Pharyngula

I get email

There was a bit of unwarranted controversy in Richard Dawkins’ talk here at the Global Atheist Convention. In the Q&A at the end, one woman got the microphone, declared that she was a believer, announced that she was grateful to a god, and asked the question, “What is DNA? Where did DNA come from?” (and she did not ask in the tone of someone who sincerely wanted an answer to a basic question in biology.) She was loudly but briefly jeered, before Dawkins and the organizers quieted the audience, and then Richard went on to answer the question politely and at length.

Some people felt badly about the audience reaction, and at least one person apologized to her. I don’t and wouldn’t. I think the response was perfect.

The woman seemed to want to trap Dawkins in what she presumably thought was a very clever question, but was actually naive and a waste of the audience’s time. It is good that the audience was not passive, but expressed their opinion of the stupidity of her attempt to sidetrack the conversation, and it is good that the speaker gave her a fair hearing and an honest answer (although, apparently, she did not accept the answer, anyway, not that she would have accepted anything but that “God did it”.) There were a few other instances — I’m thinking particularly of the fellow who pontificated at ridiculous and incoherent length in AC Grayling’s Q&A—where people inappropriately tried to turn their moment in the spotlight into a chance to speechify.

A little incivility is a good thing. That woman was an idiot, and I’m pleased that that was briefly expressed to her by the audience before an honest attempt was made to address her point.

A similar sort of intrusion occurs just about every day in my email, and here’s a recent example. Apparently, this buffoon just stumbled across an article I wrote in 2006 which describes a remarkable human chromosome rearrangement that was still viable, and didn’t understand it…except that he could tell that it was supposed to correct a common creationist misconception which he’d rather not see falsified. So he writes a letter in the standard creationist style, beginning with a dismissal, following with a question that he doesn’t care to see answered anyway, and then rambling off into a completely different point that he copy&pasted from somewhere. Seriously, this is pretty much the typical noise I get from these loons; I don’t bother to reply, because, like the woman at the conference, they won’t listen anyway.

I think it needs more jeering from the audience, though.

Oh, and the weird font size changes and inconsistent paragraph breaks (at least this one used paragraphs!)? Yeah, that’s what he sent me. Please, please, please, creationists, when you write to me, if you must, go into your mail software and make sure it’s sent as plain text, rather than formatted text, which will strip out all your quirky games with fonts. Typographical incompetence seems to be one of the most common symptoms of the brain damage associated with the creationist mind.

Hello just thought with all your confident
propaganda you could demonstrate (not cite) an example of
species change from Chromosome rearrangements
which of cause would be necessary for any theory explaining us being here
by chance.

“Creationists sometimes try to argue that what we consider straightforward,
well-demonstrated cytological and genetic events don’t and can’t occur: that you
href="http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/a_straightforward_example_of_creationist_error/">can’t
get chromosome rearrangements, or that variations in chromosome number and
organization are obstacles to evolution, making href="http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/pufferfish_and_ancest ral_genomes/">discussions
of synteny, or the rearrangement of chromosomal material in evolution, an
impossibility. These are absurd conclusions, of course—we see evidence of
chromosomal variation in people all the time.”

“variation in people” what ! they are becoming another life
form?

Question – if the human brain has far more capacity than
is necessary for a lifetime and yet evolutionists say a life form develops
according to need “adaptation” or “Natural selection” should we not be at point
of having a brain with just the capacity we need ?

Robert Birge (Syracuse University) who studies the storage of
data in proteins estimated in 1996 that the memory capacity of the brain was
between one and ten terabytes, with a most likely value of 3 terabytes. Such
estimates are generally based on counting neurons and assuming each neuron holds
1 bit. Bear in mind that the brain has far better algorithms for compressing
certain types of information than computers do. Source
The human brain
contains about 50 billion to 200 billion neurons (nobody knows how many for
sure), each of which interfaces with 1,000 to 100,000 other neurons through 100
trillion (10 14) to 10 quadrillion (10 16) synaptic junctions. Each synapse
possesses a variable firing threshold which is reduced as the neuron is
repeatedly activated. If we assume that the firing threshold at each synapse can
assume 256 distinguishable levels, and if we suppose that there are 20,000
shared synapses per neuron (10,000 per neuron), then the total information
storage capacity of the synapses in the cortex would be of the order of 500 to
1,000 terabytes. (Of course, if the brain’s storage of information takes place
at a molecular level, then I would be afraid to hazard a guess regarding how
many bytes can be stored in the brain. One estimate has placed it at about 3.6 X
10 19 bytes.) Source
The brain has about 100 billion nerve cells, so at least
that many bits (about 10 gigabytes) could be stored, assuming the brain uses
binary logic. But it probably doesn’t do so. Instead, information is believed to
be stored in the many connections that form between the cells. This is a much
larger number: Current estimates of brain capacity range from 1 to 1000
terabytes! It would take 1,000 to 10,000 typical disk drives to store that much
information.

The above about covers current info regarding brain’s capacity
as compared to comp equivalent. Nevertheless, this only scratches the surface of
the brain issue, which seems to be as huge as a nano universe.

I’m not a “creationist” I believe in a creator not “absurd conclusions”

David Staples ( my10 quadrillion (10 16)
synaptic junctions can be my qualifications for having the Gall to reply to a
‘lettered intellectual’)

I will attempt to answer these questions as well as I can, given their inanity.

First, David Staples, you are an ass.

Second, I am in a hotel in Australia, and you are communicating with me via the internet. Yet you will not be satisfied with a citation of some evidence, but want a demonstration of speciation right here? What do you expect me to do, scoop up a couple of populations of marsupial mice, set them to mating, and squeeze the fucking mice through the intertubes to pop out in front of you? Well, all you are going to get from me is a link: here’s a list of observed instances of speciation that includes some examples of variations in chromosome organization that were part of the mechanism of reproductive isolation.

Third, evolution includes a significant and necessary chance component to produce the variation that we see in the world around us. You are here by chance; the oocyte that erupted in your mother’s ovary at the time your father’s sperm was present for conception contained a random half of her genome, while the particular sperm that managed to penetrate that egg was one of billions in the neighborhood, and also contained a random half of your father’s genome. You are a child of chance. And, unfortunately, it looks like you crapped out.

I will also add that evolution is not merely about chance, but also includes a non-random component, selection, which can cull out failures and impose a progressive element of better adaptedness to the environment on the process. Selection is not infallible, however, as we can see by the fact that you are still around, tapping in your semi-illiterate fashion at a computer.

Fourth, you apparently were incapable of comprehending the article that I wrote, which does make me wonder why you are bothering to pester me further. I thought it would be obvious that there is “variation in people” — after all, I am clearly a normal human being, while you are a cretin — and even a cretin ought to be able to notice that Angelina Jolie looks slightly different from Wesley Snipes. The point of my article was that there are also hidden chromosomal variations in people that do not make them members of a different species. So no, they are not turning into another life form.

Fifth, what does your question about the brain have to do with the article you are citing? Are you even capable of sustaining a single coherent thought in your head in the time it takes you to compose a short email message?

Sixth, the human brain does not have far more capacity than is necessary for a lifetime. Case in point: you. You seem to be a bit deficient. I also know that I happen to use my brain as much as I can, and if anything, wish I had a lot more capacity.

Seventh, evolution does not produce individuals with some kind of optimized ideal capacity for a specific condition and situation; it produces viable individuals who are good enough, and chance variation means that some will be less capable in particular situations and others will be more capable. We are also dealing with competing solutions: you, for instance, are a bit of a twit with very little brain, but you might be quite capable of stumbling into an opportunity to reproduce (alas), and that is all that matters to evolution.

Eighth, the brain is big and complicated. Very big and very complicated. So? It evolved. We can find a whole range of brain sizes in the animal kingdom, so we can see the steps that led up to the large organ we have; there is no reason to suppose that we need supernatural explanations to account for its origin, any more than the fact that our brains develop from a single cell to their massive size during development without the assistance of magic or angels.

Ninth, the article you quoted is garbage. It makes the fundamental error of comparing a brain to a lump of binary computer memory; the comparison does not work. Brains are analog, not digital; they compute more than they store; assigning a bit value to whole neurons is nonsensical.

Tenth, I don’t know what you are, but a creator is an absurd conclusion.

Eleventh, you have approximately the same number of synapses as anyone else. The quantity of meat in your head entitles you to no special privileges; we care more about what you can do with it. And all indications are that your three pounds of cranial stuffing have been sadly abused and neglected.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    March 14, 2010

    I think his daughter might be in my math class. She would be the one who objected when I added two mixed numbers by writing them horizontally across the board instead of stacking them vertically. “You can’t do it that way!” she cried. “I didn’t learn it that way!”

    The evidence suggests she didn’t learn it at all.

    Presumably a lot of idle brain capacity there.

  2. #2 waldteufel
    March 14, 2010

    This David Staples character evidences the usual lack of knowledge, lack of curiosity, and just very little useable brain matter between his ears.

    These clowns often think that they have stumbled upon some really clever turn of phrase that will completely overturn 150 years of real science.

    Creationist, thy name is arrogant fool.

  3. #3 Brian English
    March 14, 2010

    Is someone a bit tired and grumpy after the weekend? :)

  4. #4 Brian English
    March 14, 2010

    These clowns often think that they have stumbled upon some really clever turn of phrase that will completely overturn 150 years of real science.

    It takes a particularly strong dose of arrogance to think that one can debunk many related fields of science with one single argument. Usually, only someone superbly ignorant of those fields tries.

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    March 14, 2010

    Many, including Alfred Wallace, thought the brain was superfluously intelligent and capable from a mere natural selection standpoint–especially when we consider what humans were doing 100,000 years ago.

    I don’t really want to say they’re right, since there’s a whole lot to know as a very successful hunter-gatherer, and I don’t think anyone has shown that our intelligence wasn’t quite useful for survival 100,000 years ago. However, the possibility that the human brain exists due to sexual selection (on the whole, human females prefer intelligence to almost all traits except for physical attractiveness) remains highly plausible.

    Of course brain capacity isn’t more than is needed over a lifetime (is this a version of the old “we use 10% of our brains” lie?), and it’s pretty clear that the brains of creationists have betrayed them–not necessarily as a matter of their being dumb, but certainly as being susceptible to myth and false analogy. Indeed, it took thousands of years of civilization for us to really know anything about the world, except phenomenologically (essentially, religion is part of that). The world may be “knowable” in the sense that Einstein said it was, but we’re sure not well equipped to know it, and especially not those who prefer lies to truth.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  6. #6 raven
    March 14, 2010

    The woman seemed to want to trap Dawkins in what she presumably thought was a very clever question, but was actually naive and a waste of the audience’s time.

    Yes, the cretinists just recycle old fallacies no matter how stupid they are or how old they are. Some of them are centuries old.

    They are back to the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible. Of course, in their crazy interpretation, it makes life itself impossible.

    And If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

    Most people have figured out that if you answer them, they forget it immediately and will ask it again 5 minutes later.

  7. #7 flavinj
    March 14, 2010

    Current estimates of brain capacity range from 1 to 1000 terabytes! It would take 1,000 to 10,000 typical disk drives to store that much information.

    What a terrible estimate. They can’t even narrow it down closer than three orders of magnitude?

    And this quote is obviously a decade or so old, from when a “typical disk drive” only stored 1 gig. Terabyte hard drives are quite common now. Does that mean our brains are less special? Oh noes!

  8. #8 IaMoL
    March 14, 2010

    Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

  9. #9 Carlie
    March 14, 2010

    I hope this attracts some creationists – we need something to do around here besides just fill up the endless thread. :)

  10. #10 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 14, 2010

    should we not be at point of having a brain with just the capacity we need ?

    Oy. I’d say David isn’t doing much with his basic brain.

    my10 quadrillion (10 16) synaptic junctions can be my qualifications for having the Gall to reply to a ‘lettered intellectual’

    Why is ‘gall’ capitalized? Is this the one quality David is proud of, perhaps?

  11. #11 Rorschach
    March 14, 2010

    and it’s pretty clear that the brains of creationists have betrayed them–not necessarily as a matter of their being dumb, but certainly as being susceptible to myth and false analogy

    This drives me up the wall, when atheists/sceptics/rationalists etc think just because of the fact of them being an atheist/sceptic/rationalist, that makes them the clever/intelligent/smarter ones.
    We had one guy at the GAC stand up at a Q&A and smugly say “Lets be honest, we are the smarter ones”.
    That’s just Dunning-Kruger in action, and I do not like to hear this smug shit from atheists at all.

    PZ also spoke about something somewhat related during his talk, wrt christian scientists.

  12. #12 Utakata
    March 14, 2010

    I think the 2nd point is worth repeating…

    “Second, I am in a hotel in Australia, and you are communicating with me via the internet. Yet you will not be satisfied with a citation of some evidence, but want a demonstration of speciation right here? What do you expect me to do, scoop up a couple of populations of marsupial mice, set them to mating, and squeeze the fucking mice through the intertubes to pop out in front of you? Well, all you are going to get from me is a link: here’s a list of observed instances of speciation that includes some examples of variations in chromosome organization that were part of the mechanism of reproductive isolation.”

    …PZ maybe grumpy, but that one certainly made my day. :)

  13. #13 hen3ry
    March 14, 2010

    they are becoming another life form?

    Does this remind anyone else of the “how is babby formed?” Yahoo question?

  14. #14 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 14, 2010

    Most of the stupidity on offer very much looks like a quotemine than original material of his own (note the failure to raise exponents quoting various powers of 10x); perhaps only the first and last two paragraphs are his ravings? At any rate, vastly more care and effort has gone into the reply than this very stupid person deserves.

    We get the usual fallacy of evolution being nothing more than “chance” in the first sentence from this wingnut, but PZ slams this point down beautifully with:

    Selection is not infallible, however, as we can see by the fact that you are still around, tapping in your semi-illiterate fashion at a computer.

    For the win!

  15. #15 NewEnglandBob
    March 14, 2010

    I didn’t want to even try to get through that mush from David Staples. P.Z.’s answers were wonderful and informative and witty.

  16. #16 raven
    March 14, 2010

    wikipedia translocations:

    Reciprocal translocations are usually an exchange of material between nonhomologous chromosomes. They are found in about 1 in 625 human newborns.[1] Such translocations are usually harmless and may be found through prenatal diagnosis.

    “variation in people” what ! they are becoming another life form?

    Not all humans have the same karyotype, a fact known decades ago.

    Balanced reciprocal translocations are common, frequency about 1 in 625 humans. Since all the genes are there, most have no phenotype.

    I know two of them and had lunch with one last week.

    Creationists are astonishingly ignorant. Chances are David has no idea what atoms, molecules, DNA, or chromosomes are.

  17. #17 Don
    March 14, 2010

    Thanks, PZ. Great reporting here. Glad you were there and hard.

    But “Some people felt badly about the audience reaction…” No, no, no.

    When you run over a raccoon on the road, do you feel “sadly” about it? Not at all. You feel sad.

    Same deal here: “Some people felt BAD about the audience reaction…”

  18. #18 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 14, 2010

    Carlie – There seems to be a glitch down at the troll market, we aren’t getting any good ones. *pout*

  19. #19 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 14, 2010

    Carlie – There seems to be a glitch down at the troll market, we aren’t getting any good ones. *pout*

    Yeah, registration has put a big dent in the quality of the drive-by trolls. But it did allow PZ to remove all of the Hoax easily, and a certain psychotic loudmouth creep hasn’t been seen for quite a while. I would almost rather have the trolls…

  20. #20 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    March 14, 2010

    Wait a minute…this woman thought Dawkins, of all people, couldn’t answer the question “what is DNA?”
    A first-semester bio student could give a reasonable answer.
    She should have asked something tougher, like “what is Cheez-Whiz?” I’d have been stumped.

  21. #21 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 14, 2010

    “what is Cheez-Whiz?”

    Plastic in a can.

  22. #22 David Marjanovi?
    March 14, 2010

    Is someone a bit tired and grumpy after the weekend? :)

    And, man, is it delightful to read :-)

    When you run over a raccoon on the road, do you feel “sadly” about it?

    If there’s enough German influence on Minnesota English, then yes. But that’s just a guess.

  23. #23 Alwimo
    March 14, 2010

    I’m pretty sure the same anti-psychiatry audience member also asked questions (in one go) yesterday. He asked Kylie Sturgess something about dopamine and then suggested that conclusions reached by using diagnostic criteria (or psychometrics?) may just be pareidolia, in the form of a question. But he was more coy than insisting that because he’s a secular humanist, he can’t accept psychiatry (as he did on Saturday). He liked to take one word that AC Grayling and Kylie Sturgess said and then take it out of context to state his strange things.

    There was one part to the creationist’s series of questions yesterday that I heard that wasn’t mentioned here. She also asked, if I heard correctly, why we are so different from one another (I assume she meant in terms of DNA). Wow.

  24. #24 Bribase
    March 14, 2010

    Rorschach@11

    Absolutely true there, there are many people that are atheist for bad reasons, and this idea that it makes them smarter might be one of the big drives.

    But on the other hand you have to admit that the intention of lots of ID/creationist/apologetic literature is to replace an unbiased look at what the world is like using verifiable evidence with a kind of wide eyed befuddlement at questions about the complexity and vastness of the cosmos.

    The biggest hint I got of this was the CGI footage in expelled of cell division, with no voice over, no description of what was going on, just some kind of complex mechanism. The idea is to sit there thinking ‘wow, what an intelligent designer’ without giving a fuck about what is going on, it’s okay as long as Darwin was wrong.

    This says nothing about theists/non theists but it does say something about what kind of target market they are in the publishers eyes.

    B

    B

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?
    March 14, 2010

    “what is Cheez-Whiz?”

    Plastic in a can.

    X-D

  26. #26 anthrosciguy
    March 14, 2010

    The varying fonts in his email mark where he cut and pasted from various sources. If one was wanting to study where his info came from it could be done with that clue.

  27. #27 Jessa
    March 14, 2010
    “what is Cheez-Whiz?”

    Plastic in a can.

    And tastes like cheese in much the same way that a wool sweater tastes like filet mignon.

  28. #28 arachnophilia
    March 14, 2010

    i’ve always thought that accurate, informed, and lengthy responses to the creationists’ “GOTCHA!” questions regarding 1st year biology were always the best kind of response. do it enough times, and they’ll figure out that they do not, in fact, got us. and it always seems to shut them up afterward, like they sorta realize they’re out of their league and don’t have any more “aha!” kind of points.

  29. #29 Charlie Foxtrot
    March 14, 2010

    Ha! I was reading that in the style of Jamie Kilstein from the GAC yesterday – I fully expected to scroll down to find something like
    “Ninth. Fuck you! You don’t deserve a ninth! Tenth…”

    “I’m not a “creationist” I believe in a creator”

    Ummm, yeah…got some bad news for you there David, you might want to sit down…

  30. #30 Jadehawk, OM
    March 14, 2010

    i’ve always thought that accurate, informed, and lengthy responses to the creationists’ “GOTCHA!” questions regarding 1st year biology were always the best kind of response. do it enough times, and they’ll figure out that they do not, in fact, got us. and it always seems to shut them up afterward, like they sorta realize they’re out of their league and don’t have any more “aha!” kind of points.

    no, I don’t think it works like that. It would, on a person capable and willing to understand the answer. but to your average creationist, it probably sounds more like the lengthy non-answers politicians give to straightforward questions. they cannot evaluate what is being said for content, so they evaluate it for simpleness, “common sense-ness” and shortness :-(

  31. #31 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 14, 2010

    A creationist thought a PhD biologist couldn’t explain what DNA is?

  32. #32 Rorschach
    March 14, 2010

    they cannot evaluate what is being said for content, so they evaluate it for simpleness, “common sense-ness” and shortness :-(

    Dan Barker the ex-fundie preacher turned atheist tried to explain this mindset yeaterday by saying fundies have what he called “binary brains”.

    It’s black or white, good or evil, god or devil for these people all the time, there are no shades of grey.If your refutation/argument contains what a fundie brain considers shades of grey, you are wasting your time.

  33. #33 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 14, 2010

    Yeah, why can’t we have some fresh meat? We ain’t had anything but maggoty bread for three stinkin’ days!

  34. #34 Claire Kelly
    March 14, 2010

    “Smarter” tends to refer to what potential there is for intelligent, rational, critical thought. It doesn’t stop there.
    Add an upbringing that encourages critical thinking, a secular education that teaches the basics in science and offers opportunities to progress beyond that, and the tools for critical thinking about ideas (those that cannot be proven experimentally) and you see the best possible ‘mind’.
    Dan Barker, to me, was extraordinary in that (like some of my ID-friendly and ID-undecided friends), he’s obviously a man with an enormous, hungry intellect. Was he dumber when he was a fundie preacher? Of course not. Did he have opportunities for finding other ideas? Not uch – and certainly no one to encourage him to seek them out. But once he was there, his mind blossomed like some sort of a blossoming thing! w00t!
    It’s never too late! For all we know, Miss Thankful may have hit Wikipedia last night instead of the bible, and be slowly trying to unravel what was explained to her. I say good luck to her – if she grieves for her ‘god’ but is grateful to incredible and real powers governing the universe – you know, physics, biology, and lolspeak – I’ll have her round for dinner at my place.

  35. #35 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 14, 2010

    Rorschach – As an ex-fundie myself, I agree with Barker on the binary brain theory/syndrome (?) it’s right on. Just like Bush’s you’re either with us or against us. Sadly the US is full of this attitude.

  36. #36 Charlie Foxtrot
    March 14, 2010

    I was discussing something similar at home last night, and AlBee (my sig. other) likes using the Myers-Briggs demarkations of personality types. She pointed out that presenting a ‘Thinking/Feeling’ argument to a ‘Sensing/Intuition’ type is going to be a waste of time.
    Probably why they keep making the voyeristic demands to “[Gumby] demonstrate (not cite) an example of species change”

  37. #37 NitricAcid
    March 14, 2010

    I was reading that in the style of Jamie Kilstein from the GAC yesterday – I fully expected to scroll down to find something like
    “Ninth. Fuck you! You don’t deserve a ninth! Tenth…”

    After reading Staples’ email, I need (and deserve) a fifth.

  38. #38 Carlie
    March 14, 2010

    i’ve always thought that accurate, informed, and lengthy responses to the creationists’ “GOTCHA!” questions regarding 1st year biology were always the best kind of response.

    I definitely agree. If you just dismiss them, then they walk away thinking you avoided the answer because you didn’t have anything to say. “You want facts? Let me give you some FACTS” is more impressive to everyone else, and serves to shut them up (if you don’t stop talking, they can’t interrupt).

  39. #39 Dan J
    March 14, 2010

    Any way David Staples could be Rev. David Staples of “Defender Ministries”? I would hope that even he isn’t quite that stupid, but you never know.

  40. #40 F
    March 14, 2010

    my10 quadrillion (10 16) synaptic junctions can be my qualifications for having the Gall to reply to a ‘lettered intellectual’

    It is interesting to note that the author of this email seems to be mistaken about which organ it is that produces gall. However, perhaps he has swapped the normal uses of these two organs, somewhat unsuccessfully.

    Why bother with anything other than derision? It is an appropriate response to derision received, especially from idiots. Informative and honest responses are best reserved for honest questions asked in good faith. Repeatedly responding to the same old stupid canards is pointless. They’ve been answered a million times, and the facts are available in libraries, journals, and various locations on the internet; even in easily digestible forms which address the specific creationist challenges. Quit asking! You can’t defeat reality by wasting our time. As for the clever questions-nouveaux that these folks invent, well, they are usually based on the same old discredited forms, but with the addition of the, “Hey, look at what I just pulled out of my ass”-synthesis of misunderstood facts and concepts into an incoherent, “How do you answer that, mister smarty-pants”.

    Fuck that noise.

  41. #41 Kraid
    March 14, 2010

    I suspect the font changes are a side effect of copypasta. However, I also like to think of the typer as a complete lunatic who changes mood and tone (maybe even personalities) several times within the email.

  42. #42 Pierce R. Butler
    March 14, 2010

    Glen Davidson @ # 5: …on the whole, human females prefer intelligence to almost all traits except for physical attractiveness…

    Making generalizations about women is a risky business to start with, but on this one you can expect a spate of anecdotal contrary evidence, particularly from males, sufficient at a minimum to throw your first three words quoted above into serious doubt.

    Shorter version – [citation needed]

  43. #43 Kraid
    March 14, 2010

    Jadehawk wrote:

    no, I don’t think it works like that. It would, on a person capable and willing to understand the answer. but to your average creationist, it probably sounds more like the lengthy non-answers politicians give to straightforward questions. they cannot evaluate what is being said for content, so they evaluate it for simpleness, “common sense-ness” and shortness :-(

    Hm. Maybe. As someone who was raised fundie and YEC, I can definitely say that well-reasoned, well-supported rebuttals to my “gotcha” questions definitely helped chip away at my ignorance. Remember that many YECs are raised to believe in a God of the Gaps, and for some of them, filling those gaps with knowledge is a worthwhile activity.

    All the indoctrination doesn’t go away overnight though, which is probably why you almost never see a YEC change sides mid-debate. But speaking for myself, those debates always left me wondering why, despite my being on the side of the TRUTH, I had the nagging sense that the other side made more sense and required less mental gymnastics to reconcile with observation. Conversely, debates where the other side said “ha ha stupid fundie” didn’t do much to persuade me, as they just reinforced an indoctrinated ideas that atheists are mean spirited and that Darwinism has little real content.

    One major caveat that I append to this personal experience is that I gave up my funditude during adolescence. If people make it beyond 25 with their fundiness intact, it’s probably much more difficult to change their minds. In that case, they may have invested so heavily in maintaining their silly beliefs that they will resort to any degree of cognitive misdemeanor in order to fight off perceived threats.

  44. #44 Binsearch
    March 14, 2010

    the fellow who pontificated at ridiculous and incoherent length in AC Grayling’s Q&A

    This wasn’t far from where I was sitting. He had a serious question, but the result was a bit of a mess. He had arranged earlier with Kylie (the MC) to have the question asked, and he had it written down and given to AC Grayling. While it was difficult to understand what he was saying, what I did hear sounded very upsetting. I think he had spent time as a prisoner and he saw members of his family murdered before his eyes. Didn’t some people eventually start clapping so that he would stop talking?

    People inappropriately tried to turn their moment in the spotlight into a chance to speechify.

    This became very irritating after a while. Even before DNA lady made her appearance, people were annoyed at questioners rambling on and on without asking a question.

    I think it was the questioners being inconsiderate, rather than the crowd. They didn’t care at all about time constraints and other people wanting to ask questions as well.

    Next time we need questions to be 25 words or less.

  45. #45 Capital Dan
    March 14, 2010

    Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM | March 14, 2010 9:23 PM

    Yeah, why can’t we have some fresh meat? We ain’t had anything but maggoty bread for three stinkin’ days!

    Not to wander too far off topic, but I’m curious, PZ. When you turn on the comment registration, is there a noticeable uptick in angry/whining/screechy/crazy emails?

    No. I don’t know why I am curious. I just thought it might be interesting. But, for the record, I really don’t miss the trolls here so much. They’re fun for a few minutes, but the argument never changes, the explanations never sink in, and they really aren’t anything more than a conversational speed bump.

    Other than that, though, you should do what Dooce did and take all your hate mail, slap it onto a site with a boatload of ads on the page and just make money off the lunatics.

  46. #46 Random Mutant
    March 14, 2010

    You are here by chance; the oocyte that erupted in your mother’s ovary at the time your father’s sperm was present for conception contained a random half of her genome, while the particular sperm that managed to penetrate that egg was one of billions in the neighborhood, and also contained a random half of your father’s genome. You are a child of chance. And, unfortunately, it looks like you crapped out.

    Pwn3d, PZ, FTW. Can I please use this in my sig file??

    I think PZ, RD et al should go far more meta on answering creotards’ stoopid questions. They should explain that the question has already been answered 10^x number of times, that they (the creotard) are deliberately ignoring the answer, are too lazy to find out for themselves, are willfully ignorant, are wasting everyone’s time and could they please try asking a question that is somewhat original or else just FOAD.

    Thank you, my 2c.

  47. #47 Screechy_Monkey
    March 14, 2010

    The rambling five-minute “question” seems to come up at almost every kind of forum.

    I think Hitchens has the best approach. Some jackass rambles for about five minutes, Hitch says “I’m content to treat that as a statement and move on,” then takes another drink.

  48. #48 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 14, 2010

    Capital Dan @ 45:

    They’re fun for a few minutes, but the argument never changes, the explanations never sink in, and they really aren’t anything more than a conversational speed bump.

    Ah, but you see, we need something to sharpen the old fangs on. We’ve had a pretty shoddy class of chew toys lately.

  49. #49 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 14, 2010

    These people never learn. And, I would suspect they like to be humiliated.

  50. #50 Yubal
    March 15, 2010

    PZ,

    You might want at least answer his e-mail with a link to this blog entry so David Staples has a chance to step by, talk to us and explain himself.

    How do you know he won’t listen ?!? There is always a chance -at least a tiny one- to bring a creationist to reason.

    Y.

  51. #51 amber.davenport
    March 15, 2010

    I knew, KNEW they would start questioning DNA at some point. Wow. Any concept that would offend their belief that goddit.

    “If DNA is responsible for what makes me who I am then that means I wasn’t created special for jeebus therefore it’s just another evil lie from science therefore it’s not true.”

    Even when I was a believer, I would look around the church service and ask myself, “Is it just me or does anyone else think this is just stupid?”

    I wonder if I was the only one.

  52. #52 Antechinus
    March 15, 2010

    I disagree about that questioner’s motivation. To me, it sounded like she really did want to know what DNA was and what ‘underpinned’ it, whatever that means (which was her second question in the end, not ‘where did DNA come from’, as you report). Who knows why she thought it was the right venue for that question? Maybe Dawkins is the only scientist she’s ever heard of or something.

    You’ve got to admit it was pretty brave of her to admit she wasn’t an atheist in the midst of 2500 cheering Dawkins fans, and though I agree she asked fairly stupid questions, they were at least relatively intelligible and deserved a respectful response because… well, she is a human being.

  53. #53 jenbphillips
    March 15, 2010

    Yeah, why can’t we have some fresh meat? We ain’t had anything but maggoty bread for three stinkin’ days!

    Patricia, honey, I just love you for that. <3

  54. #54 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Antechinus @ 52:

    You’ve got to admit it was pretty brave of her to admit she wasn’t an atheist in the midst of 2500 cheering Dawkins fan

    Why? You could just as easily assume it wasn’t bravery at all, but arrogance, a believer looking to show up the atheists. I seriously doubt most of the believers there were to listen with an open mind.

    they were at least relatively intelligible and deserved a respectful response because… well, she is a human being

    As a human being, she was given a respectful answer. Her beliefs require no such respect.

  55. #55 Antechinus
    March 15, 2010

    Caine, Fleur du mal @54

    Yes, it may well have been arrogance – but in human relationships it is generally fair to assume the best of someone when you don’t have any evidence to the contrary.

    She was given a respectful answer by Dawkins, I agree, and he managed to make it an answer that was probably interesting to the rest of the audience too. I meant she deserved a respectful response from the audience – she should have been given the benefit of our doubt, maybe.

  56. #56 fordiman
    March 15, 2010

    Holy crap, that was meaner than I’m used to from you, PZ. Not that it’s undeserved for the guy, but I’ve seen you be nicer to worse.

  57. #57 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Antechinus @ 55:

    Yes, it may well have been arrogance – but in human relationships it is generally fair to assume the best of someone when you don’t have any evidence to the contrary.

    I’d say it’s fair to think that theists at an atheist convention aren’t there to have their minds changed. Especially as there were a whole lot of creationists running around too.

    I meant she deserved a respectful response from the audience – she should have been given the benefit of our doubt, maybe

    I know what you meant. I disagree. I see no reason to give religion or those who propound it the benefit of the doubt. As PZ and others noted, it seemed the woman was attempting to “trap” Dawkins. That sort of behaviour deserves no respect. I’m not going to get weepy over a brief reaction from the attendees.

  58. #58 tbfoster
    March 15, 2010

    Nice response!

    As far as I know we actually -do- use all of our brain, the notion that we only use 10% is a myth that I’m not sure was ever supported by verifiable scientific research. I trust my clinical neuropsychology professor on this one :P

  59. #59 Rorschach
    March 15, 2010

    Tone concerned poster @ 56,

    Holy crap, that was meaner than I’m used to from you, PZ.

    Good thing you have no right to get posts from PZ that conform to what you are “used to”.

    Not that it’s undeserved for the guy, but I’ve seen you be nicer to worse.

    1. [Citation needed]
    2. So what ?

  60. #60 Antechinus
    March 15, 2010

    Caine, fleur du mal @57

    I see no reason to give religion or those who propound it the benefit of the doubt.

    Really? Ever? So Dan Barker (who spoke before Dawkins), at the moment of his deconversion, instantly changed from someone you would not give the benefit of the doubt to, into someone you would? Even though his deconversion was a gradual process taking 4-5 years? Even though he was privately an atheist while still preaching for the last few months before his public deconversion….? His whole point that discovering nuance and tolerance was what gradually led him to atheism.

    This is what I observed in that question to Dawkins: A woman stood up, said she believed in a god and would thank him for her life that night (which related to the topic of Dawkins’ talk, for those who weren’t there). She asked approx. five questions about DNA, was partly drowned out by the audience, and when Dawkins asked her to finish her question, summarised them in two quite strange questions, “What is DNA? and what underpins DNA?”.

    Despite what other religious people have done, are doing, or are likely to do in the future, there was no evidence from her behaviour or her questions that this questioner was attempting to trap Dawkins.

  61. #61 waynerobinson4
    March 15, 2010

    Kylie Sturgess said on many occasions that at the end of each presentation there might be time for a question and answer, stressing the “question” part. Too many of the “questioners” wanted to make a prolonged statement, including the character who quoted the etymology of “psychiatry”, with “spirit” included, and therefore wanted it abolished on that basis alone.
    Many of the questioners I think weren’t particularly well received, because it was at the end of a session and most just wanted to get out to treat our caffeine addiction.
    I was suspicious about the creationist questioner when she addressed Richard Dawkins as “Mr Dawkins”. I find that’s a dead giveaway of a creationist; it shows rudeness. As a sign of respect, it should have been Dr Dawkins or Professor Dawkins. The ID proponents often do this too, so they refer to eg Dr Sternberg and My Coyne.

  62. #62 PZ Myers
    March 15, 2010

    There was absolutely no bravery involved in asking that question. The worst she faced was getting laughed at.

  63. #63 Rorschach
    March 15, 2010

    Many of the questioners I think weren’t particularly well received

    I cringed a lot.

  64. #64 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    For Venery’s Sake, Antechinus, you’re just being a concern troll at this point. Your weepy outrage is getting nowhere with me – you are patently ignoring every other attendees’ take on the situation, which aren’t agreeing with you. You are seeing offense where there is none.

    waynerobinson4 (#61) makes an excellent point:

    I was suspicious about the creationist questioner when she addressed Richard Dawkins as “Mr Dawkins”. I find that’s a dead giveaway of a creationist; it shows rudeness. As a sign of respect, it should have been Dr Dawkins or Professor Dawkins. The ID proponents often do this too, so they refer to eg Dr Sternberg and Mr. Coyne.

  65. #65 NHM
    March 15, 2010

    Why is ‘Gall’ capitalized?

    I suspect it is a reference to Franz Joseph Gall, the founder of phrenology, which might as well be Mr. Staples’s idea of neuroscience. On the other hand, perhaps he intends a reference to the old saying that the brain produces thought in the same way the spleen (sic) produces bile.

  66. #66 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    @Antechinus

    You know, sometimes context is everything. It’s not like she asked a teacher during a biology class or something. If you’re wondering about DNA, you don’t just go out to an atheist convention to ask to question out of the blue and begin your intervention by announcing you’re a believer.

    You know, when I have legitimate questions, I take it to people around me, the library, etc. And then, I may ask a teacher. And the chances I ask a teacher such a general question during a meeting are close to zero. It’s not like she asked something precise and subtle. If she was really interested in biology, she wouldn’t have asked such a vague question.

    It’s like someone going to the mic at a Dems’ meeting announcing he is a Republican and asking Obama how the health care reform is not communism.

    Or someone going to a medical convention, announcing during a Q&A that he is an intuitive healer and then asking to the speaker what is a double-blind study.

  67. #67 timrowledge
    March 15, 2010

    Seventh, evolution does not produce individuals with some kind of optimized ideal capacity for a specific condition and situation; it produces viable individuals who are good enough, and chance variation means that some will be less capable in particular situations and others will be more capable.

    This bothers me a bit – not because it’s wrong but because I see too much likelihood of some twit attaching some teleological meaning to it.
    As in “produces viable individuals” => “god designs better people” etc.

    Would it be stupid to suggest instead
    “… through the results of natural selection those individuals that are viable enough to produce offspring get to pass some of their genes onward, and chance variation means that some offspring will be more or less capable at surviving the particular conditions that prevail during their lifetimes”
    Bet somebody can shorten it without losing the point. I hoped to get away from any hint of forward planning and toward the idea that it’s a result thing rather than a cause thing.

  68. #68 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    Oh, forgot : and I don’t know if it’s bravery or not, but I don’t really see the point of saying you’re a believer when you’re about to ask a technical question. Right there, you’re announcing that you’re challenging the speaker while saying you don’t know much. Hence the arrogance.

  69. #69 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 15, 2010

    Capitol Dan – Sorry, I was distracted, yes, when registration is turned on the drive-by trolls don’t show up so much.

  70. #70 islandstrust
    March 15, 2010

    It’s definitely copypasta.
    The terrabyte stuff: http://www.sizes.com/people/brain.htm

    More of it on google answers: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=525801

    Dang I hate plagiarism. Cue “creationist” jokes.

  71. #71 Antechinus
    March 15, 2010

    Caine, fleur du mal @64

    patently ignoring every other attendees’ take on the situation, which aren’t agreeing with you

    I’m not ignoring other people’s takes on the situation – I wrote my initial comment because I thought it was worth people hearing a different interpretation from PZ’s.

    Here are a couple of other opinions of “weepy outrage”, including that of the MC:

    http://podblack.com/2010/03/convention-finish/

    PZ @62

    Most people really fear being laughed at. People who’re used to a society where it’s ‘polite’ to avoid vigorous debate, but where they’ll very rarely be in physical danger for voicing an opinion or question (i.e. most social circles in Australia), would see standing up in front of a crowd despite the fear of being laughed at as brave!

    Literally, yes, obviously her question was not an act worthy of a medal for heroism, and ‘brave’ was probably too strong a term.

    someone with a very long name @66, 68

    The context did suggest that her questions weren’t ‘innocent’, but context is not everything. Content has to count. That’s the rational, evidence-based attitude of a freethinker, wouldn’t you say?

  72. #72 BlueEyedVideot
    March 15, 2010

    P.Z., a beautiful choice of word here!

    Cretin
    ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French crétin, from Swiss French crestin ?Christian? (from Latin Christianus), here used to mean [human being,] apparently as a reminder that, though deformed, cretins were human and not beasts.

  73. #73 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    but context is not everything.

    Granted. I should’ve been more nuanced.

    Content has to count.

    What content ?

  74. #74 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    Re ‘You feel sad’…

    I think that’s about right.

    I mean, excuse me? ‘What’s DNA?’ This is your trump card, kid?

    It’s moments like this that you realize: you’re fighting someone who’s not so much brought a knife to a gunfight, as someone who’s brought a plastic spoon…

    … and, more amusing still, when they whip it out, they really seem to be convinced it’s going to impress you. They bust out that bad boy, and they’re all like ‘Guess what I brought! You feelin’ lucky, punk?…’

    So, naturally, there’s an element of embarrassment about it. It’s like: Yeah, yeah, I know I have to mow this clown down know, as a matter of protocol, and as he is, after all, pretty much insisting…

    But can no one look, please, while I do this thing? This is just beneath me…

    … And really, you more just want to go kindly up to him, gently take away the disposable cutlery he’s brandishing about with this maniacal, delighted anticipation of imminent victory, and say to him, ‘Kid, listen, you don’t belong here. Just go home…’

    (/Or, better yet, go back to whichever idiot sold you on this particular choice of weapon and slap him silly for me and you both… As I can assure you, we both have every right.)

  75. #75 Janet Holmes
    March 15, 2010

    The woman who asked about genes sounded more reproachful than anything else IMHO when she said she would thank god for her life.

    The only reason I can think of for her questions about genes was that she imagined Dawkins wouldn’t be able to answer them, though it is hard to believe anyone could be that silly. On the other hand if she really wanted to know about genes I would have thought that a high school textbook from the library would have been the obvious place to start. This is what the crowd generally suggested, I heard many cries of ‘Read a book’, reasonable advice you must admit, even if not offered in the most generous spirit!

    It’s impossible to know what lies she has been told by her pastor and other visiting speakers. I have had an educated friend of mine assure me that there were many unresolved difficulties with evolutionary theory though he had no idea what they were supposed to be. He had been told this by his religious leaders! There is much ‘lying for god’ out there. Maybe she really did think there was no satisfactory answer to her question.

  76. #76 ConcernedJoe
    March 15, 2010

    OK – old man baying at moon – forgive me

    I generally learn or reacquaint myself with biology when PZ answers creationists.

    I understand it is tiresome and frustrating dealing with the willfully ignorant but Dr. Myers and the like could also be informing and instructing real eager learners that are listening when they address the unteachable. Just a comment the teachers may (or may not) consider consider-worthy.

    I think Prof. Dawkins has habituated himself to act as if someone who wants to learn is listening when he addresses questions. Dr. Myers is generally an excellent and patient teacher also, perhaps for the reason stated.

    In person is different than over the intertubes. At least to me a face to face requires different protocols regarding respect and attitude. Aside from many of us having drilled into us “be polite” – and that some of us just cannot help but pity – guns, knives, and fists exist in the real world if you get my drift.

    Gentlemen and gentlewomen should be and being such does not diminish or weaken ones effectiveness at enlightening or combating something. Accommodation or framing into apologetics is not what I am alluding to.

  77. #77 Kel, OM
    March 15, 2010

    Some people felt badly about the audience reaction, and at least one person apologized to her. I don’t and wouldn’t. I think the response was perfect.

    To be honest, I thought the question was perfect. For us laypeople, it’s like attending a mini biology lecture from an eminent biologist. So yes, while she was trying to trap Dawkins and failing miserably, it’s about as good as some of us are going to get in terms of hearing from the master :P

  78. #78 Stephen, Lord of the flies
    March 15, 2010

    To be honest, I thought the question was perfect. For us laypeople, it’s like attending a mini biology lecture from an eminent biologist.

    For me, a mini biology lecture just results in flashbacks to my first year genetics lectures. Although had Dawkins been my lecturer then I would not have complained.

    What I found most amusing about the questioner is that she had just sat through Dan Barker’s talk in which he discussed his journey from fundamentalist to atheist. It was a fascinating look into the mindset of a believer and I wonder what was going through her head as he spoke. Was there an uncomfortable sense of cognitive dissonance or did she dismiss him as not a True Believer™?

  79. #79 Androly-San
    March 15, 2010

    Hahahaha, this entry literally had me laughing out loud. So much so that my co-workers demanded to see what i was reading.

    Thanks for making Monday a bit less shitty PZ!!

  80. #80 lisainthesky
    March 15, 2010

    I was lucky enough to be there to hear the question – my impression of it was that the person asking the question was denying the existance of DNA and asking Dawkins to in a way prove it or to try and trap him.

    I found it a little embarrassing. Its not a questions fit for one of the great minds in the world. Look up a year 10 text book that has simple diagrams of cells and the double helix, ask a high school science teacher, google or wiki it.

    I told someone about it today and they said its like taking your broken alarm clock to Albert Einstein and asking him why it wasn’t working and could he maybe fix it?

    I LOVED the convention – I can literally feel my brain bursting with new neural connections!!! It was lots to take in and I leant so much. Can’t wait for the DVD to review it all again.

  81. #81 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 15, 2010

    …meh. As I biology professor, I get weirder challenges from overzealously insane students. One was straight outta Ali G…Having just lectured on speciation, a student asked “If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

    To which I responded, “The answer to that question is in the lecture that I just gave, and you should review your notes and see if you can come up with the answer on your own…and while you are doing that, I want you to ponder this question…If humans and monkeys aren’t related, why do we like to eat bananas so much?”

    On the way out, the student who asked the question approached me and told me that I had given him a lot to think about…but he was referring to the banana conundrum, not the 50 minutes of carefully constructed lecture that I had just presented.

  82. #82 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes:

    On the way out, the student who asked the question approached me and told me that I had given him a lot to think about…but he was referring to the banana conundrum, not the 50 minutes of carefully constructed lecture that I had just presented.

    Oh goodness. You must be extraordinarily patient.

  83. #83 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    “The woman seemed to want to trap Dawkins in what she presumably thought was a very clever question, but was actually naive and a waste of the audience’s time. It is good that the audience was not passive, but expressed their opinion of the stupidity of her attempt to sidetrack the conversation, and it is good that the speaker gave her a fair hearing and an honest answer…”

    At least she wasn’t in your preferred state of having been ‘cowed’, according to your previous nasty remarks on the ‘accommodationists’.

    So, the premier gathering of atheists showed their in-group mentality by acting like a baying mob when faced with a single member of a percieved ‘out-group’ – and with your support? Who’d have thought it possible!

    Why did the woman choose to question Dawkins on DNA – his comfortable field – for goodness sake? If she really wanted to rile him, why didn’t she ask him a question on some aspect of the real world. Immigration? Poverty? War? Middle East? World hunger? Economics? He doesn’t like questions like that and tends to mumble something non-committal before passing the buck. Just like he did on the recent Australian Q&A show.

  84. #84 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC.

    You can’t be that dense. It was obvious she didn’t think Dawkins KNEW where it came from. That’s why the massive jeers and groans. It’s like someone asking Neil Degrasse Tyson “Do you know how old the universe is?”

    Giving props to a theist for asking a stupid question. Pathetic.

  85. #85 Ing
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC

    I’ve read over your comment 5 or 6 times, and despite the fact I know what each individual word means and how normally they would go together in a sentence, my mind apparently can do nothing but translate you into a series of fart noises.

  86. #86 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    Why did the woman choose to question Dawkins on DNA – his comfortable field – for goodness sake?

    Because it’s numbers 3 and 4 on the list?

    C’mon, NMcC. You know she thought she was asking a stumper. The very fact she thought it was a stumper shows her powerful and willful ignorance.

    This whole “acting like an adult” thing is getting old. When an ignorant twit asks a childish answer, a childish response is appropriate. It is the only way to clearly and concisely communicate with childish people. She most likely was not interested in the answer — after all, a quick 10 minutes on the innertubes will give you a simple answer to that basic question. Childish behavior is all she is likely to understand.

    And finally, your concern is dully noted. Please insert an appropriately-sized phallic object in your rectum for me.

  87. #87 Stephen Wells
    March 15, 2010

    @81: have you tried the “When you were born, did all of your cousins die instantly?” approach?

  88. #88 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    And finally, your concern is dully noted.

    And while your concern was dully noted, it was also (and especially) duly noted.

  89. #89 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    This is a test. My reply to the baying pack – no doubt recently returned from Australia – gathering above, has been refused publication, apparently.

  90. #90 raven
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC lying:

    So, the premier gathering of atheists showed their in-group mentality by acting like a baying mob when faced with a single member of a percieved ‘out-group’ – and with your support? Who’d have thought it possible!

    OOOHHHHH!!!! Xian persecution lies again. Xians are 76% of the population in the USA. Hard to be a despised out group when you are three quarters of the population. Don’t know about Australia but it is probably similar. BTW, Xians have traditionally dealt with their apostates, heretics and atheists by killing them by the millions. They were rather hard on their out groups. If they had the legal authority, they would do it again in a heartbeat.

    NMcC the troll:

    Why did the woman choose to question Dawkins on DNA – his comfortable field – for goodness sake?

    We are speculating. Who knows? It was a stupid question from someone who might have been brain damaged from toxic religion. What is DNA is a grade school through high school level question. One that anyone can look up on Wikipedia or Google in 30 seconds.

    She was trying to embarass or harass Dr. Dawkins without having the brains or education to even know where to start. Being an ignorant, uneducated religious fanatic does have some downsides.

    Similar to you, who has to lie and troll to try and fail to insult a blog. We don’t respect or like trolls, religious kooks, or liars. Why should we? You have just proven yourself to be all three.

  91. #91 raven
    March 15, 2010

    @81: have you tried the “When you were born, did all of your cousins die instantly?” approach?

    If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

    If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?

    If Xianity evolved from Judaism, why are there still Jews?

    The average creationist seems to just repeat what their cult leaders teach without thinking much about it. As another poster pointed out, they always say that evolution is a theory in crisis with lots of problems. When you ask them what those problems are, they have absolutely no idea. Except for the continuing existence of monkeys that is.

  92. #92 Ing
    March 15, 2010

    “This is a test. My reply to the baying pack – no doubt recently returned from Australia – gathering above, has been refused publication, apparently.”

    Snarky Answer: POOT PTTTTTTTTTTTTTT PTTTT SQUIRT PTTTTTTTT POP POOT

    Real answer: Never been to Australia… One does not need to be part of the “in” group so see bullshit.

  93. #93 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    What is DNA is a grade school through high school level question…

    Expanding slightly upon the vaguely embarrassing nature of having to deal with this level of weapons-grade stupid, and upon the noted waste of time problem posed by the determinedly dense, yeah, that, too…

    It’s one of the more significant problems posed by creationists, it seems to me… And you get to thinking: sure, some of us would like to believe there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but increasingly, what with this lot hangin’ ’round, we’re starting to wonder if we really only thought that because we hadn’t met certain folk, yet…

    It’s like having this one incredibly stupid kid in the class, who just drags the whole discussion down. You’d love to move onto the interesting stuff, but he’s still having trouble figuring out certain basics… Everyone wants to move onto the astrophysics, and still, you’re stuck with explaining stuff to him like: ‘No… the square pegs go in the square holes, see, Johnny?… Yes, your hand smells funny when you stick in your pants like that, same as last time–and will you be needing someone to help you find the bathroom again?… Yes, Johnny, and also, when you stick your finger in that light socket, it hurts and the lights and the overhead projector go out… Yep… Also same as last time… So… Umm… I guess I’ll just go reset the breakers again…’

    It gets tedious, honestly… And you start to come up with really probably unworkable solutions… Like I find myself thinking right now: could we maybe just fix this with zoning?…

    And sure, I know folk are gonna get all nervous about insinuations about camps and ghettos and all, but man, sometimes you do just wish you could put them somewhere where they weren’t so hard on property values… It’s like that kinda stupid, it might rub off on you… Like people might see you answering ‘em, think that’s all you’re actually up to, or somethin’…

    So I’ll cop to it: I get to thinking we should have some kind of special ‘stupid zone’, just for these people… They can go there, ask each other stupid questions, give each other stupid answers, and the rest of us can just get on with talking about stuff persons with IQs containing more than a single digit find interesting…

    And yes, we have churches ‘n all, and sites like Rapture Ready, but the trouble is, they keep getting out of those. It’s a problem…

    (/Mebbe if we could just wall those off or somethin’?)

  94. #94 David Marjanovi?
    March 15, 2010

    A creationist thought a PhD biologist couldn’t explain what DNA is?

    Probably she thought he knew almost as little as she, so she’d only need to remind him of what an obvious miracle DNA was to make him admit on stage that it couldn’t possibly have a non-magical origin.

    Good old Dunning-Kruger effect.

    As far as I know we actually -do- use all of our brain, the notion that we only use 10% is a myth that I’m not sure was ever supported by verifiable scientific research. I trust my clinical neuropsychology professor on this one :P

    I’ve read we only ever use 10 % at once. Using all of it at once would be? epilepsy, apparently.

    There was absolutely no bravery involved in asking that question. The worst she faced was getting laughed at.

    But, you know, there are people who fear that more than death.

    Literally. Seppuku (harakiri) was the traditional action to be taken when one became afraid one could be thought a? wait for it? coward. Brave enough to endure insane pain and death, but still too cowardish to withstand being laughed at.

    The burning stupid is still out there.

    (?Me, I’ve always been proud to be a confessing coward.)

    If you’re wondering about DNA, you don’t just go out to an atheist convention to ask to question out of the blue and begin your intervention by announcing you’re a believer.

    Except if you’re stupid. :-|

  95. #95 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    I was lucky enough to be there to hear the question – my impression of it was that the person asking the question was denying the existance of DNA and asking Dawkins to in a way prove it or to try and trap him.

    I can’t remember where I read it recently, probably on Pharyngula, of course, but some creationists are trying to convince their fellows that this is the real issue : they don’t have to ask “hard” questions about information, mutation and everything to trap evilutionists because DNA IS A LIE!!! It doesn’t even exist to begin with so everything falls apart. Genetics are a myth. Seriously.

  96. #96 KOPD
    March 15, 2010

    I’ve read we only ever use 10 % at once. Using all of it at once would be? epilepsy, apparently.

    Yeah, I read something like that as well. We don’t use 100% at the same time, but by the end of the day we’ve used pretty much the whole thing. The obvious question to somebody who still believes we only use 10% is “how come we never hear a doctor at the ER say ‘well fortunately the bullet hit him in the 90% he doesn’t use’?”

  97. #97 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    Except if you’re stupid. :-|

    Or you’re trying to trap the speaker. Or you’re stupid AND you’re trying to trap the speaker.

    I’ve read we only ever use 10 % at once. Using all of it at once would be? epilepsy, apparently.

    That’s what I’ve read too.

    A creationist thought a PhD biologist couldn’t explain what DNA is?

    Well, that’s not surprising if they use as an example the depth of knowledge showed by people like Ken Ham and company who happen to have “Ph.Ds”.

  98. #98 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    My reply to the baying pack – no doubt recently returned from Australia – gathering above, has been refused publication, apparently…”

    Will everyone smack me if I give him a clue before they’ve finished laughing at this?

    Oh. You will?

    (/Well, um… then… dang.)

  99. #99 KOPD
    March 15, 2010

    people like Ken Ham and company who happen to have “Ph.Ds”

    After reading his thesis, I’m amazed Hovind can even spell PhD.

  100. #100 Paul
    March 15, 2010

    After reading his thesis, I’m amazed Hovind can even spell PhD.

    I’d be more surprised to find out he knew it stood for something, let alone if he knew what it actually stood for.

  101. #101 KOPD
    March 15, 2010

    In his case it stands for “Phony Doctor.”

  102. #102 SteveM
    March 15, 2010

    re 58:

    As far as I know we actually -do- use all of our brain, the notion that we only use 10% is a myth that I’m not sure was ever supported by verifiable scientific research. I trust my clinical neuropsychology professor on this one :P

    Not to dwell on this 10% myth too much, nor to dispute your professor, but as I understood it, the myth comes from early days of “open brain” surgery. While undergoing surgery for some other reason, neurologists would probe areas of the brain with small electrical current and would sometimes trigger amazingly vivid recall of long “lost” memories. This only occurred about 10% of the time leading to the “we only use 10% of our brain” myth. But that is just my understanding as a layman, not a neurologist. FWIW.

  103. #103 raven
    March 15, 2010

    The xian troll woman might have just been profoundly ignorant and confused about what DNA is or what it does.

    It happens to fundies a lot.

    On PT, a teacher said that one day she was teaching about the sun in middle school. That it was a fusion reactor in the sky 93 million miles away.

    Shortly after that, the parents of a student stormed into the principal’s office and started ranting and raving. About the sun fusing hydrogen. Apparently in their demented xian cult, the sun isn’t supposed to be fusing hydrogen or something.

    Not sure where in the bible it states that the sun shines by anything but fusing nuclei.

    I suppose they will be back when the teacher mentions the Theory of Internal Combustion and The Germ Theory of Disease. The bible probably says that cars are propelled by angels and it definitely does state over and over that diseases are caused by demons.

  104. #104 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    The bible probably says that cars are propelled by angels and it definitely does state over and over that diseases are caused by demons.

    Germs are demons. I swears it. They are Satan’s imps, the little scamps.

  105. #105 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    I used a ?banned? word, which was the reason for my comment not being posted.

    I should have realised Myers was engaged in another spastic game involving having his choir jump through hoops.

    stevieinthecity:
    And you can’t be that ‘denser’. In fact, I’ve no doubt whatsoever that the woman was a creationist dolt. However, I suspect that behind her question was the real, genuine question of where did ‘everything’ come from? A question that Dawkins (and everyone else) far from ‘answering’, is forced to respond to with the words “We don’t know, we are working on it”.

    It’s more the atmosphere that I can imagine and the level of bile seethed at an ?outsider? who would dare question your star performer that was the point of my comment.

    Ing:
    Ooh, how clever! ‘Fart noises’ in your ‘mind’. I wouldn’t doubt it for a second. But what the fcuk has that got to do with my comment, which is perfectly amenable to understanding by an English reading person?

    The above will suffice for you other wankers.

  106. #106 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 15, 2010

    Boo hoo. She thought she was being clever. She went to an Atheist convention to ask question that boils down to god of the gaps. “What we don’t know obviously should be attributed to god.”

    It’s the antithesis of thought and reason. She’s NOT using her mind. She should be mocked.

    It’s a tired question we get here almost every day. They get the same kind of treatment here.

    It has nothing to do with being an outsider and everything to do with being proudly ignorant.

  107. #107 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    I used a ?banned? word, which was the reason for my comment not being posted.

    I should have realised Myers was engaged in another spastic game involving having his choir jump through hoops.

    Yeah. There’s a little note at the bottom of the page, most of which is in bold, concerning banned words. It’s kind of an intelligence test.

    “Spastic game.” “Choir.” Concern trolls are really cute when they are arrogant.

  108. #108 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 15, 2010

    It has nothing to do with being an outsider and everything to do with being proudly ignorant.

    Correct. Otherwise she would have asked what caused the big bang.

  109. #109 blf
    March 15, 2010

    [S]ome creationists are trying to convince their fellows that this is the real issue : they don’t have to ask “hard” questions about information, mutation and everything to trap evilutionists because DNA IS A LIE!!! It doesn’t even exist to begin with so everything falls apart. Genetics are a myth. Seriously.

    Wow. Just fecking wow. I presume this is because of the simplistic thinking that genes/DNA determine behaviour; that is, if you have gene XYZZY then you have must go around shouting PLOVER.

  110. #110 blf
    March 15, 2010

    In [Hovind's] case [PhD] stands for “Phony Doctor.”

    Putrid hatemongering Dickhead.

  111. #111 truebutnotuseful
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC wrote @ #105:

    I should have realised Myers was engaged in another spastic game involving having his choir jump through hoops.

    “Another” spastic game? Care to provide at least one prior example? I’ve been reading and commenting on this site for years, and to my knowledge this is the first time PZ has employed any sort of filter, apart from the necessary comment registration system to keep spammers in check.

    Also, “spastic?” Really?

    I suspect that behind her question was the real, genuine question of where did ‘everything’ come from? A question that Dawkins (and everyone else) far from ‘answering’, is forced to respond to with the words “We don’t know, we are working on it”.

    She asked what DNA is, she got an answer about what DNA is. If she wanted to ask where “everything came from,” why didn’t she ask that?

    It’s OK not to know where “everything came from.” It’s not OK to make crap up to explain it and try to pass it off as incontrovertible fact as this woman and her ilk are wont to do.

    This wasn’t fecking open mic night at Morningwood Bible Retreat; it’s called the Global Atheist Convention for a reason. She deserved every bit of ridicule she got. I’d expect no less if I crashed an Evangelical Christian convention and said “I’m an atheist. I’m grateful that there is no god. Now, what is faith and where did it come from?”

  112. #112 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 15, 2010

    Thanks AJMilne @74, I laughed so hard I need to wring out my panties. Nice.

  113. #113 KOPD
    March 15, 2010

    some creationists are trying to convince their fellows that this is the real issue : they don’t have to ask “hard” questions about information, mutation and everything to trap evilutionists because DNA IS A LIE!!! It doesn’t even exist to begin with so everything falls apart. Genetics are a myth. Seriously.

    I think AronRa had one of the best responses to idiocy like that, when dealing with a particular coprophagus anencephalic twit. Here from 2:06 to 2:29. Still makes me laugh.

  114. #114 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    It’s kind of an intelligence test…

    I prefer to think of it as an ‘are you in any way distinguishable from a mineral?’ test…

    But hey, your way is good, too.

    … Either way, the huffy ‘Halp! Halp! I’m bein’ repressed!’ bit in the context was priceless, all the same…

    I mean, lessee… Comment hasn’t gone through… There’s this funny stuff in bold at the bottom of the pages…

    … Could be related… Or the evil atheists could be deliberately censoring my dazzlingly clever repartee, much to the detriment of all… I’m sure…

    Well, I’m a creature of habit, I guess… Sooo let’s go with the standard Persecuted Believer™ bit here… That, at least, shouldn’t require any actual thought… And I can fire those ones off as reflexes, after all. Indeed, no component of my CNS need even be involved…

    (/And, hey, what could possibly go wrong…)

  115. #115 negentropyeater
    March 15, 2010

    “What is DNA? Where did DNA come from?”

    Maybe she googled the question and found this useful advice as first hit:

    [from a forum for religious nuts http://www.afterhim.com
    user JTTCOLO, location : deep in the heart of texas]

    how to have a conversation with an atheist ?

    I’d go for his throat and force him to justify his lack of faith in a God, because on its face, athiesm (sic) is folly. Without a creator, he’s forced to believe that literally nothing exploded after nothing acted on it and here we are.

    Just bombard him with questions like: What is DNA? Where did DNA come from? What exploded and created everything? Since matter cannot be created or destroyed, where did the matter come from in the first place? How did the first atom form? The first molecule? Why has the “God particle” never been discovered? Why is it that the more microscopic we look, the more detail and complexity we find? How did abiogenesis happen? What caused the elements to form? Why are there no intermediary fossils? What created the laws of the universe – matter, energy, thermodynamics, gravity, time? Who is the law giver? If the big bang created it all, and the conservation of angular momentum is a physical law, why do some planets, moons, and galaxies SPIN THE WRONG WAY? Why does the moon only have enough dust on its surface to justify a few thousand years’ worth of time? What is philospohy, and why would evolved creatures waste their time with it? Why do we experience love, art, community, laughter, friendship, music, beauty, loyalty, patriotism, compassion – all of these things are irrelevant to survival and would have long ago been bred out of us if evolutionary forces were at work. What is the universe expanding into? Why do over 270 cultures on the planet have ancient stories of a global flood that only one family survived? Why would the people who walked with Christ be willing to not only die, but die horrific deaths rather than simply deny what they saw?

    They’re always pompous fools without answers. At least a believer can say, “I DON’T KNOW” and find wisdom and humility.

  116. #116 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 15, 2010

    They’re always pompous fools without answers. At least a believer can say, “I DON’T KNOW” and find wisdom and humility.

    wait

    WHAT?

  117. #117 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    They’re always pompous fools without answers. At least a believer can say, “I DON’T KNOW” and find wisdom and humility.

    Heh. That made my day. Quite a few of the “questions” weren’t very good questions. Several have been answered. Several were question-begging. And then the final, “I DON’T KNOW” bit.

    As if that’s the answer a believer would use.

  118. #118 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    truebutnotuseful:

    And what would you call his constant orders to you people to go and crash this pointless poll or that pointless poll? If that isn’t a spastic game, what is?

    stevieinthe city:
    The woman asking the question was ‘trying to be clever’, was she? Why disparage that? If you take the rest of your tripe into consideration she was only doing what you have prescribed. Of course, no matter how hard she tried, she’d never be as clever as you and yours.

    nigelthebold:
    But then, when you go to comment on a website, you don’t normally expect to be told how you are to phrase things and which words the boss has deemed acceptable for the day – I find.

    Intelligence test? Yes, for dimwitted sheep like you who can’t tell the difference between an intelligence test and a spastic game. Of course, it hasn’t escaped your notice that Myers has used one of his banned words in his post above. Obviously it’s only his choir that requires its ‘intelligence’ tested.

  119. #119 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    Re #118…

    … hrm… he sounds almost… bitter, or somethin’…

    (/Why are these believers always so angry?)

  120. #120 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 15, 2010

    And what would you call his constant orders to you people to go and crash this pointless poll

    What orders? You fail to understand, he points something out we might be interested in. There can’t be orders since there is no punishment for not going to the poll and voting his way. And a number of people don’t vote his way, and post how they voted and why. Nobody is banned for doing so.

    Yes, for dimwitted sheep like you who can’t tell the difference between an intelligence test and a spastic game.

    The only spastic game going on here is your logic. Or rather, the lack thereof.

    The woman was playing a “gottcha” game. Your failure to admit that says all we need to know about your lack of integrity and honesty.

  121. #121 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    But then, when you go to comment on a website, you don’t normally expect to be told how you are to phrase things and which words the boss has deemed acceptable for the day – I find.

    What in the name of YWVH’s underdeveloped penis are you quacking at? Of course many websites tell you what you can and cannot say. Go to any Christian website, and there will be definite restrictions both on what you can say, and how you can say it.

    You are right. Here, it is a game. Perhaps Dr. Myers is just flexing his authoritarian muscle, as this is his blog. Who knows? I personally don’t care. But I kinda suspect it’s really just a playful attempt to tie in with his Sunday Blasphemy sermon.

    Intelligence test? Yes, for dimwitted sheep like you who can’t tell the difference between an intelligence test and a spastic game.

    Ouch. Did I hit a nerve? Poor widdle NMcC. I’m sorry about your loss. Did it hurt when you had your sense of humor removed?

    Oh! I’m sorry. Were you born without it?

  122. #122 truebutnotuseful
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC wrote @ #118:

    And what would you call his constant orders to you people to go and crash this pointless poll or that pointless poll? If that isn’t a spastic game, what is?

    LOL. “Orders?” That’s a joke, right? You’re just yanking our collective legs, yes?

    Jesus, I hope PZ adds “spastic game” to the banned words list soon.

  123. #123 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    ‘…dazzlingly clever repartee…’ – if the rest of your comment is any guide to your general level of comprehension, all I can ask is; how the fcuk would YOU know whether it was or not?

    Bit of an overuse of the old ellipse there, chum. Obviously you are too intelligent to be required to know how to make a passable stab at using the English language. The first part of this comment should be instructive to you.

    ‘Persecuted believer’? Not quite. I’ve been an unbeliever for all of my adult life.

  124. #124 KOPD
    March 15, 2010

    Proof that Rorschach was right in #11.

  125. #125 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    Bit of an overuse of the old ellipse there, chum…

    Aww… Does someone… Want… To change… The subject…

    (/’Halp! Halp! I’m being repressed!…’)

  126. #126 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC is starting to produce a familiar stench.

    I think he’s revisiting concern troll. The “old chum” bit I’ve seen before.

  127. #127 Celtic_Evolution
    March 15, 2010

    ‘Persecuted believer’? Not quite. I’ve been an unbeliever for all of my adult life.

    How very interesting… if that’s true, why the need for the following:

    It’s more the atmosphere that I can imagine and the level of bile seethed at an ?outsider? who would dare question your star performer that was the point of my comment.

    Emphasis mine.

    Why make the point to put Dawkins in an opposing camp from yourself with the use of a possessive? Hmm?

  128. #128 truebutnotuseful
    March 15, 2010

    “How to have a conversation with an atheist” wrote:

    They’re always pompous fools without answers. At least a believer can say, “I DON’T KNOW” I know that Jesus lives and He made the universe just for me and He loves me and He doesn’t like gay people or abortions and He loves ‘Merica and guns and evilution is a lie from Satan and I know that Obama was born in Kenya and is a Communist and God loves you and I’ll pray for you, bye! and find wisdom blind acceptance of unprovable supernatural claims based on unverifiable second- and third-hand accounts and humility a smug sense of moral superiority.

    Fixed.

  129. #129 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010
    ‘Persecuted believer’? Not quite. I’ve been an unbeliever for all of my adult life.

    How very interesting… if that’s true, why the need for the following:

    There is no contradiction. The key is in the use of the word “adult.”

  130. #130 F
    March 15, 2010

    That’s a big, boiling pot of stupid there @ 115, certainly. So much of it is not even wrong.

  131. #131 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC @ 118:

    And what would you call his constant orders to you people to go and crash this pointless poll or that pointless poll? If that isn’t a spastic game, what is?

    Hahahahaha, ah, trying too hard there. No orders, just commentary. Online polls are not scientific and often ridiculous. If you ever bothered to read the comments, you’d find people vote differently, there are often disagreements on voting, etc. That doesn’t fit in your concern trolling agenda though, does it? Tsk.

    Of course, it hasn’t escaped your notice that Myers has used one of his banned words in his post above. Obviously it’s only his choir that requires its ‘intelligence’ tested.

    Hey, genius, you failed again. Learning to read dates might help. This was posted on March 14, 2010 7:15 PM. The Sunday Sacrilege post on swearing (in which it was declared euphemism week) was posted on March 15, 2010 12:38 AM. Do you get it now, or do you need a little help?

  132. #132 negentropyeater
    March 15, 2010

    Maybe he is in the camp of The-Ones-Who-Should-Not-be-Named ?

  133. #133 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC, there is something very funny about you conflating PZ’s humorous Euphemism Week and temporarily having banned word with poll crashing.

    In the couple of years I have been posting here, I only participated in poll crashing a couple of times. I have not had one comment withheld because of that. I have not been punished once for not taking part. I understand the point pf poll crashing. But when you get down to it, I really do not care.

    If you actually think that a temporary list of banned words and poll crashing are related in any way, I think it show a huge flaw in your critical thinking.

    NMcC, here is a hypothetical question. Instead of Richard Dawkins giving the speech at an atheist conference, what if it were a mathematician? One of the questioners declares that she is a believer and is grateful to god for being alive? And then asks what addition is and why 2+2=4? What would you think is her point?

  134. #134 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    Maybe he is in the camp of The-Ones-Who-Should-Not-be-Named ?

    That’d be high-larious, considering NMcC’s comment about the banned words filter. At the section of the inter, that’s standard practice.

    What I love is the irony of NMcC saying the idiot asking about DNA deserved respect, while in the same breath showing disrespect to the regulars here.

    That, and his palpable smugness. He amuses me. Tremendously.

  135. #135 confusions_a_virtue
    March 15, 2010

    I think it says a lot about P.Z. that he’d incourage people to ‘jeer’ someone because of the question they asked. He gives atheists a bad name

  136. #136 Paul
    March 15, 2010

    Hey, genius, you failed again. Learning to read dates might help.

    Curiously, when I read the sentence you replied to, I thought he meant that Myers used banned words in his entry where he declared them banned. This is true. Aside from the listing of the banned words, he used two (possibly more, I don’t feel like scanning for more) in his explanation of the challenge. It is a moot point though, since it’s not meant to be any sort of intelligence test. Myers is explicit that it’s just an experiment intended to demonstrate that banning bad words will have no effect on tone in the venue enforcing the ban.

  137. #137 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 15, 2010

    You’re confused alright.

  138. #138 negentropyeater
    March 15, 2010

    That’s a big, boiling pot of stupid there @ 115, certainly. So much of it is not even wrong.

    I particularly laughed at the fact that he capitalized SPIN THE WRONG WAY, as if this was the undeniable proof of God’s existence.

    That’s talkorigins’ creationist claim #CE260.1

  139. #139 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 15, 2010

    What is this, the Kwokin’ Intersection?

  140. #140 lykex
    March 15, 2010

    #93
    I know exactly how you feel.

    Unfortunately, whenever a large number of stupid people gather, one smart person always pops up and manipulates the stupid ones to do what he says.

    Since he’s the only smart guy, nobody else knows how to deal with him, so he takes complete control. I have a sneaking suspicion that that’s how religion got started in the first place.

    #105

    I used a ?banned? word, which was the reason for my comment not being posted.

    Oh, PLEASE complain about the censorship. The irony will surely make me soil my pants.

    #115

    They’re always pompous fools without answers. At least a believer can say, “I DON’T KNOW” and find wisdom and humility

    It’s a standard tactic. Take your opponent’s strengths and claim them as your own. Take your weakness and accuse your opponent of it.
    Pay attention to creationists, they do it all the time.

  141. #141 Celtic_Evolution
    March 15, 2010

    I think it says a lot about P.Z. that he’d incourage people to ‘jeer’ someone because of the question they asked.

    So… if she had asked the question “Do you still rape little children?”, you wouldn’t encourage people to jeer?

    Or did you mean to be more specific?

  142. #142 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    confusions a virtue:

    I think it says a lot about P.Z. that he’d incourage people to ‘jeer’ someone because of the question they asked.

    Oh, why thank you for your concern, dear. Bless your little heart. PZ didn’t encourage anyone to jeer at the conference questioner. He simply found the response apt.

    He gives atheists a bad name

    *Chuckles* You’re certainly not doing much for confused people.

  143. #143 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Paul, I see. I should be careful posting after being awake for only 20 minutes on a substandard amount of tea. :)

  144. #144 negentropyeater
    March 15, 2010

    What I love is the irony of NMcC saying the idiot asking about DNA deserved respect, while in the same breath showing disrespect to the regulars here.

    But that’s the signature of all accomodationists, the religious deserve respect, but atheists don’t.

    The colgate twins are just two of those, there are plenty more. Check the Q&A session on ABC with Dawkins on the other thread, the Australian minister of Agriculture was a perfect example. He didn’t like it when RD ridiculed the New Testament. And he is a non believer.

  145. #145 Paul
    March 15, 2010

    Paul, I see. I should be careful posting after being awake for only 20 minutes on a substandard amount of tea. :)

    No, no, a closer reading revealed you were right! Don’t second guess yourself so easily :-). He clearly refers to this post, “the post above”. I just thought it was funny that I jumped to assuming the troll was being accurate, and rationalized why it didn’t matter, instead of cutting through the BS and pointing out that he was making a complete non-point.

    Perhaps I am too naive. Even after the many Intersection dustups with either quote mining or deliberate altering of wording, I still tend to assume people aren’t lying through their teeth. I can’t decide whether to be irritated by this or not.

  146. #146 negentropyeater
    March 15, 2010

    The thing that NMcC and other accomodationists fail to understand is this:

    In a society where atheists are treated with respect by the religious (eg in France or Scandinavia), it’s only fair that they treat the religious with respect.
    But in a society where atheists continue to be treated like some sort of pestified part of the human species by the religious (eg in the USA and many other countries), why should they treat the religious with respect? Should they just wait and be all nice and polite until the religious start respecting them? History shows that this will not work. Because the churches have this thing deeply rooted in the way they look at competitors: never give up territory. And they use “respect” and the persecution complex for this.

  147. #147 Knockgoats
    March 15, 2010
    Why is ‘Gall’ capitalized?

    I suspect it is a reference to Franz Joseph Gall, the founder of phrenology – NHM

    I assumed it was to the late Dr. Samuel Gall, inventor of the Gall bladder, who according to Tom Lehrer “majored in animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day…” ;-)

  148. #148 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    @blf

    Yeah, I found it :

    The first one was on Yahoo Answers but has now been deleted. It read

    Genetics is also a pseudoscience of Satan just like evolution. What do you think?
    I have been inspired by “Byron” and I agree with him, so I am posting it in order to help him spread his message. If you are a Christian, please do not outright say that genetics disproves evolution and that genetics is true just to not look like a fool. Being a soldier of Christ requires such pain as well.

    Genetics was invented by Satan-induced “scientists” who wanted to “prove” evolution true by creating a whole new branch of lies that corroborated evolution. There is no such thing as DNA or chromosomes. Please, if you are a Christian, please stop believing in this lie; we must make this known.

    The second one is on Christian Forums. Someone named Asycthian wrote

    The ignorance is when evolutionist’s equate interpretation to fact.

    2. DNA isn’t evidence for anything, nor is it even proven, it’s based on the Atomic theory, which was invented by Atheistic materialists. Anyway, evolutionist’s themselves don’t use DNA to prove evolution, since they maintain man shares over 60% DNA with a banana. So did we all evolve from a banana, or other fruit and veg?

    When asked by someone else if “Are… are you now disputing the existance of DNA???”, he replied

    Yes. DNA can never be proven. Evolutionists are obsessed with it because they always say ”chimps share 97% DNA with modern man” etc. That’s great, however you would then need to prove DNA is real.

    A little later :

    Erm….we have pictures of it.

    You evolutionists took picures of Piltdown Man for many years, then the whole thing turned out to be a hoax. Pictures are not conclusive proof of anything.

    I hope it’s a Poe. Otherwise, we now have DNA deniers…

    BdN

  149. #149 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 15, 2010

    I hope it’s a Poe. Otherwise, we now have DNA deniers…

    Have you ever seen DNA? It’s supposed to be in cells but, even with a microscope, you can’t see it. So it doesn’t exist. It’s a figment of your imagination, a snare set by Satan to entrap evilutionists to thinking evilution exists. So there, smarty pants! :-P

  150. #150 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlZhMUnjA9BsWP9zojf401f2aINdplmJP0
    March 15, 2010

    I’ve never seen you neither ! Must I conclude…

    BdN

  151. #151 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC:

    I think it’s really, really, really important to note where the jeering came. The question went:

    “I am a Xian and god is great blah blah”

    “And I would just like to ask: what is DNA, where did DNA come from, why are we all different…”

    Look, I was a little disappointed when speakers resorted to “lol, fundies” but it was OUR CONFERENCE. Ours. For the atheists. Us. The ones who don’t get to go to church and revel in the self-congratulatory “we are the chosen few” crap every week. I think many people wanted to hear her question because most atheists struggle to understand the complete belief of the devout (hence the pin-drop silence for the entire of Dan Barkers talk) but they were disappointed. Daniel went into the lions den (for want of a better analogy) and got schooled on DNA. We all expected better.

    Besides, she crashed our party. If I went to an evangelical stadium church thing and harassed the pastor, I’d be willing to bet I’d get removed by security and charged with something.

  152. #152 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 15, 2010

    Oh, and NMcC, most of us are not “recently returned from Australia”. Apart from one Canadian (who lives in Western Australia), everyone I met on the weekend was from Australia. There were a lot of international visitors for the conference, but the Pharyngulites there weren’t international blow-ins, harassing the local fundies and then blowing out again. We live here. It’s ours. Please stfu.

  153. #153 David Marjanovi?
    March 15, 2010

    Have you ever seen DNA?

    I have. It’s a white sludge. Can be isolated out of tissue and purified…

  154. #154 NMcC
    March 15, 2010

    Oooh! A pile on, and I nearly missed it. Christ, that really is what you crowd of self-regarding, smug fcukers do best, isn’t it? It’s the same on Dawkins’ site. No doubt some of you felt that little thrill of jackbootism when you silenced that woman at your idiotic convention too. Incidentally, what do you do at a weekend long convention? I was under the impression (I’ve heard it said often enough, at any rate) that an atheist is simply someone who has no belief in a supernatural deity. It didn’t take you a full 2-3 days to discuss that, did it? Even William Lane Craig fcuks up after about an hour of spouting off on the non-existent resurrection – and he’s one of the world’s experts on that.

    Most of your comments are too stupid – not to mention rancid – to reply to, so I’ll simply note with laughter the various stabs that I’m a Christian, or an accommodationist, or a concern troll or, indeed, a believer with a persecution complex. All of them conjured out of thin air and all of them wildly wrong. And to think, you people laugh at the religious for believing things when there’s a dearth of evidence.

    One comment that I will respond to though, since it was especially stupid, is the very last one above. ‘We live here. It’s ours’, opines iamtheonlyjosie, before suggesting that I should STFU. To continue your theme of your previous comment, I’ll make YOU a bet. I’ll bet that, far from Australia being ‘yours’, that, in fact, there is people in China who have never set foot in it who own more of it than you do. In fact, I’ll bet that you pay the people who actually own it – the people with the title deeds to it – to let you live in it! You fcuking imbecile. That’s what I like about you ‘new’ atheists, you are so clever. You’ve just got everything sussed.

  155. #155 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 15, 2010

    self-regarding, smug fcukers

    Why are you describing yourself?

    No doubt some of you felt that little thrill of jackbootism when you silenced that woman at your idiotic convention too.

    Oh, so you lied about being an atheist? *clutches fake pearls*

    Most of your comments are too stupid

    Again, why are you describing yourself and your posts?

    laughter the various stabs that I’m a Christian

    Finally speaking the truth, after bearing false witness all day. Not a good xian…

    That’s what I like about you ‘new’ atheists, you are so clever. You’ve just got everything sussed.

    Good, you acknowledge we are better and more intelligent and moral than you Xians. About time…

  156. #156 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    NMcC:

    All of them conjured out of thin air and all of them wildly wrong.

    Yes, yes, of course. This is hardly the first time we’ve heard such a claim. It’s rather obvious you’re a hypersensitive twit with a desperate need to come off as a superior being. *yawns*

    Now I’m sure you have a busy time ahead, the whole internet awaits your outrage, cupcake.*

    *Oh, and don’t forget to read dates – it might help you avoid looking like such a brainless idiot again.

  157. #157 lykex
    March 15, 2010

    A pile on, and I nearly missed it. Christ, that really is what you crowd of self-regarding, smug fcukers do best, isn’t it?

    Yes, it’s SO unfair, isn’t it. You show up on a predominately atheist site and the people there have the gall to actually voice their opinions?
    How DARE they? Who do they think they are, posting and stuff? Don’t they know they’re supposed to just shut up?

  158. #158 WowbaggerOM
    March 15, 2010

    Incidentally, what do you do at a weekend long convention?

    You’ll probably have to look up what these words mean, but I’ll give them to you anyway: science (many fields), philosophy, ethics, history, politics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, demographics – just to name a few.

    Of course, we also spent some of it laughing at the sort of people who are so ignorant that they feel asking a question like this is either insightful, insulting or amusing – when it’s clearly none of the above.

    What you’re doing is as stupid as asking people at a peace conference what they talk about when they say they don’t believe in war.

  159. #159 ginckgo
    March 15, 2010

    I actually sat a few seats from the DNA question lady at the Convention. After Richard’s eloquent summary of abiogenesis and DNA, she sat back down with two of her friends and said “He doesn’t know”. Playing chess with pigeons.

  160. #160 AJ Milne
    March 15, 2010

    How DARE they? Who do they think they are, posting and stuff? Don’t they know they’re supposed to just shut up?

    Oh, no no no… You don’t understand…

    See, there is a large group of people who happen generally to agree that NMcC is kinda unintentionally hilarious, and (probably more intentionally) full of solid nitrogenous waste…

    Therefore this is groupthink…

    See, it’s the same primitive tribal phenomenon at work as when a large group of people spontaneously laugh their asses off at some moron who thinks ‘What is DNA?’ is a stumper worth ever bringing up again… And, for that matter, the same dreadful, potentially deadly collectivist attitude prevailing as when an audience spontaneously starts throwing rotten fruit at a washed up standup comic who actually thinks bringing in some stale bit about airline food is a good idea…

    ‘Kay. I can see how you might find this confusing. But, see, the diagnostic thing here is: they all agree that NMcC is a yutz…

    See, right there, that’s groupthink… Purely an unthinking, tribal phenomenon. The substance or lack thereof in NMcC’s offerings here is not material, which is why he’ll not be making any show, however token, even of defending them: the fact that people actually agree about them is the point, see…

    Yeah, I know, it’s a hard concept… But I can boil down the chain of reasoning for you a bit more, if it helps:

    It works as follows: if a large group of people are generally agreed that NMcC is an idiot, it’s not that he actually is. Rather, it’s groupthink.

    Hoping this clears things up…

    (/And on a related matter, I think, given these criteria, it’s probably quite safe to say NMcC has experienced this phenomenon rather frequently, over the course of his life…)

  161. #161 The Silent Moose of Doom
    March 15, 2010

    That’s what I like about you ‘new’ atheists, you are so clever. You’ve just got everything sussed.

    As PZ said on Saturday, “A ‘new atheist’ is just any old atheist that the Catholic Church can’t legally set on fire any more.” Given that the term is regularly thrown at us in a fit of frustration, it sounds pretty accurate to me.

    I’ll raise my hand as one of the jeerers (gr?) that day. I called out, “Try Google!” and felt slightly bad about it after Dawkins shushed us. Afterwards, though, I realised that I would have reacted in much the same way if an atheist had taken up valuable (and scarce) time asking one of the world’s leading scientists to explain something that would be easily found within a high school textbook. Someone said afterward that asking Dawkins ‘what is DNA?’ is akin to asking Hawking ‘what are stars?’.

    I was sitting fairly close to the microphone on Sunday. When the woman stood up and started talking about thanking god, most of the sounds I heard from the audience were the verbal equivalent of an eyeroll. It wasn’t until we heard that her question was ‘what is DNA?’ that I (and others, it would seem) became irritated enough to actually say something.

    My interpretation was that she was trying to:

    Show from the outset that her only intention was to provoke (making a point of referring to Dr. Dawkins as Mr. Dawkins and announcing, “Well, I’m not an atheist” in a mocking tone of voice);

    Somehow ‘trap’ Dawkins into ‘admitting’ that there’s no such thing as DNA (with all the arrogance that comes along with considering herself even in his league); and

    To take up valuable time that would otherwise be used on constructive questions (Psychiatryman notwithstanding). After all, the more time you spend on revision, the less time you have to spend on content.

    I think that Dawkins handled it admirably, turning a question that was intended to humiliate him into an interesting few minutes for all of us.

    I still don’t regret the heckling, though.

  162. #162 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Ginckgo:

    I actually sat a few seats from the DNA question lady at the Convention. After Richard’s eloquent summary of abiogenesis and DNA, she sat back down with two of her friends and said “He doesn’t know”.

    Ah, that’s interesting to know. Thanks!

  163. #163 The Silent Moose of Doom
    March 15, 2010

    I actually sat a few seats from the DNA question lady at the Convention. After Richard’s eloquent summary of abiogenesis and DNA, she sat back down with two of her friends and said “He doesn’t know”.

    Sadly, I’m not surprised.

  164. #164 Krystalline Apostate
    March 15, 2010

    If I went to an evangelical stadium church thing and harassed the pastor, I’d be willing to bet I’d get removed by security and charged with something.

    & spit on, have food tossed @ you, & perhaps a a fist or 2 as well.

  165. #165 Kel, OM
    March 15, 2010

    With the lady asking the troll question, it might also be worth pointing out that she tried to fire off about 4 questions at once – all which she was reading from a printed out piece of paper. It’s clear she had an agenda, it’s just too bad she was too stupid (in this case, it’s valid) to realise just what she was asking and why she got that particular answer.

    She was there to troll, pure and simple. She could go home with the Stephen Fielding-like ignorance that she just demonstrated the validity of the teleological argument (i.e. it takes a big smart thing to make a small stupid thing)

  166. #166 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    Most of your comments are too stupid – not to mention rancid – to reply to, so I’ll simply note with laughter the various stabs that I’m a Christian, or an accommodationist, or a concern troll . . .

    Oh, but you are a concern troll. There’s no speculation about that; you opened your mouth and removed all doubt. You came in and absolutely swooned at the thought that people would heckle a poor misunderstood ignoramus who was simply asking a question to help further her education. Then for the icing, you had to throw in a few faux-erudite insults to provoke us into insulting you back, so you could feel so very shocked (shocked! I tell you) at our belligerence.

    That, my funny little humorless friend, is a textbook case of concern trolling.

    And really, dude, you’ll need to work on your game if the best you can do is, “I know you are, but what am I?” type retorts. Most of us gave that up in third grade. It just stops being funny. And if you aren’t in the third grade yet, consider it fair warning.

    But you are still amusing, I have to give you that. Unintentionally so, I imagine, but amusing nonetheless.

  167. #167 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    March 15, 2010

    Dear Brother NMcC,

    Good on you for standing up to this baying crowd of rationalatheists! You’ve certainly got a meaty pair in your teabag! Thanks to your heroic anonymous diatribe I can sense the walls of fundamentalist disbelief crumbling around the evorationalutionists ears like the Haitian Presidential palace. In fact I’d say most of the unbelievers have slunk off already, utterly crushed by your top-o-th’-line invective.

    I hope you don’t mind me saying it, o my brother MCnN, but you are completely wasted as an unbeliever. With your level of seething hate and anger you could have your own fundyfriendly gabbleshow on Fox News.

    Sadly, in my prayers Jesus told me that you’ve been scarred by religious upbringing, which makes a whole heap and helping of sense out of your conflicted caterwauling. Apparently you still haven’t recovered from the tender ministrations of wicked Father Ernie as he fiddled about. Indeed, the uncharitable might diagnose the memory of a serrated papist-penis lodged up your childish fundament as the deep seat of all your frustration.

    But I’m here to say, don’t worry brother cnCn, it is perfectly normal to work out one’s self-loathing by turning on those who simply question the warping effect of religious fundamentalism, rather than directing one’s opprobrium at the abusive elite who have for millennia employed religion to dehumanise their fellows. Similarly, it is easier to upbraid those who ask questions than chastise the criminally credulous (like Dawkins’ faithfilled questioner) whose passive response to the abusive religious elite effectively says: “Can you ram it right up my spine, or do you need me to spread my cheeks wider and bend over even further?”

    Anyway, I’m just a simple Christian and don’t know much about such things. But I know enough to be able to tell when someone isn’t a gruntled wee chappie… and your tantrums have all the hallmarks of a self-loather in need of salvation.

    Yours in Christurbation
    Smoggy

    PS While I don’t want to be banned, I feel compelled to say that:

    I’d rather suck a meatstick
    Than a c-c-c-c-ock,

    And when it comes to f-f-ucking,
    I like doing things that shock,

    Like spreading Noo Zillund marmite
    On a kirshey moonenbaum

    And performing CUNning stunTS
    At a SHIiTe jihad farm

    But the think that makes me gladdest
    Every fecking demn day,

    Is falling down upon my knees
    And praying life away.

    So thank you God for all the words
    You made to soothe my soul,

    I don’t need c_ck, c_nt, sh_t or f-ck
    To make my vocab whole,

    Not while your grace hath given me
    clit, anus, gristle-gripper,
    funbag, tit and hairy bit
    knob-munter, shaft, slit-licker!

    And thank you too for nipple-screw
    c-b-t and flogging!
    Dickhead, turd and enema
    Anal and dogknobbing.

    I could go on, the list as long,
    But what is left to say?
    ‘Cept Moonenbaum and Kirshey
    Can kiss my accommodating A…!

  168. #168 Sean O'Doherty
    March 15, 2010

    What is that smell?

    Posted by: NMcC Author Profile Page | March 15, 2010 7:25 PM

    Eww, the fucktard trolls never clean up after themselves.

  169. #169 nigelTheBold
    March 15, 2010

    What is that smell?

    That’s the smug from Smuggy McSmug. It smells of self-inflicted righteous indignation and urine-infused gunpowder.

  170. #170 bloodtoes
    March 15, 2010

    Comic Sans makes me cry.

  171. #171 Ichthyic
    March 15, 2010

    However, I suspect that behind her question was the real, genuine question of where did ‘everything’ come from?

    Tell the truth now…

    You’re really Miss Cleo.

    amirite r wut?

    seriously, watching you warp logic like this is… amusing.

  172. #172 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 15, 2010

    Sorry all, I forgot that trolls like to latch onto one throwaway comment and treat it like it’s gospel. Obviously I shouldn’t have misspoken an said australia is ours. Sorry, nmcc for distracting your argument with my stupidity. Please continue with whatever point it was you were making. After a weekend of stimulating debate on philosophy, ethics, politics and science I’m happy to address any questions you have.

  173. #173 Kel, OM
    March 15, 2010

    However, I suspect that behind her question was the real, genuine question of where did ‘everything’ come from?

    To be fair, the answer physicists give to that question is astoundingly mindblowing and really can’t be properly conveyed to the layperson in only a couple of minutes.

    A question that Dawkins (and everyone else) far from ‘answering’, is forced to respond to with the words “We don’t know, we are working on it”.

    And the problem of that is? Should we just say Goddidit and forsake any investigation into the universe? For goodness sake…

  174. #174 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    Iamtheonlyjosie, I expect NMcC has flounced off in full pearl clutch, repeating over and over “I showed them!” while crying his/herself to sleep on the fainting couch.

  175. #175 Owlmirror
    March 16, 2010

    Hm.

    NMcC, March 16, 2009 12:26 PM :

    This woman’s views and ludicrous nonsense were completely predictable. My problem is with Shermer. As is the case, it seems to me, with him all the time, he’s confronted with a complete creationist / religionist tithead and he’s simply incapable of sticking the verbal boot in when and where necessary.

    —-

    NMcC | March 15, 2010 9:58 AM :

    At least she wasn’t in your preferred state of having been ‘cowed’, according to your previous nasty remarks on the ‘accommodationists’.

    So, the premier gathering of atheists showed their in-group mentality by acting like a baying mob when faced with a single member of a percieved ‘out-group’ – and with your support? Who’d have thought it possible!

    Are these utterly contradictory words even written by the same individual, or is the current “NMcC” an identity thief on top of everything else?

  176. #176 Rincewind'smuse
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC,

    “I actually sat a few seats from the DNA question lady at the Convention. After Richard’s eloquent summary of abiogenesis and DNA, she sat back down with two of her friends and said “He doesn’t know”. Playing chess with pigeons.

    So, now that there is at least preliminary evidence that the question was asked for reasons other than a burning need to know all about DNA , it would appear the general consensus here was correct; and since the most toxic ,flaming, stools tossed on this post so far seem to be your choice little “presents” when you thought of that poor defenseless old lady being torn apart by the faceless, ravenous horde.Honorable to be sure, but will you now again rise above the horde and admit you had not a single fercking clue what you were talking about? Or will you suddenly disappear, tail tucked, dribbling that steaming liquid from between your legs on the way out? I have no preference myself, but some consistency on your part would be nice.

  177. #177 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 16, 2010

    Owlmirror, how very interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t think our little pearl clutcher is going to be back to clarify these matters.

    NMcC, come out, come out, wherever you are!

  178. #179 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 16, 2010

    I should have added, NMcC posts over at RD.net every so often, and her views here are fairly consistent with those. Not a fan of Evolutionary Psychology.

  179. #180 Rorschach
    March 16, 2010

    Pope, I have to disagree here. Nancy is not by any means a troll, a lot of people have disagreed with her here, and often vehemently, but she does not stir up *insert swear term for being caught in euphemism filter here* horse manure for the sake of it.

  180. #181 Ichthyic
    March 16, 2010

    Not a fan of Evolutionary Psychology.

    more like, a big NOTFAN of Pinker.

    …and that would include me too.

    strange if this is the same person, her writings on her blog seem actually, comprehendable, by comparison.

    are we sure this is the same person.

  181. #182 Rorschach
    March 16, 2010

    And yes, I do suspect that NMcC is not the nancy that has posted here before in the BabyBear and other threads.
    Happy to sigh to the heavens and hang my head in embarrassed shame if she is.

  182. #183 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 16, 2010

    I will be happy to be corrected if it isn?t her, but the particular strain of anti-Dawkins rhetoric is ploughing the same line I?ve seen furrowed over at RD.net, so…

  183. #184 Stephen, Lord of the flies
    March 16, 2010

    A question that Dawkins (and everyone else) far from ‘answering’, is forced to respond to with the words “We don’t know, we are working on it”.

    Perhaps you should replace “We don’t know, we are working on it” with “Here’s one of multiple theories we have that explains it rather well although finding out for certain would require a time machine”.

    And don’t forget that during the talk Dawkins showed that (assuming life originated only once) we are looking for an incredibly implausible theory or else we would find life everywhere in the universe. To then ask a question where the ‘gotcha’ is that we don’t know how life originated is wilfully ignorant and shows a profound lack of respect.

  184. #185 Jadehawk, OM
    March 16, 2010

    I actually sat a few seats from the DNA question lady at the Convention. After Richard’s eloquent summary of abiogenesis and DNA, she sat back down with two of her friends and said “He doesn’t know”. Playing chess with pigeons.

    totally called it. *sigh*

  185. #186 InfuriatedSciTeacher
    March 16, 2010

    I enjoyed the smackdown, but:

    It makes the fundamental error of comparing a brain to a lump of binary computer memory; the comparison does not work. Brains are analog, not digital; they compute more than they store; assigning a bit value to whole neurons is nonsensical.

    Yet that’s what a large part of cognitive science does… Digitial != Binary (there can be any number of discrete states). Secondly, there isn’t any evidence that neurons are capable of a continuum of states, like the knob on your old stereo.
    Even the quantum computing models for mind don’t manage to be analog in that sense, but rather have more than two states because they can effectively store their prior states. The Standford Encyc. of Philosophy discusses that in detail. It also eliminates the “dynamical system” challenge to CTM by allowing for both, if that’s your leaning.

  186. #187 NMcC
    March 16, 2010

    InfuriatedSciTeacher;
    That’s your idea of a ‘smackdown’? You’ve been spending too much time in your classroom, mate, you should get out more.

    There isn’t a smackdown IN this crowd of hero-worshipping, born-again-atheist tossers.

    Perhaps if any of you could stop frothing at the mouth for a second you might go back and look at what I said originally. If you do, you’ll see that I said that I’ve no doubt whatever that the woman who asked Dawkins the question was a creationist dolt. It wasn’t what she said, or why she said it, that I pointed up, it was the fact that even Myers had to make reference to the hissing and booing and seething hatred directed at her. And the reason I did that, is because, basing my view on what I’ve read on here and on Dawkins site (and elsewhere), again I have no doubt, that there was a fair few in the audience who wouldn’t be out of place at a Nuremburg rally.

    Indeed, you’ve proved it.

    As to the bizarre filth opined in your collective response to my post, I wouldn’t winnow through it again to answer it if my life depended on it.

    I’ll merely mention the points I can remember off the top of my head:

    iamtheonlyjosie: I see you didn’t attend any economics lectures. Perhaps if you do next year, It’ll stop you going around making deluded comments about owning Australia.

    The two halfwits who mentioned my comment on Shermer (the only man I know to debate Kent Hovind – and lose!): Yes, indeed, I am the author of the two comments highlighted, though far from ‘clutching my pearls’ I am trying to catch my balls, having laughed them off at the unfathomable ignorance that fails to differentiate between a one on one conversation of the sort Shermer was involved in and a crowd of quasi-fascists howling down a single individual.

    I’d love to enlighten you all further by replying to the other nonsense, but, really, life’s too short and, in fact, I think I will clutch my pearls this time rather than cast them before you swine.

    Cheers.

    PS – Holy Christ, Professor, are you really proud of this scum?

  187. #188 truthspeaker
    March 16, 2010

    Yes, being mean to liars is exactly like throwing people into gas chambers.

  188. #189 IaMoL
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC:
    *laughs* Love the pissing contest but you’ve tinkled all over your shoes, big boy. As for collecting your balls, well, you have to own a pair first before you can claim them – gall yes, balls no. The “scum” part at the end was a thrillingly wonderful “nanny nanny boo boo” moment. Yeah, you’re a cute little deluded cuss, ain’t ya. Good for you snook’ums!

  189. #190 Celtic_Evolution
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC –

    You’ve spent the better part of 2 days being an unbearable asshole all in the name of very deep concern.

    So please, listen well, and for the last time, your concern is noted.

    Now do us all a favor and please just piss off already, would ya?

  190. #191 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    March 16, 2010

    Dear NMcC,

    I’m becoming very fond of you. Your free-flowing, hard-arsed ripostes are brainy, ballsy and very funny. Such articulate trash-talking and ubercompetent spelling confirms your claim that you are not a Christian, nor evidently likely to become one without first receiving a lobotomy.

    So (putting Jesus aside for a minute) would you like to get together and have sex? I have a big pipe-cleaner and I think your drain needs a little unblocking.

    Yours up the back door
    Smoggy

  191. #192 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC:

    you might go back and look at what I said originally.

    Oh, we looked, cupcake. You were deeply concerned. We get it, you can stop concern trolling anytime. *yawns*

  192. #193 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC, are you proud of your irrational ravings? You are not a cogent man/woman. And you invoked the Nazi’s. So you, by doing so, lose the rationality contest. Just another concern troll loser. Your concern is noted and rejected, due to it’s irrationality.

  193. #194 truthspeaker
    March 16, 2010

    Nerd:

    Nazis

    its

    But I suppose correcting your punctuation makes me smug, or possibly a Nazi.

  194. #195 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 16, 2010

    Your smug concern is noted, truthspeaker.

  195. #196 https://me.yahoo.com/a/pgTEIegmyeb7987hJVrZNZAHyls-#aff68
    March 16, 2010

    You called the fool who wrote to you a cretin. More appropriate than you know: it comes from chrétien, the French word for Christian.

  196. #197 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 16, 2010

    But I suppose correcting your punctuation makes me smug, or possibly a Nazi.

    Nah, just an editor. Edit away if it makes you happy. My digits are invariably far behind my thoughts, so errors will occur. Especially with that piece of v*g*mit* sheiss of a computer at work, which gets fracking spastic on long threads.

  197. #198 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 16, 2010

    iamtheonlyjosie: I see you didn’t attend any economics lectures. Perhaps if you do next year, It’ll stop you going around making deluded comments about owning Australia.

    You know what, I’m really starting to get mad now. I misspoke and apologised – you are correct, the statement was wrong (although I’d be arguing for “ownership” by a combination of the Crown and our indigenous population … but that’s a moot point). BUT that’s not the point. It really, really, really isn’t.

    Look, I’m really only a lurker here but it seems to me that there’s a job opening here for sensible devils advocate. You aren’t that. A good number of people here who have posted were at the GAC. I was at the GAC. And whilst the “reports” might say that we were all god hating sacriligious scumbags that’s not what it was like. Seriously. There’s a story in “and the crowd was nasty to a christian”. There isn’t a story in “and the people there were educated, interested and really quite normal”.

    Here’s a report for you:

    I did not jeer at the christian questioner. No one I was sitting near “jeered” the christian questioner (including many of the posters above). People made confused noises at the question – but people did that also at the gentleman who asked whether psychiatry was nonsense because it means “healing the spirit”.

    This is the problem with arguing against irrational people – you cannot convince them that your facts are any more true than their “facts”. What would make you get off your high horse, NMcC? I would honestly like to know.

  198. #199 WowbaggerOM
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC, pissant, wrote:

    There isn’t a smackdown IN this crowd of hero-worshipping, born-again-atheist tossers.

    Wrong again, dumbass. Born atheist, stayed atheist. No ‘again’ about it.

    It wasn’t what she said, or why she said it, that I pointed up, it was the fact that even Myers had to make reference to the hissing and booing and seething hatred directed at her.

    Hatred? Really? Have you always been able to read minds or is this a talent you’ve developed recently? Because hissing and booing does not necessarily equal hatred.

    We’re doing the written equivalent of hissing and booing you now, but I’m fairly sure none of us hates you – though I’m sure we all think you’re a fool, especially considering we have the evidence to support such a claim.

    Yes, indeed, I am the author of the two comments highlighted, though far from ‘clutching my pearls’ I am trying to catch my balls, having laughed them off at the unfathomable ignorance that fails to differentiate between a one on one conversation of the sort Shermer was involved in and a crowd of quasi-fascists howling down a single individual.

    Quasi-fascists? Once again your pathetic attempt at hyperbole demonstrates your ignorance – of both what fascism is and what the convention was about. But at this point I’m hardly surprised; for you to get something right, on the other hand, might be a shock.

    PS – Holy Christ, Professor, are you really proud of this scum?

    No doubt the idea of someone intellectually honest ignoring pathetic tone concern and being proud of other people being intellectually honest is one you have trouble comprehending. Again, not really surprising based on what you’ve demonstrated here.

  199. #200 PZ Myers
    March 16, 2010

    It wasn’t what she said, or why she said it, that I pointed up, it was the fact that even Myers had to make reference to the hissing and booing and seething hatred directed at her.

    Seething hatred? What seething hatred? I said she was “loudly and briefly jeered”. There was no hatred. What it was is that she asked a stupid question with an arrogant manner, and she got the response she deserved.

    Just as you are. Frackin’ moron.

  200. #201 Owlmirror
    March 16, 2010

    Yes, indeed, I am the author of the two comments highlighted, though far from ‘clutching my pearls’ I am trying to catch my balls, having laughed them off at the unfathomable ignorance that fails to differentiate between a one on one conversation of the sort Shermer was involved in and a crowd of quasi-fascists howling down a single individual.

    Ah. When someone is not an asshole to creationists, you tell them to be an asshole to creationists.

    When a group acts like the assholes you just got finished telling they should be to a creationist asshole, you act like an asshole in telling them that they are assholes.

    Got it. You don’t believe in God; you believe in being assholier-than-thou.

    I think I will clutch my pearls this time rather than cast them before you swine.

    Since you’ve been pulling what you call “pearls” from out of your anus, please do.

  201. #202 The Silent Moose of Doom
    March 16, 2010

    assholier-than-thou

    I love it.

    May I borrow?

  202. #203 InfuriatedSciTeacher
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC>

    Perhaps if any of you could stop frothing at the mouth for a second you might go back and look at what I said originally

    Perhaps if you’d dig your head out of your ass you’d realise my post was in response to the quote from PZ, and nothing to do with you. Learn to read mate.

  203. #204 NMcC
    March 16, 2010

    Oh crikey, I?m being called a moron (over the internet!) by a grown man who spends his time trying to frighten religious old women ? of both sexes ? by molesting crackers.

    Can life get much worse?

    Why don?t you go and do something useful, Professor? Go down to your local church and wank off an alabaster Jesus, or something. I?m sure that?ll have your choir on here wanking themselves off in delight at your genius.

    Actually, while you?re at it, why don?t you show your commitment to religious equality and call in to the Mosque next door to desecrate a Koran in front of a few burly muslims?

    Fecking dickhead! (Oooh! How brave that feels!)

    iamtheonlyjosie:

    You changed your tune quickly. In the first post you told me to ?shut the fcuk up? for having the temerity to voice an opinion. In your third, after you?ve been shown to be an idiot, it?s suddenly all ?Oh, poor inoffensive me?. Don?t hand it out if you don?t like it back.

    InfuriatedSciTeacher:

    Your ‘enjoyed the smackdown’ comment was immediately following a few comments against me. I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to think that your comment was made in relation to that. I apologise if it wasn’t.

  204. #205 WowbaggerOM
    March 16, 2010

    Oh crikey, I?m being called a moron (over the internet!) by a grown man who spends his time trying to frighten religious old women ? of both sexes ? by molesting crackers.

    Oh, good – you’re a misogynist as well. Who’d have thunk it? Why don’t you call what he did ‘gay’ too; go for the double?

    Actually, while you?re at it, why don?t you show your commitment to religious equality and call in to the Mosque next door to desecrate a Koran in front of a few burly muslims?

    And now fatwah-envy – and ignorance. Don’t you know what else was in the bin with the cracker and the coffee grounds? Read this – but for comprehension. Maybe that way you won’t look as stupid as you do now.

    Of course, you’ll still be a misogynist idiot – but there are always degrees.

  205. #206 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 16, 2010

    Why don?t you go and do something useful, Professor?

    Why don’t you do something useful, like ceasing to post here. Your apparent IQ will go up dramatically. Still nothing cogent, your pearls and panties are in knots, and you have nothing concrete to offer the discussion. You don’t like atheists. Big [innuendo word for copulation] deal. Grow a pair of cojones and be a man, and learn to live with it. We aren’t going to quiet down, or go away. Keep it up and we will call you a Waaaaaahmmbulance.

  206. #207 John Morales
    March 16, 2010

    NMcC, when you rail at PZ:

    Why don?t you go and do something useful, Professor?

    Heh.
    Lemme get this straight, this blog is useless, yet you’re commenting on it?

    Makes you worse than useless, by your own reasoning, neh?

  207. #208 John Morales
    March 16, 2010

    Can’t resist, too funny:

    I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to think that your comment was made in relation to that. I apologise if it wasn’t.

    Heh. You know, if I wanted to be jocular, I’d parse that literally and respond thus:

    “You’re apologising if it wasn’t unreasonable.

    LOL.

    I’m sure your apology is accepted.”

    Alas, I know what was meant.

    Still funny, though.

  208. #209 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010
    assholier-than-thou

    I love it.

    May I borrow?

    I ganked it from here, so you can always claim that the phrase is a divine revelation.

  209. #210 NMcC
    March 17, 2010

    Morales:

    No, I’m apologising if his comment wasn’t ‘made in relation to that’ i.e. the aforementioned fact that the immediately prior comments to his comment were against me.

    It makes perfect sense. You illiterate prick.

  210. #211 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    I’ll merely mention the points I can remember off the top of my head:

    because your gnatlike attention span is even too short to scroll a few posts back to quote?

    wow.

    I do feel sorry for you.

    why aren’t you taking meds for your severe ADHD?

  211. #212 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    Can life get much worse?

    for you?

    apparently not.

    I’m playing my violin for you as I write this.

  212. #213 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    It makes perfect sense.

    not the point, and he made his point not only clearly, but knowing it was twisting the meaning of the two sentences right after:

    Alas, I know what was meant.

    so you going off on him makes you look like…

    you are off your meds.

    just like I said previously.

  213. #214 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010

    I used a ?banned? word, which was the reason for my comment not being posted.

    V*g*m*t*?

    Of course, it hasn’t escaped your notice that Myers has used one of his banned words in his post above.

    V*g*m*t*?

  214. #215 PZ Myers
    March 17, 2010

    Blogger privilege.

  215. #216 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010

    On her blog (linked above someplace), Nancy McClernan seems to be suggesting that she is not the NMcC who has been posting here.

    I’m dubious. Something about the specific style of smugness makes me continue to think they’re the same.

    but, right, who cares?

  216. #217 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 17, 2010

    You illiterate prick.

    I love it when trolls keep describing themselves in their posts.

  217. #218 Louis
    March 17, 2010

    Someone, it may have been here it may have been elsewhere I don’t remember, once said “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” as a comment on “tone”.

    The reply was “So? You catch even more flies with shyte. What’s your point?”.

    On the subject of “tone” I thought that was possibly the briefest and most apposite comment I’ve ever heard.

    Louis

  218. #219 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    NMcC @210,

    It makes perfect sense.

    Oh yes, it does — but it doesn’t express what you think it does. The second sentence relates to the main clause of the first.

    Maybe this will make it easier for you:
    “I don’t think it was [X]. I apologise if it wasn’t.”

    You illiterate prick.

    Heh. I read and responded in writing to your comment, hence I’m clearly not illiterate.

    And if I’m a prick, then you’re a gasbag.

  219. #220 Louis
    March 17, 2010

    NMcC #83,

    If she really wanted to rile him, why didn’t she ask him a question on some aspect of the real world. Immigration? Poverty? War? Middle East? World hunger? Economics? He doesn’t like questions like that and tends to mumble something non-committal before passing the buck. Just like he did on the recent Australian Q&A show.

    Others have {ahem} commented upon other aspects of your post(s), but this interested me. I watched the video and I saw Dawkins pass on a question he admittedly knew nothing about. You apparently (from your phraseology, correct me if I’m wrong) see this as a bad thing.

    Whatever one thinks of Dawkins, isn’t his refusal to comment on something he self confessedly knows nothing about in fact a good thing? And please don’t disappoint me by trotting out Dawkins’ (falsely) alleged ignorance of theology etc. Rather than focus on the personal aspects of Dawkins the man, I think his example in this matter is highly positive. From topics as different as Rugby to International Politics our media are full of opinion and comment from people not merely uninformed but manifestly incapable and unqualified to comment upon them. We are drowning in a cacophony of irrelevant opinion, and it serves the interests of powerful groups to stir the public pot an court these opinions if not kowtow to them.

    We need more public figures, when they are asked for comment, to openly say “I don’t know much about that, so I can’t really comment” and to have that lack of comment made public. It shows us that it is ok not to be an expert of everything, and it shows proper humility in the face of complex topics and data.

    Maybe your quite obvious bias regarding outspoken atheists (i.e. atheists who don’t immediately crumble in the face of faux relgious/religious apologist outrage) prevents you from seeing a positive action when faced with one.

    Louis

  220. #221 NMcC
    March 18, 2010

    I am aware that this thread is all but dead…however…

    …Myers:

    ‘Blogger privilege’.

    That, my friend, is a statement of fact, it’s hardly an argument. At any rate, I would have thought the great libertarian with a ‘left’ bent could do better than assert proprietorial right. That you have the ‘right’ to call other people names because it’s your blog is no more to the point than Rupert Murdoch has the same ‘right’ to brainwash half the people of the US and the UK with creationist propaganda on the grounds that he owns half of the news outlets. In fact, if you look at the matter a little closer, it?s exactly the same kind of ?right? that allows bread to be withheld from starving people.

    In short, you can take your proprietorial right and shove it up your arse.

    Incidentally, Myers, what a pity we didn?t have this ?conversation? only a short week or so ago. When you were in speaking in Belfast, I was sitting in a pub (with a fellow atheist and a Christian friend) not 10 minutes walk away. You could have had the opportunity to repeat your calling me a moron to my face. Indeed, when you were indulging in your little act of silly, juvenile vandalism at the ?peace? wall, I suspect it was at a position in the wall at which, had you turned around, you?d have been able to see a house that I lived in and a mural depicting a pub that I used to own. Small world. Perhaps you?ll be back next year.

    Ichthyic:
    Poor chap. I see you started your comment complaining about my lack of memory having forgotten that you are a dimwit. Consequently, you then had to make a THIRD post to say what you had forgotten to say in your FIRST and SECOND posts. Idiot.

    Morales:
    What is it with you people believing things that there is no evidence for. I haven?t said that I think this blog is useless, you?ve pulled that out of your behind. Far from it, in fact, I find 90% or so of the things posted on here by Myers to be very worthwhile, informative and helpful. The How to Make a Snake post above is a case in point. No, I never said it was useless, you are making things up.

    As to the rest of the comments above: Sweet Jesus, if they don’t exhibit all the characteristics of a thorough-going cult, I don’t know what would; Dawkins apologetics; paranoia as to my identity (why don?t you Google NMcC, if you?re THAT interested. Or, rather, why don?t you go to RD.net where you?ll find that this ?moron? has contributed some 600-700 comments on various subjects stretching back some 2-3 years ? all of which supporting vociferous atheism, though some of which opposing the frequent attempts at canonisation of Darwin, Dawkins, Harris, Myers, Dennett and, lastly – and by every means ?leastly? – the execrable windbag Hitchens), knee-jerk hatred and abuse of someone seen as an ?outsider?, the finger-pointing at the supposed failures at others whilst ignoring the exact same failures on ?our? side, and so on and so forth.

    What a fecking shower! Ah well, at least it gives some of us a laugh.

  221. #222 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    As I thought, not Nancy McClernan that has contributed valuable comments here before.
    Just some troll.

  222. #223 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    March 18, 2010

    Dear NMcC,

    You seem to have a lot of time on your hands with all your compulsive blogviating. Are there no mailbags left to sew in the asylum?

  223. #224 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    NMcC,

    That, my friend, is a statement of fact, it’s hardly an argument.

    Um, a statemtent of fact is incontrovertible; it trumps any argument.

    @204,

    Why don?t you go and do something useful, Professor?

    @221,

    Far from it, in fact, I find 90% or so of the things posted on here by Myers to be very worthwhile, informative and helpful.

    So, your claim is that 90% of PZ’s posts are useful (i.e. “worthwhile, informative and helpful”) but 10% ain’t.

    Does this not mean that 90% of the time, he’s doing “something useful”? Whence your previous complaint that he should do what he already does (as per your latest claim) 90% of the time?

    You want perfection, no?

  224. #225 PZ Myers
    March 18, 2010

    Incidentally, Myers, what a pity we didn?t have this ?conversation? only a short week or so ago. When you were in speaking in Belfast, I was sitting in a pub (with a fellow atheist and a Christian friend) not 10 minutes walk away. You could have had the opportunity to repeat your calling me a moron to my face. Indeed, when you were indulging in your little act of silly, juvenile vandalism at the ?peace? wall, I suspect it was at a position in the wall at which, had you turned around, you?d have been able to see a house that I lived in and a mural depicting a pub that I used to own.

    Huh? How was I supposed to know what pub a random stranger who’d not bothered to tell me where he was or why I should talk to him I should visit while I was in Belfast? My speaking schedule was a matter of public record, I think our failure to meet is your problem, not mine.

    And since you live there, you should know that signing the peace wall is not regarded as an act of vandalism.

    I’m a little surprised that I’m a candidate for canonization. How many ‘miracles’ does an atheist have to cause?

  225. #226 PZ Myers
    March 18, 2010

    By the way, when I “Google NMcC”, I get the Northern Maine Community College, the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, the National Military Command Center, the Nelson Motor Cycle Club, Nesamony Memorial Christian College, New Mexico Competition Club, and the National Malaria Control Center. Which one are you?

  226. #227 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Aww, PZ, NMcC’s self-claimed contribution includes such gems as “opposing the frequent attempts at canonisation of Darwin, Dawkins, Harris, Myers, Dennett and, lastly – and by every means ?leastly? – the execrable windbag Hitchens”

    What a brick! ;)

    </heavy sarcasm>

    PS Canonisation, I don’t think it means what NMcC apparently believes it means.

    </Inigo Montoya>

  227. #228 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    NMcC wrote:

    Ah well, at least it gives some of us a laugh.

    Well, we’re all laughing at you if that was your intent.

  228. #229 Louis
    March 18, 2010

    I see NMcC is an internet tough guy:

    When you were in speaking in Belfast, I was sitting in a pub (with a fellow atheist and a Christian friend) not 10 minutes walk away. You could have had the opportunity to repeat your calling me a moron to my face.

    And then what? Would fisticuffs ensue? Would their be a rumpus?

    It gives some us a laugh? No truer word said. Honk on, Clownshoes.

    Louis

  229. #230 Louis
    March 18, 2010

    Arsing pigknackers and donkey balls. “Their would be a rumpus” oh would their? Teach me not to post before coffee.

    Their = there, obviously.

    Louis

  230. #231 NMcC
    March 18, 2010

    Myers;

    Er…I think you might have missed the point there, matey. The word ‘had’ is germane and helps put into context what I said – tense-wise.

    Whether ‘signing’ the ‘peace’ wall is an act of petty vandalism or not rather depends on whether you have no choice but to ogle the fecking thing out of your front window 24 hours a day. Obviously, you don’t.

    ‘Canonisation’, needless to say, is a figure of speech. Though I suppose getting 9/10ths of the knobheads on here to hang on your every word is a ‘miracle’ of a kind.

    Lastly, when I mentioned ‘Googling’ I was suggesting that those who were engaged in their spastic ‘who is it really?’ paranoid contortions should do that, as I assumed that those intitals might come up in relation to my comments on RD.net. As an alternative, I suggested going straight to RD.net. Perfectly straight-forward. But don’t you let that get in the way of a lame attempt at humour, now, sure you won’t?

    Sorry, I should add something that I forgot to add to my list of cult attributes in my previous post: that of misreading and misinterpreting, and, indeed, deliberately lying about, the comments of people outside your little gang.

    Try again, Myers. This time, try harder.

    As to the other comments: for feck sake get your heads out of Myers arse, it’s embarrassing.

  231. #232 NMcC
    March 18, 2010

    Obviously, there’s an apostrophe missing above in Myer’s arse. I left it out deliberately in order to make as much room there to accommodate the heads of his choir.

  232. #233 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Yawn, there’s something missing from NMcC’s thinking. If he hates PZ so much, why does he keep posting on this blog? Incompetent idjit loser with a bad attitude.

  233. #234 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    NMcC wrote:

    As to the other comments: for feck sake get your heads out of Myers arse, it’s embarrassing.

    Yeah, that’s it. Moron posts something moronic attacking the blog owner; regulars on the blog call out said moron for moronic behaviour and the moron insists it’s because of the regulars’ worship of the blog owner.

    Really? That’s it? Can’t you come up with something better? Hey, I know – why not call it an echo chamber? We’ve never heard a lack of argument hiding behind that before.

    Sheesh. At least your earlier posts demonstrated an attempt to make a point; none of them very good, mind you – but we gave you marks for trying.

  234. #235 PZ Myers
    March 18, 2010

    1. You proposed an imaginary situation. Your further admission that it was entirely nonexistent and hadn’t happened does not make it germane. It makes it inane.

    2. The peace wall is in an area of Belfast where everyone seems to have splattered their political positions on walls everywhere. Perhaps the giant murals of mask-clad gunmen are more to your liking?

    3. There is nothing even approximating canonization going on here. As you ought to know if you’ve frequented RD.net, not even Dawkins is regarded as a perfect saint.

    4. You’re the one who said we should google NMcC to get a wider perspective of your depth and breadth of internet presence. It’s not my fault you’re actually a total nonentity on the web.

    I will thank you, though. Whenever flaming gobshites make an appearance in the comments section, it fuels plenty of entertainment as the dufus gets slapped down, brings in more comments and more traffic, and puts more pennies in my pockets. Good work!

    P.S. You weren’t even competent to put the apostrophe in the right place.

  235. #236 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 18, 2010

    Rorschack @ #222,

    you?re quite right; this isn?t Nancy. I offer my humble apologies!

    Lastly, when I mentioned ‘Googling’ I was suggesting that those who were engaged in their spastic ‘who is it really?’ paranoid contortions should do that

    Obligatory quote: ?Just because you?re paranoid doesn?t mean they aren?t out to get you.?

    Not paranoid, just having fun trying to second-guess where trolls are coming from. As I said earlier, you?ve posted the same line of invective over and over again on RD.net at tiresome length, and for some reason I mistakenly associated you with Nancy McC., which isn?t entirely impossible given your choice of moniker. All fixed.

    I have to ask, whatever did Dawkins do to you to turn you into such an misanthrope? And you play the same game with everyone else too. How cute.

  236. #237 NMcC
    March 18, 2010

    Myers:

    Jesus, I never imagined you’d reduce it to a case of your making money. Perhaps if you stick at it long enough you’ll be able to buy out old Rupert and replace his professionally manufactured consent with your not so professional variety. I am, of course, deliberately misinterpreting your point, but hey, at least I admit it, and if it’s good enough for a professor…

    In regard, to replying to the other points I’ve made, I’ve tried really hard, but I can’t seem to see in your second offering anything better than what you attempted in your first (deliberate misunderstanding, lame humour in regard to google etc). And I did tell you to try harder, professor. Indeed, I would suggest that you’ve simply become more strident and shrill.

    Dawkins isn’t seen as a ‘saint’ on his own website? What a joke! This is exactly the kind of cultist attitude of ignoring the log in one’s own eye that I complain about in regard to the so-called ‘new atheism’. I have recently listened to Dawkins being interviewed on radio in New Zealand. Part of his interview had him regaling us, yet again, as to how religion can’t accept criticism and how even the mildest barb is interpreted as shrill and strident (a point that I whole-heartedly agree with). This from a man who has had to actually ask his followers on his website to not ‘troll’ other posters simply because they were making a criticism of him! In fact, as Dawkins is well aware, almost everyone who ever said anything critical of him (especially before the forum fiasco) has been hounded off RD.net, having taken their life in their hands and having had to suffer all sorts of abuse and attack. For feck sake, look how it works on here in regard to the great bearded one! Not that I’m complaining about verbal abuse and attack, it’s the cultist type hypocrisy I’m referring to – and words never hurt anyone. Well, not anyone worth hurting.

    Anyway, this exchange could go on forever, and, I suspect, would just involve you and your choir becoming more and more dopey and religious in your assertions.

    So, you spastic-brained fecking tit-wank (sorry, but you’ve already employed ‘flaming gobshite’, so I can’t use that), piss off!

    PS – Thanks for the heads up in regard to the apostrophe. Well spotted. I was going to give you 3 out of 10 for your second effort at deliberately missing the point, but luckily I can now raise that to a 3.1.

  237. #238 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 18, 2010

    So, you spastic-brained fecking tit-wank (sorry, but you’ve already employed ‘flaming gobshite’, so I can’t use that), piss off!

    Please don?t hold back, let us know what you really thinking.

    *popcorn*

  238. #239 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 18, 2010

    you you?re

    D?oh, I?ve caught the typo cooties from Rev BDC.

    Or perhaps I can?t be bothered using the frigging Preview button.

    (It?s a quarter past midnight here in Melbourne, NMcC: so if you want to fill up Pharyngula with dreck, then the tit-wanking poopy-head CEO may not be around for hours to stop you.)

  239. #240 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Yawn, I see the sanctimonious shithead is still having a love fest with his inane spewings. Guess what loser, I still don’t see what your point is for the attitude. Lose the attitude, take a deep breathe, and calmly take a long walk off a short pier. After you swim out, maybe you will be much more rational. As long as you are in attitude mode, you will get nothing but attitude back. You hate atheists. We get that. Do you have anything more to say, or can you only say the same things over and over like a robot?

  240. #241 Louis
    March 18, 2010

    One simple question for you NMcC. Is it possible to disagree with the position you’ve taken and not be a member of the cult/religion or Myers/Dawkins/whoever?

    I ask because any reply, nice, nasty or mocking, seems to evoke the same response from you.

    Louis

  241. #242 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    Was NMmC’s #237 an official flounce? It had all the hallmarks but lacked an official statement of “last post”.

    At any rate, for pure ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, and self-indulgent bellyaching, I give it a 5.6.

  242. #243 AJ Milne
    March 18, 2010

    Ah, but don’t you see: NMcC has spotted the whole problem here: people agree with PZ Myers on the general principle of calling a moron a moron to their face as opposed to giving them unwarranted ‘respect’ not because that’s probably a pretty good idea* and we’ve observed its inversion never worked worth a farging dang, and we generally agree that morons like NMcC and idiots like Ms. ‘What’s DNA?’ should likewise properly be called morons not because we rather independently figure they richly deserve it… Nor, for that matter, because, NMcC really hasn’t made any kind of even vaguely coherent case against the same,

    No no no… We’re agreeing there rather because we are a ‘choir’, and would aree with PZ regardless…

    And, see, NMcC doesn’t need to defend this view in any meaningful way. He just has to keep repeating the words ‘choir’, ‘echo chamber’, ‘sheep’, etc. ad nauseum until he convinces himself these terms are warranted, and generally indulge his own bizarre fantasies by posing as a brave, iconoclastic gadfly in this respect…

    … You know, like all brave, iconoclastic gadflies with the same view who get that huge share of media time to repeat it over and over… Those brave warriors…

    Anyway, my point is: why aren’t you worshipping his opinion properly? It’s ever so reasonable and well-defended, see?

    You sheeple, you.

    (*/Notwithstanding that many of us were doing our damndest to uphold that principle well prior to ever hearing of PZ.)

  243. #244 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    Are we approaching a starfart here?

  244. #245 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    In fact, as Dawkins is well aware, almost everyone who ever said anything critical of him (especially before the forum fiasco) has been hounded off RD.net, having taken their life in their hands and having had to suffer all sorts of abuse and attack. For feck sake, look how it works on here in regard to the great bearded one! Not that I’m complaining about verbal abuse and attack, it’s the cultist type hypocrisy I’m referring to – and words never hurt anyone. Well, not anyone worth hurting.

    This thread will both clear up what happened in the case of RD.net and shows that people here sometimes vehemently disagree with our host.

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