like arguing that in a recession, the private sector shouldn’t have to jump through hoops set by things like the European Convention on human rights, because it bans things like slavery, which clearly hampers the private sectors recovery.

    I don’t doubt that some employers are overtly sexist, and a great many more have subconscious gender prejudices. But this is just part of life.

    So was slavery, before governments stepped in and outlawed it. What’s your point?

    Fundamentally, an employment contract is like any other contractual relationship; it should be entirely in the discretion of both parties whether or not they wish to agree to it on the terms offered.

    Firstly, most ordinary people don’t “negotiate” their contract in the same way that high flyers in the city do. In fact, most people are poor negotiators when compared to a big corporation (especially when they don’t know what other employees are being paid, so have no baseline). You’re a libertarian. You happen to think that big government is dangerous. To some extent I agree with you. But surely you must see that a big corporation can be dangerous too (not as much, but still a certain amount). The only real difference, is that governments have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Now, in an employee negotiation, who do you think is going to be the better negotiator? The employer working for the big corporation which has a team of lawyers and accountants, or the lone ordinary individual, who, in this example, is also faced with being deceived by a discriminatory employer. If the employer is discriminatory, they aren’t exactly going to play fair, now are they? It’s the same thing with doctors. We don’t let doctors prescribe any medicine they like, we have standards and so forth that outlaw certain drugs, to protect the patient from a corrupt doctor. This is because the patient is in a poorer negotiating position than the doctor with all his medical degrees, just like someone who applies for a job.

    Anyway, let’s assume we accept your proposal. I’m to try a crude economic example to show why it doesn’t work. Now, let the number of employable women be X. Then the number of jobs they can apply to will be slightly less than X (there’s usually some unemployment in society). Now hypothetical employer A will pay a certain wage (assume it’s equal to what the men are paid), and other employers will also pay the same wage (of course, there are other jobs too, but the wage paid to work done ratio should be about the same for all jobs). Now, assume that A decides he is sexist, and wants to charge less than a fair wage. He can do this and still have a woman filling that position, because there’s not a general surplus in job vacancies. Sure, the current woman taking a pay cut might leave, but then it wouldn’t take long to fill that vacancy. Anyway, so you now have one employer paying women not a fair wage, and all the rest doing otherwise. Now, tell me, what is to stop employer B from paying an unfair wage now that A has lowered his wages? Absolutely nothing. Same with all the other employers. Soon, there aren’t many women on fair wages at all. And except for the benevolence of their employer, there’s no way for (say) female employee K to renegotiate her contract to a fairer salary, since she has a choice between taking the (unfair) wage offer, or going on the dole (as I’ve already said, there’s not a general surplus of vacancies, so she can’t just go get another job for the most part – if there was a shortage of workers, then the employees would have a better hand at the negotiating table). Most people would take the job. So, although this is a rather crude example, and probably has a number of holes and oversimplifications in it, I’m sure that those holes could be filled by a competent economist, while still keeping the basic outline of the argument in tact. And I think that basic outline shows that the idea of employees being able to negotiate much is total crap

  574. #574 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Oh, and another point to Walton about this part:

    And no, I won’t be supporting the Equality Bill – because the last thing British employers need, in this time of recession, is more government-imposed hoops through which to jump.

    Even if it came into effect during the recession, this wouldn’t have that big an impact on the private sector in terms of getting back to growth as you think.

    If there was some piece of legislation saying, “Ban private companies from selling X”, then that would have a clear impact on the companies that do sell X, because those that did buy X from those companies, aren’t necessarily going to buy alternative product Y with the money that would’ve gone on X.

    However, this legislation basically says, “Make wages and employment fairer across the sexes and ages etc”. So while it harms the companies by getting them to pay a fair wage to women, it benefits the women directly. And surely women and other employees will then act as “better” consumers, as they’ll be able to spend more money?

    Granted, employees are more likely to act as savers than companies, so there will be some negative effect from not all the employees extra money being spent, but such a negative effect will be relatively minor.

  575. #575 Alex Deam
    April 28, 2009

    Hmm, why no blockquote?

    That second paragraph of my last comment is Walton, the rest is me. Hope that’s clear.

  576. #576 Jadehawk
    April 28, 2009

    oh, and two things about the gender discrimination conversation:

    1)The fact that women are going part-time to have families is PART of the social discrimination. women still need to choose whether they want a good family or a good career, while men generally can have both. This either/or dilemma is what explains the “lost generation” of the non-existent children of women now in their 40’s (I’ve so far confirmed this concentration of childlessness for that age group in the Pacific Northwest, Germany, and more anecdotally in Sydney); the women had to make a choice, and they weren’t willing to become their mothers.

    2)The discrimination of companies against women of childbearing age is true and real, but getting rid of mandatory paid maternity leave is not a solution, since it would just get us back to point 1. The better solution is what is being slowly introduced in some other European countries: parental leave. There’s 2 good systems, one in which both parents are entitled to the same amount of time off for a new child, and another in which there’s a set parental leave time frame that can be split between the parents as they wish. (there’s a third system of paternal and maternal leaves of differing length, but that one doesn’t solve the problem at all) They’re both good systems for different reasons, but most importantly, boing a choice both men and women will have to make. This will eventually spread out the risk of hiring someone who will take parental leave across both genders, and both also remove the default problem in point one, i.e. that women must make a choice, but man need not or even cannot make such a choice.

  577. #577 John Morales
    April 28, 2009

    Seems to me that Walton ideologically values the principle of personal freedom over fairness laws, regardless of their societal utility or ethical justification.

  578. #578 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 28, 2009

    Seems to me that Walton ideologically values the principle of personal freedom over fairness laws, regardless of their societal utility or ethical justification.

    And they wonder why we think they are morally bankrupt…

  579. #579 C-C C
    April 28, 2009

    That’s it.
    I’m leaving.
    Good-bye!!!

  580. #580 Nanu Nanu
    April 28, 2009

    C-C C Combo breaker?

  581. #581 Kseniya
    April 29, 2009

    “We’re whatever threatens you.”

    “This troll is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”

    I see I missed a lively session today. He never did come up with answers to the “unnatural” or “defect” questions. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

  582. #582 Rick R
    April 29, 2009

    “And have you ever considered the informational clutter we get sometimes let ourselves get subjected can pollute our clarity of thought,”

    And fluids. Don’t forget the precious bodily fluids.

  583. #583 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    I didn’t say it hurt them exactly equally; that would, of course, be highly improbable. It disadvantages men in some respects and women in others.

    Please, Walton. I can read:

    So while I think there is a lot of sexism in our society … I think it affects men just as adversely as it affects women.

    That’s the ridiculous statement I was making fun of. You seem to think that somehow all these different complicated factors can by dumb luck happen to hurt men “just as adversely” — I speak English and that does mean it hurts men equally — as it hurts women. In different ways, but equally bad. That’s a contemptible bunch of magical thinking. It’s like being absolutely certain that after 10000 coin flips, 5000 will be heads and 5000 tails.

    For “some reason” you are intent upon insisting that male privilege does not exist, institutionalized patriarchy does not exist, and all things considered, women are not generally worse off than men or the targets of more damaging discrimination. Needless to say I’m infuriated with your willful blindness, but I’m going to try to let the anger pass instead of just verbally abusing you. Let’s try to make something constructive of this, and see whether or not you can learn.

    Here’s a metaphor that is useful to me for understanding a variety of systems. Please try it out. I think you’ve been around Pharyngula long enough to have encountered this idea: given that genetic mutations occur, and given that many of these mutations make an organism more or less reproductively fit in its environment, what could stop evolution from occurring? http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=8&t=27&m=1 The person who denies evolution must provide a mechanism by which evolution is halted, otherwise, it cannot but occur. Analogously, given that there are always benefits and incentives for one group to dominate others, and given that men and women are physically and socially delineated enough for such domination to occur, what could stop one gender from dominating the other? You are making an extraordinary claim and you need to provide an extraordinary explanation.

    And no, I won’t be supporting the Equality Bill

    because the last thing British women need, in this time of recession, is a legal means of knowing whether they are the victims of unfair pay discrimination.

    I don’t doubt that some employers are overtly sexist, and a great many more have subconscious gender prejudices. But this is just part of life. Fundamentally, an employment contract …

    Ah yes, misogyny is just part of life, so we shouldn’t worry about fighting it. Just like racism, war, gay-bashing, etc.

    What this is, Walton, is male privilege. Precisely what you said does not exist. What this is is a serious problem in the world, which I am asking you to think critically about, and you are running away from.

    I’m not talking about solutions right now. Before it even makes sense to talk about solutions, we have to learn to identify and recognize the problem. For the purposes of this conversation, I do not care that the Equality Bill would be part of a solution. For the moment, I am willing to pretend for the sake of argument that the invisible hand of the market is the best solution. For all I care, burning incense and dancing under the moonlight is the way to end institutionalized pay discrimination.

    All I care about is that you are denying the existence of male privilege.

    Because as long as you handwave away workplace discrimination as “just part of life” and therefore something you don’t have to think about any further, you’re assenting to it. You’re saying it’s okay that women are paid less than men for the same work. You’re saying it’s that women are poorer than men and so effectively have less freedom of movement and self-determination. You, Walton, are saying it’s fine that children raised by single mothers will be more disadvantaged than children of single fathers. You’re saying that it’s acceptable for women to be more economically dependent upon men than vice versa, and so you’re saying it’s okay that some women feel compelled to stay in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to leave.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t this rather speculative? A researcher finds that 23% of the pay gap is “unexplained” (and the article doesn’t tell us what she considered to be an adequate “explanation”), and she (and the article’s author) jump immediately to the conclusion that said 23% is a result of discrimination.

    Critical thinking and intellectual honesty, Walton, you appear to lack them.

    You were the one who brought up women choosing to work part-time (as though they are always turning down an offer to work full-time, another fantasy of yours which I’ll ignore tonight for brevity’s sake). Sara Connolly’s paper controls for that and shows that it’s not enough to explain the pay disparity.

    I quote from http://client.norc.org/jole/SOLEweb/7203.pdf

    “Differences in characteristics account for just over 77% of the overall average gender pay gap … there is a significant pay penalty (12%) for women who have been in part-time work or taken career breaks.”

    The paper also controls for ethnicity, age, domestic responsibilities including children, subject field, productivity, workplace responsibilities like holding an administrative post, length of contract, grade as lecturer or professor and so on, place of employment, esteem indicators like professional fellowships or giving keynote addresses, every demographic and professional characteristic you could imagine. And all those add up together to account for 77% of the gender pay gap (keep in mind that some of the controls, like ethnic discrimination, are problematic as well, but a rigorous paper like this must remain limited in scope so that’s a problem for another day).

    When all those are accounted for, what’s left? Use your critical thinking. David Marjanovi? is right, the most parsimonious explanation is discrimination, or as this paper euphamistically calls it, difference of treatment. But hell, it’s not only the simplest, most parsimonious explanation; after all those controls, I’ll bet you can’t even brainstorm another plausible explanation, even if less parsimonious. Rather than “jump[ing] immediately” to a conclusion — a very serious charge against Connolly’s professional integrity that you immediately and indecently threw out with no basis — there’s just nothing else left except gender discrimination.

    Please acknowledge rather than ignoring this. After your parochial comment about what you “have yet to see,” I need some assurance that this is sinking in.

    You demanded that every other explanation be exhausted before widespread institutional sexism could even be on the table — as though the rest of us were as ignorant on this topic as you, and had never researched this before — and I’ve complied. If you cannot present a more parsimonious explanation but you will not accept Connolly’s and my explanation, then you are quite simply denying that pay discrimination against women could exist. I expect you to find some intellectual honesty here now and admit the facts.

    Further, you entirely ignored the work of Babcock and Bowles, which also quite clearly and objectively demonstrated the existence of male privilege, which you deny. Yet, having read the summary, you nevertheless fail to either challenge the study or admit its conclusions. You continue on, presumably still denying male privilege, ignoring the evidence presented to you. This is outright intellectual dishonesty.

    Babcock and Bowles’s studies are even worse for your assumptions, because they very clearly show that this isn’t about “some employers” or even “a great many more,” but the overwhelming majority of men, and impacts the overwhelming majority of women. These studies get to the very essence of male privilege, in which we have a functionally misogynistic culture which most people simply take for granted and nearly all men knowingly or unknowingly benefit from.

    (and, indeed, the fact that many women do get to the top shows that there is no insuperable barrier).

    And, indeed, the fact that Barack Obama was elected shows that racism is over! http://www.lipmagazine.org/~timwise/Obama.html

    In any case, even assuming – without agreeing – that 23% of the pay gap is due to discrimination, that still means that 77% of the gap is explained adequately by other factors. So advocates of tougher anti-discrimination measures really need to stop trumpeting the total amount of the pay gap as if it were a conclusive argument for such measures.

    First, keep in mind that 23% number only applies to jobs in academia. The paper finds it’s 29% for the UK workforce at large.

    Second, we’re still talking about several thousands of pounds lost per woman per year to gender discrimination. This is huge, and it means less invested and less saved, less compound interest, so the problem balloons year after year. Speak decently for once, and don’t you dare minimize the impact on even one single woman’s life.

    Third, the total amount of the pay gap is a problem itself. No matter what the reasons, there should not be any pay gap at all, because the result, of women being poorer than men, is dangerous and unacceptable in any case. See Jadehawk’s comment and take it to heart. We can not settle for a society with this kind of inequality, where women are forced to make undesirable economic choices that men get to avoid.

    Just for once quit kicking reflexively and yelping that guvmint is bad so we can’t ever do anything to fix anything so we might as well not even think about it! Just relax, be honest, and admit that these are problems and the result of male privilege. We can think about solutions later.

    But this doesn’t mean they’re disadvantaged, and men are advantaged, in every area of life.

    Finally, for once look up “male privilege” and study what I’m talking about. Because the fact that you could give this as a reply just proves that you truly, obviously, pathetically, have not even begun to try to understand what I’m talking about. The google is not so hard. Please try it. FSM forbid you might learn something instead of sounding half-read and overconfident.

  584. #584 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    I see I missed a lively session today. He never did come up with answers to the “unnatural” or “defect” questions. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    He never came up with answers to anything, except “Fuck you, asshole” and “I’m an engineer”.

    Ban time? (and I say this as someone who virtually NEVER supports banning anyone, since I know what it’s like to be accused of trolling)

  585. #585 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009
  586. #586 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    Strange gods,

    OK, I’ll concede that the article on the Babcock and Bowles study (which I didn’t have time to look at last night, but have now read) is interesting, and raises a point of which I hadn’t been aware.

    As far as I can tell, the study’s main finding is that there is a subconscious hostility, on the part of employers, towards women who negotiate and pursue their self-interest too aggressively, and that this is manifested in less willingness to employ such women – meaning that women have an incentive not to negotiate for more pay, and are therefore paid less. This doesn’t surprise me all that much, and it’s certainly a problem. But I don’t see anything that can reasonably be done about it. It isn’t the individual employers’ fault; they’re acting according to subconscious natural instincts.

    But in any case, I remind you, they’re spending their own money, not that of the State – so, assuming they work in the private sector, none of us are morally entitled to have any say over who they hire or don’t hire. No one has a “right” to be hired, even if they are well-qualified. If it makes you happy, I pledge that if I am ever in a position of hiring candidates, I will do my level best to consider male and female candidates equally, and will not penalise female candidates who ask for a higher wage. But that’s all I can personally do about it.

  587. #587 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    Just relax, be honest, and admit that these are problems and the result of male privilege. We can think about solutions later.

    Yes. There are problems. That I will gladly concede. There is sexism in society, and I don’t doubt that there are some women who are economically disadvantaged because of express sexism, and many more who are economically disadvantaged because of the life choices they are culturally expected to make (e.g. staying at home and raising kids rather than pursuing a career). So I’m not denying outright that inequality exists, and that not all of that inequality can be explained by legitimate factors.

  588. #588 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    And btw: the fact that I haven’t replied point-by-point to everything is a result of the fact that (a) even as a lazy student, I don’t have unlimited time to spend on this site, and (b) this thread has become very confusing, as much of it is clogged up with idiocy from APlusCoder (for some reason, I keep reading that name as Assploder; quite appropriate perhaps). So it’s not that I’m deliberately ignoring any of your points or that I am entirely unable to answer them.

  589. #589 SAWells
    April 29, 2009

    Walton, the fact you think there’s a _difference_ between “express sexism” and “life choices they are culturally expected to make” is part of the problem here; those are in fact _the same thing_.

  590. #590 SC, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Great post @ #583, sgbm, and thank you for the link to the UK article.

    Walton, whenever you find yourself saying “But this is just part of life,” you should step back and think about temporal and spatial variation in “life,” which can help you to get at the roots of problems and understand the range of efforts – successful and unsuccessful – for change. This is one reason I’ve repeatedly suggested that you study more history and anthropology.

    Also, since you’ve expressed several times that you have difficulty assessing how you’re coming across, I’ll offer another piece of advice (reminiscent of advice I’ve given you in the past): If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about a subject, you should approach it with questions, not arguments. Your arguments are always going to be worthless, anyway, if they’re based solely on theory. You will still learn, but you’ll be easier to get along with. I’m not suggesting that you accept everything anyone tells you (and you can still ask critical and challenging questions) or read only one set of perspectives on an issue, but if you want to argue against a position, you can only do so validly from another position based in knowledge. Otherwise, you should try to stick to questions when discussing matters in which you lack substantive knowledge. Apologies for condescension.

  591. #591 Jadehawk
    April 29, 2009

    It isn’t the individual employers’ fault; they’re acting according to subconscious natural instincts.

    NO. just. NO.

    also, look up “naturalistic fallacy”

    But in any case, I remind you, they’re spending their own money, not that of the State – so, assuming they work in the private sector, none of us are morally entitled to have any say over who they hire or don’t hire. No one has a “right” to be hired, even if they are well-qualified.

    oh well, in this case I guess racist bosses and “no coloreds” signs are ok with you too. and since laws apparently only apply to governments, I wouldn’t need to give people any days off at all, I could force them to work 80 hours a week without overtime compensation, could force them to come in even if they’ve just had a major operation….

    you really don’t understand what worker-protection rights are, or how a world without them would look, do you.

  592. #592 Jadehawk
    April 29, 2009

    and by operation i mean surgery. stoopid “false friends”

  593. #593 SC, OM
    April 29, 2009

    and by operation i mean surgery. stoopid “false friends”

    “A major operation” works fine there (if you’re using “major surgery” you don’t use an article – not that you don’t know this already :)).

  594. #594 Alex Deam
    April 29, 2009

    you really don’t understand what worker-protection rights are, or how a world without them would look, do you.

    I think it’s finally been confirmed: libertarians support feudalism.

  595. #595 SAWells
    April 29, 2009

    Well, nothing says “property rights” like actually being property!

  596. #596 Josh
    April 29, 2009

    @585–looks as though he fell his king.

    *shrug*

  597. #597 AplusCoder
    April 29, 2009

    How are memories stored in the brain? And retained for decades?
    And triggered by sensory experience, or retrieved on demand?

    Did you all figure this out already? I forget.

  598. #598 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2009

    Did you all figure this out already? I forget.

    Did you?

  599. #599 Alex Deam
    April 29, 2009

    How are memories stored in the brain? And retained for decades?
    And triggered by sensory experience, or retrieved on demand?

    Did you all figure this out already? I forget.

    I CAN HAZ IRONY?

    KTHXBAI

  600. #600 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Fminuscoder is back with inane questions. FMC, either put forward a position and back it with evidence, or just go and read the literature. Asking ignorant questions like you do won’t make us not believe in evolution. Work published in the peer reviewed primary scientific journals would.

  601. #601 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 29, 2009

    is that a translation, or is it really that grammatically correct?

    It’s a surprisingly bad late-night translation from German. Your version is much better.

    How are memories stored in the brain? And retained for decades? And triggered by sensory experience, or retrieved on demand?

    Did you all figure this out already?

    Yes. It’s taught in Introduction to Neurobiology for Molecular Biologists, an undergraduate course. Repeated use of a synapse phosphorylates some ion channels (I have to go soon, so I’ll be lazy and just shower you with the jargon; get a textbook, or Wikipedia, and read up), which makes them open at a lower threshold, which means that the current starts flowing much more easily; even more repeated use triggers the growth of additional synapses between the same two nerve cells.

    It’s just slightly more complicated than electrical engineering. The basics are all very similar.

  602. #602 AplusCoder
    April 29, 2009

    Sure it is. Ah, the current then flows much more easily, I see, LOL.

    I’m really glad you all are happy with that explanation.

    Is a visual image of my dad encoded in there? His voice too?

    Cool current.

  603. #603 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Fminusdecoder, think about how electronic memory works. Then you should be even more impressed.

    You seem to be asking inane questions in a futile attempt to find a hole to put your imaginary deity into. It won’t happen. Science ignores your deity in its workings, and that isn’t going to change, since science is so successful compared the mental masturbation called religion and theology about advancing knowledge. If you want to learn about science, there is this thing called a library. It is a building that contains books, some of which are non-fiction, and may cover the area you have questions over. They may even lend you a book. Make use of one.

  604. #604 AplusCoder
    April 29, 2009

    Oh and Nerd, why don’t stop fucking stalking me and offer up some kind of knowledge, instead of shrugging off very valid questions that your pea brain can’t answer.

  605. #605 AplusCoder
    April 29, 2009

    Fuck Off Nerd you dumb ass troll.

    Deity? Religion? Are you fucking dense? Were you molested or something?

    Remain ignorant if you wish. I’m in search of the intelligence
    behind humanity, if you wish to believe there is none, fine.

    I happen to think there is and maybe i’m just as guilty as you in trying to PROVOKE though as you are in trying to STIFLE it.

    I know electronic memeory works, do you? There is software or hardwired decoding that deciphers it dumbass. This is created
    through intelligence.

  606. #606 Rorschach
    April 29, 2009

    Gee,Im glad Im only following this thread loosely while watching “Watchmen”,way too much insanity…..

    I’m in search of the intelligence behind humanity

    Well,keep looking behind yourself,you might find some.

  607. #607 AplusCoder
    April 29, 2009

    And for your information,
    Many scientists have contributed much of the work to the insights they’ve gleaned through the one they refer to as the creator.

    Go to the library, read up.

  608. #608 SAWells
    April 29, 2009

    It probably meant “credited” when it wrote “contributed”.

    Still finding it amusing that the troll has trolled itself; for the regulars, we have an amusing pinata to bat around, so instead of creating annoyance, it’s actually amusing us at its own expense.

  609. #609 Rorschach
    April 29, 2009
  610. #610 Kel
    April 29, 2009

    Wanna see something cool?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARHGSatB-Sw&feature=related

    Not too bad, but not as cool as the montage at the beginning of the film.

    Can’t wait for it to come out on DVD

  611. #611 Rorschach
    April 29, 2009

    Can’t wait for it to come out on DVD

    Ahem.LOL

  612. #612 Alex Deam
    April 29, 2009

    Oh and Nerd, why don’t stop fucking stalking me

    What crackpot definition of stalking are you using? You’re the one the keeps claiming he’s leaving, the reappearing again. If anyone’s stalking anyone here, it’s you who’s stalking Nerd.

  613. #613 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Fminusdecoder

    Remain ignorant if you wish. I’m in search of the intelligence behind humanity, if you wish to believe there is none, fine.

    There is anthropology and evolutionary psychology. Do some reading.

    If you mean the mental masturbation that is imaginary deities, religion, and theology, this blog isn’t the place to search for that. Try a church or two in your area.

  614. #614 C-C C
    April 29, 2009

    Good-bye!
    Again!
    And again; good-bye!

  615. #615 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Many scientists have contributed much of the work to the insights they’ve gleaned through the one they refer to as the creator.

    There is nothing in science that has been gleaned from the bible, or your imaginary deity. Science does not need your imaginary deity for anything. Individual scientist may believe in god outside of the field, but don’t use god inside of science. If you wish to lie, do it elsewhere. Your lies here will be called out and refuted. I suggest you either grow a thicker hide or just go away.

  616. #616 Wowbagger, OM
    April 29, 2009

    I’m in search of the intelligence behind humanity

    Well, you know what they say – it’s always in the last place you look.

  617. #617 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2009

    Many scientists have contributed much of the work to the insights they’ve gleaned through the one they refer to as the creator.

    Yet not a one has shown even a smidgen of evidence of anything but natural explanations for their work.

  618. #618 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Fminusdecoder bleats

    Oh and Nerd, why don’t stop fucking stalking me and offer up some kind of knowledge, instead of shrugging off very valid questions that your pea brain can’t answer.

    I’m not stalking you. You are stalking Pharyngula for purposes of your own, which you aren’t being honest about. Your questions are inane in that they can be answered by a twenty minute visit to your college library. But that would be too honest for you to do. Instead you come here, and instead of positing an idea and presenting evidence for it, you just ask questions. Like you aren’t the first troll to do so. I knew what you were doing from your third post and I will make sure you know that we are on to you. So either fess up to what you hope to accomplish, or just go away.

  619. #619 Lilly de Lure
    April 29, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead,OM said:

    Try a church or two in your area.

    I never thought I’d feel as sorry for members of the clergy as I am picturing the results should he choose to take that advice.

  620. #620 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    I second SC, OML: sgbm‘s post was brilliant. Well done, sgbm, and thank you.

    Walton:

    But I don’t see anything that can reasonably be done about it. It isn’t the individual employers’ fault; they’re acting according to subconscious natural instincts.

    Holy flaming rum punch, Walton. I can’t believe you said that with a straight face.

    Think about all the other possible behaviors to which that statement might apply:

    Discrimination based on race.
    Discrimination based on ethnicity.
    Discrimination based on age.
    Discrimination based on religion affiliation.
    Discrimination based on sexual orientation.
    Statutory rape.
    Child abuse.
    Domestic abuse.
    Theft.
    Murder.

    And worst of all:

    Stealing the rich man’s bread to save ones own children from starvation.

    You’re bright, Walton, and well-read for your age, and I think you’re a well-meaning soul down deep (which is one of several reasons why your apparent self-loathing troubles me so) but really now – you have got to think about the things you say in terms of what they really mean out here in the world, and of how the ideas your statements represent affect real people.

    Surely you’ve noticed by now a pattern of similar responses to your comments here. You’re smart enough to pick up this pattern. What does it mean to you?

  621. #621 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Jadehawk:

    you really don’t understand what worker-protection rights are, or how a world without them would look, do you.

    EXACTLY. Walton, we’ve seen the world you describe. We’ve seen what the world looks like when each employer, excercising his gawd-given rights as the person who owns the business and pays the wage, to do as he sees fit. It’s not a pretty picture.

    This comes up over and over in discussions like these. I was called “silly” by another libertarian in another thread for even mentioning Dickens, Hugo, and Sinclair in the context of a similar discussion.

    Law are responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members. Labor laws exist. What does this tell you? Labor unions came into being because employer abuse of the workforce made them necessary. And you want to go back to that world? WHY? Because it appeals to your sense of fairness? Oh, the irony. Absolute fairness is unattainable. The goal is to minimize the amount of harm that can be done to people by those in a position to do harm. As you point out – not completely incorretly – sometimes this harm is done unintentionally, but ignorance of ones own motives is no excuse.

  622. #622 DaveL
    April 29, 2009

    As an EE myself, I have to weigh in on a few things:

    1) Calling a vacuum tube a “valve” is archaic.

    2) Calling a transistor a “valve” is eccentric.

    3) Insisting a transistor is literally a valve, with moving parts is laugh-out-loud, batshit fucking insane.

    4) I have to wonder at someone who supposedly would know that his father’s image and voice can be encoded by stored charge, radio waves of varying frequency, the orientation of magnetic domains, the arrangement of microscopic pits on a reflective surface, electrical impulses on a wire etc., yet suddenly becomes skeptical when the phosphorylation of ion channels is mentioned.

  623. #623 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Argh. This statement is sloppy and imprecise:

    The goal is to minimize the amount of harm that can be done to people by those in a position to do harm.

    “Harm” is imprecise, just as “fairness” and “reasonable” are imprecise, as is the determination of what constitutes a reasonable baseline above-the-poverty-line standard of living for a person or a family in a given society. However, I assume my general meaning is clear enough for the purpose of this conversation.

  624. #624 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    April 29, 2009

    Ain’t it about time to starve this troll? It’s been on here 2 friggin’ days and hasn’t done anything but distract discussion, insult people and make utterly inane comments.

    Diagnosis: Incurable, willful stupidity

    Prognosis: Incurable, because the learning curve has a negative slope

    Prescription: Bury it

  625. #625 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Sure it is. Ah, the current then flows much more easily, I see, LOL.

    I’m really glad you all are happy with that explanation.

    Is a visual image of my dad encoded in there? His voice too?

    Cool current.

    Well, you’re right, Coder. It’s all bullshit. Memories are stored offline, in the astral-soul database, and beamed into our meat antenna (aka “brains”) from the seventh dimension of Heaven.

  626. #626 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Coder:

    Were you molested or something?

    You know, Coder – you ignorant piece of shit, you steaming pile of animated dog-vomit, you moronic, arrogant burr under the saddle of the mind – as the husband of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse survivor, I have half a mind to track down your sorry ass and kick it into a nearly-human shape.

    Ignorant dickhead. Grow the fuck up. Grow a brain. Grow a conscience.

    Stupid prick.

    If you want to avoid looking like the slimy, spineless dickhead that you are, read up on evolutionary theory and developmental biology before trying to impress us with your engineering insights. There’s one key point your single-celled brain hasn’t yet grasped: Evolved biological systems are not perfectly analogous to man-made systems. They are not identical. Evolved solutions vary considerably from designed solutions.

    Might I also recommend these quick overviews:

    http://www.apa.org/releases/sexabuse/homepage.html
    http://www.apa.org/releases/sexabuse/effects.html

    Read them very carefully.

    Preemptive quote-mine:

    Watchman: “I have half a mind.”

  627. #627 Brownian, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Assploder (heh-heh, me too Walton) talks about science like Dr. Nick Riviera talks about medicine:

    “The knee bone’s connected to the…something. The something’s connected to the…red thing. The red thing’s connected to my…wrist watch. Uh oh.”

    But he’s really a scientist. Really. “Neuroscience? What’s that?”

    For a computing science engineer, apparently this fuck has never heard of Wikipedia or Google. D’uh.

    For those here who are really interested in the answers to the questions he poses, I recommend the excellent pop-science mag Scientific American Mind, which usually features an article by the prolific and brilliant VS Ramachandran.

    Of course, if you wanna answer all questions with “goddidit”, then feel free to pretend that no-one’s actively researching this stuff and coming up with testable hypotheses. If you’re lucky, the gap in which your god dwells will shrink to a size just big enough for your teeny-tiny penis, and you can go fuck it.

  628. #628 Brownian, OM
    April 29, 2009

    I have to wonder at someone who supposedly would know that his father’s image and voice can be encoded by stored charge, radio waves of varying frequency, the orientation of magnetic domains, the arrangement of microscopic pits on a reflective surface, electrical impulses on a wire etc., yet suddenly becomes skeptical when the phosphorylation of ion channels is mentioned.

    DaveL, as a doctor (what the hell? Assploder lies; I lie) I have to tell you “Sir, calm down, you’re going to give yourself skin failure!”

  629. #629 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    Law are responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members. Labor laws exist. What does this tell you? Labor unions came into being because employer abuse of the workforce made them necessary.

    Erm, surely the fact that a law exists doesn’t imply that it’s necessary? Otherwise one would be forced to the conclusion that, for instance, laws against homosexuality (which remain in force in many jurisdictions), or against apostasising from Islam, are “responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members”.

  630. #630 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    Holy flaming rum punch, Walton. I can’t believe you said that with a straight face.

    You’re right. The particular statement you cited was poorly-worded and stupid, and I retract it.

    However, I stand by my general point.

  631. #631 Anri
    April 29, 2009

    Greetings, APC.

    Given that the investigation of Life Force is of interest to you, what would you say are the three or four most interesting experimantal investigations currently being run in that field?

    We don’t need a detailed run down – just a quick link or few should do.

    Thanks in advance!

  632. #632 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2009

    “Sir, calm down, you’re going to give yourself skin failure!”

    The symptoms you describe lead me to believe that you are suffering from bonus eruptus, a rare disorder in which the skeleton tries to jump out of the skin. The only way to stop it is through transdental electromicide. I’ll need a golf cart motor and a thousand volt capacimator, stat.

  633. #633 Brownian, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, you must also be a scientist + Engineer + doctor.

    Tell me sir, given that godless science has utterly failed to locate my spare car keys, do you still maintain that there’s no Creator?

  634. #634 Lee Picton
    April 29, 2009

    Brownian:
    If all else fails, look in the refrigerator for the keys. Seriously.

  635. #635 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Walton:

    Erm, surely the fact that a law exists doesn’t imply that it’s necessary? Otherwise one would be forced to the conclusion that, for instance, laws against homosexuality (which remain in force in many jurisdictions), or against apostasising from Islam, are “responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members”.

    Good point, Walton. The fact that a law exists implies that it was, at one time, deemed necessary by people who had the power to enact it. How’s that?

    Some laws are archaic, and in bringing up laws against homosexuality you’ve cited a very good example. (I think we’re about to slide into moral relativism here.) As I said, absolutely fair solutions are difficult or impossible to find. Laws against homosexuality, against same-sex marriage, are going the way of anti-miscegenation laws, in that some societies has begun to recognize, or decide, that such laws are not only unnecessary, but unjust. Are you ready to argue – oh, let me pick a really cheap example here – that child labor laws are unnecessary and unjustly restrict the rights of potential employers? How about something a little less loaded, like minimum-wage legislation?

  636. #636 Brownian, OM
    April 29, 2009

    If all else fails, look in the refrigerator for the keys. Seriously.

    I said ‘keys’, not ‘Keystone Light™’ delicious and refreshingly non-bitter lager. “Always smooth, even when you’re not.” Now try crisp Keystone Ice™ ice-brewed ale!

    In other news, I now have a corporate sponsor.

  637. #637 Bill Dauphin
    April 29, 2009

    Walton:

    Law are responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members. Labor laws exist. What does this tell you? …

    Erm, surely the fact that a law exists doesn’t imply that it’s necessary?

    The fact that laws exist implies some predicate condition that gave rise to them.

    Otherwise one would be forced to the conclusion that, for instance, laws against homosexuality (which remain in force in many jurisdictions), or against apostasising from Islam, are “responses to behaviors that are detrimental to society and/or its individual members”.

    Indeed, those laws are responses to behaviors that somebody thought were “detrimental to society and/or its individual members.” That those judgments about what’s detrimental to society are, to our eyes, hateful and immoral doesn’t change the fact that the effect (laws) had causes (behaviors somebody didn’t like). I’m pretty sure Watchman wasn’t trying to suggest that the mere existence of a law guarantees that it’s a good law, or validates the moral correctness of the predicate assumptions it embodies. The point is that the existence of a law (or in this case, a large and historically rich body of law) is evidence that something is going on.

    If I may be so bold as to paraphrase, I think Watchman was saying that the existence of a great mass of labor-protection law utterly belies your constant suggestions that corporations will always behave well if we just leave them (and the market) alone. This doesn’t mean that all labor law is good law, or that all complaints about corporations are valid; it only means there’s some there there.

  638. #638 Owlmirror
    April 29, 2009

    ‘Keystone Light?’ delicious and refreshingly non-bitter lager. “Always smooth, even when you’re not.” Now try crisp Keystone Ice? ice-brewed ale!

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

    Although I suspect that “ice-brewing” is of the devil.

  639. #639 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    RBDC:

    The symptoms you describe lead me to believe that you are suffering from bonus eruptus, a rare disorder in which the skeleton tries to jump out of the skin.

    You need to hear “Poor Skeleton Steps Out” by XTC.

    If all else fails, look in the refrigerator for the keys. Seriously.

    Yes! I left my keys in the fridge once. I was in a rush one morning, and wanted to grab some OJ before heading off to work, and… poof, keys vanished. Ten minutes later I found them on one of the shelves on the inside door of the fridge. I’d love to chalk it up to premature senility, but I was all of 26 at the time. Things have not changed for the better since then, I’m afraid!

  640. #640 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Bill: Right. :-)

  641. #641 Bill Dauphin
    April 29, 2009

    Hmmm… I see that Watchman was able to speak for himself faster than I was able to paraphrase him. Of all the nerve! ;^)

    Oh well… no harm in reinforcing a good point.

  642. #642 Watchman
    April 29, 2009

    Bill, your “paraphrase” improved on my hasty and clumsy attempt at expressing myself.

    OT: Though you and I haven’t interacted much on this blog, I should say I’ve been lurking for months (ok, a couple of years) and I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments. Incidentally, we also have plenty of common background. I grew up in CT, graduated HS in the mid 1970s; we have similar leanings on politics and public education, and I have observed many of the same things in local gov up here in the Boston area that you’ve experienced down in your neck of the woods.

    I think we like a lot of the same music, too, but I’d have to review that. ;-)

  643. #643 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    Walton, you often wonder out loud why so many people lack any respect for you.

    You’re right. The particular statement you cited was poorly-worded and stupid, and I retract it.

    However, I stand by my general point.

    That was a very succinct answer to your question.

    Your “general point” does not stand except upon the anti-empirical presumption that these problems are genetically determined and can never be solved.

    You stand by it anyway.

  644. #644 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    oh well, in this case I guess racist bosses and “no coloreds” signs are ok with you too.

    Previously I would not have suspected that this was a worthwhile question to ask of Walton. Now it appears to be consistent with other beliefs of his. I’m afraid his condition is worsening instead of improving. I am genuinely disappointed.

  645. #645 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    Ignorant dickhead. Grow the fuck up. Grow a brain. Grow a conscience.

    It’s likely that Assploder can’t. He already has conservative religion, and this tends to stunt the development of individual decency, empathy and conscience.

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2009/04/blame-it-on-parents.html

  646. #646 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    As far as I can tell, the study’s main finding is that there is a subconscious hostility, on the part of employers, towards women who negotiate and pursue their self-interest too aggressively,

    Where “too aggressively” means “at all.” And that’s part of patriarchy. Women simply are not permitted to act for their own independence the way that men are. (But no, says Walton, patriarchy does not exist, evidence be damned.)

    This doesn’t surprise me all that much,

    Try putting it into words. Explain the hostility. No handwaving.

    But in any case, I remind you, they’re spending their own money

    And I remind you that I’m not interested in talking about solutions when you won’t even acknowledge the nature of the problem, patriarchy and the accompanying male privilege. “Just for once quit kicking reflexively and yelping that guvmint is bad so we can’t ever do anything to fix anything so we might as well not even think about it!” How is it I can be so damned explicit about this and yet you cannot resist the urge to kick?

    It isn’t the individual employers’ fault;

    That you’re telling this to me is proof you still haven’t tried to research male privilege and you have only a vague guess at what I’m talking about. (Remember I keep bringing this up because your unwillingness to study indicates an apathy on your part toward the status of women, a symptom of your contempt for them. You’re welcome at any time to educate yourself and defang my criticism, but you still won’t even bother.)

    they’re acting according to subconscious natural instincts.

    Oh man. Thanks for the laugh. Every time I start to wonder if you’re growing into complexities beyond an adolescent ideology, you say something flagrantly stupid like this, something that contradicts all the scientific findings on a well-understood empirical subject, and you forcibly remind me that conservatism is a cause of brain damage.

    There’s nothing instinctual about pay discrimination. Sexism is socially constructed. Children have to be taught to believe that girls are less deserving of respect than boys. Through self-examination and education on the nature of privilege, these things can be unlearned. We know it, we’ve measured it. The world can be changed for the better.

    Or, you know, show me the scientific evidence that supports your ridiculous, extraordinary assertion. I could use another laugh.

    So I’m not denying outright that inequality exists, and that not all of that inequality can be explained by legitimate factors.

    Then let’s go back to my earlier question. “The affects are not ‘just as adverse.’ Where’s the equivalent institutional sexism against men? Where’s the equivalent of all those lost wages and passed-over promotions?”

    Or will you finally admit the existence of male privilege?

  647. #647 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 29, 2009

    Is a visual image of my dad encoded in there? His voice too?

    Well, yes.

    The argument from personal incredulity, you see, is a logical fallacy.

    I’m in search of the intelligence
    behind humanity

    You are assuming that there is an intelligence behind humanity in the first place.

    Why don’t you start by testing that assumption?

    yet suddenly becomes skeptical when the phosphorylation of ion channels is mentioned.

    Must be because he doesn’t know what an ion is and is 1) too afraid to ask and 2) too stupid to look it up (one word: Wikipedia).

    Ain’t it about time to starve this troll?

    We don’t starve trolls around here. We feed them till they assplode. And in the meantime we play “Dance, trollboy! Dance!” with them. That’s more fun. See comment 631 for an example.

    You’re right. The particular statement you cited was poorly-worded and stupid, and I retract it.

    However, I stand by my general point.

    And your general point is?

  648. #648 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    And your general point is?

    That we can never improve the situation of women, so we just shouldn’t talk about it.

  649. #649 Walton
    April 29, 2009

    they’re acting according to subconscious natural instincts.

    Oh man. Thanks for the laugh. Every time I start to wonder if you’re growing into complexities beyond an adolescent ideology, you say something flagrantly stupid like this, something that contradicts all the scientific findings on a well-understood empirical subject, and you forcibly remind me that conservatism is a cause of brain damage.

    There’s nothing instinctual about pay discrimination. Sexism is socially constructed. Children have to be taught to believe that girls are less deserving of respect than boys. Through self-examination and education on the nature of privilege, these things can be unlearned. We know it, we’ve measured it. The world can be changed for the better.

    Or, you know, show me the scientific evidence that supports your ridiculous, extraordinary assertion. I could use another laugh.

    I retracted that particular assertion, because it was bullshit. I was wrong. I misspoke. I’m sorry. Clear enough?

    As to everything else, I don’t have a clue. Whatever. I’ll think about it tomorrow. (I’ve had a few drinks tonight and am not thinking straight.)

  650. #650 Bill Dauphin
    April 29, 2009

    Walton:

    I’ve had a few drinks tonight and am not thinking straight.

    Without doubt, a step in the right direction. I may well join you.

  651. #651 Josh
    April 29, 2009

    I think that we should all applaud Walton’s lack of sobriety.

  652. #652 strange gods before me
    April 29, 2009

    I saw that you retracted it. It’s still funny though. You reflexively grasped for the most stereotypically right-wing response that you could think of: non-empirical assertions of genetics. I still get to laugh!

    Enjoy your buzz. :)

  653. #653 Jadehawk
    April 29, 2009

    I think that we should all applaud Walton’s lack of sobriety.

    seconded. now if someone could teach the boy how to get laid, we’d be halfway there on bringing him back to humanity. :-)

  654. #654 Feynmaniac
    April 29, 2009

    now if someone could teach the boy how to get laid, we’d be halfway there on bringing him back to humanity. :-)

    A while back we were planing Operation Get Walton Laid A Hooker. Some money was raised, plans on getting the hooker (male or female was never decided) into his Oxford residence were drawn up, concerns were raised Walton would waste the time giving a pompous lecture on political theory. Sadly, nothing ever came of it.

  655. #655 maureen Brian
    April 30, 2009

    No, we can’t afford to get Walton a hooker. That shortcut would further retard his intellectual development.

    We have to bring him face to face – make that thigh to thigh – with someone he can’t write off as inherently suited to a subservient role. He’s too inclined to do that anyway.

  656. #656 nothing's sacred
    April 30, 2009

    This is actually getting a little silly

    In fact you have been and are being incredibly silly.

    I’m a professional editor

    Bully, that didn’t guarantee that you would comprehend something correct and rather easy to comprehend and then offer the most absurd sophistic arguments that you were right not to be able to comprehend it.

    I won’t waste any more electrons on it after this comment

    You should have considered that before you wasted your time on that tl;dr post.

  657. #657 nothing's sacred
    April 30, 2009

    rolfmao

    That would be nice if “rolfmao” actually meant anything, but the expression is “rotflmao”, which means “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off”. It’s sad that there’s now a whole new form of illiteracy.

  658. #658 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    That would be nice if “rolfmao” actually meant anything, but the expression is “rotflmao”, which means “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off”. It’s sad that there’s now a whole new form of illiteracy.

    OR… I knew very well that the real expression was rotflmao or roflmao* , but thought that the riff on the (common-ish) misspelling worked even better for “point and laugh at the fool” contempt and you’re being not only a tiresome pedant but also a clueless blowhard. One thing or the other.

    *I checked in “The Elements of LOLcat”; either is acceptable.

  659. #659 Kseniya
    April 30, 2009

    For n.s.:

    ROTFLMAO : ROLFMAO :: the : __________

  660. #660 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 30, 2009

    are you serious?

    We’ve come to LOL speak dick measuring contests?

  661. #661 phantomreader42
    April 30, 2009

    As I recall, the initial rationale for getting Walton a hooker was that she could pull out the rod up his butt more cheaply than a licensed proctologist.

  662. #662 Bill Dauphin
    April 30, 2009

    No, we can’t afford to get Walton a hooker. That shortcut would further retard his intellectual development.

    We have to bring him face to face – make that thigh to thigh – with someone he can’t write off as inherently suited to a subservient role.

    I’m afraid this verges on piling on on Walton — except when he brings it up himself (which he has done on occasion in the past), we should leave the poor boy’s sexuality alone — but there’s an interesting point here, from a social-education point of view (which I’ll try to make generically, rather than laying this trip on Walton himself):

    If the goal is to raise the subject’s consciousness about people he might be tempted to treat as subservient, I think a hooker is exactly the right choice, because we have to deal with issues not only of sex and gender, but also of class: Just as a man might be tempted to write someone off as subsurvient because of gender, a man of a privileged class might be tempted to write a tradesperson or laborer — aka the “hired help” — as subservient based on class. That is, when you hire someone, you have limited right to direct them in the narrow scope of what you’ve hired them to do, but no right to treat them as inherently subservient in any other sense.

    So what we need here is a sex worker who, based on her (or his) personal quality and integrity1, can’t be written off “as inherently suited to a subservient role.”

    Which is to say, what’s really needed is a really good, self-assured hooker who wouldn’t take any shit.

    Gee, I almost wish I needed my consciousness raised in this particular way! ;^)

    1 Anyone who’s thinking that “sex worker” and “personal quality and integrity” are self-contradictory needs to examine his (or her… but more likely his) own prejudices.

  663. #663 Alex Deam
    April 30, 2009

    Bill, you’re thinking this through way too much.

  664. #664 Bill Dauphin
    April 30, 2009

    Bill, you’re thinking this through way too much.

    That is, to be sure, my cross to bear… but also, I’m afraid, my chief entertainment. ;^)

  665. #665 Watchman
    April 30, 2009

    Which is to say, what’s really needed is a really good, self-assured hooker who wouldn’t take any shit.

    Yeah. Like, for example, this gal?

  666. #666 nothing's sacred
    April 30, 2009

    but thought that the riff on the (common-ish) misspelling worked even better for “point and laugh at the fool” contempt and you’re being not only a tiresome pedant but also a clueless blowhard. One thing or the other.

    Yeah, calling people on their stupid dishonest bullshit is tiresome pedantry. So much for this whole blog. If you were making fun of the misspelling you would have given some indication of that rather than just propagating it and then even defending it:

    *I checked in “The Elements of LOLcat”; either is acceptable.

    A whole new form of widespread illiteracy.

    Look, fool, it’s supposed to be an acronym. It’s a sad sort of “acceptable” that makes a foolish mistake “acceptable” simply because enough people demonstrate their stupidity and intellectual laziness that it becomes “commonish”. On those grounds, the anonymous idiot who insisted that “it’s” can be possessive is right. If pushing back against that sort of idiocy makes me a “tiresome pedant”, I’m proud to be one.

  667. #667 nothing's sacred
    April 30, 2009

    P.S. If you google rolfmao, google sensibly comes back with “Did you mean: roflmao”. See, even google knows that rolfmao is a misspelling of roflmao, which is an abbreviation of of rotflmao. See http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ROFLMAO or for that matter http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rolfmao

    rolfmao: Rolling on the Laughing Floor My Ass Off.

    Which is a pedantic dig at clueless twits.

  668. #668 Watchman
    April 30, 2009

    NS: Your otherwise valid point is seriously undermined by your apparent failure to detect the difference between “rolfmao” and “roflmao” in Matt’s post.

    ROLFMAO: Wrong [and the image you linked to was a hoot]

    ROTFLMAO: The primary form.

    ROFLMAO: An acceptable diminution.

    That much is clear to both of us, I’m sure, but here’s the point: Matt’s claim of the acceptability of the last two had nothing to do with his alleged “defense” of the first – the “comminish misspelling” – which he’d used intentionally as a subtle dig at his target, but had not, as you’ve claimed, defended as acceptable.

  669. #669 Watchman
    April 30, 2009

    Ack! That should be “commonish”, of course. LOL. Trust a post on spelling to contain a typo!

  670. #670 windy
    April 30, 2009

    If you were making fun of the misspelling you would have given some indication of that

    He did- why else would he have linked to that image?

  671. #671 Owlmirror
    April 30, 2009

    Well, you if really were rolling on the laughing floor your ass off, you too much fun having might proper be to use syntax.

    Never mind two a letter spelling transposition it in abbreviation.

  672. #672 Kseniya
    April 30, 2009

    This should be interesting.

  673. #673 nothing's sacred
    May 1, 2009

    Your otherwise valid point is seriously undermined by your apparent failure to detect the difference between “rolfmao” and “roflmao” in Matt’s post.

    You’re right about my failure of detection, but I’m not clear on how a perceptual error on my part can undermine a valid point.

  674. #674 nothing's sacred
    May 1, 2009

    Unless you mean that it would have been valid if Matt had written what I thought he wrote, but it’s actually invalid because he didn’t. I can go with that.

  675. #675 nothing's sacred
    May 1, 2009

    He did- why else would he have linked to that image?

    Even if rolfmao were the correct spelling, the image would still be funny.

  676. #676 windy
    May 1, 2009

    Even if rolfmao were the correct spelling, the image would still be funny.

    But someone who is using the misspelling ironically would be more likely to link to an ironic “explanation” of it. Is it possible that you missed the joke?

    Btw, AplusCoder sounds like a more articulate Simon…

  677. #677 Watchman
    May 1, 2009

    nothing’s sacred:

    You’re right about my failure of detection, but I’m not clear on how a perceptual error on my part can undermine a valid point.

    Unless you mean that it would have been valid if Matt had written what I thought he wrote, but it’s actually invalid because he didn’t. I can go with that.

    That’s pretty close, yeah. Thanks for clarifying my imprecise statement for me. The point you were making – which, as I read it, was that defending a misspelling as “acceptable” promotes illiteracy – was valid in and of itself, but not as a criticism of Matt’s original post and subsequent follow-up.

    (What about teh? Is that “acceptable” now? It’s taken on a life and shades of meaning of its own that are distinct from those of its parent, the.

  678. #678 Emmet, OM
    May 1, 2009

    As I recall, the initial rationale for getting Walton a hooker was that she could pull out the rod up his butt more cheaply than a licensed proctologist.

    As Virtual Treasurer of the Walton Poker Removal Fund, I confirm your recollection.

  679. #679 'Tis Himself
    May 2, 2009

    Ah, virtual treasurer, old buddy, is it true that the state of the exchequer now stands at 27¢, 10 pence, and a “Kerry-Edwards” campaign button?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.