Pharyngula

Wheels within wheels

Ben Stein wins another honor. He has been declared the Rosa Parks of Darwin skeptics on the Rosa Parks of Rosa Parks Blogs, which points out amusing and offensive instances of rhetorical hyperbole. The amusing bit here, though, is that he got named this on the basis of an old post by creationist Kevin Wirth which does literally say Ben Stein is the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics, right in the title. I’d seen this before, way back in the old days of the Expelled hoo-ha, but this time I noticed an interesting connection. At the bottom of the article, it has this brief biographical note:

Seattle area writer and Darwin skeptic Kevin Wirth is the publisher and editor of the new book “Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters” by Dr. Jerry Bergman. He has investigated and researched issues related to the persecution of Darwin Doubters since 1982.

Wait, what? Jerry Bergman? That Jerry Bergman, the carbon-is-irreducibly-complex and chemistry-is-a-religion-so-you’ll-get-fired-for-posting-the-periodic-table Jerry Bergman? The crazy Jerry Bergman I debated back in November?

Wow. Kevin Wirth really knows how to pick ‘em.

It also reminds me…that debate was recorded by the local creationists, and they said a DVD would be made available; it would have been nice if they’d sent me a copy. They haven’t. The existence of any recording seems to have faded away from their site. I wonder why?

It can’t be embarrassment, because they actually host a pdf by Bergman arguing his bizarre version of irreducible complexity.

…the only way to refute the concept of irreducible complexity is to demonstrate that all objects can be reduced to a fundamental particle and still function properly. If a radio, a functional eye or ear, can be achieved, for example, by a single quark (the particle scientists now believe is irreducible)–or all, of the functions of an intelligent human, including the ability to reproduce with other humans, can be produced by a single quark, they are not irreducibly complex.

Yeah, he’s that nuts. He doesn’t demand that evolutionists produce a mere crocoduck to prove evolution, he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks.

Comments

  1. #1 https://me.yahoo.com/a/GGwawL0o0cW5E0ucvyxLPLojuRQ-#86c2c
    January 28, 2010
  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    January 28, 2010

    “Evolution can’t explain gravity.” Ben Stein

    Rosa Parks is noted for saying something similar, isn’t she?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  3. #3 NotMyGod
    January 28, 2010

    On behalf of Rosa Parks, a *real* hero, I’m offended. Comparing his own dubious “achievements” belittles Parks and that whole silly civil rights movement, which apparently was just as bad as thwarting science. Feh.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    January 28, 2010

    Yeah, that’s the point of the site — Rosa Parks’ name gets used to flog a lot of self-righteous absurdity, and it is offensive.

  5. #5 shonny
    January 28, 2010

    These people don’t know up and down in their dark, dank mental dungeons.
    Fortunately, around these neck o’ the woods people just point and laugh at them. With very, very few exceptions.

    Also, Rosa Parks was the opposite of these people, because she led people towards enlightenment, whereas these jackasses are crawling steadily deeper into darkness.
    Definitely a gross insult to one very brave lady!

  6. #6 lose_the_woo
    January 28, 2010

    I agree, using Rosa Parks’ life for this is really pathetic and very poor form.

    Actually it’s disgusting and true to form for these whackos.

  7. #7 Brian
    January 28, 2010

    In fact I’d go so far as to say that using her name like that is the Rosa Parks of offensive rhetoric!

  8. #8 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    That reminds me. For a while, I was trying to figure out why Comcast had Expelled on it’s OnDemand list. Then it came to me, Stein is in their commercials, the ones I turn off when they are on my television or radio.

    So, was Ben forced to give up his seat to an evolutionist on the Darwin bus?

  9. #9 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    … he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks.

    I’m getting a hadron just thinking about making bosons.

  10. #10 fredmounts
    January 28, 2010

    The article linked in post #1 was a joy to read. Someone gets it, and works for the MSM to boot!

  11. #11 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    … he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks.

    I’m getting a hadron just thinking about making baryons.

    (that’s what I meant the first time. Bosons aren’t made of quarks.)

  12. #12 Qwerty
    January 28, 2010

    Wow, PZ – since you were expelled from the viewing of Expelled, we better NOT call you the you-know-who of atheist bloggers and evolution supporters or you’ll be the next person on the you-know-who of you-know-who blogs.

  13. #13 Holytape
    January 28, 2010

    It’s a typo. He meant to say Ben Stein is the Ross Parks of the ID movement. Although since the only thing I could find out about Ross Parks on the Intratubes is that he is a decent Ophthalmologist in Florida, the comparison is still undeserved.

    There is some joke about Ben Stein and the “short” bus in there. But even a joke like that would give Stein too much credit.

    Sasquatch Jesus

  14. #14 lose_the_woo
    January 28, 2010

    So, when did the goal-posts move for IC? Or did they? I mean when did anyone from the anti-IC contingent say than changing a structure will not change its function? So we are all IDists! Yay!

    Their definition is completely nonsensical. Just because I take the battery out of my Blackberry doesn’t mean it won’t make a good projectile for throwing at some moron saying stupid things.

    The completely backwards, or I should say upside down, understanding of reality is just stunning. And they speak with such certitude without even having any experimentation or hypothesis. These are really really stupid people. I hate saying that, but only really stupid and deluded people would think like that.

  15. #15 PZ Myers
    January 28, 2010

    I wonder if Ross Olson of the Twin Cities Creation Science Association will stop by this thread to tell us what happened to the video recording of the debate. Did god annihilate it?

  16. #16 Qwerty
    January 28, 2010

    Yes, lose_the_woo, there were lots of shaking heads at the Jerry Bergman/PZ Myers debate when Jerry was talking.

    As Bergman mentioned Hitler at the end of the debate, there should also be a “Hitler/Holocaust compared to Darwin/Evolution blog” but the blogger would be posting constantly.

  17. #17 Holytape
    January 28, 2010

    I apologize for I was mistaken. It was not a typo and Wirth did not mean to compare Ben Stein with Ross Parks of Florida. Kevin Wirth meant “Rose Park”, as in Superfund site, “Rose Park Sludge Pit” in Utah. Here I am going to disagree with the author, because I think the comparison is a little harsh. As far as I know, Ben Stein doesn’t cause birth defects (although it is strange that Ben has never come out to the public and admitted that he doesn’t cause birth defects.)

    Although to be fair to Kevin, there are several similarities:

    Rose Park Sludge Pit contained large amounts of sulfur dioxide, which smells like rotting eggs. When Ben Stein speaks, he usually lays a rotten egg.

    Rose Park Sludge Pit was listed as a Superfund site, despite no evidence that the ground water contamination had occurred. Ben Stein continues to talk, despite having no evidence to show that thinking had occurred.

    Rose Park Sludge Pit is a potentially harmful to human health. Ben Stein’s commercials with Shaq can cause a superdense realm of bad acting, which can cause the viewers’ eyes to bleed.

    So overall, while I think it is unnecessarily harsh, I can see why people would call Ben Stein the Rose Park Sludge Pit of the ID movement.

    Trilobites

  18. #18 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks

    Top and Bottom, no doubt?

    (+1 to llewelly for the hadron joke!)

  19. #19 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I wonder if Ross Olson of the Twin Cities Creation Science Association will stop by this thread to tell us what happened to the video recording of the debate. Did god annihilate it?

    I suspect the DVD is in the same place as RO’s evidence that ID is scientific. It is something he is afraid to show.

  20. #20 JJ
    January 28, 2010

    @1 – Good opinion piece, but I didn’t see a poll…

  21. #21 QuarkyGideon
    January 28, 2010

    Quarks are cool; but that they are irreducable doesn’t make them complex. What the fuck is so complex about a quark? Strange…

  22. #22 Peter G.
    January 28, 2010

    That last quote from Bergman prompts me to speculate about the subject of irreducible stupidity. I wonder if one could not apply quantum mechanics to stupidity. Perhaps there are discreet quanta of dumbness. I propose we call those quanta Bozons (in honor of Bozo) . Truly large large aggregations of these bozons seem to require a binding particle. Let us call that particle a “Religion”. What I can’t figure out is what stops the aggregation from annihilating when it encounters the smallest quanta of fact.

  23. #23 Strangest brew
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Wow. Kevin Wirth really knows how to pick ‘em.”

    Well they work with what they got, which is not a lot obviously!
    One might consider their mythical hero is a tad remiss in sending them out to do combat on his behalf only half-arsed and basically one armed!

    What with incompetent spokes clones and extremely dubious, if not downright felonious, claims to boast about.

    Seems Yahweh has no class these days…if indeed he ever had!

    They are a spent, crippled rag tag and bob tail minority movement that depends on the sheer ignorance and crass stupidity of their audience to limp from one ridiculous absurdity to another in sure and certain hope, beyond hope, to the resurrection in zombiehood!

    The movement is a headed for inevitable euthanasia, tis the only kind thing to do!
    Cos it really is neither hilarious or even cute any more, it is sad and pathetic and so desperate, methinks deep down they are all aware of that fact.

  24. #24 Eamon Knight
    January 28, 2010

    Yeah, that’s the point of the site — Rosa Parks’ name gets used to flog a lot of self-righteous absurdity, and it is offensive.

    So, it’s sort of the flip side of comparing anyone you don’t like to Hitler?

  25. #25 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    What the fuck is so complex about a quark? Strange…

    I find certain quarks quite charming.

  26. #26 lose_the_woo
    January 28, 2010

    @1 – Good opinion piece, but I didn’t see a poll…

    It was a link near the bottom of the article. This should take you right to the poll.

  27. #27 Sastra
    January 28, 2010

    … the only way to refute the concept of irreducible complexity is to demonstrate that all objects can be reduced to a fundamental particle and still function properly.

    WTF? In other words, water must be reducible to an ‘essence of water,’ or evolution is falsified? In evolutionary theory, apples would have to be made up of apple-essence; fire would have to be made out of fire essence; and so forth — because otherwise it’s been put together into something new, that has new properties, and where did these properties come from????

    This doesn’t just indicate that the guy’s confused about evolution. From what I can make out, Bergman appears to be operating from an ancient, classical (or pre-classical) understanding of the Elements, starting from the principle that Like Comes Only From Like.

  28. #28 tsg
    January 28, 2010

    What I can’t figure out is what stops the aggregation from annihilating when it encounters the smallest quanta of fact.

    It’s the large amount of space between the bozons. The fact particle travels right through without hitting anything substantial.

  29. #29 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Rose Park Sludge Pit contained large amounts of sulfur dioxide, which smells like rotting eggs.

    Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs. The odor of sulfur dioxide I would describe as acrid and biting. [/pedant]

    BS

  30. #30 Strangest brew
    January 28, 2010

    #25

    “I find certain quarks quite charming.”

    Yet strange although up and down with it…
    That is the top and bottom fundamentally!

  31. #31 BdN
    January 28, 2010

    @QuarkyGideon

    It’s the opposite : everything that is not a quark is considered irreducible complexity.

  32. #32 Demonhype
    January 28, 2010

    I don’t know that I’d trust a recording by creationists anyway.

    Who recalls the debate between RRS and Comfort and Cameron? Look it up on Youtube, and look for the Way of the Master Channel version. I found it there first (it was the first and easiest one to click on), and I was going nuts trying to find certain key points–like the priceless moment in the opening statements of Brian Sapient where he called Comfort on citing the Bible when Comfort himself had proposed a bible-free debate. Nowhere to be found, though other posters have the debate up in its entirety, as I realized once I noticed the mangled version was posted by WotM.

    Those fuckers edited down everything they needed to to make themselves look good and diligently removed every situation where the atheists looked good, making it look like they were plowing through all their “brilliant” apologetics while the atheists just sat there with no answers. I’m sure it gave their devotees a thrill, what with the illusion of atheistic impotence in the face of The Truth ™.

    For being morally superior, it’s astounding how willing they are to outright lie to get a “win”, even when the lie is so easily countered by the plethera of complete recordings available to everyone. Not that their devoted followers will step one foot out of WotM territory to find them.

  33. #33 mothra
    January 28, 2010

    Religion is held together by both the strong and weak nucular farces. The weak farce has a binding particle- the pastor. The strong farce has a binding partical- the evangelical. These binding particles are relatively short lived with half lives of around 40 years.

  34. #35 blf
    January 28, 2010

    What I can’t figure out is what stops the aggregation from annihilating when it encounters the smallest quanta of fact.

    On the rare occasion there is a collision, a religion will crack. I believe the process is called schisming, and the aggregation breaks into smaller entities known as cults. Some of the constituent bozons may also be emitted; such free bozons are usually called crackpots. You also can get anti-bozons emitted; aggregations of anti-bozons are sometimes called randis. Unlike bozons, randis are attracted to facts and repel all bozons and religions over a wide area.

    As to why religion-fact collisions are so rare, it probably has to do with the extreme warpping of space-time-reality religions are notorious for. Not quite sure of the mechanism, or how that warpping allows more bozons to enter and join the aggregation (I think I need another glass of wine). And somehow the warpping traps bozons inside it; why the warpping is more-or-less a one-why bozon trap is unclear.

    Needs further bullshitingstudy, probably at the Large Idiot Collider to gain sufficiently sharp facts to penetrate the warpping around carefully contained religions.

  35. #36 wrpd
    January 28, 2010

    Didn’t one of the Fucked Noise pundits recently ask, “Where would we be if Rosa Parks hadn’t sat down at that lunch counter?”
    They know as much about history as they do about science.

  36. #37 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkizC4OJEQODw9Rn2-9Ccz5-1lYymHaqFs
    January 28, 2010

    Quark Porn? Never seen that.

    Have we finally found the refutation of Rule 34?

  37. #38 Qwerty
    January 28, 2010

    “I wonder if Ross Olson of the Twin Cities Creation Science Association will stop by this thread to tell us what happened to the video recording of the debate. Did god annihilate it?”

    Just stopped by their website (bleah..) and there is nothing about a recording of the debate, but I do remember seeing cameras when the debate took place.

    They must have given that tape to Nixon’s secretary!

  38. #39 tsg
    January 28, 2010

    Quark Porn? Never seen that.

    Have we finally found the refutation of Rule 34?

    Going to register the domain name now….

  39. #40 Glen Davidson
    January 28, 2010

    Please, everybody, update your memories as to what Rosa Parks now represents.

    Apparently promoting extreme prejudice without cause is now the phenomenon that she symbolizes. To call people who do their jobs and uphold the integrity of science censors who should be compared with Nazis and Stalinists is to continue Rosa Parks’ legacy.

    How stupid of evilutionists to think her legacy was somehow different from that.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  40. #41 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 28, 2010

    Have we finally found the refutation of Rule 34?

    Going to register the domain name now….

    Rule 35: If porn of it does not exist, it will be made.

  41. #42 MultiTool
    January 28, 2010

    If a radio, a functional eye or ear, can be achieved, for example, by a single quark

    Man, that’s not even what the creationists mean by that argument.

    It’s pretty bad when a creationist doesn’t understand even creationism.

  42. #43 AdamK
    January 28, 2010

    “So, you’re up for a night with a charming stranger?” “Depends. Top or bottom?”

    That was strange.

  43. #44 Shadow
    January 28, 2010

    “So, you’re up for a night with a charming stranger?” “Depends. Top or bottom?”

    That was strange.

    Is this implying that Top lepton bottom and meson produce something charming or strange?

  44. #45 Flex
    January 28, 2010

    Quark Porn? Never seen that.

    Have we finally found the refutation of Rule 34?

    I’m pretty certain that I’ve seen some porn of the Deep Space 9 character, the bartender named Quark. Certainly there is some fan fic of it.

    But is there any porn of Richard Benjamin’s character, Quark, from the short-lived eponymous 1970′s television show?

  45. #46 KillJoy
    January 28, 2010

    “Quark Porn? Never seen that.

    Have we finally found the refutation of Rule 34?”

    Give me a graphics tablet and 15 minutes.
    XD

  46. #47 cag
    January 28, 2010

    Holytape #17 – Ben Stein causes after birth defects.

  47. #48 Anters
    January 28, 2010

    No wonder the creationists feel they’re winning arguments. Like Jerry Bergman they completely misunderstand what words like “irreducible complexity” mean, make up their own definitions and shoot them down. His definition literally made my stomach hurt.

  48. #49 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010
  49. #50 JackC
    January 28, 2010

    Well – if nothing else at all, this thread has reminded me that I really need to go out and find that book by F. Paul Wilson and read it again.

    JC

  50. #51 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 28, 2010

    BS,

    The students in that article are simply absurd. One of the Muslim students accuses evolution of having no scientific backing and yet the only thing they can say about creationism is that godidit.

  51. #52 Sastra
    January 28, 2010

    So why aren’t the brave maverick pseudoscientists winning any Galileo of Pseudoscience Awards? Just like Galileo, they are being persecuted by an unkind establishment for advocating the cutting-edge sciences of Intelligent Design, Homeopathy, vitalism, ghost-hunting, cosmic quantum consciousness, shamanism, energy healing, flood geology, and alien abductions.

    Galileo was the Rosa Parks of his day.

  52. #53 Ibis3
    January 28, 2010

    About the Superbowl ad, feminist blogger, Antonia Zerbisias’s take: http://thestar.blogs.com/broadsides/2010/01/double-foul.html

  53. #54 https://me.yahoo.com/a/Jzb0jIUp1MYpd4VSKVg42wjlyw0DYg--#80293
    January 28, 2010

    The response to the Tebow ad (@#1) should be:

    “Mrs’ Tebow’s story is a wonderful example of the freedon of choice we have in America today. She was free to consult doctors of her choice. Her Dr’s were free to give her the best advice they had to preserve or enhance her health. She, in turn, was free to ignore some or all of that advice for any reason (or unreason) she chose. We thank her for highlighting the strengths of freedom of choice”

    Because her sponsor wants to replace those freedoms with no choices for her and no choices for the Doctors.

    Buford

  54. #55 Doug Little
    January 28, 2010

    From the article :

    That’s not meant to be quaint, PZ – its meant to let you know that you’re going to find yourself kicked out of more than a movie screening down the road.

    It’s down the road, PZ is still here… Someone needs to pray harder.

  55. #56 MetzO'Magic
    January 28, 2010

    Blind Squirrel @ 49, thanks for the linky.

    Funny, the chart here:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060810-evolution.html

    puts acceptance of evolution at about 70% in the U.K., as opposed to 40% in the U.S. Still, we must be vigilant, especially if creationism is gaining a toe-hold in the universities. At first I thought it might be a creationist journalist with an agenda to exaggerate the trend, but if the academics perceive it as a significant problem, then it probably is.

    And… it’s not like Steve Jones’ debating the IDiots in public is going to help any. We all know how that always turns out.

  56. #57 feegz
    January 28, 2010

    Rutee,

    Rule 35: If porn of it does not exist, it will be made.

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/12/30/

  57. #58 Doug Little
    January 28, 2010

    Buford,

    That’s the funny thing with people getting all bent out of shape saying that this is a freedom of speech issue (which it is not btw) and they should be free to air whatever they like when the organization behind the ad is trying to restrict freedoms of a majority of the American people. It’s not really about choice, Focus on the Family believes that there is no choice. Oh the irony.

    I would like to see the FFRF raise the required 2.5 million for a “there is no god” add and see if they will air that. Oh and they don’t really have to raise the money, just bluff because we already know what the outcome of that would be.

  58. #59 Travis
    January 28, 2010

    I think everyone should e-mail them about that DVD. I know it won’t make them publicly acknowledge any sort of weaseliness on their part but I would hope they might feel a little shame for making all mention of it disappear if it gets brought to their attention by a large number of people. Maybe a large number of people pretending to be good little YEC. I guess it might be bad to misrepresent oneself though.

  59. #60 ianmhor
    January 28, 2010

    That Steve Jones debate was almost 4 years ago.

    Available on the Royal Society’s tv site

    http://royalsociety.org/Event.aspx?id=1666&terms=steve+jones

    Haven’t watched it so can’t give an opinion

  60. #61 BdN
    January 28, 2010

    I know Bergman is completely off but there is something I don’t understand even when using his own definitions.

    “All functional systems that require two or more parts to function properly are
    irreducibly complex.[...]

    All
    objects that require two or more identifiable parts to function properly, or function at all, are
    irreducibly complex. [...]

    Quarks, bosons, and leptons are all fundamental particles, the simplest known physical
    entity possible, and only entities that require a single quark or lepton to function are not irreducibly complex (and if quarks are found to contain sub-quark particles, even this statement
    is not true).”

    What the hell does “function” means in this case ? How does a lepton “function” ?

  61. #62 Citizen Z
    January 28, 2010

    People who make lousy comparisons to historical figures are worse than Hitler.

  62. #63 Kevin Wirth
    January 28, 2010

    Yep, I sure DO know how to pick ‘em. Thanks.

    Some observations of mine from today’s comments:

    #4 – “Yeah, that’s the point of the site — Rosa Parks’ name gets used to flog a lot of self-righteous absurdity, and it is offensive.”

    Gee PZ, I had no idea that YOU, of all people, could be so easily offended. My headline pales in comparision with some of the stuff you’ve posted. So just get over it, dude! Your remarks frequently offend PLENTY of decent people! I reserve the right to offend just as much as you do.

    #5 – “Also, Rosa Parks was the opposite of these people, because she led people towards enlightenment, whereas these jackasses are crawling steadily deeper into darkness.
    Definitely a gross insult to one very brave lady!”

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    As for others who commented gleefully about the idiocy of creationists or IDers, hey — so many of you miss the point. You do. You can diss Ben Stein and J. Bergman all you want, but the bottom line here is, waaaay too many of you don’t seem to really care if what they have to say carries any substance. You’ve already decided it doesn’t. You know, you can always find bad apples in a barrelfull, but that does not mean there are no good apples to be found.

    Read the book and then we’ll talk. I find plenty of things in Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, to be alarmed about. Tell you what, if you find anything erroneous in that book (not saying you won’t…), I’ll be happy to own up to it. So get your shovels and start digging. The revised edition will be coming out soon, and I’d be happy to hear about any errors or misrepresentations of fact.

    You might not like everything creationists or IDers have to say (heck, even I don’t agree with it all), but heckling and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either.

    How about more substance and less blather, people?

  63. #64 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I find plenty of things in Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, to be alarmed about.

    Well, that tells us all we need to know about your truthfulness, veracity, and integrity. Or lack thereof. Show us conclusive physical evidence for you imaginary creator…

  64. #65 Glen Davidson
    January 28, 2010

    How about more substance and less blather, people?

    How is this anything but blatant dishonesty?

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    You’ll find a whiny ignoramus who thinks that bullshit is the equal of truth, hence liars like himself and Stephen Meyer should be respected for telling the credulous a bunch of lies.

    BTW, tard, we’ve backed up claims like I made above in various places across the web, and PZ Myers met Bergman’s idiocy in a debate. Unless you can answer all that we’ve said about your favorite liars, STFU.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  65. #66 lose_the_woo
    January 28, 2010

    You might not like everything creationists or IDers have to say (heck, even I don’t agree with it all), but heckling and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either.

    Totally. Instead, we should all focus on the serious science they are doing. We should be discussing the mountains of repeatable experiments that conclusively show that the ideas of ID are not only valid, but real, and that they offer predictive powers about things we observe in reality.

  66. #67 Glen Davidson
    January 28, 2010

    BTW, Meyer’s telling lies here:

    http://den-a.plr.liquidcompass.net/player/flash/audio_player.php?id=WGULAM&uid=196

    Michael Medved introduced the talk saying that if “Darwinism” fails, religion isn’t troubled in the slightest. The problem for “Darwinists” is that if something in life is shown not to be something that can evolve, then atheism is destroyed.

    See, if there’s no answer to a question, then God exists, made life, the universe, and everything.

    Nothing like completely reversing the truth of the matter. Now note that I do not think that evolution can show that there is no God (certainly not by itself–cosmological ID, if true (it’s not), could by itself indicate that God exists), but it does destroy their little Frankenstein God.

    Oh, right, and he was countering “Darwinism’s” Big Lies. With that level of intelligence and honesty.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  67. #68 raven
    January 28, 2010

    Kevin Wirth lying death cult troll:

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    Fundie xian death cultists like Kevin Wirth never get tired of pointing out their intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

    Kevin is implying that xians in the USA are some sort of downtrodden minority. WHAT A LIE!!!

    Xians make up 76% of the US population. They have their own political party, the Theothuglicans. They owned president Bush the Moron and the federal legislature for 8 years. And left a hell of a mess and ended up killing hundreds of thousands, some of whom I knew in a pointless war in Iraq.

    Creationism and its avatar with a sheet on, ID isn’t some new challenge to science. It is thousands of years old. We did the Kevin Wirth thing long ago. That time was called….The Dark Age.

    C’mon Kevin, stupid lies don’t cut it. We don’t get excited until one of you wacko xians start threatening to kill us. Never takes too long. Try harder.

  68. #69 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I find plenty of things in Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, to be alarmed about.

    Okay, here’s my problem in all this. Even if ID advocates are being unfairly treated, why isn’t there being the public demonstration of material that validates such a position? This I see as the fundamental problem of crying afoul of treatment, often those who cry this are trying to use the outrage to push their pseudoscience that doesn’t pass empirical inquiry [see: alternative medicine movement]

    The problem I see is that there’s the claims of persecution, but there’s very little in the way of actually demonstrating that their position is valid. There’s been a lot of political activity, but there’s very little in the way of showing the scientific nature of ID. There’s no experiments showing how the designer operates in nature, there’s not even a mechanism as to how a designer operates in nature. It’s just the gambit of ordered complexity needs a designer (which always begs the question of how a designer gets around the problem of explaining ordered complexity) and trying to argue against whatever the explanation for the day happens to try to explain it.

    If the modern evolutionary synthesis is inadequate to explain biology, then disproving it won’t in any way mean a designer. Just as disproving Lamarkism 200 years ago would do the same. All it does is destroy any known conceivable mechanism, if you’re going to demonstrate ID then you have to show something positive. Where is that? What predictions does ID make that modern evolutionary theory does not? What evidence has been found that supports ID and not current evolutionary biology? What evidence could possibly disprove ID? These are the important questions, not whether someone has lost their job for promoting ID.

  69. #70 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    It’s been an hour and a half since Wirth posted his worthless post. No further posts to demonstrate with physical he is right. Which tacitly acknowledges our refutations….

  70. #71 WowbaggerOM
    January 28, 2010

    You might not like everything creationists or IDers have to say (heck, even I don’t agree with it all), but heckling and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either.

    Okay, that’s probably a fair call. Let’s discuss the serious problems for evolution that ID scientists have uncovered with their findings, and which they’ve published to peer-reviewed acclaim.

    [crickets]

    Okay, now can we call them useless lying assclowns for Jesus?

  71. #72 raven
    January 28, 2010

    Kevin Wirth the Troll Kook

    As for others who commented gleefully about the idiocy of creationists or IDers, hey — so many of you miss the point.

    Most educated, sane, intelligent people laugh at lunatic fringers like Flat Earthers, Geocentrists, and creationists.

    But we get the point. They are evil religious fanatics intent on recreating the golden era of xianity, The Dark Ages.

    We scientists created modern Hi Tech 21st century civilization. HEY KEVIN, what in the hell have you fundie kooks ever done besides sponsor xian terrorism and assassinate a few MDs?

    Won’t get an answer, the Kevins of the world have a hate organ where normal people have brains and anything requiring thought doesn’t get done.

  72. #73 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Show us conclusive physical evidence for you imaginary creator

    Nerd, you’re setting an impossible standard there. You can’t show physical evidence for something that is imaginary. It’s like asking to see a four-sided triangle.

  73. #74 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    It’s like asking to see a four-sided triangle.

    ;)

  74. #75 Bribase
    January 28, 2010

    Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters

    You’ve just got to adore that title guys! It’s such a shame that the publishers wouldn’t let Bergman include the words “foetus,” “barbecue,” and “pit of burning bibles while worshipping Darwin/Hitler/Satan”.

    With a title like this, as with expelled, you can bet it’s a deeply science focused tretise as opposed to another pointless example of Godwin’s law interspersed with shitty science nuggets and appeals to Ignorance.

    B

  75. #76 MetzO'Magic
    January 28, 2010

    It’s like asking to see a four-sided triangle.

    Careful what you ask for, Kel. By the creationist standards of evidence, an equilateral pyramid would suffice ;-)

  76. #77 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    As for others who commented gleefully about the idiocy of creationists or IDers, hey — so many of you miss the point. You do. You can diss Ben Stein and J. Bergman all you want, but the bottom line here is, waaaay too many of you don’t seem to really care if what they have to say carries any substance. You’ve already decided it doesn’t. I do care whether it has any substance at all, which is why I am disappointed every time I hear, see or read one of them talking on the nature of sience / biology. Behe for example engaging in special pleading why his entire position is pretty much that “Darwinism cannot account for X, therefore designer”, or Dembski talking baout how complexity isn’t going to come about by chance – which is the opposite of what evolution by natural selection is about.

    If there was genuine arguments for ID, I’d be glad to hear it. But while it’s straw-man attacks on evolutionary theory combined with cries of anguish that supernatural causes cannot be considered in science (regardless of what the heck is a supernatural cause – the concept as is framed is incoherent) and that notion of complexity requires intelligence (so I take it that watchmakers exist ex nihilo), ID will remain a vacuous concept.

    What did the designer do, and how can we test for it? Answer those questions and I’ll take ID seriously. Until then, it’s nothing more than destroying cranes to prove a skyhook (to borrow terminology from Daniel Dennett)

  77. #78 raven
    January 28, 2010

    There is a group of people who have been persecuted, beat up, and killed by another group.

    Scientists and science supporters by fundie xian crazed, evil fanatics. There is a partial list below. It is out of date. The Oklahoma legislature tried to do something to Richard Dawkins for daring to step foot in Oklahoma. And the Adventists are organizing an Inquisition to root out evolutionary biologists in their colleges.

    Xianity has lost one of its most effective weapons, violence: the gun, noose, and pile of firewood. However, when no one is looking, they will still use violence and murder anyway.

    The real story is the persecution of scientists by Fundie Xian Death cultists, who have fired, harassed, beaten up, and killed evolutionary biologists and their supporters whenever they can.

    This is, of course, exactly the behavior of zealots who long ago forgot what the Christ in Christian stood for. These days, fundie is synonymous with liar, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer.

    http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626 [link goes to Blake Stacey's blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.]
    As usual the truth is the exact opposite. The creos have been firing, beating up, attempting to fire, and killing scientists and science supporters for a while now. They are way ahead on body counts.

    Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

    I’ve discovered that this list really bothers fundies. Truth to them is like a cross to a vampire.

    There is a serious reign of terror by Xian fundie terrorists directed against the reality based academic community, specifically acceptors of evolution. I’m keeping a running informal tally, listed below. They include death threats, firings, attempted firings, assaults, and general persecution directed against at least 12 people. The Expelled Liars have totally ignored the ugly truth of just who is persecuting who.

    If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

    1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

    1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

    1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

    1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

    1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

    1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

    1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

    Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

    Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

    Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while

    Up to 12 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

  78. #79 MetzO'Magic
    January 28, 2010

    That Steve Jones debate was almost 4 years ago.

    Doh. My bad. When Blind Squirrel posted a link that said ‘More bad news’, I assumed just that, that it was topical news. I read the article pretty carefully, but didn’t really look at the header… that says it was published in February, 2006 :-/

  79. #80 raven
    January 28, 2010

    Kevin Wirth the idiot troll:

    You can diss Ben Stein and J. Bergman all you want, but the bottom line here is, waaaay too many of you don’t seem to really care if what they have to say carries any substance.

    Gee, this Kevin guy is stupid.

    Kevin, we don’t really have to say anything of substance. Our results speak for themselves. We scientists created 21st century civilization. US lifespans have increased by 30 years in a century. We have huge telescopes in space, and robots on Mars and orbiting Saturn.

    All you have is a few pages of ancient mythology that creepy kooks like you are desperately trying to pretend describes a 13.7 billion year old universe.

    No more dancing on Kevin’s intellectual and moral grave for me. It makes shooting fish in a barrel look hard.

  80. #81 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010
    It’s like asking to see a four-sided triangle.

    ;)

    Just saying, if you want to point out the incoherence of the concept of the supernatural then perhaps it would be best to use a reductio ad absurdum or similar to show the problems with the concept than appeal to a standard of evidence that simply cannot apply. In other words, we cannot disprove that there isn’t supernatural involvement in what we would otherwise consider chance or causal events?

    If a man prays to God before rolling dice, can we really discount that God is involved no matter the result – let alone if it comes up beneficial to the roller? Instead, wouldn’t it be better to place the supernatural role of causation into the framework of what we know about how modern physics works? Or even the concept on what it means for a cause to be supernatural.

    Which is why it’s innocuous for one to utter the statement that supernatural causation should be considered in science, but it’s utterly meaningless until one can adequately describe just what a supernatural cause is and how it fits within the natural framework. Those who cry foul over the lack of consideration of Supernatural causation are yet to show that supernatural causation exists, let alone have a coherent framework of how it interacts with natural causation. It’s not considered because it’s meaningless, not because of the lack of physical evidence.

    Careful what you ask for, Kel. By the creationist standards of evidence, an equilateral pyramid would suffice ;-)

    The only concern is that if facilis escapes from the dungeon and asks me to account for why a triangle has 3 sides in the first place. ;)

  81. #82 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    The only concern is that if facilis escapes from the dungeon and asks me to account for why a triangle has 3 sides in the first place. ;)

    Why, the big sky daddy makes sure that extra sides do not sneak into the triangle.

  82. #83 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Kevin Wirth (#63)

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    Except what your fuckwit friends are pointing to is imaginary and what Parks had to deal with was real.

    You can diss Ben Stein and J. Bergman all you want, but the bottom line here is, waaaay too many of you don’t seem to really care if what they have to say carries any substance. You’ve already decided it doesn’t.

    No, I decided that by listening to people like them. Does lying about our reasons for calling them out help you sleep better at night or have you lied so much it’s become a reflex? Actually, I suppose it could be both.

    How about more substance and less blather, people?

    Yeah. I’m all for substance. Too bad ID is a cover for how creationism is 100% without substance. We’re not morons and we’re not going to help you sell your religious agenda by humoring you.

  83. #84 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 28, 2010

    Alas, It appears that Kevin Wirth is merely a driveby.

    It would have been nice to get his take on whether Astronomy departments should have to take on astrologers, or chemistry depeartments take on alchemists.

    The bottom line is that ID is not science. There is no way you can turn it into science. And you can prove mathematically that it is not science (i.e. that it has zero predictive power. Fergodsake, even Michael Behe has admitted as much!

  84. #85 Ray
    January 28, 2010

    Hey, were is that DVD of the debate? Could it be they are ashamed of their sides performance?

    JackC@50: F.Paul Wilson – great author. Wheels within wheels – great book

    Flex@45: Quark, garbage! the universe, ad infinitum Thanks for the reminder.

    Cheers & Happy Monkey,
    Ray

  85. #86 raven
    January 28, 2010

    This is one of the cases Bergmann and Wirth claim is xian perseuction. A wacko tried to teach death cult fundie mythis in social studies in a high school.

    Illegal, violation of the 1st amendment. And Ray Webster wasn’t mowed down by the Darwinian tank formations. He lost in federal court.

    More lies from the creationists.

    ncse.org

    Webster et al. v. New Lenox School District et al.
    June 4th, 2009 legal
    (Full title: Ray Webster and Matthew Dunne, by and through his parents and next best friends, Philip and Helen Dunne, Plaintiffs, v. New Lenox School District No. 122 and Alex M. Martino, and as Superintendent of New Lenox School District No. 122, Defendants)

    In 1987, Ray Webster and Matthew Dunne sued the New Lenox School District of Illinois, as well as Alex Martino, the district superintendent. Webster was a junior high school social studies teacher in that district, and Dunne was one of his students. After complaints about proselytizing in his class, Webster had been advised by the district to refrain from religious advocacy in his teaching, and in particular to refrain from teaching creation science. In the suit, Webster argued that he had a first amendment right to determine his own teaching curriculum, and that it was necessary to teach creation science in order to balance pro-evolution statements in the social studies textbook. Dunne, for his part, argued that he had the right as a student to hear about creation science in school.

    On May 25, 1989, US District Judge George Marovich dismissed their complaint, ruling that Webster could not teach creation science without violating the first amendment, and that the district had a right to require Webster to teach within its established curriculum framework. Marovich also ruled that Dunne’s desires to learn about creation science in school were outweighed by the district’s interest in avoiding the violation of the estalishment clause or other students’ first amendment rights. Webster appealed, but on November 6, 1990, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision.

    All the legal documentation available to us for this case is provided at the bottom of this page. It is arranged in chronological order.

  86. #87 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    It would have been nice to get his take on whether Astronomy departments should have to take on astrologers

    I’m still waiting for an astrophysicist to publish “Laplace’s Black Box” and “The Edge Of Planetary Formation” which by showing the limits of the Nebula Hypothesis to explain the formation of our solar system would propose that it needs a designer to help bridge the explanatory gap between the elegance of the motion of the planets and the limitations of the laws of nature.

    Such a proposal must be hailed by the author as one of the biggest discoveries in science!

  87. #88 EvolutionSkeptic
    January 28, 2010

    Hey guys … I didn’t know where to post this, so I just picked one of the most recent comment threads.

    I don’t know how memorable I am, but some of you may remember me from this thread a few weeks ago.

    I just wanted to let you guys know that I picked up the suggested books at the local library (“The Greatest Show on Earth” and “Why Evolution is True”) and have begun reading WEiT. Really interesting stuff, and I’m already anticipating some questions. If I have questions regarding the book, is there any good place to post them here? I don’t really know where else to go, and you guys were so helpful last time.

    I’m finding this thread interesting as well. I thought #69 Kell, OM’s post up there was very eye-opening. I learn so much every time I come here; I should really bookmark it or something.

    Anyway, thanks again, guys. And if anyone hanging out in this thread remembers me, I appreciate the help and suggestions from previously. Have a great evening, all.

  88. #89 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    EvolutionSkeptic, there is always an open thread. Under PZ’s bio on the upper left hand of the screen, you will find a link to the undead thread. Just post any of your questions there.

  89. #90 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    If I have questions regarding the book, is there any good place to post them here?

    The never-ending thread is always a good place to start. There’s a link up in the top left.

  90. #91 raven
    January 28, 2010

    Kevin the psychotic liar:

    Well, there currently exists under Obama’s watch perhaps one of the most onerous abuses of our freedoms and Civil Rights that one could imagine. I’m speaking about Americans, not Islamic terrorists. Many of the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans are currently and have been under attack, but these actions are usually referred to as discrimination. I’m beginning to wonder if these actions shouldn’t be classified as a form of terrorism.. Who is under attack? The dissidents in our culture.

    WOW!!! Just googled Kevin Wirth. What a loon. He tires to blame Obama for the imaginary persecution of lunatic fringers and pseudoscientist kooks. All of the cases in the book he edited occurred earlier than the Obama adminstration which is only 1 year old. Many of them happened during times when the country was controlled by Republicans.

    I suppose if all you have is lies like Kevin, one just lies frequently and without worrying that no one believes them.

    b>Kevin the kook. I’m beginning to wonder if these actions shouldn’t be classified as a form of terrorism..

    No Kevin. Terrorism is when Rudy Boa was stabbed to death by a creationist. Terrorism is when Gwen Pearson and Paul Mirecki were beaten up. Xian terrorism is 8 MDs being assassinated, 17 attempted assasssinations, and 150 wounded by religious fanatics like yourself.

    Xians make up 76% of the US population. Hardly a downtrodden minority.

  91. #92 EvolutionSkeptic
    January 28, 2010

    Ah, I hadn’t noticed that, Janine and Kel. Great. That’s good to know. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the tip. I’m still learning my way around this place.

  92. #93 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Raven, those cases of persecution were committed by the same group that knew that when he was a baby, the foreign born Obama would be elected President. They set up his fake birth certificate and as well as terrorized all of those innocent creationists. This power behind the power is quite powerful.

  93. #94 raven
    January 28, 2010

    This power behind the power is quite powerful.

    I guess so. Ray Webster lost in federal court in 1989. The president at that time was George H. W. Bush, a Republican.

    Who knew Obama was secretly running the country in 1989?

    Kevin Wirth is just a plain old nutcase, like any other creationist.

    Still waiting for him to explain how xians at 76% of the US population are a persecuted minority. And we will wait forever. Kevin is a coward who sensibly knows just enough to stay within his fundie cultist echo chamber.

  94. #95 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m speaking about Americans, not Islamic terrorists. Many of the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans are currently and have been under attack, but these actions are usually referred to as discrimination. I’m beginning to wonder if these actions shouldn’t be classified as a form of terrorism.. Who is under attack?

    Perhaps I’m seeing this wrongly, but it seems from this that Kevin Wirth here is advocating that rights only be extended to Christians. Would he agree to Hindus teaching their creation story in the science classroom? Would he agree to history according to Mormons? What about health class run by Scientologists? If we were to follow Kevin Wirth’s argument to its full extent, then it must be that any person with any idea should be allowed to express it in terms of education on a secular public.

    Should children be taught that the world is flat and sits on the back of an elephant, or that native americans are a lost tribe of jewish people, or that all their negative emotions are caused by dead alien souls? Should they be taught that interpreting the positions of the stars can uncover events in the world and predict personality types? That a man saying a magic incarnation to a cracker can turn it in to the flesh of a mangod? That the dead take an incorporeal form and haunt the living? That witches ruin crops? That albinos are great for medicinal purposes? That 9/11 was a hoax? That a Babylonian-derived myth is the literal truth about how the universe came to be?

    If Kevin Wirth wants children to be taught the scientologist explanations for their teen angst, then fine. But I’ll be that if it were an actuality, then he’d be screaming the establishment cause along with the rest of us. At least I would hope so.

  95. #96 ConcernedJoe
    January 28, 2010

    Kel – of course “.. he’d be screaming the establishment cause along with the rest of us..”

    because only his delusion bubble is the truth bubble he thinks.

    I know you know this Kel, but it worth getting on the record again and again. Worth it because moderate believers (social and cultural Catholics type of people who cannot bring themselves to make the step out of the comfort zone) need to keep seeing how absurd the claim of Truth (via faith) is.

    They need to view from afar all this god stuff and see it is nothing but a bunch of competing delusion bubbles of self professed unverified Truth.

    Then they need view the same from inside a delusion bubble – their delusion bubble. Then ask: why am I right and she wrong?

    Then think logically: we cannot logically all be right (even though we each think we’ve nailed it) – but – but – but – can we be all be wrong? Well yes logically.

    Then have a stiff drink and get courage to admit and live what they really know (or should know) intellectually.

  96. #97 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I know you know this Kel, but it worth getting on the record again and again.

    If I stopped myself saying something because other people here already knew it, I’d have nothing left to say.

  97. #98 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    One more thing to add…

    I guess its inevitable that one has to claim persecution when their ideas aren’t accepted. It essientially boils down to one of three things: 1) the learned scientists have heard the idea and rejected it. 2) the learned scientists haven’t properly considered the idea yet. 3) the learned scientists see the validity to the idea and don’t like its ramifications.

    To consider the implications for each option. The first option is the most undesirable option as it means essentially the idea has been discarded already – no waiting for a new generation and a quasi-paradigm shift, it hasn’t come and in all probability its not going to.

    The second option means that they would have to take their case to the scientists. The owness would be on them to convince other learned scientists of their position. If they have a strong case, then they should be doing this. Maybe they believe they are, which leads to option three.

    The third option means they can write off their failings to convince the learned men and women as a bias against them. It’s not that their idea is fallacious, but that there’s an inherent bias. So all they have to do in this case is cry foul.

    It should be obvious why so many would go down this route of option 3, it’s an easy sell and very little effort is required. No need to show that their ideas actually work, that they fit the evidence; rather just claim it does and cry to a sympathetic public who doesn’t really understand the issue at hand.

    Maybe ID does have some validity, if so then it really does need to fight for itself in academia. As I highlighted above is that those in the ID movements are claiming persecution but they aren’t actually showing that the evidence points to their hypothesis. But this shouldn’t be surprising in the slightest, this isn’t about science but the ethical and existential implications thereof. Entrenched in the ID movement is The Wedge, it’s the impact on culture at the core of their concerns. And that just makes choosing the “help, I’m being persecuted” course of action even more appealing.

  98. #99 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 28, 2010

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    Speaking as a fellow White Person, Shut the Hell Up You Moron. Were your ideologues dragged from trucks until they died? Did they have to have millions of them risk arrest, risk beatings, risk reprisals against family just for the basic right to use the same facilities, to eat at the same table,t o receive the same recognition as “Human Being”? No. No, you didn’t. We explicitly do not understand that level of hatred because we sit at higher levels of privilege. We never will, because our parents did not live with this. Unless everything changes, we never will because our children will not. Shut The Hell Up and stop demeaning years and years of torment, suffering, and fighting for liberation by comparing it to “People disagree with me”. Seriously.

  99. #100 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    I guess its inevitable that one has to claim persecution when their ideas aren’t accepted. It essientially boils down to one of three things: 1) the learned scientists have heard the idea and rejected it. 2) the learned scientists haven’t properly considered the idea yet. 3) the learned scientists see the validity to the idea and don’t like its ramifications.

    The second one is a risk to anyone who proposes a new idea, whether or not they are a scientist. This is a feature, not a bug. Without this feature, scientists would spend all of their time reading papers by cranks. (I’ve been reading about the history of the endosymbiotic theory, which was initially greeted with skepticism and slowly garnered support as evidence came in and the theory was refined.)

  100. #101 raven
    January 29, 2010

    One of Kevin Wirth’s many lies in the common one of creationists playing the persecution card.

    The claim that creationism is some new idea challenging the scientific establishment. It’s a lie.

    Creationism is thousands of years old, based on an old myth. Science proved it was a myth centuries ago and we left it behind with Apollo Helios dragging the sun across the sky in a chariot or sacrificing humans on pyramids to Tlaloc the rain god.

    Kevin and his co-cultists pretend that they have some sort of magic key to a better future. The reality is that he is just a holdover from the Dark Ages. It’s only been 500 years and some have yet to get the memo. The Dark Ages are over except in a few fundie xian minds.

  101. #102 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Speaking of xian terrorists, Tom Willis, a leader of midwestern creationists wants to herd evolutionary biologists into concentration camps and work them to death. He also has some mundane ideas about torture and exile.

    I’d like to hear Kevin Wirth’s Final Solution to the scientist problem. I’m sure it will be bloody and vicious but rather unimaginative.

    He seems to have chickened out though. I suppose when you are that dumb and crazy, smart people are scarey.

    Tom Willis creationist leader:

    Labor camps. Their fellow believers were high on these. But, my position would be that most of them have lived their lives at, or near the public trough. So, after their own beliefs, their life should continue only as long as they can support themselves in the camps.

    Require them to wear placards around their neck, or perhaps large medallions which prominently announce “Warning: Evolutionist! Mentally Incompetent – Potentially Dangerous.” I consider this option too dangerous.

    Since evolutionists are liars and most do not really believe evolution we could employ truth serum or water-boarding to obtain confessions of evolution rejection. But, this should, at most, result in parole, because, like Muslims, evolutionist religion permits them to lie if there is any benefit to them.

    An Evolutionist Colony in Antarctica could be a promising option. Of course inspections would be required to prevent too much progress. They might invent gunpowder. A colony on Mars would prevent gunpowder from harming anyone but their own kind, in the unlikely event they turned out to be intelligent enough to invent it.

  102. #103 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    so much projection… so little time.

  103. #104 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    Okay, that’s probably a fair call.

    I’m going to disagree with that. It’s NOT a fair call.

    Creationists do not BRING a rational argument to the table, at all.

    there is NOTHING to listen to.

    instead, as Thomas Jefferson admonishes us to do…

    “Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.”

    so, no, i completely disagree that there is any reason to justify “hearing them out” or spending any time whatsoever letting them spew their inanity in detail for the 10 thousandth time.

    Logically, they will not EVER be ABLE to produce any kind of rational argument in support of their position, backed by any evidence whatsoever.

    such things simply don’t exist.

    so, I slap at Kel for even making the suggestion.

    seriously.

  104. #105 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    Maybe ID does have some validity

    *slap*

    not even maybe.

    not even conceptually.

    fail.

  105. #106 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    Icthyic, #104 – if that’s my comment ‘Okay, that’s probably a fair call‘ you’re referring to, bear in mind it’s a response to this:

    You might not like everything creationists or IDers have to say (heck, even I don’t agree with it all), but heckling and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either.

    I agree completely that ‘hecking and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either’ – but only because science doesn’t have to advance or resolve anything – its work is done in regards to creationism. ID doesn’t present anything that needs refuting; ergo, ‘heckling and jabbering’ is for our amusement and to illustrate how little we think of it – not because we need to defend the science.

    As Nerd says, only science can refute science. Until ID proponents have some science to present, existing science can ignore it and leave snarkers like us to mock the idiots who believe in a magic sky fairy.

  106. #107 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    but only because science doesn’t have to advance or resolve anything – its work is done in regards to creationism

    ah, true.

    I got my hackles up today thinking that Dendy actually “teaches” biology at a college in my old homestate, and then to read the inane drivel by Kevin Wirth…

    makes one want to go the pub for a pint or 3, and I can’t, because I’ve got gallstones.

    GRRRR.

  107. #108 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    *slap*

    not even maybe.

    not even conceptually.

    fail.

    Okay, I find this a little annoying. Just a few posts after I slammed supernatural causation as incoherent and a meaningless proposition, surely my position on the supernatural causal agent as being conceptually absurd is well established.

    ID in terms of trying to argue from ignorance, yes conceptually incoherent. A positive argument about how life can be modified by intelligent agents however – is that really so conceptually problematic?

  108. #109 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    A positive argument about how life can be modified by intelligent agents however – is that really so conceptually problematic?

    …and if it is, where are transgenic organisms coming from?

  109. #110 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    i really don’t understand what’s so bad about Ben stein. he just seems to be curious and no one wants to answer the questions he asks……why?? can’t anybody answer his objections? or are you guys just going to belittle him all day.

  110. #111 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    A positive argument about how life can be modified by intelligent agents however – is that really so conceptually problematic?

    the problem is without identify the causal agent?

    yes, it’s conceptually entirely vacuous.

  111. #112 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Can’t anybody answer his objections?

    Nope, the economist has obviously blown the lid on what was the cornerstone of modern biology, in the same way as Glen Beck has done against the current US administration ;)

  112. #113 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Yes, Ben Stein does seem to be curious. But he’s not.

    Yes, just about anybody can answer his objections. Mr. B.S. probably even understands the answers. But nobody can make him admit it.

  113. #114 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    the problem is without identify the causal agent?

    Is being able to identify the causal agent important? What if earth was seeded by a now-extinct alien race? Would it really matter that we can’t point to such a race that did it?

  114. #115 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    “Nope, the economist has obviously blown the lid on what was the cornerstone of modern biology” See, you just treat him with sarcasm and then wonder why no one ever likes blogs like this. it’s because ofyour behavior!!! and Miki ben isn’t lying, that’s slander.

  115. #116 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    See, you just treat him with sarcasm and then wonder why no one ever likes blogs like this.

    This is the most popular science blog on the internet, but that’s besides the point.

    Just what “objections” do you feel are currently unanswered by the scientific literature as it stands today?

  116. #117 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    No, that’s an opinion. It’s not even close to slander. Not even in the same county. Let’s say that I write “Ben Stein has sex with donkeys, which is why he’s such an ass”. Still. Not. Slander.

    Slander must be spoken. Nothing written can be slander. The word you’re looking for is libel. And there are specific requirements for written words to be libel as well as specific exemptions. Mockery is one well known exemption: if the words are clearly not meant to be taken seriously, it’s not libel. The other well known exemption: truth. Ben Stein is a liar. It’s arguable whether the statement would be libelous if Stein were not. But, he is, so the statement is not libelous.

  117. #118 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Just to continue with what I was talking to Ichthyic about, I am aware that it doesn’t actually solve the problem of how life originated or how species change to posit an intelligent alien as starting and / or guiding evolution on this planet. But it might best explain what happened on our planet. I’m not saying it’s probably or anything other than extremely unlikely – but that’s not the issue at hand.

  118. #119 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    well the flagellum has not been adequately explained even though you’ll probably say it has. the only explanation i’ve ever seen was from Ken miller and he used a mousetrap and a tie, which was the stupidest thing i’ve ever seen. but ben stein talked about the flagellum and dawkins and ruse and all the others just sat there, really.

  119. #120 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/origins/GRAPHICS-CAPTIONS/Flagellum.html

    even though i don’t agree with behe on the evolution thing i think he’s right on the flagellum. the individual components have to be integrated into the entire whole for it to work, and natural selection is a bad explanation for this

  120. #121 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    Ok, I’ll go. Try this site. Warning! big words, requires honest desire to learn.

    BS

  121. #122 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Miller, Behe, … any other ID proponents you want to cite as not understanding biology? We already know they don’t.

  122. #123 augustine771
    January 29, 2010

    ken miller is an evolutionist. i thought you would know that. but if you guys just want to insult me i can go to bed instead. you guys are pricks.

  123. #124 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Yes, you’re right, Miller does accept evolution and fights against attempts to include ‘intelligent design’ in curricula. My mistake.

  124. #125 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    even though i don’t agree with behe on the evolution thing i think he’s right on the flagellum. the individual components have to be integrated into the entire whole for it to work, and natural selection is a bad explanation for this

    Such systems were first explained in an evolutionary context in 1918, look up interlocking complexity. H Allen Orr gives a good account of the problems of irreducible complexity here. As for the flagellum itself, here’s Ken Miller’s take. As for his mousetrap argument, this was a thought experiment originally done by Behe in terms of detecting design. Miller pointed out that if you take away components, it doesn’t work as a mousetrap but can have other features – and this is what we see in nature in what we would call IC systems. The flagellum itself is made up of components that serve other uses, co-opted together to give a new use.

  125. #126 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    If anyone hasn’t seen it, here is a really good Ken Miller lecture. 2 hours long, well worth watching (except if you’ve read Only A Theory, it’s essentially taking that book and condensing it into a lecture)

  126. #127 dexitroboper
    January 29, 2010

    I’m still waiting for an astrophysicist to publish “Laplace’s Black Box”

    http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/monmag/issue13-2004/research/stars.html

  127. #128 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    augustine771:

    you guys are pricks.

    ‘Tis writ: (Acts 26:14 KJV)

    And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

  128. #129 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Miller, Behe, … any other ID proponents you want to cite as not understanding biology?

    This is a good example as to why you shouldn’t post reactionary comments, and instead look at what was said. He didn’t cite Miller as an ID proponent, but that his dismissal of irreducible complexity was weak. That didn’t even require a google search, just reading what was posted.

  129. #130 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Yes. I should have checked — ‘Ken Miller’ was an irritation to me, but that’s the other ‘Ken Miller’. It did take me 7 minutes to acknowledge the mistake.

  130. #131 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    You’re lucky you didn’t say Ken Miller 3 times in the same post, otherwise John Kwok would appear and demand you buy him a new camera.

  131. #132 Cimourdain
    January 29, 2010

    The stupidity of “irreducible complexity” arguments have always bothered me less than the nastiness and mendacity of the “Darwin to Hitler” slur.

    I liked what John Derbyshire called it: “a blood libel on Western civilization.

  132. #133 ConcernedJoe
    January 29, 2010

    augustine771 – as a Prick to a Stronzo let me tell you my take.

    Pricks are naturally useful and essential in higher life systems – stronzi – well not so much. But beyond that Pricks can to some neat and cleaver thinking – roll the tape on me B.M.. From Stronzi I’ve yet to see such.

    Just saying.

  133. #134 negentropyeater
    January 29, 2010

    Kel,

    What if earth was seeded by a now-extinct alien race? Would it really matter that we can’t point to such a race that did it?

    What would at least matter if life originated here as a result of a directed panspermia is how that race did it and how that race originated and how can we find out if it’s the case.

    I’m not saying it’s probable or anything other than extremely unlikely

    AFAIK, a probability statement about whether life originated here ab inito, or as the result of an infection from elsewhere, directed or not, is not yet feasible.
    It’s all fun speculation, but how can we test any of this ?

    IDiots don’t seem to like directed panspermia as a hypothesis. Too naturalistic for them.

  134. #135 MolBio
    January 29, 2010

    But the rotor was a hydrogen ion pump with proteins that naturally take on the conformations observed due to the amino acids that make up their side chains. Easily accounted for by evolution, with precursors and homologous proteins observed.

    No wonder they wanted to take on “Atomic Theory” in Minnesota. “As we can tell from chemistry, chimps have no humanium, and therefore Irreducibility Theory shows there is no Evolution.”

    I think that the religious atom’s nucleus is extremely dense with aspiring counter-intellectual protons. The atom has more cultist neutrons than protons, and when a quantum of sense strikes, aspiring protons undergo fission and create new “sects” with alternate apologetical denials of sense taking neutrons with them in a reaction which releases free money that can be absorbed by the neutrons to make their foothold in the sect more stable. Sects will try to take more neutrons away from other sects in a process called “evangelism”.

    Extremely dense sects can be broken when a proton binds to a particle of like charge. This has been explained with the putative sub-atomic particle the Haggard’s Boson.

    After critical masses, most frequently observed around Christmas and Easter, the dispersion of neutrons back into the community has a potentially poisonous effect. Exposure can damage neurons and lead to delusions of: a sense of higher purpose and conversations with higher powers.

  135. #136 MolBio
    January 29, 2010

    sorry absorbed by protons*

  136. #137 ConcernedJoe
    January 29, 2010

    Kel – I think you are taking a high level philosophical point for the sake of argument.

    My comments are down quite a few notches and directed at IDers that claim to be “real” scientists or scientist-like thinkers.

    If a “real” scientific IDer exists then that IDer would have to admit to the mechanisms as espoused by Evolutionists. Too much science-stuff supporting it.

    Their argument would be that the course was directed. As science cannot rule that out definitively (essentially prove a negative). Science can only say now that it has a very plausible explanation, one that seems to work in testing and in life unfolding, and prediction, and via its rules it does not need to posit something more mysterious and unknown to explain or predict.

    So a scientific IDer would have to dispute the latter (the no need to posit further). The IDer for example would have to say: a gene mutated but was caused to mutate specifically, and then co-incidentally an environment existed that made that mutation somehow advantageous to the organism that was struck with said mutation. Or vice versa (gene existed – environment changed).

    So far it would be fair (reasonable) science to posit that IF they can show (1) how the mechanisms of standard evolution are deficient to explain and predict, and their ID way explains and predicts things the standard cannot AND (2) there is some evidence to suggest a “designer” (a trademark so to speak) AND (3) some way (other then magic) that the “designer” caused the changes.

    They fail miserably at the IF part. And have had ample time and attention to succeed if they could. This is the reason scientists like PZ have moved on. To beat their dead horse (even a theoretically possible horse) is just not productive nor necessary to get answers and do useful stuff.

    That is the whole issue in its best light. We have no reason to resort to ID – else we would I guess. To put it bluntly GOD IS DEAD!

  137. #138 MolBio
    January 29, 2010

    @137 Unfortunately it doesn’t matter what science thinks. We’re bad at engaging and communicating with a basic public who are disinterested in what we do, yet seem to feel they deserve to have a say on an equal footing.

    I wonder if part of the problem is the overly simplistic method science journalists use that convey almost teleological tones. To put it bluntly, in our quest to make science more accessible, are we dumbing it down so much we speak with a tone almost implying intent in nature, and thus furthering the arguments that are made by the scientifically illiterate and willfully ignorant deniers?

  138. #139 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Kel – I think you are taking a high level philosophical point for the sake of argument.

    Agreed, but then again I felt it necessary to do so because of the underlying philosophical issues that many ID proponents and supporters use. I’m getting sick of the hand-waving that suggests that we use a priori reasoning to dismiss their arguments – which is nonsense of course.

    More alarming however is that one offhand comment which was used as a rhetorical device has propelled me into defending a position I don’t actually support. After making comments savaging the notion of supernatural causation, I’m then forced into the position of what I thought was a non-issue in that alien life could have played a role in life on this planet. It’s not impossible, even if the distances of space and the absence of any observations of such beings makes such a claim unsubstantiated and fanciful thinking.

    That is the whole issue in its best light. We have no reason to resort to ID – else we would I guess. To put it bluntly GOD IS DEAD!

    Indeed, you won’t get any objections from me. Of course that’s not an a priori dismissal of the concept of God, which given the context of the complaint is worth pointing out. More that God is a non-answer masquerading as an answer; a placeholder with no explanatory power – merely an incidental construct with ethical and existential implications. The death of God is not the problem people face, it’s the baggage that comes with it. Given that the creation myth is no more nor less absurd than any other creation myth out there, it really can’t be that people need the world to be 6000 years old, but that they need meaning, a sense of purpose, and possibly even some anaesthetising comfort over the major consequence of being able to predict into the future so well: death.

  139. #140 Peter Magellan
    January 29, 2010

    OT, but I just noticed that the 2006 article about creationists in universities is now the most-viewed article on the Guardian website for the past 24 hours! So either it’s been Pharyngulated or there’s another reason why it’s suddenly become topical.
    Does this mean Pharyngula has more readers than the Guardian? ;-)

  140. #141 ConcernedJoe
    January 29, 2010

    Kel – yup

    Hope you understood I was not “attacking” thus not expecting a defense (none necessary)

    I was adding my lame 2 cents to try to express the situation and why we move on from the IDers of all stripes.

    Always appreciate your thoughts and comments. Have a good one.

  141. #142 shonny
    January 29, 2010

    Posted by: Kevin Wirth Author Profile Page | January 28, 2010 7:27 PM

    Yep, I sure DO know how to pick ‘em. Thanks.

    Some observations of mine from today’s comments:

    #4 – “Yeah, that’s the point of the site — Rosa Parks’ name gets used to flog a lot of self-righteous absurdity, and it is offensive.”

    Gee PZ, I had no idea that YOU, of all people, could be so easily offended. My headline pales in comparision with some of the stuff you’ve posted. So just get over it, dude! Your remarks frequently offend PLENTY of decent people! I reserve the right to offend just as much as you do.

    - Your level of comprehension isn’t really very advanced, is it, Kevin?

    #5 – “Also, Rosa Parks was the opposite of these people, because she led people towards enlightenment, whereas these jackasses are crawling steadily deeper into darkness.
    Definitely a gross insult to one very brave lady!”

    Actually Shonny, if you read the book by Bergman, you’ll find that both Stein and Bergman are pointing out some patterns of behavior that are no different than the same sort of thing that Rosa Parks decided she’d had enough with.

    - Am reasonably well informed about Bergman, and found he is a self-pitying dishonest filthy prick, IMNSHO! And that is being VERY polite.
    As to Ben Stein, that whining moron is just a living argument FOR the holocaust!

    As for others who commented gleefully about the idiocy of creationists or IDers, hey — so many of you miss the point. You do. You can diss Ben Stein and J. Bergman all you want, but the bottom line here is, waaaay too many of you don’t seem to really care if what they have to say carries any substance. You’ve already decided it doesn’t. You know, you can always find bad apples in a barrelfull, but that does not mean there are no good apples to be found.

    - No, wrong. Again. We haven’t decided that these dipsticks don’t carry any substance, we have found that out by looking at their inane writings and illogical argumentation.
    As to finding good apples in a barrel where they are all fermented, – not likely!

    Read the book and then we’ll talk. I find plenty of things in Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, to be alarmed about. Tell you what, if you find anything erroneous in that book (not saying you won’t…), I’ll be happy to own up to it. So get your shovels and start digging. The revised edition will be coming out soon, and I’d be happy to hear about any errors or misrepresentations of fact.

    As to talking/discussing with you, – life is too fucking short for that!

    You might not like everything creationists or IDers have to say (heck, even I don’t agree with it all), but heckling and jabbering never advances the issue or resolves anything either.

    How about more substance and less blather, people?

    Heard yourself lately??

  142. #143 JackC
    January 29, 2010

    Kel:

    It’s like asking to see a four-sided triangle.

    I just saw one last night!! Of course, that sometimes happens when you read the section on trigonometry in the book “50 things you really need to know about Mathematics” following a couple double martinis…

    JC

  143. #144 Strangest brew
    January 29, 2010

    Tawdry little pamphlets of self aggrandising martyrdom rampant with puerile lies based on juvenile fancies of a sky fairy might ding the bell of the hard of rational.
    But seeing as ‘evidence’ tends to be twisted strawman argumentation with appeal to what authority little minds can conjure up is not likely to win anyone that thinks!

    Kevin Wirth has neither the wit the intelligence or indeed the integrity to differentiate between landfill and library.
    It does not apparently stop him from pretending he does.
    Bergman is an embarrassment and Stein is insane…Wirth seems keen on flogging their rancid delusions.
    Something went very wrong during their early education…they all evolved into morons!

    With a taste for picking a pocket or two!

  144. #145 Ayhwh
    January 29, 2010

    “the only way to refute the concept of irreducible complexity is to demonstrate that all objects can be reduced to a fundamental particle and still function properly.”

    Wouldn’t that be a good way to support the “theory”

    “If a radio, a functional eye or ear, can be achieved, for example, by a single quark.”

    So stupid, but again if these things existed, wouldn’t they be irreducibly complex . . . therefore proving the stupid theory, not refuting?

  145. #146 raven
    January 29, 2010

    augustine the xian cult troll:

    i really don’t understand what’s so bad about Ben stein. he just seems to be curious and no one wants to answer the questions he asks……why?? can’t anybody answer his objections? or are you guys just going to belittle him all day.

    Ben Stein is an evil kook. In our world, evil kooks are bad people. In your xian death cult world it is the norm.

    Stein and Wirth have both lied and slandered scientists for years. Stein’s Big Lie is that Darwinists killed the Jews in Germany. The reality is that it was Xians. Hitler was a xian and a creationist.

    Stein hasn’t asked any questions. He doesn’t care about the truth. He just lies a lot and makes accusations.

    And no we aren’t belittling Stein. He has faded into the ooze where malevolent kooks go. We are laughing at Kevin Wirth now. Do try to finish that reading comprehension program from grade school. He is just like Stein only a little more crazy and dumb.

  146. #147 shonny
    January 29, 2010

    Posted by: augustine771 Author Profile Page | January 29, 2010 3:18 AM

    ken miller is an evolutionist. i thought you would know that. but if you guys just want to insult me i can go to bed instead. you guys are pricks.

    Ah, we upset diddums, did we? Naughty us!

  147. #148 Strangest brew
    January 29, 2010

    It depends on the ID definition of ‘irreducibly complex’…

    Problem there is they are all shouting from different parts of the pitch…no one seems quite sure when a system becomes complex or irreducible.
    One thing for sure is guaranteed that whenever one claim in their nonsense is demonstrated as bogus they drag the goal to another end…a moving target and all that.

    Bergman seems to think quarks are the bottom line…fucking ejits are more clued.

    Behe seems fascinated by the flagellum…you pays ya money ya takes ya choice…if a creationist…Scientists do not quite have that freedom..or indeed that idiocy!

  148. #149 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2010

    You’re lucky you didn’t say Ken Miller 3 times in the same post, otherwise John Kwok would appear and demand you buy him a new camera.

    haha

  149. #150 Strangest brew
    January 29, 2010

    “i really don’t understand what’s so bad about Ben stein.”

    A lying manipulative douche bag!

    He has no points that are valid…and folks have had enough of pandering to charlatans and ignorant fools playing jeebus golden boy!

  150. #151 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Ben Stein:

    Stefan Jones says: “In an interview on the Trinity Broadcasting System, Expelled star and game show host Ben Stein lets it all out.”
    Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed ? that was horrifying beyond words, and that?s where science ? in my opinion, this is just an opinion ? that?s where science leads you.
    Crouch: That?s right.

    Stein: ?Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

    Augustine77 the moron xian:

    “i really don’t understand what’s so bad about Ben stein.”

    That is because, you, Augustine77, are ignorant and stupid.

    Ben Stein quotes above. The one about scientists herding Jews into gas chambers is an obvious lie. Scientists in Germany didn’t work as concentration guards. And Hitler and his millions of followers were all Catholics and Lutherans. German antisemistism has its roots deep in German variety xianity. Martin Luther was a rabid antisemite who proposed the first Final Solution.

    Ben Stein: science leads you to killing people

    A blood libel on the basis of modern Hi Tech 21st century civilization. Science flies people to the moon, religion flies planes into skyscrapers. The bible is full of genocide, slavery, and weird sex and it was written millennia before modern science.

    Science is the reason why the 21st century looks a lot different from the 11th century. Creationists like Stein and Augustine77 are just parasites, dependent upon and surrounded by modern science while attacking it.

    Stein really blew whatever credibility he had by making such false and wildly inaccurate statements. False and inaccurate statements might go over well in the xian death cults but normal people just shrug and step over the poo and move on.

  151. #152 Tulse
    January 29, 2010

    Ben Stein: science leads you to killing people

    …he said on the Trinity Broadcasting System, which uses the fruits of modern science and engineering to send its message to millions of people. The hypocrisy is staggering.

  152. #153 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    And don’t forget Ben Stein’s incoherence about evolution, about him explaining that evolution does not explain the big bang nor gravity. He does not know what he is talking about. It would have been excusable if he went into his documentary ignorant about the subject and learned as he went along. But this was after he was done with the documentary.

    The reason why who have some knowledge about the subject dismiss Ben Stein out of hand is because it is obvious, even to lay people like me, that Ben Stein has no idea what he is talking about.

    If that makes me a prick, I am willing and happy to live with it.

  153. #154 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    Augustine sez:

    well the flagellum has not been adequately explained even though you’ll probably say it has. the only explanation i’ve ever seen was from Ken miller and he used a mousetrap and a tie, which was the stupidest thing i’ve ever seen. but ben stein talked about the flagellum and dawkins and ruse and all the others just sat there, really.

    Dude, it’s a mutation. Not only has it been explained, but it’s simple to understand. Unless I’m vastly mistaken, random mutations during DNA transcription gave rise to a proto-flagella. That was an advantage because it let them cover more ground, and further mutations enhanced the flagella.

    Expelled sets up straw men, dude. The documentary was done without context, and with heavy editting (I doubt it doctored anything, but it didn’t put up full interviews).

  154. #155 ritchie.annand
    January 29, 2010

    I remember savaging Kevin Wirth’s Expelled review last year. I’m a D-list blogger at best, but to my surprise, Kevin showed up!

    Dude likes to Google his own name unto the twentieth page, I think.

  155. #156 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Kel (#139)

    I’m getting sick of the hand-waving that suggests that we use a priori reasoning to dismiss their arguments – which is nonsense of course.

    Doesn’t a priori imply that the argument in question is somehow new? The creationists get the reaction they do because they don’t use new arguments. If there’s any handwaving, it’s to shoo the idiots over to the archives documenting the now ancient rebuttals to their decrepit arguments. Not that the dismissal works to get things across to creationists, but we shouldn’t be playing into their fantasy that their arguments haven’t already been defeated a thousand times over either. Maybe you should apply your discontent to a formula that keeps creationism in its place but draws the creationist out to make reasonable discussion. Don’t read that as derisive; I’m serious.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Strangest brew (#144)

    Tawdry little pamphlets of self aggrandising martyrdom rampant with puerile lies based on juvenile fancies of a sky fairy might ding the bell of the hard of rational.

    There’s a poem lurking in this.

  156. #157 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    If there’s any handwaving, it’s to shoo the idiots over to the archives documenting the now ancient rebuttals to their decrepit arguments.

    I might be wrong, and I can’t speak for Kel, but the understanding I have is that we have to keep making those rebuttals ourselves, on the offchance that they in fact come up with evidence.

  157. #158 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom (#157)

    the understanding I have is that we have to keep making those rebuttals ourselves, on the offchance that they in fact come up with evidence.

    Listening to the person is one thing. Listening to the argument (once you recognize which one they’re using) is another. It’s not like the 45256th repetition of a creationist strawman argument will poof evidence into existence. (Hell, the big names of ID can’t even reasonably explain what the evidence for ID would look like.) Why should we dignify the recycled arguments by engaging them as though we have to spend a moment considering them?

  158. #159 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    Well, we have to read it, and make sure it is in fact a repetition, at least? I’m not sure, maybe Kel can explain better himself.

  159. #160 Ichthyic
    January 29, 2010

    on the offchance that they in fact come up with evidence

    bah, thousands of years of prior lack of evidence is pretty damn convincing.

    Moreover, just how hard do you think it would be to actually address any evidence ever obtained to begin with?

    not.

  160. #161 bridget.blodgett
    January 29, 2010

    If anyone is in Pennsylvania and wants to tell Stein to his face what they think he will be at Penn State (University Park) next week as part of our “Distinguished Lecture” series. I just saw the poster on the bus this morning and want to start a campaign to cancel his appearance. Feel free to write the university and let them know what a sham it is to have Stein speaking here.

    http://live.psu.edu/story/43925

  161. #162 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    More responses to the pirana clan…

    #142 – Shonny Shonny. You offer no substance my friend. All you’re doing is clearly adding to the blather and underscoring the point in Bergman’s book that there is no tolerance for those with a different perspective, and even worse, there exists an incredible ANIMOSITY towards those of us who dare to dissent with consensus views. Like Ron Brittan [sp?] (over at “Bay of Fundie”) and so many others, you don’t want to engage in a discussion about the issues, you just want to get all worked up and vent your spleen. And, you don’t know me, you don’t know where I stand on most of the issues, but you feel perfectly free to render judgment about me. You are a sorry sore full of puss on the face of freedom of speech.

    You say you are “resonably well informed about Bergman” but you’re certainly not as well informed about him as I am. I’ve known this guy for over 30 years. I know how he thinks way better than you ever will. And, one thing I know about him is this: he’s a gentleman. You are not. So go on and explode your puss if you must, but just remember, it will come back to haunt you.

    #146 – Raven.
    “Stein and Wirth have both lied and slandered scientists for years. Stein’s Big Lie is that Darwinists killed the Jews in Germany. The reality is that it was Xians. Hitler was a xian and a creationist.”

    Wow. Liar. Slanderer. Whoa, I feel really all bent up over this accusation, especially since you offer no evidence. So, who is doing the slandering here? The fact is, I don’t recall ever deliberately misrepresenting any scientist. I DO recall promoting scientists who do not agree with consensus views. Something many of you guys seem to be pretty disinterested in. And I’m NOT afraid to challenge creationists or IDers and calling them on their baloney when needed. I have a clearly documented history of parting company with anyone who makes a claim and won’t back it up or admit they were in error.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cre-error.html

    I had a long and respectful relationship with Bob Schadewald (Eugenie Scott’s predecessor) for many years. We disagreed on quite a bit, but found enough common ground to give each other something to think about.

    So, it was CHRISTIANS who killed the Jews in Germany, huh? And you think Stein is a lunatic?

    One thing I will correct regarding your obviously twisted thinking is this: Hitler was clearly NOT a Christian. He often SPOUTED Christian ideals, but that didn’t make him a Christian any more than saying “Family is very important to me” makes John Edwards a faithful husband. This type of comment really exposes your inability to render sound judgment on Ben Stein or evidently anyone else for that matter.

    Talk is cheap. If I told everyone I was a vegetarian but ate beef steak three times a week, would you believe me just because I said I was? Or wouldn’t you come to your conclusions based on my actual eating habits? Likewise, to claim that Hitler was a Christian, or that Christians killed the Jews in Nazi Germany is absolutely absurd.

    I’m getting a really strong sense of the kooky fringe element here…

    # 151 – Raven.
    Regarding Ben Stein’s comment: “Ben Stein: science leads you to killing people”

    These words, taken on their own merit, are not in alignment with my own beliefs. I’m not at all anti-science – in fact, I’m very much PRO science. What I DO take issue with is being led by the nose by the consensus view of science without allowing dissenters to say their peace. There’s just too many instances in the history of science where the arrogance of the consensus shut down good ideas from dissenters. And that’s the danger I’m most concerned about. Many ideas in science would have advanced much more rapidly had that arrogance been squelched even just a little bit. For example, in 1915, Alfred Wegener was proposing his ideas about continental drift and plate tectonics. But his ideas were pretty roundly dismissed as absurd by many folks in the scientific community who obivously knew better than Wegener that his ideas were bunk. Despite all the arguments he proposed. Until the 1950′s-60′s, his views were held to by only a fringe minority. I have no doubt that many on this blog, had you lived between 1915-1950, would have called him a kook, and would have savaged him vehemently. But starting in the years just after WWII ended, his ideas began to gain some support based on growing scientific evidence, and eventually came to be accepted as the way the earth really moves. Granted, it wasn’t until scientific technology caught up with Wegener’s theory that he was finally vindicated, but, in the meantime, many scientists certainly weren’t very supportive of his views. Imagine how different the world might be if only his views had been given a more respectable hearing much sooner.

    And that, sadly, is just the way it often goes in science. I could cite dozens of other cases of excellent scientists who were correct in their assessments but challenged conventional views (Louis Pasteur and Copernicus come to mind, for example). But the unfortunate fact is, far too many scientists are primarily consensus driven, are unwilling to embrace new ideas, and in fact actually attack those who come to the table of science with a new proposition. This has been well documented and sliced and diced in many places (Max Planck [the originator of quantum theory], for example, once wrote: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”).

    Sad but true. And that is most unfortuante, in my view, because such attitudes and actions only serve to hinder the inevitable scientific advancement.

    What I am seeing here in this blog is a far worse problem. Because when you start attacking people willy-nilly with name-calling, vicious lies, rage, jumping to false conclusions and slanders, as I have often seen here on Pharyngula (what I affectionately refer to as the “Pirana Pit”), what you are engaging in is a very serious offense. You are cutting your own freedoms off at the knees. It’s one thing to disagree with someone, and argue for a different point of view. But it’s something altogether different when you seek to viciously attack someone with a different perspective than yours. I would understand it far better if you were getting all worked up over some Jihadist who thought you deserve to die simply because you’re an American.

    I find it interesting that the same behavior exhibited by many who comment at this blog seem to be just as intolerant and vicious as many of the Jihadists who think all Americans should be beheaded. The intensity of your hatred and the degree of your willingness to be rid of folks like Ben Stein and Jerry Bergman (and now me? You gotta be kidding!) seems to be no different in sentiment. It’s way over the top. The willingness to attack at the drop of a hat, and with nothing to back up wild claims is about as on the fringe as you can get.

    What many folks don’t seem to appreciate is the value of allowing dissenting views to be spoken or published. I certainly would never tell you that you must agree with a dissenter — but if you limit or demonize or take away their freedom to dissent then you are eating your own right arm.

    And THAT is the lunacy I’m seeing in many of the comments being posted here. It’s a destructive abuse of freedom, and it will come back at you.

    If you don’t allow dissent for one person or group or class of people, then we really are not truly a free society, and eventually that practice will come back to bite off your own right arm. Well, I DO care about that — not only for myself, but believe it or not — for all of you.

    So here is how I ended my chapter in Bergman’s book, and it seems appropriate to post it here:

    “They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not object. They came after the Catholics, and I was not a Catholic, so I did not object. They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionist, so I did not object. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object.”

    For many of you, that’s where you’re headed if you keep it up. You only win at this game of indignant intolerance until you finally figure out you just painted yourself into a corner with no exit.

    Some reading I recommend – I’m sure you’ll find at least some useful nuggets:

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/99rsppp.html
    and more by Brian Martin

    http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/supp.html#books

  162. #163 richarddmorey
    January 29, 2010

    Shonny said: “As to Ben Stein, that whining moron is just a living argument FOR the holocaust!”

    Umm, are you suggesting that because Ben Stein is an idiot, and Jewish, all Jews should be exterminated? Because even if you are joking, that’s twisted. But perhaps I misunderstood you.

  163. #164 Walton
    January 29, 2010

    shonny,

    As to Ben Stein, that whining moron is just a living argument FOR the holocaust!

    That remark is really quite offensive and tasteless. I see some people have called you out on it already, but I’m really quite surprised that anyone would think such a comment was appropriate, in any circumstances.

    I’m not saying anything positive about Ben Stein personally. But describing a Jewish man as a “living argument for the Holocaust”, even in jest, dehumanises an entire people and trivialises an act of mass murder. It’s far more profoundly and obviously offensive than calling someone a “c**t”; and since the latter provoked a thousand posts of criticism, I don’t know how you could possibly have thought your comment would be considered acceptable discourse.

  164. #165 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Yawn, more lying by Wirth, the professional Liar for JebusTM. It appears he doesn’t look at evidence, and them make conclusions, but, like any godbot/creobot, makes conclusions and searches for tenuous evidence to give the image of real evidence. And he wonders why we don’t believe his lies? We know the difference. It all starts with believing in imaginary deities and fictional/mythical babbles. That makes the lies much, much easier.

  165. #166 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth,

    Because when you start attacking people willy-nilly with name-calling, vicious lies, rage, jumping to false conclusions and slanders, as I have often seen here on Pharyngula (what I affectionately refer to as the “Pirana Pit”), what you are engaging in is a very serious offense.

    Spoing!

    I find it interesting that the same behavior exhibited by many who comment at this blog seem to be just as intolerant and vicious as many of the Jihadists who think all Americans should be beheaded.

    I find it interesting that you utterly misrepresent the behaviour of most commenters here with an invidious and disingenuous comparison.
    Even your intolerance and viciousness, as expressed here, would still not be a valid comparison.

    The willingness to attack at the drop of a hat, and with nothing to back up wild claims is about as on the fringe as you can get.

    (Just as well the meter broke earlier.)

    And THAT is the lunacy I’m seeing in many of the comments being posted here. It’s a destructive abuse of freedom, and it will come back at you.

    Your freedom is abused because you’re allowed to express your opinion here? Do tell.

    If you don’t allow dissent for one person or group or class of people, then we really are not truly a free society, and eventually that practice will come back to bite off your own right arm.

    Look at your post; it’s dissent, and yet there it is — allowed.

    Have you become so accustomed to dishonest rhetoric that you don’t think readers will compare your claims with reality? It seems so.

  166. #167 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Ritchie.annand – #155

    “I remember savaging Kevin Wirth’s Expelled review last year. I’m a D-list blogger at best, but to my surprise, Kevin showed up!

    Dude likes to Google his own name unto the twentieth page, I think.”

    1. Geez – haven’t you ever heard of setting up your own “Google alerts”? I don’t NEED to waste my time looking for you. As soon as you post something, I get a little love note in my in-box.

    2. Did you ever take my advice (my last words in the response I posted to your review of SOD) and READ THE BOOK?

    Probably not, right?

  167. #168 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Doesn’t a priori imply that the argument in question is somehow new?

    No, it implies the argument can be considered without regard to evidence. Basically what I was arguing against what that I’ve defined God out of existence, which is one of the alleged problems of “methodological naturalism”. And you’ve been here long enough to see that as one of those “gotcha” tactics that creotards like to throw up, much like “Natural selection is a tautology”.

  168. #169 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I see Wirth is back giving us his inane opinions. Yawn. Boring git.

  169. #170 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Why should we dignify the recycled arguments by engaging them as though we have to spend a moment considering them?

    I remember being on a place a couple of years ago where someone complained that we weren’t sitting down and taking the arguments into consideration. It was the same damn stuff I’ve heard from theists all my life, and now suddenly I’m being criticised for not at that moment taking the time to reflect on something I’ve heard and thought about before?

    If someone said “the eye is irreducibly complex”, I’m not going to sit back and reflect upon it. I’ve looked into what irreducibly complex means and the eye does not fit the description, the statement is wrong. It doesn’t mean I’ve never considered it and dismissed it out of hand, it just means I’ve heard it all before. And that is where I see some incredulity on the part of those who argue here. Many give the same lame arguments because they are sure they are right, so if we’re not convinced its because we haven’t heard them. Thus the same repetition of the same recycled arguments.

  170. #171 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    To John Morales – #166
    “Look at your post; it’s dissent, and yet there it is ? allowed.”

    Fortunately, and appreciably, yes it is. But you miss the point. The point isn’t just about being allowed to speak – it’s about respect and what happens AFTER a dissenting view is expressed. You can easily see from many of the posts here that I’m treated with a great deal of disrespect and pre-judgement from folks who have a far greater interest in making ridiculous and stupid comments than they do in thinking about the value of respecting dissenting views.

    Bergman’s book documents rather exhaustively just how widespread the practice of ruining the careers of Darwin dissenters is. And he’s certainly not alone in making this observation — this attitude prevails in other scientific disciplines as well. It’s a fact that within the scientific community, dissenters are frequently (if not usually) treated with enormous amounts of ridicule and much much worse within many scientific disciplines. Go read the links I offered by Brian Martin at the end of my post #162.

  171. #172 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth,

    You’re trying to use No True Christian™ here? Really?

    Say, even if Hitler wasn’t a Christian, how did he manage to convince Germany, one of the most strongly Christian nations on Earth, to accept what he was doing? Surely if they were the True Christians™ you insist must exist (but Hitler wasn’t one of) they’d have been able to see through the thin facade of Christianity he presented. But they didn’t, did they? They went right along with it. What does that say about Christianity?

    Speaking of important German Christians, what about Martin Luther? Was he also not a True Christian™? Or are you simply ignorant of the importance of Luther’s teachings on German Christian thought?

  172. #173 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Wirth’s argument is one long non sequitur. You can make the case until the cows come home about the persecution of ID proponents, but it still wouldn’t change the fact that they aren’t making the case. In other words, it’s completely irrelevant that academia isn’t giving them a fair hearing – they should be able to demonstrate that their position is correct.

  173. #174 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth, all the scientists you listed as having been ignored by mainstream science but who turned out to be right had one little thing in common that your ID buddies don’t – evidence to support their claims.

    Dissent from current science + evidence? Change in scientific thinking

    Dissent from current science with no evidence other than the bible? Waste of time.

    But I’ll happily admit I’m wrong when I’m shown. Feel free to contradict me by listing all of the findings made by ID researchers that present a problem for contemporary evolutionary theory – and the science underlying their explanations for those findings.

  174. #175 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Yawn, Wirth will do everything lying about persecution that has more to do with people not being scientific and productive, than with their inane beliefs. Which is the reason they aren’t scientific and productive. And absolutely no peer reviewed citations to the scientific literature showing his religious ideas are scientific. Oh, we nasty scientists, who demand minor things like evidence, coherent theories, and conclusive physical evidence for minor things like imaginary deities. Just doesn’t sit well with the presupposition groups.

  175. #176 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    From Briget.blogget @ 161 –

    “If anyone is in Pennsylvania and wants to tell Stein to his face what they think he will be at Penn State (University Park) next week as part of our “Distinguished Lecture” series. I just saw the poster on the bus this morning and want to start a campaign to cancel his appearance. Feel free to write the university and let them know what a sham it is to have Stein speaking here. ”

    http://live.psu.edu/story/43925

    I checked out your link and noticed that there is NO mention of Expelled in Stein’s bio. Is he ashamed of this work? Or what? Maybe you shouldn’t protest his appearance and instead go and question him on this.

  176. #177 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    There’s no point in getting hung up on some of the points he made, his underlying premise is flawed. Persecution is irrelevant to the validity of the concept. Until Kevin Wirth or any other ID proponent out there actually shows the designer in action, then any cries of persecution should be considered alongside homoeopaths, perpetual motion makers, and moon landing hoaxers.

  177. #178 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    Hey, Kevin Wirth, if Expelled was suppose to be this great sea change of a movie, why doesn’t Ben Stein mention it in his bio for his upcoming appearance at Penn State?

    Bwa, ha, ha….

  178. #179 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Again, the gambit seems obvious. Cry persecution because otherwise it just means that your idea has been considered and rejected. It must be a Evil Darwinian ConspiracyTM, not that those going against it are pushing long-discarded ideas dressed up as something new.

  179. #180 CJO
    January 29, 2010

    Re: Acceptance of Plate Tectonics by the scientific community.

    Come up with ID’s equivalent of sea-floor spreading and you can be damn sure scientists will be willing to have another look. Since we both know that creationists have no actual research program, and no idea where to even start looking for the kind of evidence that would give their vague conjecture some scientific credibility, I won’t be holding my breath.

    And since MET unifies so many diverse observations into a single, overarching and extremely productive explanatory framework, witholding judgement against the day when, at long last, a creationist comes up with some actual evidence is not justified either. That’s another contrast between Plate Tectonics and ID. There really wasn’t a good theoretical scheme that unified the various lines of evidence from geology and paleontology before Plate Tectonics. The bar was much, much lower than the one creationism faces. That’s not prejudice, or censorship. That’s the facts, and that’s where you have to compete if you want scientific credibility.

  180. #181 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    It’s not pirana. A pirana is a nonsense word.

    You’re looking for “Piranha”.

    Fortunately, and appreciably, yes it is. But you miss the point. The point isn’t just about being allowed to speak – it’s about respect and what happens AFTER a dissenting view is expressed.

    Do you have positive evidence or not? Seriously, nobody’s stopping you from presenting evidence. By all means, cite the actual evidence that proves your position correct.

    1. Geez – haven’t you ever heard of setting up your own “Google alerts”? I don’t NEED to waste my time looking for you. As soon as you post something, I get a little love note in my in-box.

    You’re not helping any case against your narcissism, chuckles.

  181. #182 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    So, it was CHRISTIANS who killed the Jews in Germany, huh?

    um, that is not in dispute in any way. Whatver you think about Hitler, the grunts at the camps who did the killing would have self-identified as Christians, almost every single one of them.

    in 1915, Alfred Wegener was proposing his ideas about continental drift and plate tectonics

    Wrong. His ideas were about continental drift, but he could supply no plausible mechanism. That’s why scientisits were skeptical until new data on seafloor spreading spawned the theory of plate tectonics.

    Imagine how different the world might be if only his views had been given a more respectable hearing much sooner.

    hmmmm. I’m not imagining much difference for most people. The world itself does what it does and doesn’t care about our mechanistic hypotheses.

    And that, sadly, is just the way it often goes in science…the unfortunate fact is, far too many scientists are primarily consensus driven, are unwilling to embrace new ideas, and in fact actually attack those who come to the table of science with a new proposition.

    Feature, not bug. Nothing “sad” about it. What your crappy little historical analysis leaves out is that the reason for a consensus in the first place is that it is best supported by the data and hypotheses available. Only when somebody has a new idea, or when new data become available (often because of a technological advance) is progress made.
    People who try to “bring new perspectives to the table” have to bring impeccable logic and/or data along with them, or you’re fuckin-A right they will be attacked. [The IDiots have done NONE of that.] When new ideas and/or data truly challenge the consensus, the consensus changes. It might take a few years and deaths, people’s egos and issues being what they are, but we keep getting righter.
    Science: it works.
    It’s working now by firmly rejecting the ID bullshit.

    As for the rest of your blah blah blah blah blah: your concern is noted.

  182. #183 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    “They laughed at Wegener, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown”

  183. #184 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Science has gotten on fine these past 400 years without the need for affirmative action. We can point to all the good ideas that were rejected for longer than perhaps they should have been, but the flipside is all the bad ideas that were wasted time on. It’s not a perfect system, but it works.

    ID has yet to demonstrate a mechanism by which life can be manipulated, instead they focus on attacking evolution in its current format, which would go towards demonstrating a creator as much as doing the same 200 years ago to poor old Lamark would show.

    Occasionally good ideas get rejected, but so do lots and lots and lots of bad ideas. If an idea is rejected hastily, then it’s up to whoever is advocating that position to demonstrate that the idea has validity. Not to cry persecution, but to show that their idea has empirical validity.

  184. #185 boygenius
    January 29, 2010

    Rutee, actually pira˝a is acceptable. Wirth just didn’t code-in the tilde. Not that any of his argument carries any weight, I’m just feeling pedantic ATM. :)

  185. #186 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Since we both know that creationists have no actual research program, and no idea where to even start looking for the kind of evidence that would give their vague conjecture some scientific credibility, I won’t be holding my breath.

    Nowadays they’ll just come right out and tell you that it doesn’t matter if they have a research program and that it would be unfair to rule out supernatural “things” a priori because that would be discriminating against religious beliefs.

    They used to hide it, but nowadays they’ll just come right out and say it. (Because that’s all they have left.)

  186. #187 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    The dude speaks in Spanish?

  187. #188 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Rutee – #181

    Thanks for the correction of my spelling – it didn’t look right…

    “You’re not helping any case against your narcissism, chuckles.”

    Heh. Not narcissim, just a willingness to address my critics.

    But of course that reason probably didn’t occur to you, right? Or if it did, you dismissed it as unlikely.

    See what I mean? So many of the comments posted here immediately lean more heavily toward ungenerous assumptions and insist on flipping to the dork side of the farce right off the bat.

    Pretty much sucks.

    At least give me credit for being willing to wade into the Piranha Pit.

  188. #189 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth @171:

    But you miss the point. The point isn’t just about being allowed to speak – it’s about respect and what happens AFTER a dissenting view is expressed. You can easily see from many of the posts here that I’m treated with a great deal of disrespect and pre-judgement from folks who have a far greater interest in making ridiculous and stupid comments than they do in thinking about the value of respecting dissenting views.

    No, I got your point, but I happen to think it’s sophistic, and indeed hypocritical.

    How have you respected the Pharyngula consensus, and how did you react to it?

    What as you see pre-judgement, I see as long familiarity with the issue. Most commenters’ opinion on it is a conclusion, not an assumption.

    (You might wish to consider the difference between respecting your right to hold a particular view, and respecting the view itself.)

    Finally, have you forgotten that it was PZ who was expelled from expelled? ;)

    “Look at what they do, not at what they say”.

  189. #190 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    The only credit that can be given if is you have anything substantial. You get nothing for just showing up.

  190. #191 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Nowadays they’ll just come right out and tell you that it doesn’t matter if they have a research program and that it would be unfair to rule out supernatural “things” a priori because that would be discriminating against religious beliefs.

    Case in point:

    (You might wish to consider the difference between respecting your right to hold a particular view, and respecting the view itself.)

    Why even bother with this person?

  191. #192 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2010

    Wirth is boils down to one thing.

    Dissent is fantastic and appreciated when the dissenter has something of substance to add to the discussion.

    Continued dissent in the face of overwhelming evidence that not only is your position incorrect but that your position lacks any substance whatsoever no longer is dissent and is just being kook.

    If the anti-evolution side had anything to add then fine, but they don’t. So when a professor decides to teach or put forth the discredited view of creationism or ID then how is an institution supposed to act when one of their representatives is going completely against their purpose?

    Cheer them?

    Science isn’t about making everyone happy, it’s about doing science. When the anti-evolutionaries start crowing on about how wrong the mean old Darwinists are then it is there responsibility to back up their claims.

    As of yet not a single one has met that burden.

  192. #193 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    See what I mean? So many of the comments posted here immediately lean more heavily toward ungenerous assumptions and insist on flipping to the dork side of the farce right off the bat.

    I notice you did not address the part of my post that specifically asked for your evidence. Go ahead, present it. It’d be nice to feel vindicated for doing poorly in biology. Please, tell me what evidence, rather then thought experiment, you have that establishes your basis for thinking that all evolutionary events are actually intelligent Design. Bear in mind that your explanation must account for happenings throughout human history, such as Lenski’s E. Coli generations, and the survival of Amerindian populations between the introduction of Smallpox and the creation of the Smallpox vaccine.

    At least give me credit for being willing to wade into the Piranha Pit.

    This being the internet, and the RL consequences of your decisions being close to nil. I award you no points for solipsism, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  193. #194 boygenius
    January 29, 2010

    Heh. Not narcissim, just a willingness to address my critics.

    You’re willing to address criticism, yet unwilling (unable???) to present any evidence to refute said criticism? What’s the point?

  194. #195 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Nothing wrong with dissent qua dissent, but when that’s all you got, then helloooo welcome to kooksville. *Cuckoo*

  195. #196 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I notice you did not address the part of my post that specifically asked for your evidence.

    He did not address any parts of any of my posts period.

  196. #197 boygenius
    January 29, 2010

    This:

    You say you are “resonably well informed about Bergman” but you’re certainly not as well informed about him as I am. I’ve known this guy for over 30 years. I know how he thinks way better than you ever will. And, one thing I know about him is this: he’s a gentleman. You are not.

    Reminded me of this, for some odd reason. :)

    Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

  197. #198 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    It is far more important to be a gentleman than to be anything resembling correct.

    Got it.

  198. #199 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth (#162)

    You are a sorry sore full of puss on the face of freedom of speech.

    And you don’t know what freedom of speech means. Cry when the government is trying to take it away. Scientists ignoring you is not censorship.

    So go on and explode your puss if you must, but just remember, it will come back to haunt you.

    Ooooh, we’re sooooo scared.

    If I told everyone I was a vegetarian but ate beef steak three times a week, would you believe me just because I said I was? Or wouldn’t you come to your conclusions based on my actual eating habits? Likewise, to claim that Hitler was a Christian, or that Christians killed the Jews in Nazi Germany is absolutely absurd.

    Really? In that case, provide a definition of “Christian” that is agreed upon by all people who would call themselves Christians to the same degree that vegetarians agree on the definition for “vegetarian.”

    But the unfortunate fact is, far too many scientists…attack those who come to the table of science with a new proposition.

    Once again, creationism is not a new proposition. It predates evolution by thousands of years. And it is wrong.

    The willingness to attack at the drop of a hat, and with nothing to back up wild claims is about as on the fringe as you can get.

    Specify what wild claims need backing up.

    I certainly would never tell you that you must agree with a dissenter — but if you limit or demonize or take away their freedom to dissent then you are eating your own right arm.

    Here’s a claim you need to back up. Who is having their freedom of speech taken away? And no, don’t tell me to read Bergman’s book. Back it up right here and now or fuck off.

    Well, I DO care about that — not only for myself, but believe it or not — for all of you.

    How much time do you spend considering the notion that the Holocaust never happened? Or the moon landing was faked? Or that dinosaur bones were planted by Satan to make us doubt the existence of god? Or that homeopathy cures cancer (or cures anything)? Or that US demolition teams and not airplanes brought down the WTC towers? Dissent is not a good reason to listen to anybody or we’d be forever listening to fairy stories and conspiracy theories. What matters, and for good reason, is results. When creationists come up with evidence, scientists will start to listen.

    (#188)

    Heh. Not narcissim, just a willingness to address my critics.

    So when are you going to start addressing criticism* here instead of shitting mounds of strawmen out your mouth? We’re all waiting.

    ……………………
    * Saying we’re all meany-heads and we’ll be sorry someday doesn’t count.

  199. #200 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Kel (#168)

    No, it implies the argument can be considered without regard to evidence.

    Durh, I know that. I seem to have misread (despite quoting it!) what you said here: “I’m getting sick of the hand-waving that suggests that we use a priori reasoning to dismiss their arguments – which is nonsense of course.” Somehow I read that as you saying we do use a priori reasoning to dismiss creationist arguments. Not that you’re sick of that assumption on the part of creationists. Looking back over what you wrote, I’m not even sure how I managed to take it that way. Sorry!

    However, I don’t take back that I think you’d be good at coming up with a non-dismissive way to draw creationists out without falsely elevating creationism.

    (Ironically in light of Wirth’s accusations, it’s the fact that people here don’t take anything for granted and aren’t afraid of dissent that allowed me to think you might say what I thought you were saying.)

  200. #201 boygenius
    January 29, 2010

    Hmm. I think SciBlogs cut off the bottom of my #197 which should have read:

    Perhaps because they are both epic strawmen!

  201. #202 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Yawn, a couple of worthless Wirth posts while I was heading home via the grocery store. Still not one citation to show his inane and not even wrong theory is scientific. One might think that all they have is delusions.

    Wirth, here is submission information for Science and Nature. There is no excuse for not submitting a scientific paper about your ideas. Except maybe you have no conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary creator, and no other evidence to back up your inane and religious idea. Time to put up or shut the fuck up. Those are positions of people of honor, honesty, and integrity. Only frauds and conmen consistently complain they are ignored, but present no evidence. The latter sounds like you Wirth.

  202. #203 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    My theory is that the problem here is that in Kevin Wirth’s universe dissent means you run the risk of being thrown into the bowels of hell for eternity for no good reason, so Kevin Wirth thinks it’s a big whoopity-doo-daw to dissent qua dissent, and that it should mean a lot more than what it’s worth.

    (Okay my theory is kinda kooky but I still like it though.)

  203. #204 lose_the_woo
    January 29, 2010

    The willingness to attack at the drop of a hat, and with nothing to back up wild claims is about as on the fringe as you can get.

    Precisely.

    (did this strike anyone else as one of the best examples of projection ever?)

  204. #205 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Durh, I know that.

    When I read that last night, for a minute there I thought I’d used a priori wrong. That’s what happens when I post on here drunk :P

    I just went and looked back through my posts here, and I can’t see what’s actually wrong with them. I didn’t use profanities, I didn’t use insults, I addressed the issues on hand and argued my position. Why is it such posts like that are ignored? Does Kevin actually want an argument of substance and civility? Because to the posts he responded, and the posts he did not I’ve got to wonder if he’s just here to preach or to engage in serious discussion about the issues. I thought I’ve shown myself to actually be willing to discuss and to argue on both a scientific and philosophical level on the issue.

  205. #206 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth -

    You’re review of Expelled states that Ben Stein is the Rosa Parks of Darwin skeptics.

    Well, I just rewatched Stein when he appeared on the Glen Beck show to promote Expelled.

    Stein: “Darwinism cannot explain gravity.”

    That’s because the theory of gravity (which like evolution is a fact) is the basis for the explanation of gravity.

    Stein: “Darwinism cannot explain how life began.”

    Because it doesn’t attempt to do this.

    You wrote “ID is NOT religious” in a response to Richie Annand’s critique of your review of Expelled, but Ben Stein and Glen Beck mention “god” 13 times in the five minutes Beck interviews Stein and Beck suggests that churches bring their congegants to the movie. Hmmmm…

    So, the movie Expelled (which Beck calls Exposed at one point) has a non-scientist Stein who clearly doesn’t understand Darwin’s theory castigating science for not letting ID in the classroom.

    Finally from Wikapedia biography of Rosa Parks:

    “Under Jim Crow laws, black and white people were segregated in virtually every aspect of daily life in the South, including public transportation. Bus and train companies did not provide separate vehicles for the different races but did enforce seating policies that allocated separate sections for blacks and whites. School bus transportation was unavailable in any form for black schoolchildren in the South. Parks recalled going to elementary school in Pine Level, where school buses took white students to their new school and black students had to walk to theirs: “I’d see the bus pass every day… But to me, that was a way of life; we had no choice but to accept what was the custom. The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world.”[4]

    Although Parks’ autobiography recounts that some of her earliest memories are of the kindness of white strangers, her situation made it impossible to ignore racism. When the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street in front of her house, Parks recalls her grandfather guarding the front door with a shotgun.[5] The Montgomery Industrial School, founded and staffed by white northerners for black children, was burned twice by arsonists, and its faculty was ostracized by the white community.”

    Do you really think Stein has suffered the same form of segregation and/or discrimination that warrants you calling him another Rosa Parks?

    I think not.

  206. #207 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    Sorry, I might have missed it – can someone please tell me the number of the post where Wirth actually listed some of the scientific findings of an ID proponent? Since he keeps showing up here and insisting there are scientific ID findings that need to be addressed there must be some, right?

    Or is he just another inane pissant with nothing to support his claim?

  207. #208 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I’ve got to wonder if he’s just here to preach or to engage in serious discussion about the issues.

    We both know he doesn’t want a serious discussion here. He will get creamed due to his lack of evidence. So, he just preaches and presents attitude. Boring idjit.

  208. #209 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    My theory is that the problem here is that in Kevin Wirth’s universe dissent means you run the risk of being thrown into the bowels of hell for eternity for no good reason, so Kevin Wirth thinks it’s a big whoopity-doo-daw to dissent qua dissent, and that it should mean a lot more than what it’s worth.

    (Okay my theory is kinda kooky but I still like it though.)

    Case in point:

    At least give me credit for being willing to wade into the Piranha Pit.

    Suddenly my theory is not so kooky after all.

  209. #210 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth seems to be hung up on dissent a lot, because that’s all he ever writes about.

  210. #211 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    At least give me credit for being willing to wade into the Piranha Pit.

    Sealing yourself in protective gear and jumping in is hardly the same thing. ;)

  211. #212 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Maverick qua maverick.

  212. #213 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “…he wants us to produce a porn film starring talking quarks.”

    Actually, Star Trek:Deep Space Nine already did that.

  213. #214 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    From Wirth’s post:
    “So here is how I ended my chapter in Bergman’s book, and it seems appropriate to post it here:

    ‘They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not object. They came after the Catholics, and I was not a Catholic, so I did not object. They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionist, so I did not object. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object.’”

    Other than commenting on the worthlessness of your thinking, Wirth; exactly who is coming after you?

    Ahh, the martyr complex. So popular in Christian history and thought.

    Don’t worry, Wirth, you’re certainly not worth the bother.

  214. #215 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Sven DiMllo – #182, Kel – #184, and Amelia – #186

    ‘So, it was CHRISTIANS who killed the Jews in Germany, huh?’

    “um, that is not in dispute in any way. Whatver [sic] you think about Hitler, the grunts at the camps who did the killing would have self-identified as Christians, almost every single one of them.”

    I won’t dispute their CLAIMS to be Christian, but I will dispute the reality that they really WERE Christians. Just because someone CLAIMS to be something, doesn’t make it so. See my previous illustrations… Please don’t tell me you don’t get this…

    “Feature, not bug. Nothing “sad” about it. What your crappy little historical analysis leaves out is that the reason for a consensus in the first place is that it is best supported by the data and hypotheses available. Only when somebody has a new idea, or when new data become available (often because of a technological advance) is progress made.”

    Consensus views may rely on lots of data and good explanations, but that only gets you so far. And that’s not where you get tripped up in science. The stumbling stone in any consensus view is how you handle the stuff that DOESN’T fit consensus theories well – like when you try to make a round peg of data fit into a square hole of theory. Thomas Kuhn (and others) made the point in his book “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” — ie, what to do when “anomalies” to consensus views [ie, the current paradigm] of science accumulate. How these anomalies are treated depends on a number of factors. “But no matter how great or numerous the anomalies that persist, Kuhn observes, the practicing scientists will not lose faith in the established paradigm as long as no credible alternative is available; to lose faith in the solubility of the problems would in effect mean ceasing to be a scientist.”

    Those who insist on holding to a consensus view in spite of contradictory data are what we call dogmatists. At some point, it no longer makes sense to hold the consensus view, but as Kuhn pointed out, that’s what happens anyway, long after everyone knows better.

    We all have access to the same ‘scientific’ data. The differences come into play as we INTERPRET what that data means. Unfortunately, all too often the arrogance of those who insist on a reliance of the consensus view is used to dismiss any challenging opinions.

    As for Kel’s righteous requirement for empirical validity, I agree. Where ID is concerned, there is a reasonable inference that the complexity of life could not and likely did not arise merely by chance natural processes. The intervention of intelligence is a reasonable if not REQUIRED explanation for the appearance of INFORMATION in living systems. INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.

    This is testable, and it’s also induspitable [my sic](except of course, by folks who insist it’s not).

    Scientists examining ID compare observations of how intelligently designed agents, patterns, or systems behave against observations of natural phenomena whose origin cannot be observed, is not known, or are assumed to have originated via natural processes. This is a rational, testable, and scientific approach, so, I don’t get why any of you come off saying ID isn’t scientific. The presence of information in natural systems (including rules of organization, etc.) indicates the intervention of intelligence. This most certainly IS testable.

    You might disagree with this, and you might offer a counter theory – that’s fine. But, don’t tell me or millions of other qualified scientists it’s not a scientific approach and doesn’t make sense, ’cause they would certainly beg to differ with you. And this approach does not require adherence to any religious or faith-based beliefs. There are plenty of non-theists who recognize this approach as legitimate science.

    I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?

    I would also vigorously dispute your last remark. New data is most definitely NOT the only thing that advances science, it’s just a component of the bigger picture. New ideas are just as, if not more important than data sometimes. To say otherwise is like saying you don’t need leaves on a fruit tree to get fruit. Scientific advances often begin with just an idea. Ideas are quite often a necessary starting point for any vigorous or effective scientific research program.

  215. #216 eb0137
    January 29, 2010

    “At least give me credit for being willing to wade into the Piranha Pit.”

    Based on his comments thus far, I’d say Kevin hasn’t waded in at all; he merely stuck in a few fingers and toes and had them promptly bitten off.

  216. #217 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    As for Kel’s righteous requirement for empirical validity, I agree. Where ID is concerned, there is a reasonable inference that the complexity of life could not and likely did not arise merely by chance natural processes.

    No biological scientist thinks it chance! Why do ID proponents persist with this straw man?

    Again, the problem of such an argument is all you’re doing is arguing a negative. If this were 200 years ago, the same argument for design would be an argument against Lamarkism. This logic doesn’t work, you don’t prove design because you can disprove natural selection – all you do is disprove natural selection. Just as you don’t prove design by disproving Lamarkism – all you do is disprove Lamarkism.

  217. #218 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?”

    Yeah but it’s going to take a few millions years to run it’s course.

    Tell me, Mr. Wirth do believe star light is faked too?

  218. #219 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    but I will dispute the reality that they really WERE Christians.

    Ah, the “true Scotsman” argument, used only by losers and idjits. Which includes you Wirth.

    The differences come into play as we INTERPRET what that data means.

    Yes, the data can be interpreted by unscientific godbots like your self, and become non-scientific, or by scientists like myself and remain scientific. In order to refute science you need more science. Science cannot be refuted by your inane and wrong religious “interpretations”. So, another chasm your illogic fell into.

    I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?

    As usual, you attempt to reverse the need for proof. You are required to prove that your imaginary creator exists outside of your theory. Show us physical evidence for your imaginary god, evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural, origin. Until then, you have nothing but religious delusional wishful thinking. That and the money for a cup of joe, will get you a cup of joe. Another idiocy for the delusional fool.

    New data is most definitely NOT the only thing that advances science,

    As a 30+ professional scientist, you are full of shit with that statement. New evidence is required. And you have nothing. What a loser.

  219. #220 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    As for Kel’s righteous requirement for empirical validity

    What’s “righteous” about it? It’s science, you don’t do science without empirical validity.

    The intervention of intelligence is a reasonable if not REQUIRED explanation for the appearance of INFORMATION in living systems. INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.

    No it isn’t, randomness + selection = information.

    This is testable, and it’s also induspitable [my sic](except of course, by folks who insist it’s not).

    It is testable, and it’s shown to happen (see above link – peer reviewed paper is on the site)

  220. #221 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.”

    Somebody should really tell all of those stars out there to shut up then.

    Mr. Wirth do you believe the Earth is the center of the Universe?

  221. #222 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.

    Moving goalpost alert…

    A goalpost is about to be moved…

    Several times…

  222. #223 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    Yea, but how was Ben Stein either segregated and/or disciminated against enough to compare him to Rosa Parks?

  223. #224 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    This is a rational, testable, and scientific approach, so, I don’t get why any of you come off saying ID isn’t scientific.

    What predictions does ID make? What mechanisms does it used? How can it be falsified? When all you have is pointing out the negatives of neo-darwinian theory, you don’t have science; you have a critique of neo-darwinian theory.

  224. #225 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Thomas Kuhn (and others) made the point in his book “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” — ie, what to do when “anomalies” to consensus views [ie, the current paradigm] of science accumulate.

    Would it surprise you to learn that a lot of people think Kuhn was full of shit?
    But, sorry, aren’t we talking about biological evolution here? Because in that case there are no such anomalies.
    No, “but it sure looks awful complex to me” is not an anomaly.

    Unfortunately, all too often the arrogance of those who insist on a reliance of the consensus view is used to dismiss any challenging opinions.

    Idiot. It’s not ever about opinions. It’s about data and/or logic. Period. Back up your INTERPRETATION of the data with accurate logic and scientists will pay attention. Otherwise, not so much.

    btw, what is “INFORMATION”?

    But, don’t tell me or millions of other qualified scientists it’s not a scientific approach and doesn’t make sense, ’cause they would certainly beg to differ with you.

    First, you‘re not a “qualified scientist” and you will look for a long, long time before you find even 1000 qualified scientists that agree with you. “Millions” is laughable hyperbole. We like to be precise in science, see.

    There are plenty of non-theists who recognize this approach as legitimate science.

    You are mistaken about that. Plain wrong.

    I would also vigorously dispute your last remark. New data is most definitely NOT the only thing that advances science, it’s just a component of the bigger picture. New ideas are just as, if not more important than data sometimes. To say otherwise is like saying you don’t need leaves on a fruit tree to get fruit. Scientific advances often begin with just an idea. Ideas are quite often a necessary starting point for any vigorous or effective scientific research program.

    Please go back and read the remark in question (whichever one you mean) for comprehension. I was quite clear in mentioning both new data and new ideas.

    But you are wasting my time–you have demonstrated that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’re not even reading people’s replies.

    Fuck off, won’t you?

    And until you learn to spell 3-letter words like “pus”, please shove your [sic]s up yer ass.

  225. #226 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Wirth is hung up on the idea of information, that that biochemical actions controlled by RNA and DNA has to be informed by an outside intelligence. The evolutionary biologists are working on why organism work as they do, which is astounding enough. Wirth has to add an extra level of complication that cannot be proved in the empirical sense. All because he thinks that information has to directed by an outside force.

  226. #227 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?

    There’s plenty of work going on right now towards how complex systems arise.

    Though I have to wonder why we should be looking at a complex living system with intelligent input. By all observation, intelligence is an emergent property stemming from having a big complex ordered brain. Our brains take 2% of our body mass yet use 20% of our energy – they are incredibly complex systems. If we posit intelligence, then we have to take into account how such intelligence could arise. To say “intelligence just exists” is special pleading because by all we know intelligence is just another complex system that requires explanation.

    So the problem of positing an intelligent causal agent is twofold: firstly that you’re only pushing the problem one step back and having to count for an intelligence, and secondly that unless you show an intelligent agent acting in the process your position is circular.

  227. #228 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    btw, what is “INFORMATION”?

    That’s an easy one. Information is DNA, and computer programs. (As soon as he gets done moving all the goalposts.)

  228. #229 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Sorry. I forgot to close my bracket.

  229. #230 Rorschach
    January 29, 2010

    Where ID is concerned, there is a reasonable inference that the complexity of life could not and likely did not arise merely by chance natural processes.

    Word salad.
    If it can not arise as per ID’s “reasonable inference” ( whatever that means), then it does not follow that it “likely” did not arise, it follows that it definetely did not arise.Why not commit ?

    what to do when “anomalies” to consensus views [ie, the current paradigm] of science accumulate

    Please provise examples of such anomalies wrt the ToE, and no, examples from creationist kooks or the UD website don’t count.

    The presence of information in natural systems (including rules of organization, etc.) indicates the intervention of intelligence

    Mr Wirth, in the interest of clarity and to not bore the knowledgeable commenters here to tears, could you at least have the decency to google “scientific method” and read up on it, because it just fundamentally differs from the ID “method” of starting with a worldview or certainty, and then going about trying to prove your preconceptions.

  230. #231 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    For those interested, there’s a good article on the current push towards understanding the origin of life here.

  231. #232 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Qwerty – #214

    “Other than commenting on the worthlessness of your thinking, Wirth; exactly who is coming after you? Ahh, the martyr complex. So popular in Christian history and thought. Don’t worry, Wirth, you’re certainly not worth the bother.”

    So many of you guys are missing the point on many of my comments today. Is it really that difficult for so many of you? Go back and re-read my post.

    The point here isn’t who is coming after ME – I don’t have any martyr complex. The point I was making is, anyone who thinks they can remove the freedoms of dissenters needs to watch their own back eventually.

  232. #233 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth, most of us understand the point. Most of us have no desire to take away the freedom to dissent. The problem is this, those that you claim are dissenters have given no reason why their dissent should be heeded.

  233. #234 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth (#215)

    I won’t dispute their CLAIMS to be Christian, but I will dispute the reality that they really WERE Christians. … See my previous illustrations…

    See my response to your worthless illustration in #199. In fact, answer anything in #199, you chicken.

    The stumbling stone in any consensus view is how you handle the stuff that DOESN’T fit consensus theories well – like when you try to make a round peg of data fit into a square hole of theory.

    And exactly what “stuff” doesn’t fit into the Theory of Evolution? Be very specific. What anomalies are a problem for evolution and how does ID explain them better while still explaining everything evolution explains? If you really want serious discussions of ID, this should be a huge focus area for you. You should have several examples at hand for us evil, dogmatic evolutionists.

    Where ID is concerned, there is a reasonable inference that the complexity of life could not and likely did not arise merely by chance natural processes.

    This deserves to be corrected however many times it takes. Evolution doesn’t rely on mere chance.

    INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.

    What definition of information are you using here?

    There are plenty of non-theists who recognize this approach as legitimate science.

    Hey, don’tcha know, them consensus thingies, they’re, like, bad.

    (#232)

    I don’t have any martyr complex.

    Okay, you have a martyr complex by proxy.

  234. #235 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Sven DiMilo – #225

    “Would it surprise you to learn that a lot of people think Kuhn was full of shit?”

    Nope – not a surprize at all – I’m very well aware of that. But it’s MY OPINION that he made some legitimate points worth contemplating. You don’t have to agree.

    “But, sorry, aren’t we talking about biological evolution here? Because in that case there are no such anomalies.”

    Right. No anomalies? Not a single one? Wow, that ranks among the most absurd comments I’ve read here today.

    ‘Unfortunately, all too often the arrogance of those who insist on a reliance of the consensus view is used to dismiss any challenging opinions.

    ‘Idiot. It’s not ever about opinions. It’s about data and/or logic. Period.’

    OK, I’m an idiot and I clearly have nothing to say that might be of value to you.

    Not to mention that your vulgarity sucks big time.

    Have a great life.

  235. #236 raven
    January 29, 2010

    scienceagogo:

    Now, however, two Scripps Research Institute scientists have taken a significant step toward confirming the viability of the RNA World model. For the first time, they have synthesized RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves indefinitely without the help of any proteins or other cellular components.

    Reporting their work in Science, Scripps’ Tracey Lincoln and Gerald Joyce explained how their breakthrough began with a method of forced adaptation known as in vitro evolution. The ultimate goal was to take one of the RNA enzymes already developed in the lab that could perform the basic chemistry of replication, and improve it to the point that it could drive efficient, perpetual self-replication.

    This involved synthesizing a large population of variants of the RNA enzyme that then underwent a test-tube evolution procedure to obtain those variants that were most adept at joining together pieces of RNA. Ultimately, this process enabled the team to isolate an evolved version of the original enzyme that was a very efficient replicator. The improved enzyme fulfilled the primary goal of being able to undergo perpetual replication. “It kind of blew me away,” says Lincoln.

    Kevin Wirth lying xian troll:

    I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?

    Already been done. Scientists have evolved a primordial RNA replicator. By random mutation and natural selection in an RNA test tube system.

    By some definitions, this is a form of life. It is also a significant increase in information by natural processes. There are 3 or 5 projects ongoing to create various synthetic life forms from scratch.

    Creationists used to taunt scientists by asking them, why if they are so smart, they can’t create life. We are on the verge of doing so right now. The smarter ones, which Kevin Wirth is not, don’t do that anymore. Because we will create life forms and rather soon, or already have in the case of the RNA replicator.

    Predictably, they just move the goal posts. Now it is the Big Bang. The creationists better hope someone doesn’t manage to touch off another Big Bang. That would end everything for another 13.7 billion years.

    FWIW, Kevin Wirth is a YEC. He doesn’t really believe in ID. He believes the earth is 6,000 years old and Noah had a boatload full of dinosaurs. He is also probably a Rapture Monkey who is desperately hoping the Invisible, undetectable, cosmic genocidal ghost he worships shows up soon and kills him and 6.7 billion other people.

  236. #237 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    Right. No anomalies? Not a single one? Wow, that ranks among the most absurd comments I’ve read here today.

    Enlighten me; What anomalies could you possible mean?

  237. #238 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth wrote:

    Just because someone CLAIMS to be something, doesn’t make it so.

    I think that depends on a great many factors, and differs vastly for any particular ‘thing’ that a person may claim.

    What do you believe the definition of ‘Christian’ to be? Where did you obtain this definition? What methods did you apply to determine that this is the correct definition of the term?

  238. #239 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “The point I was making is, anyone who thinks they can remove the freedoms of dissenters needs to watch their own back eventually.”

    Geez, now it’s political persecution?

    Mr. Wirth, do you believe Diamonds, Oil, and Coal were buried in the ground as means to fool human beings?

  239. #240 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    So many of you guys are missing the point on many of my comments today.

    You have no point. You deliberately miss the points of our comments, which is no scientific evidence for your inane and insane claims, so shut the fuck up. You continued yapping tells us you are nothing but liar and bullshitter.

    OK, I’m an idiot and I clearly have nothing to say that might be of value to you.

    You are trying to be satiric, but are actually telling the truth. Until you can cite the peer reviewed scientific literature, you are nothing but a Liar for Jebus?, to be ignored as an asshat.

  240. #241 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    Well, Wirth, I still think you are imagining a removal of freedom that isn’t happening unless there is a freedom to teach psuedo-science as science. For, at best, this is what ID creationism is. So, I won’t worry about watching my back.

    Certainly showing the movie Expelled in 1,000 movie houses as its promoters like to brag is an excellent showing that Darwinian dissent exists in the public forum without censorship. Hooray for freedom of speech.

    The only thing missing from IDers is the science.
    ID is just creationism. Why do any science when you can say God did it.

    And you haven’t answered my questions:

    Exactly how has Ben Stein been discriminated and/or segregated against that led you to compare him to Rosa Parks?

    Why did Ben Stein and Glen Beck mention “god” thirteen times when talking about Expelled which is suppose to be about ID which (you said) is NOT religious?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re just a full of shit gasbag.

  241. #242 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Not to mention that your vulgarity sucks big time.

    And fuck you too.

  242. #243 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth lying xian troll:

    ‘Unfortunately, all too often the arrogance of those who insist on a reliance of the consensus view is used to dismiss any challenging opinions.

    I can see the rabid xian kook is back. With his wall to wall lies.

    Creationism isn’t a new opinion, viewpoint or theory. It was the consensus for 3,000 years or more.

    It was the old orthodox position of western people. The new challenger was something called “modern science”. The creationists held on as long as they could and then most rational people gave up. A few burned Giordano Bruno at the stake and threatened to do the same to Galileo. We call the period when creationism ruled….the Dark Age.

    These days xians have lost their most important tool. Violence. They can no longer force their religion on people with guns, rope, and stacks of firewood.

    Kevin Wirth was born 500 years too late. Doomed to live in a modern Hi Tech society that he hates but can’t escape because he is too stupid to go back to the land and be a subsistence level farmer or hunter gatherer.

  243. #244 Krystalline Apostate
    January 29, 2010

    The point I was making is, anyone who thinks they can remove the freedoms of dissenters needs to watch their own back eventually.

    Really, this is just a lame effort to re-frame the old “you gotta admit, they have every right to have their side heard in the classroom” gambit. While we’re at it, we may as well let Anatoly Fomenko’s historical revisionism be taught in history classes, just so fair’s fair.

    Read the book and then we’ll talk. I find plenty of things in Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, to be alarmed about.

    How many of those Dissidents were actually Slaughtered?
    Fact is, seeing 1 of the intros was written by James Kennedy, right-wing wacko/historical revisionist/blame-the-holocaust-on-Darwin, & all-around snake-oil salesman, clenches my wallet shut.
    Having a dissenting opinion doesn’t entitle that opinion to any respect whatsoever until all the facts are in. & your claim of ‘persecution’ is so much a tempest in a teapot. & even if hypothetically this ‘persecution’ was going on, it would no more validate the opinion than saying any sect or cult’s worldview is validated due to said persecution.

  244. #245 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “…society that he hates but can’t escape because he is too stupid to go back to the land and be a subsistence level farmer or hunter gatherer.”

    I think “too lazy” is a better description.

  245. #246 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Hey Kevin, why don’t you find a theocracy and join it?

    We Americans aren’t interested in your xian Dominionism theocracy. Most of our enemies these days are theocracies or groups of wannabe theocrats. Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are among them. No point in fighting wacko religious fanatics in the middle east unless we fight them here in the USA as well.

    Really, you will be much happier surrounded by fellow xians in a police state that outlaws modern science and ugly things like freedom of religion and freedom of speech. As an added bonus, you can institute Biblical law like Ahmanson, Rushdooney, and the Discovery Institute want. This would allow you to stone disobedient children, adulterers, scientists, heretics, sabbath breakers, and dozens of other criminals to death on a daily basis.

    Just think, no scientists, all xians, no annoying constitution, and routine group killings. Paradise for a fundie xian.

  246. #247 Kevin Wirth
    January 29, 2010

    Raven – #236

    {{{{The ultimate goal was to take one of the RNA enzymes ALREADY DEVELOPED IN THE LAB that could perform the basic chemistry of replication, and improve it to the point that it could drive efficient, perpetual self-replication.}}}}

    “Kevin Wirth lying xian troll:
    I’m assuming you can devise a test showing how a living complex system could have originated without resorting to Intelligent input, right?

    Already been done. Scientists have evolved a primordial RNA replicator. By random mutation and natural selection in an RNA test tube system.”

    First, (duh) this involved input from scientists. The Frankenscience approach isn’t a valid test. Did you READ the text? What they did was to leverage a complex function that ALREADY EXISTS and setting it into motion, NOT THE SAME THING AS creating that complex system in the first place.

    How did the original replication process come about? THAT is the question.

    Second, Your illustration is like taking a perfectly functional airplane and then creating a robot to build one and then saying “See – people can make robots that can make flying machines.”

    So what? Big deal. It’s called reverse engineering.

    You haven’t answered the question at all, nor have you demonstrated a test that shows us how multiple complex living systems could have originated on this planet without the intervention of intelligent agency. If you can do that, smartypants, then you’ll win a Nobel Prize.

    If these guys at Scripps had met that test, then they would have won it as well.

  247. #248 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Wirth,

    The vast majority of Germans in the 1930s and 1940s were either Lutherans or Catholics. I know there are a bunch of fundamentalist evangelicals who pretend Catholics aren’t Christians and I suspect there are some who claim Lutherans aren’t either. Most normal people would accept that these two groups are actual Christians.

    There are arguments both ways as to whether Hitler was a Christian or not. It doesn’t really matter if he was or wasn’t. The people doing the dirty work in the concentration camps were Christians.

    So your hero, Ben “evolution can’t explain gravity” Stein, was talking out of his ass when he tried to blame the Holocaust on Darwin. It wasn’t adherence to Darwin that caused all those Christians to kill six million Jews and millions of other people. It was following the guidance of Martin Luther and Pope Pius X that had Lutherans and Catholics killing people.

  248. #249 owlbear1
    January 29, 2010

    “You haven’t answered the question at all, nor have you demonstrated a test…”

    “You can’t reach the goal posts from here, HAHA!”

  249. #250 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Yawn, still no evidence from Wirth, just the inane and typical ultra skepticism. What a loser. No evidence of his imaginary creator What a loser. He has nothing positive to present, and he knows it. What a loser.

  250. #251 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    No anomalies? Not a single one? Wow, that ranks among the most absurd comments I’ve read here today.

    *shrug* I stand by it. Show me how it’s wrong.

    Not to mention that your vulgarity sucks big time.

    It “sucks big time”? What are you, 12?
    Try not to get distracted by the Anglo-Saxon vernacular, pal.

  251. #252 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth lying xian troll:

    “The point I was making is, anyone who thinks they can remove the freedoms of dissenters needs to watch their own back eventually.”

    No one has removed any of your freedoms moron. Xians like Kevin Wirth are big fans of Orwell’s 1984. They use it as an instruction manual.

    Kevins is practicing Doublespeak.

    xian persecution = unable to hunt down and burn witches any more

    xian persecution = unable to force a weird cult version on other people

    xian persecution = living in a democracy that provides for freedom of speech and religion.

    The Discovery Institute which Kevin is affiliated with is a xian Dominionist funded Christofascist dumbtank. They openly hate secular democracy, the US government, and science and say so often.

    All of which are the foundation institutions of the USA today.

    In Kevin’s ideal world, the USA would be a theocratic dictatorship by cult xians and millions of Americans would have been stoned to death.

  252. #254 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    You haven’t answered the question at all, nor have you demonstrated a test that shows us how multiple complex living systems could have originated on this planet without the intervention of intelligent agency. If you can do that, smartypants, then you’ll win a Nobel Prize.

    Oh ho, now it’s multiple. I notice the goal posts just moved. Don’t think we won’t call you out on it.

    Second, you don’t know the procedure, do you? You don’t know how that RNA transcriber came into being? Why are you immediately attributing this to agency?

    Third, I notice you have no examples of abnormalities that disprove aspects of evolutionary theory (Because the realistic answer is that it’s too comprehensive to disprove in its entirety with one example). Which sucks for me.

  253. #255 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Not to mention that your vulgarity sucks big time.

    This is number seven of the list of creationist* arguments against evilution. “You guys are potty-mouths, therefore GODDIDIT!” Does anyone have a bingo yet?

    *Wirth, don’t lie to us and pretend ID isn’t creationism. Both you and we know better.

  254. #256 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth is affiliated with an ugly xian Dominionist dumbtank called the Discovery Institute.

    It is funded by A.H. Ahmanson, who inherited a billion dollars. Ahmanson is a follower of Rushdooney, a xian theologian who is the father of xian Dominionism.

    Rushdooney was also a psychopath. His goal was to set up a xian theocracy and institute Biblical law. Calculations show that this would result in a few people murdering 297 million of the 300 million people alive in the USA today.

    This is the real goal of the Kevin Wirth’s of the world. And you can see by his current crop of lies and incoherent ravings that he is crazy enough to think this is a good idea. Fundie xianity always reduces down to how many people can they kill and how soon.

    bcseweb.org Rushdooney:
    Our list may not be perfect but it seems to cover those ?crimes? against the family that are inferred by Rushdoony?s statement to Moyers. The real frightening side of it is the interpretation of heresy, apostasy and idolatry. Rushdoony?s position seems to suggest that he would have anyone killed who disagreed with his religious opinions. That represents all but a tiny minority of people. Add to that death penalties for what is quite legal, blasphemy, not getting on with parents and working on a Sunday means that it the fantasy ideal world of Rushdoony and his pals, there will be an awful lot of mass murderers and amongst a tiny population.

    We have done figures for the UK which suggest that around 99% of the population would end up dead and the remainder would have each, on average, killed 500 fellow citizens.

    Chalcedon foundation bsceweb.org. Stoning disobedient children to death.Contempt for Parental Authority: Those who consider death as a horrible punishment here must realise that in such a case as
    ?.cut for length
    Rev. William Einwechter, ?Modern Issues in Biblical Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children?, The Chalcedon Report, January 1999

  255. #257 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    It’s telling that these guys claim they’d become jews if convinced of the 13bn years date. They’ve vested their notion of everything of what they are in stupid theology.

  256. #258 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin lying and moving the goal posts:

    First, (duh) this involved input from scientists. The Frankenscience approach isn’t a valid test. Did you READ the text? What they did was to leverage a complex function that ALREADY EXISTS and setting it into motion, NOT THE SAME THING AS creating that complex system in the first place.

    How did the original replication process come about? THAT is the question.

    Second, Your illustration is like taking a perfectly functional airplane and then creating a robot to build one and then saying “See – people can make robots that can make flying machines.”

    So what? Big deal. It’s called reverse engineering.

    You haven’t answered the question at all, nor have you demonstrated a test that shows us how multiple complex living systems could have originated on this planet without the intervention of intelligent agency. If you can do that, smartypants, then you’ll win a Nobel Prize.

    Well you didn’t understand the example. The first ribozyme itself was developed by an in vitro evolution process.

    It was a huge jump to develop one that would replicate forever efficiently. They in fact spent years trying and finally resorted to an evolutionary process.

    So what? Big deal. It’s called reverse engineering. Reverse engineering a natural process and creating a life form is nontrivial.

    I see you moved the goal posts. Now creating life forms is no big deal. Now you are saying multiple complex living systems. If we created multiple complex living systems, you would just move the goal posts again. Get ready to move them again, we may well do that and sooner than you think, those synthetic life projects are close already. Your god is hiding behind the Big Bang right now and running out of places to live, isn’t it?

    BTW, we know how “multiple complex living systems” arose. By evolution from simplier systems. The fossil record, and a century of science proved that. The US national academy of science said it best recently. Evolution is well established and unlikely to ever be falsified. That is as good as it gets for a scientific theory.

    Your turn. Prove that your Intelligent Designer, who we know damn well you call Yahweh the xian god exists.

  257. #259 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Again, not responding to my objections. It’s really sad that all he could do was offer the same recycled creationist objections that have been espoused here and other places many times over. This is why option one is more realistic despite the desire for option three, ID offers nothing new – the argument has been around for thousands of years, it’s been rejected not a priori but as been shown to be absurd. David Hume destroyed the design argument some 250 years ago.

    The problem stems from the logical fallacy that if evolution by natural selection ain’t true, then design is. So instead of making a case for design, they attack currently evolutionary theory as if that counts as a case. And from that fall into an argumentum ad ignorantiam (X cannot be explained by Darwinism, therefore designer) or even an argument from personal incredulity (I can’t see how X can be explained by Darwinism, therefore designer). In other words, it pays people like Kevin not to understand evolution because they need it to be wrong for them to be right. Hence why he is making straw-man arguments such as “chance process” and “can’t create information” despite both being wrong.

    If Kevin really wanted to understand, then he would be looking to argue against current evolutionary theory as scientists understand it. Instead he persists with creationist straw-men arguments that have been debunked by the scientific community over and over again to the point where laypeople like myself are able to understand why such arguments are wrong. Honest debate can only stem from understanding what the debate is actually about, without it arguments become nothing more than straw-men.

  258. #260 raven
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin, you’ve spent your time lying, moving the goal posts, making wild accusations, and babbling like a loon. Standard xian kook creationist drivel.

    Try to answer one simple question about your creationist hypothesis.

    Prove that your Intelligent Designer, who we know damn well you call Yahweh the xian god exists.

    We’re waiting. And we will wait until hell freezes over. Because you can’t and won’t do it.

  259. #261 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    I’d personally find a coherent theory of adeigenesis without abiogenesis fascinating.

    Perhaps the self-duplicating RNA will one day evolve into sentient creatures, and those creatures will posit that they were intelligently designed and then insist that their designers have always existed and need no explanation. If that happens, will we no longer need an intelligent designer?

    Which intelligent designer intelligently designed our intelligent designer? It’s not a new question, not by centuries at least.

  260. #262 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    And just to elaborate, “a watch having a watchmaker” does not mean the end of the story. Watchmakers don’t exist ex nihilo, they are incredibly complex structures that themselves require explanation. This is not to say that watches aren’t made by watchmakers, but that the argument is not actually a end. If one happened to found a watch in 100 million year old rocks, we’d be completely baffled as to how it got there. Because while we know of an agency capable of making such technology, they don’t exist of that time nor is there anything remotely capable that did exist on this planet 100 million years ago. We’d have to point to aliens, or time travel or even that its a hoax.

    The point being that what design we do know exists 3.8 billion years after the origin of life, and only in the last few million years. These tools are initially primitive but get more refined and complex as time goes on. We don’t expect to find such design 100 million years ago as there’s no known agency that could have possibly produced it. Just as we don’t know what agency could assist in the design of life, we have no known mechanism. The appeal to gods is circular for this reason, and why ID will be useless until they can demonstrate that there is a designer working in nature.

  261. #263 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    I won’t dispute their CLAIMS to be Christian, but I will dispute the reality that they really WERE Christians. Just because someone CLAIMS to be something, doesn’t make it so.

    So what metric do you use, besides self-identification?

    Your vegetarian analogy is a false one, because vegetarianism actually has a behavioural definition.

    “Christianity” does not.

  262. #264 Kel, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Another paper that might be useful for Kevin to at least consider: Darwin’s Strange Inversion Of Reasoning. Also, a full lecture on the subject.

  263. #265 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Kevin Wirth (#235)

    Right. No anomalies? Not a single one? Wow, that ranks among the most absurd comments I’ve read here today.

    I note that you’ve neglected another opportunity to actually present one of these mythical anomalies.

    Not to mention that your vulgarity sucks big time.

    Do you need mommy to hold your hand while you read this blog?

    (#247)

    First, (duh) this involved input from scientists. The Frankenscience approach isn’t a valid test.

    Any test devised to be scientific will, by definition, involve “input from scientists.”

    How did the original replication process come about? THAT is the question.

    Unless someone is answering that one. Then, it’s “how does complexity arise without intelligent input?” Or can’t you keep track of your own talking points?

    Second, Your illustration is like taking a perfectly functional airplane and then creating a robot to build one and then saying “See – people can make robots that can make flying machines.”

    Because that’s a totally appropriate analogy for self replication at the molecular level. Right.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    raven (#236)

    FWIW, Kevin Wirth is a YEC. He doesn’t really believe in ID. He believes the earth is 6,000 years old and Noah had a boatload full of dinosaurs. He is also probably a Rapture Monkey who is desperately hoping the Invisible, undetectable, cosmic genocidal ghost he worships shows up soon and kills him and 6.7 billion other people.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  264. #266 tresmal
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin Wirth @215

    This is a rational, testable, and scientific approach, so, I don’t get why any of you come off saying ID isn’t scientific.

    Then,
    why
    aren’t
    they
    testing
    it?
    After all you’ve got “… millions of …qualified scientists…”

  265. #267 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    FWIW, Kevin Wirth is a YEC. He doesn’t really believe in ID. He believes the earth is 6,000 years old and Noah had a boatload full of dinosaurs.

    pfft, even Dembski and Meyer are old earth creationists. It’s pretty silly to be a young earther these days, the dating methods that age the earth to ~4.6 billion years and the universe to ~13.72 billion years are really well established. There are galaxies billions of light years away, can’t explain that unless the universe is billions of years old. That life evolved is the least of the worries to a young earther ;)

  266. #268 raven
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin Wirth delusional moron:

    “INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.”

    This is totally wrong, a lie. We see it all the time in biology. Routine. I provided one example above with the evolving primordial replicator. The novel and predicted swine flu is another example.

    Pretty odd that a major new pathogen carrying new information can be predicted by evolutionary biology, and kill tens of thousands, and Kevin is supposedly unaware of it.

    Kevin Wirth lying some more:

    If I told everyone I was a vegetarian but ate beef steak three times a week, would you believe me just because I said I was? Or wouldn’t you come to your conclusions based on my actual eating habits? Likewise, to claim that Hitler was a Christian, or that Christians killed the Jews in Nazi Germany is absolutely absurd.

    That the Holocaust was thought up and carried out by German xians is indisputable and the scholarly consensus. Hitler was a creationist and a xian, Catholic. Hitler himself never killed anyone. It was his millions of followers, all good Catholics and Lutherans.

    Xians like yourself have been trying to evade and lie their way out ever since. That German style xianity was the root cause of the Holocaust is not absurd, it is simply a fact. You undoubtedly know Martin Luther, a rabid antisemite, wrote a Final Solution plan into his his book, Jews and their lies. You undoubtedly lie about that all the time as well.

    That is why Stein’s claims it was scientists is so absurd. BTW, evolution is taught and evolutionary biology research is done at all Israeli universities. They even have their own journal. The Jews themselves know full well who has been massacring them for 2,000 years. The NT bible itself is loaded with antisemitism.

    You’ve got nothing but lies and every logical fallacy discovered in the last 3 millenia.

  267. #269 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin might be trying to disprove evolution in the same way Zeno disproved movement, perhaps it would be good if the discussion moved on to what was important: the evidence itself. After all, it’s not like evolution is supported by the scientific community purely because the algorithm works. (and it does work, which is why it is used in various engineering disciplines)

    What does the fossil record show? What does our genetic code show? What does morphology show? What does the geographic distribution of life show? That’s ultimately what’s important, because there must be a reason beyond atheist conspiracy that evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology.

  268. #270 Krystalline Apostate
    January 30, 2010

    Kel @ 262:

    And just to elaborate, “a watch having a watchmaker” does not mean the end of the story. Watchmakers don’t exist ex nihilo, they are incredibly complex structures that themselves require explanation.

    I’d add that both watch & watchmaker are bound by the same laws of physics.

  269. #271 raven
    January 30, 2010

    kevin repeating old lies again and again:

    New ideas are just as, if not more important than data sometimes. To say otherwise is like saying you don’t need leaves on a fruit tree to get fruit. Scientific advances often begin with just an idea. Ideas are quite often a necessary starting point for any vigorous or effective scientific research program.

    Creationism isn’t a new idea. It is very old, predating modern science by thousands of years.

    This is BTW, the standard line of crackpots. “We have a great new paradigm and everyone is ignoring us.” New paradigms or old ones pretending to be new have higher hurdles than that. They need data and they need to be right.

    Creationism isn’t new, it isn’t science, and it has no data.

    We discard old ideas when they are proved wrong. Creationism went the way of the flat earth and Geocentrism. Except many fundie xians including possibly Kevin still think the sun orbits the earth. 26% of the fundie xians are Geocentrists.

  270. #272 Kevin Wirth
    January 30, 2010

    Raven – #260

    “Kevin, you’ve spent your time lying, moving the goal posts, making wild accusations, and babbling like a loon. Standard xian kook creationist drivel.”

    Nope – didn’t lie to ya. Didn’t make any wild accusations. None of that stuff.

    “Try to answer one simple question about your creationist hypothesis. Prove that your Intelligent Designer, who we know damn well you call Yahweh the xian god exists. We’re waiting. And we will wait until hell freezes over. Because you can’t and won’t do it.”

    Hey – you know what? You are absolutely correct — that is one thing I cannot do for you. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way. It’s not MY responsibility to try and prove that to you.

    YOU, on the other hand, have everything you need to determine if there is a God.

    So I’ll leave you with this much: When you get tired of being angry and bitter, maybe you’ll be in a better place to figure it out. Right now you (and quite a few other folks on this site) can’t see anything but your own rage. So many of you are literally overcome by a sense of self-righteous indignation and haughty certainty. Your words literally reek of this. You won’t understand much until you get over that.

    Wishing you all the best.

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Tick Tock.

  271. #273 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    So many of you are literally overcome by a sense of self-righteous indignation and haughty certainty. Your words literally reek of this. You won’t understand much until you get over that.

    Oh the irony!

    I’ve engaged you on your arguments time and time again, bar one post you’ve made no attempt to intellectually justify your position. Doesn’t that say something to you?

  272. #274 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Wishing you all the best.

    Gosh. Thanks, Kevin.
    Hey, same to you, man.

  273. #275 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Tick Tock.

    Kevin Wirth, the threat of the eternal torments of Hell means nothing to people who do not believe in such a thing. The only thing we see is it: I have nothing to back my ideas but a silly threat. And, oh yeah, fuck you.

    What you think as your trump card, the Ace Of Spades, is just the Two Of Diamonds.

  274. #276 John Morales
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin @272, you’ve just admitted you worship a magic monster you believe created us specifically to be eternally tormented. Nice.

  275. #277 Miki Z
    January 30, 2010

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Isn’t this a violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics? I suppose there is some evidence that it doesn’t.

  276. #278 threeoffour
    January 30, 2010

    Not that I want to draw attention away from kevin * nudge, nudge*, but has anyone here ever visted Ben Steins “Official Web Site” and looked at the guestbook? All the posts are like, “Ben, your wonderful”, “Ben, thank you for for your wonderful insight”, “Ben, the NYT really messed up when they let you go”, “Ben, I do believe you can walk on water” – not ONE NEGATIVE POST. Of course, there are only 519 posts starting in July of ’08 and ending in September of ’09. Whats up with that?????

  277. #279 Kevin Wirth
    January 30, 2010

    John Morales – # 189

    “Finally, have you forgotten that it was PZ who was expelled from expelled?”

    Nope, I sure didn’t forget. And, believe it or not, I would have handled that situation much differently. I would have personally ushered PZ into the theatre and made sure he got a nice comfy seat where he wanted to be, and I would have given him (and Dawkins) some snacks — on the house.

    Oh — I also would have made sure he had at least 2 barf bags to ensure that he wouldn’t lose it all on someone else.

    But hey – that’s just me.

    And furthermore, I was also not happy with the way the XVIVO animators were treated (as it was reported to me). It sure looked like a rip-off, and even if someone else re-did the animation for Expelled, it wasn’t right (in my opinion) to create an identical animation without any attribution to the original artists.

    See — we don’t ALL think the same way on this side of the fence.

    I’m calling it a night. Be kind to one another.

  278. #280 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    OK, see ya Kev.

  279. #281 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Yeah, your fucking act of kindness is informing us that we will be burning in hell because we do not believe as you. HOW FUCKING KIND!

  280. #282 A. Noyd
    January 30, 2010

    ZOMG, proof magic is real: this thread is worth more when it’s Wirth-less.

  281. #283 WowbaggerOM
    January 30, 2010

    Worthless Kevin Wirth wrote:

    YOU, on the other hand, have everything you need to determine if there is a God.

    Indeed. We have science and logic and (most important of all) intellectual honesty – so, if your god existed, we’d know it and accept it.

    But he doesn’t, so we can’t.

    It’s pretty simple to understand. Just think about Zeus and the Ancient Greek pantheon of gods. People believed in them – why don’t you? Put together your reasoning for not believing in them and write it down on a piece of paper. Then, cross out the words ‘Zeus and the Ancient Greek Pantheon’ and write in ‘Yahweh and Jesus’ – voilÓ, you’ve got how atheism works for us.

  282. #284 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    YOU, on the other hand, have everything you need to determine if there is a God.

    So our conclusion that there is no God must be correct.

    So many of you are literally overcome by a sense of self-righteous indignation and haughty certainty. Your words literally reek of this.

    Have you heard of the psychological phenomenon called “projection”?

    I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze

    I agree. A place that does not exist cannot possibly freeze.

    so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    A clue about what, exactly? What will be “too late”?

  283. #285 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Your words literally reek of this.

    You’re smelling our words?
    What are you smoking, Dendy?
    Can I have some?

  284. #286 A. Noyd
    January 30, 2010

    Wowbagger (#283)

    Put together your reasoning for not believing in them and write it down on a piece of paper. Then, cross out the words ‘Zeus and the Ancient Greek Pantheon’ and write in ‘Yahweh and Jesus’ – voilÓ, you’ve got how atheism works for us.

    Except, if he’s like a lot of Christians, reasoning has nothing to do with it–he doesn’t worship/believe in other gods because he thinks Yahweh told him not to. It’s just more mindless obedience.

  285. #287 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    wait…no…not Dendy.
    Thread confusion.
    I already said night-night to Kevin.

  286. #288 Miki Z
    January 30, 2010

    Too late to get a clue. Clue farms are being subsidized less and less these days. See, for instance, here.

  287. #289 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Dendy. Kevin. This kind of stupidity tends to blur online.

  288. #290 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    “clue farms”, I like that

  289. #291 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I guess I find it somewhat annoying that he’s more than willing to give us a mental assessment, but he was pretty much unwilling to engage on anything of substance – aside from throwing out a few standard creationist arguments. It would be a refreshing change to see a creationist who is willing to engage in the evidence and consider the possibility that they are wrong. Kevin seems a bit too simple-minded for doing this – the basic groundwork has been laid in this thread as to why his objections are absurd, let’s see if he can actually learn from that and at least try to understand what it is he is arguing against.

    The great shame of creationists is their pride in their own ignorance of what they are arguing against. If Kevin truly wants to learn about evolution then he should be reading up on it to find out what it is, it seems he’s the one who has dismissed it a priori as he hasn’t even bothered to properly learn about what he’s objecting to.

  290. #292 WowbaggerOM
    January 30, 2010

    The great shame of creationists is their pride in their own ignorance of what they are arguing against.

    Indeed – to them holding a position of ignorance in the face of evidence to the contrary is a virtue, not a failing.

    However, it illustrates the intellectual dishonesty of holding that position – if anything presented as fact could be a lie to test faith, how are they able to discriminate between what is true and what isn’t?

    Which is why I like to ask any Christian who invokes the Satan defence how they know that the bible itself isn’t the work of Satan and that everything they’ve been told to believe isn’t actually the exact opposite of what their god wants.

  291. #293 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Even if Kevin knows with absolute certainty he’s supporting the right idea and we’re supporting the wrong, surely it wouldn’t hurt him to try to understand as people here understand the arguments to be. Because even if we’re wrong, nothing is going to be achieved by arguing what we see as a straw man.

  292. #294 raven
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin lying some more:

    “Kevin, you’ve spent your time lying, moving the goal posts, making wild accusations, and babbling like a loon. Standard xian kook creationist drivel.”

    Nope – didn’t lie to ya. Didn’t make any wild accusations. None of that stuff.

    Kevin it isn’t that you have ever lied. You’ve never told the truth in your life.
    A probable sociopath.
    Many religious fanatics are.

    Kevin being a coward:

    “Try to answer one simple question about your creationist hypothesis. Prove that your Intelligent Designer, who we know damn well you call Yahweh the xian god exists. We’re waiting. And we will wait until hell freezes over. Because you can’t and won’t do it.”

    Hey – you know what? You are absolutely correct — that is one thing I cannot do for you. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way. It’s not MY responsibility to try and prove that to you.

    Got that wrong. You are the one making the claim. It is your theory, creationism, that you are claiming is being persecuted that makes the claim. You are admitting that you don’t have a real theory, just wild acusations and claims without a shred of data. That is why you can’t push your perverted death cult religion into public schools. You’ve got nothing but a cult that even most xians don’t agree with.

    Kevin Wirth being very stupid:

    YOU, on the other hand, have everything you need to determine if there is a God.

    Most of us on this blog are exXians. It was the fundies xians like you that drove me out. When xian became synonymous with liar, kook, sociopath, hater of science and secular democracy, and sometimes terrorists and killers, I took a good look and left.

    Fundies are evil. You are sick in the head and evil.

    Kevin lying once again:

    So I’ll leave you with this much: When you get tired of being angry and bitter, maybe you’ll be in a better place to figure it out. Right now you (and quite a few other folks on this site) can’t see anything but your own rage. So many of you are literally overcome by a sense of self-righteous indignation and haughty certainty. Your words literally reek of this. You won’t understand much until you get over that.

    Well Kevin, we don’t get many sociopathic Christofascists around this blog. There simply aren’t that many people as sick and as repulsive as you running around outside the prisons and mental hospitals.

    Kevin lying:

    Wishing you all the best.

    Bullcrap lie again. You are one sick puppy full of hate, rage, and insanity.

    Kevin making a threat:

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Ooohhh!!! A threat. Big Deal, we get threats from fundie death cultists all the time. We’ve heard that one a million time.

    Kevin is a coward. Real fundie xians usually threaten to kill us. We all get death threats routinely from Kevin’s coreligionists. You need to try harder.

  293. #295 raven
    January 30, 2010

    Kevin making a threat:

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Tick Tock.

    A trivial threat from a sociopath. Pretty much sums up Kevin Wirth. We’ve seen enough. Kevin Wirth is a kook fueled by hate, rage, and insanity who is incapable of telling the truth for one minute.

    Not worth spending more time on such a repulsive failed human. Two more points.

    1. Kevin, with your religious fanatic warped mind, you will never understand the real world. But watch out. We normal people have institutions to prevent people like you from harming people like us. They are called the police, courts, prosecuting attorneys, laws, and the US armed forces. Fundies end up in court a lot. They usually lose. No you can’t take over the USA and destroy it, no matter how much hate and insanity you have.

    2. Crazy repulsive fundie xians like yourself are destroying US xianity. Your New Endarkenment isn’t going to fly with the US population. Since xian became synonymous with hater, liar, crazy, ignorant, and killer, no one wants to be one any more. Between 1 and 2 million people leave the religion every year. The SBC says that 70% of their young people leave when they can. The areligious, mostly exXians like myself are now 24% of the poulation and growing rapidly.

    Kevin Wirth is a walking example of why US xianity is intellectually and morally bankrupt and a force for evil in the USA. People aren’t buying it.

    Keep it up Kevin. US xianity is shaking itself to pieces and your type are the reason why. The No Religions couldn’t do it, all we can do is cheer them on and give a little push now and then.

    PS Scott Roeder was a xian terrorist convicted of 1st degree murder today. He was a mentally ill loser. He was also saner than you. Try to think carefully about your actions if you ever finally snap and decide to go on a killing spree. We’ve seen your type before around my area. Wandering through a mall, babbling incoherently, and shooting at anything who moves.

  294. #296 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 30, 2010

    So I’ll leave you with this much: When you get tired of being angry and bitter, maybe you’ll be in a better place to figure it out. Right now you (and quite a few other folks on this site) can’t see anything but your own rage. So many of you are literally overcome by a sense of self-righteous indignation and haughty certainty. Your words literally reek of this. You won’t understand much until you get over that.

    To quote my favorite sneak-thief, That’s a Lie! I’m simply not remotely angry at Christianity, or most other religions. Unless you’re going to throw down your robes and collar and go “A-ha! I am a Scientologist!” you simply can’t rouse an emotion other then disappointment from me, on your own. I’m not ‘angry at god’. I can’t be. Not unlike Odin, he doesn’t exist. Why would I rage at nothing? Frankly, if your faith didn’t put hundreds of thousands of people to both literal and metaphorical swords for 1500 years, you wouldn’t believe in him either. You’d believe at whatever was more agressive then Evangelical Christianity. Perhaps Scientology, or Islam.

    I do have everything I need to make a reasoned judgement of God’s existence. So far, the only lasting proof is that, despite the opposition of your kind, humanity has slowly managed to improve its own position, and managed to be less of a bunch of dicks to each other. And that’s been done more the less we act in accordance with your principles. If there is something sacred in this world, it is not YHWH. And I’m not convinced there’s something sacred, just humans, struggling to be more human to each other.

  295. #297 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Still nothing cogent from Worthless Wirth. Absolutely no evidence his ideas are anything other than religious masturbation. No evidence for his imaginary deity. All blather and nonsense. Reality and WW appear to unacquainted.

  296. #298 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I’ve just finished reading all of Kevin Wirth’s posts. Nowhere did he offer the least evidence for creationism. He railed against evolution. He whined that creationists are being discriminated against by real scientists. He told us we’re going to Hell. But evidence for his favorite pet “theory”? Nope, no gots.

  297. #299 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    ?YOU, on the other hand, have everything you need to determine if there is a God.

    You are right. I decided after reading the babble cover to cover, that Yahweh was one sick motherfucker unworthy of any worship, and if jebus was his son, he would be no better. Then checking how the babble was put together, it wasn’t written by god, but rather assembled well after the fact as a political book. Then the whole god concept can be questioned, and real evidence for any of the 1000+ gods, including Yahweh, invented by man can be examined. Turns out to be an empty set. So the conclusion that god doesn’t exist and the babble is a book of myth/fiction is sound, rational, and evidence based. The belief in god and an inerrant babble is fully faith based, and only delusional fools like yourself need apply.

  298. #300 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Since I’ve never been Christian, I find it funny when believers try to be convincing by playing on people’s emotions: “You’re just angry at God”, “beware the lake of fire”, etc. Again this kind of rhetoric has no place when discussing the validity of ideas, but this again seems an inevitability among creationists. Instead of addressing the core problems associated with their beliefs and arguments, they seem to try to write it off as psychological deficiencies. And thus, there’s no need for an intellectual defence of the idea because the people say it ain’t true are just speaking out of negative emotions.

    The said thing out off all this is Kevin probably thinks he’s making a good argument. But for people like me who have never had any emotional investment in the idea of God, the appeal to emotion comes off as incredibly pathetic. Especially when it’s made in the absence of presenting an evidential case on the topic at hand.

  299. #301 Kel, OM
    January 30, 2010

    And on the slight chance that Kevin will come back to actually make a substantive argument (there are too many insults for him to respond to) I’ll be away for the next 3 days.

  300. #302 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I’ll be away for the next 3 days.

    Mental note to self*: Kel will be not posting until Tuesday-Wednesday. Have a good whatever.

    *If not written down, it will be gone in an hour or two.

  301. #303 raven
    January 30, 2010

    And on the slight chance that Kevin will come back to actually make a substantive argument

    That guy has no substantive arguments.
    SICOTI = Someone Is Crazy On The Internet

    He never denied that he was a xian Dominionist who hates science, western civilization, and the US secular democracy.

    Because it is all true. Wirth gets his money from the Discovery Institute, an ugly group of xian Dominionists funded by other ugly Dominionists such as Ahmanson. Can’t bite the hand that feeds which in any case, would be even more foolish if you agree with them.

    I’ve dealt with a few other DI fellows. They are all the same, insane xian Dominionists with enough hatred of everything to fill an ocean. They are all way far out lunatic fringers.

    Really we have to hope that their cults shake themselves apart as a matter of personal and national survival. So far, that is what is happening. Not enough people have a death wish to support a fundie xian cult theocracy. So far.

  302. #304 starfart
    January 30, 2010

    Wirth: “Second, Your illustration is like taking a perfectly functional airplane and then creating a robot to build one and then saying “See – people can make robots that can make flying machines.” So what? Big deal. It’s called reverse engineering.”

    No, Kev, that’s not “reverse engineering”. That’s just engineering robots to assemble an airplane, which is fully “forward engineering”: one must design and build the robots to be able to accomplish that task. Designing and building a robot is not designing and building an airplane, unless the object of the building of the robots is to build a specific aircraft, in which case it’s all about designing and building an AIRCRAFT utilizing robots as tools. But as some robots become sufficiently sophisticated, they might be able to design and build airplanes?or even redesign and build better versions of themselves ? without any help from their original human creators.

    “Reverse engineering” is something completely different, having to do with analyzing an existing product of somebody else’s engineering effort to figure out how it was done, ostensibly, to build one’s own version (via copying the tricks) or to take advantage of specific components in order to devote them to other purposes.

    Thus Wirth fails to understand an elementary concept something any first-year engineering student understands.

    But his understanding is even faultier when it comes to his over-riding premise on the pre-existence of complexity. The very phrase “irreducible complexity” implicitly contains the assumption, which is demonstrably wrong on the simplest grounds: the pre-existence of a property which cannot be expressed until entities which exhibit such a property emerge cannot be verified by entities made up of such constructs before such constructs themselves can exist. If Mr. Wirth has an answer to that rather considerable stumbling block that makes any sense at all, one must seriously wonder why he or his fellows haven?t yet come close to voicing it. (He and his like-minded colleagues evidently have no understanding, let alone a scintilla of respect, for the basic principles that underlie the placement of the burden of proof).

    Perhaps it is because the object of their thesis just isn?t there. Or the profound lack of imagination of those who buy into the ?intelligent design? gambit prevents them from dreaming up any reasonable explanation for why nobody ever sees real evidence of that object. All they ever offer is the same tiresome drone: because they say so.

    That?s not a scientific argument. It?s nothing more than an impudent whine, pretending to defer to an authority where there is none.

    And folks like him actually identify with that authority which isn?t there.

    Wirth’s “argument” is like calling a near-perfectly dysfunctional airplane an “airplane”.

    It?s more like calling, say, a washing machine an “airplane”…

    To be sure, there is NOTHING that is “perfectly functional” – or, more concisely, there is nothing that is ever perfectly adapted – for a

    given function. Anything that is sufficiently complex in the real world ALWAYS suffers from some departure from the ideal optimum in the form of flaws or inefficiency. Whether a complex entity is purposefully designed by an intelligent engineer, or is the outcome of naturally-occurring selection mechanisms (simple processes) cumulatively building up complex entities over time (e.g., organisms that evolve via natural selection) the result will never be “perfect”. It is an inevitable outcome of complexity, and no amount of brat behavior props up the alleged importance of “intelligent” in any design toward an unattainable ideal.

    Simply put, there just is no such thing as “perfection”. That is a notion which is as impotent in an estimation of natural reality as the idea of a “divine perfection” of being would be. The two notions seems to flit around with such circular abandon in the minds of mental giants such as Wirth, alternating, depending on the a conclusion (based on the premise of the perfection of design) to cause (yielding the conclusion of the perfection of design).

    It’s rather fascinating if not amusing how anyone can seriously wield a firearm that has a muzzle pointing out at both ends of the piece.

    However, a washing machine MAY be called “an airplane”. Believe it or not, it does possess certain aerodynamic properties that validate that assessment. (Of course, its aerodynamic lift capacity is abysmal compared to a more competent shape, but it’s not exactly zero either – even a box can exhibit some maneuverability departing from a ballistic trajectory when introduced to an airflow.

    But none of that wipes out the fact that a washing machine is a LOUSY airplane. It wasn’t very well “designed” for flying through the atmosphere. Washing machine designers don?t give a hoot whether their creations aren?t good airplanes. They care about whether they wash clothes decently.

    But consider a machine which WAS designed to be considerably more competent in flying – say, a DC3…a contraption people immediately recognize as “an airplane”. It was a very reliable “workhorse” aircraft for decades. But it wasn’t perfect at its designed function either.

    Mechanical failure caused some percentage of all DC3 crashes. Some of those crashes due to mechanical failure may be attributable to

    maintenance issues. (Human maintenance engineers are less than perfect – they make mistakes). Others are attributable to materials or component failures. (Human craftsmanship is less than perfect – they make mistakes). Still others are undoubtedly due to structural design shortcomings. (Human aircraft designers are less than perfect – they make mistakes, and can’t be expected to be able to equip an aircraft to handle conditions outside of a specific flight envelope, such as those posed by nasty weather).

    Pilot error accounts for another chunk of crashes…human pilots are less than perfect, and to the extent that the complete definition of an “airplane” ought to incorporate the driver of it, whether it’s manned or unmanned or simply based on pre-arranged automation, such as many a model plane that has graced the childhoods of aeronautical enthusiasts, the control of the aircraft is never fully perfect.

    In terms of “intelligent design”, therefore, one is moved to conjecture generally that all the devices which imperfect human device-designers create are ALL less than perfect.

    This begs the question: what was the penultimate “Intelligent Designer” designing, except an error-prone bunch of egomaniacal critters who exhibit (now and then, it is widely rumored) sparks of occasional intelligence?

    It seems that the Big Guy must have incorporated a thick dollop of imperfection and incompetence in His Recipe for “intelligently designed” Creations…just to ensure He remained King of the Hill with respect to them.

    Perhaps because He was lonely…but evidently not despondently enough to refrain from making sure His Creations were NOT on an equal footing with Him when it came to perfection. In many human cultures, that circumstance would brand Him as a coward…so much for the myth that the Creation of Man in God’s Image is based upon the better part our nature, say, rather than the whole of the many parts as “created”, which may be confirmed by an examination of any dictionary in any language to determine if there are not more definitions devoted to words related to “vice” rather than to “virtue”.

    Naturally, humans are not by any means the only products of such Creation which have suffered “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. The signature lack of perfection is written all over the world by the hands of disease and death. Um, courtesy of God…or maybe ? and so much more elegantly and less fearsomely ? just because nothing is ever perfect.

    Oddly enough, the very mechanisms – reproduction armed with mutation, and death (not necessarily requiring any genetic preprogramming, since, after all, death can and does come about in countless ways, and kill the most optimum versions as readily as they kill the sickly) ? provides for the potential flourish of new forms out of existing stocks of organisms, as well as the room for them to play in.

    Any “intelligent design” invoked to serve the interests of a given organism must also preserve the interests of all the other organisms that support it (owls and coyotes might rely on the fact that rabbits, for example, reliably reproduce as reliable food source; rabbits will rely on heightened senses to avoid getting eaten; and both sides will inevitably evolve on the mutual selection pressures exerted: owls and coyotes may become more stealthy in their hunting habits, while rabbits might become even more alert and skittish than they now are).

    It?s not just some ?inanimate? environment that can shape complexity in organisms. Organisms can shape organisms with considerably more immediacy, potentially leading to an accelerated ?explosion? of diverse forms such as that which attended the close of the Cambrian period.

    In that respect the intricate ecological interplay of organisms down to the microorganisms that decompose dead critters, which in turn fertilize plants, which in turn nourish rabbits that may feed owls, etc., might naively be construed as a positive indicator for a “designer”. But that?s a na´ve view precisely because of what it leaves out: that is, the tendency for critters to remain as SIMPLE as possible under the circumstances it has evolved under.

    High complexity can be stupendously expensive (on a variety of biomechanical currencies), precisely because increased complexity introduces increased complication in the form of imperfections. It?s usually referred to as ?specialization?, but while specialized functions may confer immediate survival/reproduction advantages, very elaborate forms evolved under narrowly specific environmental or sexual selection pressures will yield critters that may be unable to cope outside of their sphere of competency.

    There is no dispute over the obvious complexity involved with the intricate webs of interaction we all see in life. But the challenges posed in surviving within a changing environment crucially RELY on such built-in IMPERFECTIONS. A God is hardly necessary to set that state of affairs up: death happens to have allowed room for the emergence of reproduction. And where reproduction takes place, critters of any sort can by degrees evolve into new forms: for every minute molecular-scale mutation that confers a survival advantage, there are zillions that render a critter less able to cope. We see only the strains that have been sufficiently competent to survive long enough as adults to reproduce.

    Is that the product of any “intelligent design”? Or is it simply the product of cumulative natural selection?

    The “fittest” aren’t perfect either. Their imperfections are under the gun of “do or die”. The “doing” part in that phrase means to successfully reproduce (their immediate “function” having been accomplished, from the viewpoint of evolutionary hindsight, nothing more is required by the “purpose” of phenotypic exhibition); the “dying” part means much more than individual death, perhaps the complete extinction of a particular strain or species. But surviving in a reality represented by the natural environment (and amongst one’s fellow organisms with which one is bound to interact) is a matter determined ONLY by that natural state of affairs.

    No God is necessary to describe or explain how this stuff happens.

    It all happens to itself. It?s generally called ?co-evolution?.

    Of course, if one insists that an “Intelligent Designer” is behind everything that DOES work, well then one must as well take into account the fact that however intricate and complex living systems may be, from the molecular-scale mutations of viruses and other microbes to the globe-encircling web of the Earth’s biosphere, and everything in between, ALL OF IT IS IMPERFECT.

    Hmmm…wait. That means Numero Uno embraces FLAW. (OH…the HORROR). As a trick, a gag, a gimmick, for amusement, for self-aggrandizement, for…whatever.

    WHO CAN TELL WHAT THE GODHEAD HAS IN HIS HEAD? AN IMPERFECT PRODUCT OF HIS MAKING IN THE FORM OF A HUMAN

    WHO GOES BY THE NAME OF KEVIN WIRTH???

    If he “knows” God, he must BE God. Psychologically, it?s that simple. There’s a little matter of a major discrepancy between what perfection implies and what imperfection presumes to know about it.

    In the meantime? We’ll wait for Kev to taxi around the tarmac into position at the head of the runway while he pilots his washing machine. Then he can show us all exactly how well the assumption that complexity exists, a priori?with nothing to support the preposterous idea that it exists BEFORE complexity actually flies.

    Careful of the end of that runway, Kev. Unless you can summon some pre-existing assistance out of a vacuum for the complexity you insist exists all by itself – with no necessary attachment to the actual MATERIAL WORLD (OH…the HORROR…you know, one of those putative “perfect creations” of your precious “Intelligent Designer?) which might exhibit ghastly imperfections ? and pull up smartly, you might crash into the limitations imposed by irreducible stupidity.

    I do not doubt for a moment that ?God? cares a whit whether you will make it into the air off the end of the runway. That’s because I do not doubt for a moment that God is anything more than a contraption of the mind. Minds are less than perfect too. That ?thing? is a notion which resides entirely in your head ? and everyone else’s head who professes to be “certain” that God exists outside of their heads in the real world.

    Kev? Might I suggest that you attach something called a “propeller” onto the spin cycle? It might help you to inch around the tarmac.

    But without more powerful powerplant and a more accommodating aerodynamic streamlining, not to mention wings, I?m afraid you and your washing machine won?t function very well as the airplane you aspire to. You might as well creep about in a wheelchair.

    Oh, BTW, incorporating those changes will wreck your washing machine?s ability to wash clothes. But, hey, nothing?s perfect, right?

    Except for God, right?

    So God = nothing, on the criterion of perfection. Strict God-inspired logic. So very sorry. My condolences for having demolished your

    Alter Ego. But, hey, look on the bright side: not everybody can rise to the lofty position of nothing and pretend they?re not at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. That takes at least a LITTLE imagination, to be sure.

  303. #305 owlbear1
    January 30, 2010

    And P.S. – I sincerely doubt that hell will EVER freeze…so, my advice is to get over your anger and get a clue before it’s too late.

    Tick Tock.

    Mr. Wirth, it sounds like you now plan to go away, condemning everyone who disagrees with you to being tortured for eternity?

    Your admonisment about Hell and the warning to, “get a clue before it is too late” reeks of a future wrought in pain and suffering?

    Or at least a future as horrible as you can fantasize…

    Punishment apparently for not agreeing that you are on a speed dial with an all-knowing super-being?
    Burned for eternity for asking the question, “Where’d this lump of coal come from, then”?

    Do you see why we giggle?

    Then, get angry when you start leveling threats?

    That is all that your “God” is, Mr. Wirth; an argument from authority and threats if lip service is not paid.

  304. #306 JackC
    January 30, 2010

    Starfart – being both an atheist and a (past) pilot – that was pretty good. I have to admit being somewhat put off originally by the length, but having stuck with it, I was impressed.

    Who was it that said something like “Even a brick will fly, given a strong enough wind”? or something like that.

    JC

  305. #307 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    SICOTI = Someone Is Crazy On The Internet

    i love you

  306. #308 Kevin Wirth
    January 31, 2010

    Owlbear1 – #305

    Mr. Wirth, it sounds like you now plan to go away, condemning everyone who disagrees with you to being tortured for eternity?

    Punishment apparently for not agreeing that you are on a speed dial with an all-knowing super-being?
    Burned for eternity for asking the question, “Where’d this lump of coal come from, then”?

    Do you see why we giggle?

    Then, get angry when you start leveling threats?

    That is all that your “God” is, Mr. Wirth; an argument from authority and threats if lip service is not paid.”

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Nope – I’m sure not here for any kind of lip service. And you mistake a friendly warning as a threat.

    I might get a bit irritated with some of you from time to time, but I sure don’t condemn anyone. I have neither the inclination or the ability to do that. It’s not ME you need to be concerned with.

    As for being tortured for eternity, I have my doubts about that. What I do know is that the scriptures speak of those who will have eternal life and those who will “perish.” As in, no longer exist. I take no delight in either prospect, however (perishing or going through eternal torment).

    The “admonishment” I offered you came from a place of hope and concern for you from me, you wingnut. See, I know how much you are loved – but many on this site don’t seem to have a clue. And that makes me sad.

    You know NOTHING of my attitude, or the intent of my heart for that matter. You assume the worst of me. You assume I offer you threats and condemnation, when in fact, I come to you with goodwill in my heart. And you seem to prefer to spit on me, just for sport.

    That’s OK – I figured I was in for that. But that also makes me sad, just the same.

    But then you “giggle” like a punk who just kicked a baby to death and thought it was REALLY funny. That’s how many of you come off. You’re like a bunch of foul, screeching Harpies. And evidently, damn proud of it.

    I guess I might be that way too if I didn’t think it mattered how I treated people.

    You and PZ think folks like me are kooks and fringe types. Well, I suggest you take a look in the mirror. You ain’t exactly choice meat yourself. But I expect you already know that.

    You know nothing about my God. And you know nothing about his love for you, obviously.

    If you did, you would understand how much his heart breaks for you. All of you.

    No. I don’t hate you guys. I don’t feel anger towards any of you. I wish the best for all of you.

    Just the same, I don’t think I’ll come visit this neighborhood again.

    It really does make me way too sad…

    “Your admonisment [sic] about Hell and the warning to, “get a clue before it is too late” reeks of a future wrought in pain and suffering? Or at least a future as horrible as you can fantasize…”

    Well. I prefer not to fantasize about that. It’s enough to know that without Jesus you will eventually perish. As in, cease to exist, at some point.

    I Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    Fortunately, there is a God who loves you and made it possible for you to live, and not perish.

    II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (and life)

    John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

    Maybe now you have a better appreciation for why I made the comment I did. My remark wasn’t coming from a place of condemnation at all. YOU have already put yourself on the path you’re on. And you are perfectly free to choose which way it’ll be for you: live or perish.

    I’m just trying to be a friend and point the way, before it’s too late.

    Good luck.

    And, oh yeah – Tick Tock.

  307. #309 Rorschach
    January 31, 2010

    the intent of my heart for that matter.

    Your heart has intent ? Curious !!

    You know nothing about my God. And you know nothing about his love for you, obviously.

    Since your god takes place and exists entirely inside your head we do indeed know nothing about it or it’s “love”.

    There is a reason a recent book was named The God Delusion.

    Fortunately, there is a God who loves you and made it possible for you to live, and not perish.

    Haitians might want to disagree.

  308. #310 WowbaggerOM
    January 31, 2010

    You and PZ think folks like me are kooks and fringe types.

    As a YEC are the epitome of a fringe-type kook. Even other Christians laugh at you and distance themselves from your wackaloon interpretation of the bible and your baffling insistence that your god is testing your faith by lying to you about the world being billions of years old and the universe even older.

    But then you “giggle” like a punk who just kicked a baby to death and thought it was REALLY funny.

    That’s a lie, you know it’s a lie; you are therefore a liar for claiming that. I thought your religion told you lying was bad? Oh, and it also demonstrates that you are colossally ignorant not only about science and psychology, but also the punk subculture which is nothing like the way you are misrepresenting it.

    Do you have any evidence that anyone identifying as a punk has ever harmed a baby?

    But your lies are also hypocritical, since there is no document that punks hold significant that says it’s okay to harm children – while your bible, on the other hand, has numerous instances where your god has ordered children murdered and delighted in having his followers murder children at his command.

    You know nothing about my God. And you know nothing about his love for you, obviously.

    You know nothing about your god, either. You may know a great deal about what’s in a book that people who presumed to know something about your god wrote – but that’s not the same thing, is it?

    What methods did you apply to ascertain that the bible contains the truth about your god? How would you know if you were wrong?

    Just the same, I don’t think I’ll come visit this neighborhood again.

    Haven’t you already said something to that effect? And yet here you are.

    Well. I prefer not to fantasize about that. It’s enough to know that without Jesus you will eventually perish. As in, cease to exist, at some point.

    With or without Jesus we will all perish. The difference is you’re going to spend your life believing the delusion that it will somehow be different for you.

    Maybe now you have a better appreciation for why I made the comment I did.

    I don’t appreciate it one bit. You might as well have listed the steps required for a voodoo ritual for all the meaning it has for anyone here.

    I’m just trying to be a friend and point the way, before it’s too late.

    Liar – again. You’d love nothing more than to think that we’re going to burn in the eternal hellfire the monster-god you live in fear of will sentence unbelievers to. Your pathetic attempts to hide behind bible verses can’t hide that.

    And, oh yeah – Tick Tock.

    What time is it on the dumbass clock?

  309. #311 JackC
    January 31, 2010

    Aside from Wirth being deluded, blinded and all the other stuff, I just can’t understand him pushing this. I mean sure, there are attractions and all, but I guess I just have to wonder if she is being stalked. Maybe it is that dollar sign.

    Knowing something of the propensities of those he follows, I might be alarmed.

    JC

  310. #312 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 31, 2010

    You rapture freaks really should read your bibles better. Not even the Bible says y’all won’t die. Y’all will. You know that, don’t you? Even if every promise in the bible is true, you’re still going to die. You rapture freaks can tell yourselves it’s not so, sure, but look at the Nicene Creed. It’s about the resurrection of the body.

    Corinthians 15:16:
    For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. …

    Corinthians 15:50-51
    I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable /
    Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed

    It’s pretty clearly telling you: Yer gonna die. You’ll come back as something else, but you’re gonna die.

    Of course, that presupposes it isn’t all bullshit anyway.

    You know NOTHING of my attitude, or the intent of my heart for that matter. You assume the worst of me. You assume I offer you threats and condemnation, when in fact, I come to you with goodwill in my heart. And you seem to prefer to spit on me, just for sport.

    Uh. “Agree with me or go to hell” is both a threat and a condemnation. You are in fact offering that. YHWH is a myth, and if he were real, he would be a monster. But an obviously not omnipotent one.

  311. #313 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    You know nothing about my God.

    Worthless Wirth lies again. We know how imaginary his god is, invented by men to have power over other men. Otherwise, god only exists in the minds of the delusional sheeple like Wirth, who believe because someone they consider an authority, usually a preacher, told them to believe.

    Still no physical evidence for his deity, confirming that his deity doesn’t exist. Evidence is what is required around here. Testament is not evidence, it is just inane blather. Citing the babble, which requires evidence for the deity prior to it being anything other than myth/fiction, is simple but conclusive proof of Wirth’s lack of cogency, intelligence, and perspective.

    And still no evidence for his ideas being scientific. His attitude is all he ways. Poor deluded fool.

  312. #314 JackC
    January 31, 2010

    Rutee – comeon – be nice. You know they can’t really read. They are working from the best traditions of just listening to someone else who made it all up. Those that actually CAN read can’t actually form cohesive thoughts and therefore can’t keep a level of concentration we higher forms are capable of, therefore they can’t find/see/understand the contradictions.

    I know we don’t really mind pointing and laughing at the infirmity of others but…

    Wait.

    Oh hell – him. Nevermind. Go to it. What was I thinking?

    JC

  313. #315 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    DOH *headdesk*
    My next to last sentence in #313 should read:
    His attitude is all he wayshas.

    *Time for coffee*

  314. #316 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    You assume I offer you threats and condemnation, when in fact, I come to you with goodwill in my heart.

    Telling us we’re going to Hell is just chock full of goodwill. But of course you’re saying that I’ll be saved from Hell if I fall on my knees and give your god a blowjob ’cause I gots ta believe or else.

    Your “loving, benevolent” god would give me eternal punishment if I don’t believe in it? What an asshole it is. Any god that sadistic isn’t worthy of my belief. And if it does exist and does so punish me, I’ll spit in its face because that’s what it deserves. No, Kevin, I most certainly will not believe in or even pretend to believe in such a god. And it doesn’t say much for you that you feel the need to worship a sadistic bully.

  315. #317 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    I can’t believe I missed all of this! Darn. Most everything I’d say has already been covered, but I do have one question for Mr. Wirth:

    Kevin, do you think that Ben Stein, as a somewhat observant Jew, is going to Heaven? If you’re the type of fundamentalist I think you are, the answer would most definitely be no. Surely if no Nazi in Germany makes the cut, neither would a Jewish person who hasn’t even mentioned converting to Christianity.

    If the answer is yes, on what basis do you claim that he is a True Christian? You still haven’t defined what that means.

    If the answer is no, have you told him that you think he personally is going to Hell, and if not, why not? Are you not concerned for the everlasting life of your good friend?

  316. #318 Knockgoats
    January 31, 2010

    Kevin Wirth,

    A friendly warning: if you don’t stop being so mean and silly, the Flying Spaghetti Monster won’t draw you into His eternal paradise with His noodly appendage, and you will either cease to exist, or will spend eternity drinking flat beer and waiting for the floor show to start!

    Tick Tock.

    Now, see how effective that was? Feel just how terrified you are? Your babble about what the psychopathic sadist you worship will do to us had exactly the same amount of effect.

    Oh, and you never did get round to listing those “anomalies”, did you? Why was that?

  317. #319 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2010

    And you mistake a friendly warning as a threat.

    You sound like a Mafia thug.

    It’s not ME you need to be concerned with.

    Right. It’s the capo di tutti capi. You don’t wanna be making him angry.

    What I do know is that the scriptures speak of those who will have eternal life and those who will “perish.”

    And you believe the scriptures because you’re a made man, right?

    See, I know how much you are loved – but many on this site don’t seem to have a clue.

    Because killing those he loves is just the kinda thing the capo does, capice?

    You assume I offer you threats and condemnation, when in fact, I come to you with goodwill in my heart.

    Translation: “Hey, I just got your best interests at heart. I wouldn’t want nothing bad happening to ya.”

    But then you “giggle” like a punk who just kicked a baby to death

    Translation: “Laughing at the capo di tutti capi is exactly like kicking a baby to death. That really breaks my heart, ya know?”

    You’re like a bunch of foul, screeching Harpies. And evidently, damn proud of it.

    I guess I might be that way too if I didn’t think it mattered how I treated people.

    Translation: “You’re the bad guys, because you laugh at me for worshipping the capo di tutti capi. If I didn’t care about the capo di tutti capi, I would be as bad as youse guys.”

    If you did, you would understand how much his heart breaks for you. All of you.

    Translation: “It breaks the capo’s heart to have to murder each and every one of you.”

    Just the same, I don’t think I’ll come visit this neighborhood again.

    Translation: “Ya made ya choices. When the capo firebombs this dump, I ain’t gonna be around to see it.”

    Fortunately, there is a God who loves you and made it possible for you to live, and not perish.

    Translation: “The capo di tutti capi loves ya, and all ya gotta do is kiss his ring, and he won’t murder you. Ain’t that great of him?”

    YOU have already put yourself on the path you’re on. And you are perfectly free to choose which way it’ll be for you: live or perish.

    Translation: “Youse guys chose to turn away from the capo di tutti capi. But you can make things right with him.”

    I’m just trying to be a friend and point the way, before it’s too late.

    Translation: “I’m being a pal, here, capice?”

    And, oh yeah – Tick Tock.

    Translation: “But yanno, the capo di tutti capi ain’t gonna wait forever” *big grin while holding a blood-spattered baseball bat*

  318. #320 A. Noyd
    January 31, 2010

    Kevin Wirth (#308)

    You assume I offer you threats and condemnation, when in fact, I come to you with goodwill in my heart.

    Your brain’s been warped by your religion to the point where you think passing on your malevolent deity’s threats are “goodwill.” You’re also oblivious to the fact that you judge us sufficiently in need of being threatened. Oh, I know, we’d want to know our houses are on fire, blah blah blah. Except, you don’t even know there’s a fire, you just believe it. Get back to us when you have some sort of real-world confirmation.

    Fortunately, there is a God who loves you and made it possible for you to live, and not perish.

    Even if that were true, from all accounts, he’s a raving psychopath. A manipulative, abusive parent. I make it a point not to cave into the blackmail of psychotic assholes. If god’s real and hell’s where I go for not worshipping the sick fuck, then I’m fine with that. You go be a sycophant to a mass-murdering, child-killing, rape-condoning asshole while pretending you’re morally superior. We’ll keep laughing.

    Maybe now you have a better appreciation for why I made the comment I did.

    We already knew you’re a moron who thinks words in a book make something true. What we’d appreciate is you answering any of the questions you avoided above concerning creationism. But that would take real knowledge, wouldn’t it?

  319. #321 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Owlmirror, you will find this appropriate: The Offer

    anyway.

    I might get a bit irritated with some of you from time to time, but I sure don’t condemn anyone. I have neither the inclination or the ability to do that. It’s not ME you need to be concerned with.

    actually, yes it is. This study has confirmed what a lot of us already knew: when a believer makes claims about what their god wants, does, or will do, they’re merely putting their own opinions forward.

    As for being tortured for eternity, I have my doubts about that. What I do know is that the scriptures speak of those who will have eternal life and those who will “perish.” As in, no longer exist. I take no delight in either prospect, however (perishing or going through eternal torment).

    you threaten atheists with nonexistence? how silly. we already know we will perish, it is you who is so afraid of death that you rather believe a counterfactual fairytale than accept that someday you will no longer exist.

    The “admonishment” I offered you came from a place of hope and concern for you from me, you wingnut. See, I know how much you are loved – but many on this site don’t seem to have a clue. And that makes me sad.

    “do what I say, or else” is not love.

    But then you “giggle” like a punk who just kicked a baby to death and thought it was REALLY funny. That’s how many of you come off. You’re like a bunch of foul, screeching Harpies. And evidently, damn proud of it.

    as Wowbagger said, you know nothing about punks, you know nothing about us, but you project attitudes on both groups that are not present. Makes me wonder where these thoughts come from.

    I guess I might be that way too if I didn’t think it mattered how I treated people.

    what a pretty strawman, and even more interesting projection. do you only care about people because you think you’re being ordered to, and will be punished if you don’t? that’s the mark of a sociopath. we on the other hand are capable of caring for people just because they’re people.

    You and PZ think folks like me are kooks and fringe types. Well, I suggest you take a look in the mirror. You ain’t exactly choice meat yourself. But I expect you already know that.

    wishful thinking on your part? do you need to believe that atheists are miserable, unhappy and unlikable to justify your own belief? how pathetically sad.

    You know nothing about my God. And you know nothing about his love for you, obviously.

    which god would that be? the one described in the bible is a psychopathic mass murderer and tyrant; the one in your head (see the study linked above) is less known to us, but we know that its creator, i.e. you, is a liar and a coward who feels the need to tell people how to live their lives, or else.

    It really does make me way too sad…

    we can live without your patronizing, thankyouverymuch.

    I’m just trying to be a friend and point the way, before it’s too late.

    no, you’re trying to tell us how to live our lives and use silly threats because you have no rational arguments. friends don’t that; wannabe tyrants do.

  320. #322 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 31, 2010

    Hey, I just noticed he used the phrase “screeching harpies” as an epithet for everyone. I thought Janine was kidding when she claimed it would be used by Creationists (Admittedly, for women atheists, who obviously don’t exist).

  321. #323 Ichthyic
    January 31, 2010

    #308

    …saved for being an excellent example of xian whackaloonery.

  322. #324 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Rutee, I have been changing my moniker with some regularity, usually it is an insult that some passing troll tosses my way. For a while, I was Vile Bitch after a particularly spirited run in. Quite a few creationists called me and other people here that because of my moniker. It was hardly a keen insight on my part. It is what these people do.

    But I have to say that my dislike of Wirth turned into a loathing after he compared us to a person kicking a baby to death and laughing about it. I think it reflects his true personality and it is not good. It is for the best he stays away. Perhaps he should direct his “Tick Tock” towards Ben Stein.

  323. #325 owlbear1
    January 31, 2010

    “You know nothing about my God. And you know nothing about his love for you, obviously.

    If you did, you would understand how much his heart breaks for you.”

    Then, why, Mr. Wirth does the concept and threat of ‘eternal punishment’ even exist?

    Odd kind of love that condemns me to an eternity of pain for calling you a silly twit.

  324. #326 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2010

    But then you “giggle” like a punk who just kicked a baby to death

    Funny, isn’t it, that followers of the capo di tutti capi God actually have a song about how great it is to kick babies to death. People who are happy giggle, right?

    Psalm 137:8-9.

    Looks like “Tick-Tock” ends with “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, crunch”, and giggling Christians.

  325. #327 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    For example, in 1915, Alfred Wegener was proposing his ideas about continental drift and plate tectonics. But his ideas were pretty roundly dismissed as absurd by many folks in the scientific community who obivously knew better than Wegener that his ideas were bunk. Despite all the arguments he proposed. Until the 1950′s-60′s, his views were held to by only a fringe minority. I have no doubt that many on this blog, had you lived between 1915-1950, would have called him a kook, and would have savaged him vehemently.

    That’s not even true?

    First of all, what Wegener postulated is called continental drift. He didn’t say much about the ocean floors. The successor theory is called plate tectonics, and it was developed in the 1960, some 30 years after Wegener’s death.

    The physicists were highly skeptical for a good reason: Wegener completely failed to provide a mechanism. Sure, he tried, waving his arms about the rotation of the earth and the inertia of the continents, but it was easy to show that those forces just weren’t enough.

    The biogeographers, on the other hand, gave it a fairly warm welcome, because it explained so many mysteries about the distributions of the living and the dead at once.

    So did a fairly large number of geologists, IIRC.

    All together, it was something like half of the scientists in relevant fields, not a “fringe minority”.

    Then seafloor spreading was discovered and the theory of plate tectonics was developed. It contained the mechanism ? the heat of the Earth’s interior, generated by radioactive decay.

    Within something like 5 years, plate tectonics was universally accepted. People don’t die that quickly en masse, do they.

    It’s similar with evolution. Darwin and Wallace published their paper in 1858, Darwin published his book in 1859, and the controversy was over by the 1870s when the last two creationist biologists (Richard Owen, Louis Agassiz) died ? and mind you, what those two people proposed was so similar to evolution that a Disinformation Institute Senior Fellow probably couldn’t tell the difference.

    All that’s left is to quote comment 180:

    Come up with ID’s equivalent of sea-floor spreading and you can be damn sure scientists will be willing to have another look. Since we both know that creationists have no actual research program, and no idea where to even start looking for the kind of evidence that would give their vague conjecture some scientific credibility, I won’t be holding my breath.

    ???????????????????????????

    Right. No anomalies? Not a single one?

    Not that I know of, and I work in this field? so please suggest one.

    ???????????????????????????

    The intervention of intelligence is a reasonable if not REQUIRED explanation for the appearance of INFORMATION in living systems. INFORMATION has not been demonstrated to come into being on its own, without the intervention of intelligence.

    Of course it has. Happens all the time. You can order sand by grain size by simply pouring it or shaking it ? gravity creating information. Water molecules, rather randomly arranged in the liquid (as a time average), arrange themselves into ice crystals as soon as they stop moving too fast ? electrostatic attraction and repulsion creating information.

    Gene duplication followed by mutation has been shown the simplest explanation for the existence of, so far, most known genes on Earth. Duplication of any stretch of DNA is a common replication error, so genes sometimes get duplicated. (There are even genes where individual people have different numbers of copies.) When this happens, it’s often the case that all of the duplicates except one are useless, and that means that mutations can happen in it without causing disadvantages, even if (as normally happens) the duplicates lose their function. Occasionally, one of these mutations results in a gene with a new function. Spend a few hours in Google and read up about examples. Your eyes will pop out.

    ???????????????????????????

    Finally, let me quote Abraham Lincoln:

    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

    It’s innate (and, BTW, easily explained by the theory of evolution). We don’t need you telling us that il capo di tutti i capi arbitrarily wants it that way.

  326. #328 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 1, 2010

    And, oh yeah – Tick Tock.

    Who knew Pascal was a clockmaker?

  327. #329 ritchie.annand
    February 1, 2010

    Kevin -> I said I would await the reviews first, and I did. Apart from its online unavailability here north of the border, the reviews told me what I expected to see: a highly-filtered selection of controversies devoid of nuance. If the tome ever does cross my desk at some point in the future, I will have at it, no doubt, but based on the passel of controversies mentioned with which I am familiar, it is extraordinarily weak sauce being peddled here.

    For one, anyone who can write a screed like Darwinism and the Nazi Race Holocaust and missed the balance of content of Mein Kampf has already had tremendous practice crying wolf.

    For two, pulling out folks like Caroline Crocker who “dared” to teach Icons of Evolution as truth is beyond the pale. This sense of “daring” is about as far from Rosa Parks as one can get without being of the same sense of “daring” to bug a senator’s phone, and about as worthy of martyrdom.

    At heart, it looks like you can work up the required indignity because of your belief in the creationist position.

    From my perspective, the question of free speech, especially in the academic and scientific community, is not just “what if these people are wrong?”, but “what if these people are not only wrong, but they cannot back up their claims?”.

    Therein lies the state of creationist research, which I have had the occasional opportunity to assess. At its best, it’s laughable – you could almost admire the wide-eyed admissions of confusion if you knew they actually had a chance of steering towards the truth. The RATE project is a clear example of this – they could go in a straight line if only one foot had not been nailed to the floor with Genesis.

    At worst, it’s cynical – clear manipulation of the facts based on, ostensibly, a salvation-is-better-than-small-t-truth scenario.

    Most of it’s somewhere in-between.

    Intelligent Design as espoused by the Discovery Institute would be easily classified under the creationist rubric, not simply in form, but also in its shallow dusting of fritter batter over subjects like Baraminology and its incipient “orchard of life”. It walks like a duck and talks like a duck and reproduces like a duck.

    David Icke teaching the History of English Monarchy would, I’m sure, be able to tell a tale of woe and martyrdom after getting ousted from the position. If such a scenario were ever to happen, I am sure Jerry Bergman would be able to wring out the maximum amount of outcry.

    Just don’t expect me to swallow it whole.

  328. #330 Kel, OM
    February 2, 2010

    If you did, you would understand how much his heart breaks for you. All of you.

    God has a heart? God has emotions? God’s primary concern with me is that I believe in evolution? This is nothing more than manipulating tripe, an appeal to emotion. The obvious question would be “how do you know?” how is it you can say anything about the nature or mind of God? Do you think yourself so holy that you can comfortably speak for the alleged creator of the universe?

    This is nothing more than a manipulative trick, and one that won’t work on people who don’t have any feelings at all to religion. Otherwise you’re truly delusional if you presume to speak for God… all this in the absence of making a substantive argument, showing once again that creationists have no intellectual justification for their position.

  329. #331 Kel, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Wirth gets his money from the Discovery Institute

    If this is true, I find it both hilarious and sad. Hilarious because of how inept he is, surely they would want people there who are working towards giving ID a modicum of credibility instead of ignorant fools who serve to give creationism as much embarrassment as a Ray Comfort or Ken Ham. Sad because well, he’s an idiot – and he gets paid for that?

  330. #332 Kel, OM
    February 2, 2010

    One thing this “exchange” has demonstrated for me is something I heard Robert Price say. That in fundamentalist circles that there tends to be a worshipping of Satan. That is they’ve turned God into the force of evil, which is evident in Kevin’s posts. You don’t need the devil when you have such a malevolent and petty deity as the one Kevin evidentially worships, his statements were akin to a wifebeater saying “I only hit you because I love you”

    Kevin may say we know nothing of his God, but his posts here have painted a vivid enough picture. The irony being that in his terrible attempt to argue against Darwinism, he’s shown his motivations to be entirely religious – which wouldn’t matter so much if he had a substantive argument underneath. And Kevin did have people willing to argue the science, which in the end is what the argument is meant to be about.

    I really wish that creationists would drop the pretence that they are making a scientific argument. This isn’t about what the evidence says, the strengths and weaknesses of any theoretical construct to explain all the evidence – this is an argument about existential and ethical implications. About meaning and morality. It shouldn’t really matter which way that God creates, but if its through evolution then there’s no ground to push a religious agenda.

  331. #333 Kel, OM
    February 2, 2010

    It seems Kevin’s mindset here is one of being the bringer of enlightenment, that all of us are just mindless Darwinian dupes and that he’s exposed the brainwashing that would lead us to this position. He expected a hero’s welcome, that we would be thrilled that we’ve finally thrown off the shackles of a purposeless universe and the Darwinian oppressors and that we’re finally free to realise the TruthTM of fundamentalist Christianity.

    Instead he was met with detractors, mockers who threw insults at his stupidity. Did they not realise he’s bringing the TruthTM? And worst of all, there were those who “claim” to have heard this 1000 times before. How could that possibly be? And for those who actually want to argue, how can they argue with the TruthTM?

    We could have treated him like a bringer of enlightenment, with all the respect he’s earned. Instead we treated him like a misinformed idiot who is espousing nonsense instead of the TruthTM. It’s just because we are dogmatic Darwinists who have no concept of how brainwashed we are…

    [/pseudo-psychology]

  332. #334 ritchie.annand
    February 2, 2010

    One other thing of note re: Bergman. Charles Darwin is listed on Wikipedia’s List of Nazi Ideologues. Guess whose work is cited for that?

    Ah yes, you guessed correctly – it’s Bergman. You can follow the cite on there to Bergman’s essay. As to the quality of Bergman’s quote sources, I leave it to you to decide.

  333. #335 Kel, OM
    February 2, 2010

    I’m just trying to be a friend and point the way, before it’s too late.

    Kevin, to be honest with you, I don’t need you to be a friend to me. In what way would you consider yourself to be a friend? Are you a friend in the same way that you’re a friend when you give money to a homeless person? I can’t think of anything more impersonal than what you’re doing, you’re not interested one bit in the people here. You don’t care about their lives, about what is important to them, about their existence in the slightest – at best you’re intentions are well-meaning in the same way as giving money to a homeless person in the street. Your change might be in information form “How To Get Into Heaven” but I seriously doubt you want to have any form of human connection with anyone here beyond what Tom does on MySpace.

    I wonder if you are genuine in your offer of friendship, though I doubt it. Your motivation here is not to form a bond with others but to save souls. Yet many people here if you bothered to even know them were once Christian, they have family and friends with whom they do have close bonds who want the same thing as you – for them to be saved in the afterlife. Yet you don’t know anyone here, you don’t presume to take into account their circumstances, nor do you even consider why they believe as they do.

    If you are genuine in wanting to be friends with people here, then try to understand the world from their point of view. Form a connection with them, follow their arguments and at least try to understand who they are as people. Because without it, your words are meaningless – devoid of anything that gives them a human characteristic, and full of arrogance and self-righteousness. If you’re not going to take the time to get to know someone, how do you possibly conclude that you’re trying to be friends with them?

  334. #336 Kel, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Just to flog a dead horse a little more…

    If you’ve come here with the expectation that people will leave bestest of buddies with you, then you’ve either misread the nature of this place or you’ve deluded yourself. If I had to say anything about the nature of this place, it’s that argument trumps all. That if you say something stupid, there’s bound to be someone here who will point out your illogic. That if you put up a controversial position, you better be damned sure that you can argue said position effectively. While this may offend your sensibilities, it’s a great environment for those who want above all else to take a rationalistic approach to learning.

    There were many of us who wanted to cut through the nonsense rhetoric and just get to the core of the position. Does what your saying have merit? Does it show that my position or another’s is fallacious? That’s what many who argue on here seem to care about – is there justification for their position? If you can show otherwise, you need to do so through first understanding what you’re arguing against then pointing out the flaws in the argument. If you don’t do that and instead engage in espousing a variety of bare assertions and fallacious rhetoric, then you’re going to be rightly mocked.

    Of your complaints about the attitudes of people here, just remember that there were those who were willing to engage you in argument which you just ignored.