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The Triumph of Reason over Rhetoric at the Panda’s Thumb

DaveScot beat me to the punch (see previous post). Just so you don’t have to wade through the 515 (and counting) comments on the Ron Numbers thread (if you must consult it, go here), here are some highlights. It is heavily edited, of course, but what I left out is even dopier than what I kept in. It’s hard to believe that when NATURE needed to critique Steve Meyer’s piece that he published in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, it looked to guidance from the Panda’s Thumb.

The Triumph of Reason over Rhetoric at the Panda’s Thumb

The Panda’s Thumb is the virtual pub of the University of Ediacara. The patrons gather to discuss evolutionary theory, critique the claims of the antievolution movement, defend the integrity of both science and science education, and share good conversation. –PT Statement of Purpose

PZ Myers
Yes! That is an invitation to argue!

B. Spitzer
You know, PZ … you come across as arrogant.

PZ Myers
Do you think I know nothing about religion? I get religion chucked at me every single day.
It gets annoying.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
Time for yet another pointless religious war again, huh.

PZ Myers
Lenny is part of the problem …

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
I guess that’s why the ID fundies love me so much, eh?
(sigh)
(shrug)

PZ Myers
I know, don’t even try comprehend it. You can’t.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
If all the evangelical atheists now want to wave their dick in my direction, I’ll be looking elsewhere, sorry.
(yawn)

PZ Myers
The creationists and the religious know this; they aren’t stupid.

Gerard Harbison
One should have more confidence in the science.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
Sometimes I think that when you’re busy waving your dick, it cuts off all the flow of blood to your brain. (sigh)

PZ Myers
Amazing. …

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
Well, PZ, I’m sorry that you don’t like me. (shrug)
Please feel entirely free to call me anything you want to. May I suggest “stupid-ass idiotic turd-eater”? Or how about “heretical atheist who’s not really a True Atheist™©”?

PZ Myers
You just did your condescending moron act ….

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
OK, I’m ignoring your dick-waving. (shrug)

PZ Myers
You do seem to have a fascination with penis waving. If you’re going to continue here, could you please keep it in your pants?

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
And I am still ignoring PZ’s dick-waving….
PZ will now wave his dick again.

Kevin
I am sick

PZ Myers
We’re fighting rats …

Kevin
oh and we ca dispense with the fake REV
and
DR….
or what is your divinity and what was your PHD?
rat lying ENABALER!

PZ Myers
We’re doomed ….

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
Think about it.
(snicker) (giggle)

PZ Myers
I do not:
1. threaten to shoot all the Christians,
2. call all religious people idiots,
3. suggest that we need to convert all the religious people to atheism, or
4. deny that religious people contribute to science.

Kevin
I am ver y very disappointed to hear that you do not advocate to
1. threaten to shoot all the Christians,
2. call all religious people idiots,
3. suggest that we need to convert all the religious people to atheism, or
4. deny that religious people contribute to science.
because you would have been 100% in the right to do so…

Andrea Bottaro
As for me, metaphysical discussions bore me to death.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
I do indeed notice that every time we have our periodic religious war, none of the IDiots from UD ever have the ping-pongs to speak up.
wamba
Did someone say arrogant?

Lurker
Exactly.

dan
I concur with your thoughts about what amounts to being true to your own convictions.
It is fundementalist in it’s nature,but that does not disuade my own conviction that if it is truthfull to be athiest, then we must be able to stand up and say so. In this country, at this time, it is not acceptable to be athiest. I have had quite a few discussions along these lines, and if you can’t be true to your convictions on the web, then you are an absolute pussy, in my regard.

PZ Myers
You really have to stop believing the BS Lenny spews.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
I’ve had too much beer.
(hic)

PZ Myers
There is one unique asshole here who accuses others of wanting to round up and shoot the religious ….

Sir_Toejam
I could give a shit for tone and civility.

PZ Myers
The science is our strength.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank
I am once again ignoring all of PZ’s dick-waving.

Rilke’s Granddaughter
To David Berlinski
… I would have expected that you, of all people, would recognize the futility of trying to persuade scientists with rhetoric rather than reason.

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45 Responses to The Triumph of Reason over Rhetoric at the Panda’s Thumb

  1. Anyone else feel as edified as I do after reading that exchange?

    Where do I sign up to be a Darwinist!? Somebody cut me a slice of that quick!

  2. Hilarious, to say the least.

  3. 3

    I can’t believe that there is any Darwinist out there who can make Lenny Flank (I called him “Loony Flake” when I was commenting on Panda’s Thumb) look like a moderate. Once when I cited a Supreme Court opinion that supported HIS position, he sneered, “when did you become a lawyer, Larry?” One of his favorite expressions was, “no one cares what you think (shrug).”

    The rapid growth of this thread on PT is probably setting a record even for PT. There are over 500 comments and the thread is less than three days old.

  4. Ahhh the rigours of academica produce such lovely *colourfull* characters. Now, can we please supply them with real knives next time they’re about to fight, would save us an awfull lot of time.

  5. Here’s the NATURE piece I cited:

    Nature 431, 114 (09 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431114a

    Peer-reviewed paper defends theory of intelligent design

    JIM GILES

    Critics of evolution score publishing success

    A new front has opened up in the battle between scientists and advocates of
    intelligent design, a theory that rejects evolution and is regarded by its
    critics as another term for creationism.

    A scientific journal has published a paper that argues in favour of
    intelligent design – the first time such material has appeared in a
    peer-reviewed publication, according to biologists who track the issue. The
    paper appeared in a low-impact journal, Proceedings of the Biological
    Society of Washington. But critics say that it could still be used by
    advocates of intelligent design to get the subject on to US school curricula
    (see Nature 416, 250; 2002).

    The article comes from the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington, a
    leading promoter of the theory. In the article, senior fellow Stephen Meyer
    uses information theory and other techniques to argue that the complexity of
    living organisms cannot be explained by darwinian evolution (S. C. Meyer
    Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 117, 213-239; 2004).

    Many of Meyer’s arguments have already been aired by advocates of
    intelligent design, but critics say that publication will be used to back up
    claims that the theory is scientifically valid.

    Kenneth Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode
    Island, who has argued against Meyer in public debates, does not doubt that
    this will happen. “They’ve tried very hard to get material into
    peer-reviewed journals.”

    Richard Sternberg, a taxonomist at the National Center for Biotechnology
    Information in Bethesda, Maryland, was editor of the journal publishing the
    Meyer paper when it was reviewed and accepted. Sternberg is also on the
    editorial board of the Baraminology Study Group, which publishes papers on
    “scientific research in creation biology”. He says the paper was seen and
    approved by three well-qualified referees.

    Meyer’s article has attracted a lengthy rebuttal on The Panda’s Thumb, a
    website devoted to evolutionary theory. But Miller says that, despite
    criticism of the journal, versions of the theory will find their way into
    the scientific literature at some point. Arguments for it can be written, he
    says, as reappraisals of certain aspects of evolution rather than outright
    rejection. “Peer review isn’t a guarantee of accuracy,” he adds. “That is
    especially true of review articles.”

  6. PZ Myers
    Do you think I know nothing about religion? I get religion chucked at me every single day.
    It gets annoying.

    I’ve got a tip for you PZ…stop airing your religous rants in public both on PT and on your own blog and I guarantee you the chucking will slow down and you will be less annoyed. And we will all be happier because of it.

  7. Somebody really needs to make a YTMND of this.

  8. This is hilarious. The statements are surreal by some, as France flushes its future for the whole world to see, they’re lifted up as an example of what is politically correct viewpoints! LOL! A comment made about England, USA and the Aussies. That’s good company I’ll take any day as nations creating wealth, science and innovation in business, technology, medicine and finance.

    But what is truly hilarious is the blindness upon which such statements are made. Countries around the world have scientist that are pro-ID and pro-creationist. What is so sad is none of this is evident to blind sheep holding onto dogmatic blankets of downy comforters.

    Flank is spot on. This is political non-sense, grandstanding and its a disaster to their cause. But go for it! I’ve never been a participant to watching one side of an argument IMPLODE before my very eyes on such a grand scale as this. It like the Howard Dean “aaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhheeeeeeee” moment. Priceless! The poor man was caught numbless in political back stabbing and could do nothing but shriek in despair.

    Call em names PZ, crackpot(is a favorite), etc., that’s the way to debate people with PhD’s! This will enhance public discourse as well! Right along with Dawkins famous quotes. I suggest you get your own primetime show so the public can view the elequence of your arguments as is.

    If someone is going to fight a political battle, they should learn from the likes of Slick Willy and the DNC that you do not attack your opponents with name calling and skull-duggery in the open. You sweeten them to death with blushing compliments of lies in TV LaLa Land, meanwhile, in the darkened corners of concealment with conspiracy run amok, carry a big knife for the back-stabbing of any and all who stand in your way.

    Even if they’re on your side. Witnessing the shrill curdling voices like that of Dean’s is worth every moment.

    The knife still gets bloody and the enjoyment of a surprised victim caught unaware in the dark is soothing to one’s ego requiring 15minute fame for the purposeless pursuit of purposeless-ness.

  9. Makes me feel privileged to have Uncommon Descent. The contrast is amazing.

  10. This much entertainment should not be free!

  11. Somewhere during the exchange, Pyers blows:

    There is a strong cultural aspect to this struggle that is independent of the facts, I won’t deny that. But calling the science “irrelevant” is throwing away the sharpest tool in our toolbox. We are going to win people to the side of science and reason by promoting, well, science and reason. Stop running away from it! Stop being ashamed of the fact that the evidence is on our side! We aren’t going to win by engaging in theological debates, or by getting the right legislation, or by winning court battles—the way to win is by taking the ignorant by the scruff of the neck and dragging them outside and showing them that yes, the sky is blue, water is wet, the planet is round, and the earth is old. The science must be the linchpin of our strategy. When we teach people to think, science wins.

    PeeZee, do share how facts like:

    - Digitally encoded information along the spine of the DNA molecule with all of it’s error protection safeguards, etc… etc…
    - Irreducible cellular machinery with complex interlocking components assembled to accomplish a specific function
    - The abrupt appearance of fully formed and distinct body plans and subsequent sudden bursts of biological novelty in the fossil record

    …demonstrate that science is on the side of the Darwinian Materialist.

    I’ll be waiting along with the chirping crickets.

  12. it’s very hard to read PT without my eyes glazing over at the sheer repetition. Every good thread there has at least one person screaming “Waterlooooo!” sarcastically, while others try to out-name-call. It’s hard to believe that any scientist would frequent that board, as the signal to noise ratio there is so low that it would be hard to find anything of any real value there.

  13. Pandas Thumb receives Scientfic American award Top 25 Science and Technology Web Awards for 2005

    Our editors [Scientific American] name 25 of their favorite sites

    PT ranks about #8!

    SciAm joins Nature in affirming PT.

    I think John Rennie, the editor-in-chief of Scientific American, and PZ Myers are a pair of brokeback cowboys if you get my drift and I think you do. You should read them fawning over each other on Rennie’s old blog.

  14. PZ Myers: “Atheism is a religion like good health is a disease.”

    No, Mr. Myers!
    By making such silly analogies you can’t escape the fact that Atheism is just another belief system aka religion which you are bigoted member of it.

    PZ Myers: “some like to tell us that religion has to be kept out of the discussion, but that is like telling us you want an infection cured, but you don’t want to hear anything about bacteria or antibiotics, because it offends you.”

    So you are saying that ID is an infection and religion is the bacteria. Awful!
    Now it becomes apparent that your only goal is to defend science not to defeat religion. Isn’t it?
    Keep up the good work Mr. Myers! ID community should be thankful to you.

  15. Upon reading the trend, one gets the feeling that some Darwinists live in a separate world. They seem to believe that, the moment the Fundamentalists get converted to Darwinism, the controversy will be over. In other words, “join hands with the TEs (Theistic Evolutionists) and let’s convert the Fundies so that the origins debate ends”. (This seems to be Lenny’s view) This is clearly wrong, since there are many scientists who oppose (or are skeptical of) Darwinism for scientific reasons.

    Secondly, unlike what Lenny says, the “science argument” did *not* end over a century ago. Even upon reading Creationist material, you’ll notice that when they debate Darwinists, they use scientific evidence (Information Theory, fossil record, etc) against Darwinisn, and refrain from using ONLY religious material.

    To label the controversy as a “political” arguement is a huge misrepresentation of the issue, and a “poisoning of the well” type of tactic. The issue is scientific, but not only scientific.

    But hey, if they wish to remain in their fantasy land where “there is no controversy among scientists”, and “only Christian Fundamentalists doubt Darwinism” let them.

  16. Bill, I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of adding a trackback to the article at Panda’s Thumb to your article. I figured the lurkers over there deserve to know there’s a Cliff’s Notes version of the exchange available. Nice job, btw.

  17. By the way, has anyone EVER seen Lenny go that long without asking “What exactly is the theory of Intelligent Design?”. He must really be upset. Meanwhile, when Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American John Rennie reads it, he’s going to be driven to distraction by all the dick waving that Myers is doing, possibly even flying into a jealous rage as it’s not being waved at him. I’d pay to read the email traffic… :lol:

  18. From the perspective of “Know thine Enemy” and strategies to ponder, here are a few more quotes:

    [http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/06/ron_numbers_int.html#comments Comments on Ron Numbers interview and article]

    PZ Myers #108033 Look, the creationists and Christians are not stupid, OK? You’re saying that we need to play it close to the chest and later we’ll demolish their worldview, after we’ve finished sapping their foundations. That’s fine. I’m all for it.

    PZ Meyers #108070 These are political fights. They are not scientific debates. . . . [“I think including arguments from folks like the ELCA is useful.”] It’s more than “useful”; it’s absolutely VITAL. We simply will not win without them. . . . This is a political fight. It is not about science. And we will not win a political fight with just 15% of the population.

    PZ Meyers #108084 “We’re getting nowhere. If anything, it’s getting worse. We need to win every court case, they only need to win one.”

    Lurker #108144 . . .in the Creation-Evolution battle people like Ken Miller are more valued weapons than people like PZ. Why? Not for the differences in scientific knowledge either possesses. Rather, I suspect there is a reason for having one present at a trial, or speak to a bunch of Christians about evolution than the other.”

    Caledonian to Lenny #108185 You chastized PZ for being publically antagonistic towards religion, you emphasized that evolution is no longer a scientific position but a political one, you suggested that it would be impossible for the political battle to be won without the aid of theistic evolutionists, and then said that it was stupid to annoy those allies that were needed to win a political struggle.

    Caledonian #108185 …….with the explicit goal of obtaining their assistance in a psychomarketing campaign against the theistic creationists.

    ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank #108187 It is not PZ’s “beliefs” that are the problem. It is his intolerance. PZ doesn’t just say “I don’t believe in gods” (which, after all, *I* say too) — he follows that up with “and you’re stupid if you do”.

    Alexander Varga #108189 I think it is crucial that we atheists realize that in fact religion and science are NOT forced to butt heads.

    Tom Curtis #108260 . . .in a battle between creationism and science; making enemies of the two thirds of science supporters who happen also to be theists is absurd. It is a recipe for defeat;. . .

    Glen Davidson #108308 What I don’t understand is why he thinks he has to point out to people who care more about religion than about science that in fact the two are not compatible—at least in many cases. . . . My real concern is that if others adopt their tactics as if they were really effective in promoting science and a more enlightened society, since in fact it is more likely that their tactics would be counter-productive if duplicated en masse.

    Carol Clouser #108376 We need to teach and preach, yes in the public schools, a religion of tolerance, ethical behavior, respect for human rights and understanding of human limitations, humility, and the limits of science AND religion, among others.

    Alexander Vargas #108634 So you practically invite them to think “This person looks like he only wants to deny religon. Are all evolutionists like this? Maybe all that evolution thing is BS”. Thye will naturally reject evolution if you falsely equate it with godlessnes.

    Louis #108694 The people of whatever stripe who want to turn the world away from the ethical, political and above all scientific values of the Enlightenment are the one’s we must resist. No one else. . . .Science is far from irrelevant, it’s our most potent weapon. All the spin, bluster, rhetoric and politicking we can muster is effectively equalled by that of the creationists, for they can do exactly the same. . . . What we need to do is show that under our big tent ANYONE is welcome, and always has been. We need to show science works for anyone (and we have, but people are born and people die, it’s an ongoing job). We need a continuing process of demonstrating the power of reason by it’s use.

    [http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/06/im_proud_to_be_nonhuman.php PZ Meyers]
    “Skepticism is the antithesis of faith, and a science that encourages people to question is the enemy of a religion that demands people accept.”

  19. “I’ve got a tip for you PZ…stop airing your religous rants in public both on PT and on your own blog and I guarantee you the chucking will slow down and you will be less annoyed. And we will all be happier because of it.”–Lurker in comment #6

    Are you kidding me? This is just the type of high-quality scientific intellectual edification we should expect to see from a SciAm web award winner. Bravo, guys!!! Keep up the simply awe-inspiring work!

    “I’ve had too much beer.

    (hic)”–The ‘Rev. Dr.’ Lenny Flank

    Oh my! The brilliant radiance of enlightenment is simply too much for my little creationist brain to take in!!! :lol:

  20. Can you feel the love over there at PT on that thread!

    Lenny vs PZ, or how about this, Brayton vs. Hurd (yes on that very same thread): Gary Hurd’s Lies

    Even PT hosts people who are devoted to the death of species, and the destruction of civil government. Look up the Pacific Law Foundation: they are a pack of deadly supporters of species extinction, clear cutting and death. Tim Sandefur for these pigs and earns his living working to clear cut forests and eliminate protection of endangered species. Ed Brayton is his self-professed “libritarina” soul mate. They are scum that should not be entertained as “science” presenters or supporters. They can not be trusted further than they can be kicked.

    and Hurd takes shots at PT Contributer (and Barb Forrest Co-Author Paul Gross) and Jack Krebs:

    Paul Gross hates the social sciences and actively tries to deny that they are sciences at all. No creationist has a lower opinion of anthropology than Paul. He is also a strong, even fervent Republican who would rather vote for any evil (particularly the evil named Bush)than any non-Republican. Profesionally junior PT contibuters were afraid to contradict his rightwing positions becasue he could harm their careers. Jack Krebs was a Republican County Chairman, a position I equate with a Gruppen Fürer.

    Oh, can you feel the love!

  21. 21
    sagebrush gardener

    I was going to take the high road and avoid joining in the merriment, but I just can’t resist. Is anyone else seeing a mental image of an enraged band of monkeys, howling and flinging feces at each other?

  22. The problem for everyone is keeping an open mind to all possibilities in an observant world of learning. All things we learn by observation of what is given us in our surroundings. Goedel is a remarkable reminder of our limitations along with QM.

    What was just found out about Lactic Acid? It took 60 years to overcome dogmatic assertions of the cause and purpose for Lactic Acid.

    Again and repeatedly scienctist were wrong. It happens daily.

    This is why people of goodwill in any walk of life would acknowledge is continuous proof that science should humble itself, not arrogantly proclaim periodic dominance due to new discoveries as if they make no more mistakes than the average Joe.

    Precisely because we see old assertions turned over on a continuous basis by new observations or perseverance of a few good people who do not accept consensus thinking, this should cause the group think to pause.

    That breakthrus are made inspite of, not because of OPRESSION by consensus. We see this thru history.

    Splashing about in a big pond with short shrift makes many ripples, but they are tiny waves easily weathered and produce no evidence. Except that one can throw tantrums and be seen as such. Here comes the ripples of dogmatic rules as truth.

    Floating above the waves, we see another coming. The one who produces the cyclic ripples refuse to see one can leave the water altogether and observe from a higher viewpoint upon a mountain. Having a well-informed, educated perspective of all sides in the debate gives a well rounded opinion more grounded in certainty.

    Having seen the failures of past scientific boon-doggles should cause one to be circumspect when one boldly asserts a One Way street with no experimental evidence.

    The ability to listen to the other evidence with earnest rapport is what makes a good scientist.

    The work pointed out here regarding the planetary predictions by Dr. Humphreys is an excellent example. He should be given a peer-reviewed opportunity. I read his paper long ago.

    When one is able to predict such outcomes, is this not good science? To not give him credit is hurting the advancement of science, not him. His reputation will survive and like others in history, his good effort will be rewarded even if posthumously others must be “dragged into” this realization of good work done by Creationist.

    To Wall of ones opinions based upon a Judgement of others is a mistake often rattled against believers. And yet here is the mirror facing back at those who would protest so much.

    Give Dr. Humphrey’s his due…. Any other scientist having made such predictions would be written up in all the scientific journals. This is what happens when the PZ crowd is in control.

    Good science is put off in the name of ideological expediency.

    So much for impartiality of our greatest thinkers and minds.

  23. And the hits just keep on comin’! 574 comments (and counting).

    You can’t buy stuff this funny. :mrgreen:

  24. These swine and their supporters like Gross, Krebs, Brayton, and Sandefur [the PT contributors] have no supportive role to play. They are the party of fanatics and death. They are the faults in the foundations, and a probable back channel source to our enemies. They can not be trusted.

    Gary Hurd, ex-PT contributor

    PT is such a congenial place!

  25. 25
    LowenheimSkolem

    Myers’ screeds continue to baffle me.

    What justifies the move from “I don’t think God exists” to “Anyone who thinks God exists is a willfully ignorant, irrational, childish fool”?

    It never ceases to amaze me that this kind of thinking is still kicking around out there in the far reaches of the athiest camp. Is he really going to tell me that Saul Krike is a fool for sticking with Judaism? Or that Kurt Godel was an idiot because he tried to revamp the ontological argument?

  26. And Gary Hurd, a founder of PT takes aim at Jack Krebs and Matt Bauer!:

    Jack Krebs hinted about “secret” information from “background” sources that made Mirecki a bad person to support. Matt Brauer was lying about the case even as I expressed it on PT. (I have archived the all the emails and webposts off-line, Matt. Scientists who lie as you have should never be trusted. You are now merely in the class of von Sternberg and the other creationists).

    Hey Gary, that was an awfully low blow at Matt comparing him to us creationists like Richard Sternberg (just kidding).

  27. Reminds one of DB’s prescience over at ID the Future: “Nasty, eh? If so, the nastiness is not entirely ecumenical. As far as I can tell, only one side is now occupying the gutter, even though the gutter is, as gutters generally are, more than spacious enough for two. But you raise a good question. Why are Darwinian biologists so outraged? Like the San Andreas fault, the indignation conspicuous at blogs such as The Panda’s Thumb or Talk Reason is now visible from outer space.”

  28. Hi Sagebrush Gardener,

    “Is anyone else seeing a mental image of an enraged band of monkeys, howling and flinging feces at each other?”

    If you want to know what mental image I’m seeing, check out this post at Telic Thoughts.

  29. lolz… CJ O’Brien over at The Panda’s Mutinous Ship, had this duck n’ dodge in response to my taunting:

    Scott,

    Street Theater!!! Street Theater!!!

    btw, your vacuous comment (on UD) regarding PZ’s assertion to the effect that the science is on our side was singularly unimpressive.

    Scott bootlicking at UD wrote:

    PeeZee, do share how facts like:

    – Digitally encoded information along the spine of the DNA molecule with all of it’s error protection safeguards, etc… etc…
    – Irreducible cellular machinery with complex interlocking components assembled to accomplish a specific function
    – The abrupt appearance of fully formed and distinct body plans and subsequent sudden bursts of biological novelty in the fossil record

    …demonstrate that science is on the side of the Darwinian Materialist.

    I’ll be waiting along with the chirping crickets.

    I’ll chirp in, smart guy.
    For starters, isn’t it interesting that all that “digitally encoded information” shows clearly the common heredity of all life forms?
    Regarding your regurgitated Behe-speak, can you define “irreducible” for us? How about “complex”? Bonus points for explaining why we should not expect a mechanism like natural selection to “assemble” “components…to accomplish a specific function”?
    Finally, what would a partially-formed, indistinct body plan look like?

    (chirp chirp)

    CJ, I’ll be back over there with my response soon, as I am a shameless glutton for punishment. Must run for now. In the meantime, I’m sure my fellow conspirators here at UD will have fun with your loaded questions.

  30. #28, Scott, makes me wonder if they keep up with the latest “peer-reviewed” papers that recently admit that “common heredity” is in fact Not Clear across all life forms. It appears some scientist on the evolution side of the coin disagree with one common descent and are leaning more to multiple roots.

    Aside from this fact of internal debate. Commonality = Design among intelligent species who create new information. And is a plus component of ID. ID predicts shared commonality – it does not run away from it. This is a lack of understanding on the part of evolutionist in general it seems.

    As for Jack Krebs postings – after reviewing those post Jack, I think my tone and comments to you in the past were humble in comparison. We had a reasonable debate. Panda’s smearing of you is just mud-raking.

    But then, the ACLU, NAMBLA, Random Mutations go hand in hand with gnashing of teeth, eventual anarchy and civilizations downfalls. When one fails to adhere to standards of order, they inevitibly lead to disorder and chaos. Because one cannot make any reality based decisions on materialistic viewpoints alone, they are left to chatter into oblivion, louder and more voiciferous, nevertheless, an ever downward spiral into darkness.

  31. So much for the state of rational science. It’s like Kramer and George got a lab.

  32. Reminds me of the Lord of the Rings, when the orcs capture Frodo and Sam and then start killing each other over who will get their stuff.

  33. Re: #33,

    I think that’s an excellent comparison, BK. Get a bunch of them together and I think the only thing that would keep them from killing each other would be the fear of prison and damage to their reputations. (A little booze might fix that, though.) My point is that not only is their position hopelessly wrong but they’re vicious, hate-filled monsters (okay, not all of them, but a lot of them). I’ve actually wondered how, in The Lord of the Rings, the orcs maintain order in their ranks, as volatile and stupid as they are. The situation is not much different with the cult of materialism. Their arguments are merely trivial at best and roll-on-the-floor-and-nearly-suffocate-from-laughter funny at worst, and a some of them would apparantly just as soon kill as look at each other to boot. Why must we chisel away at their walls when not only are they crumbling on their own, but their defenders are pulling them down on top of themselves. All we need to do is point an laugh. In the words of the great John Davison, “I love it so!” :)

  34. It may be a bit early to tell, but I think what we’re observing is symptomatic of a general melt down by the otherside.

    It is symptomatic of a side that is facing one defeat after another. And there are apparently personal breakdowns as well:

    Brayton writes of one of the PT founders, Gary Hurd:

    The fact is that Gary Hurd behaves exactly like Gribbit. In fact, when things got heated on the PT list, one of the first things he did was give me his address to come see him so he could beat me up (this after bragging about his long history of bar fights and what a tough guy he is). This is the sort of behavior one might expect from a 19 year old thug, not from a grown man and a scientist. The bottom line is that this man needs a shrink badly.
    ….
    He has said many times directly to me that he drinks to the point of getting drunk regularly and that he has a long history of getting into bar fights.

    Hurd wanting to get in a fist fight with Bryaton? Can you feel the love over there!

  35. PZ, setting minds at ease and solving problems:

    Your conclusion doesn’t address the problem. If fear of what they (the religious) don’t know is the problem we have to confront, and they are afraid their kids will become atheists, then we should let them get to know atheists

    Toward that end

    Science and religion are not compatible.

    They still have to believe wacky things. Christians, for instance, will believe that Jesus was the son of God whose death saved the world. No problem, go ahead and believe that silly stuff, but it’s not rational.

    I say religion has no power at all, that in its benign forms it is a harmless superstition.

    Science eroding religion is an empirical observation. …
    I wish people wouldn’t project their strange ideas of what atheism means on me. Nowhere did I say that atheism is a necessary consequence of science education. I explicitly denied it. …
    Science eroding religion is an empirical observation.

    Excellent introduction, glad to have gotten to know you.

  36. It looks like that they have something against people with spiritual tendency, maybe they should start building death camps! MHHH does History repeats itself? And what moral values are promoted through Darwinism Humanism and Atheism again? Ohh you say there is none? Well that is strange! PT thanks for mutating into such a wonderful example, using random moderation and natural sincerity of what science should look like :) MUAHHAHAHA

  37. When PZ Myers says that to believe that Jesus died to save mankind is not ‘rational’, he, more or less, means that the mind, working on what is visible, or discoverable, in the world, cannot DEDUCE this reality. It can’t reach this conclusion. That’s the atheist’s understanding of being ‘rational.’

    Yet, we can use reason in an INDUCTIVE way, as well. The so-called ‘proofs’ of God’s existence are, indeed, ‘inductive’ arguments, starting with the world as we see it, and proceeding (logically) to the conclusion that God exists. Atheists reject this kind of argument. They have thus delimited what is clearly a part of our rational being. (Inductive arguments are standard fare in the sciences.) What is their justification for doing so? Is there some logical basis for it, or is it simply some passionate rejection of certain conclusions that create a psychological disturbance within their being? Thus, who is being ‘irrational’, and who not?

    Further, if “survival of the fittest” is not just an intuition, but a demonstrably provable “fact”, then ‘deductively’ we should CONCLUDE that all the less ‘fit’ members of our species should be ‘eliminated’ so that humankind might improve. (Isn’t that what NS is supposed to do? Btw, many of those who secure abortions are already using this strategy.) If Myers is unwilling to support the ‘elimination’ of the ‘unfit,’ living members of our society, then isn’t he guilty of being ILLOGICAL??

    As they say, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Myers would be advised to examine just how, and in what ways, he is being ‘rational.’

  38. I remember being at a talk by Fr. Stanley Jaki at Cal-Tech in Pasadena. It was the year he won the Templeton Prize. He’s the author of “The Savior of Science.” One of the things that sticks out is that he said the beginning of modern science traces itself back to a commentary on Genesis made in the 12th Century. The commentator noted that since Genesis says that God created the sun, the moon, and the stars, that the motion of the moon and stars had to have been brought about by God as well, and that since it was God who had first ‘moved’ these objects, that these objects continued in motion by themselves (he used the term ‘inertia’ to describe this) and that it had to be an ordered type of motion. This led to a study of the stars/planets using as a ‘first principle’ the conviction that since God ‘orders’ all things, that the motion of the planets must be ‘ordered’ as well. It is not by coincidence, then, that modern science came about in the Christian west.

    And, btw, the next time PZ Myers dresses up for graduation, he should consider that the cap and gown that he wears comes from the tradition of having a Graduation Mass at the end of the academic year. The cap and gown are left-overs from the “choir-robes” of the monks at these Masses. (Yes, PZ, “universities” developed from seminaries. That’s been true from the time of the Sorbonne to Harvard itself.)

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