Pharyngula

Aww, we broke their poll

It was a particularly silly poll that asked if the bible was the divinely inspired word of god, and we very quickly ran the answer up to a definitive “NO”, so the poll owners did something predictable: they closed it.

Survey suspended temporarily.

We appear to have been the victims of a hacking attempt to stuff the ballot box.

We are investigating. Your patience is appreciated.

Uh, there was no hacking. It was an open poll. We visited the site and clicked on the buttons, just like it said we should and could. The only problem was that their poll didn’t arrive at the answer they site owners wanted, so they rejected the answer.

That tells you everything you need to know about these polls.

Comments

  1. #1 MaleficVTwin
    January 22, 2010

    They’re investigating. Priceless.

  2. #2 Qwerty
    January 22, 2010

    “That tells you everything you need to know about these polls.”

    And their thinking when their precious Biblical beliefs are challenged.

  3. #3 Bad Albert
    January 22, 2010

    And of course they’ll be praying for us while they’re investigating.

  4. #4 No More Mr. Nice Guy!
    January 22, 2010

    Unfortunately, their infinitely powerful god was not powerful enough to counteract the ballot stuffing.

  5. #5 Owlmirror
    January 22, 2010

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.

    And given the integer overflow error, I kinda think that that is what happened.

    I feel a little sorry for them.

    On the other hand, perhaps the integer overflow error was a warning that religious belief is an attempt to divide reality by zero.

  6. #6 Islander
    January 22, 2010

    They’re investigating. Priceless.

    And this appears to have been an international crime. Call in the feds.

  7. #7 CS
    January 22, 2010

    And it gets better, because you can vote if they were victims of a hacking attempt or if they are investigating!

  8. #8 Michelle R
    January 22, 2010

    They’re investigating and will just find a bunch of EVIL ATHEISTS.

    Yea, there’s a lot of us and we voted. On the open poll.

  9. #9 Glen Davidson
    January 22, 2010

    We’re persecuted because people are actually voting in our internet poll.

    Will mistreatment of Christians never end?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  10. #10 Capital Dan
    January 22, 2010

    I voted for investigating. Is that the right one?

  11. #11 Callinectes
    January 22, 2010

    They’ve changed it. Earlier today it said “An unscrupulous atheist group has attacked our site.”

  12. #12 alextangent
    January 22, 2010

    Cool! You CAN STILL VOTE!

    31% We appear to have been the victims of a hacking attempt to stuff the ballot box.

    69% We are investigating. Your patience is appreciated.

  13. #13 Glen Davidson
    January 22, 2010

    OTOH, I agree with #5:

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  14. #14 wanderinweeta
    January 22, 2010

    Current poll: We have been hacked – 30%
    We are investigating – 70%

  15. #15 Glen Davidson
    January 22, 2010

    Wait a minute, “investigating” and “having been hacked” are incompatible?

    So they can only investigate when they haven’t been hacked?

    And there is nothing they can do if they’ve been hacked?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  16. #16 MaleficVTwin
    January 22, 2010

    “An unscrupulous atheist group has attacked our site.”

    That statement gives a lot of insight into their mindset.

    “Oh Noez!! The nasty atheists attacked us with their votes!! This poll was only for True Believers!!”

  17. #17 formosus
    January 22, 2010

    It must have been a group of hackers on steroids.

  18. #18 Yubal
    January 22, 2010

    I’d say, folks who have never witnessed a pharyngulation could come to the conclusion that it HAS to be a hack. Just by looking at the numbers in the traffic and poll results in a very short time. Sometimes it scares me myself.

    *proud to be part of it*

  19. #19 Sastra
    January 22, 2010

    The only types of internet polls which should be confined to those who read the site are those which are specifically designed to survey the people who read the site, for a purpose. They’d ask questions like “which of the following would you like to see more articles about?” Otherwise, if they’re open to the web, they’re open to the world. Their inner community is an outer community.

    I missed the original post, but looked around at “Is the Bible REALLY inspired by God?” anyway, and loved their description of “Christadelphians.” Those are Christians who are bothered by all the conflicting sects which claim to be Christian, so they come together to form a sect which also claims to be Christian, and thus avoid all that conflict.

    What an easy solution. They should tell the other sects.

  20. #20 bwilliamssusd
    January 22, 2010

    I predict the end of polling on this site.

  21. #21 Valdyr
    January 22, 2010

    Wonder if they’ll contact the same “FBI Cyber Terrorism Unit” that eBaum’s World did when ytmnd fucked up their site. E-polls: srs business.

  22. #22 AJ Milne
    January 22, 2010

    Cool! You CAN STILL VOTE!

    Laugh if you must, but I think it only right that we acknowledge the incredible power of this apparently startlingly widely useful method of theirs, here…

    Next proposed poll: Schrödinger’s cat is __ (a) alive __ (b) dead…

    (/__ (c) I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me…)

  23. #23 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    We appear to have been the victims of a hacking attempt to stuff the ballot box.

    It’s refreshing to see they treat IT with the same respect as biology, physics, astronomy and various other sciences. By misusing and ignoring the meaning of terms, that is.

    Re: Owlmirror, #5

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.
    Hell, no! Not as long as the script does what a normal click would do — as opposed to submitting bogus data with the purpose of breaking the poll, (including sql injection to modify data directly the database, worse). It wouldn’t even qualify as a DoS attack, in fact.

    And given the integer overflow error…

    What integer overflow?

    As a side note, not having implemented any protection against multiple submissions (in short time from the same IP, as a script designed to hijack the poll would do*) speaks of incompetent programming more than anything else.

    * I don’t really see “real hackers” (or script kiddies… whatever) doing a botnet attack in order to hijack a highly irrelevant poll on some obscure site.

  24. #24 ZeroKant20
    January 22, 2010

    I like that 95 or so percent was in favor that the poll people were loons… Maybe they should investigate… Themselves???

  25. #25 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    Re: AJ Milne, #22

    Next proposed poll: Schrödinger’s cat is __ (a) alive __ (b) dead…
    (/__ (c) I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me…)

    Hum. Such a poll would at least make some sense. Their “We appear/We are investigating” makes none at all.

    PS: Sorry for the messed-up tags in my previous post. I constantly mistype tags… or forget closing them.

  26. #26 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    January 22, 2010

    AJ Milne

    Laugh if you must, but I think it only right that we acknowledge the incredible power of this apparently startlingly widely useful method of theirs, here…

    Next proposed poll: Schrödinger’s cat is __ (a) alive __ (b) dead…

    (/__ (c) I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me…)

    Hehe, but I’d actually have c) as “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may affect te result”

  27. #27 jojame
    January 22, 2010

    Of course the site owners don’t want people stuffing the ballot box. It was an open poll and was meant to be used honestly. The problem was that the poll didn’t arrive at the answer you wanted so you decided to break it. Predictable.

  28. #28 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 22, 2010

    Of course the site owners don’t want people stuffing the ballot box. It was an open poll and was meant to be used honestly. The problem was that the poll didn’t arrive at the answer you wanted so you decided to break it. Predictable.

    Sniffle. Snuffle. Quivering lip, big old tears ready to fall down. Waaaaaaaaa.

  29. #29 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Wrong again, jojame. It was an open poll. The people who went there were voting honestly. It just did not reflect what the people who started the poll wanted. Nothing was broken. Shit, the only thing broken here is your brain.

  30. #30 caseyhov
    January 22, 2010

    Since they posted that in poll form, I say we stuff it for the sentence that states they are investigating it.

    I already voted, it’s winning, but we should make it win by a Pharyngula margin.

  31. #31 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 22, 2010

    I voted that they are investigating, and that I should have patience. Ooooo. . this is so meta!

  32. #32 David Marjanovi?
    January 22, 2010

    Of course the site owners don’t want people stuffing the ballot box. It was an open poll and was meant to be used honestly.

    And? Who hasn’t done that? I only voted once.

    (?I’d have voted a second time, from home and thus from a different IP address, but by then the poll was already broken.)

    Look, every poll that can be pharyngulated can also be freeped* and slashdotted. We appreciate your concern, it is noted ? and stupid.

    * Free Republic, a website that exists at least since 2000 and caters to the right wing of the Reptilian Party.

  33. #33 jojame
    January 22, 2010

    @Janine #29
    You really think some of the people here didn’t vote multiple times in order to break the poll? Please. Its been openly admitted in the past on this blog.

  34. #34 cousinavi.wordpress.com
    January 22, 2010

    I am going to post a poll.

    1. PZ Myers IS the biggest atheist target.

    2. PZ Myers is THE biggest atheist target.

    3. PZ Myers is the BIGGEST atheist target.

    4. PZ Myers is the biggest Atheist target.

    5. PZ Myers is obsessed with squid pron.

    Vote early, vote often.

  35. #35 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Of course the site owners don’t want people stuffing the ballot box.

    Wait a second. A site named thisisyourbible thinks that polling its regular viewership about the bible is going to give an unbiased result to the poll questions?

    I think perhaps your should rethink your complaint or go clutch your peals elsewhere.

  36. #36 David Marjanovi?
    January 22, 2010

    28% We appear to have been the victims of a hacking attempt to stuff the ballot box.

    72% We are investigating. Your patience is appreciated.

    You really think some of the people here didn’t vote multiple times in order to break the poll?

    Then complain to them, not to all of us.

  37. #37 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 22, 2010

    Its been openly admitted in the past on this blog.

    Gasp! Has it also been avowed ? Has it been – shudder – self-confessed too?

  38. #38 Alverant
    January 22, 2010

    Awww that poor site. Atheists found out about it and spoke their mind. I guess christianity isn’t that compatible with free speech, free religion, and democracy.

  39. #39 DaveL
    January 22, 2010

    The problem was that the poll didn’t arrive at the answer you wanted so you decided to break it.

    So now voting on an open poll is breaking it? Oh, I see, it’s only breaking it if you’re going to vote the wrong way. Bias is objectivity. War is peace. Slavery is freedom.

  40. #40 jojame
    January 22, 2010

    @David #36
    I was complaining mostly to PZ Myers.

    @lose #35
    I doubt anyone thought the poll would be representative of anything. That’s not really the point. Its more of a toy meant to be fun and not to be broken.

  41. #41 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    …go clutch your peals pearls elsewhere.

    Ummm, whatevah.

  42. #42 neon-elf.myopenid.com
    January 22, 2010

    Okay, I confess. I voted twice and b0rked their poll. Take me away in chains.

  43. #43 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    You dumb ass, what makes you think that people who were voting for the right side were not also committing voter fraud.

    The only thing that is meant by these voter rains is that online open poll are pointless.

    And I will point out that I do not engage in this activity. But I understand and agree with the reasons for playing with the polls.

    Jojame, your concern is misdirected.

  44. #44 Holytape
    January 22, 2010

    Their pole as of now is:

    What is the Bible’s answer?
    See: Evidence For Design

    28% We appear to have been the victims of a hacking attempt to stuff the ballot box.

    72% We are investigating. Your patience is appreciated.

    Nautileaster

  45. #45 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 22, 2010

    Its more of a toy meant to be fun and not to be broken.

    Awwwwww diddums! Diddums need a new toy? Want Daddy to get you a new dummy to suck on? There, there. That’s right, let it all out. . .

  46. #46 Danish
    January 22, 2010

    You really think some of the people here didn’t vote multiple times in order to break the poll? Please. Its been openly admitted in the past on this blog.

    You really think some of the people on the “other side” didn’t vote multiple times too?

    Of course many people vote more than once if they can. It gets the message through more clearly that not only is the poll silly and unscientific, it is also poorly implemented.

  47. #47 CRS
    January 22, 2010

    I admit to voting twice. So? The answer I wanted was split between two choices, so I answered honestly. There was nothing on the site which limited the number of responses, much less for two different answers. I doubt I was alone in my choices. If someone did use “unscrupulous” methods they weren’t directed to do so by PZ.

    Dishonest Xtian persecution accusations in 3…2…1…

  48. #48 AJ Milne
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame is:

    __ silly
    __ smelly
    __ planning on determining the value of the cosmological constant with an online referendum
    __ probably not especially tasty on toast
    __ no, we’re not investigating any of that, actually…

    (/__ all of the above…)

  49. #49 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    @jojame

    I doubt anyone thought the poll would be representative of anything.

    So it’s not a poll but a contest? Why put up opposing views as a possible selection then?

    Its more of a toy meant to be fun…

    Precisely. Much fun was had.

  50. #50 Larry
    January 22, 2010

    Its more of a toy meant to be fun and not to be broken.

    Super, I had a great time. Glad I met the hurdle to be able to vote.

  51. #51 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame, you are nothing but an idjit troll. It is our job to demonstrate that open polls will not necessarily arrive at the results desired by the idjits who put them out there. If you have a problem with that, take a long walk off a short pier.

  52. #52 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    jojame wrote:

    I doubt anyone thought the poll would be representative of anything. That’s not really the point. Its more of a toy meant to be fun and not to be broken.

    Only if by “broken” you mean someone else playing with your toy.

  53. #53 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    Pharyngula is like the Borg. There may be some online pollsters located in some far flung sector of the web who has never heard of us,

    but they will.

    [cue dramatic music]
    [fade to black]

  54. #54 jojame
    January 22, 2010

    @Danish #46 and others
    You missed where I said that the poll was never meant to be scientific. The creators just wanted to have fun with the people on their own site. I bet people on their side voted multiple times and maybe some independent people came in and voted the other way. None of that would be amounted to breaking the poll. PZ Myers on the other hand came in and broke a dam over their heads. Its just bully behavior. The people of that site don’t agree with PZ Myers so he decided to go in and smash things. Defending it by saying its not against the law or other sites do it doesn’t make it any less wrong. Saying that I’m overreacting doesn’t make it any less wrong. Why do it at all? You’re getting your kicks out of the misfortune of others and I’m surprised at the screwed up morals. Why not be the bigger man and leave them to their silly poll?

  55. #55 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    THE SANCTITY OF ONLINE POLLS MUST NOT BE FUCKED WITH!

  56. #56 alysonmiers
    January 22, 2010

    Oh noes! There are atheists on the Internet! Hide the polls!

  57. #57 DaveL
    January 22, 2010

    The people of that site don’t agree with PZ Myers so he decided to go in and smash things.

    Nobody smashed anything. We went in and played with the “toy” they willingly made available to the public.

    Why do it at all? You’re getting your kicks out of the misfortune of others and I’m surprised at the screwed up morals.

    The misfortune of others? Just a moment ago it was a toy.

  58. #58 Free Lunch
    January 22, 2010

    On that theme, Legion, I wonder if the barely-literate theists think of PZ as Q.

  59. #59 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 22, 2010

    Take a look at their current poll.

    To be honest, none of the options they give for this one are apt. You’ll know which one to chose though.

  60. #60 stevieinthecity
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame is lame.

    It’s a pointless poll!! All we did was vote. It’s not our fault that the lame site’s servers couldn’t handle the traffic. We didn’t break it. It broke because of flimsy support.

    Ya big baby. We go to these polls to show how pointless they are and also because it’s quite clear they think it will go the way they want because of their audience.

    We like to burst the bubble. You can’t be smarmy and comfortable because your in your own little corner of the web.

    The all seeing eye of Sauron (ahem) I mean Pharyngula, will find you.

  61. #61 Endor
    January 22, 2010

    “probably not especially tasty on toast”

    This is really the only acceptable answer. And if you don’t agree, I’ll shut the poll down, take my toys and go home.

    “I wonder if the barely-literate theists think of PZ as Q.”

    Well, *I* think of PZ as Q. “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know” according to DeLancie.

  62. #62 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    The creators just wanted to have fun with the people on their own site.

    These sites (And this fucking site.) are open to the public. There is nothing to stop us from going there just as there is nothing to stop you from posting your stupid musings here.

    Jojame, why don’t you show us some fucking respect and never post here again?

  63. #63 Larry
    January 22, 2010

    Its just bully behavior.

    Oh, wicked, bad, naughty pharyngulaytes. You must be punished. Spank us. Spank us good.

    And then, after you’ve finished spanking us, the oral sex.

  64. #64 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame:

    PZ Myers on the other hand came in and broke a dam over their heads. Its just bully behavior. The people of that site don’t agree with PZ Myers so he decided to go in and smash things.

    LOL. Imagining PZ, Punked out and Gothed up, in anarchist mode.

    Pharyngulating polls is valuable Internet service that we provide at no charge. It’s charity really.

    The benefit to the pollsters are as follows:
    1. They learn that next time, they should deploy code that prevents multiple votes from the same IP.
    2. They learn that Internet polls cannot be trusted.
    3. They enjoy a spike in visitorship

    What’s not to love?

  65. #65 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    @jojame

    So wait, you come unglued with these completely off-the-wall hyperboles:

    …broke a dam over their heads…
    …go in and smash things…
    …the misfortune of others…
    …screwed up morals…

    All because of:

    …their silly poll…

    Again why are you here then? I think it would be like pouring vinegar on your rash.

  66. #66 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    The creators just wanted to have fun with the people on their own site.

    Really? They told you this? Bullshit… you’re just inventing an assertion.

    I happen to think they wanted to use the poll results as evidence that they are right. Would they have closed the poll if they got such an enormous outpouring of support for the answer they wanted? You fucking better believe the wouldn’t.

    The very point is to show those who would look at such a poll and its results and use that as edification for their beliefs, that it actually shows nothing and is a pointless exercise, an attempt at confirmation bias and nothing more.

    The people of that site don’t agree with PZ Myers so he decided to go in and smash things.

    As opposed to “the people at that site don’t agree with PZ Myers and so they shut down their poll”… but that’s different… right? Asshat.

    Defending it by saying its not against the law or other sites do it doesn’t make it any less wrong. Saying that I’m overreacting doesn’t make it any less wrong.

    Your concern is noted. Your total lack of ability to understand the point is also noted. Seems I don’t recall you coming in all blustery and heroic defending the Chiropractic poll we crashed a while back… now why is that, hero?

    You are pretty transparent… take your faux rage and fuck off.

  67. #67 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 22, 2010

    jojame,

    It was an open poll. I and a bunch of other people voted on it. Isn’t that the purpose of a poll, to see what peoples’ opinion on a specific question is? I gave them my opinion.

    Saying that I’m overreacting doesn’t make it any less wrong.

    Since we don’t see it as being wrong, saying you’re overreacting doesn’t make it any more wrong either.

    Why do it at all? You’re getting your kicks out of the misfortune of others and I’m surprised at the screwed up morals. Why not be the bigger man and leave them to their silly poll?

    Your concern is noted. Now please fuck off.

  68. #68 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame is still without a cogent post to this blog. That will not change until he gains some intellect, by throwing off all the shackles of ideology/theology holding him back. The chances of that happening are slim to none.

  69. #69 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    THE SANCTITY OF ONLINE POLLS MUST NOT BE FUCKED WITH!

    huh-huh; huh-huh; huh-huh; you shouted “titty”; huh-huh

  70. #70 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 22, 2010

    Also, voting multiple times with the intention to “break” the poll? If you think this, you are mistaken about the number of people who disagree with you there are. Many of us voted twice because we were of two opinions on the matter. No one voted multiple times with the intention to “break” the poll because no one had to. Each of us stating our honest opinion was enough.

  71. #71 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    It is sad that Beavis and Butthead have more intellectual fire power then does jojame.

    (Thanks, lose_the_woo. I just had a giggle fit.)

  72. #72 Islander
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame,

    If you are so concerned about people on the internet having the right to be left alone and not be confronted with opinions they disagree with, then why the fuck do you keep coming here and trolling?

  73. #73 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    Would they have closed the poll if they got such an enormous outpouring of support for the answer they wanted? You fucking better believe the wouldn’t.

    Maybe the next time an online poll needs a smack-down, maybe we should instead smack it “up”, i.e. vote the way they want and see if it gets shut down for “hacking”.

  74. #74 realinterrobang
    January 22, 2010

    Woah, goth-punk PZ Myers. I’d say I was going to take a cold shower, but I’m at work right now, and showering facilities are in short supply.

    I guess I’ll sit here and sweat, then.

  75. #75 wanderinweeta
    January 22, 2010

    I confess; I voted twice.

    I always do; once to register my opinion, and once to test whether the poll is set up correctly. This one wasn’t, which would make it untrustworthy* even if we hadn’t Pharyngulated it.

    *As if a poll could be trusted to settle anything except, maybe, which pizza spot to visit tonight.

  76. #76 coughlanbrianm
    January 22, 2010

    C’mon you guys, own up. Who broke Jojames *snigger* toy?

  77. #77 AJ Milne
    January 22, 2010

    The misfortune of others? Just a moment ago it was a toy…

    Crashing polls is:

    __ funny
    __ funny, but probably not a real winner as an activity for a first date
    __ teh evil
    __ making baby Jesus’ sysadmin cry
    __ justifiably disturbing and undermining the misplaced and amusingly easily shattered security of a thoughtlessly arrogant majority with a hilariously easily set-off persecution complex that no other opinion will ever overrule their own
    __ a bit like popping the balloon of an incredibly spoiled three-year old who just screamed blue murder for fifteen straight minutes until their exhausted, exasperated parent finally gave up and gave them one…

    (/__ and pretty much as irresistible…)

  78. #78 CS
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is ON again:

    57% No. It is purely the work of human genius.

    2% It is only inspired by God in its ideas and ideals.

    37% Yes. It is wholly inspired by God and therefore infallible.

    2% The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world.

    2% Don’t Know.

  79. #79 jojame
    January 22, 2010

    @Janine #62
    I’m an atheist and my friend showed me this site. I was reading for a while before I actually started posting. It seemed many of the opinions here were crowded to one side so I started posting myself. My opinions expressed were always sincere and I never trolled. I tolerated the name calling against me and never resorted to it myself. I figured my voice would be appreciated but I misread the culture here. I’m not some kind of creationist and wanted to create more diversity of opinion here. If I really am showing disrespect then I don’t mind not posting here again.

  80. #80 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is ON again:

    Uh, we’ll be right back.

  81. #81 CRS
    January 22, 2010

    jojame, the concern troll, blathered:

    The creators just wanted to have fun with the people on their own site.

    I assume you mean regular visitors, however you decide to interpret that. Please explain how a poll (which seeks to gather opinions) would arrive at any answer than the obvious one when accessed only by Christobots? If it was in fun, why couldn’t they see the results and take them lightly? We did. You are so disingenuous it makes me sick.

    jojame continues to bleat:

    You’re getting your kicks out of the misfortune of others and I’m surprised at the screwed up morals.

    While I admit I delight in a little harmless schadenfreude, it does not apply in this case. Misfortune? Whose? What was damaged? All I see is a typical expression of theists persecution complex and loads of righteous indignation.

    Screwed up morals? Yes, it is more moral to teach the young that an ancient book of brutal mythology and repressive, fearful rules is the guide to life. That never hurt anyone.

    Grow up.

  82. #82 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    *As if a poll could be trusted to settle anything except, maybe, which pizza spot to visit tonight.

    Nah… even then, if I own one of the pizza shops listed in the poll, you bet I’m voting as often as possible and getting every friend or contact I know to do the same. Even if my pizza tastes like candle wax and ketchup on stale, soggy white bread (also known as Little Caesars).

    Still unreliable.

  83. #83 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 22, 2010

    Pharyngula is like the Borg.

    Jojame: I am Locutus of Gay. I speak for The Collective. The insipid life you have known has come to an end. You will adapt to service us.

    Remove your Gap apparel and prepare to be assimilated. Your religious and sartorial distinctiveness will be added to our. . . errm, nevermind, no it won’t.

    Your imperfect theistic engrams will be overwritten with our superior algorithms.

    Sniffly indignation is futile. Concern is irrelevant.

    Present us with your cranial enclosure.

    Comply.

  84. #84 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame’s toy is rather fragile.

    NSFW.

  85. #85 coughlanbrianm
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is ON again:

    Woo-hoo, good times!

  86. #86 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is ON again:

    What’s the over/under on that they rigged it somehow?

  87. #87 blf
    January 22, 2010

    I suppose we should help Them with their inquires…

    To whoever is concerned,

    Your poll was not hacked. It was simply brought to the attention of many people from many backgrounds across the world, who gave you their opinion.

    It’s very likely some people voted more than once for one possible answer. And it’s very likely some people voted more than once for the other possible answer. Whether or not these multiple votes cancelled each other out is unknown.

    If you need any further assistance in understanding what did not go wrong, please feel free to write.

    Thanks,
    The Real World.

  88. #88 Xenithrys
    January 22, 2010

    @78
    … and after voting, hit the return button. Your choice is still selected, but if you click on it again I’m pretty sure it counts another vote.

  89. #89 wanderinweeta
    January 22, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution #82;

    I take it you don’t own Little Caesars.

  90. #90 Islander
    January 22, 2010

    Time to make jojame have an aneurism:

    http://www.thisisyourbible.com/

  91. #91 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame, so you are a homophobic atheist who seems to think that we should show respect for unsubstantiated beliefs. I am not impressed.

  92. #92 David Marjanovi?
    January 22, 2010

    @David #36
    I was complaining mostly to PZ Myers.

    See, that was silly.

    See also comments 39 and 47.

    funny, but probably not a real winner as an activity for a first date

    If you date someone who thinks like that, you’re probably doing it wrong.

    making baby Jesus’ sysadmin cry

    :-D

  93. #93 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    @Janine,

    NSFW.

    I thought jojame said his toy was broken. That one’s only bent.

  94. #94 toomanytribbles
    January 22, 2010

    it’s up again…… !!

  95. #95 Owlmirror
    January 22, 2010

    (I’m assuming that there was a blockquote failure @#23)

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.

    Hell, no! Not as long as the script does what a normal click would do

    I left out something that I actually intended in the quoted sentence, so let me rephrase:

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice with massive repetitions, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.

    What integer overflow?

    See here, and other comments.

      Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0006'
      Overflow: 'cint'
      /index.asp, line 442
    

    Also: VBScript Overflow

    As a side note, not having implemented any protection against multiple submissions (in short time from the same IP, as a script designed to hijack the poll would do*) speaks of incompetent programming more than anything else.

    So?

  96. #96 wanderinweeta
    January 22, 2010

    They’ve put up a new poll! Nom, nom, nom!

    Testing, testing … Nope. They still haven’t learned their lesson; it allows multiple voting.

  97. #97 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Time to make jojame have an aneurism:

    I’m not sure linking from here is a good idea. They may be filtering for the referrer (pharyngula) and not counting those votes.

  98. #98 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    It seemed many of the opinions here were crowded to one side so I started posting myself.

    Then you don’t read enough of the threads. In fact we just discussed this not too long ago. That’s your fault, not ours.

    I figured my voice would be appreciated but I misread the culture here.

    Oh fuck right off, you pathetic martyr. I’ve been reading your posts since you first started coming here… you are a fucking uber-contrarian and you only ever post when you want to take opposition with pretty much anything PZ says or does. You regularly sit in judgment over the rest of us here and play your “holier than thou” card on a fairly regular basis… I can’t think of a thread that I’ve read in which you’ve added a positive, thoughtful contribution that wasn’t an attack on PZ or on the larger community of commenters here at large (i read most of the threads but not all, so I suppose there could be one or two). You’ll get no pity here.

  99. #99 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 22, 2010

    Great it makes even less sense now.

    “No. It is purely the work of human genius.”

    They could have just left that at a simple “No.”

    “Yes. It is wholly inspired by God and therefore infallible.”

    Non sequitur. It doesn’t follow that it would be infallible if it were wholly inspired by God. (Unless of course one should wish to make giant leaps and bounds of presumptions.)

    “The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world.”

    More non sequitur.

    The poll makes even less sense than it did before.

    If I didn’t know better, I would say they were deliberately trying to make it immune to logic.

    Or, dare I say it, immune to atheists. Nah, couldn’t be…

  100. #100 stevieinthecity
    January 22, 2010

    I voted differently this time. I went for wholly manmade rather than human “genius”.

  101. #101 hankroberts
    January 22, 2010

    It would only be fair for PZ to set up a weekly poll here, announce it to all the sites to which he sends his minions and invite them to participate.

    It could even be done with a modicum of seriousness — getting polling questions that are useful is a science in its own right.

    Or he could do it straight on even weeks and twisted on odd weeks, illustrating the kind of lying with polling in this month’s survey question. Look at their first answer:

    Is the Bible inspired by God?
    – No. It is purely the work of human genius.
    ….

    —-

    So for our first poll, I suggest:

    Is PZ inspired by God?

    Just use their answer set, it’ll work the same.

  102. #102 negentropyeater
    January 22, 2010

    The poll was on for me a few minutes ago.

    But now it’s gone entirely.

    It seems they are “investigating” fidling around.

  103. #103 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 22, 2010

    If the folks at their website don’t want our input, why can’t they just tell us? “Those poll is only intended for those who share the beliefs espoused on this website” would do it.

    If sharing an idea that isn’t popular amongst their regulars constitutes hacking, why do they offer options that represent such unpopular ideas in their polls? It seems to me they’re feigning tolerance. Soon as those options build popularity, poll participation constitutes HACKING!

  104. #104 David Marjanovi?
    January 22, 2010

    Is the Bible inspired by God?

    What is the Bible’s answer?
    See: The Miracle of the Bible

    40% No. It is purely the work of human genius.

    2% It is only inspired by God in its ideas and ideals.

    24% Yes. It is wholly inspired by God and therefore infallible.

    33% The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world.

    1% Don’t Know.

    Human genius? Srsly?

  105. #105 aratina cage of the OM
    January 22, 2010

    Jojame you are full of it. You are not creating diversity here at all and it kind of maddens me that you would even pretend your bigoted opinions have anything to do with diversity. I think I’ve only seen one or two of your posts that weren’t cringe-worthy, and certainly nothing you have said today has been sensible. Wake up.

  106. #106 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Hankroberts, there will not be a poll set up here for the same reason why many people here play with other online polls, they are meaningless. If PZ were to set a poll, he would be open to the mockery that we give to online polls. And if PZ would act on your suggestion, he will deserve the mockery.

  107. #107 shadowface
    January 22, 2010

    The poll’s back up. Gogogo

  108. #108 CRS
    January 22, 2010

    The new pole isn’t much of an improvement over the first, IMO. So it goes from “work of human genius” to “manmade and responsible for much evil in the world”. Really?

    I milder middle option would have been better, like the former poll’s description of the babble as a book of mythology. There really is no middle ground with these people. That or they are just incapable of creating a decent poll. I suspect they want to lure us Ebil Atheists into saying it is responsible for teh ebil. That will give them a chance to respond with all the good it has done.

    Right…

  109. #109 Islander
    January 22, 2010

    I’m not sure linking from here is a good idea. They may be filtering for the referrer (pharyngula) and not counting those votes.

    Ah, I see. I really need to take some computer classes.

  110. #110 AJ Milne
    January 22, 2010

    It is purely the work of human genius…

    Are you in… genius? Are you in… competent?

    (/Are you in… capable of grasping you might as well be dipping yer naughty bits in gravy and dangling ‘em in front of wolves?)

  111. #111 Steven Mading
    January 22, 2010

    As a side note, not having implemented any protection against multiple submissions (in short time from the same IP, as a script designed to hijack the poll would do*) speaks of incompetent programming more than anything else.

    That solution only works if you don’t mind creating some false positives where you block people out of the poll who haven’t actually voted already but the system is tricked into thinking they have because they’re coming from the same router, and their own machines have private IP addresses like 192.168.*. (Basically, from the viewpoint of your server it thinks everyone behind that same router is the same IP address because the IP packets report the address of the router, not of the actual client machines behind it.)

    I remember when the false idea of assuming same IP address = same user first started in the internet and hating it because I was using a multi-user unix system with multiple users at multiple X terminals hanging off the same host.

    NO, same IP address does NOT mean same user.

  112. #112 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    It would only be fair for PZ to set up a weekly poll here, …

    Completely. Missing. The. Point.

  113. #113 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    Oh dear. “The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world,” is leading at 43%! However could that have happened? ;-)

  114. #114 sandiseattle
    January 22, 2010

    their poll didn’t arrive at the answer they site owners wanted, so they rejected the answer.
    That tells you everything you need to know about these polls.

    FAIL.

    What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll, not one interfered with by “pharyngulite” nonsense. No it tells a lot more about y’all than the pollsters.

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause. It is a juvenile exercise. If you really want people to think you’re smarter than those you mock, you’ve failed big time.

  115. #115 thuktun
    January 22, 2010

    It’s back up, but with a different selection of poll answers:

    - No. It is purely the work of human genius.
    - It is only inspired by God in its ideas and ideals.
    - Yes. It is wholly inspired by God and therefore infallible.
    - The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world.
    - Don’t Know.

    It might also be worth noting that if you simply refresh the page (at least for me under Google Chrome) the poll question comes back; it doesn’t retain the fact that you’ve already voted. Plus, there’s no link directly to the results, so your only hope of viewing the current results of the poll is to vote again.

  116. #116 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Oh dear. “The Bible is manmade and responsible for much evil in the world,” is leading at 43%! However could that have happened? ;-)

    Oh, shit! We have broken just an other toy. We are turning the intertoobz into a junkyard littered with useless toys.

  117. #117 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause.

    Clearly you misunderstand, eh-hem, our cause.

  118. #118 Sid
    January 22, 2010

    Genius. . .

    Actually, I kind of like the oblivious irony of that answer.

    The second to last answer will not do. Christians cannot scapegoat the atrocities they’ve committed on the buy-bull.

  119. #119 David B
    January 22, 2010

    Meanwhile there is something that requires attention. Catholics are organising an email write-in to Sony protesting about a new film. Some might think some balance is needed.

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2010/01/22/oh-joy-hollywood-outrages-catholics-with-another-%E2%80%98blasphemous%E2%80%99-offering/

    David B

  120. #120 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 22, 2010

    When the fuck did our intention become to make people think we’re smarter than religious folk? We just participated in a poll that was brought to our attention and shared our honest opinions on the matter. Options that aligned with our thoughts were provided so we felt encouraged to participate.

    All internet polls are illegitimate as they’re uncontrolled. How our participating in one makes it any less valid, I don’t know. It’s not as though we lied.

  121. #121 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    sandiseattle:

    What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll, not one interfered with by “pharyngulite” nonsense. No it tells a lot more about y’all than the pollsters.

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause. It is a juvenile exercise.

    There’s no such thing as a “legitimate” open poll on the Internet. That’s kinda the point here.

  122. #122 jimspice
    January 22, 2010

    They enjoy a spike in visitorship

    They should put up some ads. Maybe they’d get a ton of click throughs. Or not.

  123. #123 llewelly
    January 22, 2010

    Owlmirror | January 22, 2010 1:01 PM:

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.
    And given the integer overflow error, I kinda think that that is what happened.

    cint is infamous for having a stupidly small range: -32768 to +32767 . A size it inherited from 16 bit windows days.

    So the integer overflow error requires only 32768 votes. Pharyngula has plenty more readers than that.

    Some script-fu can’t be ruled out, but it’s hardly necessary to explain what happened.

  124. #124 caseyhov
    January 22, 2010

    I think jojame or whatever is a troll.

    If they wanted the poll confined to their people they have a registration set up. “Students” of their school register and log in, much like you may have to do here. The exclusivity of the poll was their choice. They wanted to boast publicly and split our options, we outnumbered them and won. Fair game.

  125. #125 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    If I really am showing disrespect then I don’t mind not posting here again.

    umm, Jojame, since you have not only posted here before, and we have asked you politely/not to fuck the hell off, and you have admitted with glee to “finking” on us to various websites whose polls we have visited…

    that makes you nothing more than a liar.

    now seriously, stop showing us, and yourself, disrespect and FUCK THE HELL OFF already.

  126. #126 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    Jojame leaves the scene and an other idiot who does not understand the point steps in. Sandiseattle, the people who set up their polls expect to have their bias reflected back to them.

    Oh, wait, this is just more tone bullshit from you. Please, use dyke as a swear word again. That so amused me.

  127. #127 Endor
    January 22, 2010

    “What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll”

    So, naturally, they made it an open poll on the open WWW, available to all. Talk about fail!

    What they wanted, *I* am sure, is to have their clearly fragile and delicate faith reinforced by big supportive numbers. You know, cuz EVERYONE believes in Jesus, amirite?

  128. #128 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    David B:

    Meanwhile there is something that requires attention. Catholics are organising an email write-in to Sony protesting about a new film.

    Ah yes. Legion approves.

  129. #129 caseyhov
    January 22, 2010

    They changed the first answer it seems.

  130. #130 Citizen Z
    January 22, 2010

    The creators just wanted to have fun with the people on their own site.

    Really? You honestly think they were really curious about how many readers of thisisyourbible.com thought the Bible was “of human origin” and “untrustworthy and irrelevant”? Really? Maybe the owners of democrats.org should put up a poll asking how many of their readers whether you should vote Democrat or Republican.

    What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll, not one interfered with by “pharyngulite” nonsense.

    “Legitimate” how? They asked a question, we answered. It’s pointless for them to ask a question they already knew the answer to, they either genuinely wanted to know people’s opinions on whether the Bible was myth or not, or they just wanted a rigged answer to pat themselves on the back: “Hey, lots of people think the Bible ‘is inspired by God in all its parts’”.

  131. #131 stevieinthecity
    January 22, 2010

    Sandi. Interfere? We voted. That’s it. Get a grip. Are you interfering because your posting inane drivel on here? Nope. You are making your self look like a whining baby though.

    You have a poll on the internet, people vote. You don’t get to decide who votes. Period.

  132. #132 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    NO, same IP address does NOT mean same user.

    indeed.

    cookies are the easy way to go.

  133. #133 iced327
    January 22, 2010

    Ha, I’m glad it’s back up. Three of those points for ‘manmade and evil’ are me wasting time at work :)

  134. #134 AJ Milne
    January 22, 2010

    Thread comments like the ‘y’all are messing with the high sanctity and impartiality of an online poll, you bastards!’:

    __ could probably be posted by a bot
    __ probably are posted by a bot
    __ make me laugh a lot
    __ make me say ‘Wot?’
    __ ought not be wrought…

    (/__ get me kinda hot…)

  135. #135 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 22, 2010

    They may be filtering for the referrer (pharyngula) and not counting those votes.

    So, we can copypasta the url to the browser header. Then it isn’t from here.

  136. #136 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    So, we can copypasta the url to the browser header. Then it isn’t from here.

    Yup.

  137. #137 Alverant
    January 22, 2010

    sandiseattle, if they didn’t want their question answered, then they shouldn’t have asked it. If you said, “Do you think I’m stupid?” you shouldn’t get mad when we tell you, “Hell yes!”

  138. #138 Owlmirror
    January 22, 2010

    What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll, not one interfered with by “pharyngulite” nonsense.

    What is a “legitimate” poll? One that gives them only the results that they want?

    ========

    So the integer overflow error requires only 32768 votes. Pharyngula has plenty more readers than that.

    Perhaps more readers, but I don’t think quite that many poll-participants. As I recall from other, better-protected from scripting polls, Pharyngulization produces a bump of a few thousand, not an entire order of magnitude more than that.

  139. #139 professordendy
    January 22, 2010

    {yawn} zzzzzzz…

  140. #140 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause. It is a juvenile exercise. If you really want people to think you’re smarter than those you mock, you’ve failed big time.

    Concern troll is concerned.

  141. #141 ThirdMonkey
    January 22, 2010

    A Cint() overflow?
    They didn’t expect to get more then 32,767 votes!

    Bwa! HA Ha ha ha ha!

    They should’ve used cLng()…

  142. #142 Steven Mading
    January 22, 2010

    Posted by: hankroberts Author Profile Page | January 22, 2010 2:42 PM

    It would only be fair for PZ to set up a weekly poll here, announce it to all the sites to which he sends his minions and invite them to participate.

    Why would be do the very thing he’s trying to rail against? It’s been PZ’s stance for quite some time that these types of online polls are bad science that must never be used to assume anything is valid about the results. The ease with which they are ballot-stuffed by simply having a group of dedicated people respond to a request like the ones he gives out, without any computer hacking or double-voting at all, is the reason why he calls such polls bullshit.

    That’s the whole reason he asks Pharyngulites to stuff these polls – to drill home the point to those morons who keep insisting on using them that they produce bullshit results that aren’t to be trusted.

  143. #143 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    professordendy:

    {yawn} zzzzzzz…

    Finally, something intelligent and profound from the P’fesser.

  144. #144 blf
    January 22, 2010

    Finally, something intelligent and profound from the P’fesser.

    Or the cat.

  145. #145 tsg
    January 22, 2010

    What they wanted, I am sure, is a legitimate poll, not one interfered with by “pharyngulite” nonsense.

    a) our votes are just as valid as theirs.
    b) there’s no rule that says you can only vote once, especially given the absolute lack of any kind of measures to prevent it.

    No it tells a lot more about y’all than the pollsters.

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause. It is a juvenile exercise. If you really want people to think you’re smarter than those you mock, you’ve failed big time.

    *yawn* Your concern is noted.

  146. #146 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    {yawn} zzzzzzz…

    for someone who seems to want to debate his ideas previously, you certainly seem to come off more as nothing but an irritating troll any more Dendy.

    we don’t buy that you teach biology.

    we don’t buy your claims of being a scientist.

    we don’t buy your claims you don’t delete comments on your site.

    I personally think you’re just fuckbar nuts.

    prove me wrong.

  147. #147 confusions_a_virtue
    January 22, 2010

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion. It was infact PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll. If it went the other way he’d be complaining it’s pathetic.

  148. #148 Daniel de Rauglaudre
    January 22, 2010

    They likely put back the poll to trace where the voters (we) come from.

  149. #149 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    It’s pointless for them to ask a question they already knew the answer to, they either genuinely wanted to know people’s opinions on whether the Bible was myth or not, or they just wanted a rigged answer to pat themselves on the back: “Hey, lots of people think the Bible ‘is inspired by God in all its parts’”.

    Exactly, Citizen Z.

    Don’t fucking dare tell us these people are honestly enquiring into the diversity of beliefs about the bible held by visitors to the site.

    Whether you (or they) want to admit it, they’re looking for nothing more than a high percentage of ‘right’ answers so they can use it as a cudgel. “See? See?! 89% of people believe in God, so atheism is UNAMERICAN!” Now these people may not actually be interested in positing such a position–and good for them if they aren’t–but that doesn’t mean the intent behind it isn’t just sockpuppeting.

    Well, two can play at that game. No, the polls don’t matter anyway, but it’s pretty hard to use your sockpuppet for its intended purpose once the Pharyngulite horde has gotten hold of it, used it up and left it crumpled and crusty on the bedroom floor.

  150. #150 bcoppola
    January 22, 2010

    Poll was open as of now (3:30pm EST). I voted “no…responsible for much evil…” and that answer was in the lead at 63%.

    Looks like they’ll have to close it again, hm?

  151. #151 One Furious Llama
    January 22, 2010

    I’ve always liked the number 144, it’s pretty.

  152. #152 Owlmirror
    January 22, 2010

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    Are we not part of the public? Do we not have opinions?

    . It was infact PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll.

    Getting answers you don’t like ruins polls?

    If it went the other way he’d be complaining it’s pathetic.

    He never has in the past. He is consistent in insisting that the polls are indeed pointless.

  153. #153 tsg
    January 22, 2010

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    And when they didn’t get the answer they wanted they complained about it being hacked. Sure, it was so totally honest….

  154. #154 Alverant
    January 22, 2010

    confusions_a_virtue, this may come as a surprise to you, but we’re part of the public too. There’s no reason why shouldn’t have a say in public opinion.

  155. #155 Legion
    January 22, 2010

    confused:

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    Are we not members of the public?

    “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”


    – from Merchant of Venice

  156. #156 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    I am going to post a poll.

    1. PZ Myers IS the biggest atheist target.

    2. PZ Myers is THE biggest atheist target.

    3. PZ Myers is the BIGGEST atheist target.

    4. PZ Myers is the biggest Atheist target.

    5. PZ Myers is obsessed with squid pron.

    Vote early, vote often.

    No “poopyhead” option?

    I abstain.

  157. #157 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    It was infact PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll.

    How is voting your opinion on a poll open to the public obscuring results? PZ didn’t tell us what to vote. We are all free-thinking humans that went to a site and voted our opinions, as the poll requested. Go vote your own opinion… counts just as much as ours. Seems like the only reason there’s a problem is not because PZ didn’t get the results he wanted, but because the site owners didn’t get the results they wanted.

    If it went the other way he’d be complaining it’s pathetic.

    The only thing pathetic here is your complete inability to understand why we do these little exercises. If the results had gone the other way, PZ would say the same thing he would say right now: results of internet polls are pointless and meaningless. But if it had gone the other way, would you be likewise on their site complaining about the obvious poll-skewing they had done? Of course you wouldn’t you dishonest, transparent loon.

  158. #158 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Having said all that, if we were truly and only interested in proving the unscientific and rather meaningless nature of online polls, we could do much better than simply Pharyngulating them to be in line with our general beliefs and attitudes. For instance, pharyngulating a poll so that there were an equal number of votes for all options would serve the same purpose and would, in my mind, look less douchy.

    But I’m not gonna go tell you guys what you should or should not do on an open poll. I vote my conscience on these, and I do it just once. YMMV.

    If you really want people to think you’re smarter than those you mock, you’ve failed big time.

    D’uh. If such people were capable of recognising how much smarter I am than they are, they likely wouldn’t hold so many mock-worthy beliefs. But you just go ahead and continue to think I give a shit what you think if helps you sleep at night.

  159. #159 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    rackin’ frackin’ blockquote fail…

  160. #160 tsg
    January 22, 2010

    But I’m not gonna go tell you guys what you should or should not do on an open poll. I vote my conscience on these, and I do it just once. YMMV.

    Where does it say we’re only supposed to vote once?

  161. #161 Caine
    January 22, 2010

    Confused virtue:

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    Um, yeah. I’m part of the public, and I have an opinion.

    PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll. If it went the other way he’d be complaining it’s pathetic.

    Aand the point sails right over your head. Funny, ennit, how the folks who put up the poll got upset over not having the “right” answer happen. Tsk. These things happen when you invite a messy public to express their opinion.

  162. #162 Steven Mading
    January 22, 2010

    Posted by: confusions_a_virtue Author Profile Page | January 22, 2010 3:30 PM

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion. It was infact PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll. If it went the other way he’d be complaining it’s pathetic.

    Since when did we stop being part of the public?
    Either they wanted public opinion, or it is wrong for Pharyngula to participate. It can’t be both.

    Although, if they wanted believable public opinion, they’d use a scientifically valid polling mechanism, not an online poll that’s always going to be skewed by selection bias even Pharyngula isn’t involved.

    The only thing the participation of Pharyngula does is make the fact that the results are bullshit more obvious and hard to sweep under the rug.

  163. #163 tsg
    January 22, 2010

    Funny, ennit, how the folks who put up the poll got upset over not having the “right” answer happen.

    Yes. I bet money that if it was a Christian group that voted en masse for “The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts”, they wouldn’t be complaining about getting hacked.

  164. #164 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    I’ve always liked the number 144, it’s pretty.

    What?

    It’s gross.

  165. #165 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Where does it say we’re only supposed to vote once?

    It doesn’t tsg, and though I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with it, it doesn’t sit well with me personally (largely because of the potential for abuse by a select group of people with a particular skill set which strikes me as unjust), so I don’t do it. As I said, YMMV. Go as hard as you want.

  166. #166 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    Um, yeah. I’m part of the public, and I have an opinion.

    no, see, you’re missing standard xian doublethink:

    you aren’t a xian, ergo you DON’T have an opinion that matters to this poll.

    …what?

  167. #167 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    … see, for example, the response of the spokesman for the xian rifle sight company a couple days back.

    He most definitely thought that the people complaining about putting scripture references on gunsights, could be safely ignored, as of course they weren’t xian.

  168. #168 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    For instance, pharyngulating a poll so that there were an equal number of votes for all options would serve the same purpose

    I like that idea. Always vote for whichever option is currently last in the running.

    But then wouldn’t that be dishonest? At least what happened this time was an overwhelming majority of people voting their honest opinion. The only problem was the pollsters did not expect non-believers to be interested in their poll.

  169. #169 ktesibios
    January 22, 2010

    If anyone here has seen “The Secret War of Harry Frigg”, the following should be read in the voice of Werner Peters introducing himself as the prison camp commandant:

    No doubt you have been told that the majority of Pharyngulites are calm, reasonable people, that they are more interested in critical thinking than an ideology, that they will respond to obvious concern trolling with polite, reasoned arguments- and this is all true.

    I, however, am not such a person.

    Jojame, take your pathetic tone trolling, ram it up your worthless ass and pack it in with a rusty railroad spike.

  170. #170 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    So, we can copypasta the url to the browser header. Then it isn’t from here.

    Too much work..Just click on “home”.

    Manmade…Evil at 66%.

    BS

  171. #171 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    Manmade…Evil

    I prefer pure, concentrated evil.

  172. #172 KOPD42
    January 22, 2010

    For once, I’d like to see a poll weighted heavily on the “don’t know” or “don’t care” option, as including them in a voluntary poll is silly.

  173. #173 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 22, 2010

    To be perfectly honest, I’ve wondered about the validity of ‘pharyngulating’ polls. There’s nothing unfair about calling on your readers to vote with you, but I’ve heard totals of 10,000 votes credited to it, and I’m a mite apprehensive that there’s anywhere near that many folks.

  174. #174 blf
    January 22, 2010

    [W]hat happened this time was an overwhelming majority of people voting their honest opinion.

    No. Not “of people”, but “of people who voted”: An overwhelming majority of the people who voted…. It was a self-selecting poll, which is one reason it’s pointless and meaningless.

    And whether or not a significant number of the people who voted did vote their honest opinion we do not, strictly speaking, know, but it’s understandable to assume they did.

  175. #175 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    invalid to interfere with something
    invalid

    to interfere with something
    invalid
    to interfere with something
    invalid
    to interfere with something
    invalid

    [link to Star Trek clip of frying androids]

  176. #176 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    I prefer pure, concentrated evil.

    The man made variety is the most concentrated as near as I can tell.

    BS

  177. #177 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    There’s nothing unfair about calling on your readers to vote with you,

    Well, in truth, PZ doesn’t ever tell us which way to vote… he will tell us how he might vote or has voted… but he doesn’t actually insist that we vote for any particular option. He leaves it to us to use our own free will to decide what’s the right choice… it just so happens most of us here usually agree. But it’s not as if we are required to. And I do recall some of these poll threads where there was some real debate about just what the best answer was… and in fact there was one… wish I could remember which, where we ended up splitting two options just among the pharyngulites…

    I’ve heard totals of 10,000 votes credited to it, and I’m a mite apprehensive that there’s anywhere near that many folks.

    I wouldn’t be… you underestimate PZ’s following, I think…

  178. #178 David B
    January 22, 2010

    On the rare occasions where multiple votes are avoided by software, and bots are stopped, then the fact that enough freethinkers are sufficiently motivated to post on a poll seems to me point enough in itself.

    When people can multiple vote, or those more tech savvy than me can set bots to vote, then they are indeed pointless.

  179. #179 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    They have just attempted some sort of clumsy reset of the poll.

    BS

  180. #180 cms13ca
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is on the site again, ready to be pharyngulated.

    Currently,
    72% Bible is myth
    25% Bible is untrustworthy

  181. #181 watchful stone guardian
    January 22, 2010

    THE POLL’s BACK!

    Just watch closely because the questions don’t match the summed answers!

    wsg

  182. #182 VoiceoftheGods
    January 22, 2010

    Brand new fun on what used to be pray4trig.

    http://www.pray4trig.com/

    A miracle Poll.

    I’m quite fond of “A miraculous display. Like a vision of Mary if you stare at the sun.”

    Having all the fundies go blind staring at the sun would certainly be a miracle. Though:

    “PZ Myers publicly converts from atheism to follow the One True God.”

    Is quite chuckle worthy too.

  183. #183 drdale
    January 22, 2010

    I like a page on the site that “answers” the problem of “In my fathers house are many mansions.” John 14:2 http://www.thisisyourbible.com/media.asp?id=1137

    The quoted section starts after the Headline: Jewish Book

    Many of us easily forget, when we read the Bible, that it is a Jewish book, written mainly by Jewish writers about Jewish people. It is so easy for us to
    read it with two thousand years of ideas and interpretations in our minds
    that we forget to ask a simple question: What did the writers of this passage understand by it when they wrote it and what did their readers or hearers understand?

    The author obviously believes that the Bible isn’t fact and that the reader’s interpretation of the prose in the bible is the way to understand what was written. Therefore, as long as we can get Christians to accept this paper means that they accept the bible as allegory.

  184. #184 blf
    January 22, 2010

    I prefer pure, concentrated evil.

    Tricky stuff to handle. If you don’t dilute it, you tend to destroy all the bacon. There’s evil, and then there’s evil.

    Almost as bad, it never dilutes uniformly, so you get pockets of lesser and greater nastiness. I’ve heard that roasting babies in their mother’s womb whilst you eat the bacon produces a fairly powerful almost-uniform evil, but the manufacture is a difficult art to master… and that may be just be one of hades’s many legends anyway.

  185. #185 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    Just watch closely because the questions don’t match the summed answers!

    Ya,its seriously jacked around now.

    BS

  186. #186 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    these are the jokes, people

  187. #187 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    lol, i think they are convinced they are being hacked by bots and simply unable to realize that we actually are voting as individuals, based on how they keep changing the positions and wording of the poll options.

  188. #188 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    @Owlmirror, #95

    Yeah, it was an unclosed blockquote. It happens pretty often that I mistype it.

    Technically, if anyone used a script or macro to select one or the other choice with massive repetitions, I think calling it a hack to stuff the ballot-box is fair.

    “A hack”, yes, I agree. I thought you meant it like “hacking the site.” Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Ah, the error. I didn’t get it when I visited their page (I assume it was server-side), and I also missed the post on the other topic.

    @Steven Mading #111
    @Ichthyic #132
    Yes, I’m aware of those details. I only said IP to speed up the typing, and I was thinking more like controlling the frequency of votes from a given IP. Checking for past votes from the same IP is a valid option, if you don’t enforce a too long period of time between two consecutive votes. (Using a few minutes’ interval, while lowering much the possibility of flood-voting, you have a very small probability to have two different people from the same IP.)

    Cookies, however, also aren’t much better than no protection at all–except against the not-exactly-computer-experts trying to vote multiple times. I strongly suspect whoever is capable of writing a script for that purpose, can also deal with cookies and other data (like, say, referrer headers).

    @caseyhov #124

    I think jojame or whatever is a troll.

    Concern troll maybe? And he’s lying, too, I guess.

    Well, they wanted public poll, and they got public votes. If the public voters weren’t who they thought they’d be… bummer! The results are, I suspect, at least as legitimate as the options. As so many pointed out, they could have made it a private poll. (But then, they already know the opinion of their devoted readers, don’t they?)

    On a somewhat related topic, at this very moment the leading opinions are that “The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin” and “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant” — both with 49%. (They changed it again. At some point there was something about “responsible for much of the evil in the world.”)

  189. #189 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 22, 2010

    Hey Blind Squirrel

    Please tell me you saw the complete implosion by starfart that was diercted at you on in the “Grant Money” thread?

    It was pure, champagne, comedy gold.

  190. #190 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    these are the jokes, people

    hmmm….

    I’ve always liked the number 144, it’s pretty.

    What?

    It’s gross.

    OOOHHHH… yes… I see what you did there…

    Yes, yes… quite humorous… indeed. Haw!

  191. #191 negentropyeater
    January 22, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    What is a “legitimate” poll?

    One that attempts to make a legitimate claim.

    If the claim they attempt to make is :

    1. X% of the visitors to our site who have responded to that poll believe that so and so.

    Then that poll is legitimate.

    If the claim is :

    2. Americans believe that so and so

    Then they better have all the necessary demographics questions in order to get to a certified representative sample of what “American” means, with a certain error margin depending on the size of the sample.

    If the site makes no claim at all, it is up to the reader of that site to understand that 1. is the only legitimate claim that can be made.

    Because so many individuals seem to be incapable of understanding why a claim type 2. is not legitimate for many such polls, and a claim type 1. is of no interest, one is justified in calling them “pointless poll”.

  192. #192 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    Hey Blind Squirrel

    Please tell me you saw the complete implosion by starfart that was diercted at you on in the “Grant Money” thread?

    It was pure, champagne, comedy gold.

    No I haven’t. Thanks for the heads up. I’m headed there now. Woo hoo!

    BS

  193. #193 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    But then wouldn’t that be dishonest? At least what happened this time was an overwhelming majority of people voting their honest opinion. The only problem was the pollsters did not expect non-believers to be interested in their poll.

    Yes, it would. But it would then serve the purpose of demonstrating the problem with unscientific poles without supplying fodder for the clai, that we actually do care about the results but we just want to see them reflect our beliefs. D&D players might think of this as the sort of thing a true neutral druid might do.

    To be perfectly honest, I’ve wondered about the validity of ‘pharyngulating’ polls. There’s nothing unfair about calling on your readers to vote with you, but I’ve heard totals of 10,000 votes credited to it, and I’m a mite apprehensive that there’s anywhere near that many folks.

    It’s precisely this reason that makes my “aim to make every option in the pole have an equal number of votes” idea plausible. With the number of Pharyngulites voting, we can afford to spread our votes around to each option and still provide enough momentum that most others won’t be able to unpharyngulate the poll (as long as we don’t delve so deep that we awaken the 4chan sleeping in the depths of Moria.)

  194. #194 alysonmiers
    January 22, 2010

    Maybe on their next online poll, they’ll add a warning of “PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER THIS POLL UNLESS YOU ARE A REGULAR VISITOR TO THIS SITE!” and honestly think it doesn’t make them look like thin-skinned, blinkered snowflakes.

    Not that I have anything against running polls just for the use of regular site visitors, as long as–and this qualification is vital–they publish the results strictly as representative of the kind of people who regularly visit the site, and no one else. Maybe the smartest thing to do is show the results, say, “Looks like Pharyngula got hold of us, oh well,” and get on with your day.

  195. #195 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    No. Not “of people”, but “of people who voted”: An overwhelming majority of the people who voted?.

    That’s the problem with my english writing skills, I was trying for a concise version of, “an overwhelming number of people voting their honest opinion forming a huge majority of the vote”. Did not mean to imply that that majority represented an objective sample of “The People”.

    It was a self-selecting poll, which is one reason it’s pointless and meaningless.

    That was my point as well.

  196. #196 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    No I haven’t. Thanks for the heads up. I’m headed there now. Woo hoo!

    #40, in case it wasn’t obvious.

    you should be proud of being the instrument of such an implosion!

  197. #197 Moggie
    January 22, 2010

    #164:

    I’ve always liked the number 144, it’s pretty.

    What?

    It’s gross.

    It’s sad that the kids today probably won’t see what you did there.

    As for the poll, it seems to me that the drama queens got what they crave: an opportunity to cry persecution without the need to suffer any real hardship, a sense of standing for goodness against an amoral horde, a chance to clamber up onto that cross they keep handy for such occasions. There’ll be quite a few half-tumescent Christian wieners over there right now. Folks, you did them a service.

  198. #198 miketv
    January 22, 2010

    Boy, it’s almost like they were looking for a specific answer or something.

  199. #199 museumknitter
    January 22, 2010

    Oh they are SO clever! Go play with it: vote, hit “Home”, vote again. Thet set the counter for, “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant” to some arbitrary number and each vote for that option = -1

    Snap! They haz mad math skilz.

  200. #200 v.rosenzweig
    January 22, 2010

    Also, if I was somehow interested in an unbiased survey of what, say, English-speaking net users thought the right answer to that question was, I wouldn’t have “See the Bible’s answer to that question” and a pointer to something called “the divine origin of the bible” sitting next to the poll. It’s like saying “who is the world’s sexiest woman?” next to a photo of one particular model or actress, and a fluff/promo interview of her underneath, and no comment at all about the other choices. (Not that it matters, given the pointlessness of that as a poll question. They never even leave room for “my wife/partner/girlfriend” as a choice.)

  201. #201 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    I think we ought to try Brownian’s suggestion. Vote your real opinion first just to see what the current results are, then hit Home and then vote for the option that had the lowest percentage. repeat a few times. I think in no time we could get them all perfectly equal. It didn’t take that many clicks for me to raise one of the options from 0% to 5%.

  202. #202 Celtic_Evolution
    January 22, 2010

    Oh they are SO clever! Go play with it: vote, hit “Home”, vote again. Thet set the counter for, “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant” to some arbitrary number and each vote for that option = -1
    Snap! They haz mad math skilz.

    Wouldn’t it be just easier and more honest of them to simply remove all but one option?

  203. #203 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 22, 2010

    Hey Blind Squirrel

    Please tell me you saw the complete implosion by starfart that was diercted at you on in the “Grant Money” thread?

    It was pure, champagne, comedy gold.

    ??? I’ve read it over twice now, and I still don’t understand, especially since I was giving starfart a compliment, albeit backhanded. I agree with Ichthyic, some sort of a computer problem as well as a problem somewhere between the keyboard and the chair.

    I think I may have met starfart late at night at a White Castle. Fortunately there was a security guard present.

    BS

  204. #204 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Oh they are SO clever! Go play with it: vote, hit “Home”, vote again. Thet set the counter for, “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant” to some arbitrary number and each vote for that option = -1

    What? But, but, t-that can’t be! I mean, jojame assured us they were honestly interested in people’s opinions.

    Stick around here for awhile, jojame. You’ll learn all you ever wanted to know and more about Christian morality.

  205. #205 fedorchuklee
    January 22, 2010

    i would suggest asking their email scholars a question about the bible. they do ask if you want to know anything.

  206. #206 fedorchuklee
    January 22, 2010

    “Thank you, your question has been received and you will hear back from one of our tutors shortly.
    Your Message:
    is the bible a good source for kindling?”

  207. #207 TWood
    January 22, 2010

    Whacking these polls is becoming a lot like shooting minnows in a barrel.

    I think it’s time to move on to bigger fish. I suggest a coordinated email torrent each time somebody like Michele Bachmann says something stupid. Wait, that would be too often. Maybe select a ‘political loon of the week’ for our attention.

  208. #208 Pygmy Loris
    January 22, 2010

    “Professor” Dendy,

    You keep deleting or not approving my comments on your blog, so I’m asking my question here.

    Are you an Associate Professor, as you claim in your LinkedIn profile, or an adjunct, as the website of American River College states?

    You’re a liar. We know that. Admit it.

  209. #209 Qwerty
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is BACK! Wow! You’ve shamed them into reinstalling it. Of course, now they can blame the results on militant atheism.

  210. #210 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    I think we ought to try Brownian’s suggestion.

    Aw, yeah! [Grabs a bullhorn] OKAY, IF I CAN GET ALL THE PHARYNGULITE LADIES TO CHANGE INTO THEIR SWIMWEAR AND LINE UP HERE IN FRONT OF THE JELL-O VAT, I’LL START PASSING OUT THE FRUIT ZESTERS. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE ZESTERS ON ANYTHING UNTIL I’M WEARING NOTHING BUT THE LEATHER CHAPS…

    Oh, you meant my suggestion about what to do with online polls. Yeah, we can do that, I guess.

  211. #211 Kamaka
    January 22, 2010

    ??? I’ve read it over twice now, and I still don’t understand

    I don’t either, but that meltdown sure is funny.

    The dude needs linux.

  212. #212 Moggie
    January 22, 2010

    #203:

    ??? I’ve read it over twice now, and I still don’t understand, especially since I was giving starfart a compliment, albeit backhanded. I agree with Ichthyic, some sort of a computer problem as well as a problem somewhere between the keyboard and the chair.

    I suspect the fact that you sign off with “BS” could be misconstrued by some hair-trigger personalities.

  213. #213 Rachel Bronwyn
    January 22, 2010

    Just so y’all know, I look fantastic in a bikini.

  214. #214 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Just so y’all know, I look fantastic in a bikini.

    Positive truth claims about reality bear the burden of proof. Photos please :).

  215. #215 Carlie
    January 22, 2010

    If a site wants a poll only of frequent readers, they could do something like set it up so that two or three questions about the site have to be answered correctly in order to access the poll. More coding involved? Yes, but don’t cry about it. Either you make your poll secure in some way, or anything goes.

    Woo Ichthyic!!!!!!!!!
    Hi.
    Just haven’t seen you around much lately, unless I’m on the wrong threads.

  216. #216 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 22, 2010

    It’s precisely this reason that makes my “aim to make every option in the pole have an equal number of votes” idea plausible. With the number of Pharyngulites voting, we can afford to spread our votes around to each option and still provide enough momentum that most others won’t be able to unpharyngulate the poll (as long as we don’t delve so deep that we awaken the 4chan sleeping in the depths of Moria.)

    No, that’s the appearance of validity. In more naked language, “I think some pharyngulites run scripts”. I honestly hope I’m wrong, but there just don’t seem to be 10s of thousands of readers.

    Also, that’s some ridiculousness with the poll.

  217. #217 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Just so y’all know, I look fantastic in a bikini.

    Excellent. I shall add you to the sign-up list for my other suggestion. I look fantastic in nothing but leather chaps, for a certain definition of ‘fantastic’.

    No, that’s the appearance of validity.

    I don’t understand, Rutee. Please explain.

  218. #218 sqlrob
    January 22, 2010

    (Using a few minutes’ interval, while lowering much the possibility of flood-voting, you have a very small probability to have two different people from the same IP.)

    Which works right up until the point you have AOL users voting.

  219. #219 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 22, 2010

    If they have registration for the site then they can put the same registration on the poll. That discourages drive-by polling since few people will spend the time and effort involved to register just to vote on a poll.

  220. #220 stevieinthecity
    January 22, 2010

    Rachel has me curious. Grr.

  221. #221 sqlrob
    January 22, 2010

    If they have registration for the site then they can put the same registration on the poll. That discourages drive-by polling since few people will spend the time and effort involved to register just to vote on a poll.

    And if you add a time delay (say, one poll) from registration to when you can vote, you further minimize drive-bys.

  222. #222 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 22, 2010

    Who thinks up these answers…

    “The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.”

    Non freaking sequitur. It doesn’t have to be 100% myth.

    “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.”

    Bleeping non stinkin sequitur. Some of it is some good common sense advice, and obviously it is not irrelevant, given that a billion people don’t think it is!

    Good grief…

  223. #223 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    And if you add a time delay (say, one poll) from registration to when you can vote, you further minimize drive-bys.

    And, depending on the content of the site and poll questions, if PZ is not provoked drive-bys can be minimized even further.

  224. #224 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    I look fantastic in nothing but leather chaps

    Ha! I skipped lunch today, but nice try.

  225. #225 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    January 22, 2010

    Have these been the options since the poll reopened?

    3% The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.

    2% Don’t know.

    1% The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired

    54% The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.

    41% The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.

    Quite an amusing result thus far anyway….

  226. #226 David Marjanovi?
    January 22, 2010

    confused:

    The poll was set up to try to determine the publics opinion.

    Are we not members of the public?

    “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”

    – from Merchant of Venice

    Tickle us, do we not laugh?
    Prick us, do we not bleed?
    Wrong us, shall we not seek revenge?
    ? Klingon proverb.

    Which works right up until the point you have AOL users voting.

    People still using AOHell have only themselves to blame.

    3% The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.

    2% Don’t know.

    1% The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired

    56% The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.

    39% The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.

  227. #227 Kamaka
    January 22, 2010

    Rutee @ 216

    In more naked language, “I think some pharyngulites run scripts”. I honestly hope I’m wrong

    Oh, you’re not wrong. As many geeks as hang around here, of course some of them are scripting…they could do it in their sleep.

    You make it sound like that’s a bad thing. It’s just a stupid poll, who cares? The “attacked” by “unscrupulous atheists” thing is just pearl-clutching ridiculous. Really, how stupid can they be? To laugh it off and leave some message for the godless horde would be a far more rational response.

    Oh, yah, rational response is asking much.

    PS I think it’s funny we broke it, and even funnier they are trying again.

  228. #228 sqlrob
    January 22, 2010

    People still using AOHell have only themselves to blame.

    Or Mobile Opera, or anything else that uses a proxy.

  229. #229 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    “The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.”
    Non freaking sequitur. It doesn’t have to be 100% myth.
    “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.”
    Bleeping non stinkin sequitur.

    Actually, they’re not non sequiturs. There’s no causal relationship stipulated between the two parts of those poll options.

  230. #230 Aquaria
    January 22, 2010

    Interfering with polls like this does nothing to further your cause.

    I’m glad you said this. It demonstrates what pecksniffery tone trolls resort to. And you’ve exposed that you’re not part of what we’re about.

    Given that:

    If a cause isn’t yours then who are you to dictate how to promote it? It’s like telling someone how to undress in his own bedroom–i.e. none of your business.

    FFS, why is it that so many of these tone trolls demonstrate that they learned only the ass end of manners?

  231. #231 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    In more naked language, “I think some pharyngulites run scripts”. I honestly hope I’m wrong

    The point I think is for the poll to be torn asunder, mutilated, hog-tied and raped, defiled, and mocked using every method available – especially using bots. This is the internet. The land of scripts, automation, fraud, steeling, hacking, spoofing, botting, spamming, trolling, zombies and worms. It is not a place to conduct such pointless, vulnerable polls for that very reason. The methodology is faulty. The data is meaningless but used as bias confirmation by the simpletons who think they’ve got a neat idea for furthering their idiotic, poorly conceived notions about reality.

  232. #232 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    The land of scripts, automation, fraud, steeling, hacking, spoofing, botting, spamming, trolling, zombies and worms.

    Hold on: are you suggesting that the internet is not entirely safe?

  233. #233 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Hold on: are you suggesting that the internet is not entirely safe?

    Perhaps.

  234. #234 ausador
    January 22, 2010

    The poll is back up and working, and once again going our way already, please go make your opinion known.

  235. #235 Aquaria
    January 22, 2010

    #222:

    “The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.”

    Bleeping non stinkin sequitur. Some of it is some good common sense advice, and obviously it is not irrelevant, given that a billion people don’t think it is!

    I swear, none of you nutbars who say shit like that were paying attention when your Mama asked you if you’d jump off a building if everybody else did, too. Or was I the only one who had adults around me saying that to kids all the time?

    Seriously, if 1 billion other people jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?

    Or think of it this way: By your sorry excuse for logic, since 5 billion+ of the rest of the world doesn’t buy into the Hebrew bullshit pile, that means they’re right.

    This is why using how many people believe anything as proof of anything is bullshit.

    Better trolls, please.

  236. #236 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Umm, and that’s confirmation bias, not bias confirmation, at #231. Sheesh. Almost time for a vodka tonic.

  237. #237 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    Better trolls, please.

    (I don’t think he was a troll)

  238. #238 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 22, 2010

    Actually, they’re not non sequiturs. There’s no causal relationship stipulated between the two parts of those poll options.

    Sure but there were some non sequiturs contained within the disconnected parts.

    Like this one here: “The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.”

    Non sequitur: If there is some mythology in the Bible, then the whole book is a “book of myth”.

  239. #239 SteveM
    January 22, 2010

    This is why using how many people believe anything as proof of anything is bullshit.

    Better reading comprehension please. Saying that the thing is relevant is not the same as saying it is true.

  240. #240 Samweltzin
    January 22, 2010

    Seriously, if 1 billion other people jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?
    Heck yes. With that many people piled up, it’d be a pretty good cushion for a thrilling jump.

  241. #241 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 22, 2010

    Seriously, if 1 billion other people jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?

    No, but if a billion people think the Bible is relevant, then that makes the Bible relevant to a billion people though!

  242. #242 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    With that many people piled up, it’d be a pretty good cushion for a thrilling jump.

    Now that’s mosh pit surfing.

  243. #243 DominEditrix
    January 22, 2010

    Poll for PZ:

    Are all internet polls meaningless and useless?

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] Yes

    ‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know’ was used in reference to Lord Byron. I don’t somehow see PZ as brooding in a corner and writing poetry.

  244. #244 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Seriously, if 1 billion other people jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?

    Please take a number and get into line. Your number is 147,686. Now serving number 139,124.

  245. #245 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Seriously, if 1 billion other people jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump, too?

    At the risk of being extremely morbid, it would seem that after a few hundred thousand people had made the leap that one is now longer in any danger from jumping. But the ick factor is staggering.

  246. #246 Poor Wandering One
    January 22, 2010

    Imagine trying to get a billion people into New York.

  247. #247 lose_the_woo
    January 22, 2010

    So that begs the question then. Would you go head first or feet first? Belly flop maybe?

  248. #248 Aquaria
    January 22, 2010

    Given the parameters of the question: “The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?”, it’s not entirely a non sequitur to have the answer be that the book is untrustworthy and irrelevant, regardless of who finds it relevant. Those who find it irrelevant do so without concern for how many people think otherwise.

    I think the problem with understanding why they used that answer is that it’s what fundies would consider the meaning of ” a pious myth.” In fundie-speak, finding the Bible untrustworty and irrelevant is logically consistent with considering it a “pious myth.” I know it doesn’t make sense to non-Christards, but it does to them.

    Or maybe it’s that, living in Texas, I have so much exposure to the critters in their natural habitat that I get plenty of opportunities to see them butcher logic and the English language.

  249. #249 gigi
    January 22, 2010

    Okay, I put on my bikini but I’m having trouble locating the vat of Jell-O. If I don’t get some fruit zesters soon (and a glimpse of Brownian, OM in nothing but leather chaps), I may have a starfart!!!!1!

    *Right… Friday night. I’m bored. And I may have had too much red wine. Back to lurking*

  250. #250 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 22, 2010

    Hm, well if your goal is to mock the methodology, have at it then. Lord knows I celebrated Moot’s win as Time’s Most Influential Person because they were dumb enough to internet poll.

  251. #251 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Okay, I put on my bikini but I’m having trouble locating the vat of Jell-O. If I don’t get some fruit zesters soon (and a glimpse of Brownian, OM in nothing but leather chaps), I may have a starfart!!!!1!

    *Right… Friday night. I’m bored. And I may have had too much red wine. Back to lurking*

    I should have given better directions. Go to the US. Turn north. When you get to Canada, ask for me. (If you run into someone named Dave, move on. He and I don’t get along.)

  252. #252 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    @Flat 7th 386sx Blues, #238

    Non sequitur: If there is some mythology in the Bible, then the whole book is a “book of myth”.

    First, I have a problem with the expression “book of myth.” I find it, to put it very nicely, unfortunate and maladroit. But maybe it’s only because I’m not a native English speaker…

    And yes, because the Bible contains mythology (and not only “some” — a good part of it is mythology; and much of the rest is historic fantasy), I think we can say it is a “book of myth.” After all, we don’t have any problem calling “fairy tales” stories like Collodi’s Pinocchio or Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel. (The latter one doesn’t even have a fairy in it, and is much more plausible that some of the Bible stories.)

    #241

    [I]f a billion people think the Bible is relevant, then that makes the Bible relevant to a billion people though!

    Yes! And to the “bystanders” affected by the billion’s (unfounded) beliefs, too! Those being insulted and discriminated against on a more or less regular basis for reasons that boil down to the fact that they don’t find the Bible as relevant for themselves. Those being called immoral by the mentioned billion because they don’t adhere to a moral code devised 4,000 years ago for some Mesopotamian tribes.

    In less words, while the Bible is irrelevant in many ways (first of all, scientifically, and most of it from a historian’s point of view too), it is relevant socially.

  253. #253 Yubal
    January 22, 2010

    @ ausador #234

    The poll is back up and working, and once again going our way already, please go make your opinion known.

    I suspect they still try to figure how and when the hackers come in and change the poll results and therefore change the poll questions once in a while.

    Sweet games.

  254. #254 Creature of the Universe
    January 22, 2010

    The investigation continues.

    I was just contacted by the World Wide Web Poll Police (WWWPP) regarding the “hacking” of a divinely inspired bible poll. The tension in the room oozed out through the bandwidth.

    WWWPP ? are you a hacker?
    Me ? I always felt insecure as a pole dancer.

    WWWPP ? where were you at 3:33 AM yesterday?
    Me ? I was baking bread in the in the evolution kitchen.

    WWWPP ? did you navigate to a web site and click on a radial button, in which you purposely intended to twist a legitimate preconceived answer regarding the inspired and divinely word of…THE GOD?
    Me ? Ask the computer.

    WWWPP ? Are there spiders on Mars?
    Me ? Ask the cat from Japan.

    WWWPP ? Is the Bible REALLY inspired by God?
    Me ? Voodoo…I mean who wants to worship a god who isn’t published?

  255. #255 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    But the ick factor is staggering.

    so you’re answer would still be no then.
    :)

  256. #256 cyan
    January 22, 2010

    according to the U that employs him, dendry is not a member of the biology faculty

    the current website of his U list him as an instructor of “natural resources management”

    That he is not listed as a member of the biology faculty is a relief after viewing his website, which includes a reference to evolution, which demonstrates that he certainly does not understand the biological meaning of it (instead, he interprets the biological meaning to be a drive to perfection – which is instead a creationist interpretation)

    On his website he prominently proclaims that he is a professor, and then says he teaches biology. Some of biology may be incorporated into natural resources management, but that does not necessarily mean that the instructor of the course understands all the major principles of biology – that’s clear from dendry’s example.

    Yet, he has made his website to infer that he has these credentials – easily seen through by those who understand bio, but easily misinterpreted by those who do not. So: he is a prevaricator for jesus. His ends justify his means.

  257. #257 Armand K.
    January 22, 2010

    @Yubal #253

    I suspect they still try to figure how and when the hackers come in and change the poll results and therefore change the poll questions once in a while.

    Changing only the text of the options wouldn’t help much, as the values submitted are numerical codes.

    But I guess they changed the questions because they didn’t like the sound of them. In a previous version (a few hours ago, right after the poll was restored) one of the options was something like “Is the Bible responsible for much of the evil in the world?” — I guess it was too offensive to them even as a question.

  258. #258 Sven DiMilo
    January 22, 2010

    Imagine trying to get a billion people into New York.

    Have you seen the LIRR in the morning?

  259. #259 Ichthyic
    January 22, 2010

    So: he is a prevaricator for jesus.

    ayup. and not even an original bit of content there, at that!

  260. #260 Frank Lovell
    January 22, 2010

    What do you call a poll whose result is what was expected or hoped for? A successful poll.

    What do you call a poll whose result differs from what was expected or hoped for? A hacked poll.

    Wonderful. Evidently only some particular “truths” will set folks free.

  261. #261 gigi
    January 22, 2010

    I should have given better directions. Go to the US. Turn north. When you get to Canada, ask for me. (If you run into someone named Dave, move on. He and I don’t get along.)

    It’s unseasonably mild in Toronto, hence my willingness to don a bikini in January… Well, that and the promise of zesters and chaps.

    Oh, and Dave says “Pffft!”

  262. #262 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Yet, he has made his website to infer that he has these credentials – easily seen through by those who understand bio, but easily misinterpreted by those who do not. So: he is a prevaricator for jesus. His ends justify his means.

    His type leaves a definite odor. I could smell the brimstone through the intertubes from his first post here…

  263. #263 skeptical scientist
    January 22, 2010

    I can see them being annoyed if people were using scripts to vote, but I really hope they aren’t annoyed by actual humans voting more than once. If they are, they should at least make it possible to view the results without voting. Better, of course, would be to accept one vote per unique ip.

  264. #264 Frank Lovell
    January 22, 2010

    By the way (sorry if this was reported above recently), at the moment (Jan 22 @ about 9:40 PM EST) the (reopened) poll results stand at:
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    2% – The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.

    1% – Don’t know.

    1% – The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired

    58% – The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.

    37% – The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    This will undoubtedly be spun into the dark cloud’s silver lining as profound evidence that the faithful need to dig ever deeper into their pocket$, wallet$ and saving$ accounts to help $upport and $u$tain the mighty evangelistic outreach that is needed to save all the Lost among us, there being ever so many more than previously realized…

  265. #265 Peter H
    January 22, 2010

    Given the poll questions’ wording, it’s worthless regardless of your own persuasion.

  266. #266 Rincewind'smuse
    January 22, 2010

    @ 206,

    “Thank you, your question has been received and you will hear back from one of our tutors shortly.
    Your Message:
    is the bible a good source for kindling?”

    Or, “Which is softer and more absorbent,Leviticus or Ecclesiastes?”

  267. #267 Brownian, OM
    January 22, 2010

    Oh, and Dave says “Pffft!”

    What?! That asshol–wait, Dave in Toronto? That guy doesn’t even know me but he says “Pffft”? I wasn’t before, but now I’m for sure gonna tell Nicole that he’s cheating on her with Li.

    Edmonton is currently experiencing what people have been describing as “Ontario weather”–it’s so humid that our lips aren’t cracked and peeling completely off and Environment Canada has issued an ‘air quality alert’ (which usually means the forest around Kelowna is burning and the winds are westerly, but that’s not the case so I’m confused.)

  268. #268 Rincewind'smuse
    January 22, 2010

    cyan @ 256,

    Yet, he has made his website to infer that he has these credentials – easily seen through by those who understand bio, but easily misinterpreted by those who do not. So: he is a prevaricator for jesus. His ends justify his means.

    Wait, you mean….Fundy Christians lie? So, I guess his earlier statement upthread(zzzzzz)is gonna be the least mendacious thing to come out of that sanctimonious piehole? Huh….go figure…

  269. #269 gigi
    January 22, 2010

    Edmonton! You have my sympathy. I take it this ?Ontario weather? does not include the -46 C (sans wind chill) you had in December?

    Actually, this brings up a query. Whilst you were suffering through record cold, a local radio station mentioned an ?honour amongst thieves? code in The Chuck. The claim was that Edmontonians can leave their cars running when they?re shopping, watching a movie, etc., and that their cars won?t be stolen.

    I routinely leave my car running (if it?s really cold) when I pop into Timmies, but I live in a small town in the Greater Toronto Area. If I did this in T.O., my car would vanish.

    Does this ?honour amongst thieves? claim have any validity?

    (as a side note, I maintain The Peg is the coldest place on earth! And the mosquito-est. Nicole is from Winnipeg ? draw your own conclusions).

  270. #270 Miki Z
    January 22, 2010

    We are the inconvenience sample.

  271. #271 Janet Holmes
    January 22, 2010

    As Matt Dillahunty (The Atheist Experience TV Show) says, “The bible is a book with some good advice, some bad advice, and some fucking terrible advice!” which pretty much says it all I reckon.

    And for the record I look catastrophic in a bikini, or I would if I wore one, which I promise never ever to do!

  272. #272 John Morales
    January 22, 2010

    Janet,

    And for the record I look catastrophic in a bikini, or I would if I wore one, which I promise never ever to do!

    Well, at least a bikini covers some bits…

    <ducks>

  273. #273 professordendy
    January 22, 2010

    I teach for both the biology department and natural resources department… wrote curriculum for natural resources dept. (Fisheries Ecology and Management)
    You guys really are poor researchers! But hey,maybe you could help me figure out what kind of animule this thing is… http://professordendy.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/wonder-what-it-is/

    {yawn}

  274. #274 professordendy
    January 22, 2010

    BTW I’m not trolling… just casting and reeling in! :)

  275. #275 WowbaggerOM
    January 22, 2010

    professordendrophiliac wrote:

    I teach for both the biology department and natural resources department… wrote curriculum for natural resources dept.

    I guess that explains the tree-fucking then.

    BTW I’m not trolling… just casting and reeling in! :)

    And yet you have neither bait nor lure at the end of your line. I don’t know if fish laugh, but in your analogy the fish would certainly be laughing at your useless pissant ass.

  276. #276 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 22, 2010

    I hope you are a better educator than you are a comedian.

  277. #277 Miki Z
    January 22, 2010

    In mathematics, we call it “Prof by counterexample”.

  278. #278 Islander
    January 23, 2010

    Dendy, I’m genuinely curious: have you ever produced any peer-reviewed publications?

  279. #279 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 23, 2010
    Dendy, I’m genuinely curious: have you ever produced any peer-reviewed publications?

    I want to know if his mother had any children who lived.

    BS

  280. #280 xmanlives
    January 23, 2010

    It appears to be up and running again. I just voted.

  281. #281 otrame
    January 23, 2010

    Silly little Prof:

    But hey,maybe you could help me figure out what kind of animule this thing is… http://professordendy.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/wonder-what-it-is/

    Erm. It’s a not very well done photoshop manipulation.

    Anything else you need to know?

    {All the non-existant Gods, I beg you, tell me he didn’t think that was funny}

  282. #282 Ichthyic
    January 23, 2010

    {All the non-existant Gods, I beg you, tell me he didn’t think that was funny}

    you’re in hell son, let me tell you then:

    Yes, he thought it was funny, and even made a comment to that effect on his blog.

  283. #283 Ichthyic
    January 23, 2010

    I teach for both the biology department and natural resources department… wrote curriculum for natural resources dept. (Fisheries Ecology and Management)
    You guys really are poor researchers!

    do they know what a pathetic ass you really are?

    do they know how little about biology you really have awareness of?

    do they know you claim to be a professor there?

    I bet they know none of these things.

    shall we research and find out?

    would that make us good researchers, you think?

    oh, and you claim you’re in a dissertation program. who is on the committee? I did my dissertation work at Berkeley, and know people up and down California who work in ecology, behavior and evolutionary biology.

    I’m curious if i know one of the people on your committee.

    and who is hosting your dissertation anyway? the college you claimed to work for doesn’t offer a PhD program, do they?

  284. #284 Ichthyic
    January 23, 2010

    LOL

    American River College is an adult education program, with units that CAN transfer to actual, REAL universities.

    yes, Dendy, you’re right, we should have researched that first.

    so… you taught a night class for rubes at a 2 year trade school.

    wheee!

  285. #285 WowbaggerOM
    January 23, 2010

    Yes, he thought it was funny, and even made a comment to that effect on his blog.

    Maybe if the tree-fucker prays performs acts of fawning obeisance more often his Jesus will give him the gift of a sense of humour.

  286. #286 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    Ichthyic,

    so… you taught a night class for rubes at a 2 year trade school.

    is an unfair characterization of community colleges. ARC has plenty of reasons specific to that school to criticize it, specifically — for a while their student government was made up entirely of fundamentalist xians — but community colleges in general serve an important leveling influence in educational opportunity. For the most part, the teachers there are conscientious educators who care deeply about their subject and their students.

    That said, you do get the occasional know-nothing ideologue petty tyrant as a teacher, and I’ve yet to meet someone who refers to himself as “Professor soandso” in conversations with non-students who isn’t a complete tool. Even with students, referring to yourself as “Professor soandso” ups your fatuosity quotient.

  287. #287 Ichthyic
    January 23, 2010

    is an unfair characterization of community colleges.

    ARC barely qualifies as even that; by description it’s more of a trade school.

    go see it for yourself!

  288. #288 tuokall
    January 23, 2010

    How nice them to change the poll on daily basis, so that I can vote on a new poll each time I visit the site :)

  289. #289 prichert
    January 23, 2010

    I only read the first 50 comments. Sorry if this has already been hashed out.

    I LOVE the poll crashing here. I participate every time. Its fun to screw with the fundie’s head when a vast horde of atheists coming crashing in. But voting multiple times, what the fuck is up with that? If we cheat, and yes, that’s fucking cheating, what point are we proving? That internet polls are worthless? Well jesus, good for us. One smart dude who could figure out how to write a decent script to vote one bazillion times could do that. I think it is a much better statement to show our vast numbers. And I don’t give a fuck if we are really out numbered by 200 million in real life. Let that be the point, that we are organized, mobilized, and educated. So we crash a poll, 1000 real votes and 46,984 votebot votes. Well then what the fuck did it matter that there was 1000 of us in the first place. Some dick in his mother’s basement pulled off the 46 thousand and the fact that there are more then 3 of us is now irrelevant.

    And it plays into their hands. They expect us to cheat, that’s all they think atheists are capable of. And then we go and prove their point. Lets just vote. If we can’t break their poll by voting once then stay off their fucking poll if that is so embarrassing.

  290. #290 Cactus Wren
    January 23, 2010

    As I check it now:

    2% The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.

    1% Don’t know.

    1% The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired

    61% The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.

    35% The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.

  291. #291 Danno Davis
    January 23, 2010

    Celtic-

    There have been times, typically with homophobia related polls, where PZ will say something like, “Let’s see if we can swing this thing,” or something to that effect. And, well, I gladly comply. But to say that PZ never tells us how to vote is probably less than 100% accurate. Not to split hairs or anything.. Well, yes, to split hairs. ;)

    Sandiseattle, you’re putting my city to shame.

  292. #292 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 23, 2010

    #252 Armand K.

    First, I have a problem with the expression “book of myth.” I find it, to put it very nicely, unfortunate and maladroit. But maybe it’s only because I’m not a native English speaker…

    Nah, it’s not just you. “Book of myth” is indeed an unfortunate and maladroit expression, if we put it nicely. If we were more cynical we might even say it was more diabolical than it was maladroit!

    And yes, because the Bible contains mythology (and not only “some” — a good part of it is mythology; and much of the rest is historic fantasy), I think we can say it is a “book of myth.” After all, we don’t have any problem calling “fairy tales” stories like Collodi’s Pinocchio or Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel. (The latter one doesn’t even have a fairy in it, and is much more plausible that some of the Bible stories.)

    Okay, but if I were cynical I would suspect that the reason they put the expression “book of myth” in the poll would be so that they could point to a spot in the Bible that is not “myth”, thus easily proving wrong all who say it is a “book of myth”.

    Hence the reason why I thought it was a non sequitur. But maybe you’re right and perhaps I’m being too cynical. Maybe they didn’t build up a diabolical strawman so they could knock it back down!

  293. #293 Danno Davis
    January 23, 2010

    I should try that @ system out:

    @177:

    There have been times, typically with homophobia related polls, where PZ will say something like, “Let’s see if we can swing this thing,” or something to that effect. And, well, I gladly comply. But to say that PZ never tells us how to vote is probably less than 100% accurate. Not to split hairs or anything.. Well, yes, to split hairs. ;)

    @Sandiseattle:

    You’re putting my city to shame.

  294. #294 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    I guess you’re seeing something I’m missing. ARC is fully accredited, has articulation agreements with the UC and CSU systems through IGETC, and also offers associate degrees and vocational certificates.

    I understand there’s a certain cachet to only offering academic degrees, but if the goal is education, I’m in favor of more options, rather than fewer. Now, given that, ARC seems to do a really crappy job at education. Their transfer rate is abysmally low, which may be accounted for by the preparation of their entering students. The student demographics at ARC skew toward older students, skew toward minorities (just under 50% of the students are white), skew towards lower income, etc. This probably does not account for ARC’s meager success, though, given the comparative success of other schools with similar demographics.

    I’m of the opinion that Professor soandso’s do measurable harm at community colleges, and that the success of a community college depends on putting in place programs to prevent teachers from treating classes like their personal fiefdom. Teachers should be able to lose their job for negligence if they continually produce students not prepared for future classes. As a student, I encountered good and bad instructors in community college, as an undergraduate at a university, and as a grad student. The bad community college instructors were astonishingly bad; the bad university professors were usually just sloppy and complacent.

  295. #295 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    Oops, took longer than I thought to research and write that. 294 was in reference to 287.

  296. #296 turse
    January 23, 2010

    I am admittedly late to the conversation and normally I do not comment here, however, this pack mentality bullshit forces my hand. People (NOR @ 51, Janine the wonderful @ many, and the rest) react to Jojame @ 27 by saying that he/she/it is some sort of zealot. Perhaps he/she/it is a reactionary, creationist fool, but its point should be well taken and considered nonetheless. I find it quite valid at its base…….Polls are set up to determine what the consensus is. The consensus is determined by what the majority of the people believe (not the most persistent of the voters). In order to determine the consensus/majority opinion one should ask the people their opinion. In this case, the majority opinion will be represented by the majority of the people that visit the site and participate in the poll. If you vote multiple times, you obviously are trying to slant the results (I don’t disagree with that motive because I think that propagating religious views propagates and facilitates its necessary evils). That said, by voting multiple times you are still rigging the results……………so who fucking cares. The most disturbing aspect of this thread is what I perceive as the comfort that the commenters seem to gain from jumping on the dissenter (despite his or her ignorance). This sort of pack mentality is eerily and dangerously familiar. Resist that urge and you use your own thoughts and words. Don’t pile on with your pathetic me too’s.

  297. #297 John Morales
    January 23, 2010

    turse, your concern is noted.

  298. #298 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    The underlying assumption 27 is that the voting was dishonest in one direction. I personally don’t (intentionally) vote multiple times on these, but if Pharyngula is presumed to have an influence disproportionate to its readership, that presumption is, statistically, the same as the presumption that the non-Pharyngula voters are more honest.

    Here’s the math:
    Let P be the number of Pharyngula-inspired voters and ~P be the number of other voters. Suppose that we have an expected number of votes per voter of Evp for each member of P and Evn for each member of ~P. Let %P = proportion of representation for P.

    Then:
    %P = (P * Evp)/(P * Evp + ~P * Evn)

    If Evp = Evn, then %P = P/(P + ~P)

    I.e., either the results are fair, or you presume that voters from Pharyngula are more or less willing to ‘cheat’ than voters from other sources.

  299. #299 WowbaggerOM
    January 23, 2010

    turse, your concern is noted.

    As is his/her incoherence. Line breaks are your friend!

  300. #300 blf
    January 23, 2010
    No. Not “of people”, but “of people who voted”: An overwhelming majority of the people who voted?.

    That’s the problem with my english writing skills, I was trying for a concise version of, “an overwhelming number of people voting their honest opinion forming a huge majority of the vote”. Did not mean to imply that that majority represented an objective sample of “The People”.

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.
    We now return this thread to people working up to having real Starfarts…

  301. #301 turse
    January 23, 2010

    Sorry Wow @299, I don’t know what line breaks are. Use your words and be specific.

  302. #302 judgedead
    January 23, 2010

    Its back up and running with reworded questions but guess what question 4 is both the same and the winning question
    go vote again and test their faith!

  303. #303 blf
    January 23, 2010

    I don’t know what line breaks are.

    The key labelled ENTER or RETURN and/or an arrow that points down and then turns to the left. What you use to end a paragraph. A new line (works better if there is a separating empty (blank) line between paragraphs—which means hitting that key twice).

    Like I just did.

    Again.

  304. #304 John Morales
    January 23, 2010

    turse, line breaks are blank lines.

    Like this. ↑

  305. #305 turse
    January 23, 2010

    John,

    Thanks

  306. #306 turse
    January 23, 2010

    you too blf
    very descriptive.

    What is a blf btw?

  307. #307 Jadehawk, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Miki Z,

    thanks for defending Community Colleges. They’re not Yale, or Harvard, but I think they are extremely good schools nonetheless and don’t deserve automatic contempt. And the same goes for adult education specifically.

  308. #308 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    I had not encountered the Christadelphians before. It’s a big bucket of crazy there. I’m both horrified and fascinated.

    Not doing what God has told us to do is defined in the Bible as sin.

    Everyone who sins is punished by death.

    Death is the punishment for all and every sin.

    We do not die immediately upon sinning because God in his mercy gives us time to repent.

    (from their “Answers from the Question Box” pages)

  309. #309 blf
    January 23, 2010

    What is a blf btw?

    My initials. It’s been my username/handle/nym since the late 1970′s.

  310. #310 Rorschach
    January 23, 2010

    What is a blf btw?

    Asked the turse.

  311. #311 turse
    January 23, 2010

    can’t argue with 40 years of blf

  312. #312 Andreas Johansson
    January 23, 2010

    Polls are set up to determine what the consensus is.

    Homeopathic concoctions are administered to treat disease. It doesn’t follow they do, or that they shouldn’t be mocked.

  313. #313 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    Wow, thanks, Jadehawk. I just try to respond to things that bother me or offer the opportunity for a pun.

    I do a fair amount of free tutoring in mathematics for adults (less since I moved to Japan, but still some). Most of the people I tutor are women, almost without exception they’re poor and have been told repeatedly that they’re too stupid to learn math.

    It takes a lot of courage to even try school when taking a class means that’s one less job you can work, more time away from your kids, one more opportunity for someone to shit on you.

    Life can be hard, unfair, cruel. When I was going through my undergraduate program, the doctors told us that my wife would probably die that year. Do I go to school, knowing that my evening class will mean visiting hours at the hospital will be over when I get done? Do I delay it, knowing that every year I delay reduces the chances that our son will be able to get financial help with college? My wife lived, my grades suffered, and life goes on. I won’t be pursuing my Ph.D. at Princeton; I’ve gotten over that.

    The more equal the access to education, the more equal the society. Literacy reduces poverty. None of this is particularly controversial, but I still hear a lot of scorn directed at adult education students and adult education institutions. It hurts.

  314. #314 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 23, 2010

    Oh, and also:

    Turse – you may eat me raw.

    Thank you.

  315. #315 turse
    January 23, 2010

    true, true and unrelated. polls ask questions and get answers. The answer is whatever you get. Homeopathic concoctions are given based on nonsense. go to bed Andreas

  316. #316 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 23, 2010

    Turse, if you’re all ready to put that word salad to bed, just let me know if you need to borrow some Saran Wrap. Night, honey.

  317. #317 Rorschach
    January 23, 2010

    Polls are set up to determine what the consensus is.

    That is some weapon-grade stupid right there.

    Hint : Do you think “the consensus” would differ if the same question was asked on the Pharyngula/UD/CNN/Fox websites ?

  318. #318 turse
    January 23, 2010

    Josh’n,
    What have I said to induce you to ask for such a favor? You are playing to the crowd. I understand that you crave acceptance, but if you want real respect you must use cogent arguments. It is quite obvious that you are compensating. Try again.

  319. #319 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    Turse, if you’re really interested in the subject, you might check out this class on surveys offered through OpenCourseWare at Johns Hopkins.

  320. #320 carpenter.paul
    January 23, 2010

    And now the poll has just disappeared. I’ve got to say, I’m not sure what we were trying to archive there. At best I’d hope that not getting the answer they were expecting meant that they didn’t get the self validation they wanted – but I doubt they’ll suddenly burst into a new era of critical thinking and reliable data gathering techniques.

  321. #321 turse
    January 23, 2010

    You got the stupid ror. Consensus has nothing to do with truth. Look it up. Think and read.

  322. #322 WowbaggerOM
    January 23, 2010

    turse wrote:

    I understand that you crave acceptance, but if you want real respect you must use cogent arguments.

    Do they have irony meters in your country?

  323. #323 turse
    January 23, 2010

    what are yo talking about? I feel like i’m talking to Glen Beck. You can’t just ask dramatic ?s. Say specifically what you are addressing. Otherwise you are just trying to gain standing with your cyberpeers. WOW.

  324. #324 Rorschach
    January 23, 2010

    Consensus has nothing to do with truth

    Uhuh.
    That’s kindof the point here.That, and that “consensus” on the internet is a thing easily manipulated and bent to shape.
    But that’s what you meant, right ?

  325. #325 WowbaggerOM
    January 23, 2010

    what are yo talking about? I feel like i’m talking to Glen Beck. You can’t just ask dramatic ?s. Say specifically what you are addressing. Otherwise you are just trying to gain standing with your cyberpeers. WOW.

    Well, I can’t argue with that – how could I?

    It’s like an after-school special. Another sad story of a life tragically ruined by huffing paint. Kids, take heed.

  326. #326 kerry
    January 23, 2010

    1. Would the 1 billion people be willing to wait for the elevators/lifts or would some of them walk up to the roof of the empire State building? Surely, they would require servicing from time to time during the whole process as well.

    2. I have been infected with a meme; the one Richard Dawkins talked about in God Delusion about changing characters in a string of text and still being able to recognize it. He also talked about how a single change could alter the meaning radically. His example was, “Call me Ishmael!” in contrast with, ” Call me, Ishmael!” I saw a typo back in an earlier comment “peal-clutching” which is a nice one for pearl-clutching. The one that I have been thinking of is pear-clutching…..discuss.

  327. #327 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    Turse @323, for fuck sake, Wowbaggers comment is simply an exasperated way of pointing out that you haven’t put forward a single strong argument for anything you’ve said.

    You yourself have non-answered almost every post regarding you with “Think and Read”. As if this were any kind of answer. Or covering your ignorance of what “line break” means with “Use your words and be specific”, as if Wowbagger wasn’t doing exactly that by using the very words that are the technical description of what he meant.

    So lets be clear, aside from being an annoyance you’ve also failed to actually support your original point. Instruct us how any online poll allowing for multiple votes by any and every party is violated by any group voting in it, multiple times or not?

    As a side note, you also totally miss the point of online poll crashing to begin with. It isn’t meant to clarify any kind of truth. It’s meant to show that online polls are not rigorous in gathering any kind of valid consensus.

  328. #328 turse
    January 23, 2010

    wow,
    you have yet to take issue with anything that i have said. Please quote one of my assertions, and take issue with it.

  329. #330 coughlanbrianm
    January 23, 2010

    Turse is applying the “cargo cult” method of argument.

    He/she is replicating the noises they’ve seen in similar online discussions, but without any actual understanding of the content of the original discussion the sound bites were lifted from, or the context of this one.

    Hence the smug tone while making laughable and absurd responses.

    Sort of pitiful really.

  330. #331 dannystevens.myopenid.com
    January 23, 2010

    All the talk about harmless polls and why did they do it.

    The answer is very clear when you see the top line after answering the poll:

    What is the Bible’s answer?
    See: The Divine Origin of the Bible

    The poll is a lure. The actual results are of no concern to them, which is why the answers appear off screen below this.

    This poll is not innocent stupidity, it is cultish manipulation of the most rank sort.

  331. #332 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    turse, I take specific issue with what you said @296 and my response is @298. Would you like to address it? I will add an explicit question, just in case you cannot read the one implicit in 298:

    Do you, turse, believe that the readers of Pharyngula are more likely to employ “dishonest” methods on polls that non-readers of Pharyngula?

    And a follow-up:
    If not, why does it matter, since I demonstrate that the vote proportion is not affected in that case?

  332. #333 zhu-wuneng
    January 23, 2010

    You can accuse me of “concern trolling” or whatever, but…Yeah, poll crashing seems a little sorry to me. I mean, no shit informal internet polls aren’t useful ways to gain information; I don’t think they’re meant to be. Directing hundreds of people to gatecrash one is puerile and asinine. I am an antitheist, and I have no problem whatsoever with saying things that make others uncomfortable; however, I see no point in just random shit-disturbing. PZ is a smart guy with a lot of very insightful things to say, but when he pulls stunts like this he looks petty, and like a troll.

  333. #334 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    And please Turse answer my point @ 327. You can continue your fixation on Wowbagger if you like, but we’re still waiting for answers.

  334. #335 WowbaggerOM
    January 23, 2010

    Please quote one of my assertions, and take issue with it.

    Make me.

  335. #336 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    zhu-wuneng,

    I think it was probably a surprise to almost everyone when the poll broke. I assumed moral malfeasance when I looked at the Christadelphian website, not technical incompetence.

  336. #337 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    zhu-wuneng @ 333, do you or do you not believe that such polls are meant to further inundate believers into believing by the false impression that such polls create majority support for ones cause?

    Also, just curious, do you have anyone important to you who could be susceptible to such ploys, and by accepting them, further their state of delusion due to such polls?

  337. #338 Rorschach
    January 23, 2010

    concern troll @ 333,

    I mean, no shit informal internet polls aren’t useful ways to gain information; I don’t think they’re meant to be

    The people that put those polls up invite readers to participate, so how exactly is doing what they ask for “gatecrashing” ? If there was a disclaimer on a poll,” yeah ok feel free to vote but if you’re not a regular here or even worse, one of them pharyngula demons, please don’t”, then voting on the poll would be gatecrashing.

    I am an antitheist, and I have no problem whatsoever with saying things that make others uncomfortable;

    I fail to see a logical connection between those 2 statements.

    however, I see no point in just random shit-disturbing

    Again, voting in a poll that has been put up to be voted on is not shit-disturbing.

  338. #339 zhu-wuneng
    January 23, 2010

    336
    “Awww, we broke their poll” seems to me like a fairly unsurprised take on the situation.

    #337
    If one of my relatives saw a poll like that and immediately based their worldview off it, I’d say that was a smaller subset of a much bigger problem. Do you somehow imagine that rushing over to skew it the other direction will cause some great revolution of reason to begin?

    338
    I stated my position so that one of the “PZ is never ever wrong” crowd wouldn’t accuse me of being an “accomodationist” or secret christian or whatever to distract from the actual topic. If you deliberately send hundreds of people to a poll that has a hostile target audience, it’s not some disinterested gesture, and I’m sure you know that.

  339. #340 BdN
    January 23, 2010

    Directing hundreds of people to gatecrash one is puerile and asinine.

    Southpark is puerile. So ?

    when he pulls stunts like this he looks petty, and like a troll

    He didn’t “pull” much. He wrote a few lines on his blog, pointing to an online poll. I’m just curious : I’ve got a blog with only 10 regular readers. Am I allowed to say “hey guys, there’s this poll over there if you wanna vote” ? If I had 100 ? 1000 ? What is the number of readers beyond which you’re not allowed anymore ?

    And, still just being curious, what kind of subject is allowed ? Are all online polls forbidden or can he points to polls about science or similar stuff ?

  340. #341 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    @339:

    The opposite of “shit-disturbing” is not “disinterested gesture”. There are far more positions than these two, so the assertion that it was not shit-disturbing is not the same as the assertion that it’s a disinterested gesture.

  341. #342 zhu-wuneng
    January 23, 2010

    It’s amazing how much you guys actually sound like Christians when you’re intent on defending Myers. “Well, technically what we did was no different than blah blah blah” but it’s not a neutral act, and you know it. If you’re going to deliberately screw with people, at least have the balls to own up to it. It reminds me of when right wing jerks say something shitty and then say “Oh, it was just satire” when the backlash comes.

  342. #343 BdN
    January 23, 2010

    If you deliberately send hundreds of people to a poll that has a hostile target audience, it’s not some disinterested gesture, and I’m sure you know that.

    If it’s not a hostile target ? If it’s got a wider audience, let’s say a poll on USA Today or MSNBC ?

  343. #344 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    “If one of my relatives saw a poll like that and immediately based their worldview off it…”

    I’m not saying that someone will base a view off it. But they will support their views with it. This is one less poll they can use.

    “Do you somehow imagine that rushing over to skew it the other direction will cause some great revolution of reason to begin?”

    zhu, no one thinks that. But bit by bit, experience by experience with other views, even those that explode into your own comfy bubble, this experience does in fact make a difference.

    I am evidence to this fact.

    It seems only that you’ve never considered what’s going on and you posted something off of your first impression. This is entirely excusable.

  344. #345 BdN
    January 23, 2010

    zhu, no one thinks that. But bit by bit, experience by experience with other views,

    This could be as simple as realizing how many atheists there really are out there.

  345. #346 Andreas Johansson
    January 23, 2010

    turse:

    true, true and unrelated. polls ask questions and get answers. The answer is whatever you get. Homeopathic concoctions are given based on nonsense. go to bed Andreas

    I humbly apologize for assuming you had a brain. Won’t happen again.

    zhu-wuneng:

    I am an antitheist

    Why do you people feel compelled to put in things like this? It’s like you want us to conclude you’re a concern troll.

  346. #347 Rorschach
    January 23, 2010

    It’s amazing how much you guys actually sound like Christians when you’re intent on defending Myers

    Listen mate, I am not defending anyone, I am telling you why your assertion that voting in a poll that is put on the internet to be voted on should constitute gatecrashing is a load of bullcrap.

    Why don’t you address that instead of shifting the goalposts ?

    Better trolls, please.

    If you’re going to deliberately screw with people, at least have the balls to own up to it.

    Please explain how voting in a poll equals “screwing with people”. Also, please explain how you arrived at the conclusion that every visitor to Pharyngula would cast the same vote when directed to those polls.

  347. #348 coughlanbrianm
    January 23, 2010

    “Well, technically what we did was no different than blah blah blah” but it’s not a neutral act, and you know it.

    Not only do most people here know it, they’re proud of it!

    Most theists spend their lives floating in the comforting bosom of mutually reinforced complacency about their specific dogma. One of the purposes of particpating in these polls is to burst that bubble. Simply luxuriating in the power of ones own bastardry is another. It’s certainly not a neutral act, but it is I think, a useful one.

  348. #349 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    “This could be as simple as realizing how many atheists there really are out there.”

    For me it was someone crashing a “Christian Teens” chat room on AOL (did I just date myself? Am I old enough to date myself?!) stating that Jesus was not the first person said to have been born of a virgin.

    In the world I lived in I had never heard anything to the contrary.
    Polls like these shouldn’t be crashed simply because they’re bad science, but because there are people out there who’ve never been subjected to a differing opinion.

    It also sends a message to their leadership that they can’t inundate their flock with bullshit so easily anymore. There is resistance.

  349. #350 zhu-wuneng
    January 23, 2010

    “It’s like you want us to conclude you’re a concern troll.”

    See, I know from experience here though that the true believers are really quick to assume that anyone who might find fault with anything PZ says or does is going to be suspected of being closet religionists or 3.0 atheists or whatever, so it’s pretty much damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Maybe I’m atypical, but I didn’t leave fundamentalism behind because of an e-prank and I sort of doubt anyone else will either.

  350. #351 zhu-wuneng
    January 23, 2010

    It’s also hilarious that some of you are saying ‘damn right we’re screwing with people’ and others are saying ‘how are we screwing with people?’

  351. #352 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    “It’s also hilarious that” you assume we’re one entity.

  352. #353 Andreas Johansson
    January 23, 2010

    See, I know from experience here though that the true believers are really quick to assume that anyone who might find fault with anything PZ says or does is going to be suspected of being closet religionists or 3.0 atheists or whatever, so it’s pretty much damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    And being thought a theist is worse than being thought a troll? Anyone worth trying to reason with would be more inclined to listen to the former.

  353. #354 John Morales
    January 23, 2010

    zhu-wuneng @350, I’m curious.
    Can you describe what you think is the belief held by those you label “true believers”?

  354. #355 Miki Z
    January 23, 2010

    When your first statement on a topic is

    You can accuse me of “concern trolling” or whatever, but…

    you’ve effectively set an expectation. Numerous regulars, some of them even with “OM” after their name disagree with PZ on his words, actions, and conclusions. See one here. Any “true believers” here are missing the point. If PZ posted that “Zebra fish turn into birds when they die”, the only reason some of the regulars here would not disagree with him would be the load time in the thread to do so.

  355. #356 coughlanbrianm
    January 23, 2010

    It’s also hilarious that some of you are saying ‘damn right we’re screwing with people’ and others are saying ‘how are we screwing with people?’

    Some people here may differ in their opinion as to what as being done, or acheived. Nonetheless, I feel pretty confident that most of those participating in the polls realise they are screwing with people. The key point is that they (or at least I) consider this a positive and useful act.

    Democracy, respect for human rights or the tsunami of fat currently sweeping the US didn’t spring full blown into existence from one day to the next. These things happen a step, or a personal nutrition decision at a time. Millions of tiny interactions, and feedback loops are what change societies. That’s what this is about.

    At least, I think so.

  356. #357 Michael X
    January 23, 2010

    zhu,
    Just to reiterate: do you or do you not believe that such polls are meant to further inundate believers into believing, by the false impression that such polls create majority support for ones cause?

  357. #358 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 23, 2010

    You can accuse me of “concern trolling” or whatever, but…Yeah, poll crashing seems a little sorry to me.

    Obviously it’s a publicity gimmick for making waves and getting noticed stuff like that.

    I mean, no shit informal internet polls aren’t useful ways to gain information; I don’t think they’re meant to be.

    Of course not. They, also, are publicity gimmicks! And hey, it’s workin ain’t it!

  358. #359 negentropyeater
    January 23, 2010

    zhu-wunen,

    I mean, no shit informal internet polls aren’t useful ways to gain information; I don’t think they’re meant to be. Directing hundreds of people to gatecrash one is puerile and asinine.

    To “gatecrash” means “to participate without invitation”. As this poll is clearly open to all who visit this site, there is no “gatecrashing”.

    So, your assertion might possibly be :
    “Directing hundreds of Pharyngula readers to participate in a poll on a website that is not usually visited by Pharyngula readers is puerile and asinine“.

    Please explain why you believe this.

  359. #360 shonny
    January 23, 2010

    Looks like that poll came out half reasonable in the end:
    http://www.thisisyourbible.com/index.asp?act=poll

    Is the Bible God?s Word or a pious myth?
    What is the Bible’s answer?
    See: The Divine Origin of the Bible


    2% The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.
    1% Don’t know.
    1% The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired
    61% The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.
    35% The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.

    Which seems about right for a modern Western society! And at least they were honest enough to leave it like that. Very un-xian of them!
    But it could of course also be to put a rocket up the ass of lazy xians.

  360. #361 Eidolon
    January 23, 2010

    zhu:
    A couple of things. First, there is no way that PZ is always right and meets no dissent here. There have been some threads that have plenty of folks pointing out that he may be a dick on an issue. Even folks with OM in their handle do so and …gasp!…they even disagree with each other.

    Second, if you only want responses from your regulars, then require registration. An open poll is just that, open. As was pointed out by Rorschach @338, there was no disclaimer to limit who participates. The real issue appears to be that the answer expected and desired did not appear and to make things worse, there was unsettling evidence that there are atheists out there. Nasty, ORGANIZED atheists (about like a herd of cats is organized). And they did not stay in the closet as they were supposed to.

  361. #362 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    I see the concern trolls are out in force. The one thing that can be said in defense of Perfesser Dendy is he isn’t a concern troll.

  362. #363 MetzO'Magic
    January 23, 2010

    Me ? Voodoo…I mean who wants to worship a god who isn’t published?

    Oh, he’s published alright. Just not in any prestigious peer reviewed journals :-)

  363. #364 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Even folks with OM in their handle do so and …gasp!…they even disagree with each other.

    Fuck off, we never disagree with each other. You’d better retract this statement or I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue.

  364. #365 MetzO'Magic
    January 23, 2010

    But hey,maybe you could help me figure out what kind of animule this thing is…

    http://professordendy.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/wonder-what-it-is/

    To Ray Comfort, it would be proof of evolution. Oh, wait…

  365. #366 A Relevant Haiku
    January 23, 2010

    Stupid online poll
    Shows an unwanted result
    Blame the godless hordes!

  366. #367 Eidolon
    January 23, 2010

    Didja notice that the poll results were attributed to a hacking attempt? This to imply that it was some sort of computer manipulation as opposed to just a bunch of non-believers speaking out. Investigating indeed. As if the results were the result of some e-ville computer geek altering the very source code of the poll.

    Don’t ask a question unless you are ready to deal with the possible answers.

  367. #368 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    Pygmy Loris

    (Post #208)
    “Professor” Dendy,

    You keep deleting or not approving my comments on your blog, so I’m asking my question here.

    Are you an Associate Professor, as you claim in your LinkedIn profile, or an adjunct, as the website of American River College states?

    You’re a liar. We know that. Admit it.

    professordendy, replying to Pygmy Loris

    (Post #273)I teach for both the biology department and natural resources department… wrote curriculum for natural resources dept. (Fisheries Ecology and Management)

    You guys really are poor researchers! But hey,maybe you could help me figure out what kind of animule this thing is…[/snip badly photoshopped creationist image link]

    IMO Pygmy Loris is absolutely correct in labeling you a liar.

    You are NOT a “professor” in any conventionally accepted sense of the word. At my University, to earn this title means that you not only have a Ph.D., but also have acquired tenure (associate professor here) and THEN be promoted to full professor. Only then is one allowed to use the title of “professor”.

    What amuses me here is that you have the arrogant gall to make the comment about posters here being “poor researchers”. It doesn’t take much to find out just what a Liar for Jebus? you are. First,
    a search of your college directory lists you as follows:

    Dendy Mark Adjunct Faculty Natural Resources

    Even your college doesn’t list you as a “professor” and believe me “adjunct faculty” is NOT an equivalent because you don’t even have your Ph.D as you confess
    here:

    I have never misrepresented myself. I called the error to the attention of the KCRA crew and staff as soon as it was discovered. When they did not correct it, I repeatedly called them to indicate that it was an error. They said they would do what they could to correct it. I have never here, there, or anywhere claimed to have a doctorate!
    I am currently in a PhD program and hope to have earned the title ?Doctor? by this time next year!

    The question is “professor”dendy, what is your FUTURE doctorate going to be in and what institution will grant it, because from some of your posts I have read here it sure doesn’t look like it will be in any area of biology (as biology is normally defined).

    I would be willing to bet that IF your degree is going to be in some area “biology” it will be “biology” as defined by creationist/IDiss and that your degree will be from some creationist/IDist-minded (I used the word “minded” here very loosely) college or institute.

    Do tell us what your Ph.D. will be in and the name of the granting institution? As of now I find it quite offensive for you to claim the title of professor WITHOUT having first earned that title (a valid Ph.D., tenure, promotion from associate professor to full professor).

  368. #369 AdamK
    January 23, 2010

    With Professor Harold Hill on hand
    River City’s gonna have its boys’ band…

  369. #370 Armand K.
    January 23, 2010

    @Flat 7th 386sx Blues, #292

    [I]f I were cynical I would suspect that the reason they put the expression “book of myth” in the poll would be so that they could point to a spot in the Bible that is not “myth”, thus easily proving wrong all who say it is a “book of myth”.

    That also crossed my mind. I dismissed it.
    I also thought they constructed on purpose such a contorted and apparently badly phrased question in order to be able to say afterwards, “Aha! You see now, they’re totally disconnected from reality! They say the very exitence of the Bible is a myth!!” I dismissed that, too.
    I often (unconsciously?) apply Hanlon’s Razor. But you might well be right, and could’ve applied it once too often…

  370. #371 sqlrob
    January 23, 2010

    Do tell us what your Ph.D. will be in and the name of the granting institution?

    And to this, I would like to add, “What’s the title of your thesis?”

  371. #372 Sven DiMilo
    January 23, 2010

    re Dendy, the world of “wildlife and fisheries ecology” is actually a fascinating one.

    A few generalizations (exceptions notwithstanding): Such departments have a very different history from anything like straight Biology (they are in Colleges of Forestry and Natural Resources and such rather than Natural Sciences), and they draw a very diferent kind of scientist. The vast majority of such folks grew up huntin & fishin and like it so much they major in it in college; a few of the more intelligent such will get the science bug and go on to graduate programs. Dendy is just a Bay-Area version.

    My observations are (and this may be changing) that training in science is woefully de-emphasized in fisheries/wildlife programs in favor of practical techniques courses, that redneck cred is at least as important as academic cred to many of these guys, and that the discipline is likely to host a much higher proportion of the religious than any other biological science discipline.

  372. #373 percyprune
    January 23, 2010

    Let’s see: it is a public poll, not a private space, therefore it cannot be ‘gatecrashing’ to vote on it.

    It might be petty, yes. But still, I see no harm done.

  373. #374 coughlanbrianm
    January 23, 2010

    … the discipline is likely to host a much higher proportion of the religious than any other biological science discipline.

    I find it fairly amazing that full blown creationists could survive in any 3rd level academic setting, even in the US; I don’t think they’d be tolerated anywhere in EU academia.

    Slightly off topic, here is another sort of poll you can influence. Facebook this time :
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/We-can-find-1000000-people-who-DO-believe-in-Evolution-before-June/252759483743?ref=mf

    Don’t let the “believe” spook you, it’s apologised for and explained in the introductory blurb.

  374. #375 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 23, 2010

    Zhu,

    I have no problem whatsoever with saying things that make others uncomfortable; however, I see no point in just random shit-disturbing.

    I think there is a point to crashing those polls aside from having a little fun. I’ve seen many fundies citing online polls as some sort of authoritative fact. These people are truly ignorant of anything that involve defending their faith. Furthermore, they crash polls all the time thinking that it’s the right thing to do and that it justifies their faith. So whenever PZ present a poll, I think we should us it as opportunity to show the fundies that their facts aren’t there and they’re not the only ones who can sway a poll.

  375. #376 MetzO'Magic
    January 23, 2010

    As if the results were the result of some e-ville computer geek altering the very source code of the poll.

    If only. Then one of us geeks could have changed their VBScript CInt() call to CLng(), and kept the poll going a *lot* longer :-)

    Range of int in VBScript: -32768 to 32767
    Range of long: -2147483648 to 2147483647

    Mind you, they probably didn’t expect more than 32,000 punters to vote. Probably don’t have anywhere near that many regular readers. But then… they also didn’t consider the possibility of hordes of Evil Atheists™ fucking with their poll/using vote bots.

    Just another case of NOTI (Naivety On The Internet), I suppose.

  376. #377 co
    January 23, 2010

    Hello, my name is Mark Dendy. I am a professor . . ..

  377. #378 Insightful Ape
    January 23, 2010

    But zhu, how exactly did we “screw with people”? It was an online poll, open to the public. Not unless they were begging to be screwed with. The only thing the pisses them is that their stupid poll did not confirm their biases. So you have to ask, is that why they put up the poll in the first place?
    Dishonesty for jesus.

  378. #379 CanonicalKoi
    January 23, 2010

    “Professor” Dendy reminds me of a very old joke:

    Dr. Bazoozits has his PhD in Biology and is given a tremendous award for some research he’s done. He is invited to be guest of honor at a party and a woman latches onto him. Following him everywhere, every phrase that falls from his lips is greeted by her with a shriek of, “Oh, Professor!” Finally, exasperated beyond all reason, Dr. Bazoozits turns to her and says, “Madam, “Professor” is what they call the guy that plays the piano in a whorehouse.”

    And, Brownian? The black chaps or (swoon) the red ones? I’ll wear the bathing suit, but as A Woman of a Certain Age, I claim the right to let my extraordinarily long hair down to cover up anything that might need it. You have been warned.

  379. #380 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Turse, this thread was hardly the first time I delt with the hateful foolish of jojame, he has been hanging around the margins here for a while. Not once has he said anything worthwhile. Frankly, I do not give a flying fuck if you found my treatment of him harsh, I gave him what he has earned.

    And, no, I will not tone it down just because a tight assed fool like you do not know the background story. Next time, have a little read up a little before you go on the attack,

    And as many pointed out, the regulars hardly are in lock step with each other. An honest days reading of this blog should point that out. That fact that you make this accusation shows your bias.

    Meh. Just an other fool to ignore or maybe have fun with.

  380. #381 Seifer
    January 23, 2010

    Anybody thought of liking the batshit stuff he says on his blog against evolution to the actual professors at the biology department? In order to teach biology at a college, shouldn’t you know more than the students? I think they might be “concerned” to learn how little he grasps of the fundamentals of biology.

  381. #382 Seifer
    January 23, 2010

    #381 Correction: “Liking” should be “linking.”

  382. #383 Seifer
    January 23, 2010
  383. #384 A. Noyd
    January 23, 2010

    turse (#296)

    This sort of pack mentality is eerily and dangerously familiar. Resist that urge and you use your own thoughts and words. Don’t pile on with your pathetic me too’s.

    So I’m supposed to lie and be contrary even when I agree with the majority just because morons like you can’t tell the difference between consensus by honest agreement and some sort of pack mentality? What the fuck ever.

  384. #385 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Seifer #383

    Definitely seems like Dendy is doing natural resources rather than biology. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with natural resources. Studying the effects on sea lions going upriver to feed on salmon is legitimate science. It’s just not biology.

  385. #386 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 23, 2010

    Late to the party but

    Consensus has nothing to do with truth

    If the point of “poll pharyngulation” was a tack and you sat on that tack while being hit in the forehead with an 22 lbs. lead cluestick while a choir of statisticians flew far over your head discussing how unreliable online polls are, I doubt you could have missed the point any more than you did.

  386. #387 Null
    January 23, 2010

    I didn’t participate in this pharyngulation, but I have to say that there is most definitely a lot of vote-botting going on. However, the point isn’t to “show our numbers,” but to show how pointless online polls, and poorly constructed polls in general, are. This is quite important, since many ultra-evangelical churches use such poorly-designed polls as “support” for their illogical beliefs (this in itself is a logical fallacy, but unfortunately fallacious arguments seem to be more effective than they really should be.) By demonstrating how useless such polls are, it removes another layer of support for false and insensible ideologies.

  387. #388 co
    January 23, 2010

    Damn it, Seifer. That video makes me like him a bit more. He’s still in the negatives, though.

  388. #389 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 23, 2010

    However, the point isn’t to “show our numbers,” but to show how pointless online polls, and poorly constructed polls in general, are

    bingo

  389. #390 co
    January 23, 2010

    BDC @ #386: That post may have just earned you my reverence. You had my respect before, but that was beautiful.

  390. #391 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 23, 2010

    A degree of plausibility is required for jokes to work properly.

  391. #392 Seifer
    January 23, 2010

    ‘Tis #385

    I agree. I worked for the Michigan DNR as a summer job for six years while I was going to college, so I appreciate the knowledge and hard work a lot of people put in. My problem with Dendy is the guy calls himself a biologist. It’s clear from his resume that the guy’s only real specialty is in fishery management and conservation. Given how outspoken he is against evolution–he has two separate blogs, not blog posts but actual blogs, in which he speaks out against it–I only wonder what the actual biology professors and department heads would think if they read what he wrote.

  392. #393 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 23, 2010

    Dr. Bazoozits has his PhD in Biology and is given a tremendous award for some research he’s done. He is invited to be guest of honor at a party and a woman latches onto him.

    And correct placement of blockquote is required for commentary to have any meaning at all.

    Dammit.

  393. #394 Sven DiMilo
    January 23, 2010

    being hit in the forehead with an 22 lbs. lead cluestick

    or, of course, the traditional lead-filled snowshoe

    “Madam, “Professor” is what they call the guy that plays the piano in a whorehouse.”

    Why, here’s Ol’ Fess now!

  394. #395 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawl2fTeBPcyQQfS-pR3BkXftYO38puWhag8
    January 23, 2010

    I’m amused by the vastly different responses to Pharyngulization given by this U.S.-based Christadelphian outfit and the British Alpha Course, whose equally idiotic online poll was even more thoroughly clobbered a couple of months ago. Our Christadelphian chums play the martyr card, claiming that they’ve been “hacked” by ruthless atheists; the Alpha Course people ruefully shrug their shoulders and largely ignore the results. It’s a perfect example of American and British attitudes to religion!

  395. #396 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 23, 2010

    Dendy is kind of making American River College look bad.

  396. #397 creating trons
    January 23, 2010

    Sven #394
    Why, here’s Ol’ Fess now!

    It has been a long time since I partied in Tipitina’s. My grandfather also played piano on the French Quarter circuit. Thanx for bringing back the memories.

    On Thread: I’ve followed the horde here for a couple of years. I often agree with most of you, have had some fog cleared from my head because of many of you, have sometimes disagreed, always have to open a dictionary, or google an item (yesterday it was SN1987). You are all so very different, funny, and yet so similar.

    The people here make me want to voice my opinion. And if its on an intertoobz poll, OK. What impresses me about that, is that we have so much effect on these polls. I never would have guessed.

  397. #398 Pygmy Loris
    January 23, 2010

    Instructor Dendy,

    You are a member of the adjunct faculty at American River College*. You are not a professor. You are actively lying in your LinkedIn profile. Would you like for us to make your employer aware of the fact that you are misrepresenting yourself?

    You received your M.S. from University of Maryland-College Park, according to your LinkedIn profile. Would you like to provide us with the title to your thesis?

    Also, provide a list of your peer-reviewed publications, or a copy of your CV.

    * For the record, I think that community colleges are, by and large, excellent institutions that serve to educate people who would not otherwise have the opportunity. My beef is that Dendy calls himself a professor when he has not obtained that rank.

  398. #399 jphands
    January 23, 2010

    It seems to be open again.

    You can tell how clueless this bunch are, as well, because you can vote multiple times.

  399. #400 creating trons
    January 23, 2010

    ad junct???noun
    1. something added to another thing but not essential to it.
    2. a person associated with lesser status, rank, authority, etc., in some duty or service; assistant.
    3. a person working at an institution, as a college or university, without having full or permanent status: My lawyer works two nights a week as an adjunct, teaching business law at the college.

    There you guys go again, forcing me to absorb info.

    Thanx.

  400. #401 sudomabinusri
    January 23, 2010

    It’s kinda curious that Dendy’s resume says “California State University”. There are 23 campuses in the CSU system; which one did he graduate from, and why doesn’t he say?

  401. #402 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    Anybody thought of liking the batshit stuff he says on his blog against evolution to the actual professors at the biology department? In order to teach biology at a college, shouldn’t you know more than the students? I think they might be “concerned” to learn how little he grasps of the fundamentals of biology.

    He is also into the notion that people who support evolution are without any morals. Get a load of this little gem of a comic he has posted from CreationWise (~~Wise?! only in Bizarro World!):

    Needs no explanation… except maybe for Pharyngulites!

    I wonder if the same biology professors would also like to know that Dendy believes that if they also support evolution, they are all, at the very least, potential murderers a la Columbine as the above implies.

  402. #403 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    It seems to be open again.

    It was closed when I got there.

  403. #404 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 23, 2010

    Why, here’s Ol’ Fess now!

    I love that clip. There others from that show that are damn good too.

    It has been a long time since I partied in Tipitina’s. My grandfather also played piano on the French Quarter circuit. Thanx for bringing back the memories.

    Nice! Love Tips. I haven’t rubbed Fess’ head in a few years though. Time to get back down there.

  404. #405 blf
    January 23, 2010

    It’s kinda curious that Dendy’s resume says “California State University”. There are 23 campuses in the CSU system; which one did he graduate from, and why doesn’t he say?

    He does not say he graduated from any of three institutions he lists (University of Maryland College Park, California State University, and Education ­Howard Community College). That isn’t to say he hasn’t, but it’s another oddity.

  405. #406 Brownian, OM
    January 23, 2010

    @Gigi #269:

    Does this ?honour amongst thieves? claim have any validity?

    I seriously doubt it. In fact, last winter we had a similar cold snap and I left my car undriven and unplugged for a few days. When I finally went out to try to start it up I found the door lock had been punched out and the steering column cracked open.

    I admit to laughing as I pictured the thieves trying to hotwire a car with a dead battery and an unplugged block heater in -40° weather, the poor dumb bastards.

  406. #407 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    Oopps! My link to Dendy’s slanderous picture didn’t work (new to HTML tags…drat!)

    Needs no explanation… except maybe for Pharyngulites!
    http://lifeisgrandandotherlies.blogspot.com/2010/01/needs-no-explanation-except-maybe-for.html

  407. #408 https://me.yahoo.com/a/HkDYJChzyPvSy6c5XPlOxCgVRw--#2df55
    January 23, 2010

    confusions_a_virtue @147:

    …PZ that didn’t get the answer he wanted so had to obscure the results by ruining yet another poll.

    How does one ruin a turd, anyway?

  408. #409 airbowline
    January 23, 2010

    Without defending Prof. Dendy’s positions at all, I do want to make the observation that, unlikely as some may find it, many community colleges confer the title of “Professor” on adjunct faculty who reach a certain level of seniority. I am an administrator at a community college that follows this practice.

  409. #410 Walton
    January 23, 2010

    Why is everyone so interested in this “Professor Dendy” character’s CV and educational background? His comments about evolution are just as blitheringly idiotic whether he’s a full professor, an adjunct instructor or a window-cleaner. I don’t see why it’s necessary to grill him about his professional life. FWIW, there are plenty of examples of highly-educated and -qualified people saying and doing blitheringly stupid things.

  410. #411 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    He does not say he graduated from any of three institutions he lists (University of Maryland College Park, California State University, and Education ­Howard Community College). That isn’t to say he hasn’t, but it’s another oddity.

    If you page halfway down in his resume he lists his degrees.

    Mark Dendy?s Education
    * University of Maryland College Park MS, Chemical and Life Sciences , 2006 ? 2008
    * California State University Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, 2005 ? 2006
    * Education ­Howard Community College Associate of Arts , 1983 ? 1986

  411. #412 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 23, 2010

    A degree of plausibility is required for jokes to work properly.

    Was that directed at moi?

  412. #413 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Walton, we are demonstrating perfessor Dandy’s limited relationship to the truth, and his glibness at evading factual information. Openly and overtly, so he understands we see his lack of veracity, honesty, and integrity. All of which he must correct to have us do anything other than mock his feeble attempts at being an authority on anything besides bearing false witness.

  413. #414 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 23, 2010

    Walton,

    We’re balancing what Dendy says on his blog (and tells us) with other information. He claims to be a “professor” but in reality he’s the equivalent of an Assistant Lecturer in the British system. He claims to have a doctorate but has an MS instead (although he modified this to say he was a doctoral student). He says he’s a biologist but is actually working in natural resource management.

    In short, the guy lied and we’re researching his lies.

  414. #415 blf
    January 23, 2010

    Why is everyone so interested in this “Professor Dendy” character’s CV and educational background?

    Ignoring the minor hyperbole (not everyone is interested), and speaking only for myself, it’s simply because his apparent profession background—fisheries management—doesn’t quite jibe with his claims to do biology. That’s a (minor) oddity made odder by both his vagueness about his background and his well-documented anti-evolution stance. It’s not impossible that the guy was educated as a biologist and is teaching biology, nor is it impossible the place where he is teaching calls its instructors professors. Those possibilities are not even implausible. It’s his anti-evolution and (seemingly) dogmatic approach, and overall vagueness and (seemingly) poor communication skills which cause me (and, I presume, others) to wonder…

  415. #416 Carlie
    January 23, 2010

    Without defending Prof. Dendy’s positions at all, I do want to make the observation that, unlikely as some may find it, many community colleges confer the title of “Professor” on adjunct faculty who reach a certain level of seniority.

    That is what is happening here. I had the same thought about his professorship as Pygmy Loris et al. last night and checked out the college pages; every single faculty in the bio department was listed as a professor, even ones marked as “long-term temp” status. It’s an unfortunate case of convergent evolution; needing a title that confers authority to instructors, but does not co-opt “Doctor” since many faculty don’t have doctorates, community colleges have settled on “Professor”. This is perfectly fine, except that the highest rank a doctorate at a Ph.D. granting university can obtain is also called “Professor”, so confusion can ensue.

  416. #417 creating trons
    January 23, 2010

    @Rev BDC

    I haven’t been to Tips in 20 years. It was the in place when I was young.

    I don’t live in NOLA anymore. Katrina handed me my hat and showed me the door in ’05, and I wasn’t even there! Have since moved to Knoxville. I think the place has more churches than gas stations. Very, very babble belt. East Tn. is beautiful though.

  417. #418 blf
    January 23, 2010

    If you [look] page halfway down in his resume he lists his degrees.

    Ah! I missed that, probably because I logged into LinkedIn and was looking at that profile, which is noticeably shorter and less detailed. I just double-checked, and in the version available to people who are logged-in but not-connected non-premium users, he does not list any degrees, only (vague) institutions.

    My apologies to Assoc. Prof. Dendy.

  418. #419 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 23, 2010

    FWIW, there are plenty of examples of highly-educated and -qualified people saying and doing blitheringly stupid things.

    Dammit walton, don’t do that to me when i have a mouthful of coffee.

    BS

  419. #420 Pygmy Loris
    January 23, 2010

    Carlie,

    It’s more than that. As I have said, his LinkedIn profile claims he is an Associate Profesor. He is not. American River College has Associate Professors and Adjuncts as two distinct job titles. Dendy is lying about his position at his place of employ. If one searches for other faculty at American River College, some have the job title professor, some are adjunct faculty. Dendy is the latter. Again, he’s lying about his position. That bugs me.

  420. #421 Walton
    January 23, 2010

    Well, this Dendy person certainly gives every appearance of being a complete and utter moron. I just think it’s a bit odd to grill him about whether he is or is not a real “professor”. Yes, the claim is liable to confuse some people, but I doubt many people would be inclined to take his ravings more seriously simply because he sticks “Professor” in front of his name, whether or not he is entitled to do so.

    And obviously it’s true that the granting of the title “professor” differs substantially between institutions. At most British universities, only the most senior academics are titled Professor; more junior faculty members are known as Readers or Lecturers. (There are exceptions: Warwick University has adopted the American titles of Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, for instance.) By contrast, in many European countries, cognates of “professor” (French professeur, Spanish profesor) are used even for secondary-school teachers.

  421. #422 Ichthyic
    January 23, 2010

    Maybe I’m atypical, but I didn’t leave fundamentalism behind because of an e-prank and I sort of doubt anyone else will either.

    nope you’re a typical moron alrighty, assuming crashing this poll really has fuck all to do with encouraging, discouraging, or any urging at all, wrt fundamentalism.

    your problem is you didn’t bother to think through all the reasons why one might crash an internet poll in general.

  422. #423 Sven DiMilo
    January 23, 2010

    aw jeez, the guy’s got the ego to brand himself:

    “A Professor Dendy blog” it sez.

    Whatever customs and administrative bullshit may pertain at Dendy’s college (at mine all the advisors are “Advising Deans,” all of ‘em, Deans!!! anyway), Dendy is obviously taking the fact of his teaching position and using it to misrepresent himself on a fairly wide scale.

    It is sleazy.
    But, then, anybody who would post that cartoon linked is sleazy already.

  423. #424 creating trons
    January 23, 2010

    Walton

    I don’t know how it is in acedamia. I work in the Nuclear Power arena and integrity is everything. Any misrepresentation or “lying” is grounds for termination. And if you sign a document knowing the info is false you can receive jail time. We call it plutonium prisom.

    If I work with you and I discover that you have exagerated, or dog forbid, lied to me about any data then I can never trust a single word from your mouth again. Security will watch you while everyone else watches you empty your desk and you will be escorted from the facility.

    Integrity is everything. You may leave lots of children when you die, or lots of money, but your character is what we will remember and point to. There is no place in our human progress for liars or thieves.

  424. #425 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    airbowline:Without defending Prof. Dendy’s positions at all, I do want to make the observation that, unlikely as some may find it, many community colleges confer the title of “Professor” on adjunct faculty who reach a certain level of seniority. I am an administrator at a community college that follows this practice.

    Certain level of senority? I guess it would depend on how one defines the term “seniority”. According to his resume, he’s been at his current position for less than 2 years:

    Mark Dendy?s Experience

    *Associate Professor
    *American River College
    *(Educational Institution; 501-1000 employees; Higher Education industry)
    *September 2008 ? Present (1 year 5 months)
    *Teach in two departments – Biology and Natural Resources

    Now I don’t know about you, but less than 2 years on a job wouldn’t qualify anyone has having “seniority” nor would it justify him/her being labeled as having “long-term temp” status either.

  425. #426 airbowline
    January 23, 2010

    We confer the title after 9 semesters of satisfactory teaching (3 calendar years.)

  426. #427 CanonicalKoi
    January 23, 2010

    Oh, dear. Has there been a rift in the lute? Looking at American River’s 2009-2010 catalog online, the faculty list jumps from Delgado, Lisa to Diamond, Robert–nary a Dendy in sight.

    I did like the opening paragraph of the “Administrator Statement of Professional Ethics”:

    American River College administrators recognize that ethical behavior is a prerequisite to successful leadership and management. Ethical behavior, defined as behavior that meets commonly accepted rules of conduct, encompasses the principles of honesty and equity.

    (bolding added) Perhaps that explains it all, really.

  427. #428 Jadehawk, OM
    January 23, 2010

    but I doubt many people would be inclined to take his ravings more seriously simply because he sticks “Professor” in front of his name, whether or not he is entitled to do so.

    oh c’mon, really? you don’t think a particular segment of the population (you know, the one that is the living embodiment of the Appeal to Authority fallacy) isn’t going to think that a “professor” has more authority to speak about biology? why do you think Hovind bought a PhD, if not because he wanted to buy the respect and authority to talk about biology and be taken seriously?

  428. #429 Seifer
    January 23, 2010

    gladiatrix #425

    Did you also how his only degree prior to 2005 was an Associate of Arts from Howard Community College, but he claims to have taught for five years of High School? As a teacher myself, I don’t see how one can be qualified to teach High School biology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry off of a three year associates degree. Nor does he list the school he taught at for those five years. The only experience I see is as a substitute teacher, which hardly qualifies as any experience teaching. If he did teach I wonder if NCLB gave him the boot when it was passed since he is clearly under qualified.

  429. #430 blf
    January 23, 2010

    Oh, dear. Has there been a rift in the lute? Looking at American River’s 2009-2010 catalog online, the faculty list jumps from Delgado, Lisa to Diamond, Robert–nary a Dendy in sight.

    He’s still listed in the on-line Faculty & Staff Directory, http://search.arc.losrios.edu/cgi-bin/webdata_staff.pl?Type=F|P&cgifunction=Search&pagenum=6&cgisort=1&cgisortorder=0

  430. #431 MetzO'Magic
    January 23, 2010

    Damn it, Seifer. That video makes me like him a bit more. He’s still in the negatives, though.

    Ditto. Seems like a plausibly likable guy. If only he didn’t try too hard to impress people for all the wrong reasons.

    Lose the woo, Dendy, and you’ll appreciate the beauty of nature more, for what it really is.

  431. #432 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    @Seifer

    Did you also how his only degree prior to 2005 was an Associate of Arts from Howard Community College, but he claims to have taught for five years of High School? As a teacher myself, I don’t see how one can be qualified to teach High School biology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry off of a three year associates degree. Nor does he list the school he taught at for those five years. The only experience I see is as a substitute teacher, which hardly qualifies as any experience teaching. If he did teach I wonder if NCLB gave him the boot when it was passed since he is clearly under qualified.

    The fact that he might or would have been under-qualified to teach those subjects is an all too common occurrence in the American public school system where people with credentials in biology, physics and math are usually desperately needed, but in short supply. Here in Florida, one finds cases of where the high school coaches have ended up trying to teach these subjects because a teacher with the proper credentials wasn’t available.

    It really explains why creationists have such a rich hunting ground when it comes to hawking their anti-science, anti-intellectual screeds because a lot of people are simply too under-educated to recognize these often very-polished, glib snake-oil salesmen for what they truly are. Many of them accouter themselves the title of “Dr.” expressly for the purpose acquiring the credibility that a scientific degree confers with the intended purpose of deceiving the gullible (Hey, those mean old evolutionists can’t say that I’m not qualified…I have a Ph.D ad I think evolution’s bogus, so should you!). The intentionally-scientifically illiterate “wolf” masquerading in the scientific sheep’s clothing as it were (gives a whole new and sinister meaning to the term “sheep-skin”)

  432. #433 gladiatrix
    January 23, 2010

    @airbowline #426
    It would seem that even by the what is IMO your very liberal allowance (no insult intended), that Dendy STILL wouldn’t qualify as a professor.

    However, IF the issue is one of what one’s particular institution defines as a “professor”, be aware that a search of the directory of the American River College lists Dendy as “Adjunct Faculty:

    Dendy Mark Adjunct Faculty Natural Resources

    He’s not on the full-time list (adjunct or otherwise), either. If you seach for his web page there, then it would appear that the last class (ONE whole class) he taught was in Fall-09. Not only is he NOT a professor there (described as “Adjunct Faculty”), it doesn’t even look like he works there full time nor is he working this semester (the web page could be dated though):

    W. Mark Dendy
    Biology[snipped contact info]
    Current Courses
    Fall 2009
    BIOL 300T The Foundations of Biology (16240)

    “Professor”?! not even according to his college directory, not even by your liberal definition of seniority or any criteria that I am aware of does Dendy actually deserve the title (certainly not for his grasp of biology)

  433. #434 creating trons
    January 23, 2010

    MetzO’Magic

    “If only he didn’t try too hard to impress people for all the wrong reasons.”

    Are you saying you agree that he has been lying about his position?

    So, he is a liar?

    Please entertain me with your reason as to why he should be allowed to lie to me “for all the wrong reasons.”

  434. #435 IanM
    January 23, 2010

    It is not so much clear that Dendy is a moron as that he is a fraud.

  435. #436 eckenheimer
    January 23, 2010

    One useful purpose “Pharyngulating” a poll serves is to make those posting these silly polls aware that a lot of people disagree with their views. A lot of fundie Kristians tend to associate with only those who have similar beliefs and forget that everyone doesn’t share their peculiar world view.

    While true believers KNOW that their own opinions are “the truth” (whatever that may be), maybe some others are still capable of rational thought. Poll crashing may actually stimulate some of them to think. So we are doing them a favor by vividly reminding them that their opinions are not universally accepted or, for that matter, acceptable.

  436. #437 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 23, 2010

    I don’t live in NOLA anymore. Katrina handed me my hat and showed me the door in ’05, and I wasn’t even there! Have since moved to Knoxville. I think the place has more churches than gas stations. Very, very babble belt. East Tn. is beautiful though.

    I live in Charleston, SC. Nickname “The holy City” because we have a very low skyline and there are many steeples that are easily seen from nearly anywhere in the city. Makes for a great place to Photograph.

  437. #438 Peter H
    January 24, 2010

    Has there been anything of substance in the last 200 or so posts? Like any other publicly posted site, after a certain point, a thread such as this devolves into only a mud fight.

  438. #439 Null
    January 24, 2010

    @eckenheimer #436:

    One useful purpose “Pharyngulating” a poll serves is to make those posting these silly polls aware that a lot of people disagree with their views

    Not quite. I’m quite sure that many people involved in the poll crashing use iMacros1 or similar tools, so it isn’t a show of atheist force per se. What it does do is demonstrate how pointless the poll is in the first place. “Ruining” a poll in this way, by shifting it drastically away from the intended result, prevents it from being used as “support” for an irrational belief. It’s removing a tool from the fundies’ arsenal, not adding one to ours.

    1 I use that tool quite frequently, but I’m a bit of a channer, so I might be in the minority here.

  439. #440 WowbaggerOM
    January 24, 2010

    Like any other publicly posted site, after a certain point, a thread such as this devolves into only a mud fight.

    What’s your point? If you don’t like it you are, after all, free to go elsewhere.

  440. #441 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 24, 2010

    Has there been anything of substance in the last 200 or so posts? Like any other publicly posted site, after a certain point, a thread such as this devolves into only a mud fight.

    Why the fuck did you feel the need to write that comment?

    Was it a need to feed into the very thing that you are accusing this thread of evolving to?

  441. #442 John Morales
    January 24, 2010

    Peter H:

    Like any other publicly posted site, after a certain point, a thread such as this devolves into only a mud fight.

    That was a remarkably bland comment.

    Of course a thread like this develops in the manner of threads such as this — else it would not be a thread such as this.

    But how do you know that it’s a thread such as this, unless it’s developed like a thread such as this?

  442. #443 Null
    January 24, 2010

    Like any other publicly posted site, after a certain point, a thread such as this devolves into only a mud fight.

    *puts down flamethrower*

    Here I was, all ready for a flame war, but it turns out we’re having a mud fight instead. Oh well.

  443. #444 Flat 7th 386sx Blues
    January 24, 2010
  444. #445 pv
    January 24, 2010

    A “poll that asked if the bible was the divinely inspired word of god” is as silly as one that asks “if the moon is made of cheese”. As id public opinion can determine the veracity of either!
    One can only arrive at a yes answer by ignoring history and what is actually known about the real world.
    Since religion and gods have their their basis in a figment of human imagination and require more than a modicum of deception in order to persist, one can expect nothing but deception and prevarication from the perpetrators of such polls.
    The idiocy of the poll is only compounded by the idiocy of the excuse for suspending it.

  445. #446 MetzO'Magic
    January 24, 2010

    creating trons @ 434

    Are you saying you agree that he has been lying about his position?

    So, he is a liar?

    Please entertain me with your reason as to why he should be allowed to lie to me “for all the wrong reasons.”

    What I said was:

    If only he didn’t try too hard to impress people for all the wrong reasons.

    No, I don’t condone lying. You read a bit too much into that sentence. I just feel a bit sorry for him after seeing that video. He’s a sad case, that’s for sure.

    The “trying too hard to impress” bit does not preclude lying. He’s inflating his credentials in the mistaken belief that people will find his views on creationism more convincing.

  446. #447 Sven DiMilo
    January 24, 2010

    He’s inflating his credentials in the mistaken belief that people will find his views on creationism more convincing.

    you don’t think a particular segment of the population (you know, the one that is the living embodiment of the Appeal to Authority fallacy) isn’t going to think that a “professor” has more authority to speak about biology?

    Oh, advertising academic credentials can absolutely work to inflate credibility. I was once elected jury foreman against my will just because it emerged during selection that I had a PhD. Didn’t really matter in what, afaict.

  447. #448 Sven DiMilo
    January 24, 2010

    Wait, ARC has(d) a publically avowed creationist teaching a course called “The Foundations of Biology”???!!!

    That’s…a shame.

  448. #449 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 24, 2010

    Sven,

    I suspect whoever assigned him that class looked at his MS in Life Sciences from an accredited university and assumed he was qualified to teach basic biology.

  449. #450 Sven DiMilo
    January 24, 2010

    that’s publicly

    the obligatory: moar coffee

  450. #451 Carlie
    January 24, 2010

    Pygmy Loris – sorry, I didn’t catch that he was labeling himself as an Associate Professor. That’s a whole different kettle of fish, since Assistant/Associate/Full are definitely tied to specific levels of promotion. That seems like pretty obvious fakery of position, unlike simply using “professor” by itself in a community college context.

  451. #452 SmilingSkeptic
    January 24, 2010

    Anyhoo, the numbers are continuing to resolve…

    2% The Bible is inspired by God in all its parts.

    1% Don’t know.

    1% The Bible is partially inspired by God and partially uninspired

    63% The Bible is a book of myth and is of human origin.

    33% The Bible is untrustworthy and irrelevant.

  452. #453 jnnydnti
    January 24, 2010

    DADGUMMIT!

    Any webmaster with a functioning brain (or portion thereof) can see where his (her) traffic comes from.

    If you simply remove the hyperlink for a poll and provide the address (so it’s not clickable), then people have to cut and paste it into their browsers.

    No upstream site is recorded.

    Want to confuse pollsters? Don’t show them the upstream site.

  453. #454 MetzO'Magic
    January 24, 2010

    jnnydnti, excellent point!

  454. #455 Pygmy Loris
    January 24, 2010

    Carlie,

    No problem. I just wanted to make myself clear. :)

  455. #456 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    in a way, they have every right to be angry if you guys just stormed in and voted unfairly. i think that stuffing the box is a good term because it’s what you did when they were just trying to conduct a halfway SCIENTFIC study of what people believe. you guys just don’t like democracy when it isn’t in your favor

  456. #457 Vitis01
    January 29, 2010

    Ha! That’s rich. Ya, everybody likes democracy when only the people they agree with vote.

    Also, internet polls aren’t “halfway scientific”. I think they have been officially determined to be between zero and 2 percent scientific.

  457. #458 Ichthyic
    January 31, 2010

    voted unfairly

    how is that even possible?