Pharyngula

A reply to Carl Wieland

As you have heard a few times here, there’s going to be a major conference of the godless in Melbourne in March of 2010. The bottom-feeders see that as an opportunity, and the hucksters of the Australian creationist movement are begging for crumbs of attention. The biggest organization of these kooks over there is Creation Ministries International, headed by Carl Wieland, and they’ve been nagging the conference organizers to sponsor a panel debate on creationism. Here’s a bit from one of their first emails to David Nicholls of the Atheist Foundation of Australia.

I note that the public utterances of several of the planned speakers, particular Professor Dawkins, project a supreme confidence that the evidence most certainly does not support creation as per Genesis (recent creation of groups of fully-formed organisms, global flood, etc) but that the evidence overwhelmingly supports evolution (defined as non-living molecules evolving into all life forms, including man, over millions of years).

We find that a frankly bizarre proposition, and issue this invitation/challenge to a formal public debate in Melbourne on this matter (i.e. which position on origins, yours or ours, is better supported by the available evidence?). The exact wording can be finetuned between us, but the above should adequately clarify the nature of the subject matter with little room for misunderstanding.

We propose three speakers nominated from your array of atheist champions brought in for the purpose of this convention, vs three nominated from among our small group of CMI scientists and speakers. Since Dr Dawkins is by far the most vocal, this challenge should include him on your side, to “put up or shut up” in a sense. (Since it is a “panel debate”, i.e. “Atheists vs Creationists”, not “Dawkins vs X”, this will hopefully be able to outweigh his normal stated reasons for not participating.)

They find the science “bizarre”? Color me unsurprised.

The emails went back and forth a few times, and David Nicholls stood firm: no, they weren’t going to organize a debate for a bunch of grandstanding kooks, and no, they have no evidence to debate, so it would be an exercise in futility. Here’s his final dismissal:

I thought I made it very clear that if you wish to debate any of our guests, then you will have to organise it yourself. We do not impart private information about speakers or performers. Our exact program is not finalised but we have a full compliment of speakers and performers.

If you skirt the question about accredited articles, then it is no wonder you are having trouble finding people to debate. Debate is not science, it is playing upon the prejudices of the audience. Scientific conclusion is about peer reviewing work from accredited scientific journals. I really can’t see Professor Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers or any real scientist taking seriously or bothering to debate about alien abductions even though millions believe it to be true. There are just no credible studies on this as there are no credible scientific studies that support creationism.

I’ve learned my lesson on this. I’ve been in a few debates, and what I’ve discovered is that creationists will lie liberally on the podium — they are sometimes quite polished and slick, and sometimes disordered and unprofessional, but they are always in the business of building a rhetorical case on a foundation of ignorance and pseudoscience. What I’ve witnessed here in Minnesota is that even if they get their metaphorical butts kicked around the stage for an hour or two, they use it as a basis for claiming credibility in venues friendly to their ideology — they walk out of their public trouncing straight onto Christian talk radio to play the martyr and present their weak case unopposed. And of course what happens afterwards is that the loons plague me with more demands for more debates. There is no profit to be gained in sharing my reputation with a delusional lackwit; the case is much stronger for someone like Dawkins to turn these guys down.

So of course I have received an email request from Creation Ministries International to do a debate in Australia.

Dear Dr Myers

On 27 November, our organisation issued a challenge to the Global Atheist’s convention in Melbourne next year for a panel debate.

We sent the invitation to the organiser, Mr David Nicholls, who has declined to pass it on to delegates.

When we persisted, he suggested going to your and Richard Dawkins’ websites and passing it on by those means.

The web link below is to the exact wording of the invitation/challenge, and the subsequent email exchange that same day.

Please don’t hesitate to write back if any more information is required.

Sincerely,

Tas Walker
Scientist, Editor, Speaker
Creation Ministries International (Australia)
Creation.com

http://creation.com/global-atheist-convention-debate-challenge

I thought long and hard about this request…I’m sure I spent hundreds of milliseconds wrestling over it. I also thought about how to respond appropriately, given that Creation Ministries International is a Christian organization. Here’s my answer to Carl Wieland.

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The comments to this thread have grown voluminous and unwieldy. Thread closed; if you must, the conversation can continue on a new thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Bill
    December 31, 2009

    I think the extreme emotional reaction displayed in this article (and subsequent comments) to the idea of debating Creationists shows that the debate really isn’t about science vs religion, but is one religious view-(Atheism) pitted against another. Two opposing worldviews/systems of thought that are incompatible. Your reaction is as defensive and hate-filled as that of any other religious fanatic who has their dogma challenged by reason. If Creationists are merely “kooks” a public debate would surely show them up once and for all. For example, I wouldn’t have a great deal of difficulty shooting down the argument that the moon landings were faked! Face it- the truth is, you are scared that the Creationists will show you up for the fanatical religious frauds that you are. Your pathetic attempt to shock Christians and amuse your God-hating friends, by showing a picture of someone I suppose you think is Jesus giving the finger, is the height of immature, unintelligent behavior. It is sad to see the level of discourse descend to the gutter, but it is about what I would expect from the intellectually and morally bankrupt, brainwashed and blinded radical Atheist community. I think that for Creationists to debate people who spew bad language, misrepresent their opponents shamelessly and cling to their no-god religion like brainwashed cult members- might actually damage the Creationists own credibility and reputation.

  2. #2 Matthew
    December 31, 2009

    I guess, like God, nothing is happening in Melbourne in March right?

  3. #3 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Face it- the truth is, you are scared that the Creationists will show you up for the fanatical religious frauds that you are.

    Despite a century and a half of trying to disprove evolution, creationists have not been able to do so. Also, debates is not where knowledge is shown and matters resolved, just who has the better rhetorical chops. Sorry, Bill, but no one is scared.
    And fuck you if you think that the use of swear word discredits anything.

  4. #4 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Let’s just see you show any of us up as fanatical religious frauds Bill.

    We have no gods, we have no religion. Fuck off moron.

  5. #5 Ben Michael Fournier
    January 1, 2010

    Wow, PZ Meyers can twist words just like all the trolls on Wrong Planet can also… especially in the deceptive paraphrase of Dr Carl Wieland’s words to David Nicholls, which is actually,

    ” 27 November 2009

    Dear Mr Nicholls

    Open Invitation to public debate ? atheists vs creationists

    I refer to the Global Atheist Convention, ?The Rise of Atheism?, due to take place March 12-14 next year in Melbourne, Australia.

    From your website, all the speakers appear to have been chosen but not all details are yet set in stone.

    I note that the public utterances of several of the planned speakers, particular Professor Dawkins, project a supreme confidence that the evidence most certainly does not support creation as per Genesis (recent creation of groups of fully-formed organisms, global flood, etc) but that the evidence overwhelmingly supports evolution (defined as non-living molecules evolving into all life forms, including man, over millions of years).

    We find that a frankly bizarre proposition, and issue this invitation/challenge to a formal public debate in Melbourne on this matter (i.e. which position on origins, yours or ours, is better supported by the available evidence?). The exact wording can be finetuned between us, but the above should adequately clarify the nature of the subject matter with little room for misunderstanding.

    We propose three speakers nominated from your array of atheist champions brought in for the purpose of this convention, vs three nominated from among our small group of CMI scientists and speakers. Since Dr Dawkins is by far the most vocal, this challenge should include him on your side, to ?put up or shut up? in a sense. (Since it is a ?panel debate?, i.e. ?Atheists vs Creationists?, not ?Dawkins vs X?, this will hopefully be able to outweigh his normal stated reasons for not participating.)

    Our proposed conditions would be as follows:

    * That it be public (if a modest fee is charged by mutual agreement, it can be shared among the participants less hire costs).

    * That permission be granted for either side to professionally videotape (or we can share the costs of doing it jointly) with each side free to use or not use the final raw footage.

    * That a mutually agreed-upon ?neutral? chairperson, of good personal and public reputation, be selected and required to keep the parties, on the day, strictly to the conditions and times set.

    * That the timing and structure be such that there is opportunity for proper rebuttal by both sides ( /-counterrebuttal and/or a series of audience questions). If a question time, the questions and answers should be strictly regulated in length, be alternately addressed to atheists and creationists, and that the opposing group to the answering group be permitted a (shorter) response time in each case.

    Given that you have some of the world?s leading lights of atheism in one place, and that we are prepared to come down there (at a date and time of your/their convenience around the time of the conference), I would have thought that this would be an opportunity to relish. You have the chance (if your arguments really do stand up, as they are continually promoted) to be able to finally demolish some of the world?s most prominent proponents of scientific creationism in one sitting, and in public. Plus you could forever have the rights to market or otherwise distribute this ?demolition? on DVD anywhere in the world.

    Of course, it is possible that those are right who say that while Dr Dawkins and others have no difficulty countering ?strawman? arguments of their own making, encountering the actual arguments of informed and scientifically trained creationists is something they would have no stomach for.

    I hope that this turns out to be wrong, and if accepting, I would welcome being able to move forward on discussing the few remaining details. I look forward to your reply at your early convenience.

    Sincerely,

    Dr Carl Wieland

    Managing Director
    Creation Ministries International (Australia)”.

  6. #6 Peter
    January 1, 2010

    Good on you Bill! The tone of most posts vindicates you. The atheist culture need watching to reduce pond scum.
    Many cite ?evidence? but there is no debate about evidence. We all agree on the hard evidence we can touch or measure. The disagreement is over starting assumptions and interpretations. The reality is that the assumptions of neither evolutionists, nor creationists, nor atheists, can be proved by experiment ? as creationists often say. So: atheists, evolutionists, and creationists all rely on underlying ‘religious’ beliefs ? whatever they say. As Bill said: its one ?religion? versus another. If you won?t admit that, doesn?t the pond scum language indicate you have no better answer?
    PZ accuses creationists of lying (but documents no lies). Yet evolution is riddled with documented frauds and coercive enforcement of evolutionary dogma. E.g.: Haeckel?s gill-slits; Piltdown fraud; the Bergman?s book: ?Slaughter of the Dissidents?; and, Stein?s doco movie ?Expelled?; etc.
    It?s little wonder that people fear debating creationists because the truth might get out. Which is interesting considering that government billions back evolution compared with miniscule creationist budgets.

  7. #7 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Ben @180:

    Wow, PZ Meyers can twist words just like all the trolls on Wrong Planet can also… especially in the deceptive paraphrase of Dr Carl Wieland’s words to David Nicholls, which is actually, [lengthy unnecessary quote]

    To what alleged paraphrase do you refer?
    (citation or quote needed)

    What twisting has been done?
    (specificity — not vague allusion — needed)

    NB I suggest that only someone who is lazy and/or clueless would copy-paste the contents of a link on PZ’s very post to purportedly counter said post.
    Perhaps you have another excuse, though. :)

    PS You’ve not only failed to peruse the post itself, you’ve also misspelled PZ’s name, prominent though it is on the top of the post.

  8. #8 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Call me cynical, but I suspect “Peter”‘s IP will match that of “Bill”.

    Good on you Bill! The tone of most posts vindicates you.

    Reasoning: you’re doing it wrong.

    Funny.

  9. #9 andrew
    January 1, 2010

    do you realize how unprofessional and intolerant this article makes you seem?
    Unscientific is the word.
    its like a bunch of school yard bullies pushing around the little guy and the crowd chanting ‘yeah get im mate’ ‘kill im’
    This response reinforces the weakness of your case rather than the strengths.
    a more appropriate response would be…’we dont want to debate the topics….we want to give our case to a partial crowd and have our biases unchallenged’.
    At least it would be honest!

    regards

  10. #10 AJ Ballard
    January 1, 2010

    Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess…

  11. #11 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Andrew, there is always a proper forum for a scientific debate. It is called the peer reviewed scientific literature. Creationists are not scientific, so they can’t debate there. They are frauds, lie about being scientific, and continually lie about the motives of those who know where the debates should occur. You too are a bully trying to pretend that you aren’t. That is what the evidence says. Welcome to science.

  12. #12 Patrick
    January 1, 2010

    I’m interested that evolutionary arguments never really rebut the major argument of creationism (Christian or otherwise), which is simply that there is no evidence to support the increase of genetic information from one generation to the next. In every recorded case, there is either no difference in total, or a decrease (which would be expected as per thermodynamics). The argument from evolutionary biology is that no genetic information became some genetic information, and that increased to give the variety seen today, which is not supported by any evidence I know of.

    The creationist argument therefore is that there had to be a group of initial organisms from which the genetic information originated. This of course is labelled pseudoscience because it involves a creator. As the cited aim of “science” is to find a natural explanation for observed phenomena, the label is understandable.

    From the chemical point of view (my own field of knowledge), the standard evolutionary model makes little sense as a scientific theory because it defies thermodynamics. The chemical reactions required to make new genetic information from scratch would require an increase in enthalpy and a decrease in entropy, making it a non-spontaneous process. While this is not an issue within a cell reproducing genetic information within an organism (which provides the correct conditions), outside of that it would be near to impossible. For this to occur repeatedly in a single location such that the different chemical constituents of the first cell could come together, have life and the ability to reproduce itself requires, in my opinion, a great deal more faith than belief in a creator.

  13. #13 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Patrick, if you are a chemist (in any sense other than operating a meth lab) then my ass chews gum!

    Dammit, dammit, dammit. I knew I should have invested in straw last year, because if your email is any indication, creationists are gonna be building a lot of straw men this year.

    First, evolution is not claiming that information in the genome “from one generation to the next”, merely that it changes to reflect the demands of the environment on the organism. Rarely, there may be a mutation that is beneficial to the survival and/or reproduction of the organism, and that gene will be favored. That’s it. That’s all it says. Not only is this a reasonable expectation, it has been observed repeatedly–both in the wild and in the lab.

    Now, as to your tired ol’ 2nd law of thermodynamics argument, you need to resynch up with the IDiot mothership. Even Answers in Genitals doesn’t endorse that one any more. You know why? Because Earth is not a closed thermodynamic system. There’s a big ball of plasma ~150 million km away radiating at a blackbody temperature of ~8000 K and bathing the planet in energy. Now if you were in fact a chemist, you would know that energy can locally reduce entropy.

    Dude, this post is lame even by the very low standards of your own side. Mahalo!

  14. #14 Christopher Nelson
    January 1, 2010

    LOL, typical atheist coward. Afraid to debate, and full of copout excuses as to why. Also, I enjoy how insulting that pic of Jesus is to christians. But yet the creationist group was civil and non insulting. Why the need to be insulting back? Science or emotion, I wonder. Like a spoiled child, or highschool kid, responding to a challenge that might show them to be the charlatons that they really are. It has to be emotional tho. When based on science and logic, evolutionists and atheists always fail. They can argue straw men all day, but hardly face to face, less they be exposed. Infact, I would expect nothing else from evolutionists. So their reply not to debate is perfectly in line with their behavior.

  15. #15 Shawn Martin
    January 1, 2010

    Umm, may I humbly speak up for the Creationists? I was somewhat shocked at how many of these comments misrepresented their beliefs and again realized how many misconceptions people have of these guys. To discover what CMI REALLY BELIEVES, may I ask you to check out their website (creation.com) for yourself?

  16. #16 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Afraid to debate, and full of copout excuses as to why.

    Sorry, creobots are afraid to debate the only place it matters, in the peer reviewed scientific literature. With what they consider a debate, rhetorical flourishes will win, not the one the evidence backing them up. A mock trial would be a better way of getting at the truth, with the need to demonstrate the validity and rigor of the evidence prior to it being presented to the jury. Creationism will lose every time in such a situation, as they have nothing but a religious wish for the mythical babble to be inerrant.

    Shawn, we represent creobots accurately as they appear to those who know how science is done. They have nothing to offer science. Period, end of story. They are nothing but religious liars and bullshitters. What part of that don’t you understand?

  17. #17 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Christopher Nelson, So should NASA officials debate those who claim the moon landing was a hoax? How about debating holocaust denialists? Or flat-earthers? Debate presumes some basis for discussion. There simply is none for discussions between scientists, who are bound to accept evidence, and anti-science types like creationists who can simply say GODDIDIT.

    Creationism is not and cannot ever be a scientific position. By assuming an omnipotent creator, it can explain absolutely everything–just as you will always be able to fit n points on a graph to a polynomial with n parameters. In so doing, however, you lose all predictive power. You also wind up with a creator with some VERY STRANGE proclivities. You can believe whatever you want. I’ll take science.

  18. #18 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    The analogy to bullies is perfect! The pond scum bullies will always run from a FAIR fight. The comments on emotionalim are spot on as well. As to the comments about real scientists: I would stack up Dr. John Sanford’s credentials against PZ’s anytime. Dr. John C. Sanford is a well credentialed and well known scientist who believes in biblical creation, which refutes the ad hominem attacks made by many of the Christian haters and skeptics. There are many more like him, both ?out of the closet? and ?in the closet? He has published over 80 scientific papers in peer reviewed mainline secular journals. He has a BS, an MS, and a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from secular universities. He has received over 30 patents. His most famous is the ?gene gun? used by many in genetic engineering. He was an Assistant and then Associate Professor at Cornell for 25 years, and has an honorary Adjunct Associate Professorship at Duke. His research has been primarily in genetic engineering and he is well qualified to comment on population genetics. I’d love to see him debate Dawkins since Dawkins has stated that the absolutle irrefutable evidence for evolutionism comes out of genetics. You pond scum are so ignorant of true Creationist arguments and the nature of the true Creationist movement it’s hilarious. And you continually lie to your cronies and the public about creationists.
    Of course, that would not be wrong in your debauched world veiw. POND SCUM! you have such FAITH! But, be prepared for your own research to falsify your SUPREME RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE: The Theory Of Evolution.

  19. #19 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Now, how many peer reviewed scientific papers has Dr. Sanford published on creationism? I’ll bet the number is zero. That is because creationism is not scientific. We are still waiting for the evidence that it is. And we will still be waiting a hundred years from now. Any scientist can have loony spots in their outlook, even Nobel prize winners. That is why evidence, not authority, will win scientific disagreements every time. And there is no scientific evidence for creationism, only religious evidence. Hence, it does nothing to refute evolution.

    With a million or so scientific papers backing evolution, both directly and indirectly, and none supporting an alternative scientific theory, there is no faith required to believe that evolution is the scientific explanation for life on Earth. Only a scientifically illiterate and stupid fool says otherwise. For some reason fundies proudly proclaim their stupidity and ignorance, and we love making fun of their stoopidity.

  20. #20 exoticdoc2
    January 1, 2010

    Such excuses. The evolutionists are terrified of debating creationists because they understand full well that their belief system, their failed hypothesis, cannot stand up to scrutiny. It simply crumbles when subjected to the light of reason, it dissipates like so much smoke. The evolutionists prefer to set up their straw men, much easier to knock down, with no one around to point out their lies and faulty “reasoning.” The response with the blasphemous picture presented by Myers demonstrates how evolutionists/atheists must resort to name calling and insults rather than open, honest debate. They have nothing, so they must sink to the level of schoolchildren, albeit very rude and nasty ones, to try to hide their own fear. If creationists are so off base, then by all means debate them and expose them. The excuses about lending them credibility by debating are transparent dodges and wearing thin.

  21. #21 exoticdoc2
    January 1, 2010

    Such excuses. The evolutionists are terrified of debating creationists because they understand full well that their belief system, their failed hypothesis, cannot stand up to scrutiny. It simply crumbles when subjected to the light of reason, it dissipates like so much smoke. The evolutionists prefer to set up their straw men, much easier to knock down, with no one around to point out their lies and faulty “reasoning.” The response with the blasphemous picture presented by Myers demonstrates how evolutionists/atheists must resort to name calling and insults rather than open, honest debate. They have nothing, so they must sink to the level of schoolchildren, albeit very rude and nasty ones, to try to hide their own fear. If creationists are so off base, then by all means debate them and expose them. The excuses about lending them credibility by debating are transparent dodges and wearing thi

  22. #22 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Such excuses. The evolutionists are terrified of debating creationists because they understand full well that their belief system, their failed hypothesis, cannot stand up to scrutiny. It simply crumbles when subjected to the light of reason, it dissipates like so much smoke.

    As usual, the creobot gets it backwards. All his alleged evidence evaporates when subjected to scientific scrutiny. For example, multiple means of dating the Earth come to the Earth being 4.5 billion years old. Only one source, the mythical/fictional babble, comes to 6,000 years. So, scientists know who lies.

    If creationists are so off base, then by all means debate them

    The place that debate should take place is in the peer reviewed scientific literature, a place the creobots find absolutely frightening, since their whole argument is not scientific, but rather religious, and won’t pass peer review because of that. The attitude of the creobots is hilarious. Creobots, either put up your evidence in the peer reviewed scientific literature, or shut the fuck up. Those are the choices of people of honor and integrity, like scientists. Only liars and bullshitters like creobots try the other option. Which demonstrates to the world their lack of honor and integrity.

  23. #23 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 1, 2010

    Scientists have better things to do than debate creationists. Namely science.

    Expecting leading biologists to take time from a productive schedule to debate a half-ass panel of creotards (the best panel you have), is like expecting leading astronomers to debate the astrology contingent, or chemists to enter a debate with alchemists.

    The point is that there is no serious debate to be had. You guys lost 150 years ago and don’t even know it.

  24. #24 John
    January 1, 2010

    http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/survivalOfTheFakest.pdf wake up you clowns, the circus is leaving town soon.

  25. #25 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Yawn, we know the DI is staffed with nothing but clowns, so anything they publish is humorous, but not serious or scientific.

    Try some real evidence, found in the libraries of institutes of higher learning found worldwide. It is called the scientific literature. And creationism/ID is not present in it.

  26. #26 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Steve@193, Given your moniker and your citation of a single creationist “scientist”, I thought this link might interest you:
    http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

  27. #27 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd of a Redhead (#197):
    Your “people of honesty and integrity” (not to mention “class”) are so well represented and depicted on this blog and by its founder.
    God bless you!

  28. #28 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    our “people of honesty and integrity” (not to mention “class”) are so well represented and depicted on this blog and by its founder.
    God bless you!

    And you show your lack of honor and integrity by never citing the peer reviewed scientific literature, which is the only way science is refuted. You have nothing scientific, but you don’t have the honor and integrity to admit it. Keep up your inanities for our amusement. We laugh at the lairs for Jebus? like you who make claims they can’t back up.

  29. #29 Owlmirror
    January 1, 2010

    The evolutionists are terrified of debating creationists because they understand full well that their belief system, their failed hypothesis, cannot stand up to scrutiny.

    This is a perfect example of why debate without evidence is useless: Morons who presuppose that Creationism is true will reject the evidence for evolution out of hand and ignore it. They’ll even say something as moronic as evolution being a “belief system”.

    Of course, everything Creationists say about evolution is actually true about Creationism — a failed hypothesis, that crumbles before the light of reason; an vicious attacker of strawman concepts of evolution — which is why they make so much noise: they have no empirical evidence.

    wake up you clowns, the circus is leaving town soon.

    The Discovery Institute is leaving? Yay!!

    Where are they going? Or should I even care?

  30. #30 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    Your “people of honesty and integrity” (not to mention “class”) are so well represented and depicted on this blog and by its founder.

    And you’re blatant dishonesty, idiocy, and childlike tantrums are always so amusing. Than you for letting us laugh at your follies, creationist.

  31. #31 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Is this a troll with multiple monikers or have a bunch of trolls decided to tag team on a month old post?

  32. #32 PZ Myers
    January 1, 2010

    It’s a bunch of idiots. Carl Wieland just called the atheists out, and they’re all running over here to whine at us.

  33. #33 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 1, 2010

    God bless you!

    Did someone sneeze?

    We might be insulting, miserable, uncultured barbarians*, but you’re wrong. Better an asshole that a creotard!

    *Not all of us actually, but I am.

  34. #34 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    OK, I’ll address your claims about the lack of peer reviewed scientific papers supporting creationist claims and I’m sure you know this well(but won’t admit it): PREJUDICE, plain and simple. And it is as ugly and hateful as the racial prejudice that led to the Jewish holaocaust perpetrated by Hitler (a pond scum himself)(several anti-Christian, evolutionist, atheist blogs as case-in-point). The so-called referees and peer reviewers have an emotional/psychological adherence to the prevailing paradigm. Anything challenging that will be rejected out of hand, no matter its’ merits. An example is the study on radiometric dating discordance done by ICR’s RATE group. It was double blind and statistically analyzed. It showed that several commonly used different isotopes in the same rock gave isochrons that were radically different and OUTSIDE THE ERROR BARS OF EACH ISOCHRON! Of course, it was rejected when submitted because of institutionalized, systematic predudice! The “holy Grail” of “Deep Time” must be protected at all costs.

    I’ll be praying for all you pond scum.

  35. #35 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 1, 2010

    I’ll be praying for all you pond scum.

    Did you just say a prayer that would be giggling my ass off at your stupidity? Because it worked.

  36. #36 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 1, 2010

    Bawwww! The mean scientists won’t publish our half-ass metaphysical claims! Bawww! Mean scientists are mean!

    Someone call Steven a waaaaaaa-mbulance.

    Until the waaaaa-mbulance arrives Steven, maybe you should check out one of the bazillion threads on this site where your claims have already been refuted a gazillion times. Or crack open a book…you know, a science book? Or maybe get that GED and move on with your life.

  37. #37 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    PREJUDICE, plain and simple.

    Put up or shut the fuck up. Claims are irrelevant. Show us the submitted papers and the reviewers remarks. Failure to supply that evidence confirms your status as a Liar for Jebus?.

    Anything challenging that will be rejected out of hand, no matter its’ merits.

    You would be surprised to find that certain journals relish being at the cutting edge of science. They brag about the number of papers they publish that lead to Nobel prizes. And there is a Nobel prize waiting for a new theory for biology. But, that theory must follow the rules of science, hence it can’t be religion based like creationism. Again, show your work, or acknowledge your stretching of the facts.

  38. #38 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Steven just Godwinned all over himself. He needs a clean outfit. Does anyone volunteer to clean and dress him?

  39. #39 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    Is he ever actually going to post any facts and support them or is he going to continue just call us scum and think he has won?

  40. #40 Felix
    January 1, 2010

    Steven, the word is spelled isochrone.
    Please, when pretending to know the first thing about science, at least have the dignity to not smear poo all over your face before entering the room.

  41. #41 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Felix, that is Godwin that is all over his face. Poo can be used as fertilizer. Godwin kills all intellectual life.

  42. #42 Lowell
    January 1, 2010

    You would be surprised to find that certain journals relish being at the cutting edge of science. They brag about the number of papers they publish that lead to Nobel prizes. And there is a Nobel prize waiting for a new theory for biology.

    Even aside from the ambitions of scientists and journals, what about for-profit corporations?

    Do these creationists think oil companies would ignore better ways to find oil because they conflict with their prejudices in favor of an old Earth?

    Would pharmaceutical companies ignore evidence that human beings were poofed into existence 6,000 years ago if it helped them make better medicine that they could then charge more money for?

    Fat chance.

  43. #43 Ganf17
    January 1, 2010

    At last I understand the true meaning of “Goats on Fire”. Thanks CMI sycophants for the clarification.

  44. #44 Felix
    January 1, 2010

    Janine,
    you’re undoubtedly correct. I’m not getting close enough to smell the difference, so I’ll just take your word on it.

  45. #45 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    Felix;

    Maybe if your in England. Look it up in Webster’s. Haven’t seen much cogent argument from you pond scum.

    Did you know that Felix means “happy” or “successful”? I doubt that you are either. And by the way, that name was taken by many eary Christians.

    God Bless you Felix.

  46. #46 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    ?Did you know that Felix means “happy” or “successful”? I doubt that you are either. And by the way, that name was taken by many eary Christians.

    I like how you assume that just from a small internet conversation. Of course I am willing to bet he is happy, and a lot less deluded. Not like some people posting here with a religiously imbedded sense of undeserved self-worth.

    So where are the facts that I asked for?

  47. #47 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Steven, when are you going to present some evidence? All you have is blather.

  48. #48 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    Steven has no evidence and now he’s just dancing in smoke and breaking mirrors.

  49. #49 CunningLingus
    January 1, 2010

    #220

    Every single time, you can spot the hypocrisy which must be inherent in all creotards. First off that Steven douche calls us “pond scum” (very christian of course), then ends with “god bless you”.

    Steven dude, may I humbly suggest you’re a complete moron for christ.

  50. #50 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Steven says, “And by the way, that name was taken by many eary Christians.”

    You must mean eerie Christians, don’t you?

    So, Steve, help us out here. In all the time I’ve been listening to creationists spout drivel, I’ve never heard one give a testable prediction of their theory. Got one?

  51. #51 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    Such excuses. The evolutionists are terrified of debating creationists because they understand full well that their belief system, their failed hypothesis, cannot stand up to scrutiny.

    We use evolution in science to do things. What, might i ask, is the USE of your creation scam to science and progress? Not that scientists couldn’t use some of that sweet, sweet tithe money.

  52. #52 Felix
    January 1, 2010

    Steven, thanks for your thoughtful reply. In Webster’s online, I get isochron as the preferred German or Danish spelling of the word isochrone. I had not been aware that “your” spelling was in usage. I concede.
    The Godwin is still there, though. :)

    Regarding cogent arguments, for example take a look at this:
    http://gondwanaresearch.com/rate.htm
    and this
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/isochron-dating.html#isoprobsum

    It’s way too much material to copy to this thread, but I think you will see where the problems with RATE’s work lie.

  53. #53 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    Cunninglingus:

    If you were a cunning linguist you might realize that pond scum is your own label (remember Chuck’s “warm little pond”

    Did you know that that Genital Herpes is now commonly found in the oral mucosa?

  54. #54 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    Did you know that Felix means “happy” or “successful”? I doubt that you are either.

    If there is one recurring theme about christian to atheist conversions, they always say how much more free and happy they are. They have 10% more income anyway ;)

    Religion is a tiny gilded cage, that you pay to build yourself.

  55. #55 jack.rawlinson
    January 1, 2010

    Maybe if your in England.

    Poor Steven. Can’t get his tiny head around biology; can’t get his tiny head around basic English. They’re more to be pitied than scolded.

  56. #56 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    Still no facts from steven, just lame insults.

  57. #57 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Steven, not that it would mean shit to you but the name of Felix predates christianity. The fact that there were christinians with that name does not determine who the commentator here using the name of Felix is.

    Now kindly disprove that evolution happens. And crying “persecution” does not cut it. And you do not need a public debate to do it also.

  58. #58 Kseniya
    January 1, 2010

    I’ll be praying for all you pond scum.

    I could do without your passive-aggressive drivel, thank you very much.

  59. #59 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Of course, it was rejected when submitted because of institutionalized, systematic predudice!

    And of course you can provide evidence to support this assertion, right? Where is the manuscript text? What journal was it? What did the editor say when rejecting the paper? The authors of said manuscript will have the reviewers’ comments, so it should be easy to have us look at everything the reviewers’ said. An accusation of rejection for reasons of prejudice is a big deal; I can’t imagine that the authors of said manuscript wouldn’t be broadcasting that far and wide. So link to the discussion.

    I’ve got the editor decisions for almost every paper I’ve ever submitted*, both for the accepted and rejected. And I have the reviewers’ comments for almost* every one of the manuscripts that were reviewed**. I find it hard to believe that the authors of whatever manuscript it is that you’re referring to have those data in their possession. It would be absolutely trivial for the authors to put the relevant pages of text online for us all to review and study, thereby shaming the journal in question (and if a journal tinkers with the review process on a submission because they are prejudiced*** against that submission or the authors, then they deserve to be shamed). If the authors haven’t done something like this, then why the hell not?

    _____________________
    *There are a couple that I was way down on the author list on that I don’t personally have copies of (but you can bet the first and second authors do).
    **Obviously, if an editor chooses not to send the manuscript out for review, then there aren’t any reviewers’ comments from that submission.
    ***Prejudice is, of course, quite different from bad science, no science, a terrible manuscript, or a manuscript that a journal editor feels isn’t “quite right” for that journal****. Actual prejudice is a big deal, and believe me, those of us who have been publishing scientific papers for years would be able to read between the lines of what reviewers said really easily. It would be pretty damn clear that the reviewers were reaching for reasons to have the manuscript rejected.
    ****Yes, editors have the right to reject manuscripts without review if they feel that the subject of the manuscript isn’t right for that journal, and no, we don’t get to sue Science every time they send back a manuscript saying that it’s better suited for a more technical journal.

  60. #60 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    The known universe and everything contained in it, was shit out of the arse of a flying pink unicorn about 512 thousand years ago. I have a book that says so. And in a vision, the Unicorn came to me and spoke, saying, “Newfie, this is how it all began… crazy, huh?”
    Prove me wrong.
    How many other fairy tales can we make up to explain beginnings? How many believing idiots does it take to make the fairy tale ‘truth’?
    Is it the number of idiots, or the length of time idiots believe it, that makes it ‘truth’?

    And for any of the really devout believers, who get all their information from one or two books, or like most, don’t even read those and just take their preacher’s word for it… they lie to you to take your money.. the dude didn’t exist.
    Go back to your meadow, sheep… and do what your shepherds tell you to do, you’re not supposed to think, and you’ve proved time and time again, that you’re not good at the thinking bit.

  61. #61 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    Kseniya:

    Just playing the game by your own rules

    Jesus love you!

  62. #62 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    Steven seems to have an incomplete definition of the concept of “Christian Love.”

  63. #63 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    We use evolution in science to do things.

    Yeah, to do things, like find oil. We use the principles of evolution to help us prospect, successfully, for petroleum. To jump up and down insisting that evolution is just a big lie while you’re using petroleum-derived technologies and products really makes you look foolish.

  64. #64 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    Just playing the game by your own rules

    If you were, you’d present facts.

  65. #65 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    So… this is how a “sniny” pelt feels and looks?

    I’m ready for the bitches of Westminster!

    Woof-woof!

  66. #66 Rincewind'smuse
    January 1, 2010

    POND SCUM! you have such FAITH! But, be prepared for your own research to falsify your SUPREME RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE: The Theory Of Evolution.

    Supposed to have happened on multiple occasions over the last 150 years, still waiting…amusing how they never seem to differentiate between a little lighthearted humor and CAPITAL INDUCING,SPLUTTERING, HYSTERICAL RESPONSES, and yet it’s those godless atheists that are the hate-filled cretins.Right.Then, to pull the old “Hitler was-a-Darwinist” argument out right from the start(historical documents that contradict this be damned!)was a move I certainly didn’t expect nor was using ICR’s RATE group study which most reputable scientists LAUGHED at (look up the complete discussion on radiometric dating by Calilasseia). Then of course, after all that , the coup-de-grace was to state their arguments were misrepresented.After presenting the same arguments that were laughed at.Again.And you don’t understand why a debate would be viewed as a waste of time.Again(because I assure you it’s already been done.many times.). You really are your own worst enemy.

  67. #67 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Just playing the game by your own rules

    As opposed to playing the game as dictated From above. Sorry but your way is just a bit more arbitrary. Now fucking disprove evolution. And do not use platitudes like “Jesus Loves You”>

    May you and yours be eaten first!

    (Pretty fucking convincing? Isn’t it?)

  68. #68 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Just playing the game by your own rules

    Nope, our rules require evidence. If you don’t have any, you are required to shut the fuck up. Can you be a man of honor and integrity and cease posting?

    Jesus love you!

    Since there is no actual evidence that the Jebus of the babble existed, you are showing more inanities. Time to show solid, conclusive evidence that your Jebus existed, or shut up about him too. Welcome to science, where evidence, not belief, rules.

  69. #69 Kseniya
    January 1, 2010

    Rules? You don’t even know what the game is. Steven, you know nothing about me, you know nothing of my “rules”, and it is (characteristically) disingenuous of you to claim otherwise.

  70. #70 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Steven asks out of the blue “Did you know that that Genital Herpes is now commonly found in the oral mucosa?”

    Speaking from experience, there, are you Steve?

  71. #71 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    Steven seems to have an incomplete definition of the concept of “Christian Love.”

    I’m not sure…but I bet it involves bondage ;)

    Funnily enough wasn’t a math paper submitted to a journal recently which was (indirectly) about evolution by an ID proponent. Now what was that again?

  72. #72 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I’ll be praying for all you pond scum.

    That sounds like a threat. “Okay, drop the gun or I’ll pray at you.”

  73. #73 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    #245:

    I can’t believe you didn’t get that one!

    Love ya bud!

  74. #74 Rincewind'smuse
    January 1, 2010

    Did you know that Felix means “happy” or “successful”? I doubt that you are either. And by the way, that name was taken by many eary Christians.

    God Bless you Felix.

    How would you know? Why would you even say this,unless you were hopeful someone elses misery would validate your perception of god and what you call your own happiness? Which is fairly twisted when you think about it.It also makes a hollow mockery of “I’ll pray for you” doesn’t it? I would have expected better from a christian…..or not.

  75. #75 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    That sounds like a threat. “Okay, drop the gun or I’ll pray at you.”

    Now we all know if you think you’re being preyed for you are more likely to suffer more and get sicker. So its no idle threat.

  76. #76 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space | January 1, 2010 4:13 PM

    Steven asks out of the blue “Did you know that that Genital Herpes is now commonly found in the oral mucosa?”

    Speaking from experience, there, are you Steve?

    I think I’m beginning to see a much clearer picture of Steven’s life before he was “saved.”

  77. #77 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    The genital herpes quip was directed at CunningLinguist. Steven thinks he’s a wit. He’s half-right.

  78. #78 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Steven is such a bloody stupid git. First it Godwin’s itself and now it attempt lame little insults. It is not even trying to disprove evolution. Go to the kiddie table, Steven. You are not ready to converse with the adults.

    And while you are at it, fuck yourself.

  79. #79 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    I can’t believe you didn’t get that one!

    Love ya bud!

    Oh, he’s a ‘real’ Christian alright.
    Calls you and idiot, but then says he loves you.
    It’s like cheating, stealing, lying, bearing false witness in this life… It doesn’t matter because he loves babby jeebus, and will be ‘rewarded’ in the afterlife.
    It’s all about the carrot and the stick with your lot, ain’t it Steve?

  80. #80 Steven
    January 1, 2010

    …by your own rules. Ugly isn’t it.

    been fun!

  81. #81 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Yeah, Steven, asking you to provide evidence for your assertions is so very very ugly. How dare we?

    Or is it the calling you on your hypocrisy that you find so offensive?

  82. #82 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    …by your own rules. Ugly isn’t it.

    been fun!

    Seeing as you failed completely, I say it’s more funny than ugly.

    God fucks you (he’ll fuck you over every time.)

  83. #83 reyfox
    January 1, 2010

    “Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess…”

    Fascist.

  84. #84 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Steven, you dumb fuck, the only ugly here is what you tossed about like confetti. You have done nothing, achieved nothing and said nothing.Go forth into the darkness that is your brain. If you are an example of Carl Wieland’s ignorant army of the night, your might is thwarted by a street light.

    Fuck off.

  85. #85 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Steve@248, No, it sounds like you got that particular virus.

    FWIW, I did get your pathetic attempt at humor (Jeebus, why is it that Xtians always have such lame senses of humor? Are humorless twits attracted to Xtianity or does the religion itself turn them dull?). It’s just that your attempt failed.

  86. #86 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 1, 2010

    I’ll be praying for all you pond scum.

    I shall think about you tonight as I* touch myself and imagine dirty, depraved activities.

    What’s that you ask? Why must I make you feel dirty by informing you of things I do that are supposed to be private?

    Well, you see, I’m just playing by your own rules.

    *My sex, orientation and age are for me to know and for you to guess.

  87. #87 Kseniya
    January 1, 2010

    Here are Steven’s Rules:

    1. Play ignorance card.
    2. Play piety card.
    3. Provide nothing of substance to the argument at hand.
    4. Descry insults, while delivering own from behind thin veil of counterfeit brotherly love.
    5. Depart, making sure to point finger of blame at the local community, tacitly claim high ground by implying that the “ugly” tone is purely the fault of the “pond scum” while completely missing the irony inherent in the implication itself.

    In short, typically vacuous creationist enters, makes mess, leaves without cleaning it up, blames Pharyngula.

    I see that nothing much has changed in my absence. ;-)

  88. #88 andre
    January 1, 2010

    Your response to creationists and the picture you provided below Mr Myers proves that your scientific evidence for evolutionism is nonexistent and you have to resort to arguments from emotions and propaganda.This is as i understand the famous @intellectual fulfillment of an atheist” postulated by Dawkins.No wonder, you people have somehow come up with an explanation as to how the matter and energy of the Universe ,information and life on top of that ,came to be out of nothing.As you possibly know professor , there is no known law of physic that enables spontaneous generation of information and therefore life. Not to mention matter and energy.
    Works of “intellectually fulfilled” authors oozes hatred of God and Christianity in particular. I can not understand how can you people be so angry with God , who according to your beliefs, does not exist..

  89. #89 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    Aw, it looks like poor little Steven ran away, crapping himself in fear like every other creationist who comes here and is asked to present evidence to support his fairy magic cult’s religious beliefs

    Re: the herpes comment; perhaps Steven’s another class act who would never ‘inflict oral sex on a woman’.

  90. #90 Kseniya
    January 1, 2010

    Your response to creationists and the picture you provided below Mr Myers proves that your scientific evidence for evolutionism is nonexistent

    Yes yes yes — for a given value of “proves”.

  91. #91 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 1, 2010

    scientific evidence for evolutionism is nonexistent and you have to resort to arguments from emotions and propaganda.

    Nope, there are thousands of peer reviewed data supporting evolution. The only thing supporting creationism is dogma.

    I can not understand how can you people be so angry with God

    Creationist Bingo! You hate god!

  92. #92 Steve_C
    January 1, 2010

    Andre the Midget.

    Who’s angry with god? No one here.

    You’re pathetic debunking of evolution doesn’t even make sense. You’re too ignorant to even see why.

  93. #93 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Kseniya, I thought you knew by now that creationist trolls are as unchanging as what they claim species are.

  94. #94 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Works of “intellectually fulfilled” authors oozes hatred of God and Christianity in particular. I can not understand how can you people be so angry with God , who according to your beliefs, does not exist..

    Have you actually read those books? The authors are not “angry with God”, they are angry with religious followers. That’s the problem, that certain religious followers use their religion to force others to behave a particular way, to subvert liberty, to murder, to undermine education, to deny medical procedures to those who need it, who brainwash children and threaten them with eternal damnation, etc.

    If you have actually read the books then you would know that they are about the consequences of absurd beliefs. They are not angry at God at all, just angry that we live in a society where any speaking out against religion is met with gasps.

  95. #95 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    I can not understand how can you people Christians be so angry with God Zeus.

    Fixed it for you.

  96. #96 Vortmax
    January 1, 2010

    Hey Steven, exactly which rules are you using, which you think are “our” rules? Our rules are pretty much : Present peer-reviewed evidence to back up your statements, or go away. Put up or shut up. We’ve got about a million papers behind us, so you get started.

    May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage!

  97. #97 CunningLingus
    January 1, 2010

    Egads!, I feel all humble now. The first time i’ve been “savaged” by a creotard. I’m shocked these creotards can find their way out of a birth canal.

    Are the fainting couches in Pharyngula just for the religious, or can any one utilise them?

  98. #98 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    As you possibly know professor , there is no known law of physic that enables spontaneous generation of information and therefore life. Not to mention matter and energy.

    You don’t understand information. You clearly know nothing about physics…nor chemistry for that matter.

    Spontaneous generation of matter = creationism.

    Your projecting can be seen from space.

    My dog, you people are embarrassing.

  99. #99 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    I can not understand how can you people Christians be so angry with God Zeus Thor.

  100. #100 Vortmax
    January 1, 2010

    I can not understand how can you people Christians be so angry with God Zeus Thor Cthulhu.

  101. #101 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    I can not understand how can you people be so angry with God , who according to your beliefs, does not exist..

    I love this argument, it really shows how narrow minded some people are.

    http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_myth_gods_index.htm

    Yes, Andre. We are angry with all of these fictional characters, including the one you believe in. It takes up so much of our time though, what with having to go through them all alphabetically each day, and curse, and deny their existence.

  102. #102 SC OM
    January 1, 2010

    Of course, it was rejected when submitted

    That reminded me of this funny post by Blake Stacey:

    http://scienceblogs.com/sunclipse/2009/11/how_to_reject_a_paper_advice_f.php

  103. #103 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    your scientific evidence for evolutionism is nonexistent and you have to resort to arguments from emotions and propaganda.

    Ah, you haven’t seen the million or so peer reviewed scientific papers directly and indirectly supporting evolution, and no papers supporting an alternative scientific theory for biology. Gotta love the idjit creobots for their ignorance of the facts, like the delusion that their religion trumps scientific evidence. Only more science refutes science, and they never provide any.

    so angry with God

    How can we be angry with something that doesn’t exist? You have provided no physical evidence to back up your inane and insane claim, as usual. Evidence, that which separates reality from religious delusion.

  104. #104 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    As you possibly know professor , there is no known law of physic that enables spontaneous generation of information and therefore life. Not to mention matter and energy.

    Have you read anything on physics in the last 104 years? For matter? e=mc². The equation exists more than a measure of intelligence: it explains the relationship between mass, energy and the speed of light.

    As for energy itself, the total energy of the universe is ~0 (give or take quantum variation). The positive energy that we see is cancelled out by by gravitation.

    So you’re wrong, the laws of physics account for both matter and energy. And as for “information”, the laws of physics allow for DNA to form, and DNA is turned into information through selection. In effect, evolution is a self-bootstrapping mechanism as randomness + selection = information.

    Tiresome creationist rhetoric is tiresome.

  105. #105 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    I can not understand how can you people Christians be so angry with God Zeus Thor Cthulhu PZ Myers.

  106. #106 andre
    January 1, 2010

    and your posts dear “fulfilled” proved yet again: no scientific proof for evolution,therefore arguments ad persona. From behind a nick names of course in case you have to take responsibility for what you saying…
    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…For uninitiated in the evo faith :Peer of course mean the evo people peer that follows the faith and accepts the axiom number one as fundamental to the faith..

  107. #107 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 1, 2010

    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…

    Speaking of which, how ’bout that wait for Jesus to come back? Any news?

  108. #108 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    January 1, 2010

    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…

    Um you want peer reviewed from us. If you looked at the archieves from the last month you will find many. Now give me evidence that evolution is wrong. Or did you not read anyone post, godbot.

    Christian lies and dellusion never cease to amaze me.

  109. #109 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Good heavens, these trolls are pathetic . . . not enough meat on one to make it worth gutting and skinning. We’ll have to make our fangs sniny by brushing with Pepsodent in the absence of any nutritional value from noshing on these specimens.

    But here’s a clue for the creotards who’ve swung by . . . while PZ is indeed an atheist, bless his sweet heart, the Theory of Evolution itself is a separate issue altogether. Not everyone who understands and accepts the overwhelming evidence that supports the theory is an atheist. Nor is acceptance a matter of faith (a belief in things unseen); it is a matter of evidence, the belief in things seen and demonstrated.

    I myself, for example, am a devout Christian. As a Christian, I must tell you that your foolishness in adhering to bad theology, your hostility, and the way you Lie for Jesus are the worst possible witness for Christ. And no, it doesn’t matter what the atheists here say. They don’t claim to follow the Prince of Peace, so that’s no excuse for your behavior. You have been told to turn the other cheek, not to spit in their faces.

    Perhaps you should spend a little more time studying the example set by Jesus, and a lot less time sallying forth to engage in a battle of wits on the internet. You amply demonstrate how little you engage in the former, and how poorly you’re equipped for the latter.

  110. #110 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    Andre (the beer of bottled champagnes) spat: I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…

    Dude. Sober up.

  111. #111 andre
    January 1, 2010

    ha ha ha !!! and of course another evo people argument: “you do not understand evolution chemistry and physics”. Evo people often say that they avoid debates because their arguments are so sophisticated (he he he , sophisticated) that only initiated in the faith could understand. On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

  112. #112 Knockgoats
    January 1, 2010

    From behind a nick names of course in case you have to take responsibility for what you saying – andre

    andre,
    You are not only a bare-faced liar, but also a hypocrite. Liar: the scientific evidence for evolution is vast and varied: from comparative anatomy and physiology, genetics, biogeography, development, palaeontology… Hypocrite: whining about others using nicknames when you use a personal name that does not allow you to be identified. Well, well, – a Christian who is a liar and a hypocrite – no surprise whatsoever.

  113. #113 Knockgoats
    January 1, 2010

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand… – andre

    and see just how fucking stupid and dishonest they and those who promulgate them are.

  114. #114 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    January 1, 2010

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

    Yeah because anyone can make up shit right of their back. Which creation argument. Christian creationism is too lame, lets go for Shinto creationism!

    (he doesn’t read our post)

    GIVE ME FACTS, IDIOT!

  115. #115 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    andre | January 1, 2010 5:49 PM

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

    It’s easy to understand the phrase, “God did it.” Proving it, on the other hand, is where creationists run into serious problems.

  116. #116 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    andre:

    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…For uninitiated in the evo faith

    Andre, why do you wait, when you can use Google Scholar?

    There’s well over 2 million hits right there.

  117. #117 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    and your posts dear “fulfilled” proved yet again: no scientific proof for evolution,therefore arguments ad persona.

    this is the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and shouting “la la la, can’t hear you.”

    so, what’s your answer then andre? please enlighten us. Give us the wheres, the whens, and the hows. Please show your work.

  118. #118 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Your response to creationists and the picture you provided below Mr Myers proves that your scientific evidence for evolutionism is nonexistent and you have to resort to arguments from emotions and propaganda.

    I’m not quite sure what evolutionism is, but I’m going to guess you’re talking the current accumulated scientific knowledge including in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and psychology that collectively paint a picture of the universe being billions of years old and life on this planet emerging over time. As opposed to just talking about evolution itself, whereby inherited variation in populations over time leads to change and the notion that all life has emerged from a common ancestor.

    Now we could take two paths to a response, but they would require you to clarify something for me. If you want to go down the road of life, the universe and everything – we can do that. The reason the earth and universe are old has nothing to do with evolution itself. Indeed one of the objections in the late 19th century to evolution was that the earth wasn’t old enough for evolution to happen. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the mechanism of fusion was discovered, thereby making the sun billions of years old. And as for the date of ~4.6 billion years? Nothing to do with evolution, but the results of radiometric dating on solar objects.

    The other path of course is to just talk about evolution itself – that life has changed over time and that we all share a common ancestor. If we focus on this, it allows a bit more of an in-depth exploration of the evidence for evolution and why is it so strongly supported in the scientific arena. And there is plenty of evidence, far from your cry of “nonexistent”. If you want a good place to start (this is assuming you want to be intellectually honest) would be Jerry Coyne’s wonderful book Why Evolution Is True. Another great book is Don Prothero’s Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why It Matters. That not enough? Then try Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish. And if you’re looking for a primer on Natural Selection then you could do a lot worse than Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show On Earth.

    So it’s up to you, are you intellectually honest enough to take the arguments on their own merits? Do you actually want to argue the science as scientists understand it? Or are you just here to preach?

  119. #119 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

    Therefore there is no need for education past the third grade (to pull a grade out of my ass) because the strength of a idea lies in how simple it is. Andre, the concept of the Sun moving around the Earth is easier for a four year old to understand. Does that make it right?

  120. #120 andre
    January 1, 2010

    …and I can see some einstein impressed evo poeople here as well.
    OK,for your intellectual fulfilment a question asked by a guy who could use his brain..

    Herbert’s Dingle asked:
    “According to the theory, if you have two exactly
    similar clocks, A and B, and one is moving with respectto the other, they must work at different rates, i.e. oneworks more slowly than the other. But the theory also requires that you cannot distinguish which clock is the ‘moving’ one; it is equally true to say that A rests while B
    moves and that B rests while A moves. The question
    therefore arises: how does one determine consistently with the theory, which clock works more slowly? Unless this question is answerable, the theory unavoidably requires that A works more slowly than B and B more slowly than A – which it requires no super-intelligence to see is impossible.

  121. #121 Cath the Canberra Cook
    January 1, 2010

    I was going to cheer the Aussie creationists for being more literate than their American counterparts, but then Andre came and typed that word salad. Oh well, so much for national pride.

  122. #122 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    January 1, 2010

    He’s not even reading our post. Fucking godbots, Go read a science book, even elementary ones give more facts than you have done!

  123. #123 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    and your posts dear “fulfilled” proved yet again: no scientific proof for evolution,therefore arguments ad persona.

    You want “proof” in science? You don’t get proof in science, you get theories.

    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible…

    This has nothing to do with atheism. The majority of scientists are religious in some form with a large minority having a belief in a personal deity. The most prominent advocate for evolution in the United States is a Christian! The former head of the human genome project is a fundamentalist Christian! One of the leading palaeontologists in the United States doubles as a Pentecostal preacher! One of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 20th century was not only Christian by a pretty competent amateur theologian.

    Evolution is not atheism, it’s science. By equating the two, you misrepresent what the science is.

  124. #124 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    andre | January 1, 2010 6:01 PM

    Herbert’s Dingle asked:
    “According to the theory, if you have two exactly
    similar clocks, A and B, and one is moving with respectto the other, they must work at different rates, i.e. oneworks more slowly than the other. But the theory also requires that you cannot distinguish which clock is the ‘moving’ one; it is equally true to say that A rests while B
    moves and that B rests while A moves. The question
    therefore arises: how does one determine consistently with the theory, which clock works more slowly?

    Easy. Go to George Webb’s.

  125. #125 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    And yet relativity is used for GPS. Andre, I get the feeling you have more respect for your own ignorance then you have for other people’s knowledge.

  126. #126 Steve_C
    January 1, 2010

    Hey Andre,

    How old is the earth? Just wondering how ignorant you are.

  127. #127 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Gyeong, andre is not even a creobot, it’s just a capering troll. Of course it’s not reading our posts.

  128. #128 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Andre, you forgot the following disciplines which also fully support the Theory of Evolution:

    Paleontology, genetics, microbiology, anthropology, geology, ecology, comparative anatomy, organic chemistry, astronomy, molecular biology

    It’s also escaped your notice that a partial list of the authoritative scientific organizations fully support evolution and reject the teaching of religious dogma in science classrooms includes these:

    National Academy of Sciences
    American Association of University Professors
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Anthropological Association
    American Astronomical Society
    National Association of Biology Teachers
    Geological Society of America
    The American Chemical Society
    American Institute of Biological Sciences
    The Paleontological Society
    Botanical Society of America

    Other than a tiny, indeed miniscule, number of religious cranks who also happen to be degreed (though rarely practicing) scientists, NO ONE is on your side who has an education in the sciences. That includes the big majority of your fellow Christians, who know that your foolish doctrine of inerrancy has ironically led you into gross error.

    You are an ignoramus who has been led down the garden path by con men, religious hucksters who prey on gullible and poorly-educated Christians. These snake-oil salesmen, the Ken Hams and Kent Hovinds, make a rich living from shearing you poor sheep.

    Indeed, the creationists’ arguments are easy to understand. They are lies simplified to the lowest common denominator. They’re aimed at the simple-minded and find no traction amongst those who are better educated.

    If you truly have concern for the souls of Pharyngula community, get an education and come back here with a different attitude . . . one more closely modeled on Jesus Christ and less on the tactics of the World Wrestling Federation.

  129. #129 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I will be waiting for those peer revieved works of the atheist inteligentsia proving impossible.

    Try the libraries of any institution of higher learning in the world. They will have titles like Science, Nature, Biochemistry, Cell, Journal of Biochemistry, etc. We are waiting your evidence that your imaginary deity exists.

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

    Yep, but you never provide conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. So when you say “goddidit”, you are telling a lie, and you know it…

  130. #130 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    andre #295 is a cut and paste from the Anti Relativity website.

  131. #131 andre
    January 1, 2010

    @ Kel, OM
    OK. Alleged first organism which organized itself from the primordial soup must have contained all the available information in its DNA for the many Darwinian miracles to happen. Name a process that adds information to genome in response to changes in environment.Support with experimental evidence.

  132. #132 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Translation of Andre at #306. I am too fucking lazy to look up the research on this subject and demand that the rest of you drag it to my feet. And I will dismiss it anyway. Goddidit.

  133. #133 Capital Dan
    January 1, 2010

    andre | January 1, 2010 6:23 PM

    OK. Alleged first organism which organized itself from the primordial soup must have contained all the available information in its DNA for the many Darwinian miracles to happen.

    Why?

  134. #134 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    OK. Alleged first organism which organized itself from the primordial soup must have contained all the available information in its DNA for the many Darwinian miracles to happen.

    bzzt, wrong.

    Name a process that adds information to genome in response to changes in environment. Support with experimental evidence.

    Okay, there’s a wonderful process called “gene duplication”. This is a duplication of a region of DNA. It is often free from the forces of selective pressure. So it accumulates mutations. Occasionally such mutations may give rise to something new and advantageous.

    For evidence, I give the example of the nylon-eating bacteria. It’s ability to digest nylon came from a gene duplication then a single mutation. And from that it was able to exploit a new environment. So there you have it, more “information” in the genome that not only harms the organism but is able to give it a Darwinian survival advantage to exploit a resource only recently invented and unexploited by any other organism.

    Mammals have about 1000 genes for smell, all of which are duplications and modifications of a single gene. In humans, several hundred genes are switched off, which is no surprise, the same is seen in other primates that have trichromatic vision. i.e. We rely on vision more than smell so we should see the accumulation of vestigial genes on systems that are no longer necessary.

  135. #135 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    January 1, 2010

    Name a process that adds information to genome in response to changes in environment.

    Um random mutations can and do add information. If there is a change in the environment, a mutation that is beneficial can be selected for. I think PZ posted some evidence of how the geographical separation (which is an environmental changes) do result in evolution of fishes in the Congo.

    Your post seems to indicate that you have a problem with miracles. That?s odd since the whole foundation of Creationism is based on a miracle.

  136. #136 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Andre, Steve, or whatever other creobots are about:
    Just curious, but are there any of you guys who can string together a single, correct sentence in English?

  137. #137 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Andre, I see you’ve also been taken in by the current creotard craze for “information”. That word does not mean what you think it means.

    Gene duplication is the most obvious example, but here, from the TalkOrigins page http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html
    are several:

    By any reasonable definition, increases in information have been observed to evolve. We have observed the evolution of

    ?increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)
    ?increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)
    ?novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)
    ?novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

    If these do not qualify as information, then nothing about information is relevant to evolution in the first place.

    For pete’s sake, go read some real science and give up this foolish devotion to the pseudoscientific nonsense served up by charlatans. I’ll give you a paper to read in my next post.

  138. #138 RamblinDude
    January 1, 2010

    I suspect andre is a contrarian at heart. Carl Wieland, Herbert Dingle, anyone who bucks the system is apparently a person who can ?use his brain.?

    Or he’s just a troll.

  139. #139 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Here is the fulltext of the famous 1995 paper by Prijambada et. al. that describes the evolution of the enzyme nylonase (creating the ability to digest nylon, which didn’t even exist until 1935.

    http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/61/5/2020.pdf

  140. #140 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Name a process that adds information to genome in response to changes in environment.

    As usual, Talk Origins has considered this point:

    Some mutations add information to a genome; some subtract it. Creationists get by with this claim only by leaving the term “information” undefined, impossibly vague, or constantly shifting. By any reasonable definition, increases in information have been observed to evolve. We have observed the evolution of

    ? increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)
    ? increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)
    ? novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)
    ? novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

    If these do not qualify as information, then nothing about information is relevant to evolution in the first place.

  141. #141 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    In case you find the Prijambada paper a little challenging (as I do), here is a Wikipedia article that describes the discovery in more accessible language:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria

  142. #142 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Darn, I see Leigh Williams beat me to the Talk Origins article.

  143. #143 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Don’t worry, ‘Tis, yours was formatted much more coherently.

  144. #144 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Hey, Leigh, nice to see you commenting. It’s been a while (or I haven’t been in the relevant threads).

  145. #145 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Just curious, but are there any of you guys who can string together a single, correct sentence in English?

    Yep, sounds like all creobots. Ignorance in one area branches out over others. They sound like idjits because they are idjits.

  146. #146 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    All religions are shit.
    Just happened upon this image again, and thought I’d share.

  147. #147 Owlmirror
    January 1, 2010

    On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple stupid that anybody stupid can regurgitate and pretend to understand…

    Fixed.

    Name a process that adds information to genome

    Gene duplication and variation.

    in response to changes in environment.

    It doesn’t happen in response to changes in the environment; it happens at random.

    Support with experimental evidence.

    Rapid evolution of expression and regulatory divergences after yeast gene duplication

  148. #148 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    Happy to be back, Josh. I tend to come out to play when my fellow Christians show up, if only to demonstrate to them that their small notions of Christianity are a fundamentalist construct. Otherwise, I’m just lurking and learning and lol’ing . . .

    Andre, did you notice that you got several immediate replies mentioning gene duplication and nylonase? We didn’t have to google that, buddy. We already knew about it.

    That’s because we’ve taken the time to get educated. You could do the same, you know. And you don’t have to fear for your faith, either. Lots of scientifically-educated people are also Christians (and Muslims, and Buddhists, and pagans, etc.).

    You would have to give up young-earth creationism, of course, but that’s just a lie you’ve been told anyway.

  149. #149 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    Woo-hoo! Kook stomp! However, I’ve next-to-no science-foo, so I’ll just be a cheerleader for this evening’s troll dismemberment.

    However, I will ask this question: Andre, as Leigh Williams has pointed out, many Christians – including the entire Catholic church – accept the fact of evolution. How do you explain that?

  150. #150 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Wowbagger, I also have no science fu. It does not stop me from joining in the fun because I know the creationists tactics and comment on it. If anything, I would venture that your grasp is greater then mine. There is no need to cheer lead. Put on your troll stomping boots and join in the fun.

  151. #151 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    If I remember correctly, Pastor Tom Estes could write the English good. That was about the only thing where he showed proficiency.

  152. #152 Rincewind'smuse
    January 1, 2010

    ha ha ha !!! and of course another evo people argument: “you do not understand evolution chemistry and physics”. Evo people often say that they avoid debates because their arguments are so sophisticated (he he he , sophisticated) that only initiated in the faith could understand. On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…

    Since when did simple imply correct( or even in the ballpark)?When you say “avoid debate” I assume you refer simply the Australian debate. I’ve been on this blogspot for over a year now and it’s always the same scenario;some fool(like you) gets on and , laughing into their hand, spouts off some pseudointellectual “gotcha” conundrum dreamt up by some creotard that does little other than to exemplify the geniuses misunderstanding of abiogenesis/biology/developmental embryology/microbiology/geology/chemistry/physics( I could keep going).Then when evidence is supplied by some well meaning do-gooder it’s ignored or the idiot fails to see the evidence that’s clearly in front of their face.I would assume that eventually everyone gets tired of readdressing the same old tired arguments when the information is ignored like pearls before swine.Just look in the archives, it’s all been done before and just because your fundamentalism doesn’t allow for a belief in evolution, don’t presume to speak for all christians(of which I am not a member, but know many ).

  153. #153 Sioux Laris
    January 1, 2010

    My words! This Aussie contingient of creationists should be placed in charge of Koala-T Kuntroll at Conserve o’ Pedia!
    They somehow remind me of that WB cartoon where the dog, in order to inspire terror, sprays its muzzle with whipped cream to simulate a rabid condition, only to have the housewife berate it for getting into her whipped cream.

    Yeah, a weird simile, but it won’t go away.

  154. #154 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    In terms of the notion that evolution = atheism, check this video out.

  155. #155 Kseniya
    January 1, 2010

    Hi Leigh, long time no see. :-)

    Happy New Year, everyone (and I do mean everyone).

  156. #156 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    January 1, 2010

    Wowbagger, I also have no science fu. It does not stop me from joining in the fun because I know the creationists tactics and comment on it.

    I just realized that my own science background is kinda iffy too. Oh well. I do know more about it that andre, and I can give peer review research too. :)

    Sabaidee Pimai.

  157. #157 Mercurious
    January 1, 2010

    Andre, I’ll throw my 2 cents into this also. Try looking up the Clergy Letter Project. As of Dec 30, 2009 there were 12,130 Christian clergy members, 462 Rabbis, and 211 UU clergy members who have signed and affirmed that the Theory of Evolution has no conflict with their faith (although I disagree, that is neither here nor there).

    First paragraph of the letter.

    Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible ? the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark ? convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

  158. #158 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    I’m more of Devo person, actually.

  159. #159 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    I don’t have much formal science education either. But I can read and think; given the resources we have available nowadays, that’s really all that’s required to get enough education to at least be aware of what’s true.

    You’ve got to WANT the truth, of course, and not fear it.

  160. #160 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    Wowbagger, I also have no science fu.

    I only meant that in a relative sense; if there’s no-one else here to cite papers and so forth then I’m happy to take them on and just link to Talk Origins pages for each of their lies about science. But when someone can come along and toss out the most recent experimental findings, formulae, chemical equations and numbers etc. then I’m happy to take a back seat.

  161. #161 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I understand. I try not to stand in the way of those who have superior knowledge of the subject. But all of we regulars have a better grasp of science than the trolls. And if I am in the right mood, I love wearing my blood red wooden shoes.

  162. #162 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    But all of we regulars have a better grasp of science than the trolls.

    My fridge has a better grasp of science than the trolls we’ve seen today. Some of them ‘know’ (but have never thought critically about) how to ask trickier questions than I’m necessary able to answer without a bit of research, though.

  163. #163 deep
    January 1, 2010

    I came here hoping for a bloodbath and find not even creationist scraps left. I’ll guess I’ll have to go back to hunting them on the offtopic forums of obscure sites that deal with signature buddies or product reviews. Gotta stay sniny somehow!

  164. #164 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    The only biology course I’ve ever had was in high school. It was so long ago that we had saber-toothed mice to dissect.

    However the creationist arguments are always the same:

    • Second law of thermodynamics is violated.
    • Evilution is only a theory.
    • Information can only be lost by mutation
    • You guys hate god, that’s why you worship Darwin.
    • Microevolution but not macroevolution
    • Something can’t come from nothing.
    • Hitler was an evilutionist.
    • GODDIDIT! Prove he didn’t.

    After watching people do it a few dozen times, it’s easy for me to explain (or rather, try to explain) to a creationist what a transitional fossil is.

  165. #165 Kamaka
    January 1, 2010

    WTF?

    I just read some 150 + posts and this is the best the trolls can do?

    I’m going back to reading Lee Smolin.

  166. #166 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Oh, I forgot one of the creationists’ favorite arguements:

    ? You guys swear a lot, so evilution is falsified.

  167. #167 Mookie
    January 1, 2010

    Hey Andre #306

    Creationists ae always complaining that evolutional milestones are just too unlikely to come about……….until a real scientist discovers a simple, elegant process by which it could happen. (Actually that’s a lie,the creationists just continue to complain )

    Andre, old buddy, meet the RNA enzyme that can replicate itself. No need for lightning bolts or angels, the RNA enzyme fulfills in only 1 molecule the function that creationists claim need hundreds. If you’re up for some real science, check it our:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109173205.htm

    Best of all, it actually evolved in a lab! Evolution before your very eyes, my simple friend!

    And to the other Dr. Wieland groupies: What’s with the passive-aggressive whinging? Why always crying “Atheists aren’t nice in their posts, and they swear”? The Mormons have a term for the behaviour you seem to expect. It’s called “Keeping it Sweet”, and it’s an obnoxious, dishonest form of discourse that stifles communication. Christians at this site believe the whole world should talk like that.

    Don’t you Christians interact with any normal people?

  168. #168 WowbaggerOM
    January 1, 2010

    ‘Tis, don’t forget irreducible complexity – if that’s not covered under ‘Something can’t come from nothing’.

  169. #169 Kamaka
    January 1, 2010

    You guys swear a lot, so evilution is falsified.

    jeebus on a stick, these feckers do play that card every time, don’t they?

  170. #170 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    ‘Tis is right–they play pretty much all of those cards every time.

  171. #171 Kamaka
    January 1, 2010

    Second law of thermodynamics is violated.

    And this one is goats aflame stupider than the cussing card.

  172. #172 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010
  173. #173 otrame
    January 1, 2010

    There is a sort of fascination to be had in watching the feeding frenzy when a fundie falls into the water (or in this case, pushed in by dear old Carl) here. They’ve been pretty quiet the last couple hours. Nothing left now but a few shreds and some blood in the water. But we may see some more once the sun comes up over there in Oz.

    I feel more than a little sorry for them, truth be told. They’ve been lied to so spectacularly. The ones who actually have a tiny shred of honesty are always so upset when they begin to learn the truth. The one’s who have no honesty in them just keep spouting the same old crap, year after year after year after year after year. So you shall feed again soon, my brethren.

  174. #174 Cath the Canberra Cook
    January 1, 2010

    otrame, it’s 1.30pm here. They probably clocked off for lunch :)

  175. #175 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    However the creationist arguments are always the same:

    Yep, that’s why some of us get complaints that we sound the same. Keeps our teeth nice and tartar free though…

  176. #176 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Otrame says, “There is a sort of fascination to be had in watching the feeding frenzy when a fundie falls into the water (or in this case, pushed in by dear old Carl) here.”

    Oh, I think we’re a pretty welcoming bunch. I always make it a point to say “Nice to see you…Chum!”

  177. #177 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 1, 2010

    André @ 295: Epic fail.

    Both clocks are moving slower than each other, and neither is. It depends on your reference frame. The cornerstone of relativistic physics are the facts that all frames are equivalent (ie, it doesn’t matter where you do your observations from) but ideas such as “simultaneous”, “slower”, “after”, etc (any temporal idea, really) only have meaning if you specify your reference frame (specify how, where, when, and with what trajectory you observe this from). Thus, clock A is running slow if you are in clock B’s reference frame, clock B is running slow in clock A’s, and both are running slow from an external frame.

    Everything is kept nice and neat by other facets of SR, such as relativistic length contraction bringing together loose ends.

    Or, you can believe that scientists have been lying for 105 years since “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” and GPS runs on magic.

  178. #178 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 1, 2010

    Tis Himself says “However the creationist arguments are always the same…”

    That’s why I keep my Creationist bingo card at the ready!

  179. #179 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    It would seem the motto of the Wieland fans is vini, vidi, fugi.

  180. #180 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 1, 2010

    By the way, we’re not mean to Christians. We don’t believe in any of these deities:

    http://www.fact-index.com/l/li/list_of_deities.html

    What makes yours any more worthwhile of consideration?

  181. #181 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “You guys swear a lot, so evilution is falsified.”

    I would say that all the crudeness and fury in the comments makes you look like an angry mob ready for a book burning. For the average person who does not have a strong opinion either way – the arrogance and brutishness of the comments will be off-putting. It’s not attractive.

    Even if you are overwelmingly right in your opionon – no one likes a poor winner.

    Some of you are so concerned about spelling mistakes (claiming they appear to make you look uneducated) but somehow can’t see how swearing or posting offessive pictures shows a lack of good upbringing.

    And to Leigh Williams – As a Christian are you ok with a picture of Jesus giving the finger? I’m glad to see your hanging out with the athiests but it must be hard to handle their constant mockery of religion.

  182. #182 Sven DiMilo
    January 1, 2010

    I clutch my pearls regularly because of the lack of good upbringing around here.

  183. #183 Michelle B
    January 1, 2010

    Andre: On the other hand creationist’s arguments are so simple that anybody can understand…
    ____

    Simple is creotard for non-existent. Creotards have no arguments worth their salt, all they have is nothing. When I hear the creotards’ case, all I can make out is that they are full of hot, stale air. Most Christians know this also.

    Creotards are seen as abject IDiots in both atheist and Christian communities. No one will debate IDiocy with creotards because they did not get expelled, they flunked out as shown in the Dover case where a Christian judge was able to easily identify Intelligent Design as religion. The majority of Christians understand that science is not religion.

    There is no excuse for creotards that is why they are ridiculed. They choose to stay ignorant despite having authentic information and knowledge at their disposal at many educational sites on the Web. And they truly do not deserve the comfort that scientific advances has given them. They are leeches and parasites, hanging on for the ride that so many hard-working humans are so kindly giving them.

  184. #184 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    Not sure what “clutch my pearls” means but it sounds funny. :)

  185. #185 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    David from Canada:

    I would say that all the crudeness and fury in the comments makes you look like an angry mob ready for a book burning.

    You would, would you? Why don’t you, then? :)

    And to Leigh Williams – As a Christian are you ok with a picture of Jesus giving the finger?

    Never mind Leigh — why do you think story-Jesus would be at all bothered by it?

    Oh yeah, I know you came here to whinge about tone, but do you care to explain why you’re in denial of basic science, though it’s accepted by the bulk of Christians?

  186. #186 RJ
    January 1, 2010

    @352
    Amazing explanation. I thought I’d add that if you try to bring the clocks together to see how much time elapsed on each clock, you would have to accelerate one of the clocks. Then, the accelerated clock will have elapsed more time. This experiment has been done with airplanes before, and confirmed special relativity.

  187. #187 Miki Z
    January 1, 2010

    If I lack a good upbringing, blame my fundie parents.

  188. #188 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 1, 2010

    “And to Leigh Williams – As a Christian are you ok with a picture of Jesus giving the finger? I’m glad to see your hanging out with the athiests but it must be hard to handle their constant mockery of religion.”
    I can’t speak for Leigh, but on a personal level, and as a non-Christian (But not an avowed Atheist either), while the more extremely angrious ideas are a bit irritating to hear, it’s STILL less grating because the mean things they say are ultimately not being used to spread widespread pain for humanity in general, or retard their educations.

  189. #189 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    David fC:

    Not sure what “clutch my pearls” means but it sounds funny. :)

    That’s it is funny, and so very appropriate in this case.

  190. #190 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    David From Canada. If you are indeed sincere and not a troll, here’s a question for you. Do you make your decision on issues based on who sounds the most polite? Certainly many of the comments here would not make it past Miss Manners, BUT, … if you want to have a serious discussion here AND you don’t resort to Ad Hominem attacks THEN I think you’ll find very civil responses (well from most of us anyway ;))

  191. #191 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “why do you think story-Jesus would be at all bothered by it?”

    Most of the Christians I know would find it offensive. Many others would as well. It doesn’t help you win freinds and influence people. But if shock and awe the objective then PZ has accomplished his mission.

    “Oh yeah, I know you came here to whinge about tone, but do you care to explain why you’re in denial of basic science, though it’s accepted by the bulk of Christians?”

    I didn’t say what I believed.

  192. #192 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    DFC, I suspect that PZ is trying to blog honestly. By that, I mean he thinks religion is stupid and an enemy of reason. However, if you appear sincere in your questions, you will get sincere answers.

  193. #193 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Some of you are so concerned about spelling mistakes (claiming they appear to make you look uneducated) but somehow can’t see how swearing or posting offessive pictures shows a lack of good upbringing.

    Yep, the use of profanities and blasphemy must mean we had a poor upbringing. Meanwhile the ones taking offence and trying to take the moral highground are either implicitly or deliberately lying in order to argue against science. Why is it that creationists have such a problem with naughty words but have no problem with completely misrepresenting a well established scientific theory in order to promote their mythology? This is what I don’t get, that there’s no problems to come down on those who swear or blaspheme as being uncouth, but the very next sentence they have no problems lying and lying and lying some more – just as long as it serves the lords purpose right?

    Now while some of us might have grown up poor in lower class neighbourhoods, attended public schools, received welfare, we aren’t the ones who are willing to lie to protect a belief. If Leigh is a believer, so what? Do you have to impose groupthink on him and tell him what he should or shouldn’t be offended by?

    If you’re sitting on the fence on the issue of evolution, get off the fence and into the library. Understand the science of evolution as scientists understand it. Maybe then you’ll see why Leigh comes down hard on believers who profess creation as opposed to atheists who say shit and fuck and stuff.

  194. #194 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    David fC,

    “why do you think story-Jesus would be at all bothered by it?”
    Most of the Christians I know would find it offensive.

    Maybe, but that’s not an answer to the question that was asked.

    But if shock and awe the objective then PZ has accomplished his mission.

    You might’ve have a point if he’d posted it in a newspaper, or pasted it on the wall of a church, or the like.
    However, since he posted it in his blog, and people have to choose to come here and read it, you don’t.

    I didn’t say what I believed.

    No, you didn’t. Are you a creationist, or do you genuinely concerned purely by the tone taken towards such in PZ’s blog?

  195. #195 Michelle B
    January 1, 2010

    David: And to Leigh Williams – As a Christian are you ok with a picture of Jesus giving the finger? I’m glad to see your hanging out with the athiests but it must be hard to handle their constant mockery of religion.
    _____

    My perception is that Leigh is confident enough and serious enough about his Christianity, that he is able to realize that Jesus is not a photograph of a blond guy with blue eyes. As for his handling mockery of religion, since there is no push to outlaw religion in the discussion or in the blog posts, why would a Christian confident in his faith be concerned about mockery? Your concern about garden variety mockery makes a mockery of your faith.

    So what if swearing and showing offensive pictures indicate bad manners? Do you think that the majority of the posters here go around swearing and shoving offensive picture under the noses of strangers like the way many Christians blab about their unproven god in any nearby ear, emphasizing that non-believers will burn in hell for all eternity, and shoving their religious propaganda in the faces of passing strangers?

    You equate an online rough-and-ready milieu with the merde that Christians often do in meatspace? We are not the ones that lack manners. Christians who get away with being insulting, rude, and meddling, just because of the deferential treatment given to them are the ones who are truly lacking in manners. Well, they don’t get deferential treatment here. Only their arguments count.

    You seem to be implying that you are a fence sitter, that you don’t like either extreme. Then go somewhere and vegetate, because here we (including some religious believers) do care about the damage that religion does.

  196. #196 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Psst Kel, pretty sure Leigh is a she.

  197. #197 Michelle B
    January 1, 2010

    OK, sorry about that. I made the same error as Leigh is of the female persuasion.

  198. #198 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Psst Kel, pretty sure Leigh is a she.

    Apologies Leigh. As you could probably guess, that’s happened to me before – well the other way around.

  199. #199 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Psst Kel, pretty sure Leigh is a she.

    That is my impression also.

    When will DoC get to his points other than tone? Tone trolls are so boring…

  200. #200 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd of Readhead, OM

    Give DoC some time. I used to be a concern troll (but a sincere one!!)

  201. #201 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I also find it quite odd that so many people go on about style as opposed to substance. Yes, it might be off-putting, but with or without the swearing the points are seldom (if ever) addressed. All this concern about tone putting people off? Nonsense, it’s just an excuse people use when they are put off. It’s okay to tell someone they will go to hell, but not okay to say hell as a pejorative? Come on…

  202. #202 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “Do you make your decision on issues based on who sounds the most polite?”

    No – but but delivery can make the difference.

    “You seem to be implying that you are a fence sitter, that you don’t like either extreme.”

    I’m not a fence sitter, but after reading all 370+ posts I’m not really eager to poke the talkback blog with a pointy stick. For the record I’m a Christian and a creationist. As Miki Z. says: “blame my fundie parents”. :)

    I just wanted to add my contribution to the discussion about on tone.

  203. #203 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    David, are you a YEC?

  204. #204 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “Give DoC some time. I used to be a concern troll (but a sincere one!!)”

    A Troll? Really? Isn’t that someone who tries to start an online argument for fun? I’m low key and on topic.

  205. #205 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I just wanted to add my contribution to the discussion about on tone.

    Does tone really make a difference? Are you saying if we are nice to you that you’ll stop believing that the distance between New York and San Francisco is 10 yards? Come off it, tone matters not. It’s just another excuse people use to avoid actually addressing what is an untenable belief. Tone matters not, and every single creationist I’ve ever seen or talked to no matter the tone takes the same hostility towards anyone who says otherwise. Maybe they don’t know why, and use tone as an excuse. But are you really going to be upset that someone has laced a reply with profanities or that they are denying your cherished belief?

    You can pretend tone makes a difference, but it doesn’t. One can be nice as one can be but it still doesn’t make a difference. You can’t reason people out of positions they weren’t reasoned into, swearing just gives an excuse not to think of one’s own position as unreasonable.

  206. #206 Kel, OM
    January 1, 2010

    A Troll? Really? Isn’t that someone who tries to start an online argument for fun? I’m low key and on topic.

    The problem is that this conversation comes up time and time again. Why aren’t we nice? Why can’t we be respectful? Why do we have to swear? All it’s doing is driving people away. etc. It’s been discussed ad nauseum, so there’s a reason why people on here call it concern trolling. Because there’s always someone who pops up and complains about the style without adding any substance.

    As you probably gathered from my other posts, the reason why I think it irrelevant is that it makes no discernible difference. All it does is give someone an excuse not to listen instead of just flat out ignoring you. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve tried to engage a creationist solely on the evidence, their response? Ignore any posts on substance and complain about the style of others. Same thing keeps on happening, no matter what there’s never any substance addressed.

  207. #207 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “David, are you a YEC?”

    Yesh? Does that mean I’m really in for it?

    I know that in most peoples opinion (on this site) – YEC is the lowest form of creationist – still that is what I’m convinced of.

  208. #208 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    David fC:

    I’m not a fence sitter, but after reading all 370+ posts I’m not really eager to poke the talkback blog with a pointy stick.

    Your prudence is commendable. :)

    For the record I’m a Christian and a creationist.

    You do recognise that they’re not mutually-necessary, right?

    You can still be a Christian and yet acknowledge science (including the evolutionary variety).

    PS You still haven’t answered my earlier question.

  209. #209 rmp
    January 1, 2010

    David, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and think you really want a constructive discussion. That being said it’s hard to have a discussion about science if you really believe the world is only approx 10,000 years old. Are you willing to defend that position?

  210. #210 Michelle B
    January 1, 2010

    I would love to see, just for once, a YECer being thorough about responding to specific questions. In order for that to happen, David needs not to be inundated with tons of questions (not even the Flying Spaghetti Monster could handle such an overload). I will now retire to the mute background and read David responses to the already asked questions.

  211. #211 philosoraptor
    January 1, 2010

    For everyone here who is frustrated with the tedious activity of debunking creationist nonsense, only to have them retort with the exact same previously debunked argument, look no further than the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Here’s a quick video from youtube on it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOHJa5Vj5Y

  212. #212 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    David from Canada,

    If you read my posts #339 and 341 you’ll see that we’ve been dealing with the same creationist arguments for a long time. In this very thread are the “2nd law of thermodynamics” argument, “evilution is a religion” and even the argumentum ad Hitlerum. These arguments and the other ones that I listed, plus many more, were refuted years ago. For instance, William Paley gave his “watchmaker” argument in a book published in 1802. Unfortunately for this argument, David Hume refuted it in a book published posthumously in 1779. Yes, that’s right, Paley’s argument had been answered over 20 years before it was given. But creationists are still throwing the watchmaker argument at us some 200 years after Paley proposed it.

    So we’re getting a little tired of answering the same arguments time after time after time. It’s especially annoying when the creationists not only don’t consider our arguments, they usually pretend we haven’t even given them. So fuck the creationists! If they’re going to play stupid to us then we’re going to be rude, crude and lewd at them. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem, not ours.

    There’s the further point that this place is Liberty Hall, where you can spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard.

  213. #213 Newfie
    January 1, 2010

    Mookie@342 wrote

    Don’t you Christians interact with any normal people?

    I like it.
    Henceforth, I shall refer to myself as ‘normal people’ and the others as ‘hopped up on spirits’.

    / gargling that one down with some Jim Beam Black.

  214. #214 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I just wanted to add my contribution to the discussion about on tone.

    One reason we are somewhat rude is that if we aren’t, some godbots think we can be converted. So, we are semi-rude to make sure they understand that if anyone learns and changes their minds, it will be them rather than us. They pay the price of our incivility if they try to proselytize. Normally we try to follow the three post rule, where we don’t start getting semi-rude until after the third post. We have a few old trolls who have long passed this low bar, so they are quickly on the receiving end of our snark.

    Again, if you have a point other than tone (we hear your concern, and reject it), get to it. Failure to get to a point is very aggravating, and we respond in kind.

  215. #215 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 1, 2010

    “I would love to see, just for once, a YECer being thorough about responding to specific questions. In order for that to happen, David needs not to be inundated with tons of questions (not even the Flying Spaghetti Monster could handle such an overload). I will now retire to the mute background and read David responses to the already asked questions.”

    Gonna second this on a general level. If you inundate someone with questions, and they’re honest, you’re raising the bar for entry. IF you inundate someone with questions, and they’re /dis/honest, then they have a ‘valid’ dodge.

  216. #216 Steve_C
    January 1, 2010

    It pains me whenever someone admits it. It’s like admitting you think science is useless. Your mythology overrides everything. We could point you to the evidence. You’ll most likely ignore it or not understand it. We usually just point and laugh instead. A YEC is rarely interested in learning anything, it might shake their faith in their mythology.

  217. #217 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Michelle,

    David needs not to be inundated with tons of questions (not even the Flying Spaghetti Monster could handle such an overload).

    Very true.

  218. #218 David from Canada
    January 1, 2010

    “PS You still haven’t answered my earlier question.”

    Are you refering to “why would story-Jesus care?”? I thought you were being rhetorical. If Jesus is just a story he would not care. I’m not sure if Jesus cares about the picture but it does makes a few of his followers “clutch their pearls”

    As for the “concern troll” business I won’t preach about your cussing but you have to overlook my spelling.

    Are you willing to defend that position? Yes but it is 11pm here and I do need my beuaty rest. Plus I’m sure that you may not be overly impressed by my arguments. I’m not a scientist or even play one on TV.

    I can give you some honest insight into why I believe it.

  219. #219 Leigh Williams
    January 1, 2010

    David from Canada asked:

    As a Christian are you ok with a picture of Jesus giving the finger? I’m glad to see your hanging out with the athiests but it must be hard to handle their constant mockery of religion.

    The picture makes me no nevermind, to be honest. The Christ doesn’t care, that’s for sure — remember, He asked God to forgive those who tortured and murdered him, so I doubt He’ll mind some childish humor. God is big enough to stand a little mockery. Recall that in the Book of Job, he rewarded Job for challenging Him with a little facetime.

    I’ll tell you what I’ll bet does piss Him off, though, and it’s real blasphemy. It’s blasphemous to tell people He just loves certain people who mouth a religious formula without any real intention of doing what He told us to do, which is to love and serve one another. It’s horrible blasphemy to claim he condemns the vast bulk of humankind to eternal torture.

    It’s blasphemy to Lie for Jesus. Look at the so-called Christians who’ve shown up here. Look at their arrogance, ignorance, and hostility. Contrast their behavior with the instruction given to us by Jesus, who told us to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. Do you see any humility, any desire to serve, any real attempt to communicate?

    Most of the people who post here are doing their best to deal honestly. Yes, they can speak roughly, but at least they’re not lying their asses off. And they haven’t made any promises to follow the Christ in servanthood and humility.

    We Christians have. Do you see us doing that?

    Jesus is coming, and boy, is He pissed.

  220. #220 Rorschach
    January 1, 2010

    David the polite tone-concern troll creationist, to Leigh Williams :

    I’m glad to see your hanging out with the athiests but it must be hard to handle their constant mockery of religion.

    You clearly haven’t been around much.And probably havent read your own holy book recently.
    What christians should not have a problem with if they have read their own book, is accept scientific facts like eg evolution and speak out against lies and deceit.
    Which is what PZ does a lot in this place.And what a lot of christians have no problems with whatsoever.

  221. #221 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    David fC:

    Are you willing to defend that position? Yes but it is 11pm here and I do need my beuaty rest. Plus I’m sure that you may not be overly impressed by my arguments. I’m not a scientist or even play one on TV.
    I can give you some honest insight into why I believe it.

    Dude, this is Pharyngula!

    Minions Commenters are around 24-7-365, so get your beauty-sleep and come back refreshed and bring it on at your leisure. :)

  222. #222 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I swear at creationists for this simple reason, it makes them upset. If it can be shown that the person will toss out legitimate arguments and ideas because of the arrangement of letters, it is shown that person does not have much going on intellectually.

    As for why I swear at the regulars here, it is because they tolerate me and know it is not to be taken seriously.

  223. #223 llewelly
    January 2, 2010

    David from Canada | January 1, 2010 11:41 PM:

    “David, are you a YEC?”

    Yesh? Does that mean I’m really in for it?

    I know that in most peoples opinion (on this site) – YEC is the lowest form of creationist – still that is what I’m convinced of.

    Please read Donald Prothero’s book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. It will teach you what you need to know.
    There are many other helpful books you could read instead – Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True, Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, just to mention a few. I think you find the evidence presented in any of these books captivating, amazing, and most of all convincing. These books will teach you a great deal, and you will be a wiser person for having read them.

    Please understand that many of us here have read the contrary books – such as Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box and Whitcomb and Morris’s The Genesis Flood. Many of us have also read the bible. (Note – I was raised a Christian, and I was also raised a creationist. Many others on this blog were as well.) We have considered the creationist points of view at great length, and in great depth. And we would like you to understand why we find those viewpoints wanting.

    A huge number of creationist claims are discussed at length, and with great clarity, on the talk origins site, here. I encourage you to read this as well. Chances are, nearly every creationist argument you will think to raise has already been addressed there; and people discussing evolution with you, here or elsewhere, are likely to refer to the talk origins index. Even (or, perhaps especially) if you are determined to hold your point of view, you should read the talk origins index carefully, so that at the very least you will know what you face when you choose to argue against evolution.

  224. #224 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    David fC:

    [1] Are you refering to “why would story-Jesus care?”? I thought you were being rhetorical. [2] If Jesus is just a story he would not care. [3] I’m not sure if Jesus cares about the picture [4] but it does makes a few of his followers “clutch their pearls”

    1. Yes I was, and no I wasn’t.

    2. It’s story-Jesus because all that is known about the putative person is what’s written in stories. It’s an open question whether there even was a real person about whom the stories were based.

    3. Well, my reading is he’d be amused rather than offended. He was into the loving bit, not so much the shunning.

    4. Yeah, not uncoincidentally, that’s the point.

  225. #225 llewelly
    January 2, 2010

    Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM | January 2, 2010 :

    As for why I swear at the regulars here, it is because they tolerate me and know it is not to be taken seriously.

    It saddens me to learn you think you are only tolerated. You need a hug.

  226. #226 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “It’s like admitting you think science is useless. Your mythology overrides everything.”

    Not useless since I enjoy my car, house and xbox. But just not the final authority on truth. When you believe in an all-knowing Being you tend to think his account of history and origins overrides ours. Most of what we call science is not in conflict with what I beleive.

  227. #227 Eric
    January 2, 2010

    #391

    I had a discussion with a pastor once on Science and Evolution. I asked him what he thought about Red Shift. Specifically, does he agree that it is there and how does he explain it? His response?

    “I agree that it is there, I just choose not to accept it.”

    I pushed him on it a little further, and then he said that it’s possible god made the Universe look old. I told him that since he chooses to accept or reject scientific fact because it doesn’t fit in with his religion that he’s wasting both of our time, and I walked away. Sadly, in too many comments I see the same attitude. It almost brings a tear to my eye.

  228. #228 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC:

    When you believe in an all-knowing Being you tend to think his account of history and origins overrides ours.

    So, did you hear a voice in your head or experience an epiphany or what? How you you know you’ve got the straight dope?

    (If you read it in a book, remember that the book was written by people and is only their opinion.
    If you heard it from a person, remember that it’s only their opinion¹.)

    ¹ And ask them how they know. Have they heard voices in their heads, or did they read it in a book? ;)

  229. #229 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Being you tend to think his account of history and origins overrides ours.

    Of course, which of the many accounts of creation, and which god of the 1000+ or so invented by man is behind it, makes for a very good investigation. Except, they all appear to be myths, including the deities.

  230. #230 Steve_C
    January 2, 2010

    Uhg. Truth. Try reality.

    How long do you think it takes oil to form?

    And I see you completely skip the biological sciences. What you don’t take medecine?

    The bible does not provide truth. It’s full
    of lies and ignorance.

  231. #231 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “Even (or, perhaps especially) if you are determined to hold your point of view, you should read the talk origins index carefully, so that at the very least you will know what you face when you choose to argue against evolution.”

    Thanks – I did enjoy reading through the now 401 posts so I will likely enjoy the link as well. I think I’m most interested in find out what “Gish galloping” is.

  232. #232 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, all Christians are creationists. I am too. What I don’t do is mistake the Genesis creation accounts . . . yes, there are two of them, mutually exclusive . . . for a science textbook. The world was not created in six days. It’s far, far older than 6,000 years. In fact, it’s about 4.6 billion years old.

    Nor do I mistake the story of Noah for a historical record. Why not? Well, all the available evidence tells us that there never was, and indeed never could be, a worldwide flood. There was no mass extinction on this planet 4,000 years ago. Human civilizations exist in recorded history far longer than that, and the Egyptians and Chinese somehow managed to miss that alleged flood with no gap in their records. All existing species didn’t get on a boat and then migrate all over the planet, hyperspeciating as they magically transported thousands of miles and somehow getting their bones into the ancient geological column.

    No one who knows anything about astronomy, or geology, or biology can mistake the Bible for a literal account. That’s just NOT TRUE, in the sense that all the available evidence tells us something far different. Look, I love the Bible. I read the Bible. But I don’t worship a book, or more accurately, a collection of books written by fallible human beings, reality filtered through mortal and limited perception. I worship the living God, and his Word is the universe He spoke into being. His own handwriting is in the spectra of stars, the fossil record, and the DNA that all living things on this planet share.

    The silliest and most counterproductive thing we Christians can do is to keep lying about His handwriting. And creation itself tells us that God used the process of evolution to create life.

  233. #233 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC: Gish Gallop.

  234. #234 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Not useless since I enjoy my car, house and xbox. But just not the final authority on truth. When you believe in an all-knowing Being you tend to think his account of history and origins overrides ours.

    So here’s the problem. We’ve seen galaxies over 13 billion light years away, seen light that has travelled for 13.72 billion years. Measured rocks that show the formation of the earth around 4.6 billion years ago. So why is it that an all-knowing all-powerful being could make a universe that looks ~13.7 billion years old, an earth and solar system that looks 4.6 billion years old, a geological column that shows a gradual emergence and change in life, and ignore all that because of a story that says otherwise?

    i.e. if God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and did create the universe as it says in Genesis, then why does the universe look like its billions of years old and that life evolved? Are you suggesting the Omphalos hypothesis, that God created the world to look old? Or something else? And what does this say about God? That you have no problems that a benevolent deity lied to us about the natural world? That while we can see distant galaxies, those are just an illusion?

    Basically what you’re saying is that scientists of all walks of life who work on the question of the age of the earth are off by a factor of about 700,000 and scientists working on the age of the cosmos are off by a factor of 2,000,000. The error is like saying the distance from New York to San Francisco is 10 yards. That’s how much you’re saying the scientists who derive the age of the earth from measurement are off by. It’s 7 orders of magnitude out!

    So what’s it to be? Are you happy to believe in a God who lies about the universe in how it looks, or one who lies about the universe in the writings of iron age scholars? Maybe it could be the stories of Genesis are not to be taken literally, but metaphorically – that it’s not God’s describing the events to humanity but humanity trying to make sense of God.

    The Creationist is one who bets that a God can both be a liar and benevolent. The same laws of physics that make you able to play your X-Box are the ones that show (coupled with observation) that the universe is billions of years old. Why is it so easy for you to dismiss the science that is the very underpinning of our society, yet so hard to see mythology for what it is? Being myth doesn’t mean false, it doesn’t mean true either. It’s myth, storytelling from which an understanding of our place in the universe can be gathered. To take it otherwise would be to ignore what the myth means, and boy you’ve missed it by a long way.

    The universe is billions of years old, life has been going for a few billion years, and you evolved. If you’re deity rests on you being a Golem (animated dirt), then your God is dead. Yet many people can see that just because we evolved, it doesn’t mean that God is dead. Biblical literalism is a largely 20th century invention, even early theologians recognised the dangers of such an endeavour.

    It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation. – Augustine Of Hippo (5th Century CE)

  235. #235 Newfie
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh Williams

    You’re honest, I like that. And I think you are a great buffer here.
    Arguing Christianity is for a different thread. ;)

  236. #236 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    David: Most of what we call science is not in conflict with what I beleive.
    _____

    Science is both a method and a body of accumulated knowledge which will be revised if new evidence is presented. Most of science is in conflict with what you believe, that is, a young earth, as evolution is solidly supported by an interlocking matrix of many scientific fields–geology, biology, chemistry, paleontology, archeology, cosmology, etc. You name a scientific field, and it has contributed in supporting evolution as fact and scientific theory.

    If you conveniently cherry pick science when it suits you, you are not an supporter of science, but instead a freeloader. Evangelical Christians like Francis Collins accept this interlocking matrix of evidence. Another Christian, Ken Miller, who presented the evolution’s case at the Dover trial, is a devout Christian. Leigh herself is a committed Christian who cleaves fast to the Jesus is love theme. They don’t cherry pick science. Once you cherry pick science and reject evidence staring you in the face, you are making a travesty out of the very essence of what makes science science.

    Not to mention, that antibiotics and vaccinations that could save you and your loved ones uses evolutionary principles. So no more antibiotics for you!

    Please do not hide behind what we call science is not in conflict with what I believe because that sentiment is intellectually dishonest and won’t be tolerated here. Admit either that your religious beliefs requires some heavy duty cherry picking regarding science or that you are ignorant of how much scientific cherry picking you are actually doing.

  237. #237 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “The bible does not provide truth. It’s full
    of lies and ignorance.”

    So far it’s worked for me – I live a charmed life. Mostly from following the wisdom found in Proverbs. Why would I reject wisdom that works?

    It’s not like throwing salt over your shoulder – this stuff is effective.

  238. #238 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    So far it’s worked for me – I live a charmed life. Mostly from following the wisdom found in Proverbs.

    So because Proverbs is wise, Genesis is historically accurate? Because no human hath ever said something wise, lest ye be channelling a deity…

  239. #239 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Posted by: llewelly| January 2, 2010 12:12 AM

    It saddens me to learn you think you are only tolerated. You need a hug.

    Thanks. But please notice the OM. I would not have been given that by the people here if they just tolerated me. I thought most people here realized that I am a smart ass. And no one loves a smart ass. Oh, wait a minute. Something does not add up here…

  240. #240 Malcolm
    January 2, 2010

    David from Canada,
    If you are indeed interested in a real discussion, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that science is not subjective.
    Whatever other creationists may have told you, opinion is irrelevant to scientists.
    This has some very important consequences, like, once an argument has been disproved, you can’t use it again, no matter how convincing it seems to you. The fact that creationists don’t seem to get this is one of the reasons why the regulars here get a little testy when dealing with creobots.
    One other thing that you might want to consider is that creationism was discarded by science, not because it required a belief in gods, but because it didn’t fit the facts.

  241. #241 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    David,

    I highly recommend you watch ‘Did Darwin Kill God?”, a BBC documentary available on youtube. A UK theologian travels the world and talks to scientists about evolution, and reports that his faith can be compatible with all the evidence.

    He did not start off as a YEC however.

  242. #242 Newfie
    January 2, 2010

    better than being a dumbass

  243. #243 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC:

    So far it’s worked for me – I live a charmed life. Mostly from following the wisdom found in Proverbs. Why would I reject wisdom that works?

    Ecclesiastes 10:19.

  244. #244 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    David: So far it’s worked for me – I live a charmed life.
    _______

    I hope this does not mean you are also a fair weather Christian as you are a fair weather science supporter. If the charm runs out, will your Christian faith?

  245. #245 Steve_C
    January 2, 2010

    Oil. Your car runs on it. How long do you think it takes to form? How do geologists know where to look for it?

    This is the part where you don’t ignore the question. You saw fit to defend your little book but skipped a direct question.

    Are you galloping?

  246. #246 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 2, 2010

    I have a pretty awesome life. It got much better once I gave up the christian beliefs I had so blindly followed.

    Religion is never to thank for whether one has a happy fulfilling life. That’s something you obtain. By interpretting scripture in a manner that conforms to your values, you make religion work for you, not the other way around. Most of the conclusions people come to would be no different if they were non-believers.

  247. #247 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    David, please answer Steve_Cs question at #420.

  248. #248 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    David, Steve_C already has asked you the question at #405. So #420 is the second time. And you will be asked again so answer it please.

  249. #249 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2010

    Most of what we call science is not in conflict with what I beleive.

    so for the parts that are…

    what process do you use to resolve them?

    there really is only one way, you know.

    ….at least one rational way.

  250. #250 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    David @377:

    When I say “If I lack a good upbringing, blame my fundie parents,” you can’t leave off the first part without perverting what I’m saying. That is, I cannot change my upbringing, so if you want to blame my unpleasantness on my upbringing, my parents are the ones to blame.

    Now, if I continued to hold their fundie beliefs into adulthood, I should be asked to take some responsibility for that. If you read what I said in another thread, you’ll find that I can be terribly and intentionally offensive to people looking for offense.

  251. #251 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    Kel @ 409,

    Biblical literalism is a largely 20th century invention

    Hm I’m currently reading the history of science part in a biology book, and seems that all science stopped for 1000 years essentially, and after that and to this day has been hindered to varying degrees, after St Augustine interpreted scripture (and invented theology), the roman empire fell and all that was left over to do was for christianity to take over and declare that reality is what’s written in the bible and how Augustine interprets it.
    That’s the mothership of biblical literalism right there.

  252. #252 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, studying the wisdom literature in the Bible is a good thing. But have you noticed that some of the Proverbs contradict each other? The Book of Job also repays study; one of its main themes is that we’re SUPPOSED to wrestle with our faith, and that conventional religiosity is often wrong.

    Let me emphasize again that science and our faith are not mutually contradictory. The doctrine of inerrancy is a relatively recent (ca. 1840) invention, and it’s on this foundation that modern Young Earth Creationism is built. The majority of Christians do not hold to the false doctrine of inerrancy and thus have no problem with evolution.

  253. #253 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    David mentioned a while ago that he needed to get his beuaty rest (sic), as it was 11 pm.

  254. #254 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Right, no reason to keep on following through on this debate with David until he makes a re-appearance.

  255. #255 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    I note that when the bluster and accusations stopped, so did the hostility (if not the challenge).

  256. #256 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “I hope this does not mean you are also a fair weather Christian as you are a fair weather science supporter. If the charm runs out, will your Christian faith?”

    No – I don’t expect roses all the time.

    As for all the questions about billions of light years and ignoring scientific facts, etc. I don’t have all the answers, usually I treat these as “wait and see”. They are puzzle peices that I haven’t found a place for yet. I took the same approach to the scientific studies that told me that eggs were bad for me. After a few years they were good again. I am somewhat hesitant allow human science supreme authority in my thinking.

    I know many Christian who see no conflict with Evolution and Billions of years. I don’t agree mainly because Evolution does a lot to damage the central theology of the Bible. I’m not super-dogmatic on the < 10,000 years but from my reading of the chronologies it seems to be around there. Creation Week, Adam & Eve, Original Sin and The Flood all seem pretty important to the main story in the Bible.

    I’m kind of a slow thinker and really can’t keep up with answering every question or every objection. Kind of like Gish Galloping in reverse. :)

    Good night.

    Ecclesiastes 10:19 – LOL

  257. #257 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2010

    I would love to see, just for once, a YECer being thorough about responding to specific questions.

    go to either Richard Dawkins’ website forums, or to the “After the Bar Closes” area of the Panda’s Thumb, and search on “Air force Dave Hawkins”.

    IIRC, ‘ol Dave holds the intarweb record for creationist diatribe. He answered questions “in detail”, for over 15 thousand posts (on ATBC alone!).

    no, I’m not kidding.

    He was quite the tour de farce a couple years back.

    In short, be careful what you wish for.

  258. #258 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2010

    I don’t have all the answers, usually I treat these as “wait and see”.

    How long will you wait to see?

    ’cause the answers are already there.

  259. #259 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “Oil. Your car runs on it. How long do you think it takes to form? How do geologists know where to look for it?”

    I don’t know. I suspect that the answer has something to do with Evolutionary predictions about oil. Which adds validity to Evolution. Am I right?

  260. #260 Ichthyic
    January 2, 2010

    I don’t know.

    why don’t you know?

    do you think this information is hard to find?

    you are obviously capable of using the internet, so what is stopping you from finding out?

    if you are afraid of the internet, surely you can go to your local library and find a book on basic geology?

  261. #261 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “why don’t you know?”

    Are you a cop? Is the next question: Why are your eyes bloodshot? :)

    To answer your question: Oil is younger than the earth. So less than 10,000 years. To find oil they use shock waves to create a 3D geologic model. But drilling is the only way to learn if an oil or gas field really exists.

  262. #262 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    To answer your question: Oil is younger than the earth. So less than 10,000 years.

    Cute.
    Well that’s the problem with creationism righ there David, it must be less then 10.000 years( by the way why 10.000 and not 6000?), or your book and the DI are wrong !
    You have no choice then to deny that oil is older ! Do you see the problem that creates for you taking an open-minded look at reality?

  263. #263 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    I am somewhat hesitant [to] allow human science supreme authority in my thinking.

    No one is suggesting that you do that. Science doesn’t address all the questions that are of interest to us as human beings.

    But it’s important to recognize that science is our best tool for ascertaining what reality is. Scientific conclusions are always provisional and are subject to modification as more evidence is uncovered. So yes, you’re going to see individual propositions, e.g., “eggs are bad for people with heart disease”, being revised as further studies either bolster or refute them.

    But some propositions in science, for example the theory of relativity, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of evolution, are so well-supported by literally decades of research and experimentation that they can be considered “proven” — a word that is not, however, part of the vocabulary of science. We don’t ever set these theories, these frameworks through which we interpret the data and make testable predictions, in stone. They are always subject to revision when new data are uncovered.

    You would do well to learn more about the history of science so that you will understand how important that last sentence is. Science is ruled by data, not wishes or history or belief/faith. It is the way we search together for a communal experience of reality.

  264. #264 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 2, 2010

    David, you seem to think that we ascribe evolutionary principles to the formation of oil. I don’t know. I suspect that the answer has something to do with Evolutionary predictions about oil. Which adds validity to Evolution. Am I right? is a complete non sequitur. Evolution concerns how life changes over time. The production of oil is about geographic forces turning organic material into oil. Different processes.

    David, you need to know what these terms mean before you can even debate them. And these should have been learned in earth science classes in high school.

  265. #265 Dentroman
    January 2, 2010

    “I don’t know. I suspect that the answer has something to do with Evolutionary predictions about oil. Which adds validity to Evolution. Am I right?”

    No. It’s chemistry (and physics…a bit). Oil takes millions of years to form by what we understand to be conventional methods. This is independent verification of the age of the earth, and a serious blow to YEC. Honestly, I don’t think this is the best evidence. I find the amounts of unstable isotopes observed far more convincing evidence. I should note that all of this i very solid work: physics and chemistry are far more static than nutrition (If it makes you feel better about the evidence, I must admit that I find nutrition to be a largely inaccurate science as well:)).
    Dentroman

  266. #266 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC:

    I know many Christian who see no conflict with Evolution and Billions of years. I don’t agree mainly because Evolution does a lot to damage the central theology of the Bible.

    And there we have it.

    (cf. Eric @402.)

  267. #267 wanderinweeta
    January 2, 2010

    Ichthyic #432

    Ah, good old Dave! I learned so much from everyone’s answers to him; he did ask for the hard stuff!

    And then, once he got a complete answer, he plugged his ears and went on with his challenges. And started over, once the heat was off, with the same assertions from Day One. Standard procedure, taken to the nth power, hilarious and frustrating by turns.

    I wonder if he’s still on the same treadmill, somewhere on the web.

  268. #268 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “by the way why 10.000 and not 6000?”

    The Bible doesn’t directly say how old the world is. You have to add up all the ages of the chronologies and then you get a little less than 6000 years. I use 10,000 is an approximation. I think others might use to account for small variances in interpretation.

    According to Wiki, there seems to be two competing oil producing theories. I’m not sure which one is correct. Or maybe neither. I guess we don’t have an answer to how long it takes oil to produce – yet.

  269. #269 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “Evolution concerns how life changes over time.”

    Really? I’m confused. Why do I hear about Solar, Cosmic and Chemical Evolution. Evolution gets tacked onto quite a few words.

  270. #270 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC, I can’t remember who first posted the link to Radiometric Dating; A Christian Perspective (Sven, perhaps?), but if you bother to peruse it and report back you’ll be the first YECcer I know of who has.

  271. #271 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    Really? I’m confused. Why do I hear about Solar, Cosmic and Chemical Evolution. Evolution gets tacked onto quite a few words.

    Please be a Poe.

  272. #272 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David said:

    I don’t agree mainly because Evolution does a lot to damage the central theology of the Bible.

    No, it doesn’t. Or rather, I guess it does if you think that Adam has to be a literal individual for Christianity to make sense. Millions of Christians don’t think that, however. We understand that Adam and Eve are archetypes that illustrate humankind’s prediliction for doing selfish and senseless things. My own understanding of the Genesis stories is that they’re an account of the dawn of sentience and human civilization; it makes no sense to speak of animals “sinning”, because most animals have neither a code of behavior nor the self-awareness to understand the effects of their actions on others. (Though there are fascinating studies that demonstrate altruism and empathy in animal behaviors, which to my mind show the clear continuity between us and the rest of living creatures.)

    I would imagine that the theology you’ve grown up with is conventionally Protestant, which limits Jesus’s mission on earth to the theory of substitionary atonement. That’s the notion that Jesus is just a more sophisticated version of a sheep or a bull, useful only as a blood sacrifice to propitiate an angry deity who holds humankind in disgust and remarkable only because He was a willing sacrifice. John Calvin has much to answer for.

    Fortunately, that is not by any means the entirety of what Jesus Himself seemed to think about His purpose on earth. Nor does it encompass the whole of John’s thoughts on the matter, for example.

    You might want to read this Wikipedia article for a different view of Christ’s purpose. Also, google “theosis” or follow the link in the Wikipedia article.

  273. #273 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DfC:

    “Evolution concerns how life changes over time.”
    Really? I’m confused. Why do I hear about Solar, Cosmic and Chemical Evolution. Evolution gets tacked onto quite a few words.

    Not in general — but when speaking biologically it’s shorthand for ‘biological evolution’, and then it does mean just that.
    Evolution.

  274. #274 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Dear fulfilled:I have other things to do than fruitlessly discuss your faith here with you today. The list of evolutionist’s organisations supporting evolution provided by Leigh is really impressive. One need to be careful here: do not mix democracy with science.The other popular evo people argument to support evolution is also very impressive list of evolutionists named Steve.
    I shall not comment on argument for evolutionism of “you can not spell” or similar. They are not scientific arguments…can somebody elaborate how Einstein’s ideas of relativity can be applied to GPS?

  275. #275 Dentroman
    January 2, 2010

    DfC-”According to Wiki, there seems to be two competing oil producing theories. I’m not sure which one is correct. Or maybe neither. I guess we don’t have an answer to how long it takes oil to produce – yet.”

    You speak of abiogenic petroleum origin? First off, most geologists think it’s unlikely that any sizable quantity of oil is produced in such a manner. Second, doing your research on this (and golly do you need to do some research, on this and other things) would have lead you to see that both theories of origin lead to formation times in the millions.

    “Really? I’m confused. Why do I hear about Solar, Cosmic and Chemical Evolution. Evolution gets tacked onto quite a few words.”

    I’ll parrot Feynmaniac. I honestly hope you are a poe at this point, because if not, my opinion of your country just dropped. I really liked Canada, partially cause I thought there weren’t any ignorant wackaloons like yourself there.

    D

  276. #276 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, please go immediately and read “What is Evolution?” so that we’ll all be sure of what we’re discussing.

    At Pharyngula, “evolution” means biological evolution. When we’re talking about YECism, we’ll also drag in evidences from other scientific disciplines, for example geology, to address issues like the age of the earth, but “evolution” in scientific discussions refers only to biology.

  277. #277 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Andre said:

    The list of evolutionist’s organisations supporting evolution provided by Leigh is really impressive. One need to be careful here: do not mix democracy with science.

    You’re right: scientific truths are not decided by voting, but by data. It is useful, however, to consult scientists themselves for a consensus on what constitutes our current understanding of the available data.

    And about the Theory of Evolution, there is no doubt. It is true. Natural selection is true. Deep time is true.

  278. #278 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    andre:

    … can somebody elaborate how Einstein’s ideas of relativity can be applied to GPS?

    You might wish to peruse this part of Wikipedia’s Global Positioning System entry.

  279. #279 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh: gene duplication is not adding new information to genome.
    Mookie: the same. If RNA replicates where the new info comes from. Understand the word replication.As far as I can understand the Big E, natural selection is the vehicle of the miracles required in order to push bacteria on the run to humanity. You do not think that natural selection would act on organization of the first cell, meaning that it would actually select necessary component for the first cell? Selection can act on genes already present in a genome.
    And above all: there is no such a thing as stellar evolution. Stars simply use their energy and “evolve” towards the thermal death according to laws of thermodynamics..

  280. #280 andre
    January 2, 2010

    GPS fans consider:
    a famed philosopher, the late Bertrand Russell said:
    “Whether the Earth rotates once a day from West to East as Copernicus taught, or the Heavens
    revolve once a day from East to West, as his predecessors believed, the observable phenomena
    will be exactly the same.
    and he concludes concludes ?
    ?shows a defect in Newtonian dynamics, since an empirical science ought not to contain a
    metaphysical assumption which can never be proved or disproved by observation”

  281. #281 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “DfC, I can’t remember who first posted the link to Radiometric Dating; A Christian Perspective (Sven, perhaps?), but if you bother to peruse it and report back you’ll be the first YECcer I know of who has.”

    I took a quick skim of the contents. It looks interesting…

    Leigh – Thanks for your posts – I’ll read your Wiki article later.

    “Please be a Poe”

    Are you refering to Poe’s Law?: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.

    “I really liked Canada, partially cause I thought there weren’t any ignorant wackaloons like yourself there.”

    Is that what is called “ad hominem”? Canada is still great. We are experiencing and economic boom here, probably due to all that oil. :)

  282. #282 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, that word “information” doesn’t mean what you think it means . . . I guess. I’m not sure quite what exactly you folks are talking about, and I wonder if you’re sure either. Can you give me a definition of what you mean by it?

    Because, after all, duplicating a gene *can* change what the child organism is, though it may not, depending on which gene it is.

    In fact, duplicating an entire set of chromosomes is one of the most important avenues for speciation in plants. It makes a *different* plant.

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this assertion, since it’s obvious that genes mutate and can do different things, making a different organism, which increases what I’d think of as “information”.

    Is it that you think the first gene must have been created to get the process started? While we don’t yet have a solid theory of abiogenesis, there’s no reason to think that a creator was necessary, especially since the Scripps study demonstrates that self-replicating RNA can arise spontaneously.

  283. #283 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    Andre – welcome back

    I guess I can go to bed now.

  284. #284 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    As far as I can understand the Big E, natural selection is the vehicle of the miracles required in order to push bacteria on the run to humanity.

    You don’t understand it at all, that’s the problem. You talk in words like miracles when you yourself believe in a miracle. Meanwhile evolution is grounded in natural processes, no miracles required. Are you trying to be ironic? Why when you believe that life is caused my a violation of natural law (by definition a miracle) that you would call a mechanism that works solely on mechanisms we know to be true miraculous.

    This is the simplicity and eloquence of the Darwinian explanation. Of course it’s eloquence has nothing to do with its truth, the fossil record, geographic distribution of life, gene remnants in our genetic code, HGT viral markers, similarities of DNA, similarities in morphology and anatomy, similarities in early embryology, vestigial structures, observation of natural selection, observations of emergence of novel traits, observations of speciation, observations of genetic drift, thousands of years of artificial selection – among other things – all attest to the truth of evolution.

  285. #285 bad Jim
    January 2, 2010

    Persistent, aren’t they? Ignorance isn’t invincible, or even impermeable, but it tends to have a heavy duty covering.

    Over at Chris Mooney’s place a global warming denialist, thrashing a dead thread, took to bashing Keynesianism (one conspiracy theory looks the same as the next). Here a creationist attacks relativity. I’d really like to see some action on the uncertainty principle, partly because the theory is particularly mind-bending, but mostly because the technology is ubiquitous. Got a problem with Heisenberg? Hand over your cell phone, hypocrite!

  286. #286 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Lord, yes, let’s get ready for bed. It’s cold tonight even here in Texas, and I have a hot bath drawn that is cooling off undesirably as we speak.

    Hasta mañana, amigos.

  287. #287 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this assertion, since it’s obvious that genes mutate and can do different things, making a different organism, which increases what I’d think of as “information”.

    Of course this is the creationist evasion. They keep talking about increases in information, but they won’t define what information is. No matter what you think is information, a creationist won’t say it’s information then assert that “Darwinism” can’t account for the complex information. Even the Mullerian two-step process of interlocking complexity, even the irreversibility of particular mutations, even the emergence of novel traits, even the increase in genome size, even the duplication of information being used to serve new function – none of it ever counts. Just like the “all mutations are harmful” spiel, whatever scientists define as a mutation it counts not. The same assertion will still be made and the same morphologically-hideous will be trumpeted as an evolution killer.

  288. #288 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    Ah look, a fundie trying to kill a non-believer ! What else is new?

    Police shoot man trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist’s home

  289. #289 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “Ah look, a fundie trying to kill a non-believer ! What else is new?”

    I can’t help but to wonder if PZ would have the balls to post a picture of Mohammed giving the finger. Probably not.

  290. #290 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    aaaaand fatwa envy–check !
    :-)

  291. #291 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I can’t help but to wonder if PZ would have the balls to post a picture of Mohammed giving the finger. Probably not.

    Again, fatwa envy shows itself. Go look at the cracker desecration pictures and see what is sitting alongside the nailed cracker and The God Delusion…

  292. #292 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    Fatwa Envy – LOL

  293. #293 bad Jim
    January 2, 2010

    Kel, of course they’ve got information=entropy exactly backwards, which is why there’s no arguing with them. When they stipulate that duplication isn’t an increase in information there’s no profit in proving yet again that it is. It’s like arguing with an assortment of percussion instruments.

    I do think though that “morphologically-hideous” sounds scarily like “ewige weibliche”.

  294. #294 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Andre @455, interesting choice. :)

    Here’s Bertrand Russell’s Philosophical Consequences of Relativity.

    Here’s Bertrand Russell’s – ABC of Relativity, in video format just in case you find reading onerous.

  295. #295 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Kel by evolution I mean progress from bacteria to biologists not variation or change in organisms.Propagandists of evolutionism by “evolution” mean either the mentioned progress or change in organisms in time,and use those two depends what they try to speculate about.
    I can see that some people here can not understand the difference between new information in the genome and duplicated information.Darwinists can not understand or explain what information is in terms of the TE because information is not energy or matter, Information is a product of a mind therefore can not be explained in materialistic terms.

  296. #296 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    I can see that some people here are happy to talk out of their ass about things they have no knowledge of.
    And again, what else is new…:-)

  297. #297 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Back out of the bath for a quick check, and here I find this:

    Information is a product of a mind therefore can not be explained in materialistic terms.

    Well, hell’s jingle bells, ain’t that a useful nondefinition.

    You’ve cut yourself right out of any science discussion, Andre, which by definition is about material things.

    If information is the product of a mind, I don’t see that it has any relevence in a discussion about genomes, since you’ve got no evidence of a mind starting the whole thing up using supernatural processes (also outside the realm of science). That, combined with the demonstrably natural process of augmenting, fragmenting, mutating, and duplication that are creating new species all the time, sometimes as we’re watching, pretty much makes this “information” thing just more creationist B.S.

  298. #298 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    BTW, has anyone spotted a good smackdown of the probability calculations in Meyer’s new book ‘The Signature in the Cell’?

    I’ve been arguing with this tool for weeks on a facebook poll, and it has been like herding cats. Goalposts are sliding, he has no idea of conditional probability, and is absolutely convinced that the possibility of DNA forming is 10 to the gazillionth. I’ve used all the scienceblogs maths guys, talkorigins and so on, plus my own humble expertise.

    I’m so frustrated that I want to burn down his house and punch his smug little face in.

  299. #299 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    andre, any comment on how Bertrand Russell endorsed and explained relativity? After all, you did (mis)quote him as an authority!

    Care to provide a citation to the source document for the misquote you’ve provided?¹ (Which, by the way, does not imply what you think it does — Einstenian dynamics did indeed replace Newtonian dynamics!).

    ¹ And I don’t mean the anti-science site you lifted it from, either! ;)

    By the way, you’re just demonstrating the proclivity of creationists to be anti-science, even in scientific areas utterly unrelated to biology and geology. Heh.

    PS Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian.

  300. #300 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “Information is a product of a mind therefore can not be explained in materialistic terms.”

    100111000111100001010

    Information, described by zeros and ones.

  301. #301 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Thanx John at 455. The most devastating consequence of TR was applying it in morality.

    someone said about impact of Darwinism on morality of mankind:
    ?Darwin only completed the revolution begun by Copernicus.? Man, created in the image and
    after the likeness of God and blessed with the promise to enjoy Him forever in the age to come,
    has now been found to be no more than a mammal destined to return to dust. Damnation by
    science has superseded salvation by faith”

  302. #302 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    DebinOz, can’t say I’ve come across any such reviews, but FWIW MarkCC over at Good Math, Bad Math has addressed presumably similar arguments from Dembski before, here for example.

  303. #303 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Darwin only completed the revolution begun by Copernicus.? Man, created in the image and after the likeness of God and blessed with the promise to enjoy Him forever in the age to come, has now been found to be no more than a mammal destined to return to dust. Damnation by
    science has superseded salvation by faith”

    What? We have ALWAYS been mammals destined to return to dust. The Bible says so, too. Our current scientific understanding says no more about it than the Bible itself does.

    What I can’t figure out is why this would wreck anybody’s faith. It’s self-evident that we are mammals, closely related genetically to a lot of other animals. Doesn’t make us any less human than we ever were, and doesn’t say anything pro or con about our souls.

    Now, taking your methodological naturalism and continuing onward to philosophical naturalism, that’s gonna cause a problem for faith; alas, unambiguous material proof for a deity OR a soul is sadly lacking. But isn’t faith supposed to be belief in things unseen anyway?

  304. #304 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    andre:

    The most devastating consequence of TR was applying it in morality.

    Too funny!
    You don’t have a clue of what it is, do ya? :>

    Please explain how one applies this to morality.

    someone said about impact of Darwinism on morality of mankind: [blah]

    Someone did, did they?

    <yawn>

    (image source: Wikipedia)

  305. #305 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    andre would be an embarrassment to creationism, if such a thing was possible.

  306. #306 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, overlooked the Methodist doctrine of sanctification leading to Christian perfection, which is remarkably similar to theosis.

    Ironic, since I myself am a devotee of John and Charles Wesley, and a Methodist.

  307. #307 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Deb in Oz what is the meaning of those. Is that information according to you?
    Nice piece of poetry there Leigh. Evidence of the work of the Mind in the information contained in the genome are codons “start” and “stop”. Without them code built into sequence of nucleotide pairs would mean or be read as long huge nonsensical protein chain.Not so much for random evolutionary
    work of natural selection isnt it ?
    Have you got any scientific proof that such codons arise by random natural selection process? How natural selection select genes? Dawkins wrote a lot of stuff about the selfish gene. Can you for instance,while selecting your partner see what is in his/her genes?And how selfish is that in terms of evolution?
    And John,the fact that Russel was not a Christian and why is of a little concern to me.There are many people who became Christians after being atheist their whole life.Can you tell why I misquoted him. I am under impression that you are pushing an old evo people paradigm that creationsts lie and misquote..

  308. #308 CunningLingus
    January 2, 2010

    It matters not a jot how many times you answer their ridiculously phrased questions. I’ve noticed over and over again, that even when the questions are answered, and answered, and answered again, even with patience and civility, the creotards merely overlook the evidence, or blatently avoid accepting said evidence, even refuse to acknowledge you all posit the answers.

    I must admit to being astounded with the patience shown by all who answer their inanity, over and over again, but we all know, no matter how concise, no matter how accurate, no matter how succinctly their ridiculous claims are answered, you’re trying to enlighten morons who will never accept facts.

    As someone said earlier, even when they are shown an incontravertable proof,they decide to
    deny it, because it means their particular brand of god didn’t do it !

    I could never be as patient as you learned folk alas, so fuck the deadheads.

  309. #309 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Andre,

    Do you not recognise binary code when you see it?

    You know, how information is stored in computers?

  310. #310 andre
    January 2, 2010

    John : You are good at copying from the wiki. Give a link to a page in the future.Also,I am afraid you do not understand the principle of relativity: it all depends on the point if view. To make it simple: you may think “if I steal something form someone-this is good. If someone steals something from me this is bad”. Point of view, see?

  311. #311 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “Without them code built into sequence of nucleotide pairs would mean or be read as long huge nonsensical protein chain.Not so much for random evolutionary
    work of natural selection isnt it ?
    Have you got any scientific proof that such codons arise by random natural selection process? How natural selection select genes?”

    You do not have a single clue about the evolutionary process, do you? The freaken’ codons don’t ‘arise’ by natural selection. Natural selection doesn’t make them. Mutations make them, and if they are advantageous to the organism, natural selection steps in, and those with the codons live on to reproduce.

  312. #312 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    How natural selection select genes? Dawkins wrote a lot of stuff about the selfish gene. Can you for instance,while selecting your partner see what is in his/her genes?And how selfish is that in terms of evolution?

    No, no, no — picking a mate is not what natural selection is! Natural selection is the winnowing process that favors gene combination because they result in an edge in survival and reproduction.

    Sometimes that selection operates on factors that enhance reproductive sucess, and sometimes those factors influence characteristics that make an individual more attractive to the opposite sex. That’s the only way natural selection operates directly in mate selection, and it’s still a blind process.

    Natural selection is not the Dating Game, for pete’s sake, in which creatures make some kind of informed decision to chose genomes. It’s not an intentional process.

    Unless we’re doing it, of course, in which case it’s called breeding, and it’s unnatural selection in that case. But we’re still selecting for characteristics that are desirable in a particular environment — ours.

  313. #313 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    andre:

    And John,the fact that Russel was not a Christian and why is of a little concern to me.

    You were the first to cite him, remember?
    a famed philosopher, the late Bertrand Russell said: [lifted purported quote]
    You presented him as someone to pay attention to. :)

    So, he endorses relativity and disses Christianity, and you should pay attention to this famed philosopher as you asked us to (unless you’re a hypocrite!).

    There are many people who became Christians after being atheist their whole life.

    Not Bertrand Russell — the authority you invoked.

    Can you tell why I misquoted him.

    Well, it may not be a misquote¹. I’m pretty damn sure you copypasted it from an anti-science site, though. You can easily prove me wrong by providing the citation I asked for.

    I am under impression that you are pushing an old evo people paradigm that creationsts lie and misquote.

    Not a paradigm, a heuristic (cf. The Quote Mine Project), and it’s something I’ve seen for myself a-plenty here in Pharyngula.

    Again, you could easily prove me wrong, had you any idea of where the quote came from. :)

    ¹ Those ideas are expressed rather similarly in the ABC I referred to above, but not in those words — and the sections separated by ellipsis are quite far apart in the text.
    Also, I cannot find the quote except in anti-science sites.

  314. #314 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Unfortunetely , Deb in Oz you do not understand the very definition of the term mutation. Mutation is an error in the info. Below there is a link to a web dictionary to brighten your understanding. Read it , understand it.Otherwise you will make a clown of yourself again…

    http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/ahp/BioInfo/MUT/Mut.Definition.html

  315. #315 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    andre:

    Give a link to a page in the future.

    You ask me for links to sources?

    <spoing!>

    Sure… :) After all, it’s so very difficult to search for Wikipedia…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity

    Also,I am afraid you do not understand the principle of relativity: it all depends on the point if view.

    Your fear is unfounded; I merely fail to confuse the Theory of Relativity with Moral Relativism.

  316. #316 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Don’t be a patronising tool.

    A mutation is a permanent change in a gene that is passed from one generation to the next.

  317. #317 andre
    January 2, 2010

    John: “anti science” meaning the sites that are not peer reviewed and accepted by the evo people. Well,I got some news for you: evolutionism is not a science. It can be classified at best , using a huge dose of good will as an metaphysical research programme according to dr K.Popper.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

  318. #318 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Mutation is a change in the info resulting either from damage to the gene (chemical or radiation-induced) or from a transcription error. It may be bad (for the organism), good, or neutral. It’s an error, undoubtedly, but the results may be beneficial for the organism and give it a survival edge.

  319. #319 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    evolutionism is not a science.

    That is correct.
    As much as gravitism isnt a science.

    Back to your cave now, troll, you’ve overstayed your welcome.

  320. #320 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Deb, andre can’t help it…

    (my emphases)
    andre: Mutation is an error in the info. Below there is a link to a web dictionary to brighten your understanding. Read it , understand it.Otherwise you will make a clown of yourself again…

    The contents of that very link:

    A Mutation occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene.

    See, to andre an an alteration is just the same as an error!

    Heehee…

  321. #321 WowbaggerOM
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, maybe you should actually read what you link to.
    Popper later changed his mind and recognized that natural selection is testable.

  322. #322 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    A mutation LEADS to a change in information, because the genome itself is changed.

    And yes, they can be harmful, neutral or beneficial.

  323. #323 Alpha Bitch
    January 2, 2010

    “Sincerely,

    Tas Walker
    Scientist, Editor, Speaker
    Creation Ministries International (Australia)
    Creation.com”

    How many of you out there with PhDs sign “scientist” as your occupation? Wouldn’t it likely read “Professor of _____” or even “Researcher”?
    Just “Scientist”, I have never seen on a syllabus or on any sort of correspondence from anyone with a PhD.

  324. #324 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Deb, andre can’t help it…

    (my emphases)
    andre: Mutation is an error in the info. Below there is a link to a web dictionary to brighten your understanding. Read it , understand it.Otherwise you will make a clown of yourself again…

    The contents of that very link:

    A Mutation occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene.

    See, to andre an an alteration is just the same as an error!

    Heehee…

  325. #325 Zarquon
    January 2, 2010

    Well,I got some news for you: evolutionism is not a science.

    How the fuck would you know what is or isn’t science?

  326. #326 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Can we just skip to the ‘I didn’t come from no monkey’ part?

    I love that one.

    Yes, I did notice Andre linked to a page that refutes the very point he tried to make – FAIL.

  327. #327 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, quotemining is despicable form of lying.

    How dare you jump on here and lie about what Popper said? And give us the TalkOrigins version, which RIGHT THERE ON THE SAME PAGE explains that he changed his mind about the testability of natural selection.

    The amazing self-contradicting YEC. Your kind is convenient, at least. We didn’t even have to look up any evidence.

    And now that you know that Popper didn’t continue in the belief that natural selection was a metaphysical discipline, you’ll not use that argument in the future, right? Right?

  328. #328 Mercurious
    January 2, 2010

    Liar for Jebus (andre) continues to lie. News at 11. People wonder why we have little patience for creotards and call them all kinds of nasty names. Andre you have clearly shown you really don’t know you head from your ass, in fact I believe they are in the same location.

  329. #329 andre
    January 2, 2010

    For those zealots of Darwin having any pretensions of preaching science: a theory can be classified as scientific if is testable, observable and falsifiable. Evolutionism is none of those. You need to go to basics…

  330. #330 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Gosh, Andre is disgusting! Liar for Jesus, pure and simple. No one who has an adequate grasp of science would present the dodgy and silly ‘arguments’ that this liar for Jesus has been doing in this thread. And yet, this fool thinks that by intellectually dishonest tactics, like quote mining and aping our rational and logical approach (an approach, just like science, of which this jerk has no understanding or any motivation to do so), that he will make disappear all the evidence supporting evolution?

    The delusion runs deep in this one. He is only deserving of ridicule. He is trotting out the samo, the stuff that was determined at the Dover Trial not to be science. Stuff that was refuted even before the potent scientific theory evolution was made public.

    Andre, you are wrong. There is no discussion that will aid you in grasping how wrong you are. And since we got the evidence on our side, we can say over and over and over again, you’re dreadfully, pitifully, stupidly, stubbornly, egregiously wrong.

    Is he just racking up credits for some dismal creationist institute somewhere? YEC creation has been shown to be wrong, unequivocally wrong. It has been flunked by the very same science that gives David his house, his xbox, and his car (including the oil which is much older than his belief system). Why is the same science correct when it gives you things you like and wrong when it reveals that the evidence shows your pre-suppositional beliefs are wrong. The earth is not young. You and all your silly YEC friends are wrong. There is only one science (unlike of religions, which there are numerous brands)

  331. #331 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Andre is showing why he is a Liar for Jebus?, and not to be believed. He will say or do anything, including bearing false witness (which commandment?) in order so show his ignorance. And still no evidence being presented.

  332. #332 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, People who accept evolution and the old earth do so not because they have pre-suppositional beliefs like you do and who need to desperately buttress them by any intellectually dishonest means, but because they have examined the evidence and the evidence says that you are wrong and they are right. You are the blind zealot.

  333. #333 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Michelle a nice rant about nothing. As you can understand it does not help strengthening your case for evolutionism as scientific. Have I ever brought God to this discussion? Do us a favour and read some posts before,if you want to make some sensible contribution to the is blog.
    No amuont of sincere confessions of faith can help it. As far as I can see evo people are those who lie or bend the research to fit the paradigm for the deity of Darwin…

  334. #334 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    DebinOz @473:

    The ersatz thinker with whom you are arguing about probability is stuck in what is sometimes called the “classical model” of statistics, where there are fixed a priori probabilities of certain events. This contrasts with the “frequentist model” which depends on observation to update a priori guesses about the likely bounds on the probability. Bayesian theory is making some headway in reconciling the frequentist model (which is what arises in observation) with the classical model (which is useful theoretically for things like the Law of Large Numbers).

    A simple example:
    Given a fair coin, the probability of getting any particular sequence of 32 coin flips is 1 in 4.3 billion, but obviously some sequence is going to have happened, which means that by flipping a coin 32 times, you’ve just witnessed an event rarer than 1 in 4 billion. Not only that, with just a coin you can witness such an event whenever you like.

    This is the flaw in the “specified complexity” argument as well.

    If there are any statisticians who comment, they can probably speak to it better than me; if not, most of us math people have taken statistics at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

  335. #335 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Andre,

    I highly recommend you go and spout your anti-science crap on some of the facebook polls.

    Here’s a good one to start of with:

    http://apps.facebook.com/realpolls/results/e0txwpwk8?_fb_q=1&

    You are nothing really but a joke, and if you think you are making us feel bad about our PhDs or other degrees in science-related fields, you are truly deluded.

  336. #336 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, we do not have to strengthen our case for evolution. It is a fact. And there you go, parroting our rational and logical approach, in your inane mouthing of: …evo people are those who lie or bend the research to fit the paradigm for the deity of Darwin…
    You are a pathetic, cowardly, lying idiot. And you are your own problem–you have to live with yourself and your lies and distortions. And if you turn out to be right, and there is a Christian god, he will laugh at you before sending you to hell for not using the mind he gave you.

    We are not going to pander to your glaring, willful ignorance. You are wrong no matter how glib or slimy your protestations to the contrary are.

  337. #337 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    As you can understand it does not help strengthening your case for evolutionism as scientific.

    What case? Evolution is scientific, and Popper agrees. So evolution is science. Period, end of story. If you claim otherwise, it is up to you to provide the evidence, as the status quo will remain in effect until superseded by new evidence. We are waiting for you to prove your inane claim. Show your work. Welcome to science.

  338. #338 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Thanks heaps Miki,

    Yes, that is exactly the problem. I have studied biostatistics at the graduate level, and have tried to explain to this nong exactly what you have said.

    His question always is ‘But why’? He is the classic example of someone with a little knowledge (accountancy, thinking he is ‘good with numbers’) being dangerous.

  339. #339 Cath the Canberra Cook
    January 2, 2010

    Andre is disgusting. David seems to be trying. As to the tone issues, THIS. IS. PHARYNGULA!!!! But there are many other atheist blogs with different policies. For example, Greta Christina is one for politeness. (Though the explicit sexual content there might scare off some of the godbots, even without any impoliteness.)

  340. #340 andre
    January 2, 2010

    oh yes Michelle and all the evidence they examined and using for the belief of very old Earth is evolution. Have you ever heard of index fossils? Well,those are used to date sedimentary rocks. And how? “According to evolution we know that the creature found in the sediment evolved some … millions years ago. Therefore the rocks that are found in them are … millions of years old”.
    If you never heard of it for ytour education: you can not date sedimentary rocks.
    Dr V.Sodera said in his book completely demolishing Darwinism “One small speck to man the evolution myth”:
    “In the absence of the evidence to the contrary any creature could have lived at any time before or after the time of its earliest or latest known fossils”.
    Understand if you can…

  341. #341 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    Though the explicit sexual content there

    Wait, what??

    I might go and have a look lol….

    Andre is disgusting. David seems to be trying

    Nah,Andre is just your garden variety creobot, I agree tho, David seemed at least to be trying to keep up

  342. #342 andre
    January 2, 2010

    No comments Michelle. sober up!! Ha ha ha.

  343. #343 andre
    January 2, 2010

    ?We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    the rest of the quote there :

    http://creation.com/amazing-admission-lewontin-quote

    first you blind yealots of Darwin you need to studz what more learned Darwinistst say. I think that the frank admission of Lewontin should be printed on all the textbook with evolut

  344. #344 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Andre: Understand if you can…

    I do understand, Andre, that you are wrong.

    You are bringing up objections which have been soundly refuted for a very long time. As I said, your inability to understand that evolution is a fact, is your problem, not ours. You are oblivious to research that has been done after Darwin and which only strengthens and supports the scientific theory and fact of evolution. You have disgracefully and disgustingly denied facts. Your reliance on trying to disprove what Darwin did shows how you do not understand science. If there was enough evidence to overturn evolution, it would be overturned. Hence, there is no evidence to do so, only evidence that undeniably supports evolution.

    And leaving a trail of ellipsis after your Understand if you can, only makes it sound like you are out of breath and does not add any gravity to your deepity.

  345. #345 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    What is it with creotards and books? Why do they think some self-serving book trumps scientific articles? Do they not know that PUBMED is free?

    All questions above are rhetorical and need no answers, folks.

    The patronising tone is really giving me the shits, I must say. That’s where David has the edge over Andre.

  346. #346 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Lewontin ?We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”.
    the rest of the quote there :

    http://creation.com/amazing-admission-lewontin-quote
    I recommend studying works of all,and above all those more learned evo people who understand evolutionism well,before you make a bunch of fools of yourselves.
    Besides,frank admission of Lewontin should be printed on all evo people textbooks. There would be then no confusion as to what science is..

  347. #347 Patrick
    January 2, 2010

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space @#188 (ok, so I’ve been away for about), I was half-way through writing a reply when I checked about the “AiG doesn’t use this anymore” claim, and came across this. ANY system, open or closed does not spontaneously go from relative disorder to order on that kind of scale!

    Your reply has shown your own misunderstanding of basic chemistry, though you accuse me of running a meth lab. Your poor argument about the sun’s energy shows me that you haven’t really thought about what you are saying, or simply don’t understand the science you are trying to argue.

    Generally speaking, creationists and evolutionists have different deductions based on the same scientific data. I was brought up to believe there is no God and that humans evolved from primitive apes and so on. It was later that I questioned the conclusions made from the data and it became apparent to me that creation fitted the data better overall than evolution. When it comes down to it, we’re debating philosophy. The scientific data, by definition, has to show that there is a natural explanation for what is seen. When it comes to origins, the natural explanation is not the only one. Gravity, for example, falls into the realm of science (I don’t think anyone is going to argue that angels push the planets around), but origins is a philosophical subject.

  348. #348 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Yes, David disgraces Andre even more than Andre disgraces himself (if that is even possible!) David is significantly less intellectually dishonest than Andre is, despite David being a YECer. David also has a charming sense of humor.

  349. #349 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    first you blind yealots of Darwin y

    What an asshole. Darwin isn’t our god, and to pretend otherwise shows your ignorance and stoopidity. Darwin is a great scientist, but he made mistakes in his theory. For example, he had no method for heredity. But, science built for 150 years upon his basic theory with genes, DNA, genomes, protein and DNA sequencing, and it all fits together. There is no need to invoke your imaginary deity. And you have presented no alternative scientific theory. Until you do so, you have nothing but hot air and stoopid blather.

    Trying to cite a creationist web site shows your ignorance and stoopidity. Those sites lie and bullshit in order to make the mythical/fictional babble seem inerrant to the weak of mind, which excludes us. Try the peer reviewed scientific literature.

  350. #350 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    @518:

    Assuming that this quote is even real, so what? Most people, whether atheist or deist, scientist or lay-person, don’t accept that anyone else speaks for them without regard to what is said. Do you have someone authorized to speak on your behalf their own opinions?

  351. #351 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Whooopiiiee,

    I requested a ‘I didn’t come from no monkey’, and here it is.

  352. #352 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Evolution is not the same as origins(abiogenesis). And evolution is solidly scientific.

    Patrick: you did not questioned the real data. If you did, you would not be lying about that evolution is not a fact, when it is.

  353. #353 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Andre: Besides,frank admission of Lewontin should be printed on all evo people textbooks.
    ______

    I see no problem in that. It would not refute evolution or dissolve all the evidence that supports it. Of course, it would silly to do something redundant like have a quote like that on all textbooks. It is already a given. You YECers are so out of it, you think support for evolution based on the overwhelming evidence is indication of a conspiracy or blind zealotry against the supernatural.

  354. #354 andre
    January 2, 2010

    ….and before I go,because the discussion with the brainwashed of Darwin is indeed fruitless,below there is a link to a site where you can prove the evo belief true and get some money!!

    http://www.us.net/life/

    …but beware there is some science involved!!
    As they say on the front page “The explanation must be consistent with empirical biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic concepts as further delineated herein, and be published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed science journal..”
    Pay attention especially to the words “thermodynamic concepts” :)

  355. #355 Malcolm
    January 2, 2010

    PatricK @522,
    So basically what you are saying is that you have absolutely no understanding of what the second law of thermodynamics is, but it obviously contradicts evolution because some other bloke, who has no clue about it either, says so.

  356. #356 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “The scientific data, by definition, has to show that there is a natural explanation for what is seen. When it comes to origins, the natural explanation is not the only one.”

    And what scientific data would that be? (Notwithstanding this has nothing to do with evolution).

  357. #357 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    OK, I am out of here to go bake some pain a l’ancienne to get the bad taste out of my mouth caused by these liars for Jesus.

    Carry on, my pretties.

  358. #358 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    because the discussion with the brainwashed of Darwin imaginary deities is indeed fruitless,

    Fixed it for you stoopid ignorant delusional fool. As you keep showing yourself to be. Get an education.

  359. #359 Patrick
    January 2, 2010

    DebinOz: it was an example, get over it. Rather than “I didn’t come from no monkey”, my view is that life did not originate in the way stated by the science textbooks, for reasons I have stated.

    Michelle B: You’ve missed the point. Evolution assumes the origins. It is essentially based in abiogenesis, a philosophical issue. Creation and evolution are different interpretations of the same data, based on different philosopies. When it comes down to it, neither evolution nor creation can be considered “facts” (this is outside the realm of science), but they are frameworks for the interpretation of data based on different philosophies.

  360. #360 andre
    January 2, 2010

    oh… and before I really leave,to the “Nerd of red head”
    Only uni course Darwin completed was theology..
    Oh and further to you stoooopid remarks sequencing actually proves nothing. We share 50% of DNA with banana. Can you elaborate how this fact proves the big E processsssss? He he he he …

  361. #361 Patrick
    January 2, 2010

    DebinOz: it was an example, get over it. Rather than “I didn’t come from no monkey”, my view is that life did not originate in the way stated by the science textbooks, for reasons I have stated. This directly applies to the question of evolution.

    Michelle B: You’ve missed the point. Evolution assumes the origins. It is essentially based in abiogenesis, a philosophical issue. Creation and evolution are different interpretations of the same data, based on different philosopies. When it comes down to it, neither evolution nor creation can be considered “facts” (this is outside the realm of science), but they are frameworks for the interpretation of data based on different philosophies.

  362. #362 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Thanks for the laughs, Andre.

    You are wrong, btw. And we are never going to let up on informing you of that.

  363. #363 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 2, 2010

    andre #504

    For those zealots of Darwin having any pretensions of preaching science: a theory can be classified as scientific if is testable, observable and falsifiable. Evolutionism is none of those. You need to go to basics…

    Evolution has been tested and observed and is falsifiable. Google “Lenski e coli” for an example of evolution happening in the laboratory.

    Why do you Liars for Jebus try to tell us stuff that we know is wrong? Do you think your lies, which I must emphasize are known to us as lies, will make us fall on our knees and worship your god. And don’t tell us that you’re not arguing goddism, we’re not as stupid as you think we are.

  364. #364 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Only uni course Darwin completed was theology..

    Irrelevant.

    Can you elaborate how this fact proves the big E processsssss?

    Sorry, it is up to you as the claimant to prove your idiocy. For my defense, try the peer reviewed scientific literature found in institutions of higher learning world-wide. Which you are obviously not familiar with. We are waiting for your evidence. And we will be waiting for years, as you have nothing but hot air, lies, and bullshitting for your imaginary deity.

  365. #365 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “DebinOz: it was an example, get over it.”

    See post #501.

  366. #366 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Patrick: Evolution assumes the origins.
    _______

    Evolution does not assume anything. Common descent is a fact. Perhaps natural selection can be overturned (though there is no indication that it will) with a better explanation of speciation, but the actual fact of common descent will not ever be denied.

    Abiogensis is hardly a philosophical issue. It is intimately related with scientific research via cosmology (a scientific field).

    Your style of intellectual dishonesty differs from David’s, but it is still chock-a-block with fallacies, sliminess, and stupidity. Your style is more vaque, more slippery than David’s, but it contains the same nonsense, the same willful twisting of facts. And we will not be fooled by your more ‘cerebral’ approach. You are wrong also.

  367. #367 Patrick
    January 2, 2010

    Sorry for the multiple post.

    Malcolm: no, I found an article which goes into more detail than I was going to. Answer 1 was essentially what I was half-way through writing, but I wasn’t going to explain as I went along as that article does.

    DebinOz: Scientific data, referring to the hard evidence which is interpreted in order to come to a conclusion. Textbook science isn’t all “hard evidence”, but has more to do with the conclusions drawn by the scientists from it. My point here is that we are working from different frameworks with our interpretation of data. From the materialist framework, evolution is the obvious conclusion; from the theist framework, creation is the obvious conclusion.

  368. #368 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “We share 50% of DNA with banana. Can you elaborate how this fact proves the big E processsssss?”

    Ummmmmmmmm, I’m thinking that it actually proves that humans and bananas have a common ancestor. You know, like a looooonnnnnngggggg time ago.

  369. #369 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    Probably an occupational math hazard:

    I think the difference between Patrick’s argument and andre’s is that Patrick first passes the facts through a homomorphic transform with a kernel of anything which contradicts his worldview. A consistency with creationism is then claimed, not only on the codomain but on the initial domain.

    The problem is that once a kernel of truth is injected you can’t prove statements about creationism in the domain of reality.

  370. #370 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Patrick,

    You’re right. Evolution and creotardism both look at evidence. Evolution looks at the real world and creotardism looks at a 2,500 year old myth.

    Please stop lying and telling us that creotardism looks at things like DNA, fossils, and embryos. We’re all aware (and “we” includes you) that you’re trying to fit the Genesis myth into reality. Guess what, it doesn’t work. Your average Hebrew priest of 2,500 years ago was not up on biochemistry and paleontology.* So they made up a story about how their god created the flat Earth and all the pretty lights in the sky. They were not trying to give a blow by blow description of some old fart with a white beard creating plants before creating the sun which plants need to survive.

    *They weren’t even up on basic mathematics, as shown by their belief that ? is 3.

  371. #371 Patrick
    January 2, 2010

    Before I have to go,

    DebinOz: I see. Note that I was an evolutionist previously, but not any more. The “I’m not descended from a monkey” argument is as absurd to me as it is to you, and it was not my intent to use it.

    Michelle B: Thanks for the response. I promise I am not willfully twisting facts. As I have stated elsewhere, I have a different interpretation of those facts. I am not trying to fool anyone, only share my view.

    Evolution must assume that there was a first organism which formed spontaneously. Have you heard of the term “philosophy of science”? It particularly deals with this, the effect of philosophical assumptions on the interpretation of data.

    Common descent is not a “fact” in the way you are referring to it. Common descent can be established within species and groups of species, but not to a single ancestor.

    Sorry I won’t be able to respond further, but it is late, and I leaving tomorrow to go away for a week.

  372. #372 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    Something I’ve never quite understood. If abiogenesis happening ever is impossible, whence a creator?

  373. #373 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “DebinOz: Scientific data, referring to the hard evidence which is interpreted in order to come to a conclusion. Textbook science isn’t all “hard evidence”, but has more to do with the conclusions drawn by the scientists from it.”

    Again, what particular set of scientific data have you re-interpreted? Fossils? Amino acids? Geological strata? Or the whole shebang?

    I am tipping that you changed your alleged atheist views to a born-again view, and decided to buy into the pseudoscience pedalled by the creationist websites.

  374. #374 Lucia
    January 2, 2010

    “Dr.” Myers,

    What a foul website! Is this your idea of rational arguement? “Dr.” Dawkins and yourself seem to be frustrated, ugly, middle aged bullies that are fixated at adolescence. You both need someone to take you over their knee and teach you some manners!(and then wash you mouth out with soap). What are you hiding that makes you feel so guilty and angry? You all need to go do something productive. Why not volunteer at a good charity. Oh yeah, that might make you seem Christian.

  375. #375 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “You both need someone to take you over their knee and teach you some manners!”

    Are you offering? If not, piss off.

  376. #376 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    “Quotes” should be “used” in “places” where they “make sense”. Don’t “Lucia” and “Lucifer” have the same Latin root?

  377. #377 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Evolution must assume that there was a first organism which formed spontaneously.

    Actually, no it doesn’t. For evolution to occur all you need is a replicating system. How it was formed is irrelevant as far as evolution is concerned and belongs to the domain of abiogenesis.

    Please, go learn about what you’re trying to argue against before coming here to make a fool of yourself.

  378. #378 Steve_C
    January 2, 2010

    Hahaha. I love when creobots put someone’s title in quotes. Shows how worthless their opinion is.

    HIding? A spanking? Guilty?

    Talk about projection and fantasy. hehe.

  379. #379 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Lucia: What a foul website
    _____

    As foul as believing everyone will burn in hell for not believing your crapola? Some Christians have no idea how foul they are. You have been protected in a deferential bubble of undeserved respect. Here you will be subjected to how narrow-minded and downright odd your viewpoints are because your ignorance demands honest confrontation with facts and reality.

    There is no guilt being expressed here. Maybe you better take a remedial course in mind reading? Anger is a normal human emotion, and it is excellent to motivate people to effect change, like fighting the lies of Intelligent Design and YEC.

    And you regard suggesting that the educated, kind, hard-working, giving-of-their-time-to-show- how-wrong-you-are folks at this site should be subject to corporeal punishment because you can’t abide the fact that they are right and you are wrong? Your lying for Jesus is the reason why you focus on ‘manners’ and not substance of the argument, because you know what? You have no substance.

    And Richard Dawkins is not middle-age, he is over 65.

  380. #380 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Why not volunteer at a good charity. Oh yeah, that might make you seem Christian.

    Funny. This was posted just yesterday by PZ.

    And why the fuck did you put Dr. in scare quotes?

  381. #381 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Patrick: Thanks for the response. I promise I am not willfully twisting facts. As I have stated elsewhere, I have a different interpretation of those facts. I am not trying to fool anyone, only share my view.
    ____

    Facts are not interpreted. Facts are what they are. And the earth is not young and common descent is a fact. You are wrong, we are right. There is no interpretation needed or required and to pretend that there is makes you a doofus and your promise hollow. You are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts.

  382. #382 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Lucia: Oh yeah, that might make you seem Christian.
    _____

    Oh geesh, you are a moron. You have never heard of all the secular charities out there? You apparently think good works can’t be done outside of a Christian mind set. Well, good works can be done easily without the prop of Christianity. Look at Europe, with their lower rates of all the social ills that plaque America. Europe is largely secular and sponsors much good work.

    And with all the bad publicity that Christianity is reaping on itself, you really think that admonishing folks who do not want to seem Christian is a bad thing?

  383. #383 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I promise I am not willfully twisting facts. As I have stated elsewhere, I have a different interpretation of those facts. I am not trying to fool anyone, only share my view delusions.

    Fixed it for you. You are a delusional fool if you think that your interpretation is at all meaningful to us. Your interpretation requires that the facts be force fit to a book of mythology/fiction, so they get twisted out of any semblance of rationality. Your premise is wrong. If you consider the babble a book of fiction, and your deity imaginary, no twisting (interpretation) of the facts is required for what is now science.

  384. #384 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Oh, and Andre (if he’s still around):

    I seem to remember you saying something stupid up-thread about the evolution of the genetic code. Yes, the genetic code evolved. Do yourself a favor and read this comment attentively, will you? Go learn something for a change.

  385. #385 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    To correct the wonky meaning in #558: Not wanting to seem Christian is a positive act because Christianity is not exactly on the cutting edge of morality with all the horrendous bad publicity it has been receiving. So Lucia, we do not want to be perceived unethical that is why we have no desire to seem to be Christian. But our reluctance in that regard, does not mean we are not productive and caring.

    I predict if Lucia hangs around, she will fart out the Fatwa envy fallacy full blast and in complete oblivion that she has stunk up the joint. Because don’t you know, Christians being so gentle, so kind, so loving (we will at the moment not dwell on the rather hateful view that non-Christians are doomed to eternal torture) is the reason why they are criticized. No, you are criticized because any idea/belief can be. And when you are criticized, instead of providing substance for your views, you provide just righteous indignation and hot air.

  386. #386 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    You will know they are Christian by the fingerprints all over their pearls.

  387. #387 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    Dania: And why the fuck did you put Dr. in scare quotes? (addressed to Lucia)
    _____

    Because she is anti-intellectual and rejects uncommon sense, instead clinging to common sense, intuition, and her gut as if they were somehow virtuous aspects.

  388. #388 RJ
    January 2, 2010

    Andre@508

    evo people creationists are those who lie or bend the research to fit the paradigm for the deity of Darwin god.

    Fixed it for you.

  389. #389 Michelle B
    January 2, 2010

    And in my #541, I meant to type Andre in bold face, not David.

  390. #390 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    I miss David from Canada. He at least seemed like you could have an honest conversation with him.

  391. #391 Alpha Bitch
    January 2, 2010

    [bold]Lucia:[/bold] What leads you to believe they are full of guilt? I’m curious about that statement.

    “…that might make you seem Christian.”
    I’ll completely put aside the point that many atheists are quite charitable (I, myself am on the board of two non-profits, volunteer with my therapy dogs, run a pet-food bank for local pet owners experiencing hard times, and a few other things), are you saying that ONLY Christians can be charitable? Does this rule out Jewish and other religions.

    Or did you mean that only those guided by a religious dogma are charitable? Does that mean that Jewish people, Muslims, Scientologists, etc. can be charitable also?

    [bold]Janine:[/bold] “I thought most people here realized that I am a smart ass. And no one loves a smart ass.”
    I’ll be the dissenter. I love a smartass. They’re/you’re my favorite kind of people.

  392. #392 Alpha Bitch
    January 2, 2010

    Whoops. I suck.

  393. #393 otrame
    January 2, 2010

    David of Canada:

    Though your initial post expressed concern about tone, did you notice that you were treated with (mostly) civility, especially when you attempted to answer questions honestly and showed you have a sense of humor? Did you notice that andre and Patrick are not so treated? They came here expressing hostility, used insults, and basically try to claim that they know more about biology than all the biologists in the world (though their own words show that they can spout jargon without understanding it). You expressed your honest beliefs, admitted some ignorance and generally behaved nicely.

    Now as for your belief system. You seem like a really nice guy who has chosen to ignore anything that refutes the things you chose to believe about reality. That is not evil. We all do that to some degree. It’s called cognitive dissonance, and it can make fools of us all. THAT, and all the other human foibles, is what the scientific method was designed to get around. It’s not perfect and it takes time, but science works. Look around you. You know it does.

    Here is my point, and I am paraphrasing Aronra (who has produced a wonderful series on Youtube on the “Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism” (by which he means YEC)). He said: It is one thing to believe in something that might be true, like the existence of God in general and Jesus in particular. It is something else to believe in something we know isn’t true, like the idea that the earth is only 6000 years old.

    His point and my point and Leigh’s point is that you don’t have to give up God to face reality. By simply realizing that the Bible is not inerrant, a whole new world–a world most Christians believe is the true grandeur of God–is open to you. You don’t have to stay ignorant in order to maintain your beliefs. You can study all of creation, and see the wonder and glory of it. You do not have to let go of God to have this. You just have to let go of worshiping the Bible. Because that is what you are doing, worshiping a book.

  394. #394 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Yea, what otrame said! FSM, I wish I could write as well.

  395. #395 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    Is that what is called “ad hominem”?

    Sigh…as has been pointed out many times here an ad hominem is of the form ‘you are X, therefore you are wrong’. The fallacy occurs when property X is completely irrelevant to the argument and is merely being used for discredit the person (e.g, your views on health care is ridiculous, after all you did cheat on your wife).

    If you say ‘you are wrong for reason Y, what an X’ or ‘damn, you’re an X’ then this is merely insulting, not an ad hominem.

    Creationists are so predictable I bet someone can write a simple commenting program, The Creationist Annihilator 3000, to respond to their unoriginal arguments. It would pick up key terms like ‘second law of thermodynamics’, ‘evolutionism is a religion’, ‘Hitler’ and ‘ad hominem’ and post the standard reply. There would also be a random insult generator and it would Google phrases that appear to be plagiarized. This program can very easily win a Molly.

  396. #396 Falcarius
    January 2, 2010

    andre: “a theory can be classified as scientific if is testable, observable and falsifiable. Evolutionism is none of those.”

    Testable:
    Fossils of fish-like tetrapods are known from rocks of age X. Fossils of tetrapod-like fish are known from rocks of age Z. Team of researchers predict the existence of an intermediate in rocks of age Y, in the appropriate geographical location. Result: They discover Tiktaalik.

    Observable:
    Look up Richard Lenski or at least see the summary of his team’s work on E. coli here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

    Falsifiable:
    We still anxiously await discovery of rabbits in the Precambrian. ;)
    More seriously, see this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs1zeWWIm5M
    In it, leading Christian biologist Ken Miller explains how recent observations of our chromosomes could potentially have falsified the concept of our common ancestry with chimpanzees – but didn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact; in my opinion an honest reading of this data provides as convincing a proof* of evolution as anyone could ask for.

    *Insert standard caveats about “proof” in science…

  397. #397 Falcarius
    January 2, 2010

    andre:”We share 50% of DNA with banana. Can you elaborate how this fact proves the big E processsssss?”

    Easy: It demonstrates common ancestry.

    Specifically, it fits into a hierarchy of DNA similarity that conforms to just what we would expect if evolutionary theory is correct. The more closely an organism is related to us, the less time has elapsed since our common ancestor and so fewer DNA differences have accrued. The common ancestor of plants and animals existed much further back in time than the common ancestor of the great apes, with whom we share the highest proportion of our DNA.

    There are of course wrinkles in the concept, particularly the fact that different percentages might be found depending on what genes (or amino acid sequences) are compared. But the general picture is largely consistent.

    This site goes into greater detail about this issue, and also includes a table of sequence comparison data for the protein cytochrome C:
    http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry/evobio/evc/argresp/sequence.html
    In this particular protein, maize is 67% similar to humans – even greater than your 50% banana example! However, this is consistent since it is more similar to us than is a protist like Euglena, but less similar than fish, still less similar than mammals like mice and horses, and even less similar than chimpanzees – whose cytochrome C sequence is identical to ours.

  398. #398 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “Actually, no it doesn’t. For evolution to occur all you need is a replicating system. How it was formed is irrelevant as far as evolution is concerned and belongs to the domain of abiogenesis.”

    Leigh: Is this the point where you insert God into the story? What creative role does he have? Did he create the first organism or microbe? Or was he only involved in the Big Bang?

    “Though your initial post expressed concern about tone, did you notice that you were treated with (mostly) civility”

    True – Thanks. When your not devouring “fresh meat” you’re a good bunch.

    “You seem like a really nice guy who has chosen to ignore anything that refutes the things you chose to believe about reality.”

    I wouldn’t call it ignoring – just put them on the shelf for a while. I don’t change my my belief systems in a knee-jerk fashion. Like the time when everyone was saying that Gorbachev was the antichrist because he had a mark on his forehead – I was a slow adopter. :)

    “You just have to let go of worshiping the Bible.”

    By “worshiping” do you mean believing in inspiration of Scripture? Cause I probably won’t stop that.

  399. #399 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Welcome back David

  400. #400 David from Canada
    January 2, 2010

    “The Creationist Annihilator 3000″

    You could make it even simpler. I could just repeat the phrase: “You obviously don’t know anything about science, idiot!” :)

  401. #401 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Is this the point where you insert God into the story?

    God doesn’t exist, so there is no point inserting your imaginary deity into the story. Now, if you had some conclusive physical evidence for said deity, say an eternally burning bush, you might change some minds…

  402. #402 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 2, 2010

    “The Creationist Annihilator 3000″

    “You could make it even simpler. I could just repeat the phrase: “You obviously don’t know anything about science, idiot!” :)”

    Wow. That’s fucking amazing. You’re not seriously conflating step by step explanations on each point, that are punctuated with “Yes, you don’t understand science, but there’s more to learn and we can teach you with” “You don’t know anything about science, idiot”, are you?

  403. #403 andre
    January 2, 2010

    Goooood Morning dear all evo people or by the same token as you call creationists evoretards.Evolutionism is a way of looking at the past so evoretards reflects the very nature of your beliefs better.
    Ok Tis Him and Falarius if you think creationists twist facts and lie for Gpd consider evolutionary legends- frauds called “Pithecanthropus”-bones of a human and monkey skull painted to look old and joined together. I believe some doctoral degrees were obtained by some evo scientists based on that fraud.Another: Nebraska man a whole story of a alleged human ancestor invented on the basis of one tooth of a pig. The very pig was found alive an well in Sth America then fradulent drawings of Mr Haeckel on which he based his fantastic theory of recapitulation. I believe Haeckel is still in the biology textbooks today as a support for evolutionism.In reality at no stage human embrio’s DNA is controlled by the DNA of a fish , reptile and so on as the theory suggests so sientifically it is absolute bullshit.
    You can not test evolutionism on fossilis.Can you test the evolutionary belief that dinosaurs gave rise to birds some 150 millions years ago? Fossils unfortunately for evolutionists show so called stasis. By the way you evo people believe that 3 bones of jaw in reptiels moved in some kinda miracolous manner and reshaped themselves int 3 bones of inner ear in mammals. Name a fossili that shows this miraculous pilgrimage of the bones at any stage of it.

  404. #404 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 2, 2010

    André @ 449:

    If you didn’t read through the Wikipedia article (which, if I recall, was actually pretty technical), the nuts and bolts of it are that because the GPS clocks are high up, their clocks run at a different speeds. Since GPS using timing to calculate your location (distance = speed * time, and you figure your location by the distance to satellites based on signal delay between your local clock and the broadcast time), if their clocks are not hyper-accurate, your location is wrong.

    Without GR, gravitational time dilation isn’t taken into account. Thus, the clocks on the GPS tick at the wrong rate, and give you the wrong location. Further, since the *rate* is different, this is not a constant offset. The error increases constantly. As the story goes, when GPS satellites were sent up, they had GR disabled by default. The satellites were found to track by about ~1km/hr. They stabilized once GR was”turned on”. There are other relativistic effects, but they are more minor(SR via the speed of orbit, GR via the Lens-Thirrring effect and geodetic precession, etc). For more on the Lens-Thirring effect, google “Gravity Probe B”.

    This was not even the first Earthbound test, but earlier tests were more technical, like frequency shifting in MASER fountains, etc.

    Further tests include orbital decay of pulsars via gravitational radiation, the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, etc.

    I’m really not sure why you doubt relativity, but then again, it’s as well proven as evolution an quantum mechanics so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Also, read Falcarius @ 571/572 for testability of evolution. Denying the evidence of evolution does not refute it, nor does it make it absent. Also, see: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

  405. #405 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, still the creobot loser. No citations to the peer reviewed scientific literature, which is the only way science is refuted. Ergo, you have nothing but blather. And we know it. Just another Liar for Jebus?. In other words, a boring idjit.

  406. #406 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 2, 2010

    André @ 578:

    I actually wrote an article for the UC Museum of Vertebrate Paleontology (read, UC Berkeley) a few years back on precisely the mammalian middle ear. Go beauracracy for not having proceeded anywhere in about 18 months!

    But, nevertheless, here is the article:
    http://beta.revealedsingularity.net/article.php?art=mammal_ear

    In particular, the first image addresses: “By the way you evo people believe that 3 bones of jaw in reptiels [sic] moved in some kinda miracolous [sic] manner and reshaped themselves int [sic] 3 bones of inner ear in mammals. Name a fossili [sic] that shows this miraculous pilgrimage of the bones at any stage of it.

  407. #407 andre
    January 2, 2010

    at Dania and Deb: apart from the fact that we share 50% of DNA with bananas we also share 99% of DNA with mice.
    I guess the Darwinian evo tree of life is slowly withering…

    below you can read about it and it is the “science”,meaning evo site

    http://www.evolutionpages.com/Mouse%20genome%20home.htm

  408. #408 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Yawn, Andre is a creobot loser. Nothing to see here folks. Move along, just another Liar for Jebus?, without any scientific refutation of evolution…

  409. #409 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Ok Tis Him and Falarius if you think creationists twist facts and lie for Gpd consider evolutionary legends- frauds [blah blah Piltdown Man blah blah Nebraska Man blah blah Haeckel's embryos blah blah]

    So, that’s the best you can do? A poorly constructed tu quoque?

    *shakes head*

    And just who do you think exposed those frauds, andre? (Hint: They weren’t creationists.)

    Can you test the evolutionary belief that dinosaurs gave rise to birds some 150 millions years ago?

    Transitional forms like Archeopterix and persuasive evidence from comparative anatomy show it.

    Fossils unfortunately for evolutionists show so called stasis.

    Barefaced lie, as any scientifically literate person knows.

  410. #410 Falcarius
    January 2, 2010

    @582
    Dude, did you even read that article?

    The whole site goes to great lengths to explain why the mouse data supports evolution.

    And if your argument is that the 99% figure for mice is too high or doesn’t fit with the commonly cited chimpanzee figure, see this bit from the third link in the article:

    “At the time of publication of the draft mouse genome, the headline writers in popular publications came up with sensational and unjustified claims such as “Mouse 99% same as Human” and other misleading statements. This is what was actually determined: 99% of mouse genes have homologues in man (the actual protein similarity is much less than 99%. See article on mouse proteins.)”

    Either you didn’t bother to read any of the article, or you don’t know what “homologous” means. I’m guessing both.

    I notice you ignored my response to your test/observe/falsify challenge, instead choosing to Gish gallop your way through an unrelated list of scientific frauds (which were, of course, exposed by scientists doing science) and an unsupported assertion that fossils can’t provide evidence for evolution. Leaving aside the fact that said assertion is WRONG, it’s irrelevant to my posts, which were mainly concerned with DNA evidence (particularly similarities in DNA – not the “embryo controlled by fish’s DNA” nonsense you erected of straw). In fact, the one fossil I mentioned was an example of the theory being used to predict a fossil’s existence (testability), not of fossils being used to support evolution (though they of course can be, amply).

  411. #411 Mercurious
    January 2, 2010

    Thanks for the link Andre, it is a good read. But I do love how you provide evidence against yourself all the time. A snippet from the very page you sent.

    The findings of the draft mouse genome are astonishingly powerful evidence for common ancestry, mutation and selection: in short for the Theory of Evolution. There is a list with links below for the key points within the paper which can only be explained by evolution. It is just not possible to explain what we see in the two genomes if they have only been in existence for 6500 years unless we invoke deliberate deceit on God’s part:

    Once again the Liar for Jebus is an EPIC FAIL.

  412. #412 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Andre it must be hard to walk around with all the holes you keep shooting in your own foot.

  413. #413 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    at Dania and Deb: apart from the fact that we share 50% of DNA with bananas we also share 99% of DNA with mice.

    I’m pretty sure this is the first time I see a creationist using this as an argument against evolution. WTF? How is that anything but evidence for common descent?

  414. #414 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 2, 2010

    apart from the fact that we share 50% of DNA with bananas we also share 99% of DNA with mice.

    Why would God do such a thing if we are his speciallest [not a word] creation ever-ever-ever?
    I mean, the divine status of the banana has been thoroughly explained, but why would your god make us so similar biochemically to the humble mouse?
    Heck, why do we need all that tricky biochemistry anyway? If we were made by magic, why can’t we just operate by magic, as well?

  415. #415 arrakis
    January 2, 2010

    Does anyone else read “pond scum” as “New York Mets”?

  416. #416 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Does anyone else read “pond scum” as “New York Mets”?

    hahaha

  417. #417 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David asked, first quoting someone else:

    “Actually, no it doesn’t. For evolution to occur all you need is a replicating system. How it was formed is irrelevant as far as evolution is concerned and belongs to the domain of abiogenesis.”

    Leigh: Is this the point where you insert God into the story? What creative role does he have? Did he create the first organism or microbe? Or was he only involved in the Big Bang?

    David, we don’t have a solid theory of abiolgenesis yet, though very interesting work is being done that I feel confident will yield results in my lifetime. In other words, I don’t believe that God had to “poof” the first organism into being.

    What I do think is that God created the universe and the physical realities that govern how it works in such a way that life could result on this planet and (I hope) on many more.

    I also believe God’s intention was to bring forth intelligent life capable of apprehending the manifold wonders of creation. Carl Sagan, who was emphatically not our co-religionist, expressed a similar idea when he said “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

  418. #418 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    andre the giant moron,

    Ok Tis Him and Falarius if you think creationists twist facts and lie for Gpd consider evolutionary legends- frauds called “Pithecanthropus”-bones of a human and monkey skull painted to look old and joined together

    I can’t find any evidence that Pithecanthropus was considered a fraud (outside creationist sources). Can you provide a citation? Or are you thinking of Piltdown man?

    In any case, yes there were some fraudulent fossils. Science is a human enterprise and sometimes humans will lie and cheat to get ahead. However, it was the scientists who uncovered the fact that these fossils were frauds. None of our modern understanding of evolution depend on these fossils. There is no reason to mention it, unless you are trying to imply that many other fossils we have are also frauds and the scientists studying them are either incredibly incompetent or involved in a conspiracy, in which case you’ll need to show evidence.

    You can not test evolutionism on fossilis[sic].

    This is false. If you look at the fossils and group them based on similarities you will see a tree-like structure, as expected by evolution. In fact, the fossil of Tiktaalik was predicted by the theory of evolution. Creationism shows no predictive power whatsoever. It merely uses mental gymnastics to reconcile an old mythical book with the modern evidence. It does not matter that in the process you need to lie, ignore evidence or come up with elaborate, unparsimonious explanations that don’t even work.

    In any case, even if we didn’t have fossils the evidence for evolution would still be overwhelming based on genetics, embryology, and the geographical distribution of life.

  419. #419 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Ah, Tiktaalik. A premier example of a prediction made based on the ToE (Theory of Evolution), subsequent search for the fossil, and stunning discovery bearing out the prediction. Hypothesis -> test -> conclusion: hypothesis supported.

    Now that, my friends, is science in action.

    And also a suitable place to plug Neil Shubin’s excellent book Your Inner Fish, which I found very enjoyable and informative.

  420. #420 andre
    January 2, 2010

    i can not reply to Dawkins’s type argument “why would God” we talking science here.Well below some more evolutionist’s speculation abut human and kangaroo common ancestor. This time author says that the “large parts of genome were conserved”. Ha ha ha “conserved” of course by the omnipotent chance for the future vision of upcoming humanity. Do not you people use brain at all? Do you suppose that mice was a common ancestor for all primates? Were primates contemporary to mice at the original ancestry time or were there only mice at the stage?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1315837/

    speaking of terms of natural selection: it would not “conserve” anything, It would eliminate all unnecessary features in the legendary ancestor because keeping it for the future humanity would be huge energy consuming effort..
    Geeez. Who you call retards?

  421. #421 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    I can’t find any evidence that Pithecanthropus was considered a fraud (outside creationist sources). Can you provide a citation? Or are you thinking of Piltdown man?

    Fuck. He did say Pithecanthropus, not Piltdown man. I read it wrong, sorry.Pithecanthropus is obviously not a fraud.

  422. #422 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    *reads andre’s comment @#595*
    Dude…English not your best language? Nothing wrong wih that, but the word “conserved” means something different than you seem to think.

    On the off chance that you are more than just a stupid troll, at the time of the common ancestor of modern mice (in fact of all rodents) and all primates, there were neither mice nor primates yet. See how that works?

  423. #423 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Do you suppose that mice was a common ancestor for all primates?

    Dude?

    Are you really this stupid?

  424. #424 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    *reads #595*

    Huh. Is it just me or andre isn’t making any sense? I don’t even know where to begin…

  425. #425 Lars
    January 2, 2010

    You, andre, are the retard. A stupid, lying piece of shit retard. Why, thank you for asking.

    Do you have anything to say that isn’t both a lie and an insult to the intelligence of humanity?

    I guess you don’t. Well, go on trolling then. I can’t deny you doing the one thing you know.

  426. #426 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Yawn, Andre is still showing nothing remotely scientific. That would require actual information that doesn’t bite him in the foot, which also requires that he understands the science he is incapable of understanding. Which is why he is wasting his time here. What an idjit, whose deity is imaginary, and babble is a work of fiction.

  427. #427 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    Ow….reading #595 actually hurt.

  428. #428 frozen_midwest
    January 2, 2010

    re: latest reply from andre

    I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry about that one. Even I, a non-biologist, can spot the errors.
    (and no, I will *not* list them; that is left as an exercise for the reader.)

  429. #429 Mercurious
    January 2, 2010

    Snippet from the Kangaroo paper….

    Knowledge of the evolutionary history of a gene or chromosome region can also help to explain its activity or function. For instance, comparative mapping of genes on the human X chromosome revealed that it is composed of a conserved region (also present on the X chromosome in marsupials) and a recently added region that is on tammar chromosome 5, which has been added to the eutherian X after the marsupial/eutherian divergence but before the eutherian radiation (Graves, 1995; Pask & Graves, 2001). The conserved and recently added regions of the human X chromosome were strikingly demonstrated by painting the tammar wallaby X chromosome DNA onto human chromosomes (Glas et al., 1999). This evolutionary history explains why many genes on the short arm of the human X chromosome escape X-chromosome inactivation (XCI; Carrel et al., 1999): genes within this region were recently part of a paired autosomal region that did not require dosage compensation and therefore have yet to be recruited into the X-inactivation system.

    Seriously andre, how do you function in life being so blinding ignorant, stupid and just plain dense.

  430. #430 Dave2010
    January 2, 2010

    It made me laugh when David Nicholls compared creationist beliefs to belief in alien abuduction. Doesn’t he realise that beleif in aliens (and alien abduction) are logical deductions from evolution theory, not creationism! Mr Nicholls doesn’t even seem to understand the implications of his own beliefs LOL!

  431. #431 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Well below some more evolutionist’s speculation abut human and kangaroo common ancestor. This time author says that the “large parts of genome were conserved”. Ha ha ha “conserved” of course by the omnipotent chance for the future vision of upcoming humanity. Do not you people use brain at all? Do you suppose that mice was a common ancestor for all primates? Were primates contemporary to mice at the original ancestry time or were there only mice at the stage?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1315837

    This is FSTDT material, IMO.

  432. #432 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Andre, sweetie, you’ve totally jumped the shark here. Time to give up and go away, ’cause you’re so far off in the weeds you’re not even wrong anymore.

    Just one example of how you’re doing so far:

    1) You asserted that evolution isn’t science, citing Popper as your authority and then promptly shooting yourself in the foot by providing a link to Popper saying that evolution IS science.

    2) I warned you not to make the claim again, since you yourself had refuted it.

    3) A few posts later, you came back with the same claim, this time citing no one for support.

    4) The kind folks here provided yet more evidence of how evolution is testable, observable, and falsifiable.

    5) You “La-La-La’d” right past that hard evidence.

    Man alive, you’re down for the count due to self-inflicted wounds.

    And for (what I’m sure won’t be) the LAST TIME, none of us worship Charles Darwin. He was a scientist who articulated a critically important scientific breakthrough. We like him oh-so-much based on his work, but he was just a really smart man. Are you forgetting that I myself am a Christian, which means that I by definition worship God? How about my co-religionists Ken Miller and Francis Collins, who are world-renowned scientists who also worship God, and who also think that Charles Darwin was a swell guy?

    Look, buddy, either quit lying or go away. We’re willing to talk to you, but not if you won’t deal honestly.

    Let me remind you one more time that Lying for Jesus is blasphemy. If you don’t have enough integrity to stop it on your own, at least consider the dishonor you’re bringing onto the Name of Christ.

  433. #433 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Kel by evolution I mean progress from bacteria to biologists not variation or change in organisms.

    Then you’re looking at it all long. There’s nothing inevitable about biologists, it just happens that a couple of billion years of evolution made a biologist. Luckily we can see many of the steps along the way, in the fossil record, in the genetic code, and with life as it stands today. Thankfully there is a good diversity of primates, mammals, amniotes, tetrapods, vertebrates, chordates, et al. that do show that the pathway to us is a reality.

  434. #434 Falcarius
    January 2, 2010

    @595

    Jebus…you’re either the Poe to end all Poes or you have the reading comprehension skills of a common barnacle. (No offense intended to barnacles.)

    It’s obvious by now that you’re not interested in the facts, presuming you could even understand them. The only reason to even continue the discussion is just to work off the rust. (I rarely post here and could use the easy practice.)

    Anyway, in case there are less obtuse fence-sitters reading this, a couple points:

    1) As others have already pointed out, mice and primates share a common ancestor tens of millions of years ago; neither is an ancestor of the other.

    2) Conservation of the genome is exactly what the theory would predict. Natural selection works on the variations that give some individuals advantages over others. Features that are directly involved in the organism’s response to its specific environment will be subject to evolutionary change. There are also large parts of the genome that are “junk”, and are thus free to change without impact to the organism. (The junk DNA issue is more complex than that, but this will do for now.)

    However, the parts of the genome that are basic to an organism’s survival, such as body-forming or regulatory genes shared by all vertebrates or all mammals, should stay relatively static since any major mutations in those genes would result in the organism not surviving at all. The ones that keep the “tried-and-true” form of the gene, be they man, mouse, or marsupial, will survive and reproduce through the generations.

    3) There’s no such thing as “future vision for upcoming humanity”. Natural selection does not progress towards a pre-ordained ideal. All that came before us were not just test-driving the Earth in preparation for our arrival. We’re merely one leaf on the primate twig of the mammal branch of the animal bough of the tree of life.

  435. #435 Malcolm
    January 2, 2010

    Patrick @542,

    no, I found an article which goes into more detail than I was going to. Answer 1 was essentially what I was half-way through writing, but I wasn’t going to explain as I went along as that article does.

    My mistake. You don’t understand the second law of thermodynamics, so you posted a link to a site written by someone who not only appears to not understand thermodynamics, but also basic biology.
    I wrote comment 415 as advice to David, but you might want to read it too. Particularly the bit about not using arguments that you think sound good, but which has been debunked.
    Finally, consider this: You were once a single cell. You grew into a person without violating any laws of physics. Can you explain that in light of your understanding of thermodynamics?

  436. #436 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    Doesn’t he realise that beleif in aliens (and alien abduction) are logical deductions from evolution theory, not creationism!

    No, they are not logical deductions from the ToE. Alien abduction doesn’t necessarily follow from the theory.

    Do you guys have to fail at everything? Both science and logic? Sheesh.

  437. #437 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    Dave2010,

    It made me laugh when David Nicholls compared creationist beliefs to belief in alien abuduction. Doesn’t he realise that beleif in aliens (and alien abduction) are logical deductions from evolution theory, not creationism! Mr Nicholls doesn’t even seem to understand the implications of his own beliefs LOL!

    …..I’m sorry, someone else is going to have refute this. I just spent Christmas with my insane relatives (many of them creationists) and I can’t tolerate a thread with this many kooks just yet.

  438. #438 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, if you’re still around, I’d like to recommend a couple of books for you. Actually, reading even one of them would probably be enough:

    Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution — Karl W. Giberson

    Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul — Kenneth R. Miller

    One or both of these, plus a little research into theology beyond what you know from your self-described fundamentalist upbringing, could be enough to get you over what may seem to you an insurmountable philosophical mountain, with only a crippled faith on the other side.

    I promise you, the land over the YEC mountain is wide and fair, and contains both a deeper, richer faith and a joyful and more wondrous appreciation of God’s creation that you can yet imagine.

  439. #439 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Come over baby
    Whole lotta stupid goin on

  440. #440 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Notice the creationist tactic? All he can do is doubt natural selection. Not provide any testable mechanism or a hypothesis of his own. His logic is akin to saying “If all cars are not red, they must be blue”. So much time and effort basically trying to argue down evolution to being on an equal footing with his position – that’s all he’s doing. Meanwhile while scientists have observed natural selection, observed sexual selection, observed mutations, allele shifts in populations, the emergence of novel traits, speciation, and have 15000 years of artificial selection to look at – andre like all creationists spend their entire time trying to cast doubt on it.

    Maybe he’s unaware that he exists, so given he’s arguing on the topic, he’s being wilfully ignorant. But maybe not, I’m betting that he does know that these experiments exist and what they signify, and he’s trying to dismiss them. Because after all, this is not about evolution. It’s about protecting a cherished belief. Hence why I liken it to the race between Achilles and the tortoise, the argument that it is impossible for Achilles (evolution) to overtake the tortoise (creation) even though the race has been run and Achilles is well over the finish like and the Tortoise has barely moved. Creationism really is these days looking for a paradox that will invalidate all that supports evolution. Because they’ve got nothing else. The evidence clearly points to common descent.

    Meanwhile, creationists will refuse to make a testable hypothesis of their own. They’ll throw around words like “information” and “mutation” as if they mean something, all the while the best they can do is infer God did it through the accessories that bacteria use to cause us greater harm… No testable hypotheses, no mechanism of action – just Goddidit in the form of “well natural selection cannot account for it”. Meanwhile 200 years ago, the same argument could be made that Goddidit because “well Lamarkian inheritance cannot account for it”. Get it? You’ve actually got to make a testable hypothesis that explains all the evidence that we see, make predictions that modern evolutionary theory does not, and then collect some data to this effect…

    …Otherwise you’re just another kook with a theory of everything.

  441. #441 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 2, 2010

    Andre @ 595:

    From what intelligible bits I could extract, I want to point out that rodents are the closest living relatives to extant primates, sharing the euarchontoglires node:

    http://phylogeny.revealedsingularity.net/search.php?permalink=Euarchontoglires
    (Benton 2003).

    Google search: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=euarchontoglires+phylogeny&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=2001

    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euarchontoglires

    I mean, really? You couldn’t even look it up?

  442. #442 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    It made me laugh when David Nicholls compared creationist beliefs to belief in alien abuduction. Doesn’t he realise that beleif in aliens (and alien abduction) are logical deductions from evolution theory, not creationism! Mr Nicholls doesn’t even seem to understand the implications of his own beliefs LOL!

    All I can say is…

    What the fuck?

  443. #443 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    For his next trick, andre will stop believing in fusion because Fleischmann and Pons didn’t actually achieve cold fusion. Expect the sun to go out soon because of the power of the belief that somehow it is related.

  444. #444 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I mean, really? You couldn’t even look it up?

    I think andre was going for the “ewww, we’re related to mice” reaction. One of the unfortunate realities of evolution is that while it would be nicer to be more closely related to mice than creationists, reality dictates it can’t be the case. Oh well, this is what happens when you constrict your beliefs by evidence instead of using beliefs to determine which evidence you choose to accept or ignore. i.e. just because I think of creationists as slime, it doesn’t mean that they branched off some 800 million years ago while the rest of us evolved a brain.

  445. #445 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    David, please also re-read Kel’s post #409, Michelle B’s #411, and Malcolm’s #415. These folks have gone to considerable effort to offer you some worthwhile points, which I think you’d profit greatly from considering.

    You came here in good faith and have offered plain dealing, which I think you can see has caused you to be treated with respect and what passes in this rough-and-tumble intellectual mosh pit for gentleness. In fact, my compatriots here have showed remarkable forbearance on some of my posts, too, so that you and I could converse in our shared theistic language. (Thanks, fellow minions, for this kindness.)

    My own motivation is this: You seem to be both young and very intelligent. YEC doctrine can be dangerous for someone like you; it’s both eisegesis (bad Biblical interpretation) and incongruent with reality. As you learn more about science, the difference between the theology you’ve been taught and the reality that science shows you may cause you to question your faith. Baby being thrown out with bathwater does result, for some people.

    That needn’t be the case, though it may be as you walk your own path. One thing you MUST do, however: you must find a way to maintain your intellectual integrity. A faith built on denying plain facts that sit, all demonstrable and testable, right in front of your nose WILL BE FRAGILE — because God respects and rewards integrity.

    You can still back away from science, but oh, I do hope you won’t. I don’t think you can yet imagine how much intellectual joy can be found in learning about God’s universe.

  446. #446 WowbaggerOM
    January 2, 2010

    Is Andre the dumbest creationist we’ve seen? The combination of ignorance, lack of capacity for analysis and critical thought and constant own-foot-shooting is like no other I’ve seen.

  447. #447 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Is Andre the dumbest creationist we’ve seen?

    He’s up there on the list for sure.

  448. #448 Miki Z
    January 2, 2010

    Andre is the likely next winner of the Loebner Prize (http://www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html).

  449. #449 Malcolm
    January 2, 2010

    Wowbagger,
    I think andre is going from an award for the best example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  450. #450 Feynmaniac
    January 2, 2010

    Is Andre like some sort of frankencreationist made from the parts of lesser creationists?

    He has the attention span of Gish, the intellect of Lion IRC, the incoherence of M*bus, and the shooting-self-in-footiness of an Alan Clarke.

  451. #451 David Marjanovi?
    January 2, 2010

    Why are we angry?

    That’s explained in comments 387, 483, 502, 568, and 615.

    Some people out there seem to believe that scientists undergo the full kolinahr as part of their training; they are incorrect. Scientists know the feelings of frustration and boredom. Bigtime.

    One of the leading palaeontologists in the United States doubles as a Pentecostal preacher!

    To be fair, Robert T. Bakker doesn’t lead anything much, though he has been a great popularizer. But all that is beside the point.

    I know many Christian who see no conflict with Evolution and Billions of years. I don’t agree mainly because Evolution does a lot to damage the central theology of the Bible.

    You mean the tired old “if the Adam & Eve story isn’t true, there’s no original sin, so we don’t need a Savior” argument?

    If that argument held water, why are there still Catholics?

    Because the Catholic counterargument is that, because our bodies are descended from “mere animals”, we have a Sinful Nature™ and therefore too need a Savior.

    Seems to me like Christianity has no need for a story to be true that is based on a Sumerian myth about the creation of a goddess that revolves around a Sumerian pun (both “life” and “rib” were pronounced ti).

    Ecclesiastes 10:19 – LOL

    So you laugh at the Bible? :-)

    You speak of abiogenic petroleum origin? First off, most geologists think it’s unlikely that any sizable quantity of oil is produced in such a manner.

    “Unlikely”? That’s quite the understatement. Petroleum contains things like chlorophyll decay products.

    gene duplication is not adding new information to genome

    Of course it is.

    Better yet: gene duplication with subsequent mutation of one of the copies… what’s that? Huh?

    As far as I can understand the Big E, natural selection is the vehicle of the miracles required in order to push bacteria on the run to humanity.

    There is no pushing and no run. There’s just mutation and selection ? diversification.

    You do not think that natural selection would act on organization of the first cell, meaning that it would actually select necessary component for the first cell? Selection can act on genes already present in a genome.

    Gene duplication with subsequent mutation introduces new genes into a genome.

    Selection acts on individuals, not on genes… those individuals who can have a greater number of fertile offspring in a particular environment will have more fertile offspring in that environment; that’s called “they’re being selected for”. Whether they can have a greater number of fertile offspring depends on their genes, but genes come as packages ? individual organisms ? to natural selection.

    And above all: there is no such a thing as stellar evolution. Stars simply use their energy and “evolve” towards the thermal death according to laws of thermodynamics..

    Correct. Stellar “evolution”, as the astronomers unfortunately call it, is more like what biologists call “development” or “ontogeny” ? a deterministic process that happens to an individual. It’s a misnomer, just like Pokemon “evolution”.

    Evolution is descent with heritable modification.

    GPS fans consider:
    a famed philosopher, the late Bertrand Russell said:
    “Whether the Earth rotates once a day from West to East as Copernicus taught, or the Heavens
    revolve once a day from East to West, as his predecessors believed, the observable phenomena
    will be exactly the same.
    and he concludes concludes ?
    ?shows a defect in Newtonian dynamics, since an empirical science ought not to contain a
    metaphysical assumption which can never be proved or disproved by observation”

    Newtonian physics is what existed before the theory of relativity, you incredible moron.

    If the Earth stood still and the rest of the universe rotated around it, most of it would do so faster than the speed of light, and that is not possible, even though you have managed to sleep through it ever since 1905. Have you no shame?

    Oh, and… what exactly does a philosopher have to say about physics? ~:-|

    by evolution I mean progress from bacteria to biologists not variation or change in organisms.

    No.

    You don’t get to redefine a technical term.

    Evolution = descent with heritable modification.

    The most devastating consequence of TR was applying it in morality.

    Only a complete and utter moron would ever try to apply a theory of physics to morality.

    Einstein actually wondered if he should have called it “Theory of Invariance” because its most important part is the constancy of the speed of light for all observers…

    Have you got any scientific proof that such codons arise by random natural selection process?

    <puts left arm around andre’s shoulders>
    >pats andre’s head with right hand>

    There is no such thing as a “scientific proof“. Science cannot prove, only disprove.

    Suppose we discover the truth. How can we found out that what we’ve discovered is indeed the truth? By comparing it to the truth, which we don’t have?

    Science can disprove: whichever idea contradicts reality is wrong. But beyond that, only the principle of parsimony is available (look it up).

    Can you for instance,while selecting your partner see what is in his/her genes?And how selfish is that in terms of evolution?

    Oh boy. You have a lot to learn.

    No, no, no — picking a mate is not what natural selection is!

    That’s sexual selection instead.

    a theory can be classified as scientific if is testable, observable and falsifiable

    Didn’t you even notice that that’s three times the same thing?

    Besides, I have observed evolution by mutation and selection in a petri dish in the second (of 8) compulsory lab courses for molecular biology undergrads at the University of Vienna. It’s really trivial.

    for the deity of Darwin…

    Come ooooon. Darwin made plenty of mistakes. For instance, have you ever heard about his theory of inheritance? No? That’s because it’s so wrong as to be ridiculous, not only in hindsight, but even in his time it was rather outdated ? it was an 18th-century-style Lamarckist theory.

    (Funnily enough, Mendel’s theory of inheritance works much better with Darwin’s theory of evolution, except that Mendel neglected the possibility of mutations.)

    Have you ever heard of index fossils? Well,those are used to date sedimentary rocks. And how? “According to evolution we know that the creature found in the sediment evolved some … millions years ago. Therefore the rocks that are found in them are … millions of years old”.

    Dude, I’m a graduate student of paleontology. Aren’t you embarrassed to talk about things you so obviously don’t understand?

    Index fossils are used for relative dating ? the same fossils are likely to have the same age, especially when it’s entire ecosystems rather than single species; fossils that are younger than other fossils in one place are likely to be so in others, too. Fossils aren’t and cannot be used for absolute dating. Absolute dating is done radiometrically.

    Another method of relative dating is magnetostratigraphy, which has nothing to do with evolution or living beings. Look it up.

    If you never heard of it for ytour education: you can not date sedimentary rocks.

    You can date them relatively as just explained; if there’s the slightest bit of volcanic material in them, you can date them absolutely (radiometrically), too.

    “In the absence of the evidence to the contrary any creature could have lived at any time before or after the time of its earliest or latest known fossils”.

    In principle yes. But how probable is that?

    I’ve published a paper on (among other things) how complete the fossil record of a group of animals with a notoriously poor fossil record is. Tell me your e-mail address, and I’ll send you the pdf. If you don’t want to disclose your address in public, find me in Google Scholar and drop me an e-mail.

    yealots of Darwin you need to studz

    Hey, look, a German keyboard!

    what more learned Darwinistst say.

    Unlike you, I’m one of those myself… :-| Taken at face value, the Lewontin quote you cite is pretty stupid, which would be bad for Lewontin, not for the theory of evolution (really, what, if anything, makes you think Lewontin speaks for anyone else!?!), but I bet there’s a lot of context missing around it. For instance, do you understand the difference between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism? If not, look it up.

    ANY system, open or closed does not spontaneously go from relative disorder to order on that kind of scale!

    What scale? What do you mean by spontaneously? We’re talking about stepwise processes that took tens or hundreds of millions of years.

    How, BTW, did you manage to grow? Why aren’t you still a spherical zygote?

    Evolution assumes the origins. It is essentially based in abiogenesis, a philosophical issue.

    Doubly wrong. Evolution starts once the first self-replicator exists ? how it came into existence doesn’t matter in the slightest. Remember? Descent with heritable modification.

    Abiogenesis is by no means a philosophical issue. It’s a scientific issue. It can be tested in laboratories and (to some degree) by looking at old rocks.

    neither evolution nor creation can be considered “facts”

    Evolution is a fact. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, see above.

    The theory of evolution by mutation, selection, and drift is the theory that explains that fact.

    Creation… where’s the theory? “Goddunit” isn’t falsifiable.

    We share 50% of DNA with banana. Can you elaborate how this fact proves the big E processsssss? He he he he …

    Do you even know what DNA is? Chemically and functionally, I mean?

    There’s no reason ? other than common descent ? to expect that humans and bananas should share any DNA. In fact, there’s not even a reason ? other than common descent ? to expect they should both have DNA in the first place. DNA with A, C, G, and T is by no means the only possible material of heredity. Why not DNA with C, G, iso-C, and iso-G? Why not RNA, TNA, PNA? Why not a protein? And so on and so forth. Look the abbreviations up.

    My point here is that we are working from different frameworks with our interpretation of data. From the materialist framework, evolution is the obvious conclusion; from the theist framework, creation is the obvious conclusion.

    What does the principle of parsimony say about this…?

    Common descent can be established within species and groups of species, but not to a single ancestor.

    Evidence, please.

    By the way you evo people believe that 3 bones of jaw in reptiels moved in some kinda miracolous manner and reshaped themselves int 3 bones of inner ear in mammals. Name a fossili that shows this miraculous pilgrimage of the bones at any stage of it.

    Comment 578 is a Gish Gallop, so I’ll just deal with this part of it. Here goes:

    Cynognathus, Chiniquodon, Probainognathus, Kayentatherium, Haramiyavia, Pachygenelus, Megazostrodon, Yanoconodon. And that’s just off the top of my head.

    Even the very concept of “pilgrimage” is wrong-headed. The bones in question acquired their function in hearing before they stopped losing their function in the jaw joint. I’d like to send pdfs of the papers on the jaw joints & middle ears of Chiniquodon and Yanoconodon your way. Your eyes would pop out.

    Doesn’t he realise that beleif in aliens (and alien abduction) are logical deductions from evolution theory

    Of course not. Neither do I. Care to explain?

    I want to point out that rodents are the closest living relatives to extant primates

    Not quite. Rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits, hares, pikas) are each other’s closest relatives, forming Glires; and primates, scandentians (tree “shrews”), and dermopterans (“flying” “lemurs” ? they glide) are each other’s closest relatives, forming Euarchonta. These two groups, finally, are each other’s closest relatives and form Euarchontoglires = Supraprimates = “Glimates”.

    Andre is the likely next winner of the Loebner Prize

    LOL! That would explain his incapability of reading the sites he quotes for understanding! :-D

  452. #452 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Is Andre the dumbest creationist we’ve seen?

    I’ll concur with the Rev. BDC. He is definitely near the top of the list. Also on the list for shooting himself in the foot. It is a wonder he doesn’t require a wheel chair to get around in.

  453. #453 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    please also re-read Kel’s post #409

    Wow, that is a bit of a shock. A theist recommending another theist read an atheist’s post on how to reconcile the bible with the universe. The problem I have with most theologians (who I have heard) is that they don’t try to do that. They want inerrancy, just not a literal interpretation. That there’s a “higher truth” in there, and I just don’t buy that. It belittles all other mythologies who have similar documents. All those are meant to be made up by man, but the one derived from the Babylonians is the inspired word of God? Come off it.

    The only way it makes sense to me is that if the book is a socially constructed, human edited volume – that it’s humanity’s way of understanding the world in terms of God. This way it counts as neither evidence for nor against God’s existence, that it’s an interpretation of events being put into a divine context. This is not to say that a God was or was not involved in any events talked about, just that it’s the work of man – as it should be.

  454. #454 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    If you never heard of it for ytour education: you can not date sedimentary rocks.

    Apparently you’ve never heard of Uranium-series dating of fluvial carbonates, eh?

    A shame, that. It’s good stuff.

  455. #455 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Apparently you’ve never heard of Uranium-series dating of fluvial carbonates, eh?

    A shame, that. It’s good stuff.

    Amen brother…

  456. #456 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 2, 2010

    David Marjanovi? @626:

    Nitpick: Arguably, evolution ONLY works on genes, with the influence on the individual as a byproduct.

    Acknowledged counter-nitpick: I was wondering if anyone was going to bring up scandentians and dermopterans. If you neglect them, however (and most lay people would consider them “rodenty” anyway), then glires is indeed closest to primates, with glires including rodentia and lagomorpha. I was sloppy and I apologize, but I thought in this context, it was better to get the point rather than the technicality across (the citation was also sloppy, but at the bottom of the link there’s a large list of citations). You’ll note at the first link, though, I do have all the mentioned clades in their proper places ;-)

    I’d be interested in taking a peek at the article you refer to, incidentally — what’s the DOI?

  457. #457 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Arguably, evolution ONLY works on genes, with the influence on the individual as a byproduct.

    What about epigenetics?

  458. #458 Dentroman
    January 2, 2010

    “Unlikely”? That’s quite the understatement. Petroleum contains things like chlorophyll decay products.

    My apologies. I should have been more stringent with my wording. My original intent was far more dismissive…
    D

  459. #459 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    (amusement) Why not, Kel? It was a sensible explication of the problem! In fact, it’s a clearly-stated elaboration of something my husband, Mr. Science, said to me twenty years ago: “God is not a liar; therefore, evolution is true.”

    They want inerrancy, just not a literal interpretation.

    Not really; that only applies to Evangelicals and fundamentalists. The Catholics, we Methodists, and all the other mainline denominations reject the doctrine of inerrancy and regard it as pernicious influence leading to eisegesis.

    It belittles all other mythologies who have similar documents. All those are meant to be made up by man, but the one derived from the Babylonians is the inspired word of God?

    I quite agree, as do most liberal Christians. Usually you’ll hear us say that the Bible is not the Word of God (which is Jesus and creation), but a Word about God. The way we officially state it is this:

    United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death.

    While we acknowledge the primacy of Scripture in theological reflection, our attempts to grasp its meaning always involve tradition, experience, and reason. Like Scripture, these may become creative vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they function with the Church. They quicken our faith, open our eyes to the wonder of God?s love, and clarify our understanding

    We Methodists believe in ongoing relevation; we are expected to bring our reason and our understanding of what is just and right to the text. We are also expected to bring the spiritual gift of discernment to our reading of the Bible; that means that we must consider the text within it historical framework and rightly divide that which was of its time and that which is for all time.

    For us, the Bible is the story of God’s interaction with humankind as told by human beings; and while authoritative in matters of our faith and practice, we do not expect that the authors of the Bible left their human limitations behind as they wrote, any more than we can avoid bringing ourselves to the text.

    Nor do we necessarily believe that the Bible is God’s only story of interaction with humankind. We do not speculate on the way He may have revealed Himself to others, but trust that He will reconcile all the world to Himself.

    In all things we seek to follow Micah 6:8 –

    And what does the LORD require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

  460. #460 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh, what is this with your deity being a He? :)

    Does it have a penis? Y chromosomes? Are there female deities it reproduces with?

    (Sorry, but it irks me when females buy into the Abrahamic legacy of privileging males.)

  461. #461 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Not really; that only applies to Evangelicals and fundamentalists. The Catholics, we Methodists, and all the other mainline denominations reject the doctrine of inerrancy and regard it as pernicious influence leading to eisegesis.

    It’s actually from many Catholic theologians that I’ve heard the notion that I was describing above. It’s not literalism, but it does seem to be a form of inerrancy – just that one has to find a different meaning than a historical one.

  462. #462 Vortmax
    January 2, 2010

    @631

    Nitpick: Arguably, evolution ONLY works on genes, with the influence on the individual as a byproduct.

    Strangely enough, I just read elsewhere on Scienceblogs that you don’t even need genes (or technically even life) to get evolution by mutation and natural selection.

    I’d love to see how the creotards (and also David) react to this.

  463. #463 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Kel, I don’t know as much about the Catholics; while they don’t subscribe to the doctrine of inerrancy, perhaps they have some nuanced version of it unique to them. Historically the Catholic church has held the Church to be the ultimate authority, above even the scriptures; that’s a big part of what the Reformation was about.

    John, God is of course not male or female, but both. In other forums, I alternate the gendered pronouns because I’m uncomfortable using “It” for a sentient being; but I’d rather not freak David out altogether here. That’s kind of an advanced concept and quite offputting to traditional Christians.

  464. #464 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    Strangely enough, I just read elsewhere on Scienceblogs that you don’t even need genes (or technically even life) to get evolution by mutation and natural selection.

    And you don’t need fossils to prove evolution, either.

  465. #465 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    John, God is of course not male or female, but both.

    And you know this how?

  466. #466 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Gee, Rev, because He’s not a corporeal being — and because we’re made in His image, male and female. So I think it’s accurate to say He’s both.

    Or maybe neither, or all: I think that “image” thing is about intelligence, not bipedality or some such. If we run across sentient cephalopods, they’ll be made in His image too. Likewise sentient fungi that reproduce by parthogenesis and are really “its”.

  467. #467 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Or maybe neither, or all:

    Well which is it? You seemed to be pretty certain when you said

    John, God is of course not male or female, but both.

  468. #468 Kel, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Kel, I don’t know as much about the Catholics; while they don’t subscribe to the doctrine of inerrancy, perhaps they have some nuanced version of it unique to them.

    Perhaps, though it’s hard to tell at times where Papal infallibility ends and personal opinion begins. I’m sure there are many Catholics who believe in evolution and still a literal Adam & Eve and a literal Fall. I’m sure there are still creationist Catholics out there who are hoping that there’s an endorsement of ID. Catholics who believe in a literal flood, and a literal Tower of Babel, and a literal Sodom, and a literal Exodus plagues and all.

    Maybe it’s just the bias of those who speak out on the issues happening to believing that the bible is God’s word, or that very liberal interpretations unsurprisingly don’t resonate too well in the general population. Maybe I’m just selective in what I remember, or what I’m exposed to as well. But there are over 1 billion Catholics, which to me means there are over 1 billion variations on a very general party line one must tow.

  469. #469 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Kel, I feel sure you’re right about having a wide swathe of different opinions coming from the Catholics. Likewise, when I talk about “us Methodists” I’m being pretty presumptuous; I don’t speak for the denomination, and while I think I’m reasonably mainstream, for all I know I’m a fringe nutter.

    Rev, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about God’s gender, other than being sure that he’s not just an old white guy. Not too fond of the patriarchy, I’m not . . .

  470. #470 IaMoL
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh seems to merit that somewhat or maybe even usually intelligent descriptor I offered on the Deeeeeepaaaaak! thread.
    Reread your posts Leigh and see if you can spot the claims to magical thinking woo.
    God is a hermaphrodite… yeah, that’s just brilliant. Perhaps He can go fuck himself and leave the virgins made of his/her image alone next time.

  471. #471 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Kel,

    Just speaking from my experience, I went to catholic school for 12 years in Australia during the 60s and 70s. I was certainly taught evolution as fact (by nuns no less). The actual origin of life was not mentioned, and I guess none of us was smart enough to ask the question. Biblical tales, from grade one onwards, were always taught as allegories or parables, in religion classes.

    That said, I do know that there are fundamentalist catholics, especially in the US.

    What I have seen lately, which is really scarey, is that state primary schools have optional religion classes, run by protestants, and kids are taught OT bible stories as fact. Yeeesh.

  472. #472 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Rev, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about God’s gender, other than being sure that he’s not just an old white guy. Not too fond of the patriarchy, I’m not . . .

    That’s fine and dandy, I’m not either, but you made the assertion above and then backed off. How would you know what gender or not gender a deity would be? Whether you care or not about the gender status of your god has nothing to do with what gender or not it is. I’m assuming that there is something in the bible that points you to your conclusion, whatever that is (still trying to figure that out with your conflicting comments above).

    I just become curious when theists make proclamations about things but don’t back them up with anything or dodge when questioned.

    We Methodists believe in ongoing relevation; we are expected to bring our reason and our understanding of what is just and right to the text.

    You and the Mormons have something in common. How do you verify your ongoing revelation is actually a revelation and not just something you are creating in your mind?

  473. #473 Dentroman
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh Williams,

    Starting from the assumption that you actually didn’t mean to be so assertive earlier, I would like to ask a quick question. You say that you don’t think God is (exclusively) male. Why? You cited that both men and women were created in god’s image, but I find that verse ambiguous at best.

    Do you find it superior for some theological reason? Does it just seem like the more reasonable thing? I admire your distaste for patriarchy, but I think you may be putting the cart before the horse here. Is this distaste grounded in theology, or is your theology a result of your distaste of patriarchy?

    I’m sincerely curious about this, as I’ve had little chance to discuss with Christians like yourself.

    Dentro

  474. #474 tigerhawkvok.myopenid.com
    January 2, 2010

    @Kel, 632:

    I’d argue epigenetics is still, indirectly, a manifestation of the genes. Genes that permit inter-cell chemical signaling giving rise to developmental features such as cellular differentiation are selected for , and thus, cellular differentiation is the result of selection on genes enabling chemical signaling influencing the development of adjacent cells (or its own selective expression).

    Anyway, I said it was arguable, not even the most useful construct to look at selection. But, in a very basic sense, all selection does act on genes. It may be quite obscure, but it is really the basis for selection.

    @IaMOL: Leigh is generally quite helpful, kind, and nonevangelistic. While she does have some inconsistencies, I think to the extent possible we should be kind and tolerant to those 80% of the way toward our viewpoint.

    @Leigh, I must ask: what is the functional difference between our universe with a deity (your god or otherwise), and one without it, as you understand your god? From what I can tell, the only thing your god does is essentially fail parsimony. If you didn’t mention your deity, I really would have guessed you to be an atheist. (It’s an honest question as much as a vehicle for you to probe yourself).

  475. #475 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Rev, I told you, quoting from Genesis, why I said both. Did you not recognize the passage? Really, it’s not worth obsessing over; as you go on to point out, there are much more serious problems with my faith than that.

    You and the Mormons have something in common. How do you verify your ongoing revelation is actually a revelation and not just something you are creating in your mind?

    Synchronicity amazes me sometimes. I’ve just spent considerable time at ExMormon.org, literally simultaneously with participating in this thread, reading up on LDS theology and the numerous problems with it and Mormon scripture.

    The honest answer is, it’s impossible to know for sure. You try to keep a foot firmly planted in reality; think about fairness and justice, and not judging other people, how first to do no harm; and remember that “walk humbly” part all the time.

    Yes, there are flashes of insight sometimes, times that I’m very aware of God’s presence. I’m familiar with the neuroscience; I know that such moments may be a product of my own brain. May be; then again, maybe not. I choose to believe.

    I believe strongly that separation of church and state is healthiest for both.

    In any case, my religion is largely a private matter. I tend to agree with Winston Churchill:

    When once asked about what religion he practiced, Churchill replied, ?All reasonable men have the same religion.? And when pressed to explain what he meant, he demurred. ?Reasonable men don?t tell.?

    I “come out” in forums like this because I am unwilling to concede the name of Christ to YECs and bigots . . . and because some of the younger ones may not know that their choices are NOT limited to atheism and Young Earth Creationism.

  476. #476 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh

    In my family we were raised Wisc Synod Evan Luth. Very strict/literal. While I’ve pretty much become a weak atheist my brother (after leaving that church) is considering becoming a Methodist. He considers them ‘lazy catholics’ ;)

  477. #477 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    I’ve got a question. If mice/kangaroo/banana are have x% in common with our genes, what is the simplest way to explain to a layman why we look so different?

    Obviously I understand that having 99% in common in the gene doesn’t necessarily lead to us looking approximately 99% identical, BUT, it’s easy to see why a layman (like myself) has to wrestle with that. I’ve tried to follow some of the links and I’m sure I’ll eventually understand well enough for myself but I know I could never explain it to another layman in simple terms.

    Any canned 50 word answers?

  478. #478 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    I’m no biologist or geneticist but the way I look at genes are as building blocks with specific characteristics. You can use building blocks to build all manner of things that don’t look similar.

    Now that is very simplistic and probably wrong. Hopefully it’s close enough and if not I’m 100% sure it will be corrected.

  479. #479 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Any canned 50 word answers?

    Most cellular proteins are the same, but growth factors and timing of those factors differ for different shapes.

    My two cents.

  480. #480 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Lego Blocks that are 99% identical but use one set to build a dinosaur and one set to build a tiger.

    I like it.

  481. #481 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Dentroman asked me:

    Starting from the assumption that you actually didn’t mean to be so assertive earlier, I would like to ask a quick question. You say that you don’t think God is (exclusively) male. Why? You cited that both men and women were created in god’s image, but I find that verse ambiguous at best.

    I don’t find it ambiguous; I find it surprising. As you no doubt know, it’s very likely that the Hebrews originally had both a god and a goddess, generally described as wedded to each other. They also recognized other gods belonging to surrounding cultures. Later, when the synthesis to monotheism occurred, the goddess was redacted, but plural references to God persisted. What I find surprising is that the Elohim narrative in Genesis retained the “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” clause.

    So I do find it significant for us now. Not until Jesus included women in his retinue, and Paul set women in place as apostles and leaders of churches, do we see that degree of egalitarianism in the Bible. Alas, that state of affairs didn’t continue past the 1st century as the Church fathers retreated from Jesus and Paul’s radicalism.

    So yes, I do find the notion that God is both male and female theologically superior. Egalitarianism is superior as a practical matter, too. It makes no sense to waste half our human capital and thereby perpetuate a system so prone to abuse and misery.

  482. #482 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    Rev, I told you, quoting from Genesis, why I said both. Did you not recognize the passage? Really, it’s not worth obsessing over; as you go on to point out, there are much more serious problems with my faith than that.

    No I recognized it and I’m not really obsessing over this particular point as much as that you can claim any knowledge of the nature of your god as fact when all you truly have to rely on is the bible and “ongoing revelation”. Neither of which seeming to be a very reliable source.

    Yes, there are flashes of insight sometimes, times that I’m very aware of God’s presence. I’m familiar with the neuroscience; I know that such moments may be a product of my own brain. May be; then again, maybe not. I choose to believe.

    Ok that’s fine. I just find it hard to understand why someone would chose the option that flies in the face of everything we know about reality.

    I “come out” in forums like this because I am unwilling to concede the name of Christ to YECs and bigots . . . and because some of the younger ones may not know that their choices are NOT limited to atheism and Young Earth Creationism.

    And that’s great. I hope I in no way gave you the impression that I did not think you should be giving your opinion here.

  483. #483 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 2, 2010

    …And then you mash the lion and the tiger blocks together and make some sort of mutant that has lasers that come out of its head and..

    Sorry, I loved Legos.

  484. #484 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    I suspect this will point out a fatal flaw in my lego analogy but here goes.

    With exactly the same set of logo’s, I can build different things. This would seem to say that different creatures could have 100% identical genes/ building blocks.

    HELP???

  485. #485 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    “And that’s great. I hope I in no way gave you the impression that I did not think you should be giving your opinion here.”

    I second that. Although I am atheist, it is the anti-science stance of believers that bothers me (no, it actually makes me really mad), not faith itself.

  486. #486 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    I’m totally talking out of my ass here but that’s never stopped me before…

    I believe the sequence of the genes matter and when it is said we share 95% of genes with something that is not just the genes but the sequence as well.

    /asstalking

  487. #487 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    yeah, genes ain’t nothing like building blocks; sorry. Think more like “recipe” or “hierarchical network of interdependent recipes.” Hope this helps.

  488. #488 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 2, 2010

    “With exactly the same set of logo’s, I can build different things. This would seem to say that different creatures could have 100% identical genes/ building blocks.

    HELP???”

    It’s pretty much all done with the same ATCG. The trick is that they’re arranged differently.

    Note: Every single thing you do on your computer ultimately comes down to 1s and 0s. Science is more amazing then religion, really.

  489. #489 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    I understand what your saying Rev but that still leads me to assert that two completely different critters can have exactly the same genes (just arranged differently).

  490. #490 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 2, 2010

    yeah, genes ain’t nothing like building blocks; sorry. Think more like “recipe” or “hierarchical network of interdependent recipes.” Hope this helps.

    With that i’ll just shut my fat mouth. Trust Sven and not me in this area. My attempt to make a simplistic and layman’s version failed horribly.

  491. #491 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Rutee, Are the ATCG for humans the same as the ATCG for mice, kangaroo, banana’s?

    Are there ‘different’ sets (some are ATCG, some are xyz)?

  492. #492 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Crap, I liked the LEGO analogy.

  493. #493 Jennifer B. Phillips
    January 2, 2010

    Yes, an A is an A is an A, from E. coli to Echidnas. It’s the order in which these molecules are arranged on the DNA strand that gives the gene (and the protein it encodes) its specific identity.

  494. #494 Eric
    January 2, 2010

    rmp:

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but the way that I understand it is that a gene is a gene is a gene; therefor two different species can have the same gene more or less, i.e., the same sequence of codons that expresses more or less the same trait. I’m thinking about Hox genes as a very specific example, but I think that you can use it more generally.

    And the percentages, as I remember, deal with codons a little more than genes. We share 98% of the same codons in the same sequence without errors (mutations) as chimpanzees.

    This is all off the top of my head and done quickly with no reference, so please tell me if I’m wrong.

  495. #495 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    I’m looking over Nucleobase in Wikipedia. If not for the wine and a short attention span I’m sure I’ll get through it eventually BUT not well enough to explain simply.

    I’m sorry but while I’m sure it’s accurate,
    “hierarchical network of interdependent recipes.” doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue.

  496. #496 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 2, 2010

    I’m actually terrible at Bio, but the answer to THIS one is an emphatic yes.

    Still, I’d take Sven’s explanation over mine, seriously.

  497. #497 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Any comments on Wikipedia’s “Introduction to genetics”?

  498. #498 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Tigerhawkvok asked me:

    I must ask: what is the functional difference between our universe with a deity (your god or otherwise), and one without it, as you understand your god? From what I can tell, the only thing your god does is essentially fail parsimony. If you didn’t mention your deity, I really would have guessed you to be an atheist. (It’s an honest question as much as a vehicle for you to probe yourself).

    In this respect I am a fairly traditional Christian. I believe I have a relationship with God that will continue after my bodily death. (By the way, I believe you do too although it’s one-way now, and that you will be pleasantly surprised when you die.)

    I know that sounds ridiculous to you. I know it very well, because I was for the majority of my life a strong atheist. I was brought up in a Southern Baptist church and rejected the entire ball of wax as ridiculous. They preached inerrancy, which is obviously false; I thought the doctrine of penal substitution (blood atonement) was barbaric and furthermore made God look like a fritterhead; and I was appalled by the racial bigotry I found in the congregation. Most of all, I was aware that there’s no evidence that there is a God at all. I went to church (under protest) until I graduated from high school, and promptly quit as soon as I left home.

    I don’t talk about my history much here. I know that some here refuse to believe that an atheist can have an epiphany and become a theist.

    You’re quite right in assuming that, if I hadn’t mentioned my faith, you’d think I was pure rationalist. I doubt my views on the big majority of issues differ from yours. I am as horrified by the activities of the Religious Right as you are; maybe more so, since I know a whole bunch of them up close and personal. I DON’T believe that organized religion is a force for good in the world.

    Which is okay, I guess, since I’m a Methodist and we’re not too damn organized. Lazy Catholics, remember! Except not so much; we’re way more warm and fuzzy than that, we’re nothing but the mushy middle. Which is exactly how I like it; I abhor fanaticism.

  499. #499 Jennifer B. Phillips
    January 2, 2010

    rmp, try this link:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061013104633.htm

    To my professional biologists eye, it seems pretty accessible to the layperson, and may help you understand the ‘how can such similar ingredients produce such wild variety of different products?’ question a bit.

    Gene regulation is a key concept here, i.e. it’s not just the materials themselves that make the man (or the chimp, or the cephalopod), it’s how, and where and when and how much you use them.

  500. #500 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    DebinOz:

    I second that. Although I am atheist, it is the anti-science stance of believers that bothers me (no, it actually makes me really mad), not faith itself.

    Thanks, Rev and Deb. It’s the anti-science stuff that infuriates me, too.

  501. #501 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Leigh, that’s a nice post, but it didn’t answer the question asked. It was an evasion.

    Q: what is the functional difference between our universe with a deity (your god or otherwise), and one without it, as you understand your god?

    A: I believe I have a relationship with God that will continue after my bodily death.

    Tsk.

  502. #502 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Thanks Jennifer! I may even download it to my kindle for easy review.

    Leigh, you don’t know my nor do I know you so please understand that I won’t be offended if you don’t answer this. When my brother decided he needed to move away for a literal/yec church to something more
    in the ‘mushy middle’ I asked him if he considered Unitarianism. He felt that it was still important to him to have a Trinity. What are your thoughts (if you’re inclined to answer).

  503. #503 Jadehawk, OM
    January 2, 2010

    actually, that does sound like an answer to your question. without her god, there’s no afterlife. with her god, there is one. basically, her god uploads our brain patterns into the great computer in the sky :-p

  504. #504 IaMoL
    January 2, 2010

    I know it very well, because I was for the majority of my life a strong atheist.

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

    (By the way, I believe you do too although it’s one-way now, and that you will be pleasantly surprised when you die.)

    No matter how much you’ll deny it, you were never an atheist from a logical or rational standpoint.

  505. #505 Dentroman
    January 2, 2010

    I “come out” in forums like this because I am unwilling to concede the name of Christ to YECs and bigots . . . and because some of the younger ones may not know that their choices are NOT limited to atheism and Young Earth Creationism.

    Amen. Even as an atheist, I can whole heartedly agree, and I only wish more Christians would stand up and do the same.

    I don’t find it ambiguous; I find it surprising. As you no doubt know, it’s very likely that the Hebrews originally had both a god and a goddess, generally described as wedded to each other. They also recognized other gods belonging to surrounding cultures. Later, when the synthesis to monotheism occurred, the goddess was redacted, but plural references to God persisted. What I find surprising is that the Elohim narrative in Genesis retained the “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” clause.

    The reason I find this ambiguous: You’ll notice that there are two similar but distinct clauses, first the “in the image of God created he him”, which clearly only applies to Adam, then “male and female created he them”. While I agree this can be interpreted to mean that BOTH were created in the image of the Christian god, the fact that the two are separated out, implies to me that this isn’t so. As such, I think the verse is ambiguous at best.

    So I do find it significant for us now. Not until Jesus included women in his retinue, and Paul set women in place as apostles and leaders of churches, do we see that degree of egalitarianism in the Bible. Alas, that state of affairs didn’t continue past the 1st century as the Church fathers retreated from Jesus and Paul’s radicalism.

    Sadly I cannot agree that Paul was so revolutionary, and certainly not to a point where that I can call him egalitarian. I wish he was.

    1 Corinthians
    14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
    14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    Women are not considered equals in the bible, and while things do improve slightly in the NT, the views expressed are hardly egalitarian.

    So yes, I do find the notion that God is both male and female theologically superior. Egalitarianism is superior as a practical matter, too. It makes no sense to waste half our human capital and thereby perpetuate a system so prone to abuse and misery.

    Second half I agree with once again. I still don’t see the first sentence though.
    I must admit, this is a bit of a sensitive issue for me. One of the reasons I became an atheist is because of the way that religion consistently devalues women (this became a focus of investigation for me). What you observe happening following the 1st century is hardly unusual. In the end, I came to the conclusion that modern advances in the treatment of women resulted in the softening of doctrines on the matter not the other way around.

    D

  506. #506 exnihilo
    January 2, 2010

    I wonder how it can be that the people with the scientific evidence can’t have the confidence to shoot down the creationists? Embarass them once and for all. I thought the case for evolution was proven. Perhaps it’s not such a shut and closed case if the leaders of the atheistic religion are scared of a few minority creationists. Makes me wonder…

  507. #507 IaMoL
    January 2, 2010

    their choices are NOT limited to atheism and Young Earth Creationism.

    Lovely. You’ve outlined what you believe to be pejorative and the Middle Ground fallacy is what you offer instead. Your bias is showing – your logic isn’t.

  508. #508 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Looks like fresh meat came to the party!!

    I’m probably going to bed soon but thanks to all for helping educate me. As I always say, ignorance it temporary, stupid is forever!!

  509. #509 rmp
    January 2, 2010

    Man I’ve got to scan better for the typos!! Damn this red wine!

  510. #510 Leigh Williams
    January 2, 2010

    Sorry, John, I thought I was making that clear. The world functions as God set it up to function; I don’t think he tinkers with it constantly, and I’m not on the lookout for miracles. So . . . no difference.

    Other than the whole afterlife and immortality thing, of course.

  511. #511 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 2, 2010

    Perhaps it’s not such a shut and closed case if the leaders of the atheistic religion are scared of a few minority creationists. Makes me wonder…

    No, it is often the case that most creationist say the same thing over and over. They’ll sprinkle a few science sounding stuff here and there but it’s poorly supported. It’s for those reason why debates are pointless.

    And atheist isn’t a religion it’s the lack of religion. Also, Atheism =/= evolution, which is a topic we brought up long ago. Nice concern trolling there.

  512. #512 John Morales
    January 2, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    actually, that does sound like an answer to your question. without her god, there’s no afterlife. with her god, there is one.

    Please re-read the question (of which I quoted the salient part).

    PS it was not my question.

  513. #513 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    gah.
    I just tried 3 times to type out a reasonably concise summary of molecular biology and got mired in detail every time.

    Genes code for proteins; proteins can be structural (collagen, actin, keratin), can be enzymes (therefore underlying all biochemistry), can be transporters or carriers of other molecules, can be immunoglobulins (antibodies), can be motors, can be hormones or neurotransmitters, AND can also be transcription factors that affect the expression of other genes which can in turn be transcription fators… yikes it gets crazy. But the genome as a giant recipe for the production and maintenance of an organism is a pretty good metaphor, I think. And then there are various interactive yet hierarchical levels of subrecipes or subroutines.

    aaaaa too drunk

  514. #514 Jennifer B. Phillips
    January 2, 2010

    Embarass them once and for all.

    Oh, they’ve been embarrassed plenty, exnihilo. They’re just too ignorant/arrogant to realize it.

  515. #515 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    exnihilo, to the extent that you really want an answer, it is impossible to embarrass them for once and for all. They put their fingers in their ears, go la la la and then start all over again.

  516. #516 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    Leigh, thanks.

    That is a good answer (no difference).

    Other than the whole afterlife and immortality thing, of course.

    Of course. :)

  517. #517 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I wonder how it can be that the people with the scientific evidence can’t have the confidence to shoot down the creationists?

    Scientifically, the ignorant creobots have been shot down for 150 years, as evolution has the evidence. But, the “debate” winner is one with the better rhetoric, not the better evidence. So “debates” change no minds, and legitimize creobots. If anything, there should be mock trials where evidence must be introduced, and if the evidence doesn’t have sufficient rigor, like say the existence of a deity, then it cannot be introduced. That way, the scientific evidence could win. Or, a true scientific debate could be started anytime in the peer reviewed scientific literature. But then, the creationists would have to obey the rules of science, and they have no positive evidence to support their theory, and they know it. So they avoid that option like it is the plague.

  518. #518 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Lovely. You’ve outlined what you believe to be pejorative and the Middle Ground fallacy is what you offer instead. Your bias is showing – your logic isn’t.

    Huh? Why perjorative? Well, I don’t have a very good opinion of YECism, but atheism is fine.

    Some people don’t want to give up their faith. Most people of faith don’t have a problem with science. Why isn’t that a good thing to tell them?

  519. #519 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    I wonder how it can be that the people with the scientific evidence can’t have the confidence to shoot down the creationists? Embarass them once and for all. I thought the case for evolution was proven. Perhaps it’s not such a shut and closed case if the leaders of the atheistic religion are scared of a few minority creationists. Makes me wonder…

    Let’s say a worm challenges you to a duel. You’ve got better things to do. In addition, even if you smash the worm into the sidewalk, it’ll claim victory, and use your status as a “higher” animal to amass it’s “credibility” as a fighter.
    This is the case creationists present to serious academics. If your Shepard wanted an intellectual debate, he could come here. It doesn’t take a PhD in biology to smash a Creotard into the ground.

    D

  520. #520 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    No matter how much you’ll deny it, you were never an atheist from a logical or rational standpoint.

    Told you so. It’s always amusing to see an atheist trot out “No True Scotsman”.

  521. #521 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    My bad. Shepard should be shepherd. My spell check messed me up.

  522. #522 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Who was it that said that debating a creationist is liking playing chess with a pigeon. They knock over all the pieces, crap on the board and then fly home and say they won.

  523. #523 Jadehawk, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Dentroman, to be fair, those passages are disputed. It is quite likely that they have not been written by Paul at all, but inserted later. Consider that they directly contradict 1 Corinthians 11:5, and also that it’s a complete non sequitur in a passage that talks at length about prophesying and speaking in tongues, both right before and right afterwards.

    there’s a lot of weirdness and suckitude in paul’s writings, but I have to say that that particular passage is probably someone else’s suckitude.

  524. #524 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    PS Leigh, perhaps a hundred thousand million billion trillion quintillion quintillion sextillion septillion octillion nonillion decillion undecillion duodecillion tredecillion <pant> quattuordecillion quindecillion sexdecillion <too tired to continue> years hence (i.e., at the very beginning of eternity), when you’re with the Seraphs who continually cry “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory”, you might be more aggrieved than I in my eternal torments.

    I’m easily bored — hope you’re not. :)

  525. #525 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    Why isn’t that a good thing to tell them?

    Because, due to insufficient evidence for deities or any supernatural phenomena, it most likely isn’t true.

  526. #526 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010
    No matter how much you’ll deny it, you were never an atheist from a logical or rational standpoint.

    Told you so. It’s always amusing to see an atheist trot out “No True Scotsman”.

    I’ll second that. IaMoL, you’re one to be complaining about logical fallacies.
    Dentroman

  527. #527 Jadehawk, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Please re-read the question (of which I quoted the salient part).

    PS it was not my question.

    ok, so it isn’t your question. anyway, i got from that answer that the only difference is an afterlife, i.e. no difference otherwise. how does that not answer the question?

  528. #528 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    Latest troll @681,

    Perhaps it’s not such a shut and closed case if the leaders of the atheistic religion are scared of a few minority creationists. Makes me wonder…

    Liar!
    It doesn’t make you wonder. You’ve already assumed the answer, which is why you have completely ignored the various post showing why you are wrong. You and your ilk are immune to evidence, as shown by the fact that after almost 700 comments on this post alone, you still post such fatuous crap as this.

  529. #529 strange gods before me, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Jadehawk reads Bart Ehrman. :)

  530. #530 Jadehawk, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Jadehawk reads Bart Ehrman. :)

    yes she does :-p

  531. #531 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    Dentroman, to be fair, those passages are disputed. It is quite likely that they have not been written by Paul at all, but inserted later. Consider that they directly contradict 1 Corinthians 11:5, and also that it’s a complete non sequitur in a passage that talks at length about prophesying and speaking in tongues, both right before and right afterwards.

    Fair enough. I still don’t find the content of NT nearly convincing enough to reverse the OT.
    D

  532. #532 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    I think that when a creationist logs a comment they should have to check a box that would let us know if they are really interested in a discussion. That way we could have a real back and forth with people like David from Canada and simply ignore (or taunt) people like exnihilo/andre/patrick/

  533. #533 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    Told you so. It’s always amusing to see an atheist trot out “No True Scotsman”.

    It is not a No true Scotsman fallacy. She may have thought herself an atheist but not for the reasons I cited.

    logical: reasoned thought or argument, as distinguished from irrationality
    Your Christian beliefs now are based on faith.
    Faith:strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence.

    Again I state you may have believed in God but were never an atheist from a logical or rational standpoint.

  534. #534 andre
    January 3, 2010

    Reading your stupid comments especially by the evoretards barking from behind the nick names,one can understand why evolutionists lost and will be losing any scientific debates in the future. You simply can not provide any scientific evidence for evolutionism. Blind faith confessions is what I have seen so far.Occasional abuse of the opponents in dominant style of the major prophets and apostles of your faith…
    In case you did not know there was another fraud perpetrated by the evo zealots.It is called betularia the peppered moth. In it Darwinians,to trenghten their scientific case for evolutionism glued some white moths on the dark bark of the trees to show that white ones were more easily visible by the birds and eaten. The problem with betularia is that during the day it sleeps under the leaves and does not come out at all.
    Hahahahahaha!!! Sorry. Nevertheless betularia stayed on the textbooks for some time. Just like Haeckel. No wonder some of you zealots perceives informed taxpayers laymen as dangerous. One day they may ask for concrete scientific results of the money they provide you with..

  535. #535 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    rmp@707

    I think that when a creationist logs a comment they should have to check a box that would let us know if they are really interested in a discussion. That way we could have a real back and forth with people like David from Canada and simply ignore (or taunt) people like exnihilo/andre/patrick/

    I think we need some kind of alert on the front page showing which threads the good troll stomps are currently happening on.
    I find that I often miss them entirely, which leaves my with a very non-sniny coat.

  536. #536 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    I vote that andre isn’t worthy of any bandwidth. But that’s just my opinion.

  537. #537 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    Again I state you may not have believed in God but…

  538. #538 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    Apparently my ability to type is also detrimentally effected. (shakes fist in general direction of a certain holy large unintelligent primate)

  539. #539 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    You simply can not provide any scientific evidence for evolutionism.

    We did. You didn’t bother to read them, and that’s your own stupid creotard issue.

    We have transitional fossils. We have bacteria evolving resistance to medications. We have species diverging due to geographical isolation. All you have a book and a bunch of whiney tedious trolls.

    Occasional abuse of the opponents in dominant style of the major prophets and apostles of your faith…

    Prophets? Wow you are really crazy to think that we’d blindly believe anyone.

  540. #540 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    IaMoL, at least I’m not the only one wrestling with typos!! I’m blaming the wine (communal).

  541. #541 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    andre, you’re pathetic.

  542. #542 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    I’m blaming the wine (communal).

    I’m blaming the whine….esp on the part of andre.

  543. #543 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    You simply can not provide any scientific evidence for evolutionism.

    Boring troll is boring. Plenty has been brought up discussing the evidence. Either you have a comprehension problem or an honesty one.

    I wonder how it can be that the people with the scientific evidence can’t have the confidence to shoot down the creationists?

    Public debates are never about being scientifically correct. The place for the discussion of science is in peer review. Notice that creationists are unwilling to engage in the peer review process, and instead prefer public spectacles.

    I thought the case for evolution was proven

    Nope, you can’t prove in science. Only disprove. Creation has been disproved in a multitude of fashions time and time again. Again note the divergence between what is fought between intellectuals in the academic arena and what is believed by the ignorant in the general public.

    Perhaps it’s not such a shut and closed case if the leaders of the atheistic religion are scared of a few minority creationists.

    Again, Evolution is not atheism. Evolution is a scientific theory about the process of life, atheism is the philosophical position that gods do not exist. Category error, but again this is expected.

    Why is it that creationists are unwilling to engage evolution for what it is? Why don’t they have the honesty to understand what evolution is as scientists understand it and from there argue against it? We seldom (if ever) get that. Instead the same straw man arguments come out over and over again. Get an education before opening your mouth again!

  544. #544 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    Malcolm, you’re in luck!
    There’s one here now, the sub-troll andre. Hardly worth any XP, but you can play spot-the-fallacy and/or creationist bingo with it.

    Stomp away. :)

  545. #545 Falcarius
    January 3, 2010
    You simply can not provide any scientific evidence for evolutionism.

    We did. You didn’t bother to read them, and that’s your own stupid creotard issue.

    Hell, he provided links to the evidence himself on at least three separate occasions.

    It’s as if Kirk Cameron got a copy of Jonathan Wells’ “Icons” book, smacked himself in the head with it about 400 times, and then came here to post arguments from it.

  546. #546 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    rmp:I have no one to blame but myself.

    (hypothetically)My point is that I can call myself a vegan because I eat no meat products. My reason may be philosophically based – say animal rights (ethical concerns), or it may be health based or even taste based – it doesn’t matter because by all appearances I am a vegan. If I start eating meat again – become an omnivore no matter how many years I spent as a vegan – it is obvious my reasons were not truly based on animal rights ethics or if they were, it was not a strong reasoned attachment to that ideology.
    Even if I claimed to be a strong vegan once upon a time, it is superfluous, it carries no ethical or rational weight once I resumed eating meat.

  547. #547 Bert
    January 3, 2010

    I always get the impression with creationists that evolution itself is not really the problem. The problem is the time needed for it to play out and the age of the earth.

    Their problem with the time needed always seems to me to be egotistical, that if the earth took so long to get to this stage then they have to accept they are insignificant and can’t possibly be the special little rainbow they think they are.

    This is what, essentially, they take umbrage with. The rest is fluff.

  548. #548 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Dentroman:

    Sadly I cannot agree that Paul was so revolutionary, and certainly not to a point where that I can call him egalitarian. I wish he was.

    Oh, I entirely see what you mean. I despised the old misogynist for years.

    Until I discovered that the crap from Corinthians you quote is considered to be later interpolations by many Biblical scholars.

    When you look at the entirety of his oeuvre, it becomes pretty clear that in the early church was indeed egalitarian, and the later interpolations make no sense. For example, women were preaching and prophesying in Paul’s churches (1 Cor 11:4) — albeit with a scarf on their heads, as all respectable matrons in the Roman empire were expected to wear for decency’s sake. Men and women worshipped together, a very radical departure from Jewish and Roman practice.

    1 Cor 14:34-36 is a direct contradiction to 1 Cor 11:4, and is furthermore contradicted by the fact that Paul writes elsewhere to women who are heading churches: one of whom, Junia, he calls an apostle. Thus we see that the two highest ranks in the early church, apostle and prophet, were both open to women. We conclude that 1 Cor 14:34-35 are a later interpolation; indeed, if you read the whole passage in plaintext (without verse markings) that’s obvious even in English translations.

  549. #549 andre
    January 3, 2010

    ….and yes! I was thinking of the Piltdown Man fraud and wrote Pithecanthropus. Well Pithecanthropus was a fraud as well…It was a skullcap and tooth of a monkey joined with human femur unearthed some 12 metres away in different strata.This fraud was perpetrated by guy called Dubois. Recent “scientific proof” for the evo faith was called Ardipithecus Kadabba and it balances on the verge of the fraud as well.The ramains of the alleged ancestor of humanity the father Kadabba were collected on the arc about 14 km long in 4 different places.The alleged ancestry of the human race in the case of the father Ardipithecus Kadabba was established on the looks of one of its toes. Not as curved as in chimps and not as straight as in humans. The problem was that the toe was found some 18 km form the rest of the bones of alleged father Kadabba. Kadabba was put together and given much of publicity in the Nature.Another artifact of evolutionary faith..

  550. #550 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    In situations where the subject’s status is previously determined by specific behaviors, the No True Scotsman fallacy does not apply. For example, it is perfectly justified to say, “No true vegetarian eats meat,” because not eating meat is the single thing that precisely defines a person as a vegetarian.

  551. #551 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    John,
    The problem is that this one is absolutely pathetic.
    Although it did get one thing right. We haven’t produced any evidence for evolutionism.
    Evidence for evolution, on the other hand, has been produced by a number of posters and subsequently ignored.

  552. #552 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 3, 2010

    Here’s a fun thing to do.

    Read Andre’s posts aloud, but in the voice of Peter Seller’s Inspector Clouseau.

    Now pretend to be Borat.

    Barbara Walters

    Dr. Evil

    I have been giggling for hours.

  553. #553 DebinOz
    January 3, 2010

    “I always get the impression with creationists that evolution itself is not really the problem. The problem is the time needed for it to play out and the age of the earth.”

    Bert, yes I would agree with that, and add that they are horrified to think that they ‘used to be a poo-flinging monkey’ (sic).

  554. #554 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    John Morales said:

    . . . you might be more aggrieved than I in my eternal torments.

    Don’t be silly, John, you’re not going to be in eternal torment. Or if you are, I’ll be right there with you.

    Do you for one moment suppose I’ll consent to worship a malevolent deity who could do such a thing?

    And if all He gives us to do is sing, that will indeed be a hell!

  555. #555 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    andre,
    How many fossils do you thing have been found?
    Just a ballpark figure.

  556. #556 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    Yeah, yeah, Andre. All of evolution rests on your examples.

    You’re an idiot. What you don’t know could fill libraries. I’m too tired to read your infantile prattling from AiG.

    You are TSTKYS

    (Too stupid to know your stupid)

  557. #557 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I always get the impression with creationists that evolution itself is not really the problem. The problem is the time needed for it to play out and the age of the earth.

    I’ve never personally got that impression, anything over a hundred years is pretty much incomprehensible to us anyway. When you talk about millions or even billion of years, it means nothing.

    The problem as I see it is that people are natural born teleologists. We look for design, we are wired for such pattern recognition. It takes a lot of training to break from that, and even then it’s still a pervasive influence on our thinking. We’re essentially repressing folk biology with learning, just as we do folk physics and folk psychology. They are good enough for the basics, but they get in the way when trying to understand the natural reality of things. Just think of the mind-fuck of Einsteinian relativity, where Aristotelian physics makes sense. That Einsteinian relativity matches more closely to observations is its only saving grace really ;)

    But really, to get back to your point, I don’t ever think I’ve come across a creationist who understands the principles of evolution even on a basic level. Agency begets design, it’s how our minds work. That design can come from a process with no knowledge of how it works? Well that’s a strange inversion of reasoning. And to my mind, creationists are people who just can’t get that.

  558. #558 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    Piltdown man? Bingo! Yet another point for my creationist argument card. Except this argument is rather lame.

    look up:

    Homo Neanderthalensis
    Homo Egaster
    Homo Erectus
    The Australopithecines

  559. #559 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    Perhaps my subconscious is aware that andre doesn’t think. Either that, or I just suck at typing.

  560. #560 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Bert and DebinOz, I disagree. As a person that was raised a YEC, I wasn’t ok with evolution at all. Not simply the time frame.

  561. #561 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    Leigh,
    Having read through 1 Cor 11 again, I think I feel secure admitting that the passages I cited could indeed be an insertion. I guess this brings me to another thing I’d like to ask about.

    Earlier you referenced that the Hebrews initially had a very different religion than that traditionally attributed to them. I also assume that you are aware of the similarities between many biblical stories, and earlier texts. From my impressions of you, you believe in a god not so different from that expressed in the modern bible with all it’s insertions, inconsistency ect. Do you think that there is some true core to all this? How do you differentiate? How do you justify believing in the more or less modern interpretation of god over the old one? In your view, why does the history (and I daresay evolution) of Christianity look so…human?

    Feel free to correct me if I’ve misrepresented anything, and if you want to stay on the previous subject, just say so: I don’t want to seem like I’m changing the subject, it’s just that this is the first productive discussion I’ve had with a Christian for some time, and I have a lot of questions.

    Sincerely
    Dentroman

  562. #562 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    typos typos typos. ugh. I’m bound for the sheets

  563. #563 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    TSTKYS, I’m going to use that.

  564. #564 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Something Stupid This Way Comes

    The Once And Stupid King

    On The Origin Of Stupid

    Stupid Is The Night

    Mutiny On The Stupid

    The Left Hand Of Stupid

  565. #565 Bert
    January 3, 2010

    A time frame of 6000 or 10,000 years is comfortable. Perhaps we can’t envision it, but it’s not outside the realms of comprehension.

    Creationists often use the term “millions of years” mockingly and knowingly incorrectly when they refer to the billions of years of Earth’s history. Billions doesn’t really have to be invoked because millions on its own creates the idea of a silly amount of time. Why is it a silly amount of time? Because it’s a stupendously longer time than you’ll ever spend alive and it already goes beyond all recorded human history. Hundreds of thousands of years are enough to bruise the human ego.

  566. #566 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    rmp asked me:

    When my brother decided he needed to move away for a literal/yec church to something more in the ‘mushy middle’ I asked him if he considered Unitarianism. He felt that it was still important to him to have a Trinity. What are your thoughts (if you’re inclined to answer).

    This is something I’ve thought about a lot. Perhaps your brother just feels more comfortable with a more-familiar ecclesiastical vocabulary and an easily accessible cultural milieu.

    Unitarianism is attractive to me, particularly Unitarian Universalism, since obviously I’m a big believer in universal salvation. And nobody can claim that the Trinity is a perfectly clear doctrine; there’s a reason everybody admits that it’s a mystery.

    For a long time I really thought I was sticking to Christianity for purely cultural reasons. I looked into becoming a Ba’hai, but decided it would freak my poor relatives out even more than my atheism had, and besides, I had no intention of giving up Christmas.

    I finally realized that I have an emotional connection to the incarnation, the Emmanuel God-with-us thing. The idea that God’s love is expressed so concretely and the intimate language of family really appeals to me.

  567. #567 andre
    January 3, 2010

    well epiphanes, do not flatten yourself: i reply to your posts and do something else at the same time. By the way, Borat is appropriate for all evolutionists’ statements of faith and disputations.The merit disputations of the evolutionists remain me of those of medieval monks as to how many devils would fit on the tip of a pin. There is one thing you can be sure of: today’s evo scientists speculations will be replaced by tomorrow evo scientists speculations.2 evo scientists-3 different opinions!! I have been around long enough to experience it myself..

  568. #568 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Bert, I’m not going to argue the point that human mind doesn’t conceptualize large values. Millions, billions, let’s not quibble about who shot who.
    I’m just saying that from a John Doe YEC, that wasn’t my issue (at least early in life).

  569. #569 andre
    January 3, 2010

    and to sober you up dear Darwinians,something one of yours said:

    “It seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory … akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically. …”
    Ruse

  570. #570 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    Because as science progress old theories are modified or replaced. That’s generally how science work. Not like creationism, who purports to always have been. (Which is a lie, since creation story evolve and change too. Look up who Lilith is.)

    andre isn’t worth bandwith, or his own sense of selfesteem for that matter.

  571. #571 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Does anyone else hear that annoying buzzing sound?

  572. #572 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Leigh, for what it’s worth, on odd days of the month I’m a pantheist ;) I think that our consciousness is a teeny tiny blend of dark energy and dark matter. I know it’s wishful thinking but it gives me some comfort.

  573. #573 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    “There is one thing you can be sure of: today’s evo scientists speculations will be replaced by tomorrow evo scientists speculations.”

    Finally, something you get right, Andre! (Other than calling scientific conclusions “speculation”, which is just moronic.)

    This is indeed how science works. You never get to the end; tomorrow’s knowledge builds on, and sometimes even supercedes, today’s.

    But you say that like it’s a BAD thing. What’s the matter with you, are you not in favor of scientific progress?

    You’ve become tiresome, Andre. Where did we put that can of Troll-Be-Gone, folks?

  574. #574 Bert
    January 3, 2010

    Meh. I’m just a blue collar Science fanboi. Just my impression ;)

  575. #575 Eric
    January 3, 2010

    I get the feeling that everytime andre reads a post refuting his claims, he runs off to a Creationist reference book, looks up every argument he can, and then rushes back here to regurgitate it. I noticed this after everyone told him his links kept shooting him in the foot. Maybe he wised up (if that’s possible)?

  576. #576 WowbaggerOM
    January 3, 2010

    There is one thing you can be sure of: today’s evo scientists speculations will be replaced by tomorrow evo scientists speculations.2 evo scientists-3 different opinions!! I have been around long enough to experience it myself..

    Of course that’s a bad thing; that’s why Christianity is so much better – there’s only one possible interpretation of scripture and that’s why there’s never, ever been anything like a dispute or a schism amongst believ – hang on…

  577. #577 llewelly
    January 3, 2010

    I think that our consciousness is a teeny tiny blend of dark energy and dark matter. I know it’s wishful thinking but it gives me some comfort.

    hm. My opinion of that idea is about the same as my opinion of the idea that quantum computing is a fundamental part of our consciousness. It would be really cool if it were true, but it seems highly unlikely – and either way I’m totally baffled as to why anyone would find either the weirdness of quantum mechanics or the total unknown of dark matter (let alone dark energy) comforting in any way.

  578. #578 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    llewelly, I’m just being light hearted and saying that it would be cool to think we are the energy of the universe. As I said, light hearted wishful thinking.

  579. #579 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 3, 2010

    andre

    i can not reply to Dawkins’s type argument “why would God” we talking science here.

    Who’s “we”? You got a banana in your pocket?

  580. #580 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    Who’s “we”? You got a banana in your pocket?

    *insert phallic joke here*

  581. #581 llewelly
    January 3, 2010

    I should add I think the known computing abilities of neurons are sufficient to explain consciousness; I don’t think any extra special bit such as quantum computing, dark matter, dark energy, or tachyon wormholes is necessary.

  582. #582 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Come on, andre has bananaman in his pocket. Gyeong, do you really want to see Ray Comfort as a phallic object?

  583. #583 Feynmaniac
    January 3, 2010

    I always get the impression with creationists that evolution itself is not really the problem. The problem is the time needed for it to play out and the age of the earth.

    Well, I would say that many do have a problem with this. However, I also think part of the problem is that creationists have trouble understanding how the diversity of life came to be without an intentional agent behind it. They always go about “random chance” producing humans. It’s hard for them to picture blind, mechanical processes producing anything. This is by no means unique to creationists. Many societies have viewed volcanoes or the sun as gods. It’s easier to picture than geophysical or nuclear processes. Hell, I remember when I was first learning science it often troubled me how an electron “knows” how to move or how a system “wants” to be in equilibrium. It took a while to get used to the idea that sometimes things were a result of blind, mechanical laws rather than an intentional agent pulling the strings.

    This search for intentionality is good when you are hunting or trying to figure out others in your society (and that’s probably why it’s deeply ingrained in us), but it’s cumbersome when you are learning science.

  584. #584 Dentroman
    January 3, 2010

    I’m going to bed. See everyone tomorrow.
    D

  585. #585 andre
    January 3, 2010

    hwa : think again. Darwinism is just another creation story. It just excludes God…
    You should repeat reading K. Popper’s definition of scientific theory.Besides,you are victim of the propaganda of Darwinists. If you are hoping for any understanding of what is going on you must distinguish between operational science and evolutionism.

  586. #586 Feynmaniac
    January 3, 2010

    Quote mining?! They are so predictable.

  587. #587 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    and to sober you up dear Darwinians,something one of yours said

    Could you stop arguing from authority? Not only is it dishonest that you’re quotemining these people, but it’s getting tiresome. Why not address the evidence being brought up instead of engaging in a metaphorical war of attrition? Would a religion surrounding gravity or atomic theory impact on the truth or veracity of such claims about reality? No. Even Christianity is not made false by being a religion. Whether something is religion is external to the truth of its claims.

    Again, this is the dishonesty that has come to be expected of creationists. It’s like they think if they point out this, that we’ll see the error of our ways. Too bad they miss the point of why people support evolutionary theory, and they’ll never reach those who actually care about where the evidence points. So andre, instead of saying there’s no evidence, why don’t stop insulting the intelligence of people here and actually address the evidence that is not only presented in this thread, but the examples that scientists say actually support evolution. You’re not doing that, you’re just pretending that they don’t exist or that we don’t know they don’t exist. Why not talk about the fossil record of the horse, or fishapods, or dinobirds, or apemen? The ones that scientists say support evolution, of course. What about the vestigial organs? Dead genes? retroviral markers? geographic proximity of certain kinds of life (e.g. the lack of non-introduced placental mammals in Australia, coupled with an over-abundance of marsupials and the last of the monotremes)? Fused ape chromosome? Genetic similarities that match the tree of life derived from other methods? Observations of natural selection, observations of artificial selection, observations of speciation, etc. And that’s just to start with.

    So andre, quit pretending that we’re just blind followers without knowing anything about what evidence actually supports evolution. Your assertion that there is no evidence is either ignorance or deceit on your part. I should hope it ignorance, the kind that could be remedied with a read of books like “Evolution” by Donald Prothero or “Why Evolution Is True” by Jerry Coyne. Maybe an afternoon on wikipedia would enlighten you, look up the transitional whale fossils while you are there.

    In any case, please drop the pretence that you’re the smartest man in the room and go look up “Dunning Kruger”

  588. #588 Bert
    January 3, 2010

    Janine, the thing is with people indoctrinated into this type of stuff, they have no other frame of reference. Everything for them since their birth is something new and has never happened before.

    They have no concept of history because it is unnecessary to know to complete the mission they have and therefore it is meaningless.

    Nothing that important happened before their birth because they have a mission to perform now in their lifetime, and it is of the utmost importance. It involves the entire fate of mankind!

    They start from scratch with every generation.

  589. #589 Bert
    January 3, 2010

    Pretend I edited that last post to put in the right spacing and such n’ such.

  590. #590 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    You should repeat reading K. Popper’s definition of scientific theory.

    repeat reading? what?

    Besides,you are victim of the propaganda of Darwinists.

    Right, because every day I walk by giant billboards with depiction of Darwinist sayings and the glory of Darwinism (my drive to school usually involve large christian billboard demanding I give my life to christ.)

    If you are hoping for any understanding of what is going on you must distinguish between operational science and evolutionism.

    Operational science? I guess you’re not a fan of medicine, since there are many aspect of it that depends on evolution. It clearly isn’t “operational science.”

    How very condescending of you to try and lecture me, especially since you’ve got so many thing on science wrong thus far.

    And was Gyeong and Pak too hard to right or was a copy paste fail?

    Gyeong, do you really want to see Ray Comfort as a phallic object?

    Comfort+Phallus=puke. (Although I’ve meet some really cute creationist guys before.)

  591. #591 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Andre, doing his best to climb the list.

  592. #592 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    And in terms of human fossils, the least you could do is talk about the relevant fossils: the australopithecines, ardipithicus, homo erectus, homo habilis, homo neanderthalis, etc. No-one has given a shit about Piltdown man for over half a century!

  593. #593 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    And was Gyeong and Pak too hard to right or was it a copy paste fail?

    You try typing and doing biceps exercise at the same time. *Grumbles

  594. #594 DebinOz
    January 3, 2010

    Andre,

    Care to give us the link re Popper? You know, the same one you gave yesterday? That was hilarious.

    Here, I found it for you:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

  595. #595 llewelly
    January 3, 2010

    andre | January 3, 2010 12:54 AM:

    Well Pithecanthropus was a fraud as well…It was a skullcap and tooth of a monkey joined with human femur unearthed some 12 metres away in different strata …

    All modern scientists agree the femur is from a modern human, and has nothing to do with the skull cap. You’re whining about an error that was corrected many decades ago – and would not in case be evidence against evolution. Likewise, the tooth was long ago identified to be from an orangutan. The skullcap, however, is far too large to belong to any modern non-human ape; it has a volume of 940 cc, and too small to belong to any modern human. It is similar to other Homo erectus skulls.

    You are using a long discredited argument; so much so that even Carl Weiland has argued that creationists should stop using it. If you had followed the links I gave earlier, you would know this. But it seems you prefer to look like an idiot.

  596. #596 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 3, 2010

    Janine

    Stupid Is The Night

    Mutiny On The Stupid

    The Left Hand Of Stupid

    [Waugh]
    Officer and Stupid
    The Stupid One
    Stupid at Arms
    [/Waugh]

    12 Angry Stupid
    A Farewell to Stupid
    The Great Stupid
    Much Ado About Stupid

  597. #597 Forbidden Snowflake
    January 3, 2010

    Damn, blockquote fail.

  598. #598 andre
    January 3, 2010

    hwa phat phuc: could you elaborate what part of medicine depends on evolution? Did you ever see a “department of evolution” in,or close to any hospital.If you did let me know.
    And Deb, unfortunately I can not give you the yesterday’s link to the Popper.Below is what came up on Google. I understand that you would like to know something about falsifiability of the scientific theory. Judging by the stage of the brainwash you and other young zealots of Darwin here are, you would not be able to apply even a thought of falsifiability to evolutionism…:)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

    But..if you read once more POpper’s definition of scientific theory and understand it, you may be able to get a grip on the idea what science is..:

  599. #599 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    I can’t be the only person who’s bored of the creatioinist argument “Many fossils are faked” formulated to invalidate evolution.

    The scientific theory is responsible for exposing fake fossils for the bunk they are. This reinforces the power of the scientific theory. The theory of evolution stands up to the scientific theory as well, even without the few bunk fossils that have been exposed.

    Either the scientific theory works or it doesn’t. If it can accurately deem fossils fake, it can also accurately test the validity of the theory of evolution. You can’t have it both ways.

    Also, PZ, pardon my tattling, but can you please send andre to the dungeon or something? He’s embarrassing himself and it’s not particularly funny to watch. I feel kind of sorry for him.

  600. #600 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    Rachel, you have a point.

    andre was amusing at first, but its limited repertoire of caperings are well and truly exhausted and it has become boringly repetitive.

  601. #601 andre
    January 3, 2010

    well I can see a lot of comments about the Pithecanthropus but not many about Betularia fraud. Anybody wish to comment on it?
    And please:restrain yourselves from comments on your personal sexual preferences.Especially the phat phuc. Please. I am not interested and above all, this is the highly scientific blog under well known evo guy name. Have some respect!!!

  602. #602 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    The notion that winter is caused by a goddess sucking heat from the surface of the earth is falsifiable, but in no way is it scientific. Evolution on the other hand is both falsifiable and science, and if you had any honesty about you, you’d stop your war of attrition and focus on the evidence. And there is plenty of evidence there Zeno, you’re not going to logically prove that motion is impossible so please focus on observations of motion as opposed to trying to invalidate how it is you can move your hand to type on a keyboard!

  603. #603 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    Dude. Evolution is the basis of modern biology. Medicine is a discipline that falls under modern biology.

    Seriously, what do you think goes on in the histology department of the hospital? What do you think the basis of their experimentation is? What theories do you think they use to hypothesise? Make vaccines? The basic premise of finishing one’s regimen of antibiotics reinforces evolutionary theory!

  604. #604 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010
  605. #605 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    AIDS resistance? Only a theory…

  606. #606 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    @John Morales,

    His incredible arrogance and absolute lack of examination doesn’t help.

  607. #607 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    And oh noes! Someone, somewhere, did something fraudulent maybe. Tomorrow I will fake an experiment about gravity — it will be cool to be able to fly when gravity ceases working. I hope Australia doesn’t fall off the the earth.

    On the medicine? How about the new gene therapies for treating adrenoleukodystrophy? Some details for us laypersons at http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-sci-gene-therapy6-2009nov06,0,1848965.story

  608. #608 John Morales
    January 3, 2010

    <andre>
    Works of course mean the faith and accepts the axiom number one as fundamental to avoid debates because theist intellectually fulfillment of not exist.I will be waiting for evo people their peer revieved works of “inteligentsia proving impossibly know professor, there is nonexistent and you have somehow the evo people often say that, came to be out of an explanation and of course mean the evo faith could understand therefore life.

    No wonder, you provided below Mr Meyers proves that, came to be out of an atheist intellectually fulfillment of an atheist inteligents are so simple that they avoid debates because to creationist’s argumention and propaganda.

    This is as i understand how can you possible…For uninitiated in the evolution chemistry and energy of that only initiated in the famous @intellectually fulfilled” authors oozes hatred of that only initiated (he he he, sophisticated) that enables sponse their arguments are so sophisticated by Dawkins.

    No wonder, you possible…For uninitiated in the evo people have to be out of nothing.As your beliefs, does not exist.I will be so angry with God , who according to you people that ,came to be out of information and evolutionism is no known law of course another evo for the matter and energy.

    </andre>

  609. #609 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Dentroman asked me:

    From my impressions of you, you believe in a god not so different from that expressed in the modern bible with all it’s insertions, inconsistency ect.

    Oh, no, that’s not the impression I’d want you to take away, not at all — if you mean by that, ALL of the Bible. I’m no fan of the tribal war god Yahweh as imagined by his bloodthirsty followers.

    Do you think that there is some true core to all this?

    Yes, I do. A core not unique to Judaism and Christianity, either.

    How do you differentiate? How do you justify believing in the more or less modern interpretation of god over the old one?

    Pretty much the same way I view the Constitution, along with over two hundred years of case law, as together instantiating the highest law of the United States. The Constitution was a pretty good document for its time, but viewing it from 2010 some very big flaws can be seen. I don’t hesitate to judge the Constitution of 1789 far inferior to the current version. We’re not done yet, either: we still have a long way to go in ensuring civil rights for all.

    Nor do I have any qualms about finding John the Apostle’s version of the faith far superior to that of the priests who constructed Leviticus. Remember, too, that Christianity has continued to be constructed over the centuries; that process by no means stopped when the canon was closed. Here, too, I think we still have a long way to go.

    Truth may prove to be eternal, but our apprehension of it is painfully slow.

    In your view, why does the history (and I daresay evolution) of Christianity look so…human?

    Well, let’s not call it evolution, since I made a big deal upthread of saying that on Pharyngula, evolution means biology — so let’s call it the development of Christianity.

    It looks that way because it’s a human construct, as are all religions. This is true even for those who cleave to Biblical inerrancy; they just lack the self-awareness to recognize how much of themselves they’re bringing to the text.

  610. #610 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    Enough of this crap Andre!
    Explain the distribution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in primates in terms of creationism, or STFU.

  611. #611 andre
    January 3, 2010

    Kel
    why do not you stop insulting my intelligence with your touching stories and actually respond to the questions i asked before:
    1.explain the origin of life.
    2.explain origin of information in genomes
    3.explain process of evolution which is constant building from simplest to complex forms,in terms of laws of thermodynamics especially the second one which states that any systems left for itself will go from order to disorder,then we can start talking real science.
    To clarify i am not associated with any church or creationist organization. I am just informed layman.Actually I believe the Earth to be in central position in the Universe as the Scripture says.Some creationists accept Copernicus.If you did not know the Copernican system is still a theory just as evolutionism is. For your education: find on the net De Labore Solis by van der Kamp and read it.

  612. #612 blf
    January 3, 2010

    [T]he Copernican system is still a theory just as evolutionism is.

    In science, theory does not mean what you think it means, ?informed layman?.

    And the ToE (Theory of Evolution) is not about the origin of life.

    Also, Life on Earth is not an isolated system, so the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply; the necessary preconditions are not met. There’s this massive thermonuclear reactor c.93 million miles away, called the Sun, which is providing energy.

  613. #613 blf
    January 3, 2010

    [Y]ou would not be able to apply even a thought of falsifiability to evolutionism.

    ?Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian? is one commonly-cited example of evidence that would cause major problems for the ToE (Theory of Evolution).

  614. #614 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    First appearance of questions referenced in #786 in this thread:

    1. explain the origin of life (FA: 786)
    2. explain origin of information in genomes (FA: 306, then answered at 309, 310, 312, 315, answer misunderstood at 454)
    3. explain process of evolution blah blah blah thermodynamics blah blah disorder (FA: 786, unless you count a brief mention at 454 or mentions by Patrick with an answer at 610)

    Pretending you’ve been waiting for answers probably comes naturally to someone used to pretending they’ve received Answers.

  615. #615 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    1.explain the origin of life.

    You’ve already had it explained to you, in this very thread, why this question isn’t relevant. It’s you throwing mud. And I suspect you know that.

    2.explain origin of information in genomes

    Go back and read #462 again. Did you follow up by going and hunting down any of the references that were cited in #315? If not, then why not?

    3.explain process of evolution which is constant building from simplest to complex forms,in terms of laws of thermodynamics especially the second one which states that any systems left for itself will go from order to disorder,then we can start talking real science.

    Yeah, let’s “start talking real science.” How about we start with you explaining (not asserting without evidence) how the Earth is a closed system, eh?

    And from an earlier comment of yours:

    You simply can not provide any scientific evidence for evolutionism.

    Well, that’s perhaps technically accurate, since I don’t know what the hell evolutionism is, but if you’re asserting that there is no scientific evidence for evolution, then I guess you can dispute the evidence that has been offered. Yeah? You can explain to us mere evilutionists how our evidence isn’t evidence? That sounds like fun. I’m in. How about we start with something kinda simple, eh? How about you explain (not assert without evidence) how the wishbone is not a transitional feature between dinosaurs and birds. How about you explain it better than the ToE can explain it.

    http://gally.sandwich.net/paleo/Nesbitt%20et%20al%202009%20furcula.pdf

    You can start with this article. Ready? Go.

    Oh, and while I’ve got you here, can you perhaps explain to me how you’re okay with behaving as a hypocrite? Or perhaps you can explain to me how decrying evolution while simultaneously using the benefits of our understanding of the theory (e.g., petroleum) doesn’t make you a hypocrite?

  616. #616 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    If you did not know the Copernican system is still a theory just as evolutionism is.

    Still a theory as opposed to what? Why else would you have it be? The theory is the best case within science. It doesn’t get better than theory. What else do you want?

  617. #617 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    He’s already said creationism is more legitimate because it’s easy to understand (goddidit), unlike evolution.

  618. #618 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    why do not you stop insulting my intelligence with your touching stories and actually respond to the questions i asked before

    Okay, how about you answer the questions with scientific answers. After all, you’re demanding it off me so surely it means you have a means to explain them all scientifically.

    1.explain the origin of life.

    Irrelevant to the question of evolution, like asking how did the planet form to disprove plate tectonics. In terms of where the science is at, white smokers seem to be the most likely candidate and many of the steps have been worked out.

    2.explain origin of information in genomes

    I explained this above: randomness + selection = information.

    3.explain process of evolution which is constant building from simplest to complex forms,in terms of laws of thermodynamics especially the second one which states that any systems left for itself will go from order to disorder,then we can start talking real science.

    The laws of thermodynamics have nothing to do with evolution, it is the physics of heat. Order to disorder is a misapplication of entropy. As for how to get ordeer from disorder? SELECTION!!! How many times do you need it spelled out to you?

    To clarify i am not associated with any church or creationist organization. I am just informed layman.

    I don’t care if you’re the head of AiG or some wacko who rants on a street corner, you might be a layman but you are by no means informed. Again, google “Dunning Kruger”

    Actually I believe the Earth to be in central position in the Universe as the Scripture says.

    So you admit you discard modern (by modern I mean everything in the last 400 years – you’re really behind the times)

    Some creationists accept Copernicus.

    Copernicus was wrong. Science has long since moved on. You say you’re informed? Please google “Dunning Kruger”

    If you did not know the Copernican system is still a theory just as evolutionism is.

    So is gravity, so please stop believing in it and float the fuck away. If you knew what the word theory meant, then you wouldn’t need to google “Dunning Kruger”, but again this is the problem of someone describing themselves as an “informed layman” when they don’t adhere to the accumulated knowledge in a particular discipline. You talk absolute fucking nonsense and you are none-the-wiser about just how nonsensical you are. Fucking hell I’ve come across fungus more informed than you. Seriously Andre, if you think you are informed then surely it wouldn’t hurt to pick up Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne and Evolution by Donald Prothero and see what each of them has to say about the evidence on the subject.

    But no, you’re self-professed “informed” which means in all probability you’re a braindead moron who has read a whole bunch of creationist screeds and therefore thinks he can take down the cornerstone of modern biology. Anyone who brings up Piltdown Man is a total moron hack, ergo you’re a total moron hack. And before you cry ad hominem, just remember that I refuted you’re argument and from that concluded you’re a moron instead of calling you a moron in place of taking down your inane vacuous ill-informed misleading creationist screed piece of bullshit trash that my wife’s cat puked up.

  619. #619 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    As opposed to “proven”. The notion that science can “prove” things is one reason why as a mathematician I don’t call myself a scientist or claim that mathematics is science. “Proof” in a technical sense requires at minimum:
    1) Accepted axioms
    2) Accepted rules of inference

    Science has #2, but explicitly disavows #1. Since the religionists would pillory science for embracing axiomatic truth, it’s disingenuous to insist on “proof”. At best, science provides reasonable certainty that a given hypothesis fits the observations made.

  620. #620 DebinOz
    January 3, 2010

    Andre asserts:

    “Actually I believe the Earth to be in central position in the Universe as the Scripture says.”

    I could almost call Poe on this. “The Scripture”?

  621. #621 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    Seriously, PZ, he’s “refuting” heliocentrism. Do something. I bet our friend David from Canada wouldn’t say something so absurd.

  622. #622 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Upon consultation with my wife, I realised my last comment was rude and misdirected. It was wrong for me to compare what a cat throws up with what andre pointed out. No matter how frustrated I get in the face of vacuous crap, it’s no reason to compare what a cat throws up to such utter rubbish. Compared to what andre said, what the cat threw up was a treasure, it was pure gold, a wonderful expression of intelligence and profound insight into the world.

    I let my anti-cat biases get the better of me. But the important thing is I recognised the hurt I caused to cat puke and lovers of cats (and implicitly lovers of cat puke) everywhere by putting such imagery on the par with the shit that andre typed. Apologies to all.

  623. #623 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    Andre,
    If you are an “informed layman”, then you must know something about ERVs.
    Now put up, or shut up.

  624. #624 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    Thank you, Kel. My cats and I were profoundly hurt.

  625. #625 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    I am just informed layman.

    Followed by:

    Actually I believe the Earth to be in central position in the Universe as the Scripture says.

    Please, please, pretty please be a Poe. Please?

  626. #626 WowbaggerOM
    January 3, 2010

    I can say without any exaggeration that my product of my last bowel movement was more perceptive and insightful than Andre the woo-soaked wonder retard.

  627. #627 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    On the off chance that you’re not a Poe…

    1.explain the origin of life.

    Make up your mind. You either want to argue against evolution or you want to talk about the fascinating field that is prebiotic chemistry. Or one at a time. But, please, keep in mind that “we don’t yet know how life began therefore evolution isn’t true” is not a valid argument, as has already been pointed out.

  628. #628 DebinOz
    January 3, 2010

    Kel,

    As the servant to two felines, your apology is accepted. Realistically, if you analyse cat puke, it would have more information in it than Andre has given us.

    Is there are term for a ‘worse than a Poe’, other than deranged?

  629. #629 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    ‘A deranged’ is already an anagram of ‘egad, andre’

  630. #630 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Andre,

    .explain process of evolution which is constant building from simplest to complex forms,in terms of laws of thermodynamics especially the second one which states that any systems left for itself will go from order to disorder,then we can start talking real science.

    Please explain what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is. I should warn you that there are PhD physicists commenting on this thread, so your explanation had better be precise.

  631. #631 maureen brian
    January 3, 2010

    Andre,

    In the interest of world sanity please quote the bit where scripture, as you claim, says that the earth is the centre of the universe – with the appropriate book, chapter, verse.

    Oh, and do it in both the version you usually read and in the original Hebrew or Greek or whatever so that those of us with the necessary knowledge – not me – can compare the two versions and comment on whether or not it means what you think it means.

    Thank you.

  632. #632 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I’m still waiting for Andre to supply conclusive physical evidence for his imaginary deity, evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural origin. Then he must provide solid physical evidence that his babble is not a work of myth/fiction. So far, he is not showing any positive evidence for his inane beliefs, and instead is trying the stoopid “if I cause doubt about evolution, creationism is right”. The problem here, is that he is not refuting the science, which requires publication in a peer reviewed journal. We are waiting for his citations. What a waste of bandwidth. Pure insipidity.

  633. #633 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Though there are other motivations in addition to efforts to teach intellectually dishonest people like Andre (like using them as fodder to teach others who are receptive to learning), I will refresh the point which has been made frequently in this thread and others.

    Dipshits like Andre are unteachable. Because of their arrogant ignorance and astounding intellectual dishonesty, they do not merit free-loading on the efforts of hard-working, sharply focused, intellectually honest folks who have made it possible for them to enjoy the fruits of scientific labor.

    Andre is not only disgusting to us, but would be also to his god in which he believes, because Andre refuses to use the mind that his god belief insists that has been so graciously bestowed on him.

    All Andre has shown in this thread is intellectual dishonesty, nothing else. No substance at all. Very disgusting.

    I recall that some scientist who is a YECer (maybe someone here will remember his name) stated that the evidence is clearly in the opposition’s camp making it is harmful to the cause of literal, biblical interpretation to insist otherwise. He states that the only approach which YECers can use without being intellectually dishonest is to admit that their beliefs are completely faith-based (like David from Canada) has done in this thread.

    Though this scientist and David are not violating intellectual honesty in this stance, they still set off alarm bells because of their extreme gullibility.

    (Let’s see if Andre can temporarily restrain his intellectual dishonesty just a tiny bit and refrain from insisting that his argument is not religious)

  634. #634 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Rachel: I feel kind of sorry for him.
    _____

    I feel sorry for the intellectually honest folks who have to drag on their backs through life arrogant ignorant dipshits like Andre. But I have way more admiration than sorrow for those courageous and tough people who have contributed to the progression of society despite having to waste precious mental energy on deadbeats like Andre in their often herculean effort to improve the lot of all.

  635. #635 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    I normally come across as a concern troll regarding the tone and civility but holy fsm, andre is painful to read. I’m quite certain my IQ went down a couple of points.

  636. #636 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Posted by: andre | January 3, 2010 1:32 AM

    Andre: …and to sober you up dear Darwinians, …
    ______

    Andre, you are the one who has drunk deep from cask-strength stupidity and is now staggering around in a brain-dead stupor.

  637. #637 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    John Morales: andre, you’re pathetic.
    ___

    Not to mention wrong.

  638. #638 blf
    January 3, 2010

    No, he’s not even wrong.

  639. #639 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Andre: I guess the Darwinian evo tree of life is slowly withering…
    ______

    Wrong. It is blooming.

  640. #640 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Ok, thanks, blf, will use not even wrong for dipshits like Andre when they blather in their arrogant ignorance.

  641. #641 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Falcarius: The whole site goes to great lengths to explain why the mouse data supports evolution.
    ___

    There is much indigestion to be found in the creotard banquet of logical fallacies, intellectual dishonesty, and not even being wrong, but the ‘special sauce’ that makes me salivate is when they offer an argument that actually supports evolution! With friends like these, we don’t need any enemies.

  642. #642 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    why do not you stop insulting my intelligence with your touching stories and

    Kel doesn’t need to insult your intelligence. You do a good job of that already on your own.

  643. #643 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 3, 2010

    Andre the giant disingenuous troll gives a homework assignment to the real scientists:

    1.explain the origin of life.< \blockquote>

    This is an area of active scientific inquiry. The development of life from relatively simple chemicals has still not been demonstrated, but systhesis of proteins and even of viable viruses has been demonstrated in the lab. This is at present a promising area of research, and there is no credible alternative scientific hypothesis.

    2.explain origin of information in genomes.< \blockquote>

    The genome IS information–both information about the organism AND about the environment in which it evolved. What is more, the genome contains more information than is expressed in the organism. Random mutations in such redundant information will occasionally result in a benefit to the individual. In this case, the environment will amplify the change to increase its frequency within the species genome. Random mutation + natural selection. It works in computer modeling and software as well.

    3.explain process of evolution which is constant building from simplest to complex forms.< \blockquote>

    WRONG! There is no constant direction to evolution. Organisms evolve to fill ecological niches. It merely takes complex organisms longer to evolve than it does simple organisms. All that is necessary for evolution to occur is a source of energy that allows continuation of reproduction. Random mutation and natural selection take care of the rest. This in no way violates the second law, because the biosphere is not a closed system.

    Gee, Andre. That was fun! Now why don’t you go away and learn some actual science and come back when you have some questions that aren’t straw men. And now I have one for you. Given your understanding of the second law of thermodynamics:
    How does a refrigerator, which takes heat from a cold reservoir and puts it into a hot reservoir, work?

  644. #644 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    Also, I do believe you gave me the name Hwa Phat Phuc earlier. It’s always interesting to see people like you can’t distinguish Vietnamese from Chinese from Korean. Nice way to make yourself look like a complete douche. Also since you brought up the idea of falsifiable, when has your god ever been falsifiable?

  645. #645 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Next thing you know andre will be asserting that the human heart beats for a lifetime with no external energy source

  646. #646 Rorschach
    January 3, 2010

    This is an area of active scientific inquiry. The development of life from relatively simple chemicals has still not been demonstrated, but systhesis of proteins and even of viable viruses has been demonstrated in the lab.

    Amino acids have been found in interstellar comets, FFS

  647. #647 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 3, 2010

    Rorschah,
    I’m aware of the amino acid signals. They’ve even found amino acid signals from nebulae! I have co-worker down the hall who repeats this sort of stuff in the lab–irradiating ices (H2O, CH4, N2…) with proton and electron beams that approximate interplanetary plasmas. As I said, it’s a promising field of active research.

    What I wonder is how the goalposts will move once we actually succeed at creating life from simple chemicals. The problem with the god of the gaps is that the gaps keep getting smaller.

  648. #648 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    OK, I am finally caught up in this thread (good discussion with Leigh).

    exnihilo @ 681: Makes me wonder…
    ____

    Another dipshit, breathless in its elliptical deepity.

    rmp, David from Canada, reminds me of Tolkein’s character, Treebeard (Whose motto is: Don’t be hasty) . A bit off-putting (especially when there are dangerous, anti-science fires to be put out, and he is too slow going to understand fast enough how threatening this problem is to him if he stays rooted in his spot) and comforting (as he can’t be described flighty) at the same time!

  649. #649 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Michelle B, be patient with David from Canada. It took me years to break free from my church upbringing. It’s a hard process.

  650. #650 Dave2010
    January 3, 2010

    If you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view? As it stands it just looks like your’e all running scared. You’ve just handed the moral high ground to CMI – they will always be able to say to the whole world that they invited you and you refused to come. What are you afraid of? Actualy I saw a debate of this kind a few years ago and it was held by most who saw it that the atheists/skeptics lost, so perhaps you’re better off staying in your own conference where there’s no one to challenge you.

  651. #651 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    If you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view? As it stands it just looks like your’e all running scared.

    Whenever there is a debate with creationist, they never present evidence. And again, you’re wrong to assume all supporters of evolution are atheist. Gesh so fucking tedious

    Actualy I saw a debate of this kind a few years ago and it was held by most who saw it that the atheists/skeptics lost, so perhaps you’re better off staying in your own conference where there’s no one to challenge you.

    My skeptic’s hat tells me that you probably made that up. Like all creationist.

  652. #652 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Dave2010, I’m sure you’d find many (possibly even PZ) willing to have an honest debate. However format is everything. Since the debate ‘you’ want wouldn’t require evidence, there is no point.

  653. #653 blf
    January 3, 2010

    If you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view?

    Dave2010, atheism is not about evolutionary theory, nor is evolutionary theory about atheism. They are unrelated. So what it you want to debate? Atheism or evolution? Pick one.

    In answer to the question about debating evolution, Pee Zed already answered that (as part of this very post on which are you commenting), saying, in part (the emphasis is in Pee Zed’s original):

    I’ve been in a few debates, and what I’ve discovered is that creationists will lie liberally on the podium… they are always in the business of building a rhetorical case on a foundation of ignorance and pseudoscience.

    We see this again with andre‘s comments to this post. Lie after lie after lie, no attempt to provide evidence, and no attempt to explain or reason; just evidence-free dogmatic assertions et al.

  654. #654 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    If you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view? As it stands it just looks like your’e all running scared. You’ve just handed the moral high ground to CMI – they will always be able to say to the whole world that they invited you and you refused to come. What are you afraid of? Actualy I saw a debate of this kind a few years ago and it was held by most who saw it that the atheists/skeptics lost, so perhaps you’re better off staying in your own conference where there’s no one to challenge you.

    Creationists don’t debate, they filibuster.

    Look up the Gish gallop.

    Besides when you debate creationists you create an illusion that the creationism is on par with actual science.

    It is not, has never been not and never will be.

  655. #655 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    why don’t you just accept the

    If you are so sure your idjit ideas are scientific, why don’t you publish in the peer reviewed scientific journals, where evidence rules? Instead, you want to play rhetorical tricks and ignore the evidence. After all, all you have is bullshit, and you are afraid to face the facts. You can’t even show conclusive physical evidence your imaginary deity exists and your babble isn’t a work of fiction. Real losers who shouldn’t be given any forum.

  656. #656 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, I think Dave2010 might be telling the truth about the debate he saw. It’s certainly possible that he saw a debate where one side used rhetorical tricks and one side used boring data. Rhetorical tricks can win in that format.

  657. #657 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    wow

    let me retype that

    It is not, has never been and never will be.

    sheesh

  658. #658 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    I saw a debate of this kind a few years ago and it was held by most who saw it that the atheists/skeptics lost

    This surprises me not a bit; I do not doubt its veracity for a second. Who stages such “debates”? Who is motivated to attend such “debates”? Such events are always about organized confirmation bias and never about honest exchange of information.

  659. #659 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 3, 2010

    hmm, you are right rmb. I retract that statement.

  660. #660 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    rmp, I agree, however it is hard to be patient with someone who is no longer posting!

  661. #661 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Michelle, I agree.

  662. #662 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    The reason for not debating creationists is two-fold:

    1) It gives them a totally spurious reflected sheen of academic respectability which that haven’t earned.

    2) We can’t teach the science in sound-bytes; we spend years learning this stuff, and it doesn’t reduce to cretin-sized mouthfuls. They, on the other hand, can wheel out a few Bible verses and two or three snappy (and totally false!) sciency-sounding sound-bytes and easily deceive the ignorant and gullible.

    An additional reason is this: creationists like Carl Wieland are professional con-men. Naturally they’ve got their “sell” down pat; it’s how they pull in the shekels without having to do any honest work. They’re naturally going to lard up their part of the “debate” with dog-whistles for the faithful. An honest scientist, even the rare one who has experience communicating with non-technical audiences, has little ability to prevail over that kind of intense and unethical manipulation.

  663. #663 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Exactly right on all points Leigh.

  664. #664 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Dave2010, would your side agree to a jury style format which is evidence driven? Of course not!

  665. #665 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    As it stands it just looks like your’e all running scared.

    Oh, really? You may have noticed that Kel(@159) and Rorschach(@134) offered to debate Carl Wieland. Why didn’t he accept? Why does it have to be PZ? Any special reason…?

  666. #666 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    OKAY, NOW I’M VERY VERY PISSED, PZ! I didn’t realize that this piece of crap Andre stooped to address my fellow minion

    Gyeong Hwa Pak

    as

    hwa phat phuc

    !!!!eleventy1!!!

    To the dungeon with this piece of racist garbage!

  667. #667 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    @Dave2010

    iIf you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view?

    Been there, done that. And we found out that your side consistently LIES. Why don’t you ask the Christian evangelist and evolutionary biologist, Francis Collins (since evolution stands alone from atheism) to debate with you liars? What are you afraid of?

    As it stands it just looks like your’e all running scared. You’ve just handed the moral high ground to CMI – they will always be able to say to the whole world that they invited you and you refused to come. What are you afraid of?
    _________

    Our side looked running scared when we whupped your side at the Dover Trial? Not. We fight when it makes sense to fight like in a court of law, not in a debate set up where your side will LIE.

    Actualy I saw a debate of this kind a few years ago and it was held by most who saw it that the atheists/skeptics lost, so perhaps you’re better off staying in your own conference where there’s no one to challenge you.
    _____

    Our side gets published in peer review science publications while your side does not. Winning in public debates is a joke and counts for nothing. The only thing that your statement shows is the dismal gullibility of yourself and your fellow/sister dummies in Jebus. And LIARS do not hold the high moral ground.

    And dipshit Dave, the next time you immoral, lying goons have a church meeting, invite some atheists. What would you possibly be afraid of?

  668. #668 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Oh dipshit Dave, why don’t you liars have a debate on other facts, like gravity?

  669. #669 Darryl
    January 3, 2010

    “This is at present a promising area of research, and there is no credible alternative scientific hypothesis.”

    That’s funny. How you can’t see the irony in that statement amazes me – well actually, no it doesn’t.

    It’s a typical argument on a blog of this nature. As usual, the best defense an evolutionist believer has is a) profane insults (*yawn*) b) it’s below us c) pretend that you represent science and creation doesn’t (*another yawn*).

    I should think that Galileo would have jumped at the chance to debate those who insisted everything revolved around the earth. Since we creationists are the latter in your minds, why not jump at the chance? The video of you thumping us squarely could be hosted all over the Internet on evolution video streaming websites. Creationists would have to admit defeat and retreat with their tails between their legs. I mean after all, evolution is *such* a slam dunk is it not?

    And I’m sure if you contacted Dr Carl Wieland directly, he’d be happy to conduct the debate. I’ve only seen evolutionists avoid debates at all costs. Funny that.

    Just remember, eternity is a long time to be wrong. ;-) Ciao.

  670. #670 blf
    January 3, 2010

    Sorry if I’m being incredibility dense here, but other than Hwa Phat Phuc not being Gyeong Hwa Pak’s name, why does it seem to be raising people’s hackles? My best guess is it’s something like the n— word for blacks, but Generalissimo Google? doesn’t offer any explanations at all?

  671. #671 aratina cage
    January 3, 2010

    eternity is a long time to be wrong

    So is two millennia.

  672. #672 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    All right, who had Galileo for Bingo.

  673. #673 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    It’s a typical argument on a blog of this nature. As usual, the best defense an evolutionist believer has is a) profane insults (*yawn*) b) it’s below us c) pretend that you represent science and creation doesn’t (*another yawn*).

    Creationism does not represent science. It really is that simple. It is antithetical to the scientific method. As soon as you posit an unknowable untestable force (god) as a reason for things happening you have just stepped of the scientific method train at the stop for irrationalityville.

    Just remember, eternity is a long time to be wrong. ;-) Ciao.

    Just remember Pascal’s wager is just as stupid an argument now as it was then.

  674. #674 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    DarrylJ,

    So you’re saying that we have to pretend to believe something that reason doesn’t lead to because we’ll burn in hell for all eternity?

    Reminds me of one of my favorite Martin Luther quotes,

    Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God

  675. #675 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    That’s funny. How you can’t see the irony in that statement amazes me – well actually, no it doesn’t.

    I can’t see the irony either. Care to explain?

    And while you’re at it, explain how creationism is science. Is it falsifiable? Can you use it to make predictions? Be specific.

  676. #676 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Please excuse me if I’m distracted the next few hours. Football time and I pray god is on my side.

  677. #677 Darryl
    January 3, 2010

    Michelle B:
    “Our side gets published in peer review science publications while your side does not.”

    Erm, d’ugh. That’s like saying you only find Coke in Coke machines, and not Pepsi, so that proves that Coke is the best.

    “And dipshit Dave, the next time you immoral, lying goons have a church meeting, invite some atheists. What would you possibly be afraid of?”

    Actually, don’t know about Dave, but I invite atheist friends of mine all the time, and quite a few have ‘seen the light’.

    P.S. I looked up Francis Collins Wikipedia entry because I wasn’t aware who he was and how he had lied. Quite an inspiring testimony. Nothing about lying so I suspect that’s just a product of your fanciful imagination. Thanks for the heads up but I think I’ll respect the view of the Director of the NIH over somebody like you with your objectionable vocabulary. But you go ahead and help yourself.

  678. #678 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Erm, d’ugh. That’s like saying you only find Coke in Coke machines, and not Pepsi, so that proves that Coke is the best.

    Um no, it’s like saying that people who can actually support and defend their work get recognized for it. Something creationists are unable to do to this point. If they can, please feel free to point me to some creationist research that fits the bill.

  679. #679 blf
    January 3, 2010

    It’s a typical argument on a blog of this nature. As usual, the best defense an evolutionist believer has is a) profane insults (*yawn*)

    Start with Miki Z@789′s summary of the responses to the andre‘s claims and questions. Whilst some of the responses may contain insults, they also contain evidence, references, explanations, and—and this is important—logic.

    b) it’s below us

    I’m uncertain what you are claiming here; and it doesn’t help that the sentence is ambiguous. Could you please elucidate? Specifically, who is saying what is beneath whom?

    c) pretend that you represent science and creation doesn’t (*another yawn*).

    Sorry, creationism is not science by any known measure. It lacks evidence. It lacks logic. It lacks falsifiability (refutability). For creationism to be even partially correct, significant and interconnected parts of physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, history, and simple logic would have to be seriously (significantly) mistaken. That’s quite a mountain to climb, and no credible attempt has been made since the 19thC to deal with problems creationism introduces (that is, to climb the mountain).

  680. #680 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl, what if you’re right? What if there is god who demands total obedience or you go to hell for an eternity writhing in pain? What if that god isn’t the one you worship?

  681. #681 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I have to admit, Darryl just did something I have not seen before; he compared not having research in scientific journals to vending machines carrying one brand of soda. Too bad it is just as stupid as anything andre has said.

    Also, Darryl, no one said that Collins was a liar. He is an evangelical christian who would have the same disadvantage debating YEC as your average atheist biologist.

  682. #682 The MadPanda
    January 3, 2010

    I love the smell of trollish projection in the morning!

    Darryl, Darryl, Darryl…you’re not even wrong. You are not even in the same stadium as the goalposts you’d be moving if you caught up enough to understand that your arguments (such as they are) provide the illustrating exhibit under the four letters RATT.

    You, sirrah, ain’t worth the 845 XP.

    The MadPanda, FCD

  683. #683 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    And I’m sure if you contacted Dr Carl Wieland directly, he’d be happy to conduct the debate.

    And here is a proper forum for the scientific debate. Submission information for Science and Nature. Of course, Mr. Wieland will be scared shitless to actually have to supply some evidence, say for his imaginary deity, and will refuse to do so, the craven intellectual coward he is…

  684. #684 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Darrell:

    I should think that Galileo would have jumped at the chance to debate those who insisted everything revolved around the earth.

    Well, you think wrong, then. He did get to have a little chat about it with the creationists of his day at a soiree they held for him. They called their little event a Trial for Heresy; the hosts were named the Inquisition.

    He was teaching the Copernican theory, that the earth revolves around the sun. This was after the church had adopted the position (during and because of the Renaissance) that if a Biblical interpretation was found in conflict with scientific fact, the Bible was to be interpreted allegorically. It was simply too difficult for people who had not studied mathematics and astronomy to believe that mathematical pencil marks on a piece of paper could have any relationship to the real world.

    People who aren’t educated enough to hear and understand the truth, and who are both devout and arrogant, have no trouble choosing the wrong side in any debate.

    Only Galileo’s eminence saved his life. He was convicted of heresy and condemned to house arrest; and at that, he got off lucky. Never underestimate the malevolence of religious fanatics who think their cherished delusions are under attack.

  685. #685 Darryl
    January 3, 2010

    “And while you’re at it, explain how creationism is science.”

    Science should be observable and repeatable. Evolution can claim neither of those. So no, creationism at the end of the day is ‘religion’ as there is an element of ‘faith’, or ‘belief’. But then, so is evolution.

    I don’t expect to convince anybody on this blog of my viewpoint, so no surprises with the responses. But it would be nice to be able to converse with a certain level of decorum. I won’t hold my breath.

  686. #686 wodenforce
    January 3, 2010

    Here is a version of a letter I sent PZ:

    I hope you encourage your atheist friends not to go to Melbourne next spring, at least those friends from outside of the Melbourne area.

    I think the atheist community needs to make a stand against unnecessary air travel, and should boycott flying except for family emergencies.

    Most Atheists, I think, agree that A. global warming is the single biggest crisis facing the world (besides religion or even including religion), a significant part of which is caused by jets.

    I hope that you will put a post on your website, encouraging people not to attend and bringing up the issue of a public boycott of all air travel. There are people like David Suzuki who have already made a public declaration.

    Offsets, from what I have read, are more of a public guilt appeasement scheme, than a real counter to AGW.

    Atmosfair.de caculates a flight from New York to Melbourne generates 13,000 lbs CO2 PER PERSON each way. The carbon offset price would be about $375 per person each way. So if they do go, please have them remember to pay the $750 offset.

    Thanks

    J.

  687. #687 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl
    “Science should be observable and repeatable. Evolution can claim neither of those. ”

    It can. Epic Fail.

  688. #688 wodenforce
    January 3, 2010

    correction: I don’t read German. Perhaps the 14000Lb $375 figure is Roundtrip and NOT each direction.

  689. #689 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    But it would be nice to be able to converse with a certain level of decorum.

    So few posts, so much stupid. On top of everything else, old fuckface is a tone troll.

    Darryl, look up “Richard Lenski” and “e coli”. There is observable evolution under controlled circumstance. Don’t let your ignorance be your guide. You have already shown that you know shit about the subject.

    Also, fuckface, my using of swear words does not negate the truth of what I am saying. As for decorum, you are the asshole who informed us that we will suffer for eternity. Such a sweet fucking message.

  690. #690 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Darrell:

    Science should be observable and repeatable. Evolution can claim neither of those.

    What on earth do you mean by that? Of course evolution is observable; we observe it both in the lab and in the wild. We also observe the results of experiments.

    Do you somehow have the impression that those experiments are not repeatable? Of course they are.

    This is an outlandish claim. I’ll really like to know what you meant by it.

  691. #691 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    I believe that when we die we enter an orgiastic world of orgasmic waves punctuated by dips in a cosmic ice cold stream because it appeals to me emotionally. never mind that the monotony becomes hellish within the first week or that it has no foundation in logic or scripture. It’s my belief and I’m sticking to it.

    Oh, and dickless trolls like Andre are in charge of mopping up and supplying the heated robes.

  692. #692 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Janine, Darryl
    I love Janine’s reference to suffering for eternity. Darryl, that screwed me up a LOT when I was a teenager. Darryl, please explain to me why that isn’t child abuse.

  693. #693 blf
    January 3, 2010

    Science should be observable and repeatable.

    No, experiments should be transparent (observable) and repeatable. Science (or more accurately, hypothesis (this includes theories)) must be falsifiable (refutable).

    Evolution can claim neither of those.

    Not even wrong. Again, start with Miki Z@789′s summary of the responses to the andre‘s claims and questions.

    So no, creationism at the end of the day is ‘religion’ as there is an element of ‘faith’, or ‘belief’.

    Creationism is all belief and no substance. No evidence, no logic, and contradictory to other areas, such as chemistry, geology, history, and simple logic.

    But then, so is evolution.

    Also not even wrong. Considerable evidence exists; again, start with @789. Others here can fill in the details, to probably any level you desire, including references and evidence, and using logic.

  694. #694 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    IaMoL, great, now I’ve got to get that image out of my head.

  695. #695 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 3, 2010

    iIf you atheists are so sure of your position why don’t you just accept the invitation to the debate with CMI and whack the creationists in full public view?

    For the same reason I don’t fight children*…its a lose-lose proposition.

    * I get my share of challenges. I point behind them, saying “Goats on fire”, and when they turn their backs I hightail it outta there.I have dealt with creationists the same way.

  696. #696 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl, either provide conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, or shut the fuck up. That is what honest men do. Only con artists like creobots can’t put up, but can’t shut up. You are a con artist. Prove me otherwise…

  697. #697 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    And Darrell, speaking of tone, you just inserted yourself into a community where you are a guest, and then informed your hosts that they are going to hell.

    Really, that goes far beyond a nasty swearword. You’ve just merrily revealed that

    1) You’re evil enough to WORSHIP a psychopath
    2) You LIKE it that these people are going to hell

    You’ve just flung poo, little monkey, so you shouldn’t be surprised they flung it back.

    p.s. There is no hell. It’s not Biblical. It’s a human invention that appeals to tiny and malevolent minds. If you’re going to spout theology, at least learn enough about the Bible to rise above nasty superstitions.

    p.p.s And if you do believe there is a hell, obviously taunting these folks about it is no way to save them from it. What do you suppose Jesus will say to you about that? Man, I’d be worrying about my own fate if I were you.

  698. #698 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Goodness gracious, Darryl Dipshit thought I was calling Francis Collins a liar!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My point was why demand that atheists debate the fact of evolution (do facts require debating?) with you lying immoral goons, why not choose a Christian evangelical like Francis Collins who is an evolutionary biologist? WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

    As for inviting atheists to your church, does that mean you let them take the stand and encourage them to lie to all the members? Because that would be more equivalent to the IDiots’ demand for a debate at an atheist conference (on a topic that has nothing to do with atheism, except that most atheists accept the fact of evolution and that the IDiots have shown time and time again that they LIE).

  699. #699 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Any side bets if we hear from Darryl again?

  700. #700 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    But it would be nice to be able to converse with a certain level of decorum.

    You know what would be nice? Not see you all repeat each other’s already refuted claims time and time again. That would be nice.

  701. #701 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Science should be observable and repeatable. Evolution can claim neither of those. So no, creationism at the end of the day is ‘religion’ as there is an element of ‘faith’, or ‘belief’. But then, so is evolution.

    That is not an answer to how creationism is science.

    Try again.

    How is creationism science?

  702. #702 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: Creationists would have to admit defeat and retreat with their tails between their legs.
    ______

    IDiots for the most part will never admit defeat. Their bizarre denying of the fact of evolution shows that reality. We do not give a hoot about you creeps in general, we want to make sure that science education remains science education and that you liars will not sabotage it. Other than that, we don’t give a fuck about you creeps. You can blather and foam about your inane insanity for your short brief lives and it is fine with me. You are just a bunch of freeloaders which we have to carry on our backs.

  703. #703 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    Not to see…

    I blame the person who posted right after my post. ;)

  704. #704 The MadPanda
    January 3, 2010

    rmp #874

    I suspect that the time has come to do the Cuttlefish thing in Darryl’s general direction.

    (ahem)
    (tunes lute)

    When reason raised it’s awesome head
    Sir Darryl turned his tail and fled
    Valiantly he turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out
    Bravely taking to his feet
    He beat a very brave retreat…

    (string breaks)

    Hmmm. Needs work. Plus the Pythons would sue my furry rump for copyright infringement.

    Besides, even when he’s here, he’s absent so we can’t really accuse him of cowardice. Rashness, perhaps.

    The MadPanda, FCD

  705. #705 Darryl
    January 3, 2010

    blf: Firstly, thank you for a measured response. Most of the other responses are perhaps proof of devolution – man returning to ape.

    “Creationism is all belief and no substance.”

    I see. But considering it’s the only widely held alternative view to evolution, then why not squash it once and for all with a public debate? Why a debate? Easy. There’s nowhere to hide. Why do you think citizens in democratic countries like to see debates between the various candidates before an election?

    “No evidence, no logic, and contradictory to other areas, such as chemistry, geology, history, and simple logic.”

    Actually, you can take evolution right out of the textbooks and most of chemistry, geology, history and simple logic are just fine. Hydrogen will still bond with oxygen to form water, Hitler will still be dead and 1 + 1 will still be 2. And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

  706. #706 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl, what part of the whole public debate responses don’t you understand? Will you agree to a debate that requires evidence? NO YOU WON’T! Quit ignoring the issue or go away.

  707. #707 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    I see. But considering it’s the only widely held alternative view to evolution, then why not squash it once and for all with a public debate? Why a debate? Easy. There’s nowhere to hide. Why do you think citizens in democratic countries like to see debates between the various candidates before an election?

    Debates are not the place where science is settled. Peer review is. If you creationists (why do I feel like I have to say this every time?) want to be taken seriously, come up with the science.

    So far you have not.

    Actually, you can take evolution right out of the textbooks and most of chemistry, geology, history and simple logic are just fine.

    Except that there are is massive evidence in all of those fields that supports evolution. That was the point that was being made. Evolution is supported across scientific fields. It all interconnects.

  708. #708 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    And no one has been able to refute Mohammad or Shiva. Big fucking deal.

    So, fuckface, you would be happy to just ignore facts. Just remove evolution from the textbooks. Look up “Richard Lenski” and “e coli”. There is a reason why Andy Schafly tried to sue to get (and bury) his decades long research.

    Now, fuckface, please try to make a presentation that hes not been used a hundred times before. (Counting just this blog.) And your ridiculous vending machine example does not count, it does not work as an analogy.

  709. #709 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    But considering it’s the only widely held alternative view to evolution,

    There is no alternative scientific view to evolution. There is a religious alternative view. But you can’t even supply conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, or that your babble isn’t a work of fiction. That is all presupposed. But, what if your presuppositions are wrong? Science is always doing reality checks. Religion, never.

  710. #710 Darryl
    January 3, 2010

    Whooweee! So many heated responses, so little time.

    rmp: Re the debate that requires evidence. Absolutely! You bring me evidence that just prior to the big bang matter arose from *nothing*, and then I’ll show you God. How about that?

    And with that I’ll retreat with my tail between my legs. I didn’t bring my rabies vaccine with me this time.

  711. #711 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: Erm, d’ugh. That’s like saying you only find Coke in Coke machines, and not Pepsi, so that proves that Coke is the best.
    ____

    No, dipshit, it is more like that soda dispensing machines are peer viewed scientific journals and they can contain Coke (Chemistry research) or Pepsi (Physics research) or even Dr. Pepper (Biology research). But like your generic run of soda dispensing machines, they don’t contain foaming crapola (which is what Creationism/Intelligent Design is)

  712. #712 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

    You have no fucking clue what the word “evidence” means, do you?

  713. #713 reyfox
    January 3, 2010

    As we see time and time again, it has nothing to do with being right, and everything to do with public theater. The creationists would be clamoring for a fight with evolutionists in a gladiator arena if they thought it could dazzle enough rubes.

  714. #714 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl

    You bring me evidence that just prior to the big bang matter arose from *nothing*, and then I’ll show you God. How about that?

    FSM, what an idiot!

  715. #715 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: And with that I’ll retreat with my tail between my legs.
    _____

    Don’t let the door hit you on your lying, unethical arse, freeloader.

  716. #716 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    You bring me evidence that just prior to the big bang matter arose from *nothing*, and then I’ll show you God.

    Sorry idjit, your a a lying piece of shit until you show your conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. After all, no deity, no creator, no babble, your religion is bogus. Your response is the typical evasion by the godbots who know they have nothing, and must not show that they have nothing. After all, if you had something, there would be absolutely no problem showing it. Welcome to real science.

  717. #717 aratina cage
    January 3, 2010

    Most of the other responses are perhaps proof of devolution – man returning to ape.

    A Mr. Garrison (from South Park) response if ever there was one. Show how those evilutionists fling shit like monkeys, Darryl, show us.

    there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah

    As I said, you’ve been wrong for around 2,000 years and that is a long time to be wrong. However, there are more options than “brilliant con artist” and “messiah” just as disproving a scientific theory would not make Christianity in any way true.

  718. #718 IaMoL
    January 3, 2010

    In Darryl’s world all knowledge is dogmatic and opinions are valid if they’re popular enough. He has no grasp of empirical evidence and scientific method. Whut his preecher, mammy & daddy telled him is enuff.

  719. #719 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: But it would be nice to be able to converse with a certain level of decorum.
    _____

    And it would be nice if you were not a liar. Calling evolution a religion is a lie as there is not a single bit of faith involved with the fact and scientific theory of evolution just overwhelming evidence.

  720. #720 reyfox
    January 3, 2010

    “And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.”

    And that guy’s name was…Osiris. Well, okay, so it was a bit more than 2,000 years ago, but still, same story.

  721. #721 llewelly
    January 3, 2010

    2. And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

    Robert Price, in his great book The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man explains that there is no reliable evidence Jesus ever existed.

  722. #722 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: Actually, you can take evolution right out of the textbooks and most of chemistry, geology, history and simple logic are just fine.
    _______

    Wow, just wow. If a scientific theory and fact which is what evolution is, is taken out of all the textbooks, then you will never be able to trust that science is science ever again. It will become pseudoscience if such evidence which supports the fact and scientific theory of evolution is ignored. Science will no longer be science as science is a method besides being a body of knowledge. You can’t deny evidence, if you do, you are no longer using the scientific method.

    What an intellectually dishonest, disgusting, lazy freeloader you are, Darryl Dipshit!

  723. #723 reyfox
    January 3, 2010

    You’re still talking about evolution? Come on, Darryl has already moved on to the Big Bang! You gotta be more alert than that if you’re gonna play Chase the Goalposts with him.

  724. #724 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    And with that I’ll retreat with my tail between my legs. I didn’t bring my rabies vaccine with me this time.

    And par for the course the creationist follows the script.

    1. starts off showing his idiocy by making the same oft debunked creationist claims
    2. can not provide any science supporting these creationist claims when asked
    3. Can only make the false assertion that evolution is not science but is unable to demonstrate why in the face of the other commenters proving plenty of links showing why evolution fits the scientific model just fine.
    4. claims evolution takes as much faith as his god which makes everyone wonder why he would want to use his position as the base of an insult
    5. refuses to answer questions about creationist “science” including peer review
    6. claims debates are perfectly fine for settling science
    7. runs off
  725. #725 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    And to think I used to think you folks were to harsh. When it follow it through from the beginning, these folks get what they deserve.

    BTW Darryl, how about that jury format debate?

  726. #726 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: Why do you think citizens in democratic countries like to see debates between the various candidates before an election?
    ____

    Facts are not debated. They are accepted. What you are requesting is equivalent to if after Obama got elected, a debate discussing whether or not he got elected would be scheduled.

    You are full of weasel ‘wisdom’.

  727. #727 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl

    Evidence, I don’t need no stinking evidence!

  728. #728 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    Actually, you can take evolution right out of the textbooks and most of chemistry, geology, history and simple logic are just fine.

    And what have we here? Oh yes. Someone else blithering on about geology despite apparently not having the slightest clue about the subject.

  729. #729 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Darryl: Thanks for the heads up but I think I’ll respect the view of the Director of the NIH …
    _______

    Really? Then welcome to our side, the acceptors of the scientific theory and fact of evolution, because the Christian evangelical heading the NIH, that is, the evolutionary biologist, Francis Collins, ACCEPTS EVOLUTION.

  730. #730 blf
    January 3, 2010

    blf: Firstly, thank you for a measured response. Most of the other responses are perhaps proof of devolution – man returning to ape.

    No, I’m applying the three chances rule: Unless the other side starts flinging poo first, they have three-ish changes to give a jury of peers reason to believe they are not full of shite.

    “Creationism is all belief and no substance.”

    I see. But considering it’s the only widely held alternative view to evolution, then why not squash it once and for all with a public debate? Why a debate? Easy. There’s nowhere to hide. Why do you think citizens in democratic countries like to see debates between the various candidates before an election?

    No, it’s quite trivial to hide in a debate. A favourite tactic of creationists and other woo-sellers is the Gish Gallop. And when I had to debate an unsupportable position in class, the technique I used I called ?Appeal to the majority? (I don’t know the formal name); the trick is to claim since lots of people agree with the position, it must be true.

    As I said in @828 (and others have made the same point):

    In answer to the question about debating evolution, Pee Zed already answered that (as part of this very post on which are you commenting), saying, in part (the emphasis is in Pee Zed’s original):

    I’ve been in a few debates, and what I’ve discovered is that creationists will lie liberally on the podium? they are always in the business of building a rhetorical case on a foundation of ignorance and pseudoscience.

    And rmp@839 asks a very good question;

    [W]ould your side agree to a jury style format which is evidence driven?

    That question wasn’t addressed directly to you by rmp. However, I am asking it of you.

    “No evidence, no logic, and contradictory to other areas, such as chemistry, geology, history, and simple logic.”

    Actually, you can take evolution right out of the textbooks and most of chemistry, geology, history and simple logic are just fine. Hydrogen will still bond with oxygen to form water, Hitler will still be dead and 1 + 1 will still be 2. And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

    No. First there very probably would not be any life on Earth. So there wouldn’t be any history in the sense meant; nor anything to apply logic. The planet’s atmosphere would be very different—essentially all of the Oxygen is breathed out by animals. The geology would be different; you’d lack both the reducing atmosphere (no Oxygen to react with the rocks et al.), and the various stuffs contributed by dead plants and animals wouldn’t exist.

    Finally, there’s not a shred of evidence for the specific individual who was allegedly nailed to a tree c.2000 years ago. Even if there was, it wouldn’t change the overwhelming reasons to conclude evolution exists. Nor would it provide the slightest reason to think creationism is any more than a Bronze Age (possibly earlier) myth.

  731. #731 Falcarius
    January 3, 2010
    Darryl: Why do you think citizens in democratic countries like to see debates between the various candidates before an election?

    ____

    Facts are not debated. They are accepted. What you are requesting is equivalent to if after Obama got elected, a debate discussing whether or not he got elected would be scheduled.

    Perhaps not the most effective example, as it wouldn’t be surprising if the intellectual giants we’re dealing with here buy into the “Birther” nonsense too.

    As to Darryl’s pleas for “decorum,” I have a question. What is the difference in the truth value of the following two statements*:

    “The moon orbits the Earth.”
    “The moon orbits the Earth, asshole.”

    If you said “Nothing,” congratulations! You just might have a few logic circuits firing up there! If there is any difference between the two statements, it’s that the latter becomes a more likely response after the un-embellished version fails to penetrate thick skull after thick skull no matter how many times, and with how much evidence, it is offered.

    *I would’ve used “The Earth orbits the Sun,” but we already have at least one heliocentrism-denying wingnut in this thread, and I didn’t want to cloud the issue.

  732. #732 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Goats on fire, Darryl’s reading comprehension is way below average. And he trusts that he is reading the bible correctly?

  733. #733 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Yeah, Falcarius, point taken.

  734. #734 blf
    January 3, 2010

    Oh, sorry, I forgot: Darryl, you haven’t answered my question in @854:

    It’s a typical argument on a blog of this nature. As usual, the best defense an evolutionist believer has is … b) it’s below us…

    I’m uncertain what you are claiming here; and it doesn’t help that the sentence is ambiguous. Could you please elucidate? Specifically, who is saying what is beneath whom?

    And I note rmp@900 has now also asked you ?[W]ould your side agree to a jury style format which is evidence driven??

  735. #735 iamjadehawk
    January 3, 2010

    the technique I used I called ?Appeal to the majority? (I don’t know the formal name)

    that would be a good, old-fashioned argumentum ad populum :-)

  736. #736 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Science should be observable and repeatable. Evolution can claim neither of those. So no, creationism at the end of the day is ‘religion’ as there is an element of ‘faith’, or ‘belief’. But then, so is evolution.

    Wait, what? Good that you admit that creation is unscientific, so all you can ever do is bring evolution down to a par with your beliefs. Of course evolution is scientific, the discovery of Tiktaalik had everything to do with the predictive power of evolutionary theory. A few scientists travel to the middle of nowhere to dig in 380 million year old rock, and find a form that is predicted by evolutionary theory? Sounds like a pretty solid theory to me.

    Are you one of those who thinks a murder is unsolvable if there are no witnesses about? You don’t think it’s worth looking at a crime scene and digging around in the victim’s affairs because it’s unsolvable? Why not chalk up all non-witnessed murders to acts of divine providence? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing with the question of life.

    Okay, one other predictive story. Humans have 23 Chromosome pairs while all other great apes have 24 chromosome pairs. So when the human and chimpanzee genomes are sequences, there needs to be something in one of the genomes showing either a split of one human chromosome pair or the fusing of two chimpanzee chromosome pairs. And guess what? We find a fused chromosome pair that directly correspond to two chimpanzee pairs. Just as evolution predicted.

    But I know you’ll find a way to rationalise that away, just as you’ll rationalise away the glut of feathered dinosaurs that have recently been dug out of the ground, just as you’ll rationalise away the retroviral markers that sit in exactly the same place on the genome, just as you’ll rationalise away every other piece of evidence in order to maintain your position that evolution is a faith. Is it really that hard to acknowledge that evolution is a science, even if you don’t believe in it? Do you think we need a flu shot every year because God is keeping us on our toes?

  737. #737 blf
    January 3, 2010

    that would be a good, old-fashioned argumentum ad populum

    Yep! That’s it. Thanks! What astonished and disgusted me then (and now) is how well it worked.

  738. #738 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    You bring me evidence that just prior to the big bang matter arose from *nothing*

    Now this is making a big presumption, that there was a before the big bang. Now it could be this way, but given that the big bang theory is the creation of space-time it is not wise to talk about before the big bang any more than it is to ask what is north of the north pole?

    As for matter? Don’t you remember high school physics? e=mc². Matter comes from energy, and if your next question is where did the energy come from? Well that came from an offset by the gravitattion, the total energy in the universe is 0. In effect, the universe we live in is one that can come from nothing.

    Okay, great. Now show God…

  739. #739 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

    So basically you’re making the dichotomy that either Jesus was a liar, or he violated natural law and rose from the grave? Those options seem a bit thin really. You can’t think of any other possibilities other than Jesus being a liar or that a miracle occurred? None at all?

    The irony of all this being that you’re more than willing to believe reporting on the impossible as evidence for God, but you’re unwilling to believe that evidence that has accumulated in many different disciplines over the last 150 years can possibly be evidence for evolution. Why such a low threshold of evidence for the miraculous but such a high threshold of evidence for the mundane?

  740. #740 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    @Rev #899, great summary, however protesting against the lack of decorum needs to be somewhere in your list.

  741. #741 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    @Rev #899, great summary, however protesting against the lack of decorum needs to be somewhere in your list.

    good point

  742. #742 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    my team won. Thank you god!

  743. #743 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Who?

  744. #744 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Vikings. Thanks Odin!

  745. #745 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    You have a very petty micro managing big sky daddy, rmp.

    ‘snicker’

  746. #746 blf
    January 3, 2010

    Whilst I have no idea of the sport or teams, I was praying to all the gods rmp‘s team would lose.
    Since they didn’t, the gods must not exist.
    Q.E.D.

    (The above argument contains more logic than most—possibly all—cretinist arguments. But unlike certinist arguments, the conclusion also happens to be, very probably, true.)

  747. #747 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    It’s amazing how often the discussion of “evolution is a faith” turns into “Explain life, the universe, and everything”. Evolution is a process that is limited to replicating life. It has nothing to say on the origin of life, it has nothing to say on the origin of the planet, nor does it have anything to say on the origin of the universe. Yet the same people who want to call evolution a faith don’t discuss the evidence for evolution – they discuss what evolution does not explain. Then have the veracity to proclaim that evolution is refuted. That we’re all members of a religious cult worshipping a false god…

    It would be really nice to see an honest creationist, one who even if they rejected evolution understood what the theory explains and what evidence there is for it. Instead we get people who think that evolution is a substitute for God, so try to fit evolution into a God-shaped hole. Why is it that the ones who are supposedly moral are the ones who care nothing for intellectual honesty?

  748. #748 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    Damn that wasn’t just a win. Ouch.

    “My” Panthers won…. for whatever that’s worth at this point. At least going into next season delhomme’s nine billion ints won’t be haning over their heads.

    /thread derail off

  749. #749 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Farve Hates Us All!

  750. #750 blf
    January 3, 2010

    Kel, my admittedly incomplete knowledge is that back in the 19thC (both(?) before and after Origins) you did get some intellectually honest creationists. Some of them even did (thought) experiments, such as as the gentlemen who tried to calculate the size and other properties of Mr Noah’s ship (not that that has anything to do with creationism or evolution per se, but at the time, the age of the Earth and the idea of catastrophes as the only(?) agent of change was still(?) in-vogue, so it was a strongly-related idea.) Needless to say, they got nowhere, and—key point—admitted it (or at least didn’t deny it).

    Apologies for the lack of references and names and so on; blame it on the vin and it being yonks since I last read/studied the subject…

  751. #751 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Kel, my admittedly incomplete knowledge is that back in the 19thC (both(?) before and after Origins) you did get some intellectually honest creationists.

    I meant the ones I see online, and the professional creationists around today.

  752. #752 blf
    January 3, 2010

    I meant the ones I see online, and the professional creationists around today.

    I realise that. I just went a bit pedantic in response to ?It would be really nice to see an honest creationist, one who even if they rejected evolution understood what the theory explains and what evidence there is for it.? They, as far as I can recall, did exist at one time. But, apparently like you, I’m unawares of there being any around nowadays…

  753. #753 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Kel: Then have the veracity to proclaim that evolution is refuted.
    ______

    Veracity?

  754. #754 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 3, 2010

    Why do the creationists have to be so arrogant and insulting? It makes perfect sense that we get our backs up and become defensive when they come ’round here. Creotards like andre and Darryl come here, tell us we have no evidence for our “belief” and that we’re going to hell, call us names and then try to school us on manners. What the fuck?

    Firstly, that’s not very christ-like behaviour, so shame on you. No, the fact we pushed back does not make it OK. “Turn the other cheek”, remember? Secondly, if you want to play dirty, don’t expect us to cater to you. Stop being so fucking hypocritical. If you come here showing no respect, you’re not going to get any. You don’t get to complain about the mean atheists who swear either because it’s your petty taunting that illicits the responses. Fuck you.

    Seriously, at least dummies like David from Canada listened (sort of.)

  755. #755 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    There is at least one young earther to which I have referred to in an earlier comment. However, I can’t recall his name. I was hoping that someone here could identify him. He is a scientist who advises his fellow young earthers not to be so daft as to deny the evidence for evolution, but instead to stick to the faith spiel when presenting their (non) case.

  756. #756 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Kel: Why is it that the ones who are supposedly moral are the ones who care nothing for intellectual honesty?
    ________

    Because they are not really moral? You can be intellectually honest (for the most part) like Leigh and still be profoundly faith-bound by maintaining an ethical base. Morality and religious belief do not need to be mutually exclusive, but in Darryl, Patrick, Dave, Andre, Lucia, they are.

    It is great for the above YRCers to come here and do their unethical presentations. It clearly shows how awful non-evidential faith can be; how it can turned you into blithering, intellectually dishonest, lying hypocrites. Rather than courting their bizarre concern that the world would look aghast upon their not being invited to debate their lies at an atheist conference (as if the whole world is watching something so minor an event), they should be way more concerned about the egregious image they present.

    In addition, as some have pointed out, the god they believe in, would puke them up right out of its mouth. Preventing themselves from winding up in hell they believe exists should be their top priority. They are failing on so many counts and yet the quality of their lives will be buoyed up by the very science that they choose to cherry pick until it is no longer science. They are truly despicable free loaders.

  757. #757 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    It’s known in economics as the tragedy of the comments.

  758. #758 Patch
    January 3, 2010

    I liken the creationist claim that “since you didn’t see it, you can’t prove it happened” as an even wasn’t observable, to the following:

    You are a mother with a small child in the kitchen of your home. There is no one else in the house. On the table is a slice of chocolate cake. The phone in the other room rings, so you step out for few minutes. When you return, the chocolate cake is gone, the child has chocolate icing on his hands and face, and his teeth are covered with chocolate icing and cake crumbs. When you ask the child if he ate the cake, he says, “No.” Do you punish the child?

    In the creationist’s world, the mom will sit back and wonder just how the cake could possibly have disappeared. In the scientist’s world, the child is punished.

  759. #759 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Miki Z @932 , very clever, just spit up whatever liquid I am drinking (oh, yes herbal tea).

  760. #760 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Veracity?

    Yeah, that wasn’t the right word. hubris? nerve? audacity? Audacity is probably right.

    Because they are not really moral?

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.” – Stephen Weinberg
    “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

    Are these people honestly ones who can’t recognise the difference between right and wrong? I think not. They like almost all other people know that it’s wrong to be dishonest. And if they didn’t in their gut feel that being dishonest is a lie, they have a book containing a moral doctrine explicitly laying out the wrongness of lying. If I had to guess, I bet they don’t see themselves as lying, only adhering to a “higher truth”.

    Which of course would bring me back to my point, why can’t they argue against evolution as it is understood by scientists? They might think what they are arguing against is what scientists think of as evolution, in which case an intellectually honest person would spend the time trying to understand the arguments. Or it might be that they understand the arguments already, and don’t argue against them on the off-chance that we don’t understand them. Or it might be something else entirely.

    In any case, they have the chance to inform themselves and show that they understand what is being talked about. That they could approach this debate honestly and not create eleborate straw men arguments, and actually address the evidence presented. They have the chance to be honest, they have been given recommendations and resources to help them be honest. Let’s see if any of them choose to actually inform themselves…

    …I wonder if Andre has googled “Dunning Kruger” yet.

  761. #761 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Just got from some errands and I see things have pretty much died down. I was still hoping to see from a creationist some acknowledgement of the desire to have an evidence based debate. Anyone, anyone, Bueler …

  762. #762 WowbaggerOM
    January 3, 2010

    In the creationist’s world, the mom will sit back and wonder just how the cake could possibly have disappeared. In the scientist’s world, the child is punished.

    Your story would be even more apt (and hilarious) if the cake-smeared child answered ‘No – God came down and ate it.’

  763. #763 Feynmaniac
    January 3, 2010

    Why the hell does this debate need to be public? Present your evidence right here. Here the confinement of time won’t allow anyone to Gish Gallop, you’ll have experts from a variety of field to answer your points, you can provide citations to back up your claims, rhetorical theatrics will be mostly ineffective…..oh, I see.

  764. #764 tresmal
    January 3, 2010

    Michelle B.: @ 930 Could you be thinking of Todd Wood?

  765. #765 WowbaggerOM
    January 3, 2010

    <Roy Scheider>You’re going to need a bigger boat thread</Roy Scheider>

  766. #766 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    It’s known in economics as the tragedy of the comments.

    +1 to Miki Z

  767. #767 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Kel: If I had to guess, I bet they don’t see themselves as lying, only adhering to a “higher truth”.
    _____

    Then they are deluded. And when deluded, morality becomes a moot issue. So they are either unethical or deluded.

    However, if they are so deluded as to be unable to discern that they are violating their own religion, then they are not to be trusted (just like you would not trust an unethical and non-deluded person). Hence, they are functionally unethical.

    They have the chance to be honest,…
    _______

    Exactly. And that chance remains. They can always leave behind their dishonesty. It is their choice. Most of us here would not deny them that opportunity.

  768. #768 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Todd Wood, that the guy! Thanks tresmal

  769. #769 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Patch: In the scientist’s world, the child is punished.
    ______

    More like the child’s face would be carefully cleaned, carefully removing the invaluable evidence with the child being gently scolded for being so careless.

  770. #770 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    And as for evidence, there’s a guy who lived ~2000 years ago, who was either a brilliant con artist or he was the Messiah, and yet nobody has been able to refute him.

    C.S. Lewis’s trilemma has been reduced to two choices. But then Lewis was a better thinker than Darryl (not that such a thing is particularly hard).

  771. #771 Kel, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Exactly. And that chance remains. They can always leave behind their dishonesty. It is their choice. Most of us here would not deny them that opportunity.

    That’s the problem though, they are unable to recognise their own incompetency, such is the Dunning-Kruger effect. They really don’t have the choice because they really don’t see that there’s a problem to begin with. They can’t recognise actual competence in the field. Of course the remedy to such a problem is more education, but again that would require them first recognising that there’s a problem with their knowledge in the first place. Which is of course not going to happen because of the Dunning Kruger effect ;)

    This is why I try to reframe the question of understanding the science as scientists understand it. Which surely isn’t too much to ask for. If I were to come out and say the gospels were an invention of the 20th century, that they were written by hippies in the 1960s on an LSD trip and called it a global conspiracy among believers to protect their faith, would I expect any believer to treat my views as equal to those who are learned in the field? I should hope not. I should hope that they would tell me to go read up on the history of the early church and the development of the gospels. So even if I deny a historical Jesus, at least I can get my historical facts correct…

  772. #772 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    In the Doomed thread a Christian expressed surprise that Owlmirror and I were able to quote the Bible. Apparently they think we’re as ignorant about religion as they are about science.

    That’s one of the things that I find amazing about creationists. They’re ignorant about, for instance, the 2nd law of thermodynamics and they assume we’re equally as ignorant on the subject. They never seem to think that biologists and biochemists do actually know something about thermodynamics. Instead the creationists believe they have a novel insight into thermodynamics which has eluded scientists for decades.

    They come by their beliefs through faith. Their projection is that we have faith in evolution. They’re not arguing religion versus science, they’re arguing dogma against dogma. They see themselves as refuting our theology with their theology. Since theology is purely a matter of opinion and faith, facts do not enter into the equation. It’s a “my dad can beat up your dad” argument.

  773. #773 Miki Z
    January 3, 2010

    Just wait until you quote the Bible in a way that causes cognitive dissonance. Then you’ll get “even the devil can quote the Bible”. Or maybe that’s just me.

  774. #774 WowbaggerOM
    January 3, 2010

    It’s a “my dad can beat up your dad” argument.

    Sadly – for them – their ‘dad’ is a roughly human-shaped pile of dog-turds with eyes painted on and our dad is, well, a real person.

  775. #775 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    I think that darryl’s recent , if somewhat brief, appearance demonstrates rather well the futility of the whole debating creationists exercise.
    After about 900 comments showing why they are wrong, he turned up with the same arguments use by the trolls at the start of the thread. Then, having completely failed to address any of the points put to him, he has run off to proclaim victory.
    No doubt, another brain-dead loon will be alone soon with exactly the same arguments and attitude.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and clean the pigeon shit off my chess set.

  776. #776 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Malcom, I realize that 9 out of 10 creationists follow the same pattern. Perhaps it’s the Polly Anna in me that we keeping trying to find the David From Canada’s. I realize that it’s still unlikely that David changes his position but perhaps over time.

    Like I said, I’m a Polly Anna.

  777. #777 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    I guess what I’m saying is that the basic 3 Post Rule is a good guideline.

  778. #778 Michelle B
    January 3, 2010

    Kel: That’s the problem though, they are unable to recognise their own incompetency, such is the Dunning-Kruger effect. They really don’t have the choice because they really don’t see that there’s a problem to begin with.
    _______

    The D-K effect is a useful handle in getting grips with how difficult it is to get through to an ignorant person. However, some ignorant people do start that process, of leaving their ignorance behind. It may take loads of time like it did for rmp. Or in my case, it took decades for me to leave alternative medicine behind. I recall though, that there was always an internal protest to the garbage that I was embracing. Eventually, I gave up on using alt medicine because it did not make me well (nor did mainstream medicine). Only recently, with the advent of several excellent science-based medical blogs, was I able to understand the depth of my ignorance.

    What we need is to be able to identify the ones that truly will never make it through their ignorance, even if they went through several re-incarnations (teehee) so we can direct our mental energies are those who are somewhat receptive. There is no dependable way to do this, hence a mix of tactics are used, some like rmp, some like yours, some like mine, maybe something will hit its mark and will show us that there is something to work with or not.

  779. #779 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    even if they went through several re-incarnations (teehee)

    BONUS POINTS

  780. #780 Malcolm
    January 3, 2010

    rmp,
    Don’t get me wrong, when I mentioned debating creationists, I meant it in the context of the staged debates, a la the original post. I completely agree with you about the whole David from Canada thing.

  781. #781 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Personally I don’t have much of an issue with theist evolutionists. I ‘suspect’ they’re wrong but I’m not sure.

    However with YEC types I can’t help but think about my screwed up childhood. While I wrestled with the obvious science issues (earth approx 8000 years old), I was always able to rationalize that with the fact that if you can ‘create the world out of nothing’ then it’s not a big leap to think that the physical inconsistencies regarding age are possibly the by-product of such a miraculous creation.

    What finally helped me cross over wasn’t the scientific flaws but rather the theological/logical flaws. I was taught that ‘by faith alone’ are you saved. And that you only had to let the holy ghost into your life to get that required faith. Well as a teenager I’d go to bed praying/crying for the holy ghost to give me the faith to deal with the things that didn’t make sense to me. Eventually I decided that the holy ghost evidently isn’t perfect. Hence, …

  782. #782 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    Damn, rmp, my heart aches for the teenager you once were. That’s one of the things I hate most about fundamentalism; the brightest kids are usually the most damaged by it. They’re put through the most horrible kind of cognitive dissonance while they’re still so young, and often when they do break free the family relationships which should most sustain them are also damaged.

    I was fortunate because I just chucked the whole thing right from the beginning, and my mother (of blessed memory) was herself enough of a freethinker to let me find my own way.

    There are many creationists in my extended family, and most of them are so terribly ignorant about science that they’re incapable of evaluating evidence — not just scientific evidence, but any kind at all. They are absolutely credulous in every field of human endeavor. The people who remain in fundamentalist and evangelical church tend to be authoritarian personalities, and they sop up whatever nonsense comes out of the pulpit or out of Focus on the Family without any qualms. The inability to think critically about any proposition that comes from a Christian authority figure makes them sitting ducks for Ponzi schemes, political and culture-war shenanigans, and any kind of fleece-the-pews foolishness that comes down the pike.

  783. #783 rmp
    January 3, 2010

    Thanks Leigh,

    I just can’t help but think of those that didn’t come through the process ok. If I could be king for a day, a “you’l burn in hell for all eternity” upraising should be considered child abuse.

  784. #784 Leigh Williams
    January 3, 2010

    I agree with you and Professor Dawkins that it is child abuse. In fact, I think it’s people abuse; I know some adults who fret over it, too.

    Worse still, those who are okay with it never seem to realize they worship a deeply evil, malevolent version of Deity. I just don’t understand how they’re okay with behavior from God that, from their neighbor, would result in a fast call to Child Protective Services.

    I could be wrong about the existence of Hell, I suppose. If so, better Hell with Gandhi and George Carlin than Heaven with friggin’ Jerry Falwell and Torquemada.

  785. #785 Ragutis
    January 5, 2010

    It took me the better part of my free time of the last two days to catch up and now it seems that the thread may have run out of steam. Then again, I guess it looked like that about a month ago as well.

    I would say that Andre and Darryl are the most arrogant, ignorant, and insipid trolls we’ve had hereabouts for a while (M*bus excluded, of course), but that would be an understatement of massive proportions and more appropriate adjectives fail me at the moment. Willful ignorance in all it’s gloating, imbecilic, irrational glory.

    Please, for the good of humanity, don’t breed. And limit your contact with school-age children. You have every right to your stupidity and are free to revel in your lack of knowledge. Have at it. But exposing impressionable youth to the disease that is your delusion is irresponsible, unconscionable, and clearly child abuse.

    Retard yourselves all you want and cower from reality as much as you can, but don’t hamstring the progress of the next generation or blind them to the wonders of the universe that these brief sparks that are our lives are able to illuminate.

  786. #786 jethroconsultants
    January 5, 2010

    atheists – a challenge – please explain morality to me in terms of an naturalistic evolution of man from whatever to now.
    in other words – how can morality of any form exist in a chemical / naturalistic sense?
    why would any of you even care? – thres no reason… hmm theres a word – reason – - can you explain that?
    I am looking forward to an answer using logic and reasoning that by definition of naturalistic evolution have no meaning anyway – do your best!

  787. #787 WowbaggerOM
    January 5, 2010

    jethroconsultants,

    Easy: we evolved the behaviours you refer to as morality and our brains work via chemistry.

    But I’ve got a better question – numerous animal species demonstrate behaviours we would consider ‘morality’; which gods, exactly, do they believe in?

  788. #788 Leigh Williams
    January 5, 2010

    Well, gosh, jethroconsultants, that’s an easy one. Cooperative social organizations are built on justice, fair play, and a willingness to sacrifice for the group. Human beings have over time codified rules for managing and promoting those behaviors, but we have good new evidence that they’re not unique to humans. Animals also demonstrate altruism and a sense of fair play. These social behaviors have been selected for in all higher mammals that live in social groups.

    You can read about altruism here, and about fairness here.

    In other words, social behaviors that are the root of the Golden Rule are adaptations that confer a survival benefit, so natural selection has done its thing, and voila, moral behavior is born.

    I’m not an atheist, by the way, I’m a Methodist.

  789. #789 Leigh Williams
    January 5, 2010

    Oh, I noticed that you also asked for an explanation of reason. That one’s easy too: we’re got these big ol’ wetware reasoning machines inside our skulls. They’re organic computers, except many orders of magnitude more sophisticated than any silicon-based computer.

    We’re not hanging out on this planet unique in this respect, either. Our fellow apes, whales, dolphins, dogs, cats, many kinds of birds, pigs, and many cephalopods (just to name a few) have nicely-functioning brains too.

  790. #790 Ragutis
    January 5, 2010

    @ jethroconsultants:

    Humans are social animals. Certain behaviors benefit the community, and thus benefit the individuals. Altruism, compassion, cooperation, sacrifice… all have been observed in other species. Have you heard of the Google?

    And if YHWH is necessary for morality (yes, I know that’s where you’re going), would you care to explain the Code of Hammurabi, or Code of Ur-Nammu?

    Also, could you, unlike your brethren ilk, please refrain from conflating atheism and evolution? kthanxbye!

  791. #791 Kel, OM
    January 5, 2010

    atheists – a challenge – please explain morality to me in terms of an naturalistic evolution of man from whatever to now.

    The best way to explain this is with game theory. Sometimes cooperation between individuals can bring about greater reward than doing something on ones own. Think of pack animals, how if one animal were to hunt it would be a lot more unsuccessful, but in a group one gets less of a reward as it has to be shared around. But getting less more often might be better odds than going at it alone so working in groups.

    Thus given that there are advantages in working together (resource gathering, protection, etc.), it means that those who are willing to be cooperative will gain an advantage. Of course, blind cooperativity means that those who don’t cooperate would take advantage of the work of others and the system would break down. So enter reciprocal altruism, or in game theory the “tit-for-tat” strategy. It’s the most dominant and stable survival strategy as it gives the rewards of cooperation with others who cooperate, and doesn’t lose out except to those who defect. So a stable strategy of working together emerges.

    This kind of strategy can be seen in vampire bats, where bats that are unsuccessful in finding blood are given blood by those who were successful. This kind of act is “reciprocated” later on. Those who take but never give back are shunned and they eventually starve to death.

    So how is it we evolved morality? Well firstly we are mammals and have mammory glands. By virtue of our genes, we are wired to sacrifice for children through which parents have a role beyond birth. By virtue of our genes too, we can understand kin selection. That we would have concern for those immediately around us because they would have similar genes that do the same. Our brains have evolved to be tribalistic, to live in groups of about 150 people. Modern day society poses a challenge, but this is where cultural evolution takes over.

    in other words – how can morality of any form exist in a chemical / naturalistic sense?

    Quite easily. Social creatures with big brains getting on with each other because there are benefits in numbers.

    Though I freely admit this has nothing to do with atheism, but where current science research is pointing. If you want a good account for how morality works, read The Science Of Good & Evil by Michael Shermer. I’ve heard Moral Minds by Marc Hauser is also a good account, but I have yet to read it. But either of those two books (plus others including The God Delusion) give an account of morality without needing to appeal to the supernatural.

  792. #792 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    @Kel:

    Hence why I liken it to the race between Achilles and the tortoise, the argument that it is impossible for Achilles (evolution) to overtake the tortoise (creation) even though the race has been run and Achilles is well over the finish like and the Tortoise has barely moved.

    Have you read What the Tortoise Said to Achilles?

  793. #793 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    reason – - can you explain that?

    Evolutionary epistomology. If we were not able to understand the reality of our world well enough to navigate around in it, in its many varying conditions, we would have died.

    This also explains human failures of reason: those things that are true but counter-intuitive are not usually necessary to our immediate survival to be understood.

  794. #794 Kel, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Have you read What the Tortoise Said to Achilles?

    I have, yes. I have come across it before, and coincidentally again last night as I was reading Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and came across the dialogue again in there. Though I’ve got to say I prefer Hofstadter’s first dialogue.

  795. #795 Kel, OM
    January 5, 2010

    why would any of you even care?

    Because I’m human

    hmm theres a word – reason – - can you explain that?

    Yes. Part of being evolved is surviving to pass on your genes to the next generations. Being able to operate within the environment you reside in gives an advantage. So we can explain not only how one gets an eye, but how a brain is able to process such images. Get a species that starts to gain advantage from complex hunting techniques and the use of tools, and from there is the grounds for more flexible brains that would be able to exploit the environment for whatever advantage that survives.

  796. #796 Kel, OM
    January 5, 2010

    I wonder when all these questions that are put forth for us to explain are themselves going to be answered by those asking the questions. Do they actually have answers, I bet not. This is further confirmation that God is a substitute for human ignorance. How did we get morality? Turns out God did it. Don’t need to ask anything more than that, do we? Which when you think about it for more than a nanosecond realises that “God did it” explains just as much as not answering at all.

    Ignoring the fact that it’s an argument from ignorance, just because there’s no naturalistic way that we yet know, it doesn’t mean that there’s no naturalistic way to make it. It’s a negative proof fallacy, or in other words an argument from ignorance. To highlight such ignorance, consider the following. 300 years ago when Newton wrote his laws of motion, he argued that natural laws couldn’t account for the formation of solar systems. Therefore the motion describes the perfect system the Lord hath made. 300 years later, we have a pretty good idea how stars and planets form and that doesn’t require a creator.

    That is the problem of not actually coming up with a explanatory means of how things happen, you are never arguing for “God did it”, you’re always just arguing against whatever you feel contradicts “God did it”. This is one reason why I find theism a vacuous enterprise, it pretends to explain everything and in reality explains nothing. Not satisfying at all…

    So please, if you’re going to ask “how do you explain X”, please be sure to come up with a potential answer for yourself. Because if we can’t explain, it doesn’t revert to “God did it”, it reverts to “we don’t know”. And no matter how long you spend arguing against naturalistic causes, you’ll never prove the supernatural until you can actually demonstrate that the supernatural first exists and make meaningful predictions from that.

  797. #797 John Morales
    January 5, 2010

    I’m thinking the reinstatement of registration has choked off the stream of Wieland-fan stragglers.

    I doubt many will bide long enough to post here during the next easing.

    One more thing: I suspect none of the W-fans bothered to read the comment thread before inserting their boilerplate concern into it.

  798. #798 johnhei
    January 5, 2010

    As someone who has facilitated public debates between noted Christian apologists and atheists, and leading creationists and evolutionists, I know all the signs and symptoms of someone who is fearful of engaging in such debates. And the high sounding rhetoric they employ to cover their tracks. P J Myers and Dawkins have all these symptoms, and more. They remind me of an atheist contender who made similar condescending remarks about his opponents, and had to be literally dragged into the debating arena, being physically sick prior to the debate, only to later declare how pleased he was that someone had finally agreed to debate him. Myers and Dawkins make a lot of noise, but I would suggest it?s all hot air. Sorry, someone had to say it!

  799. #799 Josh
    January 5, 2010

    evolutionists

    Name three and list the events.

  800. #800 John Morales
    January 5, 2010

    johnhei, your opinion is noted and laughed at.

    Your stupid conflation of atheism and evolutionary science is also noted with due amusement.

    PS Who is this P J Myers? :)

    PPS you haven’t read the comments on this post, have you?

  801. #801 WowbaggerOM
    January 5, 2010

    P J Myers

    Who?

  802. #802 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 5, 2010

    johnhei, the only place to debate science is the peer reviewed scientific literature. It is open to those who use science and evidence. It is not open to those who require their imaginary deity to be responsible for everything, unless they provide conclusive physical evidence for said deity. Your side, the delusional fools, is the side lacking evidence. You cannot have a true scientific debate with facts and evidence, so you must resort to rhetorical tricks like the Gish Gallop in order to score points. You are scared and afraid to actually have to present real evidence to back up your inane religious based opinions. There is no need to debate idjits like yourself since you have nothing to debate. You are all empty blather, without substance. You could show some substance here and actually present your ideas with evidence to convince us you are worthwhile. Get to work.

  803. #803 rmp
    January 5, 2010

    Johnhei, as has been asked many times on this thread, why don’t you want to have an evidence based debate?

  804. #804 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 5, 2010

    Myers and Dawkins make a lot of noise, but I would suggest it?s all hot air. Sorry, someone dishonest and stupid had to say it!

    Fixed

  805. #805 Michelle B
    January 5, 2010

    J Morales: Your stupid conflation of atheism and evolutionary science is also noted with due amusement.
    ______

    Since Johnhei equates evolution acceptance with atheism, does that mean that evangelical Christian and geneticist, Francis Collins, who accepts evolution as fact and solid scientific theory is really an atheist and does not know it?

    Is Todd Wood, scientist and YECer, who does not deny the evidence for evolution and pleads/begs/implores his fellow YECers to stop insisting that the evidence is lacking for evolution is not really a YECer?

    If you want to insist that your non-evidential beliefs are more important than evidence, than why not be intellectually honest and do so! But to lie and contort reality by stating that evolution is not backed with enormous evidence over many scientific fields is unethical.

  806. #806 Michelle B
    January 5, 2010

    Johnhei: As someone who has facilitated public debates between noted Christian apologists and atheists, and leading creationists and evolutionists, I know all the signs and symptoms of someone who is fearful of engaging in such debates.
    ______

    Name those debates, please. If those atheists are so noted why don’t you note them and give us their names?

    And the high sounding rhetoric they employ to cover their tracks. P J Myers and Dawkins have all these symptoms, and more.
    _______

    Define rhetoric and then show quotes from Myers and Dawkins which would match this definition please.

    They remind me of an atheist contender who made similar condescending remarks about his opponents, and had to be literally dragged into the debating arena, being physically sick prior to the debate, only to later declare how pleased he was that someone had finally agreed to debate him. Myers and Dawkins make a lot of noise, but I would suggest it?s all hot air.
    _____

    Please name this atheist contender. Until you do you are the one full of hot air.

    Sorry, someone had to say it!
    ______

    You are apologizing for something that you think is the truth? Why. I never apologize when I say the truth.

  807. #807 Michelle B
    January 5, 2010

    jethroconsultants: do your best!
    _____

    Why do you think we need encouragement to our best?

    And fellow minions you did do your best. Well done (esp Kel)

    The implication in jethroconsultants little phrase is that we can’t do our best no matter how hard we try because we have no best. Instead of an encouragement, it is a taunt, plain and simple. Do these so-called ethical people have any idea how awful they come off?

  808. #808 Michelle B
    January 5, 2010

    Johnhei: P J Myers and Dawkins have all these symptoms, and more.
    ______

    I think you should make this into an elliptical deepity to capture its breathlessness as in:

    P J Myers and Dawkins have all these symptoms, and more…

    I hate when doofuses fail to fulfill their full doofusehood.

  809. #809 Michelle B
    January 5, 2010

    I am now caught up in this tread.

    It is obvious that because these YECers are motivated by fear to believe in their garbage, they think that fear also plays a big part in our lives or that we would be embarrassed if we did feel fear. Breaking news, Yec dipshits, neither is true so your slimy approach slips on its own goo and goes nowhere.

  810. #810 Miki Z
    January 5, 2010

    If jethroconsultants is the jethroconsultants of jethroconsultants.com, then his best comes to:

    Jethro Consultants is an Australian hosting company that specialises in a full service Drupal website hosting package.

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function drupal_add_feed() in /home/jethroco/public_html/themes/JethroCorp/page.tpl.php on line 116

    IF jethroconsultants is instead the jethroconsultants of jethroconsulting.com, then his best comes to:

    We begin with a needs analysis that identifies your particular challenges and once we agree on the objective, we will provide you with a comprehensive proposal that will summarize the agreed upon objective and provide you with general options to attain your desired results.

    I’m guessing it’s the first of these, but the second seems to focus on how churches can bill the government for providing counseling, so that’s a possibility.

    (Quite possibly, though, ‘jethroconsultants’ is a crank with no association to either company.)

  811. #811 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 5, 2010

    jethroconsultants@961 asks about the evolution of morality and reason.

    I think what you really mean to ask about is the evolution of altruistic behavior. After all, if a behavior is moral, but brings personal benefit to us can easily be explained. It is behavior that benefits others at our expense–altruistic behavior–that poses a challenge for a mechanism in which passing individual genetic inheritance is the sole criterion for success.

    Nonetheless, Darwin himself provided insight into the problem with regard to altruistic behavior in social insects. As long as the population is highly interrelated (as social insects are), altruistic behavioe will result in more of ones genetics being passed along if it is sufficiently beneficial to the population even if it means that the individual dies or otherwise fails to reproduce. William Hamilton subsequently worked out the math, and this is now a principle enshrined in biology. It has even been confirmed for some mammals (naked mole rats) that live in highly interrelated communities.

    Now we face the question of why there is altruistic behavior among individuals who are not related. Here we need to remember that humans are social animals–our survival depends on our ability to cooperate with each other. Game theory studies with repeated trials of the Prisoner’s dilemma (in which individuals get a reward for betraying the group but are subsequently punished by the group when the opportunity arises OR cooperate with the group and are rewarded with cooperation) reveal that altruistic behavior is a winning strategy that enhances both group and individual survival prospects. Given this understanding, you would expect similar behavior in other social animals such as other apes, dogs, etc.–and in fact we do find it.

    Reasoning ability is merely a slightly more abstract version of the problem solving ability we can see in mammals and even reptiles. I wish people would exhibit it more.

  812. #812 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010
  813. #813 Leigh Williams
    January 5, 2010

    johnhei, your contention that we “evolutionists” don’t argue from evidence is amply refuted by this thread itself.

    Scan the almost 1000 posts in the thread, looking for links to scientific articles and books. Note both in-line explanations and the links posted to support them. You’ll quickly see that we provide links to peer-reviewed scientific literature, or to popularizations that themselves contain links to primary sources. I myself have contributed more than 10, I believe.

    Do the same for the YECs who have posted here.

    Then come back and tell us again that we’re afraid of evidence . . . if you’re a big enough liar to risk it.

    And let me point out once again, as several of my compatriots here have already done, that scientific debate takes place in the peer-reviewed literature, not in churches or lecture halls.

    If you want educated people to take Young Earth Creationism seriously, you’re going to have to DO the science and get in published in a peer-reviewed journal. Alas for you, the very few degreed scientists on your side have abandoned its practice and now engage entirely in public relations. Could it be they’ve recognized something you haven’t: to wit, no science is ever going to confirm the creation myth of bronze-age goatherds?

  814. #814 Dr. Jeff