Home » Intelligent Design » Paul Myers the Serial Gatecrasher

Paul Myers the Serial Gatecrasher

Well, if anyone still had any doubts about Myers this should eliminate them. He admits his aim is “misbehavior”. If it weren’t for misbehavior like that locks and keys would never have been invented.

Go to Myers’ blog to read more:

I always aim to misbehave

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61 Responses to Paul Myers the Serial Gatecrasher

  1. I think that raises more questions about Mathis et al. – first he puts his invitations to a “private”, screening on the web where anyone can access it, then they arrange a “secure” Q&A where you can pick up the entry code just by listening in early! The competence of these guys is questionable, to say the least.

  2. Portishead

    So you’re basically saying that Mathis is stupid for trusting that biology professors will conduct themselves in a courteous professional manner?

    Do you call rape victims stupid for putting themselves in a vulnerable position too? Personally I blame the criminal, not the victim, for the crime.

  3. PZ said they were “unprofessional” to let him sneak in the way he did.

    Parody is all the more entertaining when it’s someone doing it to himself.

  4. 4

    If the events of the past few days say that Mathis isn’t exactly James Bond, then they also say that PZ Myers demonstrates his personal credibility by happily displaying his arrogance.

    It doesn’t matter though, everything is relative right?

    He can always retreat to his Internet persona and sell some more oil.

  5. Portishead:

    then they arrange a “secure” Q&A where you can pick up the entry code just by listening in early! The competence of these guys is questionable, to say the least.

    They used the same conference call facilities as do thousands of companies througout the US, daily. The scheduled time and call-in number were emailed to “media partners”, one of whom apparantly disclosed the information to Myers who willfully and with malice aforethought (based on results) misrepresented himself to the conf call moderator to gain access.

    You could, for example, claim to be a stock analyst and disrupt any of hundreds of similar conf calls daily.

    The competance of Mathis et. al. should be judged by the content of their film and their lawful commonplace business practices, not the erratic misbehavior of their critics, critics who make it a point to be uncivilly disruptive.

    Do you question the competance of logging operations by the tresspassing tree-sitters? Should every landowner put up impassable fences in lieu of “no tresspasing” signs. Since when does the willfulness of the violator legitimize their violation?

  6. The scheduled time and call-in number were emailed to “media partners”, one of whom apparantly disclosed the information to Myers

    Actually the mail was send to the crew of pandasthumb which the producers of EXPELLED seemingly judged as a media partner.

  7. sparc:

    Actually the mail was send to the crew of pandasthumb which the producers of EXPELLED seemingly judged as a media partner.

    Or is it the crew of Pandasthumb registered themselves as a media partner and producers of Expelled relied upon pandasthumb’s representation and presumed willingness to act accordingly as a legitmate media partner?

    Do you seriously believe Mathis et.al. sought out Pandas Thumb as a “media partner” and invited them to the conference call?

    Or did Pandas Thumb seek access to Expelled PR and (mis)represented themselves as “media partners”?

    Did pandasthumb then further disregard the premise of being a legitimate “media partner” and provide PZ Myers (who then likewise becomes a “media partner” by what, Mendelian inheritance?) with information he would not have gained by any other legitimate process?

    Is that your defense of PZ Myers? That pandasthumb “legitimately” enticed and enabled him to be disruptive?

  8. One of my friends wonders if they were actually setting PZ up, knowing he’d take the bait.

  9. O’Leary:
    One of my friends wonders if they were actually setting PZ up, knowing he’d take the bait.

    I doubt it. I’m sure they were cognizant of the risk that whatever was discussed in the call would be leaked wherever, as are all conf call sponsors cognizant.

    If anything, they foresaw this and future incidents, and conducted their business with normal and reasonable practices, knowing that any future legal recourse would pivot on proving PZ Myers’ misrepresentations and misbehaviour, and that if and when it becomes cost/effective and prudent to do so, they’ll obtain a restraining order against his miscreant six.

  10. I think there’s a bigger story than who’s punking whom in the PR game/Buzz generation thing.

    I’ve seen Myers and the usual members of the goon squad blanching over the *gasp* Nazi business, but I’ve yet to see _any_ of them deny that they are blacklisting/creating a McCarthyesque atmosphere in academia.

    Satire herself stands mute.

  11. The invitation to “the crew” of Panda’s Thumb was to listen to the conference call. They were given a phone number and participant code. Through those numbers they could not talk but only listen. Myers admitted on his blog that he accidently overheard the participant code for two-way callers, hung up, redialed, and entered into the conference as a speaker.

    Charles is exactly right about how these kinds of conference calls are handled. It’s done exactly the same way in the corporate world when earnings are announced and done so often it has a common name earnings conference call.

  12. Dave is exactly right…

    “So you’re basically saying that Mathis is stupid for trusting that biology professors will conduct themselves in a courteous professional manner?

    Do you call rape victims stupid for putting themselves in a vulnerable position too? Personally I blame the criminal, not the victim, for the crime.”

  13. Denyse

    I too suspect that Myers was purposely given enough rope to hang himself.

  14. I’m deleting any comments containing factual errors. Myers already admitted on his own blog in his own words he misbehaved, was not invited to speak, and obtained the necessary access code by overhearing it. I’m not sure I believe his story about overhearing the code on the conference call itself but rather he just made that up to protect the real source of the inside information. Either way it’s an established fact that he knew he disruptively spoke out of order.

  15. Trivialization of rape is hardly appropriate.

  16. leo

    You might have a point if the way the conference call was handled was out-of-the-ordinary. But it wasn’t. This is exactly how these calls are structured in the business world. I happened to know this because I participated as a listener in many earnings conference calls during the late 1990′s when I had a large exposure in a volatile high tech stock. The speaking participants never included anyone other than relevant executives at the company whose financial results were being discussed and financial analysts from large Wall Street brokerages. The open nature of the calls for listeners is done so that there’s no appearance of inside information being given out in private to select vested interests. The closed nature of the calls for speakers is to maintain order and decorum. Just imagine the noise alone if hundreds of people have an active microphone – you’d hear them coughing, sneezing, talking in the background, and all sorts of other things. What Myers did was a violation of the most widely accepted standard (Robert’s Rules of Order) for meeting decorum by speaking without first being recognized to speak. I don’t expect a buffoon like PZ Myers to know all, or even a significant fraction of, Robert’s Rules of Order but this is one rule that most people are quite well aware of.

  17. Don’t you think that this is not about disparaging Expelled as much as getting awareness for PZ Myers. If someone wanted to draw attention to himself, then PZ is doing a good job.

    He wants to be a player and he is ensuring that he is on the first team. It is not often that you get to play with the Michael Jordan of atheism, Richard Dawkins.

  18. I think it’s pretty obvious that Myers is playing a “don’t throw me in the briar patch” game — driving web traffic to his site. Any marketing text will tell you that _all_ of this is a game — the only way to lose is if no one notices.

    The rest is sound and fury — Myers in particular has made himself irrelevant to the ethical side of this discussion. He and the others can carry on all they want, but they made a mistake when they determined that the ends justified the means when addressing the cultural issues surrounding both organized religion, and the philosophical position of the ID movement.

    God help them if they encounter a group willing to play them by their own rules.

  19. dml

    I didn’t trivialize rape. The notion was put foward that by allowing themselves to be vulnerable it excuses PZ Myers for taking advantage of the vulnerability.

    This immediately reminded me of certain religious fanatics who say that an attactive women who dresses provocatively invites rape.

    All I did was ask the proponent of the vulnerability excuse how far he extended that logic by choosing the most egregious example of it I could think of. If he indicates he doesn’t extend the logic that far then we’ll have agreed in principle that the vulnerability excuse is without merit in at least some instances and we could then proceed to find out exactly where he draws the line. My next question would have been does he excuse shoplifting if a store doesn’t undertake Draconian measures to prevent it. I fully expected no response as the rape example makes the point about the lack of merit in the vulnerability excuse quite well. If it weren’t for people like PZ Myers locks and keys would never have been invented.

  20. So if the management of Expelled intentionally left a few security holes, expecting that some bright-watt like PZ would “take the bait”, was this intelligently designed, or were they victims of random chance.

    To what extent is nature “designed to evolve”? To what extent has the designer arranged for open invitations to mutation and selection just like the management of Expelled gave opportunity for wize folk like PZ to publicize the movie?

  21. Is it any wonder why some some might be concerned about a malcontent sneaking into a theater with brass knuckles and steel toed boots?

    BTW, whomever at Exepelled got the PT-mafia to promote the Machine video–brilliant.

  22. Interesting. You know Ron Paul rejects Darwinian Evolution.

  23. “Don’t you think that this is not about disparaging Expelled as much as getting awareness for PZ Myers. If someone wanted to draw attention to himself, then PZ is doing a good job.”

    Bingo.

    I thought about this last week. It’s difficult to believe that he’s stupid enough to be giving all this publicity to Expelled without some other objective.

    You know…he’s been working on a book for quite some time now. From what I understand it’s getting close to completion.

    Opportunity knocks…never mind that he’s helping his opponents at the moment. I think his bigger objective is to proselytize for atheism rather than promote “good science” [sic]. He seems to be wanting to get his name out there by whatever means necessary.

    It will be interesting to see if his book is science related or an atheist screed.

  24. FtK -
    Don’t forget he’s getting an awful lot of traffic to his own blog, it’s not all going to the expelled website. So people get to hear his side of the story first, stridently told.

    First I’ve heard about a book from PZ but you can hardly criticize him for that, after all many ID proponents find that it’s better to publish their arguments in book form and have stated as much. So sauce for the goose etc! :)

    Is he helping his opponents though? He obviosly thinks he’s helping his own cause, expelled think he is helping theirs. I guess the only way to tell is if they release the web stats for the extra web traffic!

    FtK, if his book is purely science related and presumably therefore could provide quality science education you would agree with, would you consider buying it? If not, why?

  25. It seems the expelled crew may have concentrated their efforts on Florida, with perhaps many more of the Expelled theaters in the country there then could be expected if randomly selected. Is this a coincidence or possibly related to the legislation currently pending there?

  26. “He obviosly [sic] thinks he’s helping his own cause, expelled think he is helping theirs. I guess the only way to tell is if they release the web stats for the extra web traffic!”

    Are you serious? Dude, all the gossip is going on at the scienceblogs.

    Shoot, I’m an ID and Expelled supporter, but I’ve only visited Expelled a few times to read their two posts. I’ve been all over the scienceblog sites many times over to read the insanity going on in the science bloggin’ community. They’re running scared and starting to eat each other alive. I send people to Myers blog all the time…they freak. He’s certainly not an asset to science.

    It’s highly entertaining, and virtually all of it provides evidence for everything that Expelled is relaying to the public about the “scientific community”. Myers has played right into their hands.

    A sequel to the movie would be awesome…The Fallout over Expelled: The “Scientific Community” in a Overwhelming Panic

  27. William Wallace
    “Is it any wonder why some some might be concerned about a malcontent sneaking into a theater with brass knuckles and steel toed boots?”

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the “URL scandal” I don’t call using your own name to sign in “sneaking”. And just because PZ has a different POV to you does that automatically make him a malcontent? After all Dr Dembski recently sent some students to a talk to a known associate of PZ, Dawkins, and asked them to shake his hand and send greetings.

  28. FtK: “Dude, all the gossip is going on at the scienceblogs.”
    Yes, it’s great stuff and I’ve read alot of it but it’s not overwhelmingly positive in expelled’s favor. Sure, the public are hearing about it but that was what the pre-release buzz private showings were about too and that was I suppose where the unadulterated pure vibe was to be had, the blogs are far more varied in their coverage.

    “Myers has played right into their hands.”
    PZ got himself expelled from a showing of expelled. I know there’s a saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity but there’s wins and losses on both sides here with this incident. And if expelled is about people being expelled and “all of it” is currently providing evidence for that, what do you mean? Who is PZ, as representative of all that expelled is about, expelling here? What is is suppressing? Seems everybody currently has their right to free speech unimpeded.

  29. FtK “Opportunity knocks”

    I’ve had a look at your blog and it seems you are something like 50% about this issue! Seems to be you’d like a little of the blogpulse action yourself huh? There’s nothing wrong with that, no shame, if there’s a popular wagon everybody wants a ride. And looking at PZ’s blog it seems he’s blogged on a wider range of subjects then you recently. I understand you want to give as much coverage to the film as possible, of course, but as you say “He seems to be wanting to get his name out there by whatever means necessary” and so it seems to me you are really helping him achieve his aim by covering him like you are on your blog. Nes pa?

  30. Questions now are being raised over the legality of expelleds latest marketing ploy, to give the top 5 theater’s $1000 “rebate”.

    http://getexpelled.com/groupsalesapplication.php

    I have to wonder is this simply the initial cash injection or all that there is, as It seems like small beer compared with, for example, the money spent on the opening night of Fahrenheit 9/11 which I believe they’ve stated they want to beat. Is $5000 just a starting point? Should expelled form an action group to canvas for donations to involve potentially many more screens in the competition for cashback?

  31. 31

    DLH and others have pushed the absurd notion that PZ is a Darwinian fascist. Think of me as Lucy for a moment, and allow me to share five cents’ worth of psychiatric diagnosis for free. (I’ve done this only twice before, and both of the patients were IDists.)

    What is evident in PZ’s “they put it plain sight / they said it out loud / they were unprofessional” justification of his misbehavior is sociopathy. I know that psychopath sounds worse, and some of you will therefore itch to use the term, but it doesn’t fit. Mental health professionals say, somewhat whimsically, that the main difference between sociopaths and psychopaths is that sociopaths are more likely to get caught. Anyone who is so disorganized in his amoral behavior that he cannot keep his big mouth shut after sneaking into a teleconference is sociopathic.

    I know that sociopathy is no longer in the DSM. Sociopaths and psychopaths are lumped together as antisocial personalities. You have my permission to get all the mileage out of that you like, provided you keep in mind that some shrinks believe that one in four high-level corporate executives is antisocial. Perhaps DLH can link the ills of corporate America to Darwinism. Or perhaps he’ll argue that Darwinism is the cause of antisocial personality disorder. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  32. 32

    I should explain for the literal-minded that “sneaking into” means “gaining unauthorized to.”

  33. Turner, it means to enter stealthily or furtively. That isn’t necessarily a wrong act.

  34. Turner

    I would have done the same thing if I were Myers. Probably worse. The difference is that I freely admit I’m a sociopath. To thine own self be true…

  35. “I’ve had a look at your blog and it seems you are something like 50% about this issue! Seems to be you’d like a little of the blogpulse action yourself huh?”

    Hey, man, I’m certainly planning to promote ID and Expelled as much as possible. Here’s the difference though…PZ is looking for personal notoriety. He’s on a ego trip and he’s doing things that are even making some of his supporters question his antics…some have even wondered if his latest stunt might have been against the law. Something else to bear in mind is that I blog under a pseudonym. I’m not looking for personal notoriety, but want people to hear the truth rather than the NCSE et. al. media spin.

    PZ’s ego trip knows no end. Today he actually had the audacity to say:

    One of the rascals at AtBC (not the one who is a witch) dug up an interesting Alexa comparison of traffic to my site (actually, the whole of scienceblogs, but I own an embarrassingly large percentage of that — please do go to the entry page and say hello to some other worthy blogs, won’t you?) and to that movie site. Guess which one is the gently rolling prairie beneath the craggy mountain peaks?

    Egomaniac, thy name is Paul Zachary Myers. He actually referred to all of scienceblogs as *his* site. Sheesh…how humble, and like I said, it stands to reason that people are hitting their sites. His antics are getting closer to breaking the law with each of his little episodes, and the soap opera is hilarious to watch. But, make no mistake…the man is most certainly helping to promote Expelled.

    “… but as you say “He seems to be wanting to get his name out there by whatever means necessary” and so it seems to me you are really helping him achieve his aim by covering him like you are on your blog. Nes pa?”

    I’d be a fool not to at present. Like I said, he’s providing a soap opera atmosphere which most people on the internet are drawn to. That’s good for sales at the box office. I’m also all for people checking out his site as it’s a real turn off to people who are interested in light not heat. He’s hateful and militant, and there aren’t many reasonable people who can walk away from his sight and not notice that. If his message of hate and ridicule is the voice of atheism, then he’ll turn most people away from the ideology.

  36. FtK

    PZ is all like love me, hate me, just don’t ignore me. If it’s attention you want, you might prefer love, but hate takes less effort.

  37. 37

    DaveScot says,

    love me, hate me, just don’t ignore me.

    Also,

    I would have done the same thing if I were Myers. Probably worse. The difference is that I freely admit I’m a sociopath. To thine own self be true…

    Dave, I can’t help but love you a bit sometimes.

    I’m about to get “Expelled” by Denyse, I think. But it’s been a good incarnation. You responded to me reasonably on a recent global warming thread, and I appreciated that.

    And if DLH happens to see this, I’d like for him to know that, while I dislike over-the-top rhetoric on both sides of the debate, and I objected strenuously to his notion that there is literally a “Darwinian fascism” in America, I appreciated that he let me have my say, and never threatened me with expulsion.

    By the way, I freely admit that I’ve lost my temper in the past. You and I have exchanged insults, and you have always had your way of winning out in those exchanges. This go around I’ve stuck to the middle ground. I’ve expressed my opinions openly and directly, and without anger or personal insult.

  38. Hey, man, I’m certainly planning to promote ID and Expelled as much as possible. Here’s the difference though…PZ is looking for personal notoriety.

    Sure, of course, I’m just pointing out you can hardly claim that PZ is obsessed with expelled if you own blog as in fact more posts on expelled that PZ’s. Who’s obsessed in that case?

    He’s on a ego trip and he’s doing things that are even making some of his supporters question his antics…some have even wondered if his latest stunt might have been against the law.

    I’m not trying to defend PZ, he does not need anybody for that, but it’s not like he’s the king of science or anything. His “supporters” are not going to chop his head off if he does not do what they want. One of the things that I think the mainstream science world has done well is that it’s more or less a meritocracy. Results count and get you noticed. Obviously there will be some disagreement (I suspect most ID supporters would have something to say about that) but on the whole if the widgit or equation you have created works you’ll get the recognition that deserves. The patent system, while not perfect, recognizes innovation and things that work and rewards them with $$. So yes, PZ might be on a “ego trip” but for whatever reason he’s got the ear of a lot of people right now and that should not be dismissed lightly.

    His antics are getting closer to breaking the law with each of his little episodes, and the soap opera is hilarious to watch. But, make no mistake…the man is most certainly helping to promote Expelled.

    Like I noted earlier, it seems as if expelled might have to face that question too. Yes, PZ is helping to promote Expelled but don’t forget the Expelled team has a website for the new visitor, whereas PZ has only a website too, sure, but they have freedom to expound on whatever side issue (and the teleconference was one of this) but Expelled has to wait until the film comes out to really make their side of the case. So I guess what I’m saying is perhaps some people will be convinced by PZ alone before the film even has a chance to get to work on them. Perhaps the “buzz” should have happened when the film was out for all to see, I doubt this level of blogpulse will be repeated any time soon.

    If his message of hate and ridicule is the voice of atheism, then he’ll turn most people away from the ideology.

    One of the definitions of ideology is “the form or internal logical structure that ideas have within a set”.

    In a different thread a 6000 year old earth was made reference to, albeit jokingly. If the tent is too big (and YEC-like people are in the tent, for example the Young-Cosmos site linked to just to the right) then it’s not possible to have a coherent ideology that is internally self consistent. Sure, at this time the IDeology does not need to worry about pruning some of the more outlying radical members, but consider that Behe accepts common descent which requires an old earth. How does that reconcile with the 6000 year old earth crowd? Who leaves the tent when the time comes? So, yes, a hateful, ridiculing militant ideology will turn some people off, but so will a logically inconsistent one.

  39. f.blair

    The age of the earth is something that design detection doesn’t address. Cosmology, evolutionary biology, geology, and other areas of scientific inquiry all provide data that is relevant to the age of the earth. ID does not. Inferring that an object, structure, or pattern is designed doesn’t necessarily provide any data on when, where, or how it was designed. Darwinian evolution theory depends on an old earth. ID does not. Design can happen in a heartbeat.

    The age of the earth is a personal belief that is not derived from design detection. Quite a few, though perhaps not a majority of, ID proponents accept at face value the data from cosmology, geology, biology, and other sources indicating the earth is billions of years old and the universe billions of years older than the earth. My personal belief in this matter parallels that of Michael Behe who’s certainly in the top few most recognizable names in ID. Due to the nature of science and epistemology I won’t flat out say the universe MUST be older than 6000 years but if it is not then it would require a designer able to violate in a very gross manner the physical laws that govern the universe. Science is based on a belief that the universe is orderly, rational, and governed by physical law. In fact that’s a religious belief because without a rational designer there’s no reason to believe that the universe should be rational. The way I see it is that if the universe is indeed very young then the designer of it sure went to a lot of effort to make it appear old and if an entity capable of creating a universe in a matter of hours wants it to appear old then it’s pretty unlikely that an entity with that capability screwed up the illusion in any manner that we could possibly uncover. To sum up my opinion in fewer words – yes, an old earth may be an illusion but as far as I can determine it’s a flawless illusion and a flawless illusion is by definition indistinguishable from reality.

  40. Turner

    Given that information I’d guess you are none other than Alan Fox.

  41. Leo
    re; UD blog stats

    Due to a server migration a few months ago I no longer have an X-Panel front end nor any of the nifty statistical analysis tools that went with it. I’d love to have them back but it evidently isn’t in the cards. I don’t pay the bills here so have little say in where the site is hosted or what management tools are made available.

  42. Dave, f.blair,

    I disagree with the contention that ID can ignore the age of the earth. If ID wants to be a player in the evolution game then it must have a point of view on all the relevant information of evolution, not just cherry pick what is convenient for the large tent.

    Many continue to rail against Darwinism here but the Darwinian paradigm is applicable to most of evolution. And consideration of that part of evolution requires an old earth perspective. I have also pointed out that this part of the Darwinian paradigm makes for excellent design and to ignore that is anti science not pro science.

    Natural selection does work and it does provide for the richness of the life we see on the planet as we go from place to place and see the variation. But it can only work on what it is given and that is the problem of the modern synthesis. It can only work on what is there and it has extreme difficult explaining why what is there, is there.

  43. Quite a few, though perhaps not a majority of, ID proponents accept at face value the data from cosmology, geology, biology, and other sources indicating the earth is billions of years old and the universe billions of years older than the earth

    I find it hard to believe that the majority of ID proponents believe in a young earth! Is there perhaps a vote that can be run to determine the extent of this believe amongst the readers of this blog? Davescot, are you saying the majority of ID movers and shakers that you no doubt mingle with don’t believe that the earth is “old”? Is this from personal experience?

    Of course, I agree, ID itself does not need to speak to the age of the earth, I’m not saying it does, I’m just pointing out that inside the big tent are people who believe in both young and old earth and at some point, if the tent ever gets smaller, a side will have to be chosen. Both cannot be simultaneously true after all!

    Jerry, as somebody who says natural selection “works” do you think that the mutation that allows people to resist malaria (sickle cell) was designed or arose randomly?

  44. DaveScot (20) wrote:

    “I didn’t trivialize rape. The notion was put foward that by allowing themselves to be vulnerable it excuses PZ Myers for taking advantage of the vulnerability.”

    As my comment was the one you wrote about, I should point out that you are not correct – I was not making any comments at all about PZ Myers’ behaviour, I was commenting on the competence of Mathis et al.

    And no matter what you think about the rights and wrongs of it, the behaviur of the producers here DOES have a bearing.

    Forget the emotive and loaded issue of rape and look at the law on confidentiality of information (an area in which I work), which I would suggest is a far superior analogy. If you bind a dozen people in to a confidentiality agreement requiring them not to disclose any information you supply, and one of them discloses it, the courts are likely to back you up if you sue the discloser. If, on the other hand, you release the information to a million people under the same fetter, the courts will look at the issue of whether or not information disclosed to a million people really is confidential – and would likely conclude it isn’t.

    That is closer to what Mathis did with his “invitation” – put it out onto the internet, where it could be accessed by billions. Utterly foolish. Similarly with the producers’ mention of the dial in code, at a time when people could listen in – totally incompetent.

    The rights and wrongs of Myers are one thing. Mathis’ competence is highly questionable whatever one thinks of Myers.

  45. f.blair,

    The sickle cell probably arose randomly. I believe it is a single mutation (SNP). Natural selection probably explains most of the species on the planet but definitely not all. So it works and works well. ID does not dispute it.

    Also as I said ID, if it is to be serious, it must be old earth oriented. Nearly everyone of the major ID proponents deals with issues of deep time. Those who skirt the issue lose credibility.

  46. jerry

    Natural selection probably explains most of the species on the planet but definitely not all.

    I’d be interested in your opinion as to which species can be explained via natural selection and which cannot. And I’d also be interested in how you came to that conclusion.

    And I’d agree, in my opinion if ID does not disown “last thursdayism” then nothing can be held to be as it appears to be (as it self evidently claims to be) and so to me this invalidates the “the universe is rational and so was created by a rational being because it can be explained rationally” argument used sometimes here. If the universe can be X seconds old where X is a arbitrary number, yet have the appearance of a fixed number then that’s not a rational universe.

    As Davescot points out, it’s better to just ignore that the universe could have the appearance of age yet be young as it simply makes no difference. That’s a very different argument to saying the universe is 6000 years old but has been made to look much older and I accept of course that ID per se is not making either argument. Yet vocal dog-beating quote fans are! :)

  47. jerry (48),

    “Natural selection probably explains most of the species on the planet but definitely not all. ”

    Which ones doesn’t it explain, and why not?

  48. f.blair,

    There is supposedly 300,000 (probably overstated) species of beetles, 2,000 species of cichlids, 10,000 species of birds. My guess is that natural selection explains most if not all of these. I could go on and on with other taxa especially insects and fish and make the same statement.

    But there are some anomalies that defy the ability of natural selection to explain.

    All forms of flight would be a starter. Now I mentioned birds above but what is not mentioned is where did birds come from and what created the gene pool for all these aves species and variations.

    Sonar in bats

    Giraffe blood pressure system

    The avian oxygen system

    Four chambered hearts

    Nervous systems

    consciousness and human intelligence

    eyes

    cell complexity

    etc. There could be a long list.

    f.blair, there are a lot of different types of people who post here and I often disagree with what many pro ID people post. There is too much concern with personalities whether they be past or present and too much with discrediting everything proposed in Darwin’s name. I do not think either advances ID.

  49. My guess is that natural selection explains most if not all of these.

    Jerry, it sounds to me very much like the ark story, each “kind” can radiate out into variations on a theme but no more? Is that where you are coming from? That all life on earth was once on a boat 6000 odd years ago? Or have I misread you totally here?

    With regard to your examples, well four chambered hearts are a bad example to me as three chambered hearts exist. Could four chambered hearts not have evolved from three (I don’t know if they did or not but it seems reasonable that it could).

    You also mention the Giraffe blood pressure system, well what about the nerve that loops all the way round the neck and back up when it could take a short cut? Why is the Giraffe blood pressure system designed and un-evovable yet the vagus nerve is such an example of poor design it loops 15 feet around the neck and back from the brain to the larynx? I can’t see the logic.

  50. f.blair,

    First of all, for all these species of beetles it must have taken millions of years to evolve so I do not see any boat in their past unless they were in the woodwork of some at some point along the way.

    For the giraffe, there are two long papers that had referenced giraffe evolution and were discussed about a month ago. Here is one

    http://www.weloennig.de/Giraffe.pdf

    I suggest you read it and then we can talk about giraffes. It is a little long but interesting. I do not understand why the nerve wraps around like you said but the interesting thing is that no cousins seem to have it so where did it come from. You are repeating a frequent anti ID argument of bad design. We can discuss it after you read the paper.

    I am not an expert on the four chambered heart so will defer on that for awhile till I read more about it.

  51. f.blair

    Would the vagus nerve work better if it took the proposed shortcut? If not then there’s no need to change it. Engineers usually don’t bother changing things without a good reason.

  52. portishead

    I was not making any comments at all about PZ Myers’ behaviour, I was commenting on the competence of Mathis et al.

    Exactly. And I was commenting on a woman who’s not competent enough to protect herself against a rapist.

    What does the competency of the victim to prevent a crime have to do with the criminality of the perpetrator?

  53. DaveScot asks “What does the competency of the victim to prevent a crime have to do with the criminality of the perpetrator?”
    It depends upon what the alleged crime is.

    A crime isn’t being alleged in these incidents with most discussions, so suggesting criminality is stretching the metaphor quite a bit.

    Nonetheless, the question isn’t simply the competency to prevent a crime but includes the competency to enable an undesirable action. Undesirable actions aren’t always criminal, in constrast to the premise of your question.

  54. DaveScot (55),

    Whoa, whoa, Dave! We’re not talking about crime here! This Mathis/Myers business is not a criminal matter at all, it’s just about what is or is not socially acceptable behaviour and competence and incompetence. Let’s not get carried away and start making category errors.

  55. Clarence

    Arguably there was a civil crime committed in the conference call incident. Imagine someone walks through the door uninvited at a wedding ceremony while vows are being taken and disrupts it by announcing to the whole assembly that the groom is a despicable liar. Would a judge or jury consider that one or more parties were reasonably entitled to freedom from such harassment and was damaged by the actions of the harasser? I think it’s reasonable to suppose they might. In the theater incident I think there’s a lot less expectation of privacy and little ability to show damage as Dawkins asked for and was given permission to speak by the people who paid for the event.

  56. DaveScot,

    Maybe, but it’s difficult to think of any law to peg that action on. Doubtless if there is one then Mathis et al. can look at using it.

  57. Portishead

    Laws concerning the privacy of electronic data and communications are many and harsh. If you acquired, even by perfectly legal means, the password to someone or some corporation’s computer or phone system then used it in a way that caused damage to that person or company there is almost certainly cause for civil action and perhaps criminal action as well.

  58. DaveScot,

    This may be an area where our different jurisdictions have differences in law. I am in the UK, but I am vaguely aware of laws in the US concerning wire fraud (is that the right term?) that don’t have quite the same parallel over here.

    But from a legal point of view I would still want someone to quote me the relevant statute or precedent before I took the view that something was illegal.

  59. Portishead

    Probably not wire fraud. Theft of service would seem to cover it though. Someone paid for that conference call and someone else used the service without permission. Consider that you have a contract with a telephone company to provide you with long distance service and you have a cordless phone system with a security code. Your neighbor happens to acquire, in a perfectly legal manner, the security code for your phone, enters the code into his cordless phone, and starts using, without permission, your phone service. That is theft of service and it’s definitely illegal just like any other form of theft. If the theft involves crossing state lines, which I believe in this case it does as the alleged thief was in one state and the victim in another, then it becomes a federal crime as it’s now dealing with interstate commerce.

  60. DaveScot,

    Wow – so Myers may have committed a federal offence? Will Mathis want to get the G-Men onto him?

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